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741  Other / Meta / Re: Bitcointalk.org did it into the big cryptomedia today.... on: March 14, 2019, 06:54:05 PM
That's nonsense data, an estimate from a Web analytics company based on who-knows-what.

The real data shows for example:
 - Late February 2018: ~3.51 million total ad impressions per day
 - Early January 2019: ~3.44 million total ad impressions per day
 - Late February 2019: ~3.41 million total ad impressions per day
742  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Explain double spend attacks to me in simple terms on: March 14, 2019, 04:48:15 AM
Quote
So if you are spending two transactions but one at a higher fee then the other, wouldn't they both be processed by miners eventually?

The two transactions are spending the exact same coins, so they're mutually exclusive: only one can actually go through. If both were to go through, then this would amount to creating new bitcoins out of thin air.

In this attack, one transaction sends the expected amount of BTC to the ATM, while the other instead sends the BTC back to the thief. The thief then takes several steps to make it more likely that the one paying himself is the one to go through, while tricking the ATM into thinking that this refund transaction either doesn't exist or is unlikely to be the one to go through.

Quote
Canadian Bitcoin Core developer Peter Todd’s replace-by-fee tools are what made these transactions possible.

This is not true. Replace-by-fee (RBF) makes it trivially easy to pull off, but a knowledgeable attacker can reliably do it without RBF. The ATM could ban RBF-enabled transactions, but this would be like protecting the cash with a standard keyed padlock: the average person won't know how to break it, but anyone who puts some time into figuring out how to pick it can do so easily and reliably.

The only way to avoid this attack is to wait for some confirmations before acknowledging the transaction. (Or in the ATM case, you could perhaps collect enough KYC data and video evidence to be confident that you can catch any thief after the fact.)
743  Other / Politics & Society / Re: May loses the Brexit vote. on: March 14, 2019, 12:50:42 AM
I still think that they're going to force a referendum or something at the last minute. For example, tomorrow Parliament will probably vote to extend, but then the EU will require a second referendum as a condition for extension. And brexit will lose in a referendum.

In the unlikely event that no-deal brexit actually happens (which IMO is the best long-term result for the UK), I'll strongly suspect that this was May's plan all along, explaining all of her weird behavior, and I will be very impressed.
744  Other / Meta / Re: "@Theymos" Can we know how many members (%) using grin coin as forum payment ? on: March 12, 2019, 12:35:06 PM
Since grin started being accepted, 5 out of 687 payments (0.7%) were via grin.

theymos accepting Grin is symbolic more than anything.

Right, I basically did it just for fun. I didn't expect all that many payments.
745  Other / Politics & Society / Re: What's wrong with Secondary Education in the US, and some solutions on: March 09, 2019, 04:48:49 PM
Most people shouldn't even go to 4-year universities. From my anecdotal experience, it seems that almost everyone goes into higher education just because their high schools made them think that they basically had to. Then a lot drop out after a year or two, which is an unbelievable waste of time/money, and those who graduate often end up with not-so-useful degrees because they picked a final career path very late and not in a rational way. Furthermore, I know several people who basically ended up "trapped in academia" because they didn't have any marketable skills at the end of 4 years, and so they became seemingly-perpetual graduate students who are also employed by their universities -- it reminds me of Scientology...

If you're dedicated to some academic field such as chemistry, mathematics, or even philosophy, to the point where you value knowledge more than income, then university is a great idea. Universities were originally designed for that kind of thing. But if you're aimless, which it seems almost everyone who goes to university actually is, or if you just want a decent, well-paying job, then you should either get a job (or become an entrepreneur) immediately and self-study interesting things on the side, or go to a trade school. The whole idea of "you must get a bachelor's degree immediately after high school" is broken. I'm pleased that there does seem to be growing cultural and political momentum away from 4-year universities, even if some other people are talking about free-college-for-all.

(Most high schools are also a big waste of time for most people, being designed primarily for babysitting and indoctrination, not useful education.)



Quote
Whether it's the college with the nicest dorms or a college with with that one crazy amentities Certain colleges compare to some of the nicest country clubs in the amenities that they're providing in trying to attract students. Building these amenities isn't cheap, but that's not the end of it.

It's disgusting that people are often culturally pushed into lifelong massive debt just in order to have a few years of fun, with hardly any consideration given to knowledge or return on investment.

