In other news... (humorous news items)

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby ucim » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:00 pm UTC

Ginger wrote:What an unusual story. Fitness technology use for tracking? It makes my spine shiver.
That's pretty much its only purpose. The fitness info is just bait. There's no (good) reason to otherwise require the internet to get involved at all.

While the info was probably not intended for foreign spies, it was almost certainly intended for corporate spying, to generate and refine profiles on its users, as such information has significant value, both directly (selling ads) and indirectly (controlling editorial content). The internet of things is a huge danger in this regard.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Ginger » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:13 pm UTC

What is, "Internet of things?" Is that like GLAdos or something?
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby elasto » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:18 pm UTC

Ginger wrote:What is, "Internet of things?" Is that like GLAdos or something?

IoT is like where you can control your lights, turn on your oven, unlock your front door etc. all via apps on your phone. It's also things like smart fridges that notice you are low on milk and automatically reorder.

Basically everything is net-connected.

Ucim sees the downsides but there are also tons of upsides else noone would want it.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Ginger » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:19 pm UTC

Ooh, well, even games are now all pretty much 'net connected and they are on the Internet and they ARE things... yet they cannot control your houses' stuffs. ANYWAYS, Internet of Things sounds creepy to me.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Zohar » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:41 pm UTC

Internet of Things refers to physical objects being connected online, not software. It is a generally useful thing. You can easily buy LED lights these days that can be connected to your wifi, then you can control them from your phone or set them to automatic schedules. Especially useful for security purposes if you leave your home.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Sizik » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:47 pm UTC

The biggest downside being that many devices haven't been as secure as they should be, leading to them getting hacked and e.g. used for botnets.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Mutex » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:51 pm UTC

There was one device that sent data over the internet in cleartext back to the manufacturers which could be intercepted, and actually revealed whether or not the owner was home. I forget exactly which device it was.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:51 pm UTC

Maybe don't connect to the net at all and security won't be too much of an issue? Have the network be closed with a central computer in your house not network accessible. Separate device, NOT your phone, connects to it as a remote control?
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Mutex » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:52 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Secure as they should be? Maybe don't connect to the net at all and security won't be too much of an issue?

Yes the internet of things would be more secure if people didn't connect things to the internet.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:55 pm UTC

Ok thats kind of stupid on my end. How would you be able to keep the IOT separate from the rest of the net? If you control it through your phone, that's internet there...

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby elasto » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:20 pm UTC

It being connected to the net is the whole point, but it'd be perfectly possible for whoever maintains the service to not keep the data.

Take a look at the data protection laws the EU is bringing in. Here are some exerts:

Valid consent

There are stricter rules for obtaining consent:

    - Consent must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous.
    - A request for consent must be intelligible and in clear, plain language.
    - Silence, pre-ticked boxes and inactivity will no longer suffice as consent.
    - Consent can be withdrawn at any time.
    - Consent for online services from a child under 13 is only valid with parental authorisation.
    - Organisations must be able to evidence consent.


Privacy rights of individuals

Individuals’ rights are enhanced and extended in a number of important areas:

    - The right of access to personal data through subject access requests.
    - The right to correct inaccurate personal data.
    - The right in certain cases to have personal data erased.
    - The right to object.
    - The right to move personal data from one service provider to another (data portability).


Data protection principles

Personal data must be processed according to the six data protection principles:

    - Processed lawfully, fairly and transparently.
    - Collected only for specific legitimate purposes.
    - Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary.
    - Must be accurate and kept up to date.
    - Stored only as long as is necessary.
    - Ensure appropriate security, integrity and confidentiality.


There's no reason the US couldn't bring similar protections if there was the will for it.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Ginger » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:27 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:Internet of Things refers to physical objects being connected online, not software. It is a generally useful thing. You can easily buy LED lights these days that can be connected to your wifi, then you can control them from your phone or set them to automatic schedules. Especially useful for security purposes if you leave your home.

I see. That DOES sounds useful. If I had a like, phone locking my doors app, I'd use it. And I have connect to the 'net re: my cell phones yet never use them to control other things.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby elasto » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:38 pm UTC

Ginger wrote:I see. That DOES sounds useful. If I had a like, phone locking my doors app, I'd use it.

One way I've heard of people using such an app is with AirBnB properties.

