25 February 2012

The News - News

The News - News


Google Glasses Coming, Along with 7 Problems

Posted: 24 Feb 2012 04:13 AM PST

Google is planning to launch ‘Google glasses’ by the end of this year, these glasses comes with built-in heads-up display that presents information collected from Google to the wearer. Google is planning to implement Augmented Reality (AR) in these glasses, but the question is whether the market is ready for these tech-glasses and what’s the actual use of it?

According to New York Times Google’s wearable augmented reality accessory will rely on Android software and cost between $250 and $600. This device might be functioning on its own cellular network or might be connected to wearer’s Android Smartphone via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. These glasses are also said to have a low-resolution camera for capturing information and will come with Google image processing technology like Google Goggles, which identifies objects and letters in various languages.

All these features sound’s exciting, but what is the real value addition form these augmented reality glasses? Have look at these potential problems which you will see with Google Glasses.

1. Privacy:

Google has done many privacy blunders in the past and therefore this issue is very sensitive when the company is making a product which tells everything about an object if you just look at it. The Google goggles technology used in the glasses is enabled with facial recognition, but now it’s not functional due to privacy issues. But the augmented reality in the glasses is not that necessary for normal people, might be useful for police.

 

2. Health:

Mobile phones and their radiations are quite enough to cause brains cancer, so what will be the response if Google glasses are going to use a more powerful technique than Bluetooth to transmit and receive data. Will it not cause visual distraction and impairment?

 

 

3. Redundancy:

Augmented reality is a high –end technology, but the need of it in a pair of glasses doesn't sounds essential.  Your smartphone will put much better use of the same technology and that for a longer duration of time than these glasses.

 

 

4. Liability:

Google’s glasses will come with a warning saying, 'Do not wear while driving', but don't you smoke even though cigarette packet says 'Smoking is harmful to health'. Therefore, along with health problems there comes the liability problems too which will be followed by lawsuits and hearings.

 

 

5. Cost:

Every one of us are not astronauts who wants to watch space shuttle schematics during a space walk, therefore for a common consumer there seems no need of investing thousands of bucks  on a pair of glasses to owe functionalities which is already available in their smartphone.

 

6. Battery Life:

Battery technology never evolved in the same phase as the gadget technology did, this is the main reason why our smartphones, tablets and notebooks utility is still hindered by its not so good and heavy batteries. Glasses need to be light and comfortable so they will not be having heavy and huge battery for sure. One promising possibility is that these glasses will be running on sunlight.

 

7. Control:

These glasses need to be highly responsive as you will not like to see information associated to where you were looking few seconds ago. This means there should be a very fast network connection which points out that it will working on Wi-Fi connections.  And if these glasses are going to provide functionality which is more than just navigation then it should accept hand gestures or voice commands, the implication of these technologies will create more problems and precision.


Nokia ‘Pure View’ Camera Phones for MWC

Posted: 24 Feb 2012 04:07 AM PST

Nokia is planning to give some 'pure' surprises at Mobile World Conference (MWC) at Barcelona. The company has released a teaser video on youtube which seems to be a new camera-centric announcement. The video claims "capture a pure view" and the advertisement shows a "Pure definition"

close-up of a snow-freckled tree branch, a "Pure depth" imposing view of a rural landscape and the "Pure detail" of the sparking beauty of snow. The video ends by giving a confirmation that on February 27th the company will launch this new technology.

Nokia has always been the best in the camera phone technology. Nokia's Symbian based N8 was highly praised for its 12-megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens and Xenon flash, and has the ability to record 720p HD video.

It is evident that Nokia camera department is catering something special. The rumors are that the company is bringing up 12 megapixel cameras in its new Window Phone named Lumia 910. It is also said that company's upcoming devices will have high-definition video capability.

Nokia will be releasing the updates about its "Pure View" announcements in its twitter page during MWC-the year’s biggest phone and wireless show is from February 27th, so just wait for the fun to start.


Steve Jobs’ Facebook Timeline Disappears

Posted: 24 Feb 2012 03:58 AM PST

steve jobs timeline

Facebook had a new member on its' social network a day ago: Steve Jobs. The profile, which was created under the name of Steve Paul Jobs told the story of the founder of the world's most valuable company, in a highly graphical style, featuring a number of pictures, majority of which were black-and-white, thus lending it a very vintage-kind of look.

