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Comment: Re:Exchanges (Score 1) 136

Depends on the exposure the publisher wants. Daily if they are paranoid, or weekly seems sensible. As Bitcoin spreads the volatility goes down. Then it could be monthly. But you are missing both the points I made. You can now spend Bitcoin a lot of places, so you can spend directly from your Bitcoin account as (a) it reduces the amount of time you are holding it and (b) there are zero transaction costs for both parties making it currently the world's best currency for transactions. The second is that it doesn't matter if there are a zillion transactions of a zillionth of a dollar. There are no transaction costs, it just goes into the Bitcoin wallet and you end up with a dollar.

At the moment you can pay the Washington Post using all those currencies. There are yanks abroad you know! WP does it by plugins that take (I presume) Paypal or VISA. They do the same thing but take a large chunk of revenue for doing very little. Bitcoin has the potential to eliminate transaction charges, that's why it's interesting.


Comment: Re:Bitcoin credibility? (Score 1) 267

by horza (#47694117) Attached to: Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

Except the Catch-22. It will never get adopted if it doesn't gain traction, that requires the early adopters trading what they have to get momentum going to make it worth others mining it. I thought about buying a few for novelty value but didn't bother when I saw it had already broken the $2 barrier. I remember early adopters boasting of the profits they had made when it reached $11. There was that story of one early adopter who mined what became $2M worth but had thrown away the hard drive with them on, and fruitlessly hunted around his local rubbish tip. Despite the paranoid Bitcoin haters infesting this thread, it really doesn't sound like there was any nefarious get-rich-quick scheme involved here.


Comment: Re:Self Serving Story? (Score 2) 267

by horza (#47694049) Attached to: Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

You have missed the whole point of Bitcoin. And currency. Why do you think gold became an important commodity? The only reason was because they discovered a simple chemical test to determine its authenticity. This means somebody in Australia could take a lump of gold to India, and the local Indian merchant could validate the currency on-site and conclude a transaction. Bitcoin has the same property that you can validate it is a real Bitcoin. However the method it uses requires a widely distributed "directory" you can check, and to get this spread widely the currency needs to have momentum. Hence the failure of alt currencies to challenge, despite the worry of fragmentation.

Certainly Bitcoin is more credible than other places I have money. For instance I have an online poker account which tells me I have $X in it, but of course there isn't any money in there at all. I just assume they will transfer money into my bank account if I ask them.


Comment: Re:Self Serving Story? (Score 1) 267

by horza (#47693957) Attached to: Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

Gold could have been seen as a high risk investment at the time. There were plenty of alchemists working on trying to turn other substances such as lead into gold, and science at the time couldn't prove it wasn't going to work. The moment it did the bottom of the market would drop out.

At the base of it gold must have seen like some ponzi scheme. When nobody cared about it, people were just gathering it up off river beds and rock faces. Suddenly it becomes worth something when everybody decides it's desirable and by coincidence it is now hard to get hold of? Pretty suspicious. And why were people carrying around gold instead of the official currency of the time? Probably just criminals.

So far the experiment of leaving Bitcoin take it's natural course is working pretty well.


Comment: Re:Self Serving Story? (Score 1) 267

by horza (#47693883) Attached to: Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

Bitcoin is just cash and carries the same risks. Credit cards have exponentially more money stolen, and are completely unsafe, but that cost is hidden as a tax on society. VISA soaks up just enough fraud and theft to keep them legally and visibly safe, yet still made a $1.4bn profit in the last quarter. All the costs are passed on as part of the fees merchants pay which in turn we pay in higher prices in stores.

If I used Bitcoin I would do the same as you, and actually use it for what it was designed to do: a currency with zero transaction fees.


Comment: Re:Exchanges (Score 1) 136

Isn't the point of Bitcoin that there is no processor? You buy a plugin for your ecommerce backend that accepts Bitcoin and et voila. Then you can exchange into your favourite currency after X days or when the wallet reaches Y amount. Or you can pay out Bitcoin directly for example by using it for all your expenses such as equipment and hosting fees, and just convert what is left over as a dividend (for now, though so many places are starting to accept it you may not need to exchange at all).


