Bitcoin – Free Fall?

Falling.. but when does it bounce back?

Falling.. but when does it bounce back?

Following the last few days/weeks, the events that unfolded, related to Mt. Gox – the oldest and most known Bitcoin Exchange in the world shutting down withdrawals, claiming it’s due to a bitcoin protocol bug and following by the resignation of Mark Karpeles, the CEO of Mt. Gox from the board of Bitcoin Foundation – all contributed to the beginning of a spiraling drop in Bitcoin prices across the board.

But, is it a bad sign? Should we listen to the Nay Sayers repeating their mantra that “Bitcoin is a bubble like the Tulips in Old Europe and it’s just meeting its unavoidable end” once again?

Bitcoin encountered many pitfalls during its short and turbulent life so far. Each in it’s turn caused a cascading drop in its value. The first one was even related to this same Bitcoin Exchange – after multiple accounts were hacked the coin dropped from a high of 32 USD down to about 3 dollars.

But it bounced back, and not only that, it gone to new heights, where it reached a (so far) all time high of around 1200 USD back in April 2013.

So, allow me to have some faith and believe that as in the past, this drop is temporary and only indicate of a new climb to come once the dust settles down.

Not only will it climb, it will reach new heights as after each time the value dropped, even though it took a few weeks or months, it eventually took a skyrocketing climb that went to heights no one could or would foresee.

That’s my current view.

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Bitcoin Investments

Today, I will discuss the rampant field of bitcoin and bitcoin-related investments.

Bitcoin is still considered as a high-risk (and possibly also high reward) investment venue by itself – as in buying bitcoin as an investment.

However, there are also other options of which, I will review a few here:

Lend and borrow Bitcoin

1. BTCJam – a lending/borrowing platform that connects bitcoin investors with people who are looking to be funded. The interest rates run anywhere from 1-20 percent but you can mitigate your risks by using the robust rating system the site offers to make sure you’ll see your money and interest back as promised.

150% on your initial investment in 10 days??

2. Leancy – Pretty new platform which the owners claim is used to invest in start-up companies portfolio – thus allowing it to provide a high interest back to its investors. This is still a High Yielding Investment Program (HYIP), and as such, it’s a walk on the wild side and should be considered carefully. But if you do decide to go into it, the rewards are better than almost any conventional route. 50 percent on your initial investment within 10 days of putting your money in.

On top of these two options, I also gave a try to a recent popular self-proclaimed bitcoin based ponzi scheme , which started as an experimental website (called this way by its anonymous owner) published on the biggest bitcoin forum. within a few days, over 340 bitcoins found their way to the website’s wallet, and most of the people who sent their coins in, got reimbursed with interest (120% in total) as promised. However… bigger investors seemed to run into some problems as some of them never saw their investment again. When you consider this is a self proclaimed ponzi scheme, it comes as no real surprise. Since then, the website is declared as closed, even though the old website is still active. But if you would like to try this concept, there is a new almost identical active clone site at this address: Ponzi.be - remember that there’s no guarantee you’ll see your money back, so choose the amount wisely.

I hope you enjoy this post!

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Bitcoin Bits

Some Bitcoin related fresh news:

Bitcoin Drives AMD and TSMC sales upwards (by Bloomberg.com)

Wafers make for chips and chips make for Bitcoin mining

TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.), and AMD ( Advanced Micro Devices Inc.) Are seeing a great rise in their sales thanks to Bitcoin (and other crypto coins such as Litecoin) mining rigs – which uses their chips either in standard PC form with powerful video cards from AMD, or ASIC mining-centric machines using chips from TSMC. More than 200 Million Dollars have been reportedly made in 2013 thanks to Bitcoin related sales for these companies.

Bitcoin gains traction in the offline (“Real”) world as more and more businesses incorporate a bitcoin payment option in their accounting systems

Cheese Burgers for Bitcoin? Check!

Bitcoin used to be known as that shady elusive internet money which is primarily used for criminal activities and sordid business in the dark corners of the world-wide-web. But this last year, it broke new grounds as it became increasingly more mainstream and delivered great value as well as great promise for many business ventures. Now you can even buy burgers on a street food van for Bitcoin, as well as countless other products in many other venues.

A new crypto coin called “Coinye West” tries to use Kanye West success as a tool to stand out from the hordes of Bitcoin and Litecoin wannabe altcoins out there

Yeah, I don’t think Kanye will dig that

Yes, it’s a stupid as it sounds. Kanye West is not behind this endeavor, though I’m pretty certain his lawyers will have a great time pursuing this enterprising copyright thief. He did manage to get some headlines on the way to his court day, that’s for sure.

