MV Journal November 15 - November 29

Since Meta, formerly known as Facebook, announced its Metaverse intents, we’ve seen a significant uptick in the web3 word/expression. Is this the new “Cloud”? Let’s scratch the surface and see what we find out but before that, let’s round up these last few days of humans on earth playing with technology.

  1. News.ceil
  2. Web3?


Let us do it

This week let’s start with one of my favourite brands, Apple. Mr Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, is being pressured from all corners of this earth with lawsuits or threats of new ones, and it seems that precaution is on the table for the brand. In the right to repair domain Apple buckled and launched Self Service Repair to allow home repairs. The program starts with iPhones but will eventually cover MacBooks as well. As we’ve covered here, Mr Kyle Wiens, the CEO of iFixit, a popular do it yourself or DIY repair site, has been vocal about the matter. He’s pushing some governmental bodies to take action against brands that prohibit home repairs. Nevertheless, Apple is still advising consumers to search for certified technicians before diving into the chor.

Reset the board

The winter has come to Blizzard, and it seems that it is here for the long haul. Activision Blizzard employees are drawing a tight circle around the embattled CEO, Mr Bobby Kotick. The last few weeks have been accumulating tension in the company with shareholders calling for his resignation culminating in a new letter signed by more than five hundred employees, promoted by The ABK Aliance, a group of Activision Blizzard King employes. It is hard to see a promising future for Mr Bobby Kotick at Activision Blizzard, but the fight hasn’t ended yet.

Freshly minted Unicorn

Great news for the Portuguese tech scene! SWORD Health, a Portuguese startup that connects physiotherapists and personal trainers with patients. Their programs provide hand-tailored physiotherapy treatments and exercise plans to handle musculoskeletal pain or simply MSK pain as it is commonly referred to. Exercise plans are followed, using specialized equipment and an app that tracks your exercises in real-time. Take a look at their promo video explaining the process. The company successfully closed a Series B funding round for 25 million, increasing the total funding to 50 million and making the company value soar to two billion dollars. Tip of the hat for all of the SWORD Health team. Keep pushing it!

First electric world problems

You’re in a rush. Avoiding those morning jams save you an hour at the end of the day so getting into the road is paramount. You click on your car keys, and a familiar beep comes from the car. You try to open the door, and nothing happens. You try it again. Clicking the car keys a few more times to only get beeps is frustrating. You look at the time, and there goes an extra hour of traffic. This was more or less the feeling of many Tesla owners trying to use their apps to unlock their cars and getting an app error. Sometimes being bleeding-edge makes you bleed or just lose some of your precious time.

Anti Armaggedon

As humans, we understand how feeble is our presence on this planet and how we can wipe ourselves with a few bad decisions. Finally, we got some alignment between the United States government and a private company, SpaceX, to tackle a complex survival problem. How to thwart a collision of a celestial body running towards our tiny corner in this solar system? DART, or Double Asteroid Redirection Test, launched their first test mission last Wednesday. The objective is to deflect the path of an asteroid with a kinetic projectile launched and controlled from the earth. NASA press release explains all the details of this mission but this is a peek tech event from our race. Mr Bruce Willis got much attention after the announcement. We are a weird race.


Spotify, one of the leading streaming services globally, is about to become one of the best audio streaming services in the world! Yes, I’m biased dear reader. As a fan of the audiobook format, I surely applaud Spotify move to buy Findaway, an umbrella company that covers many audio services, including the distribution of digital audiobooks. The value is undisclosed for now, but it will expand the reach of Spotify’s business that already invested heavily in the podcast format. The audio revolution is here and screaming at the consumer’s ears.

Lowering the AMPs

Accelerated Mobile Pages or just AMP is losing momentum. After Google discarded the requisite for their Top Stories feature, Twitter is also rolling back their AMP support and doesn’t redirect users to such pages. AMP was a project led by Google in 2015 that eventually transitioned to open governance in 2018. The idea was to facilitate page loading times for mobile users, increasing the speed of content built with the framework. After the early adopters got their hands into the framework and started creating AMP optimized content, traction was slow to the point of declining in the last couple of years. With Twitter moving away from the technology, it is hard to see a future for AMP that Facebook sidestepped with its accelerated mobile content, Facebook Instant Articles. Time to turn down that AMP volume.

Dear Teachers

I’m going to end this News.ceil section with a small homage to my dear teachers from Nova University. First, my Engineering degree final project supervisor and also known to be the father of the Portuguese Internet service, Mr José Legatheaux. His last class was held in the grand auditorium of my Alma Mater NOVA University FCT. I recently had the chance to listen to some of his hacker feats from an ex-partner in crime that was also part of the Portuguese Internet movement at the end of the last Millenium. The tip of the hat is not enough, and I hope that Mr Legatheaux doesn’t retire completely.

On the other hand, Mr Moniz Pereira retired in 2008 at sixty years old to work, according to his own words. Last week he was the first professor from Nova University to get Emeritus recognition. With more than eight thousand citations in Google Scholar, he was one of the first Artificial Intelligence Researchers in Portugal and one of the main contributors to the Prolog language. A less well-known fact was my presence in his class at the beginning of the century. Live long and prosper, Mr Moniz Pereira.


