Author Archives: Karhol Oleksandr

TikTok – How does it work?

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The TikTok algorithms are subject to constant discoveries because of their uniqueness and innovativeness. They manage to capture peoples attention for at least 10 minutes after opening the app. While Instagram can not show off such results – only 3 minutes. This is a piece of strong evidence proving the great advantage given by recommendation algorithms rather than “like&follow” algorithms. So how do they work?

From the creator’s point of view:

After the video is uploaded the TikTok analyzes every kind of content related to this video (images, videos, text, hashtags). Algorithms capable of doing that helps creators to popularize content by recommending it to the global audience based on their preferences. This is thanks to the technologies provided by Bytedance Corporation, the company that deals specifically with algorithms for video-platforms such as TikTok or its Chinese counterpart Douyin. As a rule, TikTok analyzes the duration of the video, hashtags, theme, music used, location, time of publishing etc. 

From the user’s point of view:

Each of these factors is individually considered by TikTok’s For You recommendation system, which means that every For You page will be fully unique up to the interests of a particular user and his level of interest:

  1. Users interaction: liked/shared videos, followed accounts, the comments you post, and the content you create.
  2. Video you like/share information: This may include details such as captions, music and hashtags.
  3. Device and account settings: language settings, country settings, and device type.

For instance, TikTok reveals that a strong indicator of interest may be long videos (up to 60 sec) watched be a user. This will be more significant than a weak indicator, for example, the viewer and video creator are in the same country. Videos on the page “For you” are classified according to these “indicators of interest” and on the probability of user interest in certain content.

AI in trading – Trading robots

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“There are only two emotions on Wall Street – fear and greed” – William Lefevre

Trading robots were created in order to eliminate the psychological element of trading. They analyze the market and open the position automatically without any help from human beings. Basically, it is a computer programme making its own decisions based on collected data such as the volume of the market, trend direction and trend power, graph patterns, fake pumps and dumps etc. 

Although, trading robots should not be regarded as a “holy grail”. It is because the market is way more unpredictable than most people may assume. Robots are seeking the rationalization of the price change, while the price is trying to be as tricky as possible. So most professionals use such robots as an auxiliary tool for comprehensive analysis of the market but not as a main decisive factor. 

It is worth mentioning that robots are quite adjustable. That means every trader may adapt the programme and tailor it to his own needs. For example, every trader determines the lower acceptable loss (the price where the loss is not so considerable) after crossing which the position should be automatically closed. This is due to the volatility of markets: prices are going up and down, sometimes it makes rapid movements but then returns to the starting position. To handle all these risks traders use the stop-loss tool. And of course, robots allow traders to settle exclusive rules regulating risk management. 

All the robots are written in MetaQuotes Language (MQL) which is a programming language used specifically to create automated trading robots and market indicators. That gives a great advantage for users because it means that every single person may not only buy robots but create them as well. 

Why do robots mistake? The answer is that usually they do not really predict, they rather interpret the chaos occurring in the market. So they do not outstrip the market they rather leg behind it. Robots try to find bonds between various factors and use algorithms to make a decision. But no algorithm (at least now) can predict that Elon Musk, for example, will decide to post a tweet #bitcoin and the price of BTC will rocket to the historical maximum just in seconds. Actually, no one is capable of doing that except for Elon himself)

Clubhouse – new approach to innovations?

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Let’s hit the trend and discuss the Clubhouse. 

The idea of Clubhouse is to make people gather in groups and exchange voice messages. Every group is thematic that allows users to find the appropriate circle of communication. This great advantage can be regarded as one of the possible reasons for the popularity of the Clubhouse. Another one is its artificial uniqueness. Social networks are full of memes regarding the invitation to the Clubhouse. There is a belief that it is a really complicated task to get invited. So basically the app is challenging human’s curiosity. 

I would say that it is quite a controversial approach to make people communicate. Dozens of users hate voice messages because they are not informative. Basically, developers of Clubhouse have taken a usual for everyone Messenger, deleted all functions except for voice messages and allowed users to choose a group according to their interest. And boom – the app is the most discussed one right now. The weird thing is that the idea is so old that it is difficult to believe in its huge success. Reddit offers almost similar service that is, as for me, more convenient. 

Another weird fact is that this innovation is basically a simplification of existing ones( Instagram, WhatsApp…). I mean that any other functions except for voice messages are not available. Is it really so weird? Actually not. Snapchat allows to exchange of photos and simple text messages, Tik Tok allows sharing videos and text messages as well. So simplification is a global trend in innovations. Apps are becoming more and more specific that attracts users. And that is the point of my blog. I want to discover whether we are going to keep using multitool apps, gadgets and all other tech products or using hundreds of simplified analogues. However, I have to mention that some other platforms like Instagram or YouTube are increasingly extending their functions. I mean YouTube has added stories and Instagram is a trading platform now as well. So we can see two trends: simplifications and expansion of functions. Which one will be overweight, that is the question. 

