Bitcoin in the online gambling industry: advantages and issues

When the Internet became global and accessible to everyone some 20+ years ago, it opened the way for the online gambling industry. Years have passed since, and it is clear now that the virtual gaming area in its present form is capable of modifying other industries as well. In many counties, online gambling is the object of intense legal regulation, but the companies seem to be successfully overcoming the state-imposed obstacles to continue with their businesses. Several years ago, the new Bitcoin-based payment solutions based on block-chain technology came into being, and that was the moment when millions of online gamblers all around the world felt their lives were becoming much easier. The Bitcoin system turned out to be not only a great opportunity to make instant P2P-transactions and cut down on operational costs for both players and Bitcoin casino operators, but also brought online gambling to countries and jurisdictions where traditional real-money gambling portals are officially prohibited.

As mentioned above, Bitcoin is known for its apparent advantages over electronic payments and wire transfers in ‘regular’ currencies. The cost of every single transaction for a Bitcoinpayment sender is as minimal as it can possibly be, and that is one of the main reasons virtual casino and betting website owners all over the world are considering the option to switch to Bitcoin and thus solve certain issues they have with real-money payments once and for all. While low commissions may be just one of the benefits enjoyed by the users of the cryptocurrency, they can become one of the likely causes for BTC to start establishing itself in other areas as well, apart from Bitcoin gambling.

Some three years ago, the estimated amount of gross winnings in the virtual gambling entertainment market marked about €22 billion globally. As estimated in late 2014, the industry is expected to grow approximately 9% annually, and these aren’t just some empty words. Specialized software developers and providers of Bitcoin payment solutions and services claim to be getting a steady surge of requests (literally, hundreds of them) from gambling website operators asking to have their businesses converted into Bitcoin-based systems.

BitCasino.io, one of the world’s most popular and innovative Bitcoin casinos, has achieved powerful success in less than two years, and, as their manager Tauri Tiitsaar points out, if you’re a part of the company  involved in the Bitcoin gambling industry  “you need to make sure you are ahead of the pack, that your users are happy and you are making the innovations, not following them. The main challenge with Bitcoin is our continual effort to globally educate as many people as possible to the new digital currency revolution. Our goal, mission and responsibility, as one of the biggest brands in the Bitcoin world, is to help increase the global adoption of Bitcoin”.

What BitCasino.io manager may be hinting at is the possible fear of using the cryptocurrency still common with hundreds of millions of potential users all around the world. However, there also may be other challenges that Bitcoin needs to struggle against, including regulation perplexities in many countries, as well as the prohibition to use bank payments for betting purposes in the United States. Time will tell whether BTC and its lobbyists are strong enough to deal with these issues.

Guest Post - David Barton

Sony’s new Xperia™ Z4 Tablet

Barcelona, 2nd March 2014 – Sony Mobile Communications (“Sony Mobile”) today announced the world’s lightest and slimmest 10” tablet2 – Xperia™ Z4 Tablet. Delivering a best in class entertainment experience thanks to the world’s brightest 10.1 inch 2K display of the leading tablets1 and long battery life (up to 17 hours of video playback), the beautifully crafted Xperia Z4 Tablet is an impressively powerful Android tablet that delivers all the portable performance you need for an entertaining and busy lifestyle.

“Building on the success of its predecessor, we wanted to take all of the qualities that consumers loved most in Xperia Z2 Tablet and enhance them for Z4 Tablet,” says Dennis van Schie, SVP of Sales & Marketing at Sony Mobile. “Consumers appreciate innovation most when it can bring real value to their lives, so we have carefully crafted and considered every aspect of Z4 Tablet to meet even the most demanding lifestyle.  Sleek and lightweight, yet incredibly powerful, with standout entertainment and smart productivity features, Xperia Z4 Tablet is an extraordinary tablet that fits perfectly into your day-to-day life.”

Enhanced entertainment experiences, wherever you are

Xperia Z4 Tablet boasts best-in-class Sony technologies and experiences to ensure you enjoy unrivalled entertainment on the go, with no compromises. Featuring the world’s brightest 10.1 inch 2K display of the leading tablets1, Z4 Tablet delivers a superb viewing experience, even outdoors in direct sunlight, allowing you to enjoy your favourite movies and most memorable video clips in crystal clear clarity, wherever you want.

