Interesting concept. A year or two ago I was pretty interested in the various dark/mesh-net projects that kept popping up, but there were a few problems. Namely the fact that they were somewhat difficult to set up, and the fact that they were somewhat like TOR in the sense that accessing the "regular" internet required someone to tunnel traffic through.
Packaging this up into an app pretty much solves any difficulty of setup, making it accessible nearly to anyone.
I have no idea about how secure/sound current implementations are, but this looks like a cool first step.
Combined with something like TOR to bridge local communities, it certainly has the potential to become a truly useful technology.
This and similar ideas are often passed around. There are a few cryptocurrencies which try to implement something like this (finding series of primes, for example).
There are a few problems with actually implementing your suggestions. You call hashing "pointless", but it is anything but that. Hashing, specifically SHA256 in bitcoin's case, has a well understood and possibly proven (?) level of difficulty. There is no known way to gain an advantage, other than simply throwing more computational power at the problem. Thus, because the problem being solved is arbitrary, random, and difficult, it takes a huge amount of computational power to make an invalid transaction.
Not only do you have to find initial "acceptable" hashes for your faked block, you have to create hashes of all the following blocks up until the present time, and push this version of the blockchain as legitimate until a majority of the network adopts it as the correct branch. The absolutely ridiculous computational power required to do this is what keeps transactions of cryptocurrencies safe. You don't just have to fake one hash, you have to find and fake an entire chain of them!
Many scientific problems don't have the same kind of guarantees about difficulty. And even if they are really, really hard, what happens when you find the answer? You'd essentially have to hard-fork all the clients. SHA256 and other hash functions used have a search space that is astronomically high, and is guaranteed never to be "completed".
Hashing is a way to make transactions safe, permanent, and unmodifiable because of the cryptographic properties which come with the field. There's very little chance of someone stumbling upon sequential solutions, and essentially impossible for someone to "derail" the blockchain due to those properties. The value that hashing provides are those guarantees.
This is why I'm just throwing the idea out there (though, as you say, it's probably not even a very original one). It would take some thought to figure out a way to make it work as well as the current hashing system. Perhaps "pointless" was a careless choice of words, but the incentive is to put all those cycles to a use that had more value for society, apart from the value of creating bitcoin itself. I forget the exact order of magnitude, but iirc it's something like tens of millions of dollars of electricity being used by miners each year, for no other purpose than to verify the blockchain. It'd be convenient if we could still have cryptocurrency, but all the computing power was going into something like BOINC instead. Hashing is used for good reasons, as you point out, but it's a wasteful use of resources, in my opinion. Even if it wasn't the best cryptocurrency, something that would crash and die with new scientific/mathematical advances, I'd still consider it successful if it got all those resources working on more valuable problems for a while.
It's definitely a half-baked idea. I'd like to take a shot at seeing if I could work out those details, but it's not the top priority on my list of projects. Maybe in a few years, if it is possible and no one else has managed it yet.
He already had an official apology from the prime minister in 2009. Many people want the conviction off the record, and it had to be done through a pardon because he cannot appeal or be tried again, and the law in effect at the time was not violated.
You are very right. A lot of consumer products in general are developed by the manufacturers and they find brands that want to use them for 'OEM'. It is sad that they don't get the brand recognition or margins..
Botnets dont really infect their victims. A botnet is just a network of compromised computers (Bots).
The malware that forces your computer to participate in the botnet can be delivered by any avenue imaginable. Drive-By Downloads, crapware, embedded into pirated software, etc. Not sure how chameleon specifically did it.
Absolutely ridiculous. From what I've read about "weev", he wasn't really the nicest guy on the 'net. I don't know specifics, but really, I don't think they matter.
Here we have a person accessing publicly available data on a public server. Its analogous to ATT posting customer information in a public alleyway (maybe not intended for public viewing, but within the legal possibility of the public to view), and having someone take a picture of the information.
No violence, no trespassing. Disseminating information left sitting around == Jail. This kind of crap needs to stop.
This is an irrelevant statement because taking photos of someone through their window is not a crime, the act of trespassing on their property to do so is.
So really the proper analogy is that if you've got your windows wide open and are dancing in front of them naked when some perv takes a photo from the road there's really not any legal recourse for you.
If those documents you take a photo of are "an email address" and posting it online is "giving it to a journalist who redacts information before taking a screenshot and doesn't release a dump of the data" then I would suggest that, while I wouldn't be too happy with you taking photos through my window, I wouldn't expect you to go to jail for it.
I'm pretty indifferent towards him, he does seem like a moron and an asshole, but this is pretty much the first time I'm hearing anything about him (before I recall hearing "weev" and a few details about the AT&T stuff, nothing about who he is).
Him being an asshole doesn't mean he deserves jail time for what he did.
How about rather than deciding he deserves punishment because you don't like him, and then getting upset when anyone disagrees with you, judge his "crime" and decide whether it deserves jailtime. After that, feel free to separately to judge him as a person and decide you won't lose any sleep over his punishment.