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* Posts by Mark .

1841 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

MtGox, that bastion of unregulated e-currency Bitcoin, turns to Texas judge for protection

Mark .
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Re: Perhaps someone can explain to me...

The time isn't for the transaction, rather it's to receive "confirmations".

Pubs I've seen accepting Bitcoin don't care about waiting for confirmations. Yes, theoretically this means someone could fraudulent buy beer with Bitcoins, but then they'd just come over to you a few minutes later.

It's true that Bitcoin is less suitable for a physical shop where you can walk away with the goods straightaway, but that's not really where people are expecting it to be useful. The potential uses are lower transaction fees for online ordering, international money transfers, and transferring money between individuals in countries that don't have as good a banking system as the UK (and not having to rely on Paypal for any of these).

As I say in my other comment, there are other reasons why people might end up having money on exchanges. Whilst eliminating the time for confirmations is an interest use of an exchange/online wallet, this requires the recipient to have an account of the same site, and I'd say is only of minimal use in practice.

"Now there are lots of them and there seems no reason why Mike down the road can't start Mike'sCoin in his mom's basement. This must surely undermine any "scarcity" value and erode confidence in bitcoin as a medium of transferring value."

But there is also value in how many places accept the currency. Even now, there are far more places accepting Bitcoin than your Mike'sCoin, so why would I buy any of Mike'sCoin? No doubt we may see several virtual currencies come into mainstream use, but creating new currencies doesn't automatically reduce the scarcity of existing currencies.

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Re: Perhaps someone can explain to me...

This doesn't really answer his question, and is rather inaccurate. You can use Bitcoin stored on your own computer just fine - you don't need an exchange to spend them in a pub, online shop, or whatever that accepts Bitcoin. The fact that the value is mainly determined by the trading on exchanges doesn't require you to store any on an exchange.

In fact, having money on an exchange in most cases would be useless for spending - you'd usually first have to transfer to a wallet (e.g., on a phone or your computer) to spend it.

Using exchanges with online wallets is the easiest way to obtain Bitcoin (though not the only way), but one can immediately withdraw.

The main reasons for having lots on an exchange are (a) laziness/stupidity, (b) someone who's filthy rich from Bitcoin anyway, so even a small proportion represents a large amount, (c) people who are day trading large amounts.

"Compounding factor is that there's also an insane amount of speculation on the value of BC, which requires you to have serious amounts of "BC value" in accounts in exchanges"

I don't understand this - the amount you want to invest in Bitcoin (whether on an exchange, or not) isn't affected by the price of Bitcoin.

As for "completely useless and valueless, they have no backing of "the equivalent of...."", they have uses; nothing has "inherent" value, other than what people give to it, and Bitcoin isn't backed in the same way that gold isn't backed by anything (and nor are modern currencies backed by anything else, either). Your last paragraph is just an ad hominem rant.

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Bitcoin ban row latest: 'Unstable, loved by criminals' Yup, that's the US dollar – Colorado rep

Mark .
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Re: It's actually quite hilarious

I don't think the OP is calling for Bitcoin to become legal tender though (in the sense of, the national currency, i.e., something you get paid on, and must be accepted by businesses and the Government as payment). So no, Bitcoin is not fiat.

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

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I wasn't aware that there is a "community", that one person is now magically a figurehead for. But I guess arguing against straw men is easy to do. Your analogies aren't even vaguely relevant.

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Mark .
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Re: Disappointed with how naïve the dev is

"I was always suspicious of the Bitcoin stuff. It sounds like: Hey, I have all this money, let me exchange it for a virtual currency, and for that I get a string of 0 & 1's. That's the proof that I own virtual coins. Now, let me give that string to someone else for safe keeping."

It's the last bit that's the problem, but that isn't part of Bitcoin, rather a problem with using online wallets (including keeping large amounts on an exchange).

"Virtual currency may be the future. But just as the the original IBM PC was no where near the best PC, and DOS was not a secure operating system, the first incarnation of a virtual currency was never going to be the best virtual currency."

