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When it comes to the many classical established locales of the traditional art industry, Paris, France, has long been the undisputed epicenter. Home to a variety of the most influential creators to ever have lived, the “City of Light” is the place to go when you’re seeking the center stage of the art world.

So when NFTs verge anywhere near this historic city, Web3 is understandably raucous with exhilaration. Yet, from conferences to exhibits, few endeavors have captured the unique and budding culture of the metaverse art movement, quite like a forthcoming venture from Artpoint, NFT Factory, and Punk6529.

With a new exhibition called “For The Culture,” these three decentralization-fueled entities have enlisted a slew of artists to erect a considerable monument to Web3 and NFT art and culture.

For The Culture, exhibition details

Created in collaboration between Artpoint, the digital art gallery/NFT platform, NFT Factory, a decentralized technology proponent, and Punk6529, the prominent art collector on a mission to accelerate the creation of an Open Metaverse, For The Culture is an exhibition and NFT sale.

The event — which is billed as a celebration of Web3’s unique subculture, with all its humor, memes, and creativity — is scheduled to take place in person at the NFT Factory, Paris, and online via Foundation from July 5 – 8. Reportedly, it will showcase pieces from more than 130 artists, including works from the prominent Meme Cards project, as well as 30 unreleased artworks by Meme Card artists and artists represented by Artpoint.

Credit: Dom Barra Credit: Victor Arce

Prominent artists featured in the exhibition include XCOPY, DeeKay Kwon, Alpha Centauri Kid, Shavonne Wong, Seerlight, and AlienQueen, among others. The exhibition also comes off the back of Punk6529’s acquisition of Dmitri Cherniak’s Ringers #879 (The Goose), which was a significantly hot topic within the NFT space after it almost doubled its pre-sale estimate at Sotheby’s 3AC Grails Round Two auction.

By the culture, for the culture

Considering memes have remained an important part of internet culture since the mid-2000s, For The Culture is meant to be somewhat of a reflection on the influence of memes throughout the blockchain sector. Since the early days of the crypto art movement, artists have played with Web3 symbols to create memes, and the proliferation of these creations has developed into a heritage indicative of the Web3 community we know today. 

“The challenge with this exhibition was to communicate a common thread that unites over 100 artists from the 6529, NFT Factory, and Artpoint communities. All artists who work with the blockchain are using a new technology that requires an element of curiosity, experimentation, and even playfulness,” Vienna Kim, Artistic Manager at Artpoint and Curator of For The Culture, said in a press release.

“We wanted to capture the feeling of liberation in Web3 culture by representing a myriad of styles, techniques, and approaches while staying rooted to that sense of freedom,” she continued.

Credit: Natalie Shau Credit: Sky Goodman

Notably, Kim expressed confidence in the mission of For The Culture, which is to explore the various manifestations of art on the blockchain that have formulated the unique subculture within Web3 — characterized by inside jokes, memes, and specific terminologies (like GM and WAGMI). 

Although For The Culture will undoubtedly draw a sizeable crowd to its showing in the heart of Paris, enthusiasts from all over the world are encouraged to view the collection of never-before-seen NFTs on Foundation. Organized as a Foundation World under the same title as the IRL experience, the online version of the exhibition presents a similarly immersive experience with the added opportunity to mint an open edition for the duration of the exhibition.

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The Rise Of Open Source Hardware

Emile Petrone founded Tindie for selfish reasons. “The basic idea was that there wasn’t a marketplace for the things I was interested in,” he says. At the time, those things were his latest DIY hardware obsessions—specifically, kits to support Arduino and Raspberry Pi. “Ebay’s not really right, and neither is Amazon. Hardware projects had no natural home.”

So in the summer of 2012, Petrone (then an engineer at a Portland startup) launched a site where flexible matrix boards and laser motion sensors could be sold alongside build-it-yourself weather monitoring kits and robot birds. Almost immediately, Tindie began attracting favorable attention from the indie hardware community—and then expanded from there. Today, around 600 inventors sell more than 3,000 different hardware products, which have shipped out to more than 80 countries around the world. Some customers are hobbyists like Petrone, but others are large entities like the Australian government, Google and NASA. These days, Petrone says, “NASA’s purchasing department just calls my cell phone.”

Just as Etsy became the go-to marketplace for craft creators, Tindie has become the primary hub for hardware aficionados.

