The great crypto stagecoach robbery Anyone holding Bitcoins – or pretty much any cryptocurrency, really – has taken a substantial hit in the last few months, with the exchange rate of dollars to Bitcoins dropping from a high of around $1200 last November to around $550 today. But it's possible that those whose Bitcoins were parked at the long-troubled Mt. Gox exchange have suffered a near-wipeout, or even a total one, in what may have been the catastrophic theft of some 744,000 Bitcoin from that exchange. Mt. Gox was the first big Bitcoin exchange; as such it attracted the most attention, the most traffic, and the most trouble. It was hacked repeatedly because, at one time, it was simply where all the Bitcoins were. The Awl

Ars walkthrough: Using the ZFS next-gen filesystem on Linux In my last article on next-gen filesystems, we did something in between a generic high altitude overview of next-gen filesystems and a walkthrough of some of btrfs' features and usage. This time, we're going to specifically look at what ZFS brings to the table, walking through getting it installed and using it on one of the more popular Linux distributions: Precise Pangolin. That's the most current Long Term Support (LTS) Ubuntu release. With that said... if Ubuntu's not your cup of tea, don't worry! There are lots of options for running ZFS... Ars Technica

Chris Anderson's expanding drone empire Friday is Fly Day at 3D Robotics, a maker of small robotic aircraft. So here we are, on a windswept, grassy landfill with a spectacular view of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, looking up at a six-prop copter with a gleaming metal frame. It's like a spiffy toy from the future. Buzzing like a swarm of bees, it lifts off smartly, hovers, then pinwheels. "Jason's making the hex twirl," says CEO Chris Anderson, a trim man in jeans and an untucked oxford shirt. "That's just for show – a human pilot couldn't do that." IEEE Spectrum (also, Rolls-Royce's unmanned cargo ships

Welcome to Googletown Some days it feels like Google is taking over the world. For the residents of Mountain View, California, that feeling is personal. Two weeks ago, Google signed a deal for its very own airport just east of the Googleplex, complete with a blimp hangar large enough to house the Hindenburg. But building a better blimp probably isn't the reason that Google is leasing the historic Moffett Federal Airfield from the US government. At the same time the search giant is building robots and self-driving cars, Google is on a hometown real-estate binge... The Verge (also, The monuments of tech)

The SSD endurance experiment: Data retention after 600TB Six weeks have passed since our last SSD endurance update. When we last visited our heroes, they had just crossed the half-petabyte threshold---no small feat for a collection of consumer-grade drives that includes the Corsair Neutron GTX, Intel 335 Series, Kingston HyperX 3K, and Samsung 840 Series and 840 Pro. Those drives have now left the 600TB mark in the rear-view mirror, so it's time for another update. If you think it's taken longer than usual to add 100TB to the total, you're right. The Tech Report

The job after Steve Jobs: Tim Cook and Apple Shortly after Tim Cook succeeded Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple in August 2011, he told a confidant that he got up every morning reminding himself just to do the right thing – and not to think about what Steve would have done. But Jobs's ghost loomed everywhere after he died from pancreatic cancer two months later. Obituaries of Apple's visionary founder blanketed the front pages of newspapers and websites. TV stations ran lengthy segments glorifying the changes he brought to the world. The WSJ

Are the robots about to rise? Google's new director of engineering thinks so... It's hard to know where to start with Ray Kurzweil. With the fact that he takes 150 pills a day and is intravenously injected on a weekly basis with a dizzying list of vitamins, dietary supplements, and substances that sound about as scientifically effective as face cream: coenzyme Q10, phosphatidycholine, glutathione? With the fact that he believes that he has a good chance of living for ever? The Guardian (also, Q&A with theoretical physicist Michio Kaku on the future of the mind)

Battery-free technology brings gesture recognition to all devices Mute the song playing on your smartphone in your pocket by flicking your index finger in the air, or pause your "This American Life" podcast with a small wave of the hand. This kind of gesture control for electronics could soon become an alternative to touchscreens and sensing technologies that consume a lot of power and only work when users can see their smartphones and tablets. University of Washington

Our game consoles are likely spying on us, and this is business as usual I think there may be a surveillance device on my car," my mother-in-law said. She had visited to make dinner for the kids, something she does once a week or so. I dutifully went outside, took a look at the offending piece of technology, and after a few quick searches online I found out she was right. But at least it was a surveillance device that she had paid for. Polygon

Ghosting On 5 January 2011, at 8.30 p.m., I was messing about at home when the phone buzzed on the sofa. It was a text from Jamie Byng, the publisher of Canongate. 'Are you about?' it said. 'I have a somewhat left-field idea. It's potentially very exciting. But I need to discuss urgently.' Canongate had bought, for £600,000, a memoir by the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. London Review of Books