Geek Trivia: The Largest Group Of Mammals, By Species, Is Composed Of?

Geek Trivia: The Largest Group Of Mammals, By Species, Is Composed Of?

Answer: Rodents

The mammal family tree is vast, but there are no creatures in the tree more numerous in both the number of species and the sheer number of individual creatures than the Rodentia order, which is comprised of all of Earth’s numerous rodents.

There you’ll find mice, rats, hamsters, gerbils, squirrels, beavers, chinchillas, capybaras, and prairie dogs, among other rodents, and the numerous variations of each. Rodents are naturally found on every continent except Antarctica and, barring there, New Zealand and a handful of islands.

All told, rodents comprise a little over 40 percent of the entire mammalian family tree and significantly outnumber their nearest prolific cousins, the bats and Soricomorpha (shrews and allies).

Image by Rasbak/Wikimedia.

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December 26, 2017 at 01:53PM

How to Buy and Sell the Digital Movie Codes that Come With Your Discs

How to Buy and Sell the Digital Movie Codes that Come With Your Discs

At the moment, we’re in a transition to an all-digital world of entertainment, and we’ll soon be able to more or less forget about DVDs, CDs, Blu-rays, and game cartridges. But while we sit in this transitory phase, movie studios are trying to get us to keep buying movies on disc by sweetening the pot with free codes for digital copies.

But what if you don’t want the code that comes free with your Blu-ray? Or alternately, what if you don’t give a toss about the Blu-ray but you want to save some cash on that $15-20 digital HD price? Luckily, the web is full of free markets that are taking advantage of these cracks in the digital economy.

Buying Codes From Online Marketplaces

If you want to buy digital movie codes, especially for the somewhat cumbersome UltraViolet standard, you’re spoiled for choice. Various websites keep a huge database of active, legal codes from movies, allowing you to buy them like any digital item and get the code delivered via email or a sign-in account. Here are a few of them:

You can also buy codes from ordinary user-to-user markets like eBay, or even Craigslist (if you like to live dangerously). Redbox recently started selling the Disney movie codes that come with the copies of movies they rent out, though for some reason you still need to go to the physical vending machines to actually get the code.

Once you’ve received the code for the movie in your email inbox or account page, you can redeem it whenever you like. UltraViolet codes can be used on VUDU or Fandango. iTunes-only codes are, well, iTunes only, but Disney Anywhere codes can be redeemed on iTunes, VUDU, Google Play, or Amazon. From there it’s just a matter of opening the corresponding app on your phone or set-top box and watching the movie.

Selling Your Own Codes

First of all, you should understand that selling the digital codes from your DVDs and Blu-rays isn’t going to be some avenue for extreme profit. You might pick up a few bucks here and there, but it won’t recoup the cost of the disc itself, and it’s honestly easier just to send the code to a friend or family member if you know you won’t be using it.

But if you’re set on selling that code, there are a few places to start. eBay is pretty good if you want to make sure you’re protected by PayPal or credit card payment systems: just make an auction or Buy It Now listing and wait. You’ll be competing on one of the biggest retail marketplaces in the world, mind you—if you actually want your code to sell you need to make it a dollar or two cheaper than the same movie is going for in other listings. Any other user-to-user market will work the same way.

There are also dedicated forums and social network groups for trading and selling UltraViolet, iTunes, and Disney Anywhere codes., which is a combined storefront and user forum (not officially affiliated with the Blu-ray standard), offers a specific section of the forum for trading the codes that come with Blu-ray movies. There’s a very active Google+ community dedicated to the same topic, with moderators apparently running a very tight ship. In both cases, PayPal seems to be the exchange of choice: post which movies you have and how much you’d like for them, wait for a private message via the forum or Hangouts, and send the code when you get the PayPal alert.

