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War Tactics in Space is Business as Usual

On November 15th, 2021, U.S. officials noticed debris floating in orbit. Soon thereafter, Russia confirmed the launch of an anti-satellite weapon. Russia had successfully hit and destroyed their own satellite – a test – spewing debris through space. 

This debris cannot be removed and will remain in space for years. At best it will be a nuisance to space-faring efforts. At worst, it could damage vital assets like the International Space Station, potentially hurting crew members. The surprising thing isn’t that this happened, but that similar events have been commonplace since the dawn of the space age. 

When Apollo 11 landed on the moon in 1969, the whole world stopped to watch. It was a feat of technological prowess that sparked the imagination of everyone. Terraformation, Mars colonies, and a solar-system-spanning human future suddenly seemed more than science fiction. If we could put a man on the moon, the possibilities were endless. 

But the international environment was tense.

We were in the midst of the Cold War. It was Sputnik’s origin – the Soviet Union – that led the United States to enact legislation in support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958, and eventually put a man on the moon.

In this context, the space race might have been more war tactics than moon-based amusement parks. 

The United Nation was swift to act. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty, according to space experts Michelle L.D. Hanlon and Greg Autry, was a general document aimed at preserving space exploration for all. Except for two important caveats: 1) No missiles from the moon or other celestial bodies – they must be used exclusively for “peaceful purposes” 2) A commitment to taking other treaty members’ interests into account when conducing space activities. 

As Hanlon and Autry point out, these caveats leave room for interpretation. Space law hasn’t been updated since, though several attempts have been made to rein in the otherworldly wilds. 

Since the 1967 treaty, our space adventures have continued. Additional sovereign states have joined the space race. Our spacecrafts have flown to Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. A handful of private spacefaring companies have sprung into existence. The limits of what space has to offer and who can take advantage of these possibilities is shifting. 

At the same time, the potential for war from space has never been far from our leaders’ minds. 

On November 1st, 2021, the United Nations approved five draft resolutions aimed at “preventing an arms race in outer space.” Russia’s anti-satellite testing two weeks later wasn’t illegal, but the debris left behind isn’t about legality. 

In addition to the threat of space debris, one cannot ignore the reason for satellite destruction. Russia is not the first country to add to our collective debris in pursuit of weapons testing. The United States demonstrated this power as early as 1985. China and India have since followed suit.

The UN briefing on the recently approved resolutions offer some light on the situation. Russia was one of nine countries to oppose the draft resolution “Reducing space threats through norms, rules and principles of responsible behaviors.” 

India abstained from the vote, reportedly because the draft did not “address prevention of an arms race through a legally binding instrument and diverts from that objective.” The Philippians echoed this thought, noting that their support “must not be misconstrued to mean the existence of weapons in outer space is acceptable.”

A second approved draft resolution received a different cohort of nay votes. “No first placement of weapons in outer space” (also known as NFP or L50) saw opposition from the United States, among other countries. 

In defense of this decision Ambassador Robert Wood writes: “First, the NFP initiative does not adequately define what constitutes a ‘weapon in outer space.’ Second, the NFP initiative contains no features that would make it possible to effectively confirm a State’s political commitment ‘not to be the first to place weapons in outer space.’ Third, the NFP initiative is silent with regard to terrestrially-based anti-satellite weapons, which constitute a significant threat to outer space systems.”

Several delegates responded negatively to the votes placed against L50:

“The representative of Egypt, referring to ‘L.50’ and ‘L.53’, said that whereas his delegation appreciates efforts in favour of consensus, it is clear that the aim of some States is to turn outer space into a battlefield. “

“The representative of China expressed regret that recorded votes were requested on ‘L.50’ and ‘L.53’.  Indeed, a certain country remains recalcitrant and provokes confrontation, claiming to work towards a shared future while continuing to challenge that concept.”

International relations are never clear cut, but Russia’s anti-satellite weapons testing can also be seen as a preemptive defensive move, and it may be the least of our worries.

 

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Floyd Mayweather and Kim Kardashian Being Sued Over Cryptocurrency

Over the last few years, cryptocurrencies have skyrocketed in popularity. Thanks to Bitcoin, currencies like Ethereum and Dogecoin have become legitimate ways for people to invest their money. For many, it’s been a great way for people to make a significant profit.

