Thursday, December 31, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR-2010

Every year gives us another chance, chance to change, to hope and wish for the better.

That betterment will surely come.

Wishing you and your family a joyous New Year.

The year that’s going by has left us with verity of experiences, change and challenges. Change is in air. Someone has said wisely, ‘if you don’t change, then change will change you’. So true !

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Poken Phenomenon

You Google, you text, you Chat..do you Poken?
Have you heard of this? Have you seen this?
It’s a very interesting gadget.
visit http:www.poken.com and see the new technology in networking and contact management.

Monday, December 28, 2009

India becomes biggest player in littlest cars

MUMBAI, India - India has emerged the leader in small cars, overtaking Japan, as declining sales in Western markets coupled with robust growth in Asia redraws the global map of the auto industry faster than many expected.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Revolutionary operation could 'cure' high blood pressure - Telegraph

Revolutionary operation could 'cure' high blood pressure - Telegraph

The Customer Is Always Right: Jeff Bezos

No one has been more surprised by the success of the Kindle than Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The electronic book reader has become the online retailer's bestselling product. Bezos spoke to NEWSWEEK'S Daniel Lyons about the device, how the Apple tablet might affect it, and the next phase of digital distribution. Excerpts:

LYONS: Amazon had an amazing year despite the bad economy. How did you do it?

BEZOS: It is the basics. It is focusing on selection, low prices, and reliable, convenient, fast delivery. It's the cumulative effect of having this approach for 14 years. I always tell people, if we have a good quarter it's because of the work we did three, four, and five years ago. It's not because we did a good job this quarter.

The Wonder Of Apple

The Wonder Of Apple’s Tablet

Posted using ShareThis

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Wish You all a Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Intel launches redesigned Atom chip for Netbooks

Intel is launching the biggest makeover of the Atom processor since the seminal chip debuted in the spring of 2008, and consumers can expect a crush of new Netbooks to follow.

(Credit: Brooke Crothers) As previously reported, Intel's latest N450 processor and NM10 Express chipset--technology that had been previously referred to as "Pine Trail"--will be used in a new raft of Netbooks that will debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Hewlett-Packard, Acer, Dell, Asus, Toshiba, Lenovo and others are expected to either announce new systems before the show or exhibit new models there.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Power Hour

I’d like to share with you a simple but incredibly effective strategy that can instantly double your productivity and help you achieve your goals as quickly as possible.

Does the following scenario sound familiar?

It’s 9.30am and you have a lot of work to do so you get started with the best of intentions. After you’ve been working for about 10 minutes, a little envelope appears on your computer screen. You open your email program just to check if it’s anything important. It’s an email from your best friend.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Change over to TATA Power and save every month

Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has passed an interim order on 15th October 2009, permitting users of Reliance Energy to switch over to TATA Power. This has come as a boon to millions of consumers who have been complaining of high tariff charged by Reliance Energy.


To avail of this facility, a consumer has to fill in a form and submit it to TATA Power along with photocopies of address proof, latest paid bill of Reliance Energy and cheque of deposit amount + Rs 50 connection charges. The application form can be downloaded from TATA Power website . Though the form appears very complicated, you need not fill in all the details related to connected load if your Reliance Energy mentions the same. The TATA Power website also has details about how to calculate the deposit (Rs 200 x Connected load in KWh) e.g., if your connected KWh load is 17, then the deposit amount would be Rs 3,400 and the cheque amount payable to TATA Power would be RS 3,450. You can also pay ad hoc deposit of approximate one month’s electricity bill.

Monday, December 14, 2009

How to use twitter to boost your business

Much has been written about how social media and online communities can be leveraged to help achieve your business goals. But how exactly do you do that? This article from DARE is an excellent resource for new and experienced users alike.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

TAIT COM-IT Exhibition

End of very hectic 4 days. This year's COM-IT was a grand success. This is the 3rd consecutive year and the event is getting bigger every year. This unique exhibition caters to both - B2B as well as B2C segments. For the B2B segment there are sessions on the first 2 days, Demo setups as well as oppurtunity to network in the exclusive lounge. For the consumers, there are special offers, product demos, lucky draws as well as spot contests by various vendors.

I hope you have visited the exhibition and benefitted. For those who missed out, make it a point to participate next year.