 
But the profile which had a lot of obvious work put into it was taken down within a day as a result of violating the social network's policies, after a number of tech blogs and portals made the profile famous. Facebook, (according to a report from mercurynews.com) said in a statement, "It’s a violation of our policies to use a fake name or operate under a false identity. Instead, we encourage people to create a page in order to establish a presence on Facebook as a tribute for a non-living person."

 
Jobs' life was depicted in the profile by means of status updates, photos, videos, employment changes and more information that is usually used on the social network, and a web designer in Singapore claimed to have designed the profile of the late technological icon.

 
After fighting a long battle with cancer, Jobs succumbed to his death. The technological community mourned the icon's death, with competitors such as Samsung and Google postponing their product launches because of his demise.
Although the Facebook timeline and the YouTube video of the same (which was made by the same web developer) were put up in memory of Jobs, they had to be taken down.  Enforcing the use of real names in social media profiles has been controversial even in the past—Google faced criticism when it removed Google+ profiles because of the use of false names.

 
So is paying social tribute to a globally-known personality, (who earned everybody's respect) wrong? Was it right to have had Steve Job's timeline removed? These questions are yet to be answered.


The Black-hole Called “Big Data”

Posted: 24 Feb 2012 03:51 AM PST

the black hole called big data

Along with the increasing universality of technology comes the increase in the amount of data. As the business environment is becoming more complex, companies are searching for alternatives to store, process and analyze large amount of data from social networks, sensors, IT Systems and several other sources. Like a black-hole, the data becomes extremely powerful due in part of its density. But this process of storing and analyzing huge amount of information, called as Big Data, can prove to be at risk.

 
According to a report, Forrester Research's "The Future of Data Security and Privacy: Controlling Big Data", reveals that there can be rife with security risks for the large amount of information stored. It is apparent that the companies that stores such massive data contains significant amount of 'toxic' data.

 
The market of big data is expected to be $70 billion and growing by 15 percent a year. No surprises, as every industry ranging from social media like Facebooks, Twitter, and LinkedIn, blogs, press, Enterprise IT and others are storing a huge data every day. Besides storing intellectual property, big data environments also contain data that companies control but do not own, which includes customer data and business partner data.

 
The potential of the market is huge, and few VC firms are ready to make their hands dirty in the game. While Accel Partners have launched $100 million fund towards big data, Battery Ventures have made an investment in a stealth big data company Continuuity.

 
As big data is all about aggregating data across the organization, security and risk, professionals must work to eliminate the silos of data control and responsibilities that exists at the moment. Big data requires exceptional technologies to efficiently process large quantities of data within tolerable elapsed times. Cisco reports that the amount of traffic flowing over the internet will reach 667 exabytes annually by 2013. The impact of big data has increased the demand of information management specialists has also gone high.

 
However, it is important for these industry leaders to figure out how to cajole order out of the bedlam from all those zeros and ones, as well as optimize return on investment and manage data privacy. Mainly, the organizations that promotes the employees to bring their own device to the work place need to consider a two-prolonged approach to security by focusing on both the device and the data it can access.

 
However, along with the target-worthiness of the data that is at risk, the size of the data set makes implementing security controls unmanageable. Not only does the data have a huge risk of theft, but the tools required to implement technical security controls at this level are complicated to deploy. This is one of the reasons that pay to think through security controls while the data set grows too large.

 
Yet another important concern for the industry is that the industry is struggling with getting real value from big data, solely because there is a dearth of knowledgeable workers; those with the skills necessary to analyze and understand what the data is saying; translate the data into real business action that will drive bottom-line results; and communicate recommendations to senior executives.


A Tour of Chinese Factory Where Your iPad is Made for $1

Posted: 24 Feb 2012 03:44 AM PST

The world came to know about the conditions inside Apple's controversial supply chain factory Foxconn in China, as for the first time it allowed a news reporter inside the premises, following years of rumors about the harsh working conditions and poor wages inside the facility that manufactures some of world's best products including iPhone and iPad.

 

The special report which was aired by ABC News revealed the real situations inside the walled campus, which is sometimes referred as "iPod city" or "Foxconn city."

 
Here is a short description of a single day at the dactory

 

 
 
The workers are paid $1.78 per hour. They work for 12 hour shifts in a day under complete silence.

 

 
It will take five days and 325 sets of hands to assemble an iPad. No robots are used in the assembly line and the devices are all handmade.

 

 
Most of the employees are teenagers. There is only a few who are above 30.

