Trending December 2023 # Caroline Ellison, Hate, Misogyny, Ftx, And The Media – Making Sense Of It All # Suggested January 2024 # Top 19 Popular

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There is something unequivocally spellbinding about the bear market. It reveals investors’ prudence and flushes out faint-hearted tourists. You can look at it as a catharsis of sorts. Above all that, it also reveals a lot of character. Both good and bad.

In a hawkish environment, you see retailers spewing hate at bear-mongers. And, in most cases, the hate is somewhat justified. The SBF-Caroline Ellison case is no different.

Read Bitcoin’s [BTC] Price Prediction 2023-24

Down the rabbit hole

The fall of FTX from its lofty heights has sent a ripple effect across the entire crypto industry. There’s a good reason why Sam Bankman-Fried (Founder and former CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX) and Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison are receiving Satanic hate on social media platforms, particularly Twitter.

Consider this – The FTX debacle led to more than $180 billion being wiped out from the crypto-market in a matter of a few days.

Unsurprisingly, the latest domino to fall might be the digital-asset brokerage Genesis, which is struggling to raise fresh cash for its lending unit. In fact, it is even warning potential investors that it may need to file for bankruptcy if its efforts don’t materialize.

However, amidst all the chaos, one thing has been pretty constant – HATE. After the FTX case came to light, there was a korero that someone is “funding a media campaign to influence the narrative around the FTX crew.”

I believe someone is funding a media campaign to influence the narrative around the FTX crew – who should be seen as nothing short of supervillains.

— FatMan (@FatManTerra) November 19, 2023

This followed after a couple of journalists paid attention to the difference in the kind of treatment both SBF and Ellison were receiving on social media platforms. According to Fiona Smith, the founder of The Millennial Money Woman,

“While it’s understandable that both SBF and Caroline are getting the heat on social media and other online platforms, it seems that Caroline is getting more negative criticism than perhaps SBF.”

Investors’ dislike towards both the culprits is pretty justified given their criminal actions. However, it is clear that much of the criticism directed at Caroline Ellison is becoming less and less constructive with every passing day. In fact, it now ranges from being patronizing to being simply sexist and misogynistic.

Caroline Ellison is the Quasimodo of Ghislaine Maxwells

— Darren J. Beattie 🌐 (@DarrenJBeattie) November 18, 2023

There’s something just viscerally repulsive about Bankman-Fried and Caroline Ellison. I don’t just mean their physical appearance.

— Sohrab Ahmari (@SohrabAhmari) November 18, 2023

Even when people have pointed out the disturbing overtones of this recent criticism, some have simply doubled down. Consider this tweet, for instance.

I’m very worried that the misogynistic blowback against Caroline Ellison is going to stop other talented young women from entering the crypto space and running massive scams that ruin millions of lives

— Daniel (@growing_daniel) November 14, 2023

On the contrary, there are some who claim that the media, in general, is refusing to condemn SBF and Ellison because there was some sort of a political angle to it. What the truth is, however, is unknown as of now.

The full facts of this case are yet to be brought to the fore. And yet, each and every little nugget of info related to Caroline Ellison’s personal life is already a part of the crypto-discourse.

— Ahsan (@ahsanmeister) November 13, 2023

With FTX filing for bankruptcy, most in the crypto community are in the dark about what happens now. They long for closure and want to put this whole episode behind them.

However, while they wait for that closure, it would seem that Ellison’s personal life is being exploited to satiate the anger and voyeurism of the community.

A similar opinion was shared by Fiona Smith too, with the exec claiming,

“The scrutiny should be focused on what led to the downfall of both FTX and Alameda. It’s important to understand the context of why people like Caroline and SBF made the decisions they did – and why no one else decided to intervene or at least question their decision-making skills. However, I don’t think it’s necessary to exploit someone else’s personal information as long as that personal information does not contribute toward making a verdict in the investigation itself.”

Well, she is right.

Prima facie, it does look like Caroline Ellison has a lot to answer for. An investigation is likely to prove so too. That is enough. There should be no excuse for the sexist, misogynistic abuse she has been facing from many over the last few weeks.

Needless to say, her case has somewhat empowered those who question ‘financial feminism.’ Nevertheless, it’s worth pointing out that the entire trolling campaign against her harks back to the question – ‘Why are there so few women in crypto?’

