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posted by Dopefish on Monday February 17 2014, @02:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the government-should-mind-their-own-business dept.
mattie_p writes "MIT students won a hackathon last November with a non-functioning demo of Tidbit. The concept is to replace web advertising revenue with a tiny amount of Bitcoin mining on the user's browser. Out of the blue, the students were hit by a subpoena from the New Jersey Attorney General demanding that the founders 'turn over sensitive information including source codes, hosting websites, and all of the Bitcoin wallet addresses associated with Tidbit.'

At first MIT council referred the students to legal assistance from the EFF, who quickly came to their defense. Now there is a petition going around requesting the MIT administration support the students directly. Parallels are being drawn to Aaron Swartz, possibly because one of the authors of the recent petition is Prof. Hal Ableson, although details of the two cases have very little in common.

MIT President Reif has now come out strongly in support of the students--and in favor of academic freedom from interference by government."
 
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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by clone141166 on Monday February 17 2014, @02:10PM

    by clone141166 (59) on Monday February 17 2014, @02:10PM (#702)

    Makes me glad that SoylentNews.org can function without having to run javascript... no sneaky background bitcoin miners around here :)

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by githaron on Monday February 17 2014, @02:42PM

      by githaron (581) on Monday February 17 2014, @02:42PM (#741)

      What is wrong with Tidbit? It sounds like an awesome idea. Instead of trading your screen real estate (ads) and privacy for content, it allows website developers to consider a third option: clock cycles for content. Of course, some greedy websites will probably try to have ads, privacy selling, and Bitcoin mining. I could also see there being other computing networks like research clusters trying the same thing.

      • (Score: 1) by clone141166 on Monday February 17 2014, @03:01PM

        by clone141166 (59) on Monday February 17 2014, @03:01PM (#755)

        I think Tidbit is an interesting idea, I was more just pointing out that with every new technology comes the potential for good and the potential for evil...

      • (Score: 1) by mmcmonster on Monday February 17 2014, @03:27PM

        by mmcmonster (401) on Monday February 17 2014, @03:27PM (#770)

        As an opt-in, I have no problems with this.

        ESPECIALLY for a news website such as this. Imagine the option: "As a valuable member of our community, would you like to choose the option of in-browser bitcoin mining while you are viewing this site on this computer instead of viewing adds?

        • (Score: 2, Informative) by omoc on Monday February 17 2014, @05:09PM

          by omoc (39) on Monday February 17 2014, @05:09PM (#843)

          I'm with my laptop on battery ~80% of the time I read news. I want neither ads nor javascript running. However, I would not object to pay for a LWN like revenue model if the website delivers.

        • (Score: 1) by Keldrin on Monday February 17 2014, @10:05PM

          by Keldrin (773) on Monday February 17 2014, @10:05PM (#1117) Journal

          I agree. I'm in favor of having lots of options when it comes to supporting a website I enjoy. However, I would have a problem if this became mandatory. As I'm sure a lot of us are, I am quite paranoid when it comes to letting code run on my machine. If I'm forced to run code that I don't have time to examine, I'm far more likely to use a different service. Besides, letting a website hog computing power may cause instability with other applications, and I don't relish the idea of having my computer lock up just because I was playing a windowed game while surfing the net.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by tftp on Monday February 17 2014, @11:07PM

          by tftp (806) on Monday February 17 2014, @11:07PM (#1159) Homepage

          "As a valuable member of our community, would you like to choose the option of in-browser bitcoin mining while you are viewing this site on this computer instead of viewing adds?

          The loss of performance and waste of energy would be incomparable with the benefit of mining at least one µBTC. It may well be that the web site operators do not care, since the service comes for free to them, but society-wise it looks like a very poor investment of power. BTC mining is marginally cost-effective on ASIC miners today... The Tidbit Web site says this:

          So if it ran across 1000 users machines, you could produce 7.40x10^-9 BTC. With BTC at 350, you would have made 2.5x10^-6 dollars!

          Is it worth messing up with 1 BILLION computers to earn measly $2.50? What will you spend in bandwidth serving that Javascript? I bet just that alone will put you deep into red.

