Monthly Archives: March 2022

How social media changed the reporting of the war and efforts for the victims

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Wars happen all the time, from the Arab Spring in Yemen and we have seen how social media influenced the outcome of the war. It has been used as an outlet where activists share news and a place to recruit fighters or spread misinformation. Today, we live during the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, we experience war reporting on a more personal and quick manner. Social media has helped emphasised on the high death toll and helped project Ukraine as a nation of fighters, while Russia as a merciless invader. The Russia-Ukraine war is the most recent war and the one where we are so deeply interconnected. It has changed how the way war news were received by the world and how the world is using it as a channel to help the Ukrainians affected by the war.

With the prevalence of social media it has also changed how the way the war was reported to daily. In the past war was reported in news. But ordinary civilians have now taken over the roles of reporting, bringing instant updates through social media platforms such as Tik Tok, reaching out to a larger audience at a wider and faster coverage. This also highlights the interconnectedness in the world and how social media might be pivotal in deciding the outcome of the war and other events. Ms. Magerramova, a doctor in the local Ukrainian documents the civilians streaming in with injuries. and updates the images on Instagram, Facebook, and Telegram with detailed descriptions of what happened to those shown in the pictures (Specia, 2022). This allows information to be disseminated to quickly to the people around the world garnering more awareness almost instantly. Aside from the various efforts from organisations such as Red Cross, stars who have large influence on social media platforms have also used their influence. Ashton Kutcher and Ukraine born Mila Kunis set up a crowdfunding campaign and raised over $36 million USD for the refugees (CNNPLUS, 2022). The involvement of the social media community will allow more

We have also seen social media companies playing their part by implementing certain regulations and features for the Ukrainian community. Meta has updated its Community Help feature to provide information to Ukrainians to seek help from the local UN agencies and Red Cross Societies. This allows Ukrainians to seek help on border crossings and where to get the relevant assistance. Additionally, in order to protect the communities in Ukraine and Russia, Facebook has hidden the followers and following for people based in these 2 countries (Meta, 2022). This helps to remove any association of involved parties. The actions taken by the social media giant is pivotal and impactful on the welfare of the Ukrainians, also spearheading other companies to take part in relief efforts.

As the war progresses, the after-effects and impacts will continue to exponentiate. Social media serves as a platform for the world to be interconnected and helps to raise more awareness for the war. This unity may provide external pressure on Russia, indirectly affecting the direction of the war.


Yellow uber cabs

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Uber Advertisement On New Yorks Yellow Taxi Cab - YouTube

Since the beginning of the pandemic, transportation services like Taxis have suffered losses. Uber which is a company specializing in transport is one of them. Over the years the company has had a long-lasting argument with taxi drivers. Because Uber’s service was more optimal for the public, taxi drivers were cast aside. The quarrel between the two was never fully solved but now a collaboration occurred.

55% of Uber drivers stopped providing the transport service in fear of the virus. Because of that, the company was forced to look for a solution that can stabilize its economic situation. The partnership between Uber and Taxi services is tested in New York City. The company mobilized into its ranks 14 thousand taxis, including yellow cabs. This amount is enough to mitigate losses generated because of the pandemic. The deal provides taxi drivers with the opportunity to get an order from an app but does not limit them only to the application usage. It means apart from doing their usual service, if not occupied, they can also optionally drive with uber. However, as cabs are not fully dependent on Uber company, they do not get a default for uber drivers surcharge that soothes the problem of high gas prices.

Uber for a long time has attempted to take out Taxi service. It also has a history of trying to join forces with it. Only now that the pandemic occurred, because of the substantial profit decrease for all transportation services, could both come to an understanding. It is a win-win partnership and it increases the likelihood for people of getting transport throughout NYC. However it may sound, if not for the virus, the services would probably never come to an agreement.


Counter to exam cheating

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Chinese School Finds Unique Way to Stop Students From Cheating During Exams

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there were not many occasions for schools to conduct stationary lessons. Because of that supervision of the students was impossible. Problems with cheating on exams quickly escalated worldwide. Unfortunately for the schools, the need of solving the problem was not even considered until now, thus not being able to stop it. Two years into the pandemic universities started using a method meant to expose the cheaters.

