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Comment: Like Augie and the Green Knight (Score 1) 210

by DrYak (#47904635) Attached to: Kickstarter's Problem: You Have To Make the Game Before You Ask For Money

Try Kickstarting A Novel

You mean like this ?
This proves it possible although (as in the case of Star Citizen, and the likes) it got successfully funded because the book has big names behind it: Zach Wiener and Boulet.

I'm always amused when wanna-be novelists want people to give them $50,000 to write a novel in a year and discover that no one will give them money. The novel must be written first.

The book COULD be not finished yet:
- ...if it comes from a known guy. Popular author which has already shown able to produce good work. Can have successful kick-starter (I have this great idea that I want to write about, but my current publisher considers it a bit riské and doesn't want to shell out all the money for it).
Basically, any idea proposed by Terry Pratchet would get insta-funded, no matter how weird the premises.
- ...if it again follows the "prototype" rule. Wannabe authors writes "Chapter 1" on his free time and decides that he want to get paid to make the rest instead of having a main job and doing the book on the side. Wannabe authors makes chapter 1 available. Interested reader notice that current work is better quality than the crappy fan-fic which pollute the interweb and that the wannabe authors shows promising qualities. Book might get funded.
- slight variation of the above: a blogger who has shown very good and promising writing ability. Nothing from the book exist yet, the authors hasn't written a book before either, but has repeatedly shown to be able to output massive amount of written material with a good sense of humour.

Notice that, both situation could also work with a publisher. The only reason to go for Kickstarter is if for some reason no publisher is interested in the material it self (the project is REALLY weird, or the main theme is controversial, etc.)

The main difficulties won't be finding potential funds for Kickstart (as in fact, the main difficulty won't be finding a publisher neither, if the project isn't too much weird).
The main difficulty would be the lack of experience in handling a publishing project.

Comment: from *ANY* bitcoin exchange (Score 1) 34

You still need to get the money to and from the Bitcoin exchange.

...to and from a bitcoin exchange. any bitcoin exchange.

Unlike Western Union that you mention (where you're basically stuck with only one single service provider per system), bitcoin leaves you with full freedom of choice of how to process the BTCs you received (coin processor, classical exchange, face-2-face meeting like localbitcoin, or simply keeping them in BTC form to re-use them (just watchout for currently big market fluctuations)).
And your choice of method at your end has no influence at what I chose at my end.
I, the client, could be using localbitcoin, and you the merchant could be using coinbase.

So Paypal, Western Union, or TFA's WebPay aren't directly comparable to bitcoin transactions.

SEPA are more similar: any SEPA-enabled bank in Europe can send amounts of money to any other SEPA bank.
I might be using a Swiss bank, your bank might be German. But both of us can pick any account in any bank as endpoint, as long as both banks support SEPA.
(And bitcoin are a bit faster than SEPA payment).

That's some improvement compared to the current situation of payments over internet, where you're basically forced to have a PayPal account, and have a MasterCard/Visa credit card, just because that's what most of the web is using.

Comment: Precision (Score 1) 257

by DrYak (#47872077) Attached to: Using Wearable Tech To Track Gun Use

Microphone will pick up *a* bang, and thus will give an information when *some* gun was fired in the vicinity of the police.
It could be any gun on the scene, might by the police worker's own gun just as it could be the gun of the suspect/criminal.
(Though if there are multiple police worker, with multiple microphone, maybe one could triangulate a probable point of origin for the shot)

This wrist bands pick up vibration, and thus will give an information when *the gun held in the hand wearing the wrist band* has recoiled (and thus fired).
It's the exact gun in the hand of the police worker, very few doubt about it.

Comment: Following the trail. (Score 1) 134

by DrYak (#47871133) Attached to: Paypal Jumps Into Bitcoin With Both Feet

Regarding: 1, 2 and 3 :
I wasn't referring to matching single transaction/single keys and IP adresses, etc.

I was more referring that, if you want to use bitcoin in a meaningful way, you'll have to interract with the real world.
At some point, a real bitcoin user who isn't just playing with bitcoin for the sake of it, will buy an actual good.
Meaning that the seller will need to send the goods to an actual address.
At the other end of the chain, a would-be future bitcoin customer will need actual BTCs to do transaction. Nowaday it's not practical to mine any significant amount of BTCs using hardware available to the average customer. That means that a future bitcoin customer will need to acquire BTC, usually buying them from money (from an exchange or following a face-to-face meeting, etc.)

So no matter through how many public key the BTCs hops, a motivated enough investigator can always track indentities at both end of the chain:
- initial acquisition
- final spending.
sometime it's going to be the same identity (because it's the same person buying the BTCs and spending them after a few public key hops in-between), sometime it's a different identity (because somewhere along the chain, the BTCs 'changed hands' in a way that wasn't registered and matched to any address: for example 2 random people seeding direct donation to each-others address without an real-world interaction. Might happen several time along a chain).

If a really motivated investigator has enough resources (now we're speaking government-level), it is possible to follow tons of such "money trails". By comparing all of them together, it is possible to build whole nets of interactions, and you can match real identities. Even when 1 single money trails is uncertain (money might have switched hands along the track between known end-point), taking into accounts lots of other such money trails help lift uncertainty.