Possibly, but don't underestimate the network effect. And to go with your analogy, whilst today's computers are far removed from an original IBM DOS PC, we can still trace a heritage where hardware technology in today's x86 machines that still dominate computing evolved from that IBM PC, and where competing platforms died out (68K, PPC, even Macs switched to being a brandname based on the x86 hardware that everything else uses); and the OS running on 90% of those machines evolved from a family of operating systems descended from DOS.

Also there is the issue, as I say above, the problem here is not with the currency itself, but what happens when you give that currency to someone else to "look after" it. Other competing virtual currencies still have that same problem, AFAIK. I'm not sure how this could be solved by the implementation of the currency itself? Note, Bitcoin already offers the ability to store the currency yourself, and trade for other currency yourself, it's just that online exchanges are much more convient for doing trading. I did once use an exchange where you can trade direct with people, but it's less convenient to use.

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Mark .
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Re: Disappointed with how naïve the dev is

It would be interesting to know how much he's lost as a proportion of what he had - if it's most of it, he is indeed foolish, and surprising for a Bitcoin developer. On the other hand, maybe he is filthy rich (not implausible, for someone in to Bitcoin from an early stage). Why go to the police if it's only a small amount? Well, I'd still report theft of my wallet to the police, even if the cash on there was a tiny fraction of my wealth, most of which is stored in banks.

Your arguments about "pretend bits" "backed by... nothing" make no sense; modern currency is not backed (by definition of being "fiat"), and I don't think being virtual stops this being theft (or some kind of crime at least - if a hacker causes damage to information which results in a loss, good luck claiming it's just "pretend bits").

Plenty of Bitcoin supporters and users would like regulation and certainly more security, I'm not sure how many want "wild west". Different people have different views. Bitcoin doesn't need to be "backed", as Bitcoin *is* the thing being bought (gold isn't backed by anything else).

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Blimey! ANOTHER Bitcoin bleed brouhaha

Mark .
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Re: Whereas if it was a bank doing these transactions @Ben

Question for you, do you not own anything that isn't backed by the Government's deposit guarantee?

Bitcoin certainly isn't as secure as that, but that doesn't mean people don't have any other investments - I find it odd that Bitcoin draws such anger from some people, who presumably don't spend their time mocking people who say, took out a shares ISA this year.

Bitcoin is not completely anonymous as all transactions are public, allowing some means to trace. Police should be interest in a theft of Bitcoin as much as anything else, though yes there is the practical issue that they either may not care, or find it harder to investigate.

People have been claiming the bubble will burst since the price was $10. I'm still waiting for it to drop back down to that price, let alone go below.

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Mark .
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Re: Whereas if it was a bank doing these transactions

Straw men are usually quiet.

Paypal deals with "fiat" and has the same problem of being unregulated and good luck if they shut your account with money in it (even if it's their choosing, rather than due to an actual theft); OTOH, I and plenty of other people want anyone handling Bitcoin to improve their security, and it'd be a good thing for more mainstream use to have more regulated and secure places to manage/buy/store Bitcoin. Bitcoin as it is today obviously isn't on par with national currency or banks, and I don't think anyone claims it is; OTOH there are a lot of things that people use (Paypal, various forms of investments) that aren't either.

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Hundreds of folks ready to sue Bitcoin exchange MtGox

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Re: Surely if Bitcoins are

To the RIAA perhaps, but for the rest of us, IP "theft" isn't theft, but copyright infringement.

This on the other hand is an actual instance where something virtual really has been stolen - the original owners are deprived of it.

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Bitcoin bank Flexcoin pulls plug after cyber-robbers nick $610,000

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Re: Leading indicator...

This is why no one uses Paypal - not regulated by a bank, no deposit insurance, not backed by an army.

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Mark .
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Re: I believe that a well-implemented cybercurrency would be a good thing...

