Big Tech &
MoviePass Has Officially Shut Down, And We Don't Know If There Will Be A Sequel (3 minute read)
MoviePass, the subscription service where users could watch as many movies as they wanted for $9.95 a month, has shut down. When MoviePass launched, subscriptions were around $40 a month, but the price lowered as the number of subscribers increased, resulting in large losses for the company. MoviePass executives had hoped that studios would use the service to promote their films and monetize data from subscribers, but that never happened. Eventually, the company ran out of cash and was surviving on loans. It resorted to restricting the number of movies subscribers could watch, among other tactics. Existing subscribers will be given appropriate refunds for the period of service they have paid for.
France and Germany agree to block Facebook's Libra (1 minute read)
France and Germany have agreed to block Facebook's Libra currency, stating that no private entity can claim monetary power, which is inherent to the sovereignty of nations. Concerns still persist about sovereignty and financial risks in Europe, so introducing a new cryptocurrency should not be allowed.
Huge space hotel promises fake gravity and 'supersized basketball' (6 minute read)
Space hotels will soon become a reality, with NASA opening up the International Space Station to tourists in 2020, the opening of the Aurora Station planned for 2022, and the Gateway Foundation recently announcing the Von Braun Rotating Space Station, a space-based cruise ship which can accommodate 100 guests and three times as many crew members. The foundation aims to have the facility open by 2027. A 12-day stay on board the Aurora Station will cost $9.5 million including transportation. Prices for the Von Braun Station have not yet been determined. Seven people have paid Russia more than $20 million each to spend time on the ISS. The Von Braun Station will have artificial gravity, meaning that guests will be able to move about normally. There are safety concerns, as space debris could potentially damage spacecraft.
China is about to launch its own digital currency. Here’s what we know so far (3 minute read)
The People's Bank in China is rumored to be almost ready to launch a digital version of the renminbi. It is unknown whether it will use blockchain technology or how private the system will be. The announcement of Facebook's Libra has apparently accelerated China's plan to roll out its own digital currency. China aims to use the currency to protect its monetary sovereignty. There are many electronic payment methods in China already, with private companies handling trillions of dollars' worth of transactions per quarter. A government-owned currency would be more secure in the case of a private company declaring bankruptcy. The currency is likely to be similar to Libra. China aims to strike a balance between anonymous payments and preventing money laundering. The new digital tokens will be able to be used without an internet connection.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Ask HN: Where can I find remote or quality oriented freelancing work? (Hacker News Thread)
As a developer, finding freelance work can be difficult, especially with popular freelancing platforms being flooded with low-quality programmers who place low bids to win projects. While there are many sources and avenues to find employment, the key is to develop sales skills and set yourself apart from the crowd. Employers and companies receive applications all the time, and if an application is generic, it is easy to ignore. Being proactive by creating a portfolio of work and then presenting it correctly will help developers gain more higher-quality jobs than just exploring new job platforms or randomly contacting potential employers.
Disney CEO Bob Iger has resigned from Apple’s board (2 minute read)
Disney CEO Bob Iger resigned from Apple's board on September 10, the same day that Apple unveiled the launch date and subscription price for the Apple TV Plus. The introduction of the Apple TV Plus service officially makes Apple and Disney competitors, with Disney launching Disney+ on November 12. Iger's departure from Apple's board is similar to when Google CEO Eric Schmidt left after Android became a competitor to the iPhone. Apple TV Plus will launch on November 1 with nine titles for $4.99 a month.