Thursday 31 March 2016

Six Questions About Your Phone's Battery Answered


Guidance to Phone’s Battery

One of the constant problem faced by smartphone users is the battery life and while the handsets tend to be quite faster and powerful, its batteries tend to last for a shorter time in a day due to heavy usage or even moderate use after a period of time. The lithium-ion battery seemed to be around for over two decades and has not changed since Sony began developing them in 1991. Inspite of great efforts invested in replacing them, these batteries seem to be with in use for several more years. The following guidance could be helpful regarding phone’s battery:

1. Do I need to charge the phone when I get it?

It is not necessary to charge on receiving the phone. Earlier battery types like nickel cadmium had memory effect which meant that the batteries could maintain some capacity depending on how they had been charged and discharged. This would mean that electronic products usually come with advice to charge them completely and keep them plugged in for hours prior to use. But in the case of modern lithium-ion batteries, several people tend to agree that there is no such effect and the batteries seem to be dependable. A smartphone is fine to run out of box without filling in, beforehand.

2. Does battery life get worse over a period of time?

The battery tends to weaken over time. Modern lithium-ion batteries have been designed to withstand a certain amount of cycles, a full drain of the battery and a cycle is equal to a battery fully draining though all this does not have to be from one charge. As per Apple, one could use 75% of the battery’s capacity one day and then recharge it fully overnight. If one uses 25% the next day, one would have discharged a total of 100% and the two days would add up to one charge cycle. The lifetime of batteries measure in cycles seems to vary between various devices, though naturally have between 300 and 500 full cycles prior to reaching 70% of their original capacity. That is equal to a couple of years of usage, but the graph shown from Battery University indicates that capacity tends to begin to drop down quickly.

3. Does leaving the smartphone charging damage the battery?

Generally it does not damage the battery. There have been recommendations that keeping the phone charged overnight or continuously could force the battery to weaken since it tends to receive more power than needed. New battery systems nevertheless knows to reduce this to a trickle and only tops up a battery with the power needed. The exclusion is in very hot situations since heat tends to cause lithium-ion batteries to deteriorate somewhat reducing its performance. Since charging a phone tends to heat up a bit, combining this with the hot temperature could cause the damage. You could keep the phone comparatively cool while charging by placing it out of the sun for instance.

4. Can the phone be charged often or should wait till the phone battery has gone well down before charging it?

New lithium-ion batteries tend to gain nothing by being powered down and long charging cycles tend to be worse than short ones. Incomplete discharges and charges seem to prolong battery life, 50% discharges tend to occur between 1,200 and 1,500 times prior to capacity drops of 70% of its original span when compared to 300 to 500 for 0-100% charges. This efficiently would mean running the phone down 50%, charging it up again and running it down to 50% again would be better than a complete discharge.

5. Does turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth improve the battery life? What about airplane mode?

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are not power hungry as they tend to be or as the phone’s cellular radio. Keeping them on would not possibly drain a vast amount of battery, though if one wants to completely maximise efficiency, it could help somewhat. Having the cellular radio look for signal in location where there is no signal, could be draining. You could activate airplane mode if the mobile signal is not needed. If you can connect to Wi-Fi go ahead – using 4G or 3G tends to drain the battery quicker than Wi-Fi.

6. How else can battery be saved?

Various things can be done to decrease how much power the phone could be utilising that will keep your battery lasting for a longer period of time and would deteriorate more slowly which include:
  • Turning down the screen brightness 
  • Disabling location as well as background app refresh for apps which do not tend to need it 
  • Not closing the apps in multitasking – they are idle and opening them later on would tend to use up more battery 
  • Disabling push notifications for email, Twitter and Facebook

Tuesday 29 March 2016

Google Makes its Machine Learning Platform Available to Developers

machine learning
Google has taken everyone by surprise when it announced to open its machine learning platform for the developers. It is worth noting that Google has gradually advanced its Cloud Machine learning Platform which was made to be used by the set of apps like Google Photos, Inbox and Translate. This machine learning platform has been detrimental in the popularity of the Google apps as it provided various features to the apps such as speech recognition and reply capabilities in the Inbox app.

At this conference Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has stated that the machine learning in next big thing in the field of technology and opening the door to the developers will help in bringing more powerful features to the end users.

Breakdown of Google’s Cloud Machine Learning Platform

Cloud Machine learning platform principally has two parts wherein one offer an opportunity to the developers for building machine-learning replicas based on their personal records and another brings a pre-trained replica for the developers.

Google will be providing wide range of tools such as Google Cloud Datalab, Google Cloud Dataflow, Google BigQuery and Google Cloud Storage from which data can be harnessed to train the machine learning models.

Once the data has been fed by the developer then all the necessary aspect of creating models will be taken by the Cloud Machine learning on its own. As Google opens its platform, any kind of application will be able to get benefits of the deep learning methods to increase its potential.

On other hand, Google even offers pre-trained models which come loaded with existing API such as Cloud Vision API & Google Translate API. Apart from these two API developers will be able to make use of the coveted Google Cloud Speech API. Google has made it clear that with opening up the cloud platform for the developers it is aiming at bringing the great technologies, which it has developed within, to the developers. This will allow them to embed new features and improve the functionalities of the apps in a more complex manner. It is worth mentioning that Cloud Speech API has been powering its voice search along with speech enabled apps for a really long time which has translated into huge popularity of the apps.

Google isn’t the first to open up its cloud platform

Google is simply following the footsteps of Amazon and Microsoft as both of these companies launched their own cloud based platform namely Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services in 2014 and 2015. Amazon Web Services has become quite popular among the commercial segment due to its great services and products at a competitive price points. Microsoft Azure has also found great success with its cloud platform which brings as much as twenty percent of the revenue. Google is simply bringing an edge over its competitors by opening up the platform for the developer who will actively help in improving the features along with feature rich apps to the consumers.

Microsoft's AI Bot

AI Bot

Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence Chat Bot

Microsoft has developed a new artificial intelligence chat bot which tends to claim that it would be smarter the more one talk to it. Tay, the so-called bot has been built by Microsoft Technology and Research together with Bing team for the purpose of conducting research on conversational understanding. The Bing team had developed a related conversational bot, XiaoIce, for Chinese market in 2014.

Microsoft executives had dubbed XiaoIce `Cortana’s little sister’ after the company’s voice-activated Cortana personal assistant software of Redmond, Washington.The real world focus of the bot is to enable researchers to experiment and learn how people tend to talk to each other. Microsoft states that for bot which is available through Twitter as well as messaging platforms Kik and GroupMe, AI has been doing the role of a millennial and emojis have been included in the vocabulary and is clearly aimed at 18-24 years olds.

The bot seems to have little useful function for users though it has the potential of three varied method of communication and its website tends to boast that the AI can talk through text, play games like guessing the meaning of a string of emojis and make comments on the photos sent to it.

Tay Designed to Engage & Entertain People

Till the time of writing, the bot had accumulated around 3,500 followers on Twitter but had sent over 14,000 messages, responding to questions, statements as well as general abuse within a matter of few seconds. The about section of Tay’s website stated the `Tay is designed to engage and entertain people where they connect with each other online via casual and playful conversation.

Tay tends to work depending on public data and with editorial inputs which have been created by staff and comedian. Microsoft has informed that `public data which has been anonymised is the primary data source of Tay and that data has been modelled, cleaned and filtered by the team creating Tay’. Besides the meme-tastic appeal of the bot, there seems to be a grave side to the research behind the AI. Making machine capable of communicating in a natural and human way is a main challenge for learning procedures.

