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321  Other / Politics & Society / TRUMP WINS on: November 09, 2016, 04:32:32 AM
Fox is projecting that Trump will be the next president of the United States.


(Edit: there was a video here, but it doesn't exist anymore.)
322  Economy / Auctions / Advertise on this forum - Round 191 on: November 08, 2016, 08:33:24 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. 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 0.05.
- The bidding starts at 0.25.
- 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.
- 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.
323  Economy / Auctions / Re: Advertise on this forum - Round 190 on: November 08, 2016, 08:25:59 PM
Auction ended. Final result:
Slots BTC/Slot Person
3 1.10 irfan_pak10
1 1.05 Rupert Murdoch
1 1.00 RussianMiner
4 1.00 YoBit

I can pay in escrow if you wish.

The issue mainly is that your ad might be unsafe for forum users.
324  Economy / Auctions / Re: Advertise on this forum - Round 190 on: November 08, 2016, 01:51:56 AM
Sorry, due to the DDoS and other things, I lost track of time. (When I went to check, my guess was that only about 8 days had passed...)

1 @ 0.9

Sorry, you have a negative trust score for me, so I won't accept your bids.

Assuming that this bid is for the vdice.io ICO, I would suggest that the bid gets blocked. From what I gather, they are seeking a ~10M USD worth ICO, based on having a fully decentralized and trustless ethereum gambling game.

I investigated this issue somewhat, and I agree that crowdsale.vdice.io is misleading, which is not allowed in advertised sites. vdice.io may have merit, but it is not decentralized: it apparently relies on random.org and TLSNotary, which are both centralized.

The auction will end sometime in the next 30 hours. I need to determine what irfan_pak10 and Rupert Murdoch are going to advertise; depending on their response, I might reject their bids. The current state is:

Slots BTC/Slot Person
3 1.10 irfan_pak10
1 1.05 Rupert Murdoch
1 1.00 RussianMiner
6 1.00 YoBit
1 0.95 djselery
1 0.85 XBTFreelancer

Note: If you haven't bid already and it is not obvious what you're going to advertise, PM me or include in your post what you're going to advertise. Otherwise I will reject your bid.

The auction continues.
325  Other / Meta / Re: Another DDOS ? on: November 01, 2016, 01:02:29 AM
The most recent 504s were due to an accidental misconfiguration I made. I'm tentatively hoping that my countermeasures were in fact successful against the DDoS.
326  Other / Meta / Re: Another DDOS ? on: October 31, 2016, 07:26:49 PM
I changed something which may block the UDP flood. We'll see.

Email is probably broken again for most people. Note that the email is being sent, but your email provider is blocking it -- whenever I change IP addresses, I have to take a bunch of steps to make the IP look more "clean" for email purposes. I will fix this in a few days.
327  Other / Meta / Re: Another DDOS ? on: October 31, 2016, 04:57:03 PM
I have some ideas for how to mitigate the DDoS, but I might not finish it today.

As someone mentioned earlier, I don't want to use Cloudflare because Cloudflare can see/modify all encrypted traffic, they are a massive central point of failure on the Internet, IMO they probably assist and are supported by the NSA, they only protect against fairly small-scale attacks, and they really make life difficult for Tor users.

The UDP flood is causing high packet loss. What this will look like when browsing the forum is:
 - When you first connect to the forum after not browsing any pages for a while, it might be especially slow, and it might time out. After it completely fails / times out, just keep trying. It will eventually work.
 - After you first connect, browsing should be much smoother because at this point you'll already have a TCP connection open, though it might be a bit slow, and occasionally a page might time out.
 - If the page times out while posting, press the refresh button in your browser and accept any warning it gives you. Keep trying until it goes through.
328  Other / Meta / Re: Another DDOS ? on: October 31, 2016, 12:18:35 AM
I thought for a while that it was just some sort of upstream congestion, but I've found that it is a very large UDP flood that is causing issues despite being blocked outside of the server. I will find some way of mitigating it.
329  Other / Meta / Re: Another DDOS ? on: October 30, 2016, 04:32:43 PM
Hm, it looked to me like some sort of upstream networking failure, but now it happened again on a different IP, so maybe it is a difficult-to-detect DDoS. I'll continue to investigate.
330  Other / Meta / Re: Another DDOS ? on: October 30, 2016, 02:07:52 AM
I just changed something, post here if it seems to have helped or not.
331  Other / Meta / Re: Another DDOS ? on: October 29, 2016, 07:05:37 PM
I think that it was/is some sort of upstream networking failure. I'm still seeing an above-normal level of packet loss, but it seems usable now at least. I'll keep an eye on it.
332  Bitcoin / Mining / Re: Idea: very-high-hashrate cloud mining for buying BTC on: October 29, 2016, 03:51:31 PM
Other than the credit card payment, isn't this exactly mining rig rentals' business model?  Hardware owner sets price for control of his rig and duration of contracts.  Person interested, pays X coin for Y time and gains full control of that rig, pointing it wherever he wishes.

