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Mining Cryptocurrency in January 2018

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My last post was the beginning of mining at home with Ethereum and also with my cloud mining efforts with Genesis Mining. I wanted to do an update since then, just so I could see for myself what my efforts have brought me and just to report to the world, how it is going in the world of mining. So the first thing I want to cover, is the fact that the mining at home, in it’s current state, has gotten quite expensive, if you have not already gotten into it and bought the hardware needed to mine. Typically, people want to buy a GPU with a certain number of Gigabytes for mining, and right now, the cost per GB has gone up severely. When I made my first post, about the card that I purchased, it was running $299.99. I even was able to go back, a few weeks later, when they dropped the price to $269.99 and get my $30 back on the price difference. 

Well, things have changed. If you look at the XFX Radeon RX 580 8GB card that I got, it is now over $500 to purchase now. Miners have caused the cost of graphics cards to go up significantly. I actually shared a news article about this whole phenomenon from Tech Radar a few weeks ago. With this push back, it looks like makers like Nvidia have asked retailers to make sure that no one is walking out with more than 2 graphics cards at a time. If you look at the current cost of an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition 8GB, it can vary in range from about $380 (IF YOU CAN FIND IT)all the way up into the thousands!

This has changed some people’s mind about purchasing cards right now, due to the fluctuation in the cost of entry for getting just one card. Such is the law of supply and demand, though. I highly recommend against it at this current writing of this article, but it could change in the near future, with all that Nvidia is working on for their machine learning and computer vision projects they are working on for their autonomous car driving aspirations they are trying to reach. Only time will tell though.

At Home Mining

So, let’s get back to my at home rig that I have been running for a few weeks now. Remember, I just got started in November, so there is a little bit of difference in these. Previously, with the cost of Ethereum, I was getting anywhere between $1.25 and a $1.50 a day. Since I last  wrote, Ethereum has now broken the $1,000 level and has stayed above that for the most part and now I am getting over $2 a day. Which is GREAT! So let’s start off with what I got from November. The mining pool that I started with, required that you be at a certain minimum before you were able to cash out, which was 0.05 ETH. I say was, because they tweeted out, that starting on December 1st, 2017, they would start cashing out anything above 0.02 and from then on, they would cash you out if you have not cashed out in the last days. 

As you can read from my last post, I was able to start cashing out on December 2nd, 2017 and every week after that, since then. I would say it has been pretty much on schedule, every Monday since, except for when I recently changed my request to put my mining efforts into my Exodus wallet instead of my Coinbase wallet. Now it looks like I will get my efforts on Sundays instead. Either way, let’s take a look at what I have been getting. Keep mind, that the USD comparison, is for the exact worth at the point of deposit. Since Ethereum is traded daily, that worth is volatile and changes the instant it was deposited. All of that, aside, here you go:

Date ETH USD
12/2/17 (Tuesday) 0.07880366 35.8
12/11/17 (Monday) 0.03345818 16.12
12/18/17 (Monday) 0.01984642 15.31
12/25/17 (Monday) 0.02131229 15.85
1/1/18 (Monday) 0.01870194 14.02
1/8/18 (Monday) 0.01909514 22.01
1/15/18 (Monday) 0.01844023 24.24
1/22/18 (Monday) 0.01331773 12.98
1/28/18 (Sunday) 0.01436816279 16.98

This means that since I have started, I have mine’d 0.2373437528 of ETH with a cost of $173.31 (calculated, not actual current trade rate). That means that there is a difference of $96.68 in the 9+ weeks that I have had it. Meaning, I should be well on my way of having the card paid off, in less than 7 weeks from this writing, if I use a low average of $15 a week. You can see the price change over, week by week. For instance, you can see that the week of 12/11, I deposited 0.033* and only got $16.12 for it. Where as of this last Sunday, because the cost per ETH has shot up over $1,100, that same $16 is only 0.014* ETH. 

