Daily Archives: April 16, 2018

nChain Releases Nakasendo™ Software Development Kit

LONDON, April 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — nChain, the global leader in research and development of blockchain technologies, is pleased announce that it has completed version 1.0 of its new Nakasendo™ software development kit (SDK).  The SDK is being made available now to selected partners in an initial testing pool, and will be made available more publicly at a later time.

The SDK is named after an ancient trail connecting Edo (modern day Tokyo) to Kyoto; in Japanese language, “nakasendo” means “road through the middle mountains” or “central mountain route.”    Through its Nakasendo™ SDK, nChain will provide software libraries that help application developers navigate the complexities of blockchain development, and accelerate their work to make blockchain technologies used by major enterprises across the globe.

Version 1.0 of the SDK focuses on providing a cryptographic library, to allow for a more flexible method of key generation and sharing.  This cryptographic library can be used to improve security for any cryptocurrency exchange, and more broadly for controlling access to any type of digital asset or resource.  It incorporates these two patent-pending assets from nChain’s intellectual property portfolio:

  • WO2017145016 (Deterministic Key Generation): “Determining a common secret for the secure exchange of information and hierarchical deterministic cryptographic keys” provides a method whereby two connected nodes, with no trust relationship between them can derive a deterministic hierarchy of each other’s public keys through simply sharing their respective public keys and a message of some format, where the respective private keys can still only be generated by the owner of that private key. Further information on this method can be found on nChain’s website at https://nchain.com/en/blog/nchains-security-inventions/
  • WO201714510 (Secure Split Key technique): “Secure Multiparty loss resistant Storage and Transfer of Cryptographic Keys for blockchain based systems in conjunction with a wallet management system” provides a method derived from, but distinct to, “Shamir’s secret sharing scheme” whereby a key can be split into multiple shares and then, in conjunction with the method defined in WO2017145016 above, these parts can be shared using a common encryption key. Further information on this method can be found on nChain’s website at https://nchain.com/en/blog/nchains-security-inventions/

Both of these patent-pending innovations can provide significant security benefits to prevent “Mt. Gox-type” hacks of cryptocurrency wallets.  They can also be used far beyond Bitcoin and blockchain environments – for any situation in which sensitive data, assets, communications or controlled resources need to be secured.  nChain Chief Scientist Dr. Craig Wright is a key inventor for these two assets.

nChain is providing the Nakasendo™ SDK for use under a newly-created “nChain Open Bitcoin Cash License.”  This Open Bitcoin Cash License allows royalty-free usage of copyrights to software in the SDK libraries, and any associated patents that read directly on such software – but only for users to create software or applications that operate on the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) blockchain.   nChain’s license is modelled after the Microsoft Limited Public License, which provides free right to use certain Microsoft software to create works that run on a Microsoft Windows operating system product.  Just like Microsoft’s Limited Public License has a platform limitation for free usage, nChain’s license limits free usage to the Bitcoin Cash blockchain.

nChain Group’s CEO Jimmy Nguyen explains:

“We are excited to reach this milestone with the Nakasendo™ SDK, which will help developers navigate the mountains of blockchain work. Although the SDK libraries will be useful for developers on any blockchain or digital platform, we want to use key elements of nChain’s patent portfolio to help benefit the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem.  That is why we are providing the SDK for free usage only for applications and products that operate on the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) blockchain.  The SDK is one of many tools nChain will use to ignite the BCH blockchain, and help re-invent the business world.”

nChain aims to continue development of its Nakasendo™ library to incorporate further cryptographic techniques and other blockchain optimisations in future releases.

If you are interested in receiving access to the Nakasendo™ SDK when it is more publicly released, please send an email to contact@nchain.com.

ABOUT NCHAIN GROUP: The nChain Group is the global leader in research and development of blockchain technologies.  Its mission is to enable massive growth and worldwide adoption of the Bitcoin network – focusing on Bitcoin Cash as the true Bitcoin.  The nChain Group includes four business units:  1) nChain Limited – a blockchain research and development service provider in London, United Kingdom; 2) nChain Holdings Limited – a intellectual property holding and commercialization company; 3) nChain Reaction – an investment entity which supports ventures that have Bitcoin Cash products or applications; and 4) nCrypt – a Bitcoin wallet and exchange in Canada.  (nCrypt is currently known as nTrust, but will be re-branding in 2018 to reflect its move to focus on Bitcoin).

