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1  Other / Politics & Society / Re: TrueCrypt's Web Site Updates with Ominous Warning, Details Unknown on: May 29, 2014, 03:16:53 PM
I may have spoken too soon regarding there being no real alternatives.

Investigating DiskCryptor right now. It's Windows-only, but at least it's compatible with TrueCrypt....


EDIT: *sigh* Yes, I understand Windows itself is insecure, but it's still used by many folks, and having secure data on a Windows system is of use to many people.

EDIT: Never mind
2  Other / Politics & Society / Re: TrueCrypt's Web Site Updates with Ominous Warning, Details Unknown on: May 29, 2014, 02:36:39 PM
I think this is Lavabit all over again.
Hence the instructions for Bitlocker on their page. Bitlocker being a patentary closed source encryption tool developed by Microsoft.

Yep. Apparently, the key used to sign version 7.2 on the site (the modified, declared-insecure, decrypt-only version) is the same as that used to sign previous versions, so barring an even bigger issue, this is the same folks.

Them recommending Bitlocker (ha!) is their way of letting us know they've been coerced into stopping (or scared of impending exposure, which I guess is pretty much the same thing... I wouldn't want to be a publicly-known member of the TrueCrypt development team in a post-911 world.)

Considering the nature of this shutdown, and the lack of any real alternative, I personally have every intention of continuing to use earlier versions of the software, albeit with an extra precaution or two taken.
3  Bitcoin / Press / Re: 2014-05-11 Forbes - Living On Bitcoin A Year Later (Days 1 to 6) on: May 14, 2014, 08:30:44 PM
Quote
I wonder if she will do another series of stories next year?   

I think this ia amazing idea! We could follow the evolution of Bitcoins 

Eventually the annual tradition would end just because there would be nothing of note any longer... living on Bitcoin will be no more difficult than living on dollars, possibly easier.

That's what we all are aiming for, at least.
4  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Study: Everyone hates environmentalists and feminists on: May 12, 2014, 05:40:53 PM
Whoever wrote this ^^^^ should never have children.
5  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Which tax is the least bad? on: March 26, 2014, 06:36:33 PM
Without a doubt, your living is supported by a vast and complicated global economy. You don't get to opt out when it's time to give something back.

I believe these group-use services have to be paid by compulsory taxes, because these services cannot exclude any particular non-tax-paying person from consuming the service.

The problem at issue here is the "free rider" problem.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_rider_problem

There are many, many ways the problem can be addressed other than by forcibly making everyone "give something back." The idea that the only possible solution in each case is that anyone who might possibly benefit (especially from something as indirect as benefiting from "a vast and complicated global economy") must have money stolen from them at pain of imprisonment is both archaic and unnecessary.

This is illustrated by the fact that there are forms of taxation that allow free riding, and yet its possible for any specific governmental entities--or even just program--to make due with only taxes that allow it. One example of this is using gas taxes to support roads construction and maintenance.

Free riding occurs in this situation in a number of ways, from people riding bikes on the road (or walking along it) to people hitchhiking, or even using an electric vehicle. To, instead of taxing fuel sales, go to the homes of everyone within 20 miles of the road, and forcibly and regularly extract a fee for the direct and indirect benefits of the road to them, would be a far inferior approach to funding the road even from a statist perspective.

Focusing on making every single person who does or who might consume or benefit from a service (particularly services where consumption can hardly be avoided) pay a mandatory fee for the service is likewise an archaic way to look at such issues, and "solutions" resulting from that mindset can often lead to worse results than more voluntary, less intrusive ones... sometimes including just ignoring the free riders.
6  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Study: Everyone hates environmentalists and feminists on: March 26, 2014, 05:03:21 PM
But environmentalists is strange. The "tree-hugger" "hippie" phase was like the 70s-90s when envrionmentalism was still new and it was mostly young people trying to change society. You'd think environmental protection is sort of a given in today's society in that most of us agree on it and support it.

The high-level, abstract concept of environmentalism IS largely accepted today. People like getting out in the woods, not breathing smog, drinking clean water, keeping parks looking neat, and generally the "nice" side of the green movement.

What they don't like? Being forcibly prevented from building on their own land because some mouse or bird species was found there. Being taxed to "stop global warming" (as if they could, or should.) Facing pushy fanatics is one thing; when they get the law to enforce their opinions, beliefs and whims on others, people get rightfully pissed. They even get pissed seeing such nonsense happen to others. And this happens, to greater and lesser degrees, more often than you might think.
7  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Which tax is the least bad? on: March 26, 2014, 05:00:00 PM
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Based on these facts, I would say that wealth redistribution is an accidental side effect of tax policy in current societies.  The main main function of tax is to raise money to keep the market system running smoothly.

That's a valid point and one folks often forget despite my own opinion that taxes should be as minimal as possible.

It's because the rich are typically the ones in control of structuring the tax system, including any loopholes.

