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Things Have Changed

Things Have Changed

Author: Things Have Changed

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Hey, we're Things Have Changed. We unpack stories about technology and the ever-changing digital economy. Specifically, the things that will matter in the coming years, and the things that have evolved from the past.
93 Episodes
Close to a third of the world's adults are unbanked. Crypto aims to solve this disparity!The mission of the blockchain is not all about making money. It's about providing access and inclusion as well. The blockchain is basically computer code, which works peer to peer to validate transactions, thereby completely bypassing the need for traditional financial institutions i.e banks.Currently, there are over 1.7 Billion people worldwide who cannot access financial services. They can’t protect their money, gain access to wealth-building tools and services, or effectively plan for their future. The potential widespread use of open decentralized digital finance – financial services delivered via the internet,  can greatly reduce this disparity! Just look at some examples of countries like Nigeria, Vietnam, Turkey and Philippines that have recorded high rates of Crypto adoption! For example, almost a third of Nigerians now own some form of cryptocurrency. Nigerians actively use cryptocurrency for buying or selling goods and services and sending money across borders to family and friends.Increased crypto adoption with increased innovation have a real opportunity to democratize  traditional financial services. But decentralized finance to many, is still very complicated and nascent a technology to master and leverage. Hossein is tapping into this very pain point to build CMORQ, to empower consumers by giving them an easy access to decentralized finance for personal banking. Through the cmorq app you can exchange, send, and lend crypto to earn passively.In Part 2 of our conversation with Hossein, we talk about the current complexities of crypto, and how Cmorq aims to solve this problem and be the easy onboarding app for millions of customers around the globe!Support the show (
Innovation is exciting! And all of us have witnessed new technology entering every major industry, none more so that the traditional financial industry. When was the last time you even went into a bank? Financial transactions such as accessing money, depositing checks or even buying stocks, can all be done  on an app remotely at anytime and anyplace! But in spite of all the technological progress, we still have to trust the banks as our middlemen to every single transaction we make.However, with the advent of “cryptocurrencies” and the “Blockchain”, many new technologies are being built, including the emergence of Decentralized Finance or “DeFi”. DeFi seeks to get rid of the middleman completely. A big unlock here is the automation of tasks that traditionally require a third-party intermediary. For example, instead of needing a bank to approve a fund transfer from client to freelancer, the process can happen automatically, thanks to sophisticated code/programs called “smart contracts” to mimic the services in the financial industry!Although decentralized finance is only 5% of the crypto market, it is the fastest growing space within crypto and our guest today, Hossein Azari, Founder & CEO of DEFI company CMORQ, breaks it all down for us at Things Have Changed.Hossein has an incredible rap sheet, a Doctorate in Computer Science from Harvard University, an MBA from Columbia University and in addition to this, he sold his first financial company, Clarity Money, a personal finance company, for $100 Million to Goldman Sachs! So it begs the question.. what is he doing building in crypto?In Part 1 of our incredibly fun chat with Hossein, we explore:What’s specifically wrong with traditional finance, that Hossein is aiming to fix?How Crypto and DeFi can balance the scales by helping the Middle & Lower class join the Money ClassSupport the show (
Food is the very nourishment of life. Climate change, population growth and population density have come to challenge the way we feed ourselves. Let's look at some factors that are affecting the way we grow food:World’s population is in more urbanized areas - 60% of the population lives in citiesFarms Waste Much of World's Water - On average, farms around the world account for 70% of all water that is consumed annually.Demand for locally grown food in urban areas is rising - For environmental reasons, as well as efficiency and ability to have produce that is often damaged during transport (e.g. berries)One of the emerging solutions is vertical farming and its different techniques. In this episode, we talk through how vertical farming can be a viable solution for highly urbanized areas and in the shift to sustainable food growth. The very way we make our food is changing.. what will the farms of the future look like? Tune into this episode to find out! Materials for Content:Vertical farms are growing more and more vegetables in urban areasVertical Farming TechniquesAerofarms ImpactVertical Farms fill a Tall OrderBowery - Why Vertical FarmingSoundclips:Vertical Farming as a solution for Food of the Future - ViceThe rise of vertical farming - VPRO DOKHow Aerofarms' vertical farms grow produce - CBS MorningsFarms Waste Much of World's WaterEach degree of temperature rise, 10% of existing agricultural land will be lostHow much your food has travelled to get to your plateSupport the show (
