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New York's Financial Regulator Subpoenas Bitcoin Companies

dynamo52 Re:Can Someone Explain To Me The Difference... (259 comments)

[Can Someone Explain To Me The Difference] between bitcoin and something like WoW gold and similar virtual currencies? Why all the interest in bitcoin all of a relative sudden after decades of ignoring all the trade in other virtual currencies?

There are many important differences but I would say the most the most significant is one of simple trust. With WoW gold, Amazon coins, Facebook credits, or any other virtual currency to exist before Bitcoin you had to place your trust in the issuer of those tokens. This means that ultimately, their value is entirely dependent upon the fortunes and whims of that issuer. They could be discontinued, devalued, confiscated, or erased at any time and in a fashion beyond your control. As Bitcoin is entirely decentralized there is no such counter party risk. The protocols are open source and can only be changed by the collective agreement of greater than 50% of the total hashing (processing) power available to the network as a whole. Also, as there is no central server or organization that can be shut down it is highly resistant to coercion or seizure. Even if it were ruled illegal it would be nearly impossible for a government to completely restrict its use.

about a year ago
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Bitcoins Seized In Drug Bust

dynamo52 Re:It was bound to happen (198 comments)

Actually, if he managed them properly (i.e. encrypted the wallet so authorities don't have access and backed it up to a location he can access later, e.g. email it to an anonymous webmail account) they really haven't "seized" anything. He can simply unseize them the next time he has unrestricted internet access. This is just another reason Bitcoin is better than cash. If you know what you are doing it cannot be confiscated or stolen, only transferred with your consent or by coercion.

about a year and a half ago
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Clinkle Wants To Become Your Wallet

dynamo52 Re:The problem with credit cards is... (121 comments)

It's quite a racket, if you think about it: 3% of the top of a huge chunk of all consumer transactions. I dream of seeing some real competition in the payment processing market.

I'm sure this will have essentially the same fee structure and profit models as standard credit cards. The best long term hope for true competition payment processing is Bitcoin. With a mostly voluntary transaction fee of about $0.01 on any transaction including those across borders, it is secure, pseudo-anonymous, non-reversible, and there is no bank or government to deny access or confiscate funds. With greater adoption values should rise significantly with diminishing volatility until eventually a slow, steady deflation sets in. While many would argue that deflation is bad, this is not necessarily correct as this only applies if Bitcoin were to totally supplant fiat currency but this is highly unlikely. More probable is that it will be used in much the same way as cash or debit cards, as a replacement for Western Union, and as a store of value. You will always need dollars (or euro, or yuan,...) to pay your taxes.

about a year and a half ago
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Electronics-Loving 'Crazy Ants' Invading Southern US

dynamo52 Re:Depends on the electronics (250 comments)

Maybe folks should think about keeping anteaters as household pets

This wouldn't work. These ants don't live anywhere cold enough to freeze the gorillas.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Anti-Spam Service Extortion?

dynamo52 Re:Flip side.... (279 comments)

Not necessarily. If you were looking to establish a business relationship and emailed inquiries to a half dozen companies, why would you bother to follow up with somebody who, from your perspective, didn't make an effort to reply.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Anti-Spam Service Extortion?

dynamo52 Re:Flip side.... (279 comments)

"Spam is a problem where false positives generally cost less than false negatives"

This may be true if you are a basement dwelling slashdotter but out in the real world a single false positive is one too many. Try explaining your position to a client or executive who missed a million dollar inquiry due to your overly aggressive spam filters.

about 2 years ago
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Toshiba Pursues Copyright Claim Against Laptop Manual Site

dynamo52 Re:Toshiba charges $49 for warranty call, $29 for (268 comments)

I would happily recommend non-technical users purchase directly through Apple even with their premium pricing model based solely on their excellent post-sales support but for the fact that they only sell Apple products.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Incentives For IT Workers?

dynamo52 Re:"we have guns" . . . (468 comments)

I call bullshit.

Judging by your previous posts, the politics you appear to embrace are much too aligned with the United States tea party types to truly represent any western European citizen I have ever known. First of all, Ive never seen any European refer to California as "Kalifornia" and there aren't many European global warming deniers either. If you do live in western Europe as you say, you are likely an American abroad, not invested in the social contract of your host nation, and simply projecting your provincial misunderstandings upon your current home. In this case, my guess is that there are very few around you who would share your opinions.

more than 2 years ago
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Best Buy Founder Makes $8.5 Billion Bid To Take Company Private

dynamo52 Re:Riiight... (300 comments)

I've always considered Best Buy a terrific example to illustrate the quote "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."

more than 2 years ago
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Today, Everybody's a Fact Checker

dynamo52 Re:Facts are facts... or are they? (143 comments)

The obvious failings of Politifact have actually caused me to consider what it would take to create a forum for debate where fact and substantive debate would drive the content. What I envision is a website where you could check the accuracy of not only public officials but also media broadcasts and other reporting.

