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IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying Attention to Today

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Every year, the Future Today Institute publishes a report on the IT trends of the future, which will affect various sectors of the economy. In 2019, the number of innovations mentioned in the forecast almost doubled compared with the previous year. Technologies are being developed faster and faster. In order for your business to keep up, you’ll want to pay attention to the latest IT trends. What innovations in the field of IT will be in demand in 2020 and how to apply the IT trends of the future to business development today?

IT Trends of the Future

1. Artificial Intelligence

Scientists at Stanford University believe that by 2030, all US cities will use artificial intelligence (AI) technology to ensure public safety. In their opinion, the AI will help prevent crimes and even act as an assistant in court proceedings.

Solutions based on AI have already formed the basis of many IT trends of the future: from smart home to speech recognition, face recognition, and even imitation of emotions. Elements of artificial intelligence – machine and deep learning are now actively used in robotics. And researchers at the Future Today Institute suggest that soon, artificial intelligence will become part of all modern innovations, aiding family dentists, analytics in different spheres, etc, simplifying data collection and its processing.

2. Voice and visual product search

According to a recent forecast, by 2021, the leading trading companies will begin to introduce a visual and voice search for goods. Using AI technology, large online stores can better understand the desires and interests of consumers. Analysts predict that as a result of innovations, the revenue of trading platforms will increase by 30%.

3. Individual approach to the online buyer

Innovative industry in the concept of artificial intelligence – learning in real time. Using this technology, an online store, for example, will be able to display products individually for each user, depending on their behavior on the site. Thanks to technology, it will be possible to adjust the site models in real time using a continuous stream of data on visitors’ transactions.

Innovations in the Transport Industry

1. Logistics automation

Analysts believe that the automation of cargo delivery is a very relevant topic not only for carriers but also for large online stores. When retail sales grow from 9 to 30 percent, companies are faced with the question of how flexible they can be in the delivery of goods. The demand for transport management systems of the supply chain will grow in the coming years. Cloud services for logistics automation will significantly optimize the delivery of goods.

2. Unmanned cars

Cars with autopilot is another trend of the future (based on the concept of artificial intelligence). Tesla already allows drivers to turn on the autopilot in their cars, provided they keep an eye on the road. Recently, Uber launched about a hundred autonomous cars on the streets of Pittsburgh. However, while the innovation is only being tested, a company employee is constantly in the car to monitor the work of the algorithm and security.

According to the forecast, by 2030, half of the cars will be equipped with an autopilot function. And in a note for Forbes, analysts even speculate on how insurance companies will evaluate risks, based on the growing number of unmanned cars. It is quite obvious that cars on autopilot will soon become quite commonplace.

Mobile Solutions Trends

1. Chatbots

Experts predict that by 2021, the largest enterprises will spend more on chatbots than on creating mobile applications, and the chatbots market will amount to $3.5 billion. Chatbots themselves will acquire human traits – first, they will learn to communicate (as Siri already does), and then recognize and mimic human emotions.

We are waiting for the so-called era of post-applications – to the fore come virtual assistants created using AI technology. Experts believe that in a couple of years, chatbots will penetrate into all areas of communication.

2. Internet X

In 1990, John Romki created the world’s first Internet-connected item, connecting his toaster to the network. Since then, the number of devices managed via the Internet has grown significantly and has formed the so-called Internet of Things or IoT. Now there are about 9 billion smart devices operated via the Internet in the world: mobile devices, production equipment, elements of a smart home, etc.

In parallel with the growth in the number of devices, LPWA is developing – low-power long-range networks as an alternative to Wi-Fi. LPWA will allow the signal to overcome long distances and obstacles. The development of this technology, along with the growing number of smart devices, will push the development of the Internet of Things. And it, in turn, evolves into the Internet of X, that is, into a concept that applies to almost everything.

3. Pocket education

New technologies are appearing more and more often, in order to keep up, specialists in all spheres will need to periodically update their knowledge. Given the modern pace of life, online learning will gain momentum. Moreover, education will have to be as accessible as possible, so futurists suggest a boom in the creation of mobile learning applications.

User Experience

User experience helps to distinguish the company from competitors. Design based on user experience will continue to develop in parallel with the latest technologies. Traditional interfaces are transformed into voice or even neural, the so-called “brain-computer” and will also be actively used in robotics. The task of high-quality user experience will remain unchanged – to make technological innovations as convenient and understandable for a person as possible.

