* Posts by TakeTheSkyRoad

202 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Sep 2010


DXC Technologies mails another corp message (gulp)


As an aside it makes it hard to write a sensible cv as well

Ex-EDS bod at DXC Technologies? Sign up to new pension scheme - or else...


Re: Pay rises ???

Joined myself via the Xchanging route and leaving in 2 weeks via VR. No regrets yet but in future I'm avoiding any more of these massive corporate multinationals. More than 50,000 employees ? No Thanks.

BOFH: Halon is not a rad new vape flavour


There used to be one fitted where I am but it was taken out a fair few years ago.

The worrying this is when they removed it they found there was no delay timer set. If it had triggered it would have dropped immediately with no warning. To top it off it wasn't empty, two people had their office in the server room too back when I first started.

Libertarian hero: 'Satoshi Nakamoto', government funds, the NSA and the DHS


Satoshi's best course of action is to hide and stay hidden and there's an interesting read here :


Bitcoin inventor Satoshi 'outed' as Aussie, then raided by cops – but not over BTC


Re: Tulip Trading


Ok, huge post but everything you are saying is based on

"BTC has only two uses: investment and exchange."

So if Bitcoin can be used for investment and exchange then I assume you acknowledge the medium has value. Dollars have values, Pounds have value, gold has value and so does the iron in your example. In every case the influences differ with demand/manufacture/useage and in this Bitcoin is no different but it is very new and traded in tiny tiny volumes compared to even iron so there will be some volatility.

As for goverment control then there is control in place and many people using Bitcoin today do not desire to be outside of goverment control. The simplest control method is to either ban or legislate. Some countries have chosen to ban and some have banned and then leglisated later. So far the leglislation used is based around exchanging back to the local Fiat currency (eg GBP).

There's a good list here :


It's not up to date though since it states that in the uk bitcoin is unregulated and a more accurate article is here :


In short the goverment has ruled that trading GBP for Bitcoin is VAT free and if you are trading then you would be liable for Capital Gains Tax on GBP profits.

As for buying and selling anonymously you won't find many places today they won't ask for a copy of your passport and various other points of ID. Ok can meet someone in the street and trade in person but they still isn't anonymous since the sellers knows who you are and knows the address he deposited your Bitcoin into from which your transactions can be traced.

I've seen many arguments that a currency should have more use than it's sole value but why ? As long as a curreny unit cannot be forged or duplicated and the populace accept it then isn't that enough. There have been decades of science fiction where Credits have been the currency or choice and nobody has questions the economic value of a Credit and if they can be melted down.

Douglas Adams had his take of course...


Yes an electronic currency does depend on the internet but so does quite allot else and frankly if world wide networks failed then we'd be more worried about keeping the lights on and less about how we're going to pay the electric bill.

Just to conclude you pointed out this :

"Money is a token of value and so it relies on the value that the receiver puts on it."

.... I agree and as of this moment the masses place of value of £274.58280 on Bitcoin. You might disagree but the masses set the value and as the number of users increase the stability of the price will increase too. Influencing a few thousand people is easy, influencing a million or more isn't though as some forex scandals have proved some people still try.


Re: Tulip Trading

"The average hovers around 10 minutes, however any transaction could be confirmed in the next block, or it could languish for days, based on any number of factors."

Correct so I did a little google research. Cases where the time is more than say 30 minutes look to be rare and the most the delay between blocks has ever been (back to 2011) is around 1.5 to 2 hours.

"It's also good practice to wait for multiple confirmations to ensure that the block containing that first confirmation isn't orphaned."

Yep, good point again. For example most exchanges won't let you trade deposited Bitcoin until there have been 10 confirmations.

Clearly this isn't ideal for payments so the payment processors are keen to reduce this. Bitpay for example already allow you to make a instant payment but I'm not sure if this is iron-clad or if they accept some risk. Sorry, I'm not close enough to the technical details but as a user the experience is instant.

See also...



Re: Tulip Trading

"What does a web developer need a blockchain for?"

I'd speculate it's a role involving creating a site which queries the/a blockchain.

There are many similar Bitcoin sites already which show the blocks, transactions processed and the ledger history. For example...



Re: Tulip Trading

"The City" is getting serious about Bitcoin and the Blockchain tech.

After an curious search have a look at this positions going on CW Jobs...

Lead Web Developer (Ruby on Rails, Javascript, Blockchain) - £70,000

From £50,000 to £70,000 per annum Equity


Chief / Lead Architect - Technical / Enterprise / Solutions

£120000 - £250000 per annum + equity


Both EC4 and looking pretty serious to me.


Re: Tulip Trading

Transfers with Bitcoin take on average 10 minutes to any address on the network and the network is useable anywhere world wide with internet access (so global transfers in 10 minutes).

