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Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 2219

by udoschuermann (#46187413) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

My concern is that this "beta" is evidence of a fundamental and grotesque lack of understanding on the part of those who are trying to push this on us, and may in fact signal the beginning of the end of /. as we know and love it ("sorry, /. users, you didn't like this change, but you're gonna learn to love the next one" 8-[ ).

Of course I am hopeful that our concerns are not merely heard, but that problems are fixed and the site's core functionality and aesthetics(*) are retained, instead of the whole thing being thrown out and replaced with glowing cotton balls.

(*) I've heard some describe /. in less than favorable terms, visually speaking, but I appreciate it for its functionality as much as I appreciate a shell interface for its utility and flexibility.

Comment: Re:Fork Slashdot (Score 1) 2219

by udoschuermann (#46186207) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

I'd be there instantly, because each time that horrid beta version comes up, I refresh and refresh and refresh the page in hopes of getting the proper site back, but once my frustration level gets to the point where I give up, I close the tab and remove Slashdot from my bookmarks.

I've felt strangely torn up and betrayed by the beta version because I've been here a long time and Slashdot is the first site I check every day (if I were stuck on a desert island and could visit only one site a day, /. would be it). I want my information, not some sort of flashy splatter.

Comment: Re:Something I've been ruminating about all day (Score 1) 305

by udoschuermann (#45572647) Attached to: Bitcoin Thefts Surge, DDoS Hackers Take Millions

Correct. I wager that plenty of people were toying with Bitoins at some point but shrugged it off and deleted (or lost) their wallet for one reason or another (see the story of the guy who lost 7500 BTC). Wallet gone, coins are gone, forever.

My encrypted wallet is backed up periodically so that a hard disk crash won't wipe me out. If Mt.Gox goes evil, a lot of people will lose their cash/coins, myself included, but Mt. Gox makes a pretty chunk on every (frequent) trade, so they stand to gain a lot more from being cool than being evil, which serves everyone.

Bottom line is that Bitcoin is an extremely interesting technical experiment, but more of a gamble than a secured investment. It could all go sour in a minute, or turn into a mind-boggling foundation of a world economy, but fools are parted with their bitcoins on a regular basis, as the story shows.

Don't hand over your wallet to some guy at the street corner, I'm just sayin'

Comment: Re:Killed because it wasn't a revenue generator (Score 3, Insightful) 118

by udoschuermann (#43702233) Attached to: Has Google Shut Down SMS Search?

There are two issues from the user's perspective when a free service is suddenly shutdown:

1. The free service has become an expectation and important part of their routine.
2. There is no way to plan for alternatives, if they even exist,

No, there is no legal obligation for Google to keep such a service running, but the least they could have done is give a few weeks or months of warning, maybe point out equivalent services (sms based), and thus offer people a way to migrate. Instead, they just dropped everyone on the floor and said, "Go sign up for a data plan <shrug>"

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 292

by udoschuermann (#43026321) Attached to: Plans Unveiled For Full Scale Replica of the Titanic

We built the Titanic, and that hit an iceberg and sank.
So we built the Titanic 2, and it hit an iceberg, flipped over, and then sank.
So we built another, and that also hit an iceberg, caught fire, flipped over, and went down like a stone.
But did we give up? No, we built a fourth one! And that ...

(feel free to continue)

Comment: Re:What gives fiat money value? (Score 4, Insightful) 437

by udoschuermann (#42999691) Attached to: World's First Bitcoin ATM

No, the value of any currency (exchange medium, fiat or otherwise) is derived from the trust that currency-exchanging users place in it. This trust may be derived from trust in the issuer (government), but that is no requirement. The value of BTC is derived from a combination of its limited supply and the usefulness of anonymous exchange. Governments need not be involved until you want to convert BTC to a tangible currency (such as US$), but that is not a required feature for those who deal only in BTC. So long as BTC is difficult to come by and those who value it are willing to exchange it solely based on perceived (or real-world) value, then BTC will thrive, and with increasing scarcity, rise in value.

