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The Ideabing Idea Book I
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Ideas in this issue
Ideabing Daily Roundup- Nuclear Fusion Version 33
Computer Automatically Deciphers Ancient Language 33
View Out Of A Space Shuttle 35
DIY: More Nuclear Fusion Reactors 35
Ideabing Daily Roundup: Universcale Version 36
Inspiration: The Nikon Universcale 36
Scary Design: Mouse Pointer Contact Lenses 37
File-Swap Lets You Swap You Files For Some Random Files 38
DIY: Enforcing Privacy, The IR Way 38
Smart Thinking: Recharging Shopping Carts 39
Design: BP Oil Spill Springs Artists To Action 39
Wireless Induction Charging For Plugin Cars? 40
Infographic: Walking Or Biking To Work Costs You Tax Money 40
On Ideabing This Week- DIY Nuclear Plants, Hybrid Airships
And Inno... 41
Lockheed Martin Working On OTEC Technology. Promises
Unlimited Clea... 41
Sustainability: World's Most Sustainable Building 42
DIY Nuclear Fusion Reactor. Believe. 43
Want To Check Your Email In Your Car? Buy A BMW 43
Inspiration: Fixing Education In America 44
4Food Tries To "DeJunk" NYC's Food 44
A Weird Vending Machine 45
Building A Smarter City With IBM 45
Video: Wireless Parking 46

Video: GE - A Day In Life 46
Some people do not taste salt like others 46
The Most Economical Airplane? MIT Thinks So 47
Aava Mobile Talks Tablets, More Goodies This Year 49
Grassroots Innovation - A Refrigerator That Runs Without
Electricit... 51
Australia Says: No Antivirus? No Internet 51
How Do I Become An Entrepreneur? 52
Infographic: Countries That Invest Most In Alternative Energy 53
Hybrid Airships, The US Army's Next Frontier 53
IBM's Data Baby 54
Ideabing Exclusive: Interview With The Founders Of yReceipts 54
IBM's Watson Supercomputer Competes Against Humans In
Jeopardy! 56
Infographic: How An Intel Processor Is Made 57
Kia Ads Seem To Equate Humans To Hamsters 67
The Willow Garage Robot Plays Pool, Will Win The Next World
Champio... 67
Sleeping Pods, The Perfect Things To Sleep In At Work 68
Ah, Yes, An Inflatable Tie-Pillow 69
Skateboard? No. "Hoverboard" 69
Video: The New Fast Lane 69
Sun + Fun + Design = Puma Phone 70
PepsiCo Issues Open Call for Innovation Incubator Program 70
HP Partners with Vidyo to Offer Anytime, Anywhere Visual
Collaboration 71
Love Your City? Then Give It A Citid 72

Fixed Broadband in Venezuela Grew 23.3 Percent During 2009 73
NASA Demonstrates Tsunami Prediction System 74
India: Ford Sees 272% Y-O-Y Sales Growth 75
Coolness: Buses in Brazil Connected To Mobile Broadband 76
Infographic: The Most Prescribed Psychiatric Drug in The US 77
Notion Ink's Rohan Shravan: Adam's Going To Be Cheaper
Than The iPad 78
The Indian Auto Industry- It’s An Electric Future 79
Video: The Future Of User Interface 80
IBM Expands Collaboration Software Support to Include iPad 80
Toyota Develops Advanced Version of Its Virtual Human Model 81
Intel Capital Invests $10 Million in Analytics Firm TRA 82
Philips Plans To Light Up Your Food. 83
State of Florida Leverages Microsoft Cloud Solution for Census
Count 84
Clever Heads At Bosch Thermotechnology A Constant Stream
Of New Inv... 85
Adidas Brings Latest Design And Technology Innovations In
2010 NBA ... 86
NOISEVOX wants to be tomorrow's MTV 87
Engineering A Viral Music Video 88
Intel CEO: Fostering an Innovation Economy 88
2011 Volkswagen Phaeton To Replace Cop Cars. The Car's
The Cop. 90
Konica Minolta Achieves Zero Waste Level 2 at All of its
Manufactur... 90
Infographic: The Lifecycle Of Oil 91
DuPont Opens North American Photovoltaic Research Facility 92

Help Change the World With a Single Vote 93
Video: New Adventure Sport: Under Sea Base Jumping 94
HP Introduces the Future of Printing: Web Connected and Cloud
Aware 94
Schneider Electric Launches MiCST Collaborative Project 96
Texas A&M Teams With IBM To Speed Drug Discovery for
Tuberc... 96
Audi Travolution: Efficiently Through The City 97
GE Healthcare Unveils Innovative Technology in Breast Cancer
Imaging 99
The Dark Side of the Cloud 100
WWDC 2010 Live - iPhone 4 launched. Pictures. 102
NASA Rover Finds Clue To Mars' Past And Environment For
Life 102
Marketing To Goldfish 103
VSS Enterprise's first 'captive carry' flight! 104
Archeologists Discover 'Brain Food' in Early Human Ancestors'
Diet 104
WHO: Drug-resistant tuberculosis now at record levels 106
General Mills Takes Home the Gold at Edison Awards 107
Iconic Range Rover Turns 40 108
Columbia Sportswear Designs Innovative Backpack Line for
National S... 110
Researchers make gesture-based computing interfaces more
accessible 110
Ideabing Contest Of The Month 112
Carnegie Mellon's Soccer-Playing Robots Get Creative With
Physics-B... 112

‘Tattoo’ may help diabetics track their blood sugar 113
Shell Ecobox™ Efficiently Delivers Oil To Engines; Significantly
Re... 114
Europcar Reveal the Cost of Dormant Urban Cars to Motorists 115
Volkswagen Invites Users to Help Create the Infotainment
Systems of... 116
Cronkite lab's iPhone app connects citizens, officials 117
Aava Mobile Announces 'Virta Android SDK' for Developing
Android on... 118
New research identifies promising leads to follow in search for
med... 119
Shell launches "Smarter Mobility" - innovations for cleaner, more
e... 120
Starbucks New Store in Japan is Designed to Reduce
Environmental Im... 121
Staples Launches Nationwide Computer and Office Technology
Recyclin... 121
Research shows some people don't taste salt like others 122
Microsoft Announces Availability of Hohm Scores for 60 Million
Home... 123
SAMSUNG Seek Offers First-of-Its-Kind Reusable Packaging to
Make Wi... 124
Ideabing Exclusive: Interview With Cloud Based Game Dev
Platform Wi... 125
Why The Aviation Sector Must Fear Cisco Telepresence 127
Video: New Energy 128
NASA's Airborne Infrared Observatory Sees The "First Light" 128
Postal Service Launches Green Newsroom 129
Philips To Bring E-health Solutions To Kenya 129

IBM Teams With Hildebrand to Bring Smart Metering to Homes
Across B... 131
Belkin Acquires Zensi, Signaling Major Entry into Energy
Conservati... 132
Video: Craig Venter On Synthetic Life 132
Guess Who Is Building The Biggest Theme Park In The World.
Its Ferr... 133
Infographic: Top Cameras On Flickr 133
The Social Network Just Got Better, Famsmile Enters the Scene
with ... 133
Greenscroll Cleans Up Your Website's Carbon Footprint.
Ideabing Alr... 134
Feature: Design makes a difference – even for trucks 134
Biotech incubator opens its doors at UC Berkeley 136
"Out of Whack" Planetary System Offers Clues to a Disturbing
Past 138
Paper Mate Brand Launches First Widely Available
Biodegradable Pen 140
Investing In Clean Energy Projects Abroad is Key to Creating
Jobs, ... 141
New nanoscale electrical phenomenon discovered 142
In a World First, ASDA Announces 'Not for Profit' Price on All
Canc... 143
From Rockets to Race Cars, NASA and NASCAR Team Up in
Charlotte 144
Infographic: How The Internet Works 144
HP Joins New Alliance to Drive Unified Communications
Interoperability 144
ESPN to Bring Cisco TelePresence to 2010 FIFA World Cup
South Africa 145

