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Not to nitpick, but wombats can actually run pretty fast when they want to - up to 40kph. And I reckon kangaroos, while fast, aren't very manoeuvrable; if they're on a line they tend to stay on that line, right into the path of the vehicle.

Koalas, though, geeze - they're slow, drunk usually, and don't give a damn. I almost hit one once, slamming on the brakes and almost going off the road, and the damn thing didn't react at all, just kept unconcernedly strolling across. Doubt anything can stop them except fences combined with safe crossings (tunnels, wildlife bridges).

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Probably makes a wombat even more problematic if they decide to run back across the road. Just make sure the fence has a decent concrete footer - they're pretty unstoppable.

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> during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami when broken hazardous waste containers eventually found their way onto Somali shores leaving a large majority of the population suffering from various illnesses, such as radiation sickness

This sounds extremely doubtful. Tsunami-borne hazardous waste containers breaking up in Somalia en masse? Radioactive waste!? And a "large majority" of Somalians were poisoned by this?

I don't usually like to play the wiki-pedant but a very big [citation needed] on that.

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The dumping of hazardous waste on third world countries isn't exactly news. The given example may (or may not) be inaccurate but this is something that's been going on for decades.

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I have to admit I love the sound of a good engine - and aeroplanes, and boats, trains, everything. It's the sound of power. Watching cars race without that sound is a far less emotive experience. One of the commentators on tonight's Bahrain race said that the safety car sounded much better than the race cars, and I wistfully agreed.

That said, I do think some people overdo it a bit and I actually like that FIA is willing to force innovation, even if it's (initially?) unpopular.

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They have a long history of suppressing innovation though. Chapter 13 of this book is about all the tech that was banned. http://www.amazon.com/Formula-Technology-Peter-G-Wright/dp/0...

It is the most interesting chapter in the book.

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Search 'look inside' for the word 'banned' to see what greg's talking about. He's right. That's cool.

What would F1 be like if they relaxed all the rules?

Edit: Just got through the chapter, the author speculates on what would be possible without bans.

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I haven't read the book but I think CanAm in the 70s was pretty much racing with no engineering restrictions. Hence you had the Porsche 917 putting out 1500hp+ and only weighing 1800 lbs.

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The article title might have given it away ...

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Mercedes has been dominant the past two races as well so it's not necessarily a spoiler to say they have been owning the season. On the other hand today's race ended a few hours ago and I didn't expect to run into race results on HN of all places. Oh well.

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To be fair to him, a thread all about which team is dominating F1 is the kind of place on HN that I would expect to see races discussed. Not sure that shouldve taken you by surprise! Anyway, sounds like the race was good enough for you to enjoy anyway.

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Don't worry about the results, watch that awesome race!

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> there are no fights to watch at the top

Were we watching the same race? The last 11 laps were an epic battle between Rosberg and Hamilton, and the mob contending for points was no less thrilling. I thought it was a great race, at least at the end.

And have you already forgotten 2013? Red Bull won every single race in the second half of the season. Yeah, Mercedes is on top, for now, it's not like a constructor has never been dominant before.

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Please read my entire comment:

> (It's true that the Hamilton-Rosberg fight in Bahrain was also fun to watch)

My point is: this year looks like the last years' championships with RBR... same dog, different collar.

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Not exactly. Webber vs Vettel wasn't really close. Rosberg and Hamilton will be a lot closer.

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Is it though? We haven't even arrived in Monaco yet, anything could happen and the drama has been amazing to watch so far. Take tonight for example... Vetel being instructed to let Ricciardo pass and complying, Force India going 3/5, Hamilton and Rosberg dueling, Massa(??) blitzing the field on the start. The president of Ferrari walking out in disgust. That horrendous flip...

This doesn't even get into new arrivals like Magnussen and his amazing debut. This season is far from over and getting more interesting by the day.

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We need to wait until we get to Europe, that's when the new parts will start arriving and the other teams have a chance to catch up. Development is going to be key this year.

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Sorry. Pretty late night where I am, and a couple too many bottles of, uh, "rose water".