I agree that subsidies have massively inflated the price of tuition. Paying $40k/year is madness; you're very unlikely to get a worthwhile return on that investment.

Quote
For businesses, college degrees have become an easy way to weed out those that can deem 'uneducated' -- it's a cheap way to weed out potential employees, and it gives them an easier criteria to judge people. Some sectors (such as Tech) have gone away with this model and have been hiring people without college degrees if they're able to code, but MOST professions still require you to have a college degree to even get an interview.

With the tight job market, I've heard that businesses in all sectors are increasingly being forced to give up on requiring degrees. In reality, it's not that much of a differentiator anyway.

Also, any job which would require a degree is not a job that you'd ideally want IMO. It's a very impersonal and lazy way of screening people. It'd be better for people to find career prospects through networking or by making a name for themselves via side projects. A lot of people seem to want a well-defined and guaranteed career path from birth to death, but to the extent that this can be even partially delivered, it leads to mediocre outcomes.
746  Economy / Auctions / Advertise on this forum - Round 271 on: March 07, 2019, 11:35:49 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.

Price flattening

At the end of the auction, after the winning bids are all determined, I will do a "price flattening" operation. This has no effect on which bids actually win. For each bid, in order of lowest to greatest price/slot, I will reduce each bid's price/slot to the highest value which is equal to or only the minimum increment greater than the next-lower bid. This allows you to bid higher prices without worrying so much, but you still mustn't bid more than you're willing to pay. Example:

Code:
This:
Slots  BTC/Slot  Person
    6      0.20       A
    1      0.16       B
    1      0.08       C
    1      0.08       D

Becomes:
Slots  BTC/Slot  Person
    6      0.12       A [step 4: reduced to 0.10+0.02=0.12]
    1      0.10       B [step 3: reduced to 0.08+0.02=0.10]
    1      0.08       C [step 2: same as the next-lowest, unchanged]
    1      0.08       D [step 1: the lowest bid is always unchanged]

Payment, etc.

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.
747  Economy / Auctions / Re: Advertise on this forum - Round 270 on: March 07, 2019, 11:30:50 PM
5 @ 0.2

Your site accepts BTC, but you're a forum-newbie and the service seems brand new. Therefore, it looks too high-risk for forum users, and I won't accept your bid at this time. (Also, you should've PMed me first.)

Because I'm rejecting this, I'll also ignore jchi2210's pointless last bid.

Auction ended, final result:
Slots BTC/Slot Person
1 0.20 Nicholas-Carraway
1 0.18 SwC_Poker
2 0.16 Cryptex.net
3 0.16 Baryom
1 0.16 jchi2210
1 0.14 acarli
748  Other / Politics & Society / Re: De-monetization of basic life requirements and beyond. on: March 07, 2019, 06:36:30 AM
In the Internet age, "intellectual property" of all kinds is an especially good fit for demonetization because if it's too difficult or expensive to get people will just "pirate" it, delivery is free/cheap anyway, and it's easy to attach ads to it. I'm not so sure that this trend extends to tangible property, at least not in the same way. I have heard that the younger generations are more inclined to live cheaply, rent instead of buy, etc., but I wonder whether this is an actual change in demand or just due to lack of opportunities / purchasing-power. To the extent that people actually are spending less money to achieve the same life-satisfaction, this is a very positive trend which will lead to increased overall productivity.

Quote
I'm curious about this trend in education, is it possible that education could follow this trend?  I wonder more about at the collegiate level could remote learning take over?

In my experience, most (not all) university classes are basically taught from the textbook. If you have the discipline to self-study a textbook, then it has roughly the same effectiveness in many cases. For courses which fall into this category, university is mostly a motivational tool to get you to really study the book so that you get decent grades and don't waste your tuition. Considering the high university drop-out rate and student loan debt in the US, better and less expensive motivational tools may exist...

