More Bitcoin WTFery: Namecoin



  • Man, remember how great that Bitcoin idea was? You just plug in 35 computers loaded with cheap video cards, have them burn away $50 in power for 3 months, and you're rewarded with a good chance of getting a hash that may or may not be worth anything at all, depending on whether you can find anybody who wants to buy it? Brilliant idea.

    But money is too... eh. Let's use that same idea for something really valuable: domain names!

    Yes, these guys expanded on the existing Bitcoin system, adding in a way to trade bitcoins for domain names, without having to rely on those annoying registrars. Added bonus: since it operates an "alternative to the existing DNS system", you also don't have to worry about those annoying customers coming to your site, either! I'm sure the 5-6 libertarian anarchists are going to be a huge profit center for you and your company, via your Namecoin doman!

    Just read their concise, clear and completely understandable description of the product:

    @Namecoin said:

    Namecoin is a domain name system based on Bitcoin. It extends Bitcoin to add transactions for registering, updating and transferring names. The idea behind this is to provide an alternative to the existing DNS system where names can be taken from their owners by groups that control the DNS servers.

    The project was originally announced in the bitcoin forums and has seen some uptake. The namecoin author, vinced, states in the post:

    This is a new blockchain, separate from the main Bitcoin chain
    Name/value pairs are stored in the blockchain attached to coins
    Names are acquired through new transaction types - new, first-update and update
    Names expire after 12000 blocks unless renewed with an update
    No two unexpired names can be identical
    Block validation is extended to reject transactions that do not follow the above rules
    The code is here: https://github.com/vinced/namecoin

    Note in the first paragraph, much as Bitcoin is based around the paranoid crazy-fear that the global financial system is going to collapse any... second... now..., Namecoin is also based on the insane fear that those evil "groups that control the DNS servers" will take your domain names from you. (Protip: maybe if you stopped using them to trade child porn, that wouldn't happen?)

    And like every open source project, they're devoted to quality:

    @Namecoin said:

    Yes, it prints out ‘bitcoin server starting’. There are still bitcoin references in the code that need to be changed apparently.

    Now I'm just a country bumpkin, but it seems to me you could have fixed that bug in the time it took to write that sentence, but hey what do I know!

    And there's links to more information:


    Try going to the Bitparking Namecoin Mining Pool

    Or you can look at namecoin.us: A public DNS and web proxy for namecoin domains.

    This is going to be taking the world by storm!



  • Well, there are plenty of WTFs in that proposal (and as you note, rooted in Bitcoin, a WTF in itself), you don't need to play the "OMG someone think of the children" card. Anyway, isn't that supposed to be played together with the "terrist" card, and/or Godwin?

    "Protip: maybe if you stopped using them to trade child porn and finance terrorist groups and Hitler reanimation attempts, that wouldn't happen?"

    There, FTFY.



  • Tell you what, Piskvorr, when you write the post, you can determine what content goes in it, 'kay?



  • I'm confused... :-</p>

    How exactly would this work? Is this some sort of "internal" (read: cult) type DNS system that would basically be invisible to us non-namecoin people? Or could, for example, a large conglomerate (let's just say Google for now) could switch their DNS over to namecoin and the rest of the world wouldn't know the difference? If the latter, then wouldn't at least their public DNS and web proxy still need to rely on traditional DNS to be available to the world? If so, correct me if I'm wrong, then wouldn't that be full of fail since all the evil registrars would need to do is take back their one single domain name (namecoin.us) to bork up their system?

    I never really understood the whole bitcoin thing to begin with, which is probably why I can't wrap my unintelligent mind around namecoin. Edit: I understand the very, very basic principle, but not the high-level stuff above that.



  • I'm all for this.  I'm tired of my hard-earned money going to those greedy DNS operators.



  •  Bitcoin is to economy as scientology is to science.





  • @derula said:

    @dohpaz42 said:
    How exactly would this work?

