Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Adrien Henni The Top 5 Issues Faced by Futurists The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Tags:#Blockchain#Ethereum#featured#Internet of Things#IoT#MISiS#Russia#Russian Federation#top#VEB#Vladimir Putin 6 User-Interface Musts for Personal Finance Apps Last week VEB, a major state-owned Russian development bank, signed a partnership agreement with the Ethereum Foundation to develop and implement Blockchain-based government applications.The Foundation’s founder Vitalik Buterin and VEB President Sergey Gorokov Chairman both took part in the signing ceremony, which was held during a Blockchain conference in Kazan, the capital of the innovation-friendly republic of Tatarstan.See also: For future transactions, in blockchain we trustThe agreement includes a “long-term and effective partnership in the implementation of projects using a distributed registry technology and the Ethereum platform,” as well as the formation of an Ethereum expert community.The partners will also launch joint educational and training programs within an upcoming VEB Blockchain competence center. The partnership agreement was signed personally by Ethereum Foundation founder Vitalik Buterin and VEB President Sergey Gorkov. Photo credit: VEB.This competence center is designed to “unite the efforts of all interested parties and create an ecosystem of innovations,” said Gorkov. It is scheduled for opening in September at MISiS, a major Russian science and technology university.“Cooperation between Ethereum and VEB gives a unique opportunity to engage in research and development on the use of blockchain technology for public administration and accelerating the adoption of this technology to government organizations in the Russian Federation,” Buterin stated.Putin is watchingIn June, the Russian government launched a working group to implement Blockchain technologies in state administrations, assigning a coordinating role to VEB, including the creation of the competence center.That same month, during the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, Ethereum caught the attention of Vladimir Putin, which saw in it a potential tool for the country’s economic diversification. The Russian president personally met Buterin at the forum.Just weeks ago, the Federal Agency for Technical Regulation and Metrology (Rosstandart) appointed a new technical committee to work on the standardization of software and hardware related to distributed register and Blockchain technologies, in coordination with the International Standardisation Organisation.This story is published in partnership with East-West Digital News, an international news resource about innovation in Central and Eastern Europe.
Excommunication from the village or society was the preferred form of punishment for those who used the Right to Information in Meghalaya. Until youth leader Poipynhun Majaw was murder on Tuesday.The police in the State’s East Jaintia Hills district said unknown assailants killed Mr. Majaw by hitting him with a heavy iron object, possibly a wrench, found lying beside his body in Khliehriat, a coal mining hub. They are following a clue – a 125 cc motorcycle found abandoned nearby – to get to his killers.Rights activists in the State said that at least 20 people have been banished from their villages for using the RTI to expose corruption in local governance and utilisation of beneficiary schemes in less than a decade.“Many of those excommunicated are women who dared to go against corrupt local body heads and moved the RTI to find out rations allotted for them were being diverted or ghost workers were awarded MGNREGS (rural job guarantee scheme) work,” Agnes Kharshiing of the Civil Society Women’s Organisation said.On Wednesday, as the police began hunting for the bike owner, some villagers in the adjoining West Jaintia Hills told the authorities they were being hounded by local leaders after getting a reply to their RTI query on the status of MGNREGS in Sankhat, their village.“The RTI reply revealed that area leaders withdrew more money than what the MGNREGS assignment for 11 job card holders of our village could have entailed. We are under tremendous pressure to either take up the matter or leave,” a member of one of 32 households denied work said from Sankhat.Ostracised for using RTI In 2014, the dorbar (governing body) of Umsumbah village in the West Khasi Hills district deprived 11 people of their basic right of seeking information through RTI. The dorbar ‘blacklisted’ them and it needed the intervention of the Block Development Officer to come to a compromise. But the reprieve was temporary, as the ‘dorbar’ allegedly punished the villagers till December last year, cancelling their job cards, denying them access to fair price shops and residential certificates for their children.In 2011, three women – Fatima Mynsong, Acqueline Songthiang and Matilda Suting – were excommunicated by the ‘dorbar’ of Jongsha village, about 30 km from Shillong, after they exercised the RTI to know about utilisation of government funds for the village.The trio, however, fought back and managed to get the village headman, who ordered their exile, removed from his post.In February 2011, a student leader named Bobby Basaiawmoit was asked by the ‘dorbar’ of Mairangbah village to either pay a fine of ₹5,000 for exercising RTI or be banished.“Mr. Majaw’s was the first case of murder of an RTI activist in Meghalaya, where violence was not associated with activism unlike other States such as Assam,” Ms. Kharshiing said.Rights activists believe that Mr. Majaw was killed because of using RTI to expose the unholy nexus between the Jaintia Hills tribal council and cement companies who have been extracting limestone with scant respect for the fragile ecology of the State.“We are yet to find the motive behind Mr. Majaw’s murder, but we hope to get some answers once we find the owner of the bike. The suspected murder weapon has been sent for forensic tests while the autopsy report is expected within a week,” Nazarius Lamare, Superintendent of Police of East Jaintia Hills district, said.