Effort of Service to Comprehend How Humans Speak

Google too had recently updated its Inbox mail service recommending answers to emails and the smart reply feature offers three probable responses which are recommended by Google’s AI. Similar to Tay, Google informs that the more one uses smart replies, the better they will get. If a user desires to share with Tay, the bot tend to track the user’s nickname, gender, zip code, favourite food as well as the relationship status.

Users could delete their profiles on submission of a request through the contact form. In the field of virtual assistants and chat bots, Facebook’s M is also experimenting with the use of artificial intelligence in completing tasks. Though it has been partly controlled by humans, currently the systems are being condition to book restaurants and respond to some questions. The core of the service is an effort to comprehend how humans tend to speak and the best way to respond to them

Monday 28 March 2016

The next big thing in phones may not be a phone


Phones – Incremental/Slightly Faster/Bigger/More Storage/Better Resolution

Almost a decade after the iPhone had ruined the mould for mobile phones, many are speculating whether the evolution of the smartphone has come to an end since even Apple tends to treat older, smaller 4-inch screens as something new. Industry experts are of the belief that invention in smartphones seems to be giving away to phone functions popping up as software or services in all kinds of new devices varying from cars to fridges to watches and jewellery instead of remaining with handheld devices.

Analysts as well as product designers state that fresh breakthroughs tend to go against the practical limits of what is there in present smartphone hardware with regards to screen size, network capacity and battery life.

The inventor, Christian Lindholm, of the easy text-messaging keyboards in old Nokia phones which made the best-selling mobile device of all time, stated that `everything in the phone industry now is incremental, slightly faster, slightly bigger, slightly more storage or better resolution.

Financial stakes seem to be high as the futures of Apple, Google and Microsoft, which are the three major listed companies of the world, at the end of last year may tend to turn on who will get the jump on making handset dismissed.

Big Scree Devices/Compact Wearable

Several firms seem to be experimenting on new ways of helping consumers to interact with the wider world through sound, touch and sight. These comprise of voice activated personal assistant devices hanging from smart jewellery necklaces with small embedded microphone or tiny earpieces that tend to get thing done depending on the verbal commands.

The biggest tech companies in the world have made great progress in this area with Google Now, Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana and’s Alexa can now read texts or emails for users, answer practical queries, control phone features and manage basic communication or read a map. Richard Windsor, independent financial analyst, stated that `the way the whole thing is evolving, the device is itself becoming another way to provide access to a user’s digital life.

Lindholm now tends to run KoruLab, developers of ultra-efficient, compact software for running wearable devices and sees smartphone utilities splitting into two groups, namely big screen devices for rich entertainment and compact wearable for additional transaction purposes like maintaining one’s calendar, health or fitness monitoring or paying for products and services.

Mobile Networks – Moving to Connect to Other Devices

The financial analysts at UBS have assessed that smartphone makers would be generating over $323 billion by way of revenue this year, which is a 1.4% dropfrom last year. According to research firm Strategy Analytics, Apple exclusively had taken in half of the revenue and more than three quarters of all profits.

Apple had announced a variety of new products recently including cheaper 4-inch screen iPhone SE with a view to reverse the decline iPhone sales. Though phones are presently the Swiss Army knives of the electronic age, their necessary appeal to consumers has moved from eye-catching shiny screens and sleek bevelled edges to the apps and services running on the phones, often as Internet based services hosted in the cloud.

Bob O’Donnell, consumer electronics analyst and president of Technalysis Research in Foster City, California had commented that `mobile networks are moving to connect to all the other devices’.

Saturday 26 March 2016

HTC One M10 is Coming April 12

HTC One M10

HTC’s Flagship Smartphone – HTC 10

HTC has begun sending media invitation for an event to be held on April 12 wherein the company is widely expected to expose its next flagship smartphone which is believed to be known as HTC 10. The announcement of the Taiwanese company informed that it would have simultaneous events in New York, London as well as Taipei.

The invitation moreover confirms that the launch event would be live streamed on April 12, on the company’s website. The company has requested users to log on to its website on April 12, 8 am New York Times, 1 pm London time and 8 pm Taipei time.The website also mentions that they admit it, they are obsessed … but in a good way’ and tends to have a hastag `#powerof10’.

The company will be unveiling the `power of 10 and in this case, 10 will be playing into the phone’s name which follows 2015’s HTC One M9 and M8 as well as the original HTC One. The announcement tends to come about a month late this year if one has been following the pattern of HTC for unveiling its headliner phone at the Mobile World Congress show in late February.

New Phone with Home Button/Edges

This delay to the phone watchers has been a sign of the struggle of HTC in stopping the bleed after years of steep market share drop-off together with poor sales. Some of the details of the HTC 10 revealed with a render published earlier in the month portrayed a new phone with a home button together with big edges.

The HTC 10 is said to have a 5.15-inch display together with Snapdragon 820 processor and would sit among the top-tier of Android phone. But the question propped up to HTC is what will make the 10 stand out from home runs like the Galaxy S7 Edge.

HTC has mentioned that it would be introducing its phone at the time of the online event and there would not be an in person component, though it may sound like anyone who would be interested, will be capable of tuning in. The announcement would be streamed at 8 am ET on their website. Besides a 5.15-inch Super LCD 5 display with QHD resolution, the handset would also be packed with a 3000mAh battery which if true would be the largest battery in HTC’s flagship in the HTC phones till date.

Smartphone – Compelling Camera Experience

Some other specifications rumoured regarding the HTC 10 state an Adreno 530 GPU, 4GB of RAM, a 12 megapixel rear camera and a USB Type-C port besides a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor. Some of the images leaked regarding the unannounced handset recommend that it would sport metal build with broad chamfered edges and a physical home button below the display together with two capacitive buttons.

In an attempt to develop around its forthcoming flagship, HTC has claimed that HTC 10 will sport `World First, World Class’ front and back cameras. Chialin Chang, HTC CFO, had stated that the smartphone is expected to have a very compelling camera experience. According to the rumours, the HTC 10 is said to come in four colours of black and white, white, gold and black.

Thursday 24 March 2016

Apple Unveils Smaller iPhone and iPad Pro


Apple’s Smaller Version of iPhone & iPad Pro

At an event held in San Francisco which had been streamed online, Apple had announced smaller versions of the iPhone and iPad Pro. The firm has informed that the iPhone SE seems to have the same processing as well as graphics performance of the larger Apple 6S and can capture 4K video. The new iPad Pro tends to have a 9.7 inch screen which is the same as the original iPad and the iPhone SE would be made available in 110 countries towards the end of May.

With the price starting at $399/$499, the latest iPhone is said to be the most affordable handsetthat Apple has ever released, according to the company. Moreover, the new iPad Pro would be available in three different storage sizes together with an additional larger 256 GB version.

For the smaller version, the pricing would start at $599 and will be shipped in the US towards the end of the month. Apple had mentioned that last year, it had sold 30 million four-inch handsets though the sales of the handset seemed to have slowed down in recent months in line with the total smartphone market. Some of the analysts have predicted a 15% decline in shipments in the first quarter of 2016.

Apple - `Not to Shrink’ from Responsibility to Protect Encryption

Annette Zimmerman, research director at analyst Gartner had stated that `the smart phone market has definitely consolidated around five and six inch devices, globally, so the question is why has Apple come out with a slightly smaller version?’ She added that it is not actually to capture a trend but the individuals who are on iPhone 4 or 5 seem to be quite content with the size.

