Friday, 29 July 2016

Google Rolls Out the Final Android 7.0 Nougat Developer Preview


Google Rolling out Last preview of Android 7.0 Nougat

Before its overall release scheduled this summer, Google has begun rolling out the last preview of Android 7.0 Nougat. This release is said to be the fifth and the final preview release providing developers as well as beta testers with the `near final system images’ for supported devices of Nexus, the Pixel C as well as the General Mobile 4G Android One. No mention on support had been made by Google for the Sony Xperia Z3 in this preview since it had done in past releases.

With the updates the developers are provided with the final user interface and APIs for testing their apps as well as making sure that they are ready for Android changes in behaviour like the battery and memory optimisations with Doze on the Go, Project Svelte of Google’s background optimisations together with security linked with permission changes.

Some of the features that end-users would probably experience, while utilising Android apps are, running apps side-by-side, the ability to reply directly to messages within the notification interface and new Unicode 9.0 emojis. The preview still has various stability problems and bugs in Android Nougat features though Google is presently one stage away from the public release.

Supported Devices Enrolled in Android Beta Program

These comprise of MapView probably being blank or out of attention when resized in multi-window mode and the `Do Not Disturb’ mode could activate a reboot. Google has been fixing a screen zoom problem which tends to affect multi-APK apps through a upcoming update to the services of Google Play and lending support for the Vulkan graphics API, which is a low-overhead API for high-performance, 3D graphics.

Lastly Google records crashing issues when the Google Maps are used and Android Auto would be fixed in an update to Maps in the forthcoming weeks. Devices that are supported are enrolled in Android Beta program of Google and would be receiving the latest preview as over-the-air update and when you have installed the new software, you would be on the latest Developer Preview.

You could also join in the bandwagon by going to or you could grab and flash the update manually. The new build is NPD90G on all devices. Lastly any fans or developers who have been conducting tests on the Android 7.0 Nougat preview and tend to have technical queries regarding the platform of Google, the Android engineering team would be available to answer all queries at Reddit AMA.

Near Final System Updates

The last Nougat preview brought with it bug fixes across the board as anticipated. Developers were informed that this release would give them `the near-final system updates for the entire supported preview devices’. Hence investigating apps against this restatement could be helpful in getting their software ready for the consumers.

The concluding N APIs are being shipped in this Developer Preview and one will also find the latest system behaviours together with the UI packed in. Google has mentioned that the official release of Android 7.0 Nougat would be later this summer which means that it is likely when we will see the nexus device launch since Google usually launches new Android types with new hardware.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Better Views with Smaller Satellites


Crew of Minor Satellites Soaring around Earth – Assess Reflected Energy

According to an MIT-led research published online in Acta Astronautica, a crew of minor, shoe box-sized satellites, soaring in formation around the Earth might assess the reflected energy of the planet with double the accuracy of traditional megalith satellites. If completed accurately, such satellite swarms may also be inexpensive to build, launch as well as maintain. Led by Sreeja Nag, a former graduate student in MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics – Aero-Astro, the researchers replicated the performance of an individual large orbiting satellite with nine sensors and compared with a bunch of three to eight small, single sensor satellites hovering together around the Earth.

 The team in particular viewed how each satellite development trials albedo or the amount of light that tends to get reflected from the Earth, which is a sign of how much heat the planet seems to reflect. The team also found that the clusters of four or additional small satellites could look at individual location on Earth from multiple angles and trail the total reflectance of that location with an error which is half of single satellites in operation, currently. Nag is of the opinion that such a correction in estimation error would considerably progress the climate projections of the scientists.

Outgoing Radiation – Biggest Worries in Change in Climate

Nag states that the total outgoing radiation is in fact one of the biggest worries in the change in climate, since it tends to be a complex function of where you could be on Earth, what season it is, what time of the day it could be and it seems to be very difficult to determine how much heat tends to leave the Earth.

 He further added that if they can evaluate the reflectance of various surface types, globally, frequently and more precisely, that a cluster of satellites would enable you to do, then at least you have solved one part of the climate problem. Nag who is presently a research engineer at the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute, NASA Ames Research Centre and NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre, has co-authored the paper with Oli de Weck, an AeroAstro professor at MIT, Charles Gatebe of NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre and David Miller, NASA Chief Technologist together with Jerome C. Hunsaker Professor in AeroAstro.

Nag states that to estimate precisely the reflectance of any ground spot on Earth, it needs measurements that are taken of the spot from various angles simultaneously. He states that the Earth does not reflect equally in all the directions.

Multi-Angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer - MISR

If one does not get these various angles you could under or overestimate how much it has been reflecting, if you have to generalize from only one direction. Presently, satellites which tend to measure the albedo of the Earth normally tend to do so with various cameras, placed on an individual satellite.

For instance, Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer – MISR instrument of NASA on the Terra satellite stocks nine cameras which take pictures of the Earth from a fan-like procedure of angles.Nag informed that the disadvantage of this design is that the cameras tend to have a restricted view since they are not intended to change angles and could only perceive within a single plane.

The team instead suggested a cluster of small satellite which tends to travel around the Earth in a loose formation, adequately close enough to each other to enable an image of the same sport on the ground from their different vantage points. Each satellite could move in the formation taking images of the same spot simultaneously from various angles.

When Will F-35 Be Ready for Battle?


F-35 Joint Strike Fighter – Most Expensive Weapon in History

The fifth generation fighter plane, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is said to be the most expensive weapon in history and in spite of costing $400 billion for 2,457 planes, it has been afflicted with problems. A new report has stated that the craft could eventually be ready for battle later this year.

According to Defence One, Gen. Herbert `Hawk’ Carlisle, the head of Air Combat Command, at the Royal International Air Tattoo, in England, had stated that they are getting very close to initial operational capability. He added that he will make the call and coordinate with the Secretary, (Deborah Lee) James and Gen (David) Goldfein – the Air Force chief of staff and make the decision on when they intend declaring IOC.

To be ready for battle, around a dozen single F-35 need to demonstrate their capability to drop bombs and shoot down other planes. Each jet should be progressed to an explicit software package and persevered in the intricate logistic cloud which tends to accomplish maintenance.

The target date had been set for August 1 by the F-35 project office and it is believed a squadron at Utah’s Hill Air Force Base, north of Salt Lake City would now be the declared battle ready somewhere between August and December.

Project Weighed down with Delays

The project has been weighed down with delays. Senator John McCain had informed senior Pentagon officials earlier in the year that the record on cost, schedule as well as performance of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter had been a scandal and a tragedy.

McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee had stated that the development schedule of the aircraft had extended to 15 years, deliveries of the F-35 has been delayed while the cost had hit the roof. Recently the problems with its logistics software system had grounded the complete fleet.

 The problem lies with what the Department of Defense officials call the `brain’ of plane, also called the Autonomic Logistics Information System – ALIS. A report from a Government Accountability Office states that a failure `could take the complete fleet offline’, since there seems to be no backup system.

Runs on Ground Computers

Moreover, the report has also stated that a lack of testing done of the software would mean it is not ready for its disposition by the Air Force in August and the Navy in 2018. The brains of the F-35 are said to be one of three main components, with the other two being the engine and airframe.

 It has been pointed out by CNN that the software tends to run on ground computers instead of operating the same on the plane. It has been designed to assist operations, mission planning as well as to spot any issues of maintenance with the vehicle.

 The report also stated that the program officials had informed that if ALIS is not fully functional, the F-35 would not be operated as often as planned.However, a DoD specially made plan observed that schedule slippage and functionality issues with ALIS could result in $20-100 billion as extra costs’.

