Category Archives: Apps

Walmart’s Terrifying Metaverse Experience

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Do you hate going outside? Are you an introvert who prefers to avoid human contact? Do you wish to stay at home but miss the experience of doing groceries? Worry not because Walmart is on it.

Walmart VR shopping experience

Walmart, Inc., was founded in 1962 and focused its early growth in rural areas, avoiding direct competition with retail giants such as Sears and Kmart. Walmart became one of the largest grocers in the United States within a decade of opening the combination of grocery and merchandise Supercenters. Emphasizing customer attention by implementing direct mail advertising, low-cost imports, and focusing on the efficiency of its distribution networks through regional warehousing allowed Walmart to become the largest retailer in the United States in 1990. Walmart’s revenues doubled by 1995 after the owner’s passing, and by 1999 the company had become the largest private employer in the world, as well as the largest corporation in the world.

The company’s development has reached its peak, and now to stay at the top, they are trying to come up with more innovative and shocking customer-gaining solutions. While researching this topic, I have met with a question: “Walmart is joining the metaverse. Are we ready?” – Are we ready for what? Does Walmart’s marketing team think that people do groceries for fun? Is this really where this world is headed? It’s not progress; it’s regress. All this makes me wonder what the Walmart shopper wants to buy in a virtual world anyway?

According to William White, Walmart’s marketing chief, the company will use Roblox as a testing ground as it considers other moves in the metaverse. The experiences, according to him, were created with the next generation of consumers in mind, notably Gen Z, who is widely seen as being between the ages of 25 and under. White stated that the business hopes to gain knowledge from the collaboration.

Walmart Land on Roblox

Currently, Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play are the two primary game experiences available on the Roblox platform. The store is also experimenting with new methods of customer contact, especially in light of how the pandemic has altered consumer purchasing patterns and increased their use of social media, apps, and gaming websites. Walmart is attempting to bridge the gap between the online and offline worlds. A music festival featuring Madison Beer, Kane Brown, and Yungblud will perform during the virtual event “Electric Fest” in October on Walmart Land; a ton of different games and a shop of virtual goods, or “verch,” that mirrors what customers could find in Walmart’s physical stores and on its website are all part of the retail giant’s first excursion into the virtual world. The big-box store has also held live events that were shoppable and streamed on TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube. Additionally, it has launched a service on Pinterest that uses augmented reality to let customers envision how furniture or other decors might appear in their homes.

For the time being, Walmart won’t profit from its immersive experiences. Instead, players may use tokens and other prizes from Roblox to purchase virtual goods. National brands, such as Skullcandy headphones and the toy company L.O.L. Surprise!, were integrated into the experiences based on demand from the younger gaming demographic of Roblox. However, White suggested that in the future, Walmart may profit from it by charging a brand for inclusion or by attempting to convert users’ virtual experiences into in-person or online shop visits.

Walmart Land has a virtual changing room featuring clothing from its exclusive fashion lines, such as Free Assembly, as well as an obstacle course made up of gigantic goods from the retailer’s Gen Z-focused cosmetic brands, such as Bubble skin care products and Uoma by Sharon C makeup.

During the Covid epidemic, Roblox attracted a lot of new users and made its stock market debut. The gaming platform reportedly saw an increase in daily active players from 32.6 million in 2020 to over 52 million. Although the firm claims it is drawing users of all ages, traditionally, it has attracted more young children and teenagers. Although Roblox has a market cap of roughly $21.2 billion, its shares have fallen by about 66% so far this year.

We constantly risk becoming lost in the future race, especially when the newest technological revolution is powering it. We can get caught up in designing these next-generation products and experiences, as we have all seen before, only to find that no one actually wants them. It appears that no one wants to be left behind – but are we really clear about where we are going with the metaverse?

Sources:

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Walmart

https://www.forbes.com/sites/phillempert/2022/01/26/walmart-is-joining-the-metaverse-are-we-ready/

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/26/walmart-enters-the-metaverse-with-roblox.html

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Why is all delivery food company still not profitable? and how they can attract investor?

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https://assets.brandinside.asia/uploads/2017/01/deli.jpg

There have a lot of delivery food company around the world but why they cannot make profitable but there are always investor ready to invest because they believe that someday a business will be able to make profitable.

How are these delivery food companies profitable? for example, delivery food company earnings come from deducting 25% of the ride fare. This mean that if the fare is 100 zloty, the driver gets 75 zloty, and all of these company get 25 zloty on the other hand the 25 zloty will go toward advertising, driver promotion, developer wages, self-driving car R&D, back office system, liaising with government in each country on legal matters, fight lawsuits and salaries of employees but it is less profitable.