#4) You can use tumblers and coin exchanges to disconnect a given key from you and a transaction.

That's a good valid way to blur the trail.
In the block chains, what you'll see is thousand of user pouring money into the exchange (user funding their accounts) and thousand of users getting money back (user doing withdrawal from the exchange account). Everything in between happens "behind closed doors". The actual buy/sell actions aren't recorded in the blockchain, they happen in the exchange software's database. In the block chain there's just the exchange who's officially held amount of BTCs corresponds to the amount of BTCs currently being exchange by all users. More or less (see MtGox's heist when those numbers don't match anymore).

So trying to make sense of the complex network of interaction is *hard*, *really hard*. Well beyond the efforts used in simply "lifting uncertainty due to invisible switch of owners". Probably only a few poeple in Russia's FSB and US' NSA might have a slim chance of tracking a suspect. (And the tracking is more likely to rely on backdoors and trojans).

Comment: Freeze (Score 2) 134

by DrYak (#47863199) Attached to: Paypal Jumps Into Bitcoin With Both Feet

Joking aside:

at least bitcoin has on purpose been designed in such a way to make it impossible for a central authority to freeze an account, because on purpose there are no central authorities.
So that's a relatively small advantage over paypal.
(although, in both case, these system should be used EXCLUSIVELY for payments only. You should only use them to push money around, you should NOT use them to store money. Neither Paypal, nor the bitcoin network are banks. So if you got a big amount of money frozen, it's only your own fault).

Comment: IS *NOT* ANONYMOUS (Score 5, Insightful) 134

by DrYak (#47863139) Attached to: Paypal Jumps Into Bitcoin With Both Feet

The entire security scheme of bitcoin is actually based on the exact opposite:
Not only is it not anonymous, it's public knowledge *BY DESIGN*.

Every single bitcoin transaction (or any other alt-coin for that matter) is publicly broadcast on the network.
Every single full node on the network is always aware of the transaction.

The point is that, thanks to this broadcast, every single bitcoin user can independently verify the transactions and (based on these checks) together all the node can agree who has how many coins left.
Unlike traditional banking (or a web payment like paypal, for exemple), there is no central authority that is the official referrer about account balances (with banks: the bank is the official authority about the content of its users' acounts. With webpayment: paypal is the official authority about the content of paypal accounts, etc. BUT with bitcoin, everyone can control the history of transactions by looking up the blockchain, there is no official central "Bitcoin, inc." that is in charge).

Due to this design (security by public broadcast) that means that no transaction is secret.

At best, it could be called "pseudonymous": the transaction are hidden behind public key hashes. (the civil/legal identity of parties of a transaction aren't directly written into the block chain. Instead the public key hashes are written).
so there's a low risk that an identity is immediately leaked, just by casual look of the blockchain.

It at least takes a conscious effort to track public keys accros the blockchain and follow the money train until an actual identity can be matched.
But that's completely possible and well within the capabilities of governments.

Comment: Fail *safe* (Score 1) 185

by DrYak (#47852119) Attached to: GM To Introduce Hands-Free Driving In Cadillac Model

Regular cruise control is sedating enough. You don't need more reasons to not pay attention to the
road unless it's 100% completely autonomous. This is just an accident waiting to happen.

The failure mode is entirely different.

- Regular cruise control keeps the speed, completely ignoring what is in front of the car: it will *blindly* keep the accelerator down and stay at the same speed. If the driver gets distracted, the car will continue straight ahead no-matter-what and can hit something and cause an accident. Leaving a regular cruise control unattended will certainly lead to accidents.
In most extreme situation, if you fall asleep behind the wheel, the car will hit whatever ends-up in front, and you'll have an accident for sure.

- Adaptive cruise control / collision avoidance systems, etc... are designed differently. The car is more or less (within capability of its sensors) aware if there's something in front. In case there's something that the car could collide, the car will automatically slow down and eventually break if needed. It is not blind, it only keeps the speed when there are no obstacles. The *default* failure mode is stop slow down and stop to avoid a collision, unless the driver takes back command and does something different. Leaving an adaptive cruise contol / collision avoidance system unattended will lead to the car eventually stopping when it will eventually meet something.
In most extreme situation, if you fall asleep behind the wheel, the car will eventually stop on its own once there is eventually something in front.
You'll be awaken by the car beeping to tell you that it has stoped to avoid something in front, and by the horn of other driver, angry that you've stopped in the middle of nowhere.

The whole difference is that older technologies *ALWAYS NEEDED* to rely on a driver, otherwise bad things will happen for sure.
Whereas newer technologies are able by default to take a safer solution (usually slowing down / stopping).
(BTW, some of these *newer technochlogies* are already street legal and already around you inside some vehicles).

GM is simply adding steering control to the mix (the car will also follow lanes).

In short, there's a huge difference between a car that stupidly keeps it speed no matter what, and a car that will only drive onward if there's nothing in front and will otherwise slow down and halt. The new GM's technology is of the second kind (like any other assistance in most modern cars).

