April 15, 2019
Adventures in the Lightning Network
One of my favorite Andreas Antonopoulos videos is where he introduces the Lightning Network and the concept of ‘streaming money’ in his highly inspiring way. He tries to make sure everyone understands the general concept around the Lightning Network but he also wanted to wax poetic about the potential usecases of such a network.
Streaming money turned into an inspiration for me to look into the Lightning Network more in depth. Being paid monthly has always been a stress in my life and the concept of getting constant ongoing payment instead of waiting until the end of the month holds a lot of value for me.
It took a long time for me to finally be able to dig in on this vision. It was in early 2018 that the Lightning Network began to explode on Bitcoin. It probably wasn’t until October until I was able to spin up my own LND node in order to experiment myself. This started with a BTCPay server node hosted on a VPS that only charges around ~$17 per month for both a Bitcoin node and a LND node.
This began my adventure in playing with the Lightning Network. Right around the same time, many of the mobile LN wallets out there began to get even better. The Bitcoin Lightning Wallet was one of the first wallets to allow receiving on mobile. (Since then Eclair wallet has also added this functionality.) In Dececmber, I received my Casa node and began exploring even more. Eventually understanding the relationship of routing, fees, and generally how the UX is for possible n00bs in the system.
Currently the wallets that I am using:
Some planned writings relating to the Lightning Network:
- Reviews of the wallets stated above.
- Exploration of how a newbie might be able to get onboarded onto LN.
- Exploring the idea of ‘channel selection’ similar to the idea of ‘coin selection’ in Bitcoin wallets like Samourai wallet.
- Doing a deeper dive on ‘streaming money’ and how it might be possible within less than 12 months.
September 9, 2018
In this update, I’m moving over to a new service provider to mark the final move away from the “I’m going to be a photographer” Squarespace blog that I setup so long ago.
Time to move to a simpler platform that focuses on writing and just blog creation. What’s the subject matter? Bitcoin. Crypto. The only thing that keeps me excited, the only thing that keeps me fueled, the only thing that keeps me learning and pushing myself.
You’ll find that the blog might have some broken image links, I’m going to be fixing these over time.
August 11, 2017
Evolution as a Choice
It has been a while since I’ve written here. It has been a while since I’ve written much of anything at all.
It is somewhat embarrassing to have a blog with no updates for more than a year. However, much has been happening in my life. Lost one job, went through several others, then found my absolute dream job, in my dream industry. Learning more than ever. Changing my worldviews.
It is my desire to write more, it is my choice to create more. More photography, more writing, more video.
Let this be a symbol of my next form, my next evolution.
Hopefully more to come and not years before the next followup to this blog.
April 10, 2016
Saga of Technology
In the 1993 movie Demolition Man, Sylvester Stallone starred as a cop cryogenically frozen for 36 years. John Spartan finds himself in the year 2032. Things are a bit of a dystopian pseudo-Utopian future where language is sterilized, anything considered bad for you is illegal, everyone is tracked by ‘biochips’ implanted in their hands, and Taco Bell is the only restaurant left standing after the great franchise wars.
While this movie isn’t the highest rated movie of all time. It is certainly cheesy in parts and almost prophetic in others. It has self driving cars, video chat, cryogenic reanimation, and virtual reality sex. It has its local government tracking everyone’s movements all of the time via ‘biochips’ that allow instantaneous localization at all times of anyone. These chips would likely to have been used for a citizen’s entire identity and would allow for easy frictionless payment.
This movie gives us a good example of the meme of one day that all payment systems or identity systems will converge on the ever so scary ‘microchip’. We will adorn ourselves with the technology that we currently keep in our pocket?
Will this be a negative?
Does it have to be?
While the idea of a sub-dermal chip being able to track me at all times is frightening, this is almost the reality today. Our phones are as close to being sub-dermal without literally being so. They are on us 24/7. But we still at least have the luxury of not having to dig our phone out of our hand with a scalpel to escape tracking.
Bitcoin could serve as the underlying philosophy of how a frictionless payment chip could work and in a way that wouldn’t allow external control. Hopefully we’ll still get self driving cars and virtual reality sex.
June 16, 2015
What have I been up to?
Sadly, not much.
The last 6 months have mostly been spent getting my life generally back into order after a long series of hurdles I had to overcome. Thankfully I have my license back after a nearly 4 year long legal issue. The supreme court ruled in my favor, by the way.
Beyond that, I’ve been trying and failing to arrange some time to shoot some more virtual reality content.
Why do I pay for this website if I am never going to write on it?
But hopefully — if I get my ass out of first gear, I’ll actually be posting more things here. I love to write. I just end up writing in other places that hardly anyone sees or cares about.
DK2 videos have ground to a halt while I try to save up money for a new computer — my gaming laptop is very capable but not capable enough to really run VR even at 1080p.
The Gear VR has improved significantly since my original purchase. A lot more content. Some ‘dirty’ and some just plain fun.
A lot of news about the CV1 is out. I’m excited. Hopefully more writing and content to come. Damnit!
December 31, 2014
Focusing on Virtual Reality
A lot has changed since I last posted…
My Oculus Rift arrived!
The ‘Oculus’ certainly was a gigantic step above the Google Cardboard. From the sheer quality of head tracking to the seeming level of immersion and new plateaus of ‘presence’ never felt before. My brain was so very easy to trick with JUST the Oculus Configuration Utility — with a plant that I ‘knew’ was there in front of me. But it truly was not, my first instinct was to attempt to touch it, this instinct on a level somewhere below the conscious knowledge that I’m looking at a Note 3 screen a few inches from my face. It is truly humbling to see the reptile/mammal brain coexisting in my own cognition.
We, as Humans, seem so trivial to fool. This basic technology seems ‘almost good enough’ at this stage. But my biggest roadblock with really enjoying the DK2 was the inability to afford a ‘monster rig’ to power some of the higher end experiences with at least 75 FPS. My laptop is a gaming laptop with a Nvidia laptop GPU and was able to at least get around 80 FPS on virtual desktop, which was my primary enjoyment of Oculus. But the biggest contract to this experience would arrive about a month later in December…
I got the Gear VR and the Note 4. This experience was insanely better and far more polished than that of the DK2. But this was mostly Samsung’s doing in this case… Oculus is still building their backend for their store/more official offering for the Oculus Rift and Gear VR. This is evidenced by the lack of a payment platform for the Oculus store. But Gear VR is still a ‘beta’ product, more or less, it isn’t really meant to be considered a ‘real’ consumer release. Even though it was a consumer release. The Gear VR managed to be fairly impressive, even compared to the DK2 that has a lot more GPU muscle and power behind it compared to the Note 4…
With all that being the case, it is my hope to start putting up more virtual reality related content up and to begin to really focus on learning Android development with that leading into Gear VR development. I really want to continue to create artistic things but perhaps within the venue of virtual reality melded with real reality? A much bigger less explored playground is calling me…