However, it’s not all bright and cheery in the world of cryptocurrencies. Right now, Floyd Mayweather and Kim Kardashian are in a bit of hot water regarding their promotion of a specific cryptocurrency. The two have been accused of misleading investors through their promotion of the cryptocurrency token EthereumMax, or EMAX. 

The lawsuit was filed January 7th in Los Angeles federal court. It claims that both Mayweather and Kardashian promoted the coin to their followers in order to get them to invest in it. As their followers invested their money, the stake that the two had in the cryptocurrency increased, netting them larger profits. However, when the two pulled their own money out, the token failed, causing many of the other investors to lose large amounts of money.

The lawsuit stated:

The company’s executives, collaborating with several celebrity promoters … made false or misleading statements about EthereumMax through social media advertisements and other promotional activities.

The portion stating that the promoters used “other promotional activities” refers to Mayweather specifically. Mayweather, being one of the most successful boxers of all time, is no stranger to promotions, sponsorships, and endorsements. When it comes to EthereumMax, Mayweather proudly wore the cryptocurrency on his trunks during his fight against YouTube celebrity Logan Paul.

It is also likely that Mayweather wore the logo for EthereumMax during other promotional activities for the fight, as well. This is due to the fact that the company was one of his more notable sponsors for a significant portion of time.

In relation to Kim Kardashian, the promotion of EthereumMax was far more blatant. Kardashian has one of the biggest social media followings in the world. As such, she also has one of the largest audiences to promote products to. That’s exactly what she did.

In June of 2021, Kim Kardashian posted on her Instagram about EthereumMax. Her post said:

Are you guys into crypto???? This is not financial advice but sharing what my friends just told me about the Ethereum Max token! A few minutes ago Ethereum Max burned 400 trillion tokens—literally 50% of their admin wallet, giving back to the entire e-max community. Swipe up to join the e-max community.

The post itself was even marked as being an ad on Instagram, with the required “#AD” marker at the beginning of the post. At the time, Kim Kardashian had nearly 250 million followers on the platform.

Neither Kardashian or Mayweather has responded to the lawsuit publicly. EthereumMax, however, has put out a statement. They “look forward to the truth coming out.”

Unfortunately it seems pretty cut and dry what has happened in this scenario. The company paid promoters to help them increase the value of their cryptocurrency. This inflation led to profits for the celebrity promoters, as well as the company, but overall, it was the average people who invested that lost money.

The lawsuit has been filed by a New York resident who invested based on the promotional material put forth by the celebrities. He, and countless others who purchased EMAX from May to June of 2021, have joined in the class action lawsuit.

This is the kind of power that we’ve given to celebrities. They are called influencers for a reason. In the future, hopefully they won’t be allowed to promote fintech companies. Until then, their interest in such areas isn’t worth a grain of salt.

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Tik Tok User Trades in Bobby Pin for a House

For many people, owning a home is a dream that may never come true. It takes a good amount of money to buy a house and some people will never make enough for a down payment. 

One Tik Tokker recently got creative and managed to make her dream to buy a home a reality starting by trading a one cent body pin. She continued her bartering and was eventually able to afford an $80,000 home. 

Demi Skipper of San Francisco started her “Trade Me Project” in May of 2020. She kept followers updated on her Instagram and Tik Tok accounts which resulted in her gaining millions of followers. 

On Dec. 12, 2021, she posted a video of herself proudly standing in front of her two-bedroom detached house near Nashville, TN. “After 28 trades and all the ups and downs, I finally did it,” she said in the video. 

Skipper was inspired by a TED Talk by Kyle MacDonald, a Canadian who traded his way to a home starting with a paperclip. “The moment I realized no one else had done this since, I was like ‘OK, I have to do this’.”

She integrated a few rules into the task. No money could be exchanged other than covering shipping costs, and no trading was allowed with people she knew. She also accepted sponsorships from brands. 

The campaign attracted enough attention that it brought Skipper’s social media following from zero to millions after just a few video posts. “I think it was just crazy enough of an idea that people were thinking ‘I don’t think she’ll do this, but I want to watch to see if she does’,” she says. 

Here are the exchanges Skipper made between May 2020 and November of 2021 that led her to purchasing a home. 

