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Author Archives: Michael Barnard

Yamaha’s Electric Motorcycle Plans Are Based On Its Kando Strategy

November 6th, 2018 | by Michael Barnard

While bikers who yearn for the kando of a Yamaha electric motorcycle are still waiting, this is a company with a long-running commitment to leading electrification in the two-wheel and other spaces. Yamaha will deliver a motorcycle when it can do so with a capability set and price that make sense, and it will do a very good job of it


The Post-Westphalian Nature Of Cryptocurrencies (Blockchain Report Excerpt)

November 4th, 2018 | by Michael Barnard

It’s worth elaborating on the post-Westphalian nature of cryptocurrencies for the purposes of this discussion. The Peace of Westphalia was a series of treaties signed in 1648 which formally ended both the 30 Years War and the 80 Years War, which were both Catholic vs Protestant wars and a war between the Roman Empire and a bunch of mostly Protestant nations


Electric Bicycle Extremes: What Are The Boundaries Today?

November 2nd, 2018 | by Michael Barnard

If you haven't seen an electric bicycle yet, it's likely that you just didn't notice the several that have passed you by recently. And if an electric bike hasn't breezed by you uphill or down, or just on the flats, you likely just aren't on the streets or trails at all


Retro Is High Design In Electric Two-Wheelers

October 31st, 2018 | by Michael Barnard

Electric two-wheelers occupy an interesting space in 2018. Insufficient to replace motorcycles for long-distance touring, with all due respect for riders like Ben Rich and his cross-country trips, but with a rising urban demographic, they increasingly wrap the future in the skin of the past


Electric Bicycle Fatalities & Injuries Are Rising

October 31st, 2018 | by Michael Barnard

Urban planners and traffic safety regulators are struggling to come to grips with electric bicycles. They offer tremendous advantages for urban mobility, they reduce congestion, they offload overloaded transit, every electric bicycle is arguably one less car on crowded city streets, and they don't pollute.


Smart Contract Business Drivers: Multiplying Parties, Default Costs, & Penalty Clauses (Blockchain Report Excerpt)

October 28th, 2018 | by Michael Barnard

One of the purported advantages of smart contracts, including a third party such as a delivery organization in a contract, is actually an added complexity. Anything which involves multiplying parties to a contract increases its complexity, as is true with any solution to a problem. One of the original English formulations of Occam’s Razor was do not multiply entities without necessity.


Cities & Global Warming Have A Complex Relationship

October 20th, 2018 | by Michael Barnard

Urbanization is one of the factors which allowed more humans to survive and hence the population to grow. Cities were integral to the success of the Industrial Revolution and without them, humanity wouldn’t have changed the climate as much


EWF’s Blockchain For Electricity Is Building Its Foundation

October 20th, 2018 | by Michael Barnard

EWF appears to be positioning itself wisely and carefully in the emerging blockchain-for-energy space. It's not trying to boil the ocean, it's aligning itself with the regulated marketplace for electricity and it's partnering with serious organizations.


Smart Contract Business Drivers: Herstatt Risk (Blockchain Report Excerpt)

October 20th, 2018 | by Michael Barnard

Herstatt risk or settlement risk is the risk that a foreign exchange rate will change after a contract is locked in at a specified amount of a specified currency. Obviously this is a two-way risk, as if the exchange rate goes up, the buyer will pay more; and if the exchange rate goes down, the seller will receive less. The more volatile the currency and the longer the time until settlement, the greater the risk


Smart Contract Business Underpinning (Blockchain Report Excerpt)

October 13th, 2018 | by Michael Barnard

A smart contract that involves contracting a payment for services to be rendered or a product to be delivered involves three separate accounts: a purchaser, a seller, and an escrow account. Escrow is a means of creating trust in a contract where there is none. In an escrow situation, a third party holds something of value from the purchaser until a certain condition is met by the seller, at which time they deliver the thing of value to the purchaser


What Is Consensus? (Blockchain Report Excerpt)

October 6th, 2018 | by Michael Barnard

The entire blockchain concept is a solution to a computer science problem from the 1970s that was formalized in 1982 as the Byzantine Generals’ Problem. At heart, it’s a question of how a bunch of systems can collaborate with trust when malicious actors are trying to disrupt the system. Proof-of-work and proof-of-stake are different solutions on top of blockchain to that problem


Want To Be A Techno-Optimist? Here Are Some Basic Guidelines

October 5th, 2018 | by Michael Barnard

We have the solutions to solve the problems facing us. It doesn't take new tech, it takes deploying the tech we have and innovating around it, much more than inventing new gizmos. That's the techno-optimist utopia that makes sense for the coming decades, not a laboratory experiment or insolation geoengineering pipedream. We don't have to fix every problem, just the pressing ones without creating too many new ones


Want To Buy A New Car For Free In 10 Years? Buy An Electric Car Today

September 30th, 2018 | by Michael Barnard

The report is another data point showing that a family's total cost of ownership of electric cars is better than for gasoline or diesel vehicles. And with all of the other benefits — including health, much lower greenhouse gas emissions and typically greater safety — it's not hard to see that the shift to electric cars will only accelerate



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