Spark Turns On 5G In Auckland And Offers A Glimpse Into The Future Of Smart Cities

Spark turned on 5G in downtown Auckland today and has
partnered with Auckland Transport (AT) to showcase some of
the latest in IoT (Internet of Things) technology and
demonstrate what the future could look like for Auckland’s
CBD with the power of 5G.

5G is expected to underpin
the widespread deployment of IoT technology with its
increased speeds, low latency (or lag) and reliability. To
bring this potential to life, Spark and AT have installed
IoT enabled infrastructure at Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter –
including 5G connected lighting, smart benches with charging
capability, smart bins, and parking sensors.

Spark
Technology Lead, Renee Mateparae said: “We are excited to
launch our commercial 5G network in downtown Auckland today,
building on the private network we have in place to support
Emirates Team New Zealand and the launch of Spark Race Zone
last month. Our partnership with AT is about helping bring
to life the significant contribution 5G and IoT will make in
addressing urban, economic and sustainability challenges
across the country.

“5G will eventually allow for
one million devices to be connected per square kilometre on
a continual basis1, generating data that will help
Governments, Councils and businesses respond quickly,
allocate resources wisely and plan for the future, which
will ultimately improve services and amenities for New
Zealanders.

“We know from existing research that IoT
applications can improve quality of life significantly by
saving us time, improving health and safety outcomes,
reducing environmental impact, and boosting social
connectedness and civic participation,2” said
Renee.

Smart lighting has been installed in the
surrounding streets of Wynyard Quarter’s Innovation
Precinct, which can now generate heat maps of foot traffic
to help AT identify any ‘choke points’ to better inform
future infrastructure investments, as well as monitor air

UJ’s computer science and software engineering academy turns 50

Professor Basie von Solms, co-founder of the Academy for Computer Science and Software Engineering.

Professor Basie von Solms, co-founder of the Academy for Computer Science and Software Engineering.

One of SA’s first independent computer science schools, the Academy for Computer Science and Software Engineering (ACSSE) in the Faculty of Science at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), is celebrating 50 years.

Co-founded in 1970 by professors Sebastiaan “Basie” von Solms and Andries van der Walt, ACSSE has since attained global status for its programmes.

Van der Walt and Von Solms were the first two staff members of the academy and the latter was head of computer science for 27 years.

The academy has a strong international research record, and is currently concentrating on areas related to the fourth industrial revolution.

ACSSE is also now heavily involved in research, focusing on cyber security, cyber counter-intelligence, artificial intelligence, intelligent software agents, Web services and biometric applications.

Von Solms says the department has made significant progress in population, infrastructure and access to technology in the last half-century. Presently, the academy has four sub-departments – Computer Science, Informatics, Information Security and the Centre for Cyber Security.

“Our degree courses have been structured on international standards and benchmarks. Therefore, in 2003, the four-year BSc (Honours) degree of the ACCSE was accredited by the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, in the UK.

“At that stage, the ACCSE was the first university in Africa achieving such accreditation, and even today is one of only two such universities in Africa. Other universities enjoying such accreditation include the universities of Oxford and Cambridge,” he says.

“During these 50 years, the ACSSE has grown into an established knowledge centre for all aspects of information technology, and has kept track with the developments in the IT field.

“The ACSSE in the 1980s realised the importance of information security, and played a significant role to

As Instagram turns 10, influence still growing

The photo and video sharing app has more than 1 billion users.

This week marks 10 years since the founding of Instagram, the hugely popular social media app that boasts more than a billion users.

One of the most prominent Instagram features is its photo-editing tools: namely, its selection of colorful filters. Frier says the customization that Instagram affords its users has produced millions of eye-catching photos. But it’s also had an impact on the way we behave.

“It gave us permission to perform a little bit on the internet, and polish what we had been through for the consumption of others,” says Frier.

She says the app has even influenced what we eat, and where we travel.

‘Digital chemistry’ breakthrough turns words into molecules

chemistry
Credit: OpenClipartVectors, CC0 Public Domain

A new system capable of automatically turning words into molecules on demand will open up the digitisation of chemistry, scientists say.


Researchers from the University of Glasgow’s School of Chemistry, who developed the system, claim it will lead to the creation of a “Spotify for chemistry”—a vast online repository of downloadable recipes for important molecules including drugs.

The creation of such a system could help developing countries more easily access medications, enable more efficient international scientific collaboration, and even support the human exploration of space.

The Glasgow team, led by Professor Lee Cronin, have laid the groundwork for digital chemistry with the development of what they call a “chemical processing unit”—an affordable desktop-sized robot chemist which is capable of doing the repetitive and time-consuming work of creating chemicals. Other robot chemists, built with different operating systems, have also been developed elsewhere.

Up until now, those robot chemists have required a massive amount of programming from their human counterparts, with detailed instructions. The problem is there is currently no standard programming language for chemistry, meaning that programs made for one robot do not work on any other type.

In a new paper published in the journal Science, the Glasgow researchers describe a universal approach to digitizing chemistry, including a programming system which could remove the vast majority of the effort required to program the robots.

They have found a way to create new sets of instructions for robot chemists by harnessing the power of natural language processing. They developed a computer program called SynthReader to scan through scientific papers and recognize sections which outline procedures for organic and inorganic chemical synthesis. Synthreader automatically breaks those procedures down to simple instructions and stores them in a format the team call Chemical Description Language, or XDL, which