Blockchain newsletter

My curated recommended articles on blockchain.

Newsletter coming soon, for now enjoy the posts below, updated regularly.

Croatia successfully executed the first formal blockchain-based vote during UBIK's yearly assembly. UBIK is Croatia's self regulating blockchain and cryptocurrency organization. The vote was registered on Croatia's Lisinski Testnet.
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In July 2016, Ethereum endured an early test of faith. The people behind the barely year-old blockchain had taken Bitcoin’s idea of decentralized money and run with it, building a digital landscape where users, based on a mutual trust in code, could interact and create applications.
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Plattsburgh, New York, perches on the shores of the vast Lake Champlain on the US-Canada border. It’s a small city – population less than 20,000 – with clapboard houses and an impressive city hall.
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Nothing brings change like a revolution. If successful, they disrupt the status quo and nothing is ever the same again. If they fail, they fail in catastrophe, with bodies swinging from the gallows.
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SAN FRANCISCO — Some of the world’s biggest internet messaging companies are hoping to succeed where cryptocurrency start-ups have failed by introducing mainstream consumers to the alternative world of digital coins.
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Early last month, the security team at Coinbase noticed something strange going on in Ethereum Classic, one of the cryptocurrencies people can buy and sell using Coinbase’s popular exchange platform. Its blockchain, the history of all its transactions, was under attack.
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During my time as a Guardian journalist, the then Readers’ Editor, Chris Elliott, told me a story. Not long after launching the paper’s website, in 1999, the office began receiving cheques.
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A great user experience can make or break a business. Here are four ways to apply UX design principles to your blockchain project.
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Given the fact that all of Ethereum’s computations need to be reproduced on all the nodes in the network, Ethereum’s computing is inherently costly and inefficient.
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Important note: If you own more than $1,000 worth of cryptocurrency then you should definitely be using a hardware wallet instead of keeping coins on exchanges.  I recommend a Trezor which you can buy for €89 directly from their website.
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Blockchains are overhyped. There, I said it. From Sibos to Money20/20 to cover stories of The Economist and Euromoney, everyone seems to be climbing aboard the blockchain wagon.
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We are delighted to release Ivy Playground, a tool for designing, drafting, and testing smart contracts on a Chain blockchain network with Ivy, our high-level contract programming language.
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Each topic/meme/idea/goal has an associated token of value that is used to curate information inside it. Using Ethereum as a programmable, distributed, shared ledger, these groups can mint a token of value according to agreed upon rules without a centralized 3rd party being involved.
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This blog post is also available in paper format. Token-curated registries are increasingly common cryptosystems apparently applicable to solving problems in a number of domains. In this document we will provide a more formal but less-than-mathematical view of token-curated registries.
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Odds are you’ve heard about the Ethereum blockchain, whether or not you know what it is. It’s been in the news a lot lately, including the cover of some major magazines, but reading those articles can be like gibberish if you don’t have a foundation for what exactly Ethereum is.
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My name is Adam Ludwin and I run a company called Chain. I have been working in and around the cryptocurrency market for several years. It’s easy to believe cryptocurrencies have no inherent value. Or that governments will crush them.
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This weekend I spent some time with my team looking into tooling and deployments particular to the Ethereum blockchain, and put together a little experiment: Forever on the Chain.
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How much should I sell my software for? How much should I sell this song for? How much is this e-book worth? This fundamental question is often asked about creators of non-rivalrous goods: goods where producing a copy of it are close to zero marginal cost.
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1. These are the minimally reformatted and slightly expanded notes for what would have been  a 15-minute presentation. 2. The presentation was meant to be followed by questions and form part of the introduction to a panel discussion.
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There’s no question that blockchain technology has enormous potential. Decentralized exchanges, prediction markets, and asset management platforms are just a few of the exciting applications being explored by blockchain developers.
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Solidity offers many high-level language abstractions, but these features make it hard to understand what’s really going on when my program is running. Reading the Solidity documentation still left me confused over very basic things.
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As developers, we like to believe in a consensus layer that takes care of all the hard distributed systems problems and lets us write applications. Miners live in the consensus layer, doing whatever it is miners do.
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The point of this writing is to explore the potential outcomes of using an ERC20 Bonded Curve Token (as per Simon de la Rouviere) or Liquid/Smart Token (as per Bancor) as the owner address of an ERC721 Non Fungible Token (NFT).
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Token Lexicon

from Medium
This article is meant as a supplement to the Re-Fungible Token (RFT) article and any other writings on the topics contained here.
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Written by Elad Verbin and Al Esmail. Bitcoin-style cryptoeconomic incentive design is a new economic design paradigm, that has already achieved incredible results, creating the first widespread digital currency.
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As everyone in the Ethereum community knows, Gas is a necessary evil for the execution of smart contracts. If you specify too little, your transaction may not get picked up for processing in a timely manner — or, die in the middle of processing a smart contract action.
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Back in 1999, the file-sharing network Napster made it easy to share audio files (usually containing music) on a hybrid peer-to-peer network (“hybrid” because it used a central directory server).
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There’s no question that blockchain technology has enormous potential. Decentralized exchanges, prediction markets, and asset management platforms are just a few of the exciting applications being explored by blockchain developers.
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Ethics newsletter

My curated recommended articles on ethics and technology.

Newsletter coming soon, for now enjoy the posts below, updated regularly .

