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👎 Deceptive Flower
Attack of the Tulip | Signal CEO quits over MobileCoin | Autonomous, very stupid, bumper cars
Hello. This week was something I could have done without 👎. Finger-slide your way down to these stories:
How Meta have disguised themselves as a flower to infiltrate the Netherlands.
Autonomous vehicles with external (??) airbags
Why is crypto suddenly everywhere? Signal, Paypal, and even Norton Anti-Virus now have crypto projects.
🥗 A distributed ledger of facts just to start you off
The CEO of Signal has quit, and it’s probably over the recent integration of MobileCoin on the platform. If you use Signal, you may have noticed that there is an item in the settings menu labeled ‘payments (beta)’. Personally, I nearly always ignore any instance of ‘payments’ within any app or interface whose primary function has nothing to do with ‘payments’.
But I cannot ignore this anymore because of how stupid it is: MobileCoin is (apparently) a carbon-negative cryptocurrency that is 100% ‘pre-mined’. That is to say, you do not need to mine it, you just buy it, and you don’t stand to gain anything from having it — but you still pay transaction fees. These go towards funding other MobileCoin projects, which, so far just seem to be explaining how MobileCoin works.
This quote from their website demonstrates very clearly that MobileCoin has absolutely no useful function and therefore, to my mind, it’s more like a satirical piece of art:
“By design, it’s easy to link a MobileCoin wallet to your phone so you can start sending funds to friends and family, receive funds from them, keep track of your balance, and review your transaction history with a simple interface.”
This solves 0 problems. I can already send money to my friends and family very easily (it’s called internet banking ffs). If I were to do with with MobileCoin, I’d have to set up a crypto wallet, which is just an extra step that I am literally never going to do in a million years — because I will never engage in cryptocurrency, and I hate the idea of downloading one thing just to make another thing work.
Of course, everything is being infected with pointless blockchain gimmicks these days: PayPal is talking about launching a stablecoin backed by the US dollar — again, someone please explain the point in this? Paypal already ‘makes it easy’ to send and receive money. Even Norton Antivirus now ships with software that mines Ethereum while your computer is idle. I mean, consumer-facing antivirus software is already a racket — why not roll crypto mining into it too??
🌷 Een nieuw nederlands datacenter
Recently, a local council in a small village in the Netherlands voted 11-8 to allow an organisation called Tulip to build the country’s largest data centre on their land.
🌪 WHAT A TWIST: Tulip was a codename, and for the last two years, this dutch local authority has in fact been dealing with Meta. Yes, that’s right, the councillors of Zeewolde had no idea, and now have agreed to have their beautiful and fertile farm land re-zoned to accommodate an obnoxious hyperscale data centre for Meta.
In case it wasn’t obvious, big tech companies love to hide their names from unwitting communities who would probably otherwise say no. Meta (and others) find the Netherlands to be an attractive place to build not only because it has swathes of beautiful empty landscape to destroy, but also because Amsterdam contains a huge internet exchange, which is great for data centres, apparently.
Anyway, this new centre in Zeewolde will:
use up loads of water for cooling, and a large amount of their renewable energy supply
Create very few jobs, and make the landscape ugly and unappealing
Make residents sad, make Zuckerberg rich.
The people of Zeewolde have pushed back a lot, and now the national senate are calling on the government to stop this project, pending a national data centre policy — let’s see if this works. Meanwhile, Meta insist that this data centre is a matter of ‘national importance’ — and I insist that Mark Zuckerberg should simply drown in tar, but we can’t all get what we want.
🏎️ Just quickly again: we do not need self-driving cars or urban delivery drones.
Read this silly quote from this even sillier marketing post: “We’ve always known that solving last-mile delivery through robotics would better everyday life for millions of people”.
Have we? Have we always ‘known’ that? This is from a company called Nuro who specialise in those tiny little electric road-drones that deliver pizzas (or something) in San Fransisco. Basically, they are pouring money and resources into delivering vape juice to people who can’t be bothered to pop to the shops. Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, people have to walk for miles to get water or charge their phones.
I present this to you today, because the company announced a new hilarious safety feature: an external airbag. This is to protect cyclists and pedestrians from potential collisions (my guess is they were probably about to get sued). The top speed of a Nuro is 45 mph, which they refer to as a ‘low’ speed. Well, I refer to it as: please do not hit me with an airbag at 45 mph.
That’s all for this week, don’t forget to not feel bad about writing shitty code. Goodbye!