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The Lede, 1-15-18 Bitcoin, Brightline and Bezos

Good morning. On this day in 1929, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta.

The Lede, Jan. 15, 2018

By David Royse

We never saw “Make America What it Ought to Be” on any caps. That was one of King’s overarching pleas.

“Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation.” Martin Luther King, from the “I have Been to the Mountaintop Speech,” 1968, Memphis, Tenn.


FCC to Hawaii: Fix Your Alert System. This is Not a Drill

The Federal Communications Commission is telling the state of Hawaii to make sure that what happened Saturday, when the state falsely sent out an alarm to cell phones warning Hawaiians that a ballistic missile was headed their way, doesn’t happen again.

So, what went wrong? A guy pushed the wrong button



“As of the end of last year, the digital currency was listed as a way to pay for some 75 properties for sale, especially in south Florida and California, according to the real estate firm Redfin.”

Meanwhile, South Korea will make a decision on a proposed ban on cryptocurrency exchanges after “sufficient consultation and coordination of opinions,” the country’s government said today.

And, Ethereum co-creator Steven Nerayoff says increased projects using the cryptocurrency could trigger a “flippening” in 2018, in which ethereum overtakes bitcoin.

Also in Blockchain news:


Earlier this week Kodak and WENN Digital announced they’ve created a type of blockchain-enabled cryptocurrency that can be embedded into photos to help photographers get paid when someone uses a photo they’ve taken.


The country’s first privately-run intercity train system to start since the ‘70s got going over the weekend, as the Brightline began whisking passengers between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale in South Florida in about a half hour.

Brightline Private Passenger Rail“It was smooth, it was fast. Thirty-five minutes for 41 miles — that was amazing,” Cliff Dunn, national secretary of the 30,000-member Rail Passengers Association, told the Palm Beach Post about the trip to Fort Lauderdale. He also lauded the staff. “I’ve only experienced service like this in Europe.”


Pennsylvania U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, says people all over the country will be watching Brightline to see if it can be replicated in other congested urban areas. Palm Beach Post


The Detroit Auto Show started up over the weekend. Several automakers are rolling out new versions of old cars. But in terms of something that’s truly in the now, Ford had an interesting announcement.

It plans to significantly increase investments in electric vehicles to $11 billion by 2022 and have 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles in its model lineup.

The full story from Reuters


Almost all of the new energy capacity that came online in US last year was in the form of renewable energy, mostly because fossil fuel plants are coming to the end of their lives and aren’t being replaced with fossil fuel plants

The story from Engadget


Jeff Bezos is having to be more public these days. Late last week, the New York Times had an interesting well-done profile of Bezos that looks at his new step into more of the limelight. In case you missed it, it’s a good, if a bit long, read.

Read the NYT story on Jeff Bezos


Health and Self: 

Would you zap your brain for self-improvement?

Some shocking news here.

We’re interested in the latest in health technology at LedeTree – new ways in which medical science is allowing us to live longer without the aches and pains of living longer, and finding treatments and cures for diseases. We’re also interested in efforts to improve our lives through health-related science.

Here’s a weird, but really interesting possibility: the idea that we can improve brain function with self-neurostimulation. Yeah, that’s shooting some electricity into our brains.

Read the full story, Zap Your Brain for a Better You, from Engadget – it notes we’re not sure yet how well this works, but research is starting to show correlations between improved performance and tDCS, or transcranial direct current stimulation.

Go ahead, electrify me

In addition to being Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 15 is also the day that work was finished on the Pentagon in 1943 and, on this day in 2009, Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger landed his US Airways Airbus 320 in the Hudson River in New York with two engines disabled from a bird strike. All 155 passengers lived.

Have a good week!

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About David Royse

David Royse
David Royse is the Editor-in-Chief of Ledetree.com. He has been a professional journalist for more than 20 years, including stints with The Associated Press and The News Service of Florida. He enjoys writing about health and medical science, and hopeful stories about scientific breakthroughs and new technology.

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