The lure of bitcoins has potential suitors interested in learning about the cryptocurrency, but after losing 45 percent of value in 2013, the slide will continue in 2014, Bloomberg Global Poll respondents noted. The value peaked at $1,100, but dropped, with some financial analysts wondering if the bitcoin bubble popped already.
Over half of survey respondents (55 percent) said bitcoins and other virtual cryptocurrencies have unsustainable currency trades, with 14 percent also saying bitcoin is closing in on a bubble - while 6 percent are optimistic and say no financial bubble is currently forming. The last 25 percent said they are unsure of what's going to happen with the currency.
An assortment of businesses and retailers accept bitcoin for payment, but some financial specialists and government officials aren't drinking the Kool-Aid just yet. It's difficult because bitcoin values have varied in 2014, from a low of $341 up to $900, while currently valued at $623 per bitcoin - and headlines find bitcoin more during controversies than victories.
Thanks to our friends at Icon Film Distribution Australia, we have five copies of the big budget disaster epic 'Pompeii' on 3D Blu-ray to giveaway.
Set in 79 A.D., Pompeii tells the epic story of Milo (Kit Harington), a slave turned invincible gladiator, who finds himself in a race against time to save his true love Cassia (Emily Browning). As Mount Vesuvius erupts in a surge of molten lava and deadly fireballs, Milo must fight his way out of the arena as the once magnificent Pompeii crumbles around him.
To go into the running to take one Blu-ray copy home, simply correctly answer the following question:
What happened to the ancient city of Pompeii?
To enter, simply 'like' this post and share via Facebook or Twitter and send your answers, along with your postal address to ben at TweakTown.com before the competition closes on July 25th. The total prize pool is approximately $199.75.
'Pompeii' is available on 3D + 2D Blu-ray combo pack, 2D Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from Australian retailers on July 23rd.
Google's CEO Larry Page has slammed Samsung for picking its own Tizen in its smart watches over Android Wear, according to a report.
The Information claims Samsung's chairman Jay Y Lee and the Google CEO held a "tense private meeting" at the Sun Valley Allen & Co conference. Page allegedly spoke to Lee about his frustrations Samsung was heavily pushing Tizen devices like the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo over the Android Wear enabled Gear Live, and told Lee how he'd prefer it if the company focused on Android Wear, particularly as the latter is compatible with a wider range of Android smartphones and tablets.
The report, if true, could be indicative of a larger debate about the future of smart watches. As we reported earlier this year, there was some controversy when Samsung appeared to favor its own software rather than Android. Consumer wearable tech, specifically smartwatches, is very much in its infancy - with some of Samsung's own efforts largely being considered a swing and a miss to date. Although Samsung is the top Android manufacturer at the moment, tensions over which direction to take the emerging market could well cause conflict. That is, of course, reliant on if smart watches take off at all.
The winners of Britain's Great British Space Dinner contest have been announced by the UK Space Agency, deciding the extraterrestrial diet of English former Army Major Tim Peake as he makes his way to the International Space Station.
School kids across the country were asked to think up a Brit-themed, nutritious dinner suitable for eating in space. Elementary and high-school students entered the competition, and the winners have just been chosen by Peake and celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal, who will work together with the designers to turn the dishes into real meals, edible aboard the ISS.
Among the winning dishes were a fusion English-Indian meal of spicy food and a rhubarb and custard dessert, from Chloe in Nova Hreod Academy, Swindon, and a full English breakfast in the form of a burger from Archie in Abberley Parochial V.C. Primary School in Worcestershire. Pictured is the Rocket Lolley, a three course meal all-in-one made of tomato and basil soup, a spicy mackerel curry, and the Eton mess dessert, by the KFSPACEGIRLS team from Emmanuel College, Gateshead. "I'm incredibly impressed with the creative and mouth-watering entries we've received from children all over the UK," said Peake, who will be aboard the Station for six months. "I'm really looking forward to enjoying a Great British Space Dinner on board the International Space Station."
It doesn't look like Google will be bringing its super-fast web service, Fiber, to the United Kingdom just yet - or have plans for anywhere outside the US.
Although a report in Britain's Telegraph talked of the possibility of Fiber heading to the UK in partnership with local provider CityFibre, a spokesperson told Engadget that it's probably best not to read too much into it. "We have informal conversations with other telecom companies all the time," the spokesperson said. "But we've never had any serious planning discussions about bringing Google Fiber to Britain." It's not exactly surprising that Google was keen to quash the rumor - it is stepping on enough toes in the United States with its immensely anticipated rollout of Fiber. That said, it's also a limited rollout, available only in a handful of cities thus far.