This is why the idea of using taxes as a means of wealth-redistribution is such an eye-roller. You're never going to get the top 1%--or heaven forbid, top 0.1%--to have their wealth drained and given to the poor and needy in some politically-oriented karmic reparation. Real-world weath redistribution always boils down to taking money from the middle class and giving it to the poor various groups, effectively rendering the lower classes, as a whole, poorer than before (due to the inefficiencies, fraud, waste and middlemen that such programs inevitably encounter.)

Still, as far as this thread goes, being upfront about one's intentions regarding taxation does go quite a ways towards explaining the "whys" of one's choices.
8  Bitcoin / Press / Re: [2014-03-26] Marc Andreessen Calls Warren Buffett Old White Man at Coinsummit on: March 26, 2014, 02:43:37 PM
https://coinreport.net/marc-andreessen-warren-buffett/


way ta put that old gook in his place!! bravo  Grin Cool Cool

I disagree - strongly. Calling people names is never a good way to advance your argument.

True.


Quote
The facts that Buffett is old and is white are completely irrelevant to the merits of his position on BTC.

Hmm, I don't fully agree.

The fact that he's white is irrelevant. Apparently, that's just become the "cool" way to slam overly-conservative mindsets. Slam them as "white." The hypocrisy in casually tossing around the remark should be obvious.

But unfortunately, his age is relevant. Of course not all old people hate, or don't know enough about bitcoin, or other modern technology. But it's pretty well established for most people that older folks, in general, don't understand technology, and tend to disparage it accordingly.

I tend to believe that older people could learn technology just as well as younger people, but rather that most choose not to consider it important or to spend time familiarizing themselves with it. The *why* isn't that important; if it's true that that's the tendency of older generations, then it makes sense to suspect and scrutinize (not outright dismiss) their opinions when they disparage new tech. Probably not the best way for Marc to have made his point, but I do feel Buffett's age is relevant in this particular case.
9  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Name something you've actually BOUGHT with bitcoin on: March 25, 2014, 11:29:01 PM
If you are in the US, good luck paying capital gains taxes for all that ...

Most people in the U.S. with "off the book" gains rarely do that. It'd be like paying sales tax on your yard sale profits.

Now, if someone bought a yacht....
10  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Name something you've actually BOUGHT with bitcoin on: March 25, 2014, 06:51:38 PM
Electronics
Honey
Baklava
Bullion


Some guy a while ago bought a pizza for 10,000 BTC( Worth 5million+ now), even though it was worth about $40 then. Lawl.

They weren't worth anything at the time (early 2010.)

That's the very first recorded Bitcoin purchase, and it basically set the initial price for a bitcoin at $0.002 each. Quite a steal in hindsight.

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=137.0
11  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Just Made a Payment with the New Fees on: March 25, 2014, 06:40:41 PM
1) if you reply, that the fee only appears if a TX exceeds certain data size, then your simply agreeing that there was some code that was demanding fee's.

Yes, and that's a good thing.

You do believe that dust spam should have to pay a fee, don't you?


Quote
2) if you reply fresh addresses are more secure. i think you already argued days ago that 10^160 is strong enough security

I'd argue that they were more private, not necessarily more secure.

Fortunately, you aren't restricted to one-transaction-per-address by the protocol.
12  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Study: Everyone hates environmentalists and feminists on: March 25, 2014, 06:27:27 PM

That's because environmentalists and feminists (and vegetarians) tend to be over-bearing, hypocritical, and unwilling to take criticism.

While I've noticed vegetarians being lumped in with the other two groups, I've not noticed any real (as in socially acceptable and intense) hostility toward them like the others.

I suspect a lot of that is because most vegetarians aren't actively trying to punish other people for eating meat (or at the very least, maybe because those that do are considered animal rights activists instead.)


Quote
Another study, featuring 17 male and 45 female undergraduates, confirmed the pervasiveness of those stereotypes.

Not much of a study   Lips sealed

True, but it wasn't the only one. As I recall, at least several all pointed to the same outcome.
13  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Why do people think income tax is ok? on: March 25, 2014, 03:17:50 PM
If income tax were removed, then you probably would have a lower paycheck anyway.

I'd disagree with that. If you make $20/hour, your employer is shelling that out for you regardless of how much income tax you pay. It shouldn't affect his books at all (other than the savings from the reduction in paperwork.)

As far as whether the job market would benefit or not, that would depend on what, if anything, replaced the income tax.
14  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Which Bitcoin Client do you use and why ? on: March 25, 2014, 03:04:01 PM
I think its not about blockchain.info and bitcoin-QT. Its about web wallet and local ones. Ideally web wallets are not recommended. But with the increasing popularity and wider usage of Bitoin, more virus and malware will be created to affect machines and take away coins from local wallets. So for an average person, it is probably safer to use a web wallet, keeping in mind that the wallet service provider may rob the coins too.

That may be true, but there's still another factor to consider.

If you have $15,000 in cash, your only options aren't to either keep it in your pocket or let someone store it in a bank in Romania. You can also take $12,000 of it and store it in your underground safe at home.

