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Leslie Fletcher

Fifth Generation Mobile Communication Network

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Edited by Leslie Fletcher, Monday, 6 Feb 2017, 12:49

As the final part of TU100 Block 1 Part 1 Activity 8, "communicating on the move," I selected a 5G news story from the Economic Times.

5G is expected to be available in 2020 and they are claiming the whole content of a DVD can be transmitted in a fraction of a second!

Minoru Fujishima Professor at Hiroshima University in Japan said; "This year, we developed a transmitter with 10 times higher transmission power than the previous version's. This made the per-channel data rate above 100 Gbit/s at 300 GHz possible". http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/56996124.cms

I have to ask the question, how on earth are they going to develop the processing capability, internal storage and battery life in the next generation of mobile phones to accommodate this among of data streaming?

We are talking three years away I suppose, so I await with interest!

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Leslie Fletcher

Cyber Attacks and our Public Services

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Edited by Leslie Fletcher, Monday, 6 Feb 2017, 12:50

A picture of a hooded hackerAs part of TU100 Block 1 Part 1 Activity 8, discussing public services, I thought about the impact of the number of cyber-attacks and our National data security. In the last few years there has been a move from paper-based data towards digital information storage within our public services. One I have personal experience of was Her Majesties Inspector Of Taxes.

I worked, in pre-computerisation days, (amongst the dinosaurs), as a Civil Servant Tax Officer in the Inland Revenue. In 1983, all archive, tax-payer and corporation files were housed in dusty folders in massive file repositaries at a local level. A request for information from another area was time-consuming, often misdirected or delayed.

Today, the Inland Revenue as well as the Government, Police and Councils provide access to data online. In respect of transparency, I applaud the move, (having first-hand knowledge of the antiquated, and some might argue, secretive paper-based systems of bygone days).

However, cyber-attacks by criminals and foreign hackers is very worrying at a personal and National Security level. MP’s have warned “A skills shortage and "chaotic" handling of personal data breaches are undermining confidence in the government's ability to protect the UK from cyber-attacks.” Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-38845582 3/2/17.

Not only public services, but also our utilities, especially our Nuclear Power generation companies, the Ministry of Defence, and Governmental Departments have concerns about their firewall and data security. The Government are investing £1.9 billion of our tax-payer revenues in their “National Cyber Security Strategy, such is the concern about the risk we face today.

I thought it an interesting article on the BBC New website. Certainly thought provoking.

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Leslie Fletcher

A Virtual Entertainment Experience

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Edited by Leslie Fletcher, Monday, 6 Feb 2017, 11:53

As part of TU100 Block 1 Part 1 Activity 8 discussing entertainment, I was interested to read the latest developments in Oculus technology. A technology that has been shrouded in its fair share of headlines concerning the Rift Kickstarter seed funding campaign that raised over 2½ million dollars only two months after being formed. Two years later Facebook paid 2 billion dollars to buy the company.

The Gear VR is compatible with the Samsung Galaxy phones. This means their virtual world can be anywhere! A scary thought. It is certainly a massive market, “With WebVR, developers can reach a huge potential audience of over three billion web users. By giving those who haven't experienced VR a preview of what they're missing, WebVR content can accelerate the adoption of VR for people everywhere." Source Oculus VR, LLC from Facebook. https://developer.oculus.com/webvr/

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Leslie Fletcher

Get Your Head into the Cloud?

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Edited by Leslie Fletcher, Monday, 6 Feb 2017, 12:50

As part of TU100 Block 1 Part 1 Activity 8 discussing communities, I found the VWVare online community network directory. VMWare, a subsidiary of the EMC Corporation in California, is a virtualisation and cloud computing software, highly relevant to today’s emerging technologies.

The website is a mix of a collection of blog entries and forums, where enthusiasts, cloud computing VPS (Virtual Private Server) users and providers discuss topics relating to their community.

I thought it an up to date and useful resource, (having used VPS myself in the past), one that perhaps might be useful to you too. https://communities.vmware.com/welcome

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Leslie Fletcher

Opening the Floodgates?

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Edited by Leslie Fletcher, Monday, 6 Feb 2017, 12:51

As part of TU100 Block 1 Part 1 Activity 8 discussing information I thought this was an interesting piece of news. There seems to be quite a difference of opinion between a Philadelphia Magistrate and a Federal Appeal Court in the United States which could affect us all indirectly in the future.

The difference of opinion concerns the FBI wishing to seize data held on foreign servers as part of a US Fraud investigation. Google has said that a US Federal Warrant impinges privacy rights and that it has no jurisdiction over such data.

A Federal Appeal Court in the US ruled in a similar case where a warrant was issued to Microsoft, that Microsoft moving personal data from Foreign servers to the US did indeed infringe data privacy and jurisdiction.

Philadelphia Magistrate Judge Thomas Rueter ruled, "Though the retrieval of the electronic data by Google from its multiple data centers abroad has the potential for an invasion of privacy, the actual infringement of privacy occurs at the time of disclosure in the United States". He also argued there was "no meaningful interference" with the account holder's "possessory interest."

