Say ‘no’ to incompetent government, message from Tanjung Piai by election!


The message from Tanjung Piai is really quite simple and straightforward.

The Malays are willing to vote for BN, MCA, PH or PPBM. To them, which party or coalition to vote for is secondary. Increasingly, they want a government that can work for them, not just good in hoodwinking.

Some pundits claimed that it was Umno-PAS union that pulled the Malay votes for BN. I would prefer to think that it is the “push factors” to vote against PPBM and Pakatan Harapan that caused the swing.

Frankly, I think most are quite fed-up with the PH government by now. Many must have paused to ask themselves which aspect of their life has become better since May 9, 2018.

Maybe they couldn’t find any other than the continued intrigues and infighting within PH component parties.

The Chinese, too, can vote for different candidates and different coalitions at different times. To them, it does not matter if it is PPBM, PH, BN or MCA. It shows Chinese Malaysians are not racist. They just want to be treated fairly; it does not matter which race represents them in the government.

PPBM, Amanah and PKR need to be reminded that the Chinese are not leftovers; they are productive citizens.

No one wishes to be insulted, so let no one tell the Chinese to go back to China again. This is totally unacceptable.

The Chinese value their children’s education very much because they know they can’t depend on the government for jobs. So, forums and congresses threatening to shut down certain schools should stop.

They want multilingual education for their children, so stop telling them what language they can or cannot learn. If the government cannot protect the minority, it does not deserve support, period.

Finally, all Malaysians – Malays, Chinese, Indians and others – hate an incompetent government. So stop talking about flying cars, third national car, crooked bridge, Kulim Airport which is a stone’s throw from Penang, and endless plans for Penang.

TK Chua is an FMT reader.

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China successfully completes lander tests, preparing for Mars mission in 2020 as it pushes for inclusion in global space projects


China unveils its 2020 Mars probe

https://youtu.be/hdj8-XSOAg8

A lander for China’s Mars mission is seen before a hovering-and-obstacle avoidance test at a test facility in
Huailai, Hebei province, China November 14, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee

HUAILAI, China (Reuters) – China on Thursday successfully completed a lander test in northern Hebei province ahead of an unmanned exploration mission to Mars next year.

China is on track to launch its Mars mission in 2020, Zhang Kejian, head of the China National Space Administration, said on Thursday. Zhang was speaking ahead of the hovering-and-obstacle avoidance test for the lander.

The journey through space will take about seven months, while landing will take seven minutes, said Zhang Rongqiao, chief architect of the Mars exploration programme.

The test was conducted at a sprawling landing test site in Huailai, northwest of Beijing.

China has developed the powerful Long March 5 rocket to transport the probe to Mars in 2020.

The same rocket is meant to deliver the Chang’e-5 probe to the moon by the end of 2019 or early next year to bring back samples of lunar rocks.

The Chang’e-4 probe successfully touched down on the far side of the moon in January this year, a historic first and major achievement for China’s space programme.

China made its first lunar landing in 2013.

China expects to complete a modular space station around 2022, around the time when NASA is said to start building a new space station laboratory to orbit the moon, as a pit stop for missions to other parts of the solar system.

In 2003, China became the third nation to put a man in space with its own rocket after the former Soviet Union and the United States.

Since then, it has been racing to catch up with Russia and the United States and become a major space power by 2030.

(Reporting by Martin Pollard; Writing by Ryan Woo and Liangping Gao; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)
China preparing for Mars mission in global space projects

It’s a success: A lander being lifted during a test at a facility in Hebei province. — AP

HUAILAI: China invited observers to a successful test of its Mars lander as the country pushes for inclusion in more global space projects.

The demonstration of hovering, obstacle avoidance and deceleration capabilities was conducted at a site outside Beijing simulating conditions on the Red Planet, where the pull of gravity is about one-third that of Earth.

China plans to launch a lander and rover to Mars next year to explore parts of the planet in detail.

China’s burgeoning space programme achieved a lunar milestone earlier this year by landing a probe on the mysterious far side of the moon.

It has developed rapidly, especially since it conducted its first crewed mission in 2003 and has sought cooperation with space agencies from Europe and elsewhere.

The US, however, has banned most space cooperation with China out of national security concerns, keeping China from participating in the International Space Station.

Despite that, China’s ambitions continue to grow as it seeks to rival the US, Russia and Europe in space and cement its position as a regional and global power. It is gradually constructing its own larger, more permanent space station in which it has invited foreign participation.

The lander yesterday successfully avoided ground obstacles during a simulated low-gravity descent, according to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, the Chinese space programme’s main contractor.

