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Daily news summary: Facebook announces Libra cryptocurrency

Rumors about a "Facebook Bitcoin" are floating on the Internet for weeks, if not longer. Well, the company has finally abolished the new cryptocurrency and it's not a Bitcoin at all. It does not belong to Facebook either.

Typically, we recommend that you stay away from all cryptocurrency coins (Bitcoin or otherwise). It is volatile, generally unsecured, and it is not uncommon for you to lose value or steal your currency.

Bitcoin is not really a currency, but the idea behind Blockchain, the technology that drives cryptocurrency, is solid. If a cryptocurrency has been correctly implemented in many ways, this could essentially be a digital equivalent to cash. You can spend it anonymously, unlike a credit or debit card, and each transaction is checked, for example, by marking a $ 20 bill to see if it's real. The analogy breaks down when you learn how most digital coins behave. They are usually not stable, the transaction fees are high, and depending on the resources, transactions can be slow to process.

The new Libra tries to solve these underlying problems. It is stable, inexpensive and fast to use. You may fear that Facebook has control of the digital medal, but the company has given up majority voting to bring both people and other companies on board.

The founding members include Visa, Mastercard, Stripe, eBay and Spotify, and more. Many of the listed companies specialize in payment processing (eg Visa and Mastercard). And everyone has the same say on the board together with Facebook.

And you have privacy, especially from Facebook. What you do not do is make money. Again, Libra is designed to be stable. Your present value should not rise (or fall). And you will not earn interest either. Instead, the founding members (who have to invest a lot in the system as a whole) receive interest on the cash stored in the system.

The entire system could, however, be beneficial for those who can not or do not want to use banks. If the scale is widespread and this is already on the right track from the outset, someone without a bank could theoretically go to an exchange bureau, exchange cash for the balance, and then spend that balance elsewhere, on the Internet or otherwise. Or send it over a digital wallet to a friend.

The scale will be available in 2020. It's too early to recommend a dip in the depth of this crypto tool. But it is a solid entry that is promising. [TechCrunch]

CONNECTION: Bitcoin is not a currency, it's an (uncertain) investment

In other news:

  • Huawei finally has some good news:
    • Earlier this year, Microsoft removed all its Huawei laptops from its website. The good news? These entries are back. The bad news? Microsoft claims to sell only existing shares. It sounds like when it's gone. it's gone. [The Verge]
    • Texans can order a robotic pizza soon: Okay, no robot made of pizza or a pizza made of robots. But a pizza robot. Dominoes has partnered with Nuro to offer an automated pizza delivery. If you're in Houston, a small self-driving car will bring you your pizzas instead of the usual delivery driver. We live in the future, a lazy, lazy future. [Ars Technica]
    • You can now buy Stadio Controller without Founder Edition: When Google first confirmed the Stadia Awards, the only way to buy the new Stadia controller was the Founder Edition. However, this was connected to a Chromecast that you may already own and whose subscription duration is very low. Now you can just buy the Stadia controller, which is important because the Founder edition includes a Buddy Pass-Time passport that you can share with a friend. Who would need a controller to play. [9to5Google]
    • You can pay Dish to install your Smarthome material: Dish offers a new on-site service for installing your Smarthome material. One of the worst things about having a smart home is being part-time electrician. However, if you are not satisfied, this is a good solution. Most installations cost $ 99 and include a brief introduction to your new technology. Not that bad. [Engadget]
    • Where on Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego? Google Earth and Carmen Sandiego team up for a third and final game. This time you have to find Paperstar, a master origami (who would make origami), and bring back the keys to the Kremlin. I do not dare to get the classic title song playing in the head while playing.
    • Microsoft wants to make your code reviews easier and cheaper: Pull Panda is a fairly popular collection of code review tools that integrate well with GitHub. They were useful but had a problem: the cost was between $ 1
      5 (for 7 users) per month and $ 150 per month. Now Microsoft has bought the tools and made them available to all for free. Huzzah for code reviews! [ZDNet]
    • Dr. Mario World comes on iOS and Android: Nintendo has another mobile game underway: Doctor Mario World. The game is free for in-app purchases and requires the internet to work. The last piece may be hard to swallow, but that's what Doctor Mario recommends. [9to5Mac]
    • Robocalls are overwhelming hospitals, and it's terrible: Robocalls are a modern scourge, and the problem has only increased. For most people, the best solution is not to answer the phone, but hospitals can not. A hospital has to answer every call, and there is no way to find out what spam is and what an important call is. The problem is overwhelming. A medical center received over 4,000 spam calls within two hours. Ultimately, only the government and our telephone companies can solve the problem. [Washington Post]

    Do you have a steady hand and want to find new black holes? A Citizen Science project could be just what you are looking for. Of course, people are good at finding patterns, in some ways better than sophisticated programs. And scientists want to use this fact to their advantage.

    Most scientists believe that any galaxy as large or larger than ours has a supermassive black hole in the center. And the bigger the galaxy, the bigger the black hole.

    What the scientists do not really understand is how the two evolve together. You see a correlation between the narrowness of the spiral arms in a galaxy and the mass of the supermassive black hole.

    So to find more supermassive black holes to study, they must identify potential galaxies they are in. Here you come into play. Look at pictures of possible galaxies and draw the spirals of the arms you see. The scientists then have to work with more data to exclude unlikely candidates and focus on the galaxies they identify that may have a supermassive black hole in the center. Art lessons seem to have paid off! [Space.com]

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