TAIT COM-IT Exhibition

The last week has been very hectic, with the Annual COM-IT exhibition by Trade Association of Information Technology (TAIT) - Mumbai's premier IT Association. Today is the last day. Hope you make it to BKC.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Talk Time Galore

The ongoing tariff war between Mobile Service providers has thrown up a slew of Plans, Packs and Options, often leaving the users confused and clueless about the various offerings. But this very plethora of choices can be used by savvy users to bring down their telecom expenses, in some cases drastically.

In order to take advantage of the ever-dropping rates, we need to pro-actively analyse our usage pattern vis-a-vis the various options available from our respective providers and switch over accordingly. Most of the service providers' help desk executives will share the various options and in some cases, details are available on the providers' website. Sites like Your Bill Buddy can also help in identifying suitable plans, options and add-on packs. However, most of us are just plain lazy to take the trouble to change our tariff plan as per the latest offering.

So get going and take advantage of the rate-war and reduce your mobile bill.

Friday, December 4, 2009

New solar plane takes first test flight

Switzerland's Solar Impulse solar plane has finally taken flight.

The first plane designed to fly day and night without fuel, the Solar Impulse HB-SIA lifted off for the first time on Thursday at 13:11 Swiss time, reported its promoters and co-founders Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg. The plane took to the air from its home at Dubendorf Airfield, near Zurich, Switzerland, traveling 1 meter (3.2 feet) off the ground and landing successfully after flying 350 meters (1,148 feet).

The first flight of the Solar Impulse prototype evoked a huge wave of applause from its team, who had spent the past several weeks running ground tests to check acceleration, braking, and engine power. After those tests passed with flying colors, the word was given for pilot Markus Scherdel to man the plane for the test trip.

The flight came after years of research, testing, and labor to design and construct the Solar Impulse.

"This is the culmination of six years of intense work by a very experienced team of professionals," said Borschberg in a statement. "This first "flea hop" successfully completes the first phase of Solar Impulse, confirming our technical choices."

As part of its initial test flight, the Solar Impulse's solar panels were not yet connected or used. Following this positive outcome, the plane is set to be dismantled and moved to an airfield at Payerne, almost two hours away. Early next year, the team plans to launch the Impulse on its first solar test flights, slowly increasing the distance each time until the craft is ready to take its first night flight using solar energy.

Though the Impulse is as wide as a Boeing 747, it weighs only around 1.7 tons. The 12,000 solar cells mounted on the wing are designed to provide renewal solar power to the plane's four electric motors. The solar panels also charge the craft's batteries by day, allowing it to fly at night.


For now, the team is basking in the success of this small but critical first step, yet is thinking of the future and the challenge ahead.

"For over 10 years now, I have dreamt of a solar aircraft capable of flying day and night without fuel--and promoting renewable energy," said Piccard in a statement. "Today, our plane took off and was airborne for the very first time. This is an unbelievable and unforgettable moment! On the other hand, I remain humble in the face of the difficult journey still to be accomplished--it's a long way between these initial tests and a circumnavigation of the world."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Man controlled robotic hand with thoughts

ROME - A group of European scientists say they have successfully connected a robotic hand to a man who had lost an arm, allowing him to feel sensations in the artificial hand and control it with his thoughts.

The experiment lasted a month. Scientists say it was the first time an amputee has been able to make complex movements using his mind to control a biomechanic hand connected to his nervous system.

The Italian-led team said at a news conference Wednesday in Rome that last year they implanted electrodes into the arm of the patient, who had lost his left hand and forearm in a car accident.

The electrodes were removed after a month, during which the man learned to wiggle the robotic fingers and make other movements.

Man controlled robotic hand with thoughts - More health news- msnbc.com

Man controlled robotic hand with thoughts ROME - A group of European scientists say they have successfully connected a robotic hand to a man who had lost an arm, allowing him to feel sensations in the artificial hand and control it with his thoughts.
The experiment lasted a month. Scientists say it was the first time an amputee has been able to make complex movements using his mind to control a biomechanic hand connected to his nervous system.
The Italian-led team said at a news conference Wednesday in Rome that last year they implanted electrodes into the arm of the patient, who had lost his left hand and forearm in a car accident. The electrodes were removed after a month, during which the man learned to wiggle the robotic fingers and make other movements.

Microsoft Investigating 'Black Screen of Death' Issue in Wake of Software Update ... But Is It Really a Problem?