One thing has changed sine I last wrote as well. Previously, I did not factor in the cost of electricity. This time, I sort of can. Since I started this in November, I was able to see the bill from October to November, jump up from $90 to $120. Luckily, I did not have to pay any of the first month’s electricity. Then I saw the month of December jump up to $180, so I offered to pay half of the bill, since I did not purchase the kW monitor for this PC. Then for January, it went up to $256, so I offered to pay $125 of the bill. So I have paid $215 out in electricity, but I just can’t give you a really good, ACTUAL per unit cost, due to the fact I am just guesstimating and volunteering to pay 1/2 of the electric bill. Remember though, I can tell you, it is still roughly $0.10-$0.11 USD for electricity here. So right now, I am still “in the hole” on the card, but it should start coming through very soon.

The other thing I have been able to see though, is a slight drop in my mining hashrate. I was typically getting about 20 MH/s on average, but that has recently dropped to 19. Which is odd and because I don’t really research it, I don’t know if it is my card getting worse, or if the traffic on the ETH network is getting more and more and thus making it more difficult to mine, I have no clue. I keep a close eye on my mining from anywhere I am though. I can always watch my efforts on the Ethermine website either at the old site or the new Beta site.

I have been using my mining efforts to do more trading on Binance and HitBTC to get other forms of cryptocurrency like Cordana, Ripple and Ark. So my actual total sum, isn’t the total sum anymore. I have moved some of it over, but for the last 2 weeks, I have kept the balance and just added it to my Exodus wallet. You can check out my balances on both of these trading platforms, as of this writing here:

HitBTC     Binance  
ETH 0.00063153   ADA (Cardano) 57
XRP (Ripple) 20   ARK 3.51
      IOTA 0.997
Est Value 0.00489153 BTC   Binance  0.03066671
  $22.8075 USD   XRP (Rippl) 0.0148
      TRX (Tron) 0.0125
      ETF 0.00792166
      ETH 0.00007447
      LTC (Litecoin) 0.000025
         
      Est Value  0.00489153 BTC
        $48.85 USD
Cloud Mining

I continue my cloud mining contract with Genesis Mining (Affiliate code for all Genesis Mining users:K8MO34 ) as well, but it isn’t as lucrative, since I bought in at such a low hash rate. My zCash continues to grow, but I am currently sitting at just under $13 USD since I started it. With my ETH contract, I am currently sitting at just under $10 USD with it. This is a continual thing though, like a slow leaky faucet that I put in $80 USD on, so it is nice to see the outcome each day. The only thing with Genesis is, with ETH, they “claim” there are “fee” issues where the costs are too high to cash out, so you have to actually wait until your ETH meets 0.075. I am currently sitting at 0.0086854. With an average of 0.00016* coming out each day, it will be about 1.5 years before I actually get the payout. Which is completely annoying, because I can send my above mentioned mining efforts of either 0.01 or 0.02 ETH every single week! 

The biggest problem, isn’t Genesis Mining. It is me and the fact I got the cheapest mining contract they had, because I just wanted to try it out. If I were so inclined, I could have bought more power, or soon to be, buy more power. They recently announced a pre-order that I can make if I want, but the minimum purchase is just over $1,500 USD! Now, I am currently only at 1 MH/s in the contract I am in with Genesis for my ETH. It was roughly $80 USD. So, to go up to 40 MH/s and not have to pay 40x the cost, I guess is a deal, but I just don’t have that kind of money (extra) to buy in right now.  

 

With zCash, I have been getting, every 3rd day or so, about 0.001 to 0.0011 every time. This is a little bit nicer, since the fees are a lot smaller, I actually get my cash out, every third day. Even though I have been mining at 25 H/s, instead of MH/s, like with ETH, I am able to get “real” payouts without having to wait. The biggest issue I have with Genesis though, is the fact that I can only purchase whatever they have available for contracts. I assume this is because of their own build outs. They physically have to be able to afford to buy more equipment before being able to sell cloud mining contracts. Either way, I just don’t see it being worth the money, unless you don’t have the knowledge or money to get into building your own mining rig.