The software till now has been so defective that the maintenance crews had to resort to labour intensive substitutes. In one instance, according to National Interest, maintainers had to physically burn data onto the CDs and send the huge files across a national Wi-Fi network.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Boeing is Using Google Glass to Build Airplanes


Google Glass in Constructing Aircraft Wire Harnesses

Google’s enhanced reality eye wear, Google Glass may have been a big consumer failure but it still has been making its way in the workflows of professionals. In a report of, some members of research and technology division of Boeing have stated that they had utilised the original Google Glass in constructing aircraft wire harnesses.

According to CIO, since planes tend to contain enormously messy and complex webs of wires in connecting electrical system, and technicians would have to manually build them out, a painstaking process created on PDF assembly guide seen on a laptop screen. Replacing the computer display with glass, Boeing has stated that it tends to decrease production time for the harnesses by around 25% cutting error rates in half.

The history of Boeing with AR glass dates back to 1995 when it had tested with early head mounted displays and elementary software. Because of the battery, network and size constraints, it was not a practical scheme but due to reduction in cost and exponential jumps in computing power, Boeing can utilise wire-free device such as Google Glass in accomplishing tasks. Jason DeStories, a R&D engineer with Boeing Research and Technology had a demo designed for harness assembly utilising the first openly available Glass units.

Project Juggernaut

The software was named Project Juggernaut by the team though it was not capable of obtaining information from Boeing’s records in real time. In order to attain an enterprise-grade app for Google Glass, Boeing had put out a proposal and had drawn the attention of APX Labs, who was the manufacturer of smart glasses software platform known as Skylight.

They along with the teams produced a higher quality Glass app which Boeing could hand out to their technicians on the assembly floor. The Skylight app seems to function by enabling a Glass wearer to scan a QR code, which tends to pull the wireless harness software and then scan another code in loading the assembly instructions.
Moreover the app also supports Glass voice commands, enabling users to stream what they are viewing to another technician in the case of something unforeseen. The software was said to be in use only with a small number of Boeing technicians as part of a pilot program which had just came to a close.

New Glass – Focused Exclusively on Enterprise Work

However, the interest of Boeing lies in making Glass and similar AR glasses, a feature on assembly floors and probably even on the International Space Station, though one issue it needs to fix is security. DeStories had informed CIO that `for IT to say, “Hey we’re going to let everything work on the network”, we have to ensure we have information security vetted, we have to make sure we know what kind of IT support we are going to need behind it.

These are the question we are answering right now and we feel like we are very close to being on a truly connected solution’. As Google seems to build out an official successor to its original Glass platform, there could be some expectation for Boeing in this regard.

The new Google Glass that is yet to be declared to the public is said to be focused exclusively on enterprise work. Last year images of the device went up in FCC filings and it has been rumoured that the new Glass will be having a larger prism display, together with a faster processor, better battery life along with 5 GHz Wi-Fi provision.

How to Stay Anonymous Online

Anonymous Online
Credit:MIT News

New Privacy Pattern – Strong Security Guarantees

Privacy networks tend to guard individuals living under exploitive regimes from scrutiny of the Internet usage. However from recent discovery of susceptibilities in most of the well-known networks, Tor has urged computer scientists in endeavouring to come up with more secured privacy patterns. In July, at the Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium, scientists at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne will be presenting a new privacy pattern which would offer strong security guarantees though will use bandwidth more efficiently than its ancestors.

In tests, the systems of the researchers needed only one-tenth as much time just like secure experimental systems in transferring a large file between unidentified users. Albert Kwon, a graduate scholar in electrical engineering and computer science and first author on the new paper, said that the initial use case that they thought of was to do anonymous file-sharing where the receiving end and sending end do not know each other.

The reason was that things like honeypotting, where spies tend to offer services through an anonymity network in order to entrap its users, are a real issue. However they have also studied applications in microblogging, something like Twitter, where one would want to secretly broadcast your messages to everyone.

Heart of System – Sequence of Servers - Mixnet

The system invented by Kwon and his co-authors, his advisor, Srini Devadas, the Edwin Sibley Webster Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, David Lazar, a graduate student too in electrical engineering and computer science together with Bryan Ford SM `02 PhD’08, an associate professor of computer and communication sciences at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanneworks on many prevailing cryptographic techniques though connects them in a novel way.

The heart of the system is a sequence of servers called a mixnet wherein each server tends permutes the order where it receives messages before it is passed on to the next. If messages from Sender Alice, Bob and Carol tend to reach the first server in the order A, B, C that server would send them to the second server in an altered order like C, B, A. The second server would permute them before sending them to the third and so on. The message that had been tracked from the point of origin, by an opponent would not know which was which by the time they had exited from the latest server

The New System – Riffle

It is this reshuffling of the messages which is said to be named – Riffle, for the new system. Similar to several privacy systems, Riffle tends to also use a technique known as onion encryption – Tor, in which case is an abbreviation for `the onion router’.

In the case of onion encryption, the sending computer tends to wrap each message in many films of encryption utilising a public key encryption system such as those that tend to protect most of the online financial transactions. Each of the servers in the mixnet seems to remove only one layer of encryption so that last server only knows the final destination of the message.

To prevent message tampering, Riffle tends to use a system known as verifiable shuffle. Due to the onion encryption, the messages which each server seems to forwards do not look like the one it received, it has peeled off a layer of encryption. However the encryption could be done in a way which the server would generate a mathematical proof which the messages it sends seems valid operations of the ones receiving it.

PAK-DA Bomber Capable Of Launching Nuclear Weapons From Space

PAK-DA Bomber

Russia’s Hypersonic Rocket-like-Jet - Five Times Speed of Sound

Russia intends developing a hypersonic rocket like jet that could strike targets from space with nuclear missiles. PAK-DA Bomber, Flying five times the speed of sound, the rocket would be capable of reaching any point on the earth in less than two hours. Said to be the first of its kind, it would be capable of dropping a nuclear warhead before coming back to its base in Russia. According to Colonel Alexei Solodovnikov, who has been working on the project, by 2020, a well-designed engine will be established.

He had informed that PAK-DA Bomber would be a strategic aircraft and will fly into outer space in order to strike; utilising nuclear bombs and will then return to the airfield. The test engine for the PAK-DA bomber is said to be shown at the Army 2016 International Military Technology Forum near Moscow in September.

The commander of Russian Strategic Missile Forces, Colonel General Sergei Karakayev, has confirmed that the model engine for the PAK-DA Bomber has been built and has been tested successfully. He had stated that `an engine for a promising space plane has been created at Strategic Rocket Forces Academy and the unit’s operational ability has been verified.The notion is that the bomber would be taking off from a normal home airfield to patrol Russian airspace’.

Strike Target with Nuclear Warhead & Return to Home Base

He further added that on command it will ascend into outer space, striking a target with nuclear warheads and return to its home base. It will be using hypersonic speed in rocket mode. As per the Strategic Missile Forces Academy, the engine would be operated in two modes wherein one would be utilising kerosene fuel for conventional flight while the other would be using methane and oxygen to power the craft into space.

Reaction Engines, a British firm states that its own hypersonic engine would be ready by 2020. Over £7.5 million has been invested by the European Space Agency towards the development of the SABRE engine that would enable aircraft to fly anywhere in four hours. The U.S. officials have not been revealed whether their own next generation bomber would be flying at hypersonic speed, though the US Air Force in 2007 had stated that its aircraft would probably be subsonic in order to control the cost. Flying hypersonic would mean flying at Mach 5, five times the speed of sound at around 3,840mph or quicker.

Taranis Aircraft – Most Advanced Built by British

The closest programme of Britain to the Russian hypersonic jet is said to be a confidential stealth drone which is being developed by BAE Systems and the £200 million Taranis aircraft is said to be the most advanced built by the British engineers. It is likely to offer the basis for fleets in supersonic unmanned bombers which could attack into the enemy territory while escaping sophisticated defences. A RAF source had commented that the RAF has a futuristic programme `Taranis’ which is stealth drone having similar capabilities though does not operate in outer atmosphere.

