Saturday, December 31, 2011

Five tech predictions for Published Yesterday 2012

The past year in technology was pretty wild.

The really big Internet IPO returned and the massive venture capital funding bubble inflated, which seems difficult considering that the venture capital industry is far smaller than it was three years ago. But look at some of the crazy valuations on revenue-less photosharing start-ups like Color and Path. And there is clearly another bubble inflating in the cloud computing sector, with every company that uses a distributed architecture now calling itself a “cloud company.” So what does 2012 have in store? Here are my predictions.

1. Social media will lose its sizzle.

It’s already happening in fact, as growth of social media usage has begun to slow for upstarts such as FourSquare and stalwarts such as Facebook alike. Silicon Valley has been obsessed with social media and investors have funded hundreds of “me too” start-ups to the tune of billions of dollars. There are social networks for pet owners, all manner of marginal Twitter apps, a ridiculous number of mobile photo-sharing apps, hundreds of apps targeting social media analytics and on and on and on.

Just as location-based applications became a “feature” rather than the “big thing,” social media will live on and become an integral part of what we do. But the party’s over for investors and start-ups in this space. The big growth is behind us. Revenues from social media have not lived up to the promises, and the vast majority of those thousands of start-ups are either dying or on the ropes. It’s time to jump on the next bandwagon, folks.

2. The bubble will pop for the current crop of tech IPOs.

LinkedIn and Zynga will probably lose more than half their value. LinkedIn is a great company, but even its current valuation of $6 billion is hard to justify. Zynga’s valuation is based more on hype than business reality. Groupon will probably lose most of its value as well because of the inability of the company to actually make a real operating profit that doesn’t require odd accounting gyrations.

But we’ll see another bubble of inflated IPOs coming in the form of the next generation of social game companies, newfangled B2B technology players (if Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff doesn’t buy them all first), and cloud computing companies. And there is little doubt that Facebook will be the IPO of the year — but likely at a lower valuation than is being speculated.

3. An explosion of the tablet market driven by sub-$100 tablets.

The Kindle Fire made waves with its $199 tablet, but we will probably see a new generation of Android-powered tablets that are priced at $100 or below. Tablet manufacturers don’t have the financial incentive to make these too cheap because profits shrink along with price. Once these devices get in the $100 range, carriers may subsidize them as a way to get customers to buy data plans — just like they have done for years with smartphones.

For sophisticated consumers, these cheap tablets will seem rudimentary. But there are many new markets that will embrace these devices. And they enable a quantum leap for education systems, communications and information sharing in the developing world. India’s $35 tablet is already a reality. The current version, produced by Montreal-based DataWind is underpowered and clunky, but the next versions will be very usable. Imagine the price pressure DataWind will put on the lower end (meaning everyone but Apple) of the U.S. market if it releases the Aakash tablet in the United States.

4. Voice recognition goes mainstream.

Former CEO and chairman Steve Jobs revolutionized user interaction by popularizing the Windows interface and mouse. With SIRI, he did his magic once again. SIRI is light-years better at handling complex requests than anything on a smartphone to date — and is getting better with each software update. Apple will embed this technology in new devices such as the Apple TV, in future versions of iPads and iMacs. It will probably open the interfaces to other applications and set off the voice revolution.

The type of voice command capabilities that we saw on “Star Trek” will start to become the reality.

5. “Cloudburst” shakes the tech industry.

Cloud computing is advancing faster than our ability to secure systems. Companies are rapidly moving their most critical data and information from file cabinets and secured servers to shared servers on the Web. Cloud computing provides significant cost savings and operational advantages. But it also unleashes a Pandora’s box of security concerns.

We’ve already seen cloud break-ins originating from China. And a number of legitimate Internet companies have suffered when the FBI confiscated a shared server in a cloud hosting facility that also hosted rogue applications. One major security breach could throw cold water over the entire industry and slow down the corporate adoption that is expected to drive cloud growth this year and for many years to come.

No doubt the tech world is in for another roller coaster ride—which will be a lot of fun.

The 9 Oddest Job Interview Questions Asked Published 4 days ago at Tech Companies in 2011

When sitting down for a job interview at a top U.S. tech company, you’d typically expect the interviewer to hammer you with questions testing your abilities, past history and knowledge of the company. You wouldn’t think it was the time or the place to start exploring solutions to world hunger, but that’s exactly what happened to one candidate looking to be a software developer at Amazon.

In Glassdoor‘s annual review of the top 25 oddball questions asked in job interviews in 2011, tech companies feature highly. Although there’s just one question from Google on the list, the Wall Street Journal recently profiled the search giant’s interview process, highlighting the trademark strangeness of some of the questions.

Google’s odd questions range from relatively straightforward mathematical brain teasers like, “Using only a four-minute hourglass and a seven-minute hourglass, measure exactly nine minutes–without the process taking longer than nine minutes,” to truly head-slapping queries such as, “A man pushed his car to a hotel and lost his fortune. What happened?”

Google isn’t alone in this practice. Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and many others have challenged the brains of prospective job candidates in some truly odd ways for a long time. Glassdoor has been publishing a compilation for only since 2009, but the idea has been around a lot longer than that.

The “oddball question,” of course, is meant to challenge the job candidate to think on his or her feet. It forces the interviewee to reach beyond prepared remarks and start engaging in problem solving on the spot. The best “weird” questions still have some relation to the kind of work the position entails. (For example, questions about finding the correct sequence could relate to jobs involving organizational systems.)

