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A Rebuttal To Charles Stross About Bitcoin

CitizenCain Re:ENOUGH. OF. THE. BITCOIN. (396 comments)

I have used it, actually. And I have a wallet with ~4.19 BTC... for which there's ~17.1 GiB of Bitcoin blockdata on my hard drive.

Not what I think of when I think of an easy way to transfer value, especially when coupled with the volatility of the medium. For trading small amounts of money with people in other countries, there are better ways, at least for the people I need to do that with - either using electronic checks (which are free, with my bank) or using the micropayments systems set up by cell providers in the portions of the world that aren't "industrialized"/1st world/whatever the term is.

Regarding what a Ponzi scheme is, maybe you should hit up Wikipedia (or where ever) and read the definition of a Ponzi scheme.. and then consider the history of BTCs. BitCoin might not be an Italian guy taking money for imaginary stamp transactions, sure... but an anonymous coder taking money for imaginary crypto transactions seems close enough that claiming it's something entirely different is splitting hairs. And lest we forget, the same person (or group) that mined block zero and thousands of subsequent blocks before releasing this to the open source community currently owns millions of BTCs. Last I checked a couple years ago, he/she/they had over 12% of all the Bitcoins that will ever exist... and you're seriously trying to say it's not a Ponzi scheme? How do you think the bubble's being inflated and the next round of investors is being paid off, if not by the money the previous round of investors put in, care of the inventor(s) and that multi-million BTC stockpile he/she/they built up? Think about it - sure sounds to me like an internet-age version of stamps scam that Ponzi ran.

If it was on the level, they would have done what the Litecoin did guy, and released (or re-released) the project after proving it worked, rather than only after securing a dominant ownership share. LiteCoins may share a lot of the same fundamental flaws as BitCoin (being a fork of the original project), and not be viable long-term, but at least I can trust LiteCoins. The guy who forked it mined 3 blocks before releasing it to the world, rather than being more concerned about getting a dominant ownership position in the market he was creating... so if I were to get behind any crypto-currency or digital currency at this stage in the game, it would be LiteCoins. It might (also) be a bubble, or doomed to failure, but at least it's not a scam by the inventor.

about 8 months ago

A Rebuttal To Charles Stross About Bitcoin

CitizenCain Re:ENOUGH. OF. THE. BITCOIN. (396 comments)

I don't understand the bitcoin hate.


It's not that hard to understand... then again, I'm a bitcoin hater, so maybe that's why I see it as easy to understand... let me try to fill you in.

1) Enough already. I hear so much hype about it, it's almost as bad as the never-ending election coverage I have to suffer through for 18 months before the elections. I know about it, am not interested, and would rather not see reminders about it every-fucking time I blink.

2) It over-promises and under-delivers (at least as reported on in every story I read, and implemented in the real world). A world changing innovation that will revolutionize currency and break our dependence on evil national governments and usher in a new era.... except that it won't because it's so fundamentally broken on so many levels.

3) I would love to see a viable cryptocurrency take off and break or loosen the hold that evil leviathan government has over the world today. The reality of Bitcoin, however, is that it is a bubble/ponzi scheme/lottery that enriches the lucky few early adopters at the expense of public trust in cryptocurrency, and once the Bitcoin bubble has come and gone, the odds of a fair, viable cryptocurrency being widely accepted by the public go way down. The fact that such a badly broken system is what's going to be equated with all cryptocurrency by the public and the media shatters any hopes I have of actually seeing a meaningful adoption of purely digital, non-government backed currency transactions for the foreseeable future.

We are literally on the verge of an era where the technology exists to break governments of their iron grasp on currency (and therefore the world's economies), but instead of seeing that happen, I get to read a bunch of stories about this technologically brilliant ponzi scheme that's going to poison public opinion against that happening.

And all so some lucky fucks (who aren't me) can get rich on the Bitcoin bubble. What's not to hate?

about 8 months ago

GIMP, Citing Ad Policies, Moves to FTP Rather Than SourceForge Downloads

CitizenCain Re:Good (336 comments)

How to destroy a powerful brand in 1 easy steps! (SourceForge, not GIMP.)

And yeah, while SourceForge has been declining for a while now, this is something entirely different from a slow decline... they may as well have taken it out back and shot it. Be quicker, and probably cheaper in the long run too.

about 10 months ago

U.S. Will Not Provide Financing For New International Coal-Fired Power Plants

CitizenCain So what? (329 comments)

It's not like getting a loan is a right, and that's what this essentially is. The US and EU have decided they won't lend money to build new coal power plants. Seems like a reasonable enough policy, and one that's fully within their rights as the people lending the money in the first place.

about a year ago

Drone-Mounted Laser Weapons Are On the Way

CitizenCain Re:Nope (116 comments)

How much power does it take to punch through a metal casing? We already have laser pointers that can burn through paper and thin pieces of wood.

