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1  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Illegal content in the blockchain on: July 21, 2011, 02:43:31 PM
Someone should write a program that interprets random chunks of the blockchain as bitmap data, and see what pops out.
This sounds like the Bible Code. If you take a large pseudo-random data source, apply thousands of analysis functions over it, and apply a liberal dose of interpretation to the results, you'll undoubtedly end up with "meaningful data". It's like Rorschach blobs.

I suspect if you make images out of the block chain data, you'll probably find at least 4 or 5 vaguely plausible pictures. The problem is finding them amongst the 10 million random noise pictures.
2  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Lol'd at Mt. Gox on: July 20, 2011, 09:33:22 AM
...still waiting for my 40 bitcoins...
3  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Lol'd at Mt. Gox on: July 19, 2011, 11:37:44 PM
huh ?   I said if they can find me another business that has fucked their customer base and made them pay - they won't find another because it doesn't happen ....

now  for the stupidity I demand another 40 bitcoins with the original 40 bitcoins! Grin
No, you specifically said "I'll pay you 40 Bitcoins if you ever heard of someone fucking it up...", not "I'll pay you 40 Bitcoins if you ever heard of someone else fucking it up". You might have meant "someone else", but that's not what you said. I have indeed heard of someone who fucked it up and then had those very customers pay, because you just explained it in earlier posts.

Therefore I am entitled to my 40 Bitcoins please... Grin

(Plus I gave you two examples, so even without the legal linguistic pedantry, I still have given you another business: UK banks.)
4  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Lol'd at Mt. Gox on: July 19, 2011, 11:22:15 PM
I'll pay you 40 Bitcoins if you ever heard of someone fucking it up then having those very customers have to pay for something they should have already covered.
MtGox fucked it up and then has had those very customers pay for something they should have already covered. By your own declaration.

Also, I believe that the crux of the current banking crisis is that they fucked it, and then the customers are having to pay to put it right. That's certainly the case within the UK.

Can I have my 40 BTC now please? I'll PM you the address you can deposit if you want.
5  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: What programming language to learn? on: July 11, 2011, 10:44:13 PM
Has anyone mentioned Free Pascal? It has an IDE and it can virtually do anything and natively with practically any CPU or O/S. For GUI applications you can use Lazarus IDE and practically most widget sets. Its fully open sourced.

It has a rich ancestry with Delphi and Turbo Pascal, with tons of open source libraries.

Easy to learn, readable code, object oriented, and simply rock solid fast compiled native executables like C, or C++.

I am thinking of making a bitcoin client port to Lazarus, if only I had some time...
There's a lot to be said for the Pascal based languages. They teach you good practices and principles. You can achieve 99% of the speed and efficiency of compiled C without the high chance of things like memory leaks.

The only problem is that no one really uses Pascal out in the real world, as C-syntax won the battle for popularity. And unfortunately, the Pascal high-level syntax can be confusing when shifting between languages (all future variables having to be declared at the start of functions etc.)

I'd definitely recommend Pascal/Delphi as a language to learn if you want to learn about programming. But don't expect to be contributing to projects any time soon. It's a shame, as it's a good language really.
6  Bitcoin / Pools / Re: [2220 GH/s] Slush's Bitcoin Mining Pool (mining.bitcoin.cz) on: July 11, 2011, 10:59:29 AM
Today attack is over 1.5GB/s with 2.2 million packets per second.
Im not familiar with your rating, is it 1.5 gig usage a second during this attack ? im a noob in ddos(attack) type lingo..
Network traffic is sent in packets, each containing a certain number of bytes.

A Denial Of Service (DoS) attack works by flooding a server or service with hundreds/thousands/millions/etc. of requests at once. Sometimes those are meaningful requests, like lots of HTTP requests; sometimes they are just random packets of crap. The result is often the same: the end server's bandwidth is clogged up with the DOS attack rather than 'real' requests.

Problem with a DOS is that the computer sending it needs an equal amount of bandwidth and resources to make the attack. If you want to flood a server with 1.5GB/s to knock it offline, you also need a 1.5GB/s pipe your end. Most [all] people don't have that.

The solution is rather than having a single computer launch the attack, you split it across multiple computers ... you "distribute" it, hence Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS). Each computer launches a little part of the attack, and collectively they flood the destination server. So instead of 1 fat computer with 1.5GB/s bandwidth needed, you can have 1000 computers each with 1.5MB/s bandwidth (which is realistic). It also makes it harder to block, as you can firewall a single computer, but firewalling 1000 computers is harder.

This is what a botnet is usually used for. The 'bots' in the botnet are all told "go start doing a little DoS attack against this server", and suddenly you get a huge DDoS attack against that server. Some botnets have only 10 or so clients; others have millions. BredoLab is listed on Wikipedia has having over 30 million bot clients...
7  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: What programming language to learn? on: July 10, 2011, 12:31:38 PM
It all depends what you are trying to do. Saying "I want to learn programming, which should I go with?" is rather like saying "I want to do art, which should I go with?". If your goal is to get signed by a record label, learning sculpture is not going to get you very far, even if you are a master at it.

As has been said, the actually language itself is less important than what you learn from it. There are simple concepts that are common to all programming languages, like variables, and ones like iteration, recursion and scope which similarly crop up again and again.

You say you did BASIC? So you probably recognise:
FOR n$ = 1 TO 10
PRINT n$;
NEXT

In PHP it is:
for ($n = 1; $n <= 10; $n++) echo $n . "\r\n";

In Java it is:
for (int n = 1; n <= 10; n++) System.out.println(n);

The point is that it's not the syntax (the words and the grammer) so much as the semantics (what you mean by it) that matters.

But beyond that, it also depends what you are trying to achieve at a higher level. If you are wanting to build a database driven webserver, then you'll find the PHP and SQL are useful, or ASP.NET, or any of the other web languages. Learning Fortran will not greatly help your goal of web work.

If on the other hand, you are wanting to write simple CLI scripts to speed up your work, then things like Bash and SED or Perl are useful (assuming Linux) or even VBScript on Windows.

For embedded systems, C and raw assembler will be far more useful.

So before you can get a good answer, you need to think a little more about exactly what you want to achieve. I know you mentioned scripting, but you need to decide what you want to script, and more importantly, WHY it is beneficial for it to be scripted.
8  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Running bitcoin through TOR on: July 10, 2011, 12:12:46 PM
You can. I'm not sure it achieves a great deal. TOR is about trying to hide the fact that two points A and B are communicating. It makes it difficult to say that A definitely talked to B, or that B was talked to by A.

Bitcoin is a P2P protocol, and all you are transferring is block chain data. I'm not sure having an open connection to the TOR network looks any less 'suspicious' than participating in the Bitcoin P2P. It just means that instead of saying you are definitely looking at Bitcoin, you now have the possibility that you are looking at Bitcoin, or Silk Road, or warez, or kiddie porn, or all manner of other things that people use TOR for.

Assuming you definitely want to, I've tried it and it can be done. You just run TOR, and put the SOCKS proxy information into the Bitcoin client. There are several guides if you Google it.

But again, I don't think it achieves a great deal. You don't really 'log in' to the Bitcoin P2P network, you just participate in it. So unless you are planning on doing some dodgy purchases (at which point you probably need to remember that although the block chain is anonymous, it's also transparent, so any agency with an ounce of statistical hardware can just 'map' your transactions through the chain from your initial deposits to your eventual purchase), I don't think that you'll really gain anything from it. It will also waste the valuable resources of TOR on transferring the multi-megabyte block chain around.

My advice, don't bother.
9  Bitcoin / Pools / Re: [2220 GH/s] Slush's Bitcoin Mining Pool (mining.bitcoin.cz) on: July 10, 2011, 11:59:14 AM
Now redirecting me to google..
I suspect that's an Apache redirect to push traffic off the site; Google is as good a choice as any, as it's large and can handle many thousands of connections at once quite easily. There was mention a few posts back about an "attack", so I'm guessing it is a DDOS of some sort.
10  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitcoin plus - is it owned by a member of this forum? - RANT ALERT! on: July 06, 2011, 08:05:38 PM
We'll just have to agree to differ. You are welcome to think is a "scam" should you wish. Might I suggest that you stop using it immediately. That way, my own share from mining using it will increase, so we both win (I get more BTC, you get to "stop being scammed")

I've already said that I think that it would be beneficial to display a message "warning" newbies who intend to mine ridiculously small amounts that there is no point. But that is not because I think it is a scam. If anything, its the single-crap-PC users who are the scammers, as they are signing up with an implication that they are going to contribute cycles to the pool when in reality that are contributing so little to make it pointless, and then hitting the site with thousands and thousands of tiny withdrawls, each requiring a transaction fee (whether that be 0.01 or 0.0005 or whatever).

