Crypto’s Remaining Path to Spending Relevance

It’s 2022, and cryptocurrencies have hit something of an impasse. While assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum are firmly established in the public consciousness, many questions still remain about crypto security and long-term viability. Even now, in the age of wild NFT hype and rampant digitalization (of seemingly everything), there’s as much discussion about the safety of the various exchanges and wallets you’d use for digital dealings as there is about the actual marketplaces.

Amidst this uncertainty, cryptocurrencies are still being used primarily as investment assets, and haven’t made much of an impact on how we physically (or virtually) spend our money. Volatility in particular remains a big issue; vendors are reluctant to accept currencies with such wild value swings as some cryptos –– and by the same token, those with crypto assets may be loathe to spend them and risk potentially missing out on value gains.

All of this begs the question though: What opportunities remain for crypto to make the jump from being something to have into something to use? A few options with legitimate potential come to mind

Travel Money

El Salvador caused a storm in September of 2021 when the country itself started to accept Bitcoin as legal tender. With 1.4 million Salvadorans living and working in the U.S. and foreign remittance accounting for some $6 billion (or about 23% of El Salvador’s GDP), crypto’s speed and potentially lower cost compared to traditional money transfer methods make it an attractive proposition. Accused of pandering to rich currency speculators, President Nayib Bukele went to pains to show how crypto would benefit the average family with the launch of payment app Chivo, which Salvadorans can use to pay directly with Bitcoin at both local vendors and global chains such as McDonald’s and Starbucks in San Salvador.

This is, of course only one country’s journey with crypto. But we know that Panama, Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina at minimum are among the nations monitoring how El Salvador’s integration of crypto into daily life progresses. It appears possible that in the near future there may be countries and regions for which cryptocurrency will become a favored if not necessary option among travelers (not to mention entire local populations).

Online Shopping

When Elon Musk announced in January that Tesla would accept Dogecoin for certain company-branded merchandise, the headlines were focused on the acceptance of what was once seen as a “joke” crypto. However, even when we look beyond Musk’s high profile, many retailers have been quietly accepting many cryptos for some years now.

Unsurprisingly, tech vendors were among the first to get on board, with Newegg having welcomed Bitcoin transactions since 2014, and added Dogecoin, Shiba Inu, and Litecoin to its payment methods in 2021. Meanwhile, Chinese vendor FastTech ships worldwide and accepts 22 different cryptocurrencies as of this writing. And Home Depot has gone one step further; the biggest hardware chain in the U.S. has accepted Bitcoin for both website and in-store purchases since 2019.

Gaming

Given that the internet is where cryptos are stored and traded, gaming seems like a natural outlet for spending. Accordingly, Microsoft accepts Bitcoin payments for both hardware and software, through users’ Microsoft accounts. The game streaming platform Twitch allows users to tip their favorite accounts using multiple cryptocurrencies. And in the emerging Decentraland metaverse, poker salons where players wager the in-house crypto MANA have become some of the most popular locations in the platform’s digital world.

Online Poker

Traditional poker sites have also been quick to capitalize on cryptocurrency being held by growing numbers of people. Indeed, with more than 100 million individuals now holding some form of crypto asset, the market has diversified well beyond “tech bros” and fund managers and now more closely mirrors the general public –– much of which plays poker online.

As this mainstream transition has occurred, it has also become clear that crypto in poker has numerous potential benefits. First and foremost, the security the blockchain offers means a safer (and more anonymous) way of depositing funds. Additionally, payouts can be actioned almost instantaneously. And as a sort of added bonus –– depending on how you look at it –– the volatility of cryptos adds potential perks to gambling, in that winnings can appreciate in value, and lost cryptocurrency might eventually become less valuable (though of course both of these perceived perks can also work the other way around). Because of these factors, we have already seen some adoption of crypto by poker sites, and it’s likely the trend will continue.

Dining and Entertainment

On the dining front, it sometimes goes overlooked that some major restaurants now accept crypto payments. Food at the countrywide Mastro’s steakhouse chain can be paid for with Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash, for instance. The delivery app Menufy also accepts Bitcoin, as can the Takeaway app in Europe.

As for entertainment, there seem to be more examples with each passing month. Crypto advocate Mark Cuban has ensured fans can use Bitcoin and Dogecoin to buy tickets and merchandise connected to his NBA franchise (the Dallas Mavericks). AMC Theaters now accept various cryptos as payment methods for movie tickets as well. And these are just a few highlights in the entertainment sector.



