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Comment Re: rule changes (Score 1) 165

You may think everyone would revolt.

Actually, I see bitcoin as the revolution, and if the rebels turn on each other, then the revolution stops. In other words, if the bitcoin world goes to war, then that creates a climate of uncertainty that drives the average investor away.

It's true that the businessmen probably outnumber the purists. However, businessmen like certainty, and certainty is especially important when you're buying something that is supposed to rival the certainty of owning a hard asset like gold. If the 75% network starts attacking the 25% one, and the 25% one happens to be the one used by all the western websites, then there's going to be a major disruption and a lot of uncertainty. I think that uncertainty is going to scare the average person away.

Comment Re:rule changes (Score 1) 165

Bitcoin has always been based on that notion, "the moral majority will have the most hashing power"

Yes, that's true. And, if the majority of miners use their hashing power to attack the old network, then they will be proving that notion false, which will destroy faith in bitcoin and ultimately hurt those same miners. People hold bitcoin because they believe 1) their money will be safe, and 2) the fundamental rules won't change. If miners successfully attack the old network, then they will have proven at least one of those beliefs to be false, which means that many users (myself included) will dump their bitcoins. But, if you don't buy that, then I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

Comment Re:rule changes (Score 1) 165

Those attacks would not change the rules of the old network, which was my original point. Also, there is defense. However, even if that defense fails, then all that means is that the attacks will damage faith in both the old and new networks. After all, if the old network can be attacked successfully, who is to say the same thing won't happen to the new network in the future when there is another disagreement? This uncertainty lowers the value of bitcoin as a whole, which means these attacks would be suicidal from a financial perspective. So, the question isn't how evil they want to be; it's how much money they're willing to burn to destroy their own wealth.

Comment rule changes (Score 1) 165

there are fears that China's government could decide, at some point, to pressure miners in the country to use their influence to alter the rules of the Bitcoin network

The Chinese miners can't change the rules of the bitcoin network, because the bitcoin network uses cryptography to see if anyone is breaking the rules. The Chinese government could attempt to pressure miners into using their influence over the bitcoin world, but Chinese miners only have influence because the rest of the world does not currently view them as anti-bitcoin. However, if Chinese miners suggested, for example, that the supply limit be changed to something other than 21 million, they would be seen as anti-bitcoin by the rest of the bitcoin world, and then they would lose their influence. Chinese miners could launch a 51% double-spending attack (and possibly destroy the value of their own coins in the process), but no amount of computing power would give them the ability to change the rules (because cryptography).

Comment Re:I dont understand what the problem is (Score 1) 335

Why would you prefer a higher chance that your driver is going to hurt you in some way? That makes no sense.

Security costs money. For example, take the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado. Would putting armed guards at every theater in the country make us safer in movie theaters? Probably. Would it be worth the cost? Probably not. If you disagree, you are free to open your own theater and hire armed guards yourself. That's the beauty of the free market.

Likewise, Uber tells me that they already do background checks, and they say that the fingerprint check that the city of Austin wants is redundant and creates an undue operational burden. I choose to believe Uber. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's my choice. And, unlike you and the city of Austin, I'm not trying to force my choices on anyone else.

Comment Re:I dont understand what the problem is (Score 1) 335

If you want to pass a law that says Uber must display a prominent warning to new users in their app that says, "We do not fingerprint drivers. Use this system at your own risk.", so be it. However, Uber should also be free, right after that warning, to tell people what the actual probability is that the driver will assault the passenger, and User should be able to compare that to the risk you will be assaulted in a taxi. Let the facts speak for themselves.

It's sad that the state will allow me to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes, but they will not allow me to get into a car with a stranger who has not been fingerprinted (unless of course that stranger gives me a ride for free).

Comment Re:I dont understand what the problem is (Score 1, Interesting) 335

What's the problem with letting the market decide? If you feel unsafe riding with someone who hasn't been fingerprinted, then don't use Uber. But if I want to use Uber, and Uber wants to take my money, then that should be the end of it. The Uber driver is an adult, and I'm an adult. We don't need a nanny.

Comment Re:Or maybe nothing will happen at all (Score 1) 940

The economy is not an iron mine. New disposable income does not come from some finite source. An economy is money moving in circulation. People stop spending as much, you get a recession. People spending more, economic boom. More money going to the working class, which spends 100% of their available funds, means more money out, more money flow and a better economy.

If that was true, hyperinflation would be the best thing for an economy, because hyperinflation causes a tremendous increase in "money flow" as people desperately try to spend their rapidly depreciating currency.

The truth is, disposable income does come from a finite source, because the supply of goods available in an economy is finite. The minimum wage is a price control, and like all price controls, it distorts the economy. A price ceiling causes a shortage, and a price floor causes a surplus. The minimum wage is a price floor, which means it causes a surplus. What does it cause a surplus of? It causes a surplus of labor, which is also known as "unemployment".

You may respond, "Can't employers simply raise their prices so that no one has to lose their job?" The problem is that employers have already set the price of the goods that they are selling to the level that clears the market. In other words, if the employer raises his prices, he will lose customers (if this weren't true, then he would have increased his prices long ago). In summary, to the extent that employers raise their prices, they are losing customers, which ultimately means less work for their employees, which ultimately increases unemployment among marginal workers (e.g. teenagers).

Submission + - Apple Has Already Won, And the FBI Has Lost, Say Forensic Experts (ieee.org)

Tekla Perry writes: Rick Mislan, an expert in mobile device security who started the Mobile Device Forensics Conference, along with two colleagues take apart the Apple/FBI standoff, review a bit of cell phone forensics history, suggest that a third party forensics company has already been developing an iOS 9 encryption-breaker for law enforcement, and, in the end, think Apple should go ahead and unlock this phone--but push back hard if the requests become business as usual. They say the true fallout of this case is sympathy for Apple (the victim of government bullying), and a tougher road ahead for the FBI and law enforcement, as criminals turn to third party encryption tools.

Submission + - The story behind the worst computer game in history (bbc.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The video game of Steven Spielberg's ET is considered to be one of the worst of all time and has even been blamed for triggering the collapse of Atari. Howard Scott Warshaw, the gifted programmer who made it, explains how it was rushed out in a matter of weeks — and how he feels about those events in California now.

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