I've had IBAN transfers before and the time taken was I think a day.

As for SEPA this is a similar time scale at around 3 days.

SWIFT however is great and completes in minutes. This could be a viable competitor to bitcoin but only if it's adopted to the same scale (worldwide) but as it stands this is just local to the UK.


Re: Tulip Trading

Take a look at this review of a "proof of concept" app developed by VISA Europe.


"The idea is for a user to link a Visa card to the remittance app. Once linked, the app will show an available balance and the corresponding card details."

"Once signed up, the user can then add a list of recipients using a variety of contact information. For example, Clarke said, a user could add a Kenyan telephone number to the recipient list."

"Once added, BitPesa generates a bitcoin address for the recipient, meaning the recipient never has to generate an address or wallet of their own to receive the funds. The sender can also include a note with the money transfer."

"The recipient doesn't need a BitPesa account to obtain the funds. Instead, they would simply receive Kenyan shillings transferred by M-Pesa, the dominant mobile money channel there."

"The app, then, has allowed 'John' to send 25 pounds from a Visa card to his grandma in Kenya, who received Kenyan shillings on her phone, with the whole process taking about six steps."

Tulips are a very old joke now, anyone still talking tulips should read up & research or keep looking foolish.

Again, this is a real app developed by VISA Europe.

HSBC takes Twitter tongue-lashing over failure to offer Apple Pay


None of this is important and in another statistic only 15% of the paragraphs in this article actually mention HSBC.

However Brandwatch is mentioned LOTS meaning this reads more like like an ad than a researched journalistic article.

Bitcoin fixes a Greek problem – but not the Greek debt problem


Re: Weeks late and misinformed

"It sounds like you see Bitcoin as alternate payment method."

Spot on and thanks for the constructive reply.

The most up to speed country is America where you can actually live a bitcoin live though admittedly through 3rd parties that accept Bitcoin and then pay your utilities in $$. In the UK some places do accept Bitcoin directly and then there are 3rd parties. I can sell Bitcoin to buy shopping in ASDA but only though buying a voucher from a 3rd party. There's no way I know of I can pay bills in Bitcoin here yet. As for Greece there's basically no infrastructure at all and Bitcoin acceptance/knowledge is at it's very early infancy stages so not useful.

Finally a wave "Hi" to the Luddites who voted a thumbs down without commenting with their reasons. Try to look past the tabloid headlines and look at the technology directly.


Re: Moving bitcoins out

Depends how much money you are moving and why.

If you're talking savings and you trust or have faith in Bitcoin then you could just leave the money as Bitcoins. Just be VERY careful with your security to protect that all important private key.

If you're wanting to spend then if it's small amounts then Bitcoin ATM machines are getting more common (3 in London I think) so you could just withdraw bitcoins as cash. There are limits though so this is only practical for small amounts and most ATMs will want you to register your identity documents (passport).

Spending bigger amounts would be a problem but the rich can usually just afford lawyers and accounts to sort this out. There are specialist bitcoin brokers too who trade large amounts outside of the usual exchanges to enable individuals to trade for a fixed price. Again, identity checks would be required and bank accounts in the appropriate currency.


Weeks late and misinformed

Well this was a total junk article like many talking about Greece and Bitcoin though weeks behind everyone else.

I am a Bitcoin fan but it's of no use to Greece at this stage when basically no Greeks have bitcoin and the first Bitcoin ATM was only launched a couple of weeks before the banking controls were brought it so Greeks were more bothered about getting Euros out to eat and not to spend on Bitcoin. Apparently some have put their money into goods though with Dixons doing well flogging big screen TVs.

As for this...... "Indeed, there's a number of us who do know our histories of scams and frauds in banking and finance, and have been thinking about trying out a few of the ones that nobody has stumbled across yet.".... well good luck with that since law protecting consumers against fiat currency fraud are already being applied to crypto-currencies as well.

Clearly though you seem to have a little bias...... "Assuming, that is, that one ends up using whatever tiny portion of the alt-coin universe that is not simply an out-and-out scam.".... there are some scams out there but 95% of all exchanges in operation have been fine to date and I'm sure that the bigger names involved in Bitcoin are legit. Examples being Bitpay, Overstock, GiftOff, Scan and CEX.

If you think exclusion might hold back innovation then talk to Apple who are pushing ahead with a payment system only supported by people owning mobile phones, their mobile phones and only their latest mobile phones useable only where contactless payment is allowed IF they have a deal with that company...... "In a society like that, a currency which only resides on computers might lead to just a tad of social exclusion."

Even your conclusion is only valid if these people also leave Greece for say America where bitcoin is widely accepted. What's the point of moving your money out of Greece and into Bitcoin if you can't spend the Bitcoin to buy food and pay your bills.