Great picture quality demands great audio to match, so Xperia Z4 Tablet includes powerful front stereo speakers for an immersive surround sound effect. When you’re on the go and plug in your headphones, Xperia Z4 Tablet senses the type and style of headset, automatically adjusting the settings accordingly for optimum sound.

Sony’s leading audio technologies ensure you never miss a beat. High-Res Audio reproduces high frequency sound in amazing detail for a studio quality experience. DSEE HXTM processing upscales the audio fidelity of tracks to near High-Res Audio quality. Xperia Z4 Tablet supports digital noise cancelling for those times when you need to block out background noise. And for high quality wireless music listening, Sony’s new LDACTM codec transmits data three times more efficiently than Bluetooth.

Xperia Z4 Tablet comes loaded with a 8MP main camera, featuring Sony’s leading technologies for great shots in all lights, and a high quality 5.1MP wide-angle front camera, great for selfies and video calls, that ensures you stay in shot.

Keep playing your favourite PlayStation® 4 games wherever you are in the home with PS4™ Remote Play3. Simply connect your Xperia Z4 Tablet to your PS4 via home Wi-Fi and use the DUALSHOCK®4 Wireless Controller to ensure you never miss a minute of the action – whatever room you are in.

And to keep you entertained, all Xperia Z4 Tablet users will benefit from access to Xperia Lounge Gold – delivering the world of Sony entertainment at your fingertips. Get access to exclusive competitions and offers; be among the first to try out new apps; and enjoy the latest movies, TV episodes and music included with your device.

Xperia Z4 Tablet comes packed with the ultra fast Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 810 octa-core 64 bit processor5, so you can browse faster and get the optimal graphics experience on a stunning 2K display. Whether using Wi-Fi or 4G LTE, multi-tasking on the move is made easy – download email attachments in seconds and enjoy video streaming with no delays or unwanted buffering. And with 32GB internal memory, there is plenty of storage space for those all important files.

Whether for work or play, Xperia Z4 Tablet offers powerful performance that goes the distance. Its stamina is sure to impress with up to 17 hours of video playback, you can travel half way around the world watching movies on a single battery charge. Get even more out of the 6,000mAH battery with Sony’s Battery STAMINA Mode, which turns off background functions when you’re not using them to help extend your battery life, so you can comfortably spend the day emailing, browsing the web and running as many apps as you want with no need to worry about losing battery power.

Superior security and productivity

Escape the office and take your business on the move with the lightweight BKB50 Bluetooth Keyboard featuring a dedicated slot for Xperia Z4 Tablet and docking detection, sleek ergonomics with 0-130 degree tilt for adjustable comfort, efficient text input and laptop style touchpad. Additionally Xperia Z4 Tablet also features printer and projector outputs to complete the ultimate laptop-style experience. Use with the slim and light SCR32 perfect fit cover with two variable angles for comfortable typing or viewing on your tablet. Work from anywhere with the advanced Xperia Email, Calendar and Contacts apps, which can be synced using Microsoft® Exchange ActiveSync® (EAS) and use your favourite business apps from the Android community.

Xperia Z4 Tablet features proven device security mechanisms to keep your confidential data secure, with adherence to acclaimed and effective Internet, VPN and Wi-Fi security protocols. To complete your road warrior set up, the BSP60smart speaker with one-touch connectivity is the ideal portable companion for making conference calls, getting information and receiving phone notifications, all with the use of voice commands, helping you multi-task with ease.

Slim, sleek and supremely lightweight design

Expertly designed with true Sony craftsmanship and attention to detail, Xperia Z4 Tablet is the world’s slimmest and lightest 10” tablet1. At just 6.1mm slim and weighing less than 393g (389g Wi-Fi / 393g LTE), Xperia Z4 Tablet is incredibly light and portable, making it easy to carry comfortably with you all day and slip into your bag with ease. Crafted with premium stainless steel metal corners and mineral glass, Xperia Z4 Tablet looks as good as it performs.

Xperia Z4 Tablet’s IP68 waterproof and dust-tight4 rating ensures reassuring durability making it ideal for everyday use in all conditions – whether caught out in the rain between meetings or lounging by the pool. As a further design refinement, the USB connector is capless – making it both quick and convenient to connect and charge your device.

Xperia Z4 Tablet will launch globally, in 4G LTE and Wi-Fi variants, from June 2015.

