Monthly Archives: October 2020

Factory 56 — the future of cars manufacturing

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Even in a difficult economic situation Mercedes-Benz continues to improve its manufacturing process and tries to set a higher bar in the car industry. Another proof of that is the opening of a new Mercedes-Benz’s factory named Factory 56 in the German city Sindelfingen. The company itself calls this factory “Flexible, digital, efficient and sustainable.” Factory 56 was opened at the beginning of September on a ground area corresponding to 30 soccer pitches. It took 2.5 years to finish the project. According to the company’s web-site, Mercedes-Benz is planning to invest about 2.1 billion euros at Factory 56.

But what makes this plant the future of car manufacturing?

Flexibility. At one factory’s assembly line is possible to assemble cars with different body types. The production can adapt to current demand on the market and allows to easily restructure process of assembling to switch from sedan to SUV, for instance.
Digitalization. The plant has no conventional assembly line. A car is manufactured on a remote platform, which allows a car to stay in one place most of the time when all required parts are being transported by remote carts connected to one intellectual network. The digital ecosystem is built on a powerful WLAN and 5G network, which allows workers to supervise all systems automatically. From the monitoring of parts in stock to the system of electronic workflow, which would save 10 tons of paper every year.
Environmental friendliness. Factory 56 became fully carbon-neutral with zero CO2 emissions and significantly low energy consumption. The plant was built using recycled concrete. 40% of the factory’s roof is covered with plants and trees, the roof is also filled with solar panels, which is a sign that Mercedes-Benz does care about the environment. 
Working conditions. More than 1500 employees are working at the factory in two shifts. While organizing the working space, Mercedes-Benz took into account employees’ preferences. For example, via an online survey, they were asked about personal opinions, preferable shifts to work, suggestions, and even people they want to work together with. More than 85% of the suggestions were successfully granted.

At Factory 56 Mercedes-Benz is manufacturing the new S-class W223 and EQS as start models to launch the site. It’s extremely crucial that the company approached this project with responsibility, taking care of the environment.

I would say it should be an example for major companies that it’s possible to remain eco-friendly and efficient at the same time. And, of course, technologies. This is really astonishing to see real technological development, not the one Apple calls “revolution” each year. This is a huge step towards efficiency. For me, it’s really boldly for a company with a reputation and history to do this. It’s clear to see their struggles on this occasion, let alone the new S-class. Mercedes-Benz proved that even investing an enormous amount of money to implement modern technologies is worth it when it comes to technologies.



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AI detecting ripe fruits with human-level accuracy

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See Tree is one of the leading companies in agricultural tech field. The number one priority of See Tree is to oversee their fruiting status of trees in order to increase their productivity. This calls for a device for automated detection of ripe fruits using machine learning techniques. To have better, faster results and to approach this task with all the tools that are needed, See Tree partnered with Ciklum, a company whose task is to help other companies in creating something new with their own specialists.
In this case Ciklum provided See Tree with a team of  skilled R&D experts that had to find a solution to these challenges:

  • Small dataset (~500 annotated photos). It was impossible to collect fresh data because oranges were not in season.
  • High level of noise in dataset annotation. Annotations to some images didn’t contain required data. Some bounding boxes were not precise enough.
  • Dataset contained photo duplicates with different labelling.
  • High occlusion level in some pictures, made it difficult to separate instances.

Data preparation 

To prepare data that is required for this task, Ciklum’s team duplicated photos and images of unlabled oranges or invalid polygons. Those images were filtered out of the dataset. The resulting dataset was divided into sets of train, validation and test,  afterwards, stratified by the wide variety of oranges located on the picture.






Model architecture 

The satisfactory end result became acquired with the Faster R-CNN architecture family.This pattern became a modern


method for resolving object detection task. ” Faster R-CNN is a two-stage object detection system in which the first

stage generates a sparse set of candidate object locations and the second stage classifies each candidate location as one of the foreground classes or as background using a convolutional neural network.”










Ciklum’s and See Tree’s prototype had these advantages:

  • able to detect ripe fruits with high accuracy, even if occluded;
  • although built to detect oranges, it can be easily re-trained to detect other kinds of fruits;
  • outperforms humans in most cases.