 It is a means of upgrading them and selling a phone with a smaller screen size tends to help with the margins on the devices’. Tom Cook, chief executive informed that the Apple’s court battle with the FBI over encryption heads to court on Tuesday and said that he did not ever expect to be `at odds with the government’.

He stated that Apple `would not shrink’ from its responsibility to protect encryption. His comment was met with a warm applause from the audience though Tuesday would be a different story when the company tends to come face to face with the families of the victim of the San Bernardino attack.

iPhone SE & iPad Pro - Crucial Products

With the sales of iPhone slowing down, Apple needs to get some new customers and the iPhone would probably do just that. It would be aimed at the kind of individuals with budgets that cannot stretch to a new premium iPhone and the user who could have gone instead for an Android device.

Contrasting from the 5c, Apple’s last budget iPhone, the SE does not come in a range of economical and cheerful colours and is meant to feel like a top product though smaller. The iPhone SE and iPad Pro 9.7 is seen as largely iterative though they seem to be still crucial products for Apple since it looks to support growth across two significantly important sets.

The firm also portrayed a recycling robot known as Liam that can strip down old iPhone into their components for reuse. According to Tim Cook, Apple Watch would bring down its price to $299 from its launch price of $349.

EaseUS Partition Master Review: Managing Your Disk Space Efficiently


Managing the disk space in your computer or laptop can make a whole lot of difference. Although, computers have become an integral part of our personal and professional lifestyle, we hardly focus on how we can manage the data in the right way which would not only help us to find the information in a better way, but also help the system to detect and store the files in an efficient way. Disk management software is critical for proper management of the disk space and this is where EaseUS Partition Master comes in.

EaseUS Partition Master is a comprehensive solution for those who want to manage their computer disk space efficiently. The software supports multiple operating systems like Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista and Windows XP. It is also compatible with Windows Server 2003, 2008 and 2012.

The software is ideal to extend volume Windows 7 software. It can manage partitions and therefore users can quickly resize, merge, move and split partitions without any data loss. Users that make use of Windows 7 after upgrade would find that they have low disk storage problems. With EaseUS Partition Manager extending volume on Windows 7 becomes easier and it makes the disk partition process simpler.

Disk space management software often have complicated process which requires some technical knowledge. With this software there is no need for technical expertise as the software has a simpler way to create and manage partitions.

It can also help users to partition external hard drive and other devices. If the users are not sure about how to partition an external hard drive EaseUS Partition Master is an easy way to resolve the problem. This free software supports disks of up to 8 TB GPT in size.

The software also makes it easier and convenient for the users to clone disk and volumes to protect data or upgrade disk without any requirement for Windows system reinstallation. It can also help in recovering partitions that have been deleted or lost on an unallocated space that might have occurred due to hardware/software failure or due to any virus attack.

This program is available for free and therefore you ensure that your laptop or computer stores the information efficiently and manage partitions to improve your productivity. With over 30 million downloads already, EaseUS Partition Master remains the most preferred choice of users looking to manage and resize partitions on hard disk.

Why the Government can’t Actually Stop Terrorists from Using Encryption


Encrypted devices at the hand of the governmental agencies seem like a bliss but same is made available for the common public or more importantly lands in the hands of terrorists then world appears to be in danger. U.S. government is currently failing to gain an upper hand in the fight to compel the tech giant Apple and others to give access to their encrypted devices. But having to these encrypted devices and technologies will not be enough to marginalize the wide availability of same technologies to the terrorists and criminal minded individuals.

How the encrypted service or devices turns to be out-of-reach of U.S. government

Most of the encrypted products and services are made by the developers who are from all parts of globe. In simple words most of the encryption projects happens to be open source in nature which brings an amalgamation of great developers from across the globe and it puts them out of government’s reach as well.

An example will help in understanding the limitation of governmental agencies in going after the encrypted services and products. There is a popular instant messaging service based in Germany called Telegram and it offers one of kind encrypted chat functionality. Another encrypted services provider which helps in encrypted voice call and test messages is called Silent Phone which is based in Switzerland. They are simply out of reach of the U.S. government but are easily available for the public and criminal minded individuals alike.

Open source projects are simply driving the ushering of encrypted technologies reach

A research conducted by the Open Technology Institute has revealed that there are about 16 different applications for encrypted communications are being developed outside of US mainly through the open source projects.

U.S. government hands are simply tied as it can’t stop the developers from developed such application outside its borders. However it is enraging a battle against the domestic companies which offers encryption services to its consumers.

Even more number of common users has started making use of strong means and forms of encryption technologies than before for their own reasons. This has made it necessary for the tech companies to bring such encrypted features in their own applications as default in order to reign in consumers from adopting other applications. iPhone has already brought the features of setting up the password by default in order to encrypt the information stored on the device. On other hand Facebook owned Whatsapp is thinking aggressively about bring an encrypted texts and messages features on its instant messaging platform.

U.S. government has finally understood that with continuous availability and emergence of new mode of encrypted communication applications it is not feasible to reign in the availability to the users. But as it is working on other front of reducing the amount of information which is likely to get encrypted by bringing in default encryption features in the popular applications and devices. In other words U.S. battle against encryption is not going to stop the common users and terrorist alike from using the encryption technologies in future.

Wednesday 23 March 2016

The Hearing Aid Hacked to Hear Wi-Fi


Smartphone Apps – Translating Characteristic of Wireless Network

Wearable technology is very often linked with smartwatches as well as smart glasses though a person in the UK had hacked his own hearing aid in order to tune in to the sounds of close wi-fi networks. Co-founder of Phantom Terrains, Frank Swain utilises smartphone app for translating the characteristics of wireless networks like their name and speed into sound while traveling around London.

Frank Swain – 32 years, is a science writer from London and was first diagnosed with early onset of hearing loss in his 20s. He had been fitted with hearing aids in 2012 and no sooner had he received it; he began envisaging how he could hack them so that he could hear more of the world around him. He specifically wanted to be capable of hearing something which tends to fill the modern landscape though it is undetectable to the ears. Swain in simple terms wanted to be capable of hearing Wi-Fi signals.

Two years thereafter, on receiving a grant from UK innovation charity – Nesta, the UK innovation charity, Swain together with sound artist Daniel Jones jointly produced Phantom Terrain, which is a new tool that makes Wi-Fi signals distinct. Anyone would have considered this as an odd choice till they study how the electromagnetic signals tend to permeate our modern environment.

Matter of Time – Internet of Things

Users tend to use wireless signals daily for phone calls, check the emails, access navigational data, listen to the radio and surf the web. Considering its present rate of growth, it is said to be only a matter of time before all the devices, sensors, routers as well as signals accompany the `Internet of Things’, an age wherein the world seems to be bounded by digital second skin which tends to cover the physical world that is also inseparable from our lives.

However, the infrastructure for this seems vague to us and that is the reason Swain and Jones developed Phantom Terrain in order that individuals could tune into these arenas. The software can run on a hacked iPhone that utilises inbuilt Wi-Fi sensors to pick important details regarding nearby fields comprising of the router name, encryptions, signal strength and the distance.

While his phone tends to remain in his pocket, Swain can get an aural map blended in with the normal output of the hearing aids. The distant signals seems to get interrupted as background clicks which differ with proximity while the closer and more powerful signals buzz their own network ID information in a entwined melody.

