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Neal Gafter
Works at Microsoft
Attended University of Rochester
Lives in Bellevue, WA
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Neal Gafter

commented on a video on YouTube.
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@Kevin: you don't appear to realize how easy it is for the individual miners who are members of GHash.io to move to another pool if they notice any misbehavior at all.

Even a majority miner cannot change the protocol. That would be like saying that once you have 50% of the gold in the world, you can start producing more at will. It doesn't work that way. If they "change" the protocol that they "speak", there won't be anyone else listening to what they "say".
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Neal Gafter

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There is a simple way to make the (existing) Bitcoin consensus algorithm more "efficient" - that is, lower cost. Simply reduce the miner's reward per block. In fact, you could divide it in half every four years until it reaches zero. And that is exactly what the protocol does.

Of course, this will take time to take effect. So be patient.
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Logic Geek's profile photoSuccess Council's profile photoMichael Davis's profile photo
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+Logic Geek Hi Logic.    Thanks for your comments. I agree with your economics.  With POW your statement is true. The challange as it always is is price fixing.  With the benefit of hindsight we can see the consequences of satoshi fixing the rate of inflation.  If we change the algorithm to let a limited number of "miners" create blocks and let them choose their own rewards, we create a situation where in order to get elected, they offer to reduce their own salary for the job.  Kind of like why we don't need a maximum wage law.  DPOS has achieved that with miners, drastically reducing the cost of securing the network and at the same time increasing security IMO. It is very clever as you get to understand it.
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Neal Gafter

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The Baker and the Philosopher

or

The Parable of the Chocolate Cake

The phone rings.

Alice: "Hello? Alice here."

Bob: "Hello Alice. It's Bob. I've discovered the most wonderful argument."

Alice: "That's great. I'm just sitting down to a plate of fresh chocolate cake."

Bob: "Then you won't be happy to hear what I discovered."

Alice: "Oh dear. You might as well tell me."

Bob: "The cake doesn't exist."

Alice laughs. "I assure you it does. I spent the last hour baking it and it smells delicious."

Bob: "Well, that's all an illusion. Let me explain. At the beginning of the universe there was no cake, right?"

Alice: "Certainly not."

Bob: "And it takes more than an instant to make a cake, right?"

Alice: "Yes, about 45 minutes."

Bob: "So an instant later, lets call it instant 1, there was no cake as well."

Alice: "OK."

Bob: "And by the same argument, there was no cake an instant later."

Alice: "OK, sure."

Bob: "So by a logical extension of this argument, there is no cake today."

Alice: "Well, I do have cake in front of me, so it seems there must be a flaw somewhere in the argument. Surely one of those instants was a time when I took the cake out of the oven. I would have to check it with a toothpick to be sure it was done, but the cake might have existed then."

Bob: "If you took the cake out of the oven, then it was already a cake and you would not have needed to check it. But we already agreed that it wasn't a cake in the previous instant, so there is no cake."

Alice: "But I have the cake right here."

Bob: "It might seem so, but that is an illusion. Unless you can find a flaw in my argument, it is true and the cake doesn't exist."

Alice: "If you say so."

Bob: "Lets look at it another way. The cake is made up of lots of ingredients, right?"

Alice: "Sure. Flour, Sugar, Cocoa powder, egg, ..."

Bob: "OK, and those are composed of molecules, which are composed of atoms, which are composed of neutrons, protons, and electrons, right?"

Alice: "Sure. So?"

Bob: "Well, Neutrons are not cake, right?"

Alice: "Certainly not"

Bob: "And neither are protons or electrons."

Alice: "OK."

Bob: "So if you take away all of the neutrons, protons, and electrons from the cake what do you have left on the plate?"

Alice: "Some mint chocolate-chip iced cream, though it is starting to melt."

Bob: "But I wasn't asking about the ice cream."

Alice: "You certainly were. You asked what was left on the plate."

Bob: "Never mind that. There wouldn't be any cake left, right?"

Alice: "Right, but those neutrons and things were the cake. If you don't take them away you still have cake."

Bob: "You can't just say that neutrons and thinks make a cake. Otherwise anything could be a cake, like the iced cream or this telephone or a rock."

Alice: "Well, perhaps anything couldn't be a cake, but that's because it doesn't have the right arrangement of the elements. A cake is an emergent property of those elements arranged in a particular way and baked in an oven for about 45 minutes at 425 farenheit."

Bob: "You can't just define the problem away. Either the elements are a cake or they aren't."

