Here’s what just happened with the BAT sale

So Brave, the privacy-focused browser headed by Branden Eich, just launched its own cryptocurrency: the basic attention token (BAT) via an ICO on the Ethereum network. They used a smart contract to crowdfund around 156,000 Ether (roughly $35m), sent to an contract address released shortly before the sale.

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Get Zcash the easy way

Zcash is a really exciting cryptocurrency, offering genuinely private transactions (as opposed to Bitcoin transactions which are all publicly visible). If you visit the “Getting started” section of their site, they have some great instructions for setting up a node and creating addresses and transactions etc. But what if you just want to buy some without the heavy setup?

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Get started with the Bitcoin Testnet

I recently incorporated logging data to the Bitcoin blockchain into my blockchain-logger project, using the Testnet to try things out without risking real Bitcoin. This is a tutorial-style distillation of what I did, covering:

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The real reason artificial general intelligence is scary

A lot of articles are coming out at the moment about the possibility of artificial general intelligence (AGI) and how a lot of very smart people (and others) are scared about such a possibility. OpenAI—founded by Elon Musk and Sam Altman among others—is dedicated to “discovering and enacting the path to safe artificial general intelligence”, while the Machine Intelligence Research Institute wants “to ensure smarter-than-human artificial intelligence has a positive impact”.

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Multiple argument shortcut in bash

Until recently I was using brace expansions in bash assuming that they were some semi-intelligent way of specifying multiple files and directories. For example:

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Curry your functions

Currying is the process of taking a function which takes multiple arguments all at once, and spitting out a higher-order function which allows you to apply each argument one at a time, because it only takes one argument and returns a (possibly higher-order function) which also only takes one argument etc.

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The teleological interview

I suspect that a large class of hiring interviews could be improved by placing more emphasis on people’s purposes. Here is a set of proposed questions for an interview of that kind:

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Configuring iTerm2

If you’re going to use the command line you need a command line interface. Mac OSX comes with the Terminal application, and for most purposes this is perfectly sufficient. There’s even a fair amount of customisation (colors etc) you can perform to make it suit you better than the default configuration.

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Download a folder from a GitHub repo

Ever wanted to download part of a repo from GitHub without cloning the whole thing? You can do it with subversion:

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