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Micromax launches Android 4 powered superfone Pixel A90    Back to Top
Aug 24: Micromax Launches Superphone PIXEL A90, a 4.3 inch Super AMOLED Screen Phone powered by Android 4.0 (Icecream Sandwitch).

Micromax Superfone Pixel A90 Overview
Pixel by pixel, color to color - Live your life in excitingMicromax A90 Superphone Pixel HD with its Super AMOLED screen! Powered by the next generation Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and the 1GHZ Powercore processor, the Micromax A90 lets you live every moments in true High Definition. Capture your favorite memories with its High Definition 8MP camera & relive them in life like clarity!

Specifications:
Android 4.0 OS
1GHZ Processor
512 RAM
11cm Amoled Screen
8MP CMOS Camera
Internal Memory:
Card SlotmicroSD, up to 32 GB
Camera: Primary 8 MP Camera with Flash
Video: Yes, Secondary 0.3 MP Camera
Price: Rs. 12,990

This is a high quality power packed mobile smartphone from Micromax and is for sure will give a tough competition to Samsung with price tag at half the price that of similar Samsung phones.

Micromax also launched Android 4 Funbook Pro Tablet and Superfone A100.

Intel, with Lava, Launched the XOLO X900, the first smartphone with Intel inside.    Back to Top
Xolo X900 Smartphone April 20: Superior Intel technology and Lava’s innovation come together to bring you the new XOLO X900, the first smartphone with Intel Inside®. Experience fast web browsing with the 1.6 GHz Intel processor. Based on Intel patented Hyper Threading technology this processor also enables smooth multi-tasking with optimum battery usage. A 4.03” hi-resolution LCD screen, dedicated HDMI output, full HD 1080p playback and dual speakers ensure an unmatched multimedia experience. Click upto 10 photos in less than a second on the 8MP HD camera which boasts of certain DSLR like features. With XOLO X900’s 400 MHz Graphics Processing Unit, 3D and HD gaming turn immersively realistic. Everything you have always wanted, and more, now comes in a blink into your pocket.

Price of Lava XOLO X900 Smartphone is around 20,000 INR.

Micromax unveils Funbook Android Ice Cream Sandwich Tablet    Back to Top
Micromax Funbook TabletApril 04: Indian manufacturer Micromax has announced the launch of Android 4.0 powered Funbook today. Running on a 1.2GHz processor, this tablet will be sold for Rs. 6,499 in the country.

Indian tablet market is increasingly getting more and more competitive. Just a day after HCL showcased Me Tab U1, Micromax's Funbook has landed in the country. It features 7-inch capacitive display, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB Internal storage. Funbook also supports 3G connectivity via USB dongle and Micromax is bundling a Tata Photon EVDO datacard with the tablet.

Among other features, Micromax Funbook will come with pre-loaded e-learning app that will have host of educational content from Pearson, Everon, GK Publishers, Scholarshub, Vidyalankar, Universal Tutorials, CAPS and Zion.

Key Specifications

OS: Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
1.2GHz Cortex-A8 single core processor
7-inch Capacitive Touch Screen Display with 800 x 480 Pixels Resolution
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
512MB RAM
Mini-HDMI
2800 mAh battery
Mini USB B Type port for pen drives and 3G Dongle
Tata Photon + Data Card included


courtesy: technixmedia(Youtube)

Worm steals 45,000 Facebook login credentials, infects friends    Back to Top
facebook hackedJan 06, Vizag: A worm previously used to commit financial fraud is now stealing Facebook login credentials, compromising at least 45,000 Facebook accounts with the goals of transmitting malicious links to victims' friends and gaining remote access to corporate networks.

The security company Seculert has been tracking the progress of Ramnit, a worm first discovered in April 2010, and described by Microsoft as "multi-component malware that infects Windows executable files, Microsoft Office files and HTML files" in order to steal "sensitive information such as saved FTP credentials and browser cookies." Ramnit has previously been used to "bypass two-factor authentication and transaction signing systems, gain remote access to financial institutions, compromise online banking sessions and penetrate several corporate networks," Seculert says.

Recently, Seculert set up a sinkhole and discovered that 800,000 machines were infected between September and December. Moreover, Seculert found that more than 45,000 Facebook login credentials, mostly in the UK and France, were stolen by a new variant of the worm.