  • Bobby Pin: $.01
  • Earrings: $10
  • Margarita Glass: $24
  • Bissell Vacuum: $60
  • Dakine Snowboard: $95
  • Apple TV 4K: $180
  • Bose Wireless Headphones: $220
  • Xbox One with Accessories: $320
  • 2011 MacBook Pro: $400
  • Canon TD with Accessories: $550
  • Nike Blazers: $750
  • Nike Hyperdunks: $850
  • Nike Air Jordan 1s: $950
  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max: $1050
  • 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan: $1000
  • Boosted Plus Electric Skateboard: $1200
  • Newer MacBook Pro: $1800
  • Ferla Food Cart Bike: $3800
  • 2006 MINI Cooper Convertible: $5000
  • Diamond and Sapphire Necklace: $1600
  • Peloton Bike: $1800
  • 2006 Ford Mustang GT Deluxe: $4500
  • 2011 Jeep Patriot Sport: $6000
  • Wildbound Tiny Cabin: $10,000
  • 2011 Honda CRV: $11,500
  • Three-Tractor Trailer: $12,600
  • Chipotle Celebrity Card: $18,250
  • Off Grid Trailer: $40,000
  • House: $80,000

How the Trades Were Made

Skipper made most of her trades on Craigslist, Facebook, and other reseller sites. While many think she had several options to choose from due to the publicity her campaign was getting, that wasn’t always the case. 

“Sometimes I’d have thousands of options and sometimes I didn’t have many,” she explains. She often had to initiate trades with people who had items with a similar value to what she had to sell. 

Skipper would spend up to 40 hours a week working to reach her goal outside of her full-time job as a product manager. She spent most of her time finding buyers and making exchanges and shipping arrangements. She also experienced setbacks when she found out items she had traded for were worth less money than she thought. 

She was prepared to go on for five years to reach her goal. As she got closer to her dream, she had a harder time finding people to trade with. 

“When I had the bobby pin, I was like, ‘give me anything’. But as you get to $10,000, very few people have things laying around their house they can trade with. To be honest, there were times when things slowed down and people started doubting it and leaving comments, but it’s an example of how you just have to keep going.”

Future Plans

Skipper is still adjusting to her new home. She says she wakes up and thinks “OK, what do I need to do and who do I need to trade with?’ And I’m like, ‘Wait, it’s already happened, I don’t need to do that anymore’.”

That will change this month as Skipper is planning Season Two of her Trade Me Project. She plans to move to Tennessee and renovate her house which she will then give to someone who needs it for the price of, what else, a bobby pin. 

When asked why she’s doing it again, Skipper said, “There are so many things I gained from it that weren’t just trades, like the many people I met along the way and how much I learned about myself.”

We wish her the best of luck embarking on her second adventure.

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Everything You Need To Know About the Metaverse

After Facebook changed its name to Meta back in the fall of 2021, a heavy influx of news stories about the Metaverse eventually followed. The concept is likely complex for anyone who hasn’t been well-educated in the digital space since the term was coined back in 1992. Anyone who feels like they’re on the outside looking in when it comes to anything related to virtual reality or the metaverse isn’t alone. Although virtual reality has made strides in the past few decades, it’s only recently gained the potential to become a hot consumer item with Meta’s (then known as Facebook) 2020 release of the Oculus Quest 2. The technology of the Oculus Quest 2 offers users ranges from expanded work from home capabilities to VR chat rooms. Even though the potential the metaverse possesses is great, there are still numerous questions people need answers to before taking the leap for themselves.  

What Is the Metaverse?

Simply put, the metaverse combines augmented reality with virtual reality to create an immersive experience where people can connect to play together, collaborate on work projects or just socialize. The term ‘metaverse’ first appeared in the sci-fi book by Neal Stephenson called Snow Crash. The concept has gone from a dystopian concept in a science fiction novel into a multi-billion dollar industry. Some estimates report that the Metaverse could eventually reach $1 trillion in annual revenue. After an investment of $10 billion, Meta anticipates the Metaverse generating at least 10,000 jobs over the course of the next five years. 

Meta is at the forefront of the movement to make the Metaverse mainstream, but there are numerous additional tech companies aiming to gain their fair share of profit, too. Some of the other major players from the tech space currently constructing the metaverse include Epic Games, Apple, and Microsoft. Each of the companies currently working to construct the Metaverse are capable of bringing something special to make it capable of exceeding even the wildest of imaginations.

What Is the Metaverse Capable Of?

One of the most confusing aspects of the metaverse is that it’s so hard getting a straight answer as to what it will be primarily used for. When most people hear the words virtual reality, the first thing that typically comes to mind is video games. While an immersive gaming experience is one of the most widely known benefits to joining the Metaverse, it doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of grasping its full capabilities. Aside from gaming, other ways users will be able to leverage the Metaverse include virtual home tours, mock brick-and mortar store locations, and theme parks, along with much more. Essentially, the idea of the Metaverse is to provide people with a myriad of experiences all from the comfort of one convenient location. 

