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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

HP expands Sure View to make sure people can't view your screen – CNET

The built-in privacy screen jumps from laptops to monitors and desktops.
Source: CNET

CES 2019 has LavvieBot litter box: A smart place for cats to poop – CNET

Scooping your cat’s doo-doo is so last year.
Source: CNET

The YKarma experiment

Blockchains are boring now. It’s been ten years since Bitcoin launched, and cryptocurrencies have almost exclusively been used to recapitulate existing monetary systems in slightly new forms. This is boring. Programmable currencies give us the ability to build whole new categories of economies, ones which reject all traditional assumptions about how value is generated, transferred, or stored. It’s past time to start experimenting with such systems.

Putting my reputation where my mouth is, your (not-so-)humble correspondent has done just that. Specifically, I have created, and open-sourced, an experimental, blockchain-based, non-monetary economy, one which quantifies reputation as a spendable currency within a gift economy.

I’m not doing this in the hopes it will take over the world. I’m doing this in the hopes it will be one of many experimental blockchain-based economies that reject the tenets of traditional monetary capitalism, some of which might actually take root.

Not that I’m opposed to capitalism. (A surprisingly controversial stance, in the Bay Area where I live.) It’s great up to a point. But there’s no reason to think that it’s the final system forever, the end of all economic history, until the heat death of the universe. Blockchains give us the first real opportunity to experiment with, and the first technological substrate for, new kinds of scalable, quantified, post-capitalist economies … but nobody seems to even be trying.

And so, without further ado, I give you the YKarma Manifesto. (Every weird idea needs a good manifesto.) The basic concept: to model reputation as a spendable currency, every person in a community or organization is allotted “karma coins” to distribute each week. These must be given away to other people before they can be used. The recipients can then spend these coins on various rewards — a day off, a conference ticket, a coffee with someone notable, etc etc etc.

(Please note: this is a reputation economy, i.e. modeling reputation as a private spendable currency, not, repeat not, a reputation system, i.e. some kind of “social credit rating” like China’s. The former is an interesting idea worthy of experimentation. The latter is a dystopia waiting to happen. The two are very different.)

If I sound like I’m being too harsh on the blockchain status quo — well, remember last year, when the cryptocurrency hype was at a peak, along with the aspirational excitement? Blockchains were going to change everything, remake whole economies, restructure the Internet, replace VC with ICOs, seize power from the megacorporations and return it to the people.

That was then. Now blockchains have settled on exactly one killer application: a worldwide unregulated permissionless trading market for penny stocks cryptocurrencies, which I call the “crypto casino.” Oh, they’re occasionally used for transferring money, and for the odd prediction market or digital collectible, and if Bitcoin’s value ever stabilized it would make for a pretty good store of value and hedge against inflation–

— but let’s not kid ourselves. Take a hard look at how people actually use blockchains today, and you can’t help but conclude that basically all we have built is a casino … one which really has only one game.

It’s a casino with some extremely interesting tensions, such as permissionlessness and privacy vs. KYC and AML. It’s a casino whose chips are inherently anti-authoritarian, which is no small thing. It’s a casino which may grow into a full-fledged market for e.g. security tokens. But even then, it’s still just fintech.

True, there are a lot of really interesting meta-projects devoted to new kinds of blockchains (and other decentralized consensus systems), and pan-chain efforts such as Cosmos and Polkadot, and second-layer initiatives such as Lightning, and scaling, and privacy, and decentralized storage/chat/identity, and so on and so forth. There are my two favorites, Blockstack and FOAM.

But most of those, and all of those meta-projects, only matter to people already in the space. To ordinary people, these kinds of initiatives remain as utterly meaningless and eye-rollingly irrelevant as, say, Linux’s systemd wars are to Windows and Mac users.

So let’s broaden the horizon of our experimentation some, and stop greedily trying to make money. Indeed, let’s start experimenting with systems which are explicitly not about money; which are the opposite of money. Let’s start experimenting with reputation economies, or gift economies, or somehow quantifying commodity pathways, or even cultural economies.