The refrigerator-sized craft was lowered gently on 36 cables through the air for about a minute and used onboard jets spraying rust-coloured fumes to alter its downward course.

“After the probe is launched, it will take about seven months to reach Mars, and the final procedure of landing will only last about seven minutes, which is the most difficult and the most risky part of the whole mission, ” said the Mars mission’s chief designer, Zhang Rongqiao, standing before the 140m-tall testing facility.

Recent rover crashes on the moon by Israel and India highlight the difficulties of safe landings from space.

The remote Comprehensive Testing Ground for Landing on Extraterrestrial Bodies run by CASC lies an hour north of the Great Wall from Beijing.

Guests at yesterday’s event came from 19 countries and included the ambassadors of Brazil, France and Italy. — AP

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SCI-TECH >> Air & Space

China sends 49th BDS satellite into space

China successfully sent its 49th satellite for its domestically developed BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, or BDS, into a planned orbit on Tuesday morning, navigation authorities told the Global Times.

Source: Globaltimes.cn | 2019/11/5 2:54:14

China launches new 3D mapping satellite

China on Sunday launched an advanced 3D mapping satellite that can clearly see small country lanes from orbit, and will play a vital role in supporting urban and agricultural development.

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US military’s X-37B space plane lands after 780-day secret in-orbit mission

US military’s X-37B space plane lands after 780-day secret in-orbit mission

Source: Xinhua | 2019/10/28 14:18:33

China to launch Chang’e-5 lunar probe in 2020

China plans to launch the Chang’e-5 probe in 2020 to bring moon samples back to Earth, according to Wu Weiren, chief designer of China’s lunar exploration program.

Source: Xinhua | 2019/10/28 11:55:48

Chinese scientists’ pursuit of cosmic rays opens windows on universe

In the wilderness of Daocheng, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, 4,400 meters above sea level, Chinese scientists are constructing a cosmic ray observation station on an area equivalent to 200 soccer fields.

Source: Xinhua | 2019/10/24 10:07:14

Chinese scientists’ pursuit of cosmic rays opens windows on universe

In the wilderness of Daocheng, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, 4,400 meters above sea level, Chinese scientists are constructing a cosmic ray observation station on an area equivalent to 200 soccer fields.

Source: Xinhua | 2019/10/23 17:15:43

China’s private reusable rocket to be launched in 2021

A Chinese reusable carrier rocket that uses liquid oxygen-methane propellants made its first public appearance Friday at the ongoing 2019 Zhongguancun Forum in Beijing.

Source: Xinhua | 2019/10/22 10:07:33

China launches new communication technology experiment satellite

China sent a new communication technology experiment satellite into planned orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province late Thursday.

Source: Xinhua | 2019/10/18 10:52:19

2019 Yaocheng (Taiyuan) International General Aviation Show opens in Shanxi

Aircrafts stage a performance at the 2019 Yaocheng (Taiyuan) International General Aviation Show in Qingxu County, Taiyuan, capital of north China’s Shanxi Province, Oct. 11, 2019.

Source: Xinhua | 2019/10/12 13:31:52

FAST closely monitoring unknown repetitive fast radio burst

Chinese scientists are paying close attention to a repeating fast radio burst by making follow-up observations during the country’s National Day holiday.

Source: Xinhua | 2019/10/7 8:49:48

China launches HD observation satellite

China sent its observation satellite into space from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China’s Shanxi Province at 2:51 a.m. Saturday (Beijing Time).

Source: Xinhua | 2019/10/5 11:25:16

China’s “Super Microscope” starts new experiments to explore microworld secrets

The China Spallation Neutron Source (CSNS), located in Dongguan City, south China’s Guangdong Province, began a new round of user operation Thursday, with 57 experiments on new materials to be conducted in the next four months.

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China launches new satellite for environment detection

China sent a new satellite into planned orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China’s Gobi Desert on Wednesday.

Source: Xinhua | 2019/9/25 15:38:52

China’s lunar rover discovers mysterious substance on moon’s far side

China’s lunar rover Yutu-2, or Jade Rabbit-2, discovered an unidentified substance in an impact crater on the far side of the moon.

Source: Xinhua | 2019/9/24 13:41:53

First fast tornado-detecting radar installed in East China

Coastal Jiangsu Province has installed China’s first C-band phased array meteorological radar system, designed to quickly detect and monitor extreme weather including tornados, developers said on Wednesday.

Source: Global Times | 2019/9/18 19:38:40

Newly discovered comet likely “interstellar visitor”, says NASA

A newly discovered comet appears to have originated from outside the solar system, said NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in a release.

