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Bitcoin is booming right now with the virtual currency worth a significant amount of real-world money. The success of bitcoin is a bit cloudy though with some countries deeming the virtual currency illegal, such as Russia. There have also been some issues with popular bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox stopping withdrawals in some instances.
Mt. Gox has promised that withdrawals are coming back soon. While bitcoin is having some issues, the world keeps moving forwards. The US is set to get its first bitcoin ATMs soon. A company called Robocoin announced this week that it would be putting bitcoin ATMs in place in Austin, Texas, and Seattle, Washington.
The company says that the bitcoin ATMs will require the user to scan an official ID like a passport or driver's license before a transaction can be made. The ATMs will allow users to swap bitcoin for cash, deposit cash, and purchase bitcoins.
Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has just announced that it has developed a workaround for the software bug that forced it to suspend all Bitcoin withdrawal transactions last week. The fix was developed in partnership with Blockchain.info, and Mt. Gox said that it has been implemented into its system and will prevent any fraudulent use of the malleability issue that shut down the system.
Mt. Gox says that along with the implementation of the malleability fix, withdrawals will resume "soon," and that the new system will be rolled out at a moderate pace. The new system also features new daily and monthly withdrawal limits that are designed to limit adverse effects on the exchange system based on current market conditions. Mt. Gox said that it is currently re-indexing the entire Blockchain of about 32 million entries, deploying the new NTX ID system, and implementing a new Bitcoin withdrawal queue that will undergo further testing before withdrawals are reinstated.
We should know more by this Thursday when Mt. Gox is expected to make another announcement on its plans to bring withdrawal transactions back online. At the moment the lack of withdrawals is seriously hurting Bitcoin prices on Mt. Gox, with a single Bitcoin now trading at about $320. That means that Bitcoins have fallen more than $300 since withdrawals were suspended. Until things return to normal, I fully expect to see Bitcoin's fall further on the third largest Bitcoin exchange.
Reports are floating around that Apple mergers and acquisitions chief Adrian Perica has met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The thought of Apple's mergers and acquisitions head meeting with Musk seems to indicate that Apple might be considering stepping into the automotive market in a much bigger way than it has with Siri Eyes Free.
The meeting happened last spring according to a source claiming to be familiar with the meeting. It would be strange for Apple to actually step into the car market. Tesla and Apple are both known as innovative companies. Apple has some of the most successful tech products on the market like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod.
Tesla on the other hand has one of the best electric vehicles on the market with the Model S. Neither Tesla nor Apple has offered any official comments on the rumored meeting, which certainly is no surprise. It's unclear what Tesla might gain from Apple other than deep pockets. Apple would presumably gain another platform for its technology in the form of its own car.
It was reported earlier that Nokia was in serious trouble with the Indian government over a tax evasion dispute of a jaw-dropping amount of $542 Million. As a result, the authorities raided the company's factories and offices in India. The matter is still pending in the court, but the situation escalated to a point where the company later threatened to pull its entire manufacturing business from India. In September 2013, Microsoft made a deal with Nokia to acquire the company.
Because of the tax evasion dispute that involves its factories in India, the company's planned sale to Microsoft would become complicated, according to WSJ. The report explained that that this complication involves a factory in Chennai which makes millions of mobiles per year and the deadline to complete this transaction should be completed by the end of Q1 2014. If the factory is not included during the transition, it may continue its operations as a "contract manufacturer" for Microsoft until the disputes are cleared. This step however would make it more complicated for Nokia.
When Lenovo purchased Motorola from Google in a deal worth $2.91 billion, it had the industry talking. But, those talks didn't seem to extend into LG boardrooms, with the South Korean giant not phased by the deal.
Head of Product with LG, Kim Jong Hoon, said: "There are many talks over Lenovo and Motorola in the media right now and how it affects LG, but internally, we aren't discussing much about it". One would think that LG would be scared of the deal, as it will make Lenovo quite the player in the market, but LG has plans of its own for 2014.
LG plans to get back its third place in the global smartphone market before the year is wrapped up, moving itself from position #4. LG has just launched the G Pro 2 smartphone which will help it get there, and we're sure it is working with Google on the Nexus 6 - which should be based off of the bigger G Pro 2 and its very delicious internal specs.
Back in August last year, we reported that Microsoft hired ex-Valve employee Jason Holtman as the head of its PC division - a position that Holtman has just left, six months into it.
The Verge talked with a Microsoft spokesperson who confirmed the news, adding that the software giant wishes him the best in the future. According to Holtman's LinkedIn profile, he left last month, but the news has only just reached the Internet. Holtman has confirmed the news through his Facebook page, where he said: "Last week I left Microsoft and said goodbye to my friends there. Now looking around for something interesting and fun-no end of that in video games!"
Who will become Dropbox's first Chief Operations Officer? If a report from the Wall Street Journal is correct, it could be Motorola CEO, Dennis Woodside.
Woodside will reportedly leave his post as CEO at Motorola for the COO position of the cloud storage giant. Things aren't set in stone right now, but it would definitely be an interesting move for Woodside.
A few days after we posted this, a Dropbox representative reached out to us, where Drew Houston, CEO of the cloud storage company, said: "We've long admired Dennis's leadership at Google and Motorola where he ran multi-billion dollar businesses and built amazing organizations around the world. We're so happy to welcome Dennis to our team -- I can't imagine a better person to help us bring Dropbox to global scale".
When Lenovo purchased Motorola Mobility from Google, it cost them $2.91 billion in stock and cash, but then Motorola posted a $384 billion operating loss for Q4 2013 - not good.
Well, Lenovo CEO, Yang Yuanqing, has said that he can quickly turn Motorola around within months - not years, like most have expected. He told Bloomberg: "In a few quarters we can turn around the business". He continued: "I am confident that from day 1 after closing, these businesses will quickly begin contributing to our performance and develop into pillars for long-term, sustainable growth".
They're definitely fighting words, but how will Lenovo pull it off? Well, the above plan should work - it shows why Lenovo acquired Motorola, and how it will realize growth from the deal, too. Lenovo plans to relaunch the Motorola brand in China, as well as emerging markets, where it will add entry-level handsets from Motorola to its growing list of options.
CNBC is reporting from multiple sources that Comcast will soon announce a deal to purchase Time Warner Cable in a deal worth $44.2 billion. There are 227.9 million Time Warner Cable shares outstanding, with the deal being calculated at a total of $44.2 billion.
Time Warner Cable stock hit $135.31, with the deal seeing TWC holders earning a nice 18% premium. Comcast will reportedly divest three million subscribers in order to fan down regulatory worries. CNBC's David Faber, the man behind the report, says: "Comcast deal for $TWC does not face ownership cap restrictions, but sure to get tough review from FCC. $CMCSA wants to avoid consent decree".
Earlier this week, I reported on Bitcoin exchange MT. Gox suspending all withdrawal transactions over a long-known bug that allows nefarious users to basically make incoming transactions appear as if they never completed. Today word has came down that another Bitcoin exchange, Bitstamp has also suspended withdrawal transactions, but this time the issue is not due to a software bug, but rather was the result of a Denial of Service Attack (DDOS).
Bitstamp is the largest of several exchanges used for trading Bitcoins, and actually trades a little higher than Mt. Gox on average, making it a big target for attacks like these. At the time of this writing, Bitcoins were trading for $656 each, $100 higher than Mt. Gox. No further information was given on the DDOS attack, or any clue as to where it originated from, but with Bitcoins becoming more popular by the day, we can expect to see these types of attacks begin showing up more frequently.