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Cryptocurrency mining is vital to continue the work of many digital assets, including Bitcoin. If you are new to the industry, you probably understand roughly how it works: computers do the work and get paid for it.

Mining is the process of adding new blocks to the blockchain. Computers or specialized devices solve a complex cryptographic problem, and the first who submits the correct option receives a reward in the form of a cryptocurrency.

Moreover, mining is one of the best ways to replenish your crypto wallet. If you decide to do this, then first you should decide what kind of digital asset you would like to mine. The number of cryptocurrencies themselves that can be mined is in the hundreds, but not all of them are worth it. 

The most popular options are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Monero, and other high market cap assets. What you need to start mining will depend on the choice of the coin. 

Is it possible to mine on a personal computer? If it were 2010, the answer would be “Yes”. However, much has changed since then, and now lone miners who have used programs for BTC mining on their computers can no longer wait for profit. Especially when it comes to popular cryptocurrencies with high task complexity. 

To withstand at least some competition, solo miners now need to invest money (and a lot) in creating their mining farms. And here, depending on the chosen cryptocurrency, there are two main options: a specialized device (ASIC) or video cards. 

ASIC miners are designed specifically for mining cryptocurrencies, they have no other tasks. With their help, you can most effectively mine, for example, Bitcoin. But we must not forget that it would be best to purchase several of these devices at once. The average price of one miner is 2.000 – 3.000$. On average, you need at least 2-3 miners for a mini-farm. To accommodate ASIC miners, it is necessary to find a room and provide a cooling system, since these devices are used for industrial mining. They consume a lot of electricity and generate a lot of heat. 

A mining farm based on video cards is designed like a regular home computer, in which there is a clear bias towards graphics performance. When choosing a video card, you first need to pay attention to its hash rate – how efficiently the graphics processor can search for a solution to a cryptographic problem. In addition, do not forget about power consumption and price, as well as the age of the card, as used devices may be in poor condition.

A mining farm is promising, but you need to choose the right equipment and calculate the entire economy, find a suitable location with favorable electricity rates and other conditions. It is quite difficult to build a mining farm alone, especially given the many aggravating factors such as equipment repair, thermal insulation, and huge electricity bills. 

Is there an alternative to classic mining? Yes! This is cloud mining: this process involves renting equipment from a large mining farm remotely, which allows absolutely everyone to use mining, both beginners and professionals in the field of cryptocurrencies. 

One of the most promising representatives of cloud mining is GreenHashes. Professionals in their field have chosen renewable energy sources for BTC mining. Powerful equipment will allow you to get the most out of cloud mining. To build such a farm on your own will take a lot of time, effort, and resources. 

Leave all the technical difficulties about setting up the mining farm equipment to professionals. By choosing GreenHashes, you become part of a huge ecosystem of miners from all over the world. 

To start getting profit from Cloud Mining, it is enough to create an account on the GreenHashes website and choose one of the contracts: it differs in capacity, duration, and referral level. Do not forget to check the referral program: share useful information with friends and receive bonuses. 

In case of any questions about the service or suggestions, write to [email protected] – the support team has an individual approach to each client, taking into account all the wishes, and trying to implement it as soon as possible for further use. To keep abreast of the latest news about mining and cryptocurrencies, you can join the official Greenhashes telegram channel and subscribe to the company’s social networks via their Twitter handle, where you can find a lot of useful information on investments and eco-friendly mining.

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Smartphone Lull A Golden Opportunity For Microsoft

Critics have derided Microsoft’s $7.5 billion acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services business, but the deal may be closing at the perfect moment—during a slowdown in smartphone innovation.

The acquisition closed Friday after an almost eight-month long approval process. The new subsidiary, dubbed the Microsoft Mobile and the Devices division and headed by former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, has a tremendous amount of work to do to become a serious contender either at the high end or low end of the smartphone market.

