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‘Beware: Texting While Walking Is Now Prohibited’ Cartoon

Two cops assail a boy and girl for texting and walking cartoon
Distracted Walking Law is now implemented in Honolulu, Hawaii. Will the new controversial law be implemented across America too?

No Text and Walk

$1.5 Billion Drone Market, Eyed by GCC

The drone market growth is expected to reach $1.5 billion by 2022. This has created an opening for the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, colloquially known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), to secure a significant role in the advancements of drone technology. This presents the GCC massive opportunities for telecoms growth in the next five years, according to Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company), a global consultant belonging to the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) network.

If and when the telecom operators properly implement these bold but necessary DTCC rules, it will allow them to get the most out of the industries’ billion-dollar potential.

While drones were originally used for military purposes, the drone industry has exponentially grown beyond anticipations, and successfully entered the commercial sector. According to the Strategy& report, GCC telecoms operators could pool their resources and capabilities to become leaders in developing the rising regional drone industry.

Although helpful to countless industries and commercial purposes, drones are expected to play a surprisingly important role in telecommunications. Jad Hajj, a partner with Strategy& (Middle East division), explained how GCC telecom operators can potentially benefit from drone technologies. For one, their wide network of towers within the region allow them to provide constant connectivity, which is critical when it comes to data transfer.

“They have access to advanced cloud technologies which can be used for data storage, and are equipped with world-class data processing systems to analyze information collected by the drones,” Hajj expounded.

He also stressed that GCC telecom operators should pursue this bold move considering the drone industry is emergent and has plenty of potential. As these telecom companies transform themselves into digital platform leaders, they are constantly developing capabilities regarding Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and analytics.

With these prospects, plus the potential of $1.5 billion in the next five years, Strategy& has proposed that GCC telecom companies focus on two specific opportunities.

GCC Telecom Companies Focus on Drones

First, they need to offer drone-powered capabilities for other industries through strategic partnerships. These may come in different phases, namely, providing the physical drone devices, drone piloting, and operations. Additional phases could include processing data through expert analysis of the collected information, delivering this data using extensive cloud technologies for data storage, management, and delivery to clients.

Drone delivering a package.

Second, they need to establish a drone traffic control center (DTCC) that governments can utilize down the road. Drone traffic management is nothing new, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Center has already taken steps in drone traffic management, beginning in 2014. Tech moguls Amazon and Google partnered with NASA in 2015 to develop software that addresses and develops an automated air traffic control system for unmanned aircrafts. Even the General Civil Authority United Arab Emirates (UAE) began working with a technology vendor to establish a DTCC back in November of 2016.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), commercial drones in the U.S. alone may reach up to three million units by 2020, four times the number of drones in 2016. With this many flying around, albeit at low altitudes limited to 700 to 1,200 feet from ground level (per legal standards), it is crucial to have the DTCC quickly established and fully-functional.

Ramzi Khoury, principal with Strategy& (Middle East division), stated that airspace regulators know that drone technology is thriving, and are aware that they need to find or create a balance between public safety and economic efficiency. According to him, the main purpose of the DTCC is “to serve as a centralized authority to manage drone traffic and ensure regulation is followed.” For telecom operators, this means collaborating with drone traffic regulators to generate revenue; further solidifying their role as drone solutions providers, allowing them to streamline the processes of both approvals and licensing.

Michał Mazur, a partner with PwC Poland and leader of PwC’s Drone Powered Solutions, concluded that telecoms operators need to create clear rules and implementation procedures to insure this opportunity will become a success. He specified, “This includes regularly engaging with regulators to understand requirements and obtain necessary permissions, analyzing the size and potential of the drone industry and what it can really offer, identifying an optimal operating model, and finally enhancing internal capabilities and technical expertise to run the drone services.”

If and when the telecom operators properly implement these bold but necessary DTCC rules, it will allow them to get the most out of the industries’ billion-dollar potential. Furthermore, with the drone population statistic presented by the FAA, the booming drone industry also presents major opportunities for the GCC oil and gas sectors. Oil is expected to take 43 percent of the market while gas comprises 32 percent.

SpaceX Has The Most High-Tech Supercomputer by HPE

Elon Musk’s Dragon spacecraft made an important trip to the International Space Station (ISS) to deliver one of its most high-tech payloads ever – a supercomputer by Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

The space agency hopes that Musk’s ships can reach the outer limits before 2020, which would be a major breakthrough in space exploration.

The HPE Tech30 dubbed the “Spaceborne Computer,” will take pride of place on the ISS from September 2017.

According to CNN, the computer will be the most potent commercial computer to be operational in space.

