Big, accessible explainer on how Bitcoin mining works. It used to be a hacker’s hobby. Now big investors are moving in, raising the price of entry and perhaps bringing closer the day when the Bitcoin system as a whole can be broken or gamed. “The fear is that an organization with piles of capital and not much idealism can buy enough computational might to corner the market and box out the individual miner” (3,200 words)
Massive multiplayer game Eve Online is “a controlled experiment in human nature and unfettered capitalism”. Players have three basic aims: “You mine asteroids for minerals, use the minerals to build spaceships, and deploy those spaceships in battles. Things get complex quickly … Eve is a dark strategy game underpinned by libertarian philosophy, which attracts government operatives and hedge fund managers as much as space geeks” (2,953 words)
“Friends describe him as Steve Jobs, John D. Rockefeller, and Howard Hughes rolled into one.” Founded PayPal. Made another fortune in solar power. Runs a private space programme. Makes electric cars. Ambition: To die on Mars
On the announcement of Microsoft’s Surface tablet, its competitor to the iPad. “Let’s be clear, though: Microsoft making hardware is not a natural action. It’s what the company does in times of desperation”
“You get the sense he could beat you up.” But he’s a smart cat too. Got the Cloud right. Skype, X-Box, Kinect doing nicely. Smartphone OS improving fast. The word on Windows 8 is good. Is the supertanker turning round?
Profile of Stephen Perlman, one of Silicon Valley’s genuine inventors. “Steve only thinks about the things that will change history”. And his latest project — DIDO — a revolutionary high-speed wireless technology may do just that
There’s more than one war on the web. This isn’t a battle for the consumer market; it’s a whole new frontier: cloud computing. Amazon, Google and Microsoft are the three daring to cross swords with traditional infrastructure makers