    Software needs to be modified to use namecoind to lookup the name, or you can run DNS software that connects to namecoin to do lookups. To be able to try out namecoin I modified an HTTP proxy and later tried using DNS software.

    I've been reading their dot-bit.org wiki page trying to understand more about their system. From what I've read, they want to introduce extensions into the standard BIND/DNS software that would basically give the rest of the world access to their decentralized system. TRWTF is that their "public" whois registry is refusing connections, but that might be due to me not going around my ass to get to my elbow using the instructions that you provided.



  • "Oh my God, some people are making experimental software that explores potential solutions to issues in how DNS works and is used".

    "I'm so mad that I'm going to make a long forum post accusing them of being anarchists, crazy, and child pornographers while mocking them for not achieving goals that are unrelated to what they're actually doing"



  • @Zolcos said:

    "Oh my God, some people are making experimental software that explores potential solutions to issues in how DNS works and is used".

    [Citation needed]



  • @Zolcos said:

    "Oh my God, some people are making experimental software that explores potential solutions to issues in how DNS works and is used".

    What issues?

    @Zolcos said:

    "I'm so mad that I'm going to make a long forum post accusing them of being anarchists, crazy, and child pornographers while mocking them for not achieving goals that are unrelated to what they're actually doing"

    I think it's well-established that Bitcoin supporters are crazy.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Zolcos said:
    "Oh my God, some people are making experimental software that explores potential solutions to issues in how DNS works and is used".
    What issues? @Zolcos said:
    "I'm so mad that I'm going to make a long forum post accusing them of being anarchists, crazy, and child pornographers while mocking them for not achieving goals that are unrelated to what they're actually doing"
    I think it's well-established that Bitcoin supporters are into child porn.
    FTFY



  • Well as you'll recall, last time I had an issue running Bitcoin software, one of their forum members recommended installing Tor and running Bitcoin through it. Since Tor is primarily used for child porn-- you can add 1 and 1 and make 2, right?



  • I'm not sure if I don't get it because it's incredibly brilliant or just incredibly brillant, though I'm going with the latter.

    I can't see how wasting immense amounts of power to gain a uniquely useless number is a good idea. But what does the currency (bitcoin) have to do with DNS? This doesn't provide any authenticity, does it? It's merely a tedious task to create such a name record, but still one anybody could do if he wanted to.

     

    (i.e. incredibly stupid)



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Well as you'll recall, last time I had an issue running Bitcoin software, one of their forum members recommended installing Tor and running Bitcoin through it. Since Tor is primarily used for child porn-- you can add 1 and 1 and make 2, right?

    - Isn't TORs primary purpose getting around The Big Firewall of China and similar things?? Sure, everything gets used in a way not originally intended, but I doubt you have any backing for your statement.

    - Just curious, why do you even run Bitcoin?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Well as you'll recall, last time I had an issue running Bitcoin software, one of their forum members recommended installing Tor and running Bitcoin through it. Since Tor is primarily used for child porn-- you can add 1 and 1 and make 2, right?
    Ah, a snarky comment implying that I don't remember all of your past statements, all because I made a joke about your post.  True blakeyrat style.



  • @topspin said:

    - Isn't TORs primary purpose getting around The Big Firewall of China and similar things?? Sure, everything gets used in a way not originally intended, but I doubt you have any backing for your statement.

    That's it's stated purpose. That's not it's primary purpose.

    @topspin said:

    - Just curious, why do you even run Bitcoin?

    I don't. I can't anyway, since it requires the IRC port to be open to work, and my firewall here at work blocks that port for very good reasons. And by the time I got home, I realized how shit it was so I stopped trying.

    @Sutherlands said:

    all because I made a joke about your post.

    Jokes are usually funny.



  • @topspin said:

    I can't see how wasting immense amounts of power to gain a uniquely useless number is a good idea.

    Money has value only because we say it has value.  It's not backed by anything (anymore).  If you can get a large group of people to accept that something else has value as currency, then it has value as currency.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Jokes are usually funny.
    Ah, more dickweedery! And not even of the pedantic kind!  Keep up the good work, blakey.



  • @Sutherlands said:

    Money has value only because we say it has value. It's not backed by anything (anymore). If you can get a large group of people to accept that something else has value as currency, then it has value as currency.

    Money has originally been backed (e.g. by gold). That stopped some time ago when it was universally accepted and is now de facto backed by the state's guarantuees that the money is worth something. The state can guarantuee that because it has infrastructure etc. worth enough to back it. And of course, like you said, because it's generally accepted.

    But you have to get there first. How will you ever get enough people to accept bitcoin if you can "print" them yourself? And if you waste more power than they are worth (I don't know if that's the case), it's even more ridiculous: Think of it like a dime that costs a dollar to produce, but without the pure material being worth anything.

     



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @topspin said:
    - Just curious, why do you even run Bitcoin?

    I don't. I can't anyway, since it requires the IRC port to be open to work, and my firewall here at work blocks that port for very good reasons. And by the time I got home, I realized how shit it was so I stopped trying.

    Still, why even intend to? Were you planning on finding exploits, or what?



  • @Zecc said:

    Still, why even intend to? Were you planning on finding exploits, or what?

    He actually already answered this:

    @blakeyrat said:

    I think it's well-established that Bitcoin supporters are crazy.



  • @topspin said:

    @Sutherlands said:

    Money has value only because we say it has value. It's not backed by anything (anymore). If you can get a large group of people to accept that something else has value as currency, then it has value as currency.

    Money has originally been backed (e.g. by gold). That stopped some time ago when it was universally accepted and is now de facto backed by the state's guarantuees that the money is worth something. The state can guarantuee that because it has infrastructure etc. worth enough to back it. And of course, like you said, because it's generally accepted.

    But you have to get there first.

    ... yes... i know all that, as evidenced by my post.  Except the state can't guarantee that it is worth anything.  The state does not say "you get this much infrastructure per dollar" or anything.  Money is worth something only because people accept that it is worth something.

    @Sutherlands said:

    How will you ever get enough people to accept bitcoin if you can "print" them yourself? And if you waste more power than they are worth (I don't know if that's the case), it's even more ridiculous: Think of it like a dime that costs a dollar to produce, but without the pure material being worth anything.

    So if they cost more to produce than they're worth, then people CAN'T print them themselves.  Also, people can't make them.  Also, how much do you think the raw material of a quarter is worth? How about $100 bill?


  • @Sutherlands said:

    Money is worth something only because people accept that it is worth something.

    Years ago I once phoned the Reserve Bank and tried to find out how the local currency was backed. Domestically it's by legislated fiat, but internationally ... I never really got an answer.  (Yes, I know now that it's backed by the ability of the economy it represents to "do stuff" - presumably stuff that can be listed on commodity/stock exchanges and therefore in terms comensurable with other economies, but not then.)

    As far as alternate currencies, I've been able to use storage capacity as a monetary unit in conversation (say, a new wardrobe costing four terabytes) and it was succesfully grokked by the listeners without prompting. But as a commodity it's depreciating so rapidly it's not really useful over anything but the shortest term.

     



  • @Sutherlands said:

    So if they cost more to produce than they're worth, then people CAN'T print them themselves.  Also, people can't make them.  Also, how much do you think the raw material of a quarter is worth? How about $100 bill?
     

    A $100 bill is certainly cheaper to produce than $100, that's the point. If it weren't, that would be a huge waste.
    But you cannot just counterfeit it because you don't have the necessary equipment (in theory, at least) and it's illegal.

