Remote Sensing is the science of sensing an object or phenomenon remotely by measuring reflected and emitted radiations with the help of sensors. Researchers monitor the Earth and other planetary bodies through distant sensors on satellites and aeroplane, providing an overall perspective and information about earth processes. This further empowers information-driven decision support systems regarding our planet’s current and future stages.
Remote Sensing has an extensive range of advantages spanning various sectors like oil and gas, defence, agriculture, etc.
Remote Sensing detects and discriminates various objects present on the Earth's surface by recording the emitted and reflected energy by the surface of a material. Distinct objects return different energy amounts in different electromagnetic spectrum bands. The technology uses electromagnetic energy which is being incident on the material. The radiance amount is recorded by the sensors and used to interpret the results after processing the recorded signals.
A typical Remote Sensing process incorporates mainly six steps. The steps are illustrated below:
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Remote Sensing technology first came into existence in 1859 when a French photographer took an oblique photograph from a flying balloon near Paris, giving birth to the remote sensing era. This technique was further followed during the civil war in the US to understand and reveal the defence positions. The innovation was facilitated with technical upliftment like high-quality lenses and airborne usage to strengthen the technology further.
The second phase of development was started during the first World War in Europe, where the camera lenses were used on a large scale for scouting. After getting reliable results, the technology was further explored and used in other study fields too, until the second World War. The most remarkable evolution occurred during the Second World War when thermal, and radar sensing were taken to newer heights.
After 1950, the commencement of Color Infrared technology saw extensive applicability in plant sciences. In 1956, the technology was used to detect plant disease and damage too.
There are two main types of Remote Sensing. One is Active, and the other one is Passive Remote Sensing.
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As the name suggests, Active Remote Sensing uses active sensors. Sensors are the active source of energy in this case. The active sensors are used to emit radiation that is incident on the objects present on Earth's surface. The energy gets reflected or emitted and is then received by sensors. This innovation includes microwaves as a functioning specialist as they are impervious to climate conditions.
In Passive Remote Sensing, there is no active source to emit the energy instead of a natural source or an external source of energy used to sense the Earth's objects. This technology uses hyperspectral or multispectral sensors for sensing. The recorded signals are recorded with different band combinations.
Remote sensing innovation is utilized widely across different fields, including meteorology, topography, hydrology, nature, oceanography, glaciology, and geology. The technology is also used for applications in commercial, military, business, and planning.
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The inaccuracy of electromagnetic spectrum radiation from the active sensors may affect the target investigation results. Errors from the instruments used in the process may also account for uncertainties in the work. Also, remote sensing is an expensive technique, which may prove to be a limiting factor.
What is the gig economy? The gig economy refers to a market structure where there is a greater number of temporary and flexible job contracts compared to permanent employment contracts. This type of economy relies on short-term labour rather than full-time workers who have fixed employment status and are less prone to change. A gig economy sees heavy reliance on digital means to sustain itself. Most of the jobs that belong to the ‘gig’ sector depend on an online platform. In the modern age of the internet, the commonly seen gig jobs are those in Uber, Airbnb, or even courier deliveries. The availability of app-based business creation has enabled businesses that were once brick and mortar establishments to function remotely. However, this does not limit the existence of gig jobs to online platforms. Contract-based hiring is observed in many other sectors as well, like the education sector, where teachers are hired on an ad-hoc basis. FOR FURTHER COMPREHENSION: Understanding the Concept of Gig Economy Why the name “gig”? Previously called the ‘sharing economy’ or ‘collaborative economy’, the gig economy derives its name from the meaning of the word ‘gig’ which translates to a job or event that lasts a specific amount of time. This is used mostly to be musicians or stage performers to refer to their acts. In a similar fashion, the gig economy translates to an economy mainly running on temporarily employed labour. Since most gig jobs are observed in the digital sphere, many people prefer to use the word “platform economy” too. How is the gig economy beneficial? Image Source: ©Kalkine Group Short term, flexible contracts allow companies to run more efficiently as it is a pay-per-job kind of a setup. The gig set up focuses on the output delivered rather than the hours put in. Unlike a typical office set up, where employees are salaried based on their work shifts, a gig job allows the flexibility to the employer to pay the employee depending on the output delivered by the latter. On the employees’ side, gig jobs allow them to explore a more flexible form of work setup. With more relaxed job rules, workers enjoy a better and more defined