Friday, 27 October 2017

Material Could Bring Optical Communication Onto Silicon Chips

Soon silicon chips will feature optical communication with the discovery of a new material

With each passing year computing performance has advanced significantly and if we take decades into the equation then you will be astonished at the rate of advancement. Computing performance boost has been achieved through squeezing more number of transistors within a relatively tighter space on the microchips. Now scientists have been able to develop such ultrathin films placed on the semiconductor making optical communication possible on the microchips.
 

The ‘interconnect bottleneck’ in optical communication

 
The downsizing of the microchips over the years had led to signal leakage between the different components which eventually results in slower communication between them. This delay in communication has been termed as ‘interconnect bottleneck’ which has emerged as a major issue in the high-speed computing systems.

One of the best ways to eliminate the interconnect bottleneck in microchip is to make use of light to allow communication between different parts. Using wires for communication is simply out of the question but even using light isn’t a simple or easy way as silicon used to make chip doesn’t’ happen to emit light easily.
 

Finding a new material to emit light

 
Researchers have found a light emitter as well as detector which can help in bringing optical communication by integrating it in the silicon CMOS chips. A new device has been built from a common semiconductor material, molybdenum ditelluride, which belongs to a new revolution group of materials called two-dimensional transition-metal dichalcogenides.

The best thing about this material is that it can be stacked right top of the silicon wafers which wasn’t the case earlier. This 2D molybdenum ditelluride is such a remarkable ultra-thin material that it can be easily attached with any material without much hassle. A major difficulty faced by the scientists while looking for materials to integrate with the silicon semiconductors is that most of materials happen to emit light in the visible range. And silicon is notorious for absorbing the light emitted at such wavelengths. While molybdenum ditelluride happens to emit light in the infrared range which can’t be absorbed by the silicon and thereby it helps in enabling the optical communication on the microchip.

 

Future prospects of this new discovery in optical communication

 
Researchers have stepped their efforts towards finding other materials which can also be used for the chip based optical communication in future. Currently most of the telecommunication system operates mainly using the light having the wavelength of 1.3 or 1.5 micrometers. The good thing here is that molybdenum ditelluride happens to emit light at 1.1 micrometer which is suitable for usage in the silicon chips found specifically in the computers but unsuitable when it comes to usage in the telecommunications systems.

Therefore researchers are again looking for a new material which can help initiating the optical communication the telecommunication systems. Currently they are exploring another ultra-thin material known as black phosphorus which has the potential to emit light through altering the different layers used in the process. This research has been published in the science journal called Nature Nanotechnology.

Google Photos Now Recognizes Your Pets

Google Photos Now Recognizes Your Pets

Google Photos now automatically recognizes pets and knows their names

Google has a new feature for its Google Photos app. The app recognizes the faces of your friends and family members and automatically groups them into groups.

Corresponding was now also for your pets retrofitted!

If you open the app after the update, Google Photos generally asks you if you want to give a name for the animal photos found just like the person recognition. Now, Google Photos recognizes your pet's face. Images that Google recognizes the animal can then be found through the Google Search. It has only been possible to search directly for people or certain animals, now we can also search for the name of our pet.

With this innovation, Google Photos scores with a number of pet lovers: Google Photos now also creates their own albums for your pets. The innovation is to be available promptly to all users. As a result of these extensions, creating albums, slideshows, or movies with your pets photos becomes easier. The assistant included in the Google Photos app also takes into account the extended possibilities and prepares video animations for the four-legged friends, provided the material is adequate. Already for some time now Google Photos has the possibility to search specifically for dog or cat breeds if it must be also by entering Emojis.

The automatic tagging according to terms such as "dog" or "cat" is an old hat and is dominated by Google's photo app as well as by Apple photos. However, a face recognition for pets is a novelty. Google Photos offers the like now and sorts the dogs and cats that you have clicked together with recognized human faces in the extended section "People and Pets", where you can also name the new albums.

Animal update for the "Google Photos" app: From now on, not only people but also the four-legged householders with their own label are displayed in the gallery overview. Thus the search for the pictures of the hairy favorites is clearly simplified.

What did Mr. Schnuffmann look like when he was still sitting small and tender in the basket before he became that grown-up Giant Schnauzer? Where are the pictures showing Kitty Cat after her walk around the neighborhood? If you search for the photos of your hairy favorites in the "Google Photos", you had to type "dog" or "cat" into the search field or cross the gallery.

With the new update in the latest app version 3.7.0, the management of the animal photos is much easier, a contribution to the Google blog reveals. To the galleries of the friends, which are also provided with the names of the depicted on request, now also galleries of the four-, eight- or how many-also-always-beers join. Are separated from each other under their own label. These albums can also be named.

The software also recognizes the breed of the animals. So if you're looking specifically for a poodle, you can enter this in the Google Photos search field. Already all Poodle pictures are displayed. Also new: the label "People & Pets", which lists the pictures of the owners and their favorites together.
Also the recently introduced search by dog or cat Emoji is possible, as well as the creation of a video by Google Assistant. How this might look, Google shows in this small sample clip:

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Novel Circuit Design Boosts Wearable Thermoelectric Generators

Wearable Thermoelectric Generators
With Wearable Thermoelectric Generators, a continuous monitoring of the vital data is possible for athletes and patients. The difficulty is to supply the devices with power permanently. The Wearable Thermoelectric Generators with 40 mW of continuous power, which is worn along with the regular clothes, solves the problem.

Supported by Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and by PepsiCo, Inc., this research has paved a way to better understand the electronic and optical properties of polymer-based materials. A team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology, under the leadership of Professor Shannon Yee, has developed a Wearable Thermoelectric Generators that is both light and flexible and uses the body's heat to generate electrical energy. The thermal generators were applied both to organic and inorganic substrates. However, the polymer variant achieves a significantly lower output power. The performance of the inorganic variant, on the other hand, was satisfactory, but the prototypes were rigid, comparatively heavy and therefore not usable.

The team of Georgia Institute of Technology around Professor Shannon Yee has now developed a Wearable Thermoelectric Generators method in which a p-type and n-type materials are each presented in a pasty form and on a fabric to be printed. The pastes penetrate through the meshes of the fabric and form a layer of Wearable Thermoelectric Generators about one hundred micrometers thick. As a result, several hundred thermoelectrically active points are formed in the combination of p- and n-conducting material on a specific surface of the fabric.

The structure of this Wearable Thermoelectric Generators is stable; it does not require additional ceramic substrates that absorb a large portion of the available thermal energy. Here, the fabric itself serves as the upper and lower substrate of the generator between which the inorganic thermoelectrically active materials are introduced; the Wearable Thermoelectric Generators are also flexible. In particular, the weight of the Wearable Thermoelectric Generators in comparison with other systems could be substantially reduced: to about 0.13 g / cm 2. A 10 x 10 cm² Wearable Thermoelectric Generators designed for the power supply of a "smart fabric" produces an output power of 40 mW from the temperature difference between the skin of the wearer and the environment. 

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Pay with Google and Speed Through Checkout

Pay with Google

Now shop easily on Android by using ‘Pay with Google’

If you love shopping online or offline shopping then dealing with cash will be a thing of past with availability of more and more mobile based payment options. Mobile based payment systems saw a surge in last couple of year with the launch of Apple Pay, Android Pay & Samsung Pay which brought the cashless future into reality. This was enabled by the launch and availability of the near-field communications in the modern smartphones. Google has announced that it will be launching very own way of paying on mobile devices with the ‘Pay With Google’ option. This will allows users to make use of their card to purchase any product or service using the application like Google Play, Chrome, Android Pay or Youtube.
 

