Wednesday 11th February

BITCOIN

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Bank of England Worrying about ‘An Uber-type Situation’ in Banking

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney worries that technology will disrupt the banking and financial services industry in just the same way that it has torn apart newspapers, radio and the postal service.

His chief concern is that governments will fail to regulate it until it’s too late — “an Uber-type situation,” as he put it at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week. – Jim Edwards

 

Don’t be Afraid. The Gloves Are Off. The Revolt Has Begun

Personal emails of the press secretary of Russian Prime Minister sold for 150 BTC on anonymous bitcoin information market – libertas.bz

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Ongoing Auction: A complete copy of the data (as of August 2014) from three devices belonging to Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev. The total size of the files exceeds 1 gigabyte, SMS-correspondence (a few thousand messages), photos, and videos, call history and phone book, Skype – libertas.bz

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Distributed blackmarkets can be built on top of the bitcoin block chain and Darkleaks is one of these new applications. We give the world a new scheme for selling information of any type, form or kind. This is a gift for you to stop corruption and challenge power – Darkleaks

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The Slur market is WikiLeaks 2.0. An open source, decentralized and anonymous marketplace for the selling of secret information in exchange for bitcoin. Governments are in the unfortunate predicament of having a large number of secrets to protect – slur.io

 

The Transformation is Coming. Fiat Currency is Finished.

This is the sea change. The Transformation. Business as usual off the table and in the garbage. It makes anyone who can think giddy.

The horrors of the 20th century, prohibition, warmongering, the military industrial complex, Socialism, will all disappear as Rome did. The old insane asylum world will permanently die. We’ll look back on it in the same way that people look back on the USSR and its misery.

No one will be able to understand how billions of people all put up with money printed by criminals. It will be as strange as cannibalism. Inflation, legal tender laws, central banking and The Federal Reserve will seem like the most savage and repellant barbarism imaginable.

And yet as we study Pol Pot today and don’t give it a second thought, men of the very near future will shrug their shoulders and carry on. The Stateless crypto future will allow men to brush off the horrors of the 20th century as we brush off the horrors of the past today.

When this happens, the idea of the State returning will be met with both raucous laughter and great hostility depending on your age. The young will laugh at the idea of a short gargoyle woman saying a search engine must be “taxed “, and the old will remember the monster. – Beautyon

 

 

MINING

New All Time High in Bitcoin Mining Difficulty

Despite January 27th’s drop in the mining difficulty by -6.14%, today’s adjustment increased by 7.71%, taking the difficulty to a new all time high of 44,455,415,962.

The hash rate at the time of today’s increase was 318,224,263 GH/s, up from 295,442,739 GH/s on January 27th – Cazalla

 

Miner Comfortable with Costs at Current Bitcoin Price

A bitcoin mine near the Arctic Circle is to start using 16 nanometer chips to improve mining efficiency. KnCMiner said the technology would make mining cheaper and allow it to increase production. The Stockholm-based firm has also secured $15m (£10m) in Series B funding led by Accel Partners. It said the extra money would allow it to expand and future-proof its mining operation.

KnCMiner CEO Sam Cole said the use of more advanced proprietary hardware was allowing bitcoin mines to cut costs. He also dismissed concerns that it was becoming too expensive to mine bitcoin.

“We do not think the cost is prohibitively high, if we did we’d turn our farms off. We’re also developing our own hardware in-house, using several proprietary techniques to achieve higher efficiency.”

He said that at the current rate of exchange (£158 is equal to one bitcoin at the time of writing) there would be “no problems”. Cole explained that KnCMiner was also able save money by using natural cooling as its bitcoin mines are all based either in or near the Arctic Circle.

The company has generated over $100m (£66m) in revenue since it launched in 2013 and plans to invest a further $150m over the next 18 months to improve and expand its services – James Temperton

 

 

ALTCOINS

The Euro

Alan Greenspan: “Greece Will Leave The Eurozone” And “There Is No Way That I Can Conceive Of The Euro Continuing”!

