Your weekly update:
News on trust, content, and blockchain.
Short updates from the TruBlo project.
May 25, 2021
TruBlo has finalized the selection of winners from open call #1. Winners are contacted directly.
Due to this selection process the TruBlo 2nd open call will be started not during May, but in early June 2021. Details will be communicated via our website and in this newsletter.
Updates this week:
WordProof, a startup from Amsterdam, suggests to use timestamps for content. This could solve a number of challenges. Content origin and ownership could be verified. Search engines could use timestamps to determine trustable content, this could be a big change in the future. This month WordProof announced a first partnership with a (small) search engine. Longer article with more background on TruBlo.eu: LINK
Plus: An interview with WordProof founder and CEO Sebastiaan van der Lans LINK
Do you find it hard to understand why people start to believe in conspiracy theories and how this happens?
How could so many people believe things that are obviously untrue? Why don’t kids learn about this in school? Shouldn’t being able to navigate information and separate truth from lies be a standard part of education?
This week officials in several countries and states moved forward to control content published on social networks.
The actions are not directly related. The direction is the same: Authorities want control.
In Florida Governor DeSantis (Republican) has signed a bill regulating social media companies. In the future it would be forbidden to ban a political candidate from the platforms. The bill is described as a move against “censorship by tech elites”. LINK
In Russia authorities told Google that banned content must be deleted from search records in 24 hours. Before Twitter was notified with similar demands. Should the companies not comply, Russia will slow down traffic from those sites and impose fines. LINK
There is a widening rift between (some) representatives of big tech and journalists. LINK
When journalists point to false claims this might in some occasions do more harm than good. Re-using the content, as a screenshot or a link, could result in even more reach and damage.
To avoid this journalists should use clear labels, such as a visual overlay or other marks so that even the most casual reader does not mistake what is criticized as valid and true. Via Nieman Lab. LINK
Netflix looks differen to different users. The recommended content differs based on the individual viewing habits. But what data goes into those recommendations? LINK
Apple is currently in a trial brought forward by games company Epic. The core disagreement is whether Apple should be allowed to charge 30% of subscription revenue from any other company which wants to install an app on any iPhone.
Companies like Epic argue that the dominant market position of Apple hinders competition. Apple, in return, argues that the infrastructure provided is difficult to maintain and that there is much work to keep the platform clean from malicious content.
The numbers, published by Apple in a press release, are notable - because they are very high:
Reface is the name of an app enabling “face swaps”. For example, a photo of your face can be projected on the Mona Lisa, even with realistic face movement. The idea is that this is fun.
Another view: This is problematic, because of many options to create fakes and violate content ownership of others. One thing is sure: It is getting harder and harder to tell reality from fiction. Reface shows mainly shows what is possible, at this moment. LINK
Only 45 days ago Tesla announced it would accept Bitcoin as payment. Roughly six weeks later Elon Musk reconsidered and reversed this offer.
“The Technoking of Tesla, Elon Musk has taken an u-turn on Bitcoin after months of hyping it up. Earlier this year, Musk’s Tesla bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and even announced that it would be accepting Bitcoin as payment. Bitcoin peaked following this news. Musk became a messiah for the crypto community. His tweets moved markets in an unprecedented way and stumped the market gurus. But, Bitcoin is not without flaws. Mining BTC is considered to be worse for the environment, which collides with most of Musk’s zero-emission aspirations (think: Tesla, Solar City). On Thursday, Musk tweeted that Tesla would no longer accept bitcoin as payment citing environmental issues.“ LINK
The value of Bitcoin decreased by $365 billion in the following days.
Last, week, on May 19 investors saw another plunge of value, by as much as 30%.
According to estimates in a study traditional banking and mining for gold are using more than double the of Bitcoin mining.
“Galaxy Digital compared the Bitcoin network’s energy consumption with that of the banking system as well as the gold industry since the largest cryptocurrency is often compared with the two. The report found that banking and gold consume around 263.72 TWh per year and 240.61 TWh per year, respectively, while Bitcoin consumes much less energy — 113.89 TWh per year.”
There is more to this, of course. Some cryptocurrencies are using high amounts of energy, though the criticism might result in new approaches, which are less energy demanding. LINK
China is experimenting with a digital currency. It will be called eCNY or “digital yuan”. Because of the size of the Chinese economy, any changes there would have effects everywhere. Consultantcy Oliver Wyman expects that the introduction of digital, programmable money would “level the playing field between banks and big tech.”
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