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BREAKING: Raytheon Accepting Bitcoin

As Raytheon transitions from one CEO to another, more news has emerged about the direction former vice president Thomas A. Kennedy will take the company. With CEO William H. Swanson stepping down, Kennedy has some fresh ideas that he hopes will allow Raytheon to keep a competitive edge.

Raytheon CEO Thomas A. Kennedy
Raytheon CEO Thomas A. Kennedy

Dr. Kennedy served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for Raytheon since April 2013, and during this time has increased efficiency by downsizing Raytheon businesses from six to four. He has been described by Lead Director Admiral Vern Clark as, “a proven leader with a broad understanding of key technologies, keen customer focus, and a deep understanding of Raytheon’s business.” Along with his plans to boost productivity, he is optimistic about accepting the fledgling cryptocurrency Bitcoin for their services.

Kennedy spoke at the Massachusetts headquarters about this development. “Raytheon has been proudly protecting this nation for over 91 years,” he said, “and I see no reason why broadening our scope of funding would be a bad idea. As technology improves and offers innovation in defense capabilities, it makes sense that our money should follow the same path. Raytheon has a reputation for efficiency and forward thinking and would be remiss to ignore the potential benefits of taking the Bitcoin to fund the creation of more effective defense weaponry.”

Raytheon has come under fire from activist groups for their role in supplying weapons in the ongoing War on Terror, but the fire has dwindled in recent years since the election of Nobel Peace Prize recipient Barack Obama who ran on a platform committed to bringing peace to the Middle East.

While there may be debate over the nature of Raytheon’s work, Kennedy views this as a rebranding opportunity. With names like Lockheed Martin’s Hellfire or Raytheon’s Tomahawk missile, Kennedy believes the defense industry has gotten a bad rap as war profiteers.

The Tomahawk cruise missile will be renamed The Peacekeeper
The Tomahawk cruise missile will be renamed The Peacekeeper

Tomahawk is such an aggressive sounding name. We plan to rebrand the Tomahawk as the Peacekeeper. Protecting the homeland from combatants near and far is one of our dearest promises to the American people, and it must be shown that it truly is companies like Raytheon who spread and maintain peace in these war torn countries. Imagine Peacekeeper missiles—the best missile technology–targeting enemy combatants in Pakistan that were paid for by Bitcoin—one of the best payment systems. Simply beautiful.”

The international aspects of Bitcoin is also appealing to Raytheon’s new leadership. According to their site, Raytheon boasts offices in 19 countries, something Kennedy takes pride in.

“Fostering relationships with customer bases globally is something we have been concentrating on in the last few years.” Kennedy added, “Bitcoin allows us to reach them where they are and instantly. We like to say we’re a progressive thinking company, and see Bitcoin as a tool to stay up to date with international customers.”

Former CEO William Swanson was unavailable for comment at the time of this release but was quoted earlier as looking forward to a “competent continuance in Raytheon’s adept leadership.”

Original content by Meghan, copyleft, tips welcome

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Most Recent Inspection Proves Sean’s Outpost NOT In Violation of Codes

This week has been an interesting one for Sean’s Outpost. We celebrated our one year anniversary while at the same time learning that the Escambia Board of County Commissioners voted to petition for an injunction against Satoshi Forest that would force us to remove tents and other structures. The injunction was approved, but they will wait until the meeting with the magistrate on Tuesday before they issue it. Basically, the county wants to force homeless people off of privately owned property and back out on the streets where they can be arrested for not having a home as the camping ordinance is still in place.

They are claiming that Satoshi Forest is in violation of codes despite the fact that a health inspector and county code enforcement agent are paid every week to inspect the property. My friend and local political activist Jeremy Bosso covered the magistrate’s rulings in great detail and you can view his article here.

This is the same magistrate that county commissioners Gene Valentino, Wilson Robertson, and Grover Robinson threatened to fire and replace in this video.

We have repeatedly claimed that Satoshi Forest is abiding by all laws and Mike Kimberl shared the copy of the documents with me in our most recent interview. In their most recent inspection two days ago, it was determined by The State of Florida Department of Health County Health Department that the conditions at Satoshi Forest are satisfactory. I have been authorized by the attorney representing Sean’s Outpost to share this document as proof. Click on the link below and it leads to a clearly readable pdf that shows the county is fabricating claims of code violations against the property and Sean’s Outpost.