Someone books in to stay at your house from the 5th to the 7th. They download an app to their phone which allows them to unlock your front door only during those days. No need to collect or return a key. Likewise, you have a maid service the property, washing the towels daily and changing the sheets between visitors. They similarly gain access to the property through the app for as long as their company holds the contract.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Dauric » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:49 pm UTC

Sizik wrote:The biggest downside being that many devices haven't been as secure as they should be, leading to them getting hacked and e.g. used for botnets.


Another issue with Internet of Things is where the "things" are manufactured is sometimes a problem. I'm aware of at least one situation where an employee of a military contractor plugged in a digital photo-frame in to the company computer, and was summarily fired.

It's not simply that plugging your devices in to the company network is against policy, but the Chinese manufacturer of the photo-frame had pre-installed a number of virus and malware programs in to the device's firmware, which once plugged in to a computer spread those viruses across the network creating a number of backdoors and security holes in the company computers. The way I understand it the company had to dispose of an entire room of servers because of that data breach.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Mutex » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:50 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
Ginger wrote:I see. That DOES sounds useful. If I had a like, phone locking my doors app, I'd use it.

One way I've heard of people using such an app is with AirBnB properties.

Someone books in to stay at your house from the 5th to the 7th. They download an app to their phone which allows them to unlock your front door only during those days. No need to collect or return a key. Likewise, you have a maid service the property, washing the towels daily and changing the sheets between visitors. They similarly gain access to the property through the app for as long as their company holds the contract.

Also a good example of an IoT app where you'd *really* want to get the security right.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Zohar » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:52 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Ok thats kind of stupid on my end. How would you be able to keep the IOT separate from the rest of the net? If you control it through your phone, that's internet there...

You don't, but you increase security standards and you only use businesses that commit to a certain level of security. I think it's very much an accessibility things - this has just become relevant in the past 5-10 years, and there aren't standards yet. Novices who jump on the bandwagon may get hurt, unfortunately.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:06 pm UTC

New idea based on air b&b. An app for brunch. Person makes homemade brunch for people out of their apartment, instead of a diner. Sign in to app to let people know you are cooking, people show up. App not liable for food poisoning.

Not serious, but given uber and air~, eh.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby commodorejohn » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:41 pm UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:I'm not sure whether to laugh or gasp in horror:

U.S. soldiers are revealing sensitive and dangerous information by jogging

I'm really kind of boggled that the military didn't twig to this years ago when everybody suddenly decided that every device you own should have a GPS in it, frankly.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Ginger » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:44 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:New idea based on air b&b. An app for brunch. Person makes homemade brunch for people out of their apartment, instead of a diner. Sign in to app to let people know you are cooking, people show up. App not liable for food poisoning.

Not serious, but given uber and air~, eh.

I'd use your hypothetical brunch making app. Supply recipes, cook recipes, and sign in every day to have peoples show up and pretend they're my friends because I serve them foods and drinks.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Dauric » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:18 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
ObsessoMom wrote:I'm not sure whether to laugh or gasp in horror:

U.S. soldiers are revealing sensitive and dangerous information by jogging

I'm really kind of boggled that the military didn't twig to this years ago when everybody suddenly decided that every device you own should have a GPS in it, frankly.


The wild thing is "The Military" isn't really a unified group. The information security guys have probably been harping on this for all those years. Implementation of those rules mean that someone (significantly) higher up the chain of command, who may not be as technologically savvy, is being told he has to either not have the latest consumer gadget, have it jailbroken and functionality removed, or has to be hyper-aware of where and how he uses it.

Grand upshot (the)rank hath their privileges, so exceptions get made, loopholes get established, everybody at every level exploits the loopholes, enforcement of rules becomes impossible, and the organization ultimately gives up all but token resistance to people doing shit that violates good security policy... unless and until someone screws up so hard that it's impossible to turn a blind eye to the problem any longer.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby jewish_scientist » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:54 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
commodorejohn wrote:It's almost like a currency linked to something that can vanish into the bit bucket at the drop of a hat is kind of stupid or something.

You have a point, but the password part is the least stupid part of bitcoin. I'm still struggling to see how they can take blockchain software and turn it into something actually useful. I haven't heard of anything yet besides blackmarket stuff.