          As other people mentioned, too many today browse from mobile platforms, where power is at premium, and CPU clocks are dialed down to the bare minimum.

          OT: <sup> tags do not work. They have very low potential for evil, IMO, and should be allowed.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Random2 on Monday February 17 2014, @03:50PM

      by Random2 (669) on Monday February 17 2014, @03:50PM (#786)

      Would trading ads for bitcoin mining really be a bad thing? If the site (and the user) know what's coming ahead of time it's so much easier to contain; the main problem with ads is that they're completely arbitrary code that can't be verified until it's on the machine. Excluding people finding ways to hijack the ad and deliver malware, this seems like a much safer option.

      Of course, I'm quite happy that soylent doesn't need Javascript either, but I wouldn't necessarily mind something like this replacing ads.

      --
      If only I registered 3 users earlier....
      • (Score: 1) by carguy on Monday February 17 2014, @06:11PM

        by carguy (568) on Monday February 17 2014, @06:11PM (#915)

        Thanks to mattie_p for scraping my draft of this story off the forum and posting it (with some bonus editing as well). For whatever reason, I couldn't submit stories this morning.

        I also think Tidbit is a cool idea, of course with some possibility of misuse. Will try to keep SoyLent posted if there are any developments in the court case -- which might turn into Chris Christie vs. MIT.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by edIII on Monday February 17 2014, @06:12PM

      by edIII (791) on Monday February 17 2014, @06:12PM (#916)
      I would actually prefer the crypto mining over advertisements.

      My objections to advertisements are:

      1) They are intellectual offensive and devoid of all positive value towards society. Advertisements are produced via the art of deception, aka, marketing. The secondary effect being the progressive erosion of our privacy to make marketing more efficient and ever present in every moment of our lives. Marketing respects nothing, and no moment is sacred or off limits to them.

      2) Marketers are the biggest whiny entitled bitches that have no problems purchasing corrupt politicians to make it illegal to bypass them. The concept of you controlling what you see and when is an anathema to them. Only marketers, and the forces they represent, made the argument that skipping commercials is "stealing" their IP. An argument so ridiculous and intellectually offensive that it is only exceeded by the fact it worked in courts. 3) The big huge gaping security hole that has turned a lot of machines into whimpering gaping orifices to be used at will by cyber crime minded individuals.

      4) The ridiculous amount of bandwidth and resources wasted on it.

      I would in two seconds flat agree to run a crypto mining algorithm in my browser and allow SoylentNews the benefit of some of my processing power in exchange for none of the above offenses.

      That's an awesome idea and I'm not so fanatically opposed to JS anyways. It's a client-side architecture. That's it. It serves a purpose. Whether or not it's used correctly or efficiently is another discussion entirely.
      --
      Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 17 2014, @06:26PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 17 2014, @06:26PM (#922)

      I can't check the availability of my /. nick without JavaScript.
      I also can't just go ahead and register regardless, getting some utterly meaningless error message.

      So I'm not sure where you get "SoylentNews.org can function without having to run javascript" from?

      (And yes, I've posted to the bugs story.)

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by furiousoyster on Monday February 17 2014, @02:17PM

    by furiousoyster (594) on Monday February 17 2014, @02:17PM (#709)

    I hadn't heard of Tidbit before. It sounds like a really good idea: a non-obnoxious way of generating revenue from web-traffic at a negligible cost to visitors.

    Can anyone else explain what's going on with this case? The article doesn't say much about why the Tidbit folks are being subpoenaed, except that "out-of-state authorities ... were concerned Tidbit may have breached the security of people's computers through unauthorized access." Why on earth would they think that?

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by isaac on Monday February 17 2014, @02:23PM

      by isaac (500) on Monday February 17 2014, @02:23PM (#714)

      Can anyone else explain what's going on with this case? The article doesn't say much about why the Tidbit folks are being subpoenaed, except that "out-of-state authorities ... were concerned Tidbit may have breached the security of people's computers through unauthorized access." Why on earth would they think that?

      FTA: "'[New Jersey] recently used consumer protection laws to secure a $1 million settlement from a gambling website that turned its users’ computers into a botnet to mine for Bitcoins without the users’ knowledge,' wrote Fakhoury. 'It appears the state suspects Tidbit of something similar here, despite the fact Tidbit’s code was only a proof of concept that could not mine for Bitcoins, and despite the fact Tidbit was clearly not planning to develop code that mined without a user’s knowledge and consent.'"

