There is a lot of cool stuff happening around the world and here I talk about some of that. There is no particular theme, just random stuff you might also find cool.
Ya man, Jamaica pon di e-currency
Whilst we drag our feet here in Zimbabwe, Jamaica will be rolling out its digital currency this first quarter of 2022. They completed a pilot project in December 2021 and its success led to the decision to make a full rollout this year.
The ‘RBZ’ of Jamaica says the digital currency will help lower transaction costs. Beautiful isn’t it. I only wish the powers that be in Zimbabwe were similarly repulsed by high transaction costs. You know, instead of actually increasing transaction costs through the 2% IMTT and ignoring banks’ predatory fee structures.
The Jamaicans also believe the digital currency will help bring financial inclusion to the majority of Jamaicans who are not part of the banking system. Man, these Jamaicans are facing the same challenges we face in Zimbabwe.
The Jamaicans won’t be rushing the rollout. They say they hope to replace 5% of Jamaican dollars with the new digital currency each year. Slow and steady just might win this race.
Other Caribbean countries beat them to the digital currency game and the Jamaicans are playing catch up.
When it comes to digital currencies, Zimbabwe is still in the research phase. Find out what digital currencies are and what the Zimbabwean regulators have said about them here.
Dudes using cars to mine bitcoin
Some fellas had Tesla electric cars and realised that these cars, with their huge batteries, CPUs and GPUs and 12 inch screens were basically mobile, driveable computers. So, naturally, they decided to see if they could use these cars to make them a little money on the side.
The geek’s version of mshiskashika involves mining for bitcoin and ethereum using a $40,000 car.
One guy connected a computer, the Apple M1 Mac mini (you know, the tiny portable computer that can turn any screen into a Mac computer) to the car through its 12V socket. He did this so he could use powerful external graphic cards connected to the Mac mini.
Says with this setup, he was able to net $800 per month mining Ethereum. He is quoted saying, “a mix of hacking into Tesla’s internal computer, plus plugging GPUs directly into the car’s electric motor” is the best way to maximise Teslas’ crypto mining capabilities.
Another guy just straight up connected a Bitmain Antminer S9, one of the best dedicated bitcoin mining hardware out there, directly into his Tesla. Essentially just using the Tesla as a battery pack. For him this made some sense because he has lifetime access to superfast charging which can fully charge the car in less than 30 minutes. Cause if you didn’t know, electricity costs will become significant as your mining operations ramp up.
Our guy also hacked the Tesla’s firmware (software) so he could mine via the car’s screen and browser. Now, this method relies on the car’s own GPUs which are not that powerful. 60hours of mining yielded only $10 worth of bitcoin this way.
With all these methods, these miners say this is all just a proof of concept. They just want to show that it can be done. While you may have thought you could drive the car whilst it pays for itself in the background, it makes no sense to depreciate a $40,000 car this way.
Guy runs Windows 11 on a phone
I know you’re thinking, ‘why?’ Well, why not? My man managed to run Windows 11 on an Android phone natively. He is not emulating Windows like how Bluestack emulates Android, and neither is he running a virtual machine. His OnePlus phone natively runs Windows 11!
How? You might know that Microsoft releases two versions of Windows, based on 2 different processor architectures. One is based on x86 and the other on Arm. The x86 is what we have found in desktops and laptops traditionally and is still used for all powerful Windows computers.
Now, Arm is the same architecture used for Android and iOS chips and you may have seen the always on PCs which have Snapdragon chips. That’s Windows on Arm. So, this Arm link is the one he exploited, especially helped by the fact that Qualcomm develops Arm chips for Windows and Arm chips for Android phones.
Turns outs that some PC drivers are compatible with the phones and that was the starting point. He says the challenge is booting into Windows and goes through how he did it using Project Renegade. This quote on the Renegade Project site tells you what they are all about:
….is a project aimed at providing a custom UEFI environment for Snapdragon 845 in order to boot any fuOS at EL1….we’re only using it as a bootloader. And it’s doing well in booting WindowsFrom Project Renegade website
So, our guy tinkered with the software until he got everything ready to work with his specific Snapdragon 845 powered phone. Then boom, his phone booted into Windows 11, natively.
He shows off the phone and indeed it is running Windows 11 and our guy even tries to game on it. Spoiler – the phone is too weak for heavy games but I think you would have guessed that.
This guy’s exploits are not going to change your life because it’s all rather pointless for the most part but what can I say, it’s still fun to see.
You can watch the full thing below: