#AboutLastWeek: Pokemon GO takes over the world, Bitcoin bulks up and the spotlight falls on JAX Innovation Awards
Each Monday we take a step back and analyze what has happened in the previous week. Last week we witnessed the birth of a new craze: Pokemon Go, nominations for the JAX Innovation Awards 2016 opened and we found out why the open source act is a massive victory for transparency. Henry Brade, CEO of Prasos Oy, helped us dissect the Bitcoin halving and discover exactly how bright is the future of this cryptocurrency.
Pokemon GO takes over the world
Pokemon GO is on fire! SimilarWeb recently reported that this mobile game may soon outshine Twitter in daily active users on Android. It later revealed that Pokemon GO has managed to dethrone Twitter in terms of daily active users and, if the trend continues, the mobile game could take on the likes of WhatsApp and Snapchat. When SimilarWeb compared Pokemon GO to other apps, they noticed that it passed Netflix, Spotify Music and Hangouts for daily active users on July 11.
By July 7 (one day after Pokemon GO was released in the United States), the game was installed on more US Android phones than dating app Tinder. The augmented reality game created by Niantic, a former internal Google startup, allows players to “discover and catch more than 100 Pokémon from the original Red and Blue games, take Pokémon into battle against other Pokémon at Gyms, uncover items including a variety of types of Poké Balls and eggs at PokéStops, hatch and train new Pokémon, and more,” the team behind this wildly successful game wrote in a blog post.
Infected Android version of Pokemon GO on the loose
Researchers at Proofpoint recently discovered an infected Pokemon GO Android version; according to the announcement, this specific APK was altered to include DroidJack, a malicious remote access tool (RAT), which gives attackers the chance to have full control over Pokemon GO players’ phones. Although the team emphasized that this APK “has not been observed in the wild,” it was uploaded to a malicious file repository service on July 7.
Proofpoint also offered a few options to help Pokemon GO players find out whether they dowloaded the malicious APK or not. One way to do that is to check the SHA256 hash of the downloaded APK. According to their research, the malicious APK that they analyzed has a SHA256 hash of 15db22fd7d961f4d4bd96052024d353b3ff4bd135835d2644d94d74c925af3c4.
Pokemon GO players can also check the permissions of the installed app (Settings -> Apps -> Pokemon GO); if you see some unusual permissions (some examples can be found here), this means they have been added by DroidJack and the device you are using is infected. However, researchers at Proofpoint claim that these permissions are subject to change in the future.
Your opinion matters — your device may be infected!
Bitcoin price may increase post-halving
Bitcoin has just experienced its second halving and, just like the first time, it did not have a substantial effect on the cryptocurrency’s price. Still, some movement is bound to happen —some people directly involved in this matter claim. Henry Brade, the CEO of Finnish Bitcoin startup Prasos Oy, is one of the people who believe that “the Bitcoin halving is a testament to the greatness of cryptocurrency.”
The Bitcoin system remains stable even though there was a major supply shock. For miners the price increase of the last nine months has effectively countered most of the halving’s negative effects so I did not expect anything significant to happen. As for the Bitcoin price, I expect it to rise post-halving.
Brade believes that Bitcoin is “the world’s first universal currency.”
“The open source act is a huge victory for transparency”
Bulgaria now requires all software written for the government to be open source. We asked Bozhidar Bozhanov, adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister at Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria, and Stoyan Mitov, a business development director at Dreamix and co-founder at Grajdanite.bg, to comment on this new law and its benefits.
Bozhanov hopes that the change means better software and even though it won’t happen overnight, it is “a gradual process and building a culture of transparency and quality.”
Quality is something one would pay attention to if he knew his code is going to be public. Even if companies themselves don’t care about their reputation, individual engineers do — having your name on a piece of code may be an asset, or a liability. I’ve seen a lot of projects that no good engineer would ever want to publish, and I hope this change would prevent such things from going into operation, especially given that millions are paid for them.
Meanwhile, Mitov is confident that “the open source act is a huge victory for transparency, which plays an essential part in removing corruption and that the quality of the projects delivered will be better than before.”
The JAX Innovation Awards 2016 nominations now open!
Do you know a technology, company, organization or person that has brought significant innovation to the Java ecosystem? Nominations for the JAX Innovation Awards 2016 are now open, and we’re looking to celebrate those who promote open innovation in the field of the Java Platform and related technologies.
This year marks JAX Innovation Awards’ 10th anniversary of promoting open innovation in the field of the Java Platform and related technologies. It rewards the most innovative contributions in the shape of technology, idea, documentation, industry impact, community engagement, etc.
Visit the JAX Innovation Awards 2016 official page to submit your favorite candidates by August 21, 2016 and learn more about the JAX Innovation Awards. Everyone is invited to submit their nominations — you can either celebrate your own achievements and vote for yourself or reward someone else’s accomplishments.
The winners will be announced at the JAX London conference, taking place on October 10-12 in London, United Kingdom.