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\ \ This blog will take you through connecting the SuperTokens core service with a MySQL or a PostgreSQL database with and without Docker. \ This is only applicable if you are self-hosting the SuperTokens core service. \ There are several methods for how you might want to run SuperTokens along with a database. In this blog, we will cover: \ Running with MySQL: a) Running SuperTokens and MySQL without docker b) Running SuperTokens with Docker and MySQL without docker c) Running SuperTokens without Docker and MySQL with docker d) Running SuperTokens and MySQL with docker, but without docker-compose e) Running SuperTokens and MySQL with docker, with docker-compose \ Running with PostgreSQL: a) Running SuperTokens and PostgreSQL without docker b) Running SuperTokens with Docker and PostgreSQL without docker c) Running SuperTokens without Docker and PostgreSQL with docker d) Running SuperTokens and PostgreSQL with docker, but without docker-compose e) Running SuperTokens and PostgreSQL with docker, with docker-compose \ Please feel free to navigate to the correct section based on your setup. In each section, we will be linking to the SuperTokens documentation wherever applicable so that this blog is not very lengthy. \ All the sections below assume that you will be using a Linux based operating system. For Windows, the syntax for some of the steps might be different, but the overall steps that need to be performed will be the same. 1a) Running SuperTokens and MySQL without docker \ Install SuperTokens on your local machine by following the self-hosted, without docker, instructions in the SuperTokens’ documentation. \ Connect to the MySQL server on your local machine and create a database for SuperTokens to write to: \ create database supertokens; \ If you already have a database for your application and want SuperTokens to create tables in that, you can skip this step. \ Create a MySQL user that has full access to the database created in the previous step. This user will be used by SuperTokens to create and write to the database tables: \ CREATE USER 'supertokens_user'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'somePassword'; \ GRANT ALL ON supertokens.* TO 'supertokens_user'@'localhost'; \ FLUSH PRIVILEGES; \ Notice that we only allow this user to work via 'localhost'. This would only work if the SuperTokens core is running locally as well. If you are running the core in a different location, then you would need to replace 'localhost' in the above with '%'. \ Edit the SuperTokens config.yaml file (located in /usr/lib/supertokens/config.yaml) to add the following config: \ mysql_connection_uri: "mysql://supertokens_user:[email&nbsp;protected]:3306/supertokens" \ Make sure that you put in the right values for the user, password, database name and location of your MySQL instance in the above connection uri string. \ Run SuperTokens by running supertokens start on your terminal: \ supertokens start Loading storage layer. Loading MySQL config. ... Started SuperTokens on localhost:3567 with PID: ... \ Verify that it is setup correctly by querying the core service: \ curl http://localhost:3567/hello \ If you get back a Hello reply, the core setup is done! 1b) Running SuperTokens with Docker and MySQL without docker For this setup to work, we must connect SuperTokens and MySQL via the host machine’s network. For this, we will have to expose the MySQL db to the local IP. \ Start by pulling the SuperTokens docker image that is compatible with MySQL: \ docker pull registry.supertokens.io/supertokens/supertokens-mysql \ Expose MySQL server to all network interfaces on your machine. To do this, edit the my.cnf file (MySQL config file) to include: \ bind-address = 0.0.0.0 \ Be sure to restart your MySQL server after saving the file. \ Connect to the MySQL server on your local machine and create a database for SuperTokens to write to: \ create database supertokens; \ If you already have a database for your application and want SuperTokens to create tables in that, you can skip this step. \ Create a MySQL user that has full access to the database created in the previous step. This user will be used by SuperTokens to create and write to the database tables: \ REATE USER 'supertokens_user'@'%' IDENTIFIED BY 'somePassword'; \ GRANT ALL ON supertokens.* TO 'supertokens_user'@'%'; \ FLUSH PRIVILEGES; \ Run the SuperTokens docker image with the env var specifying the MySQL connection URI: \ docker run \ -p 3567:3567 \ --network=host \ -e MYSQL_CONNECTION_URI="mysql://supertokens_user:[email&nbsp;protected]:3306/supertokens" \ -d registry.supertokens.io/supertokens/supertokens-mysql \ Be sure to replace 192.168.1.1 with the correct IP of your system. \ This will start the docker image in the background. You can find it by running: docker ps \ If you want to run it in the foreground, you can remove the -d option from the docker run command. \ Verify that it is setup correctly by querying the core service: \ curl http://localhost:3567/hello \ If you get back a Hello reply, the core setup is done! 1c) Running SuperTokens without Docker and MySQL with docker Install SuperTokens on your local machine by following the self-hosted, without docker, instructions in the SuperTokens’ documentation. \ Start the MySQL docker container: \ docker run \ -e MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=root \ -e MYSQL_USER=supertokens_user \ -e MYSQL_PASSWORD=somePassword \ -e MYSQL_DATABASE=supertokens \ --network=host \ -p 3306:3306 \ -d mysql \ The above will start the mysql db with a new database called supertokens. SuperTokens core will store the data in this database. If you want the data to be stored in an existing db, please provide that db’s name instead. \ Edit the SuperTokens config.yaml file (located in /usr/lib/supertokens/config.yaml) to add the following config: \ mysql_connection_uri: "mysql://supertokens_user:[email&nbsp;protected]:3306/supertokens" \ Make sure that you put in the right values for the user, password, database name and location of your MySQL instance in the above connection uri string. \ Run SuperTokens by running supertokens start on your terminal: \ supertokens start Loading storage layer. Loading MySQL config. ... Started SuperTokens on localhost:3567 with PID: ... \ Verify that it is setup correctly by querying the core service: \ curl http://localhost:3567/hello \ If you get back a Hello reply, the core setup is done! 1d) Running SuperTokens and MySQL with docker, but without docker-compose Start by pulling the SuperTokens docker image that is compatible with MySQL: \ docker pull registry.supertokens.io/supertokens/supertokens-mysql \ Start the MySQL docker container: \ docker run \ -e MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=root \ -e MYSQL_USER=supertokens_user \ -e MYSQL_PASSWORD=somePassword \ -e MYSQL_DATABASE=supertokens \ --network=host \ -p 3306:3306 \ -d mysql \ The above will start the mysql db with a new database called supertokens. SuperTokens core will store the data in this database. If you want the data to be stored in an existing db, please provide that db’s name instead. \ Run the SuperTokens docker image with the env var specifying the MySQL connection URI: \ docker run \ -p 3567:3567 \ --network=host \ -e MYSQL_CONNECTION_URI="mysql://supertokens_user:[email&nbsp;protected]:3306/supertokens" \ -d registry.supertokens.io/supertokens/supertokens-mysql \ Be sure to replace 192.168.1.1 with the correct IP of your system. \ This will start the docker image in the background. You can find it by running: \ docker ps \ If you want to run it in the foreground, you can remove the -d option from the docker run command. \ Verify that it is setup correctly by querying the core service: \ curl http://localhost:3567/hello \ If you get back a Hello reply, the core setup is done! 1e) Running SuperTokens and MySQL with docker, with docker-compose Use the following docker compose file. You can call it docker-compose.yaml \ version: '3' services: db: image: mysql:latest environment: MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD: root MYSQL_USER: supertokens_user MYSQL_PASSWORD: somePassword MYSQL_DATABASE: supertokens ports: - 3306:3306 networks: - app_network restart: unless-stopped healthcheck: test: [ "CMD", "mysqladmin", "ping", "-h", "localhost" ] timeout: 20s retries: 10 supertokens: image: registry.supertokens.io/supertokens/supertokens-mysql depends_on: - db ports: - 3567:3567 environment: MYSQL_CONNECTION_URI: mysql://supertokens_user:[email&nbsp;protected]:3306/supertokens networks: - app_network restart: unless-stopped healthcheck: test: > bash -c 'exec 3<>/dev/tcp/127.0.0.1/3567 && echo -e "GET /hello HTTP/1.1\r\nhost: 127.0.0.1:3567\r\nConnection: close\r\n\r\n" >&3 && cat <>/dev/tcp/127.0.0.1/3567 && echo -e "GET /hello HTTP/1.1\r\nhost: 127.0.0.1:3567\r\nConnection: close\r\n\r\n" >&3 && cat Written by the Folks at SuperTokens — hope you enjoyed! We are always available on our Discord server.

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\ This article introduces the design and implementation of metadata storage in Alluxio Master, either on heap and off heap (based on RocksDB). Background Alluxio is the world’s first open source data orchestration platform for analytics and AI for the cloud. Alluxio bridges the gap between data driven applications and storage systems. It brings data from the storage tier closer to the data driven applications and makes it easily accessible enabling applications to connect to numerous storage systems through a common interface. Alluxio’s architecture enables data access at speeds orders of magnitude faster than existing solutions. \ As a distributed system, Alluxio employs a Master-Worker architecture. An Alluxio cluster consists of one or more Master nodes and several Worker nodes. The Alluxio Master serves all user requests and journals file system metadata changes. Alluxio workers are responsible for managing user-configurable local resources allocated to Alluxio (e.g. memory, SSDs, HDDs). Alluxio workers store data as blocks and serve client requests that read or write data by reading or creating new blocks within their local resources. \ This article introduces how Alluxio implements metadata storage in Alluxio Master. Two Ways of Storing Metadata in Alluxio Inside Alluxio master, each file or a directory is represented by a data structure called inode which contains attributes like file permissions, and other metadata like block locations. Alluxio master stores the metadata of the entire file system as an inode tree, similar to HDFS and other UNIX-based file systems. \ Alluxio provides two ways to store the metadata: \ ROCKS: an on-disk, RocksDB-based metastore HEAP: an on-heap metastore \ The default is the ROCKS. \ The Alluxio source code provides two interfaces, InodeStore and BlockStore, in the /core/server/master/src/main/java/alluxio/master/metastore directory. The metadata managed by InodeStore includes individual inodes and the parent-child relationship between different inodes. BlockStore is responsible for managing the block size and block location of file data blocks. The cachingInodeStore implements an on java heap configurable cache in front of RocksDB to improve performance. In HEAP, these interfaces are implemented through HeapInodeStore and HeapBlockStore. The overall dependency relationships are as follows. \ During the AlluxioMasterProcess, two Factories are generated to corresponding stores, and different InodeStore and BlockStore are generated in the Factories based on the configurations. ROCKS Metastore RocksDB is an embedded Key-Value database. Users can achieve efficient KV data storage and access by calling the API interface. \ The BlockStore interface is implemented by RocksBlockStore, with the process as follows. \ Factory is added to the mContext in AlluxioMasterProcess. MasterUtils.createMasters() will create all the Master threads in order. When creating DefaultBlockMaster, it will call BlockStore.Factory to create a RocksBlockStore instance. RocksDB.loadLibrary() will be called when initiating RocksBlockStore to load the dependent libraries and then create an instance of RocksStore class according to the configuration file. RocksStore is used to operate the RocksDB database, including initializing the database, backing up and restoring the database, etc. When creating RocksStore, an instance of RocksDB class is created by calling RocksDB.open() method in the create() method. DefaultBlockMaster reads and writes to the RocksDB database by using this RocksDB class. \ RocksBlockStore uses the following main methods: \ getBlock(long id) putBlock(long id, BlockMeta meta) removeBlock(long id) getLocations(long id) addLocation(long id, BlockLocation location) removeLocation(long blockId, long workerId) \ Let’s take getBlock() as an example. getBlock() is used to get the metadata of the corresponding block by blockId as follows. \ @Override public Optional getBlock(long id) { byte[] meta; try { meta = db().get(mBlockMetaColumn.get(), Longs.toByteArray(id)); } catch (RocksDBException e) { throw new RuntimeException(e); } if (meta == null) { return Optional.empty(); } try { return Optional.of(BlockMeta.parseFrom(meta)); } catch (Exception e) { throw new RuntimeException(e); } } \ Below is to interact with RocksDB: \ meta = db().get(mBlockMetaColumn.get(), Longs.toByteArray(id)); \ The db() method in the above code will return the previously created RocksDB class and then call the RocksDB.get() method. get() method needs two parameters, the first one is the ColumnFamilyHandle and the second is blockId. \ Each K-V pair in RocksDB corresponds to a ColumnFamily, and ColumnFamily is equivalent to the logical partition in RocksDB. When we need to query the data in a ColumnFamily, we need to operate the underlying database through ColumnFamilyHandle, which is created while creating RocksDB instance. \ The K-V data stored in RocksDB are stored as byte strings, so we need to convert the blockId to byte[], and convert the value returned from RocksDB back into a BlockMeta Java object using Google Protocol buffers. \ The InodeStore interface in ROCKS method is implemented by CachingInodeStore and RocksInodeStore. The CachingInodeStore uses memory to store the metadata cache, while the RocksInodeStore is a metastore implemented by RocksDB as the backing store of CachingInodeStore. \ When the metadata of the Alluxio cluster can be completely stored in the CachingInodeStore, Alluxio does not interact with the RocksInodeStore, but uses CachingInodeStore to get better performance instead. When the storage capacity of the CachingInodeStore reaches a threshold, Alluxio automatically migrates the metadata from the CachingInodeStore to the RocksInodeStore. At this point, the performance of metadata access depends on the cache hit rate of CachingInodeStore and the performance of RocksDB. \ The process of creating and using RocksInodeStore is similar to RocksBlockStore. If MASTERMETASTOREINODECACHEMAX_SIZE is set to 0, then it uses RocksInodeStore. if it is not 0, then it requires creating both CachingInodeStore and RocksInodeStore. \ case ROCKS: InstancedConfiguration conf = ServerConfiguration.global(); if (conf.getInt(PropertyKey.MASTER_METASTORE_INODE_CACHE_MAX_SIZE) == 0) { return lockManager -> new RocksInodeStore(baseDir); } else { return lockManager -> new CachingInodeStore(new RocksInodeStore(baseDir), lockManager); } Heap Metastore Alluxio uses heap memory as storage in the Heap method. When creating the AlluxioMasterProcess, the HeapInodeStore and HeapBlockStore are built to implement the InodeStore and BlockStore interfaces. \ When creating the HeapInodeStore, a ConcurrentHashMap called mInodes is created to store the Inode information of files and folders. At the same time, a TwoKeyConcurrentMap called mEdges will be created to store the parent-child relationship of different nodes. \ private final Map> mInodes = new ConcurrentHashMap<>(); // Map from inode id to ids of children of that inode. The inner maps are ordered by child name. private final TwoKeyConcurrentMap> mEdges = new TwoKeyConcurrentMap<>(() -> new ConcurrentHashMap<>(4)); \ TwoKeyConcurrentMap is a class defined in Alluxio, which implements a ConcurrentMap supporting two keys with the following logical structure: >. \ Each key in the mEdges data structure maps an a Inode ID to a map of its children, which then maps each child’s name to its Inode ID. \ In HeapBlockStore, a ConcurrentHashMap called mBlocks is created to store the metadata of each block, and a TwoKeyConcurrentMap called mBlockLocations is created to store the location of the block in the worker. \ // Map from block id to block metadata. public final Map mBlocks = new ConcurrentHashMap<>(); // Map from block id to block locations. public final TwoKeyConcurrentMap> mBlockLocations = new TwoKeyConcurrentMap<>(() -> new HashMap<>(4)); \ The two keys in mBlockLocations are blockId and workerId, and the value is the specific locations on the worker where the block is stored. The blockId can be used to get the location of the block stored in the worker. Summary Alluxio provides two ways to store metadata, ROCKS and HEAP, and the default storage is the ROCKS. For ROCKS, in addition to using RocksDB, Alluxio provides a memory-based cache to improve metadata read and write performance. As a result, we can get high performance when the size of the metastore is limited. With RocksDB, we can store metadata to the hard disk to get more storage space. \ In general, we should use the RocksDB to store metadata in Alluxio Master. If you only need to store a small amount of metadata which requires very high metadata read and write performance, you can also consider using the HEAP method. About the Author Changsheng Gu, Big Data Engineer at China Mobile. \ Gu works in China Mobile Cloud Center, developing cloud-native data lake with a focus on HDFS and Alluxio.

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Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen is part of HackerNoon’s Book Blog Post series. You can jump to any chapter in this book here: [LINK TO TABLE OF LINK]. Chapter IIChapter 2Mr. Bennet was among the earliest of those who waited on Mr. Bingley. He had always intended to visit him, though to the last always assuring his wife that he should not go; and till the evening after the visit was paid she had no knowledge of it. It was then disclosed in the following manner. Observing his second daughter employed in trimming a hat, he suddenly addressed her with,“I hope Mr. Bingley will like it, Lizzy.”“We are not in a way to know what Mr. Bingley likes,” said her mother resentfully, “since we are not to visit.”“But you forget, mamma,” said Elizabeth, “that we shall meet him at the assemblies, and that Mrs. Long has promised to introduce him.”“I do not believe Mrs. Long will do any such thing. She has two nieces of her own. She is a selfish, hypocritical woman, and I have no opinion of her.”“No more have I,” said Mr. Bennet; “and I am glad to find that you do not depend on her serving you.”Mrs. Bennet deigned not to make any reply; but, unable to contain herself, began scolding one of her daughters.“Don’t keep coughing so, Kitty, for heaven’s sake! Have a little compassion on my nerves. You tear them to pieces.”“Kitty has no discretion in her coughs,” said her father; “she times them ill.”“I do not cough for my own amusement,” replied Kitty fretfully. “When is your next ball to be, Lizzy?”“To-morrow fortnight.”“Aye, so it is,” cried her mother, “and Mrs. Long does not come back till the day before; so, it will be impossible for her to introduce him, for she will not know him herself.”“Then, my dear, you may have the advantage of your friend, and introduce Mr. Bingley to her.”“Impossible, Mr. Bennet, impossible, when I am not acquainted with him myself; how can you be so teasing?”“I honour your circumspection. A fortnight’s acquaintance is certainly very little. One cannot know what a man really is by the end of a fortnight. But if we do not venture somebody else will; and after all, Mrs. Long and her nieces must stand their chance; and, therefore, as she will think it an act of kindness, if you decline the office, I will take it on myself.”The girls stared at their father. Mrs. Bennet said only, “Nonsense, nonsense!”“What can be the meaning of that emphatic exclamation?” cried he. “Do you consider the forms of introduction, and the stress that is laid on them, as nonsense? I cannot quite agree with you there. What say you, Mary? for you are a young lady of deep reflection, I know, and read great books and make extracts.”Mary wished to say something very sensible, but knew not how.“While Mary is adjusting her ideas,” he continued, “let us return to Mr. Bingley.”“I am sick of Mr. Bingley,” cried his wife.“I am sorry to hear that; but why did not you tell me so before? If I had known as much this morning, I certainly would not have called on him. It is very unlucky; but as I have actually paid the visit, we cannot escape the acquaintance now.”The astonishment of the ladies was just what he wished; that of Mrs. Bennet perhaps surpassing the rest; though when the first tumult of joy was over, she began to declare that it was what she had expected all the while.“How good it was in you, my dear Mr. Bennet! But I knew I should persuade you at last. I was sure you loved your girls too well to neglect such an acquaintance. Well, how pleased I am! and it is such a good joke, too, that you should have gone this morning, and never said a word about it till now.”“Now, Kitty, you may cough as much as you choose,” said Mr. Bennet; and, as he spoke, he left the room, fatigued with the raptures of his wife.“What an excellent father you have, girls,” said she, when the door was shut. “I do not know how you will ever make him amends for his kindness; or me either, for that matter. At our time of life, it is not so pleasant, I can tell you, to be making new acquaintance every day; but for your sakes, we would do anything. Lydia, my love, though you are the youngest, I dare say Mr. Bingley will dance with you at the next ball.”“Oh!” said Lydia stoutly, “I am not afraid; for though I am the youngest, I’m the tallest.”The rest of the evening was spent in conjecturing how soon he would return Mr. Bennet’s visit, and determining when they should ask him to dinner.About HackerNoon Book Series: We bring you the most important technical, scientific, and insightful public domain books. This book is part of the public domain.Austen, Jane. 2021. Pride and Prejudice. Urbana, Illinois: Project Gutenberg. Retrieved April 2022, from https://www.gutenberg.org/files/1342/1342-h/1342-h.htm#link2HCH0002This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org, located at https://www.gutenberg.org/policy/license.html.