The presently fastest jet of Britain is the Eurofighter Typhoon which tends to have a top speed of about Mach 2 or 1,550 mph. With regards to US capabilities compared to the Russians’ the source of RAF has stated that whatever one can imagine in the wildest dreams, the US has perhaps been ahead by thirty years on it. If the Russians have been developing it, the US would already be much ahead.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Floating airports: Could They Finally Become a Reality?

Floating airports

Runway Float over Virtually Limitless Flat Surface of Sea

Airports tend to utilise plenty of space and in areas in need of air connections, like in islands and large metropolises, it is something which is in short supply. Planners have come up with solutions by turning to the sea. Huge land reclamation projects are an apparent route which is, what has been done in Hong Kong and Osaka in expanding airport capacity. Some thinkers have taken a different approach considering that, they could make a runway float over the almost boundless flat surface of the sea.

Aircraft carriers tend to have floating runways though there are also warships which need to be manoeuvrable, travelling at speed. To manage commercial craft, their decks seem to be too small and even the largest carrier tends to fall short of the need of modern jet airliners. But taking the concept of the floating deck if it is stripped of its engine and lower decks, anchor it in a set location and make it adequately long and wide enough for a medium sized airliner to land on, the outcome would be a right large floating structure which would be neither a ship or an island but a floating airport.

Technological Research Association of Mega-Float

The British had been interested with the idea of building runways on icebergs to provide cover for the vital Atlantic convoys, during World War II. The Project Habakkuk had not materialized though the floating airport conception continued to live on. In the year 1995, 17 Japanese private companies of typically shipbuilders and steelmakers had formed the Technological Research Association of Mega-Float with the aid of the Japanese government.

 Their focus was in designing and testing a floating airport concept which if it was successful could be installed in Tokyo Bay. The Tokyo Mega-Float is said to be the most ambitious effort of its kind till date. The project required a floating structure with 4,000 meter long runway adequate even for large airliners. Smaller-scale model had been built and tested comprising of a 1,000 meter-long runway, which proved that the Mega Float was appropriate for aircraft operations. But the project did not progress and later, the structure had been dismantled.

Vision – Full-Fledged Offshore `Aerotropolic’

For San Diego, a city whose international airport seemed to have little room left to expand in its current location, similar proposals had been floated, in this case. Tenders to build a brand new two-runway international airport in the sea, few miles off Point Loma had been placed forward by two different companies namely OceanWorks Development and Float Inc. It is not known whether the price tag of $20 billion which seemed a bit too costly or the lingering doubts regarding the technical feasibility of the concept, where neither of the projects had shown up.

The San Diego projects had some resemblances with the floating airport notion which had been formulated by an American Aeronautical engineer, Terry Drinkard, who had directed widespread research in this field. His system pulls deeply from technologies and materials which have been tested already in the construction of deep-water oil rigs.

 His vision is for a full-fledged offshore `aerotropolic’, which is a floating structure that besides being able to manage medium-sized airliners would also horde an entire range of economic as well as research activities, from research with renewable energy technology to aquaculture and yachting. The structure would provide a base for oceanographic research and aquaculture and would also double as a port and recreational marine. Its possible offshore position could also draw several other economic activities.

Friday, 22 July 2016

4,000mph Hypersonic Plane Backs Revolutionary Sabre Engine

Our world is becoming so fast that even a few minutes or seconds delay can cause huge losses and problems for us. Transportation and communication sector has gone through a rapid phase of development in the recent past which helped in lowering the costs and time taken for travel along with increasing the mobility.

European Space Agency is looking to make people lives more fast literally by investing $11 million for developing a hypersonic engine with the ability to fly anywhere across the planet within four hours. Reaction Engines has landed up with the job of developing such engine turbine which encompasses the technologies of both jet and rocket in order to achieve an unbelievable five times the speed of sound. Reaction Engines have confirmed that they will be able to come up with the first prototype for testing by the year 2020.

Reaction Engines were going through the period of securing investment from the companies and agencies. So far it has secured about $66 million from the British government and $55 million from the UK Space Agency. The development of the aircraft is still in its preliminary stages and it will take about 20 more years to make it reality on a grand scale.

How Sabre Jet engine works? 

Reaction Engines are working on the revolutionary Sabre engine which would eventually allow aircrafts to take off from the runway and get to the fives times the speed of sound within few seconds. Later on aircraft can switch to the rocket mode thereby propelling the craft right into the orbit. The important part about the Sabre engine is that it works on the theme of burning the atmospheric air in its combustion chambers. Then it makes use of the heat to turbo-charge its engine.

It should be noted that currently rockets have to carry extremely expensive fuel in the name of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen in order to power. Sabre engine will certainly help in cutting down the cost as it creates its own liquid oxygen which happens within a blink of an eye. Sabre engine comes in the new class of aerospace engine which has been designed to enable crafts to get to five times the speed of light from the standstill within few seconds.

Sabre Engine is set to revolutionise the transportation

Once the aircraft loaded with the Sabre engine gets its space then it will be able to switch to the rocket mode. In the rocket mode aircraft can travel the orbit for a stimulated period of 36 hours. Thereby such aircrafts can even be used for launching the satellites into the orbit at a fraction of current costs.

UK Space Agency is investing and collaborating with the Reaction Engines to develop the Sabre engine and aircraft which can be used to travel longer distances within shortest time intervals. UK Space Agency has invested 60 million pounds in 2013 with an aim of developing some ground breaking technology and Sabre engine is a result of its effort.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Apple to launch its own reality TV show

Planet Apps

Apple Launching its Reality TV Show

Apple is in the development of launching its own reality TV show – Planet of the Apps and a casting call for the event had been put out recently for developers in the age of 18 and above who would be interested in making smartphone apps for the Apple setting. Apple had made an announcement earlier in the year that it intends launching it first original TV series and now the world seems to know a little more regarding what it would look like.

The show is said to be co-produced by a newly shaped company owned by Ben Silverman, a reality TV guru. Apple had partnered with Propagate, a new production company developed by the guy behind `The Biggest Loser’ together with Howard T Owen who had worked on MasterChef Junior with Musician also on board for the said project.

Mr Silverman had informed that the original program would follow on `how apps are developed and created and incubated’. The pair had drawn their vision for the show, in a report that had been published by tech blog 9to5Mac. It stated that `Planet of the Apps will give app creators the chance to break through and share their ideas with the world. This is an exciting format which taps into what is driving culture today. We can’t wait to see the ground-breaking ideas accepted for the show, grow into viable businesses’.

Pursing an Original Content Division

The ascension of Netflix together with the fragmented market of content providers laid by internet based services has been on the rise in companies interested in producing their own original content. When Apple had stated earlier in the year that it intended creating the TV show, the software and service boss of the company, Eddy Cue had mentioned that Apple was not moving wholesale in the production of innovative content.

 He had informed the New York Times in March that this does not mean that they would go into a huge amount of movie production or TV production or anything like that. But last year, rumours have been doing the rounds that Apple has been discovering the notion of pursuing an original content division and had been in talks with various leading television companies regarding launching an internet-based TV service.

Planet of the App – Accepting Online Applications

There is a possibility that the achievement of the forthcoming show would regulate the extent of the potential venture into original content of Apple. Casting call for the show `Planet of the App’ would be accepting online applications till August 26 together with filming set to take place somewhere next year. As per the show’s website, contestants would be receiving `hand-on guidance from some of the most influential experts in the tech community, featured placement on the App store.

The winners probably will get mentorship from tech and entertainment experts and those who would be chosen for the final round would get an opportunity to meet with top-tier VCs investing around $10m over the course of the season. The show is said to be shot in Los Angeles and is planned to be released in 2017.

