By Brendan McGarry
Published February 20, 2014
The Smart System iP1. (ARMATIX)
The first so-called “smart gun” has hit the shelves at U.S. retail outlets, including one of the biggest firearms stores in California, according to the Washington Post.
The Smart System iP1, a .22-caliber pistol made by the German gun-maker Armatix GmbH, can only function with an accompanying wristwatch, which is sold separately.
When the RFID-equipped watch is activated by a PIN number and placed near the gun — like when a shooter grips the handle — it sends a signal to unlock the gun and a light on the back of the weapon turns green, according to the report. Otherwise, the firearm stays locked and the light on the back remains red, it stated.
The pistol sells for $1,399 and the watch retails for another $399 — more than double the cost of .40-caliber Glock handgun, according to the article.
The company is betting that demand for the technology will increase as consumers seek guns modified for safety.
Winkdex: the name sounds like an X-rated cleaning product. But that doesn’t mean the latest brainchild from the Winklevoss twins is a bad idea.
As the New York Times reported, the Winkdex (ugh!) launched on Wednesday, and offers Bitcoin watchers a new way to track the value of the currency, by blending the value of three top currency exchanges. It looks like this:
The website has the potential to be an important new pricing metric since the cost of a bitcoin has historically varied significantly between one exchange and the next. And while other sites, like Coinbase and Bitstamp, offer price trackers too, their charts are less detailed and transparent. The Winkdex price is based on a formula based on the highest exchanges by volume (Mt. Gox, recently the biggest exchange in the world, is excluded due to its recent troubles.)
The Winkdex, then, could help the virtual currency…
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Facebook (s fb) will acquire messaging company WhatsApp for $16 billion, according to an SEC filing Wednesday. The purchase price includes roughly $4 billion in cash and $12 billion in Facebook stock. An additional $3 billion in restricted stock could be paid out over four years to WhatsApp employees.
This is the largest acquisition the social media company has made to date, nearly 16 times as much as the company paid for Instagram in April 2012.
In a blog post, Facebook pointed to some numbers to help illustrate its decision to acquire WhatsApp. The app has 450 million active users, 70 percent of whom are active in a given day, and is adding over a million new registered users each day. And messaging volume within the app is approaching levels equal to SMS messaging globally. That level of adoption seems to be the clincher for Facebook, which…
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