Police seize $60 million worth of bitcoin from a man who won’t give up his password, Bloomberg says tech can help with teens’ mental health during lockdowns, and Microsoft says it’s not backing lawmakers who voted against the Electoral College confirmation.
It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Monday, February 8, and I’m your host Alex Coop.
Reuters is reporting that German prosecutors have confiscated more than 50 million euros (that’s roughly $60 million) worth of bitcoin from a fraudster. But there’s one hilarious problem: they can’t unlock the money because the fraudster won’t give them the password. The publication says the man was sentenced to jail and has since served his term. Prosecutors say he’s maintained his silence throughout the sentence while police made repeated failed efforts to crack the code to access more than 1,700 bitcoin. The fraudster had been sentenced to more than two years in jail for covertly installing software on other computers to harness their power to “mine” or produce bitcoin. Apparently however, prosecutors have ensured the man cannot access the locked account. [Twitter]
Young people suffering from mental health problems may find some apps helpful. That’s the message in Bloomberg’s latest opinion piece, which goes on to say that apps focused on mental health support can help fill in the gaps left by school closures and overburdened health-care systems. But before we look at some apps, here are the numbers: England’s Mental Health of Children and Young People Survey, found that 16 per cent of those between the ages of five and 16 have a probable mental disorder, compared to 10.8 per cent in 2017. More than 27 per cent of young women (aged 17 to 22) and 13 per cent of young men now report having a mental disorder. A study from the U.K.’s Education Policy Institute published at the end of January similarly showed a larger drop in well-being for teen girls. Since the start of the pandemic, the youth mental health charity Stem4 has seen more than 500,000 downloads of its free, NHS-approved apps Calm Harm (to discourage self-harm) and Clear Fear (to help manage anxiety). In Canada, eMentalHealth.ca has a thorough database of mental health programs available across Canada, for Canadians of all ages.
And lastly, Microsoft says its political action committee won’t contribute to upcoming campaigns for members of the U.S. Congress who voted against confirming the Electoral College results of the 2020 presidential election. CNBC also reported that Microsoft plans to change the name of its committee for backing political campaigns after employees spoke out against some contributions. While most of the reaction to the news has been positive, many still argue tech giants shouldn’t be making any political donations at all – period.
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. I’m Alex Coop, thanks for listening!