"Bitcoin itself isn't a solution to any of the problems that Greece faces. Up at the top, though, it's an absolutely marvellous solution for the citizenry to avoid some of the problems the country faces by getting their cash the hell out of there. ®"

Sorry if I seem hyper-critical but this just seems to have too many holes to ignore and isn't thought through. Bitcoin is a very useful tool, especially for international payments but there's no way it's relevant to Greece.

The United States' first official BitCoin exchange goes live


"As we predicted last week....."

Now you're trying to sound informed ?

Just a heads up but shares in the "Bitcoin Investment Trust" have been trading for a week now and you seem to have missed it.


An article search by title shows in order.... itBit, Toaster, itBit, Hack, Ransomware, Mt Gox, Ransomware, Ransomware, Silk Road, Ransomware.... *sigh*

I guess I shouldn't complain at the progress but it's like reading the IT equivalent of the Daily Mail who speaking of which at least managed to mention a drive to push London as a "global bitcoin hub" (well, via reuters).


Mt Gox LEAKED Bitcoin for years before heist, says WizSec


Re: Still don't understand

The transactions are recorded forever but it is usually not clear who controls the addresses.

The investigator thinks that some of the addresses are linked to the btc-e exchange but only the exchange themselves will know for sure when they check their records. There is also every chance that bitcoins could have been sold and moved off exchange to someone thinking they are buying legitimately obtained bitcoin so even if a transaction trace does end up at an exchange account which can be tied to an actual person (all exchanges comply with KYC checks these days) then it doesn't automatically follow that this person is the hacker. They may however be able to provide investigators with the details of who they bought the bitcoin from.

So this sort of this is traceable but with ALLOT of detective work and only with the co-operation of all concerned. Even so some services exist solely to muddy the trail and are unlikely to cooperate.

Still more traceable than cash.


Over the counter trading of Bitcoin backed shares...


Ransomware holds schools hostage: 'Now give us Bitcoin worth $129k, er, $124k, wait ...'


Re: One of our customers was hit with this last week

Of the two articles linked the second one mentions $500 rather than 500 bitcoin so you could be right there.



Re: More anti-bitcoin bias

No need to take this personally, I wasn't referencing your comment at all and I'm simply say that overall bitcoin coverage seems to be biased with the focus on any negative news useage. Just go to the search bar and check for "bitcoin" and you'll see mainly references to ransomware, the dark web (eg silkroad) and services that have been hacked or shut down.

In fact of the 22 articles this year 6 are devoted to or reference the silkroad site and yes I understand the trial was last month but that's over a quarter of the coverage and there's more going on out there than scandalous headline makers.

Yes the price is volatile but that only matters if you are buying and holding with a view to making some money. There is more to bitcoin than the price and investment.

Regarding it's usage for foreign exchange transfers I don't see the volatility as an issue. In this case the period of time that you would be holding bitcoin would be say an hour or so and large fluctuations within that time range have happened but they are rare. Increased usage would increase the volume which would decrease the volatility so in a year or three I would expect a more stable price.


More anti-bitcoin bias

Getting very disappointed now with what is increasing looking like a strong negative bias here.

Where is the coverage for Bitcoin & crypto currencies being covered in the last Budget ? This was last week now and I would have thought that £10m in research funding and positive regulation in the next parliament would be news. The BBC certainly thought so : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-31944054

As a heads-up Neteller started to accept bitcoin for deposits today (formal announcement expected tomorrow). Bitcoin deposits are free and an account can be denominated in one of many currencies so I think there is a good angle here with the tech shaking up the travel currency market. See here : http://www.coindesk.com/neteller-bitcoin-deposit-policy-reversal/

What happened to praising innovation ?

Yes this technology is being used by some "bad actors" but there's a bigger picture here than the small % of criminal uses.

I've been reading the Reg for a long time and frankly if this wasn't for the bitcoin angle this would be a story simply about a school not being able to employ proper virus protection and checking email attachments. Feels like I'm the sole geek in the school yard here who can see a great idea but is being shouted down by the jokers/bullies just out for attention.

Mt Gox Bitcoin baron: I was NOT Silk Road boss Dread Pirate Roberts


Half the story here

"Ulbricht, 30, of San Francisco, says he created the Silk Road website, but denies any wrongdoing. He was arrested in October 2013, and has been held without bail since. His lawyers say he was framed."

The missing detail is that he claims to have handed over control of the site to someone else who then push the drugs angle big time before handing it back once the Feds started to close in. It is on this basis that he claims to be framed and this is his defence against many of the charges.

This would also help with the murder for hire charges too if this court accept that they can't prove he control the Silk Road and the DPR account at that time.