Of course, when you sell directly to people over the web, you run the risk of getting scammed, both for buying and selling. But since the prices for full movies are often less than a digital HD rental, and if you’re selling the code you weren’t planning on using anyway, the risk is minimal. Just remember never to offer your personal information, especially bank account numbers, credit card numbers, home addresses, and government identification.

Is This Legal?

The legal consensus on selling digital movie codes from Blu-ray and DVD packaging seems to be a resounding “eh.” The terms of service of the movies definitely indicate that the movie studios don’t want you to do this. “Not for sale or resale” is pretty clear-cut. In fact, Disney is currently suing Redbox to try to stop them from offering the digital movie sales mentioned above, and eBay’s policy seems to be inconsistent at best.

That being said, the doctrine of first sale (which is active in the United States, with similar laws and statutes in other countries) pretty clearly applies to the movie code, since it’s a separate item from the movie disc itself. So selling the code is probably legal, in the sense that it’s a thing that you own—just because it’s a bundled item from the Blu-ray or DVD doesn’t affect its value as a separate item. But thanks to the byzantine rules and laws surrounding copyright, it might be illegal to redeem the code for a streaming movie if you don’t have the disc that it was sold with. Movie industry lawyers would certainly make that argument, if indeed they found it worthwhile to prosecute this relatively small slice of a secondary market at all. That doesn’t seem very likely, at least in the short term—movie studios are more interested in finding and prosecuting pirates than people who go out of their way to “buy” a movie, even in such a circuitous manner.

But yes, redeeming a movie code you obtained without actually buying the movie disc probably violates the terms of service, and technically either the studio or the service you redeemed the code on (VUDU, iTunes, Google Play) could revoke your ownership or suspend your account if they find out. Since there’s no way for the studios or the service to know who bought the movie at a retailer and who redeemed the code, however, the practical danger of this is pretty low.

Special thanks to Professor Derek Bambauer of the University of Arizona for guidance on the final section of this article. Prof. Bambauer founded the James E. Rogers College of Law’s Intellectual Property Clinic, which offers free legal assistance to entrepreneurs and start-ups. 

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December 26, 2017 at 01:53PM

Unit Testing: Time-Consuming but Product-Saving

Unit Testing: Time-Consuming but Product-Saving

“Today i finally recognized that unit tests are a critical part of my programming flow” — Ashley Williams, Twitter.

Long-time Node.js advocate Ashley Williams kicked off her recent Twitter thread in the same sort of stream of consciousness that many devs go through when they are coming to terms with the truth: Unit testing is annoying but necessary.

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December 26, 2017 at 01:11PM

A Visit From Saint Rich

A Visit From Saint Rich

With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, Richard Stallman, and the English-speaking world in general — ed.

‘Twas the night before Christmas
While up in my bed,
I stared at the ceiling
With feelings of dread.

I’d really no reason for portents of doom
Lying there, sleepless, in gathering gloom.
We’d wrapped all the presents, and decked out the tree,
But still, there was something niggling at me.

Then a stab of fear struck me, right through like a knife.
“Holy crap!” I exclaimed. “I FORGOT MY WIFE!”
Yes, somehow through all of the retail hell,
I’d forgotten to get my dear wife something swell.

To my shop, I retreated with blistering speed —
I’d only mere hours to fix my misdeed.
I warmed up the RepRep, went quickly online,
For I needed to find a nice bauble design.

Now I know what you’re thinking –“Is he really so crass?
To print his wife’s present? That just shows no class!”
Why yes, I agree, it’s incredibly lame.
But I’d really no choice when so late in the game.

While the printer head scanned to and fro cross the bed,
The smell of hot plastic wrapped ’round my head.
I started to nod off, lulled by the whine,
Of steppers and servos coming online.

When from the screen of the laptop I spied a strange sight,
A bash session started — it gave me a fright!
I watched commands keyed in with terrible speed.
I’d been hacked, it was clear from what I could see.

