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A diagram indicating Starlink’s connectivity once the project is complete. Source

Starlink, from SpaceX, is a satellite internet constellation that seeks to provide low-cost, high-performance internet around the world. Starlink will change global politics and business in many ways.

Political and Business Impact

40% of the world’s people have difficulty or is unable to access the internet. Many of these people are in less-developed regions of the world, including sub-Saharan Africa. Affordable access to high-speed internet could change the makeup of people participating in digital life, lead to a more inclusive internet and significantly increase online business opportunities.

Many countries limit their residents’ internet access in a variety of ways. While Starlink will technically make it possible to provide internet to anybody who wants it — without the consent of governments — SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has said that internet will be provided “on a country-by-country basis” and that “any given country can say it’s illegal to have a ground link.” Referring specifically to China, Musk said “if they get upset with us, they can blow our satellites up, which wouldn’t be good.” …

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Biocomputing — a cutting-edge field of technology — operates at the intersection of biology, engineering, and computer science. It seeks to use cells or their sub-component molecules (such as DNA or RNA) to perform functions traditionally performed by an electronic computer.

The ultimate goal of biocomputing is to mimic some of the biological ‘hardware’ of bodies like ours — and to use it for our computing needs. From less to more complicated, this could include:

1. Using DNA or RNA as a medium of information storage and data processing

2. Connecting neurons to one another, similar to how they are connected in our…

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Sensor fusion is the process of combining data from multiple physical sensors in real time, while also adding information from mathematical models, to create an accurate picture of the local environment. A system can then use this data to plan and act toward an objective or destination. Sensor fusion is an important part of the design of autonomous systems.

The cost of sensors has been declining for decades, while the quality of information collected by sensors has been increasing. Still, each type of sensor has its shortcomings. Even if a sensor provides a significant volume of high-quality data, the sensor could be thrown off under some conditions, leading to inaccurate readings. For example, a sensor on an autonomous vehicle could be thrown off by unusual weather, smog and pollution, speed, altitude, visibility, angle and positioning. …

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Mark Weiser, CTO of Xerox Corp’s Palo Alto Research Center, said in 1991: “The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.” Weiser proved prescient: satellite-based cell phones and the internet are examples of profound, invisible technologies.

In the future, ambient intelligence will be similarly profound, yet invisible. Just as ambient music plays in the background to enhance an environment, ambient intelligence is embedded in a user’s immediate environment (or ambience). The ambience is embedded with a range of sensors, making the environment intelligent and ready to respond to user desires and needs. Ambient intelligence, once fully evolved, will have major consequences for many industries, including patient care and assisted living. …

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We have long sought secure ways to exchange data. Some current methods include cryptography, hashing and requiring the solution of math problems that demand enormous computing power. Quantum computing could render some of our current methods insecure and obsolete, while enabling new methods.


Cryptography uses codes to protect information and communications. Data is encrypted using a secret key. The message as well as the secret key is given to the recipient. The recipient then uses the key to decrypt the message. …

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In the 20 thcentury, scientists and thinkers predicted that technology would change our lives fundamentally. Despite our technological achievements, these changes have not materialized. As Peter Theil said, “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.”

Transformative new technologies rise, create new sectors and help us achieve phenomenal things. Then, at some point, they stop advancing. Output and productivity gains plateau, often for decades.

‘Tether Theory’ is my explanation for this phenomenon.

Tether Theory: The elements which help to create and establish a disruptive new technology eventually become the limitations on that technology’s further growth and innovation.

The ‘elements’ from the definition could include: founders, investors, established actors in the sector (like VCs, incubators and professional services firms), regulators and various stakeholders. …

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Edge Computing uses local devices to compute, store and communicate data. Edge computing can therefore be thought of as an extension of cloud services (which allow compute, storage, analytics, and other functions to be executed remotely) to the user’s local devices, speeding up computation and making it more secure.

So, Cloud Computing + Edge Devices = Edge Computing.

Edge Devices

Edge Devices include routers, routing switches, integrated access devices (IADs) and multiplexers. Edge devices enable users to connect to and share data with an external network — such as a service provider, carrier, or enterprise primary network.

Factors Leading To Edge Computing

Edge computing was driven by the following…

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What are Self Healing Systems & How Can You Develop One?

When people get injured, their bodies self-heal. What if technology could do the same?

Companies are racing to develop self-healing systems, which could improve quality, cut costs and boost customer trust. For example, IBM is experimenting with ‘self-managing’ products that configure, protect and heal themselves.

What Is A Self Healing System?

A self-healing system can discover errors in its functioning and make changes to itself without human intervention, thereby restoring itself to a better-functioning state. There are three levels of self-healing systems, each of which has its own size and resource requirements:

Application Level

In typical applications, problems are documented in an ‘exceptions log’ for further examination. Most problems are minor and can be ignored. Serious problems may require the application to stop (for example, an inability to connect to a database that has been taken offline). …

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People know their banks, like Chase and CapitalOne, and their favorite fintech applications, such as Venmo and Mint. However, consumers are generally not aware of data aggregators like Plaid and Finicity, which collect consumer data from banks, crunch it and feed it to fintech applications. Blockchain technology can play a key role in helping data aggregators manage consumer financial data while complying with regulations and empowering consumers.

Data Aggregation

Data aggregators use two methods to access people’s financial information. The first (now largely outdated) method is screen scraping, in which a person provides their banking usernames and passwords in exchange for using a fintech application. …

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Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) uses readers and tags to transfer data via radio waves. A reader can communicate with a tag some distance away (between a few centimeters and 20 meters, depending on the type of RFID). Active RFID tags have batteries, which they can tap to send information to a reader. Passive RFID tags do not have batteries; they use a reader’s electromagnetic energy to communicate with the reader.

Unlike barcodes, RFID tags can be read even if they are not within a reader’s line of sight. Compared to barcodes, RFID tags are more expensive, bulkier and more prone to physical and electrical damage.
While RFID tags are often placed on top of or inside objects, they need not be. You can bury an RFID marker one inch below the ground and put information on that tag indicating what kind of material is further below the tag, and at what depth. For example, data on a tag one inch below ground could reveal that a sewer pipe exists 8 feet below the tag.

Initially used to identify enemy aircraft in World War 2, RFID is used by Fortune 500 companies for logistics. In 2004, Walmart spent $50 million on RFID initiatives. Today, in France, a piping company is using an RFID system to track buried polyethylene pipes, allowing users to write data to tags in pipes up to 1.6 meters away and in Taipei, workers are using RFID to interrogate tags within manholes without opening them, up to a depth of 2 feet.

By 2020, the value of the RFID market will exceed $24.5 …


Shaan Ray

Emerging Technology Blog |

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