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Comment Re:Coin? (Score 1) 179

This article is a perfect example of why Slashdot doesnt matter anymore. Its just not serious; its more like a very sophisitcated troll article, from its infantile renaming of Bitcoin to "Coin" to every other fallacious assertion, economic fallacy and Stockholm Syndrome belief in the State. Its an a-historical hysterical piece of fluff; and what is the point? Honest writing and article posting is still needed online, so why not be like Reddit and post stories honestly? Its more useful, makes more money and does a better job of informing. Of course, Reddit now uses Bitcoin tipping for moderation. This is the sort of innovation that is needed, not this tired, ancient model.

The only reason why I came here was I saw a llink on Twitter. Think about that.

Slashdot needs to change radically if it is to become important and useful again, otherwise, its going to continue to fade away into irrelevance.

Submission + - The Conet Project crowdfunds a new 5CD Edition (

Beautyon writes: "To celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of its original release, The Conet Project, the legendary collection of Shortwave Numbers Stations is crowdfunding a new expanded edition in five discs. In the years since its release, there has been a steady trickle of information on Numbers Stations. They continue to transmit unabated, and by inference, presumably spies are as busy as ever. It is hoped that as the operators of these enigmatic broadcasts age and soften, or the regimes they worked for cease to exist we will be able to finally get a first hand account of the methods and equipment used. One thing has emerged; an actual Numbers Station voice generator has somehow escaped into the public. MP3s of the project have been downloaded over one million times, and can still leeched from the Internet Archive."

Comment This story is completely overblown (Score 5, Insightful) 331

This story about the woes of Bitcoinica is grossly overblown. The amount of money is comparatively very small, and the Bitcoin network itself is nothing to do with this theft and is sound.

To put some perspective on the Bitcoinica incidents, in 2008, the estimated UK bank fraud level was £52.5 million; that is 990.28441 times the amount of this Bitcoin theft:

There are people on many sides who want Bitcoin to fail, and who will do anything to stop it from growing. The banks hate it, because it will disintermediate and replace their business. The Statists dont like it because it will defund their socialist dreams. The gold bugs loathe it because it is not gold. Keynesian journalists bristle at the fact that the money supply in Bitcoin is limited, and dream of seeing it destroyed.

None of these people will matter in the end, and they do not understand Bitcoin.

Bitcoin will continue to grow, and events like this will winnow out the weak services and strengthen the existing ones. Each theft, disaster and problem are iterations that add to the unpublished "how to run a safe Bitcoin service" manual. Bitcoin and the services that will grow up around it cannot be stopped, just like Bittorrent cannot be stopped, and the latter is responsible for 53.3% of upstream traffic:

It doesn't take much to see how important Bitcoin is going to become once the core public facing interfaces are solidified, refined and reliable. Bitcoinica is not Bitcoin, and neither are any of the services that are built on it. Bitcoin is a protocol. Events like this are nothing more than a bump in the road, and a vanishingly small one at that.

Comment Why the quoted price of Bitcoin doesn’t matt (Score 4, Insightful) 344

Bitcoin is a very new technology, even though the concept that it brings to life is decades old. The double spending problem has been solved; this means that it is possible to use a digital certificate to stand in the place of money and be sure that no one else can spend that certificate other than you as long as you hold it. This is an unprecedented paradigm shift, the implications of which are not yet fully understood, and for which the tools do not yet exit to fully take advantage of this new idea.

This new technology requires some new thinking when it comes to developing businesses that are built upon it. In the same way that the pioneer providers of email did not correctly understand the service they were selling for many years, new and correct thinking about Bitcoin is needed, and will emerge, so that it reaches its full potential and becomes ubiquitous.

Hotmail used familiar technologies (the browser, email) to create a better way of accessing and delivering email; the idea of using an email client like Outlook Express has been superseded by web interfaces and email ‘in the cloud’ that provides many advantages over a dedicated client with your mail in your own local storage.

Bitcoin, which will transform the way you transfer money, needs to be understood on its own terms, and not as an online form of money. Thinking about Bitcoin as money is as absurd as thinking about email as another form of sending letters by post; one not only replaces the other but it profoundly changes the way people send and consume messages. It is not a simple substitution or one dimensional improvement of an existing idea or service.

As I have explained previously, Bitcoin is not money. Bitcoin is a protocol. If you treat it in this way, with the correct assumptions, you can start the process of putting Bitcoin in a proper context, allowing you to make rational suggestions about the sort of services that might be profitable based on it.

