Monthly Archives: January 2017

The real value behind Bitcoin

 

Bitcoin has been around for some time now but few has grasped the real value behind the currency, or technology if I may. First off, let’s go through what bitcoin actually is.

Bitcoin is a completely new type of currency. The purpose is the same as with any other money – to use as payment or to store value – but otherwise there is a lot of differences.

Bitcoin has no central issuer, such as the US dollar, or basically any other currency. Instead, created Bitcoins in predetermined rate in a P2P network where anyone can join and where all transactions are journaled. The available amount of Bitcoins increases rapidly at first but the growth rate is reduced and the total amount of stops to finish at around 21 million.

Transactions can be made directly between users without any third-party intervention. Usually if you want to transfer money from your bank account to a friend, you must take the help of the bank and the bank will know exactly which transactions you do. In contrast to regular money, transferring Bitcoins can be done anonymously and directly between individuals, as the transaction is overviewed by the system itself.

Despite the similarities with cash is not possible to counterfeit Bitcoins in the same way that you can create a copy of a note. Bitcoin is based on encryption technology and uses asymmetric encryption to sign transactions. Without access to the private keys that correspond to your assets is no way to steal your money, and again this is verified through the network.

Bitcoin is ideal for fast transfers of money between individuals or companies worldwide. Transaction costs are very low thanks to the P2P network to confirm transactions, and transfer fast and easy. In one hour, a transaction confirmation and ready, compared to several days for international bank transfers.

Here are a short video about Bitcoins.

However as I see it the real value is not the bitcoin itself but the block-chain technology. The area that I think can benefit most is the financial sector. Few knows how complicated everything actually is when for example buying and selling stocks.

The delivery of the stocks that you have been buying is usually 3-4 days after the actual purchases, and many times the person has already sold them before even getting them. This comes with massive amount of administrative work, that’s one of the reasons all the big banks have so many employees – for the back office.

Some financial products are somewhat easier, since they are not always a deal between two private parties, the picture below gives a glance at how complex the system is

Whit the block-chain technology this could be simplified, instead of having the real delivery of the stocks the holdings could just be verified by the network itself.

19th December of 2016 Reuters reported that Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan had started to invest in block-chain startups, which is a indicator that something is happening in the industry.

Although, just like most new things – it takes time. For the system to be fully working all parties has to be involved and that will demand huge investments from all financial firms, and most of them are not willing to do that right now.

Tech transforming oral care

One of other things Artificial Intelligence has laid its hands on is the way you brush your teeth – with the Connected Electric Toothbrush by Kolibree it got a lot smarter. Brushing habits of many people are rather not matching the ideal criteria provided by their dentists, hence this AI-powered device will be able to tell you where exactly you need to improve.

The Ara toothbrush by Kolibree is using 3D motion sensors (accelerometers, gyroscopes and even a magnetometer) to check which parts of your mouth are already clean and which were neglected. Using Bluetooth, it then sends the data to your smartphone app and even sends you weekly reports regarding your progress.

While the smart toothbrush itself is not very new to the market, The Ara by Kolibree is actually extremely family-friendly. To encourage those who are not that convinced of clean mouth benefits (that being kids), the company is currently putting a large focus on game development and transforming brushing teeth into a fun and entertaining event. While brushing their teeth, kids are also simultaneously playing a game, in which the Kolibree Smart Guide shows them the areas to brush in real-time in order to earn points, this way encouraging the youngest part of the society to this beautiful activity 🙂

Picture – Kolibree.com

The toothbrush retails for $130, and the 3 interchangeable Brush Heads for another $25.

When crime meets technology

One of the most progressive cities in the world – Dubai, has recently launched new software that is predicting crimes before they even happen. This AI technology is based on analysing patterns from police databases and attempts to spot when and where an event is likely to occur next, reports Dailymail.

In fact, machine learning techniques are already being used in some higher levels of policing, financial crimes – fraud detection, scanning social media for any possible appearance of terroristic or violent organisations, and so on.

The report published by Stanford University “Artificial Intelligence and Life in 2030” states that the impact of AI on crime prediction and prevention will become significantly larger in the coming years. Current researchers are focused on figuring out the way to control crowds and monitor activity on large gatherings, which can get extremely dangerous, as recent events in the world are proving.

The technology launched in Dubai has been stated to provide a highly accurate analytics and is so far also relying on the knowledge and skills of experienced policemen. Since the technologies of machine learning make computers learn by themselves, the forecast for the nearest future is for systems to become more and more independent and for offices to rely on its estimations. Not to mention Facial Recognition technology, with which a system could easily spot a criminal and report to stay alert.

Picture – The Huffington Post

The major drawback is that this evolution is likely to put millions of jobs at risk, however, it might also create new kinds of jobs too. The AI is definitely a beneficial development for the society when accepted and used accordingly, and will definitely transform many industries, including crime prevention, in the coming decades. 

