Blockchain vs Database

Blockchain Vs Database

How is the “Blockchain different from a database?” is a question that often pops up and it’s an important question.

In a typical Excel database one person enters data. That person may even share that database with someone else who can then add additional data, edit the data, or delete the data.And that is one of the biggest differences between the Blockchain and a database: Different parties can create, read, update, and delete data in a database.
In the Blockchain, on the other hand, data can only be written to a block, it cannot be updated or deleted. The Blockchain is, as they say, immutable. And, depending on whether the Blockchain you’re working with is public (permissionless), private, or permissioned, not everyone can always even read the block.

Let’s walk through an example:
Let’s say smartData contracts ABC Delivery to pick up a package in Sydney . While negotiating the contract smartData and ABCD agree on what data to track. They agree on the following data points; the date the package is picked up, the time it’s picked up, a scan of the package to confirm receipt, and a price for picking it up. ABCD delivery service scans the package when they pick it up. The scan serves to verify that the first part of the job has been performed on a certain date and time. This data is recorded and funds from smartData account are withdrawn to pay ABCD for the service.

Some of this could be done on a database. A database could keep track of the four agreed upon parameters. A database can even pull data from an API. A database might even be able to withdraw funds from a dedicated account.
Here’s what a database cannot do: A database cannot make sure that its data is not changed in any way. A database cannot exist in a distributed network adding to the security and verity of the data. A database cannot exist along a larger chain of transactions with an encrypted hash number to further heighten its security. And if a database cannot be trusted or remain immutable, would you want to use it to withdraw or deposit funds?
Lastly, if a database can be shared it can be read by anyone who gets their hands on it. On the other hand, if smartData and ABCD use a private Blockchain, only smartData and ABCD can read what they put on their Blockchain. Databases do have a certain level of security, but nowhere near the cryptography that the Blockchain does.

This is not an argument that the Blockchain is superior to a database. That’s like arguing that a hammer is superior to a screwdriver. They are different tools. Sometimes you need a hammer, sometimes a screwdriver. Sometimes all you need is a database, sometimes you need the Blockchain.

NO LEFT-TURNS

No Left Turn

Life travels it’s own path and the story below depicts this wonderfully with lot of graceful lessons to be learnt – it’s up to us to learn from this wonderful story and follow – enjoy the story.

This is a wonderful piece by Michael Gartner, editor of newspapers large and small and president of NBC News. In 1997, he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. It is well worth reading, and a few good chuckles are guaranteed. Here goes…

My father never drove a car. Well, that’s not quite right. I should say I never saw him drive a car. He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet.

“In those days,” he told me when he was in his 90s, “to drive a car you had to do things with your hands, and do things with your feet, and look every which way, and I decided you could walk through life and enjoy it or drive through life and miss it.”

At which point my mother, a sometimes salty Irishwoman, chimed in:
“Oh, bull shit!” she said. “He hit a horse.”

“Well,” my father said, “there was that, too.”

So my brother and I grew up in a household without a car. The neighbors all had cars – the Kollingses next door had a green 1941 Dodge, the VanLaninghams across the street a gray 1936 Plymouth, the Hopsons two doors down a black 1941 Ford — but we had none.

My father, a newspaperman in Des Moines , would take the streetcar to work and, often as not, walk the 3 miles home. If he took the streetcar home, my mother and brother and I would walk the three blocks to the streetcar stop, meet him and walk home together.

My brother, David, was born in 1935, and I was born in 1938, and sometimes, at dinner, we’d ask how come all the neighbors had cars but we had none. “No one in the family drives,” my mother would explain, and that was that. But, sometimes, my father would say, “But as soon as one of you boys turns 16, we’ll get one.” It was as if he wasn’t sure which one of us would turn 16 first.

But, sure enough, my brother turned 16 before I did, so in 1951 my parents bought a used 1950 Chevrolet from a friend who ran the parts department at a Chevy dealership downtown.

It was a four-door, white model, stick shift, fender skirts, loaded with everything, and, since my parents didn’t drive, it more or less became my brother’s car.

Having a car but not being able to drive didn’t bother my father, but it didn’t make sense to my mother. So in 1952, when she was 43 years old, she asked a friend to teach her to drive. She learned in a nearby cemetery, the place where I learned to drive the following year and where, a generation later, I took my two sons to practice driving. The cemetery probably was my father’s idea. “Who can your mother hurt in the cemetery?” I remember him saying more than once.

For the next 45 years or so, until she was 90, my mother was the driver in the family. Neither she nor my father had any sense of direction, but he loaded up on maps — though they seldom left the city limits — and appointed himself navigator. It seemed to work.

