Friday, 19 October 2018

SWI swissinfo.ch/Nouriel Roubini: The Big Blockchain Lie

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Point of view
The Big Blockchain Lie
By Nouriel Roubini

    Business

    in depth: Opinion
    in depth: Fintech Switzerland

This content was published on October 18, 2018 9:57 PMOct 18, 2018 - 21:57
Pile of bitcoins

"Crypto scoundrels" have taken refuge in blockchain since the collapse of cryptocurrency values.
(Keystone)

With the value of Bitcoin having fallen by around 70% since its peak late last year, the mother of all bubblesexternal link has now gone bust. More generally, cryptocurrencies have entered a not-so-cryptic apocalypse. The value of leading coins such as Ether, EOS, Litecoin, and XRP have all fallen by over 80%, thousands of other digital currencies have plummetedexternal link by 90-99%, and the rest have been exposed as outright frauds. No one should be surprised by this: four out of five initial coin offerings (ICOs) were scamsexternal link to begin with.
point of view

point of view

Faced with the public spectacle of a market bloodbath, boosters have fled to the last refuge of the crypto scoundrel: a defense of “blockchain,” the distributed-ledger software underpinning all cryptocurrencies. Blockchain has been heralded as a potential panacea for everything from poverty and famine to cancerexternal link. In fact, it is the most overhyped – and least useful – technology in human history.

In practice, blockchain is nothing more than a glorified spreadsheet. But it has also become the byword for a libertarian ideology that treats all governments, central banks, traditional financial institutions, and real-world currencies as evil concentrations of power that must be destroyed. Blockchain fundamentalists’ ideal world is one in which all economic activity and human interactions are subject to anarchist or libertarian decentralization. They would like the entirety of social and political life to end up on public ledgers that are supposedly “permissionless” (accessible to everyone) and “trustless” (not reliant on a credible intermediary such as a bank).

Yet far from ushering in a utopia, blockchain has given rise to a familiar form of economic hell. A few self-serving white men (there are hardly any women or minorities in the blockchain universe) pretending to be messiahs for the world’s impoverished, marginalized, and unbanked masses claim to have created billions of dollars of wealth out of nothing. But one need only consider the massive centralization of power among cryptocurrency “miners,” exchanges, developers, and wealth holders to see that blockchain is not about decentralization and democracy; it is about greed.
Nouriel Roubini

Nouriel Roubini recently testified to the US Congress about the dangers of cryptocurrencies.
(Nouriel Roubini)
Anonymous cartels

For example, a small group of companies – mostly located in such bastions of democracy as Russiaexternal link, Georgia, and Chinaexternal link – control between two-thirds and three-quarters of all crypto-mining activityexternal link, and all routinely jack up transaction costs to increase their fat profit margins. Apparently, blockchain fanatics would have us put our faith in an anonymous cartel subject to no rule of law, rather than trust central banks and regulated financial intermediaries.

A similar pattern has emerged in cryptocurrency trading. Fully 99% of all transactions occur on centralized exchanges that are hacked on a regular basisexternal link. And, unlike with real money, once your crypto wealth is hacked, it is gone forever.

Moreover, the centralization of crypto development – for example, fundamentalists have named Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin a “benevolent dictator for lifeexternal link” – already has given lie to the claim that “code is law,” as if the software underpinning blockchain applications is immutable. The truth is that the developers have absolute power to act as judge and jury. When something goes wrong in one of their buggy “smart” pseudo-contractsexternal link and massive hacking occurs, they simply change the codeexternal link and “forkexternal link” a failing coin into another one by arbitrary fiat, revealing the entire “trustless” enterprise to have been untrustworthy from the start.

Lastly, wealth in the crypto universe is even more concentrated than it is in North Korea. Whereas a Gini coefficient of 1.0 means that a single person controls 100% of a country’s income/wealth, North Korea scores 0.86external link, the rather unequal United States scores 0.41external link, and Bitcoin scores an astonishing 0.88external link.

As should be clear, the claim of “decentralization” is a myth propagated by the pseudo-billionaires who control this pseudo-industry. Now that the retail investors who were suckered into the crypto market have all lost their shirts, the snake-oil salesmen who remain are sitting on piles of fake wealth that will immediately disappear if they try to liquidate their “assets.”
Private permissioned databases

As for blockchain itself, there is no institution under the sun – bank, corporation, non-governmental organization, or government agency – that would put its balance sheet or register of transactions, trades, and interactions with clients and suppliers on public decentralized peer-to-peer permissionless ledgers. There is no good reason why such proprietary and highly valuable information should be recorded publicly.

Moreover, in cases where distributed-ledger technologies – so-called enterprise DLT – are actually being used, they have nothing to do with blockchain. They are private, centralized, and recorded on just a few controlled ledgers. They require permission for access, which is granted to qualified individuals. And, perhaps most important, they are based on trusted authorities that have established their credibility over time. All of which is to say, these are “blockchains” in name only.

It is telling that all “decentralized” blockchains end up being centralized, permissioned databases when they are actually put into use. As such, blockchain has not even improved upon the standard electronic spreadsheet, which was invented in 1979.

No serious institution would ever allow its transactions to be verified by an anonymous cartel operating from the shadows of the world’s authoritarian kleptocracies. So it is no surprise that whenever “blockchain” has been piloted in a traditional setting, it has either been thrown in the trash bin or turned into a private permissioned database that is nothing more than an Excel spreadsheet or a database with a misleading name.

Nouriel Roubini is CEO of Roubini Macro Associates and Professor of Economics at the Stern School of Business, New York University.

Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2018.

www.project-syndicate.orgexternal link
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swissinfo.ch publishes op-ed articles by contributors writing on a wide range of topics – Swiss issues or those that impact Switzerland. The selection of articles presents a diversity of opinions designed to enrich the debate on the issues discussed.
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Are There Better Alternatives To Ghana's Cargo Tracking Notes System On The Horizon?