Even though the goal of the metaverse is generally harmless, that doesn’t mean it won’t come without its fair share of downsides. One of the risks that the metaverse poses to users is an increased likelihood of developing an addiction to technology. On a broader scale, as people get more comfortable communicating solely through digital mediums like VR chat rooms, the risk of social fragmentation becomes greater, too. For current participants in the Metaverse, the risks haven’t averted them from acting as pioneers in the next digital frontier. There are numerous ways people curious about the Metaverse can join.

How Do People Join the Metaverse?

Although the most common pathway into the Metaverse seems like Meta’s Oculus Quest, there are actually numerous ways people can explore the Metaverse. Other options for virtual reality platforms, aside from the Oculus Quest, include the HoloLens2 Microsoft Smart Glasses, HTC Vive, and soon the PSVR 2. Each of the platforms has its own pros and cons that consumers will need to closely analyze before making a decision. Most people have chosen to go the route of the Oculus Quest due to the fact that it doesn’t require the connection of a PC or external gaming system. It’s also important to keep in mind that each virtual reality headset has different capabilities. Taking that into consideration, if someone is hoping to purchase a virtual reality headset for the purpose of being able to take meetings in VR, they’ll be seeking different specs than someone on the search for one for gaming purposes. The advent of the Metaverse seems as though it’s still in the early phases. Where it could end, along with the impact it has on humanity still remains to be seen.

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Donald Trump Announces that His Social Media Platform Will Launch This President’s Day

Former President Donald Trump is making waves with the announcement that his new social media platform will be launched on President’s Day.  The platform, dubbed Truth Social, is one month away from opening the floodgates to conservatives and those who claim to be truth-seekers.  The reveal was made through a listing in the Apple App store.  

The former commander-in- chief first announced the new social platform in October 2021.  Truth Social has the potential to rival the massive social media platforms such as Twitter and Meta that currently dominate online discussions.  Trump has previously lambasted those platforms for censorship.

App Details

Trump’s new social media app is backed by his corporation, Trump Media & Technology Group.  The app can be preordered prior to the anticipated release date.  If everything goes as planned, conservatives will be conversing with one another on the platform as early as February 21, 2022.  

The appeal of the app extends beyond its use as a safe space for conservatives to engage in witty banter with one another.  Truth Social users will share their opinions with one another with the posting of what the Trump group refers to as “TRUTH”, “Re-TRUTH”, video links, news stories, photos, and more.  In other words, the platform has the potential to be used for political, social, and business purposes.  

The listing for the app reads as follows: “Stay informed about breaking news while staying directly connected with the people who influence you – don’t be shocked if they take your TRUTH viral!” 

Similar to Twitter and Meta, Truth Social will empower platform users to establish a profile complete with an avatar.  Truth Social users will also be able to follow fellow users.  The platform will also feature a scrollable “feed” for new posts from followed users.  In short, Truth Social is Trump’s attempt to replicate the Twitter user experience.  Trump was banned from the popular platform while still holding office.  If Truth Social launches next month, it will hit the scene exactly 13 months after Trump was banned from both Twitter and Meta.

Additional Details About the Launch Announcement

The Trump team originally announced the Truth Social app will launch in beta for guests invited to the platform.  The app was originally planned for a November beta launch.  At the time of this announcement, representatives from Trump’s circle described the social platform as “Big Tent” social media that allows for a completely transparent, honest, and free worldwide conversation without the threat of discrimination based on political ideology.  

Trump noted that Twitter allows the Taliban to engage with the public and followers on the popular social media platform.  Indeed, there is a good argument to be made that the former President should also be able to use the platform if terrorists such as the Taliban are allowed to have a digital presence in the never-ending discussions held on Twitter.  Trump recently issued a public statement, indicating he is “…excited to send out my first TRUTH on TRUTH Social very soon.”

Gauging the Potential Response to Truth Social

In a poll conducted last fall, nearly two-thirds of registered Republicans indicated they intend to use Trump’s Truth Social platform.  The poll was conducted by Morning Consult/Political.  It is also interesting to note that a mere 20% of Republicans have no plan to use the platform.

Trump has valuable support in the form of former Rep. Devin Nunes, a Republican from California.  Nunes announced he will depart Congress sooner than expected to work for Trump’s social media company.  

