Monday, June 12, 2017

UAE Emirates Islamic Bank launches blockchain for checks

So "The launch of “Cheque Chain”, announced today, comes months after Emirates NBD tested the feature in conjunction with the central bank of the United Arab Emirates. The banking group began testing the tech in a bid to reduce fraud."

UAE Emirates Islamic Bank launches blockchain for checks

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

First Quantum-Secured Blockchain Technology Tested

First Quantum-Secured Blockchain Technology Tested in Moscow...

Quantum computing is fascinating, but it's really early stages, so we don't know what it or where this technology will shape the space.  Will it be real quantum computing or a marketing hyped space ?  We all know half the AI space isn't even complicated machine learning algorithms.

But the super quantum computers could make the blockchain cryptocurrency double spend philosophy null and void and irrelevant.  Brute force attacks are cost prohibitive with normal computers. But brute force with a quantum computer,  Still expensive , but possible.  And that's today. Just imagine.  

Good start here in testing different strategies to combat this possibilities.  

Friday, May 26, 2017

Decentralized internet...

What exactly is a decentralized internet of the future?

     Decentralized. A decentralized world and internet.  Places or DAOs or a BitNation like "organization" are out in the wild wild decentralized global West now.

However do most people know what any of this means ?  Some might.  Many don't.  Fewer even know it's happening already.  They just see Bitcoin or Ethereum as a money making investment opportunity.  That's good and bad for various reasons.

     But is Ethereum really decentralized?
In one way it is. In another it is one very popular intelligent young 'founder' who seems to have the Steve Jobs and Elon Musk effect on Ethereum and the cryptocurrency space.

What he says seems to be the one version of the truth.  And ConsenSys also seems  to be the one version of a company that builds out the real platform.  A lot of very smart and great individuals. But they also arent exactly decentralized. 

Maybe it's a open source Redhat kind of play. It's still open source and great for the community, but they also arent exactly all that open in many many ways.  Unless it helps their own bottom line.  And we have seen that with Ethereum vs Ethereum Classic.  And the Ethereum Enterprise Consortium just sounds like business as usual.

Sorry, but Private blockchains aren't decentralized. And the hard vs soft forks and Segwit conversations are fascinating, but show the advantages and challenges in the space.

    I think bitcoin and Bitcoin and that version of the blockchain technology is far more decentralized vs say an Ethereum.   It's harder to do anything like a smart contract though. 

What about a Litecoin or the lightning network or swarm or hyperledger or Monero or the Golem network or Storj  or Ripple ? They all seem to be far from what the term decentralized actually means.  and Ripple is centralized at its core.  Plus most mining pools and exchanges are really just centralized systems.  Business as usual really. 

In one way or another ICOs are nothing more than raising capital for a few founders and companies. Decentralized be damned I guess. 

Time will tell how it all plays out.  

Ethereum to save the internet

Thursday, May 25, 2017

How will Blockchain Change the World ?

How will Blockchain Change the World ? 

     Blockchain, bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Monero and the like are changing the world as we speak...

    However they also aren't exactly being used for much more than speculative investments. Or silk road like transactions. Or Ponzi scheme like ICOs. And why not when people can earn 100%, 200%, 900%  returns in such a short time.  It's a very interesting dynamic but it's only one piece of the 'blockchain' and cryptocurrency puzzle.   As they say it's like we are early stages of the 1993 internet but wth the 1998 Hype cycle.   The investment money is driving the hype, but the technology will change the future.  People just don't realize it yet. Most people don't even know what this is and the banks are so fearful they are trying to create their own private blockchain consortium.  

Cryptocurrencies as legal tender is the defacto Bitcoin and blockchain answer and use case.  It's a ledger. It's secure. It's transparent. It's immutable.  It's mined. It's decentralized. It's a currency.  But the blockchain isn't just about monetary value or currency. In fact, most of the cryptocurrency movement isn't currency at all, it's a speculative investment just like anybody who buys stock in Tesla or Apple.  The real difference is some people can actually go and buy a pizza with BTC ; whereas owning stocks in Tesla is a complicated process to get it out.  

     Speaking of values and currency worth, who wants to buy a pizza with 1 BTC if it could be worth double tomorrow?  Or triple.  And when certain altcoins go up in value by 900%, it's a fascinating ride, and makes sense.  However, what happens when this all comes crashing down?  And we know it all will.  That's where we will see the real changes, the real players, the real interest.   The real fallout and disruption.  The fake players will disappear onto the next assumed hype cycle.  The real players will actually try and change the world.  It's so new and exciting that who doesn't want to be a part of this change.  This decentralized change coming.

     It's hype times a million right now and many people who couldn't even tell you what Bitcoin or the blockchain is, have invested in it.  It's money. It's a lot of money.  And it'll probably keep going up.  But maybe it won't.   Or maybe it will.

