With GDPR Decision, Zuckerberg Proves Yet Again He Has Learned Absolutely Nothing From the Cambridge Analytica Scandal

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OK, I’ll go ahead and say it: Mark Zuckerberg’s reputation is in the toilet right now. As the company suffers scandal after scandal and the price of its shares continue to drop like they’re hot, Zuck has fumbled to make amends. And now, presented with a great opportunity to win back customers and investors alike, he’s like “Mm, no thanks.”

That opportunity: The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the European Union’s new law on data privacy. It ensures that every individual on the internet has a right to know which company has what data about them, plus the right to have it destroyed. To be active in the EU, websites, including social media, must comply with the new regulations that take effect on May 25.

So Facebook is making the necessary changes, as you may expect, because there were some 252 million Facebook users in the EU alone in June 2017. But according to a report from Reuters, those privacy protections won’t extend to people in other countries.

Let’s be clear: the site already has the technological capabilities to do this for users in whatever country it damn well pleases. But it’s simply choosing not to.

It’s almost as if Mark forgot what got his company into this big stinking Cambridge Analytica mess in the first place. What makes Americans (and the rest of the world) inherently unworthy of having the same privacy rights as their European counterparts?

Predictably, Zuckerberg deflected any suggestions that the choice was malicious, telling Reuters about his plans for the rest of the world, “we’re still nailing down details on this, but it should directionally be, in spirit, the whole thing.” In spirit? Really?

This isn’t likely to appease American Facebook users, who are still fuming over the company giving away their data to shady political consultancy groups.

Zuck didn’t do any more explain his choice, but he didn’t really have to. Keeping things the way they are for users outside the EU means Facebook can keep making money (and a lot of it) from the data the company harvests. And it has no legal requirement to change. So why should it?

“If user privacy is going to be properly protected, the law has to require it,” Nicole Ozer, the director of technology and civil liberties at the American Civil Liberties Union in California, told Reuters.

Regardless of what Zuckerberg’s vision of the future of data privacy in the U.S. looks like, the decision not to extending the same privacy rights to all users worldwide looks shady as hell.

The post With GDPR Decision, Zuckerberg Proves Yet Again He Has Learned Absolutely Nothing From the Cambridge Analytica Scandal appeared first on Futurism.

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Four Patients Test Retinal Implant That Could Stop Age-Related Blindness

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Some parts of getting older are awesome. Retirement. Early bird specials. Free reign to whine about your various aches and pains.

Not so great? Your vision can start to go.

Luckily, a new retinal implant may soon help treat a common cause of age-related vision loss.

Non-neovascular age-related macular degeneration (NNAMD) (also known as “dry” AMD) causes a blurry area right in the middle of a person’s line of vision that can grow as the disease progresses. Sometimes, the previously blurry spot becomes simply blank.

In short, that can be debilitating, making it pretty impossible to live a normal life. After all, you need to be able to see what’s in front of you to do things like drive a car or cook a meal.

Currently, there’s no treatment for the advanced stages of NNAMD, but a research team led by Amir Kashani, an assistant professor of clinical ophthalmology at University of Southern California (USC), is hoping to change that.

NNAMD likely begins with the breakdown of cells in a membrane in the eye called the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Kashani and his team designed an implant to mimic the function of this membrane. The implant fits on the retina and is made of human embryonic stem cells placed on a base material.

The team had already tested a version of the implant on rodents, so the next step was to make the leap to humans. So the researchers placed their implant into the eyes of four people with advanced NNAMD. Then, they monitored those people for between four and 12 months.

According to the researchers’ study, published today in Science Translational Medicine, none of the four participants had any negative or severe side effects from the retinal implant, and experienced no vision loss over the course of the trial. Once participant even “demonstrated an observable improvement” in their vision.

When the team took post-operative images of the patients’ eyes, they saw that the stem cells had blended with the existing retinal tissue. That is, the retinas looked like they were regaining their RPEs. A good sign.

