Riding the Bitcoin bubble up and out?

Bitcoin market price over last 8 years

Bitcoin is something everyone is talking about right now. I wouldn’t be surprised if my parents asked me about it soon.

It was a while ago when I received some bitcoins from a friend via tipjar.  I added the tipjar link on my blog and every once in a while I received a very small amount of bitcoins as tips. The amounts were so small that I didn’t really take note till I needed to move the wallet.

That was when I noticed the amounts were adding up to less decimal places  in bitcoin and the value in British sterling was also starting to add up to a few coffees. After the move to blockchain.info (no matter what I thought about the founder), I decided to keep an eye on the figure but forgot about it. Wasn’t till about a week ago, when I decided to have a quick look at the amount it was worth and was pretty shocked.

The tips were adding up to something quite big and thats when I decided maybe I should convert some to sterling and ethereum. I have never put any money into bitcoin, its all been donated or paid to me in return for something, I treated it as a bit of a joke to be honest. But over the last few weeks it became very real as I transferred quite a bit out and still had some left over, just in-case the bitcoin bubble keeps growing. But i’m simply not motivated enough to track its progress and put money into it. Ethereum I’ve found interesting since I first saw the videos about it so I’ll keep an eye on that too.

Thanks to everyone who tipped my blog or paid into my wallet over the last 3 years,  I owe a great gratitude to all those people. I’ll keep writing… feel free to keep tipping.

The effect of spotify on music generally

Dear musicians who make £0.0033 per stream on our utopian music platform
Dear musicians who make £0.0033 per stream on our utopian music platform, haha, hahahaha – Spotify. Thanks, 2016 we made lots of money via Jason Lytle

It was Mike who sent me a link to this classic piece of culture jamming seen in Bristol. Of course it’s not by Spotify, but they (whoever is responsible for this work of genius) went as far as to use their logo and typeface.

It was only less than 24 hours previously at my new years eve party, when a couple of people wanted to control the music playing. I know wanting to control the music isn’t anything new; but I’m finding people are assuming the music is from Spotify.

Before the holidays, I was at a party where the music was chosen by people typing names into a laptop connected to the sound system. As you can imagine, people would select a few tunes and queue them up. Then someone else would come over and select more. Some  would then shift around the playlist to move their tunes to the top, etc. It was a bit of mess with different people deleting other people’s selected tunes and others hogging the playlist. The inner DJ in me, choose to turn my back on everything and ignore the chaos.

The mindset has changed and although I love what Pacemaker are doing. I do slighly wonder about the future of mixed music. Theres a sense of instant gratification in playing track after track in a playlist and bumping things up and off the list, rather than trusting a mix to take you on a great journey. Maybe this is why I never use spotify and use mixcloud more? Delayed gratification is something which seemed to go right out the door with the increase in blood alcohol levels

Of course this is absolutely nothing compared to whats happening with the artists of course. Which leads right back around to the culture jamming in Bristol. Like Uber, the big behemoths across the sharing economy (if thats what we are to call it) are most likely to feel pressure in the long run from more humane practices such as Juno. Or at least I certainly see becoming true…

What if Spotifiy was a Coop?
Seen this during the mozretreat at BetaHaus, Berlin

There is a blog draft which I’ve had saved about the state of business now and into the future. Its big and likely needs slicing into smaller blogs but cooperatives are certainly a big part of it.

Ben pulled me up on this recently surround Evernote

Ian, are you against these companies making money/turning a profit? I’m curious how you otherwise see them paying for both the innovation and the on-going costs of running the service?

I replied without the links (but now I can finally put them in)…

No I’m not against that Ben Metcalfe, I’m in favour of up front telling people up front what they are getting into. You have to be honest and say EULAs are a joke no one reads except myself and a few others.

I’m also not a fan of massive endless profits growth which ends up ruining the companies…like Twitter, Pebble, Evernote, etc, etc. I see it over and over again and I think the likes of the media are also part of the problemhuge valuations attracting/temping more startups to get involved.

Its a mess and killing the long term sustainability of a exciting future.

