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Alexander Graham Bell and His Voice

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This unplayable wax recording from 1885 is now playable due to modern technology. The voice: telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell at the Smithsonian Institution.

Researchers have identified the voice of Alexander Graham Bell for the first time in some of the earliest audio recordings held at the Smithsonian Institution.

The National Museum of American History announced Wednesday that Bell’s voice was identified with help from technicians at the Library of Congress and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. The museum contains some of the earliest audio recordings ever made. Researchers located a transcript of one recording signed by Bell. It was matched to a wax disc recording from April 15, 1885.“Hear my voice,” the inventor Alexander Graham Bell, said. The experimental recording also contains a series of numbers. The transcript notes the record was made at Bell’s Volta Laboratory in Washington. Additional recordings  include lines from Shakespeare.

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There’s a new way to charge your smart phone with the charge card

ChargeCard utilizes standard USB 2.0 allowing for simultaneous data transfer and charging of your phone. This allows you to tether internet, transfer photos and charge your phone all at the same time. Or you can just use it to charge your phone and your data will stay safe and protected on your phone.

 ChargeCard allows for high-output charging which means that you can super-charge your phone when charging from a high amp output USB charger.

ChargeCard works just like your standard USB smartphone cable which you currently use to charge or sync your phone. As such, it will work on all the same USB ports, from your computer to flat screen TVs, game consoles, cars and beyond.

ChargeCard  fits in your wallet! ChargeCard is the world’s slimmest USB charging and sync cable

Travel USB Cable

 

Bitcoins

Bitcoins

Bitcoin collecting has caused a wave of supercomputers techies hoping to make them a small fortune – even if it costs load of cash to power.

Specially developed Bitcoin ‘mining’ computers are either homemade or can be purchased from one of the growing number of online stores dedicated to cashing in on the supply side of the cult currency trend.

The 21 million Bitcoins hidden across an internet-based network,  are expected to all be found by 2040. To unearth them computers have to solve the complex processor-intensive equations which hold them.

What is a Bitcoin?

It’s a piece of data locked in an internet-based network by a complex equation computers can break.

Once released it can be traded and used like money online and can be purchased with real cash.

Many websites are now taking Bitcoins as a form of currency. As well as digital currency, Bitcoin miners enjoy the competitive nature of unlocking the coins.

Famous fans include the Winklevoss twins who own around 1 percent of Bitcoins – currently worth around $11million

It has been dismissed by some as a Ponzi Scheme and touted by others as the future of money. It is not centrally controlled and it’s unique and complex set up means the market cannot be altered or hacked, according to the developers

There are 21 million coins predicted to last until 2140 and their finite nature means they perform more like a commodity, such as gold. The coins first emerged in 2008 and launched as a network in 2009.

They were introduced by an obscure hacker whose identity is a mystery but is known as Satoshi Nakamoto, which is thought to be a pseudonym. Users choose a virtual wallet from one of the various providers which enables them to receive, give and trade coins from other users.  Bitcoins can be bought from specialist currency exchanges and online marketplaces such as eBay. Bitcoins mining machines can unlock many of the potentially lucrative coins – essentially computer codes – which are then used as currency online making their collectors potentially very rich.

The Bitcoin network, set up by a mysterious programmer under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009, is also designed to get more complex the more miners there are looking for Bitcoins – opening the potential for ever-developing mining machines.

More here

Walmart Takes On Big Data

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Much of the big data tools have been developed at the Walmart Labs, which was created after Walmart took over Kosmix in 2011. The products that were developed at Walmart Labs are ‘Social Genome’, ‘ShoppyCat and Get on the Shelf.

The Social Genome product allows Walmart to reach customers, or friends of customers, who have mentioned something online to inform them about that exact product and include a discount.
 Public data is combined from the web along with social data and proprietary data such as customer purchasing data and contact information. The result is , constantly changing, up-to-date knowledge base with hundreds of millions of entities and relationships. this provides  Walmart with a  better understanding of  the  what their customers are saying online. An example mentioned by Walmart Labs shows a woman tweeting regularly about movies. When she tweets “I love Salt”, Walmart is able to understand that she is talking about the movie Salt and not the condiment.

