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Comments

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Notch Expands On 0x10c, Microsoft and Quantum Computing

bencoder Success Seems Unlikely (94 comments)

0x10c sounds like a game that geeks (like me) would make if they didn't have financial constraints. I doubt it will reach any kind of mass market appeal and the hoards of minecraft fans hanging on Notch's every word will probably be dissapointed. But I'm looking forward to it.

about a year ago
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WordPress To Accept Bitcoins

bencoder Re:Bitcoin will never (205 comments)

While that is the reason for waiting for a new block, note however, that nodes won't relay transactions that would cause a double spend. Therefore you would have to do the double spend at the exact same time.

If you can get a direct connection to the recieving nodes, so that the transactions only take one step to go from your machine to the receiving machine, you still have to be fast enough that the receiving machine won't see the first transaction on the network before you do your double spend. In practice, unless you are able to mine the next block(and therefore create a transaction to yourself with those coins, so that the double spent transactions will be invalidated), double spending is impractical. And you have to get away from the scene within a few minutes, impractical if you're buying a beer or fast food.

about a year and a half ago
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Single-Player Game Model 'Finished,' Says EA Exec

bencoder Re:guess I won't be buying many more games then... (439 comments)

I tend to disagree. I dislike movie-like setups (I'm a nosy person and keep bumping into "you're not supposed to be here" corners with blatant immersion-breaking obstacles blocking your way). OTOH, I love huge, open-ended single-player sandbox style games. A huge world with a lot to do and with freedom of choice what to do. Events unfold around you and you're often in the middle of things, but you may turn around and do other things if you choose so.

Can you give some recommendations for games? There's minecraft, which I love, but I'd love to hear of any other games you could suggest.

more than 3 years ago
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Wikileaks Founder Arrested In London

bencoder Re:It wasn't rape! (1060 comments)

that article is from the 19th of November. Things have moved faster than you know.

Stephens, told AOL News today that Swedish prosecutors told him that Assange is wanted not for allegations of rape, as previously reported, but for something called "sex by surprise," which he said involves a fine of 5,000 kronor or about $715.

***

"We don't even know what 'sex by surprise' even means, and they haven't told us," Stephens said, just hours after Sweden's Supreme Court rejected Assange's bid to prevent an arrest order from being issued against him on allegations of sex crimes.

http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2010/12/sex-charges-and-arrest-warrant-against.html

more than 3 years ago
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Bitcoin Releases Version 0.3

bencoder Re:Where does the value come from? (491 comments)

Your requirements are rather onerous. Why don't you list ALL places where you can exchange USDGBP and what the current exchange rate is. It's just nonsense.

I've made a list, I probably haven't got all of them:

https://www.bitcoinexchange.com/
http://www.buybitcoins.com/
http://www.sellbitcoins.com/
http://www.bitcoin4cash.com/ (appears to be down)
https://www.bitcoinmarket.com/ (appears to be down)

The exchange rate normally hangs around 200BTC per USD. but the price has gone up recently because of the /. publicity.

This site used to offer exchange but not at the moment: http://newlibertystandard.wetpaint.com/page/Exchange+Rate

more than 3 years ago
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Bitcoin Releases Version 0.3

bencoder Re:Where does the value come from? (491 comments)

Well regardless of if you think bitcoins or worthless or not, they are currently trading at about 200 bitcoins per dollar. This is because, believe it or not, there is demand for bitcoins.

Trinkets have no "intrinsic value". They are valuable because there is demand for them and there is a limited quantity of them.

Money does not have to be intrinsically valuable. It only has to be difficult to create more of, easily divisible and easily transferable. Bitcoins fulfil this perfectly.

So no, you will not be able to give someone $1 for all 21 million bitcoins. Currently about 3million have been "minted" and are being used in real trade for physical products and services, regardless of your nonsensical idea of a currency requiring "value".

more than 3 years ago
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Bitcoin Releases Version 0.3

bencoder Re:More information (491 comments)

You could also say that the early adopters are risking the energy they are burning up to generate these bitcoins. By taking the risk in an unproven currency, they get a bigger share if it works out well. Basically the same as any other investment.

It's not really any different than prospecting for gold.

more than 3 years ago
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Bitcoin Releases Version 0.3

bencoder Re:Where does the value come from? (491 comments)

Like gold, bitcoins have an upper limit. There is a total absolute maximum of 21million bitcoins. This cannot be changed.

There is no way to print more bitcoins like with cash.

