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Featured IoT (Internet of Things) News

Impact Of Technology Advancements On Transportation Management

The past 20 months featured unexpected realities. You’ll agree with me that technological advancement has impacted every aspect of our living system. Even if we are reluctant to embrace some of these new innovations, the social challenges have forced us to see the need to quickly adapt and implement new technology for a better lifestyle. 

These emerging technologies are changing the way we work and interact with others. These technologies are revolutionizing the way we do business and making high-tech approaches an essential part of our lives and also reshaping the career space. 

The effect has impacted several organizations and industries like the health sectors, transportation, and more, to unlock new business opportunities and to provide solutions to a better way to fast delivery.

In fact, recent research by Gartner shows that by 2023, 50% of global product-centric enterprises will have invested in real-time transportation visibility platforms. 

However, as the new innovation becomes the priority of every organization, consumers become more demanding, the transport industry needs to ensure that users’ requirements are met through the deployment of transport management software technologies. To create improved safety, better performance, and superior communication and service to customers.

Advancement of Technology on Transportation Management Software

Impact of technology advancements on transportation management software
The Era of Transportation Management Software: The transport industry needs to ensure that users’ requirements are met through the deployment of transportation management software solutions which makes it easier for effective execution.

Below, therefore, are the impacts of technology advancement on transportation management.

1. Improved transparency and data automation

As the global population will increase from 7.4 billion to 9.7 billion by 2050, the volume of goods shipped will be more than double by 2050, driven by urbanization, increases in disposable income and internet penetration, and ease of access to new technologies. 

Document and paper-based shipments are expected to decrease significantly as digital document management evolves. There are innovative ways in which firms can combine transportation and distribution systems to increase their transparency and data automation in the globally competitive environment.

  • Use multiple data sources to monitor system congestion, also to support travel time estimation
  • Consolidate efforts to develop data management tools across agencies
  • Frequently process and distribute measures of effectiveness (MOE’s), Including to operators, to improve operational effectiveness.
  • Utilize features in the software to track and report performance which can also utilize onboard device data from agency vehicles to monitor pavement condition

However, transparency in data collection and analysis will lead to improved operation, enhance customer service and promote work efficiency in transport management.

2. Innovated mobile communications and wireless network

Advances in wireless technology provide options when it comes to modernizing their field equipment and increasing data coverage.

The rapid development of GPS technology could offer the opportunity to freight operators as well as cross-boundary public transport operators to consider establishing a fleet management system. The launching of such a system would enable more journeys to be made and reduce operating costs due to much better planning and schedule.

Moreso, it will be easier to utilize commercial mobile devices and apps to support collaboration between freeway service patrol and other emergency responders. TMC operations staff and field maintenance staff will be easily connected to improve communication and enhanced field collaboration. 

3. Truck platooning

Truck platooning is the linking of two or more trucks in a convoy, using connectivity technology and automated driving support systems. These vehicles automatically maintain a set, close distance between each other when they are connected for certain parts of a journey, for instance on motorways. 

The truck at the head of the platoon acts as the leader, with the vehicles behind reacting and adapting to changes in its movement – requiring little to no action from drivers. In the first instance, drivers will remain in control at all times, so they can also decide to leave the platoon and drive independently.

Truck platooning holds great potential to make road transport safer, cleaner, and more efficient in the future. The platoon technology allows digitally connected packs of two to five vehicles which make the road safer for drivers, truckers, and vehicle transport services to reduce unexpected accidents and loss of customer’s goods.

“Platooning optimizes transport by using roads more effectively, delivering goods faster, and reducing traffic jams, says Nicholas, founder of Car Shipping Carriers; one of the cheapest car shipping companies in the United States. The driving range of trucks can also be extended in certain situations. It allows drivers to undertake other tasks, such as administrative work or making calls. The impact of technology on the transport system should never be underestimated.

4. Implementation of transportation management software

The use of transportation management software cannot be overlooked as they help companies from wasting a significant amount of time. The technology behind this system increases the performance of necessary tasks and allows the company to concentrate on other aspects of the business, giving them access to do more without driving up cost.  

The development of TMS would optimize usage of transport systems and networks by various means like traffic monitoring and regulating, information provision and safety enhancement, travel time information coming from toll tag readers, Bluetooth sensors, and/or third-party providers.

Companies that implement a cloud-based TMS have increased visibility throughout their supply chain, opportunities for communication and collaboration with carriers and customers, and significant time and money savings.

Conclusion

There are innovative ways in which firms are combining transportation and distribution systems to increase their efficiencies in the globally competitive environment. However, the new technological advancement will bring about a positive change in the way we live.

If the trend of technology innovation in transport sectors continues, there’s no doubt we are speeding into a future of smarter and safer travel for all. 

The transport industry needs to ensure that users’ requirements are met through the deployment of transport management software technology.

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Cloud Computing Technologies and Resources Games Gizmos News

Nvidia Killer to Be Launched in 2020

AMD’s most anticipated graphics card – Big Navi – touted as Nvidia Killer to be out in 2020.

In a YouTube Video by AMD titled The Bring Up, AMD’s chief executive – Lisa Su confirmed the high-end graphics will be available to consumers in 2020. Often referred to as the Nvidia Killer, the graphics card would take on premium graphics card range RTX cards.

With in-built hardware for ray tracing, this is the first GPU from AMD that features in-build hardware for ray tracing. The Big Navi is the introduction of a new age of GPUs.

Along with ray tracing, the hardware comes with other features such as better caches, variable-rate shading, advanced voltage regulation, mixed-precision compute improvement, and better and faster instructions per clock.Nvidia Killer to Be Launched in 2020

The graphics card is expected to match if not surpass Nvidia’s graphics cards in terms of sheer performance like the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti.

It is believed that the graphics card was thanks to a Linux driver update, which inspired three AMD Radeon RX 600 Series of Graphics Cards – Navi 21, Navi 22, and Navi 23.

Navi 23 is famed as the Nvidia Killer. As with most tech products, the hype never matches the development. Let’s see what the Nvidia Killer has in store for us.

