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961  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / Re: Theymos's list of altcoins with some technical merit on: December 28, 2018, 05:06:54 PM
Wonder if Theymos has any new favorites these days, though I highly doubt it.

I was going to try to evaluate more, but I never got around to it.

Current thinking:

 - Extremely interested: grin
 - Good: XMR
 - Some merit: ETH
 - Possibly some merit, not sure: XLM, TRX, QRL, IOTA
962  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Common ground on: December 28, 2018, 04:38:45 PM
And that's where most of disagreements on the board come from I'd say.
Some wants less government.
Some wants more government.
I don't see how we can reconciliate those two visions. One has to lose so the other can win.

Or if there is a way I don't see it.

I see two ways:

First, although I still consider it bad, I think that it'd be better policy-wise and ethically for governments to eliminate regulations while still collecting and distributing taxes. For example, instead of having a 25% income tax and a $15/hour minimum wage, I'd consider it better to have a 30% income tax, no minimum wage, and some sort of welfare system to cover up whatever holes you see created by the lack of a minimum wage. (The 25%->30% income tax increase is just an example, and is maybe not worth eliminating just the minimum wage regulation.)

Second, we can have many small countries with different policies. There's no need for world domination. I'm a big supporter of seasteading, anti-EU movements, and secessionist movements around the world.
963  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Common ground on: December 28, 2018, 04:23:56 PM
Bringing any "precise number" in the conversation would be silly but I doubt that more than a few hours of work per week on average on the human population would be needed to provide those elements. Most of our work are for not-mandatory needs.
Which doesn't mean they're not important of course.

Perhaps. I do feel strongly that people are too tied to the necessity of 9-to-5, 5-days-per-week jobs, even though people have been working similar amounts (or less!) for 100+ years.

But it's important to put the cart before the horse! If government mandates low amounts of work, for example, then the economy might not be ready, possibly causing economic breakdown and poverty. It also puts a barrier in front of the minority of people whose primary desire may be to work as much as physically possible so that they can significantly move their family up the economic ladder. The government should just stay out of it and let people work as much as they want/need.
964  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Common ground on: December 28, 2018, 04:05:53 PM
I am of the opinion consensus is overvalued.

I agree, but I thought it'd be interesting as a change of pace to pretend that we'd all be willing to form one political platform.

It may or may not come as a surprise but to be honest the freedom of individuals is extremely important to me.

It's not surprising. There are two main branches of political belief: liberalism and authoritarianism, and "liberal" derives from "liberty" (=freedom). In the past, there was significant true political belief in authoritarianism, where people would actually say that they believed in eg. following an absolute ruler, but now almost all politics is at least couched in terms of liberalism. For someone to disagree with my vague individual freedom statement would require them to be far outside of the overton window, probably an extreme communist type or an extreme conservative.

The main difference between libertarians and left-liberals is that those on the left recognize some positive rights as integral to freedom, such as the "right to healthcare", while libertarians only recognize negative rights such as the "right to not be assaulted".

Could scarcity be eliminated in the future? With genetic bio-technology I see no reason why it couldn't be solved.

Maybe someday material scarcity could be eliminated for most practical purposes, but scarcity can't be eliminated on the whole. For example, you may desire to have something custom-designed by one particular famous artisan, and that person's time is limited. Or you may like Picard in Star Trek desire an authentic kurlan naiskos artifact.

In this area, some leftists make two major mistakes:
 1. They tend to just dismiss a desire for anything that technology cannot conceivably produce ~infinite amounts of as something that people shouldn't desire. This brings them out of touch with what humanity actually is.
 2. They tend to assume that we're 99% of the way to post-scarcity, so we can just immediately eliminate all modern-day ways of managing scarcity. Even the USSR thought in this way to some extent, dreaming of a future where automation would solve everything, even though from today's standpoint they were laughably far from post-scarcity.
965  Other / Serious discussion / Re: How Will quantum computing affect BTC security and mining. on: December 28, 2018, 02:40:54 AM

It's not clear whether quantum computers large enough to attack Bitcoin will come into existence in 10 years or 100+ years. If the former, then making Bitcoin quantum-safe in a hurry will be messy, though it can and will be done.

