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What the companies say


Qualcomm’s MWC booth was bustling with 5G tech demos and devices, including a cloud gaming demonstration using OnePlus’ 5G prototype. Speaking at the company’s MWC pre-brief, Qualcomm’s Director of Business Development Ben Timmons laid out a number of likely (and a few pie in the sky) consumer use cases for 5G.

What’s the thing that’s special? It’s capacity, it’s download speed, it’s latency.

“What’s the thing that’s special? It’s capacity, it’s download speed, it’s latency. Those are the really, really key starting 5G elements. But those are associated with some other stuff going on at the same time. The continuous improvement in the sheer processing capability of Snapdragon, supported by all of the elements as well — the camera functionality, graphics, location.”

A few potential use cases mentioned include virtual and augmented reality running with cloud processing in real time over a 5G network. Watching, sharing, and collaboratively creating content were other ideas, along with cloud gaming, AR shopping (which Timmons agrees is probably a bit of a stretch), and real-time language translation.


Intel may not be first with consumer 5G hardware, but the company has big plans on the infrastructure side and a long-term strategy. General Manager of 5G Strategy Rob Topol sees three phases of how 5G will roll out: first is broadband, which is what we’re seeing now, then low latency, and third is machine-to-machine type communication. Intel doesn’t envision faster speeds as a particularly compelling  improvement for smartphones, but does see more potential in low latency aspects.

“The way that augmented reality and VR can be consumed or the way that you can use 5G for retail and AI applications where it’s more about the response time of the network, that brings in more excitement,” Topol continued.

It can give you 100GBs within just a few seconds while you’re sitting at the intersection.

As well as the usual AR and VR use cases, Intel also sees promise in ideas like smart cities and automotive. For example, even using mmWave for speedy updates to your car.

“You could pull up to a stop light and a mmWave antenna can provide a burst download or update to the car. It can give you 100GBs within just a few seconds while you’re sitting at the intersection.”

Intel is planning to launch its own multi-mode 5G modem for consumer products by the end of 2023; it could appear in products in early 2023.

BT CloudMinds

CloudMinds develops cloud-based AI that controls everything from robots to virtual avatars. During our chat with them at MWC, the company was very keen on the latency angle and how guaranteed latencies will make possible applications that are currently not feasible.

Examples of these low latency applications include robots controlled through a smartphone from the cloud rather than requiring demanding local processing. With low latency, the processing can be offloaded to the cloud, which will make robots smarter, cheaper, and more versatile. Another option could be virtual avatars; with 5G, we’ll be able to interact with cloud-controlled digital avatars in real time, without any jarring lag to break the illusion. In other words, CloudMinds sees cloud computing as a big driving factor for upcoming 5G applications.


Arm might be best known for powering billions of smartphones and other devices around the world. The company is a major player behind 5G too, from hard-drives and servers, to data transmitting base stations. Out of all our interviewees, Arm perhaps gave the most concrete vision about just how big of a shift 5G represents.

“The internet is about to go through a substantial architecture change,” Arm’s SVP of Infrastructure Business Unit Drew Henry told us.

“Today it’s designed to push data out, such as when you’re watching YouTube or Netflix videos. But soon it’s going to be about consuming data coming back in that’s being generated by all these devices. That change in the flow of data and where processing needs to happen, where data gets stored, and how much data you bring back to the core, is a completely different architecture.”

Arm is also big into machine learning and AI, and sees these technologies as a key component of upcoming 5G networks. Henry sees the growing need for these technologies both in the back-end and in devices, simply to handle the huge amount of data that upcoming devices are going to generate.

The internet is about to go through a substantial architecture change

Henry noted that the internet currently transfers over 150 exabytes of data every month, with most of it – up to 80 percent – being video content. That’s already a lot, but traffic could balloon as more devices come online.

“If you deploy 1 billion HD cameras, like a Nest camera, which is not that inconceivable, that will generate 450 exabytes of data or three times the amount of data that goes across the internet today. You had better make decisions right on the device about whether it should turn on and off or run in HD,” Henry said.

In other words, AI doesn’t just have to be on consumer devices, it’s going to be key to optimizing and directing data around an ever more congested internet too.