Anyway my point was - the lack of a real fight doesn't have much to do with the rule change, since it was present last year as well. And anyway, the season's just beginning - let's see what happens.

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I don't think RB was nowhere near where Mercedes is this year. They are unbeatable like Brawn GP was on 2008. Others wont catch them this year. But otherwise very interesting season.

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> There's nothing in the comment you replied to that indicates any cavalierness about "gay rights"

You missed the point. The GP's comment, by dismissing gay right's relevance to mozilla, implicitly treated the matter in a "cavalier" manner.

Let's do a little find/replace to prove the point. Eich donated $1000 to the KKK. The GP notes that lynching niggers has nothing to do with the day to day operations of Mozilla, so what's the big deal. The parent is dismayed by how trivial black person's rights are considered by HN. What's your comment, tptacek?

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You don't even know if you disagree with this person about marriage equality, but here we are talking about the KKK.

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My opinion is irrelevant. And if your point had any validity, it would transfer right across.

You're changing the topic - you know I'm right. Take it to heart, please. These things are important.

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After using the toilet, do you wash your hands, or just wipe them?

You've just demonstrated why washing toilets are superior. I cannot understand our misplaced, hollow pride in not adopting something which simply works better. I've even heard some especially crazy people try to say the japanese toilets are "perverted" - the hold tradition has on some people is just insane.

Japanese toilets are simply better. For some bizarre reason we've resisted adopting them here. It boggles the mind.

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I gave in and ordered a bidet a year ago. Not wanting to commit to some of the expensive options, I opted for the $25 Astor Bidet:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003TPGPUW/

Installation involved adding a T-adapter to my sink's cold water line. The whole setup takes about 5-10 minutes if you know what you're doing, or about 30 if you don't. Even if you know nothing about plumbing, you can install this thing with some patience (and probably in well under an hour).

I've been very happy overall. There are lots of similar bidets for varying prices, but the core functionality can be had for $25. I haven't felt the desire to spend any more, this thing just works.

We go through a lot less toilet paper, though we still use some for the drying. This may be too much information, but I do feel subjectively much cleaner. When we travel somewhere without a bidet, it's definitely on the edge of my mind that I miss my setup at home.

I do get weird looks when we have company, but who cares. Continue smearing poop on your butts, heathens.

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Seconded. I own this similar Luxe bidet, $35:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001KKRCFA/

I'm living in the future. Would recommend one to anyone, zero hesitation.

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Woah, neat! My girlfriends whinges about using too much toilet paper (which... well, she does. Way too much) and I've always loved the washlet style things, so this is awesome! Thanks heaps for the link :)

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"Continue smearing poop on your butts, heathens."

It is odd that whilst we use specially designed water jets and cleaning products to bathe our approach to bottom hygiene is just to keep scrubbing till there is nothing visible left.

Anyway looks like a good device, thanks for the link.

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Not having foot taps is another huge bug bear of mine. Especially in public places.

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I like that it's cheap but pretty much the bare minimum feature of a Japanese washlet is to let you set the temp of the water. Lots of places I've lived the water gets pretty cold especially in the winter. OW! ;)

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This kind of bidet (not talking about the squat toilets) is pretty common in Turkey aswell. It definitely gets the job done. Using paper to dry up only is causing far less skin irritation too.

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Hat tip for the suggestions. I was expecting to have to install a Japanese system + rewire.

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Ask a personal question... but do you use your other hand to scrub or just try and jet wash?

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I also used to think of Japanese toilets as weird , and overly complex for the task (that may be partially true) but after buying a 35 dollar bidet attachment for my apartment toilet, using any other bathroom feels barbaric. I've resorted to carrying moist wipes when out of town, but even those are a far cry from the efficiency and cleanliness afforded by a washlet/bidet.

I would love for the rest of the country to get over whatever biases or anxiety keeps us from mainstream adoption of an objectively superior system for bathroom hygiene.

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After experiencing an electronic bidet in Japan for the first time during a holiday, I returned home wondering how on earth did I manage without it. I was sold. I bought a YoYo 770 for 800$ as soon as it appeared in Europe.

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Incidentally, YoYo are now called Quoss for anyone shopping for them. Exact same products, just a different name (also have come down in price by about $200).

