Showing posts with label technology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label technology. Show all posts

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Why Your Smartphone's Fingerprint Scanner is not as Secure as You Might Think

Master Fingerprint – Less Secure 

Researchers who had developed `master fingerprints’ with the capability of tricking the sensors, are of the belief that smartphone fingerprint scanners tend to be less secure then led to believe. They were capable of bypassing fingerprint readers that had been utilised in unlocking phones, log-in to apps and in making payments, utilising fake fingerprints developed by using patterns located across several real prints.

 This discovery from New York University and Michigan State University gave rise to query regarding security of the popular utilised technology. The researchers were capable of creating a set of `master prints which could trick a scanner up to 65% of the time.

Fingerprint scanners are considered to be more secured than depending on passcodes in unlocking smartphones. According to Apple the Touch ID scanner utilised on the iPhone tends to have only a one in 50,000 chance of matching with somebody’s finger.

Though the researcher state that they had tested only their discoveries in computer simulation instead of real smartphones, they cautioned that the technology creating artificial physical fingerprints had been refining quickly.

Adequate Resemblance Between Various Prints

Since in present days the fingerprint readers on smartphones seem to be comparatively small, they usually tend to scan various areas of a fingerprint making sure that just one press of a finger or thumb could effectively trigger the sensor.

 Since several users tend to register numerous fingerprints on a device and there are often dozens of various incomplete prints registered on a phone, only one of these incomplete scans could be a match for the sensor in unlocking a phone. According to Nasir Memom of NYU, one of the authors of the study that had been published in IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics &Security had commented that there is a greater opportunity of falsely matching a partial print than a full one and most devices tend to depend only on partials for the purpose of identification.

In spite of the human fingerprints being comparatively exclusive, researchers have stated that they had discovered adequate resemblances between various prints in creating synthetic master prints which could effectively replicate several fingerprints of the users.

Hosted Other Authentication Systems 

Since the phones seem to typically permit several attempts before deactivating the fingerprint scanner and needs a passcode, Mr. Memon had stated that one could create a glove with five different fingerprints which would get into almost half of iPhone before the five attempts permitted, tend to expire.

Irrespective of the well-known trust in fingerprint scanners, some of the phone manufacturers had hosted other authentication systems. The new Galaxy S8 phone of Samsung is said to have an iris scanner together with facial recognition though the latter is shown to have been fooled by images. Moreover, smartphone passcodes have also portrayed to be susceptible to cracking.

There seems to be a one in 10,000 chance of guessing a four-figure passcode though researchers from Newcastle University have shown that the motion sensors in a phone could disclose the numeric codes by identifying how a phone tends to move when certain areas of the screen are pressed.

Japanese researchers had earlier cautioned that posing with peace signs in images could be adequate for hackers in copying your fingerprints and then unlock a fingerprint secured phone.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Researchers Print Promising Two-Dimensional Transistors


Researchers just printed two dimensional transistors successfully

If you are wondering what transistors then please note it is essentially a semiconductor devices which helping amplifying and switching the electronic signals or electric power as a whole. It plays a vital in almost all the electronics products which are available in the market and without it you can’t even think of devices performing the way they are. Some of the researchers from AMBER and Trinity College in Dublin have successfully created printed transistors that consist of only two dimensional nanomaterials. The best thing about this innovation is that no one has done it before and the 2d materials used in comes loaded promising electronic properties which is extremely low cost in nature.
This research does have some of the incredible application potential which can’t be explained to its fullest. For example in future the food packaging industry can make use of it bring a digital countdown which will alert the users about the health of the food and placing it on wine bottle can help in showing whether wine is kept at the optimum temperature or not. Their finding has already been published in the Science magazine April issue.


The team behind this technology

Using the standard printing technique of combining the grapheme nanosheets which includes the electrodes with two other nanomaterials namely boron nitride and tungsten diselenide. The two most important parts of the transistors is called the channel and separator and researchers has been able to print it on a nanosheet thereby coming up with a working transistor.

The team of researchers consisted of Trinity College professors namely Jonathan Coleman and Georg Duesberg. Coleman has shed light on the future possibility of creating or combining together highly complex device by conducting, semiconducting as well as insulating the 2D nanomaterials. But during their research they simply focused on printing the transistors which can work as electric switches into the modern computing with ease and grace. 

New method indulge in testing without even touching

Earlier the chemical vapor deposition were used to develop the two dimensional transistors. Using this particular the transistors were great at performance but the method itself was quite expensive.

While the printable electronics brings a new way of printing components which are mostly based on the carbon based molecules at extremely low cost and get an amazing performance out of it at the same time. It is worth noting that carbon based molecules does have its own share instability and performance limitations but it is still better than the chemical vapor deposition.

A single nanosheet can do much better

Researchers has made use of many different nanosheets of completely varying size in order to get best combination available for the printing their transistors. When the printing process was initiated researchers simply deposited the nanosheets over one another in random fashion and it was found that the conductivity present within the nanosheets was just good for the job.

So the next job for the researchers is to come with a single nanosheet which will help in printing such 2D structures which offers better performance than the current one.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Controlling Turtle Motion with Human Thought

Turtle Motion
About nine years ago we saw the flick which showed humans controlling the body of an alien. Today we have that technology though it is in the initial but has huge potential to grow by leap and bounds in the upcoming years. Leaving the realm of science fiction aside scientists has long been working on developing a system called ‘brain computer interfaces’ or BCI. This particular technology is designed to allow humans to read and use the thought in order to control the machines and one of its prime examples are the humanoid robots.

Now the researchers at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) had successfully developed a highly sophisticated human turtle interaction system. This system allows the signals emerging from the human brain to produce desirable effect on the movement of the turtle.

How this technology works?

If you are wondering how human are able to control the turtle movements simply with their thought then here is complete process. Human operator has to wear a head mounted display which is commonly refereed as HMD. HMD IS combined with the BCI which helps in immersing the human operator right into the turtle environment. On other hand the turtle in question is equipped with a cyborg system which consists of a camera, Wi-Fi receiver along with a control module as well as a battery. All of this is mounted on the upper shell of the turtle. A black semi-cylinder with a slit is also placed on the shell which helps in forming a true simulation device.

