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Facebook: All The Scandals Of The Past Year

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Facebook, in recent days, has been embroiled in scandal after scandal. On Wednesday, it was revealed that the initial numbers exposed by the Facebook data leaks were far higher than the 50 million declared by the social media platform. In fact, the numbers are closer to 87 million, a good 30 million more than the declared figures! However, with Zuckerberg’s confessions in front of the Congress, the other scandals Facebook has been going through has been brought to light.

1. Cambridge Analytica 

Cambridge Analytica, the political analysis firm, acquired the data of millions of Facebook users via an app created by a Professor at Cambridge. The data breach was considered a massive violation of information and was also linked to the 2016 Trump Presidential Elections. According to recently revealed reports, the analytics firm had used the revealed information to get an idea of the voters way ahead of the elections. The revelations sparked a massive reaction from the Senators in Washington. This, in turn, led to the #DeleteFacebook moment, with Zuckerberg being summoned to testify against the issue. After a long and omminous silence, he came forward and clarified all the questions posed by the members. The issue is still going on, without a clear idea on the resolve.

2. Retaining deleted videos of the users

One of Facebook’s responses to the Cambridge Analytica incident was to allow users to download their data archive on the social network in order for users to fully understand what information Facebook stores. This move inadvertently trigged more outcry when users discovered that videos recorded on the platform they had thought they had deleted were still present in Facebook’s archives. Facebook in turn, apologized and called the retention an unintentional “bug.” But the error will likely do little to reassure the public in the wake of a much larger ongoing scandal.

3. Facebook’s internal struggles 

When the entire date leaks breach happened, Andrew Bosworth, the Vice President of Facebook, said the growth of Facebook as a company was far more important than the breach of certain individual’s privacy. This sparked off a huge controversy, with Bosworth going on record to clarify that he didn’t mean what he said.

4. The Russian Meddling 

One of the dominant scandals of the 2016 Trump Presidential elections was the fact that Facebook had allowed the Russians to spread their political propaganda on the social networking site. Facebook had admitted last year that fake Russian accounts had been purchased for more than $ 100,000 in ads. Facebook was additionally implicated in its role of distributing misinformation, also known as “fake news,” from phony news sites, more often than not targeted at Hillary Clinton during the campaign, but rampant on both sides nonetheless.

5. Photo and link scan over messenger 

One of the other privacy infringements which came to light during the data leaks breach was the fact that Facebook scans images and links sent via messenger. According to the company policy, the policy is followed to make sure the content used is as per Facebook standards. While the practice may seem standard, users took offence to the policy as they felt it was an impeachment to their privacy rights. Facebook has said it is looking into the issue and will get it fixed as soon as possible.

With Mark Zuckerberg coming forward and saying he will address everyone’s concerns with what is perhaps the largest online social media platform, the issue looks to be resolved soon.

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Cricketer Shikhar Dhawan Turns Entrepreneur

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Cricketer Shikhar Dhawan Turns Entrepreneur,Startup Stories,Inspirational Stories 2019,Cricketer Shikhar Dhawan,Famous Cricketer Turns Entrepreneur,Cricketers Turns Entrepreneur,Shikhar Dhawan Latest News,Cricketers Now Businessman,Shikhar Dhawan Turns Businessman,Indian Cricketer Shikhar Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan, the man who has bowled everyone over with his amazing talent on the cricket field, recently ventured into a new foray. The famous cricketer started a home decor called DaOne Home with his wife. A premium home decor venture, this Company is aimed at improving the way people design their forever homes.

Providing a comprehensive solution for people looking at getting everything for the home custom made in one place, DaOne looks at accentuating the way your home looks and feels. Talking about his brand, Dhawan said in an interview, “Our homes are a natural extension of our own personalities, a reflection of our preferences and tastes. When Aesha and I were setting up our home, we realized the challenge that most Indians face when it comes to getting their living spaces to reflect their identities. While there were plenty of options available to choose from, no one place could give us the kind of comprehensive, end-to-end satisfaction that we were looking for. DaOne Home is our endeavor to address this major market gap.”

