Author Archives: Cendrowicz Kamil

Another record-breaking NFT transaction

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Another huge NFT sale was made at Christie’s tonight: collection of almost ten cryptopunks was purchased for $16.9 million. It’s likely the second-largest NFT purchases ever made, falling after Beeple’s sale in March.

CryptoPunks were one of the first NFT projects, and their value skyrocketed as collector’s items. The project, created by Larva Labs in 2017, offered 10,000 small pixel-art portraits of people, zombies, aliens, and apes. Each one was generated by AI-powered tech and has distinguishable attributes, like their hairstyle, glasses, or hat. Some traits are rarer than others, and those tend to make for more valuable CryptoPunks.

CryptoPunks have soared in popularity since NFTs started blowing up in February. Two alien punks sold in March for more than $7.5 million each. Another seven have sold for more than $1 million, all just in the past few months. NFT’s are based on Ethereum cryptocurrency which price skyrocketed this year to 4,300$ at the time of writing this post. Experts are sure – it is mainly thanks to lucrative and popular NFT transactions this year.

Foxconn’s component shortages will last for years to come.

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The global shortage of electronic components is a result of global Pandemic that lasts for over a year now. With closure of borders, more strict controls and hundreds of thousands of people losing their jobs it is hard to maintain pre-pandemic numbers up and running.

What is more, recent Suez Canal blockage caused by big container carrier Evergreen’s Ever Given is not going to make it any easier on electronics shortages. The full blockade lasted six days, from 23rd to 29th of March 2021 and created massive “traffic jam” on both entries to canal.

“The [supply in the] first two months of this quarter was still ok, as our clients are all very big, but we started to see changes happening this month,” Liu reportedly told investors during the company’s latest earnings call.

The biggest client of Foxconn is a well known american behemoth Apple. This is going to complicate things taking into consideration that the newest Iphone 12 Pro Max is the best selling 5G device on American soil. Apple would most considerably, like to keep that trend and plans to sell even more devices from new series, most probably, labeled “13”.

Not only foxconn is having shortages, earlier same month Samsung warned about serious imbalance in semiconductor industry as a result of preparing for worldwide chip shortage.

From automotive industry, Toyota, Ford, Volkswagen and Nissan had to slow down their production lines due to shortage of sillicon, an important part of every car nowadays.

What is more, it is almost April and it is still near to impossible to buy newest PS5 or Xbox Series X consoles that had premiere last year! It is mainly because of many reselling groups as well as part shortages from Sony’s and Microsoft’s assemblies.

It is the same stroy with PC graphic cards and infamous RTX3000x line which is not available for months now. Rest of graphic cards prices skyrocketed because of shortages and growing number of crypto mines which requires huge GPU power.


Wikipedia Is Finally Asking Big Tech to Pay Up

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Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia has been used and praised for various groups, researchers, students and even tech behemoths. It has been used for free, even thought it powers many of The Big Four commercial technologies. Now, it can finally change.

Everyone knows tight partnership between Wikipedia and Google. One fuels another one with date and in exchange is winded up in search results. Other tech giants used its services as well. Many chatbots and virtual assistants such as Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa learn and use data from Wikipedia.

According to The Wired, some companies are generous enough to contribute in many donations once a while, on the other hand, there are also companies that create enormous projects based on Wikipedia data without even mentioning it to the Wikimedia board. The new project called Wikimedia Enterprise decided to finally recognize commercial users as a separate database.

Nowadays, companies hire a lot of people in order to build teams responsible for importing Wikipedia data, usually through “data dumps” happening every other week. They do it without any help from Wikipedia. This is going to change.

“They all have teams dedicated to Wikipedia management—big ones,” Becker said, adding that making the different content speak to each other required “a lot of low-level work—cleaning and managing—which is very expensive.”

That is why Wikimedia Enterprise was born. It offers kind of a premium version of the Wikipedia API, which can be used to extract data faster and in format of a choice. Wikimedia thinks that companies are going to love this function and they will eagerly pay for it, since they are already paying whole teams to clean and format data. Now, it can be done even faster and at the source.

What do you think about Enterprise? Should Wikipedia introduce more premium paid services for companies? Let me know in the comments.

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Goodbye Notch!

Reading Time: 3 minutesiPhone X when announced has created a big controversy.It featured a whole front display with a little gap at the top, nowadays we call it a Notch. Some call it a big step back in smartphone’s design, others a necessary evil. We know one thing for sure, it has created a new design trend for over 2 years. Quickly after iPhone X release other manufacturers have followed. It seems that we wanted to increase the display area so much that we did it without second thoughts about smartphone’s front components such as camera, speaker, microphone and sensors.But what if someone decides to go against the notch trend? That is exactly what happened with a Samsung flagship model Galaxy S9. On the first sight it looks clean, screen area seems big enough and lack of notch does not make it look “old”. But Martin Hajek, a graphic designer wanted to know how it would look like with a notch. The result was outstanding. Samsung S9 appeared to had even narrower bezels than iPhone X. So we know that Notch makes smartphones more sleek, futuristic and attractive to customer. But what is a next step? Of course notch has to go, there is no place for him in all-display future of smartphones. Can we put front components under display? Not yet. There were attempts to avoid a notch but I do not think they are to stay. One of such an attempt we can observe in OPPO Find X. Chinese giant created a camera and sensors that pop up from the top of the smartphone. It allows to achieve an amazing 93.8% screen-to-body ratio.