On the other hand, why do investors still invest in this business ? for example this is Uber’s latest 4 quarter earning Q3 Year 2018, revenue around 2532 million dollar, loss around 835 million dollar, Q4 Year 2018, revenue around 2560 million dollar, loss around 751 million dollar Q1 year 2019, revenue around 2671 million dollar, loss 862 million dollar as you can see The profit is constantly increasing and there are still losses, making investors think that they can still make a profit and find a solution to the problem of losses of profitable.

In America when customer want to use delivery food service they have to spend a shipping cost, tip and cost of food but it make customer spend a lot of money for delivering 1 time that make they have to spend tip and shipping cost that makes this part of the cost almost equal to half the price of food and this isn’t worth for customer in America. In my opinion these food delivery companies might be difficult to do in the future because in this situation after COVID-19 pandemic people they didn’t work from home that make decreasing of profitable for those delivery companies. In the future, we have to see how these companies find the solution.

source:

Boom Time for Food Delivery Platforms, But Still Not Profitable (industryleadersmagazine.com)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uber

https://www.businessinsider.com/uber-biggest-risks-according-to-wall-street-2019-8

https://www.pymnts.com/news/ridesharing/2018/uber-grab-sale-acquisition-profit-q1/

https://brandinside.asia/food-delivery-service-war/

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Future of France (Finance)?

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Best DeFi Lending Platforms - CoinColony
Source: https://coincolony.net/best-defi-lending-platforms/

Decentralized Finance (Defi). Defi can be defined as all known financial services done in a decentralized manner with blockchain technology. It gets rid of intermediaries in financial services and makes them more secure, faster, cheaper and more accessible to the general public.

Users use DeFi through decentralized applications, they are similar to traditional web apps but the backend is running on blockchain technology.

In comparison to traditional banking, using DeFi dApps do not require fulfilling time-consuming forms and paperwork. All transactions are made instantly and on user demand. The most important factor in DeFi is the lack of intermediaries which impacts transaction time, simplicity, composability and control over funds.

Long story short – thanks to DeFi every person with access to the internet can use financial services which are a vital part of economic development

Decentralised Finance, or DeFi for short. We can describe DeFi as all known financial services, implemented in a decentralised manner, via blockchain technology. This makes financial services in the digital world safer, without intermediaries, faster and publicly accessible, and is also intended to be significantly cheaper than traditional finance.

In 2021 the whole sector grew by 900% and the total value of money and assets located in all DeFi protocols has reached over 170 billion US dollars.

Value of all assets in DeFi protocols. Source: https://defillama.com/

Users use DeFi via dApps, decentralised applications These are similar to traditional apps, but are based on blockchain technology. What benefits does this bring?

Unlike traditional banking, when using dApps within DeFi, we do not have to fill out time-consuming applications to use financial services and transactions are made almost instantly. The most important feature of DeFi is the absence of centralised intermediaries, which translates into the speed of transactions, no bureaucracy and full control over funds. With DeFi, any person with access to the internet can use financial services.

DeFi currently offers three main applications: loans against assets, decentralised exchanges and applications offering trading in derivatives, namely futures and options. However, work is underway to develop other financial services within DeFi, such as unsecured loans, bond issuance platforms and insurance. The future of the world of decentralised finance, therefore, seems to be heading in the right direction.

Going back, let’s take a look at how DeFi currently works, and we’ll start by exploring what decentralised exchanges are.

DEXes

Decentralized Exchanges (DEXes) are applications that allow an exchange of one asset for another without intermediaries in form of market-making institutions, trading houses, investment banks and other market makers.

Decentralised exchanges, or so-called DEXs. These are applications that allow you to swap one asset for another, without the need to register or share personal data, and without intermediaries in the form of market makers or brokerages, i.e. market makers.

A Beginner's Guide to What is Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
Source: https://appinventiv.com/blog/decentralized-finance-defi-guide/

Nowadays, in order to buy shares in any company, we have to use a brokerage house or bank, as well as a stock exchange. These are centralised intermediaries that charge fees for their services and require the sharing of personal data in a complex registration process. In addition, and worth noting, often the firms offering this type of service effectively become the owners of their client’s funds. On more than one occasion, there have been situations in which these funds have been frozen or confiscated from their rightful owners, for various reasons that are not always justified. In addition, the hours of operation of the companies mediating such financial transactions, are limited.

DEXs, or decentralised exchanges, are actually applications and programmes that take orders to sell an asset on the one hand and buy orders on the other. These programmes, based on smart contracts, manage liquidity within their markets and automatically connect both sides of a buy or sell transaction, of different types of assets.

DEXs allow trading 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Trading on DEXes also takes place without intermediaries, but this does not mean that there are no commissions for transactions on this type of exchange at all, but more on that later.