However, this may be an opportune time for Microsoft and its thousands of new employees. Innovation has slowed down in the high-end segment of the mobile phone market. New products such as the Galaxy S5 from Samsung Electronics, HTC’s One M8 and the Xperia Z2 from Sony are only small upgrades compared to their predecessors.

“This market isn’t moving forward quite as quickly as it has in the past. While it is taking a breather, Microsoft and Nokia can up the game and try to close the gap,” said Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics.

Microsoft has recognized this chance to make up some lost ground.

“The pace of innovation we are delivering is, I’ll argue, accelerating, while some of our leading competitors appear to be slowing down. If you’re behind you have to go faster than the guy in front of you to catch up and that’s exactly what we are trying to do,” said Greg Sullivan, director of Windows Phone at Microsoft.

The company is making progress on both hardware and software. For example, the upcoming Lumia 930 has the same screen resolution, RAM and GPU as the Galaxy S5. Previous flagship models from Nokia haven’t compared as well to the competition.

One priority: forge closer ties with chip vendors

Moving forward, Microsoft has to make sure it gets access to upcoming processors especially from Qualcomm—including the Snapdragon 805, and then the 64-bit ARM-based Snapdragon 808 and 810—quicker than it has in the past, according to Mawston.

Some of what Microsoft’s competitors are trying to do to differentiate their products plays on Nokia’s strengths. When HTC, Samsung and Sony launched their new top-of-the-line smartphones they all bragged about camera upgrades, which is what Nokia is best at.

“We’ll continue to focus on that as a core area of differentiation for us,” Sullivan said.

The recent announcement of Windows Phone 8.1 is another sign that Microsoft is on the right track. With the upgrade, the OS finally is getting a drop-down menu called the Action Center, with quick access to notifications and settings for things like Wi-Fi, Flight Mode and Bluetooth. But the headline feature is Cortana, a voice-controlled digital assistant that’s powered by Microsoft’s Bing search engine.

“Actually, Windows Phone, when someone gets it in their hands, looks different and moves away from that grid of icons. It’s a more fluid interface and more interactive in some ways with the live tiles. That’s what Microsoft needs to push hard now,” said Ben Wood, director of research at CCS Insight.

Windows Phone 8.1 is available now in a Developer Preview test version, and will ship in final form over the coming months to existing Windows Phone 8 users and on new smartphones.

In addition to new features, Microsoft is also lowering the bar for developers who want to create apps for the OS, the lack of which has been a big stumbling block for Windows Phone. The app gap compared to iOS and Android has shrunk, but it’s still there, according to Wood.

The app issue

With Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Update, developers build “universal” Windows apps once that run with little or no modification in PCs, tablets and smartphones. Developers can use the universal app project template in Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 RC to build these apps using the common Windows Runtime API. They can also modify existing Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 apps and make them “universal” ones.

To make Windows Phone more attractive to game developers, Microsoft has to make better use of its Xbox consoles, according to Mawston.

Douglas, who has built about five Windows 8 business apps, is impressed with other Windows Phone 8.1 features, like the Word Flow keyboard and new Action Center. He has high expectations for the Nokia deal because he considers the quality of Nokia phones to be on par with those from Apple and Samsung.

“I hope that the acquisition will open a large number of different mobile/tablet devices to enrich the Windows 8 platform,” Douglas said via email.

Attacking the low end

Microsoft also has to make Windows Phone a better fit for low-end smartphones priced under $100 without a contract, which are becoming increasingly important as much of the future growth in the mobile market is expected in this segment. The Lumia 520 has already shown there is a lot of potential. If that device hadn’t been a hit, it’s doubtful that Windows Phone would still be around.

Two months ago at Mobile World Congress, Microsoft announced support for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 200 and 400 processors, which open the door for cheaper devices. It also announced nine new Windows Phone partners, including Foxconn, Karbonn, Lava, Lenovo, Longcheer and ZTE, which are expected to make low-priced Microsoft phones a reality.

