Monday 29th September

BITCOIN

The Bitcoin Network

The ultra-resilient bitcoin network is the world’s largest distributing computing project in terms of raw computational power, having long ago surpassed 1 exaFLOPS (1,000 petaFLOPS) – over eight times the combined speed of the top 500 supercomputers.

Although since increasing to an amazing 3.2 zettaFLOPS (3,200 exaFLOPS), the project was quietly removed from Wikipedia’s list of distributed computing projects. This is probably due to the fact that the exaFLOPS estimate breaks down with bitcoin’s specialized ASICs, since they are not capable of floating-point operations.

Instead, the estimate may be used for estimating how well other supercomputers and distributed networking projects would be able to mine bitcoin, since supercomputers have the capability to perform the integer operations used in hashing.

Therefore, today’s fastest supercomputer, China’s Tianhe-2 with a performance of 33.86 Pflop/s, would measure at about 0.001% of the bitcoin network – Jon Matonis

 

Governments Claim They are Here to Protect Us From “Bad Actors”, When Actually Government Agents are the Bad Actors

The increasingly ridiculous proposition made by government officials and “regulators” hoping to slow Bitcoin’s growth throughout the population: we’ll keep you safe from bad actors.

So who are these mythical bad actors, anyway? You mean legally operating dispensaries in Colorado who have been shut out from the banking system who put their money into Bitcoin because they are uncomfortable holding millions of dollars in cash out in broad daylight? Those bad actors?

Or do you mean the people who use Bitcoin to contribute to Wikileaks, Freedom of the Press Foundation, United Way and other charities and organizations that seem to have no purpose other than moving the species forward and away from poverty, military-industrial creeper stuff, and ensuring basic liberty.

Because neither of those parties seem like bad actors to me.

You people seem like the bad actors. Propping up banks that are structurally inferior and deserve to fall to cryptocurrency, just as Blockbuster and Hollywood Video eventually fell to Netflix… and just as the recording industry fell to Napster, and later bittorrent.

The prosecutor in Texas currently trying to get a teen behind bars for life (because the teen made pot brownies, oh noes!!) — that’s someone supposedly protecting us from “bad actors,” too… By ruining an innocent kid’s entire life, his career prospects, and burning through an enormous amount of taxpayer money for this witch hunt.

These people are fucks. They should be laughed out of town. If you try to put a kid in prison for life for eating a pot brownie, the entire Internet should coalesce around making sure you never get another job as a “public servant” again. Because you’re a joke, and frankly a disgrace to the species.

We can protest, but that does nothing.

We can vote in better people, but they all seem to end up sucking (Obama ran on rolling back the surveillance state, and instead he renewed the Patriot Act).

Or we can pile into cryptocurrency and put many of these creeps cleanly, politely out of business. It’s our choice – David Seaman

 

 

ALTCOINS

Monero

In a thread BCX started on September 17  he stated that he had no need or desire to attack Monero, but in the same breath claimed that he had found several specific exploits in CryptoNote (and thus Monero), one of which was a “coin killer”, and that he had the resources and ability to execute the attack at any time.

In the first reply on the same thread, Monero core developer “tacotime” asked of BCX, “Can you disclose this vulnerability privately to us so we can fix it?”, to which BCX never responded directly. As the thread progressed, BCX stopped posting while Monero core developer smooth and well known forum member, TheFascistMind (previously known as Anonymint), began discussing the potential nature of the exploit. 

BCX went on to state that he had successfully sandboxed and tested a “very lethal” Time Warp attack, and claimed it was deployable. He concluded by stating that no one should hold too much in Monero because there are many open vectors for attack.

More speculation from the forums generated yet another rumor that the attack would simply be a 51% attack, concurrent with DDoS (in attempt to take down other pools so the attacker can quickly gain a large portion of the network hashrate, or take down exchanges).

BCX’s postponed deadline has now also passed and no attack has occurred. He stated in the bitcointalk thread that the symptoms of a timewarp attack can take several days to manifest, but the price has held above 0.0033 for several hours now and it is now strongly suspected that this was a scare campaign to acquire cheap coins and no attack is going to occur.

