From their suburb of Poway, California, outside of San Diego, Blink 182 members Tom Delonge and Mark Hoppus met in the early nineties to pen straight forward pop-punk anthems, eventually leading to their 1999 best-selling album, Enema of the State, which moved 15 million records worldwide.
The band’s much-publicized split this spring was a dramatic one, and ultimately led to Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker playing a Southern California show billed as “Blink 182 w/ Matt Skiba.” Hoppus, Barker and Skiba (Alkaline Trio) have since announced they will be recording new Blink 182 music in August.
As music and tabloid publications tried to get to the bottom of the public breakup of Blink 182, Delonge expressed multiple times he was passionate about other things at the current time, including his new media company To The Stars and a book and film under the moniker, Poet Anderson. He is also working on a dystopian sci-fi trilogy. As Delonge scattered last week over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, he is also working on another project.
Facebook statuses show Delonge meeting with NASA officials, as well as possibly the President, for what he describes as “An important film on something about space.” Delonge’s interest in space dates back many years, in particular with the well-known song, “Aliens Exist,” which includes the lyrics: “I know the CIA will say/what you hear is all hearsay/I wish someone would tell me what was right.”
In the first status update, Delonge discusses his coming trip to DC where he will film for his new production on space. It appears he is shopping for stock images.
In the following status, Tom shows off his temporary access card for the NASA Headquarters.
In the following post, Tom is standing awkwardly and staring straight ahead. He pens that there has been a big breakthrough for him with something he is studying. In context, it becomes clear he is talking about UFOs and alien life.
In the following status, Delonge claims to be sitting with the president discussing UFOs. As you can see, Delonge and a young film crew does seem to be seated in a rather stately room, however, the man evidently being interviewed does not appear to be President Barack Obama. It is unclear if the man being interviewed in the picture is indeed the President. Perhaps it is the Administrator of NASA, Charles Bolden.
In this next status, Tom is apparently entering a floor at NASA. With this post, Delonge grows more cryptic, stating he cannot tell his followers what exactly he is up to, saying “I’m still learning how to navigate the waters I have found myself involved in.” Possibly implying he has come across sensitive information he can’t simply divulge.
Eidoo Ethereum Wallet Takes Out Full Page Ad in WSJ to Troll J.P. Morgan
A Swiss-based Ethereum startup has taken out a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal to troll J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who only last month called cryptocurrency a “fraud.”
Eidoo Launches Digital Wallet
Eidoo took out the ad on Wednesday, the same day it launched its digital currency wallet for users of Ethereum, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap. The company also plans to launch a debit card allowing people to spend ether and bitcoin.
The WSJ ad, which is a clear PR stunt ahead of the company’s launch, reads: “Maybe Jamie will fire you. But, you’ll be free to trade in the crypto-world.”
J.P. executive Jamie Dimon came under fire last month after declaring bitcoin a fraud. It later came to light that the Wall Street bank is trading bitcoin for clients.
“It’s worse than tulip bulbs. It won’t end well. Someone is going to get killed,” Dimon said at a conference hosted Barclays. “Currencies have legal support. It will blow up.”
Dimon’s criticism was ill timed, and not just because his firm was facilitating cryptocurrency transactions. Well-known figures on Wall Street and beyond are starting to embrac blockchain technology. Chief among them is Goldman Sachs, which recently announced that it i considering a bitcoin trading operation.
Morgan Stanley CEO recently said cryptocurrency is “more than just a fad,” but didn’t disclose any plans to launch a trading operation. Like other banks? Morgan Stanley is exploring the potential of blockchain applications.
Cryptocurrency Market Regains Momentum
After a volatile month of September, the cryptocurrency asset class is once again attracting strong bids. The total market cap for all digital currencies is approaching $155 billion, with bitcoin accounting for more than half the total.
Ethereum briefly traded above $310 before paring gains all the way back down to $300 where it currently sits.
Digital currency wallets like Eidoo have grown in popularity as investors look to safeguard their tokens from cyber breaches.
