New Jersey's Attorney General Freaks Out About Proof-Of-Concept Bitcoin Mining App; Issues Ridiculous Subpoena

from the overreach dept

Just last month, we wrote about how some hackers have moved on from installing malware to send out spam or to keylog your bank account info, to pushing hidden Bitcoin mining software instead, using up spare processing power on unsuspecting users' computers, hoping to build big enough Bitcoin mining networks to actual score some Bitcoins. While this particular practice is both illegal and shady, we did note that it wasn't difficult to envision perfectly legal and useful variations on this, in which users consented to allowing their spare cycles to be used this way, just like various other distributed computing projects like the classic SETI@Home project.

Apparently, at a hackathon back in November, some MIT students hacked together a proof-of-concept version of this kind of thing called Tidbit. As the EFF explains:
Tidbit uses a client's computer to mine for Bitcoins as an alternative to website advertising: in exchange for removing ads from a website, a user would give some CPU cycles to mine for Bitcoins instead. Tidbit was clearly presented as a proof of concept, with the developers making clear the code was configured not to mine for Bitcoins. That's because in addition to refining the code, they needed to work out the legal details, like drafting a terms of service, and the ethical details, like making sure there was a way for users to opt-in to the service so their computers weren't being used to mine Bitcoins without their knowledge. Tidbit won the Node Knockout award for innovation and the students thought they were on their way to continuing with their project.
Again: it was a proof of concept that couldn't actually mine Bitcoin, and the developers were working on ways to make sure that it was only useful for legitimate purposes before releasing the software. But, it appears that New Jersey's grandstanding acting Attorney General John Hoffman (who has gone after some app makers who had installed secret Bitcoin miners with apps), along with Deputy Attorney General Glenn Graham, suddenly decided that this proof-of-concept software must be illegal as well, and sent over a ridiculously overbroad subpoena. EFF is now helping the developers fight that subpoena.

As EFF explained in a letter to Graham, the whole effort was ridiculous. Not only do the developers have nothing at all to do with New Jersey, but the code is just a proof of concept and isn't being used for any actual Bitcoin mining -- and the whole point was to use it with consent for legal purposes. New Jersey sent back a somewhat obnoxious letter, basically saying, "screw you, we're New Jersey, you must respond to the subpoena."

Tidbit, with the help of EFF, has now filed a motion to quash the subpoena. Yes, Bitcoin is an emerging field right now, and the regulations around it are a bit up in the air. But there's no way to look at this other than as a massive overreach by politicians in New Jersey who have suddenly decided that any Bitcoin mining app must be up to no good. Hopefully the courts recognize that this is just a massive overreach on several different levels.










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  1.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 6:14am

    I was starting to type "Old man yells at the cloud..." but damn, he's not even 50!

    Still, I'm not sure if it is a good thing. Even if it increases the power consumption by 1W imagine if 10% of the internet adopts it. if you consider 1 billion users it would be a 100.000.000 W increase or 100MW. That's shitloads of energy... Excluding this in fact it could be a nice way to make money. The question is, it's harder to mine bitcoins by the minute and (correct me if I'm wrong) there's only a finite amount that can be mined (ie: there's a cap). How did they address that?

     

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  2.  
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    Arthur Moore (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 7:49am

    Standing

    How on Earth does this guy even have standing if nothing was done in NJ?

    Is he really using the argument that if it's online it has to comply with the laws of everywhere that has internet access?

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 7:52am

    "regulations around it are a bit up in the air" -- WRONG. It's a currency, subject to control just like others.

    Just part of ongoing silly assertions here that anything "on the net" is totally different and unprecedented.

    But Bitcoin is just a swindle without paper. Worst aspect of it is that being totally electronic, it can be taken away or more "made", actually just claimed. Bitcoin is a perfect fiat currency, which is actually why gov'ts may adopt it.

    The kids here cheer "disruptive" tactics of "Anonymous" and "4chan", but vigorously suppress anyone with views contrary to their piratey notions. -- And deny if not actually lack ability to see what they're doing... (199 of 200)

    03:52:25[d-705-7]

     

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  4.  
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    DannyB (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 7:54am

    Re:

    Hey you kids, get off my snow!

    Even if bitcoin mining does require energy, it is energy that I am paying for. Would anyone propose to make certain uses of energy illegal? Or should we start charging different rates for different uses of energy?