Source: Xinhua | 2019/9/14 8:44:08

China’s giant telescope picks up mysterious signals from deep space

Chinese astronomers have detected repeated fast radio bursts (FRB) – mysterious signals believed to be from a source about 3 billion light years from Earth – with the largest and most sensitive radio telescope ever built.

Source: Xinhua | 2019/9/9 10:53:42

US cannot break China’s supply chain


The US has once again disparaged the Chinese economy to entertain itself. US President Donald Trump on Saturday claimed China’s supply chain was “all broken, like an egg,” and said China wanted a deal more than the US did.

The fact is, however, senior US officials are talking about trade wars and trade deals almost every day, while Chinese officials rarely do this. Anyone who knows a little bit about psychology can figure out that such responses of the US reflect anxiety, rather than calmness.

Is China’s supply chain broken like an egg? Chinese telecom giant Huawei has not begged the US to be “magnanimous.” It is now US companies that are asking to be excluded from US restrictions.

Being placed in the Entity List has certainly caused difficulties for Huawei, but such hardships are far from delivering vital blows to fling the company down. Some US elites are clamoring for knocking Huawei down, but their indecent acts have only stimulated Huawei’s strength and growth. And Chinese people generally believe that this high-tech company will be increasingly strong.

The US cannot even defeat one Chinese enterprise by making full use of its whole country’s power. Now it is claiming it will break the supply chain of all of China as an egg. Is such bragging too exaggerated? We wonder how the public opinion and voters in the US can tolerate such a boast. The voters are seemingly quite gullible.

The US is suffering an economic downturn, and many indicators demonstrate that its good days are coming to an end. US state leaders and senior officials are like cheerleaders, taking turns to cheer up the stock index.

In terms of economic situations, Chinese officials’ description is absolutely more objective and calm than the US side. China recognizes that the trade war has brought negative impacts, and our efforts to eliminate such effects are open and timely. The US, however, is trying to cover up the effects of the trade war it has launched.

China has already focused its efforts on solving its own problems. We will not bet on the idea that reaching a deal will fundamentally change China-US economic relations. Most Chinese believe that whether there is an agreement or not, turmoil between the two countries will not end. Chinese society is in favor of reaching a trade deal, but it is also patient.

Including Chinese companies such as Huawei in the Entity List will cause long-term damages to US business community’s reputation. Foreign companies may be on guard against US enterprises in the future while building their own supply chains, which will certainly offer more opportunities for US competitors.

The US is so keen on imposing sanctions, and is fond of applying sanctions on related third-parties. Betting on US companies may work in a short term, but cannot serve as a long-term strategy. The US has trodden business ethics under foot in this round of China-US games. It is even pleased with itself for overtly destroying China’s supply chain. At the strategic planning in the US, there are no such concepts like honesty and morality. The Chinese society has clearly observed this, as has the entire world.

Fortunately, China has the widest range of manufacturing sectors in the world, which has given the country a special strength in the global supply chain. China is not afraid of any game against the supply chain. Producers without China’s supply chain will certainly feel more pain than China.

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Shocked! Najib’s actions showed personal interest beyond that of public office — judge


KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 11): Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali took an hour to deliver his decision today that the prosecution has successfully established a prima facie case against former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak on all seven charges in the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial.

What was significant was that the judge devoted half an hour to just one charge, namely abuse of power.

Najib also faces three criminal breach of trust charges and three money-laundering charges in relation to the alleged embezzlement of RM42 million from SRC in 2014 and 2015.

On the power abuse charge, Justice Nazlan said evidence adduced by the prosecution showed that the series of actions taken by Najib in respect of SRC showed personal interest beyond that of public office.

Najib, who is also the member of parliament for Pekan and former Barisan Nasional chairman, had agreed to the recommendation made by the Economic Planning Unit to approve a RM20 million launching grant for SRC when the company initially applied for a RM3 billion grant, the judge noted.

“Before SRC was placed under 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), SRC’s Articles of Association under Section 67 stipulates that the accused as PM has the power to appoint and remove the members of the board of directors of the company,” the judge said.

More importantly, Justice Nazlan said Najib responded to a letter dated June 3, 2011 from SRC’s former chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director, Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, who sought a RM3.95 billion loan.

“Najib made a notation on the letter addressed to the Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) CEO Datuk Azian Mohd Noh stating in fact that he was agreeing to it, and wanted Azian to look into it.

“It should be highlighted that KWAP is a statutory institution which in effect reports to the finance minister and KWAP board members and whose investment panel members are appointed by the finance minister, under Section 6 and 7 of the KWAP Act,” the judge said.

