First of all, what is the Internet of Things (IoT)? The primary and essential definition is various devices in various sizes, mainly considered sensors and represent gadgets, appliances and machines programmed to carry out specific tasks through transmitting data over the internet and other networks. The most commonly known IoT devices are smart home gadgets, from automated lights to locks, sensors used in smart vehicles, industrial equipment, medical devices and more.
The rapid spread of IoT devices is inevitable, as it paves the way towards the future and is one of the main pillars of future tech. From smart buildings that will require no human intervention to provide safety and heating to the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) absent of human eyes, IoT will be one of the core components of life in future. Several figures underline the fast adaptation and the spread of IoT, pointing out how fast the world is becoming digital more than ever.
According to Statista, the number of IoT devices will double from 15.1 billion in 2020 and reach 29.42 billion by 2030. The number of connected internet devices by region by 2030 also provides a glimpse into the development scale of major powers (Explodingtopics):
China: 8.57 billion
Europe: 6.56 billion
North America: 6.24 billion
Japan: A little more than 2 billion
IoT is quickly outpacing non-IoT devices and the traditional use and appliance of communication over the internet. As of 2020, IoT devices already outnumbered non-IoT devices globally and by 2025, IoT devices are expected to take this ratio to 3:1, according to Explodingtopics. Another interesting fact is the usage of IoT devices. Not surprisingly, 74% of the IoT devices are utilised in short-range functions, and public and private networks use the rest of the IoT devices, 16% and 10%, respectively.
IoT carries a lot of responsibilities for the future, as the digitalised world already produces an overwhelming amount of data.
What will be the tasks of IoT?
Global Connectivity: IoT is the essence of technologies that make the world digital. Think of cities, businesses, regions, and continents interconnected through this technology, transmitting billions of data each second. IoT will make this happen, opening the doors of futuristic innovations that will change the world and our lives.
Data Generation and Analysis: IoT devices generate enormous amounts of data from the ‘real world’. The data is gathered from devices and machines, including smart home locks and connected cars. The data collected can be considered a massive pile of raw minerals to enrich. This step is done by data analysis, taking data processing to another level through sophisticated data analytics platforms specialised for different industries. Through filtering and analysis, data is turned into valuable insights used in decision-making, improving the overall efficiency of operations and reducing costs.
Automation: Utilising IoT in various operational systems eliminates human intervention in countless routine, repeated daily tasks and enables monitoring when human intervention is again eliminated through detecting the required response by IoT. A straightforward example is smart thermostats, optimising heating and cooling systems, saving significant time for human personnel and reducing costs.
Improved safety and security: IoT is super efficient in real-time monitoring and alert/notification systems. IoT will provide 100% time efficiency in triggering the required response in any area of life, including ITSs, medical care and inventory management. An accident can be averted through monitoring and response, medical staff can respond to a patient in no time and inventory, and assets can be tracked 24/7 and protected.
Improved Decision-Making: As mentioned above, IoT is like a digital data wizard. Drawing information from all corners of the internet and other networks, IoT gathers the new gold, data to be converted into vital insights, guiding any decision-maker by seeing operations in depth and scale as never before.
Sustainability: Sustainability is one of the most critical elements for any business, as it stands on the ability to sustain a business in an environmental fashion, which helps fight climate change and brings more efficiency while reducing costs. Connected fleets, for instance, using IoT-based telematics technology, are able to reduce their carbon emissions while still using petrol vehicles significantly. From optimising water consumption to reducing electricity usage, sustainability provides a holistic approach to making any business greener, and IoT is vital to support governments and organisations under this goal.
Improved industrial efficiency: Following the pandemic period and the impact of the Ukraine-Russia war, supply chains need vital innovation never to get impacted by external threats again. IoT could maximise this, providing all necessary systems such as predictive maintenance and real-time monitoring. Thus, supply chains can stay healthy and robust at all times by efficiently monitoring and managing machinery, delivery and protection of assets. Reduced costs and saved resources would help to patch losses and add onto current operations, eventually increasing efficiency.
Healthcare innovations: Smartwatches are a great example of health innovations, enabling 24/7 monitoring of patients. Connected to a medical service network, similar wearable devices and intelligent medical equipment can detect any health issue and immediately alert medical services. The improved healthcare will display itself in various futuristic ways, such as drones carrying supplements to patients as soon as possible when needed.
Urban Planning and Smart Cities: The world is not efficient enough to respond to climate change as it should be. Technology is the solution to make cities more liveable and efficiently limit the sources of carbon emissions through smart traffic management, optimised fuel and energy consumption, waste management and more. IoT will be the basis of these systems, monitoring, detecting and managing vital infrastructure and procedures through automation.
Consumer Convenience: A smartwatch telling you to wake up and take your routine walk, a toast machine getting your toast ready when you need it and a fridge showing you the new you require on its smart screen. Not just to increase comfort but to save time and energy on top of scheduling your way through IoT will make a big difference in many people’s lives.
What is the risk?
Is there any technology that comes without risks? Probably not. IoT is one, and it brings vast risks (actually opportunities for bad actors) if not correctly used. IoT will be the digital aqueduct of information, and when disrupted, it may cause catastrophe for any business, government or individual. Robust security systems must be in place for all IoT networks, from connected fleets to office gadgets, to avoid unwanted attacks. At this step, human intervention is super important, completing the efficiency of IoT with diligent care.
You’ve been working full-time for over ten years now. With the experience and knowledge you gained throughout the years, you finally decided to take another important step in your life: Reaching audiences and gaining ground in social media as an expert, or say, an influencer in modern terms. But be aware it is not the design of the blog page you prepared thoroughly or the advertising on social media that would take you to your target audience. For that, you need two special keywords and the skill to get to the bottom: Quality and SEO.
When we talk about quality, it is not only described by your knowledge in your field of expertise but how you can convey information to people who need to become more familiar with it or want to learn more about it. Having been a coder for many years wouldn’t mean that you could put that knowledge into text within a fine structure, or having spent years in a newsroom wouldn’t make you a social media content manager. Therefore, first, you need to adjust your perspective for your new goal, expand your skills, add new ones to reach audiences, and, most importantly, become sustainable online. For that, you need to have a certain level of quality with your content, understand the fundamentals of SEO optimisation, and add to it in time to do the latter.
So, let’s look at the ten tips to guarantee quality and smooth SEO optimisation for the content you want to produce. Remember, the quality doesn’t come from the display, expensive SEO tools or advertising but good writing and editing skills merged with the optimum SEO tools.
1- Pinpoint your content type: What will you write about? Thousands of things may flow inside your head following years of experience, but you need to know what the audience wants or what they require to improve things. So, even if you’re almost set in your mind about the content you want to produce, you must do initial research to see what other people in your area offer to the audiences and in what format. They may have already thought about the things you want to talk about. Can you tell something different about the same thing from a different perspective to a diverse age group or business area? You may get the idea of starting a podcast without wasting any time and get new ideas for producing content and marketing them on social media. Don’t be isolated in your mind; first, look around to understand how to react. In digital, things don’t apply according to the book.
2- Test & improve your writing skills: You want to write about coding. You know about it well. But do you know how to write? It is more challenging than it may appear in your head, especially in an era taking attention through writing is the hardest. To write a good article, you need to learn some basic steps before you start typing; for that, it would be wise to read about tips and rules for forming a good article. Some essential tips come along with your planning: Never jump from topic to topic and get lost in the variety of things in your area and eventually collide with ancient and trending topics, repeating the same stuff or boring the audience with a random style of writing. It would be best to stick to a topic and provide them as a series of articles and move on with the other after you convey all the information you have. Setting a certain length for your articles and staying aware of word count is crucial, as most readers have little patience but high curiosity. Therefore, follow a good structure to write about the topic you want to decrypt and make it fun to read.
