Internet access is so fundamental that it is starting to be considered a basic human right. However, access to the internet remains uneven. As more devices connect to the internet, more bandwidth is eaten up. Li-Fi is a new route to connectivity that will provide more bandwidth and speed once the technology is completely developed — and it’s very close.

WHAT IS LI-FI?

Li-Fi uses an LED bulb’s modulated light signal instead of a modulated radio signal to send data and connect to the internet. The LiFi-X system from PureLiFi transmits data using waves in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that an LED bulb with a microchip generates. The LED light fixture and a dongle for a USB port comprise the LiFi-X system which delivers speeds of up to 42Mbps, up and down. The system is already in use as its parent company, PureLiFi, has been collaborating with tech companies around the world to trial and improve the technology.

A Li-Fi system offers a business many advantages, including improved security. Sending and receiving data through light means that access can be limited much more easily than with Wi-Fi because light does not penetrate walls. On the other hand, this also presents a challenge in terms of making Li-Fi as convenient as Wi-Fi. Smart architecture will be required to increase Li-Fi’s range, and dim LEDs will make it possible to have Li-Fi access that follows users and works even in the dark.

Li-Fi can also be applied in settings that are impossible for Wi-Fi. For example, Li-Fi is ideal for in-flight internet access and high security installations like petrochemical plants in which risk of sparks makes radio antennas too dangerous to be used.

The equipment for Li-Fi is too big to be used in mobile devices — but perhaps only for the moment. Miniaturizing the technology is one of the biggest goals for PureLiFi and, according to Digital Trends, a newly redesigned LiFi-X with a much smaller dongle is coming later this year to use for laptops. This version is still too large to fit into a smartphone, but since “LiFiCapability” language was found in iOS code for a future iPhone model, it seems likely that the smartphone version is coming.

BETTER BANDWIDTH VIA LI-FI

Consumer demand for wireless data is pressuring existing Wi-Fi technology more every day. The ongoing, exponentially growing number of mobile devices in particular is expected to reach 11.6 billion by 2021 — exceeding the projected population of the planet at that time (7.8 billion). This translates into a monthly information level of about 35 quintillion (1018) bytes — a level that will be unsustainable with current wireless infrastructure and technology.

Li-Fi can relieve this pressure because the visible light frequencies it uses are relatively underutilized. PureLifi and other companies working to develop the technology are already partnering with businesses in the lighting industry to grow the lighting ecosystem now so that, hopefully, by the time Li-Fi tech is ready to go online at scale the infrastructure it needs will be ready.

In February 2016, Li-Fi technology sent data at up to 1GB per second in trials, which is 100 times faster than currently available Wi-Fi technology. These trial runs were obviously slower than the lab tests, but they demonstrated that Li-Fi connections should be able to transmit up to 224 gigabits per second. By August, researchers were sending data 20 times faster than they did in February. Speeds are expected to continue to improve.

New smartphone and computer designs could incorporate this technology, perhaps in doubly innovative ways. For example, Li-Fi connectivity cells might also provide an opportunity for solar charging capabilities in smart devices. And, while it is unlikely that Li-Fi will entirely replace Wi-Fi, it will almost surely become the exclusive source of data transmission in high security areas, on planes, or in older buildings that disrupt Wi-Fi signals.

Source : malaysiandigest.com

Categorized in Search Engine

Back in 1995, everyone’s favourite astrophysicist, Carl Sagan, published a book called The Demon-Haunted World, which warned against the dangers of pseudoscience and scientific illiteracy, and encouraged its readers to learn critical and skeptical thinking.

Pretty standard stuff for a socially conscious scientist, but one passage in particular has been blowing up on Twitter this week, and it’s not hard to see why. 

Somehow, (we’re not saying time machine, but probably time machine) Sagan managed to predict the state of things as they are today - and it’s unnervingly accurate.

We’re talking the decline in manufacturing jobs; people feeling hopeless about politics; politicians refusing or unable to represent the public interest; and brilliant, revolutionary technologies that never seem to change the lives of anyone but the 1 percent.

The result? Sagan predicts people will opt for superstition and pseudoscience over reality - and even more concerning, he says the public will be intellectually incapable of distinguishing between what makes us feel good, and what’s actually true. Fake news, anyone?

Yep, this passage has got it all:

View image on Twitter 

So did Sagan somehow know enough about society in 1995 that he could accurately predict what life would be like in a couple of generations, or are we all reading too much into it?

Oddly enough, the way we interpret this kind of prediction actually has a lot to do with how we interpret horoscopes - one of Sagan’s biggest bugbears. 

Horoscopes have nothing to do with reality, but they owe their enormous success to the fact that humans tend to see what they want to see.

So while we can be pessimistic about the future of society as a whole, humans are generally pretty optimistic about their individual future prospects - a concept known as optimism bias.