Big Data

Analysis of large amounts of data is already actively used by companies. With the growing amount of information and the development of AI, not only Big Data will develop, but also the field of application of this technology. Opportunities for analyzing large amounts of information will be applied in all areas. Big Data will be one of the tools of Internet marketing. This technology allows you to quickly process huge amounts of data based on consumer behavior.

Amelia Grant

I am Amelia Grant, journalist, and blogger. I think that information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better. That is why I feel a strong intention to share useful and important things about health self-care, wellness and other advice that may be helpful for people. Being an enthusiast of a healthy lifestyle that keeps improving my life, I wish the same for everyone.
Our attention to ourselves, to our daily routine and habits, is very important. Things that may seem insignificant, are pieces of a big puzzle called life. I want to encourage people to be more attentive to their well-being, improve every little item of it and become healthier, happier, stronger. All of us deserve that. And I really hope that my work helps to make the world better.



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Smartphones may be leaking more radiation than we think

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iPhone 7.


CNET

Apple and Samsung phones released over the last three years may be producing radio frequency radiation at levels higher than current Federal Communications Commission (FCC) limits allow, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune. Scientists and consumers have shown increasing concern radio frequency radiation from our devices may have adverse effects on human health, especially with 5G rolling out across the globe. The new report demonstrates older phone models, operating in the 3G and 4G bands, have the potential to exceed the FCC’s safe limits by up to as much as five times.

Smartphone manufacturers are required to abide by the FCC guidelines in regards to radio frequency radiation absorption by the body. The current measure used to determine the safety limit is known as the “specific absorption rate,” or SAR, and the FCC set this at 1.6 watts per kilogram (1.6W/kg), averaged over 1 gram of tissue. The FCC states that this limit is “well below that at which laboratory testing indicates … adverse health effects could occur.”

For a phone to receive approval, the FCC states that any device will never exceed the maximum SAR level, but the Tribune’s investigation shows a handful of older models do.

The Tribune’s extensive investigation tested 11 different models: Four iPhone models (the iPhone 7, 8, 8 Plus and X), three Samsung Galaxys (the S8, S9 and J3), three Motorolas (the e5, e5 Play and g6 Play) and a BLU Vivo 5 Mini. The phones were tested by RF Exposure Lab, an FCC accredited laboratory in San Marcos, California. The investigators placed smartphones within 2, 5, 10 or 15 millimeters of a “simulated body” — a mix of sugar, water and salt — and measured levels of exposure with a series of probes.

The results show that iPhone 7 radio frequency absorption levels were among the worst offenders, with a SAR almost two to four times higher than the safety limit when tested 2 mm from the body. The three Samsung Galaxy models also showed higher absorption at the same distance, with the Galaxy S8 topping out with a reading of 8.22W/kg, five times higher than the current standard.

The report states that the FCC will now conduct its own tests over the coming months but they told the Tribune the testing was “not as comprehensive” as those usually filed for official compliance reports.

The Tribune writes that the test “was essentially a worst-case scenario in terms of radio frequency radiation exposure” with consumers not experiencing the levels of exposure seen during testing. However, lab owner Jay Moulton did say this type of exposure “could happen in limited situations.”

Where does that leave us?

There’s no way to know if the readings from the investigation correlate with adverse human health effects. Currently, there is no strong scientific evidence that shows this level of exposure to be harmful. The investigation is only able to show that in these particular phones the SAR levels exceed the FCCs current limits. It is a small sample size. 

There is some suggestion that the closer the phone is to the body, the higher the readings. But for a single test, every measurement at 2 mm from the simulated body was higher than from 5 or 10 mm. That does raise questions about the distance that manufacturers currently choose before their phone makes it to market.

The FCC also builds in a protective “buffer” for exposure limits. Although the tests exceed the current safety limit of 1.6W/kg, adverse effects are seen at levels on the order of 50 times more than the standard, according to the FCC. 

As the investigation points out, phones often go into a low power state when brought close to the skin due to in-built sensors. The Tribune team did account for this in the Apple and Motorola phones, but not the Samsung Galaxy phones, including the S8 which provided the highest reading. 

