As global viewers waited with bated breath in early February to see whether Japanese figure skater Hanyu Yuzuru would nail a legendary quadruple axel during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, it was likely that few would have considered the amount of behind-the-scenes work needed to bring those images to their screens.
The Olympic Winter Games were as much of a challenge for the host city and organizers as they were for the athletes. From venue set-up, accommodation arrangements, health and safety protocols, broadcasting requirements, to medal ceremonies and merchandise sales it has been a tough logistical puzzle for all those involved, amid the covid-19 pandemic and its accompanying restrictions on spectators, athletes, and staff alike.
Digital transformation, however, provided some relief. Technology services such as communications, content delivery, and production were all migrated to the cloud, which allowed broadcasting and information sharing to proceed smoothly despite strict covid protocols.
“Much of the physical infrastructure has been replaced with cloud-based services, significantly reducing hardware costs while at the same time improving performance levels,” says Jeff Zhang, president of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, a unit of Alibaba Group that managed the services. The migration allowed organizers to streamline their work, lessening the host city’s burden of building extensive IT infrastructure, adds Zhang. Event managers were also able to make decisions based on real-time information, leveraging digital technologies such as AI to get a better picture of how everything was progressing.
From venue to screen
Most significantly, the Olympic Winter Games increased its use of cloud technology to broadcast events globally. Traditionally, getting the Olympics onto people’s screens required expensive international telecommunication optical circuits, as well as sizeable news and broadcast crews who had to be flown into the host city. But the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) did things differently. For the first time, during the Olympic Winter Games, broadcasters were able to receive live footage through a public cloud—a more agile option that costs a fraction of the price of other transmission methods. Live Cloud is part of OBS Cloud, a joint broadcasting solution of OBS and Alibaba that was pioneered during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and adopted as a standard service during Beijing 2022.
“Most organizations have been forced to carry out production and distribution workflows from home and, during the crisis, rely on cloud services to support their newly remote production,” says Raquel Rozados, director of broadcaster services at OBS. Compared to the 2018 Winter Olympics held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Beijing’s Winter Games saw a reduction of almost 40% in on-site broadcast personnel.
For the first time, broadcasters could remotely edit Olympic sports footage on the cloud, creating social media-friendly clips from live sessions in real time. Multi-camera replay systems were used for freeze-frame slow-motion playbacks from a wide range of angles, creating an immersive viewing experience. OBS says it produced over 6,000 hours of high-definition content, made available to over 20 broadcasters around the world. While processing such a large amount of ultra-high-definition footage would have previously posed a significant challenge to broadcasters, the cloud made delivery and editing far more manageable.
Being able to download high-quality footage from the cloud meant that broadcasters saved on flying teams of journalists, producers, camera operators, and equipment into Beijing to cover the event. It was just as well, as covid-19 regulations complicated travel, which the International Olympic Committee has pointed to as the biggest contributor to the event’s carbon footprint. “Overall and wider than just applying cloud technologies to broadcasting, migrating the Games’ core systems to the cloud is an important progress in making the games more efficient and sustainable,” says Zhang.
Inclusive virtual reality
By: MIT Technology Review Insights
Title: Winter Olympics cloud technology sets a different record
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/03/17/1047439/winter-olympics-cloud-technology-sets-a-different-record/
Published Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2022 20:28:32 +0000
LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Bitso, a leading cryptocurrency platform operating in Latin America, and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), today announced the joint launch of the first collectible NFT of the Mexico National Team’s jerseys that was acquired in cryptocurrencies.
This morning through their social media platforms, the FMF and Bitso announced the opportunity to acquire the new official National Team fan jerseys ahead of the team’s participation in the 2022 World Cup. In just 20 minutes, the entire collection sold out.
The NFTs of the jerseys have an exclusive design for the metaverse – each is unique on the blockchain and can be resold by its owner in subsequent transactions.
The collection consisted of 100 official physical jerseys, each with a corresponding NFT version of the jersey that fans’ avatars can wear within the Decentraland metaverse. Each physical and NFT jersey set sold for the equivalent of $1,800 MXN in ethers.
“Our mission is to make cryptocurrency useful in the everyday life of Mexicans; we are committed to spreading the technology through innovative opportunities that help people throughout the country familiarize themselves with this new world. We are very excited to offer the incredible, historic opportunity for the fans of our National Team so that through their Bitso account, they can wear the colors of the National Team on and ‘off’ the field in the metaverse.”
– Bárbara González Briseño, General Director of Bitso México
Created by Bitso, the virtual jersey sports the official colors of Mexico and the new National Team shield, characteristics that will make it stand out when users wear it in the virtual world of Decentraland.
The post LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys appeared first on CryptoNinjas.
