John McAfee has been Charged with Cryptocurrency Fraud



John McAfee, founder of the software company McAfee Associations (and the software that still bears his name), has been indicted on fraud and money-laundering conspiracy charges, according to Reuters. His bodyguard, Jimmy Gale Watson Jr., is also in trouble.

The United States Attorneys Office Southern District of New York posted a press release with more information. It should be noted that they described the crimes in their press release are described as “alleged”.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “As alleged, McAfee and Watson exploited a widely used social media platform and enthusiasm among investors in the emerging cryptocurrency market to make millions through lies and deception.  The defendants allegedly used McAfee’s Twitter account to publish messages to hundreds of thousands of his Twitter followers touting various cryptocurrencies through false and misleading statements to conceal their true, self-interested motives.  McAfee, Watson, and other members of McAfee’s cryptocurrency team allegedly raked in more than $13 million from investors they victimized with their fraudulent schemes.  Investors should be wary of social media endorsements of investment opportunities.”

Reuters also reported that both McAfee and Watson face civil charges by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which in October accused McAfee of concealing more than $23.1 million he made from boosting seven cryptocurrencies on Twitter.

One thing to take from this situation is that it is never a good idea to post the crimes you, and your team, are allegedly doing, on your Twitter account.


Square Acquires Majority of TIDAL



Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter, and also co-founder and CEO of Square, posted a long thread of tweets in which he announced that Square is acquiring a majority ownership stake in TIDAL. The TIDAL Twitter account also posted a tweet about this change.

The first tweet in Jack Dorsey’s thread says: “Square is acquiring a majority ownership in TIDAL through a new joint venture, with the original artists becoming the second largest group of shareholders, and JAY-Z joining the Square board. Why would a music streaming company and a financial services company join forces?!” The rest of the thread attempts to answer that question.

To summarize the thread, Square started by giving small sellers a simple tool in order to participate more fully in the economy and grow. TIDAL started with the idea of honoring artists by being artist-owned and led. Together, the two companies can work together to integrate merch sales and new complementary revenue streams.

TIDAL posted a news release titled: “Square, Inc. Announces Plans to Acquire Majority Ownership Stake in TIDAL”. From the news release:

Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a majority ownership stake in TIDAL, the global music and entertainment platform that brings fans and artists together through unique music, content, and experiences. Square expects to pay a mix of cash and stock of $297 million for a significant majority ownership stake, and existing artist shareholders will be the remaining stakeholders. TIDAL will operate independently within Square, alongside the Seller and Cash App ecosystems.

The news release also stated: TIDAL board member and shareholder Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter is expected to join Square’s Board of Directors subject to the closing of the transaction.”

Square’s acquisition of the majority of TIDAL comes not long after another project that Jack Dorsey and JAY-Z started working on together. They created an endowment named ₿trust to fund bit-coin development, which would initially be focused on teams in Africa and India. The two have pledged 500 bitcoin – which is around $23.3 million – toward ₿trust.


Sony PlayStation Store will Discontinue Movie and TV Purchases



The ability to purchase movies and TV shows on PlayStation is coming to an end, according to a post made on the PlayStation Blog. This change will not happen immediately, but you may want to prioritize the TV show or movie you had been considering buying and watching on your PlayStation.

The post on the PlayStation Blog was written by Head of Video Business, SIE, Vanessa Lee:

At SIE, we strive to provide the best entertainment experience for PlayStation fans, and that means evolving our offerings as customer needs change. We’ve seen tremendous growth from PlayStation fans using subscription-based and ad-based entertainment streaming services on our consoles. With this shift in customer behavior, we have decided to no longer offer movie and TV purchases and rentals through PlayStation Store as of August 31, 2021.

When this change goes into effect, users can still access movies and TV content they have purchased through PlayStation Store for on-demand playback on their PS4, PS5 and mobile devices. We thank our fans for their continued support, and we look forward to further enhancing the entertainment experience on PlayStation.

Variety reported that Sony first launched video rentals and sales in the PlayStation Store in July of 2008, having inked distribution pacts with major studios. According to Variety, Sony is shutting down its digital video store after double-digit growth in the sector in 2020 amid the pandemic. Variety stated that Sony said it is exiting the transactional VOD (video-on-demand) business because it sees more PlayStation users adopting free and subscription streaming-services.

To me, that makes sense. It will be hard for Sony to compete with Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, The Criterion Channel, IMDB TV and more. In my opinion, Sony will do well to stick to video games – especially ones that are exclusive to PS4 or PS5. Diablo II Resurrected will be playable on both of those consoles, and has plenty of fans of the series anxiously awaiting its release.


Verizon Says Turn off 5g to Save Battery! #1511



Verizon in a now-deleted tweet is telling customers to turn off 5g in order to save on battery life of their mobile phones. With the added 5g chipsets reducing space in phones compounding the issue as they now on average smaller batteries the 5g utilization comes with a heave battery load.

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Streamer earns $3000 while Sleeping #1510



A celebrity in Taiwan started her live stream and went to sleep for 5 hours. This then resulted in over 11,000 people watching the stream of her sleeping and then donating $3000 dollars to the streamer. I need that gig.

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Facebook to Reverse News Ban on Australian News



ABC News reported Facebook will walk back its block on Australian users sharing news on its site after the government agreed to make amendments to the proposed media bargaining laws that would force major tech giants to pay news outlets for their content.

This decision is a result of negotiations between the Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. ABC News quoted Treasurer Josh Frydenberg as saying, “Mark Zuckerberg said to me today [restoring pages] will occur in coming days.”

Facebook updated its post on its Facebook Journalism Project (that was originally about the company’s decision to restrict the availability of Australian news on Facebook) with this:

“After further discussions with the Australian government, we have come to an agreement that will allow us to support the publishers we choose to, including small and local publishers. We’re restoring news on Facebook in Australia in the coming days. Going forward, the government has clarified we will retain the ability to decide if news appears on Facebook so that we won’t automatically be subject to a forced negotiation. It’s always been our intention to support journalism in Australia and around the world, and we’ll continue to invest in news globally and resist efforts by media conglomerates to advance regulatory frameworks that do not take account of the true value exchange between publishers and platforms like Facebook.”

Personally, I am skeptical of Facebook’s claim that it has always been their intention to support journalism in Australia. If it cared about supporting news publishers it would not have banned Australian News. That decision caused collateral damage as it also resulted in blocking Australian and local news to Fiji, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.

Facebook’s decision also enabled anti-vaccine misinformation to spread widely since real Australian news organizations were unable to respond to and correct the misinformation in those posts. This happened at the very beginning of Australia’s vaccine rollout. In short, Facebook’s attempt to avoid paying for news may have resulted in vaccine hesitancy among some Australians.


Perseverance Landing Video Incredible #1509



Perseverance landing video released by NASA is truly remarkable. I was blown away by the clarity it was like a front-row seat. While short it demonstrates how fast and how accurate things have to be to land safely. While computers make it happen in real-time the engineers have to perfect the code and timing to make sure all events fire when they are supposed to.

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