The site has also gained a strong following from hard-core DIY types. Just as Etsy became the go-to marketplace for craft creators, Tindie has become the primary hub for hardware aficionados. “We are definitely part of and supportive of the maker movement,” Petrone says. “We fill the hardware side.”

An open source rolling robot Ryantech LTD on Tindie

Petrone, who stands on the board of the Open Source Hardware Association, insists that this development was not intentional but rather just happened. Whatever the reasoning, it could be a boon for hardware. Unlike software, which has been open sourced for decades and includes hundreds of thousands of projects, hardware has lagged behind the open source movement, wherein the inner workings of a program or a product are openly available for anyone to see, edit or modify. Open source software projects demonstrate the value of this approach, having led to integral creations such as Linux, the operating system that vast majority of the Internet runs on today. “The more people who know about a project and have access to it, the better it becomes,” Petrone says. “We then all benefit from that collective development.”

DIY Ghost Low Voltage Labs on Tindie

For companies and makers, the revenue model for open source hardware is still being worked out, since a person could potentially exploit an open source platform and sell it for profit. But as Arduino— a micro-controller for DIYers, and the most successful open source hardware project to date—shows, people tend to buy the $30 original version rather than the $10 copycats. “Most people want to support those who are actually contributing and putting the sweat and time into the project,” Petrone says. “You don’t get the same warm fuzzy feeling when buying a closed product as you do when you support someone who is creating an open one.”

As for Tindie sellers, monetary support has so far not been a problem. There is so much demand for the open source products sold on the site that the waiting list alone contains nearly half a million dollars’ worth of orders. For Petrone, “This has been something incredibly interesting to see because, ultimately, it’s a totally new market that doesn’t exist anywhere else.”

Tindie, however, is likely only an early example of what is to come.

“I think open hardware will start coming into its own in the next ten years,” Petrone says. “Apple’s not going to open source their products anytime soon, but Tesla could.”

This article was originally published in the October 2014 issue of Popular Science with the title, “The Etsy Of Hardware.” It has been expanded in this web version.

The Rise Of Diamond Semiconductors And The Future Of Tech

Diamonds are still a girl’s best friend, but in today’s technology-driven world, they have become so much more than eye candy and have increasingly been used as a replacement for silicon.

With any industry, it’s all about supply and demand. So what are the demands that have prompted this diversification both in diamond use as well as in diamond creation?

The limitations of silicon-based technology is one of the biggest factors in the rise of diamond-based technology. The element silicon has been the primary semiconductor in electronics for over half a century. Unfortunately, silicon semiconductors come with a few key issues. Firstly, there’s the issue of heat. Silicon semiconductors require a great deal of heat management which in turn results in major energy waste. Secondlythe size and speed of electronic devices are limited by the performance capabilities of silicon. At this point, it is difficult – if not impossible – to create smaller or faster devices while still relying on silicon semiconductors.

The Power of Diamonds as Semiconductors

Diamonds have always been powerful. But these ones aren’t powerful as in “you must be filthy rich to be able to afford something like this,” powerful, but more as in “wow these can really help change the future” powerful. Diamond semiconductors are the answer to the issues of heat and cooling, as well as size and efficiency. Diamonds can withstand greater heat while still providing superior performance; what heat is generated is more easily and efficiently cooled. Electronic devices that rely on a diamond semiconductors can be made faster and smaller, thanks to diamond’s higher voltage tolerance and ability to provide 1 million times more electrical current than silicon counterparts.

The Potential for Supercomputer Utility

Consumer-driven, mass-marketed electronics aren’t the only devices that could see great technological leaps thanks to a diamonds-for-silicon replacement. Diamonds could also enable scientists to create supercomputers with greater storage and greater power. These quantum computers would be capable of solving complex problems that are out of reach for current technology.

Of course, semiconductors and supercomputers are only two of the non-aesthetic uses for diamonds. As one of the hardest minerals on Earth, diamonds are becoming more and more useful for processing other materials, either by cutting, grinding or polishing. Other tools and materials such as windows, surgical instruments, blades and phonograph needles all have diamond-reliant variations.

Longevity and Faster Production Time

The increased technological demand for diamonds also has ties to the growing manmade diamond industry. Lab-grown diamonds take far less time to create than their natural counterparts, while still providing the durability and thermal conductivity found in Earth-grown diamonds. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) stacks carbon atoms on top of a small diamond seed, creating precious gems in mere months instead of millennia. In addition to fast-tracking the diamond formation process, CVD diamonds are also free of the negative stigma of blood – or conflict resource – diamonds.

