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Comment: Re:A common misunderstanding (Score 1) 275

by deroby (#46601027) Attached to: Operation Wants To Mine 10% of All New Bitcoins

Maybe it's a cultural thing and btc did take off on your side of the pond; but from my point of view I can't see any people willing to put down real money in exchange for btc. Sure; we've all downloaded the client, had a bit of fun to see how many hashes our hardware could work through only to realize that in the end the only place where it would leave a mark was on the electricity bill. So from where I'm standing, the only people willing to put 'real value' to btc are either those who have a lot of it and really, really, really would like other people to buy them from them so they get 'real' money. Or those who think that it might be good idea to invest in them now (I'm guessing that if you spend 5m on btc and do it 'smart' that you probably could horde quite an amount of them) in the hope of selling it somewhere in the future for a hefty profit.

Both situations may have the effect of btc getting a perceived increase in value, but I for one expect said bubble to implode 'real soon now' and leave the unlucky behind with a string of worthless hardware and/or bits & bytes.

But that's just my opinion and by observation it does seem that there are quite a few people out there that are making quite a profit (in dollars) on the whole operation right now...

PS: I'm not really against the whole idea of decentralized crypto-currency PAYMENTS (although I do think that the current implementations are painfully slow and scale very badly -- having to download the entire log, really ??). The part I really dislike is the way they are 'mined'... I simply can't find any angle where converting electricity into money by means of specialized (expensive) hardware seems to be a good idea =( At least scrypt tried to work around that but alas the arms-race is on...

But no, I'm not actively taking part in 'the community' and hell what do I know...

Comment: Re:Fantastic ROI (Score 1) 275

by deroby (#46591747) Attached to: Operation Wants To Mine 10% of All New Bitcoins

OK, I'll prepare for that call that's coming then =)

Anyway, I'm still having a hard time seeing this as anything but a waste of time and resources... The fact that it actually 'makes' money doesn't change that, it makes it all the more saddening to me as more people will jump on the train with bigger rigs .. all out of simple greed...

Comment: Re:Fantastic ROI (Score 2, Insightful) 275

by deroby (#46591365) Attached to: Operation Wants To Mine 10% of All New Bitcoins

Quite informative IMHO

It's paid itself off [in bitcoins] many times over already."

Call me when it has paid itself off IN DOLLARS many times over.
Dumping a gazillion btc on the market will likely push the price down and hence the profit.. It must be nice being able to dump a couple of million$ into a "hobby" project like this; but really... the only ones making a profit out of this IMHO are those who fabricate the boards/cables/etc... Off course he's going to say he makes huge profits, after all he is trying to lease out (a portion) of his infrastructure... which in itself already indicates how 'worthwhile' running the setup really is.

(if only they would/could recuperate some of the heath being produced I'd be less sad about it.. right now all I see is 3MW of energy being wasted by a ton of PCB's that will end up in a landfill somewhere in the next years... and apparently this is only 5.6 percent of what is being 'mined' around the world, the proverbial tip of the iceberg... humanity deserves to die...)

Comment: Re:If you need to ask, then for you the answer is (Score 1) 306

by deroby (#46519217) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can an Old Programmer Learn New Tricks?

The problem with this kind of thinking is that there is no real continuity any more. There used to be a time when you could take code from a couple years back and copy-paste it into your current project. Nowadays we switch technology so fast that you can hardly understand the code from 2 years back again because you got out of touch with the frameworks it worked on.

On top of that. I've seen projects being restarted over and over again trying to build the same solution using 'what's new this year' technology; and pretty much each time it fails on some new 'unforeseen' thing... It kind of works; but it isn't great. But who cares? They're convinced that when they rewrite it next year using that new framework/paradigm/whatever it will surely be perfect.

Mind you, I don't mind looking at new stuff; but in my experience it's often times the same thing packaged differently over and over again. So where is the real benefit? Using "the old methods" I know exactly where the pitfalls are and how to avoid them; using the new stuff sometimes looks quite promising and might take a lot of the grunt-work out of my hands so I can focus on the 'real fun things'; but when it obscurely fails it can be very frustrating and consume a lot more time than I assumed I had won. It's a very grey area sometimes.

Comment: Re:SF is easier to hack than that (Score 2) 240

by deroby (#46216465) Attached to: How To Hack Subway Fares Using Fare Arbitrage

For starters : congratulations on your son. I "admit" I never 'gave up everything' for whatever reason but I do know the impact of having children on one's life and point of view. Welcome.

Secondly, I'm not here to judge but merely to point out you were literally suggesting people should not pay for transport in SF if they don't feel like it; all the while complaining on your website that the current generation is one that simply takes things for granted as if they are entitled to whatever they want.

Comment: Re:SF is easier to hack than that (Score 5, Insightful) 240

by deroby (#46216101) Attached to: How To Hack Subway Fares Using Fare Arbitrage

It's ironic how you blatantly state the above but put the following on your homepage:

(emphasis mine)

"I don’t think I want to be in the western world when it collapses. I think we are such a violent bunch that even I might not survive, and I’ve spent years homeless, did time in Iraq, and so forth. I still don’t have faith I’d be able to guide my family through the chaos of a societal meltdown in a culture which is so coddled and takes so much for granted. I think we need to GTFO here and definitely within the next ten years."

