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1  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Is there ever a possibility of a difficult decrease? on: June 16, 2011, 07:18:47 PM
Yes. There is a real possibility of a difficulty decrease. Mining is valuable activity, and mining pools have a great opportunity to trade on that value to other proof-of-work block chains, whether those are Namecoin or a bitcoin clone or alternative. With the buy in from a major mining pool, it would be a trivial task to launch a second bitcoin, and the members of that pool would benefit from the cheap coins in the new pool. It would take a while for exchange rates between the two currencies to stabilize and for a while the hashing power would be spread across one or more currencies, lowering the difficulty for bitcoin. Longer term, I suspect that more sophisticated work assignments could be distributed to mining clients. Personally, I'd like to see a distributed AI constructed in such a fashion, but that's just the cognitive psychologist in me speculating!
2  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: What is your current BTC situation? on: June 16, 2011, 05:56:32 PM
Bought 9 BTC at 9.3 USD through http://virwox.com/ as soon as I could about a month ago, just to get some "stake in the game". (USD -> SLL -> BTC). I knew the technology was sound from crypto and ecash discussions back in the Internet bubble, and was just waiting for something to emerge. I've purchased some more through Mt. Gox, and unfortunately bought some right during the run-up to $30, so some of my coins are underwater, but I've always been bullish on the long term, so I'm not worried. However, I'm still learning a lot about trading and trading psychology. I probably should have sold some when it was hitting $30 and the volume was beginning to drop out, I could feel the crash coming.  I also feel that BTC has a tendancy to level at every "doubling plateau" .. i.e. $4 -> $8. I think that the Gawker article (http://gawker.com/5805928/the-underground-website-where-you-can-buy-any-drug-imaginable) spiked attention, and considering the delay in transferring funds through Dwolla / Mt. Gox, I think that the run-up hit right when a bunch of money came online.  I'd like to buy more at this price, because I feel that while it will level for another week, it will then start to rally until it hits the next plateau.That's ignoring any relevant press coverage. I think there is a lot of money sitting on the sidelines waiting for the next "institutional buy", or very large buy which drives the market back up. That's my 0.02 BTC. I'm still under 100 BTC total, and I've got more to invest in time and effort than money at the moment, but as a former software engineer, I'm sure there's an angle, because I think the opportunity is as large as those suggested by the first Internet browser.
3  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: www.bitcoin.org is suspiciously slow in China on: June 16, 2011, 02:56:43 AM
www.bitcoin.org is BLOCKED in China

http://www.greatfirewall.biz/www.bitcoin.org

A Google search of bitcoin is still working.
4  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: HOWTO: create a 100% secure wallet on: June 16, 2011, 01:30:21 AM
Personally, I like the idea of running Bitcoin in a virtual machine with no other programs installed on it. Windows 7 has virtual PC built right into it, and Virtual PC is available as a download for Windows XP. Plus, it's a way of doing things that can be explained to your mother or father. There's only two files to move. The only issue is that they generally are larger than 2G, so you need to NTFS format a USB drive. Then if you need to securely remove the files, you can secure erase the Virtual PC files and be relatively assured that they are not going to be found as a deleted file.

I thought I was pretty clever, until I met a guy who pointed out, that if you store your wallet.dat in a safe deposit box, you don't even need to see the blocks get downloaded to a new client. You can go to block explorer and verify that the funds have been transferred. Granted, you do need to install the wallet to transfer the coins.

Unfortunately, multiple wallets is somewhat inevitable, and although bitcoin tries to hide the mechanics of all the key management, I think address management is a huge risk. People have a natural tendancy to use the last-known-good address and wait for something to go wrong. I'm sure we all know people who would write one bitcoin address down once, and expect it to always work. That's a really dangerous expectation. By this point, I've installed the client on 4 different machines several times, and although I don't need all of those addresses .. if it's out there .. there's a risk someone will use it.
5  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Introduce yourself :) on: June 16, 2011, 01:12:53 AM
I must admit, I am slightly less prone to hand out free loot to someone that does not know how to spell "opportunity"....twice.