3- Discover tools to improve your writing: Writing in English is your best advantage, providing a potential reach to over two billion people. But are you able to write in good English? For a non-native, getting lost in British and American English is the main thing, and yes, it does matter. Native or not, you must consider the readability of your articles and use a rich vocabulary instead of a static and boring one. Having no incoherencies, not using too long sentences and being diligent about the words you’re using would be helpful to convey the meaning of the information you want to present to your readers. Therefore, don’t be shy and improve your skills in writing and editing by checking out some language tools to improve your paraphrasing and vocabulary skills and also check your spelling. If you fail in your writing, you fail in the essential step of online content.
4- Use attributes and sources properly: Writing is the fundamental method of conveying information, the information you gathered and learned from other sources through the years and kept in the writing format, digital or not digital. Therefore, if you are not writing an opinion article but carry the goal of telling or teaching something, you must build trust and ensure your quality by using reliable sources and properly attributing them. Supporting your knowledge with academic or well-known, well-established online or printed sources is a huge plus, underlining your knowledge and boosting your reliability among readers. Not being an egoist and providing a multitude of good sources in your articles is also a plus for readers, who can expand their view on a topic in a short time thanks to you. Attribution by complying with copyrights is also a good sign of your quality and respect to other online sources, providing a respected view for your blog. If you don’t even care about attribution, open a YouTube page and unleash your smartmouth if this is easier for you.
5- Use the keywords properly: Everything has to be appropriately written, from the title to the body of your article. Keywords are the most important to scatter among the article, starting from the title. But this doesn’t mean you can jump on the clickbait wagon and use a few words all over the article 20 times. This would disrupt the article’s structure and, most importantly, irritate the readers. Mentioning a piece of certain information twice is sometimes necessary according to the topic and the article’s structure, but using the same information multiple times, believing that it would help your SEO, would only appear to take your audience as idiots and annoy them. Set a group of keywords for your article and use them correctly in the article, not appearing too few or too many but scattered properly along the article. The more you use a rich vocabulary associated with your keywords, the better quality and SEO it will have.
6- Get reporting from analytics tools: If you believe that writing continuously on your blog will bring you high traffic in a few months, you’re a little bit naive. Not because your content is not good or rare but because people are unaware of it or you’re not directing it to your target audience. An analytics tool is a must to get a broad spectrum of ideas about how to shape your content, SEO strategy and social media display, as data analytics is a vital method to get insights into the digital world. Using Google Analytics or many new alternatives, you can analyse the most critical data points such as the most clicked articles, time spent on specific articles and your main page (how good the design and tempting the content is?), audience demographics and most searched words. These insights give you a better idea to prepare your content and boost your SEO by implementing new methods and tools. On top of these tools, you should also check out the overall performance of your blog through other online tools and see the qualities, such as ranking and speed, to get a comprehensive comparison in a particular category and region.
7- Choose the best SEO tools for your page: Among almost thousands of SEO optimisation tools, you should be careful about which one you need regarding what you require. If you expect to boost website traffic by applying an SEO tool to your page, you’re naive again. But what would be the gap this tool should fill for you and add on top of it? Are you interested in monitoring the performance of your blog and fixing the errors that hinder SEO or boosting it after building a robust SEO infrastructure? Eventually, you would ask for both. At this point, you need to spend some time detecting the most efficient SEO tool for your website, compatible with your WP or coding and suitable for your budget. This is not it. However, you need to adjust your input and design accordingly and always be careful about updating your tools.
8- Establish links with other pages: Partnership at all levels is good, as isolating yourself and being alone in your content production seriously limits your capacity and audience reach. A good writing style, though don’t have to be academic, always respects copyright and has attribution for all external inputs such as images and video, and also provides original links of all specific information taken from other sources. This ensures a high quality of your content and website and allows the people and bodies of used content to discover you. The next step should be moving on with collaborations; sharing content, providing hyperlinks to specific external sources, and later becoming sister websites would boost your traffic and SEO. One of the best contents to get an external link would be an interview.
9- Keep your website updated: One crucial aspect of achieving smooth SEO optimisation is feeding content to your platform not randomly but constantly, with good planning. The more SEO-optimised quality content you have, the more chances you get discovered by readers online and visited more frequently. Even if you use aggregation platforms, it won’t help if you stay out of time and appear randomly or disappear totally. Your well-established infrastructure may keep you going for a while, but without life support, an abandoned website can’t keep high traffic, get discovered and keep readers’ trust.
10- Tempt readers to spend time on your page: This is vital if you can seduce your readers to comment on your articles, which would significantly help your traffic over time. To do this, you can add questionnaires on your website, ask them questions about what they want to see or offer a quiz to check their knowledge about what they’re interested in. Several kinds of interactions with readers tempt them to provide input and enrich the content on your webpage spontaneously, enhancing the SEO and improving the content quality.
After following all these steps and adding to them, it won’t be surprising to get more attention on social media, enter online communities in your area, spread your name and get noticed for more significant opportunities. Remember, writing is the first pillar in your digital adventure. Wherever you reach online from this point, your baseline will be your website, your golden archive and representation, even if you become a YouTube influencer one day.
The question, “How good or bad consequences the unlimited rise of artificial intelligence will create for humanity” is the trend as ChatGPT is hitting everywhere like a storm. After the recent predictions presented by Goldman Sachs, now a consultancy group directed the same question to ChatGPT.
North America-based outplacement firm (could be described as career consultancy) Challenger, Gray & Christmas asked ChatGPT, created by private AI research laboratory OpenAI, “How many people could it leave unemployed?” The answer to the chatbot for the North American region appeared as 4.8 million. The amount provided by the chatbot is not so problematic about how much employment could chatbot and LLM (large language models) cause (maybe it lied?). However, the amount stands balanced when compared to the global unemployment prediction of Goldman Sachs.
The LLM models created by OpenAI, DALL-E and DALL-E 2 can generate images from natural language descriptions. First released in January 2021, DALL-E uses a version of the language prediction model GPT-3 to generate images through deep learning, following the language input. The tech could be integrated into other systems via API (application programming interface) and open to the public, like ChatGPT.
The recent report of Goldman Sachs indicated that the global employment market could shrink by 18%. Before looking at the industries expected to have the biggest impact, let’s check some of the answers ChatGPT provided. According to the chatbot, it can flip over the below jobs quicker than any other:
Customer service representatives,
Translators and interpreters,
Data entry clerks.
The areas ChatGPT believes it could be most successful are:
Mathematics and statistics,
Robotics and automation,
Which industries “have to go through change?”
In terms of how AI-based automation technologies will disrupt the global employment market, the Goldman Sachs report provided the below data:
25% of the global employment market could be automated,
46% of administrative jobs,
44% of the legal jobs,
6% of construction,
4% of repairs and 1% of maintenance industries.
The report says that 18% of the global workforce could be eliminated by automation tech. Additionally, in areas and countries heavily industrialised like the US, Japan, Britain and Hong Kong, the loss of workforce may go up o %28.
On the other hand, the emergence of innovative occupations like “prompt engineering” is a positive sign, including good pay. Yet, names including Steve Wozniak, Rachel Bronson and Elon Musk did not hesitate to write a letter about the necessity of ending AI experiments, which may be a vital warning sign.
