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Month: January 2019

28 Jan 2019


If you look for the definition of Economy you would get the state of the country in terms of the production of goods or services.

This article isn’t about the economy of a country or the technology effects on the economy. It’s about the Technology Economy. A term which may be new to you. Don’t worry, Let us Explain.

It is stated that the Technology Economy is the 3rd Largest Economy in the world after China and the United States of America.

This term is derived from the fact that some companies choose to cut back technology to cut losses to increase profit, however, the research found that companies end up with exactly opposite due to missing out on important technological advancements.

Technology Advancements

Technology advancements include improved cybersecurity, the blockchain, better devices for the workplace and internet of things.

Not investing in cybersecurity may lead to cyber threats or worse, attacks. The investment must be continuous to continue to improve security and limit the damage. As cyber damage may end in court to data theft of employees or clients which would lead to more costs.

Seeking to improve and invest the current devices or electronics for the workplace can make the job easier for the employees and a better service or product to the clients which can only bring prosperity and more profit.

Internet of things is the network of command between all the devices in the world. The network of a workplace is also a part of the Internet of Things.

A company must look to keep investing in the internet of things so the communication stays clear and there aren’t maintenance issues that may delay the production of the product or service.

Many companies are moving on to be part of the blockchain craze currently going on. Companies, rightly so, believe that the way forward is the blockchain due to its numerous of benefits it offers such as transparency, security, and efficiency.

It’s a change that companies must embrace. It’s another technological advancement that is getting part of this Technology Economy with devices already being implemented with the blockchain operating system.

On another note, Technology Advancements are also breaking through the health sector with the growing industry of medical cannabis, where doctors and scientists are finding the technology available to keep improving the medicines. During the World Cannabis Forum 2018, speakers will be speaking about the benefits that technology can bring to the industry.

Source: https://bitemycoin.com/opinion/the-technology-economy/


27 Jan 2019
How you can use your intuition to create miracles in life

How you can use your intuition to create miracles in life

Human beings are the most evolved creatures. Our intuition should be better than other animals. What has happened to us?

We, the so called 21st century human beings, try to predict things based on small amount of data. Even if there are a million entries in your ‘excel sheets’, it is negligible in comparison to the enormous data we have been storing in our mind through millions of years of the process of evolution.

The functionality of our mind that computes this enormous data is called intuition. It’s like a software, an app that computes thousands of years of data.

Why is your intuition app not working?

When your smartphone starts hanging, the technician tells you that there is not enough RAM in your phone. For instance, if you have 1 GB RAM in your phone and you are running 100 apps in it, your phone will start hanging. Your apps will not work smoothly.

You need to delete or disable some of the apps and free your RAM.

Equivalent of RAM in your mind is Perception.

If you want your intuition app to work, you need to free up your perception. How? By disabling some other apps in your mind that are consuming your perception. You will be surprised to know that you are running thousands of apps in your mind all the time.

Lets look at them.

There is an app in your mind that tells you who is your family and who is not. This app has all the data related to your interactions with your family.

There is an app in your mind that tells you which is your country and which is not. At the mention of your country’s name, this app pulls out all the related data.

There is an app which shapes your opinions about people, there is an app which holds your likes and dislikes with things, there is an app which defines your fears, there is an app which holds your prejudices, and so on.

In short, all these hundreds of apps collectively make you who you are. These apps are so integrated with you that you can’t imagine yourself without any of them. They seem to be in-built apps. They keep running in the background all the time and consume all your perception.

You know that in-built apps in your phone can’t be deleted but they can be disabled.

Similarly, in-built apps of your mind can’t be deleted. If you delete them, you lose your identity, you become ‘Shunya’ or nothingness.

But the inbuilt apps can be disabled temporarily to free the perception.

Once in a while, even animals disable all their apps to let their intuition app function which can predict big dangers like earthquake and Tsunamis.

But we human beings keep thousands of apps running all the time. So, our intuition app fails to run.

If you can disable these thousands of app even for a few seconds everyday, your intuition app will be able to run and guide you in your life.

Your intuition ‘app’ is very powerful if you can get it running. You can use it to solve problems in life, to detect flaws in your plans before they become failures, to recognize and seize opportunities, to meet right people who can make your life better, to predict questions before they come in exam or interview, to better your relationships, to influence people, to orient your body energies towards health and happiness, and so on.

Read more: http://www.mindpowernews.com/CreateMiracles.html

26 Jan 2019
Regulators snub SA cryptocurrency developers

Regulators snub SA cryptocurrency developers

Regulators have quietly barred cryptocurrency developers from having access to a tax incentive aimed at spurring innovation in SA. It is likely to hinder the country’s chances of being at the forefront of the fledgling digital money market.

