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Comment Re:... move to a shared, distributed database ... (Score 2) 107

If you broadcast something everywhere, and people record it everywhere, it's very hard to go back and forge the past of that decentralized record.

True, but proof-of-work blockchains are a *really* expensive way to achieve the goal. It is far cheaper to have both parties just cryptographically sign a transaction and keep a copy themselves or even post it to a public repository.

Blockchains solve the double-spend problem. Great, but banks don't typically have that problem in the first place because the currency is not the record.

Comment Re:truth tables (Score 1) 73

Exactly, but the article seems to be adding confusion by talking about low-level physical implementation. It's a good rule of thumb that claiming a low-level idea will somehow punch through four or five layers of abstraction to get a high-level paradigm shift is usually wrong (maybe quantum computing will prove the exception,) but usually the high level ideas remain the same and just get better as the underlying mechanics improve. We've got a lot of experience with transputers, connection machines, GPUs, parallel grids, and other local storage-and-compute models. I doubt this will change our technology arc much.

Comment Re:Continut Working on My Own Terms (Score 1) 406

and even leadership opportunities

I certainly would not be doing that, I could see myself working for free in my current position if I could just do the SW related stuff, but all the crud I seem to have to deal with from marketing/program management types because they can't be bothered to learn our product would be right out as would any tier one customer support.

I'd love to be able to just fix all the known bugs that never get attention because they're not understood by management or implement automated testing on a larger scale.

I don't understand why people with significant wealth would want to run a company or organization rather than work on the project directly, but each to his/her own.

Um, because senior leadership is basically just fixing bugs and optimizing space/time/resources at the scale of the company rather than at the project/code level?

Now, most senior leaders suck at this just like most programmers suck at their jobs. That's just a fact of life. But if you luck into a good leader...

Maybe they listen to you about the crud you have to deal with from program management types. Then they think hard, figure out the correct metrics, run a few tests on current projects, come up with a better implementation, and get it adopted (i.e. pushed to production.) It takes a year, but the organization is better in the end (well, except to some project managers who were doing the wrong thing to begin with.)

Comment Re:Much more than barcodes (Score 1) 109

You just crypto-sign records and publish the (possibly encrypted) ledger.

If the entire DB was encrypted and published every time it was modified (many times per second) how could that possibly be a better solution than a blockchain? If you only encrypted and published the diffs, then wouldn't the chain of diffs pertaining to a single item be functionally the same as a blockchain, other than being scattered and more difficult to verify?

You're totally correct. A classic DBMS is just an efficient way to map a series of immutable transactions into a current state that can be queried efficiently: in it's most pure form it's just a complete transaction log, an initial empty state, a mapping from state+transaction->state, and a bunch of caching to aid in querying. So the transaction log is exactly equal to your chain of diffs.

Is the chain of signed diffs the same as a blockchain? Not quite. They are both chains, but transactions in the diff chain are not revokable (they are signed and can be upheld in court, etc,) whereas the blockchain transactions only become effectively non-revokable by consensus (requiring time and lots of compute power.) So, signing is much faster and cheaper than consensus. Scattered is second reason signed transactions are better: I only need to keep my copy of a transaction to prove it happened, blockchain requires I go out and find the consensus longest chain to prove the transaction is recorded. So, signed is safer and faster again as long as I can keep my own data.

Comment Re:Much more than barcodes (Score 2) 109

And you don't need a blockchain to fix the relational db tampering issue. You just crypto-sign records and publish the (possibly encrypted) ledger. Sign-and-register is technology that works and has been around for long before computers even existed.

The only thing blockchain solves is the double-spend problem. And that isn't an issue for WallMart's solution.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 598

Yeah, this. OK so I know it's 8AM on the US west coast where my daughter lives, and in Japan where my MIL lives, and in the Czech Republic where my parents are. That still doesn't tell me a damn thing about what time it is over there - can I call them? Are they home? At work?

This is an idiotic solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

It really helps all the people living at the exact North Pole.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 2, Funny) 190

NASA has how many years experience in this area and how many has SpaceX got?

You Luddite!

Elon Musk has the expertise in the 100km/hr vehicle space from his Tesla work.
Elon Musk has the expertise in working with high-ISP energy systems from his battery and solar city work.
Elon Musk has the expertise in the 500km/hr vehicle space from his Hyperloop work (including low-cost bridges and tunnels and vomit bags.)
Elon Musk has the expertise in reusing the booster tin-can in rockets (getting 200lbs of rocks back from the moon was so expensive because we forgot to make the first stage reusable.)
Elon Musk has the expertise to go to Mars because he said so, and the turn-around time of the rockets is just a few days.

So, sit in the luxury space capsule and watch the blickenlights while he fuels that puppy up.

Comment Re:Of course (Score 2) 332

Agreed. Very few people (police included) wake up and say "I want to be a jerk today, escalate lots of situations, get complaints filed against me, and be in a bad mood all day 'cos I didn't abuse someone enough."

Once they see being reasonable, and taking the professional stance, works as well or better than abusing the other person, they internalize the new behavior pretty fast. They probably go home feeling more professional and happier, camera or no camera.

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