Six weeks ago, it looked like Bitcoin's latest boom might be coming to an end. The virtual currency had been worth almost $5,000 in early September, but then Chinese regulators announced a harsh crackdown on China's Bitcoin economy. On September 15, Bitcoin's price reached a low of $3,000.
But then the currency bounced back, and it has been on a tear ever since. Last night the price of one bitcoin soared about $7,000 for the first time—that's a ten-fold increase over the last year.
It's never easy to pinpoint exactly what's driving market optimism about Bitcoin, and this case is no exception. A major factor in Bitcoin's growing value over the last year has been the broader popularity of initial coin offerings—sales of new Bitcoin-like cryptocurrencies. Because it's not easy to set up an exchange for trading a new currency for dollars, most ICOs are conducted using bitcoins or Ethereum's ether as an intermediary—customers buy those currencies first and then trade them in for the new token.
I used to take bitcoin for some of my kits, and had 6 of them at one point. I liquidated them after they hit $250-500 and it looked like $500 was where it was going to stabilize. Wow Do I wish I had kept onto a few of them.
Volatile commodities can go both ways. If you had a time machine, then you could have made some money keeping them. But in the absence of future knowledge, you made the smart move. Out of curiosity, what kind of kits do you make?
Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.arstechnica.com.
This War of Mine is a giant punch to the gut. Inspired by the war in Sarajevo, the concept here tilts the notion of a "war game" on its head, presenting war not as explosions and bullets but as hunger and pneumonia. The game sets out to create a gritty experience, one of discomfort and anguish, and the good news (or the bad news, depending on your perspective) is that the challenging moral dilemmas are as compelling in the cardboard version as they were in the critically acclaimed 2014 video game.
Long is the day
This War of Mine is a cooperative experience of shared narrative. Players coordinate actions among a group of war-weary survivors holed up in a dilapidated multi-story ruin. Your people are starving, bruised, and emotionally broken, but you still need wood and pieces of machinery. During the day phase, you'll move miniatures about the house and assign them to tasks. Perhaps you'll expend a great deal of energy to dig up the bricks and mortar blocking the passage upstairs. Maybe you'll search through the broken furniture in what was once a living room.
Waymo announced on Thursday that it is bringing its Chrysler Pacifica minivans to the Detroit area to test how the company's technology performs in the region's harsh winters.
"Our ultimate goal is for our fully self-driving cars to operate safely and smoothly in all kinds of environments," Waymo CEO John Krafcik writes.
Krafcik says that Waymo has been doing cold-weather tests since 2012. But so far Waymo has done most of its testing in sunny places like Mountain View, Calif.; Phoenix, and Austin, Tex. where snow is rare. Waymo believes it has largely mastered driving in sunny climates and is preparing to launch a commercial service in the sun-drenched Phoenix area.
I'd love to see how poorly they do here in Boston. I've driven all over the country, and Boston is by far the worst city I've driven in. Mostly it's the aggressiveness of the drivers during rush hour, so the self driving cars would be stopped while a dozen humans cut them off. The snow and road conditions can be horrific as well, with huge chunks of road opened up by plows, leaving tire destroying holes in their wake. Boston is going to be the boss fight for them.
While electric wheelchairs are a vital tool for those with restricted mobility, they typically cost around $2,500, an amount that’s not the most affordable. To address this problem, a group of students from Aviv High School in Israel have come up with a low-cost, 3D-printed motor conversion kit that connects to a standard push-chair without any permanent modification or damage.
The system uses a pair of motors to steer like a tank, and features a joystick and Arduino Uno for control. Another interesting feature is shown later in the video below, when it’s folded up for storage with the motor kit still attached.
I really like this project, and I think it could address a cost related issue for many folks. The cost of the kit could be easily halved with a few simplifications of the design and even a little bit of scaling (and the price drops associated).