“When we announced these new partnerships, I think it’s fair to say that the ink wasn’t quite dry. That was the beginning and a little over a month later, April 2, [Windows Phone Program Management manager] Joe Belfiore held up a couple of prototype devices from a couple of those manufacturers running our software already,” Sullivan said.

Microsoft’s recent decision to license Windows Phone for free will also make it easier for partners to launch low-cost devices.

Exactly when the products will start shipping is up to the vendors, but they will show that Windows Phone offers better performance on low-cost hardware than Android, according to Sullivan.

Florence Ion

The Nokia X: sink or swim?

With the acquisition, Microsoft also gets Nokia’s new X smartphones, which are based on the Android Open Source Project software and were also announced at Mobile World Congress. The X family’s existence is a sign of frustration on Nokia’s part and symbolizes Microsoft’s inability to lower the cost of Windows Phone.

Selling Android-based smartphones probably isn’t what Microsoft wants to do, but there are redeeming factors. The interface on the X, X+ and XL has been designed to look like Windows Phone, with tiles that can be resized. The thinking behind that is to make it easier for users to upgrade to a device that runs Microsoft’s OS. Also, the Google services available on Android devices have been replaced by Microsoft services such as Skype, chúng tôi and OneDrive for hosted storage.

“I suspect in the short term Microsoft will put up with the X family, because it looks like it’s going to be relatively popular. It will be a good way of getting the Microsoft user interface down to lower price points, and give Google a bit of a jab in the ribs,” Mawston said.

As long as there is a price gap between the low end of Windows Phone and X family, backing the latter makes sense, Wood agreed.

“Otherwise Microsoft is just leaving money on the table. But if it can get Windows Phone down to the same price point or if the X phones starts to look like it’s cannibalizing the low end of Windows Phone, decisions have to made quickly,” he said.

“Nokia employees that today work on feature phones, particularly the Asha team, should be redeployed to drive down Windows Phone to lower price points,” Wood said.

Even though Microsoft seems to be making a lot of good decisions, success is far from assured, according to Wood.

“There is still a big, big gap between where Android and iOS is and where Windows Phone is. But credit where credit is due, they are slowly but surely making progress,” Wood said.

When Steve Ballmer announced the acquisition in the beginning of September last year, just after revealing he was stepping down as Microsoft CEO, he said:

“Today’s announcement is a bold step into the future. For Microsoft it’s a signature event—a signature event!—in our transformation. We think this is a win-win for employees; win-win for shareholders, and win-win for customers of both companies. Through our partnership we have already accomplished so much, and yet clearly the opportunity ahead is remarkable.”

If all that turns out to be true, Ballmer will have a nice story line for his autobiography. But if not, the chapter on Microsoft in the 21st century may not end well.

(Additional reporting by Juan Perez in the IDG News Service Miami bureau.)

Bu Offers $10K Reward For Information On Robbers

BU Offers $10K Reward for Information on Robbers Video reveals suspects in string of armed assaults

Boston University is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of one or more of the perpetrators involved in a string of armed robberies of BU students on and near the Charles River Campus. In the most recent of four such incidents since September 23, a female student was approached in the driveway of 808 Commonwealth Ave. on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. The woman told police that two assailants, who brandished a handgun, fled when they learned that she had nothing of value in her bag. There have been no injuries in any of the assaults.

Peter Fiedler, vice president for administrative services, says the reward is being offered by the University to encourage members of the community to support the efforts being made by the Brookline, Boston University, and Boston Police Departments.

“Based on police reports, there has been a pattern here,” says Fiedler (COM’77). “However, Tuesday’s robbery took place on our campus. This brings the problem home, and it dramatically elevates our concern for the safety of our community. While the police are doing an excellent job, it became clear to us that it was time for the institution to enhance its support of the investigation.”