Think of it this way: when BCP first started, I could see that it was a quick and dirty way of getting mining without installing software. As it was intended for. So I immediately set top-end CPU boxes going on it, and made myself 0.20BTC. Not a huge amount to be sure, but a start. Then thousands and thousands of silly little 50khash "contributors" signed up, and the pool was diluted massively trying to share out amongst all these miners. So the amount I was earning with each solve reduced massively. On top, or so the site owner explains (quite clearly) when you try to withdraw a ridiculously small amount, you get charged a 0.01 transaction fee for each withdrawl. This is not the owner collecting these in a pot. This is an in-built feature of the network to prevent exactly what all these silly little users are doing: flooding the block chain with thousands of silly tiny transactions like a DDoS. It seems very sensible to me. In fact, the owner originally paid these transaction fees FOR YOU! But that was on the assumption that you were going to be doing sensible mining. When that proved that you couldn't be trusted to do that, that offer was [rightly] withdrawn.

I've stopped using BCP now, not because it is a scam, but because all of the people like those complaining on this thread have turned it into a farce. What started out as a good way to mine without installing software has turned into a flood of one-hit-wonder miners looking for make thousands of dollars for 15 minute's mining. Once the number of users decreases, and the pool shares go back to a sensible amount, I'll likely return to it.

And for those who are saying that this is terrible and wrong and immoral and must be stopped ("Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?!") ... I assume you are all declaring and paying taxes on your 'profits' from Bitcoin, right?...
11  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitcoin plus - is it owned by a member of this forum? - RANT ALERT! on: July 06, 2011, 04:20:04 PM
Sorry but this is getting pathetic. Boo hoo you can't withdraw a fractional amount you mined on your crappy CPU. Either mine more until you have enough to withdraw a sensible amount, buy a GPU and a proper setup, or stop whining.

You paid nothing for the BCP service except for a handful of CPU cycles. Anybody would think you had paid the site thousands of dollars the amount of noise being made. Frankly, the owner of this site would be perfectly entitled to charge you even more, including joining fees, considering he's done all the work and you are getting the benefit.

It annoys me when people hide behind an ivory tower of "I just want Bitcoin to be a success" when what they actually mean is "I want to jump on the bandwaggon". If you hate BCP so much, write your own Java applet miner and put it on your own site. If you can't write the applet or host the site, then you aren't really in a position to criticise others who have done so.
12  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitcoin plus - is it owned by a member of this forum? - RANT ALERT! on: July 04, 2011, 02:45:19 PM
Yesterday I was VERY close to finishing. I accidentally closed out of the page with around 5 seconds left.  Cry
This doesn't matter. BCP, as all miners, is based on probability rather than actual work done. So you could set it running for 5 seconds and earn a shed load (very unlikely), or run it for 5 years and earn nothing (also very unlikely). The indicator bar is purely based around estimated payout to give you an idea. Closing the browser 5 seconds before it reaches the end has absolutely no baring on whether you get any payouts or not; all it does when it gets to the end is go back to the start.

This is all explained very clearly in the site's own FAQ.
13  Economy / Trading Discussion / Re: What Is Best Option For UK Investors To Buy Bitcoin on: July 04, 2011, 02:39:27 PM
10BTC is a pretty small amount for an "investment", so I see no problem with using Britcoin. If you were looking to purchase say 1000BTC, then yes you might have a problem as it's a small exchange, but for your amount it is by far the easiest solution.

I find that deposits take anything from 2 hours to 1 day to clear, so it's far from "long".
14  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitcoin plus - is it owned by a member of this forum? - RANT ALERT! on: July 02, 2011, 11:09:35 PM
can you open more than one page? Cool
Yes, but it achieves nothing. Your CPU is maxed out to 100% by the applet anyway, so opening further pages just results in the same computing power but split across multiple applets. Ergo achieved nothing.

You can of course open the multiple pages on different computers. That's what I do, and indeed the site owner recommends that.

I personally disagree that it's a scam for two reasons:

1) As I said, the 0.01BTC fee is actually a relatively new feature. When the site first opened, there was no withdrawal fee and the cost was absorbed by the site (i.e. its owner). So what happened was that people--like the OP--started mining tiny <0.02BTC amounts and then withdrawing them regularly. That meant that the site owner got hit with a 0.01 fee for transactions that were often less that 0.01BTC in themselves. Not cost effective, so he introduced passing the fee on to the clients. Now I agree that that should be better communicated, but it's not a "scam", just poor communication (or at worst, not being up front)

2) I have successfully mined about 0.20BTC and successfully withdrawn it. If it was a true scam, the withdrawals would have just failed and the owner would have pocketed what little I had earned.

This is not a site that is trying to trick you out of your money (which is what a scam is). This is a site that had bad foresight as to how users would use the system, and a front page that isn't blindingly obvious that withdrawal transaction fees are passed on.
15  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitcoin plus - is it owned by a member of this forum? - RANT ALERT! on: July 02, 2011, 07:10:29 PM
if you think it's a scam, stop using it!

rocket science it is not.
It's not a scam. But it is a poor deal.
16  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitcoin plus - is it owned by a member of this forum? - RANT ALERT! on: July 01, 2011, 11:35:26 PM
I've been using it pretty much since it started, mining 24/7 on a quad and 2 core 2 duo desktops (all 64 bit linux). I've also had about 7 other core 2 duo desktops (again all 64 bit linux) adding to that at weekends. Net result? Very little -- about 0.20BTC roughly.