Whiles controversy rages in Ghana, over the  latest wheeze dreamt up by the vested interests milking Mother Ghana dry, over the so called cargo tracking notes system (CTN) - that is apparently going to more or less end revenue leakage at our ports - an innovative experiment is taking place  elsewhere, which indeed could end revenue leakage, and also end the pilfering of the contents of shipping containers, at ports across the world, in the not too distant future.

That will indeed be the case in our country, in the not too distant future, if the authorities in charge of Ghana's maritime sector, request to collaborate with the Japanese shipping company, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL), which has just revealed that its group company MOL Consolidation Service (MCS),  has tested a remote container tracking management system.

Ghanaian importers  and exporters who are criticising the introduction of CTN should contact Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd, as soon as practicable, to ask for more information about their experimental cargo tracking system - and offer that as an alternative to the CTN they object to so much, and which now appears to have been forced down their throats by the powers that be. The authorities in Ghana ought to take a good look at Mitsui O.S.K. Lines' new system, even as the CTN becomes operational at our ports.

To serve as inspiration for those in Ghana, who genuinely want revenue leakage  (and the pilfering of the contents of shipping containers) at our ports to end, today, we have culled content from Port Technology entitled: "MOL Launches Container Tracking System", for their perusal. We also hope many of our brilliant younger generation Ghanaian readers will enjoy reading it too.

Please read on: 

"Port Technology
MOL Launches Container Tracking System

 12 Oct 2018 09.46am



Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) has announced that its group company MOL Consolidation Service (MCS) has tested a remote container tracking management system.

The successful trial transport of containers, equipped with a tracking management device, took place on railway routes connecting China and Europe.

The device, which is mounted inside the container, monitors cargo in transport using a number of technologies, such as GPS, a temperature gauge and an optical sensor.

Information on the cargo, including its location and temperature, can be transmitted to the customer through an email or a mobile application.
Ennio Zanotti discusses GPS as a smart way to track goods in a recent Port Technology technical paper

According to a statement by MOL, the device can also “monitor unauthorized opening and closing of the container during transport”, protecting the safety of cargo.

In addition to this, the tracking device’s 70-day battery life makes it suitable for long-distance transport.

MOL plans to begin the practical use of this system before the end of 2018, and will install them in containers upon the request of customers.

The device, by allowing them to monitor their cargo, is expected to help reassure customers that shipments will arrive on time and be safe from pilferage.
Read more:

    Rolls-Royce Trials Smart Ship Tech with MOL
    #SPSC18 Q&A: Adam Yaron, Fast Technologies

  Automation and Optimisation , Container Handling, Automation Systems, Global Economy/Trade, Security and Logistics, Shipping
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Port Technology: Rotterdam Launches Multi-Modal Blockchain Project: 9

Port Technology
Rotterdam Launches Multi-Modal Blockchain Project

 19 Oct 2018 03.37pm
The Port of Rotterdam, Samsung SDS, and ABN AMRO, have announced the launch of a container logistics pilot project based on blockchain technology.

The ultimate goal for the three companies, according to a statement, is to achieve the complete, paperless integration of physical, administrative and financial streams within international distribution chains.

The development of the pilot, assigned to Rotterdam company BlockLab, found that there is still a lot of space in the logistics sector to implement digitization, which can be leveraged to achieve greater transparency and efficiency.
SPSCT18: Day One in Review

Paul Smits, the Port of Rotterdam Authority’s Chief Financial Officer, said: “Currently payments, administration and the physical transportation of containers still take place entirely via separate circuits.

“This results in inefficiency, as many parties are involved and everything is organised via paper documentation.”



Credit: Port of Rotterdam



The pilot, which begins in January 2019, involves the multi-modal transport of a container from a factory in Asia to a location in the Netherlands.

In the first instance, the pilot will be implemented by the three parties, but the cooperative network will then become open for other parties to join.

Daphne de Kluis, ABN AMRO CEO Commercial Banking, commented: “We will be integrating all these flows in our pilot: from workflow management combined with track & trace to the digitisation of paper documentation such as waybills and the financing of handled freight or services.
SPSCT18: TBA’s 10 Tips for Smart Terminals

“The ultimate goal is to reach an open, independent and global platform that operates from the perspective of shippers.”

Sanghun Lee, President of Samsung SDS EU/CIS, added: “Blockchain offers all parties in the logistics chain the opportunity to coordinate activities using validated data and without central management. Digitisation provides automation, which creates an ultra-efficient logistics chain.

“What is particularly special about the project is that, for the first time in the rather short history of this technology, we can have different blockchains operating together.”
Read more:

    MOL Launches Container Tracking System
    Abu Dhabi and Antwerp Sign Blockchain MoU

  Automation and Optimisation , Digitalisation, Global Economy/Trade, Ports, Security and Logistics, Shipping


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      ONE Forecast Plummets
      Maersk’s Northern Sea Route in Pictures
      COSCO to Make First Ever Liverpool Call
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South China Morning Post/Bien Perez and Li Tao: Made in China 2025’: How 5G could put China in charge of the wireless backbone and ahead of the pack


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    Oct 19, 2018

   
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‘Made in China 2025’: How 5G could put China in charge of the wireless backbone and ahead of the pack
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‘Made in China 2025’: How 5G could put China in charge of the wireless backbone and ahead of the pack

The fifth instalment of a series on China’s hi-tech industry development master plan looks at 5G mobile technology and how it could create a more advanced digital foundation for the world’s second-largest economy
PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 October, 2018, 11:15pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 October, 2018, 1:20pm

Comments: 53
Bien Perez Li Tao
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In the world’s largest smartphone market, 4G is king. At the end of August, China had 1.1 billion 4G mobile subscribers – more than the populations of the US, Indonesia, Russia, Japan and Germany combined.
SCMP Today: Intl Edition


The sheer scale of people who can quickly gain access to the internet on their 4G handsets has been a boon to the mainland’s digital economy, as more consumers shop, watch video, send messages, order food, book their travel and buy insurance online.

However, while China has the world’s largest mobile market by subscriber and network size, other countries have taken the lead in wireless communications technology development.

That is why China regards next-generation 5G networks – which offer faster data rates, reduced latency, energy savings, cost reductions, higher system capacity and massive device connectivity – as a chance to get out in front for the first time.

