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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 52

National Science Foundation researcher suspended for bitcoin mining

A researcher from the National Science Foundation (NSF) can no longer work with the U.S. government following his decision to use supercomputers to help mine for bitcoins. The researcher in question mined $8,000 to $10,000 in bitcoins, as the popular cryptocurrency becomes increasingly difficult to mine. To try to conceal his identity, the employee accessed computers remotely, including a European mirror site, in an effort to stay anonymous.

 

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A single bitcoin is worth about $654, though the value of the volatile cryptocurrency continues to change frequently.

 

" We received reports describing a researcher's abuse of NSF-funded supercomputing resources at two universities to conduct bitcoin mining activities," the NSF March report claims. " Bitcoin is a virtual currency that is independent of national currencies, but it can be converted into traditional currencies through exchange markets. It is generated or 'mined' through a process that is by design computationally intensive.

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Uber announces massive new capital investment of over $1 billion

Smart device taxi app Uber has managed to raise $1.2 billion in new capital investment, bringing its total value up to a staggering $17 billion.

 

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In a blog post, Uber detailed how in four short years the company has gone from a San Francisco startup to operating in 128 cities in 37 countries worldwide.

 

In the same post, the company modestly boasted that it's "creating 20,000 new jobs per month and powering billions in economic impact in cities around the world, while also improving the environment, reducing DUI rates and fueling urban economic development."

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iOS 8 brings the ability to enter a credit card data using the camera

If you shop online using your phone a new way to get your credit card details into the website using Safari is coming. In iOS 8 users will get the ability to take a photo of the credit card using the iPhone camera and put the credit card data directly into the website you are shopping with.

 

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That will be much faster than having to type in credit card information each time you want to buy something. You can type in credit card details now and have them stored in the operating system for use later.

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Canon Irista online photos storage service launches

Canon is one of the biggest names in photography equipment and makes cameras that range from entry-level budget units up to professional cameras costing thousands and thousands of dollars. Canon has announced something new that isn't a camera, but is a place where photographers can store their photos online. The new photo storage service is called Irista.

 

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Irista is designed to compete against other similar storage services like Picasa, Flickr, Dropbox, Google Drive, and iCloud. The big difference is that Irista is only for storing photos and can't be used to store documents like the other services can. A range of photo file types are supported.

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Vodafone says phones on its networks in 29 countries are tapped

European wireless carrier Vodafone has made a startling admission recently. Vodafone has said that phones on its networks in 29 countries where it operates are tapped right now. The carrier has admitted to secret taps performed by government agencies in many countries are used to listen to conversations on the company's networks.

 

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The revelation came in the form of a 20-page report that outlined surveillance by governments titled Law Enforcement Disclosure. Vodafone is the world's second largest mobile operator only surpassed by China Mobile in size.

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PowerbyProxi shows off wireless charging bowls for gadgets

No one likes having to fiddle with cords to charge their gadgets. There are charging accessories out there that allow you to charge your devices, like smartphones, by simply laying the device on a charge plate. A company called PowerbyProxi is showing off the next generation of wireless charging at Computex.

 

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The company has bowls that you can throw multiple smaller gadgets into charge them at one time. The charging devices the company has shown off in the past were able to provide 3.5 to 5 watts of power. It's important to note that PowerbyProxi is a component firm and these devices are proof of concept.

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Launch now feature comes to Kickstarter speeding project launches

Kickstarter is a site where projects of all sorts raise the funds they need to enter production by pre-selling items. Kickstarter is one of the most popular crowd funding sites on the web. Changes have been made at Kickstarter that will make it easier to get a project started on the site.

 

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Relaxed regulations at Kickstarter mean that only three major rules remain that need to be met before a project can launch. Those rules include that the project must be to create or build something that can be shared with other people. The projects also must be honest and clearly presented. The final rule is that no projects are allowed that are raising money for charity, prohibited items, or offer financial incentives.

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Elon Musk plans to serve as Tesla CEO for another 4-5 years, he says

Elon Musk, current CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, said he plans to lead the popular electric-car company for at least four or five more years, but understands he has limited time at the helm. The 42-year-old has been successful leading both companies, but trying to maintain full-time workloads at both companies will become difficult, especially as SpaceX and Tesla both expand later down the road.

 

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Some industry analysts believed Musk would have to give up his position at one of the companies - likely Tesla over SpaceX - sooner rather than later, but the 4-5 year time frame means he will still be around when the Generation III enters mass production.

 

"No one is a CEO forever," Musk said during a recent Tesla shareholders meeting. "Eventually they carry you out. It is quite difficult to be CEO at two companies."

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Patent royalties make up over 25% of a smartphone's price

Two of the lawyers from the law firm that Apple used in its patent fight against Samsung, and an executive from Intel, have released a paper that shows just how much we're paying in smartphone royalty fees - a figure that won't see you smiling.

 

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In a report titled "The Smartphone Royalty Stack: Surveying Royalty Demands for the Components Within Modern Smartphones," we now have a dollar amount when it comes to patent royalty fees on the average smartphone. The average smartphone is priced at $400, with patent royalties costing a huge $120 of that $400 - or more than 30%.

 

Considering the build of materials, or BoM, is usually less than that - smartphone owners are paying more in patent royalties, than the physical hardware that makes up the smartphone. The paper was written by WilmerHale intellectual property litigators Joe Mueller and Tim Syrett, who were joined by Intel's Vice President and Associate General Counsel Ann Armstrong, who all used public information to calculate the patent royalty costs.

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FCC to change its baseline speed of what it considers broadband

It looks like the Federal Communications Commission could finally change what it deems as the definition of broadband, which right now sits at 4Mbps - but this is going to change, considerably.

 

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In the new age of Internet, where everyone is streaming, downloading and playing games, 4Mbps doesn't really cut it, and that doesn't count going into the future with 4K from Netflix as one example. The FCC is planning to take in public comments soon, about what it should have the baseline of broadband speeds at - whether it be 10Mbps, or even 25Mbps.

 

The FCC will ask "whether the FCC should adopt a tiered set of definitions to account for varying speeds in different regions or during different times of day".

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