Now pay easily on your Android devices

 
The ‘Pay With Google’ option will help in bringing together all the saved payment option within a single interface and it can be done by the app makers and retailers by implementing very few lines of code. Google has made use of the Google Payment API which made its debut during the I/O developer conference in May to give final shape and power the new payment method.

The aim behind ‘Pay with Google’ is to make the checkout process speedier for the users so that it can help in increasing the conversions for the retailers. This has been made possible by the tapping into any payment card of customer present in the file on Google rather than saving them onto the Android Pay specifically. This feature will also make it simpler for the users to shop on their Android devices using the Google powerful digital assistant called Google Assistant.
 

Google Wallet was Google’s first attempt

 
This isn’t the first time Google has forayed to make extensive use of the NFC-based systems. Just a while ago we had Google Wallet which was released in September 2011. Using the Google Wallet users were to make purchase online or even in the store as well as it can be used for sending money to the family and friends. During the initial phase this service found huge popularity and it was touted to leave the Apple Pay way behind in the adoption and active usage but sadly it didn’t happened.
 

A new era of and easy mobile transactions

 
During the launch Google official stated that facilitating payments will become a key capability for the user’s Google account through implementation of ‘Pay With Google’. This option will enable the users all across the globe to pay using their Google devices regardless of the device, platform or interface. Using the ‘Pay with Google’ feature at the checkout users will be presented with a list of payments cards already saved in their Google account. Users are simply required to give a click on the card they wish to use and Google will work towards sending the information right to the merchant along with the shipping address to facilitate the transaction instantaneously. More than 40 different payment providers had already partnered with Google to make the integration simple task for the merchants who wish to make use of this new feature.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Google Bug Bounty: Google Will Pay Hackers Who Find Flaws in Top Android Apps

Google’s new Security Reward Program

Google takes a lot of steps to ensure the security of their platforms. One such measure is the bug bounty reward program taken by Google. It involves the rewarding of persons who find faults or bugs in apps operating on Google play.

Google is closely collaborating with Hacker One, a company that rewards hackers for identifying bugs in a program and android apps to create a Google security reward program. This trademark initiative is said to help app developers and users alike. It will also improve the entire google play platform.

Bug bounty works like this, a hacker can identify bugs or an issue with a particular app and send a report pertaining to the issue to the developer of the app, the developer then resolves the issue/issues and then the hacker is free to contact the google play reward program.

The hacker can also work closely with the app developer to rectify the issue. The hacker can claim the bug bounty reward only once the issue is fixed. Hackers can get a bug bounty reward of up to 1000$.

There are various rules governing the bug bounty reward program. All hacker have to report vulnerabilities to the developers first. The developer should have resolved the issue before a hacker can request a bug bounty reward. If the developer does not respond to the bug report or does not show any inclination to fix the problem, the hacker does not get the bug bounty reward.

A detailed report has to be submitted along with meeting all of googles required criteria. Any issue that causes multiple problems in a program is only eligible for one bug bounty reward. If more than one hacker identifies an issue only the first report will be eligible for a bug bounty reward.

This program is right now available for only certain specific apps. Basically everyone knows that there are many apps on the play store and not all of them are up to a certain quality standard. In order to avoid giving bug bounty rewards to those apps that are sub- standard and contain a lot of bugs, google has introduced this program to only a few apps at present. Alibaba, dropbox, headspace, line,snapchat and tinder are the few apps that are included in the bug bounty reward program. As of now only these apps have opted into google’s bug bounty reward security program. In time a lot more apps mayopt in to the bug bounty rewards program.

Hackers will also be given information about the developer of the app so that they can interact directly with the developer in resolving the issue. Right now only google has reserved the right to reward hackers according to pre specified vulnerability criteria and only once the criteria has been met, only then will a hacker be rewarded. All bugs have to be resolved with a developer within 90 days to qualify for a bug bounty reward. Google has used the bug bounty program in order to improve the overall quality of apps and the google play platform.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Take Two for Samsung's Troubled Bixby Assistant

Bixby Assistant

The next phase of Samsung Bixby is competitive AI market

Artificial Intelligence is seen as the new frontier which ought to be explored by every major tech firm in order to boost its array of products and services. Apple is already in the game, so is true for Microsoft, Google and Amazon and they had almost aced it then Samsung comes to the party and it fails miserably. Bixby assistant made its debut on the Samsung elite Galaxy S line-up with dedicated button. The major issue for it overcome is the presence of Google Assistant on the Android OS which simply removes the need of having another budding AI within a smartphone.

 

The failure of the Samsung in the first phase

 
Bixby assistant has a rough and trouble beginning since its launch with the Samsung Galaxy S8 where it was touted as next best feature to be present on the flagship device. Sadly this AI wasn’t even ready to take on the challenges of the English-speaking world therefore Korean giant Samsung has to disable it altogether. This saw the departure of the Bixby from the premium Galaxy device and a physical button was left in its wake to remind users of the Samsung debacle.
 

Bixby came back with new energy and promise

 
Last year’s recall of the Note 7 due to battery failure was nothing less a nightmare for the Samsung and this year’s failure of Bixby was another nail in its coffin. However Samsung engineer took the challenge of improving upon ten shortcoming of the Bixby assistant in a record time and they brought the Bixby 2.0 at the Samsung’s Developer’s Conference in Sans Francisco. It is worth noting that this time around Samsung has simply rebuilt the Bixby from the ground and this time around they are hopeful of making a genuine progress with their AI technology.
 

Samsung aims to conquer the AI market

 
Samsung has hired Dag Killatus who had earlier created the Viv assistant which got acquired by Samsung just a year ago and even before this he was core-member of the team which went on ti develop Siri. Samsung is a dominant player in the smartphone market with having over 23 percent of the market share which can help it in pushing and popularizing its personal assistant without much hassle.

Apart from the smartphones Samsung has planned to push Bixby assistant to the refrigerators and a number of other homely electronic devices as they can benefit immensely from voice-based controls rater than the user interface. Samsung is going all out to make the Bixby a better competitor in the crowded personal assistant by bringing Bixby more devices and it will also be opining it up for the third party-developers to boost its functionality and features.

As stated earlier Samsung Bixby Assistant will be competing against the Google Assistant majorly as it comes bundled on the Android OS. It is very unlikely that users will be keeping two different assistant on the same device but Samsung is keeping its finger crossed.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Google Advance Protection, for Those Who Need It Most

Google Advance Protection

Google Advance protection: Secured Login Procedure

A much more secured login procedure for users who tend to be at high risk of online attacks has been designed by Google wherein the latest Google Advance protection feature is directed on defence against phishing, fraudulent access and accidental sharing of accounts.

This feature has been hosted for users keeping in mind journalist who would require safeguarding their sources or campaign staffers at the time of election. Google Advance protection program would be utilising Security Keys that tend to be small USB or wireless devices which would be essential in signing into accounts. According to Google they seem to be the most secured type of two-step verification, utilising public key cryptography together with digital signatures for confirmation on the identity of the user.

Google has stated that the security keys could be complex and could be utilised for users who do not mind taking them around, utilising the Chrome browsers on desktop and Google apps, since the keys would not function with the mail, calendar together with the contact apps of iPhone. Alphabets’ Google had mentioned that it would be rolling out this program to offer stronger mail security for users like government officials, political activists besides journalists who may be the object by refined hackers.

Google Advance protection with Physical USB Security Keys

Google users would have the advantage of choosing in to security settings focused on protecting Gmail, YouTube data and Google Drive from phishing attacks.Google Advance protection features comprises of physical USB security keys for connecting to a desktop computer before every login for the purpose of identifying the user.