Najib the ultimate boss

Justice Nazlan said Najib had informed then Treasury secretary-general and KWAP chairman Tan Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah to expedite the approval of the SRC loan, and that this happened after Wan Abdul Aziz and Azian had briefed Najib that KWAP was initially considering extending a loan of only RM1 billion.

“Crucially, Wan Abdul Aziz testified under cross-examination that he did not consider the said communication with the accused as an instruction from Najib. In addition Azian, the former KWAP CEO, testified there was no legal compulsion. She could not deny that there was a certain amount of influence in the notation directed to her in the June 3, 2011 letter.

“This was due to the fact that Azian felt Najib was the PM and the minister in charge of KWAP and her “ultimate boss”,” the judge said, adding that before KWAP approved the loan, SRC had written to the finance ministry seeking a government guarantee in anticipation of the RM2 billion loan.

The judge also noted the deputy secretary-general of Treasury, Datuk Mat Noor Nawi, had testified that the transfer of the share of ownership of SRC from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to Ministry of Finance Incorporated was executed by Najib, who was also the finance minister.

Justice Nazlan said the series of conduct and involvement of Najib with regard to SRC, if viewed in totality, cannot be construed as purely being a lawful exercise of his official duty as either the prime minister, finance minister or advisor emeritus of SRC.

“This is because such conduct and involvement was beyond the ordinary and outside the usual conduct or involvement expected of a prime minister and finance minister, similarly circumstanced.

“Such conduct and involvement exhibited by the accused instead serves only to demonstrate the existence of private and personal interest on the part of the accused in SRC, which interest, in my judgement, is in the nature that is envisaged under the law to fall within the ambit of Section 23 of the MACC Act,” the judge ruled.

Justice Nazlan further reasoned that the argument that Najib had not given any instructions or directions but merely made requests and had no role to play in securing the KWAP loan cannot withstand the court’s scrutiny.

He said if these were couched as mere requests it is manifest that they were made by Najib because they were meant to be obeyed.

“Everyone else in the picture was in a position subordinate to the accused. These included the secretary-general of the Treasury and the (then) Second Finance Minister (Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah),” he said.

Justice Nazlan said the prosecution has also showed that Najib participated in the decision-making process at the meetings of the Cabinet, which the ex-premier chaired and where the two government guarantees for the loans extended by KWAP to SRC were approved.

This, he said, is clearly is a decision or action taken by Najib in relation to the government guarantee, which was to guarantee KWAP the repayment of the loan by SRC, in which Najib had an interest of a nature that is caught under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009.

“In fact the accused himself, as the PM who chaired the meetings, had tabled the Cabinet paper on the second government guarantee at the meeting which approved the same on Feb 8, 2012.

“There was no disclosure, let alone any attempt to excuse himself from the deliberation on the Cabinet papers at the either of the said meetings,” he said, adding that Najib also subsequently chaired a cabinet meeting where a short-term loan was approved when SRC nearly defaulted KWAP payment.

“Given the accused’s control over SRC, he could cause the transfers of RM42 million which were through intermediary companies credited into his personal accounts and eventuality utilised and spent to his own advantage. This is gratification to the accused pure and simple,” he said, in ruling that Najib has to enter his defence on the abuse of power charge.

Najib is charged under Section 23 of the MACC Act for allegedly using his position as the prime minister and finance minister to commit bribery involving RM42 million when he participated in or was involved in the decision to provide government guarantees for loans from the Retirement Fund Inc to SRC amounting to RM4 billion.

He is alleged to have committed the offence at the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya between Aug 17, 2011 and Feb 8, 2012. If convicted, he faces a jail term of up to 20 years, and a fine of not less than five times the amount or value received or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

The Edge is reporting the proceedings of the SRC trial live.

Users of The Edge Markets app may tap here to access the live report.


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Digitalisation and its impact


https://youtu.be/Rd8gVeqE-qc

< https://youtu.be/h8pWZyLyS6U

Has China surpassed USA in education?

How China’s tech sector is challenging the world – Part 1

Huawei CEO: “US companies will suffer the most”

The Point: Does China need to teach the West lesson in 5G?

LIKE it or not, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0) is upon us.

Sure, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has shown political resolve in pointing Malaysians towards a new course in reaching higher levels of industrialisation. Lest we forget, IR4.0 simply embodies digitalisation. It’s powerful – where speed, sophistication and the profound impact of digital technologies are integrated into orthodox industries on a massive scale.

Frankly, I worry that – until now, as the process of digitalisation in Malaysia lags behind what’s happening around us – the lack of preparedness and of real resolve to act with clear plans and programmes will (unlike China) leave us further and further behind as domestic politics continue to overwhelm. Previous technological shifts followed the onset of the steam engine in the first industrial revolution; then came electricity, the internal combustion engine, the telephone and the light bulb which is the second; followed by the third which moved from analogue to digital (web 2.0) as reflected by the personal computer, networking, the Internet and data/IT.