This card from AMD is based around second-gen RDNA architecture with revitalized 7nm+ node and would present tough competition for GPU generations of Nvidia.

Race for the top spot

Over the past year, the Nvidia Killer has been subject to much speculations – one of them being the graphics card could be 30% faster than the Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Ti, but that is a big ‘could’ that would only be confirmed after we try the product for ourselves.

Regardless, the developers have to work fast if they don’t want the Navi 23 to be competing with other releases this year such as the RTX 3080 Ti, which is expected to be 50% faster than its predecessors.

Nvidia’s next-gen Ampere GPUs are also expected to be released sometime this year, so the charts are filled with some of the most interesting releases. As a graphics card and game lover, there is much to cheer about this year. The new graphics card could provide a new dimension and feel to GPU-intensive games such as Far Cry 5, The Witcher 3, and the expected Destiny 3.

Final Words

With the anticipation of the new release, we foresee the Navi 23 or Nvidia Killer to be competing with high-end graphics card ranges of Nvidia. But disregarding the potential of other releases in its comparison still looks farfetched. Although the Navi 10 has done well in the market with the implementation of the 7nm node, there is much to prove, to pose serious competition for NVIDIA’s architectural power efficiency.

Nevertheless, 2020 is going to be an important year for AMD as it brings some much-needed introduction in its GPU line of products.   

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Money & Finance News

Proposed Law to Force Big Tech Firms To Reveal the Value of Consumer Data

The big clampdown on misuse of user data by big tech firms is almost around the corner, thanks to GDPR.

A new bill has been filed which will force big tech firm to report to financial regulators and the general public what type of consumer data are being collected and how they plan to use them for profit making, or whatever. Filed by a Democrat in the US Senate, the bill was to require companies to report to financial regulators and to the public what consumer data they collect and how they leverage it for profit.

Proposed Law to Force Big Tech To Reveal the Value of Consumer Data
A newly proposed law to force big tech firms and service providers to reveal the amount and value of consumer data they are collecting and the profit they are generating through them is being considered.

“When a big tech company tells you its product is free, consumers are the ones being sold,” said Hawley.

He also stated:

“these ‘free’ products track everything we do so technology companies can sell our information and then use it to target us with creepy ads. Tech companies do THEIR best to hide how much consumer data is worth and to whom its sold to.

this legislation gives consumers control of their data and will show them how much these services which are often free, costs.”

Consumers are paying for these free products with their data instead of with their wallets, he noted. The overall lack of fairness and transparency in this market made it impossible for users to know when they are giving up their data.

Top Tech Firm Shield Our Data and Uses It for Profit

The Dashboard Act’s Provision requires four methodologies, they include:

  1. Require commercial data operator services with more than 100 million monthly active users to disclose the type of data they collect, as well as to provide their users with an assessment of the value of the collected data.
  2. Require commercial data operators and service providers to file an annual report on the value of user data they’ve collected as well as contracts with third parties involving data collection.
  3. Require commercial data operators to allow users to delete all or individual fields of data collected and also data disclosure to allow users know how their data is being used, including any unauthorized uses that are not directly in any way related to the online service provision for which the data was originally gathered.
  4. Authorizing the calculation of data value while at the same time encouraging the facilitation, enabling small or large scale businesses to adopt methodologies that reflect the different business model.

The problem with this bill is that “there is nothing to stop the companies from doing the evaluation and undervaluing the asset“, he further stated. Consumers, on the other hand, have embraced the idea, saying:

“nothing that concerns about privacy and the power of big tech is higher than ever right now.”

Categories
Disruption News Startups

Logistics startup for ecommerce retailers raises a further £6.5m to serve the booming UK retail market

Logistics startup giant for e-commerce retailers in the United Kingdom raised a further £6.5m through Oxford Capital in her to serve the growing UK retail market for the next wave of disruptions in the industry.

London – 18th April 2019 – Weengs, a smart logistics startup that partners with ecommerce businesses to get online orders to their customers reliably and efficiently, has secured £6.5m in Series A funding. The investment round was led by venture capital firm Oxford Capital and was followed on by Weeng’s seed investors who include Local Globe, Cherry Ventures and Venture Friends. Weengs is using the funding to invest heavily in automation and technology to supercharge their operations to be able to fulfill more than 15,000 ecommerce orders per day.

  • £6.5m raised in Series A round, bringing the total raised to date to £8.7m
  • 10x company growth in the last 18 months
  • Over 1 million items fulfilled by Weengs to date
  • Round led by Oxford Capital and William Orde joins the board
  • Funding will be used to invest in automated warehouse operations

Weengs logistics startup for ecommerce retailers raises a further £6.5m to serve the booming UK retail market
Weengs, a logistics startup for e-commerce retailers in the United Kingdom raises a further £6.5m to serve the booming UK retail market.

Weengs supports retailers who are seizing the growth of the ecommerce opportunity by providing a ship-from-store logistics solution that delivers the experience consumers expect, at no hassle to the retailer. Weengs collects orders daily from retailers’ stores, professionally packs them back at the Weengs warehouse and ships them to customers. Time wasted on fulfillment has long been the silent killer for ecommerce businesses and the Weengs fulfillment service is saving its retailers an average of four hours /day.  Weengs can pack and ship a broad range of products all over the world – everything from plants to musical instruments and everyday items, such as cosmetics and electronics. Weengs has partnerships with a range of carriers and uses smart algorithms to ensure the best delivery experience for the end customer. Co-founder and CEO of Weengs, Pier Ronzi says

“The future is in ecommerce and the logistics problem was holding retail business owners back. We provide a seamless experience that increases consumer confidence to buy from anyone.”

To improve its service offering, Weengs is using the funding to invest heavily in automated operations in their new warehouse, which is five times the size of their previous one. The startup is also building a data integration solution with retailers to optimize their fulfillment needs, such as delivery speed, packing customization and matching with the best last mile carrier. Soon, Weengs will be able to offer full bespoke packing automation through machinery and proprietary software which will enable the startup to fulfill more than 15,000 orders per day. Weengs will also be able to expand their geographical coverage outside of London to the rest of the UK, which has the third largest ecommerce market in the world.

