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  • 09.09.2019 | Instagram reported down worldwide




    nstagram users around the world have reported that the photo-sharing platform is down on both coasts of the US, in Europe, and beyond. Frustrated users took to Twitter to vent. The outage was spotted on Monday at around 5pm GMT (12pm Eastern Time), according to Downdetector.com, a website where users can report such problems. Issues ranged from certain features of the app, such as the text editing function, not working, to the app failing to open. Most of the reports came from New York, California, and the UK, with users as far afield as Brazil and Malaysia also finding problems. Bereft of their beloved social media platform, users took to Twitter to express their frustration, using memes, gifs, and snarky comments aimed at the Instagram team. Instagram is used by over one billion people around the world every month. However, outages are frequent, with the platform going dark three times in one week back in July. Staff apologized for the patchy performance at the time, and have yet to comment on the latest outage.   © Reuters / Lucas Jackson   https://quantsalus.com/faq/...

    nstagram users around the world have reported that the photo-sharing platform is down on both coasts of the US, in Europe, and beyond. Frustrated users took to Twitter to vent.

    The outage was spotted on Monday at around 5pm GMT (12pm Eastern Time), according to Downdetector.com, a website where users can report such problems.

    Issues ranged from certain features of the app, such as the text editing function, not working, to the app failing to open.

    Most of the reports came from New York, California, and the UK, with users as far afield as Brazil and Malaysia also finding problems.

    Bereft of their beloved social media platform, users took to Twitter to express their frustration, using memes, gifs, and snarky comments aimed at the Instagram team.

    Instagram is used by over one billion people around the world every month. However, outages are frequent, with the platform going dark three times in one week back in July. Staff apologized for the patchy performance at the time, and have yet to comment on the latest outage.

     

    © Reuters / Lucas Jackson

     

    https://quantsalus.com/faq/


    25.08.2019 | Apple and Samsung sued over ‘cancer risk’ from cell phone radiation




    Apple and Samsung have been hit with a class-action lawsuit over claims that their phones expose users to radio frequency emissions up to 500 percent beyond federal limits. Meanwhile the health debate around smartphones heats up. Filed following an investigation by the Chicago Tribune, the lawsuit alleges that the Radio Frequency (RF) emissions of a number of Apple and Samsung phones – among them the iPhone 8, iPhone X, and Galaxy S8 – “far exceed federal guidelines.” The risks of such radiation levels, it continues, include “increased cancer risk, cellular stress...genetic damages, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders,” and a laundry list of other medical problems. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) tests phones by their ‘Specific Absorption Rate,’ measured in watts of energy absorbed per kilogram of body tissue. No phone sold in America can exceed 1.6 w/kg, while European regulators allow a more generous 2w/kg. However, health activists consider these levels outdated. Indeed, the FCC’s guidelines were put together in 1997, and were largely based on tests carried out by the US military on the head of a 220lb (100kg) soldier. Children can absorb more than 150 percent more phone radiation than adults, and up to ten times more radiation through their skulls. With kids as likely to use modern smartphones as top-tier military personnel, some researchers say that the FCC’s SAR guidelines are inadequate. No major public health organization has thus far been able to link cell phone use with cancer or other serious ailments. However, a number of studies have found that even at levels far below those set by the FCC, significant health effects are possible. Radiation 2,000 times lower than the 1.6 limit was found to weaken the DNA of lab rats and decrease their sperm count. A dose four times lower was found to statistically increase the likelihood of malignant tumors, while exposure to just under half the limit alters the sleep patterns of users. None of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim to have actually suffered any illness or health problems. Instead they are suing Apple and Samsung – two of the world’s three largest smartphone manufacturers – for misleading them into buying potentially dangerous devices. A number of the alarm-raising studies mentioned above were carried out in the 1990s and early 2000s, but the more powerful antennae and different transmitting standards of modern devices mean the true effects could be more drastic.   The upcoming rollout of 5G cell infrastructure has also rung alarm bells. 5G cell towers use shorter radio waves than their current-generation counterparts, meaning as cities in America fast-track their rollout, more will have to be erected to ensure coverage. These shorter waves, however, travel at a much higher frequency meaning users are bombarded with more radiation. The FCC maintains 5G is safe, but defers to the Food and Drug Administration’s assessment that “the weight of scientific evidence has not linked cell phones with any health problems” to back this up. Dr. Martin Paul, Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry at Washington State University, told RT that 5G poses a “great threat” to public health. Pointing to reproductive damage, cardiac effects, and oxidative stress, which can accelerate “every chronic disease we suffer from,” Paul slammed the US government for passing laws to speed up the rollout of 5G technology, but refusing to fund research into the consequences. With 5G promising a new chapter in a debate that has raged for three decades, lawsuits like the one filed against Apple and Samsung will likely become more and more commonplace.   © Pixnio   https://quantsalus.com/faq/...

    Apple and Samsung have been hit with a class-action lawsuit over claims that their phones expose users to radio frequency emissions up to 500 percent beyond federal limits. Meanwhile the health debate around smartphones heats up.

    Filed following an investigation by the Chicago Tribune, the lawsuit alleges that the Radio Frequency (RF) emissions of a number of Apple and Samsung phones – among them the iPhone 8, iPhone X, and Galaxy S8 – “far exceed federal guidelines.” The risks of such radiation levels, it continues, include “increased cancer risk, cellular stress...genetic damages, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders,” and a laundry list of other medical problems.

