All Posts

The game of kings

A very smart and well informed colleague recently shared a thought that disturbed me. I’m writing it here mostly to get it out of my head, and also in the hopes that the eminently quotable Admiral Rickover will once again be proved right: “Weaknesses overlooked…

The blockchain part of Blockchain

The blockchain data structure (which is a part of, but distinct from the larger Blockchain ecosystem) consists, perhaps unsurprisingly, of an ordered series of “blocks.” In addition to a payload of data and a few other housekeeping values, each block (except the first one, the…

Proof of work and the nonce

The blockchain technology ecosystem brings together a diverse set of codes and algorithms that have been developed over the past 50-ish years. It includes decades old cryptographic techniques like hashing and symmetric/asymmetric key encryption, and also includes relatively recent innovations related to distributed consensus. The…

The unicorn rant

In biotech these days, I hear a lot of talk about “unicorns.” Sometimes they are rare fancy unicorns … purple, or glittery. At Bio IT World, I found myself moderating a conversation that involved herds and farms of these imaginary animals. Of course, we were…

The second decade of the cloud

In my talk at Bio-IT World this year, I made some comments about “cloud” technologies that I think bear repeating. 2017 is somewhere in the middle of the second decade of the cloud. Of course, when I say “cloud,” I mean much more than mere…

Blockchain

Over the summer, I have the opportunity to think deeply about the ecosystem of technologies that go by the name “Blockchain.” I’m focusing particularly on how these might apply in a couple of different scientific and healthcare contexts. I plan to post snippets here from…

Bio-IT World 2017

Last week, one of my favorite conferences celebrated its 15th year: Bio-IT World. This is one of only a few forums where my particular professional community comes together to share our experiences, re-connect, and to try to catch a glimpse of what the future might…

The Undocumented Years

Back in the day, I had a Livejournal blog where I kept in touch with a few dozen friends and acquaintances. I used it to push out updates that I thought people might find interesting, when they had the time to read. I used to…

Tools I use

I work with computers for a living. Here are some of the tools that I use all the time: Macbook Pro: I’ve used a Macbook Pro as my primary workstation since they were introduced, and I haven’t looked back. I’ve had one significant hardware issue…

Of PAX and the Greater Internet

This weekend I spent three days at PAX East. PAX stands for the Penny Arcade Expo. PAX is a convention / exhibition of games and gamers. It’s also something of a movable-feast nerd mecca. This year, like last year, it was at the Boston Convention…