For the full specifications of Xperia Z4 Tablet, please visit: www.sonymobile.com/global-en/products/tablets/xperia-z4-tablet/specifications

Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge Launched

Barcelona, Spain, March 1 2015 – Samsung Electronics today announced its entirely redefined smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge. Creating a new standard for design, craftsmanship and performance, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge seamlessly blend premium materials with the most advanced Samsung technology to offer consumers an unmatched mobile experience.


“With the all new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, Samsung is offering what’s next in mobility, along with a new standard to drive the global mobile agenda,” said JK Shin, CEO and Head of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. “By listening to our customers, and learning from both our success and missteps, we continuously push forward new technologies and ideas. With a reimagined design, robust partner network and novel services, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge offer users the ultimate experience in smartphone options.”


Beauty Meets Purpose
Carefully crafted from metal and glass, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge blend purposeful design with powerful features. The Galaxy S6 edge, particularly, shows unique and outstanding beauty while also providing a solid grip and an immersive viewing experience with the world’s first curved display on both sides. Its glass body, made from the toughest glass to date, Corning® Gorilla Glass® 4, is available in an array of colorful jewel tones, including White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz and Green Emerald, which elicit a unique visual texture as it reflects natural light. This timeless design required first-of-its-kind glass crafting technology and unmatched quality control, setting the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge apart from every other mobile device on the market. The premium device aesthetics deliver true value and are complemented by a totally new and lighter interface that greatly enhances usability and functionality. A refined and fully optimized user experience simplifies applications and offers features and settings in a more intuitive way.


Vivid Images with a Fast, Bright Camera
The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are equipped with an incredibly vivid, bright and fast front and rear camera. The F1.9 lenses and high resolution sensors on both front (5MP) and rear (16MP) cameras provide the most superior image quality in a smartphone, even in the dark. In addition, Auto Real-time High Dynamic Range (HDR), Smart Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and IR Detect White Balance provide advanced light sensitivities and crisp camera solutions. Furthermore, a new “Quick Launch” feature give users fast, direct access to the camera from any screen in just 0.7 seconds* by simply double clicking the home key button. These advanced camera functions enable users to capture their most precious and personal moments in uncompromising quality, however and wherever they want.


Super Charging and Cord Free
With fully embedded WPC and PMA certified wireless charging technology, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are setting a new industry standard for universal wireless charging. The devices work with any wireless pad available in the market that supports WPC and PMA standards. They also sport incredibly fast wired charging, 1.5 times faster than the Galaxy S5, providing about 4 hours of usage after only 10 minutes of charging.*


Cutting-edge Core Technology
The thin (6.8 mm/7.0mm edge) and lightweight (138g /132g edge) Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge integrate the most advanced, cutting-edge, Samsung core technology available today. The world’s first 14nm mobile processor with 64-bit platform, new LPDDR4 memory system and UFS 2.0 flash memory provides higher performance and enhanced memory speed with lower power consumption. Moreover, the world’s first 1440P/VP9 hardware based codec enables users to enjoy high resolution streaming video while also using less power. In addition, the 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED screen offers users the highest pixel density of 577ppi. Enhanced outdoor visibility with a brighter display (600cd/mm) lets consumers experience content without compromise – anywhere, at any time.

Easy and Protected Mobile Payment 
Samsung Pay, a new, easy-to-use mobile payment service that will be compatible with more locations than any competing offering in a single application, will launch on Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge in the United States during the second half of this year. Protected by Samsung KNOX, fingerprint scanning, and advanced tokenization, Samsung Pay works with both Near Field Communication (NFC) and Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology to make it device, merchant and card issuer agnostic.


Enhanced Security 
The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are built on the upgraded Samsung KNOX, end-to-end secure mobile platform, offering defense-grade features for real-time protection from potential malicious attacks. Both of these new devices are also ready for immediate enterprise adoption, with market leading MDMs and KNOX enhancements enabled at launch to simplify and improve mobile device management. Additionally, the Find My Mobile feature secures lost devices and protects personal information through a number of services, including the all new remotely controlled “Reactivation lock.” With an enhanced touch-type fingerprint scanner, it also provides quick authentication and saves encrypted data in secure device storage.


The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge will be available globally starting from April 10, 2015 with 32/64/128GB storage options available in White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz (Galaxy S6 only) and Green Emerald (Galaxy S6 edge only).