Mobile logins would need a Bluetooth wireless device. Google Advance protection users would have their data confined from access by any of the non-Google third-party applications like the Apple iOS mail client aapl or Microsoft Outlook msft. The program is said to comprise of a much more laborious as well as detailed account recovery procedure in order to avert fraudulent access by the hackers who may tend to obtain access by playing that they have been locked out.

Users, who tend to be part of Google Advance protection, would have extra steps put in order, at the time of account recovery comprising of extra reviews together with request on why a user seemed to have lost access to their account. Moreover Google Advance protection feature tends to automatically restrict full access to Gmail as Google Drive for particular apps.

Google Advance protection: Upgrade Two-Factor Authentication Tool

As of now, Google Advance protection would be made available for consumers of Google Accounts and in order to offer comparable protection on G Suite Accounts, G suite admins would look into Security Key Enforcement together with OAuth apps whitelisting.

Earlier this year, Google had mentioned that it intends to upgrade its two-factor authentication tool after numerous high-profile hacks inclusive of the Gmail account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta in 2016. U.S. Intelligence agencies believed that those hacks comprising of a breach of John Podesta’s personal Gmail account had been done by Russian as part of a broader cyber campaign to assist Donald Trump, to win the White House.

Google has stated that it would update the security of accounts on a continuous basis which has been signed up for the program and the same is made available to users having a regular account. While Google had earlier supported the utilisation of security keys for two-factor authentication, Google Advance protection users would not be having backup log-in system available should they lose their keys other than the fuller account recovery procedure. Google has not specified what the recovery practice would involve.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Uses of Captured CO2

We’ve all heard of CO2, it is the gas that we breathe out. We also may have heard that CO2 emissions are a major concern to the atmosphere and us at large. So what do we do to control this progression into our ultimate destruction?

Recently scientists have found ways by which CO2 can be captured and transformed into something that is useful and not harmful. By this I mean that now those harmful CO2 emissions that we so dread, can now be mixed with other materials thereby making it not only more stronger but also and most importantly it will also reduce the CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.

They say that we as humanity should never sleep on the problem of pollution, well with this solution we can control CO2 emissions by actually sleeping. This may sound that I have taken a trip down the crazy lane but by sleeping you can actually control CO2 emissions. But let me tell you how. Scientists have now come up with a technology that is fitted into your pillow that allows the CO2 breathed out by us to be captured into our pillows thereby reducing the CO2 emissions in the air.

It is not only in pillows that can capture CO2 emissions but also other everyday items such as the soles of our shoes, the spines of our books or even the concrete of our buildings and roads are all made of or can contain our CO2 emissions.

So how can all this be done we might ask ourselves. Well CO2 which is a technically unreactive gas can be made to react with petrochemical raw materials which are used in making a lot of plastics. In this new form CO2 can account for upto 50% of the materials used to make up plastics. Also while using CO2 in this way, the CO2 emissions not only get used but also the resulting CO2 from the process also gets absorbed by the process. The resultant materials are also found to be alot stronger than if CO2 were not used.

Other companies are now using CO2 emissions to make jet fuel and diesel through carbon engineering . While somewhere else CO2 emissions are being captured and used in making soda ash which is an important ingredient in making fertilizer, dyes and synthetic detergents.

Scientists claim that through this process, by the year end the process would have reduced CO2 emissions by 3.5 million tonnes in the atmosphere which is like taking 2 million cars off the road.

But of course all the captured CO2 is very small compared to the actual amount that it is in the air and that could, nay will potentially harm us. Scientists have discovered that CO2 emissions account for 12 to 14 gigatonnes of toxic waste emissions a year. That is roughly 12 to 14 billion tonnes a year.
We burn a burn a lot of fossil fuels a year to provide for gas, coal and oil and all this adds to the CO2 emissions in the air among other undesirable gases. Although through the process of capturing CO2 emissions we are reducing it in the atmosphere, the process is used only in a very small scale and therefore is very expensive.

Monday, 16 October 2017

SWIFT Says Hackers Still Targeting Bank Messaging System

The $81 million heist that was carried out from the Bangladesh Bank in February was done by attackers who hacked into the bank’s SWIFT software. They were able to steal the money by hacking into the software to transfer the money. The attackers were also able to cover up their tracks in a very effective manner.

The attacker, based in Bangladesh, was able to develop a malware which was highly sophisticated and could interact with the local SWIFT software in his vicinity.

SWIFT is a cooperative of 3,000 organizations, based in Belgium. It provides a platform to transfer funds internationally. SWIFT is in the know, that there exists a malware that can reduce the financial institutions systems abilities that can cause various fraudulent transactions on their local systems. They are however saying that this malware is not capable of hacking into their network or causing extreme damage as far as their messaging services are concerned. This is contrary to the reports, which suggest otherwise.

In case of any hacking to the SWIFT software can cause transfer of funds from the victim’s account to the attackers account. As seen in the Bangladesh Bank case, there were 30 SWIFT transactions on FEB 5th, for a withdrawal of $ 1 billion from the US Federal Reserve in New York using the SWIFT bank code. Only $ 81 million could be transferred and the balance $ 6.9 million was still retrievable.

The malware used in the Bangladesh Bank SWIFT software was specially designed with a complete know how of the SWIFT Alliance Access software and excellent malware coding abilities.

The malware used by the attacker was not only used to change the SWIFT transactions, but also to hide any of the changes made, since all the transfers that take place are sent by the SWIFT’s software to a printer. When the transactions are printed out, the officials of banking sector can notice any fraudulent transactions and take action immediately. They can thus prevent any malafide transactions from taking place. The malware used in this case intercepted the SWIFT messages and the altered manipulated copies of such messages were printed. In this way they were able to cover up their fraudulent transactions. The malware used, seems to be a wider attack toolkit, allowing the attacker to send forged instructions for payment and also cover up his tracks. This gave the attacker ample amount of time to carry out the transactions and enabling multiple transactions without being detected.

SWIFT is coming out with a software to counteract such related attacks, including alteration in the database records. The customers on their part are encouraged to keep all their IT systems up to date in order to prevent the attackers from hacking into any loopholes in their local security systems.

A spokesperson has advised their customers to keep an eye on any anomalies seen in their local database records whereby helping the customers to keep their accounts secure. The most vital is to adopt adequate security measures and safeguard their systems.

The authorities warn that the malware and the various related tools can be a threat for SWIFT customers. They can be configured easily and likely to cause similar attacks in future. A worrying aspect is how the attackers sent these transactions, the malware used in the systems and who are the people behind this scam.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

NASA Contracts with BWXT Nuclear Energy to Advance Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Technology

NASA

NASA wants to reach Mars with nuclear power

How powerful does a space rocket have to get to Mars? Apparently, rather more than the more modern we have. This is what NASA thinks, which has reopened the door to Advance Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Technology whose possibilities in space exploration seemed forgotten: nuclear fusion.

Nuclear power propulsion is a fairly popular idea in science fiction. NASA has already done some experiments with it in the 1970s, although the risks of using it outweighed the benefits. Instead, he sent Apollo missions to the Moon with conventional fuel, much less powerful and efficient. The tests will take place at the Nevada National Security Site near Las Vegas. Its ultimate goal is to provide enough energy on the surface of the Red Planet for the production of fuel, habitats and other equipment, when humans settle there.

The last time NASA tested a fission reactor was during the 1960s Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power (SNAP) program, which developed two types of nuclear power systems. The first system - thermoelectric generators of radioisotopes, or RTGs - takes advantage of the heat released from the natural decomposition of a radioactive element, such as plutonium. RTGs have fueled dozens of space probes over the years, including the explorer Curiosity currently exploring Mars.