A new window opened, and showed a strange face.
All grizzled and gray, he seemed out of place.
It took me a second to figure it out,
But I knew who it was and I let out a shout.
“Richard Stallman?” I said, “What is this all about?”

“Never mind,” he intoned, “What you’ve got going on,
Is going to be trouble when night turns to dawn.
You’re printing some useless damn thing for your wife.
What’s wrong with you boy? Don’t you value your life?”

My head hung in shame, his words rang so true.
But really, at 2 AM, what can one do?
“Oh tell me, Saint Rich, the great open source guru.
If you were in my shoes, just what would you do?”

“Why just look around you! Check out your scrap bin.
Just think open source, there’s no way you can’t win!
An Arduino perhaps — you could build a quick clock.
Just nothing with Nixies or that sort of schlock.”

My eyes darted ’round, and what did I spy?
Unused and unloved — a Raspberry Pi!
A USB webcam, too — what a treat!
Surely with this stuff, I’d build something neat.

A family picture from just down the hall,
Would no longer hang in its spot on the wall.
I needed its frame for the build I had going.
My plan, it was working — I was practically glowing!

An LCD monitor gave up its screen,
When put in the frame it would look pretty keen.
With some open source code, it couldn’t be clearer,
That I’d soon be building a nice Magic Mirror!

I soldered and coded and tested past three,
While Rich, in his window, watched over me.
We hacked and we tweaked until finally done,
Just in time for the rise of the cold winter sun.

I desperately wanted to take a short nap,
But thanks to old Rich, I’d one present to wrap.
I waved and I smiled at his face on the screen,
But with camera taped over, I couldn’t be seen.

He smiled a sly grin, gave a nod of his head,
Typed a few short commands, and he headed to bed.
But I heard him exclaim as he faded from view,
“Remember, the NSA’s still watching you!”

And thank you, dear reader, for giving a crack,
To this little poem — we know, “Not a hack!”
And lest that you think now that this silly verse
Is surely a sign that we’ve turned for the worse…
Just wait a few months — until April the first.

Security News

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December 26, 2017 at 01:01PM

Blackburn Defends Paid Fast Lanes

Blackburn Defends Paid Fast Lanes

A Republican lawmaker who recently
introduced a bill that restores some — but not all — of the net neutrality rules is defending her proposal.

The “Open Internet Preservation Act,” introduced last week by Rep. Marsha
Blackburn (R-Tennessee), would prohibit broadband providers from blocking or throttling, but would also allow providers to charge higher fees for faster delivery of content. The 2015 net neutrality
rules prohibited service providers from blocking, throttling or creating paid fast lanes. The Federal Communications Commission voted two weeks ago to repeal those rules.

Net neutrality
proponents, including lawmakers like Sen. Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) and advocacy groups like Free Press, have criticized Blackburn’s bill for failing to ban paid fast lanes. Free Press Action Fund
President and CEO Craig Aaron stated last week that Blackburn’s proposal measure “opens the door to rampant abuse through paid-prioritization schemes that would split the internet into fast lanes
for the richest companies and slow lanes for everyone else.”

Blackburn counters that she had good reasons to omit a prohibition on paid prioritization from her proposal.

“As we discuss
the open internet, we’re hearing people talk about prioritization,” the lawmaker says in a video she posted to Twitter.
“This is something you’re not going to see in the open internet bill, because we need to leave that part for discussion.”

She adds: “Right now, there are components of the online ecosystem
that do have prioritization, just as there is in regular life. TSA precheck, the HOV line, overnight mail, you name it, Amazon Prime.”

But net neutrality advocates say that rules against paid
prioritization are necessary to preserve openness online. FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, who voted to preserve the 2015 rules, warned of a host of scenarios that could occur without the ban on paid
fast lanes.

“Maybe several providers will quietly roll out paid prioritization packages that enable deep-pocketed players to cut the queue,” she said in her dissenting statement. “Maybe a vertically-integrated broadband provider decides that it will
favor its own apps and services. Or some high-value internet-of-things traffic will be subject to an additional fee.”