Satoshi Forest Inspection

Sean’s Outpost will be appearing before magistrate Janet Lander on Tuesday, March 25th at 1:30pm as she reviews the progress being made on the permitting process. If you are in Pensacola, please come out and show your support. As the county cracks down on us, the public has been vocally opposing their efforts on social media sites and local publications. They realize that this is not only a violation of private property rights but also extremely unethical.

Original content by Meghan, copyleft, tips welcome

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Chris Ellis of Feathercoin and Meghan Lords Discuss Peace and Bitcoin

We hear a lot about the technical side of Bitcoin, and while that is always fascinating, there are philosophical aspects to it that are intriguing. Chris Ellis of Feathercoin asked me to join him in a discussion about peace, philosophy, and how Bitcoin relates to these topics. We covered a lot of ground in this talk with everything from peace to police brutality and even some panarchism thrown in there. Due to the controls on Hangouts on Air, only my screen was selected for viewing, so Tom of Mad Bitcoins! and The Bitcoin Group generously made an audio version so you don’t have to watch me taking water breaks as Chris talks.

You can listen to the whole talk here: https://soundcloud.com/madbitcoins1/wcn-024-peace-and-bitcoin-with

***Update: Chris added some annotations and re-did the video. Check it out:

 

Here’s the Norman Rockwell painting we discussed:

Norman Rockwell's Freedom from Fear
Norman Rockwell’s Freedom from Fear

Here are more links relevant to our conversation that Chris sent me:

Heidegger on being and time.

The book Chris quotes from is Temporal Idealism by Bill Blattner.

The Bhagavad Gita was also mentioned.

Metaphysics of Peace:
http://www.som.org/NewPages/Newsite07/SOMNavigation/UPeaceCovenant.html

Essays on finding Inner Peace:
http://www.plw.org/Metaphysical_Essays/Inner_Peace/inner_peace.html

Difficult Conversations:
http://www.amazon.com/Difficult-Conversations-Discuss-What-Matters/dp/0143118447

The Harvard Negotiation Project.

Original content by Meghan, copyleft, tips welcome

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FreeSpeechMe Makes Namecoin a Game Changer

FreeSpeechMeWhile regulators scramble to deal with bitcoin as a currency, the altcoins march on. They don’t realize that the advent of bitcoin was not the launch of one digital currency, or even ten. It was the launch of a completely new technology. The blockchain was born, which is far more revolutionary than bitcoin itself. When regulators finally comprehend that the cat is out of the bag, they will quickly discover there is a whole litter of kittens to herd. One of those kittens is namecoin.

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Bitcoin Not Bombs 2013 year in review podcast

Recently the BNB team got together to produce a Podcast for the LetsTalkBitcoin.com open call. It’s likely we wont make the top 4 out of the incredible talented folks who also sent in a pilot shows so I thought I would post the audio here. The concept behind our production was a year in review/holiday special. Enjoy and have a happy new year!

Update: January 2nd, Our Podcast was added to the Lets Talk Bitcoin contest page and you can now vote for our show or any of the 16 other great podcast. See below for instructions. Note: The audio below is the original file intended for the contest but was altered for SoundCould.com to skirt the intellectual property rights of Weird Al Yankovic.

BitcoinNotBombs 2013 Year in Revie

We need your support to win! The winner will be determined by how many 0.0001 BTC donations are receive to the following address. In an update in the comments section of the LTB contest page a 0.001 BTC tip would count as 10 votes, so giving more can help us win, but I don’t mind doing this the hard way, we have a lot of supporters 😉

To help us out, do one or all of the following:

1. Listen to the podcast above.
2. Donate 0.0001 bitcoin to the following address: 13jFhJqxuBudvuChfyiqTM7FrQEzAuaNzs (click for QR code)
3. Share this blog post with your friends!

Thanks!

For a more complete year in review, check out this website some guy named Satoshi Nakamoto sent me today.

Hello,

My name is Satoshi Nakamoto and I am the webmaster at HistoryofBitcoin.org.

I created HistoryofBitcoin.org to track the evolution of Bitcoin and to provide an illustrated overview of everything that has happened in the world of Bitcoin since I put that shit on the map.

I think your readers would absolutely love this and I know it would absolutely bring in traffic. Take a look and judge for yourself. It’s material for a great “end of the year” post.= )

Please let me know if you would be interested in featuring the site in a story or even giving it a passing mention.

Sincerely,

Mr. Nakamoto

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Folding, Sorting, Stuffing, and Packing Hoodies for the Homeless

Overwhelmed

The Bitcoin Bomber made a drop on my place last week and I was overwhelmed. It took all weekend, but now all the pre-orders are packaged and shipped, and all the hoodies to be distributed are pre-loaded with a pair of warm socks and our Bitcoin Quick Start Guide in the pouch. Special thanks to Ben Bartholomew and Bartholomew family who placed the largest order. Visit Good Men Do Something to check out their work.

