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Britcoin

Britcoin is the name used casually for some kind of digital pound. The decline in the use of physical cash for payments and the use of smart phones with digital wallets or apps has led to the UK Government contemplating what a digital pound might look like. A consultation on that topic is underway.   There are some important questions about digital money. Not least the 1.2 million people who don't have bank accounts, privacy, Government monitoring of spending and more.  The name Britcoin is really a nod to the cryptocurrency Bitcoin . Bitcoin is often cited as being anonymous. It isn't. Each transaction is recorded. Cash is currently the main anonymous currency in the world. A present the Government prints physical cash. Less of it is being used but there is a need for the certainty that cash provides. Making a payment with digital cash issued by the Government might well be a way of providing citizens with the same utility as cash in a world that is using less of it.  Cash ha

Sign in with Google

Most websites want you to sign in with your email address. The idea being you create an account with them and provide an email. This is a common thing on the net. However, sometimes you get an icon to sign up with an account you already have.  You can sign in with your Microsoft account, Twitter account, Apple account or Google account. Convenient for users. No creation of yet another account. You piggyback off an account you already have.  Google is a bit more aggressive. If you arrive at a website, it thinks you should use Google to sign into then you get a pop-up message. Just sign in. This is before you even decide it's a website you want to register with. It's tempting just to click on OK.  I found this annoying. You can get rid of constant requests to "sign in with Google". Go to your Google account security page ,  then find the section "Signing in to other sites", select "signing in with Google", turn off "Google Account sign-in prompt

Streaming

 Not so long ago you could have a Netflix subscription and get a huge catalogue of video content. Content producers were selling old shows in bulk and even some of the new shows. The combination of regular TV plus Netflix was enough.  However, everyone else noticed that Netflix was attracting subscriptions. Subscription TV on demand became popular as connection speed grew, and the technology improved. Watching content on the train or bus during a commute became a thing.  Slowly new services offering exclusive content arrived. Netflix already knew this was going to happen, so they started creating their own content like House of Cards . Must see shows brought people in. We now have Disney+ , Paramount+ , and more. The offer from Amazon is their Prime Membership. Delivery and TV. The offer from Apple is part of the range of services that make up their ecosystem of hardware and software.  There are others. Some localised to markets like the USA. When you add it all up these services cost

Mastodon

It could be an extinct beast like an elephant . A rock band . However, in the weeks following Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter , it is known for being a Twitter-like social network. Twitter follows in the line of social media companies run by billionaires. Meta , the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, is the plaything of Mark Zuckerberg. It has billions of users. By comparison, Twitter is the small network with just 300 million. Elon Musk paid $44 billion for Twitter. What has followed has been chaos. Highly individual CEOs often leads to eccentric decision making. Some would say decisive decision making.  Some users have Twitter have decided that looking for an alternative social experience is now required. One option is the social network called Mastodon . If you sign up, you get a similar experience to Twitter. Without the advertisements. Signing up may be the first complexity.  With most traditional social accounts, you are signing up to a single entity. Mastodo

Double Figures

There used to be some certainty in the PC market. Microsoft and Windows would have a share of the market north of 90% and the rest would struggle at low single figure digits.  That was the rule. Columnists would rank the Mac below that of PCs because of sales. Everyone had a PC. Everyone used Windows. Macs were too expensive, too incompatible, too niche.  The world went mobile. The device in your pocket was your PC. Consumers gravitated to Google and Apple's mobile environment. The PC became one of the minority citizens in the consumer world. Microsoft withdrew from much of the consumer market to concentrate on enterprise products.  Apart from the pandemic years PC sales have had a steady decline. Retail has reduced the space in electronics stores for the PC. Several traditional electronics stores have gone out of business. Meanwhile Apple have upped their retail offering. Apple Stores and sales points within stores have made the Apple buying experience superior to the lines of dif

Everything

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Elon Musk , the new CEO of Twitter , isn't short of ambition. He wants his new purchase to be an everything app. Right now, it is a something app. It's a microblog with 280 characters for a posting. Each posting is referred to as a tweet. Each post is supposed to be answering one question - what is happening? Musk isn't thinking of something new. The Chinese app WeChat , created by the megacorp Tencent , is exactly that for the Chinese market.  WeChat started with Instant Messaging. It then evolved. Now it's also a bank, online shopping, personal payment system, food delivery service and more. It is an essential daily app for most Chinese citizens. Can Musk bring the concept to the west via Twitter? He seems to want to. Twitter's current selling point is that it is a place for news, brands, journalism, and speech. It would take a lot to increase usage to a tipping point where it becomes an everything app for every consumer. Most consumers are happier with different

Twitter 2.0

 Elon Musk , the new owner of Twitter , has declared that his version of the social media platform will be Twitter 2.0 .  Commentators are unsure of what this means or whether Elon Musk even has a plan for Twitter,  We do know he spent $44 billion on Twitter. Several analysts say that Twitter may have been worth about $25 billion. We also know that Musk tried to backtrack on his offer, only court action to enforce the legal terms of the purchase seems to have forced Musk to go ahead. It is reported that $13 billion of the money he paid for the company was in loans that have now been put on the Twitter balance sheet. Loan repayments are expected to be $1 billion per year.  Twitter has only made profits in two of the last ten years. Paying $1 billion a year on loans will be challenging. Most of Twitter's income, like most of the "free internet", comes from advertising.  Musk says that he wants half of Twitter's income from subscriptions rather than advertising. He has a