The FCC has been investigating whether this limit should revised in the wake of 5G phones coming to market, but on Aug. 8 declared the limit would not be changing. “The available scientific evidence to date does not support adverse health effects in humans due to exposures at or under the current limits,” Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, wrote to the FCC at the time.

A Samsung spokesperson told CNET “Samsung devices sold in the United States comply with FCC regulations. Our devices are tested according to the same test protocols that are used across the industry.”

Apple and the FCC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Originally published 6:54 p.m. Aug. 21
Updated 11:00 p.m.

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WeWork’s $47 billion and $4 billion lease disparity is a recipe for disaster

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The paperwork WeWork filed last week in advance of its planned public offering had lots of numbers in it.

But two sets of related figures stood out — $4 billion and $47.2 billion on the one hand, and 15 months and 15 years on the other.

The first pair of figures represent lease obligations: $4 billion is how much the coworking company is due to receive from its own clients in coming years, mostly by the end of 2020; and $47 billion represents the lease obligations that WeWork must pay to its own landlords, with the vast majority of that amount not coming due until after 2024.

The second set of figures represent lease durations. The first, 15 months, is the average lease commitment of WeWork’s customers. The second, 15 years, is the average length of the leases WeWork is signing with building owners.

With those four numbers, you basically have WeWork’s business model — it signs long term leases on properties that it turns around and subleases for relatively short durations. And it also clearly illustrates the big risk facing WeWork. Even as the company has attracted larger corporate customers and convinced them to sign longer contracts, its own obligations have outpaced its clients’ commitments by more than a factor of 10.

“They’ve got big long-term liabilities, and if the people who are their customers don’t have long-term commitments to them, the risk is high,” said Robert Siegel, a lecturer in management at Stanford Graduate School of Business. “Forty-seven billion dollars,” he continued, “is a lot of money.”

WeWork touted the $4 billion and 15-month numbers

As might be expected, WeWork was much more eager to highlight some of those numbers than others.

In its IPO filing, the company bandied about the $4 billion number, which it described as its “committed revenue backlog.” It touted the fact that that backlog had grown about eight times larger from $500 million in just 18 months.

WeWork CEO Adam Neumann
Michael Kovac/Getty Images for WeWork

Overall, the company mentioned the $4 billion figure at least eight times, starting on page four of the document, right in the part where it’s pitching its stock offering to investors. WeWork also mentioned the number further down in a section where the company explains how it expects to fare in a downturn — a big concern of potential shareholders.

“We believe that the growth in committed revenue backlog provides greater visibility and predictability of our future revenue to help mitigate the impact of short to medium-term downturns in the economy,” the company said in the filing.

It gave a similarly prominent place to the 15-month figure. That figure too has grown recently, it noted on page four. At the beginning of December 2017, the average contract its customers were signing was just 8 months. It also argued that these lengthening contracts will help it in a recession.

“Going forward, we believe that we are well positioned to navigate through further economic downturns,” the company said.

It wasn’t so eager to highlight the $47 billion number

But the company didn’t seem nearly as eager to highlight the other two numbers. It mentioned the $47.2 billion figure only three times and the 15-year figure just four times. It didn’t bring either of them up until page 26, buried within a section of the document devoted to the potential risks to its business, a section often ignored because it’s typically filled with boilerplate, cover-your-derriere type items.

Forty-seven billion dollars is a lot of money.

However much WeWork wanted to tout or bury the particular numbers, the four numbers have to be taken together to understand the company’s real business model. For all of its attempt to portray itself as a tech company — it mentions the word “technology” some 93 times in its filing — those numbers show its business is really more akin to that of a car or furniture rental company — or that of coworking pioneer IWG, said Scott Galloway, a professor of marketing at New York University.

“This is a company that buys assets and [arbitrages] them” — takes advantage of price discrepancies — “through selling them short term,” Galloway said, continuing, “Hertz does the same thing.”

Read this: NYU professor calls WeWork ‘WeWTF,’ says any Wall Street analyst who believes it’s worth over $10 billion is ‘lying, stupid, or both’

Taken together, the two sets of figures are also key to understanding the real risk WeWork faces. In an economic downturn, it may not have enough revenue coming in to match all the money it’s committed to spending. The contracts WeWork’s own customers have with it will likely give them much more flexibility to renegotiate their leases than WeWork’s contracts with its landlords will give it.