It's actually an evolutionary survival tactic - and that's something horoscopes directly tap into.

As Tali Sharot, a cognitive neuroscientist from University College London, explains for TIME:

"You might expect optimism to erode under the tide of news about violent conflicts, high unemployment, tornadoes and floods and all the threats and failures that shape human life. Collectively we can grow pessimistic - about the direction of our country or the ability of our leaders to improve education and reduce crime. But private optimism, about our personal future, remains incredibly resilient."

Thanks to humanity's optimism bias, you could show someone all the statistics related to divorce, cancer, and average lifespan, and more often than not, they'll choose to believe that those negative experiences won't happen to them.

So when we see horoscopes that tell us we're going to meet our soulmate or get a big promotion this month, we choose to believe it, and don't tend to go back and fact-check it - the horoscope has already done its job by making us feel good.

A similar thing goes on when we're presented with a spookily accurate prediction of the future - part of the cognitive bias that's wired into all humans is that we are drawn to details that confirm our existing beliefs.

As Matt Novak points out over at Gizmodo: "[I]t’s important to remember that the 'accuracy' of predictions is often a Rorschach test. An interpretation of a particular prediction’s accuracy usually says a lot about the people interpreting them, and their own hopes or fears for the future."

We also need to put these predictions into context, because once you read past the viral passage, you'll see that Sagan is kinda trying to blame the state of things in the future on... Beavis and Butthead?

"The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.

As I write, the number one video cassette rental in America is the movie Dumb and Dumber. Beavis and Butthead remains popular (and influential) with young TV viewers. The plain lesson is that study and learning - not just of science, but of anything - are avoidable, even undesirable."

How delighted Sagan would be to know that in 2016, more young people were watching David Attenborough than The X Factor. Mind-numbing television is actually the least of our problems right now.

But even with all that said, we do have to give props to Sagan for coming up with a really cracking prediction for the beginning of 2017. Let's hope for better things to come in the months and years ahead.

Author : BEC CREW

Source : http://www.sciencealert.com/the-internet-is-freaking-out-over-this-spooky-prediction-by-carl-sagan-about-the-future

Categorized in Others

 

CANCUN, Mexico, June 22 (Xinhua) -- With the goal of securing an open Internet, which can be used with freedom, security, trust and accessibility by all, governments, companies and civil society must come together to craft a new governance model for the web, global experts have agreed.

During the 2016 Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy, which is taking place this week in the Mexican town of Cancun, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is presenting the final report of its Global Commission on Internet Governance.

The report, crafted by a group of experts from every part of the world, has the mission of finding a way for the Internet to remain inclusive and secure.

"The Internet is at a crossroad. Threats to privacy and other risks that may bring the Internet down are real," Carl Bildt, president of the commission, said at a press conference Wednesday.

Bildt, who is the former prime minister of Switzerland, believes that the Internet can have a future where it provides economic opportunities, boosts freedom of expression, improves political equality and guarantees social justice.

"For this to happen, governments, civil society and the private sector must actively promote this future, and consequently, take the right steps to reach it," he added.The main risks identified by the report are access to essential information services being under threat, people believing the Internet is not safe, and aging technology needing an upgrade.

If these are not addressed, "the Internet could lose its capacity to drive innovation and many of the advances and benefits we have seen in the last two decades could be eliminated."Alongside Bildt, Jose Angel Gurria, the OECD secretary-general, said that "trust is crucial in the digital economy. The Internet is the best tool to bring people together."

According to the report, "a new social pact is needed for Internet governance ... where fundamental human rights, such as privacy and freedom of speech, are protected online."Bildt said that access to the Internet is another challenge, since over half of the world's population has no access to the Internet.

"We run the risk of a world of two halves, with those who have access to the Internet and those who have none. The consequences of this could be catastrophic. If the Internet is not properly managed ... it could lead to a fracture that could cause serious harm to global economic development," noted the Swiss expert.

Alongside this initiative, the OECD is focusing on the development of information and communications technologies (ICT) and the creation of related opportunities for young people.

The report shows that the percentage of professionals working in ICT is at an average of over 3 percent in OECD countries. Some positive statistics have emerged, with 95 percent of companies having access to broadband, 76 percent having websites, and 22 percent use the cloud. However, only 21 percent of companies offer online sales.

In terms of security, the commission states that governments must work together to halt cybernetic attacks.

The report also advocates that consumers must have the freedom to choose the services they wish to use and for "free service providers" to treat their customers' data with more respect before selling them for commercial use.

"Due to their impact on public opinion, governments, civil society and the private sector must unite to understand the effects of ... publicly available data," added Bildt.

Finally, he noted that "there must be a continuous evolution in the governance of an open Internet, with multiple and broad-based participation, in order to guarantee the existence of a unified global Internet." Enditem

Source:  http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-06/23/c_135458529.htm

 

Categorized in Online Research

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