Friday, 19 August 2011

Data Miming – Computers understand hand-waving

Explaining an object is pretty easy when we use our hands.
For mankind, it's not at all difficult to make out what is meant, but processors struggle. Though the gesture-based interfaces exist, these use only set movements that translate into particular instructions. A new system named Data Miming has been developed which can recognize physical objects from gestures without the user needing to memorize a "vocabulary" of specific movements.
"Starting from the observation that humans can effortlessly understand which objects are being described when hand motions are used, we asked why computers can't do the same thing," says Christian Holz of the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany who developed the system with Andy Wilson at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington.
Data Miming uses a Microsoft Kinect motion-capture camera to create a 3D representation of a user's hand movements. Voxels, or pixels in three dimensions, are activated when users pass their hands through the space represented by each voxel. And when a user encircles their fingers to indicate a table leg, say, the system can also identify that all of the enclosed space should be included in the representation. It then compares user-generated representations with a database of objects in voxel form and selects the closest match.
Watch the video at YouTube which might give you a better picture:

Friday, 5 August 2011

iPhone - Convert into a Universal Remote Control

 Here is good news for people who are too lazy to pick up the TV remote to change the channel.
A Berlin-based company has developed a new gadget that converts your iPhone into a universal TV controller, which works on all major models of television. The VooMote One is a sleeve that fits over your mobile and allows you to choose your programme or flip between functions - and make calls too.

You can control dozens of gadgets, ranging from your DVR to your computer or high-end digital camera. Some of the coolest apps in Apple's (AAPL) iPhone App Store are widgets that let you use your iPhone or iPod touch as a remote control. The best news: Many remote control apps are free, and most are a few bucks or less.

There are also the volume controls, which one would normally associate with a TV remote.
According to the manufacturer, the device works with wireless technology and captures more than 30,000 infrared cords and thousands of electronic devices.
In total, it is compatible with "574 TV brands, 995 Top Box/DVR brands, and 151 audio and CD brands" with a list of codes that is regularly being updated.
There are many electronic appliances which can be controlled.
Free apps from DirecTV and AT&T let you program your digital video recorder from anywhere. You can search and change the song playing on your computer's iTunes jukebox from bed, across the house, or even outside. Or change volume settings, or hit pause, etc. Apple's $0.99 Keynote remote lets you control Keynote presentations if you own the iWork suite. Other apps, like Evan Schoenberg's $0.99 Rowmote can steer PowerPoint slides.
Sort of like how Nintendo's DS has a touch-sensitive second screen that often controls what's happening on the first screen, this will let you control and observe some of your flight simulator's features -- on your computer -- using the iPhone as a smaller, second screen.
Requires the $4.99 X-Plane Remote app and the $39 desktop X-Plane software.
Home automation apps like the $4.99 iHome remote for the Indigo server let you adjust your home lighting from anywhere.

What more you need? Will you believe if some cool Apps can be used even to find if you are tanked??

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Tips And Tricks - English (Part-1)

See some areas in English Grammar which often confuse most of us!

1.      “If I was” or “If I were”?
Wrong: If I was an elephant, I would give you a ride.                               
Correct: If I were an elephant, I would give you a ride.                             

Wrong: If I were rude, I apologize.
 Correct: If I was rude, I apologize.

If I were” is more for situations when you are imagining things, usually followed by a sentence on what you would do in that situation whereas, “If I was” is more for things that could have happened in the past or now.

Here is another example of the differences between “If .. were” and “If .. was”.

If she was hard working, she would be a famous singer by now. <– I’ve only met her once and all I know is she wants to be a famous singer.
If she were hard working, she would be a famous singer by now. <– I know her very well; she wants to be a famous singer but she’s very lazy.

2.     Lie down, don’t lie to me, and birds lay eggs
These 3 words are perhaps the most confusing. Lie has two completely different meanings. The first meaning is to rest in a horizontal position. The second is to bear false witness. Lay means to put into a position of rest or bring forth eggs.