Digital Hearing – Recreate Soundscape/Amplifying Sound/Supressing Noise

Jones informed that on a busy street, one may see more than a hundred independent wireless access points in a signal range and the strength of the signal, direction, name and the security level on these are converted into audio stream made of a foreground and background layer.

Narrating his experience, Swain relates that recreating hearing is an incredibly difficult task and unlike glasses, that simply brings the world into focus, digital hearing aid tend to recreate the soundscape, amplifying useful sound and suppressing noise. As this changes by the second, sorting one from the other needs a lot of programming.

As internet technology, wireless communication and connected devices tend to become more common, the capacity of sensing the strength, intensity and what these signals imply regarding our environment would become more sought after thing. One could speculate without much effort that Wi-Fi mapping tends to become a part of urban or community planning besides sociological or environmental studies.

Tuesday 22 March 2016

Chinese Hackers Behind U.S. Ransomware Attacks Security Firms


A group of four security firm investigating the cyber attacks on the U.S. based companies has found that most of the hackers make use of the same tactics and tools which were once associated with the Chinese government supported cyber attacks. Ransomware has become a major tool for unleashing the cyber attacks on the unsuspecting common users. Ransomware as the name suggests simply take over the control of the system and very carefully encrypts all the data stored on the system which leaves it inaccessible to the users. In order to get back the access users are required to a ransom of few Bitcoins.

Hackers tricks users into installing Ransomware

Security firms have stated that hackers use various complex and highly intelligent ways to spread ransomware by actively exploiting the vulnerabilities found in the application servers. Once vulnerability has been compromised hackers tricks users into installing ransomware on their devices. In one of the recent attacks more than 30% of the machines at transportation and a technology firm were infected with the ransomware.

The rise of ransomware over the years

Ransomeware aren’t something new as it has been in wide usage by the cyber criminals over a decade. In the beginning unsuspecting users were lured into downloading infected programs or antivirus suits which when installed happens to overtake the device and requires a ransom of certain amount in order to get back the access.

However in the recent years cyber criminals has got hand at the better encryption techniques which ensures that users wouldn’t be able to get access to their files without paying the ransom. Formatting the devices is a great way to do away with the ransomware but it comes at the cost of losing all the data associated with device. Ransomware payments are mainly made in the virtual currency Bitcoin which offers secrecy from governmental agencies and others.

‘Mind’ game behind ransom

Ransomware happens to be one of the most successful tools of the cyber criminals as a greater percentage of infected users end up in paying the modest ransom amount for their inaccessible data. Cyber criminals usually set a modest price as a ransom in order to give back the access to the users. Most of the victims are willing to pay this amount in order to get back their data and it also results in getting positive response in the online sphere. Assume a victim pays about 1 or 2 Bitcoin which amounts to $600 and he gets back the access to its data and he give a feedback on the online forums that he was relieved to get access to data finally after paying then ransom operators. In short all the other victims searching for this malady online will be more willing to pay on basis of this feedback.

On other hand security firms have warned victims that paying ransom will only end up in making cyber criminals much more ambitious. Very soon they will shift from asking ransoms of few Bitcoins to performing some complicated scams and credit card theft as well.

The Wearable Device Which Turns Gestures Into Music


Remidi T8 – Wearable Glove – Compose Music with Gestures

A glove has been created by a start-up based in Austin, Texas, which enable one to compose music with gestures. The wearable device tends to operate on any firm surface as well as in the air, turning whatever is touched into an instrument. If one tends to find themselves tapping their hand to a beat at the desk, in a car or on a park bench, a high tech glove could be just the gadget to aid in turning the tunes in your mind into music which one could record. Remidi T8 the so called wearable glove is equipped with pressure-sensitive sensors alongside the fingertips and palm.

According to a post on Kickstarter which announced a project to produce the glove, which is still not available, its wristband tends to control the combination of sounds from each sensor which is translated as the user tends to moves their hand. According to the company, the glove objective is to be a natural device for music artist, enthusiast as well as disc jockeys to use. The one using the glove would be capable of composing music, play as well as perform on the go, as per co-founder and chief technology officer at Remidi, Mark DeMay.

Fun Way of Expressing Themselves

Mark DeMay stated that it could be considered as a wearable MIDI controller, referring to the music synthesizers that are found in recording studios which enable producers to combine tracks, adjust tempos and tweak vocals. However the glove is more than compliant than the large synthesizer machine and can be modified in creating latest, custom sounds or remix the current ones, based on how the user intends programming it. DeMay informed the sources that they wanted to provide people with a fun way of expressing themselves and begin pushing the boundaries of what can be done with the musical instruments.

The purpose of the wearable music instrument came up when Remidi founder and CEO, Andrea Baldereschi and DeMay met while they worked with Livid Instruments, an Austin, Texas based company, which designed MIDI controllers and mixers for DJs. DeMay mentioned that Baldereschi was a DJ for several number of years and always seemed to tap out new beats whenever they would be working together.

T8 – Creates Various Sound Intensities/Rhythms

However, he would frequently forget the new melodies before even getting around to recording the music. Hence Baldereschi decided to invent a technique of recording riffs on the go without being limited to working in rooms with burdensome and bulky digital music systems. DeMay informed that the digital world had got a little bit motionless with regards to the MIDI controllers and all tend to do the same type of stuff in the same manner. There are all buttons, knobs, LEDs and faders just in different arrangement.

 The T8 glove is actually something different. Using the T8, the user can start jamming on any surface like a desk, wall park bench, car window, subway seat, or even their own body. DeMay had informed that the data from the glove could then be sent to the Remidi app or to another recording software.

The T8 is said to create various sound intensities as well as rhythms depending on which of its eight sensors it is pressed, what combination is pressed and how long or how hard it is pressed down on single point. Besides this, a small spinning gyroscope and accelerometer in the wristband of the glove tends to measure the speed your hands moves up and down or left and right, adjusting the tone and tempo of the music created in real-time.

Monday 21 March 2016

Nasa Starts Work on Super Quiet Supersonic Jet


American space agency Nasa has finally given nod to development of new age breed of supersonic jets inquest to win over the sky. NASA has started development for so called low boom supersonic jets which will be much better on every scale against the traditional supersonic jets. These jets are aimed to be quieter, safer as well as greener than the current form of air transportations.

NASA supersonic jet plane is currently under development through the X Plane programme. It should be noted that Nasa’s X Plane programme was established way back in 1940’s with the goal of creating new age jets for the future. However over the years this program was left to eat dust due to the shortage of funds. Nasa has finally found a partner in name of Aviation Horizons which will be funding the development of supersonic jets till 2017.

Nasa aims to bring greener jets

Aviation Horizons has made it clear to the Nasa that they are looking forward to development of greener supersonic jets which doesn’t cause too much strain on the fossil fuels for power. These jets will feature reduced fuel usage, emissions along with revolutionary innovation basically in the aircraft design which can also reduce the noise emission to a great extent.

Nasa is working towards bringing a new age in supersonic jets

The current form of air travesl are not only a huge guzzler of natural resources in order to derive power but also happens to great noise emitter. Nasa’s X Plane programme is almost seventy years old and during this Nasa has performed huge number of test which has push forwarded its understanding and technological expertise in the arena of supersonic jets development. It all started seventy ago when Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier and opened a new world of opportunities to the super-aircraft development.