A better analogy would be buying gold, where it's held by a company, rather than physically owning it.

There's no central bank reserves or deposit insurance to back that up, either. But many people still invest in gold, without it being branded "19th century".

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Mark .
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Re: I believe that a well-implemented cybercurrency would be a good thing...

What improvements for being "well implemented" do you suggest?

I mean, a lot of the problems here are with the "cyber" aspect. Physical security is in some ways easier, you can lock it up, put armed guards on, and so on. With computer security, there are pitfalls such as people using weak passwords, keyloggers and so on.

The other issue is one of regulation and laws - it still being easier for online exchanges/wallets to say "not our problem", and difficulty of getting police to look into the theft.

What improvements to the currency itself would fix these? (Genuine question - not saying it isn't possible, but it's easy to say it could be done better, without actually explaining how.)

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Mark .
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Re: And yet...

First bubble? If price going down means it was a bubble, Bitcoin has experienced multiple bubbles in its history.

Yet given that each low is far higher than the height of the previous bubble, this doesn't really prove the people saying "It's a bubble" right, when they've been claiming that since the price was at $10 or earlier.

The fact that people who sold at $1000 doesn't mean that people who bought at a recent low are wrong. I don't see how they are gullible - those that sell now, after buying when it was lower, have made a profit.Buying low is just as important as selling high.

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Child sex abuse image peddlers dodge UK smut filters and demand Bitcoin payments

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Re: What exactly is a "pseudo-photograph"?

But what do you mean he very much looks like a trader? If by that, you mean evidence, then that would be enough to convict.

A jury are not required to be convinced completely, but beyond reasonable doubt - no different to any other crime.

Individual politicians do not have the powers to pass new laws. They can make some media-friendly soundbites, without actually doing anything of real consequence.

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Mark .
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Re: What exactly is a "pseudo-photograph"?

Looks like a photo, but isn't - so includes computer generated imagery.

(This change occurred in 1994. 2003 raised the age to 18. As of around 2009, any non-realistic depictions are also included. It's been a slippery slope...)

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HTC One grabs BEST SMARTPHONE gong

Mark .
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Re: You think that I was saying that this was just good for Apple?

You misspelled Symbian (or later, Android). The early iphone sales were nothing compare to other smartphone platforms, and later it was Android that dominated. Even Windows Mobile outsold the iphone in the early years, it was so pathetic.

The best selling smartphone of all time is the 2009 Nokia 5230. And that was just one of many Nokia smartphones. That made the smartphone mass-market - but unfortunately, you've probably never even heard of the device, because the UK media just harped on about the poorly selling Apple phones all the time.

The first few iphones were the geek toys, whilst everyone else was using Blackberry, Symbian, Android. Not to mention that anything before iphone 4 could hardly be called a smartphone - the first one couldn't even do apps!

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Mark .
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Re: You think that I was saying that this was just good for Apple?

Except the 2007 iphone couldn't even run apps - yet even bog standard feature phones from 2005 or earlier could. As noted in other comments, the iphone lacked features, and took years to catch up.

The only customisation I'm aware of is them sticking their own application stores or website links on there, but that still happens, everything from Kindle Fire to Tesco Hudl. (And you can hardly argue that it was good that 3rd party customisation was provided by applications "thanks to Apple", whilst whinging that networks provided 3rd party applications!)

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Mark .
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Re: Apple sucked their business out from under them?

What Apple did was stop users from having features. Copy and paste? MMS? Video calling? Had to wait years for that.

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Mark .
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"Best smartphone didn't go to an offering by either of the two market leaders – Apple and Samsung"

Samsung are the market leader, period. And even Nokia still outsell Apple. Why this fascination with pretending that 3rd-place-Apple are on par with number one? As Bender says, it's a fancy name for losing.

Quite why I'd want an ipad heavy either - the functionality of a feature phone, with the portability of a laptop. A Nexus 7 is much more portable and lighter.

