Things That Matter

The Value Of Bitcoin Appears To Correlate To The Value Of Avocados And Economists Are Left To Figure Out Why

What if we told you that there’s a correlation between the value of the humble avocado and the ever-mysterious bitcoin? But wait, it’s not what you’re thinking – bitcoin hasn’t suddenly become as affordable as an avocado, nor are avocados now overwhelmingly expensive. Rather, there’s a relationship between the indexes used to track the value of bitcoin and our beloved avocados. And, if we’ve lost you there when we started using words like “indexes,” you’ve come to the right place: we’ll explain.

Let’s start with the correlation between avocados and bitcoin.

Basically, the tea is that one astute observer on Twitter realized that if you look at a graph showing the values of bitcoin and avocado for 2019 beside each other, you’d see that both seem to rise and fall around the same times. The implications of this freaked people out, because if you’ve got the ability to map avocado prices, then maybe, just maybe, you could predict bitcoin prices, too. And remember when bitcoin was worth a lot of money? It meant that people could potentially get richfrom predicting the value of bitcoin. And who doesn’t want to get rich?

And mitú is getting into the game of connecting avocados with cryptocurrency.

For the first time, mitú is going to get involved with the cryptocurrency world thanks to our very own Guacardo. The loveable avocado has been a constant in our lives for years and it seems only fair that he become part of the avocado/cryptocurrency world. For the first Guacardo NFTs, you can bid on three “Lord of the Rings” inspired Guacardo NFTs.

You can check them out at OpenSea. Make sure you have your Ethereum ready.

You’ve probably guessed that this is where economics comes into it: don’t worry, we’ll break it down for you.

Firstly, it’s important to know what we’re talking about when we say “index price.” It’s basically like the average price of a product, globally. It’s this that shows, in mathematical terms, the ebb and flow of “supply” and “demand” – two processes that form the foundations of economic thinking. The idea is that the value of something is determined by how much of it there is, and also how much people want to buy it.

But it’s all about supply and demand…

Probably the best way to think about supply and demand is in terms of when fruits, like avocados, are in season. Because when avocados are in season, and lots are growing, it means that supermarkets will have plenty to sell to their customers – they have a large supply. They’ll want to sell it quickly so that they can a) make a profit, and b) do so before the avocados go bad. So, they make them cheap, or less valuable, to encourage people to buy more avocados.

At the same time, though, this process also depends on how much people want to buy avocados.

If there’s a sudden craze for avocado on toast, and all of the avocados are bought from the supermarket before they can satisfy every customer’s craving, this means that demand has outstripped the supply. This can drive the price up, as the supermarket knows that people really want the avocados, and so they’ll get away with charging higher prices for them.

Supply and demand isn’t always so straight forward – which is why people are looking for a correlation between Bitcoin and another tangible commodity to begin with.

All of this is pretty much the basis for economic thinking. Of course, it’s a bit more complicated – a whole bunch of different things can affect supply and demand, such as local politics, the environment, international diplomacy and agreements, the media, and even speculation from experts. 

But what about Bitcoin?

The same process of supply and demand also works with bitcoin. Even though it’s an online currency, it’s protected by software called “blockchain.” The purpose of blockchain is to basically ensure that you’re buying and selling with safe, legitimate bitcoin – remember, at the end of the day, bitcoin is made from software, so it is theoretically vulnerable to issues like viruses and counterfeiting. Blockchain technology secures it so well that so far, no-one’s been able to infect it, or produce counterfeits.

Bitcoin’s always had an aura of mystery around it – and not just because it’s difficult to “mine” bitcoin, or predict its value.

The weird thing about bitcoin is that no-one knows who actually invented the whole thing. It just kinda popped up one day, ready for people to use with transactions. There’s a lot of theories out there about who created bitcoin, and why they released it the way they did. The technology for bitcoin is so clever and complex, whoever created it is basically the next Steve Jobs. It’s possible that they just didn’t want the chaos of everyone knowing that they invented bitcoin – and created a pseudonym to protect themselves. The other thing is that, by not telling anyone the inner workings of bitcoin, it means that bitcoin is more secure and legitimate: no-one knows how to make it from scratch, or corrupt it.

Of course, piling onto all of this is the latest craze of NFTs.

If you weren’t already aware, NFTs are the latest thing in digital currency. Superficially, it looks no different than buy art digitally. Their distinguishing factor from other forms of cryptocurrency is that they are blockchain-based assets. Meaning that while people are able to exchange Bitcoins with other Bitcoins or equivalent amounts in other digital currency. NFTs are unique to themselves, giving people a chance to own a specific token.

Owners of a digital image are able to resell the image for a profit or a loss based on the future of the market. This means that the NFT you buy today could bring in a big profit or a breathtaking loss tomorrow.