If “big data” is the new oil of the digital era, then 5G is the next set of pipes that will deliver it – and unlike previous generations, China is determined to own more of this infrastructure, giving it mastery of its own industrial future. This not only sets it up a competitive technology clash, it also raises a number of national security issues for Western governments concerned about the integrity of 5G networks.

Relations between the US and China have become strained in the past year owing to heightened trade tensions, military showdowns and diplomatic rows – exemplified by a double-barrelled assault on Beijing’s growing economic and geopolitical heft by US Vice-President Mike Pence this month.

Pence denounced China’s state-led trade and economic practices, saying they “have built Beijing’s manufacturing base at the expense of its competitors – especially America”.

As such, 5G development has become a bogeyman for the Trump administration and part of the wider dispute over Beijing’s “Made in China 2025” (MIC2025) policy road map. Sensing a threat to its global technological dominance, the US has seized on the plan as an example of what it sees as unfair state intervention in China’s economy.

Moreover, some cybersecurity experts have said that moving from 4G to 5G networks is like “going from fireworks to dynamite sticks” – noting the elevated risks of denial-of-service attacks when so many more devices are connected.

And 5G has become “a political play between the US and China” as America tries to get other major economies, such as Australia, to ban 5G solutions provided by Chinese telecoms equipment companies Huawei and ZTE, according to Nikhil Batra, a senior research manager for telecommunications at IDC.

The Trump administration earlier this year soured on Singapore-based Broadcom’s hostile takeover attempt of Qualcomm, at least partly on the view that a deal may slow US investments in chip and wireless technologies, handing an advantage to Huawei.

Huawei executive says unified, objective security standard needed to take politics out of 5G roll-out

In a letter addressed to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, US Senators Mark Warner and Marco Rubio last week warned that Canada should leave Huawei out of its plans to build a next-generation mobile network.

The lawmakers cautioned that by allowing companies linked to the Chinese government to build 5G infrastructure, the US and its close allies (Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK) would be “inviting the fox to guard the henhouse”.

“While Canada has strong telecommunications security safeguards in place, we have serious concerns that such safeguards are inadequate given what the United States and other allies know about Huawei,” the letter said. The senators said that Canada should “reconsider Huawei’s inclusion in any aspect of Canada’s 5G development, introduction and maintenance”.

China’s road to 5G has been well planned. In 2012, two years before China Mobile launched 4G services on the mainland, various Chinese entities joined an international initiative to research and develop 5G.

With peak data rates up to 20 times faster than 4G, 5G will serve as “the connective tissue” for new mobile applications, such as the internet of things, autonomous cars and smart cities – providing the backbone for the industrial internet, according to a Deloitte report.

On the consumer side, 5G smartphone users will be able to send high-resolution 4K video within a few seconds, and both video games and apps based on augmented and virtual reality technologies will be seamless. The 5G networks will also be able to support the growing number of connected devices globally, from fitness-tracking watches to internet-linked televisions and smart speakers at home.

The International Telecommunications Union, the United Nations agency overseeing development of the “IMT 2020” global standard for 5G, said the new technology would support 1 million connected devices per square kilometre; 1 millisecond latency (representing the nearly instant time a packet of data takes to get from one point to another); greater efficiency in terms of power and use of radio spectrum; and a peak data download rate of up to 20 gigabits per second.

The agency works in tandem with the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), an international collaboration of seven telecoms standard development organisations that draw up complete mobile system specifications.

The 3GPP recently approved the much-anticipated global technology specifications for 5G, which is expected to kick off initial deployments by some of the world’s largest telecoms network operators either later this year or early in 2019.

There are two sets of specifications completed under the 3GPP: one is called “5G stand-alone”, which was approved in June, while the other one passed in December 2017 is known as “5G non-stand-alone”.

Telecoms network operators adopting 5G non-stand-alone will be able to protect their legacy mobile network because this set of specifications is “backward compatible” with 4G. Operators will be able to hook up new 5G base stations with their 4G networks to provide higher data speeds and greater capacity for consumer services, without making any substantial changes in the infrastructure.
The nation needs to increase productivity through automation and 5G networks are expected to help industries innovate
Edison Lee, Jefferies equity analyst

Gear based on the 5G stand-alone specifications is designed to run independently of 4G networks – and this is the standard China is pushing. Operators will need to rebuild their core network and buy new 5G base stations to provide higher data speeds and greater capacity, as well as ultra-reliable, low-latency services to support machine-to-machine connection and autonomous driving.

“The Chinese government wants every industry to use the most advanced infrastructure to upgrade productivity. This is a strategic agenda, and they think that 5G will help,” said Jefferies equity analyst Edison Lee, who covers Hong Kong-listed ZTE, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom.

“China has very ambitious plans to promote the industrial internet of things, cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI), the capabilities of which require the support of brand-new 5G networks.”

For example, self-driving cars require sensors, AI and roadside base stations for fast and reliable connectivity to allow vehicles to “talk” to each other to avoid collisions and avoid pedestrians. Today’s 4G networks cannot meet those quick response times.

China’s plan for an aggressive 5G roll-out is in line with the MIC2025 road map. Initially, this focused on the domestic telecoms sector’s ability to increase broadband penetration nationwide to 82 per cent by 2025 as part of a push for industrial modernisation. Another objective was to see local suppliers making 40 per cent of all mobile phone chips used in the domestic market.

Under an updated version published in January, Beijing now wants China to become the world’s leading maker of telecoms equipment. Two of the world’s biggest telecoms gear suppliers, Shenzhen-based Huawei and ZTE, have helped lead China’s 5G research and development efforts.

“China has the biggest manufacturing industry in the world, but the country cannot rely on cheap labour anymore,” Lee said. “So the nation needs to increase productivity through automation, and 5G networks are expected to help industries innovate.”

5G marks the first time China has been able to “have meaningful ownership in mobile [network] technology”, Lee said. China believes it has higher Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) ownership in stand-alone 5G, compared with the other set of specifications that rely more on technologies developed by legacy telecoms equipment companies, like Qualcomm, Nokia and Ericsson.