This starts to summarize some of the main points of the longer blog post…

First to try Uber’s cash payment?

Uber Lux in Amsterdam

Last week Sunday 9th October, Uber really wound me up on the way to a dinner with Herb, Amber and Rick. The Tram didn’t seem to be going to Castlefield and I was late for the dinner, so I decided to use Uber. That was the idea but I spent about 20mins trying to enter in my new credit card information into the Uber app while it complained my postcode wasn’t a zip code.

Yeah thanks for that Uber! No idea why its forcing me to enter a zip code when it knew I was in the UK, had a UK credit card and lived in the UK. Most of the world uses postcodes not zip codes by the way.

Anyway, I tried connecting my Paypal account via the already installed Paypal account. But nothing happened (I wonder if my 2 factor auth was confusing things). So I saw the option to use cash.

Usually I don’t have cash on me but this one time I did; and I ordered the Uber with the cash option, the same way you order it normally. When the Uber came 5mins later (I did think, I could have walked there in the time I spent doing all this) the driver took me to the restaurant and I handed over £20 to which he struggled to get the change for. So I ended up giving quite a large percentage tip, no problem.

Honestly I was surprised it worked, as I always thought of Uber as credit card only. While waiting for the Uber, I did search for using cash with uber. But didn’t know till Chris tweeted tonight, I might have been one of the very first in Manchester to try the option.

From the MEN piece.

The cash option has already been trialled in Singapore in a bid to attract more users, and now Manchester is set to be the first city in Europe to undergo the experiment.

In a statement, the private hire firm said: “We’re excited to announce that Manchester is one of the first cities – and the first one in Europe – to offer cash as a payment option for all riders in Manchester.

Looking at my Uber app, Cash is an option just as it was over a week ago.

I have given up telling Uber support the difference between a postcode & zip code. I found I could edit the old credit card entry rather than add another one. This meant the postcode would be set already and the other things I could enter without causing validation errors.

When not to pay as you go…

IMG_20141124_192425

Ziferblat opens on Edge Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, I guess its so new that its not even on the website it seems.

I’ve heard of ziferblat from London. To be honest I’m not big fan of pay as you go services, especially when it comes to things I treat like leisure time.

So why am I not so keen?

I like to relax, I find the idea of paying for time to access a space or time a little upsetting and stressful. Life is busy enough, why put a clock against the time you want to enjoy and remember?

Having a time limit induces a state (trance) which is not consistent with relaxing and pleasure. The kind of things we associate with leisure or social time. How many times have you booked a restaurant and they have given you a set time and you thought that’s fine? To be honest the only places which I know does this and gets away with it is the all you can eat buffet places! 2hrs to stuff you’re face and then walk/roll out. Do you ever feel happy once you come out of these places? I doubt it!

How very apt to compare the all you can eat buffet places to the pay as you go model. I’m not saying ziferblat is necessary a all you can eat buffet, but I would say it could encourage overindulgence and  selfishness.

I mean you are paying by the minute, so better make sure you get what you need. Screw everybody else, where’s my coffee? What I have to wait for the toilet, don’t they know who I am?

Some things take time and time is there to be enjoyed… Some of you will say, ian’s gone off the deep end but I’ll leave you with a quote…

My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.
Steve Jobs

Poor Si Lumb almost got it in the neck from me… Little reminder about Phoneshop’s view on Pay as you Go!

https://twitter.com/king_puddin/status/165967429850243072

Moneysavingexpert asks: Should men still pay on a first date?

Josh tweeted me today… Seems the moneysavingexpert Martin Lewis wants to understand if men should still pay on the first date.

Of course you know my views and to be honest its interesting to see the answers and the results.

