BitTorrent Sync Pro

I have been using BitTorrent Sync Pro for the past three months, using it to transfer my important files from my desktop to my laptop and phone.  I really enjoy using BitTorrent Sync Pro compared to other file syncing and cloud storage programs.  You can sync a lot more data than any other competitor, the only limit is how much hard drive space you have.   This is because your data is sent from one device to the next, it never touches a third-party server.  This is an advantages but at the same time a disadvantage.  The advantage being you never have to worry about someone else being able to get access to your data.  The disadvantage is that unless one of your devices is offsite, then you may be at risk for physical damage.  BitTorrent Sync Pro is also a lot faster than its competitors, I can add a file to the sync folder and it a few seconds later it will appear on my laptop.


BitTorrent Sync Pro is a great way to sync your files across your devices or sending data to friends and family.  It is not the most user-friendly of the solutions out there, compared to its competition.   Besides a spares GUI, and your data never residing on a third party server.  There are not many reasons not to buy BitTorrent Sync Pro.  For me, I am loving it and I hardly notice that it is a service provided to me I could easily believe it was built into Windows.

A Truecrypt vulnerability

For many users who love security, the shutdown of Truecrypt was a big surprise.  One of the major reasons that users of Truecrypt were so surprised  was because the developers left the users in the dark.  No one knew what happened, why they shutdown, all we were told was that it is no longer recommended to use Truecrypt by the developers.  The shutdown of Truecrypt occurred during a crowdfunded audit to make sure it is safe to use.  The audit did not find anything, but in more recent times a security issue has been discovered.  The issue that the audit missed was that anyone with a user account could get access to higher level privileges in the system.  This issue has been fixed in the forks of Truecrypt such as Veracrypt, so you are safe to all current knowledge if you use Veracrypt.


Could this be the reason that the Truecrypt developers decided to shut down the project?  There are countless rumors and ideas that are floating around the web, each one getting us no where.  But this recent discovery is another clue in why they shutdown.

 

 

21 Bitcoin’s Mining Computer

21 Inc has recently made a new Bitcoin computer that has multiple functions.  The 21 Bitcoin computer can mine Bitcoins, it can be a digital store on the web, pay people for sharing your links, rent out any internet of things hardware and buy and sell bitcoins.  The 21 computer has a lot of abilities thanks to the fact it has a full data center backend and a mining chip built on top of a raspberry pi.  Note that the bitcoin mining chip inside is quite small and will not make a lot of money for the user.  The idea for including a mining chip is that the user will spend micro payments on internet services.

The 21 Inc computer

 


As with every new Bitcoin technology, I am always excited to see how it develops and how it is used.  With this computer there are many possibilities, this computer helps spread Bitcoin and the power that comes with it.  These computers could be everywhere, a raspberry pi could be put in all sorts of things helping to grow the Bitcoin network or even fuel other internet of thing applications.  It would be very cool to see every major home appliance having a small Bitcoin computer like this inside of it, powering a decentralized network.

How to change your Protonmail theme

Step by Step

  1. Open your Protonmail account in your web browser, your Protonmail web-interface will appear
  2. Click “Settings” in your Protonmail web-interface
  3. Click the “Theme” button, by default a blank text field will appear
  4. Copy everything between BEGIN and END of the css code above, i.e. from this file cohibaSIGNUMws_min.css
  5. Paste the copied text into the blank text field
  6. Click the “Save” button below the text field

Currently there are two themes that I know of.  But I am sure that someone can create their own.

whitesands theme

A child theme of white sands 

Also there has been a pretty large update to Protonmail; for the release notes check out this page.

Denarium – Physical Bitcoins Review

Yesterday some Denarium physical Bitcoins came in the mail all the way from Finland.  One of my goals relating to Bitcoin was to obtain some “physical” Bitcoins, which I can now cross of my checklist.  Getting my hands on physical Bitcoins have been somewhat of a challenge.  Until very recently I only knew about one way to get physical Bitcoins, and even they were very hard to get.  At one point they were shut down because the U.S goverment considered them to be an unlicensed money transmitter.  Now it is very easy to get your hands on physical Bitcoins thanks to Prasos Oy, a Finnish company that also runs one of the largest Finnish exchanges.

