The beginning of the construction of the largest optical telescope in the world

A promise to open the door to new astronomical research. Mountain Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii, Australia, South Africa, northwestern China, as well as the Atacama desert, located in Chile, the climate in these areas will be built immediately after several installations. vast expanses of space, but also consider.

One of such facilities will be the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) of the European Southern Observatory – the largest optical telescope of the new generation, equipped with a complex composite mirror with a diameter of 39 meters.

The main phase of the construction of the ELT began in May 2017, after several years of disputes and discussions on this topic. The object will be released in 2024. The total cost of the project is estimated at 1.12 billion dollars. In 2018, the cost of the telescope is 1.23 billion dollars. According to the latest forecasts, by 2024 the cost of the entire project should be about 1.47 billion dollars (with a inflation rate of 3%).

The construction of such a system is necessary in a higher region, where the effectiveness of observers will not depend on changes in the atmosphere and light pollution. The construction site must have an ideal flat surface. In search of years, the European Southern Observatory in this place and eventually decided to create their own – on top of Mount Armasones in Chile. As seen in the photos below, the builders have already laid the foundation for the future telescope.



The capabilities of the ELT will be in its main mirror, which will be constructed from 798 hexagonal parts, each with a diameter of 1.4 meters. A huge 39-meter mirror will be assembled from these pieces, which will receive data with the highest level of quality that none of the existing telescopes are capable of.


For example, the Very Large Telescope (VLT) – currently the largest and most technologically advanced optical telescope – is a design of four auxiliary 1.8-meter optical telescopes and four separate 8.2-meter telescopes, connecting in one system. The angular resolution of the VLT was equivalent to a telescope with a solid mirror up to 200 meters. The viewing area will be a hundred times larger, it will be able to observe immediately a huge number of light sources, also noting objects with a significantly lower level of brightness, which current telescopes are not capable of observing.

The resulting images will not need serious processing because the ELT diaphragm will be inseparable. According to the engineers, the ELT will be 200 times more efficient than the Hubble, making it the most powerful telescope operating in the infrared and optical ranges.

Project developers note that due to adaptive optics
and ELT will be able to conduct a direct observation of exoplanets located in the orbits of distant stars, which is currently very rare among current telescopes.


Due to the fact that the telescope will actually be the most powerful in its class and will be able to carry out observations on the partial for stony exoplanets, then one of its tasks will be to study the worlds of the atmosphere.
And this is not all of its potential opportunities. For example, with the help of this telescope, scientists will be able to directly measure the rate of expansion of the Universe, find out the role of dark energy in the evolution of space. There is an opportunity to more accurately study the past of space, astronomers will be able to create more accurate models of step-by-step development of the Universe.


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Alibaba’s AI Customer Service is much better than Google Duplex

A long-standing goal of an interaction between humans and computers has been to enable people to have a free conversation with machines, as they would with each other. In recent years, we have witnessed a revolution in the ability of computers to understand and to generate natural speech, especially with the application of deep neural networks.

One of the inventions in this area was Google Duplex. As you probably know, Duplex is a technology for conducting natural conversations to carry out “real world” tasks over the phone. The technology is directed towards completing specific tasks, such as scheduling certain types of appointments. For such tasks, the system makes the conversational experience as natural as possible, allowing people to speak normally, like they would to another person, without having to adapt to a machine. For example, Duplex can automatically reserve a table for you in a restaurant, using a phone call to a manager.

While Google is still testing and developing their new system on a small amount of Pixel phone Users, another giant tech company Alibaba already has a working model. It is used not for restaurants, but for an even narrower niche – the delivery of goods. At an annual AI research gathering, the e-commerce giant demoed a sample conversation where the voice-assistant was tasked to ask a customer where the package should be delivered.

The most amazing thing is that Alibaba’s voice assistant was able to deal with some controversial situations during the dialog such as interruption (pauses), nonlinear conversation (customer starts a new line of inquiry), and implicit intent (customer doesn’t explicitly says what he actually means). It is an amazing new which also once again underlines the superiority of China in the field of artificial intelligence, by the way. Currently, the agent is used only to coordinate package deliveries, but it could also be expanded to handle other topics.



