But before you embark on that shiny blockchain project, you need to have a very clear idea of why you are using a blockchain. There are a bunch of conditions that need to be fulfilled. And if they’re not, you should go back to the drawing board. Maybe you can define the project better. Or maybe you can save everyone a load of time and money, because you don’t need a blockchain at all.
Source: Avoiding the pointless blockchain project | MultiChain
Blockchains are a technology for shared databases.
Blockchains are a technology for databases with multiple writers.
blockchains are a technology for databases with multiple non-trusting writers.
Computers operating each engine cannot work if this data, which is unique to each of the turboprops, is missing.
Source: Exclusive: A400M probe focuses on impact of accidental data wipe | Reuters
Under the A400M’s design, the first warning pilots would receive of the engine data problem would be when the plane was 400 feet (120 meters) in the air, according to a safety document seen by Reuters. On the ground, there is no cockpit alert.
Sounds like these data files became a single point of failure.
The top-rated reasons for preferring physical to digital products were: “I like to hold the product” (51%), “I am not restricted to a particular device” (20%), “I can easily share it” (10%), “I like the packaging” (9%), and “I can sell it when used” (6%).
via Young adult readers ‘prefer printed to ebooks’ | Books | theguardian.com.
He said after the application is released, they don’t learn from the complaints nearly as much as they learn from watching the employees use the application on the job and see where the issues are. It’s much easier to observe the problem than trying to tease it out of the users.
via Stop listening to your users | CITEworld.
Rambler, created by William Hockey, Zach Perret and Michael Kelly, is a web app that lets users view their credit and debit card transactions on a map. During the dev process, the team tapped the Foursquare API for locations and the Plaid API to access user spending data.
via Rambler Takes Home The Disrupt NY 2013 Hackathon Grand Prize, Learn To Drive And Radical Are Runners Up | TechCrunch.
This is an interesting science project. The security implications however would cause me to steer clear of this app entirely. I don’t understand what benefit anyone would gain from using this app and this is the grand prize winner.
Here’s another one…
After 24 hours of hard work at the Disrupt NY Hackathon, Michael Kolodny, Jingen Lin and Ricardo Falletti demoed us HangoutLater, a nifty hack built on top of the Foursquare API. When you check in and a friend is close to you, it will ask you if you want to hang out later. Then, it will automatically find you a central location to meet.
If they’re that close to you why not just talk to them the old fashioned way? And my favorite:
A project at our Disrupt Hackathon called “Bar Power” is an app that will remind you to “not be a douchebag.” It’s somewhat of a game, walking you through nice things to do when you enter a bar. For example, the app will suggest that you say “hi” to the bartender and introduce yourself. If you do it and mark it down in the app, you get some karma points.
Perhaps they should consider a little less coding/hacking and a little more focus on requirements. My favorite comment about the above app:
BREAKING: Yahoo just acquired it for $300 million.
Writing functional and technical specifications – even for simple programs – is a vital skill, forcing programmers to think through what it is they want to do before they start doing it. They’re also invaluable for the generation (or two) of programmers who may need to modify or update your code after you’ve moved on. Trying to make even simple changes to a program without introducing new bugs requires a detailed understanding of what the program or function is supposed to do and how it was written. Without proper documentation, that job becomes much, much harder, Lamport says.
via Brogrammer Killed The Requirements Engineering Star.
Interesting read as well as the two featured comments.
Architects draw detailed plans before a brick is laid or a nail is hammered. Programmers and software engineers don’t. Can this be why houses seldom collapse and programs often crash?
via Why We Should Build Software Like We Build Houses | Wired Opinion | Wired.com.
This analogy made me laugh because software doesn’t have to fight gravity or -20F temperatures or whatever else planet Earth has in store for a physical structure. The gist of this article however seems to be that every software project should start with and needs a solid foundation of requirements. Shout out to system engineering!
Update: Here’s an interesting comment from slashdot and a shout out to awk.
If builders built houses the way programmers built programs, the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization.
Trivia: Gerald Weinberg is the “w” in awk. Sadly, things haven’t changed much since back when.
That’s in part because for now, at least, you can’t move a white-space device around. You can’t put a white-space radio into a phone or laptop because each white-space device must check its location against a database to determine which TV channels and wireless microphones are being used in the device’s area, so they can avoid those channels.
via ‘Super Wi-Fi’: Super, But Not Wi-Fi | News & Opinion | PCMag.com.
That may change a few years down the road, when “personal/portable” white space devices appear. Based on the 802.22 standard, these will be chips able to fit into laptops and tablets, with software that can “sense” clear frequencies as they move around.
Full disclosure: I am an ex-PM on Google Reader, and I worked on comments and the last round of sharing changes. I also left Google in July.
via Reader redesign: Terrible decision, or worst decision? – >*.
I ended up clicking on this because I had no idea what Google Reader was. There might be some insight into CPE UI requirements in this rant.