Website:  nChain.com

Twitter:  @nChainGlobal

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/676849/Nakasendo.jpg

Hanergy Unveils Next Generation Hantile Solution

Company’s new solar-embedded roof tile once again sets the standard for energy efficient buildings

BEIJING, April 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Hanergy today introduced a new generation of its flagship Hantile building product that is lighter, thinner, more flexible, and features superior performance. The new Hantile combines Hanergy’s world-leading flexible thin-film solar panels with high-transmittance glass to create an innovative product capable of high-efficiency power generation that can fully replace traditional roof tiles. Hantile makes ultra-low-energy buildings and even net-zero energy buildings possible, reducing or eliminating dependence on traditional energy sources.

rooftop tiles

“We’re delighted to introduce the next generation of our innovative Hantile building solution,” said Hanergy founder Mr. Li Hejun. “With its industry leading energy generation capabilities and suitability for any building, I am confident that Hantile will set a new benchmark for new energy applications in building construction.”

The new Hantile features a single rather than double layer of glass with each tile weighing only 5.2 kilograms. Combined with its unique C-type slot structure, Hantile’s light-weight greatly improves ease of installation. With Hantile, Hanergy has pioneered the use of ultra-white tempered glass, which features a transmittance level of 91.5%, and possesses extreme durability and ability to withstand heavy impacts. The single glass Hantile is also highly wind resistant and able to generate power at temperatures ranging from -40 to -85 degrees Celsius, and humidity higher than 85%. Hantile features a life cycle of up to 30 years, longer than traditional roof tiles.

In terms of environmental value, the estimated environmental value of each 25W watts of Hantile is equivalent to planting a single tree.  The 100 square meters of Hantile is equivalent to planting 340 trees

Hanergy’s ability to achieve such a major upgrade in less than a year is a result of its continuous technological innovation. In the past year, Hanergy has achieved 3 world records in the R&D and mass production efficiency of thin-film chips: the efficiency of its GaAs single-junction mass production modules has reached 25.1%; the total area efficiency its of copper-indium-gallium-selenium (CIGS) glass-based modules has reached 17.52%; and the efficiency of its flexible sputtering components has reached 17.88%. All have been certified by international authorities as the latest world records.

Hanergy currently has more than 2,300 patents worldwide.

For more event pictures, please refer to

https://gallery.vphotos.cn/vphotosgallery/index.html?vphotowechatid=258EE400B95C7C2629EBD9F0DC1F583F

Hanergy, the world’s largest clean energy company, has a comprehensive clean energy solution, covering hydro-power, wind-power, and solar power. Since 2009, Hanergy focuses on thin-film solar power research and development, and is launching a series of products including solar roof tiles, foldable solar-paper power bank, solar backpack, Building Integrated Photovoltaics, solar roads and many others. With a worldwide staff of more than 16,000, Hanergy is devoted to providing the world a clean energy solution for a better life and sustainable world.

Media contact
Mark Lu
Email: LUFENG@hanergy.com
Phone: +86(10) 83914567 ext 5259

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/677152/Hanergy_rooftop_tiles.jpg

As Drought Keeps Men on the Road, Mauritania’s Pastoralist Women Take Charge

Every year when the pastoralist men in Fatima Demba’s Mauritanian village return from their months-long journey to find pastures and water, the women erupt in wild celebrations.

“We draw henna tattoos on our bodies, we braid our hair, we wear our nicest clothes,” she said, re-adjusting her bright yellow and blue robe.

Yet although she longs for her husband to come home, Demba sees one benefit in his absence.

“I am in charge of everything,” she told the Thomson Foundation, sitting in the shade of a mud-brick hut in Mafoundou village. “Our money, our field of millet even the village’s borehole is my responsibility.”

Prolonged dry spells in this southern region of Mauritania have depleted grazing land, forcing pastoralists to travel ever longer distances to search for food and water for their herds.

That gives women in these predominantly male-dominated societies newfound power to manage harvests, the family’s remaining animals and household finances, experts say.

“Women pastoralists are the first up in the morning and the last to go to bed at night,” said Aminetou Mint Maouloud, who started the country’s first association of women herders in 2014.

“Whether it’s making butter from cow milk, fetching wood or tending to ill animals, it all comes down to women,” she added.

Worsening Drought

Livestock herding is a traditional way of making a living in West Africa’s Sahel, a semi-arid belt below the Sahara, but herders have become increasingly vulnerable to food insecurity as climate change disrupts rain patterns in the region.

That is particularly true in the impoverished desert nation of Mauritania, according to El Hacen Ould Taleb, head of the Groupement National des Associations Pastorales (GNAP), a charity working with pastoralists.

“Transhumance the seasonal migration of pastoralists and their herds to neighboring Senegal or Mali normally starts in October but the rains were so bad last year that people started leaving in August,” he said.

His organization is helping pastoralists find smarter migration routes with water sources and markets along the way, for example as part of the British government-funded Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) program.

Demba, whose husband has been gone for seven months, says she does not know when he will return.

