“I am not saying that Neal Stephenson is Satoshi Nakamoto,” writes the features editor at Reason. “What I am saying is: Would it really be surprising if he were?”
This prompted a strong rebuke from CCN Markets:
The article starts, “Consider the possibility that Neal Stephenson is Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous inventor of Bitcoin.”
Let’s not do that. That’s like saying let’s consider the possibility that anyone at all is Satoshi Nakamoto. In one respect, it doesn’t matter. In another, it’s exhausting the lengths people will go with this… if someone doesn’t advance the idea that they are Satoshi Nakamoto themselves, there’s no reason to put that sort of grief upon them. If someone is just brilliant, you can tell them that without insinuating that they invented the blockchain and Bitcoin…. You don’t just off-handedly claim someone might be Satoshi Nakamoto. There needs to be a reason.
Reason had written that “For nearly three decades, Stephenson’s novels have displayed an obsessive, technically astute fascination with cryptography, digital currency, the social and technological infrastructure of a post-government world, and Asian culture,” and that the science fiction author “described the core concepts of cryptocurrency years before Bitcoin became a technical reality.”
They also note later that “Satoshi Nakamoto’s initials are SN; Neal Stephenson’s are NS.”
Coin Telegraph writes that the question “has seemingly come to a head over the last couple of months, as a number of people have gone a step further” — not only publicly claiming to be the creator of bitcoin, but even filing copyright and trademark claims. Their list of “Satoshi posers” includes Craig Wright, Wei Liu, and the brother of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. (And another new theory also suggests “global criminal kingpin” Paul Le Roux, the creator of encryption software E4M and TrueCrypt.
South Africa and Ghana square off for final Tokyo 2020 ticket
South Africa Under-23 midfielder Kobamelo Kodisang has warned Ghana to brace themselves for the fight of their lives in Friday’s Afcon third-place playoff match at the Cairo Stadium in Egypt.
South Africa want ticket to Tokyo
The winners of the clash will secure the only remaining ticket to next year’s Tokyo Summer Olympic Games men’s football competition. Both sides would be disappointed by their failure to progress to the final and secure passage to the games.
Kodisang has already featured in three Fifa junior World Cup tournaments (2015 U-17 World Cup, 2017 & 2019 U-20 World Cup), but said qualifying for next year’s Olympics would be a dream come true for him and his teammates.
The under-23s are eager to reach the games where they hope to be able to recreate a moment like the famous win over Brazil in Australia in 2000.
The Sanjoanense FC midfielder says the team have set out their stall to reach the competition for the third time and the second games in a row.
“Qualifying for the Olympics will certainly be a dream come true,” Kodisang said.
“Our captain, Tercious Malepe, is the only player in this current Under-23 squad who featured in the Rio Olympic Games. He has been instrumental in inspiring the team to fight for qualification for next year’s edition.
“Everyone in the team is just highly motivated to achieve that goal.”
Crunch time for the boys
The 20-year old added that the match against Ghana is not going to be easy. However, the lads will throw everything at it to come out with a win for all the supporters back home. Kodisang is one of many players in the squad who will be eligible to compete at the Olympics next year. Unlike the Women’s football competition at the Games, the men’s competition is restricted to under-23s although at the tournament proper they can bolster their ranks with up to three overage players.
The youngsters understand well the effort that has gone into the attempt to reach the Tokyo 2020 games and they are eager to give the best account of themselves against the emerging Black Stars.
“The coaching staff has been working hard for this matchup,” Kodisang said. “We all know what is at stake here and we will give it our utmost best.”
South Africa lost 3-0 to hosts Egypt in their semi-final date but need to pick themselves up for one last charge if they are to achieve their Olympic dream.
VodaLend Business Advance gives SMEs access to short term funding
Access to funding is still a major concern for local SMEs and Vodacom Business has launched a new product tailored at addressing that concern.
VodaLend Business Advance offers up funding ranging from R10 000 to R1.5 million repayable over six to 12 months. Of course in order to qualify a business will have to be registered and operational for at least 12 months. Revenue will also need to clock in at R500 000 plus and of course your credit standing must be good.