Bring your World to Life with the NEW HTC ONE

London, 1st March, 2015 – HTC today unveiled its most personal, beautiful and powerful smartphone yet, the HTC One M9. The newest flagship in the globally acclaimed HTC One family, the HTC One M9 is a classic yet timeless celebration of beauty and elegance that combines high style and performance, enabling you   to get the most from your mobile phone.

 "HTC has built its reputation on challenging expectations in the mobile industry,” said Cher Wang, Chairwoman, HTC. “The HTC One M9 accomplishes this once again with stunning elegance and design, combined with smart features that help bring your world to life, connecting you in a deeper way to the things you consider most important. So much more than just a phone, the HTC One M9 is an extension of who you are”.

A complete celebration of design

Building on a three-year pursuit of excellence, the HTC One M9 melds the best of the award-winning HTC One M7 and HTC One M8 into a stunning, iconic design. Distinct metal edges combine perfectly with graceful curves for a jewellery-grade look. Small and easy to hold, the crafted, all-metal unibody design is highlighted by an exquisite dual-tone silver and rose gold¹ finish that is as distinctive, as it is durable. Mirror-polished gold sides cascade effortlessly into a hairline brushed silver back panel, encasing a bright and vivid display. 

HTC Sense 7: An extension of you

Your phone should make a statement about who you are and the new HTC Sense™ 7 experience puts you in control of everything. Highly customisable and intuitively you, Themes puts you at the centre of the smartphone experience, intelligently analysing your favourite photos to modify the look and feel of your apps, colour scheme and backgrounds.

As your always-on travel companion, your smartphone is perfectly placed to enrich your mobile life. Sense 7 reinvents the home screen to deliver the most useful apps to the homepage based on your location. Whether at home, work, or play, you’re never more than a click away from the features you need with this contextual, customisable widget. A more intelligent HTC BlinkFeed™ also makes it easier to uncover the hidden gems that surround you by using location data to recommend points of interest, news and information. 

Incredible imaging: Helping you create your best memories

With the best camera being the one you carry in your pocket, your smartphone should make it a breeze to take brilliant, creative and fun images. The HTC One M9’s cameras are designed to capture every moment in amazing quality, allowing you to relive those moments again and again. The main camera features an incredible 20 megapixels that accentuate every crisp, intricate detail and a sapphire cover lens that protects from scratches. For vivid video that looks like the latest blockbuster, the camera also shoots movies in 4K resolution. 

The best moments take you by surprise and spontaneity often doesn’t come fully lit. The ultimate companion of the impulsive snapper, the HTC One M9 addresses low-light shots with a powerful UltraPixel™ front-facing camera. Dynamic auto exposure and UltraPixels that capture 300% more light than standard cameras deliver sharper, more natural and balanced self-portraits in any lighting conditions.                                                                                                                    

HTC Sense 7 with HTC’s EYE™ Experience software makes taking creative pictures easy. A host of new editing effects including Shapes, Prismatic, Elements and Bokeh allow you to add a little bit of individual artistry into every shot, with the Zoe™ app automatically editing them, putting them to your choice of music² and letting friends remix the collection with their own shots to create a shared celebration from every moment.

With so many incredible images, quickly showing your friends those brilliant shots could become an issue. Wherever they’re stored, the new One Gallery makes it easy to search through your entire photo library, viewing images saved on the phone, on social media, and on select cloud platforms. The gallery puts your whole image library at your fingertips, searching by date, location, event, album or even the images themselves with Image Match.

Exhilarating audio: Hear the difference

A truly great viewing experience deserves sound that puts you on the front row. The HTC One M9 guarantees a larger-than-life soundtrack courtesy of HTC BoomSound™. The HTC One family’s iconic dual front-facing speakers, now combined with 5.1 channel Dolby® Surround sound3 simulation, get you even closer to the action, delivering extraordinary, cinema-style surround sound. Uniting HTC BoomSound and Dolby Audio™ creates immersion vibrant audio experience, so you can enjoy movies with rich, clear and powerful sound even without connecting headphones or external speakers. Whether listening via the stereo speakers or headphones, even the most discerning music fans will be blown away by the phone’s support for perfect, 24-bit high-definition sound that surpasses even CD quality. HTC’s unique combination of HTC BoomSound, Dolby Audio™, a finely tuned sound profile, and Qualcomm® Immersive Audio gives all of your music and movies an unmistakable HTC One M9 flavour. 

