Results for “markets in everything”
1677 found

NFT virtual horse markets in everything

Is it simply that we have made gambling too much fun and too intriguing?  Or should we upgrade our view of the welfare consequences of gambling?:

On Zed Run, a digital horse racing platform, several such events take place every hour, seven days a week. Owners pay modest entry fees — usually between $2 and $15 — to run their steeds against others for prize money.

The horses in these online races are NFTs, or “nonfungible tokens,” meaning they exist only as digital assets….

“A breathing NFT is one that has its own unique DNA,” said Roman Tirone, the head of partnerships at Virtually Human, the Australian studio that created Zed Run. “It can breed, has a bloodline, has a life of its own. It races, it has genes it passes on, and it lives on an algorithm so no two horses are the same.” (Yes, owners can breed their NFT horses in Zed Run’s “stud farm.”)

People — most of them crypto enthusiasts — are rushing to snap up the digital horses, which arrive on Zed Run’s site as limited-edition drops; some of them have fetched higher sums than living steeds. One player sold a stable full of digital racehorses for $252,000. Another got $125,000 for a single racehorse. So far, more than 11,000 digital horses have been sold on the platform.

Alex Taub, a tech start-up founder in Miami, has purchased 48 of them. “Most NFTs, you buy them and sell them, and that’s how you make money,” Mr. Taub, 33, said. “With Zed, you can earn money on your NFT by racing or breeding.”

One implication here is that automation is never going to destroy all of the jobs.  Here is the full NYT story.

Markets in everything those new service sector jobs work from a distance

Soon, she said, money began flowing into her account. “Please take all of my money for your trip, I don’t deserve it,” wrote Betaboy10, who gave $500, according to screen shots she provided to The New York Times. Another, named SubMike00, sent $250. A user who goes by Peter Zapp sent $400, along with the message: “I’d do anything to be owned by you.”

Welcome to the lucrative world of financial domination, a form of B.D.S.M. that has flourished during the pandemic, when many sex workers and their customers have migrated online because of social distancing precautions. The concept is simple, even if the allure is not immediately self-evident: “finsubs” (short for “financial submissives”) send monetary “tributes” to a financial dominatrix, who could be any gender, in exchange for being humiliated and degraded.

“It’s controlling someone through their wallet,” said Mistress Marley. (The Times agreed to identify her only by her professional name to prevent stalkers from finding her.) “I love waking up every day realizing that submissive men pay all my bills and I don’t spend a dime.”

…Giving away your hard-earned money may seem counterintuitive or unpleasant, like paying off credit cards and student loans. But for finsubs, who are also known as “pay pigs,” it is liberating and titillating.

And:

Financial domination is helping Charlie, 29, a sales manager in Ohio, identify as a transgender woman, even as she presents as a man in her “vanilla” life, she said. King Kourt, her findomme, has full access to one of her bank accounts, she said, and as part of a “consensual blackmail” arrangement, King Kourt threatens to expose Charlie as a woman in exchange for money.

The idea, both said, is to encourage Charlie to live as she wants in public as well as private.

Giving up financial control may also help some finsubs become more empathetic. William M., 31, a technology manager for a school system, said that he spends $300 a month on Queen Astro, 31, a findomme from Los Angeles. Every time he sends money, she publicly belittles him on Twitter or degrades him on Skype.

“I used to be much more self-centered,” William said.

And here is paragraph that is totally wrong:

In that sense, financial domination is not so different from some marriages. “We don’t call it findom,” Dr. Kort said. “We see it as romantic, as one partner telling another, ‘I’m going to take care of you.’ In findom, it becomes erotic, but it’s the same dynamic.”

Here is much more from The New York Times.  Seems to me like a pandemic-driven shift in the terms of trade to the suppliers!  Work backwards and infer the underlying elasticity of demand.

Maine marijuana markets in everything those new service sector jobs

In Maine it is legal to use and possess marijuana (within limits), but illegal to sell it or give it away.  And so how might a transfer be consummated?:

Cannabis Delivery Services are illegal in Maine.  Gifting Cannabis is illegal in Maine.  Don’t worry though! It is still legal for an Adult age 21/+ to carry 2.5oz of Cannabis Flower and up to 5 grams of concentrates!