HID Global Previews New On Metal RTI Transponder with
Broadband UHF 146
Ideabing Exclusive: Interview with Mukta Darera, CEO of
iReboot 147
Yes, You Need A Facebook Fan Page Evaluator 149
Not Another Technology University 149
Tesla Motors and Toyota Motor Corporation Intend to Work
Jointly on... 150
Chefs Tout Sustainable U.S. Catfish 150
Have you got Britain's oldest boiler? Npower Energy will buy it
for... 151
Intel Unveils 45nm System-on-Chip for Internet TV 152
Microsoft and eGovernment Partners Take Citizen Services to
the Cloud 153
Intel Study Reveals Telehealth Will Dramatically Transform
Health Care 155
Artificial Life Created By Humans. Now Go Pray To God, If You
Still... 156
Samsung Announces New High-performance NAND Memory –
a 30nm-class, ... 157
IBM and McMaster University Collaborate on "Smarter
Transportation"... 158
Infovideo: Use Less Plastic 159
Levi Strauss & Co. Asks: What's The Future Of Line Drying? 159
Polycom Co-Founds UCIF to Advance Unified Communications
Interopera... 160
Tata Nano bags the Gold Prize in the 2010 Edison Awards 161
Mars Institute "Moon-1" Humvee Rover reaches Devon Island,
High Arctic 161
Microsoft Investigators Uncover Emerging Form of Click Fraud 162

Infosys Awards India's Best Student Programmers 163
HP Labs Designs Data Center Fueled by "Cow Dung". To Build
Data Cen... 164
GE Marks 50th Anniversary Of The Laser With Launch Of New
“Laser Di... 166
The Pepsi Refresh Project Announces Top Vote-Getters to
Receive $1.... 166
Toshiba Mobile Display Develops OCB Liquid Crystal Panel for
3D Gla... 168
Honda Bodyweight Support Assist Device Selected for
Innovation Exhibit 169
Infovideo: Your Life, Unthreaded. 170
P&G Launches Supplier Environmental Sustainability
Scorecard 170
Sony launches “Road to Zero” environmental plan and sets
2015 mid-t... 171
OSU Studies How to Make Cows Happy and Increase Milk
Output 172
Storytrails- A Trail Mixed With A Story Makes A Lot Of Sense 174
Russia: On The Come Back Trail 174
Greenpeace: iPad Is Bad For The Environment 175
UPS Sets "Green" Standards for Shipment Packaging 176
Lockheed Martin To Deliver VINASAT-2 For Nation Of Vietnam 177
Nano parfait a treat for scientists 178
UCLA gets $5.5 million from Defense agency to create new
rotating m... 180
Toyota USA Foundation Awards $500,000 To Western
Kentucky University 181
Video: Is Your Internet Chrome Fast? 182

Boeing's Phantom Ray Will Fly In December. Looks Beautiful At
Debut 182
Itsy-bitsy DNA spider: Molecules behave like robots 183
Video: Zapping Malaria With Lasers 186
Memonic Lets You Copy-Paste the Web. 186
Emerson Opens $30 Million Global Innovation Center 186
Intel Capital Announces Three Investments 187
NSFW: Trojan Reinvents The Condom 188
First U.S. Demonstration of Honda U3-X Personal Mobility
Prototype ... 189
Yahoo! and Nahdet El Mahrousa Launch Social
Entrepreneurship Compet... 190
Real Player SP Lets You Download Videos For Any Mobile
Device. Seri... 191
Lockheed Martin-Built Hubble Space Telescope Marks 20 Years
Of Astr... 192
New Method Developed To Capture Fingerprints On Difficult
Surfaces 194
US Postal Service Moves Closer to Energy, Fuel Reduction
Goals 195
Weird: Earth Space Agency Announces Call for Musicians to
Sing Abou... 196
Nestlé Japan aims to reduce CO2 levels with eco-friendly hybrid
tra... 196
NASA Sets Launch Date For Space Shuttle Atlantis 197
An Innovation Eco System called Fractal 197
Video: India's hidden hotbeds of invention 198
Computerization Of A Regional Transport Office In India. Sigh. 198
Infographic: State Of The Internet 2009 199

UTSA Researchers Win $9.2 Million In Stimulus Funding During
2009 200
Carnegie Mellon, Nissan Team Up For Electric Vehicles 201
Real Time Photo Sharing Service Radar Shutting Down 202
Silicon nanoparticles will power next-generation batteries 202
Tiny Particles May Help Surgeons By Marking Brain Tumors 204
Mexico's Online Population Soars 20 Percent in Past Year 205
Truecar: Tells You What Your New Car Really Costs 206
Qualcomm Is Giving Away Flo TV Personal TV's at Uplinq 2010 207
Infographic: Where Energy Is Consumed In Your Home 208
DIY Lenses For Your Eyes - Look Again. 208
Anonymous Feedback From Your Co-workers? Good Idea! 209
GE Achieves Cleaner Coal Energy Milestone 209
Willow Garage Giving Away 11 PR2 Robots Worth Over $4
Million 210
Breakthrough Will Boost Semiconductor Performance 213
Google invests $38.8 mil in two US wind farms 214
FDA Approves First Cancer Vaccine. Yay! 214
The Yatra To Entrepreneurship 215
4000 MW A Year Out Of Geothermal Energy. That's What
Indonesia Is P... 216
We Need Robotic Maids. We Do. 217
Floating Powerplants Will Make Us More Power. Forever. 217
Ideabing Exclusive: Interview with the CEO of 30 Dollar Finance 218
Nokia Money Pilot Begins In India. Ahem. 220
Canada's First Financial Social Media Platform Launches in
Calgary 220

UTSA Mechanical Engineering Students Design Lunar Utility
Cart for ... 221
Wild pockets: Making Online 3D Games? EasyPeasy! 223
Forum Drives University Innovations Toward Marketplace 223
AT&T Is Rethinking Possible. We Don't Think So. 225
Infographic: Google Page Rank explained 225
Robots That Can Balance On A Ball. Bullshit! 225
Video: Volkswagen's First Two Wheeler 226
McCormick Adds More Solar Power from Constellation Energy 226
Earthwatch Institute moves world headquarters to Harvard
property i... 227
GE, Nissan to Drive Smart Charging for Electric Vehicles 228
Achieving Your Goals Just Became Easy. Mentory Makes It
Happen 229
A New Way To Fight Corruption In India 229
Got A Startup? Shout It Out On Sproutpitch 230
Footnote Lists All The Best Historical Documents. We Like This
Thing 230
BSR And IDEO Reveal The ABCDs Of Building Sustainability
Into Produ... 230
World Bank And Pfizer Announce Initiative To Help Improve
Healthcar... 231
Pepsi Adds Refreshing Content To Nokia's Ovi Store 232
FIFA And Sony To Launch First Ever Global 3D Experience Of
The FIFA... 234
Video: Where Does Your Money Travel 235
A&E Television Networks Signs With Microsoft’s Admira 235
Pesticide Atrazine Can Turn Male Frogs Into Females 236

Shootitlive Enables Real Time Media Publishing 238
Video: A Full Sized Home In 300 Sq. Ft. Yup, Possible 238
“MoonBots” Challenges Parent-Child Teams to Conduct Google
Lunar X ... 239
Video: Seven Species Of Robots 240
Persay Brings Voice Based Biometrics To The Market 240
Paper Describes Functional Nanomaterials For Medical, Health
Devices 241
Unmanned Space Flight? Possible 242
Want To Bet Aimlessly? Flusta Is Here For You 243
Don't Like Your Job? iReboot Can Help 243
CMU Student Uses Skin as Input For Mobile Devices 244 Planning To Add Receipt Management Feature. We
Knew This W... 245
F/A 18 Super Hornets Flying On Biofuel. GE's The Culprit 246
Google Navigation On The iPhone? Drool! Drool! 247
Augmented "Hyper" Reality 248
Compostable cutlery. Seriously. 248
Ecoscene: A Review Site For All Things Green 248
SETI Releasing Radio Telescope Signal Data. Rejoice! 249
Video:No More Filthy Water 250
A Social Network Exclusively For The 40+ "Girl" Crowd. Ahem. 250
Dell Releasing 4 New Smartphones Very Soon 251
Apple's iAd Platform Creating Whole Business Units In Advert
Agencies 251
SAMSUNG Mobile Secures #1 U.S. Market Share For 2009.
Eh? 253
And We Need A Conveyor Belt Wrist Watch 254

