Razer Phone is official with 120Hz screen, 8GB of RAM, 4,000 mAh battery

Razer is officially entering the smartphone space. The gaming-focused company acquired Nextbit back in January, and today it’s unveiled the first device to emerge out of that acquisition: the Razer Phone. A simple name hides massive specs, in this case. Design-wise, the Nextbit heritage is clear, what with all the sharp corners. The color scheme is much more business-friendly, however. The Razer Phone is made out an all-aluminum CNC chassis, has a 24-bit DAC, and it boasts two front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos sound, each with its own amp – and they’re certified by THX (a first…

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Recode Daily: Yesterday, Trump said he’ll send up to 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan; tonight: A rally for himself in Arizona

Plus, a digital media veteran takes over the LA Times, CNN launches a daily news show on Snap, and how do you follow totality?

President Trump returns tonight to a deeply divided Arizona for a nighttime rally with his core supporters in Phoenix. The state’s two senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, are among Trump’s most vocal critics within the Republican Party. Last night, Trump gave a speech — his first nationally televised prime-time address since January — outlining a new strategy to carry on the nearly 16-year-old conflict in Afghanistan, which will likely call for the deployment of up to 4,000 more U.S. troops. [CNN.com]

Digital media veteran Ross Levinsohn is the new publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times. Levinsohn made his digital reputation by helping News Corp acquire Myspace in 2005, and he ran Yahoo for a stretch; this is his first newspaper. His appointment is part of the paper’s latest restructuring under management by the Tronc conglomerate, which also resulted in the firing of several top editors. [Peter Kafka / Recode]

In an effort to get more video in front of more young people, CNN launched a daily news show exclusively for Snapchat. NBC launched a twice-daily news show on Snapchat last month; CNN’s three-to-five-minute “The Update” will run every day at 6 p.m. Meanwhile, teens are leaving Facebook faster than expected, according to a new study — but lots of those teens are turning to Instagram, which Facebook owns. The study also predicts that Snapchat will be bigger than both Facebook and Instagram in the 12- to 17-year-old and 18- to 24-year-old categories by the end of the year. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]

Facebook has made a permanent page for Safety Check, its feature for letting others know that you’re safe during an emergency. The dedicated tab, which will roll out in the next few weeks, lists catastrophes and crises all over the world. [Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge]

Smartphone “hijackings” are on the rise: In a growing number of online attacks, hackers are calling up carriers and asking them to transfer control of a victim’s mobile phone number to a device under the control of the hackers; they can then reset the passwords on every account that uses the phone number as a security backup. [Nathaniel Popper / The New York Times]

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How do you follow totality?

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Bitcoin Continues to Plow Through Milestones By Surpassing the $4,000 Mark

Another day, another Bitcoin milestone passed. The world’s first and largest cryptocurrency surpassed the $ 4,000 mark for a moment yesterday. The new all-time high for Bitcoin is now $ 4,162.57. The price has dropped slightly since that high was reached, and at the time of writing now sits at $ 4,072.30.

This latest milestone marks the currency’s seemingly unstoppable surge since the beginning of the year. In January, Bitcoin was trading at less than $ 1,000 per coin. Now, the burgeoning cryptocoins are worth more than four times that amount. Early adopters must be rejoicing that their faith in the cryptocurrency is (thus far) being rewarded.

Image Credit: CoinDesk

Experts remain optimistic about Bitcoin’s potential, yet some are beginning to fear that it has entered a bubble. Still, the trend seems to be in favor of its continued success. No one knows for sure what the future of Bitcoin — or cryptocurrencies in general — will look like. The debate of whether the reward is worth the risk will continue to rage on.

The bigger picture here though, is blockchain. While it is most closely associated with cryptocurrency at the moment, that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what is possible with this tech. So while cryptocurrency may still be considered a gamble, get ahead of the game and read up on blockchain, because it is, almost certainly, the future.

Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.

The post Bitcoin Continues to Plow Through Milestones By Surpassing the $ 4,000 Mark appeared first on Futurism.


The Third-Largest Cryptocurrency, Ripple’s XRP, Up Almost 4000% in Second Quarter

Ripple Exploding In Q2

The digital currency market has been dominated by Ripple’s XRP for the first half of the year. XRP finished its second financial quarter up 3,977 percent from the beginning of the year at $ 0.26. It has now dropped to about $ 0.19, but this is still an impressive display of growth and strength.

Image Credit: ak Yip/Flickr
Image Credit: ak Yip/Flickr
In Q2 alone, Ripple recorded more than $ 11 million in transactions, and XRP joined 25 new exchanges. XRP now has the third-largest market capitalization in cryptocurrencies — behind only Bitcoin and Ether. Ripple has also recently differentiated the use case for XRP, which, in turn, spiked interest in the cryptocurrency in Q2: “With respect to XRP, we are incredibly focused on international payments, I think we are probably the only digital asset that has a clear use case with respect to what we are trying to do with the asset,” Miguel Vias, Ripple’s head of XRP markets, told CNBC.

Cryptocurrency Renaissance

Ripple and XRP are just part of the latest example of cryptocurrencies booming during an overall digital currency renaissance. Right now, various countries are experimenting with cryptocurrencies, acknowledging their role in the future of finance and looking to secure their place in that future. For example, the South African Reserve Bank, the country’s central bank, is trying on Bitcoin regulation for size; China is testing a national cryptocurrency — a sensible option in a country that has gone almost totally cashless in urban areas; and “Ethereum Island” may be coming to the African coast as Mauritius moves to take its place as a cryptocurrency and blockchain technology hub.

Meanwhile, despite some rocky days, many experts think that now is the best time to invest in cryptocurrencies — whichever platform appeals to you. While some are worried that the cryptocurrency market might be experiencing a bubble, others see this period of rapid growth as a sign of larger changes in the world economy. As countries like China and Japan sway the cryptocurrency market, it becomes clearer that close attention to technological advancement, a desire to achieve cybersecurity, and a need to control one’s money are the decisive factors for many cryptocurrency investors.

This makes Ripple’s focus on international payments seem shrewd, and feel like a strong explanatory factor in XRP’s current strong position in the cryptocurrency market.


Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.

The post The Third-Largest Cryptocurrency, Ripple’s XRP, Up Almost 4000% in Second Quarter appeared first on Futurism.