BlockFi just gathered up $50 million to lend to bitcoin and ethereum holders who don’t want to cash out (yet)

Because cryptocurrency prices are almost comically volatile owing to challenges involved in valuing them, it’s hard to know when or why to sell.

Enter crypto-asset backed loans, around which a small but growing number of startups are beginning to spring up. The idea is to lend money to cryptocurrency holders who don’t want to offload their holdings but also don’t necessarily want so much of their assets tied up in cryptocurrencies.

Among these is Lendingblock, a London-based startup that enables holders of crypto assets to lend them out and accrue interest on their holdings. Other outfits — and we aren’t vouching for these so much as letting you know they exist — include CoinLoan, a 1.5-year-old outfit in Estonia that is itself trying to raise money through an initial coin offering; Nexo, a Switzerland-based platform powered by a Bulgarian consumer finance company called [...]  read more

‘Guacamelee 2’ brings mayhem to PS4 and PC on August 21st

There’s no word on Switch or Xbox One versions of Guacamelee 2 just yet, although that’s not surprising. DrinkBox told us in March that it was focused on the PS4 version at the time, and it’s already available on PC at launch. While we wouldn’t put money down on support for other platforms, it might just be a matter of time before you’re wrestling supernatural baddies on your system of choice.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget

R. Kelly’s Empty Confessions, Meet Black Twitter’s Wrath

For two decades, R. Kelly’s predatory appetite for young women has been an insidiously well-known secret within the music industry. And on “I Admit,” a 19-minute song the R&B singer uploaded to SoundCloud Monday, he publicly responds to allegations of sexual misconduct. Kelly sings of being sexually abused as a child, of having sexual relationships with multiple fans, and of numerous peccadilloes—but it all reads as a calculated smokescreen. Despite the song’s title, never does the Chicago-born lothario own up to the crimes of sexual abuse many detractors and former fans believe he is guilty of.

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Darkly Shakespearean, “I Admit” is not completely devoid of self-reckoning. As such, it’s meant to function as a life raft against the raging currents that have billowed against [...]  read more

Volvo’s all-electric Polestar 2 will go up against the Model 3

The 2 is poised to make its debut at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show in March, and is expected to share a lot in common with Volvo’s 40.2 concept (pictured above). It wouldn’t be as exotic-looking as the Polestar 1, but that’s part of the point. Goodman rejected the idea that EVs had to be “quirky or futuristic” — if they’re eventually going to be mainstream, they have to look like (relatively) ordinary cars.

This doesn’t necessarily put Tesla in immediate danger. It’s expected to deliver its fabled $35,000 Model 3 variant within several months, and it has the luxury of both an enthusiastic fan base and hundreds of thousands of pre-orders. Nonetheless, it has good cause to be nervous. Polestar not only has competitive specs, but the luxury of support from a long-serving automotive brand. It doesn’t have to worry as much about economies of scale [...]  read more

Google Assistant’s news feeds are getting smarter

News is far and away the feature I use the most with Google Assistant. Every morning, I ask the Assistant “what’s in the news,” and it dutifully cycles through some pre-recorded news briefs from NPR, CNN and the like. It does the job, but it’s not much for specificity.

Google, however, is introducing tools to help developers target specific content based on queries. Per the example given in a new blog post, publishers can highlight a snippet of a story that will be read aloud when a user makes a request along the lines of “Hey Google, what’s the latest news on NASA?”Assistant will then read that portion aloud. The link to the full article is sent to the user’s mobile device and once done, Assistant will ask if they want another.

It’s interesting to watch companies like Google and Amazon play around with these news reads. It seems no one has quite figured out the ideal length for an audible news digests, but it appears to fall somewhere between [...]  read more

What is DevOps?

Born out of the difficulties of a challenging data migration project and getting siloed teams to work together better, DevOps has evolved into a movement to facilitate software development and its implementation, while improving reliability and increasing security. While the process of combining teams is hardly seamless, when done successfully, DevOps delivers significant benefits across businesses whether they are large or small.

DevOps combines the words Development and Operations, with the term originating in 2009 and attributed to Patrick Debois, who is widely considered the ‘Godfather of DevOps’ and is the founder of the popular DevOpsDays conference.

Debois’ philosophical approach to software development and operations grew from his experience the year prior with a data migration project for the Belgian government, where the project developers and the system administrators were simply not on the same page. After this, Debois created the aforementioned conference to share this [...]  read more