Moving Non-Palaeontological Content To www.bokconsulting.com.au

I’m in the process of moving all non-palaeontological content from this blog to www.bokconsulting.com.au.

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Palaeontology @ SHPS

Just some pictures for my palaeontology talk at the school for science week.

Mary Anning

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Riversleigh Field Trip 2016 – The 40th Anniversary

The first ever Riversleigh field trip started in 1976. This year’s 40th anniversary Riversleigh field trip was held between Thu 30th June and Sat 9th July.

Bogans in the south. Image borrowed from Tharunka @ UNSWAs usual, the teams from the University of New South Wales and University of Melbourne plus the many volunteers from Sydney, Canberra, Queensland, Tasmania and New Zealand converged at Adels Grove to unearth prehistoric life in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area. We even had a Bogan volunteer from the (Sutherland) Shire – see map on the right.

Participants this year were:

  • UNSW – Camilo Lopez Aguirre, Michael Archer, Corey Bennetts, Joshua Bergmark (with Shahaf and Max), Karen Black, Andrea Cormack, Anna Gillespie, Sue Hand, Emily Hull, Bok Khoo, Shaun Laffan (with Pip, Maya and Frances), Jonathan Liu, Naomi Machin, Troy Myers (Mummy and Daddy visited), Michael Stein, James Strong and Laura Wilson
  • University of Melbourne – John Hellstrom, Kale Sniderman and Jon Woodhead
  • Sydney – Kirsten Crosby (with Edward “Toy” Thorp, Bridie & Miles), Robert Lohr, Arthur White and Karen White
  • The Shire – Bogan Andrew Guess
  • Canberra – Phil Creaser and Geoff Burchfield
  • Queensland – Chris Larkin, Alan Rackham, Kerry Rackham, Dale Rackham, Kerry’s Aunt Wilmar, John Prince and Davin the helicopter pilot
  • Tasmania – Lizard (Chris) Cannell
  • NZ – Uncle Rick Arena
  • US – Kerry Archer, Maureen and Judy, with Ingrid from Western Australia.

Briefing At Adels Grove

The next six photos are from the first day briefing at Adels Grove.

L to R: Shaun, John H, Geoff, James, Sue, Judy, Kerry’s friend, Joshua, Shahaf and Max, Michael A, Phil and Robert.

P1010587_GroupPhoto1

L to R: Emily, Naomi, Andrea, Camilo, Jonathan, Michael S, Karen W, Kerry R, Arthur, Aunt Wilmar, Dale, Kale, Jon, Pip, Shaun, Joshua, Shahaf and Max.

P1010588_GroupPhoto2

L to R: Michael A, Robert, Troy’s Dad and Mum, Kerry A, Bogan Andrew, Emily, Naomi, Andrea, Camilo, Jonathan, Michael S, Karen W, Kerry R, Arthur, Aunt Wilmar, Dale, Pip, Sue, Judy, Kerry A’s friend, Joshua, Shahaf and Max.

P1010589_GroupPhoto3

L to R: Maya, Aunt Wilmar, Arthur, Kale, Jon and John P.

P1010590_GroupPhoto4

L to R: James, Sue, Judy, Ingrid, Joshua, Shahaf and Max, Michael A, Phil and Robert.

P1010591_GroupPhoto5

Me.

P1010583_Selfie

Not present in the photos above: Karen B, Uncle Rick, Laura, Lizard and Chris but they are in the photos below. Not present in any photos: Kirsten Crosby and family.

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Helicopter Lifting Photos For Mike

Here are some photos for Mike from the Riversleigh 2016 trip.

These photos have been extracted from two videos of the helicopter lifting rocks from LD94 for transportation to the vehicles. These were taken by Naomi (thanks).

Please excuse my red underpants – reasons: 1) I lost some weight; 2) the downdraught were strong; and/or 3) it’s the fashion.

To download the image, right mouse click over the image and save image as … .

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April 2016

 

Wed 27/04/2016

Bitcoin

Other


Tue 26/04/2016

Ethereum

Blockchain & FinTech

Bitcoin

Other


Mon 25/04/2016

Ethereum

Blockchain & FinTech

Bitcoin

Other


Sun 24/04/2016

Ethereum

Blockchain & FinTech

Bitcoin

Other


Sat 23/04/2016

Ethereum

Blockchain & FinTech

Bitcoin

Crypto & Exchange


Fri 22/04/2016

Ethereum

Blockchain & FinTech

Bitcoin

OpenBazaar

Crypto


Thu 21/04/2016

Ethereum

Crypto, Regulation & Government

Blockchain

Decentralisation

Bitcoin

Crypto

Crypto Exchange


Wed 20/04/2016

Blockchain

Bitcoin

Crypto

Crypto Exchange Hacked


Tue 19/04/2016

Ethereum

Crypto, Regulation & Government

Blockchain, FinTech & Crypto

Bitcoin


Mon 18/04/2016

Ethereum

Blockchain

Crypto

Crypto Exchange

Ransomware


Sun 17/04/2016

Ethereum

Crypt, Regulation & Government

Blockchain

Decentralisation

Bitcoin


Sat 16/04/2016

Ethereum

Crypto, Regulation & Government

Blockchain & FinTech

Bitcoin

OpenBazaar

Other


Fri 15/04/2016

Ethereum

Crypto, Regulation & Government

 Blockchain & FinTech

Bitcoin

AltCoins

Crypto

Crypto Exchange


Thu 14/04/2016

Crypto, Regulation & Government

Blockchain

Bitcoin

Crypto

Crypto Exchange


Wed 13/04/2016

Ethereum

Crypto, Regulation & Government

Blockchain & Smart Contracts

Bitcoin

AltCoins


Tue 12/04/2016

Crypto, Regulation & Government

Blockchain

Bitcoin

Crypto Exchange


Mon 11/04/2016

Ethereum

Crypto, Regulation & Government

Blockchain, IoT

Bitcoin

Crypto / Digital Currency

Crypto Exchange

OpenBazaar

Banking

Secret Dealings

Security


Sun 10/04/2016

Ethereum

Crypto, Regulation & Government

Blockchain, IoT

Bitcoin

Crypto / Digital Currency

Crypto Exchange

OpenBazaar

Banking

Secret Dealings

Security


Sat 09/04/2016

Ethereum

Blockchain

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Bitcoin Blocksize Tweetle Beetle Bottle Puddle Paddle Battle Muddle

Borrowed from http://www.cis.gvsu.edu/~mcguire/teaching/261/2012_4fall/lectures/18/presentation.html

Borrowed from http://www.cis.gvsu.edu/~mcguire/teaching/261/2012_4fall/lectures/18/presentation.html. Originally from the fine Fox in Socks by Dr Seuss.

The battle over the Bitcoin blockchain. Blockstream (developers in control of Bitcoin Core) wants the current 1 Mb block size to remain the same to increase transaction fees – as the block size does not fit all unconfirmed transactions, only the higher fee transactions are included in the mined block. Users want the block size to be increased to 2 MB (Bitcoin Classic).

%Nodes (data from nodecounter.com)
%Classic Blocks In
Last 1,000 Mined
Date Core Classic XT Unlimited Other
06/04/2016 64.3 30.5 1.9 1.3 2.0 5.5
01/04/2016 64.5 30.2 1.8 1.4 2.1 5.8
29/03/2016 63.7 31.0 1.9 1.3 2.1 6.8
25/03/2016 63.8 30.9 1.8 1.3 2.2 6.5
23/03/2016 62.8 31.9 1.8 1.4 2.1 5.8
20/03/2016 62.9 31.8 1.8 1.4 2.1 4.9
19/03/2016 64.1 30.5 1.9 1.4 2.1 5.0
18/03/2016 64.8 29.9 1.9 1.4 2.1 4.9
17/03/2016 65.5 29.0 2.1 1.2 2.2 4.4
16/03/2016 57.8 37.4 1.7 1.1 1.9 4.6
14/03/2016 61.6 33.2 2.0 1.1 2.0 4.4
13/03/2016 65.3 29.3 2.2 1.2 2.1 4.4
11/03/2016 66.5 27.8 2.2 1.3 2.2 3.3
07/03/2016 69.5 24.8 2.4 1.1 2.2
06/03/2016 70.2 24.0 2.5 1.2 2.2
04/03/2016 72.1 21.8 2.6 1.3 2.1
28/02/2016 74.4 19.2 2.8 1.1 2.4

Sun 17/04/2016

  • Battle going nowhere.

Wed 06/04/2016

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March 2016

Featured Fossil – Dinosaur Footprint @ Winton, Queensland

Dinosaur footprint – Winton, Queensland. 29/08/2010.

Dinosaur footprint – Winton, Queensland. 29/08/2010.

Pictured is a “true track” trace fossil of a dinosaur footprint showing the three forward toes of a medium sized theropod dinosaur from the mid-Cretaceous period, around 93 million years ago.

Visit the Lark Quarry dinosaur trackway just outside Winton, Queensland, or see the video and small reproduction of the trackway on the top floor of the Australian Museum in Sydney.

See also The Winton dinosaur trackwaysLark Quarry Dinosaur Trackways, Winton Dinosaur Trackways Fact Sheet and Fossil footprints through geologic time.


March 2016 Highlights

Ethereum

  • Microsoft adding the Ethereum Smart Contract programming language to Microsoft Visual Studio.
  • Australian exchange Coinimal now has Ethereum trading
  • Gold trading on Ethereum by digix.io Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO) raises 5.5 million in 14 hours
  • Decentralised open source options trading available on the Ethereum blockchain
  • You can pay your BPay bills using ethers (or bitcoins) or convert your ethers (or bitcoins) into your AUD bank account via the LivingRoomOfSatoshi service
  • Ethereum has now come out of beta with the Homestead release @ 14/03/2016. The price of 1 ether went up to AUD 20+ around that date but has now dropped down and is hovering at around AUD 15.50 . It was AUD 2.18 a 2.33 months ago.

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Building The BeefPool.net Ethereum Mining Pool

  • *The Ethereum Foundation have announced a bounty for someone to provide some open source mining pool software. I’ll wait until this is available, unless on the very slight chance I do get the grant* – see An Open Source Mining Pool Bounty and DEVgrant [reddit.com/r/ethereum].
  • We are getting ready to launch our new http://BeefPool.net Ethereum mining pool.
    The pool mining software is now in place and has mined 4 blocks and 1 uncle (blocks solved my the miner but another miner submitted their solved block before) – see 0xbeef281b81d383336aca8b2b067a526227638087. Statistics including the hashrate and shares for each worker are being collected. You can connect to this pool using the following details:
    We are now working on the front end, include the apportioning of the block rewards and display of statistics. Payments to any connected miners who have accrued rewards will be made when the accounting part is completed, expected in the next few days.
    This pool will pay out the block rewards, uncle fees and transaction fees. This pool will cover the cost of transactions fees when paying miners. Other pools charge a 1% fee to miners – we are working out whether we can go lower, maybe 0.5%.

    • I am now working on finding all the blocks mined by the pool and getting the balance at that point. I’m using the geth JSON-RPC API and can scan 237 blocks per seconds. The balance numbers are too large for Java Longs, so I’m using BigIntegers.
    • There is a problem getting the total block rewards per block, including the block reward, uncle fees, transaction fees and internal transaction fees. I can get all but the internal transaction fees. The easiest way to calculate the total block reward is to get the account balance of the block miner in the previous block and the current block. The reward is the difference between the two. However, if the block includes transactions from the mining pool, the difference between the two blocks will not reflect the block rewards. Internal transactions are harder to calculate, but I may be able to ignore this for the mining pool – as long as I don’t using internal transactions with the mining pool account.
    • Working out the gas price required in calculation and the gas used per transaction is tricky.
    • See Using Redis For An Ethereum Mining Pool for the data store behind this mining pool.
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How To Convert Your Hard Earned Cash Into Virtual Ethers (How To Buy Ethers)

Baby Steps

Baby steps for #64 Dave.

Originally published 12/03/2016. Updated 29/03/2016 with minor changes.

Where and how can you buy ethers? The easiest way to convert your cash into ethers is to purchase Bitcoins and convert these on an exchange into ethers. This post just provides you with a step-by-step guide to:

  • Purchase bitcoins from a seller via LocalBitcoins
  • Transfer your bitcoins to the Poloniex exchange
  • Convert your bitcoins into ethers on Poloniex
  • Create an Ethereum paper wallet public key (account) / private key pair
  • Send your ethers from Poloniex to your Ethereum public key
  • Check your Ethereum account (public key)
  • Test your Ethereum account
  • An alternative using the Ethereum Mist wallet as suggested by reddit user frrrni is also provided at the end. This requires many less steps, but will involve downloading the 11 Gb (currently) blockchain onto your computer.

This guide does not provide you with advice on investing (gambling) in crypto currencies, and is not an enticement for you to do so. If you do want to invest (gamble) in crypto currencies, start with small amounts first until you are familiar with this process, as you can very easily lose your hard earned cash along the way.

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Using Redis For An Ethereum Mining Pool

redis-logoRedis [redis.io] is an in-memory data structure storage database. Redis supports data structures such as hashes, lists, sets, sorted sets with range queries. Redis also provides a PUB/SUB messaging system.

I’ve been using Redis to store and process the data required for the BeefPool.net Ethereum mining pool running on a Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS on a virtual server. As mining is a calculation competition between miners, every millisecond counts. Using Redis to record data sent to and from the miners adds minimal delays to the communications between the pool and the miners.

The mining pool back-end has been developed using the Go [golang.org] programming language and uses the godis [github.com/simonz05/godis] Go Redis client module.

I’m in the process of writing the mining pool front-end to perform the accounting calculations and make the automated payments. This is written in Java and uses the lettuce [github.com/mp911de/lettuce] Java Redis client module.

Notes on the installation and usage of Redis on the Linux platform follow.

In summary, Redis is easy to install and use. It is fast enough for my requirements, does not use much CPU or disk resources and can be accessed from various programming languages as well as the command. You will have to spend some time to design your data models for easy storage and access of the data. Although I have not used this functionality, Redis databases can be clustered.

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Ethereum Resources

Here is a list of Ethereum resources, which will be better organised when I get around to it.

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Ethereum – Introduction For Software Developers

Poloniex ETH/BTC 1m chart. 0.00644 BTC to 0.0235 BTC = 264% increase. Peak 0.0310 BTC = 381% increase.

Poloniex ETH/BTC 1m chart. 0.00644 BTC to 0.0235 BTC = +264%. Peak 0.0310 BTC = +381%.

I was talking to a colleague this morning and he was quite excited over the ETH/USDT chart on the main Ethereum exchange Poloniex, drawing imaginary lines while describing his trading strategies for ethers, include options positions. But he had not looked into using the Ethereum blockchain yet – fundamental analysis rather than technical analysis. I suggested to my colleague that he first test runs the Ethereum technology before planning his advanced trading strategy. So, here is a short introduction to the Ethereum blockchain for him, a software developer not yet familiar with blockchains, and maybe you. I would like to show you how Ethereum is more than just a cryptocurrency – it is a world computer that will execute your programs on it’s trusted blockchain network (in the next part).

This guide only shows an example of CPU mining on the main Ethereum network (Mainnet). CPU mining is very inefficient compared to the thousands of mining rigs on the Ethereum network mainly running GPUs (Graphics Processing Units). This guide then shows you how to perform some transactions on the Dev blockchain, which only runs on your local computer.

You can run the examples below on most Windows, Mac or Linux computers, servers, desktops or notebooks. No GPUs required.

You’ve got nothing to lose trying out these examples, except for software installation bloat,  ~ 10.5 Gb of disk space for the Ethereum blockchain plus the DAG file which is use in the mining process, the 10.5 Gb downloaded via your broadband connection, and time. So give it a go. You can always delete any unwanted files later.


Featured Mining Photo

Figure 17: Lizard Cannell filling the drilled holes with light explosives. Photo by Karen Black.

No blockchains. Just chains of red cord so the shockwave acts together in one rock-splitting moment. Lizard mining for fossils at Riversleigh with light explosives. Photo by Dr. K. Black.

 

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February 2016

Featured Fossil – Kronosaurus queenslandicus

Kronosaurus tooth from Richmond, QLD. 09/09/2010.

Kronosaurus tooth from Richmond, QLD. 09/09/2010.

Pictured is a tooth I found while fossicking around the limestone road base quarry site in Richmond, Queensland in 2010.

Kronosaurus queenslandicus is an extinct short-necked pliosaur, a marine reptile around 10 metres in length and around 11 tonnes in weight, that roamed the shallow inland Eromanga sea in Australia around 100 million years ago.

Drive out to Richmond, have a dig around the fossil hunting sites  for pliosaurs, ichthyosaurs, 3m long fish, 50 cm long bivalve clams and more strange sea creatures from a time long ago. And don’t forget to visit the Kronosaurus Korner museum – there is a huge model of the Kronosaurus outside, and lots of Kronosaurus fossils inside. All while travelling the Australia’s Dinosaur Trail around the Winton, Richmond and Hughenden triangle.

See also Kronosaurus [wikipedia.org] and Kronosaurus [abc.net.au].


Mon 29/02/2016

Ethereum

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Ethereum Paper Wallet

Ethereum Frontier, image borrowed from ethereum.org

Ethereum Frontier, image borrowed from ethereum.org

The Ethereum World Computer is a programmable decentralised blockchain created by the Ethereum Foundation.

Vitalik Buterin, photo borrowed from www.flickr.com/photos/thelastminute/12349911955.

Vitalik Buterin, photo borrowed from www.flickr.com/photos/thelastminute/12349911955.

It was devised by Vitalik Buterin, currently 22 years old, and described in a white paper in 2013. It was crowdfunded to the tune of USD 18m in August 2014 and the first Frontier release was launched on 30th July 2015.

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January 2016

Featured Fossil – Brachiopods and Trilobites

Trilobites and brachiopods from Trilobite Hill near Adels Grove, north-west Queensland. 12/07/2011.

Trilobites and brachiopods from Trilobite Hill near Adels Grove, north-west Queensland. 12/07/2011.

Pictured is a small section of the layer of rock displaying a lot of brachiopods, trilobites and traces of other strange sea creatures on the top of a weathered hill near Adels Grove, north-west Queensland.

Trilobites (meaning “three lobes”) are marine arthropods that first appeared during the Cambrian period (500+ million years ago) and disappeared from the fossil record around 250 million years ago.

Brachiopods (meaning “arm foot”) are extinct marine animals with asymmetrical upper and lower valves (shells), unlike the symmetrical left and right valve of extant bivalve molluscs.

See also Trilobite and Brachiopod.


Sun 31/01/2016

Bitcoin, Blockchain & Regulation

Blockchain

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Bitcoin Paper Wallet

Rasterbator, my 11 Teraflops personal super computer powering the Ethereum World Computer and my personal super breed of dog

Rasterbator, my 11 Teraflops personal super computer powering the Ethereum World Computer and my personal super breed of dog

You may be the lucky recipient of a Bitcoin paper wallet from someone. If this someone is me, my aim is to introduce you to the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, and/or to provide you with a long term lottery ticket with better odds than a normal lottery. The conversion rate between bitcoins and other currencies is volatile. In years to come, this paper wallet may be worth a lot, a reasonable amount, or nothing at all.