A Submerged Floating Bridge

Submerged Floating Bridge

Submerged Floating Bridge – First-of-its-Kind Crossing

Driving the 680 miles from Norway’s bustling southern port of Kristians and to Trondheim in the north would take around 21 hours in the car which is an average of 30 miles per hour. The route along highway E39tends to cross seven elegant though inconvenient fjords which are approximately seven ferry trips. An infrastructure project of $25 billion has been developed which seems to reduce the trip to only 10.5 hours by installing permanent crossing on those fjords by 2035.

 These waterways being wide where the largest seems to be almost a mile deep, a typical bridge would not suffice. Hence Norway has considered fording its fjords with an alternative which the world has not seen before, in the form of a submerged floating bridge. It’s been a fancy term for a traffic tube which is under around 100 feet of water and above hundreds extra. Senior engineer with the country’s public roads administration, Arianna Minoretti, stated that it is not actually that crazy.

As per their uncertain plans, the 4,300-feet deep, 3,300-feet wide Sognefjord could be the appropriate applicant for this first-of-its-kind crossing. The structure is said to be made up of two curved of long concrete tubes of 4,000-foot, one for each direction, which would be hanging 65 to 100 feet below the surface.

Design Provides Advantage over Saner-Sounding/Conventional Alternative

Platforms on the surface would be holding up the tubes, wherein the connecting tethers would be keeping them stable. The structure could also be fastened to the bedrock below for the purpose of additional stability. Minoretti has commented that driving through one of these would feel like driving through any other tunnel.

The designs provides sufficient advantage over saner-sounding, conventional alternatives and rough weather would not interfere with the underwater structure, according to Minoretti, so Norway’s more rural inhabitants would not get stranded. She comments that `having this connection would mean that people there would not have to wait for a helicopter to go to the hospital’.

Moreover Norway has also been considering building a suspension or floating bridge over the water which would either mess with the Navy ships that tends to train sometimes in this water and ruin the regal, delicate and extremely bankable beauty of the fjords.

Serious Issues/Structural Questions

Engineers state that a floating tunnel forestalls those issues and would not be more expensive than the saner-sound, conservative alternatives. Henry Petroski a Duke University civil engineer, specializing in bridges states that `this idea of Norway is a kind of an intermediate technology of things which have been done before.

The structure has utilised concrete constructions techniques from tunnels, platforms from floating bridges and tether technology from offshore oil platforms. Minoretti has said that for an engineer working on this structure, it seems like being on the Discovery Channel each day.

However, there are some serious queries into the future and the Norwegians are yet working to fill up the geological blanks like `what do fjord sea beds really look like? Can the bedrock support the strong tethers needed to keep something like this from becoming a car-filled Subtle?

Besides these, there are structural questions also and Norwegians engineers have been busy calculating what type of wind and waves would a submerged floating structure handle and how the currents at various fjords could affect its movement.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Ex-Google Engineer Launches Blockchain Based System for Banks


Blockchain Technology – New Operating System for Banks

A company which tends to use blockchain technology in building new operating system for banks has been launched by a former Google engineer Paul Taylor, whose speech recognition software has been utilised in over a billion Android smartphones. A Cambridge University academic, Taylor having expertise in artificial intelligence, machine learning and speech synthesis had begun working on the system known as Vault OS, two years back, in a cellar in Shoreditch district, London which is known for being a tech start-up hub.

Thought Machine and VaultOS is said to be the brainchild of Taylor who had sold his speech recognition start-up Phonetic Arts to Google in 2010. He had spent around three years running it text-to-speech operation. Will Montgomery, another ex-Googler and former AdSense engineer is the director of applications at Thought Machine.
The thoughts of the financial industry have been captured by blockchain, wherein advocates state that it has the capability of shaking up how the markets tend to operate. The technology that supports the digital currency bitcoin is said to develop a shared database wherein participants could trace each transaction that is made. The ledger is said to be tamper-proof and transparent which means that the transaction can be administered the requirement of third party confirmation.

Secured System of Storing Transaction

Taylor had informed Reuters that most of the banks are inclined to use systems which were written in the 80s and 90s and were just not ready for the security-conscious internet app age at all. What the blockchain intends to do is to provide a much secured system of storing transactions. Moreover the system also disproves the requirements of costly in-house data centres since it have a tendency to use cloud-based methods wherein banks could utilise it on a `pay-as-you-go’ source which means that there is no particular point of failure. Taylor also added that major high street banks were spending about a billion pounds a year on computer technology. He mentioned that most of it was being utilised for propping up the present legacy systems instead on any innovative technology. Blockchain is said to be a promising technology and is estimated still to be some five to ten years away from extensive adoption but its reputation had be affected to some extent due to its association with bitcoin that had seen various company failures inclusive of Tokyo-based exchange Mt. Gox filing for bankruptcy, leaving investors around $500 million in debt.

Building Modern Computer System for Banks

Taylor had informed that the start-up had been operative with around ten banks, where at least one would be starting a trial utilising the new system in August. He is hoping that the system would function within a year. This project is said to be one of the first bottom-up attempts in building a modern computer system for the banks that can be utilised out of the box by any of the banks and then tailored as needed.

The platform attracts the latest technology like cloud infrastructure and blockchain. VaultOS is somewhat like Amazon Web Services of Google Drive, except for the `core banking’ system, the technology is said topermit the banks to hold deposits as well as accounts. The director of creative and design at Thought Machine, Mark Warrick had informed Business Insider that gettingthe technology updated seemed to be the `hardest problem in banking’s owing to its critical function.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Hasselblad Introduces Amazing Digital Camera


X1D – A Compact 50-Megapixel Medium Format Camera

Hasselblad, in the midst of mobile cameras together with selfie-infatuated unprofessional, has been making a proposition to customers with a new type of camera. However it is not meant for self-portraits and would be quite expensive. The Swedish-based luxury camera manufacturer, had recently introduced the X1D, a compact 50-megapixel medium format camera to the world which advertised as a `game changer’ in photography.

Latest addition is the wireless enabled lighter than the company’s standard issue to the Hasselblad’s fleet is provided with GPS and high-definition video capabilities. It also comes at a price of $9,000, a price that Hasselblad states are acceptable by the mirrorless technology of XID, something without the model in a digital medium format device.

Comparing with Hasselblad’s other luxe models, the H5D type is priced at $45,000, a surprising sum for consumers accustomed to spending out only hundreds of dollars on a Nikon or Canon, the price tag of X1D is fairly reasonable, according to Hasselblad America’s president, Michael Hejtmanek, as informed to CNBC in New York, this week. On the side-line of an event, Hasselblad had portrayed to the reporters, a pre-production model of the X1D, which Hejtmanek had called it as an `amazing camera’ whose functionality conceals the relative convenience and ease of the universal smartphone camera.

An Act of Boldness Against Bleak Financial Side

The expensive X1D could be considered as an act of boldness against the bleak financial side of the camera business. It was an impudent attempt to generate interest in high end cameras by the 75-year old company, during which, the market seemed to be under severe burden from smartphone cameras. Main camera manufacturers like Canon, Nikon and Sony, reported decline in camera sales, reflecting a multiyear fall in worldwide shipments which began moderating only last year, according to the Camera & Imaging Products Association.

CIPA data portrayed that camera sales had leapt by nearly 20%, in 2015 from the year prior to 35.4 million sales, down from 2010 peak of 121.5 million and corresponding with the boom in smartphones. In the meanwhile, global smartphones sales had climbed over 14% last year to over 1.4 billion units, as per figures from research firm Gartner.

Real Camera for Photography Enthusiasts

Hejtmanek had accepted that smartphone had been turning the overall population into unprofessional shutterbugs but had restrained the effect on high-end manufacturers like Hasselblad. He informed CNBC in New York this week that `this is a real camera for photography enthusiasts, so while you can with a camera phone shoot some great pictures, there are a lot of limitation to that. You have a sensor in the X1D that is many times larger than a camera phone. The difference is staggering’.