I hadn't heard of them -- that does look similar to what I was thinking of. They should try accepting fiat.

I think the obvious point in all this is to see that, indeed that is one reason why people buy mining hardware that is expected to lose BTC.

Yeah, but the current cloud mining contracts are just so terrible that you'll probably end up losing at least half of your money if you try to acquire BTC through them, and you also get the BTC very slowly. They're quite similar to buying perpetual bonds in a high-inflation environment (with the inflation being difficulty increases).

And mining with your own physical hardware is a real hassle for someone who just wants to get some BTC.
333  Bitcoin / Mining / Idea: very-high-hashrate cloud mining for buying BTC on: October 29, 2016, 05:59:00 AM
Currently, it is somewhat difficult for new Bitcoiners to buy BTC because you often need an ID and/or you need to use weird non-reversible payment methods like wire transfers. It occurred to me recently that one way this could maybe be improved would be for someone to offer short-term, high-hashrate cloud mining contracts. For example, a contract could work like this:

- The cloud miner would run a mining farm with a significant hashrate.
- You pay $x via credit card for y hours of complete control of the mining farm. z TH/s is guaranteed, but it may be larger if the mining farm expands between your payment and your time slot.
- If you're paying with a reversible payment method, then you have to wait several months between payment and your time slot in order to prevent most fraud.

As long as the buyer actually controls the hardware during his timeslot, and can point it to whatever pool he wants (etc.), I feel that no reasonable argument can be made that the mining farm is directly paying the buyer or managing deposited funds. Therefore, it seems to me that the mining farm would probably not be subject to most of the regulatory issues entangling current methods of buying BTC. Combined with any anonymous pool of the buyer's choice (of which there are many), this becomes an especially good way for many people to acquire BTC.

The mining farm itself stands to make profit with low risk, since almost all risk is offloaded onto customers. Customers would accept this extra risk plus the price (electricity costs + new hardware acquisition costs + profit) because of the advantages mentioned previously of this method of acquiring BTC over other methods.
334  Economy / Auctions / Advertise on this forum - Round 190 on: October 26, 2016, 10:24:39 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. 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.

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 0.05.
- The bidding starts at 0.25.
- 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.
- 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.
335  Economy / Auctions / Re: Advertise on this forum - Round 189 on: October 25, 2016, 05:09:27 PM
Auction ended. Final result:
Slots BTC/Slot Person
3 0.70 TwinWinNerD
3 0.70 CEX
3 0.65 RussianMiner
336  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / Re: Idea for an altcoin: 3-way hybrid PoW on: October 19, 2016, 08:27:01 PM
Instead of selecting PoW depending on block height, how about randomizing it depending on last hex digit of the last mined block hash? This randomness of algorithm choice would most likely make this more ASIC resistant.

ASICs don't need all that much time to go from off to mining, so I'm not sure if that'd help.

Interesting idea. What comes to mind first is that it would make PoW mining very sporadic. Essentially each PoW group would have to wait a lot until they can work again.

That's a good point, and other hybrid proposals do usually allow for continuous mining by all PoWs. The reason I did it this way is to ensure that one group cannot have any influence on any others. You know for sure that if a transaction has 4 confirmations then it has gone through all 4 steps and all 3 PoW groups. Whereas with simultaneous mining, it's more difficult to feel confident that this same property will hold. For example, even if you disallow one chain from getting too far ahead of another one, maybe a super-powerful attacker could completely wipe out the *entire* history of one chain, totally screwing things up. Maybe there are ways to do it safely, but it's more difficult.

Requiring miners to pause for a while is sub-optimal, but I think it's workable. Electricity would be saved when not mining, so it might not be that terrible.
337  Other / Meta / Re: Preview Images Visible on: October 19, 2016, 01:51:15 AM
Maybe something changed in your browser, or in how you were previewing. I don't think anything changed in this area on the forum's end.

