Why Big Banking Doesn’t Want You Using Bitcoin!

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Portions of this article were used in the following article published in the Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-rampton/should-i-start-accepting-bitcoin_b_4937935.html

 

If you’re anywhere that isn’t under a rock, you’ve heard of BitCoin. Many companies actively take BitCoin and the user response phenomenal. This goes to show that a standardized credit based free-trade form of currency is something that is not only in demand but needed. Like any new technology, there are sure to be bumps in the road. This statement holds true especially when dealing with a technology that could shake the foundation on how people exchange currency and do business altogether.

One thing is for certain, those that jump on the BitCoin bandwagon are pioneers in the new way that the world will eventually be doing business. There will be no more popping open the currency exchange websites to get an approximate conversion rate from your American Dollars to Great Britain Pounds. Traveling abroad will no longer mean carrying a portable chart of conversion rates. You will simply log in and trade your electronic currency and in all honesty, this scares the hell out of the world banking industry.

This is only a speculation, of course, but the fact remains that under rather interesting circumstances some BitCoin exchange services have been falling under fire. With the arrest of Bitinstant CEO, Charlie Shrem for money laundering and the most recent shutdown of Mt Cox, this is cause for concern over the reliability of BitCoin as a substantial method of currency exchange. You can bet all your BitCoin stock that the big wigs of the world’s largest banks are far from shedding the slightest of tears. If anything, it only fuels their fire.

Those who are invested in BitCoin in some way or another shouldn’t worry, though. Let’s keep in mind that these are exchange services that operate like banks and not the system itself. Just as in banking, you’re going to have people that are going exploit the naivety of others. The difference is that banks extort the money through carefully regulated means. BitCoin, as a form of currency and a technology is a fairly new concept. There are sure to be a few glitches that will certainly be cause for concern but are far from being the destruction of the free exchange currency system.

One of those glitches is with security. Whenever you deal with currency of any kind, it’s certainly a topic of discussion. Online technologies are always subject to scrutiny because of this. Recently, the “Pony” Botnet attacked and stole the contents of several BitCoin wallets. The number was 85 to count. Most certainly this means the end of the currency, right? Think again. BitCoin claims hold of nearly 1.3 million wallets. You would have to be a math genius to factor the microscopic percentage of those who lost their wallets in that breach of security.

Let us not forget that this past holiday season, the information from millions of debit cards users were high jacked from major corporate retail establishments. This forced banking giants like Chase Manhattan to have to automatically reissue cards to a countless (and unreleased) amount of customers. You can applaud the bank for taking a proactive stance on customer service but the fact still remains that they let this occur. Putting this into perspective, the BitCoin incident doesn’t seem all that major.

Companies that utilize BitCoin would be doing themselves a favor in using the currency. Online retailers like Overstock.com have boarded that BitCoin train with wild success. In their first day of using the currency, they reported $126,000 in sales at the close of the business day. This was impressive enough for many of the investors and media outlets sitting in the bleachers to take notice. Amidst the scrutiny that surrounds the currency, this kind of profit seems to prove that at the very least that accepting BitCoin could find itself a great niche market until it becomes a mainstream technology.

The key to this market is in knowing who your market is. BitCoin is technology based and those who are waning on how the currency operates are likely not going to utilize it until it becomes a mainstay in payment options. Online transfer systems like PayPal took several years to become the standard and even then, it took a partnership with parent technology EBay to push it forward. This kind of partnership is exactly what BitCoin will need to remove the doubt from those who are still very unsure.

The partnership needed won’t come out of the ether, though. It is acquired by generated interest. This is where businesses and personal users come into play. Since the currency is regulated by those who utilize it, this is crucial to its acceptance. Many smaller businesses are already exploring the use of BitCoin as an option for payment for services and goods. Like Overstock.com, an ample security platform should already be put into place. Forward thinking companies with a stout data security infrastructure (Amazon, we’re looking at you!) should be leading the pack in the acceptance of BitCoin as a common currency.

With any innovative technology, there comes a learning curve with not only users but the technology itself. Just as the online music exchange that was Napster inherently revolutionized the way people got their music, so will BitCoin in how people pay for items and services. This kind of alternative to monetary currency is still very much in the development stages but could prove to be a powerhouse in the years to come. Companies that are in on this revolution will find themselves taking part of history in the making and there isn’t a price on this kind of publicity that can ever be bought with a dollar.

