Category Archive


Selfie Related Injuries and Deaths – Why?

Elizabeth Marketing, Trending, Trends August 18, 2021


Dangerous selfies are becoming a distinct sort of rash. Situations that wouldn’t normally be dangerous become dangerous as soon as someone decides to open the camera app. It’s a very minor phenomenon, but it is a phenomenon nonetheless – Wikipedia has a list of selfie accidents and injuries which I’ll link here. Surely, common sense wins, right? These people surely aren’t any dumber than their ancestors, right? Why is this happening?

Social Media – and Reward Centers

Every social media app is designed to reward you for interacting with it. Humans are social creatures that like to feel accepted, and a social media app hijacks the part of the human brain that craves that acceptance. It’s also often easier to make mutuals on Twitter than it is to build a friendship IRL. Some people become dependent on social media to supplement the attention they desire from the outside world. Some want to see other people live crazy lives. Others still only watch out of hatred.

Either way, pictures and videos are the only way the subject can share their crazy, hot, rich life with outsiders on social media. Better pictures means more followers means more money from brand deals means more money to travel for better pictures. It’s a vicious cycle. There must always be more. You don’t even have to be an influencer in the traditional sense to fall into the cycle! Average people take stupid, risky pictures just so they can post them on social media and get that hit of reward.

The reward – the picture, and the approval of dozens or hundreds of people, clouds the risk – serious injury or death. Sometimes the adrenaline is exciting too. The psychology behind this behavior is actually not entirely the social media app’s fault, and people will put themselves into danger (that they would ordinarily recognize) even without the camera.


Redlining is a term that originally comes from diving, but can apply anywhere. While diving, you have on equipment rated for a certain depth. There are failsafes in place to make sure you can go a little further – most of the time, your tank isn’t going to implode just because you sank a foot further than you meant to while exploring a wreckage or a coral reef. But you shouldn’t stay there. Redlining affects all divers, amateurs to veterans, and it’s insidious – you see something juuust beyond your depth and think ‘I can go a little further’.

But once you’re past the red line, suddenly nothing is holding you back. The barrier was weak and only mattered as much as you cared about it – as you go deeper, you may feel uneasy that you’ve crossed the line, but you’re already below where you were supposed to be, and your equipment hasn’t failed, so… how bad can a little further be? And a little further beyond that? The danger doesn’t feel like it’s getting any greater now that you’re twenty feet below your redline, but it is – atmospheric pressure, which is directly responsible for how easily you can access the air in your tank, has increased by about 50% as you went from 40 feet to 60 feet.

The danger is increasing. But the brain is wired to assume that because nothing bad has happened yet, nothing will. The threat is ambiguous, indirect. No predator is threatening you. Nothing in your environment except for the environment itself could harm you. It is you and nature. Divers die each and every year from going just a little further, and then a little further…

Redlining psychology suggests to selfie-takers that nothing bad happened last time, so they can go a little deeper this time. Get a little more intense this time. Dangle off the side of a building, hold onto their phone through that rollercoaster’s turn because they did on the last ride, you get the picture. Nothing bad happened. Nothing bad will happen. Until it does!


Dubai banned a couple from accessing one of their many hotels when they took a photo of the guy holding her over the railing of the hotel, several stories above the ground. The only thing supporting her was his hand around her wrist. If one of them slipped their grip, she would have died. That’s not an exaggeration. She doesn’t have a harness. Videos are (or were) available of them getting into this position for the shot.

While researching for this article, I discovered a different couple had taken a selfie in front of a hotel that was burning. They weren’t in danger, it’s just sort of comical that very real emergency became a photo-op for tourists. Many complain that Dubai is very superficial – what a way to catch it on film.

High-stakes parkour has costed people their lives. Some parkour folks use harnesses the same way rock climbers do, but others… others don’t believe they’ll fall. So when they do, they fall all the way down. See this Russian parkour-er who got incredibly lucky that he slipped where he did. If he hadn’t caught those cables, or if those cables hadn’t supported his weight, he’d be dead. This is redlining in action. He’s done this before, clearly. He probably has experience on that roof. All of this makes it feel safer, like the ground is only a few stories away instead of 25. He got complacent.

Expensive Cars

Driving too fast is fun. It’s not safe, it’s not good for traffic, but it’s fun.

Driving becomes infinitely more dangerous when you’re holding a phone. Not just because one hand has to hold it – many of the people I see on social media doing this are constantly glancing over to their phone to make sure they’re still centered in the picture. The picture becomes more important than the road. Transportation-based selfie injuries on that Wikipedia list are often due to trains and subways – turns out live wires on top of the train can electrocute you instantly – but cars and bikes make up a fair amount too. There’s even a plane crash or two in there!

Even worse, car-based selfie deaths often take innocent bystanders with them – one woman on a bike was injured badly after a man taking a selfie in his car hit her from behind, while he escaped unscathed. Young influencers have accidentally spun out their rented sports cars after trying to record their route live.  That’s not to say drivers never die – a woman who removed her seatbelt to take a picture was killed after a crash rolled her car.


Yellowstone and other parks have to warn people that animals are not friendly. This isn’t necessarily the fault of selfie culture – animals are big, dangerous creatures, and if you live somewhere that doesn’t have any moose, you might underestimate how dangerous a moose is compared to, say, a bear. Popular media often makes animals seem gentle and passive, unless it’s sharks, bears, crocs, or other carnivores. Everyone knows bears are dangerous.

But moose are far more likely to escalate an incident than a bear is, and also deadlier to strike with a car. Deer can kick with enough force to kill dogs and tear muscle. Bison can weigh as much as a car, and can run over tourists just as effectively. It’s totally understandable that someone unfamiliar with those animals might want to take a selfie with it up close, which is why Yellowstone deliberately warns people not to do that. And yet – every year – people do. Classic redlining. “It’s not moving towards me, I’m probably far away enough – surely I can take a picture with this large animal behind me without ticking it off.” The answer was no! You couldn’t! Tourists may not recognize bison’s warning behaviors, so the risk was already underestimated, but the dangling reward of taking a picture with an animal only clouds it further.