All references were taken from:

Radomyr Kostetskyi

Ghost Kitchens

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42% of overall food orders are now placed online. The annual growth rate of online ordering and food delivery from restaurants is about 15-20% [1]. We value more convenience and oftentimes do not want to waste our valuable time on picking up meals ourselves. Therefore, we see less people visiting restaurants nowadays, but the costs of rent in shopping malls and expenditures to make their brand logos noticeable are not shrinking. Ghost kitchens come to the rescue!

What are they?

Shadow kitchens, dark kitchens, whatever you want to call them, they are the new booming trend in the Food & Beverage industry. These are food preparation facilities that stay hidden from the customers’ eyes. Set up out of sight, they cater mainly to delivery and do not serve customers directly. Their goal is to focus on making quality product cheaper and in a more efficient way.

What are the benefits?

Lower operating costs are possible thanks to a couple of factors. Choosing less obvious locations makes the rent less expensive. Neither dining area nor serving staff is needed in such a place. These elements combined save a lot of money, therefore the prices of meals can become more attractive to customers.

Not operating under a given brand and staying incognito enables them to change their menu and cook totally different food. Being so flexible is a very valuable opportunity not only for start-up restaurants that are not sure what products will sell best, but also for existing ones that try to experiment with their meal choices.

Are they flawless?

I think that they are close to perfection, but there is an issue.

If these places do not have their own app for delivery, this business model is dependent on the middlemen between the consumers and the kitchens. Being under somebody’s control may lead to toxic relationships.

Overall, I see a great potential for this trend, and I think it will successfully expand in the future.



Data from:

  1. The Lavu Team. “The Growth of Online Ordering and Food Delivery Is Transforming the Food Business Industry.” IPad Point of Sale System for Restaurants, Bars & More, 24 Feb. 2020,


Article I base on and present different view from them:

Hanet, Isabelle. “What Is a Dark Kitchen?” Deliverect,


External articles:

“Ghost Kitchen.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 13 Oct. 2020,

Bromwich, Jonah Engel. “Farm to Table? More Like Ghost Kitchen to Sofa.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 24 Dec. 2019,

Microsoft Teams phishing campaign attack on O365 Users

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Image shows capabilities of Microsoft teams- a Network of sharing files, calendar, emotions, statics, comment, and mails.

© Image inserted from Microsoft News –


Due to the COVID-19 situation many Governments, Organisations, and businesses transform into online communication platforms or integrate into their system and use it as a primary communication channel. Universities and academic institutions all around the world also decide for a sudden shift to online learning in a short period of time.

According to the New York Times analysis of internet usage in the US and special services that allow us to work and learn from home increasing continuously.


© Image Screenshot from NY Times – App popularity according to iOS App Store rankings on March 16-18. · Source: Apptopia


At Kozminski our main communication channel is Microsoft Teams, MS Teams is one of the products of O365, and a very popular subscription services that MS offer academic institutions among Google G Suite, Zoom for Education, and many more.

Cloud-based communication platform security is a huge threat that we as a student, employer, and user-facing threats daily, it’s clear to us there is no perfection in SaaS. Startup, Footprint, Runtime, Responsiveness, Hangs, rendering, and so many more that we use to hear as BUGS, but Security Bugs is one of the scariest to end user because makes us a vulnerable and the main target.

Abnormal Security researchers warn of a phishing campaign that pretends to be an automated message from MS teams, but actually aims to steal the credentials of O365 recipients.

Phishing is a fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information or data, it’s a very popular and old technique of attack. This campaign attack was sent to 15,000 – 50,000 O365 users according to researchers with Abnormal Security

“Because Microsoft Teams is an instant-messaging service, recipients of this notification might be more apt to click on it so that they can respond quickly to whatever message they think they may have missed based on the notification,” said researchers in a Thursday analysis.

The phishing Email displays the name “There’s new activity in teams”, making look like it’s an automatic notification from Microsoft Teams.

As can be seen in the picture below, the email tells the recipient that his teammates are trying to reach him, warns him that he has missed the MS Teams Chat and shows an example of a teammate chat where he is asked to submit something.


Email Attack: The email is sent from the display name, ‘There’s new activity in Teams’, making it appear like an automated notification from Microsoft Teams.