One example of a DEX is the Uniswap exchange, which is currently the largest exchange of its kind in the global market. Uniswap already reaches 10% of the daily volume of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). This result is impressive, especially given the relatively short market presence of the Uniswap exchange, which has only been in operation for 4 years.

The advantage of DEX is its simplicity and user-friendly interface. Interaction with the application is limited to a single mouse click on a regular website’s buy or sell button. Trading on DEXs is 100% automated.

Uniswap, decentralized exchange interface. Source: Uniswap.org

DEXes are revolutionary not only from the perspective of investors but also for individuals and entities looking to raise capital.

To raise capital on a traditional exchange by issuing shares or bonds, companies are forced to go through time-consuming and very expensive legal and financial processes. These barriers mean that only large companies choose to issue shares.

In the case of Uniswap or other DEXs going public, raising capital, from a technical perspective, is much simpler and less costly. All you have to do is create your own token using code and then list it on an exchange where investors can purchase it.

Lending Protocols

Another example of DeFi applications are lending protocols. Nowadays, they allow you to take instant loans against assets and lend surplus funds to other investors for a suitable percentage.

This solution is different from traditional banking because we skip the bank as an intermediary and borrow funds directly from another person who has free capital to invest and is willing to lend it to us in exchange for an appropriate interest rate. Currently, most lending protocols, offer loans only against the collateral made of digital assets, reflected on the blockchain. Ultimately, these protocols will allow us to take a loan without collateral, based on a credit rating, similar to that known from traditional banking. Such solutions are already being tested and it is only a matter of time before they will be rolled out to the general public.

AAVE, decentralized bank. Source. aave.org

All procedures within the loan applications, as with DEX, are automated. With just a click of the mouse, funds are sent to the address of the corresponding cryptocurrency wallet – the equivalent of a bank account on the blockchain.

DeFi in today’s economy

The main problems with implementing DeFi technology in today’s companies are hard UX, a lack of consumer knowledge about blockchain technology and a lack of proper regulation.

Many FinTech companies could use DeFi today as a backend platform for their services as blockchain allows faster, cheaper and more composable financial operations than the traditional banking sector.

However, on the other hand, regulations may complicate the introduction of new technology. There is a risk of not meeting compliance standards and being suited by the government.

Currently, DeFi is unregulated, it operates in a quasi-shadow environment where no founder knows what is illegal.

Many propose a full ban on blockchain financial services, like the government of the People’s Republic of China or Pakistan. Yes, there are scams (2 billion USD stolen in total in 2021), and there are some cases of money laundering, but I don’t see it as the best path to stimulate economic development. The potential benefits for the economy are too big to ban it. So what to do?

Too much intervention will slow down sector growth, and not enough will not allow it to flourish. Currently, most of the DeFi applications operate in an “in-house manner” this means that blockchain solutions serve mostly blockchain solutions. This is due to the fact that there is no legal bridge connecting the blockchain economy and the real economy. Many courts do not recognize buying agreements made on blockchain even if in technical and real terms it was the most trustworthy form of signing a deal.

Also, individuals’ control over their funds means no control of the banking authorities. There is a popular opinion that blockchain, cryptocurrencies and Defi empower money laundering and tax avoidance. I believe this is a misconception. Why?

Blockchain means full transparency – every transaction is public. If you sent money from account A to account B, everyone can check it. Furthermore, a new European Union directive called AML6 will enforce on every cryptocurrency exchange identifying and tracking wallets thus mitigating totally the possibility of easy money laundering

Outlook for the future

DeFi is one of the most promising technologies of the early 21st century, but its growth is dependent on multiple factors. Most importantly, regulations.

If DeFi finds itself in a well-suited legal environment, then the sector will flourish empowering finance accessible with only an internet device.

Sources:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/c/Finematics
  2. https://defillama.com/
  3. https://docs.aave.com/hub/
  4. https://docs.uniswap.org/
  5. https://www.coinbase.com/pl/learn/crypto-basics/what-is-defi
  6. https://www.electronicid.eu/en/blog/post/aml6-sixth-anti-money-laundering-directive/en
  7. https://www.investopedia.com/cryptocurrency-regulations-around-the-world-5202122
  8. https://www.msn.com/en-xl/news/other/mainland-chinese-banks-banned-from-crypto-assets-at-home-weigh-services-in-hong-kong-after-policy-change/ar-AA13FCIu

Justin Trudeau’s plan to control the media in Canada

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On November 18, 2018, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau planned “An act to amend the broadcasting act and to make consequential amendments to other acts” this means the Canadian government would control all media. But because of Covid-19, this was moved to another date. On June 2022, Bill C-11 went true in the Canadian parliament and became law in Canada.

