Carmageddon Is Here
Mobile Payments and Deposits
Welcome to Surveillance Capitalism
Great Websites for Cheap Products
Honoring Fred Rosenberg
The Cyrptocurrency Craze
Dealing with a Future Without Jobs
Why You Need a Virtual Private Network
How Do You Feel About Being a Cyborg?
Why Artificial Intelligence Is Scary
Google Lens, Amazon Echo, and More Toys
Algorithms Are Us
Best Ways to Spot Fake News
More Options for Cable Cutters
Artificial Intelligence & Neural Nets
Beware of Fake News
Amazon Echo Dot
Driverless Cars Coming Soon
Governments Approve Commercial Drones
The Sharing Economy in Southeastern Iowa
Ad Blocker for Your Web Browser
Virtual Assistants: Siri, Cortana, Alexa
Google Cardboard: Cheap Virtual Reality
Pet, Kid, Keychain Traciers
Google Tips and Tricks
Use Price Alerts to Save Money
Best Gadgets of 2015
Apple TV, Streaming Video Devices
My Favorite Email Newsletters
Chromebook, a $150 Laptop
Periscope: Live Video from Around the World
Get Your Questions Answered on Quora
Sling TV — $20 per Month
The Drone Revolution
Bitcoin Mining Flop
Smart Light Bulbs
Revolutionary Apple Watch
Smart Home Gadgets
Buying a Bitcoin Miner
Traveling with Siri
The Sharing Economy: Uber, Airbnb
Storing Your Music in the Cloud
The Internet of Things
Life in Cloud Heaven
2013 Tablet Buyers Guide
What Marketers Know About You
Google Dashboard Knows About You
Stream Video with Google Chromecast
Big Data, NSA, and You
Google's Predictive Search
Bitcoin—Mint Your Own Money
Android Smart TV via $45 Mini PC
MOOCs: Quality Free Online Courses
Beware of Dynamic Pricing
Use Crowdfunding to Raise Money
Tablet Computer Buyer's Guide
Google's Self-Driving Car
Mobile Media/App Stores Compared
Google Nexus 7 vs iPad
Your Million-Dollar Smartphone
Google Drive: Free Cloud Storage
Free and Low-Cost Phone Calls
iPad Wins, Other Tablets Lose
Siri is Revolutionary
Essentials of Computer Backup
Homage to Steve Jobs
Are Your Files Safe in the Cloud?
Amazing Uses of iPhone Camera
Use Carbonite Online Backup
Cloud Services Roundup
Tablet Computer Roundup
Project Watson Wins at Jeopardy
Stream Video by Connecting a Computer to Your TV
The Appeal of Apple TV
Roundup of Streaming TV Devices
Options for Streaming Video to a TV
Dealing with Cell Phone Radiation
Ebook Readers & Tablet Computers
Dreaming of 4G
The iPad in Your Future
The Magic of Google Translate
iPhone: There's an App for That
3-D TV and Robots in Your Future
More Goodies from Google
Google Wave — Better than E-mail
Growing Up with the Internet
Bing: Better than Google
Google Voice — Great free service
The Twitter Revolution
Virtualization and You
Death of Newspapers
Great New Search Engines
Boxee — Free Online TV
Mozy — Free Offsite Backup
Wanting a Kindle
Better than Google
Cloud Computing and MobileMe
Digg and Other Social Media Sites
Hulu.com: Free TV & Movies
Pandora: Best Source for Streaming Music
Cell Phones Changing
Intro to HDTV
Best Free Phone Resources
Free Online TV: Joost
Movies, TV Go Online
Scary Internet Stories
The YouTube Election
Google Street View
Twitter, Twittervsion, and Flickervision fun
E-mail Tricks for Addicts
Cool PDA Phones
Webtop: Free Online Software
Useful Google Tidbits
My Yahoo, RSS, and Blogs
Virtual Worlds: Second Life
InTrade Predicts the Future
The MySpace Revolution
Wikipedia — A Free Encyclopedia
Wikipedia as Emergent Phenomenon
Free Calling with Skype
Intro to Podcasts
Intro to File Sharing: BitTorrent
Dangers of Wireless Hotspots
Free Online Credit Reports
Making Money with Your Web Site
Beware of Spoofing and Phishing
Virus and Spyware Protection
Protection -- Part 2
A Brief History of the Internet
The Gadget Goddess
Free Open Source Software
Keeping Your Mac Tuned Up
Getting Started with RSS
Latest Google Features
Selling on eBay
Intro to GPS
Intro to Weblogs
Urban Legends and
Buying and Selling on
Yahoo Groups Are Fun
The Joys of
Finding the lowest
Noah's Ark and the
The Geek Report
About this site
Today's News and
Fish Fraud and the Blockchain Revolution
If you sit down at a restaurant to eat some wild-caught salmon from Alaska, you'd assume that the fish was caught there, processed at a nearby facility, shipped to a U.S. distributor, and then purchased by the restaurant.