      Someone got wind of Tidbit in the NJ AG's office and smelled another potential settlement.

      • (Score: 1) by isaac on Monday February 17 2014, @02:26PM

        by isaac (500) on Monday February 17 2014, @02:26PM (#721)

        Blech, smartpostrophes pasted in look like garbage - and the "Slow Down Cowboy" threshold is a bit aggressive.

        • (Score: 1) by Wodan on Monday February 17 2014, @02:29PM

          by Wodan (517) on Monday February 17 2014, @02:29PM (#730)

          Guess the utf-8 support isn't entirely there yet, but at least they're trying!

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by weilawei on Monday February 17 2014, @07:09PM

        by weilawei (109) on Monday February 17 2014, @07:09PM (#952)
        This looks a lot like straight-up extortion. I'm STILL failing to see any illegal activity in this...
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 17 2014, @02:27PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 17 2014, @02:27PM (#723)

      The problem is that in the long run, it's not a negligible cost. It's a process that consumes data, CPU and/or GPU cycles and electricity. I don't know how much resources it consumes when compared to a webpage displaying ads, but the trend should not be to replace one resource sipper (or sucker) with another.

      • (Score: 1) by dilbert on Monday February 17 2014, @02:31PM

        by dilbert (444) on Monday February 17 2014, @02:31PM (#734)

        In slashdot beta, javascript mine you!

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by bopal on Monday February 17 2014, @02:44PM

        by bopal (321) on Monday February 17 2014, @02:44PM (#743)

        If your page has 1000 users per day that can mine at 5Mhash/s (assuming CPU mining, tidbit uses an asm.js miner),
        you have a hash rate of 5Ghash/s per day. Let every user mine for 10 seconds and according to you have 5.20USD of revenue.

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by githaron on Monday February 17 2014, @02:51PM

          by githaron (581) on Monday February 17 2014, @02:51PM (#747)

          Out of curiosity, does anyone how out much 1000 users are likely to net per day on average using ads?

          • (Score: 5, Informative) by githaron on Monday February 17 2014, @03:14PM

            by githaron (581) on Monday February 17 2014, @03:14PM (#762)
            According to this article [forbes.com], it looks like the ARPU (average revenue per user) goal is around $2. If $5.20 is the daily revenue, $1.90 would be your ARPU ($5.20 * 365 days / 1000 users). Seems like a viable alternative if your calculations are anywhere near correct.
            • (Score: 2, Informative) by githaron on Monday February 17 2014, @03:23PM

              by githaron (581) on Monday February 17 2014, @03:23PM (#767)

              It seems that right now, their implementation is fairly inefficient (1 penny per 24 hours run [venturebeat.com]). They are apparently planning on tapping into WebGL in order to move to GPU processing.

      • (Score: 2) by githaron on Monday February 17 2014, @02:47PM

        by githaron (581) on Monday February 17 2014, @02:47PM (#745)

        Websites have get income somehow or they will eventually go lights out. Hosting, maintenance, and electrcity are not free. Ads have been the dominate way but unless increased costs are significant I could see the majority of users preferring computing networks like Tidbit.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 17 2014, @02:56PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 17 2014, @02:56PM (#752)

          Hi, same AC here (I tried to make an account but no password has been emailed yet).

          I understand the costs associated with running a website. But the issue is the hidden fee that the visitor is forced to pay, either through ads, by mining for virtual currency or by sending spam (the next logical step). It seems like a very inefficient way to make money: you provide content, but have to use a complex system to get paid for the content. Ads have to be created, electricity has to be used to mine for virtual currency, data has to be used to transfer all of this - all at the cost to the visitor. Why not just charge the visitor a fee and be done with it? Why hide the fee behind a complicated system? Do we really need a middle man - or several - to achieve this?