A camera is mounted on the turtle which is received by a human operator. Using these real time video images the human operator has to be deciding where he wants the turtle to move about. Human operator is required to provide all the commands which affects the motion of the turtle using a wearble BCI system which effectively makes use of the electroencephalography (EEG) signals.

Currently the BCI system is designed to take commands only in the three metal states of left, right and idle. Now when the human operator tends to make the choice either left or right that commands happens to activate the turtle simulation device which is connected through a Wi-Fi. This particular process invokes a natural instinct in the turtle to move towards the light and thereby it changes the direction.

Future applications of this technology

This research has clearly demonstrated how the human thought can be utilized in developing animal guiding scheme for turtles. This technology in future can be easily integrated into positioning system and can certainly help in augmented and virtual reality techniques.

On other hand this can be helpful in enabling a wide range of application which might devices form the military reconnaissance and surveillance. But for these to happen it might take another decade to make the technology human proof, robust and highly reliable so that it can distinguish from the raw and concentre commands originating from the human mind.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

New Electron Microscope Sees More Than an Image

In the field of material science, electron microscope has lots of application as an effective device. It is usually known to all that this tool helps in viewing at an image. However, with the new enhancement done few days ago, this microscope has gained much more power. And it has been confirmed recently by some physicists at Cornell. The overall system is named as Electron Microscope Pixel Array Detector. It produces image along with some important data on the present electrons, which develop that image.

To give a clear idea about the microscope, Professor David Muller has said that it is possible to identify the tilts, polarity, rotations and magnetic or electric fields.

Manufacturer of the new microscope-

CTL department of Cornell University has accredited the innovation of new microscope to a prominent manufacturer, FEI. According to FEI, the design may be commercialized fully on the present year. In a periodical (Microscopy and Microanalysis) in 2016, the researchers have clarified the work in detail.

In another standard microscope, STEM, the researchers have observed that few electrons could be captured with the help of a specimen. The scanning is done from side to side to generate images. There is a detector at the base, and it interprets how the electrons are varying in their intensity.

EMPAD is intended for the replacement of a standard detecting system, and it is designed with specific pixels, which are sensitive to electrons. Every one hundred and fifty microns square are attached to a circuit, which warns signals with enough effectiveness in understanding signals. This technology is comparable to what you may find in contemporary camera. The major intention is the detection of angles or directions, where the electrons come out. Every electron usually does not strike at the same pixel.

Microscope with prompt working ability-

EMPAD has remarkable sensitivity and speed along with extensive intensities, tracked by it. It also detects each of the electrons and beams that contain almost millions of electrons. To explicate the phenomenon, Muller has commented that it is just like the act of capturing image of sunset, which displays surface details and everything about the shadows.

The advancement that has been done to the device is really unique and increases the excitements of scientists. Collection of all electrons that are in scattered condition develops the sensitive feature of the device. Moreover, it is also reduces the risk of damage and any negative effect on the living sample. EMPAD has power to track the frame of image within shortest time, and it identifies several electrons for every pixel and frame. In fact, it is multiple speedier than that of any traditional electron microscope.

Thus, the new microscope has brought a revolution in the domain of science. The scientists are now competent at examining the internal part of the cells. The research process has been backed up by Department of Energy in the United States and Cornell. STEM adaptation has also received support from Kavli center.

Innovative Software Convert Wi Fi Data into Energy Savings

The advancement of technology had begun since the arrival of human kind of Earth’s sphere. From the invention of knifes and spears to the creation of computers and tablets, man has managed to come a long way. It is a known fact that this technological advancement has been exceptionally brilliant in the past two centuries. Every day scientists around the world are striving to create something newer that is not only mind boggling but will also be useful to mankind.

High quality air with reduced energy consumption 

Recently in the University of British Columbia in Canada, a group of dedicated engineers have derived a way by which they could use Wi-Fi to establish number of building residents. By determining the number, they can easily adjust the ventilation through which they would be able to save energy without compromising on the air quality. Stefan Storey who holds a PhD in environmental studies and resource management and masters in mechanical engineering from UBC is leading the project. He remarked that thousands of tablets, laptops, and Smartphone are connected everyday to Wi-Fi through UBC. The Bridge Software incognito calculates the total number of Wi-Fi connected devices in every room. This anonymously calculated number is then passed on to the head building control system of UBC, which then regulates airflow through the buildings, in real time.

Based on this resident count, the control system can manage the airflow, ramping it for a crowded lecture, or bringing it down in other times. Storey collaborated with UBC for testing the effectiveness of this new technology at one of the busiest places, Irving K Barber Learning Centre, which is attended by thousands of staffs and students. It not only resulted in increased occupant comfort and goof air quality but also reduced energy expenditure by five perfect in 12 months.

Increased thermal comfort at a reduced rate 

UBC’s managing director, David Woodson remarked that this system can save over $100,000 in energy costs every year and would also assist the university in reducing greenhouse gas emission. UBC is considering this system to be the future of managing and better handling of energy consumption. The test conducted at the learning centre was highly successful and seeing the results of this ordeal, UBC is all set to install the technology in 8 to 10 more buildings within 5 months. Woodson also stated that this software uses Wi-Fi network, to reduce the disruption and lower the costs while offering thermal comfort and providing good air quality. He also stated that UBC Wi-Fi user’s private information is completely secured and protected as per the rules of Canadian privacy legislation.

Storey believes that this project emphasizes the prospective advantages of using Wi-Fi network to create smart buildings. With the support from UBC he also co founded Sensible Building Science, a company that helps staff entrepreneurs, faculty, alumni and students to lead their way through, from a basic idea to the market. Storey’s patent innovation is being set up at campuses around B.C. UBC is extremely happy about the success of this project and is thus is planning to expand their system to 10 more campuses.

Monday, 10 April 2017

‘Machine Folk’ Music Shows the Creative Side of Artificial Intelligence

Folk music is seen a direct link which connects us to our past and helping in cementing the cultural bond. When it comes to Artificial Intelligence it doesn’t possess any cultural heritage, bond or traditions but can we help Artificial Intelligence in building those attributes which defines the human intelligence at some levels. Over the years AI has grown by leap and bounds as it has been able to defeat the brightest human minds at Chess and even demonstrated breath-taking wordplay skills but can it create music or show us the creative side.

