Technology is a dynamic field where players should be willing and able to adapt to the ever-changing dynamics to remain relevant. In recent years, there has been a complete technological overhaul in both hardware and software, which has led to improvement in the IT industry in terms of accuracy and efficiency. Hardware technologies have undergone tremendous changes, such as high-speed processors, non-volatile memory with hybrid storage, and high-speed networks. In the realm of software, the latest innovations include Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
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AI is a branch of computer science that entails the building up of machines or robots capable of doing tasks that would require the intelligence of human beings. Modern technology is now powerful enough to create AI tools in various ways, such as deep learning, machine learning, and advanced artificial intelligence applications. AI is currently used in various industries and businesses in many applications; it is used in healthcare, finance, transportation, criminal justice, and manufacturing.
Cross-platform Development Tools
Developing applications in the past was time-consuming and required allocating so many resources since the developers had to create one application for each platform. For example, iOS applications could not run on Android and vice versa. However, recent trends have enabled Software developers to write apps that can work for almost all personal computers and mobile platforms. These software technologies are also efficient, and their user interfaces are of high quality.
Bitcoin is a revolutionary technology invented a decade ago. It has many uses, among them cryptocurrencies, which have made it popular and a cultural phenomenon. Blockchain enables decentralization, and storage of data and ensures that data is immutable. Bitcoin is the most prominent blockchain and has been called the ‘digital gold.’ Other networks such as Ethereum have bigger ambitions of becoming a world computer (“Current Trends in Information Technology”). Blockchain architecture is beyond virtual money; it could alter the way ownership, collaboration, and privacy are seen in the digital arena. Blockchain applications, also called distributed apps, are becoming more popular as software developers now come up with more secure, decentralized applications.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Internet of Things refers to a system of interrelating computing devices, objects, and digital machines connected with unique identities or the ability to share data over a network without the need for human and computer interaction. IoT is gaining more reception as internet-connected devices are no longer only associated with computers and mobile phones. IoT helps individuals live a better life by ensuring that devices are better connected, helping homes become automated (“Current Trends in Information Technology”). Moreover, through system automation, IoT helps companies achieve efficiency in transportation and logistics and ensures labor costs are reduced, which is an essential aspect of company profitability.
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Google Pixel 5
One of the latest devices is the Google Pixel 5 launched in 2020. The phone is GG enabled and has a weight of 152g (“Google Pixel 5”). It is built with a gorilla glass front and an aluminum back and frame. It uses a Nano-SIM or e-SIM and is dust and water-resistant for up to 30 minutes for less than 1.5 meters of water depth. The device uses the Android OS 11 and is fitted with a Qualcomm SM7250 Snapdragon 7 nm chipset. It uses an octa-core CPU and an Adreno 620 GPU with an internal memory of 128 GB and 8GB of RAM. It comes with a dual main camera with 12.2 MP and 16MP, while the selfie camera is 8MP.
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Samsung Galaxy S21
The pixel is similarly priced to the Samsung Galaxy S21 that also comes with 5G. According to (“Samsung Galaxy S21”), the Galaxy was announced in January 2021 and has dimensions of 151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9 mm and weighs 169g. It has a gorilla glass front, a plastic back, and an aluminum frame. It is a single Nano-SIM, eSIM, or dual SIMcard and is also dust and water-resistant or a height of 1.5m for 30 minutes. The phone uses an Android 11 OS with the One UI 3.1. It is fitted with a Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5nm chipset and uses an octa-core CPU and an Adreno 660 GPU.
Apple Watch Series Six
Apple manufactures watches with various capabilities such as getting notifications, fitness tracking, monitoring heart rate, GPS tracking, and ECG readings. The latest is the Apple Watch Series Six which was released in 2020. According to Stables, it comes with GSM/HSPA/LTE network technology and has body dimensions of 44x38x10.4 mm; it weighs 47.1 g, has a sapphire crystal glass front, and is water-resistant for up to 50m. it comes with a Retina display with a resolution of 448×368 pixels and uses the watchOS 7.0 that is upgradable to 7.3. the watch uses a dual-core CPU and PowerVR GPU. It has an internal memory of 32GB ram and A RAM of 1GB. It is an incredible device that can be of great assistance to those who can afford it.
Oculus Quest 2
Virtual reality has taken the world by storm, with Facebook leading the arena with their VR company oculus. Oculus released its Oculus Quest 2 in 2020. According to (“Oculus Quest 2 Review”), the headset is 191.5 x 102 x 142.5 mm and is 503g in weight. The device has an IPS LCD 1832 x 1920 px per year resolution and a 90 Hz refresh rate; it also has a 90-degree field of view with a three-position adjustable IPD slider. It uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 7 nm chipset and has an octa-core CPU and Adreno 650 GPU. The headset has 64/256 GB internal memory and 6GB RAM; it uses the Oculus OS derived from Android 10. It has no Google play store, so it uses proprietary Oculus apps.