MIT Working On More Efficient Wireless Power Delivery 254
Driveburn Lets You Destroy Your Hard Drive And Save The
Planet 256
Infographic: Place Jobs Here 257
Infographic: Visualizing The Internet 258
Receipt Email Services Becoming A Startup Business Model 258
iPad In India - Perspective Of An Indian Newspaper Reader 258
Video: Hallucinations are a mirror of your personality 259
Chipin Creates Crowd Sourced Fundraising! 259
Fragging in the Sub-continent 260
Drug discovery, Netflix style? 261
Honk! A Social Network For Buying Cars 262
Feature Consolidation Or Greed? 262
Tweet Your Emails. Really! 263
5 Reasons Why Facebook Setup Shop in India 264
Entrepreneurship For Dummies 264
One Of The Best Places For You To Watch CEOs Talk 265
Plastic Electronics Could Slash The Cost Of Solar Panels 266
Seth Godin On Making Your Product Stand Out 268
Vitamin Water Has 1.33 Million Facebook Fans? WTF! 268
What An Advert! What An Idea! 268
Think Geek Makes Amazingly Geeky Products. We Likes. 269
HP Labs Discovery Holds Potential to Fundamentally Change
Computer ... 269
Infographic:Know Your Brands 271
Chip Checks For Oral Cancer 271
Palm Is Up For Sale! Yay! 273

Want To Broadcast Your Events? Plancast Is Here. 273
Sustainable Chairs: Possible 274
A Website To "Fulfill Your Dreams". Brilliant! 275
Person Vs. Process – Which One’s The Right Tool For Your
Startup? 276
The impatient Indian Entrepreneur goes rural 277
Eva Vertes looks to the future of medicine 278
Steps To Make Your Blog Better 278
Apple Lessons: How To Kill Your Rivals 278
Innovative Desalination Technology To Receive Government of
Canada ... 279
GE's LED Bulb Lasts 17 Years 280
Apple's New iPhone Developer Agreement: Flash? Who? 281
MIT takes step toward airport scanners that can identify
explosives 283
Will iPhone Become Invincible With OS4? 284
Santander's Robots Will Guide You Through The Bank's
Massive HQ 284
Trazzler Answers The "Where Should I Go" Question 285
Video: The Emotion Behind An Invention 286
NYU Stern Starts The "Regulating Wall Street" Blog 286
AOL Joins MIT Media Lab Consortium 287
5 Good Looking Alternatives To Craigslist 288
Now Call Your Friend's Phone For Free Via Facebook 288
An Afternoon Nap Markedly Boosts The Brain’s Learning
Capacity 288
Video: Solar Powered Cargo Ship? Oh Yeah! 290
India Getting In "Big" Time Into Interactive Entertainment. 290

Princeton Engineers Turn Noise Into Vision 290
Idea 293: Video: Start A Pirate Radio 292
Too Much Padding Last Week 293
Forget Lithium Ion Batteries. Take a look at Lithium Air
Batteries. 293
A web based iTunes? Its Here 294
MIT researchers develop heat-powered electronics 295
Video: The Next Beneficiary Of Innovation: The Coffee Cup 296
India Finally Makes Elementary Education Free And
Compulsory, Till ... 296
Is Adobe Romancing The iPad This Time? 296
Ideabing gift certificate giveaway 297
Open Source Micro Finance Platform Starts A Revolution 297
Infographic: What Does It Take To Be A Nerd? 298
Video: How Much Do You Know About Your Online
Consumers? 298
America's First Super Car. The Rapier SL-C. 298
Flash Was Dead Yesterday, Today It Is Being Buried. 299
Idea 292: Allow Tweeters To Schedule Their Tweets 300
Video: Ideas For A Better City 300
One Low Cost Innovation, One Smoked Up Car 300
New Electric Car Company On The Block 301
Solar Energy Scoring Big Bucks. Enphase Energy scores $40
mil. 302
Idea 291: Know Japan, Well 303
Idea 290: Smash Microscopic Particles Together. 304
Idea 289: Award An Outstanding Engineer 305

Chevy Equinox + Amp = All Electric Chevy Equinox 306
Disruptive Innovation: GE's Next Generation 4MW Windmill 306
Infographic: Who is coming to the USA 307
Idea 288: Save Homeowners Some Energy Costs 308
Idea 287: Find Your Lost Electronic Gear 308
Video: What Can Daylight Savings Time Do To You? 310
Video: How Does A Windmill Change Your Life? 310
Battery Powered Locomotive? Possible. 311
Infographic: The GrowVC startup funding model 312
Photo: Attack Drones Have A New Good Looking Sibling 312
Idea 286: Learn how to report news 313
Flash Is Dead on TV 313
Idea 285: Learn the 4 foundations of a successful blog 313
Xerox Heads To India Looking For Innovation 314
Aha, Nokia wants you to develop apps for their phones! 314
Why We Should Go Back To Mars 315
Infographic: Convert a plane into a flying infographic 315
F-35 Lightning Gen II Helmet Mounted Display System achieves
first ... 315
Google, Nokia, T-Mobile, Yahoo, Dell and BBC getting pally in
Amste... 316
New Green Tech Saves 30% on Industrial and Commercial Air
Condition... 317
Idea 284: Build a sustainable fridge 318
Idea 283: Give computers a sense of smell 318
Super Nano Lithium Batteries developed by Illinois based firm 319
Vonage Receives Second Virtual Phone Number Patent 320

Idea 282: Manufacture Solar Cells 321
Infographic: Aftermath of earthquake at Haiti 321
Large scale water desalination? Possible 322
Infographic: 20 things that happen in a minute 322
Idea 281: Live before you die 323
Idea 280: Get a loan for your small business 323
Idea 279: Start a multi-author blog 323
Idea 278: See the center of the Milk Way galaxy 323
Advertisement 323
Idea 277: Print shoes in 3D 323
Oh Palm, what happened to your innovation? Did Microsoft kill
it? o... 324
Idea 276: Get rid of barcodes, get rid of queues 325
Idea 275: Invest in rural India 326
Advertisement 326
Idea 274: Build a new type of power outlet. Get rid of home fires. 327
Idea 273: Add augmented reality to a car's windshield 327
Want to follow NASA on your iPhone? There's an app for that.
And it... 327
Idea 272:Make your blog work for you. 327
Idea 271: Start a business in your pajamas 328
Idea 270:One day everything you do will power the planet 328
Advertisment 329
Idea 269: Microsoft, DO NOT put the cart before the horse 329
Idea 268: Crowd source software testing 330
The most original musician on this planet is here 330
Idea 267: Find the right CEO for your company 330

Advertisment 330
Sony Playstation "Move" has one leg in the grave 330
Idea 266: Bank on the FCC to fix your internet speed 331
Idea 265: Pixallate your TV. Make it your personal assistant 331
Idea 264: Make use of that stimulus money. Buy robots. 331
Advertisment 332
Idea 263: Buy a Windows Phone 7 series mobile device. Avoid
patent ... 332
Ah, more crowd sourced fund raising for startups! 333
Want to see the sun in 3D? There's an app for that 333
Idea 262: Get some poppy. Kill the pain. 333
Idea 261: Learn how to manage big accounts 333
Idea 260: Weigh digital data 334
Idea 259: Learn some old tricks to make your blog better 334
Idea 258: Buy a business 334
Idea 257: Invent new ways of presenting data to infomorons 334
Why we arent giving away an iPad like everyone else 335
Tech Move series: Part 1 of 5: Where are the terms technology,
inno... 335
Idea 256: Holographic "3D" Displays 335
Idea 255: Location based coupons. 336
Idea 254: Learn how to feed the world. Becoming a vegetarian
helps. 336
Idea 253: Buy pico projectors. Distribute it among your road
warriors. 337
The next steps in mobile communication? Rob Glaser's got
something ... 337
Idea 252: Build a flying telescope. NASA style. 337

