173 posts • joined 30 Sep 2010
For an Technical IT site the level of ignorance here is shocking.
Ok, I am going to get heat for this but for the ignorant bitcoin is not....
Fiat Currency (eg GBP/USD/whatever)
A Barter system
It is some and all of the above and it is different to anything which has come before.
It can be used as a currency since people trade it and this gives it value just like pounds or dollars, often it is exchanged for other currency and trading good is in it's infancy but it does happen.
It can be traded as a commodity but not in the same way as say Tulips since Tulips die and can be copied (you make more from seeds) where as a bitcoin balance in a wallet is fixed and forever until the balance is moved elsewhere.
You could argue it is a barter system but only in the same way any physical object can be bartered including paper money.
Yes most bitcoin addresses are anonymous but the transactions between these addresses are public and documented forever online. However anyone wanting to change bitcoins for pounds or dollars is going to find an exchange will want to know who they are and the exchanges have (already) applied "know your customer" regulations. Yes you can meet someone in the street and exchange in person bitcoin for cash but that is impractical for large 6 figure amounts and someone will at some point will encounter a regulated system (exchange or payment processor) and have to explain where the bitcoins came from. As a result the bitcoins will be below market rate and it's just easier to launder money in cash pounds/dollars than bother with bitcoins.
Thinking of a snappy put down already ?
If you also claim to have any IT smarts then read up first and try to understand what you are commenting on. If not you're like someone saying "why will mobile phones catch on when everyone has a phone at home. Also text messages to mobiles ? Much quicker to call someone, that'll never catch on !"
In my opinion the killer app here is international money transfers and international purchases.
This is in it's infancy and money transfers will evolve as more of these cash machines are installed globally and the cash machine rates drop. A typical exchange charges 0.2% but the cash machines are charging a premium on top. In theory though it should be easily possible to buy bitcoins and send them in about 30 minutes to your uncle Bob in Auz who can then withdraw dollars. As soon as this becomes cheaper than western union then this will take off, think of all those foreign workers sending money home to africa/india/asia.
As for international orders Overstock is a good example, once they enable international delivery you can take your bitcoins purchased at an exchange with a 0.2% fee and buy goods in america for delivery to the uk. Since Overstock do the conversion to dollars you just pay in bitcoins.
That means no hassle with credit card fees for Overstock (you might even get a discount) plus you don't have to worry how much that dollar payment will be when it hits your debit/credit card since the card companies make money from the exchange rates. Now apply this to online shopping for china, asia, europe etc.... bitcoins could easily become the "currency" of preference for online retailers. Oh, another bonus for the retailers is that there are no charge backs, Visa/Mastercard can & do ask for the money back sometimes but all payments are irreversible with bitcoin.
If you're traveling abroad then why not pay in bitcoins ? I was in europe recently and I would have been much happier not having to get together the Euros in cash and simply paying electronically in bitcoins. Ok it was only a short trip so it wasn't much cash but it was still a hassle, I still paid an unfavorable exchange rate and I still had to keep what I wasn't using that day in the hotel safe. Yes you can get travel cards you fill with electronic euros but that's just the same as bitcoin with all the same negatives of the extra cost.
Yes there are risks associated with traveling with a bitcoin wallet but I expect that the insurance companies would extend insurance to cover this in time. Plus if you give the insurance company your private key with one call they could move your money from the compromised wallet to a secure wallet ready for when you got a new mobile (or other electronic payment device).
This is the near term vision..... the long term vision is much bigger and more intangible and if you want to look into that try googling for "bitcoin colored coins".
I don't know what will become of bitcoins in the long term but I'm confident about the international money transfers and as a online payment method. Traveling on bitcoins requires much wider support unless you plan on just eating in that one Cafe your entire stay but it is going to be appealing to the masses.
Got questions ? Good... now do your research because answers are not straight forward and frankly I should be working :)
Re: I'm not some kind of hippy or anything, and it's an interesting experiment....
It's not a complete waste even though it might seem it.
Because the electricity cost is so intrinsic to how profitable a bitcoin mining rig is in the future this industry might be the source of great advances in efficiency which could benefit computing as a whole.
