* Posts by DRue2514

48 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Feb 2016

Bank of England won't call it Britcoin but says digital pound 'likely to be needed in future'


Re: But why is this necessary?

Bitcoin is a very good way of running a ledger. It is a bearer asset and really the only digital equivalent of handing over cash. The ledger is fully descentralised and requires very little hardware to run; a Raspbery Pi is sufficient. The ledger does use a lot of energy for securing transactions via proof of work mining but this ensures that no one can manipulate the supply, which a central bank can so. Ethereum wth its more energy efficient proof of stake sacrifices this. There is also the lightning network which runs as a layer on top of the Bitcoin protocol allows much faster and cheaper transactions.

Britcoin (digital pound) may not be as volalite as Bitcoin but it also has no intinsic value and is not backed by anything other than trust in the Bank of England and the Government.

Woman forced to sell 4-bed house after crypto exchange wrongly refunded $7.2m


Re: ..and the interest?

As far as I can tell this had very little to do with crypto. She transferred money out to her own account and received more than can be expected. She obviously knew this and spent the cash as fast as she could. This could have happened with any bank or business transfer. And btw you can earn interest with crypto eithre through staking or lending platforms. The latter is highly risky as we have seen recently with platforms like Celsius blowing up.

In the early stages of internet banking I did a transfer for part of a house purchase. I split into 2 payments because of a maximum limit. There was no way of doing a test payment as you needed to enter the details each time. The first went through, the second didn't and when I looked at a printout I did I realised to my horror I had transposed 2 digits. Despite informing the bank straight away they were not helpful. Just said it wasn't a valid account so it would be returned in 2 weeks. Naturally after 2 weeks it didn't and I frantically had to chase it. Eventually it arrived with literally hours to spare before completion of the purchase. Wary of these system since.

Original killer PC spreadsheet Lotus 1-2-3 now runs on Linux natively


Re: Word Star

LX-80 was a dot matrix. We had our printers in sound proof hoods.

India's Reserve Bank deputy governor calls for crypto ban


Central banks rightly fear Bitcoin. It solved the Byzantine Generals problem which removed the need for a trusted 3rd party. Friedrich Hayek wrote in the 1970s about the need denationalisation of money.

It provides an escape from a failing fiat currency. Why should money just be the preserve of Governments to maniplulate at will? And why do many people accept without question that inflation should be 2%? In other words our money must always lose buying power. Money represents time and inflation theft of time.

India to adopt digital rupee and slap a 30 per cent tax on cryptocurrency income


Re: Blockchain does not scale

Bitcoin has the lightning network which can process transactions instantly for less than a cent whereas the main Bitcoin protocol can take 10 mins and cost varies. Therefore I don't see why a central bank digital currency would cost more than other methods; and probably much cheaper than VISA. They don't require a blockchain either although blockchain technology might give more resilience. An IT failure with a centralised system is not unimaginable.

Russia's Putin out the idea of a broad cryptocurrency ban


Maybe it has also something to do with the fact that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has received several million dollars in Bitcoin after the authorities had frozen him out of the banking system and seized his assets. Anyone just thinking Bitcoin is "bollocks" should see the world from a less priviledged first world viewpoint. There are millions of people who are unbanked or live in countries where assets can simply be taken away. It enables people to transfer wealth across borders just by remembering a seed phrase. This is a powerful technology.

The dark equation of harm versus good means blockchain’s had its day


This piece might have some relavance if it was written around 2015 but things have moved on a lot since then.

Reminds me of the interview with Bill Gates on the Letterman show in 1995 when he is trying to explain the internet and how it would be more useful than radio or magazines to much ridicule. A decade from now we will probably find articles like these just as amusing.


Re: The power consumption thing

The problem with energy is that it cannot be transported over long distances nor stored easily. Renewables have an addtional problem in that generation is not well matched to demand, hence why in the UK we pay a 'green' premium on our bills to pay suppliers when they generate surplus that is not required by the grid. This is where Bitcoin mining could provide demand when energy costs go negative and many RE projects around the world are looking at this to make them financially feasible.

In the US a lot of mining hash is powered by shale/oil gas burnoff. Up to now this is just wasted energy and it is not cost effective to use it for anything else; again transportation/storage issues of energy.

Think that spreadsheet in your company's accounts dept is old? 70 years ago, LEO ran the first business app


Also recommend that book. I seem to remember that there was a lot about the individuals that drove the project forward and there are many lessons in there that are very relevant still today.

UK Treasury and Bank of England starting to sound serious about 'Britcoin'


Re: No

The existing financial system uses a lot of energy. Think of all the bank branches, HQs and data centres that exist in the UK and across the world. Coins and notes are very energy intensive from the point they are minted then shuffled from businesses to banks, ATMs and vice versa using security trucks throughout their life before finally being destroyed.