Silicon is still the base for a majority of the tech on the market today, and that may never completely change. Not every man, woman or child has need of a quantum computer. However, as the lure of “smaller and faster” maintains a constant influence in tech marketing, it may be that the amount of diamond-based consumer electronics will rise as silicon’s limits are found – and found wanting. The era of diamond-driven technology has only just begun and will far surpass early dreams of quantum computers and semiconductors before it draws to a close.

Tokenized Minigames: The Next Big Thing In Nfts?

Many have theorized that the convergence of NFTs and gaming would bring about a unmatchably robust sector of blockchain interoperability. Yet, although a wide range of Web3 gaming endeavors exist and have achieved varying degrees of success, it seems that none so far have risen high enough to achieve the ultimate goal of NFT stewards: mainstream adoption.

But is mainstream adoption really what the blockchain gaming sector should be gunning for? Sure, taking NFTs from niche to mainstream is an admirable goal that, more often than not, seems to be universally accepted throughout Web3. But who are the true beneficiaries of this achievement? Aren’t games created for the express reason of bringing entertainment and fun to their consumers?

Some seem to think so, as has become apparent with a recent boost in NFT minigames. A far less complex sibling to traditional gaming ventures, minigames are crafted for brevity and serve to dole out enjoyment through simplicity. And while Yuga Labs‘ massively popular Dookey Dash might be front-running this burgeoning sector, it is far from being the only player aiming to make minigames stick.

What is a minigame?

Whether you’re a gaming hobbyist or a bonafide RPG aficionado, you’ve likely come across a good few minigames throughout your gaming escapades. Characterized by their short runtimes and simple mechanics, minigames are often contained within another video game or offered as a standalone game, similar to the gaming cabinets of old you might encounter in an arcade.

It’s important to note that NFT minigames (or arcade games as they’re also often called) don’t always adhere to strict parameters. While minigames have anecdotally existed as a subsection of a larger game (like in-game puzzle users must complete in Final Fantasy), NFT minigames are presented as one-off games either hosted on the blockchain or powered through NFTs.

Who’s creating NFT minigames?

Apart from Dookey Dash — an endless runner style game that, after launching in mid-January, amassed a significant market share as the new hot-button item from the Bored Ape Yacht Club — there are a few other notable NFT minigame endeavors that have risen to prominence. One such project is Levels.art.

Levels.art

A new endeavor from Jordan Lyall’s Web3 innovation studio Venture Punk and Animetas founder cyberh49, chúng tôi is an interactive on-chain art platform where top artists drop exclusive collections of playable NFTs. For the platform’s first release on February 16, Levels collaborated with prominent Web3 creator Bryan Brinkman on Cloud Poppers, a minigame created in his brightly colored, cloud-themed style.

Cloud Poppers features 100 editions of an art-focused, uniquely crafted pixel-art game released via Dutch auction. Although the Brinkman minigame collection is a feat of on-chain innovation, it is far more on par with the aforementioned ethos of providing entertainment as a prime utility rather than aiming to turn NFT tourists into purists. As Lyall puts it, Levels is, essentially, all about fun.

“I always just try to have fun with what I’m doing. Like, if it’s not fun, then why even do it?” Lyall said in an interview with nft now. A seasoned builder in the DeFi space, Lyall switched directions when NFTs started to pop off, finding that memes and creativity were a perfect avenue to create innovation and fun.

With Venture Punk, he says he’s aiming to take chances with his projects, with Levels being one of the first to come from the studio. “The vision is of a decentralized arcade. I hesitate to use this example because I don’t want to sound competitive, but [Levels] is supposed to be like if Art Blocks and Chuck E. Cheese had a baby,” he said.

While Levels is undoubtedly top of mind for fans of fine artists like Brinkman and those watching the slow rise of minigames in the NFT space, it grows upon a niche sector that has been carved out over the past few years by similar endeavors. Because before there was Levels, ArcadeNFT and chúng tôi were two of the sole proprietors of simplistic NFT gaming experiences.

ArcadeNFT

ArcadeNFT, released on August 13, 2023, combines the lure of retro arcade games with NFT tradeability. A collection of interactive NFTs, ArcadeNFT centers around novel token mechanics and user experience. Each of the project’s playable arcade games has the look and feel of retro gaming cabinets while existing as code on the Ethereum blockchain. In the beginning, the project started out with the single release of a simple, playable pinball NFT, but it has since grown into a larger assortment of over 12,000 NFTs and features seven unique games.