Strangely, many of them seem to realize they’re supposed to pull a terrified face, according to Tom Stienstra (via an article on Washington Post) but don’t seem to understand why they should be making that face. The parasitic selfie has disconnected the fear center from the action center, so being scared is a joke for the image, not a real human emotion.

Long story short: many of these folks wouldn’t get into these situations if they weren’t aiming for a selfie. I’m sure teens would still try to climb on top of subway cars, and people are struck by trains plenty of times a year without their phone in-hand, but something about the selfie itself is hypnotic. It lures its followers into the jaws of death. Take the picture. Taaaaake it.


What’s the deal with Google.amp links?

Google And Fast Loading

If a mobile site takes even a second too long to load, users navigate away. This is a well-studied phenomenon, and all companies can do is try and optimize loading so the user gets some feedback before they bounce.

Facebook created Instant Articles, an easier-to-read and easier-to-load format than the original old method of simply copying and pasting a link to your wall, which worked fine on desktop and not so well on mobile. Ads, videos, and assorted other tidbits really slow loading down on mobile devices, even on WiFi. Consumers agree via engagement: Instant Articles is great. After all, who likes autoplay videos? Google sees a fantastic channel for improving loading times, pictures how it could monetize it, and begins to assemble the Accelerated Mobile Pages project, or .amp for short, and introduces Google.Amp links. You search something on mobile, you find it, and instead of being taken directly to the site, you’re taken to a Google.Amp page that optimized the site for you.


How does it work?


How does .amp make things load faster? Well, firstly, dynamic content doesn’t show up. Everything on that .amp version of the page is as simple and easy-to-load as possible.

That means if you’ve mistagged a menu, the consumer might not be able to see it. The same goes for embedded videos and music clips. If your site is really reliant on those things being present to function, allowing .amp links is a bad move!

Secondly, the website is stripped down to its bare bones: website creators are given a small selection of tags to build out their website, which usually results in something plain, but quick-loading. If the website is really, really insistent on keeping all of its content, .amp links are unfortunately unable to help. .Amps are a trade-off!


And Results


It makes some websites downright ugly. People using .amp links have very limited tags in their toolbox, so the end websites almost always look really similar. Sometimes that’s a good thing, sometimes it’s bad. After all, if you, as a business owner, spent however many hours going back and forth with a designer (or designing a site yourself) only to have to cut most of it when signing up for those .amp links, you might be a little mad, right? Menus, color options, images – if all of it goes missing, it may as well be written in plaintext. One critic complains that this makes it easier for fake news and disinformation to squeak into the regular news stream, because when all pages look the same, all pages receive the same quality assessment from readers who don’t know better, whether they deserve it or not.

.Amp links can negatively impact search ratings and valuable data for the client website, as well. People see the page via Google, not the host’s website. As a result, the brand gets out there and impressions improve, but the website itself can’t track that data as effectively. If you’re trying to navigate the complicated world of SEO optimization, then that’s a major issue.

It also has the potential to limit ad revenue. If the ad takes too long to load, it takes to long to load, and the end user never actually sees the ad. Most Google ads function by clicks – that means that customers clicking or tapping the ad is the only way the website gets money from them. As a result, unloaded ads = lost potential revenue.


Good Results?


However, the ability to load the website so quickly is often worth it to small business owners. Customers are impatient and often expect instant feedback – with Google.amp links, they can provide that instant feedback, usually for cheaper than other speed-up options, like redesigning the site or removing certain content features.

Besides, many users actually like the lack of ads. The mobile web is riddled with annoying popups and other assorted garbage that makes sketchy websites even more annoying to navigate. Of course customers are going to pick a .amp if it means not having to struggle with jerky, autoloading videos and annoying, jumpy ads. Not to mention that .amp links take away windows for viruses!


Google and… Data


It’s not a secret anymore. Google is always gathering data. It knows what device you’re using, it has some understanding of who you are as a person, and it’s using it to build ads that people like you are more likely to click on.

Google primarily started the .amp project as a way to compete with other data hogs like Facebook and Messenger. Why? Data, valuable data. You clicked on X? We’ll show you more articles about X! You clicked on a fashion article? Why, we just so happen to have ads from Calvin Klein’s newest collection.

Now, sometimes this is good – many people find new and interesting things via algorithms. Sometimes this is bad for the consumer, where they get ad after ad about dog food despite not having a dog because they clicked an article about dogs, and sometimes it’s bad for society at large, where conspiracy theorists get more and more misinformation funneled to them via the algorithm. Nothing tells Google to stop. Once you start on a path, it takes some serious effort to get algorithmically plugged content away from your feeds.

.amp links are obviously not the only things tracking you. Anything with Google anywhere is tracking you. Adsense is tracking you. But .amp links are part of the problem, and Google is getting your info before it’s getting filtered down to the actual website’s owner.


Turn It Off!


While turning off customized ads won’t stop the data collection, it will mean you’re less likely to see oddly specific, creepily accurate ads when you’re just trying to browse. As for the .amp links, turn that off too. .AMP links are giving a lot of power to Google, and some of the information you accumulate during normal browsing may very well be sucked up by Google.

Look here: and here to control how you’re seeing ads.


Internet Phenomenon to Boxer, Singer, Writer – Why Does it Keep Happening?

Elizabeth Trends August 6, 2021


In General


The world demands more out of its stars. In old media, an actor only had to act. A writer only had to write. Singers could get away with not knowing how to dance. Now? Everything bleeds together under the banner of ‘entertainer’. Managers are increasingly demanding more of their talent, so if one branch of their career stagnates, they have others to lean on. Is it always good? Examples say no!


Jake and Logan Paul


Singing on Youtube makes sense. That’s where most people go to see music videos nowadays. It only makes sense that the reverse, an internet personality choosing to sing, would happen eventually. Dancing? Sure, same thing. The Paul brothers have done both, with mixed results.

Boxing in particular is odd, but boxing as a sport is slowly inching closer and closer to wrestling – Youtuber Drew Gooden described the phenomenon as a way for unlikeable people to get money for getting punched in the face. It’s the perfect way for physically fit Youtube stars to show off their physique without actually putting themselves at risk of serious harm, as long as they’re going against other rookies… or professionals who are ‘in on it’.