Weengs logistic staff at work
Weengs logistic staff loading content to be shipped out at the Weengs Warehouse in London.

Weengs is solving a huge problem for a growing market. It is expected that 18% of all United Kingdom retail purchases will occur online this year. By 2040, it is thought that 95% of purchases will be facilitated by e-commerce. Retailers are responding to the rise in online orders by moving to a ship-from-store solution. Ship-from-store allows retailers to be more agile and respond to the growing demand from consumers for a seamless online and offline experience. Ship-from-store also saves retailers time, improves inventory optimization and increases sales and profitability.  With Weengs, retailers can enjoy the benefits of this rising trend, while not wasting precious retail space on packing areas and materials or having the technology and know-how of logistics fulfillment. The professionalism of the Weengs fulfillment service also means retailers can reach customer expectations on packaging and delivery experience.

Weengs was founded by serial entrepreneurs, Alex Christodolou and Greg Zontanos, who were looking to solve a real problem – one which would be “a painkiller, not a vitamin”. As demand from ecommerce consumers grows, so does the demand for the Weengs service from retailers. Since the seed round, the team has grown to 70 people and Pier Ronzi, previously at McKinsey&Co, joined as a Co-founder & CEO to lead the business’ further growth. The startup has grown more than 10x in the last 18 months and now has about 400 retailers as customers. Weengs has fulfilled more than 500,000 online orders to date.  Prior to Weengs, retailers were either handling fulfillment themselves or using far-located and expensive fulfillment centers. By next year, Weengs will have saved its retailers over 2 million hours of time which would have otherwise been spent on fulfillment.

William Orde, a partner at Oxford Capital, who is joining the board says,

Weengs logistics service combines both tech and operational innovation to transform packaging and posting customer orders for retailers from a messy back-room task to a scalable third-party service. We’re excited by the leverage Weengs service gives to small retailers as they move online and to back Pier and the team as they disrupt this space.”

Co-founder and CEO of Weengs, Pier Ronzi says,

“Oxford Capital is the right investor to have on board as we embark on this ambitious next phase of growth for the business. Their deep experience with ecommerce businesses and their strong network in the UK market will be invaluable. We’re hugely excited for the next phase of Weengs and we’re one step closer to fulfilling our mission to keep ecommerce moving and retail entrepreneurs thriving.”

About Weengs

Weengs was founded by serial entrepreneurs Alex Christodoulou, Greg Zontanos and former McKinsey consultant, Pier Ronzi. Weengs is a smart logistics startup that partners with e-commerce businesses to get online orders to their customers reliably and efficiently. The fulfilment service offered by Weengs is the superpower for ecommerce businesses that can save retailers up to four hours every day. Time wasted on fulfilment has long been the silent killer for e-commerce businesses. Weengs collects items, professionally packs them at their warehouse and ships them directly to the customer.

About Oxford Capital

Oxford Capital has been investing in early-stage companies since 1999. Their London-based venture capital team has more than 60 years of combined experience, gained at leading venture capital firms in the UK and US. It makes early-stage investments in businesses all over the UK, in parts of the market where the team believe the UK can produce world-class companies. The current portfolio spans sectors including digital health, financial technologies, the future of retail and mobility.
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Blockchain Technology Disruption IoT (Internet of Things) Money & Finance Startups

Which Blockchain Related Stocks Should You Be Looking Out for?

Investing in blockchain stocks of companies have been tipped by experts to be a great investment decision moving forward into the future.

If there was anything that the recent years proved for the blockchain investment funds, it is that there are quite a few emerging technologies that may significantly alter the future of money and the financial world itself. Blockchain is not anymore just the backend technology that supports the famous cryptocurrencies like the Bitcoin, Ether, or Ripple but it has become the jumping point of many revolutionary marketplace ideas by presenting a brand new way to store data across multiple locations around the globe.

Not only with financial institutions such as banks, the ripple effect of blockchain technology can be felt across industries. For instance, the healthcare industry is continually looking for ways to develop much better ways to prevent fraudulent transactions from occurring. They are also researching ways for a far quicker way to transmit confirmations and massive savings through efficiency and removing middlemen parties. There is even a recent study that has shown that at the least, a tenth of the global GDP should be stored in some form of blockchain enabled storage like coins, tokens, or blockchain investment funds in the next decade which could then grow exponentially towards after 20 years.

Blockchain Stocks - Blockchain Investment Funds
Blockchain Stocks – Discover how to invest in blockchain investment funds of top three blockchain tech companies around the world and earn a residual income stream from it.

Just how big is blockchain technology going to affect a company?

By the turn of the century, many have not expected that technology would progress as fast as it has today. The digital age sprung to life due to the internet and has never looked back since. Because of this, it has become almost impossible to create projections for technology based valuations especially if much of the technology is still being developed. Any advancement in this regard however would prove to be vital for investors wanting to spend smartly their hard earned money. The main question is how do we know which companies are going to do well based on how they are faring in their application of the blockchain technology. A ranking however, though through crude means can still be formulated and be used to be able to predict at a significant precision which companies’ values are going to be on the rise, and which ones are going to fall.

Based on the method described, here are the top blockchain enable companies for 2019.

Blockchain Investment Funds: Top 3 Blockchain Stocks Worth Investing Into For The Future

Blockchain and Long Term Investment
Blockchain Stocks and Long Term Investment: There are lot of benefits to have, and money to be made from investing, through some of the top trading blockchain stocks around the world. In this article, we explore the “Top 3 Blockchain Stocks Worth Buying” into for the future featuring Daimler AG, Hitachi and Hive Technologies.