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December 26, 2017 at 12:57PM

Is Internet of Things Inc (INOTF) Ready for a Breakout?

Is Internet of Things Inc (INOTF) Ready for a Breakout?

Is Internet of Things Inc (INOTF) Ready for a Breakout?

Investors may be looking at some different technical levels in order to get a better grasp on the markets. Presently, the 14-day ADX for Internet of Things Inc (INOTF) is 20.66. In general, an ADX value from 0-25 would signal an absent or weak trend. A level of 25-50 would indicate a strong trend. A value of 50-75 would indicate a very strong trend, and a value of 75-100 would indicate an extremely strong trend. The Average Directional Index or ADX is a technical analysis indicator used to describe if a market is trending or not trending. The ADX alone measures trend strength but not direction. Using the ADX with the Plus Directional Indicator (+DI) and Minus Directional Indicator (-DI) may help determine the direction of the trend as well as the overall momentum. Many traders will use the ADX alongside other indicators in order to help spot proper trading entry/exit points.

Internet of Things Inc (INOTF) presently has a 14-day Commodity Channel Index (CCI) of 44.95. Typically, the CCI oscillates above and below a zero line. Normal oscillations tend to stay in the range of -100 to +100. A CCI reading of +100 may represent overbought conditions, while readings near -100 may indicate oversold territory. Although the CCI indicator was developed for commodities, it has become a popular tool for equity evaluation as well. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) is a momentum oscillator that measures the speed and change of stock price movements. The RSI was developed by J. Welles Wilder, and it oscillates between 0 and 100. Generally, the RSI is considered to be oversold when it falls below 30 and overbought when it heads above 70. RSI can be used to detect general trends as well as finding divergences and failure swings. The 14-day RSI is currently at 58.83, the 7-day stands at 59.54, and the 3-day is sitting at 61.29.

Taking a peek at some Moving Averages, the 200-day is at 0.07, and the 50-day is 0.08. Dedicated investors may be looking to employ another tool for doing technical stock analysis. The Williams Percent Range or Williams %R is a technical indicator that was designed to measure overbought and oversold market conditions. The Williams %R indicator helps show the relative situation of the current price close to the period being observed. Internet of Things Inc (INOTF)’s Williams Percent Range or 14 day Williams %R presently is at -41.67. In general, if the reading goes above -20, the stock may be considered to be overbought. Alternately, if the indicator goes under -80, this may show the stock as being oversold.

Investors may be searching for stocks that are undervalued. Scanning the markets during obvious pullbacks may be one strategy, but it may take a more concerted effort to identify these names if the market decides to climb further. Getting caught up in the details from news and various economic reports may leave the average investor dizzy and confused. Focusing on the most important data sets may be helpful when trying to muffle all the noise. Heading into the next quarter, investors will be watching which companies are experiencing positive earnings momentum. Often times, earnings that vastly beat expectations may cause the stock to skyrocket. Filling the portfolio with stocks experiencing positive earnings momentum may be a popular choice. Investors may want to look a little bit deeper into the situation to make sure that the momentum is justified. Some investors may already be adept at figuring this out while others may need to put in a bit more work.

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December 26, 2017 at 12:41PM

Watching the Tape Move 14.16% for Internet of Things Inc (INOTF)

Watching the Tape Move 14.16% for Internet of Things Inc (INOTF)

Shares of Internet of Things Inc (INOTF) have seen the needle move 14.16% or 0.013 in the most recent session. The OTC listed company saw a recent bid of $0.1008 on 129429 volume. 

