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NOTE: This post is meant to be an introductory guide to Bitcoin’s impact on the environment, and some technical details and caveats have been omitted for brevity. This post is not intended to be investment advice.

Even though Bitcoin has tremendous potential for social good and financial inclusion, it also has a major PR problem.

Many of Bitcoin’s biggest misconceptions have persisted for way longer than they ever should have. Here are a few examples:

  1. Bitcoin is worthless because it isn’t backed by anything
  2. Bitcoin is perfect for criminals because it is anonymous and untraceable
  3. Bitcoin’s energy consumption is wasteful…

NOTE: This post is meant to be a non-technical explanation of the capabilities of Bitcoin for those unfamiliar with the technology, and some technical details and caveats have been omitted for brevity. This post is not intended to be investment advice.

Bitcoin has experienced a meteoric rise in the public consciousness since late 2017, much of it driven by short-term speculation by newcomers who have no idea what Bitcoin actually is or does, but are simply hoping its price keeps going up so that they can make some quick and easy money.

At one point, worldwide Google searches for Bitcoin…


Last week, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos published his latest annual letter to shareholders, in which he shares some of the business insights and philosophy that have helped him turn Amazon from a fledgling online bookstore startup into the $425 BILLION behemoth it is today.

Bezos’ annual letters began in 1997 and have become absolute must-reads for anyone working in tech, and for good reason — since its founding in 1994, no company has weathered as many storms and defied our expectations as much and as frequently as Amazon. …


This is a modified version of an Ignite-style “Lightning Talk” that I gave on March 21st, 2017 at SupConf, a biannual conference for support professionals.

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Who here has gotten this question before, from a customer? I’ll bet almost everyone here has, at one point.

On the internet, no one knows if you’re a dog, or a human, or a chatbot, and the gap between humans and chatbots gets smaller every year.

According to Forrester Research, 6% of jobs in this country will be replaced by AI in just the next 5 years, with the biggest impact felt in transportation, logistics…


…including the real origin of the Demogorgon

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If you haven’t seen Stranger Things on Netflix yet, STOP what you’re doing, cancel all your plans, and go watch it now. You won’t regret it.

I finished binge-watching it three weeks ago, and it was the most fun I’ve had watching a movie or TV show in a very long time. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since, and every day I’ve been going back to re-watch different scenes and consuming every podcast, forum, and news article I can find online.

It is basically a perfectly-crafted show. The casting, characters, acting, writing, directing, and music were…


This past March, a computer program named AlphaGo made history by defeating world-ranked pro Lee Sedol in a best-of-five Go match.

The world was both thrilled and terrified by this amazing milestone in artificial intelligence. Many people half-jokingly (and half-seriously) proclaimed that the Skynet apocalypse prophesied in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” was now inevitable.

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I applaud the team that built AlphaGo, but it confuses me when people equate these technological advances with the end of human civilization.

The media loves to focus on what computers and robots are great at, and I don’t blame them. …


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from “TRON: Legacy”

(NOTE: This is a modified version of a “Show & Tell” talk I gave internally at Olark Live Chat)

I’ve always enjoyed thinking about and the future. Learning about the past helps me appreciate how far we’ve come, and I can only imagine how different our lives might be 10, 20, or even 100 years from now.

In that sense, I guess it’s only natural that I ended up gravitating towards the tech industry, where change is constant and everyone is trying to make the future happen just a little bit faster than it otherwise might have.

I try to…


We’re already a full month into 2016. My goodness, does time fly.

2016 also happens to be the year when I’ll be turning 30.

I feel neither dread nor excitement now that the tens digit of my age has finally incremented once again. I feel no different than I did this time last year, and the year before that.

But 30 is a round number, and we all know how human beings love round numbers. I’m pretty sure Grizzly bears and Bornean orangutans don’t care if they’re 29 or 30, but human beings do. …


There are two types of startup ideas: Those that are inevitable, and those that need to be willed into the world. Which type will you make?

In the last weekend of May, more than a hundred people convened in a downtown San Francisco co-working space to create tech-based solutions to the biggest pain points they’ve experienced.

That might sound like any other weekend in Silicon Valley, but this was no ordinary hackathon. This one focused on Immigration, which is deeply embedded in the fabric of Silicon Valley and yet doesn’t receive anywhere near the attention it deserves. After all, 25% of high tech companies founded between 1995 and 2005 had at least one immigrant founder, and 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by 1st or…


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To this day, I still remember the moment that first sparked my interest in technology, way back when I was just a little kid in New Jersey — I was in the third grade, and I was sitting in the middle of the front row of the classroom. Our teacher was lecturing us about the different ways human beings pollute the environment, and she then asked the class what could be done to make things better. It was a difficult question for a group of 9-year-olds, but one kid raised his hand and said the President could change the laws…

Peter Shin

Hungry and Foolish. Literally. Product Analyst @Olark by day, Batman by night.

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