Tag Archives: Internet

Why are millennials burned out? Capitalism.

BOOK REVIEW

Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials, Author: Malcolm Harris.

By Sean Illing – What made millennials the way they are? Why are they so burned out? Why are they having fewer kids? Why are they getting married later? Why are they obsessed with efficiency and technology?

His answer, in so many words, is the economy. Millennials, Harris argues, are bearing the brunt of the economic damage wrought by late-20th-century capitalism. All these insecurities — and the material conditions that produced them — have thrown millennials into a state of perpetual panic. If “generations are characterized by crises,” as Harris argues, then ours is the crisis of extreme capitalism.

What Harris focused on is millennials as workers and the changing relationship between labor and capital during the time we all came of age and developed into people. If we want to understand why millennials are the way they are, then we have to look at the increased competition between workers, the increased isolation of workers from each other, the extreme individualism of modern American society, and the widespread problems of debt and economic security facing this generation.

Millennials have been forced to grow up and enter the labor market under these dynamics, and we’ve internalized this drive to produce as much as we can for as little as possible. That means we take on the costs of training ourselves (including student debt), we take on the costs of managing ourselves as freelancers or contract workers, because that’s what capital is looking for.

And because wages are stagnant and exploitation is up, competition among workers is up too. As individuals, the best thing we can do for ourselves is work harder, learn to code, etc. But we’re not individuals, not as far as bosses are concerned. The vast majority of us are (replaceable) workers, and by working harder for less, we’re undermining ourselves as a class. It’s a vicious cycle. more>

Updates from Ciena

On the Submarine Network Horizon in 2019
By Brian Lavallée – The submarine networking industry is truly fascinating from technology, social, economic, political, and even historical perspectives. All of these facets are intertwined, as new cables are planned and deployed as well as when the unspeakable occurs, and they must be repaired.

The undersea cable network infrastructure is critical infrastructure, and given there’s no Plan B for this part of the global internet, associated technological innovation must continue to evolve at a frenetic pace to ensure the industry can not only maintain pace with voracious growth in demand, but also to ensure the enormous capacity being carried today and ever-increasing amount of tomorrow is protected and continuously optimized to ensure a stable and viable financial future for submarine cable operators.

Several technologies and visions at the forefront of submarine network innovation were hot topics of discussion in 2018 and will undoubtedly be even hotter in 2019. I highlight some notable examples below.

If submarine cable networks are to continue evolving alongside their terrestrial counterparts, these issues will continue to be critical topics of conversation in our industry throughout 2019. more>

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Updates from Datacenter.com

Why can’t a data center guarantee the uptime of your environment?
Datacenter.com – One of the main reasons for choosing a data center, is to limit the risk of downtime and unavailability of the company’s critical environment. A data center offers redundant power feeds, multiple power sources (main grid and emergency generators) and redundant fiber paths to make sure one feed/source and path will always be available. So far, a data center can guarantee a certain uptime. The uptime guaranteed often guarantees the availability of at least one feed/source or path; in terms of data center design: N.

Does that ensure the uptime of your environment? To maximize your environment ‘s uptime, the resources a data center delivers must be used.

When choosing a high-standard datacenter, the equipment you will use in that data center must be able to use the safeguards that a data center offers. The infrastructure of power, fiber paths and cooling are as strong as the weakest link.

For example, when using a server that is only connected to one feed, the guaranteed uptime on one of the two power feeds do not apply anymore for the power on that server. When using a fiber connection from one fiber path, that fiber path is the single point of failure, although the data center has two redundant fiber paths. The same for using an ATS, when using it, the power to the ATS is dual feed, however the power path behind the ATS will be the single-point of failure. To achieve the highest uptime, you must use the safeguards that a data center offers as most as possible. more>

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Updates from Adobe

Kiwie Bubble Gum Collection
By Charles Purdy – In a recent post on Behance, Kiwie, whose graffiti artwork is well known on the streets of Riga, Latvia, where he makes his home, explained why and how he created the Kiwie Bubble Gum collection—a project that involved Adobe After Effects CC, Illustrator CC, and a fair bit of spray paint

The idea for the Kiwie Bubble Gum collection arose from Kiwie’s need to create new stickers. Wanting a fresh concept for the stickers, he remembered that the bubblegum brands of his youth used to come with collectible pictures folded inside the packaging—so what if he used that gum packaging shape as a way to deliver his stickers?

