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1001  Other / Meta / Mark Karpelès never owned on: October 13, 2018, 03:46:36 AM
In the "Railroaded" series of videos, it's implied that was at one time owned by Mark Karpelès. This is wrong. Mark provided free hosting for from 2011 to 2013, which I announced publicly:
Change of hosting

Mark Karpeles is now hosting the forum's server. The forum is still owned by Sirius, as it has always been. There will be no policy changes.
I'm going to move the forum to a much faster server within the next few days. [...]
The old server was provided by MtGox. Thanks to them for supporting the forum for so long!

The new server is provided by Private Internet Access, a Bitcoin-accepting VPN service.  Thanks!

Mark never had any ownership or control over's operation.
1002  Other / Politics & Society / Re: 2020 Democratic Nominee. on: October 12, 2018, 01:37:57 AM
Cory Booker is obviously going for it, though he doesn't seem too popular. Kamala Harris is about the same. The media recently developed a crush on Beto O’Rourke, so he's a new possibility. The Democratic establishment is clearly setting up Joe Kennedy to run at some point, but analysts seem to think that he won't run in 2020.

If the election happened ~now, I don't think that Booker, Harris, any Clinton, Cloony, Avenatti, or Zuckerburg could win against Trump. Oprah would stand a chance, but boy would that be sad. Michelle Obama would win. Don't know about O’Rourke.
1003  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Re: Is Bitcoin infrastructure too Chinese? What should be done technically? on: October 11, 2018, 12:05:27 AM
Is there any agreement on how such a PoW change would be implemented and what code of conduct would be followed? For example how a new PoW scheme would be selected. I presume some thoughts has already been put into it, beyond merely considering the option.
How about start by prepare guide/reference client in-case hard-fork is needed? Reflecting from Bitcoin-Qt 0.8.0 accident (which is accidental hard-fork due to different DB version), that would help community/developer where to start solve the problem.

It's not good to have an exact algorithm planned out, since then someone could make an ASIC for it in advance.

Current consensus seems to be that in case of a miner attack, something based on SHA-3 would be used, since it's very similar to SHA-2 and therefore a minimally-significant change. There's an old sample pull request. It should be modified slightly at the last minute to ensure that there are no stockpiled ASICs for it, though; for example:
fn newPoW(in) {
    RANDOM_SALT[10] = [randomString1, randomString2, ..., randomString10]
    out = in
    for i in 0..9:
        out = sha3(concat(out, RANDOM_SALT[0:i]))
    return out

That's just an example of how you'd try to do something a bit different to ensure that nobody has any stockpiled, maybe-somewhat-configurable ASICs hidden up their sleeves.

It'd be nice if there was a defined procedure for selecting one quickly. The exact algorithm isn't that important as long as nobody knows it in advance and it keeps the necessary properties for a PoW, but you don't want to waste time arguing about it. Maybe you'd have the interested devs write down their suggested algorithms, confirm that they all look reasonable, select two using verifiable randomness, compose or mash-up the two selected, and then fill in any random constants in the algorithm with new verifiable randomness.

Some have proposed automatically generating new PoWs, but then it's still possible to design ASICs which can adapt to the general random scheme. For example, you could have the PoW be sha3(concat(random_salt, sha3(in)) where random_salt automatically updates every year or whatever based on the hash of a block 1000 blocks deep, but then people would just design an ASIC which can accept a configurable random_salt.

Preparedness could be a lot better. I especially advocate for the creation of a clear set of criteria which indicate miner abuse so that they don't get away with something very incremental like freezing "obviously stolen" coins.

I have this idea for a long time, a 2-way concurrent PoW algorithm with a 2-3 years smooth migration from ASICs to the alternate cpu/gpu PoW method e.g. ProgPoW. I'm thinking of starting with a 10:1 ratio in favor of sha2 ASICs and a gradual transition to 1:10 ratio against them.

I've heard that before, maybe on the mailing list. Not a bad idea IMO. IIRC it can also be done as a softfork if miners are cooperative.
1004  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Re: How is bitcoind “shy” when exchanging `version` packets? on: October 10, 2018, 11:26:43 PM
If you initiate the connection, then you send a version right away, and so when you receive a version in return, you don't want to send another one. If the peer initiates the connection, then you ignore them until you receive a version, and when you do, you then need to respond with a version of your own. That's what that if statement is about.