Artificial Intelligence on the rise

Researchers are trying to unlock the creative side of the Artificial Intelligence for quite some time. In 2016 a AI has been able to produce a piece of musical theatre which was premiered in the London. The effort is given towards broadening the boundaries of the creative research through new evolved AI techniques and utilizing the larger collection of the data. The Artificial Intelligence written musical piece has been a result of a thorough analysis of hundreds of other successful musicals.

Some of the prominent Artificial Intelligence project which aims towards bringing art and music out of the AI includes Sony’s Flow Machines, Google’s Magenta project and some projects under the British startup called Judedeck.

During the current study researchers has made use of the state of the art Artificial Intelligence techniques in order to educate Ai about the musical practice in the Celtic folk tradition. Traditional folk music was reduced into the form of music notation using ABC. In this method the music is denoted using the text characters as a rough guide for the musicians. Researchers have been successful in training the Artificial Intelligence for using as many as 23,000 ABC transcription of the folk music. This particular feat of transcription this amount of folk music was made possible with the active contribution of the people on the ‘the’. During recent workshop researchers has asked the folk musician musicians to perform some of the songs composed by the machines.

The culmination of the artificial compositions and the human melodies

This particular Artificial Intelligence is trained to look at a single ABC symbol and predict what will come next and this helps in generating new tunes which appears to be like original compositions due to the use of existing patterns and structures. So far researchers have generated as many as 100,000 new folk tunes using Ai which is a remarkable feat in itself.

The structure of the folk music composed by the AI has two repeated part of similar eight-bar length and they complement each other quite musically. Secondly AI had also shown a great ability of repeating and varying the musical patterns which has always been the key characteristic of the Celtic music. AI has been able to understand as well learn all the rules set for the Celtic folk song compositions on its own though carefully analysing the patterns in the fed data within a very short time.

Nanoscopic Golden Springs Could Unravel Twisted Molecules

Molecular vibration is one of the known phenomena in the world of physics. Twisting of molecules is usually observed, while the present atoms of any molecule have periodic motion. In fact, many of the molecules are found to get twisted in a variety of ways. On the basis of their pattern of twisting, they are present in the right or left handed position. Such type of twisting is known as chirality. Recently, some scientists have determined that twisted molecules may be discovered with the help of nanoscopic golden colored springs.

Scientists from the University of Bath have collected gold spring-like coils in their experiment. They are more than five thousand times thinner, in compared to our hair strands. Another component, used by these researchers is the laser, which has allowed them to identify some twisted molecules. All these trials will perhaps bring about an improvement in the design of pharmaceutical matter, nanorobotics and telecommunications. Thus, the coils assist in knowing much data on chiral molecules. However, it is important to have a good idea on chirality and how it alters the behavior of molecules in any place, including our own body.

Chirality- What it is about?

The term, chirality has been extracted from a specific Greek word, which is related to a chiral object. Any system or object is considered as chiral, while it is distinguished from some mirror or reflective image. Chiral molecules consist of a carbon-based atom along with 4 non-identical components.

With the use of laser system, the researchers are able to work on all chiral molecules. This light becomes twisted at the time of travelling. However, their research turns out to be much tricky, while the molecular amount is much small. At this point, the tiny golden springs are much useful. Their design allows the lights to become twisted. It may also adjust to molecules in a better way. Thus, it becomes quite simple to make out the microscopic amounts.

Enhancement of pharmaceuticals through the use of nanoscopic springs-

There are some springs, which are much smaller in size, and the researchers have analyzed their effectiveness. They want to know whether these springs are able to increase the interactions of chiral particles and light. The research is based on the method for converting color. This process is called as the Second Harmonic Generation.

If a spring performs better, more amounts of red colored lights are transformed into the blue ones. From the experiment, the researchers have understood that there’re high potentials in their springs. However, the expected performance depends on the angle towards which they are directed. The system works as kaleidoscope, which involves deformation. The scientists want to reduce this distortion. And this is achievable only with the optimization of springs or in other words, chiral nanostructures.

A very close observation may lead to a development of purity and design of many pharmaceuticals. According to a member of the scientists’ team, it also helps in controlling motion of miniaturize elements in the future.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

How to Protecting Bulk Power Systems from Hackers

Consistency Measure of Electricity Grid – Escalating

Consistency measures of electricity grid have been escalating to new norm since it tends to include physical security together with cyber-security. Fears to any of them could trigger instability resulting to blackouts as well as economic losses.

Several tend to take it for granted of turning on the light. Though in reality, the energy drawn from the electrical grid in brightening homes, freeze food as well as watch TV is said to be a part of a complex together with a widespread system. Comprehending the susceptibilities of the system and the dependability is a vital step in improving its security.

Fresh research headed by scientists from Michigan Technological University explored in the so-called scenarios wherein the hackers tend to exploit the security flaws implementing a disturbing plan of cyber-attacks. Recently the Journal IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid had published their work. Chee-Wooi Ten, lead author, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan Tech stated that the fundamental problem was an opening between physical equipment and intangible software.

 Improvements in smart grid technology like smart meters in homes, management systems for the purpose of distributed energy resources such as wind together with solar production with instrumentation system in power plants, control centres or substations, creates improvements in monitoring as well as access for hackers.

Convenience/Cost Reduction Streamlines Process

Ten had commented that `ten years back, cyber security did not exist and the same was not spoken about and was not an issue. He jokes that people presumed that he was crazy for suggesting the possibility of power grid hacking. He further added that now with events such as in Ukraine last year together with malware like Stuxnet, hackers could plan a cyber attack which could result in larger power outages, people would begin clutching the severity of the issue.

 He further pointed that the hackers focus on specific areas of the control network of power infrastructure and targeted on the devices which tends to control it. Mechanized systems are inclined to control most of the grid from generation in the transmission for usage.

According to Ten, the convenience as well as the cost reduction of automation streamlines the process though without solid security means, it could also make the system susceptible. The interconnectivity off the grid could also result in cascading impacts leading to blackouts, equipment failure and is landing with the areas isolated and cut off from the maid power grid.

Connections/Asses Flaws Utilising Framework

Ten together with his colleagues arrived at connections and assess flaws utilising framework which would regularly assess the block of a power grid as well as its interconnection with their adjoining grids. With the use of quantitative systems in arranging cyber security protection would ensure power grids are operated in a much more secured and safe manner.