Active traders are typically striving to spot winning entry and exit points for trades. Following technical indicators may help traders gain some insight on how best to do this. There are plenty of indicators that have helped traders make winning trades. Because there are so many to choose from, beginning traders may want to start by focusing on a few different combinations to start with. Professional chartists may have ultra complex charts set up to spot perfect trade entries. Others may use one or two simple indicators to aide with setting up the trade. Keeping track of all the data may be a challenge at first, but there are many platforms out there that have made the process much simpler than ever before. Setting up a winning strategy may take some time and perseverance, but taking the time to acquire the proper knowledge may mean the difference between winning and losing trades in the future.

Internet of Things Inc (INOTF) has a 14-day ATR of 0.01. The Average True Range is an investor tool used to measure stock volatility. The ATR is not used to figure out price direction, just to measure volatility. The ATR is an indicator developed by J. Welles Wilder. Wilder has developed multiple indicators that are still quite popular in today’s investing landscape. The general interpretation of the ATR is the higher the ATR value, the higher the volatility.

Currently, the 14-day ADX for Internet of Things Inc (INOTF) is sitting at 20.66. Generally speaking, an ADX value from 0-25 would indicate an absent or weak trend. A value of 25-50 would support a strong trend. A value of 50-75 would identify a very strong trend, and a value of 75-100 would lead to an extremely strong trend. ADX is used to gauge trend strength but not trend direction. Traders often add the Plus Directional Indicator (+DI) and Minus Directional Indicator (-DI) to identify the direction of a trend.

The RSI, or Relative Strength Index, is a widely used technical momentum indicator that compares price movement over time. The RSI was created by J. Welles Wilder who was striving to measure whether or not a stock was overbought or oversold. The RSI may be useful for spotting abnormal price activity and volatility. The RSI oscillates on a scale from 0 to 100. The normal reading of a stock will fall in the range of 30 to 70. A reading over 70 would indicate that the stock is overbought, and possibly overvalued. A reading under 30 may indicate that the stock is oversold, and possibly undervalued. After a recent check, the 14-day RSIfor Internet of Things Inc (INOTF) is currently at 58.83, the 7-day stands at 59.54, and the 3-day is sitting at 61.29.

Looking further at additional technical indicators we can see that the 14-day Commodity Channel Index (CCI) for Internet of Things Inc (INOTF) is sitting at 44.95. CCI is an indicator used in technical analysis that was designed by Donald Lambert. Although it was originally intended for commodity traders to help identify the start and finish of market trends, it is frequently used to analyze stocks as well. A CCI reading closer to +100 may indicate more buying (possibly overbought) and a reading closer to -100 may indicate more selling (possibly oversold).

Moving averages can help spot trends and price reversals. They may also be used to help find support or resistance levels. Moving averages are considered to be lagging indicators meaning that they confirm trends. A certain stock may be considered to be on an uptrend if trading above a moving average and the average is sloping upward. On the other side, a stock may be considered to be in a downtrend if trading below the moving average and sloping downward. Shares of Internet of Things Inc (INOTF) have a 7-day moving average of 0.10. Taking a glance at the relative strength indictor, we note that the 14-day RSI is currently at 58.83, the 7-day stands at 59.54, and the 3-day is sitting at 61.29.

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December 26, 2017 at 12:41PM

Blockchain technology to equip scientists and drug developers

Blockchain technology to equip scientists and drug developers

In addition to being able to develop blockchain applications with zero-code, scientists can develop simulations to run on the global network of computers. With this,

Crowd Machine’s ability

to use blockchain can ensure data integrity, security, and privacy.

The platform additionally provides an internal economic incentive to source computational resources so that computations can be done with predictable and reliable performance. These attributes make it possible

for decentralized application adoption

in computational drug design.

To understand more about the platform, Digital Journal spoke with

Dr. Matthew Lee, from Caywon


Digital Journal: What are the main challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry?

Dr. Matthew Lee:

One of the biggest challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry right now is counterfeit drugs. Criminals organisations are able to manufacture and sell drugs via the internet to unsuspecting buyers. In fact, it is estimated that up to 30% of drugs in circulation could be counterfeit.

