Category Archives: Software

Tesco Tinder – new service for reducing food waste

Reading Time: 2 minutes

According to world studies, about 30% of food is lost and thrown into the garbage during the production of food and after its purchase.  The world throws away 1.3 billion tons of food every year, and if there were no losses and spoilage of food products, it could feed 1.26 billion hungry people every year. The problem also has indirect consequences associated with climate change and environmental pollution, since the production of discarded food consumes resources: water and land.

That is why the question arises, how to stop such an empty and senseless release of resources in food sector?

The answer is that it is necessary to increase the number of recyclable software and use modern recycling technologies.  In the last decade, the circular economy has begun to move forward as a more appropriate economic model for reducing emissions. It is followed by ways of reusing food suitable for human consumption, reusing food as animal feed, processing the material into high value-added products, processing nutrients and restoring energy.

Many companies are already implementing technologies to minimize food waste, become more sustainable.

For instance, supermarket chain Tesco introduced online platform Tesco Exchange, which is also often called Tesco Tinder. The app is designed to help suppliers share excess products in order to reduce waste and production costs. The exchange was developed by the consulting firm Anthesis.

With the help of this app suppliers can advertise products, submit requests, and set alerts when needed products become available. Interestingly, the fields of application extend not only to food, but also to packaging. I think this is a big step towards a circularity in food sector. Overproduction and inadequate disposal, which humanity faces everywhere, are global environmental problems.

Sarah Bradbury, Chief Quality Officer at Tesco, says, “Waste for one supplier can be a valuable commodity for another.”  This statement is extremely meaningful to me.  From my perspective, exactly this way, people can share with each other and receive mutual benefits.  I believe this is the approach that humanity really lacks at present.

To conclude, I believe that in conditions of present time, with all the pressing environmental and climate problems, the food sector is simply obliged to move towards a more circular economy.  On the example of Tesco chain of stores, we see how with the help of advanced technologies and software we are able to use the resources in a more sensible way.

https://thisiszone.medium.com/friday-five-tesco-tinder-is-bringing-suppliers-together-in-a-waste-tackling-lovefest-1d42d04510a0

https://www.greenbiz.com/sites/default/files/2022-12/tesco-food-waste-app-shutterstock-logo.png

Food waste management; Problems & Solution – Technology Times

OUR FUTURE JOBS – how TECH is revolutionizing the employment market

Reading Time: 3 minutes

When we search for ,, Jobs of the future’’ on Google, many of the results are IT-related jobs and professions. This may come as obvious, because every young person has probably heard, at least once in his or her lifetime, some comment, from their parents, relatives, or teachers, about how software engineers, developers, robotics engineers, programmers, etc. are going to become the most-needed occupations.  I am certain most of us have also heard about how robots will take our jobs away.

Analyzing the TECH industry and its pace of advancement, we can see it.  IT, TECH, and AI-related jobs are the future. Moreover, they are the present. As for 2022, 8.9 million people are working in TECH in the US alone and workforce growth rates are expected to double those of other industries.

So what are exactly the jobs of the future?  There are hundreds of them, but I’ll outline 3 of the most interesting ones, in my opinion.

1. Software developer/engineer

An obvious one, is the first position in any article regarding this topic. The majority of the human population uses the Internet and electronic devices, so companies need people who can develop and improve their software. Moreover, these developers will need to systematically become better and better. This occupation will require, among other things, the skill of advanced machine programming, because machine learning will eventually replace entry-level programmers

2. Computer network architect

They design and build efficiently organized computer networks for companies, as well as create plans and layouts for data communication networks. These networks can be as small as connections between 2 offices, or as big as building a cloud infrastructure accessible by customers across the world.

3. Remote or onsite robot operators

This is a perfect example of a position created for ex by AI. All around the world, there are robots working in warehouses that need 24/7 human supervision. While discussing AI, people most often fail to acknowledge the state of development of this technology. Yes, it is intelligent. Yes, it is able to do many tasks more efficiently than a person can. However, it also encounters countless problems along the way and has many bugs that still need fixing. While AI is improving, these intelligent robots need someone watching over them at the warehouse, or remotely, online to ensure they are working safely and efficiently. There comes the so-called robot-watcher, that in contrast to an engineer or a developer does not need to have any programming skills.

So will AI or new technology take our jobs away? The debate on this topis is in no way settled. On one hand, many jobs are at risk of being automated in the next 20 years. Still, economists argue that automatization will create new jobs. What is important to remember, but often overlooked, is that to get the whole picture and not become threatened by these innovations, we have to acknowledge the opportunities they’re offering us right now.

