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Comment Re:It's Wrong (Score 1) 205

Poincaré recurrence probably applies to our universe**, so the sequence of Boltzmann brains

I don't buy that. Surely the horizon in de Sitter space is eternally expanding, so the entropy on the horizon's surface is always increasing. We can walk through an expanding phase space without needing to recur.

Comment Re:Renewing the domain name? No (Score 1) 182

During this period, 2 disks died at his place on the Raid 5 NAS backup, and nobody noticed.

In all this "RAID is not a backup" back-and-forth, has nobody noticed that the NAS was the backup? Multiple disks failing on the backup is not a problem. since you've still got the main copy (i.e. the main respository if you're a company with things like websites). You just laugh and renew the backup.

Now, reading between the lines, it may be that this deployed (production?) VM with the website may have been the 'main' repository. In which case, the failure of this company is only a question of a (rather short-term) when. Suicides of lead developers notwithstanding.

Comment Re:At the same time (Score 2) 323

When Intel refused to license the 386 for second sourcing IBM refused to buy it, instead sticking with the 286 (which they made) damned near until the Pentium was released.

I developed on OS/2 in the late 80s. I used various IBM PS/2 machines, including Model 80 (Intel 386DX) and Model 55 (Intel 386SX).

So it can't quite be true that IBM refused to buy the 386.

Comment Copyright has a good side (Score 4, Funny) 309

There's a lot of bad feeling on this thread about the extension of copyright, but there are a lot of positives. For example:

- Copyright income lets bands keep on making great music. It's likely that with a short copyright term, U2 wouldn't have made an album after 1990.

- The income allows artist to perform great philanthropic and charitable deeds. Let's face it: the United Nations as it is today is almost completely down to Bono.

- Artists support great works in other fields. E.g. would the Ferrari LaFerrari exist without buyers who relied on copyright income? I think not and that would be a tragedy.

This is a modest extension and a good thing for everybody.

Comment Re:The incredible shrinking nucleus (Score 1) 47

Some folks have recommended nabbing some passing asteroids and detonating them in the Martian atmosphere, just to create more atmosphere as they burn up.

Even if it didn't create more atmosphere, wouldn't that be a cool thing to do just for the hell of it?

Comment Re:Good Thing (Score 2) 195

That is incorrect. The validity of a transaction depends only on how it relates to the transactions that precede it. Mining simply keeps track of the "official" history of transactions, to guard against double-spend attacks.

Transactions are useless unless they're confirmed in the blockchain. That's the whole point of bitcoin. Mining and the blockchain is all there is to bitcoin.

And that's another problem: the energy used for mining depends on the hashrate, not transaction rate. It's true that increasing popularity of Bitcoin rises both, but trying to calculate "energy per transaction" on that basis is pretty much the same as trying to calculate "drowned people per litre of ice cream consumed" on the basis that warm weather increases both.

You might have noticed that my calculation started off with network hash rate because that's where the energy is being used. I don't really think it's that important a calculation anyway, but I did it to show the $35 per transaction of the OP was incorrect. Indeed, if the transaction rate goes up faster than the hash rate, then the transaction cost is even lower.

Instead of criticizing, maybe you can come up with a better cost per transaction for bitcoin (because there surely is one).

Comment Re:Good Thing (Score 1) 195

Pretty much all the power needed for a transaction is going to be the mining (a transaction isn't valid unless a miner has entered it into a block). So we can do a quick-and-dirty calculation; if we assume:

- 150000 Thash/s total network performance
- power consumption of 1kW per Thash
- power cost of 10 cents per kWh
- 6 blocks per hour
- 400 transactions per block

((150000 * 0.1) / 6) / 400 = $6.25 per transaction

The trouble with a lot of self-made men is that they worship their creator.