Tuesday 21 June 2011

Memories of a Crystal City

circa. 2002 - Microsoft once dominated the IT landscape like no other before - large enough to create masses of followers, devotees and handlers. Linux users stood out like a sore thumb. We were the geeks of the geeks, unwilling to return to the fold of popular culture as presented by Gates.
Apple had been brought to it's knees and kissed the ring. Sun and Java could barely manouver. Novell, the giant of the decade past, was defunct and just a gutted shell. All the players held Microsoft certifications like badges of honor, or like playhouse mystery rings. Clubhouses dominated the IT field - with groups mowing down other groups mercilessly. Akin to early city state rivalries, everyone kowtowed to the Beast. Gates had a monopoly. Unlike any before, or since. Kinda like what the financial behemoths of today experience.
Onto this stage walked a paralegal named Pamela Jones, PJ, and she begins writing in a blog about the machinations of Microsoft and its minions' attempt to annihilate Linux. Groklaw exposed the legal fight of SCO and Novell over the core pieces of the Linux kernel. Who owned what, who said what, who did what, who promised to open source and who pulled the strings. It revealed dirty deals and discoveries that everyone suspected, but couldn't prove - Long range plans made in dark rooms through holding companies create solely to take down Linux and the threat of open source. Every bit of subterfuge imaginable taken from a spy novel and acted out in a real court with real players.
IANAL was coined, IANAL/IMHO was echoed on post after post. Her blog became the cannibal central for Trolls and Pro-Trolls. More FUD was spread over this issue than any before it, and ever since. Until Bitcoin came along that is.

Monday 20 June 2011

Mind Shift Unparalleled

Bitcoin is part of a meme shift of unparalleled proportions. Information has escaped a draconian stage and everyone who views Bitcoin sees a facet of this newness drawing everyone down the rabbithole. Cavalier attitudes are garnered for the way some profiteers have played their hands, while other attitudes are thinly disguised intent bought and paid for by who knows.
If I told you a little known program developed to be some joke about banks or world finance would devour such feverish attention in a tiny span of time, you would think me daft. Information is coming out of the darkness and into the light. That is what ******** was sent here to control.
In this thread there are several handlers that try to drive conversation along well-thought out lines of challenge. Everyone else is just along for the ride. This Dragon is a "methane" dragon full of foul stench and hot upon every challenge. There are plenty of other dragons in other postings. Last Saturday many Moderators had their profiles spoofed as quick clones. I saw ***** appear as ****, ****, _**** in a matter of minutes. Me thinks we have professionals that will simply goad serious posters to endless depths and chase newbies off at any cost.
The media fails to cover their own shark-infested comment sections, what makes you think they care about ours?
This is not a battle to be won, the battle was over the minute that a new meme escaped the realm of human thinking. This meme is just the edge of a sword, the strike of a match, the dust of a tempest, and a distant echo of thunder. Weeks of ******** won't change that, so how do you like them apples?
- originally posted on official Bitcoin forum

Monday 13 June 2011

Bitcoin has Dragons

Just to let you know about the heavy pro-trolling at the Bitcoin forums on the weekend. Much of which was coordinated with the market correction (aka. crash).
Many of the handles used were recognizable to a seasoned commentator. It looks like they studied the forum message boards for several weeks to find weak points and newbie hangouts so they could create ultimate shock value. I spotted 10-15 matured (50+ posts) profiles that would create rapid-fire postings and quickly jump around filling other new posts created by newbie trolls (orcs) at a rate of 5-10 a minute. Some were point/counter-point style to appear as legit, some were rants to entice the vulnerable. Many were goading attempts to drag moderators and seasoned posters into endless tit-for-tat barrages. And then it got interesting...
New tactics of spoofing long-time posters, cloning moderators' profile look-n-feel, threats aimed at anyone stupid enough to reply. Wow, I knew the professionals had arrived when I saw our proudest, vibrant protagonists slowly backing out of the room. It was left a snarling, blackened mess. These people had a playbook created with forethought and malice. Trolls are one thing, these were Uruk-hai bending to the will of someone, somewhere.