The Coins

I really love the Denarium coins, the coins are very detailed.  What I like about the design is that it is that there is not too much detail but at the same time not a lot of space.  The coins are pretty light, they are made out of brass.  Brass was chosen because a major factor in the design of Denarium coins are the price.  There are two different coins, which you can buy loaded with Bitcoin or buy an empty coin.  The bigger coin, 1/10 and you can buy it for 38$ and comes with Bitcoins loaded inside.  The other size is 1/100 and you can buy it for 12$ and comes with Bitcoins inside.  If you don’t want to buy the coins with Bitcoins inside them, perhaps  you want to load them yourself ; have no fear you can.  The unloaded versions are cheaper than their loaded counterparts, better for someone who has their own coins already.  The price is very nice, they are not expensive and they look great.  I showed them to a few other people, and they asked me to get them one and because they are not super expensive I definitely will be ordering more.

 

How to access your funds

Step 1

Make your you have already activated yours coins, otherwise the Bitcoins will not be sent to your coins.

Step 2

Next step is to peel off the secure hologram from the back of the coin enter the private key into your wallet of choice.  I used Mycelium for ease of use (they are my wallet of choice).

Step 3

Once the private key is added to your wallet to can spend your money.  If you want to use your coin as a receive only wallet you can, just don’t remove the hologram/don’t lose the private key.

Room for improvement

Not much needs to be said here.  The plastic case holding the coins arrived damaged, no big deal to me but others may care about that (I am assuming it happened in shipping, they did come from Finland after all).  I would love to see a larger variety of physical coins, different sizes and different weights (I like heavier coins for some reason).  Another feature I would like to see, which is tough to think about is a hologram that does not cause the back of the coin to “look” bad.  I know this is a security feature and it worked as it was designed but after removing the hologram one side has residue from the coin left over.

My thoughts

Denarium coins are awesome, I will be ordering more in the future.  It is easy to load the coins with Bitcoin and easy to take them off.  They make a great gift as they don’t cost a  lot yet don’t feel cheap.  Thanks Denarium for sending me these two coins, I’m happy that its easy to buy coins.  Before I never even bothered to purchase physical Bitcoins because they were hard to get your hands on (or at least that’s what I thought).  Another great Bitcoin product to add to my slowly but ever-growing collection.

 

Bitnet

As cool as Bitcoin is, the majority of the population don’t use it for multiple reasons.  As time goes by, more and more services come out that make the Bitcoin ecosystem a better place.  One such example is Bitnet, a tool that makes accepting Bitcoin easier for merchants. Bitnet allows merchants to instantly accept a transaction without waiting for the transaction to be confirmed across the network.  One could say that the confirmation delay is a negative to using Bitcoin, but people can’t use that as an excuse to not use Bitcoin because now there is no wait time.  To make sure that the transaction will really happen, Bitnet analyses the transaction to make sure it is real.  And to furthermore protect the merchants, if a transaction never gets sent to the merchant, Bitnet will pay the merchant.


I wish I had my own small business so I could accept Bitcoin and take advantage of all sorts of awesome services and tech that are now available. Bitnet makes accepting Bitcoin for merchants a lot easier, without having to wait the network to confirm a transaction; merchants can sleep safe knowing that they were not ripped off.


Update: Now Bitnet has been acquired by Uphold.

Whiteout Update

A while back I wrote an article about Whiteout mail, a secure end to end email service that uses pgp to keep your messages secure.  When I wrote about Whiteout, they were in a closed beta test.  Now they are open anyone, go to their website to register.  They are also running a Kickstarter funding project to help them finish their project.  The funds from the Kickstarter project will be used to tidy up the project and further develop the project.  I really liked using the Whiteout app, I did not have to create a new account, I just logged into my Gmail account through their app.  With Whiteout you can use your normal email with extra security that is incredibly strong.  I love all security related projects and love seeing what people create to solve problems in the world.  One of the biggest problems in today’s world is insecure communications, and Whiteout does a great job of solving that issue.  Unfortunately their first attempt at running a crowdfunding project did not succeed hopefully it can a second time around.

My new Bitcoin Project

So I am going off to college this year and thought it would be really cool and fun to get Bitcoin going in the town that I am going to school in (Burlington Vermont).  My first goal is to get the government of Vermont to allow a Bitcoin atm in Burlington.  There was an earlier attempt to get a Bitcoin atm, but unfortunately the government of Vermont put an end to it.  I was told that they were worried about taxes being paid, so getting the government to allow Bitcoin atms should be one of the first goals.  Eventually if that obstacle is overcome I plan on reaching out to local businesses and explain to them the benefits of Bitcoin (which they hopefully decide to use).  Then a Bitcoin atm could be installed in a business to make Bitcoin a more accessible service.  This is my current plan, for one of my college projects.