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Author Topic: Tech News. Automation, Engineering, Environment Etc  (Read 152925 times)

Trekkin

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Re: Tech News. Automation, Engineering, Environment Etc
« Reply #1065 on: November 28, 2017, 10:39:15 pm »

The future is terrifying.  I do honestly believe something of this nature is inevitable, unless we find some way to break the correlation between sociopathic greed and positions of power.

Well, there's always making the desire to have a position of power a disqualifying condition for getting one, but government exclusively by the unwilling tends to have weird incentive structures.
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martinuzz

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Re: Tech News. Automation, Engineering, Environment Etc
« Reply #1066 on: December 02, 2017, 04:24:52 am »

Bitcoins are becoming a significant problem for the environment.
All mining computers worldwide are now using 30.2 terawatthours of electricity per year, which is slightly less than the electricity consumption of Morocco, and slightly more than the electricity consumption of Slovakia.
The numbers keep rising fast, as more and more mining computers are needed to delve more math.
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Optimists have just used up the last bit of hope. Run for your lives!

Enjoy the freedom to explore the limits of your constraints

http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=73719.msg1830479#msg1830479

Reelya

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« Reply #1067 on: December 02, 2017, 05:35:18 am »

Maybe some more understanding of the algorithm for a blockchain is in order. Most people don't seem to have much idea at all about how it all works. I'm just going to skim some of the basics.

The difficulty factor of mining varies up and down based on the amount of processing power aimed at mining. The goal is to regulate the rate at which blocks are generated. There is no built-in increase in difficulty over time, the difficulty factor just regulates the speed at which blocks are generated.

What causes the increase in processing power is the value of the coins: higher value coins means that it's more profitable to mine them, which causes people to spend more on processing power to gain the coins. So you're not really wrong, except you have cause and effect reversed here. The difficulty is ramped up in response to higher amounts of processing power in order to slow thing down.

The only scheduled thing is the block halving. This has no actual connection to the difficulty factor. What happens is that every few years, the number of "free" coins per block is halved, cutting all mining profits in half. When that happens, you'd see the amount of processing power also halve in response, all else being equal. The idea is that the least profitable mining equipment would be phased out.

Additionally, it's wrong to see this in terms of absolute usage to "generate" the coins. Most people seem to think that "bitcoin mining" was implemented as something purely for lulz, and that they don't do anything except "mine coins". However that's clearly not the case. "Miners" are the people who maintain the database, with self-correcting backups, and do all the transaction processing. The "coins" they gain for doing so are in fact their pay for providing the service. Any cost in terms of electricity needs to be compare to e.g. the amount of energy consumed by rival institutions such as major banks. I haven't seen any info on how much energy is consumed by e.g. credit-card processing, however the fees for bitcoin (in terms of amount paid to miners per dollar processed) are lower than credit card transaction fees.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 11:37:10 pm by Reelya »
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Max™

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Re: Tech News. Automation, Engineering, Environment Etc
« Reply #1069 on: December 02, 2017, 09:15:40 pm »

How does that seem like a good idea?
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Paxiecrunchle

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Re: Tech News. Automation, Engineering, Environment Etc
« Reply #1070 on: December 02, 2017, 09:26:05 pm »

PTW and be horrifyed.

Parsely

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Re: Tech News. Automation, Engineering, Environment Etc
« Reply #1071 on: December 05, 2017, 10:27:24 am »

Actually I've given this a little more thought and something worrying came to me.

NYU professor Johnothan Haidt in his videos (well worth the time even if you disagree with his ideas) talks about how after a few highly publicized child murders in the 1980s - around when they started doing the "milk carton" thing, parents started doing serious levels of "helicopter parenting" and stopped letting kids e.g. go outside and play unsupervised. At least they did in the middle class urban areas of the USA, don't know about the rural South etc. But in the places where they generally have the money to send you to college to get a professional degree, they mostly did this. Wealthy people have less kids, each one is a higher investment, gets more attention. Too much attention.