What’s the weirdest interview question you’ve ever gotten? Let us know in the comments, and browse the strangest interview questions from tech companies on Glassdoor’s list below.

“How many people are using Facebook in San Francisco at 2:30 p.m. on a Friday?” — Asked at Google, Vendor Relations Manager candidate

“If Germans were the tallest people in the world, how would you prove it?” — Asked at Hewlett-Packard, Product Marketing Manager candidate

“Given 20 ‘destructible’ light bulbs (which break at a certain height), and a building with 100 floors, how do you determine the height that the light bulbs break?” — Asked at Qualcomm, Engineering candidate

“How would you cure world hunger?” — Asked at Amazon.com, Software Developer candidate

“You’re in a row boat, which is in a large tank filled with water. You have an anchor on board, which you throw overboard (the chain is long enough so the anchor rests completely on the bottom of the tank). Does the water level in the tank rise or fall?” — Asked at Tesla Motors, Mechanical Engineer candidate

“Please spell ‘diverticulitis’.” — Asked at EMSI Engineering, Account Manager candidate

“You have a bouquet of flowers. All but two are roses, all but two are daisies, and all but two are tulips. How many flowers do you have?” — Asked at Epic Systems, Corporation Project Manager/Implementation Consultant candidate

“How do you feel about those jokers at Congress?” — Asked at Consolidated Electrical, Management Trainee candidate

“If you were a Microsoft Office program, which one would you be?” — Asked at Summit Racing Equipment, Ecommerce candidate

6 Earth-Shattering Space Published 2 weeks ago Headlines From 2011

There may not have been any human exploration of Mars this year, but there certainly were plenty of galactic milestones in the last 12 months from NASA and international space programs. From the end of the space shuttle program that once had kids dreaming of becoming astronauts to the launch of a space robot to a possible planet twin, which of these 2011 headlines was your highlight of the year's space exploration?

  • End of Shuttle Era — Over the Summer, NASA marked its 135th and final space shuttle mission. After a 30-year long program, the shuttle Atlantis was the last manned American spaceship of its kind to leave Earth. NASA is turning future missions to the exploration of other planets and deep space.
  • Curiosity Mars Rover Takes Off — In hopes of learning more about the Red Planet, NASA launched the Mars Science Laboratory, with a rover named Curiosity on board in November. It will take about nine months before the Rover descends on our neighbor planet, where its high-tech components will analyze the Martian terrain.
  • Earth-Like Planet Confirmed in the Habitable Zone — The team of NASA scientists working with the Kepler satellite confirmed the sighting of a planet in the habitable zone of a distant star. Kepler-22b, is 600 light years away from Earth, is larger in size than our planet, and orbits its sun-like star in just 290 days.
  • Voyager Enters Interstellar Space — After 30 years of travel, the Voyager 1 spacecraft passed the boundaries of our solar system, inching closer to interstellar space. Launched from the US in 1977, Voyager 1 is now about 11 billion miles away from the sun.

Reminisce back to two more 2011 space events after the break.

  • Researchers exit Mars simulation after 520 days — With dreams of humans one day landing on Mars at the top of scientists' wish lists, in November, a group of six men exited a container in Russia where they stayed in close quarters for 18 months to simulate the possible conditions of Mars exploration.
  • Robonaut 2 — Robonaut 2 was launched aboard the space shuttle Discovery in February for transport to the International Space Station. Robonaut is used as the crew's right-hand droid performing tasks that might be too monotonous or dangerous for humans. Plus, it even tweets!

Apple iPad 3

According to reports it would be released in February 2012. iPad 3 is expected to feature a new, thinner and sleeker design, down nearly 20 % in size in comparison to the iPad 2. It will also support full touchscreen HD display with a screen resolution of 2048 x 1536. Lighter battery life is also expected, but that battery is reported to cost 20 – 30 % more than the current iPad’s battery. It will also have a longer battery life. It is expected to have a wireless charging and data transfering technology.

Girl who predicted her death on Facebook, dies of Published 4 weeks ago wounds

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - A 12-year-old girl who was shot by her mother during a standoff inside a Texas food stamp office died of her wounds late Wednesday night, officials said Thursday.

Ramie Grimmer had posted a Facebook message on Monday "may die 2today" after her mother, Rachelle Grimmer, 38, took a supervisor hostage in the Texas Department of Human Services office in the Rio Grande city of Laredo in a dispute over her denial of food stamp benefits.

Rachelle Grimmer released the supervisor, but after a seven hour standoff, police say she shot Ramie and her ten-year-old son Timothy Grimmer, and then killed herself.

Timothy remains in very critical condition in a San Antonio hospital, according to Mary Walker, spokeswoman for Child Protective Services.

State and local officials said Rachelle Grimmer was a troubled woman wandering with her children from residence to residence after moving to Texas from Zanesville Ohio in March.

At one point, the three lived in a tent on the beach near Corpus Christi. Neighbors in Laredo said the children were often seen begging for food while living in a crumbling recreational vehicle which didn't have a place to cook food.

Officials said Texas Child Protective Services had been asked to look into the status of the children while they were living on the beach, but determined there were no signs of abuse or neglect and closed the case.

Laredo police said the Grimmers lived in at least four different places during their brief time in the city.

Officials are trying to determine how a family with such obvious need was able to fall through the cracks of society's safety net, said Stephanie Goodman, spokeswoman for the Department of Human Services.

