Blog Posts

Folding phones

posted Jan 18, 2019, 8:17 AM by Sameena L Ghogawala ‎(2020)‎

Folding Phones 

The flip phone is making a comeback! With flexible displays, and intricate hinges, new touch screen folding phones are in the process of being made. Companies like Samsung, Apple, Motorola, LG, and Huawei are all racing to come out with the new foldable phone. And many say we can expect them coming out in 2019. Some are designed to be the size of a regular smartphone that can also open up and be a tablet; other designs more closely follow the shape of a typical flip phone that opens to be fully touch screen.    

Samsung galaxy announced in a developer conference about a phone that can fold to a 4.6 in width and open up to a 7.3 in screen. The company even plans to have a another screen on the outside so it can be used when folded open faced, folded closed faced, and completely open. Royle Flex-Pai has a similar approach to the folding phone. With a two screen display on the inside and a smaller exterior screen. But this phone also folds backwards to create a stand for the phone, where both sides can show different displays simultaneously.

Motorola currently has the most unique design from the rest. Taking a similar look to a flip phone, the new Motorola RAZR, fold downwards into a 3.5in length and with just long enough for a full keyboard.  This phone has a touch screen front side and a touch screen face when opened. With fingerprint and facial recognition security the company also claims to be very far along in the process of making a folding phone.


Sources:

https://www.tomsguide.com/us/foldable-phones-release-date,news-28705.html

https://www.t3.com/news/top-5-foldable-phones-to-expect-in-2019-samsung-galaxy-x-plus-handsets-from-apple-motorola-and-more


Project Loon

posted Jan 3, 2019, 6:19 AM by Sameena L Ghogawala ‎(2020)‎

To many of us access to the internet and WiFi is a given, from our homes, coffee shops, and schools, it seems we can always be connected. In the developing world, access to electronics is not so readily available. People may struggle to afford paying for private servers, or owning and updating the devices necessary.  


The power of the internet has proven to benefit so many people's lives and bring awareness to the world around us. It has helped start businesses, advocate for those in need, and educate us on the world we live in but the power of the internet cannot reach full potential unless everyone can experience it.  Project Loon intends to do this.


Project Loon is a concept made by Google to expand internet connection to rural or underdevelopment places in the world.  According to their website, “1 in every 2 people have a lack of internet access” and “two-thirds of the world’s population does not yet have internet access.” Project loon believes that the internet is not yet the global community it could be. To change this, the company plans on using a balloon.


This balloon can rise high into our stratosphere about 20 km above earth's surface, twice as high as the average plane. This is important because a cell tower’s biggest limitation is the height of their antennas. Lower antennas mean they stretch to less coverage. Loon’s  balloon rises with an antenna that provides a standard LTE service to a large area below. The balloon uses solar panels that charge during the day and work through the night to keep the mesh network running. Each balloon can last about 100 days until it needs replacement.


Project loon has been tested in New Zealand and was an overall successful project. Google plans on expanding the work of this project throughout the world in the hope created a better connected internet community.  


Sources:

https://www.thestar.com.my/tech/tech-news/2018/12/10/made-by-malaysia-loved-by-the-world/?utm_medium=thestarhomepage&utm_source=spacrosstsol&utm_campaign=Facebook10Dec


https://www.star2.com/family/2018/12/14/malaysian-family-helps-underprivileged/


https://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2018/7/229046-bringing-the-internet-to-the-developing-world/fulltext


https://loon.co/technology/


https://x.company/projects/loon/


https://www.google.com/intl/es419/loon/how/#tab=equipment

How Technology Can Help World Hunger

posted Oct 31, 2018, 6:21 AM by Sameena L Ghogawala ‎(2020)‎

World hunger plagues 10.7% of people in the world. 70% of the world’s food is produced in small isolated farm no larger than 2 acres. A major issue with world hunger is finding productive and sustainable ways to farm, so farmers can support themselves and harvest the maximum amount of crops to sell. As communication efficiency increases, it is vital that farmers have access to information that will help maximize their produce.


Africa’s farms have a ⅕ the productivity that Asian farms or European farms have, due to a lack of communication between farmers and education on the most lucrative ways to farm. Philanthropist Bill Gates proposes that just a cell phone could prevent famine.  


‘"It's about increasing food productivity ... better crops, better livestock, so we can double productivity throughout Africa,"’  said by Bill Gates in an interview with CNN.