There is a controversy about time needed for mechanism to pop up, scan your face and descend in order to unlock your phone. People are also not convinced about durability of this mechanism with users that use their camera often. Nevertheless we have to congratulate OPPO for trying to avoid notch. With 2019 comes new alternative for a notch – a hole punch camera! It was implemented in Honor view 20 and it looks amazing.It looks like a far more reasonable compromise than an intrusive notch and more trustworthy than OPPO pop-up camera solution. We still have one of the biggest screen-to-body ratio and a front facing camera. In Honor View 20, OS still recognise front camera as a notch so you can put virtual bezels when watching full screen video. To be honest this is going to be a trend that grows in popularity in 2019, at least until we figure out how to hide camera under display. What do you think about OPPO, Honor and notch? What do you think about the future of notch smartphones?



LG’s leap forward: The rollable 4K OLED TV

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LG has shown at the CES 2019 world’s first rollable TV, using OLED technology they managed to roll 65 inch size TV inside a small box with a front facing speaker. When unrolled it looks just like every OLED TV, it still produces same picture quality as high-end TV’s. It is claimed to be tested up to 50 000 rolls up and down. It means that if you turned it on 4 times a day it would last you over 34 years. What’s more the screen shows no stress from rolling what so ever.

When turned off LG’s OLED TV looks just like a piece of furniture, a stylish speaker in grey shade. Turn it on, and the screen will rise from within the box to its full size, as silent as possible. Turn it off, it will descend back into the box. It also has a special option named “Line View”, basically in this mode the screen rises to the 1/4 of its standard high. It has custom UI that’s shows current weather, localisation, you can even play music and descent it completely down! Sound system will interact with your mobile via Bluetooth.

Although it looks just like a gadget, a little reminder of what the future will be- it is certainly not. The LG claimed that it will be available at the second half of the 2019. We still don’t know the price and whether this model will become popular. In particular when it comes to the shops with LG’s second big player – 88 inch screen 8K TV.



NYPD Drones

Reading Time: 2 minutesTechnology is moving forward constantly and police departments don’t want to fall behind. That’s why New York Police Department recently announced that they bought 14 drones equipped with a cameras. The unmanned aerial vehicles will be controlled by officers after various trainings. New UAV’s are going to be used in large events such as parades or concerts. Of course they can also be used in more dangerous scenarios, like hostage situations, search and rescue missions or even crime scene analysis. Drones are very convenient, they can cover large sections of land in short amount of time, they can even be equipped with thermal cameras to spot humans  at night.

Of course usage of drones in large cities is strictly forbidden because of privacy issues. Authorities are above this law, it raises a lot of controversy and questions. What are the regulations? How can we distinguish police operations from our privacy violation? Who has the access to the materials recorded by drones? The Police Department said that drones will not be used to enforce traffic laws or surveil citizens but to be honest, there are no meaningful restrictions just yet.

Drones are a game changer, they are a chance to make a step ahead in means of enforcing law. But with great power comes great responsibility. UAV’s can be easily converted into futuristic surveillance objects. Are citizens ready to sacrifice their privacy in favour of street’s safety? Will someone even ask them? Let me know what do you think about this topic below.



Huawei or Spywei?

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

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

A real-time translation device?

Reading Time: 2 minutesUsing Google Translate may be a little awkward, but sometimes we have no other option. How am I supposed to order food during my trip in Colombia? Well, Google may have found a solution.

Google Pixel Buds are advertised as a real-time translation earphones – a Google’s answer to Apple’s EarPods. They connect to your device via Bluetooth, the wire between them is just for practical issues. Of course the translation is not their only function, you can access your Google Assistant with just one touch of right earbud. Also you can listen to the music – but should I mention that? Let’s focus on their deal-breaking function. The translation. They use Google Translate during the whole process. The person wearing Buds speaks while holding right earbud. The sentence immediately translates to previously chosen language on the Google Translate app and is being spoken aloud on smartphone. Next, the second person answers to the phone and the respond is translated and played on the earbuds.

It is a great step towards future of translation, nethertheless it has some troubles with longer sentences, sophisticated words and slangs. The translation is fast, but not real-time fast – as advertised. It works surprisingly good in loud places such as restaurants or malls, although it switches languages, it may accidentally switch to Danish while talking to your Hindi friend. Also the design is not that great. They are big and heavy, some people may feel uncomfortable while using them. Wire between them can provoke discussion- you can love it, you can hate it, it’s still there.

The Google Pixel Buds should not be advised as a real-time translation device. We can clearly see that it is just a one of the functions that this headphones have. Still, their primary role is to play music and be portable. If you are looking for bluetooth headphones with decent speakers – that’s for you. Although If you hoped for futuristic translation device, I say you should wait just a little longer. We are not quite there yet.