Therefore, it’s perfect for Logan Paul. He’s physically fit, that’s impossible to argue. Does he have any boxing skill? Some would debate. Against other people in the same social media circles as he is, Logan boxes completely fine, even above average. Against people like Floyd Mayweather, it’s apparent that Mayweather went easy on him. Even a layman could see that Logan Paul could have been gotten in the jaw once or twice at least with how long he kept his hands down, compared to Mayweather’s past opponents. People were understandably angry at what they’d paid for, likely expecting a serious beat-down only to get a watered-down slap fight.

The Paul brothers also make music! Or, they made music: Team Ten, Jake’s project, is all but defunct. It was very ambitious, so I’m not too surprised it failed – it likely would have failed in anyone’s hands, he’s just not a particularly good manager, so it happened faster. Not to mention that the music itself wasn’t particularly well-liked. “It’s Everyday Bro” was the subject of commentary and critic channels for weeks, months even, with a whopping 5.3 million dislikes to 3 million likes. That’s a bad ratio. Do other personalities-turned-musicians fair any better?


Bella Poarch


Hard to tell.

Bella Poarch released a song titled ‘Build a B!tch” with a surprisingly violent music video just a few months ago, and it sits at a very solid 8.5 million likes to 311K dislikes, significantly better than Jake’s. It did pretty well, and it’s not bad – If Ariana Grande were just a smidge worse, this sounds like something off-brand Ariana Grande would sing. That’s not an insult, professional singers have entire teams of people composing songs for them. To almost nail the vibe of another singer is pretty impressive when you have little to no previously published works.

Meanwhile, Dixie D’amelio, sister of TikTok star Charlie D’amelio, makes songs that are… not as good. These other personalities sit in the middle – they’re much more likeable than Jake just by benefit of some self-control, but the music still is still the subject of critic channels across multiple platforms. The lyrics are vapid (especially vapid, not just pop-vapid), and that’s excusable if the flow of the music is good, but that falls down too in every song she’s published so far. She’s doing too much of it herself, and she’s a decent singer, dancer, she’s attractive, etc – but she’s just not particularly good at the rest of the things that come with being a popstar.


PodCasts: The Cast


Charlie and Dixie also have their own podcast, and it’s about what you would expect from a couple of young teenaged girls who got famous off of dancing. There’s just not that much content for them to work with outside of TikTok tips, and their own personal lives. Charlie was a dancer, so that’s cool, but it’s not a constant, sustainable source of content.

Podcasts are most interesting when they’re made by people with some degree of experience. Experienced interviewers, experienced craftsmen, experienced comedians, etc. All make good podcasts given the right conditions, and one of those conditions is a ‘content well’. A ‘content well’ is what it sounds like, a well of content. For interviewers, it’s their interviewees. For comedians, it’s current events. For true crime podcasts, the content goes back decades if not centuries. Charlie has plenty of experience on TikTok, about as much as anyone could have, but the content well she leans on is just too shallow.

Why is everyone making a podcast? Markiplier, another big Youtube star, recently started his Distractable podcast. The question is no longer ‘is it good?’, it’s ‘do I want to hear more of this guy?’ And there’s a difference. Podcasts are being set up for fans of the content, not new listeners, and as a result they tend to atrophy quicker. Tune in to some of these podcasts as a new listener, and you’ll be completely lost in a way you aren’t for podcasts that are just podcasts. The same for the D’Amelio podcast. Are you enough of a fan to listen in for an hour every week for updates on their content creation elsewhere?


Clothing Brands


Merch is an essential part of fandoms. Merch allows people to signal to other fans out in the wild that ‘Hey! I know that obscure reference!’ It provides room to start conversations with total strangers. In the ‘before’ times, there were three channels on TV. You could almost guarantee anybody you talked to watched the same episode of the show that you did last night. Now, a Youtuber could have 10 million subscribers, and you’d have no idea where those ten million are. Trying to reference a show or community that’s completely online to someone who doesn’t even know that Youtube has shows is an easy way to make yourself seem totally insane. “No, see, it’s funny because this one guy on Youtube…”

So merch is critical for community. However, what’s better than merch?

Just straight up starting a clothing brand! Merch used to be primarily fan-made, and when Youtubers started creating their own merch, it used to always have someone else’s tag on it. Zazzle, Redbubble, Fanjoy, etc. all put their own branding on the tag of the shirt. The creators were subject to the rules of the site, and the site got a cut of the money. If the material in the shirt was bad? All the creator could do is switch sites. Meanwhile, clothing brands give the creators much more control – they pick where the shirts come from, they decide what’s on the label, and they decide who gets how much money when the shirts are sold. There are downsides, of course, but big Youtubers can often afford to hire personnel for specific branches of their branding.

However, even this can be difficult. Designing your own clothes seems easy. And designing for your own show on Youtube is a sort of ‘easy-mode’. You have fans to poll. You likely have some references that most fans will get, like Markiplier’s pink moustache, or the Game Grumps’s particular shade of orange. And yet, that same easy-mode makes it incredibly difficult to make something good. Hardcore fans want campy gear, while casual fans may want something classy.

You want the reference to be solid, and pretty broad, but still niche enough to give a sense of being in the ‘in-group’. Meeting all of these desires on a site that offers shirts made-to-order is easy, because there’s never unsold stock – doing it for a line of shirts you’re responsible for storing if they don’t sell is miserable. It’s a lot of added responsibility. Many DIY designer lines come out generic as a result.




And then there’s books. If you were on TikTok in 2019, you might remember Gabbie Hanna’s poetry book coming out and then getting a lot of flak. Gabbie was an entertainer first and a vlogger second, but she still fits nicely – the book was pushed to fans of her content and advertised across all channels, and her social media channels for TikTok and Youtube were not excluded.

Poetry is difficult. New-wave poetry, where the rules are tenuous and the audience demanding, is even more difficult. Gabbie has made poetry before, but it was always on her terms, and her schedule. The jump to a publisher meant that she was now forced to adhere to a timeline that pushed her product out the door before it was ready, leaving several pages blank except for one- or two-liner jokes and puns put into a poetry book with otherwise serious subject matter. It changed the tone of the whole book.