But as has been pointed out, this is largely due to the inefficiency of the applet used: it's a CPU miner, not a GPU miner.

That said, the 0.01 transaction fees are a relatively new feature, and since they were introduced so quickly, they should have been reversed to 0.0005 equally quickly in my opinion. On top of that, the embedded miner earns the owner about 17% as I recall, so this guy is making a reasonable cut even if it is not a huge net total.

My biggest gripe, though, is that the payout is decreased every 2 weeks, supposedly as an "alternative" to the difficulty increasing. The explanation is that rather than increasing the difficulty, the payout is decreased instead. I have never understood the maths or logic behind that, and from my experiences of watching the mining on these machines, the difficulty indeed does increase (or more specifically, the frequency of payouts decreases) in conjunction with the payout value lowering. So this is a double-whammy: a reduction in payout amount, and a reduction in payout frequency. That annoys me a lot.
17  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Britcoin Login Problems? on: June 28, 2011, 02:48:39 PM
Me too. It appears to be some problem between the identification system (e.g. MyOpenID) and the Britcoin servers.
18  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Britcoin showing price swings of 0.25 to 100 ! on: June 21, 2011, 10:03:54 PM
LulzSecurity/Anonymous have already said they can hack anything and I actually believe them.
Well what do you expect? They're hardly going to go public with "we can't hack much and aren't really that good" are they Roll Eyes
19  Economy / Trading Discussion / Re: Bazaar fanboi hates Cathedral. Film at 11. on: June 20, 2011, 10:07:04 PM
I always find it interesting that people want to refer to the outcome of applying a complex and nuanced term like "security" to some product as being "well known".
Aah too true, ethereal propaganda at its finest.

They work well on management types as well:
"All your competitors use X because it's known to be more secure"
"You need to use Y because it is proven to be more efficient"
"Recent research has shown that Z has the best uptime"

For less technically savvy managers, consider replacing "secure" with "virus-proof", "efficient" with "virus-resistant" and "uptime" with "virus protection" Cool
20  Economy / Trading Discussion / Re: Bazaar fanboi hates Cathedral. Film at 11. on: June 20, 2011, 09:51:59 PM
In the CS community, it's well known that BSD is more stable, secure, and the best OS for critical infrastructure, while Linux is more friendly, flexible, and better for hobbyists or businesses that can save money (by hiring cheaper Linux fanboi rather than expensive real computer scientists).
Actually, in my experience in the CS community I'd say that it has gone more and more Windows centric. There are good points (Windows Server is obviously a lot better than XP these days) and not so good points (et al etc etc Grin) to that, but it seems to be the trend regardless sadly. I'm seeing more and more "critical infrastructure" running on Windows as time goes on, even more so as people rush to outsource services (no matter how critical) to "the cloud" and similar hypervised systems. I suspect that this says more about corporate sponsorship than actual technical benefits.

If I was setting up an online exchange, I would use Red Hat Linux for the public-facing front-ends.

I would use Red Hat Linux for the database servers, both master and slaves. 

But for the critical stuff, such as the bitcoind instance, email, and SSL, etc. there is no choice except for the decision between FreeBSD and OpenBSD.  I'd go with OpenBSD for the firewall, and FreeBSD for bitcoind.  NetBSD for email.  My users would get nothing less than the most secure set-up available outside NSA.
I wouldn't. I wouldn't do any of that. Far from it, the first and only thing I'd do is outsource all the technical requirements to a third-party company. Probably one such as the one you own/work for. Then I'd put in place a whole load of over the top SLAs so that when (not "if") the brown stuff hits the fan, I can pass all the blame on to you.

The biggest danger in the world of the internet is not whether one uses Windows or Linux or OS X or FreeBSD. The biggest danger are one-man armies who think that they can knock things like this together all by themselves. No matter how clever you are, or how much experience or qualifications you have, you still need to eat, sleep and visit the toilet.

The reason that we get so many up-start disasters like this is precisely because they are set up by people who think that they are going to do one better than the last person. And there is always someone waiting to come along who will think of something you didn't think of. You can have the best operating system in the world, but if Doris the cleaner unplugs the box to put the vacuum cleaner on, it all goes down. Taking responsibility for other people's money is a dangerous game wrought with risk, and I wouldn't touch it to begin with.
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