"Is there anything we could have done differently?" she asked. "Maybe we need to do a better job of public awareness, of doing a better job communicating. Don't just assume that everybody knows how desperate your situation is."

She said Grimmer first applied for food stamp benefits in July, but state officials were unable to reach her, and the case was eventually closed for lack of enough information. Goodman said to her knowledge, the Grimmers never received any benefits from the state, despite their precarious situation.

Private charities in the Laredo area said the Grimmers never requested assistance, even though there are a number of religious and civic aid organizations in the border city of 236,000, which is among the poorest in the nation.

Walker said the surviving child, Timothy, will remain in the hospital for some time, and then is expected to be released into the care of relatives. She does not anticipate the state taking custody of the child.

5 India Positive stories we understated in 2011

The New Year ushers in a vibrant and an exciting year ahead. It is also a time where the majority of the people look to recharge themselves for the challenges ahead. The past year was a year that was filled with major events and it was also a year where some of us missed some of the significant yet understated events of 2011. Sometimes at the end of the present year, it helps us to reflect and try to look at some India positive stories that were camouflaged in between the gamut of popular news.

Indian Army's rising might:

The Indian military had a significant year last year. Strategically, it had empowered its military base in order to compete with the regional powers in Asia. According to the 2011 report by weapons watchdog SIPRI, India is the largest military weapons importer in the year accounting for 9% of the international weapons market between 2006 and 2010. In addition, India is planning to spend $80 billion in expenditures till 2015 including acquisition of sea vessels as part of the purchases.

The "Jugnu" Technological invention by the youth:

One of the significant technological achievements in the past year is the nano satellite Jugnu that has been developed by the students in the mechanical engineering department at IIT Kanpur. The satellite weighs only 3 kg and is distinguished as one of the tiniest nano satellite's that exists today in the world. Since the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) does not have an ejection system for weights less than 10kg, the students designed it from scratch to achieve this milestone. After going through intense tests, it was approved thus making a significant stride in the world of space technological enterprise.

Sports besides cricket do win big:

We won the gold medal in Kabaddi World Championship this year and more recently Shiva Kesavan also got the gold in the Luge event in the Asian cup in Japan this year. Well, luge is a sport and I didn't misspell the world. Kesavan's achievements were noticed but largely overshadowed by the cricket phobia country. In addition to this, the archery team performed creditably with the trio of Deepika Kumari, Chekrovolu Swuro and Laishram Bombayala Devi finished runners up in the recently concluded World Championships

Dr Devi Pratap Shetty's Economist Honour:

The Economist magazine honored Dr Shetty for his tremendous contribution to Indian health care by giving him the Innovation award. Even though he is one of the most celebrated surgeons in India, one of his major accomplishments has been his ability to provide cost effective medication to the larger sections of society. He has performed more than 15,000 heart surgeries and charges a meager $2,000 per surgery while his contemporaries in the US charge anywhere between $20,000 to $100,000. With an astute use of technology and modern equipment's, he has reduced the cost to the common man without any compromise on the quality of the treatment.

Jana Gana Mana @100:

Our symbolic and poignant National anthem completed a century this December 27th. While India awaits Sachin's 100th century every minute, barely do we hear about the mentioning of the 100 years of the national anthem. The great poet Tagore performed this song in the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress in 1911, it was the dawn of the most revered piece of art that the nation has ever seen. There is no other piece of musical masterpiece that has traversed a century yet retains its reach across the masses. Even today, when we stand up for our national anthem, the music is soul stirring and resonates across Indians all over the world.

Whats the point of all these stories? The point is simple. Even though the news provides us information, sometimes it is required to look beyond the news to carve out the gems that go under the gamut of popular news. Since there is so much news and information, the ability to pick out real events that do not gain headlines is sometimes nonexistent. News is what we seek rather than what is fed to us and it helps to look beyond the lens to ensure we don't miss some of the best news stories. Let's hope that happens in 2012.

Wishing you a very happy 2012 and a great year ahead!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Lyrics to Jingle Bells

Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
O'er the fields we go
Laughing all the way
Bells on bob tails ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to laugh and sing
A sleighing song tonight

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh

A day or two ago
I thought I'd take a ride
And soon Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
We got into a drifted bank
And then we got upsot

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh yeah

Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

2011: The Year in Google

What was on the world's mind in 2011? Rebecca Black, according to Google's Zeitgeist 2011 roundup. The teen singer's viral video wonder "Friday" had over 167 million view on YouTube, and searches for her name made it the number one fastest-rising search term on the site in 2011.

Google's Zeitgeist review of the year is largely made up of the fastest-rising search terms in categories such as people, entertainment, consumer electronics, and news for every region worldwide. Interestingly, the fastest-falling searches are also listed with the once top social network, MySpace, securing the number one spot for losing the most global interest online this year.

Here's a detail of the fastest-moving US search terms in their respective categories:
Google News — Hurricane Irene
Image Search — Planking
Google Maps — International airport, with Ikea not far behind at number two
Product Search — HP TouchPad

Friday, December 9, 2011

Nokia Concept Phone Runs on Coke

As a general rule, cell phone batteries are costly, resource-intensive, and difficult to dispose of properly. So why not ditch them and run our cell phones on soda? That’s the thinking behind designer Daizi Zheng’s concept phone for Nokia. Instead of running on traditional batteries, the concept phone uses a bio battery that generates electricity from carbohydrates.

