I’ve not been posting here much as of late. I have been doing some technical writing though for Synaptian’s blog.

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First Timers

I’ve been contemplating business ideas. I’ve been thinking about the difference between pornography and prostitution.

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Carlos Castaneda – Doubles

“Genaro at certain times is not Genaro but his double,” he said.

He repeated it three or four times. Then both of them watched me as if waiting for my impending reaction.

I had not understood what he meant by “his double.” He had never mentioned that before. I asked for a clarification.

“There is another Genaro,” he explained.

All three of us looked at one another. I became very apprehensive. Don Juan urged me with a movement of his eyes to keep on talking.
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Gift Card Downsides

This past weekend I went to Startup Weekend. We ended up doing my idea which was a way to buy people in need a meal at a local restaurant. Late Saturday night we pivoted to a more general concept of electronic gift cards.

The main difference being you get the money back when it expires. The use case that came up most often was wanting to provide money for children at college.

I’ve been thinking about the different ways the wealth transfer could work. I’m particularly interested in how it would be accomplished with bitcoins. So far I’ve got four scenarios. The players are the giver, the recipient and the vendor.

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Bitcoin Metadata

I’ve been thinking more about applications of the distributed ESON store. I’m very interested in the wealth distribution curve:

The 99.9% having 20% means that they would quintuple their wealth were it distributed evenly.

Something I think might be interesting to tackle the problem is to make a company mostly transparent. I’d like to use the ESON object to hold as much of the company data as possible. I’m primarily interested in the cost information.

It would pair especially well with bitcoins. Each transaction has a unique hash identifier and so you might have a subobject like:

  bitcoin: { transaction: {
    transaction hash: {
      for: product hash,
  } }

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Combining Objects

One of the things I want to do with the image library is combine repositories from multiple people. I’ve been thinking it could be as simple as an array of each of the repositories and then running:

var combo = $.extend.apply( this, $.merge( [ true ], objects ) )

Later entries override earlier ones, so this means entries should be in order of reliability.

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Monetizing Content

I’ve been thinking about the distributed ESON object and what I would like to store in it. One of my first projects is an image library.

One of the things I would like is for people to be able to request royalties for use of their work. So, say for example that the artist who did the kitten head at the center of my logo would like a royalty for use of his image.

The first issue is how I know who the author of an image is. The sha1sum of the kitten head is 35813f6e. One approach would be to set:

 { royalty : {
  35813f6e: {
    holder: bitcoin address,
    price: float

As a person surfs the program keeps track of how much the requests are and can optionally pay them.

The issue is what is to prevent Bob from publishing a royalty for Alice’s work. This is where a consensus system comes into play. People include either Bob or Alice’s version in their individual trees and the one that is referenced the most wins.

That or you have a curator who somehow determines the validity of competing claims. That seems more brittle though.

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Loading Icon

In my file browser, I needed a loading icon. I did one in svg with declarative animations:

Because it doesn’t use javascript it will also animate when used as a background image.

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Distributed ESON

I’ve been reading through the Telehash spec and the updated spec. I’ve been contemplating a similar network built on KadOH.

One of the first things I’m changing is that instead of JSON the values returned from hash values are ESON. An ESON object is returned by the function:

return eval( "( function() { return " + eson + " } )()" )

JSON is a subset of ESON. One thing that ESON will allow us to do is give literals valid positions in the distributed object.

Imagine, there is a DHT in place such that an ESON object can be retrieved with a key.

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Distributed Democracy

I’ve been looking into buying some bitcoins and have been navigating the vagaries of identity confirmation. The market I’ve heard the most about is Mt.Gox. Getting money to the exchange is done through Dwolla. They require a copy of a photo id. Mt.Gox also has a verification process which requires a photo id and a proof of residence.

The proof of residence is a utility bill or a voter registration. Say for instance you’re a student who rents. You could not be able to trade. I’ve been thinking of an alternative. A person creates an account online and requests a code to be sent to them via mail. Once that code is entered back into the system, it verifies a person’s address.

This same process could be combined with the voter registration process to provide an electronic component to civic interactions. Rather than everyone voting on every bill, people would still specify proxies for most of their decisions. The process could be more dynamic, however, and with more granularity in expertise. Rather than a single politician making decisions about a broad spectrum, votes on issues could be divided up and proxied to different people.

Another application could be in conjunction with a housing site. It could be used to verify that a particular account controls a particular address.

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