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121  Other / Serious discussion / US deficit on: February 14, 2018, 02:02:47 AM
The idiot Republicans in the US congress just massively increased spending. Over the next few years, the yearly deficit will probably double from $600 billion to $1.2 trillion as a result. I have very little faith in congress, and there's a long history of the Republicans and Democrats working together to recklessly increase both military and domestic spending, but even I was surprised by just how ridiculous this spending increase was.

Previously most people would say that although they didn't want to balance the budget this year, in the future it could be balanced. Republicans would sometimes lay out plans to balance the budget in 15 years or some such nonsense. But people will soon be realizing that this is never going to happen now. In a few years just the interest on the debt will be 5% of GDP or more, and this will grow exponentially.

I think that this will come to a point of crisis within the next decade. How do you guys see things playing out? Several possibilities come to my mind:

 - The US prints money like crazy, probably to the point of hyperinflation.
 - The US explicitly defaults on its bonds. This'd basically be armageddon for everything in contact with the fiat financial system (eg. banks, stocks, retirement funds, etc.), worldwide.
 - Taxes are massively increased. Income tax increases probably wouldn't be sufficient; they'd probably need a national VAT of 15-25% to even begin to bring the budget in order. But there are serious political and legal impediments to such a thing.
 - I really can't see them cutting spending in any significant way, but maybe it'd be possible if tons of politicians were replaced and/or the crisis grew large enough.
 
What I'd recommend they do is default on the bonds and just live with the few years of massive fallout, while simultaneously cutting spending massively. But there's very little chance of that. The hyperinflation route seems most likely to me.

(In any case, it's probably good for crypto...)
122  Economy / Auctions / Advertise on this forum - Round 236 on: February 12, 2018, 09:38:04 PM
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.

Duration

- 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.

Stats

Exact historical impression counts per slot:
https://bitcointalk.org/adrotate.php?adstats

Info about the current ad slots:
https://bitcointalk.org/adrotate.php?adinfo

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 bitcointalk.org 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:
https://bitcointalk.org/ad_test.html
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.
123  Economy / Auctions / Re: Advertise on this forum - Round 235 on: February 12, 2018, 09:24:09 PM
Sorry for ending this so late.

1 @ 0.13

As I told you via PM, your thing is very similar to an ICO; I need to think about the whole issue more, and I will not be accepting your bids until further notice.

3 @ 0.16

Looks too much like an ICO, sorry.

I will clarify the "ICO-like" stuff in the rules for future rounds.

Auction ended, final result:
Slots BTC/Slot Person
1 0.22 walleting.services
2 0.20 quedex
2 0.20 zilions
2 0.18 Stunna
2 0.18 ChipMixer
124  Economy / Speculation / Re: Wall Observer BTC/USD - Bitcoin price movement tracking & discussion on: February 06, 2018, 07:25:25 PM
A couple of months ago I heard someone on Bloomberg Markets saying that all assets were inexplicably rising at the same time -- stocks, real estate, collectibles, BTC, etc. And now it seems that all assets are falling at the same time. What is the underlying reason for this? One explanation that comes to mind is that people are selling all of their other assets in order to buy into the falling stock market. Or is it some underlying economic thing with the fiat economy?

P.S. I totally called it in this post:
I've been feeling that the price jump has been built on FOMO speculation for a while now. I think that the real, solid base is around $6k (roughly following the longer-term linear trend), but I expect speculators to stabilize it if it reaches $10k, at the very least, and then those prices might or might not stabilize.

So IMO $6k and below is "solid", $6k-$10k is semi-solid, and everything above $10k is a house of cards. No idea what'll actually happen in the next few days, though; it's pure speculative madness. In the next hour, I wouldn't be surprised to see a drop to $10k or an increase to $16k.
125  Other / Meta / Re: Forums extremely slow for anyone else? on: February 05, 2018, 12:49:24 AM
It's a DDoS.
126  Other / Meta / Re: Merit & new rank requirements on: February 03, 2018, 06:55:05 PM
So what are you proposing that be done against shady behavior regarding the merit system? Nothing? Or are you simply saying that *we could/should* tag them, but that some of the tag's by actmyname were unwarranted?

