Author Archives: Kovalenko Oleksandr

Online Privacy and Data Security: New Ethical Concerns

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The GDPR is the single most critical piece of privacy legislation passed in the last few years.

For a long time, data access, storage, and usage has been a major privacy concern.

The GDPR is based on the idea that users should have control over how their data is used and processed.

However, it appears that most tech giants’ privacy efforts are motivated solely by enforcement and the threat of prosecution, rather than a sincere desire to keep users’ data secure. This sometimes resulted in run-ins with the law. If governments and companies do not address the privacy issue now, the total size of digital data will be 175 zettabytes by 2025. There will be no better time than now to do so.

WhatsApp recently unveiled a contentious new privacy policy that allows it to exchange data with Facebook companies while still forcing users to agree to it. What are the potential consequences of such policy changes? How do businesses maintain transparency and accountability in the face of growing privacy concerns?

User Control

Consumers are becoming more mindful of their internet privacy rights, as shown by the uproar against WhatsApp. Everyone is aware that companies obtain data from customers who visit their websites and use their apps. The usage and preservation of the data collected are the main concerns. How do businesses treat customer information? Who should be in charge of the information?

Consumers should be able to choose whether or not they want their data used in a specific way, and as knowledge grows, more people are demanding this right.

There’s also the question of businesses keeping their promises and implementing data protection policies that are proportional to the sensitivity and amount of consumer data they receive. Cyber-attackers are attracted to businesses that collect highly personal data (mostly financial and health information) or large amounts of data (social media companies and search engines). Huge data breaches at Facebook, Google, and Microsoft have already shown this.

Personalization and advertisements

This adds to the widespread belief that the dangers of collecting personal data outweigh the benefits, as expressed by 81 percent of Americans polled about 13 months ago. Companies also collect data in order to monitor consumers for targeted advertising, and people have become increasingly dissatisfied with such tailored ads due to concerns about over monitoring.

Though completely disabling personalization is a lofty goal that will almost certainly never be realized, this author claims that “what marketers can’t do anymore is share their dossiers about you with ad-tech companies and advertisers. As a result, data brokers will have even less access to your personal information.”

Since no one has ever considered these ethical questions before, they are not fresh. However, ordinary people are now at the forefront of the online privacy battle against data-collection firms. These businesses now face a more difficult challenge in gaining consumer confidence and, even more frighteningly, compliance with legislation in order to escape harsh penalties.

To conclude, companies should be more cautious about the details they exchange with brands, and businesses should be more responsible about how they manage customer data. Meanwhile, more data security laws are expected to emerge around the world. With the GDPR, Europe has taken a significant step forward, which must be repeated in other countries and regions.

In 2021, true flying hoverboards are planned to be purchasable

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Omni Hoverboards ride over the treetops in this video.

Hoverboards aren’t a new idea, but technological advancements have allowed for a much more futuristic product.

Omni Hoverboards claims to have invented the first hoverboard that can travel.

Their website features amazing videos, such as the ones in the video player above.

Alexandru Duru, the president and co-founder of Omni Hoverboards, spoke with KSAT and confirmed that the boards would be accessible to the general public soon.

Though Duru was unable to confirm how many hoverboards would be available during the initial launch, he did state that the hoverboards are expected to cost between $40k and $50k.

The hoverboards would have a weight limit of 200 pounds, with the heavier the weight, the shorter the flight time, according to Duru.

Duru didn’t go into detail, but he did say that the boards “will fly really, really high, like really high, and flight times will be about 30 minutes.”

The hoverboards were inspired by movies, according to Duru.

“You have to enable it to be totally different from what it was imagined to be in order to make it work in real life, as we had to make it work with real physics,” he said.

Duru and the Omni Hoverboards team were able to transform their visions into reality thanks to advancements in the fields of physics and drones, as well as multicopters.

Duru said, “We started investing money, time, and commitment into making this happen.”

“It remained in the prototype stage for a while because it could only fly for two minutes, but as the sector evolves, and thanks to our research and development, we are now sure that this will transform into a one-of-a-kind vehicle,” says the company.

In terms of the laws that regulate these devices, Duru claims that American regulations prohibit the hoverboard from being flown in densely populated areas, and that all videos depicting the board in city centers were shot outside of the United States.

When is the SpaceX Starship SN15 scheduled to launch today? When will the next test be held – and how can you watch it live in Poland?

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SpaceX rolls next Starship to the launch pad nine days after midair  explosion

SpaceX appears to be planning a launch for its new Starship later today, with the SN15 prototype likely blasting off in a matter of hours.

Elon Musk’s company wants to send people to Mars for the first time one day using the Starship spacecrafts.

Unlike conventional rockets, the Starship’s target is to be able to take off and land multiple times.

The SN15 launch attempt already took place on Friday, however it was cancelled with no reason given.

