Posted by & filed under Bitcoin, crypto-currency.

Stephan Nakamura made his leap into cryptocurrency in 2017 at age 23. Having recently graduated from college, Nakamura hoped a small investment could solve his financial woes and put a dent in his student debt.

In 2018, I did something that would make cautious investors cringe: With almost no savings to my name, I bought cryptocurrency.

I don’t need to tell you that when you’re low on cash, whether you’ve got debt or are in your first job after university as I was, a get-rich-quick scheme is always more attractive than a solid, boring investment.

Reader, I did not get rich quick, or at all. Sure, the small amount of XRP, or Ripple, I bought in 2018 recently more than tripled its value, after several years of ups and downs. But triple a very small amount of money is still quite a small amount of money.

Today, I no longer see cryptocurrency as my lottery ticket to financial freedom. Instead, cryptocurrency is my “fun” fund, a way to play around with what many are saying will be the future of finance and develop a stomach of steel for investment volatility, while I build up my solid, boring investments in significantly less risky picks.

Source: Toronto Star

Date: April 12th, 2021

Link: https://www.thestar.com/business/2021/04/12/want-to-get-rich-investing-in-bitcoin-read-this-first.html

Discussion

  1. What is a good time to “invest” in bitcoin?
  2. Why do people put any money at all into bitcoin when they have absolutely no understanding of how bitcoin’s value is derived?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

What is hidden in your photo? (Credit: Getty Images)

Hidden information inside digital photos can reveal much more than photographers and their subjects bargain for.

Just ask John McAfee, founder of the eponymous antivirus software. In 2012, he was on the run from the Belizean authorities in Central America. Reporters from Vice magazine tracked him down and published an image of him online, under the headline “We Are With John McAfee Right Now, Suckers”. Yet without them realising, location data embedded in the photo inadvertently revealed that McAfee was in Guatemala. He was soon found, and detained.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: April 12th, 2021

Link: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20210324-the-hidden-fingerprint-inside-your-photos

Discussion

  1. What sort of business or service could you set up using the information in this article?
  2. How could you advise the employees at the company you work for to avoid issues like the ones in this article?

Posted by & filed under NFT - Non-fungible token.

Any firm that approaches $1T in value has tapped into a basic human instinct. Consuming, signalling, loving, and praying have been the fuel of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google’s ascents, respectively. That the crypto asset class universe has reached $2T reveals, I believe, that it taps into two attributes we instinctively pursue: trust and scarcity.

Source: No Mercy / No Malice – Scott Galloway

Date: April 12th, 2021

Link: https://www.profgalloway.com/scarcity-cred/

Discussion

  1. Is Professor Galloway (Marketing, NYU) correct when he says ” Consuming, signalling, loving, and praying have been the fuel of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google’s ascents, respectively “?
  2. ” Attaching an NFT to a digital artwork gives the NFT owner discretion to designate any digital copy of that artwork as the sole authentic copy at any point in time.  ” An NFT is a non-fungible token, a digital thing put on a blockchain that shows that there is only one of this digital thing, and who the owner is (something called “provenance”). What sorts of things could have NFTs?

Posted by & filed under FinTech, NFT - Non-fungible token.

A Complete Look At Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) - The Daily Chain

The first time most Canadians heard the term “non-fungible tokens” was likely after a recent blockbuster Christies auction for a piece of digital art. However, experts expect the technology to move far beyond the art world into everyday life — though nobody knows for sure how they will be used.

NFTs — which are essentially a tool that uses blockchain technology to provide proof of ownership of a digital asset such as an image, audio clip or a tweet — are currently a fringe item used primarily by tech enthusiasts and artists, but experts say potential uses for the tokens are nearly limitless, including the proof of ownership of assets like cars or real estate, or just about anything of value.

A non-fungible token is certified on the blockchain (the same technology that ensures the security of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin), and whoever owns the NFT is deemed the original owner of the asset.

Earlier this year, a digital collage by the artist Beeple fetched a final bid of over US$69 million for digital ownership through an NFT. And Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, auctioned his first ever tweet as an NFT, with the final bid coming in at US$2.9 million.

Source: The Canadian Press

Date: April 6th, 2021

Link: https://www.thestar.com/business/2021/04/06/theres-literally-no-limit-nfts-could-soon-be-used-for-cars-real-estate-experts.html

Discussion

  1. ” “There’s literally no limit,” said Andreas Park, an associate professor of finance at the University of Toronto who specializes in blockchain technology. He said the advent of NFT’s could change how we think about ownership, the same way the internet changed how we consider communication and commerce. ” What sorts of things could be put on an NFT?
  2. How does an NFT ” change how we think about ownership “?

Posted by & filed under Ransomware.

man who's been hacked

Cyber-security companies are warning about the rise of so-called ‘extortionware’ where hackers embarrass victims into paying a ransom.

Experts say the trend towards ransoming sensitive private information could affect companies not just operationally but through reputation damage.

It comes as hackers bragged after discovering an IT Director’s secret porn collection.

The targeted US firm has not publicly acknowledged that it was hacked.

In its darknet blog post about the hack last month, the cyber-criminal gang named the IT director whose work computer allegedly contained the files.