Currently (19:27 on 18/3/2014) 1,556 votes have been received

I’m a man (506 votes)
Yes. The man should always pay – chivalry’s not dead yet! 125 votes (25%)
Yes. The correct etiquette is the man offers, the woman says “let’s go Dutch”, the man says no and pays. 131 votes (26%)
Yes. But only if he earns more than his date. 14 votes (3%)
No. It should be split equally. 136 votes (27%)
No. The person who invited the other should pay. 57 votes (11%)
No. In the modern world, the woman should pay. 6 votes (1%)
Don’t care either way. 37 votes (7%)
I’m a woman (1050 votes)
Yes. The man should always pay – chivalry’s not dead yet! 222 votes (21%)
Yes. The correct etiquette is the man offers, the woman says “let’s go Dutch”, the man says no and pays. 371 votes (35%)
Yes. But only if he earns more than his date. 22 votes (2%)
No. It should be split equally. 251 votes (24%)
No. The person who invited the other should pay. 132 votes (13%)
No. In the modern world, the woman should pay. 3 votes (0%)
Don’t care either way. 49 votes (5%)
This is of course kind of good news but I think the balance of males to females might be causing the sway. I expected a lot more people to be thinking the man always pays. However, it also shows we are driven by tradition and social etiquette more than the fear of rejection etc. Its also interesting that money plays less of a role in the voting that I would have thought on a site all about saving you money.
The last couple of dates I have been on, we have split the bill and theres been no issues or concerns. I’ll stick to that for myself…

Stop dating those types of woman, simple?

You may conquer with the sword, but you are conquered by a kiss

I saw this on single black male the other day, and honestly laughed to myself then tweeted it out, kind of knowing the outrage it might cause…

Let’s crunch some  numbers. According to the most recent Census data, the median paycheck for Americans is $26,364, which means half of Americans made more and half made less. If most women can’t see themselves dating a man who makes $26,000 or less, then we have our answer: No, the average man cannot afford a girlfriend.

Rumor has it that these modern day women expect dates of $200, on average.
Fellas, has dating gotten too expensive? Ladies, have you found it difficult to find a man that can afford to take you on a decent date?

To be honest I’ve never really had this problem with the dates I’ve been on… except one!

Actually it reminds me of the First time I went speed dating!

She asked me where I work and I was honest and said the BBC. She then she said quote Oh I heard the BBC don’t pay a lot of money. Taken a back by this comment, I quickly replied well it depends if you let money decide what you do in life?! As you can imagine the next 2mins 40secs were pretty thorny.

Thats actually a slight lie on my part, I said something a lot more like “well it depends if your a money grabbing beoch!

Fact is you can generalise all you like (and the SBM crew have) but it really depends on the type of woman you go out with (just like its the type of man you ladies go out with). If a woman who cared to go on dates of high amounts of money (aka a golddigger – saying it as it is sorry), went on a date with me she would be upset when its a nice place in the northern quarter. And literally be reaching deep into her bag when I don’t pay for her meal outright.

Frankly why does this even matter? Why because for some legacy reason men are expected to ask, pay and take the lead when formal dancing. Total legacy, and maybe (guessing) the same guys who couldn’t date someone taller than themselves or earns more money than themselves (not even gone there yet).

ClaireOT suggested

You’re doing it rong, my friend. Try dating feminists!

I don’t know if I am personally doing it wrong for myself? (sure the trolls will jump in and say how wrong I am) I would suggest most of the woman I date and go for, are feministic (if that is a word I just didn’t make up). Most if called a feminist would reject the claim only because they are modern, proud and have rejected some of the trappings of the legacy/old fashion. I’m not saying feminism is legacy or anything like that, instead I would contest most of the core values are just everyday life for most of the modern world (sure someone will tweet or comment saying I’m so wrong). For ClaireOT

I would say I am dating feminists, can’t imagine dating anything but feminists. And because of this fact, the golddigging type and myself never really cross paths. Therefore I can afford to date 🙂 However those poor (litteary) guys who go for the type who expect 200 pound dinners, its time to wake up! Grow some balls and stop being a plank.

Yes guys! its 2013! Welcome to the Future! In the future you don’t need to buy the love of a woman. If you are paying for everything on the first date and not getting interest in a second date, you are obviously not of interest to the woman in question – simple! Move on! And to point out this doesn’t make her a golddigger, it makes you a flipping pleb… Maybe the type of woman you were dating have evolved and you sadly haven’t?

 

 

 

Do I TRUST mint with my money management?

