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A midsummer's equation - Book review

This is the fourth book on my Keigo Higashino series. Easily the longest of the four and setting wise quite different from any of the other three. I felt, “Devotion of Suspect X”, probably had the best translator and wish the same person had done the other three as well. The strain of translation is visible at places in this book though not as worse as “Name of the game is a kidnapping”, which was worse right from its title or “Malice”, which had its fair share of mistakes. The other aspect that was notably different in this book was the sheer number of characters. There is an army of them and trying to follow who does what is a tedious task in itself. In almost all the book, there is a leading lady character who is a hostess. Now that I think of, that’s the only profession they belong to on all the four books!! And a teacher character is a repeat across most of them. Probably the author has his own favorite of professions I guess.

Story wise, it’s one of the most detailed and circuit…

Security and Block chain

The concept of public and private in the context of Block chains is less to do with sharing but more to do with who can authenticate a transaction or not. In a public Block chain – like bitcoin –every node can authenticate a transaction. But in the case of permissioned ledger or private Block chain, you select a certain number of entities who have preferential rights to authenticate that transaction. So when we come to access, that’s where we come to the privacy bit.

So what does this do in terms of security and in terms of confidentiality?

On the security front – the database is replicated across different nodes and each can view the transaction – as a result, any change which is made to the database all the nodes in a system have to verify that and authenticate that change. Even in a private Block chain, for example in a supply chain, confidentiality is an issue. Not everything in a supply chain transaction is meant to be viewed by all the actors and you need to restrict access. Thi…

Block chain and equities

The private equity market, while attractive to investors and businesses, has seen little technological investment or innovation in recent years. However, as calls for greater transparency, efficiency and security are made - especially in a world where cyber-attacks are a common occurrence - private equity funds and services need to address the lack. To tackle the problem, IBM and Northern Trust have turned towards the Block chain.

To take the hassle out of regulatory and legal compliance, the technology has also been designed to support current rules and was created by working with government officials and regulators during the process. Ownership stakes can be transferred and managed through the ledger, and the companies say the service offers "one version of the truth" to users on the platform. Current legal and administrative processes that support private equity are time consuming and expensive and a lack of transparency and efficient market practices almost always leads …

Implementing block chain

In a system like Block chains, where all the parties involved are know all the information for a transaction, is it even possible to have privacy?
 If so, what kind of data should be left out of the system?
But first, it is important to distinguish a distributed database and a decentralized ledger system.
A distributed database could very well be where there is a central authority which holds the data and multiple copies of that data is there for others to view it. A classic example of that could be a central government database – say with the taxman, the RBI and others in a governance framework. But that really is not Block chain. In a situation where different actors do not trust each other, what you do normally is that you would set up an intermediary that you all trust. The good example being currency - One wouldn't know if the currency they have has any value, therefore, the RBI authenticates or certifies that it has value.’ That is the centralized intermediary concept. In th…

Bit more on Block chain

How to setup a Block Chain?
The term Block Chain is often bandied with various other terms like “distributed ledger”, “smart contracts”, “mining”, “crypto currencies”. What do they mean?
What will happen to incorrect data, accidentally stored?
How to correct the immutable chain?
If there is a way to fix the data, wouldn’t it be in contradiction to the concept of immutability?
Let’s try to get some answers around these queries.

When cars were first invented, they were called as horseless carriages. Any invention, in its initial release state, is often compared with the nearest service that it would be rivalling or replacing. Likewise, Block chain, if at all can be renamed, could well be called as “Ledger on the net”. With the ever rising rates of BitCoin, one particular area where Block chain can be implemented is already well renowned. But other than crypto currencies, there are lot many areas where the concept of Block chain is creating revolutionary ripples, having far reaching impl…

The blockchain of trust

Ever since I read this post by mister Goku, have been fascinated by the concept of cypto-currencies and block chain and have long wanted to do a post on them. Have tried my hand a bit with whatever little info that I could understand from the materials online. Feel free to pitch-in to correct anything contrary to what is stated below.

How critical it is in current world to create “trust”, considering we’ve companies that solely run on them – Airbnb, Etsy, Uber, Facebook. These are the current generation’s super giants, who go by the concept of not owning any inventory, but selling the concept of a better user interface. Reputation and trust which their clients have on them is very critical for their existence and survival. How important it is to verify contents when reputations are at stake with fake news taking on MSM? One wrong or false information on the net, with conspiratorial tone, can cause irreparable damage to th…