I used to think that the company that owned Bitcoin would be contracted to solve complex problems and then uses the combined processing power of the Bitcoin miners' to solve the problem. The company is payed in regular money for each problem solved and each miner is paid for each packet* that the processed. In other words, Bitcoin was backed by processing time. Although this interesting in theory, I still had several problems with Bitcoin. When I later learned how Bitcoin is actually mined, I realized that it is even stupider than I imagined.

The group in charge of Bitcoin publishes several math problems with known answers and the first computer to submit the correct answer is given a Bitcoin. If you use your processing power to solve something and turn it in too late, then there is no return on the money you spent for the electricity used to power your computer. Also, the person running Bitcoin is anonymous, which is never good in economics, and there is a formula for the inflation of Bitcoin build into the system itself.

BIONICS, SETI, Fold-It, etc break a problem down into small packets.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Zohar » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:56 pm UTC

I'm very curious how the modern military deals with smart phones. When I was in my military service (2001-2004) we had to physically disconnect the battery for our phones whenever we were in an operational area (not dorms, kitchen, etc.). Not that we had much reception anywhere... These days you can't even disconnect the batteries on most phones.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby idonno » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:14 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:The group in charge of Bitcoin publishes several math problems with known answers and the first computer to submit the correct answer is given a Bitcoin. If you use your processing power to solve something and turn it in too late, then there is no return on the money you spent for the electricity used to power your computer. Also, the person running Bitcoin is anonymous, which is never good in economics, and there is a formula for the inflation of Bitcoin build into the system itself.

That is not how it works. There isn't someone running Bitcoin (the creator is anonymous and as far as anyone knows isn't doing anything with the project anymore). It is run by a mathematical consensus algorithm that is agreed upon at the software level. There aren't known math problems. There is a hash that must be found that feeds off of the previous blocks and parameters that control how difficult this hash is to find change depending on how fast blocks are being mined (which is a good approximation of hashing power). Valid answers are not known by anyone until they are found but when they are found they are easy to verify.

The issue with processing something else is that the actual process cost needs to be tied to the contents of the chain. If I just have to try x number of protein folds, I can take the folds of a preexisting chain, remove any transactions from people I don't like and have a perfectly validating chain. With the hashing mechanism used, if I pull out a transaction, the hash I need to compute is completely different so I can't use someone else's work in my modified chain I have to literally build out a new chain from scratch longer than the old one before people will switch over to it. It would be really nice if some clever person could figure a way to embed useful computing in this system but it is certainly not a trivial task.

Zohar wrote:I'm very curious how the modern military deals with smart phones. When I was in my military service (2001-2004) we had to physically disconnect the battery for our phones whenever we were in an operational area (not dorms, kitchen, etc.). Not that we had much reception anywhere... These days you can't even disconnect the batteries on most phones.
They probably just restrict where you can take them.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby elasto » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:23 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:The wild thing is "The Military" isn't really a unified group. The information security guys have probably been harping on this for all those years. Implementation of those rules mean that someone (significantly) higher up the chain of command, who may not be as technologically savvy, is being told he has to either not have the latest consumer gadget, have it jailbroken and functionality removed, or has to be hyper-aware of where and how he uses it.

Case in point: The Commander-in-Chief who continued to tweet from his Samsung Galaxy until long after the election. Wonder if Twitter et al. were recording his every movement via GPS too...

(Somehow I doubt he's a big user of a Fitbit...)

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Yablo » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:38 pm UTC

idonno wrote:That is not how it works. There isn't someone running Bitcoin (the creator is anonymous and as far as anyone knows isn't doing anything with the project anymore). It is run by a mathematical consensus algorithm that is agreed upon at the software level. There aren't known math problems. There is a hash that must be found that feeds off of the previous blocks and parameters that control how difficult this hash is to find change depending on how fast blocks are being mined (which is a good approximation of hashing power). Valid answers are not known by anyone until they are found but when they are found they are easy to verify.

The issue with processing something else is that the actual process cost needs to be tied to the contents of the chain. If I just have to try x number of protein folds, I can take the folds of a preexisting chain, remove any transactions from people I don't like and have a perfectly validating chain. With the hashing mechanism used, if I pull out a transaction, the hash I need to compute is completely different so I can't use someone else's work in my modified chain I have to literally build out a new chain from scratch longer than the old one before people will switch over to it. It would be really nice if some clever person could figure a way to embed useful computing in this system but it is certainly not a trivial task.