"We suspect that the attackers behind Ramnit are using the stolen credentials to log-in to victims' Facebook accounts and to transmit malicious links to their friends, thereby magnifying the malware's spread even further," Seculert said. "In addition, cybercriminals are taking advantage of the fact that users tend to use the same password in various web-based services (Facebook, Gmail, Corporate SSL VPN, Outlook Web Access, etc.) to gain remote access to corporate networks."

Facebook fraud, of course, is nothing new. Facebook itself has acknowledged seeing 600,000 compromised logins each day, although that accounts for just 0.06 percent of the 1 billion daily Facebook logins each day. (inputs by ars Technia)

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Father of "C" Programming Language Dennis Ritchie dies    Back to Top
Dennis RitchieOct 14: This sad news came to light little late, The Creator of pioneering "C" programming language, American Computer Scientist Dr. Dennis Ritchie died on 12th October aged 70 at his home in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey where he lived alone.

The cause and exact time of death have not been disclosed, He had been in frail health for several years following treatment for prostate cancer and heart disease.

His death, which came a week after the death of Steve Jobs, did not receive as much media coverage.

"C" which is often called as mother of all programming languages was created by Dennis Ritchie.

Dr Dennis Ritchie was also one of the creators of the hugely influential Unix operating system at Bell Labs during the 1960s and 70s. He along with Ken Thompson, Brian Kernighan, Douglas McIlroy, and Joe Ossanna created UNIX.

Ritchie was also commonly known by his username dmr

He received the Turing Award from the ACM in 1983, the Hamming Medal from the IEEE in 1990 and the National Medal of Technology from President Clinton in 1999. Ritchie was the head of Lucent Technologies System Software Research Department when he retired in 2007.

The first news of Dr Ritchie's death came via Rob Pike, a former colleague who worked with him at Bell Labs. Mr Ritchie's passing was then confirmed in a statement from Alcatel Lucent which now owns Bell Labs.

Jeong Kim, president of Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, said Dr Ritchie would be "greatly missed".

"He was truly an inspiration to all of us, not just for his many accomplishments, but because of who he was as a friend, an inventor, and a humble and gracious man," said Mr Kim.

#include

int main()
{
   printf("goodbye, dad. A Great Loss to Computing World\n");
   return 0;
}

HCL Launched its Seven-Inch Tablet X1, priced at Rs 10,490    Back to Top
HCL Tab X1Oct 14, Vizag: HCL Infosystems launched its seven-inch tablet X1, priced at Rs 10,490, in the Indian market on Thursday. It has a 7 inch capacitive touchscreen with 800x480 pixel resolution and has a 3500 mAH battery.

Bollywood actor Abay Deol lauched the tablet yesterday.

HCL Infosystems which launched its seven-inch tablet X1, priced at Rs 10,490, in the Indian market on Thursday in coming days will come bundled with Tata Photon data card.

The new ME tablet —X1, runs on the Android 2.3 operating system (OS), features Cortex A8 1 GHz processor, 512 MB storage capacity with internal memory of 4 GB (expandable upto 32 GB), a 2 megapixel front camera and supports full HD video and Flash.

HCL ME X1 has a 7 inch capacitive touchscreen with 800x480 pixel resolution. Apart from that it has a 3500 mAH battery and comes with option of data connectivity through USB dongles.

On the application front, the X1 comes pre-loaded with over 34 applications like Cleartrip.com, Wink ebookstore and Hungama, along with access to ME App store. However, the Android market does not come pre-installed with the device.

Also, consumers who buy HCL Me X1 tablet will get travel voucher worth Rs 2500 from Cleartrip; one month free subscription of Hungama where users can download and play music, videos and ringtones; and Rs 3000 discount on books or magazines that are downloaded from the Winkstore.

7 inch Android 2.2 Tablet at an Unbeatable Price of Rs. 2999    Back to Top
Aakash Android Tablet PCOct 07: Aakash Ubislate Netbook is manufactured by Datawind Ltd., which is a leading developer of wireless web access products and services.

Aakash Ubislate, the 7" Android 2.2 Tablet at an Unbeatable Price of Rs. 2999 will be available to public from November.