Off until next time..

– Rusty G

Mining Ethereum December 2017

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So, I recently told you of my adventures of getting into the cryptocurrency world. So now, I want to get into my 2nd adventure of mining. Before you ask, no, not like mining gold or diamonds, but cryptocurrency mining. The idea behind cryptocurrency mining is that you are solving very complicated math problems to get the next block in the chain and then possibly get some coin in the process. Basically, you are running the transactions that are being requested by users at that time, that are in the queue. This is just a very high level broad overview, but you get the idea. Just like Visa/Mastercard has to have something process the payment for businesses, so does cryptocurrency and currently that is a network of computers doing that, around the world. If you want a great rundown, then I suggest reading “Ethereum Mining 101: Your Complete Guide” by Ameer Rosic at Huffington Post.

 

Mining from Home

Now, that I have given you a basic idea of what mining is, I wanted to let you know that shortly after I jumped into the bitcoin world, I also wanted to try mining out for myself. So I went out and bought a graphics card that could do so. Mining can actually be done by really any graphics card, but the more powerful you get, the more you can mine and get more $$$! So, with that being said, I did little to no research and went out and bought the XFX Radeon RX 580 8GB graphics card from my local Bestbuy. After making my purchase, I went and downloaded the appropriate software and signed up for a pool and got everything setup and began mining. Now mind you, the biggest cost to mining any cryptocurrency is the cost per kWh (aka the electricity you spend). For this particular story, I am going to remove that variable, due to the fact I am just trying to get you a baseline before adding in all the extras of cost of ownership. So, this card, currently runs $269.99 as I write this, but at the time it was $299.99, so basically , $330 after taxes for initial cost (I am headed back to get my $30 back, since it has been less than a month when I purchased the card).

Unbeknownst to me, the machine that I was putting this into, was not going to have enough power, so unfortunately, I had to spend another $70 to get the power supply a few days later, so now my up front cost is $400 to get started.

With that being said, I got my mining “rig”, as the cryptocurrency community calls it, up and running that night, on 11/6/17. I basically just left it as is and let it run and tried a few different things to tweak the settings. I setup a web remote control software, so that I can see it, or control it from anywhere, which is great, because I won’t always be at home. After getting it up setup and letting it run for a day or so, my first couple of days were slow to say. Here, you can see the app reports to me how much I was making in the first few days of operation. It started out like basically just a $1 a day. This can change as the price of Ethereum goes up, so you will see this in the screenshots below.

In the pictures above, you can see the price went from $1.10 to $1.33 a day. As of this writing, I am getting in between $1.50 and $1.70 USD a day. This can change due to the amount of trading going on with Ethereum, so a better way of looking at this is, how many megahashes I am doing. This is a term of measurement in which my graphics card is doing calculations per second. Now currently, that averages between 17 and all the way up to 24, but I can not get it much higher. I have been doing some research online, on my specific card and I can get this higher, but so far, to no avail. Now you can see, this is going to take me roughly, a little less than a year to make my money back. I am taking an average of $1.50 a day and dividing the cost of the equipment, $400 and getting ~266 days of operation. The fun part about this is, I can always see where I am at, as far as pay out that is due to me. I can go directly to my pool and they setup a page, so you can see the work going on. On that page, you can see, I just recently cashed out on 12/2, under the payouts/rounds tab at the top.

Now, with that being said, I can set the settings as to when I cash out, but the pool decided to start doing weekly cash-outs with no transactions costs to me. This is awesome! So, I started on 11/6 and then cashed out my first “earnings” on 12/2. So I was only running 26 days and what was my cash out? Let’s take a look at that see what happened.