Furthermore, I think that both high schools and universities aren't worthwhile for the vast majority of people who go to them. The exact path which each person would be best-off taking varies, but IMO the average person would be better-off dropping out of high school ASAP and then combining a part-time job with self-study, online courses, community college courses, etc. in their areas of interest. Education is important, but high school especially is 90% babysitting and only 10% education - a big waste of time.
749  Other / Meta / DT update log on: March 05, 2019, 09:39:42 PM
Old:
Code:
theymos
HostFat
gmaxwell
TECSHARE
phantastisch
OgNasty
SebastianJu
qwk
Vod
mprep
Dabs
Cyrus
monkeynuts
Welsh
TMAN
Lauda
Mitchell
vizique
Blazed
yogg
TheNewAnon135246
greenplastic
hilariousandco
EcuaMobi
Lesbian Cow
cryptodevil
suchmoon
achow101
owlcatz
JohnUser
sapta
tmfp
BitcoinPenny
yahoo62278
zazarb
bill gator
LoyceV
actmyname
WhiteManWhite
The Pharmacist
LeGaulois
DarkStar_
TheFuzzStone
Jet Cash
marlboroza
Lafu
Gunthar
Hhampuz
xtraelv
krogothmanhattan
Halab
theyoungmillionaire
o_e_l_e_o
iasenko
coinlocket$
asche
Alex_Sr
taikuri13
Coolcryptovator
ICOEthics
New:
Code:
theymos
HostFat
gmaxwell
TECSHARE
phantastisch
OgNasty
SebastianJu
qwk
Vod
mprep
Dabs
philipma1957
Cyrus
monkeynuts
Welsh
TMAN
Lauda
Mitchell
vizique
yogg
dbshck
TheNewAnon135246
hybridsole
hilariousandco
Lesbian Cow
cryptodevil
suchmoon
achow101
owlcatz
minerjones
sapta
tmfp
BitcoinPenny
yahoo62278
zazarb
bill gator
LFC_Bitcoin
ezeminer
MaoChao
bones261
LoyceV
actmyname
WhiteManWhite
The Pharmacist
LeGaulois
DarkStar_
TheFuzzStone
Jet Cash
bL4nkcode
Lafu
Gunthar
Hhampuz
xtraelv
krogothmanhattan
Halab
Veleor
theyoungmillionaire
o_e_l_e_o
chimk
iasenko
coinlocket$
asche
DdmrDdmr
Alex_Sr
taikuri13
Coolcryptovator
1miau
ICOEthics
750  Other / New forum software / Re: Cryptos-Currencies.Com : First forum using Epochtalk on: March 02, 2019, 09:30:12 PM
Please post bugs as github issues.

BTW, there is an extensive API which you guys may be interested in, eg. https://www.cryptos-currencies.com/api/posts/QNgQeVnFT5S1l6LLTZqsYg
751  Other / Politics & Society / Re: The US debt ceiling ends today on: March 02, 2019, 06:15:08 AM
The Treasury doesn't urgently need more debt, so this isn't a hard deadline. Congress will undoubtedly do another debt-ceiling suspension before any problems occur; there are no politically-possible solutions in sight, and unlike a government shutdown, nobody's willing to go anywhere near defaulting on the debt.
752  Other / Meta / Re: -4 Merit received, is it a bug? on: February 27, 2019, 01:20:03 AM
The point was to undo all of the effects (over multiple steps) of that source's recent sends. Beyond that, the individual negated merit transactions weren't important.
753  Other / Meta / Re: Feature: Allow for inline response of trust reports on: February 27, 2019, 01:16:50 AM
It's a good idea, already on my to-do list, but it requires other changes as well. If the person who made the rating can delete it as they can today, then they can also delete the response, which isn't good. My current tentative thinking on how it should work is:
 - Raters can retract ratings, but not totally delete them.
 - Raters can add a short addendum to their ratings, and this can be freely edited, but the original rating can't be edited. (The point is to prevent conversations via rating edits. A rating should be one particular issue, and the response should be a response to this issue. Not 100% sure that this is necessary, though.)
 - Additional limits on how often you can leave ratings may be needed.
754  Other / Meta / Re: Epochtalk is ready, theymos wants us to test it. C'mon... on: February 26, 2019, 06:23:02 PM
I'm glad that people are interested!

Wouldn’t it be better if Bitcointalk provided a common test environment that was open for anybody to use, without people having to download the software and setting up their own environments?

beta.bitcointalk.org was run for a couple of years, but virtually nobody used it. It was too boring. I'd ideally like people to actually try using Epochtalk for various things that they find fun/interesting. Maybe try a more restrictive moderation style, maybe make it more niche-focused, maybe try adding some crazy features, etc. If people actually try to use it for real things, then the real deficiencies will be found.