    Want to stop bitcoin mining? Introduce a real internet currency that is anonymous and backed by government. Oh, wait. Nevermind. The government is not capable of doing cutting edge innovative techy things -- unless it is to erode our rights.

    Want to save energy? Shut down the NSA's data center and Star Trek bridge command center.

     

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  5.  
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    DannyB (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 7:56am

    Re: "regulations around it are a bit up in the air" -- WRONG. It's a currency, subject to control just like others.

    > But Bitcoin is just a swindle without paper.

    Ah, but it's better than a swindle involving intellectual property.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 8:01am

    Age is only a number

    I'm in my 30's. In college (so, 15ish years ago), I had to help 3 people in my dorm. See, they were all roommates, they were sitting there staring at a computer, and couldn't figure out how to save something to a 3.5" floppy disk (this of course being the days shortly before we could just e-mail homework to professors, so if it had to be digital, it had to be on a disc).

    3 people.
    In their late teens/early 20's.
    All 3 would be in their early 30's right now.
    Couldn't figure out how to save to a disk.


    More recently, was at a family holiday party in December. The subject of bitcoins came up. My siblings/cousins (all of which are in their late 30's/early 40's) were completely flabbergasted by the concept and most couldn't grasp the concept, even when dumbed down as much as possible. Pretty much all of them hit their limits on computer use when you get past basic website navigation, social networks, and e-mail.


    Age isn't what matters in these things. It's interest and willingness to learn.

     

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  7.  
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    ethorad (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 8:04am

    Haven't they already answered the questions?

    From the NJ AG's "screw you" letter they want information regarding "whether the Bitcoin code was present on websites owned and/or operated in the State or visited by New Jersey consumers."

    Presumably the EFF can quote from their earlier letter. The one the AG is responding to:
    - "Tidbit's code has never been functional and is incapable of mining for bitcoins"
    - "Tidbit's code is not functional and unable to mine for bitcoins at all"

    Nice to know the AG read the EFF's letter before responding.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 8:08am

    Who would consent to bitcoin mining over ads?

    "in exchange for removing ads from a website, a user would give some CPU cycles to mine for Bitcoins instead"

    Seriously, who the hell would be dumb enough to consent to letting someone else steal some of your spare CPU power for bitcoin mining over displaying ads at a website? There's TONS of free ad blocker add-ons for web browsers that are really easy to download and install.

    That right there shows the big problem with this idea, and why it'll never take off.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 8:19am

    Re: Who would consent to bitcoin mining over ads?

    As if flash ads don't step CPU power...

    But yes, it's a silly concept.

    If I was getting a share of the btc via some pool, then I might consent ;)

     

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  10.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 8:26am

    Re: Who would consent to bitcoin mining over ads?

    I might, depending on how much CPU it uses.

    There are a number of sites that I would love to support financially, but the only way they provide to do so is ads -- and I don't do ads. I would prefer to just give them money outright, but in the absence of that, I could be OK with allowing my machine to be used for mining instead, if it were set up properly.

    I don't see what's so dumb about it, and it certainly isn't "stealing" CPU cycles, any more than giving money to someone for services or products is "stealing" your money.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 8:26am

    Re: Who would consent to bitcoin mining over ads?

    if you consent, they arent stealing cycles.

    and the idea is to help PAY for a websites upkeep. like ads are supposed to do. But this is a way to do that without ads. if they earn more than your energy is worth, maybe you are getting ripped off, maybe you like that they are getting moore out of little. or maybe they get less than your energy is worth, and they feel ripped off, or maybe you feel like you made out in the end.

    lots of ins and outs to this case.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 8:28am

    Re:

    mining bitcoin gets harder two ways...

    There are chronological "difficulty" changes (halving the amount created each year) that reduce the amount of btc that is given out per block released...

    and the difficulty of mining periodically changes based on the amount of mining that is occurring... so the harder it's mined (increase in machines, increase in CPU power, increase in software efficiency), the harder it becomes.

    Yes, there is also a finite amount that can ever be generated, and with the difficulty increasing, the majority of btc that ever will exist already exists - we're past the halfway point.

    Now, that seems all doom and gloom, but it's quite the opposite. The harder it is to create BTC, the more valuable it becomes. It's built-in deflation.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 8:33am

    REPOST: "regulations around it are a bit up in the air" -- WRONG. It's a currency, subject to control just like others.

