4 Reasons Why Bitcoin Didn’t Die In January

In the first days of January the Bitcoin community experienced the painful departure of one of it’s core developers. This small community has been creating the code and systems that the rest of us rely on for our transactions. In his blog post explaining his thoughts, Mike Hearn suggested that Bitcoin has now failed.

His departure, combined with the announcement of problems at one of Bitcoin’s exchanges, lead to a sudden drop in price and considerable volatility for the rest of the month. Some of December 2015’s bullish price predictions have been made to look a little silly in the short-term, but given the extreme nature of BTC price movements, anything could be possible for this year.

Given a year or more for us to see the outcome of Hearn’s departure, he may eventually be proved correct. Who can say whether his exit will galvanise the community to solve the problems he highlights, or divide it further? In the meantime, there has been significant progress and 2016 is set for more positive developments. Below are four reasons why 2016 ought to be a great year for the coin and it’s investors.

The Economics Of Bitcoin Are Changing Forever

Perhaps the most important reason to be bullish in 2016 relates to the coming halving. Bitcoin’s algorithm is designed to gradually reduce the number of new coins that will be made available until a total of 21 million have been created.

Coins are created when complex math problems are solved. The solving of these problems, requires very significant processing power in what is known as “mining”. Each problem represents a new round of verified transactions on the blockchain.

Initially, the total number of coins created as the reward was 50, but four years ago that number was cut to 25. This summer it will be halved once again. The impact of this halving will be to limit the creation of new coins even further just as total transaction volumes seem to really be growing. The impact on supply is very likely to see the price pushed upwards.

The Economics Of China Are Changing

It isn’t well known, but China plays a huge role in Bitcoin.

The first reason for this relates to mining. As with many consumer electronics, manufacturing happens in China. However, the Chinese realised that when it came to building technology to mine BTC, they were better off not selling it to buyers in America and Europe. Instead, it has become very hard to obtain the latest mining technology and most of the largest mining operations are located in mainland China. While the operators will need to sell coins to pay their wages, rent and energy bills every month, it is very likely that they are also storing lots of coins away for the future.

Additionally, there are many people in China that are using bitcoins to protect their wealth. There have been a number of price spikes that correspond very closely with negative movements on the Chinese stock market or the yuan.

As the year has opened and global markets have tumbled, lead by China, it would be easy to predict that more uncertainty will lead to more buying in one of the few currencies that normal Chinese people can access.

The Economics Of Bitcoin Use Are Changing

Any substance or commodity with a finite supply will at some point be ruled by the laws of supply and demand. 2016 will see supply limited further, however, 2015 was a year that saw demand and the use of bitcoin rise substantially.

It would be silly to tell you that mass adoption is here, because it isn’t. But, as the months and years pass, adoption continues to grow consistently. The end of 2015 saw total transaction volumes rise week after to week to new highs. There is clearly much more demand than ever before and it is easier to buy, invest, spend and hold bitcoin than ever before.

If this trend continues, then it is very likely that the world will get to a place where there is a permanent supply crunch in BTC. If you are a holder of the stuff, this will be music to your ears. If you are not yet an owner, now might be a good time to ask yourself why not…

Needless to say there are reasons why this is happening. The prime reason for greater use would seem to be that it is now much easier than ever before to get started. Coinbase, perhaps the closest thing Bitcoin has to a central bank, is now so easy to use that total beginners can get started and not even need to know what cryptography is. Just a couple of years ago, securing your coins needed a very technical understanding – now you can just transfer your coins into the Coinbase Vault. It takes seconds!

This is important because the subjects surrounding Bitcoin – macro economics, web development, cryptography and algorithms – are not easy for a lay person to understand. If Bitcoin is going to become mainstream then normal people that do not understand these things need to be able to buy, sell and invest safely too.

The Reputation Of Bitcoin Is Changing

A few years ago if you read about Bitcoin in the news, it was almost certainly part of a story about crime, drugs, the Silk Road and criminals. Bitcoin is semi-anonymous and this online layer of protection enabled illicit trade to flourish on sites that operated like eBay for criminals.

