What exactly is the benefit of buying a hardware wallet for Bitcoin?

Let’s say I invest in a physical Bitcoin wallet. They aren’t exactly free, so it’s going to cost me money, effort, time and energy (to set it up and put coins on it).

Then what?

It’s not like I can actually use it in physical stores. And if I’m supposed to use it as a secure storage device for all my coins, doesn’t it just scream “STEAL/SEIZE ME!” to burglars and the cops? And if I keep it hidden in my fireproof safe, why buy such a hardware wallet instead of just an encrypted USB stick with a wallet.dat on it? Much cheaper and the convenience of a hardware wallet is gone if it’s physically tucked away in my safe anyway.

Basically every way I look at it, it seems like a bad idea.

The only situation I can think of where it would be good is if I were to meet up with a person physically to buy something from them with Bitcoin. I wouldn’t want to take a computer with me, even a laptop, so then that hardware wallet would come in handy, if I “load it up” from my Bitcoin Core before leaving my home.

But that’s a pretty specific and rare (to me) scenario. It’s never happened, in fact.

As nice as it first sounds to have a dedicated hardware device which in theory allows me to easily pay people Bitcoin “on the go”, I don’t see the actual use of this in this world as it is now. Is this only useful in some theoretical future when Bitcoin has taken over? If so, is it really a good idea to buy a hardware wallet today and risk it becoming obsolete by the time Bitcoin ever takes off?

Is there something I’m missing?

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spv – Why binary trees? Is there any particular benefit to using binary trees instead of some higher radix?

Bitcoin transactions are not stored in a Merkle tree. That is just one way of representing them.

The most common serialization for blocks is just:

  • Header (prevhash, merkleroot, time, nonce, difficulty, version)
  • Number of transactions
  • Concatenation of all those transactions

This serialization is used on the P2P network in block messages, as well as on disk for various software implementations. Other serializations exist, for example BIP152 compact blocks serialize them as a concatenation of transactions, where most of them are replaced with a short identifier, hoping that the receiver already have them.

The Merkle tree is relevant to block’s commitment structure; the question on how you compute the hash of a block from its contents. That’s all – the tree is never actually materialized.

This matters for one purpose only: being able to give short proofs inclusion of a transaction in a block. To do that, you must provide the transaction, as well as all partners that transaction is hashed with, so the receiver can recompute the parent, recursively, until they hit the merkle root (which they knew ahead of time).

What happens if you’d use a ternary tree? Yes, you’d have log(3)/log(2) times fewer steps in the tree, but for every inner node, you’d need to give two partner hashes. Using any higher number just makes the bandwidth cost worse.

In short: in terms of inclusion proof size, binary Merkle trees are best.

Does the reaction melee attack from the Sentinel feat’s third benefit trigger through an Echo Knight fighter’s echo?

In the following scenario, would my Echo Knight fighter’s echo get a reaction attack on the enemy from the Sentinel feat’s third benefit?

  • I can see the echo, an enemy, and my ally
  • The echo is within 5 feet of the enemy
  • The enemy attacks my ally

programming languages – key benefit of using container?

I’m not a guy who has computer science related background, just curious about the container technology and of course I did some googling to see what container is.

hope this is the correct site for container related question.

Here are my questions.

  1. what is the primary benefit that container tech. offer? packing the environment(libraries, configurations…etc) for codes/programs or offering great portability across different computer system?

(some guy tells me that the portability isn’t the key benefit but close to)

  1. is it doable and practical to use container provide services just like what servers can do?

  2. can containers isolate malicious codes/apps to prevent them from affecting underlying operating system?

backlinks – Any SEO benefit to a page linking to itself?

The two comments above are both on point, and I’ll add that it creates a horrendous user experience. Your understanding is absolutely correct.

Search engines discover the web by crawling links, and the same goes for your website. Internal links, while never as powerful as quality inbound links, still benefit your ranking if your website isn’t seen as spammy. Search engines used internal linking schemes to help them understand your site’s information architecture and hierarchy, and the importance of particular pages within that structure.

Best case scenario, search engines will ignore these links. Worst case, they decide the site is trying to pull something and take a more critical look. But think about how frustrating these links are going to be for your users. The only reason to link to the same page you’re on is to use id’s to scroll to different portions of a long page, in which case it’s a navigation element and not really intended for search engines.

