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Comment Re:Bitcoin? (Score 1) 72 72

If the ATM is charging 15% extra for Bitcoin it sounds like there is some profit to be made competing with the ATM!

There are quite a few asian exchanges, like okcoin, huobi, bitfinex, btcchina. They are actually the biggest in the world, so you don't need an american bank account, you can just transfer them money and buy bitcoins. You should also check out or download the Android app Mycelium which uses your phones GPS to find someone near you selling Bitcoins for cash.

I don't know why you think Bitcoin failed. It dropped to 25% of its previous value. If that's your definition AAPL failed in 1997! And, in the meantime, the number of Bitcoin transactions just cracked another all-time-high

Comment Re:Can someone clarify the state of BitCoin? (Score 1, Interesting) 134 134

You'll get lots of different opinions, but there are plenty of weaknesses 1. Mining is centralized, and there's no incentive to decentralization 2. Mining is quite wasteful 3. The block size is too small for high transaction volume. Solutions require more nodes, but as the blockchain grows running a node becomes more expensive. 4. The prices is too volatile 5. Bitcoins aren't fairly distributed. My main gripe is that the price of coins is dictated by the cost of mining them, and is not related to the cost of keeping the network secure. ( Despite all this, the increase in adoption in the last twelve months has been phenomenal. Many large retaillers (Expedia, Dell, Newgg) have started accepting bitcoin. Hundreds of ATMs have been rolled out. Numerous financial products featuring Bitcoin have been confirmed. So on the one hand, Bitcoin has some serious problems, but on the other hand, there are a lot of people with a lot of money interested in keeping it going.

Submission + - Steorn's free energy demo delayed

Lisandro writes: "Steorn announced that the demo for its Orbo free-energy technology, which was to be presented at Kinentica Museum in London, complete with a live broadcast with 4 cameras over Internet, has been postponed. Steorn's CEO stated that 'technical problems arose during the installation of the demonstration unit in the display case on Wednesday evening. These problems were primarily due to excessive heat from the lighting in the main display area. Attempts to replace those parts affected by the heat led to further failures and as a result we have to postpone the public demonstration until a future date.' Slasdot covered the original announcement in a previous story."

Submission + - free energy demo melts

boldra writes: Steorn's perpetual motion engine (reported here yesterday) has apparently melted beyond repair. According to CEO Sean McCarthy:

Technical problems arose during the installation of the demonstration unit in the display case on Wednesday evening. These problems were primarily due to excessive heat from the lighting in the main display area. Attempts to replace those parts affected by the heat led to further failures and as a result we have to postpone the public demonstration until a future date.
They may have cheated thermodynamics, but they're still victims of Murphy!
The Courts

Submission + - Belgium's SWIFT does a runner to America

An anonymous reader writes: A new twist to an old story. SWIFT, the Belgium bank transfer company that admitted it handed all transaction data to the NSA & CIA without warrants or limits, faces prosecution in Belgium. Their response is to do a runner to the USA. Shifting their data to USA data stores and seeking protection under the US-EU safe harbor treaty.

If you were the CIA and had access SWIFT's data, whose details would you look up. I'd look up every world leaders bank transfers, every politician's payments, every civil servants interbank transactions. Maybe look up what money Democrats send abroad too, might be some political leverage in that.

Discovering Bottlenecks in PCs Built for Gaming? 142 142

QMan asks: "I, like many others here at Slashdot, am an avid gamer. Recently, I've been thinking about upgrading my gaming PC, but with all the mish mash of components in the box, I don't really know which components are slowing down the rest, and would be an ideal candidate for replacement. I'm looking for advice on how to discover the inherent bottlenecks in my system, whether they be from my video card, RAM, CPU, or other components. I've tried various benchmarking utilities, but they generally give an overall performance rating, but not much info on which device(s) had the most impact in limiting that rating. I'd imagine many of you out there have encountered the same problem, and might have ideas on where to start."

Peter Naur Wins 2005 Turing Award 135 135

An anonymous reader writes "The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has named Peter Naur the winner of the 2005 A.M. Turing Award. The award is for Dr. Naur's fundamental contributions to programming language design and the definition of Algol 60, to compiler design, and to the art and practice of computer programming. The Turing Award is considered to be the Nobel Prize of computing, and a well-deserved recognition of Dr. Naur's pioneering contributions to the field."

Fuel Cells for Laptops Due Next Week 186 186

prostoalex writes "AVC and Antig Technology will demo a production-ready fuel cell for laptops next week on CeBIT trade show. According to PC Magazine, 'the CD-ROM size fuel cell will fit within the media bay of a notebook PC, replacing the drive with additional battery power.' The fuel cell battery will last 8 hours."

Sony Already Lost Media War to Apple? 325 325

Declan McCullagh writes "Sony's Walkman was the king of media players. Now Apple's iPod is, and Sony Connect was a flop. But Sony's problems may soon be even bigger: the company is having a remarkably difficult time coordinating software development across different divisions and continents, and some managers are worried that things may be getting worse. Will Apple's recent forays into the living room create even more of a problem for Sony?"

New Asteroid Becomes Earth's Biggest Threat 232 232

inexion wrote to mention a story on PhysOrg stating that we're all doomed. "A space rock capable of sub-continent scale devastation has about a one in 1,000 risk of colliding with Earth early next century, the highest of any known asteroid, watchers said on Thursday. The rock, 2004 VD17, is about 500 metres (yards) long and has a mass of nearly a billion tonnes, which -- if it were to impact -- would deliver 10,000 megatonnes of energy, equivalent to all the world's nuclear weapons. Spotted on November 27 2004, VD 17 was swiftly identified as rock that potentially crossed Earth's orbit, with a 1 in 3,000 risk of collision on May 4 2102."

Fuel Cells To Appear In Laptops In 2004 393 393

prostoalex writes "The overhyped fuel cells will finally be delivered to the portable computing market. Toshiba and NEC will incorporate fuel cells into the laptops by 2004. Sony, Hitachi and Casio are expected to follow the suit. The tests show a fuel cell lasting 10 hours. With the form-factor of a Bic lighter, it allows the laptop user to carry a few extra cells in the laptop bag all the time. Battery prices are expected to run at about $200."

Laptop Methanol Fuel Cells Promised This Week 249 249

securitas writes: "Wired tells us that Germany's Smart Fuel Cell is about to ship the first methanol based fuel cells for laptops and other electronic devices. The company says a 120 milliliter fuel cell can power a 15W notebook for 10 hours, and you can refill it without shutting down."

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