Houston, we have a gender problem

The gendered socio-technical relations surrounding blockchain, as exemplified by discourses and practices at meet-ups and conferences, is really a matter of examination.

Like many other technological spaces, blockchain and crypto have a gender problem.

Even so, more women are awakening to the utility of blockchain and crypto. According to BlockFi’s survey, for instance, conducted ahead of International Women’s Day in 2023, the number of women investors in cryptocurrency is on the rise.

While 33% of the women surveyed were keen to buy crypto-assets in 2023, around 60% of them intended to do so within the next few months.

Why aren’t women disrupting crypto in numbers yet?

Here, it’s worth pointing out that the aforementioned survey looked at women only through the prism of cryptocurrency investing. What about women in executive roles? What about women who are actively engaged in their roles as disruptors in the higher echelons of the crypto and blockchain space?

Well, as per a research paper authored by Julie Frizzo-Barker,

“According to a recent study of 100 blockchain startups, only 14% of employees were women, and among those just 7% were in leadership roles (Custer, 2023). In its short history as the decentralized technology beneath cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (Nakamoto, 2009), blockchain’s male-dominated sphere has fueled stereotypes such as the ‘Bitcoin Bros’ (Bowles, 2023).”

The paper also went on to divulge one ‘extreme detail’ to point out this gender disparity, one associated with a Bitcoin Conference in Miami a few years ago,

“In one extreme example of crypto culture at its worst, at a recent North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami, three of the 88 speakers were women and the event concluded with a party at a strip club (Primack, 2023).”

Similarly, a Quartz study from 2023 found,

“Of the 378 venture-backed crypto and blockchain companies founded globally from January 2012 through January 2023, only one (0.3%) had an all-female founding team and 31 (8.2%) had a combination of male and female founders, according to Pitchbook. During the same period, 17.7% of all tech companies had at least one female founder.”

Not just that, women such as Cathie Wood, Elizabeth Stark, Kathleen Breitman, and Laura Shin, among others, have emerged too. They have been educating female crypto-holders about financial freedom and due diligence before investing in higher-risk alternative assets like crypto.

Hence, the question – Has anything changed in 2023? Well, probably not.

Consider this – While women’s employment in the technological sector has grown steadily over the years (20% for all positions), fewer than 5% of cryptocurrency investors, developers, and entrepreneurs are women. Simply put, the disparity we discussed previously still exists and it’s a wide one.

Why are there so few women? Well, the answer might lie in the nature of the crypto space and how people use social media these days.

The crypto-sector is unlike other technological spaces, or any other space really. What makes its community different is that it exists, almost entirely, virtually.

Apart from a minor few, most in the community are comfortable working behind an anonymous name and a colourful avatar. Now, for some, that is the beauty of the crypto space. However, that very nature comes with its own limitations, with women often finding it out the hard way.

Historically, anon-dominated spaces have been very hostile towards women. Whether it is Reddit or 4chan, anonymity has often been a shield trolls have used to target women. Since spaces and platforms don’t exist in a vacuum, the same can be said about crypto’s online community too.

Now, there will be those who say that the crypto space is friendlier than most. And, there is an argument to be made there. However, the nature of the backlash Caroline Ellison has received over the past few weeks would suggest otherwise.

And, that is the whole point. The FTX episode is evidence of gross mismanagement and perhaps, even fraud on SBF and Caroline Ellison’s part. However, the community’s reaction to the same is evidence of how misogynistic discourse in the crypto-community can be too. Nothing highlights it more than how different the nature of abuse directed against Ellison is, in comparison to SBF.

At this point, it would be easy to dismiss these reactions as ‘knee-jerk’ or as anomalies. However, that is not the case either.

For instance, an Amnesty International report a few years ago found that over 45% of the surveyed women had been the target of cyber harassment of a sexist or misogynistic nature. In fact, 36% of these respondents in the U.K. went as far as claiming that they felt their physical safety would be harmed.

Similarly, an 11-year analysis of online harassment revealed that women made up over 72% of all victims. Another report found that,

“… women who have been harassed online are more than twice as likely as men to say they were extremely or very upset by their most recent encounter (34% vs. 14%). Conversely, 61% of men who have been harassed online say they were not at all or a little upset by their most recent incident, while 36% of women said the same.”

Simply put, the misogynistic and sexist hate directed at Ellison isn’t something that was born out of the blue. Instead, it’s a product of where social media is right now. Despite everything, the crypto-community isn’t immune to those tendencies either. And, those tendencies have reared an ugly face over the last few weeks.

