Latest stories of our network
A Digital Home Sweet Home
How many people you know started self or home improvement projects when the quarantine started? We were all stuck at home and trying to find something productive to do with our time, besides finally getting through the Netflix watchlist. In fact, "DIY home improvement projects" and "smart home" had a worldwide search peak on Google in April – right in the time when a lot of shops, restaurants, and bars were closed, and a lot of people had to spend their time indoors. So, it seems creating the right personal comfort zone is more than just having the perfect outdoor pouf for your balcony: With today's technology we have the opportunity to create a comfort zone online which translates into our offline world and it feels just like magic. Have a look at our tips and find out how you can create your own digital comfort zone and feel safe and sound online.
1. Convenience through Automation
Do you not love to be wakened by the sun rising, birds chirping, and the smell of freshly brewed coffee? With the right smart helpers, you can recreate beautiful Tuscany mornings in your own apartment in the middle of the largest cities. I use Alexa to automate some of my routines and make my life more convenient. All you need for the perfect Tuscany morning routine is a smart light, a normal coffee machine connected to a smart power switch, and your favorite sound to wake up to. I personally prefer bird sounds, as they annoy me the least in the morning. And then all that is left to do is to choose the settings on the Alexa app, like gradually brighten the light, have the birds chiming in. When I am done getting ready, my coffee has already been brewed and I can have some relaxing time for myself, drinking my coffee until I have to leave the house and get to work. You can create your smart routines with any assistant, be it from Google or Microsoft.
2. Use Productivity Apps
When I get too comfortable, I tend to slack and procrastinate. Which makes me feel unproductive and therefore less comfortable. To avoid this I tried using bulletin journals to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but this did not really work for me. A simple yet effective way for me is using productivity apps. Simple habit trackers such as HabitNow (Android) or Momentum Habit Tracker (iOS). If you don't want to use an app you can also organize your habits via Google calendar. I prefer it because let's face it, Google already has all my data and it plans the time I want to use for my goals, according to my free time in the calendar. Just press on the "plus" on your Google calendar app and choose "Goal". The system will then guide you through the target creation process.
3. Use the right hardware and software for you!Photo by James McDonald on Unsplash
It doesn't matter if you are an iOS, Android, Microsoft, or Linux user: use the right products for you. Check online and with your friends for recommendations, but in the end, it is you who has to use them. Make sure your devices are compatible with each other, so you are able to connect them with your smart assistant. Also, make sure your data is protected by keeping your software up to date and only chose trusted providers.
4. Have fun!
Another very important part: Do not forget to have fun with your smart assistant. Playing with your devices and trying out new things and skills is always the best way to understand what their real potentials are to make your life more convenient. Plus, what is comfort without the right amount of humor?
Ultra-fast gaming and the sports of tomorrow, with Break the Record's Fredrik Lidholt
Completing a game more quickly than opponents is the goal of the esport of speedrunning. It could be Super Mario, Doom or any other game. This week we'll see which elite players can break the speed record playing Minecraft.
Speed is the name of the game
The Break the Record Live Series is a live-streamed event where elite gamers compete to be the fastest ever player. Next week, they'll try to break the Minecraft speed-playing record. The brains behind Break the Record, Fredrik Lidholt (aka Edenal) chats about the future of esports with Marco Preuss and Rainer Bock in the latest episode of Unlocked.
Find out more about next week's Minecraft event here!
Intro to cryptoart and non-fungible tokens (NFTS)
A non-fungible token (NFT) of digital kitten art sold for 170,000 US dollars. These tokens could change how we buy, sell and own digital media. What are they, and could they build a new creative economy? To start, check out the video above from CNBC!
Is this the art of true ownership in the digital age?
Most of us can make a GIF, take a picture or record a clip, but what if you could sell those and other digital media for hundreds of thousands of dollars? With the rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), pictures, short clips of comedians, GIFs and every other form of digital art is now being tokenized and sold just like a physical painting.
What is an NFT?
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are a digital certificate of ownership of a piece of digital information that can be bought and sold. It works the same way as cryptocurrency: Secure transactions made between two parties recorded permanently through blockchain. The difference is, with bitcoin – a popular cryptocurrency using blockchain – you can trade one coin for the other and it has the same value, but NFTs are one-of-a-kind. Each NFT is unique and can have a different value.
You can make NFTs of almost anything digital, but the big news is they're starting to be used to buy and sell digital art, known as cryptoart.
Why NFTs can benefit digital artists and art buyers
Uniqueness has always been central to the art market. Digital art is hard to sell, and for buyers, hard to 'own' because of the potential for an infinite number of copies. NFTs could solve that problem.
For creators, NFTs are super trendy and therefore add to your enigmatic status, and they have a handy sell-on feature. If you sell a GIF using NFTs, you get a percentage every time the NFT is sold to a new buyer. Imagine Van Gogh selling a painting, then getting a slice of every resale, forever.
And if you're a buyer, you have a concrete claim of owning a piece of digital art. And speaking of buying, you might want to see this.
A world gone mad for NFTs
The best way to understand the NFT market explosion is to see some pieces that have fetched crazy sums. Brace yourself.
This Nyan Cat GIF sold for almost $600,000 US dollars.
Grimes - The NFT goldrush continues
This 50-second video by Grimes sold for almost $390,000.
Watch the video here.
Beeple - Authenticated by blockchain
This video by Beeple sold for $6.6 million.
Watch the video here.
Crypto financial and environmental impacts
Many financial experts have warned that this could be an investment bubble that, if it bursts, could mean big losses.And while NFTs are making the digital art world fairer, they come with a warning. The sale of a crypto art piece can use the same amount of energy in one transaction as an art studio uses in two years.
How artists can benefit
If you're an aspiring or established artist or content creator, no promises, but this could be big for you. First, prepare your work ready, whether it's a GIF, picture or video. Then, when you're happy with it, start on NIfty Gateway. On Nifty Gateway, you can apply to create a project for them to sell.