Hive Blockchain Technologies

The cryptocurrency mining firm continues to impress as the year began. It usually does digital currency related profit making such as mining and trading Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and ZCash. If you are not familiar with the company then maybe you have heard of Leeta Gold Corp which is what it was previously called. This is one of the top ranked company stock picks and are directly involved in cryptocurrency investing. The technology company, based in Canada aims to apply innovations from blockchain technology with capital markets such as blockchain investment funds. They intend to do this by setting up sites where they can efficiently mine currencies from different locations in the world. The function of the blockchain technology, in this regard, is it is being used to validate the transactions.

Recently, the Canadian tech company have announced that it spend $100 million to further enhance their mining capabilities. They intend to to this by doing another major expansion. This tech company was the first of its kind. They were the first firm to ever publicly trade their stock that was solely dedicated to cryptocurrency mining. It all began when they joined Canadian TSX venture exchange in September of year 2017. Presently, the expansion is going to significantly expand their Bitcoin mining capabilities but they also have set up cryptocurrency mining facilities for both Ethereum and Litecoin.

Daimler AG

Daimler AG is mainly an automotive engineering company. This firm have been developing, producing and distributing cars, trucks and vans all across Germany. They also hold the responsibility of managing the Daimler Group. Some of the cars that have been developed, produced or distributed by them are those that come from Mercedes-Benz Cars, their own Daimler Trucks and Busses, Mercedes-Benz Vans, and the Daimler Financial Services. They own a massive chain of car producing facilities all over the globe. The approximately own 8500 sales centers around the world in 20 countries.

It might come as surprise to some how an automotive car company is listed as one of the most valuable blockchain-related firms. Their first major engagement with blockchain technology is a launch of a €100 million 1-year corporate loan instrument which is entirely backed by blockchain technology. They call it the Schuldschein which is german for promissory note. All of the major stages of transaction is performed through the blockchain. This includes the origination and execution of the loan agreement, up to the confirmation of all payments including interest payments.

The extremely positive response from Daimler’s finance team as well as the consumers prompted the automotive industry giant to look for further applications of blockchain technology in their business. This could include auto financing which could then start a trend across the car industry. The company recognized how the blockchain technology, not only add value to the entire processes, it also let onlookers see them with interest as they blaze towards the modernization of finance. It can be safely said that the future of Daimler AG is a bright one and should be noted by future investors.

Hitachi

The Japanese firm more prominently known for the bullet trains and enterprise solutions around the world is also one of our top picks for the best blockchain-based company to invest on. As early as the 2000s, Hitachi have already been researching for technologies similar to the blockchain. It may come as no surprise that the Japanese giant is currently the top technology firm investing in blockchain for the entirety of Japan. By 2003, Hirachi has already obtained its patent for its own iteration of the blockchain technology.

They are not sitting on their laurels which should be a positive sign for future investors. They are continuously laboring to find ways to broaden the possible applications of the blockchain.

Conclusion on investing in blockchain stocks

Aside Daimler, Hitachi, and Hive Blockchain Technologies, there are many other innovative blockchain stocks out there that are worth looking out for. But we believe these three companies have all it takes to help in increasing your blockchain stocks portfolio’s ROI. They sure could help in guaranteeing your financial future through their blockchain investment funds. Investing into blockchain related companies have been tipped by experts to be a great investment decision for long-term investment portfolio management, and these (aforementioned) are the blockchain stocks worth investing into.

If you enjoy reading this article, please help us spread the love.

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Disruption Games Infographic Information and Communication Technology (ICT) IoT (Internet of Things)

The 3D Design Trends to Look for in 2019 for Gaming, Advertising, 360 Images and Video Rendering Industries

3D modelling is one of the fastest growing design trends – set to exponentially increase over the next few years. The multitude uses for 3D designs and models seem to increase every year, and it is becoming essential for those across various sectors to know how to access the most creative designs as quickly and easily as possible.

There are some exciting 3D design trends that are set to dominate the space in 2019 as 3D design begins to permeate nearly every industry.  Platforms such as the Flat Pyramid 3D model marketplace are therefore essential for those in the creative industries, as well as for professionals in the fields of engineering, construction & architecture, education, development, industrial or automotive design.

Hot in 2019: 3D Design Trends Transforming Industries

According to a report by Market Watch, 2018, “The global 3D mapping and 3D modelling market is expected to grow at USD6 billion by 2023 at a CAGR of 26% during the forecast period 2018-2023. With the emergence of 3D technologies such as scanners, 3D sensors, and other such devices, the market is expected to grow to a large extent. Adoption of high-speed internet connectivity and advanced technologies are driving the market growth.”

The expert team at Flat Pyramid scour the globe, with an enhanced focus on Africa, for the best and brightest 3D designers. The team’s expertise within the field ensure that the most relevant and innovative designs find their way to the platform. For 2019, the Flat Pyramid team has also identified some key 3D design trends to look out for in the exciting space of 3D modelling and design. 

3D Design in Gaming & Animation

With the exponential increase in gaming globally, the demand for 3D characters and environments is also growing. 3D designers are contributing to the popularity of gaming based on exciting 3D characters, weaponry, landscapes and environments.

3D Design Trends - WebVR games design
WebVR games design is another good example of 3D design trends you shouldn’t ignore in 2019. Lot of gaming development companies are going to be needing your service if you know your beans.

In Africa particularly, there has been a massive increase in the demand for animation, whether for games, short videos, feature length films or advertising campaigns, animation is becoming more and more prominent.  Animated characters, and their 3D counterparts from games or movies, are proving to be valuable as revenue streams in their own right, and marketers are advised to take note.

An example of this is Shudu, the creation of a 29-year-old London-based photographer, Shudu is an Instagram model from Africa with more than 130,000 followers. Shudu is completely and has been called “the world’s first digital supermodel.”

Shudu.gram art work
Shudu is the world’s first digital supermodel. Shudu brand is brought to reality by Flamingo Pixel. You can follow the project on Instagram via @shudu.gram

Film, TV & Advertising

3D design and modelling are also transforming the creative process in the worlds of advertising, TV and film. In 2019 we can expect more storyboarding and even marketing plans and strategies to be presented in 3D format. The use of 3D characters and modelling has opened up new creative opportunities, especially for advertising agencies. Those agencies who are looking for the strategic advantage in 2019 should look at the 3D space.  3D modelling within film and TV can reduce costs, foster creativity and reduce inefficiencies in the production process.