MediaTek Motorola

Motorola is one of the first smartphone manufacturers with a consumer 5G device and clearly sees plenty of potential. Although the company is under no illusion that everything will be smooth. The company’s Director of Product Operations Doug Michau acknowledged there’s a level of consumer frustration around 5G, caused by the fact that 5G can take so many forms. “Autonomous vehicles, remote surgery, and all these different applications, it’s hard to specify clear consumer benefits of 5G speed.”

It’s hard to specify clear consumer benefits of 5G speed

Michau cited familiar tropes about the unforeseen revolution of Uber, Snapchat, and Facebook with 4G. Motorola, like many other companies, isn’t sure what the breakthrough 5G use case will be, but believes that cloud gaming could be one of the more popular avenues.

Worryingly, Motorola outlined a few of the differences that we might see in regional 5G deployments. Specifically, 3.5GHz, sub-6GHz deployments in Europe require FDD implementations that need dynamic spectrum sharing. Current modems  are “not a really good solution” for these countries yet, making it tough to “deliver a truly global 5G device.” Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon X55 modem should make it easier to deploy global releases.

OnePlus Sony Samsung

We also spoke to Samsung at MWC about 5G and the new Samsung Galaxy S10 5G. Samsung states that 5G will be able to provide “really fast speeds for apps that require more data.” Examples could include UHD video sharing or downloading 8K UHD content when it eventually becomes available. In addition, Samsung sees plenty of potential in AR, gaming, and autonomous driving. Latency, once again, is going to be the key factor there.

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It Outsourcing And The “Unemployable” Us Tech Professional

American dominance of technology continues unabated, as giants like Microsoft, Google and IBM shape the landscape with big ideas and big dollars. Yet one species in this thriving landscape is clearly beleaguered: the American IT worker.

His challenges are numerous. A brutal recession makes hollowed-out companies hesitant to hire. Wages are stagnant. Well-educated H1B visa holders are happy to work for less. A multi-year trend toward IT outsourcing means emerging market talent is just an email away.

Worst of all, word on the street is that US IT workers aren’t keeping up with the global competition. The stereotypes, regardless of truth, have gained a degree of cultural credence.

The US tech professional is (according to lore) educated in a dysfunctional school system and distracted by an indulgent American lifestyle (March Madness betting pool, anyone?). In contrast, his Third World counterpart (probably Indian) lives to work and focuses like a laserbeam on his training – which never stops.

If you were the worrying type, you might think these negative perceptions and the IT outsourcing trend places American tech professionals on eroding ground. But tech outsourcing is an emotionally charged issue, touching upon combustibles like national identity and job stability. What’s perception and what’s reality?

Her positive experience, however, is not universally shared. “I have a very good friend and a longstanding client [an IT employer] who is continually frustrated,” says Bob Lewis, president of IT Catalysts, a consultancy that deals with hiring and other IT issues.

“Most of the people he interviews don’t seem to want to work very hard and seem to be far too open about their career aspirations compared to what they can do for him.”

“When those of us in senior management were growing up, the standard model was: One employer for your career, the employer showed loyalty to employees, which was reciprocated.” Those days are forever gone. Mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations, downsizing – today’s IT professional navigates an exhausting churn.

Lewis once even heard a CEO baldly state, “All of our employees need to understand that from here on in, they’re fungible commodities.” So much for employer loyalty.

For a young IT job candidate to muster an attitude of humility and gratitude in this atmosphere can be hard.

“I think a lot of the hiring managers resent that because, frankly, they’re less realistic than the people they’re hiring.” These managers are unwilling to admit that even today’s “permanent” jobs may be short or mid-term engagements.

“Members of this generation have a far more accurate picture of the nature of the work place, that no one is going to look out for their interests other than them,” he says. “What they haven’t learned is how to disguise that so that they can have an effective interview.” He’s even heard horror stories of young job applicants demanding, “Here’s what I want you to do for me.”

However, what some perceive as a weakness in young applicants may actually be a strength, says Nick Corcodilos, a longtime IT headhunter and owner of Ask The Headhunter.

Next Page: The Cowboy Attitude

How Will Blockchain Disrupt The Digital Advertising Industry?

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What is blockchain?

Being one of the biggest buzzwords in the tech world, if not the biggest right now, blockchain is familiar to many and so, we are not going to go into too much detail on what it is.