    With bit coin the situation is either:

    a) It does cost at least as much to produce as it's worth: scandalous waste of resources for a stupid idea.

    b) it does not: everybody can print their own money leading to enough inflation to reach point a)

     



  • @topspin said:

    @Sutherlands said:

    So if they cost more to produce than they're worth, then people CAN'T print them themselves.  Also, people can't make them.  Also, how much do you think the raw material of a quarter is worth? How about $100 bill?
     

    A $100 bill is certainly cheaper to produce than $100, that's the point.

    So then, what does the "pure material" being worth something have to do with anything?

    @topspin said:

    With bit coin the situation is either:

    a) It does cost at least as much to produce as it's worth: scandalous waste of resources for a stupid idea.

    b) it does not: everybody can print their own money leading to enough inflation to reach point a)

    c) People can't arbitrarily make it.

    FTFY



  • @Sutherlands said:

    @topspin said:

    c) People can't arbitrarily make it.

    FTFY

     

    They can't? Well that's news for me. (I did state originally that I don't grasp it completely ;)

    This might make some sense then, although I'm not convinced.

     



  • @Zecc said:

    Still, why even intend to? Were you planning on finding exploits, or what?

    Because:

    1) I came across it before the huge press explosion a few months back, when it was still a "new thing" and not yet debunked by everybody everywhere and before SomethingAwful's forums caused the huge market crash

    2) I'm curious, and more than a little greedy

    3) I hate you all



  • @Sutherlands said:

    @topspin said:

    @Sutherlands said:

    So if they cost more to produce than they're worth, then people CAN'T print them themselves.  Also, people can't make them.  Also, how much do you think the raw material of a quarter is worth? How about $100 bill?
     

    A $100 bill is certainly cheaper to produce than $100, that's the point.

    So then, what does the "pure material" being worth something have to do with anything?

    @topspin said:

    With bit coin the situation is either:

    a) It does cost at least as much to produce as it's worth: scandalous waste of resources for a stupid idea.

    b) it does not: everybody can print their own money leading to enough inflation to reach point a)

    c) People can't arbitrarily make it.

    FTFY

     

    If I understand the "creating bitcoins" process correctly* it involves performing many useless calculations to get a bitcoin.  This bitcoin is worth less than the amount of electricity used to create it.

    Presumably national mints do not operate the same way i.e. I would expect it costs the US Mint less than 25c to make a 25c coin.

    If this is the case* it would be like spending $100 dollars a day travelling to a job where you earn $90 dollars a day.

    *I accept that this may not be the case

     



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Tell you what, Piskvorr, when you write the post, you can determine what content goes in it, 'kay?

    Tell you what, Blakey: when you write not just your own posts but also write all your own replies to your own posts, then you get to decide what kind of replies you get, 'kay?

     



  • @topspin said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    Well as you'll recall, last time I had an issue running Bitcoin software, one of their forum members recommended installing Tor and running Bitcoin through it. Since Tor is primarily used for child porn-- you can add 1 and 1 and make 2, right?

    - Isn't TORs primary purpose getting around The Big Firewall of China and similar things?? Sure, everything gets used in a way not originally intended, but I doubt you have any backing for your statement.

    Personal experience?



  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @frits said:

    I'm all for this.  I'm tired of my hard-earned money going to those greedy DNS operators.

    #OccupyICANN



  • @topspin said:

    How will you ever get enough people to accept bitcoin if you can "print" them yourself? And if you waste more power than they are worth (I don't know if that's the case), it's even more ridiculous:
    I can't find it now, but a few months ago I came across an article where someone calculated the cost of generating bitcoins:  the price of a high-end video card plus the cost of electricity for running a computer 24/7 for a year.  The conclusiion was that the value of the bitcoins generated was less than the cost of generating them.  An that was back when bitcoins were "worth" a lot more than they are now (according to this article the value of bitcoins has gone down 90% since June). @topspin said:
    Think of it like a dime that costs a dollar to produce
    The Beavis and Butthead episode where they decide to make their own money by making copies of nickles (on a copier) -- at 10 cents a copy.