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the hold tradition has on some people is just insane.

My quarter-Japanese wife won't let me get one - but of course she was raised in America. And TMI, but I've had a doctor specifically recommend one (or cheap bidet setup) for hemorrhoids.

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I've had a doctor specifically recommend one (or cheap bidet setup) for hemorrhoids.

That's not TMI. That's important information. Why do they recommend it?

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>Why do they recommend it?

Doesn't irritate as much as excessive wiping.

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Exactly. There's something about water, the universal solvent and universal lubricant. It's probably the same reason that same doctor recommended sitz baths, and a big secret to most bulk forming fiber is that it absorbs a lot of water.

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I really think this is something people have to try for themselves. Also, people should travel more. Japan is such an amazing place.

Using an American toilet in 2014 is like programming your next web app in classic ASP. Time to upgrade.

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> Japanese toilets are simply better. For some bizarre reason we've resisted adopting them here. It boggles the mind.

That's not true. One major reason we don't adopt them is the cost of installation. If you have an existing house, chances are there's not an electrical outlet next to the toilet. Why is is important? Because Japanese toilets require power. Why does this suck? Electricians are not keen on working on bathrooms because of all the pre-existing pipes, so to do the job right, they'll probably have to rip off all the walls. Once the electricians are done, you probably have to hire a bathroom remodeler to fix everything up, because again not many licensed people are keen on working on the bathroom unless they specialize in it.

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None of which is true when building a new home. But they still don't put them in new homes either.

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Yeah there aren't very many new homes in places like the Bay Area or Manhattan either

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>Yeah there aren't very many new homes in places like the Bay Area or Manhattan either

This isn't true of Mountain View, Sunnyvale, and San Jose. Perhaps you are thinking of SF?

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Most bathrooms do have electrical outlets though - for shavers and things. Conduit is fairly low profile - and if you have a false ceiling then its very easy.

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First, the outlet for the shaver and blow dryer are far enough from the toilet that you'll need an extension cord that crosses your sink which isn't going to work. Second I've never seen a false ceiling in a residential bathroom. Not that having one would make it a lot safer. The bathroom is not a place for a hack. You really need to do it the right way or not at all.

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I'm skeptical that this is the primary reason. Everything you say is true but a LOT of people spend loads of money renovating bathrooms in the US. Just go down to a Home Depot and look at all the fancy sink, shower, jacuzzi, etc. hardware. Yet I've never seen a Japanese toilet in an American home. In general, toilets just don't seem to be something that gets any sort of special treatment in bathroom remodels. And none of the companies that make all the aforementioned hardware make anything other than standard sit toilets AFAIK.

I suspect it's just something that most Americans (and Europeans) simply haven't experienced or are even aware of. And it probably doesn't help that the initial reaction is probably negative--which may be why nobody's made a serious attempt to push these in the US.

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Often that's just drywall - very cheap and easy to replace.

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As I've already mentioned, it's the labor that's expensive in either time or money since there are pipes behind the drywall that you're going to rip apart. Also some people put tile over their drywall, the very people more likely to buy an expensive Japanese toilet. We're talking a few thousand dollars.

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Sorry to say this but it sounds like you're just trying to come up with any and all excuses to shoot down a valid idea.

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I'm just trying to convey my experiences with bathroom remodeling on my own house. Anyone is free to listen or ignore my advice.

I never said it wasn't a valid idea. It's just a hard and expensive one. You guys will find out once you become home owners in the future. Also a Japanese toilet costs the same as a cheap car. If you haven't already guessed, I wanted one for my bathroom for years now. It's just not practical.

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You don't need a full unit - you can just do the seat:

http://www.amazon.com/Toto-SW574-01-Washlet-Seat-Elongated/d...

That + drywall + electrical is maybe ~$2500.

Sounds like the only expensive part is if you already have expensive deco.

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I don't agree, he's raising exactly the sorts of issues many householders would have. Even just the cost and hassle of redecorating/retiling would put most people off.

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The reason you wash your hands is so that you don't spread pathogens to yourself and others. As far as I can tell, that's not the primary reason you wipe your behind.