Digitalisation

In the digital age, economic activity results from billions of online connections. They involve not just people and organisations, but also data, devices, systems and processes. Its backbone is hyper-connectivity. It’s where the effects of technologies and platforms (such as Internet, artificial intelligence (AI) robotics, 5G, computational biology, the Internet-of-Things or IoT, data analytics and computational analysis) give rise to whole new industries, creating significant massive shifts in productivity and jobs.

Outside Malaysia, the digital economy is taking shape and undermining conventional notions about how businesses and organisations are structured; how they interact; and how consumers get their information, goods and services. For example, mall car parking in China is done digitally – after scanning the car’s number plate, the car is directed to an empty lot; and when it leaves, the system automatically deducts the fee from the e-wallet. Simply, components in the digital economy are transformed or empowered by digitalisation: the fundamental process where data is generated, collected, analysed and eventually serves as the single most valuable asset. And so, data becomes the most valuable currency.

Today, China, Germany, the United Kingdom, South Korea and Japan lead the world in digitalisation – way ahead of the United States. China’s digital economy accounts for about one-third of its GDP: arising from two components (i) the orthodox ICT industry; and (ii) the digital empowerment of conventional industries (like agriculture, pharmaceutical, transportation, services, etc). This part contributes 75% of what’s digital.

Today, digital technologies have created a new virtual and autonomous economy (VAE) beyond mere production. Here, businesses & their processes make use of intelligent functions to boost economic activities – slowly but surely, they begin to render human activities increasingly obsolete.

The VAE is all about distribution – who gets what from production. This changes everything: from politics to free market beliefs to social structures. It all started in the ‘70s and ‘80s when ICs (tiny “integrated circuit” microchips) brought real computational assistance to the economy – arrival of the personal computer.

Then, the 1900s and 2000s brought in the connection of digital processes through the Internet; web services emerged, and the cloud enlarged computing resources. Everything started to talk to each other. Globalisation arrived. Since then (the 2010s), the onset of wireless networks through the use of a range of sensors brought into focus, data – using tons of data to enable machines to “see” via intelligent algorithms.

So, came computer vision (ability of machines to recognise), natural-language processing (ability of computers to “talk”), digital language translation, face and voice recognition, inductive inference and digital assistance. The use of masses of data to form “associations” began to give “life” to computers (beginning to act like humans), making them “intelligent.”

The new intelligent building blocks – using information, enable digitalisation to re-architect the way businesses do things. As a result, entirely new industries (never even thought of) will spring up.

Lost jobs

In 1930, Lord John Maynard Keynes predicted that by 2030, the use of robots will lead to “technological unemployment”. This is now a reality – 10 years ahead! Jobs get increasingly scarce.

The orthodox economy will have by now produced enough for all. In the new VAE, physical production matters less; access to what’s being produced becomes key – distribution, i.e. who gets what! The new distributive era brings new economic and social realities: (i) belief in free markets (which prize efficiency over distribution) will be under pressure, since losers are rarely fully compensated in practice; (ii) the way to measure growth will also change (since GDP and productivity are now measured in terms of physical production) so that virtual advances in value-added will be properly accounted; (iii) workers feel disenfranchised as digitalisation replaces many of them – creating a quiet anger about immigration, inequality and elitists.

5G

US dominated 4G mainly because regulators got out of the way of private risk-takers. This led to the coming of mobile wireless Internet. Europe and Asia are still smarting over the United States having beaten them to the 4G finish line. By 2016,4G added almost US$100bil annually to American economic output and created numerous wireless-related jobs. It also powered the rise of the “app economy” because tools like Uber, Airbnb, Netflix and Waze require superfast mobile speeds to work.

Most apps weren’t even envisioned a decade ago; now nearly three-quarters of the companies in the global app economy are American. Other countries know they will reap massive economic returns if they knock the US off its perch as the 5G economy unfolds. Indeed, Europe and Asia are poised to surge past the US when it comes to mobile Internet innovation.

The next generation mobile broadband or 5G will allow entrepreneurs to create new technologies and products that we don’t even yet know we need. Ten years ago, most consumers didn’t have a smart phone; now most can’t live without them.

All of this happened thanks to 4G. With 5G, mobile speeds could be 100 times faster. This could enable driverless cars to avoid accidents, transform medicine through implanted medical devices, and produce smarter cities and energy grids through the emerging IoT.

