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01 Sep

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Blockchain Made Simple – TEDTalk by Don Tapscott

September 1, 2016 | By | No Comments

The futurist, Don Tapscott, brings both great insights and an ability to communicate clearly in accessible language that is understandable by a broad group of people.  In this 19 minute TEDTalk filmed in June 2016 he explains Blockchain technology and previews potential applications.

30 Apr

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2016 – The State of New Energy

April 30, 2016 | By | No Comments

This is not a political post in spite of the picture of the bad hair boy.  It is a post about the difference between mis-information and dis-information compared to well researched and well communicated information.

The keynote address at Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s annual summit given by Chairman Michael Liebreich contains the most definitive source of well researched data and analysis that is available on the current state and emergence of the New Energy Era.  His speaking style is direct and without drama or theatrics.  It is very worth watching all the way through.

Here is a link to a video of Michael’s talk.  This is a must watch.

Here is a link to the written transcript.

Enjoy, Bob.

28 Feb

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Al Gore – A Case for Optimism

February 28, 2016 | By | No Comments

Al Gore will be remembered by history as the singular person who most focused the world’s attention on the need to take climate change seriously.  In this awesome TEDTalk at the annual conference in Vancouver, he brings the clearest and most compelling message yet, one both of the problems, and as importantly of the hope.  This is a must see for anyone who considers herself or himself a responsible adult and citizen.

Click on this line to open his TEDtalk in a new window.

22 Nov

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All about EROI – Energy Return on Investment

November 22, 2015 | By | No Comments

Chris Nelder’s podcast – The Energy Transition Show probes particularly deeply into analysis and questioning of how the transition is progressing, and what are the accelerators and headwinds.

In Episode 7, Christ dialogues with his guest Dr. Dave Murphy, Assistant Professor, St. Lawrence University, on the subject of Energy ROI – how much energy does it take to harvest energy.

For example in the early days of Saudi oil fields the ration was 1:100, now it’s closer to 1:20.  For every one unit of oil expended in extraction and delivery to cars, you get 20 units.  Note the dropping trend.

On the other side with renewables, the trend is going in the other direction and accelerating.

Click here for a link to the podcast.

18 Oct

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Let the Crypto Revolution Occur

October 18, 2015 | By | No Comments

Again so soon on the subject of blockchain technologies – on October 13, 2015, Fast Company, in a great article by Steven Melendez, headlined the following:

“THE FUTURE OF BITCOIN ISN’T BITCOIN—IT’S BIGGER THAN THAT …
THE SHARED LEDGER TECHNOLOGY, OR BLOCKCHAIN, INTRODUCED IN BITCOIN COULD UPEND THE FINANCIAL INDUSTRY. AND STARTUPS ARE GETTING IN LINE.”

Please see:

http://www.fastcompany.com/3051679/innovation-agents/the-future-of-bitcoin-isnt-bitcoin-its-bigger-than-that

This article features several proof-of-concept cases of blockchain technology being implemented by early adopters. Wall Street itself, at least the one currently familiar to us, is likely to experience being disrupted, although the forward looking players, such as R3 CEV mentioned in my recent Sep 18 blog posts, seem to recognize this and are re-inventing their own position and may just thrive on this disruption. Stay tuned, Bob.

14 Oct

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Grid Neutrality guided by Net Neutrality

October 14, 2015 | By | No Comments

The Tech Sector is inherently focused on the future, on technological advances in their own right, and on the changes to society and organizations that these advances enable. One example, tech firms were the first to embrace email and to adapt to flatter organizational structures which email communication enabled.

There are many learnings from tech that can be useful in other sectors, particularly around thriving in a world of accelerating change and supplanting hierarchical structures with network structures. The Internet is of course a network structure that radically altered all previous communication structures.

The conversation and imperatives around Net Neutrality have been explored and evaluated for around two decades. The excellent two articles below highlight how the electric grid has been hierarchical or flowing in one direction, and yet how it will necessarily be supplanted by a network electric grid more similar to the Internet than today’s electric grid. The articles further point out how the principles of Net Neutrality have their equivalent principles in Grid Neutrality to guide the supplanting of the grid.

From David Roberts at VOX.com Energy & Environment “You know about net neutrality. Meet grid neutrality.

From Fortnightly “Grid Neutrality”.