Microsoft said on Monday that it is investigating complaints from customers that a software update delivered on November 25 causes the desktop on various Windows systems to switch to a blank black screen and display only a single Windows Explorer window. The issue, dubbed the "Black Screen of Death" as an homage of sorts to the unrelated "Blue Screen of Death" system crash screen, can apparently occur on Windows NT, 2000, Server 2003, XP, Vista, Server 2008, or Windows 7.

"Microsoft is investigating reports that its latest release of security updates is resulting in system issues for some customers," a Microsoft representative said Monday. "Once we complete our investigation, we will provide detailed guidance on how to prevent or address these issues."

The Black Screen of Death was first reported by Prevx, a British security firm. The company has also issued a download and separate workaround (http://tinyurl.com/prevxfix) that may fix the problem, though they note that neither will fix all Black Screen issues.

"The cause of Black Screen appears to be a change in the Windows operating system's lockdown of Registry keys," a note from Dave Kennerley of Prevx Support reads. "This change has the effect of invalidating several key Registry entries if they are updated without consideration of the new ACL [which stands for access control list] rules being applied ... In researching this issue we have identified at least 10 different scenarios which will trigger the same Black Screen conditions."

That sounds serious. But less than 24 hours into its investigation, Microsoft provided an unprecedented update that suggests the Black Screen of Death may be overblown as a problem. "Based on our investigation so far we can say that we're not seeing this as an issue from our support organization," a Microsoft representative noted. "The issues as described also do not match any known issues that have been documented in the security bulletins or KB [Knowledge Base] articles."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2012 Olympics showpiece unveiled in London

An extensive team of engineers, designers, and architects from around the world unveiled plans on Monday to create a digitally connected structure to grace the 2012 Olympics in London.


The structure, called the Cloud, is both a physical and digital cloud designed to broadcast real-time data and images on spherical, three-dimensional screens. While the images would float high above the city, the sound would be broadcast at ground level.

Carlo Ratti, head of the Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a team leader on the project that includes experts from across the world and Google as a partner. Ratti is known for his work on a textualizing waterfall at the Zaragoza World's Fair in 2008, the Real Time Rome population-tracking project, and the EyeStop bus shelters throughout Florence, Italy.


In a statement, Ratti referred to the Cloud as a "new form of collective expression and experience and an updated symbol of our dawning age: code rather than carbon."

The Cloud will power itself, using a combination of solar energy from photovoltaic panels installed both on- and off-site.

The team wants to build the Cloud from money donated by individuals and companies through a "cloud raising" effort that will use the digital cloud to solicit donations. Facebook, Twitter, and Google are already on board to support the effort. Google plans to run adds via YouTube and its search results pages, according to MIT.

The structure is flexible enough in design that it can be modestly built for $5 million or be expanded to a $50 million project, depending on how much money is raised.

In addition to the many artists, architects, engineers, and computer scientists collaborating on the project, the team also includes legendary author Umberto Eco among its advisers.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Google-Microsoft Crossfire Will Hit Consumers

Newsweek's Dan Lyons doesn't know who will be the winner in Google and Microsoft's search battle, but that's not stopping him from picking a loser — consumers. As we head towards a world where some devices may be free or really cheap, consumers should prepare to be bombarded by ads or pay a premium to escape them. 'The sad truth is that Google and Microsoft care less about making cool products than they do about hurting each other,' concludes Lyons. 'Their fighting has little to do with helping customers and a lot to do with helping themselves to a bigger slice of the money we all spend to buy computers and surf the Internet. Microsoft wants to ruin Google's search business. Google wants to ruin Microsoft's OS business. At the end of the day, they both seem like overgrown nerdy schoolboys fighting over each other's toys."

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Algae could be the key to Ultra-Thin Batteries

Algae is often touted as the next big thing in biofuels, but the slimy stuff could also be the key to paper-thin biodegradable batteries, according to researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden. Uppsala researcher Maria Stromme and her team has found that the smelly algae species that clumps on beaches, known as Cladophora, can also be used to make a type of cellulose that has 100 times the surface area of cellulose found in paper. That means it can hold enough conducting polymers to effectively recharge and hold electricity for long amounts of time. Eventually, the bio batteries could compete with commercial lithium-ion batteries.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Ghost Workers

The Hindustan Times today reported that thanks to a brand new biometric attendance system, the MCD has found out they have 22, 853 fake employees on their rolls. A probe revealed that the corporation now has 104,241 employees. The MCD employs people ranging from teachers to cleaners and gardeners in the capital city of 14 million people. The corporation spends about Rs 17 crore a month and Rs 204 crore per year to pay these fake employees. But no one is sure for how long this has been going on.

