The Crown, Sports and Blockchain

I took a three-week break from Blogger and visiting other blogs. We all need a break, don't we?

So, what have I been doing? Well, quite a bit.

Watching movies, cricket world cup, reading books, listening to lots of music ...


Matt Smith as Philip and
Clair Foy as Elizabeth / Netflix
One day I was giving a search on Netflix to see if it has the 1984 British TV Series 'Jewel in the Crown'. It is about the final days of the British reign in India.

I don't think it is available on Netflix. What showed up instead right on top was another British series The Crown.

I have been reading a lot of positive reviews about this epic of sorts, a biopic of Queen Elizabeth II, the current monarch.

Without much ado, I began watching it. Soon, my wife joined me; and we have been restraining ourselves from getting into binge watching.
It's addictive, not without reason. Top class acting, direction and photography. At the last count, the film has fetched 15 awards under various heads.

Great performance by Claire Foy as Princess Elizabeth and later the queen, Matt Smith as her husband Prince Philip, and Vanessa Kirby as her younger sister Princess Margaret.

We have completed Season 2 Episode 3. The third season, with different actors as Elizabeth and Philip, is to be released later this year. There will be six seasons of 10 episodes each.

It's as much about the queen's life and British politics as much as it is about her sister's. What a contrast between the two siblings!

The innate personalities of the two, how the rigid royal rules come in the way of their personal lives, the role of the monarchy in the evolving world -- it's all portrayed so well and powerfully in the series.


Two weeks of tennis extravaganza / Wimbledon
There is so much happening in the sports arena. Today the third Grand Slam of the year opens at Wimbledon.

While it will be the predictable trio of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafel Nadal in the men's section, it will the new world number 1 Ashley Barty who will be the cynosure of all eyes.

Cricket World Cup is inching close to the semifinal stage. India lost for the first time yesterday against England.

Of course, I would like India to bring back the cup, which they have won twice. There will be stiff opposition from England, Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan. Let us see how it goes.


Blockchain is a new type of internet / Equinix
Blockchain and bitcoin are not the same. Blockchain is like internet and bitcoin is one application like email or Facebook.

I had the good fortune of attending a two-day conference on this fledgeling technology.

It's already working quietly in the background of many services and product companies. But it's yet to take off in a big way.

It is a new way of computing or a new type of internet, wherein participating members of a network communicate to each other rather than via a central authority.

It's like sending an email directly to another person instead of routing it through Google or Microsoft or sending money directly instead of via a bank.

Another property of blockchain is it's immutable - data once approved and sealed, can't be tampered with. In case, someone breaks in, each member of the network gets a notification. This property is finding application in digitizing land records, medical records etc.

The third property of blockchain is what is called the 'power of provenance'. Which means the entire history of all activities is logged in and recorded.

Imagine, when you shop for fruit in a department store, how would you feel if you could scan a barcode and get to know, how was it cultivated, when and where the fruit was harvested, what fertilizers were used, where the commodity was stored, from where was it transported and all such details.

Blockchain is finding applications in many areas, especially in the retail business, empowering customers, and serving to increase the trust people have in the companies and the products they sell.

This news report says the French retailer Carrefour has seen in an increase in the sale of some products after they began using blockchain, customers now trust the products more.

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