The developers continue to work on medium term fixes so that regardless of if/when the attack happens, they will be ready (innovative checkpointing is the proposal atm).  Also, deposits and withdrawals remain frozen on Poloniex and most major exchanges, however trading is still active and BTC deposits are working properly – Chandler & Adam Wyatt

* BCX had reached his goal. He had planned to bring the XMR price down with his exploit bullshit to buy in as cheaply as possible and got what he wanted – neverminer77

* Hype gets more results than actual attacks sometimes. For me, I view FUD attacks as buying opportunities – generalizethis

 

Ethereum

Ethereum itself is economically broken. An increase in ‘ether’ value raises costs for unrelated apps A, B & C.

App A gets popular, App B becomes more expensive to use (& execute). You don’t want apps tied together economically like that. See for a better example of the future.

With Ethereum, an overnight bubble can mean you cannot use your favorite app, as it just became too expensive – Jeff Garzik

 

Namecoin

Decentralized app, with bitcoin security as an assist. It is tokens that enable certain database operations. Never meant to be money. Token value comes from db ops’ value.

Market price of namecoin moves independently of other applications (though inevitably tied to merged mining and bitcoin) – Jeff Garzik

 

Scamcoin Alert

Beware of this altcoin.

US dollar:

  • US government has a 100% monopoly on mining
  • mining algorithm: 8 white guys
  • block reward: exponentially increasing ad infinitum
  • double spending: institutionalized by the banks
  • security: proof of violence
  • transaction confirmation time: slower than snail mail

Tuur Demeester

 

 

EQUITIES

Thailand

The biggest rally in Thailand’s small-capitalization companies in more than a decade has propelled shares to bubble levels, according to the nation’s largest brokerage.

This year’s 93 percent surge in the small-cap MAI Index has left the gauge valued at 4.3 times net assets, a record 89 percent premium over the benchmark SET Index.

The MAI index closed at a record 690.55 on Sept. 15 and is heading for the biggest annual gain since 2003. It has outperformed the SET index (SET) by more than 70 percentage points this year – Anuchit Nguyen

 

 

COMPANIES & PROJECTS

Open Source Distributed Systems

The smartest 1% are creating open-source, distributed systems of resistance to render the state irrelevant through technology and encryption – Roger Ver

 

OpenBazaar

Congrats to openbazaar team and to mankind alike as its fully decentralized global marketplace goes public! http://obdemo.ein-mann-armee.de/html/index.html#/dashboard

Vortex

 

Alibaba Should Fear Bitcoin

Alibaba Exists With Permission. Bitcoin will Enable Alibaba 2.0

Bitcoin is unbridled innovation. Open Bazaar and Dark Market are the prototypes for the high-speed internet phase of online commerce. Why should vendors or software be beholden to a central company at all? Let the software operate the business and have it reinvest costs that would normally go towards salaries and dividends into lowered prices. The next gen marketplaces running on Bitcoin will serve as the model established companies like Alibaba will have to emulate – Alex Gorale

 

 

PRIVACY & SECURITY

Apple & Google

Apple and Google did something good. “FBI blasts Apple, Google for locking police out of phones” http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/2014/09/25/68c4e08e-4344-11e4-9a15-137aa0153527_story.html

Erik Voorhees

 

Tech Companies Move to Lock Out Government

In many ways, the trend is a reaction to leaks from Edward Snowden that detailed how the NSA has been able to tap into undersea fiber cables and nab emails, chats and other communications. Concern about the NSA’s prying eyes have had a dramatic effect on public trust in U.S. tech companies, which has hurt their bottom lines.

Privacy worries have also been sparked by the ever-increasing hacks at major outlets including Target and Home Depot — which just this week confirmed that information about 56 million credit and debit cards was recently stolen by hackers — and headline-grabbing incidents such as the recent theft of hundreds of nude celebrity pictures.

Apple and other tech companies are using the privacy focus as a marketing tool, at least in part – Julian Hattem

 

 

PLACES

San Francisco

Taxi use in the city has tumbled by 65 percent over the last year – Dara Kerr

 

 

THE SINGULARITY

Made in Space

“For millions of years, humans have been making things and making tools, but all of that making has happened on the surface of the earth,” said Made in Space co-founder Mike Chen.

Until now.

Made in Space has created a 3-D printer like you’ve never seen before — air-tight, stainless steel, and very precise. Their first printer is headed to space for what amounts to a science experiment. Once it succeeds, Made in Space has big plans for the next printer.