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I think if I got mud on, say, my inner thigh, I'd still want to clean it off. With water.

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If I was, say, playing football with friends, and somehow got mud on my inner thigh, I might wipe it off with paper, and then later take a shower.

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I might use just paper if water wasn't available, sure. But I'd certainly use water if I had the choice.

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You've used correct logic but you missed the point OP was trying to convey.

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What did I miss? OP is arguing that we should wash our behinds for the same reason that we wash our hands. Yet the reason we wash our hands is to reduce a threat that does not exist (at least, not as readily) for our behinds.

And now semantic satiation has kicked in for "behind."

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>What did I miss? OP is arguing that we should wash our behinds for the same reason that we wash our hands.

No. OP is not arguing that. OP is arguing that if you got mud on your hand and tried to clean it with dry paper, there will still be crusted mud on your hand. Do you see where this is going now?

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OP simply doesn't say that. OP refers to the actual common act of washing hands after using the toilet, not the hypothetical act of washing hands after getting "mud" on them.

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I think OP meant that washing is good for personal hygiene i.e. not carrying pathogens smeared around on your skin/clothes.

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That's a valid point, but not one that directly supports the argument for bidets. Since most people (at least in my neck of the woods) shower at least once a day, personal hygiene is usually accomplished.

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But to prove that claim OP would have to show that people who just wipe their asses are more often sick than those who wash it each time.

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So personal hygiene is a no-no until you can prove that you can get sick?

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I wash my hands because I use them to interact with the world and to eat. Keeping them clean is necessary.

The day I push an elevator button or place food in my mouth using my soiled anus is the day I agree washing it constantly is required and not just pleasant.

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Here's the reason it sounds weird to those (like me) that haven't tried: your hands don't have a source of, er, soil, tucked into them in a crevice. So getting them as wet as you like doesn't have any downside.

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I've used a Japanese toilet and for me the hand washing facility attached to it is meaningless as I do not understand why would anyone ever wash their hands with cold water. Especially I do not understand people who simply wash their hands by dipping them into cold water for a second.

But maybe the culture of washing hands with warm water and soap is merely in North Europe. And maybe I am illusioned by the effectiveness of warm water.

edit:// English correction

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There was a little study about this last year I believe [1]. Most of what comes out of your A is happy living at 37°C, so I'm sure it doesn't mind an extra 3°C or so.

[1] http://www.tested.com/science/life/459452-doing-it-wrong-hot...

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It's suggested that there is no benefit washing your hands with hot water with regard to hygeine.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ist/?next=/smartnews/2013/12/w...

I pretty much always wash my hands with cold water, unless they are especially grimey. The only advantage is that hot water seems to work better with soap, which may help dislodge dirt easier.

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> why would anyone ever wash their hands with cold water.

Well it depends on the time of the year. In winter, you certainly don't use them that much because water is freezing cold. But as soon as it turns april-may, water becomes lukewarm or even relatively hot in summer months (summers are excruciatingly hot in Japan), so then it's not an issue anymore.

> And maybe I am illusioned by the effectiveness of warm water.

Do you mean warm water is more effective at washing ? There's actually no basis for that. Surfactants matter more than temperature.

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The standing water is likely to be more worrying than the temperature of the water.

http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-handwashi...

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> Japanese toilets are simply better. For some bizarre reason we've resisted adopting them here. It boggles the mind.

They are not cheap in Japan, by the way. If you buy a new apartment they are included by default(these companies work like Mafia to secure contracts with new apartment complex builders), but new ones you buy directly from TOTO are like... "what?" when you see their prices.

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A specific data point: the (pretty good) Japanese toilet I have retails for about $2,600.00 US.

http://item.rakuten.co.jp/sumailab/ces9896px/?scid=af_pc_etc...

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Neorest... pshhh. Time to upgrade, Mason!

The Satis is controlled by your smartphone (which you have to admit you'll probably already have in your hand anyway) so you don't have to touch that filthy control panel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JO8LutKUTO4

(also shows an animation of the sprayer thingy)

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Yup - and I think it's overpriced. If it was a consumers' market this would be way cheaper, but in Japan it's very much a B2B thing, therefore you don't get good prices if you want to buy your own.