As we know it, blockchain is a technology and a system that at its core is dependent on the idea of peer-to-peer transactions through a shared ledger of every transaction taking place, which can’t be tampered with or changed and essentially creates a ‘trustless’ system that doesn’t require a middleman to monitor and audit. The individuals on the network put value in and out of the system through a process called ‘mining’, which is basically monitoring and ensuring the records are reliable and accurate. The product of this is an ecosystem where transactions are borderless, fast and cheap.

The Trading and investing side of this is only one limited view of the blockchain world. We’re barely scratching the surface of this disruptive and possibly revolutionary technology. Think of the internet 30 years ago when we knew little about how much it can change and transform the way we do things and what value it can bring to our lives. While it may not be as transformative as the internet, many tech leaders and enthusiasts believe blockchain is going to be a game changer.

1. Privacy & Data Collection

Privacy has been a hot topic lately, especially after the latest Facebook privacy scandal and the overall general public’s lack of trust that has grown over the last few years around privacy and the way it is handled by large corporations. Is there an appetite for more privacy? And how big is that? The GDPR is a strong reflection of people’s desire for bringing back the long-lost privacy.

Many blockchain based startups are promising to bring back privacy. Amongst these, is Blockstack, which is a decentralized app network that lets you keep ownership of your data and maintain your privacy through the so-called ‘blockstack browser’. Essentially, the apps you are using on the network are ‘serverless’ meaning that your data is on your device. That’s a massive shift from the model we have today where most apps store your data including passwords on the app’s server.

A good example of how blockstack works is this Graphite docs app built on it. Graphite docs is basically an online docs app much like Google docs. Imagine you write up a word doc. On Google docs, that doc would be stored on Google’s servers. In comparison, on a Graphite doc, your document is encrypted, shareable, decentralized and Graphite never stores your identity or data.

Source: Graphite

2. Trustless Advertising Ecosystems

Source: Basic Attention Token

China Is Winning The 5G War And The Us Is Getting Desperate

China is winning the 5G war and the US is getting desperate

Still fearing Huawei is a pipeline for US secrets to be eavesdropped by the Chinese government, the Pentagon is pushing for open-source 5G software to give networks a more trusted alternative. The US Department of Defense has long alleged that Huawei represents compromised security, and has made several attempts to prevent carriers and other American companies from using its networking hardware.

Huawei has long maintained that it is independent from the Chinese security services, and that its products do not offer backdoor access or any other sort of compromised data. With the rollout of 5G networks, however, that insistence hasn’t been enough to assuage Pentagon suspicions.

Now, the US DoD is pushing for an alternative. The agency has apparently been pushing US firms to develop open radio access networks, which would use open-source technologies rather than proprietary systems. As such, customers – like ISPs and carriers – could effectively mix and match hardware, rather than being limited to a single provider.

While the motivation is mistrust of Huawei – one of the key 5G infrastructure vendors – the Pentagon is pitching a different reason to companies, the FT reports. US officials are apparently considering various ways to encourage open-source alternatives, such as promising tax breaks, and warning that those who don’t buy into the idea risk being left behind as the market gathers pace.

As Porter sees it, companies looking to develop closed 5G systems run the risk of replicating the mistake made by Kodak in the early days of digital photography. The company has become a cautionary tale in business, having effectively invented digital cameras but then dragging its heals in the new segment in the hope of sustaining its dominance in film photography. As a result, rivals took the lead and left Kodak to dwindle in profits and, eventually, in relevance altogether.

“The beauty of our country is that we allow that marketplace to decide the winners,” Porter argues. “The market will decide. If someone is dragging their feet, that’s up to them to decide, but then the market will decide from there who wins.”

Adding to the problem is that there’s no American company which makes an end-to-end solution for 5G. That has even led to suggestions within the US DoD that it could fund European alternatives to Huawei, such as Ericsson and Nokia. That way they could fill in gaps in US tech, such as in radio towers.

Huawei has found itself under renewed attack in the US, in some ways as much a casualty of President Trump’s trade war with China as it is of security service distrust. Earlier in 2023, it found itself on the trade block list, and in theory no longer able to ink deals with US companies such as Google. That has left it to produce Android phones without key Google apps and services.