Fuel cells powered by sugar are nothing new — they’ve been in use for years — but Zheng’s point seems to be that we shouldn’t overlook innovative uses for the products we consume everyday. And of course, maybe Coke does belong in a battery more than it belongs in our bodies. It doesn’t hurt that the bio battery can operate for three to four times longer than a lithium-ion battery on a single charge, either.

We jut have one question: what about all the energy used to produce Coke? In the end, it probably makes more sense to use plain sugar water as a fuel source — unless it’s your New Year’s resolution to give up on your stockpile of soda.

Dell Froot Concept Design

With the environment and sustainability firmly in mind the Dell Froot concept saves the planet courtesy two projectors: One for the virtual keyboard, and another for the monitor.

Designed by Pauline Carlos as part of a sustainability contest sponsored by Dell, the Froot also uses a colorful case that’s constructed out of a biodegradable starch-based polymer. As it’s a futuristic concept, the lack of a mouse is understabdable—we’ll no doubt be using our brains by then.


Do you know exactly when was Lord Rama born? When did Rama kill Ravana? Read all this below.

Lord Ram was born on the noon of January10 in the year 5114 BC. In Hindu calendar, it was the ninth day of Shukla Paksha in Chaitra month. Stunned! Well, this exact date of the birthday of Lord Rama is found in the book ‘Dating the Era of Lord Ram’ by Shri Pushkar Bhatnagar. The exact date was obtained by entering the planetary configuration at the time of the birth of Lord Ram as mentioned in the Valmiki Ramayana in Planetarium Software. Interestingly, for thousands of years Hindus have been celebrating Ram Navmi, the birthday of Lord Ram, exactly on the same time and date.

In the original Sanskrit Ramayana written by Sage Valmiki, while mentioning about the birth of Lord Ram, Valmiki had mentioned the astronomical details of the precise moment. Valmiki himself was present in the palace of Dasaratha and he mentions it thus in Bala Kanda of Ramayana.

When this data was entered in the Planetarium software, the day was January 10, 5114 BC. But how could Chaitra Shukla Navami occur in January? We celebrate Ram Navami in March or April.

There is an astronomical phenomenon called ‘precision’ of the sun as also of the equinoxes. According to the latter, the star which is now taken to be the Pole Star (Dhruv Tara), would yield the place to the Star Abhijit (Vega, alpha Lyrae), 14,000 years from now. So when the lunar month of Chaitra occurred seven thousand years ago in the month of January, 7000 years later, it occurs in the month of (generally) April.

Further, Valmiki had mentioned about other planetary configuration. One such was the planetary configuration when King Dashratha decided to make Lord Ram the king of Ayodhya. According to the book, such a planetary configuration was prevailing on January 5, 5089 BC. Lord Ram was then 25 years old and there are indications in the Ramayana that Lord Ram left Ayodhya when he was 25.

The solar eclipse mentioned in the Ramayana work out precisely to the Ramayana period. From an article written in 2003 in the Tribune by Saroj Bala on the book ‘Dating the Era of Lord Ram’

Valmiki Ramayana refers to the solar eclipse at the time of war with Khardushan in latter half of 13th year of Shri Ram’s living in forests. Valmiki has also mentioned that it was Amavasya that day and planet Mars was in the middle. When this data was entered, the computer software indicated that there was a solar eclipse on October 7, 5077 BC (Amavasya day) which could be seen from Panchvati. On that date, the planetary configuration was the same as has been described by Valmiki i.e. Mars was in the middle, on one side were Venus and Mercury and on the other side were Sun and Saturn. On the basis of planetary configurations described in various other chapters, the date on which Ravana was killed works out to December 4, 5076 BC. Shri Ram completed 14 years of exile on January 2, 5075 BC. That day was also Navami of Shukla Paksha in Chaitra month. Thus, Shri Ram had come back to Ayodhya when he was 39 years old (5114-5075).


1. 219   Virender Sehwag    India v West Indies Indore 2011–2012
2. 200* Sachin Tendulkar   India v South Africa Gwalior 2009–2010
3. 194* Charles Coventry   Zimbabwe v Bangladesh Bulawayo 2009
4. 194   Saeed Anwar          Pakistan v India Chennai 1997
5. 189* Sir Viv Richards    West Indies v England Manchester 1984

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Humans can destroy Moon trying to produce helium-3 solar isotope

There is a dangerous tendency in the Russian manned space technology and exploration. Some scientists believe that the extraction of natural resources on the Moon should be viewed as a main purpose of the lunar program. The mining of helium-3, the “solar isotope, on Earth’s natural satellite, is the cornerstone of such a concept. Helium-3 used as a thermonuclear fuel is alleged to be capable of providing mankind with immense advantages in terms of energy. Many an expert have already expressed their skepticism about a helium mining project on the Moon, stressing the point that it would entail astronomical costs. More importantly, the costs would be totally unjustified. Suffice it to say, that 100 million tons of lunar soil would have to be processed for the production of one ton of the isotope. 

It is still unclear what is to be done about helium-3 should the isotope be delivered to Earth. Further development of reactors running on deuterium and tritium is currently the most promising and feasible area of research in thermonuclear power engineering. Both deuterium and tritium occur in abundance in the ocean. One of such reactors, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, is being built in France.

In August 2005, the French researcher P. E. Schtott published an article in the British journal Physics of Plasma and Controlled Reaction. He pointed out that “even under the most favorable circumstances possible the ignition of reaction (of deuterium and helium-3) would require… much higher plasma characteristics than those necessary for triggering the reaction of deuterium and tritium.” Academician Evgeny Velikhov, president of the Kurchatov Institute, a Russian research center, shares the viewpoint: “We need to learn how to burn helium before we start bringing it down to Earth. We don’t have to go to the Moon for doing so.”

