“I can no longer imagine a world without Bitcoin” – Changpeng Zhao
Russian Flight to Safety
600%+ annual growth in merchants and retailers accepting bitcoin. 10,000 to 80,000, not bad.
On pace with website growth from 1994-1995 – Jeremy Allaire
COMPANIES / PROJECTS
Decentralized Protocols: Lazooz vs. Uber / eBay vs. Alibaba
Thanks to the Blockchain, for the first time we can develop open source, decentralized protocols with built-in data (thanks to Overlay Networks and The Blockchain), validation, and transactions that are not controlled by a single entity. This is where the traditional architecture of software businesses begins to break down. The best example of a decentralized protocol on top of a Shared Data Layer is Bitcoin, and we’re already well aware of how it’s affecting money and finance.
Companies like Ebay, Facebook and Uber are very valuable because they benefit tremendously from the network effects that come from keeping all user information in centralized in private silos and taking a cut of all the transactions. Decentralized protocols on top of the blockchain have the potential to undo every single part of the stacks that make these services valuable to consumers and investors. They can do this by, for example, creating common, decentralized data sets to which any one can plug into, and enabling peer to peer transactions powered by Bitcoin.
In fact, a number of promising teams have already begun working on the protocols that will disrupt the business models of the companies above. One example is Lazooz, a protocol for real-time ride sharing and another is OpenBazaar, a protocol for free, decentralized peer to peer marketplaces – Joel Monegro
PRIVACY / SECURITY
The Prime Mover
Technology is perhaps the most important unappreciated factor influencing the balance of power between ideologies.
When predicting dynamics of crowds people talk of candidates, demographics, the ephemeral events of the day. Technology seen mainly as tool. As technology becomes the primary driver of human events…it’ll surprise those w/ alternative notions of prime movers. The Unmoved Mover.
What’s the most powerful force in the world?
1900s: The Military
2000s: Encryption (Julian Assange: A Call to Cryptographic Arms)
Increased individual encryption use is a serious impediment to NSA mass surveillance: far stronger than any laws the U.S. Congress might pass. Aside from the genuine difficulty the agency has in cracking well-used encryption products, increased usage presents its own serious problem.
Right now, the NSA—based on the warped mindset that anyone who wants to hide what they’re saying from the NSA is probably a Bad Person—views “encryption usage” as one of its key factors in determining who is likely a terrorist.
But that only works if 10,000 people around the world use encryption. Once that number increases to 1 million, and then to 10 million, and then to default usage, the NSA will no longer be able to use encryption usage as a sign of Bad People. Rather than being a red flag, encryption will simply be a brick wall: one that individuals have placed between the snooping governments and their online activities. That is a huge change, and it is coming – Glenn Greenwald
The Internet of Things
I am now the owner of a new “smart” TV, which promises to deliver streaming multimedia content, games, apps, social media, and Internet browsing.
The amount of data this thing collects is staggering. It logs where, when, how, and for how long you use the TV. It sets tracking cookies and beacons designed to detect “when you have viewed particular content or a particular email message.” It records “the apps you use, the websites you visit, and how you interact with content.” It ignores “do-not-track” requests as a considered matter of policy.
It also has a built-in camera — with facial recognition. The purpose is to provide “gesture control” for the TV and enable you to log in to a personalized account using your face.
More troubling is the microphone. The TV boasts a “voice recognition” feature that allows viewers to control the screen with voice commands. But the service comes with a rather ominous warning: “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party.” Got that? Don’t say personal or sensitive stuff in front of the TV.
You may not be watching, but the telescreen is listening.
According to retired General David Petraeus, former head of the CIA, Internet-enabled “smart” devices can be exploited to reveal a wealth of personal data. “Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvester,” he reportedly told a venture capital firm in 2012. “We’ll spy on you through your dishwasher” read one headline.
Indeed, as the “Internet of Things” matures, household appliances and physical objects will become more networked. Your ceiling lights, thermostat, and washing machine — even your socks — may be wired to interact online. The FBI will not have to bug your living room; you will do it yourself – Michael Price
Bitmessage Independent Security Audit Coming Soon
The Bitmessage website has included, for months, the following line:
Bitmessage is in need of an independent audit to verify its security. If you are a researcher capable of reviewing the source code, please email the lead developer. You will be helping to create a great privacy option for people everywhere!
Now Kristov Atlas, a network security and privacy researcher who studies crypto-currencies, has agreed to thoroughly audit Bitmessage. Kristov Atlas is the author of “Anonymous Bitcoin: How to Keep Your Ƀ All to Yourself,” a practical guide to maximizing financial privacy with Bitcoin. Kristov is also a correspondent for the World Crypto Network, appearing regularly on the weekly roundtable show “The Bitcoin Group,” and host of “Dark News,” a show about un-censorship technologies.
Of course, a full audit of a complex cryptography software suite costs money, and therefore the CryptOpinion team will soon launch a Kickstarter fundraiser to cover the audit costs (US$ 6,600) – Giulio Prisco
* All cancer sites cases have been falling on average 0.7% each year over the last 10 years.
* Death rates have been falling on average 1.5% each year over 2002-2011.
5 Year Relative Survival:
The Roomba, the floor cleaning robot from my previous company, iRobot, is perhaps the robot with the most volition and intention of any robots out there in the world.
Most others are working in completely repetitive environments, or have a human operator providing the second by second volition for what they should do next – Rodney A. Brooks
* One-atom-thick graphene is the world’s thinnest, but also strongest, material – 200 times tougher than steel. It is also the world’s best conductor of electricity.
Scientists believe they can use the same material found in pencil lead to revolutionize the green car industry. They discovered that graphene may serve as a fuel cell membrane and even allow the harvesting of hydrogen from air.
The reason the researchers at the University of Manchester got so excited is that the fuel cells generate electricity from hydrogen. Graphene is known for its barrier qualities, and does not allow any other gases, including hydrogen itself, or liquids to pass through it, which is crucial for the fuel cell technology.
An even more exciting development is the possibility of ‘sieving’ hydrogen from the air in future and using it to react with oxygen in a fuel cell, which could then produce electricity and water without leaving a carbon footprint.
“Essentially you pump your fuel from the atmosphere and get electricity out of this fuel, in principle. Before this paper, this wouldn’t even be speculation; it would be science fiction. At least our paper provides a guidance and proof that this kind of device is possible and doesn’t contradict to any known laws of nature,” Professor Andre Geim of Manchester University, who leads the study, said as cited by the Independent.
“We are very excited about this result because it opens a whole new area of promising applications for graphene in clean energy harvesting and hydrogen-based technologies,” said Marcelo Lozada-Hidalgo, co-researcher on the study – RT News Team
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