- Headlines for December 26, 2013
- Bread and Puppet Theater Founder Peter Schumann on 50 Years of Art and Resistance
If you got a Raspberry Pi for Christmas, check out this post for some suggestions on how to get started.
The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that the NOOBS minor revision number on the downloads page crept up by one at the end of the day on Christmas Eve. This release incorporates updated versions of Arch, Raspbian and Raspbmc.
Check out the release notes for each distribution for more details. Highlights for Raspbian include:
- New firmware and 3.10 kernel, with numerous functionality improvements.
- New hardware-accelerated X driver included and enabled by default.
- Mathematica and the Wolfram Language installed by default.
- Updated Scratch image.
- PyPy 2.2, with incremental garbage collection.
- Our new V4L2 camera driver, and an updated v4l-utils package.
Thanks to Dom Cobley (for firmware and kernel), Maciej Fijalkowski and Armin Rigo (for PyPy), Tim Rowledge (for Scratch), Vincent Sanders, Luke Diamand, David Stevenson, Tim Gover and Simon Mellor (for V4L2), Alex Newman and the Wolfram Research team (for Mathematica), Siarhei Siamashka and the fbturbo team (for X), Dave Higham (for Arch), Alex Bradbury and Peter Green (for Raspbian) and Sam Nazarko (for Raspbmc).
This release was coordinated by Andrew Scheller, who will be handling NOOBS releasing from now on.
Alleged Silk Road website mastermind Ross Ulbricht, AKA Dread Pirate Roberts, has just launched an ambitious attempt to have more than 173,000 Bitcoins seized by the FBI returned to him, despite continuing to protest his innocence in the charges leveled against him.
The argument given by Ulbricht is an interesting one – he admits his identity and says that the $30 million worth of BTC that the Feds confiscated belong to him, yet he denies that he\'s the same person as ‘Dread Pirate Roberts\'. Therefore, claims Ulbricht, the Feds should release him and also return his virtual currency.
Ulbricht is basically trying to take advantage of the ambiguous legal status of Bitcoin, reports the New York Post:
“In a notarized statement dated December 11, Ulbricht reportedly says he “has an interest as owner” in the seized funds and argues that as a virtual currency, Bitcoins are “not subject to seizure” under federal forfeiture laws.”
“It\'s a neat argument. Since the Silk Road raid was the largest Bitcoin forfeiture in US history, the courts literally have never heard a case quite like it. It\'s possible that a judge could rule that Bitcoins don\'t count as the kind of property that can be seized in a criminal prosecution.”
“Ulbricht\'s attempt at forcing the government to return the bitcoins marks the first time the courts have been asked to determine whether the controversial virtual currency is an asset that falls under forfeiture laws, legal experts told The Post.”
Unfortunately for Ulbricht, it\'s not an argument he\'s likely to win. Legal precedents have already been established that justify the seizure of all manner of things, including intellectual properties like web domains. That Ulbricht wants the Bitcoins returned at all proves that they do indeed have value – which makes them fair game as far as the Feds are concerned.
It\'s hard to see Ulbricht winning, because law enforcement authorities have almost always been allowed to seize ‘things of value\' that were obtained illegally.
Even so, Ulbricht doesn\'t really have anything to lose. His case is likely to drag on for months, if not for years, and so he could certainly do with the money to fund his defense. Among other things, he\'s been charged with organizing six contract killings, although it\'s believed that no one was actually murdered.
Last month, Ulbricht\'s family and supporters reportedly raised $1 million in an effort to secure bail, only for his application to be refused when he was judged a flight risk.
On behalf of the Bitcoin Magazine Team, we would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and a fantastic New Year!
Here is Holiday Greeting from Bitcoin Evangelist, BitInstant CEO, and Bitcoin Foundation Board Vice Chair, Charlie Shrem:
Seasons Greetings Bitcoiners!
What a wild year 2013 has been!
Now, before all of you say “Bitcoin is not all about the price”, relax. You are correct. This year I’ve been fortunate to have travelled all over the world evangelizing Bitcoin. From Austria to Las Vegas, Panama, California, London, Amsterdam, Morocco, Argentina and more meeting Bitcoin communities and building lifelong friendships. One thing I’ll always remember, said to me by long time friend and Bitcoin Foundation general counsel Patrick Murk, “Bitcoin is the accumulation of the talent, hard work and dedication of the people who develop and maintain the protocol, build industries around the protocol, the merchants and consumers who use the Bitcoin protocol in their daily lives, and those who promote and protect the protocol. As more people become a part of the Bitcoin community, the value of the system increases.”.
Bitcoin is not simply a currency, or a payment system. Bitcoin is a technology that enables you and I to work together to make the world a better place. Bitcoin not only has the potential for global financial inclusion of the world’s poor, it also provides a stable money supply to people living in some of the world’s most corrupt and irresponsible governments.
We’ve had many ups and downs this year, literally. We saw the end of Silk Road and the dawn of government regulation. Some people thought we even found Satoshi. China emerged as a dominant player in the Bitcoin space. Senate hearings and various worldwide government bodies either embraced or tried to slow it down. I say good luck to that. To shut down Bitcoin you’d have to shut down the world’s electricity and the internet. Lastly, Canada and Australia joined the foundation’s initiative to bring together some of the most energetic Bitcoin communities in the world to fulfill our mission to protect, standardize and promote Bitcoin worldwide. Bitcoin is you, me, and all of our hard work. It’s our community and culture that we’ve all decided to make our own – and we will prevail.
Satoshi built Bitcoin for us so we that can carry the torch and continue to develop it for mainstream adoption. He gave us the land and now its up to us the build the roads, bridges, and tunnels. 2013 was the year of regulation. 2014 is the year of infrastructure so get ready to build! Circle’s $9 million and Coinbase’s $25 million investments are just the tip of the iceberg. An iceberg full of new ideas, talent and capital just waiting to be tapped by the right people to bring Bitcoin to the masses.
Looking forward to an even wilder year!
Vice-Chairman, Bitcoin Foundation
The post A Word from BitInstant CEO and Bitcoin Evangelist, Charlie Shrem appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.