And of course, I do have to emphasize that Elon Musk and others have contributed to the success of the platform. Firstly the $12 million investment by Andreessen Horowitz Company then Elon Musk huge interest and some other celebrities have done Clubhouse a favour. So possibly that can be the key reason for its popularity. Basically, it is)

KERS

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Almost all means of transportation are developing in terms of speed nowadays. Trains are becoming faster and faster, car manufacturers are competing with each other in order to determine which car accelerates better, etc. Probably the fiercest competition can be seen during Formula 1 race. A normal speed exceeds 300 km/h. Although, the racing track is not straight. So racers have to use brakes and steering wheels so that they can do pivots. And sometimes the speed should be reduced from 320 km/h to 120 km/h in a second so as not to make a car crash into the wall during the turn. Afterward, the car needs a rapid acceleration. For this purpose, KERS is used. KERS is a Kinetic Energy Recovery System. 

Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) is used for immediate recovery of the kinetic energy of a vehicle during rapid braking. The recovered energy is stored in a special reservoir for further use while accelerating, as a rule. The capacity of these reservoirs allows them to store up to 120 kilowatts for later purposes. 

The process is quite complicated and it is impossible to understand it without specific knowledge. But the diagram reveals the basic principle of the KERS. Definitely, the most important stage is the second one. The technology converts kinetic energy into an electric one. The reason why this should be done is that kinetic energy can not be stored and used as well, of course. The next step is to make a Direct Current (DC) from Alternating Current (AC). Basically, the purpose is that DC power has higher efficiency and size to power characteristics. The Storage stage implies collecting this energy. Afterward, it can be used by pushing a button on the wheel. Energy is discharged what adds more power to the engine.

This technology is not so widely spread. However, scientists try to implement it in various fields. It has performed successfully during F1 races and now KERS is being tested on trams, motorbikes, bicycles, and trains. 

 

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Sheepview

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If Google refuses to make the Google Street view ….  sheep will. Citizens of the Faroe Islands,  one of the most beautiful islands in the world, asked Google to make a special service for users so they can admire local beauty online. First, their request has been rejected. However, locals have discovered another way to create online 3D maps.

The idea was to attract Google’s attention. So citizens attached cameras to sheeps’ bodies and let them go. In this way, animals have become real explorers helping to solve such a complicated problem. Animals have been having a walk through overwhelming landscapes, dreamlike paths, and green hills. In addition, images have been captured in various ways: by cars, kayaks, ships, on foot, and even wheelbarrows were involved. Almost every creature has been working on this project. The outcome has exceeded all expectations. Organizers believed Google to pay attention and finish their work. Actually, that has happened. Woolly pictures have become a local trend and now there is a specialized service that performs separately from Google. It provides users with unique “woolly” photos and videos, offers sightseen tours and accommodation facilities.

Moreover, locals have also made their own version of Google Translate – The Faroe Islands Translate. This is because you can not learn Faroese words and phrases using Google Translate. 

That is an example of how a problem could be solved in a creative way and how to monetize the outcome.

 

Sheepview 360 

https://visitfaroeislands.com/ 

Protein manufactured from ……..  air????

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A startup called Solar Foods believes protein could be synthesized from the air, water, and electricity. This absolutely innovative approach allows producing eco-friendly substance full of nutrients (proteins  50%, carbohydrates 20-25%, fats 5-10%,) in laboratories. That means that Solein demands no connection with the agricultural sector to be manufactured.  

Production. The production of Solein could be compared with the production of wine. Manufacturers use sugar and carbon (they are needed for the fermentation process) to make wine. Afterward, yeast is used to transform sugar into alcohol. 

While manufacturing Solein, instead of yeast special bacteria is used. It consumes CO2 and hydrogen for its energy source. The bacteria is fed with special hydrogen bubbles which are made with water electrolysis. That allows the growth and the multiplication of the organism. As a result protein powder is produced. 

Is it eco-friendly? According to the study, the Solein is 100 times more eco-friendly than any other animal or plant-based substitution in terms of water and land use. Scientists affirm 1 kg of Solein requires only 10 liters of water to be manufactured, while 1 kg of beef requires 15000 liters. Besides, Solein production predicts no CO2 emissions. On the contrary, it absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere. It is worth mentioning that meat production plays a considerable role in global climate change. So Solein is a possible solution to the world’s climate issues. 

For what purposes? As I have mentioned above, Solein can substitute meat. Moreover, it can be added to various everyday products such as milk, cheese, yogurts, protein bars, etc. In addition, the implementation of Solein is also expected to be a small revolution in the space industry. Due to the fact that this powder is easy to produce it can be used during space trips. And of course, Solein can be consumed during long-distance expeditions to deserts and other uninhabited areas. 