The most trending example of “generative AI”, the ChatGPT, may become a nightmare for the global employment market, says the US-based multinational investment bank Goldman Sachs.
There’s no need to mention the significant difference the artificial intelligence (AI) based software and hardware offer, especially in heavy industry, compared to human workers. Eventually, while the rise of AI would offer great benefits for businesses in terms of productivity and revenue, it is causing great worry for the employment market and pushing the creation of new occupations.
As the ChatGPT storm is going all around us these days, many recent publications and research are discussing whether the rise of AI is an opportunity or a threat. According to World Economic Forum (WEF), ChatGPT is only the beginning of life-shaping technologies that we will see in future. On the other hand, Goldman Sachs warns against an employment crisis because of the disruptor technology, which can turn a description into an image or write a thesis with unique sentences.
Generative AI can write texts or draw images according to the information input of a user. ChatGPT, the trending topic of the day, was released by a US-based private AI research lab in November 2022. The highly successful chatbot managed to draw all the attention recently while inspiring many tech companies to build their own AI systems:
Microsoft Bing search engine can answer complicated questions through the ChatGPT upgrade,
Privacy-based search engine DuckDuckGo now uses ChatGPT-assisted ‘DuckAssist’ to answer complicated questions in complete sentences.
Slack, used for businesses for internal communication and organisation purposes, is planning to add ChatGPT to its office chat programme soon.
Millions to lose their jobs?
By assessing the potential capabilities ChatGPT promises for the future, Goldman Sachs analysed the global employment market, mainly the US and Europe, to get an estimate. The result says that the disruptive chatbot may eliminate 300 million full-time jobs.
The report, written by Joseph Briggs and Devesh Kodnani, underlines that two-thirds of all occupations are partially exposed to AI automation and that AI could handle a quarter of the total workload.
Recent research by Goldman Sachs and other institutions indicates that innovative AI tools threaten white-collar employees. According to another article published by Princeton, Pennsylvania, and New York universities, the jobs most affected by generative AI are legal services, while deploying this tech would boost business performance.
But why? One of the writers of this study, Manav Raj from Pennsylvania State University, told Business Insider that the legal services sector includes many small groups of occupations which are directly exposed to generative AI. On the other hand, does an intelligent chatbot have the potential to topple the global employment market? More than this question, we must emphasise the opportunities that would come with it. The cost of businesses would shrink significantly by deploying generative AI while leading to the creation of many new jobs, says Goldman Sachs. One of the newly emerged occupations is “prompt engineering”, representing people who test the capabilities of chatbots.
Lastly, researchers say the adaption of ChatGPT and similar innovative tech could increase the global GDP by around 7%.
After being released almost a year ago, I finally put my hands on a GoPro Black HERO 10 and did some little experiments in Amsterdam on an August evening. This article is not meant to be a product review, but I would like to share my experiences and some advice on owning this camera.
First, I want to share a little accident I had as an online shopper. I shopped from CoolBlue before, and I ordered the products online from my NL account. For the GoPro, I used the CoolBlue mobile application and didn’t realize it was only for Belgium. So, even though I use one account to access CoolBlue NL and BE, making the order from the BE system automatically changed the address to Belgium instead of the Netherlands. I realized this when I checked the whereabouts of the cargo a day later, appalled when I saw the target destination as “Germany.” The cargo was loaded to BPost, instead of PostNL. Eventually, I contacted customer service through email and received great feedback on the cargo status and how it will be returned, and I got a refund. Just three days later (on Friday), I had a refund.
Later, I decided to get the camera and a few accessories from the CoolBlue store in Amsterdam. In two days, I had all the equipment I desired. One important detail I need to mention here is while the camera is great, there’s a battery charging problem. For the first two days, I tried to charge the camera with its original charging, but I couldn’t exceed 62%. A quick Google search showed that this is a common problem, and the best solution is the dual battery charger for GoPro HERO 10 & 9. This hardware was only left in The Hauge, so I didn’t mind taking the train and grabbing the battery charger before it was out of stock. In general, I was satisfied that I made a good investment, only to find out that the price got 100 euros lower for the camera on CoolBlue a week later!
Anyways, comparing the GoPro HERO 10 Black with HERO 4, which is the last version I used several years ago, it is needless to say that there’s a fundamental difference between the two cameras (of course, you wouldn’t feel it so much if you had newer versions of GoPro). The interface is user-friendly; going through the settings and back-forth between the saved visuals, main screen, and camera modes is super practical. You experience no lagging or freeze on the screen while going back and forth and making camera settings; additionally, the screen instantly adjusts itself as the camera rotates (be careful before starting recording, a little manoeuvre could change the position to linear or horizontal).
The videos below are taken in a 2.7K, 60 fps, Super View (16 mm) setting. For videos, there are five modes, including Super View, and three for photos. None of the videos or pictures that appear in this article is edited.
An August evening in Amsterdam
One of the favourite things for me about Amsterdam is the city is almost entirely flat, making it probably the best city on earth for joggers and cyclists. The few slopes you encounter are at a maximum of 30 degrees, providing a constant smooth ride or walk throughout the city. Eventually, grabbing your camera to do a few small experiments is easy and fun.
I didn’t walk to the city centre but looked around where I was close. And here are visuals taken from seven spots:
Video settings: 2.7k, 60 fps, Super view (16mm) Photo setting: Wide (16-34mm).
The brightness and image quality are apparent between the video and photos. You don’t feel like taking too many photos when you have this camera in your hands.
I want to add to the last comments regarding video shooting and a related accessory. If you want the battery to last a few hours, ensure you do the video resolution settings. If you directly start recording at 4K (you can go up to 5K), you may have around an hour. It would help if you had an extra battery or set your resolution at 2.7K or 1080p (Full HD) before recording. Additionally, if you want good sound quality and plan to use your GoPro for interviews, getting the Media Mod would improve your video quality.
GoPro HERO 10 Black is a highly satisfactory camera with good image quality and a user-friendly interface. I’m quite sure you will especially like the time-lapse mode.
Hobby gardens, an increasingly growing trend in the Netherlands, provide ample produce to the owners who diligently take care of their gardens.
Şerif Alan, who came to the Netherlands 29 years ago, got interested in the hobby gardens. Alan started his hobby garden 20 years ago in Houten, Utrecht. His garden received two prizes consecutively in 2015 and 2016 as the best garden in the Netherlands.
Alan grows several vegetables and fruits in his garden, from potato to cabbage and from banana to strawberry. Alan says he grows most of the produce in four months and harvests around 50 kg of vegetables.
I visited the garden at the centre of the greenhouse heaven in Houten and listened to Alan’s story.
The new aircraft carrier, dubbed Fujian (the region of China facing Taiwan across the ocean), is the first ever China designed and built itself, countering the most advanced of its counterparts in technology and size. Displacing around 100,000 tons and over 300 hundred metres in length, Fujian is set to change the balance on the disputed waters of the South China Sea.
Is there any sleepwalker left who still believes Russia’s invasion of Ukraine aims to bring back the Soviet Union and fight with the Neo-Nazis in Europe? While everything seems to be going according to Vladimir Putin’s plan on the Ukrainian front, the developments in the APAC region appear to be scratching the surface of a slowly growing regional energy and rare mineral conflicts.
Most of us may dream about a future where the world will be 100% green energy powered; food, water and health problems are mostly resolved, and space exploration is advanced enough to carry people into other worlds. While it sounds quite good, the increasing demand for energy and rising political tensions over critical sources are changing the trajectory of a livable future.
The unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine by Russia is not only building a solid wall between Moscow and the Western Powers but also clearly shows that the international laws intended to keep a global order are not working. In addition, it is becoming clear that Putin calculated the invasion much better than anyone thought, gradually expanding the occupied territory in Ukraine, unbalancing the food supplies in the region, capturing vital energy lines and increasing its dominance in the Black Sea.
According to the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, Russia’s revenue from oil, gas and coal in the first 100 days of the invasion reached a record high of €93 billion, as the New York Times reported. Additionally, Russia’s revenue from fossil fuel exports also exceeds its war spending in Ukraine, according to the International Energy Association (IEA).
Clearly, the embargos against Moscow are not working and are far from crippling its war efforts in Ukraine. But the picture gets worse.
The South China Sea is heating up
On the other side of the world, in conjunction with several countries, the South China Sea is causing tensions over the huge amounts of resources it embodies. According to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the South China Sea has 11 billion barrels of untapped oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, claimed by not only China but Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Besides oil and gas, the South China Sea houses several rare earth minerals, including titaniferous magnetite, zircon, monazite, tin, gold, and chromite. The disputes since the 1970s haven’t found a diplomatic resolution, while the global police role of the US is dwindling as China is powering up its naval and air force.
The crack in the international system caused by Russia is not the only reason China hastened its militarization. On the contrary, China has made considerable leaps in military sophistication in the last decade, and ironically, much of it came from information obtained through cyber attacks. This grave problem for the US first surfaced in 2013, when Chinese hackers were accused of stealing more than two dozen US weapon systems. In 2019, then-defence Secretary Mark Esper said that China is committing the “greatest intellectual property theft in human history,” while retired Navy Admiral William McRaven warned that China’s increasing military capacity should be quite worrisome for the US, according to the Business Insider.
One important reason for China’s ambitions over the South China Sea is the rivalry with Japan, which will surely be one of the few future superpowers thanks to its technological might and immense rare mineral sources. The latter came as a nasty shock to China in 2018, when Japan discovered 16 billion tonnes of rare minerals off the coast of Minamitori Island, including yttrium, dysprosium, europium and terbium, all of which would be enough for the entire planet, at least 400 years. The discovery infinitely solved Japan’s need for rare earth needs, adding to the vast amounts of rare minerals found on Minami-Torishima island in 2011. Yasuhiro Kato of the University of Tokyo said, “Just one square kilometre of the deposits would provide one-fifth of the current global consumption” after the discovery.
The crucial detail is that Japan is expected to reach the deep sea excavation technology in 30 to 50 years to access the rare earth minerals, but China is far behind in this area and first have to become dominant in the disputed waters. The tension between the two countries rose over a group of islands in 2014, known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.
This means China’s throne in the global rare earth mineral market with 60.6% by 2021 is threatened by countries around the South China Sea and Japan. The US has second place in the worldwide output of rare earth minerals with 15.5%, according to Statista.
China’s new military wonder
Fujian is a Type 003 carrier with the most advanced aircraft launch technology, the electromagnetic catapult system. Fujian was far ahead of its predecessors, the first being a repurposed Soviet ship and the second built on a Soviet design. With the rapid development in naval military technology, China’s People Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is now in the process of developing a fourth aircraft carrier, according to TRT World, “capable of nuclear propulsion and fielding advanced fighters and stealth jets, surveillance and control craft, anti-submarine helicopters and drones.”
NPR reports that the US Defence Ministry expressed its concern over China’s aircraft carrier development to the Congress in 2021, which in time “will enable China to operate beyond East Asia, reaching sustained ability to operate at increasingly longer ranges.”
To take note, PLAN has the largest naval force in numbers, with a total of 335 ships, while the US expects this number to go up to 460 by 2030. These numbers are not the only problem for Washington. Forbes says the US is moving too slow in the aircraft carrier technology market as the leader, losing its competency, and the strategy of providing wider access to advanced carrier technology is wrong.
The US is not so intimidating for China anymore to calm the waters in the South China Sea by sending its navy there. The increasing number of invasions of Taiwan’s air space by the Chinese air force is underlining that. On the other hand, the alliance of the US with the UK and Australia also caused some problems. Australia cancelled the $65 billion bid to buy 12 French submarines in 2021, enraging Paris, while the new government is trying to patch the damage with minor deals.
The US strategy is not working
In his speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Chinese Liberation Army general Wei Fenghe pointed to the Biden Administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy and said it leads to “conflict and confrontation.” Demanding that the US stops interfering with China’s internal affairs, Fenghe added, “If you want confrontation, we will fight to the end.”
Fenghe also mentioned Taiwan and said China would fight any attempts by Taiwan to declare independence.
Fenghe may be right in his criticism of the Biden Administration’s strategy, as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) includes 13 countries while excluding China, according to CNBC.
Furthermore, in his statement to Greta Van Susteren of Newsmax TV, analyst Gordon Chang also said Taiwan would fight China in case of war, as around 85% of the island country’s population see themselves as Taiwanese. Further remarks of him are a good summary of the whole picture:
China wouldn’t invade Taiwan in normal times, but we are not living in normal times, he says. Two dangerous phenomena are occurring. First, Russia is defying the international system and second and more importantly, China is not deterred by the Biden administration. The Biden administration made no clear decision in defending Taiwan, and failure in the policy-making gave China courage.
What makes it worse for President Joe Biden is that the defence treaty between the US and Manila could also push the US into a conflict between China-Philippines over the riches of the South China Sea, says CFR.
When is China expected to strike?
The US intelligence has provided different predictions so far, but the Defence Minister of Taiwan, Chiu Kuo-cheng, said China will be ready for a full-scale invasion by 2025. Talking to China Times, Chiu believes China will wait for the right time to bring the cost and attrition to the lowest level, going over several considerations first.
It wouldn’t be hard to say that those considerations are already taking place as a real invasion is happening in Ukraine as Russia has changed several tactics and tried several new weapon systems so far.
On the other hand, the US Strategic Command thinks China will have the military capability to annex Taiwan in 2027. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines predicts a total invasion in 2030.
Looking at all these developments, we need to ask if we are moving towards a greener and more livable future or an unpleasant one?
 Allen Clark & Chang Li (1993) Marine mineral resources of the South China sea, Marine Georesources & Geotechnology, 11:1, 101-126, DOI: 10.1080/10641199309379907
My relationship with YouTube changed remarkably 9 months ago when I bought a phablet phone to enjoy videos independent of the PC. Wasting no time, I dived into the videos about two time periods I was interested in the most: The Napoleonic era and the American Civil War.
Each historic video I watched, the more battle animation videos I came up to (almost all from medieval times). I showed particularly high interest in those videos, as I believe they’re the utmost level of war history animation videos. Almost in every land battle video, we see squares, rectangles or mostly circles scattered along a very well drawn battlefield, decorated with various icons representing their unit. When they charge each other, it is no more than cracks appearing on the units, rising dust all around the shapes or mostly, the smoke of gunpowder.
No matter how perfectly these videos are produced, the viewers always wonder in one, crucial detail: The actual battle scenes. Naturally, the action at the core of the battle decided the fate of nations. From the shield wall engagement in the Battle of Hasting to the heavy fighting on the walls of Constantinople, every history lover depicts the actual scene in their minds when they listen to the narrators, trying to give the best detail they can, mostly on still 3D images.
Now, things are changing fast. I realized this when I came up with one of the latest videos of Epic History, the Battle of Salamis. The video was definitely the best ever seen on similar channels so far. Besides the storyline, I took notice of the long, detailed animations of the video, which are hard to come by. In the end, I heard a name I discovered months ago and was stunned. The animations in the video were prepared by Nedim Can İncebay.