Platforms such as Flat Pyramid’s online marketplace are ideal hunting grounds for creative concepts and talented 3D designers. By sourcing 3D models via online marketplaces, agencies have the flexibility to pick and choose the most relevant and innovative models that suit their client’s needs.

Advances in 3D Printing & Materials

As 3D printers become more advanced and more affordable, the materials available for printing are following suit. New materials, advances in colour options, and an increased focus on sustainability mean that 3D printing is becoming more and more popular for various applications.

A rise in polymer materials for plastic 3D printing will also enable affordability within the space, while rapid changes that have seen the quality of cost–effectiveness of metal materials, means that metal 3D printing will expand beyond the manufacturing sector. A new focus on organic and wearable materials has huge implications for the medical fields, but also for fashion and décor.

From high-tech advances in printing body tissue, and even bone, and 3D printed cement past to hold buildings together in natural disasters, to more mundane uses such as the printing of toys, ceramics, and automotive spares, the variety of materials now available for printing are driving the growth of the industry.

Web VR Game template
Game design is another hot topic you can’t miss when it comes to 3D design trends. This is because of the huge demand for gaming experience around the world, hence it adds to our 3D design trends you must get prepared for in 2019.

African Solutions 

3D design and printing have a particular role to play within the developing world, and in 2019 African innovators will start to take their place within the global marketplace. Already on the Flat Pyramid platform, African designers are sharing their models and designs, and we are sure to see more creative design solutions coming from the African continent in 2019.

Just recently, South Africa’s Red Cup Village announced its first biodegradable design patent cup made from sugarcane & corn-starch in May of 2019. The company uses 3D printing technology to manufacture a unique drinking cup using a polylactide (PLA) filament, which is a biodegradable and bioactive thermoplastic aliphatic polyester derived from renewable resources such as sugarcane and corn-starch.

Somalia Architecture is a project aimed at imagine how Mogadishu once looked as a modern African capital, and to assist in the rebuilding of the city. So far, the team has produced up to 15 3D models including the former parliament, the national theater, the monument of the unknown soldier, and the Mogadishu lighthouse.

360 Videos and 360 Web Pages 

First there was standard definition (SD) videos then High Definition (HD) videos and now, the latest trend is 360 videos and 360 web pages.  

This new form of photography and filmmaking, but for the most part these photos and videos can be seen on 2D phones and devices. While 360 degree video is not the same thing as VR, however, for many, 360-degree spherical content will be the first immersive “VR” experience they have, particularly via Facebook and YouTube.

3D Design Trends for 2019 - Web 360 videos and 360 video ads
Web 360 videos and 360 video ads creation has quickly became a hot 3D design in the creative design industry in recent months. Advertisers are looking for ways to increase conversion and reduce ad spends, 360 video ads promises to deliver a rich user experience and interaction than the current video rendering we have today.

360 videos can be created in two main ways, by using a 360 video camera or through a 3D engine and or WebVR editing tool. However, creating through a 360 camera requires sophisticated post production in order to stitch the video frames together to create an equirectangular, or spherical video. It is also very challenging to use 3D Engines like Unity or Unreal Engine due to the huge learning curve required in mastering this 3D engines and software applications.

The easiest and most effective way to create it that requires no programming/coding skills is through a WebVR editor such as the WebVR editor (https://www.webvrtool.com) developed by Flat Pyramid. This tool enables users to showcase their 3D models as a 360 video or a 360 web page.

With Flat Pyramid’s WebVR editor you can you can create WebVR experiences using the WebVR Editor and export it as a 360 Web page and/or generate a 360 video to share.

WebVR - 360 Videos and 360 Web Pages
WebVR technology lets you create 360 Videos and 360 Web Pages with ease. This is a one of the 3D Design Trends to look out for in 2019. Don’t sleep on it!

This is a major breakthrough because for the first time ever 2D & 3D artist, 3D modelers, graphic designers, Illustrators, as well as any creative person anywhere in the world can easily create 360 videos and 360 web pages to showcase their work.

This can be viewed on any regular 2D screen (laptop, mobile phone, etc) and immersively in VR using a virtual reality headset. Prior to this, the only way to showcase 3D models was by using rendered images or through a 3D model viewer.

As we head into 2019, exciting developments are taking place in the space of 3D design and modelling. Please stay in the flow on the hottest of these top 3D design trends.

Categories
Business Education Money & Finance Startups

Why are Tech Company’s Stocks Falling?

At first glance, it would appear as though tech stocks were rebounding after an unexpectedly tumultuous summer. While Nasdaq enjoyed its second consecutive week of growth and completed a 25% rise year-on-year, however, this is thought to be a large cap phenomenon that has left small cap ventures and Chinese Internet companies behind.

This means that while investors may be assuming that the recent recovery has a relatively broad base, the facts remain that the majority of tech stocks continue to trade in a relatively low and narrow range.

In this post, we’ll look back at a turbulent year for tech stocks and ask why they’ve fluctuated so significantly over the course of the last 12 months.

Tech Stocks: Why are Tech Company's Stocks Falling
Tech Stocks Crashing: Do you know why tech company’s stocks are falling and maintaining a downward curve in the stock market?

How Tech Stocks Tumbled During the Summer

While tech stocks were a little subdued during the first two quarters of 2018, it was in July that they began to free-fall.

At this time, the tech-heavy Nasdaq posted its biggest three-day loss in three months, while Oanda reported that both Facebook and Amazon missed analysts’ key targets for the second financial quarter. Social media giants Facebook also saw a staggering $120 billion wiped off its market value during this time, finishing 2.1 lower at the end of the month.

Fellow tech leaders Alphabet and even Amazon also saw significant losses in July, with their share values declining by 1.8% and 2% respectively.