It seems like all this computing power and effort could be used for something actually productive and beneficial to society.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:47 pm UTC

Yablo wrote:It seems like all this computing power and effort could be used for something actually productive and beneficial to society.

Well now you're just talking crazy.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby SDK » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:48 pm UTC

Yablo wrote:It seems like all this computing power and effort could be used for something actually productive and beneficial to society.

That's not how humans work!

Anyway, a lot of people think they are benefitting society by providing a decentralized currency. Even if you don't see that, these people are making money off of bitcoin, so at least they're benefitting themselves?
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby sardia » Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:25 pm UTC

SDK wrote:
Yablo wrote:It seems like all this computing power and effort could be used for something actually productive and beneficial to society.

That's not how humans work!

Anyway, a lot of people think they are benefitting society by providing a decentralized currency. Even if you don't see that, these people are making money off of bitcoin, so at least they're benefitting themselves?

Just creating a currency doesn't make money. Not until you start fractional banking the coins. For example, during the tulip bubble, all those people who got rich off flowers merely shuffled their losses to suckers when the Bubble popped.
Now if bit coin wasn't deflationary, and had a stable value backed by say...t bills that's another story. We could explore the possibilities of decentralized currency, except nobody would pay to verify the transactions... Which means the consumer pays.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby SDK » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:15 pm UTC

Well, yeah, they're not creating value for society, but they are creating value for themselves... which I guess doesn't work given Yablo's criteria that it has to be productive to society. You got me. Bitcoin sucks. :P
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby sardia » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:25 pm UTC

SDK wrote:Well, yeah, they're not creating value for society, but they are creating value for themselves... which I guess doesn't work given Yablo's criteria that it has to be productive to society. You got me. Bitcoin sucks. :P

Well, there is one way for this to be valuable to society. Many rich people only care about hoarding their wealth without actually spending it, which is recessive. If bitcoin was a bubble, but most of the people who bought it at it's peak (and subsequently lose it when the bubble pops) are rich people, then the bitcoin event would be a stimulus. Because it would pull unused money and be then spent by poorer people, who would be more likely to spend it. This isn't what happens since rich people tend to get rich first, and then the poorer people eat the losses.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby SDK » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:43 pm UTC

Undoubtedly bitcoin was started with redistribution of wealth in mind. Thanks, Satoshi!
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Yablo » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:01 am UTC

SDK wrote:Anyway, a lot of people think they are benefitting society by providing a decentralized currency. Even if you don't see that, these people are making money off of bitcoin, so at least they're benefitting themselves?

I, personally, don't think a decentralized currency is a great benefit to society, but I can see how others might, and given that, I can see why they would do what they do.

I still find this funny and possibly telling, though:

The North American Bitcoin Conference is No Longer Accepting Bitcoin Payments for Tickets
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Ginger » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:17 am UTC

I lost Bitcoins to... a shady drug dealing services. I know it was bad ideas everywhere to buy marijuana off a bitcoin website yet... I was desperate and had none? So I try and... lost over $200 USA legal tender. Sad tears were cried that day.... :(
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby idonno » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:17 pm UTC

Yablo wrote:It seems like all this computing power and effort could be used for something actually productive and beneficial to society.

Exchange is productive and beneficial to society. Maybe something more can be done with it but as far as anyone has worked out yet you can't both secure the currency and do something else. The tech is still early so someone might figure out a way.

With Bitcoin You can currently move any amount of money across borders in an undetectable manner simply by memorizing a random 12 word seed (you could do it easier than that but the bitcoin wouldn't be secure). Sure this has criminal applications but consider scenarios like refugees who often have to leave everything behind and start from scratch. If you don't see how this might benefit society, I believe it is an issue with your imagination not the concept behind bitcoin.

Yablo wrote:I, personally, don't think a decentralized currency is a great benefit to society, but I can see how others might, and given that, I can see why they would do what they do.


I bet you don't live in Venezuela. It is a lot easier to not see the point in decentralizing currency when you don't live in a country where the government has wrecked its currency to the point where people have trouble obtaining food. When children are starving because of government financial machinations, taking away the government control starts to look like a pretty good idea.

I don't think he talks about it in the video I linked to early but the guy in that video is from Greece and has talked about how government actions have devastated his parents retirement savings twice in his lifetime. If you listen to him talk much, it starts to become apparent that he has very justifiable issues with the current system.