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Large Hadron Collider has been stopped again!

When the World heard for the first time about LHC (Large Hadron Collider) it was 16th of December 1994. In that time CERN (fr. Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) decided to start new accelerator which LHC was. LHC is the one of the biggest, the hardest to understand and the most expensive device on the earth. It costed 5.7 billion of swiss francs what makes it the most expensive building or device it in the World.

It was 10th of September 2008, after 14 years of preparing, when CERN launched LHC accelerator for the first time. 9 days later there were some issues related with the accelerator and researchers have been solving them for next 14 months. For that moment scientists were convinced about the fact if they can struggle with problems like that at the very beginning so it might happen in the future. Because of the fact that they have wanted to achieve enabling collisions at 14 TeV level, which the program established, they had the problems in the beginning with enabling collisions at 0,45 TeV level. Thanks to 14 months of modernization, it gave the chance to achieve 13 TeV level of 16 billiard enabling collisions in the next years.



On 3rd December 2018 all the LHC’s devices have been stopped once again to start the new program of modernization which will presumably takes next 2 years. In that time the researchers will be able to analyze over 300 petabyte of data that LHC gave from the latest experiments.

– The second course of the LHC was impressive. We were able to achieve much more beyond our goals and expectations, producing five times more data than during the first run, with the unprecedented energy of 13 TeV – says Frédérick Bordry, director of CERN accelerators

The new modernization project assumes the addition of 130 new, more powerful magnets for the 27-kilometer-long ring tunnel. It also brings with itself a new power and cooling systems. Thanks to these modernizations, the upgraded Large Hadron Collider will change its name to High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider. Scientists expect that the modified device will carry much more important experiments and make great discoveries. And the differences will really be huge.

– Starting this second, long shutdown, we will prepare the machine for even more collisions at 14 TeV – Bordry says

Today, the machine can produce 1.2 million Higgs bosons, and this number will increase up to 15 million.


Some people claim that this whole project is really needless, and they call LHC the toy for Big Nerdy Boys. Despite the fact that this whole project now is 24 years long and despite huge costs of itself construction and modernization but also operation itself, it has already paid off several times. Thanks to LHC, one of the greatest discoveries made at CERN was the confirmation of the Higgs’s boson existence. It is an elementary particle, proposed by Peter Higgs and five other scientists. People are still scared about such discoveries because they are not really interested in this type of science and they don’t, or they don’t want to understand the significance of the discoveries that researchers have made.

In my opinion the continuous “chunking” of bosons from the space can partially affect the balance in the spatial “grid” of Higgs’s field, in fact, it is rather a difficult to predict the effect of local space disturbances, also gravity and time. Well, unless the scientists can already estimate the location of nodes of the grid and for this can be such an operation useful. On the other hand, the myths about the possible destruction of the universe due to the disruption of the space-time structure are rather u irresponsible, not to be described as ridiculous.


However, I still understand the indignation of people associated with the allocation of astronomical amounts of money to this project.




author: Michał Żelazo

Electric Vehicles are getting closer and closer

Recently our friend Jakub has posted a blog post about a promising EV company called Rivian. Back in September Volkswagen announced that they want to produce 100,000 electric cars per year by 2020. They want to have produced 1,000,000 electric cars by 2025 and want them to be both affordable and able to travel long distances. The whole Volkswagen AG, so Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, SEAT, Skoda, Bugatti, Bentley, Lamborghini and of course Volkswagen itself,  is planning to spend 50 billion US dollars on EV’s by 2023.

Audi e trot high performance electric car

Now Daimler, mainly known as Mercedes-Benz, smart and trucks manufacturer, wants to spend almost 23 billion dollars on lithium-ion batteries alone. The whole group is planning to release 130 fully electric and hybrid models of cars, vans, trucks and busses by 2022. They also plan to spend 1.2$ billion on electric charging company, preparing the environment for a new wave of electric vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz’s concept electric SUV

BMW has recently spent over 200 million dollars on development of new i4 model alone and they want to have 12 fully electric models and 13 hybrid models available by 2025.