Countries that build their 5G networks first will be in a better position to experiment with and deploy tomorrow’s technologies. Their first-to-market advantage could displace Silicon Valley and other US tech cradles. Already the United States is very much behind compared with Europe, South Korea, Japan and China. Since 2015, China has built about 350,000 cell sites, against fewer than 30,000 in the United States. That’s a huge competitive disparity because 5G requires far more cell sites grouped closer together than 4G.

The robot is part of a broader trend in China, where techcos are teaming up with a variety of industries – agriculture, auto-mobile, healthcare – to explore the possibilities of combining 5G and AI to revolutionise traditional sectors.

From conducting the world’s first 5G-enabled surgery on a human and transmitting 8K ultra-high-definition TV content through 5G networks, to piloting self-driving buses and cars, China is pioneering cutting-edge technologies for commercial use. The high-tech push is expected to accelerate now that China just kicked off the 5G era at speeds at least 10 times faster than 4G. So it is possible to gather high-quality data quickly, which is necessary to ensure AI is effective. AI applications have existed before the commercial use of 5G. But it is the superfast speed, gigantic computing capacity and massive device connectivity of 5G that will spawn the use of AI in most sectors and on a far larger scale. 5G’s responsive speed can empower mission-critical applications that are impossible with 4G networks.

When a needle pinches your finger, it takes one-hundredth of a second to feel the pain. And theoretical latency of 5G is one-tenth of that. Only with such speed can remote surgeries and autonomous driving see wider applications. In March 2019, a patient with Parkinson’s disease underwent China’s (and possibly the world’s) first 5G-based remote surgery. Digital technologies such as AI, next-generation network security, robotics, blockchain, IoT, 3D printing and virtual reality all depend on data. 5G addresses this need for data collection with its quick, smooth transmission.

The most important use of AI is to allow machines to automatically make decisions. The best application is self-driving vehicles where 5G will allow decisions to be made more reliably. When a car runs into emergencies (like a pedestrian suddenly jaywalking), a delay in seconds of data transmission among sensors equipped within the car will likely cause a potentially grievous, even fatal, accident. 5G can prevent such things from happening.

6G

While 5G is set to have a revolutionary influence on society and industries, 6G will bring more dramatic changes with super high speeds and ultralow latency. Theoretically, downloads over 6G can reach the astonishing speed of 1 Tbit per second, one thousand times faster than 5G’s capability of 1Gbit. In the 6G era, in less than a second, a new movie can be transmitted from the Internet to computers or smartphones. But 6G will go way beyond entertainment. For many researchers, 6G is capable of addressing some of the shortfalls of 5G and enabling streamlined connections with super performance in speeds and latency – for instance, the IoT and augmented reality.

Beijing started preliminary work on 6G research at the end of 2017. China’s 6G concept research and development work will start in 2020, with an expected commercial release in 2030. In Europe, 6G moves will mainly come from Finland. As I see it, Europe and China will need to join hands to work on 6G: because (a) cooperation is of strategic importance for both. 6G will greatly improve applications under 5G. With larger bandwidth, much lower latency and wider connections, it can revolutionise the structure of wired and wireless networks.

New 6G technical solutions can include satellite communication technology. This means a large number of places that are not covered by communication signals (for instance, deep oceans where base stations cannot be built) will have the possibility of transmitting and receiving signals in the future; (b) such cooperation will help Europe cope with the risks of lagging behind; and (c) it would be a natural extension of their proven 5G cooperation.


What then are we to do

The 5G technology promises to be the backbone of tomorrow’s Internet, transforming virtually every industry, including weaponry and manufacturing, by offering seamless wireless connections up to 100 times faster than current 4G networks. Its speed and capacity enable innovations, such as driverless cars, robot-run factories and Internet-connected pacemakers. It is said often enough that we tend to overstate the impact of technology in the short run and understate it in the long run.

One of the widely misquoted statistics concerns an imminent job apocalypse: automation will slash 47% of US jobs by mid-2030. In truth, the real finding of the two Oxford dons simply concluded that occupations accounting for 47% of current American jobs (including those in office administration, sales and various service industries) fall into the “high risk” category.

No attempt was made to estimate how many jobs will actually be lost. Much depends on cost, regulatory concerns, political pressure and social resistance. Historically, new technologies have always ended up creating more jobs than they destroyed. In the long run, all should work out fine. The short term is likely to be bumpy.

Simply because new technologies take time to raise productivity and produce wage gains. But, one thing is certain, automation is likely to boost inequality in the short run. So, policymakers need to really manage the transition: making greater use of insurance to compensate workers who have to move to jobs with lower salary; reforming education systems and support retraining and lifelong learning; extending income tax credit to improve incentives to work and reduce inequality; removing regulations that hinder job-switching; providing “mobility vouchers” to subsidise relocation as the distribution of jobs changes; and changing zoning rules to allow more people to live in the cities where jobs are being created. Sure, all these make sense. But will policymakers pay attention? To be frank, governments are incredibly unprepared for what’s to come.