  • @Weng said:

    @frits said:

    I'm all for this.  I'm tired of my hard-earned money going to those greedy DNS operators.

    #OccupyICANN

    Alright!  Well now I have something to do this weekend  winter.



  • @Sutherlands said:

    So then, what does the "pure material" being worth something have to do with anything?
    Well, what do you think would happen if, say, pennies were made out of solid gold...?



  • @Anonymouse said:

    @Sutherlands said:

    So then, what does the "pure material" being worth something have to do with anything?
    Well, what do you think would happen if, say, pennies were made out of solid gold...?

     

    People would melt them down and sell the metal -- which some people do with actual pennies, because it costs more than 1 cent to create a single penny.  About 1.3 - 1.7 cents each, depending on current prices of zinc and copper.

     



  • @Anonymouse said:

    @Sutherlands said:

    So then, what does the "pure material" being worth something have to do with anything?
    Well, what do you think would happen if, say, pennies were made out of solid gold...?

    Why would they need to be? Doesn't it actually cost more than one cent to mint a penny already?



  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    If I understand the "creating bitcoins" process correctly* it involves performing many useless calculations to get a bitcoin. 

    The processing involved in getting the bitcoin is there to decrypt and ensure the block of transactions is good.



  • @Anonymouse said:

    @Sutherlands said:

    So then, what does the "pure material" being worth something have to do with anything?
    Well, what do you think would happen if, say, pennies were made out of solid gold...?

    People would melt them down.

    How does that relate to the conversation in a meaningful way?



  • @Sutherlands said:

    @RTapeLoadingError said:

    If I understand the "creating bitcoins" process correctly* it involves performing many useless calculations to get a bitcoin. 

    The processing involved in getting the bitcoin is there to decrypt and ensure the block of transactions is good.

    Yes, we had the "why the hell does Bitcoin use so much CPU/GPU power?" discussion in the last thread about it. It still doesn't make any sense to me.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Sutherlands said:

    @RTapeLoadingError said:

    If I understand the "creating bitcoins" process correctly* it involves performing many useless calculations to get a bitcoin. 

    The processing involved in getting the bitcoin is there to decrypt and ensure the block of transactions is good.

    Yes, we had the "why the hell does Bitcoin use so much CPU/GPU power?" discussion in the last thread about it. It still doesn't make any sense to me.
    Good to know.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Yes, we had the "why the hell does Bitcoin use so much CPU/GPU power?" discussion in the last thread about it. It still doesn't make any sense to me.

    This argument can go either way for me, because if I leave my computer on 24/7 anyway, the "extra" costs are nominal. But, at the same time, this also reminds me of your other arguments about how people fail to grasp the operational costs of things (i.e., employee time per hour), as in your thread about your e-mail quotas. Besides, who wants to go through the trouble of estimating the cost of running their computers 24/7?



  • @dohpaz42 said:

    This argument can go either way for me, because if I leave my computer on 24/7 anyway, the "extra" costs are nominal.
    Yes, but no.  When your computer is on and idle, yes it uses power, but it uses so much less power than if it were using 100% of its CPU/GPU that it's not a small difference.



  • @Sutherlands said:

    @dohpaz42 said:

    This argument can go either way for me, because if I leave my computer on 24/7 anyway, the "extra" costs are nominal.
    Yes, but no.  When your computer is on and idle, yes it uses power, but it uses so much less power than if it were using 100% of its CPU/GPU that it's not a small difference.

    [citation needed]

    Yes, I recognize that processing takes more power than no processing (idle). Hence why I qualified the extra costs as nominal. At the finish of my comment I even alluded to how nobody calculates how much using their computers actually cost. Do you? I'd love to see your data on how much power/cost your computer uses at idle, versus how much power/cost your computer uses at 100% of its [CG]PU. Otherwise, how are you saying anything different than what I am saying?