Yablo wrote:The North American Bitcoin Conference is No Longer Accepting Bitcoin Payments for Tickets
The internet had trouble scaling as well. People are working on bitcoin scaling. It may not be possible but there is no reason to assume that it isn't.


sardia wrote:For example, during the tulip bubble, all those people who got rich off flowers merely shuffled their losses to suckers when the Bubble popped.

The tulip bubble is an overblown story that is often cited but rarely relevant.
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/ ... 180964915/

sardia wrote:Now if bit coin wasn't deflationary
I don't think that being deflationary is a huge problem in general but I do think bitcoin is too deflationary. In the short term, if it gains widespread adoption, it is obviously incredibly deflationary to the point were it becomes difficult to justify spending it and in the long term it becomes a fixed amount which makes it at least as deflationary as population growth. Satoshi wanted it to be deflationary but I don't think he properly though through the fact that you can have a constantly growing supply and still be deflationary as long as the supply grows slower than demand.

ginger wrote:I lost Bitcoins to... a shady drug dealing services.
I suspect it was still a lot safer than meeting up for a shady drug deal in person with $200 cash.

morriswalters
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby morriswalters » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:58 pm UTC

idonno wrote:Sure this has criminal applications but consider scenarios like refugees who often have to leave everything behind and start from scratch.
I don't know much about bitcoin, but refugees would have to convert cash to bitcoin in their native environment before they could run, and whatever bitcoin might become at the moment, that could make the pain worse for refugees, not better. The transaction fees would eat them alive, wouldn't they? And if you're in an area where the currency has collapsed, how do you buy bitcoin? Maybe that's naive, but I'm trying to understand how it might work.

idonno
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby idonno » Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:42 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:I don't know much about bitcoin, but refugees would have to convert cash to bitcoin in their native environment before they could run, and whatever bitcoin might become at the moment, that could make the pain worse for refugees, not better. The transaction fees would eat them alive, wouldn't they? And if you're in an area where the currency has collapsed, how do you buy bitcoin? Maybe that's naive, but I'm trying to understand how it might work.
Currently yes but if usage becomes common may will already own bitcoin and in a lot of scenarios, people are financially persecuted before they become refugees. Hiding assets in bitcoin is a pretty rational response to that even if you don't realize at the time of purchase that you will eventually be fleeing your country. Why would transaction fees "eat them alive" when the current loss is 100%?

If you judge new technology by current usage, you are going to miss out on a lot of inovation.

morriswalters wrote: And if you're in an area where the currency has collapsed, how do you buy bitcoin? Maybe that's naive, but I'm trying to understand how it might work.
You can get it the same way you get your current currency? Work for it, trade in it, etc... This is the least theoretical concept as it is already happening in real life.

Also, and I'm really not clear on what the bitcoin sellers side of the transaction looks that makes this profitable but people will exchange bitcoin for bolivar. This isn't unique to bitcoin. I have never been real clear on how people changing a failing currency for other currencies make money in general. They don't give good exchange rates but even bad rates are better than holding a collapsing currency so the sellers must be doing something to convert bolivars to something more stable.

I'd like to note that I might be coming off more bullish than I am for the tech so keep in mind that I am responding to bearish points of view. I think it has the potential to work and solves some technically complex issues with decentralized trust but that doesn't mean I don't see issues with it.

morriswalters
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby morriswalters » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:12 pm UTC

Thanks for the perspective.

elasto
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby elasto » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:49 pm UTC

Also worth noting is that in Africa right now peer to peer payments have really taken off. Rather like they are leapfrogging laying cables and going straight to mobile for internet access, so they are leapfrogging bricks and mortar branches and going straight to app based finances.

Right now such apps obviously use dollars or the local currency but it's fertile ground for a virtual currency to take root for all sorts of reasons.

idonno
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby idonno » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:47 pm UTC

elasto wrote:Also worth noting is that in Africa right now peer to peer payments have really taken off. Rather like they are leapfrogging laying cables and going straight to mobile for internet access, so they are leapfrogging bricks and mortar branches and going straight to app based finances.

Right now such apps obviously use dollars or the local currency but it's fertile ground for a virtual currency to take root for all sorts of reasons.


At least in Kenya, they also trade pre-paid mobile-airtime minutes as currency which is fascinating.

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ObsessoMom
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby ObsessoMom » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:38 am UTC



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