    Just part of ongoing silly assertions here that anything "on the net" is totally different and unprecedented.

    But Bitcoin is just a swindle without paper. Worst aspect of it is that being totally electronic, it can be taken away or more "made", actually just claimed. Bitcoin is a perfect fiat currency, which is actually why gov'ts may adopt it.

    Hey, kids: if you think I've no effect here, just count recent references to "Streisand Effect"! By "promoting" it often, I've hooted it off the site! (200 of 200)

    04:33:06[f-090-6]

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 8:36am

    Off-topic but substantive.

    As the kids here, especially Mike who says and does nothing at all about openly stated calls to censor, try to wrangle me into being only a shrill whiner, I've hit on the notion of reposting some of my voluminous substance, so that anyone reasonable can judge Techdirt too, and see it's not a forum for open discussion.

    Also, if this effort to censor me continues, I'll dig into the past to show how vile and childish attacks on me have been -- almost none of which got censored with the kids precious "report" button, but are accepted as routine when directed outside the little clique of Piratey Fanboy Kids.

    Kids, neither your present nor history shows Techdirt positively. I've proven time and again, starting with "Dark Helmet", that simply re-posting your own comments shames you into ceasing attacks. Unlike you, I WANT your comments seen more.

    So just ignore my little bits of text. Is that too much to ask of "free speech" advocates? I'm well within common law on this forum where the public is invited to post. Mike offers his machine for the purpose. -- The only alternative you can hope for is that Mike tries to block me, but he's manifestly loathe to take (visible) action...

    But of course the REAL cause of the censoring is that the kids can't answer my substance.


    First up, already a favorite, slightly revised version:

    Piratey Fanboy Kids! The game from Moral Suasion Software.

    In this text-based adventure, you play mild-mannered ordinary person against hordes of Piratey Fanboy Kids, trying to talk them out of stealing the game's MacGuffin: copyrighted content. Your only weapons are appeal to common law and common sense; you can't use the vile, dishonest, and childish tactics of Piratey Fanboy Kids that they toss at you non-stop! It's a nearly impossible and totally thankless task, but no less than civilization is at stake!

    Your task is made much worse because Big Content is the real evil in the game and poisons its products with CRAP so that after Piratey Fanboy Kids do succeed in stealing content, they turn into addicted Mindless Crap Zombies! Your only hope is that after absorbing a little of Big Content's CRAP the Mindless Crap Zombies turn into harmless Yapping Ankle-biter Stoopies! Easily distracted by tossing out Gwizzes so that they then only whiz on you. -- It's slow-paced tedium yet filled with so many HOOTS that you'll ROFL-copter!

    When at long last you've built an arsenal of taglines against those many minor dangers, you'll be ready for the most minor danger in upcoming sequel: MIKE Is Klepto-Economist. That game is a chase in which you first try to find the true position of ultra-slippery MIKE and then pin him down long enough to look at, because once MIKE is seen in good light, he discredits himself.

     

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    Brazenly Anonymous, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 9:06am

    Re: Off-topic but substantive.

    This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

    out_of_the_blue, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 7:52am
    Just part of ongoing silly assertions here that anything "on the net" is totally different and unprecedented.

    But Bitcoin is just a swindle without paper. Worst aspect of it is that being totally electronic, it can be taken away or more "made", actually just claimed. Bitcoin is a perfect fiat currency, which is actually why gov'ts may adopt it.

    ------------

    The kids here cheer "disruptive" tactics of "Anonymous" and "4chan", but vigorously suppress anyone with views contrary to their piratey notions. -- And deny if not actually lack ability to see what they're doing... (199 of 200)

    03:52:25[d-705-7]


    Anyone who wishes to can still see your comment fairly easily (as the above reproduction more or less demonstrates). If they are using a browser that doesn't support the functionality, the comment still shows up.

    Taglines are a rhetorical device, a means to avoid thinking about something you are discussing. They are not an achievement and anyone who is convinced of something by a catchy bit of jingoism is, well, a fanboy kid. I can see why you think using them is appropriate, considering your opinion of most posters here, but they are not in any way convincing.

    As to your portrayal of yourself as persecuted, you should be easily able to disengage for a time, if this debate is so trying on you. If you feel a compulsion to return to the debate, that generally means there is something unsaid that is weighing on you. It might be an idea you have been unable to articulate well, or it might be some assumption of yours that your sub-conscious mind has been given reason to question.