Till the biometric system beeped and gave the story away, the municipal corporation had been in denial mode about this scandal. In true sarkari sytle, an in-depth inquiry has been promised into this incident and a freeze has been ordered on fresh recruitments.

Now all we need is a system to measure the efficiency of the remaining workers who reportly come to work everyday.

Powermat

The gadget that seems to have captured the lion’s share of the geek imagination in TechRepublic’s Geek Gift Guide 2009 is the Powermat wireless charger, which recharges your other electronic gadgets, like the iPhone 3G S for example, wirelessly using magnetic induction. That’s what I said, magnetic induction. Just try to get a more geek-worthy gift than that for around $100.

The other compelling thing about the Powermat is that it is a glimpse into the future. At CES in 2009, there were several companies showing prototype systems that use magnetic induction to power everything from room lighting to small appliances in the kitchen. The George Jetson lifestyle may be closer than you think.

Dr Vernon Huang Demonstrates the Shareable Ink Technology at TEDMED

It all started when anesthesiologist Vernon Huang wanted to figure out a better way to streamline his billing. How could he bridge the gap between what's written on paper and what must be entered into an electronic database?

Huang, who's clocked in time as a senior manager for health care markets at Apple, designed a digital pen whose tiny camera embedded right next to the ink cartridge captures every stroke of the written word on film and whose images are uploaded wirelessly and automatically to a remote database.

He knew such an invention has a range of applications well beyond billing, and founded Shareable Ink (headquartered in Newton, Mass., with a branch in San Mateo, Calif.). Medgadget caught up with Huang at TedMed and posted a shaky but informative demonstration:

There is, of course, competition. German company Ontaris is already using this kind of technology for DiabCareOnline, allowing people who need to track their glucose levels regularly but don't always have access to the online forms--or perhaps don't know how to use a computer at all--to simply fill out a form by hand whose numbers autopopulate for the physician's review.

Huang lists emergency care and anesthesiology as fields with obvious early, but clearly not exclusive, adopters. "Anesthesiology is our low-hanging fruit.... Once people see this technology they really start to brainstorm various ways to use it," he tells me by phone today.

I see this pen migrating all over, and well beyond, the medical field, especially because it is the pen, but not the paper, that is special.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tag Images with Your Mind

Slashdot Stories (10): "'Researchers at Microsoft have invented a system for tagging images by reading brain scans from an electroencephalograph (EEG). Tagging images is an important task because many images on the web are unlabeled and have no semantic information. This new method allows an appropriate tag to be generated by an AI algorithm interpreting the EEG scan of a person's brain while they view an image. The person need only view the image for as little as 500 ms. Other current methods for generating tags include flat out paying people to do it manually, putting the task on Amazon Mechanical Turk, or using Google Image Labeler.'"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Exploring the power of Social Networking sites

Today I spent considerable time trying to ensure that my blog is cross posted on twitter and facebook. I learnt about feedburner, twitterfeed, biy.ly, but at the end was convienced that it is a fairly simple process and any one who can write a blog and leverage it further by posting on various other fora.

Man marries Video Game character

Today I came across a most interesting news story on CNET - Technically Incorrect page - the marrage of a Japanese man to a video game character. The story had an accompanying You Tube Video of the wedding. Off course, it is possible that the wedding was a hoax for publicity (remember the ballon boy story), but if true, then it is very disturbing.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Just saw a wonderful video about Pranav Mistry's Sixth Sense device . At TEDIndia, Pranav Mistry demonstrated several tools that help the physical world interact with the world of data -- including a deep look at his SixthSense device and a new, paradigm-shifting paper "laptop." In an onstage Q &A, Mistry says he'll open-source the software behind SixthSense, to open its possibilities to all.


It is a really wonderful demonstration and a must see for anyone interested in technology. Thanks Suchit for the link.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Do small businesses invest in technology?

Hi ! Was just wondering if small businesses really invest in cutting edge technology? Does the size of the company matter or is it the awareness level of the owners which is the deciding factor? What about 'Peer Pressure' - the need to adopt technology because others in the same business are doing it?

In other words, what would make a small business (and remember, they make up the bulk of the Indian market) spend money on the latest technology? I am seeking an answer to this question. Your inputs are welcome.