What’s the way forward for women in crypto?

While the FTX debacle is still unfolding, it’s important to note that women in the crypto space have a long way to go. Fiona Smith perhaps put it best when she said,

“Women, even more so than men, need to make sure they cover all their bases before they invest their hard-earned money in crypto. That’s because women live longer, they often earn less due to the wage gap, and they also are often left with health care expenses from taking care of their kids, elderly parents, or spouses. For these three reasons, it’s even more critical for women to do their research before investing in cryptocurrency.”

She added,

“However, I think women will likely continue investing in crypto, but perhaps with some more apprehension and diligence. I also think that women will likely aim to diversify their crypto investments across multiple platforms because SBF and Caroline’s empire was the broker, the trader, the lender, and the custodian all in one.”

But, woefully, cryptocurrency-based approaches to development have majorly relied on foundations that are gendered.

The current circumstances explicitly show great similarity in the new model of decentralized finance to the old problematic trends of traditional finance.

Statistics and data sets reveal how the crypto industry has so far failed to deliver on the promises of participation, lowering financial barriers, and empowerment, in women’s cases particularly.

And yet, the situation can surely be expected to change. And, in the name of #WAGMI (We are all gonna make it), we shouldn’t give up on hope.

You're reading Caroline Ellison, Hate, Misogyny, Ftx, And The Media – Making Sense Of It All

Making Sense Of The Oddities Of Apple’s Usb

Apple’s USB-C chargers have caused significant confusion over what they can and can’t power. For example, the 29W power brick can’t charge the MagSafe Duo, despite it drawing only 15W. Similarly, the 18W charger supplied with last year’s iPhone 11 Pro couldn’t – initially – charge the HomePod mini …

Apple solved the latter problem last week with a software update, in version 14.3.

Part of the issue is whether or not a charger supports a protocol known as USB-C Power Delivery, usually abbreviated to USB-C PD – and if so, which version? This is a method by which a charger and the device connected to it negotiate the power that will be supplied in terms of both volts and amps.

That was the issue with the 29W power brick: it didn’t support USB-C PD 2.0 or 3.0, so although the charger was capable of delivering enough power, it wasn’t able to respond to the MagSafe charger’s request.

With Apple’s 18W charger, the issue again wasn’t lack of power, but the inability of the two devices to negotiate the exact voltage and amperage required. Apple has apparently fixed this by allowing the HomePod to request a suitable combination which the charger can provide.

Daring Fireball has a good explanation of how this sort of issue arises by looking back at the 29W versus 30W charger situation with the Magic Keyboard for iPad.

I originally wrote that passthrough charging via the Smart Connector was slow. But other reviewers saw passthrough charging speeds that were as fast or nearly as fast as connecting the iPad directly to the charger. I checked with Apple and they confirmed that passthrough charging should not be slow, and I should make sure I was using the power adapter that came with the iPad Pro.

My mistake was using Apple’s slightly older 29W USB-C power adapter, which looks exactly like Apple’s more recent 30W USB-C power adapter. We’ve had that adapter plugged into our kitchen island for years, and it’s never before mattered. But with the Magic Keyboard, it did.

Turns out Apple’s 29W USB-C adapter is weird and limited. It only outputs two configurations: 14.5V × 2A = 29W (the maximum), or 5.2V × 2.4A = 12.48W. The iPad Magic Keyboard accepts for high-power input 9V × 3A = 27W, but Apple’s 29W adapter can’t supply that. Apple’s 30W USB-C adapter, on the other hand, supplies a slew of output options:

20V × 1.5A = 30W

15V × 2A = 30W

9V × 3A = 27W (bingo for the Magic Keyboard)

5V × 3A = 15W

Gruber notes that even this explanation is somewhat simplified: the amperage is a maximum, so a charger will work fine with a device that requests a supported voltage at less than the available amperage. But if it can’t provide the voltage requested, or cannot understand the message asking for it, then it won’t work.

The mess with Apple’s USB-C chargers also applies to third-party ones, and power banks: the safest bet is to ensure they support the latest Power Delivery standard, which is currently USB-C PD 3.0.

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Making Effective Use Of Windows Action Center

You probably have seen it running, but you are not sure what is it and where is it located. The Windows Action Center is the place that monitor your system and keep it running smoothly. If you have seen a white flag showing up in the system tray, that is when the Windows Action Center is working in the background.

