Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment Bad form.. (Score 1) 182

I sometimes just work in the live environment while people are in and using it, depending on what I'm doing.. I'm very careful when I'm doing this of course, but sometimes the hotfix requires having the user's screwed up data to work with.

The rest of the time, I publish when I think I have something useful for the users.. Often a couple of times a day, but we're one of those very small nimble web 2.0 places, and the decision to publish is all mine.

Comment Re:This whole digital currency thing (Score 1) 117

Only if you like your currency easy to manipulate. Bitcoin was designed to make it nearly impossible to do this sort (or any sort) of manipulation. In order to do what you're proposing, you'd literally need to get thousands or tens of thousands of people to all agree to game the system and modify their software to allow that to happen. Then they'd either need to process invalid transactions (unsigned transactions for those accounts) essentially creating a corrupt transaction database with a broken trust chain, or roll back the entire block chain and invalidate all the transactions that have happened since then. The transactions since the theft include all balance transfers/payments from one individual to another and 50 bitcoins awarded every 10 minutes (or so) since the time of the theft.. 50 * 6 * 24 * (20 days) or 144,000 bitcoins stolen from valid, winners of their bitcoin bounty for processing transactions.... so that you can return 24,500 bitcoins to an exchange to perform a refund.. Now, I don't know if it's actually been 20 days, and I'm not going to look it up, but I think I'm being generously conservative, especially considering the amount of time it would take organize such a feat magnifies the problem..

Bitcoin it the largest distributed computing project in the world. That distributed computing project has the single minded goal of locking down transactions safely with cryptography. It will be *very* difficult to force someone else's will upon the distributed network..

Comment Re:Refund how? (Score 4, Informative) 117

No one can make any more bitcoins than the pre-defined scheduled amount, and no one can guarantee that they're able to make them for themselves.. It takes a lot of (computer) work, and a bit of luck.. You basically buy lottery tickets to winning newly created money by agreeing to do work to process transactions.. That's not exactly right, but it'll get you a lot closer to understanding the system than where you're clearly at..

Comment Re:Just the obvious (Score 1) 320

That's the only sure bet, but I've found that installing your favorite linux distro is a close second.

If a user's needs are simple enough, they might not even really notice the difference.. They just know to click on the E-bay icon, or the email icon.. The virus / trojans are generally ineffective on Linux.

There's not much to be done about the info leak though, it's true :(..

Comment Been there, done that, time wasted.. (Score 5, Funny) 504

We fixed a drive by trading the pcb with another *IDENTICAL* drive (same rev of board etc)..

The funny part was that when we went to recover the files they desperately needed back from that drive, all we found were shortcuts to a network drive, where the files had been safe and sound the entire time.. The user just had no idea that they hadn't lost their files..

Comment Re:Quick question (Score 1) 149

It's actually because it's easier to mine them than to counterfeit them.. If you have the resources to counterfeit them, you'd be better off just mining them.. And if you counterfeited them, it's unclear that anyone would honor them..

Bitcoin has an open ledger that is agreed upon by the miners.. If they see that you've got more than you should, they'll just overtake your block chain as long as more than 1/2 of them agree. Someone posted an example of them being counterfeited, but if you notice, it wasn't really successful because the problem was fixed, and soon the longest block chain didn't reflect that transaction.

You could try to brute force keys that already have a large balance, but then you're back to stealing, and it'd take today's largest supercomputers thousands of years to find just one... better hope the one you find has a balance that made it worth it.

As is always the case with cryptography: Bitcoin doesn't survive by making things impossible. It survives by making them impractical. My commodore 64 could brute force access to the pentagon....given a millennium or two to do it (actually a bit more I'm sure).


Comment Re:What's with all the hositility (Score 1) 381

Oh... yeah.. you're probably picturing gold mining like you see it in the movies..

There is no gold just laying around on the ground.. People from 1904 picked that stuff up already..

Now days, people dig up a small city's worth of dirt with large equipment, and process it with extremely harsh chemicals and acids to dissolve and collect microscopic bits of gold out of the dirt. It's really quite destructive to any area they decide to mine gold in.. It ends up looking like a baron landscape like to moon, which, incidentally is where you might be able to just walk along and pick up some gold off the ground... at least the gold speculators haven't picked over most of the moon yet.

Comment Re:What's with all the hositility (Score 1) 381

You need to use the correct word if that's what you meant.. You're confusing the word "stable" with the word "valuable"..

Stability is what Bitcoin needs to make it useful for that exchange. It doesn't matter what it's price is, as long as it's relatively stable, but if you exchange USD or gold for bitcoin to buy something that is roughly $10 USD, but by the time you go to purchase it, the bitcoin price has changed enough that you can't afford it and need to try again, then it's not useful for exchange.. Satoshi Nakamoto has made it clear a number of times, that he believes that the stability is far more important.. Instability always has the potential to help you out as much as it hurts you, but you need to know what to expect when you're using something as a currency, which is was Bitcoin was always intended to be. No one ever thought you could use Bitcoin to coat electrical contacts with it to prevent corrosion, but that works great with gold. if you're talking stability (and you're speaking English) then when you try to say that gold is stable, you'd be mostly correct in thousands of years of history (room for different opinions there), but it certainly wouldn't be correct when looking at the last couple of years.. For Bitcoin's lifetime, bitcoin has been just about as stable as gold (not quite, but if you could get rid of July 2011, you'd be pretty close).

As far as what they cost to produce as compared to their actual value: Bitcoin is designed to allow an equilibrium to be met that always keeps those right about the same, and that will always be the case. People (not even Bitcoin miners) don't leave money on the table for no reason, and they don't throw it away either.. It will always cost about 1 bitcoin to produce 1 bitcoin. Gold is exactly the same way.. Right now, the ratio is off a bit (in the miner's favor), but that will balance out soon enough when either the gold bubble pops, or more people enter the gold mining market. It just takes a little longer in the non-virtual world.

Comment Re:What's with all the hositility (Score 1) 381

Huh.. the funny thing is, that GOLD HAS NOT BEEN STABLE YOU IDIOT.

What was the value of gold 1 year ago.... 2 years ago.. 3? And what will it be next year? It's so inflated right now, that it's Bitcoin bubble is likely to burst soon.. Especially if the economy recovers and people start seeing the value of the dollar again (fingers crossed).

Comment Re:Sure... (Score 1) 381

That's not backing it. That just says you can use it to pay debts legally in the US.

They don't tell you what the value of the currency will be. That's what people mean by backing the currency. Example: You can use your $1 bill to redeem 1 ounce of gold (I wish). That would be backing the currency.

The link you reference, simply says that you can use this to legally move numbers around: my $1 (of unknown value) pays off my $1 debt,.

The moving the numbers around part is the part that Bitcoin does very well, and is almost never brought into the debate.

Slashdot Top Deals

Math is like love -- a simple idea but it can get complicated. -- R. Drabek