China owns about 10 per cent of 5G IPRs in radio access, modulation and core networking as of last year, according to LexInnova Technologies, a US legal services and technology consulting firm. That is up from about 7 per cent of essential IPRs in 4G. Huawei had the most 5G IPRs among the Chinese entities surveyed, followed by ZTE. Qualcomm, however, continued to lead the industry with ownership of more than 15 per cent of the essential 5G IPRs.

China Tower plans to speed up 5G network construction without increasing spending

Bottom line: success in 5G development is expected to help improve China’s bargaining power with foreign patent holders, which would help lower costs for mainland telecoms equipment makers, chip companies and other enterprises in the supply chain.

Privately held Huawei, the world’s largest telecoms equipment supplier with an estimated 40 per cent global market share, and ZTE had been hoping to pursue global 5G projects following previous efforts to supply 4G network gear to overseas markets.

But the two suppliers have been effectively shut out of the US because Washington remains wary of the security threat posed by Chinese hi-tech suppliers.

[China’s plan to establish a brand-new wireless infrastructure based on the “non-stand-alone” 5G mobile specifications could help advance the country’s development and promotion of autonomous driving technology. Photo: Handout]

Huawei has already been excluded from Australia’s roll-out of 5G on national security concerns and red flags are being raised by UK politicians, who have warned that Chinese companies building 5G networks could create “chaos” in the UK by hacking into everything from train systems to energy services.

In January, US President Donald Trump’s national security team said it was considering plans to build a government-owned 5G network within three years, designed to counter alleged Chinese espionage efforts. That 5G plan would see the federal government take over infrastructure roll-out over the next few years from US mobile carriers AT&T, Verizon Communications and T-Mobile.

When asked to comment on the trade conflict’s impact on its 5G business, ZTE said in a statement that it would continue to carry out extensive cooperation and testing with telecoms operators overseas. ZTE paid a huge fine to US authorities earlier this year and was placed on probation as part of a settlement for violating long-standing trade sanctions against Iran and North Korea.

Why China is set to spend US$411 billion on 5G mobile networks

In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on October 1, Huawei lobbied the agency to reconsider its proposed ban on US telecoms network operators from using federal subsidies to buy equipment from companies such as Huawei and ZTE.

Huawei, which generates 60 per cent of its revenue outside China and serves more than 500 telecoms network operators around the world, told the FCC that the lack of competition in the US for telecoms gear would raise prices, hinder innovation and delay 5G deployment in the country, especially among the smaller network service providers.

[China Mobile is looking to conduct 5G projects in 17 mainland cities, five for network trials and 12 for application testing, according to data from Jefferies. China Unicom plans tests in 16 cities, while China Telecom is setting up trials in 12 cities. Photo: Agence France-Presse]

It also said that blacklisting certain equipment vendors “does not address the reality that cybersecurity risks arise from various points of vulnerabilities in an international supply chain”.

Huawei said it had nothing further to add when asked to comment about its lobbying efforts for 5G in the US. China Telecom declined a request for an interview about its 5G efforts, while China Mobile and Unicom officials did not respond to separate requests to be interviewed.

China is moving ahead with 5G at home regardless of international security arguments, though.

Separate 5G network tests are being readied by China’s three telecoms operators in various cities, each deploying about 1,000 base stations, according to Bernstein Research analyst Chris Lane. “We do not expect a significant roll-out until next year, and commercial launch will be in 2020. So far, these appear to be on track,” Lane said.

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Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s prime-minister-in-waiting, is set to visit China next week. Photo: AP
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Scientific American/David Pogue: 5G Devices Are about to Change Your Life

Scientific American
   
   

Electronics
5G Devices Are about to Change Your Life

It will make 4G phones seem positively quaint

    By David Pogue on October 1, 2018

5G Devices Are about to Change Your Life
Credit: Jay Bendt
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You’re probably used to the periodic upgrades in our cell-phone networks. There was 2G, which came along in 1991, replaced with 3G in 2001, followed by 4G in 2009. Now we’re hearing about the coming of 5G.

But 5G is a much bigger leap than what’s come before. Qualcomm’s Web site, in fact, calls it “as transformative as the automobile and electricity.” (One of the world’s leading makers of phone-networking chips, Qualcomm was a key player in the development of the 5G standard—and stands to profit handsomely from its success.)

Of course, 5G is much faster than 4G—in the real world, a 5G phone in a 5G city will enjoy Internet speeds between nine and 20 times as fast. The latency of 5G (the delay before those fast data begin pouring in) is one tenth as long.
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The arrival of 5G also means enormous leaps forward in capacity—so much that every cell-phone plan will offer cheap, truly unlimited Internet access. “The consequences of that are immense,” says Sherif Hanna, Qualcomm’s director of 5G marketing.

For example, apps will no longer degrade your video or postpone downloading when you’re out of Wi-Fi range. In fact, you’ll probably prefer to do your downloads when you’re on cellular because 5G will be much faster than whatever service you’ve got at home or work. Furthermore, our phones can become radically more powerful. Today the processors in our devices are limited by heat and battery capacity. But imagine, Hanna says, if your phone is tied, by a 5G connection, to a much beefier computer online. “It’s happening remotely, but because it’s such a high-speed connection, it will feel as though the additional processor is inside your device, in your hand,” he says.

Another big change: 5G is not just for phones. It reflects the new world of Internet-connected gadgets, industrial machines, farming equipment and even cars. For example, the 5G protocol allows some transmissions to cut in front of others. In, say, 2023 when two self-driving cars need to communicate to avoid a collision, their data will get priority over your stream of Star Wars: Episode XXV.

Not everyone is thrilled by the 5G development. The new standard gets its speed partly by using existing transmission frequencies more efficiently and partly by harnessing the millimeter-wave spectrum. That’s a big, juicy swath of radio frequencies that are currently underused—because millimeter wave is “really hard to use—very finicky, very tricky,” Hanna says.