Then when the first generations of kids raised like that hit colleges they started demanding "official" responses to anything and everything that could possible offend them (notably, 2013+ on campuses). Basically, if someone calls you a name on campus now and you can plausibly link that to your identity in any way, the normal response is now to submit a formal complaint to Title IX or some diversity tribunal, or call the Dean of the school directly, even before you talk to the person to tell them you were offended. The norm is now to get someone else to deal with it. e.g. these kids had 18 years of their parents sticking up for them any time anything remotely challenging happens, e.g. if someone calls you a name, they have few coping skills. Even consensual sexual encounters are now codified with complex sets of rules that both parties are supposed to memorize at campuses. Basically, quite a few modern college kids have almost zero of the normal life skills in negotiating with other people - there has always been someone else who does that for you, and clearly delineated rulebooks for how to interact. e.g. their life is like a school-run Junior Disco, writ large, right up to when you leave college.

Then suddenly, they have to find a house, get along with flatmates, negotiate life's complexities. But the system inherently shields them from having to learn any of that at college. The kids themselves are the driving force now in implementing these campus "speech laws" and "relationship laws", not the college administrators.

So think about it, modern post-2010 college graduates, born in the helicopter-parenting 1990s, they graduate from a college dorm never having had to manage a house or apartment of their own, or really deal with meaningful interactions with anyone else, then a company comes along and promises them an instant house full of Friendstm, no cleaning, no bills, just add money. To someone who's had 22 years of other people picking up for them, that might sound much more attractive, than it would to use who've basically been out of home since 18.
As a 22 year old American who works at and has been going to college for a few years: what are you talking about? This is not what most people are like.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 11:05:05 am by Parsely »
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Reelya

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« Reply #1072 on: December 05, 2017, 01:26:52 pm »

I'm talking about what a number of academics in the USA are talking about. It depends which college you go to. Here are a few links to get you started:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K92rOsjyLBs

https://www.vox.com/2015/6/3/8706323/college-professor-afraid
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I once saw an adjunct not get his contract renewed after students complained that he exposed them to "offensive" texts written by Edward Said and Mark Twain. His response, that the texts were meant to be a little upsetting, only fueled the students' ire and sealed his fate.  That was enough to get me to comb through my syllabi and cut out anything I could see upsetting a coddled undergrad, texts ranging from Upton Sinclair to Maureen Tkacik — and I wasn't the only one who made adjustments, either.

"Safe Spaces" is an orwellian euphemism. It's no different to right-wing's bullshit such as "think of the children". Both of these sound well-intentioned but they're actually about control. Since "conservative humanities professors" basically don't exist in modern colleges (it's 15:1 liberal:conservative in the humanities), the actual targets of the "safe space" movement are liberal educators who don't strictly adhere to the rigid ideology of social justice.

This is a civil war within liberalism, and the "good guys" are losing it, because the attackers are unscrupulously manipulating the campus's discipline and complaints mechanisms as a means of attack against non-aligned teachers. Students are the cannon-fodder, but I've heard of some of these actions being cheered on by more "postmodern" affiliated academics. Banning things like Mark Twain seems silly, however, one way to interpret that is that ideologies demand exclusive rights to the truth. Other texts get banned not because of what they say, but because they are independent of the ideology.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356/
http://righteousmind.com/where-microaggressions-really-come-from/

« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 02:27:19 pm by Reelya »
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Parsely

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Re: Tech News. Automation, Engineering, Environment Etc
« Reply #1073 on: December 05, 2017, 02:50:41 pm »

I don't doubt that some people are ferocious in their attempts to game the system in order to get revenge or just cause harm in general and that there are people willing to appease them by allowing it to happen to their subordinates.

My problem is that in your last post you made it sound like this is a normal, everyday occurrence, that this is how people regularly interact with each other.
Basically, if someone calls you a name on campus now [...] the normal response is now to submit a formal complaint to Title IX or some diversity tribunal, or call the Dean of the school directly, even before you talk to the person to tell them you were offended.

The norm is now to get someone else to deal with it. e.g. these kids had 18 years of their parents sticking up for them any time anything remotely challenging happens, e.g. if someone calls you a name, they have few coping skills.

Even consensual sexual encounters are now codified with complex sets of rules that both parties are supposed to memorize at campuses. Basically, quite a few modern college kids have almost zero of the normal life skills in negotiating with other people - there has always been someone else who does that for you, and clearly delineated rulebooks for how to interact. e.g. their life is like a school-run Junior Disco, writ large, right up to when you leave college.

This makes it practically sound like 1 out of every 10 young people you meet on the street have bureaucratically assassinated someone in their lifetime and that just sounds crazy to me.