Space Commanders lock missiles on Elite's Frontier Devs


I paid the 50 quid through their sales site for Beta access. Partly due to nostalgia from playing Elite on the Amiga years ago and partly to try out Oculus Rift support.

Generally I'm pretty cynical at Beta testing and frankly £50 was way beyond what I would normally pay but I made an exception in this case. My main objection is that I'm paying a premium for a acknowledged half finished and buggy game leveraged solely on my enthusiasm as a customer. In return the developer gets to save a fortune avoiding having to pay for actual PAID professional testers. I'm sure there was a phase once where Beta testers got free access but those days are long gone.

Yes this kind of funding can make games a reality that traditional funding will not allow but the issue is that those kickstarters and Beta testers that are paying a PREMIUM well in advance of any finished product are your most fanatical fans. Alienate your core fan base and risk the wrath of the net.

Personally I tried Eve Online when it was first released hoping for an Elite experience and was disappointed, the X series nearly deliver but the universe is very limited.

This was supposed to be Elite for the modern area but a MMORG is not the old Elite so I feel mid-sold. As with other commentators I want to live in MY universe and I don't want to share with griefers, raiders, pvp gamers etc.

Still, it looks pretty through the Rift but then so do 1001 Rift demos.

Bitcoin laid bare: Boffins beat anonymity


Re: "Up To 60%"

Yes very true. There is no functionality specifically designed into the protocol to provide anonymity.

This comes because unlikely a bank account it's not immediately obvious who controls a particular wallet address private key.

That said if you don't use a bitcoin wallet hosted on your pc then the IP will lead to a web wallet service or possibly to a mobile phone hosted wallet. I would imagine that mobile phone IP's are recycled very frequently and most web wallets are also encrypted.

Even for the security services determining actual ownership would be allot of effort (until they push through tech to cover the gap of course).

Feds to auction off second tranche of Silk Road Bitcoins worth $19 MEEELLION


Re: Cool. The .fed is profiting from ...

Well technically they are profiting from the drugs trade from the silk road and since these are part of 144,000 coins lifted from the silk road servers. Only back-dated legalisation of the drugs trade will make this "clean" money.

Bitcoin might be unlicensed and unregulated but it's hardly virtual when the Fed can legitimately auction it off for $$. That makes it pretty tangible and acknowledged as an asset.

As for this being virtual yes the balance is just held in a computer system but the same can be said for your bank account balance. Your digital (Virtual) $$ bank balance can buy real beer and so can a digital bitcoin balance.

Bitcoin is great and safe, says, er, the Bitcoin Foundation


Happy bitcoiner

Such a shame bitcoin seems to get such a harsh reception here. I've been dabbling increasingly since last year and though the price is down I generally have no complaints and I'm optimistic for the future.

The key advantage for me are for one not having to dish out card details all the time. Sure some places accept paypal but it's still rare so 99% of the time that online purchase is with a debit/credit card. Yes there is some fraud protection baked in but I'd rather not need it.

There was the extra CVV number which was supposed not be saved to verify the card was present but all the payment providers just saved this as well in the name of "convenience" so that was pointless.

The banks are trying to nail electronic payments with efforts like Paym/Pingit and there's efforts from Google and Apple but these are very early stages, probably more so than bitcoin. As for NFC card payments well I liked and was happy with it till the recent foreign currency hack appeared.

So at the moment bitcoin has the most traction and looks the most likely to survive. It's growing too, I can buy BTC with my wage using a standard "faster payments" bank transfer while there's no direct bank link like you can in the US this is very convenient and (so far) trouble free. When looking to spend I can buy vouchers for many high street names (eg ASDA/Amazon), I can order takeaway with takeaway.co.uk, order pc parts with scan, hotel bookings with expedia and shop in store with CEX.

Sure the price might be down but bitcoin as a payment method has plenty of momentum.

Bloke, 26, accused of running drug souk Silk Road 2.0 cuffed by Feds


Whoops !

"That revealed all sorts of configuration data and Blenthall's email address, apparently, leading the Feds to his doorstep."

I'm fairly confident that rule 1 of operating something like this would be to assume that at some point the authorities will have access to the server. Leaving your email address behind is surely making things a bit easy for them.

I didn't invent Bitcoin! Send Bitcoin to help me fight this slur – Dorian Nakamoto


Total so far : 1.8 BTC

Check this link to see the bitcoin donations...


Looks like it's his lawyers idea after the initial fundraiser when the article came out.

Unlikely he'll see any of it.


Payment security vastly improved when you DON'T ENTER your BANK DETAILS


Re: My token of choice is bitcoin thanks.

Ok, you speak of bitcoin it terms of a company which it is not. It is a de-centralised network within which numbers can be moved securely between unique addresses. These numbers can range from 21 million down to 0.00000001 and can be exchanged for stuff (pizza) or currency (£/$) giving them value.