Earlier this year, the US DoD warned that 5G was a war that America was on track to lose, specifically calling out the opportunities that the country risks ceding to China if new policies are not instituted. Penned by the Defense Innovation Board at the DoD, it called out elements like the US’ use of mmWave as potentially creating a gulf between 5G in America and abroad. Without the US to guide 5G’s development, the authors conclude, foreign companies like Huawei will take the lead in hardware deployment, and impaired security will be an inevitability.

“DoD should assume that all network infrastructure will ultimately become vulnerable to cyber-attack from both an encryption and resiliency standpoint,” the report warns.

Ai To The Rescue: Great Things That Machine Learning Can Do For Us

Artificial intelligence is often vilified due to its controversial rep. But there is lots of good stuff it can do for us too.

Deep yearning for deep learning

These fears are understandable. Especially, when we have a pleasure to observe how some of these macabre auguries are materializing right before our eyes. For example, in the words of law professors Bobby Chesney and Danielle Citron, deepfakes form a breeding ground for the so-called liar’s dividend — a dangerous phenomenon when legitimate evidence of inappropriate or even criminal behavior can be labeled ‘fake’ by the suspect and discarded.

But seeing negative aspects is always easier. With all its flaws, artificial intelligence can do a lot of good. Here’s a concise review of some benign purposes that artificial brains are serving today.

1.   Antispoofing

A fun fact: your state of being alive is nearly everything you need to get authorized by a biometric system. (Apart from your biometric profile stored during the enrollment stage.) For that purpose, liveness standards and liveness detection have been designed.

Using AI-powered algorithms — like time-difference-of-arrival analysis implemented in speech verification — a system scans the so-called liveness cues. These cues indicate that the system is dealing with a living breathing human and not some sophisticated digital puppet created with a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) or a scarily real mask sculpted with a 3D printer.

By analyzing your iris patterns, vocal spectrograms, heart rate, fingerprint friction ridges, facial geometry, and other cues, the system can reach a correct verdict and deny access to an impostor if they claim to be you. Yes, it’s possible to copy and falsify your biometrics with deep learning. But it can also protect them from almost all attack scenarios imaginable.

2.   More accurate prognosis 

Just like Romeo in act 3, we can also call ourselves “fortune’s fools” sometimes. Even though we may never obtain a fate-predicting crystal ball, AI is the best next thing. We are talking about special relativity, initially described in Einstein’s work On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies. (Check it here.) And what’s pretty cool, it covers a broad scope of application areas: from weather forecasting to predicting stock price dynamics.

Prediction algorithms are also important for automatics. For instance, a mine-clearing robot — akin to Mesa’s Matilda — can better understand how certain objects or substances may react upon physical interaction, thus reducing the possibility of explosion.

And even when we do mundane stuff, like shopping for groceries, AI can make our lives a bit easier. A clever algorithm can literally time-travel 10-15 seconds into the future by analyzing the number of shoppers, their movement speed and patterns, amount of purchases, and other similar data. As a result, it can predict how soon the checkout queue will grow and call extra cashiers to help. So, thanks to this, we can avoid tediously long lines.

3.   Producing art

It seems, robots can write symphonies and turn digital canvas into masterpieces after all. At least, this checks out for the project DALL-E, which can turn your words into a surprisingly good painting and which is based on Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 algorithms.

Sometimes, its work is just decent enough and pleasant to look at. Other times, it can qualify to be a masterpiece like in the case of the macabre image series named Last selfie on Earth, which caused a lot of buzz online.

Apart from DALL-E you can also try its junior version Craiyon, Neural Blender, Dream, Kandinsky, and other solutions. Even though neural clusters of a robot would never replace Michelangelo or Cézanne, they at times look mesmerizing. So, if you can’t afford a visual artist for your project just now, consider recruiting a robot with a digital brush. 

Picture: Martian Sunset by Dream, an original painting

4.   Health

Healthcare is already benefiting from partnership with Dr. Robot. As reported by Mayo Clinic, machine learning is capable of detecting heart anomalies and diseases. Among all else, it’s used for screening left ventricular dysfunction, which can be a sudden killer if not detected timely.

Diabetes is another malady that can be kept at bay thanks to AI diagnosis. In this case, a specific model can estimate how a certain food type will affect the glucose levels. This info is indispensable for patients as they won’t have to check their glucose levels manually every time. 