As far as election debate, I could imagine each candidate for example having their own section. Within this section, it could be divided into broad policy areas such as Security, Economic, Social, and Environmental. Each of these could be subdivided as necessary and within these divisions every statement made by the candidate or campaign could be independently analyzed against on a set of predetermined measures of accuracy and level of content, Anybody would be allowed to provide feedback and analysis but this would be moderated and scored against some type of "reputation index" where authoritative sources are primary followed by respected scientists or leaders in the field all the way down to anonymous sources (whose voice will be heard but whose analyses would not impact scoring). The candidates would be allowed to expand and clarify their positions and even respond to the analysis and these responses would themselves be scored. The scores could then be aggregated and averaged to provide a wider perspective view.

Of course this is all total speculation. I neither have the time or resources necessary to realize a project of this magnitude but would be thrilled to provide feedback to anybody considering implementing something of this nature.

more than 2 years ago
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Today, Everybody's a Fact Checker

dynamo52 Re:Facts are facts... or are they? (143 comments)

The problem with Politifact, and in fact much of political reporting, is the cult of false equivalency.

You just nailed the greatest problem with political discourse in this country. Most of the major news organizations have decided that impartiality requires they provide an equal platform to both sides of any issue regardless of where the facts lie. Rather than informing their audience, this type of "balanced" reporting only clouds the debate by giving the appearance of credibility to science deniers and conspiracy theorists.

more than 2 years ago
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Windows 8 Graphics: Microsoft Has Hardware-Accelerated Everything

dynamo52 Re:crash faster (563 comments)

Fair enough but then there is the issue of readily available, fully supported, Industry specific software.

more than 2 years ago
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Windows 8 Graphics: Microsoft Has Hardware-Accelerated Everything

dynamo52 Re:crash faster (563 comments)

But it isn't just office. Active directory is much easier to deploy and manage than an assortment of linux servers running ldap, DNS, etc. Business isn't just email, word, and excel. It is about effortless collaboration and communication.

more than 2 years ago
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Windows 8 Graphics: Microsoft Has Hardware-Accelerated Everything

dynamo52 Re:crash faster (563 comments)

In the handful of malware cases I've seen on a Win7 system, the have been limited to userland and easily cleaned. As to rebooted they are primarily reserved for software updates and installations requiring drivers.

more than 2 years ago
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Windows 8 Graphics: Microsoft Has Hardware-Accelerated Everything

dynamo52 Re:crash faster (563 comments)

Actually I have to correct myself. I have had servers crash but that was primarily due to being improperly configured.

more than 2 years ago
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Windows 8 Graphics: Microsoft Has Hardware-Accelerated Everything

dynamo52 Re:crash faster (563 comments)

Yes I know you trying to be funny but as an IT consultant for small and midsized businesses, I haven't seen a Windows system totally crash since XP and even then rarely saw any crashes after SP3. For all the haters here on Slashdot, Windows is still by far the best desktop environment available for use in a business setting.

more than 2 years ago
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Android Forums Hacked: 1 Million User Credentials Stolen

dynamo52 Who cares? (93 comments)

I use a unique email address and randomly generated password for every single website to which I register. I don't know if I am a member on this forum but even if I am, I'm not going to bother with changing credentials because frankly, if somebody wants to impersonate me on a forum I may have joined simply for advice on a particular product I say go for it.

more than 2 years ago
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Supreme Court: Affordable Care Act Is Constitutional

dynamo52 Re:So from here on out ... (2416 comments)

You don't get it. The "mandate' or more appropriately described tax penalty is accompanied by tax credits which means if you truly cannot afford the premiums, they will be partially or fully offset by a lower withholding from your paycheck or even a tax refund beyond withholdings for the extremely poor. If you can afford it, you should have insurance lest you offload your emergency care costs and overall higher cost of servicing to those who do. You are not required to but if you don't, it is entirely reasonable you pay a tax to support the higher cost of service you are imposing upon the rest of us.

more than 2 years ago
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Supreme Court: Affordable Care Act Is Constitutional

dynamo52 Re:So from here on out ... (2416 comments)

You will get tax credits based upon your income. This means that lower income workers will have up to 100% of their premiums offset either through a lower income tax bill or tax refund. Also, since this is a tax credit similar to the EIC, you may be eligible for a refund even if you had nothing withheld for federal income taxes.

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft: Macs 'Not Safe From Malware, Attacks Will Increase'

dynamo52 Re:Not really surprising (290 comments)

... no one got fired for running Linux

That's because by the time they had a fully functional system, there were so many obscure configurations, custom scripts, and dirty hacks required that they are the only one who knows how to administer it.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Did Facebook replace your telephone contacts' email addresses?

dynamo52 dynamo52 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dynamo52 (890601) writes "

Remember when Facebook changed all of our default email accounts to their own, unused system, without informing any of us? That was fun! But it looks like the problem could be much wider and more damaging than it first seemed.

Apparently since nobody wants or needs a Facebook email address, Zuckerberg and co have decided the only way to get people to use their substandard service is to delete the other email address already stored on your phone."
Link to Original Source

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Bitcoinica breach nets hackers $87,000 in Bitcoin

dynamo52 dynamo52 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dynamo52 (890601) writes "

More than $87,000 worth of the virtual currency known as Bitcoin was stolen after online bandits penetrated servers belonging to Bitcoinica, prompting its operators to temporarily shutter the trading platform to contain the damage.