Following all the negative articles about why Bitcoin will fail (so many of those pop online and in hard copy these days), it’s nice to see a positive one that sees it as having a great potential and a bright future. Chris Dixon is an american internet entrepreneur and investor,  whom in 2010, BusinessWeek magazine named the top angel investor in the technology industry (taken from his wikipedia page). As such, he’s not someone to disregard when he speaks about investments. And he had this to say to BusinessInsider regarding the value of Bitcoin.

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Happy New Year!!!

Instead of summing up the past year, I’ll give you a few of the upcoming gadgets – shamelessly lifted off from other websites to save time.

Flexible Phones (or just curved?)

It’s nice, but not really what we’re waiting for

We’ve seen the Samsung Round and the LG G Flex making promises this last year, and delivering in a small way. All those teasers made me think of a phone that you can actually fold up and put in your pocket. We’re not there just yet. These two models will become more available this year, and during it, the smartphone giants (probably accompanied by others in this race) will buzz away with flexible batteries and whatnot, to bring the real flexible (and fold-able) smartphone that much closer to a reality.

Livescribe Echo Smartpen

Wait, don’t we have that with smartphones that can multitask already?

Remember just a few years back when you could get away with just adding “i” or “smart” in front of your gadget name to give it that extra oomph and marketing buzz? well, it’s gone. No more.

But just in case, this smart pen (available in several versions with different features and storage space) connects to your smartphone or PC via micro-usb or wireless (more expensive models) – and allows you to write memos on paper while recording audio notes.

I guess they figured we must have something else to hold aside from the smartphone, and the battery, and the wallet, bag, and so on. Oh, and we can do all this today on most smartphones already.

Meta SpaceGlasses

Now that’s cool!

Last but definitely not least: Meta Spaceglasses. These are true to their name space-age Augmented reality glasses. They don’t look like much, but the premise of manipulating virtual objects and controlling a virtual reality using mid-air gestures (not unlike the Leapmotion I reviewed a few months back) is thrilling and takes us another step closer to the future we were promised in countless sci-fi films (Minority Report, anyone?). Pricing for pre-orders is either 667 USD for a developer bulky version or 2985 USD (Wow!!) for a slick Pro version. Both are only expected to ship around July of this brand new year. Early Adopters – Meta is calling for you!

So have a great 2014 and enjoy what this year brings to you! It seems to hold quite a few surprises in store!

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Bitcoin Tips

Physical Bitcoins – they contain code for wallets containing real bitcoins

Bitcoin is rising again, this time circling the 700$ USD figure.

More and more people find the digital currency increasingly interesting as it becomes more widely discussed in the popular media.

But how do you get some? You can buy some from online merchants by searching “bitcoin”, “buy”, “sell”, and the currency of the country where you reside to find local online merchants.

Other options are bitcoin faucets which existed almost as long as bitcoin, but due to the rising value offer very small fragments of the coin now. A couple of sites offer a collection of the faucets that you can visit every hour or every few hours:

http://www.landofbitcoin.com/?r=r3ZH073J8fgLLdMX

Land of Bitcoin

https://coinad.com/?r=OF1KBSCZ956G096

CoinAd

Another way to get bitcoins is by mining, however, the level of difficulty became so high that even high-end display cards don’t “cut it” any more. To get a decent rate of bitcoin mining you will need a dedicated bitcoin miner based on a specially designed CPU. But you can get (very) small amounts of bitcoin by using your browser at websites such as this:

http://www.bitcoinplus.com/generate?for=2233517

BitcoinPlus

A list of such and other options of getting free coin can be found here:

http://www.btc.wv.to/

Bitcoinlinklist

I hope you enjoy this information! If you like to donate – my bitcoin address can be obtained from the “donate bitcoin” button on the upper right hand side of the blog main page.

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Bitcoin Rockets, Courtesy of China

Bitcoin Infographic for the Chinese

Bitcoin took a hit when the notorious “Silk Road” underground black market closed recently. The coin dived to a value of 109 USD from over 140 USD per bitcoin.

Some said it’s the demise of bitcoin as it was always linked to underground shady activities – being relatively anonymous and offering some level of security, it was the perfect currency for drug dealers, gun merchants and other slithering criminals.

But Bitcoin proved all the naysayers wrong. It started climbing back, and since the silk road seizure on the 8th (13 days ago), it started climbing up steadily, and then broke through its previous value and continued climbing. Currently at 186 USD per Bitcoin over at bitstamp.