 

Resources:

http://www.businessinsider.com/charlie-shrem-arrested-bitcoin-ceo-2014-1

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/markets/bitcoin-exchange-mt-gox-closed-time-being-n37896

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/24/us-bitcoin-security-idUSBREA1N1JO20140224

http://blockchain.info/charts/my-wallet-n-users

http://www.wired.com/business/2014/01/overstock-bitcoin-sales/

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Noise – Not Just Another Old-School vs New-School Argument

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As I see a DJ friend post a picture of his young child standing on a chair behind his decks with the headphones on it reminded me of how my children were so inquisitive about what I used to do there. Of course, this is a decade ago and my children are now grown. Seeing my friend’s pictures, though, brought me back to when my youngest was diligently watching me mix and scratch those vinyl records and inquisitively asked what it was that I was doing. My children didn’t become DJs but my musical influence impacted them. My oldest son is a practically self-taught guitar player and in my youngest, I see the making of a great event promoter or club manager. My eldest daughter, whom I fostered during her teen years, performs with fire and hoops at music festivals as a dancer.

As many older DJ types do, I’ve had many a conversation regarding the state of the cultural scene of dance music. There’s no denying that it has grown incredibly popular over the past few years. I will spare you the arguments as if you’re reading this; you’ve already heard them many times over. What bothers me the most, though, is the HUGE generation gap occurring in dance music culture. It’s a rift that is dividing dance music culture exponentially, especially here in the United States. Acronyms like PLUR are being replaced with YOLO. Treasured melodies are shunted in place of “the drop.” Musical flow is being pushed aside with clanking noise that is out of tune. Cultural heroes that were placed on pedestals because they worked hard at perfecting their craft are now asked to leave and make room for flash-in-the-pan icons that merely “press play” and jump around like idiots.

What’s the answer?

Like others I began to ask myself, “Is this what we worked so hard for?” The answer is obvious. It’s a blatant no, but I’m not satisfied with just a simple answer. I need to know why and this puzzled me until I saw my friend’s picture.

Looking back at the past decade, I see that depression is no longer a disease but a trend. In the information age, identity is not determined by originality or the deeds of one’s doings. It’s determined by the ideas and concepts bestowed to you by others. Designer and outlaw drugs are no longer. These are fabricated and sold to an indiscriminate market. Legal and prescribed drugs are now the choice. Marketed on television. Sold at Wal-Mart. Legalized by voters.

There’s a generation of kids that are in search of themselves. Perhaps they feel isolated. Perhaps they are indeed without a clue on how to “be themselves”. Perhaps they were never taught. I can’t speak for any of them but I can relate my observations. Twenty years ago, my generation built dance music culture from the ground up. We were outlaws and looked upon as outcasts. This became our identity it also became what defined us. It didn’t matter what you listened to, what mattered is that you part of it as a whole. We were an elite group. Today’s generation hasn’t experienced this so therefore they can’t clearly understand it. So why should we expect them to?

 

Only because I care.
Well as any parent should, we try to teach. On the surface, this is good for dance music culture. The problem lies with the rebellious nature of children. As the quote above states, perhaps it is this new generation that wants to have the struggle or at lease emulate the struggle. They WANT to repeat our offenses and DESIRE to have the struggle we had to validate who they are. This is impossible, though. Twenty years ago, raves like Electric Daisy Carnival were just that, Rave Parties. It was a few hundred people crammed into a dusty warehouse where you had to call an info-line for intentionally half-assed directions. Today, they’re “music festivals” and you know the lineup, location, date, and time your favorite DJs are playing months ahead of time where you can click on a website for up-to-the-minute information. Then it was a $10, non-refundable, ticket printed at a local Kinko’s. Today, it’s hundreds of dollars with a package that includes a cornucopia of goodies. It’s no longer a struggle to find the “rave” and the only struggle it is for others is to decide which one to go to.

Sadly, this generation will never know the struggle and perhaps that’s what’s most upsetting for both sides. They want to be independent but will be nothing more than the heirs of what the older generations have provided. They attempt to create facsimiles of the culture and some even show a bit of individualism and creativity but the delivery is flawed. It ends up being just an offshoot of someone else’s idea or a redesign of something already in existence. I wish that I had the answer but I don’t. I hope to continue inspiring young people, as I did my own children. Maybe I’ll be successful but I don’t think on those kinds of terms. For my generation, it wasn’t about recognition. It was about being part of something greater than ourselves.

P90X3 Hits the Streets!

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No other workout system has received as much attention as the P90X workout system presented by Beachbody. Millions of people have bought and used this system since it was introduced back in 2004. Ten years have passed and professional health guru and P90X designer, Tony Horton has released other types of fitness workout programs targeted for the person looking to lose weight and tone up in a short amount of time. None of which have reached the acclaim that has people dedicated to P90X. With the release of the third installment of the Power 90 Extreme system, the P90X3 workouts have taken that extreme to a whole new level.

