Xbox One X versus PS4 Pro

Released on November 7th, the Xbox One X definitively ratifies the game 4K on a console, almost a year to the day after the PS4 Pro which had opened the prospect. But if the two machines can spit out a video signal with a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels (also known as “2160p” or “Ultra High Definition,” UHD), they are not equivalent in their way of composing the image and in the “stability” of such a definition.

True 4K, false 4K, HDR, UHD, FreeSync, VRR, TeraFlops, HDMI 2.1, checkerboarding… Just like the imbroglio around the terms “HD Ready” and “Full HD” in the mid-2000s, the terms revolving around the new technologies of these consoles are particularly numerous, and we are all going to

Finally, to be complete, the 4K as it is heard by the latest generation of TVs and consoles does not match the definition designed at the base. Initially, the format was invented for cinema, which has a different ratio: the Digital Cinema Initiatives working group, which initially associated it with a definition of 4096×2160 pixels.

To put it plainly, when referring to the 4K format as it is practiced at home, whether through a TV, monitor or latest generation projector, the expression “Ultra HD 4K” should be used instead. It thus designates this definition of “only” 3840×2160 pixels that the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X reach. Let’s jump into the breach, Bertolt!

Technical Specifications Update

playstation chipThis is probably one of the most tedious exercises that await us! In order to better understand the difference between the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X, and above all the one hundred euros that separate them, it is also the most objective: the two consoles share close but not equal technical characteristics, having chosen the same creamery.

On the processor side, there is an AMD chip with eight cores in both cases: two x68-64 Jaguar, clocked at 2.3 GHz for the Xbox One X, and 2.1 GHz for the PS4 Pro. It is an APU, which is a unit combining a CPU and GPU and engraved at 16 nm. In addition to this slight difference in frequency, the two chips share the same architecture and thus belong to the same generation.

It is, therefore, more precisely the graphics part that will distinguish them, even if again the two machines have made a technological choice very close. Their graphics circuitry is part of the Arctic Islands family of AMD, more precisely the Polaris architecture introduced with the Radeon 400. The Xbox One X carries 40 Cluster Units at 1172 MHz, compared to 36 units at 911 MHz on Sony’s side. In the absolute, even the fewer technophiles of you will have understood on which side the scale leans by roughly comparing these figures.

By way of comparison, since these 4K consoles are look-alike on the performance side of players’ PCs, the PS4 Pro’s graphics circuitry can be estimated to be approaching the Radeon RX 480 (approximately €260). It also has 36 calculation units with a base frequency of 1120 MHz. The Sony machine also includes 8 GB of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit bus with 218 GB/s bandwidth (compared to 224 GB/s for the Radeon RX 480). To simplify, it should be remembered that these values offer the console the possibility to load a large number of textures in high definition and to guarantee fast exchanges between the main processing unit (the processor) and the graphics part (the GPU).

The fact remains that the Xbox One X is proving to be technically better equipped for the coming years and that it justifies its 100 euros difference. There are, of course, the raw technical characteristics, with a higher computing power. But there’s also the presence of a 4K UHD Blu-Ray player where the PS4 Pro is satisfied with a standard Full HD Blu-Ray player.

Blockchain and online voting!

The blockchain offers a secure voting tool, the result of which is transparent and auditable by everyone. Neither the voting administrator nor other individuals may modify the vote a posteriori.

At least three elements are necessary to carry out a vote on a blockchain: a programmable asset, a protocol to make the vote live; and a cryptographic key called a token, a kind of digital electoral card, to guarantee the voter’s identity.

Above each bitcoin transaction is metadata that can represent a digital asset: this asset can be a vote, a financial asset, or a physical asset (an object) that would be recorded on a blockchain, which would provide proof of existence.

A vote is a critical transaction: it must be executed quickly by the network. To do this, transaction fees are added to remunerate miners which are securing the network.

They start by processing the transactions with the highest fees and then handle the subsequent operations in descending order. If the network is saturated when a vote is a cast, minors will tend to defer this vote to the next blocks. Therefore, the idea is to put transaction fees of about 10 euro cents (depending on the bitcoin price) to be more or less sure that the network will process the vote.

The voting administrator (which may be an association, or a company organizing an AGM with its shareholders, or even a state) places as many tokens as there are votes cast on a specific protocol. It transmits these tokens to all voters, who have access to an electronic wallet to hold the tokens.

Candidates have access to a digital ballot box.

afsgdbndcnvmfgihkglllllllllA wallet, with a public address. When the voter issues his or her voting token, he or she transfers both the bitcoins that include transaction fees and the metadata that represents the vote. At the end of the vote, the winning candidate is the one who received the most chips.

To complete this process, a digital electoral map is necessary to ensure that whoever presents himself to his wallet is the owner of this wallet. One part of the key is public, the other private: you can draw a parallel in the traditional banking world with the RIB, which you can communicate to anyone, and the PIN code, which must not be shared.

The projects dedicated to voting on the blockchain are still in the experimental stage. One of them, Boule, estimates that a traditional vote costs about 5 dollars and that this cost could be divided by 2 or even 3 using the bitcoin block chine.

However, there are still some obstacles to be overcome if the vote on the blockade is to take place.

The cost of transactions: in the case of a vote of 1 million people, with transaction fees of 10 cents, the cost of organizing the vote would be 100,000 minimum…

The speed of transactions: today it is estimated at 7 transactions per second on the Bitcoin network. For example, it would take an average of 23 operations per second to get 1 million voters to vote within 12 hours.