So as the math works out, in those 26 days, I ended up with 0.07880366 ETH. When translated at the cost of ETH currently, in which, the higher the better, I ended up getting ~$35.80 for the first 26 days. Which is fun, because as the price of ETH goes up, so does this piece of ETH that I have. If my math works out, I ended up with an average of ~$1.38 USD a day. This will obviously slow down my previous projection of getting this card paid for in 266 days, but you get the idea. Now also remember, I am NOT FIGURING IN THE COST OF ELECTRICITY. So this will make the profit go down even more, but I just wanted you to get an idea of what mining might cost someone. Electricity is something that is different in different regions of the world, but currently we are running ~$0.10 per kWh where I am. I unfortunately do not have a power monitor plugged into my machine, so I cannot accurately report on that. So before you complain that I didn’t factor that in, please DO take this into account, if you are going to do a similar venture. I will continue to report back on my earnings as I find this intriguing, but now I want to move on to cloud mining!

 

Cloud Mining

Moving on to cloud mining, if you don’t have the money to purchase a graphics card or you don’t have a desktop machine to put a graphics card, your best bet is cloud mining. This is the idea that someone else does the mining for you and they are paying for all the infrastructure and you are basically bank rolling their efforts and you get your profit from whatever contract you sign with them. The best and most known one in cloud mining is Genesis Mining. They have videos all over the web of their facilities, so you can see what they are doing and what they are doing it with. This is a lot less to invest, but will require at least a 2 year contract with them. Now, you can see my profits above in the first 26 days of having my own mining rig, so now I want to show you what I have since I started with Genesis. I did not start with Genesis until 11/17, so the time is a little different, but you will see what I have so far, since I started.

With Genesis, you are buying hash power. Your power is allotted over different altcoins. I specifically did 1 megahash of Ethereum and 25 hashes with zCash. You can see a quick description of megahash here, but basically it is the amount of mathematical power I am buying into that a graphics card can do and they will give me that amount of Ethereum or zCash that was processed out of that card. I put in roughly $80 USD to get started and now I have both Ethereum(ETH) and zCash! So let’s take a look and see what I have in Ethereum first. (The only bad thing I don’t like, is that Genesis doesn’t really have a great way of seeing it all in one place, just each individual transaction, ugggghhh!)

Mining day Currency Net payout
01.12.2017   ETH   0.0001619
30.11.2017   ETH   0.00016418
29.11.2017   ETH   0.00016627
28.11.2017   ETH   0.00017231
27.11.2017   ETH   0.00017091
26.11.2017   ETH   0.00016956
25.11.2017   ETH   0.00016983
24.11.2017   ETH   0.00017143
23.11.2017   ETH   0.00016905
22.11.2017   ETH   0.00017218
21.11.2017   ETH   0.00017805
20.11.2017   ETH   0.0001776
Total: 0.00204327

If I look at this table, I didn’t start getting paid by Genesis until 11/20, which was 3 days after I started. So be aware of that for ETH, specifically. Each altcoin mining is different. So since the 20th, I have been mining for 11 days and have received (well put in an account until I reach the minimum) a total of 0.00204327 ETH. As of this current writing, ETH is worth $458.77 USD[click the link for most up-to-date cost], so I have $0.9373909779 USD. As you can tell, this is much slower. I have to point out though, I only put in 1 megahash of ETH hashing power. That isn’t really a lot. Remember, my at home rig is doing anywhere between 17 and 24 times that, but I only had to do a fraction of the cost to get this up and going and didn’t have to have any technical know how. If I divide out the 11 days, I am getting roughly $0.09 USD a day, with current trading costs of ETH. I could absolutely buy more power and get more per day, but right now, that is all i wanted to try out. You do not have to buy a card, or own a computer or pay for the electricity either! You are basically renting someone else’s power to get money out of their efforts. I reckon it to buying or renting a house or a car. 

Let’s look at my zCash efforts with Genesis and we will see where we are in the 11 days since I got started. Now, the current cost of zCash is about $325.36[click the link for most up-to-date cost], so this is the base price I will be using for my calculations.

