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Bitcoin’s Impact on the Online Gaming Industry

Bitcoin Magazine -

The rise of the free and open Internet since the early 1990s has led the gambling industry to expand its reach further into new markets. Despite strict and heavy regulatory policies, online gambling firms have managed to comply with a seemingly endless barrage of tighter gambling laws. Likewise, new payment systems have emerged that provide easier ways to lure people into making more bets. One such scheme is the introduction of Bitcoin, which is an open-source system using peer-to-peer technology for online payments. This type of payment system has the ability to bypass certain restrictions in online gambling all over the world, making it a potentially profitable betting tool for online casinos and gamblers.

Placing bets

The advantages of using Bitcoin involve its steadily growing status as a cost-efficient form of cryptocurrency. The main benefit focuses on the cost of making a Bitcoin transaction. Since it is relatively cheap to make a single transaction, more operators are exploring the idea of using them. Bitcoin’s affordable transaction prices contribute to the existence of a viable business model that offers low commissions. Although Bitcoin gambling represents a small fraction of the revenues from online gambling, the industry is pushing to make it more mainstream due to its cost-efficiency.

In 2012, the global market for online gambling recorded €21.73 billion in gross winnings, according to research firm H2 Gambling Capital. By 2015, a 9.13% compound annual growth rate is expected to occur, the company said. This projection is supported by the growing number of demands from consumers to launch new types of gambling platforms such as Bitcoin casinos. SoftSwiss CEO Ivan Montik is one of those that has felt the increase in demand. Montik’s company specialises in online casino software and bitcoin gambling solutions. “We’ve got about 400 requests for the launch of a bitcoin casino in the last six months,” he added. “We constantly have three to five casinos in the set-up phase, and could have had more if we had more resources.”

Other groups such as online sports betting site BitcoinSportsbooks.com have already expressed their confidence in the arrival of Bitcoin as an innovation in online gambling. “The smart money is on a Bitcoin gambling revolution,” according to the website. “It’s time for gamblers to cash in their chips and start mining their Bitcoins because cryptocurrency is about to make conventional money a spent force in gambling.”

Bitcoin may be receiving a lot of hype, but several challenges still face the peer-to-peer technology. As mentioned earlier, regulation will play a key role in the advancement of cryptocurrency. In the U.S., players are forbidden by the law to use bank-processed payments for their online bets. Some gambling entrepreneurs, however, have managed to establish cryptocurrency-based gambling sites such as the Seals with Clubs.

“It would be trivial to circumvent some ban. Seals is open to the world. There’s no banking

at all done on the site. It’s a pure bitcoin poker site, so this is a totally brand new thing,” said Bryan Micon, the website’s manager. ”It’s only been a few years for the legal world and there’s nothing at all that says anything about this protocol.”

The post Bitcoin’s Impact on the Online Gaming Industry appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Bill Maher: A cop’s job isn’t that dangerous — police need to stop ‘going mental for no reason’

Socialism OnLine! -

URL: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/09/bill-maher-a-cops-job-isnt-that-dangerous-police-need-to-stop-going-mental-for-no-reason/

Bill Maher: A cop’s job isn’t that dangerous — police need to stop ‘going mental for no reason’. ...Maher noted that “somehow police got it in their head that theirs is the most dangerous job. It’s not the most dangerous job — they have statistics on this stuff. It’s behind electricians, fishermen, cab drivers. Yet somehow they got it in their head that they have to be protected first.” “This is why we see SWAT teams breaking up poker games. This is why we see the ridiculous use of Tasers.

Topic(s): Geography:  Vote Up/Down

First look: Windows 10 technical preview (you can download it now)

Liliputing -

Microsoft plans to launch Windows 10 in mid-2015, but you can download a preview of the company’s next operating system today. Just sign up for the free Windows Insider Program and Microsoft will provide you with a license and a choice of 32-bit or 64-bit download links. Burn the ISO to a DVD and you […]

First look: Windows 10 technical preview (you can download it now) is a post from: Liliputing

Cameron vows to scrap Human Rights Act, civil liberties groups outraged

RT -

Speaking on the final day of the Conservative Party’s four-day conference, Cameron pledged to do away with the Act and replace it with a British “bill of rights.”

However, the prime minister did not explicitly confirm that a future Conservative government would withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights – a move that would have far-reaching repercussions for Britain’s relationship with Europe.