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) tests phones by their ‘Specific Absorption Rate,’ measured in watts of energy absorbed per kilogram of body tissue. No phone sold in America can exceed 1.6 w/kg, while European regulators allow a more generous 2w/kg. However, health activists consider these levels outdated. Indeed, the FCC’s guidelines were put together in 1997, and were largely based on tests carried out by the US military on the head of a 220lb (100kg) soldier.

    Children can absorb more than 150 percent more phone radiation than adults, and up to ten times more radiation through their skulls. With kids as likely to use modern smartphones as top-tier military personnel, some researchers say that the FCC’s SAR guidelines are inadequate.

    No major public health organization has thus far been able to link cell phone use with cancer or other serious ailments. However, a number of studies have found that even at levels far below those set by the FCC, significant health effects are possible. Radiation 2,000 times lower than the 1.6 limit was found to weaken the DNA of lab rats and decrease their sperm count. A dose four times lower was found to statistically increase the likelihood of malignant tumors, while exposure to just under half the limit alters the sleep patterns of users.

    None of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim to have actually suffered any illness or health problems. Instead they are suing Apple and Samsung – two of the world’s three largest smartphone manufacturers – for misleading them into buying potentially dangerous devices.

    A number of the alarm-raising studies mentioned above were carried out in the 1990s and early 2000s, but the more powerful antennae and different transmitting standards of modern devices mean the true effects could be more drastic. 

     The upcoming rollout of 5G cell infrastructure has also rung alarm bells. 5G cell towers use shorter radio waves than their current-generation counterparts, meaning as cities in America fast-track their rollout, more will have to be erected to ensure coverage. These shorter waves, however, travel at a much higher frequency meaning users are bombarded with more radiation.

    The FCC maintains 5G is safe, but defers to the Food and Drug Administration’s assessment that “the weight of scientific evidence has not linked cell phones with any health problems” to back this up.

    Dr. Martin Paul, Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry at Washington State University, told RT that 5G poses a “great threat” to public health. Pointing to reproductive damage, cardiac effects, and oxidative stress, which can accelerate “every chronic disease we suffer from,” Paul slammed the US government for passing laws to speed up the rollout of 5G technology, but refusing to fund research into the consequences.

    With 5G promising a new chapter in a debate that has raged for three decades, lawsuits like the one filed against Apple and Samsung will likely become more and more commonplace.

     

    © Pixnio

     

    https://quantsalus.com/faq/


    24.08.2019 | Fiddling while world burns: The unbearable pointlessness of G7




    As leaders of countries that control 40 percent of the world’s GDP gather at a French resort to discuss economic inequality and other issues they consider pressing, the rest of the world wonders if the G7 still has a purpose. Much has changed since the first meeting of six industrialized countries, back in 1975, convened to address the oil crisis and financial turmoil of the time. The Franco-German initiative brought on board the US, UK, Japan and Italy. Canada joined in 1976, and Russia in 1998 (only to be suspended in 2014).  The seven countries involved account for ten percent of the world’s population, but 40 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP). Not only is the wealth gap between the G7 and the rest of humanity vast, but the chasm between the rich and the poor in those countries is the greatest it has been in over half a century. Yet “inequality” is one of the top issues on the agenda of this year’s summit in Biarritz, France. Another important issue the G7 is supposed to discuss is “climate change.” Having industrialized and profited from it, the member countries are now demanding of the rest of the world to abandon technology for the sake of saving the planet – ignoring pesky things such as sovereignty or international law. “Our house is burning. Literally,” declared French President Emmanuel Macron, referring to the wildfires devastating the Amazon rainforests in Brazil, and asking for the G7 to “discuss this emergency.” One would think that the G7 would have extended an invitation to Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, to offer help and support in dealing with the wildfires. His name, however, is not among the summit guests. Leaders of Australia, India, Spain and Rwanda are. Rather than offering help to Brazil, Macron and Merkel are threatening to block the trade deal between the EU and Mercosur. On Friday, the French president accused Bolsonaro of “lying” about his position on climate change. So what exactly is the G7 proposing to do about the Amazon beyond signaling their virtuous commitment to rainforests,  invade? For that, they would need the backing of US President Donald Trump – who happens to like Bolsonaro personally, and isn’t too keen on the moralizing statements from European leaders, who threaten trade embargoes even as they condemn his tariff wars.  Washington traditionally does whatever it wants, without asking – or caring about – what the G7, or the rest of the world, have to say. The current US president just made it impossible to politely pretend otherwise. As for the summit in Biarritz, it’s all bark and no bite, an expensive exercise in the rich and the arrogant fiddling while the world around them burns.   Faces of the G7 leaders drawn on the sand by artist Sam Dougados in Biarritz, France on the eve of the G7 summit, August 23, 2019. ©  REUTERS/Regis Duvignau https://quantsalus.com/faq...

    As leaders of countries that control 40 percent of the world’s GDP gather at a French resort to discuss economic inequality and other issues they consider pressing, the rest of the world wonders if the G7 still has a purpose.

    Much has changed since the first meeting of six industrialized countries, back in 1975, convened to address the oil crisis and financial turmoil of the time. The Franco-German initiative brought on board the US, UK, Japan and Italy. Canada joined in 1976, and Russia in 1998 (only to be suspended in 2014).