There is no way to create fake bitcoins like is possible with gold.

It is possible to transfer this currency instantly over the net, unlike gold. Although this is kind of possible with an e-gold like service, you have to trust someone actually is holding on to your gold. Bitcoins have no such problem.

In essence, it has all the advantages of using a limited resource, without the disadvantage that you have to carry or store this limited resource physically and without any chance of forgery.

more than 3 years ago
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Bitcoin Releases Version 0.3

bencoder Re:More information (491 comments)

Well, there are Bitcoin exchanges so you can convert to and from USD if you prefer a centralised fiat currency. You're correct, currently there are not so many services available that will accept bitcoin. The hope is that since this is a new, inherently stable, unmanipulatable currency, that we will see more and more services offering bitcoin payment options.

see The marketplace on the forum for places where you could spend your bitcoins.

more than 3 years ago
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Bitcoin Releases Version 0.3

bencoder More information (491 comments)

Since the site is down and the summary is light on information, let me try and summarise this a bit better, from what I've picked up, so I might be wrong on some of the details):

Nodes connect to each other in a P2P network.
The nodes perform hashing problems, attempting to find a number that hashes to a value with a certain number of 0's at the start (binary zero's, aka, the number has to be below a certain value)
The network assigns bitcoins to those nodes who have found solutions to the hashes.
After a certain amount of time the difficulty of finding the hashes increases(an extra 0 is added to the hash solution required)
This increase in difficulty continues until eventually there will be 21million bitcoins and no more can exist.

We are currently in the inflationary stage, so the supply of bitcoins is increasing. once all 21 million have been assigned, then it will become deflationary, as no new coins can ever be created and coins that are lost are lost forever.

bitcoins can be divided into 100 million pieces, so the limit of 21 million coins is not a major stumbling block.

Essentially it's a way to create a decentralised currency with a hard limit on how much is available, ensuring that it cannot be inflated by a central government simply printing more cash or adding some numbers to a computer system.

more than 3 years ago
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Trailer For Blender Open Movie Sintel Ready

bencoder Not peach or apricot (182 comments)

(We discussed the beginnings of this project in 2007.)

Well, that is incorrect. You've linked to an article about Peach and Apricot projects, both of which were completed.

This is a seperate, 4th project, Durian (Orange being the first)

more than 3 years ago
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Apple Raises E-book Prices For Everyone

bencoder Re:Gonna sound snarky.... (327 comments)

Disclosure: I work (in-house IT) for a publisher. We publish in physical and ebook formats.

The vast majority of texts that authors give us are incredibly poor. Our editors have an extremely hard job of cleaning these up and rewriting them so that they are generally understandable and professional and are correctly targeted for our audience. To our established authors, we also offer them an advance on their work.

Even if it's just ebooks, getting it into all the available distribution channels and formats for the various stores requires a high level of technical competence, this is likely more than a lone writer wants to learn.

Of course they could pay someone independently to do this for them, just as they could pay someone independently to edit the book. It is a trade off and while some authors will prefer doing it alone, some(many) prefer the relative security of going through an established publisher who has existing links to distributors, printers, editors and the technical know-how to get it into the required formats to ensure the maximum market for the book.

more than 3 years ago
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Vatican Chooses Open FITS Image Format

bencoder Re:40 Years? (223 comments)

40 man-years.

One guy's been using it since it was invented. Someone else found out about it eleven years ago and has been using it since them.

more than 3 years ago
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Gun With Wireless Arming Signal Goes On Sale Soon

bencoder Re:Product in Search of a problem, creating more (457 comments)

Well of course, if the gun can't be remotely disabled then it is safer to try and get it off them(gender-neutral singular them) as soon as possible.

In this case however, if they've got a hold of your gun then you can simply back off and then the attacker may attempt to shoot, before discovering that it's disabled and that will give the LEO an advantage.

It makes sense that police officers would behave differently with a weapon like this.

more than 4 years ago
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Reported Obama Plan Would Privatize Manned Launches

bencoder Re:This is Good (450 comments)

Well sure, if governments bought products like regular buyers do then it wouldn't be a problem. But governments are not subject to any of the same constraints that standard citizens do (i.e. essentially unlimited budgets, no market feedback, can increase income without any change in output or behaviour) so given that, you undermined your own argument.

more than 4 years ago
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Reported Obama Plan Would Privatize Manned Launches

bencoder Re:This is Good (450 comments)

In other words, actual free-market capitalism.