Anyone the point of the CBDC isn't just electronic cash. It will bypass banks and enable the Central Bank to have full control. They could offer specific interest rates to individuals or businesses (for example if you have a lot of cash saved they could offer a negative rate to encourage you to spend or even set an expiry date). Lending could be targeted much more finely. They would also have intelligence on every single transaction taking place in the economy which would give them better intel to set policy.

Also the CBDC would not be 'mined'. The central bank can print whatever they like, just like now. And it need not be on a blockchain; just a RDMS would do. The challenge would be total security and 100% availablity.

Teen bought Google ad for his scam website and made 48 Bitcoins duping UK online shoppers


Bitcoin wallets can be recreated on to any computer using the 12-24 word seed phrase that corresponds to the private key. Being hacked generally means the seed phrase is compromised or someone has left the passwords to their computer and software wallet lying around. The wallet can simply be created and stored on paper or better on a cold storage device if you wish. If the seed phrase is lost or forgotten then the wallet will be unrecoverable; as Satoshi said this is considered a "donation to every other holder".

Every transaction is recorded on the blockchain so stolen funds can be marked and tracked.

In this case the Bitcoins may have simply resided on the exchange where they were bought. If it was in the UK it would be fairly easy for the authorities to trace stolen credit cad details to his acccount and seize them but there isn't enough info in the article.

Guy who wrote women are 'soft, weak, cosseted, naive' lasted about a month at Apple until internal revolt


Chaos monkeys

I did read his book a few years ago. A few interesting titbits but otherwise looked like an ego trip. And he didn't come across as particularly nice or having much integrity either.

I also don't think he really made a lot of money from the sale of AdGrok. Not life changing amounts anyway. Hence he needs to work.

Bitcoin is ‘disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization’ says famed investor Charlie Munger


Re: Insert meme here

It is not backed by "happy thoughts" it is back by mathematics energy and transactions are certainly not anonymous. Funds used in the silk road days have been traced and seized not to mention how much the banks have been fined for money laundering over the past decade.

It is also easy to dismiss some aspects if you live in a first world county but if you live in a country with a volaltile exhange rate where money can be deflated away, confiscated at will then you might not think it 'contary to civilisation' like Munger and Buffet. They have done very well out the existing monetary system (i.e. Cantillion effect) so they certainly wouldn't want to see anything challenging that.

Millions of people around the world don't have access to banks, credit etc. But they have a smart phone.


Re: Insert meme here

Transactions can take about 10 mins on Bitcoin, which to transfer large amounts of value internationally as an end to end transaction is otherwise very difficult to do. But Bitcoin is best seen as a highly secure, trusted, decentrailised base layer of money.

On the other hand the lightning network is a layer 2 protocol which would compare much more closely with VISA/MC allowing instant, very low cost transactions financially and economically (theorectically millions per second which is way more than VISA at about 60K per second). It can also be used to transfer fiat to fiat payments between users with different currencies without the end users even owning the underlying Bitcoin. This is why VISA/MC are taking crypto seriously.

Judging by many of the comments here people have been getting much of their knowledge of the crypto space around sound bites and media articles which tend to be very inaccurate. I agree on the face of it many NFT's and coins like Doge are just ridiculous but delve deeper, there is much more to see. But it takes a lot of time and effort.


Re: Insert meme here

Fiat money also uses energy. Think of the power used to create notes and coins, transport them throughout their lifespan and the energy consumed by all the bank branches, their IT systems and Head Offices. The system still uses energy it is just not as easy to calculate as Bitcoin which can also locate to the cheapest, often waste energy source, wherever it is.

Users complain iOS 14.2 causes some older iPhones to overheat, rapidly lose charge


There also seems to be another issue with this update relating to hotmail accounts on the Mail app needing constant reauthentication. There are hundreds/thousands of reports of this. Sometimes it happens several times a day for me and it always reports the same last updated message date. Re-adding the accounts does not work but the solution that I have found and appears to work is to download Edge browser and log in to the accounts just the once. It has not reoccured for a few days now.

Italian competition watchdog slaps Apple with €10m fine over allegedly misleading iPhone waterproofing claims


Re: After a short dive in sea water.

Similar thing happened to me with an 8. I opened it out and dried it, usual thing with the silica packs. The phone starting working without the home button but after a few weeks it came back to life. Luckily as the virtual button was getting really annoying by then.

