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Showing posts from January 2, 2011

Flying car to be unveiled in 2011

Toronto:  The flying car is on its way.  An American company Terrafugia Transition, based near Boston, is set to unveil the dual-purpose car-cum-plane vehicle called 'The Flying Car' as early as 2011. The two-seater vehicle can let you fly if you wish to avoid the congested city traffic. If you want to drive on the road, just touch the road. The vehicle will fold up its wings in 30 seconds and transform itself into a car. "The Flying Car" can travel up to 725 kilometres in the air at a speed of more than 115 kilometres per hour. Fuelled by gasoline, it has front wheel drive on the road and a propeller for flight. With its wings folded, it can be parked in your ordinary car garage. Its initial cost is expected to be around $200,000 (nearly Rs.1 crore), says the company which has already orders for 60 vehicles. The CEO of the company told Canadian TV (CTV) network here that they have successfully test-flown "The Flying Car" as many as 28 times. The tests have…

2011 preview: Enter the robot self

This could be the year when we quit dragging ourselves to work and send remote-controlled robot avatars instead

Why drag yourself to work through rush-hour traffic when you can stay at home and send a remote-controlled robot instead?

Firms in the US and Japan are already selling robot avatars that allow office workers to be in two places at once. So 2011 could be the year when many of us find ourselves sitting across the desk from an electronic colleague.

Californian company Willow Garage is developing a so-called telepresence robot called Texai, while Anybots, also in California, recently launched the QB office bot.

The QB, which looks like a small Segway vehicle with a robot head on top, can travel at 6 kilometres per hour, using a laser scanner to avoid books and other office clutter.

It can be controlled via a web browser from anywhere in the world and has camera eyes to allow you to navigate your robot's surroundings and see who you are talking to. A small LCD scre…

New Psychology Theory Enables Computers to Mimic Human Creativity

A dealer in antique coins gets an offer to buy a beautiful bronze coin. The coin has an emperor's head on one side and the date "544 B.C." stamped on the other. The dealer examines the coin, but instead of buying it, he calls the police. Why?

Solving this "insight problem" requires creativity, a skill at which humans excel (the coin is a fake -- "B.C." and Arabic numerals did not exist at the time) and computers do not. Now, a new explanation of how humans solve problems creatively -- including the mathematical formulations for facilitating the incorporation of the theory in artificial intelligence programs -- provides a roadmap to building systems that perform like humans at the task.

Ron Sun, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professor of cognitive science, said the new "Explicit-Implicit Interaction Theory," recently introduced in an article in Psychological Review, could be used for future artificial intelligence.

"As a …

FBI in hunt for pro-WikiLeaks hackers: report

The FBI has joined the hunt for hackers who took down websites like PayPal, after they stopped processing payments to whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, US media reports said Friday.

The Smoking Gun website published five pages of an FBI affidavit, detailing an operation that took US federal investigators to Europe, Canada and back to the United States as they hunted down the "Internet activists" who launched attacks "against perceived corporate enemies of WikiLeaks."

The attacks earlier this month targeted firms including electronic payments site PayPal, and Visa and Mastercard credit cards, which had suspended or frozen WikiLeaks’s accounts after the whistle-blowing website published thousands of sensitive Department of State cables.

In mid-December, the FBI traced Internet protocol addresses for the hackers to Canada and then back to California where a virtual server that was assigned one of the IP addresses used to launch the attacks was housed.


Let's build Babbage's ultimate mechanical computer

IN 1837 British mathematician Charles Babbage described a mechanical computer that later became known as the Analytical Engine. Calling it a computer is no stretch: the Analytical Engine had a central processing unit and memory and would have been programmed with punched cards.

Parts of the Analytical Engine were built in the 1800s and are on display in the Science Museum in London along with a stack of punched cards. But Babbage never completed the project.

The computer was an extension of his well-known Difference Engine, which was designed to calculate tables of numbers such as logarithms.

While building a prototype of the Difference Engine No 1, Babbage realised that a more general-purpose machine was possible. While the Difference Engine could perform the same set of calculations over and over again, it couldn't examine its own results to change its calculations. A machine that can do that has the power of a modern computer.

Even though the Analytical Engine wou…

Flying car to be unveiled in 2011

Toronto:The flying car is on its way.  An American company Terrafugia Transition, based near Boston, is set to unveil the dual-purpose car-cum-plane vehicle called 'The Flying Car' as early as 2011. The two-seater vehicle can let you fly if you wish to avoid the congested city traffic. If you want to drive on the road, just touch the road. The vehicle will fold up its wings in 30 seconds and transform itself into a car. "The Flying Car" can travel up to 725 kilometres in the air at a speed of more than 115 kilometres per hour. Fuelled by gasoline, it has front wheel drive on the road and a propeller for flight. With its wings folded, it can be parked in your ordinary car garage. Its initial cost is expected to be around $200,000 (nearly Rs.1 crore), says the company which has already orders for 60 vehicles. The CEO of the company told Canadian TV (CTV) network here that they have successfully test-flown "The Flying Car" as many as 28 times. The tests have s…