The VodaLend application process is completely digital according to Vodacom Business and applications will take less than 10 minutes to complete.
“Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of South Africa’s economy and contribute significantly to employment in the country as well as the gross domestic product which is why ensuring their growth and success is vitally important,” chief officer of financial services at Vodacom, Mariam Cassim said in a statement.
Vodacom Business says that SMEs will also receive Business Legal Assist at no further cost should they qualify for funding. This service will allow business owners to field legal questions for the duration of the funding term.
“Vodacom Financial Services intends to go beyond just providing funding and is looking to be a partner in growth for SMEs. With the trust we have built as a leading telco, we want to ensure financial inclusion for all within the financial services space and will continue to deliver best-in-class services and products,” says Cassim.
For more information head to the Vodacom Business website.
Three-in-10 adults in emerging economies have no phone
As ownership of mobile phones, especially smartphones, spreads rapidly across the globe, an average of three-in-10 adults in emerging economies still do not own a phone.
This is one of the key findings of a Pew Research Center survey conducted among 28 122 adults in 11 emerging economies, including SA.It is part of a series of reports about the mobile landscape in emerging economies.
The report found there are still notable numbers of people who do not own or even use someone else’s mobile phone, with the mobile divide most pronounced in Venezuela (32%), India (30%) and the Philippines (27%), countries where about three-in-10 adults do not own a mobile phone.
In SA, 5% of surveyed respondents do not have or share a mobile phone, while Tunisia has 4%, Lebanon 9%, Kenya 3% and Jordan 3%.
The report found a median of 7% of polled people borrow or share phones with others.
Among non-mobile phone users, a median of 51% across eight countries say the cost of a phone is the reason they do not have one, with non-users in Venezuela (89%) and Tunisia (71%) topping the list.
A median of 34% of non-mobile users report that data costs are a reason, notes Pew.
“The spread of mobile phones brings a variety of benefits to users in emerging economies, and they can clearly spell out what appeals to them about the arrival of a phone in their lives,” explains Laura Silver, senior researcher at Pew Research Center.
“Still, our survey shows these devices bring new challenges and headaches to users at the same time they open up new divisions in their societies. It turns out that digital divides take several forms in these countries.”
According to a report by research firm Statista, today about 20 million to 22 million South Africans use a smartphone, which accounts for about one-third of the country’s population.
The non-users are divided over whether they would like to own a mobile phone in the future: Venezuelan non-users stand out for their keen interest in acquiring a mobile phone; 86% of mobile phone non-users in Venezuela say they would like to get a phone in the future.
Elsewhere, these numbers vary markedly, from around half or more desiring a mobile phone in SA (65%), Colombia (61%) and Tunisia (52%), to fewer than half in Mexico (41%), the Philippines (35%), India (31%) and Lebanon (9%).
At the same time, the Pew research shows mobile divides also exist among those who own phones. A median of 46% of respondents say they frequently or occasionally have difficulties getting reliable phone connections, 37% say it can be a challenge to pay for their phones, and 33% report finding places to charge their phones is a problem at least occasionally.
In some countries, mobile owners’ challenges are particularly striking. In Lebanon, for example, 66% of owners say they avoid doing things with their phones because those activities use too much data. In Jordan, nearly half (48%) report having trouble paying for their phone, while in Tunisia, four-in-10 (40%) say it can be a challenge to find places to recharge their phones.
Pew researchers also found that in some countries, issues of technological literacy are particularly pronounced. For example, around a quarter of Indians (26%) say the primary reason they share a phone is because it is too complicated to use, followed by Mexicans (11%) and Filipinos (10%).
“Beyond those concerns, there are other issues that can disrupt life for some phone users and sharers. Around three-quarters or more of mobile phone owners in every country except India report concerns about identity theft, and around nine-in-10 or more in Mexico (95%), Colombia (94%), Tunisia (90%), SA (89%) and the Philippines (89%) say they are at least somewhat concerned about the security issue,” notes the report.
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