These are just two examples. In the future, AI will be used even more for predicting and diagnosing a multitude of diseases, especially hereditary ones: sickle cell disease, hemophilia and other serious disorders.

5.   Always here to help

Unlike human operators, AI doesn’t need to sleep. You’ve probably had the pleasure to exchange a few words with a robot assistant in your banking app.

Now, we can’t outsource the entire 911 department to AI. But it certainly can help in many other situations: booking tickets, requesting a medicine delivery online, helping you find a parking lot, choosing a safe area to stay in a foreign country during a voyage, and so on.

Police1 reports that an AI assistant can even be a cop partner. Among all else, it can tag video files from body cameras, transcribe audio records, use constellations of surveillance cameras to aid investigation, or remind to complete a boring, but mandatory report. It’s almost like KITT from Knight Rider only without wheels.

Learn more about deepfake detection, biometric security and neural network architectures at Antispoofing Wiki.

What Do The Discord Role Permissions Mean?

Discord includes a powerful set of permission features that can be configured through the use of roles. Each role can be assigned to multiple people and each person can have multiple roles.  Each permission setting has two values, “Granted” and “Not granted”. When a user has multiple roles with conflicting permissions, “granted” permissions always outweigh “not granted” permissions.

Creating or managing existing roles

Permissions breakdown

The first option for a role is its name, you can assign any name you want, just be aware that all users can see the role names of all other users in your server.

Next, you can choose a colour for the role. A user’s username will appear in the colour of their highest role, as ordered by the role list.

“Display role members separately from online members” changes how the list of online users is displayed in the default server view. By default, the list is separated into “Online” and “Offline” users. By giving a role this permission, users with it will appear in a separate category above “Online” in the list of users.

“Administrator” grants users with this role full admin powers over the server. While administrators can’t delete the server, they can essentially do everything else, so use grant this permission with care.

“View Audit Log” allows users to view the server’s audit log. This is a log of all changes made to the server, including new/changed roles, new channels, deleted messages and kicked users, etc.

“Manage Server” allows users to change the server’s name and change the region that the server is hosted in.

“Manage Roles” allows users to create new roles and edit/delete existing roles. This only applies to roles sorted below the role that grants this permission.

“Manage Channels” grants users the permissions to create, edit or delete voice and text channels.

“Kick Members” and “Ban Members” grant users the permissions to kick or ban other members.

“Create Invite” allows users to create invite links to the server.

“Change Nickname” allows users to change their own nickname in the server. Whereas “Manage Nicknames” allows users to change the nicknames of other users.

“Manage Emojis” allows users to add, remove, and edit the alias for existing emojis.

“Manage Webhooks” allows users to create, edit, and delete webhooks.

“Read Text Channels & See Voice Channels” allows users to be able to see channels in the server. If a user has no role with this permission, they will be unable to see any channels in the server.

“Send Messages” allows users to send messages in text channels.

“Send TTS Messages” allows users to send text to speech messages by starting a message with “/tts”. Text to speech messages can be heard by anyone looking at the text channel.

“Manage Messages” allows users to delete messages from any users and allows users to pin messages.

“Embed Links” allows users to embed a preview of links. Embedded previews are included by default when this permission is enabled.

“Attach Files” allows users to upload files from their computer.

“Mention @everyone, @here, and All Roles” allows users to mention any role on the server regardless of if it has the “Allow anyone to @mention this role” permission.

“Use External Emojis” allows users to use emojis from other servers.

“Add Reactions” allows user to react to messages with emoji.

“Connect” and “Speak” allow users to connect to and speak in voice channels respectively.

“Video” allows users to stream or use a webcam in the server.

“Mute Members” and “Deafen Members” allows users to apply a server mute and server deafen respectively to other members in voice channels. Users that have been server muted or deafened can’t unmute or undeafen themselves.

“Move Members” grants the permission to move users from one voice channel to another.

“Use Voice Activity” allows users to use the “voice activity” microphone activation setting. If a user doesn’t have this permission, they can only use push-to-talk.

“Priority Speaker” allows users to use a special push-to-talk mode that reduces the volume of other users while activated. This is designed to allow someone to be more easily heard but can only be used with a “Push-to-talk (Priority)” keybind.

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