Apple CEO Tim Cook Wants Augmented and Virtual Reality Tech to “Encourage” Human Contact
So far, Apple has been the slowest of the big boys to getting an augmented or virtual reality product to market. The company’s iPhone is the single most popular smart phone on the planet and its computer products enjoy relative popularity (in early 2014, they were almost 9% of the market, a quadrupling from turn-of-the-century numbers). On a trip to Tokyo this week, CEO Tim Cook told BuzzFeed that he believes there is “no substitute for human contact. And so you want the technology to encourage that.”
Cook also said he thinks augmented reality can be “huge.” And if the numbers from the recent phenomenon of Pokémon Go are any indication, he’s absolutely right. Apple’s various platforms add up to a big opportunity, but their phones in particular could pave the way for the company making a serious play in the augmented and virtual reality space.
In many ways, modern humans are already experiencing many of the things previously only dreamed of in science fiction. One can walk down the street and have a video call with someone a thousand miles away. Perhaps the next step on this path will be the spectre of hologram calls. Back in 2013, Skype told the BBC that it was already capable of as much. Apple would certainly make waves if it were the first major platform to make this Star Wars-esque technology an everyday reality.
Other potential exists on the hologram front. Video entertainment and gaming could reach a whole new level. The Apple TV is one of the less successful ventures the company has ever launched, but the advent of holographic television shows taking place in one’s living room might revive interest.
Apple has made a number of acquisitions that point in the direction of holographic, augmented, and virtual reality technology. The company which created the original Microsoft Xbox Kinect sensors, PrimeSense, is now owned by Apple, along with Faceshift, who provided real-time motion capturing for Star Wars productions. The two main reasons to acquire a company are either to stop it from competing with you or to make use of its assets, and Apple presently has no major dog in the augmented reality/virtual reality fight. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that somewhere in Cupertino, someone is working on something for the future.
Cook also said that he doesn’t think virtual reality is as “broad-based” as augmented reality. The company has been in meetings with immersive technology companies such as Jaunt, a company which makes films compatible with virtual reality technology. Cook seems most interested in the communication aspect of AR and VR, saying that conversations could be made more productive.
I think that things like these are better when they’re incorporated without becoming a barrier to our talking. You want the technology to amplify it, not to be a barrier.
Perhaps Cook, like many, fears a future of people walking around with helmets, totally immune to their surroundings, and would rather find ways to boost traditional communication and technological capabilities. More of a Google Glass than an Oculus approach to the thing, as it were. In any case, it does seem that virtual reality, augmented reality, and even holographic communications are just around the bend for consumers.
It’s important to remember that just a decade ago, a smart phone in every pocket was hard to imagine, so the rise of these technologies could happen faster than anyone expects. The success of Pokémon Go was only a preview of things to come.
Images from Shutterstock.
KickassTorrents Domains Seized, Alleged Owner Arrested
The world’s largest torrent website has been seized, with its alleged founder arrested by US authorities, in what is a comprehensive blow to the domain and the wider torrenting community.
Artem Vaulin, a 30-year-old Ukrainian national and the alleged owner of KickassTorrents, the largest torrent website in the world was arrested in Poland yesterday. The US Government is seeking his extradition.
Following his arrest, US authorities have charged Vaulin with criminal copyright infringement and have seized multiple domain names associated with the website.
The complete list of charges are:
- One count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement
- One count of conspiracy to commit money laundering
- Two counts of criminal copyright infringement
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R.Caldwell made the announcement, revealing that Vaulin had set up servers in multiple locations around the world and moved his domains several times due to several law enforcement seizures and lawsuits.
Vaulin is charged with running today’s most illegal file-sharing website, responsible for unlawfully distributing well over $1 billion of copyrighted materials.
The criminal complaint against Vaulin alleges some intriguing numbers behind the world’s most popular torrent website.
- The website gained over 50 million unique visitors per month.
- It was also the 69th most frequently visited website on the internet
- Its net worth is estimated at over $54 million.
- Its annual advertising revenue was in the range of $12.5 million to $22.3 million.
- The website operated in nearly 28 languages.
Furthermore, the website was already ordered to be blocked by courts in various countries including the United Kingdom, Italy, Denmark, Belgium and Malaysia, the complaint alleged.
As things stand, KickassTorrents and a number of its domains, all of which can be found in its very own server-status page, are all offline and unreachable.
The arrest and the subsequent takedown is certain to leave a void in the torrent community, as KickassTorrents was even bigger in the popularity stakes than the Pirate Bay.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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