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Google Has Received Over 41,000 Requests To "Forget" Personal Information

fastest fascist Re:Do No Evil so why not delete the info? (138 comments)

say, you're actively committing fraud, by claiming that you're a doctor of alien sciences or some bullshit like that. should you be able to remove all criticism about your "alien artifact healing technology" or not?

should some random dude be able to remove _my_ information that I _want_ to be available?

To the first, I don't believe that is the kind of information Google is required to remove. To the second, Google requires verification of ID as part of the removal process.

Don't get me wrong, I think asking search engines to forget publically available data is censorship, and it seems like it must cost Google quite a bit to comply with such requirements. Still, let's at least criticize this development for what it is, not for what it might be in bizarro-world.

about 2 months ago
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Are Glowing, Solar Smart Roads the Future?

fastest fascist Re:Pipe Dream I suspect (193 comments)

What is going to prevent these plates from getting scratched and rendered useless shortly by studded tires, gravel, snow plows, etc.

Flying cars, of course.

about 3 months ago
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Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

fastest fascist Re:Unregulated currency (704 comments)

Hopefully the counterparty risk in trusting an exchange with your funds is now obvious enough people start demanding exchanges adopt procedures to let people check their BTC solvency at any time, and implement m-of-n transactions to ensure the exchange alone can't spend bitcoins without the user who owns the BTC signing off on it first.

Bitcoin is not designed to work in an environment where trust is important. It's designed to make it unnecessary to trust banks such as flexcoin to a large extent. That part needs some fleshing out, still, but the protocol offers a lot of opportunity for it.

about 5 months ago
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Startup Out of MIT Promises Digital Afterlife — Just Hand Over Your Data

fastest fascist Re:No. (241 comments)

What does this even mean? If you can transfer "brain state" to silicon, why can't you just make a copy of a living person instead of a dead or dying one? And if you had a silicon copy of yourself, would you be willing to kill the meat-you? No? Then I'd say a brain-state copy isn't you, it's a copy.

In short, either all this business about a continuous, individual consciousness is largely illusory or we just don't understand the phenomenon very well at all yet.

about 6 months ago
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US Government To Convert Silk Road Bitcoins To USD

fastest fascist Re:"according to the law" (408 comments)

So if you can't cover the costs of investigating and prosecuting a crime with seized assets, you should just ignore it?

about 6 months ago
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US Government To Convert Silk Road Bitcoins To USD

fastest fascist Re:Killing two birds with one stone? (408 comments)

Seriously, you think the U.S. Gov't is going to register at Mt Gox or Bitstamp and sell the SR coins there?

What do they do with seized gold? I'm pretty sure they don't go to the nearest pawn shop to sell it. In fact, I'm pretty sure they auction it.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Protect Your Passwords From Amnesia?

fastest fascist Re:A piece of paper in a drawer (381 comments)

A fine idea, but for the rare breed among us Slashdot readers who have sex, the penis is not the best place. I propose that the anal area is much better for most males - that way, only the TSA will see your passwords!

about 7 months ago
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Surge In Litecoin Mining Leads To Graphics Card Shortage

fastest fascist Re:Ummm Bullshit (213 comments)

There are a number of benefits to litecoin, particularly the faster transaction time."

Transaction times are the same as for Bitcoin - practically instant. The confirmations are faster, but I don't see why that's a benefit. Bitcoin could have a faster confirmation time, too. If you cut confirmation time in, say, half each confirmation would only provide half the security of the longer time since a confirmation would be twice as easy to get into the blockchain, all other things being equal.

Now, you do get that first confirmation faster if the confirmation time target is lower, but if you're accepting Litecoins with only a few confirmations, you're probably dealing with small amounts and might as well accept 0-confirmation Bitcoin transactions.

I'd be happy to hear why a shorter confirmation time is a real benefit, but AFAIK it's not.

about 8 months ago
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Bitcoin Thefts Surge, DDoS Hackers Take Millions

fastest fascist Re: not as certain as you say (305 comments)

Some times miners do solve the next block more or less simultaneously. The block chain then splits for a moment, until one of the chains started is definitively longer than the other. The shorter chain then gets discarded, its blocks becoming 'orphaned'. This happens regularly and is expected. As for your example, per this behaviour your own blockchain would have to be longer than the one everyne else was on, or it would never be accpeted as valid. This would require some very serious computing power for you to have any appreciable chance of pulling your attack off. As for the hidden ways Bitcoin can be influenced... can you name some examples?

about 8 months ago
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Bitcoin Thefts Surge, DDoS Hackers Take Millions

fastest fascist Re:The Real World (305 comments)

One of the least uncertain aspects of Bitcoin is the number of BTC awarded per block mined. That is dictated by the protocol. The code is open source so you can check if you're willing and able.

Basically, though, the block reward gets halved every 210,000 blocks. That's happened once so far, and no-one pulled any switch to do it. Everyone running a Bitcoin node or miner simply runs code that has the same requirements to accept a block as valid. Some miner could have modified their software to produce 50-coin blocks even after block 210,000, but that would be pointless if other peers in the network weren't running software with the same modification.