'World's first' glasses-free 3D TV hits stores in Japan

Toshiba on Wednesday launched in Japan what it calls the world's first television that allows viewers to see 3D images without having to wear special glasses, amid intensifying competition in the market. The new model with a liquid crystal display carries a price tag of 119,800 yen (1,400 dollars), which may put off consumers accustomed to falling prices. A 20-inch model will be released on Saturday. While other 3D-capable TVs require glasses that act as filters to separate images to each eye, creating the illusion of depth Toshiba's new screens use processing technology to create depth-filled images. The Regza GL1 Series also allows users to switch between 2D and 3D on normal TV programmes. Kazuhito Gunji, a public relations official at electronics retailer Bic Camera, said the company had received several inquiries from customers on when they can get their hands on the product. Electronics stores are hoping that the release of the latest technology will help offset decli…

BlackBerry denies India e-mail access deal

BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) has hit back at reports, which said that it was ready to allow the Indian authorities have access to customers' highly-secure corporate e-mails.

The Canadian company slammed as “false and technologically infeasible” a report in an Indian newspaper, which said that RIM would allow the Indian government have access to all messages and e-mails sent by its 400,000 BlackBerry customers in the country. An internal Home Ministry memo, apparently seen by the paper, suggested that RIM would automatically make readable all BlackBerry communications, including encrypted enterprise e-mails.
RIM said only an account holder had the necessary key to decrypt the messages. But it confirmed that security authorities and mobile operators would be granted “lawful access” to the popular BlackBerry Messenger chats.
The company is battling to resolve a three-year dispute in the region, with countries including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and In…

Now, a new chip ‘to make desktop computers 20 times faster’

In what could be called a major technological innovation, scientists have unveiled an ultra-fast chip which they claim could make desktop computers 20 times faster than the current ones.
Modern computers have a processor with two, four or sometimes 16 cores to carry out tasks. Now, a team, led by the University of Glasgow, has developed a central processing unit, which effectively has 1,000 cores on a single microchip.
The developments could usher in a new age of high-speed computing in the next few years for home users frustrated with slow—running systems; the new “super” computer is also much greener than modern machines, despite its high speed, say its developers.
The scientists used a chip called a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) which like all microchips contains millions of transistors —— tiny on—off switches that are the foundation of any electronic circuit, the Daily Mail reported.
But FPGAs can be configured into specific circuits by the user, rather than their fu…

Came in front of yourself there will be a car

While driving on the road in our sudden arrival of a risk always remains. It could be a man your tunes going on in Buffalo and also do chew. That they detect a car who put the brakes give yourself how good you are! New Year's cars Hersat complete amateurs can. Swedish company Volvo S60 2011 Volvo Ssidana venting, which is City Safety and Padestrian detection technology. With such technology is the world's first car. City Safety technology, from the back of a vehicle applies brakes to prevent the collision. Suddenly a man came riding on the road or if Padestrian detection technology will alert the driver. Still, give the driver ignored it completely by putting the car will create breaks..

NASA finds more cracks on Discovery fuel tank

NASA said Thursday it has found four more small cracks on the metal supports of the shuttle Discovery's external fuel tank, as the aging shuttle undergoes X-ray testing before its final space mission next year. Repairs would be made to the cracks in a similar fashion to the cracks discovered after the November 5 launch attempt, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said in a statement. The space agency said it was still too early to determine if the new cracks will delay the Discovery's February launch with six astronauts to the orbiting International Space Station. Repairs of the newly discovered cracks will take an estimated two to three days, NASA said. "Any further work will be evaluated thoroughly early next week after additional data is reviewed," it added. The Discovery has been plagued with setbacks since its initial launch attempt last month. It was moved from its launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the Vehicle Assembly Build…

E-book gifts made easy for Kindle, not other e-reader

This holiday season, many people received e-book readers as gifts -- but what about the books?In November, Amazon changed that. You can now buy a Kindle book as a gift. Recently I tested this by purchasing a holiday gift for a friend. She reported that obtaining my gift was easy -- she got an e-mail notification of the gift, clicked a link in the e-mail, clicked a link on the Amazon site to accept the gift, and then was able to download the book to her Kindle. This process also works for people who use the free Kindle smartphone or tablet apps, rather than the Kindle device.However if someone you know uses one of the other popular brand-name e-readers, they're probably out of luck for direct e-book gifting. So far, you cannot give a Barnes & Noble NookBook directly as a gift.

Mobile Comics - All trend and innovation for Indian readers

Bangalore: Marketers are many a time called opportunists. They wait for their luck and hit every possible media slot in hope of striking gold. The growth of mobile as a marketing medium than a technical medium is none other than the splendid intervention of this peer group. However mobile marketing through SMS and MMS are only on an evolving stage. But now comic book sellers are finding a fabulous way to reach potential customers, add a word to your technical jargon - Momics or in other words Mobile Comics. In a venture to cater to the needs of all bookworms and comic lovers who have now shifted into technology and the products and services it offers, Comics are now available in a two-inch screen without losing any of its old punch or enthusiasm. "Momics" are not a new idea as it had been around the corner in the West, but now, at last, they may capture your interest. There's no particular age for reading comics. We all love them and have our own favorite comic …

Skype launches Wi-Fi, 3G video calling to iPhone app

San Francisco: Skype is offering a new video calling application which will run on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The video calling works over both Wi-Fi and 3G.