    Either way, weighing your words more carefully and rehashing your arguments might prove more fruitful than ranting, referring to previous arguments, rattling off rhetoric or throwing ad hominems around.

     

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  16. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    beech, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re: Off-topic but substantive.

    And maybe hire a native English speaker to proofread. I swear blue's grammar is among the worst I've seen. Even when I'm trying to understand the point he's making I get lost in the abrupt twists and turns of his clauses and phrases. Words materialize mid sentence, apropos of nothing. Half the time I report him simply because he is completely unintelligible.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 9:19am

    Who here has heard of the "Streisand Effect"?

    Existed before teh internets: it's simply that trying to suppress generally points it up all the more. You'd think that'd be known here, as would be my pleasure in playing whack-a-mole in this text-based adventure game.

    Anyhoo, as the kids here, especially Mike who says and does nothing at all about openly stated calls to censor, try to wrangle me into being only a shrill whiner, I've hit on the notion of reposting some of my voluminous substance, so that anyone reasonable can judge Techdirt too, and see it's simply not a forum for open discussion.

    Also, if this effort (likely just Mike hisself: only some unverifiable ACs have taken credit) to censor me continues, I'll dig into the past to show how vile and childish attacks on me have been -- almost none of which got censored with the kids precious "report" button, but are accepted as routine when directed outside the little clique of Piratey Fanboy Kids.

    Kids, neither your present nor history shows Techdirt positively. I've proven time and again, starting with "Dark Helmet", that simply re-posting your own comments shames you into ceasing attacks. Unlike you, I WANT your comments seen more.

    So just ignore my little bits of text. Is that too much to ask of "free speech" advocates? I'm well within common law on this forum where the public is invited to post. Mike offers his machine for the purpose. -- The only alternative you can hope for is that Mike tries to block me, but he's manifestly reluctant to take (visible) action...

    But of course the REAL cause of the censoring is that the kids can't answer my substance -- such as this:


    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20121022/13153120790/george-mcgovern-why-politicians-who-havent-bui lt-business-are-bad-regulating.shtml#c87

    Look, I can't in a single post explain everything to cowards who have only ad hom and don't wish to learn, but in short, I'm for Productivity and Labor over Moneyed Interests, and especially want to get rid of the Born Rich; it's easy to do and has been done before, is necessary because they always try to take over everything.

    I'm for people getting rich through producing and trading values with others rather than various financial trickery to skim off labor, but not for anyone getting too rich because it splits society into idle parasites and forced laborers. If humans can't learn from the last two centuries, when so many have so much leisure yet waste it, then humanity is doomed.

     

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    identicon
    Piratey Fanboy Kids, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 9:23am

    Re: Off-topic but substantive.

    ARR! We be the Piratey Fanboy Kids! We sail the seas of legitimate content producers in our ship made entirely of infringed intellectual property, plunderin' good ideas! And now we have come to plunder you... oh wait. Ye be OOTB! Nar! Curses! Ye head be full of feathers, not good ideas! Piratey Fanboy Kids, RETREAT!

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 9:26am

    Re: "regulations around it are a bit up in the air" -- WRONG. It's a currency, subject to control just like others.

    People didn't community-moderate your comment because they are blind.

    They did so because you stated something as fact. And were condescending about it.

    And most importantly- as per Internets protocol- because you were wrong.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 9:29am

    Just answer the questions, I believe all of them can be answered with one of the following:
    None
    None at this time
    None on file

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 9:33am

    Re: Who would consent to bitcoin mining over ads?

    I would rather
    A.) participate in an interesting cryptocurrency,
    B.) participate in helping someone else participate in an interesting cryptocurrency, and
    C.) participate in helping someone else make money publishing a website at no cost to me
    than have my browsing habits pimped to a multinational advertising network with surveillance state analogues.

    Any day.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 9:38am

    Re: Off-topic but substantive.

    "Kids, neither your present nor history shows Techdirt positively. I've proven time and again, starting with "Dark Helmet", that simply re-posting your own comments shames you into ceasing attacks. Unlike you, I WANT your comments seen more. "

    There's no shame going on, people aren't ceasing their "attacks." The internet user sees copypasta spam as damage and ignores around it.

     

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    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re: Off-topic but substantive.

    @ "Brazenly Anonymous": you TOO are to be censored just for responding to me!