But some say SA has far bigger things to worry about: Africa’s most advanced economy appears uninterested in experimenting with blockchain, the technology that powers cryptocurrencies and is slated to have a bright future in almost every industry.

Partly thanks to bitcoin’s torrid year in 2018 (prices slumped 72%), blockchain is starting to seize the limelight from the broader crypto market. In SA, that trend could be accelerated because authorities have sent the signal that they want no part in stimulating cryptocurrency innovation.

Digital currencies have been categorised as “financial instruments” in the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill, which means start-ups, incubators and other companies that develop cryptocurrencies in SA can no longer claim a large income tax incentive, says Rob Hare, senior associate at law firm Bowmans.

In that sense, SA could be shooting itself in the foot. It scuppered its chances of becoming a leading cryptocurrency innovator, a status that would help it attract sought-after technical skills and boost its endeavours to become a fintech hub for Africa. For that reason, Hare says it’s surprising that crypto developers have been snubbed by SA authorities, who have also offered no reasons for the move. “The supposedly small change of categorising cryptocurrency as a financial instrument is an unnecessary step in the wrong direction,” he says.

Incidentally, SA has produced one of the best-known cryptocurrency developers in the world. Riccardo Spagni, who lives in Plettenberg Bay, is the lead developer of the Monero cryptocurrency — the 14th biggest by market capitalisation.

But Monica Singer, the former Strate CEO who’s now ambassador for New York-based blockchain firm ConsenSys, believes SA’s regulators are being prudent — and rightly so. She says the National Treasury and the Reserve Bank are trying to ensure that SA is not seen as a tax haven for cryptocurrency developers, particularly in light of a spate of crypto-scams.

“Imagine how crazy it’d be to give a tax incentive for a scam; that would be a disaster,” says Singer.

On the other hand, she says blockchain — the decentralised public ledger system that records transactions and is largely tamper-proof — is an “ideal” technology for such concessions from the government. “The world is moving towards blockchain development in every industry,” she says.

Read more: https://www.businesslive.co.za/fm/fm-fox/digital/2019-01-25-regulators-snub-sa-cryptocurrency-developers/

24 Jan 2019
A memory pill? Cognitive neuroscience’s contributions to the study of memory

A memory pill? Cognitive neuroscience’s contributions to the study of memory

Hebbian Learning

In 1949, Canadian psychologist Donald Hebb proposed the theory of Hebbian learning to explain how a learning task is transformed into a long-term memory. In this way, healthy habits become automatically retained after their continual repetition.

Learning and memory are a consequence of how our brain cells (neurons) communicate with each other. When we learn, neurons communicate through molecular transmissions which hop across synapses producing a memory circuit. Known as long-term potentiation(LTP), the more often a learning task is repeated, the more often transmission continues and the stronger a memory circuit becomes. It is this unique ability of neurons to create and strengthen synaptic connections by repeated activation that leads to Hebbian learning.

Memory and the hippocampus

Understanding the brain requires investigation through different approaches and from a variety of specialities. The field of cognitive neuroscience initially developed through a small number of pioneers. Their experimental designs and observations led to the foundation for how we understand learning and memory today.

Donald Hebb’s contributions at McGill University remain the driving force to explain memory. Under his supervision, neuropsychologist Brenda Milner studied a patient with impaired memory following a lobectomy. Further studies with neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield enabled Milner to expand her study of memory and learning in patients following brain surgery.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/a-memory-pill-cognitive-neurosciences-contributions-to-the-study-of-memory-109707

23 Jan 2019
Artificial Intelligence: Separating the Hype from Reality

Artificial Intelligence: Separating the Hype from Reality

Like bees to honey, tech trends generate hype. Merely appending the word “dotcom” to a company’s name drove up stock prices in the Internet’s salad days. Cloud computing, big data, and cryptocurrencies each have taken their turn in the hype cycle in recent years. Every trend brings genuinely promising technological developments, befuddling buzzwords, enthusiastic investors, and reassuring consultants offering enlightenment—for a fee, naturally.
Now the catchall phrase of artificial intelligence is shaping up as the defining technological trend of the moment. And yet, because the claims of what it will achieve are so grand, businesses risk raising their hopes for A.I. too high—and wasting money by trying to apply the technology to problems it can’t solve.

