Feeds

* Posts by Brangdon

167 posts • joined 15 Sep 2008

Page:

iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple

Brangdon

Re: I fail to see how this would get rid of Visa's/Master Card's 2% cut.

They could use Bitcoin or Nxt.

0
0

Euro banks warned off Bitcoin as Canada regulates it

Brangdon

Re: vested interest in supporting the value of the currency

The expected lifetime of a fiat (ie, issued by government and not backed by anything) currency is about 30 years. You'd be surprised how many national currencies have failed within our lifetimes.

See http://georgewashington2.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/average-life-expectancy-for-fiat.html. "Twenty percent failed through hyperinflation, 21% were destroyed by war, 12% destroyed by independence, 24% were monetarily reformed, and 23% are still in circulation approaching one of the other outcomes."

0
0

Future Apple gumble could lock fanbois out of their own devices

Brangdon

Re: Prior Art?

There's a brief review for "Unlock with WiFi" here: http://lifehacker.com/5829514/unlock-with-wi-fi-saves-you-from-tedious-phone-passwords-when-youre-at-home. The review is dated 2011. Apple's application date is 2012. Apple were later.

1
0
Brangdon

Re: Prior Art?

"Unlock with WiFi" is the one I use. It sets the password to blank when it can see my home wireless network.

0
0

Got a botnet? Thinking of using it to mine Bitcoin? Don't bother

Brangdon

Re: So coin mining is a losing game, then ?

To make money from mining now, you need ASICs - application specific integrated circuits that are custom-designed to mine Bitcoin. They are much more efficient than GPUs at mining (and useless for anything else).

1
0
Brangdon

Re: So coin mining is a losing game, then ?

If you spent $800 by buying Bitcoins on an exchange, you get more coins than by spending the $800 on electricity for mining. If/when the price went up, you still be better off.

2
0

US marshals leak list of possible Bitcoin buyers

Brangdon

Re: This is all going to be very bad for bitcoin

Mining generates 3,600 new coins a day, so 30,000 coins is less than 9 days worth. It's not a big volume.

1
0
Brangdon

Re: Guilty?

The keys for these coins were held on the machine that ran the Silk Road. No-one is claiming to own them (because they would be incriminating themselves if they did so), so there is no-one to try. The chap they think ran the Silk Road has his own stash of coins, which won't be sold until after his trial (and then only if he's found guilty).

0
0

Assange™ makes fresh bid for FREEDOM from Scotland Yard's 'physical encirclement'

Brangdon

Re: "when that warrent does not involve serious criminal or terrorist action"

He's accused of rape. Rape is a serious crime.

8
1

Today's get-rich-quick scheme: Build your own bank

Brangdon

Or you could just use Bitcoin

Bitcoin lets you send money where-ever, and stores the balance in the block-chain, and does it all cheap, transparently and trust-free. If the bank isn't doing any of the clever stuff, why do we need it at all?

0
2

US Marshals seek buyer for Silk Road's Bitcoin

Brangdon
Stop

Re: Um, what?

Do not send your coins to random addresses. That is not a good way to destroy them.

The correct way to destroy bitcoins is to send them with a transaction script that just has OP_RETURN. This type of transaction is provably unspendable, so there's no risk that someone secretly knows the private key and can resurrect them (much) later. This is also kinder to the network because it can be pruned from the "unspent transaction outputs" table.

1
0

Bitcoin blockchain allegedly infected by ancient 'Stoned' virus

Brangdon
Unhappy

Is there any reason to think it wasn't deliberate?

Deliberately inserting virus signatures into the block chain has been talked about for a while. For example, http://pastebin.com/ct2WHUK5. Nor is this the first time it's happened, eg https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=559365. Unless there's evidence to the contrary, I would expect this to be deliberate.

1
0

Microsoft throws Kinect under a bus, slashes Xbox One to $399

Brangdon

Re: Nothing will change that for the next 8 years, specs are set in stone

That will happen on both consoles.

1
0

It's spade sellers who REALLY make a killing in a gold rush: It's OVER for graphics card mining

Brangdon

Re: Granted that passing around little pieces of paper may look strange to the uninitiated observer

Bitcoins have value for the same reasons gold has value: both are hard to fake, available in limited supply, and facilitate trade. Bitcoins are hard to fake because there is a public ledger recording who owns them. Anyone can write updates to the ledger, but no-one else will believe them unless they have all the right digital signatures etc. That makes it almost impossible to spend coins you don't own.