I think that tagging may be appropriate in particularly obvious cases, or particularly egregious cases involving hundreds of merit points and several posts. But generally you should start out by assuming good faith, and only change that opinion as the evidence really piles up. Tagging someone immediately after an instance of apparently-inexplicable meriting is too trigger-happy IMO. Even if it is a case of illegitimate merit, even hundreds of illegitimate merit points are not much of a problem IMO, so you have to ask whether it's worthwhile to possibly make a mistake by tagging someone who is merely suspicious.

Now, I'm not 100% sure that actmyname's ratings are outside of what I would consider appropriate, which is why I didn't take action to immediately remove him. But from what I've seen, it does seem likely that he is too trigger-happy.
127  Other / Meta / Re: Merit & new rank requirements on: February 03, 2018, 06:20:54 PM
It's too early to get a clear picture, but my thoughts so far:

First, most people complaining about merit are constantly posting garbage, and should not rank-up. The forum is not a welfare system; you don't run through a few hoops and then get paid for doing something that nobody actually wants. I like that good forum members can make money, especially when said forum members are in poorer countries and this is a major opportunity for them. I very much do not want to destroy the sig-ad/airdrop/bounty "industry". But I am not going to tolerate people posting garbage upon garbage. If the merit system completely fails and I can't think of anything else to replace it, then my next step will probably be to completely remove all ways for forum users to make money from posting (eg. removing signatures entirely).

Maybe there are ways for people who were making money by posting garbage on the forum to make money on other sites with easy bounties, etc. (For example, I don't know if they're actually any good, but https://bountyhive.io is currently advertising on the forum.) But people should use the forum to talk about these money-making ideas, not as a way of making money itself. Once you spend a lot of time here, you may be able to make some money here (which is great!), but you should consider this a far-off hope, not your primary objective.

BTW, if anyone has any ideas for simple things that these ex-nonsense-posters could usefully do to make money, I think that this'd be a good project right now. There are apparently quite a few people who were making money on the forum and could use guidance. Even though their past activities were not good for this forum, I doubt that they are useless in general.



Merit awards may be too spotty/uneven currently, though it's still too early to say. In addition to continuously adding more sources, if things could still use improvement in this regard in a couple of months, I may do something like decay old sMerit and unused source merit and randomly redistribute the decayed merit. How the random distribution would work would magnify past merit -- so perhaps you would get an increased chance of winning extra merit for every post you've made which has at least 1 merit, but certainly you would not get any extra merit if none of your posts was ever merited.

Merit sales, transfers to aliases, back-and-forth trading, etc. are not much of an issue. All illegitimate merit will decay, and will account for a tiny and very expensive fraction of the total merit economy. It's basically a rounding error; fight it where convenient, but waste no sleep over it.

I think that actmyname has been too hasty with some of his negatives, but I haven't had time to look carefully enough into it to justify making forceful changes. I did exclude actmyname from my trust list, so another DT1 could remove him from the default trust network by doing the same.
128  Economy / Speculation / Re: Wall Observer BTC/USD - Bitcoin price movement tracking & discussion on: January 31, 2018, 06:38:58 PM
How do you reckon we start some proper drama ? WWTD ?

Things are awfully quiet right now. We're going to need some real spicy headlines like:

Mark Karpeles to reopen MtGox; initial balances set by lottery
Bitcoin Core devs call for reducing the max block size to 100kB. "Fees are too damn low!"
Tether announces that USDT is now paying 7% weekly interest
129  Economy / Speculation / Re: Wall Observer BTC/USD - Bitcoin price movement tracking & discussion on: January 31, 2018, 06:25:53 PM
The drop is clearly due to the fact that Bitcoin is backed by drama, and there has been a shortage of drama lately.
130  Other / Meta / Re: Plagiarism, "paraphrasing" and copy/paste on: January 31, 2018, 06:10:56 PM
Very well-spotted!