Don't get me wrong, this is a real thing that happens and it's wrong but it's the work of a loud and merciless minority that are taking advantage of a cultural climate, not something you can blanket an entire generation with.
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Reelya

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« Reply #1074 on: December 05, 2017, 03:54:19 pm »

However, if I could inquire, what area of study are you involved in? Some areas don't really lend themselves to these sorts of dramas as much as others, e.g. it's biggest in fields where opinions matter as much as facts. However, the general idea of "fragility" doesn't always need to manifest itself as "sjw complaints" against lecturers. There's been an increase in "helicopter parenting" with kids hitting college with the expectation that everything will be laid out for them so they don't have to deal with it, this could manifest itself in numerous other ways that we're not really addressing here.

BTW, I really feel sorry for this art historian:
 
http://metro.co.uk/2017/07/24/art-professor-hounded-out-of-his-job-after-not-giving-trigger-warnings-to-students-6801299/

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In one incident, a student complained that Bonesteel didn’t offer a ‘trigger warning’ before using the word ‘rape’ in a discussion of the comic book Batman: The Killing Joke.

He was forced to resign from his teaching career, because of a hostile gaggle of sjw-types in one class kept gunning for him for stupid-sounding things and filing complaints. However ... how can you have a trigger warning for the word rape? Wouldn't the trigger warning itself bring up more general images of rape than just mentioning it in the context? A trigger warning that you're merely going to mention something completely in passing would seem to be clearly counter-productive: you're priming people to have a heightened sense that disturbing material is going to be discussed, even if it's a passing reference: e.g. now everyone in the whole class spends your entire lecture wondering about when and in what context the rape reference will appear.

EDIT: Also note the irony of this "Safe Space" where what can be said and thought is dictated by some petty hitler-mentality students in a Lord of the Flies fashion. Hahaha "safe space".
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 05:11:28 pm by Reelya »
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Reelya

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« Reply #1076 on: December 05, 2017, 05:54:39 pm »

Yeah, Professor Bonesteel. What of it? :o btw I should have cited the next bit too:

