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NSA Allegedly Exploited Heartbleed

Vintermann Re:I don't understand (149 comments)

That's a good idea, because the least accountable branch of government is surely on your side! /s

The judicial branch and the supreme court serve much the same purpose as the Tsar in old Russia. No matter how bad it gets, it's not the Tsar's fault. It's the noblemen's fault. The Tsar just has bad advisers. If only we could get past them and talk to him and make him understand, it'd all be OK.

about two weeks ago
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First Automatic Identification of Flying Insects Allows Hi-Tech Bug Zapping

Vintermann Re:Millions of people. (99 comments)

Frankly, you're not impressing anyone with your tough-nose naturalism. Mosquito bites me because that's it's nature. I murder mosquito with prejudice as often as I can because that's my nature.

about a month ago
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First Automatic Identification of Flying Insects Allows Hi-Tech Bug Zapping

Vintermann Re:And the product name? (99 comments)

Not an entomologist, but it seems you have some awfully mammalian assumptions here.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Trust Bitcoin?

Vintermann Re:My guess (631 comments)

Yeah. Pretty much everyone agrees on the first bit, that somehow Mt Gox got into trouble, and tried to get out of it by gambling with the customers' money like a bank (but uninsured!). The question is what that trouble was. It does not go back to when bitcoin was worth pennies, that I'm pretty confident of. I'm also pretty confident that it wasn't the transaction malleability bug itself - at worst, that could have drained the

However, the transaction malleability bug might have been the trigger - or rather, the bank run it provoked was the trigger. As people were trying to withdraw bitcoin, Gox tried to dip into their long-term storage (cold wallet) - and they made an unpleasant discovery.

What? That some of the cold wallets were empty, drained by an unfaithful employee? That they'd lost the passwords to some cold wallets? I don't know. Anyway, they briefly tried some desperate things with the money they had, in order to fix the problem before anyone knew. It failed. Then they went to other exchanges for a "bailout", trying to buy more time to fix the issue. Then the other exchanges demanded they come clean and reported them to the authorities.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Trust Bitcoin?

Vintermann Re:As Frontalot says (631 comments)

Don't put your ignorance on display. The bug in bitcoin was that something you would think could be used as a transaction ID, wasn't in fact usable as such. Making it possible to trick people to resend money they had in fact already sent. No money was duplicated, and by itself, the bug did not allow theft (it only enabled some form of social engineering attacks).

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Trust Bitcoin?

Vintermann Re:As Frontalot says (631 comments)

Not this again.

There are a number of things that are valuable, even if you personally think there's no reason they should be valuable. Old Magic the Gathering cards, most of the stuff on exhibit in MoMA, pieces of paper with numbers on them from foreign lands, etc. If you steal these things, you're still a thief in the law's eyes.

For that matter, if you steal something which has no market value, but only value to the owner, you're still a thief. Don't go stealing people's family albums.

In some jurisdictions, even the stuff people throw into the trash is illegal to take.

Bitcoin does not have to be a currency to be recognized as valuable. Since it provably has a market value, the state would have to preemptively declare it worthless, or claims about it unenforcable, for it to lack protection. If you steal bitcoin and get caught, you're going to jail.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Trust Bitcoin?

Vintermann Re:As Frontalot says (631 comments)

So the question becomes, do you trust your government?

Well, do I have any choice? Not a meaningful one that I can see. Since I already have to trust government in umpteen areas of my life already, trusting it one more (money) doesn't make much difference. But it's worth thinking about how we can decentralize all that trust. Right now, no one is asking more interesting questions around that than the bitcoin folks.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Trust Bitcoin?

Vintermann Re:As Frontalot says (631 comments)

These are problems, but they aren't insurmountable problems. One of the things which changed my mind about bitcoin a bit was seeing all the damn clever stuff they've come up with - paper wallets, offline transaction signing, etc. Yeah, if my machine gets hacked, I may lose what's in my desktop wallet.. but presently, that is so little that it's an acceptable price to pay to find out I've been hacked ;)

About exchanges, you know what Bismarck said ... Those who know how laws and sausages are made, do not like either. There's a lot of shoddy security in our conventional banking system, too. Think about credit cards, about how rotten security they actually have if you look objectively on it. With bitcoin, I at least know there's some really smart cryptographic design at the core of it.

You can't be sure. You can never be sure. The question is what risks you're willing to take. Right now you (and me, and everyone else) trust a lot in "too big to fail", or "too many to fail" - that we're in the same boat as enough people, or enough powerful people, that if something gets messed up too bad the powers that be (government and non-government) will set it right. To avoid food riots if nothing else.