Continue reading Folding, Sorting, Stuffing, and Packing Hoodies for the Homeless

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Going to bat for Peter Schiff

I’ve been kindly invited by Drew to guest write here, as an ambassador for Bitcoin haters everywhere. I thought it was good timing, as Peter Schiff’s video critiquing Bitcoin in terms of gold has made the rounds. I think Peter gets the point, but doesn’t anticipate all of the counter-arguments that the Bitcoin proponents have prepared. Here I will try to fill in the gaps a little for him.

I think it’s a bad sign for Bitcoin that proponents are so confident that it will survive, and yet can’t agree on what is keeping the price afloat. “You can make enormous trades around the world almost for free, that’s real value.” “Oh yeah? Well gold doesn’t have any ‘real value’ either. People just own gold to pass it on to someone else.” “You see, there’s value in the system.”

Of course it’s generally good not to be in lock-step with any group, but if Bitcoin is so important that it will save society from government, and you’ve got half your life savings in it, you’d better think carefully about what you think will continue to make it work.

“All value is subjective anyway”

I’ve learned not to use the term “intrinsic value” because the proponents correctly point out that there is no such thing; all value is subjective. However, people act because of a specific motivation, with a specific predicted outcome based on a logical premise. The nature of these logical premises matter.

Consumers and Traders

The nature of being a Consumer is that a person subjectively valuates a given good by speculating that it will make them happy. That’s it. In general, the opinions of other people do not matter. The nature of being an intermediary Trader of goods, however, is very different. The subjective valuation there is based on speculation on the actions of everybody else in the market, including other Traders, who in turn speculate on their actions.

So what about trading in gold? Well, you’re speculating on existence of two things: Consumers who still like the luxury good, and Traders who still believe in the existence of Consumers and other Traders. For Consumers to cease to exist, gold would have to independently fall out of favor for every individual actor. For Traders to cease to exist, they would have to lose faith in the existence of Consumers and other Traders, which can start to happen because Traders are interested in each other’s opinions. However, even if there was a panic, where every Trader momentarily scared each other out of the market, Consumers would still be around, which would eventually bring Traders back. In other words, in addition to the positive feedback loop of Traders anticipating Traders, there’s also a negative feedback loop of Consumers chasing a low price, regardless of who may buy later.

So what about bitcoin? There are no Consumers, only Traders speculating on the existence of other Traders. Right now, there are plenty of Traders entering the market, so it looks promising. This allows the positive feedback loop to continue in an upward direction. However, as Peter says, once the buyers stop coming in, people will want to spend, and then the fun starts.

“Gold is also inflated way above its ‘real price'”

Yes, gold is selling for quite a lot right now, and it’s probably not because people spontaneously developed a taste for jewelry. But that doesn’t mean it’s “overvalued.”

Having established the contribution to gold’s price due to valuation from Consumers, gold is a convenient way to store and transfer buying power. As such, Traders snatch it up, availability goes down, exchange rates go up. Then, especially in this economic climate, there is another source of valuation, which is speculation that in the future, prices will go up. Based on this phenomenon, the price of gold may be significantly higher than what it would be in a pure consumer market. But this is only because speculators believe that in the foreseeable future, Federal Reserve Notes will be devalued so much that someone will be willing to buy for jewelry at that higher rate (though I would note that gold-tipped headphone cords are still on the market).

Finally, there is another form of speculation, “Greater Fool” speculation. This is where Traders only anticipate other Traders. It adds a lot of volatility to the market. Greater Fool speculation does surely exist in the gold market, just as it does in any market. But again, the phenomena of Consumers, Traders following Consumers, and (mature) speculation, serve as a negative feedback loop keeping the price of gold above a certain point. For Bitcoin, Greater Fool speculation is all that exists.

Some believe that, given a big enough market, Greater Fool speculation is sufficient to keep Bitcoin alive indefinitely. It’s a hard one to argue definitively either way, but I’m still holding out in camp “no.”

“You can send large sums of money across the world almost for free, that’s real value”

Don’t fool yourself. If you find Bitcoin useful because it allows you to make cheap long distance payments, or conduct business anonymously (given the extra precautions), you are not being a Consumer of bitcoin, but a Trader, if in a roundabout way. You will not be trading with any Consumers, but other Greater Fool Traders. Bitcoin being easily transferable has the same economic behavior as gold being durable. It’s an added benefit assuming there are next buyers. If you argue that the next buyers of bitcoin are already established, this “usefulness” is superfluous, Greater Fool Speculation should be enough.