Features of this Tab are:
Unbeatable Price:
Only Rs.2,999 for the UbiSlate
Monthly internet charges: Rs.98 / 2GB
High Quality Web Anytime & Anywhere:
Connect via GPRS or WiFi
GPRS: Embedded modem eliminates the need for external dongles and allows Internet access everywhere
WiFi: Allows fast Youtube videos at hotspots
Fast web access even on GPRS networks, across the country using DataWind's patented acceleration technology
Web, Email, Facebook, Twitter and much much more!
Multimedia Powerhouse:
HD Quality Video
Watching movies in the palm of your hand on a 7" screen
Audio library software helps manage your full collection of songs
Applications Galore with Android 2.2:
Games
Productivity software: Office suite
Educational software
Over 150,000 apps!
Full sized-USB port & Micro-SD slot:
Expand memory to 32GB
Use any ordinary pen-drive
Even plug-in a 3G dongle
And It's a Phone!

It is for sure that this new Ubislate will flood Indian homes due to its affordable price tag and features rich applications.

Google Says India Internet Users to Triple by 2014    Back to Top
Sep 17, Vizag: Google expects India’s Internet users to triple by 2014 as telecom carriers invest in high-speed wireless infrastructure and smartphones become cheaper, a report said Friday.

Google’s country head in India, Rajan Anandan, told the Wall Street Journal that the company forecasts India will reach at least 300 million Internet users by 2014, up from about 100 million now.

With just eight percent of its 1.2-billion population online, India is already the third-largest Internet market by users, behind China and the United States.

“Despite a lot of the infrastructure challenges we have as a country, 100 million Indians are online,” Anandan, a former Microsoft executive who took over Google’s India operations in March, told the newspaper. “They’re spending a huge amount of time online and they’re doing a varied set of things online.”

Indian online ad spending is only about $200 million per year — a small fraction of the $80 billion global digital advertising industry.

E-commerce like airline and movie ticket sales generate about $5 billion in revenue in India compared to a massive $80 billion in neighbouring China, the newspaper said.

Anandan said he expected the next 200 million Indian web users to mainly access the Internet on the high-speed wireless networks that carriers are in the process of rolling out countrywide. But for India to increase Internet use it is also crucial that mobile handset makers bring out smartphones at prices which India’s masses can afford, he said. (LiveMint)

This Could Be What Apple's iPhone 5 Looks Like    Back to Top
Apple iPhone5Sep 10: Friends, here is the leaked design of much hyped iPhone 5. The final dimensions of the new design are calculated to be: 4.33" x 2.36" and .27" thickness at the top and .21" at the bottom.

In comparison, the iPhone 4 dimensions are: 4.5" x 2.31" x .37". So the new design is actually shorter than the existing iPhone 4, but slightly wider and thinner.

Assuming the leaked case designs are accurate, the iPhone 5 should be close in appearance to these renderings. The iPhone 5 is expected to be released in September or October of this year

Five Freeware Favorites for Windows    Back to Top
Aug, 22 (CNET) : These are the best 5 freeware favorites for windows, named the best by CNET . Let's check out what they are:

1. Fences Best. Program. Ever. This fantastic utility corrals your desktop icons into customizable groups--little windows for Windows--thus keeping everything neat and orderly. Once you start using it, you'll wonder how you worked without it for so long--and why Microsoft didn't build it into Windows 7.

2. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware This is my go-to rescue tool for systems that have suffered malware infections. Just the other day I used it to clean a neighbor's Trojan-riddled laptop. Just drop it on your flash drive, then run it as needed. I've yet to encounter a bit of malware it couldn't send back to hell.

3. SoftMaker Office 2008 Two things I especially like about this Microsoft Office alternative: it's fast (unlike some suites I could name), and it used to cost money. See, once SoftMaker moved on to Office 2010, it started giving away the 2008 version free of charge. How awesome is that! Makes me think seriously about paying for the upgrade.

4. TeamViewer I love a good screen-sharing tool, especially one that offers a remote-control option for remote tech support. It doesn't matter if you're the helper or the helpee--remote control is a million times easier than trying to troubleshoot over the phone. TeamViewer lets you share desktops and connect to remote PCs. Even its Android and iOS companion apps are free.

5. WizMouse Not to put too fine a point on it, but I can no longer use a Windows PC that doesn't have WizMouse installed. Its purpose: to make your mouse wheel work wherever your mouse is pointed. Windows should do that automatically, but until it does, this utility works wonders.