BMW i4 concept

It is very obvious that car manufacturers see a future in electric vehicles, as they invest their money and time into developing new models and making many promises about the number of models available in the future. In China in November car sales have dropped by 14%, but EV’s sales have risen by 68% in comparison to the same time last year.

Tesla, the best known fully electric cars manufacturer, is doing better and better. In the 3rd quarter of this year, it’s model 3 is the 19th best selling car model in the USA. They have delivered a little over 56,000 cars in this period. It is safe to say that Tesla has left its niche at this point. Additionally they were the 4th biggest luxury car manufacturer in the 3rd quarter of 2018 in USA. Average Tesla was sold for almost 68,000 $. Thats 12 thousand dollars more Mercedes, that is usually the first manufacturer that comes to your mind, when it comes to luxury cars. There are 400,000 people who have paid to reserve the rights to buy model 3. Teslas success is remarkable. They had 0.5% of the market share a year ago, and now they have over 2.1 %.

Car sales by model in USA Q3 2018

Electric Vehicles market has a huge potential. As we can see people are willing to spend money on electric vehicles. European manufacturers are still recovering after the diesel-gate and electric vehicles seem like a perfect opportunity to gain in the eyes of customers and it seems like a perfect investment. They also bring a new design language to cars and that is probably more appealing to most people.

Everything is pointing towards electric cars expansion. Manufacturers and customers are putting more and more money into them, market for them is growing, batteries are cheaper than ever to manufacture, their capacity is getting bigger, their life is longer and EV’s are more reliable.  I think we are going to see more of them on the roads. I think this is very exciting for everyone, because cities are going to be quieter, hopefully cleaner and many people will be able to experience something completely new. I also wonder if there are going to be any regulations made in the future, when the electric cars will get really popular, because their engines offer almost instant delivery of torque and power, that translates to very quick accelerations. I myself think that most of the speed limits are non-sense ( at least on the roads I am usually driving on ), but there are people that think otherwise. We still don’t know if that is going to change our safety on roads, but we have to keep in minds that EV’s usually come with advanced road safety systems, or even autopilots, so they are literally stuffed with sensors and on board computers.

The future is just really exciting and I am awaiting the further development.


Daimler is buying nearly $23 billion of battery cells to power its electric vehicle offensive

Forbes: Electric Cars = The Future, Gasmobile Killers\


How Google was trying to hide the Dragonfly project

For the first time, information that Google is developing a censored search engine codenamed Dragonfly was revealed in the late summer of this year. It was reported by The Intercept with reference to internal leaks. And, as it turned out, an aura of secrecy has been around the project for several years.

This is not unusual for new movies, games, services, and so on. However, in this case the situation was different. The task of Dragonfly was monitoring and filtering information because the customer was the Chinese government.

Inside the company, about the project became known in February 2017, although some top managers were discussing this issue since 2016. Top executives told the engineers that the search engine infrastructure would depend on a Chinese partner company with data centers in Beijing or Shanghai. The latter means that the Chinese government could receive any data from these servers. In addition, the system must associate user’s requests with their phone numbers. And considering a fact that in China exists a database with telephone numbers of all people, this means an unequivocal identification of all users.

One of the participants in the Dragonfly was Yonatan Zunger, who was offered to work on a search engine secret project. But after some time, he declared to management that such a system is unacceptable and would violate human rights in China. In response to these claims, the head of the “Chinese” direction, Scott Beaumont, did everything so that Zunger and other dissenters no longer participated in the project and knew nothing about it.

In the same 2017, Zunger left the company but three of his followers are still working there and agreed to disclose some new details, of course, on conditions of anonymity. In particular, according to them, the participants and developers of Dragonfly held meetings with a high secrecy regime. There were no written notes or other open communication. At the same time, out of 88,000 Google employees, only a few people knew about the essence of the project. Some were threatened with dismissal if they discussed the essence of their work with colleagues. According to one of the company’s employee, management took all measures to minimize data leaks.

