/ Weekly Takeaways

Bitcoin takes another credibility hit, The EU is about to cripple journalism and The emergence of printed screens

Bitcoin Exchange QuadrigaCX loses its entire value with the death of its founder

In mid-December - the founder of a well known Canadian bitcoin exchange died, without leaving anyone his password to his laptop. Those under him have said they've tried to access the exchange, but it's been two months and no luck. NPR ran great coverage on the story here: https://www.npr.org/2019/02/04/691296170/cryptocurrency-exchange-says-it-cant-access-millions-after-founder-s-unexpected

Key Takeaway

$190 million is a small fraction of the bitcoin market, but the story is part of a repeated narrative of immaturity for the currency. This is yet another story about an entire exchange that has died because of a lack of succession planning or effort to design a business.

On the flip side - bitcoin's value hasn't fluctuated much since this story hit mainstream news sources - indicating that this issue has become par for the course, rather than a shock to the public.

The EU has been trying to move forward with new copyright laws to combat fake news. A large chunk of the proposed laws put the onus on media platforms to ensure that all content is appropriately associated to real content owners. This includes adjustments to how news sites will feature headlines to ensure that they can't use dark tactics like clickbait.

Google and several other media platforms have responded by forecasting what these changes will do to the media industry - specifically that traffic to these websites will be cut in half as audiences will be far less likely to be compelled to read content with less interesting headlines.


Key Takeaway

Google clearly has its own self interests in mind here, but putting that aside - these reforms are more likely to not only reduce traffic, but eliminate the value that audiences see in media sources - namely as entertainment sources.

It's unfortunate that journalism is mainly an entertainment source these days, but until that turns around - creating punitive measures for attracting eyeballs is the wrong approach, and will decimate whatever journalism still exists in the EU.

If this goes through, or worse, creates precedent for North America - we can expect a much faster death to the category.

A new type of 'printed poster' will be able to tell you the current weather

A small design shop in Melbourne, Typified, has launched a kickstarter campaign for paper that changes its ink to tell you the weather. The changes can be fairly slow, but hey, they figured out how to make paper work like a computer screen - that's epic in my books.

It's essentially a high quality piece of paper with a tiny computer plugged into it that makes the ink move around to change icons, texts and colours. Almost like a steampunk version of a computer screen.

You can check out the full project here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1806793473/a-poster-that-knows-the-weather-first-updating-pap/description

Key Takeaway

A few weeks back - I talked about Subtle Design - the idea of products that fit into the background and only appear when we need them. This product alters that idea by taking materials that we expect around our home, but allows them to adjust to new data. If more products like these start coming to life, it will be very likely that we'll be surrounded by data without feeling like we have TV screens everywhere.

It's a very comforting idea, and is a very important one for the future of Experience Design, as we think about the role that data plays in a soon to arrive future where we don't have to worry about cramming everything into a phone screen or laptop. This makes our data far more ubiquitous across our every moment in a pleasant way.

Bitcoin takes another credibility hit, The EU is about to cripple journalism and The emergence of printed screens
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