Cutting CO2 levels by 2100 necessary for Survival    Back to Top
Washington, Aug 8 (IANS): By 2100, the world will have to use every available means to cut down emissions for survival -- just to limit carbon dioxide (CO2) levels to less than 40 percent higher of what they are today, researchers say.

The options include using more nuclear and renewable energy, choosing electricity over fossil fuels, minimising emissions through carbon capture technologies, even using forests to store carbon.

Five years ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) asked the climate science community to provide scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions and land use change to guide computer models that simulate potential changes to Earth's climate.

Researchers from the Joint Global Change Research Institute (JGCRI) introduced the work, called the RCP 4.5 scenario, one of four scenarios that scientists will use worldwide to study how climate might respond to different increases of greenhouse gases.

'Without any action, the emissions, and the heat trapped in the atmosphere, would be much higher, leading to more severe climate change,' said Allison Thomson, a scientist at JGCRI, reports the journal Climatic Change.

JGCRI is a collaboration between the US Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL) in Washington and the University of Maryland, according to JGCRI statement.

The team used the PNNL Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM) to generate the scenario. Unlike similar models, it includes carbon stored in forests, causing forest acreage to increase, including biofuels generated from crops and crop waste.

'This scenario and the other three produced in this project will provide a common thread for climate change research across many different science communities,' Thomson added.

All New MeeGo N9 from Nokia    Back to Top
Nokia N9June 23: The Finnish Mobile giant Nokia has launched its latest MeeGo Phone Nokia N9

While the world is waiting for Nokia’s first smart phone with the Windows Phone operating system, Nokia launched a smart phone called Nokia N9, which is running MeeGo, instead.

Nokia N9 has a screen of 3.9 inches, which covers most of the front. The phone has an 8 megapixel camera and has either 16 GB or 64 GB of space. The design of the N9 will be used for future Nokia phones, said Stephen Elop during the Singapore conference.

The new The swipe feature is one of the best features even better and easier to use, so you can get straight to the important things. Nokia replaced home key with this all new swipe technology.

This Phone is really amazing gadget for all gadget lovers. Find more info at Nokia Official Site.

Personalised tablets to aid IIT and IIM students    Back to Top
galaxy tabletMay 21, Vizag: While modern gadgets and newer tech are constantly being introduced into present day classrooms to make learning fun, for Gen Y, tablets are the new "in" thing.

Personalised tablets are now being used by students not merely for social networking but also to gain entry into the IITs, IIMs and other business schools both inside the country and overseas.

Taking a cue from tech-savvy youth, various companies in the education sector are also now coming up with innovative technology-based products to aid students preparing for various competitive exams.

According to market estimates the test preparatory market in India is expected to reach $3 billion mark by 2013. The latest to enter the fray is iProf whose tablet priced at Rs 8,000 and equipped with with audio-visual content, aims at aiding students unable to attend classroom course to prepare for high-stake admissions exams such as CAT, GMAT and IIT/JEE.

The one-year old firm has recently secured investments worth Rs. 22 crores from private equity firms like Norwest Venture Partners and IDG Ventures India.

"It gives me immense pleasure to associate with Kaplan, the world leader in test preparation. From now on a student living in Patiala or Patna will have equal opportunity to prepare for admissions into Harvard or Stanford as one living in Mumbai or Manhattan", said company founder and CEO Sanjay Purohit.

The company's model has generated interest from the world leader in test preparatory market Kaplan.

Kaplan, which generates $2 billion as revenue annually, has joined hands with iProf to provide content for the students aspiring to crack GMAT, which is mandatory to secure admission in MBA courses abroad, especially in the US.

Around 25 million students appear for various admission tests annually in the country but the higher education is often effected by lack of strong teachers, limited classroom programs in tier two and tier three cities and the high price of classroom coaching for professional engineering or management courses, say industry experts.

Speaking about the viability of the e-learning solutions Norwest Venture Partners India's Executive Director Mohan Kumar says, "The present generation is very tech-savvy unlike the previous generations. According to our estimates while 80 per cent of students study from books, five years hence 80 per cent will take to e-learning."

The world's largest Open University with an enrollment of more than 3.2 million students, IGNOU has also shown interest in the technology driven application as they have partnered with iProf to conduct diploma programmes for 75 of its courses on the personalised education tablet.

