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Comment Re:No, it is not a shift in trust (Score 1) 365

I think most of the bitcoin trading activities is due to trading bots, and the whole thing is one giant and peculiar illusion of value created by computer programs exchanging data with each other.

But whatever it is, there can be no such thing as investment in bitcoin, because doing so is precisely the opposite of useful work. If everyone invested all their money in bitcoin, we would all starve, because there would be no effort left over for growing food. The whole entire enterprise is a monumentally stupid idea.

Comment Re:This is bad (Score 1) 264

I'm pretty sure that in a thousand years

If we still use money in the way that it's used today in a thousand year's time, I'll be totally astonished. I mean, I'll have been dead for a millennia, but I'll be one very astonished dead person.

As human beings we don't understand the function of money very well, and we keep inventing more and complex ways to move it around, and its derivatives. If we ever realise that money is a signal, not an object - that its fluctuations are not indicative of wealth in any meaningful sense - we might have a chance of hitting that next millennia.

Comment Re:Right conclusion but wrong reasoning (Score 1) 264

But this will only work if the price continues to rise. Once all the coins are found, who's going to bother continuing to run their mining rigs? The only answers that I've found are that running the blockchain will become so cheap that everyone's smartphones are doing it all the time (which will fairly obviously never happen, it's not like you're going to get any better algorithms for hashing - it's brute force, and if it ever becomes cheaper than brute force, then the entire thing will collapse anyway, because mining being hard is the entire basis of the enterprise), and that transaction fees will cover maintaining the blockchain.

If the system becomes centralised, then you'll basically have this form of currently, with a completely limited supply, and no backing of any sort whatever. Not assets, not a government, nothing. I find this hard to imagine.

Comment Re:No, it really is (Score 1) 264

which is the gold standard (ha!) if you will of cryptocurrencies.

Why's that? Is it because you say so, or because bitcoin was there first, or for some other reason? Is there anything that prevents another taking its place?

Also, I'm not too bad at distinguishing gold-colored plastic, from actual gold. And given some weighing scales, I suspect I'd also be able to determine any gold-colored objects from actual gold too.

Comment Re:Makes stable pricing impossible. (Score 1) 264

The real believers will use it amongst themselves. There are 7 billion people. If only 1% believes in bitcoin, that means 70 million people fighting over 21 million coins.

Sometimes I hear this argument at work. There are 7 billion people, if only 1% of them buy into my crazy notion of value, or my bonkers product idea, then I'll make a mint.

What gives you the idea that one percent is a small number? You just pulled that quantity completely out of thin air, the only justification you have for this is that one percent appears small. You may as well try to justify a trade in antique pokemon cards, and this becoming a significant "currency".

Comment Re:Let's get real, golds value is scarcity (Score 1) 264

... same reason bitcoin is valuable - scarcity.

As has been mentioned elsewhere, but bears repeating, bitcoin is not scarce. It is possible to create a practically infinite variety of crytocurrencies, even without changing the protocol significantly. Bitcoin can be, and has already been, "forked". This notion doesn't exist with any other commodity, gold is gold and will always be gold. You can't just go out and create a completely new type of gold, with its own self-contained scarcity. If you could, I'd wager that gold would not be used as a store of value in the way in which it currently is.

Comment Re:Problems with Linux that should have been solve (Score 1) 751

... assume we're a long way off from having the right permission granularity and the good UIs

The problem is much deeper than that, unfortunately. Android apps are nothing at all like whatever passes for 'apps' in the general world of Linux. Running apt-get can play total havok with your system, due to Linux's obsession with complex dependencies and shared libraries. Android apps, iOS app and Mac OSX apps dispense with this nonsense completely, and imagine apps instead as completely self-contained repositories of code. Apt-get can modify your system's startup process in a way that you can't just "undo". Android app installs cannot.

Comment Re:Risk (Score 1) 464

At some point, the price of Bitcoin will also calm down

I don't think that this will end up being the case. Bitcoin will always require a ludicrously complex and expensive network in order to actually exist. If no-one is willing to spend money on hardware, electricity, storage and bandwidth to actually run the network, then bitcoin will literally cease to exist. Gold, on the other hand, is a physical object that can change hands physically. That this is not how gold is normally traded today is not important - the fact is that if you own gold, you own gold, and you can pick it up and store it in a big (or more likely, small) hole in your back yard. It won't even rust, sitting there in the ground. It'll just be gold forever.

Bitcoin is a bunch of numbers, sitting in a huge chain of hashes, sitting on thousands of hard-disks plugged into computers all around the world. But that hash chain must be modified in order to move the coins around, and that takes CPU power, and we're already seeing the crippling limits that this places on the liquidity of bitcoin itself. Regular fiat currencies, as bitcoin enthusiasts love to point out, are *also* numbers sitting in computers, but they are backed by governments, and more importantly exist for the purpose of controlling economies. Despite the protestations, economic control through the manipulation of fiat currencies is literally the only thing that makes capitalism actually work.

Comment Re:No, it won't. (Score 1) 468

Up to a point, this is true. Bitcoins are already mined by dedicated hashing machines, containing hardware whose express and only purpose is to calculate SHA-256 hashes as fast as possible. Today, the fastest of these machines is capable of 10,000 mega-hashes per joule of power consumed (from this page https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Min...).

I'm a little skeptical of this number, since it's an order of magnitude larger than everything else on the same page, and I haven't found any independent sources confirming it, but in any case, once you've put your hashing process into specialised hardware, the only thing that'll make it faster is pretty much a smaller process size on your silicon. I can't see this being done just for the purpose of mining bitcoins.

Comment Re:Sounds like a dumb ass (Score 1) 139

I couldn't disagree more. Javascript is an excellent language, elegant and simple, and a joy to write code in. Building UIs in HTML and CSS is a bit of a pain, and websites that use excessive javascript where none might be necessary are certainly annoying, but neither of those things are anything to do with the language itself.

It's quite different to C++ obviously, but differences in languages encourage you to think differently about problems, which is normally a good thing. WebAssembly, on the other hand, seems to be re-inventing various things, and re-attacking already solved problems, such as how to build a simple and fast VM (see Lua's VM, for instance).

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