     The seven countries involved account for ten percent of the world’s population, but 40 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP). Not only is the wealth gap between the G7 and the rest of humanity vast, but the chasm between the rich and the poor in those countries is the greatest it has been in over half a century. Yet “inequality” is one of the top issues on the agenda of this year’s summit in Biarritz, France.

    Another important issue the G7 is supposed to discuss is “climate change.” Having industrialized and profited from it, the member countries are now demanding of the rest of the world to abandon technology for the sake of saving the planet – ignoring pesky things such as sovereignty or international law.

    “Our house is burning. Literally,” declared French President Emmanuel Macron, referring to the wildfires devastating the Amazon rainforests in Brazil, and asking for the G7 to “discuss this emergency.”

    One would think that the G7 would have extended an invitation to Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, to offer help and support in dealing with the wildfires. His name, however, is not among the summit guests. Leaders of Australia, India, Spain and Rwanda are.

    Rather than offering help to Brazil, Macron and Merkel are threatening to block the trade deal between the EU and Mercosur. On Friday, the French president accused Bolsonaro of “lying” about his position on climate change. So what exactly is the G7 proposing to do about the Amazon beyond signaling their virtuous commitment to rainforests,  invade?

    For that, they would need the backing of US President Donald Trump – who happens to like Bolsonaro personally, and isn’t too keen on the moralizing statements from European leaders, who threaten trade embargoes even as they condemn his tariff wars. 

    Washington traditionally does whatever it wants, without asking – or caring about – what the G7, or the rest of the world, have to say. The current US president just made it impossible to politely pretend otherwise.

    As for the summit in Biarritz, it’s all bark and no bite, an expensive exercise in the rich and the arrogant fiddling while the world around them burns.

     


    20.08.2019 | Deeper underground: Alien-hunting Mars rover set to drill for signs of life




    The ESA’s new ‘Rosalind’ rover, tasked with seeking out signs of life on Mars, has been fitted with a drill that will delve deeper than any previous mission, to explore “pristine soil” not-yet damaged by radiation. The rover, named after pioneering British scientist Rosalind Franklin, is nearing completion at the Airbus Defense and Space factory in Britain. It will then be shipped to France for testing ahead of its launch in July 2020, with a scheduled landing on Mars the following spring. Previous expeditions on the red planet only managed to scrape the rough and barren surface. But scientists believe billions of years ago Mars resembled Earth, with flowing rivers and lakes. However, analysis of the surface shows significant radiation damage may be hiding the planet’s true potential, so samples must be taken from at least one meter below ground to test minerals that may hold signs of past life. Rosalind, which is part of the Roscosmos and European Space Agency ExoMars program, will land in what scientists believe was once an ocean which became covered over by lava from volcanic eruptions, meaning the site’s underlying material may have only been exposed to the elements relatively recently.  The rover has just been fitted with a state-of-the-art camera system, PanCam, that will control the rover’s scientific operations and decide where to drive and drill.   © ESA / ATG medialab   https://quantsalus.com/contacts...

    The ESA’s new ‘Rosalind’ rover, tasked with seeking out signs of life on Mars, has been fitted with a drill that will delve deeper than any previous mission, to explore “pristine soil” not-yet damaged by radiation.

    The rover, named after pioneering British scientist Rosalind Franklin, is nearing completion at the Airbus Defense and Space factory in Britain. It will then be shipped to France for testing ahead of its launch in July 2020, with a scheduled landing on Mars the following spring.

    Previous expeditions on the red planet only managed to scrape the rough and barren surface. But scientists believe billions of years ago Mars resembled Earth, with flowing rivers and lakes. However, analysis of the surface shows significant radiation damage may be hiding the planet’s true potential, so samples must be taken from at least one meter below ground to test minerals that may hold signs of past life.

    Rosalind, which is part of the Roscosmos and European Space Agency ExoMars program, will land in what scientists believe was once an ocean which became covered over by lava from volcanic eruptions, meaning the site’s underlying material may have only been exposed to the elements relatively recently. 

    The rover has just been fitted with a state-of-the-art camera system, PanCam, that will control the rover’s scientific operations and decide where to drive and drill.

     

    © ESA / ATG medialab

     

    https://quantsalus.com/contacts


    20.08.2019 | Mercedes caught ‘spying on drivers with secret tracking devices’




    Mercedes-Benz has found itself at the center of an apparently illegal spying operation, following reports that it installed tracking devices on thousands of vehicles and shared customer location data with third parties. According to the Sun, Mercedes-Benz fitted secret sensors to all new and used vehicles sold through its official dealers from as far back as 2018.  These sensors can pinpoint a vehicle’s location and the data is then transmitted to a central location. Both the driver and car information can then be passed to bailiffs who can then seize and repossess the vehicle from indebted drivers at will.  The company sold more than 170,000 new cars in Britain this year, roughly 80 percent of which are reportedly sold on finance plans. The sensors are separate and operate independently from both the anti-theft tracking devices and the optional extra ‘Mercedes Me’ service.  Mercedes has yet to officially confirm how long it has been engaged in the practice, but reportedly claims the trackers are only activated in “extreme circumstances” in which drivers have defaulted on payments and failed to contact the company in a timely fashion.  Tracking a vehicle without its driver's knowledge or consent is illegal under EU data protection laws. However, many customers apparently unwittingly give their permission by not thoroughly reading the lengthy terms and conditions. Mercedes claims that the clause about “location sensors” can be found right above where a customer signs their finance contract. Liberty (originally the National Council for Civil Liberties), an organization which fights mass surveillance and abuse of power, described the “creeping growth of surveillance in the private sector” as “particularly disturbing.”   File photo: © Mike / Pexels   https://quantsalus.com/news/...