India PC market grew 6.2% in Jan-March qtr: Gartner    Back to Top
India PC and LaptopsMay 18: The overall personal computer (including desktop and mobile PC) market in India totalled nearly 2.6 million units in the first quarter of 2011, a 6.2% increase over the first quarter of 2010, said research firm Gartner.

"This growth was primarily driven by the mobile PC market which grew 23% in the first quarter of 2011," said Vishal Tripathi, principal research analyst at Gartner.

All the major multinational PC vendors experienced double-digit growth in mobile PC shipments in the first quarter of 2011. Multinational brands contributed more than half of the total PC shipments in the first quarter of 2011 with shipments from Acer, Dell, HP and Lenovo, the top four vendors, representing 50.4% of total shipments in the first quarter of 2011. Local vendor HCL accounted for 7.1 percent of PC shipments in the first quarter of 2011.

"There was a slump in consumer demand in the first quarter, so the market did not grow as expected. Enterprise and small and midsize business (SMB) buying helped the market to achieve growth in the quarter. Government buying also contributed, as it was the last quarter of the financial year," said Tripathi.

PC maker Dell led the market share with for the first quarter with 16.7%. Followed by HP with 12.1%. Acer and Lenovo were at third and fourth position with 11.9% and 9.7% respectively.

50th Anniversary of First Man in Space    Back to Top
Yuri GagarinApril 12: Yuri Gagarin, the man who, 50 years ago today, became the first to reach into the stars.

It was only once dawn broke on the icy steppe that the small, shivering crowd could clearly make out the grinning face of Yuri Gagarin. Fifty years, almost to the day, after the Soviet cosmonaut became the first human being to travel into space, an image from the day of the launch had been painted onto the hulking Soyuz rocket, which was being tugged across the plain by an ageing diesel train. As the rocket was winched into its launch position, the face swiveled upright. Alongside it was the word "Poyekali", or "Let's go", Gagarin's final statement before he was launched into history. In the West, memories of the Space Race are dominated by Neil Armstrong and Apollo. But in Russia, it is the cult of Gagarin that rules. Last Thursday, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited Gagarin's hometown near Moscow, and tonight he hosts a glittering party at the Kremlin. In Baikonur - the Russian space agency's launch station, now rented from the Kazakh government - there will be a star-studded reception, for which many former cosmonauts have been flown in from Moscow, and a concert in the city's main stadium.

According to Andrea Rose, a director of the British Council who is behind plans to erect a statue of Gagarin in London, this veneration is because Gagarin is "the one untarnished figure from the Soviet era". And partly, it is because of the historical nature of his accomplishment. "I truly believe on that day. humanity became a different species," says Ron Garan, a NASA astronaut and one of the crew of last Tuesday's Soyuz. "We were no longer confined to the boundaries of the earth."

In an interview with Andrea Rose, Gagarin's daughter Elena - who has traditionally been reluctant to discuss her father's achievements - reveals that he was so aware of the enormous risks involved that he lied to his wife. "When he was leaving for Baikonur," she says, "he told her what he was doing. But he didn't tell her the actual date. He told her the flight would take place a few days after the real date, so she wouldn't be worried." He also wrote a letter for his wife, "saying that it was likely he wouldn't return, because the flight was extremely dangerous, and that he wanted her not to remain on her own in that case. But he didn't give her the letter. She found it by chance among his things when he came back." It was not just his courage that made Gagarin the perfect hero. He came from humble origins - as Elena recalls, the family "were thrown out of their house by the Germans, and had to live in a dugout in the garden for three years. There was no food, and no possibility of studying." Once the Soviets recaptured the area, the schools reopened, "but life was tremendously difficult. They had almost nothing: there was no paper, for example - they had to hunt for bits of wood or scraps of paper from around the town to write on."

Perhaps it was this early deprivation that kindled Gagarin's love of learning: a brilliant and sensitive man, he had a lifelong passion for books and literature, and loved to recite poetry to his daughters. "He was also very interested in the engineering aspects of space flight and the construction of spaceships," she recalls, developing his own design for a fixed-wing space plane rather like the Space Shuttle. Sergei Korolev, the secret mastermind behind the Russian space programme, "thought he would have been one of the leading astrophysicists had he had the education and training". Gagarin was also wonderful company - and it was, Elena believes, that charismatic, gregarious personality that got him the nod over Titov, and made him ideally suited to his new status as the world's most famous man. "Gagarin was more personable than Armstrong," says Piers Bizony, one of his biographers. "He was an exceptionally good diplomat. He was handsome, charming and generous." Harold Macmillan, prime minister when he visited London three months after going into space, thought him "a delightful fellow", as did one British nurse who broke through the crash barriers to give him a kiss: he was, she declared, "the most kissable man in the universe".

