Data Sheet—The Long Road to Understanding Cryptocurrencies
And they’re off. The Supreme Court said a federal law that prohibited states from legalizing betting on sports events was a violation of states rights. “A more direct affront to state sovereignty is not easy to imagine,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority decision. The lifting of the ban could be a boon to online betting sites.
Seattle slew. Seattle passed a less costly version of a proposed new payroll tax to fund programs for the homeless and Amazon agreed to restart construction of a new office tower. The tax will be 14 cents per worker per hour at larger employers, instead of an earlier plan that started at 26 cents and went up to 0.7% of wages after two years. Two weeks ago, Amazon suspended work on the 17-story building to house thousands of workers in protest against the tax plan.
Street sense. Uber dropped a requirement that customers and employees must bring sexual harassment and assault claims to private arbitration. The policy change allows victims to sue in court. Uber will also drop confidentiality requirements over details of incidents when it settles such claims (though it will still require that financial details of settlements be kept secret).
Spend a buck. Wi-Fi mesh networks use multiple access points to create a single wireless network with greater coverage than the reach of one transmitter alone. But setting up a mesh network usually requires buying matching gear from one company and that can get expensive. (Startup Eero charges $ 400 for a system to cover a modest sized home, for example.) Now the standards setters behind Wi-Fi have created a new protocol called EasyMesh to allow different kinds of base stations to interact. Let’s see how that goes.
Justify. The price of cloud storage isn’t changing, but Google is giving its subscribers more capacity. The company’s free tier stays at 15 GB and 100 GB is still $ 2 per month. A new $ 3 per month plan offers 200 GB and $ 10 now gets 2 TB instead of just 1 TB—and plans can be shared among families.
Thunder Gulch. A group of mainly Democratic senators is forcing a vote on Wednesday over the Trump administration’s repeal of 2015 net neutrality rules. Even if the vote to block the repeal succeeds, it faces slim odds in the House and is unlike to be signed by President Trump. The battle next moves to the courts.
Smarty Jones. In a White House visit last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook disclosed on Tuesday that he lectured the president on trade policy with analytics, hoping to head off any tariffs that might be applied to iPhones.
Always dreaming. It’s been years since Cook’s mentor, Steve Jobs, declared a “thermonuclear” patent war on Android and the court cases are still running. In a case that started in 2011, Apple and Samsung are back in court this week to try and hash out damages for a couple of iPhone patents in light of a Supreme Court ruling that altered the formula for calculating such amounts.
Unbridled. Finally, sticking to the Steve Jobs theme, famed game developer John Carmack on Monday posted some reminiscences about the late Apple CEO. After Carmack criticized the initial iPhone for only running web apps, he discovered that “the Steve Jobs ‘hero/shithead’ rollercoaster was real, and after rising high for a long time, I was now on the downside.”
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