Blockchains are incredibly popular nowadays. But what is a blockchain? How do they work, what problems do they solve and how can they be used?
Like the name indicates, a blockchain is a chain of blocks that contain information. This technique was originally represented in 1991 by a bunch of researchers and was originally supposed to timestamp digital documents in order that it’s impossible to affect them or to tamper with them. Almost like a Notary. However, it slid largely unused until it had been tailored by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009 to form the digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin. A blockchain may be a distributed ledger that’s fully open to anyone. They have an interesting property: once some data has been recorded inside a blockchain, it becomes very difficult to change it. So how does that work? Well, let’s take a closer look at a block.
Each block contains some data, the hash of the block and the hash of the previous block. The data that is stored inside a block depends on the type of blockchain. The Bitcoin blockchain, for example, stores the details about a transaction in here, such as the sender, receiver and amount of coins. A block also has a hash. You can compare a hash to a fingerprint. It identifies a block and every one of its contents and it is often unique, just as a fingerprint. Once a block is formed, it’s hash is being calculated. Changing one thing within the block can cause the hash to alter. Therefore in other words: hashes are terribly helpful when you need to discover changes to blocks. If the fingerprint of a block changes, it no longer is the same block. The third element inside each block is the hash of the previous block. This effectively creates a chain of blocks and it’s this technique that makes a blockchain so secure.
Let’s take an example. Here we have a chain of 3 blocks. As you can see in the above image, each block has a hash and the hash of the previous block. So block number 3 points to block number 2 and number 2 points to number 1. Now the first block is a bit special, it cannot point to previous blocks because it’s the first one. We call this the genesis block. Now let’s say that you tamper with the second block. This causes the hash of the block to alter also. in turn which will build block three and all following blocks invalid as a result of they no longer store a legitimate hash of the previous block. Thus ever-changing one block can build all following blocks invalid. However, using hashes isn’t enough to stop tampering.
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Computers currently are very fast and may calculate many thousands of hashes per second. You’ll effectively tamper with a block and compute all the hashes of different blocks to create your blockchain valid once more. Thus to mitigate this, blockchains have one thing referred to as proof-of-work. It is a mechanism that slows down the creation of new blocks. In Bitcoins case: it takes about ten minutes to calculate the desired proof-of-work and add a replacement block to the chain. This mechanism makes it terribly exhausting to tamper with the blocks because if you tamper with one block, you’ll have to compute the proof-of-work for all the subsequent blocks. Therefore the security of a blockchain comes from its inventive use of hashing and also the proof-of-work mechanism.
But there’s another approach that blockchains secure themselves and that is by being distributed. Instead of using a central entity to manage the chain, blockchains use a peer-to-peer network and anyone is allowed to join. When someone joins this network, he gets the full copy of the blockchain. The node can use this to verify that everything is still in order. Now let’s see what happens when someone creates a new block. That new block is sent to everyone on the network. Each node then checks and ensure that block to make sure that it hasn’t been tampered with. If everything checks out, each node adds this block to their own blockchain. All the nodes in this network create consensus. They agree about what blocks are valid and which aren’t. Blocks that are tampered with will be rejected by other nodes in the network. So to successfully tamper with a blockchain one need to tamper with each and every block on the chain, redo the proof-of-work for each block and take control over 50% of the peer-to-peer network. Only then will your tampered block become accepted by everyone else. This is almost impossible to do!
Blockchains are also constantly evolving. One of the more recent developments is the creation of smart contracts. These contracts are simple programs that are stored on the blockchain and can be used to automatically exchange coins based on certain conditions. The creation of blockchain technology caught the interest of a lot of people. Soon, many realized that this technology can be used for other things like storing medical records, creating a digital notary or even collecting taxes.
So now you know what a blockchain is, how it works on a basic level and what problems it solves. Hope you liked this article. Mention your queries in the comments section below. We will try to solve them as soon as possible.
Huawei Matebook 13: Macbook Air killer
Huawei’s Matebook X which was released last year was considered as the MacBook Pro killer as it provided a lot of features which the MacBook Pro provided at a much affordable price. And this year, Huawei is back with Huawei Matebook 13 which offers specification between the ultra-slim Matebook X and the pocket-friendly Matebook D.
With Matebook 13’s premium Aluminum alloy and metal unibody finish, Intel Whiskey lake processor and thin bezel display, it can be clearly observed as a competitor for the Apple’s new 2018 MacBook Air. The release took place at CES 2019. Let’s have a closer look at the details of Matebook 13.
Starting with the display, it has 13-inch 3:2 touchscreen display which is super sharp with 2,160 x 1,440 resolution. Display provides rich colors with ample viewing angles. Taking a look towards the bezels, company says they are 4.4mm thin providing 88 percent screen to body ratio which is 6 percent more than the rivals MacBook Air with 82 percent screen to body ratio.
