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Jack Smith IV

Jack is a reporter covering tech business in NYC, Silicon Alley founders and funding, trends in tech innovation and venture capital investment.
Bitcoin Nation

New York State’s Bitcoin Laws Could Ruin Everything Good About Bitcoin

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Bitcoin advocates have spent the past few years trying to sell cryptocurrency to the skeptical mainstream, who tend to be scared that bitcoin is an untrustworthy mirage fit only for drug dealers and criminals. But now that there laws are in the works to help bitcoin become a part of the legit world of financial tech, activists are saying that those laws undo everything bitcoin stands to offer in the first place.

New York State’s attempt to help bitcoin go legit has been the proposal of a “BitLicense,” a license from the Department of Financial Services (DFS) for cryptocurrency businesses that would allow bitcoin startups to operate legally. The license would force companies to comply with a list of legislative demands, including keeping currency receipts, having compliance officers and telling the DFS every time a potential emergency arises. Read More

Your Tax Dollars

The Government Is 3D-Printing Bomb-Sniffing Dog Noses

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When the Singularity occurs, it’s not just humans that will be replaced by robot overlords. No, dogs now are at risk as well, all thanks to taxpayer dollars.

The U.S. federal government has been 3D-printing mechanically engineered dog noses that replicate the sniffing patterns of bomb-sniffing dogs, Nextgov reports. The noses are modeled off of female labrador retrievers, a historically favored breed of police dog. Read More

controversy

Amazon Stops Selling Racy Leggings After Backlash From the Hindu Community

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When you run the world’s largest online marketplace with millions upon millions of items, tasteless, even brashly offensive merchandise is bound to make its way onto the site. For Amazon, this means an endless game of whack-a-mole.

The latest series of problematic apparel is a collection of leggings and hot pants covered with depictions of Hindu deities sold through a third party dealer called Yizzam. Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, lodged a complaint with Amazon that 11 pairs of Yizzam’s leggings with images of Hindu gods like Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu and Muruga were blatantly disrespectful of Hindu practices. Read More

The Education of NY Tech

General Assembly’s New Credentials Will Sort the True Talent From the Sub-Par Code Monkeys

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Hiring developers can be a nightmare. Besides a general scarcity of talent, most of the traditional indicators of skill have become virtually meaningless — simply having a B.S. in Computer Science doesn’t tell a CTO whether someone can actually code worth a damn.

General Assembly (GA), the leading code academy based in New York, is establishing a credential program from scratch that CEO Jake Schwartz hopes will set a new standard for hiring coders. In order to bring more legitimacy to the new credentials than your standard technical school faire, GA established a “consortium” of partner companies from all corners of tech, including heavyweights like GE, Paypal, Coinbase, Newscred, Medium, Glassbreakers and Relate IQ. Read More