These frequencies are much higher than anything we’ve used for cellular. (Your Wi-Fi network uses the 2.4- or 5.8-gigahertz bands. Millimeter wave is 24 gigahertz and up.) Which means they can offer unbelievable speed—but at the expense of range. Millimeter-wave cellular towers have to be about 500 feet apart. Cell carriers not only will have to upgrade all their cell transceivers (called small cells) but will install a lot more of them as well.
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That’s why the millimeter-wave flavor of 5G—the superfast coverage—will be available only in densely populated cities such as New York and San Francisco. In suburban and rural areas, 5G will bring a speedup of “only” nine times faster.

The need to install more small cells means more rectangular boxes on lampposts, more wires on utility poles and more industrial-looking ugliness in places where local residents don’t always want it. Lawsuits, fines and battles between towns and cell carriers are already under way.

But 5G is a train that can’t be stopped. The big cell carriers will be turning on 5G in a handful of cities by the end of 2018, and the first 5G-enabled smartphones are expected to go on sale in early 2019. “I don’t think most people realize [that] initially 5G was targeted for 2020, and now we’re talking about late 2018,” Hanna says. “We’re working around the clock. Weekends, nights—it’s really pretty brutal right now, to be honest.”

Here’s to all those engineers and their millimeter waves. Someday we’ll tell our grandkids about the days when YouTube videos paused annoyingly, people paid for data by the gigabyte and the only way cars could communicate was by honking.

This article was originally published with the title "5G Is Just around the Corner"
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)

David Pogue

David Pogue is the anchor columnist for Yahoo Tech and host of several NOVA miniseries on PBS.

Credit: Nick Higgins
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International Road Transport Organisation (IRU) Media Prize awarded to journalist Mike King from Breakbulk, USA

Mike King is a multi-award-winning journalist, as well as a shipping and logistics consultant

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 19, 2018/ -- International Road Transport Organisation (IRU) (www.IRU.org), the world road transport organisation today announces the winner of the 2018 IRU Media Prize on the future of transport and trade.

The IRU Media Prize celebrates the significant contribution of journalists to current debate within the transport sector, and coincides with the upcoming IRU World Congress in Oman, 6-8 November 2018, the new global event for road transport, mobility and logistics.

Mike King (@Break_Bulk) is a multi-award-winning journalist, as well as a shipping and logistics consultant. His piece, entitled “Trouble with Truckers” (www.bit.ly/2EbPz9O), addresses issues such as driver shortage and new opportunities for transport through e-commerce. 

IRU received entries from across the world, signifying a strong interest in the industry among journalists. Mike King’s entry was one of three shortlisted. The other two finalists were Ilker Altun from Kargo Haber and Jonathan Andrews from Cities Today.

“I am looking forward to personally congratulating Mike in Oman at the IRU World Congress, where we will recognise his and the media’s important work to push debate around the critical issues for the road transport industry – and beyond,” said IRU Secretary General, Umberto de Pretto.

The competition was open to journalists from international and regional media who published or broadcast original reports. Articles or broadcasts were submitted in English or Arabic, with eligible works published between 19 June and 10 October 2018. Stories were judged on content, writing, analysis, creativity, human interest and clear reporting.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Road Transport Organisation (IRU).

View multimedia content

Media Contact:

Karen Mazzoli

Senior Manager, Media and Communications, IRU

+41-22-918 27 96 (direct)

+41-79-633 89 53 (mobile)

karen.mazzoli@iru.org



About IRU:

IRU (IRU.org) is the world road transport organisation, promoting economic growth, prosperity and safety through the sustainable mobility of people and goods. Founded in 1948, IRU has members and activities in more than 100 countries.

About the IRU World Congress 2018:

The new global event for road transport, mobility and logistics, the IRU World Congress (IRUWorldCongress.com) is bringing the transport industry together in Muscat, with business, government and thought leaders, to debate the big challenges and the big opportunities.

SOURCE
International Road Transport Organisation (IRU)

Must Voting To Create News Regions Take Place Nationwide?


What extraordinary people make up our nation's political class. Even little school children are aware that development at the grassroots level is carried out by District Assemblies - and that if living standards for rural people and marginalised communities in urban Ghana are to improve, we must create more districts,  and, above all, elect the chief executives of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies, as well as all our assembly members.

Yet, duplicitous Chiefs, and their political bedfollows,  want more regions to be created, so they can have their own Regional Houses of Chiefs. Abominable. The question is: Why are our crafty self-seeking ruling elites so determined to create more regions - and add yet
another layer of white-collar thieves to the many in our byzantine system brutally gang-raping Mother Ghana?  Ebeeii.

One ought, at this stage, to state clearly that one has absolutely no doubt that President Akufo-Addo is sincere in implying that he has no personal agenda in the matter of creating more regions. However, the plain truth, is that many of those in his inner-circle, and the upper echelons of his party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), back this pure-nonsense-on-bamboo-stilts waste of precious time and resources - because they are bedfellows of today's  progeny of our pre-colonial ruling elites.

The fact of the matter, is that regardless of whichever part of our homeland Ghana they hail from,  Chiefs, by definition, are rabid tribal-supremacists. And they are all driven by a determination to somehow regain the power Chiefs lost, when the British occupied the
landmass that finally became the unitary state of Ghana, in March 1957.

Present-day generations of Ghanaians must never forget that ordinary people, in the elections of 1951, 1954 and 1956, rejected the federation of pre-colonial tribal states advocated as the perfect post-colonial future for our  nation, by the lackeys of the then
descendants of our pre-colonial ruling elites.

Today,  despite the fact that everywhere one goes in this country, ordinary people are crying out for their basic needs to met - as they contend with the misery of washed-away bridges, pothole-riddled roads, the lack of local healthcare facilities, delapidated school buildings,
etc., etc.

Is it not outrageous that in the midst of such deprivation, today's beneficiaries of inherited previlege amongst our vampire-elites, still hark after ancient glories: at the expense of the well-being of the masses of the Ghanaian people? Monstrous. And, totally unacceptable.