Wouldn't it be nice with a little more decentralization, a little more democracy, a little more trusting in math than trusting in the self-interest of a powerful few? Bitcoin is at heart an experiment in distributed consensus-mechanisms. It's an interesting experiment.

about 2 months ago
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YouTube Ordered To Remove "Illegal" Copyright Blocking Notices

Vintermann Re:The court is right (427 comments)

EU isn't a country, and yes, free speech is protected as a human right. You can insult famous people in Britain all you like, as long as you don't allege something about them which is not true. The problem is how Britain's libel laws favor ligitive rich accusers, but Britain is hardly the only places that favors rich, ligitive bastards.

about 2 months ago
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YouTube Ordered To Remove "Illegal" Copyright Blocking Notices

Vintermann Re:The court is right (427 comments)

There is no burden of proof on GEMA, they can demand the takedown of any video, whether it contains something they hold rights to or not. Thus, "it may contain" is the strongest thing Google can say. It is also the undeniable truth that Youtube does not have a license, as such, it's 100% correct that GEMA hasn't granted one. It's true no matter what the demands are on either side.

Youtube has no obligation to paint GEMA in a favorable light, as long as their statements are true. They can say GEMA are evil, unreasonable greedy misers, and it would be perfectly legal free speech (as it should be).

about 2 months ago
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Assange's Lawyers: Follow Swedish Law, Interrogate Him In the UK

Vintermann Re:or stop hiding... (377 comments)

So your work filter blocks Human Rights Watch? Interesting.

"Two men"? You mean two CIA agents, or two torture victims?

It got no meaningful consequences for anyone, either in Sweden or the US. Italy at least had the guts to issue arrest warrants for the CIA criminals, no such thing in lapdog Sweden.

I'm not here to entertain your easy dismissals. I'd say the burden is on you to show Sweden's government has changed character. Got anything?

They used to blindly give the US what they want, even when it violated fundamental human rights .If it was your human rights that were at stake, I think you should be forgiven for not trusting that they have changed.

about 2 months ago
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Study Finds Methane Leaks Negate Benefits of Natural Gas-Powered Vehicles

Vintermann Re:Manipulative headline (102 comments)

Instead, what we should really do is improve the drilling techniques to avoid/minimize leakage.

No. In order to say that, we need to know how feasible it is to reduce leakage. It's by no means certain it's easy or even possible.

about 2 months ago
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Assange's Lawyers: Follow Swedish Law, Interrogate Him In the UK

Vintermann Re:or stop hiding... (377 comments)

UK is more powerful , and more nationalistic. The Conservatives may be just as deferential to the US in private as Sweden's ruling party, but they would pay a big price with their constituents if they acted like lapdogs in public.

about 2 months ago
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Assange's Lawyers: Follow Swedish Law, Interrogate Him In the UK

Vintermann Re:or stop hiding... (377 comments)

I'm sure you know UK, but you don't know Sweden. The ruling party has close ties to the US. They've used Karl Rove as a consultant, and the foreign minister has admitted to passing on highly confidential information to the US embassy in the 70s - inter-party negotiation positions, stuff he wasn't even allowed to share with his own party.

They would pay a political price for just turning over Assange. But they would do it. They would need only the flimsiest of excuses. To be seen as US' puppets in their own country's eyes? No big deal to them, rubbing elbows with the US is worth it.

about 2 months ago
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Utopia, Silk Road's Latest Replacement, Only Lasted Nine Days

Vintermann Re:Cartels (83 comments)

Criminal organizations aren't typically as well-run as they're presented in cinema. Organizations with as much violence as the Mexican cartels are going to be a nightmare to manage, with so little trust, so many people worried that they'll get murdered for random reasons, etc.

Government and corporate bureaucracies have a problem with ass-covering, people acting defensively to their own benefit but to the organization's detriment. How much worse isn't that going to be in places where you get killed for making mistakes (or making the wrong enemies - or the wrong friends).

So the level of personal initiative and creativity you can expect from a drug cartel isn't very high. This market is going to belong to the DRPs and McAfees of the world for a long while yet.

about 2 months ago
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Utopia, Silk Road's Latest Replacement, Only Lasted Nine Days

Vintermann Re:Tor (83 comments)

The difference is that The Pirate Bay deals in bits, whereas the Silk Road clones deal in physical goods that need to be shipped by post. If all these drugs could be cheaply assembled by a molecular 3d-printer or something, so only information needed to be transfered, I promise the sites would be every inch as resilient as The Pirate Bay.

about 2 months ago
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The Death Cap Mushroom Is Spreading Across the US

Vintermann Re:so dont eat them (274 comments)

People desiring religious experiences, but not being able to trust them unless there are hallucinogens involved.

about 2 months ago
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The Death Cap Mushroom Is Spreading Across the US

Vintermann Re:Why the hype? (274 comments)

This may have little to do with the Cultural Revolution. Picking wild mushrooms plays a much larger role in some cultures.

about 2 months ago

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