However, because Bitcoin is distributed, it's possible to get two versions of the ledger, both equally valid, but different. In that case miners effectively vote for which one wins. To prevent someone stuffing the ballot box, votes are made expensive, and that's where the "proof of work" comes in: the winner is the (valid) ledger that has had the most CPU cycles spent on it.

So part of the complex number-crunching is for validating digital signatures, but most of it is for achieving consensus about ordering of updates.

The regulatory environment isn't as hostile as you seem to think it is. Both USA and UK governments consider Bitcoin to be legal, and issue guidance on how to pay taxes on profits you make with it.

0
0

Hey frumious Reg gamers: BANG-or-SNATCH? We look at Second Son and Thief

Brangdon

Re: Thief

Story is weak, and the game really isn't as good as the review implies. You can only jump or climb if the game has decided those actions make sense there, and you can only use rope arrows in marked places. It's frustrating how often plausible routes turn out not to have been thought of by the designers.

On the other hand, it's better than some other reviews. Dishonored is more fun, but at least Thief is a genuine sneaker. Dishonored devotes too much of the UI and game-play to combat.

1
0

Facebook Oculus VR buyout: IT WANTS your EYEBALLS

Brangdon

Re: wow

Why repay? The Kickstarter folk were promised an early dev kit, which they were given, and that's the end of their involvement. People confuse funding via Kickstarter with buying shares. Kickstarter is used by companies that want money and don't want to give up their shares or control to get it.

4
2

No Notch niche: Minecraft man in rift with Oculus after Facebook gobble

Brangdon

Sony have already said theirs won't be available in 2014, and Microsoft seem even further away.

0
0

Revealed: What the US taxman really thinks of crypto-cash Bitcoin

Brangdon

When you buy bitcoin from a reputable exchange, it will be subject to Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering laws, so the coins are known to belong to you. Every transaction afterwards is published in the block-chain, which anyone can access. So bitcoin is actually very traceable, at least compared to cash. Whether anyone will bother is another matter, but if you get audited the data trail exists and can be used, either for you or against you.

1
0

Facebook swallows Oculus VR goggle-geeks. Did that really happen?

Brangdon

And adverts. Don't forget the adverts.

2
0

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! Friday is Pi Day

Brangdon

Re: Like so many other web stories, this only applies to America.

Teach the controversy!

0
0

I NEVER DONE BITCOIN, says bloke fingered by new Newsweek

Brangdon

Re: This is interesting

The Bitcoin protocol does not have any notion of "stolen", and nor does it have any central authority that could label coins as such. (Such an authority would have enormous power, and power corrupts; Bitcoin was invented as a distributed mechanism precisely to avoid such centralised power). Hence coins which one person claims are stolen, can still be freely traded under the Bitcoin protocol.

In theory you might try to reclaim stolen coins using conventional legal means. That would require identifying who currently possesses the coins so they can be reclaimed. That can be tricky because the coins are stored in (effectively) a numbered account and there is no registry that maps account numbers to real-world names and addresses. So for example, if the thief uses stolen coins to order a pizza, you might be able to discover the address the pizza was delivered to. That would require the cooperation of the pizza vendor; and if the thief holds onto the coins for 10 years without spending them there is little you can do for that long. Alternatively, you might be able to discover the IP address the coins were acquired through. Generally, there are things you can try, but there are also things the thief can do to defeat you. Identifying a Bitcoin thief requires technical know-how and resources (or a stupid thief).

In addition to technical challenges, you would have to prove the coins were stolen in some court that has jurisdiction. Lots of legal issues there. Arguably if the thief did not have good legal title to the coins, they couldn't pass good title to the pizza vendor, and you could reclaim the coins from him (much as you could reclaim a stolen car even if the current possessor had bought it in good faith; it would still be your car and your bitcoins). However, it's not clear Bitcoin works like that; cash doesn't, and Bitcoin was intended to work as cash, with transactions being irreversible.

Some of the sums involved in recent thefts are large enough that I would expect all legal and technical avenues to be pursued in recovering them. So maybe MtGox will get its coins back. It won't be quick, though.