Charles Bolden one of the Nasa administrator has stated that they are looking forward to continue the legacy of the X Plane by carefully working towards the development of first of its kind quieter supersonic jets. Hopefully these will find their way into the aviation industry and one day it will cater the needs of millions of people flying worldwide.

The biggest problem faced by the engineers is to reduce the sound emission along with the fuel emission is a challenging task for the Nasa. New age supersonic jets will likely to have a ‘sonic heatbeat’ rather than the booming sounds.

Nasa pioneering commercial space flights with experimentation

The development of new supersonic jets is among the some of the great experiments undertaken by Nasa to improve the aviation industry. Nasa has even unveiled an unique one of kind ten engine drone which has the design ala helicopter. Nasa is also experimenting with various kind of wing shapes in order to improve the fuel usage ratio along with coming with an option of removing wide wings on the aircrafts. In order to open the space for commercial flights it is necessary to decrease the weight which will ensure faster flight with reduced use of fuel.

Sky Launches Sky VR Studio

Sky VR Studio

Dedicated Virtual Reality Production Unit – Sky VR Studio

It has been reported by Sky that they have begun making some of the programming in VR stating playfully that we would be seeing this year around 20 pieces of VR content. The first bits of virtual reality filming would be released on Friday by Sky, featuring a pits-eye view of Formula 1 testing just in time for the start of the season in Barcelona. Sky had been in virtual reality for some time now.

It had invested in Jaunt VR in September of last year and since then had been filming some VR footage. A very popular behind the scene footage of The Hobbit had been shown at the premiere of the film, last year. Presently, Sky is making attempts in taking its VR commitment further with dedicated virtual reality production unit known as Sky VR Studio which is led by executive produce Neil Graham.

A website was permitted early access to Sky’s first batch of VR footage on a Samsung Gear VR and it’s impressive. Sky will not go in for static VR shots though would actually offer movement. Few of the footage had been taken by a journalist moving around the pit area, coming close to the car action and other shots were on the car itself.

Sky – A Reason for Investing

Other footage was more grounded and portrayed how virtual reality could bring one closer to places one may not actually want to be though should experience them. Neil Graham, while speaking at the launch of Sky VR had explained that due to Sky’s investment in Jaunt, he had early access to VR cameras, leading to the first VR piece that had been filmed in New Zealand.

Graham stated that when they got the prototype camera, he quickly spoke to Warners and all involved and managed to quickly experiment with filming a documentary on The Hobbit.He further informed that they had the opportunity where they could show the film a week thereafter at the premiere of the final Hobbit movie. With the creation of the camera technology together with the headsets made available, it would mean that Sky has a reason for investing in a proper production unit with internal as well as external folks

Need to Populate VR with Mind Blowing Content

Director Richard Nockles, is one of those who have been brought inwho seems to be too dedicated to VR wherein he has also shot the birth of his second child in VR. Graham goes on to explain that Richard would be joining a VR creative director meaning that they can create a new content for VR.

He added further that Sky is uniquely place and that they have always been looking at new ways to get content, there is access to movies, TV and sport and there is a need to populate VR with mind blowing content. Regarding what footage will we see, Sky is dedicated in creating 20 pieces this year with the F1 footage which is the first part of the batch and the footage would be made available from Friday on YouTube 360, the Oculus Rift Store and Facebook’s 360 Video platforms.

Though Sky would ultimately look into developing its own app for this footage and is anticipating in offering additional footage than assured, Graham seems to be realistic on how much they could do.

Xolo Era X: Pocket Friendly Phone With 4G Support

Xolo Era X
Xolo, a subsidiary of Lava mobiles, is an Indian smartphone brand that has been creating ripples in the Indian mobile market. It was the first company to produce an Android based phone equipped with an Intel processor. The company has launched Android as well as Windows smartphones. Recently, the company also developed its own user interface for Android based smartphones. The brand’s latest offering is Xolo Era X. If you have been searching for a budget-friendly phone with decent features and performance, here’s why you should check out this phone:


One of the most important aspects for a customer purchasing a smartphone is camera. This is because more and more people are using only their phones to capture images. Those days are now a history when people were required to carry a camera with them everywhere to shoot images. All thanks to the rising fame of camera phones, they are definitely in vogue. For the price tag at which Xolo Era X is available at, it has more than decent camera specs. It has an 8 mega pixel rear camera equipped with auto focus and flash. There are different modes and features like smile detection, burst mode, audio note, panorama, location capture and more. The front camera has 5 mega pixels and flash too so that you can capture bright images even in low light conditions. Indulge in Amazon promotional codes to purchase this phone with the added benefit of Cashback.


There are numerous tasks being done via a smartphone today such as shooting images, accessing various apps, storing notes, storing files, playing games, watching movies, texting and so much more. This fast paced era has made “multi-tasking” the need of the hour. A user expects the same from a smartphone. Xolo Era X is powered by 1.5GHz ARM Cortex A-7 quad core processor and 2GB RAM so that you can enjoy a smooth performance here. You will be able to switch on and off between different apps and multi-task easily on this handset. It runs on Android Lollipop v5.1 and can be upgraded to Android Marshmallow v 6.0.

Display and design

Xolo Era X is a 5 inch HD IPS display phone. It has a protection of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 to provide protection against everyday scratches.It also adds to the durability factor. It also comes with an inbuilt K-class amplifier and box speakers to enhance your listening experience. Avail offers for Paytm present on CashKaro to buy Xolo phones at discounted prices with the advantage of Cashback offers.


With so much being done via a smartphone today, there’s also a lot of data being stored on it. Be it pictures or music, movies or games, apps or notes; there’s an ever-rising need for storage capacity. Xolo Era X has an internal capacity of 8GB which can be further expanded up to 32 GB using a micro SD card.

Superior speed

You can bid goodbye to slow internet speed with Xolo Era X! Enjoy browsing on web, downloading files and quality audio/video with the superior 4G VoLTE technology.


Xolo Era X is backed up by a 2500 mAh battery which provides talk time of 16 hours 43 minutes on 2G. On 3G, it offers 10 hours 35 minutes. So you can be assured of not holding a dead battery phone at the end of the day, provided you are not a heavy user.

Xolo Era X sure seems a good choice for people who want a good camera performance with decent specs without breaking their bank. It is priced at Rs 5,777.

Saturday 19 March 2016

Spies can steal objects by recording the sound of a 3D printer

3D printer
Industrial espionage isn’t a new thing rather it has been going for ages since the old age. Over the years the technological advancement has opened up a new frontier for the industrial spies to discreetly spy over the industries secrets without even being there. Researchers have discovered that industrial spies can easily and accurately steal the 3D objects by simply recording the sound produced by the 3D printer when printing such objects.

University of California shows the method of reversing the work done by 3D printer

University of California researchers have shown a simple yet mind blowing method which reverse engineers the 3D design by carefully analyzing the vibrations made a 3D printer. Industrial spies are likely to perform the same trick to get hold of 3D objects by using this very method for their own end.

Shedding more light on this research the director of the UCI’s Adavanced Integrated Cyber Physical Systems Lab, Mohammand Al Faruque, said that industrial spies can even make use of the smartphone to record the vibrations made by the 3D printer to develop their own 3D object.

Researchers had made the use of recording wherein data recorded included things like how a 3D printer parts move and the very same logic can be used recreating the 3D objects with an accuracy of almost 90% which is more than enough to know what is being created.