Schools started generating websites that theoretically contained answers to the exams, which could be browsed for if inserted one of the questions. A student entering the website unknowingly was sharing his IP address and all of the movement on it was monitored. Clicking the “show answer” option would cause an automatic negative grade. A simple yet effective trick that exposes the cheater without harming the rest of the class. Yet such an overt act is an explicit sign of the school not trusting the student.

Since the rigor of the supervision rose, all of the students became uneasy. The constant feeling of being observed is unpleasant and ruins the educational experience. Many people have complained since, that with more counteraction to students cheating, a school has become a place of constant surveillance.

With more secure ways of testing students’ knowledge, came the general stress of being watched. Student which is constantly worried will be less effective and even if not cheating, his grades will drop. Extracting an IP address is a serious violation of a person’s personal space and it astonishes me, that such a solution has even been considered. Schools may be desperate to find a way for cheating to end but it should not be prioritized over students’ comfort.


Chinese School Finds Unique Way to Stop Students From Cheating During Exams

Metaverse – step into VR

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Metaverse Zuckerberga spali na panewce. Twórca Facebooka musiałby  najpierw... pokonać cały internet

Metaverse is a promising topic of virtual reality. It allows you to connect with avatar, which will mimic your movements, creating illusion of presence in the world. Its potential is very wide, as the world created there can be manipulated however a person desires and is limited only to the person’s understanding of the software. Steps are constantly being made towards creating clearer usage of Metaverse, so that it becomes a regular tool that an average person can use. As of now company is focusing on improvement of the worlds virtual assistant.

Thanks to the virtual assistant presence, a person can shape the world through simple commands that are used daily. Because of that, coding skill is redundant, thus allowing many more people to navigate the system. Simple voice line about a specific topic, will generate an object and tool or grant the desired result in the world. Voice assistant is going to be further improved by remembering commands used in the session. It brings an AI into new level of understanding a context of the conversation. Therefore, communication with the computer is going to be more of a discourse, than asking separately for each expected result.

Wystartowało metaverse Facebooka. Użytkownicy narzekają na rasizm i  wulgaryzmy

Another coming up improvement to the system is creating an universal language translator. With the language barrier, the Metaverse could not be used to its fullest by wide range of people across the world. Project that creates real time translation of the speech is going to remove the language barrier. It will enable not only easier usage of the Metaverse software but also communication between people is going to be easier than ever.

If above-mentioned changes would come into life, Metaverse is going to revolutionize social. Multinational business meetings, multiplayer games or spending time with a distant friend will be available no matter the location. With era of virtual reality becoming trend, other meeting services like Microsoft Meetings and Zoom will become redundant. However, for it to happen the system must be yet improved, as for now it is far from success.


Password sharing punishment

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Is This the End of Netflix Password Sharing?

Netflix is a streaming platform, where after purchasing a subscription plan one can access a very wide range of films or series. For some time it has been exceptionally popular and now an average person is known to have a Netflix account. However, people have found way not to pay the full amount of money for the service. Because of that, the company generates lower profit, thus looking for a way to overcome this problem.

Sharing passwords is common across Netflix subscribers. Although this feature is intended for enabling access to the service by members of a household e.g. a family, people share account among their friends. This way, a group of 5 people can get an account for a fifth of the original price and use the service independently.

In this situation, the company must solve the problem of people who take advantage of the system, without creating inconvenience for legitimate users. The recent idea which is now being tested in selected countries is a step in a good way for Netflix. When the system notices activity among multiple devices in different locations, a message is displayed for a user. It encourages to raise subscription fee in case of using the password sharing method. The fee is optional, yet its purpose is to remind that the account is being used incorrectly. Matt Novak, author of the article about the case is calling it the “guilt fee”.

Sometimes, even if people were ready to pay for the service full price, they would have to make a new account and lose all saved film history and preferences. This is why now Netflix also enables to separate accounts and subscription plan into two for a fee.

As good as the solution may sounds, it is only a temporary one and raises the company’s profit moderately. With password sharing trick income is reduced significantly and fewer Netflix productions are released making the service less appealing for all users. Unless the service is going to remodel its subscription plan, it will not hold top streaming service position.


