Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss Facebook and biometric privacy rights, Uber wanting to suspend account of COVID-19 affected users and drivers, medial simulation robots, Yahoo! Mobile, an all-electric commercial airline fleet, UK firefighters and a pig pedometer, a James Bond film delay, and more.
Joel in Raleigh, North Carolina listens on NewsRadio 680 WPTF and asked: “I have a question about the blockchain technology and “gaps.” I keep seeing that term and I’m wondering what they are and what makes “decentralized apps” I guess. But what does that mean and how are they different from the apps we use today?”
Joel, the gaps you’re talking about are probably “gap limits” which are part of the BIP44 specification but can be a little bit of a problem for some users of digital wallets.
The short version is that after a certain number of unused addresses in a row it is assumed that there are no more unused addresses beyond that point. The most common problem with that is with backups that can lose digital currencies if there’s a number of unused addresses followed by used addresses. It’s a little bit convoluted, but it’s something that exists by design, it’s not really an unintended bug.
As for what a decentralized app is, if we stick to currencies to explain it then it would work like this: your bank stores your money and you can use a website or application to use that money to pay your bills. In a decentralized system like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and so forth, there’s no bank. The money exists and it can be used, but it’s not stored in a central computer or computer system, but distributed in a way that makes it accessible directly to the nodes.
That kind of system frees you from the control of a single endpoint, which is why digital currencies are worrying to governments which have a hard time tracking illegally obtained money and taxable income.
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