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Submission + - Hal Finney, PGP and Bitcoin pioneer passes away

brokenin2 writes: Hal Finney, the number two programmer for PGP and the first person to receive a Bitcoin transaction has passed away. From the article on Coindesk: "Shortly after collaborating with Nakamoto on early bitcoin code in 2009, Finney announced he was suffering from ALS. Increasing paralysis, which eventually became near-total, forced him to retire from work in early 2011."

Submission + - plans to become first big online retailer to accept Bitcoin (

SonicSpike writes: Overstock plans to become the first big U.S. online retailer to accept Bitcoin, as Patrick Byrne, the company's libertarian chief executive, warms to the virtual currency as a refuge from government control.

Mr Byrne told the Financial Times that Overstock planned to start accepting Bitcoin next year – possibly by the end of the second quarter – a decision that he said was driven mainly by his own political philosophy.

"I think a healthy monetary system at the end of the day isn't an upside down pyramid based on the whim of a government official, but is based on something that they can't control," Mr Byrne said.

Submission + - Bitcoin Bubble: Should Fans Be Celebrating?

F9rDT3ZE writes: Due to its unique features, the economics of Bitcoin are difficult to grasp even for those with advanced degrees in economics. Following generally-accepted economic thought, though, a number of commentators have started to point out that Bitcoin's rise in value relative to other currencies means that it is experiencing deflation (its value relative to what 1 BTC purchases is going down, just as if a Big Mac cost $2 instead of $3), and that most experts believe deflation is unwelcome for currencies because it incentivizes hoarding (often followed by massive inflation when hoarders sell off, sometimes in waves produced by crashing prices). Does the price bubble in BTC indicate not its strong future as a virtual currency (as promoters like Falkvinge suggest), but instead mark the end of its usefulness as the medium of exchange for which it was designed? And are you spending your bitcoins now, or holding them?

Submission + - Bitcoin: The Future of Global Currency? (

An anonymous reader writes: As hard currencies the world over rise and fall with abandon reckless as the governments that print them and the banks that tender them, people are turning in ever larger numbers to decentralized electronic currency like bitcoin. "So is bitcoin going to save the global economy, or is it today’s answer to seventeenth-century tulip mania?" The New Yorker weighs in ...
Electronic Frontier Foundation

DOJ Often Used Cell Tower Impersonating Devices Without Explicit Warrants 146

Via the EFF comes news that, during a case involving the use of a Stingray device, the DOJ revealed that it was standard practice to use the devices without explicitly requesting permission in warrants. "When Rigmaiden filed a motion to suppress the Stingray evidence as a warrantless search in violation of the Fourth Amendment, the government responded that this order was a search warrant that authorized the government to use the Stingray. Together with the ACLU of Northern California and the ACLU, we filed an amicus brief in support of Rigmaiden, noting that this 'order' wasn't a search warrant because it was directed towards Verizon, made no mention of an IMSI catcher or Stingray and didn't authorize the government — rather than Verizon — to do anything. Plus to the extent it captured loads of information from other people not suspected of criminal activity it was a 'general warrant,' the precise evil the Fourth Amendment was designed to prevent. ... The emails make clear that U.S. Attorneys in the Northern California were using Stingrays but not informing magistrates of what exactly they were doing. And once the judges got wind of what was actually going on, they were none too pleased:"

Submission + - The Fed's $16 Trillion Bailouts Under-reported in media (

An anonymous reader writes: The audit of the Federal Reserve brought on largely by the bill sponsored by Rep Ron Paul. The findings verify that over $16 trillion was allocated to corporations and banks internationally, purportedly for “financial assistance” during and after the 2008 fiscal crisis. Interestingly enough, this has gone largely unreported by mainstream media.

Submission + - German Pirate Party enters 2nd State parliament

An anonymous reader writes: After its recent success in the Berlin elections, the German Pirate Party scores 7.4% of votes for the state pariament of Saarland, earning them 4 seats out of 51. While the campaign didn't center around copyright issues and/or ACTA (the party's stance is well-known), it centered around open government, access to education, and participative governing models, effectively ridding the party of its "one issue" notion.

Take your work seriously but never take yourself seriously; and do not take what happens either to yourself or your work seriously. -- Booth Tarkington