    Mercedes-Benz has found itself at the center of an apparently illegal spying operation, following reports that it installed tracking devices on thousands of vehicles and shared customer location data with third parties.

    According to the Sun, Mercedes-Benz fitted secret sensors to all new and used vehicles sold through its official dealers from as far back as 2018. 

    These sensors can pinpoint a vehicle’s location and the data is then transmitted to a central location. Both the driver and car information can then be passed to bailiffs who can then seize and repossess the vehicle from indebted drivers at will. 

    The company sold more than 170,000 new cars in Britain this year, roughly 80 percent of which are reportedly sold on finance plans.

    The sensors are separate and operate independently from both the anti-theft tracking devices and the optional extra ‘Mercedes Me’ service. 

    Mercedes has yet to officially confirm how long it has been engaged in the practice, but reportedly claims the trackers are only activated in “extreme circumstances” in which drivers have defaulted on payments and failed to contact the company in a timely fashion. 

    Tracking a vehicle without its driver's knowledge or consent is illegal under EU data protection laws. However, many customers apparently unwittingly give their permission by not thoroughly reading the lengthy terms and conditions. Mercedes claims that the clause about “location sensors” can be found right above where a customer signs their finance contract.

    Liberty (originally the National Council for Civil Liberties), an organization which fights mass surveillance and abuse of power, described the “creeping growth of surveillance in the private sector” as “particularly disturbing.”

     

    File photo: © Mike / Pexels

     

    https://quantsalus.com/news/


    19.08.2019 | US ban on technology & equipment sales to Huawei pushed back by 90 days




    China’s tech giant Huawei will be granted a 90-day reprieve allowing it to continue buying technology and equipment from American firms, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Monday. The “temporary general license” that was set to expire on Monday will be extended for Huawei for another 90 days, the official said in an interview to the Fox Business Network. Thus the new deadline allows Huawei to buy supplies from US telecom companies until around November 19. “Some of the rural companies are dependent on Huawei. So we’re giving them a little more time to wean themselves off. But no specific licenses are being granted for anything,” Ross said as cited by the media. The commerce secretary added that more than 40 Huawei affiliates will be put on the ‘Entity List’, which bans American firms from doing business with listed companies. Huawei was added to the list back in May, but US companies were temporarily allowed to sell some products to the tech giant, while the ban stayed in force. “We now have more than 100 subsidiaries on the Entity List,” Ross said. He noted that the move is aimed at making it more difficult for Huawei "to get around the sanctions.” The news comes shortly after US President Donald Trump said that he does not want the US to continue doing business with the Chinese tech giant citing a “national security threat.” The statement came on the heels of earlier reports that Trump would grant Huawei a 90-day license extension. Last week a separate US restriction targeting the Chinese firm came into force. The measure forbids US state agencies, the Defense Department, General Services Administration and NASA in particular, to buy products and services from Huawei unless granted a waiver. Apart from Huawei, the ban targeted other Chinese tech companies, including ZTE, Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company and Dahua Technology Company. The world’s largest telecommunications network equipment maker, Huawei, has long been bracing for tougher US sanctions. It recently launched its own operating system HarmonyOS that can be used on smartphones in case Huawei loses access to Google’s Android. The company has also vowed to unveil its own mapping service which can become a competitor to Google Maps.   FILE PHOTO: A Huawei logo © Reuters / Rodrigo Garrido   https://quantsalus.com/contacts/...

    China’s tech giant Huawei will be granted a 90-day reprieve allowing it to continue buying technology and equipment from American firms, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Monday.

    The “temporary general license” that was set to expire on Monday will be extended for Huawei for another 90 days, the official said in an interview to the Fox Business Network. Thus the new deadline allows Huawei to buy supplies from US telecom companies until around November 19.

    “Some of the rural companies are dependent on Huawei. So we’re giving them a little more time to wean themselves off. But no specific licenses are being granted for anything,” Ross said as cited by the media.

    The commerce secretary added that more than 40 Huawei affiliates will be put on the ‘Entity List’, which bans American firms from doing business with listed companies. Huawei was added to the list back in May, but US companies were temporarily allowed to sell some products to the tech giant, while the ban stayed in force.

    “We now have more than 100 subsidiaries on the Entity List,” Ross said. He noted that the move is aimed at making it more difficult for Huawei "to get around the sanctions.”

    The news comes shortly after US President Donald Trump said that he does not want the US to continue doing business with the Chinese tech giant citing a “national security threat.” The statement came on the heels of earlier reports that Trump would grant Huawei a 90-day license extension.

    Last week a separate US restriction targeting the Chinese firm came into force. The measure forbids US state agencies, the Defense Department, General Services Administration and NASA in particular, to buy products and services from Huawei unless granted a waiver. Apart from Huawei, the ban targeted other Chinese tech companies, including ZTE, Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company and Dahua Technology Company.

    The world’s largest telecommunications network equipment maker, Huawei, has long been bracing for tougher US sanctions. It recently launched its own operating system HarmonyOS that can be used on smartphones in case Huawei loses access to Google’s Android. The company has also vowed to unveil its own mapping service which can become a competitor to Google Maps.