Shorter Workouts
One of the biggest complaints from users of P90X was that the workouts were far too long. At an average of an hour and fifteen minutes, those who followed pace with Tony Horton and the crew would often struggle with simply finding the time to do the workouts six days a week. P90X3 workouts take the high energy of the original and squeezes them into half hour segments allowing for greater use of the time.

Portability
Another downfall of the original P90X system was that it was hardly portable. If you traveled frequently, working out in your hotel room was definitely plausible but difficult providing that you had your DVDs and a player to follow along with. The P90X3 workouts address this problem by including digital file versions of the workout that allow you to upload them to your computer, smart phone, or tablet with ease. The Beachbody website also has answered the call for an application where you can record your progress and schedule your workouts.

Same Community Support
The greatest aspect of the P90X3 workouts is that through the Beachbody.com website you have an incredible amount of support and resources available to you. Coaches, trainers, and fellow Beachbody enthusiasts like yourself can still log in and ask questions, get advice, or simply share their experiences with others.

The Quintessential Little Beach Town

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On the furthest, most western end of the Interstate Highway 8 rests a cozy, little neighborhood that is reflective of everything somebody would expect from the California coast lifestyle. As the name implies, the coastal neighborhood of Ocean Beach in San Diego, California is the quintessential little beach town. Originally developed in the late 19th century by D.C. Collier, Ocean Beach CA real estate was always meant to attract those drawn to Pacific Coast. In 1913, the short lived Wonderland Amusement Park opened up and featured attractions and thrill rides until its untimely closure only two years later. Today, a few of the buildings remain but the city has acquired most of the land and it is now one of the few leash-free beaches in the entire state.

Any homes for sale in Ocean Beach CA are a prized treasure. Ocean Beach CA real estate consists primarily of smaller, cottage style units and are often stacked in two or more with an average cost of just under $500,000. Parking is a premium as you get closer to beach and the neighborhood can easily be divided into three specific areas. The area north of the Ocean Beach main street of Newport Avenue is the core of the neighborhood. It provides the easiest of access to not only the beach but also is walking distance to the numerous shops, world renown eateries, and entertainment venues that are nearby. To the south of Newport Avenue leads into the Sunset Cliffs State Park and condos there provide an excellent view of the coastline. To the east of north-south median of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard rests a gradual incline to the peak of Point Loma taking claim to some of the best views of not only the coast but the San Diego Bay and Downtown San Diego.

The appeal of Ocean Beach is not only its location but the community as a whole. Although not an incorporated town, OBecians, as residents kindly call themselves have a strong sense of community. It’s this small town atmosphere that make homes for sale in Ocean Beach CA a place for residents to live and thrive for their entire lives. With Point Loma High School ranked in the Top 100 schools in the state, Ocean Beach is the type of beach town you want to call home. It’s a place where diversity and community values are not only heralded but celebrated.

History of the New York State Flag – SEO Write Up with Key Words in Parenthesis

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Originally designed by a 17th-century settler by the name Jonas Bronck, the (New York flag) has a royal blue background with a crest that embodies the meaning of the state as it was being settled in colonial times. The flag resembles a modern version of the flag that flew in the Revolutionary War. The modern day flag of New York State displays the official coat of arms of the state. This design was accepted in 1778. There are particular aspects of the flag that make it distinctive and unique. These aspects are brought out and flourished in the flags that are available from our store.

Rising behind three mountains, the shield features a cloudless sky. The three mast rigged ship floats along the Hudson River along with a sloop that appear to navigate towards each other. This represents the commerce in which the Hudson plays an important part for New York. The Hudson River shores are bordered by grass and fringed with tiny shrubs symbolizing the opportunity for development.

Bordering the lower part of the shield is a white ribbon proclaiming New York State’s motto, Excelsior, which means “ever upward.” In this, this signifies the state’s ever escalating goals. The term, even today, seems to hold true as the state of New York is always looking forward towards progress. The beautiful (NY flag) accentuates this fully and inspires hope to all who believe it.

On the upper part of the shield, our country’s national symbol of freedom, the Bald Eagle, is perched gracefully upon a globe with its wings spread open. The eagle’s head is facing to the west as the body rests above the Atlantic Ocean. This symbolism could represent our country’s openness to those coming from the east wanting to land on our shores. This is quite appropriate seemingly, since the state often plays host to thousands of immigrants yearly.

