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Comment Re:Can Someone Explain To Me The Difference... (Score 2) 259

[Can Someone Explain To Me The Difference] between bitcoin and something like WoW gold and similar virtual currencies? Why all the interest in bitcoin all of a relative sudden after decades of ignoring all the trade in other virtual currencies?

There are many important differences but I would say the most the most significant is one of simple trust. With WoW gold, Amazon coins, Facebook credits, or any other virtual currency to exist before Bitcoin you had to place your trust in the issuer of those tokens. This means that ultimately, their value is entirely dependent upon the fortunes and whims of that issuer. They could be discontinued, devalued, confiscated, or erased at any time and in a fashion beyond your control. As Bitcoin is entirely decentralized there is no such counter party risk. The protocols are open source and can only be changed by the collective agreement of greater than 50% of the total hashing (processing) power available to the network as a whole. Also, as there is no central server or organization that can be shut down it is highly resistant to coercion or seizure. Even if it were ruled illegal it would be nearly impossible for a government to completely restrict its use.

Comment Re:It was bound to happen (Score 2) 198

Actually, if he managed them properly (i.e. encrypted the wallet so authorities don't have access and backed it up to a location he can access later, e.g. email it to an anonymous webmail account) they really haven't "seized" anything. He can simply unseize them the next time he has unrestricted internet access. This is just another reason Bitcoin is better than cash. If you know what you are doing it cannot be confiscated or stolen, only transferred with your consent or by coercion.

Comment Re:The problem with credit cards is... (Score 1) 121

It's quite a racket, if you think about it: 3% of the top of a huge chunk of all consumer transactions. I dream of seeing some real competition in the payment processing market.

I'm sure this will have essentially the same fee structure and profit models as standard credit cards. The best long term hope for true competition payment processing is Bitcoin. With a mostly voluntary transaction fee of about $0.01 on any transaction including those across borders, it is secure, pseudo-anonymous, non-reversible, and there is no bank or government to deny access or confiscate funds. With greater adoption values should rise significantly with diminishing volatility until eventually a slow, steady deflation sets in. While many would argue that deflation is bad, this is not necessarily correct as this only applies if Bitcoin were to totally supplant fiat currency but this is highly unlikely. More probable is that it will be used in much the same way as cash or debit cards, as a replacement for Western Union, and as a store of value. You will always need dollars (or euro, or yuan,...) to pay your taxes.

Comment Re:Flip side.... (Score 4, Insightful) 279

"Spam is a problem where false positives generally cost less than false negatives"

This may be true if you are a basement dwelling slashdotter but out in the real world a single false positive is one too many. Try explaining your position to a client or executive who missed a million dollar inquiry due to your overly aggressive spam filters.

Comment Re:"we have guns" . . . (Score 4, Informative) 468

I call bullshit.

Judging by your previous posts, the politics you appear to embrace are much too aligned with the United States tea party types to truly represent any western European citizen I have ever known. First of all, Ive never seen any European refer to California as "Kalifornia" and there aren't many European global warming deniers either. If you do live in western Europe as you say, you are likely an American abroad, not invested in the social contract of your host nation, and simply projecting your provincial misunderstandings upon your current home. In this case, my guess is that there are very few around you who would share your opinions.

Comment Re:Facts are facts... or are they? (Score 1) 143

The obvious failings of Politifact have actually caused me to consider what it would take to create a forum for debate where fact and substantive debate would drive the content. What I envision is a website where you could check the accuracy of not only public officials but also media broadcasts and other reporting.

As far as election debate, I could imagine each candidate for example having their own section. Within this section, it could be divided into broad policy areas such as Security, Economic, Social, and Environmental. Each of these could be subdivided as necessary and within these divisions every statement made by the candidate or campaign could be independently analyzed against on a set of predetermined measures of accuracy and level of content, Anybody would be allowed to provide feedback and analysis but this would be moderated and scored against some type of "reputation index" where authoritative sources are primary followed by respected scientists or leaders in the field all the way down to anonymous sources (whose voice will be heard but whose analyses would not impact scoring). The candidates would be allowed to expand and clarify their positions and even respond to the analysis and these responses would themselves be scored. The scores could then be aggregated and averaged to provide a wider perspective view.

Of course this is all total speculation. I neither have the time or resources necessary to realize a project of this magnitude but would be thrilled to provide feedback to anybody considering implementing something of this nature.

Comment Re:Facts are facts... or are they? (Score 3, Insightful) 143

The problem with Politifact, and in fact much of political reporting, is the cult of false equivalency.

You just nailed the greatest problem with political discourse in this country. Most of the major news organizations have decided that impartiality requires they provide an equal platform to both sides of any issue regardless of where the facts lie. Rather than informing their audience, this type of "balanced" reporting only clouds the debate by giving the appearance of credibility to science deniers and conspiracy theorists.

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