Image for post
Image for post

INFOGRAPHIC SPECIAL

7 Infographics highlighting the cost of connectivity in different regions of the Globe

Despite having almost 4 billion people across the globe who have some kind of connectivity, a digital divide still exists — which basically emanates from the kind of internet service that is available to them (broadband, etc.) and more importantly, how much it costs to enable that connectivity.

The infographics in the article have been presented by NetCredit, which used World Bank data to figure out the average monthly wage in nearly every country in the world and Cable.co.uk’s worldwide broadband price research to balance these figures against the cost of a fixed-line broadband package in each location.

Starting off with the global map (infographic above), it outlines the percentage of the average monthly income one would need to spend to get a 10Mbps broadband package in every country. As you can see the figures are as diverse as the map itself — far-off places or underdeveloped countries with poor infrastructure are the ones where it is outrageously expensive to afford a broadband internet connection. …


Image for post
Image for post
Austria’s Peter Salzmann powers through the air in his 300-km/h, twin-impeller electric wingsuit — Image Credit: BMW

QUANTUM LEAP NEWSLETTER

Image for post
Image for post

Engineers at German carmaker BMW’s Designworks studio have created a chest-mounted set of electric impellers that allow a wingsuit to accelerate to a blistering 186 mph (over 300 km/h). Rather than just gliding, like a conventional wingsuit, the BMW propulsion system can put out 20 horsepower, allowing its wearer to actually gain back altitude — albeit only as long as the suit’s limited charge lasts.

The maniacal invention has already been tested in specialized wing tunnels and has been used during 30 test jumps. During its first public demonstration, the suit allowed stuntman and daredevil Peter Salzmann to zip past the Del Brüder mountain peaks in the Austrian Alps. …


Image for post
Image for post
This image shows cells adhering to a titanium alloy created by cold-spray 3D printing, which demonstrates the material’s biocompatibility — Credit: Cornell University

3D PRINTING

Researchers have created cellular metallic materials by smashing together powder particles at supersonic speed

3D printing has shown great promise when it comes to using tech for good. The futuristic technique has especially been extremely useful in Healthcare, with its various applications we have seen in the field over the course of the last 12 months — Living Skin, Mini-Livers, and biomimetic tongue to name a few. It has also made some significant breakthroughs like building the World’s first 3D Printed Neighborhood in Mexico, for people most in need.

Conventional 3D printing of metal objects & parts involves firing a laser at a bed of metal powder to selectively melt sections into the desired shape. The other and more commonly used one is called “cold spray” — which involves firing metal powder at high speeds at a substrate to fuse the particles together. This technique creates mechanically robust, porous structures that are 40% stronger than similar materials made with other conventional manufacturing processes. …


Image for post
Image for post

WEEKLY BUSINESS ROUNDUP

The state of Financial markets & Economies, Weekly Charts, Business Trends & Statistics

U.S markets are torn between gains and losses. On the one hand, continued vaccine optimism is lifting the investor sentiment, that we would return to some kind of normalcy by the end of Q2 2021, but the short term risks are dragging them down. America broke infection rates almost every day of the past week reporting more than 215,000 most recently. A disagreement between the U.S secretary of State & Fed Chair Jerome Powell over the continuation of emergency lending programs also threw cold water on the bullish sentiment.

All three major indexes tumbled into the red on Friday closing out a losing week. This tug of war between bulls and bears is expected to continue until there is clarity on the political front, vaccine deployment, and a new round of stimulus. The dollar index inched lower this week but was able to hold its own just above the Medium-term support. While Greenback may benefit from short term macroeconomic instability, the long term trend is still firmly bearish. …


Image for post
Image for post
Figure 1 — Chainalysis Market Intel

BITCOIN HEDGE

They are moving their BTC investment out of exchanges indicating that there are far fewer sellers

Bitcoin has had an amazing bull run recently — signified by the seven bullish candles in the weekly time frame. At the time of writing, the Crypto kingpin is hovering around the $18,600 mark and a whisker away from its all-time high reached back in Dec. 2017. The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies has surpassed half a trillion dollars (~ $527 billion) for the first time since February 2018. Persistent strength in BTC and bullish moves in Alt. coins are contributing to this enormous growth.