matthewogus01: Permabanned
Akosibatman: That seems to be an acceptable level of paraphrasing
Chimcoin: Permabanned
VINCEAKTN: Permabanned
onpages: Permabanned
emondot: Permabanned
Lookjoz: Permabanned
Kawasanz: Permabanned
HappyDevil: Permabanned
Riqelme: Permabanned
desklamp: Was already permabanned
Mystezi: Permabanned

Anything that'd get you expelled from a university for plagiarism (which all of the above-banned examples would) will get you permabanned from this forum, regardless of your rank.
131  Economy / Auctions / Advertise on this forum - Round 235 on: January 31, 2018, 05:48:43 PM
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, 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.

Duration

- 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.

Stats

Exact historical impression counts per slot:
https://bitcointalk.org/adrotate.php?adstats

Info about the current ad slots:
https://bitcointalk.org/adrotate.php?adinfo

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 bitcointalk.org 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:
https://bitcointalk.org/ad_test.html
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.
132  Economy / Auctions / Re: Advertise on this forum - Round 234 on: January 31, 2018, 05:28:02 PM
9 @ 0.4
1 @ 0.1

Sorry, no ICOs.

Auction ended, final result:
Slots BTC/Slot Person
1 0.32 quedex
3 0.32 ColorlessK
1 0.32 Griffin_1988
1 0.30 walleting.services
3 0.30 ChipMixer
133  Other / Meta / Re: Updating the Statistics Center Data on: January 29, 2018, 07:18:11 PM
Collecting some of these stats became too expensive, so I had to disable some them. IIRC, I changed it so that topic read counts only count logged-in members, and some of the stats related on members online were totally disabled. I would like to enable them again, but it probably won't happen too soon.
134  Other / Meta / Re: Tracking Trust Changes on: January 29, 2018, 07:08:14 PM
https://bitcointalk.org/trust.txt.xz is updated weekly; you could monitor that.
135  Other / Meta / Re: BitcoinTalk Pro account - no Cloudflare proxy? on: January 29, 2018, 06:54:11 PM
It's a good idea, but I'm not sure how I would set that up. I'd need either one unique server IP per user or some method of segregating users so that you can't just pay the fee, find the IP address of the "pro" forum, and attack that.

I could use the CF API to whitelist IPs for a fee, but most people don't browse from a static IP. Maybe it's possible to use CF page rules to whitelist certain cookies; I'm not sure.
136  Other / Meta / Re: Welcome Back 502 on: January 29, 2018, 06:32:04 PM
It was a DDoS attack.
137  Other / Meta / Re: sMerit rewards need to be multiplied by 10, or merit requirements divided by 10. on: January 27, 2018, 03:05:43 AM
I'll see how things are in a month or two and think about it. Basically, the "ideal new user" should be able to easily and without any particular "merit farming" be able to far exceed the merit requirements; for them, activity should be the limiting factor. If this is not achievable, then I absolutely will make tweaks until that goal is reached. But it's too early to say at this point.

I did consider a 1-point requirement for Member when designing the system, but I thought it might be too easy. We'll see.
138  Other / Meta / Re: Merit & new rank requirements on: January 27, 2018, 02:57:53 AM
I decided that the previous allocation was too unfair in this area, so everyone with activity >= 775 got 500 more merit if they didn't already have 1000 merit (and also Lutpin). No extra sMerit, though.
139  Other / Meta / Re: How are there 49 merit sources now ? on: January 26, 2018, 07:04:10 PM
Is there a function to the merit sources being hidden?

If there was some canonical list, then people would be posting:
Quote
How to get merit
Step 1. Go to the merit list at xyz.
Step 2. Bug each of those people constantly until one of them relents and gives you merit

If you pay attention, you'll get a pretty clear idea of who the active sources are. Forum staff also have access to the list.
140  Other / Off-topic / Re: Merit System Upgrade on: January 26, 2018, 06:39:42 PM
Please try to merit posts that other people might find interesting, since top-merited posts show up on the stats.
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