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Tuesday, August 20, 2019
CEBU

Ng: Bandwidth consumption

WE use the internet every day.

Google reports they are now doing a few hundred million or even over a billion searches a day. It recently celebrated 20 years as a company. We also have Facebook to keep us busy, as well as many other sites we check every day.

Not only are there hundreds of millions of Twitter update, there are also billions of chat messages, photos and emails exchanged daily, either through WhatsApp, Viber, Line, WeChat, Messenger, Instagram, and other services.

However, one of the things that I did not expect is that worldwide, the biggest user of bandwidth is not really Google, Facebook or Microsoft.

It is actually Netflix, the video-on-demand provider. It is estimated that Netflix is responsible for 15 percent of the world’s internet bandwidth traffic and another 11 percent is from YouTube. It shows that we can exchange millions of messages, but the consumption of about hundreds of messages may pale in comparison to the bandwidth that is consumed when I download a movie or some video clips.

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One of the things that changed the way we work and travel is the use of ride-hailing services.

In the Philippines and much of Southeast Asia, Grab has won market share, while the rest of the world uses Uber.

In China, it is a company called Didi Chuxing that is the largest operator. It says 30 million drivers and 550 million users use their service.

A few weeks ago, a 20-year-old passenger was raped and murdered by her driver. This has also happened in many parts of the world, including those riding taxis or car rental services.

There are ways to ensure the safety of passengers.

There has been a series of proposals and I feel that one of the things that can be adopted is that drivers who are still new should not be allowed to operate late night ride services. It is proposed that drivers should have a track record of more than a year or a long period before they are allowed to drive at night.

Another proposal is to install an SOS button in the vehicle, which the user can press anytime he feels there is trouble. There are even proposals to have a sound recording for the duration of the trip, which may be monitored by a computer remotely to see if there are any issues. There are now software programs that can listen in on conversations and automatically spot if there is hysteria or trouble in the conversation.

I believe that as tech progresses, there will be more safeguards that we can install without necessarily adding to the cost or causing inconvenience.

Ride-hailing services are already an important part of many people’s lives and it is already hard to do without them. We should constantly be aware of what other countries are doing to make it safer and we should not hesitate to adopt these if it will work for us to make it safer too.


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