A Weapon of Mass Communication – Current Trends Driving Telecom Higher

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The telecommunications industry has seen and been through its fair share of revolutionary advancements and further developments. If you think about it, the telecommunications industry is one of the most global, consistently sought after industries in the world. Most people upgrade their phone to a newer version every two to three years, if not sooner. With 7.7 billion people on the planet, and most of them owning a phone, that is a significantly large turnover for cellular devices. Couple this with the fact that telecommunications technology is in a literally-constant state of evolution, and you get an industry and a consumer base that are always expecting and adapting to the most recent developments in the industry. There are various trends in the telecommunications sector, and all of them can work in alignment with one another to create what is essentially a seamless consumer experience, and ultimately a seamless global connectivity network.

The first trend currently making waves in the industry is also the one that has proven to be more than a trend – it has proven to be a constant feature in the sector. Today’s telecommunication companies have an innate focus on the customer experience, and it is that focus that is driving them to continuously higher peaks. The largest demographic that forms the telecommunications industry consumer base is now the millennial generation, as they are not only the demographic with the largest percentage of the global population, but they are the first generation to head future generations of tech-savvy, reliant consumers. As such, their opinions on the industry’s current running are more important than they have ever been before, and the telecommunications industry is more than willing to listen to them. This shift in consumer presence means that the industry has had to take note of how the world’s first digitally-impressed generation expect their communication (and their world) to operate. Customer service has always been an innate focus of many industries, the telecommunications industry included, but consumers have never been as focused on having the best of the best as they are now. They know what is the best mobile app for laundry payments, they know what food is being offered on various food delivery platforms, they know which VPN will help them stay secure. They basically they know what they can get and they want to make sure they get the best value for money. 

5G connectivity is just the first evolution of what is sure to be a constant strive for seamless technological connection and customer-experience success, and even that has sent waves of promise barrelling through the planet – and it is not even available for mainstream public consumption yet. Artificial intelligence (AI) is another trend that is currently set to significantly disrupt the telecommunications sector. 5G has many benefits, but one of its most exciting is the additional ability to take on another tech like AI. In short, AI can be used as a tool to improve how networks plan and manage themselves and their input and output. The idea is that operators will soon be able to predict customer demand ahead of time, which would ease off the use of tariffs. Additionally, it appears as if we are on the verge of augmented reality (AR) being a widespread integration into new phone models on the market. Essentially, the concept is that AR-enabled smartphones will be able to give users brand new experiences while enabling stronger, more acute personalisation in the process.

One of the biggest – and most ongoing – trends in the telecommunications industry is consumer loyalty. With so many innovations happening in the industry all the time, it can be hard for consumers to keep up with the latest and greatest that the telecommunications industry has to offer. It would be easy to assume that all telecom companies have the exact same services, products, and ideas to offer their customers, but the reality is that they do not. It is for this reason that telecom companies are in a constant battle to win consumers from their competitors, to reign in more consumers in the hope of effectively creating a stronger sense of consumer loyalty. The nature of telecommunication ensures that there will be continuous innovation and improvement, and telecom companies are the middle men, the ones charged with bridging the gap between industry know-how and consumer understanding. The companies that can give consumers the best deals, the best service, and the best access are the ones that will continue to reign as titans of industry.

Telecommunications is an industry that literally always finds itself in a constant state of evolution. As one upgrade in the system rolls through and becomes mainstream, another is right up the alley ready to wow consumers all over again. The current trends that are driving the telecommunications industry forward and to higher peaks are fine examples of the industry’s shift towards impressive and awe-inspiring levels of connectivity. From 5G bringing faster loading times and internet speed, to AI and AR turning the smartphone into a weapon of mass communication, the telecommunications industry continues to prove its unwavering value as the world’s most inter-connected industry.

Technology update in the stock market

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The internet has dramatically revolutionised a number of fields, not least of all that of the financial markets. From robo-advisors to bitcoin to online banking to big data and analytics, the possibilities are endless thanks to the advent of new technologies such as AI, automation and the IoT. Simply consider that 10 years ago we were walking into a bank to deposit money while today we can wire a sum of money to an international account with the press of a button. 

Fintech’  or financial technologies is the most rapidly growing field of technology in the world today, and encompasses the technology and innovation that aims to compete with traditional financial methods in the delivery of financial services.The world of finance, including investment, has been completely and unarguably upended by fintech. And the trading of stocks and shares is no different. 

Many still associate share trading with in-person transactions on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), with all the hustle, bustle and excitement that it entails. But unfortunately for those who prefer a taste of the dramatic, share trading can now be as simple and as inhumane and un-interactive as the tapping of a button on a personal phone. 

