Body Painting for Beginnes

Psychologists tell us that we can only see one thing at a time. So when we see a woman wearing a bikini, we see just that. Even when that bikini is just painted on. Errr … until we know that it is just skin paint. Then we see, well, a nude lady. And this funny tromp de l’oeil is what makes models posing in body paint so entertaining. So is this lady nude or not?

She is and she is not depending on what you want to see. There is plenty more where that came from.

The funny thing here is that we don’t seem to have a word for what is going on. Is it fashion? Is it porn? Is it art? Beats me!


Apple: The Fight over Apple Pay

Ok. Here is the story. Apple unleashed a new product a few weeks ago called “apple pay”. With this product, folks can pay for stuff with their smart phones. No cash, no cards, just push a button near the cash register. Cool.

Here is the thing. Some big, big retailers don’t like it. Like Walmart and VCS.  Who not? Because there is a problem with apple pay. Not a problem for the customer — but for them. Apple pay will not give them access to data about the buyer that they want to control. So these big retailers have started to block it.

so far so good. But what do they say about why they are blocking it?  They say that they have their own system. And here is where things get fun. Is this system any better for you? Apple has this comment about the system that Walmart and CVS want you to use.


Bitcoin and Sidechains

I know that some folks are not into this, but it is striking that Fred Wilson reports around $5 billion has been invested in building bitcoin infrastructure so far, and that amount is growing fast.

Is it going to get flushed down the toilet, or is bitcoin actually going somewhere? A lot depends on bitcoin developing more uses (so that it is less an oddball geeky thing and more mainstream). To get there, bitcoin has to deal with its competitors — other blockchain ideas to create niche currencies for more narrow uses.

But what if these uses could be fit into the bitcoin ecology? Fred thinks they might with a technology called “sidechain”.  he writes

Bitcoin would essentially become the reserve currency of the entire cryptocurrency sector and there would be a host of sidechains and currencies that are pegged to it. This would allow a ton of innovation to happen around Bitcoin without requiring a lot of change to the underlying Bitcoin system. Which seems sort of ideal given how much money ($5bn at current prices) is at stake now.

Stay tuned!

UPDATE – A few days after I posted the above, I saw this update on sidechains.  We should keep in mind that

Getting a cryptocurrency to critical scale is a tough process.  Even Bitcoin itself is no more than 1-5% of the way there, and alt-coins are nowhere close to being ready…