          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by githaron on Monday February 17 2014, @03:04PM

            by githaron (581) on Monday February 17 2014, @03:04PM (#757)

            I could see a site charging a fee as an option that disables ads and mining but not as the only option. In most cases if you create a site that has fees as its only way of membership, someone else will probably come along with a nearly equivalent "free" version that a majority of potential users will go to instead. It is a lot easier to get people to try/use something when it is "free".

          • (Score: 1) by furiousoyster on Monday February 17 2014, @03:34PM

            by furiousoyster (594) on Monday February 17 2014, @03:34PM (#774)

            You make it sound like paying a fee is less complex or cumbersome than looking at an ad or running some virtual currency mining scripts. It's not.

            • (Score: 1) by weilawei on Monday February 17 2014, @07:29PM

              by weilawei (109) on Monday February 17 2014, @07:29PM (#973)
              After factoring in the immense amount of third party support you have to rely on for payments, yes, ads and mining ARE simpler. In one case, say you use PayPal. Well, PayPay needs datacenters, they need to work with credit card companies, they need to clear transactions and chargebacks, and that's just before you integrate it into your site. Then you need to trust it won't fail, or screw you over. Any third party service comes with this caveat, and payments are a big one. See "The Cloud" for reference on how that goes.

              Ads can be served off a single host, with no interaction or legal snafus from handling customer data. Finally, bitcoin mining pushes the complexity to an individual user, with none of the issues of storing personally identifiable information. The actual volume of code to be run for mining could be far smaller than that for payments, and depending on the ad system, less than that.
            • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 17 2014, @07:38PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 17 2014, @07:38PM (#985)
              Perhaps you are unfamiliar with PCI-DSS regulations which require QUARTERLY independent security audits by a PCI Council "qualified independent scan vendor" if you handle personally identifiable information. Otherwise, the credit card companies will cut you off. That pretty much means anyone smaller than a large business is outsourcing their payments to someone else. That itself is a can of worms.
        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by internetguy on Monday February 17 2014, @03:13PM

          by internetguy (235) on Monday February 17 2014, @03:13PM (#761)

          Websites have get income somehow or they will eventually go lights out. Hosting, maintenance, and electrcity are not free. Ads have been the dominate way but unless increased costs are significant I could see the majority of users preferring computing networks like Tidbit.

          Maybe the world-wide-web Internet was designed wrong and a peering model is a better approach.

          --
          Sig: I must be new here.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by tibman on Monday February 17 2014, @02:56PM

        by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 17 2014, @02:56PM (#753)

        It is certainly interesting though. Given the choice, would you take 10 seconds of cpu usage or lose a small part of screen space?

        --
        SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by dilbert on Monday February 17 2014, @03:07PM

          by dilbert (444) on Monday February 17 2014, @03:07PM (#758)

          The problem is that they'll never be satisfied with just 10 seconds of CPU time. Next week it will be 11 seconds, and next year 30+.

          I remember when Hulu first started, they had 15 second commercials 2-3 times a show, now it's usually 120+ seconds 4-5 times a show.

          Where does the slippery slope take over? Unless the user can determine how many seconds to allow, the system is broken.

          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by githaron on Monday February 17 2014, @03:34PM

            by githaron (581) on Monday February 17 2014, @03:34PM (#773)

            They can't mine if you don't have their website open. How are they going to increase the time? Hulu is designed to strong arm you into watching the ads or not recieve the rest of the video. I doubt most text-based content websites could get away with something similar for very long.

          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by cx on Monday February 17 2014, @03:39PM

            by cx (239) on Monday February 17 2014, @03:39PM (#782)

            Fully agree. The law of diminishing returns sets in pretty fast and then it is an ugly race to the bottom.
            But even more important, letting random sites run cpu heavy js is more uncomfortable than seeing an ad or two. I just wouldn't visit such a site (without noScript anyway).

            Web is diverging to two poles for a long time; free-for-all-ad-and-malware-infested-stuff and gated-gardens (money or other-wise). What can't be monetized (or supported by other means, like business sites) and doesn't have a strong community will die. And that's ok.

            Participate or consume, the choice is upon you.

