Thursday 14th August

BITCOIN 

Dell Servers Purchased with Bitcoin

Michael Dell posted to his Twitter account that Dell servers were bought and paid for in Bitcoin. This order was for more than 85 BTC or more than $50k USD.

Since Dell was taken private recently, it seems as if the company is responding faster and regaining the momentum that they used to have.

Dell would have had to take either a wire transfer or credit card. The wire transfer is a pain for everyone and far from instant, and the credit card would have cost ~$1,000 in fees for that one purchase. Taking the cost and hassle out transferring property will truly speed up the economy. It will truly make a business more profitable by reducing accounting costs and speeding up cash flow. This purchase is what I think Bitcoin is all about – btcrack 

 

A Legal Challenge is Coming: Bitcoin is Fully Protected by the First Amendment

Taxation policy is not applicable in any way to Bitcoin, in the same way that it is not applicable to Mozilla Firefox. There is no reason to categorize Bitcoin as money, when it can be used for literally any purpose that has to do with digital signatures and public proofs. A small number of influential people, none of which have the capacity to invent Bitcoin are now placing themselves as the the men at the helm of an invention that they did not create, advocating that other men who they do not know should be restricted in what programmes they write on their computers. This is the very definition of unethical.

I assure you that a legal challenge is coming to utterly destroy the misconceptions about Bitcoin, and there is legal precedent for this. The PGP munitions export case proved once and for all that software is not a device or munitions, and is fully protected by the first amendment of the constitution. Bitcoin is no different in any way. It can be printed out, just like source code can, and this is a first amendment protected act. Bitcoin is not money; it is speech, and in the USA, no law can be made controlling or restricting it.

You could carry a book of Bitcoins with you, and scan and unlock them on a page by page basis and be absolutely immune from interdiction or prosecution, or taxation for that matter. Its either that, or throw out the constitution – Beautyon

Every minute spent arguing about govt regulations is a minute not spent innovating and pushing the world forward – Roger Ver

 

 

MINING

Inside a Bitcoin Mine in Rural Northeast China

The mining operation resides on an old, repurposed factory floor, and contains 2500 machines hashing away at 230 Gh/s, each. (That’s 230 billion calculations per second, per unit).

The place consumes a massive amount of electricity. The operators told me that the power bill of this specific operation is in excess of ¥400,000 per month (that’s about $60,000 USD).

The farm employs three people whose job it is to monitor the machinery and make sure that all the machines are working properly. They work around the clock, in three shifts, and do a walkabout of the floor once per hour to check everything.

Getting the opportunity to visit this mining operation was very eye-opening for me. Walking around the warehouse floor, I was struck with a feeling of awe that THIS is what keeps bitcoin alive. That even if someone wanted to bring down bitcoin, they’d have to outdo these guys and the dozens of other operations like this around the world. The decentralized nature of it all… that this is just one operation among many, run by different operators in different countries around the world – Bitsmith

 

 

ALTCOINS

Learning from Altcoins

In general, the most interesting alt coins are the ones that fail in a unique and spectacular way that we can learn from. Freicoin is an excellent real-world falsification of the desirability of demurrage – Justus Ranvier

 

Cryptonote Coins

The technically best anon coins (so, CryptoNotes; ie Monero) are really the only interesting alts (cuz Bitcoin will nvr do that) – Dan McArdle

CryptoNote is getting crowded. Now at least 12 coins implementing CryptoNote: https://cryptonote.org/coins/ Kristov Atlas

 

 

EQUITIES

Expensive US Stocks

Using Professor Robert Shiller’s cyclically adjusted price / earnings ratio for the broad US stock market, US stocks have only been more expensive than they are today on two occasions in the past 130 years: in 1929, and in 2000 – Tim Price, PFP Wealth Management

 

 

PLACES

Competing Autonomous Startup Cities

We’ve been amazed by the warm response this idea has received around the world. In just the few years since we started, two nations, Honduras and the Republic of Georgia, have made significant strides toward using autonomous cities for reform.