     Things like Ubiq smart contracts and Ethereum smart contracts are really the way of the blockchain future.  How do you get normal everyday people to care?  The internet didn't really become a defacto standard till smart mobile phones.  True people used AOL and prodigy and compuserve, but nobody cared or needed it. And the connections were too slow and not always on.  Many people assumed the internet was just a fad.   Email changed a lot of dynamics because everybody suddenly had a way of sending messages without  paying for a stamp.  

     I digress into the internet and dot com era to bring you back to the blockchain era. Things will change. It's just too early to figure out how it will all play out, but it's not about connecting the rest of the world who don't have the internet or bank accounts.  Oh that will make things progress faster. It'll make a few people millions or billions of dollars.  But the blockchain will change the world. And the centralized middle man will fall.  And smart contracts, the blockchain, cryptocurrency, automation, machine learning, AI, and IOT will bring a new future we never even imagined.   

The future is coming, will you pretend it's not? 

Friday, May 12, 2017

But extension blocks and bitpay to solve the bitcoin scaling issue?

So my last post spoke about the 165k bitcoin backlog and how there is a serious issue in scaling transactions. But bitpay and extension blocks could be a possible solution. 

Will it solve the transactional scaling weakness ? And will it ever be approved and integrated ?  And how will that change things ? 

bitcoin has a serious problem

If they don't figure a way to scale transactions, bitcoin will just be like many wall Street and finance funds. And thats a lot of hype and BS and millions for a few.
Imagine if bitcoin became as popular as a Visa credit card  or say a Bank of America debit card?    It can't handle minimal real world purchasing transactions now. This backlog is a serious serious issue. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

China may ditch paper money

Blockchain, Bitcoin, paper money.   What say you China ?  They are on the road to eliminating paper money altogether ?  Sounds fierce.  Sounds like a good plan. Sounds meaningful. Sounds righteous. Sounds interesting.  But will China do it ? And when ?

Berry cool container electricity

This Container ship is powered by electricity only.  This is a step in the right direction if it works as planned.  Go future alternative energy shipping.  

Monday, April 17, 2017

Cost benefit analysis of smart contracts.

"The aim of smart contracts is to deliver superior security than traditional legal contracts and to reduce the administrative and transactional costs involved in legal transactions. While smart contracts will most likely not universally replace traditional legal contracts in the near future, they can reduce the burden, time and complexity of writing new legal documents for each new transaction as smart contracts can automate this process to a large degree."

Good read.

Ukraine's fury into blockchain

Cool that Ukraine and bitfury are launching a full scale blockchain government pilot.  Bitfury is part of a Richard Branson Startup.

Mapping Algorithms are dumb sometimes

Using AI for predicting crimes and mapping directions  has serious flaws. 

    I can attest that Google Maps and Waze are really dumb sometimes. Even in 2017. Years ago MapQuest and Google maps would send you around and around or off a cliff or into an ocean or down a street that doesn't exist.  Its improved tremendously over the years , but still has serious flaws.

    The past year I've done a lot of cross country traveling and half the time no phone signal and the downloaded maps suck.   But the routes are just stupid sometimes.  Send you down back roads.  Tell you to make a left turn on a 6 lane highway.  It's not a mistake either. It's really an option. But it's an option only an idiot would make.  And these maps do this all the time so it's not just some bug.

     The other reality is as much as machine learning has been bragged about  , half these companies make their revenue off of selling their AI to fortune 1000 companies.  You know , many of the ones going out of business or bankrupt.  Even Wal-Mart has struggled to stop that Amazon push into everything. 

   What Machine Learning seems to be best at is selling more advertising, fake news  and winning games.   But actually improving half these companies, it's really just a lie. 

    I mean if you hear some marketing pitch from a AI startup and they list a company going out of business as one of their clients , what exactly was the point of their system ?  To sell BS to a dying franchise?  That's not business , that's just a con game. 



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Thomson Reuters blockone blockchain beta

Blockone blockchain utilizing Ethereum sounds like an interesting project.  I will test this out and let you know what works and what doesn't.  Stay tuned. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

IOT & Blockchain

A IOT blockchain based storage and system management system.

This sounds interesting, but early stages and a work in progress. 

Porsche seeks blockchain startups

Porsche seeks startups for blockchain initiatives.  These are more aqui-hire opportunities over invest in a startup to grow opportunities though.  Or just get a lot of cheap proposals and POCs.

AT&T 5G purchase

AT&T 5G expands with purchase
Of Straight Path Communications. They  hold a boatload of nationwide(USA)
high-frequency radio licenses in the 39 gigahertz and 28 gigahertz bands.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Smart city iot more asia and india

Asia and India are pushing for and investing in Smart Cities and IOT while the USA is lagging behind. 

