Monday 24th February

BITCOIN

The Bitcoin economy is growing and expanding by the day, with ever more of a commercial infrastructure. – Jeffrey Tucker

 

Price

Seeing super super new lows in bitcoin pricing- a good time to buy or hold? It’s crazy how low it’s got right?

The lowest low of an exchange suspected to be insolvent is 10 times higher than the January 2013 price. I buy each Monday – Andreas Antonopoulos

 

Bitcoin Vs. Gold & Silver

Most of us believe, or at one point believed, that money should be a commodity. But I think even more fundamentally we believe that markets choose their money, and I think when we see the flight from the dollar, that network effect, I think the door is wide open for bitcoin in a way that it is not open for gold.

I don’t know of any restaurants that accept gold. I don’t know of any place where you can buy electronics for gold.

There’s a libertarian conference that happens every year in New Hampshire called PorcFest. They really try and live absent the state. With that in mind, they had a little market set up at this conference every year, where they traded in silver.

This past year, no silver whatsoever. It was all in bitcoin. – Roman Skaskiw

 

Regression Theorem

– Carl Menger said money has to have its origins in the market place as a consumer good (It was originally purchased for a reason in and of itself). How does that fit with Bitcoin?

There are many metaphors for Bitcoin. One of the best is a big ledger, and you’re renting space in this ledger. So it’s not scarcity in the commodity sense, but it’s scarcity in the service sense.

If you want to make Mises’ Regression Theorem work with Bitcoin, you have to do a little bit of gymnastics and argue that it’s a service and not a commodity. And it’s a service that predates Bitcoin.

Before Bitcoin came on the scene, I paid $30 for wire transfers or 2%+ for Paypal transactions and credit cards take their percentages. So a demand for this service does predate the existence of bitcoin.

Think of it not as a coin, but a ledger, and you rent space in this ledger in order to use it for the sending money.

I think that’s the best way to square Bitcoin with Mises and Menger, but I’m not sure how valuable an exercise that is because they were very much engaged in untangling all the mediums of exchanges of their day which is why I think the colloquial definition of money is best. – Roman Skaskiw

 

 

ALT-COINS

Money

Money is just a database entry – Jered Kenna

 

Ethereum

Chirs Powell pointed that it is too early to say whether many of the emerging altcoins will succeed over time. He pointed to Ethereum specifically, saying that it is “months away” from having software that is ready. – Daniel Cawrey

Very interested and will be testing ethereum as soon as it launches. Want to buy ethereum contracts with Bitcoin. – Andreas Antonopoulos

 

 

COMPANIES

Google

Google has gone on an unprecedented shopping spree and is in the throes of assembling what looks like the greatest artificial intelligence laboratory on Earth; a laboratory designed to feast upon a resource of a kind that the world has never seen before: truly massive data. Our data. From the minutiae of our lives.

Google has bought almost every machine-learning and robotics company it can find, or at least, rates.

It made headlines two months ago, when it bought Boston Dynamics, the firm that produces spectacular, terrifyingly life-like military robots, for an “undisclosed” but undoubtedly massive sum. It spent $3.2bn (£1.9bn) on smart thermostat maker Nest Labs. And this month, it bought the secretive and cutting-edge British artificial intelligence startup DeepMind for £242m.

And those are just the big deals. It also bought Bot & Dolly, Meka Robotics, Holomni, Redwood Robotics and Schaft, and another AI startup, DNNresearch. It hired Geoff Hinton, a British computer scientist who’s probably the world’s leading expert on neural networks. And it has embarked upon what one DeepMind investor told the technology publication Re/code two weeks ago was “a Manhattan project of AI”.

If artificial intelligence was really possible, and if anybody could do it, he said, “this will be the team”. The future, in ways we can’t even begin to imagine, will be Google’s. – Carole Cadwalladr

 

 

PRIVACY

The First 3 Generations of Bitcoin Mixing (great privacy overview by Kristov Atlas)  – Jon Matonis

 

THE SINGULARITY
Life Expectancy

My health regime is a wake-up call to my baby-boomer peers, most of whom are accepting the normal cycle of life and accepting they are getting to the end of their productive years. That’s not my view. Now that health and medicine is in information technology it is going to expand exponentially. We will see very dramatic changes ahead.

According to my model it’s only 10-15 years away from where we’ll be adding more than a year every year to life expectancy because of progress. It’s kind of a tipping point in longevity. – Ray Kurzweil

 

Ray Kurzweil’s Job at Google

“I thought about if I had all the money in the world, what would I want to do?” he says. “And I would want to do this. This project. This is not a new interest for me. This idea goes back 50 years. I’ve been thinking about artificial intelligence and how the brain works for 50 years.”

Kurzweil’s job description consists of a one-line brief. “I don’t have a 20-page packet of instructions,” he says. “I have a one-sentence spec. Which is to help bring natural language understanding to Google. And how they do that is up to me.”

“My project is ultimately to base search on really understanding what the language means,” he said. “When you write an article, you’re not creating an interesting collection of words. You have something to say and Google is devoted to intelligently organising and processing the world’s information.

“The message in your article is information, and the computers are not picking up on that. So we would want them to read everything on the web and every page of every book, then be able to engage in intelligent dialogue with the user to be able to answer their questions.” – Carole Cadwalladr

 

Speech Recognition

Speak in English, they hear in Chinese in your voice, and vice versa. Demo already live

Today, translation is happening in textboxes. But wait till you click someone’s Oculus avatar to suddenly hear them speaking your tongue. You might even imagine a programmable Jawbone headset which would allow the same realtime translation to happen in the real world. – Balaji S. Srinivasan, Partner at Andreessen Horowitz

 

 

PLACES

Britain

The extent of the Queen and Prince Charles’s secretive power of veto over new laws has been exposed after Downing Street lost its battle to keep information about its application secret.

Whitehall papers prepared by Cabinet Office lawyers show that overall at least 39 bills have been subject to the most senior royals’ little-known power to consent to or block new laws. They also reveal the power has been used to torpedo proposed legislation relating to decisions about the country going to war.

“This is opening the eyes of those who believe the Queen only has a ceremonial role,” said Andrew George.

“There has been an implication that these prerogative powers are quaint and sweet but actually there is real influence and real power, albeit unaccountable,” said John Kirkhope, the legal scholar who fought the freedom of information case to access the papers.

The Queen uses revenues from the Duchy of Lancaster’s 19,000 hectares of land and 10 castles to pay for the upkeep of her private homes at Sandringham and Balmoral, while the prince earns £18m-a-year from the Duchy of Cornwall. – Robert Booth

 

Wuhan

A remaking of the landscape that would have daunted Egypt’s pharaohs and the Romans.
I’ve been to China many times and witnessed its explosive growth, but whats going on here in Wuhan is beyond anything I’ve ever seen. – Robert Peston 

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