It's certainly not the "end of blockchain technology". Anyone who says that doesn't know what they're talking about. Designing a quantum-safe cryptocurrency is trivial, though it adds significant overhead, which is why nobody's really doing it yet. QRL claims to be a functioning and remarkably efficient quantum-safe cryptocurrency (though still much less efficient than quantum-unsafe cryptocurrencies), but I haven't looked into any aspect of it very much.
966  Bitcoin / Electrum / Re: I think I lost all my BTC with electrum on: December 28, 2018, 02:34:06 AM
Thanks both. But can someone explain how it was possible for the attackers to "Attacker added tens of malicious servers to the Electrum wallet network"? This seems to be where the problem started based on this article (

Was this due to a flaw in Electrum? If so, could any of the methods suggested by you both have prevented this?

It's part of Electrum's design. Anyone can run an Electrum Server and put it forward for the public to use. When you run the client, you connect to a random Electrum server (run by some random person), send them a list of your addresses, and they send you back the transactions associated with those addresses. (More-or-less.) This is less secure than running your own full node for various reasons, and it's also terrible for privacy, since some random person gets a list of every Bitcoin address you've ever used along with your IP address. But if you want to avoid these sorts of tradeoffs, then you have to run your own full node, which takes a bit of time and resources.

You might suggest that clients should only connect to a fixed set of trusted and well-vetted Electrum servers, but that introduces fundamental centralization into Electrum's operation, which the Electrum developers wished to avoid. This attack, where an attacker creates hundreds/thousands of legitimate-looking network nodes all controlled by him, is called a Sybil attack, and is a common issue in decentralized systems.
967  Bitcoin / Electrum / Re: I think I lost all my BTC with electrum on: December 27, 2018, 06:27:00 PM
Can some expert here let us newbies know how something like this could have been avoided? Would it be to do a PGP check on every electrum download we make? Is that sufficient to prevent this from happening?

 - Electrum is a low-security wallet in general. It focuses on bleeding-edge features and usability, not absolute security. Store only pocket change there (and on the same computer as Electrum). For storing large amounts, use a hardware wallet.
 - The fact that this phishing message was prefixed by "error: error sending transaction" should make one immediately suspicious. If you feel any suspicion about anything, stop and discuss it on the forum or elsewhere.
 - When a new update comes out, wait a week or two before installing it. If it's listed as critical, look at various sites such as to figure out why it's critical. If in doubt about whether a "critical" update is real, you can just stop using Electrum for a few days and wait for further news.
 - Navigate to the site using a bookmark if possible, and use HTTPS.
 - Verify the PGP signature when you download it.
 - When you run the executable on platforms that support digital signing, make sure that it's signed by "Electrum Technologies GmbH"
968  Bitcoin / Important Announcements / Electrum vulnerability allows arbitrary messages, phishing on: December 27, 2018, 01:17:14 PM
If you're using Electrum or a derivative, you may receive a message like this:

This message is false, sent to you by a hacker. If you click the link in the message and install the software, then your BTC will be stolen. If you ignore the message, then you should be OK. Version 3.3.2, released a week ago, makes the messages less readable/convincing, though you could still receive such messages.

Note that altcoin derivatives of Electrum are very common, with over 1600 forks on github, and they will also be affected.

More info:

969  Other / Meta / Re: Account recoveries are moving again on: December 26, 2018, 08:28:09 PM
I was trying to translate the OP ( for my local board, since it's an important topic for all to see, but I'm having issues when trying to include the recovery email in a forum post:

Rather than copying the email address, please just say "the email address in theymos's post" or similar. These email addresses will be periodically cycled, so if you copy it, it'll stop working eventually.