Cargo missions often make their way to the space station, including several tons of experimental equipment, food, water, and other provisions. But, SpaceX has been tasked with one of the essential payloads sent to space since man landed on the moon.

According to reports, there is already a sophisticated computer system aboard the ISS, supercomputer by HPE is set to revolutionize operations on the space station.

“It’s a much more powerful piece of hardware that can crunch massive amounts of data and send the results to other computers in just moments,” CNNMoney writes.

“The space-bound supercomputer by HPE will have the ability to make one trillion calculations in a single second — about 30 to 100 times more powerful than your average desktop computer,” according to Mark Fernandez, the HPE engineer heading up the project.

Meanwhile, Julie Robinson, chief scientist for NASA’s space station program, said if the supercomputer by HPE can function in space, in the harsh conditions there, it’s exciting news for companies on earth. She also pointed out that the private sector is interested in taking high-quality satellite images of the planet to track crop growth, oil exploration, and other changes which the computer can help with.

“The supercomputer by HPE doesn’t look like a desktop computer because it’s a server. It will be able to communicate with other computers, much like desktops and laptops on earth communicate with servers owned by companies like Google,” CNNMoney writes.

The supercomputer by HPE would be active by the end of September 2017, said HPE engineer Mark Fernandez “If it powers up, that’s going to be my first relief. I will be very excited then,” Fernandez told CNNMoney.

SpaceX Important to NASA

SpaceX is becoming an essential partner for NASA. Experts say that they would have to rely on Russian space programs to transport cargo to the ISS if it wasn’t for Musk’s involvement.

SpaceX Building Launches Supercomputer by HPE

As we reported earlier this year, Musk’s company is taking on several projects for NASA; one is sending tourists into space, around the moon and back to earth by the end of next year. NASA astronauts will be on board the vessel, and it’s set to launch before the end of 2019. What makes this mission unique is that NASA bigwigs have stated that it is almost impossible to breach Earth’s lower orbit – which doesn’t account for the fact that they went to the moon in the 1960s! The space agency hopes that Musk’s ships can reach the outer limits before 2020, which would be a significant breakthrough in space exploration.

According to the New York Times, if Musk can pull this mission off, his company SpaceX will be the first in 40 years to send people that far into space, and the first commercial company to do so ever.

Ban Texting While Walking Is The New Distracted Walking Law

A US city has become one of the first in the world to ban pedestrians using their cell phones while walking or crossing the street. This move could open the floodgates, leading to the controversial new law being implemented across America.

Scrap this intrusive bill, provide more education to citizens about responsible electronics usage, and allow law enforcement to focus on larger issues.

Starting October 25, 2017, people crossing the streets of Honolulu, Hawaii while texting or using a digital device could face fines of up to $99.

According to The Sun newspaper, urgent calls to emergency services will be excluded from the ban, but repeat offenders face significant fines or even jail time if they fail to pay up. First time offenders will be slapped with an on-the-spot $25 fine.

The city’s new Distracted Walking Law states that “no pedestrian shall cross a street or highway while viewing a mobile electronic device”.

Kirk Caldwell, Mayor of Honolulu said the law has been introduced because people “lack common sense.” He continues by stating that “We hold the unfortunate distinction of being a major city with more pedestrians being hit in crosswalks, particularly our seniors, than almost any other city in the county.” Mayor Caldwell signed the ban after the city council approved it by a vote of 7-2 earlier this year.

According to the US National Safety Council, it was revealed that more than 11,000 injuries in the United States between 2000 and 2011 were the result of distracted walking incidents.

Honolulu Not the First City to Ban Texting and Walking

However, despite the council having the best interests of its citizens in mind, local residents have opposed the new bill and accused the government of over-regulation.

People textng and walking on a busy street. Ban texting while walking law was implemented

The Sun says that an angry resident, named Ben Robinson, wrote to the local council urging them to focus on more important issues. “Scrap this intrusive bill, provide more education to citizens about responsible electronics usage, and allow law enforcement to focus on larger issues,” writes Robinson.

Despite some public outrage, many locals believe the new law is a good move that could help save lives and improve road safety. Experts suggest that this new law could make its way across America, and much of the world, within the next few years.

In 2012, the town of Fort Lee, New Jersey, approved an $85 fine for anyone caught texting while walking. Lawmakers there called for the ban to be placed within the same realm as jaywalking. Offenders were to receive a $50 fine for their first offence, and up to 15 days in jail for repeat offences. Although the 2012 the law was thrown out, Pamela Lampitt is still rallying for support within the state.