What discerning and independent-minded Ghanaian  doesn't understand that inherited privilege is the greatest enemy of meritocracy? Development is not carried out by regional ministers. Neither is it inintiated by regional coordinating councils. Lives would improve
dramatically across Ghana, if the chief executives of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies are elected. Ditto assembly members.That is what a sensible nation with serious leaders would do. Let us do so too. Full stop.

The fact that very knowledgable and apparently respectable individuals are now pretending that voting in referanda on constitutional matters, such as the creation of new regions,  can only take place in affected jurisdictions, not the entire country, illustrates perfectly their bad
faith in this all-important matter. Voting in referanda to change any aspect of our constitution, must take place nationwide, because it affects the destiny of all Ghanaians, and that of their dear nation. Haaba.

Kennie-O Cold Chain Logistics from Nigeria Crowned Champion of Africa’s First Scaling Up Nutrition Pitch Competition

Kennie-O Cold Chain Logistics was established in 2014 to provide reliable cold chain solutions for Nigeria’s food industry, thereby reducing post-harvest losses

NAIROBI, Kenya, October 18, 2018/ -- A Nigerian business is celebrating after winning a competition involving some of the continent’s most exciting enterprises working to improve access to nutritious foods. Kennie-O Cold Chain Logistics from Kwarah State was crowned champion of the first Africa edition of the Scaling Up Nutrition Pitch Competition held at the Nutrition Africa Investor Forum (GainHealth.org/knowledge-centre/event/nutrition-africa-investor-forum) in Nairobi, Kenya.

Kennie-O Cold Chain Logistics was established in 2014 to provide reliable cold chain solutions for Nigeria’s food industry, thereby reducing post-harvest losses.

Collecting the award, owner Ope Olanrewaju said, “Winning the pitch competition is so exciting! I am delighted to see recognition for companies working to reduce post-harvest losses. This experience has been wonderful, the training has added value to my business.” 

Organised by the Scaling Up Nutrition Business Network (SBN), the Pitch Competition is an initiative of GAIN (Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition ), a Swiss Foundation, and the UN World Food Program (WFP), plus local partners.

The competition showcased investment opportunities presented by SMEs working to improve access to nutritious food. Out of more than 450 outstanding entries, 21 SMEs were shortlisted from national pitch competitions in Nigeria, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zambia.

Concurrent to this pitch competition was a ‘Nutrition Deal Room’ for larger investment opportunities facilitated by Africa Business Magazine with Asoko Insights. Fokko Wientjes, Vice President, Nutrition in Emerging Markets of Royal DSM, a purpose-led, global science-based company active in nutrition who participated in the initiative reported: “With 130 deal room discussions involving 20 investors and more than 20 companies, we can call this first ever Nutrition Africa Impact Forum a success!” All of the companies featured in both the Pitch Competition and in the Nutrition Dealroom comprise a part of GAIN’s pipeline of companies improving access to nutritious food. GAIN will be following up on these exciting investment opportunities as part of its New Nutritious Foods Financing Programme.

These two initiatives took place during the high-level Nutrition Africa Investor Forum attended by over 200 business leaders, policy makers and prominent development campaigners focused on unlocking the business potential of small and medium enterprises working to improve the nutritional quality of the food system across Africa. In addition to looking at private investments in nutrition, the forum called for effective leadership to drive collective action to improve nutrition. The former president of Tanzania H.E. Jakaya Kikwete urged the influential gathering to do everything within their power to tackle malnutrition in order to deliver on national and international obligations and targets to end extreme poverty by 2030. Speaking at the closing ceremony, Saul Morris, Director of Programmes at GAIN, said: “There are concrete things that we can do to scale up access to nutritious food in Africa and there are fantastic people and small and medium enterprises doing them!”

Awards:

     Graça Machel Award:

Winner: August Secrets, Nigeria

     BoP Inc Award:

Winner: Healthy Maisha, Tanzania

     GrowthAfrica Award:

Winner: Kulamawe Poultry Industries, Kenya

     DSM Innovation Award:

Winner: Miruku Agro Industria, Mozambique

     Grand Prize, SUN Pitch Competition Winner:

Winner: Kennie-O Cold Chain Logistics, Nigeria

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Nutrition Africa Investor Forum.

View multimedia content

For further information or to attend the Forum, please contact Ishara Callan at I.callan@icpublications.com



For more information on the Scaling Up Nutrition Pitch Competition, please go to https://www.sunpitchcompetition.com/



For more information about GAIN’s Nutritious Foods Financing Program, please go to https://www.gainhealth.org/programs/nutritious-foods-financing/



About Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition:

The organisation was launched at the UN in 2002 to tackle the human suffering caused by malnutrition. Working with partners, GAIN (GainHealth.org) aims at making healthier food choices more affordable, more available, and more desirable. Its purpose is to improve nutrition outcomes by improving the consumption of nutritious and safe food for all people, especially the most vulnerable.



About Royal DSM – Bright Science. Brighter Living.™

Royal DSM is a purpose-led, global science-based company active in nutrition, health and sustainable living. DSM is driving economic prosperity, environmental progress and social advances to create sustainable value for all stakeholders. DSM delivers innovative business solutions for human nutrition, animal nutrition, personal care and aroma, medical devices, green products and applications, and new mobility and connectivity. DSM and its associated companies deliver annual net sales of about €10 billion with approximately 23,000 employees. The company is listed on Euronext Amsterdam.



The SUN Business Network (SBN):

Hosted by GAIN and the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the SBN mobilises business to support the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement. At the heart of the Movement are 60 country governments across Africa, Asia and Latin America, committed to developing a multi-stakeholder approach to ending malnutrition through national action plans – including business. The SBN supports business at a global and national level to act and invest responsibly in improving nutrition with partners from government, civil society, donors and the United Nations.

