Bitcoin is a real energy hog

Researchers from the Technical University of Munich and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology took a look at how much energy was consumed by computers used to generate bitcoins and process transactions. Their conclusion:

in late 2018, the entire bitcoin network was responsible for 22-22.9 million tons of CO2 per year — similar to a large Western city or an entire developing country like Sri Lanka. Total global emissions of the greenhouse gas from the burning of fossil fuels were about 37 billion tons last year.  The researchers said about 68% of the computing power used to generate, or mine, bitcoins is in Asia, 17% is in Europe and 15% is in North America. [Fortune/AP]

The whole study is worth reading. (link)

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The Bing of Maps

Seven years ago, Apple decided that it’d had enough of using Google’s mapping data. They realized that maps and mapping services were so strategic that they couldn’t really afford to depend on a smartphone rival. So, they began building their own, and in September 2012, the company launched Apple Maps. And if I am being honest, the program has always been akin to that baby face that only a mother can love.

When it launched, Apple Maps was widely panned for being inaccurate and missing key information. Google launched its own dedicated Google Maps for iOS three months later and has never looked back. Apple, on the other hand, has spent billions on Apple Maps in an effort to build a more accurate and rich experience. Yet, in many dense locations, like San Francisco Bay Area or the Big Apple, it still performs like the kid who got into the private school because their grandfather’s name was on one of the buildings. On sheer merit, Google Maps was and still is better.

Twitter is Big in Japan

In the U.S., Twitter has been dogged by the perception that it’s a non-intuitive platform, more suited for public figures, entertainers, and journalists. But in Japan, it has mass appeal.

Twitter seems to have found a place in Japan. If you read the story, you realize it is cultural. People preferred to be anonymous and focus on their niche interests, and are happy to create multiple accounts. The usage is pretty high, as well. No wonder the Japanese advertisers aren’t afraid to spend on Twitter Japan —  $136 million last year. The good news can’t mask the same problems that make it a toxic cauldron of abuse, hatred, bullying, and trolling. Fun Fact: Japanese users used the “Like” button to save tweets to read later. And Twitter came up with the bookmarking feature.

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I am soooo excited about iPadOS

iPad Pro has been my primary work computer for over two years. Despite its shortcomings, I have managed to turn into a productivity machine, but the gulf between the iPad and the Apple Macs is still quite vast. However, that is all set to change with the new iPadOS, a version of iOS dedicated to the iPad. It has many improvements that make it easy to banish the laptop to the drawer of forgotten devices. Hopefully, this will bring an end to a debate that has flared up in the Apple enthusiast community again and again.