There is some incentive for traditional chip makers (CPU/GPU) in the pursuit of high clock speeds and in the mobile market there is equally some incentive to save battery power but it's not as acute as with bitcoin mining.
Re: bitcoins are useful....
"What they are not because of their volatility, is a reliable store of value."
True but they could be one day, maybe 5 years or so when they are (hopefully) in more common use for general payments and transfers. A greater transaction volume (buying & selling) leads to greater stability.
No store of wealth is totally infallible though. Many people turn to Gold as being a steady earner but in the last year the USD price per oz has fallen from $1,668.62 to $1,241.69 Ok, it has peaked and then dropped down to it's July 2010 position so long terms holders are ok but I'm just saying it's more volatile than people expect.
Re: likely them trying to work out
I don't think there is any way they can fleece bitcoin users/holders since the nature of the system is that you hold your own "keys" to your money in the private encryption key. People would need to give money to them which would only happen if there was something to gain. If you don't control your wallet then you can't make payments which defeats the point.
Maybe bitcoin savings or funds but it seems too early for banks to be getting into that.
One company has already started offering insured bitcoin storage though obviously they charge.
They could buy bitcoins and try to make money from the price fluctuation but a bank buying in would push the price up anyway. Unless of course they did a deal off the exchange, maybe buying the seize silk road coins which might be auctioned off at some point. Either way I think this would push the price up.
I think international drug lords tend to stick to USD (cash if possible).
The silk road was a special case pitched to the ordinary Joe and even then one they started to identify silk road wallet addresses they could unpick the whole network of payments via bitcoin's open and very public transaction log.
Bitcoin was started partly due to the banking crises as an alternative to traditional banking so it's interesting then that a bank which absorbed so much debt due to the liquidity crisis could get into bitcoin.
This is likely them trying to work out where bitcoins will most likely take off, what threat this poses to their business and where they can take advantage themselves.
I see international money transfer as the most likely "killer app" at the moment. For example person A deposits cash using the cash point in Canada and gets bitcoins which he sends to person B in Hong Kong. This transfer of bitcoins takes a maximum of 20 minutes after which they can go to the cash point in Hong Kong and withdraw Hong Kong Dollars. This can happen today since the cash points already.
Yes but price fluctuates but not by much in 20 minutes. This would take 2 or 3 days using the traditional banking system and think of all the people sending money home when working away.
As for fraud most of these cash points require ID verification and if someone receives or sends millions of dollars/pounds/whatever the usual "red flags" would be raised.
They will likely be brain storming for other business cases so they can account (or counter) them in advance. Also this is the US so bitcoin orientated lobbying is probably set to skyrocket in 2014 !
Good news indeed
The more of this the better I think.
Bitcoin's "killer app" is low cost money transfer though frankly having to seal with exchanges and SEPA/Wire transfers is hampering this. Having these cash points mean you can transfer money from Canada to Hong Kong in I would say around 1 hour at a cost of about 0.6% (an exchange fee of 0.3% paid at each end).
A 1 hour transfer also helps mitigate the volatility of the exchange rate too. Yes there can be significant fluctuations in price but they are rarely significant within a few hours. This has only happened within the big newsworthy booms/crashes.
Also if the price drops 10% then a "fee" of 10.6% is still cheaper than you'd pay with say western union !
(disclaimer... I do own bitcoin and so I have faith in this and other uses working out)
One hundred coins resulted in a 50% drop ? I'm not sure where you are getting your information from but I'm seeing regular trades of hundreds of coins with little noticeble change in value. Ok, a few thousand coins would move the price by a hundred dollars or so but at current prices ($1184) that's barely a 10% change.
In fact at the moment on MtGox 4,000 coins would have to be sold just to move the price to $1,000
Have a look for yourself.. http://trading.i286.org/
10 cubicle comforts ? Not very realistic in my book !
: Contour Design Roller Mouse Re:d
Comforts shouldn't be bizzare reinventions or cost 10x the price of the original.
In it's place should have been a decent cordless mouse.
:Dragon Dictate for Mac
Ok, first very few offices have Macs so anything Mac specific is pointless.
