Jamie Bartlett: How the mysterious dark net is going mainstream
Court documents show that DoD paid researchers to carry out de-anonymising researchTor, once known only by network nerds, has now become something of a hot topic. This is thanks largely to the anonymous network’s reputation for hosting drug marketplaces like Silk Road, and other unsavoury sites.But what exactly is Tor? What is it good for? Does it have any legitimate uses? And how can those not versed in the finer details of network technologies actually access it?Tor latest news25/02/2016: The US government paid Carnegie Mellon researchers to hack Tor, it has been confirmed.Court documents have revealed that the attack carried out against the Tor network last year by security researchers at Carnegie Mellon University was funded by the US Department of Defence.A request for discovery by the attorneys of Brian Farrell, suspected Silk Road 2.0 lieutenant, led to a response in which the court revealed the source of the University’s funding.
Amid a steady stream of positive news, incumbent payment companies are quickly launching products and services incorporating blockchain technology.To date, payments firms openly offering blockchain services include financial technology provider D+H, online payments startup Dwolla and cross-border payments specialist Earthport, though the latest to launch an offering is PayCommerce, a decade-old software-as-a-service payments and remittance platform that connects network members across the globe.Each has so far taken a different approach to leveraging its market presence and products in a bid to win business, though all seem intent on taking advantage of their existing expertise and client networks in ways that would be difficult for blockchain startups.Earthport, for example, now incorporates the Ripple protocol as part of its Distributed Ledger Payments Hub. Likewise, D+H has added blockchain tech to its Global PAYPlus payments hub. Dwolla, in turn, sees itself working on the outside of the DLT industry altogether, connecting digital asset movement on a blockchain to real-world cash payments.
澳大利亚股票交易所(ASX)选择使用比特币背后的区块链技术，作为其清算和结算系统的替代品。ASX去年底以来，同一家名为Digital Asset的美国公司合作，来为自己搭建新的交易系统。后者上月宣布已从包括德国证交所、美国CME等机构处募得6000万美元资金，助推上次金融危机的“CDS”设计者、“华尔街女皇”——Blythe Masters也加盟该公司。通过在清算和结算系统中使用区块链技术，ASX首席执行官Elmer Funke Kupper表示，该证券交易所正在替换其交易系统的过程中，因为区块链能够降低清算和结算交易的成本和复杂性，并能节省时间。而目前的这些工作，都是ASX的CHESS系统来完成的，该系统当下正迫切需要升级。“我们认为应该在这方面领先于全球，我也相信我们做到，”Kupper上周表示，“我们在更加认真的对待这一技术，因为以我们的市场结构和规模，通过此技术每年可以节约45亿澳元成本，这一数字不可小觑。当然，这一切也可能失败，那我们也能有所收获。
Exhibit A hierarchy of consulting purposes1. Providing information to a client.2. Solving a client’s problems.3. Making a diagnosis, which may necessitate redefinition of the problem.4. Making recommendations based on the diagnosis.5. Assisting with implementation of recommended solutions.6. Building a consensus and commitment around corrective action.7. Facilitating client learning—that is, teaching clients how to resolve similar problems in the future.8. Permanently improving organizational effectiveness.The lower-numbered purposes are better understood and practiced and are also more requested by clients. Many consultants, however, aspire to a higher stage on the pyramid than most of their engagements achieve.Purposes 1 through 5 are generally considered legitimate functions, though some controversy surrounds purpose 5. Management consultants are less likely to address purposes 6 through 8 explicitly, and their clients are not as likely to request them. But leading firms and their clients are beginning to approach lower-numbered purposes in ways that involve the other goals as well. Goals 6 through 8 are best considered by-products of earlier purposes, not additional objectives that become relevant only when the other purposes have been achieved. They are essential to effective consulting even if not recognized as explicit goals when the engagement begins.