Of course, this was an exceptionally small sample size that delivered promising (but not overwhelmingly positive) results. So the researchers’ next step is to test their implant on a larger group.

If it works the way researchers hope, it may someday be a game-changer for thousands of visually-challenged seniors. After all, what good’s a senior discount on movie tickets if you can’t see the screen.

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“Prosthetic Memory Systems,” Delivered Via Electrode, Could Be Dope, If You’re Willing To Wait A While

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Prosthetic memory systems: no longer just some sci-fi nonsense.

Researchers just completed a military-funded project intended to boost patients’ recall. At first glance, the numbers look really promising. At second glance, though, they might just be enough cause for optimism, but, well, not much more. 

The 15 participants were seeking treatment for epilepsy-related memory loss at North Carolina’s Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. They had already received surgery to place small brain implants in an effort to map what was going on in their brains to better treat their epilepsy.

In the study, published in the Journal of Neural Engineering on March 28, the participants in the study were asked to complete a simple task: look at an image on a screen and then correctly identify it among three or four other images after a short delay. While they were doing so, the researchers were busy mapping their brain activity to identify the region that displayed the most activity when the participant remembered the correct image.

In a second trial, the researchers used those small electrodes to stimulate the “correct answer” areas they had just identified.

The result? Stimulated participants’ short term memory improved by 37 percent, and their long-term memory (or what the researchers are calling that — a similar task with a longer day) improved by 35 percent.

“This is the first time scientists have been able to identify a patient’s own brain cell code or pattern for memory and, in essence, ‘write in’ that code to make existing memory work better, an important first step in potentially restoring memory loss,” said Robert Hampson, the lead researcher on this project, in a press release.

Dope.

The researchers received funding from DARPA in the hope that their work could help soldiers who face memory loss after head injuries.

Some caveats: this was one clinical trial conducted on just 15 people who were asked to complete one specific, simple task in a hospital setting. It’s not at all clear this would help you stop losing your keys so damn much, nor would you want to necessarily undergo surgery to try it. At least, not at its current stage of development, which is just proof-of-concept. 

The results from this latest memory boosting study, which the researchers are calling a “prosthetic memory system,” are impressive. They might even inspire optimism, if you’re into that sort of thing.  This experiment lays the groundwork for future human research into technology that can restore or enhance brain function, and that’s nothing to dismiss.

But for as long as scientists have studied memory loss, no matter its cause, the timeline for when we’d have a viable solution was always in “the near future,” “sometime down the line.” A stock answer for when Alzheimer’s might be cured is always “50 years away,” conveniently after that scientist would likely have retired.

So what does this study show? A cool, promising future of prosthetic memories. But not for, say, 50 years or so.

The post “Prosthetic Memory Systems,” Delivered Via Electrode, Could Be Dope, If You’re Willing To Wait A While appeared first on Futurism.

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Russia Debuts Postal Drone, Which Immediately Crashes Into Wall

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Someday, in the future, our skies will be full of whirring machines delivering anything we could ever want or need, from medical supplies to pizzas to the latest item from our Amazon overlords.

That day is not today.

On Monday, Russia’s postal service tested a delivery drone in the city of Ulan-Ude, Siberia. Instead, though, the drone crashed violently into a wall of nearby building, turning the UAV into a mess of jumbled parts.

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Russia had announced its plans to start delivering mail via drone. It seems like a smart idea, especially in such a huge country where severe weather often interrupts mail delivery.

Here was the original plan for Monday’s test. The $ 20,000 drone was supposed to pick up a small package and deliver it to a nearby village, Reuters reports. Instead the device failed spectacularly, only making it a short distance before crashing into a three-story building. The small crowd gathered to watch the test can be heard uttering expletives, according to Reuters.

No one was injured in the crash, and it didn’t do any damage, except to Russia’s pride.

“We won’t stop with this, we will keep trying,” Alexei Tsydenov, the head of the region who was present at the test, told Reuters. “Those who don’t risk don’t get a result.”