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YC company to make a self-powered washing toilet (maybe using the water flow to turn a generator?)

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Or you can just buy direct from Amazon for $400-1000:

http://www.amazon.com/Toto-SW574-01-Washlet-Seat-Elongated/d...

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I don't eat with my ..., just sayin'. But it's fine with me if you want to wash it.

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So you don't shower then? Just hand-washing?

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That fact that people shower, usually daily, is an argument that bidets aren't necessary.

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Excuse me?

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You don't eat with any part of your body except your hand so why wash any of them either?

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Okay, now I understand. Good point. I wash my hands more frequently, because I eat with them, and I sometimes wash my body including ....

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Do you use soap to wash your hands? or just rinse them off with water (especially if you happened to get a little on you)?

Do you then pick up your chicken wings or pork ribs with your butt cheeks and stick them into your mouth, proceeding to lick off the excess sauce/grease?

I have just demonstrated why your example has a complete lack of logic or value.

FWIW, I use a baby wipe. This uses less water and about the same amount of paper. it actually does a little better job, is quicker and far more economical. My toilet will last 40 years with about 10% of the purchase and maintenance costs. I also carry wipes around to use in public restrooms so while you may get clean at home, I get clean on the road as well.

I mainly do this because I have itching/chapping issues if I don't.

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> an ongoing conversation Patrick and I had been having with Colin, not all of which HN is aware of

The knowledge that there's missing context, which was provided in some sort of back room inside-baseball hn-elites secret discussion to which I was not a party and will never be granted access, kind of makes me wish the article had never been posted in the first place.

"Here's my article - which you'll never understand, because you weren't there, because you're not cool enough". Great.

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Oh FFS, there's enough good info in the article to just think about that, without getting all butt-hurt about in-groups and out-groups.

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I don't see what the point of this is? ASICs are actually good; they perform the necessary proof of work while using a lot less power. Running all those GPUs is a needless waste.

It sounds like this is just some GPU owners wanting to turn back time to protect their assets.

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ASICS are actually good

False. Mining difficulty automatically adjusts to compensate for faster hardware. Nothing is gained.

Increased efficiency is generally beneficial in non-zero-sum games, but cryptocurrency mining is actually a zero-sum game where increased efficiency does not add value anywhere.

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> Nothing is gained.

Well, where's the gain from mandating GPUs?

> increased efficiency does not add value anywhere

Back to CPUs, then?

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GPUs are ubiquitous. When you have optimizations of hashing algorithms, like for scrypt and sha1 before it, you end up with specialized hardware often coming out of a few hardware companies dominating the entire mining scene.

That means a stark concentration of mining power, because it means "average joe shmoe" can't just start running cgminer on their integrated openCL hardware and get coins at reasonable rates for the money invested (in power).

I think it is too late for litecoin, and would rather see them implement this in a less entrenched altcoin like peercoin, because there is too much inertia and scale now to change it in the litecoin space.

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I understand and agree with, to some extent, the argument against centralisation. However, I don't see how this fork solves it - it's switching from one form of centralisation (ASICs) to another (huge clusters of mining rigs).

GPUs may be ubiquitous but it's not viable to run a mining rig with just one, which means that all those GPU miners are basically running "specialised hardware" too. Joe schmoe does not just happen to have an 8-GPU tower computer lying around.

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I run a 2-GPU tower and make a couple bucks a day with zero upkeep effort on my part.

It's not totally vanilla hardware like the 15-watt laptop I'm typing this on, but it is common enough I happened to have it already.

With ASICs the barrier to entry is five figures. (Most of the cheaper ASICs have terrible payoff timelines) With GPUs the barrier to entry is far, far lower. You won't make it rich on a $150 GFX card, but you can make some revenue.

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Yes, why not a PoW that's all of

ASIC resistant

GPU resistant

botnet resistant

My Cuckoo Cycle PoW (https://github.com/tromp/cuckoo) configured to require for instance 7GB of memory, is all of the above. And is very power friendly, since only 5% of the runtime is computation and 95% is waiting for main memory random access latency...