So under your scenario you are in Maine vacationing, living, etc… and you lost your weed.  OH NO!  Who do you call? The INCREDIBLES.ME Psychic Service!  We have Psychics roaming all over Portland communicating with their deity, their spirit guides, and having religious moments of clarity. We can guarantee to find your LOST WEED!! (For a small, but very worth while fee!).

Just login to this site, and select the cannabis or cannabis products you lost, and give us your address.  We will find YOUR weed and get it back to you ASAP.  Fees vary based on the time it takes us to find your weed, the quantity of weed we have to locate, and the distance in which we have to travel to get YOUR LOST weed back to you.

Here is more, via Jacob F.

India collateralized smart phone markets in everything

…the easiest way for retailers and online stores to get high-end devices into working-class people’s pockets has been through a new method of lending: collateralizing smartphones. Vendors are selling smartphones to first-time borrowers on high-interest payment plans financed by loan companies, but only after users install an undeletable app at the point of sale. The apps can then monitor repayment behavior throughout the duration of the loan. One late payment leads to instant blocking of the phone, rendering it useless. For loan providers and smartphone sellers, this form of lending opens their products to a new class of consumers

Datacultr uses a laundry list of techniques to force borrowers into paying. The app starts by sending audiovisual prompts in regional languages as reminders. If the user misses their first repayment, it forcefully changes the wallpaper on their cellphones. If Datacultr’s data scrape reveals a user to be a prolific selfie-taker, for instance, the app will send notifications every time the camera function is opened. If the user continues to default on the loan, frequently used messaging and social apps like Facebook or Instagram are progressively blocked, severely restricting the use of the device and ultimately shutting down all of the phone’s functionalities.

Be careful if you buy a used phone!  Here is the full story, via the excellent Samir Varma.

Zero price markets in everything

Had enough Zoom meetings? Can’t bear another soul-numbing day of sitting on video calls, the only distraction your rapidly aging face, pinned in one corner of the screen like a dying bug? Well, if so, then boy do we have the app for you. Meet Zoom Escaper: a free web widget that lets you add an array of fake audio effects to your next Zoom Call, gifting you with numerous reasons to end the meeting and escape, while you still can.

You can choose from barking dogs, construction noises, crying babies, or even subtler effects like choppy audio and unwanted echoes. Created by artist Sam Lavigne, Zoom Escaper is fantastically simple to use. All you need do is download a free bit of audio software called VB-Audio that routes your audio through the website, then change your audio input in Zoom from your microphone to VB-Audio, and play with the effects.

Here is much more, via Schaffin and also Michael Rosenwald.

Canadian expense arbitrage markets in everything

Good Fortune Burger of Toronto has named its menu items after office supplies so that customers can include them on expense reports:

Fortune Burger: Basic Steel Stapler
Diamond Chicken Burger: Mini Dry Erase Whiteboard
Double Your Fortune Burger: Ergonomic Aluminum Laptop Stand
Emerald Veggie Burger: Wired Earphones With Mic
Parmesan Fries: CPU Wireless Mouse
Ginger Beer: Yellow Lined Sticky Notes
San Pellegrino: Ball Point Black Ink Gel Pens
Build Your Fortune Burger: Silicone Keyboard Cover

“There’s no malice intended in it,” Director of Operations Jon Purdy told blogTO. “It’s all just fun and games.”

Here is the menu, via John Thorne.

Modestly silly Australian markets in everything

To combat the “border blues,” Australia’s national carrier said Wednesday that it is launching three mystery flights to unspecified domestic destinations.

The announcement came a day after government officials announced the country’s international border closure would stretch through at least June, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Mystery-flight travelers will find themselves roughly two hours away from the departure airports in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. In addition to “low-level scenic flybys of key landmarks en route,” the trips will include a day’s worth of activities on the ground. The airline says that could include a winemaking course or live music on a tropical island — and promises to give passengers clues so they know what to wear and pack.

Here is the full article, is the potential for regional surprise so great relative to the costs of avoiding the boring locations?  At least this is better than speeding recklessly in a car…

Potential yet still thwarted Filipino nurse vaccine barter markets in everything?

The Philippines will let thousands of its health care workers, mostly nurses, take up jobs in Britain and Germany if the two countries agree to donate coronavirus vaccines, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Britain’s health ministry said it was not interested in such a deal and its priority was to use shots domestically, but added it would share surplus vaccine internationally in the future.