So now that you know all of this, you probably want to know how exactly avocados and bitcoin are connected and what the fruit equivalent of an NFT is. Well, while we’ve gone on this whole rollercoaster of an explainer, the moral of the story is that while there is a correlation between avocado and bitcoin prices, they don’t cause each other to change in value. The price of avocados and bitcoin just coincidentally rose and fell at the same time. Correlation does not equal causation. All of which is to say that in the world of avocados and bitcoin, NFTS are apples to their oranges…

But you didn’t learn all of that for nothing: you now know enough about it to understand this terrible joke …

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

How These Tech Start-Ups Are Fighting Gender-Based Violence In The U.S. & Latin America

Fierce

How These Tech Start-Ups Are Fighting Gender-Based Violence In The U.S. & Latin America

Gender-based violence is a global problem, and, in many ways, new media and technology have provided new paths for perpetrators. From social media to GPS tracking, abusers have used technology to monitor, harass, threaten, intimidate and stalk victims, and this online violence against women and girls is rising around the world. But efforts are also being made to use emerging technological tools to respond to the pandemic of gender-based violence, most commonly by providing information and services to survivors.

In the U.S., Latin America and beyond, innovators have been working with trained professionals, like social workers, psychologists and legal experts, to design mobile applications and products to help women and girls escape abusive relationships, notify loved ones if they feel unsafe and help them reclaim their lives after violence.

Below, find some tech startups operating in the U.S. and Latin America that aim to reduce violence against women and help survivors lead safe and healthy lives.

1. LadyDriver

According to the United Nations, a woman is abused in Brazil every 15 seconds, making it one of the most dangerous countries for women and girls in the world. In 2016, Gabriela Corrêa was harassed by a driver while using a taxi-hailing app in São Paulo. Upon dropping the young woman off at her destination, the driver told her, “I will wait for you outside, because you will be drunk later and I will take advantage of you.” Terrified by the experience, and the stories of other women who had encountered intimidation and violence while using public transportation, Corrêa was inspired to create LadyDriver, a Brazilian car-hailing app that only accepts women passengers and hires women drivers. With tens of thousands of drivers and hundreds of thousands of downloads in São Paulo, the app has been welcomed among women in the city. It has also inspired another similar all-women service in Brazil, FemiTaxi.

Across Latin America, similar women-only taxi services exist, including LauDrive in Mexico, She Taxi in Argentina and She Drives Us in Chile. In the U.S, ride-hailing apps like SheRides (available in New York) and Safr (operating in Orlando) are also popping up, and they’re centering vulnerable populations. For example, while Safr has temporarily stopped providing rides and deliveries amid the Covid-19 pandemic, it is still offering its services to battered and abused women through partner institutions.

2. Háblame de Respeto

In El Salvador, femicide, the murder of a woman because of her gender, occurs about once every 24 hours. In 2017, a national study found that 67% of women have suffered some form of violence, like sexual assault or family abuse, in her lifetime. Violence is so prevalent that the Central American country is the only nation in the world to have a law against “femicide suicide,” the crime of driving a woman to suicide because of abuse. With up-to-date government data around the problem of gender-based violence in El Salvador hard to come by, a group of journalists looking for responsible management of this information took the matter into their own hands in 2014 when they created Háblame de Respeto. Using data journalism and storytelling, the group of reporters, under the Latitudes Foundation, created a portal and platform to study violence against women in El Salvador and make the information accessible to everyday people in the country.

3. FreeFrom

Intimate partner violence is a public health crisis in the United States. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people are physically abused by a partner every minute. Data shows that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience some form of intimate partner violence during their lifetime. One of the biggest reasons women stay in abusive relationships is because of financial dependence. In fact, when survivors leave their violent partner, they often have little to no cash, credit cards or bank accounts in their name. Learning about this financial abuse and instability, Sonya Passi created FreeForm, a startup that financially empowers survivors by helping them get compensation for their most pressing needs, like medical bills and property costs, and teaching them money and entrepreneurial tools to obtain financial independence.

4. No Estoy Sola

Ciudad Juárez, a city in northern Mexico, has long been called “the capital of murdered women.” From 1993 to 2005, more than 370 women were killed in the border town. An app called No Estoy Sola is hoping to protect the vulnerable population. The application, which acts as a panic button, can be downloaded on mobile devices. Whenever someone feels unsafe, they can shake their phones or click on a button that will alert their emergency contacts, which they set up ahead of time, with a message saying they are in danger along with their location. The same message is sent out to the contact every five to 10 minutes until the user deactivates it.