Comment: Re:No better moustrap at all ... (Score 1) 306

by horza (#47573461) Attached to: Amazon's eBook Math

" You also need customers however, and that's where Amazon's added value is. It has a big catalog of paper books and lots of customers who'll turn to Amazon *first* if they're looking for a book. Any book. And yes, that makes it easier to sell e-books too. In all other respects Amazon's added value is practically zero here"

As somebody that used to be a prolific customer of Amazon, and spend tens of thousands of dollars there before they pulled down the Wikileaks web site and I stopped using them, the value was very much in the incredible database of user comments on each and every book they have accumulated. It would take a long time to set up a rival and generate that much genuine user contributed information.


Comment: Re: I like it. (Score 2) 306

by horza (#47573433) Attached to: Amazon's eBook Math

The hardback version has extra value: offline ability, future-proofed technology, DRM free, prestige value on the bookshelf, and easy resale. However you are right in that the price is bottom-bounded by the factors you mention, time and ability.

Why has the softback version of a book always been considerably cheaper than the hardback? It's not harder to produce, and the difference in cost in materials is insignificant. It is because by delaying the publication of the soft-back they know they can price gouge real fans who must have the book "now".

Not passing on cost-savings of the electronic version over printed is as wrong as assuming no distribution cost means something is worth less in terms of content. Some books are better than others, some longer, some must-have tomes to be re-read over and over again, some to be read in an afternoon and forgotten. Price is an arbitary thing to set, and it's not on what it is worth but what will generate the most revenue.

Amazon is there to optimise revenue, which in theory should work out in favour of the author and publisher. Why don't bricks and mortar adapt to the ebook? A bit like cinema adapted to the dvd. Here is my vision:

* large coffee shop style lounge areas to read, as you have already
* pick up an ebook on your way in, log in using your shop membership username and password (or come in with your own)
* the walls are covered in massive colour touch screens 1m x 1m, tiled with book covers with synopsis underneath
* you can swipe the screens to scroll through books, hit buttons to drill down by category/author/etc
* pressing one of the covers zaps the covers, index and 1st chapter to the ebook you are reading
* at the end of the chapter there is a "Buy now" button, which when you hit it has the same monetary distribution (ie 1/3 to the store / publisher / author)

It would provide a venue to host live Q&A with authors, a more social place to browse where you can look over other people's shoulders, an interesting refuge whilst the SO is clothes shopping.


Comment: Re:Great... (Score 1) 582

by horza (#47549127) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

"with someone pro west who seems to think rushing these oil and gas contracts in as fast as possible is not nearly fast enough"

You forgot to mention Russia raising gas prices 80% and threatening to cut off the whole country's energy supply as being a possible reason for rushing to get oil and gas contracts outside of Russian influence.


Comment: Re:Youtube Comments (Score 3, Insightful) 238

by horza (#47464921) Attached to: Pseudonyms Now Allowed On Google+

The real-name G+ kept me away as I knew it was doomed. Many of my female friends use an alias, or a mis-spelled name, to avoid stalkers or getting hassled. Few of my guy friends would want to be on a service with no women on. Even I have 2 FB accounts, one for work friends and another for family. The fatal flaw, the one that killed various biometric companies as well as G+, is that in real life we are different people at different times. The person you are at work is not necessarily the person that is on a picnic with his family taking snaps of his loved ones or of wildlife.


Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 502

Thanks for the useful advice AC, but having being burned by distros in the past that are cutting edge and that I do love in many ways (looking at you Gentoo) you tend to end up favouring ones that when things get b0rked you can easily reformat and reinstall with minimum hassle. The Ubuntu forums are also great. I'll stay on the mainstream bandwagon for now.


Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 502

Excuse late reply but yes I have been plugging it in over the past few years every time I reformat my machine. Am on the latest Ubuntu at the moment, running Gnome Shell. It does not work. I've tried reading the forums but no apparent easy fix. I'm not going to bother doing kernel dumps etc as it simply isn't important enough for me. Like many others, if SB can't be bothered with me as a user then onboard sound is "good enough" and I'm not buying any more sounds cards.


Why did the Roman Empire collapse? What is the Latin for office automation?