Bill c-11 will let CRTC(Canadian radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) controls the media posted in all of Canada. The point of this is to have cleaner content on the Canadian internet. C-11 is all about controlling what is posted, Anything that has to do with Youtube, Tiktok, Spotify, and more media that can influence people. The idea of this is for people to have more Canadian content from media outside of the TV. As more people don’t watch TV news at home and rely on gathering media from other sources the Canadian government wants to regulate people that upload would have to include some Canadian content/information. Anything to do with racism or feminism would be blocked from being posted or listened to. CRTC also has the power to impose a financial penalty for people and businesses that would post something that is against the law in Canada. Many YouTubers made videos that this law made them have to move out of the country to continue their channels most of them say “that it is not fair that they have to implement something that they don’t believe is right”.

 Is this something we should implement everywhere in the world to have better, cleaner content for people? Can you agree with this new law that has been forced in Canada on the people because of safety? 

I see this as another method of control over people. I don’t see how there is any more freedom in Canada after this law. Where the freedom of speech that Canada and America were known as. (Not going to include America in this because they’re not part of this law) but why is Canada not letting people be able to show and say their beliefs? We all know the problems we have today,  but not letting people say what they will let you say is the answer to the elimination of our society’s problems? What if this would be used to least say change your mind about someone? Or give you fake news? All of their types of control for  “our safety” never work. why would this?

Source:

https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/csj-sjc/pl/charter-charte/c11_2.html

https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/opc-news/news-and-announcements/2022/op-c11_addario/

https://citizenlab.ca/2021/04/bill-c-11-explained/

Will the new photo-sharing app BeReal stay successful?

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Is this up-and-coming app a temporary success or is it here to stay?

BeReal is a photo-sharing app that was launched in December 2019. It was invented by former GoPro employee Alexis Barreyat along with Kevin Perreau. The concept of the app is to take a picture simultaneously with the front and back camera (with no ability to add a filter) at a random time of day when a notification is sent. This encourages the users to be true and „real” with their friends and allows them to share a moment of their day with others. 

 The app started to gain fame slowly from the start of 2021. The growth of the app came mostly from word-to-mouth advertisement, the more friends you have on the app the more fun it will be. Another unique technique used to boost the popularity of the app was the usage of college ambassadors. They were invited to promote the app across their campus for small gratification which allowed BeReal to ultimately grow in the United States. This was a huge step forward because the app started to be recognized by new investors. Already in June company Andreessen Horowitz invested $30 million in BeReal.

As of today, according to research from Sensor Tower, BeReal has seen a rise of active users by 2253% since January 2022, it also reached 53 million installs worldwide across the App Store and Google Play. However, only 9% of the users on Android open the app every day as of the third quarter of 2022. This percentage compared to the apps such as Instagram (39%), TikTok (29%) or Twitter (18%) is relevantly low. In most cases, active users are a better indicator to evaluate if the app stays successful rather than downloads since some people might just download an app out of curiosity. It must be taken into account that the majority of people in the United States use IOS instead of android therefore some statistics may be inaccurate. 

In the past month, the rapid growth and innovative concept of the app made it recognizable to the competition. In July Instagram started to experiment with its Dual Camera future. Moreover, recently TikTok adopted its new future TikTok Now which is the knockoff version of BeReal. The ideas aren’t patents so BeReal can’t do much about being copied. The app can only hope to keep up with its users and their demands and some wonder whether it will stand the test of time or will the leading apps take initiative.   

I think that BeReal might have a problem staying successful. The percentage of daily active users is a very important factor that can indicate the direction that the app might go. The current 9% of daily active users might not be enough for the app to maintain its hype. I have been using this app for the last couple of weeks and I have observed that users over time are beginning to be less active. I think that because of the randomness of the time when an application asks you to take a photo, it is hard for people to get into the habit of using it every day. Moreover, a huge problem that BeReal has to face is being copied by other bigger apps. With TikTok Now already implemented, it will be only harder for BeReal to gain a new audience. It will also be harder to introduce subscriptions because the competition does it for free. 

Furthermore, as of now, BeReal is not making any money and the support of investors is crucial for its development. It is not an uncommon procedure; apps such as Facebook or Snapchat also first gained their user base and only later introduced advertising. It is very probable that in the future BeReal might need to add in-app ads or subscriptions to generate profit or even survive. I do not think that this will be a huge problem because users are used to seeing ads on a daily basis, so it probably would not bother most but it is still a thing to consider.

On the other hand, BeReal has a high chance of adding new, never-done-before features and updates, which will help the app stay relevant and generate more users on a daily basis. In my opinion, the fact that BeReal employees are younger will also influence the performance of the app as they are aware of what is considered trendy and ‘in’ at the moment, amongst the younger generation. 

