news-resizediPhone 8 Arriving Soon 

The iPhone 8 will be arriving soon, but will it be a giant leap forward or another step in a familiar sequence of steady improvements? Judging from early reviews, the new iPhone will be good, but not spectacular.

“Due out this fall, the new smartphone arrives with lofty expectations. After all, this is the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone, a gadget that upended the industry and created an ecosystem of apps and accessories. However, the new iPhone won’t be a case-study of innovation, more a matter of perfecting features that are already out there in rival devices,” writes Mark Gurman in Bloomberg Technology.

Considering the phenomenal success of the iPhone over the past decade, it’s hard to be overly critical. That said, it would also be nice to see a sparkle of the legendary Apple genius in the newest version.

Google Instant Apps Reaches New Pinnacle

Here’s another milestone for Google: Its Android Instant Apps are now available on more than 500 million devices. 

“First unveiled in May 2016, Instant Apps let developers highlight a single part of their app that users can launch from within Google Play without having to download the app,” writes Rayna Hollander of Business Insider. “The technology is available only on Instant Apps-enabled devices running Android 6.0 or later.”

For Google, the milestone represents a victory in several important dimensions, including engagement, visibility, and innovation.

Bitcoin AI Convergence on the Horizon

What happens when you equip Bitcoin miners with specially designed artificial intelligence technologies? Nobody is quite sure, but there’s something unsettling about the prospect. Some Bitcoin miners are reportedly earning $7 million per day!

I strongly recommend reading Joon Ian Wong’s absolutely fascinating article in Quartz about the efforts of Chinese scientists and entrepreneurs to leverage AI in the Bitcoin mining process. Not long ago, AI and Bitcoin were both considered marginal phenomena. Today, few people doubt that AI and Bitcoin have the potential to fundamentally disrupt and transform the global economy.

“Bitcoin mining is the process of checking and adding new transactions to bitcoin’s immutable ledger – its blockchain. Miners must compete with one another to be the first to find a new block. In return for performing this work, which requires massive processing power and incurs hefty electricity costs, miners are rewarded with a certain number of bitcoins for each block they add to the blockchain. Currently, that’s 12.5 bitcoins per block, and a new block is found roughly every 10 minutes. At the current bitcoin price of about $4,000, that’s $50,000 up for grabs every 10 minutes, or $7.2 million a day,” Wong writes in his article.

Combinations of AI and cryptocurrency technologies will be worth watching carefully.