Well Stephen Hawking died and the internet is alive with memes about his greatness. I’m surprised by some of my friends who are posting in reverance to him. I highly doubt that they appreciate his theories of gravitational radiation. But who am I to judge? I don’t understand it either!
What about the other news from this week? Let’s jump in!
Facebook Signs Deal with Warner Music
No industry has been so hugely impacted by digital transformation as music. The labels have seen their products disrupted over and over again, first with the MP3 and iPod, then with streaming. But social has had an impact too.
Sharing copy-written content has been a thorn in the side of Facebook since the beginning of its existence. Now that the social giant has taken up so much space, organizations have no choice but to find deals so that their content can be shared but make sure that it is being monetized correctly.
Warner’s deal with Facebook represents the last of the big three labels. Now users can legally share music from Warner’s vast catalogue to Facebook and, along with the other major labels, that means that music can flow freely while the advertising revenue will be split with the labels. It represents freedom for all of us who share music and extra cash for artists.
Coinbase launches an Index Fund
Cryptocurrencies are getting serious. Coinbase, one of the most popular ways to buy and sell bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) just announced an Index Fund. Now investors can put their money into a portfolio that benches its returns on a range of cryptocurrency assets. On the one hand it’s clearly a response to surging demand in investment and a great business opportunity, but hopefully it will also provide less volatility than what has been seen for individual cryptosecurities.
When you see the performance of the index compiled over the past three years, well there’s a lot of reason to invest.
But past performance is not an indicator of future performance, as we’ve seen with the dramatic drop in value of Bitcoin since the beginning of the year. Pegging investment to an index should help stabilize that, but it would also limit potential returns when values surge.
A Robot Small Enough to Operate Inside Your Body?
The future is here, and it’s wiggly. Just watch the video.
Fake News Is Way More Powerful Than The Truth
The biggest ever study concerning Twitter came to a close and the results are in. Over 10 years, 126,000 stories were analyzed. Millions of users were involved. The finding: fake news systematically outperforms the truth. It’s more sensational, and as a result gets shared faster than the plain, boring, old truth.
Even when you discount bots, there is something in human nature that wants to spread rumors. The implications are big. How do we keep this human tendancy from getting out of control? Can we make people favor the truth? Can we find a way to label bullshit when we see it? Any community-sourced measure would be abused and with mini Trumps calling The Times “fake news” whenever they disagree, even if a story is objectively the truth.
What to do about fake news just might be one of the biggest existential questions our digital generation will have to face.
Broadcom Bid to Buy Qualcomm Gets A Presidential Rejection
The tech industries biggest ever would-be merger between two of the most colorfully named companies on earth got blocked by Donald Trump for national security reasons.
Why national security you might ask? Well Broadcom is from Asia (headquartered in Singapore) and Qualcomm is from the fucking U S of A so, #AmericaFirst.
Ironically, there are good arguments to blocking the deal. Most of our devices have both Qualcomm and Broadcom chips in them already, so the deal would’ve created a huge monopoly on chip making. Most of Qualcomm’s shareholders didn’t want to pursue the deal either. It probably would’ve fallen apart anyway, but now Trump can claim that he was protecting all of us from Chinese spyware even if Broadcom is neither Chinese nor a spy.