Erik Voorhees recently covered this point in an open letter to Peter Schiff as a followup to his appearance on the The Peter Schiff Show. He attempted to add some sophistication to the matter by making a distinction between bitcoins as currency and Bitcoin the system. Don’t let this line of thinking fool you. The payment system, for all its benefits, can afford you one thing, transferring of bitcoin. As Erik concedes, bitcoin in a vacuum are useless. But, bitcoin are useful because they’re your only ticket to this great system that allows a transfer of value without significant transaction fees or government interference. Isn’t that valuable? Well, what form does this value you are transferring take? It takes the form of bitcoin, and for that matter the very bitcoin that you paid into it. So ultimately, bitcoin is useful because you can give them to people. Think carefully, and you’ll find that this is all that this argument can say for bitcoin.

I recently wrote about this topic in some painful detail if you want to read more.

The technology

Old Man Peter Schiff, with his quaint, old fashioned attachment to “economics.” He simply doesn’t understand that this technology defies the laws of economics.

I will acknowledge that technology can create a unique economic environment, and Bitcoin does pull this off in some areas. Particularly important is the ability to enforce certain contracts algorithmically, removing some game theoretical problems. But they do not enforce an exchange rate with external commodities.

I will not say that it is impossible to technologically create some sort of value for Consumers. Other than a blow to my pride for being proven wrong on Bitcoin’s impending collapse, I would be glad to see it happen. As Peter Schiff said, Bitcoin is incredible cool, in every way, except the important one. If we can fix that, we’re golden (no pun intended. No, really).

It has to be something that leverages the system with an external benefit; i.e., not just facilitating transactions. Another requirement is that a certain balance of bitcoin be required to facilitate a certain amount of this benefit; it can’t depend purely on the exchange rate. As a partial concession, I will cite what I think are some cases that at least come close.

Software registration, or other signaling: One satoshi is arguably valuable because it can be used to send a verified signal. The problem with this is that it requires only one satoshi, which is not awfully scarce. If by chance this scheme did make satoshis very valuable, the developers of Bitcoin may still decide to increase the granularity of the currency, making a new lowest denomination which will be much less scarce.

Proof of work: On first glance I dismissed this as the Cost Theory of Value. However, proving that you did useless work could conceivably be useful as credentials to a spam filter. On the surface this meets the requirements. You can perform the work yourself. Or, you can buy it from others. It looks a lot like jewelry saving gold from collapse. One problem with this, though, is that a certain amount of bitcoin doesn’t represent a certain amount of work, but rather a rough percentage of all work recently done. If bitcoin’s price falls, miners will leave the market, creating a new equilibrium. There’s not a clear negative feedback loop. However, this is a complicated interplay, and it’s ultimately unclear to me how this plays out. I may give it some thought for a future post.

So to part on a positive note, if we can get on the same page, dispensing with the fallacious arguments for predicting Bitcoin’s long term success, and recognize the precarious position it is actually in, we have a chance to come up with something to save it. We can focus our attention in the right direction, accounting for the right pitfalls.

Original content by Dan, CC0 (attribution appreciated), tips welcome

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Thoughts on Altcoins

I want to start this by saying I am not a cryptocurrency genius and neither have ties to any altcoin group who would pay me to write this opinion. I am also open to changing my mind as more evidence comes out, and have a lot of respect for more knowledgeable people like Erik Voorhees who have written on the subject. That being said, I am a huge fan of the idea of altcoins. While I don’t have a specific preference and the subtle differences between them are a bit above my technical understanding at this moment, I think altcoins could provide valuable competition and encourage innovation in the market of cryptocurrencies.

My biggest concern is that a weakness could be exposed in bitcoin as technology improves, and also I have concerns about the security in regards to people being able to protect their wallets. The fact that taking the correct privacy precautions (cold storage for example) are intimidating to your average person is a valid concern. Don’t get me wrong—I love bitcoin and it has changed my life and will change the world—but with the trajectory cryptocurrency in general is on I have to expect that something better will come along that can solve some of the security issues around bitcoin. It is the nature of technology to continue to move forward in large leaps, and while we have an excellent model for a cryptocurrency in bitcoin, like all technology it has the potential to become obsolete when something better comes along. This improvement is great news for inventors and cryptocurrency enthusiasts, especially if you believe that a freed market can rise to the demand of its participants. We are seeing a massive experiment taking place with free markets and cryptocurrencies and if we are correct that free markets can efficiently provide for the needs of the people then we should be welcoming of new cryptocurrencies that offer solutions to the problems of bitcoin.