Google Fiber promises as much as 1 gigabit per second download and upload speeds, which is a veritable triumph over many of even the most comprehensive and speedy packages available from other providers in the United States and further afield. So it's not something to be ruled out from happening completely, but there will likely be a lot of groundwork to do closer to home before Google gets more ambitious abroad.
No matter what it tries the content industry can't seem to stem the popularity of public enemy number one, The Pirate Bay, and now new figures show the torrent indexer's traffic has doubled since the first wave of blocks came into place.
Despite many wings of the content industry claiming each countrywide block on The Pirate Bay a victory, actually its traffic is doing better than ever. The first really high profile blockades began in Denmark, the UK and Holland, but the website's visitor numbers have doubled since then. Actual visitor numbers were not revealed but TorrentFreak puts them in hundreds of millions per month.
Nearly 10 percent of all visitors to The Pirate Bay access the website through proxies or proxy services, meaning that even in countries where it's officially banned, users are finding ways to access it anyway. The most visitors were from the United States, where many of the more vocal voices from the content lobby reside.
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden wants hackers to help develop new technologies that will help users access the Internet without government snooping. His plea for assistance was via video chat from Moscow, where he is becoming more vocal about snooping.
"You in this room, right now have both the means and the capability to improve the future by encoding our rights into programs and protocols by which we rely every day," Snowden recently told the Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE) attendees. "That is what a lot of my future work is going to be involved in."
SecureDrop, a service so whistleblowers can leak documents to the media, is one new technology that is being discussed at the conference. There is a great opportunity for software development after Snowden gave a much better picture of some of the surveillance programs currently underway.
President Barack Obama confirmed Malaysia Airlines MH17 was likely shot down over eastern Ukraine by Russian-supported separatists using a surface-to-air missile. Obama and military experts speaking to mainstream media aren't discussing much reasoning behind how they know - but it's plausible a Department of Defense military satellite saw a heat signature when the missile hit.
The U.S. government uses space-based technology to defend against intercontinental ballistic missiles, serving as an early warning system. Newer satellites ushered in the Space Based Infrared Systems (SBIRS) network that can identify missiles quicker so they can be intercepted.
Federal governments won't provide detailed images of the crash site, which spans several square miles, but commercial satellite owners could release further details. Some Earth-watching satellites have started to take a closer look at the airspace above eastern Ukraine. However, cloudy weather has hampered such efforts, but it could still be possible to identify how much the scene has been tampered with by rebels.
Following news reporting Lenovo's plans to abandon the Microsoft Windows tablet market of devices 10-inches or smaller, the Chinese electronics manufacturer issued a new statement. Even though current supply is being sold on foreign markets, Lenovo will release new smaller-screen products in the United States again:
Here is what the company said in a statement: "We will continue to bring new Windows devices to market across different screen sizes, including a new 8-inch tablet and 10-inch tablet coming this holiday. Our model mix changes as per customer demand, and although we are no longer selling ThinkPad 8 in the U.S., and we have sold out of Miix 8-inch, we are not getting out of the small-screen Windows tablet business in both the U.S. and non-U.S. markets."
The tablet market is a fierce competition between Apple and Samsung, but there is still room for other companies to grab attention.
IDrive, a cloud backup and storage provider, has just announced the release of its new IDrive QNAP backup app. What this allows, is users to backup their QNAP NAS devices to IDrive, all with a simple-to-use app.
The IDrive QNAP app provides the option of an offsite disaster recovery option, as well as offering businesses a cheap and reliable way of backing up data stored across QNAP NAS devices. CEO of IDrive, Raghu Kulkarni said: "For businesses today, it is essential to ensure the privacy and protection of critical company data. We developed the QNAP backup app to assist with these business needs and provide a simple, fast, and cost-effective method for safeguarding data and ensuring business continuity, even in the face of a data disaster".
These are the key features of the new IDrive QNAP backup app:
- Interactive backup and restore for data present in QNAP NAS devices.
- Option for scheduling automatic backups and restores, as per convenience.
- Email notifications on completion of scheduled backup operations.
- Availability of elaborate log reports detailing account activities.
- Files are protected during transfer and storage using 256-bit AES encryption with an optional private key.
- Create multiple backup sets and restore sets for customized backup and restore.
- Customization of backup location.
- Real time quota calculation and log status updates for scheduled and manual jobs.