The Euro is going to die. This is a FACT. Bitcoin at today’s prices is an insane steal, and so is gold. Got Euro savings? You’re NUTS – Beautyon

 

 

COMPANIES / PROJECTS / PRODUCTS

Purse.io

Roger Ver: Bitcoin’s killer app may have arrived in purse.io. Easily get huge savings on goods direct from Amazon.

Richard Stanway: Bitcoin’s killer app is credit card fraud?

Roger Ver: The majority of orders on PurseIO are paid for with Amazon credit earned from things like Amazon Mechanical Turk, not credit cards.

 

Drones

DJI, the Chinese maker of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) “drone” that crashed on the lawn of the White House, may be winning the approval of U.S. officials with its decision to block their use within the U.S. Capitol, but not all of its customers are happy.

On Wednesday, DJI announced that it would release a “mandatory” firmware update for its Phantom drones that would use GPS coordinates to enforce a 15.5 mile no fly zone around the U.S. Capitol, in keeping with FAA rules.

The decision follows a high-profile incident in which a DJI Phantom drone crash landed on the White House lawn on January 26. That incident was quickly traced back to a Federal employee who had some drinks and then took a friend’s drone for a late night spin from an apartment near the White House – Paul

 

Drone Waiters Unveiled in Singapore Restaurant

 

Creativity: Hallucinogens 2.0

The billionaires I know, almost without exception, use hallucinogens on a regular basis – Tim Ferriss

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An employee of one of the biggest Silicon Valley companies said he recently made a pivotal career decision while under the influence of magic mushrooms — changing course from a management track and moving into product security.

“I have a habit of boxing up difficult thoughts and emotions I’m having, and I find psychedelics good for unpacking that stuff,” he said.

However, by all accounts, psychedelics are not treated as a simple fix-it for work conundrums. The last thing he would do is take LSD and then code. It’s more subtle: “if you have issues in your life or anything, you’re going to think about them [while high], and think about them in a different perspective.” – Erica Fink

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The people I know who are trying to trying to be very disruptive and look at the problems in the world that exist … and ask completely new questions, they might look at something that’s existed for hundreds of years, and see something completely different.

The hallucinogens are discussed very openly in private settings, so people aren’t ashamed of it. Using smart drugs is like pouring gasoling on the fire, but the hallucinogens (used very very intelligently) help you decide where to put the fire – Tim Ferriss

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In spite of their reputation as being dangerous and their classification as illicit drugs, hallucinogens may have a lot to offer and it has been suggested that they are one of the secret ingredients behind the success of Silicon Valley

Maybe what we need is Hallucinogens 2.0, a technology for safely and reliably tapping into the parts of our brains that hallucinogens are known uniquely to impact. We need a computer interface into our own brains to provide the insights of a hallucinogenic trip without the risks.

Anybody working on anything like that? – Phil Bowermaster

 

 

PRIVACY / SECURITY / INTERNET

GPG

That GPG works was one of the most powerful Snowden revelations – Michael Goldstein, The Satoshi Nakamoto Institute

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“Sony had all kinds of things: intrusion detection, firewalls, antivirus … But they got hacked anyway. The security measures that enterprises do frequently get breached. People break in anyway: they overcome them,” says Zimmermann.

“A lot of this stuff could have been encrypted. If those emails had been encrypted with PGP or GnuPG, the hackers wouldn’t have gotten very far. Those movie scripts that they stole? They could have been encrypted too.”

Zimmermann is a firm defender of strong encryption technology, suggesting that it’s one of the relatively few bona-fide success stories in the online security world.

“If you look at all the things that have been developed – firewalls, intrusion detection systems, all these things put in place to protect computers? They haven’t really hit a home run: they keep getting breached,” he says.