It is noteworthy that John Marburger, director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House, made a special reference to the controversial issue of helium production while delivering a speech at the American Aeronautical Society on March 15, 2006. His speech concerned the ways of attracting private companies to the implementation of the officially declared U.S. lunar exploration program. “I’m not talking about the production of helium-3 for the purpose of using it as a fuel for a thermonuclear reactor. I have my doubts that the project will ever pay off,” said Marburger.

The plans for mining of helium-3 on the Moon may divert significant intellectual, production and economic capabilities of the country from the implementation of more feasible and less costly space programs e.g. a manned space mission to Mars. Academician Roald Sagdeyev, the former director of the Institute of Space Studies, is confident that “today’s intentions to mine natural resources on the Moon can utterly discredit the manned space exploration and technology in the eyes of both the taxpayers and politicians. It will be seen as a kind of cardsharping aimed at uncontrolled and unaccounted appropriation of colossal budget funds.”

Lunar eclipse December 10th 2011

The last and the longest total lunar eclipse ( Chandra Grahan) of 2011 will be on December 10th and it will be visible in India, Dubai, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and United States.

Central and eastern Asia is where the eclipse can be best viewed and photographed.

People on the west coast of the United States and Canada will see the beginning of totality just as the moon disappears below the western horizon. Viewers on the east coast will not see the start of the umbral eclipse before moonset.

When will it occur?

The eclipse’s total phase lasts for 51 minutes. It starts at at 11:33:36 Universal Time (UT), with totality starting at 14:06:16 UT.

The point of the greatest eclipse occurs at 14:31:49 UT. The umbral eclipse magnitude will reach 1.11 at this point.

Totality ends at 14:57:24 UT, and the entire eclipse finally ends at 17:29:57 UT.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Grand Theft Auto III: 10 Year Anniversary Edition Coming to Mobile Devices on December 15

Grand Theft Auto III: 10 Year Anniversary Edition will be available for select new generation iOS and Android devices on the App Store and Android Marketplace next week, December 15th for $4.99. Below is an updated list of devices to be supported at launch, along with some brand new screenshots from both the iOS and Android versions (also look for a new trailer to coincide with the official release next week).

Apple iOS Devices: iPad 1 & 2, iPhone 4 & 4S, iPod touch 4th Generation
Android Phones: HTC Rezound, LG Optimus 2x, Motorola Atrix 4G, Motorola Droid X2, Motorola Photon 4G, Samsung Galaxy R, T-Mobile G2x
Android Tablets: Acer Iconia, Asus Eee Pad Transformer, Dell Streak 7, LG Optimus Pad, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1, Sony Tablet S, Toshiba Thrive

Android Screen shots

Mercedes Benz BlueZero

The Mercedes Benz BlueZero is Eco-Friendly concept car which is a latest addition if eco friendly series cars of world famous Mercedes Benz. To making BlueZero car main inspiration came with the idea of manufacturing car which is eco-conscious and affordable, and which provides us huge amount of platforms in our daily use. They are keeping in mind their sandwich floor concept of Mercedes, they allow three different platforms in this concept structure to realize: the first one is E-Cell with battery, the second one is E-Cell plus with battery and gasoline both and last the third one is F-Cell with hydrogen. It allows the power train to shift into the base cells in the event of front-end impact. It is not only a safety solution; it also helps in creating a universal platform.

With the view point of its design, essential three pointed star located in the middle of the front grille which seen common in comparison of other Benz models. Its sweeping curve makes car appearance unique which starts right behind the front part and finishes up the beltline situated near back side of car. This new Mercedes Benz Eco-friendly Concept is running on its existing architecture, sensible judgment and consumer’s confidence and strong support.


BlueZERO F-Cell is the fuel cell version. The F-cell would contain a fuel cell and most likely use a hydrogen fuel source, maintaining the green aspect of the vehicle. This will allow the vehicle to attain a 248-mile (399 km) range.

The BlueZERO F-CELL will suit communities where plans for hydrogen fuel delivery capability are at an advanced stage, like in the State of California, or in Germany and France.

BlueZERO E-Cell is the all-electric vehicle, with 35 kWh battery capacity (that gives an only-electric range), a compact electric motor of 100 kW (continuous output 70 kW) that is going to be produced in 2010. This all electric version has a range of 124 miles (200 km) on a single charge, which makes it ideal for city travel and running errands.

BlueZERO E-Cell Plus is a series plug-in hybrid vehicle (extended range electric vehicle), that includes an optional use gasoline engine, which is primarily used as a generator to the on-board electric motor, with a 372-mile (599 km) range on a single tank and 62-mile (100 km) only-electric range. The E-CELL PLUS features a rapid charging option with a capacity of 20 kW, enough power to allow for a 31-mile (50 km) cruising range in about 30 minutes. To achieve full electric charge, a little over an hour is needed, which will then allow the BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS to achieve its maximum range of 62 miles (100 km).

They both uses cooled lithium-ion batteries manufactured by Li-Tec that boast a full recharge time of 2 hours.

Upcoming nokia human form phone with advanced nanotechnology

Nokia is coming with its new human form phone concept with nanotechnology. Can't wait for it, once you know about it..