Alice: "It sounds like you're hungry, dear. If you hurry home I'll save a slice of cake for you, and I promise you'll enjoy it. Bye."

Bob: "I may enjoy it, but both the cake and the enjoyment will be illusions. Bye."
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Don't feed the deterministic trolls Neal. Take a pragmatic approach like Descartes on God. Enjoy your perception of free will - illusory or not. :)
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Neal Gafter

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Nice view from a hill overlooking Oradea in Transylvania.
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Michael Davis's profile photoNeal Gafter's profile photoMichael Fay's profile photo
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I've been there!  Bună!
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Neal Gafter

commented on a video on YouTube.
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There is no mention of a "NSA setup" anywhere in this video. Misleading title.
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Libya4LY's profile photoSemaj Retskni's profile photo
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A brief, passing mention is made @ 1:14 It's easy to miss.
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Neal Gafter

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the earliest versions of Mark stop at 16:8. It’s an awkward ending, with three women who have gone to the tomb where Jesus was laid after the Crucifixion encountering a man who tells them to let the disciples know that the resurrected Jesus will see them in Galilee. The women flee the tomb, and “neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.’’

In early copies of the original Greek writings, that’s it. The 12 verses that follow in modern Bibles—Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene and the Disciples and then ascending to Heaven—are not there.

Surely there must be some sort of debate or refutation of this fact somewhere? I cannot believe that the central tenet of Christianity - the resurrection of Jesus - was just tacked on by scribes later, that this is known to scholars, and has gone unremarked upon until Newsweek came along...

I thought this was an enjoyable article, but I would hate to introduce it to a discussion when the truth is not nearly so clear-cut as is presented. I'll have to do some more research. Does anyone have anything relevant?
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Neal Gafter

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It is interesting that you ask how I measure my bit-wealth. That is not the use case for standardization. Standardization is for transactions between different people.
Bitcoin has taught us all a number of lessons about the nature of decentralized systems. Many of Bitcoin's most innovative technologies arise directly from the challenges created by such systems - min
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A slightly more sophisticated version of the "three logicians walk into a bar" joke.
(Click on the cartoon to see the full image.) Welcome Spiked Math and Language Log readers! Thanks for stopping by! Leave a comment, and tell me what you think. Or check out some other comics. Permission is granted for educational bloggers to repost this comic, as long as you link back to this ...
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The first ever GAO (Government Accountability Office) audit of the Federal Reserve was carried out in the past few months due to the Ron Paul, Alan Grayson Amendment to the Dodd-Frank bill, which passed last year. Jim DeMint, a Republican...
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Wow.
REEDS Jewelers, one of the country’s largest jewelry store chains, today announced it is now accepting bitcoin for payment in all 64 retail locations and online at www.REEDS.com. I
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Neal Gafter

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KnCminer has lied to and cheated its customers.

When I paid for the latest batch of equipment from KnCminer, they were claiming that they would not mine with more than 5% of the hashing power they sell to their customers. They also told me that I could cancel my order at any time before shipment for a full refund.

They are now hashing with much more than 5% of the entire bitcoin network hash rate. When I requested a refund for my most recent order, I had to wait weeks to receive it, and my refund was short by more than $6,000. Kncminer made it clear to me that they have no intention to either ship my equipment or pay the rest of my refund.

Buyer beware.
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วัชรพล คงทอง's profile photo
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Work
Occupation
Programming Language Geek
Employment
  • Microsoft
    Programming Language Geek, 2008 - present
  • Google
    Software Engineer - Google Calendar, 2004 - 2008
  • Sun Microsystems
    Staff Software Engineer, 1994 - 2004
  • Sierra Research, Xerox, Texas Instruments
    Software Engineer, 1977 - 1994
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Bellevue, WA
Previously
Buffalo, NY - Cleveland OH - Rochester NY - Dallas TX - San Jose CA
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Programming Language and Compiler Hacker
Introduction
Neal Gafter works for Microsoft on the dotNet platform languages. He was previously a software engineer at Google working on Google Calendar, and a senior staff engineer at Sun Microsystems, where he co-designed and implemented the Java language features in releases 1.4 through 5.0. Neal is coauthor of "Java Puzzlers: Traps, Pitfalls, and Corner Cases" (Addison Wesley, 2005). He was a member of the C++ Standards Committee and led the development of C and C++ compilers at Sun Microsystems, Microtec Research, and Texas Instruments. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Rochester.
Education
  • University of Rochester
    Computer Science, 1981 - 1990
    Ph.D.
  • Case Western Reserve University
    Computer Engineering, 1977 - 1981
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