What do you think will happen with BeReal? Will it stay successful or slowly become irrelevant?

References:

https://techcrunch.com/2022/04/22/bereal-hype-or-hit-what-to-know-about-the-gen-z-photo-sharing-app-climbing-the-charts/

https://www.ft.com/content/7e559c39-2063-45ca-af2c-4ce013ba6382

https://techcrunch.com/2022/10/10/bereal-tops-53m-installs-but-only-9-open-the-app-daily-estimates-claim/

https://productmint.com/bereal-business-model-how-does-bereal-make-money/

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TikTok is poisoning your brain

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TikTok Is Altering The Behavior Of An Entire Generation | by Julien  Dimastromatteo, PhD | Invisible Illness | Medium
Source: https://medium.com/invisible-illness/tiktok-is-altering-the-behavior-of-an-entire-generation-576d38a8d1d5

TikTok has been around for 6 years now. In such a short time it has gained the title of the fastest-growing social network ever in the history of the internet. It not only managed to gain millions of users in a matter of months but also has affected the whole industry of video/photo platforms, and killed millions of brain cells. It is difficult to deny, that TikTok is now virtually in every social media, and the short videos from it even acquired their own name, simply “TikToks”. These short-form videos have a span of up to 60 seconds have overtaken the internet. Instagram is TikTok, Facebook is TikTok, and youtube is TikTok, they just call it in different ways like “reels” or “shorts”. Some would argue that it is great when a new, fun, and useful app gains popularity and the technology is adopted by other companies, it is a natural part of any developing competitive space. Though, let’s take a closer look at why TikTok has made such a boom on the internet, the main reason for which, is it being a real addictive drug.


With TikTok possessing more than a billion active users and its technology being copied and pasted into such giant platforms as Facebook and youtube (promoting it to some of the other hundreds of millions of viewers), it makes me ponder on what makes everyone watching it, and what makes all those companies strive to have the same brainwasher in their software. Though, after a few minutes of active thinking, an answer comes to mind – TikTok is dope.


The essence of its addictiveness (which is truly the highest among all social media platforms), lies in its design. The way the app looks, feels, scrolls, sounds, and the way the buttons are laid out all create a virtual space that lowers the level of our brain’s activity and makes it lose the track of time. It is designed in a way that forces innocent minds to watch hundreds of short videos daily while forgetting what they have seen 30 seconds ago no matter how funny, interesting, or exciting it could seem at the moment. We don’t have to search long for evidence of the effectiveness of such a design, because it has already been given: corporations like Facebook and youtube which used to be the largest social media trendsetters have suddenly adopted the pattern of TikTok app to their own playing fields. Though, the question still stays: why is this design so addictive?


In order to answer that, we first have to figure out how addiction works. As stated in the Harvard Health Article: “Addiction involves craving for something intensely, loss of control over its use, and continuing involvement with it despite adverse consequences. Addiction changes the brain, first by subverting the way it registers pleasure and then by corrupting other normal drives such as learning and motivation.” (Harvard Health Article, Understanding addiction). In other words, addiction makes us lose control over our own actions due to a strong craving to experience this addictive something. Although, for the majority of people when thinking of addiction, some of the first things that come to mind are such substances as cigarettes, alcohol, pills, or marijuana. By way of explanations, those are drugs. However, it is important to notice that those drugs that are used for medical purposes are also called medicaments. At the same time, if we consider the word drug more as a general concept of it being something that causes addiction, then it should not be only restricted to physical substances. Moreover, the addiction mechanism works in the same way for all drugs, be it nicotine, sugar, sex, or TikTok videos. In particular, whenever the brain is exposed to certain external stimuli, which causes it to release a set of hormones that are making it feel good, and starts to crave for that good hormone rush, such as dopamine. Then a pattern emerges, “cue routine reward” (Duhigg, 2016). Whatever can become a cue, say being bored, feeling upset, wanting a distraction, etc. When a cue is touched upon, it then triggers the craving for the reward. The reward is known by the brain, in this case, it is the pleasant hormone rush. Hence, our mind urges a subconscious uncontrolled behavior that, it also knows, will bring the reward it craves for. This is how addiction emerges. Translating it to TikTok, whenever we find ourselves bored we know that we can entertain ourselves in TikTok by watching short funny videos. Whenever we scroll for the next video in the first few seconds we are getting excited by its looks, sound, or contents. This then makes our brain release a little bit of dopamine which makes us feel slightly better. Have you noticed that if the video does not excite you in the first 3 seconds you are very likely to quickly scroll to the next one? This is a clear evidence of you scrolling subconsciously, not even realizing that you are already addicted. Your brain wants more dopamine, hence it traps itself in a loop: scroll, get excited, feel good, crave the good feeling again, scroll, and so forth…


One would say that even if TikTok is addictive, it does not cause any severe consequences to neither individual, nor society. Nevertheless, studies have been conducted that state that the addiction to TikTok, just as for any other addictive essence, does affect our brain activity, especially it lowers the activity of particular part of our brain. This, in turn, might lead to the brain’s certain structures’ gradual atrophy. Especially susceptible to this are people of the age under 25 because the brain is not fully developed up till that time. Ironically, those are the ones that tend to spend the most time on the internet and TikTok due to the lack of interest in the real-world and boring classes in schools and universities.