Judge Reuter did agree there was a “potential for invasion of privacy” but argued moving the data from abroad, in this case emails, “did not constitute seizure.”

I look forward to reading the Appeal Ruling as, to me, this raises many ethical questions and privacy concerns. The news item that caught my eye was written for Beta New Dot Com by Mark Wilson on the 5th February 2017 at https://betanews.com/2017/02/05/google-must-give-email-data-to-fbi/

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Leslie Fletcher

Swiss Cheese

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Edited by Leslie Fletcher, Saturday, 4 Feb 2017, 16:56

The shock

What has surprised me the most since starting TU100 are the holes in my education and basic learning skills. I am certainly not academic and expected to have to re-discipline myself. However, the basic things missing like critical reading, mathematics and reflective thinking really gave me a lot of food for thought.

I grew up in a military family and was educated in many different service shcools around the world. When I was at school, Elvis Presley was alive and well, Concorde was still in development and Glam Rock was in full flow.

The excuse

Service schools themselves are good except for the fact, that during my childhood, many of them used different National Regional Examination Boards. This might seem unimportant except for the minor problem, that subjects and syllabi changed from school to school. For example, you could either be studying French or German as a second language, physics or chemistry; I'm sure you get the idea. This mean't, I would either cramming or twiddling my thumbs in my new school.

Considering all of that, I did pass 5 GCE O Levels, (in old money); it could have been a lot worse! I then decided I would enter the world of employment instead of continuing my education. I then worked for 40 years until an accident at work turned my life upside down. Because I cannot drive National Express coaches around the country anymore, I decided to do what I should have done when I was sixteen and continue my education. So I did.

A second go

I had succeeding in all of my OCR Level 1 and 2's, two diplomas from NCFE in Entrepreneurial Studies and Online Marketing, so I thought, "Open University, how hard can it be?" I'm looking forward to the challenge, but am finding I am frequently navigating through the Open Learning website to brush up on my mathematics and other things I should know. (To actually calculate manually after years of calculators). This also applies to the critical reading skills and reflective thinking I need to develop.

The Swiss Cheese

Slowing myself down and then the further reading when I find those holes in my knowledge is, for me, at times very irritating, but at the same time, very satifsying when I finally "get it." The moral of this annecdote boys and girls, if you don't want a study skills and an education set like mine, Swiss Cheese, (full of holes), use the resources made available to you in Open Learn and the Library. It's great stuff! Just wish I was forty years younger to get the full value from it. There again, not many computers around in the 1970's.

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Leslie Fletcher

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE; SHOULD WE BE GOING MORE

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Edited by Leslie Fletcher, Monday, 6 Feb 2017, 12:52

A Conversation We Should Be Having

As part of TU100 Block 1 Part 1 Activity 8 discussing business I was reading an article in the Harvard Business Review written by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, Avi Goldfarb (in the Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2016/12/the-obama-administrations-roadmap-for-ai-policy), I remembered a conversation I once had with a scientist working on artificial intelligence at Edinburgh University back in 2007. The conversation revolved around the feasibility of cognitive and self-learning function in non-organic processors. I could not accept the premise then, I am however, more inclined to a different worldview today.

Robin Li, the founder of Baidu in China said, “when the age of AI arrives, the [internet of things] will become a big market and completely change manufacturing. I think that in the future all manufacturing will be a part of the AI industry… China is a manufacturing giant, and I think we need to really pay attention to AI tech development…” The implications for manufacturing can already be seen in our car production facilities and our pharmaceutical industries.

These machines have though, so far, lacked "real" artificial intelligence. Why is this so important? Humans are quite useful in that they are able to understand context, problem-solve within that context, and are cognitively aware. As far as I am aware, processors lack the ability to determine self. By determining self, a natural empathy evolves. Without that, in my view, the “Terminator” movies of the past might possibly become a future reality. After all, humans are not perfect, machines have the ability to become perfect. Natural order determines the strongest survive. This was my argument back in 2007, and still is

Practical applications already exist. Researchers at Stanford University “are excited after artificial intelligence was repurposed for software developed by Google to determine the difference between cats and dogs. It was shown 129,450 photographs and told what type of skin condition it was looking at in each one. It then learned to spot the hallmarks of the most common type of skin cancer: carcinoma, and the most deadly: melanoma. Only one in 20 skin cancers are melanoma, yet the tumour accounts for three-quarters of skin cancer deaths. The experiment, detailed in the journal Nature, [full publication available from: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v542/n7639/full/nature21056.html] then tested the AI against 21 trained skin cancer doctors.” (excerpt from an article by: James Gallagher Health and science reporter, BBC News website, 26/1/17 at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38717928)

Leading the way is China. Given their massive population, it makes sense to increase their manufacturing capacity and productivity. Close behind in the conversation is the United States with England fifth producing journal articles mentioning keywords; “deep learning” or “deep neural network,” (according to “The National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan in October 2016).

Whatever your view, I think cognitive function will not ever be truly possible. I do however think, something extremely close will evolve. A Frankenstein monster? We can only wait and see.

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