Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Believes in Bitcoin

Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey believes the dollar, euro and yen may soon be ditched in favor of a single digital currency around the globe -- and that may be bitcoin.

In an interview with the British newspaper The Times of London, Dorsey shared his belief that the world may adopt a single global currency "probably over 10 years, but it could go faster."

"The world ultimately will have a single currency, the internet will have a single currency," said Dorsey. "I personally believe that it will be bitcoin."

After a meteoric rise in 2017 that bolstered the global fascination with cryptocurrencies and an explosion of rival cryptocurrencies, bitcoin as of Wednesday morning sat at $8,985 per bitcoin. The current price is less than half of its historic peak on Dec. 16, which was $19,343.

Dorsey has been backing startups in the bitcoin space. Last week, Dorsey was announced as an investor in a Bay Area startup called Lightning Labs, which seeks to make bitcoin transactions faster and easier by replacing the costly and time-consuming process of recording every transaction on the blockchain, a publicly viewable ledger verified by a network of thousands of computers.

Dorsey believes the slow nature of recording bitcoin transactions on blockchain makes it ineffective -- but believes there will be change soon to fix that.

"It's slow and it's costly, but as more and more people have it, those things go away," said Dorsey. "There are newer technologies that build off of blockchain and make it more approachable."

While Dorsey is publicly excited about bitcoin, his companies have had mixed reactions.

Square, the mobile payments company Dorsey founded, expanded its feature of buying and selling bitcoin through its Cash app after a test trial last December.

"We're exploring how Square can make this experience faster and easier, and have rolled out this feature...

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Joe Adams Recognized on “Who’s Who in Compliance” List

Phoenix, Arizona -- March 23, 2018 -- Constar Financial Service's Chief Compliance Officer, Joe Adams CCCO, CRCP, CIA, Executive Vice President, Hampton Pryor Group was recognized in the 2018 Who's Who in Compliance by Collection Advisor magazine.

Commenting on this accolade, Travis Bowley, Empereon-Constar's Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are excited that Joe's industry leading compliance expertise has been recognized in this way. This honor is well deserved, and Empereon-Constar is extremely proud of Joe's accomplishment."

Nominated by industry leaders, Joe was one of over a dozen accounts receivable professionals who were honored for their efforts as compliance professionals to "not only strive to discern and adhere to regulation but educate professionals around them," as stated by Collection Advisor.

Joe Adams is a well-known and respected industry leader with over 30 years of experience in the credit and account receivables management industry. During this span, he has served as a "C" level or senior/executive operations leader for some of the leading banks, credit grantors, debt purchasers and collections agencies in the country, including CitiFinancial, CitiMortgage, Paymentech Merchant Services, First USA/Bank One, Collins Financial Services and Asset Management Outsourcing. Joe holds several professional designations and certifications and is an active ACA International Certified Instructor. He is also an active CFPB specialist with direct communication access, as needed.

"Being recognized for the work you do is a great feeling," Joe said, and when asked by Collection Advisor to answer: "What is something first and third-party accounts receivable professionals should act on regarding compliance in 2018?" Joe responded: "Reviewing all aspects of their Compliance Management System to ensure that the proper controls are in place to guarantee its effectivity and success."

About Empereon-Constar

Empereon-Constar is a leading business process outsourcing company providing end-to-end customer engagement and customer management...

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Best Buy Cuts Off Huawei’s Access to U.S. Smartphone Market

Originally set to hit the U.S. market with the tagline, "The best mobile phone you've never heard of," Huawei's new flagship smartphone -- the Mate 10 -- may likely be one that U.S. consumers will never be able to buy. Citing a person "familiar with the situation," CNET reported yesterday that Best Buy will stop selling the Chinese company's devices over the next few weeks.

That decision marks the latest blow to efforts by Huawei, currently the world's third-largest smartphone vendor, to establish a foothold in the U.S. The company had planned to announce the arrival of the Mate 10 in the U.S. earlier this year, but saw those hopes dashed by a last-minute pullout by AT&T in January. Verizon followed suit a few days later.