This is a big problem that can’t be solved with a silver bullet. However, there’s no doubt that advances in technology can help regulators and consumers to filter the legal manufacturers from the illegal ones. Blockchain has a huge part to play in this process.

DJ: How prevalent are counterfeit drugs?


It’s estimated that up to 30% of drugs in circulation right now could be counterfeit with emerging markets most seriously affected. The counterfeit drugs market is one of the biggest in the world, with sales estimated to range from €150 billion to €200 billion per year.

The effect of these counterfeit drugs is enormous too. According to the World Health Organization, 1 million people die from taking counterfeit drugs every year, while 450,000 preventable malaria deaths are the result of counterfeit drugs.

DJ: How can blockchain technology help with these challenges?


Blockchain, which is distributed ledger technology, provides a highly secure record of ownership and transactions for any asset that you choose to digitize. Not only that, this record is immutable and virtually impossible to tamper with because of the cryptographic consensus that is used to keep it up to date.

For the problem of counterfeit drugs, blockchain could be a game changer for the pharmaceutical industry. By recording the source of manufactured drugs, as well as the different parties involved in their development and production, regulators and buyers can quickly trace the source of a drug and sort the authentic ones from the counterfeits.

It’s true to say that secure Internet of Things technology, which ensures data being used is true and hasn’t been tampered with at the point of record, is an important component too and these two advances could work to completely eradicate counterfeiting.

DJ: Can it also assist with data integrity, given that this is a hot topic with regulators?


Absolutely. Data integrity is exactly what the blockchain is all about. As mentioned, it is important that it is used in tandem with the right sort of Internet of Things technology so the data is correct at point of record. When recorded on the blockchain though, this becomes an immutable record of source, ownership and transaction.

Not only that, it’s totally transparent and available to view for anyone that is involved in the network. This is important because, as regulatory standards change in some major parts of the world, it provides individuals, not just regulators with the information to make decisions about the origins of their drugs.

DJ: How can Caywon Pharmaceuticals Group assist pharmaceutical companies?


Caywon is a new kind of pharmaceutical company, focused on the product definition stage of the process, that takes advantage of the new Drug Marketing Authorization Holder System that has come into force in China. Essentially, we are a virtual drug company.

We are a research and development outfit that develops drugs and partners with manufacturing companies to go forward and develop the drugs together. That makes it a lot more flexible because we can develop any kind of drug as long as we can find a manufacturing partner.

DJ: Why did you select CrowdMachine as your platform?


Firstly, the no-code development environment that’s available in Crowd Machine will remove the language barrier between our pharma experts and our IT experts. Most domain experts simply did not have information technology as part of their training, so translating their workflow into digital implementation had been challenging at best. When we looked at Crowd Machine’s App Studio, we knew it was going to be a game changer for us. Not only can we build the digital workflow we always wanted, we also have the opportunity to share domain know-how in executable format.

By that I mean when one of our experts develops an App on Crowd Machine, whether it is a calculation for a chemical characteristics or a purchase order automation app, that know-how can be shared with the entire community easily through the AppShare repository. This will significantly improve efficiency throughout the entire industry which is a positive benefit for everyone.

Beyond management workflow, the ability of Crowd Machine to simplify dApp creation will also be a big selling point. Today’s drug developers are increasingly becoming small boutique shops focusing on specialty drugs. With Crowd Machine, we see that it is now possible to quickly develop simulations to run on the global network of computers. Crowd Machine’s ability to use blockchain will be able to ensure data integrity, security and privacy. It will also provide an internal economic incentive to source computational resources so that computations can be done with predictable and reliable performance. These attributes make it possible for dApp adoption in computational drug design.

An employee works at the new state-of the-art DNA laboratory of the International Commission on Miss...

An employee works at the new state-of the-art DNA laboratory of the International Commission on Missing Persons, in The Hague, on October 24, 2017

Sander Koning, ANP/AFP

DJ: Is blockchain technology readily accepted by pharmaceutical companies?


