Archive for the ‘finance’ category

Nov 25, 2015

Veritasium Explores The Future of Energy — GE

Posted by in categories: energy, finance, habitats, health, transportation

Derek Muller of ‘Veritasium’ explores the impact of the Northeast blackout of 2003 and the innovations in energy that are essential to keeping the lights on. For more on the future of energy, check out Breakthrough’s ‘Energy on the Edge’ episode on the National Geographic Channel airing Sunday 11/29 at 9/8c.

Check Out Veritasium’s ‘How Long Will You Live’:

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Nov 19, 2015

Fintech from the World’s Financial Capital — London — By Andreessen Horowitz | SoundCloud

Posted by in category: finance

Nov 3, 2015

The UK has just invested in a super plane that could fly anywhere in four hours

Posted by in categories: finance, transportation

It almost sounds like a dream: a new kind of hypersonic space-kissing jet that can take you anywhere in the world in just four hours. But the Skylon super plane being developed by UK aerospace firm Reaction Engines is very real.

The project took a big step forward this week with Reaction Engines announcing a new partnership with defence and aerospace giant BAE Systems, whose financial backing, along with a considerable investment from the UK government, will help Reaction develop its new class of aerospace engine dubbed SABRE (Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine) by as early as 2020, with test flights possible just five years later.

It’s thanks to the SABRE engine that the Skylon could theoretically take you to the other side of the planet for lunch, before dropping you safely back home in time for dinner.

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Oct 30, 2015

Mind Control Device Alters Emotions on Demand

Posted by in categories: electronics, finance, mobile phones, neuroscience

Think of all the possibilities!

braincontrolMind control has been a topic of many great suspense and science fiction movies until recent. Now, an emotion altering device that will work in conjunction with a smart phone app is now being developed by Thync, and is slated for release to the public in 2015.

Thync announced on Oct. 8 that it’s raised $13 million from financial contributors to develop technology combining neuroscience and consumer electronics.

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Oct 21, 2015

Will Fintech Upstarts Do To Banks What Uber Has Done To Taxis — Or Will Banks Win?

Posted by in category: finance

Quoted: “Masters went on to say that, because financial services involve Americans’ livelihoods (and not just, say, their taxi ride to Brooklyn), regulations ruling the space are many multitudes more complex than they are in other industries — and the 100-plus year-old banks have a leg up in dealing with these rules.

“Anyone who imagines that as a result of the advent of new technology we will see a world where incumbent financial institutions who provide vital, heavily-regulated intermediated services, custodial services, safe-keeping services will be decimated and completely removed from the picture overnight is just naive and wrong,” she said, pointing out that customers of legacy banks can pay bills and deposit checks through their iPhones — so it’s not as if there’s been no innovation in traditional financial services.”

Read the article here >….ately-win/

Sep 18, 2015

What if U.S. had raised interest rates?

Posted by in categories: economics, finance, government, policy

At the end of 2015, the US national debt will be 18.6 trillion dollars. With such a big number, it’s tempting to put it in perspective by comparing it with things more easily envisioned. 98e2c31e5c194d21be9fd3922dc45fde9207f454Alas, I can not think of anything that puts such an oppressive and unfair burden into perspective, except to this:

US debt represents a personal obligation of $60,000 for each American citizen. And it is rising quickly. Most of our GDP is used simply to pay down interest on that debt. Few pundits see a way out of this hole.

bretton_woods-aIn my opinion, that hole was facilitated in August 1971, when the US modified the Bretton Woods Agreement and unilaterally terminated convertibility of the US dollar to gold. By forcibly swapping every dollar in every pocket and bank account with the promise of transient legislators, individual wealth was suddenly based on fiat instead of something tangible or intrinsic.

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Sep 15, 2015

What is a Blockchain?

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics, finance, government, internet, transparency

This short post is not about Bitcoin. It’s about a new method of organizing and arbitrating communications that is at the heart of Bitcoin

We hear a lot about the blockchain. We also hear a lot of misconceptions about its purpose and benefits. Some have said that it represents a threat to banks or to governments. Nonsense! It is time to form a simple, non-political, and non-economic explanation…

What is a Blockchain?

The blockchain is a distributed approach to bookkeeping. It offers an empowering, efficient and trusted way for disparate parties to reach consensus. It is “empowering”, because conclusions built on a blockchain can be constructed in a way that is inherently fair, transparent, and resistant to manipulation.

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Sep 8, 2015

What gives Bitcoin Value?

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics, Elon Musk, finance

For most of us, figuring out the value of something that we want, comes from research. If you want a new set of wine glasses, you check the price online. Perhaps you consult a catalog. If the set of 8 stemware goblets that you like are a current model from a major company, there are probably many places to buy them. If there are multiple Ebay sellers and many recently completed sales, then you can establish the value with precision.

I’ve written a lot of Bitcoin articles on this Lifeboat Blog and elsewhere, so, let’s dig a bit deeper this time. Let’s talk about from where value really comes.

Supply and Demand

In the end, an item’s value is a direct result of supply and demand. It’s no different with a currency. And let’s be clear: Despite a raging debate, Bitcoin is a currency and not just a payment instrument. How can I be certain? Try this mental exercise—

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Sep 8, 2015

Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures and Citi Ventures Back Stock-Trading Startup — By Anna Irrera | The Wall Street Journal

Posted by in category: finance


Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures and Citigroup’s Citi Ventures have backed a New York-based startup that lets retail investors place orders for securities on news websites, financial blogs and mobile apps, as investments in young financial-technology companies continue to grow.

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Jul 7, 2015

Passfaces: Strong authentication for the masses

Posted by in categories: big data, business, computing, encryption, finance, information science, internet

Last year, Google began experimenting with hardware-based schemes for user-authentication, while Apple added two factor authentication to iCloud and Apple ID users. They began sending a verification code to users via a mobile number registered in advance.

Security pundits know that two factor authentication is more secure than simple passwords. As a refresher, “Factors” are typically described like this:

  • Something that you know (a password — or even better, a formula)
  • Something that you have (Secure ID token or code sent to cell phone)
  • Something that you are (a biometric: fingerprint, voice, face, etc.)

The Google project may be just another method of factor #2. In fact, because it is small (easily misplaced or stolen), it simplifies but does not improve on security. I suggest a radical and reliable method of authentication. It’s not new and it’s not my idea…


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