And why? Someone on her management team thought this was a good idea, and it just wasn’t. Rush art, and you get rushed art. However, it can be done, which is why management teams try it. Rush someone who’s never written a book before, and you get Jake’s surprisingly well-received advice book, which – as people point out – sounds like it was written all in one day. Still sits at a solid 4 stars at Goodreads. Books are simultaneously one of the easiest things to start doing and one of the hardest things to master. Writing is easy, writing something that really resonates with the reader is hard.

Nonfiction, on the other hand, has much more success – Good Mythical Morning’s fan book was very well-received, even by critics of the channel, a tough feat for online personalities.




Ultimately, what separates the good songs from the bad, the good boxing matches from the bad, the good merch from the bad, is passion. Does the creator actually want to be doing this? Do they have something already in mind? Do they have access to the resources they need to ‘make it work?’

If the answer is no, they’d be better off not attempting to spread themselves where they don’t want to.



Traditional Storage vs Quantum Storage: What Does it Actually Mean?


Traditional Methods

Traditional storage means a lot of things, right now. Magnetic storage is still used pretty consistently, as SSDs aren’t quite at the point where they replace everything like hard drives themselves did.

Now, quantum computing occasionally hits the news when a major breakthrough happens, and for good reason! Quantum computing promises to do more than any major storage advancement before. Quantum computing isn’t just ‘better’ classical computing – it’s a whole new ballpark, assembled with totally new technology.

What is ‘Quantum’?


Quantum mechanics. It’s frequently used by the sci-fi show’s token show-off to demonstrate their knowledge of physics. But what are quantum mechanics, really? As a concept, they’re not that tough to grasp, and you’ve probably witnessed some of the principles in action without even realizing it! For example, have you ever played the game of hiding a coin under one cup, and then shuffling it with two other cups?

Assume someone sits down to pick a cup, and they can’t tell where the coin is based on you, or your observation. Until they pick up a cup, the coin could be under all three cups. Basically, there’s a 33.33% chance the coin is under the cup they choose. However, once you pick up the two cups you know are empty, the odds condense. There’s now 100% certainty the coin is beneath the final cup, and 0% possibility it’s under the other two cups.

In real physics, this example doesn’t work perfectly. Most quantum mechanics, once observed, break down into observable truths, and you’re an observer too. You, the shuffler, have some way of knowing which cup the coin is under. The coin is probably making a sound as it’s dragged around the table, or maybe the coin is so heavy it is obvious which cup is holding it. If you know where the coin might be at all, it means that there is one observable outcome where the coin’s underneath the noisy cup, and not three potential outcomes where the coin is under all the cups. Observing this makes it true for your opponent, as well!

Assuming coins are actually particles, and the cups are really probable locations, you’ve got something that gets close to real quantum mechanics in action!


Make Waves


Quantum mechanics (without any math in the explanation) are just a way to explain the probability of a particle existing somewhere in a real, physical environment when it’s actual location can only be expressed through that probability, or else it stops behaving the way it’s ‘supposed to’.

This probability breaks down into wave forms, where certain spots are more likely than others to have a particular particle than others. For example, the cups all have a 33.3% chance of coin, but the table outside the cup has a 0% chance of coin. In a dark room, where nobody can observe that the surroundings are coinless, but everyone ‘knows’ coins go under cups, (like we ‘know’ where electrons tend to be found in an electron shell), the chance of it being on the floor are very, very small – but not 0%.

Out of the places you’d pick a coin to be, though, it’s probably still under one of the cups, and almost certainly still on the table. If you looked at this probability on a chart, you’d see hills of likelihood where the cups are, and dips where they aren’t! In this way, we calculate the probable locations of things like electrons and photons, which behave in ways humans don’t fully understand yet. The coins in the above example are like those particles! A photon is probably in a certain area given what we know about its behavior – but attempting to actually measure it as a wave makes it behave like a particle, breaking it’s quantum state. Information is lost, and the particle no longer behaves like it did when it wasn’t being observed. Picking up the ‘cup’ to observe fundamentally changes the behavior of the ‘coin’ underneath!

How does this turn into a revolutionary computing method?




Quantum entanglement describes items (like particles) being tied to each other in such a way that one item can’t be described without also describing the other items in the system, which causes it to collapse as though you were looking at all of it. For example, say you put two different coins under two cups. Each cup has a coin, but which cup has which coin can’t be accurately described until one cup is lifted.

Once that cup is lifted, the first coin is described. The second coin has now also been described because there’s no way the coin you’re looking at is under the other cup, and each cup now contains/has only contained its respective coin. But only once you observed it. The probabilistic wave forms have now collapsed into two points with 100% likelihood.

That doesn’t mean that one coin/particle was always, 100%, underneath its specific cup – until you picked up the cup, both were underneath both cups, mathematically speaking (remember, this is a rough example – coins and particles have different laws attached). Entanglement also has a lot to do with superposition, since both coins would have had to share a location for the cup/coin thing to happen.




Superposition describes things existing in the same space – and it’s not solely tied to quantum mechanics. Two notes played on an instrument at the same time, for example, create a new note out of their superposition. The big thing about superposition is waves. Physical objects can’t be superimposed upon one another, and two particles can’t be in exactly the same location. However… properties of objects can be expressed mathematically, in wave forms, and in that way they can be superimposed. Much like different wavelengths of light can combine to form a new color, the odds of objects being in a certain state, or being in a certain, unobservable spot can combine in superposition!

In the two-cup example, the coins are in a state of superposition until the cup is removed and their options are solidified; before the cups are removed, whatever equations are used to describe a coin’s location can be added to the equation to describe the other coin, and both equations are still valid. Neither is disproven by the existence of the other until one is observed. Until one is observed, the superposition stands.

These concepts, when put together, allow computers to read bits that aren’t yet bits, but could be bits.


Sum Total


All of this sounds really complicated – and it is, mathematically – but conceptually, it just boils down to ‘things can be predicted to be in multiple spots at once’, and ‘things can be a combination of the probabilities of other things, instead of just one thing, until observed’.

A quantum computer looks at probabilistic bits like we look at those coins, and it doesn’t think ‘that’s a 1’ – it thinks ‘this is probably a 1, but if it was a 0, how does that change the data?’ and ‘how does this being a 1 affect later bits?’ The most common path of quantum computing research uses qubits, which stay in a state of superposition.

