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Submission + - In Snap Inc.'s Tumble, Start-Ups See a Warning From Wall Street (nytimes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The New York Times writes about Snap's $2.2 billion loss as a warning to the startup community: "This year was supposed to be one in which technology start-ups would easily go public. Silicon Valley had boomed in recent years with a collection of rapidly growing companies that were highly valued by private investors, and many of those companies appeared ready to graduate onto public stock exchanges. Snap, the parent company of the messaging app Snapchat, was exhibit A in that trend — a hip social media service that went public in March in the biggest tech offering in several years. But on Wednesday, Snap issued its disappointing earnings, sending the company’s stock down more than 21 percent on Thursday. The virulent market reaction turned Snap into a cautionary tale for venture capitalists and start-up entrepreneurs, some of whom are now reassessing the prospects for their companies' going public and how prepared those companies really are to deal with the aftermath — especially if the start-ups, like Snap, are deeply unprofitable."

Submission + - Justice Department opens criminal probe into Uber (washingtonpost.com)

parallel_prankster writes: The Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation into Uber's use of a secret software that was used to evade authorities in places where its ride-sharing service was banned or restricted, according to a person familiar with the government's probe.

The investigation is in its early stages, but deepens the crisis for the embattled company and its chief executive and founder Travis Kalanick, who has faced a barrage of negative press this year in the wake of high-profile sexual harassment complaints, a slew of high-level executive departures, and a consequential trade secrets lawsuit from Google's parent company.

Comment Re:Oh noes!?!?! (Score 1) 102

Why don't you try... oh, I don't know, pulling your head out of your ass and reading the millions of critiques out there that very, very effectively tear Bitcoin down on pretty much every single point its proponents have ever put forward as a reason it should be worth something?

Millions? Huh. Care to provide any links to the ones you think are especially informative?

Your faith in Bitcoin (and yes, it's faith, because it is totally unsupported facts) is making you look more than just a little foolish. As are your irrelevant claims to be an authority of any kind on the subject, and your apparent compulsion to carry on defending it with follow-up posts days after everyone else has passed this topic by.

1. You've made a mistake. I suggest you re-read my first response to you. I clearly state that I'm betting against bitcoin's long term prospects.
2. Nowhere in this thread (or on this site) have I ever claimed to be an authority on bitcoin. All I did was inform you of my background in banking/finance in response to your childish claim of superiority (which you have yet to demonstrate).
3. This topic of discussion was posted to /. yesterday evening, not "days" ago. Since I only visit this site in the odd evening after work, I simply replied to you (and one other person in this thread) tonight. Is that too difficult for you to understand? I guess it is, and that's pretty sad.

It's time to pack your robe away, put down the manifesto, and move on to your next foolish obsession. Or grow up. Either or.

Bitcoin has been a curiosity for me, not an obsession. And no matter what my opinion may be with regard to it's success or failure, I will continue to study it because I find it intellectually stimulating.

I don't really expect to learn much from you, though. Your posts in this thread have so far been devoid of any factual data or reasoned arguments.


Comment Re:Oh noes!?!?! (Score 1) 102

This is what makes it obvious you are NOT as savvy as I, at least in this area; it HAS been seen.

Just because my opinion that the jury is still out re bitcoin doesn't match your opinion that bitcoin is a complete failure DOESN'T mean you are more technologically savvy on the matter. I make my living consulting in ERP/Financial Reporting Systems and have several large banking clients. I have undergraduate degrees in Economics and Accounting, and a graduate degree in Business - so I'm not exactly naive when it comes to the matter at hand.

If you haven't figured that out, you haven't learned enough about it. Or rather, you've wasted just enough time to be interested in it, but not enough to realize that time was wasted.

So...the time I've spent acquiring knowledge of bitcoin has been wasted, huh? LOL. If I decide to change my opinions on bitcoin to more closely align with yours will my time magically become "well spent"?

Tell you what, why don't you take the time to draft a post demonstrating your extensive knowledge on the technology and economics of bitcoin and lay out some well-reasoned arguments supporting your position that "Bitcoin is fundamentally flawed, technologically and philosophically"? Right now, all anyone sees in this thread is you claiming you're superior to someone you disagree with. Kinda makes you look a little foolish, don't you think?

Comment Re:Oh noes!?!?! (Score 1) 102

Well, you don't have to read very far into Satoshi's paper to see that bitcoin was designed specifically to eliminate the need for trusted intermediaries:

What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party.

While not explicitly stated as a goal in Satoshi's paper, the system was designed to be decentralized in order to protect its integrity.

The fact of the matter is that one cannot (for all practical purposes) transact in bitcoin without using a trusted third party, and that mining has become highly centralized. In this respect, one can only conclude that bitcoin is an abject failure when it comes to it's stated objectives. If anything, bitcoin proved that trusted intermediaries are a requirement for any system of electronic currency.

Comment Re:Oh noes!?!?! (Score 2) 102

Slashdot - a forum where everyone should ideally be technically savvy enough to recognize Bitcoin as technological bullshit.

mmm...I consider blockchain technology to be fairly sophisticated, but I'm probably not as savvy as you.

I'll grant you that the bitcoin ecosystem is a mess. It has devolved into exactly the dragon the system was designed to slay - i.e., high degree of centralization, dependence on trusted intermediaries, etc.

Whether or not bitcoin can ever become competitive with the established electronic currency systems remains to be seen, but I'm betting it will never become anything more than nerd funny money.

Comment Re:Good! (Score 1) 77

LOL, I admit I had a good chuckle writing it. You see, I'm home sick today with not much to do so I figured I'd write a quick troll on Slashdot and see if I could push anyone's buttons. As you can see, I've had a measure of success.

The first moderation of the post correctly labelled it as "Troll", but I'm glad at least a couple of other moderators saw the humor in it.

I've been reading Slashdot for some time, so I have a pretty good idea of how to "stir the pot"


Submission + - Patriot Missile shoots down $300 quadcopter drone (bbc.co.uk)

maroberts writes: In a stunning display of the capability of Patriot or a demonstration of massive overkill, depending on your point of view, a US ally has used a Patriot missile to successfully shoot down a quadcopter drone, reports BBC News

The party responsible was described by Gen Perkins, a United States General with responsibility for training, as "a very close ally", leaving it up to the general public to guess which of the 12 allies using Patriot batteries would commit such an awesome demonstration of asymmetric warfare.

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