As for that SEO agency, these are the types of people who give our industry a bad name.

dnd 5e – Does the Flame Arrows spell spoil a Gloom Stalker Ranger’s Umbral Sight unseen benefit?

Spells only do what they say they do.

As written, there is nothing in the spell description that says the arrows are on fire, much less that they emit light.

And we should hope the arrows aren’t on fire – they are magical inside our quiver:

You touch a quiver containing arrows or bolts.

A spell says when it makes something emit light, for example, holy weapon:

You imbue a weapon you touch with holy power. Until the spell ends, the weapon emits bright light in a 30-foot radius and dim light for an additional 30 feet.

This answer makes the case that fire emits light to answer a similar question about the spell create bonfire. The key difference between create bonfire and flame arrows is that create bonfire actually creates fire:

You create a bonfire.

Flame arrows imbues our arrows with a magical fire damage effect, but never says it creates any fire.

Fire damage does not have to mean open flames.

We have examples in official material of fire damage taken from sources that are not open flames. Fire damage can also mean “it’s really hot”. Consider the spell heat metal:

Choose a manufactured metal object, such as a metal weapon or a suit of heavy or medium metal armor, that you can see within range. You cause the object to glow red-hot. Any creature in physical contact with the object takes 2d8 fire damage when you cast the spell.

In Storm King’s Thunder, it gets so hot in one room that it deals more fire damage than flame arrows:

The temperature in the room rises immediately, such that any creature that ends its turn in the room takes 5 (1d10) fire damage, or 11 (2d10) fire damage if it’s wearing metal armor.

If you want to explain the fire damage of these arrows without making them have an open flame, just make them hot. Really hot. Or make them be little microwave generators. It doesn’t really matter. Your ranger will just be happy they can use their spell and Umbral Sight at the same time.

A DM could rule otherwise.

Sure, a DM could rule otherwise, but in the partiuclar use-case given, I would definitely recommend talking it through with the player playing the gloomstalker. As a player, I would find it quite disagreeable for one of my abilities to be nerfed by a ruling that diverges from the rules as written.

dnd 5e – Can a character inlay a +1 wand into a weapon and still gain its casting benefit?

Yes. And oh my the role playing options you are going to experience with creative player’s like this!

One of the great things about 5e is how little information they decided to put into the Player’s Handbook about crafting. This leaves it entirely in your lap as DM, and more importantly, for your player to discuss with you. Your player has stated that what they want is to:

  1. Create a magical item
  2. Use the wand as a component
  3. Use a Kris as a component
  4. Have the item function as basically a Dagger of the War Mage.

So, we have a couple of handy tools to help you with this. For starters, we’ll take the components for this spell as your player detailed them.

DMG pg. 212 – Wand of the War Mage

Wand, uncommon (+1), rare (+2), or very rare (+3)

(requires attunement by spellcaster)

While holding this wand, you gain a bonus to spell attack rolls determined by the wand’s rarity. In addition, you ignore half cover when making a spell attack.

PHB. pg 149 – Dagger (Kris)

1d4 piercing, finesse, light, thrown (20/60).

Then we’ll take the two items and consider the “weight” of adding the ability to do melee damage would be to this. To do so, we’ll take another magical weapon with similar benefits and compare it’s capabilities. You’ll find that in the DMG, the general rule of thumb for magical items and rarities is: 1 magic effect = uncommon, 2 = rare, 3 = very rare, 4+ = legendary.

DMG pg. 166 – Dragon Slayer

Weapon (any sword), rare

You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. When you hit a dragon with this weapon, the dragon takes an extra 3d6 damage of the weapon’s type.

So, we have a sword capable of dealing damage, that also has a bonus to attack rolls and damage, and also deals additional damage in specific circumstances. The DMG lists this item as rare, and as I said before, you will find that it is often the case that when a magical item has 2 properties it will fall in the rare category.

So, we can go to the DMG pg. 135 and see the Magic Item Rarity table which lists Rare items as targeting 5th level or higher for the character, and costing between 501 to 5,000 GP.