Opening the Windows Action Center

In Windows 7 and Windows 8, Action Center works quietly in the background. It keeps on running as a service (WSCSVC Windows Security Center) and alerts the users from the system tray. It will show a white flag in the system tray when there is an alert available.

If you are using Windows 8, you can simply search for “Action Center”.

Alternatively, you can open the Windows Action Center from the Control Panel under “System and Security”.

You can also open Action Center using the shell command. Just run the following command through run dialog:





This can be useful for software developers who want to open the Action Center right from their programs.

Disabling the Action Center Notification

The Action Center doesn’t work well all the times. Sometimes, it can display the wrong information. For example, if you have installed an antivirus which is not detected by Action Center, it will display an alert (saying that you are not protected) even though you have the latest updated protection installed in your computer. In this case, you can configure the Action Center so that it does not alert you for that specific item.

To turn off or disable Windows Action Center completely:

1. Open Action Center.

3. Uncheck all the items, or specific items that you want disabled.

One thing to note is that this doesn’t prevent the icon from showing up in the system tray. To remove the icon:

3. In the right hand pane, find and enable “Remove the Action Center icon”.

This will prevent the Action Center system tray icon from appearing again.

Finally, you will need to disable the Security Center service from Windows Services in order to make sure that Action Center is not taking any resources if it’s not running.

Unless you are connected to a corporate network, it is not recommended to turn off the Windows Action Center. However, there are some settings that you can tweak to make sure your computer is running smoothly.

Automatic maintenance

Automatic maintenance includes tasks like software updates, security scanning and system diagnostics. By default, automatic maintenance runs at 3 AM daily. If your computer is not running all the time, you should set the automatic maintenance to run when your system is running. This will make sure that all the maintenance tasks are run properly, and the Action Center will notify you of any problems in a timely manner. To change the automatic maintenance schedule, do the following:

Adjust User Account Control

User Account Control notifies the users of any programs that are making changes to important parts of the computer.

By default, User Account Control is set to notifying only when apps try to make changes to the computer. It will dim the Desktop and display a warning dialog. This can be annoying, but can be adjusted accordingly.

To make appropriate changes, go to Action Center and select “Change User Account Control settings” from the pane on the left. Move the slider to whatever setting you are comfortable with. Just make sure that you are not turning it off, as this will make your computer vulnerable to spyware and other malware. One thing though, don’t over-reliable on the UAC protect your computer, as it can give you a false security.

Trust This PC

In Windows 8, Microsoft has given an option to connect and log in with your Microsoft account instead of the local Windows account. Using the Microsoft account, you can make your PC trustworthy in the eyes of Microsoft. This will make sure that all the user credentials for apps, websites and networks are synchronized in the cloud using SkyDrive. After synchronization, you will be able to use the same saved user credentials if you log in to another Windows computer using your Microsoft ID.


Windows Action Center can help to monitor your computer and make sure that it is running smoothly without any security threats and other problems. Understanding the use of Action Center and tweaking it a little bit will make you understand your system better, leading to you being able to resolve issues in a timely manner.

Have you ever played with the Action Center? Do you even know its existence?

Usman Khurshid

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The Influence Of Social Media Stories On Digital Marketing

Media Stories is the most recent in a line that includes, to mention a few, Snapchat Stories, Instagram Stories, and fb stories that are newly launched. It allows us to construct a viewpoint and engage with friends, businesses, and acquaintances on a greater scale.

As a result, almost all online communities have developed unique methods of generating social media stories.

The far more essential thing is that all platforms have this capability, even though many often concentrate on platforms stealing the feature from one another.

Not so long back, everybody hailed Fb’s feed and Instagram posts as the new areas marketers should forge ahead and capture. Every day, every one of us consumes various types of material. Numerous individuals now consider stories to have become an essential component of their daily life.

Stories on social media outweigh posts

Memories of those occasions in life we’ve recorded and exchanged with our connections have consistently been at the center of social media.

Customized profiles help organize these to a certain extent, however, the social media feed is still where folks go to stay connected and updated with the latest happenings in other’s life.

Stories additionally build the approaches besides the posts, which most often create a storyline and form an equation. The story’s features may emerge out of sequence, which attracts a particular type of individual section or business.