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MtGox has VANISHED. So where have all the Bitcoins gone?

Mark .
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Re: And yet we're still to believe...

"Would you trust a bank with your cash, without a government deposit guarantee?"

So you don't have any money/investments beyond what is in a Government-guaranteed bank account?

Of course ones life savings should be kept safe, but that doesn't mean people don't have money in less safe places, whether it's convenience (your cash in your wallet isn't Government-backed either) or potential of better returns.

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Mark .
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Re: electricity wasting global ponzi scheme

I love all these people complaining about wasting electricity, whilst using electricity-guzzling computers to do so. It's like the people who get on a high horse thinking they're saving the planet by turning off lights for one hour.

One might as well criticise paper money, because of having to cut down trees.

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Mark .
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Re: Face meet Palm

Yes, the price has now crashed to pennies like everyone predicted. Oh wait, no it hasn't.

(I can tear up paper money. The non-robust part of Bitcoin is trusting some 3rd party with all your Bitcoin when it's not regulated like banks are. Mt Gox can do what it likes, that doesn't cause my Bitcoin to disappear.)

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MtGox MELTDOWN: Quits Bitcoin Foundation board, deletes Twitter

Mark .
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Well yes, sooner or later everything will come to an end (to clarify, Mt Gox in this news story, not Bitcoin). I'm not sure that's useful though, without knowing whether that will happen tomorrow or the heat death of the Universe. And The Register will one day end too, but you're still here using it in the meantime.

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Nokia launches Android range: X marks the growing low-cost spot

Mark .
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Re: Forking from the inside.

I agree, though also, some of those 25% may be because of dependency on things that aren't yet available on Nokia Store. E.g., some of my apps use Qt, which requires the necessitas library, which it automatically downloads from the device's default site. So it will work as soon as necessitas is available on Nokia Store (they've been good about making it available on many sites, not just Google Play), but when it came to their initial automated testing, it meant those apps failed the compatibility test. So hopefully this figure will drop in future.

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Mark .
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Re: Forking from the inside.

In-app freemium apps, DRM, advertising, "achievements" are useful things? :)

I agree that a hurdle is that many won't bother distribute to Nokia Store at all, but for those that do, I don't see why they'd jack up the price - it's extra customers, for relatively very little extra work compared to developing an application or porting to a new platform.

Are the requirements for being certified for Google apps known?

It could be argued the other way - there's nothing stopping Google making their apps available for all Android devices, on other stores (or at least, making it possible to download from the website for sideloading without owning needing to use an Android device that already has Google Play). They just choose not to. Note that (unlike I think the Kindle Fire?), these devices won't be "locked down" devices that only work with Nokia Store, there is already mention of them working with other 3rd party sites. Nothing stopping Google working with that.

I currently enjoy using One Note on my Android Nexus devices. That's not because Google has "certified" itself to MS to use their services, it's because MS did the work to put it on Google's site.

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Mark .
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Re: Utterly desperate move

Although since it's not using any of Google's services or closed source apps, they (presumably) won't have to abide to any of Google's licences or conditions. They're using Open Source Android, with Nokia services on top.

It's a shame to see Symbian and Meego go, as well as that nothing came of the rumoured Meltemi, but I think it's good to see something new Android based at the low end, but distinct from Google.

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Mark .
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Re: Utterly desperate move

Nokia have already "ported" my apps without me doing a thing.

No porting is required unless there's a dependence on some specific Google thingies. Note this isn't like Blackberry (which was a different OS running some kind of Android VM/emulator), it *is* Android. Different UI, but that's no different to apps I develop on my Nexus running on Samsung Touchwiz or HTC Sense. It's true there is a risk that simply getting developers to release apps on a different site is a hurdle, though I think Nokia have advantages over Amazon - it's much cheaper (1 euro one off fee, versus $99/year), they're starting with an existing base of developers already on Nokia (whether through Symbian or S40 - smaller than Google Play, but better than what Amazon had to start with). It's more appealing from a matter of principle (IIRC Amazon wanted a locked-down device that only worked with Amazon, where as these devices will work with 3rd party sites and sideloading - just not Google Play, because Google don't allow than unless you comply to all their terms - if they released a "normal" Android phone, would they be able to have Nokia and MS services installed all over it?). Of course it isn't going to get anywhere near the numbers of Google Play, but it's marketed at the people currently buying S40/Asha devices.

