AuthorLucas Mearian

Blockchain: What’s it good for? Absolutely nothing, report finds

In a joint report for the Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Technology conference this fall, researchers who studied 43 blockchain use cases came to the conclusion that all underdelivered on claims.

And, when they reached out to several blockchain providers about project results, the silence was deafening. "Not one was willing to share data," the researchers said in their blog post.

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Amazon launches patient data-mining service to assist docs

Amazon this week announced its latest data analytics product, one aimed at scouring unstructured data within electronic medical records (EMRs) to offer up insights that physicians can use to better treat patients.

Amazon's new Comprehend Medical AWS cloud service is a natural-language processing engine that purports to be able to read physician notes, patient prescriptions, audio interview transcripts, and pathology and radiology reports – and use machine learning algorithms to spit out relevant medical information to healthcare providers.

Amazon's Comprehend Medical software service is one of 13 new machine learning software products the company announced on Tuesday.

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ProtonMail launches standalone iOS app

Encrypted email service provider ProtonMail has launched a standalone virtual private network app for iOS devices. With iOS now added to its list, ProtonMail said it now offers protection for the most popular operating systems, which include Windows, MacOS, Linux and Android.

VPN functionality is prevalent in enterprise security products and management products, according to Phil Hochmuth, program director for IDC's Enterprise Mobility team. At the same time, consumers are increasingly looking at VPN services to shield their online activities on wired networks, as well as on LTE/4G connections, he said.

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ProtonMail launches standalone iOS VPN app

Encrypted email service provider ProtonMail has launched a standalone virtual private network app for iOS devices. With iOS now added to its list, ProtonMail said it now offers protection for the most popular operating systems, which include Windows, MacOS, Linux and Android.

VPN functionality is prevalent in enterprise security products and management products, according to Phil Hochmuth, program director for IDC's Enterprise Mobility team. At the same time, consumers are increasingly looking at VPN services to shield their online activities on wired networks, as well as on LTE/4G connections, he said.

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Apple appears to have blocked GrayKey iPhone hacking tool

Apple has apparently been able to permanently block de-encryption technology from a mysterious Atlanta-based company whose blackbox device was embraced by government agencies to bypass iPhone passcodes.

Atlanta-based Grayshift is one of two companies that claimed it could thwart Apple iPhone passcode security through brute-force attacks.

The blackbox technology purportedly worked, as Grayshift’s technology was snapped up by regional law enforcement and won contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Secret Service.

Another vendor, Israel-based Cellebrite, also discovered a way to unlock encrypted iPhones running iOS 11 and marketed its product to law enforcement and private forensics firms around the world. According to a police warrant obtained by Forbes, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security tested the technology.

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Apple appears to have blocked GrayKey’s iPhone hacking tool

Apple has apparently been able to permanently block de-encryption technology from a mysterious Atlanta-based company whose blackbox was embraced by government agencies to bypass iPhone passcodes.

Atlanta-based Grayshift is one of two companies that claimed it could thwart Apple iPhone passcode security through brute-force attacks.

The blackbox technology purportedly worked, as Grayshift’s technology was snapped up by regional law enforcement and won contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Secret Service.

Another vendor, Israel-based Cellebrite, also discovered a way to unlock encrypted iPhones running iOS 11 and marketed its product to law enforcement and private forensics firms around the world. According to a police warrant obtained by Forbes, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security tested the technology.

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Economist Nouriel Roubini: Blockchain and bitcoin are the world’s biggest scams

New York University professor and global economist Nouriel Roubini testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking last week, saying cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are the mother of all scams and bubbles.

He followed that assertion up by calling blockchain, the technology unpinning bitcoin, "the most over-hyped — and least useful — technology in human history."

Today, Roubini doubled down on his claims in a column published on CNBC.com in which he said blockchain has promised to cure the world's ills through decentralization but is "just a ruse to separate retail investors from their hard-earned real money."

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W. Va. to use blockchain-based mobile app for mid-term voting

West Virginia this fall will let members of the military and their families deployed overseas to vote by smartphone or tablet using a blockchain-based app developed by a Salt Lake City start-up, Voatz.

The voters using the app would otherwise have to submit paper absentee ballots via mail or vote over a land line telephone.

The move means the state will become the first in the U.S. to use blockchain in a voting system in a general election.

After being elected in January 2017, West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner  tasked IT staff to investigate mobile voting options for 8,000 West Virginian military members overseas. Warner, a retired U.S. Army officer with four children who are also all current or former Army officers, cited his own inability to vote when deployed in Afghanistan as one reason for his efforts.

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