Oh look, a bank-like entity failed and people lost money. Good thing the FDIC is there to--
If cryptocurrencies are going to repeat the last 100+ years of economic history, can they hurry up and rediscover monetary policy too?
To be fair I don't think that foreign investment accounts are covered under the Federal Deposit Insurance Company either. Or for that matter, there are plenty of charter banks that aren't FDIC insured domestically. Even if MtGox wasn't based in Japan, there's no requirement (except as provided by state law) for a bank to be FDIC insured. In short, if you're worried about your money you probably should have some caveats about putting it into an organization that has no official policy for how it's going to compensate you if they screw up, monetary policy or no.
1) OK, has anyone - preferably someone with solid crypto/math credentials - ever audited the fscking crypto behind Bitcoin? Anyone? Not that I know of.
The basic crypto behind bitcoin is sha256 it's the same crypto used behind TLS and SSL, PGP, SSH, S/MIME, and IPsec. If sha256 is compromised the fact that your bitcoins are now double spendable is the least of the world's problems.
2) Even if the basic crypto is sound, what about the wallet software? Surprise, surprise, it seems this is how Mt Gox was attacked... And wasn't a TV talking head wallet hacked after he showed the number on the air? Oooops...
The 'official' wallet software is open source, and is not subject to the sort of transaction malleability that affected MtGox. In short the official software is sound, however, the official wallet software is not designed to handle the volume of transactions that an enterprise environment like an exchange needs to be able to process. It simply isn't fast enough to keep up with hundreds to thousands of transactions per second. To this end MtGox like most exchanges used the official source code as a reference point and created their own custom wallet software to interact with their exchange. Unfortunately they made shortcuts in their coding to do this, which allowed this particular vulnerability to be exploited.
So, no, Bitcoin IMHO is not to be trusted.
And that's different from the over all distribution of USD how? Most of the people with large bitcoin fortunes are early adopters, and frankly why shouldn't early adopters be rewarded for taking a risk on something that ultimately may not pan out. You don't have to go far to find plenty of people who think Bitcoin is a scam, scheme, or otherwise 'no good'. You yourself imply as much. Like anything early adopters take a big risk, if BTC never got to be worth more than chump change they're out time and possibly money if they invested anything heavily into it. As another analogy, 25-35 years ago there were plenty of people who insisted personal computers would never be popular and there was no market for them. You don't begrudge people like Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates who took a risk on fledgeling technology and came out on top do you? Maybe in 10-20 years BitCoin will have gone the way of the betamax and vhs, but then maybe it won't.
I trust that bitcoin will continue to be a currency with value and use until something else comes along that replaces it (and given BitCoins incumbent status as king of the cryptocurency world is I believe, unlikely in the near future. There are a number of 'altcoins' which each seek to improve upon BitCoin's core functionality in some way or another, but none of them have successfully come close to dethroning BTC).
Bitcoin has a lot of functional benefits as a system for transferring value, even if it is eventually determined that its volatility ultimately makes it unsuitable as a currency for conducting day to day business with. This is especially true when it comes to international transactions. Currently the fees for transmitting USD across international wires, not to mention conversion to local currency (if needed) are significant, and time consuming (I've oft seen quotes of international wires taking 2-3 weeks to complete, depending on where it's going and what not). On the other hand, a bitcoin transaction is instantaneous, and after roughly 60 minutes is pretty much irrevocably entered into the block chain so that there is no possibility of the funds being lost or otherwise delayed in transmit.
Now does this mean that I trust bitcoin to go up, or down, or sideways, or do anything else? Well, I'd like to say I'm hopeful for a strong future for the currency, and I trust that in the long run bitcoin will eventually stabilize as it matures more, but in the short term, we're still in the wild west so to speak.
Slashdot has been around, well, a very long time. Longer than any of it's competators, but not as long as IIRC. Slashdot was a very much one of the first true social media web sites.
On Slashdot, you could create a handle or ID. Something personal, but not too personal, unless you wanted it to be. But it was not required either. We know each other by our handles, we have watched each other grow as people. We may have even taken pot shots at each other in threads. Unless of course you are anonymous, but often we can guess who that really is.
One of Slashdot's first motto's was "News for Nerds" that Matters. I have no idea when that was removed. I have not always scoured the boards here daily, life can get too busy for that. That excuses my ignorance in a way. I guess someone thought it politically incorrect, but most of us "Nerds" enjoyed it. We are proud of who we are, and what we know. Often we use that pride and knowledge to make someone else look bad. That is how we get our digs in, and we enjoy that part of us too. We don't punch people, we belittle them. It's who we are!
What made Slashdot unique were a few things. What you will note here is "who" has been responsible for the success of Slashdot. Hint, it has never been a just the company taking care of the servers and software.
— First, the user base submitted stories that "they" thought mattered. It was not a corporate feed. Sure, stories were submitted about companies. The latest break through from AMD and Intel, various stories regarding the graphic card wars, my compiler is better than your compiler, and yes your scripting language stinks! Microsoft IIS has brought us all a few laughs and lots of flame wars to boot. Still, we not only read about the products but get to my second point.
— User comments. This is the primary why we have been coming here for as long as we have, many of us for decades. We provide alternative opinions or back what was given in the article. This aspect not only makes the "News" interesting, but often leads to other news and information sharing. It's not always positive, but this is the nature of allowing commentary. It also brings out the third point.
— Moderation. Moderation has been done by the community for a very long time. It took lots of trial and error to get a working system. As with any public system it's imperfect, but it's been successful. People can choose to view poorly modded comments, but don't have to. As with posting anonymous versus with our own handle it's an option that allows us to personalize the way we see and read what's on the site. And as a reward for submitting something worth reading, you might get a mod point of your own to use as a reward for someone else.
Why we dislike Beta and what is being pushed, and why this will result in the end of an era if it becomes forced on the community.
1. Bulky graphics. We get that Dice and Slashdot need revenue. I have Karma good enough to disable advertisements, but have never kept this setting on. I realize that Slashdot/Dice make money with this. That said, the ads sit away from my news and out of the way. I can get there if I want it (but nobody has ever gotten a penny from me clicking an ad... nobody!), but it's not forced into my face or news feed.
2. Low text area. I like having enough on my screen to keep me busy without constant scrolling. Slashdot currently has the correct ratio of text to screen. This ratio has never been complained about, yet Beta reduces the usable text area by at least 1/2 and no option for changing the behavior. I hate reading Slashdot on mobile devices because I can't stand scrolling constantly.
4. Ordering/Sorting/Referencing. Each entry currently gets tagged with a unique thread ID. This allows linking to the exact post in a thread, not just the top of the thread. In Beta this is gone. It could be that the site decided to simply hide the post ID or it was removed. Either way, going to specific posts is something that is used very commonly by the community.
5. Eye candy. Most of us are not here for "eye candy" and many have allergic reactions to eye candy. Slashdot has a good mix currently. It's not as simple as the site starting with a r-e-d-i-t, which is good. That site has a reputation that keeps many of us away, and their format matches my attitude of them (s-i-m-p-l-e-t-o-n). At the same time, it's not like watching some other "news" sites with so much scrolling crap I can't read an article without getting a headache. The wasted space in beta for big bulky borders, sure smells like eye candy. Nothing buzzes or scrolls yet, but we can sense what's coming in a patch later.
The thing is, the community cares about Slashdot. We come here because we care. We submit stories because of that, we vote because of that, we moderate because of that, and we comment because of that. At the same time we realize that without the community Slashdot loses most of its value. We respect that we don't host the servers, backup the databases, or patch the servers. Slashdot/Dice provide the services needed for Slashdot.
It's a give give relationship, and we each get something in return. Slashdot gets tons of Search hits and lots of web traffic. We get a place to learn, teach, and occasionally vent.
Look, if you want to change default color scheme or make pre-made palettes for us to choose from, we would probably be okay with that. If you want to take away our ability to block ads by Karma, or move the ads to the left side of my browser window, I would be okay with those things too.
If you want to make drastic changes to how the site works, this is a different story all together. The reason so many are against Beta is that it breaks some of the fundamental parts of what makes Slashdot work.
User input until recently has not been acknowledged. The acknowledgment we have received is not from the people that are making the decision to push Beta live. We told people Beta was broken, what it lacked, and we were rather surprised to get a warning that Beta would be live despite what we told people. People are already making plans to leave, which means that Slashdot could fade away very soon.
Whether this was the goal for Dice or not remains to be seen. If it is, it's been nice knowing you but I won't be back. A partnership only works when there is mutual respect between the parties. A word of caution, us Nerds have good memories and lots of knowledge. The loss of Slashdot impacts all of Dice holdings, not just Slashdot. I boycott everything a company holds, not just the product group that did me wrong.
If that was not the goal of Dice, you should quickly begin communicating with the user base. What are the plans are to fix what Beta has broken? Why is Beta being pushed live with things broken? A "Sorry we have not been communicating!", and perhaps even a "Thank you" to the user base for helping make Slashdot a success for so many years."
And as usual, people who trust their Crypto Currency to a web based service (especially one with such a short history to it, and no clearly defined security practices) end up getting their shit stolen. Really now, if you want your crypto coins (be they BTC LTC or whatever) safe keep them in a private wallet and encrypt it, don't load your fortunes onto some website, then complain when they get hacked.
This is kind of like carrying around a giant wad of cash in your pocket and then being mad when someone mugs you, keep a small amount of 'working cash' readily available, and keep the rest of it in a safe place. The same logic that you'd use with real money should apply to virtual money.
Potentially Unwanted Programs are not quite malware, though in many cases I'd argue are worse. PUPs are generally stuff like 'WOMG Awesome Toolbar', 'Internet Coupon Printer 3000', "Free smilies wacky mouse pointers' and Java.
They're legitimate in the sense that they won't exploit vulnerabilities in your system to install themselves, or (generally) ignore (or interfere with) attempts to remove them from your computer. They might even propose to have some sort of functionality that a user could want. The reality is that the functionality they generally offer is limited at best, and may even be inferior to the native functionality of the computer. They often slow your machine down, eating up your CPU cycles, opening up your computer to additional vulnerabilities, stealing your personal information to sell to advertisers, and generally speaking are not really useful to or needed by the people who have them installed on their computers.
Imagine for a moment that a government decided they were going to go and take half of their fiat currency in existence out of the economy, this wouldn't actually mean that there was now less value worth of money in the economy, only that the individual currency denominations are individually worth twice as much as they used to be.
If an entity with the financial capability to buy $4.8 billion worth of BTC went on that much of a buying spree the price of individual BTC would skyrocket, as the demand for the product would rise while the entity was purchasing them. Then, presumably since the goal of this entity is to destroy BTC, they would not reintroduce the coins they'd purchased back into the economy, thus causing a decrease in supply, that would have the ultimate result of simply stabilizing the remaining BTC at their new higher value.