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Mike Hearn
Works at Vinumeris
Attended Durham University
Lives in Zurich, Switzerland


Mike Hearn

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I've written a couple of new articles about #bitcoin .

The first is about the "replace by fee" patch being suggested for Bitcoin. I think it's a bad idea and won't work. In this article I explain why I think this:

The second is about double spending and various ways it can be mitigated. A bunch of people in the Bitcoin dev community seem to be talking about this right now, so here's what I'm thinking.
and how to make it harder
Paul Boldra's profile photoBryan Buckley's profile photoRachel Fang Fang's profile photoThomas Brandtstaetter's profile photo
>4. Remote attestation ...... And unfortunately whilst ARM TrustZone is widely deployed in mobile phones it apparently can’t do remote attestation

cough Trustonic cough
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Got some bitcoins? Happy about the rise in price? Why not share a bit of your new happiness with a charity and play with a Lighthouse smart contract at the same time?

The Ronald McDonald House of the Capital Region is looking to raise money to purchase a medical grade breast pump for their latest house.
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Mike Hearn

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An interesting look behind the scenes at what it takes to defend credit card->bitcoin gateways. 
Angelika Moscicki's profile photoThomas Brandtstaetter's profile photo
I don't know whether thats more awesome or disturbing. Very cool!
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Mike Hearn

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I gave a talk in Zürich about the development of Lighthouse, what worked and what didn't. If you're interested in building decentralised apps then it might be of interest.

The talk is about an hour (with Q&A) and you can view it below.
Tamas Blummer's profile photoPeter Peters's profile photoThomas Brandtstaetter's profile photoManfred Karrer's profile photo
A valuable talk, thank you. Let's hope the practical protocol freeze leads to a healthy competition of forks.
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Mike Hearn

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Just used to book some flight tickets. Normally I just go to when doing direct flights, but today their site was totally broken and kept giving me error and redirect loops. Plus they charge 11 CHF just for the privilege of using a credit card to pay them!

BTCTrip is a pretty nice site - no fuss. Paid with Bitcoin, and it was immediate and seamless. Price was the same as I'd have got from the airline direct.

Some days I think .... maybe this thing can work after all! Now let's see if I am actually on the flight when I turn up :)
Chris Niekel's profile photoThomas Brandtstaetter's profile photoLucas Betschart's profile photoMike Hearn's profile photo
Huh, I didn't know about destinia. I don't think the price was very different this time. I'll try destinia next time.
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It took a bit longer than expected, but Lighthouse is finally launched.

Check out the website:

and the explainer video below, if you aren't sure what Lighthouse is all about.
Patrick Seemann's profile photoDaniel Haggard's profile photoThomas Brandtstaetter's profile photoJameson Lopp's profile photo
Is it like equity crowdfunding ? 
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Mike Hearn

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Anyone want to make a small bet with me about when traffic growth will resume?
In the past couple of years Bitcoin has been settling into a regular seasonal growth pattern, in which growth stops duri…
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Mike Hearn

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Well that was entirely predictable.
Some banks are seeing a growing incidence of fraud on Apple Pay as criminals exploit vulnerabilities in the verification process of adding a credit card.
Khürt Williams's profile photoExcalibur “excalibur1812” Blade's profile photoThomas Brandtstaetter's profile photoRachel Fang Fang's profile photo
We hold Apple responsible because they told gullible people "Apple Pay is going to be super secure and solve your fraud problems".

+Mike Hearn  They did? Where?

Who is this we?
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Mike Hearn

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The autonomous agents idea is really starting to have an impact. The talk I gave at the Turing Festival is closing in on 20,000 views. Here's an interview in the BBC where we talk about Bitcoin-using self owning cars.

I realised a few months ago that when I gave the talk, I didn't give any credit to Gregory Maxwell or julz from the forum which first got me thinking about these ideas. I'd like to rectify that now. They're both intellectual giants and although they didn't talk about cars specifically, Gregory in particular laid out a lot of the foundational ideas like agents that do A/B testing on upgrades of themselves.
Mike Hearn's profile photoJohn Miller's profile photoThomas Brandtstaetter's profile photoMatthew Hudson's profile photo
Takes the pleasure out of driving
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Dark Leaks

Amir Taaki, the project's systems developer, told CoinDesk he hopes to "[devalue] business models based around proprietary secrecy"

Amir is a famously strong supporter of black markets. Typical quote:

bitcoin is what it is: world changing technology. it is a tool of the black market. it will transform humanity for the better.

First use of Dark Leaks: Former Silk Road 2 sysadmin willing to sell database dumps to the highest bidder.