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\ Ostriches bury their heads in the sand when they sense danger, assuming that the danger will pass if they just avoid it long enough. We humans are no different. When dealing with unpleasant information, or information that challenges us in a way that we don’t want to be challenged, we pretend the information doesn’t exist. We bury our heads in the sand just like the ostriches. \n Don’t we all avoid conflict at work just because we fear the conversation or worry about the outcome? Ignoring your boss when you know they might have something negative to say about you. Delaying scheduling a call with a client who’s mad at you for extending delivery timelines. Ignoring data that shows your pet project at work is a disaster while looking for information that justifies your decision. Refusing to measure your work progress when you know that you are falling behind and feel anxious about missing the upcoming deadline. \n Some people go as far as avoiding negative information to protect their self-esteem. They don’t want unpleasant information to destroy the image they have created for themselves. \n Unpleasant information creates a paradox for the brain. It’s a conflict between our rational mind that knows something to be important while our emotional mind tries to avoid it anticipating that doing it will be painful. The conflict between what we rationally know is important and emotionally painful makes us look away from information that might be useful. \n Behavioral economist George Loewenstein of Carnegie Mellon University coined the term “the ostrich effect” to describe this phenomenon. It is a cognitive bias that makes people avoid negative information, including any feedback that can help them get a sense of how they are doing on their goals especially when the information is perceived to be unpleasant, undesired, or evokes a strong negative emotional response. \n Irrespective of how you choose to respond to undesirable information - completely avoid it, ignore it by not giving it the attention it demands, draw a biased interpretation by rejecting certain views or try to push it from your memory in an attempt to forget about it - they all stem from your need to avoid the uncomfortable. \n Daniel Kahneman psychologist and economist notable for his work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making, as well as behavioral economics, for which he was awarded the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences says - \ Many of the options we face in life are mixed: there is a risk of loss and an opportunity for gain, and we must decide whether to accept the gamble or reject it…For most people, the fear of losing $100 is more intense than the hope of gaining $150 \ His research led to this conclusion: losses loom larger than gains and people are loss averse. \n It’s this loss aversion that makes us prone to the ostrich effect and avoid any unpleasant information. How does the ostrich effect impact you? Delaying something which is important to be taken care of comes at a huge cost. You may underestimate the cost you have to pay to avoid dealing with it in time. You may also underestimate the benefits of handling it now. \ You face far worse consequences. A simple problem turns into a much more complicated situation when ignored long enough making it far worse and difficult to handle later. The added stress and anxiety impact your health, mental well-being, and overall quality of life. \ It’s a vicious cycle of discomfort followed by avoidance followed by far more discomfort. \ Without watching your behavior and thinking in crucial circumstances, the ostrich effect may impact your thinking and make you react unfavorably to undesirable information. \ We all fall prey to cognitive biases that get in the way of effective decision-making. The only way to change is to want to change. \ Avoiding uncomfortable information doesn’t make you stupid, it just validates that you are human. And as a human, you have the capacity to change. This means you can take steps to embrace the discomfort especially when the stakes are high. \ In life and business, the person with the fewest blind spots wins. Removing blind spots means we see, interact with, and move closer to understanding reality. We think better. And thinking better is about finding simple processes that help us work through problems from multiple dimensions and perspectives, allowing us to better choose solutions that fit what matters to us. The skill for finding the right solutions for the right problems is one form of wisdom - Shane Parrish Strategies to overcome the ostrich effect and make better decisions Take small steps As humans, we have evolved tremendously. But our brains still can’t differentiate between a perceived threat and a real one. \ Thinking about doing something with a potentially bad outcome triggers a fear response. Our body goes on high alert trying to fight this decision as a natural protection mechanism to keep us away from danger. The higher the perceived danger, the stronger is the emotional response to fight it. \ Shaped by evolution to protect ourselves from the threats in our environment, the response is almost automatic and unconscious. We feel the pressure building up inside our body – rapid breathing, increased heart beat, sweaty palms, sensation of tightening in the neck and jaw. Our safety is not at risk here, though it certainly feels that way. It’s the result of our fight-or-flight response triggered by the amygdala in our brain or as Daniel Goleman says, the perceived threat leads to “amygdala hijack.” \n This fight-or-flight response is vital to our survival in other circumstances when there’s real danger – to escape a burning building or when a speeding car on a highway heads into our lane. However, when evoked during such crucial moments, it can inhibit our ability to make good decisions. \ What if you turned off your brain’s alarm system that resists and fears bad information? Taking small steps does just that. A small step that is hardly noticeable isn’t considered a threat by our brain. \ When seeking potentially unpleasant information, try taking small steps towards it. For example, if you need to get a design proposal reviewed but fear that others may not like it, do this: \ 1st small step: Send a draft proposal to the review team offline asking for their feedback. 2nd small step: Review their comments and incorporate their feedback. 3rd small step: Schedule 1-1 meetings with a few key members if you need clarifications or have specific questions. 4th small step: Send the updated draft to the entire review team again. 5th small step: Schedule a meeting to go over the final proposal. By incorporating early feedback, you will be less worried about receiving negative feedback and can focus on making final corrections to get your design accepted. \ By taking small steps towards your goals at work, you can overcome the ostrich effect and make meaningful progress.  \n Ask powerful questions Great questions have the power to unlock key pieces of information that can help you in making a better decision. \ If you fear not having answers to the questions you might ask yourself, remember that one of the hallmarks of innovative problem solvers is that they are willing to raise questions without having any idea of what the answer might be. Part of being able to tackle complex and difficult questions is accepting that there is nothing wrong with not knowing. People who are good at questioning are comfortable with uncertainty - Warren Berger \ We make thousands of decisions in a day, big and small. Realistically speaking, it isn’t feasible to optimize all of those decisions. But it will add a lot of value if we can learn to optimize at least a few critical ones. \ By asking these questions you can shift your thinking from avoiding information to being actively open to seeking it: \ Do I have all the information I need to make this decision? Is there additional information I need to gather that will help me make a better decision? Is there a possibility I might be avoiding some data with the fear that it might contradict with my beliefs and expectations? How can I make sure I am not biased in selectively choosing data that matches my belief and rejecting anything that contradicts with it? What could cause me to avoid some information? What risks do I see if I act without having full information? What’s my cost of delaying information that might be potentially useful in making this decision? \ Embrace the discomfort Many people avoid discomfort and make safe choices to avoid the pain that comes from choosing an uncomfortable path. \ However, they fail to realize that their growth is one step outside their comfort zone. Discomfortable moments signal that you are stretching and expanding your skills, that you are doing some worthwhile work. If you aren’t struggling, you aren’t really learning and growing. \ Learning to embrace discomfort then becomes an essential step to overcome your biases and seek information that may be unpleasant at first, but has the potential to save you a lot of distress down the line. \ Some great strategies to open yourself to this idea: \ Set goals that require you to step outside your comfort zone and monitor regular progress on these goals. Set automatic reminders or schedule such activities on your calendar. Have people close to you hold you accountable for doing the thing that you tend to avoid. Write down the problems you faced by avoiding information and refer to them from time to time to serve as a useful reminder of the importance of handling such situations on time. \ By building the muscle where uncomfortable moments give you joy instead of causing you pain, you can rid yourself of behaviors that limit your growth as well as the growth of the people around you. \ Avoiding information or actively seeking it isn’t always a straightforward decision. When in doubt, remember this final tip: Avoiding information when the extra information only leads to analysis paralysis and doesn’t really help you in making the right decision is a completely reasonable strategy. However, avoiding it only because it makes you uncomfortable is bound to lead to some terrible decisions later. Summary Ostriches bury their heads in the sand when they sense danger. This cognitive bias termed ostrich effect impacts humans as well. We tend to avoid information that’s unpleasant, undesirable or evokes a strong negative emotional response. Avoiding information, delaying decisions or putting off uncomfortable situations leads to far worse consequences later. To overcome this bias, a great strategy is to take small steps which turn off your brain’s alarm system that resists and fears unpleasant information. Another strategy is to ask questions that can open your mind to seeking information which can help you in making a better decision even if it’s uncomfortable at first. Finally, building the muscle to embrace discomfort will go a long way in making progress on your goals and shaping your future in line with those goals. Once you are comfortable with the negative, you won’t actively avoid it. Previously published here.

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A 31-years old Indonesian, named Clerkclirk, bought a virtual penthouse for $36,000 and sold it just two days later for more than triple of the original price. Another investor in real estate in the metaverse, Armando Aguilar, proudly said, “My metaverse backyard is appreciating more than my real estate.” Aguilar’s virtual land in the Sandbox metaverse platform surged 1,400 times its original value. \ To replicate the aforementioned success, more and more businesses and private investors buy land in the metaverse. If you are considering purchasing virtual property and benefiting from metaverse software development services, you are probably asking yourself a set of questions: How to buy virtual real estate in the metaverse? Is it safe? How to choose the right spot? And how much will it cost? \ Keep reading, and hopefully, this will help you make your decision. What is metaverse real estate? Metaverse real estate are parcels of land or commercial and residential buildings that exist in a virtual world. On that land, you can create all types of property — from advertising billboards to commercial districts and headquarters of companies that exist in real life. In the simplest sense, the metaverse real estate objects are pixels on your computer screen. But they are also programmable spaces on different platforms where people can socialize, sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs), play games, advertise their products and services, and even attend business meetings via 3D avatars. \ This is how Janine Yorio, CEO of Republic Realm, explained metaverse real estate in New Rules of Business podcast, “Metaverse real estate is an NFT. They are a JPEG or [digital file that] points to a specific file that is logged on the blockchain, which is this ledger that tracks who owns [each asset]. Much the same way that if you bought land in a town, you'd go to the town hall and open a drawer to find your deed. Instead, you're looking at the blockchain.” \ Since Facebook rebranded itself as Meta, in 2021, the value of real estate in the metaverse market has increased significantly, and it is predicted to continue rising at a CAGR of 31.2% from 2022 to 2028. \ How to buy real estate in the metaverse? To buy virtual land in the metaverse, you first need to get hold of cryptocurrency. Some metaverse platforms provide their own coinage. For example, Sandbox trades its native cryptocurrency SAND, and Decentraland uses MANA. Sometimes, general-purpose cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum, work as well. \ Even though the land is virtual, it is secured with a very real thing, NFTs. When someone purchases real estate in the metaverse, this transaction is recorded on the blockchain, and the corresponding NFT transfers into the buyer’s digital wallet. Metamask and Binance wallets are rather popular. \ You can buy virtual properties directly from your platform of choice, or you can benefit from third-party resellers, such as nonfungible.com, a platform that allows owners to list their property and buyers to negotiate the price. Metaverse real estate prices Real estate in the metaverse costs are skyrocketing. Take, for instance, Decentraland. When the platform held its first auction in December 2017, it sold parcels of land for $20 each. By 2021, the cost of this commodity catapulted to $6,000, and it kept increasing to reach $15,000 by the start of 2022. Virtual land on the Sandbox, another metaverse platform, grew by 15,000% in 2021. \ Prices of virtual land plots can vary significantly based on their size, platform, and location. You can get a small parcel in Somnium Space for $6,362, while a lavish plot on Decentraland would cost you $2.4 million. \ When you prepare for metaverse real estate investing, don’t forget about all the accompanying expenses. Besides the parcel’s price, you are likely to pay processing fees, which can amount to 5% of the land price, in addition to gas fees for Ethereum-based projects. Also, some metaverse platforms require you to trade in their native cryptocurrency. If you don’t have those, be prepared to exchange one currency for another with all the losses that this transaction entails. Metaverse real estate platforms There are four commonly used metaverse platforms – The Sandbox, Decentraland, Cryptovoxels, and Somnium Space. The first two offer a well-established infrastructure and feature celebrities as landlords and tenants. The Sandbox is particularly popular with celebrities. According to Yat Siu, Co-founder of Aminoca Brands, the owner of the Sandbox, "What makes Sandbox land valuable is not the fact that they're blocky pieces of land. It's the fact that the most influential people in the space are building on it." This list includes Paris Hilton and Snoop Dogg, who owns a mansion and throws parties. \ The four platforms together offer 268,645 parcels of land varying in size. Below you can find a brief description of every platform, and a graph representing sales for a one-month period. The graphs for all four platforms are constructed for the same timeline, so that you can compare them for profitability. Sandbox https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltwH9RjGdxc \ With 166,464 parcels, 96 x 96 meters each, this metaverse real estate platform owns approximately 62% of the entire market. It has its cryptocurrency – i.e., SAND — and it uses the Ethereum blockchain. \ The Sandbox leans towards gamification. It supplies users with tools to craft items and even create their own games. The platform consists of three integrated products: VoxEdit. This is a powerful 3D voxel modeling and NFT creation package, which allows participants to build and animate objects, such as humans, animals, tools, etc. Created items can be exported into the Sandbox marketplace to represent game assets. Marketplace. This is the marketplace where users can upload and sell their VoxEdit creations. All items are first uploaded to the IPFS network for storage and are registered on a blockchain to prove ownership. Afterwards, items become assets and can be exhibited and sold in the marketplace. Game Maker. It allows users to develop games for free with the help of visual scripting tools. \ Participants can generate revenue by creating assets and games, and by buying and renting land. The Sandbox secured over 50 partnerships with renowned companies and brands, such as Atari and Dapper Labs. Decentraland https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HmXrOTEmxg Decentraland contains 90,601 parcels of land 16 x 16 meter each, and the whole metaverse is divided into several districts. This real estate in the metaverse platform is built on the Ethereum blockchain and is entirely user-owned, allowing the participants to create avatars, marketplaces, and virtual settings. It offers its native cryptocurrency, MANA, which can be easily purchased through popular crypto exchanges. \ There are two ways to create digital content on Decentraland: The Builder is a drag-and-drop visual tool. Users have access to a large number of pre-made items, including interactive items that react to players’ feedback. It is also possible to import custom models. The SDK supports writing code, which gives great flexibility for creating items and scenes \ Participants can generate revenue by creating and selling items, but also by advertising and offering paid experiences to other users. Cryptovoxels https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMAkpeyWGWA This real estate in the metaverse platform is also powered by the Ethereum blockchain. It offers 6,554 land plots with an average price of $5,000 per lot, but some premium locations can sell for as much as $10,000. \ Users can buy land parcels and create storefronts, art galleries, theaters, and mazes. Visually, this game looks like a combination of Minecraft and Facebook. Users build blocks and then customize their design by adding text, images, and audio files. Participants can make money by selling their avatars, unique usernames, and NFT items, as well as reselling virtual land. \ One innovative feature of this platform is supporting VR headsets, such as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Somnium Space https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzmSpC6cP3M This metaverse real estate platform contains 5,026 parcels of land that can come in three different sizes: small, medium, and extra-large. One can buy small parcels for $2,000 to $4,000, while large plots can cost up to $43,000. \ Somnium Space offers an immersive VR experience and can be accessed through a laptop or a mobile device. It offers a software development kit to support users in the creation and customization of their own avatars and property. The platform’s cooperation with the Polygon network allows participants to transfer their assets in and out Somnium Space to reduce fees. \ This metaverse platform allows users to tokenize their avatars, land, wearables, vehicles, tickets etc. using the Ethereum blockchain and has no stakes in their earnings. In addition to monetizing items, property owners can sell teleportation hubs and organize treasure hunts. Why invest in the metaverse real estate? Generally speaking, metaverse technology presents many opportunities for business leaders. There are several reasons to purchase land and other real estate objects in the metaverse: \ Buy and sell when the property appreciates in value Conduct business by selling advertising spots, hosting events, collecting rent, etc. For example, to host an event, you can simply rent a concert hall or another space, create and sell tickets, and create NFT merchandise to monetize at your event Have fun with the property and use it to socialize, express your personality, and demonstrate digital collectibles \ Even though the real estate in the metaverse market fairs rather well at the moment, there is no guarantee that prices will keep going up. There are several risks associated with this type of investment: \ This market lacks regulations. If the seller acts in bad faith, the buyer’s opportunities for seeking restitution are limited. Virtual land’s valuation. In the real world, land is a finite resource, and it increases in value as more people show desire for ownership. However, virtual land is infinite in theory. Metaverse platforms are enforcing artificial scarcity by limiting the number of land plots they sell. But if all is sold and the demand remains, nothing prevents those platforms from programming more land plots. Potential technology-associated risks. The trade occurs in cryptocurrency, and the proof of ownership is stored as an NFT. If the buyer forgets their password or otherwise fails to authenticate, the ownership right will be compromised. Also, if your metaverse platform goes offline, the property disappears. Technological advances, such as quantum computing, can, in theory, render today’s cryptographic security methods obsolete. How to choose the right spot to invest in Study the performance metrics of the selected metaverse platforms, such as the number of users interacting on each platform and the type of companies conducting business in this virtual reality After settling upon one metaverse platform, carefully consider the location of your prospective land. Parcels around famous brands and celebrities are fetching premium prices. Check out the price history at your metaverse real estate of choice to see how much it has appreciated or depreciated over time Examples of real estate in the metaverse Republic Realm, purchased land worth $4.3 million from the Sandbox. The company decided to develop 100 islands on the property with their own villas and boat market. Ninety of them were sold on the first day for $15,000 each, and some owners are listing their acquisitions for resale for over $100,000. \ Another large transaction comes from a crypto investor Tokens.com who acquired virtual property on Decentraland for $2.4 million. The land is located in the Fashion Street area, and the company is planning to host digital fashion shows with brands such as Dolce & Gabbana and Tommy Hilfiger. As Tokens.com CEO, Andrew Kiguel said, “We don’t want to sell the land, we want to continue buying land.” \ Property development companies also don’t want to stay behind and try to harness this new technology to gain competitive advantage. For instance, Magnolia Quality Development Corporation (MQDC), a leading international property developer, teamed up with Accenture to create a virtual real estate metaverse. Visit Malaisirirat, Chief Executive at MQDC said, "This approach has made us a technological pioneer to bring sustainable well-being to people and society in an era of digital transformation." \ According to Mr. Malaisirirat, the collaboration with Accenture focuses on providing MQDC’s customers with experience beyond imagination, opening opportunities for clients interested in the metaverse in the context of property development, and simply offering a space that connects virtual and real worlds, allowing people to have a hybrid experience. \ Other activities include: \ Warner Music is planning on hosting concerts at its property in the Sandbox Barbados decided to open its embassy in the metaverse An anonymous user has recently paid $450,000 to acquire a land parcel in the Snoopverse – a metaverse owned by Snoop Dogg Real estate in the metaverse: market trends and predictions Real estate in the metaverse sales amounted to $501 million in 2021 and already exceeded $85 million in January, 2022 alone. Going at this pace, this market could reach $1 billion by the end of 2022. \ Big companies, such as Meta, Nvidia, and Microsoft, are betting on the metaverse to become the next generation of the Internet. If this materializes, real estate in the metaverse will offer many opportunities for businesses and influencers to build new audiences, create and market new products and services. This excitement is supported by Accenture’s recent survey, which shows that 71% of global executives questioned by the consultancy report that metaverse will be beneficial for their business, with 42% believing this technology will have a transformational impact. \ However, there are factors that work against the metaverse. The Quarterly NFT Market Report shows that NFT sales volume in the metaverse is still rather modest in comparison to other NFT segments. \ Additionally, some audiences, especially the older generation, doubt that the metaverse will live up to its promises. For example, Edward Castronova, Professor of Media at Indiana University, believes, “The Metaverse is El Dorado for internet startups. They chase it into the jungle and die.” \ Andrew Kiguel, CEO at Tokens.com, a digital assets company based in Canada, replies to this by saying, “The problem a lot of people have is that there are generations that have a difficult time attributing value to things that are digital, that you can’t hold and that don’t have weight.” \ Deloitte, also concerned with the future of the metaverse, recently published a report saying that the future of this technology depends on four factors: \ Standardization: will there be a unified economy across metaverse platforms together with consistent design and programming standards? Market fragmentation: will different platforms serve different use cases, or will they compete for the same customers? User interface: will the platforms offer intuitive interface and seamless user experience? Governance: will there be strong government regulations to ensure secure transactions and prevent fraud, or will every platform have to implement their own rules? \ There is no reliable way to determine whether your real estate in the metaverse platform of choice will survive in the future. But it is safe to say that if this platform has an engaged and loyal community, its chances of flourishing are higher. So, if you decide to purchase virtual land in the metaverse, you can try organizing community events or building something interesting that people would want to be around. \ Thinking about investing in real estate in the metaverse? Get in touch! ITRex experts will help you select the metaverse platform that satisfies your needs. Then you, together, will build real estate 3D models and implement the business logic behind your custom solution. \