In a report discussing the performance of several investments post-vaccine news Jim Reid, Deutsche Bank’s research strategist, wrote that there’s been a “divergence between gold (-3.6%) and silver (-4.4%) on the one hand and bitcoin (+13.4%) on the other.” Other analysts also vouch for the fact that growing interest from institutional investors has given BTC a hedge status against market risks. Many investors are now preferring Bitcoin over Gold to hedge against inflation and dollar depreciation risk. …


Image for post
Image for post
Artist’s Impression of the new discovered Super-Planet — Image Credit: ASTRON/Danielle Futselaar

SUPER PLANETS

Dubbed as “Elegast” or BDR J1750+3809, the brown dwarf lies 212 light-years away in the constellation of Hercules

Let me clear out the confusion right away — it is not the first time that a cold brown dwarf has been detected, but the first time one has been discovered using this technique. I will explain to clarify the picture further. Brown dwarfs are turbulent gas giants which are too small to be a star and too large to be a planet. They appear magenta or orange-red to the human eye if seen close up, as mostly they are extremely hot. They are also called “super planets” or “failed stars” since they inhabit the niche between stars and planets.

Comparing these super planets — they have a similar atmospheric composition and magnetic field to those of the gas giants in our solar system but are vastly more massive (almost 80x that of Jupiter). However, even this huge size doesn’t trigger a fusion reaction on the surface for them to become a proper star. …


Image for post
Image for post

GLOBAL ECONOMY

Analyzing data which will shape the global economy & determine the direction of financial markets in the future

It has been a strange year for most of us. The pandemic has determined how we work, learn, or unwind. Financial markets have been no exception as saw the global stocks go into the quickest retreat into a bear market — even more surprising was the fastest rebound in markets following the prompt fiscal & monetary measures undertaken by the policymakers.

Keeping that in mind, let’s look at some of the most powerful signals that could shape the global economy and financial markets in the future. …


Image for post
Image for post

COVID-19

Although the global outlook portrays we are in the third wave, individual countries are foretelling different scenarios

Good news about the successful vaccines couldn’t have come at a better time. Global cases of infections and fatalities from the pandemic are passing one grim milestone after the other, as we gaze at a dark winter ahead. Even with vaccines coming out in record time, it would be many months before the general public starts to get immunized against COVID-19. We might be in for a few bleak months before things start to improve.

Nevertheless, we are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel. There are currently over 56 million cases of COVID-19 with well over 1.3 million fatalities globally, according to the COVID-19 tracker by Johns Hopkins University. …


Image for post
Image for post
Image Credit: NIST/JILA/CU-Boulder

SUPERCONDUCTORS

It is the first time ever that scientists have achieved superconductivity in Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC)

These exotic materials or more commonly called superconductors are best known for their ability to conduct electricity extremely efficiently — under zero resistance. However, they are cumbersome and expensive to produce. Nevertheless, the reliance of futuristic quantum computing & various other technological applications upon this technology keeps them in high demand.

Traditional methods of creating superconductors require a stringent set of conditions (like temperature & pressure) to produce them. Recent research has revealed that these barriers can be overcome. …


Image for post
Image for post

CRYPTO TRADING

The following charts provide a snapshot of how this segment has benefitted from the BTC bull run

Last few years have seen a number of innovative crypto trading products enter the digital market. Traders and investors now have a much bigger choice, when it comes to putting their money to work in digital assets. One such investing instrument is an ETP — Exchange-Traded Product. Back in 2018, Swiss Fintech startup Amun AG launched the first crypto ETP. Since then the company has launched many more ETPs in the crypto space — most recent one being an inverse ETP, launched earlier this year.

For those of you, who are not familiar with ETP, it is an Exchange-Traded Product bearing a close resemblance to an ETF (Exchange-Traded Fund). Both of them are traded on stock exchanges like common shares, where the price is determined by the performance of the underlying asset or index. However, ETFs have minimum diversification requirements & the fund is only allowed to be invested in certain categories of the underlying asset. …

About

Faisal Khan

A devout futurist keeping a keen eye on the latest in Emerging Tech, Global Economy, Space, Science, Cryptocurrencies & more

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store