Here are the tenses of the words:

Lie down                       – lie, lay, lain.
Don’t lie to me              – Lie, lied, lied.
Lay eggs                       – lay, laid, laid.

That’s why they are confusing! They sound similar and you can easily have them mixed up! Here are some examples of common mistakes when using those words.

Wrong: I have lied on the grass all morning.                                           
Correct: I have lain on the grass all morning.

Wrong: I laid on the couch.
Correct: I lay on the couch.

So, here are three things to remember when you’re not sure how to use those words:

Remember that lie (as in don’t lie) and lay are regular verbs, which mean they add the usual suffix “-d” to form the past tense (lied, laid). Their past participles (have lied, have laid) are the same.

Remember that the word lie (as in lie down) is the most complicated; an irregular verb; doesn’t use “-d”; past tense is lay, and past participle is lain.

Remember that the word lay is the only transitive verb – You can’t “lay” on the bed; you must lay something. You can lay yourself on the bed, though.

3.     Take and bring
Though these seems to be simple, probably one of the most confusing confusions in grammar!

Whether to use bring or take all depends on the perspective. You use take when the item is going away from the perspective and bring when the item is coming to the perspective.

For example, you and your friend are going to a place. You might ask your friend, “Are you going to bring your cell phone?”
If you’re not going but your friend is, you might ask your friend, “Are you going to take your cell phone?”

But still, it can be confusing. So, use substitutes instead. “Are you going to carry your cell phone with you?”  Problem solved.

Watch this space for more tips…

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Cloud Computing Demystified

The Cloud is the image for the Internet network diagram. Cloud computing is not a new technology but a new concept which merges a platform of applications. The concept runs on the Internet thereby providing applications to the users without the need of physical software or complex infrastructure.

Cloud computing refers to abstracting away physical servers, storage, and networking and instead offering these as on-demand and elastic resources. An API is typically exposed to provide programmatic control over these resources. Traditionally, without a cloud, a web server runs as a single computer or a group of privately owned computers. The computer(s) are powerful enough to serve a given amount of requests per minute and can do so with a certain amount of latency per request. If the computer's website or web application suddenly becomes more popular, and the amount of requests are far more than the web server can handle, the response time of the requested pages will be increased due to overloading. On the other hand, in times of low load much of the capacity will go unused.

Cloud computing can be classified to several viz. Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service.

Cloud computing services are emerging technologies that provide both businesses and individuals many benefits such as lowered costs and ease of accessibility. But have also come with issues such as legal and security risks.

The name Cloud computing was inspired by the Cloud symbol that's often used to represent the Internet in flow charts and diagrams. The underlying concept of Cloud computing dates back to 1960 when John McCarthy (an American computer scientist) opined that, "computation may someday be organized as a public utility.”

An Emerging Business model
There is a high flexibility that comes with implementing infrastructure as a service. A company can increase or decrease how much space it rents on the Cloud as its utilization pattern varies. During peak periods, such as release dates, the companies can rent more bandwidth to accommodate the demand and then lower it during the low usage periods.

Recent studies conducted by IBM shows, only 3% of energy consumed by a data center is used for computation; therefore IBM has implemented energy efficient policies to successfully apply the economies of scale principle to increase server utilization and decrease energy costs by up to 40%. This is increasingly important as the energy costs continue to rise and hardware costs drop. Finally, moving the infrastructure to the Cloud allows companies to drastically downsize their IT departments and focus their resources on running their core business.

For more info and details Refer: Cloud Computing  PDF FIle

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Xerox Business of Your Brain

 Xerox Corporation launched a free desktop application that lifts the curtain on your inbox and your brain. The ‘Business of Your Brain’ desktop application analyzes emails and calendar notices to identify those distractions that take the focus away from their real business.