Ten also mentioned that it is like measuring blood pressure. He added that one tends to know that their health is at risk since it monitors systolic and diastolic numbers and hence one would work out more or eat healthier. The grid requires established metrics for health also; a number to gauge if one is ready for this security challenge. After gaining an understanding of the weaknesses of the system, it tends to get a lot easier to be strategic and shoreline security risks.

Tens says that in the future, improving regulations with particulars to match actual infrastructure requirements, providing cybersecurity insurance could be beneficial.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Using a Smartphone to Screen for Male Infertility

male fertility test
Male fertility tests are not as simple and easy to perform as the female counterparts but latest innovation made by some researchers is all set to change the game. Most of the at home male fertility tests allows users to just check upon sperm count but it leaves a wide range of other characteristics which also effects the fertility. One of the major important characteristics usually left aside in the so called in-home male fertility tests includes sperm motility which signifies how much energetic are the sperm cell while they move around.

Researchers behind the automated male fertility testing system

The researchers at the Brigham & Women’ Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital had successfully developed a completely automated system which can effectively help in performing certain male fertility tests. This particular system is remarkable in accurately measuring the concentration of the sperm as well their motility ration by simply using a smartphone. It also requires some of the snap-on components which are quite cheap in nature.

The functioning of the automated system is quite simple wherein the users are required to place the semen sample in a disposable chamber of the snap-on component. The snap-on component is designed with precision and care and doesn’t’ looks odd at all rather it appears like a usual smartphone case. There is a disposable microchip placed in the component and the light source for effectively measuring the part of sample is the smartphones camera. The smartphone camera helps in illuminating the semen sample while sensing equipment placed in the component does the rest of the work.

A special app is required to be installed on the smartphone which in later stage makes use of the image and helps in carefully evaluating the number as well as activity of the sperm cells in the sample. However this isn’t the first of its kind male fertility testing system as there is already a similar technology called YO sperm test system which happens to be sold directly to the consumers.

How this technology works? 

Researchers have made use of as many as 350 clinical sperm specimens to analyse the results and improvise the technology with each iteration. They had made use of unwashed and processed liquefied semen in order to conduct tests. The sample were kept at less than 5-s which ensured lower processing time and helped in getting accurate results with about `98% accuracy. Under the World Health Organisation the test were conducted to ensure its integrity as well as the efficiency of the technology for global usage in the upcoming days.

Their research has also shed light to the fact that by simply integrating few microfluids along with the optical sensing accessories in the modern advanced consumer electronics smartphone can help in developing the remote semen testing equipment without much hassle. Therefore they opted for bringing the amalgamation of the technology on the smartphone which can be easily access by millions worldwide and an app has been developed to provide quick and accurate fertility test results right from the sample within shortest amount of time.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Heated Pavement Technology Tested at Des Moines International Airport

 Heated Pavement
We are living in future or future is dawning upon the humankind. The line is blur and the amount of scientific, technology advancement we are experiencing it will become highly difficult to pinpoint the moment we will step into the future. A team of researchers from the Iowa State University have been successful in deploying the fully functional electrically conductive concrete pavement installed on an America airport. The lead researcher going by the name Halil Ceylan has to simply run an app on his smartphone in order to begin the successful testing on the full scale heated pavement installed at Des Moines International Airport.

Winter season is round the corner the technology implemented by the Ceylan team will help in turning on heated pavement system which will allow snow and ice to melt away. All this is done through an app and it can be seen in real time due to its video capability.

How much it costs?

Most of the people are amazed by the technology and are hooked on learning about the cost incurred in developing it. Ceylan has clarified that the success of the heated pavement slabs has shown that benefits are far greater than the cost. Researchers have carefully calculated the number at the operating cost of just 19 cents per square meters which is unbelievably cheaper.

How the testing slabs were made?

The test slabs designed for the installation at the airport are made up of 1percent of the carbon fiber along with a special mix of the cement, rocks and sand. The use of carbon fiber in the heated pavement technology allows concrete to conduct electricity which ultimately helps in creating heat.

A team member has prepared hundreds of concrete samples in order to come up with the right combination of comprehensive strength, electrical conductivity, tensile strength and workability required for its success. The test slabs are wired with varied kind of sensors which includes strain gauges, temperature probes, humidity sensors as well as it has two surveillance camera mounted near it. These test slabs are powered by the hangar’s power supply which helps in its smooth functioning.

Why testing on an airport?

The reason which prompted Des Moines Airport for testing heated pavement because it’s a part of Federal Aviation Administration sustainability program. In a bid to boost the sustainability and a partnership was established way back in 2012 which brought together a number of credible researchers from the Purdue University as well as other core members from Iowa State. This brings together a number of FAA’s centres of excellence along with the federal government, universities and industry in an established one-of-a-kind cost-sharing research partnership.

This program is currently about $2.2 million for Iowa State to bring about a full scale demonstration of unique airfield d pavements as well as heated pavements for future usage. Earlier a prototype of the heated pavement was successfully placed at the campus lab which showed promising results and feasibility to integrate for the large scale studies.

Intel Launches Optane Memory M.2 Cache SSDs For Consumer Market

Intel finally unveiled its first Optane product called SSD DC P4800X enterprise drive just a week ago and today it has brought the Optane Memory product which is targeted for the consumers. This product is essentially a low-capacity M.2 NVMe SSD which can only be used as a cache drive in the systems for simple tasks and performance boost.

How does Intel Optane Memory SSD works?

Intel has simply launched two variant of the Optane Memory SSD which makes use of either one or two single die packages of the 3D XPoint which happens to be the non-volatile memory. And this product will be made available only in the 16 GB and 32 GB models. Without going into the fine technical details of the Optane Memory let’s focus on the performance which Intel is proclaiming to be selling point of these device. The Optane Memory drives are of very low capacity which means they can’t be used like the traditional SSDs. The best part about these new drives is that it is designed to be used specifically with the caching capability of its Rapid Storage Technology. Intel has made this technology available way back in 2011 with the Smart Response Technology.

Therefore the Optane Memory is better suited for the 3D Point memory performance which brings a definite flexibility advantage usually missed in the flash memory. Secondly the Optane Memory comes with the NVMe remapping feature which has become a staple feature in the Intel’s Skylake generation 100-series chipsets. Thirdly the Optane Memory caching capability is only limited to the Windows 10 64 bit and that also for the boot volume which might be a bummer for a large number of consumers.