© Image inserted from Abnormal Security


It’s certain that Using 2FA or Multi-FA will make an important additional layer, low coast solution In many cases, it does stop phishing attacks from succeeding but it doesn’t mean your are immune to attacks. Also according to MS365 administration official documentation first task is to “Set up multi-factor authentication” and apply to the user as required widely within the organization and the Second task “Train your users” Also Microsoft recommended The Harvard Kennedy School Cybersecurity Campaign Handbook guidance.

In my opinion, due to rapid changes and system integration, most IT Teams can not feed their users enough information and updates, and it’s time for us as the end-user to watch tutorials to familiarises ourselves and read more informations about our daily software/tools.

And here is to learn more about how to set up 2FA on your Microsoft account Step by Step

The Image show steps, how 2FA works on clients point of view.

© Image inserted from ZUKO TECH – Two-factor authentication (2FA)


Resource: Abnomal Security

MS = Microsoft Teams   –   O365 = Office 365   –   2FA = Two-Factor Authentication

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The future of financial system

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Recently, investors have shown considerable interest in DeFi projects. This can be understood from the chart of total value locked (USD) in DeFi projects on the website called DeFiPulse. At the moment, the total value locked in DeFi projects almost 4 times as high as it was 90 days ago. Furthermore, the costs of some DeFi projects’ tokens on exchanges have sometimes increased even more than 10 times. For the comparison, the price of gold for the same period of time increased only 1.2 times.

As I’ve shown above, DeFi is quite popular at the moment among investors, however what is DeFi? According to the website DeFiPulse, DeFi (decentralized finance) is a complex of services based on smart contracts and decentralized applications (Dapps) that make up a decentralized financial ecosystem and provide users with access to a variety of financial services such as investing, lending, trading on exchanges, etc.

The main aim of DeFi is to change traditional financial system on new trustless blockchain-based one. At the moment, there are accessible such services as borrowing & lending, using decentralized exchanges and wallets, making payments, holding crypto-assets linked to real life assets and last, but not least, insurance.

Like everything in this world, DeFi has its pros and cons.

As regards advantages, firstly, anyone can get one or another financial service avoiding banks and their high fees. Secondly, all transactions in the blockchain are open-source for everyone. Finally, there are a plenty of ways to combine DeFi applications with existing services using unique smart contract-based protocols.

Speaking about drawbacks, firstly, since DeFi applications are still a new domain there is a chance to lose your money due to hacking of some unreliable smart contracts. Secondly, because of the little speed of transactions’ confirmation of Ethereum, on which at the moment based the vast majority of DeFi apps, the fees for confirmation sometimes really high.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that DeFi will replace the traditional financial system in the future, however, it needs some time to overcome those obstacles that hinder the development of the system now.


What is DeFi?

Is the PS5 Digital Edition Really Worth it?

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Finally after all the hype, speculation and leaks. The successor to the PS4 has arrived, sony’s long-awaited Playstation 5 is set to hit the stores in select countries such as the US and Japan markets from the 12th of November 2020 and the rest of the world will be able to get their hands on the console from the 19th. Something more unusual about the launch of the PS5 is that there’s going to be more than one console releasing this year, a digital edition of the PS5 which is essentially a streamlined digital-only console without a disc drive.



The price you may ask? Well, The PS5 and PS5 digital edition costs 499$ and 399$ respectively. Honestly if you ask me, it’s probably wise to save up and spend the extra 100$ on the standard edition with a disc drive because I think buying the digital edition is a huge commitment to Sony. Let me elaborate, so for example you buy the digital edition and you save the additional 100$ for buying your favourite game, so the only way you can purchase or gain access to a game is through the Playstation Store, there’s no other way. So you’re basically falling into “Sony’s trap” here because in case you didn’t know the Playstation Store is notorious when it comes to overpricing video games to the point where it doesn’t make sense for the consumer to even consider it. In my opinion, the most important benefit of having a disc drive in your console is the ability to swap, borrow, loan and trade physical game discs with friends and exchange stores for a fraction of the original price. Also, there are a lot of video game collectors out there who love collecting physical copies of a game to add to their exquisite collection so I’m pretty sure they won’t be the target audience for the Digital Edition.