‘Beer yoga’ is a thing

Nothing like putting down an icy cold beer. Except, of course, achieving a higher state of being and eventual transcendence of the Self through the practice of yoga. But what if you could do both, at the same time?

Yes: Beer yoga is here. After being enjoyed by Berlin hipsters, it’s now found its way to Australian shores—a land where beer’s most definitely a religious practice, at least as much as yoga. And not in the best way. Germany’s BierYoga A.K.A BeerYoga bills itself as the “marriage of two great loves—beer and yoga. Both are centuries-old therapies for mind, body and soul,” according to its website. And if you think they’re just being cute, think again.

“BeerYoga is fun but it’s no joke,” founder and yogi Jhula writes. “We take the philosophies of yoga and pair it with the pleasure of beer-drinking to reach your highest level of consciousness.” But even Jhula wasn’t the first person to promote enlightenment through yoga under the influence of alcohol. The instructor told Ex Berliner they first saw it done at (American culture festival/desert apocalypse party shitshow) Burning Man. But wherever it came from, it’s definitely now a thing, and a thing being marketed unironically Down Under. Two special sessions of beer meets asana will take place in Sydney this weekend, where students can learn yoga poses involving “beer salutations” and balancing beer bottles on one’s head—just watch out for bottle smashes. The event page assures would-be attendees that no yoga experience is necessary. Just an “open mind and a love of beer.” And if you think that all this does nothing to curb binge-drinking and/or cheapens a legitimate and sadly oft-perverted spiritual practice, then you can just Namaste away.

Source: Bieryouga.de

The SmartEra got into your sleep

Picture – The New York Times

During the last decade, the market has been flooding with usual things that suddenly became Smart by using certain technologies, and are supposed to make your life easier. The most recent trend is developing smart products focused on your sleep, but there are still many sceptical questions about how efficient it is. Here are some of them:

Wearables – for instance, 2breathe bracelet for shy $180 that is tracking your breathing and playing you some lullabies with automatically turning-off, once it senses that you are off too. You get the full report from your sleep via its mobile application in the morning.

Smart bedsThe Sleep Number 360 is sensing your moves and shifts and adjusting the mattresses temperature and positioning through the night. The bed can also adjust the mattress for 2 people independently, and they say the mattress can even sense when one partner is snoring and gently raise his side of the bed to make him quiet. The other mattress by Kryo is filled with water and allows you to regulate your temperature during sleep (estimated to improve deep sleep by just 20% though).

Smart pillowsZeeq pillows can track your breathing, moves and play you music, and Sleepace is developing a small device that is sticking to your pillow and tracks your sleep cycles and wake-ups.

While all of these is impressive, experts say that currently, the technology is certainly ahead of the clinical world itself – tech companies created so many ways to keep track on all your body signals and movements, but the questions they raise are still left unanswered by clinicians. What are users supposed to do with all this data? Is it supposed to make them pay more attention to their sleep and rest longer? Doubtable.

Few suggestions brought up by Michael Breus, a psychologist who specializes in sleep disorders, is so the data that all those products generate is containing more personalized suggestions, e.g. advises on the best time to go to sleep, or take a nap, or wake up, or compare your data with other users and deliver feedback based on that. Tracking your sleep has to eventually become useful knowledge and be addressed. Until then, the benefit of all the smart products in sleep tech are limited and so far more entertaining than useful.

– Based on Mashable article

Would you want your kids to start coding at the age of 7?

If you think you still know everything about Lego ‘cause you played it in the 90’s – you are mistaken.

Lego rocked this year on the CES 2017 event, by showcasing its new product – a robot-making toolkit for kids that are also interested in learning how to code. The kit comes with components for building five fantastic models: Vernie the Robot, the Guitar 4000, the Multi-Tool Rover 4 (M.T.R.4), Frankie the Cat, and the Autobuilder, delivered by Curbed

Designed for 7+, the kids will be building their robots with the help of a free app that will provide the instructions for creating an animal, a vehicle, and a robot of their own design. 

The fact that the robots can also be programmed is fulfilling dreams of probably every kid who wants his toys to be alive. Using the same app, kids are able to let their imagination go wild with the help of the programming language designed by Lego, that is replacing the usual lines of code with puzzle pieces, which only fit together in a certain order.

Lego “Boost” will be put on shelves mid this year and cost you $160. At least it’s good it didn’t get there before Christmas! 🙂

Check out how it works: 

The cost of your personal data

What do we give up our privacy for? The answer is – a picture. Or, to be more precise an app, which makes you look like a doll on the picture. But what exactly are giving up to have a doll look?