work-life balance under a gig economy. Moreover, full-time employers own exclusive rights to the work and offer less creative freedom to the workers. The situation is not the same in case of the gig economy, thus leading to a better experience for the employed workers as well. Gig setup could be beneficial at a time when companies are trying to cut down on costs and save up on salaries. Moreover, a gig economy paves the way for a fast-paced setup where people can shift jobs quickly. This resonates well with the priorities seen currently among the working class as people are rapidly switching jobs and are constantly on the lookout for new skills to acquire. But full-time employment is still more liked as workers see their rights and intellectual property secured, they would want to contribute more and stay engaged with the employer. What are the challenges under a gig economy? Most businesses do not see gig type setup in the long run. But things are changing for job markets globally as more and more jobs are becoming gig-based and are adopting an online platform. However, the long run sustainability of such employment is still ambiguous. Regularly paid salaries along with paid sick leaves and many other benefits give the traditional full-time jobs an edge over the temporary, relaxed nature of the gig economy. This means that people looking for security in a job would not benefit from the gig economy setup. Another major drawback can be the absence of minimum wages under a gig economy. Adding to that, the irregularity in receiving job tasks makes contract-based jobs less desirable. For instance, an uber driver could earn a lot on a good day when there are many clients, however, he may also see a day when there are no bookings. This uncertainty in the flow of income adds to financial insecurities associated with gig jobs. Thus, even with a good skill set and formal training, employees might see delayed assignment of work, irregular salaries, and lesser employee benefits under a gig economy. Can a gig economy setup be a good idea in the long run? Contract-based hiring can be beneficial under stressful times when cost saving is on the company’s agenda. Under the scenario of a pandemic, when major businesses are hit due to lesser demand, a gig-based job setup can provide the extra edge to companies. Alternatively, on the employee’s side, rising health concerns might make the prospect of remote or digitally functioning jobs more appealing in the scenario of a pandemic. However, in the long run, the cost-efficiency might wear out with concerns regarding workers’ rights and benefits. If the labour employed is not satisfied with the job setup and does not feel a sense of security, then the job loses its appeal. Thus, it is important to offer financial security as well as intellectual rights security to the workers. While a temporary job structure allows for creative freedom, its high dependency on online platforms makes it reach limited to a select set of individuals who have access to technology. In case companies do not have a brick and mortar establishment, they may lose out on customers who do no prefer online methods or who do not have access to them. The future may see an upward streak in terms of gig-based hiring as companies evolve and change norms. It is imperative, however, to maintain more traditional, offline methods alongside the short-term roles offered by companies of the modern world.
What is Bitcoin? What are Digital Currencies, Cryptocurrency? Bitcoin, as a cryptocurrency, is a virtual currency or a digital currency. It was created in 2009 by a mysterious person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. It is the most prominent and biggest cryptocurrency, with market capitlisation Technically, an individual can buy products and services with a cryptocurrency. However, not many shops accept Bitcoin as a currency yet and some countries have already banned it. Bitcoin is not controlled by a single authority, but by decentralized network of users, and do not come directly under the whims of central banking authorities or national governments. Today in the market, there are hundreds of active cryptocurrencies. Do read: Bitcoin for Beginners: 5 things you need to know Like traditional currencies, such as the dollar and pound, Bitcoin also has a value relative to other currencies and physical goods. To know about Bitcoin and gold relationship, read: Demystifying Bitcoin-Gold Relation: What Investors should expect? The whole of Bitcoin units can be subdivided into decimals, which reflects smaller units of value. The smallest Bitcoin unit is called a satoshi, or 0.00000001 Bitcoin. Satoshi cannot be broken into ore smaller units. However, Bitcoin’s source code can be further divided beyond this level. Apart from buying products & services, it can be used to exchange with other private users as consideration for services performed or to pay any outstanding debts. Bitcoin can be swapped for other currencies, on electronic exchanges that function similar to forex exchanges. However, it can also be used to facilitate illicit activity, such as the purchasing illegal drugs on dark web marketplaces like the infamous (and now-shuttered) Silk Road. Do read: BrewDog Vouches For Bitcoin, While FED Raises Concerns; What’s Next For The Bitcoin? Bitcoin can easily be traded for cash or assets digitally like gold or silver with very low fees. This reflects that it has high liquidity, and many see it as an investment instrument looking for short-term profit, as well as for long term gains. Do read: Guide To Bitcoin And Stocks Specializing In Blockchain Technology How to buy Bitcoin? For buying a Bitcoin, an investor has to open a brokerage account with a company that has the license to trade cryptos. Then the investor is required to deposit funds into the brokerage