The takeaway here is the unexpected decline of so-called FANG stocks, which include the world’s market-leading and highest performance tech companies. Facebook, in particular, was besieged by a disappointing second-quarter report and a significant decline in its rate of new subscribers, which appeared to be indicative of exhaustion and saturation at the highest end of the market.

What Trends are Now Governing the Market? 

While FANG stocks may have suffered the most pronounced losses during the summer and blazed a trail for smaller tech companies to follow, it’s interesting to note that these large-cap brands have enjoyed a far greater recovery at the start of the fourth financial quarter.

But why should large-cap stocks have rebounded while smaller-cap entities continue to struggle? The answer may lie in the market’s shift towards value stocks with a relative upside, which typically trades at a lower price relative to their fundamentals.

While this would typically not include large-cap stocks, the conditions of the market have forced the value of companies like Facebook down. Despite this, these companies retain long-term value and sustained growth potential, making them increasingly desirable to investors in search of a relative upside.

This has helped FANG stocks to recover considerably from their summer decline, while these entities can boast impressive growth over the course of 2018. In fact, Netflix is up by more than 77% despite its recent fluctuations, with Amazon showcasing a 54% year-to-date gain.

It should be hoped that this also aids the recovery of small-cap stocks in the market, leading to a bright and prosperous future in the near-term.

Categories
IoT (Internet of Things) Security

5 Greatest Advantages of Smart Home Automation Technology

The use of smart home automation technology is on the rise, as many individuals realize the numerous benefits that it can bring them. Smart home automation systems allow various parts of a home to be controlled remotely through any Internet-enabled device, such as a smartphone, tablet or computer.

Innovation in the Internet of Things (IoT) sector has resulted in the growing availability of various devices that can be installed in a home and controlled remotely. These include smart lighting, thermostats, security systems and more. Many new devices have become available in different categories, making smart home automation more affordable as well.

If you’re wondering whether you should equip your home with smart technology, here are some of the main advantages of doing so:

5 Ways Smart Home Automation Technology Can Increase Your Productivity

Smart Home Automation Technology
Warning! You’re losing money and reducing your level of productivity by not using smart home automation technology in your homes. They’d save you a whole lot of money and time in handling tasks. Imagine an app that controls your TV remote to an IFTTT applet that notifies you whenever it is about to rain and many more crazy automation stuffs.

1. Convenience

When owners of smart home automation devices are asked what they like most about them, the convenience factor is often mentioned first. This is because smart technology can simplify your life in ways you wouldn’t have dreamed of a decade ago.

Smart home systems give you the ability to control many elements of your home with your fingertips. They let you do things like turning on the lights in another room and adjust its temperature from your smartphone. There’s no need to get up and turn on the light switch or set the thermostat manually.

Many systems can also be programmed to work automatically to some degree. For example, you can program a smart lighting system to turn the lights on in specific parts of your house at a set time.

2. Security

There are many ways that smart technology can make your living environment more secure. Various systems exist that can be installed in your home and made to work together to ensure its security.

You can install smart locks that let you lock and unlock the door with your smartphone, even remotely. This can be particularly useful if you want to let someone in your home when you’re not there, such as a pet sitter or maintenance person, without requiring you to give them a copy of your keys.

Many other kinds of smart security devices are now on the market. Security camera systems paired with motion detectors can be installed both inside and outside your home. With them, you can remotely access the video feed from anywhere with an Internet connection and receive alerts if motion has been detected.

3. Accessibility

Smart home automation systems can be controlled in a variety of ways. The majority of them have dedicated apps for both Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, as well as a desktop PC app or web-based interface. You can thus control many appliances and systems in your home from any device connected to the Internet.

Another great advantage of smart home automation as far as accessibility is concerned is that most systems can be controlled from anywhere with an Internet connection, even if you’re not in or around your home. This is very practical if you want to check whether you’ve locked the front door before heading out or if you’ve forgotten to set the thermostat.

4. Energy Efficiency

Some home automation devices, such as smart lighting and thermostats are able to boost your home’s energy efficiency tremendously. This lowers the amount of energy wasted, which not only helps protect the environment, but also results in substantial cost savings that add up over the years.

Smart lighting systems are often mentioned when talking about energy efficiency, as they help reduce the amount of electricity used for lighting in various different ways. The latest smart lighting systems use LED light bulbs, which use only a fraction of the electricity that a standard incandescent bulb would use to deliver the same light output.

They can also be dimmed without requiring additional devices, which further saves power. Finally, they give you a convenient way of controlling your home’s overall lighting, so it becomes easy to see which lights are on and to turn them off from your smartphone when they’re not needed.

5. Resale

Finally, one important advantage of smart home automation that many people overlook at first is just how beneficial it can be when you decide to sell your home. Today’s new generation of home buyers is more likely to be interested in a home that features new technology that they can control with the smartphones they’ve become used to having everywhere with them.

By installing devices like smart thermostats, lighting and security systems, you can make your home more appealing to buyers and increase its market value. As a growing number of individuals in all age groups are starting to realize the benefits of having smart technology in their home, especially the potential energy savings they bring, having it already set up in your home can help you sell faster. According to the latest studies, close to 81 percent of individuals who now live in smart homes say that they’re interested in buying a home that has smart home automation systems already included if they move in the future.

Final Word on Smart Home Automation Technology

Smart home automation technology is now present in an ever growing number of homes all around the world. Devices that let you control your home’s main systems, such as lighting and climate control, from a smartphone or tablet have become more affordable and easier to use. They offer you a variety of big advantages, such as increased convenience, better security and a higher resale value for your property.

Categories
Blockchain Technology Disruption Money & Finance

Blockchain Revolution – Is Blockchain Technology Really Dangerous?

Vlad Zamfir who is one of the founders of Ethereum and its lead developer has recently published an article titled: “Blockchains Considered (Potentially) Harmful”.

I believe that the potential dangers of the blockchain, outlined in Vlad Zamfir’s article are exaggerated and contradictory.

I’ll try to provide a different point of view, different from the opinion of Vlad Zamfir.

Is blockchain technology really dangerous as the traditional and government backed media promotes it?