Please, meet the Meitu – Chinese app, that gives you a Japanese-anime inspired makeover. Who doesn’t want to look good on the picture? But let’s see if it’s really worth it.
Here’s the screenshot of the privacy policy e.g. things that you allow the app to control:

What foe the photo-app needs the access to our calls? Or even our identity?
The app has collecting the data, which is not only private, yet also valuable and sometimes even dangerous for ourselves. one of the most dangerous thing that you give the access to – is your IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity). The main purposes of the IMEI are: identify mobile devices, and prevention of a theft. In the wrong hands your IMEI can be used in order to track you, your calls and messages, or even to clone your phone. Meitu claims, that it will only use your data for five following purposes:

(I) To improve product functionality and upgrade user experience, thereby offering better services for the user;

(II) For identity verification, security control and customer services, so as to ensure the normal use and security of Meitu;

(III) To enable Meitu to better understand the interests of the user to help Meitu to respond to user’s individual demands;

(IV) Meitu may use the user’s personal information to prevent, find and investigate the practices of fraud, endangering of security, illegal actions or other conduct violating the agreement, policy or rules between the user and Meitu or its associated parties, so as to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Meitu or its associated parties;

(V) To enable the user to participate in the surveys of Meitu’s relevant products and services.

However, you are never aware of real situation until it gets obvious disaster.

So, how much are ready to give for a cute picture of yourself? Not your personal data, for heavens sake.

References

https://www.cnet.com/uk/news/meitu-app-privacy-issues-why/

https://www.maketecheasier.com/imei-number/

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mt.mtxx.mtxx&hl=ru

http://www.wetheunicorns.com/news/meitu-anime-photo-app-hack/#rJ2dPt8UfBbvFzD8.99

A selfie is the new doctors appointment

Computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing are all new problems of today’s Big Data world, that are addressed by Deep Learning technologies – an advanced development of machine learning processes.

The medicine and beauty treatment industries are certainly getting disrupted by today’s rapidly developing engineering methods. Just this month, an application Face2Gene was launched, which is designed for… identifying rare diseases with A SELFIE! It lets people make a snap of their faces and receive a suggested diagnosis from thousands of different genetic disorders.

The mission of the FDNA company, who developed the app, is to help healthcare providers find answers faster in hopes of saving lives and improving patient quality of life. It’s been said that one in 10 people suffer from rare diseases – the system is already covering thousands of disorders that are then being confirmed by a real clinician, this way also improving the app itself with every diagnosis. The plans of the founders are to extend the power of the app from identifying syndromes to defining the types of autism, delivered by Nvidia news. 

And that all is at the same time with another application released by Olay, for being able to snap your skin and receive a detailed recommendation on the areas that need to be addressed with suggested treatments, as an answer to a constant struggle of women in choosing the right products for their needs. This skin care evaluation app was tested on 50,000 selfies of different aged women and keeps on getting traction. The apps are powered by a combination of facial analysis, deep learning and artificial intelligence, Nvidia news.

Deep learning is taking medicine and cosmetology to a whole new level, and that is just a small piece of it! 

Hospi- the robot, which will change Your perception about boring waiting on the airport.

Hello Readers,

Probably many of You during being on the airport domestic or the international one had this specific feeling of being lost or confused, how to find particular entrance, gate or check-in table. Japanese airport decided to minimalize this kind of feeling and in co-operation with Panasonic introducing into the airport’s area the innovative robots, called Hospi. Soon the passengers, who are flying from Narita airport in Tokyo will be served by a Robot-assistant, which will take care about check-in, help to find proper gate and via its build-in artificial intelligence will solve our problems or dilemmas. Before Hospi became a part of the airport’s staff it was tested in one of the hotel, near to that airport. The guests just felt in love with this robot. Hospi has an accurate airport’s map, it can cleans a table, help to find a transport from the airport to the city, delivers water or can simply talk to You and improve Your time during waiting for Your flight.

Before the airport Hospi worked also in a hospital, where it delivered the documents or medical staff.

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5VyHsR4Dac

What is Your feeling about Hospi Guys?.

Can You imagine this kind of innitiative into Your domestic airports?.

 

Feel free to share Your comments below.

Real-Time Translation turns from dream to reality!

Are we coming to an era that will allow us to communicate with other nationals who speak different languages than our native language? Well, it is not that far. A new language processing technology is already on the way. A smart earpiece is developed that will automatically translate foreign languages or sentences to the language you choose, most probably your native language.

 

So, the earpieces will understand what the person we talk to and translate into any language we want. In this way, we can listen a German speaker on the television or a French customer on the phone and understand what they say thanks to the earpieces.

 

 earpieces

Those earpieces will be connected an app installed in our smartphones and this app will make translation and send the date to earpieces. It will be two times bigger compared to standard headphones. The good side of the technology is that no internet connection is needed. Every language is defined to the app so it is usable during a trip, hotel or business meeting, simply anyplace.

 

According to the developers of the translation technology, English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish will come default in the app, but other languages will be will be offered as packages to be sold.

 

Language translation technologies have big progress in recent years and it made easier for different nationalities to create new connections both in private and business manner.

 

References:

  1. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/meet-the-pilot-smart-earpiece-language-translator-headphones-travel#/
  2. http://www.waverlylabs.com/pilot-translation-kit/