SOURCE
Nutrition Africa Investor Forum

Multimedia content

    Download logo
    Image: Denis Marangu, Kulamawe Poultry Industries, Kenya, receives at award from CJ Jones of GrowthAfrica at the SUN Business Pitch Competition in Nairobi on 17 October 2018
    Image: Ope Olanrewaju Kennie-O Cold Chain Logistics holds the Grand Prize trophy for the SUN Pitch Competition presented to him by Jonathan Tench Senior Manager SUN Business Network, GAIN in Nairobi on 17 October
    Image: Neema Lugangira from Health Maisha in Tanzania receiving her award during the SUN Business Pitch Competition on 17 Oct in Nairobi
    Link: Nutrition Africa Investor Forum

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Dr. Mercola: 1.9 Million People Prove It: Do This Regularly to Avoid Early Death

Mercola.com
Super Fuel
Study: One-Quarter of the World’s Adults Don’t Get Enough Exercise
Written by Dr. Joseph Mercola

    October 19, 2018

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adults inactivity
Story at-a-glance

    A new study published by researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests 1 in 4 adults (27.5 percent) worldwide is getting too little exercise
    Based on survey data involving 1.9 million people from 168 countries, the study authors suggest 1.4 billion adults worldwide face an increased risk of diseases linked to inactivity, including diabetes and heart disease
    Most health conditions can be improved by exercise and you can often lower your risk of chronic disease simply by exercising regularly
    Some of the forms of exercise I recommend include the four-minute Nitric Oxide Dump and other forms of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), stretching, strength training, walking and yoga
    If you have joint pain or other physical limitations, you might consider water-based activities like water aerobics and water yoga because they are non-weight bearing

A new study published by researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests 1 in 4 adults (27.5 percent) worldwide is getting insufficient exercise as measured by WHO guidelines.1 After analyzing 358 population-based surveys involving 1.9 million participants representing 168 countries, the study authors concluded more than 1.4 billion adults are at risk of "developing or exacerbating diseases linked to inactivity."2

This is unfortunate news considering the WHO recommendations represent minimum levels of activity. I believe you need more exercise and movement on a daily basis than they recommend to achieve optimal health. In my experience, most health conditions can be improved by exercise and you can often lower your risk of chronic disease simply by exercising regularly.

Exercise also positively affects your brain and mental health, among other benefits. Keep reading to find out how you can avoid becoming a global statistic for inactivity.
WHO Study Suggests 1 in 4 Adults Worldwide Face Increased Risk of Disease Due to Inactivity

The WHO study, published in The Lancet Global Health,3 asserts 27.5 percent of adults worldwide do not meet the WHO's exercise guidelines of at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise or 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week (or a combination of both).

Survey participants, who represent about 96 percent of the world's population, self-reported the physical activity they achieved related to work, household tasks, leisure time and transportation. While the new data represents a slight improvement from 2001, when the global inactivity rate was 28.5 percent, the study authors noted the results are problematic.

They suggested inactivity is a significant problem that needs to be "urgently addressed."4 They also stated, "If current trends continue, the [WHO's] 2025 global physical activity target — a 10 percent relative reduction in insufficient physical activity — will not be met.5 Given the fact 1 in 4 adults does not perform the recommended amount of weekly exercise, the study authors suggest nonexercisers are putting themselves at increased risk of chronic diseases linked to inactivity.

They cited other studies validating the link between exercise and a lower risk of breast and colon cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. The researchers also assert physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, delay the onset of dementia and positively affect your mental health. Time and CNN highlighted the following additional information about the WHO surveys:6,7,8

More data was available for high-income than low-income countries

Exercise rates in high-income nations tended to be less than those in low-income countries, partly because of differences in work and transportation

Women were shown to get less exercise than men: Globally, 23.4 percent of men and 31.7 percent of women did not meet the WHO guidelines for exercise in 2016

From 2001 to 2016, rates of physical inactivity in high-income Western nations increased from 31.6 percent to 36.8 percent, whereas rates in low-income countries remained stable at around 16 percent

In 2016, women in Latin America and the Caribbean, south Asia and high-income Western countries were the groups least likely to get sufficient amounts of exercise

The highest activity levels among men recorded in 2016 were found in Oceania, east and Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where jobs, chores and transportation often require greater physical exertion as compared to other regions

Mozambique and Uganda, where just 6 percent of adults fell short of the WHO's goal in 2016, were noted as having the highest population of exercising adults

About the outcomes, Walter Thompson, associate dean and professor of kinesiology and health at Georgia State University, who was not involved in the study, told CNN,9 "Physical inactivity is pandemic and not a characteristic of low-income or high-income countries. It is prevalent in every country and has the same impact on chronic disease."

Thompson wisely noted public policy has had little to no effect on physical activity patterns worldwide. He added, "[The] WHO admits the current strategies are not working and new tactics are needed to [increase] physical activity in all countries."10

The study authors commented similarly, saying, "Our data show progress toward the global target set by WHO member states to reduce physical inactivity by 10 percent by 2025 has been too slow and is not on track. A significant increase in national action is urgently needed in most countries to scale up implementation of effective policies."11
The Dangers of Too Much Sitting

You may be getting tired of hearing about the dangers of sitting. No matter, the risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle continue to be raised to public awareness mainly because the message is important. In addition, it's clear from the WHO surveys not enough people are listening and even fewer are making the necessary changes.

We live in an age of many wonderful, modern conveniences designed to make our lives easier and more productive. While some of the advances are genuinely helpful, others are driving activity, work and movement out of our daily lives.

Given the growing cultural attachment to screens and technology, some folks spend the majority of their waking hours moving from one chair (or similar piece of furniture) to another at home, work and during transportation. A study published in the American Journal of Nursing12 highlights some of the serious health risks associated with sitting too long.

Study author Linda Eanes, assistant professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley school of nursing, conducted a literature review from 2003 to 2017 to identify research focused on high-volume sitting or prolonged uninterrupted sitting. Based on her analysis of 41 articles, Eanes concluded prolonged sitting:13,14

    Slows your metabolism, which in turn affects your body's ability to regulate your blood pressure and blood sugar levels, as well as to shed body fat
    Increases your risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, obesity and Type 2 diabetes
    In conjunction with obesity, puts you at increased risk of certain cancers, including breast, colon, endometrial and lung cancer

I have often mentioned the importance of exercise as a prevention strategy for Type 2 diabetes. As noted in the ABC News video above, if you are diabetic and not yet convinced of the benefits of exercise, you may be interested to know at least 28 studies15,16,17 suggest the timing and quantity of exercise you get play a significant role in managing the disease.