Why innovation will spring out of patent lawsuits in the next
decade 337
Idea #251: Watch some LIVE IPL twenty twenty cricket on
Youtube. Sp... 338
Idea 250:Make sure your ideas make the cut before you
implement it. 339
Idea 249: Start a food truck. It's supposedly one of the best
selli... 339
Idea 248: Make sure your blog has the right niche. This way you
can... 339
Idea 247: Head to SXSWi 339
Idea 246: Use walls at your office to brainstorm. Save paper,
Save ... 339
Idea 245: When you cannot innovate, copy 340
Idea 244: Go find your startup the perfect apps at the Google
App S... 340
Idea 243: Develop a business growth strategy. 340
Idea 242: Save $2 mil by removing 1 stop sign. Look at Gary
Lauder'... 340
Subscribe to our posts and win a Nikon D90 SLR Camera plus a
lens k... 341
Idea #241: Attend Cloudcamp 2010. If you are in the cloud
computing... 341
Contest for this week: Win a 500 GB Seagate External HDD 342
Idea #240: Listen to Charles Leadbeater on innovation 342
Idea #239: Build a mind reading computer. I am not kidding. 342
Idea #238: Rent cars for an hour, or two or 24. Save the planet. 343
Idea #237: When in doubt, sue HTC. 343
Idea #236: Revolutionize sports with tech. Adidas works its
magic o... 343

Idea #235: Biodegradable plastics. Finally. Again? 343
Idea #234: Screw Cellular. Get into the Wimax game 343
Idea #233: Start managing your online reputation. 344
Idea #232: Working but want to start something? Just do it! 344
Idea #231: Design for the post apocalyptic world. Really. 344
Idea #230: Become an antiques collector. Start your collection
with... 344
Idea #229: Get a celebrity to endorse your product 345
Idea #228: You will love this bit of news if you are in the social ... 345
Idea #227: Read this blog if you are in the p2p lending arena 345
Idea #226: Having trouble managing a large mailing list? Make
life ... 345
Idea #225: Ask your government to share data to the world.
Then bui... 345
Idea #224: Listen to cells in your body. One molecule of H2O2
at a ... 346
Idea #223: You a web designer? Then you must be read these
magazine... 346
Idea #222: Integrate and grow. Going solo is not the best idea. 346
Idea #221: Outsource your next software project to Kenya. It
saves ... 346
Idea #220: Build a tablet PC. Its the next "big thing" 346
Idea #219: Make money for your next startup in these
companies 347
Idea #218: Give Flash a chance 347
Idea #217 347
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The iBing Shop is now open! 349
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We are giving away 2 "polished stainless steel" iPod Shuffles.
Why?... 353
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Question from a reader: I have invented a new regulator circuit
for... 355
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We now have traffic from 101 countries. Asia beats everyone
else ha... 363
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Idea #104: Help distribute videos on all freakkin platforms
#ideabi... 366
Idea #103: Write a marketing plan for your startup #ideabing
#idea 366
Ideabing is now on facebook. #ideabing #idea 366
Up and Down and Up again #ideabing #idea 366
Ideabing's massive t-shirt give away. 367
Idea #102 367
Idea #101 367
And the winner of the Nexus One is... 367
Ms. Jo Jones won our t-shirt contest 367
Idea #100 368
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The Ideabing t-shirt contest is over! 368
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We have started to conquer the world AND get a free custom t-
shirt ... 370
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Google Nexus One give away! 373
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Idea #17: Replace all public transport in the world with Maglevs 381
Idea #16: Start a software services company in Chile. 381
Idea #15: Harvest organs from death row inmate 382
Idea #14: Form a country out of facebook users. 382
Idea #13: Ban inefficient light bulbs 382
Idea #12: Form a super bank. Get all the VC's of the world to
inves... 382
Idea #11:Desalinate ocean water. Counter ocean level rise due
to gl... 382
Idea #10: Replace Silicon transistors with Graphene transistors. 382
Idea #9: Power everything with the sun 383
Idea #8: Enable M&A of nations by other nations. 383
Idea #7: Ban private transport. 383
Idea #1: Make international roaming free on any mobile phone.
Launc... 383
Idea #6: Make invisible headphones. 383
Idea #5: Do away with the concept of patents. Let intellectual
prop... 383
Idea #4: Make free universal health care, universal 384
Idea #3:Make cameras obsolete. Design something that uses
your eye ... 384

Idea #2:Make nuclear fusion power technology available to the
poore... 384

Ideabing Daily Roundup- Nuclear Fusion Version
Wednesday, June 30, 2010

DIY: More Nuclear Fusion ReactorsView Out Of A Space ShuttleComputer Automatically

Deciphers Ancient Language
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Computer Automatically Deciphers Ancient

Wednesday, June 30, 2010
In his 2002 book Lost Languages, Andrew
Robinson, then the literary editor of the
London Times’ higher-education
supplement, declared that “successful
archaeological decipherment has turned
out to require a synthesis of logic and
intuition … that computers do not (and
presumably cannot) possess.” Regina
Barzilay, an associate professor in MIT’s
Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence
Lab, Ben Snyder, a grad student in her lab,
and the University of Southern California’s Kevin Knight took that claim personally. At the
Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics in Sweden next month,
they will present a paper on a new computer system that, in a matter of hours,
deciphered much of the ancient Semitic language Ugaritic. In addition to helping
archeologists decipher the eight or so ancient languages that have so far resisted their
efforts, the work could also help expand the number of languages that automated
translation systems like Google Translate can handle. To duplicate the “intuition” that
Robinson believed would elude computers, the researchers’ software makes several
assumptions. The first is that the language being deciphered is closely related to some
other language: In the case of Ugaritic, the researchers chose Hebrew. The next is that
there’s a systematic way to map the alphabet of one language on to the alphabet of the 33
other, and that correlated symbols will occur with similar frequencies in the two
languages. The system makes a similar assumption at the level of the word: The
languages should have at least some cognates, or words with shared roots, like main and
mano in French and Spanish, or homme and hombre. And finally, the system assumes a
similar mapping for parts of words. A word like “overloading,” for instance, has both a
prefix — “over” — and a suffix — “ing.” The system would anticipate that other words in
the language will feature the prefix “over” or the suffix “ing” or both, and that a cognate of
“overloading” in another language — say, “surchargeant” in French — would have a
similar three-part structure. Crosstalk The system plays these different levels of
correspondence off of each other. It might begin, for instance, with a few competing
hypotheses for alphabetical mappings, based entirely on symbol frequency — mapping
symbols that occur frequently in one language onto those that occur frequently in the
other. Using a type of probabilistic modeling common in artificial-intelligence research, it
would then determine which of those mappings seems to have identified a set of
consistent suffixes and prefixes. On that basis, it could look for correspondences at the
level of the word, and those, in turn, could help it refine its alphabetical mapping. “We
iterate through the data hundreds of times, thousands of times,” says Snyder, “and each
time, our guesses have higher probability, because we’re actually coming closer to a
solution where we get more consistency.” Finally, the system arrives at a point where
altering its mappings no longer improves consistency. Ugaritic has already been
deciphered: Otherwise, the researchers would have had no way to gauge their system’s
performance. The Ugaritic alphabet has 30 letters, and the system correctly mapped 29
of them to their Hebrew counterparts. Roughly one-third of the words in Ugaritic have
Hebrew cognates, and of those, the system correctly identified 60 percent. “Of those that
are incorrect, often they’re incorrect only by a single letter, so they’re often very good
guesses,” Snyder says. Furthermore, he points out, the system doesn’t currently use any
contextual information to resolve ambiguities. For instance, the Ugaritic words for “house”
and “daughter” are spelled the same way, but their Hebrew counterparts are not. While
the system might occasionally get them mixed up, a human decipherer could easily tell
from context which was intended. Babel Nonetheless, Andrew Robinson remains
skeptical. “If the authors believe that their approach will eventually lead to the
computerised ‘automatic’ decipherment of currently undeciphered scripts,” he writes in an
e-mail, “then I am afraid I am not at all persuaded by their paper.” The researchers’
approach, he says, presupposes that the language to be deciphered has an alphabet that
can be mapped onto the alphabet of a known language — “which is almost certainly not
the case with any of the important remaining undeciphered scripts,” Robinson writes. It
also assumes, he argues, that it’s clear where one character or word ends and another
begins, which is not the case with many deciphered and undeciphered scripts. “Each
language has its own challenges,” Barzilay agrees. “Most likely, a successful
decipherment would require one to adjust the method for the peculiarities of a language.”
But, she points out, the decipherment of Ugaritic took years and relied on some happy
coincidences — such as the discovery of an axe that had the word “axe” written on it in
Ugaritic. “The output of our system would have made the process orders of magnitude
shorter,” she says. Indeed, Snyder and Barzilay don’t suppose that a system like the one
they designed with Knight would ever replace human decipherers. “But it is a powerful
tool that can aid the human decipherment process,” Barzilay says. Moreover, a variation
of it could also help expand the versatility of translation software. Many online translators
rely on the analysis of parallel texts to determine word correspondences: They might, for
instance, go through the collected works of Voltaire, Balzac, Proust and a host of other
writers, in both English and French, looking for consistent mappings between words.
“That’s the way statistical translation systems have worked for the last 25 years,” Knight
says. But not all languages have such exhaustively translated literatures: At present,