There’s rarely a strong indication that everything will occur in sequence, if it happens at all, even if you’re allowed to anticipate that even if we responded to either thing with a positive user experience, we might have more to say about it. Whereas in posts, you cannot clearly state what the moment is all about until or unless the right caption is provided.

Such issues are resolved by stories by maintaining as well as weaving the storyline altogether.

How to use stories to boost your company’s visibility?

Sync up your posts and stories

Activate your @ (your personal website/domain)

Smooth development

Think of Stories as a gateway

Engage your Audience

Manage story Highlights

How do businesses use stories?

Stories are another strategy used by companies that are successful on social media to:

Inform clients about their names and offerings.

The simplest and finest method for remaining in contact with the people you serve throughout the day is through social media story marketing.

This is a fantastic method for exchanging information with your audience.

Additionally, because Stories are only available for 24 hours before disappearing, marketers are able to consistently produce fresh content without overwhelming their audience with a backlog of articles to read.

The popularity of this bite-sized material on social networking sites is on the rise as it helps people to outgrow their boredom and meanwhile, business catch their attention and share attractive offerings with them which may make them feel interested in them.

Convenience and usability are the keys

After it made its debut, Instagram Stories hindered the expansion of Snapchat’s audience, primarily due to the platform’s larger user community plus its simpler interface than Snapchat.

Instagram has an additional benefit in this area because Facebook is already home to a large user base. Every site has its specific user demographics and behaviors, which again will affect the kinds of tales that were already conveyed and the manner in which the tools function.

Like its competitor Facebook, Twitter has withdrawn the highly publicized Moments feature from the application’s main menu. this is a sign that they kept the tool out of people’s control for too long because by the time users could build their custom Moments, almost everyone had found some great methods of achieving it from somewhere else. Even so, it continues to be a valuable tool for separating relevant information from irrelevant noise.

Social media marketers really have to appreciate this component’s importance

How to engage customers through Stories?

Know your concentration span: People who use social media are changing how they prioritize spontaneity and accessibility while watching stories as a result of shorter attention spans. Considering the average person’s focus and concentration is only eight seconds, it’s critical to provide brief, captivating material with a terrific catch that grabs readers’ immediate interest. Take care to maintain the story’s wording brief and to stick the content’s major emphasis on just one concept.

Make your content exciting & original: You are reluctant to consistently offer identical material, as you risk losing your audience’s attention. Concentrate on developing original content concepts or inventive methods to present existing content. For instance, one might use Quiz formats, post backstage footage, run surveys, execute employee acquisition, and more when you’re utilizing Instagram Stories in order to assist your audience get to your organization more closely and provide a much more intimate, interactive experience.

Promote future initiatives: Offer your social media followers a sneak preview of future activities, initiatives, or product releases! In addition to creating curiosity about your business by keeping your audience “in the know,” you can also utilize constant updates and teasers to generate anticipation for the venture you will finally launch or reveal.

Use GIFs and virtual reality: GIFs and virtual reality experiments provide excellent social media story material! You may grab the interest of the audience in just a few milliseconds regardless of whether you employ AR camera features or add GIFs to your material. AR is an emerging storytelling tool that gives marketers lots of options to create stories truly distinctively, and businesses have experienced traction using it. GIFs can also be utilized to infuse content with extra flair.

Use GIFs and virtual reality: GIFs and virtual reality experiments provide excellent social media story material! You may grab the interest of the audience in just a few milliseconds regardless of whether you employ AR camera features or add GIFs to your material. AR is an emerging storytelling tool that gives marketers lots of options to create stories truly distinctively, and businesses have experienced traction using it. GIFs can also be utilized to infuse content with extra flair.

Make use of location filters: If you have a local business aiming to attract more local clients, including geographical controls to stories material can be a great way to increase brand recognition digitally. To just let your viewers know about your whereabouts, use location tags, filters, or stickers on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. Such filters may additionally be employed to locate user-generated content that has your location tagged in it.

Including closed hashtags: Your stories must have closed captioning in order to make browsing more open and collaborative. Without any additional sound, such captions aid in understanding your audience. If someone is interested in viewing your narrative but is in a noise-sensitive environment, they might not be able to hear or comprehend what you’re trying to say. They can more readily ingest the content of your articles thanks to subtitles.


The three pillars of social media are interaction, familiarity, and narrative. It’s not surprising that Stories have become so popular.

