Sunday 22nd February



Bitcoin Ransom

Heh. Chicago area police pay Bitcoin ransom. – Pete Dushenski


Value of The Blockchain

The markets say Apple is worth $700 billion. I would sooner give up my iPhone and Macbook than the blockchain. What’s the blockchain worth? – Bill Barhydt


Better Than Academia.

There are a surprisingly large number of ex-physicists in bitcoin. We’re all realizing that bitcoin is better than academia. – Ryan X. Charles




Venezuelan Bolivar

Former President Hugo Chavez introduced currency controls in 2003 to stem capital flight. Since then, the country has devalued the main official exchange rate four times and alternated between single and multiple exchange rate systems.

When Chavez first introduced currency controls, one dollar bought 1.6 bolivars. That same dollar today buys 172 bolivars at the government’s weakest legal exchange rate – Nathan Crooks



Bitcoin Blockchain is secured by 335,000,000 GH/s of computing power vs Litecoin Blockchain by only 1,125 Gh/s thats circa 300,000X !!! – George Kikvadze




I just saved 40.0% on my Amazon purchase with bitcoin via PurseIO! This is getting insane. apparently i just leveled up to 50% on next one – Derek Minter

———————- announced the launch of Nakamoto’s electronics, the first Bitcoin retail store in San Francisco.

“The concept of Nakamoto’s tech retail store follows the initial concept behind, but in brick-and-mortar format, and aims to give more practical uses and applications for the digital currency on a local scale.”

Currently, Nakamoto’s electronics sell popular products including Chromebooks, Amazon Kindles, Apple headphones, and Raspberry Pis. The store offers at least 10% discount off the Amazon price when customers pay with bitcoin –


Exponential Technology: The Smartphone Industry

Chipmaker ARM believes that with its new chips announced last week—a new Cortex-A72 processor and Mali-T880 GPU—we’ll be able to count on our smartphones to do all the tasks we currently need a computer to do.

The company is so confident of this, it’s projecting a date when we can go phone-only: 2016. That leaves us roughly 23 months to make it happen. But most of us are already phone-first today, and given the current speed at which the industry is moving, we’ll be rounding that bend very soon.

ARM’s new CPU provides a 50x increase in performance over chips from five years ago, on 75 percent less energy than chips from three years ago.

Apple’s A8 chip in the iPhone 6 is 50 times faster than the chip in the original iPhone, and its GPU is 84 times faster.

Christina Bonnington





Use PGP whenever you can. Use it for boring things. Use it to encrypt guacamole recipes. Make the NSA’s life hard – Eva


NSA Hiding Spyware In Hard Drives Since ~2001, Can Spy On Majority Of World’s Computers

The U.S. National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers, giving the agency the means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world’s computers, according to cyber researchers and former operatives. – Joseph Menn


Snowden Skypes into Conference in Washington, D.C.

When Edward Snowden came on camera, live at the International Students for Liberty Conference in Washington, D.C., I almost couldn’t believe my eyes. Here is a courageous man who did a daring and wonderful thing for the world in exposing what the U.S. government was doing to its own citizens.

If the U.S. government could stop Snowden from speaking, it would. But it can’t. Here we were in the nation’s capital, at a gather of some 2,000 young liberty activists and intellectuals, and Snowden greeted us in real time. Stunning. He spoke and we asked questions and he spoke some more. His answers were beautiful and erudite and inspiring. He speaks the language of liberty, and only technology allows him to do so within our borders.

Indeed, what inspired me the most was the technology. We are evidently living in a post-censorship world. Not even the world’s largest and most powerful state can stop its most famous dissident from speaking from his sanctuary (a former totalitarian state) directly to a huge crowd right in the nation’s capital! How about that for the triumph of freedom? Isn’t it wonderful? – Jeffrey Tucker




Hong Kong

Autonomous drone delivering a chocolate bar from Kowloon side to the south side of Hong Kong island in less than 14 minutes – Sky Frog




An AI Turning Point:  Beats Humans On Image Recognition Challenge

The Microsoft creation got a 4.94 percent error rate for the correct classification of images in the 2012 version of the widely recognized ImageNet data set , compared with a 5.1 percent error rate among humans, according to the paper.

The challenge involved identifying objects in the images and then correctly selecting the most accurate categories for the images, out of 1,000 options. Categories included “hatchet,” “geyser,” and “microwave.”

“To the best of our knowledge, our result surpasses for the first time the reported human-level performance on this visual recognition challenge,” Microsoft researchers Kaiming He, Xiangyu Zhang, Shaoqing Ren, and Jian Sun wrote in the paper, which is dated Feb. 6 – Jordan Novet


Number of Robots Booming in Japan

If you are a human who works at the Kawada factory outside Tokyo, most of your coworkers are robots. On the assembly line, the company’s uber-advanced, human-looking robots can do the work of three people. They can also make you a decent cup of coffee.

In another Tokyo suburb, a cartoonesque robot named Pepper, the first robot designed to respond to human emotions, is joking with customers at a store selling mobile phones.

While Japan has been a robot-friendly place for a long time, the number of robots is now booming, even as its human population is not. In the next five years, the country hopes to build 20 times more of them.

Though robots aren’t new on factory floors, new advancements mean that they’re suddenly poised to play a significant role. “The cost of robots has been declining over a few years, they’ve been getting cheaper, but you’re also seeing a performance increase,” Zinser explains. “We’re at a point now in many industries, and many different kinds of tasks, where you’re starting to reach an inflection point. Price and performance is actually at a threshold where it makes sense for a manufacturer to deploy that robot today than it would to pay for human labor.”

This isn’t only happening in Japan. The U.S. is projected to purchase around 1.2 million robots in the next decade. Other countries that have lost manufacturing because of higher wages hope to start to bringing factories back—potentially leading to other benefits, like reduced shipping distances – Adele Peters


Under The Kraken Sea – A NASA Submarine on Titan

Five mind-blowing facts about Saturn's moon Titan

The idea that Titan is one of the most interesting worlds out there in space is common knowledge. It has an atmosphere, liquid oceans, and mountains named after the Lord of the Rings. Subsequently, there are speculations we might even find hints of alien life there.

In the meantime, space agencies are busy with something else: for example, building submarines to explore its oceans. Nothing is known about the environment under the sea surface, even though tides and currents have been detected.

The vehicle would splashdown in the safe center of Kraken-1, then after sea trials, would sail north to observe tidal flow through the Ligeia-Kraken labyrinth and perhaps ‘sniff’ the more methane-rich liquid flowing equatorward from Ligeia. It will then explore the western shoreline of Kraken and investigate the tidal flow at the throat.” (Lorenz et. al, 2015, at the 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference)

Stephen P. Bianchini


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