Title: LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/29/latam-crypto-exchange-bitso-and-fmf-launch-nft-of-mexicos-national-team-jerseys/
Published Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 15:19:02 +0000
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Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
EXMO, a crypto exchange platform operating since 2014, announced this week a rebranded visual identity with includes a new logo, brand colors, and design features. This new branding comes as EXMO continues to grow its crypto platform while also seeking to expand its presence in other jurisdictions.
Some new developments underway at EXMO:
Soon, users will be able to earn passive income from EXMO’s new staking platform.Plans to launch an EXMO crypto debit card.Expansion of its services in international markets with the opening of offices in Poland and Lithuania.
EXMO’s new logo
The rationale for the re-brand:
“At EXMO, we have a vision of a world where crypto is in every wallet. Hassle-free. We want to achieve this by making crypto as simple and accessible to everyone as possible. And we know that you already appreciate EXMO for offering user-friendly services and helpful support. Also for the opportunity to trade anywhere and anytime, closing deals in just a few taps. Such important changes required a rethinking of our corporate style, which has long needed a massive upgrade. So today we are introducing a new brand identity for EXMO with a completely new visual concept. We are launching a new logo, brand colors, and design elements. Our key design principles are simplicity, boldness, and a pinch of fun. But most importantly, we have changed our logo. Simple and easily recognizable, it represents the humanity of our brand. The logo stands out due to the wavy letter ‘m’ which symbolizes exchange rate charts and also resembles a spring that will launch you into the crypto world.”
– The EXMO Team regarding the re-branding
The post Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth appeared first on CryptoNinjas.
Title: Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/26/long-running-crypto-exchange-exmo-unveils-lively-rebrand-amidst-growth/
Published Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2022 08:10:38 +0000
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Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
The blistering heat waves that set temperature records across much of the US in recent days have strained electricity systems, threatening to knock out power in vulnerable regions of the country.
The electricity has largely stayed online so far this summer, but there have been scattered problems and close calls already.
Heavy use of energy-sucking air-conditioners is the biggest problem. But intense heat can also reduce the output of power plants, blow transformers, and force power lines to sag. Severe droughts across large parts of the country have also significantly reduced the availability of hydroelectric power, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).
It’s unlikely to get better soon. A number of grid operators may struggle to meet peak summer demand, creating the risk of rolling blackouts, the NERC report notes.
The nation’s isolated and antiquated grids are in desperate need of upgrades to keep the lights, heat, and air-conditioning on in the midst of extreme weather events that climate change is making more common, severe, and dangerous. One clear way to ease many of these issues is to more tightly integrate the country’s regional grids, stitching them together with more long-range transmission lines.
If electricity generated in one area can be more easily shared across much wider regions, power can simply flow to where it’s needed at those moments when customers crank up air-conditioners en masse, or when power plants or fuel supply lines fail amid soaring temperatures, wildfires, hurricanes, or other events, says Liza Reed, a research manager focused on transmission at the Niskanen Center, a Washington, DC, think tank.
The problem is it’s proved difficult to build more long-range transmission and grid interconnections for a variety of reasons, including the permitting challenges of erecting wires through private and public lands across cities, counties, and states and the reluctance of local authorities to forfeit control or submit to greater federal oversight.
The case of Texas
The unreliability of the US grid is not a new problem. Severe heat and winter storms have repeatedly exposed the frailty of electricity systems in recent years, leaving thousands to millions of people without power as temperatures spiked or plunged.
One of the fundamental challenges is that the grids today are highly fragmented. There are three main electricity networks within the US: the Eastern Grid, the Western Grid, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). But there are numerous regional transmission organizations within those first two systems, including the California Independent System Operator, Southwest Power Pool, PJM Interconnection, New York ISO, and more.
These grids form a complex web of networks operating under different regulators, rules and market structures, and often with limited connections between them.
A variety of regional transmission organizations oversee different parts of the nation’s aging and fragmented grids, which operate under different rules and with often limited connections between them.
ERCOT is especially isolated, in part because of the desire among local politicians, citizens, and power companies to avoid added competition, the hassle of following other states’ rules, and oversight from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). But the state offers a case study in why that can be a serious problem amid increasingly harsh climate conditions, Reed says.
The Texas grid operator pleaded with customers several times earlier this month to cut electricity use as blistering summer temperatures created demand surges that threatened to outstrip supply and require rolling blackouts. Low wind conditions, cloud cover, and outages at fossil-fuel power plants added to the strains.
Shutting off the electricity needed to run air-conditioning in triple-digit temperatures
By: James Temple
Title: Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/07/28/1056483/stitching-together-the-grid-will-save-lives-as-extreme-weather-worsens/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:00:00 +0000
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