Diversification is also a necessary feature that altcoins offer. Just like with any investment, you don’t want all your eggs in one basket. Since we are still in an experimental stage with cryptocurrencies, there is always the risk of being ripped off, and as Voorhees astutely noted some current altcoins could be the penny stocks of cryptocurrency. Some have appeared to be pump and dump schemes, and I also agree that we should be skeptical about any new idea or coin that comes up until it can be proven that they offer noticeable advantages to others. But for people who think it’s too late to get into bitcoin because they fear they might lose money (despite its fractional capabilities), altcoins provide an alternative. The success one could have increases if you study them and can identify flaws or features. If we believe that cryptocurrencies are the future, there will be multiple ones just like there are multiple currencies today. I hope bitcoin isn’t the end all be all of cryptocurrencies, plus I’d hate to see it become a monopoly in the cryptocurrency world. The monopolic nature of the blood dollar is one of the many reasons I don’t like it, so I’d like to see many options at work. Of course, it is the most widely accepted coin and is a trailblazer in the industry, but its status as a trailblazer means improved altcoins can come it its wake and offer more diversification.

I’m not a purist when it comes to any currency and while I will support bitcoin in its current rightful place at the top, I can’t wait to see how altcoins can improve the nature of private transactions and even aid in charity efforts. I have yet to see any good arguments against competition and acceptance of multiple cryptocurrencies, and while many make the valid claim that bitcoin is the de facto cryptocurrency for businesses and nonprofits, we are seeing some altcoins being accepted at charities like Sean’s Outpost. I believe this number will grow, and the diversification aspect of being invested in multiple cryptocurrencies means people will have more options for which coins they use to support their favorite charity or business. Maybe you want to hold on to bitcoin or use it for certain transactions, and maybe you don’t feel as attached to say litecoin or feathercoin so you want to use those more frequently. The future is filled with endless possibilities when it comes to cryptocurrencies, so I won’t rule out altcoins as inventions that can have a major impact on how we transact.

Original content by Meghan, copyleft, tips welcome

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Bitcoin Black Friday a huge success for Bitcoin Not Bomb$

The biggest shopping day of the year was a huge victory for bitcoiners and is proving that this new currency is approaching mass adoption. The website BitcoinBlackFriday.com reported over 500 websites that offered one day deals in bitcoin and from the looks of it people responded with purchases of all kinds of cool things for bitcoin. We got in on the action and was listed with other great charities such as AntiWar.com, Fr33Aid, the BitGive Foundation along with several other organizations collecting donations or offering a part of sales to aid in relief efforts in the Philippines.

Bitcoin not Bombs is wrapping up our #HoodieTheHomeless campaign and is offering free international shipping along with some other fun items in our shop. We are still accepting orders for our Bitcoin Not Bomb t-shirts and hoodies and have extended our Black Friday deal until the end of Cyber Monday (Now called #CryptoMonday). You can still order a shirt or hoodie for your self and help someone in need this winter. Read more about our Hoodie the Homeless project here or check out this fun video produced by our friend Tom of The Bitcoin Group.


We are continuing to raise funds to buy the reaming discontinued hoodies offered to us at a discount by Mass Appeal. Prices below are set to cover the cost one for one. The hoodies that are being offered to you the public are not from the same discontinued batch and is right from the supplier. Plus size hoodies are marked higher. We are offering free international shipping in celebration of Bitcoin Black Friday and have extended that offer through Crypto Monday. The ordering process is not 100% automated and we will be contacting you and asking for your size preference.

CoinBaseButtons_TH

Order a S, M, L or XL Shirt $33buy_now_large_coinbase Order a 2XL, 3XL, 4XL, 5XL Shirt $38buy_now_large_coinbase

CoinBaseButtons_HH

Order a S, M, L or XL, Hoodie $50buy_now_large_coinbase Order a 2XL, 3XL, 4XL or 5XL Hoodie $55buy_now_large_coinbase

You can donate directly to this project with the bitcoin address below.

BNB Donation

1NXEaoGuw2iar9oxKadsq2vCcGRXbzF1a5

From the end of our Bitcoin Starter campaign (10/10) until now we have received 0.717 BTC and will apply that to ordering more hoodies for people in need. We have full accounting of donations made to this address and thank you in advance for your anonymous support!