HP: That print-free-for-life deal we promised you? Well, now it's pay-per-month to continue using your printer ink


Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

UK legislation has been a bit more woolly than the EU requirements but it has always been possible to claim against a supplier if goods are not up to the quality that should be expected. i.e. a £5000 tv should be expected to last more that 2 years, maybe a £100 not so much.

These days my expectations of HP products are pretty low however but then I remember the old Laserjet 4s.

Former Microsoft tester sent down for 9 years after $10m gift card fraud


That kind of statement worries me. It is just the kind of thing that governments use to 'justify' banning or controlling something when it is not based on any real evidence. Go back 20-25 years and the perception of the Internet was that it was 'full of porn' or 'used by criminals' etc.

Ed Snowden doesn’t need to worry about being turfed out of Russia any more


I would guess that Russia is no better in this respect.

Bitcoin value jumps as PayPal says it will accept cryptocurrencies... once it has the kinks worked out


I think Bitcoin may be better viewed as a store of wealth right now rather than a currency. With most countries around the world printing money like crazy it is hard to view cash as a long term asset. And compared with assets like bonds and shares Bitcoin has been relatively stable this year and stability is likely to improve with wider adoption and usage. Electricity issues and transactions speeds are being addressed and regulatory authorites are taking an interest. especially as central banks (BoE, ECB) are now planning their own digital currencies. A few years ago there was 'bitcoin' mania and yes very risky. However with any new 'thing' people tend to overestimate the effect in the short term but actually underestimate it in the long term. I don't see Bitcoin as a bubble and it definately doesn't fit the description of a ponzi scheme.

Brit mobile network EE follows O2 by ending trading relations with retailer Dixons Carphone


Re: I'm actually a little surprised

Maybe if they can compare deals side by side in one shop they will more easily work out which is the rip off deal. Better try and hard sell/bamboozle them on a poor deal before they walk somewhere else.

A bridge too far: Passengers on Sydney's new ferries would get 'their heads knocked off' on upper deck, say politicos


Re: They're navigating like an Egypcian

reminds me of some old cine footage my grandfather took in the 1930s of the Nile. The boats all had collapsable funnels for going under bridges and the boatman pulled a string and down they went.

Square peg of modem won't fit into round hole of PC? I saw to it, bloke tells horrified mate


Re: *Hisses & wards against Evil*

In the early 90s we had a mix of ICL PCs and a small number of Packard Bells. I can confirm that the PBs were way less reliable.

Realme's X50m is a decently specced 5G phone – for the price of a 1995 Nissan Micra


Re: The thing about a 1995 Nissan Micra is...

We had a company Micra. Would have prefered to take out the front seat and just sit in the back for legroom.

I think my old Civic met the same fate. Apparently they were popular for banger racing as well.

Attention, lockdown DIY fans: UK hardware flinger Robert Dyas had credit card data and more skimmed from website


Re: Hmm

"We became aware". Sounds like they didn't detect this themselves either.

Time to call off Mobile World Congress yet? Nvidia, Amazon and Sony all sidestep trade show over coronavirus fears


How do you know we've had worse? It's a bit early to say. And the Spanish flu came in several waves.

HP polishes the redundancy cannon, prepares to fire 16% of workforce


I initially read that as HP fiasco '20

UK plod could lose access to 79 million criminal alerts in event of a no-deal Brexit


A bit more detail on the system here. Not all EU countries are members and some non EU but Schengen ones are. In the future there will be quite a lot stored on it, including biometrics.


Excuse me, sir. You can't store your things there. Those 7 gigabytes are reserved for Windows 10


The laptop has the 'S' version of Windows installed which is a waste of time. You should be able to upgrade to do a one-time upgrade to Pro for free however. I did this for a similar Lenovo I bought for my mother, although that was a slightly higher spec. With 32GB it probably isn't worth it.

OneDrive is broken: Microsoft's cloudy storage drops from the sky for EU users


It came back a couple of hours ago but has failed for me again just now. Crashed paper airplane.

Not a price cut! Apple perks up soggy iPhone demand with rebate boost


Re: iPhone SE

I have an SE also and sorry to say I like it. Not everyone wants to watch videos and spend their lives glued to their device thank you, but they might want a small phone with a good camera.

One thing to note. If you are using the N version of Windows 10 you will need to install the Media Pack to access files from the phone. Took me a while to suss this out.

Super-mugs: Hackers claim to have snatched 20k customer records from Brit biz Superdrug


Re: RE: maths co-processor for DX power

The 386DX had a 32 bit databus. You could buy the co-processor, the 387 to go with it.

Long haul flights on a one-aisle plane? Airbus thinks you’re up for it


Re: More comfortable surrounds?