Mint - refreshing money management

So I've been using Microsoft Money for quite a while to manage my money but since moving to gnu/Linux, I've not really converted the money file over to anything else. I was checking out the KDE application Money2 but started thinking there has got to be a better way to do this?

Well in steps Mint fresh faced from the Techcrunch conference. When I first heard rumours about it, I thought it was something to do with that terriable credit card company in the UK with the same name. However Mint.com promises to refresh money management by adding all the goodness of Web 2.0.

So I've been checking it out, and to be honest I like what I see but I'm not convinced they can be trusted with my finanical information. Now don't get me wrong I'm no hot shot with millions in the bank but I still wouldn't want what how much I pay for lunch (not a lot thanks to Tesco) in the public domain. I'm not saying Mint are leaking this information, I'm just not sure. I've been reading there Privicy policy and it all looks ok but I have this naggy feeling that this is dangerious and should be avoided for a while longer, at least let someone else be the test muppet. I had this feeling when I first heard about Paypal and to be honest I do use it but tend not to keep money in it for long and I use its most basic features. All those advanced features like hooking it into your bank i've avoided because it worries me. Although in a recent episode of Security now, Paypal's Director of Account protection was on talking about the levels of security and privicy they have for users of their service. SecureID was one of the solutions and to be honest, if my bank offered that, I would gladly use it.

I guess my fear of using Mint is a little overboard but like linking my facebook profile to some of the other sites I use, I think somethings are maybe left alone till I can trust them. Trust is a funny thing, I mean I trust my bank, paypal, amazon, Tesco, Plaxo, etc. But I don't trust Facebook, Mint, etc with my credit card details. They haven't been around long enough to prove their trustworthness. There rep is 0 in my book. I need Facebook to stop mining my information and start offering me real uses. Mint I guess will have to rely on good feedback from people on there own blogs before I start using it.

Its all useless anyway, mint is american centric, requiring a zip code before you can sign up. Have they never heard of Open ID? Simon Wilison was right, all startups should use Open ID if they want people to use their service. Now Mint you've lost a customer because although I could make up a zip code, why the hell should I?

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What ever happened to Wonderland?

The Dragons, elite business experts standing next to a wall

Update: Although I'm blogging about Wonderland, i dont think much about the content. But I'm not its target audience. I'm writing mainly about the concept and the business of Wonderland not the magazine's content. It would be like me saying Red or Cosmo are not good. I'm entitled to my views but being outside of the target market makes it difficult to judge fairly. aka, do not buy Wonderland just because I blogged it please.

Almost a year ago the BBC series Dragons Den finished its first run. I enjoyed every moment of it and am happy to hear its back on our screens (and online via imp of course). But it makes you wonder what ever happened to those other business ideas which received funding? (Yes the BBC should do a run up on what happened next…maybe even just as a podcast, iptv or something for those people interested) Specially the very much debated Wonderland magazine.

Well after a short dig around, I found a couple of things. A interview after appearing on the Dragons Den. Actually Startups.co.uk has a few interviews with previous Dragon Den entrepreneurs.Then the big news, from this page. Its actually on the right hand side of the site and reads.

By Kate Boulby

Wonderland, the new luxury glossy mag from BBC2 Dragon's Den joint winner Huw Gwyther, went on sale yesterday.

The magazine will initially be priced at £4.95, with a starting print run of 140,000 copies. Publishers eventually hope to sell up to 100,000.

Targeted at both male and female readers, Wonderland will cover everything from fashion, film, music and product design to stage and art. The first issue also features an exclusive interview with The Aviator's film production designer Dante Ferretti.

Dragon Den, which was shown earlier in the year, featured contestants pitching business ideas to the expert “Dragons”.

So I plan to drop into a large WH Smiths and see if I can actually find a copy, get a real feel for it myself. Hopefully I can find a copy and post a few pictures online, till then the flash animation has been updated and restyled so at least its not so ugly, and gives you a rough idea of how the magazine looks.

Finally found it in the local WH Smiths

Wonderland magazine cover

More photos can be found in my wonderland tag stream.

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