Nokia World event recently held in London where company has showed a prototype of their upcoming flexible phone with flexible screen. This flexible phone allowed you to be use in various interesting ways. Its new video hits the internet showcasing the future of upcoming flexible mobile phone according to Nokia.

They dub it Human Form concept; this upcoming concept phone has strange oval shape and this new Nokia Human Form is completely flexible. This latest concept phone acts like the transparent touchscreen which means you are pressing any part of Nokia Human Form; it will let you operate it.

This Nokia flexible concept phone also provides imminent into Nokia’s focus on utilizing nanotechnology to increase user’s experience. This latest nanotechnology maintains to be able to realize the mood of caller’s and it will change the ringtone according to the caller mood. But the focus of video remains on flexible display screen technology and its connections, like distortion the screen zoom in and zoom out.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Scented iPhone cases by Jelly Belly beans

Make your iPhone much special than your friends with the new scented case. Feel amazing..!!
Jelly Belly, makers of the popular candy beans have launched scented covers for Apple and BlackBerry devices.

Manufacturers claim “the Jelly Belly secret jelly bean recipe has been used to scent each case and the product is tipped as one of the hot crazes to hit shelves this Christmas”.

Flavours available include Bubblegum, Very Cherry, Blueberry, Top Banana, French Vanilla, Liquorice, Grape and, of course, Green Apple and Wild Blackberry.

The gel cases will fit the iPhone 4 and 4S models, and Blackberry 8520 and 9300 models. They are “in the same vibrant colours as the popular beans”, and also come with a 10g pack of Jelly Belly beans. The camera lens hole is also the shape of a jelly bean.

The iPhone cases are available from today at £17.99 from The Carphone Warehouse; the BlackBerry cases will be available more widely and cost £15.99.

Apple iPhone 5 coming in march, with a larger screen

Apple is coming up with its new iPhone edition after its latest iPhone 4S. It comes up with a much larger screen to conquer the market than any other top selling devices.

The decision to use a larger screen for the new iPhone would put the Apple device in line with the majority of top Google Android phones. A 4” LCD panel would be an increase of 0.5” on the current iPhone 4S, and compare more favourably with top-selling devices such as the 4.2” Samsung Galaxy SII and the Motorola Razr’s 4.3” screen.

The change would also be in line with reports that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was working on a “radical redesign” of the iPhone up until very shortly before his death earlier this year.

Japanese blog, Macotakara claim that Hitachi Displays and Sony Mobile Display Corporation have begun to ship the displays for a “new iOS device.” Both companies are also known to be working on screens for the iPad 3.

Conflicting rumours, however, have suggested that the iPhone 5 may adopt either a new, teardrop shape or simply be an enlarged iPhone 4S. iLounge, a respected Apple blog, claims the new model will be 8mm longer and use an aluminium metal case, citing rumours from Digitimes.

When users will find out for certain is also subject to debate; a March launch has been suggested for the iPhone by a number of blogs, who have also suggested it for the iPad 3. Hexus, however, has claimed that Apple could make a rare announcement at February’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The latest iOS software contains references to a new iPad, iPhone and Apple TV.

Previous rumours had suggested that the launch of the iPhone 4S was originally planned to be for the more comprehensively redesigned product iPhone 5. Floods and other events disrupting the supply chain, however, may have been behind Apple's decision to launch the upgraded 4S, but upgrade patterns for the original iPhone have adopted a similarly incemental cycle.

Audi e-tron

The German car maker Audi comes up with its new electric car, Audi e-tron. What makes it so special from other electric cars. Have a look...

The synchronous electric motor of the Audi A1 e-tron is mounted transversely at the front of the car. Its low mounting position has a positive effect on the vehicle’s center of gravity. Continuous output is rated at 45 kW (61 hp), with peak power of 75 kW (102 hp) available in short bursts. 150 Nm (110.63 lb-ft) of torque is continuously available, and peak torque is 240 Nm (177.01 lb-ft).

The electric motor sends its power to the front wheels via a single-speed transmission. The elegant, retractable selector lever on the console of the center tunnel used to choose between “Drive,” “Reverse,” and “Neutral” was taken from the first Audi e-tron.

The power electronics are mounted in the engine compartment above the electric motor. The most important components are the pulse-controlled inverter, which serves as the controller between the electric motor and the battery; the DC converter, which connects the high-voltage network with the 14 volt electrical system; a breaker unit to protect the high-voltage components; and the charging module. The socket for the standard charging plug is located behind the rings in the single-frame grille of the Audi A1 e-tron. A fully depleted battery can be recharged in approximately three hours from the 380 volt grid. A display immediately adjacent to the plug-in connection shows the current charge status and the charging time remaining.

The concept of the innovative Mega City Vehicle requires the electrification of key auxiliaries. The refrigerant compressor of the climate control system, for example, is electrically powered by a high-voltage electric motor that supplies only the amount of power needed at the time.

This increases system efficiency substantially compared to conventional concepts. Thanks to a special circuit, the climate control loop also functions as a heat pump that regulates the temperature of the cabin and the battery.

The power steering of the Audi A1 e-tron is electro-mechanical and thus particularly energy-efficient. An electronic brake system makes it possible to tap into the recuperation potential of the electric motors. A hydraulic fixed-caliper brake is mounted on the front axle, with two novel electrically-actuated floating-caliper brakes mounted on the rear axle. These floating calipers are actuated not by any mechanical or hydraulic transfer elements, but rather by wire (“brake by wire”). In addition, this eliminates frictional losses due to residual slip when the brakes are not being applied. In addition, the servo unit received a new, demand-controlled electric vacuum pump.