We’re not alone in terms of being a pharmaceuticals company with domain experts that don’t have coding knowledge. When you consider that blockchain development is still a relatively niche skill within technical circles, I’d be very surprised to hear that many companies are readily accepting blockchain. However, more and more are becoming interested in blockchain’s application in pharma supply chain security.

One of the reasons for this is that, in 2013, the President signed into law the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA). This “track and trace” requirement is not just for the U.S. but many major markets all have this requirement. Despite the legal mandate, we are still in the early exploratory stage and the entire industry is still not sure how to implement the technology stack to fully comply with the regulation.

When we consider Caywon’s highly distributed development partnering model, it becomes clear that complying with the “track and trace” requirement is going to be a lot more complicated than many had initially thought. Although blockchain provides a potential solution, it is not clear at this point what is the best implementation. Crowd Machine’s blockchain agnostic approach offers a future-proof technology stack for pharma today to begin experimenting and iterating blockchain solutions.

DJ: Which companies do you work with?


We currently have working relationships with a number of top 50 drug manufacturers in China, although we are not at liberty to disclose their identities at this time due to confidentiality restrictions. In the U.S., we have partnered up with Crowd Machine and Sutton Stone Venture Builders who are experts in blockchain technology solution architecturing. Our U.S. subsidiary Lyon Stone was born as a result of the partnership to develop Crowd Machine Apps for blockchain-based healthcare security solutions.

DJ: What other projects are you working on?


We are always looking for partnership opportunities to bring game-changing innovations to the market that have the potential to drastically improve human health and quality of care. As one example, we are currently investigating a very promising drug candidate for treating myopia in adolescents. If approved, this will be the first-ever approved medication for treating nearsightedness.

We are also in discussion with Medical Wisdom Group and its team of Harvard-trained pharmacoepidemiologist to devise a new way of obtaining and analyzing “crowd sourced” clinical trial data needed to validate this drug. We believe that Crowd Machine will be instrumental in helping us to put together the crowd data sourcing infrastructure we need to obtain verifiable data from wearable-sensors.

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December 26, 2017 at 12:26PM

A VC Perspective – Staying Ahead of Digital Curve

A VC Perspective – Staying Ahead of Digital Curve

Digitalization has been changing the society and our economies for the last twenty years and this evolution is gaining speed with the transformative powers of Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Internet of Things, Mobile and Blockchain technologies that are on course for a fourth industrial revolution.

In simple words, Digital Transformation is the change associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society which is overwhelmingly good for improving the living standards, life expectancy and quality of life. Nevertheless, it can also disrupt the labor markets.

With the occurrence of the first transformative stage, the impact of digital usages inherently enabled new types of innovation and creativity apart from simply enhancing and supporting the traditional methods alone.

It has had a profound impact on businesses and organizational activities, processes, competencies, and models leveraging the changes & opportunities of the digital technology and is accelerating impact across society in a strategic manner.

Quite a buzzword, the reality is, digital transformation is already impacting our professional and personal lives.

We buy, we work, we store information and we communicate with others through several digital platforms, welcoming the changes to be more digital as each day passes.

Since change is the only constant, digital transformation has become imperative for all businesses whether they are small, medium and large, helping us to serve our customers and employees with new innovative business applications.

According to a report presented at the Global Economic Symposium, there were several internal and external drivers to trigger this transformation, such as the growing popularity of Social Media and Big Data, which constantly helped in the technological progress driving transformation externally.

Many leaders and enterprise IT teams have started working together to meet the business requirements to drive innovation and march towards a continuous improvement, accelerating business activities, lowering cost, improving time and bringing a positive change in processes, people and competency models.

Let me share my view on how every level of the education system, from K-12 schools to higher ed has been affected by the transforming digital technologies.