Just like with addictive substances, addiction to TikTok is very difficult to notice, as it happens very gradually and smoothly. You don’t feel like something is going wrong, unless you check out the time of the day before you clicked on TikTok and right after you finished your daily session, here you get surprised by how much time has flown by. The danger is high, as it is hard to detect the full amount of hours we lose to TikTok, though it accumulates over time. Just the mere thought of us spending an hour daily on watching vids we don’t even remember at the end of the day, makes me think of how much I could have achieved if spent it on reading self-improvement literature or learning a new skill. Lets try to leave a worthy legacy behind and not be left known as the “look at me generation”. 😉

Feel free to share your experiences with tiktok and thoughts on this in the comments down below 🙂

I will be very glad to hear from you!

References:

Duhigg, C. (2016). Power of habit. Penguin Random House Audio Publish.

Understanding addiction. HelpGuide.org. (n.d.). Retrieved October 31, 2022, from https://www.helpguide.org/harvard/how-addiction-hijacks-the-brain.htm

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Tiktok – a miniature version of youtube, and a search engine?

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Imagine Google, one of the world’s most superior search engines, slowly losing its users due to an application made for viral dance videos and pop music.

You heard me. For those who don’t know, Tiktok is basically an alternative to the youtube media platform that allows users to create videos, stories, and comments with many other features creators can utilize. According to DemandSage.com, Tiktok is well on its track to advance past 1.8 billion active users worldwide at the end of 2022. Almost a 700million-user increase since the start of the year (Ruby, 2022). With that being said, one of the main reasons why the media platform is at its peak is the online communities that are built around it. Generation Z (people who are born between 1997-2012) has been an era where communication and overall communities are closer than they ever have been before. I personally believe that Tiktok unveiled its use of technology to create such a close community of young adults, synthesizing information with one another.

Source of image

Let me explain in further detail. Tiktok, most of its users being young adults, prefer to look for something and hope to find a result that isn’t a whole essay to read or a 30-minute video. Tiktok is just the place for this, as videos last under 60 seconds with full detail by recent users. As a TikTok user, I agree that sometimes looking for an answer on Tiktok just might be more effective than searching through google in terms of speed. Technology-wise, Tiktok has been using high-tech artificial intelligence technology to find similar videos users view on a daily basis. According to ankursnewsletter, there is built-in AI like computer vision, natural processing language, and metadata to detect the kind of content the video is. Based on the user’s page, the application recommends them similar videos (Patel, 2022).

Based on the statistics provided and looking at where TikTok will be headed in the next couple of years, I believe that the community will only grow in size, which means that the use of the media platform as a “search engine” will continuously increase. However, I also believe that there is a general line between TikTok information and google information. As mentioned before, Tiktok’s community consists of young adults 18-24, according to Sensor Tower, while Google’s community is used by a wide range of ages. When you use the search engine on any platform, have you ever wondered while reading, “Is the information displayed on this website legitimate?”. Fact-checking your information is tough enough through google, but what about Tiktok? How would you know it’s true? Wouldn’t it be a hassle to fact-check AGAIN from another search engine to see if what you read was actually true? A part of me also believes that Tiktok should stay as it is now because of the community that has structured it; a media platform to entertain users and a simple search engine for common knowledge questions.

Sometimes searching for something a quicker time would do the job for people who don’t want to go through 30-minute videos or 3000-word essays just to look for a one-sentence answer. However, people should consider what makes information from a quick TikTok video legitimate, or if all of it is just a lie. This is why I believe that there are balanced opinions between the pros and the cons of Tiktok as an alternative search engine.

Sources:

Huang, Kelly. “For Gen Z, TikTok Is the New Search Engine.” The New York Times, 17 Sept. 2022, www.nytimes.com/2022/09/16/technology/gen-z-tiktok-search-engine.html. Accessed 21 Oct. 2022.

Patel, Ankur A. “How TikTok Uses AI to Engineer User Addiction.” Ankurs Newsletter, 13 May 2022, www.ankursnewsletter.com/p/how-tiktok-uses-ai-to-engineer-user. Accessed 21 Oct. 2022.