Regardless of whether you run a small business, a start-up, or an established company, Stories are increasingly replacing other content delivery methods as the go-to method for connecting with your target audience.

After all, communicating your company’s narrative is at the heart of branding and marketing. An effective, approachable way to do this is through stories.

Humans Have A Better Sense Of Smell Than You Think

“Most people with a healthy sense of smell can smell almost anything that gets in the nose,” said John MacGann, an associate professor of neuroscience at Rutgers University. “In fact, there used to be whole field of trying to find odors that people couldn’t smell.”

Used to be, because thanks to our roughly 400 smell receptors, finding things humans couldn’t smell was a bit of a fool’s errand. Humans, as McGann makes clear in a review paper published today in the journal Science, are actually quite phenomenal sniffers.

If you think this flies in the face of conventional wisdom, you’re not wrong—but conventional wisdom is. You have Paul Broca, a 19th-century anthropologist and anatomist, to thank for the error. Back then Broca, whose name now adorns the region of the brain devoted to speech, had something of a feud with the Catholic Church. They hated him for “pushing atheisms and materialism,” and as a result Broca felt the need to double down on his reductionist view—that is, the idea that any complex phenomenon can be explained by analyzing its simplest mechanisms.

In this case, the mechanism was the olfactory bulb, a brain structure that receives input from sensory neurons devoted to smell located in our nasal passage and sends those signals to the brain. Humans have a smaller olfactory bulb—relative to our brain size—than other animals. When Broca saw that humans not only possess puny olfactory bulbs, but also don’t seem to exhibit certain smell-compelled behaviors (we don’t really run around sniffing each other’s butts the way dogs do) he came to the conclusion that our sense of smell must be lacking. He missed that humans do indeed have some smell seeking behaviors—we tend to sniff our hands after shaking someone else’s hands, for example (whether or not we realize it).

In 1924, McGann notes in his new paper, Charles Herrick wrote in the book Neorological Foundations of Animal Behavior that “the olfactory organs of humans were viewed as ‘greatly reduced, almost vestigial,’ coupled with the idea that ‘the enormously larger apparatus of most other mammals gives them powers far beyond our comprehension.” Even Freud noted that the sense of smell was “usually atrophied in humans.”

And that, friends, is how a misconception becomes a piece of conventional wisdom. Even in the year 2023, most people still think that humans are lousy smellers. But while it is true that our olfactory bulb is smaller relative to the size of our brains than, say, that of rat’s, it’s also true that our olfactory structures are different than those seen in other mammals. Humans have fewer odor receptors, but they’re packed with far more sensory nerve clusters than those seen in rodents. So we do more with the relatively little we have.

Along with some other cerebral differences, these nerve clusters mean we’re not worse smellers than our furry friends. We just smell differently. A dog might be better at detecting urine on a fire hydrant, for example, while a human may be better at detecting the complex notes in a glass of wine. Or at least we think so. As a of yet, no dog has been able to say whether her glass of pinot smelled earthy or if the fruity notes she was detecting were cherry or raspberry.

“People under-appreciate our ability to combine incoming chemicals into single percepts,” said McGann. “If I tell you to imagine the smell of coffee, there’s about 150 different chemicals that come out of coffee into your nose. The combination makes the synthetic percept of coffee. You don’t even have access to the specific pieces, it’s just coffee to you.”

“And if you imagine having a cup of coffee while you’re eating a croissant in a bakery, you’ve got this complicated mixture of smells from the coffee, a complicated mixture of chemicals from the croissant, and it’s all against this very broad complicated background of smells from the bakery, but you can tell them apart,” he added. “Your brain is designed, it seems, to pick out the clusters and combine them into single percepts. We really don’t appreciate how many different chemicals are mixed together to make what we perceive as a smell.”

Not everything you think you know about your nose is false. The popular notion that smell is a tremendous piece of the flavor experience that we get from food is very true. And women tend to be have a better sense of smell in terms of sensitivity, discrimination, and odor detection. It’s a pattern that seems to hold up in rodents, where experiments have removed female rats’ ovaries and found that their sense of smell declined. When scientists removed the testes from male rats, their sense of smell increased.

McGan’s paper includes some other fascinating factoids. While it seems like just about everything we do can damage our sense of hearing, there’s not much you can do to kill your sense of smell—with a few notable exceptions. Smoking is a big smell killer, though you can often regain some of what you’ve lost after quitting. And in 2009, zinc gluconate-containing products designed to be sprayed or swabbed in the nostrils to help fight off colds were found to cause permanent loss of smell.

