Links and Notes for the Day - 21st of June 2018

Food and bitcoins

Genius Kitchen's Famous Food Truck

Deserves a lot more love yo!

Famous Food Truck is a show hosted by the famous epic meal time guy Harley Morenstein. The "Moooaarr Bacon" guy. Remember this stuff?

So he invites (internet) celebrities to his food truck and cooks some epic meals with them in his new show with Genius Kitchen. Hence the name, Famous Food Truck.

When I first saw a few minutes of footage I thought this was going to be in the vein of the cringeworthy YouTube Premium shows. I wish I didn't have to throw shade, but YouTube's creative choices with it's stars like MatPat were... Interesting, to say the least.

But I was pleasantly surprised. What I saw was actually good and by that, I mean a lot of fun. The only thing I can't figure out is why it has such few views? I mean they are playing host to some of the biggest personas out there. People with 10 million followers on Instagram alone and the total number of views is less than 2,000. I wonder what that says about fame as a currency. Either way, I hope the show continues and slowly builds up to a tipping point where everyone gets in on it.

YAML: probably not so great after all

This gem of a post appeared on Hackernews today. It's an insightful take on the many pitfalls of YAML. The cherry on the top however was Clark Evans, the proposer behind YAML, participating in the HN discussion of this post. He's gracious, humble, and overall awesome in providing context.

The Four Most Expensive Words in the English Language

But that's not the worst of it. Suppose P2 storage became profitable and started to take business from S3. Amazon's slow AI has an obvious response, it can run P2 peers for itself on the same infrastructure as it runs S3. With its vast economies of scale and extremely low cost of capital, P2-on-S3 would easily capture the bulk of the P2 market. It isn't just that, if successful, the P2 network would become centralized, it is that it would become centralized at Amazon!

This post takes on the hype around "decentralized" technology which is seeing it's peak in the cryptocurrency era. It breaks down the realities of hosting a peer to peer file hosting network and points out that ultimately, economics will rule what wins and won't. If it costs more than Amazon S3 to use a P2P file hosting network, the network better perform wayyyy better than S3. If the P2P file sharing network costs less (which it has to really), then there are all kinds of thorny questions of how the network ever makes money back.

The article's a long read but fully worth it.

Bitcoin price and energy consumption

I checked Bitcoin to USD prices today. Annnnd it's:

bitcoin history

USD 6700 per bitcoin. Still a good price but my head hurts to think of people who lost money in the crash from USD 20,000. Also, I found some interesting links in my research to see how much energy is used up by bitcoin mining networks:

Both these resources are completely invested in keeping public interest in Bitcoin so I would warn against using these as proofs. I still haven't had time to fully read the research process of the white paper. Even so,

The research estimated energy usage of 35 TWh in May 2018, proving that prior estimates are greatly exaggerated and averaged at 65 TWh, almost double the actual values.

That's nearly 3 times the total amount of annual energy usage of Sri Lanka.

One could argue that in the grand scheme of things, that's nothing much. But do you absolutely need to do this for this thing called Bitcoin that has simply morphed into some odd investment vehicle for rich people?

Say no to Blockchain until people figure out something better than Proof of Work.

Posted on June 21 2018 by Adnan Issadeen