Comment: Nitrogen effects (Score 1) 182

by DrYak (#47833717) Attached to: Taking the Ice Bucket Challenge With Liquid Nitrogen

so then you get to learn about the narcotic effects of nitrogen. As that's what the most pronounced effect is, it's an anesthetic, it puts you to sleep while working and standing up.

It's basically due to the fact that we're better at detecting increase of CO2, rather than detecting decrease of O2.

If you start to lack oxygene in a badly ventilated room (e.g.: from the 80% N2 / 20% O2, you reach 80% N2 / 15% O2 / 5% CO2), your body will notice the increase of CO2, and you'll feel asphyxiating, and you'll run away, before it gets dangerous for you.

If you start to lack oxygene because it is replaced by nitrogene ( e.g.: from the 80% N2 / 20% O2, you reach 85% N2 / 15% O2) because you're dosing the room with nitrogene, your body is less likely to register the drop of oxygen, you won't feel the alarms (no "asphyxiation" sensation) and you won't run away. But the oxygen level is *still* low, which is *still* dangerous and you're at the risk of sleeping and passing out.

To go back to the factory example: if a worker becomes sleepy on the job because of low O2 levels (because it's washed out by increasing the N2 concentration in the air) THAT'S A FUCKING DANGEROUS WORKPLACE WITH DANGEROUS WORKING CONDITIONS.

Comment: Hypertransport (Score 1) 294

by DrYak (#47814933) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?

ASROCK did have a period where they were doing some weird stuff. Remember the adaptable CPU slot things that they did for 939/AM2 IIRC but most of that weirdness was for AMD mobos

Of course, that will be for AMD only. At that time, only AMD did have the memory controller embed in the CPU.
The CPU itself communicated with a very standard HyperTransport bus with the chipset.

So you could easily have either:
- swappable CPU+RAM boards on a HT backbone (common in the server & cluster world)
- swappable CPU board if they had the same type of memory connection (both 939 and AM2 used 2x DDR2)

And for the record, Intel started this whole business with the "Slot" form factor on their Pentium 2/3/Celeron (all can connect the same way to 440BX chipset).

Comment: Too much firmware ? (Score 1) 294

by DrYak (#47814853) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?

That's nothing: Intel "Advanced Management Technology" (AMT), has an embed CPU in the chipset that runs a small webserver (Enabling you to remotely control a few settings) and a VNC server (So you can have remote screen/mouse without needing neither a KVM nor OS collaboration).
It's a technology available on most enterprise-oriented servers, workstations and desktops. (Makes life of sysadmin easier).

Comment: in plat-form vs. standard abuse (Score 1) 167

I'm just a pedantic fool nitpicking between:

- a in-hardware solution: the platform can be asked to generate a different signal creating a different output.
yeah, there are also hardware limitation (RAM is expensive, so Video-RAM is in small quantities) and thus tricks required (HAM stores small 'deltas' between adjacent pixels instead of coding full RGB tripplet, so it can cram hi-colour picture inside the limited video-ram ; copper can be used to change palette at each line refresh, so that you get a nice gradient, while only using 1 single colour entry from the limite 32 colours palette)

In term of sound that's similar to playing digital sound on a PC speaker (by programming the driving timer to act as a PWM).

- a solution that cleverly abuse an external piece of hardware:
a CGA in composite mode always outputs the same signal. But the computer happens to be connected to the correct piece of equipment (NTSC monitor, using a composite cable) magic happens and something completely new appears. But it only work if you connect it to this peculiar type of equipment. You get the same picture as usual in any other circumstance (in my case: PAL/PAL60/NTSC monitor, using a RGB scart cable). You're not dependant of the hardware in the computer producing a *new* signal, you're dependent on how some external piece of hardware is going to react to the same signal as usual.

In term of sound that's similar to using the disk drive motion for the percussion track of your music. It's a neat creative trick, but only works when the correct floppy drive is attached. It won't work if you upgrade your computer to a harddrive, it won't work if you plug earphones in the audio-out, etc.

The purpose of this thread is that, because of the second type of hacks, you need to perfectly emulate the bad picture quality of TV-sed to have the on-screen look as developers intended it to be. That every developer though that visuals will look in some particular way.
What I'm saying is that actually the rest of the world got near perfect picture quality, because the rest of the world had RGB output (we had Scart here in europe, Japan had RGB-21) and that includes the home of most developers (Japan). Only US kids remember having a different look in their childhood games, because the poor kids were stuck with a bad TV standard.

Comment: 100% would be interesting (Score 3, Insightful) 266

One, if there were a 100% failure rate dousing would have been abandoned years ago.

Actually if the failure rate was exactly 100%, it would be a valuable tool:
it would very reliabily show where NOT to look for water, and by deduction you'll know that you need to look for water at the remaining NOT dowsed places.

The real failure rate would be something very high, but not close to 100%.
By random chance, you're bound to find water, eventually.

The whole point of a scientific statistical test would be to see if the few successes occur as frequently as random chance, or if dowsing has a slightly higher success rate that could NOT be explained purely by random chance.

There can be no twisted thought without a twisted molecule. -- R. W. Gerard

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