“There are people who have lost their sense of smell, and it’s traumatic,” said McGan. “It’s upsetting and difficult to lose their sense of smell. And because people kind of shrug and say that smell is not that important in life, there’s sort of a lack of validation and a lack of motivation and interest in finding ways to help. If we can really bust this myth for good, to have everyone understand that smell really is important for humans and it really does influence our lives, then hopefully that will validate the people who are anosmatic [people who can’t smell] and struggling with it. And maybe it’ll help motivate more research or clinical awareness to help those folks.”

It’s 2023 And Blockchain Smartphones Still Make No Sense


Most people will agree that the smartphone industry is in desperate need of disruption. Outside of the foldable market, we’ve seen very little in terms of innovation and feature differentiation over recent years. So when a young startup with a pedigreed team announces that it’s building a smartphone to challenge that status quo, it’s hard not to get a little bit excited.

That’s exactly what happened when we first heard about the privacy-focused OSOM OV1 smartphone last year. In case you’re unfamiliar with the OSOM brand, it’s a new startup established by former Essential employees.

Earlier this week, we finally got to learn more about the OSOM OV1, which has now been delayed to early 2023. The device features high-end, flagship-grade specifications, with a proper $1,000 price tag to match. In a big twist, however, OSOM is no longer marketing the OV1 as its own product. Instead, it has partnered with Solana, a blockchain company.

OSOM has pivoted from making a privacy-centric smartphone to one with blockchain integrations.

The Solana Saga, as it’s now called, promises to include “unique functionality and features tightly integrated with the Solana blockchain”. That’s certainly a massive pivot from OSOM’s initial goal of just delivering a privacy and security-centric Android smartphone. But does this new focus make any sense? Let’s break it down.

Catch up: What is blockchain technology?

Solana expects developers to build cryptocurrency wallets and apps for its upcoming smartphone.

But does the average cryptocurrency user need a dedicated blockchain smartphone to facilitate simple transactions? Not really. You can already use decentralized apps (dApps) on just about any Android device, own NFTs with software wallets, and make cryptocurrency payments via a web browser. Sure, you may sacrifice a bit of security but nobody keeps their life’s savings on a mobile phone anyway.

Regardless of existing options, CEO Anatoly Yakovenko seems to think that Solana has something unique to offer. In a blog post accompanying the Saga’s launch, he wrote:

…Every day, I hear stories of people leaving dinners, conferences, and vacations to get back to their computers and sign important transactions. The mints, trades, listings, and transfers critical to the daily life of crypto-lovers are dragging us away from our lives with others. The only companies with the resources to materialize the self-custody mobile future we’re all dreaming of, Apple and Google, have had no updates to give on their roadmaps for crypto.

In other words, Solana claims that it will do what Google and Apple won’t — bake an entire ecosystem of crypto apps and experiences directly into the phone’s software. Whether that’s a good idea or not remains to be seen.

See also: The best cryptocurrency apps

Why blockchain smartphones don’t make sense

If there’s anything we know for sure, it’s that the demand for blockchain smartphones hasn’t really grown since 2023 when the HTC Exodus first broke cover. In fact, you could argue that it makes even less sense now. Web3 and NFTs have become extremely contentious topics these days and it’s not hard to see why either. Many believe that the market is flooded with half-baked and buggy platforms, or worse, completely fraudulent projects. And Solana has not managed to escape its share of controversy either.

Web3 and NFTs have become contentious topics, making the Solana Saga a controversial smartphone with limited appeal.

Keeping all of this in mind, it’s hard to see a scenario where the Solana Saga succeeds over other $1,000 smartphones. The Galaxy S22 series not only competes in the same price range but also offers Samsung’s long-established Blockchain Keystore. The latter allows you to securely store cryptocurrency and interface with decentralized apps, not too far off from Solana’s pitch. It’s also cryptocurrency-agnostic so you aren’t bound to Solana or any particular blockchain.

Do blockchain smartphones make sense?

655 votes

Back in 2023, we opined that the SIRIN LABS Finney smartphone (pictured above) didn’t make much sense at its $1,000 price tag. Have we come full circle just four years later with the Solana Saga? Only time will tell.

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