Distributed Democracy

I’ve been looking into buying some bitcoins and have been navigating the vagaries of identity confirmation. The market I’ve heard the most about is Mt.Gox. Getting money to the exchange is done through Dwolla. They require a copy of a photo id. Mt.Gox also has a verification process which requires a photo id and a proof of residence.

The proof of residence is a utility bill or a voter registration. Say for instance you’re a student who rents. You could not be able to trade. I’ve been thinking of an alternative. A person creates an account online and requests a code to be sent to them via mail. Once that code is entered back into the system, it verifies a person’s address.

This same process could be combined with the voter registration process to provide an electronic component to civic interactions. Rather than everyone voting on every bill, people would still specify proxies for most of their decisions. The process could be more dynamic, however, and with more granularity in expertise. Rather than a single politician making decisions about a broad spectrum, votes on issues could be divided up and proxied to different people.

Another application could be in conjunction with a housing site. It could be used to verify that a particular account controls a particular address.

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Open Medical Records

App idea where a user goes and has testing done and the testing agency conditionally releases the information electronically. A user can give a code to another party to allow them access to the test results.

The example that I was first thinking of was for dating. Someone who is considering a liaison might be favorably inclined if their potential partner could show them a recent clean bill of sexual health. If doing so meant a simple exchange between smart phones.

The legally tricky part would be the laws surrounding release of medical records. Some cryptographic function would have to be considered equivalent to a signature.

I suppose though that would simply be in the contract the user signs when getting the procedure done.

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The Blog Lives!

It took some finagling, shop see but the blog archives are back. The theme is apparently permanently lost.

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A Misbehaving Plugin Ate My WordPress

All that remains is a SQL dump of the db.

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Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, allergy ed then start blogging!

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Big Iron 2011

I’ve been dreaming of a setup for a super node in a distributed cache I’m designing. Here’s the specs for the computer I would love to put in the basement:

Cost Per Quantity Cost
Server Sun Fire X4270 $6500 1 $6500
Processor Intel Xeon 7500

  • Speed: 2.6 GHz
  • Cores: 8
  • L3 Cache: 24 MB
$1000 2 $2000
Memory Patriot Viper

  • Size: 8 GB
$130 18 $2340
Storage Western Digital VelociRaptor

  • Size: 600 GB
$240 24 $5760
Total $16600

All I need is a mere $17k for 13 TB of storage and 140 GB of RAM.

I’ve been reencoding my camcorder videos. They’re 720×480 and I’m getting about 15 MB / min. So I could store just under two continuous years of footage.

Of course, to make it useful, I’d also need an OC-24.

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Javascript Katamari

The Katamari hack is one of the more entertaining bits of html5 I’ve seen in a while.


(If you’re not reading this post in its original location, the link probably doesn’t work because most RSS readers strip out scripts.)

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Loading jQuery in SVG

I’ve been reorganizing and ran across the Facebook page for the Technoanarchy I made as a part of a sci-fi story, The Revolution Will Be Televised. I made a logo that I think looks reasonably good:

Your browser has not displayed the image. Try the original source.

I thought a a script to animate the colors when someone clicked it would be entertaining. It’s pretty straightforward in jQuery:

$(document).click( function() {
  $( 'path, rect' ).each( function() {
    $(this).css({ fill : genColor() })
  } )
} )

Unfortunately, even though a new version is out, it still won’t load in SVG documents. I hacked out a couple workarounds to get it to load.

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Collecting Award Winners

I’ve been playing more with the Kindle the last few days. It really needs a better interface for navigating books. Three things I think the Kindle should have:

  • The ability to manage the document collections through the filesystem
  • Nested document collections
  • HTML support

I’m really hopeful that the noteslate doesn’t turn out to be vaporware. With the solar-charger cover, it is essentially the lightbook. It claims to be open-source, but there’s no access to the code from their website.


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EBook Weirdness

Something strange with Google ebooks: when I search for The Year’s Best SF 13, it doesn’t show up.

From the publisher’s purchasing page, I end up at EBooks Inc. which has a Google ebooks link.

It turns out I do get a result if I search by the ISBN.

Year's Best SF 13

Unfortunately, before I discovered this, I bought the Nook version. Before I can get it on my Kindle, I need to remove the DRM.

The PC-based reader has been updated since the extraction was written. I’m working to update them hindered only by no experience debugging crypto.

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