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theEweekly Wrap

Bitcoin in crisis – Summly founder releases Yahoo app – Facebook ditches email addresses

Beleaguered Bitcoin exchange chief faces public

The CEO of crisis-hit Bitcoin exchange MtGox has reassured users that he is "working very hard" to correct problems with the service, which has been beset by controversy since shutting down earlier this week.

Mark Karpeles acknowledged that the organisation had drawn up a document entitled MtGox Situation: Crisis Strategy Draft that subsequently found its way into the media. He also denied suggestions that he had fled Japan, where MtGox is based, saying he was still in the country.

MtGox was forced to shut down temporarily after hackers capitalised on a security loophole to steal 744,000 bitcoins, thought to be worth around £210 million.

The exchange has already had to stop account withdrawals this month after suspecting there were issues with its transaction process, but it is only recently that the full extent of the damage has come to light.

Media reports suggest the hackers fooled the system into sending double the amount of bitcoins requested, effectively by tricking it into thinking a transaction had not processed properly and releasing a repeat batch of bitcoins.

Japanese authorities are now investigating MtGox, while many users have gone to Japan in person to seek answers from the company, prompting a suggestion that Bitcoin may struggle to regain user trust.

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Summly founder brings first Yahoo app to UK

Summly creator Nick D'Aloisio has released his first UK app since joining Yahoo.

The 18-year-old, who made headlines in March last year when his news service was purchased by Yahoo for a reported £19 million , unveiled Yahoo News Digest at a World Congress event in Barcelona earlier this week.

Naturally, News Digest shares many features with Summly, with D'Aloisio suggesting he wants to recreate the feeling of reading a newspaper from cover to cover.

Users will receive updates twice a day at peak news times, firstly at around 8am and then again at 6pm. They will be able to quickly scan stories from a range of sources, including Reuters and Sky News.

D'Aloisio was keen to stress that the UK version will differ from its US counterpart, which has been available for around six weeks. He said that the service had not been "copied and pasted", but had been redone "from the ground up" to ensure relevance to the UK market.

Yahoo is already looking at ways it can improve the new app. As News Digest is currently free, its creators are exploring advertising possibilities to help monetise the venture. There is also the potential to make user news feeds more customisable in the future.

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Facebook ends email addresses and talks deceased user accounts

Facebook has discontinued the controversial '@facebook.com' email addresses assigned to users, citing a lack of engagement.

Initially introduced in 2010, they were intended to provide a space where users could receive all their messages, from Facebook notifications to texts and standard emails.

However, few took up this option, and Facebook provoked an angry reaction in 2012 when it automatically replaced the published email address of account holders with the '@facebook.com' alternative. The switch was quickly reversed.

In a busy week for the social network following its much-publicised $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp, it also announced changes to the way it deals with accounts after the user has died.

Previously, Facebook would immediately revert a profile to the highest possible privacy settings once it became aware of the situation, but it has now announced that profiles will retain the same preferences selected by the user.

Friends and family of the deceased account holder will also be able to request special editions of Facebook's new 'Look Back' videos, which will create a short highlights reel of the user's time on the site.

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Written by James Riches

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