Now the well publicised hacks you mention are down to individual companies being rather lax in their security which does happen. If you move your balance to an address controlled by another company this puts you at risk and this has happened with Mt Gox to pick a well known example.

If you keep the balance in an address control by yourself then the security risk/responsibility is yours. I keep my shopping budget on my phone for example with a backup of the address keys saved to email and a lock code on my phone. The phone is a blackberry (who have quite a good security rep) and I am wary of installing junk apps so I think this is a low risk solution and I am unlikely to be hacked. If I loose the phone I can have the keys restored and any balance moved to a new wallet address within a hour of reaching a internet connection.

My original point is that a bitcoin payment is a one way payment, this is secure and for myself at least has started to replace card transactions. As a result less and less companies get to save my card details to their servers.

Each of those companies is a risk and they have better ALL have spend millions on bank level security each for my card details to be kept safe. With so many hacks exposing card details that's clearly not happening.


Re: My token of choice is bitcoin thanks.

Well that didn't take long for someone to bring up :D

The discussion point I wanted to raise was the payment method not the stabilisation of the currency.

However given that bitcoin is still in it's infancy I don't expect much more than a 10% change in the next couple of days (which I'm accepting as an early adopter cost) by which point I will start spending them.

What is your security concern vs providing a company with your card details ?


My token of choice is bitcoin thanks.

Today is pay day so I bought 1.0 BTC with a bank transfer in 10 minutes and these will be used to pay for my ASDA shopping, Steam purchases, Amazon purchases etc etc. Mainly via a site which allows you to buy vouchers for bitcoin rather than directly but it's coming,

Paying directly like this means that less and less companies will be holding copies of my card details. It is likely that when I next get issued a new card I won't update steam & the playstation store, I'll just top up the balance with vouchers instead. This is a bit slower I'll grant but means less steps and means I'm less exposed to fraud.

The tokenisation idea is great but I don't see it taking off since many banks have invested in their own electronic payments plans (Paym, Pingit, ApplePay, etc) which they hope to replace cards with and make money on. Thus there is little incentive for them to extend this to another new initiative.

It's just a little late to the party really.

MtGox has VANISHED. So where have all the Bitcoins gone?


For an Technical IT site the level of ignorance here is shocking.

Ok, I am going to get heat for this but for the ignorant bitcoin is not....

Fiat Currency (eg GBP/USD/whatever)

Trading Tulips

A Barter system

Totally Anonymous

It is some and all of the above and it is different to anything which has come before.

It can be used as a currency since people trade it and this gives it value just like pounds or dollars, often it is exchanged for other currency and trading good is in it's infancy but it does happen.

It can be traded as a commodity but not in the same way as say Tulips since Tulips die and can be copied (you make more from seeds) where as a bitcoin balance in a wallet is fixed and forever until the balance is moved elsewhere.

You could argue it is a barter system but only in the same way any physical object can be bartered including paper money.

Yes most bitcoin addresses are anonymous but the transactions between these addresses are public and documented forever online. However anyone wanting to change bitcoins for pounds or dollars is going to find an exchange will want to know who they are and the exchanges have (already) applied "know your customer" regulations. Yes you can meet someone in the street and exchange in person bitcoin for cash but that is impractical for large 6 figure amounts and someone will at some point will encounter a regulated system (exchange or payment processor) and have to explain where the bitcoins came from. As a result the bitcoins will be below market rate and it's just easier to launder money in cash pounds/dollars than bother with bitcoins.

Thinking of a snappy put down already ?

If you also claim to have any IT smarts then read up first and try to understand what you are commenting on. If not you're like someone saying "why will mobile phones catch on when everyone has a phone at home. Also text messages to mobiles ? Much quicker to call someone, that'll never catch on !"


In my opinion the killer app here is international money transfers and international purchases.

This is in it's infancy and money transfers will evolve as more of these cash machines are installed globally and the cash machine rates drop. A typical exchange charges 0.2% but the cash machines are charging a premium on top. In theory though it should be easily possible to buy bitcoins and send them in about 30 minutes to your uncle Bob in Auz who can then withdraw dollars. As soon as this becomes cheaper than western union then this will take off, think of all those foreign workers sending money home to africa/india/asia.

As for international orders Overstock is a good example, once they enable international delivery you can take your bitcoins purchased at an exchange with a 0.2% fee and buy goods in america for delivery to the uk. Since Overstock do the conversion to dollars you just pay in bitcoins.

