Does it matter if bitcoin is in a bubble? That depends.
My problem with the gold bugs has always been this: If your imagined apocalypse of “fiat” dollars comes to pass, what next? Would the grocery store or well-prepared neighbor accept your gold bars or Krugerrands for cold cuts, bread and water? Why? In that doomsday — and a currency collapse would be just that — they would have something far more valuable and useful than metal.
Still, gold retains a timeless value because people assign it that. The same has been true in modern times with the dollar. It’s only a piece of paper. But people believe.
Bitcoin is not backed by “the full faith and credit” of the U.S. government, but its enthusiasts want it to become the digital equivalent of gold, or even more. The currency (?) or commodity (?) passed $10,000 on Tuesday and $11,000 today. Let’s call it a medium of exchange or a store of value. Is this a bubble? Count on it.How to Invest in Bitcoin
Many of the features of bitcoin that appeal to the digerati also make it dodgy — and used by criminals. It’s not a real coin, but an asset that lives online, held in digital “wallets” and transacted through “blockchains.” It’s highly decentralized and not subject to regulation or federal insurance. (So, to add to the gold bug’s dilemma, you’d need a functioning internet in the apocalypse and a seller willing to take “a bitcoin” for that $11,000 loaf of bread).
At least one bitcoin enthusiast says people should investin the medium, even in a bubble, because it’s leading to a technological revolution. Unfortunately, this is not like 19th century railroads (where people lost many fortunes) or the 20th century automobile or aircraft industries. It won’t create useful products or abundant jobs. Might it revolutionize transactions? Maybe. The Federal Reserveis thinking about a digital currency. I still watch people pay with paper currency in the age of plastic.
Another way to think of bitcoin is that it’s another way the wealthy can play games to get richer — because for some, more than enough is never enough. And when the roof falls in on the greater fool, who cares? One problem is the opportunity costs — what we could do as a civilization if the incentives were aligned with investing in healthy, job-creating enterprises. Another is contagion of the larger financial system. Nasdaq plans to launchtrading in bitcoin futures next year. Follow that dark alley and a bitcoin collapse would get nasty.
As usual, the people most hurt will be the ones who don’t even know about bitcoin.
Source: Seattle Times
There are lots of good things about Instagram. Sharing your life with friends, connecting with strangers, opening your mind to new experiences, perspectives and viewpoints. All completely bloody worthless, though, if you aren’t getting any likes.
There are a few things you can do to combat that pesky three-likes-zero-comment streak, however, and they don’t all boil down to “post better pictures, mate”: according to a new analysis from scheduling tool Latergramme, there are certain times of day (and night) that result in better engagement.
In an analysis of over 61,000 posts, Latergramme found the two most successful times to post were 5pm and, perhaps more surprisingly, 2am – apparently when some of Instagram’s “most engaged users” are online. 5pm, of course, is just before people start their commute home – the perfect time to scroll endlessly through Instagram and rack up those likes.
If you’re not likely to be awake at 2am, though, no need to worry: 2am and 5pm are only averages. The analysis also revealed specific times of day that boosted engagement on each day of the week. On Sundays and Wednesdays, 5pm was the best time; on Monday, 7pm or 10pm resulted in the best engagement rates.
Tuesday’s best engagement rates were at 3am and 10pm, Thursday’s 7am and 11pm, Friday’s 1am and 8pm and Saturday’s 12am and 2am.
If you want more data on your Instagram stats, you can also switch your account from a ‘personal’ to a ‘business’ account – a move that gives you many more statistics on who’s liking and engaging with your points and when. Good to know.
More rewards, a new weapon class and a better economy are in the cards.
While it’s safe to say that Destiny 2 has sold well and is a solid improvement over its predecessor, there are still plenty of concerns. Seasoned players quickly ran out of new things to do, and there are gripes that its experience point system punishes some players. However, it looks like Bungie is tackling the issues head-on. In addition to tweaking experience points and cancelling a planned Curse of Osiris livestream (which would have seemed tone deaf), the studio has detailed exactly how it plans to extend the game in December and beyond. From a cursory look, it’s good news if you find yourself twiddling your thumbs.
The biggest additions: more rewards. There’s a new “Masterworks” weapons tier that gives your armaments random bonuses, stat trackers and other perks. You’ll also get a Heroic Strikes playlist with “more generous” Strike rewards, armor ornaments and more ways to spend your pile of legendary shards (such as faction gear). You can buy gifts that give extra rewards to everyone who completes an activity, even if they’re not on your side. The sometimes complicated mod system will give you opportunities to buy legendary mods. And of course, there are balance changes — “under-performing” exotic weapons (Sweet Business? Please?) will get a tune-up.
In 2018, Bungie plans to offer more incentives for other activities like prestige events (such as upgraded Nightfall Strikes), Adventures and Lost Sectors. Private Crucible competitive matches are coming. Also, Bungie is vowing to tackle rage quitters by instituting a penalty for those who jump ship before a Crucible match is over. You should see fewer players bailing just because they weren’t dominating in the first few minutes of a round.
The upgrades are bound to be appreciated if you’re a seasoned veteran. At the same time, it’s easy to draw parallels between this and the early days of the original Destiny. In both cases, developers spent the first few months sorting out the game economy and progression systems. While Destiny 2 is starting from a considerably better place (D1’s early approach was arcane at best), it’s evident that Bungie didn’t quite nail the execution the second time around.
Only in a handful of areas, though.
Verizon’s 5G wireless will soon become a practical reality… if not quite the way you might expect. Big Red has announced that it’s launching residential 5G broadband (that is, fixed-in-place wireless) in three to five markets starting in the second half of 2018. Most details aren’t nailed down at this point, but the rollout will begin in Sacramento, California.
It’s no shock as to why Verizon is showing its cards so early. The carrier is in fierce competition with fellow incumbent AT&T, which has also been trialing 5G and hopes to deploy it nationwide by the end of 2018. Verizon wants you to know it’s keeping pace and will have a real, publicly available 5G service ready to go within a matter of months.
No, this isn’t the cellphone access you might be looking for, it’s still an important milestone. It’s not just that 5G is extremely fast, promising hundreds of megabits per second — it’s that its latency is low enough to improve very time-sensitive tasks like action gaming and multi-user VR. How well it works in real-world commercial service is yet to be determined, but home 5G may be the first fixed wireless that’s about as responsive as a good landline connection.