 

Mining day Currency Net payout
01.12.2017   ZEC   0.000443
30.11.2017   ZEC   0.00041513
29.11.2017   ZEC   0.00042225
28.11.2017   ZEC   0.00044425
27.11.2017   ZEC   0.0004215
25.11.2017   ZEC   0.0003675
24.11.2017   ZEC   0.00038425
23.11.2017   ZEC   0.00043675
22.11.2017   ZEC   0.0004495
21.11.2017   ZEC   0.00042853
20.11.2017   ZEC   0.0004621
19.11.2017   ZEC   0.0004275
18.11.2017   ZEC   0.000392
17.11.2017   ZEC   0.00038375

Total:

0.00587801

If I take the current cost of zCash and multiply that out to USD, I have $1.9124693336 for the last 11 days. So for my zCash efforts, I have been getting, roughly $0.17 USD a day! Again, you have to remember, I only put in about $80 USD to get these 2 contracts started and I didn’t have to have any technical know how or have to build any machines to do it. So, this is just a quick and dirty overview of cloud mining. I could go more into detail, but I am still learning this as I write this article! I plan on learning more and more as the days go on. If you have any questions, feel free to ask or leave comments below!

 

-Rusty G 

Making Money with CryptoCurrency in November 2017

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ethereum-price-fb
So, it is near the end of 2017 and as I look down this page, it has been quite a while since I used this page for anything, so I figured I would use it again for the purpose of telling you about cryptocurrency and the mining that can go along with it. Since my last post, a long time has past (2013 I see) and during that time, a friend of mine that goes by the name KornyKory on twitter, got me started in the Bitcoin world back in 2015.

Now mind you, Bitcoin actually got started in 2008 after the whole house market crash and all things related to it, but it really didn’t starting gaining traction until 2010 or later (don’t quote me on that). I am not going to give you a history lesson on Bitcoin, but the basic idea is that the creator of Bitcoin, wanted a decentralized way of sending and receiving money that didn’t include the world banks. I am basically giving you a high altitude version, because you don’t really need the details, but just know that Bitcoin is an online digital currency that allows you to buy and sell ‘things’ (everything to be more specefic) that knows no boundaries.

Since the inception of Bitcoin, it has grown into other alternative digital currencies known as AltCoins (alternative coins to bitcoin). One of the most popular is called Ethereum or ETH for short. The idea behind these altcoins is that bitcoin had a really great idea, but they wanted to make it better and faster. So to this day, there are over 990+ altcoins out there and the list keeps growing! All of that aside, I wanted to get you to where I am today with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

So back in 2015, my friend KornyKory,who I had met through playing Ingress, which is a whole other ball of wax on it’s own, had spoken to me about Bitcoin and I had heard of it and kind of had an idea, but never really looked into it. He was trying to show me stuff about it and get me into the idea of buying Bitcoin. So he started me off by clicking on some link and getting like $0.000048BTC or something small like that in the initial purchase for being an affiliate I guess, through a company called ChangeTip. It was something small and I never really paid any attention to it again; I was just helping a friend out. Until months later, when ChangeTip went out of business and was telling everyone to get their balances out and move into some other service like CoinBase to maintain their balance.

So I moved my BTC over to CoinBase and for creating an account, I got a $1 USD worth of bitcoin.
firstbitcoin

So now my account was filled with $0.004499 BTC in 2015. Back then, obviously, you can tell, bitcoin wasn’t really worth that much. Fast forward 2 years and my same friend got me back into talking about bitcoin again as it was starting to hit the tech news cycles again. This time, due to the rising cost of bitcoin. Over the years, it has gained popularity and notoriety and the price per coin has SIGNIFICANTLY gone up. Around the time I was looking into it, near the end of October 2017, bitcoin had gotten over $5,000 USD per every single bitcoin.

So, I fired up my email and began looking for all of my bitcoin transactions, knowing that I had some bitcoin of some kind and needed to know how much! So I began looking around and found the email where it all originated and was happy to find that I had apparently put in $25 USD into BTC the same day I brought over my balance from ChangeTip. The sad part, for some reason, it got cancelled 4 days later for some unknown reason. originalBTCpurchase

As you can see in the email above, the going rate for BTC was roughly $225.49 USD = $1 BTC. I am not really sure why this transaction got cancelled, but I am kicking myself for it now, because as of this writing, it would be worth $927.27 USD (current BTC price – $8,115.32). All of that aside, I still had the original $0.004499 BTC, so I began looking into it again around the beginning of October 2017 and was getting excited! As I said before, it was over $5,000 USD at this point and now my $0.004499 BTC was worth about $25 and I literally did nothing but hold on to it!

