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$228,000 Worth of Bitcoins Stolen

posted Friday Mar 2, 2012 by Scott Ertz

$228,000 Worth of Bitcoins Stolen

Not a lot of people know what Bitcoin is, so we will start this story there. Bitcoin is a digital currency, similar to Microsoft Points, with a twist. Bitcoins are not purchased in unlimited quantities - instead, they are "mined" on servers and personal computers. Essentially, you are paid for the usage of your computer's idle CPU usage. According to the Bitcoin FAQ,

New coins are generated by a network node each time it finds the solution to a certain mathematical problem (i.e. creates a new block), which is difficult to perform and can demonstrate a proof of work. The reward for solving a block is automatically adjusted so that in the first 4 years of the Bitcoin network, 10,500,000 BTC will be created. The amount is halved each 4 years, so it will be 5,250,000 over years 4-8, 2,625,000 over years 8-12 and so on. Thus the total number of bitcoins in existence will not exceed 21,000,000.

Blocks are generated every 10 minutes, on average. As the number of people who attempt to generate these new coins changes, the difficulty of creating new coins changes. This happens in a manner that is agreed upon in advance by the network as a whole, based upon the time taken to generate the previous 2016 blocks. The difficulty is therefore related to the average computing resources devoted to generate these new coins over the time it took to create these previous blocks. The likelihood of somebody creating a block is based on the calculation speed of the system that they are using compared to the aggregate calculation speed of all the other systems generating blocks on the network.

Why does any of this matter? Hit the break to find out where a lot of this money went.

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Windows 8 Consumer Preview Hits 1 Million Downloads

posted Friday Mar 2, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Windows 8 Consumer Preview Hits 1 Million Downloads

It didn't take long before the latest version of Microsoft's flagship product, Windows 8, to have its public beta, known as the Consumer Preview, to receive 1 million downloads. In fact, it only took 24 hours to reach this milestone. Now, while Windows has had higher adoption rates in the past, it is unusual for a non-production ready operating system to get this kind of attention.

This, however, is no normal Windows. In fact, it almost doesn't feature windows in its appearance, save for the Desktop, which has been relegated from its front-and-center position to an application running within the native environment. The primary interface sports the new universal Microsoft user experience, known as Metro, which is already in use on Windows Phone 7 and the new Xbox Dashboard. This is what is driving all of the interest in the preview.

I can tell you we have been testing Win8 here in the office since the original Developer Preview was released, and we installed the Consumer Preview immediately upon launch on Wednesday. I definitely understand why people are so excited about Windows 8.

So, are you one of the million who had it day 1 or are you planning on trying it out soon? Let us know in the comments!

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iPhone 4 Users Receive $15 Payout for Antenna Problems

posted Sunday Feb 26, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

iPhone 4 Users Receive $15 Payout for Antenna Problems

Let's take you back almost two years ago. The iPhone 4 was among the newest of the iCraze to be announced and in the hands of the massive amount of people who simply wanted something that "just worked." It just worked, except when you wanted to make a phone call; then the antenna wouldn't work at all. Why? It was because the phone was designed so poorly that your hand would naturally hold the area of the phone that Apple put the weak spot.

The fix? Leave it to Apple to say everyone has this problem even though their developers knew about this issue well before release and chose not to fix it. Apple also said to buy a rubber bumper to put on your phone to fix the problem. Perfect.

As you could image, some people weren't too happy about this and actually received a settlement from the whole ordeal. These were the users who didn't want to exchange their phone, didn't want the stupid bumper and didn't want a voucher.

So what was the settlement? Find out after the break.

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LightSquared Responds to the FCC Rejection, Slashes Workforce in Half

posted Sunday Feb 26, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

LightSquared Responds to the FCC Rejection, Slashes Workforce in Half

In an age where spectrum and cash are king, wireless carriers need to be able to stay afloat financially, but also need to be able to innovate and move forward with the technologies. For companies like Clearwire, financial troubles have been plaguing them for over a year now. Sprint was going to leave them for 4G company LightSquared, except last week LightSquared ran into a roadblock called the FCC and it may put a permanent halt on rolling out a 4G LTE network.

This week we learned that LightSquared is trying to stay ahead of the financial troubles it will inevitably encounter due to no production as billionaire Philip Falcone, who backs LightSquared financially, is going to cut 149 of its 330 jobs, roughly 45 percent of the entire workforce. The majority of the jobs being axed are the ones who were going to be responsible for rolling out the actual network.

On what's going to happen during this downtime, check after the break.

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The Mobile Landscape Just Got a Little More Crowded

posted Sunday Feb 26, 2012 by Scott Ertz

The Mobile Landscape Just Got a Little More Crowded

We've known for a while now that Mozilla has been working on a new mobile operating system known as Boot2Gecko. What we didn't know, however, was how close to being complete they were. If rumors are true, it would appear that they are at least to the Developer Preview stage.

Before we get to the rumors, let's cover what Boot2Gecko is. This mobile operating system is both revolutionary and derivative, all at the same time. Its revolutionary in that it will be the most open OS in the mobile world, and it will also be able to run inside of any browser. While the fact that it will run in any browser might seem new, this is not the first mobile OS to be entirely based on web technologies (webOS). webOS, however, runs inside of a WebKit environment, whereas Boot2Gecko can run anywhere. Certainly an interesting concept.

However, will Boot2Gecko suffer the same fate as webOS, or will its starting out open help it avoid a slow, painful death? Hit the break to find out.

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In South Africa You Can Pre-order a Game That Hasn't Been Officially Announced

posted Sunday Feb 26, 2012 by Jon Wurm

In South Africa You Can Pre-order a Game That Hasn't Been Officially Announced

An interesting thing has occurred on BT Games's South African website. They have given their customers the ability to pre-order a game that hasn't officially been announced. What makes it more intriguing is that the game in question here is the fabled fourth installment of the God of War franchise, God of War IV, which they estimate to be released in February 2013. Exactly how they reached this conclusion is up for debate: it is possible they know something we don't or maybe they are just being optimistic? The game hasn't been officially announced in any capacity as of this article but at the beginning of this year Joystiq reported that Timothy Williams, the man in charge of the orchestral music in many videogames, had listed God of War IV in his resume under the "Video Games" section.

You really don't have to stretch your imagination to believe a 4th game in the wildly popular God of War franchise could happen. In fact, I would go so far as to say it's a probability just based on a gut feeling but this may just be a clever publicity stunt for the retailer. At least they are smart enough not to be charging you money for the pre-order at this time. See it for yourself after the break.

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