Internet Balkanization Might Spell Doom for Global Business Development

Brazil recently called it split with the United States in terms of internet connection after the NSA reveal by Edward Snowden. It further affirms its stance, together with Germany, as it creates a Lisbon-routed internet connection that bypasses Miami, putting Brazil’s information away from the spying eyes of the US.

Truly, the actions of many countries, including those in the Middle East and China, in terms of protecting information coming inside and outside of their networks, signify a great mistrust of the developer of the Internet. Currently, technology companies from the United States, such as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL and others, are asking for it to renew its surveillance laws. If the laws do not change, people may avoid the very technology that makes up at least 25% of the US’ economy.

I do not think these technology companies will have it bad because the internet will become ‘splintered’, or split exclusive only to respective countries. Their technology will still be used, but smaller to medium businesses may suffer because of delays.

Upon balkanization of the internet, many websites will need permission from the local regulators to send information over to their borders. This will take time upon evulation, and may not even be successful upon rejection.

Global business development will definitely take a very slow turn upon internet balkanization. Indeed it is a very bad idea to have total surveillance, but it is a more economica problem if we completely cut ties from all over the world.

Has Technology Failed to Provide its Promise of More “Time?”

I’m exceedingly thankful that I’ve decided to purchase a smartphone despite my previous hesitation the last year. Now reading emails, social networking and making calls and appointments are now easier. It also acts as my organizer and this organizer reminds me about meetings, events and other things of my concern. Without it, I would be checking my notebook from time to time to see what I need to do.

However, when you use a traditional writing material as an organizer, you develop more than just your writing aesthetics; you actually learn how to manage time by yourself. Technology taking over this task should save you time, but it seems you don’t, and you also have some of your skills melt away from yourself.

Time is our most valuable possession because it deteriorates and it cannot be re-purchased. Obviously, we as a race have our own relationship with the tools we use. Anybody who had spent more time trying to walk up a mountain rather than having a vehicle or motorized tool help them up the mountain is another thing.

The tools we have created today do save us time, but it fails on its promise to provide us more “free time” for ourselves. Instead, it had accelerated the speed of work and left many people providing the same amount of time for their jobs rather than for themselves. It is an unwelcome challenge.

However, the irony is that due to the comforts technology provides, people lack the will to challenge and develop themselves. Their relationship with tools are just things that can provide them comfort and security. Because tools determine the evolution of the human race, if all we focused on was convenience, then the human condition will slowly deteriorate.

Google Unveils Smart Lens That Measures Body Glucose Level

Technology and internet company Google recently unveiled its “smart lens” technology, which analyses the glucose levels of anybody who wears it based on their tears. Made from tiny circuitry and a specially-made glucose sensor embedded in the specialized lens, the device is to measure the glucose that have passed through certain thresholds in the body.

However, Google said that more work is needed before the technology could be sold at consumer level.

The new device was a result of Google’s extensive clinical research studies, which they continue to review to help them make their prototype better. Their objective was to help people know instantly if they need to manage their glucose levels to avoid diabetes and other bodily complications.

Wearable technology, such as Google’s Smart Lens, is going into full blown development with many technology companies raising researches focused on healthcare. Google is targeting the healthcare industry, which they estimate will grow as the earlier generations are reaching retirement ages and will be needing automated and convenient healthcare products.

Currently, Google is working with its partners, including the US Food and Drug Administration to help them in ensuring the product’s quality is fit for mainstream use. Google, which experts consider to be secretive in terms of their products, services and algorithms, is now willing to work with partners before their product was commercially ready, signifying a willingness for open innovation.

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New Technology May Hold Solution for Intensive Data Security

Proprietors and technology once had a conflict; the technology was new and security in networks made it easier for unauthorized people to access confidential and important information. The recent Target breach had investors’ and proprietors’ fears resurface, but experts say that in the near future, these data breaches will become impossible.

 

The Smart Card is a data card that contains chips and pin numbers. When a card registered with a Smart Card is used, the card will ask for confirmation with the Smart Card, which helps avoid the unauthorized use of your information.

The Masked Card gives users a temporary card number instead of the actual card number. Once the number is typed in, your original card number surfaces. This can also be used in internet transactions. Unauthorized usage of the Masked Cards will have it self-destruct automatically.

These two technologies are already existing in some countries in Europe. However, because of its new technology, financial companies need to improve on their ATM systems, which will require an overhaul.

According to experts, data breaches may still be possible, but less likely, with these new technologies. Rob Shavell, the co-founder of Abine, which sells the Masked Cards, said that you cannot be protected 100%, but if you practice proper identity theft precautions against hackers and thieves, you could definitely protect you and your assets.

 

Male and Female “Wired” Differently According to Study

According to a neural study, males were designed for perception and coordination while the female brain was wired for social skills and remembering many things. With over 1,000 brain scans performed on different specimens, the fact that there is a great difference between the way men and women think.

An average woman’s brain is highly connected between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. The male brain had better neural connections in the front and back regions of the brain. Researcher Ragini Verma, from the University of Pennsylvania, said that the actual study supported the old belief that the thinking of males and females are highly different from each other.

Women are highly equipped for multitasking simply because their brains are highly connected. Their capability to socialize is also improved because of their memory capabilities uprooting certain subject matter that is relevant to most conversations.

Women are more intuitive because the right brain works on intuition. However, because of the better connections between the two brains in women, women are better at remembering things and feeling their intuition. This also explains why women are emotionally involved when talking

Men are more wired to perceive things and focus on one thing with precision. They can guess correctly on many subject matter. However, because of their tendency to fixate and think more with the left brain, the lesser connections between the two hemispheres will not allow them to multitask effectively as women can.

