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Submission + - The IRS Just Declared War on Bitcoin Privacy (fee.org)

SonicSpike writes: The Internal Revenue Service has filed a “John Doe” summons seeking to require U.S. Bitcoin exchange Coinbase to turn over records about every transaction of every user from 2013 to 2015.

That demand is shocking in sweep, and it includes: “complete user profile, history of changes to user profile from account inception, complete user preferences, complete user security settings and history (including confirmed devices and account activity), complete user payment methods, and any other information related to the funding sources for the account/wallet/vault, regardless of date.” And every single transaction.

The demand is not limited to owners of large amounts of Bitcoin or to those who have transacted in large amounts. Everything about everyone.

Equally shocking is the weak foundation for making this demand. In a declaration submitted to the court, an IRS agent recounts having learned of tax evasion on the part of one Bitcoin user and two companies. On this basis, he and the IRS claim “a reasonable basis for believing” that all U.S. Coinbase users “may fail or may have failed to comply” with the internal revenue laws.

The IRS’s effort to strip away the privacy of all Coinbase users is more broad than the government’s effort in recent cases dealing with cell site location information. In the CSLI cases, the government has sought data about particular suspects, using a standard below the probable cause standard required by the Fourth Amendment (“specific and articulable facts showing that there are reasonable grounds to believe”).

Comment Re:better off without it (Score 1) 339

Tesla is a fad like iPod's were a fad. Soon it will be normal.

This is not in any way an endorsement of Tesla. Frankly, this stunt says to me that Musk is a whiny little bitch. Criticism is necessary for product improvement, no matter how stupid it is. If you smack the ban-hammer on any slight then that's just a sign of weakness and vulnerability... and it's unlikely you will get useful feedback in the future.

Transportation

France To Pave 1000km of Road With Solar Panels (solarcrunch.org) 407

An anonymous reader writes: France is planning on a project to build 1000 kilometers of road with specially designed solar panels. This project will supply 5 million people in France with electricity if it is successful. Though many solar experts are skeptical of this project, the French government has given the go-ahead to this venture. According to France's minister of ecology and energy, Ségolène Royal, the tender for this project is already issued under the "Positive Energy" initiative and the test for the solar panels will begin by this spring.The photo voltaic solar panels called "Wattway" which will be used in the project are jointly developed by the French infrastructure firm "Colas" and the National Institute for Solar Energy. The specialty of "Wattway" is that its very sturdy and can let heavy trucks pass over it, also offering a good grip to avoid an accident. Interestingly, this project will not remove road surfaces but instead, the solar panels will be glued to the existing pavement.
Java

Java Named Top Programming Language of 2015 (dice.com) 358

Nerval's Lobster writes: What was the most popular programming language of 2015? According to the people behind the TIOBE Index, Java took that coveted spot, winning out over C, Python, PHP, and other languages. "At first sight, it might seem surprising that an old language like Java wins this award," read TIOBE's note accompanying the list. "Especially if you take into consideration that Java won the same award exactly 10 years ago." Yet Java remains essential not only for businesses, it continued, but also consumer-centric markets such as mobile development (i.e., Google Android). That being said, even big languages can tumble. (Dice link) Objective-C tumbled from third place to 18th in the past 12 months, thanks to Apple's decision to replace it with Swift. In 2016, TIOBE expects that "Java, PHP (with the new 7 release), JavaScript and Swift will be the top 10 winners for 2016. Scala might gain a permanent top 20 position, whereas Rust, Clojure, Julia and TypeScript will also move up considerably in the chart." What has been your most-used (or best-loved) programming language of the last 12 months?
Bitcoin

Core Bitcoin Devs Leave Project, Create New Currency Called Decred (softpedia.com) 122

An anonymous reader writes: Core developers in the Bitcoin project have left and started a new currency called Decred. Developers are citing a lack of transparency and a conflict of interests between the group that funds the actual Bitcoin software development, and the decisions taken inside the project. Jacob Yocom-Piatt, CEO at Company 0, who has funded development of Bitcoin since early 2013: "This is in part due to a lack of mechanisms and pathways for funding development work directly from the community, and as a result Bitcoin development is funded by external entities that create conflicts of interest between the developers and the representative power of the community that uses Bitcoin."

Comment Re:Lack of development? (Score 0) 388

Same here but Thunderbird is very far out of date as far as development goes. For example, if I reboot my imap server Thunderbird totally loses sync and in fact will not do any updates until I close/reload it. Seriously, the network stack in Thunderbird is totally fucked up.

I continue to use Thunderbird because it is one of the few email clients that support S/MIME... a standard that has been in place for decades yet most email clients can't handle.

Comment Re:What a fucking childish logo! (Score 1) 131

I very often am one of the first to bash logos but the Perl logo is not that bad. Maybe not the greatest ever but acceptable. In fact it's way better than the Linux penguin and I say this as a Linux fan since the pre-0.9 days.

I use Perl (5) when I need high speed text/regex/string-hashing processing. It's still the the best to whip up something quick especially when processing text. For anything else I use Lua, C/C++, or if I have to, Python (blech).

Comment Re:R00tz Asylum @ defcon FTW (Score 1) 90

Yeah right. Contact us in 10 years and tell us how your grandkids are doing. If not that, then how much prison time she has left.

(for anyone less experienced: the difference between a prepubescent drone and a post-pubescent walking-hormone is quite stark)... biology is an impossible, unpredictable, power. The fact that you think you know better tells of her future.

Sorry but there is probably no way to for you to understand this until you experience it. Good luck, padawan.

Comment Re:Awful lot of money for some big flaws... (Score 1) 37

Yes, the laminator melts the toner and makes it stick to the board. For a while I would just iron it on but that can be very tricky to do (hand pressure, etc).

I use a LaserJet 1200 which prints very nice thick toner traces.

My laminator is just a cheap one from walmart that I modified to run at a higher temperature. Even at the higher temperature I have to run the board through it 5 or 6 times (at different angles) to make sure all the toner gets stuck to the board. Pre-heating the board would probably make it require less passes but it works well enough without that. Higher-end laminators work better but of course cost a lot.

For printing I use glossy magazine paper (just pages torn out of old magazines) because it's very thin and falls apart/dissolves easily in soapy water leaving just the toner on the board. Some printers will jam when printing on this stuff but the LJ1200 works no problem.

Comment Re:Awful lot of money for some big flaws... (Score 4, Informative) 37

I use a laser printer, print on glossy magazine paper, put the paper toner-side-down on the PCB, run it through a high temp laminator, peal off the paper in soapy water, then etch. Takes almost no time and I can get very near professional results. I can do extremely tight small traces no problem.

I have never tried a double-sided board but I bet I could do it by simply printing the circuit such that the paper could be folded over the PCB then the laminator would stick both sides. Probably be difficult to do but not impossible.

Google

Google+ Redesigned (blogspot.com) 91

An anonymous reader writes: Google has announced that its Google+ social network has received a major overhaul, which is rolling out today to users who opt in. The company says the new design focuses on the "Communities" and "Collections" sections of Google+, since those were the ones most well received by users. "[Product Director Luke] Wroblewski, known for his responsive and progressive design work, tells me that the key to this rollout is the consistent, mobile first experience that hasn't historically been a hallmark of G+." The article describes the new experience thus: "As you click through the new Google+ there is a lighter feel to it for sure. It's a product with more purpose, as before it felt like there was a million things flying at you. Notifications, +1's, share buttons. You were pretty much sharing things into a pit and hoping that Google would do fun things with them."

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