Since then, the Silk Road has been closed, it’s founder sentenced to life in prison and no other marketplace has been able to successfully step into the void. On top of that, the reality is that transactions using Bitcoin can be traced if you have certain parts of the transaction history. Infiltrating and taking down the Silk Road has provided reams of data that law enforcement is now slowly using to round up the people that were selling drugs, guns and whatever else.

As many of the negative connotations are being removed, they are being replaced by more positive developments elsewhere. For example, it is widely known that the Bank of England is looking into ways to use either or both of the blockchain or Bitcoin. Many other banks, fearful of the disruptive power of this technology are researching ways to harness it themselves. From the Silk Road to the Bank of England is quite a journey in just a few years.

Clearly, while the risk of Bitcoin failing may have just risen by a notch or two, there is enough happening to presume that there ought to still be many good days ahead for the primary digital currency. Continue reading

How To Be A Celebrity Makeup Artist & What School To Go To

 

makeup artist applying makeup to a model

For some makeup artists the main reason they go to makeup artist school for their makeup education is so that they will eventually get to do makeup for celebrities and stars. That’s the dream anyway – hobnobbing with the “in-crowd” and the latest “it” girl. But is it really all that it is cracked up to be? Let’s find out.

Mario Dedivanovic has recently been in the news as Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist. He is, however, in demand by many A-list celebs including Jennifer Lopez and Katy Perry. So how did he get to be so sought-after?

On Mario’s website, his bio states that he became a makeup artist almost by accident! As he was working in the beauty industry as a fragrance consultant he was mistaken for a makeup professional. Though he had little training with makeup at the time and hadn’t been to makeup school he went along with it and gave advice the best could. After finding he had a knack for makeup — as well as a passion for it — he began assisting more experienced artists and did so for six years until he felt ready to start on his own. So, unlike many who start with a solid education with plenty of makeup classes and mentoring in a school setting, he opted for what could best be described as a makeup apprenticeship.

He also advises totally immersing yourself in information about the industry. Research what has happened in the past/the history of the field so that you can know how things got to be the way they are. What are the products you will be working with? Learn about them inside out and back to front.

What else? Persistence. Mario didn’t have anything his success handed to him on a silver platter. He states that he had many rejections over many years but didn’t give up because of his enthusiasm and love for his work. Learning through adversity, and persistence are key to anyone’s success in any endeavour including the beauty industry. So the answer to the question “Which makeup artist school should I go to?” could be answered by saying that what is most important is not the school but the effort and enthusiasm with which you approach your studies.

So is it all it is cracked up to be? It seems Mario’s answer is a resounding “yes”! Who wouldn’t want to be a highly recognized professional in one’s chosen vocation with the admiration of peers and clients? If you are doing what you love and getting recognition and making a very good living at it all at the same time then you have no reason not be on top of the world at least when it comes to your professional life.

So, in summary, in the world of makeup artistry, you’ll gain success and recognition by celebrities and others with a mixture of hard work, passion, persistence and, in the end, a little luck. But how does the old saying go? “I’m a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have.”

Saving Your iPhone From Water Damage

The Day my iPhone Decided To Try Out Swimming in a Puddle

Saving Unlocked iPhone from Water Damage

Image Credit: www.iphonesource.ru

I have learned a lot in life, yet somehow, life just doesn’t seem to want to stop giving me lessons to learn.

The latest stunt I had to overcome is when I accidentally dropped by recently unlocked iPhone in a puddle of mud. I spent so much research time in finding a website ran by perfect people that can successfully unlock an iPhone, and yet, there it was, swimming in a puddle.

As this event proves, it is not only our homes that are prone to water damage.

If you find yourself in a situation like I did, then you can follow these steps that might just save your iPhone, as it saved mine.

Saving Your iPhone from Water Damage

Every second counts, and the first thing you have to QUICKLY do is remove your iPhone from the water source. I cannot stress enough how QUICKLY means QUICKLY in this scenario.

Once you have your phone, you must turn it off immediately. Just hold down the power button for the longest time you’ve ever done in your entire iPhone experience, and hope and wait that it shuts off despite water exposure.

remove everything you can remove – casing, screen protectors, and another thing that might add to trapping water inside the iPhone. Of course, remove accessories as well and unplug it from any cable like headsets, usb, and powerbanks.