Ha ha, point taken. I need to memorize that spelling, because it always takes me 5 tries to fix the spelling when Firefox underlines it. I actually noticed it just before posting, but it was after I signed the message, so fixing it would have meant signing it again.

I don't see the point to PGP signing every message, but I figure that it is a basic identity that I can offer as proof that I'm not a spammer. It might take longer to prove that I'm not an idiot, however!

Q: Why did the newbie post on the forum board?
A: Because even a chicken can make 5 forum posts!

Obviously, my sense of humor sucks too, but at least I'm not batman!

Op-POR-tu-ni-ty.  Op-POR-tu-ni-ty.  Op-POR-tu-ni-ty. Got it!
6  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Newbie restrictions on: June 16, 2011, 01:04:54 AM
Reading through all these newbie messages .. most of them aren't worth reading and in some sense, weren't worth writing in the first place. That doesn't make much sense to me. That's just adding more noise to signal.

However, the best newbie messages I've read were constructed in the form of what that user would LIKE to post, and generally those messages bother to cite the messages they are interested in. I guess that's good etiquette.  I truly am a newbie. I generally detest forums, and I couldn't begin to tell you if 5 or 50 messages is best. I can understand why experienced forum members get sick of going over the same stuff, over and over. I think some systems just make newbie messages invisible. Maybe that's better.

I guess it all comes down to "proof of work" doesn't it?

Q: How many bitcoin miners does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: None, a light bulb is just another electrical cost and heat source. Besides, look at all these LEDs!
7  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Whitelist Requests (Want out of here?) on: June 16, 2011, 12:41:14 AM
I'm actually okay with being a newbie for a while. I've never really participated in a forum before, even though I've searched them many times before. It actually enforces a certain kind of discipline to read through everything, and to get a sense of the overall culture of the site.

Of course, it is somewhat boring to read through a bunch of posts of people just asking to be white listed.

Q: How many bitcoin forum newbies does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: None, they can't get to it from the newbie forum.

Q: How many whitelisted forum newbies does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: None, they can get to it, but they figure the admins can go screw it in.
8  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Introduce yourself :) on: June 16, 2011, 12:01:41 AM

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA256

Hi, my name is Eamon. I am an artist and life coach. I was a
software during the Internet bubble of '97-'01 and burned out hard.
I think bitcoin is the most exciting thing I've seen since I first
saw the Mozilla browser in 1993.  I just finished a B.S. degree in
Psychology, and although I'd like to go on to medical school, I see
Bitcoin as a unique oppurtunity. I've worked for an Internet
startup, and I've had my own consulting company. I'm fresh, and
ready to work like hell launching a new idea. I guess I might be go
back to being a software architect for a while.

I think the most interesting thing about Bitcoin is "alternative block
chains".  I also like using "prediction markets", such as Inkling Markets.
I put one prediction there, and would like to create more, but Bitcoin is
moving so fast!

I don't expect anyone to read this, since I guess we're all just trying to
get out of the Newbie box, but if there was one thing that I would want to
peirce through all the noise, it's this - "Life isn't fair. It's not your
job to make it fair. There is an oppurtunity here, take it, make it your
own, and spread the value to everyone you care about. If you could be a
thousand times more effective than you are RIGHT NOW, what would you be
doing?"

- -----
If you want to give me money, track me down in person. I want to provide
value, not beg for it.

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Version: PGP Desktop 10.1.1 (Build 10) - not licensed for commercial use: www.pgp.com
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9  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / www.bitcoin.org is suspiciously slow in China on: June 03, 2011, 06:29:47 PM
http://www.greatfirewall.biz/www.bitcoin.org

Is anyone seeing client blocking?
10  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Re: New Attack Vector on: May 17, 2011, 05:30:35 PM
This actually is quite similar to another "corner case" that I've been wondering about.  Consider the following scenario:

User downloads installs bitcoin into a windows virtual machine, the copies the virtual machine to multiple locations.

Each of the virtual machines attempt to engage in transactions (receiving, sending, or even mining and block verification.)

What function is mitigating the collisions between clients, and which client becomes most authorative?  While I see how this could result in issues in transaction confirmation, wouldn't confirmations by those cloned entities result in confirmation corruption?
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