Brookline Police Chief Daniel O’Leary says one suspect in the October 5 robbery was wearing a red sweatshirt and appeared to be wearing new Air Jordan sneakers and carrying a backpack. He also had braces on his teeth. The second suspect was wearing a gray sweatshirt with two numbers on the front, the first of which looks like a “6.” That suspect was carrying a purple backpack.

O’Leary says the suspects in the second robbery are three black males, one of whom is about 5-foot-11, and the other two about 5-foot-10. The taller of the men is believed to have been wearing black and silver earrings. O’Leary says a second suspect, who displayed a handgun, had dark skin and was carrying a backpack. The third suspect had short black hair and wore a dark sweatshirt. He says the suspects approached their victims with a handgun held at the suspect’s waist, and in one case asked if the victim had a cell phone.

The Brookline chief says his department has not determined if the suspects in the video were involved in the first and third robberies. He said Brookline Police have been working closely and aggressively with the Boston and the BU Police Departments.

The robberies began on September 23, at approximately 3 a.m., at Thorndike Street and Hamilton Road, when two BU students were robbed of an iPhone, an Android cell phone, a wallet, and $50. Two days later, three BU students were robbed at around 5 p.m. at Egmont and St. Paul Streets, and on Friday, October 5, a recent BU graduate was mugged in broad daylight just four blocks from Commonwealth Avenue. The incident took place at 5:15 p.m. at St. Paul and Thatcher Streets.

Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to contact CrimeStoppers at 800-494-TIPS (8477), or text to CRIME (27463).

Thriving Baby California Condor Is A Ray Of Hope For The Unique Species

On May 9, a baby California condor hatched at Liberty Wildlife, a wildlife rehabilitation, education, and conservation organization in Phoenix, Arizona. The hatching is a ray of hope and welcome good news for the struggling species that was only recently brought back from the brink of extinction. 

Only 22 condors were believed to be alive during the 1980s after a maelstrom of habitat loss, poaching, lead poisoning accidents with power lines, and the insecticide DDT. Currently, about 275 wild birds are cruising the skies about California, Utah, Arizona, and Baja California, Mexico, more than 160 are in captivity, and more than 400 live worldwide. 

[Related: Inside the Yurok Tribe’s mission to make critically endangered condors thrive.]

The largest bird species in North America and a crucial part of the ecosystem, California condors are considered sacred to many indigenous peoples. The Yurok Tribe of the Pacific Northwest call California condors “prey-go-neesh,” and say the birds have been tied to the Yurok Hlkelonah, or the cultural and ecological landscape, since the beginning of time. The tribe has officially been a driving force on condor reintroduction since 2008. 

Now, these sacred and important birds face a grave threat in the form of a tiny pathogen. Highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1), also called bird flu, is threatening condors at an alarming rate. It was first detected in the California condor in late March, and more than 20 are known to have died since. 

“It is scary particularly for endangered species like the California condors. It has the ability to wipe out an entire species,” Liberty Wildlife’s Animal Care Coordinator Jan Miller tells PopSci. 

One of the birds that succumbed to the disease was the new hatchling’s mother, part of a breeding pair of wild California condors. The mother was found acting suspicious in a cave near the Grand Canyon and was brought to Liberty Wildlife due to suspected bird flu. She died eight days later.  

“Using telemetry, it was assumed that she had laid an egg, probably between March 13 and March 17, and it was predicted to hatch between May 9 and May 17,” Liberty Wildlife’s Executive Director Megan Mosby tells PopSci. “The limited movement of the male led to the assumption that he was trying to incubate an egg.  The biologists at the Arizona Vermilion Cliff site decided that it wasn’t safe for the male, a known breeder, to attempt to raise a chick solo and feed himself, especially in a dank, cool cave … a perfect place for flu contamination.”

[Related: Spy tech and rigged eggs help scientists study the secret lives of animals.]