3D print theft are becoming more commonplace

Over the years 3D print theft signs have been raised throughout the globe but this research will only help in cementing the idea of 3D print theft more convincingly. The losses incurred due to this kind of cybercrime are relatively small or not much known about it at the present.

Another point which doesn’t go positive with the thought of rampant 3D print theft without getting under the radar is that 3D file come heavily encrypted. But some of the system has been developed which can be used to unscramble and remove the encryptions from the 3D files with ease and simplicity. Companies can invest huge amount in securing the printing networks but it is not possible to protect the vibrations and sound made by the 3D printers.

This research turns head of the US agencies

Following the publication of the results of this research some of the US agencies and other researchers had shown active interest in the possible 3D thefts. Al Faruque has stated that the prospects of the 3D printing theft technology can be used in the surveillance and military sector which will help in making the 3D printer networks much more secure and better than before.

Researchers have concluded that 3D printer manufacturers should use some precautionary measures like adding white noises or some other distant and random vibration in order thwart the likelihood of 3D printing theft. Furthermore companies should also term the 3D printing machine zones as the ‘no smartphone’ zone which will help in minimizing the 3D print theft to a great extent.

Soundcloud has Signed a Licensing Deal With Sony Music


SoundCloud - Licensing Deal Signed with Sony Music

According to sources with information of the situation, licensing deal has been signed with Sony Music by SoundCloud, providing its deals with all three main labels, making way for the subscription service it had scheduled to launch later this year. It is said that Sony Music would be getting equity from SoundCloud in the deal.

As per the agreement SoundCloud will give access to Sony Music artists comprising of Beyoncé, The Weeknd, Future, Calvin Harris, Bruce Springsteen, Foo Fighters, Miguel and Justin Timberlake. The streaming music service intends to launch a paid subscription plan and a source close to the situation informed that the deals SoundCloud had struck with the majors does not permit it to build a full on-demand service akin to Spotify or Apple Music.

It is said that SoundCloud has already struck deals with Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group as well as Merlin, an independent network of labels; Sony Music had been the last holdout. But obtaining a deal with Sony Music had been challenging. According to Billboard, the label pulled its music of SoundCloud last year when the reports revealed that Sony Music had not been happy with the lack of monetization opportunities.

A Mid-Tier Service

Since the deal is done and SoundCloud has obtained the blessings of the music industry, it needs to figure out how to monetize the services without isolating the 175 million users who seemed to be using it without any cost.

 According to sources, it is said that the company seems to be serious regarding monetizing the service and one industry source has informed The Verge that they need to make this work if SoundCloud has a long term future. Initial discussions had SoundCloud’s paid offering at $10 a month when it launches later this year. There had also been talks of a mid-tier service which were priced less than that.

Together with the excess of songs which live only on SoundCloud already, SoundCloud tends to have an advantage over competing streaming services that largely offer the same music catalog. SoundCloud had refrained from commenting on rumours and Sony Music did not respond to request for comment.

Goal of Launching Subscription Tier

Sealing a related pact in January with No. 1 recording company Universal over its 2015 deal with Warner, Sony agreement seemed to the final obstacle between SoundCloud and its goal of launching a subscription tier. SoundCloud known as the YouTube for audio draws a great number of music listeners online though in the past it has annoyed the music due to its early reputation of being careless with regards to royalties.

SoundCloud had experienced some of the same industry tension which YouTube had encountered while it handled to manage unauthorised uploads of copyrighted material at a particular site where the users can upload their own sound files. This made it difficult for SoundCloud to repair deals together like Sony and Universal. But service’s growing popularity made it difficult for the music industry to tune out. SoundCloud presently has a limited advertising business and intends to introduce subscription services in the U.S. as well as other markets later in the year.

Friday 18 March 2016

Adobe Issues Emergency Patch For Flash Bug


Adobe Issued Emergency Patch for Flash Media Player

Emergency patch for Flash media player had been issued by Adobe to close the loopholes in the most popularly used software. Adobe had mentioned in its security advisory, that they are aware of a report that an exploit for CVE-2016-1010 is being used in limited targeted attacks and the notice advised Flash users to install the update at the earliest. The patch in total closes 23 separate security bugs in Flash player.

Those invading the security holes would be in a position of overtaking a computer and steal valuable data or spy on the owner of the system. For updates, users need to apply the patch quickly since several of the problem related seems to be critical and of the highest level. The holes are found in Flash and in versions of the other Adobe programs utilised on several platforms and devices.

Those devices at risk comprise of Windows machines, Macs and Linus computers together with phone running Android and iOS. Several different security researches inclusive of experts at Alibaba, Kaspersky Labs, Google and Microsoft had alerted Adobe to the issue with its Flash player. Most of the security firms have suggested that users could uninstall the flash player in order to refrain from being victim to malicious attachments or booby-trapped webpages.

Recommended to Uninstall Flash/Java/Silverlight

The patch brings about the latest version of Flash to for Windows and Mac and for Linux. Readers are recommended to uninstall Flash, Java and Silverlight browser extensions to check if they are essential. For several individuals, it is not essential and the reduced attack surface had lowered the chances of being visited by remote code-execution attacks.

Those who tend to depend on Flash in order to access the intranet of a company or any other site should consider utilising a dedicated browser for the same. In an effort at preventing attackers, several of the web firms have now stopped using Flash. Recently most of the other companies had issued security patches and the update of Firefox closed 40 single susceptibilities, which were over half of those considered as critical.

Security Bulletin Released By Adobe

Besides, Google has also issued for Chrome an update which among others had closed three security holes considered as `high’ severity and paid bug bounties amounting to $13,000 to the two researchers who had exposed the loopholes. Microsoft had recently issued its steady monthly security update which had attempted 13 issues in various programs comprising of the Internet Explorer as well as Edge browsers.

A security bulletin APSB16-08 had been released by Adobe acknowledging Kaspersky Lab for reporting CVE-1015-1010. The exposure could probably enable an attacker to take control of the affected system. The researchers of Kaspersky Lab researchers observed the usage of this weakness in a limited number of target attacks.

Adobe had mentioned in a December statement that though standards such as HTML5 would be the web platform for the future for all devices, Flash tends to continue to be utilised in main categories like Web gaming as well as premium video wherein fresh standards would have to be fully mature.

Bionic Fingertip' Offers Feeling


Artificial Fingertip Provides Physical Feedback

An artificial fingertip providing physical feedback to the user had been developed by European researchers. Amputee Dennis Aabo Sorensen had taken part in a clinical trial that had his nerves surgically linked to the bionic fingertip enabling him to experience feeling as well as distinguish between the different surfaces. The new bionic fingertip helped the amputee to feel smooth and the rough textures.

Developed by scientist at Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne –EPFL, Switzerland and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy, the artificial fingertip had been connected to the nerves in the upper arm of amputee. The device provided Sorensen the ability of distinguishing between rough and smooth surfaces with 96% accuracy according to the report.

Sorensen mentioned that the stimulation felt almost like what he felt with his hand. For the success of this, the nerves in the arm of the amputee had to be connected to the artificial fingertip and a machine controlled the movement of the device as it felt the textured plastic. While the fingertip moved along the plastic, the sensor generated an electrical signal which was translated in a series of electrical spikes to replicate the nervous system, before delivering to Sorensen’s nerves.

Tactile Information Delivered Through Fine Needles

According to the team behind the study, they state that they compared the results of the bionic finger with those of non-amputees. They mentioned in a press release that `the tactile information was delivered through fine needles which were temporarily attached to the arm’s median nerve through the skin. The non-amputees were in a position to distinguish roughness in textures 77% of the time’.