That means no hassle with credit card fees for Overstock (you might even get a discount) plus you don't have to worry how much that dollar payment will be when it hits your debit/credit card since the card companies make money from the exchange rates. Now apply this to online shopping for china, asia, europe etc.... bitcoins could easily become the "currency" of preference for online retailers. Oh, another bonus for the retailers is that there are no charge backs, Visa/Mastercard can & do ask for the money back sometimes but all payments are irreversible with bitcoin.

If you're traveling abroad then why not pay in bitcoins ? I was in europe recently and I would have been much happier not having to get together the Euros in cash and simply paying electronically in bitcoins. Ok it was only a short trip so it wasn't much cash but it was still a hassle, I still paid an unfavorable exchange rate and I still had to keep what I wasn't using that day in the hotel safe. Yes you can get travel cards you fill with electronic euros but that's just the same as bitcoin with all the same negatives of the extra cost.

Yes there are risks associated with traveling with a bitcoin wallet but I expect that the insurance companies would extend insurance to cover this in time. Plus if you give the insurance company your private key with one call they could move your money from the compromised wallet to a secure wallet ready for when you got a new mobile (or other electronic payment device).

This is the near term vision..... the long term vision is much bigger and more intangible and if you want to look into that try googling for "bitcoin colored coins".

I don't know what will become of bitcoins in the long term but I'm confident about the international money transfers and as a online payment method. Traveling on bitcoins requires much wider support unless you plan on just eating in that one Cafe your entire stay but it is going to be appealing to the masses.

Got questions ? Good... now do your research because answers are not straight forward and frankly I should be working :)

MANIC MINERS: Ten Bitcoin generating machines


Re: I'm not some kind of hippy or anything, and it's an interesting experiment....

It's not a complete waste even though it might seem it.

Because the electricity cost is so intrinsic to how profitable a bitcoin mining rig is in the future this industry might be the source of great advances in efficiency which could benefit computing as a whole.

There is some incentive for traditional chip makers (CPU/GPU) in the pursuit of high clock speeds and in the mobile market there is equally some incentive to save battery power but it's not as acute as with bitcoin mining.

Wells Fargo gathers bank 'n' gov bigwigs to discuss Bitcoin 'rules'


Re: bitcoins are useful....

"What they are not because of their volatility, is a reliable store of value."

True but they could be one day, maybe 5 years or so when they are (hopefully) in more common use for general payments and transfers. A greater transaction volume (buying & selling) leads to greater stability.

No store of wealth is totally infallible though. Many people turn to Gold as being a steady earner but in the last year the USD price per oz has fallen from $1,668.62 to $1,241.69 Ok, it has peaked and then dropped down to it's July 2010 position so long terms holders are ok but I'm just saying it's more volatile than people expect.


Re: likely them trying to work out

I don't think there is any way they can fleece bitcoin users/holders since the nature of the system is that you hold your own "keys" to your money in the private encryption key. People would need to give money to them which would only happen if there was something to gain. If you don't control your wallet then you can't make payments which defeats the point.

Maybe bitcoin savings or funds but it seems too early for banks to be getting into that.

One company has already started offering insured bitcoin storage though obviously they charge.

They could buy bitcoins and try to make money from the price fluctuation but a bank buying in would push the price up anyway. Unless of course they did a deal off the exchange, maybe buying the seize silk road coins which might be auctioned off at some point. Either way I think this would push the price up.

I think international drug lords tend to stick to USD (cash if possible).

The silk road was a special case pitched to the ordinary Joe and even then one they started to identify silk road wallet addresses they could unpick the whole network of payments via bitcoin's open and very public transaction log.

Bitcoin was started partly due to the banking crises as an alternative to traditional banking so it's interesting then that a bank which absorbed so much debt due to the liquidity crisis could get into bitcoin.


This is likely them trying to work out where bitcoins will most likely take off, what threat this poses to their business and where they can take advantage themselves.

I see international money transfer as the most likely "killer app" at the moment. For example person A deposits cash using the cash point in Canada and gets bitcoins which he sends to person B in Hong Kong. This transfer of bitcoins takes a maximum of 20 minutes after which they can go to the cash point in Hong Kong and withdraw Hong Kong Dollars. This can happen today since the cash points already.

Yes but price fluctuates but not by much in 20 minutes. This would take 2 or 3 days using the traditional banking system and think of all the people sending money home when working away.

As for fraud most of these cash points require ID verification and if someone receives or sends millions of dollars/pounds/whatever the usual "red flags" would be raised.

They will likely be brain storming for other business cases so they can account (or counter) them in advance. Also this is the US so bitcoin orientated lobbying is probably set to skyrocket in 2014 !

Hong Kong to welcome planet's second EVER Bitcoin ATM


Good news indeed

The more of this the better I think.

Bitcoin's "killer app" is low cost money transfer though frankly having to seal with exchanges and SEPA/Wire transfers is hampering this. Having these cash points mean you can transfer money from Canada to Hong Kong in I would say around 1 hour at a cost of about 0.6% (an exchange fee of 0.3% paid at each end).