Saturday 11 June 2011

Bitcoin v. Thunderous Mob

"Distant throbbing drums of TPTB guide the sudden assault on the commons of the forum. These trolls are well fed, property of men. Bent not on feeding, but on mayhem and destruction. Quick like silver, shift like shadows, sly like foxes, never presenting a target-side for a clear counter. These are well-trained, barbarous people descending on the gentle folk who once considered these forums their haven. Only bloody men (and women) now inhabit these parts. Gone are the halcyon days of rally, drift are dreams of exuberant youth. Bitcoin has dragons."
-source: Remarkable Remarks

As I visited the forums today to peruse reactions of the market correction, I noticed a large influx of professional trolls. Many handles are recognizable from other trolled sites. The language and tone are nothing short of spectacular, this was well-planned and coordinated.  Many bitcoiners are seasoned vets but I do believe even they are shocked by the aim and precision that each posting is intent on. Goading the moderators, finding legit threads to frazzle and fray. Muddying the waters beyond drinkable. Wow, and I thought my day was tough.
I wouldn't presume to know which group of professionals are behind this attack. There are professionals that discover and deal with these attacks. I don't think EFF will be setting up tent to help us anytime soon, but maybe some new justice will arrive to uncover the Who,What,When,Where,Why.

Skytanic v. Iceburg

24k bitcoin and 10k bitcoin sold on MtGOX, 0930h 11062011 est.
13.99 current bid, 15.00 ask price in USD.
Market correction after heady days and stratospheric gains. Model shows 11(ish) USD could be new settling point.
Orders are stacked like a Mack truck the other side of 12.00 USD ready to push the pendulum hard in a positive direction.
1000h 11062011 est.
19.50 current bid, 19.99 ask price in USD
Vomit comet strikes again!
Market depth regains a normal curve and we await the next big seller as speculators marvel at this beast of a dream. Unleashed, Bitcoin is mighty, powerful magic.

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum, du bist ein edler Zweig! Du grĂ¼nest uns den Winter, die liebe Sommerzeit.
- source: Wikipedia (O Tannenbaum)

Sunday 5 June 2011

Smashing the Hornet's Nest

A lot of buzz is appearing in the press about the new concept of Bitcoin. Stinging opposition, ribald commentaries, bold retorts, and bolder predictions. This is starting to get interesting.
A sudden meteoric rise in prices, scarcity and difficulty in mining are not, according to some, the main drivers of the last 3 weeks (May 14 - June 4) of gains.
The spike in exchange rates for Bitcoin is being blamed instead on a Wired.com article about untraceable drug transactions using bitcoins on the nefarious SilkRoad et. al. Seems like titillation and horror still have their place in modern journalism. Very heavy push from media against Bitcoin would seem to discount simple motives as the drivers of all the recent press:
There is a strange wind aloof upon the zeitgeist of the world. Something new, and unaccounted for - currency unbounded by ancient chains. TPTB have taken notice and so have the masses.
I do believe we are about to witness a contest of wills between containment and freedom played out on the stage of twitter feeds and old media channels.
Bitcoin is altogether novel and a confusing idea to the uninitiated and so bloggers, writers, journalists from every ilk are presenting their take on what Bitcoin is/does/will become before someone else explains it better. Some articles are guided by other motif noire. Noise to distract any serious investigation of Bitcoin’s potential among the internet community. Let me explain:
If I present a new concept as a complete thought, that would imply some forethought or intent on my part. Now forethought would lead to better personal understanding, dialog, perhaps even certitude; while intent would lead to greater manipulation/obfuscation/misdirection aka. FUD. Everyone familiar with Groklaw may now smirk.
To the best of my knowledge, I have not been granted insight or special understanding for the current state of affairs regarding Bitcoin, but I can say with certainty that the press is marshaling enormous resources to counter the swell of Bitcoin popularity in recent weeks. Spaghetti being thrown to see what sticks. SilkRoad today, pirates tomorrow, “Did’nya kill my brother?” I wonder where this will all lead? I bet tomorrow has more questions in it then TPTB planned at the last G8 summit. The wind has a fresh scent and the people know it.
But how to counter all this counter stuff? Information, information, information. Tor networks, Phantom onion groups, Mondonet, and millions of other ideas that will be released to allow Bitcoin to survive. I remember Linux forward station redoubt, aka. EFF was once a newbie amongst a  Microsoft-dominated crystal city. We will find our champions, anoint the missionaries, appoint the emissaries and expose the opposition. Knowledge through real-time information, allegiances of old friends and foes, will hopefully offer some certainty of the path that Bitcoin will walk.