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\ Violation, the studio behind the upcoming Saints Row reboot, has been making some incredibly bold claims. Among those has been the promise of a customization suite that offers far more design complexity and accessibility than any previous game in the series. \ In an incredibly confident testament to that statement, the studio has released an entire trailer dedicated only to the plethora of customization options in the world of Saints Row. Even a brief glimpse leaves a big impression. This is set to be not only the most impressive customization experience in Saints Row history, but among all AAA titles frankly ever. Be Anyone You Can Dream Up The Saints Row customization trailer showcases its remarkable ability for simplicity in micro-designing avatars. It’s so precise that it even allows for alteration of small details such as muscle fiber and vein definition. \ While showcasing its impressive diversity of customization options, it didn’t take long for the new Saints Row, a series known for its raunchy humor, to show off its “modesty” options. These are used to alter your avatar’s chest and genital regions. \ To name a few more of the endless editable features, you are also able to: Attach a variety of prosthetics, such as fake arms and legs. Change between unique hairstyles, and add multiple colors to your hair/eyebrows, allowing you to create exciting blends. Control the gloss, color, texture, and material of your skin and teeth. If you’d like to be a vampire, a werewolf, or a vampire-werewolf, anything is achievable. Create interesting scar patterns and alter muscle or vein definition to meticulously create the body of your dreams (or nightmares). Create asymmetrical faces that include a variety of lipsticks and face paints. Change the design of your clothes and create unique color variations in them. How Customization is Evolving in AAA Games In recent years, there has been a massive push among developers to create unique and player-tailored experiences. Far too often, players are left feeling like they’re left messing around with essentially the same customization tools. After all, a shallow and basic customization mechanic acts as more of a gimmick than as a meaningful addition. \ The concept of designing and playing as an avatar of your creation is a prevalent one. Naturally, modern video games are making this way more accessible than ever before. When the topic of in-game customization comes up now and again, however, one title is always referenced. \ Without a doubt, the most notable example of in-depth avatar creation in recent memory hails from Cyberpunk 2077. That game allowed players to edit the morphology of their avatar in multiple ways. Like the new Saints Row reboot, it even possessed its own version of “modesty options,” existing as a comical slider that would increase or decrease the size of your intimate parts as you moved it. Developer CD Projekt Red heavily marketed these customization features and even used them as a main selling point. \ Despite the noise around the game, in all honesty, the customization options in Cyberpunk 2077 don’t hold a candle to what Saints Row is offering in its upcoming reboot. Not even close. I found myself frustrated with Cyberpunk for minor details, such as the fact that you can’t get a haircut in-game. For a title presenting itself as a marvel of customization, I found that to be, quite frankly, ridiculous and underwhelming. I won’t even go into the optimization nightmare that was Cyberpunk 2077. That is an entire article in itself. What Do Higher Customization Standards Mean for Us? A key takeaway from this trailer is that Violation is looking to set an entirely new industry benchmark. From the looks of things, it’s succeeding. In fact, it seems to be moving way out of reach from any title in any series before it, which is wildly important. \ After all, as gamers start to get a taste for accessibility and freedom, they won’t be able to go back. It’s just too fun to be able to modify your characters and in-game items. Given time, other developers may be pushed to match their title’s customization to a similar standard or risk disappointing fans. \ I can only imagine the wave of content and stylistic options that will arrive with a mega-title such as the upcoming Grand Theft Auto 6. Yet, I anticipate that even this highly anticipated video game giant will find itself faced with a general sense of lackluster regarding its customization. Saints Row has gone way beyond modern consumers’ expectations. \ It doesn’t end there, incredibly, as Saints Row also promises to allow for the alteration of vehicles and firearms, to an extent never seen before, following the game’s trend of breaking creative boundaries. \ Among these many possibilities are: The option to modify and paint an impressive collection of over 80 vehicles. The system allows for customization of engines, wheels, parts, dirt, decals, and more. Equipping and altering of individual gun components, including skins, engravings, holsters, and designs. Editing of your multi-level criminal base of operations, with statues and other furnishings. Some Final Thoughts The Saints Row reboot lets you cause chaos and explore a world of your own making, expressing your creativity as you link up with a friend in the confirmed online co-op experience. That’s right, the entire story is accessible for you and a buddy to play through together. \ Interestingly enough, players will actually get to design their character before the game is even released. Unfortunately, we don’t know how just yet. Thankfully, we do at least know Volition is working on it in the meantime. \ Naturally, this has sparked massive conversation across varying online forums. Players have mostly been discussing what they thought of the trailer and what they intend for their characters’ design. Ideas ranged from Elven warriors to simply being content with the ability to wear a lampshade over one’s head. And honestly, that’s the kind of freedom gamers have wanted all along. Saints Row will hit store shelves on August 23, 2022. :::tip This article was first published here. ::: \

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Throttling and debouncing are good techniques to improve performance on your website. \ Let’s imagine, that we have an event listener on mousemove or scroll and you have a callback that makes some calculations, takes much time and this function calls many times during mouse move, scroll, or other events. Of course, this situation can make your website performance really slow. \ Another example, we have input for searching, and we put the listener to input event and on each input letter, we make HTTP requests. Let’s imagine, we want to find items, using the ==blueberry== word. As soon as we type “==b==”, HTTP requests will fire, also “==l==”, also “==u==”, also “==b==” ect…Each typing letter will fire an HTTP request.  But in general, we want to have just 1 HTTP call, when the word will be fully typed. \ Both techniques could help with that problems and each of them works in a little bit different way and uses for different cases. So, let’s take a look at examples. \n We want to create a mouse pointer, that runs after the user cursor, with a little offset from the cursor.  In general, it’s an easy task, so let’s do it. \n The code really simple, so let’s take a look: We take a container (it could be any element, like a body), also I prepared a div for the pointer, added some styles (you can add any style that you want), and the heart of the logic - JS. \ In JS, I just add a listener to the container. Any event listeners, pass ==event== object, that contains much useful information and for our purpose, we have access to mouse cursor cords at the time when this callback was fired. Knowing these cords, we just add some offset and change position of our pointer. \ Let’s take a look at how much time our callback will be fired. For this I will move the mouse pointer from the start left corner of my screen to the end. \ Of course, it’s a not perfect measure technique, but in general, it gives understanding. In my case, as we can see it’s 55 times. \ Can we decrease this function calls amount, but keep the same functionality working? Sure. Let’s introduce, the throttling technique. \ Throttling set how much function can be called during a specific time. For example, call some function no more than 1 time per millisecond, like call function once per 100 milliseconds or once per 50 milliseconds. \ There are many implementations of throttling and debounce you can find, and library like lodash also contains them. So, let’s pick any throttle implementation and use it for our example. \ As I mentioned this is just 1 of many other implementations, if you are interested, you can find other and try to compare them, but it’s not the purpose of this article. \ Now, let’s use it for our pointer. \ Here, we say, that onMouseMove function will be called once 30 milliseconds. Let’s check the result: After throttle and 30 milliseconds, the amount of our function calls is 32, instead of 55 as it was the first time. Function calls were reduced almost 2 times. You can play with the delay amount, in some cases, you can put the bigger amount, in other cases it can be a bad result and you should use a smaller delay time, so it depends on your task. \ But for sure, if you have some hard calculations or HTTP requests in your callbacks, the throttle can help you with decreasing the number of function calls. \ Now, let’s speak about the next task. Imagine, that we want to hide this pointer, after the user stops moving his mouse pointer, after 3 seconds. But if he stops just for 1 or 2 seconds and will continue moving we shouldn’t hide the mouse pointer. \ The first solution that you can think of is that we can just add setTimeout with 3 seconds and that’s all. But, the problem with this is that it will hide the pointer after 3 seconds not depends does user move his cursor or not. \ In our case, we want to make timeout of 3 seconds only after when the user stops moving his mouse. And if the user stops his mouse just for 1 or 2 seconds and after continues moving, we don’t want to hide pointer, until the user stops moving for more than 3 seconds. \ Let’s see an example below: As you can see, our mouse pointer disappears only if the user doesn’t move his mouse for more than 3 seconds. \ How to make it? \ Debounce - is a technique that runs function only until a certain amount of time has passed. As we can see in an example, we can delay our function for a certain amount of time, but if this time is less, our timeout is extended. \ Let’s check the code: \ As throttling implementation, debounce also has a lot of different implementations, so I found just one of them: \ Also, I created simple hideMousePointer and showMousePointer functions: \ showMousePointer I run inside onMouseMovie for that case if pointer was hidden before. \ hideMousePointer I use the inside debounce function as a callback and set 3 seconds as a delay. And yes, here in the example we combine throttling and debounce together. But it’s not required. You can use both of them independently. Instead of throttledMouseMove we can use simple mouseMove in our example, for hiding/showing result will be the same. \ Another popular example of using debounce is an input field, where you type keywords for searching something, also you put ==input== event listener, and inside the listener, you send HTTP request with the input text. But we don’t want to send HTTP for each input letter. We want to wait a small amount of time until when the user stops writing and only after sending 1 HTTP request with the whole word instead of many HTTP calls for each letter. \ In general, that’s all, let’s repeat once: \ Throttling is a technique that you can use when you need to run a function 1 time at each specific time interval, call the function once per 100 milliseconds or once per 50 milliseconds. \ Debounce is a technique that enforces a function not to be called again until a certain amount of time has passed. For example, make HTTP request only when the user stops writing something or only after page scrolling was stopped for more than 3 seconds. \ I hope that now, you have a better understanding difference between these 2 techniques and you can find their usage in your own projects. \ \

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Have you ever met a chilled-out entrepreneur? Someone who can simultaneously run a startup and have a great personal life? I haven’t — at least, not an entrepreneur who’s fresh off the ground.Entrepreneurship is a high-stress, all-consuming job. It’s not for the faint of heart, or those without an iron will. That’s because, for the most part, you are forging a new path with no model to follow. There are no guarantees; the only constant is change.There’s no question that this type of work can be highly rewarding. But because it is so involved, it’s also incredibly easy to get burned out. (Entrepreneurial burnout is a real thing, and it’s not pretty).That’s why it’s so important to set boundaries for yourself — both in your professional and personal life. I learned a few important lessons about this in a recent interview with CEO and bestselling author, Melissa Urban.Melissa Urban of the Whole30 ProgramMy mid-April guest on the Success Story Podcast, Melissa Urban, is a woman who can truly say that she reinvented herself. After hitting an all-time low upon finishing college and recovering from serious drug addiction, Melissa decided she needed to completely upend her way of life — and she didn’t do things by halves.“I changed my friend group, I got a new job, I moved, I changed the music I listened to and the clothes I wore. And that’s when I started getting into health and fitness. I decided if I was going to reinvent myself as a healthy person with healthy habits, what would that healthy person with healthy habits do?”Talk about inspiring. Among many pivotal changes Melissa made in her life, she started a blog and began experimenting with healthy eating. This eventually led her to develop the Whole30 Program, a 30-day nutritional reset that has helped countless people change their lives for the better.If you’re someone who is struggling to make big changes in your life, Melissa’s story is a great reminder that it’s never too late.Melissa’s Thoughts on Boundaries and BurnoutAs per my introduction, today’s newsletter is all about boundaries. Melissa Urban had a lot to share on this topic — so let’s take a deep dive.Burnout hasn’t always been recognized as a clinical condition. To my understanding, the term first started to emerge in the 70s when people in healthcare occupations began to experience breakdowns. It was originally called “occupational burnout.”The key symptoms of occupational burnout are emotional exhaustion, depersonalization (emotional detachments from others), and a lack of personal accomplishment. A person might feel like they’re constantly running on empty or like they’re just going through the motions at work.No matter what industry you work in, whether it be caring for the physical and emotional needs of others or working in a leadership position, the crux of burnout comes from reaching the end of your emotional tether. Sound familiar, entrepreneurs in the room?Research suggests that entrepreneurs are more prone to burnout than the average worker. This is likely due to the many unique challenges and stresses that come with being an entrepreneur, such as long hours, uncertainty, and lack of control. Melissa believes it could be due to this thing we call “hustle culture” — the killer of innovation and wellbeing.“I think entrepreneurs are actually some of the worst at setting boundaries at work. It’s because of the entrepreneur hustle culture that tells us: when you are resting, or taking a break, or taking a day off, there’s somebody else working harder than you.”Did you get chills reading that? I did. This is one of the most insidious things about hustle culture — it tricks us into thinking that we’re weak or lazy if we’re not always grinding away.Why We Are So Prone to BurnoutHustle culture isn’t the only thing at the heart of our burnout problem (although it’s a pretty big one). There are a few other key reasons why we entrepreneurs are so prone to burning out. Let’s take a look at five.1. We’re perfectionists.Come on, raise your hand. Have you ever redone a project from scratch, even though you spent hours on it to begin with? Do you procrastinate and put off tasks for fear of getting them wrong? How often do you cringe at the praise you receive because you know you could have done better?We entrepreneurs are often perfectionists. Why this word was ever associated with being a good worker is beyond me. It is seriously debilitating, and the constant stream of underlying stress leads us down the path of burnout.2. Our work is never done.There’s always more to be done. As an entrepreneur, you are constantly juggling a million things at once, and it never ends. This sense of never being done can be really overwhelming and cause us to feel like we’re constantly behind.“[It can] make you feel like you have to say yes to every person, take every call, accept every job, go the extra mile — even when it’s completely unreasonable,” Melissa explained.And, when we inevitably burn the candle at both ends until the flame meets in the middle, we’re burned out right to the core.3. We’re surrounded by competition.It’s no secret that the entrepreneurial world is competitive. We’re constantly comparing ourselves to others, and this can lead to feelings of inadequacy or insecurity. This sort of thinking can be really harmful and cause us to overwork ourselves in an attempt to “keep up.”“You can get so caught up in your competition, and what they’re doing and where they’re going, that it can completely derail you off of your own path,” Melissa said, “Because there’s three more people in the wings waiting to take that client, or waiting to take your audience, or that job.”A bit of healthy competition is one thing, but when it becomes all-consuming, it’s definitely not good for our wellbeing.4. We are juggling too much at once.Who decided that multi-tasking and working ourselves to the bone was going to be the new ‘normal’? It seems backward. And, yet, here we are as a society — trying to do it all. While everyone takes on too much from time to time, Melissa emphasized that this is an issue parents struggle with in particular.“This is prevalent with women — especially mothers — who are part of this entrepreneur culture. They have to show up at work, but then they also have to manage a household and take care of their kids.”“They can’t win either way. If they focus on their kids, they’re not fulfilling their career. If they focus on their career, they’re neglecting their kids. There’s a lot of pressure out there.”I’m all for the working mom or the entrepreneurial dad, don’t get me wrong. We’re living in 2022 at ScottDClary.com. But when society tells us that we have to be perfect at everything, it’s no wonder we’re all so burnt out.5. No one taught us any different.Entrepreneurs often wear their burnout like a badge of honor. We think it means we’re working hard and being productive. But, in reality, it just means we’re overworked and exhausted. And, unfortunately, this is the way things have always been done. No one ever taught us another way.“We’re not taught how to set boundaries. We are not taught at school, we’re not taught in college. It’s not part of any workplace curriculum. And very often, we weren’t modeled boundaries at home by our families. So it’s really hard to learn how to set them,” Melissa explained.I’m so glad Melissa brought this up. There is immense power in the education systems that raise us and the institutions that we work in. Sadly, in the case of setting boundaries, these systems have failed us.The Time for Change is NowWe may be prone to burnout, but there’s no rule that says we can’t change. Just as Melissa changed her entire life and did a full 180 on her nutrition habits, we can change how we approach work and entrepreneurship.So, what’s the secret recipe? According to Melissa, we need to be able to recognize the signs of burnout first and foremost. That way, we can pull up barriers as they are needed instead of letting them snowball into a full-blown crisis.“I think learning to recognize the signs of burnout early is incredibly important. It’s the dreading going into the office when you used to love it; feeling like work is sucking so much of your time and energy that you can’t show up for your partner, or fun things outside of your life. It’s the physical aspects of being exhausted all the time.”According to a study published by the FIIB Business Review a few years ago, the signs and symptoms of burnout are spread across a few different spectrums.Psychological SymptomsOf course, first, there are the psychological symptoms of burnout. This is when we feel like work is no longer a source of joy or satisfaction. We may feel cynical or negative about our careers, and we might start to doubt our abilities.Sadly, among this group of symptoms lies depression and anxiety. So, if you’re feeling particularly low or strung out, it’s definitely time to take a step back and assess the situation.Physiological SymptomsThe physical symptoms of burnout are pretty self-explanatory. We feel tired all the time, we have no energy, and we might even experience headaches or chest pain.Some studies have even observed flu-like symptoms in burnout victims, along with more alarming conditions like hypertension, diabetes, skeletal problems, and even heart disease.Behavioral SymptomsIf you’re suddenly struggling to show up for the people who rely on you, or you’re considering abandoning your post altogether, that’s a big sign you might be experiencing burnout.You may also find that your workaholic tendencies have gotten worse. Addictive behaviors might emerge or re-emerge; suddenly fast food is irresistible, and the couch calls your name every 5 minutes.You might also find that your productivity has decreased. This is usually a sign that you’re working too hard and not taking enough time for yourself.So, How Can We Set Boundaries?Now that we know the signs of burnout, what can we do to set boundaries?Melissa hit the nail on the head in my opinion. “I think the concept of paying yourself first is one that entrepreneurs need to learn to embrace. If your goal is to grow your business and give back to your team, your community, your customers, you can’t do that if you are pouring from an empty cup.”She’s spot on. A startup venture requires everything you can give it in terms of time, effort, and attention. That’s why it’s so important to set boundaries for ourselves — so that we can ensure that we always have something left to pour from our cup.Here are a few tips to get you started:1. Schedule your time.If you don’t schedule your time, someone else will. This is especially true for entrepreneurs who tend to be go-getters and workaholics by nature. We often have this idea that if we’re not working, we’re not doing anything productive.But that’s simply not the case. In fact, if we don’t take some time for ourselves, we’re actually doing more harm than good. So, start by scheduling your day and allotting specific blocks of time for work and for yourself.2. Set boundaries with your clients.This one is especially tough, but it’s so important. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with work, set some boundaries with your clients. Explain that you have a certain number of hours per day or week that you can commit to their project and anything beyond that will incur additional fees.3. Take regular breaks.This one is a no-brainer, but it’s so important that we need to mention it again. If you don’t take regular breaks, you will quickly find yourself burnt out. Get up and move around every hour or so, and make sure to take a full day off once a week.4. Say no to new opportunities.When you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed, the last thing you want to do is say no to new opportunities. But, trust me, it’s necessary. If something doesn’t fit into your current schedule or if it requires too much of your time and effort, say no.5. Set rules for yourself and stick to them.“I’m an entrepreneur — the rules don’t apply to me.” Wrong. The rules apply to everyone. And, in order to protect our wellbeing, we need to set some boundaries for ourselves and stick to them.So, what are your rules? Maybe you decide that you won’t work past 7pm on weekdays or that you’ll take Saturdays completely off. It’s up to you, but make sure to enforce them.At the end of the day, it’s up to us to protect our wellbeing. By setting boundaries, we can ensure that we don’t fall victim to burnout and that we’re always able to give our best selves to our businesses.Final NotesIf you feel personally attacked by this article, I highly doubt you’re on your own. Burnout is a deadly concoction of our own making. We often forget to take care of number one: ourselves. The guilt we feel as entrepreneurs for not working 24/7 is real, but it’s important to remember that we can’t pour from an empty cup.So, please take a step back, assess your current state, and make the necessary changes to ensure that you’re taking care of yourself. Only then can you truly give your all to your business.Don’t forget to check out my interview with Melissa Urban, especially if you’re feeling down in the dumps about your diet or energy levels. She’s one of the most insightful people I’ve met when it comes to diet and lifestyle choices.Until next time!

