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Comment: Re:Bit torrent needs to die (Score 1) 92

by DanielRavenNest (#47394049) Attached to: Rightscorp Pushing ISPs To Disconnect Repeat Infringers

> A number of companies have taken to monitoring *ALL* BT traffic of consequence on a *GLOBAL* basis.

I call BS on that. The Pirate Bay alone has 46 million peers active. Nobody short of the NSA, and maybe not even them, can monitor that much traffic. If "of consequence" means the several thousand torrents with > 100 active peers, it would be feasible to get statistics, and maybe an IP list, but not monitor the actual traffic between users.

Comment: Re:Why are all of you so naive ? (Score 1) 251

You don't need a list of towers. Just fly a RC drone around with a signal measuring phone and snap a photo when you get close. Official towers should be pretty easy to distinguish from unmarked vans or police cars. No fancy equipment is needed to measure signal strength. Just a mirror in front of the phone that reflects the signal meter to the camera.

Comment: Re:Auctioning money? (Score 2) 101

> Gold has intrinsic value. Does bitcoin have any? No.

Gold has value because of its physical properties, scarcity, and attractiveness. The Bitcoin Network has value because of the ability to move funds from place to place, just like the UPS network has value for the ability to move packages from place to pace. Gold's source of value isn't better than other sources of value, just different. All value derives from people wanting or needing something, and the supply in relation to demand. Demand for the "bitcoin" token, which is an accounting unit within the Bitcoin Network, derives from the usefulness of the Network. Since the tokens are scarce goods, their exchange value is set by supply and demand. This is similar to how UPS shipping labels acquire value as part of the UPS network. The labels don't have value by themselves, they are just sticky paper with printing on them.

> Real money is guaranteed by the govt. If bitcoin can be considered valid currency, anybody else should be able to create their own currency.

Fiat currency is guaranteed to lose value relative to other goods through overproduction. Fiat means "let it be so", its a government imposed requirement that it be accepted for certain purposes. There are no other guarantees about it. You should read up on private bank notes prior to the Federal Reserve and private currencies since then. People do create currencies all the time, all it takes is enough acceptance in trade for other goods. Look up cigarettes in prisons, Tide detergent in buying drugs, and local currencies used particular towns. In terms of digital currencies like Bitcoin, there are hundreds of alternates, although Bitcoin has over 90% of the total market. It was the first and has the widest acceptance - dozens of exchanges where you can trade them for other currencies, and over 60,000 merchants where you can spend them.

> Credit card companies don't manufacture currency, they just transfer it. Bitcoins are manufactured in transactions.

Banks do in fact manufacture money supply when they make loans, look up "fractional reserve banking". They can then trade some of that money supply for circulating notes and coins (ie paper money). How much is based on customer demand. In the US about 12% of the money supply exists as physical notes and coins. The rest only exists as entries in computerized ledgers *just like bitcoin*. The bitcoin accounting tokens are generated by the accountants (miners) who verify blocks of transactions. They have to be originally distributed somehow, and the chosen method is payment for work done. But this is just an initial distribution situation. Once generated, coins or fractions thereof only move from person to person, and in a few years most of the bitcoins will have been generated, since the distribution algorithm provides half the remaining coins every 4 years, to a max of 21 million total.

Comment: Shedding some light (Score 1, Informative) 76

> The telescope will shed light on the 'dark ages' of the universe,

No, actually the telescope will *collect* light from the dark ages of the universe. If it shed light it would be the world's biggest fucking flashlight.

If you want to be pedantic, it *will* shed light, from several lasers mounted on the sides of the telescope structure. Those create artificial stars in the upper atmosphere so that atmospheric distortion can be cancelled by the adaptive optics. But those are attachments, not the main telescope.

Comment: Re:Water on mars for self-sustaining city (Score 1) 275

by DanielRavenNest (#47276253) Attached to: Elon Musk: I'll Put a Human On Mars By 2026

> Which would die due to harmful radiation from the sun.

Pressurized greenhouses that are buried under Martian soil, with outside mirrors to direct sunlight to windows, which have filters to block out excess UV. You want the mirrors to mildly concentrate the light, since Mars only gets about 40% of Earth's solar intensity.

Comment: Re:Water on mars for self-sustaining city (Score 1) 275

by DanielRavenNest (#47276225) Attached to: Elon Musk: I'll Put a Human On Mars By 2026

Mars has complicated geology, but mostly similar minerals to what the Earth has (they both formed from the same parent Solar Nebula). The presence of Iron Oxide give Mars a reddish tint, but so does the red clay soil in Alabama.

Mars also has a little native Iron on the surface, from metallic asteroids that re-entered. The various Mars rovers have come across chunks just sitting there during their travels. If you want to bootstrap some heavy industry, just go prospecting with a magnet.

Mars may have lost a lot of water, but the Solar System beyond the "Frost Line" (~2.8 AU) has lots of it in the form of native ice and liquid. There is likely a lot of hydrated minerals on Mars. The water is chemically bound, and so is not lost by atmospheric stripping.

Comment: Re:Economics (Score 1) 275

by DanielRavenNest (#47276123) Attached to: Elon Musk: I'll Put a Human On Mars By 2026

The economics of robots and machine tools that make more of themselves invalidates the humans are cheap idea. In theory your starter factory can grow exponentially, leading to ever-higher production from a fixed original investment. Preliminary estimates give a 3 year doubling time (time for the equipment set to make it's own mass of new equipment). That's a 26% compound growth rate, which an excellent return on investment. So you would maximize the automated tasks, and just use humans for the tasks that are too hard to automate.

Comment: Re: robot infrastructure (Score 2) 275

by DanielRavenNest (#47276015) Attached to: Elon Musk: I'll Put a Human On Mars By 2026

That's exactly the project we are working on. Automated self-expanding production from a starter kit.


Project site:

Space systems book that led to the project:

I'm about to put an offer on a 2.67 acre R&D location near Atlanta. Things like solar furnaces and greenhouses require some outdoor space for testing. We plan to work with the local "Maker" community and Georgia Tech to bootstrap the "self-expansion" tech. The project is open source, and we welcome people in other areas helping or doing parallel work. However since this project involves some big hardware, we need to be physically close to the people we will be working with, at least until we can be replicating starter kits and sending them out to people elsewhere.

Comment: Re:By using such large blocks (Score 1) 232

by DanielRavenNest (#47231889) Attached to: US To Auction 29,656 Bitcoins Seized From Silk Road

> They just don't want the public to have bitcoins.

It's a bit too late for that, given that there are 3.2 million online bitcoin wallets between just the two largest services ( and, and about 150,000 unique bitcoin addresses are used daily ( ) Addresses are not equal to users, they hold some number of bitcoins each. Wallets hold the private keys that control addresses, and you can have multiples, but the point is lots of people already have access, and it's moving around a fair amount.

Weekends were made for programming. - Karl Lehenbauer