This Week In Digital – Week 43

Our weekly news stand, This Week In Digital brings you another update, about all the technological headways that have happened in the past week. Find out the latest developments in the worlds of Blockchain, AI, and VR among others.

Alibaba Cloud launches London data centres with promise for further expansion – James Bourne, October 22, 2018.

Alibaba Cloud has opened the doors on its UK data centres, adding to its global footprint and promising 24/7 support as well as real-time monitoring. Using AI-powered and data-driven technology, Alibaba Cloud’s latest data centres will offer customers complete access to their wide range of cloud services from machine learning capabilities to predictive data analytics.

Samsung Announces Improved HMD Odyssey Plus – Kyle Melnick, October 22, 2018

The latest edition of Samsung’s Odyssey VR headset promises better visuals and a more comfortable fit.
Samsung earlier this morning revealed its HMD Odyssey Plus, an updated version of the companies 2017 Windows Mixed Reality headset, delivering improved visuals, new functionality, and a more comfortable design. Using what the company refers to as Anti-Screen Door Effect (Anti-SDE) Display technology, the Odyssey Plus is able to combat the notorious “Screen Door Effect” which can hamper a user’s experience and often lead to mild dizziness and nausea. Anti-SDE diminishes fixed pattern noise, delivering an estimated PPI (pixels per inch) of 1,233 PPI2. This, combined with the headsets dual 3.5” AMOLED displays, results in a more quality VR experience when compared to the original 2017 model.

Amazon Web Services joins NIH’s STRIDES Initiative to harness latest cloud technologies for biomedical researchers – October 23, 2018.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has joined the National Institutes of Health’s Science and Technology Research Infrastructure for Discovery, Experimentation, and Sustainability (STRIDES) Initiative. Launched in July 2018, the STRIDES Initiative aims to harness the power of commercial cloud computing for NIH biomedical researchers. Initially, NIH’s efforts will focus on making high-value data sets more accessible to researchers and experimenting with new ways to optimize technology-intensive research. The agreement with AWS will help NIH researchers, as well as researchers at more than 2,500 academic institutions across the nation receiving NIH support, make use of AWS’s wide range of technologies. “Teaming with Amazon Web Services will give NIH researchers powerful cloud-based resources to more efficiently collaborate and analyze data,” said Andrea T. Norris, Director of NIH’s Center for Information Technology and NIH Chief Information Officer.

Ethereum, Parity Co-Founder Announces Blockchain Framework for a ‘Multi-Chain World’ – Marie Hilliest, October 23, 2018.

Blockchain infrastructure firm Parity Technologies’ founder Gavin Wood demoed a live blockchain launch in just fifteen minutes at the Web3 Summit in Berlin.
The blockchain framework demoed by Wood is dubbed “Substrate,” and is a framework for building blockchains and the underpinning tech of Parity’s “Polkadot” protocol – a form of “para chain” that links between many different types of blockchains – which is slated to be released at the end of 2019.
Parity has reportedly outlined in an accompanying statement that while Polkadot and Substrate share a common aim, they are distinct in technological terms, with Substrate being akin to “the software or PC” that a someone might choose for an application, and Polkadot being “like plugging a network card into that computer,” given the protocol’s capacity to interconnect blockchains – which is slated to be released at the end of 2019.

Oracle unveils next generation cloud vision at OpenWorld – autonomous and rearchitected – James Bourne, October 24, 2018.

The first keynote of Oracle OpenWorld, in San Francisco this week, focused on the next generation of cloud computing. The company’s vision is based around the autonomous database, but now added to this is a rearchitected infrastructure – what it calls the second-generation cloud.
“I’m not talking about a few software changes here and there,” said Oracle co-founder and CTO Larry Ellison. “I’m talking about a completely new hardware configuration for the cloud. We had to add a new network of dedicated independent computers to surround the perimeter of our cloud – these are computers you don’t find in other clouds.”
Key to this revamped infrastructure, Oracle added, was around separate machines for customer data and the vendor’s control code. It’s a two way street, Ellison said; you don’t have to trust us, and we can’t trust all of you. Oracle can’t see customer data, but bad actors won’t be able to look at or modify their code either.

Major Agriculture Companies Partner to Use Blockchain in Grain Trading – Ana Berman, October 25, 2018.

The world’s four largest agriculture companies, commonly known as ABCD, have partnered to digitize international grain trading by using blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, Reuters reports Thursday, Oct. 25. ABCD, composed of Archer Daniels Midland Co.,Bunge Ltd., Cargill Inc. and Louis Dreyfus Co., states that blockchain implementation could make trading more efficient and transparent, as well as reduce costs. The conglomerate aims to digitize the system that has previously relied on paper contracts, invoices, and manual payments. According to grain industry news outlet World-Grain.com, blockchain and AI will be initially used to automate grain and oilseed post-trade execution processes, which are a highly manual and costly part of the supply chain.

PatientSphere uses AI and blockchain to personalize treatment plans – Kyle Wiggers, October 25, 2018.

Artificial intelligence (AI) can — and already has — improved the health outcomes of patients around the globe. Google earlier this month achieved 99 percent accuracy in metastatic breast care detection with an AI system, and Nvidia recently debuted a model that generates synthetic scans of brain cancer from whole cloth.
CEO of Silicon Valley startup Open Health Network and a cancer survivor,

The idea behind PatientSphere, Kanzaveli CEO of Silicon Valley startup Open Health Network and a cancer survivor explained, was to unify the various data pipelines that contribute to a person’s health care record and derive useful insights from them. Using machine learning, the platform delivers adaptive treatment plans and exercise tips (in addition to other timely content), which it refreshes over time in response to patients’ individual progress.
“It’s extremely exciting that patients can now have visibility into all of their health care data,” Kanzaveli said, “and the ability to not only share it on their own terms, but also get paid for it.”

HTC Launches Flagship Vive Store In China – Kyle Melnick, October 27, 2018.

The Shenzhen location allows visitors the opportunity to experience VR and purchase the latest Vive products.
It’s no secret that China loves VR. Whether it be the countries ambitious program to integrate VR education into all Chinese schools, or, more recently, the Jiangxi Province’s massive investment $460M in support for the AR/VR sector, its clear the booming nation sees both short, and long-term potential for virtual and augmented reality. HTC launched their first Vive-dedicated store and demo center in Shenzhen, China, according to reports by RoadToVR. Located at the Consumer Electronics Exchange/Exhibition Center in the modern metropolis of Shenzhen, the store appears to be a one-stop-shop for everything HTC Vive.

IBM acquires Red Hat for $34 billion – REUTERS, October 28, 2018.

IBM said on Sunday it had agreed to acquire U.S. software company Red Hat for $34 billion, including debt, as it seeks to diversify its technology hardware and consulting business into higher-margin products and services. “The acquisition of Red Hat is a game-changer … IBM will become the world’s No. 1 hybrid cloud provider, offering companies the only open cloud solution that will unlock the full value of the cloud for their businesses,” IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty said in a statement. The acquisition illustrates how older technology companies are turning to deal making to gain scale and fend off competition, especially in cloud computing, where customers using enterprise software are seeking to save money by consolidating their vendor relationships. IBM is hoping the deal will help it catch up with Amazon.com, Alphabet and Microsoft in the rapidly growing cloud business.

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