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Comment: Re:BitCoin has complete record of transactions. (Score 1) 115

Do you think they have ever deleted a transaction record?

Yes, Visa has deleted a lot of transaction records - they don't hold anyone's account balances. They hold a copy of transactions for four main purposes: 1) they charge participating banks an annual license fee based on how many Visa transactions they engage in. 2) They act as a transaction processor (doing clearing and settlement) between banks. 3) They engage in fraud detection and fraud research as a service to the banks who are their customers, and 4) They enrich transaction data (adding more info) and sell it back to the banks as a service.

None of these things requires them to A) know who the account holders are or B) keep transactions lying around for more than a couple years. After two years, the usefulness of data for fraud research is gone, and all the money making opportunities for transaction details have evaporated.

Comment: Re:BitCoin has complete record of transactions. (Score 1) 115

by banda (#46294267) Attached to: Amazon Coins and How the Definition of 'Crypto-Currency' Is Getting Too Loose

Perhaps - at the present, it is 14 GB (source: https://blockchain.info/charts...)
BUT, to have a bitcoin wallet and participate in bitcoin commerce, it's not required to have a local copy of the blockchain.
Further, if you look at the original whitepaper ( https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pd... ) you'll see section 7 has an explanation of how sufficiently old transactions COULD be removed from the blockchain without corrupting the hash of each bitcoin.

Comment: Re:BitCoin has complete record of transactions. (Score 1) 115

by banda (#46292705) Attached to: Amazon Coins and How the Definition of 'Crypto-Currency' Is Getting Too Loose

No, not really - The purpose of cryptography in crypto currencies is two-fold: 1) to make it massively impractical for any individual to falsify the record of their payment or receipt and 2) to regulate the money supply by algorithm in response to the activity of the currency's economy. The net effect of these two purposes is that value can be stored and transferred between accounts without a "trusted agent" in the middle such as a deposit bank or a central bank. So, you can say the point of crypto currency is not to make the account holders anonymous, it is to eliminate the "trusted middleman" from commerce. Of course once that trusted middleman is eliminated, there is no functional reason to record the identities of the account owners anywhere, because that information is no longer important for commerce. The cryptography doesn't conceal the identities of account holders - it makes their identities irrelevant.
The block chain is easy to read and verify, contains the entire transaction history of every "wallet" that ever transacted in bitcoin, and does not contain any personally identifiable information about bitcoin holders because it doesn't need to.

Comment: Re:Starbucks figured it out early (Score 1) 153

by banda (#45106747) Attached to: Who's Getting Pay-By-Phone Right? The Fast Food Industry

The major cost of cash for retailers is in shrinkage - cash disappears, is counterfeit, or isn't collected in its full amount.

All that other stuff - retail workers, Brinks trucks, counting the drawer, safes - that doesn't go away just because you accept credit.

Also, card fraud is a cost for merchants - they're on the hook, but bad debt is absolutely not the merchant's problem - in fact that's a plus for accepting electronic payments... the merchant doesn't have to extend credit to customers and then try to collect later - collection is the issuing bank's problem.

Merchants who do "big ticket" sales (more than the walking around money in the average wallet) LOVE credit, because it makes purchases less of a hassle for the buyer. Small ticket retailers don't like it that much because a) they can't eliminate cash, b) accepting credit doesn't distinguish them in the market and c) because they aren't capitalizing on the opportunity for big ticket sales.

And then there's loyalty programs and direct marketing... retailers who have figred that out LOVE electronic payments for the insight they can deliver on customer behavior.

Yes, there are businesses who hate dealing with merchant banks and electronic payments, but they are the ones who are only doing it because of the loss of business they would suffer if they turned away cashless Millenials - Those businesses' opinion of credit is going to be very gloomy indeed - like their own futures in the marketplace, perhaps.

Comment: Older news is even older. (Score 1) 210

by banda (#39159631) Attached to: Your Next TV Interface Will Be a Tablet

Sony Tablet S - it's an Android tablet that can do DLNA, Sony Media Remote over IP, AND has an IR blaster built in with an awesome multi-device interface. Good looking tablet, controls everything, can "throw" and "catch" media to my network connected TV.

So it's quite likely that my next TV interface will be a tablet... because my CURRENT TV interface is a tablet

Comment: Seen more than I can count (Score 1) 461

by banda (#39099751) Attached to: Nuclear Truckers Haul Warheads Across US

In a previous job (one where I was paid very little, lived in the desert, and wore a uniform to work) I worked within spitting distance of the concrete pad where they loaded and unloaded the OST trailers. I won't go into detail, but the safety measures that prevent unauthorized persons from accessing the trailer contents are serious enough that I wouldn't wish to ever be on the authorized crew that loads and unloads them.

Also, you can sometimes tell that the plain jane tractor trailer is a SST (Safe, Secure Transport) because it's surrounded by a convoy of Suburbans with a wide variety of antennae, and a full load of US Marshals armed to the teeth. They don't go anywhere without that.

They can flip 'em over in ice storms all day for all I care. Any group who wants to can try to steal the cargo for all I care. I have zero worries about the contents of these vehicles. They are safer than just about anything else in the world.

Comment: There's a real explanaton (Score 1) 303

by banda (#37518380) Attached to: The Mythical Tunnel Between CERN and Central Italy

The receiving site in the experiment IS in a mountain tunnel. The tunnel construction was widened to accommodate the laboratory as well as the road traffic. Italy paid for that. The tunnel does not connect the two sites. One lane of the tunnel traffic was stopped for the duration of the experiment to improve the accuracy of the measurements. Italian tunnel money made this science possible. Stop hating, yo?

One good reason why computers can do more work than people is that they never have to stop and answer the phone.

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