The climate issue

Climate change: a survivor's guide

Time to start talking less about the technology for preventing global warming and more about the technology we’ll need to live with it.

Samsung Coin? According to a new report, it might be on its way....

The news: First, the company is working on its own blockchain. There aren’t many details, but an anonymous source “familiar with Samsung’s internal situation” told CoinDesk that the South Korean company is building its own private Ethereum-based blockchain. Once it completes this experimental project, it may even launch its own token, according to the source.

A crypto-token for its crypto-phone? The newest version of Samsung’s Galaxy S10 smartphone includes a cryptocurrency wallet, software that stores private cryptographic keys, that is compatible with Ethereum-based tokens. The Galaxy S10 will also support blockchain-based “decentralized applications” (commonly called dapps). In that light, it would not be surprising if the company intends to get into the blockchain game itself.

Yet another big player going crypto: If Samsung is really building its own blockchain and cryptocurrency, it joins a growing list of big corporations that are doing the same. So far these include Facebook, JPMorgan, Japanese messaging service Line, and Japan’s biggest bank, MUFG. And given the blockchain-focused features in its flagship Galaxy S10, which has more than 40 million users, the company seems convinced the strategy will resonate with more than just crypto-enthusiasts.

Keep up with the fast-moving and sometimes baffling world of cryptocurrencies and blockchains with our twice-weekly newsletter Chain Letter. Subscribe here. It’s free!

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Computing

Alphabet’s drone spinoff has been cleared to launch deliveries in the US

Wing has become the first drone delivery company to be certified as an airline by US authorities, paving the way for it to start delivering packages to customers.

What’s happened: Wing has received Air Carrier Certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration. That means it can begin a commercial service delivering goods from local businesses to homes....

Testing: Wing launched (a very small-scale) version of this exact service in Australia at the start of the month. Now that it’s been cleared by the FAA, it plans to launch a delivery service in the US later this year, starting in two areas in Virginia: Blacksburg and Christiansburg. It’s been doing tests in these locations in recent months.

Is this really a first? Eagle-eyed readers may be confused about competing claims, given that UPS launched a medical sample delivery service at a hospital site in March. The difference with Wing’s service is that it will be larger-scale, and consumer-facing.

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2019