18 Sep

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Blockchain technologies get a huge thumbs up

September 18, 2015 | By | One Comment

Just last month, in early August I blogged about the business potential for one instance of blockchain technology called Ethereum. On Sep 15, 2015, Business Insider UK reported that R3 CEV, an “Innovation Firm” lead by David Rutter announced that “Nine of the world’s biggest banks on Tuesday threw their weight behind blockchain, the technology that powers bitcoin.” Please see:

http://uk.businessinsider.com/jpmorgan-barclays-and-others-join-r3-on-blockchain-project-2015-9?r=US&IR=T

I had the pleasure of working closely with David Rutter in the late 1980’s developing a trade accounting system for derivates. David is a great guy, smart as can be, and forward looking. Clearly R3 and their partners see the potential of blockchain technologies. I reiterate my comments from August: I believe blockchain technology, properly designed and implemented, can fulfill the promise of a trusted cyber experience. Stay tuned, I’ll be tracking and sharing key progress. Bob.

17 Sep

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More efficiently than was previously even imaginable

September 17, 2015 | By | No Comments

This compelling blog briefing on Sidecar Deliveries from the brilliant Jahan Khanna, co-founder and CTO of Sidecar, posted on September 15, 2015, describes an unfolding transformation in local deliveries or local logistics. Jahan cuts through the complexity of one of the most challenging algorithmic problems in computer science – “the traveling salesman problem”, and communicates with a simplicity that makes this problem understandable to a generalist. Please see:

https://www.side.cr/under-the-hood-a-look-at-sidecars-on-demand-logistics-infrastructure/

What really gets me excited about this briefing is one of its conclusions – MORE EFFICIENTLY THAN WAS PREVIOUSLY IMAGINABLE. This is made possible for deliveries or logistics to quote Jahan:  “When everyone is connected to the Internet all the time, people can work together in shockingly more efficient ways than was previously possible.”

This observation is true for Mobility on Demand and for deliveries and it’s also true for many other contexts. “Resource Efficiency” or using all of our resources more efficiently will dramatically lower how much we consume, how much we extract from Nature, and enable us to live sustainably while also living well. We live in times where the only true limit to solving our problems is our imagination and the resistance of those afraid of what they may personally lose as we move beyond “business as usual”. It’s better to get on the right side of the inevitable than to resist and lose. Bob.

08 Aug

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Ethereum Vision – The business imperative

August 8, 2015 | By | One Comment

 

With over four decades in advanced computing, even though my attention is now principally focused on the New Energy Era and Clean Tech, when a new software technology as profound and disruptive as “blockchain” comes along, I can not help but engage with its emergence and evolution with great curiosity and interest.

What is blockchain technology? To start to understand, think of it as enabling transparent or public trusted ledgers that can track anything. Check out this very understandable six minute video:

While bitcoin is getting most of the attention, and perhaps even distracting from the eventual value of blockchain technologies, due to how bitcoin has been applied as a virtual currency, there is an even more broadly innovative and applicable blockchain or transparent ledger platform called “Ethereum”.

I have been studying Ethereum roughly since its inception and the level of excitement I’m feeling is as great as when I was first shown the early Mosaic web browser by a colleague from the National Science Foundation, well before NetScape brought web browsers broadly onto the computing scene.

I know from my long involvement with thought leaders in cybersecurity that the current implementation of “eCommerce” on the web can not be truly secure. All internet security is essential “bolted on after the fact”. To use an analogy, it’s as though a bank vault door has been added to the front of a surface wooden structure instead of being the door to a concrete bunker deep in the ground.

Ethereum is the first platform or environment I’ve found that I believe can fulfill the promise of a trusted cyber experience. Below is a link to the best article I’ve yet read about the vision for Ethereum and why it matters to the business world. It’s a deep article, one I’ve re-read many times. It’s well worth reading as many times as it takes to fully understand the implications and promise.

https://blog.ethereum.org/2015/05/24/the-business-imperative-behind-the-ethereum-vision/

Enjoy, Bob.

04 Jul

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Happiness precedes Productivity

July 4, 2015 | By | No Comments

Over 11 million people have watched this humorous, engaging, and fast paced TEDTalk by Shawn Anchor.  The pic above is a snapshot of the key points from the video.  Enjoy, Bob.