Consider the bubbly warning signs. Venture capitalists are beyond eager to fund A.I. They staked 1,028 A.I.-related startups last year, up from 291 in 2013, says researcher PitchBook. Twenty-six of those companies had “A.I.” in their names, compared with one five years earlier. Then there’s the profusion of conferences promising to explain A.I. to the benighted manager. At the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the agenda this year included no fewer than 11 panels that reference A.I., with names like “Designing Your A.I. Strategy” and “Setting Rules for the A.I. Race.” (Fortune has gotten into this act too: Its 2018 Global Tech Forum in Guangzhou, China, was dominated by A.I. discussions.)

The result is a serious subject running the risk of jumping the shark. “If advocates are not careful, they will have successfully Bitcoinized A.I.,” says Michael Schrage, a researcher at MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy.

Make no mistake—artificial intelligence is more than a fad. It represents a whole new way of doing business by turbocharging the existing trends of automation, sensor-based industrial monitoring, and algorithmic analysis of business processes. Computer science was already helping machines perform routine tasks more quickly than humans. The new techniques of A.I.—combined with ever faster computing power and the accumulation of years of digitized data—mean that for the first time computers learn the tasks humans require of them rather than merely doing as they’re told.

Read more: http://fortune.com/2019/01/22/artificial-intelligence-ai-reality/

21 Jan 2019
Real-Life Expanding Brain Technique Is Blowing Some Minds

Real-Life Expanding Brain Technique Is Blowing Some Minds

It’s now possible to image an entire fly brain in just a few days, according to a new study—this might sound like a long time, but is in fact an incredible accomplishment, when you consider that the process would otherwise take weeks.

Brains aren’t easy to study—the human brain, for example, contains over 80 billion cells linked via 7,000 connections each, according to the new study published in Science. Even the far smaller fly brains are an incredible challenge to study comprehensively. The new research combines two microscopy methods to image and examine brains like never before.

“It’s a new tool for trying to understand biological tissue, and not in a single cell context, but in a complete multi-cellular context at high resolution,” Eric Betzig, physicist and Nobel Laureate working at the Janelia Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, told Gizmodo.

The researchers combined two kinds of microscopy, called expansion microscopy and lattice light-sheet microscopy, in order to image the fly brain. Expansion microscopy involves first marking interesting features in a sample with fluorescing proteins, and then linking them with a polymer gel. An enzyme digests the tissue, and then the scientists add water, causing the polymer to grow and retain the shape marked by the fluorescing proteins. In this case, they grew the sample by four times.

But imaging the expanded fly brain would require approximately 20 trillion voxels, or 3d pixels, which would take weeks for an electron microscope to image. The team decided to combine expansion microscopy with another imaging method, called light sheet microscopy. This uses thin, flat sheets of laser light and images the sample in flat sections, allowing for a faster process that also reduces background noise.

Even Betzig didn’t think the method would work at first, he told Gizmodo, but when he viewed the results, he was “shocked” by the faithfulness of the expansion. Indeed, they were able to combine the methods to create high-resolution images, down to tens of nanometers, according to the paper.

But the research is nowhere near being able to create similar images of human brains, explained Betzig. They’re extending the method to (and have successfully imaged small pieces of) mouse brains, but a fly brain versus a mouse brain is the equivalent of “going from a mud hut to the Empire State Building,” he said.

The researchers think they may soon be able to image multiple fly brains quickly and with incredible resolution. This is exciting, mainly because brains can vary by the individual, and comparing lots of brains could potentially teach us more about how these incredible feats of biology truly work.

Source: https://gizmodo.com/real-life-expanding-brain-technique-is-blowing-some-min-1831878332

20 Jan 2019
Bettering Threat Intelligence And Cyber Security A New Role For Blockchain?

Bettering Threat Intelligence And Cyber Security A New Role For Blockchain?

Despite the news being inundated with hacks, cons and scams surrounding cryptocurrencies and exchanges, the truth remains that actual blockchains have yet to be compromised in their immutable and unhackable nature.

Blockchains are epitomised by security and safety when it comes to storing data on its distributed ledger; they use a trustless model to be utterly trustworthy. On this principle of protection, it would make sense to start applying blockchains to a new and emerging movement in cybersecurity.

It has become more apparent ,and more evident, that new technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, as well as blockchain can benefit from teaming up with one another to solve their shortcomings. Threat Intelligence is another such emerging area of technological advancement that can also lean on blockchain to aid its application and betterment.

according to CERT-UK, Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) is an “elusive” concept, but mostly, it involves the collection of intelligence on cyber threats that are shared and openly available through open source intelligence, social media intelligence, human Intelligence.

