Showing posts from July, 2018

Bitcoin: 15 minutes (or more) of privacy

Andy Warhol was right when, in 1968,  he said "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."

Now that the future is here, what everyone seems to desire is 15 minutes (or more) of privacy.  At least that's what occurred to me when I asked myself what problem Bitcoin, and more specifically, blockchain is trying to solve.

Digital currency offers the ability to hide transactions, and is often associated with those who purchase illegal goods or launder money.  But digital currency is also used for legal transactions and appeals to those with memories of the 2008 recession; they want to have as little to do as possible with the banks that contributed to it, and that often means using some combination of credit unions, cash, and Bitcoin.

Unlike Fiat money, Bitcoin is not backed by any government. It operates independently of any central bank and lives on the net.  This is made possible by a mathematical token referred to as the blockchain.  It follows the Bitco…

Bookshelf Classic: The Design and Evolution of C++

There was a time when I put a corporate seal on my favorite books.  Dr. Stroustrup noticed the embossed seal, ran his fingers over it, and remarked "nice" as he signed my copy.

The book was  published circa 1994, and Stroustrup was on hand to give a talk to an eager C++ user group.

While the book describes the early evolution of C++ -- the proposals, the decisions, the trade-offs, and the mistakes -- it is in the early sections where we learn most about the author.  Stroustrup writes:

"It is often claimed that the structure of a system reflects the structure of the organization that created it.  Within reason, I subscribe to that idea."

In my years of programming and working with management, I have found this to be very true.  This was Stroustrup's way of saying the C++ language is largely shaped by who he is.  While it's no surprise he has advanced degrees in mathematics and computer science, we learn that his hobbies include history and philosophy.  Descr…