Most of the digital single lens camera possibly the most affordable as well as popular ones in the market, tend to cost only several hundred dollars, but they seem to pale in price comparison to the X1D.Hejtmanek commented that for someone who would have purchased a high-end DSLR, this camera is a big step up in technology though only a small step in price. It’s much more a camera for the dollar. The X1D is said to be available in stores in August.

Cheap Ransomware Takes Files Hostage


Stampado Malware – No Administrator Rights to Infect Computers

A Malware has been spottedby online security firm Heimdal on the dark web, which is a part of the World Wide Web which is not indexed by regular search engines and which needs specialists’ software or approval on access. The malware tends to give the victims 96 hours to pay a ransom before it tends to being deleting files from their PC. It is said that if the ransom is not paid, it continues to delete random file every six hours.

The newly discovered threat is known as Stampado malware and is said to be on sale for less than $50 for a lifetime licence. The difference between Stampado and the other malware alternatives is that it does not require administrator rights to begin infecting the computers. Ramsomware is malicious software which tends to ascent the data on the users’ PC and thereafter probes for payment before restoring the data to its original state.

The price of unlocking data may differ, with users usually paying a few hundred pounds and businesses a few thousand. A security firm Heimdal had mentioned in a blog that `cryptoware is a big segment of the malware economy, malware creators have to constantly release new products to keep their clients engaged and the money flowing. Researchers at Intel Security, in June, had mentioned that they had seen an alarming rise in the volume of ransomware available to hackers. They had informed that they had logged 124 individual variants of the malware.

Ransomware Attacks Doubled in Past Years

The FBI had also stated that it had envisaged ransomware attacks doubled in the past years, with over 2,400 complaints that had come up. The estimated losses from these attacks amounted to $24m within that timeframe. In recent months, banks, educational institutions and hospitals had all been affected by these attacks. Several made attempts of solving the issue internally before making the payment of any ransoms.Experts are of the opinion that the best way individuals can protect against ransomware is to back up files elsewhere outside the computers like an external hard drive or the cloud. In order to combat the cyber occurrence on a state level needs the efforts of the N.J. Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. Dave Weinstein, New Jersey’s first chief technology officer, stated that federal departments have their focus on protecting national assets from cyber-attacks, in an effort of protecting the whole country but that could overlook several smaller objects which would only disturb state residents if disabled.

Ransomware a Serious Threat

He further added that there are a majority of assets in the state which tend to fall below the very high verge that if stuck unfavourably it would not influence the nation as a whole but would certainly affect the residents as well as the business of the state of New Jersey. The cyber security division of OSHP, earlier helmed by Weinstein also tracks dozens of well-known ransomware alternatives to inform victims on the decision of paying the attackers or not. Ransomware seems to be a very serious threat and the negative impact it tends to have on individual or corporation relates to the effort, cost and time connected in restoring the systems and devices back to its original working state. On comprehending the cost of recovery, the monetary as well as reputation, the victims are left with an option of paying or move forward with a recovery plan if one tends to exist.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Leak Reveals Awesome New Look

Galaxy Note 7

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 – Doing Away with Fingerprint Sensor

According to new leaks, Samsung has been organizing the launch of its most influential mobile device. Some official looking extracts of the Galaxy Note 7 had been revealed overnight by notorious smartphone tipster,Evan Blass on Twitter displaying the device in more details. The image portrayed a seemingly polished looking device which has a strong similarity to the latest Samsung’s flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S7 that had been released in March last.

 But the rear panel seems to be imprinted with the words `Galaxy Note 7’ outwardly showing that it is a new device. The Note 7 is anticipated to get a curved OLED display measuring 5.8ins imitating the screen on the Galaxy S7 Edge and if the images leaked seemed to be right, Samsung’s flagship design sign would be standard on the next Note.

The Galaxy Note 7 would also be doing away with fingerprint scanner and replacing it with an iris scanner which tends to look into your eyes for unlocking the phone. This could be a courageous decision since most of the other flagship smartphone or phablet tend to use fingerprint scanner though could work on a super-sized device such as the Note 7.

Incredible New Translation Features

The scanner would also provide access to protected app, folders, files as well as documents. Other disclosure from the Indian tech site states that the Galaxy Note 7 would be coming with some incredible new translation features.

The new Dictionary and Speaking services enables user to translate words quickly form one language to another and eventually introduce consistent text to speech functionality. Android smartphones all over are set to receive a leading improvement due to the release of the next generation of software. Presently Google is working on the launch of Android Nougat, which is the latest edition of the mobile platform, set to be released later in the year.

Among the new features, we have an improved battery life together with power performance owing to the new Doze feature that enables to put the device in a low power mode when it senses that the phone is not moving.Android phones would now be supporting split-screen apps and hence two apps would now be capable of running side by side or one above the other like the prevailing iOS feature of Apple.

Improved Support for Virtual Reality Games/Apps

Moreover, included in the latest release is an improved support for virtual reality games and apps, connecting to new Daydream VR headset of Google, together with a new night mode that will reduce on harmful light while utilising the phone at night.Google has also been tweaked on how Android devices tend to manage notifications since the new Direct Reply feature enables users to respond swiftly to text messages or update task list right within the notification interface.

Developers could bundle in notification together so that all the text messages, calendar reminders, Facebook prompts can be taken together when one drags down the notification shade. App would also take less time in installing with the latest release and the predictive keyboard of Google would also get enhanced with a strip of new themes, the capability of adding or removing borders surrounding individual keys as well as setting a custom photo as a backdrop.

Best WordPress Food Themes to Share Recipes


Blog theme – Easy to Format/Transfer – Perfectly Designed

Any business presently without a website in the connected world does not stand a chance of developing or survival. Kale Pro, a free food blog theme, has been created to help individuals in the creation of superb food, lifestyle, recipe, or personal blog. It tends to be easy to format or transfer and is perfectly designed with accuracy providing the independence to write.

If one intends to undertake on a recipe or lifestyle blogging, the various blog themes could be quite daunting and one would be unable to know which one would be the correct choice. With the availability of so many options, it tends to get a bit complex in making the right choice. Something that would be arresting and appealing to the audience needs plenty of creativity together with unique content as well as images accompanied with the presentation in a visual as well as in an elegant manner.

Most of these blog themes centre on great image post, strong and beautiful typography together with a numerous features which could be beneficial in showcasing your content in the most appealing and stimulating manner. For a serious blogger, one cannot overlook the significance of a light weight, well coded and search engine optimized lifestyle blog theme.

WordPress Theme Professionally Designed & Developed

The highly customizable WordPress themes have been professionally designed and developed utilising the best coding practices. The themes tend to work precisely out of the box and takes less than 30 minutes to locate and setup whatever is needed and you could identify an appropriate theme as per your requirements.

The home page tends to have various areas for displaying and showcasing contents like high light post, highlighted posts, together with post from category of one’s choice and blog feed. The home page asserts a slider which is wonderful to setup by populating it from a designated category or specifying your images and caption.

An amazing feature of the theme is its mixed blog feed layout that tends to mix posts that are shown in grid and full formats in creating an engaging blog feed. Kale Pro also has some breath-taking features which enables in creating a complete functional and appealing person of style blog without having any knowledge on coding.

Several Built-in Premium Features

Moreover it also comes with many built-in premium features like advertisements, recipe shortcode, related posts which tends to be Google rich extract friendly, along with plugins like Jetpack Sharing, WP Instagram Widget, MailPoet Widget, Recent Post Widget with Thumbnails.