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Girl with Stumped Aging Could Have the Key to Immortality

Brooke Greenberg, a child diagnosed with a rare unnamed condition called Syndrome X, more known to the medical community as Syndrome X, had stopped growing physically and mentally at the age of four. Scientists said that her DNA might hold the key to immortality or reducing the gradual breakdown of the body because of aging.

Greenberg died two weeks ago with a lifespan of 20 years, true age. However, her body stopped developing. During much of her life, scientists and medical experts had studied why she stopped developing at such a young age. She originally lived in Baltimore, Maryland and her parents gave Doctor Eri Schadt of the Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York permission to look closer to her condition.

Schadt said that it is highly possible Brooke’s DNA holds the key to her development and aging processes and what makes her DNA different from that of a normal human. Her DNA was greatly different from her family and her parents and had a number of mutations that could explain her condition effectively.

However, she had respiratory problems, strokes and seizures, which might also be caused by her condition.

Scientists said that they hope to isolate the causes of Brooke’s conditions and allow the learnings from her DNA to contribute well to the medical industry.

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More than a Million PPI Claims Made to the Financial Ombudsman

The Financial Ombudsman said that 81% of financial claims it received the first half of 2013 were about PPI. Latest figures suggest that majority of the claims have been received during the last 18 months. The Financial Ombudsman also said that the number had surpassed the previous number of PPI complaints received in the last quarter of 2012 by 26%.

According to Financial Ombudsman Chief Natalie Ceeney, banks are still dragging their feet in resolving PPI claims. Customers needed to face and cope with unnecessary delays caused by banks. In 2012, taxpayer-backed Lloyds Banking Group was fined £4.2 million for delaying 140,000 consumers more than eight weeks before giving a decision regarding their PPI complaints.

PPI is an insurance policy designed to repay loans and mortgages for employees who get sick or have any situation that disables their ability to repay their financing effectively. Because banks mis sold it without concern for consumer circumstances, millions of UK borrowers were mis sold the insurance. Anyone with a mis sold PPI could consult a PPI calculator company for more information.

However, the financial industry debunks the Financial Ombudsman’s figures, quoting the Financial Conduct Authority’s announcement that previously, consumer complaints were reduced by 17% this year, meaning that banks have been properly redressing consumers.

According to a British Bankers Association spokesperson, banks are determined that they will not repeat the same mistake of PPI mis selling and they had changed their incentives system. Today, the banking industry is rewarding staff for consumer service and not sales volumes.

Anybody with a mis sold PPI can use a free PPI calculator to know the total amount of refunds they can get.

NASA Hit Hard by US Government Shutdown

The United States’ government shutdown due to its Congress failing to approve a federal budget hit NASA very hard, sending off its employees in temporary furloughs with risk of lost pay because of the failure for approval.

NASA’s websites for its different programs and missions were shut down following the US notice regarding the lack of federal funding. Its current programs in the International Space Station, the Mars Rover and others now halted their updates in social media.

NASA also stopped the asteroid watch program that sends alerts of possible dangerous asteroids. The agency is also scheduled to launch the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) on November 18, which might be delayed due to the government shutdown. The delay could be costly, given that its launch date is the only day the Earth’s orbit will align with Mars.

Still, the agency continues to support astronauts off-world that will be costly to bring back to Earth. Many of these astronauts find themselves in a temporary vacation lacking technical activity and maintenance tasks.

NASA warns that the lack of federal funding makes it possible for US satellites to wear down and the entire agency, once back on the job, might have a lot on their hands once the US government shutdown is finished.

Mars Rover Spots Solar Eclipse from Planet

NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover took some photos of a passing solar eclipse by Mars’ Phobos satellite as it passes in front of the sun. The August 29 Mars Solar Eclipse was a spectacle for the Mars Rover’s first year in outer space.

 

Curiosity is still functioning and performing observations on the barren planet. It landed August 2012 and is due perform its task of finding if Mars is capable of supporting organic life until 2014. It is now venturing into the three-mile high Mount Sharp.

The three photos taken by the Mars rover were captured three seconds apart, making it one of the most detailed images ever taken by a robot.

On September and October, the Rover might actually glimpse the approach of the Comet ISON. NASA scientists are ready to capture the passing of this comet on Mars.

Scientists found it very fascinating to view a different type of solar eclipse other than the Earth. Social media and the Internet gave positive feedback for the NASA photo, declaring it stunning, well-timed and phenomenal.

The Mars Curiosity rover stirred up things last year as it has its own “personality” as it continues to spread images of its “adventures” on its own Twitter account.

Mobile Technology In the Next Few Years

The appearance of the Apple iPad, iPhone and Android mobile devices gave people the impression of already living in the almost-science fiction age. With touchscreen peripherals similar to those used in many famous science fiction and technology films, mobile technology is sure to carry over in the next decade. However, these would be the leading trends by then.

1. Integrated Applications
Mobile apps became useful for many people because they conveniently turned your device into a flashlight, turned it into a gesture-based program or use its gyro-sensor for engaging games. However, as more business and technical oriented applications continue to improve, you might see some programmers doing their jobs on a tablet or even just a mobile device. The feedback from customers for famous applications could definitely improve these applications and have them integrated by the next few years.

2. Smaller and Smaller
The smaller and slimmer the mobile device, the more convenient it would be for people. In the future, it is most likely the size of mobile devices could slim down to fibre glass proportions. New technology today actually makes use of fibre glass as a nominee for newer touch screen mobile devices.

3. Faster Internet Connections
Today’s 4G technology allows mobile devices to stream information into devices in fiber optic speeds. However, in the future, personal Internet connections would probably be faster in the future as telecommunications technologies improve. Data plans might become more expensive, but getting to watch episodes during your idle time makes it well worth it.