The second technology developed under SNAP was an atom division fission reactor. SNAP-10A was the first - and so far, only - US nuclear power plant to operate in space. Launched on April 3, 1965, the SNAP-10A operated for 43 days, producing 500 watts of electrical power, before an unrelated equipment failure ended the show. The spacecraft remains in Earth orbit.

Russia has been much more active developing and flying spacecraft powered by small fission reactors, Radar Ocean Reconnaissance including 30 Satellites, or RORSAT, which flew between 1967 and 1988, and increased power TOPAZ systems. TOPAZ is an acronym for Thermionic Experiment with Conversion in Active Zone.

However, if the agency wants to meet its goal of sending a manned mission to Mars, it must get a whole rabbit out of the hat. It needs an energy source that will shorten the journey to the red planet for several months, thus reducing the exposure of astronauts and spacecraft to space radiation. The options are not too many, so they have ended up turning a blind eye to nuclear power.

To investigate whether it is possible to equip Advance Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Technology by testing such a motor in a manned spacecraft, NASA has awarded a contract worth 18 million to BWXT, a company specializing in generating atomic energy. His challenge is to create an atomic engine powerful enough to go and return to Mars without risking - at least not too much - the life of astronauts.

On the previous occasion they encountered a seemingly insurmountable problem: for an engine of this type to work, it should be heated to more than 2,000 degrees centigrade, a fairly high temperature that can cause an explosion.

The dilemma is there: if we want to explore the Solar System we need a better source of energy for our rockets. Otherwise, they will never be able to go beyond Mars with the greatest possible risks.

Rolls-Royce Reveals Plans for Autonomous Naval Vessel

Rolls-Royce unveils plans for autonomous naval vessel

The ship concept is designed to be capable of operating offshore for more than 100 days, will shift 700 tons and will reach speeds above 25 knots.

Rolls-Royce has unveiled plans for a single-role, autonomous navy vessel concept with a range of 3,500 nautical miles.

The ship concept is designed to be capable of operating offshore for more than 100 days, will shift 700 tons and will reach speeds above 25 knots. The 60-meter-long vessel is designed to perform a series of unique role missions, eg patrol and surveillance, mine detection or fleet screening. The heart of the boat is a robust and reliable propulsion system. This combines proven Rolls-Royce experience in gas and diesel turbines with a proven track record in electric propulsion, power storage and propellers.

According to Benjamin Thorp, Managing Director of Naval Electrics, Automation, and Control at Rolls-Royce, "Rolls-Royce is seeing the interest of the major armies in autonomous ships, rather than remote-controlled ones, reduce crew risk and reduce construction and operating costs.

"Over the next 10 years, Rolls-Royce expects to see the introduction of medium-sized unmanned rigs, particularly in the main armies, as the concept of mixed manned and unmanned fleets develops.".

The largest manned ships will cover multi-role missions. By allowing the composition of the fleet to blend in this way, the marinas will reap the operational and cost benefits of autonomous navy vessel concept.

The initial design features a complete electric propulsion system that requires fewer auxiliary systems (lubrication, cooling system, etc.) and offers better reliability levels than mechanical counterparts. It has two groups of Rolls-Royce MTU 4000 series that provide about 4MW of electrical power to a 1.5MW propulsion unit. An alternative to diesel engines could be small gas turbines, further improving system reliability and reducing on-board maintenance. Azipull permanent magnet propellers, along with a tunnel pusher mounted at the bow, will make the vessel highly maneuverable. To reduce fuel consumption and extend the range of operation, an additional 3000 kWh of energy storage will facilitate efficient low-speed operations and the vessel will also be equipped with photovoltaic solar panels to generate power when the vessel is on hold.

The absence of crew increases the need for very reliable power and propulsion systems. Rolls-Royce's approach is to combine advanced intelligent asset management and system redundancy in a cost-effective way that avoids sacrificing the cost savings and volumes achieved by eliminating the crew. A set of autonomous navy vessel concept support tools, developed by Rolls-Royce, such as energy management, equipment health monitoring and predictive and remote maintenance, will ensure the availability of unmanned vessels.

Many of the technologies needed to make autonomous navy vessel concept ships a reality already exist. Rolls-Royce has created what it believes.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Top 4 mobile apps for your business

mobile
Mobile technology has taken a big leap in recent past and thanks to this, business userscaneasily carry out remote working. We have now seen that several businesses are depending on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets that assist them in handling their business. Depending on a PC for your work is no longer the need because individuals now performtheir entire task from apps on their iPhone, iPad or Android. Mobile apps, in particular, tend to alter the way one plans to complete his work. Once an appropriate mobile app is downloaded, it is inclined to fit your business needs, and one has the advantage of improving productivity of their business. The benefits of apps for one’s business are many. It helps in:
  • Building and cultivating customer reliability - Mobile appsenable businessesto have a direct and quick link with customers developing an association between them. Some businesses offer a reward systemwhichmotivates their customers tokeep coming back in order to get more gratification.
  • Reinforce Brand –Mobile app for a business brings with it a degree of loyalty and keeps reinforcing the brand with their notifications.This is fairly important wherein consumers in need of a product or service will prefer the ones with mobile apps.
  • Increase visibility and accessibility – There is a fair bit of increased visibility which can be achieved by providing promotions and discounts in the app and keep the customer involved. With access to mobile devices, the user can quickly go through the offering and may not require a computer due to the convenience of a smartphone. 


The following could be some useful apps for business:


1. NetSuite One World

NetSuite OneWorld -Netsuite offers an app for both large and small business,which is aaccessible system known as enterprise resource planning – ERP. With the use of a mobile app, one has the advantage of handling expense reports, business dashboards, security records, purchase orders, etc. This could be a one-stop shop in handling your business while you are away from your desktop.

2. Expensify

ExpensifyFree– It is said to be one of the best expense report software for a mobile device. It enables the user to upload receipts through its iOS as well as Androidapps, where both seem to use OCR SmartScan. Expensify known as the best tool reviewed tends to precisely process scanned data that saves the employees as well as administrators of time previously spent in recording as well as the dispensationof expenses.

3. ClickMeeting

ClickMeeting - A video conference can be done by anyone from their phone though onlya few services tend to provide the enhanced functionality that ClickMeeting tends to offer. Android, Apple and BlackBerry apps of ClickMeeting enables the user to schedule meetings, stream audio as well as video, record events and share your screen, all of these, from a smartphone.

4. Citrix ShareFile Business

Citrix ShareFile Business - Several of the best file transfer services have not been successful in sending large files from computer to computer. Citrix ShareFile Businessat Citrix tends to provide the facility of sharing from Android, BlackBerry, Windows and iOS mobile devices. Moreover, for the purpose of administration, it also provides outstanding device management functionality, assisting IT in disabling and wiping devices whenever the need arises.

These apps can be a boon for a business consumer as it simplifies the day-to-day activities attached to business. As you must have seen, there are a lot of websites which help you in comparing smartphones and hence saves your time; similarly, these apps help you manage your work, increase productivity and save your precious time as well.

Google X and the Science of Radical Creativity

Google X

Google X is empowering invention with bust of radical creativity

 

Google parent company Alphabet has a very special wing which is working on developing highly influential and quite unbelievable technology, product or service for all. This special wing is called Google X wing which brings together highly powerful minds in varied fields that have a common shared goal of developing solutions to the crucial problems plaguing modern society. In simple words this wing is a kind of Moonshot Factory whose solutions are nothing less than the science fiction.
 

What makes Google X so different from others?

 
Google X will comes as simply one such company where members are encourages to perform regular investigation in the absurd ideas which are permitted anywhere in the world. In this case ‘absurd ideas’ are limited to the science fiction and their task is to investigate whether it is possible to implement in modern day and how feasible will it be. Over the this wing has quietly investigation space elevators and cold fusion which are remarkable absurd ideas in reality but so much in the field of science fiction.