This means that the qubit is both a zero and a one until the computer looks at it and determines its state via some randomized metric that maintains the quantum state. It could be the state of the electrons at the time the computer reads it, it could be the magnetic direction the qubit is excited into randomly, etc. it just has to behave in a way that outside observers can’t definitively say leads to one specific outcome. If it can manage that, then it can calculate all the available options all at once.




How is this faster, you may ask? Well, the qubit is ‘stacked’ onto other bits. The qubit can be two states, and subsequent qubits can be two states, and… they daisy-chain together to form exponentially larger potential states, which then lead to answers being calculated simultaneously, instead of linearly. In a perfect system, faults are discarded, and then the quantum computer spits out the right answers in a fraction of the time it would have taken a classical computer.

For example, let’s say a password is tied directly to the state of a pair of dice in an automatic shaker. A quantum computer will be able to spit out a probabilistic password, but a classical computer won’t be able to compete! Even if it’s a supercomputer, it will have to get lucky if it wants to guess what  the shaker’s results are going to be before the dice are shaken again.

While this sounds very futuristic, websites are already using algorithms to convert random footage into protection for their servers: the lava lamp wall used by Cloudflare is one such example. By the time a classical computer has calculated what the algorithm required when lava lamps A-Z were in any position, literally all of them have changed. As a result, the code has changed as well, rendering that math useless. A quantum computer will be able to step up to the plate where the classical computer has struggled!

As Dr. Shohini Ghose puts it, this isn’t the equivalent of several classical computers, or one big classical computer compressed into a smaller state – it’s a totally new technology that will behave differently as it advances. Even a super computer would struggle with the lava lamp wall! However, quantum computers may not. Every qubit used to calculate has the potential to lead to a correct answer, or a wrong one. Good quantum computing will kick out incorrect answers as soon as they’re produced, and you’re left with something that the lava-lamp wall algorithm will take as an answer.

Dr. Ghose uses the example of a coin-flip game, where participants face off against a quantum computer. If the computer is told to win, and it goes first, it produces a probabilistic result that only collapses with the other player’s input – the computer is essentially allowing its coin to continue spinning in the air until it can tell what the human player has, and then it catches it, to spit out the answer that it always had. The answer existed in a probabilistic state – and it won, it just needed to be observed to tell the human that. The computer only loses when it mistakes the ‘noise’ answer for the actual result. If it were able to successfully suppress noise, it would win 100% of the time.


Why Not Earlier?


These computers have been seriously considered as a project since the 80s and 90s. And now, they’re making a resurgence. What kept them from being considered earlier?

Logical faults are a big part. Modern AI can suppress things it knows aren’t ‘really’ part of an equation’s answer, but the coin-flip computer above still lost 7% of the time to bad answer output. In the past, quantum computers wouldn’t have been able to correctly identify their own mistakes even down to 7% without a classical computer running alongside them, which defeats the purpose. Unlike classical computers, where faults like that come from the hardware, quantum computers are getting these errors from the state of universe itself. Of course that’s difficult to compensate for.

Aside from that, there were also mechanical issues to sort out first. The computer can’t be allowed to turn the qubit into a regular bit, which is called ‘decoherence’. Decoherence happens once the system is connected to something measurable, observable: out of two cups, lifting one solidifies the probability, and the other cup, even though it hasn’t been observed, definitely has the other coin. If it’s solidified into a regular bit, it may as well have not been a qubit at all!

Mechanically, to avoid decoherence, speed and environmental controls are essential. In quantum computing, you aren’t maintaining that quantum state indefinitely – the longer the computer has to maintain that, the worse off the state is, until eventually something collapses in a measurable way. Heat will do it, stray magnetic or electricity pulses will do it – flip one qubit, screw up the system or collapse it entirely. Decoherence has destroyed the calculations.

Side note: if you’ve heard of the double slit experiment, that’s an example of decoherence! Measuring the particles breaks the system while deliberately not measuring them allows for that nice waveform. Their final location becomes known, but not the path they took to get there. In computing, measuring the qubit before the computer gets to then breaks it down into a not-qubit. Rendering the system decoherent, and screwing up the results of the calculations.




Ironically, Schrodinger haaated that his ‘cat experiment’ got big because folks were taking it too literally. For those of you who haven’t heard of the thought experiment (no cats were ever actually put in a box) the experiment’s set-up was that radioactive material has a certain % chance every second to release a radioactive particle, and then putting this material next to a particle-sensitive trigger would release poison via that trigger into the cat’s box. If there’s no guarantee of poison being released into the box, there’s no mathematical certainty that the cat’s either alive or dead, so it’s both. Just like the coin is under all three cups.

 But not really. At the scale the experiment would have to take place, the cat’s as good as already poisoned (a lump of radiation has so many individual atoms that the odds of one not releasing a particle at any one moment is basically zero), but Schrodinger was struggling to explain the concept to laypersons who otherwise had no exposure to physics.

The thought experiment does a great job of breaking down what’s actually occurring with superposition. It’s not about the cat, or poison, it’s about the particles. If the experiment could be particle-sized, it would work the way it’s described.




Shohini Ghose via TED Talk (direct link:


Future of working: The growing need for robust remote working solutions

Jeff Technology, Trends February 1, 2021

What does the future of work really look like? Unlock the full potential of cloud-based solutions.

Where the first initial lockdown, back in March last year had forced most companies into an abrupt digital setting, the two that have since followed only solidified this. This transformation has now manifested itself so that companies have become significantly, if not completely, reliant on remote, digital solutions to remain functional. As a result, the growing need for robust remote working solutions has surged, causing traditional and antiquated workplace solutions to fall by the wayside.


Embracing digital transformation and unified workplaces

The evolution of digital transformation has fast-tracked the online revolution, meaning elaborate predictions of future working are now not so distant. The boundaries between working from home and in the office are now completely blurred as we find ourselves marching through 2021. The need for physical office space now seems redundant as we can work just as we did before, if not better, from home and exceed productivity and collaboration standards.