Upon the shield’s sides, the statues of liberty and justice hold the shield in place. They are majestic and signs of the American way of life that many people hold dear. The statue of justice is holding a sword, representing fairness and is clothed gold with a blue waist bed that is tinged with red. The statue of liberty of rises in all her glory and holds a pole topped with the Phrygian cap. Historically, the caps were given to the Roman slaves when they were freed. This symbol was then adopted by French Revolutionists. At liberty’s foot rests a crown, symbolizing the British attempt to control the colonies that become our great country.

The details of the (New York flag) are phenomenal and our flags are made of 100% quality products that will last for ages. The flag will surely be a proud displayed piece that symbolizes everything that state of New York and our country represents. The vibrant colors and quality stitching make for a great decoration that will look stunning on any wall, office, or other indoor location.

Generating Autism Awareness

The growing awareness of autism is at a critical and all-time high and there are needs for compassion and sensitivity towards those with the disorder. For many, having to relate with somebody with autism is a minor inconvenience. For those with attachments with to those who have it, it becomes a much more personal and a sensitive subject to foray. Awareness and compassion can only come through the education about the disorder itself. An understanding of what autism is, how many lives it affects, and ultimately noticing the signs of autism will lead to this awareness.

What is Autism?
On the surface, Autism Spectrum Disorder is a mental disorder that slows and limits the cognitive learning functions of a person. In reality, it’s one of the fastest growing disorders in the country with no cure in sight. Nearly 13% of children are diagnosed with autism and this number is due to increase in the next few years with African American and Hispanic children being the most likely to be diagnosed as having autism. Although this number is high in relation to other known disorders, many parents have far too little knowledge about it. This leads to the family not getting the help they need nearly fast enough. This means that noticing the symptoms of autism is paramount, even among those who aren’t directly affected.

Symptoms of Autism.
Autism as a whole is a rather outwardly noticeable condition once children are in social atmospheres. The brain affected with autism doesn’t necessarily process social orders well. While still rather intelligent, children with autism can outwardly seem very cognitive despite having tendencies of social awkwardness. Retention of information isn’t always an issue with autism. It’s the learning process involved that often are the subtle telltale signs. In the early years of development, it’s good to pay close attention on how the child is absorbing the processes involved with learning a new activity. A common misconception is that the autistic mind is inactive. This is hardly the case. In contrast, the mind is excessively active where concentrating on the learning process involved proves to be rather difficult.

Exercise Compassion.
The first step is spotting the nuances that may make a child autistic. Then recognize that this could be something you will now have to understand. Speak with the child’s parents or caretakers. They will give insight on how to function around the autistic child. Then accommodate your surroundings and instructions towards that child. These are simple things that the average person can do but this is only the tip of the iceberg. There is a high demand for those who specialize with children with special needs. By volunteering with a local organization or school that caters to children with autism, anyone can learn how to develop their own habits to accommodate the autistic mind. Taking courses and becoming certified to assist in the teaching of children with special needs takes this exercise in compassion to a higher level and is highly regarded.

Since there is little information on what causes autism, finding a cure or even prevention is nigh. Early diagnosis by parents and continual support from the child’s community will lead to a much more fulfilling life for the child. There are several organizations and events such as: Autism Speaks, the Autism Society, and Autism Awareness Month in April that provides excellent information regarding the disorder.

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In The Zone… The Friend Zone!

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I always find myself in the “friend-zone”. While I’ve learned to not mind being “friended,” it still comes with its share of irritants. The benefits of being a good friend are rewarding. You build relationship bonds that

Here’s the thing with being “friend zoned”… It’s sort of like a seniority thing. While the guy really does enjoy the company of his lady friend, finding somebody that compatible to be a partner is difficult. It’s not necessarily about getting into somebody’s pants but more like that they’ve put the time and effort to genuinely care about the other person and are being snubbed at any opportunity to develop the relationship into anything deeper than what it is.

That being said, ALL relationships are investments. You put the time and effort into it because it enriches your life. That level of enrichment is dependent on what the individual wants. For the person friend-ing, this is usually something that they otherwise find themselves discussing with their “friend”. Those needs of the friend-ing have been met. All the while, the friend is thinking that what the other person is looking for is right there in front of them. Yet, the cycle continues.

For the “friend”, it’s a bit painful to witness the friend-ing person make the same mistakes over and over again. From the perspective of the friend, they’ve put in the time to understand and hear what the other person wants and for that other person wants to disregard that and search for someone else. It can be disenchanting and to some, downright disrespectful.

This is where the seniority comes into play, the friend has been there through thick and thing. They’ve listened to all the complaints, disappointments, and heartbreak while never crossing that threshold out of respect to the the one friend-ing. This, in itself is admirable beyond anything, yet the friend-er passes opportunity by dismissing the friend and opts to chase dragons on a random chance that it might work out with someone else. This will likely end in heartbreak and the cycle continues.