If only 'the other people' were a more ethical bunch eh?

Comment: Re:Old news...very old (Score 2) 207

by deroby (#45974697) Attached to: Why Birds Fly In a V Formation

I'm assuming the parent is European (Renault Laguna) and we tend to talk about fuel-efficiency in liter per 100 km. Hence, a lower number actually means better efficiency in that context, hence the confusion.

FYI: My dashboard allows for these 3 options: MPG, l/100Km, Km/l. I actually like the km/l as it is much more interesting and also has better 'scaling', but sadly the l/100Km is most widely used in that respect that I'm pretty sure that if I would say I got 20km/l on a given trip I'd probably meet blank stares only =)

Comment: Re:HD (Score 4, Informative) 112

Using toaster-size satellites, I very much doubt so.

I seem to remember that doing so is impossible using 'normal' optics due simple physics. IIRC there is a limit to the resolution (expressed in radians) you can get for a given frequency for a given lens . Given the distance above our head these things fly this means there is a 'hard' maximum resolution these have and given what I remember from the article it was quite a bit above the ability to read the screen on your phone. The same /article/ (for the love of god I can't remember whether it was in print or some blog or something) stipulated that those pictures you see where they show you the playing-cards a man is holding are actually aerial pictures taken from specialised planes who happen to fly a LOT lower to the ground and also can carry big (heavy) lenses more easily.

PS: I mention 'normal optics' because apparently (same long forgotten source) it should be possible to get much higher resolution by combining different satellites looking at the same target but flying some distance apart and combining their 'view' using some fancy mathematics.

Doing some googling I stumble upon this that seems to conform the above :

Comment: Re:not super expensive at all (Score 1) 1146

by deroby (#45701955) Attached to: US Light Bulb Phase-Out's Next Step Begins Next Month

Well, here I have mostly CFL's everywhere with some 'experimental' LEDs here and there too.

When they were on sale I bought 4 of these :
I replaced 2 21W CFL's with 1 of the above and the general 'complaint' was that the new light is way too bright. In reality it probably is less bright but it ramps up to 100% pretty much instantaneously while the CFL's would take some warming up thus giving your eyes time to adjust and hence being subjectively dimmer. I very much doubt the energy savings will ever make up for its price (I paid 35 euro) but given its location it's quite useful that they are full power right-away because people usually only light it for about 2 minutes and then are out again. AND I'm hoping they'll last (a lot) longer than the CFL's which I've had to replace too often in that location; probably because of the fact they get lit quite frequently but only for a short while which is deadly for that technology. I know LEDs don't mind switching on and off but off course I have no clue about the electronics that drive them.... time will tell.

Comment: Re:The StackOverflow map is useless (Score 4, Interesting) 45

by deroby (#45631917) Attached to: StackOverflow and Github Visualized As Cities

I guess it depends on the subjects you're interested in. Given the size of SO (well, we should probably consider the entire Stack Exchange group, no ?) there's bound to be sub-cultures. Personally I rather occasionally browse the SQL related tags and while there are quite a bit of 'Please do my homework' kind of questions, those often don't get the answer they're looking for (that is: the worked out solution) but rather get pointers into 'the right direction'. Luckily there also are also quite a few of interesting questions that spark discussions and often-times indirectly gives me some insight into something I hadn't ever thought about before. I find that valuable. Feel free to look up my userid and you'll notice that hardly have any reputation points behind my name; in fact I have 'worked' just enough to be able to post/edit comments etc; otherwise I really don't care.

A long, long time ago I used to spend quite a bit of time on ExpertsExchange. Although I enjoyed helping out others at first it became quite frustrating after a while to see how a few people would throw a quick & dirty solution only seconds (?!?!) after it was posted. By the time I had written a fleshed out answer the original poster would already have accepted the (imho) downright terrible advice and there was no way to undo the situation except for adding a comment along the lines: please don' t do it like this for reasons x, y and z. I had no clue why (or how) these quick-posters would do this as their reputation already was sky-high until I noticed that the site had leader-boards that would nominate their 'best' people on a monthly/yearly basis. After that I gave up.

At least on SO you can down-vote a prematurely accepted answer and vote up one that makes a lot more sense. Maybe the original poster won't care to come back, but at least when someone comes around googling for an answer he'll be presented with the 'better' answer first AND the Q&D poster actually gets 'punished' by the down-votes. (As are the people who down-vote, so it's 'harder' to game the system). I'm sure SO has something like 'greatest contributors' too, and yes, there is all the badges and reputation stuff; but it seems to me there is a lot less attention given to it.

"Regardless of the legal speed limit, your Buick must be operated at speeds faster than 85 MPH (140kph)." -- 1987 Buick Grand National owners manual.