This is a cute little post I wrote about the science behind Santa’s Enchantment. There are fictional interviews with three of the world’s leading experts on Christmas Magic.
Today’s Digital Tech & Industry section is all about the cornerstone of our civilization: cash! That’s right. For as long as there’s been human society there has been some form of currency. For most of human history it’s been more or less little bits of embossed metal called coins. However, in the 21st Century (thank goodness) we have Digital Mobile Payments, Cryptocurrencies, and Social Media Payments to enable all of our commercial indulgences! Hard to believe that there would be more than one way to pay but there it is. When we look back at 20th Century digital payments, the only examples that come to mind are wire transfers and direct deposit. However, now those seem so quiant compared to what we have going on today. A lot of hullabaloo is made over cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and others (e.g. NEO, EOS, and Monero); however, in a practical sense, trying to pay for say a pair of jeans or a latte with them still seems a bit too farfetched. But for millennials and Gen‐X/Yers, it’s as simple as taking out their smartphone (or raising their smartwatch) and tapping the POS (Point of Sale) terminal using their eWallets (i.e. Apple/Google/Samsung Pay). Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay are all pretty much the same with only a few device‐specific differences. They all use the NFC (or Near‐Field Communication) chips inside them to enable “contactless” transactions that are funded by a person’s digital wallet (or eWallet) usually linked to a bank/credit account. Samsung Pay actually has another level of mobile payment called MST (Magnetic Secure Transaction) that enables users to use their phones just like swiping a credit card—good for older POS terminals that do not have an NFC chip reader. And this is all well and good for millions of transactions...