No internet, no problem. Venezuela gets bitcoin satellite node

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Venezuela deployed its first Bitcoin satellite node.

It allows for a node on the ground to receive Bitcoin transaction details from a Blockstream satellite without internet.

Venezuela has poor internet connectivity.

Venezuela has its first Bitcoin satellite node capable of processing transactions without an internet connection.

The Venezuelan “space node” was set up in the country by Anibal Garrido and the Anibal Cripto team. It uses technology from Blockstream, which contracts satellites—in this case, EUTELSAT-113 – to broadcast data between points via offline connections. That’s huge in a country where internet infrastructure is lacking.

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Remote weapons come of age

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During a military-related event on Aug 4, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro came close to being assassinated by a pair of drones. While Maduro escaped unscathed, the attack managed to injure seven soldiers. Various media outlets noted that this was the first known drone assassination attempt on a president. This development was however long in the offing.

The type of drone used in the Venezuelan attack was reportedly a DJI M600 model that can be ordered online for $5,000. Each drone allegedly carried 1 kg of C-4 plastic explosives which itself can be confected from online DIY tutorials – if one knew where and how to look for them.Imagine what would happen if a few C-4 laden drones crashed into an oil tanker truck at a congested traffic stop or an oil refinery itself?Or even a crowded children’s playground? A month since the assassination attempt on Maduro, terrorists in Syria’s Idlib province have begun using drones against Russian military bases in the region.

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Assassin drones are here. Now what?

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It was perhaps inevitable that would-be political assassins would turn to off-the-shelf drones.

Security forces check a nearby building after an explosion was heard while Maduro attended a ceremony in Caracas on August 4, 2018. Photo: JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images

A failed attack by explosives-laden drones on Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro could be a harbinger of a new era. Cheap, easy-to-use, remotely-piloted aerial vehicles aren’t just toys, anymore. They’re potential tools of assassination.

But don’t panic. This is not the first time assassins have adapted a new technology for nefarious ends. Politicians and their protectors have ways of coping.

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Venezuela’s own oil-backed cryptocurrency is available for presale today

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Venezuela launched the presale of its own cryptocurrency, the petro, today. There are currently 82 million tokens available, which the government plans to follow with an initial coin offering (ICO) launch in a month. It’s the world’s first sovereign cryptocurrency, built on the Ethereum blockchain and intended in part to save the country from wild inflation. The bolivar has reached quadruple-figure inflation recently, and one bolivar is currently worth 0.00004 USD.

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A satellite tour of the world’s biggest slums

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Kamagasaki, Japan. A slum in Nishinari-Ku one of 24 wards in Osaka, with a density of 30,000 people in every 2000 meter radius. Source: Androniki Christodoulou

Booming urban populations have seen poverty on the rise in some of the world’s biggest cities. Of the 3.49 billion people that now live in cities, 827.6 million are slum dwellers, according to a UN Habitat Report. Global slums can be vastly different in nature…

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Venezuela Passes New Law Drastically Limiting Internet Freedoms

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The new law bans any internet content that ‘promotes social unrest, challenges authority or condones crime’.

The Venezuelan parliament has passed a law that bans any internet content that “promotes social unrest, challenges authority or condones crime.” President Hugo Chavez’s ruling party pushed the law through in less than a week!

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