“To have a student design a satellite on their laptop, send it to us, and we’ll print it and possibly deploy it possibly even the same day,” Chen said. Entire satellites, made in space. The next printer will use multiple materials — some hard, some flexible.

And soon, “If you’re gonna have a house on the moon one day, it’s very unlikely that we’re gonna build your house here, strap it to the top of a rocket and then launch it to the moon,” Chen said.

Indeed, they’re already experimenting with 3-D printed building supplies made out of lunar dust – abc7

 

AI Expert Predicts 50% of Web Searches Will Soon be Speech and Images

Baidu — the second-largest web search provider in the world, with its biggest user base in its home country of China — has been preparing its systems for a time when text will be just another option for searching, and not necessarily the default.

“In five years, we think 50 percent of queries will be on speech or images,” Andrew Ng, Baidu’s chief scientist and the head of Baidu Research, said Wednesday during a Gigaom meetup on his area of expertise, deep learning.

A type of artificial intelligence, deep learning involves training systems called artificial neural networks on lots of information derived from audio, images, and other inputs, and then presenting the systems with new information and receiving inferences about it in response.

“Speech and images are, in my view, a much more natural way to communicate [than text],” Ng said.

Indeed, already one out of all 10 queries Baidu receives comes through speech, he said. And pointing a smartphone camera at a handbag might identify a particular model more quickly than endlessly rephrasing a typed query. As Ng put it, “It’s easier to show us a picture.”

“I think that whoever wins AI will win the Internet,” Ng said – Jordan Novet

 

Digital Telepathy: The Next Breakthrough in the Evolution of Intelligence on Earth

The revolutionary evolutions that the Internet will ultimately bring into the story of life on Earth are so profound that calling the next breakthrough in communications technology a “singularity” isn’t too far off base.

It’s impossible for any of us to truly imagine what telepathy would be like. The crazy part is that barring a total civilizational meltdown, the prospect of digital telepathy will eventually stop being a prospect we can only attempt to imagine and start being a reality that some of us live.

Here are some recent key developments: 

* This August, a handful of researchers announced that they had produced the first brain-to-brain communication between humans over the Internet. What this meant in practice was that two people wearing high-tech EEGs on their heads were able to transmit text messages just by thinking really hard, but hey, it’s a start.

* In 2012, researchers testing brain implants on rats found that implanted rats in one part of the world were able to control the behavior of implanted rats in another, using their minds.

* This year, a group of scientists at Berkeley led by Jack Gallant used fMRI to scan people’s brains while they watched video clips and created an algorithm that could translate the brain signals into rough pictures of the images they were seeing.

I don’t know about you, but to me, all of those things look like seeds that eventually produce brains that talk to each other over the Internet without typing or talking – Dan Kaplan

 

Atomically Precise Manufacturing (APM)

Working within Marvin Minsky’s MIT Media Lab, Eric Drexler earned a Ph.D. in molecular nanotechnology—the first such degree ever awarded anywhere. Along the way he wrote the bestselling Engines of Creation (1986), which outlined his vision of nanotechnology for non-technical audiences, and the technical treatise Nanosystems (1991), which got into the nuts and bolts of nanotech.

Now, more than 25 years after the publication of Engines, Drexler returns to the subject of nanotechnology with Radical Abundance. Drexler refers in his new work to “atomically precise manufacturing” (APM), which he says reflects the concepts he originally introduced.

The significance of turning the production of physical goods into an information technology would be difficult to overstate. Drexler puts APM in context as the fourth major revolution after agriculture, the Industrial Revolution, and the digital revolution. APM borrows from and builds upon each of its predecessors, and has the potential to be as disruptive as each of them.

In fact, we should expect those benefits to be significantly greater than the ones provided by the previous revolutions, seeing as this revolution is effectively the culmination of all of them. We are talking about a world where people can make their own stuff, anything they want or need, and even produce their own energy.

He makes a sober and articulate case for why we should expect to see APM technologies become a reality in the near future. The impact of those technologies will be enormous – Phil Bowermaster

 

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Follow me on Twitter @leebanfield1

Bitcoin: 1Jwh6nZiASJf4d3hNytjxqiimWBmEJvJ4S

 

Bitmessage: BM-2cXjeAykLT7gbjzNHZFnCxdawvyryyb4Nf

 

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