A social network called “wefarm” is providing a solution to hunger we see in African countries. With 90% of farmers having access the internet (on occasion), “wefarm” is a platform allowing farmers to share information and educate each other on combating issues like drought, or poor soil. This program also hopes to collect data and information on farming in Africa to help with a new solution to increase productivity on many farms.  Other important information the program can share is what foods are the most nutritious and healthy for the people to consume.


Networks like “wefarm” are not the only program to help world hunger. Biotechnology companies are attempting way to strengthen seeds to withstand drought and other harsh conditions. Advances in satellite technology is starting to allow for the fertility of soil to be examined before planting to seeds to find what crop are best suited for the soil.


What can you do about this?  The future of farming is rapidly changing in the hope to help world hunger, but it starts with local farms being supported. These advances in technology are intended to help the millions of people owning and managing their own farms so they can make the most of their land and provide for those around them.





Sources:


https://www.cnn.com/2017/02/23/health/tech-apps-solving-global-hunger-famine/index.html

https://www.worldhunger.org/hunger-quiz/how-many-people-are-hungry-in-the-world/

https://unchronicle.un.org/article/biotechnology-solution-hunger


Electric Cars

posted Oct 23, 2018, 10:51 AM by Sameena L Ghogawala ‎(2020)‎

 Cars release many different pollutants into the air. In urban areas around the U.S automobiles can be responsible for close to 80% of air pollution. Electric cars seem like a possible solution to end the huge amount of pollutants that cars produce.  But how exactly do they work?


 Like plugging your phone in the wall to recharge, you can now do the same with your car. Battery electric vehicles (BEV)  are complex, and how they work is specific to each car. Just like all outlets in walls connected to grid electricity, energy flows out and collects in the car. Electricity is stored in the car battery.  The battery has multiple chambers, as the acceleration is hit the electricity powers the motor and turns the wheels. When the car is braking or stopped the chambers are refilled, The chamber system helps keep the motor cool.  This means most electric cars have a slower acceleration, because the car almost resets itself when it stops. But on average, a full charge of a electric car has more mileage than a full tank of gas,

mainly because they are never idling.


There are many kinds of electric cars out and even more are coming out. The biggest differences between them is how quickly they accelerate, how much mileage per charge, how long it takes to charge, how they perform in the winter, and, of course, price. Many electric cars have been seen as beneficial for certain circumstance and incredibly annoying in others. There is no doubt that an electric car is expensive at first, but it removes the expensive of gas. In the winter many cars are less efficient with how many miles they get per charge, or take longer to fully charge. Running out of battery most likely requires you to call a company to quickly shock the car with more electricity, since charging stations are still scarce depending where you live. In addition buying and installing a charging system in your house to charge overnight.


Overall, electric car can have an incredible impact on the environment. Each one is different and has their own specific pro and

cons. Electric car are very complicated and continuing to advance.


Soucres:

https://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/electric-vehicles/how-do-battery-electric-cars-work#.W8nTzxNKi-o

https://evobsession.com/electric-cars-for-sale-usa-electric-cars-list/


https://auto.howstuffworks.com/percentage-of-air-pollution-due-to-cars.htm




How Alexa Responds

posted Oct 10, 2018, 6:29 AM by Sameena L Ghogawala ‎(2020)‎   [ updated Oct 10, 2018, 6:32 AM ]

Amazon released a new device called Echo on November 4, 2014. Now as we yell at things in our houses they may start responding, with the use of simple wake words like; Alexa, Echo, or computer. This Amazon device can play games, turn the lights on, give you real time updates on weather and traffic, along with many other uses.


But cracking open one of these may surprise you. It is mostly speakers and microphone equipment, the secret to Echo’s smarts is ‘her’ connection to a cloud computing service called, Alexa voice services (AVS). This is Alexa’s ‘brains’.


Asking this home speaker to tell you a story often results in getting to be apart of an interactive story with different noises to transport you to the scene. Every time you call Alexa’s name, voice speech recognition alerts the device to turn on. After this point, everything you say is recorded and sent to AVS. This service has a remarkable ability to decode your voice into commands.  It can hear what you say, choose a response and send that back to your speaker at home.


Nothing Alexa says is random, it is likely that many other homes have heard the same things.  AVS can spit out trained responses, depending on the command. For weather and traffic, your home speaker sends your voice to this cloud system, then the location of the speaker all before you hear an answer, and maybe even a reminder to wear sunscreen. Alexa’s voice is manufactured to say specific words and sound out letters of the words not in ‘her’ vocabulary. Your voice recording is very important to the growth of Alexa’s ‘mind’.