It’s true that cryptocurrencies haven’t become as much a part of our daily lives as some acolytes have predicted over the years. Chances are they won’t until federal government regulations lay out formal structures for a safer ecosystem that more traditional companies can get on board with. At this point though, there are still plenty of ways to use crypto in day-to-day spending, and the use cases are only growing.


It helps me if you share this post with anyone who might be interested.
Quick Links to My Stuff

Published 2022-04-12 07:00:00

Tone Indicators Master List, Text Tones, and Miscommunication Online

Jump to master list

Text tone indicators are a proposed solution and a step along the path to better online communication. It’s sometimes difficult to tell others’ use of tone on the internet, even with additional context such as emojis. 🙂

Generations already have their own slang, and texting without punctuation has quickly become a way to imitate ‘casual’ conversation. This has then evolved over time to include adding periods as a way to express anger, or sending a singular ‘k’ to express dismissal.

The next step in online communication then would be some way to communicate the intent or tone behind the words.

Enter: tone indicators.

Tone Indicators

Tone indicators are shorthand for words used to convey tone, which the Cambridge Dictionary defines as “a quality in the voice that expresses the speaker’s feelings or thoughts”.

The same message can be joking, or serious. It could be teasing, or threatening. We don’t consciously acknowledge it, but you can also immediately tell if the speaker’s delivery was negative, positive, or neutral face to face. It can be sexually suggestive, or entirely friendly. Tone and delivery influences the meaning and implications of a sentence in every way.

Tone indicators are intended for use through text, as miscommunication is frequent in social media. Posts are often misinterpreted, and this looks to fill in some of the missing gaps of information that may otherwise supplement that interpretation.

In fact, in a study, UCLA professor of psychology Albert Mehrabian found that 93% of liking is from non-verbal cues. 38% is due to tone of voice, while an additional 55% is attributed to body language.

Of course, these cues are absent from text-based social medias.

Master List

INDICATORMEANING
/jjoking
/hjhalf-joking
/ssarcastic
/gen or /ggenuine
/srsserious
/nsrsnon-serious
/pos or /pcpositive connotation
/neuneutral connotation
/neg or /ncnegative connotation
/pplatonic
/rromantic
/ccopypasta
/l or /lylyrics
/lhlight-hearted
/nmnot mad
/lua little upset
/nbhfor when you’re vagueposting or venting, but it’s directed at nobody here (none of your followers)
/nsbnot subtweeting
/sx or /xsexual intent
/nsx or /nxnon-sexual intent
/rh or /rtrhetorical question
/tteasing
/ijinside joke
/mmetaphorically
/liliterally
/hyphyperbole
/ffake
/ththreat
/cbclickbait
Remember the ones you wish to use, Google if you see one you don’t know later. Simple.

Usage

When should you use these? When something you’re saying could be ambiguous online. The purpose of the creation of these is to better communicate and exchange ideals.

An example tone indicator, /j, means joking. To use, simply place at the beginning or end of a sentence.

Beginning

(/gen) Wow, you’re such a great friend.”
Genuinely and earnestly saying you have a great friend.

(/s) Wow, you’re such a great friend.”
Sarcastically saying someone is a great friend.

END

“I hate you. /j
Joking with a friend, don’t actually dislike.

“I hate you. /ly
A song lyric you relate to, not aimed at someone.

“I hate you. /srs
You’re being serious, and actually hate someone.

I don’t want to use these / Using /j ruins the joke

You don’t have to use them. This is an informational post on the existence of them and their usage.

Think about how you can go into a sitcom, knowing full well that its genre is comedy and its intent is to make you laugh, and still find it funny. If putting two characters at the end of your joke ruins the entire thing, maybe it wasn’t all that funny to begin with.

How many times have you misunderstood a post someone sent to you online, or thought your friend was mad at you through text? If adoption of text tones becomes more commonplace, this could be one such solution to those problems.

(/srs) You also don’t have to use them on every line. Text tones are meant for an easy way to quickly convey the intended attached non verbal data that would otherwise be exchanged in a face to face interaction.