Another hardware innovation that has become a trend in the past several years is AI-powered smart speakers. Amazon’s latest Alexa-powered version of smart speakers is the fourth generation Echo. The device is sphere-shaped, which is a departure from earlier ones that were cylindrical-shaped. The dimensions are 144 x 144 x 133 mm, and it weighs 970g. Echo can connect to Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Bluetooth, and 3x mics; in controls, it has a top-mounted volume and action and mute mic (Gibbs). The speakers are a 76.2 mm woofer and two 20mm tweeters. The new generation is an improvement not just in the superficial but also in sound quality (Gibbs). It is also said to possess more power than its competitor, Google’s Nest Audio, announced just a few weeks before Echo.
Cybercrime and Cyber Laws in the UAE
Crime laws in the UAE fall under the Federal Decree-Law Number 5/2012. The law prohibits the illicit use of electronic websites, computer networks, the Internet, or any information technology tool (“Overview: Cybercrimes”). The law forbids using the Internet for privacy invasion, provoking others to commit crimes or destruction of information belonging to the regulatory authorities. Examples of cybercrimes in the UAE include invasion of privacy, identity theft, wire fraud, internet fraud, forgery, and illicit use of computer networks. It is considered a crime to use any IT tool without proper authorization and could result in a fine or imprisonment (“Overview: Cybercrimes”). It is also against the law to slander public officials, forge electronic devices, reproduce credit card data, insult religions and the Islamic sharia law, obtain bank account passwords or forge medical data.
An incident happened in 2019 where a woman faced up to 2 years in jail for a Facebook post. It was reported that the British woman had made insulting remarks about her ex-husband’s new spouse Al Hammadi (“UAE Cyber-Crime Law Criticised”). The woman, Laleh Shahravesh was of Iranian descent and was arrested while on the way to her ex-husband’s funeral. The report said that Ms. Shahravesh had been married to her husband for 18 years and had spent time in the UAE for eight months. The couple divorced after the wife returned to the UK with her daughter. When the wife found that the ex-husband was remarrying, she called the new wife a horse and the former husband an idiot. The husband died of a heart attack, and Ms. Shahravesh and her 14-year-old daughter returned to Dubai for the funeral; she was arrested at the airport for the three-year-old comments. The new wife had claimed that Ms. Shahravesh had made numerous abuses since the divorce.
The British Foreign Office (FCO) had sought to intervene in a bid to free the woman; they had done this by pleading with Al Hammadi to drop the charges, but she had refused. The British FCO had also intervened the previous year in 2018 to get a British man Matthew Hedges freed. Mr. Hedges was a doctorate student who had traveled to the UAE to conduct his academic research. He had been sentenced to life in prison, but the FCO intervened and got him pardoned.
Twitter is a microblogging platform founded by Jack Dorsey in 2006. The platform works by allowing users to post short messages called ‘tweets’ with a character limit now at 280. The tweet can be liked, retweeted, and replied to by users not blocked by the author. Twitter’s posts are known for their viral potential, where one tweet can receive millions of impressions in engagements within a short time. The platform has received criticism for being a breeding ground for hateful messages and underground subcultures. For instance, Twitter was very instrumental to Donald Trump’s 2016 election, for which they have banned him from the platform (“How to Use Twitter”). Therein lies the ethical dilemma for Twitter because, on the one hand, it has great potential to pass information, but the content can be harmful.
Another social media platform that is very popular is Instagram. It is a platform under the Facebook umbrella company that is focused on sharing photos and videos. The application allows users to upload photos that can be edited through filters. Information is organized through geographical tagging. The company initially only allowed the upload of images with a 1:1 aspect ratio, but that has since changed (Antonelli). The platform also added messaging features and the ability to post many photos in a single post. Moreover, it also added stories feature to match that of its rival Snapchat. Instagram is very popular with celebrities, especially females, as it exploits the vanity aspect of humans. It has the potential to ruin people’s self-esteem by portraying unattainable photographic unrealities.
Facebook is a global social network founded in the USA in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and his associates. Since then, the company has grown to become the largest social network in the world in user base. The Facebook corporation is the holding organization for other social media companies such as Instagram and WhatsApp (“How Facebook works”). Facebook is one of the Big 5 tech companies in the US, together with Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft. In terms of revenue, Facebook generated $86 billion in 2020 with a net income of $29.15 billion (“How Facebook works”). Facebook works by allowing users to display information in the form of text, videos, and pictures. A user can create a profile and add other users as “friends” (“How Facebook works”). Friends on Facebook can send each other messages and view others’ profiles depending on their privacy settings.
Antonelli, William. “A Beginner’s Guide to Instagram, the Wildly Popular Photo-Sharing App with over a Billion Users.” Business Insider Africa, Web.
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Gibbs, Samuel. “Amazon Echo 2020 Review: The Best-Sounding Smart Speaker under £100.” The Guardian, Web.
“Google Pixel 5 – Full Phone Specifications”. GSMArena. Web.
“How Facebook works.” Business Queensland. 2021. Web.
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