 

The company planned tests to have been finished by 2020. They have already obtained financing and believe to generate 300 000 000 $ revenue till 2025. You are welcome to get acquainted with the detailed plan in the photo below. 

 

 

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Go to bed with your phone!

Reading Time: 3 minutesDue to some issues we all know about, the daily usage of cellphones has increased. According to the survey conducted by Twirgby people spend now 37% more time texting and 32% having video calls in comparison with the previous year. On the one hand, we have already adapted to such a dramatic increase in screen time spend. On the other, people (students especially) suffer from spine ache, headache, vision loss, depressions, and insomnia. 

Luckily, many companies have implemented an adaptive color temperature feature called “night shift’ or “blue filter” in their gadgets. It is aimed at adjusting the temperature of the color displayed due to the time of day it is. The goal was to help people get ready for sleep. How does it work? The blue light is an extremely tricky thing. It may make your brain think that it is daytime, however, it might be a deep night. There are even some scientific evidence proving that blue light can affect your sleep-wake cycles

 

Since the Covid-19 pandemic and a significant increase in device usage are strongly correlated we may assume that “night shift” could be a vital feature, even more valuable than ever before. The principle of this tool is simple. It transforms all blue colors into softer ones (blue to yellow) and prevents your eyes from seeing it as well as your brain from being tricked. Apple devices use your location in order to determine when the sun is supposed to raise and when the sunset is supposed to be. Some other phones/tablets also use their light sensors for such purposes. Presummerly, users are to turn on this button while working with a laptop/tablet/cellphone before sleeping so that our brain can understand that it is time to go to bed. 

 

However, the study conducted recently reveals that blue color has the same impact on the mouse body as a yellow color. So scientists assumed that “night shift’ is a placebo that generates no effect. Although, we can not judge because there were no experiments carried out on humans. 

 

What is more, a startup called Loona has created an app allowing you to watch some relaxing animations and even participate in them in order to “get in the right mood to sleep”. This app helps users to cope with stress, pressure, and difficulty initiating and maintaining sleep at night. The app uses three science-based components: art activity, music, and storytelling. It is a kind of lullaby slowly swaying you in your bed. The secure atmosphere creates a situation where the user is no more able to counteract sleep

 

To sum up, I would like to say that I have always had a lot of interest around the fact that simple technology merged with human health can benefit to our body. And it is worth highlighting that the technology is really SIMPLE but extremely useful simultaneously. 

 

 

Sources:

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Products are becoming homogeneous

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Dott, Bolt, Lime, and other companies are kindly offering consumers short-distance rides on shared electrical scooters. It is almost impossible to imagine a modern city without those services but, as a rule, they can not be distinguished in terms of the brand. 

Let’s move to a detailed review of those scooters. All of them are free to use all over the city (there is a map inside the app allowing you to find the nearest scooter). When you approach one you can scan a Qr-code with your phone camera and start a ride. Some services have made it possible to turn on the “ring” function (that is the way a scooter informs you about its location)  Moreover, there is a possibility to book a scooter in advance (the company will charge you for it). All of the scooters have a battery that allows you to ride up to 30 km distance long. The maximum speed is 25 km/hour. Acceleration is almost the same among the services. The company will charge you for your ride when you end it (0.5 zl per minute). All the transactions are conducted with Apple Pay/Google Pay or you may pay by card, which should be added in advance. And of course, all scooters are “green” what makes them ideal personal vehicles. 

Similar tariffs, similar designs, and similar apps are continuously assuring us that there is a certain pattern of how this business should be conducted, what rules should be followed, and what features should be introduced. The discussion that is coming of that should sound “What are the pros and cons of offering homogeneous services or products?” 

The market is fully controlled by several competitors so the competition is limited, existing products are improving, however, no new developments are being introduced. On the one hand, this creates a situation where customers have the access to a simplified market where they do not have to compare services and make analytics, what is good. Companies can make higher profits since the price is under their control. And there is still some competition (in terms of design, some special features inside the app, and special offers). On the other hand, such an oligopoly makes it almost impossible for new players to enter the market and introduce their innovative products to create healthy competition. What is more, people are no more supposed to opt for the best scooter. They are supposed to opt for the nearest scooter instead, cause there is absolutely no difference in them. 

This blog is not only about trendy scooters or about oligopolies in today’s world it more about the wrong path we are choosing right now. Smartphones, cars, tablets, etc. are becoming (or have already become?) homogeneous. The vast majority of the companies are following the trend, only some are trying to make these trends. 

 

Links:

https://bolt.eu/

https://www.li.me/second-street/lime-europe-new-cities-new-records-travel-app

https://ridedott.com/

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/o/oligopoly.asp