     

    FILE PHOTO: A Huawei logo © Reuters / Rodrigo Garrido

     

    https://quantsalus.com/contacts/


    13.08.2019 | Bitcoin beware? After banning all cryptocurrencies China ‘close’ to releasing its own digital coin




    The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is “close” to issuing its own digital currency, a senior official has said. The news follows a crackdown by authorities on cryptocurrency trading with some 100 exchanges closed since 2017. China’s own cryptocurrency is “close to being out,” deputy director of the PBOC’s payments department Mu Changchun said at the China Finance 40 Forum, as cited by Bloomberg. He revealed that the bank’s researchers have been at work on the Chinese state digital currency for over a year now, but did not specify its scheduled release date. The introduction of the PBOC digital currency is aimed at asserting state control of cryptocurrency circulation, according to the official. It will comply with China’s regulations on fraud and money laundering, and will be based on a “two-tier” system, with the central bank partnering up with some other Chinese financial institutions to oversee its supply. Mu also noted that the digital currency would not solely be based on blockchain technology, citing fears that it might not be able to process the transaction volume necessary for China. The PBOC stated earlier in August that it plans to “expedite the research of China’s legal digital tender” and monitor the trends of virtual currency development both abroad and at home. The Chinese central bank reportedly sped up the development of its digital currency after Facebook announced plans to launch a global digital coin, Libra. Facebook’s digital coin has been widely criticized since it was announced, with authorities in the UK, the US, and Russia expressing concern that Libra could create risks for the global financial system due to uncontrolled capital flows. China was one of the first countries to impose restrictions on cryptocurrencies. Back in 2013, financial institutions were banned from transactions with them. In 2014, banks and payment systems had to stop servicing accounts for trading in cryptocurrency. In 2017 the government ordered all local crypto exchanges to stop their operations. Initial coin offerings, or ICOs, were also banned. Following this, almost 100 cryptocurrency exchanges were closed. China won’t be the first nation to launch a cryptocurrency. Last year, Venezuela launched Petro, aiming to get around US sanctions. However, Petro coins have not entered into wider circulation to date.   FILE PHOTO: Bitcoin in front of an image of China's flag © Reuters / Dado Ruvic   https://quantsalus.com/contacts/...

    The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is “close” to issuing its own digital currency, a senior official has said. The news follows a crackdown by authorities on cryptocurrency trading with some 100 exchanges closed since 2017.

    China’s own cryptocurrency is “close to being out,” deputy director of the PBOC’s payments department Mu Changchun said at the China Finance 40 Forum, as cited by Bloomberg. He revealed that the bank’s researchers have been at work on the Chinese state digital currency for over a year now, but did not specify its scheduled release date.

    The introduction of the PBOC digital currency is aimed at asserting state control of cryptocurrency circulation, according to the official. It will comply with China’s regulations on fraud and money laundering, and will be based on a “two-tier” system, with the central bank partnering up with some other Chinese financial institutions to oversee its supply.

    Mu also noted that the digital currency would not solely be based on blockchain technology, citing fears that it might not be able to process the transaction volume necessary for China.

    The PBOC stated earlier in August that it plans to “expedite the research of China’s legal digital tender” and monitor the trends of virtual currency development both abroad and at home. The Chinese central bank reportedly sped up the development of its digital currency after Facebook announced plans to launch a global digital coin, Libra.

    Facebook’s digital coin has been widely criticized since it was announced, with authorities in the UK, the US, and Russia expressing concern that Libra could create risks for the global financial system due to uncontrolled capital flows.

    China was one of the first countries to impose restrictions on cryptocurrencies. Back in 2013, financial institutions were banned from transactions with them. In 2014, banks and payment systems had to stop servicing accounts for trading in cryptocurrency. In 2017 the government ordered all local crypto exchanges to stop their operations. Initial coin offerings, or ICOs, were also banned. Following this, almost 100 cryptocurrency exchanges were closed.

    China won’t be the first nation to launch a cryptocurrency. Last year, Venezuela launched Petro, aiming to get around US sanctions. However, Petro coins have not entered into wider circulation to date.

     

    FILE PHOTO: Bitcoin in front of an image of China's flag © Reuters / Dado Ruvic

     