“As long as the economy holds up … [WeWork’s] business model works,” said Jeff Langbaum, a real-estate industry analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence. “If there’s a pullback,” and its customers start dropping their spaces or forcing the company to lower their rent, he continued, “WeWork is still on the hook for whatever leases it has signed for the long term.”

WeWork has tried to insulate itself from its lease commitments

WeWork has protected itself from some of this risk. Most of its leases are held by so-called special purpose entities, or SPEs. That structure means that those particular obligations are held by subsidiaries that are legally separate from their corporate parent. If the company got into trouble filling particular properties, it could put those subsidiaries into bankruptcy and protect the larger corporation.

WeWork has occupied buildings around the world, including this space in Shanghai.
Courtesy of WeWork

Of the $47.2 billion in outstanding obligations, WeWork’s corporate parent itself has only guaranteed $4.5 billion. It has another $1.6 billion in letters of credit, security deposits, and surety bonds that it’s also committed toward paying those obligations. But that leaves some $41.1 billion that’s essentially unguaranteed and that WeWork could potentially walk away from in a downturn.

However, it might not be as easy as all that. Its landlords would almost certainly try to enforce their agreements with WeWork if it tried to skip out on them. It also would face reputational harm — and a huge risk to the future of its business — if it started sending its subsidiaries into bankruptcy and having them default on their loans instead of keeping up with the rent they owe.

“If one of the SPEs were to default, no landlord’s ever going to rent to a WeWork SPE after that,” said Walter Johnston, who focuses on the real estate market as a vice president of credit ratings at the research firm Morningstar.

Even shorter term, the company could see its revenue and cash flow constrict markedly if it started shuttering some of its subsidiaries. That decline in cash flow could still imperil the corporate parent, even if it’s able to protect itself from the outstanding leases.

“At the end of the day, it’s cash flow that WeWork had been receiving that it’s no longer receiving,” Langbaum said. In a downturn, he continued, “we don’t know, exactly, how their business will hold up.”

But WeWorks’ customers could have an easier time breaking their agreements

And while, because of the SPEs and WeWork’s limited corporate guarantees, the $47.2 billion number may not be all it seems, neither is the $4 billion in lease commitments that WeWork says it has. Indeed, that number may be more at risk in a downturn than the larger figure.

In its filing, WeWork notes that the vast majority of its own leases with landlords don’t include any kind of early termination clauses. By contrast, the contracts its clients sign with it are much more flexible. As it noted in the document, many of its customers can cancel their deals with only a month’s notice. That’s part of the intrinsic appeal of WeWork — there’s no need for members to commit to a long term lease.

This four billion has to be massively discounted

And even customers who have signed up with WeWork for longer terms would likely have a relatively easy time breaking their agreements, said Tom Smith, a cofounder of Truss, an online commercial real-estate marketplace. In addition to its short notice provisions, the company often asks for much smaller security deposits and has much lower early termination fees — when it requires them — than other landlords, he said.

What’s more, traditional landlords often require individual business owners to personally guarantee that they will pay their leases, Smith said. Those guarantees provide a big disincentive to the owners to default on those obligations, even if their businesses start struggling, because they, and not just their corporations, are on the hook.

But Smith said he’s never seen WeWork, which lists space on his site, ask for a personal guarantee as part of its member contracts.

“Its almost a feature of WeWork’s membership agreement that it does not,” he said.

There’s no way to tell from the company’s filing how much of its $4 billion revenue backlog number is at risk if there’s a downturn and its clients start terminating their agreements early or simply defaulting on them. It would be good to know — but WeWork doesn’t disclose — what portion of a member’s outstanding lease obligation it typically recovers when the member cancels or defaults, Smith said.

But thanks to the ease with which WeWork members can get out from under their commitments, Smith thinks WeWork could see only a small portion of that backlogged revenue in the case of a downturn.

“This four billion has to be massively discounted,” he said. “This four billion,” he continued, “is not like another real-estate company’s four billion in revenue backlog, I assure you.”



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Davis, Semien hit 2-run homers as A’s beat Yankees 6-4

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — When slugger Khris Davis cleared the fences again at last, he gave it an animated trot around the bases complete with a salute approaching third before celebrating with his teammates back in the dugout.

When top pitching prospect A.J. Puk made his major league debut at last, the crowd went crazy and he felt the love. His teammates razzed him afterward and he assured everybody, “I can take it.”