If that piques any of your interest, go take a look at YKarma. (It seems strangely appropriate for me to make use of the social, and arguably cultural, capital of my position as a TechCrunch columnist to exhort you to do so.) What I most hope for is not that you start using it; it’s that you fork it, use it as a basis for building your own new avant-garde post-capitalist economic experiment, and help make blockchains weird again.


Source: TechCrunch

Romney, Pelosi, Warren, and More Pave the Runway for 2020

Surely things on the internet will be better than they were in 2018, right? Oh, wait…
Source: Wired

Space and Time Could Be a Quantum Error-Correcting Code

The fabric of space-time may get its robustness from a network of quantum particles, according to a principle called quantum error correction.
Source: Wired

Asus ZenBook 13 UX333FA Review

Long on battery life and short on price, the Asus ZenBook 13 UX333FA is another affordable entry that tries to unset better known rivals, such as Dell’s XPS 13 and Apple’s MacBook Air. Though not without quirks, the ZenBook 13’s offers incredible value.

The post Asus ZenBook 13 UX333FA Review appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

A further £18M funding lands on Gousto’s plate

Gousto, the U.K. cook-at-home meal kit service that competes most directly with HelloFresh, has raised a further £18 million in funding. The round is backed by Instagram “health influencer” Joe Wicks, along with existing investors Unilever Ventures, Hargreave Hale, BGF Ventures, MMC Ventures, and Angel CoFund.

The new funding brings the total raised by Gousto to £75 million since being founded in 2012, and follows a £28.5 million fund raise last March, which it used to invest in its machine learning and factory automation.

The startup also recently launched a customer-facing AI recipe recommendation tool, through which half of customer orders are now placed. Gousto says it will continue to prioritize the majority of its investment in technology to accelerate growth.

In a call, Gousto founder and CEO Timo Boldt told me the startup is now delivering over 1.5 million meals a month to customers, and is seeing 170 percent year-on-year growth. However, he declined to break out specific customer numbers, monthly active or otherwise.

Noteworthy, Gousto says two-thirds of customers are families, and Boldt says this proves that a meal kit service that offers the right mixture of choice, personalization and, crucially, price point, can become a viable alternative to the weekly grocery shop for busy families.

The thinking behind meal kit services more generally is that because they send you correctly portioned fresh ingredients matched to each recipe, you save money by only buying what is needed.

Meanwhile, the services themselves have the potential to run a lot more efficiently than a national grocery store chain’s offline or online offering, including throwing significantly less food away.

To that end, Boldt says that Gousto offers more choice to customers than competitors and is further ahead in terms of driving factory and logistics efficiencies through the use of automation and data. The meal kit service offers over 30 weekly recipes and delivers 7 days per a week. It also claims the shortest lead time of 3 days, and the lowest price point, starting at £2.98 per meal.

The investment in Gousto by “body coach” Joe Wicks is also worth noting, as the startup places more emphasis on healthy eating. The pair had already announced they are working together and this month will launch a co-branded range of nutritious meal kits. This will see a minimum of four new Wicks-branded recipes offered per week, including Joe’s Veggie Spag Bol’ and Satay Chicken Lettuce Wraps, along with Herby Crusted Fish, Root Veg Chips & Peas, and 10-Min Nifty Veggie Noodles.

Cue statement from Wicks: “It was clear from when I first approached Gousto that they were a purpose driven business, with a passion for getting more people cooking and in turn improving the health of the nation. As a customer before becoming an investor, I know that Gousto is having a lasting and hugely positive impact on the way families consume and eat food. I’m delighted to join forces and offer my knowledge to a company who has brought huge and much-needed innovation to an industry”.


Source: TechCrunch

CES 2019: Watch the Nvidia press conference live, Sunday at 8 p.m. PT – CNET

Look for gaming and auto news from the chipmaker.
Source: CNET

Aquaman beats Batman v Superman to become top-earning DC movie – CNET

Look out, $1 billion mark — this is only the film’s third weekend.
Source: CNET

Interlogix has a home security touchscreen at CES that works with Alarm.com – CNET

The brand’s Simon control panel is designed to work with Alarm.com home security systems.
Source: CNET

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