Connecting your world

Smartphones are fast becoming the central hub for home entertainment and HTC Connect™ makes it easy to enjoy your multimedia experience beyond your phone. A three-finger swipe on the screen connects the phone to compatible TVs or external speakers from leading manufacturers including Harman Kardon. HTC Connect’s integration with Qualcomm® AllPlay™ smart media platform and Blackfire Research™ wireless media technology, allows you and your friends to stream high quality content from your smartphones to multiple home entertainment devices around the house. The playlist feature also allows multiple smartphones to share a speaker with Qualcomm AllPlay. For the ultimate connected smartphone-powered TV experience, the HTC One M9 comes exclusively preloaded with the Peel®Smart Remote app. Instantly connecting you to the shows you love, the app even learns from your viewing habits, transforming your phone into a personal TV guide and remote control.

Accessories and availability

For a standout look, the HTC One M9 will be available with a range of unique and customisable accessories including the second generation HTC Dot View case, which adds more retro personalisation thanks to a host of new features and colour options. A transparent back keeps your smartphone pristine without hiding it from the world with the case injecting fun into even the most tedious commute by transforming into a mini games arcade. The new HTC Dot View case won’t even get in the way of apps such as Instagram, Snapchat and Badoo with through-the-case notifications alerting you to the latest photos, messages and check-ins. 

Life has no limits, and when your adventurous side takes you into the unknown, an IP68 water resistant Active Case and Active Headset means that your phone can boldly follow wherever the action takes you, keeping up with the pace of the most epic adventures.

The HTC One M9 will be available in dual-tone silver and rose gold, single-tone gunmetal grey and single-tone gold in the UK.  Handsets will be available to pre-order on select partner websites from 9th March and available to buy in-store across all listed partners from 31st March*, as well as at htc.com. Unlocked and Developer Editions of the HTC One M9 will also be available from via htc.com.

Sony Xperia E4g – the easy-to-use, speedy smartphone with Sony quality

London, 24th February 2015 – Earlier this month, Sony Mobile Communications (“Sony Mobile”) introduced XperiaTM E4; the affordable, easy-to-use smartphone with great battery life – in a quality Sony design. Now, Sony unveils the exciting XperiaTM E4g smartphone, offering the same ease-of-use and powerful battery performance - with fast 4G LTE connectivity. 

“Xperia E4 set out to bring many of the premium features people expect of Sony to lower-tier devices; Xperia E4g brings that same quality and ease of use - but with super-fast 4G LTE connectivity” said Tony McNulty, Vice President, Value Category Business Management at Sony Mobile Communications. “With simple set-up and unrivalled 2 day battery life, we believe both models represent value for those who want premium Sony technology and experiences often only associated with high-end devices.” 

Get started without the wait - speedy set up... just point and shoot! 

Xperia E4g is built to ensure that you can set up and enjoy your new smartphone, from the moment you pull it out of the box. For those new to Xperia, migration from other Android, Windows or BlackBerry devices is super quick and easy. The Xperia Transfer app, allows you to move contacts, photos, bookmarks, apps, music, messages and much more securely, without the hassle – or worry of losing anything important.

  • Get started without the wait - speedy set up with XperiaTM Transfer, and automatic camera settings
  • Sleek Sony design inside and out, with minimalistic design and customisable interfaces

  • Do more for longer, with two-day battery life1, NFC connectivity and easy customisation options

  • Super-fast 4G LTE connectivity delivers the speed you need for information and entertainment on the go

  • Available in Black and White colour options

Smartphone photography is made easy, with Auto scene Recognition automatically recognising and optimising capture settings for up to 52 scenarios for the perfect shots wherever you are. And, with NFC you can share your images easily with just one-touch.

Xperia E4g features Sony’s minimalist Android skin, but also brings the Simple Home interface providing larger icons and all your favorite apps on one screen, with those you don’t need stored neatly away in folders - perfect if you prefer to use your smartphone for specific functions.

Right on cue, with signature Sony design

Xperia E4g is Sony inside and out; rounded and robust, perfect for one hand usage. Available in classic Black and White, Xperia E4g retains that timeless Xperia form - a precision-cut power button, elevated mirror-finish logo and stainless steel camera ring and a scratch-resistant screen to add an extra layer of premium.

Built for speed - 4G LTE and two-day battery life, powered by a 1.5 GHz Quad-core processor

Xperia E4g is 4G LTE ready – which means you can enjoy the fastest news and information download, find your way using maps, check and send email, send pictures to friends and family in seconds, and enjoy lag-free music streaming on the go.