A far stronger focus is now on the availability of IT tools as workforces rely on these methods of remote solutions to remain as collaborative with their colleagues as possible. For example, proprietary business communication platforms have completely revolutionised the way we communicate, collaborate and generally work as they dealt with the majority of the population pivoting to remote working. State of the art interactive, virtual meetings via a browser promotes efficient collaboration and strengthens the performance of organizations, while necessary commutes can be reduced or in some cases avoided.


What’s more, the capabilities to provide quality engagement between employer and employees is now of utmost priority. As we navigate a more digitized year than ever before, employees should be equipped with most efficient solutions that IT managers can source within minutes, instead of days or even weeks so that effective communication internally can also benefit.


This ‘future of working’ model can be achieved through introducing personalized digital workspaces accessed through a browser of any device, anywhere in the world. Perfectly suited to the new home and office split, innovative cloud technology enables organizations and their staff to access any of their applications hosted on-premise or in the cloud, as well as internal and external web applications instantly.


Understanding the challenges

The sudden pivot to mass remote working, however, has not been as smooth sailing as initially thought after all. For companies still operating in traditional virtual environments, remote working solutions often lack flexibility to include legacy or GPU intensive applications that are traditionally running on a desktop or on-premise solutions. Though, it is not too late to innovate and take the first step towards cloud-based technologies. It cannot be stressed enough that cloud computing is here to stay and can offer these types of businesses a life line before it’s too late and fall completely behind digital transformations and breakthroughs.


Additionally, let us not forget that the internet is no doubt a dangerous place. A world now mostly operating online, puts the traditional-based IT infused companies, even more at risk. In fact, there are several emerging cyber threats with an impact that have never been seen before. Due to existing Enterprise software protection solutions that are decades old and vulnerable, many businesses are left exposed and ‘easy’ to attack. And now, with the entire UK workforce being told to work from home, where possible, investing in secure and reliable solutions has never been so crucial for the online safety of not only a business, but its workforce.


Companies can look for intelligent cloud-based solutions that combine the benefits of streaming an online workplace effortlessly with complete trust in the solution to resolve exposure to hackers. For example, when using the cloud, client-to-site VPN connections are no longer required as a result of migrating systems to the cloud, meaning there is no point of attack for trojans. Furthermore, no end device within an organization will be able to access an application server as the direct communication between the user and the target system can be completely ruled out with cloud software.


Yet, it is all types and sizes that can be affected. Even multinational companies fall victim to cyber hacks, often involving over 1000 employees due to vulnerabilities in outdated architecture. Investing in state-of-the-art cloud solutions that include cyber insurance will become a new box to add to the IT checklist in 2021 and beyond.


What’s more, new cloud technologies have emerged and seen acceleration in adoption, thanks to the influx of home working such as Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS). This type of solution enables all IT services to be offered in the cloud for workforces as they work remotely. XaaS not only provides remote workers with advanced flexibility but ensures enhanced security due to it encompassing the likes of other solutions such as IaaS, PaaS and SaaS.


How cloud can help create the ‘anywhere office’ for the millennial workforce

Implementing an efficient cloud adoption strategy

If the multiple lockdowns have taught us one thing, it is that cloud adoption is no doubt proving to be one of the most efficient ways to secure and sustain the demands of a digital workforce. Now in 2021, we hope to reach some kind of normality as the dust will hopefully settle on the Covid-19 pandemic. Remote working is now here to stay and it will be up to business leaders to make sure they have the correct and most efficient cloud adoption strategy in place, for their employees. Armed with the right cloud solutions, businesses have the potential to simplify their IT ecosystems and procure solutions without committing to large upfront investments.


We’re Elixis Technology

In the ever-changing, technology-centric world we live in, it’s vital to have an I.T. solution source you can count on. At Elixis Technology, it is our mission to help businesses — big and small — produce the results their customers demand, with technology that actually works.


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3 ways to fill worrying cybersecurity gaps

Jeff Technology, Trends February 1, 2021

As businesses of the future evolve to be more digital and more shared, the need to prepare to avert a cyber pandemic – with potential even more than the coronavirus to upend our lives – has never been more urgent.


We need to strengthen our strategic response to the risks before we invest in tactics. Our plans must work harder and smarter to address capability gaps.


A common agenda will build the confidence and competence to achieve the resilience we need.


If humanity ever needed reminding of our interdependence, the pandemic has brought that home. As we scale up our response to the crisis, through largely digital means, our interconnectedness grows exponentially. And with it our vulnerability to the risk exposures of the virtual world. In fact, businesses of the future are evolving to be more digital and more shared. The need to prepare to avert a cyber pandemic – with potential even more than the coronavirus to upend our lives – has never been more urgent.


For a moment, let’s think of the unthinkable. A world without phones and internet, with idling trucks, trains and planes because fuel pumps and charging stations are incapacitated; banks shuttered; food supply chains broken; and emergency services made all but unavailable. This bleak vision would be inevitable if electricity supplies are cut off by a cyberattack.


In a scenario such as this, we know, that the ensuing swift blackout would be crippling. Unfortunately, we also know that a crisis of this scope, sophistication and impact is not just possible but something we are currently dealing with – albeit in a different context.


Global Technology Governance Report 2021

Last month, a group, believed to be Russian, gained access to over 18,000 systems – belonging to government and corporations – through a compromised update to SolarWinds’ Orion software. We were unprepared to prevent the attack because the bad actors slipped through the exact whitelisted software supply chain we trust. Even more regrettably, the software supply chain allowed them to access the network of FireEye – the US-based cybersecurity giant known for investigating and remedying some of the world’s most high-profile breaches.


While FireEye’s customers remained largely unimpacted this time, the moral of the story is that no one and nothing is immune. Our sources of cyber-protection – software updates or defending partners – can be the Trojan Horse where everything around us devolves into chaos.


Well before we learnt these tough lessons in the final weeks of a rather challenging 2020, the World Economic Forum questioned whether our individual and collective approach to managing cyber risks is sustainable in the face of the major technology trends taking place.


Although there’s an array of resources to manage cyberattacks, we still have a long way to go before we can, as a whole, effectively counter these threats. We need to strengthen our strategic response to the risks before we invest in tactics. Our plans must work harder and smarter to address capability gaps in three areas:


  1. More coordination

Consider the SolarWinds attack. It did not directly hit its intended targets. Instead, the attackers surreptitiously built a chain of offence, that included non-government agencies, security and technology firms along with educational institutions, to inch unnoticed towards their real targets for espionage.