With a beam of light? A lot. Check out the latest demos of ground-based missile defense lasers. The power sources (and related cooling) for those are in trailers hauled around by 18-wheelers. Doesn't sound like something you'll be able to fit on a drone any time soon.

about a year ago

The Pentagon May Retire "Yoda," Its 92-Year-Old Futurist

CitizenCain Fortune tellers and psychics... (254 comments)

Like any "futurist," fortune teller or psychic, the accuracy of his predictions is based on having even the slightest clue, making vague or broad enough predictions that they're almost universally applicable, and relying on selective memory to erase all the predictions you made that didn't pan out. (Like some war with China that was mentioned in TFA.)

Which isn't to say that a think tank devoted to thinking about future wars and military tactics or strategies is a bad idea, or charlatanism, just to say that his ability to predict the future is being wildly overstated. I'm sure he has a sharp military mind, and good analytical skills to make the correct predictions he did, but that's a far cry from predicting the future.

I mean, I knew Google was going to be huge before their IPO... now that their stock's over $1,00 per share, does that qualify me as a technology or stock market futurist?

about a year ago

A Year After Sandy, Do You Approach Disaster Differently?

CitizenCain Re:No, nothing different. (230 comments)

Yeah, being funny. Although, at the same time, it's true for the city I live in.

The only major metropolitan area in central Ohio (where my employer and I are located) hasn't had a serious natural disaster in a century - the only thing I could turn up from a quick Google search was some flood in 1913. The only thing I can remember that might qualify as a natural disaster was some big hail storm in the mid 00's that did some property damage. I'm kind of hard-pressed to call it a natural disaster when the primary impact was car dealers having to discount a bunch of new, hail-damaged cars, though.

about a year ago

Dell Is Now a Private Company Again

CitizenCain Re:Only one more step left... (151 comments)

Well, yeah, except that Dell was right, in 1997, about what to do with Apple as a company that made computers.

Of course, it turned out that shifting their core business model from making computers to making gadgets was an even better idea.

about a year ago

A Year After Sandy, Do You Approach Disaster Differently?

CitizenCain Re:No, nothing different. (230 comments)

No tornadoes here either. (Ohio Valley, Central Ohio). We don't get any natural disasters... I guess God figures that living in Ohio is punishment enough.

about a year ago

A Year After Sandy, Do You Approach Disaster Differently?

CitizenCain No, nothing different. (230 comments)

My employer and I are still located in the Midwest, and still do nothing to prepare for hurricanes.

about a year ago

Star Citizen's Crowdfunding-Driven Grey Market

CitizenCain Re:I just don't like the scamming hacker thieves (88 comments)

I just don't know why law enforcement doesn't target them.

Limited resources. They spend more resources on crimes that are more damaging than simply having a game account stolen (which sucks, but is hardly life-altering) or crimes they can make money off of (speeding, asset forfeiture, etc.).

And, except for that last part where they play the role of modern-day highway robbers (literally, even), that's as it should be. There are enough *real* crimes that cause victims serious harm, so having your video gaming account stolen should never be a top priority for police, IMO.

about a year ago

Apple Converting Trial and Pirated iWork, iLife and Aperture To Full Versions

CitizenCain Re:Win8 upgrade did the same. (134 comments)

You don't have that quite right.

Microsoft's licensing model is such that they make vastly more from OEM and corporate sales than from end-consumer OS purchases. It's not that they don't care about piracy, (remember all that shit around activating Vista and 7, and WGA causing problems for legit users?) it's more that the sliver of income they get from consumer OS purchases isn't worth devoting resources to protect from piracy.

about a year ago

US Executions Threaten Supply of Anaesthetic Used For Surgical Procedures

CitizenCain Re:Hangings (1160 comments)

In the first place, do you actually think that people selected to be on a firing squad haven't used the gun and ammo type they'll be using? That seems pretty haphazard and ill-thought out, even for government work. (And for the record, the selectees are typically current or former military or law-enforcement.)

In the second place, that's really not true anyway. I'd assert that anyone with a decent amount of experience firing guns would be able to accurately assess whether he fired a blank or a live round, even on an unknown gun/caliber combination, especially with rifles - they generally have more recoil than handguns. I might have trouble telling if I fired a blank from a .22 handgun, but I don't have that problem with an M-16/AR-15 that uses .223 ammo. Like I said above, given that executioners typically come from law enforcement or the military, it seems exceedingly unlikely to me that they wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

about a year ago

TSA Airport Screenings Now Start Before You Arrive At the Airport

CitizenCain Re:Of course, even the TSA doesn't think it's need (437 comments)

A little off topic, but the reality is probably the exact opposite of that perception. If anything, 9/11 massively harmed "terrorists" (Al-Qaeda and Islamofacists in particular), rather than benefiting them.

For the bullet points - 9/11 destroyed Al-Qaeda by basically causing the US (and most of the international community) to take notice and bomb them out of existence. Similarly, future terrorist plots now have a much higher barrier to success as a result of the increased security measures (even if most of it is security-theater). Contrast with a successful terrorist organization (the IRA) that effectively "won" and achieved their goals in part because a concerted effort to avoid mass deaths and the bad press of a 9/11-type event.

