Author Archives: Miklashevich Yuliya

Amazon secures rockets for broadband project

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Amazon set up a new goal for the next five years. They plan to put 3,236 satellites into low Earth orbit. These satellites will be loaded on three new heavy-lift rockets, which are still in development» as a part of Amazon’s project Kuiper.

The rockets will be made by Arianespace, Blue Origin – which was founded by Amazon owner Jeff Bezos – and United Launch Alliance.

The main goal of project Kuiper is to provide high-speed , low-latency broadband to customers including households, businesses, government agencies, disaster relief operations, mobile operators, and other organisations “working in places without reliable internet connectivity». 

Very much like Elon Musk’s Starlink, users will connect to the internet via a terminal that communicates with the satellites. Amazon says its experience in shipping and making products like Echo and Kindle will be useful in producing and distributing these.

“Project Kuiper will provide fast, affordable broadband to tens of millions of customers in unserved and underserved communities around the world,” said Dave Limp, senior vice-president for Amazon Devices & Services, in a statement announcing the deal.

In total Mr Musk hopes to launch as many as 30,000 Starlink satellites into space.

The value of this type of low-earth orbit satellite internet has already been demonstrated in Ukraine, where the United States Agency for International Development said, in conjunction with SpaceX, it had helped ship a total of 5,000 Starlink terminals to the country’s government.

But, as low-earth orbit becomes increasingly congested, astronomers have complained that the light reflected from these satellites as they pass overhead increasingly disrupts the view of the night’s sky.


Apple is going to sell the iPhone as a subscription service

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According to Bloomberg’s new report it turned out that Apple is going to sell iPhones and iPads as a part of a hardware subscription service, moreover this changes may happen already the next year.

Several years ago Apple slowly started to push their consumers towards buying recurring subscriptions as a new way of profitable revenue streams. The examples can be  Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple News Plus, Apple Fitness Plus, and Apple Arcade. Moreover a lot of these services have been already connected together in Apple One bundles.

The price of subscription will not be calculated simply in a way that the total price will be divided by 12 or 24 month. It will be undecided monthly cost,  linked to a user’s existing Apple ID account, with the possibility to upgrade to new hardware as it’s released. 

So basically picture is going to look like that: people are renting iPhones or iPads and while using the devices they have to pay, and when they decide to stop using it, devices must be returned back.

Most probably Apple is just looking for a way to cut out the so-called middle man and expand its installment-based payment offerings to other products. This actions will stop people of paying percent for other services. But the question is if this type of payment will be accepted and liked by customers.

Deepfakes become dangerous

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It was the third week after Russia invaded Ukraine, when president Volodymyr Zelensky appeared in a video with a speech addressed to Ukrainians to surrender to Russia: “I ask you to lay down your weapons and go back to your families. This war is not worth dying for. I suggest you to keep on living, and I am going to do the same»

It’s hard to believe that Zelensky could have said something like that, right? Sure, this video was claimed to be fake as the clip was quickly identified as a Deepfake.

Moreover, there was another video of Vladimir Putin declaring peace in Ukraine. And again yes, this video is also fake.

Not long ago Facebook and YouTube calmed that they removed Zelensky Deepfake.

Just imagine, in 2017 nobody heard about Deepfakes, which have power to be and sound like whoever in the world. But know Deepfakes are too realistic. Look at this video and see for yourself.

This person is not real Tom Cruise and the whole video is fake. Super realistic, right? And know think about how many and Chaos Deepfakes may create in the future as it becomes more and more advanced. 

As deepfakes get better, researchers and companies are trying to keep up with tools to spot them.

Abd-Almageed and Lyu use algorithms to detect deepfakes. Lyu’s solution, the jauntily named DeepFake-o-meter, allows anyone to upload a video to check its authenticity, though he notes that it can take a couple hours to get results. And some companies, such as cybersecurity software provider Zemana, are working on their own software as well.

Let’s just hope that one day Deepfakes will not cause any serious problems. But it is a good example of how technology may play against as. At first people developed Deepfakes and now we have to struggle with it.