The bottom line? Power brings with it great responsibility. Those in the technology and AI space have a moral imperative to ensure the ethics of data and technology – especially to help policymakers navigate complex ethical issues involved in using AI and robotics.

Most data relate to people – hence, the need to understand human behaviour. Technologies provoke a whole raft of new ethical issues involving transparency and accountability of business processes and decision making. Then, there are issues of privacy and rights connected with personal data. Not to forget that machine-learning algorithms often introduce bias.

Resolving them requires an approach grounded in ethics and an understanding of the causes of bias – traditionally the province of philosophy and sociology. In the end, the challenge lies in formulating transparent rules and ethical standards that can be agreed by the large scientific and technology community. That’s always tough!

BY Tan Sri Lin See-Yan who is Research Professor at Sunway University. His new book: Trying Troubled Times Amid Trauma &Tumult, 2017–2019 (Pearson). Feedback is most welcome. The views expressed are the writer’s own.
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US adopts blinkered view of TikTok


TikTok, a global music and video platform created in 2016 by Chinese internet technology company ByteDance, is known in China as Douyin. Photo: VCG

A Senate subcommittee hearing on Tuesday focused on discussions about the significant risks that short-form social video app TikTok could pose to US national security and citizens’ privacy.

The accusations about TikTok are based on the assumption that its parent company ByteDance may hand over personal information of the app’s US users to the Chinese government, thus posing huge risks to users and the country. In addition, there are also claims that TikTok censors content. TikTok denies both charges.

TikTok runs its business according to US law, so how can it threaten US national security? Many people believe that the US is using this as an excuse to crack down on this globally successful Chinese social media app. To date, all popular social media platforms have been created by US companies, but TikTok is an exception. It challenges their monopoly and some American elites are uncomfortable about it.

Over the past 12 months, TikTok’s app has been downloaded more than 750 million times, compared with 715 million for Facebook, 450 million for Instagram and 300 million for YouTube. Its success has even worried Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and now Facebook is developing a short video sharing application that mimics TikTok.

It’s not a good trait for the US to suppress competitors of American companies by political means. Washington has taken extreme measures against Huawei, such as cutting off the supply of some components, a move that cracks down on competitors at the expense of hurting domestic companies. There are signs that TikTok is the next target. What the US is doing is driven by extreme protectionism and runs counter to a free market economy.

Washington elites should think about that. US-developed social networking sites are popular around the world. Any country can use the same concerns US lawmakers have about TikTok to target Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Without any evidence, if every country conjured up risks to challenge those companies, would the world ever be able to share common applications? If such national security principles were to be promoted globally, US internet giants would suffer the most.

The US internet market is becoming solidified. Americans are supposed to welcome competition from TikTok. China’s internet market has changed tremendously in recent years with JD challenging the dominance of Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, followed by the rise of strong players such as TikTok and PDD, which boost the dynamics of the Chinese internet market. The US shouldn’t suppress competition and encourage idleness.

Despite being the strongest country in the world, the US often accuses others of being national security risks. It uses political means to safeguard its existing interests when its technology falls short. But this approach will affect how Americans view modern competition and how American society participates in international competition. In the long run, some American companies may use dishonest practices, not better technology and innovation, in the international marketplace.

The US should carefully study the TikTok phenomenon and learn from it. TikTok has its own algorithm, but it pays close attention to abiding by laws and customs of the countries where it is carrying out business activities. When in Rome, do as the Romans do – this is a universal rule for business activities. All US social media giants have the opportunity to enter the Chinese market if they follow that rule.

We hope the US won’t go to extremes. Being open is where US interests lie. Even if they have worries about TikTok, they must exercise restraint. Many people are worried that the US might monitor them through various means every day, but they are restrained and rational. The US has no reason not to do likewise.

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China gets into blockchain race with US


Blockchain is perhaps best known for underpinning the operation of
cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, which Beijing may seek to replicate.
PHOTO: REUTERS
One example of the potential application of blockchain technology is a newly launched app by the Communist Party that asks members to explain why they joined and what party loyalty means to them. (Photo: AFP/Greg Baker)

BEIJING: China has launched an ambitious effort to challenge the US dominance in blockchain technology, which it could use for everything from issuing digital money, to streamlining a raft of government services and tracking Communist Party loyalty.