 
There were recent allegations against the company about transferring underage employees to other departments and temporarily forcing them to leave in order to avoid discovery during the inspections from Fair Labor Association.

 

 
They make exterior case of iPad from raw piece of aluminum at the rate of 10,000 every hour. A worker carves Apple logo's into 3000 casings in every shift.

 

 
Thi is a single camera. 300,000 camera modules for iPad are made by workers in a single day consisting of two shifts.

 

 
A day has two 1-hour long meal breaks. The cafeteria will provide lunch at an average cost of $0.70 consisting of meat and rice. The other on-site amenities include an athletic field, internet café and classrooms for studies, mainly English lessons.

 

 
Most of the employees come from the underdeveloped regions of china and they live in on-site dormitories with a rent of $17.50. Usually eight people share a room.  

 

Nets were installed around the living quarters and facilities in 2010, following the suicide of 9 workers, in a span of three months. Almost eighteen people have committed or attempted suicide in recent years. An on-site counseling centre was also placed following the controversies.

 

According to ABC news, despite of the poor conditions inside the factory, around 3000 people were lined up on the day at the Foxconn factory for a job, and the company on the same day planned to hire about 80 percent of them to meet the demand for Apple's products.


Why Americans Hate California?

Posted: 24 Feb 2012 03:36 AM PST

Hawaii ranked first on a popularity contest while shockingly California ranked last. A Public Policy Polling survey conducted recently ranked the 50 U.S. states by popularity among voters throughout the country. It surveyed 1,200 American voters.

 
Hawaii had the highest margin with 54 percent favorability and only 10 percent negativity. It was followed in the top ten by Colorado, Tennessee, South Dakota, Virginia, Montana, Alaska, Oregon, North Carolina and Pennsylvania with a favorability of 44, 48, 42, 45, 39, 46, 43, 40 and 40 percent respectively. Ten other states were in positive territory by at least 21 points.

 
Unfavorable votes in Colorado was 9, Tennessee (14), South Dakota (8), Virginia (13), Montana (7), Alaska (17), Oregon (14), and North Carolina and Pennsylvania (11 each).  Only seven other states had net-positive ratings in the single digits, and Louisiana had a neutral voting with 24 percent of both favorable and unfavorable votes.

 
The survey suggested that Americans generally had a favorable view of most states.  Only five states were in negative territory, led by California with 27 percent Americans saying they viewed the Golden State favorably and 44 percent unfavorably. The other four unfavorable states were Illinois, New Jersey, Mississippi and Utah with 29, 32, 28, and 27 percent unfavorable votes each.

 

It was also recorded that women had a higher opinion of New York by 27 points more than men, Massachusetts by 22 points, Delaware and California by 16 points, New Hampshire by 15 points, Vermont and Illinois by 13 each, and Connecticut by 11. Whereas men saw North Dakota more favorably by 17 points, South Carolina by 15, Wyoming 14, Montana 13, and Iowa and South Dakota by 10 each.

 
Another interesting finding was that democrats' favorite states included Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, Washington, Oregon, Vermont, and Colorado and their least favorites were led by Texas, Alabama, and Mississippi.  It was seen that republicans loved Alaska and Texas, and absolutely hated California, followed distantly by Illinois and Massachusetts.  So the greatest prejudiced gap was for California, which Democrats liked 91 points more than Republicans did, followed by Texas, which is favored more by Republicans by 82 points.

 
Black voters were noted to dislike 10 of the 14 Southern states. It was seen that Illinois was unpopular with Republicans and was likely dragged down in its overall ranking due to its association with Barack Obama.

 
Public Policy Polling’s Dustin Ingalls said “There’s not really any sort of discernible pattern,” as reported to the Atlantic Wire. He added that “Hawaii makes some sense since it’s a popular vacation destination. A lot of Republicans really, really dislike California; they associate it with the liberal Hollywood elite.”


Should Sachin Retire from ODIs?, Majority say YES

Posted: 24 Feb 2012 03:29 AM PST

Opinions are never right or wrong, never constant and yes, the opinions are changing. "You can’t contain Sachin’s deeds in a statistical frame. He brings unstinted joy to the art of batting. Statistics will happen because cricket is about runs and wickets. But how can you evaluate Sachin’s contributions by just counting the number of runs he has scored. To me, he best symbolizes the heights an individual can rise to dominate a team sport. Words can never capture the beauty of Sachin’s cricket," this is just one of many quotes from the cricketing legend Kapil Dev on Sachin Tendulkar who now feels that it's time Sachin quit ODIs. “From what we have seen in the last three months, he should have announced his retirement before the World Cup. It’s important to know that every cricketer has his time," Kapil told ‘Headlines Today’.

