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Comment: Re:Bitcoin lost 11.6% of its value this week ... (Score 1) 87

by jeepies (#47239449) Attached to: Expedia To Accept Bitcoin
So there's some flip sides: 1) In terms of anonymity, the government doesn't want the ability for people to move large quantities of money around anonymously. That capability opens up a lot of black market activity that they want to put a stop to. So I think in this case, anonymity is negative for cryptocurrency in terms of its long term viability. 2) Transactions being irreversible is great for the merchant, but what about consumer protections? What if someone buys something and it's not shipped? What if it's defective? What if it's substantially different from what was offered? The consumer is left to beg for their money back or seek legal remedy. Under the current system with credit cards and paypal, it's a simple matter to remedy these issues with a phone call or a few clicks on a website. Also, addressing the wallet issue: If someone steals loses a wallet or it's stolen, a couple phone calls and they'll have new credit cards in a week. This is precisely why most people don't carry a lot of cash around. Worst case you're out $50 if someone uses your card, but in most cases credit card companies waive those fees for lost and stolen cards. The other difference is that a crypto wallet is more akin to a bank account in terms of the amount of currency that stands to be lost. I would imagine most people carry less than $100 in their wallets. 3) This is too much to expect from most people. Again I would expect a real wallet to have far less to lose than a crypto wallet - especially if we're imagining this in a future where crypto is king. Remember you can also get spyware and have your crypto wallet stolen. In general people are just not very good with computers. Expecting them to back things up, wall off computers from hackers, etc, is unrealistic. It's fine for people who are into it like you and me, but to expect the averge person who sees a computer as a way to use Facebook to do these things is just not going to happen. Bank accounts and credit cards have safety mechanisms built in that cryptocurrency lacks and are better options for almost everyone. Until that's addressed cryptocurrency has no hope of going mainstream.

Comment: Re:WTF *IS* a Bitcoin? (Score 2) 87

by jeepies (#47239413) Attached to: Expedia To Accept Bitcoin
What is a bitcoin? It's an entry in a shared block chain (list of transactions) which requires computing a very difficult hash function to verify. That computation is called a "proof of work." The computer that successfully verifies a block also gets an entry in the ledger giving it a reward for calculating the hash. You can't arbitrarily create a bitcoin precisely because everyone on the network has the same shared block chain. All of this requires a lot of computational cycles and hence electrical power. So in a fashion you're translating electrical power into currency.

Comment: Re:Bitcoin lost 11.6% of its value this week ... (Score 1) 87

by jeepies (#47239055) Attached to: Expedia To Accept Bitcoin

That said, bitcoin is an excellent payment system. It will probably replace paypal and such, put a dent in credit cards.

In its current form, there's no way any cryptocurrency replaces paypal or credit cards. The major problems: Anonymity, Lack of protection from fraud, susceptibility to loss (lose your wallet, oops.), and user unfriendliness (expecting the average Joe to deal with wallet software and bitcoin addresses is major stretch).

Comment: Re:Please, please just stop... (Score 1) 270

by jeepies (#47208553) Attached to: Firefox 30 Available, Firebug 2.0 Released
When the ESR branch updates to a new version, there is a 12 week deployment and certification window where the old version of ESR is maintained. There will be two more point releases of 24 ESR (24.7.0 and 24.8.0) that coincide with 31 and 32 on Release before 24 is gone for good. So here's what's going to happen in 6 weeks: Firefox 31 is released on the Release Channel Firefox 31.0 is released for ESR Qualification - you can update to 31 on ESR at this point Firefox 24.7.0 is released on the ESR Channel 6 weeks later: Firefox 32 is released on Release Channel Firefox 31.1 is released for ESR Qualification Firefox 24.8.0 is released on the ESR Channel (last version of 24) 6 weeks later: Firefox 33 is released on the Release Channel Firefox 31.2 is released on the ESR Channel - anyone running 24esr will update to this So you've got 18 weeks. Enjoy!

You can measure a programmer's perspective by noting his attitude on the continuing viability of FORTRAN. -- Alan Perlis