With a strong and continuously growing online presence, the brand lets people order the products of their choice on the website. At the moment, the online store sells bed linen, cushions and table linen. However, looking at the massive popularity of the brand, Dhawan and his wife are planning to partner with other e commerce retailers to expand their business and offer a wider range of products.

The products are specifically designed by an in house team based out of Delhi and can be customised, if required. Being an entrepreneur didn’t happen to Dhawan by chance. Always knowing he wanted to enter into business after retiring from cricket, Dhawan jumped at the chance to work with his wife when the opportunity presented itself. While Dhawan’s venture into this field is impressive, he isn’t the first cricketer to expand his horizons outside the cricket world. Other cricketers like M.S. Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli also branched out and became entrepreneurs. With Dhawan and his wife creating beautiful creations everyday, it is going to be interesting to see when the duo launches the retail stores!

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Lofty Dreams: How The Flying Taxi May Finally Realize Our Desire for the Flying Car

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If you thought that the future of transportation was just electric cars and autonomous vehicles, well, there’s a push to take things a little higher.

Certainly, gasoline-free, self-driving cars are all the rage right now, and rightfully so. We are deep into the testing phase of cars that reach level four automation (level five means they are fully autonomous).

However, other transportation technologies are aiming to leave the road behind and take occupants above the fray of cars and traffic, delivering them to their destinations through the air versus across the ground.

While the promise of the flying car introduced in Back to the Future Part II may have missed the mark by a few years, the next decade will see a revolution unlike any since humans first took flight.

What is a Flying Taxi?
Traditionally, the term flying taxi is often confused with established transportation services known as Air Taxis. The latter evokes smallish airplanes or helicopters that shuttle occupants short distances, city to city, usually from one airport to another.

The modern iteration on a flying taxi, however, takes the terminology of a short-haul flight to a whole new level.

What makes the flying taxi concept both unique and potentially viable in a modern setting is the ability for the aircraft to take off and land anywhere – no airport is necessary.

Thanks to vertical ascent and descent capabilities the aircraft currently being tested are more akin to helicopters, but the design isn’t merely limited to well-known methods of flight. In fact, some prototypes now resemble oversized drones and gondola cabs with an array of small rotors attached to the roof.

Many of the designs carry only a handful of riders – from as few as two up to between five and seven, not including the pilot for the non-autonomous concepts. Indeed crewless flight is still one to two decades away, but much like the driverless automobile the drive for flying taxis to one day be pilotless is an aggressive one.

The small size though is the key to the technology proving a significant addition to an already crowded transportation network. So too is the plan for many of these crafts to be electric, eliminating the noise and nuisance of a gas powered engine.

In rising above gridlocked avenues and streets, flying taxis would utilize every aspect of the urban setting. From the ground level (in some areas) to the airspace in between or just above a cities mid and high rise buildings to the rooftops of those same structures, the tech would undoubtedly make the most of its operational field. Most proposals call for those rooftops to transition into launch and landing pads for the taxi network.

An actual airborne taxi service to get occupants from point A to point B within a densely packed city won’t just stop at the city limits though. There are also plans that would expand that reach, flying short haul, low occupant flights between closely networked cities.

Places within an hour’s drive of each other such as Dallas to Fort Worth or Baltimore to Washington DC are obvious candidates. However, taxi flights also offer the opportunity to bridge locales like Boston and New York or Los Angeles and San Francisco.

More Than Just Flying Cars

While on paper the whole enterprise seems ridiculously cool and simple enough, the reality is something different.

Uber, the peer to peer ridesharing behemoth, is one of the most visible players in the race to get the flying taxi up and running with its Elevate and UberAir programs.

In partnership with space agency NASA, Uber is working towards their taxis taking flight in 2020 in Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and Dubai. It’s an aggressive goal considering that Uber remains in the design phase and have yet to produce an actual working, to scale prototype.

But they are undeterred.

Jeff Holden, head of product at Uber, has said, “there’s been a great deal of progress that’s been hard to see from the outside because a lot of this is just hard work at the drafting table.