    This is from one of the oh-so-reasonable Techdirt fanboys:
    When will commentors learn? How long is it going to take for everyone who comments here to learn that by responding to OOTB that you're GIVING HIM EXACTLY WHAT HE WANTS: attention!

    Evidence here: "Yet they can't keep from commenting at me"

    It's about time people learn to

    REPORT OOTB AND EVERYONE WHO RESPONDS TO HIM

    Those "conversations" add NOTHING OF VALUE to the site and are DRIVING PEOPLE AWAY FROM TECHDIRT (myself included soon if something isn't done to reign in this nuisance)

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140204/07522126085/new-zealand-spy-agency-deleted-evidence-about- its-illegal-spying-kim-dotcom.shtml#c341


    So, "Brazenly Anonymous", do you agree that YOUR comments should be censored? Or is it different now?

     

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    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 9:47am

    Another enjoyable bit of non-fluff from out_of_the_blue.

    Who here has heard of the "Streisand Effect"?

    Existed before teh internets: it's simply that trying to suppress generally points it up all the more. You'd think that'd be known here, as would be my pleasure in playing whack-a-mole in this text-based adventure game.

    Anyhoo, as the kids here, especially Mike who says and does nothing at all about openly stated calls to censor, try to wrangle me into being only a shrill whiner, I've hit on the notion of reposting some of my voluminous substance, so that anyone reasonable can judge Techdirt too, and see it's simply not a forum for open discussion.

    Also, if this effort (likely just Mike hisself: only some unverifiable ACs have taken credit) to censor me continues, I'll dig into the past to show how vile and childish attacks on me have been -- almost none of which got censored with the kids precious "report" button, but are accepted as routine when directed outside the little clique of Piratey Fanboy Kids.

    Kids, neither your present nor history shows Techdirt positively. I've proven time and again, starting with "Dark Helmet", that simply re-posting your own comments shames you into ceasing attacks. Unlike you, I WANT your comments seen more.

    So just ignore my little bits of text. Is that too much to ask of "free speech" advocates? I'm well within common law on this forum where the public is invited to post. Mike offers his machine for the purpose. -- The only alternative you can hope for is that Mike tries to block me, but he's manifestly reluctant to take (visible) action...

    But of course the REAL cause of the censoring is that the kids can't answer my substance -- such as this:


    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131016/03230924893/google-is-your-friend-unless-youre-dumb-crimin al-then-its-your-downfall.shtml#c60

    out_of_the_blue, Oct 31st, 2013 @ 8:05pm

    The stupidest people believe "Google Is Your Friend"!

    As I read this days ago -- you're a SLOW but tiresome re-writer, Timmy -- I'll just take the (really unavoidable) cue and go off on my usual topic:

    Slanting this to you pirates: Google's tracking can literally rat you out to MPAA and RIAA. -- That they don't (far as known) do so at present doesn't remove your future peril. -- Any links site you visit may have links to Google; that'd give a particular page, easily linked to specific file, and of course your IP address directly if not using some means to obscure. -- BUT you're not safe from Google's tracking even if behind VPN! Google specializes in identifying individual browsers by getting as much information as can: OS and somewhat subtle items as fonts, font size, various settings -- and of course cookies if you're THAT foolish. Anyway, if you've ever used that browser/system anywhere on the Internet, it's quite likely that Google has a hashed "fingerprint" that can be matched up instantly whenever appears again, along with a count of how many visits and everything else: they've enough storage and the collating process is immense, but last heard, they've 900,000 servers to do it with, and such tracking is Google's business model. -- SO, IF ever gets to that stage, your "friend" Google could easily give MPAA and RIAA enough on you for them to get a real search warrant for a specific file.

    All you pirates can really do is scoff, as that's easily feasible technically right now.

    But you pirates don't have to worry much, yet, as the real purpose of Google is social control: same techniques can identify political dissidents, spot trends, and so on. The Establishment actually likes for you pirates to consume their crap and be diverted from noticing the BIg Brother system all around.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 9:53am

    I can't decide if it's more funny or sad ...

    ... to watch Blue screaming and bawling for attention with his recent habit of multiple reposts.

    Sad, on the one hand, because it's only further cementing his well earned reputation as a total looney and he just doesn't have the sense to realize that the more he shouts the less he will be heard.

    Funny, on the other, because of the schadenfreude for someone who really deserves it.

