The wild and talented cyberpunk original Rudy Rucker is kickstarting a volume of his journals, from 1990-2014, inspired by Kafka's journals, and "as long as three or four novels put together." Read the rest
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Although the company presumably views the community-organized events as positive publicity, the risk to the public safety has proved a concern.
“It’s hard to control,” IKEA Group spokeswoman Martina Smedberg told Bloomberg. “We need to make sure people are safe in our stores, and that’s hard to do if we don’t even know where they are.”
The Facebook-organized event at the Eindhoven branch planned for May 16, which more than 32,000 people had indicated they would attend, is now being shut down. A 19,000-person event planned for April in Amsterdam has also been canceled alongside the Utrecht store ‘game’, to which 12,000 people RSVPd to participate.
— TorontoStar (@TorontoStar) March 16, 2015
The rules of IKEA's hide-and-seek games, which have seen success in the past, are simple. Participants are encouraged to hide in displays and semi-open areas, with bathrooms and employee-only areas off limits. A time limit is set for about an hour per game. At the end, everybody is urged to proceed to a central meeting spot.
IKEA’s hide-and-seek scheme has been around for years. Last year the company allowed one game at a store in Wilrijk, Belgium, in which about 500 players took part.
“Sometimes it’s fun just to do some childish things,” organizer Elise De Rijck told Bloomberg. “Ikea is like an extremely large living room.”
Those who have signed up for the canceled event are now looking for other locations. Suggestions include Heuvel Galerie, a three-story shopping center in Eindhoven or Efteling, a theme park in the northern Netherlands.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Purse is a peer-to-peer marketplace that connects spenders and buyers of bitcoins. Customers shop for items on Amazon.com by creating a wishlist.Then they exchange bitcoins for items on the list with customers who are interested in buying their bitcoins. Shoppers typically see a savings of between 8 and 20 percent on their purchases, but the process can be a bit complicated for new users. Purse is hoping to streamline this process and create a more seamless experience once the Coinbase integration goes live.
“This is a pretty big focus for us,” says Ashkan Motamedi, business developer and marketing manager at Purse. He said that, like Coinbase, one of Purse’s primary goals is to promote mainstream adoption of bitcoin.
Coinbase is a bitcoin wallet and platform for merchants and consumers. It powers a collection of third-party apps on its website, allowing companies to build their bitcoin service on its wallet infrastructure. Purse customers will be able to download the Purse.io app and connect directly through their Coinbase accounts.
They will then be able to access funds directly from their Coinbase wallets when they make purchases through Purse.
Adding Coinbase integration also offers an extra level of security and fraud protection to Purse’s business model. Dogged in the past by concerns over users’ potential fraud and money-laundering practices, Purse has taken steps to ensure that users are verified and customers are protected.
“Spenders are totally vetted through Coinbase,” says Motamedi. He also said that fraud detection goes through both Amazon and Sift Science, a system that goes through users’ behaviors, IPs and buying history: “It’s like what Amazon already does but it’s just another level of verification,” says Motamedi.
Motamedi cited improved security and ease-of-use as two important steps toward more mainstream adoption for bitcoin businesses. Over the coming months, Purse has plans to make more changes to its service that will move things farther in that direction.
“In the future, when we build new apps, we’ll of course be using Bitcoin in the back end … but making the front end more seamless,” says Motamedi. There are also plans in the works to improve the search function and phase out the “wishlist” step, thus making ordering and delivery faster and more convenient.
Image via Purse.io
The post Purse.io Partners with Coinbase to Make Bitcoin Shopping Easier appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.
The Bitnodes project issued its first incentive last week and will continue to do so until the end of 2015 or until 10,000 nodes are running.
The program uses an incentive program started as an experimental process to reward those who run a node. Rewards for running full nodes are being paid in bitcoin.
A Bitcoin node is a part of the network that allows Bitcoin to operate the way it does. It increases security and improves reliability by validating transactions and blocks and then relaying that information to other full nodes.
Any individual can run a full node by using the Core client (Bitcoin Core).
Miners, the ledger clerks of the Bitcoin sector, are incentivized by rewarding them for solving blocks. These blocks contain information about recent transactions and the reward (at the moment) is 25 bitcoin, which can be spread among those contributing toward the mining.
But there are no similar incentives for individuals or businesses running full nodes. They have only the gratification that they are supporting the network. And if they are not mining, others are being rewarded for it. This is a problem, as nodes are arguably as important as mining.
Another problem: Keeping a full node running for an extensive period entails cost. The hardware being used may be out of play for anything else, or the cost of electricity is significant after an extended time.
The Bitnodes project introduces the Peer Index (PIX) as a way to measure nodes in the network. It is based on 11 properties that can be found in greater detail here. Then nodes are listed on the leader board for all to view.
“If your node is not already up on the leader board, make sure that it is reachable by other peers in the network and activate its node status from https://getaddr.bitnodes.io/nodes/,” said Addy Yeow of Bitnodes.
There are currently 4,006 active nodes. IP, ISP, client, country and more information is available via Bitnodes.
Yeow accedes that the incentives program is not an ideal solution to completely remedy the growth, or lack, of Bitcoin nodes. Further discussion is needed from the community for problem-solving and figuring out a more long-term solution to encourage individuals and businesses to run long-term nodes.
Recent updates have extended the 60 day charts to 90 days, a full quarter of a year. This has been done to give a clearer picture of Bitcoin Core version adoption. Also, a STALLED alert has been introduced to notify node operators when their node has not downloaded a newer block from its peers for some time.