Blockchain technology is not dangerous but a blessing to our generation.
I think we are trying to get rid of all intermediaries, including the centralized government by introducing the blockchain technology. To me, Blockchain technology is not dangerous but a blessing to our generation.

Censorship resistance

Absolutely rightly mentioning the impossibility of censoring information in the Blockchain, Vlad somehow tries to divide the censorship into useful censorship and bad censorship:

On the other hand, censorship is actually important for preventing many forms of online abuse.

But this is exactly where the contradiction appears. There is no good and bad censorship. There is only one kind of censorship. Censorship is always imposed with the help of violence, using methods which individual authors cannot prevent or oppose. It does not matter who acts as a censor – a global corporation, for example, Facebook, or the government. In any case, censorship is the arbitrariness of the person who makes the final decision.

Let’s be frank, censorship cannot prevent any events, it can only hide or limit information. And any restriction of information is an intervention on freedom.

Assuming that censorship will prevent the spread of some information, we thereby deny people the freedom of reasoning, that is, we, a priori, believe that people do not have the ability to reason intelligently and be responsible for their actions. But at the same time, supporters of censors forget that the censor is also a person and will be guided by his own moral principles. Thus, defending any kind of censorship, we give some person the power to decide what is moral and what is not.

Next, the author provides an example with a photo:

For example, imagine if you were unable to un-tag yourself from an embarrassing photo that someone posted to Facebook without your consent.

But the censorship cannot remove from history that event – when the photo was taken, nor can it destroy the photo itself. If you follow this path to the end, then you should not just delete the file from the Facebook database, but also remove all participants of the event. And yet it will still remain in their memory.

And now for the:

The right to be forgotten, which allows people to stop their personal information from being searchable.

Who could ever come up with the idea that someone has such a right? Adoption of new privacy laws does not remove already happened events. We live among people. Any action of ours directly or indirectly affects others. Demanding the right to be forgotten, we essentially demand that everyone around us also forget, never speak or write about something they saw or heard. This is an interference into basic human rights – freedom of speech and thought.

Everyone should be responsible for his or her decisions and actions. If you want to stop the distribution of information about you – initially do not be the cause of such information. If you act and talk without preliminary reflections, accept the fact that the blockchain keeps everything.

Financial freedom

In this part of the article Vlad Zamfir tries to take care of the government:

On the other hand, the same financial freedom can pose critical threats to a government’s ability to enforce its policy goals. Goals like tax collection, enforcing capital controls, and preventing terrorism financing may be challenged by the possible success of blockchain technology.

Correct me if I am wrong but I was always thinking that introducing the blockchain technology we are trying to get rid of all intermediaries, including the centralized government. The author’s concern about how the state will collect taxes is amazing.

It is assumed that weaning some of the money from those who earned them (taxes) is simple for execution now. And when new technology that makes it difficult for the government to interfere in the lives of its citizens, including making it impossible to use force to collect taxes – poor little government begins to play the role of a victim.

Right now, does the government often consult with taxpayers, how exactly to spend our money?

Let’s look at this problem from the other side. In the event that the forcible tax collection will not be possible, the government will have to try very hard to raise the right amount for its needs, which means that it will have to publicly answer a lot of unpleasant questions from opponents. In case the goal seems worthy to the people, then the government will easily collect the necessary amount by the Crowd Funding method.

Using the blockchain technology to collect money by the government will make it impossible to endlessly inflate the bureaucratic apparatus. At the same time, it will make healthy completion possible, since there will always be a private company that will happily provide any service to people if this is backed up by appropriate financing. Intuition tells me that a private company will do any work cheaper and better than any government, particularly in countries with less developed democracies.

Prevention of the financing of terrorism

Has someone wondered how well this works now? Our life becomes more complicated for doing business, traveling, communication – because governments interfere in everyday life under the pretext of fighting terrorism. Did all those measures really hinder the terrorist attacks?

Blockchain Technology
There are lots of misconception about blockchain technology that would take ages to retrace. Many sees it as the next dot com bubble that would soon blast while others sees it as the next disruption that would would channel us into the next century. On the other hand, some other people sees it as a baby lacking motherly care, hence there’s need for censorship so the baby won’t go wayward. But the bottom line is, blockchain technology is here to stay and it might mean diverse things to many people as possible.

New kinds of organizations trailing blockchain technology

But this new technology may also enable organizations with nefarious goals. Cyber criminals who infect their victim’s computers with ransomware are able to accept ransom payments without fear of having their accounts shut down or their payments reverted, thanks to the blockchain.

I have a question: “How did the lack of the blockchain interfere with the existence of organized crime so far?”

A kitchen knife can be a tool for cooking, and can also become a murder tool. It depends not on the knife, but on the one who holds it in his hands and his purposes. The same can be said about any technology: nuclear energy, electricity, mobile communications, the Internet, social networks, drones.

Blockchain powered city of the future
An example of a blockchain powered city of the future where everything has to be transparently done and projected. From the local vegetable shop to other perishable goods stores, and from there to the city mall where you could buy virtually anything from clothes to house wares, to children toys, to bicycles and many others without carrying physical cash while everything is well documented on public ledger for accountability. That is the future where we are all connected, that’s where blockchain technology is heading.

Blockchain creates plenty of great opportunities for the world to be more secure. For example, the creation of private law enforcement structures, which will be financed directly by consumers. They will compete among themselves. They will not depend on borders and governments. Blockchain allows us to create an open organization, independent of the borders to search for missing people, stolen property, etc. Such organizations do not require licenses or permits from governments, they do not depend on the authorities. Their activities are regulated solely by consumers. The most uncomfortable questions

I have other questions related to the development of blockchain technologies:

Is there any future for banks? Now the bank is an intermediary who verifies the identity, guarantees transactions, carries out payments, issues loans. What will remain of the banks when the blockchain technology becomes ubiquitous? I do not see banks in the future world.