I’m not going to write about Nedim Can too long, but quickly dive into the many questions I asked him. All I can say at this point, he is a rare talent who came out of Turkey and with similar producers is about to open a new page in battle history documentaries.
Can you tell us about the process which has driven you to start making video animations and opening a channel on YouTube?
When Rome Total War 2 was released in 2014, the graphics and the gameplay really impressed me but I could only watch due to the lack of my system. When finally I was able to buy myself a system in 2017, I continued sharing screenshots on a Turkish Total War Facebook group. I had a slight knowledge of game modding from the times I created my own maps and changed game files in several games including The Battle for Middle Earth and Mount&Blade, and continued doing this on Total War. Eventually, I came to own a large archive of screenshots and said “Why I’m not sharing these as video clips?” Thus, I opened up my channel and started uploading cinematic videos. If they asked me then, of course, I wouldn’t say those were cinematic clips, many have changed since then. Actually, I didn’t have a concern about gathering views. I had knowledge of cinema and cinematography so I only wanted to add the simplified scenes on YouTube in the way I stylized, as to say “beautiful.” I check my channel rarely so I didn’t realize that my two videos grabbed around 15.000 views in 3-4 months. I was studying English Teaching at university so I was uploading my videos in English. This increased the comments I received and I started to see more comments on new video demands. Seeing these requests, I started thinking about producing more videos. This is simply how I got into this. I froze my education for a year and focused on my videos, which made things much better. ☺
How did you reach the skill level you have today in using video game engines?
I’m someone who loves digging into things but I don’t like watching tutorial videos for hours. That has driven me to learn how to change game files and editing on video editing software all by myself and took some time eventually. Also, my English level helped to get assistance from foreign sources. I worked on game files for weeks, even months to learn how to stabilize the camera and get the AI under control. Due to my lack of professional education, I am making an eyeball estimation on scene details and colours. The first screenshots and video clip I made doesn’t appear tempting to me but I realize progress in each of my work. This improvement sometimes shows itself in the factuality of the game animations and the camera angles. I want to study this field in future if I get the opportunity.
Can you tell us the process you choose the topics, preparing the storyline and even making the subtitles?
Actually, my videos didn’t even have a clear topic in the beginning. Thanks to my great interest in history, I was thinking, “Here are Seljıks and here are the Crusaders, I shall make a video of their battle.” The storylines were very simple and there were no subtitles. I don’t remember exactly when, but after some time I realized I wanted to make historical videos. This decision brings lots of challenges: The accuracy of the story, the special characters involved in that battle like the commander and the general, the date and location of the battle and the cinematic opportunities the battle would offer me while producing it. To give an example of my early works, due to not being able to construct it myself, I was choosing the most suitable battlefield in the game for the Battle of Manzikert. I was only adding the personality variants of historical characters like Alparslan and Byzantine Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes. In time, I learned to draw my own maps. I also started to add not only the main characters but also second, third-grade personalities’ models in the animation. These improvements were followed by subtitles and English dubs. In each video I made, I added something new and reached the point I’m now.
What resources do you use to verify the accuracy of battles from the Roman era to the Ottomans?
After determining the topic of my new video, I look into the period of the battle including the nations that fought it directly from the books about that period. In my early historical videos, I was not adding any information except the one I gathered from history websites and some articles, it was simply synthesizing the information I found online and using them collectively. Sometime later I wanted to go one step further and considering the addition of subtitles and dubs, I started buying many Turkish/English books. The books I’m reading are not limited to history books but also include fantastic universes series like Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. Even though the accuracy of the battle map and even the armour of the soldiers are details I consider, I never came up with the idea of offering fully detailed videos. I’m interested in the visual side of history, so it is logical to provide a briefing at the beginning and at the end of the videos and get into action as soon as possible. Eventually, when you are searching for the Battle of Chaldiran there are many written sources but too limited videos and images. I would be sad if my videos turned into full “documentaries” instead of “short movies” depicting a battle or an event. ☺
Your animations differ from the ones we see in other channels in terms of storyline. What has given you the idea of changing the action during the videos?
As I mentioned, I don’t want my videos turning into documentaries. That is the reason the storyline is different from many other animations you see. I wasn’t even considering adding subtitles and dubs in the beginning but my followers insisted on these features. If you think of how many soldiers took part in the battle, where the battle was fought, which military belonged to which army etc, the list just goes on. In my opinion, using 3D animations attracts more viewers than using 2D animated/unanimated images. This is not only for historical videos but YouTube channels with different concepts trying to provide information about something. While game engines create serious challenges in certain details (like creating dramatic scenes which require too many details), I use 3D scenes from video games and edit them in a dynamic order to give them a cinematic impression.
How do you prepare the details like sound effects and the voices of the warriors?
Most of the sound effects I’m using can be found as default in the game. So, in a cinematic video, I create using Total War, most of the sounds belong to that game. But as I prepare almost all the scenes without sound, I edit that part later. For this, I’m using a separate sound file I have. In it, there are sounds of marching armies, battle cries and swords. Sometimes I use sound effects from movies independent from the background music. Lacking a comprehensive sound database, I produced videos like this for a long time. I hope I’ll have access to larger and better quality sound sources.
What are the hardest parts of creating battle animation? For instance, what was the hardest while preparing for the Battle of Cannae?
These are certainly the preliminary of the weather, the battlefield and battle units and the “key scenes” that have to be shown. These are the same for the other battles. From “key scenes” represent the unique part of the battles. For example, in the Battle of Cannae, there is a scene where Hannibal’s army encircles the Romans. The Roman army gets surrounded from all sides but the game units may not move as flexible as they are required. As you know, the units in Total War spread across a square area. They are not scattered or independent from each other. To edit this I change the game files containing unit gaps, numbers and values as much as I can. Nevertheless, there are times I don’t get the desired result. Eventually, most of the criticism about the Cannes videos concerns the lack of details in the encirclement scene.
What are the advantages or disadvantages of preparing animations about TV series?
It is much simpler if there’s a source that depicts the battle of the event I want to create. Unfortunately to get more audience and other reasons the accuracy of the content may be misleading. Nevertheless, if I find supportive visuals, I can get an idea of the atmosphere the battle of the event takes part in. Additionally, as concept artists take reference from model designers, TV series or movies help me in designing the characters and the scenes. We can consider the Pelennor Field Battle (aka Minas Tirith Siege). There’s a significant difference between the book and the movie, that is why I already had prepared a map to use in the trailer for the team develoğing the Lords of the Rings mode. If I decide to create a full cinematic video I will use the book for the storyline but in terms of visuals, I’ll be inspired by the castle and the battlefield seen in the movie for the siege of Minas Tirith. If I design something other than the example of Minas Tirith that director Peter Jackson came up with, many viewers may get confused about the place. Because many people memorize a structure bound to the movie when they think of Minas Tirith.
Can you tell us about the period that led to the collaboration with Epic Games? How many studios or directors have discovered your work?
Epic History contacted me via email. They told me that they’ve been following historical battles animations I created with Total War. I believe they meant the last 5-6 videos I added subtitles and dubs. They asked for help for their new video about the Battle of Salamis and I accepted with pleasure. I’m already trying to support history channels by sending video clips whenever I find the time. Other than Epic History, director Alper Çağlar had contacted me after a video of Game of Thrones I created and we worked on the “Pre-production” video belonging to the Göktürk trilogy. Due to my lack of technical skills, I have the desire to get an education in cinema. I’m already in contact with the creative studio of Total War, the Creative Assembly. Who knows what will happen in the future? ☺
Can you tell us a little about the preparation period of the Battle of Salamis video?