Resources

https://www.parentalguidance.org.uk/labour-market-information/top-jobs-of-the-future

https://www.cyberstates.org/

https://connect.comptia.org/blog/information-technology-stats-facts

https://www.mynextmove.org/profile/summary/15-1241.00

https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/tech-at-the-edge-trends-reshaping-the-future-of-it-and-business

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Wholesale usage of self-driving cars sooner that we’ve expected?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

History of autonomus vehicles (AV) is quite interesting. In 2010s companies like Mercedes, Ford or BMW were trying to develop self-driving cars, although unsuccessfully. A year ago closest of accomplishing this idea was Tesla with their economical car. However, still there has to be a human driver behind the wheel to control this car due to regulations.

Waabi_robot_trucks
AV prototype created by Waabi

Nevertheless, in 2021 Raquel Urtason has started company that can revolutionize AV market. This company, which is called Waabi, are developing self-driving truck but in slightly different way than it was done by the others. Instead of testing software in real world, Raquel and her team have decided to test it in another program. They are testing programmed AI in simulation which is magnificently similar to the open roads in the real world. Quoting Raquel Urtason: “Typically in the industry, you will build a prototype, collect data, make your software compatible and then you will discover issues and build the next generation a year and a half, or two years later. With Waabi our hardware design is done in simulation so you already built that next generation.” Because of this approach Waabi could be the first company to release their product before the competitors. What is more Waabi is working with truck drivers who know the industry and the market which gives Waabi competitive advantage. With different attitude presented by the CEO, this company can accomplish something amazing way before their competitors.

Waabi's first autonomous truck

I am writing about this company owing to their’s new approach which is very fascinating. We’re talking about new generation technology which apparently is going to speed up placing this product on the market. However, this “speeding up” doesn’t mean very soon, due to many hindrances ahead of Waabi. Firstly, regulations. In this field of business there are a lot of them. Primary thing is that people, especially government need to be convinced about safety of this technology which will not be easy. Another problem is how much money people will need to pay for that technology. If the price is too high, it will be unworthy business for buyers. We can speak about many advantages of such a solution but money is the most important factor in business.

On the other hand, technology is getting more and more advanced and people’s mindset is changing all the time so let me tell you some positive aspects of this technology which can help Waabi to overcome some obstacles. The most important of them is safety. Nowadays there are many drivers who are irresponsible on the road. Presence of refined AI system in AV could simply decrease a number of car accidents on the roads which is a very serious problem is our world. Another positive thing, that Waabi is trying to implement, is that those people who are now truck drivers would not have to resign from their foregoing work and retire peacefully.

Waabi’s simulator

In my opinion we won’t see Waabi’s self-driving cars on the roads very soon, although it will eventually happen in the future and I believe in Raquel’s company . Waabi is getting closer but this kind of product needs to be done as precisely as it’s possible so it must take some time to do it perfectly. How about you? What do you think about this kind of car on the roads? Will the Waabi succeed?

Sources & references:

https://actu.epfl.ch/news/self-driving-technology-needs-ai-as-its-focal-poin/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alanohnsman/2022/11/16/as-doubts-grow-over-self-driving-vehicles-this-ambitious-upstart-rolls-out-its-first-robot-trucks/?sh=499f44113810

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-waabi-driverless-trucks-north-america/

“Waabi unveils its first-generation self-driving truck”- https://techcrunch.com/

Is Marvel predicting the future of Technology?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Marvel Studios is one of the largest film and television production companies with very popular superhero movies. Marvel is a Subsidiary of Walt Studios and it is responsible for the production of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and series that are based on the characters from Marvel Comics. The company makes up artificial intelligence gadgets used by the fictional characters, such as their suits, weapons, systems, and even the characters themselves. There were some cases in which a technology used in a Marvel movie became a real thing, which makes people wonder if such advanced artificial intelligence made up by creative minds is possible. With Marvel illustrating where modern technology is today and where it can potentially go, a lot of people wonder if Marvel is predicting the future of AI and technology.

