Under the radar: Clanking the blockchains

21st February 2018
Lanna Cooper

In case you hadn’t noticed, there is a new bandwagon to jump on. This one is called blockchain and it is meant to be the answer to all our security problems. Such is the hype, it is being reported that an American drinks company changed its name from Long Island Iced Tea Corp to Long Blockchain Corporation and saw its share price quadruple in a day. The biggest mystery to me is just why the Americans like cold tea. Steve Rogerson looks at some of the news that may have missed the front page.

Anyway, blockchain. If you don’t believe how this is going to impact all of us, I bring your attention to Dutch start-up Legal Things, which has launched an open-source project called Legal Fling to use blockchain to verify consent before two people have sex.

OK, ordinary chains can have their place in a sexual encounter - so I have heard - but I struggle to think of a bigger passion killer than inviting someone back to see your blockchain.

One has to feel a little sorry for LG. The company was on stage at the mega Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas demonstrating its new smart robot Cloi, which in theory can control your house for you. 'In theory' is important because Cloi clearly had a bout of stage fright. After answering the opening questions, it then shut up and just sat there in silence when asked about washing cycles and chicken recipes.

Never mind LG, CES will be back again next year.

Talking of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and ‘intelligence’ may not be exactly the right word, as estate agent The Move has come up with Amy, an AI that can talk to house hunters. Surely that can’t have been that difficult, I mean all you have to do is teach it a bunch of phrases such as 'perfect for a first-time buyer' and 'up-and-coming area' and away you go.

I also heard that at CES someone launched an intelligent toilet. So what does that do? Read the newspaper for you? Nice to see that ‘think outside the box’ has once again topped the list for the most irritating office phrase, though the survey has come from a company with the name Kit Out My Office, so they are hardly in a position to lecture people.

And, finally, embedded world is nearly upon us, and I will be there looking for some of the more off-the-wall ideas that may end up in this column next month.

As well, of course, as spending my evenings sampling the home brewed beers on offer at the Altstadthof brewpub at Berstraße 19. See you there - it’s your round and I will be blockchained to the bar. Cheers!

Image: What’s wrong with this picture? After all, it is a nice shot of a Plessey statue on the banks of the Thames in London. However, it was sent to illustrate a press release about the company’s exploits at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Maybe somebody should buy them a globe. In fairness, once I pointed this out to them, they did send me one from Las Vegas.

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