Outside of this, I had recently cashed out my 401k (I know this is a bad idea, but I was facing some extenuating circumstances) and had some ‘extra’ money on hand and I decided I would take some of it and try out this bitcoin thing again, but with a lot more money this time. So I set aside $1,000 USD and purchased my 2nd bitcoin on October 23rd, 2017. The then, going rate was $5,671.87 USD/BTC. This transfer of funds would take right at about a week. As you see in the email below, it would not be available until October 31st.

secondBTCpurchase The fun thing about BTC, is it is a lot like stock trading in the New York Stock Exchange at this point, due to the high volume of BTC and the availability of so many other altcoins out there. So, even though, I bought at a certain price, the value of the purchase could go up, even in the 8 days I had to wait just to gain access to my funds. Now, you will also see a transaction fee associated to the purchase, which goes to the system (in a generic sense, but partly to the pool or miners that are doing the work processing your transaction), so I actually got $985.32 in the exchange, which is roughly a 1% fee (0.01468 to be exact). This can be seen like the processing fees for businesses that have to pay Visa, Mastercard, Discover to process their payment system of plastic cards.

So, after my 8 days of waiting was up, sure enough, the price of bitcoin had gone over $6,000 USD. I had purchased in at $5,671.87, but now the price was $6,143.85. Now my $0.17372054 BTC was worth $1067.31 (well $1,067.312939679). In the 8 days I waited for access to my funds, I had already gained back the transaction fee that I paid and made money! Just about $67.31, but that was cool! I literally didn’t have to do anything but wait and made $8.41 USD a day in waiting! So I began looking more into this.

oct31price

As you see in the chart above, the price began to increase even more on a daily basis. This again, was just in the price of BTC going up, just like the cost of a stock in company, but this wasn’t a company, it was digital currency! I was getting excited! So I watched it for a few days and by November 2nd, BTC had now crossed the $7,000 price! It was crazy! Some analysts and bitcoin people are already predicting $10k by the end of the year, but this was crazy to watch, in just less than 10 days that I made my initial purchase!

nov2price

I was getting more and more excited as the days passed and I had been reading more and more about bitcoin and cryptocurrency and the history and current developments. I was trying to get my hands on everything I could, because it was obvious, this was getting off the ground. So as my money was growing, I was trying to figure out what to do with it. So on November 7th, I had researched and thought Ethereum would be my next purchase. By then, my initial purchase had turned into roughly $1,300 USD. The then price of Ethereum was roughly about $300 USD per ETH coin. So I took my profit and bought $0.97573352 ETH. I didn’t get a full 1 ETH coin, due to processing fees and such, as previous with BTC, but it was enough to make me happy.

initialETHpurchase

So, in the first 15 days of owning my BTC, I had made roughly $20 a day, without lifting a finger! I was then able to transfer that profit into an altcoin and see where that would take me! I have not looked back and this experience, I plan on documenting as I go along. I want to share this experience as it happens and hopefully get more people on board the cryptocurrency bandwagon and see if it can help you! As always and in every bitcoin and cyrptocurrency video I watch, I will repeat what they say, I AM NOT A FINANCIAL ADVISOR. I am just someone taking this as it comes at me and see where it goes! If you think you want to join, I can set you up with a CoinBase account and you can get started too! Complete transparency, if you use the link above and buy $100 USD or more, then we both get $10 USD in bitcoin (which is roughly $0.0012354800210526 BTC)!