The bigger reality is that many countries are already moving in this direction. Thousands of special zones for business already exist – they just don’t have the autonomy or scale to grow into full-fledged cities. Without enough autonomy, they also can’t compete effectively with each other.

But all the pieces of Startup Cities are already out there. China’s autonomous Special Economic Zones have long competed fiercely to attract entrepreneurs. In the early 2000s, Dubai pioneered small zones with independent legal systems. Switzerland and Liechtenstein have extremely effective local governance and Singapore remains a prosperous city-state. Even the United States incorporates new municipalities every year.

It’s proven much harder than people thought to create vibrant hubs for business around the world. Countries tend to make the same mistakes: overvaluing ‘concrete and classrooms’. Start-up communities are made by their people. Instead of spending money on lavish facilities or expanding universities, nations should look at how they can make life easier and more attractive for small-scale entrepreneurs.

The developing world is full of ‘new city’ projects like Songdo in South Korea or Masdar in Abu Dhabi. Unfortunately, governments tend to make the same mistake that they do with traditional start-up hubs. They focus on building big offices and superhighways instead of making social life attractive and easy for entrepreneurs with reliable courts, low crime, fun nightlife, and police that don’t extort you.

Make it easy for immigrants to come and start a business. Make the streets safe so that people mix naturally in bustling cafés and clubs. It’s about people and their creativity, not big new offices. There’s a similar problem in how nations are approaching ‘new city’ projects. Governments are laying out millions or billions for infrastructure, as though people are only concerned with art museums and wide sidewalks. You can see the disastrous results of this in China’s many ‘ghost cities’, where magnificent cities have almost no residents – Zachary Cacaeres

 

The Best Cities to Live and Work Remotely

1) Chiang Mai, Thailand

2) Taipei, Taiwan

3) Bangkok, Thailand

4) Phnom Penh, Cambodia

5) Riga, Latvia

nomadlist.io

 

 

THE SINGULARITY

Nanomedicine

The use of nanosize materials, comparable in dimension to some proteins, DNA, RNA, and oligosaccharides, is making waves in diverse biomedical fields, including biosensing, imaging, drug delivery, and even surgery.

Nearly 50 biomedical products incorporating nanoparticles are already on the market, and many more are moving through the pipeline, with dozens in Phase 2 or Phase 3 clinical trials.

With these and other nanoplatforms for targeted drug delivery being tested in animal models, medicine is now approaching the prototypic magic bullet, sparing healthy tissue while exterminating disease – Guizhi Zhu, Lei Mei, and Weihong Tan

“Five years from now every pharma will have a nano program.” – Christopher Guiffre

 

Watson

Researchers at IBM are experimenting with a room where executives go to talk over business problems with a version of Watson, the computer system that defeated two Jeopardy! champions on TV in 2012.

The lab looks more or less like a normal meeting space, but with a giant display taking up one wall, and an array of microphones installed in the ceiling.

In a live demonstration, it helped researchers role-playing as executives to generate a short list of companies to acquire.

First, Watson was brought up to speed by being directed, verbally, to read over an internal memo summarizing the company’s strategy for artificial intelligence. It was then asked by one of the researchers to use that knowledge to generate a long list of candidate companies. “Watson, show me companies between $15 million and $60 million in revenue relevant to that strategy,” he said.

After the humans in the room talked over the results Watson displayed on screen, they called out a shorter list for Watson to put in a table with columns for key characteristics. After mulling some more, one of them said: “Watson, make a suggestion.” The system ran a set of decision-making algorithms and bluntly delivered its verdict: “I recommend eliminating Kawasaki Robotics.” When Watson was asked to explain, it simply added. “It is inferior to Cognilytics in every way.”

By surfacing that kind of information, Watson could change the dynamics of group interactions for the better. Watson could enhance collective intelligence by facilitating turn taking, or having a neutral presence that can help prevent groupthink. For example, people may feel freer to question their boss’s opinion if Watson is the first to suggest there is another way of looking at a problem – Tom Simonite

 

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