I also don't get the burning platform thing. Symbian was discontinued, WP isn't. I suppose technically the Asha platform is, but I don't get why people are suddenly loving S40/Asha over Android...

Although I do agree, if they've shown they are capable and willing to use Android to make their own platform, it's a shame they didn't do this 2-3 years ago as the Symbian replacement.

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Mark .
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Re: Heh

Your Desire HD was a high end (high priced) phone, not a budget one like these. How do the specs compare to similarly priced Android devices? (And before anyone brings it up, the Moto G is more expensive. On that note, should I rubbish the Moto G? After all, it's no better than my 2 year old Galaxy Nexus. But, my Nexus was a high end phone at the time.) Alternatively, this is a huge jump from the similarly priced Asha devices they replace.

Also a nice baseline from a development point of view - there are loads of 480x320 or even 320x240 256MB RAM phones still out there that develops have to support (unfortunately Google Play doesn't make it easier to block based on RAM or resolution).

And there is a 5" device too (not to mention ppl often seem to whinge about wanting smaller phones), and I thought we all hated the lack of microSD on some phones...

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Pics: 'Bitcoin ATMs' spring up in the US

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Re: Lost 90% in one month

The quoted figures aren't the prices of Bitcoin, they're the Mt Gox price (which stopped Bitcoin withdrawals and looks like is going under - if you can't withdraw Bitcoin, it's not really a Bitcoin you've bought).

Vendors who accept Bitcoin still usually price in their local currency, they just use Bitcoin at the transaction, so fluctuation isn't an issue.

And no one ever used pounds or dollars for illegal purposes did they...

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Re: Sigh

As an investment, it's a high risk (but also potential very high return), but I don't see why it's different to other high risk investments.

It would be silly to put all your savings/pension into Bitcoin, OTOH, a good strategy is to distribute your savings over a range of risks.

I don't think anyone is saying put all your money in Bitcoin (the only people who have most their savings in Bitcoin are the people who ended up that way after getting rich from it).

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Facebook pays $19bn for WhatsApp. Yep. $45 for YOUR phone book

Mark .
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Re: Communication, Communication, Communication

I'm not sure Wifi at work is commonplace, even in offices, plus people may prefer to use their own mobile for privacy reasons (the same way that some people will now check Facebook on their phone at work, even though they could just use the work Internet-connected PC).

Malls/bars/restaurants - a large number of these are those annoying ones you have to sign up and log in. It's easier to use my mobile data. Plus the faff of finding it out - if I'm in a shopping centre and want to send a text or look something up on the Internet, I don't want to have to faff finding out whether there is free "Mall Wifi", and if I can find its password. That's assuming I'm in a "mall", most shops in the UK aren't. Then it's not uncommon that Wifi connection is poor quality, and I'm better off staying with mobile.

I have BT hotspots included in my contract, though the rare times I remember to look for it, there are none nearby. Plus you're contradicting yourself here - you're arguing that Telcos have nothing to sell anymore, because people can instead use a service sold by the Telco?

I'm still going to want mobile data in order to cover all the places where Wifi isn't available, which for me is most places outside of home, and since I've got mobile data, it's usually easier to keep using that rather than faff with seeing if I can find Wifi at any random point.

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Mark .
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Re: charge outrageous amounts for data

For anyone on contract, it's hard to separate the costs to the user, but it's common these days to have unlimited texts, and I have more minutes than I ever would use, but it's data that is the most limiting.