The Philippines, which has among Asia’s highest number of coronavirus cases, has relaxed a ban on deploying its health care workers overseas, but still limits the number of medical professionals leaving the country to 5,000 a year.

Alice Visperas, director of the labor ministry’s international affairs bureau, said the Philippines was open to lifting the cap in exchange for vaccines from Britain and Germany, which it would use to inoculate outbound workers and hundreds of thousands of Filipino repatriates.

Here is the full story, via Marvin Vista.

Thwarted markets in everything

Philadelphia health officials say they’re no longer providing vaccines to a 9-month-old start-up that has begun inoculating thousands of city residents, citing the group’s quiet switch to a for-profit entity.

“We have recently been made aware of a change in Philly Fighting COVID’s corporate status that took place without our knowledge, from nonprofit to for-profit,” said Health Department spokesperson Jim Garrow.

The move comes days after WHYY News and Billy Penn reported that Philly Fighting COVID had established a for-profit arm, and that when the group pivoted from providing community testing to performing vaccinations, it left several partner organizations in the lurch.

Here is the full story.

Markets in everything

Illicit sales of fake negative Covid-19 test results are becoming more widespread as criminals look to profit from travel restrictions imposed during the pandemic, according to Europol.

The EU’s law enforcement agency on Monday reported an increase in cases of fraudulent Covid-19 test certificates being sold to travelers. It comes as an increasing number of countries in the European Union and beyond oblige travelers to present a negative coronavirus test in order to be allowed entry, when travelling from a high-risk area.

In its latest Early Warning Notification, which Europol issues to alert EU member states of new or increasingly prevalent forms of criminal activity, the agency said the latest case of this crime had been detected in Luton Airport in the U.K., where a man was arrested trying to sell false coronavirus test results. Elsewhere in the U.K., fraudsters were caught selling bogus Covid-19 test documents for £100 ($137).

There had also been earlier reports of similar activity in other European countries.

A forgery ring at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, for example, was “dismantled” after being found selling forged negative test results to passengers, Europol said. The amount charged for the fake test documents ranged between 150-300 euros ($181-$363).

Another fraudster was apprehended in Spain for selling false negative test certificates on the internet for 40 euros, and in the Netherlands, scammers were discovered selling fake negative test results for 50-60 euros through messaging apps.

Here is the full article, via Samarth.

Markets in Everything–Zoom Books

Politico: When workplaces went remote and suddenly Zoom allowed co-workers new glimpses into one another’s homes, what New York Times writer Amanda Hess dubbed the “credibility bookcase” became the hot-ticket item.

…Books by the Foot, a service run by the Maryland-based bookseller Wonder Book, has become a go-to curator of Washington bookshelves, offering precisely what its name sounds like it does.

More generally, the service exists for hotels, showrooms, movie sets and so forth. Just tell them your theme…by color or content.

India vaccine markets in everything

Doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford could be available for purchase in India as soon as March, according to one manufacturer, in the first sign that the sought-after jab will make its way on to the private market.

Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, has a licence to produce the shot and has already manufactured 40m doses. Once the job is approved for use, Serum will initially supply the Indian government but then expects to sell 20m-30m doses to private facilities, according to Adar Poonawalla, chief executive.

“Everybody’s asking ‘When can I access the vaccine?’ I’ve told those guys it’s probably going to be March or April,” Mr Poonawalla told the Financial Times.

…the future availability of vaccines for sale privately in other countries, such as India, increases the likelihood of a secondary market developing for vaccines where locals or foreign visitors could pay for a vaccination if not eligible to be inoculated under their own government’s scheme.

Here is the full FT article, via J., the price is expected to be around eight dollars.

Markets in everything, messed up edition

Shawn Graham, a professor of digital humanities at Carleton University in Ottawa, uses a convolutional neural network called Inception 3.0, designed by Google, to search the internet for images related to the buying and selling of human bones. The United States and many other countries have laws requiring that human bones held in museum collections be returned to their descendants. But there are also bones being held by people who have skirted these laws. Dr. Graham said he had even seen online videos of people digging up graves to feed this market.

Here is the full NYT story, interesting more generally, via TEKL.