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How Will 5g change the World?

The 4G transition is just nearing completion, but leading innovators are already talking about 5G. And of course, it is going to be better and more fabulous than anything that has gone before.

The “G” stands for generation. In this case, generations of connectivity. What sets a generation apart from a mere upgrade is that the technology advances so significantly that it is incompatible with the old system. 1G was the first generation, that was the analog world. 2G was the first generation of digital cell phones. Each generation has relied not only on new technologies but also on new code.

Our current 4G world is based on WiMAX and LTE. 5G will probably be based on OFDM.

The whole point of 5G promises to be capacity and latency improvements. 4G was about speed. This will be completely different because it won’t be about how fast a single device can communicate with the internet, but how many devices can communicate.

5G promises capacity and latency improvements

Capacity increases can make automated transportation a reality. Think about how different it would be if all of the cars were connected. Imagine what that implies, they could be aware of all of the other cars, and there is no reason to stop at cars, bikers and pedestrians can have the same visibility to the system by carrying a device. This allows traffic to be coordinated and solves the Google Car problem in which it can get stuck at busy intersections because it lacks the judgment to push through. With 5G, all cars can be driverless, and system protocols will manage traffic congestion, hopefully, better than we do today.

5G is also going to address the latency problem, which means that a doctor in Paris really could remotely operate halfway around the world.

Is it all a bit vague? A bit nebulous? At the moment, it certainly is. But, one thing is sure; Bold Life will be different in a world where everyone and everything is wired. 5G can make that happen.

Better Treatment, Higher Yields – A Dairycow Farmer’s Path

A few bold dairy farmers are dramatically increasing yields with the most advanced barn configurations and milking operations. Unlike many reforms over the past 30 years, that were based upon “speeding up” the assembly line, these reforms are designed to promote cow “happiness.”

For years, animal rights advocates have hounded the livestock industry, demanding better and more humane treatment of livestock. A string of video documentaries portraying brutal and unsanitary conditions didn’t help matters.

The situation led to a demand on the part of customers that their food be raised in better healthier conditions. It wasn’t just for the sake of the animals, but also for the health of the consumer. But food being highly competitive on price, many in the business thought that humane treatment was a pipedream. Industry regulations didn’t budge, but many began buying food that was certified as organic or free range. Conditions of growing and raising food became a marketing opportunity and one place that smart businessmen could goose the price point in a notoriously price sensitive industry.

Milk production increased 12 to 15 pounds per cow on average after the change.

A few innovative dairy farmers, such as Bruce and Faye Wichman, recently portrayed in The Wisconsin State Farmer, decided to take the cow by the horns, so to speak. They built a new milking facility that is a model in cleanliness, safety, and well-being for their dairy cows.

It is an open-air facility with an extra-high roof for added ventilation.  The stalls are open so the cows can walk about, with deep sand in the stalls that are better for hygiene and for the cows’ feet, plus the cows find the sand comfortable to lie and rest on. There are automatic robotic milkers, so cows can be milked from two to five times a day, depending on the production of the particular animal.

The result? Milk production increased 12 to 15 pounds per cow on average after the change.  Clearly happy cows produce more milk. The bold question? It is not can dairymen afford these changes, but rather, can dairymen afford not to make these changes that benefit both cows, consumers, and the bottom-line.

Border Security Surveillance System: It’s Better Than A Concrete Wall!

President Trump wants a wall, and it is going to be beautiful—a beautiful wall. He made a promise to the American people to secure the southern border of the U.S. from terrorists, undocumented aliens and drug smuggling. And he believes a big tall wall is the way to do that. The trouble is that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection doesn’t want a wall. Over the past 15 years, they’ve built a sophisticated high-tech border security surveillance system along almost the entire border—from Brownsville to San Diego.

They call it the “border fence”. And this fence is no out-dated slab of concrete, which can be flown over, dug under, and bypassed in dozens of ways. The current border fence is an advanced border security surveillance system —a system of security, surveillance and capture! It incorporates a multi-layered system of physical barriers, cameras, radar, drones, seismic sensors, and human deployment, and supported by advanced training and intelligence systems. Contrary to statements made by Trump, the said border security surveillance system is extremely difficult to penetrate.

On the Matter of Border Security Surveillance System

After 9/11, officials in Washington became much more serious about border security. Over the next fifteen years, the stretch of border from Brownsville, Texas, to San Diego, California, was enhanced and beefed up using a combination of barriers and smart technology. It has been years in the making, but at this point, the barrier is, for the most part, complete—although improvements are always underway.

