Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

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Launch: Twitter’s crypto team

This is official, Twitter embraces crypto. The social media giant has announced a dedicated crypto team, which is the latest push by CEO Jack Dorsey (a big bitcoin fan himself) to engage in digital assets and decentralized applications, and the ballooning communities around them.

So, what will this new crypto team do? It’s not just about enabling users to pay for things on Twitter via bitcoin – iOS users had the ability to send and request bitcoin tips since September.

The social media company now wants to watch how to incorporate decentralized technology in its products and infrastructure.

Twitter hired well-known crypto-engineer Tess Rinearson to lead this effort. Her appointment comes amid growing buzz in some Silicon Valley circles around the Web 3.0 movement, which seeks to challenge Big Tech companies that store user data on central servers and seek to monetize it.

In the web3 ecosystem, on the other hand, decentralized applications run on public blockchains, which means that data is not collected by any one party, while users can be offered token-based rewards for participation.

Twitter is not the first social platform to show enthusiasm for web3. Reddit and Discord have also indicated that they are exploring ways to integrate with decentralized applications and embrace some of the concepts of web3 on their platforms.

Centralized vs decentralized applications: which is better?

A centralized application is managed by a single company, and they run from a single server or a group of servers. After the user has downloaded it (say Twitter for example), the application works by sending and receiving information from this server.

A decentralized application runs on a decentralized network (ie a blockchain).

This approach has several benefits: The programs are less likely to crash and be hacked because they do not rely on one company’s servers. It’s also harder to censor and erase because you can not change a blockchain.

But they are slow, harder to maintain, and complicated for the average user. And ultimately, it’s harder for a single company to control and operate decentralized applications.

Recommended reading: If you are not up to date with all the latest crypto jargon, do not worry, we have you covered with us AZ Glossary of all the key terms.

Will you pay for Twitter?

In other Twitter news, if you live in the US, you can now pay $ 2.99 per month for extra features. The social platform’s premium offering, Twitter Blue, is centered around ad-free news and the ability to send tweets (though note that this is not the same as being able to edit your tweets, a feature that superusers have long coveted).

In the long run, the social media platform can hope that Twitter Blue will help diversify where the app gets its money from. Some 89 percent of its revenue comes from advertising and, like other social platforms, it got hit when Apple made privacy changes to iPhones earlier this year. Twitter Blue has been available in Australia and Canada since June and is also being rolled out to New Zealand, but the company has not yet announced how many users have used the paid version. The premium feature raises the age-old question: will people pay to use social media apps that have long been free?

Would you pay to get extra features from Twitter? Tell us what you think in this poll.

The internet of (six) things

Google failed to shake off € 2.4 billion in antitrust fines
The technology giant has lost its appeal against a landmark European antitrust decision which ruled that Google had abused its position to the detriment of opponents of its shopping service. This is the first major victory for Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s antitrust application.

Things could have been a lot worse for Google today if it had not won British Supreme Court appeal.

2. Apple has ordered to open App Store for external payment options
Another technology giant that will fall in court this week is Apple, according to Federal Judge Yvonne González Rogers, who is the iPhone maker’s legal battle with Epic Games, ordered Apple to comply with an order to opens its App Store for competitive forms of payment.

3. Seoul will be the first city government to join the metaverse
If it does not sound exciting enough to snoop around your virtual office, residents of Seoul will soon be able to visit it a virtual city hall to lodge complaints. This raises a frightening thought: will local councils be next?

4. A Lord of the Rings metaverse sounds much more exciting
And she not beyond the possibilities. Unity, the video game engine company, acquired Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings effects studio Weta Digital in a $ 1.6 billion deal, and said the long-term goal is to use the acquisition to help create a metaverse.

5. Tencent still stumbles over Beijing’s repression
The Chinese company has experienced its slowest quarter for growth since 2004 when it was announced, and offers its results for the third quarter a snapshot of how it was hit when the government’s investigation engulfed everything from finance to education and online entertainment.

6. Bitcoin ATMs are used to launder money
It is intended to enable customers to easily buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with cash. But the convenient, anonymous transactions also mean easy money for scammers, which used it to aid drug trafficking, money laundering and a variety of frauds.

Technical tools

The Skibrid Evo (skis not included)

What do you get for an adrenaline junkie for Christmas? If you’re looking for a splash, what about a tool that can change your skis or snowboard a snow scooter? Yes, someone really charges € 995 for a set of handles and footrests that you screw into your skis or board, but despite the hefty price tag, we can not lie, we are tempted. Other high-tech sports equipment you may want to check out include Finish slim swimming goggles ($ 235) showing your real-time stats in the lens corner, or a jogging jacket that weighs less than a pack of cards (Fullback’s Race to Zero running gear starts at £ 85).

If you’d rather spend the holiday season lying back and watching movies, the XGIMI MoGo Pro Plus Mini Projector (£ 559) also makes Jamie Waters’ list of the best gadgets for Christmas. Less than 15 cm high, it is small enough that you can fit it in your hand luggage.

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