Satoshi Nakamoto is the creator of Bitcoin. That much is known. The question is whether the elderly Satoshi Nakamoto who’s living in a modest home with his even-more-elderly mother is the Satoshi Nakamoto. But there are enough similarities that I think it’s a compelling case. Besides, the media circus just seems to give it away. Imagine if someone landed on my doorstep and asked me if I was Satoshi Nakamoto, creator of Bitcoin.
I’d stammer for a while, stunned at the bizarre question, and then I’d finally manage to say, “I struggled with college algebra, so the idea of me inventing Bitcoin is really ridiculous.”
His reaction? “I’m not the one. No further comment. Wait a minute. I want a free lunch. I’ll go with him.”
His associating the press with a free lunch strongly implies he’s been thinking about this day for a while.
From time to time I advise people on how to handle the press, so here’s my unsolicited advice to Satoshi Nakamoto. Read the full post »
Posted by Dave Farquhar on March 10, 2014
Ever since Bitcoin came into prominence, there’s been a great deal of speculation about the shadowy creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. Newsweek thinks they found him: A semi-retired engineer who dislikes banks and the government and the fees and difficulty associated with importing model train parts from England and Japan.
Well, if you’re going to invent a cryptocurrency, what better thing to spend it on than model train parts? Read the full post »
Posted by Dave Farquhar on March 8, 2014
Since there is no direct upgrade path from Windows XP to Windows 8.1 or even Windows 8, Microsoft has reacted to criticism by licensing a cut-down version of PC Mover and offering it to latter-day XP upgraders for free. It will only migrate three applications for you, but for most people, that’s probably enough.
The good news is that this version of PC Mover works with Windows 7 as well, so if you want to take the strategy of migrating people to $99 off-lease PCs running Windows 7, it will still help.
The linked article above criticized Microsoft for not developing its own migration tool, but that seems a bit harsh. I’ve used PC Mover before, and found it to be a very capable tool. I’d be surprised if Microsoft actually could do much better. And Microsoft has a history of licensing third-party tools anyway: Every disk defragmenter Microsoft has ever shipped was a cut-down version of something written by other companies.
Of course it’s best to rebuild machines from scratch–it will perform much faster that way–but when there’s a must-have program on an old PC and the installation media is long gone, PC Mover is about the only way to recover it and move it on. Most people probably don’t have much more than three programs in that category.
Posted by Dave Farquhar on March 7, 2014
I found a reference this week to Spritz, a promising smartphone/tablet app to help people read faster. Much faster. I tried the demo of the technology and could almost keep up with its 500 word-per-minute pace right away.
Now, I’ve always been a fairly fast reader, though I’ve never felt any need to have someone time my speed. I just know I read faster than most of my classmates did. But I know I don’t normally read anywhere near 500 words per minute. My typical blog posts are usually about 750 words, so that would be reading one of my posts in a minute and a half.
I’m interested in it, though, because I’ve resolved to read more this year. You can roughly estimate 100 pages at 25,000 words, so at 500 words per minute you could read a 200-page book in about an hour and 40 minutes.
I’m not sure I would want to rush through something really dense and technical at that rate–especially not something like the CISSP Common Body of Knowledge–but when the other choice is not reading at all, it’s obviously much better than that. And nothing says you have to pick one way of reading or the other. You can read a book quickly and come back and read the tougher parts more slowly. Some people say you shouldn’t read without taking notes; but running a book through Spritz is a fast way to find out if a book is worth sitting down and reading with a pad of paper–or, ahem, laptop with a word processor–next to it.
Details of how it will work are a bit sparse. Hopefully the app will be able to read your existing e-book library. If it exists as a walled garden where you have to buy books within the Spritz app, that seems like it would limit its usefulness to me. We’ll see. This is definitely a technology I want to track.
Posted by Dave Farquhar on March 6, 2014
I’m reading a book called Trade-Off, by former USA Today technology columnist Kevin Maney. It’s primarily a marketing book.
Maney argues that all products are a balance of fidelity and convenience, and highly favor one or the other. He additionally argues that failed products fail because they attempted to achieve both, or failed to focus on either one.
An example of a convenient product is an economy car. They’re inexpensive to buy and inexpensive to keep fueled up, but don’t have much glitz and you probably won’t fall in love with it. A high-end sports car or luxury car is a lot less practical, but you’re a lot more likely to fall in love with it, and gain prestige by driving around town in it. Read the full post »
Posted by Dave Farquhar on March 5, 2014
If you have a Windows domain, there’s a fairly good chance you have Backup Exec servers, because you probably want to take backups. Because you need them. (As a security guy, I no longer care how you get backups; just that you’re getting them somehow.) Backup Exec is a popular solution for that. But there’s a problem.
A security problem, that is. The quality of Backup Exec as a product hasn’t been my problem since 2005. The problem I have with it now is that Backup Exec stores its passwords in a database. The passwords are encrypted, but it’s possible to decrypt the backup copy, if you’re determined enough.
Read the full post »
Posted by Dave Farquhar on March 4, 2014
Last week, rumors started flying that Microsoft was going to make upgrades to a cut-down version of Windows 8.1 either free or very inexpensive for Windows 7 owners.
That’s not necessarily a bad idea, but the target is wrong. Here’s a great idea: Microsoft needs to be dangling the freebie in front of Windows XP owners. Read the full post »
Posted by Dave Farquhar on March 3, 2014
Yesterday I wrote about my greatest estate sale find ever. Well, the very same month as that one, I found another estate sale featuring a Lionel 1110 locomotive, which happened to be my Dad’s first train. So of course I put that sale on my list. The 1110 wasn’t among Lionel’s finest moments, but I’ll note that in 1986 when Dad and I pulled his postwar Lionels out of storage, it was the first of Dad’s locomotives that we got running, and in 2003 when I got them out again, it was the only one that still ran.
Well, this 1110 didn’t run. The motor assembly was cracked and it wasn’t worth the asking price. But behind the locomotive, I found some paperwork. “Build these realistic models!” it urged. It was marked $4. The tag warned it was very delicate. I took it out of the plastic bag it was in, decided against trying to unfold it, and bought it unseen. Read the full post »
Posted by Dave Farquhar on March 1, 2014
If you’ve been reading this blog for a few years, you know I kind of like trains. But my favorite way to buy them isn’t to buy them at a train store. I like to buy them from estates.
One week, I spotted a few late-production Marx 6-inch cars and a plastic locomotive in an estate ad. I tallied up $30 worth of trains in the picture, and figured I’d be lucky if they asked $60 for it. But I decided to take another look at the picture, just in case.
This wasn’t an ordinary train. Read the full post »
Posted by Dave Farquhar on February 28, 2014
Here’s some stuff I’ve found in recent weeks that I never got around to posting, so I’ll just round it all up briefly. Read the full post »
Posted by Dave Farquhar on February 26, 2014