Moving to the keyboard, Matebook 13 offers a bigger touchpad than usual which will help you with better space and provide the rich user experience. Matebook 13 comes with an edge-to-edge comfortable keyboard with a 1.2mm travel between each key which is efficient to provide smooth and fast typos which makes it a thumbs up for those who hate Macbook Air’s low-travel keyboard although it is also pretty good. The keycaps barely come out and are not too loud or clicky. It has embedded fingerprint sensor on the power button which makes it easier to wake the computer up by just scanning the finger. With fingerprint sensors come to the security and to enhance it, Huawei has provided an independent security chip for storing the biometrics.
Let’s have a look over the heart of the machine. The Matebook 13 is very capable machine in terms of processing. The device will have two configurations in the US. The higher-end version packs in eight-generation Intel Core i7-8565U chipset coupled with NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card, on the other hand, low-end version ships with Intel Core i5 and Intel’s UHD620 graphics. Both the versions of Matebook 13 will have 8GB of RAM which will be standard considering the price range. The Matebook 13 having quad-core will be having a good multitasking ability which will be a serious upgrade than the MacBook Air which includes a dual-core processor.
Although providing the great performance the weight and thickness of the device matters a lot. The Matebook 13 comes with a 14.9mm thickness which company says is 6 percent thinner than the 2k18 MacBook Air which has 15.9mm thickness. Although the Matebook 13 is thinner than the MacBook Air, it weighs 2.82 pounds which is heavier than the 2.75 pounds MacBook Air.
The Matebook 13 has squeezed a lot of powerful chipsets in such a small device which they mention is due to Shark Fin 2.0 thermal setup which has the capability to handle 8,000 rpm without overheating the device. Huawei has provided dual fan system placing them between the CPU and GPU which enables to separate the heat and also accomplish 25 percent higher volume than a traditional fan. The company also says that cooling system uses an “intelligent filtering solution” which is claimed to manage performance and reduce the fan noise.
Huawei also praised the Shark Fin 2.0 setup for helping them to dedicate almost 50 percent of the laptops underhood space to embed massive 42Whr battery but it is bit smaller as compared to the 57Whr battery of Macbook Air. According to the Huawei’s claim, the low-end version, which is Core i5 Matebook 13, will last up to 10 hours while playing a 1080p video which will be great if it is able to hold on its words.
Following the previous models of Matebooks, the Matebook 13 also comes with two USB-C ports and one headphone jack. But Huawei has included a dock which places in USB – A port, USB-C port, VGA and HDMI port as well. Webcams are important for the video conferences and to help with it, the Matebook 13 houses a one-megapixel camera into its bezel, which makes it at a better place as compared to Matebook X Pro which hid the webcam under one of the keys in the keyboard.
With a webcam you also need good speakers to make the video conferences lively and to do so, the Matebook 13 has two speakers docked into the keyboard with Dolby support giving out the crisp and clear sound.
Huawei also provides a 65W USB-C power adapter which can be used for fact charging the laptop. The Matebook 13 is claimed to provide 2.5 hours of “office work” which may include working with spreadsheets, emails, internet surfing etc. when charged for 15 minutes.
At last, if we list the highs of the device it will go as follows:
- High performance with Whiskey Lake processor
- Efficient design making is slim and light
- High screen to body ratio
- Affordable price
The Matebook 13 truly looks a well-built laptop to compete with Apple Macbook Air. The base version of Matebook 13 which includes Core i5 with 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM will be available in Silver color and will cost $999 and the higher end version with Core i7 with NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics and 512GB SSD will start from $1,299. The Matebook 13 will be on sale from January 29 on Amazon and Newegg.
WhatsApp will not work in this Old Phones.
The Facebook-owned worlds most popular instant messaging app have announced that it will discontinue their support for certain Old Mobile phones and Operating Systems. Whatsapp support would end for certain mobile Operating Systems after 31st December 2018 (today).
Earlier Whatsapp have stopped there services on the smartphones like Nokia Symbian S60, BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, and Windows Phone 8.0 OS. And Now there are stopping services for the Devices which runs on Nokia S40.
Last Year, Whatsapp had being stopped working on the Devices like BlackBerry 10, BlackBerry OS, Nokia Symbian S60, Windows Phone 8.0, Nokia S40, Android versions 2.3.7 and older, iPhone iOS 7 and older.
To recall, the Nokia S40 was one the most popular smart feature phone a few years back, but after acquisition by Microsoft the OS lost its existence.
The reason for not further supporting this OS was the Simple and straight answer from the Whatsapp team. “Tech Industry is going way fast and newer Smartphones are evolved and developed every year. And to make Whatsapp compliant for the Latest Devices, we need to modify new Feature and Old OS is not able to support our updates and so we are discontinuing support for this Devices”.
