Robert McMillan on Bitcoin "maverick" Jed McCaleb, who started Mt. Gox and now offers Ripple, an alternative to the digital currency. [Wired]
After selling Mt. Gox, McCaleb started thinking more deeply about Bitcoin. He was a huge fan, but he thought he could so some things better. First, he wanted to do away with Bitcoin mining — the process by which computers on the network verify transactions in exchange for Bitcoins. Because miners are rewarded in proportion to the processing power they add to the network, Bitcoin mining has become a bit of an arms race, with very specialized and powerful computers now doing the bulk of the work. McCaleb, a 38-year-old surfer and Berkeley dropout from Little Rock, Arkansas, sees this as excessive. By his reckoning, there’s $160 million spent annually on mining the Bitcoin network, “which is insane,” he says. “And this isn’t something that’s going to go away. It just gets worse and worse.”
Announcing a billion dollar operating loss, Blackberry stock trading is frozen and 4500 jobs are to be lost
. — Rob
After 13 years at Microsoft's helm, CEO Steve Ballmer is to retire within 12 months. The search for a successor is on.
"There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time," Ballmer said in a press release. "... We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction."
A committee at Microsoft will begin the hunt for a new leader. Ballmer's tenure was marked by consistent profits but weak growth, the software giant failing to keep pace with industry developments—particularly in mobile computing.
Ballmer's statement follows.
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A mystery man patched into a camera-equipped wireless baby monitor, watching and yelling abuse at a child--and its parents, when they came to see what was going on. ABC's Alana Abramson reports from the intersection of ill will and appallingly insecure technology.
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Just $35m, but its strategy of going back to high-end, high-margin gear seems to be working
: expect more fancy Android phones, RX-series cameras, and 4K televisions. [The Verge] — Rob
The curator puts it a little more succinctly: Shit for making websites
. [shitformakingwebsites.com] — Rob
"The BBC is to suspend 3D programming for an indefinite period due to a 'lack of public appetite' for the technology
." [BBC] — Rob
Leo Kellon for the BBC:
"The South Korean electronics giant said it had "acquired key talent and assets" from the company." — Rob
With a new trailer out to promote Kutcher-starring biopic Jobs, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has new thoughts on the movie—not all of them negative. [Jesus Diaz / Kinja]
It wouldn't be a sexy subject were it not for the imminent demise of "market" leader Google Reader, but Mat Honan's article about Digg's replacement service is a must-read.
The core Digg experience is one of discovery: It constantly has to be showing you something new to work. ... This is where it gets neat: If Digg had its own news reader, it could immediately identify which stories people were actually reading—not just what they click on.
Stanford researchers developed a retinal prosthesis that wirelessly transmits images from a video camera in a pair of glasses directly to a chip implanted inside the retina tissue. The innovations of lead scientist Daniel Palanker and his colleagues is that their system does away with any cable between the implant and the video eyeglasses, and buries the chip in the sub-retinal layers of the eye instead of on its surface to eliminate a kind of interference. They published their latest breakthroughs in the science journal Nature Communications. From Medical Daily:
In this study, Palanker's team from the Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory placed these second-generation implants into the retinas of rats with or without macular degeneration. The researchers found that the new bionic retinas could transmit images into the minds of rats, which was observed by measuring brain activity in the visual centers of the rodents' brains.
"Solar-Powered Bionic Eye Developed By Stanford Scientist
" (Medical Daily)
Restoration of Sight to the Blind: Optoelectronic Retinal Prosthesis (Daniel Palanker)
Glenn Fleishman at Tidbits
: "Apple’s implementation is technically capable of 1.3 Gbps. But as Apple notes at the bottom of the page, “Actual speeds will be lower.” I’ll say. In practice, I would wager that most home users and some business users will see only modest improvement in net throughput across their networks
." — Rob
Liz Stinson: "Swedish artist Jonas Lund ... built a browser that allows people around the world to surf the internet together in one window
. Users appear as cursors and can click around to different URLs, type messages in search bars or just sit back and observe what’s happening on the web." [Wired] — Rob
A 3D model of a complex anaplastology case, created in collaboration with the anaplastologist Jan De Cubber, is seen at the Belgian company Materialise. 3D printing has already changed the game for manufacturing specialized products such as medical devices. REUTERS/Yves Herman
When Star Trek debuted in the mid-60s, everybody geeked out about the food synthesizers. Even my mom, a reluctant but compulsory Trek viewer, recognized the utility of this amazing gadget, particularly with two ravenous boys around the house. My brother and I knew, of course, that the real magic food box was the refrigerator.
Years later, I wasn’t the only one craving the replicators of Star Trek:The Next Generation for my home workshop. TNG’s follow-on concept of a ‘universal build-box’ upped the ante way beyond a hot cup of Earl Grey. The list of things we would have made at home was endless: for the kids, replacement baseball bats, balls and window panes, game controllers and handheld electronic devices. I would have gone in for replacement car parts, repairs for broken appliances and furniture, and an endless supply of consumables like gasoline, toilet paper, kitty litter, and inevitably, a couple of cold—strictly non-syntheholic—beers for afterwards. I note in passing that Starfleet protocol prohibits civilians from replicating weapons.
With the recent rise of the Maker movement and the advent of cheaper, easier-to-use 3D-printing technology, the sci-fi concept of a household device that can manufacture functional objects seems to be gaining reality. But for those who witnessed the technology’s birth and growth, it has been a surprisingly long and winding road—one that has recently reached a significant but mostly unnoticed milestone. For me, it all began with Star Trek and the Silver Surfer.
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