Researchers note chronic sitting is particularly detrimental for diabetics, whereas short breaks to walk or do resistance exercises have been shown to reduce the blood lipids associated with inflammation.18
Ways You Can Get More Movement Into Your Day

Below are some tips you can apply today to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting:19,20

When sitting, get out of your chair every 30 minutes for a standing or stretch break (consider setting a timer to remind you)

Consider standing or walking while watching TV or talking on the phone

If your job involves sitting at a desk most of the day, consider investing in a standing desk

Instead of holding sitting meetings at work, try standing or walking meetings

When possible at home and work, make a point to deliver messages in person instead of emailing or texting them

Avoid elevators and escalators in favor of the stairs, park farther away from entrances to get in more walking and consider standing rather than sitting when using public transportation

Get some exercise during lunch breaks or schedule it in before or after work

Do stretching and other moderate forms of exercise while watching TV
The Nitric Oxide Dump: A Four-Minute Exercise Routine You Can Do Anytime, Anywhere

If you are eager to break out of unhealthy sitting patterns but are unsure where to start, you might want to consider high-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT focuses on short bursts of intense exercise designed to stimulate your mitochondria to work harder.

Because mitochondrial dysfunction is at the root of virtually all disease, you are only as healthy as your mitochondria. A particular type of HIIT I hope you'll consider doing on a regular basis is the Nitric Oxide Dump, which is demonstrated in the video above.

This four-minute workout, which features four basic exercises focused on your 16 major muscle groups, can be performed anytime, anywhere. That said, I don't recommend doing this routine close to bedtime because it might keep you awake. While it may be hard to believe, in just a few minutes you can achieve similar benefits as if you'd exercised in the gym for an hour.

You get those amazing benefits because the program is designed to stimulate the release of nitric oxide, a soluble gas and free radical stored in the lining of your blood vessels that can catalyze your health. You can do the Nitric Oxide Dump routine at home or work, outdoors or at the gym. I've even done it at the airport while waiting for my luggage.
Other Recommended Types of Exercise You Can Easily Customize to Your Situation

Occasionally, I've been told my exercise advice extends beyond what a beginner can accomplish. Given my advanced level of fitness, it may seem my suggestions are out of reach for the average person. However, I assure you every program I recommend can be adjusted and customized to your personal needs and unique situation.

Don't allow yourself to use this or any other excuse as a reason not to exercise. If you're not sure what type of exercise would be best for you or how to customize certain routines to work around joint pain, for example, you may want to consult a health coach or personal trainer. Below are some basic forms of exercise I highly recommend and nearly anyone can perform:

• Daily walking — If you are not sure where to begin with exercise, the easiest type to accomplish is daily walking. If you have a fitness tracker, you probably already know most experts recommend you take 10,000 to 15,000 steps daily. The best way to accomplish this is to take every opportunity to increase your steps by walking to work, walking a pet, taking the stairs, parking farther away from your destination and so on.

• Strength training — Regardless of your age, strength training is an important aspect of any fitness program. It's well-known that working with your own body weight or the weight of a dumbbell or machine can help enhance your muscle tone and strengthen your bones. Weight training also helps prevent osteoporosis and joint damage from osteoarthritis.

• Stretching — Active stretching, which is so much better than static stretching, is an important part of any warmup routine. It has been shown to positively influence agility, endurance, flexibility, power, speed and strength performance. Active isolated stretching (AIS), a method developed by kinesiology and kinesiotherapy specialist Aaron Mattes, can also help you rehab from injuries.

• Yoga — Yoga promotes a connection among your mind, body and spirit. Research suggests yoga and other meditative practices can even alter your genetic expression. The benefits of regular yoga practice include improved cognitive function, heart health, immunity, mental health, sexual performance and sleep. Yoga also promotes increased balance, flexibility and strength, and has been shown to ease low-back pain.
Not a Fan of Land-Based Exercise? You Might Enjoy Working Out in Water

If you have joint problems and are concerned about ankle, knee or hip pain, you might consider swimming or another form of water-based activity. Many recreation centers, fitness outlets and gyms offer water-based classes that will allow you to move at your own pace and skill level. Swimming boosts your cardiovascular fitness, fat burning and strength.

It also offers an attractive benefit to people who have trouble working out on land: a total lack of weight-bearing exercise. Exercising in water can improve your range of motion and reduce your pain level during workouts, particularly if you are overweight, struggle with joint pain or osteoarthritis, are older or haven't exercised in a while.

In addition, by exercising in water, you'll reduce your risk of falls, sprains and other injuries. Vertical water workouts, such as deep-water jogging, flexibility training, water aerobics and water yoga are a few of the options that may be available at your local pool. Given the higher amounts of resistance involved, vertical water exercises are a great alternative to land-based exercise programs or traditional swimming, particularly if you have chronic pain or mobility issues.
For Optimal Health, You Must Get Regular Exercise

The WHO report seems to be yet another wake-up call to men and women around the globe: You must get regular exercise to be healthy. If you are among the one-quarter of adults who does not get the minimum amount of recommended exercise, it's time to make changes. Your health depends on it.

That said, it's also important to remember even when you do exercise regularly, you may not be sufficiently offsetting the many hours you likely spend sitting. Thirty to 60 minutes of exercise a few days a week is not enough to counteract the many health-damaging effects of sitting all day.

No matter what type you choose, I encourage you to start today to incorporate as much movement and exercise into your day as possible. If you are not a self-starter in this area, consider involving a friend or family member as a source of motivation, accountability and encouragement. Another option, if you own a smartphone, is to use one of the many health and fitness apps available.

Along with diet and sleep, exercise is one of the keys to optimal health. Regardless of your age and fitness level, it's rarely too late to start an exercise program. Focus on what you can do more than what you cannot do and get moving today!
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