“But if you look at the Snowden material, the one thing that does seem to do well is strong encryption. Of all the things you see getting broken into, it’s conspicuously absent from that list.” – Stuart Dredge

 

Stealthy App

I’ve just been told that StealthyApp, the people who destroy censorship with a single click, are going to accept Bitcoin. The good guys WIN.

Install the StealthyApp plugin for chrome and pesky georestrictions are permanently defeated.

Stealthy really are the good guys. They are destroying censorship, making it Apple-Easy – Beautyon

 

Chinese Interent Censors Tighten Grip

Virtual private networks or VPNs have been banned in the country — taking down the one remaining way for many Chinese citizens to access the western sites that are almost all banned in the country.

After a months-long crackdown on Google products, China banned Gmail entirely in December. Though access has been slowing picking up, it remains out for much of the country.

There are few sites left to be blocked — as Chinese internet authorities step up their plan to raise the Great Firewall yet further, most of the large western websites are already stuck behind it.

In all, four of the five biggest sites on the internet have been banned in China. Only Baidu.com, the domestic Chinese search engine, remains available – Andrew Griffin

 

British Military to Launch 1,500 Strong Social Media Black Propaganda Unit in a Month

The 77th Brigade, to be based in Hermitage, near Newbury, in Berkshire, will be about 1,500-strong and formed of units drawn from across the army. It will formally come into being in April.

Against a background of 24-hour news, smartphones and social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, the force will attempt to control the narrative.

The 77th will include regulars and reservists and recruitment will begin in the spring. Soldiers with journalism skills and familiarity with social media are among those being sought – Ewen MacAskill

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1,500 “people” to post social media propaganda? What company would claim to need such a large headcount in the real world? Instagram were a team of 13 managing 30 million users when acquired by Facebook for $1billion- Lee Banfield

 

 

PLACES

Hong Kong

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Hong Kong is lowering already low taxes because of higher than expected budget surpluses! Such things are unheard of in rest of the world.

“There’s a need to stimulate the city’s domestic consumption by introducing measures to leave more cash in the hands of public”-a HK official !!

Screwed by State

 

Malaysia

When deciding on the best place to live overseas, one consideration is how long you can stay in that country as a tourist. I spend a lot of time in Malaysia, which allows westerners 90 days visa-free per entry, and practically anyone else at least 30 days visa-free.

Malaysia is one of the most easy going countries I’ve been to. They don’t require you to fill out a bunch of stupid forms, show onward flight tickets, or hold on to some dopey exit card. You simply arrive, hand over your passport, and you’re on your way.

It’s the exact opposite of visiting the United States – Andrew Henderson

 

Geo-Aribtrage: Live in Malaysia, Make Money in Singapore

Instead of living in Singapore, live in Malaysia. You’ll be within arms’ reach of all of the benefits of Singapore’s highly sophisticated financial system without having to pay $10,000 a month for a nice apartment.

This strategy is already practiced by many young bankers and managers all around the world. Few people who work in Gibraltar live there; they live across the border in Spain where rents are far more reasonable. Ditto for Monaco, Luxembourg, and now even Singapore, where Johor Bahru, Malaysia is becoming what I call “Singapore’s New Jersey”. Andrew Henderson

 

Overseas Filipinos Can Pay Family Bills Back Home Using Bitcoin

Rebit, the Bitcoin remittance vertical of Philippine startup Satoshi Citadel Industries (SCI), has launched a new service that allows overseas Filipinos workers (OFWs) to play an active role in managing the finances of their families back home.

Aside from sending remittances, Filipinos abroad can now directly pay for their families’ bills and load their mobile phones with prepaid credit using Bitcoin via Rebit. Rebit has over 91 bill payment options and five “e-load” providers on its network.

Remittances worth about US$30 billion flow into the Philippines via banks and third-party cash pick-up services annually, according to Rebit. These have been a crucial lifeline for Filipino families who spend the funds largely for basic needs – Judith Balea

 

 

THE SINGULARITY

Peter Thiel hasn’t made his peace with death, or what he calls “the ideology of the inevitability of the death of every individual.”