What will happen to national currencies? Already now, having several Bitcoins, I have no reasons to worry in almost any country in the world. I will always find a local who will gladly exchange Bitcoins for local currency. Already now crypto-currencies do not depend on the country, the central bank or the government. Lots of business accept Bitcoins already now. Sooner or later the question will arise: “Why do I need different currencies if I can buy goods and services without an exchange?”

And again, the most important question: “Do we really need a government?” Now the strength of the government lies in the security guarantees of execution of transactions. For this, in addition to the power component, governments monopolized various registries and databases. With the wide adoption of the blockchain, an unlimited number of DAOs will be able to deal with all those situations monopolized by the government at the moment, not only in terms of voting but also in terms of funding.

Categories
Blockchain Technology Disruption Money & Finance News Software

Confusion as bitcoin reaches crossroads on SegWit implementation

The bitcoin is the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency. It has been around for about 8 years now and has experienced extraordinary growth. The cryptocurrency has been largely successful due to the absence of a centralised system as all resources are shared out between members. But in recent weeks, the bitcoin community has been shaky. This is due to the possibility of the existence of a new hard fork and it has divided the camp along philosophical, political and economic lines.

The new bitcoin hard fork is a new proposition largely supported by a group of people in the industry; the bitcoin miners. They believe the network as well as the processing time needed for transactions is slow. Data in bitcoin transactions is processed in batches called Blocks. The miners want to increase the data cap on blocks from 1 MB to as much as 4MB. Essentially, they want to increase the size of a block to cut down waiting time therefore making the network faster and more reliable. Though a compromise (with regards to SegWit) was originally arrived at, the opposition camp (consisting of core developers) do not see the immediate need for the increase in the data cap blocks. The difference in ideology is threatening to split the bitcoin currency itself into two; Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.

What You need to know about Bitcoin Hard Fork and Confusion hanging around Segwit 2X

Bitcoin bubble - The main confusion behind the bitcoin hard fork and segwit upgrade
Bitcoin bubble – The main confusion behind the bitcoin hard fork and segwit upgrade EXPLAINED. And here are what we think you surely need to know about the pre-bitcoin hard fork and confusion hanging around it, and how to prepare for the post-bitcoin hard fork effect.

What is SegWit?

SegWit (Segregated Witness) is a proposed program meant to update the current bitcoin software. It was developed by the team at Bitcoin core which is responsible for a majority of the Bitcoin referrals. Originally drafted to tackle and fix the level of malleability of the bitcoin, further applications like linear scaling of sighash operations is a more recently explored application and is what is causing the rift in the bitcoin community now. The proposed update seeks to expand block size by removing the quadratic scaling of hashed signatures. It is set to be accepted only if it receives support from 95% of the community.

What seems to be the problem?

In overview, increasing the block size would seem like a step in the right direction as it increases the speed of transactions so what actually makes it such a hot button topic?

The problem behind the hold up to adoption of the update has been to how the update plans to do tackle the problem. The update is going to use sidechains to relieve the stress on the block chain, all transactions will now be moved to an external third party that now effectively acts like a centralised processing hub. Since one of the allure of the bitcoin is its decentralised nature where no one person governs or controls the process this poses a problem for many people in the business.

For some people the reason has been quite different. Voiced by the core developers, it raises concern that an increase in block size as well as SegWit overall implementation will increase the already growing divide between small miners and the big timers. They reason that the Bitcoin will lose its allure as the big timers with a reduced time and increased processing speeds will be able to mine coins at a much faster rate than the small time miner. This causes the exponential divide that already exists to increase therefore discouraging beginners from delving into mining technology.

What are the main camps in the argument?

The camps drawn are pretty clear and straight forward, On one side of this imaginary battle line we have the core developers, who are responsible for the development of the bitcoins powerful program and implemenation. They believe SegWit implementation is potentially dangerous for the cryptocurrency. On the other side we have the miners, who use their massive computers to check and verify transactions. They believe implementing SegWit will be the way to save bitcoin. These two opposing forces have brought the world of bitcoin to a standstill.

What happens to the bitcoin when the two currencies split?

It is hard to tell the effect the split will have on the value of bitcoin. The bitcoin is however expected to stay and remain strong since its value is based on demand and supply.

Coinbase update for customers asking if they are going to lose their Bitcoin cash
Coinbase released an update as a wake up call to customers asking if they are going to help them keep their Bitcoin cash in the case of eventual split in the Bitcoin network as a result of user-activated hard fork also known as Segwit 2.

Not only Coinbase, CEX.io also released an update regarding this developing. It is believed more bitcoin service providers are going to disclose their support for, or against, the Segwit 2x update as the event unfolds.

SEGWIT update
CEX.IO also releases Segwit update for customers to be aware of where they stand in the wake of the user-activated hard fork of the bitcoin software. The correction is said to have a huge impact on the bitcoin network.

What do the digital asset exchange companies say?

Many digital asset exchange companies like Xapo, Poloniex and Coin Base have outightly stated they would not support the new Hard fork. Others like Kraken and Bitfine have come our to support the hard fork. Their reasons for accepting or opposing have been wide and varied. However they have all stated the need to be cautious in dealing with the new cryptocurrency.

Are you at risk of losing your wallet and bitcoins?

Short and simple answer, Yes. There is always the risk the new split will rob some wallets of their contents. Many wallet vendors have already started protocols to keep their customer’s wallet and bitcoins safe. However, it is advisable for the user to create a back up of his or her account. This prevents permanent loss of bitcoins.

How do you back up your wallet?

There are a wide variety of tools and ways to back up your wallet, private key and protect your bitcoins. This depends on the wallet provider and the platform you use. The safest options are the paper wallet and hardware wallet backups. Want to know more? Be sure to check out our article here.

Conclusion?

Today the fate of the bitcoin is at stake. Will the bitcoin finally tank and lose its ever increasing value? Amidst the chaos, will the bitcoin cash be able to keep up with the bitcoin? Or is it all just white noise floating round the hype that is the bitcoin. One thing we know for sure is that nothing is concluded yet and the next coming weeks will be critical for the bitcoin and all cryptocurrencies.