While the NYSE still ensures that kind of visual is maintained in the eye of the stockholder, most trading today takes place privately, over computer systems owned by individuals. The trades are transacted via underground fibre-optic networks that carry messages between computer systems at banks and trading firms, into data centres that host a particular exchange’s trading engine. Apps and platforms are, it seems, the new NYSE, and there are several which are proving popular among modern traders.

Why is this, you wonder? Simply because there are typically lower costs associated with online traders, as trade commissions tend to be larger when it comes to in-person investing. For example, if you seek the help of an actual stockbroker, you can expect to pay roughly $30.99 per trade in commission. To make the same investment online, you might spend an average of $8.90. Online brokers are, in general, cheaper, mostly because they don’t have the cover the same overheads as stockbrokers who work in the more physical sense.

When it comes to finding a broker online, E-Trade is perhaps one of the best known online brokerage providers, with three different trade platforms available for users in addition to its market data, quotes, data analysis and other useful information and resources. Best of all., E-Trade offers plenty of commission-free funds. There are also broker platforms Fidelity, TD Ameritrade and Vanguard, which has an average expense ratio of just 0.10%. Interactive Brokers is another that is recognised for its low cost but comprehensive service platform. 

Next, there are platforms dedicated entirely to stock market research. From Tradespoon (which offers a 7 day free trial) to StockFetcher.com, Yewno|Edge, TradingView and The Motley Fool Stock Advisor, there is no shortage of online tools and resources for analysing the stock market; assessing a company’s annual report performance, for example, and its annual return on investment (ROI). It’s now possible to access a wide range of stock market analysis tools online, such as stock screeners – which scan the entire market to give you information on average trading volume, price, chart patterns and so forth – charting software, and stock simulators. 

Now onto the platforms and websites that actually allow individuals to sidestep the broker and directly buy shares themselves. Apps like Robinhood Trading have made it easier than ever to access stock market trading, making it accessible to new types of traders with lower amounts of wealth than previous traders. That being said, RobinHood Trading doesn’t give traders access to a full range of investments like mutual funds, but it certainly works great for stocks and ETFs, and it recently added support for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. 

Acorns, however, is the app that is best for complete beginners with no idea how to go about the trading of shares. It describes itself as a site for ‘investing your spare change’, implying that there is no such thing as too small a trade. It’s so easy that once your bank account is linked, Acorns will track your regular spending and “round up” purchases to the nearest dollar, which is then used to make small investments via Acorns. It also automatically builds users a portfolio of stock and bond investments based on a brief questionnaire, helping build users a diverse, broad portfolio in line with their investment goals.

Between the countless apps, websites and downloadable digital tools that help traders invest in shares with more efficiency than ever before possible, it’s no wonder that a growing percentage of the approximate $US5,100,000,000,000 traded daily is traded online. 

How Trade Is Affected by Recent Foreign Policies

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Despite the fact that it hasn’t yet actually happened, ‘Brexit’ is doing all that its supporters hoped it would: it is seriously shaking things up in Europe. Already the economy has slowed right down, people all over Europe are scrambling to gain residency for fear of being kicked out of their country of residence without the correct passport, and the political chaos that has ensued needs no mention. 

Following the 23 June 2016 referendum that asked the British populice the question “should the United Kingdom (UK) remain a member of the European Union (EU), or leave the European Union?”, a mere margin of 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent voted that the UK should leave the EU. And so it was decided that the country would extrapolate itself from the clutches of the club that links some of the world’s strongest nations to one another. 

Everyone – from the IMO, to the Bank of England, to the Confederation of British Industry to Barack Obama – said the change in foreign policy would have major implications on the UK’s economy and on global trade, warning there would be major financial shocks in the near term as well as long-term economic decline. But the nation forged ahead, committing itself to establishing a new trade relationship with EU27 by the end of the two-year window, and as a result hopefully boosting the British economy for the first time in many years. 

The irony of all this, is that the UK decided on Brexit in a bid to fix itself and drag itself out of the stagnant economic situation the rest of Eruope had found itself in – but in reality, uncertainty over the Brexit outcome has simply damaged the UK’s economic growth, seeing it drop from 2.4% in 2015 to 1.5% in 2018. Businesses are shutting up shop and moving their headquarters from the UK to other parts of the EU, and the British pound fell from $1.48 on the day of the referendum to $1.36 the very next day, according to the GBP index and dollar index. But perhaps the most consequential impact of Brexit has been on global trade.

Beyond that the mere exiting of the UK from the EU set a global precedent for countries leaving trade agreements (TAs), meaning that in future the exit process may become more difficult, Brexit might even have had such an impact that it will discourage the future creation of TAs. This is because they will likely become more costly to negotiate and perhaps less valuable once established due to reduced flexibility or insufficient integration. 