The research is said to be the latest in growing cannon of global work involving improved functions of artificial limbs and the work comprises of prosthetic which tend to operate with brain machine interfaces. A separate mind controlled limb, in February had enabled a person to wiggle individual fingers of bionic hand for the first time, where the researchers at Johns Hopkins University had tested the prosthetic on a non-amputee.

However they already had 128 electrodes implanted surgically in the brain to help in monitoring epilepsy. With the use of the pre-developed system, the researchers mapped the person’s brain, taking control of the arm.

Cybathlon- Swiss Hosted Olympics for Bionic Athletes

BrainGate, a company creating brain-machine interfaces, had individually developed a chip which could be inserted into the brain in order to control a robotic arm. The work from BrainGate enabled users to be capable of moving the arm, for instance to raise a glass to their mouth.

In order to encourage the research of bionic limbs as well as brain controlled devices, it is said that October would be seeing the first Cybathlon, which is a Swiss hosted Olympics for bionic athletes and their robotic technologies. Working on the project, Calogero Oddo stated that enabling an amputee to be able in differentiating between textures would be utilised over numerous industries.

 He adds that `it would also be translated to other applications like artificial touch in robotic for surgery, rescue as well as manufacturing. From the earlier work of EPFL, Sorensen was able to feel sensory information using a complete artificial hand.. Conducted in 2014, the work enabled him to grasp objects as well as able to identify what he had been touching on being blindfolded.

Thursday 17 March 2016

'Meta-Skin' Truly Cloaks Objects From Radar


Meta-Skin – Manipulate Electromagnetic Waves

A team at Iowa State University led by electrical and computer engineering professor Jiming Song together with associate professor Liang Dong have developed a meta-material known as `meta-skin’. Co-authors are Iowa State graduate students Siming Yang, Peng Liu and Qiugu Wang and the former Iowa State undergraduate Mingda Yang.Meta-materials are manmade materials which tend to have the potentials greater than the sum of their single components.

The meta-skin takes its name from meta-materials that are composites having properties which are not found in nature and can manipulate electromagnetic waves. They came up with rows of split ring resonators that were embedded in layers of silicone sheets and the electric resonators were filled with galinstan, a metal alloy which is liquid at room temperature with less toxic than the other liquid metals like mercury.

These resonators are small rings having an outer radius of 2.5 millimetres with a thickness of half a millimetre and have a 1 millimetre gap. This is required to create a small curved segment of liquid wire.The rings tend to create electric inductors while the gap creates electric capacitors.

Meta-material – Low Toxicity- Used Commercially

Together they tend to create a resonator which can trap and suppress specific radar waves at a particular frequency, according to the university, on stretching and flexing the polymer meta-skin, the same can be tuned in reducing the reflection of an extensive range of radar frequencies.

The engineers have created their meta-material after embedding rows of minute split-ring resonators within silicone sheets and these resonators comprise of liquid metal alloy galinstan that is gallium, indium and tin. It is used commercially having low toxicity when compared to the other liquid metals.

The meta-material when tested by the team on wrapping it round a dielectric cylindrical rod at various angles, it was observed that it did well and reached a radar suppression of around 75% in the 8 to 10 gigahertz range.

As per the Physics Factbook, the band is utilised for civil marine radar, tracking radar, airborne weather avoidance radar system to detect mortar as well as artillery projectile and police speed meters. The team reported in the journal Scientific Reports that inspite of constant measurements, the meta-skin did not show any signs of exhaustion.

Meta-material – Next-Gen Stealth Aircraft

The engineers are of the belief that their stretchy meta-material would one day cover next-gen stealth aircraft. Dong mentioned in a university press release that the long term goal is to shrink the size of these devices and then they could do it with higher frequency electromagnetic waves like visible or infrared light – the visible light, the holy grail for cloaking materials.

The engineer mentioned in their paper that the present meta-skin technology would find several applications in electromagnetic frequency tuning, scattering suppression and shielding. Doug who has a background in fabricating micro and nanoscale devices has been working with liquids and polymers while Song has expertise in looking for new applications of electromagnetic waves. Working together, they expect to prove an idea that the electromagnetic waves, the shorter wavelengths of visible light could be curbed with flexible, tuneable liquid-metal technologies.

Wednesday 16 March 2016

Web Browser Introduces Built-in Ad-Blocker


Opera Presented Built-in Ad-blocking Feature

Opera, a software company has presented a built-in ad-blocking feature in its internet browser that would enable users to surf the web without viewing ads that would be depriving websites of its revenue. The software company had announced the feature recently stating that the tool would enable users the option of choosing to block ads from a particular website or not, at the time of browsing the internet. The company also states that utilising the ad blocker on its browsers would load web pages 90% quicker than using Internet Explorer and 45% faster than using Google Chrome with ad-blocker extension.

According to web analytics service StatCounter, about 5% of the internet browsing is done by using Opera. Google Chrome in comparison seems to be the most used browser with 45% of action. The company had explained in a blog post, the reasons for the introduction of the tool was to progress the consumer experience and send messages to advertisers that the internet ads seem to be too big and disturbing. Krystian Kolondra, senior vice president of global engineering for Opera had mentioned in a blog post that `presently bloated online ads use more download bandwidth causing webpages to load slowly, at time covering the content that one is trying to see or trying to trick into clicking `fake download buttons’.

NY Times Tested System due to Rising Response of Ad-Blocking

He added that another rising concern was privacy and tracking of online behaviour. Though ad-free browsing tends to be faster and much more convenient for web users, websites seem to end up paying a price.By default, ad-blocker is activated but when a page with adverts tends to get loaded, a pop-up seems to appear prompting if one would like to block ads and surf the web faster.

If the blocking is turned on, users will be able to view how much load time has been saved. They could also add some sites to an exception list enabling adverts to run if they choose to support. As per a report by PageFair and Adobe, ad-blocking charge digital publishers an estimated $22 billion by way of revenue in 2015 with about 198 million people all over the world utilising the software. Due to the rising response of ad-blocking, the New York Times had started testing a system recently which identified visitors to the news site utilising ad-blocker, asking them to buy a subscription or whitelist the site.

Opera had followed Samsung and mobile phone Company `Three’ in employing ad-blocking services. Earlier, users had to download and install ad-blocking software. As per Eleni Marouli, senior analysts at HIS Technology, a trend of telecom companies are attempting to be included in the mobile advertising ecosystem.Marouli mentioned in a report that `Telcos have traditionally been just data `pipes’ that provided the infrastructure for mobile internet and hence mobile advertising.

They had attempted to monetise content through advertising but had made little progress in claiming significant market share’. She further added that the ad blocking announcement by `Three’ had been a pleas to companies such as Facebook and Google to include Three and other mobile operators in the mobile advertising value chain. The feature is said to be available in the latest version of the developer browser and if the test tends to be successful, it would make it to the regular version.

Incredible 'Cobra' Skyscraper Concept Unveiled


Unbelievable Unusual Building - `Asian Cobra Tower’

The development of skyscrapers seem to be getting more creative, taller and amazing with enhancement in its construction and if Russian and futuristic Vasily Klyukin tends to get his way we will find more appealing structures coming up. Klyukin has released a concept design which portrays an unbelievable unusual building which has been dubbed `Asian Cobra Tower’.