You also stated block creation must be faster than one per 10 minutes on average now. It's possible that's temporarily true, but the network retargets the difficulty of finding a block to maintain the balance at 10 minutes per block. This is done by comparing the time it took to calculate the previous 2016 blocks, starting from the previous difficulty retarget, to the expected time of two weeks. If it's less, or more, the difficulty required for a block to be valid is adjusted to compensate, making it harder or easier to find a block. All the information needed to do this retargeting is publicly available.
You may want to have a look at: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Difficulty

In brief, there are no mystery hands behind the curtains pulling strings to make things happen. You're right that many of the basic choices were arbitrary - the maximum of just short of 21,000,000 BTC and the block creation time being obvious examples. The rules are, however, transparent, and in order to change any of them you'd have to modify the core software and convince people to start using your modified version. That wouldn't be very easy, since it would create a competing currency forking off the Bitcoin blockchain. Anyone holding Bitcoins would likely be pretty wary of such modifications, because the effects on the value of BTC could be deleterious.

about 8 months ago
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Bitcoin Thefts Surge, DDoS Hackers Take Millions

fastest fascist Re:Something I've been ruminating about all day (305 comments)

They *might* be worth more tomorrow. There's no guarantee of that. You will, however, definitely need to eat regularly. Usually spending money is involved in that.

Look at it this way, computers get better all the time. If you wait a while, you can get better value for your money. Somehow, people still buy computers all the time.

about 8 months ago
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Bitcoin Tops $1,000 For the First Time

fastest fascist Re:Sell now. (371 comments)

It's not impossible at all. You could escrow some bitcoins with a reputable escrow operator, for instance...

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Would You Stop a Debt Collection Scam From Targeting You?

fastest fascist Re: Fax machine (497 comments)

The fake debt collection agency from across the ocean is going to have their legal department get an ex parte ruling against their victim?

about 8 months ago
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Security Breach Forces Bitcoin Bank Inputs.io To Halt Operations

fastest fascist Re:Bitcoin is it just a scheme? (285 comments)

No-one can say what a bitcoin is worth. All they can say is what it's been traded for. As for why "miners" get money, that serves a dual purpose.

Bitcoin is a solution to the problem of creating digital cash without a central authority to prevent double spending. "Miners" act as notaries. When Alice sends Bob some BTC, "miners" witness this and if they manage to create a new block on the blockchain, they note this transaction down in the distributed ledger. Without this ledger, Alice could simply send the BTC she sent Bob to Charlie, but since the notaries have noted Alice's transaction with Bob, Alice can't scam Charlie or Bob by double spending.

This is a service "miners" provide, and they are paid for it. Finding a block, and therefore being able to note down the transactions a miner has seen into the blockchain is a computationally expensive task. It has to be to make it unattractive to try to falsify the record. Currently the majority of the reward for these notaries comes from the new coins created with each block. This is the second purpose of mining - creating the Bitcoin money base in a manner that distributes the coins to many people over time. As you probably know, the amount of new coins being created will taper off over time, and transaction fees are expected to pay the notaries enough to bother with it. If they do not, fewer people will bother with using their electricity on "mining" and it will get correspondingly easier to find a new block until things even out.

about 9 months ago
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Security Breach Forces Bitcoin Bank Inputs.io To Halt Operations

fastest fascist Re:Great (285 comments)

You can send money across the globe almost instantly, with low fees and no-one to stop you from donating to your favourite politically unpopular charity using cash or a real bank?

about 9 months ago
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Security Breach Forces Bitcoin Bank Inputs.io To Halt Operations

fastest fascist Re:" a flaw on the server " (285 comments)

Yes, they're screwed. They trusted a third party with their coins, which is simply a bad idea. Now, deposit insurance is great for bank accounts, as most people don't really have any other choice than to give a bank their money to hold for them. That's not true with Bitcoin. You can be your own "bank", and it is, in fact much safer than using a third party as one. Rule of thumb: do not use web wallets. If you must use one, only store small amounts for short periods of time there.

about 9 months ago
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DOJ Hasn't Actually Found Silk Road Founder's Bitcoin Yet

fastest fascist Re:Disappearing Bitcoins (294 comments)

So instead of paying 5 EUR for my groceries just now, I paid 500 cents?! That's highway robbery!

about 10 months ago
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DOJ Hasn't Actually Found Silk Road Founder's Bitcoin Yet

fastest fascist Re:Money for his defense (294 comments)

Quick, simple answer: The backups don't contain bitcoins. They contain encryption keys that can be used to transfer the bitcoins to another key. The Bitcoin client used checks how many bitcoins the keys it is given still control.

about 10 months ago
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Maryland Indictment Says Silk Road Founder Tried To Arrange Murder of Employee

fastest fascist Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (294 comments)

How do you arrest someone when you don't know who they are? I seem to have missed the part where the FBI learned DPR's identity before september or so this year.

about 10 months ago
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Maryland Indictment Says Silk Road Founder Tried To Arrange Murder of Employee

fastest fascist Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (294 comments)

From my reading of the news coming out, there's no proof of a murder being committed. In 2012, DPR tried to have an employee who had been arrested killed, but as it happens, the "service provider" here was a law enforcement agent. Later, DPR was contacted by FriendlyChemist in a blackmail attempt, and he similarly arranged to have him killed, as well, with photo proof provided. Canadian authorities say no-one matching the name and address of FriendlyChemist found in Silk Road chat logs exists, nor is there any sign of a murder fitting the description taking place.

One explanation would be that LE were behind FriendlyChemist as well, perhaps thanks to information gained from the not-killed-at-all employee they'd arrested in the first place. In any case, there's no indication LE were able to identify DPR until quite recently, making the point of them believing he might order another hit rather moot.

about 10 months ago

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