Very old versions would immediately send a version as soon as the TCP connection was opened, regardless of whether it was incoming or outgoing. The comment is maybe a little confusing because it's sort-of talking about changing this ancient behavior.
1005  Economy / Digital goods / MOVED: I am selling the following Crypto Scrypts on: October 10, 2018, 10:44:55 AM
This topic has been moved to Trashcan. DMCA takedown.
1006  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Re: Is Bitcoin infrastructure too Chinese? What should be done technically? on: October 10, 2018, 10:24:02 AM
Skimming it, it seems like a good summary of stuff that's been discussed around here for years.

AFAIK a lot of mining has moved out of China geographically due to Chinese government crackdowns, though a lot is still owned by Chinese companies. That said, the specific country doesn't matter much: I don't distrust the Chinese government all that much more than the EU in this area, for example. The main issue is geographical centralization and mining centralization in general.

The location of the physical mining hardware is more important than pool management location, since miners can change their pools. I don't know much about the distribution of mining hardware, though.

If a majority of mining power tries anything, then the only correct response is an immediate hardfork to change the PoW. I don't think that anyone disagrees with that.

Some notable people have long advocated changing the PoW preemptive to any actual attack because of too much centralization already. However, there is no known long-term solution to mining centralization. (This has been discussed to death on the forum and elsewhere.) It's not clear that an anti-ASIC algorithm is possible, and even if it is, that'll probably just allow for different monopolies (eg. Intel, botnet operators, or others). Changing to a different ASIC-friendly algorithm may well increase centralization after a while, since the big mining companies (eg. Bitmain) are big because they're the best at making mining chips, so they'll probably end up having a first-to-market advantage on new ASICs. You can prevent trustless pooling, but that'd mostly just force people to use even-more-centralized trusted pooling, which isn't preventable AFAIK. So preemptively changing the PoW will temporarily fire the current miners, but at best it'll make the problem no better long-term, and it'll almost certainly result in a persistent fork which will do a lot of damage to Bitcoin.

Currently we have a sort of mutually assured destruction situation. If there's a preemptive PoW change, then that'll make a huge, not-worthwhile mess (though survivable). But if miners do an attack, then there will be an immediate PoW change, firing them and at least forcing them to start over from scratch hardware-wise. This MAD situation could maybe be considered quite solid if all actors were rationally self-interested, though authoritarian regimes can get in the way of rational self-interest. Still, I think that this is reasonably stable, and the best we can do for now. To strengthen the MAD and prepare, I encourage people to be as ready and threatening as possible in case an immediate PoW change becomes necessary: for example, I've said several times (and I mean it) that if the Bitcoin Core devs fail to respond adequately to a miner attack, I'll propagate the necessary hardfork myself. But I oppose a preemptive PoW change unless there's some sort of new long-term solution.

I still think that my 3-way hybrid PoW could work, but a lot of people disagree.
1007  Other / Serious discussion / Re: Should I teach myself Python on: October 09, 2018, 09:16:43 PM
As for PHP, many people make fun of it. And in some cases it's understandable but in others not.

I've written a lot of PHP. It's not terrible, but I definitely wouldn't recommend it for new programmers. PHP was originally designed as basically a Web framework on top of C, and it still feels like it. When I'm writing PHP, I feel like I'm writing C + thousands of extra functions and macros. The procedural style is satisfying to some extent, but it gets messy quickly, and the further you get from C (eg. classes), the more clunky it feels. Also, PHP has a bunch of weird default behavior which is supposed to make things easier for newbies, but it's just a big headache. For example, it always takes you a long time to figure out how to get error handling working sanely for your application.

PHP and JavaScript are both total messes as languages, though they have very different styles.

If I wanted to make a new Web app, I might use JavaScript just because it's so immensely popular for that work, even though it's flawed, or I might use a Web framework for a newer language like perhaps Python. I wouldn't make a new app in PHP.

Are you sure you can use PHP as a scripting langage?

You can, but there are some major inconveniences with it, so it's not all that common.
1008  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: 2 life sentences +40 years for The Silk Road creator (PETITION FOR CLEMENCY) SIG on: October 08, 2018, 08:01:15 AM
It's very clear that they were trying to get him in prison ASAP in order to make an example of him, and so they fixed the whole process. I think that he will probably get released eventually due to the mountain of process violations and the fact that he was only convicted of non-violent crimes. Maybe in the end he'll end up spending less time in prison than if he'd taken the plea bargain.

As an anarcho-capitalist, I believe that there was nothing unethical about the Silk Road. That said, I think that the whole freedom-fighter angle is a bit of a stretch. If I wanted to be an anti-government activist by means of a darknet site, I'd:
1) Recognize that current anonymity tech is extremely weak, and maintain a constant samurai mindset of "I'm already dead / in prison".
2) Not make any money from the site. This would allow the site to be more effective, it'd make detection much more difficult, and it'd be a bit of a defense in court.