Davis and Marcus Semien each hit a two-run homer to back Mike Fiers, and the Oakland Athletics held off the New York Yankees 6-4 on Wednesday night to clinch another series win against an AL division leader after taking three of four games from Houston last weekend.

Oakland moved a percentage point in front of Tampa Bay for the second AL wild card.

Davis snapped an 0-for-17 slump — three at-bats shy of the longest hitless drought of his career — with his first home run since July 30 and second since June 18. He sent a full-count pitch down the right field line in the second inning for just his 18th homer after he led the majors last season with 48 for his third straight year with 40 or more.

“He needed that,” manager Bob Melvin said. “He’s been grinding hard. He takes this pretty seriously. He’s been so instrumental for this team, as consistent a power hitter as we’ve ever had around here.”

Stephen Piscotty added a solo home run in the sixth after the Yankees got Mike Tauchman’s sacrifice fly in the top of the inning. Mike Ford homered in the seventh for New York, and Didi Gregorius added an RBI double.

Liam Hendriks struck out DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge in the eighth to escape a jam after Puk started the inning.

“He handled it well,” Fiers said of Puk. “We’re going to see a lot of him.”

Hendriks finished for his 15th save as Oakland (73-53) moved a season-best 20 games over .500 and earned Melvin his 1,200th career victory as a manager.

Fiers (12-3) loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, and his night was done. He struck out four and walked three, allowing two runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings. This marked the anniversary of the first of his two no-hitters on Aug. 21, 2015, for the Astros against the Dodgers.

The A’s won for the sixth time in seven games and reached 201 home runs. They have ample time to close in on the club record of 243 set in 1996.

Yankees lefty J.A. Happ (10-8) allowed five runs and four hits in four innings. He struck out four and walked two.

“He hasn’t gotten away with a mistake with a single. It seems like it’s been slugged,” manager Aaron Boone said. “That’s hurt.”

PUK’S DEBUT

Puk drew huge applause when the shaggy-haired lefty came on for his first big league appearance. Puk hit 99 mph on the radar gun and issued a walk and Ford’s single one out later before giving way to Hendriks.

Puk, called up Tuesday after he missed last season following Tommy John surgery, will remain a reliever in the majors this season but a future starter. What about an opener?

“He’s going to be a starter,” Melvin said, then joked: “He can open and go seven innings.”

SABATHIA’S GOODBYE

Yankees lefty CC Sabathia’s farewell in the Bay Area means so much as he returns to his roots for the final time during the regular season before the 39-year-old pitcher heads into retirement.

On Monday, Sabathia spent a day off handing out his 50,000th backpack to first-graders and second-graders at home in Vallejo as kids returned to school.

“This is always going to be a special trip to me,” said Sabathia, who will conclude his career following 19 big league seasons and the last 11 with the Yankees. “Coming here I got a chance to go to Vallejo first day of school giving backpacks away. Just being here with my family, my kids getting to see Vallejo and hang out in Vallejo, my kids are there now, so it’s always a special time for us.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Yankees: OF Brett Gardner had an ingrown toenail removed Sunday that had bothered him all last week. He missed his second straight game but Boone expected Gardner to be in the lineup for Thursday night’s series finale. “It was pretty sore yesterday, still,” Boone said, expecting Gardner to go through a full on-field workout. … RHP Dellin Betances (right shoulder impingement) threw a bullpen at the team’s complex in Florida — a pair of 16-pitch simulated innings. He could throw another bullpen as soon as Friday. … CF Aaron Hicks (right flexor strain) is yet to resume baseball activity.

Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea is likely to get another rehab start with Triple-A Las Vegas as he continues to work back from shoulder surgery last September. … LHP Brett Anderson is scheduled to make his next start Sunday against San Francisco after dealing with a blister his last time out on Sunday. … LHP Jesus Luzardo has returned to a full regimen with Las Vegas after being sidelined by a strained pitching shoulder. “All good. I still don’t know what the plan is for him yet, but encouraging to see him get stretched out again,” Melvin said.

UP NEXT

Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka (9-6, 4.56 ERA) makes his team-leading 26th start on an extra day of rest looking to reach double-digit victories for the sixth time in as many major league seasons. Oakland goes with RHP Tanner Roark (1-1, 2.55) in his fourth start since joining the A’s from the Reds at the July 31 trade deadline.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports





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