The interesting thing about bitcoins is that for them to succeed as a currency the value isn’t important, what’s important is stability.
If I exchange $10,000 USD for 1 bitcoin then that’s OK as long as it maintains its purchasing power. Bitcoins are fractional so you don’t need to hold a whole bitcoin, you could exchange $1,000 USD for one tenth of a coin.

The problem with a currency that keeps increasing in value is that people can’t borrow it; imagine taking out a mortgage in bitcoin and then a year later, the value of the bitcoin mortgage you owe is 50% more than your house is worth. Although house values can and do drop, there’s only so far they can drop ($0). Theoretically your bitcoin loan could go up to almost anything – a $200,000 loan could become equal to a $2 billion loan.

So if bitcoin replaced the USD in America, no-one would be able to buy houses – even if you got paid in bitcoins you would see your salary decreasing regularly. You are probably used to salary gradually increasing each year, this is due to inflation but with deflation you would need to get used to your salary decreasing over time. Store prices would also decrease so you would have the same purchasing power but your home mortgage and any other debt would bankrupt you eventually.

For people to hold substantial amounts of bitcoin for everyday transactions they need to know that the value wont suddenly drop. It doesn’t matter much where the price stabilizes as long as it does. Until then it will continue to be a speculative item.

As this is a new item that hasn’t really been traded for very long there are many more buyers than sellers so the price is going up, this will eventually change.

Bitcoin will never succeed as a currency, there is no real need for it. People cite the ability to send money anywhere in the world with virtually no fees as being a benefit but the fact is that the fees you pay for sending USD to other countries are simply price gouging – it doesn’t actually cost the banks the amount they charge and if they see real competition from bitcoin they will simply reduce their fees.

Other comments are that no government can stop bitcoin – don’t be so naive. Maybe they couldn’t kill it completely but they could make it so difficult that its value would plummet.

So, should you buy bitcoins and how much are they worth?

They are worth nothing + however much someone is willing to pay

And if you like a gamble then go for it – buy as many as you like however the price will crash so get ready to get out quickly.

If you find you have too many then send any spare ones to 15BpRXgX8Lrp5EpH9JaGcFUofAgDwgDW3d where they will be looked after :).

It took a long time and a lot of digging but I finally found the answer to why a communications tax would be charged on top of an early termination fee.

The answer is yes, it is a charge levied by the Department of Revenue. I personally don’t agree with it but the fact is that it is legitimate.

For Florida, the relevant tax law is s.202.11(13)(a)(1) F.S. (see http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2012/Chapter202/All)

Apparently the “sales price” includes “1. The connection, movement, change, or termination of communications services.” and the sales price is also subject to the communications tax (s.202.12(1)(a)).

It would be nice if Sprint would actually state this up front and be able to provide this information on demand instead it took multiple emails and phone calls and I finally got the answer directly from the Florida D.O.R.

I’m now with t-mobile πŸ™‚

Monthly cost with Sprint for 2 phones: $150 (plus whatever the phones cost, ~$100 each)

Monthly cost with t-mobile for 2 phones: $60 (plus $700 for the 2 Google Nexus 4 phones)

Savings over typical 2 year contract period:Β  $1660

Get on over to t-mobile , do a search for “prepaid”, click plans and then click “Which plan is right for you?” to see the available plans.

The plan I got was a prepaid plan for “$30 per month – Unlimited web and text with 100 minutes talk”. If you need more minutes then there are other plans at a bit more but still way cheaper than Sprint, AT&T and Verizon.

Buy the top up pin numbers from http://www.callingmart.com and you pay no sales tax and all government fees are included so you really do just pay $30 per month, per line.

As of this morning, sitemeter’s whois information is back to what it should be. So it looks like they were lucky and got their domain name back quickly.

If you’re still being redirected to the SmartName site then it’s likely just a DNS Time To Live issue and you just have to wait a while for it to update (or run ipconfig /flushdns or reboot)

Welcome back Sitemeter πŸ™‚

Just went to sitemeter.com and it’s not Site Meter

Whois info shows the domain name sitemeter.com was due to expire 03-April-2013, looks like someone else registered it.

Could be time to change all my counters since this kind of thing can take years to sort out if ever.

Normally when domains expire they go into a holding pattern for a while before they’re finally released and available to be registered again however it looks like someone swooped in and snapped it up straight away. This could get messy.

OK, so maybe not (or maybe?) but what if they did?, Microsoft’s biggest rivals Google and Yahoo derive pretty much all their income from online advertising, disable that and those 2 will go down the tubes pretty quickly.

Microsoft has something tangible, it sells software so it can afford to offer free services like search and email as a way of promoting it’s brand, but Yahoo and Google have very little in this regard, if all adsense ads were blocked by the vast majority of browsers then Google would lose money fast.

I guess this is why Google is so keen to get their Chrome browser adopted at a greater rate.

Google spends a lot of time and effort trying to stop people selling links on high pageRank websites so why does it reveal the pagerank?

I see no need for it to be revealed, website owners will know how well their site is doing in google search by the number of visitors google sends. The only use of pagerank is to say hey, my pagerank is x which then becomes a commodity.

Build Your Own Elmo Live

October 23, 2008

Wouldn’t it be great of someone released a generic, programmable robot that was designed to be covered.

Something like
http://www.robocommunity.com/forum/thread/14258/Elmo-Live-Dissected/
(which is the real Elmo live with no cover.

You could then take this generic robot along with any suitable sized stuffed toy and swap the stuffing for the robot, resulting in your own live anything.

Then a community of like minded people could create suitable programs including voice quotes and songs recorded from TV which you would upload to the robot via a USB cable along with some animation sequences.

Or give it wifi like the nabaztag, then a parent who is away on a business trip could read a bedtime story to their child through an application on their laptop or iPhone that could also work in both directions via a microphone and camera in the robot.