    It must be like a big old stew of apoplexy and impotence for him.

     

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  26.  
    icon
    Namel3ss (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 9:54am

    There's a better way for users to deal with ads being sprayed all over the web:

    Adblock Plus

    And it doesn't even add a penny to your electric bill or wear-n-tear on your computer.

     

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  27.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 9:57am

    Re:

    Yeah, but that doesn't help when you actually want to support the site.

     

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    PT (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 10:02am

    Re: Another enjoyable bit of non-fluff from out_of_the_blue.

    tl;dr

     

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  29.  
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    william (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 10:05am

    Yes, finally the society has advanced to a stage where we punish PreCrime!

    Now could someone give me a tour of the facility with the precongs?

     

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    Brazenly Anonymous, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Off-topic but substantive.

    Were it a true censor, I'd be upset, but also curious. With a mechanism like this site has (which could be improved*), I'd simply be curious. I'd want to know exactly why I was censored by a community, so I'd be aware of the proper corrective action to actually be able to engage in a sensible debate.

    Oh, and the proper corrective action is never to give in to the censor, but fighting a pitched battle over the issue isn't productive either. Rather, the stance I would take in the case that a true censor without appeal was invoked for bigoted reasoning would be: leave and if the site comes up elsewhere, mention that they stifle debate. On most forums, I'd probably leave something in my signature mentioning why I left.

    On a final note, I've yet to see the referenced poster's initiative succeed. Generally posts responding to you still show up. As such, I don't anticipate having my post flagged.


    *On improving the flagging mechanism: many sites allow the threshold for hidden posts to be set by each user as per their preference. Additionally, faded posts generally serves to make them easily skipped while still displaying the post.

     

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  31.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 10:12am

    Re: Age is only a number

    Agreed! I was joking with the age ;)

     

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  32.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re:

    Indeed, I just thought about the environment and energy scarcity!

     

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  33.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 10:15am

    Re: Re:

    Yeah but if it's finite and we are past half then making it rely on mining bitcoins may be a bad idea no?

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    {f, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 10:44am

    What a moron this Glenn T. Graham is:

    "Admnistrative Action/INERROGATORIES"

    The only proper way to deal with him is to move to disbar.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 10:58am

    Re: Re: Who would consent to bitcoin mining over ads?

    That's another problem right there like you said, just donate money to the site if you want to support it.

    Also, I wouldn't trust something like this not to slow my computer down, especially if you consent to this at multiple websites on the same computer.

     

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  36.  
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    scotts13 (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 11:08am

    "Please be guided accordingly"

    Where have I heard something like that before? "We have been, and thanks. Now please continue to f*ck off."

    Seems to me this AG doesn't like, or even understand bitcoins, and is primarily interested in making anyone involved with them jump through hoops and incur legal bills, primarily to produce properly formatted document that contain mostly repetitions of the word 'none.' Worst thing is, he can probably do it - they have to PROVE they never deployed their software and were never near NJ. And, we all know how hard it is to disprove a negative.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re:

    The halving doesn't happen each year. The next one is scheduled for 2016.

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re: Re:

    No because bitcoins are divisible to 8 (or more) decimal places.

     

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  39.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Who would consent to bitcoin mining over ads?

    like you said, just donate money to the site if you want to support it.


    Which I do when that's an option. Very often, it's not an option.

    I wouldn't trust something like this not to slow my computer down


    The way these sorts of things work is that they do their work when you aren't using your computer. Unless it's improperly implemented, there will be no speed impact. It's only using cycles that you aren't already using.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 11:44am

    Re: "regulations around it are a bit up in the air" -- WRONG. It's a currency, subject to control just like others.

    More uneducated FUD from OOTB. What's new?

    "it can be taken away" - Only if you get the user's private key somehow, which the FBI had to install a keylogger on DPR's PC (the Silk Road guy) in order to seize his wallet.

    Otherwise, it's pretty difficult to seize someone's bitcoins.

    "or more made" - They are made according to a schedule. If you want to change that schedule, you would have to convince 51% of the world bitcoin mining community to make their current bitcoins worth less. Good luck with that.

    "Bitcoin is a perfect fiat currency" - Well, the broken clock may have gotten one sentence right here, but for all the wrong reasons.

     

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  41. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Off-topic but substantive.

    "Additionally, faded posts generally serves to make them easily skipped while still displaying the post."