With bitcoin, the underground home safe is called an offline wallet. Done properly, it CANNOT be hacked; the ultimate in digital safety. Even if done in a less-than-perfect manner, your chances of getting hacked or defrauded are still greatly reduced. Add that you can create backup copies and even split the keys if you want (like with Mycelium's encrypted backup that also has a passcode,) it's a no-brainer.

Again, if someone only has $200 or so in Bitcoin, I understand them not wanting to go through the hassle. But for large amounts, not taking the time to secure your funds with an offline wallet is just lazy, and won't end well.

New users need to understand this!
15  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Which tax is the least bad? on: March 25, 2014, 04:42:46 AM
Maybe I should have started with just asking who believes the primary purpose of taxation is outright wealth redistribution. That's for another thread now, I suppose....

What do you believe is the primary purpose of taxation?
I am just thinking about paying for law enforcement, fireman, building roads and so forth.

Well, I don't believe taxes are an appropriate way of paying for societal needs, but I used to, and when I did the primary justification was (1) for centralized defensive expenditures that might be difficult to arrange privately (an army, police, etc.) and (2) for common-use goods/services that everyone needs yet would have questionable benefit from competition (primarily roads and courts.)

Of course, I would still rate those as the strongest arguments as far as what the purpose of taxes should be. Anything not for group-use (and this includes handing out charity) can be done by individual people and/or organizations, so why bother with bureaucratic centralization, expensive middlemen and politicizing the task? (The "free rider" problem can be addressed in a variety of ways beyond forcing everyone to pay for everything.)
16  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Which tax is the least bad? on: March 24, 2014, 11:55:45 PM
Maybe I should have started with just asking who believes the primary purpose of taxation is outright wealth redistribution. That's for another thread now, I suppose....
17  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Which tax is the least bad? on: March 24, 2014, 07:03:46 PM
I also want to point out that people living in "poverty" in Western countries are considered wealthy by the rest of the world. Do you feel that they should also subsidize the rest of the world?

Well, that's one of the root problems with wealth redistribution; how far should the attempt to redistribute be extended? Within a neighborhood (where charity works best?) Within a region? A nation? Globally? Wouldn't anything less than global redistribution be arbitrary?

Apparently though, one's predisposition towards it seems to influence once's preference of certain taxes over others. In ways I hadn't expected, really.
18  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Which tax is the least bad? on: March 24, 2014, 06:35:55 PM
Not a single vote for a death tax.

To the rescue! Cheesy

Inheritance tax is a tax on unearned income that you get purely based on your relatedness to some-one who was wealthy. Inheritance fosters entrenched privilege and wealthy dynasties and should be taxed heavily.

Otherwise, I vote as a general rule for forms of tax where the wealthy pay more than the poor. I believe that people have the right to a basic standard of living which should be subsidised by those who are fortunate enough to have a standard of living far higher.

I would also favour wealth and property taxes over income taxes - hoarding should be penalised rather than working.

While I can see where you come from with favoring property taxes over income taxes, you'd rather penalize saving/hoarding rather than consumption? I'd take a sales tax or excise tax over property tax any day, even if you had to massage the specifics (don't tax food or basic needs, etc.) to make it less weighty on the poor.
19  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Which Bitcoin Client do you use and why ? on: March 24, 2014, 06:29:02 PM
Blockchain.info. I got hacked a while back when I used the simple bitcoin wallet. Lost about 170$ worth at today's exchange rate. Decided that blockchain was the best option as it's much more difficult for someone to steal my funds and it's a lot easier overall. If i ever seriously invest, a cold storage paper wallet via Armory is what i'll be using.

Is blockchain.info releiable for large funds too ?

Yes blockchain.info is reliable for large funds too.   A few of my friends have a couple hundred btc on their blockchain wallets

Not trying to sound harsh here, but just because something seems currently reliable doesn't mean it actually is, or that it can't change without warning.

Unless they spend and receive dozens of bitcoins daily, no one needs to keep that much tied to one online service (and really, I'd question it even then.) Maybe if they have several other wallets, including paper, with just as much in them, but otherwise that's an incredible risk.

If they have no other balanced wallets, I would strongly recommend suggesting to your friends that they diversify into a couple of other wallets too, including a cold storage (likely paper) wallet, with plenty of backups of each, all secured. They will most likely thank you for it later.
20  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Why do people think income tax is ok? on: March 24, 2014, 06:18:17 PM
In my opinion roads, police, fire services couldn't be built/services be offered without government involvement!

Opinion based on ignorance.

There are already such things without government involvement. Hell, my fire department is private.

MOST fire departments in the U.S. are private. This again illustrates the large gap between perception and reality for many people when it comes to what they want/think/expect of government, and what actually occurs.

(Also, yes, there are plenty of private roads and gated communities with their own security forces in the U.S. Guess that should be pointed out too.)


Quote
Again, people are ok with using force against humans as long as there is some benefit. Like with slavery.

That's really the bottom line. As long as I claim positive benefits for someone/everyone, and don't mistreat you too badly (or at least sweep the messes under the rug and just wave them off with "well, most people pay taxes, they should have too,") then I have some moral right to steal from you.  Roll Eyes

Double standards. Double standards everywhere!
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