Category Archives: Technology

NY and Miami Mayors Want Bitcoin Paychecks

Newly-elected New York City Mayor Eric Adams, and recently re-elected Miami Mayor Francis Suarez both want their first payments as mayor to be in cryptocurrency.

Photo care of Antana

Adams made his announcement on social media, saying that he would like to have his first three months’ worth of salary transferred to him in the form of bitcoin. Since the currency’s launch in 2009 it has been extremely volatile—from about $1,000 at the end of 2013 to $66,000 in late 2021, with lots of ups and downs in between.

Both Adams and Suarez want to make their respective cities “the center of the cryptocurrency industry” and “a hub for cryptocurrency innovation.”

“In New York we always go big, so I’m going to take my first three paychecks in bitcoin when I become mayor,” wrote Mr. Adams on Twitter

“NYC is going to be the center of the cryptocurrency industry and other fast-growing, innovative industries! Just wait!”

Adams was elected in early November 2021 as New York’s second Black mayor.

Suarez established in August 2021 a new cryptocurrency called MiamiCoin, run by an non-profit organization called CityCoins. The group sends 30% of the value of the currency that is created on someone’s computer to Miami. So far the city has raised over $7 million in this way.
Adams stated that he would like to create a similar non-profit as well.

Private Space Flight Taking Off

Axiom Space, a non-government, private company that specializes in spaceflight, is teaming up with SpaceX, Elon Musk’s rocket-making enterprise, to bring more missions to fruition.
The deal is to add a total of four missions to the SpaceX schedule.

The Houston-based Axiom had already announced its first mission, Ax-1 would be ready to launch in January 2022, utilizing SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and the Crew Dragon capsule. The new agreement will provide for Ax-2, Ax-3 and Ax-4.

SpaceX already has three Crew Dragon flights to the International Space Station under its belt, all of them under the Commercial Crew program of NASA, using government trained and paid astronauts. Ten astronauts have flown with SpaceX already and a full schedule of astronauts, both government and private Crew Dragon missions are coming up this year.

“SpaceX has blazed the trail with reliable, commercial human launch capability and we are thrilled to partner with them on a truly historic moment,” Axiom CEO Michael Suffredini said.

Soc-Media Giants Looking for Clues From Biden Team

The US presidency may have shifted parties, but social media giants Google, Facebook and Twitter are in a wait-and-see pattern vis-à-vis President Biden’s approach to the social media sector .

At home, all three platforms have come under fire in recent years for allegedly violating federal antitrust statutes. In December, the Federal Trade Commission filed suit for what the Commission called “a years-long course of anticompetitive conduct.” That followed a trifecta of antitrust cases filed against Google.

The companies have also run into trouble in recent months on the socio-cultural stage, with social and political conservatives accusing the platforms of censoring conservative voices, and progressives arguing that the lack of oversight has facilitated the spread of disinformation and fake news.

Here, too, the battle is likely to play out in court: Parler, a Twitter-like platform favored by many conservatives that have been banned by Twitter,  sued Amazon after the latter’s Amazon Web Services announced it would cut service to Parler.

In the international arena, too, the social media giants are facing unprecedented scrutiny and legal challenges. In Brussels, the European Commission has opened an investigation into Google’s advertising practices, while in Australia the company is embroiled in a political fight with Canberra  over paying for news articles that appear in the company’s search results.

Michael Antonov – A Future Vision for Virtual Reality

The future of technology is bright and the possibilities are endless. Most of us can’t even imagine the next technological innovation coming around the corner – but of course those in the field certainly can. That’s why it can be exciting to hear from experts in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship and to understand what their vision for the future is. For those interested in joining  these fields, it’s even more important to hear from the leaders who are already inventing and shaping the future.

One such leader, Michael Antonov, gave a speech entitled “Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Insights from Silicon Valley” at Tsinghua University in China a few years ago. Antonov had a great deal to offer to up-and-coming software developers and future engineers and inventors. He is the co-founder of Oculus, a company that revived the virtual reality industry and became part of Facebook in 2014.  He served as the Chief Software Architect of the firm and led the software team for Oculus Rift DK1 and DK2. Prior to Oculus, he was the co-founder and CTO at Scaleform, an interface middleware company that was sold to Autodesk. Today Michael serves as the founder and CEO of Formic Ventures, a human longevity-focused investment firm, and of The Michael Antonov Foundation.

In his lecture at Tsinghua University, Michael Antonov revealed his ideas about bringing virtual reality to the world and painted a picture of the exciting future we can enjoy because of new technological inventions. He shared his vision that some time soon, we will all be able to simply put on sunglasses and see an extension of our reality, the one that provides more productivity to workers, better entertainment to consumers, and more contextual education to students. While we are not there yet, he believes this technology will become mainstream fairly soon. Today we can already witness adoption of virtual and augmented reality across industries. Consumers can shop for new clothes using mobile devices and try them on in augmented reality without leaving their homes. Doctors experiment with surgeries in VR and scientists use VR to study molecules. This innovation allows school children to visit deep oceans or travel in time to walk around Jurrasic park, while adults can stand on stage with Paul McCartney, learn CPR, and travel the world in the comfort of their living rooms. One can only imagine what our world will look like in another decade.

Antonov explained that the two keys to success in this technology’s success are computer vision and AI. Mastering these challenges along with bringing more innovation will make VR even more useful in the future and turn it into the platform of tomorrow. Just imagine the world where VR can can read your mind, understand your emotions, or evaluate your health and well-being based on brain waves, eye movement, or your temperature.

Antonov presented many ideas to the packed audience – ideas that are worth listening to and considering as they set the stage for the future.