3
0

Brit Bitcoin dev: I lost 'over £200k' when MtGox popped its socks

Brangdon

Re: Suck It Berkshire Hathaway

You can already get insured storage of bitcoin. Eg https://www.elliptic.co/. They charge 2%/year. Presumably the rates will improve as they gain confidence with their security, and competition grows.

0
0

Bitcoin value plunges as Mt.Gox halts withdrawals and Russia says 'nyet'

Brangdon
Boffin

Re: Aren't transactions rather slow?

You can verify that a transaction has valid input and outputs, that the inputs contain the money specified, and that the signatures are correct so it is the owner of the coin that is spending them. You can do that yourself, locally, and it takes almost no time.

What that quick verification doesn't protect you from is double-spending. If the punter has a mate in a different country who tries to spend the same coin at the same time, only one of them will succeed, and it may not be the one who spent first (because "first" depends on network delays). Waiting 10 minutes mitigates that risk, and waiting for 6*10 minute confirmations generally makes it negligible. For small transactions, the risk of double-spending is low because the benefit is low, and its tricky to set up and you risk the wrong transaction winning anyway, and if it succeeds you probably won't be allowed in the pub again, so you might as well just do a runner instead.

Eventually vendors will probably be able to get insurance against double-spending, and we may even get "green-listed" bitcoin addresses which some trusted entity promises will not double-spend. There is still a role for banks, insurance companies and credit card companies in bitcoin, if/when they want to get involved.

(I don't know what that pub actually does.)

0
0

Facebook app now reads your smartphone's text messages? THE TRUTH

Brangdon

Re: One does not have to be on Zuck-book

I'm not there either. I still have a Facebook app pre-loaded on my phone, which I can't uninstall. Now it repeatedly asks for updates, which I repeatedly refuse. The nagging is annoying.

5
0

Feds to flog off $28m in Bitcoin from Silk Road drug souk seizure

Brangdon

Re: This is just the first barrage aimed at the Bitcoin system.

This is not aimed at Bitcoin. It's aimed at illegal uses of Bitcoin. These coins are being treated no different to any other asset of a criminal enterprise. They're probably auctioning the server hardware too.

The Feds like Bitcoin. Check out the Senate hearing. They can see the benefits as well as anyone.

0
0

Pay-by-bonk on the blink: O2 loses Wallet

Brangdon

Re: Wallet crippled by lack of NFC.

I want Pay By Bonk on my watch. It doesn't belong in a phone, because getting a phone out of you pocket isn't any easier than getting your wallet out. (By all means use the phone as a UI for the watch, though.)

2
0

Ross Ulbricht: 'Oi! Give me back my $34m in Silk Road Bitcoin booty'

Brangdon

Re: strange...

@Mike Moyle: he said "many of them", not "all of them", so a few exceptions don't refute his point. And although gold etc has been used in the past, more recent history shows that many currencies moved off the gold standards because it is problematic. (Although not because gold has intrinsic value, but because governments found themselves unable to regulate its supply. They really want inflation to run at 2%/year or so, which is easy to arrange by printing more money but hard to arrange by mining more gold.)

1
0

XBOX ONE owners rage as HDMI SNAFU 'judders' Brit and Euro tellies

Brangdon

Re: Tellies can handle 60Hz input

That's my understanding too. (I don't have an XBox to check.) Apparently the juddering is most noticeable when the TV is outputting smoothly scrolling text, and when the 50Hz TV input is snapped alongside a 60Hz game. The XBox repeats every 5th frame, which some people notice and others don't.

1
0

Twitter announces it's going public, via Twitter

Brangdon
Facepalm

Re: And that's the end of Twitter

It's been going for long enough to show you were wrong to dismiss it as a fad. And of course it won't improve your life if you don't use it. It improves my life by providing news and entertainment.

0
0

Anatomy of a killer bug: How just 5 characters can murder iPhone, Mac apps

Brangdon
Boffin

Re: Signed lengths

Unsigned integers are best avoided in C (and C-derived languages like C++ and Objective-C) because they are contagious. For example, (1u - 2) is not -1 as you might expect, but some huge number.

It's also useful to have -1 available to represent "no such number"; for example, the length of a file that doesn't exist. Use 0 would be wrong because it's a legitimate value. More generally, having invalid representations adds redundancy which can help error checking.