“He has no choice, he must save our animals,” she said, pausing to take a sip of a glass of green mint tea.

In the meantime, “the family depends on me,” she added.

Under-recognized

Although women play a crucial role in pastoralism, it is rarely acknowledged, according to Mint Maouloud.

“A man will listen to everything his wife whispers on the pillow, but in the morning she won’t get any credit for it,” she said.

To change that, her association has elected a council of eight women from villages around the country. Together they lobby the country’s government on pastoralism issues.

“We tell them where an animal clinic might be needed, or which markets are best for specific kinds of animals,” she explained.

Their suggestions could find an unusually understanding ear.

Since Mauritania’s livestock ministry was created in 2014, both of its leaders have been women.

Vatma Vall Mint Soueina, the current minister, says women seeking political roles is “extremely encouraging” and that she has seen women grow in economic clout.

“We are seeing women becoming more independent, by virtue of being so active economically,” she said from her office in Nouakchott, the capital.

Financial Independence

In Hadad village, amid stretches of sand and dirt dotted with the odd wilting tree, a dozen women huddle under a large tent covered with striped rugs.

Mariem Mint Lessiyad, a tiny woman with piercing brown eyes, chats energetically to the group, interrupted only by a bleating baby goat.

She leads a cooperative of 100 pastoralist women from nearby villages who buy chickens and sheep to raise and slaughter, selling affordable portions to local families.

“There is less meat going around, so we need to be clever with how we consume it,” she said.

The women buy a sheep for 12,000 Mauritanian ouguiya ($34), for instance, and make a profit of about 2,000 ouguiya ($6) per animal, she said.

They plan to reinvest the surplus in setting up a leather goods business.

“We can’t rely on our husbands to support us financially. They are too poor, especially now that they have to spend more money on keeping our animals healthy,” Mint Lessiyad said.

Mint Maouloud and her association are trying to persuade financial institutions to make it easier for women to get loans, so groups like Mint Lessiyad’s can get ahead.

Access to finance can be problematic, she said, with some banks outright refusing to lend money to women.

“It’s important to make women herders more independent financially, so they don’t rely on their husbands’ generosity or understanding,” she added.

Source: Voice of America

Government activities for 16 to 22 Apr

Government has scheduled the following briefings/activities for the week 16 – 22 April 2018. The activities, which are aligned to the National Development Plan and outlined in the Medium Term Strategic Framework 2014-2019, are undertaken to build a better South Africa.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ms Elizabeth Thabethe, will on Monday, 16 April officiate the graduation ceremonies in Jozini and Winterton, KwaZulu-Natal where more than two hundred learners will receive the CATHSSETA accredited National Certificates in Food and Beverages Services and National Certificates in Accommodation Services.

The graduation ceremonies will conclude with an Imbizo, affording the Deputy Minister as well as the leadership and executives of the municipalities an opportunity to engage with the community on tourism opportunities for the youth, women and entrepreneurs.

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) will host the Customs Cooperation Meeting, which is a representation of the heads of customs authorities from BRICS member countries. The heads of customs administrations from BRICS member countries will meet in Durban from 18 to 19 April 2018.

This meeting will be preceded by a customs experts meeting at the same venue from 16 to 17 April 2018. These meetings are part of government wide departmental meetings which form part of the build-up to the 10th BRICS Summit which South Africa will host as chair of BRICS in July 2018.

The Minister of Transport, Dr. Bonginkosi Blade Nzimande, will release the preliminary report on the 2018 Easter Road Safety Campaign on Tuesday, 17 April at the Imbizo Media Centre, Cape Town at 12h00. The Minister’s preliminary report will give an overview of joint multi-faceted law enforcement and awareness operations undertaken over the Easter period throughout the country, and a comparison and analysis of the successes and shortcomings of the campaign.

The Minister of Mineral Resources, Mr Gwede Mantashe, will on Wednesday, 18 April, officially open the first KwaZulu-Natal Mining Summit, in Blackrock Garden Court, Newcastle at 08:00 am. The Mining Summit aims at unlocking opportunities for small enterprises, budding miners and emerging industrialists.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a special official funeral, Category 1 for Dr Zola Skweyiya former Minister of Social Development and Public Service and Administration. The Official Memorial Service will take place on the 18 April 2018. The venue and time of the Memorial Service will be announced shortly. The funeral service will take place on the 21 April 2018 at CRC Church, Corner Lynnwood road and Solomon Mahlangu Drive, Pretoria.

BirdLife South Africa together with Rand Water, Department of Environmental Affairs, Joburg City Parks and Zoo and the Rare Finch Conservation Group will officially launch the 2018 Flufftail Festival at the Johannesburg Zoo from 20 � 21 April. The educational initiative is aimed at creating awareness on wetlands, water birds and water. The Flufftail Festival will be open to the public with opportunities to participate in the activities.