According to Klyukin’s website, the structure would comprise of offices or apartments and though the precise size of the concept building in not disclosed, the website has stated that the snake’s open jaws would serve as a restaurant or nightclub which would overlook the city. As per Klyukin, the lights of the building would tend to change colours just the way a snake would shed its skin. In widely accepted folklore and local legends, snakes are generally seen as symbols of protection, wisdom and eternal life.

 Klyukin has mentioned on his website that `snakes and dragons are guardians of threshold, temples, treasure, esoteric knowledge and all lunar gods’. He adds that the diamond shaped pattern towards the back of the snake is the symbol of Yang and Yin, duality as well as reunification of the Sun and the Moon, male and female principles, conciliation of opposites and androgyny.

Designing Legends – Book of 50 Concept Building

The other concept designs by Klyukin, the author of the novel `Collective Mind’ comprises of a woman-shaped skyscraper called `Venus’ and a massive jaguar shaped building. Klyukin seems to have a skill of dreaming up out-of-this-world skyscraper designs and in 2014, the former banker and billionaire had released Designing Legends, which is a book of 50 concept building including a rocket shaped skyscraper together with a tower modelled after the Venus de Milo sculpture.

 His recent design is a futuristic structure which tends to rise from a circular base and steadily widening to a cobra head shaped pinnacle which is complete with red eyes accompanied with a fanged scorn. The open jaws could be utilised as a terraced restaurants or a nightclub and the vipers’ body could be housing the offices or residential units. The concept art portrays the tower lighting up in various colours at night from red to gold to electric blue. Klyukin envisages the skyscraper going up in bigger city in the Eastern area of the world since most of his creativeness has been drawn from the culture of the region.

Skyscrapers – Command Style of Business Regions

He is of the belief that his snake tower would enhance any city in the eastern world since they are seen as a sign of wisdom. Included in the designs for the black and gold snake are changeable lights which tend to go up the structure as well as a diamond pattern on the back to back reflecting Ying and Yang. Vasily states that these buildings upsurge proudly in columns viewing the cities or stand alone in the landscape. Skyscrapers tend to draw our attention and may inspire some or irritate others.

The rising towers seem to change the cityscapes across the world and have been the clearest reflection of cultural as well as economic progress in the 20th century. Skyscrapers also command the style of business regions as well as the entire cities. Fascinated tourist would view this huge cobra, with its jaws serving a terrace as a dining area of a nightclub with offices and apartment placed in its body.

Adobe Chief- Mobile a Huge Positive for Us

Chief executive of Adobe System informed CNBC that the shift from personal computers to smartphones and tablets has been a big positive for the company. Though the company tends to attract an excess of photographers, illustrators, videographers and animators, Adobe has been well known for its image editing software, Photoshop as well as for introducing the portable document form – PDF that has been an internationally accepted medium of sharing electronic documents. Photoshop together with the other provisions from the California-based company is also available on Apple’s iOS as well as Google’s Android systems.

In an interview with `Squawk Box’ of CNBC, the CEO of Adobe, Shantanu Narayen had commented that the whole mobility phenomenon is a tailwind for their business. Being in the front of the pack in mobile setting together with millions of applications available as well as new one created daily, could be a tall order. The image editing offerings of Adobe, like Photoshop and Lightroom tends to compete with hundreds of other identical applications on iOS and Android operating system, comprising of Instagram, VSCO and Camera360. News site CNET and RBC Capital Markets had carried out a non-scientific survey and had observed that Adobe’s PC-based users were not always quick in adopting its mobile apps.

Adobe’s Creative Cloud – Collection of Multimedia Software

The data release last month indicated that among the respondents who had subscribed to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, 43% do not tend to utilise any of the mobile apps of Adobe. CNET had mentioned in a report that only around one in four seem to use the Photoshop Fix app to touch images and one in five seems to use the Photoshop Mix app for combining photos. Adobe’s Creative Cloud is said to a collection of multimedia software which is available for download through the internet on the basis of subscription. However, Narayen stated that the survey findings were more nuanced. He commented that he was of the belief that there is the half empty, half full scenario there. The half full scenario is that the number of people who have now downloaded the application and are using it as part of the workflow over the last year and a half, has absolutely exploded.

Photoshop Fix/Photoshop Mix – De-Facto Standard

He further added that for anyone who would prefer to do a serious content creation there is still the only game in town. Lightroom Mobile products which the survey spoke about together with Photoshop Fix and Photoshop Mix were rapidly becoming the de-facto standard for high-end image editing. Narayen had estimated around 60 million downloads for Adobe’s mobile apps in the iOS and Android ecosystems.

He had stated that another area of growth for Adobe was in its marketing cloud business which is a sequence of internet-based software for the marketers. He mentioned that every individual business needs to have a digital experience which they could then provide to their customers, irrespective of being in hospitality or financial service. He added that the market cloud business enables to deliver those experiences.

Monday 14 March 2016

Skyscrapers of the Future Will be Held Together With Glue


Glue – Future of Architecture

Geoff Manaugh, the monthly column of New Urbanist tends to explore how technology and design seem to change our cities, home, the built environment as well as ourselves. Glue seems to be the future of architecture and that is how architect Greg Lynn tends to see it. He does not seem to be alone in this belief. Lynn states that `mechanical assembly has already been fading in several industries and an airplane is now glued together as well as a car.

With lot of appliances now being glued together, so why not the skyscrapers? Non-metallic composites like carbon fibre, fiberglass panels together with other structural plastics seems to be lightweight and are usually cheaper than traditional materials offering physically stronger systems for the designers to work on.

Composite materials are more like rigid fabrics and sticking them together would result in building-sized components which could at times be set hard in a few seconds, based on the adhesives utilised. Composite materials have been in use already in making of wind turbine blades, high-performance yachts, and large passenger aircraft like the Boeing’s carbon fibre Dreamliner and also commercial spacecraft like SpaceShipOne.

Connective Strength of Architectural Adhesives – Amazing

Architect Bill Kreysler who started his career making composite sailboat though later moved on to designing structures like family homes and art museums, states that these are fundamentally different material systems. His firm had recently worked on modular exterior panels for the development of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art that is presently one of the prevalent composite-based building porticos in United States.

Kreysler comments that the connective strength of architectural adhesives could be amazing, surpassing that of mechanical connections like screws and bolts. However, composites are not comprehended adequately in the building industry.

 The invisible magic of glue is not trusted in favour of brute force resulting in them not being adopted extensively. Moreover while assembling a structure using carbon fibre panels, contractors tend to continue using screws, rivets or bolt which is redundant as well as expensive. Glue would seem to be stronger than a bolt particularly while standing up to total forces.

Composites/Adhesives – Transform Engineering/Design around Natural Disaster

There are already successful building projects which tend to use these techniques like the Bridge in a Backpack project from University of Maine that has been exploring the construction of lightweight bridges. It has been made from carbon fibre tubes with individual arches that tend to weigh so little that they can be carried by four persons and these road bridges can be assembled in less than a couple of weeks. Around 18 have already been built in the US.

Lynn is of the opinion that very soon we would see skyscrapers held together completely by adhesives. Lynn states that the use of composites as well as adhesives would transform engineering in each building and could change the way we seem to design around natural disaster. By severely reducing the weight of a building, one could stop it from swaying much at the time of an earthquake.

Lynn informs that lighter buildings also seem to be cheaper and if one takes 30% of the weight out of the upper area of a building by using lightweight composite materials, one would save between 70 to 80% of the material in the entire structure.