If Bitcoin is a protocol and not money, then setting up currency exchanges that mimic real world money, stock and commodity exchanges to trade in it doesn’t make any sense. You would not set up an email exchange to buy and sell email, and the same thing applies to Bitcoin.

Staying with this train of thought, when you type in an email on your Gmail account, you are inputting your ‘letter’. You press send, it goes through your ISP, over the internets, into the ISP of your recipient and then it is outputted on your recipient’s machine. The same is true of Bitcoin; you input money on one end through a service and then send the Bitcoin to your recipient, without an intermediary to handle the transfer. Once Bitcoin does its job of moving your value across the globe to its recipient it needs to be ‘read out’, i.e. turned back into money, in the same way that your letter is displayed to its recipient in an email.

In the email scenario, once the transfer happens and the email you have received conveys its information to you, it has no use other than to be a record of the information that was sent (accounting), and you archive that information. Bitcoin does this accounting in the block chain for you, and a good service built on it will store extended transaction details for you locally, but what you need to have as the recipient of Bitcoin is money or goods not Bitcoin itself.

Bitcoin’s true nature is as an instant way to transmit money anywhere in the world. It is not an investment, or money itself, and holding on to it in the hopes that it will become valuable is like holding on to an email or a PDF in the hopes it will be come valuable in the future; it doesn’t make any sense.

Despite the fact that you cannot double spend them and each one is unique, Bitcoins have no inherent value, unlike a book or any physical object. They cannot appreciate in value. Mistaken thinking about Bitcoin has spread because it behaves like money, due to the fact it cannot be double spent. This fact however has masked Bitcoin’s dual nature of being digital, duplicable and not double spendable.

Bitcoin is digital, with all the qualities of information that make information non scarce. It sits in a new place that oscillates between the goods of the physical world and the infinitely abundant digital world of information, belonging exclusively to the digital world but having the characteristics of both. This is why it has been widely misunderstood and why a new approach is needed to design businesses around it.

All of this goes some way to explain why the price of buying Bitcoins at the exchanges doesn’t matter. If the cost of buying a Bitcoin goes to 1 This does not change the amount of money that comes out at the other end of a transfer. As long as you redeem your Bitcoins immediately after the transfer into either goods or currency, the same value comes out at the other end no matter what you paid for the Bitcoins when you started the process.

Think about it this way. Let us suppose that you want to send a long text file to another person. You can either send it as it is, or you can compress it with zip. The size of a document file when it is zipped can be up to 87% smaller than the original. When we transpose this idea to Bitcoin, the compression ratio is the price of Bitcoin at an exchange. If a Bitcoin is $100, and you want to buy something from someone in India for $100 you need to buy 1 Bitcoin to get that $100 to india. If the price of Bitcoin is 1 then you need 10,000 Bitcoins to send $100 dollars to India. These would be expressed as compression ratios of 1:1 and 10,000:1 respectively.

The same $100 value is sent to India, wether you use 10,000 or 1 Bitcoin. The price of Bitcoins is irrelevant to the value that is being transmitted, in the same way that zip files do not ‘care’ what is inside them; Bitcoin and zip are dumb protocols that do a job.

As long as the value of Bitcoins does not go to zero, it will have the same utility as if the value were very ‘high’.

Bearing all of this in mind, its clear that new services to facilitate the rapid, frictionless conversion into and out of Bitcoin are needed to allow it to function in a manner that is true to its nature.

The current business models of exchanges are not addressing Bitcoin’s nature correctly. They are using the Twentieth Century model of stock, commodity and currency exchanges and superimposing this onto Bitcoin. Interfacing with these exchanges is non-trivial, and for the ordinary user a daunting prospect. In some cases, you have to wait up to seven days to receive a transfer of your fiat currency after it has been cashed out of your account from Bitcoins. Whilst this is not a fault of the exchanges, it represents a very real impediment to Bitcoin acting in its nature and providing its complete value.

Imagine this; you receive an email from across the world, and are notified of the fact by being displayed the subject line in your browser. You then apply to your ISP to have this email delivered to you, and you have to wait seven days for it to arrive in your physical mail box. The very idea is completely absurd, and yet, this is exactly what is happening with Bitcoin, for no technical reason whatsoever.

It is clear that there needs to be a re-think of the services that are growing around Bitcoin, along with a re-think of what the true nature of Bitcoin is. Rethinking services is a normal part of entrepreneurialism and we should expect business models to fail and early entrants to fall by the wayside as the ceaseless iterations and pivoting progress.