 The Microsoft Windows desktop app securely creates data from a user’s Microsoft Outlook account. Through interactive visuals, it outlines by day, week and month the activities, people, events and vocabulary that fill a user’s inbox. The free Microsoft Outlook plug-in lets you know who's dashing in the most exclamation marks and buzzwords per email, who sends the longest messages, and which senders are wasting your time with emails that just say "thank you."

Aim:  to help to find the distractions that get in your way of focusing on real business.


Meeting Buddy: show up to the office today dressed just like a colleague? Could be because he is the person with whom you have the most meetings.

Quickest to Panic: find out who sends the most emails flagged with the high alert exclamation point.  

Focus Drainer: what are the latest buzzwords in your email subject lines? Your Focus Drainer results will clue you in.

Motor Mouth vs. Many Thanks: we all have a few contacts notorious for their lengthy emails; find out who takes the prize in your inbox. On the flip side, you’ll also see who most frequently adds to your email count with reply all “thanks” notes.  

Most Ignored:  delete emails without reading? Business of Your Brain will tell you who you’re most likely to ignore.

System requirements

·         Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7
·         Microsoft Outlook 2003 or later

Friday, 22 July 2011

Access Face Book on Mobile with no internet

Access Face book on Mobile with no internet

Singapore based software applications developer ‘U2opia Mobile’ has developed a new application for mobile phones that will allow users to access Face book on all types of handsets without paying for a data connection.

The working principle and USSD Technology

USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Data) technology will enable users to access Face book without having a GPRS connection on their phones. This is used by telecom players to send alerts to their users that inform them about their balance at the end of a call or for sending missed call alerts.

USSD is a session-based communication. It has significantly faster response times, and is more suited for content-based and interactive applications. It functions somewhat like a menu-based browser. The technology is unique to GSM, and is a built-in way to transmit data over signal channels.

The technology will not provide access to graphics but it will help users send and view updates on their friends' Face book walls. It is like SMS and hence, the load on the network is negligible. There are build-in commands through which a user can receive alerts on activity happening on his wall as well post an update.


U2opia launched this application on May 17th with Indian telecom major Bharti Airtel.
 Airtel customers can update their Face book status through this USSD service free of cost, Re.1 per day
will be applicable for accessing the full-feature application, which enables viewing news feeds, commenting on or ‘liking' news feed stories, posting on friends' walls, confirming friend requests,
viewing notifications and finding and adding friends.

As per the statement, “Airtel users can dial *325# and *fbk# for non-qwerty mobile handsets to access  Facebook without subscribing to data plans”

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Universal Charger - Qi

 Keeping all your handy digital devices jazzed up is quite a challenge due to incompatible chargers and messy cables. How about using a universal charger which charges up all your devices wirelessly?  If your answer is "Yes", then we have Qi (pronounced Chi) to your help.
Qi which literally means "Lifeforce" or ‘Energy Flow’ in Chinese, is an open standard like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi which enables portable digital devices like mobiles, mp3 players, cameras etc.. to be charged wirelessly. The Qi standard is being developed and followed by "World Power Consortium", which has around 90 members including companies like Nokia, LG, Sony etc..

This standard was released in July 2010. The Qi standard makes use of a technology called "Inductive charging". Though this technology has been effectively implemented in various devices, Qi was proposed to bring interoperability among otherwise incompatible devices.

The working principle
Inductive charging uses electromagnetic fields to transfer energy from a charging pad to a compatible special receiver on or in a device. The power transfer happens when the charging pad is connected to the AC wall outlet and a compatible receiver is placed on the surface of the pad.

Enabling ‘Qi’ on devices
Any device can be made Qi-enabled by using appropriate add-ons.  Add-ons are already available for popular devices like iPhone and Blackberry. Manufacturers like LG and Motorola have announced mobile phones which are Qi-enabled.

The cons
Qi standard currently supports only low power devices which operate in sub 5Watt power. However a new standard which supports devices like Laptops and Video cameras is under development.

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