Sony’s latest smartphones are recognised for unrivalled battery life. Xperia E4g is no different, packing a powerful 2300mAh battery that gives you up to two-day’s battery life1; eliminating the need for regular charging. If that isn’t enough, one click activates Battery STAMINA Mode to regulate power management, and Ultra STAMINA Mode keeps your phone running on its core functions for a week.

Supporting slick and fast performance, Xperia E4g has a highly-tuned 1.5 GHz Quad-core processor, meaning that you can run multiple apps, surf the web and stream videos all at once.

Xperia E4g launches from April for around €1292. It will also be available in a Dual SIM variant - for full specifications please visit here.

Park Cameras raise over £790 for St. Peter & St. James’ Hospice

United Kingdom, 17th February 2015 – On Thursday 29th January, staff at Park Cameras, one of the UK’s leading independent photographic retailers attempted to run between both their stores in Burgess Hill and Central London in a single day, in an effort to raise as much money as possible for local charity St. Peter and St. James’ Hospice.

Stop that Employee!

It was a chilly day outside Burgess Hill, with the temperature at just 5oC. However, inside the Park Cameras store, things got pretty warm, as amongst the wide range of cameras, lenses, bags and tripods, a team of 13 employees set of on their challenge to run the equivalent distance between their two retail stores.

The team worked in relay fashion on a treadmill, each doing their leg of the 45.7 mile journey as quickly as they could physically manage. The store itself was still open for business as usual, and it was great to see customers donating what they could to add to the total amount of money raised for local charity St. Peter & St. James’ Hospice – although it wasn’t necessarily as easy for the runners to give any expert photographic advice when asked!

Park Cameras chose to raise money for St. Peter & St. James’ Hospice as this is a charity based in the local area that many of the staff feels particularly strongly about. The hospice receives just 14% of their funding from the government, and have to raise more than £2.6 million every year through fundraising events. That’s £7,200 every single day.

Park Cameras HR manager Adel Charles said, “We are delighted to have been able to raise £795.77    for St. Peter & St. James’ Hospice. Whilst the team here went through a bit of pain and quite a lot of sweat, and I certainly know this first hand, it makes it worthwhile knowing the money raised will help all at St. Peter & St. James continue with the fantastic care, love and support they provide for those in the community that need it.”

Their Just Giving page is still available to view and donate to, should you wish.  Simply visit www.JustGiving.com/parkcamerasrun.

Fashion Fail - SmartEyeglass Developer Edition SED-E1

OK, so I am aware that the new SmartEyeglass is a developer edition and will likely be refined when it comes to style when (or if) it is released to the general public. My question is, have Sony not learn from the failure of Google Glass that tech you wear on your face needs to look good? Add to this the fact that we now have a breakout cable, with puck-style box that houses the mic and some other tech. Clip this to you coat or shirt collar to look even more dorky. SHOUT "HERE I COME, I AM RECORDING YOU!!!"

Bitcoin gambling – is it bringing along a revolution?

Since the very emergence of online gambling, no event in its history has probably been more radical and significant than Bitcoin integration, which is still ongoing. Today, Bitcoin casinos are growing increasingly popular among online gamblers all over the world, while ‘traditional’ gaming websites seem to be gradually losing a massive part of their clients. What can be the main ingredient of Bitcoin’s huge success in the online gambling industry?

Many say, its decentralized nature may be one of the crucial contributing factors, and they are very likely to be right. Essentially, this key feature of Bitcoin has had a huge impact on the Internet itself, and is one of the main reasons why it is becoming less dependent on data-centres, e.g. servers. Now, the Internet users’ machines (exactly, we’re talking here about your laptop/Mac, iPhone/Android-powered device or whatever else you use to go online) serve as replacement for the physical intermediary equipment needed previously to store huge amounts of data. As a result, people have their information stored more securely, with the access to credentials and other confidential data becoming very limited. 

Having good understanding of it, Bitcoin casino operators do their best to apply the latest digital technologies to mutual benefit of both their players and themselves, making their businesses more attractive in terms of innovation. Another reason why they switch to Bitcoin is related to financial matters, or, merely payment policy. The thing is, many online players seem to be fed up with how online casinos, poker rooms and sportsbooks treat them: deposits and withdrawals take too much time to be completed, the commission fees are unexpectedly high, plus entertainment portals and payment services operators they cooperate with happen to be charging money for almost ‘nothing’ from time to time. That has nothing to do with fair gambling, does it?