The Shoppycat product  developed by Walmart is able to recommend suitable products to Facebook users based on the hobbies and interests of their friends. 

Get on the Shelf  a crowd-sourcing solution that gave anyone the chance to promote his or her product in front of a large online audience. The best products would be sold at Walmart with the potential to suddenly reach millions of customers.

Petition To Unlock Cell Phones Update

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The  petition asking President Obama to oppose a new rule restricting cell phone owners from unlocking their devices has passed the 100,000 signatures needed, meaning the White House now must respond.

The petition,  that now has more than 102,000 signatures, protests a regulation from the Library of Congress that prohibits unlocking phones without the carrier’s permission — even when a customer’s contract with the carrier has expired.

CTIA general counsel Michael Altschul wrote in a blog post  It “makes our streets just a little bit safer by making it harder for large-scale phone trafficking operations to operate in the open and purchase large quantities of phones, unlock them, and resell them in foreign markets”.

The petition is partly symbolic: The Library of Congress and the U.S. Copyright Office are part of the legislative branch, not the executive branch, meaning that Obama cannot overturn the decision even if he disagreed with it.

Congress has the power to rewrite the law, the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which hands the Library of Congress the effective power to regulate certain gadgets in the name of copyright law. And a nudge from the administration would speed up any DMCA legislative fixes. Under the DMCA, Americans are broadly prohibited from “circumventing” copyright-related technologies, with criminal penalties targeting people who profit from doing it. But the DMCA gives the Library of Congress the authority to grant exemptions, which it did for cell phone unlocking utilities in 2006 and 2010.

The Library of Congress reversed their position last fall, after lobbying from CTIA, which represents carriers including AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, and Sprint Nextel. It ruled (PDF) the exemption was no longer necessary because there are no “adverse effects” relating to locked phones, and unlocked phones are now readily available.

The Library of Congress’ regulatory turn around doesn’t affect jail breaking or rooting mobile phones, which is currently permitted through at least 2015.

 

BIG DATA AND THE OSCARS

 

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Interactive Map Track Racist Tweets After Obama Re Election

Interactive map tracks racist reactions to Obama re-election

A group devoted to data visualization aggregated tweets of those opposed to President Obama’s re-election and mapped their locations. Those feelings spilled out online in the form of racist tweets. Floating Sheep,which maps and analyzes user-generated geo-coded data, collected the geographically identified racist tweets and distributed that data across a map of the United States. Map indicates that the highest number of racist tweets originating from Mississippi and Alabama. Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and South Dakota is completely grayed out, indicating no racist tweets.  From previously constructed maps detailing Twitter usage, that region of the country is typified by markedly low Twitter activity.

View Map Floating Sheep Map Here

Big Data

Big data is measured in terabytes, petabytes, or more. Data becomes “big data” when it  outgrows your current ability to process it, store it, and cope with it efficiently. Storage has become very cheap in the past ten years, allowing loads of data to be collected. However, our ability to actually process the loads of data quickly has not scaled as fast. Traditional tools to analyze and store data — SQL databases, spreadsheets, the Chinese abacus — were not designed to deal with vast data problems. The amount of information in the world is now measured in zettabytes. A zettabyte, which is 1021 bytes (that is 1 followed by twenty-one zeroes), is a big number. Imagine writing three paragraphs describing your favorite movie – that’s about 1 kilobyte. Next, imagine writing three paragraphs for every grain of sand on the earth — that amount of information is in the zettabyte range.

The best tool available today for processing and storing herculean amounts of big data is Hadoop.  Hundreds or thousands of computers are thrown at the big data problem, rather than using single computer.

Hadoop makes data mining, analytics, and processing of big data cheap and fast. Hadoop can take most of your big data problems and unlock the answers, because you can keep all your data, including all of your historical data, and get an answer before your children graduate college.

Apache Hadoop is an open-source project inspired by research of Google.  Hadoop is named after the stuffed toy elephant of the lead programmer’s son. In Hadoop parlance, the group of coordinated computers is called a cluster, and the individual computers in the cluster are called nodes.

Upcoming Event 2012

!Microsoft Cloud OS platform: Windows Server 2012, Windows Azure, Visual Studio 2012 and System Center 2012.

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