It is difficult, today, for us to understand the level of Gagarin's instant celebrity. When he visited Britain, he was driven through cheering crowds in an open-topped Rolls Royce, with the numberplate YG-1, to take tea with the Queen at Buckingham Palace (Elena recalls that she "gave him some rather beautiful dolls to bring back for me and Galina). The Russophobe Daily Mail even ran the headline: "Make him Sir Yuri!", while John F Kennedy was so alarmed by his popularity that he banned him from entering the United States. It was not to last: on March 27, 1968, Gagarin died in a plane crash while on a routine training flight. Yet if he were alive today, he might enjoy the fact that the Russian space programme appears to have recaptured some of its former glories. (the telegraph)

Genetically modified cows may one day produce human breast milk    Back to Top
April 6:Researchers in China led by Ning Li, the director of the State Key Laboratories for AgroBiotechnology at the China Agricultural University, have created cow milk similar to human breast milk which could one day replace the need for baby formula.

Currently cow milk is not readily digested and absorbed by human infants, so for those mothers who choose not to breastfeed or who are unable, the only current alternative is formula. Many argue that infant formula is inadequate in providing the full nutrients an infant needs. Human milk contains numerous proteins as well as human lysozyme (HLZ), which is a key in fighting bacteria and boosting an infant's immune system.

With this in mind, Li and his team introduced human lysozyme and other human proteins into the embryos of Holstein cattle and then placed these embryos into surrogate cows. In this recent study, printed in Public Library of Science One, the researchers state that it was cloning technology used to introduce the human genes into the cows DNA. When these genetically modified cows started lactating, the milk they produced contained HLZ as well as other human proteins such as lactoferrin and lactalbumin which also help to boost an infant's immune system.

A purification process was then used to increase the fat content and milk solids, as well as make the milk taste closer to that of human breast milk. It is the researcher's hope that one day we will be able to purchase this genetically modified cow's milk in grocery stores.(physorg)

Frozen comet had a watery past, scientists find    Back to Top
April 6: For the first time, scientists have found convincing evidence for the presence of liquid water in a comet, shattering the current paradigm that comets never get warm enough to melt the ice that makes up the bulk of their material.

"Current thinking suggests that it is impossible to form liquid water inside of a comet," said Dante Lauretta, an associate professor of cosmochemistry and planet formation at the UA's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Lauretta is the principal investigator of the UA team involved in analysis of samples returned by NASA's Stardust mission.

UA graduate student Eve Berger, who led the study, and her colleagues from Johnson Space Center and the Naval Research Laboratory made the discovery analyzing dust grains brought back to Earth from comet Wild-2 as part of the Stardust mission. Launched in 1999, the Stardust spacecraft scooped up tiny particles released from the comet's surface in 2004 and brought them back to Earth in a capsule that landed in Utah two years later.

"In our samples, we found minerals that formed in the presence of liquid water," Berger said. "At some point in its history, the comet must have harbored pockets of water."

The discovery is to be published in an upcoming online edition of the journal Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. (physorg)

Chameleon's ballistic tongue inspires robotic manipulators    Back to Top
April 6: Although the lungless salamander and some frog species have developed ballistic tongues, the chameleon's ballistic tongue is the fastest, the longest, and the one that can catch the heaviest prey. A chameleon's tongue can elongate more than six times its rest length, zipping forward at speeds of 3.5-10.5 meters/second - faster than a human eye can follow. The tongue is called ballistic because, like all ballistic objects, it moves freely without any applied force during its forward motion. Once the chameleon's accordion-like tongue is ejected, it continues moving forward under its own inertia.