It’s time to think about Metaverse

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

The Matrix – film which is widely known all over the world. The first part was released in 1999 and grossed 171 mil $ only in USA, total box office gross of over $465 million worldwide. Moreover the movie’s ratings are still breaking records. But what made the film so successful? Despite many factors like shooting quality, directing, casting and etc., plot is what really made a huge impact on the success, a fantastic key idea of virtual reality.

And now imagine that virtual reality is closer day after day. Facebook spends billions of dollars to create a metaverse – a virtual world where people can interact with each other and with digital objects through their avatars, using virtual reality technologies. 

In order to make you fully understand the real desire and intention of creation virtual reality world, Mark Zuckerberg announced on October 28 that Facebook had changed its name to Meta.The goal of Facebook’s rebranding is to cement the company’s connection to the new Metaverse project, the “metaverse” that Zuckerberg sees as the future of the internet. 

Billions of dollars have already been invested in Metaverse. At least $10 billion this year alone. The funds will go to Facebook Reality Labs, a division of Metaverse that will develop hardware, software, and content for AR and VR. Among the implemented projects of Facebook Reality Labs are the Oculus Quest virtual reality glasses and the Portal display. Now Reality Labs employs 10,000 people.

In metaverse instead of profile there will be your own avatar and instead of news feed there will be social hubs were people can gather to share news, gossips and play games. Comedy clubs, discos, meditations, many game worlds and more – all these will be possible in metaverse. 

Just imagine: a virtual world where you can do the same as in real one after only putting virtual glasses. A new world were actions are faster and easier to commit.

All these things are pushing to think about how metaverse will influence our lives and the future of our development. Will a new word substitute the one we leave in? Will people be less connected with the reality? Won’t the new world look fake? And is it only a begging of new era of communicating, interaction and way of life?

I would only say that all this thing about metaverse makes me feel unsure and doubtful. Why should we run from reality? Why should we substitute real feelings and communication? And why should we live like in this serial called «Black mirror»?

From my point of view, technologies should make our real life easier, but they should not replace the reality.

New breathable and waterproof plaster

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Have you ever broken your leg or arm? If the answer is “yes”, than you probably know how uncomfortable it is to wear plaster. It cannot be wetted, so it becomes a big problem to take a shower; the skin is very itchy under it; bandages get dirty and fall off; skin does not breathe; movements are very constrained.

But fortunately a group of engineers Cast21 from Chicago have solved this issue. Jason Trautner, biomedical design engineer Ashley Moy and electrician Justin Brooks have invented a new waterproof stop treating fractures by applying plaster, which is more hygienic, breathable and comfortable.

In case you like to draw on plaster to make it even more attractive, you can easily do it, and moreover remove drawings without any efforts.

Gypsum is put on in 10 minutes and consists of a liquid polymer or liquid resin that solidifies and fixes the bone in the appropriate position. So all that doctors or even every man is to do is put on and fill.

One of the people representing the company said: “One of the greatest challenges, and also greatest thrills, we face during our design and engineering process is developing something completely new that no one has ever seen or worked with before. It’s an interesting balance of fun and frustrating that isn’t for everyone, but we love it.”

“In my opinion, with a traditional cast or brace, the worst part of breaking an arm would be the smell after weeks of treatment. How embarrassing! Otherwise, I would imagine the pain from the break itself would be the biggest downside of breaking an arm,” representatives said.

In my own opinion such an invention shows a good progress in medicine, as it noticeably make patients’ hard days easier.

From my point of view this startup will become a successful manufacturer of gupsum and many hospitals will stop treating fractures by applying plaster.