970  Other / Meta / Re: Account recoveries are moving again on: December 26, 2018, 05:56:36 PM
You know that there are many appeal-threads where users already provided their signed message. The hacker will simply create a new email and copy paste the signed message.

That's why signed messages for account recoveries have to include the desired new email and a date.
971  Other / Meta / Re: Account recoveries are moving again on: December 26, 2018, 05:28:25 PM
A bit off topic (not sure): How about the script you were writing we heard from the PM of one of the member (qwk i guess)?

Not sure what you're referring to. One thing I'm working on (maybe for release in the first half of 2019, not sure) is a proper address-staking system. The main point of this would be to replace the current ad hoc address staking situation and safely allow opting out of any of: long-term IP log retention; email password recoveries; or manual recoveries. Automatic recoveries using a staked address is possible, but not much on my mind right now.

I have something in my mind and I want to be reassured:
If the owner of a locked account send an appeal from a new email, will you unlock his account?

edit: the user provides a signed message.

If a signature is provided, probably. But each case needs to be considered separately.
972  Other / Meta / Account recoveries are moving again on: December 26, 2018, 04:01:40 PM
We've streamlined our processes, and Cyrus has put together a team for handling these cases, so account recoveries should now be handled at a reasonable pace again. Additionally, we will be somewhat more lenient in recovering accounts without signatures, though signatures often will still be required, depending on the situation.

If you have a locked account, send a new email to the email address given in your "account locked" error message. (The email address changed a few weeks ago.) If you were previously sending messages to me or Cyrus, send a new email to the address here. We might try to go through the backlog of old-process recoveries in the future, but for now you should send new messages.

Sorry for the delay!
973  Other / Meta / Recovering hacked/lost accounts on: December 26, 2018, 03:48:07 PM
If you get a message similar to "your account is locked"

You should be given an email address in the error message. Send an email there and you will be given further instructions.

If you are banned

Your ban message may have an email address which you can email. If not, then appeals are unlikely to be accepted.

If your account was hacked

Email, ideally from the account's email address. Include your username and a brief description of the details of how/when the account was hacked. A signature will likely be required (see below).

If you forgot the password or similar

Try using the email password reset. Check that the email isn't ending up in your spam folder. If that doesn't work, email, ideally from the account's email address. Include your username. A signature will likely be required (see below).


Often, you need to prove ownership of the account with a PGP or Bitcoin signature. This has two steps:

 1. You need to show that the PGP key or Bitcoin address is associated with the account, for example by referencing an unedited post in which you posted the address.
 2. You need to sign an appropriate message with that key/address.

For example, this is an example of an appropriate proof of ownership:

My account <account> has been hacked/lost. Please reset the email to <email>. The current date is <date>.
<insert address here>
<insert signature here>

Here is the unedited post where I posted that address: ...

Note the following elements:
 - The message contains the username, the desired new email, and the current date.
 - You specify the address.
 - You include a signature.
 - You link to the association between the address used for signing and the account.
974  Other / Politics & Society / Common ground on: December 24, 2018, 09:15:36 PM
In the spirit of Christmas, can we on try to find some political consensus? Can Flying Hellfish and TECSHARE agree on anything?

Some points which might find general agreement:
 - The freedom of individuals is important.
 - The prevailing banking/fiat system is on the whole bad.
 - In most places, the people would be far better off if major changes were made to their respective governments.
 - As long as scarcity exists, the existence of some form of trade is good.
 - Technology is good.
 - Humanity should dominate the universe.

Any others? Do you disagree with even those broad statements?
975  Other / Meta / Re: Merry Christmas to the Forum on: December 23, 2018, 09:31:15 PM
Merry Christmas!
976  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Mad Dog Mattis Resigns - Trumps replacement? on: December 21, 2018, 05:30:49 PM
I actually hadn't read Mattis as a huge neocon, but his resignation letter indicates that he must've at least largely bought into the neocon argument. I suppose the whole Pentagon culture which he has been immersed in has been very pro-intervention.