    https://quantsalus.com/contacts/


    11.08.2019 | Washington’s emissions plan could cost US economy $400 billion




    A controversial proposal by the Trump administration to freeze greenhouse gas emissions standards could end up costing the economy US$400 billion. Using an open-source predictive modeling software, the Energy Policy Simulator, Energy Innovation found that although at first the freeze on emissions standards will lead to household savings since less fuel efficient cars are cheaper, it would ultimately increase costs as less fuel efficient cars also use more fuel. BY 2050, these are estimated at the hefty US$400 billion in 2018 dollars. Of course, it won’t be just higher costs that will be the problem but also higher emissions with a freeze on standards. According to Energy Innovation, these will increase most in the 2030s, as after that, the company assumes EV sales will increase considerably, reducing the market share of cars with internal combustion engines, fuel efficient or not. This future is dire but, in all fairness, it is highly uncertain it will pan out. For starters, carmakers themselves are not on board with the administration’s proposal. Four major companies—Ford, Volkswagen, Honda, and BMW—struck a deal with California regarding stricter fuel efficiency requirements last month, and they did it in secret as Washington is seeking to strip the nation’s biggest car market of the right to set its own rules. Others might follow suit, not just with California but with raising their fuel efficiency standards amid changing public perceptions of what is acceptable in emissions and what isn’t. That’s despite an effort by the administration to motivate laxer fuel efficiency rules by suspending an Obama-era rule regarding penalties for excess fuel consumption. Under the original rule, the companies making cars consuming more fuel than allowed under the emissions standards, would have to pay up to US$14 for every 0.1 mile per gallon of excessive fuel consumption. That, the industry calculated at the time, would cost it US$1 billion annually. Now, Trump plans to do away with those penalties and keep them at the current, much more modest level of US$5.50 for 0.1 mile per gallon. It was no surprise carmakers rejoiced at the news, first released last month. A billion dollars saved is a billion dollars earned. However, they may nevertheless continue working to make their cars more efficient. That’s because attitudes are changing. A survey from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication found that the number of Americans who are worried about climate change had risen. As much as 72 percent believe climate change is important to them, which is up from 42 percent five six years ago. Now, this may or may not affect actual car buying decisions, but if the trend continues, this change of attitude would at some point begin to affect these decisions, and carmakers are no doubt aware of that. So, the administration’s drive to relax emissions rules may paint a bleak picture of the future, but there is no certainty at all that this bleak picture will materialize, not least because Trump has another term in office at most, and whoever comes after him, next year or in 2024, will more likely than not have a different attitude to climate change.   FILE PHOTO: An exhaust pipe of a car © Reuters / Fabrizio Bensch   https://quantsalus.com/contacts/...

    A controversial proposal by the Trump administration to freeze greenhouse gas emissions standards could end up costing the economy US$400 billion.

    Using an open-source predictive modeling software, the Energy Policy Simulator, Energy Innovation found that although at first the freeze on emissions standards will lead to household savings since less fuel efficient cars are cheaper, it would ultimately increase costs as less fuel efficient cars also use more fuel. BY 2050, these are estimated at the hefty US$400 billion in 2018 dollars.

    Of course, it won’t be just higher costs that will be the problem but also higher emissions with a freeze on standards. According to Energy Innovation, these will increase most in the 2030s, as after that, the company assumes EV sales will increase considerably, reducing the market share of cars with internal combustion engines, fuel efficient or not.

    This future is dire but, in all fairness, it is highly uncertain it will pan out. For starters, carmakers themselves are not on board with the administration’s proposal. Four major companies—Ford, Volkswagen, Honda, and BMW—struck a deal with California regarding stricter fuel efficiency requirements last month, and they did it in secret as Washington is seeking to strip the nation’s biggest car market of the right to set its own rules.

    Others might follow suit, not just with California but with raising their fuel efficiency standards amid changing public perceptions of what is acceptable in emissions and what isn’t. That’s despite an effort by the administration to motivate laxer fuel efficiency rules by suspending an Obama-era rule regarding penalties for excess fuel consumption.

    Under the original rule, the companies making cars consuming more fuel than allowed under the emissions standards, would have to pay up to US$14 for every 0.1 mile per gallon of excessive fuel consumption. That, the industry calculated at the time, would cost it US$1 billion annually. Now, Trump plans to do away with those penalties and keep them at the current, much more modest level of US$5.50 for 0.1 mile per gallon.

    It was no surprise carmakers rejoiced at the news, first released last month. A billion dollars saved is a billion dollars earned. However, they may nevertheless continue working to make their cars more efficient. That’s because attitudes are changing.

    A survey from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication found that the number of Americans who are worried about climate change had risen. As much as 72 percent believe climate change is important to them, which is up from 42 percent five six years ago. Now, this may or may not affect actual car buying decisions, but if the trend continues, this change of attitude would at some point begin to affect these decisions, and carmakers are no doubt aware of that.

    So, the administration’s drive to relax emissions rules may paint a bleak picture of the future, but there is no certainty at all that this bleak picture will materialize, not least because Trump has another term in office at most, and whoever comes after him, next year or in 2024, will more likely than not have a different attitude to climate change.

     

    FILE PHOTO: An exhaust pipe of a car © Reuters / Fabrizio Bensch

     

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    08.08.2019 | Bitcoin, Tron and Litecoin Cryptocurrency Price Prediction and Analysis For August 8th: BTC, TRX, an




