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Posts Tagged ‘Bitcoin’

Kodak didn’t get into cryptocurrency and bitcoin mining, “Kodak” did

12 Jan

Kodak’s CES announcements tell an interesting tale of the power of brands, and what happens to those brands when you start licensing them to other companies.

A lot of people still have positive associations with the Kodak brand and its iconic logos, but it’s worth clearing something up, especially in light of all the cryptocurrency madness that Kodak unleashed at CES: not everything with the Kodak name on it has much connection to a bunch of clever people in Rochester New York.

The parent company, Eastman Kodak, left the consumer photography business in 2012 following court-overseen ‘Chapter 11’ restructuring. Its remaining consumer photo businesses were sold to Kodak Alaris, which continues to sell photo film and printing kiosks.

So it’s worth keeping your fond memories of that company at arms length when you read about its apparent embrace of the blockchain.

The “Kodak” KashMiner, yours to rent for just $ 3,400 and a two year contract.

At CES this year ‘Kodak’ announced both blockchain-based IP protection and cryptocurrency projects, and a scheme that apparently lets you buy a Bitcoin-mining farm for them. However, the KodakOne project appears to be as much a rebranding of an existing project called RYDE as it does a “partnership between Kodak and [RYDE owner] Wenn Media”. Meanwhile, the Kodak KashMiner scheme, which lets you rent the hardware to mine the more famous Bitcoin cryptocurrency appears to be entirely separate: essentially an unconventional investment scheme using industry-standard hardware with the Kodak logo stuck on the side so that there’s something to show at CES.

Essentially, these look a lot like Kodak licensing its name to other companies in much the same way as the current holders of the Polaroid, Rollei and Vivitar names accept fees to let those names get emblazoned on, well, pretty much anything.

Eastman Kodak still makes film, but it appears to have only two customers: Hollywood and Kodak Alaris.

The Kodak PixPro Orbit360 4K VR camera, by JK Imaging

Then, of course, there are the cameras. You can still buy ‘Kodak’ cameras: JK Imaging, a California-based company, sells cameras under the Kodak brand. Interestingly, JK Imaging shares and address with General Imaging, which licensed the General Electric brand for its photo products.

Given the way that even the largest names in photography regularly use third-party ‘OEM’ manufacturers to produce some of their models, it’s senseless to try and draw a line between ‘real’ Kodak and licensees of the brand name. That the red and yellow logo doesn’t necessarily tie anything back to your fuzzy memories of Kodachrome, or brilliant developments such as the Bayer color filter.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Kodak unveiled its own bitcoin miner at CES, will let you rent it for $3,400 for two years

12 Jan

If you thought Kodak news couldn’t get any stranger following the company’s debut of a “photo-centric cryptocurrency” called KODAKCoin earlier this week… you were wrong. In a further attempt to cash in on the cryptocurrency mania currently spreading across the world, Kodak has debuted its own bitcoin mining machine at CES.

The bitcoin miner is called the Kodak KashMiner, and you can rent it for just $ 3,400 and keep a share of the profits you make mining bitcoin for the next 2 years.

We’ll give you a moment to let the absurdity of those last few sentences soak in before we attempt to put this madness in context.

Ready to move on? Okay.

First of all, here is the Kodak KashMiner in the flesh at CES 2018:

The deal, according to the pictures of Kodak’s pamphlet about the KashMiner, is that you can rent the machine on a 2-year contract for $ 3,400. From there, contends Kodak—who clearly know their stuff, having been publically interested in cryptocurrency for a full 48 hours now—you will earn approximately $ 750 per month, half of which you get to keep while the other half goes to a company called Spotlite Energy Systems in California.

At that rate ($ 375 per month), you’ll make $ 9,000 in 24 months, or approximately $ 5,600 in profit.

There’s just one problem with that line of thinking. Okay, actually, there are a few, as many people with actual cryptocurrency mining knowhow pointed out on the twittersphere as soon as news of Kodak’s bitcoin mining machine hit the headlines.

Basically, bitcoin mining will not produce the same output month after month for 2 full years, even in the unlikely even that the price stays at $ 14,000 per bitcoin. According to bitcoin economist Saifedean Ammous, mining difficulty is increasing by about 15% per month, which means your total output after 24 months will be a lot less than the advertised $ 9,000+. But even if Kodak’s numbers were correct, there’s one other problem.