And risk they shall. The organizers aren’t quite sure what went wrong, but they suspect the 100 or so nearby wifi spots could have had something to do with it.

Russia might have succeeded in meddling in our elections, but, hey, at least our drones work.

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An Experimental Space Junk Collector Is On Its Way to the ISS

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A group of European engineers are about to go fishing in space. Their target: space junk.

Yesterday, SpaceX launched the Dragon spacecraft, which, if all goes according to plan, will reach the International Space Station on Wednesday, April 4. Among the many different experiments it has in tow, one didn’t receive much attention: a new “proof of concept” space junk collector called RemoveDEBRIS.

Created by scientists at the University of Surrey Space Center in the U.K., this spacecraft will run a series of experiments over the coming months aimed at capturing and destroying some of the debris floating around our planet.

NASA currently estimates there are more than 500,000 pieces of debris currently orbiting the Earth, all traveling fast enough to seriously damage any unlucky spacecraft that happens to cross their path. And while scientists have proposed many creative solutions for removing some of these dangerous bits, none have been ever been tested out in space.

Enter: RemoveDEBRIS. When the 100-kilogram (220-pound) space junk collector arrives at the ISS, the station’s six-person crew will unpack it in the next few weeks (makes sense that they would want to first get to the fresh food in the same shipment). At the end of May or in early June, Spaceflight Now reports, the crew will then transfer the craft to the Japanese Kibo lab’s airlock, and transfer it out into space via a robotic arm. When released, RemoveDEBRIS will be the largest satellite ever launched from the ISS.

Once out in space, REMOVEDebris will run three tests. It will:

  • Attempt to snag a dummy piece of debris (mimicked by an inflatable miniature satellite called a CubeSat) using a net
  • Track another CubeSat using close-up ranging lasers and navigation technology, as a space junk collector would need to pursue a target piece of junk
  • Fire a harpoon at a test target attached to the RemoveDEBRIS arm

If successful, these tests could show that the simple technology once applied to sea creatures could be useful in snagging some of the junk threatening orbiting spacecraft.

Guglielmo Aglietti, RemoveDEBRIS principal investigator, told Spaceflight Now that the primary aim of the mission is to show that cleaning up space debris can be relatively affordable.

“At the end of the day, everything boils down to funding,” Aglietti said. “We all agree, in the space sector, that it is a good idea to start to remove larger pieces of debris… if the cost to do it is exorbitant, then people will prefer to take the risk that their new satellite is going to be hit by a piece of debris. If we manage to lower the cost of the missions, then this is much more likely to happen.”

At the end of its mission, RemoveDEBRIS will run one final test: opening an expandable sail to generate drag (remember, it will be in the upper atmosphere still has some air, unlike the vacuum of space), pulling itself down into the atmosphere and burning up there. That will happen up to 1.5 years after the experiment begins.

It’s a fitting end for RemoveDEBRIS. After all, it would be pretty ironic for a space junk cleaner become space junk itself.

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Tim Cook Says Apple Would Never Have a Scandal Like Cambridge Analytica

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The tech industry really wants to unfriend Facebook.

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data-mining scandal, tech industry insiders have been quick to criticize Facebook for inadequately protecting users’ private information. The latest to join their ranks is Apple CEO Tim Cook. Cook is not just critical of Zuckerberg’s enterprise — he asserts Apple would never make the same missteps.

On March 28, Cook sat down with Recode’s Kara Swisher and MSNBC’s Chris Hayes to film a live interview for an upcoming MSNBC special: “Revolution: Apple Changing the World.” The program won’t air until April 6, but it’s already generating buzz, and blowback from Zuckerberg.

When Swisher asked Cook what he would do if he were Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during the Cambridge Analytica, he responded, “I wouldn’t be in this situation.”

That sounds somewhat dismissive, but Cook may have a point. During the interview, he touched on two fundamental differences between Apple and Facebook that could prevent the former from ever finding itself in the same situation as the latter.