Legal experts and civil liberties campaigners suggest the PM’s pledge to repeal the Act could radically transform Britain’s relationship with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Kate Allen, head of Amnesty International, denounced the PM’s proposal, emphasizing the Human Rights Act has historically been a bedrock of social, legal, and economic protection. “It’s disappointing to hear the PM vowing to scrap the Human Rights Act when it has done so much good. We should be defending it,” she said.

Human Rights Act moves: 'We allow Cameron to rip away this safety net at our peril' http://t.co/Ik0ceawX8c #HRA

— Amnesty Int'l NI (@AmnestyNI) July 17, 2014

In his address, designed to relay the Tories' self-styled vision for Britain’s socio-economic future, the PM sharply criticized the Court. “It’s not just the European Union that needs sorting out – it’s the European Court of Human Rights,” he stated.

“When that charter was written, in the aftermath of the Second World War, it set out the basic rights we should respect. But since then, interpretations of that charter have led to a whole lot of things that are frankly wrong.”

Cameron added that the ECHR has countered Britain’s national interest by calling for prisoners’ voting rights and delaying the deportation of foreigners suspected of terrorist activities.

“Rulings to stop us deporting suspected terrorists. The suggestion that you’ve got to apply the human rights convention even on the battlefields of Helmand. And now – they want to give prisoners the vote. I’m sorry, I just don’t agree,” Cameron said.

Speaking to conference delegates, the PM argued that Britain should not “require instruction” on such issues from judges located in Strasbourg. He added that the Conservatives' proposed move to repeal the Human Rights Act would effectively allow for the passing of a bill of rights rooted in British values.

RT @SadiqKhan: Cameron needs beginner's guide to our constitution - #HRA IS a British Bill of Rights! #thelegalhour#lawmatters#law

— the legal hour (@the_legal_hour) October 1, 2014

The ECHR reportedly issues roughly ten judgments against Britain out of approximately 1,500 legal challenges brought against the UK government each year. Legal experts claim that while some of these judgments have roused a degree of controversy among UK ministers and media outlets, their real impact has been minimal.

Conference speeches from Justice Secretary Chris Grayling and Home Secretary Theresa May on Tuesday revealed little about the Conservative's perspective on human rights. But Cameron’s proposed legislative change offered a glimpse into social and economic Britain under a re-elected Tory government.

The PM’s pledge to introduce a UK bill of rights has been a long-term Tory agenda. The party’s eurosceptic wing has been particularly vocal with respect to the ECHR, with Grayling and May consistently stating that Britain could reject the Human Rights Act under the Conservatives' watch.

"A true conservative would not attack the rule of law,but uphold it" @CliveSSmith on #Cameron's #HRA & #ECHR proposal http://t.co/sR6hY9i4QQ

— Rachel Logan (@rachelrlogan) September 29, 2014

Director of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti condemned Cameron’s suggested legislative overhaul, arguing the move could considerably impact upon Britain’s adherence to human rights law.

“Shame on the prime minister for citing Churchill, while promising to trash his legacy. The Convention protects both prisoners of war and soldiers sent off to fight and die with inadequate equipment. But the Prime Minister believes there is no place for human rights in Helmand – on that, he and ISIS agree,” she said.

"Shame on the Prime Minister for citing Churchill, while promising to trash his legacy" #HumanRightsAct#CPC14https://t.co/jTpZCP6AQU

— Liberty (@libertyhq) October 1, 2014

Tim Hancock, campaigns director at Amnesty UK, said: “It’s exasperating to hear the Prime Minister vow to tear up the Human Rights Act again - so he can draft ‘his own.’”

Hancock warned that “human rights are not in the gift of politicians to give” and “must not be made a political plaything to be bestowed or scrapped on a whim.”

Apple accused of banning media covering ‘Bendgate’ from official events

RT -

According to Computer Bild editor-in-chief Axel Telzerow, his magazine received a phone call from a German Apple representative recently a few hours after publishing a video clip showing that the company’s new mobile device, the iPhone 6, can be bent with human hands if subjected to the proper pressure. Soon the video started to go viral, and apparently attracted the attention from some folks affiliated with Apple who weren’t all too thrilled.

“We were shocked about how easy it was to bend the device. And so were around 200.000 viewers who watched the video up until now,” Telzerow wrote in an open letter to Cook published by his magazine this week. “We can imagine that you and your colleagues must have been shocked, too. This might have been the reason why we got a call from one of your German colleagues the next morning. He was upset, and it was a rather short conversation.”

