I’ve decided to set up a monthly donation to the Signal Foundation. I’m not the biggest fan of Signal and I’ve been critical of the fact that it relies on central servers that can be shut off at any time.
But none of the peer-to-peer apps I’ve tried (such as Tox) seem competitive in this space. I need something I can give a non-technical friend and not have them feel like its a downgrade from WhatsApp.
For now I’m going to stick with Signal but I’ll keep an eye on some other promising projects like Matrix.
There seems to have been lots of talk of an impending stock market
crash recently. Some people seem to be absolutely certain of it for
reasons such as the inverted yield curve, high PE multiples, and the
trade war with China. I’ve even heard people talk about the “2020
recession” as if it has already happened.
Personally, I’m skeptical. I don’t think there is any greater risk of
a market downturn today then there was 5 years ago. Everyone knows that
the yield curve has inverted and that inversions have historically
preceded recessions in the United States. But the expectation of an
upcoming recession is already priced into the market.
Similarly, the risks associated with the Chinese trade war have also been priced in.
Now I’m not saying that there won’t be a market crash, but I am
saying that if there is one the cause will be something that is not
currently priced into the market (in other words, something that isn’t
receiving 24/7 news coverage).
So it’s been a while since I last purchased something using Bitcoin
and I wanted to see if the process had become any less painful today. I
decided that I was going to purchase a $10 item at a shop that accepted
I head on over to my Coinbase
account and purchase $10 of Bitcoin. Due to fees the amount I actually
got was only worth $8. Okay, I buy some more to make it $10, then I try
to send the money to the address I was given by the shop. Turns out that
Coinbase doesn’t actually let you send Bitcoin to non-Coinbase users
anymore unless you wait 12 days after you purchase it. Even if I could
send the money, the estimated fee was over $3 (30% of the transaction).
I ended up paying with PayPal and have asked Coinbase for a refund on my Bitcoin purchases.
I recently learned about a new messaging app called Delta chat.
It is based on top of SMTP/IMAP and works with an existing email
account so you can chat with anyone who has email already (everyone?)
regardless of if they have Delta chat.
Basically, it is an email client that uses a UI similar to most chat apps. I think this is better than something like a Jabber client because nobody actually has Jabber accounts anymore, but email is still ubiquitous.
There are some problems I foresee:
Many free email providers limit messages to 200-300 per day, which may be a problem for some.
Depending on the email server messages can sometimes take quite a long time to be received.
This isn’t the first version of this idea that I’ve seen. There are other apps like MailTime but Delta chat is open-source at least and has mobile and desktop clients.