Marvel Studios live-action avengers
By Richard Nebens

As I said earlier, there have been cases in which technology used in Marvel movies became a real thing! An example of this is the technology used in the ‘Iron Man’ movie. In 2016, the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg built an AI assistant inspired by JARVIS (Just A Rather Very Intelligent System) from the movie ‘Iron Man’. JARVIS is an advanced AI system, that assisted Tony Stark and controlled, managed, and even created advanced technology. Zuckerberg’s version of Jarvis isn’t nearly as advanced but can control his home, including lights, temperature, appliances, music, and security. It also learns tastes and patterns, new words, and concepts. Another technology inspired by Avenger’s billionaire, genius, and philanthropist character, Tony Stark is the exoskeleton, which was introduced by the US Special Operations Command.

1.Mark Zuckerberg's Jarvis - Inspired by Iron Man's AI Jarvis
Iron Man’s JAVIS assistant

The question now is if the technologies that don’t exist yet created in Marvel movies can exist in the future. A lot of people argue that they are nearly impossible to create and have no chance of existing. However, I think most of the AI gadgets used in the MCU can become real, just not anytime soon, maybe in the next century. It would be cool to have an Iron Man suit, the holograms used by the superheroes to communicate or have meetings, or even the device used by Peter Parker (Spider-Man) to create his suit, which was a highly advanced technology. The only thing I think is impossible for technology to create is superhero powers (obviously), which of course is only a part of the fiction in the Marvel movies. Therefore can these fictional AI be replicated? Is Marvel actually predicting the future of technology?

I love Led Zeppelin!!" 😂😆😆 | Marvel superheroes, Marvel avengers, Marvel  tv
Arya Kulkarni (Device used by Spider-Man to create his suit)

Sources/References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel_Cinematic_Universe#Development

https://www.businessinsider.in/hp-elite-lounge/slideshows/heres-are-some-real-life-tech-gadgets-inspired-by-avengers/slidelist/69041690.cms#slideid=69041949

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J.A.R.V.I.S.

https://www.fandom.com/articles/real-life-mcu-tech

https://thedirect.com/article/marvel-studios-mcu-live-action-projects

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Subscription – money magnet

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Today subscription services surround us everywhere. It is difficult to come up with a good or service that you wouldn’t be able to fit into a subscription model. At present, we can subscribe to anything. Among the known examples are – Netflix video streaming, Spotify music, YouTube music, Chewy for pets, PlayStation Plus, Xbox game pass, etc. Some of the largest companies in the tech world have at least one subscription service. And more companies appear whose business is fully based on subscriptions like Netflix. What’s interesting is that today, you are able not only to get the benefits of subscription in the tech world or online but also you could consider subscribing to dietary services that provide you with sets of healthy meals containing certain amounts of calories and nutrients of your choice. The food will be delivered to you regularly and the money taken from your pocket as well. You could subscribe to sausage or cheese services, you could subscribe to deliveries on such planforms as Allegro if you order packages regularly, you could subscribe to various events or business breakfasts that happen regularly, and so on and so forth. Although subscriptions always seem advantageous for the subscribers, not often do people ponder over the question of what makes large companies transfer to, or implement features of this exact business model, it’s got to be beneficial for the organizations as well.

First things first let’s make it clear how subscriptions work. As stated in the Cambridge dictionary a subscription is “an amount of money that you pay regularly to receive a product or service” (Cambridge Dictionary, 2022). Taking into account a well-known example of Netflix. When you subscribe to it you make an agreement with the company that for a given amount of money you paid, you will receive a certain service, in this case, film streaming, for a certain period of time, here it is a minimum of one month. Sometimes you are provided a “free of charge” trial period to check out the service and decide for yourself whether you would like to use it in the future or not. What’s funny though, is that you can only get a free trial under the condition that you provide your bank card information to the service, so that the company at least has a chance of you not remembering or not even knowing that the money will be taken off your card with hardly any warning.

This is a genius way of getting money from people. It looks like a little legal scam. The trick here is that you do not consciously make a purchase every month, no, it could potentially make you think about whether you actually need it. On the contrary, it simply automates the task of taking money off your bank acc. As mentioned before, an especially controversial it is when the company makes you enter your bank account data for a free trial period. Hence, they purposefully want you to forget that you have entered the data and don’t even think about the money no more. You will start using the service and no matter whether you liked it and continue using it or not, they will get the money. And it is also important for them to make the money “you pay” seem insignificant so that you do not start wondering where did your salary go the moment you got it. They want it to be as seamless as possible so that when they gain thousands or millions of subscribers half of which would not even use the service, they will still gain the cash on a regular basis.