12
3

TiVo dives into pile of cash, steely eyed investors don't blink

Brangdon
FAIL

The TiVo software feels ancient

For me it's a bit bizarre how well TiVo are doing, given how archaic their platform is for the user. The UI is unbelievably slow. 9 seconds to redraw a screen. Scrolling through menus, it can't keep up with button clicks. It's also flakey; roughly one time in four the EPG won't give programme details are allow me to request a new recording. Some of the UI is in HD and some isn't. TiVo has its own app platform, but they live in a separate ghetto off the main menu which is rarely visited, and they don't integrate into the TV experience.

This standard may have been acceptable 11 years ago when I got my Series 1, but is shocking if you compare it to the experience from a modern smartphone. (Speaking of which, they've been promising us an Android app for years, but it's still not available.) Now we see the XBox One can snap its apps over the TV feed, it just rubs in how far TiVo is from what it could be.

1
0

Snowden journo's boyfriend 'had crypto key for thumb-drive files written down' - cops

Brangdon

Guardian learning?

They apparently didn't learn anything from the last time. It was a Guardian journalist who published the password to 250,000 unredacted US government cables.

Admittedly he didn't know the password for his file would unlock the "insurance" file, and WikiLeaks are at fault for reusing passwords (another basic fail), but he shouldn't have published the password anyway. Just knowing the general form that WikiLeaks uses (eg, that it contained a date in verbose format), would help someone trying to crack other WikiLeaks files. (See http://www.wikileaks.org/Guardian-journalist-negligently.html.)

Whether this justifies the interference with the press is another matter.

4
1

Xbox 180: Microsoft scraps mandatory Kinect policy

Brangdon

The PS4 has a more powerful GPU, with capacity to spare for non-graphics tasks. It has faster memory, with more of it available to games. Its internal hard-disk can be upgraded by the user. It's $100 cheaper. There's probably more that I forget.

3
0

Xbox One users will have to pay extra for Skype and gamer-gratifying DVR

Brangdon

@But Kinect 2 is far more powerful than anything the PS4 has in that space

But is it powerful enough? Few of us have had a chance to use it. John Carmack says it is (a) laggy; (b) like using a no-button mouse. I gather it can track arm positions, but not fingers, so no good way to "click" at a point. I hope it turns out to be better than it sounds, but currently it does not appear to be an asset worth paying the extra money for even if you liked that kind of thing.

Sony have always responded to the problem by, in effect, cheating and solving an easier problem. Their old Eye controller had a big sphere on it, so the camera could recognise it from any angle and deduce distance from its size. The new controller has bar light on it with known shape and colour, to similarly make life easier for the system. PS4 may be "less powerful", but if it works more effectively in real living rooms, it could be the better option.

1
0

Surface RT: A plan worthy of the South Park Underpants Gnomes

Brangdon

Re: x86 binaries...

It would have helped if they'd not locked down the desktop. I work for a software house. If we could have got our apps running on RT by just by recompiling them for ARM, we'd have seriously considered it. If it meant tweaking the UI to make it more finger-friendly, that might have been worth the effort too. Porting to a whole new API is much more work, and correspondingly harder to justify.

1
0

Worldwide smartwatch shipments predicted to top 5 million next year

Brangdon

It's for RFID

Using your phone for RFID payments is pointless because it's in your pocket, and if you have to get it out of your pocket you might as well get your wallet out instead. RFID belongs in a watch, so you can just push your hand close to the sensor until it vibrates to let you know it worked.

1
0

Microsoft's next device could be a Surface Watch

Brangdon
Go

Re: Do people really want a smart watch?

I want one. For me the killer feature will be using it to pay for small transactions with RFID. This requires a watch with RFID, secure enough to use for money, plus a nation-wide infrastructure of vendors accepting such payments, and the apps and agreements in-place for the watch. Many of the current smart watches don't have RFID at all. Sony's does, but it's not much use to me without the trusted apps and infrastructure.

Other necessary features include long battery life, and/or wireless charging; and things like unlocking my phone automatically when it is within inches of the watch, and sounding an alarm if it gets more than a few feet away.

It'll come. It's just not here yet, and until it is, smart watches will only sell to a few early adopters.

0
0

Snowden: 'Hey, Assange, any more room on Ecuador's sofa?'