Bearing all of this in mind, focussing on the price of Bitcoin at exchanges using a business model that is inappropriate for this technology simply is not rational; its like putting a methane breathing canary in a mine full of oxygen breathing humans as a detector. The bird dies even though nothing is wrong with the air; the miners rush to evacuate, leaving the exposed gold seams behind, thinking that they are all about to be wiped out, when all is actually fine.

Bitcoin, and the ideas behind it are here to stay. As the number of people downloading the client and using it increases, like Hotmail, it will eventually reach critical mass and then spread exponentially through the internet. When that happens, the correct business models will spontaneously emerge, as they will become obvious, in the same way that Hotmail, Gmail, Facebook, cellular phones and instant messaging seem like second nature.

In the future. I imagine that very few people will speculate on the value of Bitcoin, because even though that might be possible, and even profitable, there will be more money to be made in providing easy to use Bitcoin services that take full advantages of what Bitcoin is.

One thing is for sure speed will be of the essence in any future Bitcoin business model. The business that provide instant satisfaction on both ends of the transaction are the ones that are going to succeed. Even though the volatility of the price of Bitcoin is bound to stabilise, since it has no use in and of itself, getting back to money or goods instantly will be a sought after characteristic of any business built on Bitcoin.

The needs of Bitcoin businesses provide many challenges in terms of performance, security and new thinking. Out of these challenges will come new practices and software that we can only just imagine as they come over the horizon.

Comment Re:Ha ha ha (Score 0) 436

If I had mod points, I'd mod you up. The Federal Reserve system, Social Security and Medicare are all pure ponzi schemes that fit the definition of a ponzi scheme perfectly. Its laughable that the Feds are calling what they do themselves a 'crime' simply because it is not them perpetrating it.

The similarities to the government ponzi schemes are uncanny; both claim that monies should have been untouched, but have been (only allegedly in the case of Full Tilt and actually in the case of the Feds) spent away. Astonishing.

Unless anyone who plays Full-Tilt Poker has complained of fraud, the Federal Government has no business suing that company, since it is not an injured party. This is yet another attack on online poker; despicable, ridiculous and evil.

Comment Arthur C Clarke's more interesting scenario (Score 1) 534

'Childhood's End' is a book with a superb scenario, without the imagination-less superimposing of human ideas, methods and motivations onto ETs, who, by the way, absolutely must exist, and who do come here regularly.

After decades of writing, speculation, insights and research devoted to this subject, the usual suspects keep coming up with the same tired ideas and human centered dogma. There is a reason for this; they are all paid no matter what the quality of their ideas is, because none of them can be implemented, and the State is paying no matter what they come up with.

Comment Irresponsible? (Score 3, Insightful) 187

It's an interesting idea that it would be 'irresponsible' to release these documents in full.

I call dropping bombs on innocent people in Afganistan irresponsible. I call killing one million people in Iraq for oil and dollar supremacy irresponsible. If you are going to use conventional, State / MSM thinking to restrict and control your actions, then apply this thinking evenly; the State is dropping bombs on people for the 'greater good' (to 'spread peace and democracy') and so releasing these documents for the greater good of preventing millions of deaths is completely justified and not at all irresponsible. It is in fact, the only responsible thing to do, since more people will be spared a horrible death for no reason, than could possibly be harmed by the release of the information.

That being said, the documents are under their control, they took the massive risk in getting hold of them and its entirely up to them what they do with them.

Comment Time to switch to Zfone (Score 4, Interesting) 218

Zfone is a new secure VoIP phone software product which lets you make encrypted phone calls over the Internet. Its principal designer is Phil Zimmermann, the creator of PGP, the most widely used email encryption software in the world. Zfone uses a new protocol called ZRTP, which has a better architecture than the other approaches to secure VoIP.

* Doesn't depend on signaling protocols, PKI, or any servers at all. Key negotiations are purely peer-to-peer through the media stream
* Interoperates with any SIP/RTP phone, auto-detects if encryption is supported by other endpoint
* Available as a "plugin" for existing soft VoIP clients, effectively converting them into secure phones
* Available as an SDK for developers to integrate into their VoIP applications
* IETF has published the protocol spec as RFC 6189, and source code is published



Submission + - Black Market Database Access to Scholarly Journals (

An anonymous reader writes: University libraries offer access to a vast array of valuable materials — if you have a login and password. Now people are buying and selling university credentials online, or giving them away on warez sites. They're used by upstart companies aboard who need access to the latest industrial compounds or other valuable info on databases like SciFinder.