With this new Skype 3.0 will enable free video calling to the Apple devices and the users will be able to use both Wi-Fi and AT&T's 3G cellular network. With this, users can activate any video chats from their contacts by turning on the video feature. The app is compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 3Gs, and the 4G iPod Touch with iOS 4.0 and above. It also offers free services such as voice or video calls to other Skype users. Users need to pay to make calls from a PC to a landline or cell phone.

As earlier, Skype remains to offer instant messaging, text messaging, audio-only chats, and the ability to call landlines and mobile phones at low rates.

It should be noted that Skype for iPhone is free and video calling needs iOS 4.0 or above. The application can be run on any device with at least iOS 3.0.

How oestrogen can make you smarter

Northwestern Medicine researchers have discovered how oestrogen physically works in brain cells to boost mental performance.

Oestrogen is an elixir for the brain, sharpening mental performance in humans and animals and showing promise as a treatment for disorders of the brain such as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia. Now, the team has found how benefits of oestrogen can be reaped without risks of cancer, heart disease and stroke. Using a special compound, they flipped a switch that mimics the effect of oestrogen on cortical brain cells.

When scientists flipped the switch, they witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of connections between brains cells, or neurons. Those connections, called dendritic spines, are tiny bridges that enable the brain cells to talk to each other. “We created more sites that could allow for more communication between the cells. We are building more bridges so more information can go from one cell to another,” said Deepak Srivastava.

“A …

Nintendo warns against youngsters playing its upcoming 3-D system

Thanks to computer animation, many science fiction movies and cartoon films have become the trend of the day (Avatar, Matrix, Polar Express). The film directors and animation artists try very hard to make the characters as human and life-like as possible. Yet, many viewers are not satisfied with such computer generated imagery. Thalia Wheatley of Dartmouth College entitled: “How when and where we perceive life in a face”, published in the journal Psychological Science The mechanism

The second experiment was done two months later, using 29 students from the same participant list. Each of them was asked to view the same images, but to judge whether the face (a) is thinking or planning to do something, (b) is able to feel pain, or (c) has a mind.
Now the results. In the animacy test, most students found the images that had morphed 67per cent human with 33per cent doll face to be just noticeably alive. And pleasantness was only when the faces were 90per cent human and 10per cen…

What a ‘VU': VU LED N55T28

The 55-incher LED display from VU might just be the perfect head-turner in your living room. The ultra-slim TV plays content in high-def (1080p) and has an HDMI port where you can plug in your Blu-Ray player and watch your favourite flicks.The unit also has an USB port through which you can play back family photographs, listen to music or watch videos.

Facebook helps this couple turn hobby into enterprise

Panaji: While millions of people are hooked to social networking website for varied purpose, there is a success story brewing in the coastal village of Goa about a couple who have managed to turn their hobby into small scale enterprise, thanks to Facebook.

Andrew Felix Vieira, a banking professional and his wife, Rosy, with a professional training in baking, has carved out a full time profession for them which stems from their hobby.
"During Christmas our business used to double but since the time we used Facebook to advertise our venture, the business has tripled," Andrew said.

"All my friends, with whom I had lost contact, got to know that I have started this venture. They started contacting me as everyone is in search of right chocolates for the festive season," he said adding that it was two years back that he logged into Facebook for the first time.

Hailing from a village of Siolim, the couple has started their business 'Vieira Chocolates',…

Google promotes education software through App stores

Bangalore: To come out with an industry for online learning programmes with a value so ambitious that it may approach $5 billion the next year is the current discussion between Google and Educational Software companies.

Google Apps Marketplace has already made available games and instructional tools for teachers from companies such as Grockit and Aviary. Being the largest search engine, Google seeks to attract more educational developers which has resulted in Google stepping up in generating revenue from the project. As stated by the Parthenon Group, the software sales for US schools and colleges this year should surpass the 2009 total of $4.6 billion. Google expects this to be the new growth machine, which gets most of its sales from search advertising.

The company makes available word processing, e-mail and spreadsheet programs to students and teachers free of cost while working with them. Now it wants to enlarge its domain by helping the outside developers sell applicat…

What's in store for the mobile market in 2011?

Bangalore: The mobile market is spiralling toward growth with each year. So with the new year approaching fast, here are the top 10 mobile market trend predictions by the Mobile Marketing Association for the year 2011 in the Asia Pacific region.

1. With evolving mobile technology, the messages on mobile marketing will turn more personalized. Introduction of regulations in the mobile marketing sphere can lead to greater business-to-consumer transactions, eliminating the spams involved in mobile advertising.2. Over-the-top services will bring in revenues for value added services. Operators need to focus more on converged devices like tablets.

3. Applications allowing free SMS, video and phone calls will enter the market. Few like WhatsApp and Viber are already doing so. With more such applications, basic mobile features will be available for free, irrespective of the devices used.

4. With the introduction of the Windows 7, the focus is moving toward strict hardware specifi…