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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: 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.
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