It's not free market capitalism when the government's doing the buying.

more than 4 years ago
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Reported Obama Plan Would Privatize Manned Launches

bencoder Privatisation (450 comments)

Privatisation isn't privatisation when your primary customers and sources of funding come from the government. There is in fact no difference, just an illusion of competition. What is needed is for them to remove the regulations that exist against private space travel. Remove the monopolistic government funded NASA entirely, leaving the playing field completely open for private firms to build a true spot in the marketplace. That is the only way space exploration, tourism and travel will be able to survive.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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UK plan to monitor all internet use

bencoder bencoder writes  |  more than 4 years ago

bencoder (1197139) writes "In further increases in police powers here in the UK, communications firms are being asked to record all internet contacts between people as part of a "modernisation in UK police surveillance tactics".

The new system would track all e-mails, phone calls and internet use, including visits to social network sites. Announcing a consultation on a new strategy for communications data and its use in law enforcement, Jacqui Smith said there would be no single government-run database. But she also said that "doing nothing" in the face of a communications revolution was not an option.

She is quoted as saying "Communications data is an essential tool for law enforcement agencies to track murderers and paedophiles, save lives and tackle crime"

No consideration appears to have been given to who is going to pay for these firms("Communication Service Providers") to record all our internet communications, but whether it's paid for in higher fees or higher taxes, it's going to come back to us."

Link to Original Source
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Mini Nuclear Reactors to Power Homes

bencoder bencoder writes  |  more than 5 years ago

bencoder (1197139) writes "A New Mexico based company, Hyperion Power Generation, have started production of hot tub-sized nuclear generators designed to power communities across America.

Powered by low-enriched uranium fuel, each Hyperion Power Module will produce enough clean, safe and environmentally friendly energy to reliably power 20,000 standard American homes for 10cents per kilowatt/hr. Linked together they have the capacity to power much larger enterprises.

The technology was originally pioneered by the US government's Los Alamos laboratory, famed for producing the first atomic bomb. However, the development rights have now been passed to Hyperion Power Generation (HPG) who plan to have production up and running within 5 years.

Small enough to be transported to their destination on the back of a lorry, the miniature power generators will be factory sealed, buried underground and guarded for maximum security.

They also contain no moving parts so there is no risk that they could ever go into meltdown as the fuel they contain will instantaneously cool if they are ever opened.

According to the website, Hyperion modules have no moving parts to wear down, and are never opened. If one were to be compromised, due to the unique, yet proven science upon which this new technology is based, it is impossible for the module to go supercritical, "melt down" or create any type of emergency situation because, if opened, the fuel that is enclosed would immediately cool. The waste produced after five years of operation is approximately the size of a softball and is a good candidate for fuel recycling.

According to plans released by Hyperion, 3 factories across the world have already begun production of an initial 4,000 units. Each designed to produce 25 mega watts of electricity, the first 100 look set to be allocated to industrial enterprises operating in remote areas. However, the plan is to encourage the use of this potentially revolutionary technology in communities throughout the US.

Hyperion Chief Executive, John Deal, enthused: "Our goal is to generate electricity for 10 cents a kilowatt/hr anywhere in the world,"

They will cost approximately $25m [£13m] each. For a community with 10,000 households, that is a very affordable $2,500 per home. (That's over 5 years, so $500/year)"

Link to Original Source
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Elonex One - 99 pound ultra portable linux laptop

bencoder bencoder writes  |  more than 6 years ago

bencoder writes "The Elonex ONE, the UK's first sub £100 notebook, is to be released on the 28th February at The Education Show in Birmingham. It is aimed at children and teenagers for educational purposes.

From the press release:

"Introducing the Elonex 'ONE' laptop, the UK's first sub £100 laptop. Aimed at the Education Sector, the ONE is an ultra-portable laptop that gives wireless access to internet, eMail, word processing and spreadsheets. These functions are the fundamental building blocks which form the foundation of a child's computing skills which can then be developed throughout their education. The ONE is designed to engage and motivate children and will open up a wide range of new and innovative teaching methods."

Elonex seem to be very light on the details but in an article from The Inquirer it appears to have a 300MHz CPU from an unknown manufacturer, 128mb of RAM, 1GB of flash memory. The screen is 7 inches with a resolution of 800x480. The laptop also includes wifi and bluetooth access.

Check out the website: http://www.elonexone.co.uk/"

Link to Original Source

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