Second in an office environment VERY few people use dictation software. A manager with little time and a secretary to tidy up the resulting text maybe but that's it.
:Griffin PowerDock 5
Handy for the multi-tablet home or IT department but not an office.
Very few people will have 1 tablet pc let alone 5.
:Kensington SoleMate Plus
Finally a winner.... I don't bother with a foot rest but plenty of people swear by one !
:Logitech BCC950 ConferenceCam
Also accepted but at a stretch since if you need a cam at your cubicle desk then the "ConferenceCam" might be a bit OTT
:Luidia e-Beam Edge
Meh... as above, accepted but it's not a cubicle/desk thing really unless your cubicle comes with a whiteboard & projector.
:Octa Tablet Tail Monkey Kit
Ok, it's neat and cool but tablets again which few people have at work.
:Philips 231P4QRYES ErgoSensor monitor
Another neat & cool thing and ignoring being nagged by the monitor as far as I'm concerned if it's not 1200 deep then it's not good enough. A res of 1080p is for movies/tv and not work.
:Plantronics Blackwire C710M
Another win since I'm seeing an increased use of headsets in the office thanks to remote sites and greater use of Lync.
:StarTech USB3 Dock
The Dell under my desk has plenty of ports thanks, also please see my earlier note about Macs not showing up in the work place very often.
One thing I find very handy.... music.
An ipod is great for filtering out background noise in the office.
Re: DPR as hero?
From reading the articles it certainly seems that the first assassination was arranged with undercover FBI agents. They had arranged to ship a large volume of drugs which DPR sent through one of the Silk Road admins who they promptly arrested.
In my mind someone then clearly decided to see how far DPR would go and the undercover agent started prompting DPR's fears. As a result he asked them to rough up/scare the former admin to remind them not to talk but then changed it to killing him off.
This is a win/win for the FBI since not only can they then charge him with hiring someone to murder someone they can also turn around to the admin and go "your boss wants you dead now how loyal do you feel ?"......... so yes he asked for the hit but I suspect he was encouraged into it.
The 2nd hit I'm not so sure about.
After posting the above I actually read somewhere else that assets aren't "liquidated" until after a case is closed. In that case they might just hold onto them but they could still treat the bitcoins as currency (rather than a physical asset) and exchange them to USD for easier handling later. This would preserve the current value as well in a volatile market.
Well they probably sold them, that would explain the dip in the bitcoin prices.
Of course that could have been a few dealers cashing out but the charts show the big sales just with a couple of hours.
I think if I had the cash for a huge 50" 4K TV the first thing I'd do is try it as a PC monitor :)
Plenty of desk space on a big screen means I can play FF14 (or pick your game, Civ 5 ?) in windowed mode and still have space to say surf the net. Especially important for games which are big and complex enough to need guides to make them easily playable.
Hell, I could even have the PC loaded and use picture in picture to have the news showing in a box in the corner.
Of course my work RDP session wouldn't be full screen but I could live with that.
Re: We need Plausible Deniability (i.e. What No TrueCrypt?)
Isn't that easy to identify ?
Such as person provides "outer" password, officer decrypts "decoy" data, officer then re-encrypts "decoy" data, officer then notices that the two encrypted files do not match in file size.
Depending on the size of the files involved I can't see that taking very long.... less than 9 hours anyway !
I wouldn't trust encryption alone personally
Since it seems the computing power of the likes of goverment agencies is increasing so much and there are now techniques for identifying patterns in encrypted data which make cracking easier then I think it needs to be combined with other techniques.
I'm think specifically of hiding encrypted content in media files... a pgp key could be buried in a high resolution jpeg image for example. If done in such a way that the image still works as a jpeg the extra data would just like like a slight corruption of the image.
Then you could compare the original jpeg to the modified one to extract the extra data (the buried key).
A similar technique could be used to burry encrypted files into a video stream so a low bit stream video is re-rendered as 1080p but the extra data is the encrypted file. Ideally adding the extra data wouldn't make the video unwatchable, just lower quality than the expected 1080p.