Technology has already come after several blue collar jobs of the past, like assembly line workers, cashiers, phone operators, and travel agents, to name a few.But is it possible for AI to automate and replace the job of a software engineer? Most technology we use today involves software - from watching our favorite shows on Netflix, to ordering a Starbucks pickup, to scheduling an early morning Uber to the airport. It should come as no surprise that programming has been the most in-demand job in our digital economy over the past 20 years. But as of late, a fascinating new technology known as GitHub Pilot has been making waves in tech. Copilot is an automatic coding tool, powered by OpenAI, one of the world's leading AI research laboratories and founded by tech titans such as Elon Musk and Sam Altman. It can effectively look at code written by a human programmer and suggest further lines or alternative code, eliminating some of the repetitive labor that goes into software development. Today, we chat with Nick Vincent once again, but this time about the ethics and irony of AI being able to automate programming itself.Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to keep up with the latest stories in our ever-changing digital economy. @thingshavechangedpodSupport the show (
Every minute, 990,000 Tinder profiles are swiped, 156 million emails are sent, and 16 million text messages are sent out.Moreover, Google processes 40,000 searches a second and 1.4 billion people log into Facebook every day.We live in a digital economy, and it runs on data!Just think about it, every time you check your Instagram or Twitter feed, Google a new recipe, or search the web for the latest sneaker drop, you are providing tons of data that companies can then leverage to sell you personalized ads, which equals big money. The digital ad revenue business is a whopping $200 billion industry thanks to our generous data contributions. Our guest today is Nicholas Vincent, a post-doc researcher at Northwestern University, who is studying this very interaction between technology and social behavior. Nick is leading the charge to balance the scales between data providers (us) and data brokers (the personal data industry). Nick puts forward the concept: "What if those organizations profiting from your data had to pay you a share of that earning?" These data dividends have been getting a lot of traction, with presidential candidate Andrew Yang launching the Data Dividend Project, which is pushing tech companies to pay users for their data.Additionally, Nick and colleague Hanlin Li are suggesting new ways to address the power imbalance:🔸 Data Strikes: withholding or deleting your data so a tech firm cannot use it - Leaving a platform or installing privacy tools.🔸 Data poisoning: contributing meaningless or harmful data - You play music that you dislike on your device and then walk away, thereby confusing the algorithm.🔸 Conscious data contribution: Giving data to the competitor, such as switching to a new search engine or transferring photos to a new platform.Support the show (
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Communication apps have become vital in our day to day lives with  popular mobile messaging like Whatsapp, Signal, and Facebook Messenger connecting users the world over. It's staggering to think that people send over 30 BILLION messages a day, just through messaging clients.Today, on Things Have Changed, we talk to someone who has been at the forefront of product design for many of the technology communication apps that we use today.Jean Marc Denis is Director of Design at Facebook and has been behind many of the incredible features we take for granted today on Messenger, such as reactions and our favorite feature here at THC, the gorgeous Dark Mode.  Also, what's special about this conversation is JM's breakdown of his experience building one of the first email clients on the app store, the widely loved  Sparrow. The ingenious design and UI brought tech giant knocking and Google acquire Sparrow in 2012. The acqui-hire resulted in Jean-Marcs foray into "Gmail” and the birth of material design, a design language created by Google in 2014.Support the show (
Imagine if airplanes weren’t reusable. It costs a staggering $250-300M to buy a Boeing 747.  A one way trip to fly anywhere on the planet would cost millions. Yup, it sounds bizarre.That’s exactly the conundrum with space flight. Missions have always been incredibly expensive… but recent breakthroughs in reusability of rockets have drastically reduced the cost of spaceflight and jump started the once stalling space industry.In fact, we actually have private companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin & ULA to thank for here, who in conjunction with NASA have unleashed engineering breakthroughs that have significantly moved the needle.NASA has calculated that commercial launch costs to the International Stations have been reduced by a factor of 4 over the last 20 years. That's not all. For commercial launches to LEO orbit, costs have dropped by a factor of 20, from $54,500/kg for NASA's space shuttles to $2,720/kg and $1,410/kg for SpaceX’s Falcon 9 (2010) and Falcon Heavy (2018).We have finally reached a tipping point. There was no doubt that the physics behind spaceflight could be conquered, but now the economics have been conquered as well, all thanks to reusability.Support the show (
As we see rich countries slowly open up, there is an interesting economic phenomenon taking place. While Americans are coming out of lockdown, we are seeing a large number of jobs that are not being filled. There are about 9 million job openings in the United States and a little over 9 million people who are considered “unemployed”, and some 6 million people who weren’t actively looking for jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Why then are people not taking the jobs that are open?The pandemic had forced a lot of businesses to close down and a lot of industries to stall, causing an all-time unemployment high of about 16% in April of 2020. The economic impact of the unstable job markets have caused more than a financial strain, but a social, and psychological one. The government has tried to weigh in and to ease this pain through benefits (unemployment insurance, unemployment, added benefits, etc). This could be one of the reasons why people aren’t getting back to work. They get paid more to NOT work. But it isn’t the only reason.As much as people like to conclude that the unemployed are lazy, there is also another element: Fear. With jobs that have lots of in-person contact, like healthcare workers and retail workers, there is a significant risk of getting infected. Around 4 million people mentioned that they aren’t looking for work because they “Don’t want to get COVID”, according to The Economist. The Economist suggests that “allocation of work” is also changing as consumer preferences change post-pandemic, like delivery services versus in-restaurant dining.Join us as we explore how the labor market looks today, which industries are experiencing the labor shortage, and why Americans aren’t going back to work.Support the show (