The introduction of cryptocurrency payments by Bitcoin casinos become the perfect solutions for all that. On top of instant decentralized payments and deposits, full transparency of all the transactions made, as well as enhanced personal data and funds security, you also get unprecedented virtual anonymity – an option so much sought after by modern online gamblers. People are feeling they didn’t get it all before in full measure, and now that they have all opportunities presented, it’s quite natural they are eager to get the most of those. Also, it wouldn’t be inappropriate to remind you that the primary Bitcoin users (and, logically, Bitcoin casino regulars) are young people easily adopting the latest technological advancements and knowing how to put them to proper use. This new generation is the outpost of the successive wave of the New Technological Revolution that has been ongoing for some decades already. If you ask them, they will tell you Bitcoin is definitely revolutionizing their everyday life, their habits, and the way they’ve got used to do certain things. They are the ones who know for sure Bitcoin and block-chain are not just about Bitcoin casinos and online gambling – nowadays, world’s most popular cryptocurrency is much bigger and possibly stronger than ever before, regardless of the recent BTC price fluctuations.

Now it is obvious Bitcoin’s strength has no relation to its current price. Bitcoin is strong because people need it to make their lives easier. And its potential is vast.

iOS or Android: which offers more?

When the first iPad was released back in 2010 many commentators questioned whether they would succeed; given that they didn’t seem to fulfill an obvious gap in the market. Too large for a pocket, unable to take calls - buy an iPad the joke went and pay hundreds of dollars for a bigger, more useless version of the phone you already have.

Time has clearly shown those early naysayers wrong; as 229 million tablets were sold worldwide last year. Approximately 68 million, or 30%, of the total were Apple devices and while collated Android sales figures are not yet available for 2015 it is likely in the 140m - 150m range; confirming that these two operating systems maintain a virtual duopoly on the tablet market.

Which to plump for?

Assuming your choice is between an iOS and Android device, what are the main advantages of each system? The primary advantages of iOS are twofold - it is incredibly intuitive and, because the system is built for a very small range of devices, the 500,000 iPad specific apps will run extremely well; with few glitches or crashes. However for the trademark Apple style, you will have to pay somewhat over the odds.

Android tablets are sold by a variety of manufacturers, and utilise a wide variety of hardware. Samsung, Kobo, Asus and, of course, Google have all released successful tablet ranges running Android - but on a wide variety of screen sizes, processor types and other hardware options. Although this gives the consumer a relatively larger choice it comes with usability drawbacks - you may download an app for your Android tablet and find it requires hardware your model doesn’t have. You’ll also run into more bugs and crashes - but be compensated by a larger range of titles and the greater freedom given to developers in the Android framework.

As an example, Android users rave about Tasker which allows you to program your phone to perform actions when triggered; like turning on WiFi as you approach home, for example. No equivalent app exists for iOS because Apple are incredibly reluctant to give any developers the “under the hood” access these apps require.

Of course both systems share their basic functionality and have a large overlap in the range of compatible apps. Whichever system you buy you’ll be able to watch TV on Netflix, read emails or play video games on the move. Given the recent surge in popularity of “interactive gaming”; betting to you or I, most casinos and bookmakers ensure their full suite of games is available on all platforms.

Before making your choice try to think what you want to use your new tablet for. If you’re just looking to watch videos and music; Android will likely fulfill your needs at a lower price. If however you’re looking to do a bit more, organising emails, contacts and calendars for example, you’ll likely find iOS far more simple and intuitive.

Author - Dan Brook

How Tech Changed Sport

Image Credit http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e2/Sports_divers.jpg

Image Credit
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e2/Sports_divers.jpg

Technology, as one might safely imagine, continually changes our cultures, societies and lives, thanks to the continual upgrading and innovating that go hand in hand with new ideas and ways of doing things. Everywhere we look we see the signs of new technologies' reach- smartphones, televisions, automobiles- although sports fans may often wonder where and in what ways technology impacts their favourite pastimes. Sports can be sometimes viewed as unchanging, rules having been passed down for centuries, often, although this opinion is far from true.

Live
Live sports are a relatively old phenomenon, although true live is a relatively recent advancement. 'Live' sports ten or twenty years ago could be received often a few minutes later compared to when the actual events took place, compared to nowadays when enormous increases in internet bandwidth and satellite coverage mean that images are broadcast to television sets seconds after they take place!

