Congressman: If we ban Bitcoin, let's ban dollar bills too

It's in the best interest for the US to put a ban on dollar bills, US Congressman Jared Polis wrote in a letter to federal regulators on Wednesday. This anonymous currency is unregulated, susceptible to instability, illicit activity, and forgery, he said.

Granted, Polis (D-Colo.) was being tongue-in-cheek, but his letter brought up relevant issues in regards to the backlash against Bitcoin, which has seen a major fall from grace over the past few weeks.

Last month, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) called for an outright ban of Bitcoin in a letter sent to the Treasury Department and other … Read more

Monitor money from Android

Trying to stick within your budget is no easy task when you're guessing at your balance.'s free personal finance service and companion mobile apps change that.

After giving access to your bank, credit card, and investment accounts, the password-protected app can monitor your accounts, your budget, and even your cash flow. The app presents your money matters in summary form, with the capability to drill down to the item level of a purchase. Follow the trail to the end to edit an item's transaction details or jot down notes or tags. … Read more

The 404 1,025: Where hey, you gonna finish that dime? (podcast)

Be extra careful on the Internet if you live in Arizona, the local legislators may soon make it a Class 3 felony to be a "troll."

House Bill 2549 has already made its way through both houses and is waiting for the signature of Governor Jan Brewer. If passed, a minimum sentence of 2.5 years will be handed down to non-dangerous offenders that use any electronic device in a lews or lascivious act." Head over to Governor Brewer's Facebook page and send a message of protest!… Read more

Five great iOS games on sale for $1 each

Lots of great iOS games routinely sell for 99 cents, but some of the higher-profile titles run as high as $4.99, $6.99, and even $9.99.

Today, I've rounded up five really good games that typically have high price tags, but are currently on sale for just a buck. I'm not sure how long these price cuts will last, so if an app catches your eye, grab it pronto!

All these games are available in the App Store, natch. Where possible, the links below lead to related posts so you can "read all about it" before plunking down your dollar.… Read more

T-Mobile to sell service at Family Dollar stores

T-Mobile USA said today that it will begin selling its a prepaid phone and service through discount retailer Family Dollar as the carrier continues to move deeper into the prepaid business.

Family Dollar, which has 6,000 locations, is the next retail chain to announce a partnership with T-Mobile following 7-Eleven. Both are meant to serve as a replacement for RadioShack, which plans to stop selling T-Mobile service and switch to Verizon Wireless next month.

The demographics of the typical 7-Eleven and Family Dollar customer suggest the company is going after the low-end prepaid market, competing against the likes of … Read more

Google contest winner shows where our taxes go

With the deadline to pay our taxes ticking away, many of us wonder just how and where Uncle Sam spends our hard-earned dough. The winner of a recent Google contest reveals the answer.

In February, Google launched a contest designed to shed some light into the U.S. government's often perplexing spending habits. Dubbed the Data Viz challenge, the contest asked developers to create online applications that could show us visually where our income tax dollars are spent.

After receiving more than 40 entries, the Google jury has crowned its $5,000 Grand Prize winner. Created by developer Anil … Read more

Hulu backer/Apple antagonist Zucker leaving NBC

Jeff Zucker, chief of NBC Universal and the man who helped start video portal Hulu, will leave the company once Comcast's pending acquisition of NBC Universal receives government approval, according a company internal document obtained by CNET.

Zucker's departure is worth noting because of his often hard-line stand towards negotiations with technology companies, most notably Apple. On Thursday, at the Goldman Sachs investor conference, Zucker was skeptical of whether Apple's plan to offer 99-cent video rentals on TV shows was right for his company.

"We do not think 99 cents is the right price point for … Read more

Quick money converter

Euro Calculator is a fast currency calculator that doesn't really separate itself from the myriad free online calculators. The program does its job well, but we were left wondering why users should choose it.

The program's interface will be fairly familiar to anyone who's used a computer calculator before. The program is organized the same, but with two data lines. Changing currencies takes a little experimentation or a brief trip to the Help file, but not too much work. Users simply input an amount of euros in the main data line or enter a math equation, then … Read more

Sound vs. picture: What's a better investment?

A good friend of mine is still fuming over picking HD-DVD over Blu-ray. He's held the grudge so long he just recently dumped the player and even some of the discs and bought a Blu-ray player.

I know another guy who's steamed that his $2,000 6-year-old receiver doesn't have HDMI switching, so to get Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio he plays his Blu-ray over the receiver's 5.1 channel analog inputs. Fine, but the receiver doesn't do any sort of bass management over its analog inputs. The sound isn't so hot.

Do you know anybody who bought a plasma TV in 1999 for around $10,000 who still uses it as their primary display? I don't, but I'd bet most of those buyers are on their second or third display by now.… Read more

Divvy up the stimulus package your way

I just saved the U.S. economy, and it only took a minute and a half! Yay me.

Well, I didn't actually save it, but after playing a quick round of the free casual game "Trillion Dollar Bailout!" an image of a newspaper appeared on my screen with the headline "Economy Saved! World Rejoices!!!" Apparently, amid all the disagreement over how the $787 billion economic stimulus package should be divvied up, I managed to make wise choices as to who and what should get funding. A regular Paul Krugman I am.

Ah, if only rescuing … Read more