This Moonshot factory has tried and even abandoned wide range of projects over the years which ranges from the developing hoverboards with magnetic levitation technology to extremely cheap fuel from the sea weed. It has met with varied degree of success in different projects and one of its most notable and widely reported projects is self-driving cars. Apart from it it had made drones which can deliver aerodynamic packages and even designed such contact lenses which can measure glucose level from the diabetic person’s tears.
 

Google X is the need of the hour

 
The ideas followed or made into by Google X might appear to be farfetched or too random to show any worth to usual reader. But the engineers and brightest minds at this Moonshot factory adhere to a very simple and potent three part formula. At the very beginning they address a huge problem, secondly they do it by offering a radical solution and thirdly this is achieved by employing a feasible technology.
It is worth noting that Google has created the Google X wing to solve its own problems as there is already massive workforce to deal with it. Rather the Google X division is literary made with the aim of creating such companied which helps in changing the world we live in and become the next age- Google. This wing considers more than 100 such absurd ideas every year which encompasses varied areas like artificial intelligence, clean energy and much more.
 
Innovation powered by secrecy
 
The Google X wing innovation is powered by the highest level of secrecy. Google doesn’t ever share the allotted budget or the number of employees working in the Google X wing even to the investors. Journalists simply has no clue what’s happening behind the closed doors of the Google X wings but it is worth noting that this Moonshot Factory is led by the finest mind in their respective field who knows what they doing or dealing with.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Open Rotor Jet Engine That Could Revolutionize Air Travel

Open Rotor

A new design of with an open rotor jet engine is expected to revolutionize air travel

 
Aerospace will see a new egg shaped jet engine which has the potential to dramatically cut down the fuel consumption and simply change the scenario of modern air travel. This new technology or more importantly the new ‘open rotor’ prototype has been designed by a French engine maker going by the Safran and he is hoping to see them in action by the year 2030. This new technology based engine was developed in association with European Union and it is being tested currently at a French military based present near Marsellie. The Open Rotor engine technology simply bring out the usually hidden whirring part outside in order to capture more air and provide more powerful thrust to the plane.
 

How it works?

 
This new technology based engine design is expected to help in cutting down fuel consumption which will in turn help in reducing the air fares. This engine is designed like an elongated egg having two rows of blades present at the back end. This engine is designed with an aim of burning 15 percent lesser amount of fuel than the current generation of turbofan engines. Even the traditional technology used in the turbofan had improved significantly in the recent past but the prospects & potential of the new egg shaped engine is massive.

This newly engine will be placed right at the back of the airplane rather than being placed right under the wings which has been common place with today’s technology. It will also leave some room for the two rows carbon blades shaped like scimitar which will swirl in the opposite direction.
 

Tinkering with the traditional engine technology & design

 
This isn’t the first that people had decided to tinker with the traditional engine technology and design of our airplanes. In the 1980 a number of US engine makers worked on the unducted fans but this design and technology was dropped as the oil prices steeply declined. During that time airplane engines were considered to be extremely noisy. The current study and change in the popular engine design and technology is powered by the continuous rise in the energy costs and the impositions of different resolution for fewer emissions.

One of the researchers has stated that if we are looking forward to turn this engine into reality by 2030 then the development has begin from today. In case the oil prices ever jumped over $100 then the whole industry will get more interested in such a viable engine technology which reduces the amount of fuel consumption.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Rolls Royce has shown its interest in this new peculiar engine technology. A another question which is being thrown at the developers is how the passengers are going to react to find two find two naked engine right at the back of the airplane. Developers have no answer for it and this technology still has to be certified by the regulator before it debuts on the modern planes.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

What are the Importance of IT Disaster Recovery Plan

No matter what industry you work in, you very likely rely on some form of information technology. When something goes wrong with your IT system, it can bring operations to an immediate stop. The Importance of IT Disaster Recovery for business is most evident after a disaster. Without a plan, a company in any industry risks losing massive amounts of money, taking hits to their reputation, and may even pass these risks onto customers or clients. Waiting until a disaster hits, however, is dangerous and risky. Many people believe that such things can not happen to them, but in reality, they can, and do happen to everybody. Recent storms and cyberattacks should be enough to convince you that you need a disaster recovery plan.

Recent Examples

The climate on this planet is undergoing massive changes. This has led to many costly natural disasters. Hurricane Sandy, for example, did $65 billion worth of damage, and that was, at its height, a Category 2 hurricane. More recent hurricanes, like Harvey and Irma, were significantly stronger and cost even more money. Only 30% of respondents to a survey conducted under the name “2013/2014 Information Governance Benchmarking Survey,” believed that their organization had sufficient systems as it relates to disaster and crisis recovery and management and business continuity. The National Small Business Association conducted a study in which they found that a vast majority (83%) of organizations still had no business continuity plan a year after Hurricane Sandy wreaked its havoc.

Being Prepared

Even if your organization understands the importance of a contingency plan, it can be hard to understand how to start creating one. It is especially difficult for those who have never had to deal with disaster recovery. These people are susceptible to thinking that they will never need to utilize such a plan. They may also simply have no idea exactly what to prepare for. Either way, having a plan is essential for all organizations, as it is guaranteed to save costs in the long run.

If no one in your organization has any experience with planning for disaster recovery, it is important to consult with someone who has. There are so many things that need to be considered in a contingency plan, and it can be impossible to cover all of the bases without any experience in doing so. Many people also have difficulty recognizing the difference when it comes to disaster recovery vs. business continuity. While a business continuity plan is often used in conjunction with a disaster recovery plan, they are separate plans. The business continuity plan should indicate how business will continue after a disaster. The disaster recovery plan deals specifically with IT.

Once there is a well thought out plan in place, and any previous gaps in the plan have been fixed, any organization will be able to recover from a disaster quickly and efficiently. This helps prevent financial loss and loss of reputation. It can also help reduce the risk of damage to equipment during a disaster, and protect the privacy of client records.

World’s Longest Running Synchrotron Light Experiment Reveals Long Term Behaviour Of Nuclear Waste Materials

Nuclear waste experiment
Longest ongoing synchrotron light experiment in the World unveils behaviour of nuclear waste materials that are long term

University of Sheffield researchers, in collaboration with the Diamond Light Source, are the forerunners in studying and understanding gradual transformations in nuclear waste materials. Their experiment just reached a major milestone of 1000 days which makes it the world’s longest running synchrotron light experiment.

Led by Dr Claire Corkhill from the University’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, the research has utilised the world’s best facilities at the Diamond Light Source to study the long-term behaviour of cement materials used in nuclear waste disposal through the synchrotron experiment.

Dr Corkhill explained that these cements are used to securely lock away the radioactive elements present in nuclear waste for a time period of more than about 10,000 years, hence it is vital that the properties of these materials are accurately predicted in the future. She also added that the exclusive provision at Diamond has enabled them to follow this reaction in situ, for a period of 1000 days and the data received from this study is already helping them recognize exact phases that will securely and safely lock away radioactive elements in a time span of 1000 years’ which is something they would not have been able to determine otherwise.

Dr Corkhill also stated that she has definite plans to return to Diamond Light Source to investigate and observe the reaction of these particular phases with uranium, plutonium and technetium on a single beamline of the X-ray absorption spectroscopy.