Is the requirements doc up to date? Seems quite vague in some parts, e.g. trust.

No, that's very old.
755  Other / Meta / Re: Propaganda and political operatives in PS sub on: February 26, 2019, 06:21:32 PM
It's obvious that the US is heavily propagandizing for Guaidó, and other governments (Russia?) are heavily propagandizing for Maduro. Neither side is good, though you might argue that one or the other is a lesser evil. I think that bitcointalk.org P&S is too small to have direct political operatives, but people are repeating the propaganda they've taken to heart.

Anyway, fight propaganda with truth. The current situation is far from requiring any extra mod action.
756  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Bernie or Bust 2020 on: February 26, 2019, 03:52:21 PM
Woah woah woah. Kamala Harris is a neocon? I mean, looking at her platform makes me think that she's a socialist

Her stated platform is meaningless, she's just parroting Sanders etc. in order to appear far left. Her record is authoritarian and rather conservative; see for example https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/08/kamala-harris-trump-obama-california-attorney-general
757  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Bernie or Bust 2020 on: February 26, 2019, 12:54:53 AM
I think that the Democratic establishment put Kamala Harris in as insurance against Bernie-or-bust people. She's pretending to be a Sanders-style Democrat, even though if you actually look at her record, she's basically a neocon. Are you seeing many people fooled by Harris?

As a libertarian, I'd be reasonably happy with Sanders because he has OK positions on the two things that a president has the most power over: foreign policy and civil rights. His economic policy is garbage, but a president can't unilaterally make massive economic changes. More worrying is that he has been successfully browbeaten by the establishment into doing things inconsistent with his philosophy on several occasions, but he's still better than most about that.
758  Other / Meta / Re: Stop animated images in FireFox / Tor browser / Chrome on: February 26, 2019, 12:41:03 AM
OK, APNGs are now detected. Old ones are grandfathered for now, in part because people have ongoing campaigns, but in the future I might (or might not) go through and remove them.
759  Other / New forum software / Re: What is wrong with the development of new software ? on: February 26, 2019, 12:28:23 AM
The software is substantially complete. The main period of development was a while ago; the current work is mainly just maintenance & relatively minor improvements. Try running it yourself and you'll find that it's working, fast, and nearly feature-complete.

The things blocking a transition from the current software to the new software are:
 - There hasn't been enough testing. I think that immediately after transition, a variety of small missed features, bugs, and performance issues would crop up. As a result, if the transition happened now (which is technically possible!), I'd expect the post-transition user experience to be poor for months while these things are fixed, which I don't want.
 - I am the only bitcointalk.org sysadmin and on-demand programmer, and I'm used to the current software. Furthermore, I need to frequently make changes to the current software, but each change I make might require alterations to Epochtalk, which is problematic.
 - The current PHP software, while ugly and sub-optimal in many ways, performs well, especially since I have extensively modified the backend to add features and improve performance. So I don't feel much urgency.
 - The data-transition procedure still has a few known minor bugs.
 
We continue to work on these issues. I think that ultimately I may need to hire one or more full-time people, since a big problem is that the full transition is likely to create a ton of work which I won't be able to effectively handle alone.

The software is not vaporware (it's long existed in a runnable state, and is currently basically feature-complete), and is not abandoned (look at the git commit log). If anyone is unhappy with the progress, I invite them to take the Epochtalk code and create a competing forum with it; since they won't have to worry about the transition issues, they'd have a much easier time, and their testing will also end up helping us.

In short: If you want the software quicker, go run your own forum with it, and work to get any problems or missing features you find resolved via bug reports, etc. This would increase public interest, provide much-needed testing, and I might even hire you to work on bitcointalk.org when we're ready to do the final transition here.
760  Other / Meta / Re: The profile page should be changed. No one uses ICQ, AIM, MSN or YIM. on: February 25, 2019, 10:01:01 PM
What similar things do people use now?

Those fields are actually built a bit deeply into SMF for some reason, so it's not completely trivial to change, but it can be done. Low on my to-do list, though, as hugeblack mentioned.

I’ve long thought there should be a spot for PGP fingerprint.

PGP fingerprints are SHA-1, which is insecure. The OpenPGP standard really needs a complete new revision...
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