I say all of that to talk about this graphic below, known as the bell curve. It is interchangeable to multiple topics, but this is one I think best fits the idea of where bitcoin is and where it is going. The time of the innovators and early adopters is already passed and we are now getting into the early majority. I consider myself the early adopters and at this point and of this article, you will be in the early majority. Bitcoin and other altcoins are going to become a real thing in the future of payment options. Just like credit cards started out as diner’s club cards and mobile payment systems are now becoming a thing, bitcoin and all of it’s little brothers and sisters will also be the future.

bellcurve

XBOX One: Bringing the Future Now

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59d51511-a3a1-42df-8f82-912b0a1e05cb

Well, it’s finally official. Sort of. The first two of the big three things out of the way. The XBOX One has finally been announced, but we have no date of release or price. So that out of the way, let me go over what happened today at the Microsoft event that announced the all new gaming/home theater console. Notice I said home theater. It seems ever since Microsoft started bringing in streaming video apps to the XBOX 360, we have become very accustomed to this device being a part of our home theater. I was really hoping to see two different versions of the XBOX in this update, one that was lower priced to compete with the AppleTV, GoogleTV and all other streaming media boxes, but that is not what we got. Microsoft basically announced a super charged VCR box, I kid, I kid.

So down to the brass tax of what was announced. We have a brand new designed box, and I mean BOX. This thing has design cues from a 1970’s VHS VCR with it’s tall box and flat front panel. The only difference is, there is a thinner disc slot, instead of folding back door to match the VHS tape. They have retained the vented sides from the XBOX 360, but just much more boxy. They have also moved the USB slots on the front, to the side now, which is an odd decision since USB drives or add-ons usually have a habit of sticking out, so I don’ think this will work very well for your home theater tower or shelf that you already have setup. So let’s take a look a this thing.Front

You see that? What happened to our beautifully designed and thinned out XBOX 360 Slim? I guess they had to blow out the sides of the box to make room for all the new hardware. So what have we been upgraded to? Let’s start with the new 8 core CPU (that now runs 64-bit) from a previous 3 core PowerPC CPU. This thing is an ultimate powerhouse with 8GB of RAM from a previous 512MB on the XBOX 360. It now comes with the LONG AWAITED Blu-Ray drive that has been rumored for very long time as well, from unreliable sources of course. Especially after the ill-fated death of the HD-DVD that Microsoft put so much into. Microsoft even tried to add more space to their DVD based game discs back in 2011, but I guess they had to finally succumb to the Sony backed Blu-ray disc and add it to their next-gen console. After that, let’s talk I/O on this new VCR, I mean XBOX. We finally have USB 3.0, which was standardized in 2008, Wi-Fi (N Wireless) and Wi-Fi Direct, 500GB hard drive, up from a 250GB drive, and a HDMI Passthrough, allowing for HDMI in and HDMI out. That last feature, will allow for live TV to be brought through the new home theater box, I mean XBOX and support for 1080p and 4K as well, for future proofing.

Moving on to the new controller as well. This has a very minimalistic look to it, and seems to go back to the size of the original XBOX. Microsoft is claiming 40 new features in this controller, but I don’t know how you can fit all of that in there. This new controller has a “integrated” battery compartment, new impulse triggers and a precision directional pad. I don’t know what is so “new” about these features, but more can be found as time goes on and we get some more information about it from E3 2013 coming up in just a few short weeks.controller

Controller

They really wanted to focus on three main things during the event. Kinect, Architecture and Controller. Well, we just covered the controller and some of the architecture (more on that later), so let’s move on to the kinect. 2.0 They have also boxed this thing up to look like a small long box as well, with an updated camera that shoots with a 1080p wide angle lens. It now captures 1080p HD RGB video at 30fps that can be used for Skype, which comes built in now. This new kinect also has better body understanding, because it can now see more joints, from the the flip of a wrist to your “heart beating”. They have also used what they learned with the original kinect, to upgrade the voice processing on this one, and make it much easier to use voice commands that are much more conversational than commands. Now with “Live Switching”, you can now say, “Live TV” or “Let’s watch ESPN” and it goes right to the ESPN app. These commands are much more fluid and seem to have worked very well in the demo on stage. Oh, and guess what, every XBOX One comes with a kinect, it no longer is an option, it’s mandatory.Kinect