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Back to CPUs, then?

Sure, if you can come up with a good proof-of-work algorithm that runs well only on CPUs.

It could be possible. The straightforward way would be, I believe, to use an algorithm that has weak parallelism and depends strongly on branching. CPUs are king of branching, and both GPUs and ASICs get ahead by taking advantage of parallelism.

Although, one nice thing about GPUs being the standard-bearer, is it makes most general purpose server hardware useless for mining. That's good in that it makes hijacking a webserver to mine bitcoins, a largely pointless affair.

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I am not sure that GPUs are "mandated" so much as they are in the sweet spot of flexibility to run different algorithms, and high performance.

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ASICS centralize the power in the network to people with five to six figures of capital. GPU mining is more accessible and keeps the hashing power distributed.

Also, don't fool yourself on power efficiency. The network adjusts the difficulty, so if ASICS are 100x as power efficient the difficulty will tend towards 100x harder.

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I've seen some mining rooms which disprove your notion that GPU-only mining will stop the capitalised players having an advantage. They always will.

And yes, it's always a balancing act. The network adjusts the difficulty based on total hashrate, not on power efficiency, which is just an overhead. More and more people will pile in until the difficulty is high enough to render mining unviable. However, ASICs at least will shift the balance more towards hardware costs vs the raw power cost that it is now, and reduce the number of useless components that need to be manufactured, etc.

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The difference is if those with capital have a linear scaling of power in the mining or if there is a sheer cliff followed by linear growth, because without an ASIC you can't effectively mine at all.

Everyone has a GPU, and your gpu is usually on the same magnitude of efficiency (assuming its modern) as the optimal GPU miner for any given algorithm. With ASICs, the barrier to entry is huge, so you have less "casual" miners. The casual miners significantly dilute the power of concentrated mining operations.

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Capital still begets capital, but with GPU mining at least you don't have to have five figures just to get into the game.

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the energy usage of bitcoin and the altcoins is, in my opinion, one of the few things that could threaten its viability long term. people aren't going to be able to understand the reasoning that this is the cost of decentralization - it's going to look like a phenomenal waste of energy, even if low-powered ASICs are doing most of the work. not that the average consumer has a problem with that, but govts might.

i wonder if there is a solution to the byzantine general's problem with that is resistant to 50% malicious nodes but doesn't require so much energy overhead. even proof-of-stake coins still require energy wasting.

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> people aren't going to be able to understand the reasoning that this is the cost of decentralization

As compared to entire blocks of office high-rises in every major city required for our current financial system?

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Well, commercial organizations that own office space are already forming and expanding around BitCoin - so the cost of keeping those businesses physically open would be in addition to the cost of keeping the BitCoin network up and running. It's not like we're getting rid of the need for buildings.

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Or people carving up the crust of the Earth looking for a shiny rock in yesteryears.

Though it is worth mentioning there are cryptocurrencies looking to solve this problem, like peercoin's proof of stake.

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You also have to look at the cost of the conventional banking system, fees and periodic capital destruction by inflation, bailouts and malinvestment.

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I guess the idea is to let a regular Joe to mine some coins too, so that he doesn't have to invest a few grands.

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If we're going to do that, why not get rid of GPUs, too. ASICs are merely an efficiency increase, just like GPUs were.

I somehow suspect, however, the proponents of this change are not "regular joes", who might have an intel HD2000 in their laptop. And if we're going to play the "democratising" card, with GPU mining it's a lottery of where you happen to live - electricity prices vary wildly around the globe. ASICs help to take that out of the equation, so if anything they're more "democratic"!

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As I discussed in another comment, we could get rid of GPUs too, but first you have to find a suitable algorithm that works well on CPUs but not GPUs or any conceivable ASIC. That may or may not exist.

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yes, ASICs have finally brought the altcoin game within reach of the world's poor.

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As much as $2000 GPU mining boxes have? To go with their 50c+/kwh electricity prices? Yes, yes they have.

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> Ships via DHL International Express ($49.50)

Uh, no thanks. And there's no cheaper option.

Is it possible to get early access to the ebook?

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