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\ Photo by Brands&People on Unsplash \ What do developers want? \ Big bonuses? The latest iPhone? A new watch? Whilst few people would say no to free swag, we think it takes a lot more than ‘stuff’ to create an engaging working environment for developers in 2022. \ Why keep engineers engaged? 1: Retention The current market for developer talent is fierce, and only expected to grow with the global talent shortage expected to hit 85.2 million by 2030. Further to this, according to Stack Overflow a massive 74% of developers are currently open to new job offers. If your developers are not engaged and enjoying their work, they could be leaving the nest for pastures new in no time, all at a cost to your organization. \ 2: Performance According to Forbes, engaged teams are 21% more profitable and 17% more productive. Any tech team that wants to be high-performing should have an engagement plan in place to ensure developers are in an environment that allows them to do their best work. It’s clear that retaining and getting the best out of your team’s developers has never been more important. \ But what metrics matter when looking to incentivise developers in 2022? \ Photo by Japheth Mast on Unsplash What metrics drive developer engagement? Using objective frameworks such as Google’s DORA framework can be a significant driver in incentivising developers to improve performance. \ At Adadot we believe the ultimate set of developer metrics can be split into three key sections; work, wellbeing, and collaboration. 1: Work Making it easy to know what ‘good’ looks like is massively motivating. Without this, we run the risk of leaving our development teams to work in silos in a conveyor belt style, shipping code but not knowing why, or how effectively they are doing so. \ We recently wrote a blog about how Zoopla use the DORA framework to bake rigorous scientific theory about developer performance into their working environment. \ Making these metrics transparent is also vital, and something that Gitlab does really well. They publish all their team performance stats on their website so anyone can see them. This takes the power of metrics away from hidden rooms full of management and puts it in the hands of those on the front line of development. Not only does this make performance and benchmarks universally clear, but it also allows people to understand the wider purpose of those metrics, showing what they ladder up to and why. \ So metrics can be useful, sometimes. However, every action has a counterreaction, and the same applies here. We’ve all experienced a pushy salesperson, who has been incentivized through a bonus scheme where they get money for each sale made. This will typically see sales go up, but customer satisfaction goes down due to the focus on sales rather than service. Are our metrics sending the right signals to our developers? Or are we driving short-term productivity at the expense of their wellbeing and, ultimately, their long-term productivity? \ 2: Wellbeing Stack Overflow did some research into developer engagement, and whilst competitive remuneration remains the number one concern for developers at 70% of respondents, work/life balance is not far behind at 48.3% of respondents. The need for greater focus on wellbeing is clear, and that shouldn’t stop at your HR department, it should extend to the way you measure performance too. \ The DORA framework doesn’t stop at work alone, with burnout and work environment being key components. \ Adding these dimensions to the metrics you use to encourage developer performance ensures you’re recognising the right working behaviors; shifting the means of enhancing performance from increased hours to increased efficiency. \ 3: Collaboration Strong collaborative practices are also key to developer team success, and therefore developer engagement. \ However, again using DORA as our Bible, we acknowledge that metrics aren’t everything here. Ensuring you cover the softer side of collaboration through effective retrospective sessions that capture continuous improvement ideas from developers is important, ensuring their voices are heard and the team ‘inspects and adapts’ accordingly. This further lends itself to ensuring your developers are empowered to be self-organizing and given the autonomy they need to excel, moving away from any hint of command and control management to more Agile servant leadership approaches. \ \ The rest is down to you, we give you the data and levers to pull, you just need to choose which ones to pull. :::tip This article was first published here. :::

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\ Be careful what you wish for! \ In theory, we all know what is the Great Firewall of China all about. Right? You don’t have to be a rocket nor a computer scientist to grasp the basics. I think that the more appropriate term would be the Great Internet “Gate” of China. Why? \ Well, a wall, even in the cyber-space doesn’t leave too much room for negotiations. Your content or message becomes just another brick in the Great Firewall, and that’s it. With the “gatekeepers,” you can at least negotiate what or who gets through and to which extent. Just ask HBO’s “Peacemaker” John Cena, if you took the same crash course in Mandarin Chinese as he did. \ But hey, you may ask, what does the Great Firewall or “Gate” of China has to do with the decentralized internet? Talking about gates, there’s one The Doors’ song that comes to mind: \ You know that it would be untrue \n You know that I would be a liar \n If I was to say to you \n Girl, we couldn't get much higher \ Can China “build” the Firewall so tall, and lock the Internet Gates, so it isolates its Web completely? In other words, could China run its own (limited) version of the World Wide Web? Between Cyber Sovereignty and State Authority \ Currently, “today’s internet is owned by everyone and no one,” if you can turn a blind cyber eye to Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook. China is strongly pushing the idea of the New IP, which “could mean that everyone in those countries would need permission from their internet provider to do anything via the internet — whether downloading an app or accessing a site — and administrators could have the power to deny access on a whim. Rather than a unified world wide web, citizens could be forced to connect to a patchwork of national internets, each with its own rules — a concept known in China as cyber sovereignty.” \ If this formulation of the so-called “cyber sovereignty” makes your head hurt, here’s the simple and straight the point version of the Chinese president, Xi Jinping himself, who had already established that the Chinese internet would be a world unto itself. \ China's Independent Internet. How does it sound to you? \ The Chinese Internet may ultimately become the first separate Internetwork, that while sharing some genes with one parent, the first Internet, also has a separate and different genetic code designed by its national administrators. \ Oh, I couldn’t care less. Let them have their own Chinet or whatever it’s going to be called. Big deal. Huh! \ \ What if your idea about “separatists” and “Balkanized” ~~World~~ ~~Wide~~ Webs finds another “host?” No Peeking Behind The Internet Iron Curtain “Russian citizens, unlike their Chinese counterparts, have been able to access US tech platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google, though they have been subject to censorship and restrictions — the defining feature of China’s internet model. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has increasingly isolated the country in recent days, could also prove to be the death knell for its presence on the worldwide web.” \ The death knell? Hmm, I don’t think so. It’s more like the perfect excuse to follow the Chinese’s self-isolated internet footsteps. \ It’s a perfect storm that could lead Russia to finally seal off its population from the rest of the global internet, much like China already has. \ The perfect storm?! Now, that’s much better. \ “I think one nuanced difference between Russia and China is that China has the technical capability — their Great Firewall is very sophisticated and Russia doesn’t have as much of that,” said Xiaomeng Lu, director of the geo-technology practice for the Eurasia Group. “As much as they [Russia] want to do a comprehensive, full blockage, I think technically there are some challenges.” \ But, we all know, where there’s a will, and unfortunately a war in Ukraine, there’s a way. \ Lu admits it is hard to predict exactly how quickly a complete severing of Russia’s internet from the world will take place, but recent development indicate it could happen in “weeks or maybe even days.” \ The World Ain’t Perfect - Beware of the Domino Effect! \ It seems that the “movement” of pulling the Internet plug has more than just two followers: China and Russia. \ Two UN experts have called on Iran to “abandon its efforts to enact a new law that would effectively isolate the country from the global internet.” More commonly referred to as the User Protection Bill, it grants Tehran and the military “extensive control over infrastructure that connects Iran to the global internet.” \ “The User Protection Bill” has a license to kill - the Internet. Meaning, that this Bill “would further enhance Iran’s ability to disconnect its population from the outside world during times of crisis.” \ Freedom House's “Saudi Arabia: Freedom on the Net 2021 Country Report” can be summarized in one picture: \ Where Do We Decentralize the Internet From Here? \ One people. One country. One leader. And, One Internet. Is that the future of our brave new digital world? \ There’s a haunting scene from the movie “Contact” that should be about new hopes and new worlds. It raises a question about the first person and the ideology the aliens are first to see. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-Ngqhe3y-Y \ Now, imagine the “next generation” that’s more Internet than TV-oriented like we saw in the movie. There won’t be one World Wide Web, but a dozen or even more national or regional Webs to represent diametrically opposed views and values. \ There’s a thin line between decentralization and the “balkanization” of the internet. Think about it. \ \