Even on PAYG, SMSs can be cheaper to the user if you only send a few per day, if you're not using Internet (but if you are using Internet, then sending extra messages through the Internet is much cheaper).

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Mark .
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Re: A beelion users can't be wrong (can they?)

Yes, if only there was a way to send a message to someone without using SMS. Thank god that Whatsappthingy came along. It's annoying having to rely on SMS all t

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MtGox claims to have a fix ready for Bitcoin withdrawal woes

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Re: Bubble has burst ..... ?

"I had a look at one of the stats sites yesterday, which indexes multiple exchanges. And it looks like a transaction of 0.1 BTC can change the global market price by about 0.5%!! Sticking 1,000 transactions through in an hour, rather than the more usual couple of hundred, can move the price down by 5%."

Citation needed? Currently based on the Bitstamp order book, 5663 bitcoins would be needed to drive the price down 10%; 66 bitcoins would be needed to drive the price down 1%. This doesn't include orders that aren't on the books (people manually trading, or bots).

True, volatility is a problem for international transfers (and is why a larger market cap is a good thing), but it isn't as large an issue as you describe.

Doing international transfers with my bank is £15 for within Europe, £25 elsewhere. The zero loaded credit cards (if I even had one) presumably wouldn't help for transfers to individuals.

"So given BitCoins are a massive risk, and are crap as a way of dealing across foreign currencies, I struggle to see what the point of them is."

Risk reduces with time, and it will grow more useful as a Paypal alternative, for example. Many countries also have poor support for online bank transfers (e.g., even the US - it's nothing like what we have in the UK).

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Mark .
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Re: bigger design flaw

But that's because you haven't kept the backup up to date! The way to do backups is documented, so you haven't found a flaw in anything, you've just shown how to do it wrong. (Do you back up your data by only backing it up once, then hope it's magically up to date when your computer dies a year later?)

It would be better if one only needed to do a backup once. But then, such clients exist (e.g., Armory).

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Re: Bubble has burst ..... ?

Other exchanges are $600-$650 (Mt Gox price hasn't been meaningful for months due to difficulty in withdrawing USD from it). If $1000 to $650 is a "bubble", then sure, the Bitcoin bubble has burst, just as it bursts regularly, and has done several times in the past. It also booms multiple times too.

But I don't see how this means people are bored (nor does it have anything to do with tulips, which don't share any useful properties of a currency - not to mention "X is a bubble, therefore Y must be a bubble too" doesn't seem a good argument to me). I mean, in April the bubble burst to around $60, but now it's at $600. I'm not convinced how an increase of 10x in less than a year is a bubble bursting, or people getting bored of it?

The thing to remember is that the "Bitcoin is a bubble" critics have been saying this since the price was increasing from around $20 last year. The fact that Bitcoin later on drops from $1000, but only to $600, hardly proves those critics right. Any useful prediction about Bitcoin needs to include timescales and prices - anyone can say the price will go up or down in future (I'm sure it will do both!)

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Wanna use Bitcoin on your site? BitPay's open-source library wants to help

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Re: I'll use virtual currency roughy ...

Yet you're happy to comment virtually.

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Silk Road reboot claims: Hacker STOLE all our Bitcoin funds

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Re: As this is a virtual currency, has a theft actually occurred?

This is assuming the set of people using Bitcoin to buy drugs on this site are the same set as the "libertarians" claiming Bitcoin is totally free of taxes and laws (not to mention that most Bitcoin users are neither).

Using an irony hammer is easy, when you're using it to hit a straw man.

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MtGox takes heat as reasons for Bitcoin FAIL surface

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Re: @Vega This would be a good moment

That was the drop on Mt Gox. Bitcoin withdrawals have been stopped, with fears that Mt Gox might not be able to supply all the required bitcoin, which means you have people selling bitcoin for USD, lowering the price.

The reason we see a drop on other exchanges (though it's already far less than 30% now) could be:

People think it is a problem with Bitcoin, even if it isn't. The price drops because people sell, which has nothing to do with whether the reasons why people sell are real or not.