            - cx -

          • (Score: 2, Informative) by ArhcAngel on Monday February 17 2014, @04:19PM

            by ArhcAngel (654) on Monday February 17 2014, @04:19PM (#811)

            Actually Hulu only had 15 second commercials because that was all advertisers were willing to pay for on the as yet unproven site. There were also only a handful of advertisers at the time. You would see the same ad numerous times during a viewing opposed to multiple different ads today. Once it got traction advertisers were stepping up and Hulu increased the duration and frequency accordingly.

          • (Score: 1) by furiousoyster on Monday February 17 2014, @05:02PM

            by furiousoyster (594) on Monday February 17 2014, @05:02PM (#835)

            I don't think this is a very serious concern. Just as there are diminishing returns as a site increases the number of advertisements it pushes on visitors, so also will there be diminishing returns when a site increases the amount of computing power it consumes. When people reach their pain threshold, they'll take steps to limit the pain--either by going elsewhere or by blocking the mining script. It's up to site owners to find the sweet spot that is profitable without being intolerable to visitors. The slope may be slippery, but it's not endless.

            Isn't the real question here whether the pain of energy loss is worse than the pain of dealing with advertisements? I can imagine all kinds of circumstances when I'd prefer give to up CPU cycles/battery life than have my time or screen space wasted.

            • (Score: 2, Interesting) by cx on Monday February 17 2014, @06:00PM

              by cx (239) on Monday February 17 2014, @06:00PM (#904)

              I don't think this is a very serious concern.

              Respectfully, I disagree. We already have very limited capability to limit what particular site/application can do, without going to trouble of router/dns level control. There are also cases where denying behavior application/site doesn't really need breaks the functionality (my way or the highway). In other words, you are technically not in a position to say 'It is ok for you to mine bitcoins as I read your article, but only that. Don't send out spam, don't talk to random services, don't do ANYTHING else.'

              Situation where it is considered normal that every random site you visit runs random CPU-heavy code on your machine is not something I'd be looking forward to. Yes, it is already happening now that a stupid page requires 5 megs of js across 10 domains, and I actively avoid such sites; once everyone starts doing it I will not have such luxury.

              • (Score: 2, Funny) by weilawei on Monday February 17 2014, @07:56PM

                by weilawei (109) on Monday February 17 2014, @07:56PM (#1000)
                Perhaps it's time to incorporate mining ASICs into our general purpose computers? =P (Yeah, I know that game has come and gone with the rise of specialty hardware.) Hrm, Coincellerator Inside...
              • (Score: 1) by furiousoyster on Monday February 17 2014, @08:12PM

                by furiousoyster (594) on Monday February 17 2014, @08:12PM (#1026)

                I'm not sure I understand what you mean. The mining scripts under discussion use Javascript and are subject to exactly the same privileges and restrictions that already exist for Javascript in the browser. Tidbit doesn't change what a site can do with your computer at all. Or am I missing something?

                • (Score: 2, Interesting) by cx on Monday February 17 2014, @09:37PM

                  by cx (239) on Monday February 17 2014, @09:37PM (#1099)

                  Script mine_coins.js might do that at some point in time on a site A. However, that might change. Unless you inspect the script every time you load it, you won't know now, will you?

                  So we have a script that does something which has to be communicated back to the site (otherwise how do they get the results of the work). But it might communicate it to another site (cause they use different domain for computation results processing, to 'streamline the process'). Tomorrow it will be upgraded to communicate with multiple other machines (in order to more efficiently process the workload, yadda, yadda). Call me paranoid but that spells botnet to me.

                  Now security.
                  First, it is easier to hide nefarious stuff in 5 (10? 50?) megs of math heavy code than in a two page straightforward DOM manipulation library.
                  Second, even if we consider your machine is protected from rooting/snooping by whatever sandbox the browser of your choice implements, it doesn't protect the rest of the world from actions originating from your machine.
                  Third, considering heavy CPU load normal when you browse the net is a great incentive for malicious people to replace legit scripts on servers you access with something else. Today every time my computer slows down for no obvious reason, I go through running processes to find the culprit and then check what that process(es) talk to. But if every site I visit ramps up my CPU load significantly, I will get used to it. Mining bitcoins? Participating in DDOS? Cracking passwords? I wouldn't know unless I check every time.

