Zach Harvey has an ambitious plan to accelerate adoption of the Internet’s favorite alternative currency: installing in thousands of bars, restaurants, and grocery stores ATMs that will let you buy Bitcoins anonymously.
Bitcoin has gradually increased in popularity since it appeared in 2009, with WordPress saying last fall that it would accept it as a payment method, and a handful of retail businesses, including Cups and Cakes Bakery in San Francisco, following suit. The exchange rate now hovers around US$30 a coin, and about $300 million is in circulation.
Unlike modern currency, which can be brought into existence at the whim of politicians or a central bank, leading to each note being devalued, the number of Bitcoins is governed by predictable mathematical algorithms. That’s made Bitcoin popular among libertarians and other activists skeptical of the Federal Reserve; the Free State Project accepts payment for its summer festival in Bitcoins, for instance. (The U.S. dollar has lost 96 percent of its value over the last century because of cumulative year-over-year inflation, according to federal government data.)
Good read – looking back at some interesting predictions that Steve made (drunken blog rant) and an exercise worth taking a stab at here.
1. XML databases will surpass relational databases in popularity by 2011.
2. Someone will make a lot of money by hosting open-source web applications.
3. Multi-threaded programming will fall out of favor by 2012.
4. Java’s “market share” on the JVM will drop below 50% by 2010.
5. Lisp will be in the top 10 most popular programming languages by 2010.
6. A new internet community-hangout will appear. One that you and I will frequent.
7. The mobile/wireless/handheld market is still at least 5 years out.
8. Someday I will voluntarily pay Google for one of their services.
9. Apple’s laptop sales will exceed those of HP/Compaq, IBM, Dell and Gateway combined by 2010.
10. In five years’ time, most programmers will still be average.
Read the details here: https://sites.google.com/site/steveyegge2/ten-predictions
“The Government of Antigua is planning to launch a website selling movies, music and software, without paying U.S. copyright holders. The Caribbean island is taking the unprecedented step because the United States refuses to lift a trade “blockade” preventing the island from offering Internet gambling services, despite several WTO decisions in Antigua’s favor. The country now hopes to recoup some of the lost income through a WTO approved “warez” site.”..
“Google demands probable-cause, court-issued warrants to divulge the contents of Gmail and other cloud-stored documents to authorities in the United States — a startling revelation Wednesday that runs counter to federal law that does not always demand warrants.
The development surfaced as Google publicly announced that more than two-thirds of the user data Google forwards to government agencies across the United States is handed over without a probable-cause warrant.”
“For example, if [a visitor] went to XYZ.com and filled out a web form and then [the visitor] later visited 42floors.com, [42Floors] would be able to identify [the visitor] by name/email as well as company details even though [the visitor] never filled out a web form on [42Floors.com].”
Seriously creepy.. apparently the answer to the author’s question “When a user visits a site without ever having voluntarily supplied information to that site, should the user have an expectation that their identity is private until they chose to reveal it?” is that the developers think not…
Today it is perfectly legal for companies to buy and sell the rights to unlimited numbers of ideas, a company is not required to have any interest in making these ideas a reality. It is perfectly legal for companies to sit on patents and wait for others to create before either suing the creator or charging licensing fees…
Super interesting read. From the article > The Syrian Minister of Information is being reported as saying that the government did not disable the Internet, but instead the outage was caused by a cable being cut. Specifically: “It is not true that the state cut the Internet. The terrorists targeted the Internet lines, resulting in some regions being cut off.” From our investigation, that appears unlikely to be the case….. Syria has 4 physical cables that connect it to the rest of the Internet. Three are undersea cables that land in the city of Tartous, Syria. The fourth is an over-land cable through Turkey. In order for a whole-country outage, all four of these cables would have had to been cut simultaneously. That is unlikely to have happened.
Generally I like to do my holiday shopping from the comfort of my own home, late at night and at the last minute. This year I’m working on the last minute part.. Here are some of my go-to links for gift ideas:
“At WordPress.com, our mission is making publishing democratic — accessible and easy for anyone, anywhere. And while anyone can start a free blog here, not everyone can access upgrades (like going ad-free or enabling custom design) because of limits on traditional payment networks. Today, that changes: you can now buy WordPress.com upgrades with bitcoins.”
On a related note, the Internal FBI risk assessment of the Bitcoin network (found here on WIRED) is a very interesting read.
Do read this great article on WIRED, “No matter how complex, no matter how unique, your passwords can no longer protect you.” Also, be sure to read the list of “DON’TS” (pretty much the opposite of what you’ve been told) and DO’S on the 3rd page.
Read the notes + comments (hacker news) but haven’t had a chance to play yet.. seems promising though: “An open-source distributed database built with love. Enjoy an intuitive query language, automatically parallelized queries, and simple administration. Table joins and batteries included.”