People guess bad news means a price drop, so sell in the hopes of buying back lower (which makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy).

People hoping to take advantage of arbitrage - sell a load of bitcoin they have on Bitstamp etc, buy the much cheaper bitcoin on Mt Gox. This will tend to equalise prices, but means the cheaper bitcoin on Mt Gox will affect the prices on other exchanges.

Yes, one exchange can affect the others' prices, but the OP was talking about the technology, and whether the problems here could be faced by other exchanges.

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Mark .
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Re: BCs credibility problem

Bitstamp daily prices have gone from ~$800 to ~$690, a 14% drop, not 30%. (Going by MtGox-only prices is meaningless if you're comparing to the price change of the US Dollar as a whole, rather than just one on exchange that's disallowed withdrawals.)

Now, that's still large, but I don't think the greater changes is due to the reasons you claim. For starters, if higher drops are due to lower confidence in Bitcoin as a whole, then how do you explain the massive increases? Sure, it is due to changes in confidence, but rather, it's confidence on Bitcoin's future value, not confidence in Bitcoin as a technology - if what you said about people's views on Bitcoin were true, it seems odd that this view widly changes so often!

I don't think Bitcoin is that much harder to understand than banking, if in both cases we're allowed to ignore the "real" details (though yes, Bitcoin is still harder to use, and improvements in the products are needed, and will no doubt come, but I don't think that's anything to do with confidence).

The most obvious reason why the price changes by greater amount than the US Dollar is that the market cap is vastly smaller, plus it's dependent on only a few exchanges (last year, Mt Gox was the dominant exchange, so thankfully things are improving).

And I would say the opposite - the critics said it was a bubble that will come collapsing down the moment a flaw is discovered, yet despite these problems, it's "crashed" to a value that's still over five times the value it had in October(!)

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

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Re: Interesting

True, but I still think there's a difference in your example. What does the content represent? In your example, there is intent to commit a crime, but in the Bitcoin example, the mere manipulation of numbers in a network would be illegal.

Although I think the real issue is not that it would be criminalising trading of numbers - I still think that theft of Bitcoins should be treated as theft of anything else of value, even if it's "just numbers". The worry would be criminalising trading of a currency at all - has there been any precedent for this?

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"leading Bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox "

Not since last April. http://bitcoincharts.com/charts/volumepie/ shows Bitstamp leading, Mt Gox in 3rd place. For several months it's been hard/impossible to withdraw money in USD, significantly limiting its use.

"That last point was certainly proven this week, when news of Mt.Gox's withdrawals problem sent the real-world value of a single Bitcoin – which had been stable at more than $900 for some time – into a nosedive that bottomed out at $660 before recovering slightly to around $760."

Where are these figures from? From http://bitcoincharts.com/charts/bitstampUSD , on Bitstamp (the actual leading exchange), the value was hovering around $800, hasn't been above $900 since 12 Jan.

Quoting Mt Gox prices is misleading, if you're trying to imply what Mt Gox's effect on the rest of the world was. Its prices have been inflated for months due to the difficulty of withdrawing money (so people can't actually take advantage of the higher price) - that inflation is now lost, since people can't withdraw Bitcoin either, making the price somewhat meaningless for anyone who hasn't already got money on Mt Gox (and even those who do, can't actually do anything with it other than trade back and forth). Yes, there was a drop in price, but not to the magnitude that The Reg claims. The sooner Mt Gox becomes insignificant and stops affecting Bitcoin prices for everyone else everytime it messes up, the better.

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Apple ticks off trigger-happy Bitcoiners with App Store snub

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Re: Delusional

So if it's no competition, why does it get blocked in the first place?

And that's 120,000 users (as well as far more if we include more popular platforms) who have gone and downloaded this out of choice, as opposed to it being the only way to purchase something on their device, or the only advertised way to buy a TV programme/film/album. You're right, it's not competing - because Apple doesn't do competing.

