One of the main endeavors undertaken by the current President of the United States Donald Trump is the infamous Wall that lies on the border between America and Mexico and supposedly prevents illegal border crossing, drag trafficking and smuggling.
There are many opinions about this construction: some people support it, others find it ridiculous. Today let’s take a look at the Trump Wall purely from the technological point of view.
A correspondent from BBC made a trip to the state of Arizona in order to inspect the sector of the wall located there and find out how well (or poorly) it is equipped.
The Southwest border sector in Arizona has a length of 262 miles (422 kilometers), the maximum height of the construction amounts to 180 feet (55 meters).
According to the border officer Agent Hernandez, recently the video surveillance equipment on the wall has been upgraded significantly which has influenced a lot the efficiency of work.
Before the innovation, the border guards were only able to detect “some pixelation”. Because of the big distance between the cameras, it was hard to focus on a particular object.
Now the wall has a system of cameras that cover larger areas of land, new thermal detectors, high resolution radars etc.
The new surveillance system has already shown much better results at identifying objects close to the border.
YouTube was once again criticized for the lack of prevention measures connected to the child safety content on the site. It is actually takes a few clicks for the recommendation algorithm to redirect you to the videos of adult women without much clothes on them.
Matt Watson, user of YouTube, posted in Reddit that he had found a lot of videos where kids get inappropriate harsh comments blaming YouTube for facilitating the sexual exploitation of children.
To match his words, he even posted a video on YouTube claiming that it may be his last video on the platform as he does not want to support it anymore. The video shows how the recommendation algorithm pushes the users into so-called pedophilia “wormhole”. As the sidebar offers the videos with little girls doing gymnastics, licking popsicles or ice lollies. The videos are mixed with videos of adult women showing their bodies. Underneath such videos, there are plenty of inappropriate comments, including sexually suggestive emojis.
Caution! The video can be not appropriate for some users.
TechCrunch has conducted its own experiment where the news outlet confirmed all the finding made by Matt Watson. On this reason, they have sent a letter to YouTube asking about this situation. The platform replied with the following statement:
“Any content — including comments — that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube. We enforce these policies aggressively, reporting it to the relevant authorities, removing it from our platform and terminating accounts. We continue to invest heavily in technology, teams and partnerships with charities to tackle this issue. We have strict policies that govern where we allow ads to appear and we enforce these policies vigorously. When we find content that is in violation of our policies, we immediately stop serving ads or remove it altogether.”
A representative of YouTube also mentioned that they are reviewing policies now on the basis of what Matt Watson had found. YouTube is cooperating with National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to report accounts which make inappropriate comments.
Siemens is one the most thriving company in Germany and even Europe. This conglomerate, based in Berlin and Munich, specializes in industrial manufacturing and consists of multiple departments working in various areas, including healthcare, energy, building technologies and many others.
Siemens PLM Software, also known as UGS Corp., is one of the most important strategic units of Siemens, located in the United States, in Texas, engaged in 3D & 2D Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software.
The company is planning to present the developments of its innovations regarding NX software in the upcoming Hannover fair which will take place on April 1-5.
This year the fair has a slogan ““Digital Enterprise – Thinking industry further!”, and Siemens will definitely surprise the community with unique solutions which can be applied by large enterprise.
“Product innovations showcased in Hanover include the latest version of the NX software, which has been enhanced with machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. These new features can predict next steps and update the user interface to help users more efficiently use software to increase productivity,” is mentioned in the official press release.
NX software is a powerful tool used for all aspect of product development: from their design to engineering processes. with the complete integrity of the data involved.
Powering NX up with artificial intelligence and training it using machine learning will provide for the faster and more efficient adjustment of the software to the specific needs of different users and this, in its turn, will increase the productivity of NX and the volume of its adoption, offering “the benefits of speed, power, efficiency and intelligence through learning, without having to explicitly program these characteristics.”
The developers of Siemens PLM Software promised to keep up their research and expand the incorporation of AI and ML into their work.
These days we hear news about such giants as Apple and Samsung quite often: Apple launches phones with unbelievable camera features, Samsung is developing foldable screens for smartphones. Chinese manufacturers, like Xiaomi and Huawei, have also stepped up their game and are now coming hard at their American and Korean competitors.
But what happened to the smartphone brand that once used to be one of the coolest, trendiest and most technologically equipped – Sony? Let’s find out what happened to the company and whether there is any future for Sony phones.
How did it all start?
Sony started out its story quite well. The company released its first devices under the joint name Sony Ericsson in early 2000s. The phones were a success, their cameras and music players were revolutionary for that time, so the sales turned out great.
By 2007 the company accounted for 9% of the worldwide mobile phone production, and in 2010 it officially entered the Android universe. A year later Sony bought out the share of Ericsson and remained a sole owner of the enterprise ever since.
2013 was the last successful year for Sony, unfortunately. That year, it still had about 5% of the total cell phone manufacturing and had an ambitious goal to become the third largest mobile phones producer. However, these plans were never brought to life.
What was the reason of the failure?
There are a couple major fails that happened within the company and pretty much wiped away any chances to succeed and outrun the competitors.
First and foremost, Sony mistakenly tried to become “Apple” for Android. Its phones were priced in such way that only the upper class could afford to buy them. Meanwhile, software and feature-wise, the devices succumbed to IPhones. Simply speaking, poor people couldn’t afford it, rich people still preferred Apple.
Secondly, Sony was not flexible enough for this industry. It failed to adapt to the quickly-changing desires of the customers and technological novelties. Its first phone with an OLED screen came out only last year.
Moreover, Sony smartphones have always been heavily criticized because of its boring design choices. Almost all of the models looked identical and did not stand out among the others whatsoever.
All of this is quite sad, especially considering the fact that some of Sony’s technologies are actually present in the devices of its main competitors. For instance, Sony sensors are present in the latest release of Apple – IPhone XS Max.
However, the unwise strategy of the company literally killed any chances of Sony to outshine other giants in the industry, at least in the next couple of years.
In 2019, you will not be particularly surprised with virtual reality. Everyone has long known that there are a huge number of VRgames and even VRmovies. But in this article, we will reveal this technology from a completely different angle and tell you about how it can be used in everyday life, not in the field of entertainment.
Crime Scene Reconstruction
1. Military training
“The harder you train, the better you’ll fight” is a basic rule in the army. Of course, the learning process takes a long time for the military. Each type of troops has its own specific training, but in any case, this is a very long and expensive process.
The use of Virtual Reality technology in the preparation of a professional military is fully justified, especially when training is associated with increased danger. In all developed countries of the world, there are special simulators, which are been used for several years in the process of training military pilots. With their help, future pilots can plunge into the atmosphere of air combat and practice air maneuvers without risking their lives. Also, with the help of Virtual Reality, military personnel pass medical training on the battlefield, driving simulations in emergency situations, etc. The officers who teach the new generation of soldiers believe that simulated exercises are much cheaper, safer and more effective than the traditional one. It is more effective for the reason that it can be repeated countless times until a person acquires the necessary skills. Simulation training requires much less staff and props. In real life, a sapper or a pilot in a battle can have only one mistake, and in virtual reality, there is always the opportunity to start all over again. Also, this technology is actively used in the preparation of astronauts.
Of course, nothing can replace real-life experience. At some point, the pilots will be required to get into the cockpit, and some marines will have to go to hot spots. But after training with the help of virtual reality technology, they will be more prepared for many emergency situations.
2. Treatment of PTSD
Continuing the topic of the military, a problem such as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) should be mentioned. According to a US Department of Veterans Affairs report, 15% of veterans who served in the second Iraq war (2001-2014) suffer from PTSD. This is only official data, in fact, the number of soldiers with PTSD who have gone through military operations is much higher.
Recently, a unique method of using virtual reality in the process of rehabilitating veterans with PTSD was introduced in the US Army. Using VR allows to immerse a person in the environment that causes stress, but it happens safely, and most importantly, under control. Thus, they (veterans) can learn to control their physiological and psychological reactions. For example, for some soldiers, PTSD was caused by loud surroundings due to noise on the battlefield. In this case, virtual reality can be used in order to put the soldier in a similar environment. If the simulation is too strong, then it can be stopped at any moment. Otherwise, a soldier may practice relaxing exercises (such as deep breathing techniques) that help contain fear and panic attacks.
Perhaps this is one of the most obvious ways to use virtual reality technology. It allows to go deeper into the educational process and look at the topic being studied from different angles. It is very important that when using VR, students, and pupils are much more involved in the learning process.
Just imagine how much easier, cheaper, and clearer it is to train medical students with VR. For example, the study of anatomy is a very important part of the process of preparing future doctors. A few years ago, this subject was studied from books and old two-dimensional drawings, which can’t always convey all the necessary information about the structure of the human body. Using a virtual reality helmet, students can view all organ systems, down to the smallest details, from different angles. The principle of clarity is very important in the process of preparing future doctors, and it is very difficult to achieve in real life.
Google has launched a large-scale project, “Expeditions”, with which help any teacher can embed VR in lessons. In order to plunge into the VR world, it will be enough to have Virtual Reality glasses for phone, Google Cardboard and the smartphone itself. There are already hundreds of applications for learning (biology, history, architecture, etc.) that are available for download in the Play Market or the App Store and their number is constantly growing.
4. Crime Scene Reconstruction
As it is known, the justice system is based on a fair trial, according to which the two parties have the right to prove their case. As you know, there are very complicated cases that are very difficult to understand. In such cases, every little detail is important, to get to the truth.
For the first time, the use of virtual reality technology in the reconstruction of the crime scene was suggested by Lars Ebert. He works at the Institute of Judicial Medicine in Zurich, Switzerland. His job is to assist law enforcement in the process of collecting evidence for later use in court. Over time, Ebert realized that the jury considered the evidence submitted in paper format (2D), which could have a negative impact on the interpretation of information.
In order to solve this problem, Ebert`s team came up with an innovative way to present evidence in court using virtual reality technology. Using the Oculus Rift helmet and compatible software, they were able to recreate the crime scene in 3D using the bullet’s flight path.
It is not clear yet, whether courts around the world will actively use virtual reality technology or recognize it as ineffective. As a rule, changes in the justice system are very slow. It is worth noting that there are many reasons why this technology can be rejected, one of them is its cost. The fact is that the reconstruction of a crime scene in 3D is a rather laborious process that requires many hours of work by qualified specialists. In any case, this is a very interesting discussion, which will last a few more years.
The above list of uses of virtual reality technology is incomplete. We cannot physically tell about everything within the framework of one article.
It is important to note that this technology has good chances for further development in the future. Every year, manufacturers are developing increasingly cheaper displays for VR helmets. This means that the technology will become more accessible to the masses. No doubts, virtual reality will be able to change our life beyond recognition, we only have to watch how our world changes.
Reportedly, the most famous social network worldwide, Facebook, is currently negotiating with the Federal Trade Commission about a multibillion-dollar fine due to privacy violations. Two sides have not agreed on the exact amount of fine yet.
Facebook privacy lapses
In March 2018, a big scandal, which shocked the whole world, arose betweenBritish political consulting firm, namely Cambridge Analytica,and Facebook. Due to the lack of users’ privacy in Facebook, the firm had gathered personal information of about 87 million people without their consent. Moreover, this information was used it for political purposes.
The situation caused public protest, Facebook’ stock prices massively fell down, in a few days, about $100 billion were knocked off. Obviously, many people began to worry about their personal data, as Facebook was unable to safeguard the information.
People, as well as politicians, demanded answers from the CEO of Facebook – Mark Zuckerberg. The situation made him to give testimony to Congress, where he acknowledged his mistake and apologized for it.
A “multibillion dollar” fine
Facebook could not get away with such a situation. The Federal Trade Commission started an investigation, where it proved that Facebook was guilty. So now the social network giant will face a fine. However, due to the amount of people who had suffered from this situation is enormous, the fine is correspondingly supposed to be big.
According to The Washington Post, the fine, imposed on a tech company, would be the largest in history. Facebook replied to abovementioned news outlet that they “[had] been working with the FTC and [would] continue to work with the FTC.”
Fortnite is currently one of the most popular games in the genre of battle royale, if not the most popular one. With around 200 million players all over the world, any updates or news about the game always make it into the top headlines and video review of the most famous video game bloggers.
The upgrade v.7.40 was one of the most long-awaited ones among the community. It was delayed multiple times, but when it finally did come out, a lot of controversies started going round.
Patch 7.40, probably on the most major updates in the history of Fortnite, was supposed to solve a range of bugs that players complained about, for instance, the game developers promised to reduce the structure damage of Hand Cannons, add the ability to crouch in the edit mode, increase the reload time for Rocket Launcher and a lot of other features.
However, all the good things were forgotten as soon as console players noticed the new aim assist feature. It was listed as a “bug fix” and was supposed to make the game experience smoother by preventing spamming Aim Down Sight button etc.
Unfortunately, it never happened. Although the bug was actually fixed, the console gamers started complaining that the guns in the game did not feel the same after the update.
The discontent of the players was so great, that the developers had to reverse the adjustment just a few hours after it came out, yesterday on February 14. They informed about it on Reddit.
“Hey folks, we wanted to thank you all for the quick feedback regarding this attempted bug fix. The goal for this change was to resolve an issue while keeping the same “aim assist” feel. We obviously missed the mark on this. We’ve reverted this change while we explore better solutions to this problem. Thanks again!” the developers posted in their blog.