Now for the juicy bit, the specifications. Well we’re looking at 8 cores/16 threads x86-64-AMD Ryzen Zen 2 processor which has a variable frquency upto 3.5 GHz with an AMD Radeon RDNA 2-based graphics engine which is capable of a whopping 10.3 teraflops. Both the editions of the PS5 come with an Ultra HD Blu-ray opitical drive with 3D audio, GDDR6 16GB/448GB/s bandwidth. Historically, this is the first ever Playstation console to have an inbuilt SSD(825GB).


So what does the future of gaming look like?

Well, I think the future is bright and colourful as manufacturers have finally realised the importance of implementing an inbuilt SSD which can significantly reduce game load times and provides a much smoother gaming experience. It’s definitely a step in the right direction and I see this as a permanent addition to future consoles as well. To sum up, if you’re an avid gamer without the finances to make the big jump to the top-tier PS5, then by all means go for the digital edition, it’s still a next generation console after all. But always keep in mind that there is a gray area in the digital ownership, be it music, films or games because you don’t actually own a title in perpetuity. Yes, online elements of modern games means that patches come regularly and can sometimes be required before even a game will work. But if Sony’s servers ever get taken down due to unpredictable circumstances, its not quite as reassuring to have a solely digital game collection compared to a physical one.



Shopping without barcodes

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An Australian tech start-up Tiliter has a thing to brag about as it has raised $7.5 million in funding led by Investec Emerging Companies. One of the investors was also Eleanor Venture and New York’s Cornell University.

Tiliter, started in 2017, now advertises themselves as the developer of the most accurate identification software that by the use of Artificial Intelligence identify products without the need for a barcode. They are already able to recognize products with 99% accuracy in less than a second. What is impressive is that the software is able to distinguish organic from non-organic products, even though there is a little appearance difference between them. There are more advantages to barcode-less product recognition. First, there is a potential of reducing checkout time. Retailers could also limit the number of workers and therefore make cost cuts. Incorrect selections (intentional or accidental) will be removed. Also, there will be no need for packaging on which barcodes are located. I believe that user-experience will also be improved.

The software they are using is pre-trained so the is no need for a learning period. Additionally, the software has self-learning abilities and can add a new product to a database within 20 minutes. The technology is also easy to install and use.

Tiliter has also developed a Scan&Go Scale, which works on a similar principle. It is a scale that automatically recognizes items without the need of entering the name of the product manually. Afterward, a client is supposed to scan the barcode which will add products to a virtual cart. This scale is already used in a number of stores in Australia, New Zealand, and the USA.

Tiliter claims to have a price advantage over Amazon which also offers autonomous store solutions. Amazon’s cashier-less technology is called “Just Walk Out” and just started being available to other retailers. Amazon’s technology setup and installation last up to a few weeks, so there is pressure on Tiliter to develop a “plug and play” checkout technology that will be installed quickly.

As the Covid-19 pandemic is not about to leave us any sooner I believe that the founders made a good call backing Tiliter.



AMD Radeon RX 6000 series – the new player on a top-level GPUs field

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In case new reference AMD graphics cards are going to be presented on the 28-th of October and unreferenced ones will be in the middle of November (including Sapphire Nitro and Asus Strix), there is some inside information about the new Radeon RX 6000 series. Will it finally be a worthy competition between Nvidia and AMD or it’s just a new view at old graphic cards?

There was a leak of a code for macOS Big Sur that includes the characteristics of the future flagman AMD graphic cards, and now it is possible to know the power of three new GPUs. Their code-names are Navi 21, Navi 22 and Navi 23. According to the data, the number of counting units will be 80 for Navi 21, 40 for Navi 22 and 32 for Navi 23. Also, programmers told the approximate number of threads for each processor, it’s 5120 for the most powerful variant, 2560 for the middle one and 2048 for the lowest. The frequency of every GPU will be hesitating from 2GHz to 2.5GHz, when the factory new Nvidia RTX3000 series GPU frequency is about 2 times lower (from 1,4GHz to 1.7GHz).