Optane Memory SSDs are expensive 

Intel’s market share has taken a hit by the recent rise in the adoption and popularity of the AMD’s processor and chipsets. Therefore it has envisioned a world where Optane Memory equipped system are running the show which also ends up giving a remarkable performance over the hard drive only system which has become a norm in today’s society.

The pricing for the Optane Memory drive has been kept at $44 for 16GB version while $77 for the 32GB version. Over the years the prices for the flash memory drive has declined rapidly which had made it possible to buy the SSDS for ordinary usage with pretty ease.

Therefore Intel Optane Memory will get a stiff competition for the Flash drive which happens to be first choice of the consumers at the world. Pricing will play a major role in the overall success of the Optane Memory products. Currently buying a 32 GB Optane Memory drive will costs as much as 256 Gb class SSDs while 512 GB class will cost as much as the 25TB hard drive. Intel is hoping that the performance driven Optane Memory will help in creating a niche market for it in upcoming days.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Car Genie: AA Device Predicts Car Breakdowns Before They Happen

Car Genie
It is quite risky if our car suddenly collapses or breaks down. Most of the car owners know that it is not possible to detect any potential breakdown in advance. But, now, you may be able to get rid of such risk, while you are driving your car. With the significant development in automobile industry, there is an introduction of a special tool, Car Genie. It helps in predicting the breakdown prior to anything happens to you.

You know that many of the modern car engineering experts have tried to reduce the risk of breakdowns, while manufacturing the vehicles. However, Automobile Association of the United Kingdom has attempted to give the utmost assistance to the car owners with its new tool, Car Genie. This company works with the aim of reducing the incidents of car collapse as much as possible.

Use Car Genie in a simple way-

The latest device Car Genie, allows self-installation process, and it is to be plugged to the on-board diagnostics point of a vehicle. Users have to install software, which enable them in realizing the probability of breakdown. The system has an ability to interpret EOBD of a vehicle instantly. Then, it delivers all the data to the related software. It also gives notification, which may be seen by driver after or before operating the car.
Car Genie has turned out to be the most advanced product of AA. The company has taken the right step to prevent customers from vehicle breakdown risk. This device will be accessible exclusively to AA associates from May in 2017.

Trials arranged by AA to test the product Car Genie-

Almost 10,0001 car drivers have been involved for the trial of this new tool. AA may also show much data to prove that they are striving to assist drivers in making out the faults at a very early stage. These faults include battery degradation and overall condition of vehicle.

At the time of making experiment, all the faults are tracked in cars of users, and they are related to ignition system, EGR and also air flow. With the identification of faults, it is also possible to analyze the system faster and find out the remedy immediately.

It may save the car owners from hazards and inconvenience, while they are on the highway. Moreover, after sending notifications and recommendations, the company may also provide support by calling their members. They help drivers in repairing the issue.

Within few minutes, as the users can get advice, they may continue the trip again. The outcomes of trial have revealed that almost 49 percent of drivers comprehend problems with vehicle. 66 percent of the vehicle users know the way of driving automobile economically. However, 47 percent of the car owners have informed that Car Genie is good to make their driving safer than before.

As the app collects data on location and driving mode of users (such as, speed, acceleration or braking), some skeptics may consider it to be a privacy risk. But, it is hoped that most of the car drivers will accept it in future.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Stanford Scientists Reveal How Grass Developed a Better Way to Breathe

Stomata – Holes in Leaves of Plant – Take in CO2, Give Out Oxygen

When we recall our first lesson in photosynthesis we think of the stomata, the holesin the leaves of plants which tend to take in carbon dioxide giving out oxygen together with water vapour. During the 400 million years from the time the plants inhabited the land, these holes seemed to stay unchanged but for one main exception namely grasses.

The plants that tend to make up around 60% of the calories which people consume all over the world is said to have a modified stoma which experts are of the belief that it makes them capable of withstanding drought or even high temperature.

An increased productivity of grass stomata has now been confirmed by Stanford University scientists who have gained some knowledge on how they tend to grow. Their discoveries, conveyed in the issue of Science of March 17 could be beneficial in cultivating crops that would flourish in a changing climate.

Professor of biology and senior author of the paper, Dominique Bergmann, stated that eventually they have to feed people and the climate is changing, regardless of the cause, they still tend to depend on plants in order to survive irrespective of the climate they may have.Grasses that comprise of corn, rice and wheat tend to develop various stomata that could have been helpful in spreading at the time of prehistoric era of improved global dryness.

Food & Agriculture Taken for Granted

Stomata tends to have two supposed `guard cells’ having a hole in the centre which opens and closes based on how the plant requires to steady its gas exchange. Should the plant require more carbon dioxide or needs to cool with the release of water vapour, the stomata tends to open and if it needs to conserve water they then are inclined to remain closed.

The unusual structure of the grasses improved on recruiting two extra cells on each side of the guard cells, enables little additional spring with the opening of the stomaalso tends to respond much more quickly and sensitively to changes in light, temperature or humidity which occurs in the course of the day. Scientists expect that by being aware on how grass developed this system, they would be capable of creating or selecting edible plant which could endure dry as well as hot environments that would probably be more predominant with the changes in climate.

According to Michael Raissig, a postdoctoral research in the Bergmann lab and lead author of the paper commented that they take food and agriculture for granted and it is not something the `first world’ had to deal with but there were still large areas of the world that suffer from famine and this would be on the rise.

Unusual Stomata of Grasses – Extra Efficient `Breathers’

Moreover the human population would be exploding in the next 20 to 30 years, most of which would be in the developing world which is also where the changes in climate would be having the major effect.

As per the scientists, the unusual stomata of the grasses tend to make the plants extra efficient `breathers’. The researchers, however urged by curiosity together with a desire for developmental biology, planned to test that theory. They located a mutant of wheat relative Brachypodium distachyon which had two celled stomata. In association with the Berry lab at the Carnegie Institution for Science, the team then compared the stomata from the normal four celled stomata to the mutant.