Firstly, Apple makes its money from products, not people.

You’ve probably heard some version of the saying, “If you’re not paying for something, you’re the product,” and that’s essentially how Facebook earns a profit. You don’t pay for Facebook. Advertisers pay Facebook for you. Well, access to you and your information anyways.

Apple sells smartphones, watches, computers, software programs, cloud storage, entertainment downloads, and more. With so many products, it doesn’t need to sell user data to turn a profit. So it doesn’t.

“The truth is, we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer — if our customer was our product. We’ve elected not to do that,” said Cook during the interview.

Second, Apple has long prided itself on collecting far less data on its users than competitors tend to do, and protecting that data as much as possible.

Apple uses end-to-end encryption on iMessage and FaceTime, ensuring as much as it can that those communications stay between the parties involved. When possible, Apple also stores users’ information directly on their devices rather than some centralized Apple server that could be more easily hacked.

The company also attempts to protect the privacy of users from third-parties. As Cook noted during the interview, Apple carefully reviews every third-party app sold in its store to ensure it meets the company’s expectation of privacy. In 2016, Cook even refused a request from the FBI to create a software program that could bypass an iPhone’s security system as the agency worked to investigate a terrorist attack.

On Friday, Zuckerberg defended himself against Cook’s criticisms during an interview with Vox’s Ezra Klein. According to Zuckerberg, a company can have an advertising-supported business model and still “care about” its users.

As campaigns like #deletefacebook continue to circulate and Facebook continues to suffer from PR nightmares, the big question is whether those users (and the rest of the tech world) will still care about Facebook.

The post Tim Cook Says Apple Would Never Have a Scandal Like Cambridge Analytica appeared first on Futurism.

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Death Count from Hurricane Maria Was Way Off. That Might Slow Puerto Rico’s Recovery.

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64. That was the official death count shortly after Hurricane Maria struck, devastating Puerto Rico just over six months ago.

But demographer Alexis Raul Santos found evidence for hundreds more that officials had missed. To be exact, 1,085 more deaths. That they didn’t count. And that’s just from September and October alone.

That’s a huge oversight that’s not only disrespectful to Puerto Ricans — it slow recovery from future events even worse by inhibiting governments and engineers from planning for them, according to a new study. 

Let’s go back to what happened with the death count numbers. It seems as though officials counted only people who died directly as a result of the high winds and immediate destruction caused by the storm, according to the New York Times. And while that might have indicated to Trump that his administration had handled the disaster well, it didn’t hold up to further assessment.

In a previous study, Santos, the director of the graduate program in applied demography at Penn State University, and his team looked at the relative amount of deaths in post-storm 2017 as compared to previous years.  found a 45 percent rise in deaths that occurred in nursing homes compared to 2016, and a similar 41 percent rise in emergency room deaths. The researchers also examined specific causes of death, noting a 47 percent rise in sepsis-related deaths in September 2017 compared to September 2016.

“This is not a vanity exercise,” Santos told the New York Times in December, when Puerto Rico ordered a review of the death count. “Effective assessment of climate disasters is the only way we can prevent loss of life in future events.”

That was the subject of Santos’ most recent study, published Monday in the journal Health Affairs. In it, Santos argued that statistics may be the best weapon for residents of the island, especially when facing the federal government’s slow and inadequate disaster relief effort.

Underestimating the damage and death toll caused by a storm like Maria will not only reduce the relief response — the amount of resources, the number of people shipped out to help — but it will also mean that people might not adequately prepare for future storms.

“There are a lot of things that can go wrong if you aren’t carefully gathering and analyzing data, particularly in your ability to convey the devastation of, in this case, an environmental disaster,” said Santos. He believes that underreporting damage caused by a storm may cause those who are in a position to help, such as politicians and other officials, to lose interest.

That kind of information is especially important when you consider that Puerto Rico doesn’t have the easiest time getting interest from those in power in the first place. Because Puerto Rico is a territory, its residents have fewer rights than Americans that live in the 50 states, like not being able to vote in presidential elections.

