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Hackers Steal $64 Million Worth of Cryptocurrency From NiceHash

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A Slovenian cryptocurrency mining marketplace, NiceHash, said it lost about $64 million worth of bitcoin in a hack of its payment system. This is the latest incident to highlight risks that uneven oversight and security pose to booming digital currencies.

NiceHash matches people looking to sell processing time on computers in exchange for bitcoin. There have been at least three dozen heists on exchanges that buy and sell digital currencies since 2011, including one that led to the 2014 collapse of Mt. Gox, once the world’s largest bitcoin market.

More than 980,000 bitcoins have been stolen from exchanges, which would be worth more than $15 billion at current exchange rates. Few have been recovered, leaving some investors without any compensation.

The hacks have not kept demand for digital currencies from soaring. Bitcoin’s value has climbed more than 15-fold so far this year, closing at a record $16,000 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange on Thursday, ahead of this weekend’s launch of bitcoin futures by CBOE.

Security experts said they expect the cyber-crime spree to pick up as the rising valuations attract interest from cyber criminals looking for victims that lack experience defending against hacks. NiceHash executive Andrej P. Škraba said that his firm was the victim of “a highly professional” heist that yielded about 4,700 bitcoin, worth around $64 million.

Today, CEO Marko Kobal and co-founder Sasa Coh appeared on a Facebook livestream to address user concerns. “I see various kinds of emojis down there,” Kobal said at the start of the livestream, as users made their complaints heard. Numerous viewers said Kobal and Coh looked guilty, and some voiced suspicion of an inside job. The Slovenia-based company, founded in 2014, has paid out over a billion dollars to miners over the last three years, according to its founders.

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Global Tech Glitch Grounds Flights, Disrupts Businesses

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Reporting from Chennai, India: A major tech issue on Friday caused widespread disruptions around the world, impacting airlines, banks, media companies, and numerous businesses. The root cause appears to be a configuration change within Microsoft Azure, the company’s cloud computing platform.

This change led to a breakdown in communication between storage and computing resources, ultimately causing connectivity failures for Microsoft 365 services. The most visible symptom for many users was the dreaded Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) on Windows 10 machines, rendering them unusable.

Social media reports documented the issue spreading rapidly across the globe, affecting users in the United States, India, and other countries. Banks, supermarkets, and media companies all reported problems, with some TV and radio studios even going offline.

The fallout was particularly severe for airlines. Check-in systems failed at major carriers in India, including IndiGo, Akasa, and SpiceJet. Similar disruptions were reported at airports worldwide, with Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, Sydney Airport, and Berlin Airport experiencing delays and cancellations. While Microsoft quickly resolved the Azure issue, airlines are still working to address the knock-on effects and get passengers back on track.

Fortunately, not all businesses were impacted. India’s stock exchanges, BSE and NSE, reported normal operations as they rely minimally on Microsoft applications.

While the exact cause of the grounding orders issued by major US carriers like American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines remains unclear, it happened just after Microsoft resolved the Azure outage. Other airlines, including UAL and Allegiant Air, also grounded flights out of caution.

The global ripple effects extended to Singapore Airlines, where technical difficulties impacted their service centre and reservation hotlines. Thankfully, their flights continued to operate as scheduled. Passengers are advised to contact their airlines directly for the latest flight information as airports work through the backlog caused by this tech glitch.

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HONOR Unveils AI-Powered HONOR 200 Series at Dubai Launch Event

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HONOR unveiled its highly anticipated HONOR 200 Series at a spectacular launch event recently. The series boasts two new smartphones, the HONOR 200 Pro and HONOR 200, designed to revolutionize smartphone photography with advanced AI features.

The launch event, themed “HONOR AI World,” showcased the power of AI in portrait photography. Guests experienced interactive zones and a dedicated shooting booth, highlighting the HONOR 200 Series’ innovative camera capabilities. HONOR executives highlighted the brand’s impressive regional growth, boasting a 154% year-over-year revenue surge in 2023 and a strong 90% growth in the first half of 2024. Notably, the premium segment witnessed a remarkable 544% growth, reflecting HONOR’s strategic expansion and growing consumer preference.

The event also featured Dr. Ghalib Al Shammari, Chairman of The Saudi Society for Artificial Intelligence and Smart Systems. He shared his vision for AI’s transformative impact on society, aligning perfectly with HONOR’s mission to create a new intelligent world.

Features of the HONOR 200 Series include:

  1. Triple 50MP AI Portrait Camera: Capture exceptional detail and clarity with a powerful camera system featuring three 50MP lenses (main, telephoto, and selfie).
  2. Blazing-Fast Charging: The HONOR 200 Pro boasts the revolutionary 100W HONOR SuperCharge, allowing a full charge in just 41 minutes. Additionally, the Pro version offers 66W Wireless HONOR SuperCharge for ultimate convenience.
  3. Unmatched Performance: Equipped with the cutting-edge Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 AI Chipset, the HONOR 200 Series delivers seamless graphics and real-time responsiveness.
  4. Intelligent User Experience: MagicOS 8.0 empowers users with a range of AI-powered features, including AI-empowered Magic Portal, Magic Capsule, and Magic Ring (on the Pro version) for streamlined digital interactions.
  5. Eye-Catching Design and Comfort: The HONOR 200 Pro features a sleek, nature-inspired design and comes in three stunning colours: Ocean Cyan, Moonlight White, and Black. Additionally, the HONOR 200 boasts a 0-Risk AI Eye Comfort Display, minimizing eye strain with advanced technologies.
  6. Powerful New Tablet: HONOR also showcased its latest tablet during the event, featuring a large 11-inch display, long-lasting battery, and ample storage.

The HONOR 200 Pro is available for pre-order at AED 2499 with exciting free gifts worth AED 1696, including a HONOR CHOICE Watch, Earbuds, Backpack, and 12-month screen protection. The HONOR 200 comes in Moonlight White, Emerald Green, and Black, with prices starting at AED 1599 (12GB+256GB version). Purchases include free gifts worth AED 1496, including HONOR CHOICE Earbuds, MOECEN Band, Backpack, and 12-month screen protection.

This launch marks a significant step forward for HONOR, solidifying its position as a leader in AI-powered smartphone technology.

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Apps

WhatsApp Now Transcribes Voice Messages on Android

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Calling all Android users who dread lengthy voice messages: rejoice! WhatsApp is rolling out voice message transcription to its beta app.

This feature, already available for iOS users since May 2024, is now part of the WhatsApp Beta version 2.24.15.5 for Android. It automatically converts voice messages into text, making it easier and faster to understand conversations.

Currently, transcriptions are supported in five languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, and Hindi, with more languages promised in the future. Users opting in will need to download an additional data package to ensure all transcripts are generated directly on their devices, maintaining message privacy.

This update brings Android users closer to iOS users in terms of features and highlights WhatsApp’s commitment to improving the overall user experience.

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