Ruby, Daniel. “TikTok User Statistics (2022): How many TikTok Users Are There?” Demand Sage, 19 Aug. 2022, https://www.demandsage.com/tiktok-user-statistics/. Accessed 21 Oct. 2022

What is edge computing and why is it crucial to the development of IoT?

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Computer Codes · Free Stock Photo (pexels.com)

 For several years now companies using or basing their services on IoT have been depending on the solutions provided by the cloud. Although the market is constantly changing and costumers are always expecting high performance products. As Aleksander Poniewierski, Global Digital and Emerging Technology Leader mentions in his book “SPEED no limits in the digital era”(p.179) “the synergy of emerging technologies shapes habits attitudes and expectations. We are used to not having to queue at a bank window anymore. We make transfers or withdrawals via mobile phone applications. And it takes a few seconds. […] Time saving and convenience are addictive and feeding these needs is one of the ways that technology is changing the world.” In order to provide that, exchange of data has to be very quick and time of response – immediate.

But what exactly is edge computing and how does it differ from the cloud computing? Until now data processing and storing was taking place in the Cloud Data Centers. This model was sufficient until the devices of IoT created the need for faster and real-time processing. For example if a self-driving car had a delay in analyzing data, it could have tragic consequences. The solution for this problem is actually quite simple – creating local databases, storing and processing data close to its sources, edge devices. That’s exactly what edge computing was created for. According to authors of “An Overview on Edge Computing Research” Keyan Cao,  Yefan Liu , Gongjie Meng and Qimeng Sun, “it stores and processes data at the edge of the network. It has proximity and location awareness, and provides users with near-end services. In terms of data processing, it is faster, real-time, and secure. It can also solve the problem of excessive energy consumption in cloud computing, reduce costs, and reduce the pressure of network bandwidth. Edge computing is applied in various fields such as production, energy, smart home, and transportation.”

  As we know, in order to work efficiently, services based on IoT have to collect and process an enormous amount of data. Cloud computing can prove to be quite expensive and even not economically, financially profitable in that matter, although it works better in terms of complexed analytics and advanced visualizations, while edge computing enables us to do many operations instantly. But these two concepts can work together, creating many exciting possibilities. For example “technicians working on a remote wind turbine use edge computing to view basic data and analytic information in the field. The essential data needed to diagnose the turbine is more efficiently delivered in the field without having to rely on patchy cellular communications with a cloud based solution. Processing power is provided at the data source or ‘edge’ via standard PC hardware or other IIoT gateway devices. The centralized cloud platform is still utilized for more resource-intensive analytics, stored business logic and data warehousing”(Open Automation Software Blog). Both paradigms are very important for the miniaturization of IoT devices, they let us use only sensors and necessary mechanical support, while all computing power comes from the third party.

An interesting example of usage of this computing paradigm is also a mobile game “Pokémon Go” developed by Niantic in collaboration with Nintendo. Players of this augmented reality game have been facing problems regarding its performance, mostly in terms of the time of response. Games that are claiming to provide a real-time experience are very delay-sensitive. As a accomplished IT trade press writer Paul Desmont describes it “requires a constant back and forth of data between the user and the servers supporting the game. That includes location information from dozens if not hundreds or thousands of users in close proximity, messages back to them that prompt the virtual images to pop up on their phones, data on how many Pokémon each one catches and more.” (“Stellar Growth of Pokémon GO Highlights Need for Edge Data Centers”, Schneider Electric Blog). Edge computing provided an answer to this problem. It enabled the founders of the game to storage and analyze data closer to its users, without the need of exchanging all of it with the Cloud Data Center, which made the response time much shorter.

Furthermore, nowadays many companies are leaning towards the sustainable development model. What does that mean and why is edge computing an integral part of it? In simple words sustainability requires acknowledging that work of natural eco-systems and development of human-created technologies have to be integral. A perfect example of a company trying to work in that model is Fujitsu. As we can read on their website, their philosophy is to “recognize that global environmental protection is a vital business issue. By utilizing their technological expertise and creative talents in the ICT industry, they seek to contribute to the promotion of sustainable development. In addition, while observing all environmental regulations in their business operations, they are actively pursuing environmental protection activities on their own initiative. Through their individual and collective actions, they will continuously strive to safeguard a rich natural environment for future generations” (President of Fujitsu Limited, April 2011). In order to create a technology, that would be considered as a Green IT, we have to lower the required amount of energy needed for analyzing and storing data. Data centers are no longer sufficient in these cases. Edge computing provides us with the possibility to save energy, time and avoid data traffics.