 
Surprisingly, it's not just Kapil, but a large number of Indians seem to be of the opinion that the god of cricket should leave one-day cricket and it was quite evident in a Times of India online poll which concluded that 57 percent of respondent feels that Sachin should retire from ODIs. While 41 percent answered 'No' to the question ‘Should Sachin retire from ODIs?’, as many as 57 percent of respondents voted 'Yes'.

 
TOI had nearly 47,000 people responding to its poll out of which 19,127 voted ‘no’ and 26,813 answered in favor of the question and around 817 (2 percent) people were undecided.

 
The calls come from different corners asking Tendulkar to call it quits from one-day cricket and many eminent cricketers were heard echoing the public opinion including Kapil Dev, EAS Prasanna, Sourav Ganguly and Kirti Azad. Ganguly once said, "The thing I like most about Sachin is his   intensity. After being in the game for so long, he still has the same desire to do well for India in any international match. I tell you what, this man is a legend." And today he says, "Sachin has to ask himself whether he is good enough to play one-day cricket day in and day out; whether it’s helping him missing tournaments and playing a one-day series after 8-9 months; whether it’s helping him as a one-day player or if it’s helping Indian cricket as a one-day team. If Sachin can’t get an answer to these questions, he has to go.”

 
Former Indian cricketer EAS Prasanna backed Ganguly and Kapil and said, “If he continues to fail like this, people will have a wrong impression of him. I think it is better to retire when he is at his best,” MSN reports.

 
Former test cricketer Kirti Azad said, "The selectors should waste no time in dropping Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman from the national team if they do not retire on their own following the massive drubbing in the Test series against Australia.”

 
The genuine thought process that went into the call for Sachin's retirement from one-day cricket by general public is quite questionable as it's highly possible that the public anger and frustration over India's pathetic show Down Under, Ricky Points decision to retire, and the opinions of former players have influenced the results of the poll.


World’s 10 Best Cities for Students

Posted: 23 Feb 2012 11:43 PM PST

Paris is the world’s best location for education, followed by London and Boston. As per recent survey by London-based higher education research firm, the QS Best Student Cities ranking for 2012 were based on 12 criteria including university performance and reputation, student mix, tuition fees, living costs and quality of life.

 
The best 10 cities for students are:

 

Paris:

 
Paris ranks first on this list and it has 16 institutions in the QS World University Rankings, which is more than any other city on the planet. Its international tuition fees are a fraction compared to those in the UK, Australia and North America and it is situated in the heart of Europe. Parisian graduates are targeted by an enormous range of employers throughout the continent. Most importantly, for students, all of this takes place in one of the most historic, culturally essential and beautiful cities imaginable.

 
The Elite Parisian universities are ENS Paris, Ecole Polytechnique, Sciences Po and the Sorbonne. Students often get the privilege of extensive access to leading academics, with small class sizes and intensive teaching along with the universities’ low tuition fees. Paris is commonly rated as one of the most livable cities in Europe, and it scores highly in the quality of living indicator.

 

London:

 
London ranks second on the list. With Imperial and University College London (UCL) ranked among the world’s top ten universities and world-class facilities such as the British Library, London offers far more to students as a city. It is one of the world’s great centers of culture and creativity, famed for its nightlife and diversity. There aren’t many things that you could crave for as a student that aren’t offered in abundance in London.

 
London is one of the world’s most vital financial centers, so for corporate-minded graduates it is a land of opportunity. Though London isn’t getting any cheaper for international students with tuition fees that are expensive along with rent and living costs. Yet for many, the concentration of world-class universities, the professional and social opportunities, and a mind-boggling cultural union still makes studying in London worth every penny.

 

Boston:

 
Ranking third on the list is Boston. With Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Boston has one of the best Universities. It is also one of the most historic cities in the U.S. and combines the hustle and bustle of a major metropolis, and happening art, politics and culture scene, with an abundance of green open space.

 
Boston has earned the nickname ‘The Athens of America’ due to its cluster of historic universities. With Harvard and MIT ranked numbers two and three in the world and Boston University also in the global top 100, Boston/Cambridge scores highly in the ranking indicator. It also ranks well for quality of living, student mix, and employer activity. The only major drawback is the costs; the ticket prices at Harvard and MIT approach a gob smacking U.S. $50,000 per year.