Links and images are disabled whenever "sesc=...." is in the URL, since this is sensitive info which otherwise might be transmitted in the referrer.
338  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / Idea for an altcoin: 3-way hybrid PoW on: October 19, 2016, 01:14:14 AM
I've casually proposed this for Bitcoin in the past, but there's no way that something as experimental as this would ever be done in Bitcoin without at least a successful altcoin example, so it'd be cool to see it implemented in an altcoin, if any altcoin devs are interested. I have not rigorously examined this scheme for any flaw, so maybe it won't work well at all, but maybe it will.

One problem in Bitcoin is mining centralization. To solve this, I propose that the PoW be changed to the following:

 - If the block height mod 4 is 0, the PoW for that block is SHA-3 (or similar), an ASIC-friendly algorithm.
 - If the block height mod 4 is 1, the "PoW" for that block is "follow the satoshi", a form of proof-of-stake described in the Proof of Activity paper.
 - If the block height mod 4 is 2, the PoW for that block is cuckoo, a very ASIC-unfriendly algorithm.
 - If the block height mod 4 is 3, the "PoW" for that block is again "follow the satoshi".

Most likely:

 - The SHA-3 group will be controlled mainly by a handful of centralized ASIC miners as is the case with mining in Bitcoin today.
 - The cuckoo group will be controlled mainly by a handful of botnet operators, though ordinary users might also participate to some extent.
 - The PoS group will be controlled mainly by a handful of early adopters, though ordinary users might also participate to some extent.

However, importantly, all three groups need to cooperate in order to do anything majorly evil such as rewriting many past blocks. And since the three groups seem very likely to be independent, this significantly increases the decentralization and security of the system's mining.

The reason that PoS appears twice is that if you had a PoW step followed by a PoW step, the miners in the first PoW group would be incentivized to try redoing the block in their group whenever a block is solved, since otherwise they just have to wait. Adding a quick PoS block after each PoW step makes this less likely to succeed.

There should be two PoW difficulties: one based on steps 0 and 1, and one based on steps 2 and 3. PoW must be combined with PoS in the difficulty calculation because the nature of "follow the satoshi" leads to blocks often failing due to offline nodes in PoS, and this must be taken into account in the difficulty calculation.

"Follow the satoshi" is a particularly good PoS method because you can only participate if you run an actual full node. There's no way to cheat. As suggested by the Proof of Activity paper, participating in PoS using a particular address should require the participant to have the ability to spend at least a large percentage of the address's coins. The ability to risklessly delegate PoS authority leads to pooled PoS, an undesirable point of centralization.

Since PoS appears twice, it should have to redistribute at least half of its total block rewards to steps 0 and 2. It might also be desirable to change the reward distributions even more, since ASIC miners will probably be much more expensive than cuckoo miners, which will certainly be much more expensive than PoS miners. Redistribution of the mining reward can be done in a simple way by requiring that a block with x coins of total reward (subsidy + fees) must be accompanied by a transaction that spends the entire total reward, and this transaction must have a fee of at least y% * x. The next block will then include this transaction, taking its fees, and maybe again redistributing the fees if necessary.
339  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / Re: Thoughts on Zcash? on: October 19, 2016, 12:39:58 AM
You only need one honest member in the "trusted setup" to make it work right?

I think I read somewhere that it might be possible to do the trusted setup by having multiple independent people using their own computers, and only one of them needs to be honest. But the existing zk-SNARK software doesn't do this.

If one central computer is used, then all of the trust is on that computer's security. A compromised computer can do evil things no matter how many people are involved.
340  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / Re: Thoughts on Zcash? on: October 19, 2016, 12:16:23 AM
I have not examined exactly what zcash is doing, but zero-knowledge-proofs (ZKPs) can probably lead to cryptocurrencies that are even more anonymous than Monero or (hypothetically) mimblewimble. However, zk-SNARK ZKP systems have the trusted setup weak point. ZKP-based altcoins should take extreme care to do an especially secure key ceremony. They should have a many-page report explaining exactly how everyone can be 100% sure that the key ceremony for the trusted setup was done securely. I don't invest in altcoins anyway, but if I did, I would never even consider investing in a ZKP-based altcoin without convincing info about why I should trust its trusted setup.

It's also important to realize that the zk-SNARK crypto is new and immature. I wouldn't be all that surprised if someone finds a way of totally breaking its security someday. The code itself may also be weak -- a year or two ago a flaw in the most popular zk-SNARK library was found which rendered things relying on it completely insecure, for example.
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