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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, November 18, 2017 1:00 am

Briefs

City getting kiosk to buy, sell bitcoins

Staff, news services

RockItCoin, operator of the nation's third-largest bitcoin kiosk network, has expanded into the Fort Wayne market, placing a kiosk in the BP gas station at 909 Coliseum Blvd. E.

“Consumers in northeast Indiana now have access to an expanding sector of digital commerce – the popular cryptocurrency known as “bitcoin,” the company said in a news release Friday.

Bitcoin kiosks operate as an automated teller, exchanging digital bitcoins into US dollars or dollars into bitcoins.

“Our kiosks provide consumers with a safe, efficient, and fast way to obtain or sell bitcoins,” Michael Dalesandro, CEO and founder of RockItCoin, said in the release.

After providing the RockItCoin kiosk with proper identification and validation done through a cellphone's text messaging, customers can buy or sell bitcoin at the kiosk. Depending on the amount, the transaction takes not much longer than a standard ATM visit.

State jobless rate inches up in October

Indiana's unemployment rate rose slightly to 3.9 percent in October as the state's jobless rate continued a climb that began in July.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development said Friday that the state's unemployment rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point from September's rate.

The state's jobless rate has been climbing since dipping to 3 percent in June, but the October unemployment rate remained slightly below the national rate of 4.1 percent, which was a 17-year national low.

Indiana's labor force that includes both employed Hoosiers and those unemployed but willing to work fell by about 11,700 workers between September and October, to 3.33 million. That decrease resulted from about 2,300 unemployed residents seeking employment and a drop of more than 14,000 in residents who were employed.

Apple delays launch of HomePod system

Apple is scrapping its plan to release its new internet-connected speaker in time for the holiday season. The delay announced Friday means Apple's HomePod speaker won't be available in the U.S., U.K. and Australia until early next year.

Apple intended to release the $349 HomePod in early December so it could be on holiday shopping lists and compete against Amazon's Echo and the Google Home speaker. Apple now says it needs more time to perfect the speaker's technology.

The company is touting the HomePod as a high-fidelity speaker programmed to learn people's tastes to become a digital disc jockey that can automatically play tunes its listeners will like. The HomePod also will include Apple's voice-activated assistant Siri to respond to requests like the Echo and Google Home.

Report: 43% of Takata air bag parts replaced

A new report on recalls of potentially deadly Takata air bag inflators shows that automakers have replaced only 43 percent of the faulty parts even though recalls have been under way for more than 15 years.

The report, issued Friday by an independent monitor who is keeping tabs on the recalls, also shows that auto companies are only about halfway toward a Dec. 31 goal of 100 percent replacement of older and more dangerous inflators.

The slow completion rate comes even though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began coordinating the recalls and phasing them in two years ago.

Before that, the automakers were obtaining parts and distributing them on their own. Normally automakers fix 75 percent of vehicles within 18 months after the recall is announced.