account, after which they can buy bitcoin (BTC). The easiest way to buy or sell digital currency (like bitcoin) is via an online platform (interface) like Coinbase, which is considered one of the most popular cryptocurrency platform in the world presently. Coinbase allows its clients to purchase and sell three of the most popular cryptocurrencies currently trading and are on demand; this includes Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum. For information on different cryptocurrencies read: The Advent of Cryptocurrencies- Popular Cryptos in Focus What is Blockchain? How is it related to Bitcoin? Blockchain is a public, distributed ledger that is required of all prior Bitcoin transactions for making the transactions secure. Blockchain is essentially the record-keeping technology behind the Bitcoin network. These are stored in groups known as blocks as they are made up of digital pieces of information. Every node of Bitcoin’s software network, which is both the server and terminals, are run by individuals or groups that are popularly known as miners. Miners help in the production of new Bitcoin units that lead to the recording and authentication of Bitcoin transactions, and the making of new blocks periodically. These comprise of an identical record of Bitcoin’s blockchain. Good read: Blockchain Makes Inroads; More Diverse Sectors Adopt this Decade Old Technology With every new Bitcoin transaction, the Bitcoin blockchain keeps on growing. The Bitcoin blockchain will always be a work in progress, till the time the miners continue their work and keep on recording recent transactions. There is no predetermined length at which the blockchain will stop growing, though there will be finite numbers. More on blockchain technology: Future Innovation Lies in Blockchain Technology On average, the miners create a new blockchain every 10 minutes, containing information of all prior transactions and a new transaction block. Every two weeks, Bitcoin’s source code is made for the adjustment of the amount of Bitcoin mining power required for the creation of new blockchains, which is required to provide the average creation interval of 10 minutes. If mining power gets enhanced during these two weeks, then it becomes difficult to form new blockchains for the subsequent two-week span. On the other hand, if mining power declines, it is easier to form new chains. However, for most of Bitcoin’s history, there is a demand for greater mining power. Each computer in the blockchain network makes its own copy of the blockchain, which reflects that there could be thousands of it, and in the case of Bitcoin, there could be millions of copies of the same blockchain. Each copy of the blockchain is exactly identical, that makes the distribution of that information across a network of computers more difficult to manipulate. In order to manipulate a single block, a hacker requires to change every single block after it on the blockchain, which leads lots of recalculations. Further, it would take a huge and improbable amount of computing power. Overall, the ultimate target of blockchain technology is to allow digital information to be recorded and distributed but does not get edited in order to make bitcoin safe. Read: What's New in the Blockchain Space? Is Bitcoin secure? What are its risks? Every transaction of cryptocurrency is recorded publicly; therefore, it becomes very difficult to copy Bitcoins, make fake ones or spend the ones that the individual does not have. However, there is a possibility of losing the Bitcoin wallet or forgetting the wallet keys and thus losing them forever. Further, there could be thefts from websites where Bitcoins are stored remotely. Read: Bitcoin Crashes By ~24% Post Outage In The Cryptocurrency Market The investment in Bitcoin, has limited legal protection and a high risk of losing some or all of the capital. It is not possible to reverse Bitcoin transaction, it can only be refunded by the person who receives your funds. This means caution has to be exercised while transacting your digital currency. Additionally, currently Bitcoin is an experimental new currency which is actively developing. Each improvement makes Bitcoin investment more appealing but also leads to new challenges. An investor might encounter increased fees, slower confirmations, or even more severe issues. Do read: Bitcoin Swindle: Twitter Jams all verified accounts temporarily In addition, recently there have been Bitcoin-specific scams and fraud, Black Market Activity, there is potential to be replaced by other superior cryptocurrency, no proper regulations, there is question on its acceptability by various governments across the world and there is environmental Ills of Bitcoin Mining. Must read: Top Reasons for Using Bitcoin instead of Cash Covid19 has had a positive impact on cryptocurrencies? Read: Cryptocurrency usage booms amid COVID-19 crisis
What is Cloud Computing? Cloud computing is the distribution of a range of computing services via the internet. The computing services include servers, storage, databases, networking, software, and analytics, among others. Cloud computing is an extremely popular and widely used technology. Some of the major players in the industry include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud. The best part of using cloud computing services is that it is helpful in reducing the operating cost. At the same time, it is swift, provides flexible resources and offers the advantage of economies of scale. As highlighted in the image above, through cloud computing, it is possible to read a newspaper, do net banking, read books, save files and many more. After having some idea about cloud computing, let us also understand some of the benefits of cloud computing. GOOD READ: 3 Stocks to Leverage the Cloud Computing Boom in 2020 What are