Fake social media

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Do These A.I.-Created Fake People Look Real to You? - The New York Times


Most of the people that have daily access to the internet, also have accounts on social services. Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are platforms, which in short make communication and other interpersonal activities easier and faster. Sometimes profiles which you can find there, are simply fake. There were attempts to create a system that automatically detects and deletes those but often it was not as successful. People though, could find inconsistency and tell apart real and fake ones with ease, thus these profiles were not creating much danger. Recently however, a new type of technology and a threat to social media called a “deepfake” was created. It artificially generates images or videos of people’s faces, based on photos already existing in the database.

Since deepfake became known, there have been created videos of politicians or celebrities in unbelievable situations. These were obviously jokes, and could be seen through if paid enough attention to irregularities in person’s mimics. However, if someone is able to make such an illusion, with an intention of a joke, what would be possible with professional equipment and resources.

Algorytm Disneya tworzy bardzo realistyczne deepfake'i [Wideo] -

Fake accounts are created with different intentions. Many are unharmful like trolling and advertising but there are cases of money extortion. LinkedIn, as an employment oriented platform is especially exposed to this influence. With the problem progressing, service users will gradually become more skeptical to new acquaintances from it. This creates additional barrier between employer and possible employee.

Images of people created using deepfake technology poses extreme potential threat to all of the social media. Jokingly created Obama speech or fabricated Zelensky’s video in which he surrenders, are example of what chaos can be done, if put effort into.

Oto nadchodzą czasy deep fake | Kultura 2.0


Big brother is watching you and this is cool.Ukrainian app Diia provided by the government

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The topic of digitalisation is quite mainstream nowadays. The fear of being watched all the time with no privacy became our routine reality. There are a lot of books and movies that show us how technology might be used by the government, evil corporation (which sometimes is the same thing) or crazy villain. For instance, The Mitchels vs The Machines, Black Mirror and well-known Orwell’s prophetic book. This topic is still being accurate and people keep arguing whether it is possible to replace people with machines. 

    Nevertheless, as we all know, technologies might be not only evil, but also quite useful – thanks God we do not have to wait for a dove to bring our letters anymore. This trend for digitalisation is followed not only by companies but also by the governments of different countries. The most digitized countries from the EU based on the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) are Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands and Ireland. However, in this article I want to extend my thoughts about one specific country. You might have never thought about it in such circumstances – especially right now, when you can see this country’s flag all over the world – blue sky and yellow field. Exactly,I am talking about Ukraine. This is my Motherland, so I would like people to know more about how awesome my country is. 

    The head of Ministry of Digital Transformations Mikhail Fedorov has launched both web-site and app called Diia -Дія ( you have all your digital document  and online public service. Let`s go through all of this with more details. First of all, the origin of the name comes from getting 3 words together – Government And I – Держава І Я (in case you know how to read in cyrylica), so in English it would be GAI. One more interesting quibble is that Diia in Ukrainian also means “action”. 

A little bit more about the app itself – it is the folder where digital copies of user documents are stored. And they are officially recognized by the government as analogues of paper or plastic documents. At the initial stage, immediately after the launch of the application, only two documents could be kept in digital form – a driver’s license and a vehicle registration certificate. For a large part of Ukrainians who had neither, this application was useless, but it relieved drivers of the need to copy in the glove compartment and almost eliminated the danger of receiving a fine for forgotten rights. Later, the digitized documents were accompanied by an ID-passport, a biometric passport and a student card. Digital documents are verified using a QR code. “We plan that the e-passport will completely replace ID-cards and paper ones,” Mikhail Fedorov said. The Facebook page of the Ministry of Digital Transformations claims that Ukraine is the first country in the world where it is possible to use a digital passport and at the same time not present a paper or plastic analogue. 

Despite that, in Diia you can include your vaccination certificate (both in Ukrainian and English). Also, to encourage people to vaccinate and use Diia, our government provided a service “isSupport” , where you can receive 1000 hrn via this app if you have a green COVID certificate and spend this money to buy books, gym membership or tickets to any cultural events to support business after COVID-19. The 1 000 hrn is €30 , which is enough in Ukraine to visit the cinema 2-3 times and buy 2 – 4 books. I can say that it was 100% effective based on my life experience. I originally come from a small town (almost a village), where we have almost no events and no cinema or theatre, so most of my friends and relatives have spent this money on books, even these ones, who never actually read

Besides, you can pay fines, renovate some of your documents and even create a document to become an Individual entrepreneur.  