Brangdon

He's accused of having sex with an unconscious woman, knowing she wouldn't have consented had she been awake. A British judge has reviewed the case and agreed this would be considered rape under UK law. It's not just "some bad translation".

Had he remained in Sweden after being told they wanted to question him a second time, it probably would have blown over quickly. Instead he fled Sweden to here, and then jumped bail here. That's why there's been a big reaction. Entirely because of his actions.

8
5

My bleak tech reality: You can't trust anyone or anything, anymore

Brangdon

DropBox?

What's wrong with using an open-source offline password manager (such as KeePass) with the password database protected with a long pass-phrase, plus a file synchronisation service (such as DropBox) to replicate it across all the devices you need it on?

You can verify that KeePass never talks to the network, and DropBox never sees unencrypted passwords. The worst that DropBox can do is give your encrypted database to the Feds, but if you have used a long enough pass-phrase they won't be able to break it. One long pass-phrase is easier to remember than dozens of shorter ones.

1
0

Microsoft brings back Windows watch after Apple seeks 'flexible' bod

Brangdon

Re: Compelling reasons for a smart watch?

For me the compelling feature is likely to be NFC. Having to get your phone out to buy stuff is not much easier than having to get your wallet out, but your watch is already out.

Your list of drawbacks are just pessimistic assumptions. There is no more need for a smart watch to blank its display than for a normal (digital) watch. Blanking it does not save much power.

0
0
Brangdon

The Pebble watch has minimal features and only lasts a week. It also adds drain to your phone battery. Mostly from keeping the Bluetooth connection alive at both ends.

0
0

Gartner: RIP PCs - tablets will CRUSH you this year

Brangdon

Re: makes sense

Plus perhaps a console, for more serious game playing. For many home users, it's the desire to play demanding games that drives the purchase, or upgrade, of a new PC every few years. Next year we'll have a new generation of consoles, and I'd expect those to eat into home PCs even more. (Admittedly some people will always prefer keyboard and mouse over hand-held controller.)

0
1

After Leveson: The UK gets an Orwellian Ministry of Truth for real

Brangdon
Unhappy

Re: Don't bring Lucy Meadows into this...

Whether or not she took her life because of the press is irrelevant. The press should not have hounded her. Having done so, they should not have got away with it. She made numerous complaints. It's an important example partly because it is so recent, and shows that even now the press aren't able to regulate themselves.

2
1

Samsung: We're doing smart watches too

Brangdon
Go

Re: I have no idea what a smartwatch is meant to do

NFC belongs in a watch, not a phone. Paying for stuff by pushing your wrist against a sensor is easier than getting your wallet/phone out of your pocket. Unlike a card, it can beep/vibrate for every transaction so the money never goes out with out you knowing. The smart phone can do the rich UI (setting maximum transaction value without PIN, etc).

Other key uses include having your phone unlock automatically when it is held in your hand, and having the phone or watch alert if they become separated by more than a few feet.

1
0

Curiosity succeeds – Mars was wet enough for life!

Brangdon
Unhappy

Re: What Are We Waiting For?

If you think a Mars government would be any better you need to look up "hydraulic despotism" in your history books.

1
0

Redmond slashing Win8, Office OEM rates for small devices

Brangdon

Re: Dr Frankenstein

True. Are you saying that Dr Frankenstein looked good in a dress?

0
0

Linus Torvalds in NSFW Red Hat rant

Brangdon

Re: Is this really Torvalds' position?

He's not changed his tune. What he's rejected in the thread is adding cruft to the kernel when it's not needed because, "What you mention we can already do, and we already do it *better*" via standard X.509

certificates.

5
0

Singaporean men in naked web cam extortion scam

Brangdon
Angel

Re: So, the jist of the problem is...

I expect she'd chat with you for a few days first, so she wouldn't be a stranger by the time you got naked.

People have relationships online. Cybersex sometimes include video. Sometimes the fool is the one who is unable to trust.

0
0
Brangdon
Unhappy

They'd only show your half of the conversation, and say you thought you were video chatting to a 14-year-old girl at the time. That's all it would take to get you pilloried by the internet as a paedophile.

0
0

Dish boss on ad-skipping service: 'I don’t want to kill ads'

Brangdon

Re: Skipping ads used to be better

Tivo has a 30-second skip. To skip 2 minutes of ads, press the button 4 times. It's really not that hard to figure out.

0
0

Page: