Monthly Archives: December 2017

Q&A: Bitcoin: An Interview with Alex Landefeld

This article is an interview that I had conducted when I had realized that my coworker – Mr. Landefeld – had investments in Bitcoin, had cryptocurrency apps on his phone, his own mining setup at home, and was also familiar with a vast range of cryptocurrency.  The answers below are an exact transcript of his answers.

1.) What’s your profession? What are your credentials in the field of technology?

I work as the Information Technology Specialist at North Hills Community Outreach, Allison Park, PA (NHCO.org), supporting the network of Windows 2012 servers, Windows 10 and Windows 7 PCs, phones, printers, licensing, etc. I have worked in IT for nearly 20 years. Outside of work, I play with Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux PC’s, and co-founded the Western Pa Linux Users Group (WPLUG.org) in September 1997.

2.) How long have you been familiar with crypto currency?

I have been familiar with crypto currency for just the past five months.

3.) When did you first hear about “bitcoin”?

I first heard of Bitcoin probably in 2012 or 2013, but hadn’t know about the Altcoin universe until recently.

4.) You own a (piece) bitcoin, why? How? Do you still feel it was a good investment?

I do own some Bitcoin, probably 1/10 of a Bitcoin. I use Bitcoin as a jumping-off point, for converting fiat currency to crypto currency, and then move off to invest in Altcoins, as I feel Altcoins will have a better chance for greater appreciation.

5.) You had shown me a few apps that showed other forms of crypto currency aside from bitcoin. Approximately how many others are in existence? Are you invested in any others? Why do you think bitcoin is the most popular and most heard of?

Bitcoin is the original crypto currency and therefore most popular, but as people develop more use cases for other crypto currencies, others may usurp that top spot, just as Microsoft supplanted IBM as the top computer company, Walmart replaced small retailers, and Apple (and Android phone variants) took over the mobile phone market. Coinmarketcap.com lists 1324 cryptocurrencies, and this is not exhaustive as more are (a) created daily, and (b) many are created within other coin systems, such as Ethereum ERC20 coins, Wave derivative coins, and Bitshares derivative coins. I am currently invested in 22 Altcoins, in addition to a small investment in Bitcoin. Some are not doing well at all, and some have outstripped the investment return of Bitcoin by 1000%. Right now, crypto currency’s use is as a speculative investment vehicle…but little by little they will fill other uses.

6.) You said that you have mining set up on your computer at home: how? What application do you use?

I am in the very early stages of playing with mining – I downloaded uncompiled code from Github for doing “CPU” mining of the coin Aeon (a derivative of Monero), and compiled the code on a Bodhi Linux PC. I then ran the resulting mining app and the related wallet for about two weeks, tweaking the processor use, and testing the Linux implementation on other PC’s with more powerful processors. I did not get further in Virtualbox, will still have to play with that, but may first try to build a GPU mining rig for further experimentation.

7.) If anyone asks you how mining helps update the ledgers, how would you best explain?

I’m still a crypto neophyte, but would have to say that from my limited understanding that mining is using a computer to “guess” the right answer to a mathematical puzzle that needs to be solved to create new coin, and also verify the global network of transactions, keeping the crypto currency decentralized.

8.) What is your personal opinion about bitcoin and blockchain security?

Bitcoin and Blockchain are only as secure as the PC/server they run on, so all the more reason to employ endpoint protection virus and malware software, as well as robust firewall or network security. Hacking of one’s network is serious business, both for the hacker and the hacked.

9.) Do you believe we will hit a point where no one has physical currency?

That’s a very difficult question to answer. Just as oil and coal will continue to find utility in an increasingly solar/wind/hydro world, fiat currencies and other investable assets will continue to be useful for the foreseeable future. Cryptocurrency represents a very small fraction of all existing other asset classes, and while it will grow quickly, with growth comes regulation, thereby checking the growth.

10.) Bitcoin creates a decentralized form of currency; do you see this as an advantage or a disadvantage to bitcoin acceptance?

Just as the IoT is incredibly important going forward, decentralization of a means of transaction is very valuable. Not allowing countries to control transaction certainly zaps the ability for governments to collect tax revenue, but the internet needs a relatively tax-free form of transactional wealth to facilitate greater usage, to bring computing power to the large portion of global citizens who don’t have banks, communications, or computing access.

11.) What additional information do you think may be important for the future of CIS at RMU to know about Bitcoin?

Blockchain itself will become the key technology, as people branch out from crypto currencies. Just as the original DARPA Net, set up for a few universities to communicate across, is now the medium for billions of cat photos per day, commercial uses for blockchain will blossom out to service uses for which we cannot even understand today. No one expected cat pictures to cripple the Ethereum blockchain, and yet right now Cryptokitties accounts for some 15-25% of Ethereum blockchain use…versus the 10% use of crypto trading via the decentralized exchange, Etherdelta.com.

Recommended videos by interviewee:

 

Summer IT Internship w/ Fedex

In need of an IT internship just for the summer?  This 10-week internship is designed to allow for students pursuing computer-related degrees to be a part of FedEx in a way that will be tailored to their specific major.

Requirements for the job:

  • High school graduate or equivalent
  • 2+ years towards degree in computer science, computer engineering, or other related major.

Job Details:

  • Summer 2018
  • 10-week
  • $15-23/hour
  • in Coraopolis

How to Apply:

  • Apply as soon as possible
  • Interviews occur October – January
  • Offers are extended from October -February
  • Go to FedEx Careers site
  • Use Keyword: Intern Information Technology
  • Location – Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
  • Resume should include:
    • University
    • Degree
    • Major and/or minor
    • GPA, GPA overall
    • Major GPA
    • Graduation date

 

 

 

Developer Position for rebdev, LLC

Are you interested in the creation of tech software? If yes, then this developer job may be for you!  You would be creating and modifying computer application software/specialized utility programs.

Responsibilities:

  • analyze user needs
  • develop software solutions based on needs
  • work with project manager/owner
  • recommend upgrades to software to better operational efficiency
  • create flowcharts, user guides, etc.
  • perform routine maintenance of software

Qualifications:

  • interest in ERP software solutions and  its implementation
  • Bachelor’s degree in MIS, Accounting, or another related field.
  • Software development experience as well as computer engineering.
  • Programming experience
  • able to use word processing, spreadsheets, project management and presentation software
  • database programming skills
  • Deadline-oriented
  • detail-oriented – will need to document all procedures
  • critical thinking skills
  • Willing to travel as part of employment.

Specifications:

  • 3 openings
  • In Moon township
  • Full-time entry level
  • Expires March 31st of 2018. 

Apply with an email cover letter and resume to admin@rebdev.com. 

https://www.myinterfase.com/rmu/Job/Detail/WGhOYyt3T0Z0VEgrOXBxM0tranZ3ZjlaUjZGc2lHYWY3NVB4Y21OQWdQST01

Technology Internship with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has a Technology Internship opportunity for students currently working towards their Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in technology. Orrick is a leading global law firm with a particular focus on serving companies in the technology, energy and financial sectors. They are looking for a Service Operations Intern to work for them immediately. The internship will take place in Wheeling, West Virginia. The Service Operations Intern will provide front line telephone support to attorneys and staff on all firm computer systems (hardware and software) and work on special projects as needed.

Qualifications:

  • Excellent analytical skills.
  • Proficiency with desktop operating systems and Microsoft Office.
  • Understanding of networking concepts, database concepts and basic scripting and/or programming.
  • Ability to adapt to a changing environment and multitask assignments, and to approach problems with a sense of ownership, enthusiasm and innovation.
  • Willingness to learn and grow in a professional environment.
  • GPA of 3.2 or above.

Interns will receive a wage of $10 per hour. They will have to work 20 to 25 hours per week. They should be available to start immediately.

To apply for this position, click here or apply through ColonialTRAK. Applicants must submit a cover letter and resume. Applications must be submitted by Thursday, December 28th. For more information about the company, click here.