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Astounding Stories of Super-Science, March 1930), by Astounding Stories is part of HackerNoon’s Book Blog Post series. You can jump to any chapter in this book here. Brigands of the Moon: Chapter I. CHAPTER ITells of the Grantline Moon Expedition and of the Mysterious Martian Who Followed Us in the City CorridorONE may write about oneself and still not be an egoist. Or so, at least, they tell me. My narrative went broadcast with a fair success. It was pantomimed and the public flashed me a reasonable approval. And so my disc publishers have suggested that I record it in more permanent form.I introduce myself, begging grace that I intrude upon your busy minutes, with my only excuse that perhaps I may amuse you. For what the commercial sellers of my pictured version were pleased to blare as my handsome face, I ask your indulgence. My feminine audience of the pantomimes was undoubtedly graciously pleased at my personality and physical aspect. That I am “tall as a Viking of old”––and “handsome as a young Norse God”––is very pretty talk in the selling of my product. But I deplore its intrusion into the personality of this, my recorded narrative. And so now, for preface, to all my audience I do give earnest assurance that Gregg Haljan is no conceited zebra, handsomely striped by nature, and proud of it. Not so. I am, I do beg you to believe, a very humble fellow, striving for your approval, hoping only to entertain you.My introduction: My name, Gregg Haljan. My age, twenty-five years. I was, at the time my narrative begins, Third Officer on the Space-Ship Planetara. Our line was newly established; in 2070, to be exact, following the modern improvements of the Martel Magnetic Levitation.[1]OUR ship, whose home port was Great-New York, carried mail and passenger traffic to and from both Venus and Mars. Of astronomical necessity, our flights were irregular. This spring, with the two other planets both close to the earth, we were making two complete round trips. We had just arrived in Great-New York, this May evening, from Grebhar, Venus Free State. With only five hours in port 309here, we were departing the same night at the zero hour for Ferrok-Shahn, capital of the Martian Union.We were no sooner at the landing stage than I found a code-flash summoning Dan Dean and me to Divisional Detective Headquarters. Dan “Snap” Dean was one of my closest friends. He was radio-helio operator of the Planetara. A small, wiry, red-headed chap, with a quick, ready laugh and a wit that made everyone like him.The summons to Detective-Colonel Halsey’s office surprised us. Snap eyed me.“You haven’t been opening any treasury vaults, have you, Gregg?”“He wants you, also,” I retorted.He laughed. “Well, he can roar at me like a traffic switchman and my private life will remain my own.”We could not think why we should be wanted. It was the darkness of mid-evening when we left the Planetara for Halsey’s office. It was not a long trip. We went direct in the upper monorail, descending into the subterranean city at Park-Circle 30.WE HAD never been to Halsey’s office before. We found it to be a gloomy, vaultlike place in one of the deepest corridors. The door lifted.“Gregg Haljan and Daniel Dean.”The guard stood aside. “Come in.”I own that my heart was unduly thumping as we entered. The door dropped behind us. It was a small blue-lit apartment––a steel-lined room like a vault.Colonel Halsey sat at his desk. And the big, heavy-set, florid Captain Carter––our commander of the Planetara––was here. That surprised us: we had not seen him leave the ship.Halsey smiled at us gravely. Captain Carter said, “Sit down, lads.”We took the seats. There was an alarming solemnity about this. If I had been guilty of anything that I could think of, it would have been frightening. But Halsey’s first words reassured me.“It’s about the Grantline Moon Expedition. In spite of our secrecy, the news has gotten out. We want to know how. Can you tell us?”Captain Carter’s huge bulk––he was about as tall as I am––towered over us as we sat before Halsey’s desk. “If you lads have told anyone––said anything––let slip the slightest hint about it––”Snap smiled with relief; but he turned solemn at once. “I haven’t. Not a word!”“Nor have I,” I declared.THE Grantline Moon Expedition! We had not thought of that as a reason for this summons. Johnny Grantline was a close friend to us both. He had organized an exploring expedition to the Moon. Uninhabited, with its bleak, forbidding, airless, waterless surface, the Moon––even though so close to the Earth––was seldom visited. No regular ship ever stopped there. A few exploring parties of recent years had come to grief.But there was a persistent rumor that upon the Moon, mineral riches of fabulous wealth were awaiting discovery. The thing had already caused some interplanetary complications. The aggressive Martians would be only too glad to explore the Moon. But the U.S.W.[2] definitely warned them away. The Moon was World Territory, we announced, and we would protect it as such.The threatened conflict between the Earth and Mars had come to nothing. There was, this year of 2079, a thorough amity between all three of the inhabited planets. It still holds, and I pray that it may always hold.There was, nevertheless, a realization by our government, that whatever riches might be upon the Moon should be seized at once and held by some reputable Earth Company. And when Johnny 310Grantline applied, with his father’s wealth and his own scientific record of attainment, the government was only too glad to grant him its writ.THE Grantline Expedition had started six months ago. The Martian government had acquiesced in our ultimatum, yet brigands have been known to be financed under cover of a governmental disavowal. And so the expedition was kept secret.My words need give no offense to any Martian who comes upon them. I refer to the history of our earth only. The Grantline Expedition was on the Moon now. No word had come from it. One could not flash helios even in code without letting all the universe know that explorers were on the Moon. And why they were there, anyone could easily guess.And now Colonel Halsey was telling us that the news was abroad! Captain Carter eyed us closely; his flashing eyes under the white bushy brows would pry a secret from anyone.“You’re sure? A girl of Venus, perhaps, with her cursed, seductive lure! A chance word, with you lads befuddled by alcolite?”We assured him we had been careful. By the heavens, I know that I had been. Not a whisper, even to Snap, of the name Grantline in six months or more.Captain Carter added abruptly, “We’re insulated here, Halsey?”“Yes, talk as freely as you like. An eavesdropping ray will never get into these walls.”THEY questioned us. They were satisfied at last that, though the secret had escaped, we had not done it. Hearing it discussed, it occurred to me to wonder why Carter was concerned. I was not aware that he knew of Grantline’s venture. I learned now the reason why the Planetara, upon each of her voyages, had managed to pass fairly close to the Moon. It had been arranged with Grantline that if he wanted help or had any important message, he was to flash it locally to our passing ship. And this Snap knew, and had never mentioned it, even to me.Halsey was saying, “Well, we can’t blame you, but the secret is out.”Snap and I regarded each other. What could anyone do? What would anyone dare do?Captain Carter said abruptly, “Look here, lads, this is my chance now to talk plainly to you. Outside, anywhere outside these walls, an eavesdropping ray may be upon us. You know that? One may never even dare whisper since that accursed ray was developed.”Snap opened his mouth to speak but decided against it. My heart was pounding.Captain Carter went on, “I know I can trust you two more than anyone else under me on the Planetara––”“What do you mean by that?” I demanded. “What––”He interrupted me. “Nothing at all but what I say.”HALSEY smiled grimly. “What he means, Haljan, is that things are not always what they seem these days. One cannot always tell a friend from an enemy. The Planetara is a public vessel. You have––how many is it, Carter?––thirty or forty passengers this trip to-night?”“Thirty-eight,” said Carter.“There are thirty-eight people listed for the flight to Ferrok-Shahn to-night,” Halsey said slowly. “And some may not be what they seem.” He raised his thin dark hand. “We have information––” He paused. “I confess, we know almost nothing––hardly more than enough to alarm us.”Captain Carter interjected, “I want you and Dean to be on your guard. Once on the Planetara it is difficult for us to talk openly, but be watchful. I will arrange for us to be doubly armed.”Vague, perturbing words! Halsey said, “They tell me George Prince is listed for the voyage. I am suggesting, 311Haljan, that you keep your eye especially upon him. Your duties on the Planetara leave you comparatively free, don’t they?”“Yes,” I agreed. With the first and second officers on duty, and the captain aboard, my routine was more or less that of an understudy.I said, “George Prince! Who is he?”“A mechanical engineer,” said Halsey. “An under-official of the Earth Federated Radium Corporation. But he associates with bad companions––particularly Martians.”I had never heard of this George Prince, though I was familiar with the Federated Radium Corporation, of course. A semi-government trust, which controlled virtually the entire Earth supply of radium.“He was in the Automotive Department,” Carter put in. “You’ve heard of the Federated Radium Motor?”WE had, of course. A recent Earth invention which promised to revolutionize the automotive industry. An engine of a new type, using radium as its fuel.Snap demanded, “What in the stars has this got to do with Johnny Grantline?”“Much,” said Halsey quietly, “or perhaps nothing. But George Prince some years ago mixed in rather unethical transactions. We had him in custody once. He is known now as unusually friendly with several Martians in New York of bad reputation.”“Well––” began Snap.“What you don’t know,” Halsey went on quietly, “is that Grantline expects to find radium on the Moon.”We gasped.“Exactly,” said Halsey. “The ill-fated Ballon Expedition thought they had found it on the Moon some years ago. A new type of ore, as rich in radium as our gold-bearing sands are rich in gold. Ballon’s first samples gave uranium atoms with a fair representation of ionium and thorium. A richly radio-active ore. A lode of the pure radium is there somewhere, without doubt.”HE added vehemently, “Do you understand now why we should be suspicious of this George Prince? He has a criminal record. He has a thorough technical knowledge of radium ores. He associates with Martians of bad reputation. A large Martian Company has recently developed a radium engine to compete with our Earth motor. You know that? You know that there is very little radium available on Mars, and our government will not allow our own radium supply to be exported. That Martian Company needs radium. It will do anything to get radium. What do you suppose it would pay for a few tons of really rich radio-active ore––such as Grantline may have found on the Moon?”“But,” I objected, “that is a reputable Martian company. It’s backed by the government of the Martian Union. The government of Mars would not dare––”“Of course not!” Captain Carter exclaimed sardonically. “Not openly! But if Martian brigands had a supply of radium––I don’t imagine where it came from would make much difference. That Martian Company would buy it.”Halsey added, “And George Prince, my agents inform me, seems to know that Grantline is on the Moon. Put it all together, lads. Little sparks show the hidden current.“More than that: George Prince knows that we have arranged to have the Planetara stop at the Moon and bring back Grantline’s radium-ore. This is your last voyage this year. You’ll hear from Grantline this time, we’re convinced. He’ll probably give you the signal as you pass the Moon on your way out. Coming back, you’ll stop at the Moon and transport whatever radium-ore Grantline has ready. The Grantline Flyer is too small for ore transportation.”HALSEY’S voice turned grimly sarcastic. “Doesn’t it seem queer that George Prince and a few of his 312Martian friends happen to be listed as passengers for this voyage?”In the silence that followed, Snap and I regarded each other. Halsey added abruptly,“We had George Prince typed that time we arrested him four years ago. I’ll show him to you.”He snapped open an alcove, and said to his waiting attendant, “Get me the type of George Prince.”The disc in a moment came through the pneumatic. Halsey, smiling wryly, adjusted it.“A nice looking fellow. Nicely spoken. Though at the time we made this he was somewhat annoyed, naturally. He is older now. Twenty-nine, to be exact. Here he is.”The image glowed on the grids before us. His name, George Prince, in letters illumined upon his forehead, showed for a moment and then faded. He stood smiling sourly before us as he repeated the official formula:“My name is George Prince. I was born in Great-New York City twenty-five years ago.”IGAZED at this life-size, moving image of George Prince. He stood somber in the black detention uniform. A dark, almost a girlishly handsome fellow, well below medium height––the rod beside him showed five feet four inches. Slim and slight. Long, wavy black hair, falling about his ears. A pale, clean-cut, really handsome face, almost beardless. I regarded it closely. A face that would have been femininely beautiful without its masculine touch of heavy black brows and firmly set jaw. His voice as he spoke was low and soft; but at the end, with the concluding words, “I am innocent!” it flashed into strong masculinity. His eyes, shaded with long, girlish black lashes, by chance met mine. “I am innocent.” His curving sensuous lips drew down into a grim sneer....The type faded at its end. Halsey replaced the disc in its box and waved the attendant away. “Thank you.”He turned back to Snap and me. “Well, there he is. We have nothing tangible against him now. But I’ll say this: he’s a clever fellow, one to be afraid of. I would not blare it from the newscasters’ microphone, but if he is hatching any plot, he has been too clever for my agents.”We talked for another half-hour, and then Captain Carter dismissed us. We left Halsey’s office with Carter’s final words ringing in our ears. “Whatever comes, lads, remember I trust you....”SNAP and I decided to walk a portion of the way back to the ship. It was barely more than a mile through this subterranean corridor to where we could get the vertical lift direct to the landing stage.We started off on the lower level. Once outside the insulation of Halsey’s office we did not dare talk of this thing. Not only electrical ears, but every possible eavesdropping device might be upon us. The corridor was two hundred feet or more below the ground level. At this hour of the night this business section was comparatively deserted. The through tube sounded over our heads with the passing of its occasional trains. The ventilators buzzed and whirred. At the cross intersections, the traffic directors dozed at their posts. It was hot and sticky down here, and gloomy with the daylight globes extinguished, and only the night lights to give a dim illumination. The stores and office arcades were all closed and deserted; only an occasional night-light burning behind their windows.Our footfalls echoed on the metal grids as we hurried along.“Nice evening,” said Snap awkwardly.“Yes,” I said, “isn’t it?”I felt oppressed. As though prying eyes and ears were here. We walked for a time in silence, each of us busy with memory of what had transpired in Halsey’s office.Suddenly Snap gripped me. “What’s that?”313“Where?” I whispered.WE stopped at a corner. An entryway was here. Snap pulled me into it. I could feel him quivering with excitement.“What is it?” I demanded in a whisper.“We’re being followed. Did you hear anything?”“No!” Yet I thought now I could hear something. Vague footfalls. A rustling. And a microscopic electrical whine, as though some device were near us.Snap was fumbling in his pocket. “Wait, I’ve got a pair of low-scale phones.”He put the little grids against his ears. I could hear the sharp intake of his breath. Then he seized me, pulled me down to the metal floor of the entryway.“Back, Gregg! Get back!” I could barely hear his whisper. We crouched as far back into the doorway as we could get. I was armed. My official permit for the carrying of the pencil heat-ray allowed me to have it always with me. I drew it now. But there was nothing to shoot at. I felt Snap clamping the grids on my ears. And now I heard something! An intensification of the vague footsteps I had thought I heard before.There was something following us! Something out in the corridor there now! A street light was nearby. The corridor was dim, but plainly visible; and to my sight it was empty. But there was something there. Something invisible! I could hear it moving. Creeping towards us. I pulled the grids off my ears.Snap murmured, “You’ve got a local phone.”“Yes! I’ll get them to give us the street glare!”IPRESSED the danger signal, giving our location to the nearest operator. In a second or two we got the light. The street in all this neighborhood burst into a brilliant actinic glare. The thing menacing us was revealed! A figure in a black cloak, crouching thirty feet away across the corridor.Snap was on his feet. His voice rang shrilly, “There it is! Give it a shot, Gregg!”Snap was unarmed, but he flung his hands out menacingly. The figure, which may perhaps not have been aware of our city safeguard, was taken wholly by surprise. A human figure. Seven feet tall, at the least, and therefore, I judged, doubtless a Martian man. The black cloak covered his head. He took a step toward us, hesitated, and then turned in confusion.Snap’s shrill voice was bringing help. The whine of a street guard’s alarm whistle nearby sounded. The figure was making off! My pencil-ray was in my hand and I pressed its switch. The tiny heat-ray stabbed through the glare, but I missed. The figure stumbled, but did not fall. I saw a bare gray arm come from the cloak, flung up to maintain its balance. Or perhaps my pencil-ray of heat had seared the arm. The gray-skinned arm of a Martian.Snap was shouting, “Give him another!” But the figure passed beyond the actinic glare and vanished.We were detained in the turmoil of the corridor for ten minutes or more with official explanations. Then a message from Halsey released us. The Martian who had been following us in his invisible cloak was never caught.We escaped from the crowd at last and made our way back to the Planetara, where the passengers were already assembling for the outward Martian voyage.About HackerNoon Book Series: We bring you the most important technical, scientific, and insightful public domain books. This book is part of the public domain.Various. 2009. Astounding Stories of Super-Science, March 1930. Urbana, Illinois: Project Gutenberg. Retrieved May 2022 from https://www.gutenberg.org/files/29607/29607-h/29607-h.htm#BRIGANDS_OF_THE_MOON_THE_BOOK_OF_GREGG_HALJAN_BEGINNING_A_FOURPART_NOVELThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org, located at https://www.gutenberg.org/policy/license.html.

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God stopped making new land…..So, DeFi Land is making it easy for people to become virtual farmers. What’s Happening? According to DappRadar, the total volume for Play-to-Earn games crossed $834 Million in the last 30 days. As per the Blockchain Game Alliance study, 1.4 million unique wallets engage with play-to-earn and blockchain games every day, accounting for an impressive 49 percent of blockchain use. In 2022, game-related NFTs and tokens are anticipated to be given far more interest. Play-to-earn initiatives have gotten much attention recently, and that trend isn’t going away anytime soon. In contrast to the large studios, hundreds of independent developers are already working on games that use NFTs as a critical design aspect. The most popular NFTs provide passive income or exclusive rights to gamers. \ \ :::info Vested Interest Disclosure: The author is an independent contributor publishing via our brand-as-author program. Be it through direct compensation, media partnerships, or networking; the author has a vested interest in the company/ies mentioned in this story. HackerNoon has reviewed the story for quality, but the claims hereon belong to the author. #DYOR ::: What is DeFi Land? DeFi Land, a multi-chain agriculture simulation game built on Solana, is launching play-to-earn features, allowing DeFi Land’s agriculturalists to enjoy the game and earn rewards through DeFi based play-to-earn game model at the same time. As per the play-to-earn model, the $DFL tokens and a new in-game currency termed $GOLDY provide DeFi Land gamers with in-game tokens, which act as an incentive. Each of these currencies may be used to improve and upgrade the NFTs and other features in the DeFi Land ecosystem. \ Play-to-earn features shall be available to those who possess a DeFi Land Gen-0 NFT. DeFi Land, on the other hand, does not need players to put any money into the game. For such a chance at winning monthly rewards like $DFL and $GOLDY tokens and in-game NFTs, users may earn XP and move up the leaderboard in the accessible mode. \ \ DeFi Land is an online game that simulates multi-chain agriculture to gamify decentralized finance. The game provides features seen on conventional platforms but in one convenient location. \ DeFi Land allows newcomers to experiment and learn more about the sector in an educative manner without investing any of their own money. Beginners may also get a better understanding of how DeFi works by using a gamified and entertaining platform. \ Why should you care about play-to-earn games like DeFi Land? Throughout 2021, app store consumer spending hit a new high of $170 billion, up 18 percent yearly. Consumers are willing to pay a premium for quality experiences and services for their favourite items, as provided by this Data.Ai report. \ As per the report, a typical mobile user will spend an incredible 4.8 hours a day on their gadgets. A rise from the already record-breaking 2020 brought the number of mobile game downloads to 83 billion. As the app economy continues to grow, so does its size. A whopping $320,000 is spent per minute by the public at large on mobile apps. Games such as DeFi Land are the next era of how and where the gaming industry is going to move - a gaming ecosystem: where gamers are provided rewards and incentives for their time spent on play-to-earn games. \ The blockchain gaming market is seeing an increase in demand and interest in myriad different ways. Through the rise of play-to-earn games, thanks to Axie Infinity. Along with the growing popularity of blockchain-based games, Venture Capital companies (VCs) have spent $4 billion on their development and production. \ \ Last but not least, there is a general upward tendency in the metaverse and GameFi applications. Since Facebook’s rebranding announcement, the value of NFTs and cryptocurrencies that support this story has risen sharply in 2021. Due to consumer psychology and behaviour changes, 2022 will be a massive year for the gaming industry and games like DeFi Land due to a slew of appealing play-to-earn choices, including AAA titles. \ To give an outlook on the growing industry, a million dollars will be spent on mobile applications and games when it takes you to read this article. Play-to-Earn games are pushing this limit further…… How does this impact the GameFi Industry The launch of play-to-earn gaming on DeFi Land pushes Solana near to being a hub for blockchain gaming. With the rise of transaction fees and gas fees when minting and playing games on Ethereum. The GameFi industry is set to shift to Solana and other scalable blockchain platforms and provide low transaction costs. \ As outlined by the Blockchain Game Alliance report, the adoption of digital assets is directly proportional to the adoption of play-to-earn or blockchain games as they account for the majority of the activity on a blockchain platform. Play-to-Earn games are the most user category ahead of Defi and other sectors in the blockchain ecosystems, which has led to an explosion of on-chain activity. As per the report, on-chain activity has increased by a whopping 4,330%, highlighting the importance of play-to-earn gaming as a mode of increasing blockchain adoption and bringing DeFi mainstream through gamification. Final Thoughts on DeFi Land We all know that gaming is the soul of life. Gamers play games as it provides them peace, fun and a mode to kill time with style. As a gamer myself, I want to experience games that not only provide me with that sweet serotonin and dopamine hit. But, the possibility to earn tokens meanwhile I spend 30 hrs of my life playing a game which I like! Imagine playing Rome Total War, where you win kingdoms by defeating enemies and earn token rewards for doing so! That’s a product packed with educational material, the hook of serotonin and dopamine and DeFi - is this the future of gaming? \ Don’t forget to like and share the story! Image credits: Mika Matin and Jed Owen. \ \

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posted 2 days ago on hacker noon
There are numerous NFT projects on the market. Despite coming in different shapes and sizes, each requires a certain amount of funding; for a successful launch. Outlier Ventures is a metaverse accelerator that helps NFT projects go to market, investing in the best projects to help them make that easy transition.Jonathan Pullinger is the token marketing manager at Outlier Ventures with vast experience in NFTs and blockchain-related technologies. Originally starting at a bank, Jonathan, alongside his colleagues, began his web3 journey as a humble bitcoin miner. “I thought I should check it out at the time. I realized Bitcoin was interesting. We agreed to put some money together, buying a bitcoin miner. We started doing basic mining and having a little play. We realized that we were on to something and then decided that we should scale it.”Speaking fondly, Jonathon also explained how he set up Thorne Capital alongside his colleagues, buying more miners and mining bitcoin for over a year until they realized mining would not be fruitful.”We bought and built more miners, and we mined Bitcoin for 18 months, upgrading our mining equipment until we realized it was not profitable. We had some funny stories.” From Mining to TokenisationLike many miners, Bitcoin mining became nonprofitable for Jonathan and his crew. But that didn’t stop him. Knowing the space well, he quickly switched his focus toward token creation. He began working for a company known as a Tatatu, seeing great results. “I then got involved with a company called Tatatu, creating tokens. I worked as their CTO, building their tokens out. And then we went on the crazy journey that was Tatatu on the ICO. We had the fourth largest fundraising of 2017, raising $575 million.”Of course, such a large amount of money also requires a great deal of responsibility. Something Outlier Ventures knows all too well. Diving into details, Jonathan explained the metaverse accelerators schemes for raising money for projects.Credit: Outlier Ventures“We have two schemes, and we have the base camp. Then we put them through our base camp accelerator. We teach them about branding and PR, and we put them in touch with our tokenomics team to make sure their tokens will work.”Currently, Outlier Ventures is looking to work with over two hundred NFT projects this year. Standout projects helped by Outlier Ventures include Crypto Walkers and Digital Dogs. Likewise, the platform also wants to invest in the wider web3 space, not just NFTs.“We’ve invested in multiple different projects in the metaverse, said Jonathon. We’ve got some property plays with sandbox. We’ve got a lot of tokens going through token launches. I think that will be a massive thing for the NFT space over the next twelve to eighteen months because it’s one of those challenges to get non-crypto native people into crypto is quite difficult. ““We’ve also got some web security projects, like Interlock. I mean, they’re fantastic. They’re just fantastic because they’ve got a browser extension that will identify if you’ve got a fake version of a website.”  Jonathon continued: “We’re recruiting for projects for outlier ventures; we’re looking to put 200 projects through our accelerator this year. Please go to our website, outlier.io, if anybody wants to be considered. Or reach me on Twitter @TazzeArt“This article was also published on the Metaverse Insider by Jack Boreham

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Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash \n Amazon has registered more than 150 private-label brands with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and carries hundreds of thousands of items from these house brands on its site. A recent investigation by The Markup found that the online shopping behemoth often gives its own brands and exclusive products a leg up in search results over better-rated competitors. \ We also found Amazon is inconsistent in disclosing to shoppers that those products are Amazon-brand products or exclusives. \ Few respondents in a 1,000-person national survey we commissioned recognized the best-selling Amazon brands as owned by the company, apart from Amazon Basics. So, we decided to add some transparency for Amazon shoppers. The Markup created a browser extension that identifies these products and makes their affiliation to Amazon clear. \ Brand Detector highlights product listings of Amazon brands and exclusive products by placing a box around them in Amazon’s signature orange. This happens live while shoppers browse the website. \ \ The selective staining is inspired by a lab technique in biology called an assay, which we also applied to web pages in a past investigation about Google. \ That investigation revealed that the tech giant’s search engine gave Google properties 41 percent of real estate on the first page of popular searches. How Does It Work? The browser extension uses various techniques developed and refined during our year-long investigation to identify Amazon brands and exclusive products (read more in our methodology). \ This includes checking a list of proprietary products we created and cross-referencing Amazon’s “our brands” filter. The extension is available for Chrome (and other chromium-based browsers) and Firefox browsers. \ The extension sits in the background until the user visits Amazon’s portal in the United States (amazon.com), Australia (amazon.com.au), Canada (amazon.ca), Germany (amazon.de), India (amazon.in), Italy (amazon.it), Japan (amazon.co.jp), Mexico (amazon.com.mx), Spain (amazon.es), or the United Kingdom (amazon.co.uk) and searches for something. \ At that point, Brand Detector identifies Amazon brands and exclusives and highlights them on the search results page. (It does not extend the product page.) \ Because the “our brands” filter is not comprehensive, the extension also cross-references products against a list of proprietary electronics we found from Amazon’s best sellers section (which Amazon doesn’t include in the “our brands” filter) and performs partial text matching for phrases like “Amazon brand” and “Featured from our brands” and full text-matching for “AmazonBasics” and a few other brand names that didn’t tend to return false positives in our tests. \ Even with these techniques, the extension may still miss some Amazon brands or exclusive products from time to time. \ Amazon Brand Detector does not collect any data, in keeping with The Markup’s privacy policy. We won’t know how you used it, if at all, what you searched for, or what you end up buying. The extension only works on desktop browsers, not mobile apps. Cross-Extension Compatibility The extension can work in conjunction with other extensions, such as Fakespot, which affixes a letter grade to any Amazon product based on the authenticity of reviews for that product. Users can use these extensions together to find Amazon brands and exclusive products and their Fakespot grades. \ Credit:Amazon.com/The Markup Amazon Brand Detector/Fakespot \ The extension also works with full-page screenshot extensions, like “Awesome Screenshot & Screen Recorder.” You can use these to capture an entire search page stained by the extension. The Markup is not affiliated with these extensions, nor do we endorse them. Amazon Brand Detector Amazon Brand Detector is an extension that identifies and highlights Amazon brand and exclusive products in orange while you shop on the platform. \ Download for Firefox Download for Chrome \ Enhance your Amazon shopping by knowing which products are from Amazon’s own brands and exclusives. \ Written by Leon Yin \ Also published here