“From now on,” Telzerow recalled being told, “you won’t get any devices for testing purposes and you will not be invited to Apple events in the future.”gate

Now on the heels of the “Bendgate” scandal that made waves as a result of Computer Bild’s reporting, Apple is facing further backlash over the German rep’s alleged behavior.

“Is this really how your company wants to deal with media that provide your customers with profound tests of your products?” Telzerow wrote to Apple’s top dog. “Do you really think that a withdrawal of Apple’s love and affection could have an intimidating effect on us? Luckily we do not have to rely on devices that Apple provides us with. Luckily, a lot of readers are willing to pay money for our magazine to keep us independent. So we are able to buy devices to do our tests anyway. Even devices of manufacturers that seem to fear Computer Bild’s independent judgment.”

“We congratulate you to your fine new generation of iPhones, even if one of them has a minor weakness with its casing,” Telzerow wrote. “But we are deeply disappointed about the lack of respect of your company.”

According to some, Computer Bild isn’t being treated all that differently compared to other critical outlets either. The 9to5Mac website was quick to evoke a recent article by Mark Gurman in which he said “controlling the press” was a key strategy for Apple.

“Apple’s PR department presents a cool, measured public-facing image: it only responds to press inquiries when it wants to, doesn’t offer quotes unless they’ll be reprinted without criticism, and responds directly only when it determines that something needs to be said by ‘Apple’ rather than ‘sources familiar with the matter.’ You could picture Apple’s PR strategy as the work of a wise, wealthy, and not particularly friendly queen – one always too busy to be bothered, until for some reason, she’s not,” Gurman wrote.

Consumer Reports said recently that Apple’s new iPhone 6 Plus, released last month, can be permanently bent if around 90 pounds of pressure is applied to it. Last week, Apple said that it was “extremely rare” to have phones become misshaped on accident, and that only nine customers had filed complaints as of September 25.

Need a hug? Japan unveils 'anti-loneliness' chair

RT -

The “tranquility chair,” designed by Japanese nursing care manufacturer UniCare, is a rocking chair with a fabric doll snuggled into it. The doll is a larger-than-life blonde woman in a charming hat, with extra long arms ready to give a hug to anyone who needs one.

"It makes you feel safe. Anyone can use it, but it is designed for older people," a spokesman for UniCare told AFP at the International Home Care and Rehabilitation Exhibition.

The chair costs 46,000 yen (US$420), and a special version has been adapted for wheelchair users.

Other products have also been designed with the elderly in mind. Around one-quarter of the country’s population is over the age of 65, and this figure is expected to rise to 40 percent in the coming decades.

Other products have also been designed with the elderly in mind. Around one-quarter of the country’s population is over the age of 65, and this figure is expected to rise to 40 percent in the coming decades.

Over 20,000 home care and rehabilitation products are being presented at the three-day exhibition. Along with wheelchairs, walkers, beds, and daily living aids, more unusual inventions can also be found.

One such invention is UniCare's “Life Rhythm Doll” – a robot which is programmed to assist the elderly in a number of ways, including by reminding them to take their medicine.

"They are comforting for people who live alone - they can talk to them and hug them. They also play old Japanese music, which is nostalgic for older people," a UniCare spokesman said.

The inventions could soon be used by a number of age groups all across the world.

A recent study revealed that Americans are more depressed now than their 1980s counterparts. San Diego State University psychology professor Jean M. Twenge collected and analyzed data from 6.9 million adolescents and adults, finding that Americans now have more psychosomatic symptoms of depression. Seventy-four percent of teens are more likely to have trouble sleeping than decades ago, and are twice as likely to have seen a professional for mental health issues.

Earth Gets Another Quasi-Moon

Slashdot -

The Bad Astronomer writes Astronomers have found a new asteroid, 2014 OL339, that is a quasi-moon of the Earth. Discovered accidentally earlier this year, the 150-meter asteroid has an orbit that is more elliptical than Earth's, but has a period of almost exactly one year. It isn't bound to Earth like a real moon, but displays apparent motion as if it did, making it one of several known quasi-moons.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

How to set up EPEL repository on CentOS

LXer -

If you are using CentOS or RHEL, it is strongly recommended that you configure EPEL (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux) repository on your system. EPEL is a community effort to create a repository of high-quality add-on free software packages for RHEL-based distributions. Once you set up EPEL repository, you can use yum command to install […]Continue reading...The post How to set up EPEL repository on CentOS appeared first on Xmodulo.No related FAQ.