A 1 hour transfer also helps mitigate the volatility of the exchange rate too. Yes there can be significant fluctuations in price but they are rarely significant within a few hours. This has only happened within the big newsworthy booms/crashes.

Also if the price drops 10% then a "fee" of 10.6% is still cheaper than you'd pay with say western union !

(disclaimer... I do own bitcoin and so I have faith in this and other uses working out)

Bitcoin value breaks $1,000 barrier in FRENZIED HYPEGASM


One hundred coins resulted in a 50% drop ? I'm not sure where you are getting your information from but I'm seeing regular trades of hundreds of coins with little noticeble change in value. Ok, a few thousand coins would move the price by a hundred dollars or so but at current prices ($1184) that's barely a 10% change.

In fact at the moment on MtGox 4,000 coins would have to be sold just to move the price to $1,000

Have a look for yourself.. http://trading.i286.org/

Pimp my office: 10 cubicle comforts


10 cubicle comforts ? Not very realistic in my book !

: Contour Design Roller Mouse Re:d

Comforts shouldn't be bizzare reinventions or cost 10x the price of the original.

In it's place should have been a decent cordless mouse.

:Dragon Dictate for Mac

Ok, first very few offices have Macs so anything Mac specific is pointless.

Second in an office environment VERY few people use dictation software. A manager with little time and a secretary to tidy up the resulting text maybe but that's it.

:Griffin PowerDock 5

Handy for the multi-tablet home or IT department but not an office.

Very few people will have 1 tablet pc let alone 5.

:Kensington SoleMate Plus

Finally a winner.... I don't bother with a foot rest but plenty of people swear by one !

:Logitech BCC950 ConferenceCam

Also accepted but at a stretch since if you need a cam at your cubicle desk then the "ConferenceCam" might be a bit OTT

:Luidia e-Beam Edge

Meh... as above, accepted but it's not a cubicle/desk thing really unless your cubicle comes with a whiteboard & projector.

:Octa Tablet Tail Monkey Kit

Ok, it's neat and cool but tablets again which few people have at work.

:Philips 231P4QRYES ErgoSensor monitor

Another neat & cool thing and ignoring being nagged by the monitor as far as I'm concerned if it's not 1200 deep then it's not good enough. A res of 1080p is for movies/tv and not work.

:Plantronics Blackwire C710M

Another win since I'm seeing an increased use of headsets in the office thanks to remote sites and greater use of Lync.

:StarTech USB3 Dock

The Dell under my desk has plenty of ports thanks, also please see my earlier note about Macs not showing up in the work place very often.

Score.... 4/10

One thing I find very handy.... music.

An ipod is great for filtering out background noise in the office.

Digital 'activists' scramble to build Silk Road 2.0, but drug kingpins are spooked


Re: DPR as hero?

From reading the articles it certainly seems that the first assassination was arranged with undercover FBI agents. They had arranged to ship a large volume of drugs which DPR sent through one of the Silk Road admins who they promptly arrested.

In my mind someone then clearly decided to see how far DPR would go and the undercover agent started prompting DPR's fears. As a result he asked them to rough up/scare the former admin to remind them not to talk but then changed it to killing him off.

This is a win/win for the FBI since not only can they then charge him with hiring someone to murder someone they can also turn around to the admin and go "your boss wants you dead now how loyal do you feel ?"......... so yes he asked for the hit but I suspect he was encouraged into it.

The 2nd hit I'm not so sure about.

Feds smash internet drug bazaar Silk Road, say they'll KEELHAUL 'Dread Pirate Roberts'


After posting the above I actually read somewhere else that assets aren't "liquidated" until after a case is closed. In that case they might just hold onto them but they could still treat the bitcoins as currency (rather than a physical asset) and exchange them to USD for easier handling later. This would preserve the current value as well in a volatile market.


Well they probably sold them, that would explain the dip in the bitcoin prices.

Of course that could have been a few dealers cashing out but the charts show the big sales just with a couple of hours.

OK, forget the 3D telly fiasco: 4K is gonna blow you away - say tech giants


PC Monitor

I think if I had the cash for a huge 50" 4K TV the first thing I'd do is try it as a PC monitor :)

Plenty of desk space on a big screen means I can play FF14 (or pick your game, Civ 5 ?) in windowed mode and still have space to say surf the net. Especially important for games which are big and complex enough to need guides to make them easily playable.

Hell, I could even have the PC loaded and use picture in picture to have the news showing in a box in the corner.

Of course my work RDP session wouldn't be full screen but I could live with that.

Four ways the Guardian could have protected Snowden – by THE NSA


Re: We need Plausible Deniability (i.e. What No TrueCrypt?)

