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[VIDEO] Can Bitcoin Survive a Hard Fork? Xapo’s Wences Casares on Block Size and Bitcoin’s Future 

“I think bitcoin is more robust because we cannot depend on Satoshi [Nakamoto, creator of bitcoin] to say, ‘Hey, Satoshi, what do we do with the block size?'” says Wences Casares, founder of the bitcoin wallet Xapo. “I think that would be a weaker bitcoin.”

Casares is an entrepreneur who brought the first internet service provider to his home country of Argentina and then launched the mega successful online brokerage firm Patagon. So people listen when he says that bitcoin “may change the world more than the Internet did.”

Reason TV‘s Zach Weissmueller sat down with Casares in Xapo’s San Francisco headquarters and discussed the state of bitcoin, why he believes that bitcoin’s core technology needs modification to increase block size, and why such a modification doesn’t threaten the future of the crypotcurrency as some critics fear. Read the rest of this entry »

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Greek Newspapers Running Out of Paper; Emergency Plans Underway to Substitute Delicious Surplus Layers of Baked Filo Dough

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ATHENS (Reuters) – Lefteris Karagiannopoulos reports: With banks shut and the economy seizing up, some Greek newspapers like the Empros daily on the island of Lesvos are running out of paper and could be forced to stop sales altogether until the banks open again.

“There is a definite problem with paper supply. Our supplier can’t provide us with it, as it is stuck in customs. He can’t pay the foreign suppliers, as bank transfers are blocked and there’s very little cash to continue operations”.

Empros chief executive Manolis Manolas

The island’s biggest selling newssheet, Empros has already reduced the number of pages to 16 from 20 and its chief executive Manolis Manolas hopes he won’t have to make further cuts as the country’s cash crunch worsens. Greek banks have been shut for almost two weeks after capital controls were imposed.

A man reads newspaper headlines in Athens, Greece July 8, 2015.  REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

“There is a definite problem with paper supply,” Manolas told Reuters by phone. “Our supplier can’t provide us with it, as it is stuck in customs. He can’t pay the foreign suppliers, as bank transfers are blocked and there’s very little cash to continue operations”.

“The newspaper you hold in your hands numbers only 32 pages because the stock of printing paper will last for just a few days and it will not be possible to get a fresh supply through customs because of the bank holiday.”

Curbs on money withdrawals and transfers have made life miserable for millions of Greeks, whose government was scrambling on Thursday to devise a new set of proposals for a bailout with its creditors to stave off imminent bankruptcy.

Phyllo-Dough

Filo (or phyllo) (Greek: φύλλο ‘leaf’) is a kind of very thin unleavened dough used for making pastries such as baklava and börek in Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisinesFilo-based pastries are made by layering many sheets of filo brushed with melted butter; the pastry is then baked.

As well as reporting on the capital controls introduced at the end of June – queues outside banks and cash machines are now a daily sight in Greece – the media also became a victim of them. Read the rest of this entry »


Secret Service Captures ‘Most-Wanted’ Hacker

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Susan Crabtree reports:  The Secret Service’s financial crimes branch just notched a major victory by nabbing the most-wanted computer hacker in the world, a Turkish man accused of running a global operation to hack automated teller machines.Secret-Service-Confidential

Ercan Findikoglu, 33, is set to be arraigned Wednesday in the U.S. Eastern District Court of New York. U.S. officials successfully extradited him from a German prison after years of negotiations and a legal battle over his release and transfer to U.S. authorities.

Findikoglu allegedly organized criminal operations using hacked debit cards, including one that stole $40 million in cash from ATMs in the span of just 10 hours in February 2013 in New York City and 23 other countries. He used hacked bank debit cards, removing their balance limits, to trigger ATMs to freely release the cash. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] NYC’s First 24-Hour Cupcake ATM

NEW YORK - March 24,  2014. For Pulse/News. New York's first Cupcake ATM by the Sprinkles cupcake store is at 780 Lexington Avenue. Model Alexandra enjoys a cupcake from the machine.(photo by Tamara Beckwith/NY POST)

photo by Tamara Beckwith/NY POST

THE FUTURE IS HERE: CUPCAKES ON DEMAND

Carolyn Cox reports: What? A mother-lovin’ 24-hour Automatic Teller Machine for cupcakes. Where? 780 Lexington Avenue. Why? Because obviously one of the inalienable rights of being an American is the opportunity to stand in line on a freezing street corner and wait for a robot to hand you miniature cakes.

“Even as Sprinkles’ founder, I couldn’t get my midnight cupcake fix! I thought ‘there has to be a way’ and so the concept of the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM was born.”

— Bakery founder Candace Nelson

After years of anticipation, Sprinkles bakery’s Cupcake ATM opened yesterday to unabashed excitement. A crowd had already formed before the machine turned on at 9 am, and DNAinfo reports a consistent line of 12-15 customers throughout the day. Sprinkles’ New York location is also open from 9AM-9PM on weekdays, so it was likely the novelty of the machine that had customers drooling with anticipation yesterday even during bakery hours.

The Zenith of First-World Achievement

As excited as I am by the magical mechanics of the cupcake contraption, describing the devil-box as an “ATM” rather than a vending machine seems misleading. “ATM” implies that I have stored up a collection of cupcakes in one place and, assuming I am using a machine offered by my cupcake bank, will be able to access said hoard free of charge. Sadly, cupcakes are not yet being used as currency in the United States, so even though I can make a cupcake withdrawal from Sprinkles’ ATM by swiping a bank card, I am essentially paying for the cupcake in the same way I would with a human at a bakery. Read the rest of this entry »


Are Robots Killing The Middle Class?

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More wishful thinking on joblessness

 writes: A few years back, President Barack Obama claimed that America was experiencing “structural issues with our economy.” It wasn’t simply that inflexible Republicans were standing in the way of prosperity but that “a lot of businesses” had become more efficient. “You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM,” he went on, “you don’t go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you’re using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate.”

That didn’t seem right. Innovation creates jobs, drives output and growth and improves the quality of goods, services and our lives. Or, at least, that’s the theory economists have been peddling. Read the rest of this entry »


ATM mysteriously explodes in China

China is increasingly becoming a real-life Maximum Overdrive with machines and items such as mobile phonestoiletsbus windowsbusescans of cola, and cigarettes have all lashed out at their fleshy masters.

Read the rest of this entry »