Wipe off any visible water you see on the phone. Use your shirt, socks, towel, or whatever is available to use to dry off the iPhone. Wipe the entire thing, form the screen to the sides and the back, the power button, menu button, card slots, volume buttons, microphones and speakers, audio jack and everywhere else possible.

If by any chance there is available Q-tip, then use it to clean out the water from smaller areas like the audio jacks. If no Q-tip is available, be creative. Use pen tips and wrap them in a small fiber or cotton and try to reach those small crevices.

Now, when you have gotten rid of as much water as you can, prepare some rice and put it inside a ziplock bag, or any airtight bag. Any type of rice will do, just don’t choose “enriched” rice because the “enriching” substance might just replace the water and be the one to reside your iPhone. Of course, enriched rice still works, but knowing that this will leave white residues on your screen, in the audio jack, and wherever possible it would be to squeeze in, then why choose it, right?

Saving Unlocked iPhone From Water Damage

Image Credit: www.techiemum.com

You will have to place the iPhone inside the rice-filled airtight bag, and wait for at least 36 hours before you can take the iPhone out and try if you were quick enough to save it from completely getting damaged by water. If you have the patience for it, and if you think that the water damage was really big, then you can extend your waiting time to 48 hours. This will make more certain that all the water inside the iPhone has been absorbed by rice.

Money Saving Hacks For Just About Anyone

Subtle tips for saving small fortunes

Everyone knows how to spend less by cutting down on essentials. Eating less food, buying cheaper/fewer clothes, taking less vacations – these techniques are effective but they are also not painless. The real trick is to save money while maintaining a complete, fulfilling lifestyle – and you’d be surprised how easy it is do so – the means are literally hiding in plain sight:

Sleep well, stay healthy

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The simplest way to stay healthy is to get good sleep and the key to that is having a comfortable bed – even if you can’t afford a high end, luxurious mattress, you can pick a mattress topper that will provide a comparable level of comfort at a fraction of the cost! When you’re healthy, you don’t have to worry about medical expenses and you can better focus on your career which ultimately translates into better income and thus better savings.

Re-evaluate auto insurance

Each year, you should reassess your vehicle insurance policy for any opportunities to save money. For instance, you might want to consider raising your deductible to lower the premiums. If you own an older vehicle, consider whether you really need collision coverage or not – this covers damage done to your vehicle when it hits another car or gets hit by another car or object. Also, be sure to compare auto insurance quotes annually – this can be done in a matter of minutes through a quick search on the internet.

Work on your credit score

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Among all the ways to painlessly save money, enhancing your credit score is perhaps the most significant. From car and home loans to auto insurance and credit cards, a good credit score can help you save a small fortune. Over your life, the savings can easily amount to tens of thousands of dollars!

Make low cost investments

If you’re a mutual fund investor, go for funds which have low expense ratios. A staple rule is to keep the weighted average expense ratio for each mutual fund below 50 basis points i.e. 0.5%. When you compare this with funds that charge considerably greater than 1% in fees per year, you’ll be saving quite a bit through your thrifty investments.

Go for a triple play package

One of your largest monthly expenses may well be the cost of phone, cable and Internet service. Fortunately, the major service providers have discounts if you buy a bundle subscription for all three services. Known as a triple play, not only will this save you money, it will also be easier to pay one combined bill instead of three separate ones. Find more info on how to save your money here.

Use a prepaid cell phone

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Even though this might not suit everyone, it does help many people save up a small fortune. Prepaid cell phone plans that charge as low as $0.10 a minute are easily available. And since they are prepaid, you don’t have to bind yourself to a long term contract.

Shop online

Several retailers have special discounts for online shoppers. And almost all companies market their services and products online through discounts, coupons or promo codes. For example, iHerb is a California based retailer of natural supplements that provides hefty discounts to its customers if they buy in bulk.

There are numerous other ways to save some extra cash without compromising your lifestyle, all you need to do is identify them and take advantage.