The theme provides thorough control over all colours and fonts, images logos and text and the background image. A special attractive recipe index template tends to create a selection of recipes from precise classifications. Some of the key features worth mentioning are –

  • Recipe Index template 
  • Special category template 
  • Super easy social media icons 
  • Integration with Jetpack Sharing 
  • MailPoet Newsletter 
  • WP Instagram Widget 
  • Recent Post Widget with Thumbnails 
  • Built-in related posts • Built-in ads 
  • Built-in recipe shortcode 
  • Google rich snippet friendly recipe cards 
  • Multiple blog feed layouts 
  • Custom colours and background 
  • Custom typography • Multiple slider options 
  • Fully responsive 
  • Awesome support
The themes come in affordable prices with a 14-day money back guarantee accompanied with great customer support.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Review: Nikon D500

Nikon D500

The Nikon D500 – Autofocus System

The Nikon D500, a 21MP APS-C DSLR has the potential of shooting at around 10 frames per second and comprises of an autofocus system which comes from the one in the D5. It means that it is precisely the type of high end DX setup body which seems to become wiped out with the D300S.

Since the launch of the D300S of six and a half years, the camera market has progressed considerably though the D500 seems to have reclaimed the position as one of the distinguished APS-C camera in the market.

Much of the enhanced proficiency of the camera focuses around sports and high speed shooting together with substantial renovations to the shooting rate as well as autofocus system. However, there are some main advancement to the viewfinder, video skills and the connectivity choices that seem to extend its utility further than one particular niche. The following are the key features:

  • 20.7 MP APS-C – DX format sensor 
  • 153 point AF module with 99 cross type points 
  • AF point joystick • 180,000 pixel RGB sensor for metering and subject recognition 
  • 10 fps shooting up to 200 shots 
  • 4K (UHD) video from 1.5x crop of sensor • 100% coverage viewfinder with 1.0x magnification 
  • 2.36M-dot tilting touchscreen display 
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity with NFC for setup 
  • Mic and headphone sockets 
  • USB 3.0 connector 
  • For working under artificial lighting, an anti-flicker option

Capability of Focusing & Shooting Quickly

Most of the competency of D500 is built on the capability of focusing and shooting very quickly and its 153 point AF module provides a near full width coverage which is connected to a 180,000 pixel RGB metering sensor to enhance further its AF tracking skills.

The AF system of D500 like the D5 now provides two parameters for fine tuning the autofocus tracking performance, enabling the user to identifythe kind of subject movement as well as the precise response to another object obstructing the targeted subject.

The D500 has a 3.2 inch 2,359,000 dot screen which is touch sensitive. Prevailing Nikon enables you to only specify duration, directing Nikon is attempting to extend the range of shooting condition for which the AF system could be improved.

Existence of SnapBridge Technology

Another feature which differentiates the D500 from the D5 is the existence of the SnapBridge technology of Nikon that enables the camera to always remain connected to a smart device, over a low-power Bluetooth connection or through Wi-Fi.

This could mean that after the main connection has been done, images can be transmitted automatically to the phone whenever it is shot and they can be ready to be shared through the internet when you tend to pick up your phone.

 As suitable as a camera, it is intended for professionals and serious supporters, wherein the D500 tends to have two card slots, one which accepts SD type media and the other is for the faster XQD cards. Though they have been around for a long time, the XQD cards are not conventional yet with most of the cameras only accepting SD-type media but this could be changed.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Third Party Keyboards Give Mobile Users More Options


Third Party Keyboard App from Apple’s Opponent

Before the arrival of the iPhone in 2007, no one believed that typing on touch-screen keyboards would be a good notion and thereafter users have become proficient at tapping on the glass of phones and tablets. Whereas the built-in keyboards from Apple are concerned, Google together with the other device makers seems to be much better than they used to be and are not the only choices available. One of the third party keyboard apps comes from Apple’s opponent, Google for Apple devices.

 The latest Gboard app functions just like any type of touch-screen keyboard and have a fresh and simple design which does not cause any distraction while you tap away. Moreover it also provides all the normal punctuation and emoji through evident controls and also seems decent appearing lightly identical to Apple’s keyboard. However, Gboard tends to have some good additions.

The space bar tends to double as a track pad enabling the user to scroll the cursor around in the text which has been already typed. Besides this, Google has also incorporated direct search features in the keyboard.

Gboard–Choice of Glide-Type/Swipe between Successive Letters

When you hit the Google button while typing a message, you tend to type in a search box. All the search results of Google then become accessible ready to be copied and pasted in the text which tends to get useful while checking up a word definition, checking street address or locating a GIF or a YouTube video. One could also search for emoji which tends to save the trouble in locating them manually.

Gboard also provides the choice to glide-type, swiping between successive letters rather than tapping on the screen and several of the features of the apps are customizable through settings. If the user tends to get anxious that Google would log what you type, Google states that it will not record the messages, whether a love letter or reveries on the latest news or gossip. Gboard is said to be open to all.While Gboard seems to be good, SwiftKey, a third party keyboard app deals with one of the greatest issue with typing on a touch screen. SwiftKey tends to auto corrects the mistakes.

SwiftKey Utilises Artificial Intelligence – Writing Style

SwiftKey utilises artificial intelligence to learn the writing style over a period of time, building an understanding of the words you seem to use. Hence while typing a long message, the app generally does a good job of correcting errors made since it can guess the word intended to be used. SwiftKey also recommends the words one may prefer to type next so they can be entered with a single keystroke. It could also learn your slang as well as emoji habits.

The app also tends to do a good job in detecting the language used, automatically switching its correction of error even if you have switched languages midway of the message. If SwiftKey does not tend to polish your typing skills, then there is Fleksy a same third-party keyboard app which is free for iOS as well as Androidthat has several of the same features. The keyboard layout of Fleksy is customizable with regards to size and colour and the app is said to be good at auto correcting errors.

Has the LHC discovered a new particle?


Large Haldron Collider – Found New Particle

Cern’s group of Large Haldron Collider – LHC in Switzerland have found a new particle and in its first set of substantial effects since its upgrade last year, LHC researchers have noticed large spikes in energy which could be the consequence of particle impacts among new boson even larger than the Higgs. Physicists had been working hard crunching data gathered by the most powerful particle accelerator of the world which is presently functioning at unprecedented levels of energy as well as intensity.

Their attempts may not be without success since there has been a lot of excitement in the hallways and offices at Cern in Geneva on the so-called `bump’ in the data from the particle smashes of LHC. The LHC tends to crash two beams of proton particles together about 100m below the French Swiss border and scientists thereafter search the debris of these crashes for clues of the earlier undiscovered particles.

Out of trillions of similar collisions last year, scientists had identified more photon– light particles that were produced than estimated, regarding the said bump. More specifically, they perceived an excess of photon pairs with a shared mass of 750 Gigaelectronvolts- GeV.

Facts of LHC

This could be the revealing sign of a new heavy particle which is about six times more enormous than the famed Higgs boson which was discovered in 2012 at Cern. A new particle’s discovery would be very exhilarating as the widely accepted theory of particle physics – the Standard Model could not explain everything observed regarding the world that surrounds us. Facts of LHC are:

  • The Large Hadron Collider is a particle accelerator which tends to push two particle beams near the speed of light and crashes them together in order that scientists can check for signs of new physics phenomena in the debris 
  • Over 1,200 `dipole’ magnets are arranged end-to-end in a long 27km circular tunnel 100m beneath the French-Swiss border near Geneva 
  • The magnets steer the beam of any proton particle or lead ions around the ring of the LHC and allotted points surrounding the tunnel, the beams cross, enabling collisions to occur. 
  • The experiments which tend to analyse these collision, generate over 10 million gigabytes of data each year.

Statistical fluctuations Anticipated

Since the LHC first went online back in September 2008, signals have come and gone. Such types of statistical fluctuations are anticipated and the bumps generally get levelled out with the count of extra data. Prof Stefan Soldner-Rembold, head of particle physics at the University of Manchester explained that more data is needed to ensure that the signal does not go away, till then they need to be careful.

