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Showing posts from January 11, 2011

Bahrain launches single e-ID for government services

Abu Dhabi: A single electronic identity card that can be used to access an array of government services, while being assured of security against online theft, has launched in Bahrain.
"The National Authentication Framework project for Accessing Electronic Service is a new initiative in Bahrain that enables individuals to access various e-services offered by both government and non-governmental entities using a single dedicated identity profile," Shaikh Ahmad Bin Atteyatallah Al Khalifa, minister of cabinet affairs and telecommunications, was quoted as saying by Gulf News"Users can now access and browse all e-government services and transactions through different electronic delivery channels such as the e-government portal on the internet, the mobile portal, e-government centres and e-kiosks."
Mohammad Al Qaed, chief executive officer of Bahrain e-Government Authority, said the project "involves two out of three authentication factors - password and t…

New dimension to gaming

Nintendo's next handheld is arguably the biggest advancement in videogame technology in a long, long time. Revealed last year at Nintendo's E3 press conference, the handheld, dubbed the Nintendo 3DS, will be the most advanced piece of hardware to enter entertainment space. The 3DS possesses tech that is even more advanced than Sony's latest 3D-enabled Bravia or Samsung's latest LED — it allows you to experience 3D content without glasses. It also goes further by adding a 3D camera — the cheapest commercially available 3D camera in the market. Think about it. You can click pictures of yourself, family, pets and friends in 3D — provided you can hold it steady.

But let's get to the good stuff — the games. The first game showcased at E3 was Kid Icarus: Uprising. Not only was the game the first everyone got so see in 3D on the DS, it also showed that the handheld hadn't yet been pushed to its limit. Kid Icarus: Uprising sported graphics that were great …

Mobile phones can produce hilarious text

London: We've all done that - hurriedly typing out a text message that doesn't quite turn out as we'd hoped. But for those who use the built-in dictionary on their mobile phones, embarrassing miscommunication can jump to a whole new level.
Take the mother who wanted to treat her children by making them visit Santa Claus one Christmas. She didn't sound so loving when she texted a friend: "Taking the kids to see Satan
Modern mobile phones come with a built-in dictionary which enables them to predict what word a user wants from only a few key presses, the Daily Mail reported.

Each key represents three letters. It differs from the older system in which users had to hit keys several times per letter, for example pressing the 5 key three times for the letter L.
For this reason, phones can often predict a completely random word - often with hilarious results.
For example, it is easy to end up asking a friend out for a quick riot (pint) or telling them about being s…

An escalator to space - not very far away

Chennai: The day may not be far away when an elevator attendant asks your preferred destination - low earth orbit (LEO) or geostationary orbit (GrSO). Research is fast progressing in advanced countries on designing a space elevato, according to an Indian space expert. "Space scientists and engineers are looking at the possibility of designing an elevator to travel into space. It is also time that Indian research institutions looked at developing carbon nanotube composite fibre, nano epoxy and laser power beaming," A. Senthil Kumar, deputy head at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), told IANS in an interview.VSSC is part of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Kumar, who addressed the 98th Indian Science Congress that concluded Friday, said: "The space elevator consists of a cable from an anchor in the ground to a counter weight located beyond geostationary orbit (GSO) that is 35,786 km away. A climber will move up on a carbon nanotube tether …

Climate Change to Continue to Year 3000 in Best Case Scenarios

New research indicates the impact of rising CO2 levels in the Earth's atmosphere will cause unstoppable effects to the climate for at least the next 1000 years, causing researchers to estimate a collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet by the year 3000, and an eventual rise in the global sea level of at least four metresThe study, to be published in the Jan. 9 advanced online publication of the journal Nature Geoscience, is the first full climate model simulation to make predictions out to 1000 years from now. It is based on best-case, 'zero-emissions' scenarios constructed by a team of researchers from the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis (an Environment Canada research lab at the University of Victoria) and the University of Calgary.

"We created 'what if' scenarios," says Dr. Shawn Marshall, Canada Research Chair in Climate Change and University of Calgary geography professor. "What if we completely stopped using foss…

Swaminathan:document indigenousclimate-resilient farming knowledge

Agriculture scientist M.S. Swaminathan called on Wednesday for documenting indigenous farming knowledge which coped with monsoon vagaries.

In earlier days when there was no irrigation, farmers were prepared for floods and droughts.

The climate-resilient farming was a way of life in those days, and people went in for mixed cropping.

Dr. Swaminathan said a publication could be brought out on procedures adopted by farmers and how effective they were in coping with climate swings, he said.

Addressing a symposium on climate change at the 98th Indian Science Congress at Kattankulathur near here, he pointed out that 127 agro-climatic zones had been identified in the country based on the cropping and weather factors.

Dr. Swaminathan, who is also chairperson of the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, urged that climate risk management research and training centres be set up in each zone. Through the centres, alternative cropping strategies and methods of checking potential advers…

Buying a cheap laptop without Windows: Is it worth it?

A cheap laptop with a reasonable level of hardware, but no Windows operating system: bargain hunters can often find offers of this type on the internet. They are definitely worth checking out -- presuming you have the patience to work with alternative operating systems such as Linux and have time to perform installation.

The decision to forego Windows is the reason for the noticeably low prices of these offers. Manufacturers can save themselves the license fees that they otherwise must pay to Microsoft for each installation of Windows.

“The low-end laptop market in particular is so hard fought that manufacturers will grab for any dollars they can save,” explains Elmar Geese, chairman of the Linux association in Berlin. In place of Windows, the laptops come either without an operating system or use a pre-installed variant of the typically no-cost alternative operating system Linux.

For the user, that means a bit of extra work and acclimation.

Simply installing Windows fro…