They not only confirmed that the four-celled type seems to open wider and faster but identified which gene had created the four –celled stomata, though it was not the gene they were expecting. Raissig stated that since it was a grass specific cell type they were of the belief that it would be a grass specific factor also. Rather than depending on a totally new mechanism, the recruitment of the additional cells appears to be organised by a well-studied factor known to switch other genes on and off.

Wheat Brachypodium

That factor in other plants seems to be present in guard cells where it is involved in their progress. The team discovered that in grasses the factor migrated out of guard cells and directly into two surrounding cells, recruiting them in the formation of the four-celled stomata.

From the evolutionary period, humans have produced and propagated plants which had produced the types of food they desire and which could survive the extreme climate. Dominique Bergmann, also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator commented that they were not consciously breeding for stomata though they had been unconsciously selecting them.

He further added that they wanted something which is more drought resistant or something which could work better in higher temperature, or something which is just capable of taking in carbon better and often what they tend to actually do is select for numerous properties of stomata.

In the research led by Bergmann, the researchers utilised a relative of wheat Brachypodium in demonstrating that all grass stomata having four-cell configuration inclusive of two subsidiary cells were more responsive to changed environmental condition, having a wider range of holes for opening and closing of pores and it was this sensitivity which probably improved the performance of the plant especially in high temperatures or famine conditions.

Gene – BdMUTE

Moreover, the team comprising of lead author Michael Raissig together with the others, utilised sophisticated research techniques in identifying specific gene which enabled Brachypodium to form the imaginative subsidiary cells. The gene known as BdMUTE, encodes a protein which is said to be a `master regulator’ of cell behaviour by turning on and off the other genes which tend to give the cells their exceptional properties.

Deprived of the master regulator, Brachypodium stomata looks like the primitive two-celled stomata which is located in other plants. According to the scientists, due to the flexibility together with the productivity of grass, it seems to make the understanding of this plant family dangerous for the survival of humans.

Irrespective of genetic modification or selective breeding, scientists someday would be capable of using these discoveries in producing the other plants with four-celled stomata. Besides, this could also be one of the several changes, to chloroplasts or enzymes, for instance which would be helpful for plants photosynthesize much more in an efficient manner in feeding an ever growing population.

The research had been financed by Swiss National Science Foundation, The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation together with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Is Robotics a Solution to The Growing Needs of the Elderly?

Robots – Nurses/Caretakers for Elderly

At the reception of Institute of Media Innovation, at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, you will find a smiling brunette receptionist known as Nadine.One would not find anything unusual with regards to her appearance but on closer scrutiny you will get to know that she is a robot. Nadine is said to be an intellectual robot with the potential of autonomous behaviour and for a machine, her appearance and behaviour tends to be amazingly natural.

 She has the tendency of recognizing people together with their emotions and utilises her knowledge database, her thought in order to communicate. They have still been fine-tuning her receptionist skills, at IMI and shortly Nadine could be the nurse for your grandma. Study in the use of robots as nurses or caretakers have been mounting and it is not difficult to know the reason. Global population is getting old which is being a strain on the systems of healthcare.

 Though most of the elders in the age of 80 may need a companion to chat with or someone to take care of them in case they tend to stumble and fall, more and more of the elderly tend to suffer from serious disorder namely dementia.

Quality Care – Needs of Elderly

Several experts are of the opinion that robots could be the solution in providing the much needed quality care in addressing the needs of the elderly. Nadine is being designed by a team which is headed by Prof Nadia Thalmann who have been working on virtual human research for several years. Nadine is said to exist for three years.

According to Prof Thalmann, she seems to have human like potential in recognizing people, emotion while simultaneously remembering them. She will automatically adjust to the person as well as situations she may tend to deal with thus making her perfectly suitable in looking after the aged, according to Prof Thalmann.

Moreover, the robot is said to monitor the wel lbeing of the patient and in case of an emergency can call for help. Besides this, she can also chat, read stories or even play games. Prof Thalmann commented that the humanoid is never tired or bored and it will just do what it is devoted for.

IBM Multi-Purpose Eldercare Robot Assistant

However, Nadine is not perfect and tends to have trouble understanding accents. Her hand co-ordination is not the best. Nonetheless, Prof Thalmann states that robots could be caring the aged within 10 years. IBM, the US technology giant is said to be occupied with robo-nurse research in association with Rice University, in Houston, Texas who have developed the IBM Multi-Purpose Eldercare Robot Assistant – Mera.

 It is said that Mera can monitor the heart and breathing of a patient by analysing video of their face. Moreover it can also view if the patient had fallen and convey the information to caretakers. But not all would be prepared for a robot caretaker, admits Susann Keohane, global research leader of IBM, for the strategic initiative on aging.

 This opinion has been supported by research by Gartner which had found `resistance’ to the usage of humanoid robots in the care of the elderly. Kanae Maita, principal analyst in personal technologies innovation at Gartner Research had commented that people did not seem to be comfortable with the idea of their parents being cared by the robots, in spite of evidencethat it provides value for money.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Howard University Opens a New Campus at the Googleplex

Howard University
It is an unaltered reality that novice and emerging minds have always exposed top-notched versions of technology that comes up with a lot of dynamism enrapt in it. Previously, almost a decade ago there was hardly any attempt was made in the field of the technology but, one must remember that it is an undenied fact that it is rigorously imperative to reflect that how innovative the working groups of Howard University are, which is generally termed as the Black institution since time immemorial.

It is the time to feel proud of one’s institution that has groomed us to stand at the position where we are. Students who pursued their undergraduates from Howard University in Computer Science, are being recruited by a renowned tech support organization i.e. Googleplex.

The unhindered service that they have received from the students of Howard have enforced them to recruit more employees from Howard West which has now become the central zone of Google to employ extraneous Black Software Engineers from different institutions like the esteemed colleges and Universities. Besides, providing them with thehighest order of perks and pays; they also ensure that the employees are given the best working environment so that they feel at home, though physically far away from it.

Peter Drucker, a consultant at the managerial post said that the only way by which one can predict their future is by creating it, and this is what the students from Howard University is bent proving it. The students are the harbingers of values loaded with diversity and Google has taken the initiative to include diversity in its curriculum.

They are thriving to develop an another version of campus Googleplex that was till now denoted only to the physical space, but now the students on campus can mingle and coordinate with several creative and innovative minds across the universe on this unique platform provided by Googleplex. This initiative to bring the entire world to a single space is sure to churn the whirlwind by enfolding every new aspect of creativity that was undoubtedly not thought before.