The reason people are excited about the bump is that both experiments, Atlas and CMS saw a suggestion in approximately the same place, but this is not completely unlikely. Gold standard for demanding a discovery in particle physics is said to be a statistical threshold call five sigma. This tends to corresponds to a chance of one in 3.5 million that the observed signal is a chance occurrence and unevenly the same chance as tossing a coin and getting 21 or 22 heads in succession.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

How to Make Google Forget Your Most Embarrassing Searches

My activity

My Activity – A Timeline showing Google’s Stockpile of User

With each search one tends to make or YouTube video watched, Google tends to know you much better while the search giant quietly collects information for a personalized profile it seems to use in serving you targeted ads. However a new tool known as My Activity makes it stress-free than ever to see what information Google seems to be stockpiling regarding the user and delete thing which you would rather forget. Some insight has been provided to bring about an awareness regarding this new tool and how it could be helpful in managing your privacy.

`My Activity’ is basically a timeline which shows what Google has been saving regarding your online activities going back as far as Google has been tracking them which is found at When you have arrive here, you will find a big chronological list of things done using Google’s service, the searches done, videos watched on YouTube etc. You could also search through the data trove to check up a specific record or activity which Google has save such as the time you searched for a particular information or filter the timeline by data or type of activity.

Easy to Erase Google’s collected data

If you do not prefer Google recalling your search or when you have indulged in watching video, it is easy to erase. At first you need to find the record intending to delete, which is made simple with the search bar towards the top of the page. Once you have located your online record in the timeline, you could open a little menu by clicking on the three vertical dots towards the right side of the record. Opt for delete choice on the menu and Google will forget it.

You could also delete the things in bulk by clicking on the three dot menu at the top of the timeline and select `delete activity by’ and choose a date range to delete on the next page. If desiring to have a complete blank slate, you could select the `All Time’ option. You could also stop Google’s data collection whenever you desire. In order to lock things down, you could go to wherein you could tell Google to stop saving information regarding things like your searchers, YouTube watching habits and location history.

Google’s Privacy Checkup

If you are looking through your My Activity timeline and you tend to be a little suspicious, it would possibly be worth running through Google’s Privacy Checkup and this feature which can be located at utilises a simple interface to assist in managing not only what data is saved by Google but also the information regarding the user could be public through the services like Google+.

The search giant tends to make its revenue from distributing targeting ads that is made easier by the collection of data which they have regarding the online activity of the user.That would mean limiting the data they save would possibly result in you viewing ads which tend to be less relevant to your choice. Moreover beyond ads, Google also uses the data to help in personalizing their products to the liking of the user. This could provide a more convenient online experience.

Sucking Robot Arm Wins Amazon Picking Challenge

Robot Arm

Team Delft’s Machine – Won Latest Warehouse Bot Competition

Team Delft’s machine, has won the latest warehouse bot competition of Amazon, a robotic arm which tends to combine a suction cup, a `two fingered’ gripper together with a 3D depth sensing camera, with its rivals at both the tasks. One comprised of choosing products from a container, picking them up and placing them on a shelf while the other did the action in the reverse. Amazon tends to use robots in moving goods with its buildings though depends on humans to stock the same on shelves.

Chief technologist at Amazon robotics, Tye Brady had commented that `their vision is humans and robots working alongside each other. It was inspiring to see 16 top teams with so many different approaches to the same problem and that they saw the advancements robotic technology had made since last year’. The Dutch winners had been awarded $50,000. They rivalled against two teams from Japan and five from the US countries who were known better for their robotics research, at the contest in Leipzig, Germany. There were various items representing some of the blockbusting products of the retailers that were used in the Amazon Picking Challenge.

Stow Task/Pick Task

A combination of various shapes inclusive of soft clothing, a boxed DVD, a bottle of water and a toothbrush were represented. Twelve various items were put in a red plastic box, in the `stow’ task and the robots were made to pick them out in an orderly manner, placing each one at a predetermined place on a shelf. While in the `pick’ task, a dozen specific products to be lifted, off the shelves, comprised of a combination of goods and packed in boxes.

 In some cases, the other items seemed to have been intentionally placed in the way of the target which seems to be tougher of the two tasks. In both the instances, the teams were given only a computer file defining the range of objects involved and instructions for which it should be moved, five minutes before to the start and once the task had started, the robots had to act independently. There were points deducted for damaging any item, dropping the items from a height of over 30 cm and leaving an object extending more than 0.5 cm beyond where it belonged on the shelf.

Variation in Time – Unable to have Single Picking Strategy

Delfts’ team, Kanter van Deurzen had clarified to BBC that due to the variation in items, one could not have a single picking strategy. Usually in industry, you would have a suction cup or a mechanical gripper intended for one kind of item or part. Here they had to handle dozens ranging from simple boxes to a T-shirt and a dumbbell with each needing a different approach. It had really been a big challenge to do all this with a single arm, to have to recognize how the items were focused on and to avoid collision with the other objects on the shelves.

 The Dutch team had come closer to a flawless score in the stow task but its only error was that when its arm’s suction cup had picked a small pack of glue, it also seemed to pick up a bottle-cleaning brush which then had dropped down on the floor. More errors were done in the pick task and initially secured points with the Japan’s Team PFN. However, Delft had been given the benefit since it had taken 30 seconds less time in making its first pick.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

17 iPhone Tricks to Make Your Life Easier

There are several cool iPhone features which seem to be hidden beneath the surface which many seem to be unaware of them. They are some of the paramount iPhone hacks the user does not know and how one could locate them.

1. Charge your phone quicker with a single button press

There is a technique of speeding up the re-juicing procedure which is quite simple. This can be done by just going to Airplane mode and by knocking out all your Wi-Fi searching, data draining communication skills of the phone which takes the strain off your battery when it is being powered up. But if one is facing time constraint and looking to eke out every bit of juice then the extra 4% you would be adding in 30 minutes linked to the mains would be much of a difference.

2. Save seconds off with searches 

At times, getting where one requires to go on the internet is connected to speed and accuracy, a thing which tends to be missing when one is compelled to knock out type-heavy web addresses. In order to save on time, one could hold down the period icon while editing out an address to bring up a short-cut series of URL suffixes and there are several quick hits shortcuts which can be utilised.

3. Learn precisely what your phone knows about you 

Though it is disturbing, one iPhone tends to gather data on the user in the background, whether it is the app being used the most, how much data one may be churning through or where one may be. To get some insight, you could go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Frequent Locations. Here you will find where you have been as well as how long you have spent at each place.

4. Replace toolbox essential 

One may have filed away the Compass app together with the Stocks and Find Friends app in a folder - `Crap I can’t delete. You need to put it back since it has a secret second function which could be helpful with your DIY duties. On swiping left in the Compass app provides a very useful level, a digital bubble gauge which can check if the shelf is really in level.

5. Lock the focal point of your camera

It is a known fact that tapping the screen while taking a photo would be setting the point of focus of the camera and each time one moves the camera on picking a focal point, it tends to disappear. But not anymore, since instead of only tapping the screen you could press for a second or two till an `AF Locked’ box tends to pop up. You could now twist, turn and swing it around without losing the focus.

6. Creating custom vibrations

In customs one could select a contact of your choice and hit on `Edit’ where one will see a `vibration’ option. On selection of this, it would provide you with various options inclusive of the Create New Vibration tool. Making your custom-made buzz is now as easy as tapping the screen to the beat of one’s choice.

7. Correct Siri’s pronunciation 

Sometimes Siri may get the wrong pronunciation of people’s name. If Siri tends to get some words wrong you could tell it the correct pronunciation. It lets you check if it has got the right pronunciation

8. Close three apps simultaneously 

If one needs to close multiple applications in haste you could drag three fingers up on the multitasking menu to discard the clutter faster which means that the phone needs to be functioning faster in less time.