On the ground though, moving to an EU free trade deal and establishing new free trade agreements with the US, Australia and New Zealand following Brexit has an estimated negative impact on the UK economy of 1.4% – equivalent to £28 billion or £1,000 per household. By eliminating Britain’s tariff-free trade status with the other EU members, it will raise the cost of exports, in turn hurting UK exporters as their prices would therefore jump up in price, making them less affordable to EU buyers. The weaker pound, however, will negate some of the impact. Despite knowing all this the British government has nonetheless forged ahead, claiming free trade is the best way to increase exports, investment and support local businesses. 

Some other sad and potentially difficult outcomes of Brexit for the British people are that tariffs will also increase the cost of imports into the UK – one third of which come from the EU – creating inflation and lower standards for UK residents. Many UK companies could also lose the opportunity to bid on public contracts in EU countries, an ill-considered aspect of Brexit by the UK government and one that could cost the UK workforce billions in the long run. Banking is another area which will be hit hard by the change in foriegn policy, which is significant when one considers that British banks lend nearly $1.4 trillion annually to EU companies and governments, and most financial activities taking place in Europe are either directly or indirectly performed out of London.

It’s not all negative, though. In the long-term,the UK could certainly benefit from greater non-EU specific trade, by reducing barriers bilaterally with countries like Australia and New Zealand. New trade and investment agreements with these non-EU partners have the power to open the UK market to enhanced overseas competition, while simultaneously allowing the UK to focus more on areas of strength, such as services. There is no argument that Australia is well positioned to redefine its trade and investment relationship with its motherland, so it is therefore likely Australia as well as the UK will benefit from Brexit in the area of trade.

The thing is, countries that are open to international trade tend to grow faster, innovate, are more productive and enjoy higher incomes than those that do not. Open trade also benefits lower-income households by giving consumers access to more affordable goods, and services. Has the UK shot itself in the foot by voting yes for Brexit? The answer – for the time being – is yes, it has hurt the UK economy. But hopefully in the long-run, having a future relationship based on free trade and friendly cooperation will save the UK.

Navigating high speed internet providers’ spectrum of services

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In the United States, there are approximately 2675 internet service providers (ISPs) providing various types of internet services categorized based on the means through which data is transferred.  The state of New York currently has 41 internet providers, and it is the 4th most connected state amongst the others. In most states, consumers are able to access to a variety of types of internet services, including DSL, cable, fiber and satellite-based internet services, each of those has its own defining features. Hence, confusion often arises when it comes to choosing one from these internet services, the process of which can be made simpler by understanding how the Internet works and how these services differ from one to another. Spectrum is the second largest internet provider in the United States. Spectrum is accessible to approximately 102.7 million people and provides both cable and fibre internet services. Its tiered pricing system is easy to understand, and it is what makes them stand out from the other competitors. They utilize a hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network to deliver wired broadband services. 

The Internet is a massive network of interconnected devices for data transmission purposes by means of the use of various types of wires, cables and antennas, alongside other types of devices forming part of the overall network infrastructure. Most computers come with built-in TCP/IP network capability. TCP/IP, which is Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol in full, is the language of the Internet. Comprising of four distinct layers, it is a set of standardized rules that enable TCP/IP-enabled computers on a network to communicate. Software programs interact with the application layer, the first layer, on which one can find numerous application protocols, including SMTP, FTP, HTTP and so forth. Different programs communicate with different application protocols, depending on the purposes of the programs. 

On the second layer, known as the transport layer, data sent from the first layer is divided into packets and these packets are delivered to the third layer, called the Internet Layer. On this layer, the assigned Internet Protocol (IP) gets the packets from the second layer and adds virtual address information, which is the IP addresses of the sender and receiver. The packets are then sent to the fourth layer. The fourth layer is the network interface layer that gets the packets, called datagrams on this layer, and deliver them over the network. Between two computers, the speed of datagram sending and receiving is affected by two factors, bandwidth and latency. Bandwidth is the maximum number of bits that can be transferred per unit time. Whereas, latency is the amount of time it requires for a datagram to travel from the source to the destination. Theoretically, the size of a TCP datagram is approximately 64 bytes. 

Currently, consumers in the U.S. are able to choose from a number of kinds of internet services, ranging from DSL to satellite-based services, with each of these available types having its own pros and cons. DSL stands for digital subscriber line and is a type of connection that transfers data through a telephone network via a telephone cable consisting of twisted-pair copper wires. It is the most famous connection globally. However, it has a low bandwidth with a high latency, offering download speeds in the range of 5 to 35 Mbps, with the upload speeds being in the 1 to 10 Mbps range. The main advantage of this connection type is that it is often the cheapest internet service in comparison with the others. 