Some of it is legacy infrastructure and city/state /fed politics. Other factors include the US is filled with a lot of marketing hype and little implementation.
We will see how it all plays out. 

Smart Cities and IOT...

The 4Cs are crucial.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Driving across the country with a dog

Driving across the country in a 2014 VW Jetta that has 74k miles on it.  I have a few phone calls and meetings and a book to write so some stops are required. Plus Bennie will need his walks and breaks.

I started in Orange County, but the route with bennie the dog and I will be as follows :

San Diego to Salton Sea.  Short pit stop.

Salton Sea to Phoenix.  Rest overnight.

Phoenix to Albuquerque. Rest overnight.

Albuquerque to Oklahoma City.  Rest overnight. 

Oklahoma City to Memphis. Rest overnight.

Memphis to Birmingham. Pit stop.

Birmingham to Atlanta.  Finished.   Hooray.

We will see how this all goes. 
It's 80 degrees and hot now so. 

(Google maps shared route is terrible
..See below )

Shared route From (33.0236617,-117.0753169) to Atlanta via CA-78 E. 1 d 9 hr (2181 mi) 1 d 9 hr in current traffic 1. Head south toward Rancho Bernardo Rd 2. Turn right onto Rancho Bernardo Rd 3. Use the right 2 lanes to take the Interstate 15 N ramp 4. Merge onto I-15 N 5. Use the right lane

Monday, March 27, 2017

Scaling Blockchain by thinking like a biologist

Great line about scaling blockchain. I agree.  So maybe we should start working with biologists and chemists and strategize a way to design and scale blockchain in terms of independent distributed biological nodes.

"Systems will never scale if you require global consensus for local actions by independent agents. For example, I should not have to know where every dollar in the economy is when I want to buy something from you"

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Ripcord and Woz and Robotic Digitization

Woz invests in an interesting company called Ripcord.   They just received some funding from former Apple co-founder Woz.   Basically it's robotic process automation for digitizing actual papers and documents.  Great concept. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sweden testing blockchain Land registry

Interesting test going on in Sweden in regards to a blockchain Land Registry.  There are some challenges ahead , but it'll be interesting to see what comes of this and what's next. 

Sweden blockchain Land Registry

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Get credits for Amazon Alexa skills

Get credit for building
Amazon Alexa Skills.

I might have to try a combination of Jupyter Labs, Microservices and Amazon Alexa Skills.  Maybe this could do something useful for my startup or just a new cool skill to add to Alexa. 

I will follow up later. 
Try it out.  Get Amazon Credit. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The complicated nature of confusing 5G

And Verizon is doing a 5G test pilot in these cities. 
Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Bernardsville, Brockton, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Sacramento, Seattle, and Washington, DC.

What that actually means and how Verizon defines it are unknown.  But 5G is interesting and challenging and exciting.  And coming. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

What are Smart Cities and how are they actually built?

  This youtube webinar goes over what is and what isn't connected in Cambridge, so it's a good primer to what might be the future of smart cities.  The bigger question becomes how do SMBs connect to this ever expanding smart world?

Friday, February 3, 2017

Dreaming of a connected Things kind of world with Analytics of Things on top of in

    Analytics encompasses a few categories. At least it's been that way for quite some time now. We've all read about analytics based upon Descriptive, Diagnostic, Predictive and Prescriptive. But how does it relate to Analytics of things and the Internet of things?

     IoT & AoT is a new old world that's changing everything.  It's also aiming for a 5G and connected everything world.  An always on and connected smart world.  But is it really smart? And how is machine learning and analytics going to help improve our lives?  We don't really need more technology to automate our lives and steal our jobs and money.  That's not a connected world. That's a poverty stricken dystopian society.

   Descriptive analytics has been around for ages, even before machines and computers took over.  What we call Descriptive now was just Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing operational reporting a few years ago.   And before that it was really just standard reporting.  
      Diagnostic is really a step up from Descriptive, but with more emphasis on analyzing some data to figure out  if you're losing money or the energy bill went up in the winter and summer months.   Many times it's based on some sort of regression model if it's complex or simple arithmetic aggregation and summation formulas if no form of data science is involved.
     Predictive is as it kind of sounds, it tries to predict the future based on historical data and trends. It's not always an exact science and a lot of it depends on the data collected and analyzed.  Before "big data' and NoSQL and Hadoop it was really based on a lot of bad sample data that didn't always create a clear picture of your past or future.
       Prescriptive is relatively new as it tries to not only to predict the future, but be far more proactive and make actual recommendations based on historical data, trends, and learning patterns.   Amazon shopping cart or Netflix is simple examples of recommendation engines, but that's just scratching the surface.

