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1  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Politicians forking the block chain on: June 23, 2012, 03:24:54 PM
Let's assume that Bitcoin catches on in the future and is used for all kinds of online payments by a huge number of legitimate businesses. What happens when a large political power, like the USA or EU, decides to regulate Bitcoin within their borders by regulating the rules used by clients?

Merchants and traders would have to adhere to the new rules, which I'm guessing would make Bitcoin fall out of favour or fork the block chain dividing the currency into regional networks. At this point we'd have lots of local currencies depending on regulations enforced by local government.

Anyone care to speculate on what would happen in this case, or why it won't/can't happen?
2  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / transaction history changes on: January 22, 2012, 08:25:35 PM
I set up a daily alert on one of my addresses changing, as per Casascius's smart idea of using Bitcoin as a hacker canary, and got a couple of email alerts which are worrying:

As you can see, the balance didn't change but the transaction history did, there's no mention of a bug on BlockExplorer's home page.

Was BlockExplorer's transaction history wrong for a day? Is it right now? Does this happen often? Can we trust it‽
3  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Idea: Secure bitcoin web-based wallets on: August 26, 2011, 01:23:50 AM
Not sure if this has been discussed before, but I think it would be very useful.

If we had deterministic addresses made by a huge pass-phrase, plus a JavaScript library that can create and sign transactions, we could potentially have web wallets that don't hold any coins and instead just check your balance and post transactions to the network. The sites themselves could even charge an additional transaction fee, refusing to forward transactions that don't pay up. It of course wouldn't be completely secure, but IMO it would be a lot more secure than a centralized banking system like MyBitcoin.

Is this feasible/desirable? Has any work been done on this idea or one like it?
4  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Mutable wallets: why? on: July 23, 2011, 05:31:02 AM
Are there clear advantages of having a wallet that mutates whenever we open the Bitcoin client, or is this an artefact of some other design decision?

I can see several disadvantages:

1) My wallet file constantly changes, so I need to keep backing it up every time I use it.
2) It grows over time, becoming harder and harder to manage.
3) If I replace it with an old backup, I have to rescan because (I'm assuming that) transaction cache data exists within the wallet (why?!)
4) If my computer crashes while Bitcoin is writing to the wallet then it has a chance of becoming corrupted.

Is there a good reason why we don't have just one address held in a file that never changes, that's easy to back up and holds no state data?
Do we need all 100 addresses in there, do we need more than one or two?
5  Other / Politics & Society / Do libertarians support the idea of information as property? on: July 02, 2011, 12:04:00 AM
As per the subject, do the hard-core libertarians here support intellectual property? Are copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, personality rights and other notions of information as property justified, given that they are essentially state-sponsored monopolies, regulations that infringe on people's freedoms of expression, trade and action, often by use of force.

However, without copyright we wouldn't have free software or huge investments in proprietary software, without patents all inventions would be secret, without trademarks there would be no high quality brands due to market saturation by counterfeiting, and so on and so on.

So which information should be protected by regulation and/or treated as property, and why?
6  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / The official Bitcoin client looks awful on: July 01, 2011, 05:41:55 PM
I understand that this may go down like a lead balloon, but please read it anyway because I think it's important.

I'm a programmer rather than a designer, but I can tell a good looking app from one that was made by programmers alone. The official Bitcoin client is one of the latter. For the system to take off we need a good looking client.

How do we make a good looking client?

Well, first of all we need to decide what's wrong with the official client. The main thing I can see with it is that it's full of technical jargon that means nothing to a first time user before they've read the manual, and we all know that users never read the manual. It lacks tooltips to explain the jargon, visual cues and metaphors to show what the things mean. It also just looks ugly, there are no graphics other than the send and address book icons (which are actually reasonably nice and easy to understand IMO)

What does "134,184 blocks" mean to a user? A time-based approach would be more informative. Tell them how out-of-date they are, not some arbitrary number that they don't understand!

What does "2 connections" mean to a user? Showing this as a red to green bar, with a tooltip giving suggestions of how to get better connectivity would be much more user-friendly.

IMO the list of transactions shouldn't even be visible on the first page, it's distracting and noisy. What does "50 confirmations" mean to a user anyway? Offer them some advice here, set a threshold for "confirmed" and have the UI show a confirmed balance and an unconfirmed balance. Advise them how much effort someone would need to put in to steal their BTC based on the number of confirmations.

There are probably other things too, but I personally think the client needs some love from a real UI designer, followed by proper user-testing by people's grandparents.
7  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / The sky is falling! The sky is falling! on: June 20, 2011, 08:14:04 PM
Jewish lizards control the entire BTC supply. CIA has an FPGA and quantum computer supercluster churning out fraudulent block-chains,  Rockefellers are in on it too. MTGOX WAS AN INSIDE JOB!11 Did nobody else notice that Satoshi Nakamoto is an anagram of WAKE UP SHEEPLE?!

Am I doing it right?
8  Other / Obsolete (selling) / [Auction] Windows 7 Ultimate (sealed in box) on: June 17, 2011, 07:44:06 PM

I'm selling this for some BTC on BitcoinHop.

It's completely legitimate, bought from Microsoft by a member of staff (I'm currently doing some consultancy for MSFT UK), it's brand new in the box and sealed.

Bidding starts at 3 BTC!

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