the Benefits of Cloud Computing? Cloud computing can be considered as a significant transition from the traditional working style. Below are some of the reasons why most companies are switching to the cloud. Reduces Operating Cost: One of the major advantages of cloud computing is that it saves a lot of money. People do not have to worry about purchasing hardware to save any file. Different software is also available through the cloud. Thus, it reduces additional cost purchasing software. Cloud Computing is highly elastic: Probably the biggest advantage of cloud computing is its elasticity. In essence, it means providing the required computing power, storage, and bandwidth at any point of time from any geographical location. Supports Business Continuity: Cloud computing has a critical role to play at the time of any disaster. For any business, protecting data and system is critical during a BCP (business continuity plan) situation. Whatever be the situation, with cloud computing, one can be sure that their data are safe and secure. Supports Collaboration Within Organization: When the resources are available on the cloud, the employee would be able to access the files, communicate with each other, even while sitting at different corners of the world. Automatic Updates: Users of cloud computing services usually receive automatic updates related to the software. In case one has a software on one’s device connected to the cloud, and there is an update on the software, one would also be eligible for automatic software upgrade depending on the software fees. Security: Various cloud providers are offering a set of policies, technologies, and controls capable of strengthening the security of your data, files, applications, plus an infrastructure to safeguard from external threat. How Many Types of Cloud Computing are there? There are different types of clouds catering to varying needs of the end-users. There are several models, solutions, types, and services that have grown with time and that match the specific needs of the user. Let us discuss the three types of cloud computing. Public Cloud: Public clouds are owned and controlled by third-party cloud service players. These providers offer services like servers and storage over the internet. An example of Public cloud is Microsoft Azure. With the public cloud, the entire hardware, software, and other supporting infrastructure are owned by the cloud provider. The services on the public cloud can be accessed via a web browser. Private Cloud: In a private cloud, the resources on the cloud can be accessed entirely by a single company. This private cloud could be situated on the company’s on-site data centre. In some cases, these companies provide third-party service providers to manage their private cloud. Hybrid Cloud: Hybrid cloud, as the name indicates, is the amalgamation of both the private and public cloud. In Hybrid cloud, the two are bound together via a technology that enables data and applications to be shared. With data free to move between the two clouds, there exists more flexibility within the business and more deployment options, thus, helping to optimize the prevailing infrastructure, security, and compliance. What are the different types of Cloud Computing Models? Cloud computing has three types of models. Each model signifies a different component of the cloud computing stack. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Infrastructure as a Service comprises of the basic building blocks for cloud IT, and it gives access to network features, computer, and data storage spaces. This cloud model provides its user with the highest level of elasticity and management control over the IT resources. Platform as a Service (PaaS): Platform as a Service model eliminates the need for a company to manage the underlying infrastructure. It supports its users to concentrate on the implementation as well as the management of their applications. The advantage of using this model is that the user need not have to think about purchasing any resource, capacity planning, software maintenance that is needed to run the application. Software as a Service (SaaS): Software as a service model gives the user a complete product that is operated and managed by the service provider. In most cases, people refer to SaaS as an end-user application. Through this SaaS model, the user gets relieved from the tension of maintaining the service and management of underlying infrastructure. The SaaS user only has to think about different ways to use a particular application. An example of SaaS is an email one sends to another person without worrying about how the application is operating at the back-end. Cloud Computing Outlook Cloud computing has massive scope for the future. Its role was significant during the pandemic when most people switched to remote working. Market experts believe that cloud computing will grow at a considerable pace. According to some research reports, the cloud computing market is expected to grow at a CAGR in the late teens and exceed US$800 million in size by 2025. Existing Market Dynamics: Improved return on investment at a lower infrastructure and storage cost. Existing requirement to handle regulatory and compliance policy needs. Increase in the adoption of hybrid cloud service. Cloud computing experiences challenges of cyber-attacks impacting businesses. INTERESTING READ: 5G, Cloud Computing, Bundling – the three pieces of pie in Australian Telecom