“Veterinarian Dr. Stephanie Lamb assisted in the freeing of the baby from the egg and the operation was successful.  After a health check, a swab to test for Avian Flu was obtained, and the chick was placed in an incubator with a surrogate (stuffed animal) ‘mother’ condor,” Miller says. 

The hatching of a baby California condor at Liberty Wildlife in Arizona. Dr. Stephanie Lamb and the wildlife hospital team at Liberty Wildlife assisted in the incubation, hatching, and care of the egg for the past month. The baby condor is doing well and being cared for with the best practice, by our team wearing camouflage, and with a big assist from a stuffed puppet “parent.” CREDIT: Liberty Wildlife.

The hatchling was negative for bird flu and continued to eat solid food and bond with her surrogate plush parent. According to Mosby, the team was excited to find out she was female because 11 of the 21 condors that have died due to bird flu were breeding age females.

On May 17, she was flown to The Peregrine Fund in Boise, Idaho. There she will be raised by foster parents so that she can one day be released back into Arizona’s skies.  

The hatching with her surrogate stuffed animal parent. CREDIT: Chris Sar/Liberty Wildlife.

According to the team, vultures like the California condor are not only intelligent, but are incredibly necessary to help clean up the environment since they handle dead and decaying animals that can spread disease. 

“Vultures are part of the natural cleanup crew in nature. They deserve every fair chance they can get to continue to survive and be a part of this world,” says Miller. 

In addition to this welcome hatchling’s continued success this week, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service approved the emergency use of bird flu vaccine on May 16. The Yurok Tribe called this move, “a huge step in the effort to combat this virulent threat, but still a long road ahead.”

Review: Cocoon’s Slim Backpack Sports A Unique Organizational System

Cocoon Innovations is known mostly for their line of unique organizers, known as the GRID-IT.

Their slim backpack takes that already popular product and builds it into a slim, handsome bag. Even with its slim profile, it’s capable of holding a surprisingly large amount of gear.

Backpacks are entirely subjective: everyone has their own style and a set of gear they need to bring with them. While evaluating this backpack, I tried to focus on what makes it unique instead of how my personal gear actually fit (or more accurately didn’t fit) into the bag.

To see it for yourself, as well as how the GRID-IT works, check out my hands-on video.

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With the video out of the way, lets dive in!

Build quality

This bag sets itself apart immediately with its exceptional build quality. The body itself is made out of ballistic grade nylon, which is also water repellent. The zippers are all waterproofed, which really helps keep your gear safe.

The strap adjusters and the zipper pulls are made from a space gray-like metal.

The compartments in the back for storing your laptop and iPad are roomy and plush-lined to keep them padded.

GRID-IT system

The GRID-IT system is really why one buys this bag.

They are normally sold as standalone boards that can fit into your existing bag. If you aren’t familiar, the basic concept is that there is a series of intertwined elastic bands that can be used to strap down all your gear. Nothing too large, mind you, but all your cables, adapters, chargers, battery packs, headphones and portable hard drives should generally fit just fine.

The built-in GRID-IT system works just as the solo units do—it has its own pocket and can easily accommodate most anything you may be toting around with you on a day-to-day basis.

Everyday use

Because the GRID-IT holds most of what you carry with you, Cocoon is able to keep the bag shockingly slim. What I normally brought in my much larger messenger bag, when organized, fit easily into the Cocoon (barring a couple outliers).

The backpack itself is very comfortable. There was no fancy gel or special padding in the shoulder straps, so I imagine they will flatten down a bit over time with use. In my few weeks of carrying it, however, it was actually very comfortable to wear.

The biggest hurdle for me was adjusting to not really having a main compartment to the bag. Normally, I feel a backpack has some small front pockets, a big main section and possibly a laptop/iPad compartment.

This bag essentially splits that main compartment into two: one for the GRID-IT itself and the other for your iPad, laptop and some documents. The main compartment is actually quite small, with not much room for anything else other than your tablet and computer.