METADRAGONZ. Credit: ArcadeNFT

Pl4y.art

Pl4y.art launched on April 17, 2023, via the now-defunct NFT marketplace Hic et Nunc. Created by an enigmatic artist and developer who goes by the name play, the series is comprised of dozens of NFTs that skirt the line between interactive art and minigame experience.

While play themself might lean toward identifying their releases as interactive NFTs (perhaps akin to other collections like TheDudes), it makes sense to label many of their Pl4y endeavors as true minigames, as their full-fledged NFT game chúng tôi goes a step beyond ArcadeNFT and Levels. Existing on the Tezos blockchain along a range of influential generative pieces crafted by the anonymous creator, Pl4y is seemingly the most unique and robust entrant into the still-growing NFT minigame sector.

What’s next for NFT minigames?

Of course, other NFT minigame projects are populating the blockchain in addition to those listed here. More minigame endeavors will inevitably crop up as the NFT space continues to mature, each adding a bit more merit to the slowly growing market sector and achieving an increasing degree of exposure via the gaming charts featured on prominent NFT marketplaces like OpenSea. But to reiterate, while AAA NFT games may still be taking the cake in Web3 gaming, hoping to cross the blockchain/mainstream barrier, projects in the minigame and arcade sphere seem to have set different priorities.

As noted by Lyall, while the holy grail of NFT gaming is often communicated as being interoperability — i.e., being able to purchase assets in one game and still utilize them in a range of other games — there’s a long road ahead before this reality comes to fruition. “There’s a lot that we need to do beforehand, and maybe even things that would be more compelling than [AAA interoperability],” said Lyall. “Imagine if you could own a level of your favorite game or if you could own a screen.”

For Lyall and Levels, this theoretical and detail-oriented iteration, which some might consider a lower level of development for a AAA game, deserves more attention and is what minigames thrive on. “With constant experimentation and evolution, I think we’re going to create some things that are only possible with blockchain tech and nothing any of us could have dreamed of,” he said. “At the end of the day, we just want to have fun and show what’s possible with this tech.”

Creating A Culture Of Learning In Your Organisation

Creating A Culture Of Learning In Your Organization

“Building a culture of learning in your organization is a fundamental concept for raising the bar of achievement and skill levels across the whole firm. It just works!”.

In this course, I explore the ways that you can contribute to building a culture of learning in your organization. Not just helping people learn, or driving education and training, but how you can create a firm-wide, global culture that embeds a passion for self-learning and education into the structural fabric of your company. To make learning part of your DNA.

Part 1 – Introduction

What to expect from the course and why I’m qualified to teach this. I’ve been a people manager for 20 years at some of the biggest companies in the world. I’ve led teams large and small and am obsessed with making work a great place to be so that everyone can bring their best selves to work every day. Learning is a key pillar of a high-performing company and this guide will help you embed learning as a foundational pillar of your organization, your team, and yourself.

Part 2 – The Importance of Learning

What makes a culture of learning so important and why should you even bother learning? We’ll take a look at the benefits of being a true self-learner and what a systemic drive for education can do to an organization. We’ll also complain about how rubbish it used to be in the old days, and how lucky you guys are now to have all the cool resources available. Does anyone remember Encyclopedia Britannica? Thought not!

Part 3 – How Individuals Can Become True Self-Learners

In this section we explore what being a true self-learner actually involves, We’ll also dive into a number of resources and approaches that individuals can adopt to really supercharge their learning abilities. Techniques from speed listening, making the most of the dead time in your day, to developing the mental habits that can help you embed learning into your daily routine.

Part 4 – What Managers & Bosses Can Do To Facilitate Learning

In part 4 we take on the role of a manager or team leader. How can you help your teams maximize their learning capabilities and how can you drive a culture of learning to make your team the best around. We’ll look at how to structure work to give people the autonomy and freedom to learn new skills, as well as encourage internal mobility and personalized learning plans. We’ll even explore how you can make your team so good that they quit!

Part 5 – What Senior Leadership Must Do To Drive A Culture Of Learning

Senior leadership play a critical role in helping an entire firm embrace a learning mindset. As a senior leader we’ll use this section to explore how you can not only provide your initiatives with the resources and funding they require, but we’ll show how you can inspire and drive the uptake of your learning culture across the whole firm. Selling the message, demonstrating the return on investment and also driving vendor certification. It’s all here.