Engineers Create A Breathable And Waterproof Cast To Replace Plaster Ones And Stop The Itching Forever


Reading Time: 3 minutes

Have you ever heard about foldable smartphones? In point of fact, it is a hybrid of phone and tablet. So basically, a plane phone turns into a tablet only with one movement of a hand. It sounds rather interesting, so why it did not become popular among smartphone users, though it was out on sale on November 1?
The advantages of foldable smartphones are quite obvious. Such a gadget is much more universal than a smartphone or tablet separately. Foldable smartphone combines 2 important elements: big screen (the larger the screen of the mobile device, the more convenient it is to use navigation, type text, edit photos and videos and play) and small size at the same time.
But disadvantages outweigh advantages. The most vivid drawback is refusal of manufacturers from protective glass in favor of plastic coating. Plastic is much less scratch resistant, you can leave a trace on it without much effort even with a fingernail, not to mention more aggressive things that can accidentally come into contact with the screen (for example, keys or coins). Plastic also leads to the appearance of folds and bubbles at the bend of the screen. At the premiere of Galaxy Fold, the company did not allow journalists to hold the smartphone in their hands. Most likely because they were afraid that the journalists would take pictures of the bumps on the screen and show readers scratches that remained on the plastic. The next disadvantage is that Foldable smartphones are thicker and heavier than conventional ones.

Currently, such smartphones are quite expensive. For example, Samsung is going to sell Galaxy Fold for 1980$, in its term Huawei put a price tag on Mate X for around 2220$. Perhaps these are the most expensive smartphones in history, not taking into account the limited models with diamonds and precious metals in decoration.

What about Apple models?
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has already criticized his home company for its sluggishness. He noted that she previously set trends (and remembered Touch ID, Face ID and Apple Pay), and now she began to lag behind competitors and ignores the technology of flexible screens. According to some sources, Apple still plans to release a foldable iPhone, but this will not happen until 2020. The company already has several patented developments related to this device. For example, one of the patents describes a technology with heating the screen bending zone, which will increase the life of the bending mechanism. Apple also has a patent that describes a sound-emitting screen.
Obviously, Apple is not in a hurry to launch a new trend on sale, since it is not known whether it will take root. This is a winning tactic.
And what about you? Would you buy such smartphone?


Deep space communications

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Nowadays space exploration is a very important aspect of our development. Therefore, space communication is vital in obtaining all the possible results in this sphere. Space communication was developed to send commands from the Earth to the spacecraft, and to return scientific data from the spacecraft to the Earth. Deep space missions almost never return back, that is why it is very important to track spacecrafts at a very long distance and communications systems is the only means with which to interact with it and moreover to diagnose, repair and mitigate it. A successful mission can not be possible without an effective and efficient communications system.
There are two main challenges to deep space communication systems. The first is enormous distance to which a spacecraft travel. The two Voyager spacecraft, for example, are each more than 15 billion kilometers away from the Earth. Another big challenge is to maintain the extreme reliability and versatility of communication systems, in order to accommodate the long system lifetimes of most planetary missions.
Only in March 2016 the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) had returned more than 298 terabits of data – very impressive feat. Even at its maximum data rate of 5.2 megabits per second (Mbps), MRO requires 7.5 hours to empty its onboard recorder, and 1.5 hours to send a single HiRISE image to be processed back on Earth. And now even higher data rates are needed for high-resolution hyperspectral imagers.
There are 3 Deep Space Networks (DSN) locations (Madrid, Goldstone, Canberra), that consist of antenna complexes. Each complex includes one 70-meter antenna and a number of 34-meter antennas, which can be used ether individually or in combination to meet each space mission’s communications requirements. Deep space communications research facilities include a 34-meter research, development antenna and the Optical Communications Telecommunications Laboratory with a 1-meter telescope.

The antennas and data delivery systems make it possible to:[2] acquire telemetry data from spacecraft, transmit commands to spacecraft, upload software modifications to spacecraft, track spacecraft position and velocity, perform Very Long Baseline Interferometry observations, measure variations in radio waves for radio science experiments, gather science data, monitor and control the performance of the network.
NASA cooperates with JPL. This company develops deep space communications technologies for Nasa’s spacecrafts and the Deep Space Networks. That is why new mission concepts are always being improved.