How many times have you had to throw away your electronics because they were out of date? Or not repairable? The result is a growing mountain of e-waste.E-waste is the world’s fastest-growing trash problem. Humans generate the equivalent of 4,500 Eiffel Towers of electronic waste in a single year. Yet just 20% gets collected and recycled. This has people calling for products that are no longer designed for obsolescence, but designed to last and keep pace with rapid advancements in technology.Our guest today is Charles Duffy, the Founder of Biscuit, a company creating repairable and upgradable wireless battery chargers. He starts with a simple question: "Do you feel weird throwing away your tech?"Biscuit's approach is to design wireless chargers which will be the last chargers you’ll ever need. This novel concept has garnered a huge following and led to almost $100K pledged on Biscuit's Kickstarter campaign.We sat down with Charles and chatted about all things Biscuit as well as designing, manufacturing, marketing a one-and-done product that is as easy on the eyes as it is to our planet.Support the show (
Since the start of the pandemic, retail investors have plowed billions into the market, making calls against institutional investors. With free trading at their fingertips and huge online communities like Wall Street Bets wherein they discuss trading ideas and stock picks, many figure they have a shot against the big guys on Wall Street.GameStop, AMC & cryptocurrency Doge are some of the most famous 'meme stocks' and their incredible run ups have made many retail investors millions. This also reveals the appetite for risky moonshot bets & could be just the start of a global phenomenon of retail investing going head to head with Wall Street.Institutional investors typically have access to a wide range of tools and information that puts them at a solid advantage compared to the average retail investor, you. But we sit down with an entrepreneur that thinks things should be different within the investing community.Lorenzo Ampil is the Co-founder and CTO of Hawksight, an open source investment analysis platform that empowers retail investors to quickly build, test, and optimize their own trading strategies. As a retail investor, it can help inform you to make better trading decisionsCan retail investors compete in a world riddled with asymmetric information? If you’d like to backtest your own investor strategy, or simply want to learn about the unique advantage that a trading assistant will give you, tune in!Support the show (
What kind of toys did you have as a child? Was it Snakes & Ladders? Uno? For the Millennials, did you have a Game Boy? Each each year, toys are getting smarter. If you think about how early kids now have access to smartphones, digital learning looks to be a mainstay in early education.Today, we have Yuting Su, CEO and Co-founder of Thinker Tinker, the company behind Octobo, an award-winning educational multi-sensory smart plush robot that enables development in an interactive environment. Through guided storybooks, interactive tokens, and educational apps, Octobo transforms screen time into an immersive experience. Yuting  is a Forbes 30 Under 30 in Games,  passionate entrepreneur, inventor, and storyteller with a background in digital/physical game design, medical device design, and bioinformatics. She walks us through building her company as a mother, a UX researcher, and former med student. She’s merging physical and digital game play to encourage intuitive learning.The next time you’re thinking about getting a toy for your kids, nephews, nieces, consider taking a look at toys that could actually teach them something while they play. Consider Octobo, an award winning interactive soft robot that helps your child learn through fun and engaging play.Support the show (
It’s happening. AWS is no longer the only cloud heavyweight doing business with the US Government. Azure has recently signed a $10 Billion deal with the DoD. Gartner reports that AWS is still a better product than most competitors, in terms of what they offer and the quality! But some ask if it's fair that the DoD is only doing business with Amazon, a representation of perpetuating the monopoly Amazon is clinging onto. Amazon and Oracle both raised questions about “political interference”.Microsoft’s resurgence has been nothing short of extraordinary! With almost a year and a half of revenues more than 30% of AWS’, has Microsoft officially trumped Amazon in Cloud? And don't forget Google, the small fish in this race aggressively ramping up in high growth markets like India & South East Asia.If you’re curious about how the Cloud Wars are pitting the biggest tech companies against each other, tune in!Support the show (
IBM, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon are all taking the helm for the cloud renaissance. Gartner says that in 2021, spending on public cloud services could go over $330B. All types of industries and even GOVERNMENTS are moving their infrastructure and technology to the cloud.There is tremendous opportunity to build on the infrastructure of the cloud. AWS has been the clear winner for a while now, spanning almost 14 years, the margins and scale are unlike any other business in the world, and those incredible margins are attracting some pretty big fish like Microsoft and Google.  If you’ve ever wondered how you’re able to watch Netflix or hail a cab through Lyft with a click of a button, you are basically using the cloud. So ‘What is the cloud?’ Join us as we make sense of the highly-coveted industry!Support the show (