It also posted a screen grab of the computer’s file library which included more than a dozen folders catalogued under the names of porn stars and porn websites.

The infamous hacker group wrote: “Thanks God for [named IT Director]. While he was [masturbating] we downloaded several hundred gigabytes of private information about his company’s customers. God bless his hairy palms, Amen!”

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: April 6th, 2021

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-56570862

Discussion

  1. If you were in charge of a companies technology, what sort of training could you put in place to stop this happening?
  2. Are there any technology tools you might be able to use to stop this?

Posted by & filed under Remote Work.

A woman on on the phone with a laptop in front of her. A young boy sits near her, looking at a tablet.

On Wednesday last week, Google’s Fiona Cicconi wrote to company employees.

She announced that Google was bringing forward its timetable of moving people back into the office.

As of 1 September, she said, employees wishing to work from home for more than 14 days would have to apply to do so.

Employees were also expected to “live within commuting distance” of offices. No cocktails by the beach with a laptop, then.

The intention was very clear. Sure, you can do more flexible working than you did before – but most people will still have to come into the office.

That thinking seemed to fly in the face of much of what we heard from Silicon Valley executives last year, when they championed the virtues of remote working.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: April 6th, 2021

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-56614285

Discussion

  1. Remote working is technology-enabled. Why might a technology company like Google not want its employees to use technology to work?
  2. What are some of the upsides of remote working?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Ethical issues.

A test from Pymetrics

Frankly, it was a little stressful to know that my application was being judged by a computer and not by a human being.

A professional journalist, I had recently applied for a new job, and for the first part of the recruitment process the publisher made me play a number of simple online games from the comfort of my own home.

These included having to quickly count the number of dots in two boxes, inflating a balloon before it burst to win money, and matching emotions to facial expressions. Then an artificial intelligence (AI) software system assessed my personality, and either passed or failed me. No human had a look-in.

I wondered: is it fair for a computer alone to accept or reject your job application?

Welcome to the fast-growing world of AI recruitment.

Source: BBC Business

Date: April 1st, 2021

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-55932977

Discussion

  1. Is it fair for a computer alone to accept or reject your job application?
  2. It what circumstances would this be fair, or not? For instance, college application? Subsidized housing application?

Posted by & filed under crypto-currency.

Internal Finance Department documents show officials have deep concerns about the effect of Facebook’s planned digital currency on Canada’s financial stability.

Officials wrote in the briefing note last summer that they believed the social media company had yet to address multiple concerns and risks its digital currency posed to the financial system.

The July briefing note, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, also says the government was working on options to ease the risks.

Officials appeared less concerned about rivals like Bitcoin — which the briefing note says has not played a large role in everyday transactions in Canada for various reasons.

Unlike Bitcoin, Facebook’s offering would be a “stablecoin” whose value would be less volatile and could easily be used by hundreds of millions of the social media giant’s users upon release.

The ease of use and stability of value are among the reasons governments and central banks like the Bank of Canada have taken a keen interest in the currency.

The underlying worry for policymakers has to do with loss of control in the event a private digital currency becomes accepted globally and used without a bank as an intermediary, said Moon Jerin, CEO of Doctrina, which provides advice to financial and insurance companies on blockchain technology.

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Date: April 1st, 2021

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/finance-dept-facebook-digital-currency-1.5968718

Discussion

  1. Why is bitcoin an unstable cryptocurrency?
  2. Why would Facebook’s cryptocurrency be a “stablecoin”?

Posted by & filed under Consumer Technology, Facial Recognition, Privacy.

Sara Stewart

Sara Stewart strolls into a small Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles and orders a torta, a type of sandwich.

To pay she simply looks at her reflection in a small LCD screen attached to the cashier’s counter. Then to add her preferred amount of tip she flashes a quick peace sign at the monitor.

The entire process takes less than five seconds, and is entirely contactless. Moreover, Ms Stewart doesn’t need to carry her mobile phone or bank card with her, or show any form of identification, or even enter a pin number.

Welcome to the futuristic world of facial recognition payment. It might sound like something from a science fiction movie, but this kind of transaction is already happening millions of times a day across China’s major cities.

Source: BBC Business

Date: April 1st, 2021

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-55748964

Discussion

  1. Why is this technology a good idea?
  2. What are some of the issues (such as privacy, security) that this technology brings about?

Posted by & filed under Virtual Reality, Virtual Reality Training.

A pair of projects that aim to transform how Canada competes globally in the automobility industry have collided in the birthplace of the country’s auto industry: Windsor.

There is now a digital twin of the Project Arrow vehicle, a zero-emission Canadian made concept vehicle spearheaded by the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA).

The virtual model of the fully rendered Arrow vehicle will exist inside of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation’s (WEEDC) virtual reality CAVE.

“We’re challenging people’s perception of manufacturing,” said Flavio Volpe, president of the APMA, who believes there could be close to a third of the Arrow vehicle’s parts made in Windsor-Essex. 

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Date: March 25th, 2021

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/virtual-reality-cave-windsor-1.5962311

Discussion

  1. How do you think it is possible to build and test something in a virtual world?
  2. In what other ways could you use this technology?