Protection of the digital electoral map against malware attack, which could corrupt the vote. However, a parade is conceivable: not to store the cryptographic key on software but hardware, i. e. in a physical way, like the key proposed by the start-up Ledger.

We’ll see where this ends I guess over the course of the next few months/years…

Russian and American agree to develop common space technologies

Space cooperation between NASA and Roscomos is strengthened by the signing of a joint declaration between the United States and Russia. The focus is on the development of a lunar orbital station, the possibility of which is becoming clearer.

aappoeieuytytttttttttttttWould the Americans and Russians finally leave the Cold War aside to work together with their eyes turned towards space… and the Moon in particular? The sign is timid: the two countries have just signed a joint declaration in Adelaide, Australia, where the 68th International Astronautical Congress is being held.

This agreement will enable the two space agencies Nasa and Roscosmos to work on joint projects, in particular on deep space exploration to the Moon, from the International Space Station as a strategic launch pad. However, it would be abusive at this stage to announce the joint construction of a future Moon base.

Objective Moon

The U. S. Space Agency is considering exploring the Moon and its surrounding space from an advanced base, a vast project called the Deep Space Gateway. In this context, NASA will use the International Space Station (ISS) as a base for further exploration of space, prior to the creation of this inhabited international platform to orbit around the Moon, which will send astronauts into lunar orbit using new rockets developed by the American Space Agency. This statement comes in the context of a space exploration that is running out of steam, against a backdrop of limited funding.

This is all the more so since the ISS’s lifespan, which has already been extended by 4 years, is only up to 2024. Its future replacement could thus be seen as a front-port to the Moon.

Space, a field of international cooperation

Space is one of the few areas of bilateral cooperation not affected by the intense tensions between the United States and Russia. The two countries cooperate in particular within the framework of the ISS, of which Russia provides the main module and has the only ship capable of sending spacewalkers since the American space shuttles stopped. In particular, the Russian Angara and Proton-M rockets could be used in parallel with the American heavy launcher SLS, whose first flight is planned for 2018.

These 5 Breakthrough Technologies will Influence the life of everyone in 2017

These Technologies will have an effect on everybody.  It will affect politics and the economy, improve medicine and even influence culture.  Some are new at the moment and some are developing at the moment and will develop further through decades to come.  These Technologies all have the possibility of staying power. Technology now and developing for the future:

  1. Medicine: Reversing Paralysis; remarkable progress has been made to restore freedom of movement, caused by spinal cord injuries, through using brain implants.  This technology will be available to all in 10 to 15 years time.
  2. Photography: Spherical images made by Inexpensive Cameras; are opening a whole new world of taking pictures and sharing stories.  An ecological researcher needed a system to broadcast images continuously to collect data and devised a camera that can create 360-degree pictures.  This technology is available now for all to take their 360-degree selfies, etc.
  3. Education: Computers are experimenting and figuring out how to perform things a programmer would be able to teach them.  This approach is known as, “Reinforcement Learning”, and is not done through programming in a conventional way, at all.  The computer is learning to perform certain tasks, etc. simply by practicing.  This technology will be freely available in 1 to 2 years time.
  4. Economy: Self-Driving Trucks; Tractor-trailers without drivers might soon be passing you on the highway.  Many technical problems still exist, but it is claimed that self-driving trucks will be less costly as well as safer.  Availability will come in about 5 to 10 years time.  This is also the time in which the world can think about what this technology will mean for the millions of truck drivers that will lose their jobs.
  5. Environment: Hot Solar Cells; converting sunlight into heat firstly and then turning it back into light-energy, focused in beams, can dramatically increase efficiency.  This smaller solar device, smaller than the usual solar panels, can absorb more energy and could create continuous, cheap power.  This will only become available within 10 to 15 years from now.

Most of these technologies are future technologies, still in the developing phases, but it is good to know about them.  It will give time to consider the influences, good or bad, that it might have on the world and its inhabitants.

How can you maximize your Businesses Efficiency through the use of Technology?

Introducing new technological changes into your business or organization will present a whole different set of challenges towards shepherding that innovation into a routine action to all personnel. The easiest way might be to include all probable users in the research on user needs and their individual preferences and then together find a way to implement the new technology that will be acceptable and workable for all

Difficulties you might come across when Introducing New Technology in the Workplace, and how to solve these Problems.

  1. Resistance to Change: Resistance often grows out of misinformation, possibly overlooked issues or mistakes made through ignorance of the change.  This can mostly be countered by including all personnel involved or influenced by the change, through providing information, sharing knowledge and giving a clear view of what the benefits of the changes will be.
  2. Personal Benefit: New Innovations need to offer an advantage, an obviously clear advantage, over whatever it is intended to replace.  It is of great importance to make clear the potential benefits and apparent rewards.  Also, promote the need to learn new skills in order to increase the value of work and greater recognition.
  3. Gather Information from current work systems: Discuss current problems and difficulties with each department new technology will be implemented.  Find out the times of day systems run, the sequence of work done, the choices that are made by personnel daily and how the changes will affect everyone and the work they are responsible for.  This will enable you to spot probable problem areas and where more training or knowledge will be needed.  Always run a clear and open change campaign to make everyone feel included.

When all is said and done, the new technology changes in your business, company or workplace, will make processes faster, and much easier to ‘file’ and keep information.  Your business can run smoother, more cost effective and less time-consuming.  In other words; “More Efficient”.