Quote
Bonesteel said, ‘When I said the word ‘rape,’ the complaining student yelled, “Hey, where’s the trigger warning?”’ A little exasperated by that point, I remarked, ‘Really? You want a trigger warning for the word “rape”?’
Literally he was supposed to give a trigger warning that he was merely going to say "rape". ("Trigger Warning: I'm am going to say rape later"). Lol hahaha, crazy times.

~~~

http://money.cnn.com/2017/11/30/technology/gm-autonomous-cars-2019/index.html
BTW, one more thread-relevant thing is that GM is looking at setting up a ride share service with their autonomous cars, the schedule is currently for the service to be available near the end of 2019. Ride-sharing in an autonomous fleet might have some advantages over buying a car for a large number of people. This could be like a paradigm shift. "Future" movies still present the idea of car-ownership as being similar to the current paradigm of ownership, however that could shift for a lot of people.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 07:52:39 am by Reelya »
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Reelya

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« Reply #1077 on: December 08, 2017, 06:20:33 pm »

OMG I'm facepalming at this "you're at risk because of bitcoin" article:

http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/hacking/were-all-at-risk-from-bitcoin/news-story/297a95b911e00152ffe887141458b8f5

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WEBSITES are using the power of your computer to tap into the current Bitcoin and cryptocurrency craze, hijacking your processor to ‘mine’ for coins while you are online.

It's pretty crappy that some sites are doing that. But they're almost certainly not mining Bitcoin. Home mining bitcoin would suck balls.

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It’s called cryptojacking, and runs instantly when you go onto certain websites, with no real way to tell on the surface if your computer has been compromised for digital profit.

Except your whole machine will slow to a crawl, because these things apparently utilize 100% GPU until you close the page. Just close any page that's really fucking slow, problem solved.

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If it has been compromised, not only is your information at risk, but your computer could overheat and eventually wear down over time if you continually get attacked.

How is your information at risk because your GPU is running hash functions? A mining script is also too busy mining to get around to hacking your system. Also, yeah I guess your CPU could overheat if you never close the tab that has the exploit in it, but it's not like this thing is GPU mining ...

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Even if you have never owned any Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency, your computer could still be used by hackers, as what they want from you is the power of your processor. With other people’s computers working for them, hackers will then use an algorithm to find Bitcoin or other digital currencies anywhere in the world.

Oh for fucking fuck's sake. "find bitcoin anywhere in the world" what the fuck? How ignorant can journalists actually get? you don't find bitcoin - you process transactions, and the reward for doing so is that you get to create entirely new bitcoins as a free transaction at the start of the new transaction block you created. The coins are merely the incentive for doing the work. People are perennially confused that crypto has something to do with the coins themselves - it doesn't. The crypto is just "proof of work" and security.

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Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. Twenty-one million of them were released in 2009 and they weren’t worth much as they were pretty easy for tech savvy people to find.

No they fucking weren't. Getting bitcoins isn't "where's waldo?" and 21 million bitcoins don't even exist yet. 21 million coins is the total that are going to be created from now until the year 2140, and each transaction block creator gets a few bitcoins.

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But they’re a finite resource. Think of them like gold. If there’s a lot of gold being mined, the price isn’t high. But inevitably, the world will run out of gold to find in the ground, so the price of it has risen.

It's nothing to do with scarcity. The rate at which bitcoin is created is stable by design, it's designed to produce a set amount per day, that only goes down every 4 years or so. In fact, the rate of creation hasn't changed in years.

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The world was in the grip of the Global Financial Crisis, so many people had lost confidence in traditional markets. So purchasing a finite resource — such as bitcoin — made sense. And the price went up.

Well, no. Bitcoin didn't go up until 2013, well after the financial crisis. This is unrelated. Also, dog poop is a resource also produced at finite rates, but the price of that isn't skyrocketing. The price isn't rising because "scarcity" because that doesn't explain anything. Scarce things don't automatically rise in price.

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But once many of these Bitcoin were ‘mined’, it became much harder to find. It was easier to trade the coin in a more traditional way, so non-tech savvy people were buying the currency. And their value has now skyrocketed.

Oh, christ. The rate of bitcoin hasn't changed. It's more costly to mine purely because more people are mining it now because the price is high. The difficultly to mine bitcoin changes dynamically based on how many miners there are. "mining difficulty" is driven by price, it's not what drives the price.

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Doesn’t matter if you own Bitcoin or not. You’ve got a computer with processor. And that’s power that computer hackers want to use to mine for bitcoin around the world.

The "around the world" thing sounds like this idjit thinks the coins are hiding out there like Where's Waldo, rather than it's a network of transaction processors, and whoever produces a viable block the quickest gets to write their own transaction in, "finding" coins that never actually existed before right on your computer. In fact, they didn't "find" anything. They made it.

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These illegal cryptojacking operations need to build huge help to perform the algorithms needed to find the few Bitcoins left that aren’t being traded on the open market. And they can’t do that unless they build extremely expensive servers. So they need to find more power on the cheap, which is why they’re infiltrating websites that regular people visit all the time, and putting a script on there.

Again, it's wrong because the amount of bitcoin produced per time period doesn't change (at least until 2020). The difficulty mining is purely because more people are doing it. Also, nobody would mine bitcoin on CPUs since it's silly. Mine a coin that designed for low-power systems instead.

