Sunday, October 27, 2013

Cash-for-bitcoins: World’s first palm scan-activated bitcoin ATM to open in Canada

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Robocoin, first real bitcoin ATM. (Still from YouTube video uploaded by Robocoin)
Robocoin, first real bitcoin ATM. (Still from YouTube video uploaded by Robocoin)
 
 
The world’s first bitcoin ATM will open in Vancouver, Canada, next week – dispensing Canadian dollars in exchange for the anonymous crypto-currency. But only if your palm scan matches the ATM’s records, that is.
The machine will be set up near downtown Vancouver coffee house Waves, is one of five ATMs bought by Canadian firm Bitcoiniacs from Nevada-based producer Robocoin. 

Still from YouTube video uploaded by Robocoin
Still from YouTube video uploaded by Robocoin
The machine will exchange bitcoins for Canadian dollars via Canada’s VirtEx exchange. The transactions themselves will be anonymous, the vendor says, but clients will have to identify themselves via a palm scanner first.
This is done to enforce Canadian anti-money laundering laws, due to which the ATM will only allow transactions of up to 3,000 Canadian dollars (around $2,700) per day per customer.
The four other ATMs will be rolled out in Canadian cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Calgary or Ottawa in December, the company says.
"Basically, it just makes it easier for people to buy and sell bitcoins," Mitchell Demeter, founder of Bitcoiniacs and co-owner of Robocoin, told CBC.
Bitcoin is an internet-based currency designed to exist without any centralized regulatory authority. New Bitcoins are generated by spending computer processing time to conduct complex calculations, and the process is limited by a maximum of about 21 million bitcoins that can exist.
The currency has long been a fad among online privacy activists, financial futurists and shady dealers, but is so far little known to the general public. It lately hit the headlines after the FBI bust of the Silk Road website that US authorities say facilitated the trade in illegal goods and services, from drugs to assassinations.

 

At least 42 killed in series of Baghdad bomb blasts

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Iraqis look at the remains of a vehicle following an explosion at a small bus station on October 27, 2013, in the the Mashtal district of the capital Baghdad (AFP Photo / Sabah Arar)
Iraqis look at the remains of a vehicle following an explosion at a small bus station on October 27, 2013, in the the Mashtal district of the capital Baghdad (AFP Photo / Sabah Arar)
 
Ten car bombs ripped through the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, killing at least 42 and wounding dozens more, officials said. It was the latest in a series of coordinated attacks that have killed hundreds of people a month and inflamed sectarian tensions.
Nine of the blasts targeted predominantly Shiite Muslim districts over the course of half an hour, police said.

The deadliest blast occurred in the town of Nahrawan, south of the capital, where two back-to-back car bombs exploded near a busy market, killing seven people and injured 15 others.

Attacks in the northern Shaab and southern Abu Dshir neighborhoods killed six people each. Other explosions hit the neighborhoods of Mashtal, Baladiyat and Ur in eastern Baghdad and the northern Sab al-Bor and Hurriyah districts.

Six medical officials confirmed the casualty figures to AP. All spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the press.


Iraqis look at the remains of a vehicle following an explosion at a small bus station on October 27, 2013, in the the Mashtal district of the capital Baghdad (AFP Photo / Sabah Arar)
Iraqis look at the remains of a vehicle following an explosion at a small bus station on October 27, 2013, in the the Mashtal district of the capital Baghdad (AFP Photo / Sabah Arar)
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, although such coordinated attacks have in the past been a hallmark of The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – al-Qaeda's local branch.

On Friday, a series of nine bombs detonated by remote control killed 16 people across the country as Shiite Muslims commemorated the religious festival of Al-Gadeer. Last week, a suicide bomber killed at least 38 people outside a cafe in a mainly Shiite Muslim district of Baghdad.

Violence has spiked in Iraq since April, when tensions between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Shiite dominated government and Sunni groups claiming to be the victims of discrimination boiled over.
Iraq is seeing its worst year of violence since 2008, when bloodshed leveled off following two years of intense sectarian violence which some scholars characterized as civil war. But while the upward spike in violence is universally recognized, determining exact causality figures in the country remains an inexact science.
According to AP, today's attacks bring the death toll across the country this month to over 500. Iraq Body Count, meanwhile, which did not include Sunday’s violence in its tally, placed October’s death toll at 904.

An Iraqi woman walks across the debris following an explosion at a bus center on October 27, 2013, in the the Mashtal district of the capital Baghdad (AFP Photo / Sabah Arar)
An Iraqi woman walks across the debris following an explosion at a bus center on October 27, 2013, in the the Mashtal district of the capital Baghdad (AFP Photo / Sabah Arar)
 

Blasts hit city of Patna in eastern India ahead of opposition rally, at least 1 killed

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Image from maps.google.com
Image from maps.google.com
 
 
Several small explosions have hit the city of Patna in eastern India. At least one person has been killed and several others injured. The blasts happened just hours before a major opposition rally.
The first blast happened Sunday morning at a railway station in the city, the capital of the Indian state of Bihar.
The explosive went off in a toilet in the station, which Indian police said was detonated with a crude timer device.
It was followed by more blasts, as bombs exploded near the Elphinstone Cinema and Twins Tower. Five blasts have been reported in the city in total by local media.
Initial reports say that at least one person has been killed and five others injured in the attacks.
The explosions happened a few hours before a rally called in support of Narendra Modi, a candidate for Indian prime minister from the Hindu nationalist BJP party.

Gujarat state Chief Minister and the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi (AFP Photo / Sajjad Hussain)
Gujarat state Chief Minister and the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi (AFP Photo / Sajjad Hussain)
All the explosions happened not far from Gandhi Maidan, a park in Patna named for Indian independence campaigner Mahmatma Gandhi, where the rally was scheduled to take place. The rally was expected to be attended by thousands of Modi’s supporters.
The party said it would continue with its rally plans despite the blasts.
"Even after this lawlessness following the blasts, we are ready for the rally. Narendra Modi-Ji will address the rally," NDTV cited BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy as saying, using the honorific form of Modi’s surname.

 

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