But don’t just take my word, check out the research recently conducted by C+R research. Survey has found that nearly half of the population who use subscription services forget that they pay for them, and when it comes to generation Z, the number rises to 55% of forgetful ones. 22% of responders, in turn, claim that they feel overwhelmed by the number of subscriptions they have to deal with (Subscription Service Statistics and Costs, 2022). However, there is a solution. Get a subscription for a mobile app that allows you to keep track of and manage your other subscriptions 😀

Figure 1. C+R research. Most forgotten types of subscriptions. (Subscription Service Statistics and Costs, 2022)

In the figure provided above, we can see that the easiest subscription to forget about is the mobile phone, the internet, tv, and movie streaming. Those are pretty much the ones that become an integral part of our lives, and are relatively inexpensive whatsoever.

Nevertheless, we cannot deny the fact that subscriptions are not pure evil. They are of good use to those who truly take the benefit of them. Those are the people who do interact with the service on an often and regular basis. Say you are a music lover or you make business on buying and selling stuff on Allegro. In these cases, a subscription to Spotify or delivery would make your life simply easier and cheaper. Furthermore, as mentioned in the research from Lin: “Rounding out the top 10 benefits of subscription models for customers are the ability to access a wider range of products and being able to avoid fraud and/or theft” (Lin, n.d.). Meaning that customers find it comfotable and troubleless to use subscriptions. It reduces the number of unnessesary worry/activitires we have in the modern world. That’s why crowd is keen giving up some extra money for a service that even potentially might be useful. It is connected to the feeling of security as well as feeling like the choice is bigger for smaller money, and it is difficult to argue with.

To conclude, what we can do to get the full merit of subscriptions and not suffer from losing our money subconsciously, is to make ourselves aware of the deals we make with organizations. Be cautious whenever we leave our bank account information, and make sure we either use the service we pay for, or we do not pay for the service we do not use.

Hope you found this post interesting. Feel free to share your thoughts on this matter in the comments section below 😉

References:

Cambridge Dictionary. (2022). subscription definition: 1. an amount of money that you pay regularly to receive a product or service: 2. an amount of. . .. Learn more. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/subscription

Subscription Service Statistics and Costs. (n.d.). C+R Research. https://www.crresearch.com/blog/subscription-service-statistics-and-costs

Lin, Y. (n.d.). Top Benefits of a Subscription Model | Oberlo. https://www.oberlo.com/statistics/benefits-of-subscription-model

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Future of France (Finance)?

Reading Time: 6 minutes
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

TikTok is poisoning your brain

Reading Time: 5 minutes
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 which 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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The light printing technology

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Not a long time ago polish inventors have developed innovative method of producing OLED screens. They have created the cheapest and the thinnest electronic band with OLED screen which is now the biggest innovation in so called the light printing technology.

How it works?

They named it Inuru and it uses Organic Light Emitting Diodes, which is something similar to LEDs but it’s made out of organic components.

OLED display technology which is using organic diodes degrade rapidly therefore it provides a light for only a few seconds or minutes . That’s why it is hard to introduce it on a mass scale. However by creating more and more products Inuru is going to optimise the use of diodes to increase theirs lifetime which allows them to glare a lot longer.

It’s also worth mentioning that this solution is sustainable and ecological. Inuru does not use heavy metals or heavy ions. Also the materials are similar to those used right now, that means this tech is fully recyclable.

The ideas of use:

Because of the display being so thin there are no limitations to it’s use. For example you can print it onto clothes so that the display shines if someone hugs you. This technology is also meant to help people, the idea is to combine the diodes with the labels on the medicine to indicate when it expires. We could spend hours and hours thinking about the applications but the most interesting aspect is changing the way of advertising products.

Changes in adverts

Personally I think the biggest changes will be seen in the way of promoting products by multiple companies. Since the great economic development every one of them want to be the best in the marketing. Now when the Inuru is on the market a lot of companies started to make some initial projects. One of the first corporation to cooperate with Inuru creators is Coca Cola. They have created the first label to use on bottles and it looks like that:

They are planning to use such labels on special edition bottles. In my point of view think there will be more and more products using this technology because it surely attracts the eye of the customer and that’s what companies are looking for.

Video

To get the better understanding of Inuru technology i recommend you watching this video. Unfortunatelly it’s in polish but you can add english subtitles. Let me know what are your thoughts and ideas were you would use that technology.