     Going forward machine learning and deeper learning wants to not only recommend, but basically diagnose, recommend, predict, and choose what you can and should do in a variety of domains and circumstances.   Hollywood has created worlds and movies like this.  Sadly though, most of these movies were dystopian horror shows and not a utopian peaceful and happy world.

     This leads me into Internet of Things (IoT) and Analytics of Things (AoT) and how the smart connected world is kind of like the movies, except wouldn't we rather have a utopian society vs a dystopian one?

     The Internet of Things is far more complex than people realize. If you listen to some consulting firms or companies pushing their own hardware sensors or software they will just sell you on the theory of Dump all the data into AWS or Azure or collect the data from sensors and put it into hadoop or spark.  And then run some diagnostics and predictions.   And the magic of IoT and AoT comes into view.  Except it's far more complicated than that.  Far far more complicated and people seem to be ignoring the reality and truth to these theories.

     IoT means connected everything.  Some manufacturers are building out sensors on their devices for everything. Whether it's a John Deere or Ford or GE doesn't really matter as they want to sell you on buying their devices to build out this IoT connected world.  But what does that actually mean?

     You can buy a few cheap sensors yourself, a rasberry Pi, download some open source software and create your own 'Smart home" and driveway where you get some text message or email that turns on your video camera system if somebody steps in front of your home or drives up your driveway.

     Is this IoT?  It kind of is, but all those devices need to be connected via blue tooth and wifi or hardwired.   And your phone must use some Telco service to get access to that text or email.   Somebody had to create an app or site so you can view that camera and maybe even speak to that stranger from afar.  Think of it as somebody knocking at your door while you're at work, but you can talk to them like you're home.  

     What kind of analytics does a normal person really need for a smart home?  Well homes and buildings are rarely like phones. And why would we want them to be?   It's really not a good idea to be an Apple home where every single thing in your house is bought from and subscribed to Apple or Google(well Alphabet) or Samsung or Tesla.   So you have a Samsung TV, a GE fridge, an Apple TV, an android Phone,  Whirlpool washers and dryers, a Ring doorbell system, a VW car,  some other Garage door opener,  and so on and so forth   All these devices should work together in theory. But we all know the enterprise space is filled with Microsoft products that don't exactly integrate or work with other Microsoft products.

     Now imagine adding Hadoop, Teradata, Oracle, HP, SalesForce, Vmware,  Cisco,  some local T1 and Internet provider,  some local security force, some company that maintains the elevators,  some 3rd party contractors, various lighting systems and air conditioners and heaters.   A smart building and a smart connected world is really as simple and as complex as it sounds.

     Even if we don't connect everything, connecting many things will require integration of hardware, software, sensors, and systems that have never been integrated before and many of these companies don't play nice with each other anyway.    And then building the analytics on top of all those different things.   There might be 20 different dashboards and KPIs that only matter to a few companies or individuals.  But in a IoT/AoT world, everything connected matters.  Except you just pay attention to what matters to you and finger point when the hardware or software isn't working.  That won't work though. People don't want to hear some rep blame somebody else.

    And lets not even get into how does the sensors or hardware hold up in Minnesota or Norway?   A mobile developer or web developer shouldn't care whether or not a sensor breaks down in freezing conditions.  Except a connected world means your mobile app is useless if the sensors can't survive under 32 degrees. Or above 100.  Or 10,000 feet in the sky.  Or over 55 MPH.  Or in an ocean. Or can't handle 1000 people a day pushing on actual elevator buttons. Or kids jumping up and down on a bed a thousand times a day.

      Or how do you pipe billions and billions of sensor data through the airwaves all over the world?  We have issues at times with electricity now. And that's in places like the US.  There are many countries where running water and electricity aren't exactly guaranteed every day.   So if they can't guarantee electricity, how are they going to guarantee Data and connectivity?   Smart connected devices and IoT isn't just buy some sensors, connect them, configure your software and do some analytics.  

     The Internet of Things and Analytics of Things will change the world.  It'll also be a complicated and connected system that isn't easy to implement or maintain.  Glossing over these realities helps nobody. It just creates a fake connected IoT/AoT world.  And that helps nobody but a few people and their bank accounts.


Friday, January 13, 2017

Miles Davis, Product Management and winging it

I've grown to enjoy jazz as an adult so this was an interesting take on product management and I like it. There needs to be some innovative winging it concept.  And individuality and listening skills. 

The Silent Pandemic: Cybercriminals Infiltrate Hospital IT Help Desks, Exploiting Trust and Wreaking Havoc

In the shadows of the digital landscape, a new breed of predator has emerged, preying upon the very institutions we rely on in our most vuln...