JPL develops Radio Frequency (RF) Technologies and Optical Communications. High-rate RF communications techniques are essential to meeting projected future mission requirements. Areas of its investigation include: spectral-efficient technologies, power-efficient technologies, propagation effects, antennas, both flight and ground and deployable and arraying antenna technology.
Optical communications is being developed for future space missions generating high volumes of data. It could meet these needs for future missions to near-Earth space, the Solar System, and potentially, interstellar missions. Areas of emphasis in optical communications research and development at JPL include: long-haul optical communications, optical proximity link system development, in-situ optical transceivers. These technologies can enable streaming high definition imagery and data communications over interplanetary distances.
So as you can see the process of receiving and processing data from space is rather complicated and costly (billions of dollars spent on deep space missions). But do we really need to investigate in this sphere or should we rather think about earth communication, as sometimes even the internet connection leaves much to be desired?




Cicada 3301. The biggest riddle of the internet.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

On 4 January 2012 the users of a famous site- 4chan found a post with an unusual picture, which was a white typed text on a black background.

The visitors of the site got interested in the image and began an active discussion on it. Many people came to the conclusion that, perhaps, the NSA is looking for potential employees. Such a technique of finding smart men is not new, as even During The Second World War, British intelligence services looked for promising employees using crosswords in the Daily Telegraph. Anyway, the picture attracted attention. And after it was reposted on other forums, enthusiasts took up the decoding.
I’m pretty sure you will never guess where exactly the message is hidden. But if you consider yourself to be a VERY SMART person, you can stop reading this post and try to find it, while I will give the answer to this small riddle.
The answer was hidden by digital shorthand, that means it was INSIDE the picture (it’s digital code). So to see the answer you had to open file jpg in a text editor.

This message was hidden inside the digital code:

TIBERIVS CLAVDIVS CAESAR says and an incomprehensible something.
Ok, let’s think a bit. Who is Tiberivs Clavdivs Caesar? He is the Roman emperor who lived 2000 years ago. The numbers after his name are obviously some kind of a code. And name CLAVDIVS is a hint to an ancient roman cipher (the cipher of Caesar- one of the simplest and most ancient methods to hide a correspondence from prying eyes). The principle of the cipher is to shift and set, as is depicted in this picture (each character is replaced with another one standing in the alphabet by a fixed number of position):

But how can we guess with what shift is the cipher in the picture? Clavdvis Caesar was the 4d Roman emperor. Therefore, the most sophisticated minds, who have shifted the code to 4 positions, gained the link, which led to a picture with a duck and inscription:

And here is a new riddle. The key to the riddle was hidden in words “guess” and “out” led to the name of the steganographic program OutGuess, which allows revealing data that is hidden in ordinary digital images.
The farther the harder. The chain of encrypted messages continued until the searchers finally came across this number:

Calling this number they heard the following :”Very good. You have done well. There are 3 prime numbers associated with the original final.jpg. image. 3301 is one of them. You will have to find the other two. Multiply all 3 of these numbers together and add .com. on the end to find the next step. Goodluck. Goodbye.”
The voice sent them to another site. There was an image of a cicada with the number 3301 and a list of geolocations of 14 cities on the encrypted site.

The answer seekers had to close the computer and go outside, where they found 14 paper posters with the image of cicadas and a QR code, which led to another riddle. And then it really gets hot. Everyone is starting to understand that this is not just a joke of one Internet-nerd. No! This is a whole community that calls itself “Cicada 3301” and is located all over the world. And for some reason they are looking for very smart people.
A few weeks later on 4chan and Reddit, the following appeared: “Hi. We found those we were looking for. So our month-long journey ends. Goodbye”.
World media learned about the story and began to intensively search for winners. Of the dozen that reached the end, only one responded.

Here he is, 15 years old teenager Marcus. The Rolling Stones magazine interviewed him.

As he told he had received a message, which said :” We are only a group of people united by common beliefs. We are not hackers or pirates. We are not engaged in illegal activities. If you refuse – we will understand. But if you agree and lie to us, we will know about it. We are an organization dedicated to promoting freedom, security and the right to privacy in a network.”
As a prize, Marcus received an invitation to a private forum on the shadow Internet, where he met the rest of the winners and took part in developing a program for anonymous online communication. He learned nothing more about the Cicada 3301.
In subsequent years, cicada 3301 also looked for smart people. So maybe some kind of program is being developed that is able to change our communication on the network, but we only have to guess.


