Myeloma is a blood born cancer which impacts the lives of many people, if managed effectively sufferers can enjoy an improved quality of life. Myeloma UK is a charity supporting patients and their families. Like all cancers when a friend or loved one is diagnosed, the shock and impact on them and those around them is horrendous. Fortunately survival rates for Myeloma are improving significantly and support services are also improving. Please considering giving a donation no matter how small or large to this worthwhile charity or indeed the other cancer charities listed below, or one of your choice in your own country.
Macmillan Cancer Support
Cancer Research UK
This blog has quite a good following so even if a small percentage of you give something (no matter how small) then you may make a big difference to the life of someone else. Also to clarify it is not me who has been diagnosed with cancer.
With currently 1 in 4 people dying of cancer and I am told as many as 1 in 2 in future, we really need to do something. I will try to put up links to similar organisations from the Greater Region in future.
I’ve been using Bitcoin.de for about a year now and I have to say the service is very good, in general no dodgy dealers and their own customer service is excellent. However, lately the exchange has become more or less useless if you live outside of Germany and don’t have a FIDOR bank account. FIDOR provide a so-called express trade service so that traders can trade instantly without having to place funds in escrow. This is an excellent idea but means that more and more people in Germany use that service. If however you live outside of Germany and FIDOR does not operate in your country then it means the number of potential traders is significantly reduced. This is not helped by many traders also requiring a German bank account, even if they do not bank with FIDOR. The net result is that the majority of trades are now in accessible. I hope Bitcoin.de provide other mechanisms or they will lose out on a large number of customers in other Euro countries.
Image (c) Nvidia. Shield K1 Tablet and Controller
The Shield K1 is a great tablet, not too expensive and with great graphics what’s more out of the box it works great. Yes I did use the word great a lot in the last sentence. However, there is one major flaw… if you update to Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) the battery will drain even when you are doing nothing. For example there was 71% battery usage against a task called “Miscellaneous”, this is basically the task used to describe the difference between the expected battery drain of the various apps and what has happened.
My plan was to use this tablet (due to it’s nice graphics chipset) for some augmented reality work but the current problem renders it more or less useless.
I had the tablet for barely 48 hours when I made this fatal error. When the tablet was not being used it drained from about 90% to 5% in five hours. You can find out more about the problems here. Nvidia are clearly aware of it but I am shocked that they would release an update like this without full testing! Such serious battery drain is something which could easily have been uncovered with proper internal quality control.
A full review will follow, but I would suggest Nvidia fix this soon or it may not be too positive.
The moral of the story- DO NOT UPDATE THIS TABLET !
Paymium unlike some rivals is not an over the counter exchange, i.e. you do not deal directly with other buyers and sellers but instead trade via the exchange. For example, if you have a Bitcoin the easiest way to sell it is for the current market price. You simply enter the quantity and click sell, then your sell request is matched against what others are prepared to pay and you receive the funds in your Paymium account. You can also issue a sell order where you set the price – in this case when another buyer matches or exceeds your price you sell your Bitcoins. Buying operates similarly but in the other direction of course.
Paymium has enough participants and hence liquidity to mean that provided you are trading at a fair price your trade will normally go through pretty quickly. However, in order to use the service you must upload real money to it. This in effect means you are depositing funds with them, so you need to trust them that they will not run off with your cash. So far (and I’ve been using it for months) I have had no problems. They also promise that all your cash is held in account in your name at a licenced payment organisation.
Fees are 0.59% for each party with a 99c fee charged for withdrawing any money to your bank account. There are also no fees for any incoming or outgoing Bitcoin transactions or for uploading funds – which compares favourably to other sites.
The site is simple and quick to use. As are are dealing via the market you also completely avoid the need to manually arrange payments to other users or to check for incoming payments yourself. The time taken to receive incoming Bitcoins has also improved significantly from when I first used the service.
The setup process was slower than for other websites, but this is entirely down to their security checking procedures for all new accounts. Their support was always quick and responsive to my requests.
Would I recommend Paymium? The answer is yes, its quick, simple and a whole lot easier for newcomers to get their head around than over the counter markets.
According to the BIS (Bank of International Settlements) in Switzerland global private and public debt levels are at there highest level since 2007, to put that in perspective in the Western World that equates to 265% of GDP. The developing economies stand at 167% and China on 235%. It should be noted that these are the kind of levels which normally preceed a major crisis – as was the case in 2008.
Skip forward to the next stage. The US Federal Reserve is threatening to increase interest rates this normally has the effect of causing the respective currency to increase in value if other countries do not raise their rates. The ECB for example has just announced more quantitative easing (although it appeared to partially pull back on that claim recently) which basically means that it will maintain low interest rates. For any EU companies this should mean cheaper exports to the US and more Euro per dollar for any cash they bring back from the US. A few catches though any Dollar imports will cost more and any debts denominated in Dollars will require more Euros to pay them off… So not entirely good news..
On a more positive note it does mean mortgages will remain cheap in the EU thus driving up the housing bubble which seems again causing issues in Ireland— do economists, governments and bankers never learn?
The only way round the problem of a falling Euro is for the ECB to raise rates which would depress credit, demand and the housing bubble and cause other issues.