Isn't that easy to identify ?

Such as person provides "outer" password, officer decrypts "decoy" data, officer then re-encrypts "decoy" data, officer then notices that the two encrypted files do not match in file size.

Depending on the size of the files involved I can't see that taking very long.... less than 9 hours anyway !


I wouldn't trust encryption alone personally

Since it seems the computing power of the likes of goverment agencies is increasing so much and there are now techniques for identifying patterns in encrypted data which make cracking easier then I think it needs to be combined with other techniques.

I'm think specifically of hiding encrypted content in media files... a pgp key could be buried in a high resolution jpeg image for example. If done in such a way that the image still works as a jpeg the extra data would just like like a slight corruption of the image.

Then you could compare the original jpeg to the modified one to extract the extra data (the buried key).

A similar technique could be used to burry encrypted files into a video stream so a low bit stream video is re-rendered as 1080p but the extra data is the encrypted file. Ideally adding the extra data wouldn't make the video unwatchable, just lower quality than the expected 1080p.

Disclaimer : I have no idea how technically feasible either of these suggestions is since I have no expertise in these areas ! I've just considered that encrypted data is all well and good but if there is no locked vault visible then nobody will ask for the key :)

Murdoch hate sparks mass bitchin', rapid evacuation from O2, BE


One of those 40k was me

I phoned to close my account the week after I first heard and I've now been happily on Plus Net for a couple of weeks now :)

There was a couple of factors, first I didn't want anything to do with Sky but also I've been waiting for BE to do Fibre for over a year and nothing, no news. Even registered my interest a year ago and didn't get a single update. Now on PlusNet I'm getting a tested 60Mpbs down and 12Mpbs upload and I'm paying I think an extra fiver a month.

That said I've never had a problem with BE over 7 years and their customer service was excellent even when quitting. Didn't have to send my modem back but then it was 7 years old lol

It was the fibre that was my issue and sky the final nail in the coffin.

White House backs US web sales tax - eBay hits panic alarm


"Or the US could adopt VAT......."

A flat 20% "Value Added Tax" for luxury goods that ends up being applied to pretty much everything including fuel ? In addition to income tax ?

Can't see that going down well !

I console myself that we're not the most taxed country and some are worse. Not many though.

BitTorrent offers file sync tool for PCs and NAS


Re: Raspberry Pi

Well in this case consider that it would be great for someone who already has a NAS and wants to setup an interface with the outside world without touching the NAS setup with new unproven Beta software. I'd consider it since my QNAP NAS is getting on a bit and I'd rather not tinker with it too much.

The Pi could just handle the client only and sit on the normal network between the NAS and the internet. I have a gigbit switch so the addition of the 100Mbit Pi wouldn't slow things down and nothing faster is needed interfacing to the Pi since my internet currently caps at way below this.

As another scenario have the Pi act as a client with those files you want to share on the Pi and the rest on the PC and every now and then do a sync.... the Pi effectively becomes your backup client then and a mini NAS.

I think you're thinking of NAS for movies, especially at 1080p requiring massive storage and high bandwidth but don't forget there are many other uses.

Review: Nokia Lumia 720


"That must have been one hell of a quick reputation to gain, and i've missed it completely. Show me what i'm missing and where it's mentioned - that's all."

Seconded ! I was under the impression iOS still rules the GUI with the BB OS trying to innovate with much swiping of fingers and the Windows Phone not much discussed. Android of course as the established middle ground many people measure against due to sheer numbers.

I'm going to put this down as a reputation within the press not the public since I think I'd struggle to find anyone I know with a Windows Nokia.

As for myself I may move from my n900 to a BB Q10 but I'm not sure I like the keypad. Regarding a Nokia Win Phone well I'll think about it in 2 to 3 years time when it's stabilised... my golden rule for anything with "Windows" in the name.

Facebook Home gets SMACKDOWN from irate users


Re: I must be old fashioned

Well there are settings for what shows in your feed so you can keep the annoying poster(s) as friends but stop their posts showing in your feed. Filtered to status updates, photos, comments etc... unfortunately shared/reposted crap isn't a specific category but it someone is resharing too much you won't see their status updates or whatever anyway so may as well filter them out completely !

Here you go, I even googled it for you... http://en-gb.facebook.com/help/335291769884272/

It's dead handy :)

Bitcoin exchange: Greedy traders to blame for DDoS attack


Re: bitcoin hosting: good idea? alternatives?

Well this might be your main obstacle "under a domain I choose".

Owning a domain requires registration and that registration requires full details such as Name, Address and Contact Number. You could place an extra obstacle by creating a shall company with a PO Box number but that would be a minor speed bump to pass while they look up the Company Owner (you).