One of the long-term potentials of Bitnodes is that it could be used to estimate the size of the Bitcoin network that uses newer versions of Bitcoin Core (version 0.8.x or newer). A full list of the Q1 updates for Bitnodes can be found here on Github.
The potential for rewarding node administrators exists. Further incentive applications are probably needed, but there is scope for this future development. Involvement from the public is sought since the next gem of an idea can come from anyone.
Even if you are not a programmer or you do not think you can contribute to the discussion on development, you can always be part of the solution by running a node (bitcoin core) and leaving it running on an old computer in a spare room.
If you plan to run a node, you should have 50 gigabytes of free disk space, 2 gigabytes of RAM and an Internet connection with uploads of at least 400 kilobits (0.4 mb). Check regularly to ensure you do not exceed your upload limit (if relevant), and that you leave your node running for at least 6 hours a day.
Bitcoin nodes map via bitnodes.io
The post Bitnodes Project Issues First Incentives For Node Operators appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.
The Isle of Man wants to become a leading Bitcoin hub and attract digital fintech businesses, entrepreneurs and developers, Business Insider reports. The government of the tiny island is about to pass a new regulatory framework to create a true paradise for digital currencies.
The Isle of Man is a self-governing British Crown dependency located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland.
While the United Kingdom is responsible for the island’s defense and foreign policy, the local parliament and government have power over all domestic matters. Business regulations and tax incentives are domestic matters, so the island has the freedom to pass innovative legislation and tax incentives to attract digital fintech firms and professionals.
In fact, the Isle of Man has long been a favorite location for online businesses that need a permissive regulatory climate. For example, it has a world-class reputation as an online gaming and sports betting hub that offers a friendly and agile regulatory environment to the operators and at the same time provides strong legal protection to their customers worldwide.
The new regulatory framework for digital fintech will be informed by the same principles, and may permit restoring the support of the leading U.K. banks that in 2014, scared by the high volatility of bitcoin, stopped working with the digital currency industry on the island.
Brian Donegan, the Isle of Man’s head of operations for digital development and e-business, told CoinDesk that the government is moving aggressively to put key measures in place that would help the region’s budding digital currency industry thrive.
The Proceeds of Crime Act, which has been altered to account for digital currencies, is expected to come into force at the start of April. A new legislation, the Designated Businesses Bill, will regulate the activities of businesses responsible for holding sums of money, including Bitcoin exchanges.
Peter Greenhill , head of e-commerce for the Isle of Man, told Business Insider that the aim is to be the most attractive place in the world for cryptocurrency companies to work from, with “friendly but firm legislation” for digital currency startups.
“We have the regulations and infrastructure in place to become a world leader in digital currencies,” he said. “We already have companies coming in and setting up. We see this as the future and we want to be at the center of development in this area.”
It may seem odd that firmly enforced regulations are presented as an advantage for companies operating in a frontier industry that is often threatened by regulators, but Greenhill considers it a necessary step to foster trust in the use of digital currencies.
“These companies will be listed on a register that will be strictly controlled by the island’s Financial Supervision Commission,” he told Computer Weekly. “They will hold their records, have them audited, looked at, and if they see something untoward they’ll take those people off that register and make sure the world knows about it. We set the bar high, and if people don’t meet [our requirements], they can go somewhere else.”
It appears that the Isle of Man is aligning with the current trend of fostering the emerging Bitcoin economy and taking it mainstream, but under a firm regulatory framework.
Isle of Man image via Flickr.
The post Isle of Man Preparing to Pass Digital Currency Regulatory Framework appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.
Decentral has recently moved its offices. As a result, decentral.tv is in the process of creating a new and improved studio. So this week, we revisit some of our best episodes that also aim to shed some light on topics that you’ll see in the news this week.
We start off with an episode from December 2014 when Dmitry Murashchik of Mycelium was our guest. This week, Mycelium will be shipping out their first, sold-out batch of brand new Entropy devices. Entropy is a small USB device that uses hardware-based entropy to generate printable Bitcoin paper wallets. Find out more about Mycelium and Entropy on Monday’s featured episode of Decentral Talk Live.
On Tuesday, we go back to TNABC Las Vegas for an interview with Patrick Cines of the College Crypto Network. CCN is involved in plenty of projects these days, including a Bitcoin Charity Summit at USC. Find out more about how young Bitcoiners are spreading the word about digital currencies in their colleges and communities.
Every day on various community chat boards, people ask, “How do I know which wallet is best for me and how do I make sure it’s secure?” CryptoCurrency Certification Consortium (C4) president, Michael Perklin, sat down with co-hosts Anthony Di Iorio and Ethan Wilding to break down the various types of wallets and important steps that users need to take to secure their funds.
It’s tax season, so figuring out how to include bitcoin on a tax return is on people’s minds these days. On Thursday, decentral.tv will try to shed some light on a complex issue by highlighting an interview with Jake Benson of LibraTax. Find out more about keeping more of your money while staying on the right side of tax legislation on this featured episode of Decentral Talk Live.
Ending the week on a positive note, DTL brings back its popular interview with Connie Gallippi, founder of the BitGive Foundation. Gallippi has worked tirelessly to enable the Bitcoin community to support charitable work by organizations such as Save the Children and the Water Project. BitGive is the first registered Bitcoin charity in the space. It recently formed a partnership with ChangeTip that allows users to automatically redirect their tips to BitGive. BitGive is also part of the 1% Initiative with Purse.io and Chain to save customers money and donate 1 percent to charity.
Past episodes of Decentral Talk Live can be found on the decentral.tv playlist. Featured episodes will be showcased at 3 pm EDT, Monday-Friday on decentral.tv.
The post Bringing Back the Best: This Week on Decentral Talk Live appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.