With the aim to mimic the mechanisms and performance of the chameleon's tongue, researcher Alexis Debray of Canon, Inc., in Tokyo, Japan, has developed four ballistic robotic manipulators. Each of the four manipulators excels at copying a certain part of the chameleon's tongue, and insights from each design could eventually be combined to create a more advanced chameleon tongue that could have manufacturing applications. Debray's study is published in a recent issue of Bioinspiration & Biomimetics. (physorg)

Kansas City, Kansas, wins Google broadband nod    Back to Top
The Google searchpage appears on a computer screen in Washington 2010. Google on Wednesday announced it will build its first super-fast broadband Internet network in Kansas City, Kansas.

Nearly 1,100 US towns and cities had competed to be Google's testbed for the ultra high-speed fiber optic network which will move data 100 times faster than what is available in the United States today.

Each home, school, and business in Kansas City will eventually be linked to a "one-gigabyte backbone" for routing digital data. The service is expected to start in 2012.

"We hope to bring this same service to other nearby cities and other markets too," said Google vice president of access services Milo Medin. "This is really the beginning... we are starting here."

Google announced its plan to build an experimental high-speed Internet network a year ago.

More than half of US adults use Facebook: study    Back to Top
The Facebook homepage is seen on a computer screen in 2007. More than half of US adults use online social networking service Facebook, according to an upcoming study. A report by Edison Research and Arbitron Inc. to be released on April 5 includes the finding that 51 percent of US residents age 12 or older have profiles set up at Facebook. Facebook terms of service require people to be at least 13 years old to be members of the online community, which boasts more than a half-billion users. "We have been tracking the growth of Facebook since 2008, and have watched it go from eight percent usage just three years ago, to 51 percent today," New Jersey-based Edison said in a release. The market tracking firms based the findings on a January survey of 2,020 people. Study findings presented in a webcast will include the popularity of accessing social networks using mobile phones, according to Edison. (physorg)

Wi-Fi cars hitting the information superhighway    Back to Top
March 30: More cars are hitting the information superhighway thanks to new automotive Wi-Fi technology that allows vehicles to become rolling "hot spots."

Analysts say consumers are warming to the notion of more connectivity in their cars, with "apps" for information and entertainment just as they have with their smartphones or tablet computers. "Initially, putting Internet access in the car sounds like a distraction and frivolous but as time passes it will become a part of our lives and we will feel uncomfortable not having access," said Jeff Kagan, an independent telecoms analyst.

"I think this is going to grow into a vibrant sector."

Market research firm iSuppli said it expects a surge in worldwide shipments of car Wi-Fi systems to 7.2 million units by 2017, from just 174,000 in 2010.

Wi-Fi has been around for several years as an aftermarket accessory but many major manufacturers now offer some form of Wi-Fi or are developing it.

Ford has been offering Wi-Fi in selected models since 2010 and some form of Internet access is also offered by many other major automakers including General Motors, BMW, Audi, Saab and Chrysler. In mid-March, Finnish telecom giant Nokia announced the launch of a Car Connectivity Consortium of 11 companies with common technical standards, including vehicle manufacturers Daimler, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota, and Volkswagen. Autonet Mobile, a California-based firm that touts itself as the "first Internet-based telematics and applications service platform" for the auto market, has over 10,000 US customers using its CarFi service at $29 a month, said chief executive Sterling Pratz.

The group recently signed agreements with General Motors and Subaru.

Pratz told AFP that consumers are looking for better entertainment options for passengers in their vehicles and use Wi-Fi for videos, gaming and social networking (PhysOrg)

Can an MP3 hack your car?    Back to Top
March 30: The idea that someone can get into your car without your permission isn't a new one. It's about as old as the coat hanger, but that was back in the days when you locks had a pull up button. We tend to think that digital car locks are safer, because it takes a higher level of sophistication to get into them, when Physorg reported on it in January, it was security professionals who were stealing the cars, but now it may be easier to boost you car, with the most innocuous of devices.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego led by Stefan Savage, and Tadayoshi Kohno of the University of Washington, who have been looking at the vulnerabilities in electronic vehicle controls have found that cars that are built to be compatible with Bluetooth wireless technology have the potential to be hacked using that connection.

The Bluetooth connection, which is designed to let your car and your phone work well together has the potential to be exploited in ways that would allow a less than scrupulous individual to upload malicious code to your car using an audio file. So, a song could literally give your car a virus. If you want to go one creepier, the researchers also found ways to pair the cars to a Bluetooth-enabled devices in order to execute that malicious code. So someone could be controlling your car, without you ever knowing it. The code can even be snuck in on an MP3. Burned onto a CD player, and put into your car. When the song is played becomes a Trojan Horse and can then alter the car's firmware, giving it access to the car's key systems.