Best Buy's decision comes amid growing suspicion of China-based technology companies by U.S. trade and intelligence officials. Under President Donald Trump's "America First" strategy, the U.S. has announced tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, and has blocked two recent corporate deals involving Asian companies on the grounds of national security.

'Security Threat to the U.S.'

Despite its number three spot in the global smartphone market and numerous accolades for its other wireless technologies, Huawei has faced U.S. scrutiny over the trustworthiness of its devices. In 2012, for example, the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence concluded in an investigation that government technology systems shouldn't use components from Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese company.

"Based on available classified and unclassified information, Huawei and ZTE cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus pose a security threat to the United States and to our systems," the committee report stated. Under a proposal made by Republicans last month, the U.S. government would be prohibited from buying or leasing equipment from Huawei or ZTE....

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Pressing Pause: Mozilla Suspends Facebook Ads

Mozilla, which makes the popular Firefox web browser, has become the first major organization to stop advertising on Facebook amid the controversy over the Cambridge Analytica files.

The non-profit organization says it is "pressing pause" on Facebook advertising, at least until the social network strengthens its protections of user data.

Denelle Dixon, Mozilla's chief business and legal officer, said it had investigated Facebook's data controls as a result of the Observer's reporting that 50 million profiles were improperly transferred to the political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica.

"We found that its current default settings leave access open to a lot of data," she said, "particularly with respect to settings for third party apps.

"We are encouraged that Mark Zuckerberg has promised to improve the privacy settings and make them more protective. When Facebook takes stronger action in how it shares customer data, specifically strengthening its default privacy settings for third party apps, we'll consider returning.

"We look forward to Facebook instituting some of the things that Zuckerberg promised," Dixon added.

Before Zuckerberg broke his silence on Wednesday night and discussed the changes Facebook would make in response to the scandal, Mozilla had proposed its own fixes.

The organization suggested a blanket ban on third parties accessing information about the friends of people who use an app, noting that "the internet is transformative because it's a place to explore, transact, connect, and create. Trust is key to that.

"We're pushing Facebook to improve its privacy practices not just because of its 2 billion users, but also for the health of the internet broadly."

Other advertisers have threatened to respond similarly. The British advertiser umbrella group Isba will meet with Facebook executives this week, the Times has reported, to make clear that its members do not find it acceptable that user data has made it off site.

The paper also reported several investors...

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Samsung Galaxy Note 9 May Be Coming Sooner than Thought

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was announced in August 2017 and hit stores in September, but we might see the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 slightly earlier in the year, as Samsung is apparently already working on firmware for the phone.

SamMobile reports that firmware builds with version numbers N960FXXE0ARB7 and N960FXXU0ARC5 are both being tested.

OK, that might not sound super exciting, but the timing of these tests is, as the company didn't start testing firmware for the Galaxy Note 8 until early April.

That's only a couple of weeks difference, but as SamMobile notes, the company also started testing Samsung Galaxy S9 firmware two weeks earlier than Galaxy S8 firmware tests had started the previous year, and it went on to announce the S9 around a month earlier, in February rather than March.

July Rather than August

So this suggests a similar schedule could be planned for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, meaning the phone might be announced two weeks or more earlier in the year than the Note 8, potentially bringing it up to July.

We wouldn't count on this at all, as the evidence so far is slight, but it's a possibility.

Whenever we see the Note 9 though it should be worth the wait, as at the very least it's likely to be a larger, stylus-toting alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, but some rumors suggest it could be a major upgrade, with a fingerprint scanner built into the screen.

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Crisis Experts Say Facebook Is Blowing It on Data Scandal

The crisis-management playbook is pretty simple: Get ahead of the story, update authorities and the public regularly, accept responsibility and take decisive action. Crisis-management experts say that until Wednesday, Facebook was 0-for-4.