Disclaimer : I have no idea how technically feasible either of these suggestions is since I have no expertise in these areas ! I've just considered that encrypted data is all well and good but if there is no locked vault visible then nobody will ask for the key :)
One of those 40k was me
I phoned to close my account the week after I first heard and I've now been happily on Plus Net for a couple of weeks now :)
There was a couple of factors, first I didn't want anything to do with Sky but also I've been waiting for BE to do Fibre for over a year and nothing, no news. Even registered my interest a year ago and didn't get a single update. Now on PlusNet I'm getting a tested 60Mpbs down and 12Mpbs upload and I'm paying I think an extra fiver a month.
That said I've never had a problem with BE over 7 years and their customer service was excellent even when quitting. Didn't have to send my modem back but then it was 7 years old lol
It was the fibre that was my issue and sky the final nail in the coffin.
"Or the US could adopt VAT......."
A flat 20% "Value Added Tax" for luxury goods that ends up being applied to pretty much everything including fuel ? In addition to income tax ?
Can't see that going down well !
I console myself that we're not the most taxed country and some are worse. Not many though.
Re: Raspberry Pi
Well in this case consider that it would be great for someone who already has a NAS and wants to setup an interface with the outside world without touching the NAS setup with new unproven Beta software. I'd consider it since my QNAP NAS is getting on a bit and I'd rather not tinker with it too much.
The Pi could just handle the client only and sit on the normal network between the NAS and the internet. I have a gigbit switch so the addition of the 100Mbit Pi wouldn't slow things down and nothing faster is needed interfacing to the Pi since my internet currently caps at way below this.
As another scenario have the Pi act as a client with those files you want to share on the Pi and the rest on the PC and every now and then do a sync.... the Pi effectively becomes your backup client then and a mini NAS.
I think you're thinking of NAS for movies, especially at 1080p requiring massive storage and high bandwidth but don't forget there are many other uses.
"That must have been one hell of a quick reputation to gain, and i've missed it completely. Show me what i'm missing and where it's mentioned - that's all."
Seconded ! I was under the impression iOS still rules the GUI with the BB OS trying to innovate with much swiping of fingers and the Windows Phone not much discussed. Android of course as the established middle ground many people measure against due to sheer numbers.
I'm going to put this down as a reputation within the press not the public since I think I'd struggle to find anyone I know with a Windows Nokia.
As for myself I may move from my n900 to a BB Q10 but I'm not sure I like the keypad. Regarding a Nokia Win Phone well I'll think about it in 2 to 3 years time when it's stabilised... my golden rule for anything with "Windows" in the name.
Re: I must be old fashioned
Well there are settings for what shows in your feed so you can keep the annoying poster(s) as friends but stop their posts showing in your feed. Filtered to status updates, photos, comments etc... unfortunately shared/reposted crap isn't a specific category but it someone is resharing too much you won't see their status updates or whatever anyway so may as well filter them out completely !
Here you go, I even googled it for you... http://en-gb.facebook.com/help/335291769884272/
It's dead handy :)
Re: bitcoin hosting: good idea? alternatives?
Well this might be your main obstacle "under a domain I choose".
Owning a domain requires registration and that registration requires full details such as Name, Address and Contact Number. You could place an extra obstacle by creating a shall company with a PO Box number but that would be a minor speed bump to pass while they look up the Company Owner (you).
Well Google want you to use Chrome, trust your documents, email and life to Google+ and use them for search too.
That is pretty much most of your online life... ALL your online life if the site you visit also use Google Ads since they can track/trace you there too.
So yes I'm in IT but sorry, I'm not going anywhere near personally. Not because I have any privacy issues (though privacy is nice) but because I don't want to give all that information away for free. What I'll do if/when they require a G+ account to search I'm not sure yet.
For the IT hardcore rather than trendy there's Diaspora which has excellent privacy but it's such an obscure/bizarre setup and frankly such a daft name that I've little chance of recruiting my friends/contacts to it.... shame really for the sake of a name !
Re: Use of Foul Language.
Yes this is a "professional web review" but no this isn't the Daily Fail so if you're lost then this is a tech site with a less serious and even humorous angle. I'm confident that most readers will not have found the wording offensive.