We All Work for Facebook

from Longreads
When I was a kid, in the pre-internet days of the 1980s, my screen time was all about Nickelodeon. My favorite show was “You Can’t Do That on Television.” It was a kind of sketch show; the most common punchline was a bucket of green slime being dropped on characters’ heads.
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Updated on April 19 at 1:28 p.m. ET. There has never been a town like the one San Francisco is becoming, a place where a single industry composed almost entirely of rich people thoroughly dominates the local economy.
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As creators of technology, we need to ask whether our progress is antagonistic to the place that we call home.
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The first time Bill was stopped and searched by police, he was standing outside a friend’s house in south London. “The police pulled up on us, three cars,” he says. “I asked them why they were searching us, and one said, ‘Because I want to’.” Bill was 11. That was nearly a decade ago.
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Plattsburgh, New York, perches on the shores of the vast Lake Champlain on the US-Canada border. It’s a small city – population less than 20,000 – with clapboard houses and an impressive city hall.
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Shelley Chang was working as a business analyst for a computer company in 2010 when she met Jason Ho through some mutual friends. Ho was tall and slender with a sly smile, and they hit it off right away. A computer programmer, Ho ran his own company from San Francisco. He also loved to travel.
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“Prison labor” is usually associated with physical work, but inmates at two prisons in Finland are doing a new type of labor: classifying data to train artificial intelligence algorithms for a startup.
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For all the many controversies around Facebook's mishandling of personal data, Google actually knows way more about most of us. The bottom line: Just how much Google knows depends to some degree on your privacy settings — and to a larger degree on which devices, products and services you use.
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This month, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has announced yet another new direction for his famously bad-acting company. Now, he says, the platform once responsible for the Cambridge Analytica…
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On Monday, reports surfaced indicating what many MySpace users had long suspected: that MySpace had deleted a great deal of the content uploaded to the platform between 2003 and 2015.
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Each year, 600 coders gather to talk shop at a conference in New York called PyGotham. The organizers know how male and white the tech industry is, so they make a special effort to recruit a diverse…
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After the fall of the Berlin Wall, East German citizens were offered the chance to read the files kept on them by the Stasi, the much-feared Communist-era secret police service. To date, it is estimated that only 10 percent have taken the opportunity.
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Let me blunt up front: I think Google should launch a censored search engine in China (albeit with careful organizational boundaries).
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When broadcaster Sandi Toksvig was studying anthropology at university, one of her female professors held up a photograph of an antler bone with 28 markings on it. “This,” said the professor, “is alleged to be man’s first attempt at a calendar.
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We've written a paper arguing that long-term AI safety research needs social scientists to ensure AI alignment algorithms succeed when actual humans are involved.
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One of the big robotics storylines of 2018, at least in the mainstream press, was the arrival of multiple sex robots on the market.
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Some books haunt the reader. Others haunt the writer. The Handmaid’s Tale has done both. The Handmaid’s Tale has not been out of print since it was first published, back in 1985. It has sold millions of copies worldwide and has appeared in a bewildering number of translations and editions.
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In the heart of San Francisco, the gig economy reigns supreme. Walk into a grocery store, and a large number of shoppers you see are independent contractors for grocery-delivery start-up Instacart.
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The Ethics Of Persuasion

from Smashing Magazine
Nowadays, users are increasingly cautious of online and email scams, phishing attacks, and data breaches. This article provides food for thought for designers and developers to avoid crossing the ethical line to the dark side of persuasion. (This article is kindly sponsored by Adobe.
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Language newsletter

My curated recommended articles on linguistics, natural language processing and interactive fiction.

Newsletter coming soon, for now enjoy the posts below, updated regularly .

Voice assistants are a part of everyday life, and they’re here to stay. Juniper Research recently released a report predicting that by 2023 there will be 8 billion digital voice assistants in use, tripling the estimated 2.5 billion voice assistants in use at the end of 2018.
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Smart speakers, those voice-activated devices that allow you to check the weather, play podcasts or order food delivery, are becoming more and more common in our homes.
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My reason for writing stories is to give myself the satisfaction of visualising more clearly and detailedly and stably the vague, elusive, fragmentary impressions of wonder, beauty, and adventurous expectancy which are conveyed to me by certain sights (scenic, architectural, atmospheric, etc.
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If you were looking for someone to teach you how to become a better writer, you probably couldn't do any better than Steven Pinker. The famed Harvard linguist is the author of several bestsellers, and Bill Gates even called one of them his favorite book of all time.
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Natural language processing (NLP), the technology that powers all the chatbots, voice assistants, predictive text, and other speech/text applications that permeate our lives, has evolved significantly in the last few years.
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Earlier this month I was invited to give an evening lecture at the Typography Society of Austria (tga) in Vienna.
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from
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Mozilla crowdsources the largest dataset of human voices available for use, including 18 different languages, adding up to almost 1,400 hours of recorded voice data from more than 42,000 contributors.
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A great sentence makes you want to chew it over slowly in your mouth the first time you read it. A great sentence compels you to rehearse it again in your mind’s ear, and then again later on.
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Millions are robbed of the power of speech by illness, injury or lifelong conditions. Can the creation of bespoke digital voices transform their ability to communicate? By Last November, Joe Morris, a 31-year-old film-maker from London, noticed a sore spot on his tongue.
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Tl;dr: I wrote a lot of code to generate stories from the 1928 writer’s manual “Plotto,” and then I looked at the data and decided that just because I could, it wasn’t a good idea. I’m not releasing that dataset and code.
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7 command-line tools for writers

from Opensource.com
For most people (especially non-techies), the act of writing means tapping out words using LibreOffice Writer or another GUI word processing application.
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