If you do drug transactions, intentional tax evasion, etc., then I feel like you're mainly just trying to make money, and the idea that it's not unethical (which I agree with) and is a form of civil disobedience is just something that you use to deceive yourself into thinking that it's a good idea when in reality it's just an extremely stupid way of trying to make money. If you want to fight for freedom, pick a better hill to die upon IMO.

On the murder-for-hire accusation, it's important to remember that he was never convicted of that, and AFAIK nothing like that was a part of the Silk Road site. Though I have some non-public info which makes me slightly more inclined to believe the accusation, and if it's true, then that's completely unethical, of course. (Not worth 2 life sentences, though.)

BTW, has anyone read Curtis Green's book about this?

It's weird how they're trying to point fingers at Mark Karpeles. I really doubt that he had any involvement.
1009  Other / Meta / Re: Moderators of the Russian branch are accomplices to WEX scammers on: October 07, 2018, 10:57:11 AM
Here are the posts deleted today:

If any are not off-topic/insubstantial, make a case as to why.
1010  Other / Serious discussion / Re: Would a crypto-based universal basic income actually work? on: October 06, 2018, 01:05:44 PM
No, doing UBI via cryptocurrency is just a bad idea. To start with, UBI fundamentally needs to be centralized because a decentralized system can't determine who the unique humans are. You need to either rely on existing centralized government databases (which may also be flawed/corrupted...) or you need your own centralized testing personnel/devices.

Second, a decentralized cryptocurrency can only make money for "the system" through very blunt/stupid methods such as inflation and transaction fees, and this doesn't scale much. People won't use a cryptocurrency that's going to inflate a lot: that'd be stupid, and people aren't that stupid. That's why you don't usually see governments try to fund themselves entirely through inflation, and when they do, it quickly leads to hyperinflation from people increasingly+exponentially refusing to use that unreliable money. If you had a cryptocurrency that had significant stand-alone merit prompting people to use it (eg. BTC, ETH, XMR when they were first created, not new clones), then maybe you could get away with taking a 0.1-1.0% inflation tax and doing something with it, but you're not going to achieve UBI with that. UBI requires some other form of taxation, probably one requiring violence via a state. (Voluntary taxation communities almost always fail, look at various attempted communes such as eg. Kibbutzim in Israel.)

Looking at Manna as an example, their whole UBI aspect relies on a centralized nonprofit; what then is even the point of the cryptocurrency aspect? What value does it add on top of just setting up some BTC-accepting charity that would send donated funds to all verified individuals equally?

IMO a better idea would be to compete with Patreon: subsidize non-traditional work so that people can escape the 9-to-5 nonsense. But even then, I suspect that creating a new cryptocurrency would be counter-productive; you don't need to shoe-horn a new coin into every little thing.
1011  Other / Politics & Society / Re: 2018 USA Mid Terms! Red or Blue Waves?!? on: October 06, 2018, 06:52:56 AM
My desired result is for the Democrats to win the house by 1 seat or for there to be a dead tie, and for the Republicans to keep the Senate by as much as possible. That should ensure that nothing gets done, which is the best thing for the government to do. (I will get a certain sense of satisfaction if the Republicans win overwhelmingly, since I really dislike the Democrats, but the Republicans will also do plenty of harm if given the opportunity.)

My predicted result is that the Republicans will only barely retain the Senate and will lose the House by a few dozen seats. I think that both sides will be disappointed at their performance, but it will be a moderate blue wave. I sense that most people are only slightly enthusiastic about the economy, and are worried about future tariffs and especially the future of healthcare.

If either side wins big, there will be accusations of foreign interference. (And indeed, if any foreign power if capable of interfering with the election, now would be a great time, since it'd create maximal chaos.)
1012  Economy / Auctions / Advertise on this forum - Round 257 on: October 06, 2018, 12:41:53 AM
The forum sells ad space in the area beneath the first post of every topic page. This income is used primarily to cover hosting costs and to pay moderators for their work (there are many moderators, so each moderator gets only a small amount -- moderators should be seen as volunteers, not employees). Any leftover amount is typically either saved for future expenses or otherwise reinvested into the forum or the ecosystem.

Ads are allowed to contain any non-annoying HTML/CSS style. No images, JavaScript, or animation. Ads must appear 3 or fewer lines tall in my browser (Firefox, 900px wide). Ad text may not contain lies, misrepresentation, or inappropriate language. Ads may not link directly to any NSFW page. No ICOs[1], banks, funds, or anything else that a person can be said to "invest" in; I may very rarely make exceptions if you convince me that you are ultra legit, but don't count on it. Ads may be rejected for other reasons, and I may remove ads even after they are accepted.