The Director of the Immobilisation Science Laboratory and co-investigator of this particular research, Professor Neil Hyatt, said that they all are very enthusiastic to be chosen to partake in this synchrotron experiment as the first ever consumers, in this world’s best facility and capability and are grateful to the people at the Diamond Light Source, Dr Chiu Tang, Dr Sarah Day and Dr Claire Murray from I11 in particular, for all the support they provided in helping all their experiments seeing the light of day and for being the perfect curators of their samples for a period of 1000 days. He added that they were very pleased that this 1000 day milestone established firmly their long-term association between the University of Sheffield and the scientists present at the Diamond Light Source.

Dr Corkhill is, at present, keeping an eye on the alterations in eight nuclear waste cement materials by determining the high resolution diffraction patterns at Diamond Light Source on the I11-1 beamline. Diamond Light Source happens to be UK’s national synchrotron science facility which was financed as a joint venture by the UK Government with the help of the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust. Dr Corkhill’s results and findings are currently being utilised to provide support to the ongoing safety case development meant for the UK Government policy to get rid of nuclear waste in a disposal facility that is geologically deep.
Scientists at Diamond plan to construct five more beamlines for these synchrotron experiments by 2020. But for now, there are no plans to put a stop to this experiment and it will in all probability continue to break records until the materials don’t change anymore or the space is required by another space.

The Most Secure Way To Unlock Your Phone, Revealed

pattern lock
Unlock Devices – Shoulder Surfing Attacks
 
Researchers have warned that users should stop utilising patterns to unlock their devices. According to latest study it has been observed that it seems much easier for people to glance over your shoulder while the user unlock his phone and memorise a pattern than a passcode.

According to the researchers, the so-called `shoulder surfing attacks’ could be cool for a criminal to intend and execute, though the user can protect themselves by turning to a PIN code and on increasing its length from four digits to six. They acquired more than 1,000 volunteers to pose as attackers, challenging them to memorise a range to unlock authentications of four and six digit PINs and four-and six-length patterns with and without tracing lines, by observing a victim over their shoulder from a variety of angles.

The two handsets utilised in the study were the 5-inch Nexus 5 and 6-inch OnePlus One which according to the researchers were identical to a wide variety of displays and form factors available in the present market for Android as well as iPhone. Moreover the researchers also measured single and various views for the attacker with two different hand positions for the victim for single-handed thumb input as well as two-handed index-finger input.
 
PINs – Most Secure
 
They observed from the research that four-length patterns having visible lines had been quite easy to unlock owing to shoulder surfing than any other means to unlock authentication that was tested. Researchers from United States Naval Academy and the University of Maryland commented that they observed that PINs were the most secure to shoulder surfing attacks and though both types of pattern input were poor, patterns without lines provided greater security.

Moreover the length of the input also tends to have an impact and longer authentication seemed more secure to shoulder surging. In addition, if the attacker tends to have multiple-views of the authentication, then the performance of the attacker is greatly improved. During the experiments about 10.8% of six-digit PINs were successful to unlock after a single observation and this figure increased to 26.5% after two observations. Around 62.5% of six-length patterns having tracing lines on the other hand could unlock after a single observation which increased to 79.9% after two observations.
 
Shorter Patterns More Susceptible
 
About 35.3% of six-length patterns devoid of tracing lines could unlock after a single viewing which rose to 52.1% after two observations. The researchers stated that shorter patterns had been even more susceptible, adding that even individuals using fingerprint or face-scanning technology for the purpose to unlock their phones need to be wary of their discoveries.

They further stated that biometrics seems to be a promising advancement in mobile authentication, though they can be considers a reaauthenticator or a secondary-authentication device since individual tend to need to have a PIN or pattern which they could enter somewhat often owing to environmental impacts for instance, wet hands.

There are also instances of high false negatives rates linked with biometrics. Besides this user with biometrics tend to opt for weaker PINs in comparison to those without, signifying that the classical unlock authentication tends to be an important attack course going forward. From a separate research published earlier in the year, it was observed that most of the security device patterns can unlock within a span of five attempts.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Ask More Of Your Phone: Google Pixel 2

Google is all set to launch the next iteration of its flagship Pixel 2 smartphones this week. Tech enthusiasts and industry experts are holding the opinion that Google next offering will have enough features packed into it to win over the Apple’s iPhone 8. Here are some of the predictable features which are expected to be seen in the Pixel 2 to win over its competition and other gadgets are as follows:

Wide Angle Lens - It is worth noting that Google Pixel XL simply became world’s best camera on a smartphone last year. However it didn’t had the wide angle lens that time around, so it is being expected that Google will opt for some good wide-angle lens for its Pixel 2 devices. Secondly Pixel devices didn’t even have the ISO and shutter speed control which were sorely missed by the users.
Headphone jack – It is highly expected Google will finally give in the way just like Apple and it will get rid of lovely 3.5 mm headphone jack in order to make its device more slim. Almost every major flagship device is following the single-port ethos nowadays wherein users had make use of adapters in order to charge and listen to music on the go. Bluetooth headphones are the option but nobody likes them as much as manufacturers like them.

BoomSound – Just a few weeks ago Google acquired a massive part of HTC which has been critical in the development of the Google devices in the past. It is expected that new Pixel 2 devices will feature the BoomSound which has been developed by HTC and happens to offer incredible audio output from the external speakers. In simple words Pixel 2 devices will offer simply the best speaker audio rendition through the use of BoomSound technology in the upcoming Pixel 2 smartphones.

No Limit on GDrive Storage – Google won over the smartphone customers by offering one of a kind ‘Unlimited’ GDrive storage for pictures and videos on the Pixel devices. When most of the OEM and cloud storage providers are happily charging certain amount for extra cloud storage Google has simply done away with it. Better phones simply translate larger audio and video files which ultimately require larger storage. Some experts believe that Google will take everyone by surprise this year as well by offering unlimited GDrive storage to the Pixel 2 and Chromebook owners.

A flexible device – Google has taunted the users with its secretive next generation of the flexible technology. It is will suspected that Google might well go ahead and bring a flexible Pixel 2 device to the world. This would make 2017 best year in the smartphone innovation after years of stagnant development.

All of these features are merely speculation fueled by the recent development made by its rival and most importantly Apple’s iPhone 8. If Google Pixel 2 devices of 2017 do come with these features and or something better than these then it will surely give Apple’s iPhone 8 and other gadgets run for its money.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Biological Clock Discoveries by 3 Americans Earn Nobel Prize

Nobel Prize
The discoverers of the 'internal clock' of the body, Nobel Medicine 2017

The winners are Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael W. Young

US scientists Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young today won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Medicine, "for their discoveries of the molecular mechanisms that control the circadian rhythm," according to the jury of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, responsible for the award. The prize is endowed with nine million Swedish crowns, about 940,000 euros.

Thanks in part to his work, today it is known that living beings carry in their cells an internal clock, synchronized with the 24-hour turns of the planet Earth. Many biological phenomena, such as sleep, occur rhythmically around the same time of day, thanks to this inner clock. Its existence was suggested centuries ago. In 1729, the French astronomer Jean-Jacques d'Ortous de Mairan observed the case of mimosas, plants whose leaves open during the day into the sunlight and close at dusk. The researchers discovered that this cycle was repeated even in a dark room, suggesting the existence of an internal mechanism.

In 1971, Seymour Benzer and his student Ronald Konopka of the California Institute of Technology took a momentous leap in research. They caught vinegar flies and induced mutations in their offspring with chemicals. Some of these new flies had alterations in their normal 24-hour cycle. In some, it was shorter and in others, it was longer, but in all of them, these perturbations were associated with mutations in a single gene. The discovery could have earned the Nobel, but Benzer died in 2007, at age 86, for a stroke. And Konopka died in 2015, at age 68, of a heart attack.

