Today’s modern world is virtually constructed upon the prerequisites of change and progress while nothing in this life embodies these two concepts better than technology and developments related to it. Coming from a quite recent past when a simple fax-machine was considered to be the state-of-the-art global communications technology, witnessing the internet age is quite an interesting and fulfilling experience in this regard. In today’s world, the simplest internet user experiences and utilizes several sophisticated functions such as website access (http), e-mail composition and delivery, social media access and even vpn service for sites inaccessible to standard internet connections, with or without prior knowledge. As internet service providers, cloud databases and data protection systems further develop to construct a more reliable and functional global information technologies network, the modern day internet user cannot help but wonder what kinds of other integrated solutions will be provided to the ever-demanding tech world of today. In order to answer possible questions and settle probable confusions, it would be a good idea to consider published media and its recent research into the field of modern day technology. The integrated nature of such technology will surely enable the already equipped and demanding global internet users to understand how the new revolution of thought and access will lead to a better future with more technical and technological capabilities for all.
Aimee Hansari for the Huffington Post reports on her recent visit to Bagladesh, one of the lesser developed countries of the world, and how she was greeted with a passionate and promising project regarding language teaching and learning in the newly developing modern Bangladeshi society. The given society is not totally illiterate, with a 72.8% literacy rate among the general population according to a UNESCO study in 2016, with 69.9% of all Bangladeshi women having the basic skills required to read and write, which are all promising statistical information. However, what is more promising is that in the Bangladeshi society, there is 90% mobile phone penetration and 96% internet access rates at present and due to the high number of different languages beings spoken (41), out of which only five have written scripts, such a reality bears significant potential for further technical investment into the field. Hansari’s own association, Translators without Borders (TWB), has taken bold steps to bring in IT related services to help Bangladeshi people without proper access to language services. Considering that the country attracts significantly high numbers of refugees who come as workers into the ever its expanding labor market, situations such as the Rohingya refugees in the Cox’s Bazaar region of Bangladesh, gain importance as such people cannot read or write and they can only speak their own local languages among themselves. This situation creates social injustice and instability which has led the Bangladeshi government to take action and build refugee camps in the district where a special project is being undertaken currently. The “Access to Information (A2I)” project of the Prime Minister’s office that is run by Dr. Jami, intends on developing thousands of government-sponsored websites related to language learning related to specific local languages to help such communities access crucial information with ease. These websites also contain crucial information about health care, police and security, education and general urban knowledge to help such unfortunate residents access utile information for everyday living. In order to increase participation, Dr. Jami intends on providing smartphones to such individuals, cheap yet function ones, which he believes will help the government’s efforts to teach language skills to such new arrivals to improve the failing conditions of social cohesion. As more smartphones are distributed, more people will access these websites in their own language to learn each others’ languages while also utilizing the provided online information to better adapt to their new living standards in Bangladesh.
Mark Minevich for Forbes magazine takes a strictly pro-American stance on the issue of global technological developments of today to point out that although American institutions currently create some of the best technologies of the world, they cannot retain them and eventually lose them to rivals such as Russia and China. In a recent trip to the Silicon Valley in California, concerning new developments by IT giants such as Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Amazon, the author took notice of how the majority of the crucial employees at these companies were of Chinese origin. This situation is so serious in America that the newly elected and ever-conservative Trump administration has imposed strict measures to “block Chinese citizens from performing sensitive research at American universities and research institutes over fears they may be acquiring intellectual secrets.” Minevich refers to the newly emergent Russian threat in this context by pointing out how “Russia-based strategic and venture investors have completed over 300 funding rounds for U.S. startups” since 2010 in the Silicon Valley. He makes a specific reference to Yuri Milliner who invested $200 million into Facebook in 2009, way before it became the giant that we know it to be today to support his claim. The author attributes such a lack of interest for technical aspects of life and their place in the future of America to the fact that American students are not pursuing degrees of careers in crucial subjects such as mathematics, natural science of engineering. Most of such students in American universities come from elsewhere, namely countries such as China, India, South Korea and Turkey where they receive far better technical education in their previous educational careers than their American peers. Although American students are just as bright and talented, the government’s approach to education is insufficient in supporting such inclinations at an early age. Similarly, entrepreneurial training is inadequate in American schools with the military and similar institutions not taking any part in such efforts, when compared to countries such as Israel where such collaborations are massively popular. As companies such as Google, Apple and Facebook bring in thousands of new employees equipped with technical knowledge and education through the H-1B program, the American public and society both suffer due to losses of their crucial jobs to foreigners. On a grander scale, such internationalization has led to several important educational institutions such as colleges and universities being acquired by foreign investors from countries such as China, which could have catastrophic effects considering how fast the Chinese IT market is currently growing.