Snyder points out, Google Translate works for only 57 languages. The techniques used
in the decipherment system could be adapted to help build lexicons for thousands of
other languages. “The technology is very similar,” says Knight, who works on machine
translation. “They feed off each other.” [via MIT]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:49PM ()

View Out Of A Space Shuttle

Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Now that space travel will become common, its time for you to start considering the view
you will get out of a space shuttle. You may then make a decision about forking out
hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

DIY: More Nuclear Fusion Reactors

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

More DIY Nuclear fusion reactors coming to the fore, this one built by a high school
student. Thiago Olson built the nuclear fusion reactor in 2006 out of parts purchased from
a hardware store and ebay. Olson achieved nuclear fusion in his DIY reactor which fused
atoms at some 200 mil degrees. No, the reactor does not power his house yet. Wonder 35
how far away we are from having personal nuclear reactors for our homes. Posted by
Akshaya Murthy at 01:06AM ()

Ideabing Daily Roundup: Universcale Version

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Inspiration: The Nikon UniverscaleScary Design: Mouse Pointer Contact LensesFile-

Swap Lets You Swap You Files For Some Random Files
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Inspiration: The Nikon Universcale

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

We might be the most intelligent species known to ourselves but have you ever imagined
how tiny we are? My trip to Niagara falls made me wonder about the size of this planet,
and the size of me. What if we created a scale as long as the universe and tries to spot
humans on it? You wouldn't be visible, just like the millionth of a millimeter is not visible
on a meter scale. The Nikon Universcale puts this thought into perspective by measuring
you and things around you on a cosmic scale. The problem is that you have to zoom in
way too much to find yourself. The site also serves up generous information about the
zoom level you are at. Go find yourself at Nikon Universcale

[via Nikon]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Scary Design: Mouse Pointer Contact Lenses
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Things like these are scary but they exist. A concept contact lens design called I-Contact
actually wants to use contact lenses for using your eye to do all the work your hands and
mouse do. The concept is straight forward but it might take some time before this gets
implemented in real life.The contact lens is the transmitter and the contact lens carrying
case is the wireless receiver. The rest is magic. So, how often do you want to change
your mouse? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Design by Eun-Gyeong Gwon & Eun-Jae Lee.
[via Yanko Design]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM () 37
File-Swap Lets You Swap You Files For Some
Random Files
Monday, June 28, 2010

Blind dates are one form of getting the unknown but getting random files is another thing. lets you swap your perfectly good file for a random file off the internet! We
sent the ideabing logo file and got back a hazy party shot. Go try your luck. You might get
those naked mom pictures in exchange for your files. The domain is for sale, by the way.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:49PM ()

DIY: Enforcing Privacy, The IR Way

Monday, June 28, 2010
Too many cameras looking at you on the street? Worried Google street view is
photographing you? Well, there is a low cost remedy to this problem. The street cams are
super sensitive to infra red light. So why not make a hat that has IR light all over it? that
should blind the camera!
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Smart Thinking: Recharging Shopping Carts
Monday, June 28, 2010

Some good green design ideas popping up across the board these days. Developed by
Kitae Pak and Inyong Jung the e-cart charging shopping cart concept is one such great
green idea. The idea's simple - as customers push around shopping carts charge a
battery via rotating wheels of the shopping cart. Then feed the stored energy back into
the grid. How cool is that! So how much power will hundreds of shopping carts generate
for a super market? Enough to run its freezers. Practical ideas like this one will drive our
planet to greenery, eventually. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Design: BP Oil Spill Springs Artists To Action

Monday, June 28, 2010 39
The Gulf Coast oil spill which has created one of mankind's worst screw ups. Now that
BP's got some bad publicity going its way, art had to contribute somehow. has called artists to redesign BP's logo to accurately represent BP's
current image in the world - a large scale polluter. The contest has a $200 reward for the
winner! Hit the source link for contest details and more cool BP logo redesigns. [Source:]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Wireless Induction Charging For Plugin Cars?

Sunday, June 27, 2010
While efforts are on to build entire networks of charging stations to fuel your power
hungry plugin automobiles, a German company Vahle has been proposing induction coil
lined roads to charge cars wirelessly while in motion. This type of charging works the way
a Palm Pre's touchstone based charging works - wireless induction. This could well be
reality, now that German cars are getting all sorts of capabilities. Video after the break.
[Source Vahle]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Infographic: Walking Or Biking To Work Costs

You Tax Money
Sunday, June 27, 2010

So you thought walking or biking to work cost you nothing? Consider this - an annual
budget of $1.2 Billion just to make sure that your walking or biking is facilitated. Don't
understand? In plain terms, in the US the Dept. of transportation spends about $1.2 bil to
build infrastructure to make sure you can walk and bike safely to and from work. That's,

uh tax money. No, don't get back into your car yet. [via Good]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:00PM ()

On Ideabing This Week- DIY Nuclear Plants,

Hybrid Airships And Inno...
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Missed things on Ideabing this past week? We have you
covered. We hit stories about sustainable energy, DIY
Nuclear Plants, grassroots innovation, hybrid airships, super
economical airplanes and exclusive interviews. What's coming up next week? Some
great stories on defence tech, awesome paint jobs, an exclusive interview, some
university research news and announcing the winners of the Ideabing contest. Keep
visiting us.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Lockheed Martin Working On OTEC Technology.

Promises Unlimited Clea...
Sunday, June 27, 2010

We talk about a lot of green tech and clean tech here at Ideabing but this one takes the
cake. Lockheed Martin is working on something called the Ocean Thermal Energy
Conversion or OTEC that promises energy production with zero carbon output. Yup, its a
power plant on the ocean but with absolutely no carbon footprint. How it works is a little
complex though. The technology utilizes the subtle temperature differences between the
shallow and deep regions of ocean water to harvest that energy and convert it to
electricity. The good news? The energy can be harvested in all the ocean water on this
planet! Unlimited energy potential with zero carbon output. Yes, the humans have finally
found kryptonite! Lockheed Martin's going to build the first power plant in Hawaii by 2012,
a 10 Mega Watt one. Subsequent ones will have 100 Mega Watt capacity. This changes
the game quite drastically in the energy sector. Imagine - no fossil fuels required to
generate electricity! Welcome to the OTEC economy. Video demonstrating the
technology after the break. [via Lockheed Martin]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:49AM () 41
Sustainability: World's Most Sustainable Building

Saturday, June 26, 2010
What do you call a building that's powered by the sun and the wind? It's called the Wuhan
New Energy Center. Coming up in Wuhan, China, the Wuhan New Energy Center boasts
to have a zero carbon footprint. The lily shaped building generates its own energy thanks
to the vertical axis windmill and solar chimney. The building also harvests rain water
within the building. The roof of the building is basically a solar panel array for generating
electricity. The design allows the building to be cooled naturally. Designed by the design
consultants Grontmij and Soeters Van Eldonk Architects the building will eventually stand
140 feet tall. The Wuhan Lily building is also the first building to be credited to be the
world's most sustainable building title. The building plans to house a research center and
labs for researching new energy initiatives. Pictures of the lily after the break. [via
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:25PM ()

DIY Nuclear Fusion Reactor. Believe.

