Thursday, June 30, 2011

Interesting post found on the Internet: "We need an iPhone application, but it has to be nicely designed. Best use Flash."


Found on Clients From Hell
"We need an iPhone application, but it has to be nicely designed. Best use Flash."
You can find it here: http://clientsfromhell.net/post/7087096042/we-need-an-iphone-application-but-it-has-to-be

Interesting post found on the Internet: Das wird für euch jetzt sicher genau so schockierend kommen wie für mich: "US-Behörden dürfen auf europäische Cloud-Daten zugreifen".


Found on Fefes Blog
Das wird für euch jetzt sicher genau so schockierend kommen wie für mich: "US-Behörden dürfen auf europäische Cloud-Daten zugreifen".
You can find it here: http://blog.fefe.de/?ts=b0f25fb9

Interesting post found on the Internet: GeekDad Retro Gaming: Dark Tower

Damn - I think I got the german version (sold as "Atlantis" over here) still in my parents' attic...
Found on GeekDad
GeekDad Retro Gaming: Dark Tower
You can find it here: http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/06/geekdad-retro-gaming-dark-tower/

Interesting post found on the Internet: Die Briten lassen jetzt ihre Polizisten bei Bürgern einbrechen, um ihnen zu erklären, wie verwundbar sie für Einbrecher sind. Offenbar hat das Panik- und Bedrohungsgefühl in der Bevölkerung bedrohlich nachgelassen, wenn sie sich zu solchen Maßnahmen gezwungen sehen, um die Bevölkerung gefügig zu halten.A young woman on her own was startled when a uniformed cop strolled into her living room after clambering in through an open bedroom window.Update:


Found on Fefes Blog
Die Briten lassen jetzt ihre Polizisten bei Bürgern einbrechen, um ihnen zu erklären, wie verwundbar sie für Einbrecher sind. Offenbar hat das Panik- und Bedrohungsgefühl in der Bevölkerung bedrohlich nachgelassen, wenn sie sich zu solchen Maßnahmen gezwungen sehen, um die Bevölkerung gefügig zu halten.A young woman on her own was startled when a uniformed cop strolled into her living room after clambering in through an open bedroom window.Update: Das gibt bestimmt spannende Synergie-Effekte mit der Meldung von gestern.
You can find it here: http://blog.fefe.de/?ts=b0f2aee4

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Interesting post found on the Internet: T-Shirts & Apparel : 2D Glasses


Found on ThinkGeek :: What's New
T-Shirts & Apparel : 2D Glasses
You can find it here: http://www.thinkgeek.com/tshirts-apparel/miscellaneous/e9b4/

Interesting post found on the Internet: Boffin hacks Wi-Fi to double mobile gadget battery life

Interesting...
Found on The Register
Boffin hacks Wi-Fi to double mobile gadget battery life
You can find it here: http://www.reghardware.com/2011/06/29/wifi_power_saving_breakthrough/

Testing, just ignore

Nothing to see here, move along

Monday, June 27, 2011

Captcha fail


I somehow had problems solving that captcha - does this mean I'm a robot?
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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Playing around with Empire Avenue

{EAV_BLOG_VER:8825a19d75c312b5}

I'm currently playing around in a new "game" called Empire Avenue - they take a rather drastic approach to social networking in that you treat your friends like stocks and bonds... interesting, but perhaps not for everybody... my profile is here: http://www.empireavenue.com/jninc

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bitcoin followup

Short followup - The Register has a nice article about this theft as well.


While the details are still the same (don't put all your money into your wallet!), the reaction from the Bitcoin people is far more interesting... a certain "Nils Schneider" is quoted:


 "The market just couldn't handle the sale of 25,000 BTC at once," he explained. The true value of the loss "would be more like $300,000 and cause the price to drop to around $10. Also, at the time he acquired the coins they probably were worth only $1000 or less. So the loss is in terms of USD is more a theoretical value. It's not like he put $300,000+ into bitcoins and lost them."


So.... somebody invests into your "virtual currency", and when he looses his money you tell him "Look on the bright side, you didn't actually have that much money in any case, it was just virtual"?


Bitcoin wants to be a real-world currency system - but the key feature of currency systems is that people TRUST them. Mr. Schneider has just gone and told every investor that Bitcoins are an empty promise - you get back what you invested, if anything, tough luck, sucks to be you... this puts Bitcoin on the same level as in-game money in online games like "World of Warcraft" or "Second Life". Yes, you can convert it back into real money somehow, but that's not the intention behind it... the intention is you buy some gaming money and gamble it away.


So, is Bitcoin really just a game to them? Or just an expensive version of Empire Avenue?


I wonder how that will go down with a certain subset of their users - those who allegedly run drug sales and other criminal stuff over Bitcoin. Fancy telling Don Corleone "Hey, thanks for using Bitcoin, have fun playing, you didn't really think you had several millions in REAL money?" - I rather doubt that would be taken well ;-)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Why Bitcoin is not like real money - and not nearly as safe

On the Bitcoin-forum there was a post by somebody who had 25000 bitcoins stolen.

Terrible for him, but it goes to show that bitcoin fans overlook certain facts in their "Oooooh we got digital money the government hates"...

Basically, with Bitcoin your money is either stored in the equivalent of a bank account, or in your wallet database - and because Bitcoin is all about peer-to-peer payments, everybody wants to cut out the middleman, and the money stays in your digital wallet on your own machine. But it's not really a wallet, is it? It's more like a safe or your own private bank vault - nobody would ever consider keeping such huge amounts of money (and 25000 Bitcoins is quite a sum) in their wallet where every pickpocket could steal it.

Nevertheless, that's exactly what happened here - the digital equivalent of a pickpocket stole money from a digital wallet by breaking into a computer and sending the money away.

In comments about this incident I've read that people compare this to a burglar finding the key to your safe and running off with a bundle of cash he found there - but that's not true. The digital wallet is just as unsafe as its real-world counterpart, because it's obviously easy to get access to it - you travel around with your wallet on the virtual roads of the Internet after all, you don't keep it in a protected place on a separate machine that's not reachable from the network (THAT would be (a) safe). Also, like a wallet, the contents of the Bitcoin database are easy to carry... unlike a huge pile of cash you'd store in a safe (which you wouldn't carry around with you all the time - you would KNOW it's not safe, and it would be a bloody nuisance).

So, what this incident shows is that Bitcoin makes people do a very very unsafe thing - keeping a huge pile of cash in their wallet where it's easily stolen by any script kiddie smart enough to install a remote-access trojan with keylogger.

If you want to see Bitcoin as real money - treat it like real money! Only keep in your wallet what you currently need, keep the rest stored in a safe place... banks may earn a lot of money now from ripping you off on loans, but they got important for offering you a safe place to store your piles of cash, charging you money for protecting it from theft.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Robot repairs

Haven't posted in a while, the usual problem of not knowing what to write.I had to do some real dad-work for a change, repair a misbehaving robot... the robot in question being at least 40 years old, I got it as a hand-me-down as a little boy over 30 years ago, and it was old then. The switch to make it go works by sticking the antenna into the head all the way down, connecting two copper bands - but the plastic bit between the two bands had broken in two. I managed to get the head open, glue the holder together again (1960s plastic - yeah!) and get the metal and plastic head together again, ready to be celebrated by my son as his hero. But then again - making toys work again is what being a dad is about
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