• Category Archives Computers
  • ASX going Blockchain

    The Australian Securities Exchange is the first one in the world to start using blockchain technology.

    Unless you have been living life offline, you no doubt have heard about Bitcoins crazy rise to crazy (stupid) heights – $16164 at the time of this blog writing.
    Blockchain is used in Bitcoin, but they are not the same.
    I was going to write a blog on Bitcoin and started to research it so I could lay it all out and the more I dug into it, the worse it got…. It is just riddled with questions and personal politics. The nail in that blog was finally hammered home very soundly when I read this post about its history on Reddit.
    [If you follow that link up, keep in mind, it is not about how or why, but more who – My blog was to be about the how, since I am thebaldgeek, the tech was of interest, but when I read about how corrupt the tech was, I gave up].

    Back to the ASX.

    Blockchain is the underlying system that allows Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies to be traded in a decentralized manner. It revolves around a ledger, or database, that is continuously updated and accessible to the public. Many users, or nodes, have a copy of the ledger and verify the transactions by completing difficult mathematical problems. In the Bitcoin world, these validators are called “miners.” They authenticate and group transactions into cryptographically protected “blocks” which are then added to the public “chain” for all to see. Miners are slowly rewarded with Bitcoin for carrying out this work, which requires a substantial PC rig.

    Annnnndddd we will stop there. The point is, the math is sound. It is a way of mathematically proving who bought what, who sold what, who owns what.
    So the underlying tech is good. And well done ASX for getting it off the ground, I am sure there are lots and lots of people in the world watching how it all goes and if it actually helps.
    The problem is of course is that humans must run the computers that do the math and the network that ties the computers together, so, profit geek is about to openly state, some time down the track the ASX will be ‘hacked’ and this will all end in tears.

    Bottom line, stay away from Bitcoin, but Blockchain should be Ok for a little bit more.

    [Edit – a few minutes after posting this blog, this popped up in my RSS feed, its a good summary of what Bitcoin is not and roughly why – but note, it does not cover ANY of the subject matter outlined in that Reddit post]



  • Julian earthquake swam

    Far out… I was just there on Sunday (blog entry coming).

    There has been a swam of 5 earthquakes near Julian, just down the road from us here at Temecula.

    Here are the traces from my Raspberry Pi Seismograph.

    The first big blue one is actually the first 3 quakes.
    They really came in fast together.
    Then a few hours latter, the green trace shows the 4th.
    Then a few hours latter, the blue trace show the 5th.

    Here is the USGS map showing their locations (and to the upper left, Temecula).

    By using the ‘as the crow flies’ option in Google Maps, I make it to be 43.6 miles away.

    Without spoiling the coming blog, I was about 3.2 miles from the epicenter on Sunday (Little did he know).

    Pretty amazing to have a swam so close to home and really makes you wonder just what is going on beneath our feet!!



  • Alexa downunder

    Looks like the Amazon always listening Alexa is about to land in Australia and NZ.

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/30/amazon-alexa-echo-australia-new-zealand/

    Amazon has announced that Alexa and Alexa-enabled devices will land in Australia and New Zealand in early 2018.

    The Echo will be part of the launch, reports The Sydney Morning Herald — although, Amazon is keeping mum about precise timing and the exact Echo devices it plans to release.

    “Ok Google” is already there, and if you like to get solid answers to real questions, that is the one to get (I have both in my living room).
    But, if you like to play with home automation, Alexa is the kicker thus far.



  • New seismograph

    My names thebaldgeek and I am addicted to Kickstarter.
    (Am I allowed to say that more than once per session?)

    I got me a new seismograph!
    Yeah yeah, its pretty much exactly the same as the old one and yes, I am a little disappointed on just how similar it is, but eh, no going back.

    The new one looks pretty much exactly the same as the old one.
    The main board is a little bigger now. This one is powered by a Raspberry Pi 3 vs the 2 in the old one.
    This one also has my name laser etched in it, same as the last one.
    (Its a perk for backing their kickstarter campaign).

    I don’t care what you think, I’m telling you, this is the best looking seismic vault in Southern California. It just is…..
    Cost me a packet of both money and honey-love to get the thing installed, so yeah, it is pretty!
    I still need to fix the lid (under the fake rock in the middle) better, but its working for now.

    Here they are side by side. Old and new.
    I wanted to run the two of them in the same vault to compare them for a good while. (Mostly because I have not found a home for the original one just yet).
    There were reports of this new one running hotter than the old one by way too much. I can now report, its about 10 dec C, so not so much at all.
    In a nut shell, the new one is supposed to have more axies of data, and it does, they are just super noisy, so are of little value 99% of the time.
    They supposedly come into play as soon as you have a ‘close’ earth quake.
    Hey, I live in SoCal, should not have to wait long…..

    Here is a crummy literal screenshot of the two traces side by side on my groov screen.
    I can honestly say, after running them for a few weeks now, there is no difference in the main trace.
    Sad thing is, the company that puts them out has already hinted that there is another Kickstarter campaign next year with new hardware….. Bleh.



  • Amazing Progress

    Wow. This sure is some amazing progress…. The guys at Boston Dynamics are at it again with another amazing video showing off their latest robotic feats.

    Be sure and watch it till the very end.

    Just trying to think about the programming of this makes my head hurt… and then I start to try and think about the mechanics of all the joints, the speed and strength they all have…

    Im still trying to find the time to get a Pi hooked up to two of the robots that I want to get going sometime in the next year…. Bleh, but hey, its all good fun till the robots take over. (And by the looks of it, it wont be long now!).