“Statistics are the only real voice Puerto Ricans have,” Santos said in a press release. “They don’t have votes. They can’t vote for a member of Congress, or the president of the United States. Their political power is diminished, so the only way you can create an effective strategy is to use data as your main tool for discussion.”

Santo hopes that his efforts to collect and improve data that reveal the reality of life on the island will speak for itself, giving the citizens who are still affected by Hurricane Maria (yes, still) the political power they may otherwise lack.

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New NASA Plan for Mars Is Moderately-Terrifying-Sounding, Also, Completely-Awesome: Robotic. Bees.

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Mars: It’s far. Costs money to explore. And right now, we’ve got a rover just sitting there doing nothing. So NASA’s got a new plan for mapping out Mars: Robotic bees. 

Exploring potential habitats that are tens of millions of kilometers away with the use of a 3,893 kg (8,583 lb) rover is slow, unwieldy, and pricy — NASA’s estimates exhausted its funding reserves with the nearly $ 2.5 billion rover. But a team of researchers at the University of Huntsville, Alabama recently came up with an alternative that, on paper, sounds like the way we all die at the hands of SkyNet: “Marsbees.”

It’s actually not-at-all terrifying, and kind of incredible. See here:

Image Credit: C. Kang

You get the idea: Marsbees would be a swarm of “bumblebee size” flapping robots that could cover a far greater distance (with a lot less effort) than a rover could. But that doesn’t mean a rover would be left out: a rover would serve as a recharge station and main communications hub for the bees.

One of the Marsbees primary objectives would be to take air samples for the detection of methane emissions (since the Martian atmosphere is mostly made of carbon dioxide, detecting other gases like methane or carbon monoxide is potentially a sign of life, and thus, incredibly exciting). The Curiosity rover previously found extremely low levels of methane on the surface of Mars, but their presence was mostly chalked up to seasonal patterns, not biological processes.

The idea was one of 25 shortlisted proposals submitted to NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts program. Other proposals on the shortlist include shapeshifting robots that can roll up into a ball and roll on the surface of Titan, and balloon platforms navigating extreme terrains.

“Our preliminary numerical results suggest that a bumblebee with a cicada wing can generate sufficient lift to hover in the Martian atmosphere,” writes Chang-kwon Kang, Assistant Professor at the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering of The University of Alabama in Huntsville in a NASA blog post. Since the Mars environment is so thin (only one hundredth to one thousandth that of sea level atmospheric pressure on Earth), there’s not much air for wings to push a flapping robot along. But luckily, gravitational pull is only a third on Mars. NASA scientists are hoping to take advantage of this, and are planning to recoup wasted energy with a sophisticated energy harvesting mechanism.

The advantages of having a rover like Curiosity be swarmed by robo-bees are plenty: a swarm of mobile flapping robots would be far more flexible, and resilient — a single bee getting swept up in a dust storm, in other words, wouldn’t be a big deal. Navigating the rocky, and mountainous surface would also be easier exploring the planet by air. Multiple bees could also form a network of sensors, improving the accuracy of their findings.

The Huntsville team is proposing to link up with a Japanese team of researchers to make the Marsbee a reality, and given the fact that the Japanese team has already developed a hummingbird Micro-Air Vehicle that’s “one of only a few robotic flappers in the world that can fly on Earth,” the swarm might be a reality sooner than you think.

Which means more Mars, potentially, for us. Or at least information about it. Elsewhere, sorry, melissophobiacs: Your apocolypse is more inevitable than ever before. Enjoy that.

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Diet to Reduce Blood Pressure May Help Combat Depression

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Medication. Therapy. These are some of ways people can treat depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

But there’s one a surprising one that may help reduce the symptoms: going on a diet.

And not just any diet. The DASH diet.