A Magna Carta for Bitcoin

Bitcoin Magazine -

The Constitution is a living document. The Bible is a living document. The manifesto for the Pepsi logo is a living document and the Bitcoin white paper is breath, a breath of fresh air. Yes, this document is a representation of pure mathematical truth; however, I believe we are at fault if we are to assume “truth” is ubiquitously understood by the masses, or, that the white paper is a system of values and virtues the masses can empathize with.

The majority of the world does not look to the white paper as a guideline for anything more than rational knowledge due to the very nature of math as an emotionless concept for anyone who is not a mathematician. Distilling the logic in the Bitcoin white paper into an emotional concept is necessary to resonate with a core of human truth in order for us to progress, unified, to move the hearts of the masses toward action based on our collective understanding of good and evil. This form of intrinsic resonance is necessary to create mass human force behind any movement.

Every great declaration of thought and leadership throughout the history of humanity has had a document of reference for people aligning with the ideal. One of the largest differences between high value institutions offering education and the run of the mill solution is, other than the network, their ability to provide a framework of values for people to think about success while instructing how and why to think instead of what. Shaping the character of Bitcoin to align the people with a common set of virtues is necessary if we want to shape mass understanding concerning how and why Bitcoin and the blockchain evolve the very nature of the way the world works. Aligning universal maxims within the community amidst growing tension is absolutely fundamental if we want the “whats” being built on top of this invention to have substantial impact.

Why has Bitcoin been philosophized as the end to the deep institutional problems created by established infrastructures in an age of creativity and decentralization if the Bitcoin community at large is going to draw their lines divided instead of united to progress a common cause?

If I may make a suggestion, why not scrap the scrabbles and work together to remind everyone why, among many reasons, this invention has risen to prominence when the idea of apolitical currency has been around for over 280 years?

Many people have given critical feedback to the idea of “Bitcoin as a Brand” simply because it is not seen as a consumer good. If you take this stance, I have to fundamentally negate your understanding of branding. Advertising and marketing are mechanisms for people to communicate value, values and character to society at large.

You are a brand. That cup on your table is a brand. Traditional banks are a brand and Bitcoin is a brand. While the technology of Bitcoin is not in and of itself a company, we need to take great care to ensure the underlying philosophy of the invention is preserved throughout the evolution of the idea.

Virtues of Bitcoin


We have often labeled Bitcoin as the solution to end mechanisms of power which have abused their stronghold. However, the solution to fear based problems is not more fear. Instead of inspiring alarm concerning economic chaos and job disruption for people who are ingrained in these systems, some of whom have dedicated their lives to the success of these power institutions, we should label the invention, Bitcoin, for what it truly is: the ability to curate a modern financial equality for a global economy of abundance.

Equality means distributed, decentralized power.

This does not mean we should obviate and destroy the past to make a better future. Change takes time and to make the future we want to see into a reality peacefully, we should work together, transparently.

If global currencies who operate within the borders of a nation state implement the blockchain technology into their national mechanisms of value transfer, they would be able to help prevent the major losses from problems like rampant corruption, traffic from submerged markets and tax evasion; the global economy suffered $3.1 trillion of loss due to tax evasion in 2011 alone. Shared goals using technology as a bridge between the past and the future can create a more equal marketplace for both states and citizens.


Why should Bitcoin rise to prominence at this moment in time when the idea of digital money has been working toward perfection for approximately 40 years? After the financial crisis of 2007-2008, I believe we, as a human race, collectively decided a revolutionary solution was necessary to implement changes – changes the systems in charge were not capable of providing, to create a new form of trust through mathematical truth.

Financial institutions of the future will be heavily weighted on the amount of trust they are able to instill in consumers when dealing with their money.

We may not be able to place trust in institutions with systemic inefficiencies and darwinian principles of survival built into their culture. We may not be able to place trust in institutions who have to take advantage of their complexity by charging the unaware, uninformed and disempowered. However, one thing remains certain: I believe we can trust people, the internet, and math. No matter how hard anyone tries, 1+1 will never equal 247.

Redefining Convention

Bitcoin is not normal, but neither is anyone. Bitcoin is not hard to grasp: everyone should try it. Bitcoin, for the majority audience, is like the first time you ever saw a shooting star. You couldn’t quite describe what it was or why it happened, however, you knew there was something magical behind it. Bitcoin evolves dated maxims of past ideologies to create a new foundation for the modern open source world to build upon. The majority audience doesn’t necessarily need to understand the intricate details of how Bitcoin works, just as the majority of people will never truly understand the intricate algorithm involved each time they perform a google search. People should want know how this invention changes their lives and the lives of humans around the globe for the better of humanity. People will be interested in knowing how this invention benefits their lives personally and helps them to participate in a culture which gives them meaning and a community to align their identity with.


