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Talk Social 10.3.14

UK’s first UK Bitcoin Cash Machine appears in Shoreditch

London’s Shoreditch is at the forefront of all that is new and trendy, so what better place to host the UK’s first bitcoin cash machine?


The Old Shoreditch Cafe and Bar, which has accepted Bitcoin payment for a year, plays host to this unique cashpoint, which allows people to exchange banknotes for digital currency.


The $5,000 machine uses a Nexus 7 tablet alongside a custom-designed app and large QR-code scanner. On inserting their banknotes customers then use a mobile wallet app on their smartphones to display a QR code, which the Bitcoin machine scans to validate the transfer.


Transactions are currently limited to £1,000 per month per customer and there is currently a whopping 8.0 per cent commission fee on every transaction to cover staff costs, as the cash machine has to be manually topped-up with Bitcoins. However once the process becomes automated it’s hoped that the commission rates will drop.


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3D Printing Can Save Lives

3D printing has been fully embraced by the medical world with experts developing a flexible, 3D elastic membrane that could help predict cardiac disorders.


An international team of engineers and biomedical scientists led by Igor Evimof, biomedical engineering professor at Washington University in St. Louis, printed tiny sensors onto a membrane that could provide physicians with more detailed information about the health of a heart.


To produce the membrane, the team photographed a patient’s heart through an MRI or CT scan. They extracted the image to build a 3D model of the heart that could be sent to a 3D printer. After printing the membrane, they mold the shape of it, that will house the base on the surface of the heart, before transferring back into the patient.


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Wake up to bacon


US meat firm, Oscar Mayer, have created a device for your iPhone that produces the sound and smell of bacon sizzling in the pan as a way of  giving reasons to think – and want bacon – as soon as they wake. The user simply needs to plug in the external device into the earphone jack to receive their wake up call.


The innovative app was created by the Oscar Mayer Institute for the Advancement of Bacon, a self-described “consortium of the world’s greatest bacon minds dedicated to unlocking the bacon’s deepest mysteries for the benefit of bacon lovers everywhere.”


The device won’t be sold in stores and quantities are limited but Oscar Mayer are giving away 4,700 devices.

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Why LIVR is not the next Jelly


The South by Southwest music, film and interactive festival saw the debut of one of the hottest new apps –  LIVR, the first social network designed exclusively for the drunk community.


Functions included an in-built breathalyzer to measure your alcohol intake and ensure you’re sufficiently over the legal limit in order to access the channel, and interactive games such as truth or dare to play with your tipsy online community.


The app which caught the imagination of the attending media was hailed by titles such as The Independent, The Next Web, The Mail Online and The Daily Dot.


However the innovation was revealed to be an elaborate hoax by music producer Brandon Bloch, to satirise the digital’s community’s eagerness to jump on the latest bandwagon in a quest to be early adopters. The moral of the story? Just because it’s the next new thing, it doesn’t mean it’s the next valuable new thing.

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Keurig uses ‘lockout’ technology against competitor brands


This year, Massachusetts-based Keurig coffee maker company is devising the first coffee maker to ‘shut out’ anything other than Keurig-produced coffee pods.


Keurig is following a path popular with technology companies: using software as a way to lock customers into their products. Both Microsoft, and Lexmark have all waged legal battles, keeping refurbished cartridges away from their printers.

To date companies have provided a tech-based explanation for lock-in technology. For example Apple has previously said that allowing customers to put any app they wanted on a phone would compromise security and stability, leading to hacking events or crashes.

Similarly Keurig has stated that the pod identification technology will beneficial to users. The pods will automatically adjust settings based on the capsule inserted, whether it’s coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.

Whether this is the main reason for the new function of not, this protective move is essentially a savvy commercial innovation. We fully expect Nespresso to roll out a similar function to invalidate the raft of copy-cat capsules currently on the market.

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