Let’s backtrack a second. Scientists have known for a long time that food — the kinds we eat, how we digest it  can affect our moods. People who are obese are more likely to have depression, studies have shown; neurotransmitters that alter our moods, such as serotonin and dopamine, are in fact produced by the microbes that live in the gut. There have been so many studies linking diet and depression that Psychiatry Research published a meta-analysis of 21 such studies in April 2017. That analysis concluded what you might expect: a healthy dietary pattern may decrease the risk of depression.

But the relationship is, in many ways, still a correlation. That is, scientists may know that these thing are related, but they haven’t figured out a specific intervention or treatment that would use this knowledge to help patients.

Now, however, it seems they may have stumbled upon a diet that could do just that. It’s called the DASH diet — the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute developed the diet in the 1990s to treat (you guessed it) hypertension, aka high blood pressure.

The diet takes a pretty common sense approach to healthy eating. Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and low-fat dairy? Good. Foods high in salt and sugar? Bad.

Laurel J. Cherian, an assistant professor of vascular neurology at Rush University Medical Center, performed a study to firm up the relationship between the DASH diet and lower rates of depression. Cherian will present her research at the meeting of the American Academy of Neurology this month.

“There is evidence linking healthy lifestyle changes to lower rates of depression and this study sought to examine the role that diet plays in preventing depression,” Cherian said in a press release.

For more than six years, Cherian screened 964 participants over the age of 60 for signs of depression every year. She also asked them to complete a 144-item questionnaire focused on the foods they ate. Cherian then divided the participants into three groups based on how closely their diets mirrored the DASH diet.

Even after controlling for variables known to affect depression, such as age and education level, Cherian found that the group that most closely adhered to the DASH diet was less likely to experience depression. And conversely, those that strayed the most from the diet were the most likely to show symptoms of depression.

But don’t throw out your antidepressants just yet.

“I think we need to view food as medicine,” Cherian told The Atlantic. “Medications to treat depression are wonderful, but for many people, it’s going to be a combination of things.”

Hear that? Combination is key. A new diet might not totally clear up symptoms of depression. But, then again, it might not hurt.

Admittedly, we’re not there yet. According to Felice Jacka, a professor of nutritional psychiatry at Australia’s Deakin University, now that we are more certain there’s a link between diet and depression, we need to figure out how to exploit it to help people.

“Given how many observational studies there are already published, the field does not really need more of these,” Jacka told The Atlantic. “What it needs now are interventions that show that if you improve diet, you also improve depression.” (Jacka performed a similar study of her own, published in January 2017, concluding that “people who improved their diets showed significantly happier moods than those who received social support,” according to the Wall Street Journal.)

There are lots of benefits to improving your diet, including weight loss and better management of existing health conditions. Improved mood may very well come along with it (that’s what the science suggests), but then again it might not since it’s not a proven treatment yet.

It’s worth trying, at least. But it’s also a good idea to stick to whatever treatments you’re already using for depression.

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How a New Provider Is Democratizing the Cloud

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The history of cloud computing is unfolding before our eyes. Advances in cloud computing have already changed the way we live, work, and play, and the global cloud computing market is growing at a rapid pace. Experts estimate that in 2018, more than half of all global enterprises will have adopted cloud services, unlocking even more possibilities for consumers.

People across the world have widely benefited from advances in cloud computing. New and efficient ways of sharing, collaborating, and storing data has made it easy for people to get their job done no matter where they are—whether it’s editing a document from an airplane or making notes on a spreadsheet from the kitchen. They are no longer tethered to their desk on a 9-to-5 schedule. Instead, innovative ideas can easily come in from around the globe, around the clock. We’re turning to our devices to do things we never thought possible even a decade ago: Logging on to social networks, grocery shopping, watching movies, managing bills, getting prescriptions.

Big Companies, Big Limitations

Nearly all of that cloud computing power is thanks to three companies: Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. As the possibilities of the cloud grew, only these powerhouses had the capital and prowess to scale up their businesses and build the massive data centers that we rely on for computing power today.
However, those giant centralized data centers don’t come without downsides. Since it’s nearly impossible to compete with the size and scope of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, those companies effectively control the prices charged for cloud infrastructure.