  • @dohpaz42 said:

    Yes, I recognize that processing takes more power than no processing (idle). Hence why I qualified the extra costs as nominal. At the finish of my comment I even alluded to how nobody calculates how much using their computers actually cost. Do you? I'd love to see your data on how much power/cost your computer uses at idle, versus how much power/cost your computer uses at 100% of its [CG]PU. Otherwise, how are you saying anything different than what I am saying?

    Who knew Atwood posing about something would come in so handy? He left a comment a little ways down the page that gives some stats (he's looking at a 2 GPU setup..there's more, but this gives you an idea):
    @Jeff Atwood said:

    old, single ATI 5870 power results (4.4 Ghz CPU)



    Idle at Windows desktop: 128w (multiple monitors)

    Prime95 full load: 255w

    video stress (game): 210w

    Prime95 + video: 332w



    new, dual ATI 5870 results (4.0 Ghz CPU)



    Idle at Windows desktop: 120w (single monitor) 136w (multiple monitors)

    Prime95 full load: 215w

    video stress (game): ~400w

    video stress (furmark): ~530w (!!)

    Prime95 + furmark: ~620w (!!)



  • @dohpaz42 said:

    [citation needed]

    @Sutherlands said:

    @dohpaz42 said:

    This argument can go either way for me, because if I leave my computer on 24/7 anyway, the "extra" costs are nominal.
    Yes, but no.  When your computer is on and idle, yes it uses power, but it uses so much less power than if it were using 100% of its CPU/GPU that it's not a small difference.[1]



  • @Sutherlands said:

    Yes, but no.  When your computer is on and idle, yes it uses power, but it uses so much less power than if it were using 100% of its CPU/GPU that it's not a small difference.[1]

    Alright, fair enough - I missed that post from boomzilla.

    So using those numbers (using the new machine, both idle and Prime95 full load), we're talking about a 95W difference. Running at 100% load for an entire (31-day) month would net me about 71kW, at an incremental charge of $18.38 (26 cents for every kW/mo according to my power company). For me, this would be nominal as it would roughly cost me 59 cents a day. How long does it take to generate a bitcoin, and how much would that bitcoin be worth? If less than 59 cents a day, then yes it's a waste. Otherwise, $$$.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @dohpaz42 said:

    @Sutherlands said:

    @dohpaz42 said:

    This argument can go either way for me, because if I leave my computer on 24/7 anyway, the "extra" costs are nominal.
    Yes, but no.  When your computer is on and idle, yes it uses power, but it uses so much less power than if it were using 100% of its CPU/GPU that it's not a small difference.

    [citation needed]

    $144 per year - though I'm unsure how long ago that was written.


  • @dohpaz42 said:

    @Sutherlands said:
    Yes, but no.  When your computer is on and idle, yes it uses power, but it uses so much less power than if it were using 100% of its CPU/GPU that it's not a small difference.[1]

    Alright, fair enough - I missed that post from boomzilla.

    Well it was after your post, so I'll understand if you didn't see it ;)

    @dohpaz42 said:

    So using those numbers (using the new machine, both idle and Prime95 full load), we're talking about a 95W difference.
    95W if it only maxes the CPU, but if it uses the GPU too, it's a lot* more than that.

    Of course, I don't care about bitcoin.

     

    *For various values of "a lot"

     

    (And of course, this doesn't take into account the increased cost of cooling your house)



  • @Sutherlands said:

    but if it uses the GPU too

    Fair enough, assuming the 5x increase in watts for both the Prime95 and furmark, that would become more substantial. But I would hope that a client such as this would not need much - if any - graphics processing and would simply run quietly in the background. It was based on that assumption that I did my guesswork.

    @Sutherlands said:

    Of course, I don't care about bitcoin.

    I don't either, but since everybody kept making a point about the cost to generate a bitcoin with respect to CPU usage, I became ever more curious about said cost.


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