The large electric motor powering the A1 e-tron can convert braking energy into electric current and feed it back into the electrical system. The high degree of recuperation benefits overall efficiency. The electric control actions are imperceptible to the driver, who notices only the familiar, precise, and perfectly controllable pedal feel.

The energy storage unit is arranged below the floor, where it is ideal for the center of gravity and weight distribution. The battery pack is shaped like a T, with the short “transverse beam” filling the rear section of the center tunnel and the “cross-beam” filling that area in front of the rear axle where the fuel tank is otherwise located. The 380 volt lithium-ion rechargeable battery has a nominal energy content of 12 kilowatt hours. It comprises 96 prismatic cells and weighs less than 150 kilograms (330.69 lb).

>>The Audi A1 e-tron can drive 50 kilometers (31.07 miles) emission-free in city traffic on the powerful battery. On longer trips, the battery is recharged by a particularly compact internal combustion engine mounted below the luggage compartment.

The range extender

The A1 e-tron concept car has a Wankel engine as a range extender, but other compact concepts are also possible. The small single-rotor Wankel has a chamber volume of 254 cc and runs at a constant 5,000 rpm in its peak efficiency window. The electronics also consider navigation data such as the destination and route profile to automatically activate the range extender as needed. The driver can also turn the range extender on and off as necessary with the push of a button The fuel tank holds 12 liters (3.17 US gallons).

The great strengths of the Wankel engine are the nearly vibration-free and quiet operation, the small dimensions, and the extremely low weight. Together with the generator, which is powered by the Wankel engine and produces 15 kW of electric power, the complete assembly weighs only around 70 kilograms (154.32 lb). This weight also includes the special power electronics, the intake, exhaust, and cooling unit, plus the insulation and the subframe.

Nearly total silence

The first defining impression that the driver of the Audi A1 e-tron gets is that of nearly total silence. Even the Wankel engine in the back can barely be heard when it is running.

The second characteristic perception is the power of the electric motor, nearly all of which is available instantly and thrusts the Audi A1 e-tron forward with authority. The innovative Mega City Vehicle, which despite its complex drive technology weighs only 1,190 kilograms (2,623.50 lb) delivers zero-emission driving fun in a modern and sophisticated manner. The vehicle accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 10.2 seconds and has a top speed of more than 130 km/h (80.78 mph).

The Audi A1 e-tron can also cover longer distances if the range extender charges the battery. The extra range, which is intended primarily for interurban driving, is 200 kilometers (124.27 miles).

According to the draft standard, the two different operating modes yield a fuel consumption of only 1.9 l/100 km (123.80 US mpg), which corresponds to CO2 emissions of 45 g/km (72.42 g/mile). In electric mode, there are zero local CO2 emissions - the compact A1 e-tron is thus ecological and economical.

The third impression that the A1 e-tron makes is that of a larger car. The compact two-door boasts all of the strengths of the new A1 model series – the carefully tuned, sporty chassis with specially designed 18 inch alloy wheels and 215/35 R18 tires; the generous, “grown-up” interior; the excellent fit and finish; and a multitude of high-end equipment.

The dark shade “ebony” dominates the interior. The seats – with stone gray seams – and the headliner are in “Alabaster White.”

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Zuckerberg: Facebook ‘Made a Bunch of Published 5 days ago Mistakes’ on Privacy

Facebook has agreed to a settlement with the FTC over charges that the social network had deceived its users about privacy. The FTC had accused Facebook in an eight-count complaint of not living up to its own promises. Among them: sharing users’ personal information with third parties without their knowledge or consent, changing privacy practices without informing users, and claiming to have a program to verify the security of apps when it didn’t.

The terms of the settlement bar Facebook from making any further “deceptive privacy claims.” Facebook also agrees to obtain users’ permission before making any changes to the way the service shares their information. It also must submit to regular assessments from privacy auditors for a no less than 20 years.

“The most important thing is to ensure consumer privacy going forwred, and we believe this order does that,” FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a conference call about the settlement. “It will also allow Facebook to move on and create more services and features. Nothing in this order will prevent Facebook from innovating.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed the settlement in a statement, saying Facebook had proactively addressed the FTC’s complaints but that the company had “made a bunch of mistakes.”

Flexible Samsung phone 'to be issued in 2012'

The new Samsung Galaxy Skin is set to feature a bendable AMOLED display that will allow users to roll it up like a wrist-watch.

Samsung is poised to release a flexible mobile phone, according to reports in the International Business Times. The new Samsung Galaxy Skin will feature an AMOLED display that will allow the phone to bend around a cylinder with a 1-inch diameter. Brighter than the normal screen, the AMOLED display is also low-energy and almost unbreakable, according to the reports.

Using a plastic polyimide substrate instead of glass, Samsung has produced displays that are “rollable [and] bendable” and which can even “survive blows from a hammer”. The phone was developed by Prof Haeseong Jee and Jye Yeon You.

The key material of this new technology is ‘graphene’, touted as “the miracle material”. Research by scientists from Columbia University has established that ‘graphene’ is the strongest material in the world, “some 200 times stronger than structural steel”.

The Galaxy Skin will offer a high-resolution 800×480 flexible AMOLED screen, eight megapixel camera and 1Gb of RAM as well as a 1.2GHz processor. Samsung has not yet disclosed the device’s operating system, but there have been rumors about Jelly Bean – Google’s next Android release after Ice Cream Sandwich – or a new release called Android Flexy.

