Bilan – Bitcoin et le FOMO

Vous allez penser “encore un article qui parle de Bitcoin”, mais l’amusante ironie de ce billet c’est que justement pour lancer cette nouvelle rubrique, il est sans doute utile de se pencher sur la déferlante grandissante de Bitcoin et des crypto-monnaies dans tous les médias, car faire le tri et comprendre deviennent plus facile lorsqu’on a pris un peu de recul et dégrossi qui dit quoi et pourquoi.

FOMO, c’est l’acronyme de “fear of missing out” (en Français, la peur de passer à côté, de rater le train), l’anxiété de manquer une nouvelle importante, exacerbée en général par les réseaux sociaux, qui transforme tout le monde en adolescent en quête d’acceptation sociale et de succès facile.

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The Bitcoin value argument

Whether or not Bitcoin is “money”, or “a currency”, or neither, it has undeniable value, in that some people are ready to buy or sell some for a price.

Some will say it’s a hype, because Bitcoin’s value is not really linked to its power to buy stuff. Sure you *can* buy things with bitcoins but it doesn’t seem to be its main strength for the moment.

Nevertheless, there is a de facto near-consensus (depending on which exchange you use) on the price of 1 BTC, which evolves according to supply and demand. That price is Bitcoin’s actual value.

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Why interoperability matters in Social Networks

It’s in the news, there is a war of Social Networks. But the current system, where bloggers and web commentators ask “will Google+ kill Facebook, or Twitter or both?” is not sustainable. This type of business cannot survive in the long term. I am not going to elaborate on the benefits of the market economy, but I’m simply talking about how a communication network actually functions. Yes, eventually the digital divide will be filled and pretty much everyone will be in the grid. No, it won’t be because one company won and got the monopoly of “social”.

Think of phones networks, and their many operators. Imagine two people, living in two different countries, using different providers, one on a fixed line, and one on a mobile phone.

Can they call each other?

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The Dropbox downward spiral. Or is it their biggest chance?

In recent weeks, there has been a lot written and discussed about cloud-hosting company Dropbox. First, we discovered that Dropbox employees can decrypt and see our stuff, although the company said the opposite all along (which, some claim, gave them an unfair competitive advantage). Then, they had a security bug, which allowed anyone to log into any account, with the wrong password. Dropbox waited too long to communicate about this with their users, who learned about it on third party websites. Finally, they updated their Terms Of Use to include some very controversial Facebook-like copyright ownership granting them some rights, which could potentially be abused into, say, publishing your content publicly.

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Facebook is dead. Everything’s gonna be OK.

Pointing out Facebook slip-ups is like shooting fish in a barrel, except the fish is actually a dead horse. Facebook has replaced Microsoft as the dream target of everyone looking for a good rant on unethical business behaviour. But while Microsoft is like a vampire who can’t ever die, Facebook could easily pull a Hendrix (or worse, a Tony Soprano) any day if it’s not more careful. Read between the lines of recent headlines and ask yourself who will benefit from Facebook’s collapse.

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Please mobile me already!

Foreword — Jobs has spoken

In case you missed it, you should know that everyone has been talking about Steve Job’s “Thoughts On Flash” in the last couple of weeks. This is an important read, not because it talks about what’s currently happening (i.e., the lack of Adobe’s Flash technology in the iPhone, and now the iPad), but rather because Jobs is writing about how Apple (and other Internet big players) are going to position themselves in years to come. Sure, the iPad is sexy, but the changes ahead go much deeper, and announce where Internet business is heading.

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