He goes on the to note, “we feel really good. It’s been a really interesting process getting our vehicle manufacturing partners aligned on performance specifications so that they’re building vehicles that align with what we need to make Elevate successful. So lots of good progress there.

Expanding upon the ideas of their uncrewed traffic management protocols or UTM, NASA helps to nail down the infrastructure side of the endeavor.

The UTM system is currently helping to corral the unruly nature of the growing drone industry. In theory, NASA’s UTM would lead to the creation of an entirely new system of air traffic control to guide the taxi flights.

Although the push for localized flying transports has yet to generate the same publicity as that of their earthbound automobile counterparts, Uber is far from the only player in the field. More than 15 different companies are working towards similar goals, and in many cases, a lot of investment dollars are flowing into these efforts to get them off the ground.

For example, Kitty Hawk is a startup owned and fully funded by Larry Page, co-founder of Google. Kitty Hawk is currently testing a recreational hovercraft in New Zealand meant to dovetail into their flying taxi program over the next three years.

Others companies wanting to get in on the action include aviation heavyweights Boeing and Airbus.

Boeing bought Aurora Flight Service Corporation late last year to give both their commercial and military programs in electric and autonomous flight a shot in the arm. Greg Hyslop, the Chief Technology Office for Boeing noted the deal reflects that the “the aerospace industry is going to be changing” and Boeing is aiming to be ready “for whatever that future may be.

For their part, Airbus made a similar deal, with an investment in startup Blade, which already boasts a charter flight business that is, ironically enough, often cast as the Uber of charters. This in addition to Airbus’ in-house Vahana program.

Elsewhere, showing off at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, was an 18 rotor vehicle called the Volocopter, that until recently was flying around in the futuristic desert playground of Dubai, running test flights.

Straight out of a sci-fi movie, the Volocopter is a German designed pilotless drone that one must really see to believe and appreciate.

Dubai also has a partnership with Chinese firm EHang, whose own ambitions for flying taxis stems from the automation and delivery via drone aircraft of organ transplant materials.

Even part and component manufacturers are playing a pivotal role in making the sci-fi of flying vehicles real.

British engine maker Rolls-Royce has a propulsion system in development for use in flying taxis. They hope to have it available sometime within the next decade.

And yes, some auto manufacturers are getting into the game with Porsche in the early stages of exploring the possibility.

Just How Viable Is A Flying Vehicle?

As with any new technology, growing pains exist. Flying cars are no different. There will almost certainly be a level of turbulence before the population fully embraces the latest tech and its scalable for the masses.

Consider the now ubiquitous iPhone is less than 12 years old and was once a curiosity. The prevalence and the advancements of the device made in just over a decade are definitely remarkable. The hope is that a flying taxi can follow a similar fast-track path to success.

Of course, airborne taxis are a completely different realm. As much as humanity is yearning to see a car fly – and practically – it’s another thing when you ask those same people to take a ride. It will require a convincing sales pitch for commuters to trust a machine that has onboard parachutes as part of its standard equipment.

However, with cities more crowded and street-level gridlock a constant complaint of urban dwellers, it’s not difficult to envision city skies filled with swarms of on-demand taxis.

The CEO of Volocopter, Florian Reuter summarizes the ease of use autonomous flight offers. “Implementation would see you using your smartphone, having an app, and ordering a volocopter to the next voloport near you. The volocopter would come and autonomously pick you up and take you to your destination,” he said.

Discounting that level of simplicity and convenience is hard.

As cool as it all sounds, flying taxis – even with actual testing happening as we speak – remain a construct of the future. We noted that many of the target dates for these aerial taxi programs run between 2020 and 2030. For some, those timelines are highly ambitious.

Even those whose entire reputation derives from their lofty ambitions.

Elon Musk mused to Bloomberg during a recent interview his thoughts on flying cars, and it was less than favorable. “Obviously, I like flying things. But it’s difficult to imagine the flying car becoming a scalable solution,” he said.