Submission + - Flood berm collapses at Neb. nuclear plant ( 2

mdsolar writes: "A berm holding the flooded Missouri River back from a Nebraska nuclear power station collapsed early Sunday, but federal regulators said they were monitoring the situation and there was no danger.

The Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station shut down in early April for refueling, and there is no water inside the plant, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said. Also, the river is not expected to rise higher than the level the plant was designed to handle. NRC spokesman Victor Dricks said the plant remains safe.

The federal commission had inspectors at the plant 20 miles north of Omaha when the 2,000-foot berm collapsed about 1:30 a.m. Sunday. Water surrounded the auxiliary and containment buildings at the plant, it said in a statement."


Submission + - A Solar-Powered 3D Printer Prints Glass from Sand (

Tx-0 writes: From the article:
Industrial designer and tinkerer Markus Kayser spent the better part of a year building and experimenting with two fantastic devices that harness the sun’s power in some of the world’s harshest climates. The first he calls a Sun Cutter, a low-tech light cutter that uses a large ball lens to focus the sun’s rays onto a surface that’s moved by a cam-guided system. As the surface moves under the magnified light it cuts 2D components like a laser. The project was tested for the first time in August 2010 in the Egyptian desert and Kayser used thin plywood to create the parts for a few pairs of pretty sweet shades. But he didn’t stop there. Next, Kayser began to examine the process of 3D printing. Merging two of the deserts most abundant resources, nearly unlimited quantities of sand and sun, he created the Solar Sinter, a device that melts sand to create 3D objects out of glass.

Comment Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (Score 1) 153

In other words, the lack of existance of a well known, successful anarchy doesn't preclude one from ever existing. And anarchy isn't my goal per se, my goal is more liberty.

Lets provide an example for him shall we?

"The most remarkable historical example of a society of libertarian law and courts, however, has been neglected by historians until very recently. And this was also a society where not only the courts and the law were largely libertarian, but where they operated within a purely state-less and libertarian society. This was ancient Ireland — an Ireland which persisted in this libertarian path for roughly a thousand years until its brutal conquest by England in the seventeenth century. And, in contrast to many similarly functioning primitive tribes (such as the Ibos in West Africa, and many European tribes), preconquest Ireland was not in any sense a "primitive" society: it was a highly complex society that was, for centuries, the most advanced, most scholarly, and most civilized in all of Western Europe.

For a thousand years, then, ancient Celtic Ireland had no State or anything like it. As the leading authority on ancient Irish law has written: "There was no legislature, no bailiffs, no police, no public enforcement of justice . . . . There was no trace of State-administered justice."9

How then was justice secured? The basic political unit of ancient Ireland was the tuath. All "freemen" who owned land, all professionals, and all craftsmen, were entitled to become members of a tuath. Each tuath's members formed an annual assembly which decided all common policies, declared war or peace on other tuatha, and elected or deposed their "kings." An important point is that, in contrast to primitive tribes, no one was stuck or bound to a given tuath, either because of kinship or of geographical location. Individual members were free to, and often did, secede from a tuath and join a competing tuath. Often, two or more tuatha decided to merge into a single, more efficient unit. As Professor Peden states, "the tuath is thus a body of persons voluntarily united for socially beneficial purposes and the sum total of the landed properties of its members constituted its territorial dimension."10 In short, they did not have the modern State with its claim to sovereignty over a given (usually expanding) territorial area, divorced from the landed property rights of its subjects; on the contrary, tuatha were voluntary associations which only comprised the landed properties of its voluntary members. Historically, about 80 to 100 tuatha coexisted at any time throughout Ireland."


File under 'Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence'.

Comment Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (Score 1) 153

I didn't write this for you, I wrote it for the other, open minded people who are reading this thread. I already know what you think, having read your other replies.

from a proponent of the most extreme individualist philosophy ever in existence, "we" is quite an oxymoron regardless of anything else!

I excerpted all of that, save the last sentence, from Murray Rothbards 'For a New Liberty'.

You do know who Murray Rothbard is, being an ex-Libertarian and all.... right? :)

Comment Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (Score 0) 153

Since the two sorts of "rights" are not identical, there is no correlation between the net neutrality story and the healthcare example provided by the parent post

Thanks for an insightful reply.