Sources:

Dignity: https://dignitynews.eu/en/polish-inventors-developed-an-innovative-method-for-producing-oled-screens/

Swiat oze: https://swiatoze.pl/inuru-polacy-drukuja-swiatlem-ekologiczne-etykiety-technologia-roku/

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Meta opens a new pandora’s box that will allow them track your eyes for targeted advertising.

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Photo by Meta/Meta Quest Pro

Last week, Meta introduced the Meta Quest Pro, a new virtual reality headset. However, things are not so simple in the virtual headset there is a “trick” – certain cameras pointing inward to track your eyes and face. Also, along with the announcement of the headset, the company updated its privacy policy, adding a “scary” section called “Eye Tracking Privacy Notice”.

” Meta made some fun new additions to its privacy policy, including one titled “Eye Tracking Privacy Notice. The company says it will use eye-tracking data to “help Meta personalize your experiences and improve Meta Quest.” The policy doesn’t literally say the company will use the data for marketing, but “personalizing your experience” is typical privacy-policy speak for targeted ads. ” [1]

To be more specific about what the data will be used for, a Meta official confirmed in an interview with the FT that the data is needed to figure out how people interact with ads.

Let me remind you earlier back in 2012, then Facebook (Meta) acquired the eye-tracking startup “GazeHawk”. As we can see, 10 years after the acquisition, Meta began to successfully implement GazeHawk developments.Let’s be honest whether you agree to targeted ads or not, this technology takes data collection to a whole new level.

Скриншот 2012-03-08 в 22.39.46

However, the use of this technology, in my opinion, is not a boon for society, but simply a tool to increase the company’s profits.
This reminds me of the scene in “Black Mirror” where the character had to watch ads in order to access the content because his eyes were tracked, and if the advertisement was not viewed, then harsh measures were taken against the person. Quite scary is how close we come to the reality of the “Black Mirror”

1984 & Black Mirror | Video Art
An episode from the series “Black Mirror”

What do you think, what will be the consequences of such technologies and whether they bring any benefit to society?

Write in comments

Sources:

https://gizmodo.com/meta-quest-pro-vr-headset-track-eyes-ads-facebook-1849654424

https://techcrunch.com

https://www.ft.com/content/76d40aac-034e-4e0b-95eb-c5d34146f647

https://www.meta.com/en-gb/help/quest/articles/accounts/privacy-information-and-settings/eye-tracking-privacy-notice/

The new era in communication beetwen pilots and ATC controllers

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Since the beginning of aviation communication between pilots and ATC controllers takes place by an use of radio waves. Currently there are only 2280 frequencies of communication. However due to the constant increase in air traffic it’s not enough, they have become congested and cumbersome in communication.

But what has really changed?

Nowadays despite traditional way of voice communication pilots and controllers have an option of using system called CPDLC what stands for Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications. It is a two-way data-link system by which controllers can transmit non urgent but strategic messages such as: level change, speed assignments, vectoring and many other various requests of information. It is also dedicated for ground services to communicate about technical things. For instance pilot can ask ground control on the destination airport for an additional services during a stop on an airport tarmac. The Main purpose of that system is to reduce the workload of controllers by letting them execute frequent commands without occupying a frequency. In initial experiments it is believed that about 84% of voice communication has been reduced.

But how it actually works?

It involves the use of pre-formatted messages which allows both pilots and controllers to send messages. The use pre-formatted options increase the efficiency and also reduces the chance for an error. In addition to that there is also a free text option so that any other information’s or requests can be made.

Putting it simply, if the pilot wants to change altitude to a higher flight level he would need to ask it for on a radio earlier. Currently he just has to press a few buttons and then wait for a controller to allow or refuse him to do so.

The advantages of CPDLC

Each system is made for some purpose. The main idea of CPDLC is to help controllers manage the air traffic so that they workload will be reduced. The advantages that CPDLC provides are:

  • Increased ATC efficiency by reducing the workload
  • A reduction in possible misunderstandings due to language barriers
  • The possibility of a few communications at the same time thereby increasing speed of it
  • Sending the same command to multiple planes at the same time

Concerns about safety

Of course there are also some concerns about using this system such as giving for example two commands for one plane at the same time in separate messages which might cause that one of them won’t be seen by pilots. Also the use of CPDLC reduces pilot’s awareness, because they cannot follow other aircraft communication. Last but not least there is always an option to send wrong message to an aircraft or transmit it to the wrong one. However all of that problems are not really an issue if properly addressed.

If you want to learn something more feel free to ask any questions connected with aviation. I also recommend you watching this short video to get the better understanding about this system.

Sources:

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