Before we start today’s episode, our sponsor Acronis will be hosting a panel discussion on the Canadian security landscape. If you want to learn how to best respond to a cyberattack, check out the expert briefing “It’s time for SMBs to focus more on business continuity” on October 12th. Reserve your spot by going to itworldcanada.com/events.

Now onto regular programming.

Apple App Store apps are bending the rules on how they track users, cryptocurrency mining company buys a whole power plant, and hamsters apparently make great investors.

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It’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Monday, September 27, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

Apple’s App Tracking Transparency initiative aims to enhance user privacy by requiring app makers to allow users to opt out, but these apps may be bending the rules on how they track their users. According to a collaborative investigation by privacy software company Lockdown and the Washington Post, apps can effectively ignore users’ requests to stop tracking by employing fingerprinting. Fingerprinting is essentially tracking, except in place of a unique ID, it indirectly profiles a user using a collection of technical data. Seemingly benign information such as battery level, volume, and storage can all help to establish a fingerprint. One former Apple engineer even called Apple’s Tracking Transparency a “dud” and may even give users a false sense of privacy.

In an effort to reduce operation costs, a cryptocurrency mining operator has purchased a whole power plant to power its business. Stronghold Digital Mining in Pennsylvania has purchased a power plant, which the company claims will help reclaim surrounding lands by burning waste coal. Although burning coal does reduce toxic waste in the ground, the practice also coughs up tons of CO2. The plant currently produces enough power to support 1,800 bitcoin miners, but Stronghold plans on expanding its output to support 20,000 by 2022.

Speaking of cryptocurrency, if you’re a crypto investor, then you may be better off leaving the trading decisions to your pets. One Hamster named Mr. Goxx is on the fast track to success with an impressive portfolio. The hamster chooses which crypto to trade by running on its “intention wheel,” and either sells or buys that currency by going through one of two tunnels. Mr. Goxx is also free to leave and enter its enclosure at any time. As of September 12, Mr. Goxx’s portfolio is way outperforming the Nasdaq 100 and the S&P 500. Granted, the portfolio’s value is only around $580 at its peak, but even small gains go a long way to hamster’s retirement.

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. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Friday at 3 pm. If you have a suggestion or tip, please drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thanks for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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