JoyStiq

Now moving on to the things not really talked about in the presentation today. What we didn’t hear about was, will we be able to play our old XBOX 360 games? The short answer is no. Because of the new architecture, moving from PowerPC to an x86 64-bit, they just won’t work. It’s like when Apple chose to change their PowerPC to the Intel processors back in 2005. It is a major change to the system, but to help future proof itself even more, they need to be ready to expand. Now, in the future, they totally could come up with a very similar solution that Playstation has come up with, by streaming their games from the cloud. Does that mean that you will have to buy your game again? Will we be able to scan in games with discs that we own and they give us a license? This future is very unknown right now, but let’s go back to the cloud thing again.

Another big mention in today’s announcement was about the cloud based device using the 300,000 servers that Microsoft is running to back up the power to this new XBOX One. This will include the ability to save in game DVR capabilities, so you can upload and share that INSANE CRAZY single headshot you just pulled off in Call of Duty: Ghosts. If I remember correctly, XBOX Live first started off with less than 500 servers back in November of 2002, which moved up to 15,000 for the XBOX 360. With all this cloud based activity going on, you will be able to stream not only games, but your movies, video chats and all sorts of other content as well, without filling up your 500GB drive.

Now with those two things covered, let’s talk about the last thing that could very well change the future of used games retail stores like GameStop or GameFly who rents game discs. Since the cloud seems to be taking over EVERYTHING, and EVERYTHING can be saved to it, so you never lose anything, the same is being done to the games. It is being reported (as rumored) that the disc that you get, will be for an initial install to the harddrive, and you will never have to put the disc back in the system again. Microsoft is saying that it can be used a second time, but the owner of the disc will be charged a “small fee” for it to be installed a second time, but then the second install would be able to play the game without needing the disc as well. There are no details on how these discs will be used in the future, but it is being reported by Wired that M$ will be updating us on this in the near future; E3??? I say, why sell a disc at all, and just give us a digital code, in which we can download the game, but I forget, I have a 50MB connection to my apartment, and not everyone has that kind of speed or time, to download a FULL game to their new XBOX One. So will this be the change over that everyone was expecting, but hated to see come? The day where the game console no longer needs a physical medium to bring the game to you? I think this will be harder for the older games to grab a hold of, especially since it has been ingrained in us that we need to have a cartridge or a disc of some sort to play a game since the original Atari or Nintendo. The younger gamers may not have as much of a problem with it, due to services like Steam, that allow for game streaming via the cloud on PCs. They haven’t invested as much time and money as some of the older gamers who still have a working Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo. Will GameFly and other survive the cloud? Who knows.. but the future of gaming seems to be ready to change this holiday season, as typically the XBOX has been released historically some time in November.

We will know more in a few weeks at E3 2013, and also hopefully more from the Sony camp on the Playstation 4 as well. In the mean time, check out some of the side by side comparisons of the new systems and old systems based upon what we learned today.

Xbox One and PlayStation 4 specs compared” (JoyStiq)

Xbox 360 vs Xbox One: What’s the difference?” (Pocket Lint)

Xbox One vs Xbox 360 vs PS4: fight!” (Engadget)

About.me profile site (check it out)

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If you have not seen the About.me website, it is a basic online one stop shop for you to send people to, when they want to know all about you and every social network you belong to. It also is a great place to show off a really good profile pic if you have one. The idea is, it is a quick “business card” style site. You hook up every link that you have online to this one site, and then everyone can find you on your other social networks. Check out the video below for a good description:

All about about.me from about.me on Vimeo.
I have even created my own over at About.com/rustygreer. Check out mine and let me know what you think, then go and sign up and make your own as well! Plus, they have a few offers, like getting free cards from Moo.com from your site, where you just pay for the shipping and they come right to you. I ordered the free cards from moo and I love them! Check it out!

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