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posted 2 days ago on hacker noon
Photo by Ben Sweet on Unsplash \ If you're not sure whether your organization has an identity and access management (IAM) problem, then you're not alone. Most people don't really understand IAM, let alone perceive it as an urgent issue. \ Much more often, people think about security problems, user experience problems, and organizational capacity problems. The truth, however, is that identity can help solve them all. \ \ I talk to nonprofit leaders all the time who are wondering whether they need an identity solution like Okta. Many are "accidental techies," who would understandably prefer to spend less time thinking about IT and more time working on programs. Some of them jokingly ask if there's a magic formula that can help them determine the right path forward. \ Well, it turns out, there is: People x (Applications + Managed Devices) > 200 In plain English: If you're managing more than 200 identities, then you probably need an identity solution. \ Let's briefly define those terms: \ People are individuals (including employees, volunteers, partners, beneficiaries, etc.) who need to securely access an application or device that you manage. \ Applications are the systems your people use, whether cloud-based or on-premises. \ Managed Devices are the laptops, tablets, phones, printers, servers, network routers, and other hardware that your organization is responsible for securing. \ Our experience with thousands of nonprofits around the world tells us that organizations begin experiencing significant security, user experience, and capacity problems when they reach approximately 200 identities. Small Nonprofits Need Identity Solutions Too Even small organizations are reaching this tipping point faster than ever. Data from Okta's Businesses at Work 2021 report suggests that nonprofits are typically managing 40 to 70 applications (and growing each year). At that rate, a team of five people easily generates 200+ identities. \ That's 200 accounts that can be compromised (security problem), 200 accounts to provision and deprovision over time (capacity problem), and 200 usernames and passwords to manage (user experience problem). \ Interestingly, it doesn't matter whether your organization gets to 200+ identities by having a small staff and many applications, a large staff with few applications, or something in the middle. What matters is simply the number of identities you're managing. Solving Security, Capacity, and User Experience Problems Here's how Okta's identity solutions can help you solve all of those problems. \ Security problem: I have no idea how many accounts we've created over the years in various applications or how secure they are. \ Solution: Okta Single Sign-On (SSO) gives administrators a single place to view, manage, and secure access to all of your applications. Centralize control while allowing your users to customize their dashboards, add new applications, and find their favorite apps quickly. \ Capacity problem: We're spending too much time creating and deleting accounts for people. \ Solution: Giving people access quickly to the applications they need to do their job is critical for every organization (and quickly revoking their access when they leave can be even more important). Okta Workflows enables you to automate (without code!) many of the critical and repetitive tasks related to on - and offboarding people from applications. \ User experience problem: My staff has too many usernames and passwords to manage on their own. \ Solution: As the name suggests, SSO gives your team access to all of their applications in one place and supports self-serve password resets. Combining SSO with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) dramatically increases security while reducing friction for all of your people. \ Nonprofits validated by TechSoup are eligible for 50 free licenses for all of Okta's Workforce Identity products, plus 50 percent off any additional licenses. Learn more about the benefits available for Okta for nonprofits. \ Written by Adam Rosenzweig \ Co-published here.

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posted 2 days ago on hacker noon
\ To evaluate a potential central bank digital currency (CBDC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System published a paper in January 2022 titled Money and Payments: The U.S. Dollar in the Age of Digital Transformation (the Paper). -- In its executive summary, the Fed's Paper states: "For a nation’s economy to function effectively, its citizens must have confidence in its money and payment services. The Federal Reserve, as the nation’s central bank, works to maintain the public’s confidence by fostering monetary stability, financial stability, and a safe and efficient payment system." \ However, a first-principles approach demands recognition that 'money' and payment services - while no doubt important - are merely tools facilitating economic transactions toward a specific outcome. Simply speaking, citizens do not require confidence or even want money for its own sake, but for its utility and what it represents: a store of value, and a reliable placeholder for current and future use, including most importantly, property rights. -- As such, our response adopted the following framing instead: For a nation’s economy to function effectively, its citizens must have strong, and enforceable property rights, as these are the foundation of economic prosperity, as guaranteed by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. \ The executive agency responsible for promoting economic prosperity and ensuring the financial security of its citizens is the Treasury Department, with the assistance of the country’s central bank, currently responsible for managing the people's primary system for property exchange: its currency. Background Despite the charitable assessment of the Paper, payment technologies offered by the Federal Reserve have indeed not evolved alongside today’s network technologies. As of now, the central bank provides currency to the public only in the form of Federal Reserve Notes (Cash) printed on a cotton and linen-blend fabric, available in seven denominations: $1, $2, $5, $10, $50, and $100. While legally classified as IOUs, these bills – and smaller denominations in coinage – provide citizens and non-citizens strong protection akin to property rights, enabling its bearer to settle transactions without a third party by transferring the note. \ However, as the precipitous drop in velocity of the physical Cash reported by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis shows, a Federal Reserve Note (“cash”) is on average used less than five times a year to purchase domestically- produced goods and services. And since cash is almost entirely unsuitable to the functions of an effective economy, citizens are forced to use commercial bank, and nonbank currencies which are burdened with an ever-growing number of frictions, including censorship, time delays and fees. The latter amounts to more than 1.9% of all currency transferred - in other words: \ After moving any amount of currency fifty-times, almost its entire value has been absorbed by middlemen! \ Putting these number into a wider context: The global financial services market grew from $20.5 trillion in 2020 to $22.5 trillion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.9%. This number should be contemplated in conjunction with the International Monetary Fund reported global gross domestic product at $94.9 trillion. \ The contributors to this response have studied global CBDC efforts, and private market currency solutions for several decades, guided by an understanding that any U.S. CBDC must, among other things: \ ·        secure the property rights of citizens better than the legacy currency systems, ·        provide benefits to households, businesses, and the overall economy that significantly reduces the costs and risks associated with the legacy currency systems; ·        protect consumers’ rights of freedom of expression, self-determination, and privacy; ·        protect consumers and businesses from criminal activity; ·        have broad support from citizens holding or using U.S. currency today. \ The Paper defines a CBDC as a digital liability of a central bank that is widely available to the general public, and analogous to a digital form of paper money. The following response will make use of that definition while differentiating between the function of current "paper money", and its uses cases - i.e., as a form of payment, with the understanding that currencies are technologies that systematize agreements over money. The latter is legally a contract between parties choosing a unit of account and a medium of exchange for their transaction. To illustrate this point, one might imagine a pedestrian picking up a $100 Federal Reserve Note of a New York City sidewalk, consequently using the note as money to pay for his dinner at a restaurant. A tribesman finding the same $100 bill in the sand of the Kalahari Desert might not consider it, and use it to kindle his fire that night. -- CBDCs can a) mitigate against the loss of purchasing power, b) end wholesale surveillance of private financial transactions, c) provide financial inclusion, d) globally promote US values, e) offer faster and more efficient disaster response, f) secure the global dominance of the US Dollar. Loss of Purchasing Power Today, the central bank provides currency to the public in form of Federal Reserve Notes printed on cotton and linen-blend fabrics, available in seven denominations: $1, $2, $5, $10, $50, and $100. While legally classified as IOUs, these bills – and smaller denominations in coinage – offer users strong protections akin to property rights, enabling the bearer to settle transactions without a third party by transferring the note. However, with the introduction of digital technologies into the economy, ‘cash’ as it is commonly referred to, has become a niche application, settling only 19% of all transactions in the United States as of the end of 2021, and accounting for less than 5% of the value being transferred. Currently, the US central bank provides currency in digital form only to commercial banks, while consumers are reliant on commercial banks, and nonbanks for all digital forms of currency storage, transfer, and overall control. Ending Wholesale Surveillance of Private Financial Transactions To date, with few exceptions, financial transactions involving digital forms of fiat currencies involve the disclosure of personal, identifiable data of the recipient and sender, regularly sharing this information with a number of intermediaries and retaining copies - often for undisclosed purposes. This wholesale surveillance of financial transactions is at the core an externality of regulation purportedly aimed at bad actors wanting to use the financial system for the purpose of money laundering or other nefarious activities. However, as extensively documented and widely reported (see this Economist article) AML measures have largely failed to mitigate the illicit financial activity, while intermediaries keep exposing sensitive information to a wide variety of data brokers, and their often outdated networks and systems are susceptible to criminals gaining access to slews of poorly secured databases. \ 47% of Americans experienced financial identity theft in 2020. \ While the paper mentions of the necessity of privacy-preserving features, they are followed up by remarks that AML regulations will still need to be followed. These concerns fail to position AML regulations as an exemption from the prohibition of warrantless surveillance, as an externality of legacy financial systems such as account-based architecture, and its underlying database structure. With the latter being addressed by technology, the former exception can no longer be used. More egregious though is the weaponization of fiat financial systems by totalitarian governments which persecute their own citizens, including for such ‘crimes’ as publicly disagreeing with the party line in social media. A problem that US Federal Reserve Notes currently provide a partial solution to. Digital privacy - including financial privacy - is readily available via encrypted communication, and peer-to-peer value transfer solutions. Financial Inclusion While the paper stresses the importance of the inclusion of the ‘unbanked’ in the financial system, they regularly fail to address the true reasons why citizens do not maintain bank accounts. Despite the fact that legal tender laws point to the obviously public nature of fiat currencies, governments regularly deputize commercial entities to administrate and intermediate the use of national financial systems. \ This extension of government powers to otherwise commercial entities have in some cases led to the outright confiscation of funds custodied by banks. These ‘bank bail-ins’ have been used in Cyprus, depositors with more than 100,000 euros to write off a portion of their holdings. Although the action prevented bank failures, it has led to unease among the financial markets in Europe over the possibility that these bail-ins may become more widespread, while eroding consumer trust in banks in general. \ Setting these extreme examples aside, the fact that financial institutions are empowered to impose their own conditions on the use of the banking system has led to systemic discrimination against consumers that are deemed to be unprofitable, and in some cases do not conform with the moral framework of banking executives. \ The largest group of unbanked, however, is comprised of individuals unable or unwilling to pass stringent anti-money laundering procedures often charitably labeled as ‘know-you-customer’ requirements. \ Tellingly, that term even appears in quotations within the secretly extended legal requirements for - what must otherwise be considered - an invasion of financial privacy. CBDCs discussions offer little hope for the two billion unbanked citizens, most of which do not even possess government credentials. Promote US Values Cash issued by any country has largely the same properties – namely the ability to act as a recognizable medium of exchange, without the need for a middleman, while settling transactions in real-time with finality. As such the historical success of Federal Reserve Notes is its ability to serve as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, and a pricing function when local currencies could no longer provide these functions. \ While legally considered IOUs, Federal Reserve Notes have de-facto long been the most successful and profitable technology exported by the United States. It costs the federal government around 14 cents to produce a $100 bill, and a few more cents to send it overseas. In exchange for each of those bills, the issuer receives a permanent interest-free loan of $100. Faster, more Efficient Disaster Response The Fed's Paper alludes to recent improvements to the U.S. payment system, claiming that its efforts in "payments have been a particularly active field of private- and public-sector innovation." However, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, an independent investigative agency that reports to Congress, issued a comprehensive report on the nearly $3 trillion in funds dedicated to mitigating against externalities from the government’s unprecedented shutdown of large parts of the US economy. The report uncovered disturbing deficiencies in the federal payment system, with many citizens waiting weeks for checks to arrive in the mail, with some funds never arriving at their reported destination. \ In 2020 the federal government sent stimulus payments to almost 1.1 million dead people totaling nearly $1.4 billion. \ Securing the Global Dominance of U.S. Dollar As of today, the U.S. Dollar is the world’s reserve currency, awarding enormous privileges to the issuer of the currency. However, several countries have ambitions to subvert the Dollars positions in the global economy.  These nations have long done away with checks, provide e-money solutions to their citizens, and enabled large parts of their merchants to utilize ubiquitous mobile payments solutions using QR codes with sub one percent or no fees at all. As some of these applications already have more users than the United States has citizens, it is easy to see how these solutions might be adopted by a growing global population, should a U.S. digital bearer instrument not be available in the near future. Policy Considerations As of today, the goals of U.S. central banks monetary policy are to promote maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates. For the nation’s economy to function effectively, human capital must be allocated efficiently. However, legacy technologies frequently lead to misallocation of human capital. In particular obsolete network technologies – such as systems of money (currencies), using data siloes, require human intervention akin to dispatchers in legacy phone networks. Keeping citizens occupied with non-productive labor, prevents these individuals from acquiring skills in demand by the free market. Internet technologies have proven to be the largest contributor to employment opportunities over the past twenty years. Decentralized software solutions – such as blockchains – are now extending the capabilities of this global network over pure information distribution to a new network layer of value distribution. The latter already enables a myriad of employment options. However, a climate of “regulation by enforcement” has driven much of the development of this promising new economy out of the United States. A U.S. CBDC designed as digital bearer instrument, allowing for “programmable money” solutions can reverse the trend, and ensure viable employment options in the space within the United States. \ P.S. Some of these thoughts will find its way in our book Streaming Money to be published later this year. You can pre-order it here. \

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\ Main Facts About the Sia Project The Siacoin network was created for the purpose of decentralized storage in 2015, and Siacoin (SC) is a currency used for all transactions inside of it. Any user can join it to share disk space with others. All the information and transactions are verified via the public blockchain. Storage safety is also achieved by splitting the file into a large number of fragments, some of which cannot be used to recreate the original file. \ Sia’s main competitors are DropBox and Apple, among others. Moreover, the company has a very ambitious plan to take over a bigger part of the multi-billion market. \ All services within this network are paid for in the Siacoin cryptocurrency, and the reliability of transactions is ensured by smart contracts and PoS. Siacoin experienced impressive growth — more than 10,000x increase times from December 2015 to January 2018! Where to Get SiaCoin? There are three ways to get SC: \ ● Mining: Sia runs on the PoW model. The reward for one block reaches 30 thousand SC. When the project was launched, the reward was 300 thousand, decreasing by one with every new block (being capped at 30,000 SC). \ ● Selling (lending) your hard drive space: The owner of a server or computer with a large hard drive can connect to the platform and share virtual space. The reward will be in the form of the Siacoin crypto. \ ● Buying Siacoin at a crypto exchange: Ranking #107 by market cap, SC can be purchased on many platforms these days. Best Crypto Wallets to Store SIA Once you become an owner of Siacoin, it is the right time to think about where to store your digital funds safely. It is risky enough to keep money in custodial wallets, as hacks are not a rare case there. It is better to choose one of the following solutions: \ ● Official Sia UI wallet: You can download it from the company site. The only downside you may encounter when installing the program is the long sync time. This is because it needs to download the copy of the whole blockchain to handle transactions properly (more than 24GB). But there are no downsides other than that. The Siacoin wallet online interface is user-friendly. The application allows you to trade coins and use other features of the Sia platform, for example, rent/host computer disk space. Sia UI wallet is safe and compatible with almost all OS. \ ● Android Sia wallet: This is the only mobile wallet for SC. You can make transactions, store files, and rent your disk capacity. \ ● Ledger Nano S: The device supports not only Siacoin but also over a thousand different coins and tokens. You will have to install its Ledger Live app on your computer (there are versions for all major OS), plug in the device, and all your crypto assets will be protected. \ ● Sia Cold Storage: This program generates wallet addresses that allow you to keep Siacoins offline. You will need a real wallet (like Ledger or Sia UI) to access your funds. Using this method, you will keep all your data safe from online scammers. \ It is entirely up to you what wallet to use for Sia transactions. But it is reasonable to use Sia UI if you cooperate with this network, Android wallet – for occasional transactions (and if you have an Android smartphone, and Ledger Nano S (or cold storage) for long-term investment purposes. Key Takeaways Since the Sia network is rapidly growing, the demand for Siacoin will continuously increase. So, this cryptocurrency surely deserves some space in your portfolio. Its value grows with the number of files that will be stored in decentralized cloud storage. There are all chances to get impressive income from a long-term investment in SC. So, choose the option matching your purposes and start earning Siacoins.