When will the Starship SN15 be launched?

SpaceX has been given a launch window from its Starship facility in Boca Chica, Texas, between 12 and 8 p.m. local time.

This suggests that the launch could happen at any moment between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. in Poland.

Cameron County has announced road closures for the entire eight-hour period, as well as marine danger notices.

A letter sent to local residents states: “There is a risk that a malfunction of the SpaceX vehicle during these activities will create an overpressure event that can break windows,”

“Therefore, in order to protect public health and safety, it is recommended that you consider temporarily vacating yourself, other occupants, and pets, from the area.“

“At a minimum, you must exit your home or structure and be outside of any building on your property when you hear the police sirens, which will be activated at the time of the space flight activity, to avoid or minimize the risk of injury.”

How to watch from Poland?

The precise launch time will not be known until about 10 minutes before the launch, when SpaceX will broadcast a live stream on its website and YouTube channel.

If weather conditions prohibit the launch from taking place today, a backup date has been set for tomorrow.

What is the aim of the event?

SpaceX has ambitious goals for the Starship spacecraft.

The ultimate goal is to send people to Mars, which it plans to accomplish by 2030.

The first four high-altitude experiments all reached a height of at least 10 kilometers, but three of them exploded on landing, and the fourth exploded shortly after landing.

Despite the explosions during previous tests, SpaceX claims it will be able to complete an orbital flight by July.

A commercial trip around the moon is planned for 2023, and the corporation has partnered with Nasa to send astronauts back to the moon the following year.

Musk predicts that by 2050, humans will be able to survive on Mars.

Netflix stops offering in-app subscriptions on IOS

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Netflix is no longer allowing new customers on iOS to pay for the streaming service directly through an in-app subscription. It’s the latest example of a company with a high-profile, essential mobile app ditching Apple’s payment system to retain more profits for itself and stop handing the iPhone and iPad maker a cut of every subscription activated within the Netflix app.

According to new data compiled by Sensor Tower, Netflix grossed $853 million in 2018 on the iOS App Store. Based on that figure, Apple’s take would have been around $256 million, the firm said. To date, the Netflix iOS app has generated more than $1.5 billion through its in-app subscriptions, with Apple’s cut coming in around $450 million-plus, Sensor Tower estimated. Before the change, Netflix on iOS was grossing an average of $2.4 million per day in 2018 — meaning Apple was making around $700,000 by doing nothing other than allowing Netflix to offer subscriptions in its app.

(Note, however, that Sensor Tower’s figures are based on the App Store’s 30 percent cut of transactions. After the first year, Apple’s cut on subscription renewals is lowered to 15 percent. That’s not being factored in. But it gives you a rough idea of Apple’s losses here). The latter policy was implemented in 2016 after numerous companies complained that Apple was taking too much. Spotify, the leading subscription music app, has also bypassed Apple’s in-app billing for similar reasons.

Google has faced similar criticisms on the Android end of things; Netflix had already stopped offering in-app subscriptions through Google Play before today’s iOS news — and Fortnite developer Epic Games famously keeps its smash hit outside Google’s store to maximize profits on in-game items.


Netflix stops paying the ‘Apple tax’ on its $853M in annual iOS revenue

NASA is about to visit the farthest object ever

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NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is about to fly past the most distant space rock we have ever visited. Since zooming by Pluto in 2015, the probe has been heading ever further from home, towards a tiny world called 2014 MU69. It is set to arrive on New Year’s Day.

We do know that it is a mere 30 kilometres or so across – less than 2 per cent of Pluto’s diameter – which has made getting there incredibly difficult. “It’s a lot harder than Pluto,” says mission leader Alan Stern. “Instead of being the size of the continental US, it’s the size of Boston. Being 100 times smaller means it’s 10,000 times fainter.”

As happened at Pluto, New Horizons will not be communicating with Earth during closest approach, because it will be focused on gathering all the science it can during the high-speed flyby. Whenever it does turn back to point at Earth to transmit data it will take more than 6 hours for its data to traverse the distance between us. So when are we going to get to find out what MU69 looks like?


The downlinks from New Horizons around its 1 January 2019 flyby of 2014 MU69 will not contain its highest-resolution images. Instead, they will be photos that the team is reasonably confident will contain an image of 2014 MU69. Two “failsafe” downlinks are planned for before the closest approach, and three “New York Times” downlinks are planned over the two days after closest approach. These are Rosetta OSIRIS images of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, scaled to be approximately the same size that the New Horizons images of 67P are expected to be, with some processing to add blur and speckle noise (for a variety of reasons, New Horizons LORRI images of MU69 will not look as crisp as Rosetta OSIRIS images of 67P). They are at a phase angle of 10 degrees, similar to the 11-degree phase at which New Horizons will see MU69 from a distance.



