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Comment: 1941? (Score 1) 143

by davidwr (#48628749) Attached to: Will Ripple Eclipse Bitcoin?

Assuming A. != Adolf, I still call shenanigans.

First, in practical terms the US dollar was not a fiat currency in 1941, as its value was tied to that of both gold and silver.

Second, the word "cryptocurrency" wasn't around then either.

Unless of course you are using a different calendaring system, in which case I invite you to convert the date into conventional (BCE/AD) terms.

Comment: Physical currency has inherent value (Score 1) 143

by davidwr (#48628645) Attached to: Will Ripple Eclipse Bitcoin?

Precious metals typically have value for industrial, medical, and aesthetic reasons. This value may have nothing to do with their market price (aluminum is MORE valuable in industry now than it was 200 years ago in large part because the cost of making it into a useful form and therefore its market price plummeted).

Base metals and paper also have some intrinsic value, albeit very small. Base metals make good paperweights, and paper/cloth money can be burned as fuel. I've head that Post-WWI German Marks made good decorative wallpaper, and the recently (a few years back) de-monetized Zimbabwe $Million+ notes are sold as souvenirs for well under $10(USD).

E-currencies and for that matter ledger-entry fiat currencies, not so much.

Comment: Re:Why virtual currencies are ineffective (Score 2) 143

by davidwr (#48628595) Attached to: Will Ripple Eclipse Bitcoin?

Your main point about BC and the like being a medium of exchange rather than a store of value is spot-on but your details are dangerously wrong:

1) There are, or at least in principle can be, transaction fees in BitCoin. Once all coins are mined, there WILL be transfer fees. However they will be miniscule compared to the 1%+ that most banks charge.

2) The responsibility to report transactions to the government generally doesn't change if you use BitCoin or some other vehicle as an intermediary. It may make it APPEAR to be a non-reportable transaction and it may make it PRACTICALLY easier to violate the law without getting caught, but once it is brought to a prosecutor's or court's attention they will see tax-evasion for what it is.

Anyone using BC as a way to avoid paperwork and bank fees needs to know the law and make sure that there is absolutely no reason for any gung-ho prosecutor who becomes aware of the transaction to think that the person is violating any tax, money-laundering, financial-reporting, or other laws.

Comment: Horse. Barn Door. Open. (Score 1) 90

Once information has appeared in a public place anywhere, it's almost impossible to prevent it from being available ANYWHERE.

Sure, there are cases where the information seems so un-interesting that nobody will bother to copy it before the state manages to seize all copies of it. There are also cases where loyalty to the state (or employer, or church, or fraternity) is so strong that thousands of trusted people may have copies but they won't distribute them and you (the state/employer/church/fraternity officials) know it.

There are also cases where fear of even possessing the information (plus the fact that most people simply wouldn't want to possess it) means the state has a much easier time keeping track of those who are both un-afraid and who might actually want to possess it (classic example from country that generally values free speech but makes a few exceptions: child porn).

Other that these and a few other edge cases, once something is published it's pointless for a country that claims to value free speech to try to declare it a "secret after the fact." Unless of course the point is disabuse your citizens and the world of the idea that you (the state) value free speech, in which case go right ahead, you'll soon achieve your goal.

Comment: Publish the cert in a major newspaper (Score 1) 394

by davidwr (#48628287) Attached to: Google Proposes To Warn People About Non-SSL Web Sites

Step 1: Sign your own cert(s).
Step 1b (optional): Use certs signed in step 1 to sign additional certs.
Step 2: Publish the hash of the certs in step 1 in one or more widely-printed, widely-available newspapers or magazines.
Step 3: On your web site host installable copies of all certs made in steps 1 and 1b, text and photographic copies of the printed hashes from step 2, and instructions on where to find copies of these publications (e.g. "go to your local library and look up XYZ newspaper dated DATE MONTH YEAR and go to section X page P and look in the 2nd column about 2 inches down").

While most people won't go to the trouble of going to the library, the fact that it is fairly easily check-able by people with access to a big-city library will make it that much more difficult for someone to launch a MITM attack without being caught. Not impossible, just much more difficult.

Comment: Validating a self-signed cert (Score 1) 394

by davidwr (#48623353) Attached to: Google Proposes To Warn People About Non-SSL Web Sites

It makes sense: encryption without authentication is useless, as the browser gets a secure channel to talk with an unidentified peer. It can be your server, it can also be a man in the middle, there is no way to tell.

You mean other than manually comparing the certificate against a known-good copy you previously obtained through a trusted channel then telling your web browser to memorize it as a known-good certificate?

Comment: Re:3-digit /. UID? (Score 1) 82

by davidwr (#48621269) Attached to: Manufacturer's Backdoor Found On Popular Chinese Android Smartphone

I'm going to hit you with my modem.

300 baud or DSL?

I have both and it's easy to mix the two up especially if you have one of those last-century DSL modems with the DB9 or DB25 serial connector.

They have about the same usefulness when used to hit people with.

On some days, they both seem to transfer data at about the same speed. :P

Comment: Fixing title for you (Score 1) 130

by davidwr (#48620773) Attached to: Research Highlights How AI Sees and How It Knows What It's Looking At

Research Highlights How a Deep Neural Network Trained With Deep Learning Sees and How It Knows What It's Looking At

There, fixed that for you.

Why is using the term "AI" wrong in this headline?
#001: Because industry experts don't agree on what AI is
#010: Because most of the definitions of AI are much broader than what the article is talking about
#011: Because at least one definition of AI says something like "if it exists today, it's not AI" - including "beyond the capability of current computers" or something similar as a defining condition of the term "AI"

Comment: Re:No different than what we have here (Score 2, Interesting) 82

by davidwr (#48620335) Attached to: Manufacturer's Backdoor Found On Popular Chinese Android Smartphone

Apple can disable software remotely for security reasons but iOS itself cannot install software without asking the user.

Unless Apple disables the software that prevents iOS from installing software without the user. This function would only be used for security reasons of course.

Comment: OT: overused phrase (Score 1) 435

by davidwr (#48620323) Attached to: In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. [or the definition of insanity sometimes attributed to Albert Einstein: "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"]

This phrase is overused.

When used in a practical sense, it's just plain false. It's "quasi-opposite" phrases "practice makes perfect" and "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again" are frequently enough true that they make using this phrase in an off-hand, not-carefully-considering-the-context way just sound stupid.

Anyway, you almost never "keep doing the same thing/do the same thing twice" in the real (analog) world anyway (which is why "try, try again" actually works), so using the phrase in a literal is almost always pointless outside of a computer or other non-analog (discrete-state) deterministic environment.

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary saftey deserve neither liberty not saftey." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759