Technology

At least 15 central banks are serious about getting into digital currency

The market for digital currency is down, but it’s certainly not out. Even if private cryptocurrencies are falling in popularity, it appears likely we are headed toward an era of national digital currencies that are backed by central banks. Central banks are the institutions that set monetary policy for a nation, manage inflation, and act as the “lender of last ...

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New York’s new wage law for Uber drivers is a lesson for cities around the world

Last week New York City set a minimum wage for Uber and Lyft drivers in the city—the first minimum wage for ride-hail drivers in the US. I wanted to know what that could mean for ride-hailing drivers around the world so, while I was in New York, I sat down with author of Uberland: How Algorithms are Rewriting the Rules of Work, Alex Rosenblat. Rosenblat is ...

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The 6 reasons why Huawei gives the US and its allies security nightmares

The detention in Canada of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s CFO and the daughter of its founder, is further inflaming tensions between the US and China. Her arrest is linked to a US extradition request on undisclosed charges, but China says it’s a human rights violation and is demanding her swift release. Behind this very public drama is a long-running, behind-the-scenes one centered ...

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Data analysis could help locate the missing Malaysian MH370 plane

On March 8, 2014, Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 took off from Kuala Lumpur airport, bound for Beijing. Soon after takeoff, the plane’s transponders and communications systems mysteriously shut down, and contact with the plane stopped. Two extensive searches, the most costly in aviation history, failed to find the aircraft in a remote part of the Indian Ocean where it was ...

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Meet the astronaut trainer getting billionaire space tourists ready for liftoff

A trip to space is no vacation. Getting there requires some serious prep work—even for people whose checkbooks have paid for the golden launch ticket. SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic are all promising to send private citizens into space within the next five years. In September, SpaceX announced that its first private paying customer will take a trip around ...

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Machine learning identifies cryptocurrency scams before they happen

The emergence of cryptocurrencies in the last few years has been a roller coaster ride. During 2017, Bitcoin rose in value from $900 to almost $20,000 before collapsing dramatically. Today, at the beginning of December 2018, a single bitcoin is worth just under $4,000. All this has encouraged the rapid development of other cryptocurrencies—well over 1,000 of them by most estimates. The dream is ...

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The crisis of social reproduction and the end of work

Now, a new wave of technology threatens to automate vast swaths of existing jobs, with the trend set to push even more workers into un- and under-employment. The result is an increasingly large surplus population that has neither the means to survive outside of capitalism nor the jobs to survive within it. While it is encouraging to see these issues ...

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