You'd be wrong. In fact, a large percentage of Alaskan Salmon is sent to China for processing, where labor costs are lower. And then it's shipped back to the U.S.
The problem is there are so middlemen in the supply chain that it's often hard to know you're getting the kind of fish you're ordering or purchasing. Studies have found that about 20% of all fish is mislabeled. That wild-caught Alaskan salmon you're biting into may in fact be salmon farmed Norway and processed in China.
In a 2015 study, DNA analysis, found that 66% of the salmon in restaurants and 20% in grocery stores was incorrectly labeled, whether wild caught vs farmed, or one type of salmon labeled as another. It could be that middlemen simply lose track of what's what, but more likely they are passing off farmed salmon as wild-caught to make extra money.
Of course, it's not just salmon: almost all varieties of fish as well products in many other industries face the same issue in our globalized world.
And since my mission is to enlighten you to the wonders of technology, of course I'm here to tell you that there's a solution: bitcoin. Or rather, the blockchain technology that underlies bitcoin.
Marc Andreessen, a leading tech venture capitalist who was instrumental in developing the very first graphical web browser, thinks that blockchain will be revolutionary. He says that revolutionary computing technologies come along about every 10 to 15 years: mainframe computers in the 1960s, PCs in the late 1970s, the internet in the early 1990s, smart phones in the late 2000s—and now blockchain.
He's not alone. Fortune 500 companies are currently investing billions in developing blockchain applications. Wall Street executives and venture capitalists are going all in.
What would be revolutionary about blockchain? It would transform the nature of transactions, increasing efficiency and reducing costs, and it would create complete transparency in the supply chain, such that you could be sure that if you purchased wild-caught salmon, you'd be getting exactly that.
A mind-boggling range of blockchain applications are currently under way. It's being developed as a solution for the confusion surrounding property deeds in India, where more than one person will often have a deed to a particular parcel. There's even a company called Civil that's building a journalism marketplace based on blockchain. It would create chains of authenticity while creating "an indelible, incorruptible record outside the reach of third parties."
Just what is this magical technology?
The keys to blockchain are transparency, the absence of a central authority, and security. It obviates the need for trust.
The anonymous inventor of bitcoin wanted a system of exchange outside of government authority that would facilitate payments worldwide. So he came up with the idea of blockchain. Every transaction would first be verified as legitimate, then added to the chain. There would be complete transparency, so that any individual could inspect the history of transactions.
In addition, it would be completely decentralized: every computer involved in mining bitcoin would store the entire blockchain. This would make it impervious to fraud, because someone wanting to make a fraudulent change to the ledger would need to enter that transaction into every computer in the world that was part of the network of bitcoin miners.
If you've used the collaboration feature of Google Docs, you've likely seen how it tracks the changes each contributor makes to the document. Blockchain is like that. It's a decentralized ledger that makes a permanent and accessible record of all the changes.
And speaking of fish, Ethereum, a cryptocurrency company, has built a blockchain application for tracking the supply chain for fish. If you bite into yellowfin tuna harvested off the waters of Fiji, you can track it from the boat to the landing dock to the processing facility and to the truck that drove it the restaurant where you're eating.
Not that you'd want to. But the restaurant, or many other nodes in the chain, certainly would in order to ensure they're getting what they paid for.
Ideally, you could trust everyone in the world, every government, every corporation. But you can't. A large percentage of the cost of supply chain management is due to trying to create mechanisms of trust, as well as the costs associated with fraud.
Kevin Werback, author of a forthcoming book on blockchain, wrote, "If every party to a transaction trusted the information involved, even though they didn't trust one another, costs could fall and performance could improve drastically."
It's an appealing vision.
© 2018 by Jim Karpen, Ph.D.
PayPal Fraud, Part 1
Internet Fraud, Part 2
Internet Fraud, Part 3
Suing My Credit Card Company
Bored.Com is fun
Best source for
Guinness World Records
Tellme voice portal
eHow.Com tells you
Low-cost movies, software
Simple, free money