Then he realized that “Kiwie” and “Turbo” have the same number of letters. He says, “That was the point when the chain reaction started, where the first concept seed was created by simply connecting two dots: new Kiwie stickers and Turbo Bubble Gum. The same day I found on eBay, and ordered, five original Turbo Bubble Gums. I had to see them in my hands.” more>

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Updates from Chicago Booth

Viewing FICO scores spurs better financial habits
By Carla Fried – When it comes to financial matters, consumers tend to have a lot of confidence but a dearth of knowledge.

More than 400,000 customers of Sallie Mae, a private college-loan lender and servicer, were included in a study that tracked whether a quarterly email letting them know how to view their FICO score for free on Sallie Mae’s website might lead to better financial habits.

The FICO score is the ubiquitous financial report card businesses use to size up the creditworthiness of consumers.

Tatiana Homonoff, Rourke O’Brien, and Abigail Sussman find that Sallie Mae borrowers who received a quarterly email “nudge” were 65 percent more likely to log in to the website and view their FICO scores than customers who did not get the inbox prompt. Moreover, during the two-year study period that ended last June, participants who received the messages saw their FICO scores rise and were less likely to be delinquent in paying their bills. more>

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Updates from Ciena

Is technology the answer to stopping unsafe driving behaviors?
By Daniele Loffreda –  No matter how safe of a driver someone is, it just takes one instance of human error for an accident to happen. We shoot through the intersection just as the yellow light changes to red. We drift into the adjacent lane while responding to a text message. We nod out for a split-second because we didn’t get enough sleep the previous night.

Most times when taking these risks, we are lucky and manage to avoid an accident. But it only takes one unlucky moment to cause serious harm to yourself and your fellow motorists. For local departments of transportation (DOT), the multiplier effect of millions of drivers taking risks, can be devastating.

According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel:

  • Each year nearly 1.25 million people die in road crashes around the world, an average of 3,287 deaths a day
  • An additional 20-50 million people are injured or disabled annually
  • Road crashes cost USD $518 billion globally, costing individual countries from 1-2% of their annual GDP

According to the U.K.’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, human error is still the primary factor in 95% of road crashes.

Some innovative DOT’s have begun partnering with car manufacturers and technology vendors to make roadways safer by minimizing the potential for human error.  Many new vehicles are equipped with safety features like lane-departure correction, obstacle detection and collision avoidance.

And some manufacturers are beginning to include vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure technology (V2I) in their newer models.

Ciena is working with one trail-blazing DOT – the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). more>

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Updates from Ciena

Hyped to Death: AI Must Avoid Becoming a Cliché
By Kailem Anderson – Artificial intelligence (AI) is in vogue. It’s almost impossible to read an article in any media outlet that doesn’t mention AI and the possibility it will reshape the world in which we live. In fact, according to research conducted by AT&T, AI has the potential to double GDP growth across geographies by 2035. Consumers are already interacting with a variety of low-level AI assistants, such as Siri, Cortana, and Alexa.

With respect to the telecom sector, AI – supported by machine learning (ML) – is fundamental to controlling and operating communications networks of the future. With AI, future networks will be more predictive and intelligent. They will be programmed to automatically make recommendations, implement policies and respond to changes instantly. However, it is essential to understand the characteristics of AI in telecom. Otherwise, it is likely to become another overused, overhyped, and underwhelming tech term that fails to deliver.

Talk to people in the telecom industry, and each one will give a different answer of what AI means to them. The fact of the matter is, AI does not have a single purpose or meaning. While AI in a basic sense can help describe what is currently happening or going to happen, a more mature level can identify why it is happening and take corrective action.

A clearer purpose of AI in the telecom industry makes it easier for businesses, decision-makers, and customers to determine how useful the technology will actually be, and how it could help them accomplish their goals. This presents an opportunity for those leading the charge to define certain AI standards and definitions. more>

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Updates from Ciena

The evolving coherent optical networking landscape: a deep dive
By Helen Xenos – Over the past decade, network providers have used coherent technology to increase traffic carrying capacity by orders of magnitude over existing assets.

These new initiatives, in turn, are generating new and divergent requirements for coherent optical solutions beyond the need to efficiently scale for bandwidth growth.

