That mundane service – harnessing Bitcoin’s workaday utility – is what so excites some investors and entrepreneurs about Argentina. Banks everywhere hold money and move it around; they help make it possible for money to function as both a store of value and a medium of exchange. But thanks in large part to their country’s history of financial instability, a small yet growing number of Argentines are now using Bitcoin instead to fill those roles. They keep the currency in their Bitcoin “wallets,” digital accounts they access with a password, and use its network when they need to send or spend money, because even with Castiglione or one of his competitors serving as middlemen between the traditional economy and the Bitcoin marketplace, Bitcoin can be cheaper and more convenient than Argentina’s financial establishment. In effect, Argentines are conducting an ambitious experiment, one that threatens ultimately to spread to the United States and disrupt some of the most basic services its banks have to offer.
Located on the Chajnantor plateau, ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) is a radio telescope made up of 66 interconnected white dishes spread across the desert floor. An expensive and truly international project, it was built by science agencies from the US, Europe, East Asia and Chile to study the ‘cold universe’ – gas, dust, early stars and the remnants of the Big Bang.
In a paper published on Thursday in the journal Science, physicists at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at the Delft University of Technology reported that they were able to reliably teleport information between two quantum bits separated by three meters, or about 10 feet.
They report that they have achieved perfectly accurate teleportation of quantum information over short distances. They are now seeking to repeat their experiment over the distance of more than a kilometer. If they are able to repeatedly show that entanglement works at this distance, it will be a definitive demonstration of the entanglement phenomenon and quantum mechanical theory.
Quantum teleportation is not the “Star Trek”-style movement of people or things…
The future will be awesome.
Film Is Not Dead [GearPatrol]
Rochester, NY based Kodak is the only company producing physical motion picture film today:
For example, Kodak manufactured 11.4 billion linear feet of print film for movies in 2007, compared to about 417 million linear feet in 2014. Although their demand will never again reach those 11-digit numbers, Kodak will continue to produce motion picture film, unlike Fujifilm, which bowed out last year. Last month, Andrew Evenski, President of Motion Picture and Commercial Films at Kodak, helped finalize new film supply agreements with all six major Hollywood studios. When asked about the length of the deals, Evenski couldn’t specify, but pointed out Kodak will make film for the artists who want it for many years to come.
Here goes the analog vs. digital argument:
For some filmmakers, the “look” is still something worth shooting for even though digital cameras is close in quality. […] While digital cameras and their pixels render a scene sharp and realistic, film and its random dye clouds smooth out lines and colors. The experts used words like “tactile” and “organic” to describe what stands out to them in film. Those qualities could result from grain, different layers of the film stock, or just the knowledge that this was a physical object.
Email is actually a tremendous, decentralized, open platform on which new, innovative things can and have been built. In that way, email represents a different model from the closed ecosystems we see proliferating across our computers and devices.
Email is a refugee from the open, interoperable, less-controlled “web we lost.” It’s an exciting landscape of freedom amidst the walled gardens of social networking and messaging services.
Email: still the best thing on the internet, indeed.
The age of the password has come to an end; we just haven’t realized it yet. And no one has figured out what will take its place. What we can say for sure is this: Access to our data can no longer hinge on secrets—a string of characters, 10 strings of characters, the answers to 50 questions—that only we’re supposed to know. The Internet doesn’t do secrets. Everyone is a few clicks away from knowing everything.
I couldn’t agree more. I hate passwords. Die, die already.
Fueling nuclear power with seawater [PNNL.gov]
Uranium floats in Earth’s oceans in trace amounts of just 3 parts per billion, but it adds up. Combined, our oceans hold up to 4.5 billion tons of uranium – enough to potentially fuel the world’s nuclear power plants for 6,500 years.
Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter, Blogger, etc.:
Having a large number of users and the inability to monetize them is a non-existent problem. People talk about it all the time, but it doesn’t really happen—at least it doesn’t happen in today’s world. I’m not even sure it ever did. Sure, there were Internet companies that went out of business because they were losing too much money, but I think usually they didn’t *really* have a lot of users (just a lot of hype) or they had out of control costs.
That’s a rather bold and quite surprising statement coming out from Evan. Hopefully he gave it proper thought.
Kevin Kelleher on Facebook, Zuckerberg, and the company’s disastrous IPO:
There has never been a tech company that built so much fortune from the exploitation of ordinary people while giving so little in return.
Yes, Microsoft was vilified – and rightly so – for crushing competitors and forcing customers into an inferior operating-system software, but its iron-fisted dominance helped shape an immature and inchoate computer-software industry into a single standard that made PCs everyday devices in offices and homes. Microsoft’s brutal strong-arm tactics were directed at rivals. Its sin against its customers was that its software, for decades, just wasn’t that good.
Facebook, by contrast, built the best social network of its time, so good it left rivals like MySpace in the dust. And that should have been enough to make Facebook a Silicon Valley success story. Once it came time to make money, Facebook exploited its users’ personal data to a degree that no company had ever achieved before.
Yeah, therestartpage.com is so so awesome.
SAN FRANCISCO — Steven P. Jobs, the visionary co-founder and former chief executive of Apple, has died at 56.
Apple said in a press release that it was “deeply saddened” to announce that Mr. Jobs had passed away on Wednesday.
“Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives,” the company said. “The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.
Best technology CEO, innovator and visionary of all time. Thank you very much for everything. You changed the way we live right now. You will be missed.
UPDATE: Statement by Jobs’ family is here.
The news coverage of teenage engagement on Myspace quickly turned to, ‘Oh my gosh, there are all these bad teenagers doing bad things and this is crazy!’ Quickly, it turned into a big narrative about how this was a dangerous, dangerous place. Myspace got to a point where they were not innovating technologically. They were having to do all technical innovations to address the various panics that are happening. Basically their development cycle turned into one of crisis management, not one of innovation.
Honestly, I cannot wait for Myspace to finally die.
The Rise and Inglorious Fall of Myspace [Bloomberg Businessweek]
Concept airplane envisioned by the Airbus engineering team:
The aircraft’s bionic structure mimics the efficiency of bird bone which is optimised to provide strength where needed, and allows for an intelligent cabin wall membrane which controls air temperature and can become transparent to give passengers open panoramic views. The Concept Cabin has an integrated ‘neural network’ creating an intelligent interface between passenger and plane. It can identify and respond to passenger needs and enables bespoke features such as morphing seats which change to your body shape.
Freedom is a simple productivity application that locks you away from the internet on Mac or Windows computers for up to eight hours at a time. Freedom frees you from distractions, allowing you time to write, analyze, code, or create. At the end of your offline period, Freedom allows you back on the internet.
You know you need it.