Other than what I usually do (and as expected from Epic History), I had a large file explaining how every scene will be created from which angles. They had requests including not using the motion camera too much and zooming into the scenes showing specific units. In total, they requested about 50-55 scenes. I normally create more scenes in case clients need more. Some scenes don’t meet my expectations or don’t satisfy the client. In this case, I try to recreate the scene by improving the missing details. It is vital to depict the scenes as a whole.
There are not many YouTube channels depicting history too accurately. How would you describe the clash of right and wrong on YouTube?
The history appearing on YouTube, even including the most reliable channels, may be biased. I’m not saying this only in terms of knowledge but also the language used in the production. In the Battle of Varna video, there’s a scene of the charge of the commander Wladyslaw to the janissary line protecting the Sultan. Even though he barely manages to break the line, he gets killed by a janissary. While a Turkish YouTube channel describes this as “he was taken down by janissaries”, a foreign channel mentions it like “he was surrounded by janissaries with his soldiers and died one by one while fighting bravely.” When I’m producing a video I try to assess both sides as neutral as possible. Also, channels may decide to use only one source as there are several sources for a battle or an event. This negligence shows itself most in the size of the armies in the beginning and the casualties suffered in the end. While most of the sources claim the number of the Ottoman army in the Chaldiran battle between 60-80.000, some channels who try to excuse the defeat to numbers increase the Ottoman strength to 200.000. We can also see this in the battles between the Ottomans and European forces.
You generally use Total War soundtracks in your games. How do you deal with the copyright for the music and the sound effects?
The copyright for the music could be really depressing. In most of the early videos I uploaded I used music that could be found on YouTube as unlicensed. Nevertheless, the producers were demanding the copyright fee later. One copyright violation claim was sent for a video with 2,7 million views after it reached 2,5 million. But after I started to use 4K videos, which has been a while, I’m mostly using unlicensed music belonging to Total War. So, I may use a Napoleon Total War scene music in a Roman video if I find it suitable.
Is the revenue from YouTube good enough to improve your projects?
As you know there’s a ban on sharing income information on YouTube but I can say that I’ve reached a level to produce videos continuously. While I’m having some low FPS problems, I can create scenes without a problem with the current graphics card I’m using. To produce better quality videos I think I’ll need a better GPU and processor. In Total War-like games, every moving unit (walking, running or engaging in battle) is considered independently and this may overload the processor more than the GPU.
What are your thoughts about Turkish YouTubers? Are we spreading good information?
Actually, I don’t follow many Turkish YouTubers. “Let’s Play” style gameplay or editing videos don’t get my attention so I can’t say much. As the channel numbers increase, similar contents are also on the rise. One of the channels I like to follow is “DFT Tarih”, which I collaborated with in the past. I find their content high quality.
Do you have any plans of establishing a studio and creating more comprehensive, different style videos?
I may have limitations when making a video animation with Total War or Bannerlord. That is why I am keen to learn programmes like Blender to prepare videos in a wider perspective. My area is the visualization of war history and I have no doubt my work will evolve in time. I could not expect my channel to reach such a level in the beginning. This is a period evolving step by step.
Your followers mainly demand videos from the Viking era. Do you have any plans for a series?
I’m currently working on three projects, so I can skip to another when I don’t want to continue with the other one. Preparing the storyline and the dubs all myself sometimes requires me to spend 2-3 months on a video. Viking themed battles are really in high demand so currently, I’m considering the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Besides that Siege of Belgrade (1456), I’m preparing trailers for the Rise of Mordor team who developed the Lords of Rings mod for Total War Attila and creating Robert’s Rebellion series in Game of Thrones and Battle of Watling Street. There are too many projects that I want to create and I hope I can overcome them all.
Are there any other comments you want to add? Please share them with us.
I don’t want to bore readers by writing too long. I see videos as a way to express myself that is why I really enjoy making videos. If there are any questions you have for me, please contact me on various channels and I’ll try to answer them as much as I can. I really liked answering your questions, all well thought out. I’m really pleased that you discovered my content and happy to answer your questions.
All images and the photo are courtesy of Nedim Can İncebay.
By Christoph Mutz, Senior Automotive Product Marketing Manager, Western Digital
The automotive industry is going through profound changes as connected vehicles become the norm. With every technological development, innovation and smart addition to the vehicle, each car becomes in itself, a server on wheels. From increasingly centralised architecture, to in-depth infotainment consoles, the sheer amount of data cars now create presents challenges when it comes to the car’s storage requirements.
While urban infrastructure and the development of edge data centres will be key to the eventual success of connected and autonomous transport, the need for on-board data storage has never been more prevalent. There are current on-board flash storage solutions such as the embedded Multi-Media Chips interface (eMMC), but the need for higher performance to transfer data to and from the systems in the car requires a faster interface. To help manage the sharp rise in fast data, the Universal Flash Storage (UFS) interface offers a suitable solution for the next generation of vehicles. But what are the benefits of flash storage, and how is the technology solving the industry’s challenges?
Changing automotive architectures and the impact on data
Automotive architectures are changing dramatically, from dispersed control units to one centralized system in a car. Previously, an Electronic Control Unit (ECU) had a specific function according to its use case. These ECUs eventually became connected to each other, but the networks still acted independently of one another. With gateways, it is now possible to achieve coordinated cross-network communication, enabling the handling of increasingly complex, data rich-tasks. Furthermore, in merging the individual ECUs into domain controllers (DCU), providing the ability to handle many demanding tasks at once, the architecture now can evolve even further. For the software, it means that in addition to the computing algorithms such as those used in artificial intelligence (AI), it also affects the operating system with its virtualisation techniques like the use of hypervisors.
Therefore, the evolution of the architecture is now having an impact on important components in processors and flash storage. Regarding flash, the required ever-higher storage capacities can be supported by NAND flash technology. The unique requirements of the industry must also be considered, with the advanced algorithms increasing the need for NAND flash with its ability to provide very high capacity at very low cost in automotive applications.
How UFS is solving on-board storage challenges
UFS has emerged as the first choice for high data throughput, with shorter write and read sequences, in conjunction with high capacity storage. Originally developed for mobile devices, UFS offers next-generation vehicles the benefits derived from its development and optimization in mobile radio technology, a field that is subject to high technical demands, and the processing of large amounts of data. Alongside the benefits of high-level data throughput and storage capacity, UFS provides the opportunity for an industry standard platform. The standardisation consortium JEDEC, continues to drive the development of UFS Technology, with UFS 4.0 expected in 2022 and further versions set to follow.
With flash providing clear benefits in an automotive setting, the question now resides in how much storage the connected car needs, and which applications require the most space?With its large amount of map data, navigation has been the main application creating a large demand for flash memory in recent years. Currently, navigation and all the elements that inform the driver and make up ‘infotainment’ are the main beneficiaries of large storage capacities using up to 256 GB of flash in certain vehicles. With higher resolutions needed for automated driving and 3D mapping data, as well as other information at the driver’s fingertips on the dashboard, this is only set to continue to grow with up to one terabyte (1TB) per car expected by 2025. UFS, with its faster interface, offers a much snappier transport of such large amounts of data, significantly improving the user experience.
The technology behind flash storage and its benefits
The most critical features of NAND flash memory in cars are reliability, write endurance and data retention. A wide variety of factors can strongly influence the latter, for example the way in which data is written from the application to the flash, which has a strong impact on its lifetime. This is because small data packages stored at arbitrary addresses place a greater load on the flash than large amounts of information that is saved all at once.