    Bitcoin Price Analysis (BTC/USD) On an hourly chart, the price of BTC/USD pair has succumbed an intense bearish pressure.  Having begun the session yesterday trading at $12197.51 that was followed by a false breakout that rolled the price down to currently changing hands at $11624.60. The downward move was seen sharply during the U.S. trading session that dipped the price down by 4.7% over the last 24hrs.  The downtrend was pushed by the 21 day MA that is above the 7 day MA. The RSI indicator also seemed to have reflected the bear market since it moved sharply from the overbought region (above level 70) to trade at level 48 that signaled an increase in sell-offs. Additionally, the RSI indicator is now hovering between level 60 and 40 that signaled a lack of dominance from either buyers or sellers. Bitcoin Price Prediction (BTC/USD) Currently, the moving averages are trending towards each other, and the 7 day MA looks set to cross the 21day MA, which indicates incoming bullish momentum.  New targets should be set at $12000. However if the 7 day MA fails to cross above the 21 day MA a more profound drop near $112000 should be expected. Tron Price Analysis (TRX/USD) The bearish run of BTC has most likely affected the price of other cryptos.  TRX/USD has also been trading on a downtrend that was confirmed by the descending channels.  The 21day MA was seen hovering above the 7 day MA throughout the intraday that indicated a bearish pressure. TRX/USD pair is down by 2.5% having dipped sharply from $0.02229 to now trading at $0.02172.  The RSI indicator was also seen hovering below level 50 that signaled an increase in sellouts.  This also showed that sellers had dominated the market moment throughout the intraday. Presence of a long-legged Doji was also seen severally.  That suggested that the forces of supply and demand are almost at equilibrium state; thus, a trend reversal might be encountered. Tron Price Prediction (TRX/USD) The 21 day MA is still gravitating above the 7 day MA that gives a bearish sign.  Nevertheless, if the price manages to breach the upper channel or the 21 day moving average, then investors should go long and take their profit at $0.023000. Litecoin Price Analysis (LTC/USD) LTC/USD has also put up a bearish performance over the last 24hrs.  The famous cryptocurrency is down by 4.8% having started the session trading at $96.97 and is currently changing hands at $92.34.  Support levels have been lowered and tested severally that also signaled the downward movement. Additionally, all the indicators point at a bearish outlook, the 21 day MA is on top of the 7 day MA.  The RSI is hovering below level 50 that also showed sellers had dominated the market. The RSI indicator is now heading north, indicating the reluctance of investors to go short anticipating for better prices. Litecoin Price Prediction (LTC/USD) More bear market is to be expected since the moving averages are both heading south.  New targets should be placed at $90.00. Cryptocurrency Charts By Tradingview Disclaimer: This is not trading or investment advice. The above article is for entertainment and education purposes only. Please do your own research before purchasing or investing into any cryptocurrency or digital currency.     ...

    Bitcoin Price Analysis (BTC/USD)

    On an hourly chart, the price of BTC/USD pair has succumbed an intense bearish pressure.  Having begun the session yesterday trading at $12197.51 that was followed by a false breakout that rolled the price down to currently changing hands at $11624.60.

    The downward move was seen sharply during the U.S. trading session that dipped the price down by 4.7% over the last 24hrs.  The downtrend was pushed by the 21 day MA that is above the 7 day MA. The RSI indicator also seemed to have reflected the bear market since it moved sharply from the overbought region (above level 70) to trade at level 48 that signaled an increase in sell-offs.

    Additionally, the RSI indicator is now hovering between level 60 and 40 that signaled a lack of dominance from either buyers or sellers.

    Bitcoin Price Prediction (BTC/USD)

    Currently, the moving averages are trending towards each other, and the 7 day MA looks set to cross the 21day MA, which indicates incoming bullish momentum.  New targets should be set at $12000. However if the 7 day MA fails to cross above the 21 day MA a more profound drop near $112000 should be expected.

    Tron Price Analysis (TRX/USD)

    The bearish run of BTC has most likely affected the price of other cryptos.  TRX/USD has also been trading on a downtrend that was confirmed by the descending channels.  The 21day MA was seen hovering above the 7 day MA throughout the intraday that indicated a bearish pressure.

    TRX/USD pair is down by 2.5% having dipped sharply from $0.02229 to now trading at $0.02172.  The RSI indicator was also seen hovering below level 50 that signaled an increase in sellouts.  This also showed that sellers had dominated the market moment throughout the intraday.

    Presence of a long-legged Doji was also seen severally.  That suggested that the forces of supply and demand are almost at equilibrium state; thus, a trend reversal might be encountered.

    Tron Price Prediction (TRX/USD)

    The 21 day MA is still gravitating above the 7 day MA that gives a bearish sign.  Nevertheless, if the price manages to breach the upper channel or the 21 day moving average, then investors should go long and take their profit at $0.023000.

    Litecoin Price Analysis (LTC/USD)

    LTC/USD has also put up a bearish performance over the last 24hrs.  The famous cryptocurrency is down by 4.8% having started the session trading at $96.97 and is currently changing hands at $92.34.  Support levels have been lowered and tested severally that also signaled the downward movement.

    Additionally, all the indicators point at a bearish outlook, the 21 day MA is on top of the 7 day MA.  The RSI is hovering below level 50 that also showed sellers had dominated the market. The RSI indicator is now heading north, indicating the reluctance of investors to go short anticipating for better prices.

    Litecoin Price Prediction (LTC/USD)

    More bear market is to be expected since the moving averages are both heading south.  New targets should be placed at $90.00.

    Cryptocurrency Charts By Tradingview

    Disclaimer: This is not trading or investment advice. The above article is for entertainment and education purposes only. Please do your own research before purchasing or investing into any cryptocurrency or digital currency.

     

     


