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Inside Scoop


You’ve probably heard about it, but what is Bitcoin? Lifehacker explains it this way:

Bitcoin is an anonymous digital currency...

Bitcoin is not real money. It's an online "currency"—virtual tokens that can be exchanged for goods and services at places that accept it, the same way you'd give someone a dollar for a cookie. But unlike a dollar, a Bitcoin has no serial number or any possible mechanism that could be used to trace it back to a buyer or seller. This makes it attractive to drug dealers and/or privacy advocates.

...with mega aspirations...

In their YouTube manifesto, Bitcoin's creators say they're going to revolutionize global finance the way the web changed publishing. So! Kind of a lofty goal, aiming to be a global currency up there with (or replacing) the dollar. Right now, that's still the pipiest of pipe dreams.

...and no central authority...

Aside from the software developers who work on new versions of the code that underpins Bitcoin, there's no Central Bitcoin Bank—no virtual Federal Reserve. Bitcoins are backed by no one and nothing and completely unregulated.

...that's exchanged via P2P...

When you write your friend a check, money from your account is withdrawn from your bank, and then transferred to her bank, and then she withdraws it as cash (maybe). With BitCoin, there are no middlemen. Money goes straight from you to whomever, through the BitCoin P2P system, with no intermediary agency passing along the chips.

...and generated by its users...

This is where it starts to get a little weird! Unlike traditional currency, that's backed up by something, (be it gold, silver, or a central bank), Bitcoins are generated out of thin air. Through a process called "mining," a little app sits on your computer and slowly—very slowly—creates new Bitcoins in exchange for providing the computational power to process transactions. When a new batch of coins is ready, they're distributed in probabilistic accordance to whomever had the highest computing power in the mining process. The system is rigged so that no more than 21 million BitCoins will ever exist—so the mining process will yield less and less as time goes on, and more people sign up. This makes the whole system a lot sweeter for early adopters.

...to be spent at the few places BitCoin is accepted...

Compared to "real money," few places accept Bitcoin at the moment. But that's quickly changing. There's decent incentive for small businesses to accept Bitcoins—it's free to use, and there aren't any transaction fees. At the moment you can buy the services of a web designer, indie PC games, homemade jewelry, [and more illicit products].

...or converted into real money.

Just like you can trade in yen for dollars, you can swap your BitCoins with other users for several "real world" currencies. And right now, the BitCoin is trading very high! [As of this writing: 1 BTC = $124.00 USD]

But like any bubble—or perhaps more so than most bubbles—the digital coin rush could collapse at any moment, leaving a lot of people with a lot of virtual nothing.

You can watch a video explainer about Bitcoin here.


What's Hot Online

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Apps

The Guardian suggests that the following are the very worst apps ever:

“Will You Marry Me” Text App

If the thought of taking a knee and popping the question makes you light-headed or nauseous, don’t worry! There’s an app for that!

The app allows you to enter “any text you like” or use the default: “Will you marry me?”

From the developer: “Good for not-like-speaking geeks, or nerds…Have a good luck!”

First comes love and then (with the romantic and infallible Will You Marry Me app), comes marriage. After that? Babies!

But if you have a baby, how in the world will you know if their diaper is wet or dry? With a tweet!

Huggies Brazil is soaking the competition, technologically, with “Tweetpee,” a diaper sensor which will detect increased “humidity” from your baby’s diapered parts and automatically alert you to the situation with a tweet.

What will you do with all the free time you’ve opened up by not having to check the moisture of your children’s diapers? Naturally, you’ll want to spend some time tossing your iPhone in the air, especially if it keeps tweeting about diapers.

Hangtime makes the seemingly aimless iPhone tossing relevant by using “internal accelerometers to measure how long the device is in free fall,” thus allowing you to compare your hangtime with that of all the other idle parents at their website:

Make sure your device’s insurance is up to date!

Read more here.

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Industry Scoop
The Day the TV Died?

Analysts are speculating that watching TV on TV may soon be a thing of the past. Indeed, the data compiled for May 2013 suggests just 44% are watching TV shows live as they happen (as opposed to recorded on a DVR or streaming online):

Click to view larger

The results suggest that live TV viewing is falling victim to alternative sources of content: respondents to a Vubiquity study indicate that 22% of their viewing of full-length TV shows is from a DVR, 14% is on demand, and 6% is via an online source, among others.

e-Strategy Trends.

Editor’s Note

We're grateful and pleased to welcome many new customers to SpeedConnect. We know you're going to love our technology, our service and our company! Let us hear from you if there is anything we can do to make your streaming SpeedConnect experience more enjoyable. And thank you very much for your business.


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