    Diia app is also accurate in current circumstances, as the “isSupport” service has changed its function, so now people from some particular regions who have lost their jobs because of the war can receive 7 500 hrn (€230), but this time they can spend them whenever they want. Additionally, via this app you can help Ukrainian army and inform them whether you have seen an enemy equipment of the occupiers or find a game “isBayraktar” where you are trying to bomb russian tanks

    To my mind, Diia is a very convenient and useful app, which helps us to be closer to our government and treat it better. Nevertheless, there are some problems that are currently trying to be solved. For instance, still not every person has a modern smartphone and even if they do, not everyone feels a need to understand how it works – now I am mostly referring to older people. Anyway, Ukrainian government has chosen the right direction of development and I am very proud of it. 




Autonomous vehicles race

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The self driving cars are slowly becoming a raising topic. From time to time some of the major car manufacturers are making big decisions regarding future of autonomous cars. What is it all about?

General perspective

In most cases when we think about autonomous cars the first thing that comes to our mind is Tesla. There are many videos presenting how it is performing and how drivers use the feature of autonomous driving. What also can be one of the first associations is Waymo. The company operates partially in Phoenix and San Francisco, offering rides with its cars. However, there are many more interesting projects going on in this industry. Recently, the not-so-popular brands also had big news.

Waymo car

Recent activities

The Cruise company is an interesting example. They build their technology on the Chevy Bolt car. With all equipment, it should have even more than 40 sensors. They should be able to allow the car to see the surroundings in detail. Combined with high-performing algorithms it helps the car to decide what to do. In the future Cruise wants to build “The Cruise Origin” which will be closer to the bus without any steering wheel. Recently, General Motors decided to also focus more on autonomous vehicles so-called “race”. It bought a bigger stake in Cruise. The 2,1 billion dollars investment is generally acquiring Softbank’s stake in Cruise. It seems that General Motors wants to have bigger control and influence over the Cruise future. Following the trade, GM states that it holds 80% ownership over Cruise. What is interesting six weeks earlier Cruise started to offer its services in San Francisco. It is possible that the technology is getting more and more promising and big companies do not want to lose any opportunity. On the other side of the self-driving cars market, a new player tries to start in the US. The Whale Dynamic company from China develops technology, especially for autonomous deliveries. What is uncommon, originally the company wanted to develop software for managing traffic. In the long term future Whale Dynamic wants to shift from deliveries to passenger cars. Now it managed to get 2,5 million dollars in a seed round of funding. Lastly company has also a unique idea to propose a bi-directional possibility of movement of the car.

Cruise car


The war and the technology

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Probably, many of you have encountered the presence of new fancy technologies around the world when reading or listening to the news about the ongoing war. From heavily armed armies with state-of-the-art weaponry, countries competing for having the most powerful army by spending billions of dollars annually, Elon Musk’s Starlink, which helps connect Ukraine with the internet amid the distraction of Russia, even to a biological weapon that is known to have the same power in causing casualties with physical weapons. 

But this time, I would like to focus on the use of digital technology. It seems like digital technology has a huge impact on the war in the 21st century. This not only applies to ones who are actually in the army combating in the field but also applies to the public behind the scenes. The internet and digital technology allow the public unprecedented engagement and access to the war. 

I would like to divide this topic into two parts; crowds and platforms, and the sharing economy, and would like to show you some examples of how each part has affected the flow of the war. People might think that what matters in winning is the power of the military force, but that time has changed. 

So let’s talk about Platforms, Crowds, the Sharing Economy, and the War.

First, crowds and the use of social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.

Lots of Ukrainians and people around the world are using social media platforms to reach people outside, letting them know about the devastating situation and asking for support and help. The most common and usual way of using social media would be spreading the REAL news and the status of the war. They can also be used to raise funds for the Ukrainian army or the refugees or encourage people to sign up for petitions. People are also started to shame big companies which keep doing their business in Russia, and inside of all of this, social media platforms’ role is very big and crucial. From what I have experienced, I found the use of social media is effective in raising people’s awareness. 

 But it looks like there is definitely a downside. For example, the Russian government is using social media to spread false news and propaganda justifying their purpose of invading another country and spreading falsified history. They once spread posts across platforms like Facebook and Twitter that Ukraine is considering using biological weapons with the help of the US. But this has been proved to be false by the US. 