Saturday, June 26, 2010
New York is notorious for nuclear projects, first the Manhattan project that produced the
world's first nuclear weapon, now the so called "Brooklyn project" is out to create the
world's first home made nuclear fusion reactor. While we have always thought of nuclear
fusion technology to be THE solution to the world's energy problems, it's been an entity
chased by multinational science teams. But, one Mr. Suppes of "Prometheus Fusion
Labs" has built a nuclear fusion reactor in his garage. Yes, you heard it right, in his
garage. It doesn't power his home yet but sure fuses up atoms - the first step to nuclear
fusion energy. Don't believe me? Watch the video. [Source BBC] [via PSFK]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Want To Check Your Email In Your Car? Buy A

Saturday, June 26, 2010
Now this is what we call messed up or
productive, depending on how you see it. If
you are the globe trotting CEO who wants
to stay in touch with people via email even
when you are driving your car, then this is
productive. If you have just purchased the
car to drive around like this guy did, then
this is messed up. BMW is integrating email
reading functions into their cars' connect
drive display unit. This means that if you
have a Blackberry phone (no iPhone,
sorry), you can now read emails off the
phone directly on the car's display unit. Now you decide if this is productive or messed
up. Mr. Arnold, if you are listening could you please consider passing a law that bans
drivers from reading their emails while in their BMW's in Cal? Shots of the email interface
after the break. 43
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:07AM ()

Inspiration: Fixing Education In America

Friday, June 25, 2010

America has fallen behind in education, so much so that it stands last in the list of 20
developed nations in percentage of students graduating out of high school. The problem
is so big that every 26 seconds a child drops out of school in the US. Indian and Chinese
children are outperforming everywhere. SO, how do we fix it? There is no single answer
but once you fix education, other problems like unemployment and crime will be solved
automatically. Oscar winning film maker David Guggenheim of "An Inconvenient Truth"
fame has now made a film about the US education system called "Waiting for
Superman". Watch it this fall, you might see the answers staring at you. Trailer after the
break. [via Waiting For Superman]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:11PM ()

4Food Tries To "DeJunk" NYC's Food

Friday, June 25, 2010
NYC is seeing a lot of startup action and
food is a hot sector. 4Food is another NYC
startup trying to do some good to mankind,
especially the obese kind in NYC. 4Food is
a "socially networked" fast food joint with a menu that is "considerably healthy" compared
to the competition (read McDonald's, Burger King, Wend..). The joint offers fast service
with almost unlimited customization offered on the food they serve. Thanks to the "social
networked-ness" of the food joint, they will be able to personalize every aspect of the
food to meet the consumers' lifestyle requirements. You can win an iPad by suggesting
how you want to dejunk NYC's food on 4food's website. Want to see how it all began?
Head here. Their first outlet opens on 40th and Madison in NYC on July 6th. Be there!
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

A Weird Vending Machine
Friday, June 25, 2010

Japanese have their way with things, be it technology, or even porn. Hitachi has now
shown off a solar powered vending machine that's quite different. Apart from of course,
the solar panels that run the machine, a whole lot of moss covers the borders of the
vending machine to insulate it during cold Japanese winters. The Fuji electric group
showed off the creation at a trade show recently. The moss keeps the machine warm
hence conserving energy. Innovative, indeed. And yes, the Japanese are super
obsessed with vending machines. Do the Japanese eat raw moss? Just asking. [via
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Building A Smarter City With IBM

Friday, June 25, 2010

Few advertising campaigns make an impact on our minds, IBM's "Smarter City"
campaign is one of the best we have seen. IBM has built a whole portal putting together
all the case studies that make up a smarter city. Its a "complete" campaign in a sense.
The campaign addresses issues with transportation, healthcare, education, development,
public safety, and energy and utilities with core examples. The site also offers glimpses of
work IBM has done in each of these areas. The main theme is to convert silos of
information into a streamlined flow of information across departments and organizations.
Share the data, collaborate and be a smarter city. Check out the website here:
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:58AM () 45
Video: Wireless Parking
Thursday, June 24, 2010
How often have you gotten out of the comfort of your high rise home at 6 in the morning
JUST to feed the parking meter? Trust me, I have, several times. Big cities means big
problems parking your car and then keeping the cops from giving you a parking ticket. In
comes wireless parking. How about finding a parking spot with that smartphone you
have? How about controlling the parking meter with your smartphone? Interesting?
Watch. [via Good]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:20PM ()

Video: GE - A Day In Life

Thursday, June 24, 2010
Want to know what happens at GE everyday? This video might help. GE - Day in Life
from Honest Directors on Vimeo. [via Vimeo]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:08PM ()

Some people do not taste salt like others

Thursday, June 24, 2010
University Park, Pa. -- Low-salt foods may be harder for
some people to like than others, according to a study by a
Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences food scientist.
The research indicates that genetics influence some of the
difference in the levels of salt we like to eat. Those
conclusions are important because recent, well-publicized
efforts to reduce the salt content in food have left many people struggling to accept fare
that simply does not taste as good to them as it does to others, pointed out John Hayes,
assistant professor of food science, who was lead investigator on the study. Diets high in
salt can increase the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. That is why public health
experts and food companies are working together on ways to help consumers lower salt
intake through foods that are enjoyable to eat. This study increases understanding of salt
preference and consumption. The research involved 87 carefully screened participants
who sampled salty foods such as broth, chips and pretzels, on multiple occasions, spread
out over weeks. Test subjects were 45 men and 42 women, reportedly healthy, ranging in
age from 20 to 40 years. The sample was composed of individuals who were not actively
modifying their dietary intake and did not smoke cigarettes. They rated the intensity of
taste on a commonly used scientific scale, ranging from barely detectable to strongest
sensation of any kind. The study, a collaboration between Hayes and Valerie Duffy,
professor of allied health science and Bridget S. Sullivan, Master's graduate, University of
Connecticut, appeared in today's (June 16) issue of Physiology & Behavior. "Most of us
like the taste of salt. However, some individuals eat more salt, both because they like the
taste of saltiness more, and also because it is needed to block other unpleasant tastes in
food," said Hayes. "Supertasters, people who experience tastes more intensely, consume
more salt than do nontasters. Snack foods have saltiness as their primary flavor, and at
least for these foods, more is better, so the supertasters seem to like them more."
However, supertasters also need higher levels of salt to block unpleasant bitter tastes in

foods such as cheese, Hayes noted. "For example, cheese is a wonderful blend of dairy
flavors from fermented milk, but also bitter tastes from ripening that are blocked by salt,"
he said. "A supertaster finds low-salt cheese unpleasant because the bitterness is too
pronounced." Hayes cited research done more than 75 years ago by a chemist named
Fox and a geneticist named Blakeslee, showing that individuals differ in their ability to
taste certain chemicals. As a result, Hayes explained, we know that a wide range in taste
acuity exists, and this variation is as normal as variations in eye and hair color. "Some
people, called supertasters, describe bitter compounds as being extremely bitter, while
others, called nontasters, find these same bitter compounds to be tasteless or only
weakly bitter," he said. "Response to bitter compounds is one of many ways to identify
biological differences in food preference because supertasting is not limited to bitterness.
"Individuals who experience more bitterness also perceive more saltiness in table salt,
more sweetness from table sugar, more burn from chili peppers, and more tingle from
carbonated drinks." Supertasters live in a neon food world, Hayes noted. Nontasters, on
the other extreme, live in a pastel food world. "Interestingly, nontasters may be more
likely to add salt to foods at the table because they need more salt to reach the same
level of perceived saltiness as a supertaster," he said. "However, most of the salt we
consume comes from salt added to processed foods and not from the salt shaker."
Currently, U.S. citizens consume two to three times the amount of salt recommended for
good health. Hayes advises consumers to lower their salt intake by reading the food label
and looking for products that contain fewer than 480 milligrams of sodium per serving.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Institutes of Health supported this
work. [via PSU]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:23AM ()

