Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Shuttle was OK, I suppose. (Score 1) 48

This is a textbook illustration of trying to get people, and especially kids, interested in science. If people can't see things like this, they will lose interest. Kids won't study with aspirations of doing things like this. Adults won't approve taxes to help fund the sciences. Our economy will continue to lose ground to the countries that are making science important.

Seeing pictures and videos of the shuttle in action is impressive. Actually seeing it in person, and the displays set up at the Science Center are even more impressive.

Comment Re:hahaha... (Score 1) 132

You may want to familiarize yourself with the concept of rubber hose cryptography.

Granted, the United States Federal Government won't literally beat you with a hose, but they will take away your freedom until you comply with the lawful orders of the courts. The Government will go over your finances with a fine toothed comb, accounting for any and all assets you currently or previously owned, including bitcoin. If you obtained any of those assets via fraud you're going to be on the hook for repayment, plus criminal and civil penalties on top of the fraudulent earnings.

Want to play the "I lost them" card? You can try, but you're still going to be on the hook for the full amount Uncle Sam thinks you owe your victims, plus the aforementioned penalties, and you're not wiping any of that away with a bankruptcy. It will follow you until the day you die.

Bitcoin doesn't spend at the prison commissary, nor am I aware of any reputable criminal defense attorneys that accept payment in bitcoin.

Comment That doesn't tell the whole story. (Score 1) 676

Yes, All spending bills must originate in the house but when there is a Republican house and a Democrat president, any attempt to reign in spending is cast by the Democrats as obstructionism and a willing media parrots that narrative until the public demands that the spending continues unabated.

It's funny how a Democratic house with a Republican president doesn't face the same media pressure.


Comment Re:Has this been a large problem? (Score 1) 256

Well, we do not require transvaginal ultrasounds for women who want to get abortions.

You also make it virtually impossible for the average citizen to carry a firearm for self-defense, an activity that's allowed with very few questions in 43 of the 50 States. You can't even legally carry pepper spray in MA without a license, something that I'm pretty sure is allowed without a license in every other State in the Union.

Thanks, but no thanks. Plenty of States to choose from that don't regulate self-defense or abortion.

Comment Re:A new law in not what is needed (Score 2) 519

So much victim-blaming language going around here. "Hey, nobody would take pictures of her if she'd just stop wearing skirts!" Gee, maybe it's the douchebag taking the pictures that's the problem, huh?

Upskirt photos don't just "happen," they're taken intentionally by people who are willfully invading the personal space of another. There are numerous contexts in which one has an expectation of privacy. What is beneath one's skirt is one such context.

I suppose if someone uses a public bathroom and someone takes photos/videos of them from the adjacent stall, that'd be fine, too? After all, if you didn't want to be photographed, you wouldn't use a public restroom where there are gaps between the stall walls and the floor/ceiling.

People who are doing nothing wrong shouldn't have to adjust their behavior in order to thwart miscreants. The law should side against the miscreants.

Comment Re:"It's been turned over to other people" ? (Score 1) 390

I think the issue is that storing all of those potential solutions "just in case" is space-prohibitive. To store every single possible SHA256 hash, you would need ~3.2*10^60 exabytes. Totally outrageous amount of space, right? And that's not even counting the proof of work, which also needs to be stored. The issue isn't knowing the hashes themselves, it's having the proof of work to demonstrate how you found them, and that's the part that takes enormous amounts of computation to produce (but is extremely easy to verify by the network once it's done.)

It's possible some people do store the very low results in order to solve high-difficulty (low-target) blocks on down the line, but I'm under the impression that producing such a hash occurs so rarely that no one would be able to effectively hoard them. Maybe you produce one and keep it and you can use it 3 blocks from now, but then you don't have another for 100 more blocks. (Numbers pulled out of my ass, you get the idea.) Generally, you always want to solve the block you can now, because even if the solution you found may be usable on a future block, you just gave up the current block to someone else, and the blocks that have 20 BTC payouts have a finite supply.

I should point out that the network automatically adjusts the difficulty every 2016 blocks (roughly every two weeks) based on average block solve time, so if somebody hoarded a bunch of low-value hashes and proofs and then dumped them all at once, it would very likely make the next round much harder because the network would deliberately make it more difficult.

Comment Re:"It's been turned over to other people" ? (Score 5, Informative) 390

I assume you're asking how the "mining" works, and that's actually pretty easy to explain.

Each bitcoin block is generated with a SHA256 hash of the block's header. Presumably, the header information is not guessable, otherwise it would be pointless.

The SHA256 hash becomes the "target." In order to successfully mine the block, you must produce a hash with a value lower than the target. The lower the target, the harder it is to mine the block. Since SHA256 hashes (as far as I know) do not leak any information about the plaintext, the hashes are attempted essentially at random. Successfully mining a block is essentially like winning the lottery because there is no known way to make educated guesses about what text might produce a hash below the target's value.

Once an acceptable hash has been generated by a miner, it is submitted to the network with a proof of work that permits the rest of the network to essentially check the solution. At that point, the block is considered completed, the transactions are processed, and the successful miner is awarded the transaction fees plus 20 new BTC.

I don't think the rainbow table comparison is apt because you're not attempting to produce hash collisions, only find hashes below a set value. Finding a collision is exponentially more difficult, by design.

Comment Re:..or without a background check? (Score 1) 310

You're missing the point.

My argument was facetious. It would be no more about making abortion rare than "assault weapons" bans, "Universal Background Checks" and gun registration are about preventing gun violence.

The true purpose of tracking everyone who had an abortion would be so that they could be prosecuted if and when the political winds change enough to make it possible, just like those gun control schemes are about hassling,harassing and tracking legitimate gun owners until the political winds allow for banning and confiscation.


Slashdot Top Deals

Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming. -- J. P. McEvoy