Cryptocurrencies


#41

What legitimate reason do you have for cracking a password?

Even if you do have a legitimate reason, just rent a server in the cloud for the time it takes to get the job done.


#42

Most of the time it’s iPhone backups and the like. If you think of it like a safe, you’re allowed to break in to your own safe or one you inherit if you can’t get in.

We also have to be a bit overly cautious with where the data goes because of legal crap, although in some cases renting some server time to do it is an option.


#43

Presuming you have the hashed password, all you need to put on the remote cloud server is that hash and the program to brute force it. Once it is done, you can get your password and then the cloud server is gone like it never existed.


#44

Yeah, I’m not saying it’s a real concern, it’s just one of those things that is hard to explain to lawyers. People freak out over stupid stuff in my industry.


#45

Guns aren’t totally banned in Japan just heavily regulated. There are sport hunters and competitive target and trap shooters. It’s just pretty uncommon and difficult to jump through the hoops.


#46

Isn’t the basic function of a WWII fission bomb pretty much a known quantity? Use conventional explosives to fuse two subcritical masses of sufficient purity into a critical mass resulting in a nuclear explosion? Is the illegal part the engineering specifics?


#47

No. It’s the thermonuclear bomb that is the secret.


#48

Atomic bombs (fission bombs) are baby’s first nuke, and they top out at half a megaton in the most powerful possible designs. The common knowledge version you describe tops out in the 10s of kilotons: the higher yields require fusion-boosting.

Thermonuclear bombs are a coupled fission > fusion > fission chain of reactions involving significant complex engineering and material science challenges that have never been understood outside of the very few humans on earth who have ever built and tested them.

What little we do know comes down to speculation. For example, it is strongly believed that radiation pressure - not explosive pressure - is what triggers the secondary (fusion) component. It’s is also strongly suspected that some form of aerogel is used as a “channel” to bring the X-rays to bear in order to achieve this.

The engineering details are literally unknown, and it’s likely they’re not possible to figure out without live testing.


#49

At some point with sufficient computer simulation horsepower, you know like the stuff mining magical space-hacker digibucks, a sufficiently curious and or malicious group of college physics students could more or less divine the 11 herbs and spices needed to make another Ivy Mike.

That doesn’t mean they could build anything with that knowledge, cuz that’s not backyard engineering.


#50

There is serious speculation that the why of effective thermonuclear designs isn’t fully understood even by the people who designed them.

Yields were improved through trial and error. Hell, the first thermonuke ever detonated had a yield that exceeded all expectations and models.

Once an effective design was achieved and tested, the tested designs were mass-produced and the expectations of these weapons were based entirely on the test results…


#51

Huh.

If they heat their Siberian home with Bitcoin mining instead of fossil fuels, is that an environmental net positive or not?

Also as much as I despise the current reality of cryptocurrencies, the idea of someone hacking into all the heating systems of Siberia makes the ghost in the shell of my dick rock-hard.


#52

In a more ideal world, we wouldn’t have electric space heaters that didn’t generate that heat in the process of performing calculations.


#53

I had heard in the past that CPUs weren’t particularly efficient heaters but I don’t recall why (maybe because of poor power factor in the PSU?) and the only tests I can find online seem to indicate that they’re pretty much on par with an average space heater.

It’s still supporting the cryptocurrency ecosystem and unless they’re generating the power through something renewable it’s not cleaner than a regular space heater. Pretty neat, you’d think more data center heat would be put to use like this.


#54

The problem with bitcoin in particular is that it appears to be used almost exclusively for speculation and money laundering. I’d actually put good odds on the former being the bulk of all transactions. You buy bitcoins to “invest” in them: I doubt very many people are buying them for the ostensible actual purpose of using the transaction network to make normal transactions for goods and services.

Speculation in an asset that has zero real regulatory controls is a disaster waiting to happen, and I’ll have no sympathy for anyone who has hitherto speculated in bitcoin if and when its price collapses.


#55

I remember when Bitcoins were brand new and like $10. When I saw people excited about them my scam alarm went off (it is still going off) and I didn’t buy any.

Now that they are thousands of dollars each, I don’t regret not buying any at $10. If I had, I probably would have sold them at $100.


#56

I’ve told this story already, I bought them for almost exactly $6. 10 of them. I’m a many thousand-aire! right? No.

That computer died. It’s all gone. I destroyed like 10 bitcoin. At least I used them back then. I bought like fries at the commons from my friends. Honestly it was kinda worth it for the pizza I got and the novelty of having spent a few bitcoins.


#57

That wouldn’t have happened because I backup.


#58

I have backup… Now. 18 year old me wasn’t quite as smart as I am.


#59

18 year old me had backups.

Hell, 13 year old me had backups on 3.5" floppy disks. I still have them. And I also have a USB reader for them.


#60

Ok, hold on, what do you mean backups? Like full system backups? Or just like a removable media that you put important stuff on. Because I had the latter, just never considered my wallet important.