 The new core technology also allows the phone to be used as a mouse, a clock or a wrist-watch.

Relief from 'Parking Wars': Computer Software to Revamp City Parking

For those who live or work in cities, parking is a major source of stress and frustration. Researchers estimate that for every 110 vehicles circulating on the roads looking for spaces, there are 100 available spots, both in lots and on the street.

Now Nadav Levy, a Ph.D. student at Tel Aviv University's Porter School of Environmental Science, along with his supervisors Prof. Itzhak Benenson of the Department of Geography and the Human Environment and Dr. Karel Martens of Holland's Radboud University, are answering the need for a more efficient way to park. They have developed a computer simulator that models the real-life parking challenges of a particular district or city, identifying different strategies for improvement and testing the impact of new policies before they are implemented on the roads.

The simulator, called PARKAGENT, takes into account real parking policies, drivers, and parking inspectors for an exact replication of any given city, including roads, buildings, and parking lots. Recently published in the journal Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, the software has already been put to the test, evaluating the potential impact of parking policy changes in Israel and Europe.

Predicting policy outcomes

When considering issues such as where to place parking lots or how to establish the routes of the parking inspectors, city officials have few resources to measure the success of their choices. Their decisions, though seemingly mundane, have a high impact on a city's traffic flow. Up to 30 percent of cars driving in the center of the city at peak hours are looking for parking, says Levy, wasting gas and creating congestion, pollution, and noise.

The simulator tests a new parking policy by implementing it into the PARKAGENT environment, gathering information on how these policies impact the drivers, who have individualized parking needs. The software takes into account their probable destinations, how long they require parking, and how much they are willing to pay. Policies could include a change in the amount of time permitted in a public parking space, the construction or closing of a parking lot, or the construction of a new building in the environment -- all of which alter parking demand.

The software assesses key values such as the drivers' cruising time, how long they park for, and the distance from the parking space to their destination. Levy analyzes the resulting data to determine whether a policy would decrease the time the drivers would spend to find a parking place near the destination. The software can also be used to determine which routes parking inspectors should travel for optimal distribution of parking tickets.

Levy and his supervisors have already completed an analysis to determine the impact of an additional multi-story parking garage in the Israeli city of Ramat Gan, and they are now working in collaboration with the city of Antwerp, Belgium, to predict the outcome of a plan to replace a parking lot with a boardwalk along a river.

Solving the parking woes of urban living

According to Levy, urban parking policies can use a major overhaul. Until now, he says, city officials have not dealt with these issues scientifically, working more on "hunches" about where they suspect parking is required, and for how long. PARKAGENT removes the guesswork.

Many major cities make two main mistakes with their parking policies, he adds. In North America and Israel, on-street parking is typically cheaper than off-street. Drivers then aim to find cheap parking in the city, and drive around more than necessary just to "check," explains Levy. City traffic would move more efficiently if drivers had incentive to park in lots straightaway. The second error is not enforcing a strict time limit for high-demand parking areas. Increased turnover, caused by time restrictions, will benefit both businesses and drivers, making the quest for a parking spot much easier.

Nonetheless, Levy predicts that the future of urban transportation lies in alternatives to private cars, such as mass transportation systems, bicycles, and car-sharing systems. As cities get denser, private cars will become inefficient, hindering urban mobility, he says.

Roll Laptop or Rolltop

Though many cool designs have been offered for the laptops of the future but digital roll is really awesome and unique concept designed by Hao Hua. The Roll Laptop can be considers as “next generation laptop design,” as it does away with the book-like form factor in favor of one mimicking an artist’s scroll. Whether or not something like this will even be possible in the near future seems to matter less when you look at how much effort Hua put in the design.

Though it’s just a concept but the design is inspiring and would definitely catch the eyes of other designers wishing to create a better-looking and practical laptop. If this hits the market, it would be swept off the shelves in no time.

DrinKlip- Simple but innovative

Check out this innovative design for anyone that is short of space on your desk but needs a drink close at hand. The DrinKlip attaches itself to a desk edge creating a neat drinks holder. It also provides extra anti-spill protection built in.

The DrinKlip was designed by Kim Hyun-been, who also holds down a full-time job designing mobile phones for LG Electronics.

Gingerbread surpasses 50% distribution on Android devices

It’s been nearly a year since Google made Android 2.3 Gingerbread available to the public, and it’s taken nearly that long for it to dominate the Android space. Google’s posted the November numbers for the various distributions of Android, and Gingerbread has surpassed the 50% mark for the first time. The various versions of Gingerbread now run on 50.6% of all Android phones and tablet, up from 43.9% last month.

Froyo is still on more than a third of active Android devices, however. Android 2.2 accounts for 35.3 of all devices. On the plus side, 2.1 Eclair, now almost two years old, is only being used by slightly more than 10% of phones and tablets. Honeycomb is still at a measely 2.4% of all Android devices, but it’s restricted to tablets, and was not available in an open-source form until a few weeks ago.

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich doesn’t show up on the latest chart, despite being available on the Galaxy Nexus in a few select markets. But its’ got a lot of growing to do, and will probably do so very fast: unlike Honeycomb, it’s been open source from the get go, and device manufacturers will begin to implement it into new hardware very soon. Makers of inexpensive Android tablets in China are already starting to test alpha hardware running ICS. And the open source code opens the door for custom ROM makers, many of whom have already released early versions for existing phones and tablets.