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To thwart counterfeiting, UK mint proposes new pound coin

Electronic transactions with credit and debit cards are commonplace, Square and others offer payments by e-mail, and Bitcoin fans are pushing even more radical changes to money. But the UK's Royal Mint believes there's still a place for innovation in that lowliest of financial instruments, the coin.

On Wednesday, the mint proposed a new 12-sided one-pound coin that it said would be "the most secure circulating coin in the world to date." The coin "utilizes multiple layers of cutting edge technology and would allow the United Kingdom to rapidly reduce the rate of counterfeit coins … Read more

Amazon Coins branch out to all Android devices

Amazon customers in the US, the UK, and Germany can now earn, buy, and spend Amazon Coins via their Android phones and tablets.

Previously available just for Kindle users, Amazon Coins were minted last year as another form of virtual currency but one good only on Amazon. The retail giant introduced the online coins as a way to coax customers to buy apps, games, and in-app items from the Amazon Appstore. Shoppers can get discounts when they buy the coins in bulk and earn coins through certain apps.

Android users who want to check out Amazon Coins need to download the latest version of the Amazon Appstore onto their mobile device. … Read more

New OS X trojan monitors Web activity to steal BitCoins

Security research site SecureMac has discovered a new trojan horse that is targeted for OS X systems, and which spies on internet traffic use to steal Bitcoins.

The trojan, called OS X/CoinThief.A, is disguised as a standard OS X application called StealthBit, which was recently uploaded to GitHub. While advertised as a legitimate project for receiving Bitcoin payments on Bitcoin Stealth Addresses (a key encryption routine for securing a bitcoin transfer), the StealthBit instead was a guise to install malicious tracker software on unsuspecting Mac users.

The project page on GitHub included source code along with precompiled binaries … Read more

The 404 1422: Where we quit the pick-up tip (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- No more swipe and sign credit cards starting October 2015.

- Related: Bank of America mails credit card offer to "Lisa Is a Slut McIntire."

- Agree It app: now you can be a payday lender to Facebook friends!… Read more

Review: Face on Coins Booth replaces the face of a coin with any image of your choice

Face on Coins Booth is a photo editing app that allows you to place your face or any other photo on the back or front of a mock coin. With numerous options for how the mock coin looks and how your image is filtered through and onto the coin, this is a great app that can be a lot of fun to play around with. While there are no paper money options in this version of the app (there is a separate iOS app for paper money), you can do quite a bit with just coins.

Once you install and … Read more

Amazon wants customers to gift Amazon Coins for games, apps

Amazon's app store customers can now buy Amazon Coins, the store's virtual currency, as gifts, the company announced Thursday.

When customers purchase a bundle of Amazon Coins as a gift, Amazon will notify the gift recipient through e-mail. The coins are normally priced at one cent per coin, but Amazon is adding a slight discount for bundles to encourage gifting. Bundles currently range from $4.80 for 500 coins to $90 for 10,000 coins. The promotion ends January 5.

It's a way for Amazon to use existing Appstore customers to attract new ones. The company recently … Read more

The 404 1,392: Where we're fuzzy on the science (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- 23andMe defies FDA order to halt DNA testing.

- My deadly disease was just a bug: A warning about 23andMe.

- How to get free medical advice using Bitcoins as payment.

- A theory put to the test: Do coat hangers sound as good as Monster Cables?… Read more

Coin to strengthen security of all-in-one credit card

The makers of Coin -- a device that can be programmed to act as a credit, debit, gift, and rewards card rolled into one -- were not expecting their .84mm-thin device to become a Silicon Valley sensation. Sure, their promotional video and Web site were well-produced, but the team of seven set its crowdfunding goal at a modest $50,000. The startup hit that goal in only 40 minutes. Meanwhile, its YouTube video has attracted more than 5.5 million views.

CEO Kanishk Parashar is keeping under wraps just how many devices Coin has sold since launching this past Thursday. … Read more

The 404 1,387: Where help is on the way (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Scene from Mrs. Doubtfire helps 7 year old save her mom's life.

- Crowdfunding political murder with Bitcoins on "The Assasination Market".

- This gadget reaches inside your brain to help you lucid dream.

- Vancouver's ban on the humble doorknob likely to be a trendsetter.

- Sony ekes little to no profit from PS4, says report.… Read more

Bank on Coin as all-in-one credit card? It could cost you

If Kickstarter is any reflection of the zeitgeist, one of the biggest problems plaguing humanity is an insufficient selection of wallets.

And judging by the projects building out those wallets, there's an unmet need for minimalist designs, those that hold a few bills or none at all and a small selection of plastic cards. Meanwhile, it seems you can't buy so much as a stick of gum from a local drug store without being prompted to present or acquire a loyalty or charge card.

Many see the smartphone or some connected convergent device using a standard such as … Read more