Your choice now is to either store the paper wallet securely and use it if it comes good, or you may “sweep” the contents of this paper wallet into an electronic wallet on your smartphone or computer and use it as a learning exercise. Sweeping the contents of this paper wallet involves transferring the value held at the paper wallet address to a Bitcoin address in your control so you may store it, transfer it or spend it.

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Ticks In Australia – Latest Advice

Tick

I was bitten by a tick about three years ago while on a field trip at the Riversleigh fossil site in north-west Queensland. A slight scabby sore remained for a few years in the area where I was bitten by the tick. While the sore has now healed, a small bump is still visible at the bite site.

I am currently holidaying at my fishing shack at the Hawkesbury River (view from the cliff tops in the banner above) and had to prepare for the ticks (along with the bull sharks, venomous spiders and snakes, leeches, mosquitoes, bull ants, rockfalls, floods, bushfire and other potential catastrophes) around this area.

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December 2015

Featured Fossil – Queensland Dinosaurs

Dinosaur toe bone – Winton, Queensland. 02/09/2010.

Dinosaur toe bone – Winton, Queensland. 02/09/2010.

Pictured is a dinosaur toe bone dug up from a cattle property in Winton, Queensland.

There are tonnes and tonnes of dinosaurs bones that have been, and are yet to be, dug up from Queensland. Visit the Australian Age of Dinosaurs museum, volunteer for a dig, help prepare the bones at their lab, sign up to become a palaeontologist, or just join this museum and receive their informative annual journals.

See also Australian Age of Dinosaurs  and Queensland Dinosaurs.


Thu 31/12/2015

Corporate Social Conscience

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Windows 10 Woes (And 7 and 8)

ConcernedCowsIf you have been running the non-Enterprise (i.e., consumer grade) version of Windows 7 or 8, you may have been nagged by the little white icon stating that you are eligible for the free Windows 10 upgrade as long as you claim it quickly.

“Never look a gift horse in the mouth while its trying to mount you” (Anonymous Coward on Slashdot).

But if you are concerned about your privacy, perhaps you should.

Why should you be worried? “Windows 10 has a number of built-in data collections tools enabled by default, such as sending physical whereabouts, Web browser history, contacts and calendar records, and “typing and linking” data, among other telemetry, to Microsoft servers.” (Uncomfortable with Windows 10 slurping personal data? Too bad — Microsoft rolls out similar snooping capabilities to Windows 7, Windows 8).

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Riversleigh Field Trip 2015

Figure 1: from left: Jon Woodhead, Kale Sniderman, Kerry Rackham, John Prince, Anna Gillespie, Chris Palmer, Laura Wilson, Rick Arena with the Wailing Chicken, James Strong, Joy Horton, Karen White, Michael Archer, Punya Jeffrey, Arthur White, Lizard Cannell, Heather Atkin, Doug Jeanes, Peter Hudson Naomi Machin, Chris Larkin, Ann Jeanes, Georgia Soares, Sue Hand hiding behind Georgia, Troy Myers, Bok Khoo. Other members not included in this photo are: David, Jane and Sophie Cohen, Ian Graham, Neil Rutherford, Davin (helicopter pilot).

Figure 1: The 2015 Riversleigh Team, from left – Jon Woodhead, Kale Sniderman, Kerry Rackham, John Prince, Anna Gillespie, Chris Palmer, Laura Wilson, Rick Arena with the Wailing Chicken, James Strong, Joy Horton, Karen White, Michael Archer, Punya Jeffrey, Arthur White, Lizard Cannell, Heather Atkin, Doug Jeanes, Peter Hudson, Naomi Machin, Chris Larkin, Ann Jeanes, Georgia Soares, Sue Hand hiding behind Georgia, Troy Myers, Bok Khoo. Other members not included in this photo are: Sophie, Jane and David Cohen, Ian Graham, Neil Rutherford, Davin (helicopter pilot).

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