Still, they both continued to walk a lot. My mother was a devout Catholic, and my father an equally devout agnostic, an arrangement that didn’t seem to bother either of them through their 75 years of marriage.

(Yes, 75 years, and they were deeply in love the entire time.)

He retired when he was 70, and nearly every morning for the next 20 years or so, he would walk with her the mile to St. Augustin’s Church. She would walk down and sit in the front pew, and he would wait in the back until he saw which of the parish’s two priests was on duty that morning. If it was the pastor, my father then would go out and take a 2-mile walk, meeting my mother at the end of the service and walking her home.

If it was the assistant pastor, he’d take just a 1-mile walk and then head back to the church. He called the priests “Father Fast” and “Father Slow.”

After he retired, my father almost always accompanied my mother whenever she drove anywhere, even if he had no reason to go along. If she were going to the beauty parlor, he’d sit in the car and read, or go take a stroll or, if it was summer, have her keep the engine running so he could listen to the Cubs game on the radio. In the evening, then, when I’d stop by, he’d explain: “The Cubs lost again. The millionaire on second base made a bad throw to the millionaire on first base, so the multimillionaire on third base scored.”

If she were going to the grocery store, he would go along to carry the bags out — and to make sure she loaded up on ice cream. As I said, he was always the navigator, and once, when he was 95 and she was 88 and still driving, he said to me, “Do you want to know the secret of a long life?”

“I guess so,” I said, knowing it probably would be something bizarre.

“No left turns,” he said.

“What?” I asked

“No left turns,” he repeated. “Several years ago, your mother and I read an article that said most accidents that old people are in happen when they turn left in front of oncoming traffic..

As you get older, your eyesight worsens, and you can lose your depth perception, it said. So your mother and I decided never again to make a left turn.”

“What?” I said again.

“No left turns,” he said. “Think about it.. Three rights are the same as a left, and that’s a lot safer. So we always make three rights.”

“You’re kidding!” I said, and I turned to my mother for support.

“No,” she said, “your father is right. We make three rights. It works.” But then she added: “Except when your father loses count.”

I was driving at the time, and I almost drove off the road as I started laughing.

“Loses count?” I asked.

“Yes,” my father admitted, “that sometimes happens. But it’s not a problem. You just make seven rights, and you’re okay again.”

I couldn’t resist. “Do you ever go for 11?” I asked.

“No,” he said ” If we miss it at seven, we just come home and call it a bad day. Besides, nothing in life is so important it can’t be put off another day or another week.”

My mother was never in an accident, but one evening she handed me her car keys and said she had decided to quit driving. That was in 1999, when she was 90. She lived four more years, until 2003.. My father died the next year, at 102.

They both died in the bungalow they had moved into in 1937 and bought a few years later for $3,000. (Sixty years later, my brother and I paid $8,000 to have a shower put in the tiny bathroom — the house had never had one. My father would have died then and there if he knew the shower cost nearly three times what he paid for the house.)

He continued to walk daily — he had me get him a treadmill when he was 101 because he was afraid he’d fall on the icy sidewalks but wanted to keep exercising — and he was of sound mind and sound body until the moment he died.

One September afternoon in 2004, he and my son went with me when I had to give a talk in a neighboring town, and it was clear to all three of us that he was wearing out, though we had the usual wide-ranging conversation about politics and newspapers and things in the news.

A few weeks earlier, he had told my son, “You know, Mike, the first hundred years are a lot easier than the second hundred.”

At one point in our drive that Saturday, he said, “You know, I’m probably not going to live much longer.”

“You’re probably right,” I said.

“Why would you say that?” He countered, somewhat irritated.

“Because you’re 102 years old,” I said.

“Yes,” he said, “you’re right.” He stayed in bed all the next day.

That night, I suggested to my son and daughter that we sit up with him through the night. He appreciated it, he said, though at one point, apparently seeing us look gloomy, he said: “I would like to make an announcement. No one in this room is dead yet.”

An hour or so later, he spoke his last words: “I want you to know,” he said, clearly and lucidly, “that I am in no pain. I am very comfortable. And I have had as happy a life as anyone on this earth could ever have.”

A short time later, he died.

I miss him a lot, and I think about him a lot. I’ve wondered now and then how it was that my family and I were so lucky that he lived so long. I can’t figure out if it was because he walked through life, or because he quit taking left turns.

“Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about the ones who don’t. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it & if it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would most likely be worth it.”

ENJOY LIFE NOW – IT HAS AN EXPIRATION DATE!