However, the quantity of power the “red” cards need is even lower than for their “green” colleagues. The code says that the XT version of Navi 21, will need around 320W for reference graphic card and around 355W for unreferenced models while it is almost 290W for the XL version in comparison with 370W for RTX3080. However, there is no information about the memory of the cards in the code, but some programmers assume that it will get about 16Gb of memory that will work at 16GHz speed, while, for example, RTX3080 is working with 10Gb of memory and 19GHz speed.

Taking into account all the characteristics of the Radeon RX 6000 series, we can predict that it might be almost of the same power as the RTX3000 series. But knowing the AMD company, the price will definitely be cheaper and this is what will attract customers more.

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Edge computing: is it the perfect technology solution?

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The term edge computing is appearing more and more often on various internet sites. What it really is? Edge computing brings data storage and processing power closer to the computer where it is most needed. It helps avoid latency problems with application efficiency, such as for the management of medical devices. Important healthcare data processing can be decentralized instead of relying on one centralized data center for improved security, quicker response and more efficient data transmission.
With edge computing, for the system to realize that a function needs to be performed, collected data doesn’t need to move back to the central server. This translates into running cost savings and decreases storage needs.

Important point is that edge computing moves computing as close to where the data is generated as possible. In retail, for example , data has traditionally been pulled together for review in one central location and then acted on. With edge computing, on the basis of information processed at the edge of individual locations, retail stores can optimize locally and in real time. Edge computing lets companies make data-driven choices more rapidly.

But can everything be that good? People want to believe it, but it doesn’t happen that way. Having analyzed some information, I can disagree with statements about the perfection of edge computing.
First of all, for projects and organizations that deal with large data storage, cloud computing is more fitting. Furthermore, in clouds, actual programming is best suited as it is usually developed for one target platform and uses one programming language. Several businesses are now making a move towards edge computing, however it is not the only option. Cloud computing remains a powerful alternative to the computing problems faced by IT developers and organizations. For a more detailed approach, they use it in combination with edge computing in certain cases.

In conclusion, each company makes its own choices, which can have a great impact on the future of this corporation. Besides, it’s very important not to ignore that something new isn’t always better than the previous one. You need to build on what is really best for your company, not the general opinion.


Edge computing could push the cloud to the fringe


Does 5G Network have some issues?

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   There is no disputing the fact that the new iPhone 12 launch stimulated US mobile broadband to make a 5G network available in 2020 worldwide. Those components are working together, and if one of them will collapse the whole ecosystem goes down automatically. One of the most significant aspects of the iPhone 12 is the 5G network modem. Therefore, most iPhone users expect from Apple by providing them with a high performance of the Internet. It seems quite simple to move from 4G to 5G, but in reality, each network provider faced with a huge amount of difficulties. Considerable work has been done and is continuing to be done.
   Companies like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon had divergent ways of building out 5G networks. They were faced with several issues. First, the amount of bandwidth data, it’s needed upgraded software configuration. The factor in performance results is the type of frequencies that each of the network providers is using. Verizon stopped on the mmWave spectrum, but it provides limited coverage. On another hand T-Mobile and AT&T focused more on a technology calls sub-6. The spectrum provides the speed and consistency of mobile broadband much more quickly than with a mmWave deployment.
    Second, the complexity of performance, which network architects were working on together by learning as they go. It takes time to upgrade and install new antennas. A simple network software upgrade makes a smooth transition from 4G to 5G by Ericsson and Qualcomm technologies. For example, modern Qualcomm X55 will be a part of the iPhone 12 provider 5G.
    Third, the speed capabilities are the number of “lanes”. It makes sense because nowadays users of 4G may move to 5G. However, there is a point, there are some technologies Non-Standalone (NSA) and Standalone (SA) access which are two 5G modes. NSA network relies on 4G facilities by providing more speed and higher data bandwidth. Moreover, 5G-capable smartphones will connect either to 5G or 4G networks depending on conditions. SA is dependent on 5G mode, will give tremendous performance speed, and minimize the delay.
    Sum up the foregoing, as we can see each mobile provider has its own strategy and idea of how to build the new ecosystem. It is business so everyone wants to win this game. However, not everything may work. Right now, by looking at official performance tests we may realize whose idea performed better. So only engineering ability and recourses can help with winning. A start has been made, the most interesting part ahead of us.