The reason for the recent spike was a massive wave of purchases from china. It may be due to Baidu (the Chinese equivalent of Google) beginning to accept Bitcoin, but some think it may be the dreaded 51 percent attack – in the making. A scenario where some interested party (government or bank or a corporation) achieves control of a controlling share of the total network hashing power of Bitcoin – hence the 51 percent. The ability to be able to generate Bitcoin at this capacity is immense – requiring great resources and funds. Allowing to build a separate branch of Bitcoin, achieving the power to cancel transactions by revoking the Bitcoin transfer. In essence it is a corruption of the Bitcoin network.

The interesting question that arises is – who’s behind this sudden Chinese interest? Is it the “Comment Crew”/”Shanghai Group”/”Unit 61398″ ultra secret hacker unit situated in Beijing and hence the Chinese government – interested in getting ahead of the wave of this budding new global currency?

Or maybe it’s just a mass of new money investors discovering Bitcoin or being able to invest in it more easily due to the new exposure?

Either way, it makes bitcoin stronger, and that’s a good thing for the coin. The higher the value goes, the stronger it gets and the more attractive to “regular” investors.

What do you think?

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A few about new technologies!

CNT Computer

Max with the wafer

Max with the wafer

Scientists at Stanford University managed to build the world’s first carbon nano-tubes (CNT) based computer. It’s pretty puny – with 178 transistors, and they’re pretty big in size – comparable to silicon transistors, but with the potential to be much much smaller, and cooler. This is a huge breakthrough as the team managed to solve the major issues related to such an undertaking – 30 percent of the yield when growing nano-tubes (they are grown like crystals) come out metallic which is no good when you want them to function as logical gates. The team managed to vaporize the metallic duds, and in order to solve the imperfections inherent in nano-tubes (some of them come out not completely straight, but more bendy) – the team came up with a powerful algorithm that allows the circuit to function correctly even with imperfections.

Tiny Particle Accelerator

Now you can accelerate particles too!

Now you can accelerate particles too!

You know those huge particle accelerators? the ones that measure in diameter of kilometers – like the Hadron collider at Cern:

A look inside the huge collider

A look inside the huge collider

The big brains use them for physics experiments designed to find answers for such heavy weighted questions such as the age of the universe, or finding some elusive theorised particles of one kind or another. (or to create dark matter.. <evil laughter>)

Well, we might be able to save up on all that real-estate. Now that (yes, again) stanford scientists managed to create an “accelerator-on-chip” that allows to accelerate electrons 10 times faster than conventional particle accelerators in a 3mm chip. The practical applications of this technology (once it comes to fruition and steps out of the labs) will be compact accelerators and x-ray scanners for security scanings (“Is that an x-ray scanner in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”), medical therapy and imaging, and research in biology and materials science.

High efficiency Solar Cell

A look inside the huge collider

Tiny tinny solar cell

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Soitec, CEA-Leti and the Helmholtz Center Berlin managed this little miracle: achieving a 44.7% efficiency in turning sunlight into electricity. Just to try and understand this fit: most solar cells like the ones on your calculator, for instance, achieve an efficiency of under 20% (usually around 16%). So far, this technology is CPV (concentrator photovoltaics) – limited to sun-rich areas where the power of the sun can be concentrated to a single point to create such a powerful effect. But the rise in efficiency has gone one point (percent) in four months – which may indicate that sooner rather than later, we may open the door for super-exciting possibilities – like commercial flights that use no fuel other than the sun, or cars that run longer on sunny days, and a bit less on cloudy days – both options without fossil fuel.

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Fix Your Own PC

Fix Your Own PC, No need for favors or technicians!

Fix Your Own PC, No need for favors or technicians!

Yes, this is shameless self-promotion. It’s my first Ebook!

Personal Computers these days are small and big and comes in all sizes and shapes (mostly cube-like shapes).

As customers, most of you just want the little elves inside the box to keep running their buns off, and don’t really care about how it all works and provide you with hours of productivity, gaming, entertainment or porn.

But what happens when the elves stop running? Do you get cold sweat dripping down your shirt? Are you afraid of opening the box and finding something dead among the cobwebs and dust?

Well, don’t be. Computers these days are as simple as a house made of lego. They’re built of several primary parts that connect to each other without much effort, and the software mechanics are not that daunting as they might seem to appear.

Easy for me to say? I guess it is, but I still firmly believe that anyone who knows how to manage a screwdriver, some common sense and a practical attitude can fix most of the issues that they meet with their home computers.