Georgia’s New Cocaine Problem

Georgia’s New Cocaine Problem

 

The drug problem is nothing new to Georgians, we have been through the worst of it, at least we thought. Local news seems to have put more focus on the recent boom in drug related crimes. It may not be just for ratings and selling ad space. In the past 6 months we have seen a dramatic upswing. Most petty crimes and convictions, the difference this time is that almost every offender is under the influence or possession of narcotics.

Once known as an the “elite” drug of choice, Cocaine seems to play a major role in the recent burst of crimes. Its elite status has morphed into the major force behind low level criminal activity.

An example would be the recent traffic stop that lead to arrest. During a regular traffic check, deputies in Calhoun conducted a the routine background check to find, Kendall Donta was under warranty and in possession of Cocaine. He was taken in without incident and charged with trafficking.

Cocaine distribution is a family affair. In one case, a 6 month long investigation not only lead to changes for the perpetrator but also the arrest of his mother. Milo Mumford was under intense investigation for quite some time. Under suspicion of cocaine trafficking and weapon possession. The authorities were able to seize drugs, guns, cash and Renae Mumford, Milo’s mother. Milo managed to evade police and is still on the run.

 

Is this a Potential Cocaine Epidemic?

 

It’s not the scale of the crimes that’s frightening, it’s their rate of growth. Cocaine is one of the most addictive drugs out and it can easily be converted to Crack. Crack is know to be 10x more addictive and cheaper. Most Cocaine addicts turn to crack as an easy to get alternative.

So how can we slow down or stop the rise in addiction? By raising drug awareness and creating available rehab programs. There once was a time when crack was not just a local problem, it affected the entire American continent. This problem arose after the cocaine boom had peaked.

At that transition, cocaine addict became crack addicts and petty crimes became violent. This was all happened under the noses of the authorities and DEA. While they were distracted with cocaine trafficking, crack was born and spread like wildfire. The only lesson we have learned from the “war on drugs” is that education and rehabilitation works better than arrests.

By raising awareness in public schools, young children learned the dangers of addiction. They knew what drugs were, how to avoid them and to identify the signs of addiction. Rehabs worked better than jail, one of the biggest surprises was the amount of addicts that turn themselves into rehab centers. Once a safe and free center was opened addicts decided to find Cocaine detox methods and centers on their own.

 

Let’s learn from the past and snip this in the butt. Don’t wait for this drug problem to get out of hand. Voice your opinion and let’s do something about this today!

UGA FOOTBALL: Corey Shiflett working like a Dawg

The Latest Local News from the Rome News

In Athens, not every star is featured on the football field.

Some are only found behind the scenes, making sure everything goes smoothly once Saturday rolls around. Some are even students, working their way through college all in the name of a constantly moving sports organization.

And few embody this unheralded spirit like Pepperell alum Corey Shiflett, senior member of the UGA equipment staff.

“It’s always good to feel a part of something, and I definitely feel a part of this team,” Shiflett said. “Being able to travel, go to bowl games. There are so many benefits where I work. The environment definitely makes sure we feel a part of the team.”

Shiflett, a three-year letterman at Georgia and son of former Pepperell head coach Jeff Shiflett, has been a part of the equipment staff for four years and is seen as a leader among those he works with.

He is responsible for personal equipment needs for the Bulldogs’ outside linebackers and is in charge of game balls on game day.

According to his father, Corey’s progression between the hedges is just an example of who he is. Corey was valedictorian at Pepperell and played for his father for four seasons, including multiple trips to the state playoffs.

Once Corey was accepted to Georgia, Jeff talked to some of the Bulldogs’ coaches he knew through recruiting and got an interview for Corey with the equipment staff. He was quickly hired and has been a part of the staff since.

Jeff was proud of the opportunity his son has received and was confident from the start Corey would succeed.

“I would love to take responsibility for Corey’s work ethic as a parent, but he’s always been like that,” Jeff said. “Since the time he was born, he has always tried to do many things the right way. He has always tried to do his best.”

Once he joined the staff, Corey was guided by his boss and Georgia’s director of athletic equipment, John Meshand. Meshand formerly worked as a student manager himself in the 1990s, slowly working his way to his current title.

Corey said Meshand taught him the specifics that go into working for the equipment staff, like knowing who wears what jersey size, when they need them and staying organized with a large inventory.

