Monday, March 19, 2018

             Uber's Autonomous Fatal Car Accident 

As a weekly Uber customer, I am deeply saddened by the incident that occurred this week in Tempe Arizona. It is known that Uber has been testing out their Autonomous vehicles, in order to further their developments in making traveling easier, and more efficient than ever before. Unfortunately, a woman from Arizona was struck dead by one of these unmanned vehicles, while attempting to cross the street late at night. The entire Uber network requires all testing zones to halt their operations on Autonomous cars until further notice.

Although in the last decade there has been extreme developments when it comes to cars, such as voice control, back up mirrors, sensory alerts and even self-parking cars, I have always been skeptical about the day when self-driving cars would become the “norm”. Having grown up in north jersey, I have been surrounded by a fast pace, no nonsense way of driving, always on the defense. The possibility that someday that I might have to release my control over to the driving capabilities of an autonomous car frightens me. The incident that occurred in Tempe Arizona is only one of the many fears that myself and I am sure others have about these unmanned cars, and I think it is something that our society needs to become more educated about.

Advancements in technology has led Uber to believe that they could safely practice these self-driving vehicles without disturbing the peace of the community they’re in, however after the incident in Tempe Arizona, this proves to be a fallacy. Uber has been continuously in the spotlight lately, especially after their introduction to self-driving cargo trucks, however they only operated on highways, staying far away from local roads. These cargo trucks too have been in the testing stages of their development process and are still accompanied by a trained truck driver, despite their end goal being completely unmanned.

Overall, I believe that Uber will need to be more forthcoming with their plans in regards to their autonomous vehicle developments, to gain the trust and support of the community they’re involved in. Their testing processes need to be essentially flawless, with zero mistakes before an autonomous vehicle should ever hit the road, especially if there is not a single human being in the car ready to fix any potential issues. It is extremely sad to think about how easily this one senseless death in Arizona could have been avoided, had Uber been more cautious about their testing operations. Although the future of self-driving cars seems scary and so far, out of reach, I believe it is something we will begin to see in our lifetime. With the support, of trained technicians, mechanics, and the general public, I believe Uber will do everything in the power to make sure such a terrible accident like this, never occurs again.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Gaming Industry and Big Data

The gaming industry is a booming gold mine for developers. From classic remote control games to innovative VR gaming. It enables individuals to immerse themselves into a different reality. Due to this, humans spend much time and especially much money on gaming. Some ask, what causes the appeal to play video games? The answer, Big Data.
            The gaming industry is an always changing animal, updating year after year. As a result, it is a goliath for revenue. In 2017, mobile apps alone produced 40.6 billion dollars internationally. The reason for this is the fact Big Data is now being understood more thoroughly. Developers are slowly discovering different aspects of Big Data that can be used in their video games. Not to mention, software companies, “like Microsoft, are seeing the value of data aggregation and acquiring gaming companies, like Minecraft for $2.5 billion,” (Rands). Microsoft is starting to see the potential in utilizing Big Data and for gaming. The question that lies is, what is Big Data doing exactly to attract a plethora of companies?
            First off, game design, and Im not talking about the graphics. No, game design is manufacturing a game and making it appealing as possible to the customer/gamer based off personal preferences. Developers strive to give their customers exactly what they want. Therefore, Big Data facilitates the process of altering certain aspects of a game. For example, a specific strategy game could be way too difficult or very glitchy. The developers then go into the system, look at the problem and change it. Big Data helps the developers examine the problems specifically and lets them tackle it head one. Creating an overall better product that customers want to buy.
            Due to Big Data, developers also focus on “Freemium” games. This means that there is no initial cost for the customer. The game is a free download. However, the customer makes in game purchases. This can be new outfits for characters or extra lives for the game. Through Big Data, developers can track customers purchasing patterns and see what makes them buy specific items and why. Developers are able to pinpoint the customers reasoning and enhance the game for the customer. It makes the customer want to play for a longer amount of time. Also, it helps developers try to make the best game possible. Like it was mentioned before.
            Big Data helps game developers focus on the customer and their play styles. Making their overall experience more general. However, there is a potential problem for some with Big Data and gaming. Big data tracks a player and their patterns very specifically. Almost to an uncomfortable amount. Who is not to say hackers would be able to manipulate the data in the future and keep track of the millions of accounts. If there is not a close eye kept on the evolution of this data, millions of identities could be a risk.