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Comment: I've said it before (Score 1) 560

Step 1: Acquire fifty one-dollar bills. If you're feeling especially rich, mix fives and tens in with them.

Step 2: Put them into a random order.

Step 3: Generate a password by taking the least significant two digits of each bill, in order, for a 100-digit number. Use this password to encrypt your data.

Step 4: Make sure that the bills never get out of order. Keep them in your desk drawer or another safe place.

Step 5: The cops raid your place. There is a decent chance that a small stack of cash would never make it into evidence, simply vanishing into an officer's pocket. Even if that doesn't happen, they'll catalog the money, sort it (here's where the fives and tens come in handy), and almost certainly get it out of order in the process.

Step 6: Your password is now gone. Unless the cops turned in the cash and kept it in order, it is impossible for you to tell them your password. If the bills make it into evidence, there are up to 50! (~200 bits) possible passwords. If not, there are 10^100 (~300 bits) possible passwords.

Step 7: Don't actually do steps 1-4. Just keep a small stack of cash next to your computer. Your actual password can be your cat's name. Just be willing to testify under oath that you did steps 1-4.

Comment: Mine does. Somewhat. (Score 1) 572

From looking at certification chains, I can see that my employer (a state government) MITMs Google (even though GMail is blocked), and probably other sites that I haven't noticed, but they do not MITM banks, at least not the two I visit occasionally from work. I haven't done much investigation beyond that.

Comment: Re:Wake me up when ammo can be printed (Score 1) 521

by Will_Malverson (#43789775) Attached to: Working Handgun Printed On a Sub-$2,000 3D Printer

Honest question: I can buy powder-actuated tools here in the States. That is a powerful nailgun or similar tool that uses a small gunpowder charge to drive a nail into concrete, brick, or the like. Do you have anything like that in your country? Because the charges are basically super-low-power bullets without the lead part.

Comment: Re:Until they hit the max number of bitcoins (Score 3, Informative) 595

by Will_Malverson (#43449551) Attached to: Is Bitcoin Mining a Real-World Environmental Problem?

No, the bank can loan out 95 strawberries. If those 95 loaned strawberries are deposited in another bank, that bank can loan out (95*.95) strawberries. If those strawberries are loaned out, and deposited again, now we're up to (95*.95*.95) strawberries, and an equal number of strawberry IOUs. If this process happens an infinite number of times, eventually the number of strawberry IOUs will be 2000. But every single deposit or loan will have involved a real strawberry.

Again, the government actually can create fiat currency by taking a piece of paper and writing "$100" on it, but fractional reserve banking always balances inputs and outputs. And despite what somebody upthread implied, it's been around since the middle ages.

Comment: Re:Until they hit the max number of bitcoins (Score 4, Insightful) 595

by Will_Malverson (#43448493) Attached to: Is Bitcoin Mining a Real-World Environmental Problem?

It's not quite that simple. Fractional-reserve banking creates promises of money out of thin air. You can do fractional-reserve banking with gold coins, barrels of oil, strawberries, or any other commodity.

Even that's not quite fair to say, because every promise of money created is created at the same time as a right to future money, so the total net amount of money isn't changed.

Many people get f-r banking and fiat currency confused.

Comment: Re:Just what we need right now... (Score 1) 582

Over the course of the 20th century, something like twenty million Europeans were murdered, mostly by their own governments.

In that same time frame, something less than one million Americans were murdered, mostly by fellow citizens.

If American-style gun ownership had reduced state-sanctioned murder by just 10%, even at the cost of creating American-style private murder rates, Europe would have come out ahead on the deal.

Comment: Re:Tax records (Score 0) 344

I don't know how it works over there, but in the United States, this would result in rich people being unable to drive a car without half a dozen cops following them and watching their every move, while poor people driving at 90 through a school zone would be utterly ignored.

Also, if I were a sufficiently rich person, I could hire a poor person to drive me to work. I could cut my commute time in half!

Comment: So, whiners... (Score 1) 722

by Will_Malverson (#36770830) Attached to: Netflix Deflects Rage Over Price Increase

...would you be willing to keep your old price, in return for only being able to stream stuff that was available for streaming on January 1, 2011?

They've been constantly adding new content (all of Star Trek!), and that ain't cheap. Netflix streaming has gone from being the last place to squeeze a few extra pennies out of old shows and movies to being the go-to place for anything but the latest entertainment.

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