There are 10 total ad slots which are randomly rotated. So one ad slot has a one in ten chance of appearing. Nine of the slots are for sale here. Ads appear only on topic pages with more than one post, and only for people using the default theme.


- Your ads are guaranteed to be up for at least 7 days.
- I usually try to keep ads up for no more than 8 or 9 days.
- Sometimes ads might be up for longer, but hopefully no longer than 12 days. Even if past rounds sometimes lasted for long periods of time, you should not rely on this for your ads.


Exact historical impression counts per slot:

Info about the current ad slots:

Ad blocking

Hero/Legendary members, Donators, VIPs, and moderators have the ability to disable ads. I don't expect many people to use this option. These people don't increase the impression stats for your ads.

I try to bypass Adblock Plus filters as much as possible, though this is not guaranteed. It is difficult or impossible for ABP filters to block the ad space itself without blocking posts. However, filters can match against the URLs in your links, your CSS classes and style attributes, and the HTML structure of your ads.

To prevent matches against URLs: I have some JavaScript which fixes links blocked by ABP. You must tell me if you want this for your ads. When someone with ABP and JavaScript enabled views your ads, your links are changed to a special randomized URL which redirects to your site when visited. People without ABP are unaffected, even if they don't have JavaScript enabled. The downsides are:
- ABP users will see the redirection link when they hover over the link, even if they disable ABP for the forum.
- Getting referral stats might become even more difficult.
- Some users might get a warning when redirecting from https to http.

To prevent matching on CSS classes/styles: Don't use inline CSS. I can give your ad a CSS class that is randomized on each pageload, but you must request this.

To prevent matching against your HTML structure: Use only one <a> and no other tags if possible. If your ads get blocked because of matching done on something inside of your ad, you are responsible for noticing this and giving me new ad HTML.

Designing ads

Make sure that your ads look good when you download and edit this test page:
Also read the comments in that file.

Images are not allowed no matter how they are created (CSS, SVG, or data URI). Occasionally I will make an exception for small logos and such, but you must get pre-approval from me first.

The maximum size of any one ad is 51200 bytes.

I will send you more detailed styling rules if you win slots in this auction (or upon request).

Auction rules

You must be at least a Jr Member to bid. If you are not a Jr Member and you really want to bid, you should PM me first. Tell me in the PM what you're going to advertise. You might be required to pay some amount in advance. Everyone else: Please quickly PM newbies who try to bid here to warn them against impersonation scammers.

If you have never purchased forum ad space before, and it is not blatantly obvious what you're going to advertise, say what you're going to advertise in your first bid, or tell me in a PM.

Post your bids in this thread. Prices must be stated in BTC per slot. You must state the maximum number of slots you want. When the auction ends, the highest bidders will have their slots filled until all nine slots are filled.

So if someone bids for 9 slots @ 5 BTC and this is the highest bid, then he'll get all 9 slots. If the two highest bids are 9 slots @ 4 BTC and 1 slot @ 5 BTC, then the first person will get 8 slots and the second person will get 1 slot.

The notation "2 @ 5" means 2 slots for 5 BTC each. Not 2 slots for 5 BTC total.

- When you post a bid, the bids in your previous posts are considered to be automatically canceled. You can put multiple bids in one post, however.
- All bid prices must be evenly divisible by 0.02.
- The bidding starts at 0.02.
- I will end the auction at an arbitrary time. Unless I say otherwise, I typically try to end auctions within a few days of 10 days from the time of this post, but unexpected circumstances may sometimes force me to end the auction anytime between 4 and 22 days from the start. I have a small bias toward ending auctions on Fridays, Sundays, and Mondays.
- If two people bid at the same price, the person who bid first will have his slots filled first.
- Bids are considered invalid and will be ignored if they do not specify both a price and a max quantity, or if they could not possibly win any slots

If these rules are confusing, look at some of the past forum ad auctions to see how it's done.

I reserve the right to reject bids, even days after the bid is made.

You must pay for your slots within 24 hours of receiving the payment address. Otherwise your slots may be sold to someone else, and I might even give you a negative trust rating. I will send you the payment information via forum PM from this account ("theymos", user ID 35) after announcing the auction results in this thread. You might receive false payment information from scammers pretending to be me. They might even have somewhat similar usernames. Be careful.