Every time you have to repeat the same question twice, or Alexa cannot find an answer, those voice recordings get organized and categorized to help find Alexa's flaws. As those are tended to, the system is updated in order to help Alexa work as smoothly as possible. Because of the fairly simple build of the home speakers updating them is simple. It does not require a new device but just a change in AVS that automatically applies to every device it is connected to.






Sources:

Pros and Cons of Drones

posted Jun 14, 2018, 2:17 PM by Alessia Fucentese ‎(2020)‎

Alessia Fucentese


Pros and Cons of Drones


https://www.dronesetc.com/blogs/news/the-pros-and-cons-of-aerial-drones


The Pros


Drones Have a Chance to Create Development


Aerial drones have a chance to create development in areas such as “Weather forecasting, maritime monitoring, search and rescue operations, oil and gas exploration, agriculture, telecommunication, and other human endeavors stand to gain a lot with the incorporation of UAS” (Dronesetc). Drones can provide a great overhead view. This is great for rescue operations and weather prediction due to the fact that they can cover a lot of land, and help people see things they coulden’t normally.   


Efficiency and Cost Management


Drones have the potential to save money, because they are cheaper to use in some industries.  “Compared to manned operations, unmanned vehicles save more money, and are energy-efficient. Imagine paying workers to spray crops on a large field or using trucks and planes that burn fossil fuels to deliver packages. Some aerial vehicles are already doing this excellently, but there is room for more exploits (Dronesetc).”  However in other industries they will cost more to make than to actually give back. This is because drone parts are very expenive, and in some industries the expensives won’t be worth it.


Safety of human lives


Drones have the potential to take on dangerous jobs so people don’t have to.  “ Flying machines hold many prospects in unmanned cargo handling, scientific research in hard-to-reach areas, coordinated security operations, inspections in difficult or dangerous scenarios, surveillance, and may other areas. Use of drone technology could open up more threats to human safety, but regulations and good management will alleviate the risks (Dronesetc).”  The drones can land on people, crash into things etc. but, regulation will prevent this from happening too often.  


The Cons


Possible Abuse


This is people's biggest concern when it comes to drones, because there are people and companies out there who can abuse technology.  “Drones are known to be used by the military for law enforcement operations, so many people are wary that the technology is vulnerable. Debates regarding gun control, wars, and foreign policies abound, so many fear the repercussions of abuse of the privileges. Drones have cameras, and with them being more accessible, owners could abuse it in violating the privacy of others (Dronesetc).”

Legal Concerns  


Laws regarding drones are still undeveloped since drones are new technology.  There have been a few cases of drones being used to spy on civilians for example.  


Public Perception


Drones are hugely controversial in the eyes of the public.  Especially because A flying machine crashed on the White House lawn, and some were seen flying over Paris.  The public is suspicious of drones and believe they could cause more harm than good.


Conclusion


It is clear that drones have more benefits than problems.  However, this new technology needs more research and development before they can reach their maximum potential, and there needs to be more public education.


Augmented Reality

posted Jun 12, 2018, 5:40 AM by Cooper C O'Mara ‎(2020)‎

Augmented reality is a computer generated image that brings it into view in the real world. It can be a picture of a cell, a dinosaur, a vehicle, etc. Augmented reality add’s graphics, sounds, haptic feedback and smell to the natural world as it exists. Both video games and cell phones are driving the development of augmented reality. Everyone from tourists, to soldiers, to someone looking for the closest subway stop can now benefit from the ability to place computer-generated graphics in their field of vision. You can use an ar headset to look closer at an image to get the full details of what it is and what it looks like by walking closer to it. It will show a 3D image that you can look at via google expeditions. The image below is a 3D image volcano made with google expeditions. This app can help bring your 3D image real and even sometimes move. This is a good app to use if your trying to make a 3D image come to life.

https://computer.howstuffworks.com/augmented-reality.htmImage result for augmented reality google expeditions