Betting
Millions of people worldwide enjoy placing a little wager on the results of their favourite sports, and the internet has massively improved both the ease and availability of bets for punters. A fan sat in the stands during a game can now turn on their smartphone, head to bookies.com, check out the odds and team news, then make their bet during the game. It's added a heck of a lot of fluidity to the betting world, and fans are ecstatic.

Equipment
Kits and pieces of equipment went largely unchanged within many sports throughout the twentieth century, however with the advent of materials technology many sports and their players have undergone an enormous change. Today, kits are thinner, lighter and stronger, acting as less of an impediment to the players wearing them and boosting the performance of people using them. Footballs are now equipped with sensors hidden inside that notify referees if they pass past the goal-posts, eliminating messy arguments and fan anguish, and in sports such as hockey, strong, lightweight plastics are now used for sticks instead of traditional woods.

Social Media
Once, having a discussion about the prowess of sportspeople and teams was done mainly in bars and pubs across the world, but with Facebook and Twitter now incredibly popular, sports discussions are on every news feed and profile. Teams can now create their own pages, posting interesting info, behind the scenes footage and other titbits that massively increase the feeling among fans that they too are part of the team.

Author - Catherine Bush.

An unexpected holiday surprise #MakeItHappen

When Microsoft Lumia heard Lani’s family hadn’t celebrated Christmas together in over 13 yearsthey devised a top-secret plan to help #MakeItHappen. Flying both Lani and her little girl Evolet home to the US, Microsoft Lumia orchestrated a surprise reunion with a twist, sothat the entire family could enjoy the Holidays together for the first time. 

This month, Microsoft Lumia are helping people around the world to #MakeItHappen, by fulfilling 31 resolutions in 31 days. 

Share your resolution now and Microsoft Lumia could hellp #MakeItHappen http://www.microsoft.com/en/mobile/make-things-happen/

About Lani
36 year-old Lani O'Brien, an American living in Lancashire, has never managed to make it home to see her family at Christmas since moving to the UK 13 years ago. 
Lani’s husband Dean is also an expat, living away from his family based in New Zealand, so the tight-knit family rely on regular Skype conversations to stay connected. 


Lani and Dean had their first child Evolet three years ago, but financial circumstances have meant Lani’s family in Chicago, Illinois, have only met Evolet twice and have never spent the Holiday season with her.  
A nutritious by trade, Lani is now a full-time mum but also works supporting her husband Dean who his building a child entertainment business after unexpectedly losing his job when Evolet was just six months old. 
With Dean travelling throughout December for work, Lani hoped she might make it home to see her family in the US so she and Evolet were not alone during the Holiday season. Unfortunately, the family were simply unable to afford the costly travel expenses. 


Lani submitted her resolution to the #MakeItHappen campaign and Microsoft Lumia was so touched by her story they decided to #MakeItHappen. 
T
he film itself follows Lani and Evolet’s journey home to Chicago to surprise their unsuspecting family for the Holidays. 

About the soundtrack
“Footprints in the Snow” is a new track from singer/songwriter Scott McFarnon.

A Grammy Award and Golden Globe nominee, Scott has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the music industry including Beyoncé and Mark Ronson and in 2007 Daniel Merriweather had a global hit with his version of Scott’s song ‘Red’. Now launching a solo career, Scott’s incredible voice and unique sound will be available to the world in early 2015 with release of his debut album, Crazy Heart

Listen: www.soundcloud.com/scottmcfarnon

Website: www.scottmcfarnon.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/scottmcfarnonmusic

Credits

Campaign: Microsoft Lumia #MakeItHappen http://www.microsoft.com/en/mobile/make-things-happen/

Agency: Mission Media http://www.thisismission.com/

Film Production: We Are Films http://wearefilmsny.com/

Directors: Alex and Aaron Craig http://wearefilmsny.com/

Music: Scott McFarnon ‘Footprints in the Snow’ www.scottmcfarnon.com


Love, Language and Lumia #MakeItHappen

When Microsoft discovered that Ed, a 28 year-old accountant from London, wanted to learn Spanish to deliver the groom’s speech at his wedding in Mexico, they came straight to his rescue. Track Ed’s journey as he embarks on a crash course in Spanish; all to surprise his family and friends in a heart-warming video.

Every day this December we’re helping people #MakeItHappen, so share your resolution with us to get involved http://lumia.ms/makeithappen