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Comment Re:Great (Score 1) 285

But what else is there? ;-)

It was people smelling the underlying complexity (and security vulnerabilities) of grain sacks, gold bars, paper-dollars, bank-dollars, credit cards, Paypal, etc that led to the succession of those things, with Bitcoin being the latest solution-to-it-all.

Every one of Bitcoin's ancestors had failures, and due to grass-is-always-greener psychology, the most recent ones (dollars and financial server institutions) are naturally viewed as the "worst" (because their failures, unlike grain bags' failures, are part of people's real experiences and memories) so Bitcoin has gone full circle (not exactly, but it's kind of commodity-like) and tends to have security models similar to commodity-money's models. Thus it's having similar failures ("I lost my wallet" == "I forgot where I buried the gold" ; "someone 'hacked' my wallet and transfered my funds out" == "I dug up my gold, and the chest was empty" ; "The online wallet service closed and they, rather than me, is who actually had the key" == "The guy, whom I asked to hold my gold, disappeared").

Maybe some day, governments will use force or sneakiness or "social weight" to make a new chain policy more popular than today's policy, and there will be a Bitcoin fork, which presents a model more like 20th century banking. Then the security complaints will be "my account got frozen" or "I'm leaking wealth due to government-created inflation" or even "the price of everything in BTC changed because of immensely complicated market and government forces that I can't begin to understand, where my currency on the surface appears to be as strong as it was in 2106, but somehow here in 2109 I'm poorer." And then we'll repeat the cycle again.

We'll repeat it again, because money wasn't actually the problem. Real life was the problem, and life is complicated. Life is full of intelligent adversaries (sometimes posing as friends, sometimes not), bumbling fools with too much power, bad luck, freak accidents, etc, and nobody can ever get rid of all that stuff.

Comment Never pay for an "encrypted ____ service" (Score 1) 200

For all values of ___, never pay for an encrypted ___ service. Whether it's mass storage, email, or whatever. All service providers who offer this kind of stuff, are snake oil sellers. What happened to Lavabit this year wasn't news; we already knew about CALEA and have known for twenty years.

Twenty years in the tech world is a long time and ought to have conditioned your thinking by now. Even well-meaning, loyal professional allies can be subverted. The popular example case is government pointing guns (a.k.a. "court orders") at peoples' heads, saying to share the secret and keep it a secret that it's being shared. But really, once you even allow for that to be a possibility, all sorts of other things are possible. Replace the gun with a software bug exploit, replace the government with some random script kiddie with pretty much any agenda that you can think of. Anything goes.

Crypto is something that is performed by your machine, always done by software that you can understand (i.e. not proprietary). You never think about additional crypto that somebody else may or may not be doing, or by software not under your control. That's why you use a storage service that doesn't advertise crypto, you use a plain IMAP provider (if you some weird reason you're not handling that yourself), etc. Any service that tries to lure you with "security" is probably lying, unless by "security" they mean certain areas that intersect with reliability, such as DoS resistance.

Comment Re:Thus: (Score 1) 237

I don't know why people pick that line, for those two characters. I always thought "Perhaps you think you're being treated unfairly?" was waaaaay better. Long before Vader demanded the wookie and the princess, he made it very clear to Lando who had the real power, and he forced Lando to acknowledge it! It was so cold, so perfect, so tyrannical. It was awesome.

Before Vader's "alter" line, it was already made crystal clear that no "deal" truly existed at all. There was nothing to "alter."

Comment Did you invert the Luddite-Techie axis? (Score 1) 674

I thought it was us techies, who keep promising that tech advances will kill jobs.

(Keeping in mind that killing jobs is a desirable; achieving a near-100% unemployment rate is part of how resources (labor, in this case) could cease to be scarce, thereby overturning all previous economic theory (e.g. Adam Smith and Karl Marx become irrelevant), and allowing people to live like the characters on ST:TNG. Sure, it's a fantasy ideal, but fantasy ideals are what you always aim at, right? It's not like Adam Smith and Karl Marx don't also target fantasy ideals.)

It sounds like it's the luddites who have (metaphorically) thrown a wrench into the plan, showing that no matter how well we automate, some asshole somewhere will find a way to keep people wasting their brief limited lifetimes on toil rather than hedonism.

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