TIO warns of hardship spike after NBN financial assistance winds up

More consumers are expected to experience hardship in paying their National Broadband Network (NBN) bills as Australia’s telcos look to eventually turn off the tap for financial support, a Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) representative told a Senate committee on Friday.

Standing before the Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network on Friday, TIO Judi Jones said the financial support given by government and industry had stalled any potential uptick of complaints that the agency expected from consumers.

“We’ve waited to see an increase in complaints about hardship and problems paying a bill — we think that will come, but by the end of the year it wasn’t showing up as a particular issue. It was starting to rise but it actually dropped off as an important issue in the pandemic because of financial support,” Jones said.

“We are anticipating, as government and providers wind back support measures, we’ll see

Read More
Read More

Analysts Can’t Agree on What Prompted Big Spike in New Bitcoin Addresses

Bitcoin has seen a rapid rise in the creation of addresses on the blockchain so far this month, with one industry executive saying it’s likely due to traders moving funds off the legally troubled BitMEX exchange. Others point elsewhere.

  • The “entities net growth” metric from analytics firm Glassnode, which measures the daily change in unique entities or clusters of addresses controlled by a single participant, rose sharply by 244% from 9,750 to 33,620 in the first six days of October.
  • Tuesday’s tally of 33,620 was the highest since Oct. 3, 2018.
  • The surge in new entities noticeably picked up the pace in the wake of U.S. authorities’ recent decision to bring civil and criminal charges against cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform BitMEX and users’ resulting panicked migration of funds to other exchanges.
  • BitMEX has witnessed an outflow of at least 40,000 BTC (worth around $424 million at press time) since the
Read More
Read More

Parler, social media Proud Boys use, saw use spike during Trump debate

  • Parler, an app popular with Trump supporters and the extremist Proud Boys group, said its activity tripled during the debate where Trump mentioned the group.
  • Parler markets itself heavily on its lack of content moderation, and is used by many who, like the Proud Boys, are banned from other sites.
  • A spokeswoman told Business Insider its activity tripled during and after the debate, and it had 266,000 active users in that period.
  • Trump refused to condemn white supremacy during his first debate with Joe Biden, saying instead: “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.”
  • The Proud Boys celebrated Trump’s comment by creating merchandise and using it as a recruitment drive.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Parler, a social media platform popular with Trump supporters and used by the Proud Boys, said its activity rose to three times its normal levels during the debate in which Trump mentioned the

Read More
Read More

Wearable shipments spike by 60 million for 2020 despite COVID-19 lockdowns, IDC says

photo5429638780647747574

More people are buying wearables in 2020.


Érika García / CNET

Wearables are primed to hit almost 400 million shipments in 2020, IDC said Friday. According to the analyst firm, the top-selling wearable category globally is now hearables like wireless headphones and earphones. The rise in wearables shipments comes despite most of the world stuck at home amid the spread of COVID-19 — around 60 million more wearables are forecast to be shipped in 2020 than were shipped in 2019.

IDC predicts 234 million shipments of hearables for 2020, compared with 91 million smartwatches and 68 million other smart wrist bands.

“Even though vendors scaled down production and end users were quarantined, demand for wearables remained steady,” IDC said. “The market was propelled by near-record demand for hearables.”

IDC added

Read More
Read More

Glycans in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein play active role in infection

Glycans in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein play active role in infection
In this illustration, glycans (dark blue) coat the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (light blue), which is anchored in the viral envelope (colorful bilayer on bottom). Credit: Adapted from ACS Central Science 2020, DOI: 10.1021/acscentsci.0c01056

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, researchers are working overtime to develop vaccines and therapies to thwart SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the disease Many efforts focus on the coronavirus spike protein, which binds the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) on human cells to allow viral entry. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Central Science have uncovered an active role for glycans—sugar molecules that can decorate proteins—in this process, suggesting targets for vaccines and therapies.


Before the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein can interact with ACE2 on a human cell, it changes shape to expose its receptor binding domain (RBD), the part of the protein that interacts with ACE2. Like many viral proteins, the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein has a thick coat

Read More
Read More