Ben Schmidt, CSO of PolySwarm, a company that is using the blockchain’s immutable ledger, as well as the decentralised ecosystem and its marketplace, to try and boost a more efficient Threat Intelligence model, attempts to define this ‘industry’

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/darrynpollock/2019/01/19/bettering-threat-intelligence-and-cyber-security-a-new-role-for-blockchain/#2f46f6a21ed7 

19 Jan 2019
Disruptive technology doesn’t only disrupt, it transforms

Disruptive technology doesn’t only disrupt, it transforms

In the wake of the success of companies like Netflix, Uber and Airbnb, the superficial attraction of ‘disruptive technology’ can seem extremely alluring for many businesses. But what is disruptive technology? And how disruptive should it be?

This type of business is clearly effective at deploying technology to disrupt settled markets, but that doesn’t mean the technology in itself is disruptive. Many businesses with well-established IT infrastructures and architectures do not have the flexibility and agility that newer companies like Netflix have in deploying this technology. However, that doesn’t mean that these more traditional organisations cannot adapt. If anything, the success of startup businesses like Uber and Airbnb reinforce the message that businesses need to adapt and transform to new architectures and swiftly, if they are remain competitive – but this needs to be balanced with the cost of business disruption.

The vast majority of organisations need technology that is transformational without causing business disruption. Disruptive technology cannot be adopted wholly for its own sake, or because an organisation believes it can reinvent itself and become an Uber overnight – it can’t. The best disruptive technology is transformational, but not destructive, to adopt. It enables a business to transform to a newer, simpler, better way of doing things, without requiring the company to disrupt users and take a hit on productivity, service and sales.

There are technologies that enable organisations to create new and more efficient ways to work, but without interrupting the overall business. For example; Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple are all a testament to the power of successfully innovating, without invasive IT projects.

Transforming data management

Organisations that want to strike a practical balance need to begin at the data management level. Data is the lifeblood of most organisations and being able to transform how this information is managed, stored and collected will allow the organisation to innovate. Many businesses struggle with storage costs, the sheer volume of data being generated and data silos. Using technology to transform the approach to data management and overcome these obstacles will leave businesses in a far better position to successfully evolve. Two technologies that have the capability to deliver massive disruptive change in this area and across the whole organisation, are Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).

AI and ML are disruptive enablers because they have the potential to transform technology that is essentially low-level automation today, into intelligent learning systems. Therefore, the big benefits of AI and ML are higher levels of automation, simplicity and efficiency. AI’s reliance on data is expected to lead to significant transformation in the data management industry. Adaptive automation and Machine Learning will enable data management software to perform in smarter ways by observing and leveraging patterns. AI-based data management will start to be able to think outside the box, offering more intelligent ways to manage business needs.

AI will also allow organisations to use intelligent software to move away from cumbersome, tedious, error-prone and time-consuming rule-based policies to setting goal-based policies. Rule-based data management policies typically rely on a human to predict every single eventuality and program a rule for it. Moving to goal-based policies where intelligent software works out the appropriate way to achieve them would ensure IT is in control of the outcome without the manual heavy-lifting and errors associated with the rule-based approach.

In addition, organisations can benefit from the improved search and discovery that AI can deliver. A significant roadblock to adoption of Big Data has been the difficulty in finding the right datasets to analyse, with data strewn across billions of files and different storage silos, both on premises and in the cloud. AI can drive efficient search and discovery of data to help extract value from it more efficiently, even when considering today’s massive scale of data. With AI, intelligent software can pull information from a much wider data lake, no matter where it is stored.

It’s true that not every company can be an Uber or Airbnb, but every business can be transformed. So perhaps it’s time to evolve the way we see disruption because disruptive technology, when applied through transformation, can help to elevate organisations. The transformative effects of AI and ML in data management will allow businesses to become more agile, adaptable and efficient. Data can drive business decisions and being able to leverage the benefits of an innovative data management platform will help to give organisations a competitive edge.

Source: http://www.intelligentcio.com/eu/2019/01/17/disruptive-technology-doesnt-only-disrupt-it-transforms/

17 Jan 2019
Using neuroscience to prevent drug addiction among teenagers

Using neuroscience to prevent drug addiction among teenagers

One way to deter harmful recreational drug use by teenagers is to treat them like adults. Rather than simply tell them to “Just Say No” to alcohol, tobacco or illicit drugs, it may be more helpful to explain how these substances create unique risks for them — risks that arise due to the changing state of the adolescent brain.

It’s an approach recommended by Dr. Robert DuPont, the first director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the second White House “drug czar” and the current head of the Institute for Behavior and Health.

Scientists have long recognized that people who use alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drugs while adolescents are far more likely to use more dangerous drugs in their 30s and 40s. Back in 1984, researchers writing in the American Journal of Public Health reported that “the use of marijuana is a good predictor of the use of more serious drugs only if it begins early” and that early drinking is a similar “predictor of marijuana use.”

