5 things you should know about blockchains

Talk of blockchain technology is everywhere, it seems — but what is it, and what does it do?

1. Don’t call it “the” blockchain

The first thing to know about the blockchain is, there isn’t one: there are many. Blockchains are distributed, tamper-proof public ledgers of transactions. The most well-known is the record of bitcoin transactions, but in addition to tracking cryptocurrencies, blockchains are being used to record loans, stock transfers, contracts, healthcare data, and even votes.

2. Security, transparency: the network’s run by us

There’s no central authority in a blockchain system: Participating computers exchange transactions for inclusion in the ledger they share over a peer-to-peer network. Each node in the chain keeps a copy of the ledger, and can trust others’ copies of it because of the way they are signed. Periodically, they wrap up the latest transactions in a new block of data to be added to the chain. Alongside the transaction data, each block contains a computational “hash” of itself and of the previous block in the chain.

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What Nest’s product shutdown says about the Internet of Things

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Nest is dropping support for one of its products on May 15. More than just dropping support, the product will cease to work entirely.

The product isn’t one of Nest’s branded lines – it’s not the thermostat, the smoke alarm or the Nest Cam. Instead it’s the Revolv smart home hub.

Nest acquired Revolv in 2014 and stopped selling the product – which was one of the early home automation hubs – almost immediately.

But the service – which was tapped into the Internet of Things with an iOS app that allowed users to control things like lights, locks and smart speaker systems – continued to work. Read more…

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5 Things You Must Do To Keep Some Dirtbag From Renting Out Your Crib While You’re Away on Vacay

While “John and Ed” were at Burning Man earlier this month, their paid house sitter (from TrustedHousesitters.com no less) listed their San Francisco pad on Airbnb. , this naturally prompts the question: what can I, as a person who leaves my home from time to time, do to prevent something similar, or worse, from happening to me? Here’s the answer.


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