Postmates cute robot will help to automate its deliveries

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On-demand delivery company Postmates has unveiled an autonomous delivery robot called Serve that it’s planning to put to work in 2019.

The adorable wheel-based bot can carry items weighing up to 50 pounds and operates with a battery that gives it a range of 30 miles, which should be enough for around 12 deliveries a day, Postmates said.

The initial aim is to be able to make deliveries much more quickly by avoiding traffic by traveling on the sidewalk. Ultimately, it hopes to cut out the emissions of the cars and motorcycles that many of Postmates’ 350,000 couriers currently use.

Serve uses Velodyne LIDAR sensors and a Nvidia Xavier processor to navigate and avoid obstacles as it makes deliveries directly to people’s homes. It’s also able to make visual cues to help it weave between pedestrians on the sidewalk and vehicles as it crosses roads. A light ring on its top acts as a set of turn signals, while a pair of eyes on its front aims to give more subtle hints to passersby about which direction the robot might be heading in next. If things go wrong, a small touchscreen on the top of the bot can be used to make a video call for assistance, although the robots will also be supervised remotely.


Postmates is keen to point out that Serve won’t be putting any of its current delivery personnel out of a job. Instead, it should allow the company to make more deliveries, with the robot taking on a range of tasks that could include not only direct delivery to the customer, but also, say, item collection in busy areas where personnel might otherwise waste time looking for parking. “Serve could instantly pick up orders and transport them a few blocks to a Postmate away from occupied parking spaces and traffic,” the company suggested.

Obstacles to such autonomous delivery robots include trouble from thieves and vandals (remember HitchBot?), as well as jokers who might find it fun to confuse the robot by throwing a blanket over it. Most importantly, though, regulators have to be confident of their safety before they allow them onto the city streets, though a growing number of states have been willing to greenlight trials.

In the delivery world, robots have come to represent both a holy grail and an inevitability. Replace some or all of the human labor and you get faster drop-offs, more pick-ups per hour, and cheaper goods for everyone. Big companies, like Uber, Amazon, and Alibaba, have each invested heavily in developing such technologies, from delivery drones to autonomous bots; venture capitalist have poured millions into delivery robot start-ups like Marble, Boxbot, and Dispatch, all of which want their piece of the robo-delivery future. By some estimations, sidewalk bots like Serve will make up 85 percent of last-mile deliveries by 2025. Whichever company gains a foothold now will have a huge advantage in the future on-demand economy.

As for Serve, Postmates plans to put it to work first in Los Angeles, with more cities welcoming the delivery bot over the next 12 months.



Google smart jacket can now warn if you forgot your phone

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Google and Levi’s Jacquard smart jacket has introduced a new function designed to stop you from mistakenly leaving your phone behind.

Not so long ago an American technology Google along with a global apparel brand Levi’s has developed a smart jacket. New smart clothing has incorporated a special device, something like a mini-computer called Computer Trucker. In fact, the jacket is the most common, which are many, but developed by Google ATAP technology, Jacquard Technology completely replaces the smartphone.

The Jacquard app already introduced a manual “find your phone” feature this time last year. That let you assign a gesture to your jacket that, when performed, would trigger your phone to start ringing at full volume. While that was a fine way to track down a handset gone astray, it wasn’t much help until you realized your phone was missing in the first place.

It’s a neat addition for the smart jacket, which can already use touch inputs to control things on your smartphone like music controls and navigation pings within Google Maps. Earlier this year, an update in the Jacquard platform introduced a handful of other functions, like support for ride-sharing alerts and pin drops on a map to save locations.


New “smart” jacket from Google and Levi’s replaces the smartphone

Razer makes Xbox mouse and keyboard

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Gaming hardware manufacturer Razer is making the world’s first wireless keyboard and mouse designed specifically for the Xbox One, and it will talk more about them at CES 2019.
Aside from a flashy trailer featuring glimpses of the mouse and keyboard, Razer didn’t provide any other details. We only knew that more information would be announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2019) next year. While we still don’t know how much this fabled mouse and keyboard will cost, we’ve now a better look at the device on Razer’s website.

You can clearly see the Xbox Button on the bottom right where the “Control” key should be. The Xbox Dynamic Lighting is also on display and appears to be based on Razer’s “Chroma” technology which provides similar functions on the company’s keyboards. All in all, it’s a gorgeous device, bolstered by its mechanical keys. Hopefully it’ll won’t be too hefty and tout strong battery life.
It’s up to developers to implement keyboard and mouse support in Xbox One games. Fortnite in particular will match up keyboard and mouse players with other players using those same inputs to keep play balanced.
There’s no word yet on how much the Xbox One Razer keyboard and mouse costs or when they’ll hit store shelves. That will likely be announced at CES, which takes place Jan. 8-11 in Las Vegas, Nevada.