The Nobel, finally, was taken to Hall (New York, 1945), Rosbash (Kansas City, 1944) and Young (Miami, 1949). The three used more flies in 1984 to isolate that gene, baptized "period" and associated to the control of the normal biological rhythm. Subsequently, they revealed that this gene and others self-regulate through their own products - different proteins - generating oscillations of about 24 hours. It was "a change of paradigm", in the words of the Argentine neuroscientist Carlos Ibáñez, of the Karolinska Institute. Each cell had a self-regulating internal clock.

The scientific community has since established the importance of this mechanism in human health. This inner clock is involved in the regulation of sleep, in hormone release, in eating behavior and even in blood pressure and body temperature. If, as occurs in people working in shifts at night, the pace of life does not follow this internal script, can increase the risk of suffering different diseases, such as cancer and some neurodegenerative disorders, says Ibanez. The syndrome of fast time zone change, better known as jet lag, is a clear sign of the importance of this internal clock and its mismatches.

The Karolinska researcher sets an example with a 24-hour cycle, in which the internal clock anticipates and adapts the body's physiology to the different phases of the day. If the day begins with deep sleep and a low body temperature, the release of cortisol at dawn increases blood sugar. The body prepares its energies to face the day. When night falls, with a peak blood pressure, melatonin, a hormone linked to sleep, is secreted.

These inner rhythms are known as circadian by the Latin words circa, around, and dies, day. The scientific community now knows that these "around the clock" molecular dashes emerged very soon in living things and were preserved throughout its evolution. They exist in both single-cell life forms and in multicellular organisms such as fungi, plants, animals, and humans.

At the time of its discovery, Hall and Rosbash were working at Brandeis University in Waltham, and Young was researching at Rockefeller University in New York. Its recognition follows the tonic of the Swedish awards. Men have won 97% of Nobel prizes in science since 1901. In the category of Medicine, statistics improve slightly: 12 of the 214 women are awarded the prize: 5.6%.

Pixel 2, Home Mini and Pixelbook What You Need to Know

Google Home Mini
At an event on October 4, the Silicon Valley firm is all set to expose its latest gadgets comprising of latest phone. However before the event can take place, a consumer publication has got itself a series of images which displays the majority of what Google would probably launch. The following are what can be expected from the Google event together with its fresh line-up of gadgets:
 

Google makes hardware


 
Together with its search ability and drives in AI, Google is said to have moved firmly in the hardware area in the last few years. Moving away from its Nexus phone brand and trying to reinvest its attempts under the moniker of Made by
Google, the company has now released various high end gadgets. These comprises of its Pixel and Pixel XL phones, a mobile virtual reality headset known as Daydream, together with a Google Wi-Fi box and its amazon Echo voice assistant competitor, Google Home. Many have been expecting to see new repetitions of these devices at the forthcoming event of the company.
 

What’s the event holding?

 
The company had called another press conference; precisely a year after Google had released the Pixel, its first own-name branded phone. This would most probably see the overview of its latest hardware attempts though no one could be completely sure till it shows up. The event is said to take place at 9 AM PT in San Francisco and there would also be a press event that would take place at the same time in the UK. This would kick-off at 5PM and would also be live-streamed online
 

What would the latest phones look like?

 
Owing to the outburst of leaks the latest being from DroidLife, it is a known fact that the upcoming gadgets, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL Android devices would have a same form factor to their predecessors. From the leaked images of the two phones, it displays a single camera on the rear, a fingerprint scanner together with colours ranging from light blue to white and black combo. DroidLife reported that the Pixel XL 2 a bigger screened version of the phone would have 64GB or 128GB storage and the price is from $849 to $949. The smaller gadgets Pixel is said to have the identical storage choice and is priced at $649 and $749. With regards to specs, the reported details are scarce on the ground presently. The Verge had reported that the XL would be having a 6-inch OLED screen, a Snapdragon 835 process with the potential of controlling the phone by squeezing it which had been introduced in the HTC U11. The company had spoken a lot about the Google Lens, a feature enabling a phone camera to comprehend what it tends to see, at the developers conference earlier in the year. It is also expected that the Pixel 2 XL would be having a much less of a bezel than the smaller product devices.
 

Google Home – Mushroom-Like Speaker

 
Google seems to be established in introducing smaller gadgets version of the Google Home if one is into voice assistants. Details of the Home Mini was made available by source, which is a mushroom-like speaker that tends to sit in one’s home , pay attention and chat with you. Similarly, Amazon provides a low-priced Echo Dot which tends to rival with Google. The price of the Home Mine is said to be around $49, with shades of silver, orange and dark grey featuring the Google Assistant. The company had mentioned that it is an AI company instead of a search giant and it would not be surprising for Google to disclose more update regarding its Assistant. The company desires its voice assistant to be implanted in several third-party gadgets as imaginable. It has reported that VR viewer DayDream of Google would be provided with an update and would be offered in various colours. Further details with regards to the interior of the device is not clear though it would remain to be a mobile VR viewer housing a phone and it would come at a price of $99.
 

Chromebook Pixel - PixelBook

 
According to some sources as informed to Android Police the re-born Chromebook Pixel gadgets will show up soon. A Pixel Chromebook would be launched according to Android Police had been confirmed in the latest series of report. The device has been dubbed the PixelBook and is said that the same would comprise of 128GB, 256GB and 512GB of storage and priced at £1,119. The original Chromebook Pixel had been released by Google in 2013 and had been revitalized in 2015 and has not launched a newer version since then. For several years, third-party vendors like HP and Acer have been proposing some cool Chromebooks. At this point of time not much is revealed. Android Police wonders that it could be born out of the Project Bison of the company that had been planned to be presented during the third quarter this year. We need to wait and watch for the forthcoming event of October 4 for the surprises in store by Google.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Amazon Revamps Echo Smart Speaker Family

Amazon

Echo Smart Speaker – Improved Sound & Voice Recognition

 
New forms of its Echo smart speaker with the possibility of improved sound and voice recognition has been announced by Amazon. Moreover, the simple model also enables in changing its shell and provides it with different looks which is a feature offered already by the opponent Home gadget of Google. A bigger Echo Plus enhanced by a `home hub’ enables it in controlling smart light bulbs together with third party products minus a separate data-linking gadget.

 The Echo Spot tends to have a screen which makes the video calls as wells camera feed promising. Sales figures for the earlier Echo line-up had not been released by Amazon, however researchers have recommended it. Its smaller sibling, the Echo Dot has been the best-selling device.

The Echo family is said to account for around 75% of the US market with regards to internet-linked speakers together with built-in smart assistant functionality that has been estimated earlier this month by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. Till date it has been suggested that around 15 million devices have been sold. The latest Echo smart speaker is said to be smaller than its predecessor and has the advantage from a keen bass tweeter.
 

Six Swappable Shells/Various Materials

 
The Echo smart speaker comes with the option of six swappable shells with various materials and gadget is priced at £90/$100/100 euros which it around 40% cheaper than the earlier version and challenging the £129 Google Home gadget. The Echo Plus compatible with the Zigbee smart home protocol is priced at £140/$150/150 euros while the Echo Spot having a screen size of 2.5-inch together with a built-in camera is priced at $130.

The same will be launched in December in the US though has not provided a release date elsewhere. Blake Kozak from the HIS Technology consultancy had commented that Amazon has been the first agent in this market and hence had the benefit over some of those who had entered the same space. He further added that it was incredibly important for them to do a refresh, wherein the original Echo came out in 2014 and the hardware had not been updated ever since, though the software as well as the back-end services had been enhanced incessantly.

Most of the latest systems tend to feature Alexa assistant of Amazon and would not be seen as a risk. Thereafter several more premium systems had been announced with higher quality speakers and hence Amazon needed to be seen to contest the competition. This brought in the Echo smart speaker in the market.
 