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If you take a look at the overall crypto market right now, things aren’t looking too good. Pretty much every major cryptocurrency you can think of has a very low price, and people don’t really know what’s going on. Are there actual reasons behind the current downswing in crypto prices? Or is it just a phase that the market is going to recover from? In this video, I’ll be taking a closer look at all of that to figure out why the market is down right now and when it could potentially recover. \ The price of Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency is based on market assumptions, just like stocks or any other asset of its kind. This means that the price of this asset can go up or down depending on how the market “feels” However, unlike stocks, there aren’t any market indicators that really influence the price of cryptocurrencies. There aren’t any sales figures or projections to go by, it’s all just speculation. \ Cryptocurrencies aren’t really backed by any asset at all (in most cases). Whenever more and more people invest in a certain cryptocurrency, its supply is going to decrease, and as a result, its price is going to increase. The main reason people invest in cryptos is not to earn dividends or to have a long-term investment, but rather to earn short-term profit. Basically, you invest in a crypto that’s at $1, wait for the price to reach $2, and sell it for a profit. Of course, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but that’s just the gist of it. \ However, there are external factors that can lead to an upswing or downswing in crypto prices across the board. It’s all related to demand. Demand for a cryptocurrency is the single most important thing that investors rely on. Back in early 2021, the crypto world saw one of its biggest increases in demand to date thanks to the likes of Elon Musk and Mark Cuban constantly promoting cryptocurrencies on their platforms. \ Elon Musk, specifically, invested billions of dollars into Bitcoin, and he also announced that he would be accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment for Tesla vehicles. All of this led to a pandemonium of sorts in the crypto world. Suddenly, cryptocurrency became mainstream, it was rising fast, and everybody wanted their piece of the pie. \ However, the honeymoon period didn’t last long. Later that same year, Elon Musk announced he would officially be banning Bitcoin as a payment method from Tesla and all of the other companies he owns. He also announced he would be selling all of the Bitcoin he and his company had previously bought. Why did he do that? The environment. Musk claims that Bitcoin and its entire “mining” process is horrible for the environment, which is why he banned it. \ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYF8xYqYYik&t \ Regardless of whether or not Bitcoin - or any other crypto - is bad for the environment, the message to Bitcoin investors was clear - it’s time to sell. Suddenly, a lot of people lost their faith in Bitcoin, and a lot of people started selling fast. It led to one of the biggest crypto crashes in history. Bitcoin lost about 30-40% of its value, and other cryptocurrencies performed even worse. It was all-out chaos, and many people were worried that the market would never really recover. But it did. By November of 2021, almost every single cryptocurrency on the planet was reaching record peaks. Bitcoin itself hit an all-time high price of almost $67,000! \ But that didn’t last long either. Eventually, by January of 2022, all of the major cryptocurrencies in the world had crashed once again. This time around, there was no clear reason as to why it crashed. It simply seemed like a case of a lot of people selling their crypto assets because they had a high value. In short, the crypto market crashed because people wanted to earn returns. This is always going to happen, no matter how far or advanced the crypto market gets. Every time there is a sharp rise in the price of cryptocurrencies, there is also going to be a subsequent crash in price. \ This is exactly what happened recently as well. There was a general rise in the price of cryptocurrencies all across the board because of the Ukraine war. Many people believed that the Ukraine war and the subsequent sanctions on Russia would lead to an increase in demand for cryptocurrency, which is why the price started to rise rapidly. But eventually, people who invested while the price was still low started to sell off all of their crypto assets, which is why we saw the most recent “crash” in the crypto world. \ This crash is likely going to last for a while now. It doesn’t really seem like the crypto industry is going to see an “event” that leads to an upswing anytime soon. World events usually lead to a massive upswing in crypto prices across the board. We saw the biggest rise in crypto ever during the peak months of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and we later saw another rise in crypto prices due to the Russia-Ukraine war. This is because people usually lose faith in “traditional” financial institutions during times of uncertainty, and crypto is usually the top option they look towards. \ Now, there’s one thing to understand - crypto prices are extremely unpredictable. It’s almost impossible to predict where crypto prices are going to be tomorrow or a month from now. It’s not like stocks or real estate. There aren’t any legitimate “projections” for future crypto prices. However, if we do go by past precedent, you will start to notice a little pattern with the price of Bitcoin at least. Since the beginning of 2021, when Bitcoin saw an insane increase in value, it has seen many highs and many lows. But no matter how bad the market may seem, Bitcoin always seems to hit a bottom point of sorts when its price reaches $35,000 to $37,000. Whenever Bitcoin is in the middle of this exact price range, its price automatically starts to grow rapidly. \ Now, why is that? Well, it has to do with the fact that Bitcoin is cheap for investors to buy. Investors already know how high Bitcoin can get, and whenever its price becomes very low, it becomes an extremely attractive asset for investors to get. That’s why when investors start to pour their money into Bitcoin to buy a “cheaper asset” the price of Bitcoin skyrockets. Whenever the price is high enough, investors eventually start selling their Bitcoin, causing its price to crash once again. It always bottoms out at around $36,000, but the most unpredictable part about all this is trying to figure out how high Bitcoin is truly going to get. \ We can almost always predict where Bitcoin is going to bottom out, but its peaks have been rather confusing. Sometimes, it peaks at around 45k or 50k. Other times, it goes all the way up to 60k. Regardless of what the “peak” might be, this past precedent gives you a pretty good idea of how the price of Bitcoin really works. Of course, there’s still a very real chance that Bitcoin might crash even further, but it almost seems as if Bitcoin is too big to fail at this point. A low-priced Bitcoin is almost like an investor’s dream. \ Another thing you should know is that Bitcoin’s price is very influential. To many people, Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency they’ve ever even heard of. It’s usually the first crypto people invest in, and greater confidence in Bitcoin also means greater confidence in the crypto market in general. That’s why whenever the price of Bitcoin goes up or down, the overall crypto market usually follows suit. This obviously isn’t always the case, and the crypto market isn’t nearly as “linked together” as the stock market is. But it’s still something that has happened over and over again in the past, and it’ll probably continue to happen for the foreseeable future. \ However, there’s a downside to that. Bitcoin is super outdated. Cryptos like Ether and Cardano are starting to look like much more attractive choices to crypto enthusiasts, which is why enthusiasts are more likely to invest in other cryptocurrencies. But at the same time, Bitcoin is still the “standard” cryptocurrency for anyone outside of the crypto-sphere. Bitcoin slowly losing its status means that it’s not as likely to rise in price, and it creates an overall negative perception of the crypto market as a whole for outsiders. \ That might be a big reason why the crypto market as a whole is down right now. However, this likely won’t last for a very long time. There are going to be a lot of people who try to take advantage of the low prices and actually invest in crypto, while at the same time, Bitcoin is likely going to be replaced by some other cryptocurrency as the unofficial “king” of the crypto world. With the kind of advancements Ethereum is making, it will probably take over Bitcoin by the end of this year or during the start of the next year. It’ll be a while before the overall public perception of crypto changes over from Bitcoin to Ether, but it’s inevitable at this point. \ ==Do you think the crypto market will eventually recover? Or will it continue to fall/stagnate? Let me know in the comments below!==

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In this article, I will try to dispel the myth that testing gRPC is difficult and not interesting. Let's go! \ gRPC (Remote Procedure Calls) is an open source Remote Procedure Calling (RPC) system originally developed at Google in 2015. HTTP/2 is used as the transport, and Protocol Buffers is used as the interface description language. \ Basically, the use of RPC is communicating between microservices and building communication with the server. The main differences between gRPC and REST. Connection speed and support for streams - for me, these are the main advantages. There are a few differences between the gRPC API and REST. \ As a variant of the RPC architecture, gRPC was created by Google to speed up data transfer between microservices and other systems that need to interact with each other. Compared to the REST API, the RPC API is unique in the following ways: \ Built on HTTP 2 instead of HTTP 1.1 Protobuf instead of JSON Creating your own code instead of using third-party tools like Swagger Longer implementation than REST Message transmission is 7-10(!) times faster Glossary proto file is a message format in which I describe all the methods and services that this service provides. Specification. channel is a connection. by analogy with host. stub client that has methods for responding, just stub. Reflection is a feature in gRPC that allows a list of methods or services to work with on a remote machine. Sometimes you can also request an example message. \ BloomRPC. Good for a start. Let's move on to testing. The main tool for testing gRPC for me is BloomRpc. It is quite simple and clear. \ First, you need to import the proto file into bloomRpc. To do this, click on the plus sign. \ Then, select the required proto file and add it. After that, our proto file will appear in the left menu, which has a method and services. \ By clicking on the green launch button, you will actually send a request. It's simple. \ \ Actually, with this, the main functionality of the application comes to an end. Most of all, it seems to me that reflection is missing here. You can try it with the insomnia app. But we'll discuss this later in upcoming articles. \ \ A great way to load. I also want to share a fairly fast method for gRPC load testing. It is always good to check it for throughput when launching a new service. \ After all, this is how we can avoid the so-called bottlenecks of our service. \ Ideally, of course, I would like to see that our services can withstand the loads required of them and the throughput does satisfy us. \ But practice shows that this does not always happen, and checking the load with this tool will save you time and the company money. GHZ Let's start the gRPC load testing with the GHz console application. Direct quote from the website GHz: \ ghz is a command line utility and Go package for load testing and benchmarking gRPC services. It is intended to be used for testing and debugging services locally, and in automated continous intergration environments for performance regression testing. Additionally the core of the command line tool is implemented as a Go library package that can be used to programatically implement performance tests as well. \ \ Let's disassemble each step. \ A special command is used to call - ghz \ Step 1. --proto ./my.proto \ --proto The Protocol Buffer .proto file \ Step 2. --call helloworld.my.SayHello \ A fully-qualified method name in 'package.Service/method' or 'package.Service.Method' format. \ Step 3. -d '{"name":"Ruslan"}' \ -d The call data as stringified JSON. If the value is '@', then the request contents are read from stdin. \ Step 4. Specify the address. Launch. \ Total The sample request of the basic test for the load looks like this. This will be quite enough for a routine check. \ ghz --proto ./my.proto \ --call helloworld.my.SayHello \ -d '{"name":"Ruslan"}' \ 0.0.0.0:3000 \ After running such a command, a response will be returned. In the cat, you can see the detailed results of load testing on our proto service. \ I also recommend that you set up a graphana for your service, so you can compare the load from the tool and the performance of your service. Thank you for your time, that is all.

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Photo by Ryan Parker on UnsplashAdventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) is part of HackerNoon’s Book Blog Post series. You can jump to any chapter in this book here.CHAPTER V.I had shut the door to. Then I turned around and there he was. I used to be scared of him all the time, he tanned me so much. I reckoned I was scared now, too; but in a minute I see I was mistaken—that is, after the first jolt, as you may say, when my breath sort of hitched, he being so unexpected; but right away after I see I warn’t scared of him worth bothring about.He was most fifty, and he looked it. His hair was long and tangled and greasy, and hung down, and you could see his eyes shining through like he was behind vines. It was all black, no gray; so was his long, mixed-up whiskers. There warn’t no color in his face, where his face showed; it was white; not like another man’s white, but a white to make a body sick, a white to make a body’s flesh crawl—a tree-toad white, a fish-belly white. As for his clothes—just rags, that was all. He had one ankle resting on t’other knee; the boot on that foot was busted, and two of his toes stuck through, and he worked them now and then. His hat was laying on the floor—an old black slouch with the top caved in, like a lid.I stood a-looking at him; he set there a-looking at me, with his chair tilted back a little. I set the candle down. I noticed the window was up; so he had clumb in by the shed. He kept a-looking me all over. By and by he says:“Starchy clothes—very. You think you’re a good deal of a big-bug, don’t you?”“Maybe I am, maybe I ain’t,” I says.“Don’t you give me none o’ your lip,” says he. “You’ve put on considerable many frills since I been away. I’ll take you down a peg before I get done with you. You’re educated, too, they say—can read and write. You think you’re better’n your father, now, don’t you, because he can’t? I’ll take it out of you. Who told you you might meddle with such hifalut’n foolishness, hey?—who told you you could?”“The widow. She told me.”“The widow, hey?—and who told the widow she could put in her shovel about a thing that ain’t none of her business?”“Nobody never told her.”“Well, I’ll learn her how to meddle. And looky here—you drop that school, you hear? I’ll learn people to bring up a boy to put on airs over his own father and let on to be better’n what he is. You lemme catch you fooling around that school again, you hear? Your mother couldn’t read, and she couldn’t write, nuther, before she died. None of the family couldn’t before they died. I can’t; and here you’re a-swelling yourself up like this. I ain’t the man to stand it—you hear? Say, lemme hear you read.”I took up a book and begun something about General Washington and the wars. When I’d read about a half a minute, he fetched the book a whack with his hand and knocked it across the house. He says:“It’s so. You can do it. I had my doubts when you told me. Now looky here; you stop that putting on frills. I won’t have it. I’ll lay for you, my smarty; and if I catch you about that school I’ll tan you good. First you know you’ll get religion, too. I never see such a son.”He took up a little blue and yaller picture of some cows and a boy, and says:“What’s this?”“It’s something they give me for learning my lessons good.”He tore it up, and says:“I’ll give you something better—I’ll give you a cowhide.”He set there a-mumbling and a-growling a minute, and then he says:“Ain’t you a sweet-scented dandy, though? A bed; and bedclothes; and a look’n’-glass; and a piece of carpet on the floor—and your own father got to sleep with the hogs in the tanyard. I never see such a son. I bet I’ll take some o’ these frills out o’ you before I’m done with you. Why, there ain’t no end to your airs—they say you’re rich. Hey?—how’s that?”“They lie—that’s how.”“Looky here—mind how you talk to me; I’m a-standing about all I can stand now—so don’t gimme no sass. I’ve been in town two days, and I hain’t heard nothing but about you bein’ rich. I heard about it away down the river, too. That’s why I come. You git me that money to-morrow—I want it.”“I hain’t got no money.”“It’s a lie. Judge Thatcher’s got it. You git it. I want it.”“I hain’t got no money, I tell you. You ask Judge Thatcher; he’ll tell you the same.”“All right. I’ll ask him; and I’ll make him pungle, too, or I’ll know the reason why. Say, how much you got in your pocket? I want it.”“I hain’t got only a dollar, and I want that to—”“It don’t make no difference what you want it for—you just shell it out.”He took it and bit it to see if it was good, and then he said he was going down town to get some whisky; said he hadn’t had a drink all day. When he had got out on the shed he put his head in again, and cussed me for putting on frills and trying to be better than him; and when I reckoned he was gone he come back and put his head in again, and told me to mind about that school, because he was going to lay for me and lick me if I didn’t drop that.Next day he was drunk, and he went to Judge Thatcher’s and bullyragged him, and tried to make him give up the money; but he couldn’t, and then he swore he’d make the law force him.The judge and the widow went to law to get the court to take me away from him and let one of them be my guardian; but it was a new judge that had just come, and he didn’t know the old man; so he said courts mustn’t interfere and separate families if they could help it; said he’d druther not take a child away from its father. So Judge Thatcher and the widow had to quit on the business.That pleased the old man till he couldn’t rest. He said he’d cowhide me till I was black and blue if I didn’t raise some money for him. I borrowed three dollars from Judge Thatcher, and pap took it and got drunk, and went a-blowing around and cussing and whooping and carrying on; and he kept it up all over town, with a tin pan, till most midnight; then they jailed him, and next day they had him before court, and jailed him again for a week. But he said he was satisfied; said he was boss of his son, and he’d make it warm for him.When he got out the new judge said he was a-going to make a man of him. So he took him to his own house, and dressed him up clean and nice, and had him to breakfast and dinner and supper with the family, and was just old pie to him, so to speak. And after supper he talked to him about temperance and such things till the old man cried, and said he’d been a fool, and fooled away his life; but now he was a-going to turn over a new leaf and be a man nobody wouldn’t be ashamed of, and he hoped the judge would help him and not look down on him. The judge said he could hug him for them words; so he cried, and his wife she cried again; pap said he’d been a man that had always been misunderstood before, and the judge said he believed it. The old man said that what a man wanted that was down was sympathy, and the judge said it was so; so they cried again. And when it was bedtime the old man rose up and held out his hand, and says:“Look at it, gentlemen and ladies all; take a-hold of it; shake it. There’s a hand that was the hand of a hog; but it ain’t so no more; it’s the hand of a man that’s started in on a new life, and’ll die before he’ll go back. You mark them words—don’t forget I said them. It’s a clean hand now; shake it—don’t be afeard.”So they shook it, one after the other, all around, and cried. The judge’s wife she kissed it. Then the old man he signed a pledge—made his mark. The judge said it was the holiest time on record, or something like that. Then they tucked the old man into a beautiful room, which was the spare room, and in the night some time he got powerful thirsty and clumb out on to the porch-roof and slid down a stanchion and traded his new coat for a jug of forty-rod, and clumb back again and had a good old time; and towards daylight he crawled out again, drunk as a fiddler, and rolled off the porch and broke his left arm in two places, and was most froze to death when somebody found him after sun-up. And when they come to look at that spare room they had to take soundings before they could navigate it.The judge he felt kind of sore. He said he reckoned a body could reform the old man with a shotgun, maybe, but he didn’t know no other way.About HackerNoon Book Series: We bring you the most important technical, scientific, and insightful public domain books. This book is part of the public domain.Twain, Mark,1993. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Urbana, Illinois: Project Gutenberg. Retrieved April 2022 from https://www.gutenberg.org/files/76/76-h/76-h.htm#c5This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org, located at https://www.gutenberg.org/policy/license.html.

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\ I have spent the last years working at DevOps-focused companies, so the topic of product-led growth (PLG) is near and dear to my heart, as are the topics of finding your first steps into PLG. Understanding user needs, translating those into experiments, and learning from and refining usage patterns are the activities I like to spend my day on. \ After joining Quali earlier this year, I have had the opportunity to explore a higher ratio of self-serve signups and interactions through Torque, Quali’s SaaS product aimed to service DevOps and IT professionals, becoming an excellent candidate to implement PLG techniques. \ Our first steps into PLG were largely guided by our formal users, friends, and prospects. We are following the continuous discovery method to discover and validate our findings. Here are some of the meaningful focus areas we have addressed so far: Ease of sign up A significant portion of our users would use Github as a repository for their Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) components (Terraform, Helm charts, Ansible scripts, etc.), which are reused at scale through Torque. Previously, users had to enter their credentials to join the service. Recognizing that many users already have their identity defined in GitHub, we figured many would benefit from an accelerated sign-up/login experience. \ \ We strongly believe that with more usage and number of users of our solution, the more we can deliver value and optimize our product. Therefore, we want to encourage users to use the product a lot! Why wouldn’t we want the small businesses or those just testing us to experience the goodness we provide? Therefore, we offered a feature-equivalent freemium, where small businesses can leverage us from the get-go and avoid growth blockers down the road. It was important for us to offer a feature-equivalent experience so that DevOps architects testing us would know exactly what their experience would look like once they start using the solution. No surprises, no smoke and mirrors. \ Accelerated onboarding experience \ Much has been said about reducing the “clicks-to-Aha moment”, asking for information only when necessary and clearly in return for value. Prior to the recent change in the UI, a first-time logged-in user would go through two pages of questions and then about five steps to start working. No “Aha moment” in sight. We realized that’s a non-starter, and the numbers talked (more on that next). \ Our new onboarding experience is split into three phases: \ Pre “Aha” moment (AKA “see the value for yourself”): 1-click to launch a predefined environment and see it in action (we initially shot for more steps but got down to one). \ \ “Aha moment”: Three steps to connect your cloud and launch your own environment (AKA, this is working for me, and it was easy!) \ Ongoing experience: connect your CI (API integration), design blueprints, etc. Daily work. \ Learning from real-world usage \ This sounds trivial; however, it’s anything but. Our assumptions and hypotheses will live and die by our understanding of user behavior. We track the critical steps and selections in the portal. We enable the entire team to utilize a standard reporting tool to create funnels and other dashboards, and we are now able to see a different behavior for the changes we deployed recently. While planning, deploying and analyzing is the role of every product manager on the team, one of them took leadership in orchestrating the usage patterns tracking, and now it’s a part of every feature we introduce. \ We are now moving into a new rhythm of looking at the various PLG tools and how each applies to our user journeys in or outside the portal. We are prioritizing experiments, defining success criteria for each (user behavior), deploying, measuring and refining. Rinse and repeat. \ Next, we are planning to look further at some focus areas. One of those pertains to email communications to newly-signed users. We’re considering both event- and time-based series to engage the user with guidance and encouragement. Additionally, we’re looking at optimizing the journey to the “Aha moment”. Can we accelerate while demonstrating the goodness we’re doing behind the scenes? We believe we can. \ So, Quali is on the PLG bandwagon, with all the hype and commitment. I also wanted to give thanks to one of my biggest PLG mentors, Chris Zappala, VP of product and growth at Cypress, for many moments of PLG learning and realization. We will be sure to learn and improve. There is no better feeling than seeing usage patterns shift as an outcome of an experiment. \ About Amir Rozenberg Amir Rozenberg is the VP of Product at Quali, a global leader in infrastructure automation solutions with a deep background in testing and QA solutions. Amir and his team are obsessed with helping users and companies accelerate their software delivery cycles by removing complex infrastructure blockers and creating an efficient, scalable and predictable. Prior to Quali, Amir served as a product leader at Sauce Labs, driving key transformative initiatives such as low code testing and mobile test automation. Before Sauce Labs, Amir led a set of offerings for Perfecto, a world leader in automated testing for mobile and web apps, where he enabled accelerated application innovation while maintaining high-quality standards. Amir holds a Bachelor of Engineering (EE) degree from Tel Aviv University.