 Overall, this enables the fast and vast transfer of information and makes the war more digital. We can also say that this makes ordinary citizens also take part in the war.

Second, the sharing economy platform is a new way of helping.

 Recently, a new way of supporting Ukrainians has emerged. Probably lots of you have experience using Airbnb when traveling. This time, this sharing economy platform has been used as a unique way of helping people in need. People started to book Airbnbs in Ukraine to donate money directly to the hosts, whose businesses were impacted because of the war. Of course, they are not planning to actually go there. But by doing so and sharing this, they also can suggest a new easy way of donating to those who have no idea about how to help people in need.

Who knows? Probably there will be a new sharing economy platform that will be used as a creative method of helping them.

With digital technology and so-called digital weapons, we can also be an army. We can even send money directly to the army, which seems to be not possible if this war has happened years ago. The only way we can donate and help would have been through governmental organizations or humanitarian organizations like the Red Cross. We might have been fooled by false propaganda.

Evolving technology and crowds using social media platforms are making changes, and let’s hope peace will come soon, like real soon.


Can blockchain improve the container industry?

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Maersk started as a family business at the beginning of the last century, operating as a shipping company for specific products and on-demand transportation. Over the years, it has diversified many times, expanded in many different industries (such as energy and food), until it finally took shape and became what it is today: the market leader in shipping and transportation, holding 19% of the shares. Total market share. Maersk’s main business focus is container transportation. In addition, Maersk operates four companies: a container manufacturer, an APM division, a freight forwarding company, and a maritime industry security supplier. In 2014, Maersk realized the complexity of the current transportation process and began to cooperate with IBM to investigate the process related to paperwork. They see that many processes in the transportation industry are people-oriented, and information is only provided to the parties in direct contact. Another problem is the amount of paperwork for transportation, which takes a lot of time. There is another option for transferring data, which is via EDI (Electronic Data Interchange). Both methods of transmitting data are linear structures, which means that the information available at the source is not available at the destination. 

When IBM and Maersk started looking for solutions for the transportation industry, they evaluated blockchain technology. This technology provides “tracking and tracing options” for all stakeholders. IBM has proposed a permissioned blockchain where people can know who they are doing business with, rather than anonymously. In 2017, Maersk and IBM announced their Global Trade Digitalization (GTD) platform. GTD will be a neutral platform that can be used by all stakeholders in the ecosystem. 

External situation 

Accelerating Technological Progress 

Technology nowadays is accelerating very rapidly. One of the most significant innovations in technology is cryptocurrency. This new form of online payment is being secured by blockchain technology. Blockchain technology can also be used in the containership industry to secure logistic companies against fraud. Nowadays the container industry is relying heavily on physical documents, paper, and stamps. The container industry is not a little behind, but a lot. Making a switch in their operation by using blockchain technology will not only have the container industry allow to keep up but will allow them to be upfront.  

The Green Revolution 

The attention our earth is gaining is also increasing rapidly. We as humans must be more sustainable with our resources and discover new methods to leave a smaller footprint on our environment. If we continue without any adjustments to our methods of doing business, we will keep polluting our planet. The containership industry also leaves a footprint on our environment. Sometimes goods that are traveling around the earth are spending more time in ports than on the ocean. This is simply wasting energy, location, and time and by developing new innovative methods to move goods around the globe we can reduce this waste. 

More Pressure on Ports 

Ships in the logistics chain are increasing in size. Some ships carry more than 20.000 containers. This increase in cargo is putting more pressure on ports. Especially the smaller ports have a hard time dealing with the large capacity and cargo. These problems within the logistics chain create delays, demurrage, and decreased customer satisfaction. 

The Influence of Emerging Markets 

Emerging markets are also giving the container industry increased pressure. Since the global economy is increasing, more cargo must travel the globe. New significant players in the world market stage are coming up and the container industry must be able to keep on this increasing demand. 

Ocean Freight Rate Increase 

In August 2019 the rate to ship a 40’ container from Asia to the West Coast of the USA was $1326 in 2020 the was became $3224 and rose to $18,425 in 2021. There are multiple reasons why this rate has increased so aggressively. 

Port shutdowns (due to Covid-19) 

People purchasing stuff instead of services 

The fallout from the Ever Given in the Suez Canal 

Passenger flight cancellations 

Containers not getting where they need to be