After the FTX bankruptcy debacle, people lost faith in cryptocurrencies. Even I did, although I bought a bitcoin sweater in 2017.
It might be different if you lived in another country. Take Lebanon, for example. According to a report last month, people trying to get their cash out of a bank have to give up 85% of it. CNBC quoted an architect as saying that he now receives 90% of his payments in bitcoins there, which he exchanges for a “stable coin” called tether, which he exchanges for US dollars.
“One of the great attractions of cryptocurrencies is their independence from governments and traditional financial institutions,” said Joel Ewing, president of the Bella Vista computer club. “But that is also one of its biggest weaknesses. Cryptocurrency exchanges are not subject to government oversight. There are minimal consequences for failure and no insurance to protect investors.” The paradox, he says, is that tighter regulations would lead to higher overall costs, which would reduce enthusiasm for the coin.
Five years ago, I made money in Bitcoin, but ended up in the red buying high and selling low. I would only return now if the financial situation changed drastically.
Last year, the Biden administration directed government agencies to study the development of a digital dollar. According to the Brookings Institute, unless we adopt one, we cannot maintain the global advantages we now enjoy. The dollar is part of 88% of world trade. More than 65 countries link their currencies to our dollars. But 90 countries, representing 90% of the world’s gross domestic product, are also exploring cryptocurrencies. Nine countries already have one, but they are small.
SMART TV, SILLY TV
What can be more maddening than a movie with loud special effects and inaudible dialogue? For example, you might hear every crunch of the heroine’s foot on the gravel, but miss everything she says. There’s a TV setup for that.
On my Sony, I clicked on a little gear icon. Then I clicked on “Display and sound,”https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/”Sound,”https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/ ” Sound customization” and “Voice augmentation”. Using a slider, I turned the Voice Boost up to maximum. Following CNET’s advice, I also turned off surround sound.
Your TV probably has something similar. According to CNET, many new TVs have a setting called “clear voices.” For more information, see “Why are smart TVs so dumb when the problem is so easy to fix?”
BIG SHUT DOWN 3G
Even my less tech friends knew about the big 3G shutdown in time to go out and buy a new phone.
But there are other 3G devices that could cause problems. The list includes automobiles, home security systems, fall detectors, fire alarms, inventory trackers, smart watches, GPS trackers (even for pets), and marine security devices. If you have any of those items, call the manufacturer to see if an upgrade is needed. For more information, please refer to the recently updated ZDnet article “Will my phone work after 3G shutdown?”
NIP IN THE ROOT
It’s hard to keep track of the hundreds of emails I receive every day. I recommend a free extension for Google Chrome to nip it in the bud.
“Check Plus for Gmail” shows you a popup window when an email arrives. A preview window lets you read enough to decide whether to delete it before it clogs up your inbox.
At first I thought my inbox hadn’t been emptied, because I had left a Gmail tab open. But all I had to do was hit the refresh button or keep the Gmail tab closed. When I came back, I had a bad, lean inbox. You can find it in the Chrome Web Store at chrome.google.com.
Eighty-four million tons of sawdust end up in landfills every year. But now there’s a 3D printing system that turns it back into wood products.
Using a $300,000 Forust 3D printer, London’s HagenHinderdael makes pendant lamps for $2,160 each, according to ZDnet. The printer comes with pure unfinished maple or oak sawdust. Of course, $300,000 is a lot of money for a small business. But you can send them your design and they will print it for you. I hope this can lead to less wood waste.
NEW IN CHROME
In the coming weeks, Google Chrome will get a “Memory Saver” feature, which could drastically speed up your web browsing, especially if you’re multitasking. Multitaskers like me surf the web with many tabs open. As I write this, I have 16 of them.
With the new Memory Saver feature, Chrome will put unused tabs on hold so they don’t clog up your system. But each tab will come back to life as soon as you click on it. Chrome is also getting a new “battery saver” feature.
WINDOWS 10 FREE
If you don’t have Windows 10, you can still get it for free. Do a Google search on “Download Windows 10,” but be sure to click the Microsoft.com link.
“TriviaVerse” is a new Netflix trivia game for PC or TV. A cartoonish version is “Trivia Quest”. Check out his trailer on YouTube.
“This pilotless VTOL conducted its first hydrogen-powered test drive.” Look up that phrase to see a drone that uses liquid hydrogen to go over 500 miles with just 55 pounds of hydrogen on board.
Joy Schwabach can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.