A story to reflect upon – I loved the closing
“Nobody said life is easy, they just promised it would most likely be worth it”.

I am what am because We all are!

The power of humanity has no boundaries – as much as we think that our boundaries are being defined in this modern world.

We often think of ourselves as individuals – seperate from each other or in competitions from each other. When a coworker receives a praise we feel something which was ours was taken away from us – we feel angry or jealous for not having similar accomplishments. This competitiveness filled world view can cloud our perception and stifle some of our most wonderful human qualities – which we realise once the train has left the station called Life.

There was a story – there was once an anthropologist lived with an African tribe and he asked the children to play the game and asked them to line up to run to the tree where he kept the basket of candies and the first one to arrive will win the baskets ! The kids all lined up bobbling on their feet awaiting the signal but when he shouted “Go” – kids instead of racing off in a competitive frenzy, the children held hands and went all together in one line – when they arrived at the tree and claimed the basket, they shared the candies equally !

Amazed by this act, the anthropologist asked how can they do that and WHY? They said how can ONE OF US BE HAPPY IF ALL THE OTHERS ARE SAD !! This is the concept of UBENTU – That loosely translates as Humanity – unbentu is a philosophy – a way of acting that prioritises well being of a group above that of an individual…it relies on human interdependence so that NO-ONE is left behind – I am what am because We all are!

Instead of feeling threatened by others – believe that we all are fundamentally good. Every generous action, kind words or warm thoughts can contribute to everyone’s well being including our own. Lets remind ourselves and let this story be a gentle reminder to all of us to see the world through the prism of UBENTU – allow your humanity to flourish, be generous, kind and welcoming to others – please remember that we are humans because of the humanity of others – As desmond Tutu said – Ubentu tells us that unbentu tells us that we can create a more peaceful world by striving for goodness in each moment wherever we are..Let go the rivalry of being better than others and you will find an intrinsic unsaid feeling of contentment and happiness which you will cherish..

Netizens Risk vs Rewards

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In one of the famous US serial a character was assasinated by hacking into his pacemaker. Former US Vice president Dick Cheney got his pacemaker disconnected from wireless to avoid security breach. Welcome to the new world of wow technical marvels and one of perpetual insecurity.

Those individuals and groups who wish to do us harm are more empowered than at any time in the past. We all need to understand the disadvantage of always connected devices capturing every moment of our life through constant capturing of data by devices and companies offering us products and services for free. The ability of capturing nearly all the worlds information through a pocket “supercomputer” aka mobile has definitely bought benefits in our lives – we can reach loved ones at a moment’s notice, access a rapidly growing list of services instantly, and learn almost anything we want from anywhere. It’s not just the rich who are benefiting,the greatest gains are being made by the global poor, who can now communicate, collaborate, and bypass some of the institutional & societal barriers that have held them back.

Our personal information and security can become a tool of collateral damage in the continuing battle between nations for control. As high-speed, ubiquitous connectivity among all manner of devices binds us more tightly to technology and to the Internet, a crucial and frightening mega-trend in coming years can be, is that cyber security will become a more important domestic-security issue. If you follow the recent global news, Governments have joined the game of cyber attacks to reduce enemies power sitting thousands of miles away. The future war will not only involve electronic counter measures over enemies missiles and weapons system but also possible attack on IP networks to destroy or cripple civilian infrastructure.

Identity theft is on the roll in the past two decades, but we, the public remains in the dark about its growth in sophistication behind the scenes. The next few years will mark a change from inconvenience to real harm. As we read more about thefts of celebrities’ nude photos and exposure of people’s e-mail, hacking will become something, all of us worry a lot more about. Loss of financial identity is one thing. What is coming now is much uglier—and personal. Data breaches don’t take account of nuance, and may result in devastation of one’s personal and social lives. The trend of collecting data via all possible input devices makes all our movements visible to those who want to derive the good, the bad and the ugly !!!

Connected world through system has tied our lives to cloud which itself will become single point of failure for someone who has the intent to barge into our lives and its details. Do we realise that our unsuspecting behaviour on social media increase the “surface area” of the potential attack, turning our lives into topsy turvy spin. We post pictures of the cars we drive, talk about the places we eat at, publicly reveal our work histories and our personal networks and so on, without giving a second thought to how that information could be later used to hijack our identities right from social to financial and in developed nations its creeping into medical identities for false insurance claims.

The online thefts are difficult to track, increasingly hard to follow who knows what about us, and where they learned it. The convenience of one’s digital existences, from online photos to social networks to online document storage, is undeniable and likely irreversible. So do the benefits outweigh the risks?