Moreover people are getting more aware of processing their data and the value of their privacy. Because of that, governments all over the world are creating new restrictions regarding protection, processing and usage of data. European countries came up with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which according to the gdpr.eu “is the toughest privacy and security law in the world. Though it was drafted and passed by the European Union (EU), it imposes obligations onto organizations anywhere, so long as they target or collect data related to people in the EU.” “ Being able to process data at source helps us to abate the amount of transfers and devices needed in the process, which significantly improves the security. “Edge computing in the smart home has the potential to give control of personal data back to consumers – one of the primary goals of GDPR. By integrating edge capabilities into their core services, providers of smart home accessories offer users control of the data, whether they transmit it to the cloud or store and process it locally”(Machnation Blog, “Edge computing helps organizations meet GDPR compliance”).

As you can see edge computing is currently one of the most efficient ways to develop the near-end technology based industries, it provides solutions to various problems companies have been facing regarding both the speed of the data flow and profitability, enabling them to run their businesses in the sustainable development model.

Can Apple Watch Ultra replace dive computer?

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Apple recently unveiled the new apple watch ultra, which was created with extreme athletes in mind, according to the manufacturer it can also be used as a dive computer, have they really succeeded?

The screen is clear and very visible underwater compared to typical dive computers, 40 metres is the maximum depth you can go underwater in it.

However, any dive computer should show: depth, time since the start of the dive, time without decompression. This last point is missing from the Apple Watch for now as only the basic version’s available. The Oceanic+ app that would allow the watch to be upgraded’s not yet available (and it’s not certain when it’ll appear). When it does appear it may work well but you’ll have to pay a subscription of $5 per day, $10 per month, or $80 per year. Which means that despite spending a lot of money on the watch (it’s the most expensive apple watch ever) we still have to pay extra, which Apple does not inform us about well.

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In that case, isn’t it better to just buy a professional watch that will include all the necessary functions in? 4x cheaper you have such a Sunto Zoop Novo but if you are a sports nut and need more sports modes like the Apple Watch offer, a great choice would be the Garmin Descent Mk2S, for the same price with no hidden costs.

For profesional diver this device so far may not be enough, but the casual pearson, like me, who likes to jump in the water from time to time to collect seashells may like it.

sources:

https://appleinsider.com/articles/22/09/22/apple-watch-ultra-is-impressive-but-cant-replace-my-dive-watch-just-yet

https://www.scubadiving.com/new-apple-watch-ultra-is-also-dive-computer

Czy Apple Watch Ultra wytrzyma 45 metrów pod wodą?

1,2 picks – https://www.apple.com/pl/newsroom/2022/09/introducing-apple-watch-ultra/

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The legend has fallen

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Tom Warren on Twitter: "is Internet Explorer ever truly dead?  https://t.co/KQGndprUxn" / Twitter
https://techyuzer.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/ie-1536×1518.jpg

Loved by few, hated by many. The legendary browser that enabled us all to view our profiles on Facebook or MySpace is soon to be a thing of the past. The infamous Internet Explorer (IE) has been reportedly shut down and the Microsoft will no longer offer support to this app.

30 Of The Internet's Funniest Reactions To Internet Explorer's Shutdown |  Bored Panda
https://www.boredpanda.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/microsoft-shuts-down-internet-explorer-reactions-memes-54665-62a98a1879817__700.jpg

Developed in 1995 for the upcoming Windows 95 package, and offered as the default browser for all Windows computers, generated a lot of users. By 2003 it had a 95% usage share among all browsers. From there, the usage plummeted, as Google’s Chrome, Mozilla’s Firefox and Opera’s Opera quickly outperformed the good old IE. Windows tried to revive it and keep it living for almost 2 decades more, but the time has come to put it all to an end. The explorer will live on in the form of the Microsoft Edge which will be still offered in Windows products until 2029, and after that the future is unsure.

Internet Explorer is officially dead and the internet is having a field day
https://cdn.supercarblondie.com/wp-content/uploads/internet-explorer-meme-3.jpeg

We all remember the years of pain the poor performance gave us and the time spent waiting for a website to load, which would usually end in code 404 provided by the great IE. Still, we can thank it for the memories of our younger years and for being a good meme material.

It sadly is the sign of an era coming to an end, and let us raise one last glass to our good pal, Internet Explorer. Our task is to tell our children about this ancient app, that did not work and caused us so much trouble, and remind them how lucky those bastards are with good internet speeds and browsers that let them do whatever they want.

Share your best memories about the Intenet Explorer in the comment down below👇

References:

https://www.theverge.com/2022/6/15/23167121/microsoft-internet-explorer-end-of-support-retirement

Yes, Internet Explorer Is Dead, But Will Microsoft Edge Take Over?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Explorer

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