Hamish MacEwan

Crash and Carry on, Canadian Chip Chumps, and the Internet of Sins

It’s called letting go. What the Internet knows, and what big pre-Internet concerns do not, is that unless you are a certifiable genius, trying to guess what people want is a really bad way of giving it to them. Hollywood, as William Goldman said, is a place where nobody knows anything. Turns out that that’s true of most things. People are ungrateful sots who persist on deciding for themselves what they like. The best way to make that work for an idea is to put it out there and see what use is made of it – and to make sure that anyone can say “Hm, yes… but what if we try it this way?”

One of the Four Horsemen Will Announce Integration with Bitcoin Soon

Perhaps, but the history of rational choices rather than futile attempts to “capture” or “dominate” a market by becoming the defacto proprietary choice and extort rents like Microsoft did isn’t good.

It is just too easy to go it alone and the returns would be, but never are, extraordinary.

Despite being “Internet native,” I don’t see any of these four being the one to be unconventionally wrong (or right) by choosing a novel technology designed for the Internet like Bitcoin.

Capitalism is making way for the age of free | Jeremy Rifkin

Summers and DeLong glimpsed that as marginal costs approach zero, “the competitive paradigm cannot be fully appropriate” for organising commercial life, but admitted “we do not yet know what the right replacement paradigm will be”. Now we know. A new economic paradigm – the collaborative commons – has leaped onto the world stage as a powerful challenger to the capitalist market.

A growing legion of prosumers is producing and sharing information, not only knowledge, news and entertainment, but also renewable energy, 3D printed products and online college courses at near-zero marginal cost on the collaborative commons. They are even sharing cars, homes, clothes and tools, entirely bypassing the conventional capitalist market.

Economics, it must be true…

Bitcoin is like…

Interesting times.

Study Finds Flaw in RSA Implementation of Encryption Standard

SQRL - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The software solution typically uses a QR code, which provides authentication, where a user identifies anonymously rather than providing a user ID and password. This method is thought to be impervious to a brute forcepassword attack or data breach. It shifts the burden of security away from the party requesting the authentication and closer to the operating system implementation of what is possible on the hardware, as well as to the user.

Hopefully Bitcoin key pairs could be used for this…

Economies of Unscale: Why Business Has Never Been Easier for the Little Guy

These new economies of unscale will be good for job growth, because they open up thousands of new market niches for exploitation.  By buying specialized services, in customized form and at modest cost, companies can create unique products, find buyers from across the world, and secure profits.  It doesn’t matter if a designer wants to build polka dot bird feeders — there is a hyper-niche market they can tap, using platforms like Etsy to sell it across the world.  To succeed though, we first have to unlearn what we have been taught about business: We have to think in an unscaled mindset, where the emphasis is on a greater number of specialized products sold to customers who know exactly what they need.  How we train our students for this world will be critical to securing their future employment.

And the new diseconomies of scale.  Co-ordination costs, which the firm was formed to reduce, only works against a poorly communicating market.  That we no longer have.

Bitcoin Is Pointless as a Currency, But It Could Change the World Anyway

If history is a guide, it is here that bitcoin’s real potential lies: in its hybrid payments technology. As Europe’s medieval merchant-bankers proved, a brilliant new means of recording and verifying money transfers can indeed be a revolutionary event — not just in economic, but in political terms.

The existing, bank-based payments system is expensive and antediluvian — but also profitable and therefore jealously guarded by its powerful owners. Other technologies co-exist — such as cash payment face-to-face, or the developing world staple of hawala for international transfers — but they cannot seriously compete with banks. If Bitcoin’s technology is as cheap, as scalable, and as secure as its advocates claim, it may be different.