The thinking is that if you have all of your smaller accessories that usually float around in the main body of your backpack, you don’t need such a large compartment there. To a degree, this makes sense. In daily use, every time I wanted to bring something bigger it was a struggle.

As a couple examples, the times I tried to take a few iPhone boxes with me to the office, they didn’t fit. I experienced a similar issue when I went to the lake for a weekend and wanted to bring with me my Marshall Stockwell portable speaker.

As I said, these are outliers.

The wrap-up show

I’m one who has a trouble staying constantly organized.

A lot of times I wrap my cables and throw them in my bag in a fairly haphazard fashion. The Cocoon backpack actually helped me kick that habit.

Now I consistently place all my cables, adapters and other accessories into this bag—and it’s so much easier to find what I’m looking for without having to dig.

I was very impressed with not only the quality of materials, but with the extensive feature set, too. Compared to other bags at the ~$50 price range, there’s no question which one I prefer.

If you’re also a fan of the Cocoon backpack, you can find it on Amazon for only $51.99.

Zimbabwe’s Digital Currency Presents Growth Opportunity For Big Eyes Coin & Dogecoin

Zimbabwe’s central bank is set to issue a gold-backed digital currency as legal tender in the country. This move is aimed at stabilizing the local currency against the US dollar.

As crypto communities prepare for meme coin season, investors and meme coin lovers are looking for the next 100x meme coin pump or a project that can rival Dogecoin (DOGE) or Shiba Inu (SHIB). This article will examine Zimbabwe’s digital currency’s impact on cryptos like Big Eyes Coin (BIG) and the benefit of adopting digital currencies.

Zimbabwe Says Yes to Digital Currencies

Zimbabwe’s government is taking a significant step in embracing digital currencies by issuing a gold-backed digital currency as legal tender in the country. This move aims to stabilise the local currency from continued depreciation against the US dollar.

The country’s central bank hopes that this digital currency will increase financial inclusion, promote financial stability, and reduce the cost of financial transactions. Zimbabwe’s digital currency is backed by gold, which gives it a stable value and provides an alternative to traditional fiat currencies.

Dogecoin – The Meme Coin that Started it All

Dogecoin, created as a joke by two software engineers in 2013, has become a cultural phenomenon. Its popularity surged when Elon Musk started tweeting about it, and it gained even more attention when it was added to Coinbase, a major cryptocurrency exchange.

Although it began as a joke, Dogecoin has proven its utility by being used to fund charitable causes and even sponsoring a NASCAR driver. However, Dogecoin’s value has been highly volatile, and its future potential hinges on its plans to create a sustainable ecosystem.

Big Eyes Coin: The Meme Coin of the Future

Big Eyes Coin is a meme coin that is in presale and the project’s goal is to create a meme coin with real utility that can benefit both the holders and the wider community. The coin is designed to support different use cases, including hosting DeFi projects, supporting charity projects, giving rewards to holders, and promoting community development.

The Big Eyes presale has seen it bring in more than $34 million, and the record haul is a testament to the confidence investors have placed in the project. The project has kept its presale exciting by offering Loot Boxes, where users can get bonuses and BIG tokens on their purchases.

The project has stated that its goal is to create the simplest crypto ecosystem to host DeFi projects and facilitate the transfer of wealth from the traditional financial system to the DeFi.

Key Takeaways

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s decision to introduce a gold-backed digital currency is a significant step towards embracing digital currencies. This move will help stabilise the local currency, increase financial inclusion, and reduce the cost of financial transactions.

Similarly, meme coins like Big Eyes Coin have the potential to provide real utility and value to holders and the wider community. As crypto communities prepare for meme coin season, it is essential to consider projects like Big Eyes Coin that have a clear roadmap and support different use cases.

Join Big Eyes Coin today and experience the magic. Use the super promo code END300 and join the presale conclusion festivities.

Find out more about Big Eyes Coin (BIG):

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