Incidentally I think you mean "manner" since an offensive manor would be one like this :
(offensive to many poor people at the time it was built anyway)
In Civ 5 there's a Strategic View which gives you the map in old-school hex format.
I tend to use the 3D view most of the time but switch to Strategic when there's serious battles going on and I want to see exactly what's going on. It also makes the game playable on lower spec machines too like my W500 tablet PC :)
Backwards Compatability ?
I'm suprised nobody has raised this yet but what does everything think the odds are that the PS4 will play PS3 games ?
If it does I'm a dead cert on a release model since my 60gig 1st gen PS3 is running fine but I'm getting nervous about how much longer it will last.
It is doesn't then I may buy a PS3 cheapo slim and stick with the perfectly acceptable PS3 for a while longer. Possibly putting the money into a 3D TV instead :)
Re: And another word for...
Sorry but opening your statement with this :
"After downing a civilian airliner in the region years ago..."
Kinda means I have no faith in this :
"highly train professionals"
While I'm at it your point 2 has no relavance though you admit to it.
As for point 3 this isn't Starcraft ! Please see WW1 for an example of that number does not equal victory. I see your point with the missles but these really aren't needed, most US ships are armed with perfectly capable Gatling guns with ample range and smart enough targetting to sore a hit... more so if there are plenty of targets.
Re: VPNs to be banned in the UK.
If you and me setup a VPN with encrypted with a key we share then the ISP and the CSP don't have access to the unecypyted data. Only you and me.
There are apps free apps to setup private VPN's between friends already, often with gaming in mind.
I'm going to be generous then assume then that you mean a VPN provided by a CSP/ISP
Re: Things I need a CD drive for...
I think much of my thinking is based around having many USB Drives fail on me so I just don't trust them. Also they are not a complete solution at the moment so one day I will completely retire my optical drive but not yet.
Things I need a CD drive for...
Windows reinstalls : Yes you can boot from USB but my windows dics are CD/DVDs (no I don't want to use Linux)
Backups : USB is great as a quick dirty method of shifting files but I've had enough fail to show it's not reliable. At this point someone will suggest backing up to the cloud but burning my photos to CD is FAR easier.
Games : Sure there's Steam etc now but many games most come on disc (with nasty copy protection)
Actually that's it but those are REALLY important.
I have a Acer W500 windows tablet pc with no drive and it's a pain, the games I've bodged by making ISO images but that only works with the older games. Backups I can do with my main PC so that's fine but if I want to reinstall it one day I really hope it detects and boots from a USB Drive nicely.
Maybe I'm slow to change since I still have a floppy drive fitted and I really haven't needed that in years, not since the windows install stopped needing to read the controller drivers on install.... it's nice to have it there though
Re: Might as well just bite the bullet.
Not so cozy..... once in Sweden the US will restart proceedings to extradite him to the States where he faces BIG deterrant style jail time.
It's why many people are cynical about the rape charges which should really be taken seriously.
As it stands it is highly convient for the US that the charges in Sweden put him in a country which will be happy to extradite him to the US.... it seems the UK turned them down (genuine suprise there !)
Mainstream desktop CPUs ?
Not to be picky but the title promised MAINSTREAM CPUs and then actually talked about APUs where the CPU and GPU and intergrated into one chip which is FAR from mainstream.
I did find it interesting since I do own an Acer W500 which has one of the AMD Fusion APUs. Also in answer to someone elses query at to what is the point.... tablets and laptops are exactly the point !
The confusion with desktop and cpu is definately showing here though !
I suggest "Intel and AMD portable APUs compared" instead :)
Re: The fire kept going out ...
We didn't start the fire, it was always burning since...... ok, getting coat & going....
Maybe I'm having a slow day but....
.... can someone explain what this actually means ?
There's an assumed level of knowledge that I just don't have :(
Still, I get to use the WTF icon :)
Wasn't MKV that game where someone thought it was a bright idea to have a helmet mounted gun ?
Re: No GoPro?
Well don't forget you've got to look good plunging down that mountain side and duct tape just doesn't look cool
Re: Xbox Live
You might have just sold me an xbox !
