24-Hour Bitcoin ATM Installed in Utah

Online retailer overstock.com has installed a 24-hour Bitcom ATM at its headquarters in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. Being a virtual currency, actual Bitcoins will not be withdrawable from the machine, but users will be able to convert currency from Bitcoins to US Dollars, and vice-versa.

The ATM, manufactured by CoinOutlet Inc., has bank-grade security and only one of four such machines operating within the US.

Patrick M. Byrne, CEO of overstock.com, said, “Moving cryptocurrencies out of the realm of geeks and into the realm of the rest of us requires making changes at all levels of the financial ecosystem. An important part of this effort is making it easier for people to convert their digital money to cash, and vice versa.”

The company started accepting Bitcoin as legitimate tender a year ago, and has since made $3 million in sales from the currency. Employees of overstock.com even have the option to be paid in Bitcoin since the installation of the ATM.

Source: KUTV

Edward Snowden Reveals NSAs MonsterMind Program

Edward Snowden is back once again with another chilling tale from the NSA, this time blowing the covers from their MonsterMind project, an automated cyber weapon located in the high desert near Bluffdale, Utah.

This tremendously powerful system sits atop the data flows into the National Security Agency’s Mission Data Repository, acting as a brute force approach to covert cyber warfare in one single program. The system scans vast amounts of electronic communications as they pass through the 247 acre facility. The system listens for cyber attacks and strikes back without warning or detection thanks to advanced bluffing techniques. The concerning factor here is not just how it scans this much data, but also how it automatically decides when and where to strike.

Much like the Stanley Kubrick film Doctor Strangelove, the misfire of one missile leads to an automatic strike back, resulting in all out nuclear war. This system is much the same, a dumb automation that strikes back blindly and with severe force (in digital terms). If other nations have a similar system in place or plan to in the near future, these systems could one day fight amongst themselves, bumping entire countries offline for god knows how long.

The real question is, do we need systems like this? Are they just out to defend sensitive NSA data, or do they genuinely protect the nation from severe digital attacks? That much remains to be seen, but I’m sure we won’t to wait long for further revelations from Mr Snowden.

Thank you Popsci for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Popsci.

Man Breaks World Record By Building 50ft Optimus Prime From Balloons

While there are people in this world intent on breaking the record for the 100m sprint, highest sky dive, fastest time cycling across Europe and many other great achievements, John Reid was blowing up balloons. The New York based artist and magician wanted to break the world record for the biggest thing made out of balloons.

The task took John a staggering 42 hours, using 4302 balloons and the end result for his efforts was not only a new world record, but also a 50ft tall balloon rendition of Optimus Prime. He created the giant Autobot balloon display at the 2014 Salk Lake Comic Con in Utah.

“I hope that somebody else decides to try to take this art a little further and crush me. Trounce me. Wipe the floor with me.” said John.

Given the fun nickname of Poptimus Prime, the creation proved a big attraction and official were on hand to declare it the largest balloon sculpture ever made by a single person. I’m not sure why he set about breaking this record, but it’s entertaining none the less.

Thank you Metro for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Metro.

AT&T To Bring 300Mbps Fiber To Austin

Austin, Texas seems to be the new place to be if you are interested in a blazing fast Internet connection as AT&T has announced plans to deploy fiber in the city that will ultimately provide speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second.

Known as GigaPower, the service will be an extension of AT&T’s existing U-verse program. At launch, it will be limited to 300 Mbps on the upstream and downstream which is said to be the fastest available to consumers from any Austin broadband provider.

GigaPower will initially reach tens of thousands of customers throughout Austin and the surrounding areas later this year. Those that sign up for the 300 Mbps service will be upgraded to speeds up to 1 gigabit per second at no extra cost when it becomes available in mid-2014.

Dave Nichols, President of AT&T Texas, said Austin embodies innovation and social consciousness and is the heart of a vibrant, ever-evolving tech culture and entrepreneurial spirit. With their all-fiber U-verse services, they are building the foundation for a new wave of innovation for Austin’s consumers, businesses and civic and educational institutions, he said.

Google Fiber is already available in Kansas City, and Google is now running ads for the service in Provo, Utah, where it will launch in mid-October. The service has generated a lot of buzz, and AT&T is hoping that it can overcome some of this in Austin by coming out first.

The fee for Google Fiber is $70 per month for Internet service and $120 per month with a TV bundle. For comparison, Verizon’s 500 megabit-per-second service is only available for homes in a phone and TV package for $309.99 per month.

Google may have an advantage with Fiber by starting from scratch and installing a brand new fiber optic network. This allows all Fiber customers to experience the same speeds. AT&T will instead by tapping into an existing network of fiber optics and copper lines, meaning that not everyone will get the same speed.

AT&T said this is just the start of its super high-speed services, but did not state where it plans to go next.

Thank you TechSpot and IBTimes for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of IBTimes.