What Is the Internet of Things (IoT)? Internet of things, or IoT, is a network of physical objects that has sensors, software, and other technologies for connecting and exchanging data from one device to other devices or systems via the internet. To explain this concept of IoT, let us consider an example. Suppose you read an article on the internet. It could either be through a desktop, laptop, mobile or a tablet. Now, how is it possible that we can read an article through these devices? The answer is simple. These devices are connected through the internet that facilitates reading articles. IoT is quite a simple concept. It means connecting devices to the internet to derive significant benefits. What are IoT devices? IoT devices are the smart devices that support internet connectivity and can interact with other devices over the internet. These devices include: Smartphone Smartwatch Smart home Smart door lock Connected cars Smart security system and many more. INTERESTING READ: How Will Smartphones Look Like In 2030? History of IoT The concept of IoT was first discussed in 1982 with a modified soft drink vending machine, which became the first internet-connected appliance that was able to tell whether the loaded drink was cold or not. Rexa Raji, in 1991, introduced the IEEE Spectrum concept as moving tiny data packets to a big set of nodes to incorporate and automate each and everything from home appliances to overall factory. Kevin Ashton of Procter and Gamble coined the term Internet of Things in 1999. The driving force behind IoT is the metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor, also known as MOS transistor, which was initially invented in the year 1959 at Bell Labs by Mohamed M. Atalla and Dawon Kahng. For information, a metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor is the building block of most of the electronic devices in the present times like computers, smartphones, internet devices and many more. In the 21st century, the scaling of MOS transistor has been extended with advancement to reduce power consumption silicon-on-insulator semiconductor device fabrication, plus multi-core processor technology. It has resulted in IoT, which is being driven by the scaling down of MOS transistor to nano electric levels with lessened energy consumption. How does IoT work and what makes them smart device? There are two simple things that can convert a standard device to a smart device. The capacity of the device to connect to the internet. The devices which get connected with sensors, functional software, inbuilt technology support network connection as well as actuators. An actuator is a machine component that moves plus controls the system. Once these functionalities are well combined, an IoT device is formed. A simple example of this is a smartwatch. Smartwatch not only tell you the time, but it also helps to track your health like a heartbeat, pulse etc. Some smartwatches alert the user about any phone calls as well. What are the advantages and disadvantages of IoT? Advantages: While there are various advantages of IoT devices. Some of them are as below: IoT allows machine-to-machine interaction. It provides good automation and control. When IoT gets integrated with more technical information, it can be operated in a better way. IoT saves a lot of time, money and eliminates manual effort. Improves efficiency. Disadvantages: Despite so many favourable features of IoT, there are a few disadvantages as well. They include: The IoT devices do not have any international compatibility strength. In case of any failure, IoT devices may become very complicated. There are chances that IoT devices might get impacted because of privacy and safety breach. With the increased usage and reliance on IoT devices, it may be possible that IoT can control one’s life in the upcoming period. What has made IoT so important amongst people? IoT has been amongst the most important technologies in the present times. Not only for household or daily uses purposes, but IoT also has not started gaining grounds at industrial levels. Various industries have now started adopting IoT technologies to improve their efficiency. This innovative technology not only connect devices to the internet, but it also provides users other features like real-time analytics, cloud data storage, trigger action from a remote location, remote notification etc. What Technologies have made IoT possible? IoT has come into existence with the recent advancement in technology. Let us look at them one by one. Affordable and Reliable sensors: It is because of the availability of affordable and reliable sensors, it has become possible for the manufacturer to make IoT technology. Connectivity: A host of network protocols have made it possible to connect sensors seamlessly to cloud and other things so that the data gets transferred efficiently. Cloud Computing Platforms: The improved availability of cloud computing platforms has made it possible for businesses and customers to access the infrastructure without worrying about how to manage it. Machine Learnings and Analytics: With the advancement in technologies like machine learning and analytics plus access to data stored on the cloud, it has become feasible for the business to retrieve an extensive data set at a faster rate and more efficiently. The emergence of these technologies has given a chance to IoT technologies to expand more. Conversational Artificial Intelligence: Advancement in neural networks have enabled natural-language processing to IoT devices and made it possible and affordable for home applications. The beat and the most common example of this Alexa and Siri. Business Value with IoT IoT in the present times have become more and more widespread, and various companies are capitalizing on the huge business value it can provide. Some of these are: Obtaining data-driven visions from IoT data for managing the business. Another vital point about IoT is that it improves business productivity and efficiency of business operations. It also helps to create a new business model and would generate new sources of revenue stream. It helps to connect the physical world to the digital world.