The Googleplex program is designed in such a manner that everyone whether a junior or a senior from Howard University pursuing Computer Science will get the opportunity to be a part of it by attending the program for a period of three months, but only for once. An added advantage to all the participants would be that they would be supervised by Senior Google Engineers and Faculty members from Howard University.

They will always be there s instructors so that they can provide their best support to all the emerging talents. The program is said to have been started in summer this year and they are also thinking of incorporating students from other Black Universities who would be the perfect example of best minds travelling across space and geographical boundary. This is a revolutionary initiative taken by Google which would definitely give a proper platform to the fresh and emerging talents.

Looking for the Next Boost in Rechargeable Batteries

An Alteration to Lithium-Sulfur Battery

The USC researchers have come up with a solution for rechargeable batteries. In the January issue of the Journal of the Electrochemical Society, which had been published by Sri Narayan and Derek Moy of the USC Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute, outlines how they had designed a modification to the lithium-sulfur battery which could be more competitive with the industry standard lithium-ion battery.

The lithium sulphur batter which was presumed to be better in energy storage ability than the well=known lithium-ion counterpart had been vulnerable due to its short life span. The lithium=sulphur battery, presently can be recharged 50 to 100 times, unreasonable as an alternative energy source in comparison to 1,000 times, for several rechargeable batteries in the present day market.

The solution planned by Narayan together with lead author and research assistant Moy is what they call the `Mixed Conduction Membrane’, or MCM. This is a small piece of non-porous invented material inserted between two layers of porous separators, soaked in electrolytes which are placed in the midst of two electrodes.

MCM – Essential Movement of Lithium ions

The membrane acts as a block in decreasing the transporting of dissolved polysulfides among anode and cathode. This is a process which tends to increase the type of cycle strain makes use of lithium-sulfur batteries for the purpose of energy storage an experiment.

The MCM enables the essential movement of lithium ions, imitating the procedure as it takes place in lithium-ion batteries. This innovative membrane solution tends to preserve the high-discharge rate ability together with energy density without losing the capacity over a period of time. The researchers had discovered that the lithium-sulfur batteries which have a tendency to make use of MCM at several rates of discharge, had led to 100% capacity retention and had around four times longer life in comparison to batteries without the membrane.

According to Narayan, senior author and professor of chemistry at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Science had stated that this progress removes one of the major technical barriers to the commercialization of the lithium-sulfur battery, enabling them to realize improved options for energy efficiency.

Lithium-Sulfur Batteries/Lithium-ion Batteries

It is said that lithium-sulfur batteries tends to have a lot of advantage over lithium-ion batteries and are made with plenty and cheap sulphur. They are two to three times denser making them both smaller and better at storing charge.

According to researchers, lithium-sulfur battery could be appropriate in saving space in mobile phones as well as computers. Moreover, it would also reduce weight in the forthcoming electric vehicles inclusive of cars, together with planes thereby further reduction in reliance on fossil fuels. The real MCM layer developed by Narayan and Moy is said to be a thin film of lithiated cobalt oxide but future alternate materials may produce much improved effects.

Any alternative material utilised as an MCM, according to Narayan and Moy should satisfy some vitalstandards. The material should be non-porous and should have mixed conduction properties and it should be electrochemically inactive.The research had been financed by USC together with the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

A Future With Robots as Companions Could Be Closer Than You Think

Robot Companions
Robot & Frank the 2012 movie had defined a `near future which would enable us to spend our golden years living `co-dependently independently’ that would be fulfilled by robot companions which would watch for loss of balance and falls, encouraging us to perform constructive household chores such as gardening as well as tend to be something like like best companions. The future could be something we could speculate on or something what the USC Professor Maja Mataric has in mind. After much testing and researching, the progressive effects socially assistive robots could have on helpless population, Mataric visualizes how she could help in speeding this technology into the living rooms and care services.

At the onset in that walk, The vice dean of research of the USC Viterbi Scholl of Engineering and USC Interaction Lab director co-founded the Pasadena company Embodied Inc. that had been functioning in the development and bringing about reasonably socially assistive robots to market. The first `Embodied robot’ would start its testing during the year for consumers. Mataric, a professor of computer science, neuroscience and paediatrics at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, had stated that she would prefer to take the robots out of the lab.

Motivating/Brightening Days of Patients 

She further added that this was essentially important since the users she intends to focus on have special need and the faster they are inclined to help them, the better. The research robots of Mataric had already begun motivating and brightening the days of the patients in the cardiac ward of Los Angeles County + USC Medical Centre, which is the autism clinic at the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles and the Alzheimer’s care unit at Silverado Senior Living together with the special education together and public elementary schools and Be Group retirement homes.

The living presence of a robot - `Embodiment’ is said to be the main difference between the assistive technology Mataric seemed to have designed together with various screens which tend to include our prevailing machine aided lives. The research of Mataric has portrayed that with the presence of human like robots but not so human taking us into `weird areas’, could be adequate in encouraging the elders in exercising in a way which they would not with screen prompts. Moreover it could also be a discussion section which would enable children suffering from autism in relating better to their peers.

Social Element – Make People Change Behaviour

Mataric had informed a recent national gathering for the American Association for the Advancement of Science – AAAS, that social element is said to be the only object which tends to make the people change their behaviour. It makes them lose weight and recover faster.

There is a possibility that screen tend to make us less and not more social and it is here where robotics could make a difference – the fundamental embodiment. The AAAS appearance of Mataric signified something of a target, which came almost 10 years since she had been inducted as a fellow and 20 years after she had stated at USC.

Socially assistive robotics as created by Mataric together with her then graduate researcher David Feil-Seifer 12 years ago, tends to represent a type of mixture of two other areas of development in robotics namely assistive robotics, robots which tend to assist the disabled through direct physical interaction and social robotics which socialize with people.

Intel's $15 Billion Purchase of Mobileye Shakes Up Driverless Car Sector

Inventions of new technologies have seen the rise in the production of self-driving cars. Leading tech companies have been in a constant battle with their inventions to grab the top spot in autonomous driving technology. Amidst all of this, Intel has made a clever and significant move that can mark the company’s venture into the automotive market a huge success.

