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Comment Re:The same is true of the US dollar (Score 1) 438

The analogy isn't perfect because the Federal Reserve "creates" more money than is actually printed, so the dollar is really a "virtual" currency as well. But the point stands that the total amount of _commitments_ made in dollars exceeds the amount of dollars that "exist" by any central measure.

The physical (virtual?) Bitcoin example would be: if you have an account with a Bitcoin bank and you make a transfer to someone else who's using the same Bitcoin bank, they don't have to generate a Bitcoin transaction to honor that transaction.

The virtue of Bitcoin is that it allows anyone to perform transactions in a way that only banks can do with dollars, but this is not the only way to perform transactions with Bitcoins any more than it is with dollars.

Comment The same is true of the US dollar (Score 1, Informative) 438

There are more $100 bills than all other types of bills put together. The majority aren't even in the United States.

As we all know, you don't have to possess a physical dollar bill to spend a dollar. There's no reason the same shouldn't be true of Bitcoins; you shouldn't need to "possess" a "real" Bitcoin in order to spend one.

Comment Who cares about lifetime subscriptions? (Score 1) 193

The lifetime subscription people are actually a lot better-off in this case. The ReplayTV lifetime subscription includes the unit being unlocked so that it can be used even without being able to talk to the mothership. It wouldn't be able to get listings, but it could at least record.

On the other hand, people who are getting the monthly subscription would really be up a creek. If SonicBlue turns off the servers, all the monthly-subscription units will be permanently out of service within a week. They lock up and throw away the key. Hopefully some enterprising hacker would be able to cook up a workaround, but even then, the majority of consumers would be stuck with a $250 doorstop.

Another possibility, always present, is that an anti-DVR consortium could buy the product line and send out a "software upgrade" that disabled all the units, even the liftetime ones. I believe the service contract doesn't even prohibit this. It certainly says that any feature can be removed without prior notice. So why not all of them?

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