37 posts • joined 7 May 2013
He was stupid enough to leave his Bitcoins in an exchange. I guess that's why he's stupid enough to whine about it after the fact.
Re: ... Blood from a stone?
That's like saying that a bank that went bankrupt and lost the 10 kilos of gold in your safety deposit box "can surely just go mine some more".
"One could imagine a similar disaster with ordinary currency; the difference is, a bank that badly run would be shut down by regulators."
Or it would be bailed out using billions of dollars worth of freshly minted currency.
Re: Virtual currency banking has been done before
Ponzi schemes don't recover after a crash.
Re: Sigh @intrigid
I wasn't arguing that Bitcoin is less risky than your bank deposits. Bitcoin is highly speculative, so of course it is very risky.
But if we're talking specifically about default risk, which is what happens at the end of a pyramid scheme, as opposed to valuation risk, then your bank deposits are indeed riskier.
Re: This shows something very interesting/positive
You're pretty dead wrong about that. Bitcoin is still the far and away leader with a $7 billion valuation. Ripple comes in a distant second at $1.4 billion market cap. Litecoin is an equally distant third with a $380 million valuation.
Name one other pyramid scheme that lost 90% of its value ... and then went on to make new highs in the future. It can't happen. Pyramid schemes don't work that way.
Pyramid schemes are insolvent by nature. They're built on debt that can never be repaid, and when they collapse, they can never recover. By definition, fractional reserve banking is a pyramid scheme. Everyone knows that the bank doesn't have enough money to pay all its depositors. Yet everyone accepts this as normal. Quite literally, you should be much more worried about the money in your checking account being swallowed up in a pyramid scheme than the Bitcoins in your virtual wallet.
Until the day comes that contracts are denominated in Bitcoins, there can be no such thing as Bitcoin debt. Therefore, Bitcoin by nature cannot be a pyramid scheme.
Try thinking of Bitcoins more like Pogs or Magic: The Gathering cards, only much easier to trade.
If Monopoly money suddenly started trading for face value on the open market, you would be calling that a ponzi scheme too. And you would be wrong about that as well.
Overvaluation is NOT the same as a pyramid scheme.
Re: Isn't Bitcoin itself ...
No, Bitcoin is not a ponzi scheme. Neither was the tulip bulb mania of the 1600s. You could make the case that both are speculative bubbles destined to crash, but only a complete ignoramus whose mouth is too fast for his brain would describe either of them as being a ponzi scheme.
Well, let's see. The "recovery" is mainly defined by two things: Falling unemployment and rising asset prices. One component of the falling unemployment rates is people exiting the workforce. When your unemployment insurance runs out, you have officially exited the work force and you contribute to the falling unemployment rate. Also, the decline in full time jobs in combination with the rise in part time jobs contributes to a rising total number of jobs even while aggregate employment falls. Repeat this for a few million people and it can be quite significant. This is why we see unemployment falling to multi-year lows, yet the total number of people not in the labor force continues to reach all-time highs. The other component is rising asset prices. Conveniently excluded from the "inflation" index, prices of stocks and real estate continue to be fueled by loose monetary policy. It's clear enough that stock prices have far outpaced earnings in the past two years. As for real estate, prices continue to rise while the number of mortgage applications continue to fall. The percentage of homes purchased in all-cash is reaching all-time highs, even surpassing the numbers in the 2005 housing bubble. This is pretty clearly signalling a speculative bubble and the greater fool theory. And of course, let's not forget the fact that governments have debt levels far higher than they ever were in the previous housing bubble, making them unable to tolerate interest rates even as high as the historically-low rates of 2005. Of course, they continue to pretend that their "tapering" or easing up on the gas pedal in any way means that they could ever think about pressing the brakes. We're on a bus that will blow up if it ever goes below 50MPH, but unfortunately there won't be any Keanu Reeves coming along to shuttle everyone off.
But doesn't it just sound nicer to point to unemployment rates and asset prices and say that we're "slowly but surely" recovering?
Re: I don't understand
Bizarre as it sounds, extremely low prices can be more of a motivator for people to pirate. When a person sees a .99 app, they perceive it as having a very low value. They almost expect it to be garbage. If they pay for it and it turns out to be garbage, they'll feel like a sucker who got reeled in. To avoid any risk of feeling that way, they just go ahead and pirate it.
Conversely, very few people will be afraid to pay 19.99 for a game that's critically acclaimed, addicting, and played by millions around the world.
Re: This event that's happening now happened a long time ago
The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics really needs to go away. It's almost as bad as Deepak Chopra's interpretation of quantum mechanics, and I am NOT exaggerating when I say that.