Indeed. Last year I flew on an A320 with a middle eastern airline and the seats, entertainment etc were exactly the same as on their twin aisle jet. The plane even had proper business class seats. Not like the European ones with business class seats that are the same as economy and they just don't fill the middle seat.

It gets worse: Microsoft’s Spectre-fixer wrecks some AMD PCs


I have an AMD X2 which dates from 2009 and it runs Windows 10 pretty well; at least until this patch arrived.

Remember the 'budget' iPhone SE? Apple plans an update – reports


Re: A cynic might suggest...

I had 6 years out of my iPhone 4 before getting the SE. What's more, I could still sell off the old 4. Doubt that would have happened with a non-Apple phone. Not likely to be upgrading just yet though - too soon for me.

BT plots to slash pension benefits for 32,000 staff


Re: Woah, BT still had an open defined benefits pension scheme?

Quite often schemes remain open to existing members up to until just after the CEO or last senior director retires.

Besides there is a lot of criticism of shareholders out there. However the largest shareholders in these blue chip companies are of course Pension Funds. Shafting the 'shareholders' will have a direct effect on pension funds in this country whether they be DB or DC schemes. Be careful what you wish for.


Re: bollocks

These schemes were generally well funded in the 1990s. Then people started living longer and longer, Gordon Brown's tax raid, low interest rates (even negative yields) etc. etc. Trouble is we don't have a crystal ball. It maybe these deficits will disappear in time, maybe they will get worse. However if the money just isn't there to pay the pension 20 or 30 years down the line, it doesn't matter what is promised now. That can apply to the public sector as well.


Re: bollocks

You are correct in saying most final salary schemes are non-contractural. It is usually phrased in an employment contract as the 'right to join the company pension scheme'. The terms and conditions can vary; in many cases they need to due to be flexible due to changes in legislation like equality laws etc.

However in the case of TUPE the new employer must offer an equivalent or better scheme. I am still remain a member of my previous employer's scheme (paid into by the new employer) as the new employer did not offer as generous a pension.

Why Uber isn't the poster child for capitalism you wanted


I think it is a little more complex than that.

We have exorbitant property prices because of planning constraints and Grenfel,l we don't know the full story, but the council and building regs seem at part to blame, not necessarily neolibralism. As for transport - the airline industry that is highly competitive has seen much lower fares than the days of flag carrier airlines. But if you mean trains then that just seems like a Govn't run outsourcing project. They aren't great now but were they better in the days of British Rail? Not in my experience.

Brit chip design company Imagination Tech sold to China-linked private equity


Re: Directors should resign

It was well known that they were too heavily dependent on Apple but many analysts still thought that a sale to Apple was the most likely outcome.

The purchase of MIPS a few years ago was an attempt to diversify.

Apple: Our stores are your 'town square' and a $1,000 iPhone is your 'future'


Re: These "new" iPhones

Well I like it. Nice size, excellent battery life, decent camera. Does the job.

New York Police scrap 36,000 Windows smartphones


Re: Nobody gets fired for buying Microsoft..

It probably reached that 3% just after someone bought 36,000 of them.

Feature snatcher Microsoft tweaks OneDrive


Re: "Fall Creators Update"

Mine only installed last week, not that I wanted it.

First thing I needed to do was scan a document, but the software had gone and was listed as 'invalid'. Cue searching, downloading, rebooting...

Another ZX Spectrum modern reboot crowdfunder pops up


Re: Not doubt..

It's all part of the Spectrum experience.

Fanbois iVaporate: Smallest Apple iPhone queues ever


Re: Trading up?

£30 per month is over £700 in 2 years. I pay much, much less than that per month and pay for a phone upfront. But I agree with you, I wouldn't pay £700 for a new phone either.

TalkTalk customers decide to StayStay after £3m in free upgrades


Not so fast... Most TalkTalk customers are on long contracts - my last was I think 2 years. However it is coming to an end in a month or so. So the churn rate for Q4 is pretty irrelevant imo. More telling will be the loss of customers in a year or so.

btw the free offers that were handed out were Sky channels, free sims etc.

Who hit you, HP Inc? 'Windows 10! It's all Windows 10's fault'


Re: "(normally people buy a new machine to get a new Microsoft OS)"

It's not just computers. In the past old HP desktop B&W printers lasted forever - laserjet 4, 4050. Colour lasers just don't; and they are expensive to run. All that happens is the office gets over-run with cartridges for printers that no one has anymore because after a few years the printer gives up. Better to go for a larger photocopier/printer on contract than buy flimsy HP ColourJets.

And yes my home PC is about 7 years old but I recently put in an SSD and it has given it a new lease of life. Not as quick as the i7/32GB PCs I have been setting up for work of course but pretty usable still.