Another type of connection is known as a cable connection. It transmits data through a cable television network via a coaxial copper cable. This connection is faster than DSL and highly reliable, with a higher bandwidth and lower latency. However, it sometimes slows down during peak hours due to the arrangement of its network infrastructure and is generally more expensive than a DSL connection. In terms of a wired internet connection, a fiber optic connection is the fastest and a relatively new type of internet connection. Having the highest bandwidth and lowest latency, it transfers data through a fiber optic network, offering download and upload speeds up to 1,000 Mbps. However, it is comparatively the most expensive alternative. 

In areas where wired connections are unavailable, connecting to the Internet is possible through a satellite connection. Data is transferred from one computer wirelessly through the connected satellite dish to the provider’s satellite spacecraft, and the signal then bounces back from the satellite spacecraft to the provider’s satellite dish. However, with the lowest bandwidth and highest latency, it is considered as the slowest and most unreliable internet connection, and the maximum bandwidth that it can achieve is only around 25 Mbps. 

The fiber optic internet is currently the fastest internet service available. However, cable connections are still widely used by Americans due to their affordability and performance. When choosing an internet service provider, it is necessary to ascertain your budget constraints, speed requirements and connection reliability expectations. Considering these factors during the selection process will help you opt for one that you will not regret in future. 

Can restaurants survive the era of delivery services?

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The food and beverage industry that spans the globe is one that has quite an impact in so many different ways. This is an industry that has been important from the very beginning, and it is an industry that will continue to be important going into the future. The latest evolution of the food and beverage industry, however, is arguably one of the most important to date. This is an evolution that has been around for a few years now, but is still effectively kicking into high gear.

Even (and especially) today, the food and beverage industry is in a current state of transition. Now that we live in the beginnings of the digital era, where modern marvels like the Internet and ecommerce reign supreme, it is inevitable that these modern marvels start making their impact in the world around us and the industries that make up the global society. With the Internet and ecommerce comes the influence in industries like the food and beverage industry that are geared towards transforming to realign with the way the world is moving.

For the food and beverage industry specifically, the rise of the delivery service has been the overarching answer to establishing and successfully achieving that realignment. So, the question remains: can restaurants and other establishments within the food and beverage industry survive the era of delivery services? This is a question that no matter which way you approach it, can literally have an answer that is split in half. And that is essentially exactly what has happened in this instance. The appeal of sharing an experience is the heart and soul of the food and beverage industry. So much so, in fact, that through every evolution in the industry, this has always remained the core contributing factor. Now, that core is remaining true but is beginning to be forced into a kind of collaboration where sharing the experience is more about convenience than it is about the experience itself.

That is why delivery services like Uber and Deliveroo has grown so fast; they provide a solution that allows diners to have the optimal convenience and efficiency of enjoying the meal they want, without having to have the commitment of going out of their way to get dressed up and travel to a selected destination to have that experience.

From the change in consumer habits to delivery apps, there is a digital transformation going on in the food and beverage industry that is certainly powered forward by consumers’ growing demand for convenience and efficiency above the experience of going to a venue. This is the new norm in the food and beverage industry. It is an intriguing paradox, because while restaurants and cafes and the like are indeed getting more business through these delivery services, they are also missing the opportunity to provide their customers the full experience of the venue ambience, atmosphere, great customer service and interaction with others.

To properly understand one side of the argument, it is important to understand both sides. On the one hand, there are those who firmly believe that the rise of the delivery service field in the food and beverage industry means that restaurants and the like will inevitably begin to fade away. With convenience comes the realisation that this is easier, and this is the power of the delivery service field. So the point of this argument is: adapt or die. On the other hand, however, are individuals who believe that a mix service (delivery and on-site) and collaborative efforts that are more fairly sectioned out are the answer to the survival of restaurants and other food and beverage institutions. In this argument, brick and mortar and online delivery will co-exist.

It is interesting, because the delivery service field has not necessarily taken work away from restaurants and the like, but it has definitely taken a significant cut of their margins on the argument that is has brought new business. Realistically, no side of the argument is entirely right and no side of the argument is entirely wrong. In addition, this whole argument support itself of the fact that the app delivery businesses are running on a loss in the attempt to capture market share. Whether these businesses will be able to sustain itself with the revenue it produces, and where all parties are winning, is yet to be seen.