The researchers would not comment on which model of car they had conducted this research on, only that it was a 2009 sedan with fewer computer systems than the average car, but we do know it was not a luxury car. (PhysOrg)

The world will end in 2012, say experts    Back to Top

Several experts from across the globe are predicting that the earth is likely to end by the year 2012. The reason could be a human effect or natural disaster. From Chinese theories to scientific predictions the most likely date is the year 2012.

SCIENTIFIC EXPERTS from around the world are predicting that five years from now, all life on Earth could well come to an end. Some are saying it'll be humans that would set it off. Others believe that a natural phenomenon will be the cause. And the religious folks are saying it'll be God himself who would press the stop button. The following are some likely arguments as to why the world would end by the year 2012.

Reason one: Mayan calendar
The first to predict 2012 as the end of the world were the Mayans, a bloodthirsty race that were good at two things -- building highly accurate astrological equipment out of stone and sacrificing virgins. Thousands of years ago they managed to calculate the length of the lunar moon as 329.53020 days, only 34 seconds out. The Mayan calendar predicts that the earth will end on December 21, 2012. Given that they were pretty close to the mark with the lunar cycle, it's likely they've got the end of the world right as well.

Reason two: Sun storms
Solar experts from around the world monitoring the sun have made a startling discovery. Our sun is in a bit of strife. The energy output of the sun is, like most things in nature, cyclic and it's supposed to be in the middle of a period of relative stability. However, recent solar storms have been bombarding the earth with lot of radiation energy. It's been knocking out power grids and destroying satellites. This activity is predicted to get worse and calculations suggest it'll reach its deadly peak sometime in 2012.

Reason three: The atom smasher
Scientists in Europe have been building the world's largest particle accelerator. Basically, its a 27 km tunnel designed to smash atoms together to find out what makes the universe tick. However, the mega-gadget has caused serious concern, with some scientists suggesting that it's properly even a bad idea to turn it on in the first place. They're predicting all manner of deadly results, including mini black holes. So when this machine is fired up for its first serious experiment in 2012, the world could be crushed into a super-dense blob the size of a basketball.

Reason four: The Bible & Hindu Techings says it
If having scientists warning us about the end of the world isn't bad enough, religious folks are getting in on the act as well. Interpretations of the Christian Bible reveal that the date for Armageddon, the final battle between good an evil, has been set for 2012. The I Ching, also known as the Chinese Book of Changes, says the same thing, as do various sections of the Hindu teachings.

Reason five: Super volcano
Yellowstone National Park in United States is famous for its thermal springs and old faithful geyser. The reason for this is simple -- it's sitting on top of the world's biggest volcano and geological experts are beginning to get nervous sweats. The Yellowstone volcano has a pattern of erupting every 650,000 years or so, and we're many years overdue for an explosion that will fill the atmosphere with ash, blocking the sun and plunging the earth into a frozen winter that could last up to 15,000 years. The pressure under the Yellowstone is building steadily, and geologists have set 2012 as a likely date for the big bang.

Reason six: The physicists
This one's case of bog -- simple maths mathematics. Physicists at Berkely University have been crunching the numbers. They've determined that the earth is well overdue for a major catastrophic event. Even worse, they're claiming that their calculations prove that we're all going to die, very soon. They are also saying that their prediction comes with a certainty of 99 per cent; and 2012 just happens to be the best guess as to when it occurs.

Reason seven: Earth's magnetic field
We all know the Earth is surrounded by a magnetic field that shields us from most of the sun's radiation. What you might not know is that the magnetic poles we call North and South have a nasty habit of swapping places every 750,000 years or so -- and right now we're about 30,000 years overdue. Scientists have noted that the poles are drifting apart roughly 20-30 kms each year, much faster than ever before, which points to a pole-shift being right around the corner. While the pole shift is under way, the magnetic field is disrupted and will eventually disappear, sometimes for up to 100 years. The result is enough UV outdoors to crisp your skin in seconds, killing everything it touches.
Source: Merinews

Note: There is no real reason to panic after reading this news, its just a prediction based on past observations and things happening around us. Nobody really knows what really is waiting out there for us.

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