What to do about China?

The Presidents tariffs continue to be a source of frustration and confusion. Who pays them, where the money goes and if they are even likely to solve the problem Trump thinks they will. Meanwhile the boycotts on Huawei grow, ultimately threatening to split the technology world in two, everything that works in China and its allies, and technology that works everywhere else. The software bro’s seem to think that won’t happen, or if it does it’s no biggie, since all the software they use is US based. Apart from the arrogance, it’s also completely ignorant. I often show the “Social … Continue reading What to do about China?

Real Time Payments Network

The clearing house has released business principles that outline the operation of the real time payments (RTP) Network. A full set of guidelines is here. These are important inasmuch as they set out key points, among them most importantly: TCH runs the RTP network as a utility for the benefit of the industry and RTP fees shall continue to be flat for all participants regardless of size, and shall not include volume discounts or minimum volume requirements. It does though, contains a super-clause, which is typical of the monopolistic “free market” here in America. In an effort to restrain competition, … Continue reading Real Time Payments Network

‘Facebook can’t be trusted’

New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner John Edwards (@jce_pc), was interviewed this morning on NPR by Rachel Martin. Edwards criticized Facebook after last month’s attacks on two mosques in Christchurch were live-streamed on Facebook. It was a refreshing interview with a politician who doesn’t have all the answers, and knows it’s not his job to come up with them. He is also not beholden to big tech financing, as a New Zealand politician. Equally Edwards was clear where the blame and responsibility lay. The whole interview is well worth listening to, but Edwards rightly pointed out we have a platform that has … Continue reading ‘Facebook can’t be trusted’

Paranoimia

No, this isn’t a political post, it’s a blatant attempt to launch myself into the ring tone provider market(not!) As I continue to ramble, sometimes alphabetically, through my 2000+ vinyl album collection, this had been sitting staring at me. Vinyl to digital: I didn’t really remember much about this album, except of course that it contained the track that begat MAX Headroom. It’s actually much better than I remembered, electro/acid/jazz in many places. https://t.co/yBIE9yTWTu — Mark Cathcart (@cathcam) April 3, 2019 It cleaned up nicely, and after editing, the tonality seemed pretty good. I’ve done a few personal ringtones before, … Continue reading Paranoimia

Vinyl the perfect archive medium?

As I continue to digitize my entire 2,000+ album collection, I’m constantly amazed by the quality and durability of Vinyl recordings. It’s true that I have the really poor quality stuff yet to come, as part of a dj lot of 90’s trance/techno 12-inch singles, some without covers, and many that were sat in damp or wet conditions. The general usability of vinyl is amazing. Have a listen to this sample from Quincy Jones first album, the track is called: A Sleepin’ Bee The album is “This is how I feel about jazz“. It was recorded in 1956 exactly 1-year … Continue reading Vinyl the perfect archive medium?

‘Why does a check take as long to clear today as it did in 1982?’

The latest American Banker Podcast mirrors my recent post about Tech taking over the banks. Aaron Klein, a Brookings Institute fellow, makes a compelling argument for why the American banking system needs to be updated, unlike my general frustration, knowing that better is perfectly possible. Among other reasons, Klein points out that people who are unfortunate enough to have their bank account balance at or near zero, deserve better. They need to know how long a check will take to process, how long before the deposit is final, and when they can plan payments for bills based on availability of funds. … Continue reading ‘Why does a check take as long to clear today as it did in 1982?’

Microsoft TO-DO Privacy

I have to admit I really like the new Microsoft To-DO app for Windows and Android. You can create lists of to-do’s, it has a My Day function and lots of useful detail. Once I’d created my first set of serious to-do’s I suddenly realized how much sensitive data there was in my to-do’s. While I’m ok with Microsoft collecting and analyzing usage data, how many times I use the app, what platforms, where was I when I used them etc. I’m totally against them reading, copying or sharing the to-do’s with anyone that I have not explicitly authorized. I … Continue reading Microsoft TO-DO Privacy

Faster Payments – Will tech eat the banks?

At last the big, big tech companies are driving the US Federal Reserve to sponsor and get behind a faster payments initiative. Amazon, Apple, Google, PayPal, Square, Stripe and Intuit, have all co-signed a letter supporting the the Fed being in charge of the development of a system that can connect all the banks and credit unions in the U.S. to speed up payments. I’ve long complained here that the US System is laughably out of date, and the system Automated Clearing House and its associated network is still loosely based on the delivery times of the Pony Express and … Continue reading Faster Payments – Will tech eat the banks?

An Apple a day keeps the Doctor Employed.

CNBC has an interesting article about the number, and quality of Doctors they employ.  I’ve no idea what’s going on an Apple, for a number of reasons, I’ve never bought a single product of theirs. However, given their deep pockets and ability to play a strategically long-game, I for one would be surprised if this isn’t significantly more than just about the watch and apps that can diagnose conditions based on data in collects. Here are my thoughts, in the form tweets to @charlesarthur original tweet and link to his daily Startup link list overflow. The Apple thing is an interesting … Continue reading An Apple a day keeps the Doctor Employed.

What’s a #blockchain?

@AARP magazine nails #blockchain #blockchaintechnology pic.twitter.com/vS1d755Czu — Mark Cathcart (@cathcam) October 28, 2018 I posted the above to twitter, but its not really a joke. #blockchain has become the emperor’s new clothes and to some degree, @AARP is right.  The original article may be a little more aimed at humour than technical depth, but it’s not wrong. A few of my friends have already been cold called and offering blockchain backed securities and similar. We know that’s mostly just marketing BS, but they don’t know. So this is, whatever you think, a good way to get them thinking about it. … Continue reading What’s a #blockchain?