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Oracle ups its cloud game

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At Oracle OpenWorld 2017 in San Francisco this week, Oracle unveiled a revamped portfolio that added significant new capacity and capability to its Cloud Platform.

Thomas Kurian, Oracle president of product development, showcased new services and enhancements, with deep product knowledge, integration, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) built into every layer of the stack.

Kurian demonstrated several of these new services on stage, showing how customers can transform business with Oracle’s cloud services. Innovations spanning infrastructure, analytics, data management, and applications showcased in the session included:

  • Infrastructure as a Service: With built-in servers, storage, networking and supporting cloud services (such as load balancing and DNS), Oracle Cloud Infrastructure provides the foundation for customer innovation. As Kurian demonstrated in a number of scenarios, the platform was architected from the ground-up to provide the fastest compute, fastest GPUs, and fastest block storage to drive unmatched performance, predictability and lower costs for even the most intense enterprise workloads. Kurian also introduced new network capabilities including a Public Cloud Service offering 25 gigabit Ethernet to the host with a global scale elastic DNS Service.

Providing customers ultimate choice in how they deploy their architecture, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure enables customers to maintain visibility into their on-premises systems and extend them to the cloud. Kurian highlighted new developments in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure—including enhancements to Compute, Storage, Networking and edge capabilities—offering IT operations, developers and researchers infrastructure services optimized for production-ready enterprise applications.

  • Platform as a Service: Oracle’s PaaS offerings serve as the underlying foundation for developing, integrating, monitoring, securing and optimizing applications with newly built-in AI and machine learning powered tools. Kurian shared Oracle’s vision for the future of PaaS where software automatically learns, manages, tunes and scales to meet changing compute needs. Kurian also discussed the world’s first autonomous database cloud. Powered by the newly announced Oracle Database 18c, the next generation of its industry-leading database, Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud eliminates complexity, human error, and manual tuning, making it easy for customers to provision and operate databases with lower administration costs and freeing them up to focus on other critical business tasks. Also noted was the latest generation of Oracle Exadata (X7); new innovations in the Oracle Big Data Cloud Platform with new artificial Intelligence, data lake and data integration capabilities; and leading-edge new cyber security and systems management solutions.
  • Application Development Cloud Services: Oracle gives customers unparalleled choices when it comes to open source tools, programming languages, and data management platforms that meet desired price-performance needs. This enables customers to preserve existing investments and increase productivity, while eliminating costly learning curves and dramatically reducing integration costs. Kurian discussed major advancements to the Oracle Application Development Platform – highlighting how Oracle is making it even more open, modern and easy to use with container-native development and high scale, fully managed Docker and Kubernetes services; expanded polyglot support; and a new intelligent chatbot platform. He also showcased Oracle’s newly announced serverless computing offering. Based on open-source project Fn, the service helps customers reduce cloud infrastructure and management costs by only paying for the time their functions are running, and not for the entire time the cloud compute is on and sitting idle.
  • Software as a Service: Helping companies operate more intelligently and effectively—whether it’s closing the books, serving employees or engaging with customers—Oracle has built-in AI capabilities across its application suite. No matter what the business opportunity or issue, Oracle is the only vendor to offer customers a complete and connected application suite to run an entire business in the cloud. Offering intuitive UIs and embedded collaboration—amplified with new developments in machine learning, AI and Internet of Things (IoT) and chatbots connectivity—Oracle’s suite of cloud applications help customers better connect critical business functions and accelerate intelligent outcomes. Kurian highlighted new AI SaaS capabilities for finance, human resources, supply chain, marketing, commerce, sales and customer service professionals. He also demonstrated how companies can integrate core elements of the Oracle stack to transform business, such as building next-generation applications with built-in Blockchain capabilities.
  • Data as a Service: Powering Oracle Adaptive Intelligent Apps, Oracle Data Cloud enables them to learn, react and adapt in real time based on historical and dynamic customer data. This empowers marketers to quickly identify audiences, connecting their behaviors across devices and platforms—so they can deliver the right message, to the right customer—at the right time. Oracle Data Cloud, which is the largest data marketplace in the world, features a collection of more than 5 billion global consumer and business IDs and more than 7.5 trillion data points collected monthly.

Quotes from Thomas Kurian

  • “I am incredibly proud of the work our development organization has done these last 10 years to bring you the Oracle Cloud, and to introduce all these new innovations that we showed you today.”
  • “Over 10 years ago when we started building the Oracle Cloud, we had a very simple mission: we wanted any person anywhere in the world to be able to access and use our software. And all that they would need is an Internet browser or a phone.”
  • “Here at OpenWorld we’re going provide a glimpse of the future of Oracle and how we’re infusing new technology in autonomous computing, artificial intelligence, IoT, blockchain and new forms of human interface into our cloud offerings.”
  • “We’re doing this to give you, our customers and developers, a canvas on which you can paint your vision and your ambitions and dreams, to use information technology in a new way, in a fundamentally new way, to transform your organization, your companies and the world.”
  • “We’re introducing amazing technology in the infrastructure layer. So you can get world-class infrastructure delivered to you through a browser.”
  • “The vision for platform-as-a-service was to eliminate the next barrier to technology adoption by our customers. And that was to eliminate all the mundane, manual labor that human beings needed to do in order to use Oracle technology.”
  • “Our vision for the human interface for applications is to become seamless for humans. No longer is it just web and mobile screens, but you could speak to the application. You can interact with it with messaging. You can take pictures and we can identify images, compare them with other things, and automate transactions.”