Competing Schemes

 
Earlier, Amazon had mentioned that it tends to sell its Echo smart speaker approximately for the price it cost in producing the gadget and since its final objective is to utilise Alexa as a means of driving sales of the other goods and services. However, earlier this month, at the Berlin’s Ifa tech show, many big name manufactures comprising of Sony JBL and Panasonic had launched systems powered by the rival Assistant of Google. Additional competing schemes that are anticipated before the end of the year comprise of-
  • Siri powered HomePod speaker system of Apple
  • Invoke of Harmon/Kardon that will utilise Cortana technology of Microsoft
  • Novel speaker from Sonos which would be supporting multiple smart assistants
  • The likelihood of a new version of the Google Home when search firm tends to host an event on 4 October.

 

Link to Landline – Speakers into Speakerphones

 
Besides the Echo smart speaker, Amazon has also made an announcement of the gadget, Echo Buttons – small Bluetooth based buzzers, at its Seattle event which could be utilised for playing games on its speakers, inclusive of an upcoming version of Trivial Pursuit. Moreover it has also publicized the Echo Connect which is a gadget that tends to link to a landline turning its speakers into speakerphones. It has also announced an arrangement of bringing Alexa to some of the BMW’S cars inclusive of its Mini brand.

Geoff Blaber from the tech consultancy CCS Insight had stated that Amazon tends to have the momentum in the smart speaker and voice assistant area. This announcement had been developed to deepen its role in daily lives and this tends to raise the bar considerably for Apple and Google.

Amazon seems to be functioning exceptionally hard in exploiting on the success of its smart assistant hardware and that he is concerned this new line-up seems to be complex and the most knowledgeable consumers would be perplexed as to what feature they would be expecting for their money. The option is said to be immense with Echo, Echo Plus, Dot, Look, Spot, Fire TV, Fire TV Stick together with the Dash Wand. With the Echo smart speaker, Amazon has the opportunity to do for home automation what Apple had done for smartphones.

It was essential for the company to announce a smartphone which would be an enhanced gadget than the upcoming iPhone X and now a home assistant set-up which is tougher than what had been portrayed by Amazon

Sunday, 1 October 2017

TU Delft Researcher Makes Alcohol Out Of Thin Air

Method of Producing Alcohol from Thin Air

Ming Ma, a TU Delft PhD student of Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, haslocated a method of producing alcohol from thin air.. He has found out a way of efficiently and accurately controlling the process of electro-reduction of CO2 in producing a wide range of useful products comprising of alcohol.

 With the possibility of utilising CO2as a means of resource in this manner could be just essential in dealing with climate change. His PhD defence took place on September 14th. For the purpose of modifying atmospheric CO2 concentration, carbon capture together with utilization CCU can be a practicable alternative strategy to carbon capture and sequestrations –CCS.

The electrochemical reduction of CO2 to fuels together with value-added chemicals has drawn significant attention as a capable solution. In this course of development, the captured CO2 is utilised as a means of resource and transformed to carbon monoxide – CO, methane – CH4, ethylene and also liquid products like formic acid –HCOOH, methanol – CH3OH and ethanol C2 H5OH. The great energy density hydrocarbons tend to be utilised directly and conveniently as fuels in the existing energy infrastructure.

Feedstock in Fischer-Tropsch

Besides the production of CO2 seems to be interesting as it could be utilised as feedstock in the process of Fischer-Tropsch, which is a strong technology used extensively in industry in the conversion of syngas CO and hydrogen H2 into useful chemicals like methanol and synthetic fuels like diesel fuel.

Ming Ma, in his PhD theory, while working in the group of Dr Wilson A. Smith had defined that the processes that seemed to occur at the nanoscale when various metals were utilised in the electro-reduction of CO2. For instance, while utilising copper nanowires in the electro-reduction procedure would lead to production of hydrocarbons though nanoporous silver could develop CO.

Moreover, as per the discovery of Ma, the process could be quite accurately regulated by altering the lengths of the nanowires as well as the potential of the electrical. On modifying these conditions one is capable of generating any carbon based production or alternatively combinations in any desired ratio, thereby producing the resources for the three follow up processes mentioned above. On utilising metal alloys in the procedure, would lead to more stimulating results.

Formic Acid – Favourable usage in Fuel Cells

Though platinum tends to produce hydrogen on its own, and gold tends to generate CO, an alloy of these two metals tend to unexpectedly produce formic acid – HCOOH, in relatedly huge quantities where formic acid is said to have the possibilities of a very favourable usage in fuel cells. After this, the next step for the team at the Smith Lab for solar Energy Conversion and Storage at TU Delft is to look for means of enhancing the selectivity of individual products as well to start the designing of scaling up the procedure.

Smith had received an ERC Starting Grant to work on that to improve the understanding of the complicated reaction mechanism to obtain an improved control of the CO2electro catalytic process. The other task in the lab is directed on solar driven splitting of water wherein the simple solution tends to make hydrogen production from solar water splitting more efficient and cheaper. With cheap efficient and stable photo electrode would help in improving water splitting with solar energy.

New Machine Learning Algorithms of Google and MIT Retouch Your Photos Before You Take Them

Google Pixel

New machine learning algorithms by Google and MIT retouch your photos before being captured


It is getting tougher and tougher, as time goes by, to extract more and better performance out of your phone’s camera hardware. That is the reason why companies like Google are adopting the method of computational photography: using machine learning algorithm to improvise the output. The most recent exploration from the search giant, conducted along with scientists from MIT, progresses this work to a new level, creating machine learning algorithm that are able to retouch your pictures just like a professional photographer in reality, prior to capturing them.

The researchers utilised machine learning algorithm to build their software, instructing neural networks on a dataset of 5,000 images that are produced by Adobe and MIT. Every image in this compilation has been worked upon and improved by five various photographers and Google and MIT’s algorithms made use of this data to understand what kind of improvements are to be made to different photos. This might involve increasing the brightness at certain places, reducing the saturation elsewhere and so on.

Machine learning algorithm has been used before to improve photos, but the real progress with this particular research is concision of the algorithm so that they are compact and resourceful enough to efficiently and seamlessly run on any user’s device. The software itself if as big as a single digital image and as a blog post from MIT describes, it could be very well capable to “development images in a assortment of styles.”

This proves that in order to train the neural networks, new sets of images can be used and could also be able to replicate a particular photographer’s specific look. In similar way, companies like Facebook and Prisma have produced artistic filters that imitate the style of famous painters. Although smartphones and cameras are already processing the imaging data in real time, these recent techniques are more subtle and spontaneous and rather than applying general settings to the whole of the individual image.

For slimming down the machine learning algorithm, the researchers utilised a few varied techniques. These consisted of converting the changes made to every photo into formulae and using co-ordinates that are grid-like to map the pictures out. All of this means that the data about how the photos can be retouched can be mathematically expressed, instead of full-scale photos.

Google researcher Jon Barron told MIT that this technology has the probability to be very valuable for real-time image enrichment on a mobile phone. He added that utilising this machine learning algorithm for computational photography has an interesting outlook but it is retrained because of the severe constraints in computation and power of mobile phones. This paper may offer a way to avoid these hindrances and create new, interesting, real-time photographic memories without getting the battery drained or giving a slow viewfinder experience.

It’s not unlikely that this machine learning algorithm will be seen in one of Google’s future Pixel phones. Earlier, the company used its HDR+ algorithms to show more detail in terms of light and shadow on mobile phones right since the time the Nexus 6. And Google’s computational photography lead, Marc Levoy, told The Verge last year that they are “only just begun to scratch the surface” with their work.