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Jeff Weiss
Works at Red Hat, Inc
Attended University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Lives in Durham, NC
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Jeff Weiss

General Discussion  - 
 
In the US, the experience of buying your first bitcoin is similar to buying a lethal weapon. Both require a 1 week wait and divulging personal information. Or you can go a more risky route and buy them more quickly in person (probably at a markup).

I'm not sure what this means, perhaps that bitcoin is judged to be on the same level as guns, when it comes to empowering the little guy?

Perhaps it's best not to fight the difficulty but embrace it. "Yes it's difficult, because it's superior and regulators don't want you to have it. All the more reason you should have it."
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Ah but that takes time, which was my original point.
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Jeff Weiss

Articles, Arguments & Academicals  - 
 
This is an admission that bitcoin actually works. It was less than two years ago that bitcoin was a scam, a pyramid scheme, worthless, anyone could create bitcoin at will, it was controlled by some shadowy anonymous figure, etc etc. All those attacks have fallen by the wayside. Now, it's "bitcoin is useful but also useful to bad people".  That is impressive progress.

This attack is just as much nonsense as all the previous ones, of course.
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Jeff Weiss's profile photoErik Poupaert's profile photoBrad Edwards's profile photo
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+Brad Edwards uh, yeah, obviously if you wanted to evade more than just a casual snooper, you'd have to employ some serious tactics and be very diligent about it.

Obviously you could not use your phone at all as your alter ego.  You would probably either have a separate computer, or boot an OS like TAILS (with TOR built in) each time you wanted to act as your alter ego.  You of course could never mix the two identities, for example by accessing your personal facebook account from the alter ego's machine or vice versa.

It's not the kind of thing anyone can do casually (at least, not effectively). However I'd argue that as long as you aren't counting on your pseudonymity, it can't hurt.  Pseudonymity done badly may be better than none.
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Having done a lot of interviews myself (on both sides of the table), this is painfully accurate. We have no idea what we're doing.
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It's a crap shoot.
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A great analysis of how it's going to go down.  The true purpose of bitcoin is not to buy skittles.  It's to destroy the dollar, and with it the war machine it fuels.  The sooner you participate, the better off you'll be.

Most of the general public will be left holding the bag, as always.  They are simply too gullible - they believe that household chemicals are envionmentally friendly just because the package is green.  The marketing machine will dangle something shiny in front of them, and they'll bite.

Eventually though, bitcoin (or its successor) will reach them too.  Unfortunately it will take a huge crisis (probably decades away) to reveal the shiny thing as a useless scam.
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Jeff Weiss's profile photoJustus Ranvier's profile photoNick Bauman's profile photo
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Right. The best way to measure purchasing power would be something like hours of work per day needed to meet basic subsistence needs.

If your purchasing power is cut 50%, such that the time goes from 1 minutes/day to 2 minutes/day you're not going to notice as much as someone who was at 6 hours/day and experiences a 50% cut.
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Jeff Weiss

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The Star Trek transporter was indirectly responsible for showing me I have no soul, that there is no such thing as "myself" that persists through time.

You feel like "yourself" only because when you check your memory, your current self-model matches the self-model in your memories.  OK so that consistency check passes, but that does NOT mean there aren't other copies of "you" that pass the same check.  The feeling of continuity is absolutely an illusion, because you could be recreated by the transporter with all the memories intact.

We can see the same thing with computers, when we "hibernate" them.  All the memory is saved somewhere, and then when power is restored it's read back in and the computer "feels" like it never went to sleep.  You can also restore this memory to a different machine, and the computer behaves exactly like the original would have.  The computer itself has no way of knowing it's in a different (but identical looking) body.
Survive? I didn’t survive. Don’t you understand how that damned transporter device even works?
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Jeff Weiss

Privacy/Online Rights  - 
 
I've been thinking about the general problem of phishing.

The trick of phishing is that victims often ignore real identifying information of a website, and instead look at the content.  Obviously that's horribly irresponsible from a security perspective.  But even if they do look at the identifying info (the domain name), it can be tricky.  Maybe you're not sure if the domain name is supposed to be "alliedwidgets.com" or "allied-widgets.com" or "alliedwidget.com".  People know amazon.com but they visit plenty of sites whose exact domain names they can't be expected to memorize.

There's a way to prevent similar name attacks.  Hash the name through a very slow function that results in an easily recognizable image.  Something like http://robohash.org/  except that the algorithm takes 5 seconds to compute on an average machine.  Brute forcing a similar image will become impossible.  Now the user only needs to recognize "Allied Widgets" is a blue robot with round head and red eyes.

This is more how we recognize actual people - that not only do they claim to be the person we think they are, they look like them.  And it's not easy for an impersonator to just produce a similar looking person out of nowhere.

Has any work been done on a system like that?  Does it have some flaw I've overlooked?
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Jeff Weiss's profile photoPhillip Jones's profile photoDavid Perry's profile photo
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+David Perry I agree, I never said we needed a 256 bit hash. 

I think we should specifically target people's ability to recognize faces, not just any image.  Images are probably easier to recognize than domain names, but harder than faces.

I suppose hair, accessories, body etc do help with recognition, but using them might defeat the purpose.  What if someone generates a near collision with the same face but shorter hair and no glasses?  That's the same person so it's a match (people get haircuts and contact lenses).  However a near collision where the hairstyle and accessories match, but the eyes are wider set and the nose is longer, that's clearly not the same person.

I don't think the slowness of the hash function is a big cost to pay.  On the browser side, as I said, you only have to calculate it at most once per domain.  You don't have to wait for the hash to finish to load the page.  You can also delegate that calculation to someone else if you trust them to give you the right answer. The benefit of a slow function is that the best an attacker could do is a face that looks absolutely nothing like the target.  Of course machines get faster over time so you have to account for that in advance (because once you choose this function you can't change it).

Because of this, and the fact that facial features aren't binary, you have to have some extra bits in the hash.  In other words, there are faces you can construct from very different numerical values that look exactly the same to human eyes.  Still, I wouldn't be surprised if 128 bits was more than enough.
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Have him in circles
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Jeff Weiss

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Really slick presentation by Mike Bostock using animated illustrations to explain the operation of algorithms. Via +Vik Sohal and +Robert Bridson whose Poisson-disc sampling algorithm is one of the examples.
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Thank you and nice work Tesla. Reposting.
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Classic
 
Trolololololol
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We have monthly meetups at Brier Creek and have started also having meetups at American Underground Main: http://www.meetup.com/Triangle-Bitcoin-Meetup
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Jeff Weiss

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"Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know."

Michael Crichton

Found this gem on Twitter.

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Have him in circles
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Software Engineer
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Java TestAutomation Clojure Linux Emacs
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  • Red Hat, Inc
    Principal QA Engineer, 2008 - present
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Computer Science, 1992 - 1997
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This is one of my local favorites, I usually eat here at least once a week. The food is good quality for the price, and the portions are large. Some dishes are better than others, and some are better deals than others. My favorite is the Pork Carnitas. The dinner specials are a good deal - portions big enough for two people for about $10. The prices have gone up since they moved to their current location, back when they were at South Square, my wife and I would split a dinner special and get a couple of (alcoholic) drinks for about $15 including tip. It's not quite that cheap anymore, around $20-22 now, but still very reasonable.
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Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
For take-out, especially sushi, this is one of the better places around. The quality is very good for the price - be sure to order similarly priced rolls if you want the best 2-for-1 deal. Eating in at the restaurant isn't quite as appealing to me, as others have mentioned the service isn't very friendly. However I will say that the service is prompt and competent.
Public - 2 years ago
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