For millions of people, Thiel believes, accepting mortality really means ignoring it—the complacency of the mob.

He sees death as a problem to be solved, and the sooner the better. Given the current state of medical research, he expects to live to a hundred and twenty—a sorry compromise, given the grand possibilities of life extension – George Packer

 

New Technique Fights Aging

A new technique, developed by Stanford scientists, can extend the life of cultured cells and offer clues to solving diseases and prolonging life.

The technique can quickly increase the length of human telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes. As a result, the treated cells behave as if they are much younger and multiply with abandon in the laboratory dish – rather than stagnating and dying. Normally, telomeres shorten with each cell division, and this is the reason a cell eventually dies.

Now we have found a way to lengthen human telomeres by as much as 1,000 nucleotides, turning back the internal clock in these cells by the equivalent of many years of human life,”said Helen Blau, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology at Sanford, in a statement.

“This new approach paves the way toward preventing and treating disease of aging,” said Blau. “There are also highly debilitating genetic diseases associated with telomere shortening that could benefit from such a potential treatment.” – Harrison McClary

 

Resveratrol

Resveratrol Not Only Good for the Heart but Halts Memory Loss As Well

Ashok K. Shetty, Ph.D., a professor in the department of molecular and cellular medicine and director of neurosciences at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine, has been studying the potential benefit of resveratrol, an antioxidant that is found in the skin of red grapes, as well as in red wine, peanuts, and some berries.

Resveratrol has been widely touted for its potential to prevent heart disease, but Dr. Shetty and a team that includes other researchers from the health science center believe it also has positive effects on the hippocampus, an area of the brain that is critical to functions such as memory, learning, and mood.

Because both humans and animals show a decline in cognitive capacity after middle age, the findings may have implications for treating memory loss in the elderly. Resveratrol may even be able to help people afflicted with severe neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Shetty and his research team members reported that treatment with resveratrol had apparent benefits in terms of learning, memory, and mood function in aged rats.”The results of the study were striking,” according to Dr. Shetty. “They indicated that for the control rats who did not receive resveratrol, spatial learning ability was largely maintained but ability to make new spatial memories significantly declined between 22 and 25 months. By contrast, both spatial learning and memory improved in the resveratrol-treated rats.”

“The study provides novel evidence that resveratrol treatment in late middle age can help improve memory and mood function in old age,” said Dr. Shetty. – GeneticEngineering & Biotechnology News

 

Artificial Intelligence

Behind much of the proliferation of AI startups are large companies such as Google, Microsoft Corp., and Amazon, which have quietly built up AI capabilities over the past decade to handle enormous sets of data and make predictions, like which ad someone is more likely to click on. Starting in the mid-2000s, the companies resurrected AI techniques developed in the 1980s, paired them with powerful computers and started making money.

Their efforts have resulted in products like Apple’s chirpy assistant Siri and Google’s self-driving cars. It has also spurred deal-making, with Facebook acquiring voice-recognition AI startup Wit.ai last month and Google buying DeepMind Technologies Ltd. in January 2014.

For Google, “the biggest thing will be artificial intelligence,” Chairman Eric Schmidt said last year in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Emily Chang.

The AI boom has also been stoked by universities, which have noticed the commercial success of AI at places like Google and taken advantage of falling hardware costs to do more research and collaborate with closely held companies.

Last November, the University of California at San Francisco began working with Palo Alto, California-based MetaMind on two projects: one to spot prostate cancer and the other to predict what may happen to a patient after reaching a hospital’s intensive care unit so that staff can more quickly tailor their approach to the person – Jack Clark

 

My Writing Profile Picture

Follow me on Twitter @leebanfield1

Bitcoin: 1Jwh6nZiASJf4d3hNytjxqiimWBmEJvJ4S

Bitmessage: BM-2cXjeAykLT7gbjzNHZFnCxdawvyryyb4Nf

 

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