The Department of Labour continues with its briefing sessions on the National Minimum Wage (NMW), with a focus on the applications for exemption to the bill. The department will brief the Limpopo province (Tzaneen on 16 April and Polokwane on 17 April), and the Free State province (Bloemfontein on 19 April and Bethlehem 20 April).

All members of the media are advised that the media briefings/activities are subject to change. However, the GCIS will update the media through advisories.

Source: Government of South Africa

Somalia Starts Talks to Ease Tensions With UAE

The Somali government said Monday that it has opened conciliatory talks with United Arab Emirates leaders on Monday, a day after the UAE said it would disband a training program for Somali military forces in the East African country.

The talks aim to resolve a diplomatic spat after Somali security forces seized three bags of cash from a UAE-registered civil aircraft at Mogadishu’s Airport on April 8.

The United Arab Emirates said the $9.6 million was intended to cover the salaries of 2,407 Somali soldiers and to run three training centers. The UAE did not name the three, believed to be located in Mogadishu, Bosaso and Kismayo, where a newly built center has not been officially inaugurated.

The Somali government had said the money was being held in the central bank pending an investigation into whether it was actually to pay soldiers or to bribe politicians to “destabilize” the country.

Somali Foreign Minister Ahmed Isse Awad told VOA Somali that talks have begun “between the top leadership from the two countries and are progressing well.” He did not elaborate on the venue or format, but said no third country was mediating.

Somalia’s foreign ministry says the Somali government “has sought to clarify facts surrounding recent developments in order to remove any room for misunderstanding between the two governments and peoples. This effort continues.

The ministry statement confirmed lengthy deliberations,” adding that “the UAE has explained the purpose and the utilization of the said funds and the federal government will work together with the UAE on their utilization.

As of Monday afternoon, VOA had not been able to confirm negotiations with the UAE’s ambassador to Somalia, Mohammed Ahmed Othman Al Hammadi.

Military training threatened

Somalia took this softer stance just hours after the United Arab Emirates announced that it would disband its Somali military training program, started in 2014.

“The UAE has expressed its denunciation of the seizure incident, which flies in the face of diplomatic traditions and ties between world countries and contravenes the agreements signed by both countries,” read Sunday’s statement from the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi.

Before the UAE announcement, Somalia’s defense minister told state media that the government no longer would accept UAE funding for the Somali forces. Mohamed Mursal Sheikh Abdirahman also said that troops trained by UAE would be merged with other divisions.

On Saturday, the UAE evacuated dozens of trainers from Somalia’s coastal city of Bosaso, where they have been training Puntland regional maritime police forces. A source to close to the UAE Embassy in Mogadishu said the number of trainers was reduced but did not say how many remained.

Somali regional leader Abdiweli Mohamed Ali told VOA he has requested continued UAE training support.

Questions about cash

Somali officials initially rejected the UAE’s explanation for the plane carrying unmarked bags of cash. They blamed the UAE ambassador, Al Hammadi, who was at the airport to receive the money.

“The ambassador refused [to let] the bags to be examined with metal detectors, electronic scanning or canine sniffing without opening or detaining the bag, which was a simple solution to the problem,” a Somali official told VOA Somali.

Somalia denied it violated international diplomatic norms in seizing the money.

“If a ‘diplomatic bag’ is used to deliver illegal articles such as weapons [or] cash, then the bag is violable,” said a senior government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

UAE officials argued that Somali officials knew the money was coming.

VOA investigation

Gen. Abdiweli Jama Gorod, Somali National Army commander, told VOA Somali that he was approached by UAE officials on the day the money arrived in Mogadishu and asked to write a letter to the airport manager requesting the money’s release to UAE.

But Gorod said he was not told the amount of money. He said he told UAE officials to accept a bag search.

Discrepancies in the money’s sourcing also raised Somali officials’ suspicions at the airport, VOA has learned.

Gorod’s letter, obtained by VOA Somali, said the money was coming from Bosaso in Puntland, where UAE has been running a training camp. But Somali aviation officials said the plane came directly from the UAE.

A second letter, obtained by VOA Somali and dated April 5, informed the Somali national army about the money. It indicated that $6 million was allocated for the Mogadishu training center, with the remaining $3.6 million was intended for the Bosaso training center.

Relations between Somalia and the UAE have worsened since Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s administration resisted pressure to cut ties with Qatar and took a neutral position on a dispute between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Last month, the Somali government rejected an agreement between the UAE’s Dubai World, Somaliland and Ethiopia over Berbera port, claiming the deal “violates the territorial integrity of Somalia.”

Source: Voice of America