There is only one meaning for the word 'rights', and its important that when we talk about rights, we use language carefully. You do not (as others have pointed out in this thead) have a right to other people's property or labor. If you use the word 'right' when you are talking about something that can only be provided by someone else's work, then Q.E.D. you are not talking about rights. Just because other people have a poor understanding and control of English, it not mean that the meaning of words or reality changes to suit their level of illiteracy.

Net Neutrality, where ISPs are forced to provide a service at a certain quality, is pure slavery. If I want to run an ISP where I block MSNBC, the state forbids me from doing this. They are forcing me to allow the traffic of other people to pass through my servers to my customers. If I do not want to do that, by what right does the state demand that I put my resources into something that I do not consider to be in my self interest?

If I run an ISP and I let my customers know in advance of entering into a contract with my company that I traffic shape and block sites, they can choose to use another ISP. I am not for fraud, where an ISP advertises a product and then provides a crippled service to maximise profit; that is immoral.

The state should not have the power to make me carry anything that I do not want to carry, wether it be the cost of other people's healthcare or bandwidth. The analogy fits because in both cases, people are being forced to do something by the State.

The state should also not have the power to control 'monopolies' in fact, it is the state that creates these monopolies through crony capitalism and patents, where single companies can stop others from using an idea and freely competing.

Internet access is not the business of the State. They should have no say in it whatsoever. Internet access and the regulation of it works fine through contract. The fact that the internet is everywhere now without the help of the State is proof of this.

Comment Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (Score 1) 153

The fault is with 'common meaning' and not with the truth of what taxation really is. Its up to you to come to an understanding of what the truth is.

In all societies, public opinion is determined by the intellectual classes, the opinion moulders of society. For most people neither originate nor disseminate ideas and concepts; on the contrary, they tend to adopt those ideas promulgated by the professional intellectual classes, the professional dealers in ideas.

Throughout history, despots and ruling elites of States have had far more need of the services of intellectuals than have peaceful citizens in a free society. States have always needed opinion-moulding intellectuals to con the public into believing that its rule is wise, good, and inevitable; into believing that the "emperor has clothes." Until the modern world, such intellectuals were inevitably churchmen (or witch doctors), the guardians of religion.

While opposing any and all private or group aggression against the rights of person and property, the libertarian sees that throughout history and into the present day, there has been one central, dominant, and overriding aggressor upon all of these rights: the State.

In contrast to all other thinkers, left, right, or in-between, the libertarian refuses to give the State the moral sanction to commit actions that almost everyone agrees would be immoral, illegal, and criminal if committed by any person or group in society. The libertarian, in short, insists on applying the general moral law to everyone, and makes no special exemptions for any person or group.

But if we look at the State naked, as it were, we see that it is universally allowed, and even encouraged, to commit all the acts which even nonlibertarians concede are reprehensible crimes.

The State habitually commits mass murder, which it calls "war," or sometimes "suppression of subversion"; the State engages in enslavement into its military forces, which it calls "conscription"; and it lives and has its being in the practice of forcible theft, which it calls "taxation."

The libertarian insists that whether or not such practices are supported by the majority of the population is not germane to their nature: that, regardless of popular sanction, War is Mass Murder, Conscription is Slavery, and Taxation is Robbery. The libertarian, in short, is almost completely the child in the fable, pointing out insistently that the emperor has no clothes.

Throughout the ages, the emperor has had a series of pseudoclothes provided for him by the nation's intellectual caste. In past centuries, the intellectuals informed the public that the State or its rulers were divine, or at least clothed in divine authority, and therefore what might look to the naive and untutored eye as despotism, mass murder, and theft on a grand scale was only the divine working its benign and mysterious ways in the body politic.

In recent decades, as the divine sanction has worn a bit threadbare (slashdotters are almost all atheists, so divine arguments always fall flat), the emperor's "court intellectuals" have spun ever more sophisticated apologia: informing the public that what the government does is for the "common good" and the "public welfare," that the process of taxation-and-spending works through the mysterious process of the "multiplier" to keep the economy on an even keel, and that, in any case, a wide variety of governmental "services" could not possibly be performed by citizens acting voluntarily on the market or in society.

All of this we libertarians understand is a lie: we see the various apologia as fraudulent means of obtaining public support for the State's rule, and we insist that whatever services the government actually performs could be supplied far more efficiently and far more morally by private and cooperative enterprise.

And we can prove it.

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