In order to retain and grow their customer base, service providers are investing to offer innovative services – like delivering original video content (AT&T acquiring Time Warner) and enabling connectivity of “smart” devices both in the home and in a mobile setting (Bell’s managed security IoT service).

They are also evaluating and upgrading to new, simpler, scalable access architectures, to be able to offer new services unlocked with 5G. One notable example of spending shifting to the edge is Verizon’s announced $1B spend over 3 years for fiber from Corning, as well as their purchase of WOW’s Chicago fiber-based infrastructure.

Challenged with a multi-vendor infrastructure consisting of various technology generations, service providers are working to streamline operations and increase network automation to accelerate service delivery and improve customer satisfaction. At the same time, they are looking to increase operational efficiencies and reduce costs with a more open, programmable infrastructure that can quickly respond to new bandwidth demands with less deployed hardware.

Consistent among all network providers is the need for a more responsive, automated, and self-optimizing network. Technologies such as advanced coherent optics, alongside a flexible photonic layer and open application programmable interfaces (APIs) play a starring role in making this possible. more>

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Updates from ITU

New ITU standards bring broadband to places as remote as Mount Everest
ITU News – New ITU standards aim to bring high-speed broadband services to rural communities with lightweight, terabit-capable optical cable that can be deployed on the ground’s surface with minimal expense and environmental impact.

The standards are giving developing countries the confidence to consider the roll-out of optical networks in some of the world’s most challenging conditions.

Nepal, for example, has highlighted its intention to use ITU-standardized lightweight optical cable to connect places as remote as Mount Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Trekking Trail.

Why lightweight optical cable?

Satellite communications are characterized by high latency, struggling to support the interactive services associated with broadband. Radiocommunications can provide ‘last-mile’ connectivity. But in the broadband era, optical infrastructure is indispensable – rural communities are often many, many kilometers away from core networks.

The Editor of the new standards, Haruo Okamura of Waseda University, offers a compelling example: “Optical cable is becoming an absolute must for telemedicine. Only optical cable provides capacity high enough and latency low enough for the live transmission of HD medical imagery to remote medical professionals.”

The installation of ultra-high speed optical networks, however, comes with a great deal of cost and complexity.

“Today the costs of optical cable installation are typically 70 to 80 per cent of the entire CAPEX of the network,” says Okamura. “The designs of conventional optical cables are specific to their installation environment – whether duct, directly buried, lashed aerial or submerged – with installation methods relying on specialized machinery and skilled labor.”

This challenge is made even greater by the low densities of remote rural communities, where fiber roll-outs demand a disproportionate level of initial capital investment relative to the potential return on such investment.

New ITU standards aim to change that equation by providing a low-cost ‘do-it-yourself’ solution able to be deployed in even the world’s most remote areas. more>

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Updates from Adobe

Behind the Scenes of the Spider-Verse
By Terri Stone – Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s critically acclaimed Spider-Man™: Into the Spider-Verse isn’t a movie about a comic book; it is a comic book.

Justin K. Thompson was a natural choice for the film’s production designer (the person responsible for translating the director’s vision into what the audience sees onscreen). “I learned to draw by looking at comic books and emulating them,” he says. “My first job was in a comic book store—not for money, because I was too young. They paid me in comics.”

As a life-long comics fan and an artist, Thompson can easily identify key elements of comics. “They have the screen tones and misprints and offsets, and they’re printed with CMYK. There is a texture to them. You really feel the artist’s hand. I thought, ‘We have to bring all of that into our animated film.’”

“We got rid of things like blur that are typical in an animated film and in film in general,” he adds. “Comic books don’t have any blur. You just flip a panel. We knew it would be a real challenge to make a film without blur—we had to figure out new ways to animate.”

Bob Persichetti was a director on the film. “We spent almost two years developing the look and the way our characters move,” he says. “It was a struggle to make it work because we broke the animation pipeline. In computer animation, there’s an image every single frame, and there are 24 frames in a second. We stripped out half of those images to make the movements feel crisper. And because we took out every idea of a motion blur, everything’s crunchy and sharp—it helps make the images pop off the screen.”

Once the core team members had developed a unique visual language, it took hundreds of artists to apply the language to every frame of the film. Custom brushes for Adobe Photoshop CC helped keep things cohesive. more>

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