After disclosing information, some human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch openly condemned the project and said that the company could become an accomplice in human rights violations in China. Later, the US Senate joined the case, and Vice President Michael Pence demanded that Google stop developing Dragonfly.

However, despite the internal and external resistance, the project was launched. And recently, the company officially confirmed the fact of development. Google executive director Sundar Pichai said that the corporation is considering the possibility of returning to the Chinese market, from which the company was forced to left in 2006 due to a number of blockings.

At the same time, according to The Intercept, co-founder Sergey Brin was personally interested in returning to Chinese territory, as Beaumont said. Allegedly, the co-founder of the company met with high-ranking Chinese officials to discuss the return. At the same time, Brin himself had previously denied the possibility of censorship and claimed that he had learned about Dragonfly only from the media.

One way or another, but the situation around the “censor” search engine has split Google. Recently, a number of employees signed an open petition against it. It is not clear how this story will end, but it can seriously shake Google’s market position.



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Apple banned in China

You can’t buy Apple iPhone’s in China anymore!

Well, actually… For now the court injuction is not in force yet, however, things may change in the future. Let’s start from the beginning.

Qualcomm dispute over patents

The open battle between Apple and Qualcomm over intellectual property covering wireless networks and devices has lasted for quite a while now, so you could think that things are going to get resolved soon. In fact, not so long ago both enterprises decided to break off negotiations and go to the court. For one of them it wasn’t the best idea. A Chinese court decided to preliminary ban import and sale of almost all models of iPhone’s which are available in China. What is interesting is the fact, that the case did not relate to the wireless networks what actually started this dispute, but the violation of two patents which the Qualcomm owns.

Apple is not going to give up

Apple has issued a statement, however, saying that “all iPhone models remain available for our customers in China.” Apparently, according to the filling, new models with iOS 12 have undergone changes which void Qualcomm’s complaint.

“Qualcomm’s effort to ban our products is another desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are under investigation by regulators around the world,” Apple in a statement for CNBC

What is more, iOS 12 can run on all the devices named in the decision, so the impact of it is still unclear. If the court rule were to come in force it would be a huge step back for Apple, since China generates 1/5 of the company’s revenue.


The future

Even though it might look like Apple is in big trouble, the fact is that they have a solid background.

“Qualcomm is asserting three patents they had never raised before, including one which has already been invalidated. We will pursue all our legal options through the courts.”

This means that Apple is going to appeal to higher instances, for what they 10 days from the day of the preliminary ban. However, the future doesn’t look so bright for Qualcomm either. Apple stopped paying licensing fees and no longer uses its chips in the iPhone’s. That’s contributed to a string of annual revenue declines for the company.

Recently Apple CEO Tim Cook has stated that he has interest in settling the case, but he expects a lengthy legal battle.  Considering that the dispute is already two years old, we might not see the end of it in the upcoming months. As for now we can only sit back and watch how the things are going to get resolved.





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How not to fail trigger marketing?

Image result for trigger marketing

We all have received those reminders to finish our online purchase after we abandon a virtual shopping cart. That’s what they call trigger marketing one of the most effective weapons of the digital marketer. This tool reactivates your marketing campaign and engages the warm audience with content to make them finish the online journey. Indeed, the only thing most of remarketing campaigns do is constantly intimidating customers with ‘no-reply’ emails and fire-push notifications which they already know by heart. But with convenient automation behavioral triggers are still the key to unlocking personalized marketing messages that lead to higher conversion rates.

These are some tips on how to make them buy, not quit:

  • Content must change dynamically as the user journey progresses and grounded by browsing behavior.
  • Show them social buying patterns and hot trends instead of asking to check updates.
  • Personalize your email sequence in an appropriate way
  • Spot your best users and reward them with loyalty triggers.
  • Use retention triggers and play on scarcity anchored around some other event.