I leave the judgement for you to decide whether the risks we face are worth the benefits we receive from putting so much of our data on line so unprotected. for me the conveniences of one-click online orders and automated log-ins to websites courtesy of Facebook are thin compared with the larger risks we face. The big problem is that users (meaning you and I) have only two alternatives: opt in, or opt out.

Are we convinced that sacrificing our security and privacy for online convenience is worth the price ? Is it worth sharing all our data on line and trusting that nothing bad will happen ? Can we curb the urge to share by considering the risk it may cause later?

Do we have the answers….I don’t, do you…….?

A Thought

As the life moves on we believe that the future is based on the laurels of the past – how wrong we are is dependent upon our willingness to adapt and adjust to the uncertainties “Life has to offer”. My experience of life with each day teaching you some new thing..our friendship with everything larger than us to the wisdom of source. Our friendship with experience opens us to the wisdom of life on earth. Doing is not as same as thinking that you are doing because what we do when we do is very different to what we thought we could do. When we talk about human relationship we consider it as part of the flow – where the waves of emotions provides the wake and current for you to flow with the ebb – you flow with it and not against it and create the whirlwind of emotions. Try to ride the wave through deep appreciation of understanding, listening and patience usually will take the boat of your life to the desired port of call. When we celebrate events like Diwali or Christmas or Eid – the happiness is not in the individual celebrations but in the common wave of happiness which engulf us and raises our spirits to make us realise the importance of life and its beautiful gifts. Next will come but may be can also be a possibility – so raise now and not then, because what we own is now and not then.

Challenges Ahead

meeting-challenge-icd-10The debate over the generation gap was the favorite topic when I was growing and still is active when my young ones are stepping into their teens – the obvious difference is the speed at which we all are operating – they are ephemerally connected with todays world while we were hard wired – we hold history more dearly while they believe in freshly baked “now” – we believed in settle & build while they believe in moving on – we wanted to be or still want to be architect of our dreams while they believe in temporary residency ☺ – whatever the difference they are the future !

So what is the future – more and more jobs getting reduced due to use of technology, automation and robotics are no doubt making a world an easier and better place to live in but will it create better quality jobs or will it put more people out of job! Virtually every industry is already seeing the impact of technology on the reduced number of humans – transportation is one good example where driverless cars are a reality very soon – million if not more are on their way out – be it drivers of cars, trucks or taxi. The el Niño of automation is going to spread its wings to other sectors like manufacturing, medicines and even service intensive industries – putting not only blue collars jobs in danger but the white collar jobs too – you and me included. Aging demographics, automation and technology is going to put millions of millennial job chances under severe strain.

Sending a youngster for a 4 year degree is liking sending them to banvas of information know how – and they come out as half baked incomplete professionals requiring lots and lots of effort to bring them at pace – does that mean formal degrees are on their way out – to me Yes ! Learning from rote will only rot the existing system further – millennial that can think differently & not who can pile up grades will survive & thrive – the former in minority while later in majority – working for the former. We all can see stars on a clear sky – many of them – teaching about all the stars is what universities will thrive on – after all they have to make their money – “knowing the right stars and not all” will what make the future star.

The Beginning – New Journey

The beginning is always difficult for any thing be it business, studies, relationship and come to think of it – writing.

Time and again my inner self has motivated me to write but my outward self resented the idea. Toyed with the idea till I met someone who said something very interesting -Quote” do what you wanted to do, so that you can move on to those things in life which you wished to do” Unquote – a very thin line between the two but indeed there is difference between the two. One emanates from suppressed desires over the years and other blossoming into one – if not taken care of – quickly.

Question then comes is what to write? fiction, non fiction, business, non business, life, stories and the list goes on. To me writing is an expression – of what ? – is dependent upon the mind frame you have trained yourself to be in @ that moment of time. Moods does not result in writing, its the writing which sets in the mood ! The mood again is a tangible form of expression which is dependent upon situations and surroundings- however if we try to be stabilised in self – the notion of mood has no room for display.

I shall write, and I shall write what I feel has to be written – as an outward form of my expressionS while taking into consideration the sensitivity of the topic, people and the environment I may touch upon during such reverberations of my thoughts . This shall harness my ability to let wonderful indegnous thoughts flow out of me – some may start a dialogue, a positive discussion, debate or may have some bearing on the emotions of a, or a group of persons.

I shall write not to please anyone – not even myself but to leave some indelible impressions which otherwise may be left within my morbid self and goes away with me – when its time to leave. Sprinkling of few drops here and there for my own sake – am sure will not disturb the nature harmony.

Wish me happy journey- hope the big boss will be kind as he has been all the years.