Re: Only us geeks care about OS versions
"The graph suggests Apple users DO upgrade their phones."
More likely their phones are mostly upgraded for them when they sync to itunes to update their music and photos. itunes will prompt, they'll blindly click through the options and hey preto they are upgraded !
Also Android users generally do not expect an upgrade... the general man in the street hear that iphones get upgraded but are perfectly accepting that every other phone out there stays with the software it was purchased with.
That's being the state of play since the early days and hasn't changed much. Especially since new software is something many manufacturers use to to flog us new phones.
The Kebab in the Telegraph acticle looks a bit posh for a post pub job.
More likely to be a donner I think lol
Bye bye split screen...
Well the controller with screen looks like a win for living room multiplayer.... racing and fps games without split screen cheating :) The main screen could show "highlights" from fixed cams like that pass to take 1st place or kill shots making it something for a party audience to watch.
Re: Unfriend them - agreed
"Also, you can share stuff with people even if they only have an email address."
That bit doesn't sound better.... sounds like someone "sharing" something with me from Google Plus via email spam. A win and a fail
Re: Some good names missed.
I still dabble with Star Wars Supremacy sometimes, runs fine on my windows 7 tablet pc though it needs the mouse really. Epic and insanely complicated strategy ? Yes please :)
I was hoping for some "new" in my news but it seems not. Just an article using a speech closing funny as the basis for recycling the news from the last week :(
I'm not sure IRDA failed as a whole since it's still used in so many TVs but I guess you meant in terms of data transfer.
Taking the TV example a step further my PS3 remote is bluetooth and there is a definate lag on first use. I'm not sure if that lag outweights the benefit of not needing line of sight since I'm always sat in front of the TV when using the remote (Play TV).
I still wanting to point it at the TV anyway... havn't trained myself out of that yet !
To the OP... this is innovation so quit complaining !
Yes there are technologies out there already which do similar jobs but that's not the point.
I think that is all I need to say
Re: Ugly and wasteful form factor
Agreed.... looks like my n900 is too old to qualify but I recommend it !
Re: Oh for the old days...
"£50 for 2 years' gameplay is still very very cheap by any other standards of media."
I dispute this on the basis that if I buy a blu ray for 20 quid I can watch it until the disc falls apart and I think a 30 year life span is reasonable for those discs.
Of course if you're talking about games, say a mmorg then yes 50 quid for 2 years is good.... but this isn't.
For a more realistic comparision try Balders Gate, single player & co-op but still playable over 10 years later since it's not dependant on any back end servers.
Damn my spelling & grammer need work
"With a valid Apple ID and a password, investigators can not only retrieve backups to seized devices, but access that information in real-time while the phone is still in the hands of a suspect."
If the phone is in the hands of a suspect it's not exactly sized is it ?
That said you could size their laptop "forget" about the iphone (knowing they use iCloud) and then you can extract and crack the password from the laptop itunes, access the iCloud backup and then tap into their calls & texts without ever touching the iphone.... genious !
I would hope that needs a warrant though.
Finally in any other circles this would be treated as an outragous hack and backdoor into your backed up data. But since it's only available to "security & law enforcement services" it's ok then ?
Re: Got to love the titles here
If you consider the implications this is news because once they have access to your iCloud backup they can access a complete backup on the phone in your pocket.
Now since the phone backs up whever it finds a wifi network it can use if you're wandering close to somewhere with public wifi (most city centers) then they have close to real time access to call logs and text messages. All completely unknown to the "perp" / target.
Remember that this information will be logged and saved in advance.
So acess to call records & call content via a court order means that they will gain access to your records for as far back as the phone company have them (5 years ?). Also they could tap your phone to record your phone calls.
Now under this proposal they will log all the sites you visit, the content of all the emails you send and much more. They then have to get a court order to access that data but it would be already there on their equipment.
However it's not like there are 3rd parties involved (eg BT) so it would be trivial to lower the requirements. Putting this into the phone context everyone knows it's comparable to them recording all your phone calls (& text msgs) and then promising that they'll ask before listening to them.
I think the article said encrypted passwords..... reverseable ? maybe