With the increased connectivity, speed and cloud-based storage capabilities, schools and colleges have enhanced communication network making way for improved knowledge sharing, managed through online learning and knowledge management systems, providing students with digitalized learning materials.

Some universities are also experimenting with virtual learning spaces and have been providing free courses and learning material online. Gone are the days when certain courses were available only in few institutions or were designed with a rigid one-size-fits-all instruction.

The biggest trend to have impacted the digital transformation was when technology moved to the “Cloud” democratizing access to computing power, thereby providing everyone the access to information, storage and processing capability.

Looking ahead however, the six technology trends, such as Internet of Things (IoT), Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality, Robotics, Blockchain Technology, Artificial Intelligence and 3D Printing, will affect the next shift in how we improve customer experiences, improve what we do in the workplace, transform products and leverage machines at scale to augment humanity.

The Bottom Line Is

Digital transformation is not just about the new technology, but rather about the change in thoughts and organization’s culture, addressing the change in official scenarios and dynamic business demands.

When businesses shift from their traditional mode of operation and management to the modern technology, it gets in sync with the digital aspect of business transformation.

Be it retail, health, travel or education, there is no sphere of our lives that has not been touched by the digital revolution, which is rapidly evolving and transforming the way knowledge is imparted and absorbed.

Digital transformation has made everything faster, easier and more accurate, with a willingness to adopt and adapt a more efficient and productive way to help the humanity at large. Can’t wait to see what this holds for us in the coming years.

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December 26, 2017 at 12:26PM

5G Technology Is About to Revolutionize Smart City Deployments

5G Technology Is About to Revolutionize Smart City Deployments

The world becomes more interconnected every day, and the next advancement in wireless broadband is on the verge of accelerating that trend. New 5G wireless delivers high-speed, low-latency features to support the sensors that power many smart city technologies.

Verizon’s plan to test the technology in 11 American municipalities could have a significant impact on how cities do business, says Samir Saini, CIO for Atlanta. “I don’t think people realize what a leap 5G is from 4G,” he says. “5G is effectively the speed you get from a direct fiber connection.”

While Verizon hasn’t yet turned on the 5G tap locally, Saini sees the new technology as a gateway to a range of benefits. Among other advantages, 5G’s high speeds and low latency could enable large numbers of public safety cameras streaming in high definition, he says.

Verizon Embarks on Large-Scale 5G Test

The Verizon 5G Technology Forum formed in late 2015 in cooperation with Cisco Systems, Ericsson, Intel, LG, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung. The company believes the 5G project is the widest test to date of the emerging technology, with trials in Atlanta; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Bernardsville, N.J.; Brockton, Mass.; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Miami; Sacramento, Calif.; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.

While 5G is not expected to replace 4G, it does offer the opportunity for a range of uses, including smart city applications that employ the Internet of Things, says Chris McCann, spokesperson for Verizon. Service has already started in eight of the municipalities, he adds. Details on which cities are now live and when a more widespread commercial deployment may occur likely will be released in late 2018.

In addition to boosting public safety, 5G could provide the infrastructure for the rollout of driverless vehicles on a wide scale, Saini says. The technology will allow cars to communicate with each other and with traffic control systems. “I think it’s a major stepping-stone to making vehicles fully autonomous,” he says.

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Providers Make Widespread 5G Adoption Possible

Other providers are making moves to implement their own 5G initiatives. T-Mobile US will roll out its 5G network across the country by 2020, Reuters has reported. AT&T announced plans to deploy advanced LTE features that will provide faster speeds in selected markets, and predicts that it will deliver standards-based 5G mobile networks as soon as late 2018, the company said in a press release.

“I know Verizon has applied for quite a few permits, but so have a lot of others,” says William Finch, CIO for the city of Dallas. Atlanta finds itself in a similar situation. “We’re talking with everyone,” Saini says, “and everyone is talking with us.”

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via IoT – Google News

December 26, 2017 at 12:11PM