Techdirt Podcast Episode 108: Autonomous Cars Are Accelerating

from the driving-forward dept

The adoption of self-driving cars is rapidly changing from science fiction to present reality. We had a preliminary discussion on the subject here on the podcast a couple years ago, but today we're digging more deeply the impact this is having, especially on policy. R Street Institute senior fellow Ian Adams joins us as a special guest this week for a discussion about the many implications of this accelerating technological shift.

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Filed Under: ian adams, podcast, self-driving cars
Companies: r street

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2017 @ 3:13pm

    What about discussions on the blockchain and the various different ways blockchain technology can be used. From banks to medicine to diamonds the blockchain can be used to help transfer ownership, verify ownership, and ensure the authenticity of a product you buy. Of course this doesn't come with no difficulties. A discussion of these issues would be useful. Some videos really worth watching are the following.

    http s://

    For instance a high resolution picture can be taken of a natural diamond with an affordable camera that a diamond seller can own. Each diamond's properties and how it looks are unique. A hash can be placed on the blockchain and the picture can be transferred to a potential buyer. The buyer can then verify the hash matches the picture and, by looking at the actual diamond in real time or taking a brand new picture and comparing it to the hashed picture, they can verify that the diamond is legitimate. They can trace back its history to the manufacturer.

    Similar methods can be used to track other products. But there are difficulties. For instance say you want to track a drug package. How do you know someone didn't simply copy the packaging and place a different drug in there? Well, each pill can have some small inscription on it that can be difficult for just anyone without specialized equipment to copy. That inscription can be added onto the blockchain. You can trace the medicine you buy back to the manufacturer. Of course this assumes that not just anyone can inscribe things onto a small pill. Other difficulties could occur if the medicine is, say, a liquid. How do you know someone didn't add anything to it or change the liquid?

    I've thought of some possibilities but they're not practical for just any regular person. (here is not a very good solution for all sorts of reasons but it's just some random brainstorming) Perhaps a seller can give customers access to spectroscopy equipment (IR, visual light, UV, HNMR, CNMR). The manufacturer can take a spectrograph (one difficulty is that different machines may vary slightly even when taking images of the same thing. Another problem is if the solution isn't homogeneous. Also a blockchain might not even be necessary for this, the manufacturer can simply post the spectrographs of their medicines on their signed https website), take an image of it and send it to the seller. They can place the hash of the image on the blockchain. The buyer can then open the liquid bottle (breaking the seal), put some on the spectrograph, and verify the hashed image matches the image taken by the buyer. Again none of this is practical but maybe a more practical tracking solution can be made. Perhaps one involving the packaging and the tamper proof seals (can you include a unique property on each bottle that can be sufficiently communicated over a computer that's not easy to physically copy so that the bottle can be uniquely identified and verified)?

    There are so many possibilities that can be implemented with blockchain technology in terms of product and ownership tracking but so many problems in terms of someone that may try to forge the actual product and how do you communicate information that's not easy to forged.

    Another topic I fond interesting is vertical farming

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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