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Because there is only a finite amount of Bitcoin, it means it’s stored somewhere locally for you. Some people store theirs on their own computer’s hard drive, which actually has led to many people losing millions of dollars worth by throwing out their drives.

Oh, lol. Bitcoin exists is in the blockchain. What you store locally is your public and private keys, for receiving and sending bitcoin, respectively. Bitcoin isn't on your drive, that makes no sense at all. It makes a lot more sense if you actually understand a little about how it works. Also to highlight:

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Because there is only a finite amount of Bitcoin, it means it’s stored somewhere locally for you.

WHAT THE FUCK EVEN? Firstly, bitcoin isn't stored locally, or even in one place. Your bitcoins are replicated in every mining node. It's what allows them to continue existing even if one machine goes down. Secondly, what on Earth would there being a "finite amount of bitcoin" have to do with it "being stored somewhere locally for you"?

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CAN I MINE MY OWN BITCOIN?

Probably not. It’s 2017, they’ve been around close to a decade and are now worth a fortune. It’s not like they’re lying around and can easily be found.

Oh god dammit, I feel dumber now. The cost to mine coins always lags behind price - or a bit higher, but only if people expect the price to be higher in the future. If people are losing money then people stop mining which means the profitability of everyone else improves relative to the price. What has changed is that the elite miners have far more efficient mining rigs that you do. They dictate the cost of mining because they have the good hardware which can turn a profit from doing so. Basically, people with inefficient hardware are priced out of the mining market.

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Bitcoin will only ever have 21 million coins available due to the algorithm in which it was created, meaning the less there are left to mine, the greater the value until it eventually reaches its peak.

Mr Dunworth’s way of explaining it is to think of it like limited edition shoes. Nike might only put up 10 sets of new limited edition sneakers, if someone destroyed a shoe, there would only be 9 left and those 9 would be worth more and so on.

Like Bitcoin, when it first was released, there were 21 million, which were much easier to mine then and come across meant the value was much lower. Now, like the Jordans, as there are less and less Bitcoins to come across, value has skyrocketed.

Oh god, just incoherent bullshit. No, there weren't "much easier to mine" which meant the price was lower, they were easier to mine because there weren't many miners. The rate of mining coins wasn't a whole lot much more than it is now.

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Generally, the rate in which Bitcoins are available halves every four years, until eventually all 21 million have been found.

Again "found" is bullshit. You make a few coins when you create a new block of transactions for other people. And the amount is in fact a completely arbitrary decision by the creator. It could stay the same, rise over time, or go up and down in sine wave, making infinite bitcoins. Or it could just be any third-party random number of coins per block, e.g. it could be based on the weather. It's arbitrary.

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Years ago, to mine Bitcoin, you could have found some using your laptop in just a few hours, however these days due to the limited supply, it’s much harder.

Again, this is counter to the truth. "limited supply" isn't why it's hard. "stiff competition for mining" is the real answers - more people want to mine it since the price went up.

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HANG ON. EXPLAIN BLOCKCHAIN.

Blockchain is basically a decentralised computer system which can govern how information is sent across the internet, and is essential to cryptocurrencies. By decentralised, we mean there is no single computer, but rather information is verified across millions of different computers across the globe.

While in the real world, I can just physically give you something and you now own it and I don’t, it’s not quite that simple digitally. Think about when you send someone a photo over email, you’re not really sending that photo itself, but creating a copy of it and sending that copy to someone. You both now have the photo. This wouldn’t work in a currency world, because no real value is being sent.

So this is where the blockchain fits in, it allows people to send value (not just money) over the internet, by coming to an agreement on who owns it across millions of different computers. Think of it like Paypal, who could be the middleman in governing that yes you did send $100 to James, and now you have $100 less and James has $100 more. But with blockchain, there is no central company or organisation that looks over this that could potentially tamper with it.

If you were to try and tamper with data on the blockchain, you’d need to do that somehow on all of the millions of computers in which the data needs to be verified across, making it an essentially unhackable way of sending goods.

This lays the backbone for Bitcoin and other digital currencies, as it allows them to have an intrinsic value, as you can create a finite number. The blockchain will set up the agreement between its massive network that you sent those 2 Bitcoins to James, and that they are now his and you no longer have any ownership of them.

The blockchain itself has huge value not just for sending Bitcoin, but could be used to send anything of value — think the deed to real estate, the ownership of your car or even to verify information in databases to help thwart hacks.

While it currently is only really being talked about with Bitcoin, you’ll be hearing a lot more about blockchain as it starts to become more important in all our digital lives.

More or less coherent, except the guy has no fucking clue about the blocks in the blockchain and how miners make them.

I mean, this should be basic. An explanation of what coin mining is, how it fits into the block-chain idea, and why it was set up the way it was is in fact simpler and more sensible than the "21 million bitcoins were created. They could be on your hard-drive, it's a global Where's Waldo race to find them" explanation, which is patently nonsensical and explains nothing.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 06:37:45 pm by Reelya »
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MrRoboto75

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Re: Tech News. Automation, Engineering, Environment Etc
« Reply #1078 on: December 08, 2017, 06:24:13 pm »

I still can't buy a sandwich with bitcoin yet.
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I consume
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bloop_bleep

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« Reply #1079 on: December 08, 2017, 06:35:42 pm »

The writers either had no idea what bitcoin is and were just guessing based off of random factoids they heard, or they were simply writing a scare piece to frighten the elderly and other not-tech-savvy people. Probably both.
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