The fact that 9/11 also turned us into a society scared of its own shadow is really collateral. That doesn't get Al-Qaeda what it wants, as much as makes our society more totalitarian and fascistic.

about a year ago

CryptoSeal Shuts Down Consumer VPN Service To Avoid Fighting NSA

CitizenCain Re:This NSA crap is much too much, and ungentleman (361 comments)

That said I'm not a big fan of patriotism. Seems to cause more harm than good.

What "good" do you see that patriotism causes?

As far as I can tell, patriotism does about as much good as cancer. And causes more harm. At least cancer only kills people who get cancer.

about a year ago

Experian Sold Social Security Numbers To ID Theft Service

CitizenCain Re:We Need to move away from paper-based identity (390 comments)

Because there's no way an identity thief could get a sample of your DNA?

Yes, the existing system is an abomination, but that doesn't mean that biometrics are a silver bullet that will fix it. If anything, I think a DNA-based system could be more insecure. I don't think it would be all that difficult for anyone who wanted it to get a hair or a discarded cup or whatever else I discard that has my DNA on it.

It's the old problem of convenience versus security. What is convenient is insecure, and what is secure is "too inconvenient" for the masses to support.

about a year ago

Survey: Most IT Staff Don't Communicate Security Risks

CitizenCain Yeah, I did that once... (227 comments)

Last time I communicated security risks to an executive, I was told to shut up. The owner/CEO had been using "bob" as his password for 30 years and wasn't about to change it, or allow password complexity policies because of some "theoretical risk." ...if only I'd thought ahead and gotten his E-trade username before I quit...

1 year,11 days

Obama Nominates RIAA Lawyer For Solicitor General

CitizenCain Re:Don't worry big media, the fix is in (463 comments)

My kingdom for mod points... and this is exactly what drives me nuts about the left-wing crowd. When Bush detains people indefinitely and launches "targeted drone attacks" (assassination by UAV) and engages in warrantless wiretapping and "National Security Letters" and so on, it's a dangerous, outrageous and evil assault on freedom and the American way of life.

Until their candidate takes the Oval Office and expands all those programs and it's... supposedly some great progressive step forward for American society, or something. At the very least, it's no longer an outrage or an imminent threat to us all. Who knew things could become so different by switching a letter beside someone's name?

Well, anyway, it makes it very hard to avoid the conclusion that, for all their rhetoric, the left-wing crowd and the Democrats don't care about our rights and civil liberties either. I guess it's a foregone conclusion that we're going to live under a tyranny, so we might as well get excited about the current tyrant being more articulate and better spoken than the last one, yippie.

more than 3 years ago

Dating Site Creates Profiles From Public Records

CitizenCain Re:Privacy (257 comments)

As per the article, the Australian Privacy Commissioner has suggested the company might be running afoul of the Australian NPP. Since even our government seems to have more money than this company, I'd bet there will be sufficient complaints reasonably quickly and the Govt will be initiating the lawsuits. Popcorn or similar snacks will be recommended :)

I don't see much of a show coming out of this. If they start getting hit with lawsuits they don't want, they can just reincorporate in a country or jurisdiction which doesn't have any privacy laws and/or strictly limits damages/class action status... or better yet, a jurisdiction where the judicial system is an entrepreneurial enterprise, and they can buy legal protection.

more than 3 years ago

Military Aircraft To Get All-Fiber Network Gear

CitizenCain Re:No NEW-HYPE? (144 comments)

>Reduce weight on an airplane? I'd start with the passengers. The military's done this already. UAVs.

And the predictions are that the next generation of fighter jets (like the F-35s - jets currently in the pipeline, but not in production) are going to be the last ones flown by people sitting inside them. We've reached the point where the pilot is the limiting factor on how fast we can accelerate or alter a jet's flight path (too many G's, the pilot passes out), and it shouldn't be hard to figure out what an advantage one side would have in aerial combat if their jets can execute a 180 degree turn on a dime and accelerate at 20 Gs, and the other side can't. Not to mention who'd have the cooler airshows. :D

more than 3 years ago



New Jersey Bars Some Sex Offenders From Internet

CitizenCain CitizenCain writes  |  more than 6 years ago

CitizenCain (1209428) writes "According to Information Week...

"New Jersey has banned some sex offenders from using computers or accessing the Internet.

Acting Gov. Richard Codey signed bill S1979 into law Thursday and announced that it will provide the state with nearly unparalleled authority to monitor or restrict Internet access by convicted sex offenders.

The law prohibits anyone convicted of using a computer to commit a sex offense from using computers or accessing the Internet for part or all of their parole. It also allows the State Parole Board to impose Internet restrictions on sex offenders who did not use a computer to facilitate their crimes."

The claim is that "[s]ex offenders cannot be given an opportunity to abuse the anonymity the Internet can provide as a means of opening a door to countless new potential victims," but I can't help but notice the level of access to "countless new potential victims" that cars grant sex offenders, and the fact that there's no law banning sex offenders from driving.

When all else fails, blame teh 3vil interweb, I guess."

Link to Original Source


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