Furthermore, the big three companies have scaled their business up, not out. Amazon Web Services, for instance, separates its entire global infrastructure into just 18 geographic regions. When data has to travel so far to be processed, inefficiencies and latency are inevitable. Also, they form massive single points of failure. A power outage in Virginia could prevent users in Chicago from accessing their banking apps for hours.

The One Cloud to Rule Them All

It’s clear that it’s time for a new model. Luckily, one exists. Overclock Labs, a San Francisco-based startup, has sprung onto the scene with its Akash Network. The innovative new network gives companies across the globe a more affordable, accessible, and efficient way to use the power of the cloud.

Overclock isn’t interested in building a massive data farm to compete with the likes of Google or Microsoft. The company is interested in spreading the computing power that already exists to a wider audience for a more affordable price. The Akash Network combines underutilized servers in global companies’ on-prem and collocated data centers into one virtual cloud. In addition to eliminating waste, this approach is also vastly more affordable, making the network far more accessible than its oligarchic competitors.

Rather than having to rely on a massive server farm, Akash’s Network is decentralized—spread across thousands of data centers. With less distance to cover, network latency is much lower. Plus, when natural failures such as power outages do occur, the network works to correct the problem by redeploying workloads to unaffected providers within seconds. A doctor miles away from an outage won’t have to worry about not being able to access the cloud data storage system for critical patient records. Instead, workloads can be immediately redistributed to other nearby servers.

The Akash Network will also lead to far greater cloud convenience. This is especially useful in areas like machine learning, which is becoming a key tenet of our online lives. Companies like Yelp want to give users recommendations based on what they’ve eaten and enjoyed before, and banking apps want to track customer spending patterns to prevent fraud. To gather this type of information, a company must process a large information dump through the cloud. They must then analyze that data and come up with algorithms to best serve their customers. The cloud is a significant part of that process, but a brief one, so businesses often simply rent out space through a cloud provider to run these occasional data sets. The big providers charge an arm and a leg for this type of rental, though. Based on testing with early customers, Overclock estimates they could slash machine learning processing costs by about two-thirds.

Another exciting prospect of the Akash Network is in the application development field. Performance tests are a critical part of any app launch, but incredible amounts of money are wasted when developers have to rent out server space from the giants for those tests. By deploying to the Akash Network instead, developers could save two-thirds of that rent money and put more of their funding towards enhancing their product.

Those savings can also lead to greater convenience. Costs are a huge barrier to entry for people who have innovative ideas about certain data sets or app development but lack access to the funds needed to launch a new product. With the Akash Network, innovative ideas can come from anywhere. And for a fraction of the previous costs, those ideas can actually come to life.

The Cloud of Tomorrow

Amazon, Google, and Microsoft did what they had to do in order to bring the world the cloud computing power that we know today. However, it is new approaches like the Akash Network that will lead us into the cloud computing potential of tomorrow.

Overclock’s approach of scaling across data centers, as opposed to scaling up the size of data centers, is especially important as the cloud becomes too invaluable for one or two monopolistic companies to control. Sharing collective knowledge and fostering an integrated system is crucial as cloud innovation continues. Only on the Akash Network’s democratized, distributed, and affordable platform can technology trailblazers house all the possibilities that the cloud has to offer. It’s cloud history in action.

 

The preceding communication has been paid for by Overclock Labs. This communication is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer or solicitation to sell shares or securities in Overclock Labs or any related or associated company. None of the information presented herein is intended to form the basis for any investment decision, and no specific recommendations are intended. This communication does not constitute investment advice or solicitation for investment. Futurism expressly disclaims any and all responsibility for any direct or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from: (i) reliance on any information contained herein, (ii) any error, omission or inaccuracy in any such information or (iii) any action resulting from such information.

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