    Given the volume of such posts, just fading them doesn't address the problem. The problem isn't that they can be seen -- the problem is that they take up so much space that they effectively derail any actual conversations happening below them on the page.

    And yes, I'm reporting my own comment here.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Who would consent to bitcoin mining over ads?

    As a software developer, my only caution would be that developers get this wrong over 50% of the time in my experience.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 11:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, that was a mistake, sorry :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Who would consent to bitcoin mining over ads?

    As someone that used to run a LOT of distributed computing apps on a farm of machines, let me caution you - using 100% cpu cycles when you're not otherwise consuming them for useful stuff of your own, will cause premature hardware failure and expensive power bills.

    I've probably replaced more failing capacitors and power supplies to choke a landfill.

     

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  45.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 1:32pm

    not sure this is viable...

    from what i've read on some hard corps nerd sites (like slashdot, okay, soft core nerd sites, too), the bitcoin miners have EXTREMELY customized rigs to optimize their 'mining', and that distributed 'mining' among botnets, etc is simply too slow and not generally worth the trouble...

    now, i understand the concept that if you are 'stealing' CPU cycles from people 'for free', then i guess you don't care how inefficient it is; but -again- from what i've heard, it would simply be time better spent on other means of mining that are far more efficient...

    just repeating what i've read of people FAR better versed in the ins-outs of the process...

     

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  46.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 1:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Who would consent to bitcoin mining over ads?

    I, too, have a lot of experience with these types of apps. The increased power usage and "premature" (I have a quibble with the use of that word here) hardware failures are actually very small -- these would only have to be taken into consideration by people doing as you did: running a farm.

    For my part, I run 6 servers at home, 24/7, 2 of them are running at near 100% capacity. I've done so for years now. My power bill is totally reasonable (the whole thing costs me about $20/month in power). I have to replace something (usually a power supply or fan) about every other year.

     

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  47.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 1:40pm

    Re: not sure this is viable...

    Bitcoin mining is incredibly CPU-intensive, it's true. If you're going to mine them for a living, you do need specialized gear.

    But if you're a site that has a large readership, this could be a worthwhile revenue stream. Distributing the load amongst several tens or hundreds of thousand computers, even part time, could let you spit out a new bitcoin often enough to be worth the effort. It probably couldn't be your sole source of revenue, but rule #1 of revenue is that it's better to get a nickel from a thousand different places than a thousand nickels from a single place.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Matt W, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Standing

    Statists gonna state.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Who would consent to bitcoin mining over ads?

    Heh, 6 servers at 100% cpu and it only cost you $20/mo in power?

    Must not be in California ;)

    I probably didn't run too many more machines than you've got there - but my power bills went up about $300/mo during some months.

    As for premature failure - this was during the end of the "capicitor plague" era, so it's hard to claim that the heavy processing was the direct cause, but it certainly sped up the process, as most of the machines I was using suffered this fate, while the exact same machines that were not producing the same output lasted several years longer before needing attention.

     

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  50.  
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    btrussell (profile), Feb 7th, 2014 @ 12:48am

    Re: Re:

    I still hear people complaining about intrusive ads. I don't because I don't get them. I can't stand the flashing that gets going and it is another reason I don't watch tv, I can't stand the flashing ads nor the ones that just stay on the screen obstructing my view. When everyone quits bitching about intrusive ads, I'll have ads like I used to.

     

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  51.  
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    John85851 (profile), Feb 7th, 2014 @ 3:06pm

    Technology is moving faster than people's ability to understand it

    I wonder if we're finally reaching the point where technology is moving faster than people's ability to understand it. It sounds like the politicians in New Jersey don't comprehend anything about the proposal, including the fact that it's a proof of concept and there's no working code. All the politicians know is "Bitcoin is bad, so anything to do with it is bad", or more accurately, "We don't know much about this Bitcoin concept but we've heard scary stories, so we need to outlaw it."

    And, of course, what are they outlawing? Since when does a state AG have power over someone in another state? I can see how a case can be made if the software was installed on a New Jersey resident's computer, but again, there's no working code! If I were the guy's attorney, I would simply send back a letter saying New Jersey has no standing to file anything and not even bother arguing about code, about Bitcoin, or anything else.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2014 @ 5:49pm

    If you were an (elected) fiat loyalist, you'd also defend your state currency against btc.

    Lawyers gonna loyal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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