Friday's theft came after hackers accessed Bitcoinica's production servers and depleted its online wallet of 18,547 BTC, as individual Bitcoin units are called, company officials said in a blog post published on Friday. It said the heist affected only a small fraction of Bitcoinica's overall bitcoin deposits and that all withdrawal requests will be honored once the platform reopens.

"

Link to Original Source
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Best WiFi solution for motel

dynamo52 dynamo52 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

dynamo52 (890601) writes "I have been tasked with replacing a managed WiFi system for a mid-sized hotel. They have already selected Comcast to provide a 100mbps connection which unfortunately must come in at one corner of the property which I would estimate covers approximately 4-5 acres. The hotel plans to provide this service for free so there is not the need for any type of billing management systems or the like though it should be secured enough that the parking lot does not become a free WiFi hotspot. Additionally, there is no ethernet infrastructure in place. The existing APs (hidden away in proprietary encasements) seem to be connected via telephone lines and the owners have strongly indicated they would prefer that no new wiring be installed.

Have any Slashdotters implemented similar systems? Specifically, what hardware did you use and what special considerations should I take in designing this system?"
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Microsoft More Secure Than Apple, Adobe?

dynamo52 dynamo52 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

dynamo52 (890601) writes ""Now when you look at Microsoft today they do more to secure their software than anyone. They're the model for how to do it. They're not perfect; there's room for improvement. But they are definitely doing more than anybody else in the industry, I would say. From an internal process in how they go about auditing their code and securing software from a technical perspective, they do have one of the best models. The area they still have room for improvement is around time lines of how long it takes for them to fix things."

Marc Maiffret is now pointing to Adobe and Apple as being companies who are lacking in the security department. "They are starting to get black eyes with people saying Adobe is a bigger worry than Microsoft is at the moment, which I agree with. As those things are happening, Adobe and Apple and other companies are starting to pay attention and care more. But a year ago, it was still very much a marketing thing. People from both companies treated it as a marketing problem. They didn't have good technical structures behind the scenes.""

Link to Original Source
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Every Black Hole Contains Another Universe?

dynamo52 dynamo52 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

dynamo52 (890601) writes "

Like part of a cosmic Russian doll, our universe may be nested inside a black hole that is itself part of a larger universe.

In turn, all the black holes found so far in our universe--from the microscopic to the supermassive--may be doorways into alternate realities.

I had a similar thought one time based on a mathematical model I saw while reading a book on string theory. I also considered that each successive black hole could cause a dimension to "collapse". (i.e. our universe would be derived from a black hole in a universe with 4 spatial dimensions) Of course, I am not a physicist but it is interesting to see that they have similar ideas."
Link to Original Source

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Is Time Disappearing From the Universe?

dynamo52 dynamo52 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

dynamo52 (890601) writes "Professor Jose Senovilla, and his colleagues at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao, Spain, have proposed a mind-bending alternative [to the theory of dark energy]."

From the article: "...to this day no one actually knows what dark energy is, or where it comes from. They propose that there is no such thing as dark energy at all, and we're looking at things backwards." "Senovilla proposes that we have been fooled into thinking the expansion of the universe is accelerating, when in reality, time itself is slowing down."

"...the appearance of acceleration is caused by time itself gradually slowing down, like a clock with a run-down battery."

Link to Original Source
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Warp Drive - A new approach

dynamo52 dynamo52 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

dynamo52 (890601) writes "Two Baylor students claim to have used string theory equations to explain a method of traveling at faster than light speeds.

From the introduction: "Naively one could envision a spacecraft with an exotic power generator that could create the necessary energies to locally manipulate the extra dimension(s). In this way, an advanced spacecraft would expand/contract the compactified spacetime around it, thereby creating the propulsion effect."

It kind of reminds me of the time Professor Farnsworth said "The ship stays in place, and the universe moves around it.""
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Is Comcast cheating on bandwidth testing?

dynamo52 dynamo52 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

dynamo52 (890601) writes "I am a freelance network admin who mainly services small business clients. Over the last few months, I have been noticing that anytime I have run any type of bandwidth testing for clients with Comcast accounts, the results have been amazingly fast; with some connections, Speakeasy will report up to 15Mbps down and 4Mbps up. Of course, clients get nowhere near this performance in everyday usage.

Upon further investigation, it appears that Comcast delivers this bandwidth only for a few seconds after any new request and it is immediately throttled down. The only way to get any type of accurate estimates are to actually download and upload a significantly large file (100MB+). Doing so yields results more in line with expectations (usually about 1.2Mbps down and about 250Kbps up but it varies).

My main question is this: Is there any valid reason Comcast would front load transfers in this way, or is it merely an effort to prevent end users from being able to accurately assess their bandwidth? Also, does anybody know of other ISPs that use similar practices? This can be quite annoying when trying to determine whether a small client really needs to switch over to a T1 or if their current ISP will suffice."

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