5. Não Me Calo

Back in Brazil, another app, Não Me Calo (I Will Not Shut Up), is encouraging women and girls to use their voices in order to keep others safe. The mobile app, which was created by Brazilian girls and won the Global Fund for Women’s International Girls Hackathon, ranks how safe users feel in certain establishments. Its primary goal is to warn women to avoid certain clubs, restaurants or businesses where they experienced harassment, intimidation or violence. However, the founders also hope that a bad ranking on the Yelp-like app can motivate business owners to take steps to alleviate the problem.

6. Revolver 

Like the No Estoy Sola mobile app in Ciudad Juárez, Revolver is essentially a panic button. However, this U.S.-founded gadget doesn’t require a cellphone. An oval-shaped clicker, Revolar can attach to a set of keys or can clip onto jeans or undergarments. The two-setting device sends out an alert to designated contacts when the user feels unsafe. A yellow alert, for instance, will send a message to their contacts with their location and a note expressing concern. A red alert, however, will indicate that the user needs serious and immediate help. The app was created by Colombian-American Andrea Perdomo, whose grandmother was kidnapped in the South American country, and Jacqueline Ros, whose sister was assaulted twice.

7. Paladin

While Paladin wasn’t created to serve survivors of gender-based violence, the startup is helping women in major ways. A justice tech company, Paladin is a portal that brings together legal teams looking to run more efficient pro bono programs with hotlines and organizations that help vulnerable communities gain legal representation and support. According to co-founder and COO Kristen Sonday, who’s part-Puerto Rican, the portal has been particularly helpful to communities amid the Covid-19 pandemic, especially for domestic violence survivors who were forced to isolate with abusers.

8. Mediconfia

Like Paladin, Mediconfia wasn’t created with the objective of helping survivors of gender-based violence; however, the digital platform, which connects individuals in Colombian cities like Cali, Medellín and Bogotá with gynecologists and allows them to rate their experience, has proven beneficial to women who have experienced sexual abuse or intimate partner violence and need a trustworthy health professional to confide in. 

9. Vantage Point

While Vantage Point doesn’t directly help survivors, it does provide a solution to workplace harassment. According to the Pew Research Center, 69% of women have been sexually harassed in a professional setting. However, about 72% of survivors never report the harassment. Vantage Point is a sexual harassment training solution for corporations that uses virtual reality to educate employees on the identification of sexual harassment, bystander intervention and response training. For example, using photo-realistic characters, it immerses trainees in experiences where their personal space is being invaded or they are talked to or gazed at aggressively. The startup, founded by Morgan Mercer, a biracial woman of color who experienced and witnessed racial microaggressions, also uses emerging technology to communicate the nuances of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

TikTok Is Freaking Out After Realizing That The Apple Logo On Your iPhone Is An Extra Button

Things That Matter

TikTok Is Freaking Out After Realizing That The Apple Logo On Your iPhone Is An Extra Button

Thanks to the good nerds of TikTok, many are discovering there’s a tool hidden in plain sight: the Apple logo on the back of the phone. Yep, it can double as a tool/sensor/button. What the what?!

TikToker Brit Brown posted the iPhone hack back in October of 2020 but it’s making its rounds recently. The video shows users how to program their apple to perform functions like taking a screenshot, opening a particular app, or locking your screen. And it’s not just the Apple logo. Per How to Geek, these shortcuts can be launched by tapping anywhere on the back of your iPhone.

How did we not notice this before? We’re on our phones quite literally all day long.

TikTok reveals the Apple logo on your iPhone is a special button.

So, with iOS 14 software enabled, that shiny Apple logo you’ve been covering up with a case is actually a hidden button that you can program to perform at least 30 different tasks. You can customize your iPhone settings to turn the Apple logo into a tool for taking screenshots, scrolling through Instagram, magnifying pictures, changing your phone’s volume, activating Siri, and more. 

The feature is available to iPhone users with iOS 14 software enabled, and includes an iPhone setting called “Back Tap” that transforms the entire back of your phone into a touch-sensitive tool. This means that, phone case or no phone case, double or triple tapping the back of your device will allow you to access multiple pre-programmed shortcuts. You can even set the “button” as a shortcut to automatically open TikTok, open Netflix, check the time, send a photo text, or customize your own shortcut. 

So what do you have to do to get that extra button?

Remember, it’s a double tap, so if your tech-averse parent is having trouble making this hack work, that might be why. Per How to Geek, this works on iPhone 8s or higher. 

Unfortunately, none of the hacks on here or on TikTok address a potential issue with adding a function to the back of an iPhone: Most people keep their phones in a case. And some of those cases might affect this feature’s functionality. Now, if the company could make a product that didn’t shatter into a million pieces when dropped, that would truly be a feature we could use.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com