[1]: For the purposes of forum ads, an ICO is any token, altcoin, or other altcoin-like thing which meets any of the following criteria: it is primarily run/backed by a company; it is substantially, fundamentally centralized in either operation or coin distribution; or it is not yet possible for two unprivileged users of the system to send coins directly to each other in a P2P way. The intention here is to allow community efforts to advertise things like Litecoin, but not to allow ICO funding, even when the ICO is disguised in various ways.
1013  Economy / Auctions / Re: Advertise on this forum - Round 256 on: October 06, 2018, 12:36:28 AM
1 @ 0.08     

I thought about this for some time, but in the end I think that it's too close to an ICO-like-thing because you are at the moment singularly dealing with / talking about KamaCoins, a clear ICO which definitely wouldn't be allowed to advertise either its token sale or its bounty. Your TOKPIE platform would on its own probably be OK.

Auction ended, final result:
Slots BTC/Slot Person
4 0.10 ChipMixer
1 0.08 leonArdo@margin
1 0.06 ni23457
3 0.06 lightlord
1014  Other / Meta / Re: Question about forum finances (again :P) on: October 04, 2018, 11:46:58 PM
I'm not ready to post more hard numbers yet.

I think 2018 will have the greatest income than last year, even the btc today was not good as in the 2017.

No, I think that gross income will be roughly halved: the two main factors for this are my ban on ICO forum ads and a general reduction in traffic after the bubble popped (as has happened after previous bubbles). While non-ad user payments have become somewhat significant (whereas they were barely worth mentioning in 2017), keep in mind that both evil fees and copper member fees are (intentionally) tiny.

(There's no need to be concerned about this whatsoever, BTW. The forum's purpose is not to make money, there are plenty of reserves, and it would be easy to increase income if necessary.)
1015  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh on: October 04, 2018, 03:28:57 AM
As things stand right now, it seems to me that all Republicans + Joe Manchin will vote to confirm him. Manchin and Flake have both been saying pretty pro-Kavanaugh things, and nobody in-the-know seems worried about Collins and Murkowski.
1016  Other / Meta / Re: Captcha bypass on: October 04, 2018, 03:12:15 AM
The only added risk is that if your computer is compromised, they could get the link with the code. He mentioned owning that code makes bruteforcing the pass easier. Anyone has the math?

If your password is decent and unique to, then brute-forcing isn't going to be possible via the Internet. I can't imagine anyone being able to do more than a few hundred attempts per second, which is far slower than if you had the password hash.

The main reason why the login captcha is necessary at all is that whenever some site's username/password database is leaked anywhere on the Internet, hackers would come and try all of those logins here, grabbing a few accounts from people who shared passwords, and sometimes slowing down the forum from the rapid barrage of login attempts. These codes are sufficient for preventing that on any large scale. For individual users, the main thing is to not share passwords, not even with minor variations between sites.
1017  Other / Meta / Captcha bypass on: October 03, 2018, 01:49:32 AM
You can now bypass the login CAPTCHA by bookmarking the link generated for you here:

If it causes problems, I might restrict it to Jr Members and above or something, but currently anyone can do it.
1018  Other / Politics & Society / Re: The technological singularity on: October 02, 2018, 10:53:46 PM
I read Kurzweil's book several years ago, and it was really stupid. It's the extrapolation fallacy in book form:

He seems to believe that progress just happens regardless of everything else. In reality, progress happens because people make it happen, and it can be stopped if we hit a wall in research or if society changes to no longer allow for effective/useful scientific progress.

If human-level AI is created on traditional computing systems, then a singularity-like explosion of technology seems likely. There are existential risks there, but also potentially ~infinite benefit. But I'm not convinced that we're close to human-level AI. Deep neural networks can do some impressive things, but they don't actually think or plan: they're like a very effective form of intuition. I don't think that we will find human-level AI at the end of that road. In the worst-case scenario we should eventually be able to completely map out the human brain and simulate it on a computer, but that'll be many decades into the future at least.

Many leftists have a habit of thinking that since progress continues continuously and exponentially, we should just assume post-scarcity any day now. Which is exactly how you damage society and the economy so badly that you stop all progress completely...
1019  Other / Meta / Re: [MERIT][NSFN] We're destroying more merits than we're sending. Like, way more. on: October 02, 2018, 09:17:54 PM
16,224 sMerit is held by autobanned users (including the initial sMerit).

1020  Other / Meta / Re: Account with special symbol available? on: October 02, 2018, 08:11:13 AM
The rules used to be looser, but a year or two ago I tightened them. Now IIRC only low ASCII is allowed, and you need at least one letter. Even prior to the current username restrictions, the username was interpreted as ISO-8859-1, so Unicode wasn't allowed. Unicode is allowed in display names, but most people can't change their display names.
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