Uber’s Holden, however, disagrees. “We’ve studied this carefully and we believe it is scalable,” he noted, also casting Musk’s comments as “off the cuff” and “random.

Final Thoughts
Regardless of if it can actually happen anytime within the next few years, many are banking on it simply being a matter of time before we are living with the daily sight of flying taxi services buzzing over our heads.

While the initial product may prove a bit different from the original vision, few will argue should one of the longest held fantasies of future progress finally come true.

Written by – Anna Kučírková

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CES 2019: The Best Innovations Announced

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The Consumer Electronics Show (CES,) one of the largest tech shows held at Las Vegas every January, hosts over 180,000 people with ideas, innovations and new creations fit for a future world! With artificial intelligence (AI) playing the central theme at the show, different startups and tech establishments told us where technology is heading toward in the coming years. From self driving suitcases to flying taxis, here’s taking a look all the inventions which were on display at the CES this year!

1. Ovis Luggage

Developed by a Chinese company called Forward X Robotics, the idea behind Ovis Luggage is to help carry your luggage around without having to put in any physical effort. By using facial recognition and movement tracking algorithms, the bags come fully equipped with cameras which track the surroundings perfectly. To amp up the excitement level, the bags have also been designed to stick to their owners at the speed of 6 miles per hour and through the movement tracking algorithms, they can also avoid colliding into people beyond a certain radius! If by chance the bag does go missing, you can track the suitcase by using the inbuilt GPS system! Priced at $ 799, the bags are expected to go on sale within the next few months.

Picture credits: travelandliesure.com

2. Lenovo Smart Clock

A little over a year after announcing their first invention together, Google and Lenovo came back with another cutting edge invention called the Lenovo Smart Clock. The AI enabled smart clock comes with touch sensors and is designed to map your schedule from sunrise to sunset. Starting half an hour before your alarm is scheduled to ring, the smart clock also functions as a Google smart speaker, which means the clock can send music and podcasts (among other things) to your phone through Chromecast. Priced at $ 80, the smart clock will go on sale this spring!

Picture credits: picture.lint.com

3. Obsbot Tail AI Camera

While the last major innovative improvement (when it came to cameras,) was in the form of the 360 degrees video, the CES summit saw a new breakthrough in this field. China based startup Obsbot built a camera which uses artificial intelligence in the best way possible. Called the Tail, not only can this camera take extremely smooth pictures and videos, it identifies subjects in the shoot and tracks them using AI. With the ability to switch without friction between different models, this camera is perfect for people looking at making videos without the requirement of someone operating the camera manually. Equipped with the ability to shoot up to 4K/60 fps videos and to support HDR 10, the Tail is going to be priced at $ 500 and will be available at Kickstarter.

Picture credits: youtube.com

4. Riding High

At a time when ride sharing cabs like Ola, Uber and Lyft are at the peak of their performance levels, it comes as no surprise, people are looking at creating new ways of sharing rides. A partner of Uber, Bell Helicopters, launched a brand new flying taxi called Nexus Air Taxi. AI empowered, the taxi will seat four passengers and a pilot and will have a range of 150 miles, with the highest speed being 150 mph. Expected to launch next year, the Nexus is looking at being available in major cities by mid 2020.

Picture credits: askcott.com

5. Magic Mirror

Looking at yourself in the mirror and checking yourself out can never be boring! Developed by Electric Mirror Inc., in Everett, Washington, the Savvy Smart Mirror is perhaps the most interesting development in this mix. Designed to resemble a massive touchscreen, the Savvy Smart Mirror is not only a looking glass, but also can be used to show weather reports, play music and connect to your social media accounts as well. Apart from the other features available, the Savvy Smart Mirror also lets you control and adjust the thermostat controls in your room. Initially designed for hotels, the mirror is also going to be designed for homes. Priced at a whopping $ 2,500, the mirror is expected to go on the market soon.

Picture credits: myhome.com

With so many exciting innovations being introduced, the year is definitely dedicated to innovation and creations. What invention are you looking forward to owning the most? Comment and let us know!

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