Category Archives: Sustainability

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Has Blockchain Reached its RFID Moment?

 

Walmart lettuce bag

A good summary by Alexis Bateman and Chris Cottrill of MIT comparing Walmart’s intro of blockchain for leafy greens to their introduction of RFID. As before, they are compelling suppliers to participate.  That gets it done, but does not ensure that there will be a fair division of the benefit.  And of course, it is not clear that there will be benefit.  The technology is still too new.

I’m troubled by the fact that a permanent log of readings from handheld devices may not allow device errors to be corrected.  Some suppliers may be unfairly implicated if reading errors occur. However, if the application only tracks possession and not the presence of disease bacteria, that may not be much of a problem. I suspect that mixing lots from several farmers in a single bag may be a bigger and more contentious legal dilemma.

And it’s not a solution for the little guys. Only a behemoth like Walmart could impose such a requirement.  About as far from the original blockchain concept of decentralization as one can get.

Nonetheless, I’m sure we will learn a lot from the experiment.

scamit-logo1014595085392579205.png

via Has Blockchain Reached its RFID Moment?

Metro Monitor 2018

This article discusses differences between cities and sectors around the country in terms of economics and demographics.  The authors show that economic divides are increasing between geographic areas.  There are a great many numbers which show these trends. Authors are Chad ShearerIsha ShahAlec Friedhoff, and Alan Berube;  and date is 

screenshot-www.brookings.edu 2018-01-25 13-18-03-392  via Metro Monitor 2018

Blockchain explained through college basketball

Here is the original article the Loadstar referred me to.  It is a picture a bit too rosy, perhaps, but quite clear.

It doesn’t say that blockchain’s smart contracts will turn logistics people from a handful of paper shufflers to a handful of logicians whose job is to read and prove out the code of smart contracts.  That code will be embedded and executed in a transaction, without oversight, so it had better be right. How do we prove that?  The arguments will shift from arguing about how the actual contract matches with what happens, and goes wrong– to arguing about both that, and whether the smart contract program had a bug in it.

I think there’s a new frontier for provability software, that can read a program and match it with some specs to see if it matches.  The computer mathematicians already have software that can inspect theorem proofs and say if they are valid or not.  I think we need similar software.

Remember every program has bugs.

screenshot-www.freightwaves.com 2018.02.21 07-36-08  Blockchain explained through college basketball — FreightWaves

logo  via Blockchain explained through college basketball – The Loadstar