Category Archives: The Port for Thought

Bitte kein bitcoin!

Bitcoin is rapidly becoming a collector’s item, exhibited by the flash brigade and horded for the ‘big sell’ by the peer-to-peer dealers. But the artform has moved on in the hands of the cryptographic followers of the Nakamoto master. ‘Process infrastructure’ has become the new focus to titillate the cognoscenti.

Fine, so the ubiquitous Bitcoin is out of fashion and the technology is now being pursued by ‘miners’ sustaining the hype for the myopic to sink substantial sums of flat money into enhanced processing power. However, the incestuous nature of this algorithmic elite will mean that they will be unable to depart from their comfort zone and, despite the emergence of copycat Bitcoin ventures, the concept as it stands will eventually stagnate. The history of applied technology has shown that closed-loop technological innovations superimposed on ‘real’ applications lack credibility. Blind ego or intransigent avarice are often the motivating force behind these creations and Bitcoin could be said to fall into this category.

There is undoubtedly a need for an alternative approach to traditional banking and perhaps the Bitcoin experience will be a catalyst for more constructive thinking in the world of applied finance. Established high-end technologies in the communications sector are clearly in the frame so, maybe soon, one of them will take the initiative to mount a ground-breaking collaborative venture with the banking fraternity. Tim Cook of Apple has announced this week the impending launch of Apple Pay which has undoubtedly tweaked the ears of leading financial players. There is still a difficult road ahead however for any venture that seeks to address the question of regulation in order to create a fully fledged virtual bank.

Further reading: Bitcoin: Trash or trophy?

© Spyglass

Have brave hearts, not Braveheart!

In response to your post: iDay: Bring it on!

“Well, you can tell your 98 year old she wouldn’t have got to 98 if we’d been independent. On Scotland’s social services, we’d all be dropping like flies!”

My friend Katie Spencer-Nairn of Rankeilour, Cupar Fife, has been dependent on the state for 30 years. Paralysed from the waist down, she has 2 nurses visiting her on a daily basis, enabling her to live alone in a rural coach house in the Kingdom of Fife. A few years ago, the Scottish social services were threatened with severe cuts but, despite her serious disability, Katie mounted a fervent campaign with other paraplegics and won the day.

Further reading: Scotland, HRM and Valium!

© Lucia Stuart  The Wild Kitchen

 

 

Is Putin allergic to cats?

Vladimir Putin has all the accoutrements associated with the archetypal Bond villain: A private army, nuclear weapons, a subservient national media and even a space station. Silencing his opponents in foreign capitals is accomplished with the sexy aid of polonium 210 rather than horse-and-buggy methods such as a Martini laced with arsenic or humdrum knife and bullet.

Mr Putin fits the bill perfectly and his role in the next Bond movie alongside Daniel Craig looks assured.

So where is the white cat to complete the picture?

© David Morris