November 12th

One of my motivations to write about tech, in general, is the pressure to be adequately informed about the world and businesses of my professional domain. It is hard to stay frosty with so many developments and initiatives popping up globally if you’re operating in this field. From Artificial Intelligence to Web frameworks, there’s something shiny and new to grab your attention every day. What to follow, whether professionally or just to keep up with the kids, it’s literally a multi-million dollar question. Web3 might be one of the answers. I can’t pinpoint the first time I saw the term in the middle of a tech article, but I guess it was well within the last two pandemic years. Before going further, let me just warn you that this has nothing to do with the semantic web concept coined as Web 3.0, and it’s an older concept that conceived the web as a set of standards defined by the World Wide Web Consortium or W3C. Keep reading to understand that it is almost the opposite idea.

Talent Protocol is a Portuguese startup founded by Mr Pedro Oliveira. After the success Mr Pedro left the executive reigns to get back on the horse at Talent Protocol. At the time of writing this article, if you scroll down a bit in Talent Protocol’s landing page, you’ll see the following statement:

“Talent Protocol is a web3 platform where talent can easily launch a token for their career, and where users can back people they believe in.”

One of the main characteristics of a web3 platform is information decentralization. This means that data isn’t owned or copied into a single company or business with the rights of distributing it at their volition. Your information is part of your web entity, and you control what you share for what purpose with whom you want. This is counter-intuitive for a digital native that sees bytes flowing on the internet with copies everywhere, but with the advent of distributed ledger technology, there’s a way of guarantying the original source of the data. At the same time, the owner could eventually exploit and pursue whoever uses it without his authorization as long as the law accepts such digital signatures.

Talent Protocol relies on this characteristic, providing career tokens that can be exchanged, bought and eventually sold in secondary markets with the associated investor speculation. An investor could purchase those tokens and finally redeem them against services or equity of the owner personal brand, but this is only one of web3’s vertexes.

However, if there isn’t an entity that manages data repositories for its users, who owns networks and distributes the data in a profitable or well-intentioned manner? Keep in mind that a big part of the web3 concept stands on top of the decentralized ledger technology. As long as you have enough nodes on a network to make it usable by anyone at any time, there isn’t an entity controlling or curating the network. Participants have control of the nodes and interact with them using local applications to communicate with a distributed environment. I’m almost sure that you’ve already encountered a piece of content speaking about Blockchain technologies or some derivation of the technology at this point in time. If you’ve been reading our publication, you already know about NFTs and Mr Beeple becoming a millionaire with his creations. Again, we digital natives understand that copying data is almost free of charge, and copying digital assets and redistributing them isn’t that hard. Last week we saw the creation of The NFT Bay, a website that distributes copies of NFTs from well-known blockchains. When the law doesn’t provide any way of defending your digital property, copying it makes it even more fun when millions are poured into the artists hands just to have your brand new digital asset being duplicated a few minutes later for everyone to see.

So, if data is decentralized and no classic corporate operates as an intermediary or owns the platform, how do entities manage themselves? Well, associations can also become decentralized, relying on tokens to manage and direct decisions of a particular network where participants can exchange data, whether a digital asset or information. These types of associations are being called Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, or simply DAOs. Talen Protocol wants to be one, and if you scrutinize a bit more their landing page, there’s already an announcement of the objective of launching the $TAL, a token that acts as proof of stake on the DAO.

If you’re a trader, economist, or even slightly connected to the world of finance, you’re already getting cynical about the concept, and it’s nothing new in theoretical terms. People as a brand have value and use it to command currency. Associations of people own businesses and vote to decide a company direction. Many of us live within a democratic society where votes are unique, and as a whole, we determine our future. So what’s the difference with web3?

Maybe we can say that the pilar of the web3 concept is decentralization altogether, as a fundamental part of any relationship established with it, standing on top of a technology abstraction that guarantees digital uniqueness and a source of truth. There’s no government deciding which currency is valid or not nor which relations and contracts can be made between entities of one network or even between networks, and every entity is free to join and interact without requiring authorization or certification of sorts. Emma Goldman applauds.

It’s not surprising that the liberal up to ( or down to? ) the anarcho-capitalistic societies’ spectrum sees web3 as an escape from institutional shackles and a way of being free, outside of the meat world jurisdiction. The decentralized ledger opened a world of deregulation only seen in science fiction books, usually the dystopic ones. Real problems arise when jurisdiction borders collide or intersect. Without a governing body overseeing interactions and enforcing the rule of law, it is every DAO for itself. We saw something similar in Europe from the Medieval to the Middle ages and almost until World War I.

We will find out with Talent Protocol and many other aspiring DAOs if the web3 world materializes digitally, but even if it does not, many of its concepts will survive the buzzword.

PS: FreeCodeCamp has a more detailed article about some of these topics with some other references.

PS again: Serendipity dropped this DAO CNBC piece on my lap after finishing my article

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