Camera surveillance is one of the biggest boosts to effectiveness and interdiction. High-resolution video cameras are deployed in a number of ways, including on drones. But among the most effective are those mounted on Integrated Fixed Towers or IFTs. The IFTs support a variety of cameras, including infrared and radar systems. The cameras spot activity on the border and enable the Border Patrol Agents to determine exactly who has been spotted and what they are doing.

The last feature is particularly important to agents. Because in the past, with radar only, they were forced to investigate what might be a breach without any detailed knowledge of what was happening on the ground. They had no way of knowing if the target they were approaching was a lost group of hikers or a group of armed and dangerous drug smugglers. The cameras provide situational awareness immediately. They can see individuals— and even identify them if they are in their database—and capture the license plates on vehicles. This case allows the agents to plan and approach with appropriate force.

The Disadvantages of a Huge, Opaque Wall

The ability to “see” and identify people and vehicles crossing the border is more practical than creating a physical barrier. In fact, the CBP believes one of the biggest disadvantages with the wall that Trump has proposed is that it would cut off border agents ability to see what is going on. They need to see across the border to monitor it. If they can’t see to the other side, they can’t stop people from destroying the wall or digging underneath it. (That is why walls like the Great Wall of China or castle fortifications have walkways for soldiers on top of the wall—to protect it and monitor activity. Hiding behind a wall is a dangerous position.)

The CBP doesn’t want a huge, opaque wall that blocks their view. And, as they point out, a multi-layered approach, with redundancy built into the system—like a well-made border security surveillance system—, is far more robust than any single-minded strategy. A wall is an obvious barrier that is easily defeated. Drugs can be flown over the wall with drones or tunnels can be dug underneath it. Organized crime will find many ways around the wall—no matter how tall it is.

Making Progress With a Border Security Surveillance System

With the border security surveillance system that is in place now, traffickers may find it easy to evade detection of one or two surveillance systems. But it is almost impossible to avoid all of the layers. Smugglers or drug traffickers may find it easy to exploit a hole in a chain link fence, but the surveillance cameras allow agents to observe them doing so and apprehend them with the appropriate use of force and manpower. It isn’t a perfect system. Nevertheless, it is surprisingly advanced, robust and effective. Undocumented aliens may still enter the U.S., but these days it is almost impossible to make a run across the border.

Indeed, a concrete wall for border security is simply an outdated idea. The CBP had already moved past that primitive solution over a decade ago. This generation has welcomed the era of an advanced border security surveillance system.

Compressed Air Energy Storage

The EU awarded 90 million euro for the design and build of a Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) plant in Larne, Northern Ireland. The concept behind CAES is to store power for use when it is needed. Air is compressed in a chamber, this stores the energy, when it is needed, the pressure is released and can be used for generation.

It sounds simple, but it is complicated by a number of factors. As a gas is compressed, it heats. CAES systems that fail to capture this thermal energy are not very energy efficient. Theoretically, if the heat energy from compression is captured, CAES could operate at close to 100% energy efficiency, meaning that no energy is lost during the storage process.

Backers of Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) systems believe they can achieve very high efficiency, well above 70%

Of course, real world systems never operate perfectly, but backers of CAES systems believe that they can achieve very high efficiency, well above 70%. There are only two Compressed Air Energy Storage power plants in the world at this time, both built in the last century, one in Germany and one in Alabama, U.S. The Alabama CAES operates at only 24% efficiency and is paired with natural gas electricity generation. Due to their low efficiency, CAES projects lost their luster by the 2000s.

However, CAES looks exciting again. The great challenge for many green power sources is energy storage. With fossil fuel power plants the energy is produced on an as needed basis. But with solar and wind the energy requires storage. Battery technology is rapidly advancing, but it is not inexpensive and can be impractical on a large scale. CAES facilities can be built in salt mines and pumped out aquifers, big places, for lots of power storage, enough power for 100,000 or more homes.

This ‘industrial-sized’ energy storage aspect has engineers excited. It has caught the attention of the Europeans who are experimenting with a surprising number of energy systems. The European Union designated the CAES in Larne as a Project of Common Interest, which means that information on the progress of the design, build, and operation will be available to the public and other researchers. It is a demonstration project that will share the knowledge with everyone, in order to build better systems in the future.