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Earth 2050: memory chips for kids, telepathy for adults

An astonishing set of predictions for the next 30 years includes a major challenge to the privacy of our thoughts.

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Buy 2050, most kids may be fitted with the latest memory boosting implants, and adults will have replaced mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought.

These are some of the more dramatic forecasts in Earth 2050, an award-winning, interactive multimedia project that accumulates predictions about social and technological developments for the upcoming 30 years. The aim is to identify global challenges for humanity and possible ways of solving these challenges. The website was launched in 2017 to mark Kaspersky Lab’s 20th birthday. It comprises a rich variety of predictions and future scenarios, covering a wide range of topics.

Recently a number of new contributions have been added to the site. Among them Lord Martin Rees, the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Professor at Cambridge University and former President of the Royal Society; investor and entrepreneur Steven Hoffman, Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, along withDmitry Galov, security researcher and Alexey Malanov, malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

The new visions for 2050 consider, among other things:

  • The replacement of mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought – able to upload skills and knowledge in return – and the impact of this on individual consciousness and privacy of thought.
  • The ability to transform all life at the genetic level through gene editing.
  • The potential impact of mistakes made by advanced machine-learning systems/AI.
  • The demise of current political systems and the rise of ‘citizen governments’, where ordinary people are co-opted to approve legislation.
  • The end of the techno-industrial age as the world runs out of fossil fuels, leading to economic and environmental devastation.
  • The end of industrial-scale meat production, as most people become vegan and meat is cultured from biopsies taken from living, outdoor reared livestock.

The hypothetical prediction for 2050 from Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab is as follows: “By 2050, our knowledge of how the brain works, and our ability to enhance or repair it is so advanced that being able to remember everything and learn new things at an outrageous speed has become commonplace. Most kids are fitted with the latest memory boosting implants to support their learning and this makes education easier than it has ever been. 

“Brain damage as a result of head injury is easily repaired; memory loss is no longer a medical condition, and people suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, are quickly cured.  The technologies that underpin this have existed in some form since the late 2010s. Memory implants are in fact a natural progression from the connected deep brain stimulation implants of 2018.

“But every technology has another side – a dark side. In 2050, the medical, social and economic impact of memory boosting implants are significant, but they are also vulnerable to exploitation and cyber-abuse. New threats that have appeared in the last decade include the mass manipulation of groups through implanted or erased memories of political events or conflicts, and even the creation of ‘human botnets’. 

“These botnets connect people’s brains into a network of agents controlled and operated by cybercriminals, without the knowledge of the victims themselves.  Repurposed cyberthreats from previous decades are targeting the memories of world leaders for cyber-espionage, as well as those of celebrities, ordinary people and businesses with the aim of memory theft, deletion of or ‘locking’ of memories (for example, in return for a ransom).  

“This landscape is only possible because, in the late 2010s when the technologies began to evolve, the potential future security vulnerabilities were not considered a priority, and the various players: healthcare, security, policy makers and more, didn’t come together to understand and address future risks.”

For more information and the full suite of inspirational and thought-provoking predictions, visit Earth 2050.

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Pizoelectrics: Healthcare’s new gymnasts of gadgetry

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Healthcare electronics is rapidly deploying for wellness, electroceuticals, and intrusive medical procedures, among other, powered by new technologies. Much of it is trending to diagnostics and treatment on the move, and removing the need for the patient to perform procedures on time. 

Instruments become wearables, including electronic skin patches and implants. The IDTechEx Research report, “Piezoelectric Harvesting and Sensing for Healthcare 2019-2029”, notes that sensors should preferably be self-powered, non-poisonous even on disposal, and many need to be biocompatible and even biodegradable. 

We need to detect biology, vibration, force, acceleration, stress and linear movement and do imaging. Devices must reject bacteria and be useful in wearables and Internet of Things nodes. Preferably we must move to one device performing multiple tasks. 

So is there a gymnast material category that has that awesome versatility? 

Piezoelectrics has a good claim. It measures all those parameters. That even includes biosensors where the piezo senses the swelling of a biomolecule recognizing a target analyte. The most important form of self-powered (one material, two functions) piezo sensing is ultrasound imaging, a market growing at 5.1% yearly. 

The IDTechEx Research report looks at what comes next, based on global travel and interviewing by its PhD level analysts in 2018 with continuous updates.  

Click here to read how Piezo has been reinvented.

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