Part 6 – The Downsides Of A Learning Culture

As with any good thing, there are a couple of downsides. We’ll explore them here. Note, there aren’t many! Learning is overwhelmingly positive, but driving a change in culture does have some important caveats.

Part 7 – Conclusion & Recap

Wrap up time!

Who this course is for:

Individuals with a thirst for knowledge

Managers that want to embrace a learning mindset for their teams

Senior leaders that want to develop a culture of learning in their organizations

Goals

How to maximise your learning every day

What benefits learning gives to individuals, teams & organisations

How you can be a true self-learner

How managers can set up teams to embrace learning

The responsibilities of senior leadership for building a culture of continuous learning

How to create a culture of learning in your organisation

How to become known as a learning leader and broaden your learning network

Prerequisites

Have a desire to learn and want to develop more skills

Influence Of Culture & Social Class

Influence of Culture & Social Class

An individual has his own choice and mindset. Consumer buying behavior eventually refers to the buying behavior of an individual. An individual can get affected by the environment in which he lives, his culture, his social class, his psychology and his personality. Now, marketers need to understand this psychology and the mindset of these consumers, also, understand what all factors influence their behavior to develop effective marketing strategies.

Culture

Culture is a very important aspect to understand the behavior of a consumer. It signifies the set of values of a particular community.

An individual decides to behave in a certain manner because of his culture. He gets all these values from his parents and family. Every individual has different sets of values as compared to others, what they see from their childhood when they start practicing those habits, they become their culture.

Culture does vary from individual to individual, region to region, and country to country, so the marketer needs to pay a lot of attention in analyzing the culture of various regions and groups. Throughout the process, the consumer is under influence of his culture as his friends, family, society, and his prestige influence him.

For a marketer, it is very crucial to take all these things into consideration while analyzing or observing a consumer’s behavior as they play a vital role in his behavior, perception and expectations.

For example, if we observe the taste and preferences, people in southern India prefers rice to roti whereas north Indian people prefer roti than rice.

Social Classes

The social groups or membership groups to which an individual belongs are the social classes that influence him. In the social classes, we usually find people with similar values, lifestyle and behavior. Now a marketer or a researcher needs to pay attention here because generally the buying behavior of people in a particular social class to some extent is similar, though the level of influence may be low or high, he can tailor his marketing activities according to different social classes. Social perception is a very important attribute that influences the buying behavior of an individual.

Example − A person from a low-income group may focus on price while making the purchase while a person from a higher income group may consider the quality and uniqueness of the product.

Sometimes an individual also is influenced by a social group to which he does not belong, but wishes to get connected with others. For example, in a college a student is in no need to buy a smart phone but purchases it to be part of that group and be accepted by them.

Marketers need to understand these situations well and plan their strategies accordingly for such social benefits. Individuals play various roles in the consumer buying process −

Initiator − Initiator is usually the person who comes up with an idea and suggests the purchase.

Influencer − He is the individual who actually pushes for the purchase. He highlights the benefits of the product. This individual can be from the family or friend or outside the group too.

Decision Maker − He is generally the person who takes the final decision or the final call after analyzing all the pros and cons of the product. He may not necessarily be the final buyer as may also take the decision on behalf of the consumer.

For example, a father might decide on buying a laptop for his son or a brother might decide on the best career option for his sister.

Buyer − Buyer is generally the end user or the final consumer who uses the product.

Family

As we, all know family plays a very important role in making a purchase. The family is responsible for shaping up the personality of an individual. Our attitude, perception and values are inculcated through our family.

An individual tends to have similar buying habits and similar taste and preference and consumption patterns as he gets to see within the family. Perception and family values have strong influence on the buying behavior of an individual which they tend to keep constant.

Social Status

A social status of an individual usually comprises of an individual’s attitude, class and prestige. It depends on the way he carries himself socially or the position at which he is in his work or family or even in his group of friends. The social status of an individual influences his consumption pattern.

Example − A CEO may want to have a celebration and give a party to his colleagues, friends and family, so for his social status he may want to book a five star hotel, something like Taj or Oberoi instead of any other normal hotel.

A purchase decision takes place because of the above-mentioned factors. A consumer is influenced by his culture, environment, family, social status and groups. Companies need to understand these factors and develop strategies and market themselves accordingly to meet the needs of the consumers and increase sales.

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