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Mark .
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Except if someone's storing it on a mobile wallet, there's no way an exchange can run away with that money. In general, storing non-trivial amounts of bitcoin on an exchange is a bad idea, but that argument doesn't apply if we're talking about a mobile wallet - indeed, a mobile wallet is one of the things you can use to easily transfer your bitcoins away from an exchange, so Apple are certainly not doing anyone a favour!

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Oi, Android devs! Facebook wants your apps to be more secure

Mark .
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Re: @Mike Green - Security? How about letting US have a choice...

I think this would be a good thing, though one of the headaches it creates for developers is having to put up with the 1 star reviews for people who disallow permissions, but then complain it isn't working right. I think a better solution for that would be to create a rating/review system that doesn't cater to the "vote down for trivial reason even though I got this app for completely free" whiners, but sadly it looks like the 5 star rating system is here to stay.

For optional features, this could be handled if blocking a permission meant the app could tell the permission wasn't available, and simply not allow that feature.

In the meantime, vote with your wallet/downloads - don't use something if it claims permissions you don't think are reasonable, and reward an app that does it better.

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Unmanned, autonomous ROBOT TRUCK CONVOY 'drives though town'

Mark .
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Re: I so want driverless cars to have full independant licences

"I'll bet they ensure that the law says that the person in the car is 'in charge' of the AI and must be sober."

In fact I believe this is already covered by the law - e.g., consider cases where you have a learner driver, who must be supervised by someone with a licence. They still have to be sober, and this is covered IIRC by some law about being "in charge" of a vehicle. AI cars that still require a licensed driver to supervise will no doubt still be covered.

It'll be interesting how things go if the law is changed to allow truly driverless cars, without a requirement for anyone to have a licence. It would be a shame if Governments try to insist that there is still a notional person "in charge" of the vehicle - this would also limit applications such as driverless taxis.

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The TRUTH about LEAKY, STALKING, SPYING smartphone applications

Mark .
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"can" is not the same as "does".

This study seems meaningless without knowing what those applications do. So an app requires location permission - but if it's an app which requires location by its very nature, then why is this an issue? Admittedly 1/3 seems rather high, but then I have no idea what the distribution of application types is.

"locate and open private photographs on smartphones"

If private is in an application's private space, I'm not sure this is true. If private just means in the standard picture folders on Android, then yes, they're accessible to all applications. Just like I can open up my picture in GIMP on Windows or Linux. Perhaps there are better ways to do this (e.g., marking folders as only accessible to a whitelist of apps? But then there's also the trouble of making it user-friendly) but I don't know of any OS that's done this kind of thing yet - the study seems to regard any access of data by an app as "bad", without understanding how almost all OSs currently work.

"can divulge email addresses over the internet"

Does this mean they have Internet and email address book permissions, or that they are actually doing this?

"Sutton credited Apple at least with acting to address the problem."

Because clearly it's better that we're all wrapped in cotton wool and can only run on "our" device if someone else lets us. It's this kind of attitude that's led to making it increasingly difficult to run software without extra "Yes I'm really sure" clicks.

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The Mac at 30: Hardware and software wars – again and again and ...

Mark .
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The Macintosh is 30 years old, but it's not 30 years of the Macintosh

The Macintosh is a device of the past - today "Mac" on the other hand is a brandname for their x86 PCs, similar to Dell's Inspiron or ASUS's Transformer. Different hardware, different software (and is only the same platform as much as Trigger's Broom is the same broom). I would say only the name is the same, but even that's not true - Macintosh was finally dropped as a brandname some years ago.

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MPAA spots a Google Glass guy in cinema, calls HOMELAND SECURITY

Mark .
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Re: Did he mount his Glass on a tripod?

On the plus side, you get to watch the movie without risk of interrogation and detained by police. Once again, paying customers get treated worse than people pirating... (I wonder if he'll even get a refund.)

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