It helps me if you share this post with anyone who might be interested.
Quick Links to My Stuff

Published 2022-03-07 14:16:52

Mass Discord Message Remover / Deleter Script – Remove Lots of Instant Messages

With this script, you can automate the removal of a massive quantity of discord messages (everything back to a channel’s origin, if wanted), including in personal channels. I used it personally to delete a conversation with over a year of messages. There were no problems after the proper modifications.

You will need Tampermonkey. This is an extension for your favorite browser that will allow you to run custom JavaScript.


Next, visit the delete discord messages repository. You will need to click the ‘userscript.js‘ file listed upon visiting the url. Copy everything (CTRL + A / CTRL + C) and install it. The script obviously does nothing malicious but you can also take this opportunity to verify for yourself.

To use, click the trash can icon in the channel or DM you want to delete and press “START”.

You can also add a ‘before message id’ or ‘after message id’ to control how much you delete.

The script will try to respect Discord’s limits as much as possible, backing off as necessary when Discord errors. I cannot promise you will not be banned for selfbotting or something, but I have used it many times and my account is fine. Just to be safe you shouldn’t be doing anything else on your account while the script is deleting (it will also slow down and cause problems anyway). AFAIK this doesn’t violate anything in terms of service but use at your own risk, as always.


It helps me if you share this post with anyone who might be interested.
Quick Links to My Stuff

Published 2022-03-06 20:55:47

Adding “Open command window here” context menu in Windows 10 to the right click menu, restoring cmd

Simply download whichever option flavor you prefer and run it. You may need to restart explorer to see your changes. The files are zipped up .reg files.


Choose an option to download

ADD TO RIGHT CLICKSHIFT + RIGHT CLICKREMOVE/UNINSTALL
You should always verify any files you download/run from strangers on the internet.

Since .reg files are basically .txt files containing paths of where to insert registry entries, you can easily open any of the downloaded files in a text editor and verify the contents are benign for yourself.


It helps me if you share this post with anyone who might be interested.
Quick Links to My Stuff

Published 2022-03-06 02:44:52

Easiest way to download YouTube videos and convert them to any format including .mp3 in 2022

Methods of downloading YouTube videos have changed over the years. Here are two of my preferred methods for doing so in 2022.

tl;dr: easy:

Use a Youtube-Mp3 converter site, if you know how to Google then you’ve probably found one of these already.

tl;dr: is asked to fix printers:

Get the latest ‘youtube-dl’ fork like yt-dlp. Use ffmpeg to convert.


Easy

Yeah there’s really nothing else you need here

The Other Method

  1. Get yt-dlp. Put it in a folder somewhere in C:\ like ‘youtubedownload’. Rename the .exe file to yt.exe.
  2. Get ffmpeg. Put it in the same folder. You could rename this .exe file if you want as well, the names will be the commands used in the future.
  3. Press the WINDOWS key, and type ‘path’.
    (INCOMING WALL OF PICTURES)
  4. Choose ‘Enviroment Variables’
    enviroment variables pointer
  5. Then,
    edit path detailed pointer
  6. You can then add a new entry for the ‘path’ environment variable. The system uses this to allow the executing directory to be in any directory listed in the path. Meaning, when you run a command in CMD, the system will always check any directories in the ‘path’.
    add new path entry
  7. Click OK on all open windows after adding the directory the exes are in to the ‘path’.

Example Usage

We will be using this song from YouTube: Moving Romance – Yoann Garel. It’s also available on Soundcloud here.

Right click on your Desktop > ‘Open Command Window Here’. If you don’t have this option in the context menu, you can download these registry edits to add it.

Next type the name of the yt-dlp .exe followed by a space and the url. So if you renamed it ‘yt’ like stated previously, it would look like so:
yt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIMdcJWOEFM
Hitting enter will start downloading that video to the desktop directory you just launched the CMD window in. (Hint! If you want to use a Soundcloud URL like we have below, that will work too! Isn’t technology great?)
yt-dl download example

If you want to convert the resulting video to a proper audio file like .mp3, you have two options. You can use the quick solution right from yt-dl:

yt -x --audio-format mp3 [video_url]

Or to download a playlist:

youtube-dl --extract-audio --audio-format mp3 -o "%(title)s.%(ext)s"

You can ignore missing (“unavailable in your country”, or removed) videos with an -i flag. If your playlist isn’t working and the URL contains v=<ID>, remove it so just the ?list= item is in the query string.