From the other side, Meshand has seen a student who has grown significantly in both his work ethic and leadership among the student staff members. In a role similar to the one his father once owned, Corey is a guiding force for a group of young people in the football program

In particular, Meshand can remember a few instances where the rest of the equipment staff seemed lost without Corey.

“A couple of days ago, I needed some stuff delivered to the team and Corey was in class,” Meshand said. “I looked at the guys and they almost looked lost. I finally had to say, ‘Look, Shiflett isn’t here, but you can still get this done.’ That’s the sort of impact Corey has.”

Corey has lived and died with the highs and lows of the Georgia football program, whether it was the tragic ending of the 2012 SEC Championship or the triumph of a 2013 victory against LSU. And through all the places he’s gone, he’s met individuals who may help him with whatever career path he chooses. But most of all, Corey has learned that being part of a football program is more than just being on the field.

“I know now that football is really no longer just a sport, and people going out there playing,” Shiflett said. “It’s really an organization. It’s a lot of moving parts with everyone making sure they’re on the right page. And it’s all about just being the best you can be.”

Source: Rome News

BERRY VOLLEYBALL: Berry women shut down Millsaps

The Latest Local News from the Rome News

Led by senior Katie O’Rourke’s 12 kills, the Berry College volleyball team defeated Millsaps College, 3-0, on Saturday afternoon. Set scores were 25-16, 25-13 and 25-15.

The win was the sixth straight for the Vikes, improving them to 19-5 overall and 10-3 in the Southern Athletic Association. The loss dropped the Majors to 12-12 and 6-7.

O’Rourke led the offensive attack as she hit .579 and added six blocks in the match. Micayla Bedoian added 10 kills in the victory.

Jessica Gum hit .800 for Berry and added eight kills.

Source: Rome News

SHORTER VOLLEYBALL: Lady Hawks fall to North Alabama, 3-2

The Latest Local News from the Rome News

The Shorter volleyball team fell to North Alabama, 3-2, Saturday afternoon.

Shorter slips to 11-8 on the year and 9-4 in conference play, while the Lions improve to 19-6 overall and 12-2 in the GSC.

Shorter took the first set with a commanding performance to take a 1-0 lead in the match, jumping out to a 10-1 lead and forcing UNA to use both of its timeouts early. The Lady Hawks looked poised to avenge their 3-0 setback from early in the season.

Shorter won the first set, 25-16, but the Lions answered in the second set with a 25-20 win only to have the Lady Hawks take the third set 25-17.

UNA answered, winning the fourth set 25-20 to tie the match at two. The Lions earned the win with a 15-9 victory in the final set.

Source: Rome News

SHORTER RUNNING: Hawks take 5th, Lady Hawks finish 7th

The Latest Local News from the Rome News

The Hawks posted a fifth place finish overall; while the Lady Hawks placed seventh as a team at the Gulf South Conference Cross Country Championship Saturday morning in Danville, Alabama.

Individually, Shorter’s Alfred Chelenga turned in a new GSC Championship record en route to the men’s individual championship.

On the women’s side, Shorter saw two runners finish in the top four as Leah Sikorski and Emily Buwalda finished third and fourth, respectively. Sikorski crossed the line in a time of 18:22.01; Buwalda wasn’t far behind clocking a time of 18:34.10 for the 5K race.

Nyasiah Mrcado was next for the Lady Hawks with a 46th-place finish in a time of 20:47.50, and was followed by Heather Ortiz in 21:46.50 for 61st overall. Mary Emily Corbin finished with a time of 22:01.01 for 65th.

Source: Rome News

BERRY SWIMMING: Berry splits against Centre

The Latest Local News from the Rome News

The Berry College swimming and diving teams took on Centre College on Saturday. The Vikings won on the men’s side and suffered a close defeat on the women’s side.

On the women’s side, Centre prevailed 171-120. The Viking men came out on top with a score of 162 points to Centre’s 120.

The meet began with two Centre College relay wins for both their men and women in the 400-yard Medley relays and two individual wins for Centre in the 1,000-yard Frees.

“That was an immediate wake up call for us to get our athletes in check,” said assistant coach Catie Schmitz.

Source: Rome News