It seems the KashMiner that Kodak is so graciously offering to rent you for $ 1,700 per year is just a rebranded Bitmain Antminer S9, an industry standard bitcoin miner that you can buy outright for just $ 2,320—a full $ 1,080 less than Kodak’s 2-year rental fee.

The Bitmain Antminer S9

Kodak’s initial cryptocurrency and blockchain announcement on Monday seemed, if a bit strange, at least not entirely crazy.

Using the blockchain for copyright registration and tracking makes sense (and has been done before), and if Kodak wants to create its own cryptocurrency for photographers, it’s a risk the company is more than welcome to take. In fact, at first, it seemed like a risk that was well worth taking, as Kodak’s stock more than tripled on the news.

But this bitcoin mining rental scheme feels like something else entirely. If the bitcoin experts speaking out about this online are correct, either Kodak has no idea what it’s doing, or this is a full-blown bitcoin mining scam.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Bic Camera will soon accept Bitcoin at retail stores throughout Japan

13 Jul

Bic Camera, a major Japanese consumer electronics franchise, will soon begin accepting Bitcoin payments at its retail stores throughout Japan and at select Kojima shops, according to local publication Nikkei.

Support for the digital currency could be introduced in Bic Camera stores as early as this month, though select locations in Tokyo already accept the payment option. Since introducing that initial support back in April, the retailer saw immense popularity, prodding it to expand the support to all of its locations.

The cryptocurrency Bitcoin has become an increasingly popular way to buy goods, and though its support was largely relegated to the dark web in its early days, many companies have since added support. Back in 2014, for example, Dell announced that it would accept Bitcoin through its Dell.com website, and many companies have followed suit with similar announcements—including Microsoft, Newegg and more.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Rendering the Digital Physical: 10 Bitcoin Designs & Ideas

12 Apr

[ By WebUrbanist in Gaming & Computing & Technology. ]

bitcoin digital physical designs

The crypto-currency Bitcoin is all over social media, blogs and news sites. But beyond the volatility, speculation and noise there is a fascinating question being asked and answered: from coins to wallets, how does the world’s first widespread digital currency manifest in visual or physical form(top image by cybrbeast)

bitcoin 3d currency variants

The Bitcoin logo is a rather simple affair, borrowing much from traditional currencies (a partial strike-through) and clearly, most of all, the United States dollar. For some, though, seeing is not enough – for emotional and practical reasons alike, many want a physical analogue to their virtual wealth.

bitcoin physical round design

That baseline design, however, has spawned not only 3D renderings approximating solid coins, but actual physical coins themselves for fans of hand-held collectibles. The Casascius series have solid brass, electroplated gold and pure silver variants that ‘contain’ real Bitcoins (an address with a private key hidden below a removable hologram). Like Gold Eagles, the value of these on the secondary market has consistently stayed above the ‘spot’ price for the currency they contain.

bitcoin paper currency notes

And it does not end there. For security purposes, many people prefer to keep copies (in some cases: their only copies) of their virtual Bitcoin ‘wallet’ in offline form. For better or worse, this translates computer-centric risks (hacking and data corruption) back into more familiar ones (physical theft or loss). Designers on that front  have come up with a number of interesting options, from plasticized and paper ‘notes’ to self-printed wallets. In the decentralized, open-source spirit of Bitcoin, many designers (like Doctor 75R) give these designs out freely as well.

bitcoin printable folding wallet

Canton Becker lists off the advantages of his variant, shown above: “(1)Private key is hidden behind folds, so your wallet content is still safe if left out in the open or photographed. (2) Tamper-proof tape indicates when you (or someone else!) has revealed the private key. (3) Folding design obfuscates private keys so they’re hidden even when holding wallet up to a bright light. (4)Reverse side has basic wallet operation instructions and a register for writing down deposits / balance. (5) Private and public keys are replicated (and rotated) in triplicate to maximize chances of recovering keys if paper is damaged / crumpled.”

bitcoin physical ring designs

There is even a movement toward making Bitcoin secret (de)coder rings – like gold or silver ones, they can be stolen, but they also allow you to wear and keep your wealth (literally) close at hand. By engraving the private key on the inside of the band, there is no way to see it unless you (or someone) takes it off.

bitcoin wallpaper digital designs

And, of course, anything with sufficient fans warrants making wallpapers – here are a series of six available at full size on Flickr.

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[ By WebUrbanist in Gaming & Computing & Technology. ]

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