Open source online video platform provider Kaltura is planning to implement direct support for MPEG-DASH by the end of the year, according to director of product Michael Dale.Speaking to DTVE at IBC, where Kaltura has been running a proof-of-concept MPEG-DASH demo, Dale said that the firm was pushing forward on emerging standards for live video distribution and that MPEG-DASH support would follow as the industry begins to adapt to the technology.“We recognise this is where the industry is going so we will be ready to turn it on as soon as the browsers support it,” said Dale.“We’re waiting for Internet Explorer 11 to ship, we’re waiting for Google to ship Chrome updates to all their Android devices. Once it does, you want to have a platform that’s ready to roll.”He added that many clients had been requesting MPEG-DASH support, because “for Android Live web delivery, we don’t have a lot of good options today.”The news comes in the same week that Kaltura announced a partnership with LiveU – a specialist in video-over-cellular solutions that allow live video transmissions in HD and SD from any location.Through the deal, LiveU live HD video feeds to be imported and transmitted directly to Kaltura’s video player and range of video applications. Kaltura said that this will allow customers to have an end-to-end, live-to-VOD video solution from ingest to streaming.This includes uploading, transcoding and processing, video management, video publishing, multi-rate video playing, video syndication, monetization, distribution, including OTT (over-the-top), and video editing tools.
Satya Nadella announces the cloud launchMicrosoft plans to expand its public cloud initiative to the UK in 2016 and has completed its cloud build-out in the Netherlands and Ireland, CEO Satya Nadella announced today.Speaking at Microsoft’s Future Decoded conference in London this morning, Nadella outlined plans to create a “the most hyperscale public cloud that operates around the world”.He claimed this would allow customers from startups, small businesses and public sector organisations more choice to be able to build applications and to use the digital technology that they need.“I’m very, very pleased to announce the expansion of our public cloud in Europe. There are two parts to this that we want to announce today: the first is the completion of the expansion of the expansion of our datacentre regions in the Netherlands and in Ireland; and [the second is] the coming of our cloud region to the UK in calendar year 2016, which really marks a huge milestone,” said Nadella.The move means that Microsoft will be able to offer commercial cloud services from within the UK for the first time. The company will start to offer Microsoft Azure and Office 365 from local UK data centres in late 2016 with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online following shortly after.Microsoft said that it has also completed the most recent expansion of its Ireland site and that its data centre facility in Middenmeer, the Netherlands, is now operational. Both locations serve as hubs for Microsoft cloud services and will provide additional capacity for customers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.The UK datacentre rollout and expansion in the Netherlands and Ireland are all part of Microsoft’s more than US$2 billion (€1.8 billion) spend on cloud infrastructure across Europe.“When it comes to building out the intelligent cloud, perhaps the most salient aspect of the cloud is that it gives you this notion and feeling of infinite capacity. Your ability to aggregate, compute, storage and network as a service is what liberates every organisation and every individual developer to be able to dream big,” said Nadella.Delivering a keynote speech, Nadella outlined Microsoft’s “interconnected ambitions” to create more personal computing, reinvent productivity and business processes and to build the intelligent cloud platform.He also described augmented reality, or mixed reality as an “amazing new medium” and said that Microsoft’s HoloLens would have a developer release in early 2016. HoloLens is an untethered, holographic computer headset that enables “high-definition holograms to integrate with your world.”