Regardless of what side of the argument one stand, the recommendation is always to embrace change and make the best of it. If people are going online to order food, why not setup a catering software with your own online ordering website? If most people are ordering online why not operate a catering kitchen (also known as Dark Kitchen) and save on expensive retail rent? In other words, with the current changes in the food industry new opportunities will arise. So why not use this momentum to re-evaluate, adapt and take advantage of the digital era?

The food and beverage industry is one of the most enduring and inspiring industries. Throughout the decades, this is an industry that has proven time and again exactly how necessary and special it is. There have been many great evolutions in food and beverages, and each of them have come hand in hand with their own unique impacts. The current evolution sweeping throughout the global food and beverage industry is one of the most powerful ones. The digital era has brought with it innovations like the Internet and ecommerce. In the food and beverage industry, this newly emerging era has also introduced the delivery service and ability for food businesses without a physical establishment to sell online. At this point in time, it is difficult to accurately determine if restaurants and the like will adapt and survive or even grown through the opportunities generated by the current digital transformation. Time will tell.

Netflix’s New Release Sheds Light on Family Lawyers

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According to reviewers, “Marriage”, Netflix’s new release is one of the most authentic movies about divorce ever made. The characters are compelling, complex and layered. Their interactions feel real, the story is relatable, but above all, the movie shows the general audience a glimpse into family law and what it means for the entire family when a couple, especially one with kids – or in this case, a child – decides to get a divorce. What begins as a right for their belongings will ultimately turn into a fight for their child and the movie shows the various methods or sly tactics that one might employ in order to get the judge to be in favour of one or the other.

Family law practitioners are no doubt all too familiar with the setting: a couple who still has feelings for one another but has built up years of resentment or developed a lack of gratitude, leading one or both parties to feel underappreciated and are no longer invested in the marriage. The problem with having attorneys representing one another is that, while many couples still hope for an amicable divorce and a great friendship, too many attorneys will attempt to get their clients on board with their strategies because they aren’t marriage or relationship counsellors who want the two of you to have a peaceful parting – they are in the business of winning and therefore there are certain litigation tactics that deepen the gulf between the couple and make irreparable damages to their relationship, as was with the case of the two main characters, played by Adam Driver (Charlie) and Scarlett Johanssan (Nicole).

The premise is easy enough to understand, Charlie is a director and Nicole is an actress who gave up many opportunities to further her career in order to support Charlie’s. This sacrifice ultimately led her to feeling lost and lacking a life of her own, forever living in Charlie’s shadow, despite the fact that she is also interested in being a director. Even as their relationship falls apart, we can see how Scarlett’s character cares for Charlie and persuades him to give her his criticism of her as an actress before heading to bed as she knows that he wouldn’t be able to sleep otherwise. Despite having such deep concern for one another, they are unable to focus on their objectives during litigation meetings, and often go off track, with the attorneys picking up on details that one or the other had missed.

For instance, the fact that the couple stayed in New York initially, where Charlie has a theatre, but the legal battle took place in Los Angeles, much to the chagrin of Charlie’s attorney. The attorney claims that his wife has played against him by moving to Los Angeles with his son and serving him the divorce papers in Los Angeles. In the eyes of the court, they would be highly unwilling to relocate a child and would therefore hand custodial rights to the wife, unless Charlie is able to prove that they are New York based. However, according to true professionals in the industry, this part of the movie is factually incorrect. Charlie letting his wife and son move to California was not the biggest mistake he could make because they have not lived there for more than six months and therefore New York, under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act, would have had the superior claim and Charlie did not have to surrender his work to move to Los Angeles for his child.

Much of the battle between the attorneys is perpetuated by the couple’s own emotional grief and baggage. Unable to be objective, they often resort to low blows and use personal information against one another, such as how much one drinks (and therefore an ineffectual parent) or the like. According to the show, “you know what they say, criminal attorneys see bad people at their best and divorce lawyers see good people at their worst”, a principle that is shared by family attorneys all over the world. It is unfortunately, a practice of many attorneys is to get the best deal for their clients, whether their clients want it or not. We can see this when Nicole’s attorney got the custody breakdown to be 55/45, not because it was what Nicole wanted but because “I just didn’t want him to be able to say he got 50/50, bragging to his friends.”

Divorce litigation is an ugly scenario that people don’t want others to witness. That’s probably why prenuptials are gaining popularity, in an attempt to avoid the whole legality issue. The couple in the movie originally wanted to skip having legal proceedings but due to the advice of friends, Nicole decided to hire one which ended up burning through the money that they had initially saved for their son’s college fund and this is the reality of divorce. While many will say they want to part amicably or do what’s best for their children, at the end of the day, they will be using up the assets meant for their children and end up with an even more broken relationship.