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09:31:26petertodd:gmawell: I suspect that's a general class of problems, all boiling down to the fact that EE's think in terms of "average behavior" and probabilities; a general counter measure might be to use cryptographic cipher-like tools to randomize actual behavior in a way (hopefully) unpredictable to the attacker
09:32:20petertodd:gmaxwell: "scramble" is the term I'm looking for
09:35:12gmaxwell:yea, not just unpredictable to an attacker but to make certian pathological cases unlikely. E.g. self synchronizing line encodings that lose sync if they send too many zeros in a row.
09:35:56gmaxwell:xor with a self synchronizing stream cipher and now a really common and obvious bitpattern (all zeros) becomes just another one in a zillion never going to see it random sequences.
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13:49:18gmaxwell:There is a 'cloud mining' operation advertising on the forum with "No heat and radiation".
13:50:37Luke-Jr:gmaxwell: wow, nice reply on the PoW post
13:58:16gmaxwell:I kinda hit him with a bus there, which I was trying to avoid... Unfortunately there is no nice thing I can point people at "read this background and you'll be less likely to make posts where I have 6 point bulleted arguments about all the ways your proposal can't work as is". I don't want to be discouraging... but I thought being more complete would be more educational.
14:00:19sipa:* sipa slaps gmaxwell a bit around with a large bus
14:00:47jgarzik:here's a fun design:
14:02:06jgarzik:merged mining without the coinbase action. Run a side chain by putting block headers in OP_RETURN transaction. Rest of chain is OOB. Consensus rule: only one block header per bitcoin block is valid, the one with the highest fees.
14:02:35jgarzik:miners have an incentive to self-mine such transactions.
14:02:55sipa:why would you have a consensus rule to limit to one side-chain?
14:03:28gmaxwell:well you'd do one block per sidechain per bitcoin block, I think. No?
14:03:28jgarzik:I wouldn't. I was unclear. only one block header per side chain per bitcoin block must be valid.
14:04:32gmaxwell:Indeed, that sounds fun. Though probably unfortunately prone to thundering hurds.. though I suppose thats part of the fun.
14:05:13jgarzik:thundering herds would quickly burn through miner fees, unless they are themselves a miner.
14:05:29jgarzik:(unless there is another thundering herd to which is being referred)
14:06:36jgarzik:very miner-centric
14:06:54gmaxwell:Thats all I mean, that you might get a bunch of people throwing away fees to try to get a block unsuccessfully. But yes, you probably wouldn't bother unless you were a miner.
14:07:27gmaxwell:If all sidechain blocks were required to make it into the bitcoin chain, however, you couldn't have a sidechain with an interblock gap lower than bitcoin's— which is something that a more loosely coupled design can do fine.
14:08:43jgarzik:agreed. that can be part of the design.. in the BitPay offices, we discussed a chain design with multiple levels of difficulty. lower levels of difficulty between MMORPG clients with sub-second blocks, and higher levels of difficulty for gaming servers that lock in the game timeline every 10 minutes or so.
14:09:08jgarzik:you could apply the same model. transactions in the bitcoin chain are the "higher level difficulty" blocks in that example.
14:09:34jgarzik:higher levels of difficulty can rewrite the chain over lower levels of difficulty, if they choose.
14:10:00jgarzik:(enables gaming to an extent... always trade-offs)
14:10:05jgarzik:no pun intended
14:10:55jgarzik:Anyway, it would be fun to do a merge-mined namecoin side chain in this design, maybe. That works just fine with 10 minute blocks IMO, so no need for complications.
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