Intel Corp has been in agreements to buy over the Israeli driverless technology firm Mobileye for a sum of 15.3 billion US dollars. For a while Intel has been trying to expand its market from the computer business. The acquisition of Mobileye can very well push this US chip making company into the frontlines of driverless automotive market with equal footing against rival firms, Nvidia and Qualcomm.

Although the current market for autonomous driving and advanced driver assistance systems can see a potential rise in the next 10 to 20 years, some people are still skeptical about Intel buying Mobileye. Most companies are promising to deliver fully automated cars in the next 4 years but the depth of the promise is questionable. Intel has not been very well known in the automotive industry but however they have funded numerous startups that are developing different components of self-driving automotive.

What does Mobileye offer?

Mobile specializes in developing sensor chips, networking systems for cars, navigation systems, cloud software, machine learning and other data management systems that aid in developing a fully automatic vehicle. The technology offered by Mobileye is critical to the development of driverless systems and with the tie up with a huge company like Intel; it can increase their business opportunities by entering into the global market.

The deal in question 

Experts and analysts from industry are speculating the deal might be an exaggeration as the price involved is too much. The money paid by Intel to acquire Mobileye is apparently 21 times more than the average expected revenue of the firm in the year 2017. Since more and more companies are popping up in the self-driving technology scene, the market is becoming congested and it may be hard for Intel to get back its investment with the final released product.

The fight for supremacy

Intel and Mobileye are already holding talks with popular German automobile manufacturer BMW to produce some 40 odd self-driving test cars and release them. Mobileye has also made progress to manufacture its fifth generation of chips after teaming up with Intel which is to be released in market by 2021. These chips are to be used in full self-driving vehicles.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm has made its move to acquire the largest chip supplier, NXP with a deal of 47 million US Dollars putting immense pressure on Nvidia, Intel and Mobileye as well.

It is only a matter of time before we can see autonomous self-driving vehicle systems on the road at full swing and whether Intel has made a wise decision in buying Mobileye.

Google Maps Users Soon Can Broadcast Their Movements to Friends, Family

Google Maps
Google is known for its highly developed features that provide its users wide varieties of features. On March 2017, Google has launched a privacy detector feature, where its users will actually be able to share their movements with their friends and relatives. Google Maps is that very feature that is ensuring this facility to its users. In these days the act of sharing every detail on social networking site with your friends and relatives by posting pictures and videos has become very common.

So, Google by introducing Google maps have taken a step forward in this regard where people can easily share their exact location with whomsoever it concerns.

This feature is already installed on almost every smartphones and there is an update from Google that says this feature will also be available on personal computers. With the help of this enticing tool it will be more easy for people to let others know where they are without having to opt for text or call. This is a very big advantage as any emergency situation can be avoided.

To this Ruth Glenn, executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence has seconded that this application has both positive and negative connotations. All emergency situations can be avoided being easily able to catch up with people. On a humorous note this can create drastic problems for those who are in relationships, married, as they might have to be constant under the supervision of their partner. Even parents can be sure of where their teenage children are putting up by asking them to turn on the application when they are going out. So, this can be really a boon or a curse for different individuals.

Vice President of Google Maps has accepted that they are not the first brand who have tried to create something like this. As several tracking applications are available on different devices. Glympse which is introduced by Microsoft have been offering this facility to their user since a long time. Apple also puts forward an option called find my friends on their iPhones, iPads, and even watches and this is probably why Google is not expecting any criticisms especially from them who do not want their near and dear ones to locate them. A very intelligent tactics Google have used to camouflage themselves to be on the safer side of the table.

It is very simple to use as the users of this Map will just have to activate the location sharing option by pressing a button available near the search bar and then they can select the person from their contact list whom they want to address their location. They will automatically be informed via a text message. If the receiver does not have the Google Maps application downloaded on their phones, then they will get a link through which they can view the location using a browser.

The one who are unwilling to disclose their whereabouts they can make the desired changes in their setting due to which they can determine for how long their location can be traced.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Research Leads to a Golden Discovery for Wearable Technology

Wearable Technology
With an improvement of wearable technology, it is perhaps not impractical to think of a wonderful wearable device, which works as your mobile and your earring or your wristwatch. However, the newest thing that you may now see is the application of pure gold on these wearable devices, and this has been accomplished by Missouri S&T researchers.

Coating of gold on silicon-

In one of the journals, the scientists of S&T have talked about an option to develop thin golden layers on a crystal silicon wafer. They have to take out the golden foil to apply them just as a kind of substrates. Other available electronic stuffs may be developed on them. The new discovery of researchers may bring about some transformation in the field of wearable items. Moreover, it also proves an improvement of similar electronics on the coming days.

One of the leading scientists, Jay Switzer has said that a significant amount of study has been conducted in the domain of wearable technologies with the use of polymer-based substrates. Some substrates also comprise crystals. They are placed into semiconductor in order to bring the flexibility. However, there may be a loss of order, maintained by silicon. As there is more than one crystal, they may have grain limits, which restrict the functioning of some electronic systems.

If we consider a semiconductor, there are holes and electrons, opposite to each other. They may also blend the stated boundaries in order to produce heat. Most of the electronic appliances are manufactured with silicon as this is more affordable item. In addition to it, the performance of this substance is also good. There is a perfect alignment of all atoms. However, while only one crystal is present, the level of flexibility is not much high.

What positive features gold mar bring to a foil-

The scientists have, at first, started their work with one silicon crystal, and after that, they have considered golden foils. As gold is present in the foil, both flexibility and durability are high. The system may be twisted almost four thousand times. But, the level of resistance cannot get altered.

Some challenges have been faced by the researchers at the time of unpeeling the thin foil layer. The bolding between silicon and gold is very strong. To get rid of the problem, photo electrochemical process is used for silicon oxidization. In this oxidization, light allows semiconductor for promoting the reaction. Several golden foils may be designed with single silicon.

The overall research is really a pleasure to the scientists, who wanted to get an affordable way for creating distinct crystals. Many people, who like to deal with such materials, may have some interest in this matter. Moreover, it also gives important data to those, who desire working on these crystals. The team of researchers, who are involved in this issue, includes expert in the field of chemistry and engineering. And with the efforts of all these professionals, the research has been successful.