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Some of the Devices of Nokia which are running on Nokia S40 OS are Nokia Asha 201, Nokia Asha 205, Nokia Asha 210, Nokia Asha 230, Nokia Asha 500, Nokia Asha 501, Nokia Asha 502, Nokia Asha 503, Nokia 206, Nokia 208, Nokia 301, Nokia 515. So this all phones will not be able to use Whatsapp for Messaging there loved ones now onwards.
The Support for these devices was supposed to be discontinued earlier from June this year, but Whatsapp extended till December, bringing some relief to Nokia S40 users. However, the devices running Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread and older version will be ending WhatsApp support after February 1, 2020.
Well, this would not affect a Massive number of people as Nokia S40 OS is extremely old, first unveiled in 1999, updated in 2005 and the latest mobile device that was Nokia 515 was unveiled in 2013. About 0.3 percent of the Android smartphones are running Android Gingerbread platform.
People who are affected with this notice may opt for the feature phones like JioPhone, JioPhone 2, Nokia 8110 4G, as they provide support for Whatsapp on KaiOS.
React your Thoughts in the Comment section Below and tell us, are you affected with this Decision from Whatsapp.
Stay Tunned with for more such interesting News and Facts around the World. 😊
What is Flipkart?
Flipkart is India’s Amazon. It’s the country’s largest online retailer. In 2018 retail giant Walmart announced its intention to acquire a controlling stake in the company for $16 billion, making this the largest e-commerce acquisition, ever.
Flipkart was founded here in Bangalore in 2007 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, two Indian software engineers, that happen to share the same surname. They both worked for Amazon in the U.S. before returning to India to start their company.
Like Amazon, Flipkart began as an online bookstore. In its first full year of business, it delivered nearly three and half thousand shipments of books. Now its website has 10 million page visits a day and sells more than 80 different categories of goods, which includes everything from food processors to yoga mats.
This expansion has been supported by the company’s own digital ecosystem. In 2009 it founded Ekart, its in-house supply chain arm.
Ekart is now India’s largest logistics company delivering 10 million shipments a month for Flipkart, as well as independent brands and sellers. It also owns PhonePe, an app the company acquired in 2016, which helps facilitate electronic payments throughout the country. In addition, Flipkart’s purchase of two of India’s leading online fashion retailers, Myntra and Jabong ensured the company remained the leading player in India’s online retail industry.
Flipkart’s strong position in the market attracted $1.4 billion of investment in 2017 from the Indian e-commerce market as a whole is set to quadruple to $200 billion in the next eight years, and by 2034 it’s predicted to surpass the U.S. as the second largest e-commerce market in the world.
The predicted growth in e-commerce has increased competition between the big online retailers. Amazon has been taking on Flipkart in its own backyard. Both have been offering massive sales and discounts pegged to Indian festivals as they battle it out for more customers.
While Amazon’s size and profitable cloud computing service allows it to absorb these costs, Flipkart has suffered losses in its struggle to compete. However, the Flipkart Group as a whole still has the largest share of the market and remains the e-commerce leader in India.
Walmart’s online sales, however, account for just a little more than three and a half percent of its business in the U.S. Acquiring Flipkart gives them a considerable foothold in the sector. Yet when news of the deal broke, the American retailer’s shares tumbled four percent with investors concerned that the company had a long way to go before becoming profitable. The acquisition of a loss-making business also cut Walmart’s profits at the end of 2018 and its earnings outlook for 2019.
The company also warned that e-commerce growth would be slower next year. For Flipkart, Walmart’s investment is seen by many as a major boost to the company’s logistical operations. It will also help it move into new areas like online groceries. Along with a strong food supply chain, Walmart’s financial support will also help Flipkart keep prices low in its battle with Amazon.
Several key investors have exited the company, including co-founder Sachin Bansal, and they leave with hefty profits. Venture capital firms Accel and Tiger Global invested when Flipkart was valued at just $50 million. They have now pocketed more than 400 times what they invested and still retain some shares.
Softbank is also a big beneficiary of the deal. Its Vision Fund invested $2.5 billion in 2017 and in just over 12 months the Japanese company sold its 20% stake for $4 billion.
Co-founder Binny Bansal had planned to stay on as the company’s chief executive but resigned after an internal investigation into serious personal misconduct following an accusation of sexual assault. He still owns 4.2% of the company and remains a director on the board. Amid the controversy Walmart increased its stake in the $20 billion company from 77 percent to 81.3 percent, offering another sign of its support of an online retail market that is still small by global standards.
The value and sale of Flipkart to a major corporation like Walmart will likely encourage investors to see India’s e-commerce market as an area of growth. Already the Indian startup Ola is competing fiercely with Uber in the taxi aggregation market and both have Softbank as a major shareholder.
As the world’s major tech companies focus more of their attention on India, Flipkart may be the first of many start-up success stories emerging from the growing e-commerce space.
So, do you think Flipkart has a chance against Amazon? Comment below to let us know.
Source: CNBC International
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