Monthly Archives: November 2014

Bitcoin buzz bypasses shoppers


Since it’s inception five years ago, bitcoin hype has spread across the globe. “Bitcoin accepted here” stickers have popped up in restaurants and stores. It’s even made it to Twin Mountain Country Store, a convenience store and deli in a remote corner of New Hampshire. But customers aren’t exactly flocking to pay with the digital currency.

Twin Mountain’s owner Bill Bochynski said he only sees about two bitcoin transactions a month in the $20 range. He said he started accepting bitcoin because someone came into the shop and wanted to pay with it, so he did some reading and set up a digital wallet to accept it.

“The number of people who want to pay with bitcoin is in the onesies and twosies,” he said. “It’s extremely technical and geeky.”

Despite the buzz, relatively few shoppers use bitcoin when buying from retailers that accept it. At least for now, the…

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Price of crude oil falls to a fresh four-year low


Brent crude fell to a fresh four-year low on Friday, sending oil-related shares and currencies lower, after OPEC decided against cutting output despite a supply glut.

With markets in the United States due to reopen following Thursday’s holiday, futures on major U.S. stock indexes were around 0.2 percent lower.

Brent crude touched a low of $71.12 a barrel after settling at a four-year closing low on Thursday, when Saudi Arabia blocked calls from poorer members of the OPEC oil cartel to cut production to stem a slide in global prices.

Europe’s oil benchmark came off its lows to trade at $73.09, but remained on track to have lost more than 15 percent in November — its biggest monthly fall for six years. U.S. crude was last down 6.5 percent at $68.90.

The slump dominated Asian and European trade.

European oil and gas stocks dropped 3.7 percent, dragging the pan-European…

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Twitter’s next target could be Justin Bieber-backed selfie app


Twitter has held talks with Justin Bieber-backed selfie app Shots, a source told CNBC Tuesday.

The news comes on the heels of a public gaffe by Twitter [fortune-stock symbol=”TWTR”] CFO Anthony Noto. The executive accidentally tweeted publicly words that suggest the company is considering an acquisition, which led to speculations among tech insiders on what target Noto could be referencing.

Re/code listed prime targets on Tuesday, one of which was Shots, along with Mic News and Secret.
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Shots founder John Shahidi wouldn’t comment on the speculation, but said the company is “focused on building our product and growing our user base.”

Shots boasts that it is the safe social network and doesn’t allow comments or direct messages in order to avoid bullying or negative attacks.

The app has a user base of more than 3 million, about two-thirds of which are women under 24. Nearly 41% of…

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New life for Aaron Sorkin’s ‘Steve Jobs’


I don’t usually pay such close attention to Hollywood gossip, but covering Apple is my business, Walter Isaacson was my editor, and Aaron (TheWest Wing, The Social Network) Sorkin is my favorite screenwriter.

So ever since Sony Pictures bought the movie rights to Isaacson’s Steve Jobs and hired Sorkin to write the screenplay, I’ve been rooting for this project to succeed — to do justice to its mercurial subject where previous feature-length movies fell short.

Sorkin’s approach sounded interesting: Avoid the predictable biopic narrative and tell Jobs’ story in three dramatic acts, each built around a key product unveiling.

It’s been a bumpy ride. A change of directors. A couple false starts casting the lead. And then a whole new studio.

On Monday, less than a week after Sony dropped the picture, Universal Studios picked it up. According to the Hollywood Reporter, which broke the…

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