Three phone screens showing different sizes of the Curio widget
Three phone screens showing different sizes of the Curio widget

If you are anything like us you’ll be well aware that Apple released the 14th version of iOS last Wednesday. It’s a pretty exciting update, containing a bunch of new features like a native translation app, compact phone calls, and an emoji search. Among the many new features was something that we found very exciting here at Curio: widgets.

What’s a widget?

Widgets are essentially miniature apps that live on your iPhone’s home screen and update throughout the day, helping you see live information from the main app in a quicker and easier-to-access way. …


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Curio, the premium audio platform with a curated library of expert journalism, has closed a $9M Series A round led by Earlybird. Draper Esprit, Cherry Ventures, and Horizons Ventures also took part in the investment. Before the Series A, Curio raised $2M, led by Cherry Ventures, with the participation of 500 Startups and private angel investors, bringing the total amount raised to $11M to date.

Curio plans to use the investment to strengthen its position in the US and UK markets, while expanding to other anglophone parts of the world, including India, Australia, and South Africa. …


You probably know by now that Facebook is planning to launch a new currency based on blockchain early next year.

The first online record of blockchain was back in 2008, on a mysterious technical paper, written under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. The technology was to serve as the public transaction ledger of the cryptocurrency bitcoin.

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But seeds were planted before that. In 1999, Nobel Prize American economist Milton Friedman proclaimed on this interview: “I think that the Internet is going to be one of the major forces for reducing the role of government. The one thing that’s missing, (…) is a reliable e-cash, a method whereby on the Internet you can transfer funds from A to B without A knowing B or B knowing A, the way I can take a $20 bill hand it over to you and then there’s no record of where it came from”.

However, blockchain is more than just bitcoin and will revolutionise far more than money: it will change your life, or so says Dominic Frisby in Aeon Magazine, while explaining how it actually works.

Perhaps it will also change the lives of poor communities. Peruvian economist, Hernando de Soto, is setting up a blockchain-based decentralised ledger system to let poor communities record both their formal and informal property rights permanently.

It’s not all roses in the blockchain world, and there may be a catch or two:

Is the start of a shift or the beginning of the end? Are you feeling bullish or bearish about the future of blockchain?


In a post-screen age, audio represents the first step towards true augmented reality

Written by Jack Apollo George, Associate Editor

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A twig crackles underfoot as a predator approaches.

A mother sings her new born baby to sleep.

A rumble of thunder, the farmer’s relief.

If you listen, you can hear it, some sound somewhere telling exactly what’s happening around you.

Sound has put us in our place for millennia. It situates the self in an immediate and immersive way. And will continue to do so for millennia to come.

We have evolved to discern between the whisper and the scream, the small stream up ahead or the waterfall around the corner. …


Written by Jack Apollo George, Associate Editor

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The value of a name

When we appreciate art, what are we valuing? Is it the skill that goes into the execution of the piece? The ideas and intents that inspire it? Or merely the name of the artist — its single and indisputable origin?

Most people would like to argue that it is all about the craft, the affect that a piece might have on its audience — but if that were true, then why should forgeries be so maligned?

Skill in deception

Indeed it takes an incredibly skilful artist to find success as a forger. Like the Hyde to a successful artist’s Jekyll, the forger thrives on their technical ability and often ends up selling to the same buyers. …


When robots take our jobs, will we just get free money?

Written by Jack Apollo George, Associate Editor

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Money or meaning, which are you picking?

Fired by AI

Software will eat the world.

But first robots will chew through your pay checks.

Machines will make your life easier. They will also ensure you can’t make rent.

Assuming all this techno-doomsaying is accurate — the question remains as to what you do with all the unemployed and literally economic useless citizens. And by that I mean you and me and everyone whose day-to-day work involves something procedural, calculating or remotely repetitive.

Robots will do grunt work well. They may even be better writers, better lawyers, better friends, better lovers. But we don’t need to worry about that just yet — the economic situation is still under our control. …


The Man Who Tried to Redeem the World with Logic

Listen to the remarkable story of Walter Pitts who rose from the streets to MIT, but couldn’t escape himself.

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Listen to this remarkable story from Nautilus Magazine only on curio.io

For more outstanding journalism in audio from The Guardian, The Financial Times, Salon and over 20 top publications, download the curio.io app

IOS (http://apple.co/2kkl5Jd)

Android (http://bit.ly/2tDOWwI)


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Marlowe & Shakespeare

The life of the English language’s most famous poet doesn’t often appear in his work. Could that be because William Shakespeare never wrote a single decent verse? In 2002, Gavin McNett, writing in Salon, investigated the claim that the playwright, translator and spy, Christopher Marlowe was in fact the man behind one of the greatest ever bodies of literary work.

“There are six extant Shakespeare signatures from banal documents, all crabbed and variant, as though he had difficulty writing his name. There’s no record of his having attended the village school, or of his having donated a penny to it in his wealthy middle age, although, as the film shows, he lived literally across the street. His daughters were, it seems, illiterate, in sharp contrast to the practice among educated Elizabethans (and in the ethics on display in the Shakespearean plays). …


Rising from the ashes of a mistrusted financial industry, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies promise to revolutionise monetary systems. But should we be ready to put our trust in them?

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You can listen to the curio.io audio series, made up of articles from Aeon Magazine, where we examine the future of money, from crypto to blockchain and beyond, here: https://medium.com/s/crypto-confidence


Jonathan Franzen asks whether writing can make a difference in the age of Trump and climate change.

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“If an essay is something essayed — something hazarded, not definitive, not authoritative; something ventured on the basis of the author’s personal experience and subjectivity — we might seem to be living in an essayistic golden age. Which party you went to on Friday night, how you were treated by a flight attendant, what your take on the political outrage of the day is: the presumption of social media is that even the tiniest subjective micronarrative is worthy not only of private notation, as in a diary, but of sharing with other people. …

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Listen to audio journalism from leading publications like The Economist, The Guardian, Bloomberg, Financial Times and others. Download Curio now: www.curio.io

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