Crypto nonsense, x-ray time-lapses, and more: THE WEEKLY RECAP (2021#47)

Pretty busy week (this post was not published at its common time, in fact), but some cool links to share. Christmas is coming!


Hats hats hats vs NFTs and crypto

Companies love money, and videogames industry is particularly greedy. They were one of the first industries to switch to digital (probably we are in the last console generation with non-digital versions of their games, and pc left that support years ago with Steam), and they have been introducing new tech to create new experiences since… forever.

Now, we are entering the world of digital currencies (crypto) and NFTs, and of course many developers are trying to grab some cash in a fast way. The funny thing is that all the crypto-based games are terrible, and nothing in the gameplay really depends on that characteristic (you could do the same without tokens, NFTs, and burning trees and thousands of € in the process). As far as I am concerned, the only purpose of those products is to scam people who think they will be able to get rich by playing. This feeling is also reinforced when you look at big companies that are behind this trend, which are the greediest ones the community has ever dealt with.

On the other hand, it is always interesting to see this kind of trend, and online economies is a topic that always amazed me. World of Warcraft, Eve Online, and my favourite: the hatconomy from Team Fortress 2 (super cool video about the market crash, below).

Blockchain in Gaming Is all the Rage for No Good Reason, on bloomberg


~homemade X-ray videos?

Cool article on hackaday about an amazing project to get timelapse images using x-rays. While being homemade, is not something that you can really try to do at home without years of experience in the field. However, watching how the vascular system of plants works is quite impressive:

Observing A Plant’s Vascular System With X-Ray Video, on hackaday

X-ray timelapse of fluid movement in plants, stop-motion animation, sensor teardown/repair, on the Ben Krasnow blog


What Science-Fiction tells us about the present

Having grown reading lots of sci-fi (which is actually something I still enjoy doing), hearing about what writers think the future will bring is always quite thought evoking. During the past century, many authors explored the topics of tech evolution (computation, internet, advances in medicine, space travel, etc.) and how those could shape society. Seems that nowadays the topics are shifting towards how are we going to destroy the planet (doh!). Still, the article from tor.com was super cool.

Sci-Fi vs Science: How Authors View the Greatest Scientific Challenges of Our Time, on tor.com


Another crypto stupidity

Probably my favourite news of the week. It is always super funny to see how greed makes people do stupid things, and even better when they get scammed in the process. Quick recap: a lot of cryptobros did a crowfund to buy a copy of the US constitution. They did not win the auction, but now they cannot get a refund because crypto fees are so high that the costs are basically the same as the average amount people invested. Also, the people that created the platform (which in principle only existed to buy the constitution) have been managing the whole thing in the dark, without letting others in the community decide the next steps. By the way, being managed by voting between members is exactly how a DAO, which stands for Decentralized Autonomous Organization, should work. Hilarious.

‘Buy the Constitution’ Aftermath: Everyone Very Mad, Confused, Losing Lots of Money, Fighting, Crying, Etc., on vice


And that’s it for the week. Stay safe!

The week in papers (22/04/18)

As a way to keep posts going, I am starting a short recap about interesting papers being published (or being discovered) every now and then. Probably I will write longer posts about some of them in the future.

Let’s get this thing going:

Two papers using ‘centroid estimation‘ to retrieve interesting information:

Extract voice information using high-speed camera

Mariko AkutsuYasuhiro Oikawa, and Yoshio Yamasaki, at The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America