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Posts tagged ‘technology’

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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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.

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Is Wifi Signal Harmful?

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Gadgets that we use to connect or to stream WiFi signals work under safety standards in order to protect us from harmful effects. These devices have its own emission of microwave radiation, especially when you have your WiFi card on and you are connected to a router. The signal transmitted by a WiFi router is 100,000 times less than a microwave oven. WiFi routers work with low voltages and broadcast the signals in all directions.  Every time you double the distance between you and the router, you will reduce the intensity of the transmitted energy by 3/4. This means that the highest radiation can be found closest to the router, and as you move away, you will encounter lower radiation. (this is the  same principle of the inverse square law).

People  have reported symptoms like headache, fatigue, stress, sleep disturbances, skin symptoms and muscles stress, all associated with the presence of a WiFi router in their home or at the working space. This happens more often amongst people who suffer from electromagnetic hypersensitivity.

World Health Organisation conducted a study on this subject and concluded that there is no current evidence to confirm the harmful effects of WiFi signal (low-level radiation) on the human body. However, there are few gaps in the current documentation and more research is needed in order to be 100% accurate.

Suggestion:  Try keeping your router at least 3 meters away from your body. Try to switch off your laptop’s WiFi card if you’re not using it and, if you can, use a LAN connection. The best case scenario is to place it away from the room you sleep in.

World Wide Web For Robots

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Techfest 2013 and Microsoft’s Predictive Whiteboard

 

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Digital Public Library To Launch April 2012

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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.

 

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The Cloud

Cloud Vmware

A Data Visualization: The Internet Map

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Data Becoming Bigger and Better 2013

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Microsoft Windows Azure HDInsight

There are  companies trying to make Hadoop more useful by turning it into a platform for something other than running MapReduce jobs. The companies – ContinuuityPlatforaDrawn to Scale

 

Author’s Guild Appeals HathiTrust Decision

The Library Copyright Alliance Statement

Big Data and the Legal Profession

 

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IBM’s Understanding Big Data e-book

 

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UpComing Webinor JSTOR

Webinar: Learn How to Get the Most from the JSTOR Platform (New York Time Zone)

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BYOD

Gartner says, Bring Your Own Device is an alternative strategy that allows employees, business partners and other users to use a personally selected and purchased client device to execute enterprise applications and access data. For most organizations, the program is limited to smartphones and tablets, but the strategy may also be used for PCs. It may or may not include subsidies for equipment or service fees.

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Big Data and Other Technologies

 

Currently Big Data is  synonymous with technologies like Hadoop, and the “NoSQL” class of databases like Mongo (document stores) and Cassandra (key-values).  Today it’s possible to stream real-time analytics with ease. Spinning clusters up and down is a (relative) cinch, accomplished in 20 minutes or less.

Now there are new untapped open source technologies out there.

STORM AND KAFKA

Storm and Kafka are used at a number of high-profile companies including Groupon, Alibaba, and The Weather Channel.

Storm and Kafka is said to  handle data velocities of tens of thousands of messages every second.

Drill and Dremel said to  put power in the hands of business analysts, and not just data engineers.

R

R is an open source statistical programming language. It is incredibly powerful. Over two million (and counting) analysts use R. R works very well with Hadoop

GREMLIN AND GIRAPH

Gremlin and Giraph help empower graph analysis, and are often used coupled with graph databases like Neo4j or InfiniteGraph, or in the case of Giraph, working with Hadoop.

SAP HANA

SAP Hana is an in-memory analytics platform that includes an in-memory database and a suite of tools and software for creating analytical processes and moving data in and out, in the right formats.

 

Big Data and High Performance Comouting

 

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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.

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