Does this impact LogMeIn Hamachi, a very useful tool for playing LAN-based multiplayer games with your friends over the internet?
Your entire argument is a disaster.
"The password he was required to give is, in itself, not evidence against himself"
First of all, what if his password was "I_confess_to_the_crimes_of_xyz"? Wouldn't the requirement for him to give up his password be in direct conflict with his right not to incriminate himself? Please don't say "Well, he would be stupid to do that" because fundamental rights belong to everyone, not just the intelligent.
Secondly, other than name, date of birth, and address, ANY AND ALL information that you give to the police is potentially incriminating. The police can demand to know what your favorite color is, and you are STILL protected from having to tell them this. That's because police can, and do, twist anything you say to make you appear as guilty as possible.
That is why nobody can ever be "required" to give "innocent" information to the police.
"Additionally, as he had already been convicted of a serious crime, there was probable cause "
No. Wrong. A criminal record NEVER constitutes probable cause. If it did, the police would be entitled to search his car, search his home, etc etc, every day for the rest of his life.
"As he had already been convicted of a crime, the right not to incriminate oneself becomes moot: as he is no longer capable of incriminating himself as he has been found guilty. "
It pains me to have to explain how wrong you are on this. NO, A CRIMINAL RECORD DOES NOT REVOKE YOUR RIGHT NOT TO INCRIMINATE YOURSELF IN FUTURE CRIMES. THAT I NEED TO EXPLAIN THIS TO YOU IS DEEPLY DISTURBING.
"but again, concealment of evidence is taken more seriously and the right to silence does not protect the concealer."
You are just 100 percent dead wrong. Nobody on this planet is legally required to provide evidence that might be used against them. This is so basic it almost gives me a headache.
"(Somewhat analogous are court decisions in the US stating that income must be declared even if the result of criminality and a failure to declare such income renders one liable for imprisonment for income tax evasion."
And there's a very good argument to be made, a slam-dunk case even, that the laws in the tax code are unconstitutional. The only reason the IRS can get away with this is because filing an income tax return is officially declared a voluntary act, not compulsory. However, the law states that you MUST volunteer to submit your 100% completely non-compulsory income tax return. If you fail to volunteer, you're guilty of tax evasion.
Pointing to the Internal Revenue Service as a role model of legality is ridiculous.
How is this conscionable at all? I thought "No obligation to incriminate one's self" is a fundamental tenant of the justice system of literally every country in the world.
Re: I think Bitcoin will die a death very soon
The problem with trying to fix the value of various commodities relative to each other is that people will game the system. If fuel suddenly became scarce while iron was plentiful, then people would dump their worthless iron into the government's coffers to snatch up the precious fuel. Eventually, the government would have to abandon its scheme when it simply runs out of fuel.
They tried this exact scheme with gold and silver, trying to fix their price at a 15:1 ratio, and they eventually abandoned it for those exact reasons.
The only way for a government to back its currency with a "basket" of commodities is to have a "basket" of different currencies. But that's really not the point.
What the heck?
"IBM research staff member Emanuel Loertscher – the room’s architect – claims his clean room produces less than half the noise of any rival facility – 30dB versus 65dB."
That is NOT a halving of the noise levels. Decibels are logarithmic, whereby a 10 decibel difference represents a 10x difference in noise levels. A 35 decibel reduction in noise means that it is about 3000 times quieter.
Wait, "literally the coolest thing in the universe"?
At 5000 light years away, I assume that it's inside our own galaxy.
Given that there are billions of other galaxies, how do we know that there aren't colder nebulae out there?
Seems that someone got careless with the word "literally".
What's with this common theme perpetrated that as soon as Microsoft stops releasing patches, Windows XP machines everywhere will become overrun with viruses and be unusable within weeks?
Still using XP on both my main home computers, and I sometimes go a full year without installing updates. I don't think I've installed an update on my laptop in over 3 years. Never had a problem.
The planet may not be as "valuable" as previously thought? Are astronomists really this ignorant about what gives objects worth?
Even a 5 year old would understand why extraterrestrial entities have no value.
Barkeep, I'll have a sphere of beer please.
Basically my entire music collection consists of FLAC files that I've personally ripped from CDs. Almost all the CDs are ones I've borrowed from the public library. Every song that I listen to on my smartphone is in lossless format. I choose to rip from actual CDs instead of downloading the FLAC files from torrent, because I know what I'm getting. You never know, some idiot might have heard that "FLAC is better" and so he converted his MP3s to FLAC and decided to upload those.