Facebook's two top executives, CEO Mark Zuckerberg and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, went radio silent after news broke last Friday that political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica may have used data improperly obtained from roughly 50 million Facebook users to try to sway elections, including the 2016 White House race.

It was not until five days after the scandal erupted that Zuckerberg spoke up.

Meanwhile, some Facebook users have been leaving the social network or mulling the possibility , and Facebook's stock is down 9 percent since Friday.

Facebook's handling of the growing public-relations crisis is remarkable in that one of the world's biggest companies seems not to be playing by well-established crisis-management rules.

"This will go down as the textbook case study as how not to handle a crisis," said Scott Galloway, a New York University professor of marketing. "The only thing we know about this and are comfortable predicting is that it's going to get worse."

In his statement Wednesday -- posted, of course, on Facebook -- Zuckerberg acknowledged that mistakes were made, outlined changes the company has undertaken, and accepted responsibility for the problem.

Experts said acknowledging accountability was a positive but the fact that Zuckerberg didn't outright apologize is a negative.

"My biggest skepticism is that we've seen this play before," said Helio Fred Garcia, a professor of crisis management at NYU and Columbia University in New York. "They're caught coming short of customers' privacy expectations. They tweak procedures. But they don't seem to learn from mistakes, don't really seem to care."

Most Fortune 500 companies adhere to well-established crisis-management rules. When video surfaced of a passenger being dragged from an overbooked United...

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InfluxData Contributes Go Implementation to Apache Arrow

SAN FRANCISCO -- March 22, 2018 -- InfluxData, the modern Open Source Platform built specifically for metrics, events and other time series data that empowers developers to build next-generation monitoring, analytics and IoT applications, today announced its support of The ApacheĀ® Software Foundation (ASF) by contributing the Go programing language implementation it developed to the Apache Arrow™ project.

The all-volunteer ASF develops, stewards, and incubates more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives that serve as the backbone for some of the world's most visible and widely used applications in Big Data, Cloud Computing, IoT and Edge Computing, and Web Frameworks, among other categories. This includes Apache Arrow, which is a cross-language development platform for in-memory data. Apache Arrow serves as a component used to accelerate analytics within a particular system and to allow Arrow-enabled systems to exchange data with low overhead. It is sufficiently flexible to support most complex data models.

"We are excited to have the support offered by InfluxData and appreciate the company donating its Go language expertise and implementation to Apache Arrow in the spirit of benefiting the greater Open Source community," said Jacques Nadeau, VP Apache Arrow. "Go is becoming an increasingly popular language, and having InfluxData contribute code to Apache Arrow will increase its adoption across the industry."

Apache Arrow specifies a standardized, language-independent, columnar memory format for flat and hierarchical data that is organized for efficient, analytic operations on modern hardware. It also provides computational libraries and zero-copy streaming messaging and inter-process communication.

In working with the Apache Arrow community, InfluxData desired a highly performant, in-memory, column-based format that can be shared between an ecosystem of data analytics tools, as well as the data and processing tiers of InfluxData?EU?s platform. Contributing its Go language implementation for Apache Arrow,...
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InfluxData Contributes Go Implementation to Apache Arrow

SAN FRANCISCO -- March 22, 2018 -- InfluxData, the modern Open Source Platform built specifically for metrics, events and other time series data that empowers developers to build next-generation monitoring, analytics and IoT applications, today announced its support of The ApacheĀ® Software Foundation (ASF) by contributing the Go programing language implementation it developed to the Apache Arrow™ project.

The all-volunteer ASF develops, stewards, and incubates more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives that serve as the backbone for some of the world's most visible and widely used applications in Big Data, Cloud Computing, IoT and Edge Computing, and Web Frameworks, among other categories. This includes Apache Arrow, which is a cross-language development platform for in-memory data. Apache Arrow serves as a component used to accelerate analytics within a particular system and to allow Arrow-enabled systems to exchange data with low overhead. It is sufficiently flexible to support most complex data models.