 

Melbourne:

 
Melbourne ranks fourth on the list. Melbourne has a combination of world-class universities, favorable employment prospects, high quality of life and idyllic climate. The city has a growing reputation for the quality of its universities, and now ranks as Australia’s number one city for international students.

 
Melbourne is Australia’s cultural hub and the city also has a high concentration of students for its size. Taking  away the affordability score and Melbourne would finish above Paris, London and Boston, suggesting that, for those for whom it is a financial possibility, Melbourne provides just about the most favorable study environment around.

 

Vienna:

 
Vienna ranks fifth and is frequently ranked as one of the world’s most livable cities. The city has some of the lowest tuition fees around for international students and is also home to Austria’s two highest-ranked universities, Universität Wien and Technische Universität Wien.

 
The Austrian capital has a favorable student mix and has a status as the top-scoring city for quality of living. With just two universities in the QS World University Rankings, Vienna may not be able to compete with the likes of London and Boston for those looking for world-class universities. But for students looking for high quality of living combined with culture and affordability, Vienna is the place to be.

 

Sydney:

 
Sixth on the list is Sydney. Sydney serves as Australia's financial and economic hub. It has a stunning view of Sydney Harbor, including its famous opera house, exotic parks dotted throughout the city, and some of the most renowned beaches. The city could lay a strong claim to be one of the most aesthetically pleasing of all major study destinations.

 
Sydney is among the highest scores for quality of living, having been ranked as one of the ten most livable cities in the world by both Mercer and The Economist. The city also features a high concentration of students relative to its population, with five universities ranked among the global top 500, of which University of Sydney and University of New South Wales make the top 100.

 

Zurich:

 
Zurich takes the seventh place. The city is renowned for its prosperity, orderliness and low taxes. It may sound more like a place for millionaires than international students, but the city is also great for a study destination. ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) is the highest ranked university in continental Europe and one of the top 20 in the world, while University of Zurich ranks 106. Zurich has a calm and serene atmosphere, yet is enough of a global capital to be packed with things to do. It has often been ranked as one of the world’s most livable cities.

 
Zurich is also the wealthiest city in Europe. On one hand its affluence means Zurich is clean, safe and spotlessly maintained, but on the other, living expenses can be eye-wateringly high. While rent and socializing may cost a little, tuition fees averaging around U.S. $1,000-2,000 for international students represents a huge saving compared to prestigious universities in the UK, North America or Australia.

 

Berlin:

 
Berlin ranks eighth on the list. It is easily affordable on a student budget, while also being enough of a global financial centre to appeal to those whose outlook is of a more corporate nature. The city is the most affordable city in the top ten. It combines cheap rent and living costs with tuition fees of just U.S. $1,000-2,000 for both home and international students, hence, a saving of thousands compared to universities in many other countries.

 
Berlin is home to two global top 150 universities – Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin as well as Technische Universität Berlin. It is also gaining a growing reputation as a destination for international students due to greater provision of courses in English, particularly at graduate level. With a high quality of living, affordability, a liberal atmosphere and a happening party scene, the city has a huge amount to offer international students.

 

Dublin:

 
Dublin also shares position eight with Berlin. Dublin has historic surroundings with a cracking social scene and famously friendly locals. The city has become a more multicultural and cosmopolitan place in the past two decades but has a tradition and culture that is all its own.

 
The city's two oldest and most prestigious universities are Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin, ranked 65 and 134 in the world respectively. Dublin has a high ratio of international students and is well ranked for its quality of living. Sadly the tuition fee doesn't come cheap for international students (up to U.S. $26,000 per year at TCD).

 

Montreal:

 
Montreal takes the position ten. Montreal is home to the nation’s top institution, McGill University which is ranked 17th in the world. The city is the cultural capital of Canada, and one of the world’s most livable cities. Montreal is also one of the three UNESCO design capitals of the world.

 
It has one of the highest scores for quality of living, along with a favorable student mix. McGill University along with Universite de Montreal makes the global top 200 and Concordia University the top 600. Though tuition fees for international students are high compared to the cheapest destinations such as continental Europe, they still compare favorably to those charged at many top universities in the UK, U.S. and Australia. The city is the best-value destination in the top ten behind Boston and Berlin.