Medicine Drone Delivery

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Nowadays more and more inventions and developments are aimed at making our lives easier. Sometimes it turnes to be so difficult to force yourself to leave your cozy house to simply buy some food or walk the dog, that it becomes a real problem to cross the threshold. It often happens that daily routine can greatly affect the mood of an ordinary person, for whom a small stroll should not cause  any difficulty. And now imagine a sick person, who lives alone and has nobody to buy him some medicine. What can be worse than the necessity to go to a pharmacy, when it is so hard to get out of bed.

Now the issue is solved, as medicine drone delivery has appeared.
On Nivember 1, UPS drone delivered the prescription medications from a CVS pharmacy in Cary, North Carolina, to a consumer’s home, and to a customer in a retirement community. Medicine was lowered on the ground with the usage of special winch and cable on the hight of 20 feet above the delivery destination.
These deliveries were made by M2 drone developed by UPS partner- Matternet and monitored by a remote operator in case smth went wrong.
UPS and Matternet partnership was established in March in order to deliver medical samples with a help of unmanned drones at WakeMed’s flagship hospital and campus in Raleigh, North Carolina. The partnership has already logged more than 1,500 drone deliveries at WakeMed.
“UPS is exploring and developing drone delivery in various industries, including some that need drone delivery to homes,” said company spokesperson Kyle Peterson.
Now UPS is planning to expand drone deliveries beyond healthcare facilities.

The main advantage of drone delivary is that it may be useful in rural residential areas where deliveries occur very far apart.

“Drone delivery has huge potential to get urgent or high-value items to exact locations quickly,” France said. “This is a potentially huge advantage in “last mile” delivery — it certainly won’t be viable for long-range deliveries. In the near term, most of the focus is on delivering high-value, urgent cargo, like prescriptions or even transplant organs, faster and — eventually — for lower cost.”

What about you? Do you see any disadvantages of such delivery?


UPS Chalks Up Another Drone Delivery First



Privacy issues of Smart Speakers

Reading Time: 3 minutesIn the 21st century people really started to worry about their privecy, as with the development of IT sphere more and more malicious codes and eavesdropping systems are involved to track our lives.
Nowadays smart speakers like Amazon Echo,

Amazon Echo Dot,

Sonos One,

JBL Link 20,

Google Home

and so on are becoming rather popular, as it has many usfull functions, which make our lives easier: answer questions, cotrole smart home gadgets, play music, search information etc.
Lets look at the pie chart below. It reflects that 21 persent of customers use smart speaker less often than they did at the beggining.

And next diagram shows why.

We can conclude that these 21% now use smart speaker less frequantly because they worry about personal date. And as it turned out not in vain.
October 20, security researchers claimed that Amazon and Google speakers have several desein flows, which can be used in eavesdropping and voice phishing.
To prove it several reaserches were held at Security Research Labs, a hacking research collective and consulting think tank, situated in Berlin. They found out that developers could create malicious apps for the Amazon and Google platforms to turn the smart speakers into smart spies. It was estimated that even after finishing using smart speaker, it was still recording voice, and as a result collecting personal data from users, including passwords, and eavesdropping.
“Consumers need to be aware that they are sending data to third parties when using voice apps,” explained SRL researcher Karsten Nohl. “These apps do not need to be installed on the device, but instead are invoked through phrases that the app developer chooses.”
“Hence, users might not be aware they are using the services of a third party,” he told TechNewsWorld. “The smart spies hacks add urgency to this situation since they allow app developers to listen in on users after the app has supposedly stopped running.”
Amazon and Google always care about their customers privecy, so after Being alert about such a problem both companies blocked the particular one smart speaker platform and put changes in place to reject or block any skill exhibiting the nasty behavior of the researchers’ app.
“It’s important that we continue to work with the security community to protect our customers,” the Amazon spokesperson said.” We have a dedicated team focused on certifying skills and ensuring the safety and security of our customers.”
Amazon and Google also added a new function for the safety of their customers, which allows users to delete everything smart speaker has recorded, as well as ask it what it heard and why it responded in a certain way.
Do you think Amazon and Google managed to solve this privecy issue or personal dater of their customers is still not safe?