"We are excited to have the support offered by InfluxData and appreciate the company donating its Go language expertise and implementation to Apache Arrow in the spirit of benefiting the greater Open Source community," said Jacques Nadeau, VP Apache Arrow. "Go is becoming an increasingly popular language, and having InfluxData contribute code to Apache Arrow will increase its adoption across the industry."

Apache Arrow specifies a standardized, language-independent, columnar memory format for flat and hierarchical data that is organized for efficient, analytic operations on modern hardware. It also provides computational libraries and zero-copy streaming messaging and inter-process communication.

In working with the Apache Arrow community, InfluxData desired a highly performant, in-memory, column-based format that can be shared between an ecosystem of data analytics tools, as well as the data and processing tiers of InfluxData?EU?s platform. Contributing its Go language implementation for Apache Arrow,...
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Can Spotify and Dropbox Restore Faith in Tech IPOs?

The message to investors from Spotify last week had a familiar ring for any veteran of the tech gold rush: "The trend towards profitability is clear."

The music streaming service is hoping to banish the memory of a difficult year for technology flotations. Similar promises of digital alchemy -- heavy cash investment transforming into an ever-burgeoning bottom line -- followed the stock-market launch of Snap last year. So far, investors in the owner of Snapchat have been underwhelmed, but last week 35-year-old Daniel Ek, Spotify's co-founder and chief executive, was adamant that his music streaming service would deliver the kind of returns that have proved elusive for tech upstarts since the blockbuster float of Facebook.

The test for Stockholm-based Spotify will come when it floats in New York on 3 April, while Dropbox, the online file storage company, is preparing to launch its initial public offering this week. Those companies must answer two simple questions: will Spotify ever go into the black and justify the near-$20bn valuation that private trades in its shares put on it; and is Dropbox really worth between $7bn and $8bn ?

With both companies preparing to join US stock markets, they could determine whether investors regain their enthusiasm for new technology stocks after a disappointing year in 2017, during which Snap, meal-kit company Blue Apron and big-data business Cloudera all went for public listings -- and disappointed. Shares in Snap are down a quarter since it floated -- a poor performance for investors hoping it would emulate Facebook, which has risen nearly 400% since it floated in 2012. (Twitter, meanwhile, finally recorded its first quarterly profit last month, five years after going public.)

One analyst thinks the latest flotations will restore faith. "Spotify and Dropbox have a very good chance of success because the technology world is about one...

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Facebook Feels Like Home, But Is It Time To Move On?

Sure. Take that quiz about which hair-metal band is your spirit animal. Share a few snaps of your toddler at the beach and watch the likes pile up. Comment on that pointed political opinion from the classmate you haven't seen since the Reagan administration.

Just remember that your familiar, comforting online neighborhood-- the people you care about most and those you only kinda like -- exists entirely on a corporate planet that's endlessly ravenous to know more about you and yours.

On a day when our virtual friends wrung their virtual hands about whether to leave Facebook, a thoroughly 21st-century conundrum was hammered home: When your community is a big business, and when a company's biggest business is your community, things can get very messy.

You saw that all day Tuesday as users watched the saga of Cambridge Analytica unfold and contemplated whether the chance that they had been manipulated again -- that their data might have been used to influence an election -- was, finally, reason enough to bid Facebook goodbye.

Not an easy choice. After all, how would Mom see photos of the kids?

"Part of me wants Facebook to go down over the Cambridge Analytica scandal but the other part of me has no other way to know when any of my friends or family have a birthday," Chicago Tribune humorist Rex Huppke tweeted Tuesday -- and cross-posted on Facebook.

Facebook, which began as a social network for college students and the academic community, has experienced exodus before, albeit usually more gradually.

Young people have edged away from it in favor of other platforms such as Snapchat, WhatsApp and Instagram (the latter two are owned by Facebook now), and many maintain a presence but use it rarely. Internationally, while Facebook remains widespread, insurgent social networks built around messaging, such as Line in Japan and...

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