Fortnite Season 4

posted Jun 12, 2018, 5:31 AM by Cooper C O'Mara ‎(2020)‎

Fortnite season 4 has just come out today with new skins, emotes, items, the destruction of Dusty Depot, a new battle pass, and new places to explore. The game has just gotten even more exciting with the superhero season now out. Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite say that “Season 4 is starting off with a BANG. Shards of a massive comet have crashed into the map altering the landscape. Discover gravity-defying Hop Rocks and find new ways to play. Jump in and witness the aftermath of the impact while you level up your Battle Pass and earn all new loot.” Epic Games says that more emotes and skins will be coming out every couple of months. Fortnite comes out with a new season because people get tired of the old season after completing the challenges. They release new things so people can jump back into the game and play. The new Thanos game mode is based off of the new movie avengers infinity war where one person gets the thanos gauntlet and try to eliminate as many players as they can to win the game. I believe the new season has improved as new things come out every week.Image result for fortnite season 4


Xbox Game Pass

posted Jun 12, 2018, 5:28 AM by Cooper C O'Mara ‎(2020)‎

Xbox Game Pass is a paid subscription where you can get games for free on your xbox. It can also give you a game that is on sale for which you can purchase for a lower price than how much it usually costs. You can play with your friends and share games if they don’t have it. You can also purchase games that have not been released for xbox one on the xbox 360 dashboard. New games will come out almost every month. At least 196 games have been released for xbox game pass. Game pass costs 10 dollars a month to get access to free games. But it is definitely a good choice if you want to get your hands on a game to play with friends. All you have to do is go into the app on the Xbox and to purchase a certain game or the Game Pass.


https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2018-06-01-xbox-game-pass-games-list-priceImage result for xbox game pass


Artificial Intelligence in Non Profit Organizations

posted Jun 11, 2018, 8:16 AM by Alessia Fucentese ‎(2020)‎

Alessia Fucentese


Artificial Intelligence in Non Profit Organizations


There has been much controversy over artificial intelligence (AI) & machine learning (ML) over the years.  It is a relatively new thing and is already changing the world. Despite the many worries there are about it, it can be used for good as well.  Recently, people are finding ways to incorporate AI into non-profit organizations. Here are a few ways it can help:


Finance  


Fraud and other financial corruption are a huge problem for any organization, lucky there is now an AI program to fix this problem.  According to the the Brookings InstitutionAI tools can help managers automatically detect actions that warrant additional investigation. Businesses long have used AI and ML to create early warning systems, spot abnormalities, and thereby minimize financial misconduct.[1]”  AI can help nonprofits combat hard to spot fraud.  For example the Somerville non-profit has has some issues with fraud. “The whole thing has been a nightmare,” said Mark Alston-Follansbee, executive director of the Somerville nonprofit, which provides food, shelter, and other assistance to about 2,000 people annually. “The money he stole from us could have prevented 100 families from going homeless. (Bostonglobe)   


Human Resources


Once employers know what they are looking for they can use artificial intelligence to find employees.  AI can weed out people who are bad for the job, and find people who are good for it. “AI can match applicants with employers. Automated systems can pre-screen resumes, check for relevant experience and skills, and identify applicants who are best suited for particular organizations.[1].” Artificial Intelligence can save time and effort for employers by making the employing process more effective.Image result for non-profit artificial intelligence


Communications


It is important for every organization to communicate with others.  Lucky, artificial intelligence can help with this process with others and make it more efficient “Chatbots automate conversations for commonly asked questions through text messaging. These tools can help with customer service and routine requests such as how to contribute money, address a budget question, or learn about upcoming programs. [1]” In this big world, it can be hard for organizations to keep in touch with staff, and it can be exhausting to keep up with communication needs manually.  It is a good thing artificial intelligence is helping with communication.


Abusive Behavior


While digital tools are certainly a great asset, there is alway a dark side. In this world, people like to harass people and organizations online.  In order to prevent this there is a robot called “Troll Patrol [that] can identify racist, sexist, or homophobic tweets, among other objectionable content and eliminate the abuse. [1]” The abuse is limited by the program blocking trolls and deleting offensive comments.  This is great in an era where people like to harass non-profit organizations, but this might not be such a great idea because it can be used to block people’s freedom of speech and people who aren’t commenting to harass organizations.  


Sustainability


Managing resources are important task for non-profit organizations.  Artificial intelligence can help with this as well. “The Nature Conservancy is helping the Red Cross ‘create a dashboard and mobile app that incorporates social media data on flood location and magnitude with socioeconomic and ecological data for city planning’. By layering different kinds of information, these applications assist cities in their efforts to become more sustainable and handle disaster management.[1]”  


Artificial intelligence seems like a great asset for non-profit organizations, and should be looked into further.  They can help with preventing fraud and abuse, promoting sustainability, and making communication easier within these organizations.


https://www.brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2018/06/05/artificial-intelligence-in-non-profit-organizations//


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