Nunes states, “The time has come to reopen the Internet and allow for the free flow of ideas and expression without censorship.  The United States of America made the dream of the Internet a reality and it will be an American company that restores the dream. I’m humbled and honored President Trump has asked me to lead the mission and the world class team that will deliver on this promise.”

Trump heaped on the praise for Nunes, stating he is a leader and a fighter who will be an “excellent” Chief Executive Officer of the new social media platform.  Trump attempted to pivot away from Twitter to a personal blog called, “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump” in the spring of ’21.  The former president’s blog was shut down merely one month later.  

Jason Miller, a spokesman with the Trump team, noted the blog was merely what he described as a “precursor” to the former commander-in chief trying his hand at another social media platform.  Indeed, the arrival of Truth Social has the potential to put the former President back into the spotlight, potentially helping him reclaim his role as the leader of the free world in the next election.

 

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Knowing More About NFTs Can Help You Get Your Dream Car

Aventador, Huracan, Wraith, Stradale, Jaguar, irrespective of your dream car, the knowledge of NFTs and how to make money from it can take you a few steps closer to getting your amazing ride.

You might have seen many people on different social platforms with Ape arts and other digital items as their Avi or display picture. If you don’t know what they are, this article is for you. 

The widespread use of these digital arts as avi indicates the blooming NFTs market. Like every other trend, if you don’t act quickly, you will most likely miss out on the huge potential in it. 

I can bet this isn’t your first time hearing about NFTs, but the only thing you know about the acronym is the full meaning — Non-fungible Tokens. However, there’s more. 

It’s the next level of digital art and economy.

Non-Fungible Tokens are digital pieces that can’t be replaced and can’t be replicated. This infers that they’re unique pieces of art which makes them valuable. Multiple people can’t own them at one time, you can only transfer ownership. 

The most famous existing form of NFTs are the arts you’re most familiar with, but Non-fungible tokens exist in other forms too. They’re digitally created through Minting — a process that involves you turning your digital items into a part of a Blockchain that functions as a public ledger. 

Blockchain is a combination of different blocks. Each block is embedded with certain information that can’t be altered. The most used Blockchain for minting NFTs is the Ethereum (Eth) Blockchain, which is why all NFTs sell in eth. 

You can always create and mint your NFT on the Eth Blockchain, which automatically registers your creation in a public ledger and lists you as the owner. Their uniqueness and inability to be replaced make them highly valuable. Created NFTs can not be edited once they’re minted. 

Now that you have basic knowledge about NFTs, checkout how you can make money from these unique tokens

Sell NFTs As Digital ArtsOpensea is the largest marketplace for NFTs. It’s a place where you can buy, sell, or auction minted NFTs.

Around the 11th of March 2020, Christie’s, one of the most popular auction houses globally, sold an NFT work for around $69 million. This is a reflection of how valuable NFTs can be in the marketplace.

Albeit, it’s not all NFTs that carry value. Many celebrities and companies, including politicians, are joining the NFT train, and you’ll feel like the only one left out if you don’t seek some in-depth knowledge about the new sensation. 

Collect and Sell Licensed Collectibles — Converting physical collectibles like trading cards to a digital form that can serve as tokens can be another means of making money from NFTs. 

Brands and startups that require physical collectibles can sell the same thing at a higher value than NFTs (digital collectibles). 

The uniqueness of digital collectibles, the longevity, and the inability to suffer a loss while serving the same purpose as the physical one is enough reason to purchase at a higher value. 

Sports like NBA and Football now have digital sports cards, and other physical collectibles can also take this form. Collecting and selling these items can be another avenue of earning from NFTs.

NFT Video Games — This involves a high level of experience and in-depth knowledge to make this profitable and functional, but it’s a means of earning from NFT.

Although most of the games utilizing Non-Fungible Tokens have yet to gain much popularity, the prospect of tokenizing in-game items seems like an excellent idea.

Most gamers spend a lot on in-game virtual items. Making NFTs can bring a higher value and help the developers make more money.

Exploring this option requires a high level of planning, expertise, and knowledge. 

While this article has paraphrased the basics of NFTs, it still requires your efforts to learn in-depth, and turn the knowledge into a profitable enterprise. 

The booming niche in the cryptocurrency world holds much potential, and you can continuously tap from it with the proper application of knowledge.

Learn, earn, and buy yourself a Lambo!

 

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