Comment: Re:It's one of few anonymous ways to obtain bitcoi (Score 1) 437

by udoschuermann (#42999663) Attached to: World's First Bitcoin ATM

True, but ASIC mining rigs are being built by relatively small outfits, not by the likes of Intel or AMD. The work is tricky, involves a lot of different suppliers, and isn't anything like grabbing a bunch of off-the-shelf components. The vaporware aspect arises from overly optimistic expectations, but mere GPU miners are really beginning to hurt badly against the ever-increasing difficulty, which is driving up the price of BTCs because there is a clear demand for them, and that makes ASIC delivery ever more important and lucrative. ASICs a matter of time, not a matter of "ifs".

Comment: Re:Someone who has never said cyberspace before... (Score 1) 292

by udoschuermann (#42879605) Attached to: Is the Concept of 'Cyberspace' Stupid?

The dawn of the Internet goes back to DARPA around 1970 (give or take). The term "cyberspace" was coined by William Gibson in 1982. The Web happened in the early 1990s.

Cyberspace is a visualization of an abstract environment, not a physical space. Tangibles (hardware) combine with intangibles (software) to enable it. Much of it is defined by how you visualize your "presence" there. Are you just pushing data request packets, or are you really "visiting" sites in distant places? It's a matter of imaginaton and perspective, really.

Comment: Re:Virtual Reality (Score 1) 292

by udoschuermann (#42879463) Attached to: Is the Concept of 'Cyberspace' Stupid?

A pair of goggles and head phones, or pretty graphics on a monitor do not make virtual reality. If someone tries to tell you that, it's just marketing dribble.

When you can walk through a virtual world and you feel the virtual wind as if it were real, and smell the virtual smells and cannot distinguish them from the actual thing, and you can pick up something virtual and feel the texture and the weight, THEN you are in a virtual reality.

The Matrix actually portrayed virtual reality "correctly". WoW and EVE Online and anything else we have nowadays, no matter how "immersive," is nothing even close to the full override/substitution of the senses that would constitute virtual reality.

Comment: Re:Exception to Betteridge's law!! (Score 1) 292

by udoschuermann (#42879299) Attached to: Is the Concept of 'Cyberspace' Stupid?

If cyberspace is not real, then laws are not real, either. Both are figments of the imagination, but that does not mean they have no influence on people's lives.

Only the least imaginative would look at a computer and read the words "Internet" or "cyberspace", and not understand that these are paper thin symbols of the fundamental shift that has been wrought, a shift that governments and corporations are desperately trying to control, but may never be able to fully restrict (constrict) unless they want to kill the promise of an incredible future and ultimately their own lifeblood.

In the end it all comes down to the creativity and liberty of individuals, their willingness to accept or reject what they encounter, and the strength of others to enforce a limited viewpoint, in order to confine the imagination, movement, and expressiveness of the masses.

None of us may live to encounter the likes of Wintermute, but I have no doubt where something like it will be found when the time comes.

Comment: Re:"they" can fuck off, the binary units are the o (Score 1) 618

by udoschuermann (#42860759) Attached to: When 1 GB Is Really 0.9313 Gigabytes

Two points:

1. The kilo-, mega-, giga- etc. prefixes are actually metric standards that were adopted and "perverted". I think it is easier for technical people to make the distiction (when it counts), than convince the rest of the world to make an exception and suffer the convenient confusion sowed by marketingdroids.

2. In writing I make the distiction, but I continue to pronounce both GB and GiB as "gigabytes": Techies know to ask ("metric or powers of two?" when it matters) and my mom doesn't really know the difference, but won't feel cheated by marketing tricks.

Yes, it's spelled GiB/gibibytes, but I pronounce it "gigabytes".

/Raymond Luxury Yacht.

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp