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Comment: Re:In other words (Score 1) 517

by Neoncow (#35175684) Attached to: Online-Only Currency BitCoin Reaches Dollar Parity

Well, while the person is cornering the market people could notice and join in to profit. I guess if the whole currency can be bought up like that then the currency must have already failed. If people value the currency higher, then it could be very expensive to corner the market.

Someone could probably afford to buy up the whole market right now, but since only a fraction of the total bitcoins have been discovered/generated, they won't have the market for long as people make more of them and the cost goes up.

Comment: Re:In other words (Score 1) 517

by Neoncow (#35167030) Attached to: Online-Only Currency BitCoin Reaches Dollar Parity

Now what exactly can 1 BTC be used for?

Just because you don't want it, doesn't mean someone else doesn't value it. Even if you wouldn't pay for a cast iron monument of the Jersey Shore cast, if someone else will then it has value.

Gold and US dollars are tied to industrial demand and the US economy respectively. Those are both pros and cons. An alternative currency has different pros can cons. People who value those differences will value alternative currencies.

Just like existing currencies/commodities have value for traditionalists, strange new crypto-currencies hold value for futurists. And apparently they're willing to exchange traditional currencies for it.

Comment: Re:I was thinking of calling it a con (Score 1) 517

by Neoncow (#35165942) Attached to: Online-Only Currency BitCoin Reaches Dollar Parity

Basically, regular currency is backed by organizations like the federal reserve, secret service, banks, and the government. The use of force (armies, secret service, threat of prison time) discourages unauthorized currency creation (counterfeiting).

Bitcoin is backed by mathematics, limitations of computing power, and limitations on energy. If you don't have a Phd in cryptography, you still need to trust that they're doing the math right. Just like you need to trust the government/banks not to create more currency than necessary. Having an alternative currency allows you to choose different parties to trust.

Comment: Re:does this online money have any bank backing? (Score 1) 517

by Neoncow (#35165824) Attached to: Online-Only Currency BitCoin Reaches Dollar Parity

If that's your concern, then you should just use the existing currencies. There's lots to choose from. Bitcoin is for people who don't want a currency backed by central institutions. If you don't value that, then Bitcoin has no value to you. Not a judgement call, just the facts.

Comment: Re:In other words (Score 1) 517

by Neoncow (#35165728) Attached to: Online-Only Currency BitCoin Reaches Dollar Parity

I think the idea of Bitcoin is to create an alternative to how the current world currencies work. The idea is to have something that has no intrinsic value in itself, but is still scarce. I don't think the intent is to eliminate traditional currencies, but create an alternative currency that cannot be manipulated or controlled by centralized authorities.

Basically, I think they want it to be like gold except without the fluctuations due to industrial, geological, or political events. I don't know whether this is good from an economics point of view, but I don't think they're trying to kill currencies.

People have the same incentive to create bitcoins as gold mining companies have for digging up gold. There's a cost of mining each and there's a perceived value. If you feel that bitcoin will ever succeed, then it may be worth spending electricity to generate them while it's easy to do so. If not, then don't. If they fail, nothing lost, if it succeeds, you'll buy them at market value later.

Comment: Re:sigh, the "quantum" buzzword (Score 1) 69

by Neoncow (#31923096) Attached to: Quantum Cryptography Now Fast Enough For Video

My understanding is the quantum cryptography assures you that the person you are communicating with is connected to the receiver side of the "quantum connection". Whether the person sitting there is Alice or Eve depends on how many men with guns you've hired to guard the receiver side of the communication.

If you're satisfied with the security of the receiver side then the quantum connection means you never have to hand-deliver another one-time pad in briefcase.

Comment: Re:Reddit's reliability has been shitty lately. (Score 3, Informative) 271

by Neoncow (#31461860) Attached to: Digg Says Yes To NoSQL Cassandra DB, Bye To MySQL

The reddit blog discussed the issue recently.

They claim it is not an EC2 issue, but simply the site getting bigger than it was designed to.

Their lastest entry discusses why they switched to cassandra. I guess we'll wait for next week to see if the expected performance benefits materialize.

Comment: Re:Heomeopathy = Placebo (Score 1) 507

by Neoncow (#31299194) Attached to: NHS Should Stop Funding Homeopathy, Says Parliamentary Committee

The Chinese are more likely to take herbal medicines even when not sick. It's more of a prevention philosophy versus the reaction philosophy of treating symptoms. There are also many illnesses that are essentially only in the mind which can be sufficiently treated with placebos.

(I realize this is somewhat an "Ignorance is bliss" type argument, but I'm just pointing out that sometimes you can't tell people that it's just in their head since they won't believe you (that too is in their head).)

Comment: Re:What do you mean pi? (Score 1) 184

by Neoncow (#31298372) Attached to: Scientists Develop Financial Turing Test

The next digit is 4.

http://www.google.ca/search?q=find+substring+in+digits+of+p

The string 46457 occurs at position 205,231 counting from the first digit after the decimal point. The 3. is not counted.

this query took 0.001749 seconds

The string and surrounding digits:

09722072920441600174 46457 44857898852191332549

this query took 0.001749 seconds

http://www.angio.net/pi/piquery

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