Since a Wand of the War Mage requires an attunement slot (which you are limited to 3 of), I would personally make this a less valuable item, and drop it down into the 501 to 1,000 GP range. In fact, I may even make it uncommon considering the attunement requirement (but that’s a personal choice). However, since your player is commissioning somebody else to use it as a material in an attempt to craft a Kris of the War Mage, I would personally double whatever price you set as the price the Wizard is charging for creating the item.

Bottom line, to craft this using the information I provided, I would do the following:

  1. 2,000 to 2,500 GP cost to the Wizard crafting it
  2. Wand of the War Mage +1.
  3. Kris
  4. Onyx Gemstone (or other black gem) worth at least 100 GP (you said he wanted it to be a black Kris right? What better way to be magical about this than making a gem part of the material component cost or even a part of the final design as the focal point for the arcane energy?)
  5. 1d4 weeks to complete it

And that’s it. At the end, you’ve given the player a rare item that has an additional function, but at the cost of an attunement slot. It’s also opened the door to creative crafting options at your table.

Have fun!

dnd 5e – Can you benefit from the Dueling fighting style for one weapon, then draw a second weapon as part of Extra Attack to qualify for Two-Weapon Fighting?

No, you can’t combine them in this way.

The key point is in the description of the Two-Weapon Fighting rule (PHB, p. 195):

When you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon
that you’re holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack
with a different light melee weapon that you’re holding in the other

The relevant issue is this: when you take the Attack action, is there a weapon in your other hand? If there is, you can’t get the benefit of Dueling. If there is not, you can’t make an off-hand attack using Two-Weapon Fighting.

(Note the present tense “that you’re holding in the other hand”, not “that you will be holding later in the turn” or “that you were holding earlier”.)

dnd 5e – Does the Monster Slayer ranger’s Supernatural Defense feature benefit Constitution saving throws you make to maintain concentration?

Supernatural Defense will not help with saving throws to maintain concentration

From the question “When must the wizard choose to overchannel?”, we know that if something says “When you cast a Wizard spell… that deals damage” it does not mean you wait to see if the spell deals damage; you decide to use Overchannel immediately when casting the spell.

Thus we must know whether a spell deals damage before its effects take place (otherwise how would we know what spells are eligible for Overchannel?); the only way to know this is the spell’s description. Therefore, a spell that doesn’t deal damage normally but happens to move a creature onto a damaging area does not suddenly count as “a spell that deals damage”. Whether such an area existed is outside of the spell’s control.
What is forcing you to take damage is not the spell, but the area of effect.

The Sorcerer’s Careful Spell Metamagic uses similar wording, stating:

When you cast a spell that forces other creatures to make a saving throw, you can protect some of those creatures from the spell’s full force…

Similarly then, we must know whether a spell forces a saving throw before its effects take place (otherwise how would we know what spells are eligible for Careful Spell); the only way to know this is the spell’s description. Therefore, a spell that doesn’t cause a saving throw normally but happens to damage a creature that is concentrating on a spell does not suddenly count as “a spell that forces a saving throw”. Whether the target was concentrating is outside of the spell’s control.
What is forcing you to make the saving throw is not the spell, but the damage.

This also prevents the unusual scenario of a Sorcerer using Careful Spell on a spell like firebolt. If the target were concentrating on a spell, and firebolt counted as forcing them to make a saving throw, then the Sorcerer could use Careful Spell but it would have no effect whatsoever. Though this isn’t necessarily disallowed, it is exceptionally odd and points towards saving throws to maintain concentration not counting as having been forced by the spell.

I don’t see any greater link between a spell happening to move a creature onto a damaging area and a spell happening to damage a creature that is concentrating on a spell (neither results are under the spell’s control as they rely on outside forces). So if a spell resulting in a saving throw to maintain concentration counted as “a spell that forces a saving throw” then a spell which moves a creature onto a damaging area would count as “a spell that deals damage”, which is almost certainly incorrect.

I believe that a spell only forces a creature to make a saving throw if the saving throw is part of the spell’s description, not if it just happens to result in a saving throw being made.

All of this argument extends to the Hunter feature:
A creature moving you onto a damaging area of effect would not count as them forcing you to take damage and a creature damaging you would not count as them forcing you to make a saving throw to maintain concentration. It was not in their control whether the damaging area exists or whether you are concentrating on a spell.