    04.08.2019 | Economic Calendar - Top 5 Things to Watch This Week




    Investing.com - Worries over mounting trade tensions look set to dominate market sentiment this week after U.S. President Donald Trump raised the stakes in the Sino- U.S. trade war and Beijing pledged to retaliate. Trade data due out from China on Thursday will be closely watched for signs of the impact on the economy. Investors will also be looking ahead to a fresh round of central bank decisions, following last week’s Federal Reserve rate cut. Fed speakers will also be in focus, as investors try to gauge the future path of monetary policy. Economic data and earnings also feature on this week’s calendar. Here’s what you need to know to start your week. Escalated trade tensions Global stock and commodity markets dived deep into the red after Trump abruptly decided on Thursday to slap 10% tariffs $300 billion in Chinese imports, stunning investors and ending a month-long trade truce. China vowed on Friday to fight back. Investors will be closely watching Chinese data on inflation and trade this week for an update on the health of the world’s number two economy. Trade data due out on Thursday is likely to reinforce a trend of declining exports and imports, with exports expected to fall 2.2% year-on-year in July, while imports are expected to show a drop of 7.6%. Central banks The central banks of Norway, New Zealand, Australia, India, Philippines and Thailand are all to hold interest rate meetings, with investors watching to see if they follow suit after the Fed’s first rate cut in more than a decade last week. New Zealand is expected to trim another 25 basis points off its 1.50% main rate and there are outside bets that Australia could even make it three cuts in row having already dropped borrowing costs down to 1%. India is expected to make its fourth cut of the year too as growth continues to slow there and while Thailand is not expected to move the strength of the baht is clearly causing worries again. Then there is the outlier Norway. The issue there is whether or not it sets up a September rate hike. It has been flirting with the idea for months but it might decide that now might not be the best time to do it. If that's the case it will have to massage its message accordingly. Fed speak St. Louis Fed President James Bullard is due to speak on the economy and monetary policy in Washington on Tuesday, while Chicago Fed President Charles Evans is due to deliver remarks the following day. The U.S. economic data calendar is pretty light, but Monday’s service sector data will give investors some insight into whether the slowdown affecting the manufacturing sector is spreading. European data It will be busy week in the Eurozone economic calendar with updated euro zone July services PMIs on Monday and German industrial production on Tuesday, which will help investors gauge the strength of the euro area’s largest economy at the end of the second quarter. In the U.K., data on Friday is expected to show that economic growth stalled in the second quarter. Economists predict 0.1% growth rate month-on-month and 1.4% on a year earlier. Industrial output is forecast to have shrunk, as is manufacturing. On Monday, the all-important U.K. services PMI is published for July, with economists forecasting a reading of 50.4, barely above the line of 50 that separates growth from contraction. Earnings set to slow The deluge of earnings reports looks set to slow this week with around 62 companies on the S&P 500 scheduled to report. Investors will parse earnings from Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), CBS (NYSE:CBS) and Viacom (NASDAQ:VIA) amid a rising wave of competition in video streaming against market leader Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX). The results could spark volatility in the so-called communication services sector, which has outperformed since it was overhauled last year. --Reuters contributed to this report   © Reuters.   https://quantsalus.com/about/...

    Investing.com - Worries over mounting trade tensions look set to dominate market sentiment this week after U.S. President Donald Trump raised the stakes in the Sino- U.S. trade war and Beijing pledged to retaliate.

    Trade data due out from China on Thursday will be closely watched for signs of the impact on the economy. Investors will also be looking ahead to a fresh round of central bank decisions, following last week’s Federal Reserve rate cut. Fed speakers will also be in focus, as investors try to gauge the future path of monetary policy. Economic data and earnings also feature on this week’s calendar.

    Here’s what you need to know to start your week.

    1. Escalated trade tensions

    Global stock and commodity markets dived deep into the red after Trump abruptly decided on Thursday to slap 10% tariffs $300 billion in Chinese imports, stunning investors and ending a month-long trade truce. China vowed on Friday to fight back.

    Investors will be closely watching Chinese data on inflation and trade this week for an update on the health of the world’s number two economy.

    Trade data due out on Thursday is likely to reinforce a trend of declining exports and imports, with exports expected to fall 2.2% year-on-year in July, while imports are expected to show a drop of 7.6%.

    1. Central banks

    The central banks of Norway, New Zealand, Australia, India, Philippines and Thailand are all to hold interest rate meetings, with investors watching to see if they follow suit after the Fed’s first rate cut in more than a decade last week.

    New Zealand is expected to trim another 25 basis points off its 1.50% main rate and there are outside bets that Australia could even make it three cuts in row having already dropped borrowing costs down to 1%.

    India is expected to make its fourth cut of the year too as growth continues to slow there and while Thailand is not expected to move the strength of the baht is clearly causing worries again.

    Then there is the outlier Norway. The issue there is whether or not it sets up a September rate hike. It has been flirting with the idea for months but it might decide that now might not be the best time to do it. If that's the case it will have to massage its message accordingly.

    1. Fed speak

    St. Louis Fed President James Bullard is due to speak on the economy and monetary policy in Washington on Tuesday, while Chicago Fed President Charles Evans is due to deliver remarks the following day.

    The U.S. economic data calendar is pretty light, but Monday’s service sector data will give investors some insight into whether the slowdown affecting the manufacturing sector is spreading.

    1. European data

    It will be busy week in the Eurozone economic calendar with updated euro zone July services PMIs on Monday and German industrial production on Tuesday, which will help investors gauge the strength of the euro area’s largest economy at the end of the second quarter.

    In the U.K., data on Friday is expected to show that economic growth stalled in the second quarter. Economists predict 0.1% growth rate month-on-month and 1.4% on a year earlier. Industrial output is forecast to have shrunk, as is manufacturing.

    On Monday, the all-important U.K. services PMI is published for July, with economists forecasting a reading of 50.4, barely above the line of 50 that separates growth from contraction.

    1. Earnings set to slow

    The deluge of earnings reports looks set to slow this week with around 62 companies on the S&P 500 scheduled to report.

    Investors will parse earnings from Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), CBS (NYSE:CBS) and Viacom (NASDAQ:VIA) amid a rising wave of competition in video streaming against market leader Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX). The results could spark volatility in the so-called communication services sector, which has outperformed since it was overhauled last year.

    --Reuters contributed to this report

     

    © Reuters.

     

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