They knew they’d find their mark through our digital interconnectedness. We can turn this same intertwining of infrastructure to our advantage. Research tells us that hackers attack computers with Internet access—every 39 seconds on average. If we all shared threat intelligence, across borders, across the private and public sector, across industries and competitors, the collective intelligence could only move us forward faster.


An invaluable first step would be to develop more open systems, while adopting common standards and taxonomy in cybersecurity. This will serve us better to integrate and train our teams to drive holistic security. Global spending on cybersecurity solutions is projected to exceed $1 trillion cumulatively over the five-year period from 2017 to 2021. We must reprioritize these budgets to align with shared goals including collaborating to overpower organized cybercrime and the private-sector technology nexus with nation-state attackers.


  1. More sophistication

The Global Risks Report 2020, articulated how the digital nature of the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies is making our landscapes vulnerable to cyberattacks. For example, it is estimated that there are already over 21 billion IoT devices worldwide, slated to double by 2025. Attacks on IoT devices increased by more than 300% in the first half of 2019 alone.


The report, observes how “using ‘security-by-design’ principles to integrate cybersecurity features into new products continues to be secondary to getting products quickly out into the market.” Our current approach of bolt-on security needs to be reimagined to create stronger build-in standards, including SDLC-security quality certification, that makes software partners more accountable for security assurance. Along with this discipline in securing the supply chain as meticulously as we secure our products, we need better design architecture to tackle the challenges at hand.


  1. More human capital

At the same pace that AI is growing useful in cyber defence, it is also enabling cybercriminals to use deep learning to breach security systems and harness data sets to improve response to defence.

While we can battle machine with machine, nurturing a strong pipeline cybersecurity talent, will give our defence an edge. We need better problem finders in greater numbers to work with our problem-solving machines. And this time, they need to be embedded in the complete lifecycle of our processes. Every person in the ecosystem must understand his or her role with respect to cybersecurity and be accountable to deliver to metrics and standards for cybersecurity quality. As of 2019, there were an estimated 2.8 million cybersecurity professionals worldwide, against a need for over 4 million.


If there is one lesson from dealing with the pandemic, it is the need to take each other along as we move forward into a more secure future. The very nature of a pandemic is such that no one is really safe unless everyone is safe. A cyber pandemic is no different. It is in shared trust and a common agenda that we can build the confidence and competence to achieve the resilience we need.


We’re Elixis Technology

In the ever-changing, technology-centric world we live in, it’s vital to have an I.T. solution source you can count on. At Elixis Technology, it is our mission to help businesses — big and small — produce the results their customers demand, with technology that actually works.


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IMSA launches remote cyber security assessments

Jeff Technology, Trends January 25, 2021

Vessels worldwide are now facing compliance with the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) cyber security requirements. In response, the International Maritime Security Associates (IMSA) has developed a suite of cyber security tools and services for the maritime industry.


The company has recently launched the capability to conduct basic shipboard network vulnerability assessments without sending personnel on board.

“This capability is necessary in today’s current COVID environment,” comments Corey Ranslem, CEO of IMSA. “We know it isn’t always easy, practical or cost effective to send people on board a vessel to conduct a cyber security assessment, so we’ve developed this amazing remote assessment tool. Through this tool, our cyber specialists can conduct a remote assessment at about half the cost of sending personnel on board. This tool helps our global clients with IMO 2021 cyber security compliance along with protecting passengers and crew.”

This tool is part of a larger suite of cyber security tools IMSA has developed to support vessels and maritime facilities with expanding their cyber security defences.


Some of these cyber security tools are part of the ARMS software platform. Through ARMS, IMSA can monitor a vessel’s critical systems and networks remotely in real-time through its SOC (Security Operations Centre). This capability protects vessels from real-time threats to IT, OT, and other critical network systems.

“IMSA is continually enhancing the levels of protection we provide our clients,” adds Ranslem. “Through ARMS and our 24/7 operations centre, we provide a variety of client-focused services to ensure the safety of your voyage and critical systems.”


We’re Elixis Technology

In the ever-changing, technology-centric world we live in, it’s vital to have an I.T. solution source you can count on. At Elixis Technology, it is our mission to help businesses — big and small — produce the results their customers demand, with technology that actually works.


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Remote working – striking a balance

Jeff Technology, Trends January 24, 2021

Presenteeism has long been associated with working life in the city, viewed by many employers and employees as essential for getting known and getting ahead.

However, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses have had to cope with an abrupt move to mass remote working, in a way many never would have imagined feasible only a year ago. In many industries it has proved to be manageable. And, even before the pandemic, it was recognized that endorsing agile working was becoming a significant factor in driving forward a successful, modern business, capable of attracting and retaining top talent.

So will it endure?

Perhaps one of the biggest barriers to remote working has been trust; employers simply did not trust that people working from home were actually working, that service standards could be maintained, that confidential information would remain secure. Many of these issues have been dealt with by enforcing best practices around regular communication and updating and enforcing detailed home working policies.

And so, as and when we are allowed to return to work in the city, employers can no doubt expect many more employees to exercise their statutory right to request flexible working. Refusals are likely going to be much more closely scrutinized and potentially lead to formal grievances. Management and HR should be proactively planning their approach in advance.

Of course, remote working is not everyone’s preference and it has its downsides. It can be lonely and isolating, having a negative impact on employees’ mental health and workplace collaboration and diversity. In particular, junior employees can miss out on developing vital skills and a professional network.

Therefore, striking the right balance inevitably seems like the best way to future proof both businesses and individual career progression. In our view, it is not a question of if but when will we return to the city; but expect that most employees will not want to spend as much time there as they and we once did.


We’re Elixis Technology

In the ever-changing, technology-centric world we live in, it’s vital to have an I.T. solution source you can count on. At Elixis Technology, it is our mission to help businesses — big and small — produce the results their customers demand, with technology that actually works.


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Thinking about going remote-first, forever? Do these 5 things beforehand

Jeff Technology, Trends January 4, 2021

In recent years, flexible working has become synonymous with modern business management and a distinctive trademark for hip tech companies.


