What if Blockchain is not that useful?

There are downsides to blockchain technologies and processes (blockchain algorithms power Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies):

Each purported use case  —  from payments to legal documents, from escrow to voting systems — amounts to a set of contortions to add a distributed, encrypted, anonymous ledger where none was needed. What if there isn’t actually any use for a distributed ledger at all? What if, 10 years after it was invented, the reason nobody has adopted a distributed ledger at scale is because nobody wants it?

Source: Ten years in, nobody has come up with a use for blockchain

I suspect there are good uses for blockchain, however, the point is well taken. In the 1980s, I worked at a company that built a spreadsheet product that was so simplified that people who did not know algebra could use it. This seemed like a great break through. What was the problem? People who did not know basic algebra concepts did not have problems in life requiring a spreadsheet!

In other words, the technology was great but completely missed the target audience.

The linked article identifies many disconnects between proposed blockchain use cases – and the real world. A very interesting read.

 

#Alteryx publishes detailed data on 123M U.S. households in unsecured, online database

This cloud leak reveals the personal details of 123 million US households, revealing in-depth analysis of their finances sold by credit reporting agency Experian.

Source: Home Economics: How Life in 123 Million American Households Was Exposed Online

123 million households covers essentially everyone in the United States.

The data includes financial information such as income, home and auto loans, number of children and their ages, consumer marketing data such as whether you are a book buyer, engage in gardening, purchase various types of magazines, and many other personal interests, whether you are a do-it-yourselfer, your religious affiliation, household donations made to political groups and environmental groups. The data also includes the balance of your home and auto loans and your address – but not your name. Alteryx pretends that without your name, its not personally identifiable (Alteryx is lying).

Alteryx has not provided any way to learn if your own data has been released through their incompetence.

The CEO of Alteryx, Dean Stoecker, issued a bland statement “Third-Party Marketing Data” that obfuscates the degree of highly personal data they published online. Stoecker is an idiot.

Fixing the Starbuck’s app “No stores nearby available” error

Just a tip to help users of the Android version of the Starbuck’s app. If you try to make a mobile order using the app, but you see no stores on the map view and see the error message “No stores nearby available” or similar, there is a fix for this.

The problem appears to be that the Starbuck’s app requires “permission” to access the Location information on your phone – but the permission to do so was not set.

You can uninstall and re-install the app to get this working again (the re-install should prompt you to set the Location permission), or:

Go in to Android Settings | Apps | Starbucks | Permissions and find the item “Your location” and set the permission “switch” to the right (or blue) to enable access to location information on your phone.