Cyber-risk has more than quadrupled since 2002 and tripled since 2013. Cyber-attacks are now common across industries.  Just recently, FireEye, one of the top cybersecurity firms in the world today stated that it was hacked by a Nation State.The work-from-home wave has not helped the state of cyber-insecurity. We largely don’t think of our digital security. And it looks like the government hasn’t really been on top of things as well.In our first cybersecurity episode, we talked about the recent ransomware attacks crippling city infrastructure and big conglomerates. Today, we talk about what the industry is turning into, and how nation-states are starting to deploy resources to decrease the likelihood of cyber-attacks.Support the show (
Even before the COVID-19 Pandemic, the world has been moving towards digitization. We spend almost all our lives on the internet and even the mundane things we interface with like our fridges, coffee makers, cars, and houses can be connected to the network. This marriage between the digital and physical worlds has vastly improved our lives.. But also increasingly poses a security threat.Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly impactful. Cybercriminals can hold your data and systems hostage, threatening your business continuity.Just recently, meat processor JBS paid $11 million in ransom to the hacker group,  REvil, as they initiated the cyberattack that shut down JBS packing plants for at least a day!If you want to take a peek into the cybersecurity industry or simply learn how to defend yourself against malicious hackers, tune in!Support the show (
♻️ Eliminating 4 Million Plastic Jugs from Landfills!Laundry routines aren't super fun for any one, but recent studies show how it's downright terrible for the environment. Washers use copious amounts of water. Add to that detergents that can release toxic chemicals that get into the food chain, as well as the transportation costs of lugging around massive plastic jugs of laundry detergent across the supply chain. This industry seems to be ripe for eco-disruption and Canada based Tru Earth, is one such trailblazer! Today, we speak to Ryan Mckenzie, Co-Founder of Tru Earth, a company that has created the eco-friendly laundry detergent, that's as sensitive on your skin, as it is to the environment! Their patented detergent strips are a gamechanger, and in their short duration as a company have eliminated almost 4 million plastic jugs from landfills with 94% less transportation pollution as its peers! With an annual revenue of upwards of $30 million, Tru Earth was recently awarded Canada’s 2nd Fastest growing startup! 🚀 ------💰 OFFER : Get 10% Off using code "THINGSCHANGE10" at checkout on all Tru Earth products!------Support the show (
Sweeping infrastructure plans are in plans across the globe. Take Biden's nearly $4 trillion infrastructure package that is aimed at repairing roads, transportation hubs and telecommunication systems.  How do they plan on paying for it?Taxes!To finance the proposal, the administration has proposed a partial rollback of some tax breaks signed into law in 2017 by President Donald Trump, pushing tax rates on corporations from 21 percent to 28 percent, and raising rates on individual incomes over $400,000 and capital gains for the next 15 years.Corporate tax hike: Biden would raise the corporate income tax rate to 28%, up from 21%. The rate had been as high as 35% before former President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans cut taxes in 2017.Global minimum tax: A historic proposal would increase the minimum tax on US corporations to 21% and calculate it on a country-by-country basis to deter companies from sheltering profits in international tax havens.The reforms will affect the largest companies in the world with profit margins of at least 10%. But will it work?Yes! The bill is heavily focused on the pressing issue facing the world: climate change. If signed into law, the plan would rank as one of the largest federal efforts ever to curb emissions & reduce the economic cost of climate change through this bill.Studies reveal that infrastructure spending does lead to output and productivity growth. Analyses by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco determined that post-war road-building was both a good investment and a boon to growth.Support the show (
Infrastructure today cannot meet the needs of the digital economy tomorrow. 5G, driverless cars, Sustainable cities, broadband access to all are some of the breakthrough technologies promised in the coming decades.. But how are these even possible if the underlying foundation i.e infrastructure itself is weak!Infrastructure has been neglected far too long. The easiest way to get a slowing economy going again is for the government to put people to work!Investing in roads, bridges, providing access to broadband, improving our electrical grid can go a long way to building a more efficient and sustainable modern society.Support the show (
Online search for “inflation” have multiplied over the past few months..The surge in attention comes during a supply demand mismatch, resulting in computer chip shortages, gas lines,  surging metal prices, & food prices on the way up as well. Lumber, specifically, has been on a tear,  up 500% since last year!The price increase in lumber actually leads to a price increase in residential homes, with new single-family homes up a staggering $35K that can be attributed to the rise in the price of lumber!As prices rise, people look to the federal reserve to curb inflation, but we fear they may have dismissed the dangers of a red-hot economy. So what do we do about this. How do we curb this overheating of commodity prices? The crew at THC dives in!Support the show (
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