I'm surprised and very happy with Trump's actions here. In addition to the Syria withdrawal, it wasn't widely reported that Trump simultaneously also ordered withdrawing half of the troops in Afghanistan. It seems that he's finally starting to go with his instincts even in opposition to his neocon advisors. While his instincts are far from ideal, they're a hell of a lot better than eg. "bomb-everyone Bolton". I'm a little doubtful that Trump will keep up this policy with any consistency, but if he does follow a consistent anti-intervention path from here on out, I will probably end up considering him the best president in many decades even despite his many other flaws.

So far, Trump has always picked establishment, neocon cabinet members. If he picks an anti-war Secretary of Defense, that might indicate a true shift.

Pick any point on the map at random and you will find horrible injustice. The US can't intervene everywhere, and history has proven that it usually causes more evil in intervening than it sought to prevent. For example, in trying to fight the admittedly-evil regime in Iran and "stabilize the region", the US is propping up the even more evil regime in Saudi Arabia, which is itself perpetuating what is essentially a genocide in Yemen. It's better to just get out of there completely. These wars are also all unconstitutional.

I wish the Kurds the best, especially given that Bitcoin's own Amir Taaki was fighting in their ranks for some years, but it's not the US's war to fight.
977  Economy / Auctions / Re: Advertise on this forum - Round 264 on: December 20, 2018, 03:52:00 PM
Note that I have added a new rule:

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:

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

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]
978  Economy / Auctions / Advertise on this forum - Round 264 on: December 20, 2018, 03:51:40 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.


- 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.

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:

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

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.
979  Economy / Auctions / Re: Advertise on this forum - Round 263 on: December 20, 2018, 03:42:04 PM
9 @ 0.14

You have your own token, and you currently have no product, so I classify your site as an ICO.

1 @ 0.1

Rejected, see your PMs.

Auction ended, final result:
Slots BTC/Slot Person
1 0.16 FirstGlobalCredit
4 0.12 ChipMixer
1 0.10 SwC_Poker
3 0.08 lightlord
980  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Brexit status on: December 17, 2018, 10:49:22 PM
I don't believe in politics as an effective way of doing anything. Look at Nigel Farage: he seems like a nice enough guy, and I more-or-less agree with his position, but he spent decades getting a brexit vote, and in the end it might all be for nothing. That's decades of time, effort, and pay down the drain. Even if he gets his desired no-deal-brexit, was all of that work really worth it to him and the people who funded him? I tend to think that the world would've been better off if he'd stayed a commodities trader and the UKIP donors used their money for something more fun/useful. (But people can choose what to do with themselves, of course.) And Farage is just an easy-to-understand example: I believe that nearly all political action is similarly a waste of resources, with each rare success being bought at a far higher price than it's worth.

I recommend against political donations, political volunteering, protests & similar political action, and I don't particularly encourage voting. That's all a waste of time. Instead, people should try to work around / in-spite-of politics. Wherever possible, don't put yourself in positions where you have to ask permission, even on small and/or non-governmental scales. Satoshi's creation of Bitcoin is a perfect example: in just a few years, Satoshi changed the world more than just about any politician, and he didn't have to compromise his principles whatsoever or ask permission from anyone. This is ideal.

So you'll probably never see me canvassing for any candidates or policies.

That said, I ironically very much enjoy following and discussing politics on a personal level, much like some people follow sports, and it can also pay to follow it because it can strongly affect eg. the prices of assets. If you look, you'll find that I do talk about US politics a fair bit. Brexit is especially interesting because it's unusual and unpredictable, unlike a lot of stuff in politics. IMO a no-deal brexit would at this point probably be the best result for the UK and the world, but again, I'm not recommending that anyone waste time on the matter.
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