The technology received a crucial endorsement from President Xi Jinping last week, a signal that the government sees blockchain as an integral part of the country’s plan to become a high-tech superpower.

Beijing is the latest in a handful of countries to have adopted a law strictly governing the encryption of data – particularly blockchain technology, which allows the storage and direct exchange of data without going through an intermediary.

Reputedly unfalsifiable, blockchain is a database shared across a network of computers. Once a record has been added to the chain it is almost impossible to change.

It is perhaps best known for underpinning the operation of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin – which Beijing may seek to replicate as it pushes ahead with its plans for a world-leading government-run digital currency.

https://cna-sg-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/q_auto,f_auto/image/12059024/16x9/670/377/9e6b6b9b2b6ec007ae2c9a3107f86991/tI/blockchain-technology-received-a-crucial-endorsement-from-president-xi-jinping-last-week-a-signal-that-the-government-sees-it-as-an-integral-part-of-the-country-s-plan-to-become-a-high-tech-superpower-1572750315390-2.jpg
Blockchain technology received a crucial endorsement from President Xi Jinping last week, a signal

Blockchain technology received a crucial endorsement from President Xi Jinping last week, a signalBlockchain technology received a crucial endorsement from President Xi Jinping last week, a signal that the government sees it as an integral part of the country’s plan to become a high-tech superpower. (Photo: AFP/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds)

Although the new law for blockchain “is still rather vague”, the country is clearly one of the most active in terms of regulation, Stanislas Pogorzelski, editor of specialist site Cryptonaute.fr, told AFP.

“China has understood very well that to stay a superpower, you have to be at the forefront of new technologies,” said Pogorzelski.

Blockchain is set to play a key role in many sectors in the future, including digital finance, internet of things, artificial intelligence and 5G.

LESS HUMAN INTERVENTION 

Bitcoin(FX:BTC/USD)Stock market insights from social media

It could also serve to make China’s vast bureaucratic system more efficient.

The official Xinhua news agency said a blockchain-based system had been used for the first time to automatically generate and file an enforcement case in Chinese court against a party who failed to pay damages in a mediation agreement.

With less human intervention, such systems could make judicial enforcement in China “more intelligent and transparent,” the agency said.

Chinese shares jumped this week as investors piled into stocks linked to blockchain, after Xi said China should step up research and development of the technology.

“Blockchain should play a bigger role in strengthening Chinese power in cyberspace, developing the digital economy and promoting socio-economic development,” Xi said.

“The general sentiment of Xi’s comments was simple,” said Anthony Pompliano, who writes a daily cryptocurrency newsletter.

“Blockchain technology is really important for the future and China plans to be the global leader,” Pompliano added.


LOYALTY TEST

According to analyst Kai von Carnap of the Mercator Institute for Chinese Studies, blockchain-backed tools have potential applications that go well beyond improving administrative efficiency in China.

“More interesting will be those targeting party discipline, internal stability and ideological loyalty,” Von Carnap told AFP.

Chinese shares jumped this week as investors piled into stocks linked to blockchain, after Xi said
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Chinese shares jumped this week as investors piled into stocks linked to blockchain, after Xi said China should step up research and development of the technology. (Photo: AFP/Hector Retamal)

One example is a newly launched app by the Communist Party that asks members to explain why they joined and what party loyalty means to them.

Blockchain technology is then used to store their responses on a permanent, widely distributed ledger – recording their thoughts in cyberspace forever.


“NOT A FAN”

As China trumpets its push for more blockchain technology, it is hoping to outpace trade-war rival the United States, whose President Donald Trump tweeted his disdain for cryptocurrencies in July.

“I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air,” he wrote.

The contrast between the world’s two biggest economies is “striking”, according to Pompliano, who says “bitcoin, blockchain technology, and digital assets are not a priority for America”.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg had to defend his plans to launch a digital coin called Libra to the US Congress in October, after it faced a torrent of criticism from all sides – including governments who see it as a threat to their monetary sovereignty.

“I don’t think Libra will succeed,” Huang Qifan, vice director of the CCIEE, an economic think-tank that advises Beijing, said this week in remarks widely reported by state media.

“It is better … to have sovereign digital currencies issued by a government or a central bank,” he said.

Last year China released a damning report on existing digital currencies, saying they were “increasingly used as a tool in criminal activities.”

But while Beijing banned cryptocurrencies two years ago, it is fast-tracking preparations for its own state-run virtual currency, which is supposed to facilitate transactions and reduce costs.

The anonymity of cryptocurrencies allows users to buy and sell freely without leaving a digital trail – but China’s mooted e-cash system will be tightly regulated, experts say, and run by the People’s Bank of China.

Source: AFP/zl   Source link


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