Adrienne Rochetti of Akimbo, reports for Wired magazine about the connections and correlations between the notion of social good and the rise of modern IT technologies. The author begins her argument by referring to the recent partnerships Facebook established with other tech giants to bring “Internet access to every person on earth” for initiating discussion about social good that the American IT sector can bring to human societies. Considering the enormous numbers of mobile phone users of 5.1 billion as of 2017, social media outlets such as Facebook have adopted an apparent social responsibility alongside with the power and authority their presences brought to them. According to Rochetti, the main problem at hand regarding the collaboration between technology and social good is that the required economic opportunities have not surfaced yet. The main problem regarding such opportunities is that the recruiters of businesses are still approaching their hiring processes from a traditional perspective, meaning that they are not paying attention to newly emergent issues of importance such as social media contribution and presence. The increasing effect social media has on human social life in this sense actually constitutes a problem for such recruiters who pay more attention and give more importance to the “less talk and more walk” attitude, meaning less social media presence and more chapters and paragraphs in the resume/CV. However, as entrepreneurs and their projects gain more place and relevance in the new global economy, this situation is also subjected to significant change. Such entrepreneurs utilize such digital input to draw a clearer picture of the business at hand and how the candidate might or might not fit in to bring about innovation into the process. As previous prejudices and fixations disappear due to the liberal approach taken by such entrepreneurs, the “underdogs” begin to win and bring about more motivation and energy into the equation. Rochetti refers to the online platform “Akimbo” as a great example of a project that has managed to create significant social good so far in this digital age, as the online platform connects entrepreneurs with new ideas, unknown brands, undiscovered skills along with resumes and CVs belonging to future possible employees. As global information networks and technologies expand in this pursuit, the mentioned element of social good will become more available to every member of such a virtual reality. This means that social media outlets such as Facebook will have to develop more intricate and detailed services to capture the true essence and relevance of their users, to be presented to possible future partners and employers.
Jonathan Murphy for BBC reports on the new age of television broadcasting as a specific concept within the more general framework of modern day media technology to predict a more sophisticated and technically advanced future for this specific type of media production and presentation. According to the author, television audience is rapidly changing and therefore it becomes increasingly harder for content producers or channel administrators to define and implement standardized policies. As a result, trend comprehension and catching become important issues for such individuals and their institutions which brings the element of change into the general framework in a far more important way than it was perceived to be prior to the beginning of this new age of television broadcasting. The author refers to the report titled “The Revolution will be Televised” as part of a grander documentary/reporting project titled “BBC-Foresight,” which seeks to outline the main challenges awaiting TV broadcasting in the following ten years to come. The first issue is stated as “Connectivity,” referring to how the newly developing internet technologies are constantly increasing data transfer rates and speeds as well as how by 2037, almost ever TV broadcast will be transferred through IP addresses as opposed to traditional data transfer methods. In addition, the TV sets themselves are also changing rapidly, moving away from the traditional EPG (Electronic Program Guide) modules and into the domain of On-Demand and Pay-Per-View TV options, making the whole TV experience a lot more enjoyable and appealing for the viewer. Murphy then refers to the issues of “Personalization” and “User-generated Content” as two other elements of change in the given dialectic to emphasize the importance of flexible and modifiable user options. As giants such as BBC, Amazon and Netflix are experimenting with user-friendly content and material, their subscriptions are also changing to include more amateur talents into their broadcasting schedules to create a brand new community of TV aficionados. Finally, Murphy refers to tech giants as possible competitors in the new TV market, bringing in innovations of advertisements and content to contribute billions of dollars into the given market. Such giants include Facebook, Netflix, Amazon and Apple who have already assigned billions of dollars of budgeting to be able to enter this market and compete. Therefore, it seems that in the very near future, the new TV broadcasting style, content and presentation might very well be totally different than the traditional and known ones, to shape the sector’s future in a completely different and presumably more appealing manner.
Jiayang Fan for the New Yorker reports on the current transformation of the rural Chinese economy and society in conjunction with the recent explosion of e-commerce in the country, spearheaded by the global giant Alibaba.com. The author begins her article by referring to Xia Canjun, a regular village boy who had to go through the hardships of rural life at an early age before starting technical college and finding a decent job at a milk powder production factory at the age of nineteen. As technology began to enter his and his family’s life in his early adult years, beginning with colored television and moving onto washing machines, dishwashers and finally computers, smartphones and internet services, Canjun became more interested in learning about business, the Chinese economy and possibilities of further development. He finally found a great opportunity with China’s second largest e-commerce firm, JD.com, after briefly dealing with their deliveries in the vicinity of his small town, Shenzhen, as a simple courier. Jingdong, as the company is better known in China, was looking for a regional sales manager in the city of Xinhuang and Canjun applied to get accepted for the position in 2009. By this times, JD.com had already utilized the already existent Chinese governmental incentives to expand its business into the rural lands of China for which market innovation was a necessity, with significant opportunities to be created in the process. Canjun quickly adapted to his new job and began to deliver JD products to more than two hundred villages in the vicinity of Xinhuang, to continuously grow the company’s presence in the region and recruit more and more representatives every quarter of the business year. After gathering up a professional crew of such salesman and representatives, Canjun established Jingdong’s position as a stationary, profitable and non-exchangeable business partner in the locality to contribute to the company’s business scheme and the city of Xinhuang. Currently, Canjun seems to be enjoying his spot as the local boss of the given operation but more importantly, he is very pleased to be providing employment for his friends and family at a time when economic crises dominate Chinese markets quite frequently. Canjun’s story is inspiring in the sense that it shows how a simple internet business has managed to completely change his life and the lives of many others around him, manifesting into physical business and opportunity. More importantly, JD.com’s transformation into a nationwide developmental scheme of local economies to bring in more investment and success to this tiny town of rural China among many others, is a great example of sustainable and reasonable economic development and business expansion for others, both in China and elsewhere, to take notice.