However, since COVID, it has become vital for most companies to adapt their work settings to social distance practices and to strive for a higher degree of digitalization. 


In a matter of months, telecommuting, remote working, teleworking, working from home, working from anywhere, and flexible workplace have entered our vocabulary – and are very likely here to stay.


As we witness this epochal transition, employers and employees wonder, how should we come prepared to meet the inevitable challenges? Here is a to-do-list for all the companies that are considering going remote-first!


Organize the tools, systems, workflows

If you are approaching remote working for the first time, you should consider yourself very lucky! The technology that is available on software and on cloud nowadays is (in most cases) sufficient for you and your employers to keep constantly in touch and organize your streams of work in the most efficient way. So much so that several companies will never go back to now obsolete in-office work arrangements.


Examples of online tools that can make your work-from-home life easier include (among many others): video cloud-based communication software programmes, time and tasks management apps, corporate training platforms, cybersecurity toolkits.


Also, here you can find EU-startups-approved lists of AR and VR startups that are helping us work remotely and of several tools for jazzing up your online and work meetings.


Assign clear roles and responsibilities

Another important step to make remote working ‘work’ is to set clear roles and responsibilities among your co-workers or employees. As mentioned before, the appropriate online tools and a constant flow of communication between team members can help everyone understand what’s expected of them within the group. 


A fixed hierarchy and clear tasks are particularly important in a remote working situation as they encourage your employees to take ownership for their work and their success (and, very importantly, to acknowledge their shortcomings).


Also setting up clear goals and KPI’s is important for a group that works from different places – and sometimes on a different schedule or even a different time zone. Check the next item on the list for advice on how to set KPI’s from a distance.


Review KPIs

Whatever the working arrangement, monitoring performances and detecting areas for improvement is key to success. In a remote working scenario, setting KPI’s becomes all the more important to measure whether your collective efforts are effectively being carried out.


Some simple advice for carrying out a performance assessment for out-of-office work includes: 

  • Tracking milestones in relation to the final product (or intermediate versions) with an Agile Project Management process framework
  • Keep a steady flow of information by sharing feedback and notes
  • Use virtual boards and keep them updated, that should help keep you workers motivated


Ultimately, your employees should feel comforted by the fact that the workflow remains unaffected.


Start building a positive working culture

Positive attitude in the workplace is everything! Make sure to outline the advantages of a remote position to your employees. Remote working needs some adjustments but should never feel like a demotion or a punishment. Instead, it holds tangible advantages: when employees can manage their time autonomously, you reduce the risk of them contracting the virus, and they feel safer, more motivated and trusted.


Also, set out values that are important for both parties, such as defining free time slots, and prioritizing employees’ mental and physical needs. During quarantine and social distancing times, feelings of isolation and distress are very common. That is why building an effective and positive working culture includes finding the right work/life balance.


Check-in with your employees

Make your employees feel heard and seen – even if only via a computer screen! Make a habit of getting regular, virtual coffee breaks with them and meetings that aren’t strictly work-related.


Trust them with their tasks and make sure that they feel safe while performing their duties. Losing one’s job is a dreadful fear and can impact their performances. Plus, it can worsen an already aggravated mental state. It is in fact proven that a high level of economic anxiety has been generally registered during the pandemic. And this is not only true for people who are unemployed but also for those who are employed and in fear of being laid of.


We’re Elixis Technology

In the ever-changing, technology-centric world we live in, it’s vital to have an I.T. solution source you can count on. At Elixis Technology, it is our mission to help businesses — big and small — produce the results their customers demand, with technology that actually works.


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These cybersecurity tactics will help businesses survive 2021

Jeff Technology, Trends January 4, 2021

Security professionals take three steps: threat detection, immediate action and long-term defence. All companies should look to do the same, no matter their industry.


During 2020, institutions of all kinds were forced to adapt to a dynamic world where the usual projections and five-year marketing plans did not apply. Economic reports show marked GDP reductions of greater than 20 per cent in many countries, with a continued decline into 2021. Businesses and workplaces will increasingly turn to models of work in dynamic fields – such as cybersecurity – to make them more resilient.


Organisations that emerge out of the pandemic and the ensuing economic turmoil will have spent 2020 continually adapting to previously unimagined circumstances. This is a very familiar environment for people working in security, and particularly cybersecurity because quite often we don’t know what the next couple of hours will look like. Businesses of all kinds will discover the need to adopt fluid models and frameworks developed in a dynamic field and use them to redirect money, personnel and resources rapidly.

Typically, most businesses rely on static, predictive data analysis for growth and sustainability. The study insights and information from the previous few weeks and base predictions on them. However, these statistics can be rendered virtually useless within the next hour. Instead, businesses must start using data as they get it, proactively seeking out problems that could pose danger – just as cybersecurity specialists do.


Many cybersecurity frameworks can be modified to suit businesses more broadly. One example is data orchestration – where information that has been siloed in various parts of an organisation is collated and made available for rapid analysis.


Another is the concept of common vulnerability exposures (CVEs). This is a standardised identifier for known vulnerabilities, such as a weakness in a certain kind of encryption or exposure such as a large data breach in the last two years. Lists of these are available for any organisation looking to improve its cybersecurity. A version of this approach for other industries – known issues with certain suppliers, for example – could be used to make all kinds of firms more resilient.


In cybersecurity, we often take a three-pronged approach: detect what the potential threat is; take immediate action to protect information; and establish long-term defences to systems, such as new kinds of encryption. Businesses will find that adopting these processes and tools – especially their emphasis on the early detection of potential threats and the sharing of information when necessary – will help future-proof operations.

Early adopters will be the winners here. Workplaces and organisations that embrace the reality of a dynamic environment, rather than yearning for static working and legacy business models, will outperform their competitors. In 2021, companies and institutions that adopt principles such as data orchestration and CVEs, will find they’re in a better position to survive.


We’re Elixis Technology

In the ever-changing, technology-centric world we live in, it’s vital to have an I.T. solution source you can count on. At Elixis Technology, it is our mission to help businesses — big and small — produce the results their customers demand, with technology that actually works.


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