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\ In the grand scheme of things, Play-to-Earn (P2E) gaming is still an astonishingly young phenomenon. It exploded in popularity over the course of the pandemic, as it presented a means of remuneration for many young tech-savvy gamers from all around the world who were feeling the economic and social effects of COVID-19. With the meteoric rise of P2E gaming also rose an entire ecosystem of gaming guilds and scholarships that - at least on paper - are meant to facilitate gamer’s entry into the P2E space. The ways in which P2E has affected the gaming industry, blockchain, and gamers themselves merits a deeper study. In this article, we focus on the latter. What kinds of relationships exist between gamers, games, and gaming guilds? And what is being done to make this relationship work better for gamers? P2E’s origins The earliest P2E game, CryptoKitties, appeared in 2017. But the phenomenon did not gain steam until the COVID-19 pandemic hit and remained a fixture of daily life, decimating local economies and confining people to their homes. Axie Infinity, perhaps the largest P2E game to date, saw a meteoric rise in users in 2021. Clocking in 2.5 million daily users and generating 1.2 billion USD in revenue according to France24. 35% of the game’s daily traffic, and the largest share of its player base, are in the Philippines. \ Almost all P2E games require players to purchase a token, playable avatar, or other digital assets in order to get started in the game. In the aforementioned Axie Infinity, a starter set may cost over 100 USD. For many of the P2E gaming base, such costs can be prohibitively high. This is where the guilds and scholarship programs come in. \ Guilds can cover the costs of entry into the game by purchasing the required assets and renting them out to players. But these profit-sharing schemes are far from perfect. The vetting process of a prospective player can be costly and take precious time. These inefficiencies prevent the entry of new players into the play to earn space. Furthermore, the centralization of wealth and assets in a guild goes against the decentralized ethos of blockchain technology. Simply put, gaming guilds and scholarships are standing in the way of the mass adoption of crypto in gaming. \ But what is the solution? How can games and gamers cut out the middlemen of P2E gaming? One solution is to apply the aforementioned decentralizing principles of crypto to asset lending. One exciting new company in the P2E space, LuduFi, offers peer-to-peer lending between investors and players. Through its platform, players can build up a profile that captures their skill level, scores and total playtime. The platform’s easy-to-use dashboard allows investors to view player data and make informed decisions about who they want to invest in. LuduFi essentially removes the middlemen and creates a direct peer-to-peer transaction, opening the GameFi industry to individuals who have NFT assets and want to make passive income through this structure. At the moment, it is challenging for individuals seeking to invest in P2E games to find players for their assets, especially as they find themselves competing with gaming guilds that have thousands of assets. LuduFi LuduFi also benefits guilds by providing them with further use cases. Currently, guild tokens practically have no functionality outside of the guild ecosystem. However, LuduFi gives the option of consolidating tokens to the players and investors in their preferred token, such as USDT, the in-game token, or LUDU tokens (where they would see minimal transaction fees). \ LuduFi also benefits games. With the bear market ravaging on, games are struggling to sustain their in-game economies as their token price drops over time. LuduFi aims to invest the players’ earned in-game tokens back into the game. In exchange, players can provide LuduFi with NFT assets that it could lend out. LuduFi aims to incentivize their most dedicated users to continue using the platform through a variety of means, such as locking players’ tokens or allowing players to stake on LuduFi’s platform and receive a share of company revenue. \ By applying innovative blockchain solutions, LuduFi is one step closer to creating a more fair gaming ecosystem for P2E players. \n

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posted 2 days ago on hacker noon
Well, I would start with a short story which happened few months ago. My organization then was trying to switch their project management tool from an old and trended out Team Foundation Server to the new and sophisticated Azure Devops suit, deciding to use almost all the features it offers from version control to boards. What to say; I was in charge of the technical aspects of that migration, like devising branch and merge strategies to design and develop CI/CD pipelines. \ So here is what happened. We had a couple of front-end applications which extensively use SCSS as the primary style keeping format and they needed to be processed and compiled to CSS(because browsers only understand CSS) while the build pipeline triggers. It caught me by surprise that there were no Azure DevOps extensions built to do this task which I desperately wanted back then. \ So I made one which can compile sass files to CSS and also add vendor prefixes to the resultant css😊. PS: It is now available in the visual studio market place for free. \ :::tip This article is actually not meant to be a tutorial, but to shout out to the world that there exists an Azure DevOps extension for compiling sass files. However official documentation of this extension is enough alone for you to integrate it into your pipelines. ::: Process Sass Files To use this extension you first have to install it in your organization, probably with the help of your organization administrator, since installing extensions needs special permissions. Once it is installed, this extension will be available to be used among the other pre-installed tasks. \ \ Once installed, you can configure the task of your needs. In order for this extension to work, the bare minimum parameters you need to configure are: \ inputFile: which SCSS/sass file in your repository need to be compiled to CSS outputFile: Where exactly does the compiled CSS file need to generate \ Other than the above two configurations, there are additional three features this extension provides you with: \ style: You can either select Normal or Minified. If selected Minified, the resultant CSS will be compressed enableVendorPrefixing: You can opt-in for vendor prefixing. Learn vendor prefixing here. If you enable vendor prefixing, the process-sass-files task will add vendor prefixes to the generated CSS file Tool Versions: The process-sass-files extension uses two cli-s for it’s entire operations. The sass compiler and autoprefixer-cli. By default, it uses the latest versions of these tools. However, you can configure the task in such a way that the process-sass-files task always uses the exact versions of sass and autoprefixer you use in your dev environment \ At last, your pipeline might look something like the above and be able to form a proper CSS file once the pipeline is run. \ Happy coding! \n

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posted 2 days ago on hacker noon
By this point, we have all heard of the infamous Bitcoin, the strange online currency that skyrocketed to all-time highs of $64,804.72 and in just weeks fell to the $30,000 range. The cryptocurrency domain is a mystical space where we are always watching the unexpected unfold. Many people see cryptocurrencies from the lens of how it can make money for them, but they don’t think about the impact this new industry can have on the world, whether positive or negative. For example, individuals don’t think about how it could help bring transparency to the fashion supply chain or how Bitcoin’s energy consumption is absurdly high and harmful to the environment. All that is seen are dollar signs. Without reflection, we are unable to see how blockchain impacts the world outside of currency. It is an industry that allows for a cosmic change in how we use the internet and how it impacts our environment. Before we can look at the sustainability behind some of the use cases in blockchain, it is essential to summarize what blockchain is as a framework for understanding. First, it is NOT just Bitcoin. Many have come to correlate that blockchain = bitcoin; this is not true. Bitcoin is just one type of blockchain. So, what is blockchain? It is a decentralized ledger technology that helps to eliminate the middleman from any service and puts the control in the hands of the user. The Bitcoin Blockchain eliminates the need for a bank. The Ethereum Blockchain changes the way we use the internet. These different blockchains even have the potential to connect with one another to create one huge ecosystem that works together in sync. We could nerd out all day about the potential of blockchain alone, but today we are talking about the sustainability aspects and real-world implications. Positive Impacts of Blockchain Blockchain technology depending on the project can help to enable: Carbon Accounting Air Pollution Monitoring Sustainable Supply Chain While there are many ways that blockchain can help bring sustainability, these are just a few we found interesting, specifically supply chain. Many industries have a closed-off supply chain that makes moving products worldwide difficult. Blockchain changes this by storing all the data on a secure drive that isn't accessible by any of the corporations using the service. This is done to prevent data manipulation and guarantee compliance controls are followed  There are three main benefits to using blockchain technologies: Waste Management Tracking Monitoring of The Conservation of Water Circular Economy Practices Waste Management Waste management tracking is a big problem that should be focused on. Let’s take the fashion industry, for example. In the 2019 Pulse of The Fashion Industry, it is stated that 60% of companies are struggling to find the technologies necessary to make a change. With blockchain technology, companies can keep a close eye on waste, which, if done correctly, will save the industry an estimated 4.8 billion dollars. This is possible because 47% of all fibre entering the fashion value chain becomes waste. Unfortunately, it is hard for companies to actively track this information until it is too late, and the waste has already occurred. By making data real-time, the companies can quickly pivot and run a leaner supply chain that allows for materials to be re-used for other garments and reduce the waste happening. One company in this specific department is Textile Genesis. They use blockchain to counteract this problem and improve environmental practices through the supply chain to create waste reduction. Companies that aid the fashion industry in being more eco-conscious lead to a cleaner Earth and a more cost-efficient industry.  Water Conservation Blockchain can create a more circular economy and reduce waste; it can also monitor water conservation. This is critical because the amount of water used to create jeans alone is insane. It takes 1800 gallons of water to produce one pair of jeans. That’s just for one person. This adds up quite quickly and creates a problem. Recording the use of water and making sure that water is not wasted creates eco-friendly water usage. Overall, the jean industry needs to change and significantly reduce water consumption because it is just too damaging. Circular Economy  The final way that blockchain can create a positive impact is by improving the circular economy efficiency. This means tracking the cycle of a product: when the material was obtained, what was fabricated, what excess material was recycled, etc. Having it transferred to the blockchain allows companies to move away from fragmented and inefficient manual systems to an interconnected ecosystem that makes it easier to transfer information. This is possible because the blockchain is secure and has strong privacy, so various suppliers within the supply chain can share data safely with minimal worry of cyber-attacks. Some of the direct impacts of creating a more circular economy include better product design from companies, strategic planning to better streamline the supply chain, and public policymaking based on the robust data reported to the government from the companies. This is only possible because the companies can see exactly where the product has been from acquiring materials to the shipment of the shirt. Negative Impacts of Blockchain With all these wonderful aspects there is one main problem that comes with it. Like most industries, there is always a catch. The energy consumption needed to run blockchain technology tends to be high if the company runs on a proof-of-work mechanism. Proof-of-work meaning that every transaction must be verified by computers all over the world before being added to the blockchain instead of a centralized company. This is the same problem that can found with the Bitcoin blockchain. Because it is based on a proof-of-work model that requires excessive amounts of computational energy to run, the surplus electricity utilized negatively affects the environment. Therefore, it is important to check for what type of security is being run on the blockchain.  If it is proof-of-work, the energy used will be high. A workaround to this is to use proof-of-stake instead. If used, the power needed will be minimal compared to proof-of-work.  To go a little bit more in-depth, proof-of–work is how transactions on the blockchain are verified. Every block contains transactions and to make it independent of third parties such as a bank people using the network must use their computes to solve a cryptographic algorithm for it to be verified. With the use of computers to verify every transaction the energy used becomes exorbitant as more people use the network. While proof-of-work has a high energy usage proof-of-stake is much more environmentally friendly. For people to validate transactions in this system instead of using computational energy you have to stake crypto. Most blockchains that use this model create a minimum amount of crypto that one must stake to be a validator for the blockchain. In this version to earn rewards, one must invest in the network for a chance to be chosen as a validator. This mechanism uses investments in the network as a way to validate transactions rather than computational power making the energy usage minimal.  Conclusion There will always be pros and cons to industries, but it is important to weigh the options and proactively think outside the box to produce solutions to address these underlying issues. For example, blockchains opting to use proof-of-stake must prioritize using clean energy to generate the necessary computational power, e.g., hydroelectricity instead of coal which releases a high amount of toxins into the air. Blockchain can bring a lot of good things to the fashion industry which is needed with the amount of waste that happens throughout the fashion supply chain. The future is bright and with this technology change is on the horizon.

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posted 2 days ago on hacker noon
Table of Contents The popularity of cryptocurrency payments Which businesses already accept cryptocurrency payments? What does the world think about cryptocurrency? Simple steps on how to start accepting cryptocurrency payments How to accept crypto payments? How to accept cryptocurrency as a business? \ Today, as the world is quickly becoming more and more global, traditional payments are no longer satisfying the needs of businesses and customers. They do not like the slow processing speed of transactions, high commissions, and the insecurity of transactions. Under these conditions, cryptocurrency payments are becoming increasingly popular, with huge advantages over conventional electronic money. \ Now, many large companies that need to accept payments from their customers are thinking about gradually shifting their business to cryptocurrency payments. \ The Popularity of Cryptocurrency Payments There is a huge discussion on the topic of cryptocurrency payments today. Even though some businesses still doubt that they should switch to such a payment system, one cannot but admit that the future of all world financial settlements lies in cryptocurrency payments. \ However, the difficulties that arise with how to accept bitcoin payments are almost completely levelled if the business needs to make large volumes of payments. In this situation, digital currencies allow you to make the fastest transaction with minimal commissions and accept bitcoin on a website. \ At the same time, when using payment in cryptocurrency, such commissions will be much lower than those that have to be paid when conducting transactions using conventional bank cards. In this case, they range from 1% to 3%. In addition, intermediaries in such transactions charge additional fees for processing transactions and servicing the card. When making cryptocurrency payments, the commission will not exceed 1%. \ At the same time, payment in cryptocurrency has its drawbacks which, nevertheless, do not outweigh its advantages. One of them is the non-refund of payment in cryptocurrency. The buyer of a product or service cannot cancel their payment. Only the recipient of the money can do this. As a rule, this problem is more related to small e-commerce companies. In the case of large businesses, this does not happen in practice. \ Another disadvantage is the volatility of cryptocurrency rates. This can prevent you from not only accepting bitcoin on your website but also from overall accepting crypto payments on your website. The rate can fluctuate significantly, so it is important that businesses that accept cryptocurrency payments transfer their digital assets into cash daily. \ There may also be problems with data security, which occur, as a rule, solely through the fault of the owner of the private key. If they lose it, then they lose all of their digital currency, which is stored in a cryptocurrency wallet. \ At the same time, it is absolutely impossible to count on any compensation and that you can recover at least some part of the lost funds. Cryptocurrency is not insured in any way, and this, of course, creates some difficulties. \ Which Businesses Already Accept Cryptocurrency Payments? So far, not all countries are ready to recognize cryptocurrency as a means of payment. However, bitcoin has already won this title in some countries to answer the question: «What can you use cryptocurrency for?». \ What Does the World Think About Cryptocurrency? First of all, we are talking, of course, about El Salvador - the first country in the world where bitcoin was recognized as an official means of payment. El Salvador did this largely to attract the attention of investors. The country has created its own cryptocurrency fund, which is constantly replenished with new bitcoins. It also directs the money earned on the growth of the exchange rate to the construction of social facilities. \ Other countries in Latin America are also following this experience with interest, but are still hesitant to follow the example of El Salvador. Although, it is possible that this is a matter for the near future while consultations and discussions are underway. \ Many states treat cryptocurrencies as property and believe that transactions with digital assets should be taxed. This creates additional difficulties for both those who send the payment and those who receive the money. \ The largest payment systems today are looking at cryptocurrency payments very carefully, believing that they are the future. \ For 3 years now, AT&T has been making cryptocurrency payments, and the international PayPal service allows you to place orders using digital money and pay not only in bitcoins but also make other cryptocurrency payments. \ With great interest are digital currencies and the largest payment systems in the world: Visa and Mastercard. \ Simple Steps on How to Start Accepting Cryptocurrency Payments What should those businesses do, following the example of payment giants, if they have decided to start accepting payments in cryptocurrency? The first thing to answer the question “How to accept cryptocurrency?” is to choose the right payment gateway. This is not as simple as it might seem at first glance. There are many such gateways. However, there are a few very important things to keep in mind to answer the main questions of the vast majority of modern businesses which include: \ Legitimacy of Work Such a gateway must be officially registered in a reputable country and have a license for its activities. Speed ​​of Transactions It must guarantee its customers that all transactions will be carried out quickly. Indeed, with the volatility of cryptocurrency rates, this is one of the most important aspects. Low Commissions When paying in cryptocurrency by users, it is fundamentally important not to overpay. Commissions need to be transparent and reasonable. It Must Have a User-Friendly Interface When starting to accept cryptocurrency, the first thing to ask is, “how do you pay with cryptocurrency?”, and the answer should be “with ease”. A user-friendly interface is one of the main criteria by which they choose a payment gateway. It should be convenient and pleasant for them to work with such a payment system. Security All transactions through the gateway must meet the highest security standards. Users must be certain that they will not lose their money. \ One of the best choices can be the CoinsPaid payment gateway. It is one of the leading projects in the crypto payment market, which also has its own token. The benefits of working with CoinsPaid include: Low and understandable commissions (at the same time, a big plus is the absence of any hidden commissions. You immediately understand how much you have to pay). The payment system supports more than 30 different digital currencies and more than 20 fiat currencies. Instant conversion of cryptocurrency to fiat. In addition, direct settlements in 6 cryptocurrencies are also provided. \ It is the only payment gateway that has passed the system security check by Kaspersky Labs and 10Guard. How to Accept Crypto Payments? Many businesses wonder how to accept bitcoin and other cryptos. To connect the ability to accept altcoin payments and bitcoin payments, the company needs to take a few simple and understandable steps. How to Accept Cryptocurrency as a Business? There are several points to keep in mind when accepting crypto: Customize API Decide on cryptocurrency Withdraw funds automatically Set up fiat options Learn how to manage transactions Conduct testing Add a crypto payment button Tell users you have started accepting altcoin payments \ Let's go through all of them step by step. First of all, the API allows the website of the party accepting the digital payment to exchange data with the CoinsPaid payment gateway server. After that, you need to verify the merchant account, activate the API key, and get the secret code to access the API. After that, you will be able to withdraw the funds transferred to you from the account. \ Bitcoin today is one of the most popular cryptocurrencies for making such payments. And yet, there is a huge number of other digital assets that are quite suitable for this. Among them are Ethereum, Dogecoin, Litecoin, and many other tokens. \ Withdrawing received money manually is very inconvenient. However, it is much better to set up automatic withdrawal of funds to an external wallet. You can do this in situations where the balance in your account reaches a certain amount. You can set any limit that is convenient for your work. \ The CoinsPaid payment gateway, after being approved by the security service, allows its users to set up bank account details to allow them to make withdrawals in fiat. This is a convenient feature that allows you to accept altcoin payments and withdraw fiat money. It greatly simplifies bookkeeping. In addition, CoinsPaid can transfer fiat funds to the seller's balance via SEPA or SWIFT transfer. \ The seller can access all information about accepting cryptocurrency payment transactions: both the receipt of funds from the buyer and the automatic withdrawal of funds from the account. Moreover, this list of payments in cryptocurrency can be filtered by various parameters: amount, date, and so on. \ Those in eCommerce who are just starting to accept altcoin payments should practice before starting to work with real money from users. This can be done in a special virtual "sandbox" that will demonstrate all the possibilities of accepting cryptocurrency payments without the need to test it with real money. After almost everything is ready and configured, you need to create a noticeable and eye-catching button that shows you are accepting cryptocurrency payments on your company's website. With the help of it, customers of your cryptocurrency merchant services learn that such an opportunity exists. \ Now that all the technical part has already been done, the matter remains small. You need to notify the world that the company has begun accepting payments in digital currency. Of course, at first, some of the clients may have doubts. After all, everything new is always a little scary. Nevertheless, they will gradually get involved and appreciate all the advantages of such additions. \

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