- Google is spying on us, and it’s not even trying to hide it anymore…
- COVID-19 is “breaking” the internet. 5G to the rescue…
- This AI failed miserably, but I couldn’t be happier
Before we get to today’s issue of The Bleeding Edge, I want to extend one more invitation to all readers to join me tonight for my State of 5G Summit.
Why am I hosting a 5G summit now?
It’s because Bleeding Edge readers know something that 99% of investors don’t. COVID-19 isn’t slowing down the 5G wireless technology rollout. Instead, it has been a catalyst for the world to roll out 5G even faster than before.
Data traffic rates have spiked as much as 50% in just the last few weeks. The pandemic has highlighted that our current 4G wireless networks are already congested and slowing down. The world needs the capacity and speed that 5G wireless technology provides.
And I know this from my own “boots on the ground” research…
I tried out the 5G networks in Washington, D.C. For testing, I have a Samsung Galaxy S20+, which is a 5G-enabled smartphone. I’m rarely surprised when it comes to high tech, but this time, the results blew me away.
How fast was 5G? I’ll share my actual demo with you tonight at 8 p.m. ET during my State of 5G Summit. Go right here to save your spot. I hope to see you there…
Now let’s turn to our insights.
Google knows everything about everyone…
I feel duty bound to bring this up…
Google just released what it calls “Community Mobility Reports” that show how people’s behavior has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
These reports are based on location data from smartphones. They show statistics about how often people are going to retail stores, grocery stores, parks, transit hubs, workplaces, and even other people’s homes. Here’s a visual:
A Community Mobility Report
There are several troubling things here.
First off, the fact that Google has a baseline to compare current mobility patterns with means that it has been tracking everything we’ve been doing for a very long time now.
This data has been collected from literally billions of smartphones in 131 countries around the world. It is an aggregation of individual smartphone movement. This company is watching everything we do… minute by minute, day by day.
And these mobility reports reveal the astonishing reach of Google’s surveillance. They break down the data by country, state, county, and city.
What’s more, if we look at the country list, we can see Google even has extensive data on people in places like Afghanistan. Parts of that country are an active war zone… and Google is still tracking everything that everyone does there.
I’m sure most readers know that Android smartphones report back to Google by default. It’s Google’s software operating system for smartphones, after all.
But unfortunately, Apple iPhones aren’t immune. As soon as we download a Google app on our iPhone, like Gmail or Waze, Google has us in its net. It can track just about everything.
Of course, we’ve known about Google’s methods for years now. But this is the very first time it has made its surveillance data publicly available.
Anyone can go to its website and see the data. That sets a very bad precedent. Google seems to be trying to normalize its surveillance practices.
And I do not doubt that Google is sharing this data with the U.S. government, the World Health Organization (WHO), and many other governments around the world.
As citizens, we can only see the aggregated data on Google’s website. But one has to expect that governments are demanding even more granular data sets, a further erosion of our privacy.
After all, simply knowing how many people are going to the grocery store isn’t very valuable information.
But knowing how many people are migrating from New York to Pennsylvania would be extremely valuable… as would knowing when and where large groups of people are congregating at any given time.
Sadly, it is nearly impossible to avoid Google’s reach. If we use Google’s search engine for anything, it tracks what we do on the web. Even if we visit any of the top 100 websites in the world, Google is there, waiting to download tracking software onto our computers without us knowing.
It only takes one instance for Google to “catch” us and track our every move.
Network traffic continues to explode higher…
Recently, I showed you why COVID-19 is “breaking” our wireless networks. In short, with so many people self-isolating, we’ve seen a huge spike in videoconferencing, cloud-based applications, and streaming services. This heightened bandwidth usage is putting a strain on our networks.
And the problem is only getting worse.
Johan Wibergh, the chief technology officer of Vodafone Group, just announced that his company’s networks are overwhelmed with traffic right now…
This is huge news because Vodafone is one of the largest wireless operators in the world. It has operations in 25 countries and partner networks in 47 other countries. And about a fifth of the world’s internet traffic travels across Vodafone networks.
According to Wibergh, mobile data usage has increased as much as 30% in places like Spain and Italy, where movement has been almost entirely restricted. Fixed broadband usage has increased more than 50% in those two countries alone.
And the upstream data flowing from consumers to the network have increased as much as 100% due to increased video calls and teleconferencing. And the streaming of movies and video have gone through the roof.
These are radical increases. In the last four weeks, Vodafone has seen the equivalent of six months’ worth of data traffic growth. That’s why the networks are overwhelmed.
As a result, Vodafone is working to rapidly upgrade its infrastructure. It is adding new fiber-optics lines as well as additional data center capacity.
This supports what I’ve been saying the past few weeks. While the COVID-19 pandemic has hit many businesses hard, certain technology companies are seeing a massive spike in demand right now. For these select companies, sales are going way up… not down.
Yet the best tech stocks have pulled back significantly along with the overall market. That’s a major disconnect that provides savvy tech investors with a rare window of opportunity.
And that’s why I am hosting a tech investing summit tonight at 8 p.m. ET.
During the event, we’ll talk about this rare window of opportunity and how we can take advantage of it. We’ll also talk about the technological advances that are coming to alleviate network congestion.
And I’ll even show you a real demonstration of fifth-generation wireless technology – the performance is almost hard to believe.
So please join me tonight at 8 p.m. ET. We’ve got an amazing opportunity in front of us right now, and I want all my readers to be able to act on it immediately. Just go right here to reserve your spot.
See you in a few hours.
Using AI to predict life outcomes…
We’ll wrap up today with a story on artificial intelligence (AI).
A professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton spearheaded a 15-year study called the “Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study.” The original study aimed to understand how the lives of children born to unmarried parents would turn out.
The team at Princeton amassed a dataset of over 13,000 data points on over 4,000 families in this 15-year study. Then it gave it to hundreds of data scientists. The data scientists applied a form of AI called machine learning to the dataset to see if the AI could predict life outcomes with accuracy.
And I’m happy to say that the AI did not succeed. It could not predict how children would turn out over time, even with a massive dataset.
And believe it or not, I’m extremely excited about this result…
Wait… This is The Bleeding Edge. We talk about high technology that will change the world. Why am I excited about an AI failing?
Well, the fact that the AI could not predict life outcomes indicates that we, as individuals, can affect our own outcomes. The actions we take, regardless of our upbringing, can absolutely result in different outcomes. To me, that is an empowering truth.
And, of course, that means even children who grow up in the worst situations can do incredible things. Life is what we choose to make it.
As regular readers know, I believe that technology holds the solution to all of humanity’s biggest problems. Technology will bring the world to an age of abundance and quality of life that will be hard to imagine.
That’s why I’m a technologist. But I do recognize that technology is just a tool. It’s up to us to use it wisely to make that bright future a reality for all.
Editor, The Bleeding Edge
P.S. And I’ll offer one final reminder…
In a few hours, I’ll be hosting my State of 5G Summit from Washington, D.C. I truly hope you can join me.
One of the biggest questions I get right now is if COVID-19 will slow down the 5G rollout. Perhaps 5G will be put on hold as the world gets the virus under control.
Not a chance. As I showed you with our second insight today, 5G is more essential than ever. And yet the best 5G stocks have been brought down to incredible valuations.
So we have unprecedented demand for 5G technology, but the best 5G stocks are trading at bargain valuations. That seems like a “no brainer” setup for life-changing returns.
I’ll give you all the details tonight at 8 p.m. ET. Be sure you save your seat right here.
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