I think my irony meter just exploded.
Paul Hosking's profile photoMichael Gebetsroither's profile photoThomas Brandtstaetter's profile photoSven Daw's profile photo
Also the people are just ignoring that it is not really working the way darkleaks is implement right now..
But hey, lots of reddit karma and Bitcoin buzz, who cares about the details
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And the award for most mind-boggling compiler optimisation ever goes to ..... Matthias Grimmer and Chris Seaton!

One problem people have when trying to speed up fundamentally slow scripting languages like Python and Ruby is that because the original implementations are so lethargic, people often rewrite parts in C to try and speed core things up. But these C extensions usually just plug straight into the original interpreter, making it difficult for anyone to ever do a better engine than the original because nobody can afford to rewrite all the extensions. It's like a tarpit of slow.

From the blog post:

"Our new solution in JRuby+Truffle is pretty radical - we're going to interpret the C source code of your extension. As we'll explain, JRuby+Truffle with an interpreter for C extensions is actually faster than running compiled C extensions using MRI!"

And they aren't kidding. Rewriting from Ruby to a C extension for some image processing tasks gets a 10x speedup. Going from Ruby to JRuby+Graal+interpreted C extension gets a 35x speedup! Of course it's not really interpreting C. It's actually doing a Java-style just in time cross language profile guided compile of the C/Ruby mix, on top of the actual HotSpot JVM, meaning that amongst other tricks ... it can actually inline both languages into each other at the machine code level! And it's benefiting from the 20+ years of performance research that has gone into the JVM.

Doing whole program optimisation across a dynamic scripting language and C on top of the JVM has to be the wildest mashup of programming technologies I've seen for years. Congrats to both of these mad scientists!
Very High Performance C Extensions For JRuby+Truffle. Matthias Grimmer and Chris Seaton, 27 October 2014. Ruby and C. C extensions are a big part of the Ruby ecosystem. They allow people to write Ruby programs to include C code for a variety of purposes. They may hope to make their Ruby program ...
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Mike Hearn

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Someone forked Slashdot!

And they seem to be doing it right - it's got the old style Slashcode UI but modernised to load comments when you expand them, it's got the right mix of news, it's got comments, it's got SSL, it's ad free but you can subscribe (with Bitcoin too), it's basically everything good about Slashdot with all the brokenness that was introduced in the past few years thrown out.

The guy who runs it even goes by the name NCommander.

Go check out SoylentNews. If you're a /. old timer then you'll feel right at home. I'll be posting there under the nick TheRealMike.
"In 1962, President John F. Kennedy laid down a marker for space exploration that inspired a generation of Americans to reach for the stars, recognizing that the race to the heavens was nothing less than a crucial front in the battle between freedom and tyranny," Cruz said.
Mike Hearn's profile photoEdward Morbius's profile photoThomas Brandtstaetter's profile photoJ Baker's profile photo
+Mike Hearn HN's most effective filters are its userbase and the active moderation of its admins (dang removes / flags a fair amount of stuff).

It's also hit-or-miss, but overall better than even /. of yore (I pre-date userIDs at /.).
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Software Engineer
  • Vinumeris
    Boss, 2014 - present
  • Google
    Engineer, 2006 - 2014
  • CodeWeavers
  • QinetiQ
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Zurich, Switzerland
Manchester, England
Contact Information
I fix things when they break, and break things when they're fixed.
  • Durham University
    Computer Science
Basic Information
April 17
A fantastic location right opposite a beautiful park. The guide books are free and the receptionist was very helpful.
Quality: ExcellentFacilities: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
We had to wait a long time for our food, and the waitress forgot to bring various things we ordered and had to be reminded several times. However, when the food came, it was pretty good - the portions were exactly the right size, and it tasted great. The tables have wooden benches that make it easy to squeeze more people on, so it's a good place to go if you aren't sure how big your group will be.
Public - 6 years ago
reviewed 6 years ago
5 reviews
Simple and straightforward, Sams is one of the few places that serves deep dish pizza. If you like American style pizza, give it a try. Most pizzas are around 25 chf, though they serve other food too.
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
Food-wise, the pizzas and subs they sell aren't the greatest ever - but the staff are cheerful, the decor is nice, and most importantly they are open practically all the time. No closing at 7pm for these guys! They provide newspapers for people to read, TV to watch, and also sell subs and fajitas. Be warned though, they only take cash - visit the cash machine just down the road (towards Bahnhof Weidikon) if you are short first.
Public - 7 years ago
reviewed 7 years ago