Innovations within UFS storage are allowing flash to be protected from intensive operations. Flash technology can now enable read-intensive and write-intensive applications to run on separate partitions, made possible by ‘smart partitioning’. Partitions configured as a Single Level Cell (SLC) structure are particularly suitable for write-intensive programs. Here, the flash is reduced to a third of the capacity of the Triple Level Cell (TLC) structure, but the number of write cycles is many times higher. Read-intensive programs can then use the partition with the TLC structure, providing the full storage capacity and extending the service life within UFS memory significantly.
With data now imperative to the functioning of connected vehicles, the reliability of data storage is essential to the car’s overall safety. UFS innovations now allow for a detailed recording of the write or read events, making it possible to analyse the read-write behavior of the application and determine if it is at risk of distressing the flash due to unbalanced workloads. It can do this by recording ‘events’, or the individual data throughputs, based on the “UFS Protocol Information Units” (UPIU). After careful analysis of this data, insights into the write/read behavior of the system can be gained and interpreted, protecting the performance of the flash, and significantly extending the reliability and security of the data.
Driving collaboration between OEMs and storage manufacturers
3D NAND technology has primarily established itself in automotive electronics with the ability to create higher flash capacities. With this, the technology can scale and meet the future demand from automotive applications for increasingly large memories. With larger capacities, fewer flash modules are needed. This means they can then be installed in central locations reducing the hardware costs that would have been incurred if they were installed in a distributed manner.
The changes in the electrical-electronic (E/E) architecture of cars in recent years will only accelerate. As mentioned, the formerly numerous Electronic Control Units (ECUs) are networked with many of the vehicle’s parts; and the concentration into ever larger Domain Control Units (DCUs) is in full swing. Future architectures will undoubtedly bring further innovations and with the stronger role of software, this means that large automotive companies will be increasingly looking for suitable processors and flash components. Therefore, closer communication between OEMs and the flash manufacturers is soon to be of paramount importance to the future of the connected car, providing the opportunity to find the optimal use of processors and memories, minimising the failure probabilities and increasing the service life.
In five years, cars will not only provide extreme comfort and entertainment but will also turn into an office and even a classroom, according to DE-CIX International CEO Ivo Ivanov. He calls this development the “fifth screen” entering our lives.
Consider yourself a fleet driver of a big company. You need to complete a delivery on time and get stuck in the traffic jam. In today’s world this may prove to be a difficult situation to resolve. But in a few years’ time, all around the world, cars using the digital infrastructure provided by Internet Exchanges (IXs) will be able to deal with any situation. Your state of the art navigation system will guide you to the shortest route or you will simply deliver all the necessary updates to other fleet cars in your radius so they will be able to help you.
The example above represents only one development out of thousands which smart cars will offer to us in the near future. With an environment fed with thousands of sensors, a “Closed User Group” (CUG) for controlling the data journey, and mini data centers at every other intersection the digital experience cars will offer to us will significantly increase.
DE-CIX International CEO Ivo Ivanov simply defines future smart cars as “a smart digital device on wheels.” With the ongoing developments in technology, including 5G, Ivanov believes that smart cars will turn into the fifth screen in our lives, providing any kind of information and entertainment, thus totally changing our experience on the road.
I had the chance to ask Mr Ivanov about the current and future developments in IX technology and what challenges and opportunities will emerge through it. Ivanov thinks the biggest challenges will be faced in developing the necessary technologies and also plugging every hole against cyber attacks. On the other hand, with super fast real-time connection with minimum latency, the quality of our lives will improve dramatically.
Mr. Ivanov explained how will this happen, by answering the following questions:
What will be the impact of ICT technology in the automotive sector?
IXs will play a role in the automobile industry firstly when it comes to the cloud connectivity of different applications into the car, but even more in serving the in and outbound data of the car in a Closed User Group approach. If, as they all desire nowadays, an automotive company wants to create excellent digital services in the car – aside from autonomous driving, so, for instance excellent entertainment systems – this requires the highest performance possible. Reliable delivery of the applications, high quality audio and video without any outages, is what the companies want to achieve. Therefore, the car has to be very well interconnected with application providers.
This can be Microsoft, for instance. By using an IX, interruptions occurring between the car manufacturer’s network and applications like Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Teams can be minimized almost completely. IXs play a crucial role at this point by providing a direct interconnection to the access network and the application networks to which the car is connected. So, a CEO sitting in the backseat of a car which is fully digitalized and connected can enjoy the best quality of video conferencing. Also, the driver can use the best navigation technology available and other passengers can use information and entertainment systems they wish to use. That’s all about performance and latency. So, IXs deliver reliable, highly secure and efficient technology to automotive companies to access these applications delivered into the car.
Can we say that smart cars are turning into offices?
I believe that today’s smart cars have already partly turned into offices, and this will be even more the case in the future. I am looking at this from a different perspective, and define cars as a smart digital device on wheels. It’s a digital engine on wheels and the so-called fifth screen as some have referred to it. The reason why I call it the “fifth screen” is because it replaces the living room and the office and it is also a huge engine producing data. The information gathered by thousands of sensors are not only displayed in the car, but this data creates a multi-billion-dollar industry including outside of the car. You can think about data relevant to traffic management, commercial industries, healthcare, insurance, finance and so on. A very simple example for the limitless list of stakeholders is municipalities, which are extremely interested in the administration of their cities. They want to know the quality of the streets, what causes damage, and how this damage can be fixed and the quality improved. This is something that the cars today can deliver as a real-time information.
What kind of data interaction will occur between cars in the future?
The car will become a very powerful engine and a marketplace for data – data that is very important for the future of the automotive industry and represents a future of growth. Because alongside to the engine, the nice design, and also the physical parameters of the cars, an automotive company today is at the same time a digital mobility company today. The ambition is to create the best possible experience for the driver and the other passengers in the car. And today, the experience of digital services can’t be great if those services don’t work properly. Except the specialized racing cars and the like, we can’t imagine a normal car today not providing the comfort of digitalization that we already enjoy in the rest of our lives. I’m talking about systems which allow us to focus better on the road and traffic conditions to find the best route out of a traffic jam. Also providing the best entertainment and infotainment systems to passengers. There are already prototypes for the next steps in automotive services and systems which are very impressive. For instance, the windows of the car can be used to provide details of the environment the car is in. Even architecture or history lessons can for example be provided while driving through historical and important areas, and so on. All of this will influence the way a car is used and digitalization will become one of the most important factors for consumers when it comes to purchasing a car. This is something the automotive companies know and they want to gather digital assets to be put inside the car. And they can’t do this if they can’t control the data journey.
The data journey is the data entering and exiting the car, and what is done with it. Think about thousands of sensors producing data. As of today, 70% of the data produced by a car is real-time in-car data, involving the core car systems. Added to this, the remaining 30% is made up of 20% car-to-cloud data, which is related to a lot of real-time applications, 5% car-to-car data in live traffic situations, and 5% car-to-environment, which represents the interaction between the sensors and the traffic systems and so on.
When we look at this 30% of the data, we see that it is, firstly, extremely quality sensitive and also extremely security sensitive. As we all can imagine, this data has to be exchanged in a 100% reliable and secure manner, so the real-time performance of different applications and tools can work as desired.
Would it be possible to provide total privacy for consumers?