It should come as no surprise, then, that Americans in their 30s and 40s who used recreational drugs as teenagers are the group most severely affected by opioid overdoses today.

Unfortunately, neither the media nor popular culture adequately informs young people about the neurological damage alcohol, nicotine, and marijuana can inflict on the brain. On the contrary, despite strong evidence that early recreational drug use increases the likelihood of future drug addiction, the media and today’s culture often describe marijuana use as an “organic,” “natural” approach to anxiety and stress management. Indeed, Northern Michigan University launched the nation’s first medicinal plant chemistry major, offering students the chance to focus on marijuana-related studies. What message does that send to the still-developing minds of college students?

One group is taking a non-traditional approach to convincing students otherwise.

One Choice is a drug prevention campaign developed for teenagers by the Institute for Behavior and Health. It relies on cutting-edge neuroscience to encourage young Americans to make decisions that promote their brain health.

Pioneered by Dr. DuPont, One Choice specifically advocates that adolescents make “no use of any alcohol, nicotine, marijuana or other drugs” for health reasons. The theory is that adolescents who make the decision not to use alcohol, nicotine, or marijuana at all — that make “One Choice” to avoid artificial, chemical brain stimulation — are far less likely to wind up addicted to drugs such as opioids later on.

The One Choice approach is evidence-based. In 2017, scientists at Mclean Hospital and Harvard Medical School published their findings on the impact of early substance use on cognitive development. They explained that the brains of teenagers are still developing and can be negatively impacted by substance use. Adolescent brains are still forming the communication routes that regulate motivation, stress and habit-formation well into adulthood. As such, it is easier for substances to hijack and alter those routes in developing brains than in adult brains.

Hindering the vital attributes of habit formation, stress management and motivational behavior can drastically affect a young person’s academic performance. Collectively, and in the long run, that can impair the competitiveness of a national economy. Thus, it is crucial that young Americans learn to prioritize brain health.

The timing for the innovative One Choice approach is propitious. Today’s young Americans are more interested in biology, psychology and health sciences than ever before. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the field of “health professions and related programs” is the second most popular major among college students, with psychology and biological or biomedical sciences following as the fourth and fifth most popular, respectively. By explaining developmental neuroscience to teenagers, One Choice engages young people on a topic of interest to them and presents the reality of a pressing public health issue, instead of throwing moral platitudes and statistics at them.

Pro-marijuana legalization organizations, such as the Drug Policy Alliance, agree: “The safest path for teens is to avoid drugs, doing alcohol, cigarettes, and prescription drugs outside of a doctor’s recommendations.” And certainly honesty, along with scientific accuracy, is critical if we are to persuade adolescents not to use drugs.

Brain health is critical to the pursuit of happiness. And leveraging scientifically accurate presentations and testimonies to convince young Americans to prioritize their own brain health early on can prevent future substance abuse.

Source: https://www.postbulletin.com/opinion/other_views/commentary-using-neuroscience-to-prevent-drug-addiction-among-teenagers/article_4c3ef834-ef62-5e0e-a878-a3e5aba36135.html

16 Jan 2019
Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

Blockchain has already proven its huge influence on the financial world with its first application in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It might not be long before its impact is felt everywhere.

Blockchain is a secure chain of digital records that exist on multiple computers simultaneously so no record can be erased or falsified. The redundancy of the system ensures many backups, and the lack of a central storage place ensures there is no one target for hackers. Some suggest that blockchain could become a component of the next generation of the internet.

Many blockchain systems provide a technology called “smart contract:” these are the rules by which records can be accessed and modified by creating new versions. These rules define, for example, who gets access to the stored records, under what conditions, for what declared purpose and in exchange of what (payment or virtual credit). Smart contracts also record every access to the data in the blockchain.

In this way, users can permanently and securely store their data, set their own conditions and control who accesses the data and for what purpose. Because of these features, blockchain technology can be used to store user profile data.

Hoarding the data

Currently, social media giants hoard user data and use it to sell targeted advertisements (their main source of revenue). These social media networks don’t give users a real choice or awareness of what data about them are kept. They provide very few control options and no rewards for users in exchange of their data.

Recently, we have seen many cases when user data has been stolen by hackers, leading to breaches of privacy, the possibility for identity theft or exploitation of the data to manipulate people and influence public opinion towards voting. This can have serious consequences for the democratic process in a liberal society.

Source: http://theconversation.com/transparency-and-privacy-empowering-people-through-blockchain-104887