Uncover humanity and secrets of your face

Due to the fact, that deep learning technology takes giant steps in developing and improving, we might say that modern cities are just around the corner. One of the things that cities of the future need is face recognition system.

Why do we need that?

Face ID, for instance, can help the police to identify perpetrators and send them fees. It can bring huge benefits, because people will know that they can be punished for minor hooliganism. They can use it for finding criminals and elimination syndicates. Thus, security of life will be improved. Moreover, in the nearest future, face recognition technology will be able to understand human’s emotions, so that it will bring some benefits in medical industry and can be implemented in pain management procedures. Yet, its general mission is to help security system. It would be better to use Facial biometrics combined with fingerprints to authenticate persons.

How is it performing now?

Huge software corporations like IBM, Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc. are shipped to work on facial biometrics.  They have already achieved impressive results. For example, Facebook DeepFace can determine two photos of the same person with accuracy rate of 97.25%. In June 2015 Google’s program FaceNet achieved 95% on YouTube Faces DB. Although, its performance is quite high, this technology still has a lot of issues to be solved.

Firstly, as you may know Apple introduced Face ID in Iphones since X’s version and it had been heavily criticized by Chinees people because of inability to recognize some of their faces.

Secondly, In February 2018 found that Microsoft, IBM and Megvii tools had big percentage of mistakes when identifying dark skin women. This problem has been solved, though such occasions show us not thoroughness of this technology. This is due to the fact, that there are too many variables that need to be taken into consideration.

Moral dilemma

If we implement such a technology into our cities, there is a chance that it would not be accepted by usual peasants. Because, face recognition requires huge number of cameras in cities and human, like a creature, may take it as an endless monitoring and lack of freedom because we will have to act like robots to prevent punishment from the government. Moreover, the technology will replace manual work and this won’t be welcomed. Yet, advantages take over disadvantages and it is not long time before face recognition technology will be entered.



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Huawei or Spywei?


In Europe, the 5G technology is knocking to our doors. And Huawei wants in. But should we let him in? The USA’s bad opinion about Huawei is starting to spread across the whole globe. The giant has been accused of spying for Chinese government. Many countries are concerned with controversial law, approved in 2017: “Chinese organizations and citizens shall, in accordance with the law, support, cooperate with, and collaborate in national intelligence work.” Of course Huwei states that their officials countered the move and provided secure products around the world. Bad reputation may be costly for this giant, especially now. A lot of countries are getting ready for 5G connection, and they may dislike the idea of having Chinese spy supplying a 5G equipment for them.

What’s more, the Huawei’s CFO and a daughter of a founder was arrested in Canada for extradition to the US, on December 1.“The arrest of a family member linked to Huawei’s founder indicates how the tension between the two sides is rapidly escalating,” – T.J. Pempel. Chinese government asked to clarify the reason of the detention and demanded to release the detainee immediately. American government is grateful to Canadian authorities. Senators state that Chinese telecommunications companies represent a great risk to American National Security and will not be tolerated. What should Huawei do? Is it really in a bed with Xi’s communist party?

Google’s Deepmind new AI predicts folding of proteins

The 13th Critical Assessment of Structure Prediction (competition) took place on 2nd of December 2018. Deepmind showed their latest project AlphaFold during this event.

How AlphaFold works ?

First of all this program gets a sequence of amino acids which later on are analysed thanks to neural network and data base. Then it predicts angels of connection of amino acids and the distance between them. At last it creates 3D model (like the ones above ).

In the contest the AI competed with human teams and made the most accurate prediction 25 times ( out of 43 tests ).

Thanks to predicting how proteins fold, in future we will understand diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s or  cystic fibrosis and maybe we will figure out how to cure them. We will also gain more knowleage how different proteins could react to one another  or what physical properties they have.

Project AlphaFold is based on previous Alphas (e.g. AlphaGo) which were mainly AI created to beat humans at games and to learn how AI works. Now this AI will help scientists create new ideas, for example how to improve cures, develop new theories or create new materials made of proteins.

AI just a few years ago was something futuristic but now rapidly developes into everyday solution in different fields of our life.