Or, since ffmpeg is useful for other tasks (and you should have it anyway), you can use it directly. A simple syntax of an ffmpeg command that would convert to an mp3 would look like ffmpeg -i [input file name] [output file name].[output file extension]. But wait, we don’t want to type that long, ugly file name in that yt-dlp just spit out onto our desktop… luckily we have a trick for that.

Run ‘dir /x‘ in the open CMD window.dir /x example yt
This is an extremely helpful windows command that will show ‘short’ filenames for files, making working with longer file names a breeze. Windows is telling us in the screenshot above that we can refer to the video we just downloaded as ‘moving~3.web’. Now assuming no renaming of the ffmpeg .exe took place in the setup step, our command simply becomes:

ffmpeg -i moving~3.web output.mp3
ffmpeg -i output.mp3 example

And you’re done! You now have ‘output.mp3’ on your desktop saved as the song we were just playing on YouTube. I’ve combined this process with scripted metadata adding/titling for an offline library. And, with the right yt-dlp commands it can even become an efficient way to export entire playlists of music.


It helps me if you share this post with anyone who might be interested.
Quick Links to My Stuff

Published 2022-03-06 02:23:43

Nothing is permanent… especially on the Internet

Link rot is a problem that affects everyone using the internet on a daily basis. This is when a link becomes dead and no longer links to where it’s supposed to because of site changes. Either the owner stopped maintaining and paying for the domain/hosting, the structure changed, or it was deleted or inaccessible for another reason. Nothing is permanent online (unless it’s your ad data 😉), regardless of what your parents may have said.

Research from Harvard Law School shows about a quarter of all articles on the New York Times suffer from link rot, meaning resources linked on the page are no longer accessible. Additionally, links are not immutable. I personally have links such as ‘https://l.gmr.dev/tiktok‘ that link to my TikTok blog post and that can be changed so I can always keep it up to date. This can be a disadvantage if the site goes offline or the link is mismanaged however.

The problem can be combated by using web archivers, and linking to primary, trusted sources as much as possible. Additionally, it’s helpful to copy + paste the information that’s relevant from the site you’re sharing/linking in case it dies somehow later on.

Factcheck.org, which launched in 2004 now has almost 6,000 dead links. Roughly one third of all the links on Pagella Politica, the Italian fact-checking website I edited before joining Poynter, are currently broken. At the same time, trying to manually keep tabs on the state of a site’s links is too time-consuming to be feasible.

cjr.org

The advent of ‘online-only’ services have marked a period full of slow, buggy, overly designed applications, such as Creative Cloud or Epic Games, that run at all times on your computer to feed you advertisements or update notifications. Engines like Unity have transitioned more and more of their editor services and features to online services. Or, they’ve deprecated more traditional methods that would eliminate the need to connect to “Unity Teams” and/or login to their accounts & manage organizations.

When Flash was purged from the internet a few years ago, one of the largest issues Flash archivers faced were games that required connections to servers. Because those servers are no longer around, a game’s functionality can be crippled or even completely broken without a solution. This can easily happen to any server in the future. A program’s functioning that exists on something that may not be there in the future… well, it makes relying on that utility poor planning at best. Many modern day software applications ship without any sort of offline mode or planned use case 20-30 years from now, so that will be interesting to see.

Photos, old posts, and media people thought would be around forever are constantly being deleted. Make any playlist on YouTube with a sizeable number of videos and soon enough a fair number of them will be unavailable. My music library exists entirely on my own servers streamed to me because I can’t trust that Spotify or an alternative will be around in 20 years with the same music I listen to or want to stream now.

Jailbreaking iOS is an increasingly difficult task, and I switched to Android away from Apple’s walled garden a few years ago, but even now most companies are locking it down more and more in the name of security and the common user experience. Samsung removes the ability to unlock the bootloader in most US variants of their new models, so rooting Android is out of the question for me as well.

A bit rambly, but I don’t think there’s much to do about this other than being personally careful about what technologies I enable and what I work on. I’m simply commenting on the current direction of the Internet as a whole because I want the best for it. I’ve become more and more aware of how fragile the current state of everything online is, and began saving and archiving everything preemptively.

Voting with your money and just being aware is probably the best move, and I’ve personally been more and more selective about digital media or programs I’m choosing to spend time, data, energy and finances on.


It helps me if you share this post with anyone who might be interested.
Quick Links to My Stuff

Published 2022-02-15 04:01:27