(humanity, peer-to-peer exchange)

While the idea may be digital, the purpose is fundamentally human. Bitcoin is Digital Money anyone can use. Bitcoin, as a human brand, is building a framework for a modern economy of universal financial inclusion, creating new reliance mechanisms for human beings who have been disempowered by the actions of their government and simultaneously developing a method for value to be exchanged, human-to-human. The underlying technology of Bitcoin may be one of the ultimate technological advancements of this age, but the perception of the brand is, should be, and should feel like a human being.

Bitcoin is mathematical truth, logical truth which needs to align with a series of universal maxims which we can all support in unity as a Bitcoin community, as a human race.

To move forward in the development of this brand, we need to work united by shared ideals to define tangible goals, strategies and tactics to progress our shared vision of evolving Bitcoin into a true revolution for the financial systems of this world.

Please let me know in the comments section if any virtue and value which is critical to evolution of Bitcoin as an emotionally resonant, human brand is not included in this article.

Follow Toni Lane Casserly on twitter and Instagram.

The post A Magna Carta for Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

‘Yours faithfully’: Barroso sends letter to Putin asking to resume gas supplies to Ukraine

RT -

“It is key that the resumption of energy deliveries to the citizens of Ukraine is ensured, and that the fulfillment of all contractual obligations with customers in the EU is secured,” the European Commission chief said in a letter published on Wednesday.

Moscow maintains that Kiev must pay off $3.9 billion of its gas debt before Russian gas will again flow to Ukraine.

READ MORE: Moscow rejects Kiev's 'virtual' gas price, seeks $3.9bn to resume supplies

Last Friday Russia, the EU, and Ukraine agreed on a energy plan which will ensure Russian gas deliveries to Europe through Ukraine continue during the winter months and guarantees Ukraine will start paying off its billions of dollars debt to Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned gas company that provides Europe with a third of its energy needs.

However, the plan is still in its nascent stage, and no final deal has been signed.

Barroso expects a quick result as trilateral talks between Brussels, Kiev, and Moscow continue.

“We also expect that rapid and decisive progress can be achieved in the trilateral gas talks towards a mutually acceptable interim solution for the upcoming winter period, on the basis of the compromise elements set out by the European Commission,” the statement said.

This Thursday Ukrainian Energy Minister Yury Prodan will meet with members of the European Commission and on Friday the three will hold another round of talks in Brussels, and, TASS reported.

Kiev is facing an energy crisis before the winter months, and has commissioned neighboring Hungary, and Poland to re-export gas to Ukraine, which is technically illegal under contracts with Gazprom.

Hungary has indefinitely turned off gas to Ukraine after securing a new deal with Gazprom, and Poland also cut off.

Ukraine from natural gas, but resumed them mid-month.

Slovakia began reverse flows to Ukraine early in September, but on October 1, state gas company SPP reported a 50 percent drop in Russian gas supplies, which may alter its plans to continue re-exporting to Ukraine.

Back To Faxes: Doctors Can't Exchange Digital Medical Records

Slashdot -

nbauman writes: Doctors with one medical records system can't exchange information with systems made by other vendors, including those at their own hospitals, according to the New York Times. One ophthalmologist spent half a million dollars on a system, but still needs to send faxes to get the information where it needs to go. The largest vendor is Epic Systems, Madison, WI, which holds almost half the medical records in the U.S. A report from RAND described Epic as a "closed" platform that made it "challenging and costly" for hospitals to interconnect. The situation is bad for patients and costly for medical works: if doctors can't exchange records, they'll face a 1% Medicare penalty, and UC Davis alone has a staff of 22 dedicated to communication. On top of that, Epic charges a fee to send data to some non-Epic systems. Congress has held hearings on the matter, and Epic has hired a lobbyist. Epic's founder, billionaire computer science major Judith Faulkner, said that Epic was one of the first to establish code and standards for secure interchange, which included user authentication provisions and a legally binding contract. She said the federal government, which gave $24 billion in incentive payments to doctors for computerization, should have done that. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology said that it was a "top priority" and just recently wrote a 10-year vision statement and agenda for it.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


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