This is a job of all of us, all the stakeholders included in this business. It starts with a car manufacturer and also entails application providers, but infrastructure providers also have a part to play in this industry. The concept of the Closed User Group (CUG), as I mentioned in the beginning, perfectly fits into this type of requirement. Why? Because it is a controlled virtual environment, where the owner of the CUG – in this case, the automotive company – can make sure that all the policies needed are implemented to ensure compliance. These can be security, privacy and further other requirements stipulated by the company itself or by regulators and other stakeholders. These policies can be controlled and monitored in this environment and every single participant who is invited to this Closed User Group and exchanges data with the cars – for example, streaming services, data analytics companies and cloud services – are obliged to comply with these policies. So, on the one hand, it becomes extremely manageable in terms of compliance. On the other hand, it is highly secure. Because, in this CUG, the interconnection between the network of the car company and the networks which deliver data to or receive data from the car is direct. There’s no intermediary in between. And the more the exchange of direct data is, the better the control over it is. Also, the risk of manipulation by an anonymous party will be dramatically reduced. Of course, there is no such thing as absolute security, but automotive manufacturers need to get as close as possibel. And this concept is extremely secure, as it is massively reduces the risk of DDoS attacks because of the direct exchange of data. It also allows the tracking of the data flow and mitigation of any possible lags in a very reliable manner.
Are smart cars ready to prevent any kind of cyber attack?
This is an extremely important question and also an extremely important area of discussion, because we can all imagine what kind of risks can be related to a situation where a criminal can hijack the car, steal the identity of the driver, and even take control over the car. The car can be literally used as a weapon in the hands of terrorists or criminals. To avoid this, secure infrastructure becomes extremely relevant and the infrastructure I’m talking about, the Closed User Group in the automotive industry, is a very important tool to gain control of security-related systems. Because of the direct interconnection and the private and isolated environment, attacks like IP hijacking or DDoS can be isolated and mediated. In fact, criminal intent on performing such an attack generally want to remain anonymous. In a CUG, there’s no anonymous party. So, this will allow the owner of the CUG, in this case the car company, to perfectly control the data buyers and data suppliers. Having said this, because of the closed environment, it is extremely hard for criminals to hijack the car and steal the driver’s identity or take over the control of the car. And of course, next to this, the manufacturers in the automotive industry are extremely sensitive about security and there are more and more measures to be put in place to make sure that even in the very theoretical case where these systems did not perform, they must make sure that they have a Plan B solution in order to stop the car and avoid any accident and damage.
How does the Blackholing technology work?
Blackholing is a very effective tool to prevent any damage caused by the DDoS attacks. The Blackholing logic has been installed in every DE-CIX platform and location. It identifies anomalies in the traffic volume which are not related to the normal parametrics and in this case digitally trashes it into a “blackhole”, while the pipes and the networks stay open for the normal and real traffic and the congestion can be avoided. The DDoS traffic which aims to disrupt the data flow or significantly damage the system is not effective against Blackholing and disappears in a blackhole.
What are the challenges and opportunities of IX technology?
The main challenge first of all, is the entire process of digitalization – which we take as one of the major paths of innovation now and in the years ahead of us. To make sure that the experience of digital services will be available, interconnection is one of the biggest challenges. As we all know, a car is to be driven. In this case, digital services need to be performed even in the rural areas, outside the cities, where the infrastructure is not yet sufficiently rolled-out to enable these services. This is one of the main challenges for different stakeholders involved in this industry. As DE-CIX, we have already created a platform which will allow us to build exchanges close to highways junctions and 5G cell towers, to make sure that localized interconnection between the application networks and the car access networks can take place as locally as possible in a radius of around 80 to maximum 100 kilometres. This infrastructure is one of the biggest challenges in our eyes, and also in the eyes of the car manufacturers, when it comes to digital services.
When we look at the opportunities, they are unlimited. This can create a wave of innovation and a wave of creation of very helpful services to improve the efficiency of the way we drive safely. I think this is one of the main opportunities the entire value chain of the stakeholders have in our hands. Through the digitalization of infrastructure we can offer the safest and the best experience ever.
How do you see the development process in technology and adaptation of 5G?
Let me start with the last element in your question. The reaction is not as fast as probably the desire for innovation and progress. We have to increase the speed of 5G deployment because enabling this technology almost everywhere will allow us to enjoy the Internet of Things (IoT) in a way it should be enjoyed. Because that’s what 5G is all about. The mediation of different data streams from the IoT devices. When you look at the parts and sensors of the cars they are actually IoT devices. And having this technology everywhere will dramatically increase the efficiency of data management in a very intelligent way. 5G is extremely important for our use of digital technology everywhere and not only in our living rooms. EIXDE-CIX has realized the importance of 5G in its edge interconnection triangle. The DE-CIX edge internonnection triangle consists of 5G technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and the last element is localization of the infrastructure on site. This gives us the ability to use devices and applications regardless of where we are.
What is the development process you want to accomplish until 2025?
As DE-CIX, by 2025 ECIXwe desire to be involved with and partner more telecommunications players worldwide. Also, to get involved in the creation of new hubs. We already achieved this for instance in Southern Europe, creating interconnection hubs in Madrid, Marseille, Lisbon and Palermo. Of course, together with our data center partners, cablehave succeeded in supporting the trends in traffic distribution, which are definitely trends about creating new hubs. One focus is regions which have not been served locally in the past years – continents like Africa, South America, remote areas in India, Southeast Asia and rural areas in the US, for example. Our vision is to provide reliable, flexible, affordable solutions not only to big hubs, as we do today in New York, Madrid and İstanbul, but also in rural areas where the so-called edge interconnection needs to be built out and small relevant hubs will start to appear. There is a good reason for this: The closer the applications are to the users, the better the experience. So data centers are needed at the local level where applications and different services, like cloud computing, are hosted for local users, and we would be involved in interconnecting these applications and resources to the Internet access network as locally as possible. This is our ambition for the next 5 years. So in 2025, we want to be present on all continents with our platforms to make sure that different economies will benefit from better infrastructure. And as I love to say, better infrastructure creates a better digital service experience. And this better experience is our key to a better life today. Because if people don’t have access to these services they’re simply disadvantaged – and we want to close this gap.
What will be the main development in smart cars in the coming five years?
I believe digitalization in every part in the car will be the main driver. In 2025, we will experience extremely smart cars which will be supporting our daily lives with comfort and entertainment.
How will a consumer best benefit from the technologies of DE-CIX?
Using applications in the office or from home – applications such as CRM, ERP or simply email and video conferencing, with team members requiring 100% mobility – with the best performance possible as a result of the lowest latency. As we see in our industry, every millisecond counts: We say latency is the new currency! At DE-CIX we have had great success in improving latency to Microsoft 356, for example, which our solution can reduce from 70 milliseconds to under 10 milliseconds. And this leads to an incredible increase in the performance of those systems for the people in offices, regardless of where they are. And the company can save resources that would otherwise have been used for troubleshooting and maintenance. Another example is from the gaming industry. We all know that gaming companies are sensitive about latency, especially when it comes to online real-time gaming. For gaming companies, on the one hand, and on the other hand for the Internet access networks, connecting to DE-CIX means that we can make sure the gaming application is delivered along the fastest and the most efficient path possible. So the player using a smart device at home or underway, even in the car, can experience great gaming. The traffic exchange between the gaming company no matter whether it’s on the gaming console or in cloud, and the Internet service operator – which brings the data the last mile to the users – enables this experience.
Do you have a message for the tech world?
We are entering a new era in digitalization everywhere and our ambition is to support this with our services, and we have a wish that goes out to all the different stakeholders involved in digital infrastructure. We invite all of our partners around the globe, data centers and network operators to collaborate, in order to bring the best Internet infrastructure to everyone, everywhere.