Crypto for care homes - one bad idea

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Image caption Carlauren care homes wanted to create a crypto-currency that residents would buy into

Back in April, I wrote about an unusual scheme that saw a care home organisation create its own crypto-currency. Carlauren Care wanted residents and investors to use the currency to buy rooms in its upscale homes and what it called care "resorts."

The owner, Sean Murray, told me there was a unique feature to his Carlauren Coins, priced at £70 apiece - the company would buy them back any time at £63, meaning there were none of the risks associated with wildly volatile crypto-currencies.

He also insisted that although his initial coin offering was aiming to raise £35m, his company didn't really need the money - or, as a statement from his PR agency put it: "Unlike other offerings, Carlauren Group as a company has no current need to raise monies for its business."

When I suggested to Mr Murray that his buyback guarantee would work only if his business did not run out of money, he laughed off that idea. "I'm a visionary," he told me and went on to outline his vision of transforming the care industry through his innovative crypto-currency scheme.

Spool forward a couple of months, and all is not well at the Carlauren Group.

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Tech Tent: Should you trust smart machines?

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Should you be asking a voice-activated speaker intimate questions about your health? And is it important that the scientists behind AI systems actually understand how they work?

These are two questions we seek to answer in this week's Tech Tent podcast.

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Eye cancer: My proton beam therapy diary

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Media captionWATCH: Rory's proton therapy diary

I can't say I was looking forward to my course of treatment for an ocular melanoma. A week of radiotherapy does not sound like a holiday.

But the five days I spent earlier this month at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Wirral, proved both fascinating and more positive than I could have expected.

Read full article Eye cancer: My proton beam therapy diary

Tech Tent: Jony Ive's next chapter

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If one man has changed the way we see the gadgets we use every day it is Jony Ive. Now he is leaving Apple and on this week's Tech Tent we assess his contribution to the look and feel of consumer technology.

The man behind the design of the iPhone, the iPod and countless other i-products was just another young designer at Apple's Cupertino headquarters when Steve Jobs returned to the company in 1997.

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Nokia distances itself from boss's warning over Huawei 5G kit

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Image caption Nokia has been showing off its own 5G equipment at the Mobile World Congress expo in Shanghai

Telecoms giant Nokia has disowned the comments one of its senior executives made about rival Huawei.

Nokia's chief technology officer Marcus Weldon told the BBC that the UK should be wary of using the Chinese hardware.

Read full article Nokia distances itself from boss's warning over Huawei 5G kit

The Raspberry Pi goes Fourth

Raspberry Pi 4
Image caption Rory got his Pi 4 set up with no help from a youngster

My, hasn't it grown. It started as a modest project to get a few thousand children coding but has since become the best-selling computer ever made in the UK.

It is used by schools, hobbyists and in factories - and even turns up as a means of hacking Nasa. And on Monday, seven years after the first one went on sale, Raspberry Pi 4 is launched.

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Tech Tent: Is Facebook the future of money?

Facebook's crypto-currency Image copyright Reuters

Has Facebook's plan for a new crypto-currency proved that the bitcoin believers were right all along?

That's just one of the big questions we seek to answer in this month's Tech Tent podcast, which is a special edition all about the Libra coalition and its implications for the wider crypto-currency scene.

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Facebook’s Libra pitches to be the future of money

Libra coins

It is a hugely ambitious - some might say megalomaniacal - project to create a new global currency. Facebook's David Marcus tells me it is about giving billions of people more freedom with money and "righting the many wrongs of the present system".

The message is this is not some little side project a small team at the Facebook's Menlo Park headquarters will try out for a few months before moving on to something else - this is both the future of Facebook and the future of money, an initiative that has seen an alliance of big players in payments such as Paypal and Visa, Silicon Valley players such as Uber and Lyft and major venture capital firms, a kind of Avengers: Endgame of technology and finance superheroes come together to make the world a better place.

Read full article Facebook’s Libra pitches to be the future of money

Who will pay for trusted news?

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Here is the good news about journalism - more people are worried about misinformation and so are turning to more reputable sources of information. But here's the bad news - they seem no more inclined to pay for good journalism.

Those are just two of the headlines from this year's Digital News Report, a major research project from the Reuters Institute at Oxford University, based on an online survey of 75,000 people in 38 countries.

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Is Huawei in retreat?

Huawei and Android logos Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Huawei's access to the Android operating system was restricted by Google on Monday

It is the Chinese tech titan that is number one in telecoms equipment and has soared to second place in smartphone sales.

But after a terrible week in which many of its partners cut off ties, and it found itself at the centre of a war of words between the US and China, Tech Tent asks whether Huawei is now in full retreat.

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