The ebook on sale (You can see it either on the top right hand side of the blog main page, or go to this address to read about it and order it) is all about the main issues and troubles we encounter with windows 7, and windows XP – the most common PC operating systems out there today.

Got blue screen errors? Covered.

Got a pesky program that keep on crashing? Covered.

What about Viruses and Trojans and such? Also Covered.

I’ll take you through the list of main parts that make the PC a useable machine and how to check and make sure that they’re working. Don’t worry, it’s a short list, and there are photos.

So What are you waiting for? Buy it, and save some technician’s fees! I promise it’s cheaper than any professional visit, and it covers its cost after a single time you manage to fix your problem. Ego boost included for free!

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Do you know Robert Kiyosaki? What about “Rich Dad Poor Dad”?

Who's Rich and Who's Poor? The happy pauper or the sad millionaire?

Who’s Rich and Who’s Poor? The happy pauper or the sad millionaire?

Many are searching for the road to riches – especially in the economic climate of recent years. “Rich Dad Poor Dad” hits the spot snuggly between “self-help” and popular economy books. On the way it gathered thousands of fans and admirers.

But what does he actually say? Conventional way of financial thinking is obsolete. Since the ’30s-’40s of the 20th century, a cushy job in a big company does not offer any financial security and stability anymore. Your pension is not guaranteed.

These days, people roam from one job to the other, and loyalty between an employer and employee is considered a naive concept. One has to make sure he’ll have a nest egg for retirement – otherwise he might stay with nothing.

Kiyosaki portrays the employee life as a life of servitude. The government and banks join up forces and push the regular joe to expand spending more and more, get into as much debt as possible – in order to move the wheels of the economy and make sure that those who make plenty of money – will only make more. This, by the way, is the source of the big financial crisis of 2008. Cheap loans, less scrutiny, none or little securities pushed people to bury themselves under mountains of debt that eventually was partially lost and required the government to financially aid the banks failure to avoid a further economic landslide.

Kiyosaki is against mortgage. He believe the price you pay for this “dream house” puts you into dozens of slavery years to pay back that huge loan. In that period of time, you’re always a few months away from bankruptcy and financial ruin.

He is not against buying real estate as an investment, but only when the financing is done smartly and does not land you in a deep hole of debt.

Kiyosaki is for building special kind of lucrative businesses. Almost automatically and independently running companies. The kind of business he talks about may be left to run on its own – using trusted people – and can be returned to a year later to be seen still making money and running smoothly.

By the way, almost a year ago, one of Kiyosaki’s company filed for bankruptcy due to a 24 million dollar debt. He is still worth over 80 million dollars and invested in multiple ventures.

There are countless books and self-appointed gurus out there that are trying to convince us that the pot of gold is really quite reachable. And yet only chosen few ever reach to touch it. So, it’s not that simple. But it’s possible.

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From Science Fiction to Real World Technology

Real Warp Drive Technology

Quantum, Warp, Replicator, Transporter, Medical Tricorder, Jump Drive.

These are just a few of the words describing imaginary technologies portrayed in books, films, and television programs.

A lot of these words originated in real-world theories such as Quantum physics, Theory of Relativity, Radiology and many others.

The writers simply took the exotic sounding names and pasted them into their scripts, stories and books to add a more realistic tinge to their fiction.

But those fictitious creations started a somewhat surprising trend of bleeding the other way – into reality.

Movies and TV shows such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Quantum Leap, Back to the Future and even Sliders and others gave inspiration to thousands and even millions to create and innovate.

Here is a small list of items that are already in our hands and homes:

  • Tablets and Smartphones
  • High Resolution Touch Screens
  • Voice Recognition Technology
  • 3D capacity/space/gesture sensor technology
  • High Capacity Storage technology

And here is a list of items and technologies that may be on their way to us:

Even with all this remarkable scientific and technological  advancement, our view of what the “Future” should look like has not changed much since the ’50s of the twentieth century.

We still look for flying cars (those exist but are not very practical or economic to manufacture or use in large scale), giant metal buildings, robots who serve humanity, and computer technology smart enough to either improve our lives dramatically, or destroy us completely.

But as our technology moves slowly to meet our age old vision of what the future should look like, we strive to find a new, course-corrected vision to aim for.

Now our works of fiction and art takes into consideration the advancements in science such as DNA and Cell manipulation and replication, Quantum based computing, and Renewable energy technologies.

I do believe that the work of science fiction writers these days seems more difficult than before. Thinking up original and previously unthought of ideas without relying on pre-existing foundations is a job for giants such as Jules Vernes and others.

Do such giants exist these days?

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