Posts Tagged ‘Mining’

How To Get Bitcoins Without Mining

16 Jan

Why am I talking about Bitcoin here? Because everyone is? Not exactly. For one, you can now exchange bitcoin into dollars and that can buy some nice photo gear. If only there was a way to get bitcoin without spending thousands of dollars building a rig that sounds like an airport runway in your basement and destroys your electric bill. Continue Reading

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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 (

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Meitu: harmless selfie app du jour or data mining scheme?

21 Jan

Meitu is an Android and iOS app made by China-based developer Xiamen Meitu Technology Co., Ltd. The app adds cartoonish embellishments and facial feature distortion reminiscent of Japanese anime to selfies, and for some reason, became widely popular with Western users this week. Meitu is by no means new – it’s been around since 2008. But if you went to sleep last night blissfully unaware of its existence, chances are you saw someone’s Meitu selfie somewhere on the internet when you woke up.

Meitu brings a couple of things to the table. First, you can use the app as it’s intended and apply effects to your own selfies. Take a selfie, add a silly filter, post to Facebook and everyone has a good laugh about it. But Meitu’s effects can also be applied to other photos – cue much merriment and silliness on the internet. You can even keep feeding it the same image and re-applying filters until it no longer recognizes a human in the picture, which raises all sorts of existential questions.

But as quickly as it came into the spotlight, spoil sports put the brakes on when they looked closely at the app’s code. CNET published an article cautioning users against downloading the app, citing privacy concerns. Twitter user and self-described ‘security pessimist’ @FourOctets posted an alarming message that the app was sending each user’s unique phone identification number to a server in China. Jonathan Zdziarski, a security researcher, also tweeted some of his findings after combing through the iOS version of the app.

It all sounds pretty alarming, but Zdziarski doesn’t actually see anything particularly malicious about Meitu. Or at least, nothing unique.

Another Twitter user theorizes that the app’s maker is just complying with new Chinese laws.

So what do you think? Is Meitu nothing more than a data-mining scam? Or are you comforted by the fact that all of your other apps are spying on you anyway, so what’s the difference? Let us know in the comments.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

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Mind Mining: Subterranean Library Descends Into Darkness

02 Jul

[ By Steph in Art & Installation & Sound. ]

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A fragile layer of glass is all that prevents you from falling, Alice-in-Wonderland-style, into a tunnel of books that seems to descend deep below the surface of the earth, its bottom shrouded in darkness. Roughly the size of a mine shaft, this miniature subterranean library hides all of its titles from view, the spines of the books turned inward, making it all the more mysterious.

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Entitled ‘When My Father Died It Was Like a Whole Library Had Burned Down,’ the intriguing installation by Swedish artist Susanna Hesselberg has been dug into the sand on a Denmark beach for the biennial Sculpture by the Sea art festival. The name references a line in the song World Without End by pioneering experimental electronic musician Laurie Anderson. Hesselberg previously installed the piece as a tower of books rising into the air, rather than plummeting under the surface of the earth.

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We previously covered another entry into the show, ‘New Horizon,’ a wooden observation point that perfectly frames views of the sky and sea. Check out the rest of the 56 site-specific exhibits, including large-scale architectural sculptures on land and on the water, currently lining the coast of Aarhus, Denmark. Sculpture by the Sea is the nation’s largest outdoor sculpture exhibition, occurring every two years and featuring artists from two dozen countries.

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[ By Steph in Art & Installation & Sound. ]

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Rocky Ruins Reclaimed: 12 Mining Facilities Transformed

12 Feb

[ By Steph in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

reclaimed mines main

Abandoned subterranean pits once used to mine everything from gold to salt have been reclaimed as theme parks, restorative spas for asthmatics, data centers, cathedrals and even the world’s largest underground bike park. These 12 projects reclaim disused mines both above and below the surface of the earth, restoring communities devastated by strip mining and making smart use of the secure, insulating properties of subterranean spaces.

Mega-Cavern Bike Park, Kentucky

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A former limestone mine 100 feet below the surface of Louisville, Kentucky is now the world’s largest underground bike park at 320,000 square feet. The Mega Underground Bike Park maintains a steady temperature around 60 degrees year-round and features over 45 trails marked for different skills and styles.

Salt Mines to Subterranean Theme Park, Romania

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You’ll feel like you’re accessing another world altogether when you ride an elevator nearly 400 feet to the bottom of an old salt mine in Romania, exiting to take in strange architectural shapes set on black bodies of water, dotted with surreal LED lighting and surrounded by soaring cave walls. First excavated in the 17th century, the Turda Salt Mines feature a playground, ferris wheel, mini golf course, sports arena, amphitheater and bowling lanes in addition to views of the restored mining equipment and the cavern itself.

World’s Largest Underground Trampoline in a Slate Mine, Wales

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Children and adults alike bounce gleefully upon trampolines suspended from a Welsh slate quarry mining cavern twice the size of St. Paul’s Cathedral. ‘Bounce Below’ is the world’s largest underground trampoline, with a system of bouncy surfaces strung from the walls ascending between 20 and 180 feet from the cavern floor. Ten-foot net walls keep everyone from bouncing right out.

Limestone Mine to Data Center, Kansas City, Missouri

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The SubTropolis Technology Center in Kansas City, Missouri is a limestone mine converted to an underground data center, where the limestone walls act as insulation, absorb heat from the equipment and provide natural security. Making use of this existing space saved 3-6 months of construction work; the walls were left raw and very little above-ground architecture was required.

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Rocky Ruins Reclaimed Mining Facilities Transformed

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[ By Steph in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

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Minecraft PSAs – Mining

07 Oct

Bobkabob and VoiceActorMan go mining! ———- Subscribe to the Minecraft PSA series on YouTube: ———- Download original video here:
Video Rating: 4 / 5