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Comment Re:Bitcoin will never (Score 1) 205

While that is the reason for waiting for a new block, note however, that nodes won't relay transactions that would cause a double spend. Therefore you would have to do the double spend at the exact same time.

If you can get a direct connection to the recieving nodes, so that the transactions only take one step to go from your machine to the receiving machine, you still have to be fast enough that the receiving machine won't see the first transaction on the network before you do your double spend. In practice, unless you are able to mine the next block(and therefore create a transaction to yourself with those coins, so that the double spent transactions will be invalidated), double spending is impractical. And you have to get away from the scene within a few minutes, impractical if you're buying a beer or fast food.

Comment Re:guess I won't be buying many more games then... (Score 1) 439

I tend to disagree. I dislike movie-like setups (I'm a nosy person and keep bumping into "you're not supposed to be here" corners with blatant immersion-breaking obstacles blocking your way). OTOH, I love huge, open-ended single-player sandbox style games. A huge world with a lot to do and with freedom of choice what to do. Events unfold around you and you're often in the middle of things, but you may turn around and do other things if you choose so.

Can you give some recommendations for games? There's minecraft, which I love, but I'd love to hear of any other games you could suggest.

Comment Re:It wasn't rape! (Score 5, Interesting) 1060

that article is from the 19th of November. Things have moved faster than you know.

Stephens, told AOL News today that Swedish prosecutors told him that Assange is wanted not for allegations of rape, as previously reported, but for something called "sex by surprise," which he said involves a fine of 5,000 kronor or about $715.


"We don't even know what 'sex by surprise' even means, and they haven't told us," Stephens said, just hours after Sweden's Supreme Court rejected Assange's bid to prevent an arrest order from being issued against him on allegations of sex crimes.

Comment Re:Where does the value come from? (Score 1) 491

Your requirements are rather onerous. Why don't you list ALL places where you can exchange USDGBP and what the current exchange rate is. It's just nonsense.

I've made a list, I probably haven't got all of them: (appears to be down) (appears to be down)

The exchange rate normally hangs around 200BTC per USD. but the price has gone up recently because of the /. publicity.

This site used to offer exchange but not at the moment:

Comment Re:Where does the value come from? (Score 1) 491

Well regardless of if you think bitcoins or worthless or not, they are currently trading at about 200 bitcoins per dollar. This is because, believe it or not, there is demand for bitcoins.

Trinkets have no "intrinsic value". They are valuable because there is demand for them and there is a limited quantity of them.

Money does not have to be intrinsically valuable. It only has to be difficult to create more of, easily divisible and easily transferable. Bitcoins fulfil this perfectly.

So no, you will not be able to give someone $1 for all 21 million bitcoins. Currently about 3million have been "minted" and are being used in real trade for physical products and services, regardless of your nonsensical idea of a currency requiring "value".

Comment Re:More information (Score 1) 491

You could also say that the early adopters are risking the energy they are burning up to generate these bitcoins. By taking the risk in an unproven currency, they get a bigger share if it works out well. Basically the same as any other investment.

It's not really any different than prospecting for gold.

Comment Re:Where does the value come from? (Score 1) 491

Like gold, bitcoins have an upper limit. There is a total absolute maximum of 21million bitcoins. This cannot be changed.

There is no way to print more bitcoins like with cash.

There is no way to create fake bitcoins like is possible with gold.

It is possible to transfer this currency instantly over the net, unlike gold. Although this is kind of possible with an e-gold like service, you have to trust someone actually is holding on to your gold. Bitcoins have no such problem.

In essence, it has all the advantages of using a limited resource, without the disadvantage that you have to carry or store this limited resource physically and without any chance of forgery.

Comment Re:More information (Score 1, Informative) 491

Well, there are Bitcoin exchanges so you can convert to and from USD if you prefer a centralised fiat currency. You're correct, currently there are not so many services available that will accept bitcoin. The hope is that since this is a new, inherently stable, unmanipulatable currency, that we will see more and more services offering bitcoin payment options.

see The marketplace on the forum for places where you could spend your bitcoins.

Comment More information (Score 5, Informative) 491

Since the site is down and the summary is light on information, let me try and summarise this a bit better, from what I've picked up, so I might be wrong on some of the details):

Nodes connect to each other in a P2P network.
The nodes perform hashing problems, attempting to find a number that hashes to a value with a certain number of 0's at the start (binary zero's, aka, the number has to be below a certain value)
The network assigns bitcoins to those nodes who have found solutions to the hashes.
After a certain amount of time the difficulty of finding the hashes increases(an extra 0 is added to the hash solution required)
This increase in difficulty continues until eventually there will be 21million bitcoins and no more can exist.

We are currently in the inflationary stage, so the supply of bitcoins is increasing. once all 21 million have been assigned, then it will become deflationary, as no new coins can ever be created and coins that are lost are lost forever.

bitcoins can be divided into 100 million pieces, so the limit of 21 million coins is not a major stumbling block.

Essentially it's a way to create a decentralised currency with a hard limit on how much is available, ensuring that it cannot be inflated by a central government simply printing more cash or adding some numbers to a computer system.

Submission + - Bitcoin releases Version 0.3 4

Teppy writes: How's this for a disruptive technology? Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer network based digital currency with no central bank, and no transaction fees. Using a proof-of-work concept, nodes burn CPU cycles searching for bundles of coins, broadcasting their findings to the network. Analysis of energy usage indicates that the market value of Bitcoins is already above the value of the energy needed to generate them, indicating healthy demand. The community is hopeful the currency will remain outside the reach of any government.

Comment Re:Gonna sound snarky.... (Score 4, Informative) 327

Disclosure: I work (in-house IT) for a publisher. We publish in physical and ebook formats.

The vast majority of texts that authors give us are incredibly poor. Our editors have an extremely hard job of cleaning these up and rewriting them so that they are generally understandable and professional and are correctly targeted for our audience. To our established authors, we also offer them an advance on their work.

Even if it's just ebooks, getting it into all the available distribution channels and formats for the various stores requires a high level of technical competence, this is likely more than a lone writer wants to learn.

Of course they could pay someone independently to do this for them, just as they could pay someone independently to edit the book. It is a trade off and while some authors will prefer doing it alone, some(many) prefer the relative security of going through an established publisher who has existing links to distributors, printers, editors and the technical know-how to get it into the required formats to ensure the maximum market for the book.

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