For me, it's about choosing not to sacrifice audio quality. Do I claim to be able to hear the difference between a 320kbps MP3 and uncompressed CD audio? Who knows, maybe I can't. But here's one thing I do know: I'm utterly sick of listening to MP3 artifacts everywhere I go. From horrible streaming services such as Sirius/XM to people playing their iPod playlists at parties, it's quite frankly pathetic how our standards have receded. Seriously, does nobody else find it bizarre that the "gold standard" of sound quality today (high bitrate MP3) is actually _inferior_ to what everyone listened to 25 years ago (cd audio)? All of this despite the fact that listening to all of our music in full CD quality is 100x cheaper and/or easier than it was back then.
My FLACs are my oasis of escape from the bullshit. I can rest assured that no matter what song I'm listening to, no matter what I think sounds strange or odd in the song, it has NOTHING to do with some quality-sacrificing codec artifact.
THAT, and THAT ALONE, is the reason why I have still have use for CDs.
Anyone's guess? Uh, my guess is that the list WASN'T restricted at all, considering that everyone was able to use it!
Re: Anyone buys iPods anymore ?
Better yet, why not just use a Galaxy S3 and copy your music wirelessly if need be? And be allowed to install the best music playing software in the world, and be free from format restrictions. You can even store all your music in lossless format, and if you run out of space, swap out your memory card with a cheap SDXC!
I maintain that if aliens visit our planet and study our society, their first question will be why all our database commands are passed back and forth in alphanumeric strings.
Re: As near as I've been able to ascertain...
So let me get this straight: You're criticizing people for worshiping vigilantism, and then you go on to say that you would be a vigilante and gladly accept your punishment?
The amazing thing is that rest of your post made even less sense.
Re: Microsoft: "We're always listening to our customers"
“Listen, smile, agree, and then do whatever the fuck you were gonna do anyway.” – Robert Downey Jr.
"The actions of the NSA were "lawful," said Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)"
So were the actions of the Nazis.
It depresses me that IT gets excited over an absurdly complex solution to an embarrassingly simple problem. It's like a fast food manager discovering that his employees aren't washing their hands after the bathroom, and instead of training them on proper procedures, he injects powerful antibacterial chemicals into all the food. Or something.
The problem is caused by connecting two languages (a frontend and a database) to each other using a ridiculous string parsing layer. The entire IT industry has accepted this as OK, why exactly?
"but why not say what you really mean, and replace "tyranny" with "evil"?"
Because I mean "tyranny", not "evil".
Tyranny, by my definition which might be wrong, is when government controls its populace with an iron fist.
Bitcoin might threaten the ability of governments to tax, and therefore survive. But since citizens are also capable of evil, tyranny may have a harder time surviving than evil, so I don't see how you can equate the two words.
Re: Rarity does not make value
You're absolutely correct that rarity does not automatically mean value.
You're completely wrong that the USD represents a slice of GDP, or a slice of anything for that matter. The USD stopped representing anything 42 years ago.
" Sovereignty Is threatened by a currency which isn't under the control of the state, but I've long since given up trying to get Bitcoin fanatics to understand that"
It's the Bitcoin fanatics who are trying to convince the detractors of this, not the other way around as you suggest.
And the way you've phrased your sentence, isn't "sovereignty" just the another word for "tyranny"?
Re: Virtual vs fiat
Both have no intrinsic value whatsoever.
The differences between fiat currency and virtual currencies such as Bitcoin:
- Fiat is by government decree, and its use is required by law. Virtual currencies are 100% voluntary.
- Fiat practically always inflates and loses value. Bitcoin, by design is similar to gold in that its supply is finite and cannot be created. Similar to how a standard deck of cards is fixed at 52, the maximum bitcoin supply is fixed at 21 million. Any deviation from this is not considered part of the system.
- At some point, the supply of Bitcoins will actually shrink: If someone dies and takes their Bitcoin password with them, those Bitcoins are gone forever. This would imply a higher value for the remaining Bitcoins, which is another reason to want to own them.
- As it is today, Bitcoin is not a currency, rather a junior currency prospect. People who buy Bitcoins should expect massive volatility and very high risk, but also the possibility of massive capital gains. At some point, if Bitcoin proves successful, the volatility will die down and it will become widely accepted as a medium of exchange, but at a much higher price than today.
Re: Virtual vs fiat
"The government says that fiat currency has value"
The government says nothing of the sort. Users decide the value in both cases.
First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.
The hilarious part will be after they pass laws taxing and regulating the exchange of Bitcoin, when they realize that there's no way to actually enforce the laws or track the exchanges!
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