9. Set your music on timer 

If one enjoys listening to soothing background music while drifting off to sleep, you may possibly wake up at 3 am to some unwanted tunes and hence you could set your music to turn off on a timer. Going to the Clock app, you could slide along to the Timer option and under the `when time ends’ tag you could switch out the alarm opt for a `stop playing’ tag. When the time touches zero, this would turn off the tunes whether it is through Apple Music or Spotify.

10. Take a photo without touching your phone 

An old though a good iPhone hack could be using your volume control buttons in order to capture an image which would end in saving your meaty paw obstructing the screen while attempting to hit the touchscreen controls. However if one intends to be removed further from the photo capturing shutter controls you could hit the volume button on a pair of well-matched, connected headphones which would provide the same effect.

11. Save data allowance by limiting app access

If your 2GB data allowance tends to be getting low you don’t have to go back on your on-the-go Netflix viewing. On the contrary you could select which apps tends to get demoted to the Wi-Fi-only B list. You could go to Settings > Mobile Data wherein you could make the decision of one app a time.

12. Improve battery life 

Apple’s connected quick access for key data and services; Spotlight has been offering instant access to the latest breaking news, social updates and sports scores. However all this could be eating on your battery life, unless you turn off Spotlight features for some app for more life per charge. You could go to Settings > General > Spotlight Search and limit what could be pulling in data without your knowledge.

13. Improve your signal; know where to look for it

You could type #3001#12345#* in your iPhone’s dialler and hit call to launch the hidden Field Mode tool wherein the sub-surface menu tends to turn your bar chart-based signal indication into a more direct numerical based indication signifier

14. Use phone like an Etch-a-Sketch to erase

The latest iPhone actions could be erased by giving it a good shake. You could skip the unending backspace knocking with a firm handset shake though a pop-up will ensure that you want to delete before your typing is erased.

15. Find our precisely how long you have been waiting for a reply 

If one has been endlessly checking the phone for a text reply and wondering how long it has been since the message has been sent, there is an easy option of knowing details. You could swipe in from the right hand side of the screen in a messaging thread which indicates the exact delivery time for each message send and received.

16 Share your family tree with Siri

If referring parents by given name tends to make one feel awkward, you could teach Siri on what you could be chatting about. You could ask Siri to call your dad and the digital PA would ask who the father could be. When a contact has been assigned to the parental name, each time when asked for pops, you would be supported up by modest fuss-free calling.

17. Swipe right to retreat

Living without a dedicated back button for iPhone owning Android converts could be a complex adjustment to make. While the iPhone may not have a pervasive command, for putting things back, there seems to be easy way of heading in the wrong direction. Among the various apps from Safari to Mail, through Messages, swiping on the screen from left to right would send you back to the earlier page.

Google's "Project Bloks" is Like Legos, But For Code

Project Bloks

Project Bloks – Tangible Programming

An important 21st century skill of being able to code or comprehending the basics of how programming tends to really work seems to be getting more critical. The issue is that the code seems as abstract as things tend to get, which is the reason why Google’s leaping in a world with its new `Project Bloks’ of tangible programming. Project Bloks is an open hardware platform meant for developers, researchers and designers in the creation of physical programming experiences for children.

 The fact is to remove the technical obstacles for people and groups to enable them in creating a system of providing `new ways to teach computational thinking to kids. Google is of the belief that with more people having access to the same simple method, physical toys and products which teach kid on programming would come faster than before. The two types of Bloks are the `Base Boards – little square blocks that tend to pair with pucks. The pucks are little things like dials or switches which are simple and obvious that takes input from a programmer and the Base Board they tend to be on, translating this input into code.

Brain Board accumulates inputs from Pucks

Each setup also tends to have a `Brain Board that accumulates all the input from the different pucks as well as their Base Board and connects it to whatever the entire system seems to be controlling irrespective of it being a light or a remote control toy or a speaker or whatever. Project Bloks is said to be an open source party and developers all over can come up with their own pucks together with Brain Boards and devices which will work with them.

Though other smaller businesses could be struggling to get the developers on board, Google would not face much trouble in doing so. Project Bloks is in progress and is in active research.To inform the further development of the project, more researches have been conducted during summer on the opportunities for tangible programming as well as the Bloks platform.Users can sign up through the company’s website if interested in participating.

Brain Board Built on Raspberry Pi Zero

There is no doubt that Google would be assisting in bringing about more awareness to the growing trend of physical computing toys and most prominently introduce lots of children to the challenge and the joy of programming computers before they are old enough to even consider a line of code much less to write one. Bloks is basically like programming with block of Legos which begins with a puck that can have various forms. It is used to interact with an object.

 The puck tends to have instruction which may vary from `turn on/off, move left, jump, play music’. When one places the puck on the base board, it reads these instructions through a capacitive sensor. One could connect various base boards together most of which tend to end up attached to the brain board.

 The brain board are said to be built on a Raspberry Pi Zero, providing power as well as connectivity. According to the new Bloks website from Google, a modular system for tangible programming made of electronic boards and programmable puck that permits you to send instructions when connected together to the devices.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Help Design the PowerEgg Drone and You could net Yourself a Cool $3,000


PowerVision’s PowerEgg – Compact Portable Drone

PowerVision, UAV and drone specialist launched a latest design initiative – the PowerEgg Design Challenge to perceive who could design the best outer shell for its compact portable drone – the PowerEgg. The winner would get to see their design go into production as well as bag $3,000 as a prize.PowerVision Robotics is famous for its innovations in industrial robotics and the company now intends to enter the consumer marketplace. Having its headquarters in Beijing, PowerVision has revealed its egg-shaped aerial vehicle which would be easy to fly and very much portable owing to its exceptional design.

 PowerVision had chosen an oval shapefor its drone for aesthetic as well as functional motives. PowerVision CEO, Wally Zheng had stated that `we think the oval shape is not only clean and pure but also has structural and functional benefits. This simple yet vital design means that this is more than a flying robot but a work of art. PowerVision is on the lookout of giving graphic designers from across the world irrespective of them being student or an experienced professional, with the opportunity of creating the design which would embellish the recognisable folding egg design of the drone. The contest had been launched on June 22, 2016 and would be running all through July closing on August 7.

Special Chassis to Move Around& Transport

The PowerEgg was initially unveiled in February 2016 where the product of nearly two years’ worth of research and development tends to combine a 360°panoramic 4Kcamera on 3-axis gimbal, real-time HD video transmission up to 3000m together with advanced optical flow sensors for the purpose of easy indoor navigation. It is said that the arms, feet and rotors of the PowerEgg tends to fold back in the special chassis enabling it to move around and transport it with ease.

The winner of the contest would be receiving a $3,000 top prize together with royalties from the sale of PowerEgg consumer drone presenting their design. The second and third place winners would also be getting a special drone and royalties with a$1,500 and $1,000 prize respectively. Ten runner-up entrants would be receiving $200 Amazon gift voucher and $300 gift voucher for buying a PowerEgg through the PowerVision website.

Oval Chassis/Four Larger Propellers

Wally Zheng commented that `to celebrate the launch of the first consumer drone, PowerVision is excited to promote the creativity of users through this PowerEgg Design Contest and that they are looking forward to seeing the creative new designs.The egg shape sets the drone spaced out from the other four axis drones which adopt an x-shaped design. The drone comprises of an oval chassis having four larger propellers which collapse into the body of the device.
This mechanism enables the drone to double into the body of the device and the mechanism permits the drone to fold up into a compact shell thus making it easy to carry it along. When it is folded, the drone seems to be adequately small to fit in a standard backpack. The company intends to begin shipping in its new drone somewhere during the second quarter of 2016. The availability along with the pricing has not yet been disclosed.