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Comment Re:Step 1: Integrate with existing payment technol (Score 4, Interesting) 52

Actually I think these news prove that debit cards are getting better, rather than saying anything about Bitcoin.

I have a similar debit card (not Coinbase) which lets me spend out of my Bitcoin wallet, converting on-the-fly to target currency. The Bitcoin side of this is quite straightforward, but I am rather impressed that VISA allows this sort of automation.

Comment Re:Because it already is (Score 1) 275

Militant Islam doesn't really give a shit about wealth

Militant Islam, and any sort of extremism really, not only feed off of, but also depend on hopelessness. The entire structure exists because there are an enormous number of people who are forcefully deprived of all means to find meaning.

Lack of reach, both socially and economically is the primary culprit. But you also have those who have suffered for decades without the feeling of any sort of power. So it is not really surprising to see them cling to an implausible but overwhelming promise of eternal well being.

Comment Re:Because it already is (Score 2) 275

You are trying to control the *totality* if the body in order to extinguish the symptoms instead of going after the cause.

Actually, one could argue that this tendency has caused the whole mess to begin with. Instead of going after wealth inequality and economic restrictions, they went on to create more inequality and more restrictions.

The case at hand is even more advanced, since digital currencies have not been used by terrorists. They could help with economic restrictions though, which I'm guessing you wouldn't like at all.

Comment Re:Why is the limit a problem? IS it a problem? (Score 1) 185

Is the situation that the Bitcoin network is coming dangerously close to having enough transactions to exceed that 1MB limit?

It is not, although the transaction rate is steadily increasing. The question is more about how Bitcoin should evolve, rather than imminent problems.

Bitcoin at its core is a notarization network using scarce tokens to prevent spam and data size limits against DoS. Relaxing the limit means more entries, which both helps with monetary use of these tokens as well as the their utilization for other purposes like asset transfers, dispute mediation, digital copyrights, etc. It also means more resource requirements for nodes, which could eventually lead to hobbyists getting out of the equation.

it seems like the people behind Bitcoin XT stand to make a lot of money if the big Bitcoin exchanges switch over to their version of the currency, so I'm not so sure.

It is open source software for a decentralized network, so at least there isn't a direct connection to developer revenue. Although, there is a lot of investment going on, and different companies stand to gain from different scaling approaches, which could have lead to conflicts of interest.

Comment Re:Any useful reviews? (Score 1) 45

Well, requiring a Ubuntu One account (which asks for your Full Name and e-mail) in order to install software was a terrible choice. Last time I checked, they still thought it was a good idea.

You don't need an account to use the phone though, nor a SIM card. Also if you enable write access, you can use the repositories just like you would in any Debian distro, but lose the ability to install OS updates. You also can't get updates without a Ubuntu One account (at least by default).

Bluetooth is almost completely missing, there is no encryption, and the default terminal software (you need a Ubuntu One account in order to install), lacks some key combinations. Translations are quite good.

My overall feeling is, it will continue to lack the features that motivates me to look for an alternative OS, so I did not want to spend more time on figuring things out.

Comment Re:"Cashless" is meaningless (Score 2) 294

Certainly possible. Ecuador had plans to do that, but I don't know how it went.

However, I think states around the world will prefer having an extra layer of protection in the form of licensed private entities, and this system is pretty much already established, particularly in favor of the western world.

Citizens are required to use one of these, they can still be made worthless but the bureaucrat(s) in your example will be shielded from any potential backlash.

You don't need to pass laws to change the world into whatever you favor and you won't even risk being the bad guy. Everyone will continue to hate banks and intermediaries, but their place will continue to be guaranteed. Similar to the current state of affairs, but more efficient.

Comment Re:"Cashless" is meaningless (Score 1) 294

5. Government can control you if you do not have access to your own money, and it can prevent you from doing anything they don't like and punish you for doing anything they don't approve of.

They already can do that, so I think it's important to clarify the distinction. Governments do not handle your money directly, but they restrict you to licensed entities, like banks, payment processors, etc. These entities are subject to broadly defined rules which make them responsible about not only identified crimes, but potential future crimes. On top of that, in many countries these entities are aligned to particular political groups, and in the case of multinational entities, foreign powers or international organizations. Basically, you can be instantly screwed because of your behavioral pattern or political activity, without being charged with any crime.

I don't think we will be "fucked" in the sense that confiscations will be prevalent. We will and do adjust our behavior and expectations from life. We will and do move to a monopolar world much faster than everyone imagines.

Comment Re:"everyone from PayPal merchants to Rand Paul" (Score 1) 67

What I said does not have anything to with people using Bitcoin in their morally questionable endeavors.

I however said that Bitcoin does not require a centralized power's backing. Not only that, it is allergic to that sort of thing.

You can buy a gun with Bitcoin and kill a man. However, using it by itself does not require guns or killing.

Comment Re:"everyone from PayPal merchants to Rand Paul" (Score 3, Interesting) 67

Bitcoin is an experiment in getting people to agree on something (be it notarization, settlement or just exchange value) without the need for a central enforcer.

It's not a bug, it's a feature, i.e. you won't see Bitcoin bombing children to "reinforce" the position of its currency. No one should be surprised that this brings many limitations with it.

So no matter what the majority of Bitcoin community thinks, it's a collective experiment and will always depend on actions that are just for the sake of it succeeding. Network effect just won't cut it. Fortunately, there is a lot that makes sense in leaving behind central enforcers and decision makers.

Another problem I find in your analysis is, publicized thefts and the mechanics of Bitcoin are completely separate. There is plenty of way to go, but the currently lacking advancements in these areas are naturally complementary.

Comment Re:Not many devices (Score 1) 56

I assumed wonkey_monkey is talking about making smartphones temporarily offline. So it does become online with your consent. It could also connect without you even noticing.

Also, any device is vulnerable, but not equally. A lot needs to happen for the encrypted data on my old laptop with no wi-fi capability to leak out.

e-credibility: the non-guaranteeable likelihood that the electronic data you're seeing is genuine rather than somebody's made-up crap. - Karl Lehenbauer