          • (Score: 2) by NovelUserName on Monday February 17 2014, @05:23PM

            by NovelUserName (768) on Monday February 17 2014, @05:23PM (#860)

            Isn't this what script blockers are for? If the mining script is too invasive, then more users will use script blockers and the return per user drops.

            It seems to me that this is basically the same situation as ads with malware. The higher the incidence rate of malware, the less people actually see ads. This means that ad companies have some incentive to keep their 'product' clean.

            Cheers

          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Common Joe on Monday February 17 2014, @05:29PM

            by Common Joe (33) <common.joe.0101NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday February 17 2014, @05:29PM (#868) Journal

            I think this is where we've gone wrong with both computers and the Internet. It's my computer and I don't have an easy way to show what choices I want to make when I visit a website. There are no negotiations. There's a lot of my-way-or-the-highway attitude. A lot of times, there is no way to even suggest things to a website about what I'd like.

            Sometimes I want ads. Sometimes I don't. If I want ads, there's no way to specify what kinds of ads (jpg vs flash or car vs food) that I want.

            • (Score: 1) by tibman on Monday February 17 2014, @05:54PM

              by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 17 2014, @05:54PM (#894)

              Slashdot (is it allowed to say that word?) was the first site i've ever seen that made advertisements optional. It is still the only site i know of.

              --
              SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
            • (Score: 2, Interesting) by No Respect on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:18AM

              by No Respect (991) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:18AM (#1249)

              I never want ads. And I don't negotiate, either, so on that front it is my way or the highway. I will stop going to a website if they try to force me to look at ads. This is something I end up doing occasionally and to be honest, I don't feel as though anything of value has been lost on my end.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 17 2014, @06:47PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 17 2014, @06:47PM (#937)

      the cost for the visitor, in electricity bill, is much higher than the revenue the site gets though. It would be interesting to see a calculation of how much is spent in resources and money per generated revenue for this, but also for normal advertising damaged websites: to cover the cost of sending 10kb, how many kb is sent?

      I bet it quite depressing to read though, just like when 1/3 of it is used up to extract the oil... only this time it is 95%?

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 17 2014, @05:34PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 17 2014, @05:34PM (#875)

    Former Slashdot(RIP) user here...
    I just want to give you guys a heads up about a cool Greasemonkey script which works on Soylent News:

    Slashdot Expandable Comment Tree v2

       Adds [+][-] symbols next to all comments allowing you to expand and collapse any of them for viewing.
       The script is here-----http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/38184 [userscripts.org]

    To modify the script to work on SoylentNews:

       Open the script in a text editor, and add this line:
       // @include    http*://*soylentnews.org/*

    Cheers
    --AC

  • (Score: 1) by unitron on Monday February 17 2014, @05:41PM

    by unitron (70) on Monday February 17 2014, @05:41PM (#885) Journal

    ...that the New Jersey AG's office is finding a way to keep themselves busy, even if they have to go to another state to find something that needs investigating.

    --
    something something Slashcott something something Beta something something
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:16AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:16AM (#1346)

      Because there are no scandals going on in NJ that need investigating. I guess they're just doing their part to be team players on the Dollar hegemony. Probably each AG was asked to find one Bitcoin conviction.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by elf on Monday February 17 2014, @06:56PM

    by elf (64) on Monday February 17 2014, @06:56PM (#944)

    Isn't the average computer, mobile phone going to be wholly inadequate for this to be profitable? I'm a little skeptical but I kinda like the idea.

    http://bitcoinwisdom.com/bitcoin/difficulty [bitcoinwisdom.com]

    The bit coin premise is to make it harder and harder as time goes on so this process is only going to net less and less as time goes on

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:27AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:27AM (#3287)

      Indeed. This might've worked 5-10 years ago when CPUs could mine profitably and nobody was running off battery. Now it's hard to make money even with dedicated hardware stacked in a warehouse...

      Nevertheless it's an interesting concept.

      RIP Aaron.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by MrGuy on Monday February 17 2014, @11:31PM

    by MrGuy (1007) on Monday February 17 2014, @11:31PM (#1175)

    They released an "independent" report completely whitewashing themselves of responsibility in the Aaron Swartz case. I award them no points for doing the right thing this time. President Reif should step down, not be commended.