The Most Economical Airplane? MIT Thinks So

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

If you are flying to a place, you're most likely to have done more damage to the planet
than you can think. Now that the world is feeling guilty about pollution, MIT has stepped
in to design an aircraft that will consume 70% less fuel than current commercial
airplanes. The team also claims that the plane will reduce the amount of Nitrogen oxides
spewed out into the atmosphere and the amount of noise the airplane makes. We like the
solar plane as well. Good stuff eh? Of course, NASA had a part to play in this
achievement. Full PR text after the break. ******Start PR Text********** In what could set
the stage for a fundamental shift in commercial aviation, an MIT-led team has designed a
green airplane that is estimated to use 70 percent less fuel than current planes while also
reducing noise and emission of nitrogen oxides (NOx). The design was one of two that 47
the team, led by faculty from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, presented
to NASA last month as part of a $2.1 million research contract to develop environmental
and performance concepts that will help guide the agency’s aeronautics research over
the next 25 years. Known as “N+3” to denote three generations beyond today’s
commercial transport fleet, the research program is aimed at identifying key technologies,
such as advanced airframe configurations and propulsion systems, that will enable
greener airplanes to take flight around 2035. MIT was the only university to lead one of
the six U.S. teams that won contracts from NASA in October 2008. Four teams — led by
MIT, Boeing, GE Aviation and Northrop Grumman, respectively — studied concepts for
subsonic (slower than the speed of sound) commercial planes, while teams led by Boeing
and Lockheed-Martin studied concepts for supersonic (faster than the speed of sound)
commercial aircraft. Led by AeroAstro faculty and students, including principal
investigator Ed Greitzer, the H. Nelson Slater Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics,
the MIT team members include Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation and Pratt & Whitney.
Their objective was to develop concepts for, and evaluate the potential of, quieter
subsonic commercial planes that would burn 70 percent less fuel and emit 75 percent
less NOx than today’s commercial planes. NASA also wanted an aircraft that could take
off from shorter runways. Designing an airplane that could meet NASA’s aggressive
criteria while accounting for the changes in air travel in 2035 — when air traffic is
expected to double — would require “a radical change,” according to Greitzer. Although
automobiles have undergone extensive design changes over the last half-century,
“aircraft silhouettes have basically remained the same over the past 50 years,” he said,
describing the traditional, easily recognizable “tube-and-wing” structure of an aircraft’s
wings and fuselage. Two planes for two missions The MIT team met NASA’s challenge
by developing two designs: the 180-passenger D “double bubble” series to replace the
Boeing 737 class aircraft, currently used for domestic flights, and the 350 passenger H
“hybrid wing body” series to replace the 777 class aircraft now used for international
flights. The engineers conceived of the D series by reconfiguring the tube-and-wing
structure. Instead of using a single fuselage cylinder, they used two partial cylinders
placed side by side to create a wider structure whose cross-section resembles two soap
bubbles joined together. They also moved the engines from the usual wing-mounted
locations to the rear of the fuselage. Unlike the engines on most transport aircraft that
take in the high-speed, undisturbed air flow, the D-series engines take in slower moving
air that is present in the wake of the fuselage. Known as the Boundary Layer Ingestion
(BLI), this technique allows the engines to use less fuel for the same amount of thrust,
although the design has several practical drawbacks, such as creating more engine
stress. According to Mark Drela, the Terry L. Kohler Professor of Fluid Dynamics and
lead designer of the D series, the design mitigates some of the drawbacks of the BLI
technique by traveling about 10 percent slower than a 737. To further reduce the drag
and amount of fuel that the plane burns, the D series features longer, skinnier wings and
a smaller tail. Independently, each tweak might not amount to much, but the “little 5-
percent changes add up to one big change,” Drela said. Although the plane would travel
slightly slower than a 737, he said that some of this time could be recovered because the
plane’s wider size should allow for quicker loading and unloading. Not only does the D
series meet NASA’s long-term fuel burn, emissions reduction and runway length
objectives, but it could also offer large benefits in the near future because the MIT team
designed two versions: a higher technology version with 70 percent fuel-burn reduction,
and a version that could be built with conventional aluminum and current jet technology
that would burn 50 percent less fuel and might be more attractive as a lower risk, near-
term alternative. Carl Burleson, the director of the Federal Aviation Agency’s Office of
Environment and Energy, said that in addition to its “really good environmental
performance,” the D series is impressive because its bubble design is similar enough to

the tube-and-wing structure of current planes that it should be easier to integrate into
airport infrastructure than more radical designs. “You have to think about how an airport
structure can support it,” he said. “ For some other designs, you could have to
fundamentally reshape the gates at airports because the planes are configured so
differently.” Although the H series utilizes much of the same technology as the D series,
including BLI, a larger design is needed for this plane to carry more passengers over
longer distances. The MIT team designed a triangular-shaped hybrid wing body aircraft
that blends a wider fuselage with the wings for improved aerodyamics. The large center
body creates a forward lift that eliminates the need for a tail to balance the aircraft. The
large structure also allows engineers to explore different propulsion architectures for the
plane, such as a distributed system of multiple smaller engines. Although the H series
meets NASA’s emissions-reduction and runway-length goals, the researchers said they
will continue to improve the design to meet more of NASA’s objectives. The MIT team
expects to hear from NASA within the next several months about whether it has been
selected for the second phase of the program, which will provide additional funds to one
or two of the subsonic teams in 2011 to research and develop the technologies identified
during the first phase. The researchers acknowledge that some propulsion system
technology still needs to be explored. They have proposed evaluating the interactions
between the propulsion system and the new aircraft using a large-scale NASA wind
tunnel. Even if the MIT designs are not chosen for the second phase, the researchers
hope to continue to develop them, including testing smaller models at MIT’s Wright
Brothers’ Wind Tunnel and collaborating with manufacturers to explore how to make the
concepts a reality. ********End PR Text*********
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:44PM ()

Aava Mobile Talks Tablets, More Goodies This

Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Aava mobile, the open mobile platform startup is getting Intel into the high end
smartphone scene currently ruled by Qualcomm's Snapdragon platform. We talked to
Piotr Frasunkiewicz, the main man behind the sales and marketing at Aava. He talks to
us about the Aava platform, Android fragmentation, Meego, Intel vs. Qualcomm, the
Palm-HP marriage and of course, the magical tablet PC. Ideabing: Tell us about Aava
Mobile, how did it start?
Piotr Frasunkiewicz:Aava Mobile was founded in 2009 by a team of engineering wizards
with a strong background in mobile phone development who wanted to build an open-
source mobile device platform for the OEM/ODM market.
Ideabing: What do you mean by an "Open Mobile Device"?
Piotr Frasunkiewicz:Open Device is a concept we introduced during MWC 2010. In the
case of the hardware design, it's easy to customize for our customers, and with the
software, it's easy to customize in terms of the OS running on the device in addition to the
fact that it's open for different peripherals, which enables various usage scenarios.
Ideabing: Why Android? What other options did you consider before freezing on Android?
Piotr Frasunkiewicz:Aava supports Android and MeeGo. We do not have a strong
preference in regard to the software. What software and what software customization will
be used in our hardware when products get on the market is the decision of our
customers.d. Why did you choose to use an Intel hardware platform over other hardware
Ideabing: The Qualcomm Snapdragon platform is slowly becoming the standard, why 49
move away from it?
Piotr Frasunkiewicz:We see the clear benefits of the x86 architecture thanks to the
revolutionary improvements with power management in the Intel Atom Z6xx family. Now
x86 architecture can finally be used in mobile devices like smartphones. Intel can share
more info and benchmark data about Atom in comparison to other chipsets, but we can
say we are happy about our decision because this gives us unique market positioning
and makes our products competitive
Ideabing: We have already seen significant fragmentation of the Android platform. Do you
think Aava will contribute further to this fragmentation? Especially since operators will be
able to customize the UI?
Piotr Frasunkiewicz:We believe that a common baseline is a key success factor, so we
focus our efforts on being fully compatible with Google's Android baseline. UI
customization does not necessarily lead to fragmentation, and MeeGo and Android
provide a lot of flexibility to customize the look and feel of the UI without changing the
core of the OS and causing market fragmentation.
Ideabing: How scalable is the Aava platform? How many form factors are you looking at?
What is the biggest form factor Aava is looking at for now?
Piotr Frasunkiewicz:Aava's core experience relates to small form factor products, so our
core offering will be smartphones, but nothing prevents us from building bigger products
like tablets that are based on the same technology. Growing the size of the device to a
10” tablet is much easier then shrinking it to the smartphone size.
Ideabing: When will we see the first Aava devices shipping to consumers? When will US
consumers get to buy these devices?
Piotr Frasunkiewicz:It depends on our customers. Our technology will be ready for
shipping this year.
Ideabing: What is the price range being targeted?
Piotr Frasunkiewicz:You need to ask OEMs building devices based on our technology
because we cannot comment on market pricing. Our technology isn't more expensive
than the technology in other products on the market.
Ideabing: Your thoughts on the Smartphone market today?
Piotr Frasunkiewicz:We believe that the smartphone market will become more and more
similar to the PC market. Open operating systems (not necessarily open source operating
systems) and hardware commoditization will lead to faster growth of the market and
much shorter product development cycles. We are happy to be a part of this.
Ideabing: Is HP's acquisition of Palm going to change anything in the mobile industry?
Your comments?
Piotr Frasunkiewicz:We are very interested to see the first products based on Palm's
technology coming from HP.
Ideabing: Finally, where do Aava mobile platforms stack up against the iPad and/or
iPhone 4 platforms in terms of performance, value and technology?
Piotr Frasunkiewicz:We think that our technology gives more flexibility combined with
higher performance than any other smartphone device available on the market. I hope
you will be able experience this for yourself in the near future.

Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:23AM ()

Grassroots Innovation - A Refrigerator That Runs
Without Electricit...
Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Grassroots innovation changes the way people live in poor nations, this particular one
could well be the Nobel prize clincher. A young innovator in India, Mansukh Prajapati has
created what he claims a refrigerator that runs without any need for electricity. He hasn't
done anything new, just applied the knowledge Indian people have had for years about
pots made of clay. Clay's porous nature naturally keeps food stored inside clay
containers cool. Mansukh just made a refrigerator out of clay! The refrigerator called
"Mitti-cool" in Hindi which translates to "Clay-cool" has been patented in India. Apart from
"Mitticool", Mansukh has also developed water filters and non-stick cookware out of clay.
The best thing about this refrigerator is it's price. About $50!! This no electricity miracle
easily trumps Adam Grosser's sustainable fridge. Now try competing with this product,
GE. Imagine this refrigerator doing its magic in Africa! You can get in touch with Mansukh
at +912828 221156 OR +919825177249 Thanks, Deepti for the tip.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:09AM ()

Australia Says: No Antivirus? No Internet

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Australia is kicking up all the dust these days with massive civilian policy changes. First
there was a motion to ban any sort of manufacturer branding on cigarette packs, now it's
this. If you live in Australia and do not have anti virus software installed, you won't get an
internet connection. And if you do have a connection and not the anti virus software, it will
be cut of till the software is installed. Like that wasn't enough, if your computer gets
affected, the internet connection will be cut off till the problem's solved. This policy may
go a long way in preventing cyber crime for the Aussies but will it be effective in curbing
online crimes? Let's wait and watch. [via] 51
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:42PM ()

How Do I Become An Entrepreneur?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010
A few weeks back, I happened to attend this session on a fine Saturday morning in
Bangalore. It was being organized by the Headstart Network, and is held every second
Saturday in the premises of one of India’s premier institutions, the Indian Institute of
Management, Bangalore. Apparently, this event was first hosted in Feb 2008, and seems
to have been one of the places where entrepreneurs of all breeds ranging from ‘I-want-to-
start-one-but-don’t-know-how’ to ‘I-have-so-many-startups-under-my-belt-that-awesome-
doesn’t-describe-me’ meet and size each other up. It seemed a great place to meet new
people and hopefully get a different view on the world around us, I figured that it was
worth a visit. So, I turned up, and to summarize a three hour meet(without any breaks,
mind you!) I’ll say this: People came up, gave lightning pitches and a few of them showed
demos of what they were doing, and they spoke of how they got started. While many of
the ideas portrayed were unconventional, in hindsight I realize that what really came
away with me was what happened at the end of each person’s talk. I thought it was quite
cheesy that the host would ask the audience to “raise your hands and let us know if you
think this idea will succeed. Ok, now those of you who don’t think it stands a chance,
raise your hands”. But now, I think I’ve stumbled on something. It’s funny how some
things just appear like common sense when you’ve realized it. So what did I realize?
What I distinctly remember is that some of the pitches that were put forth with powerpoint
slides and with strong pedigree(read: rich experience) sounded good, and some of the
pitches that didn’t have any powerpoint slides and the speaker was nervous sounded
bad. Yet. When the audience was asked for the feasibility, more hands were raised for
the success of the latter person mentioned. You’re probably thinking how in the world is it
possible? To make it a little clearer, how can a pitch by a nervous 20 year old fresh-out-
of-college kid receive stronger feedback of likely success than that by a confident 35 year
old man who was highly-experienced-and-possesses-rich-consultation-experience. Well,
the reason was simple. The idea proposed by the kid seemed impractical, but apparently
it was in operation for the last two years and was turning a tidy profit, while that of the
older man was still in its conception stage. If you haven’t figured it out yet, a working
prototype is much more valuable than a pipe dream. Even if the prototype seems crazy,
hey! He got it working, didn’t he? It’s real! People around you will have all kinds of
opinions about why your idea will work, and why it wont. Microsoft could have been boo-
ed to shame if Windows hadn’t taken off at all, yet they succeeded so people held their
tongues as far as they could. Motorola didn’t have the same luck with Iridium, stories will
be told of their failure for long. But then again, this doesn't mean that we shut our eyes
and ears completely when setting off on our own. We need to remember that feedback
can be obtained from any source. Picking up what really helps, is what sets apart those
that listen from those that hear. That brings me to the point that there is NO proper way to
become an entrepreneur. As I’ve already mentioned in my last article, successful
entrepreneurs are those who are in it for the thrill and rush of doing something they’re
fond of, and not as much driven by the monetary aspects. It’s these people who’ll make
pipe dreams come true. The most important thing is to take the step, for it is only when
you stumble in this arena that you will learn to skip and jump in rocky terrain. All the
planning in the world will not stop you from stumbling, so stop wrapping yourself in so
much bubble wrap when you can take some bumps. Maybe you’ll actually enjoy those
little scrapes!
Posted by Joel at 06:00AM ()

Infographic: Countries That Invest Most In
Alternative Energy
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The world is moving towards an oil free future but who's investing the most in alternative
energy? The usual suspects- USA, China and Japan. While the "developed" world's
making sufficient investments in alternative energy the "third world" is making significant
contributions to this new surge of green tech. [via Good]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Hybrid Airships, The US Army's Next Frontier

Monday, June 21, 2010

The US Army has just selected Northrop

Grumman to build the Long Endurance
Multi-Intelligence Vehicle or the LEMV. The
$517 million deal will bring three massive
hybrid powered airships to the skies (over Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran??). Larger than
a football field, the LEMV will provide the US Army with persistent battle field information.
The LEMV can stay aloft at an altitude of 20,000 feet for 3 weeks without a break.
Designed to plug into existing systems that the US Army uses, the LEMV is be ready in
18 months for assessment. [via] [source Northrop Grumman]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:53PM () 53
IBM's Data Baby
Monday, June 21, 2010
IBM's all about building a smarter planet but out of a baby?
Yeah, hospitals with IBM software apparently collect about
1000 unique data point every second out of every baby,
assimilate all the information and build software models to
predict infections the baby can contract so that doctors can prevent a disease from
affecting the child. How smart is that? The advert after the break. [ad code= 1
align= center]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Ideabing Exclusive: Interview With The Founders

Of yReceipts
Monday, June 21, 2010
Remember the good folks at yReceipts who
are out to reduce the clutter of paper
receipts by taking them to the cloud?
Companies like yReceipts define the next
generation of cloud based services which will transform the way you live and manage
your daily life. The founders of yReceipts have been kind enough to give us an interview
about the company, people, their product and the future of yReceipts. Read on! Ideabing:
Tell us more about yReceipts – how it started and the motivation behind this company?
yReceipts: yReceipts started quite a long time ago as an idea after a longer business trip
during which a lot of paper receipts had been collected. Upon return they had to be found
in wallets, envelopes and folders, sorted and finally entered in the company’s expense
management system – frankly a really annoying and time consuming task. It would have
been much easier if all those receipts had been available in digital format.Like with so
many ideas, apart from a lot of talking and thinking nothing happened for quite a while.
However, more and more reasons came up why digital receipts for ‘offline purchases’
would just make sense: No more lost receipts. Less crumpled paper snippets. Easier
returns and warranties. Simpler expense management. Convenient receipt
organisation.Last year (2009) we decided to take a step forward and conducted research,
talked to consumers and retailers and prepared a feasibility study. At the end the decision
was very easy: the market and technological infrastructure are ready, shoppers and
retailers want it. After our diligent research period, we decided that we can turn our idea
into a business. All three of us quit our full-time jobs and set up yReceipts. Since then we
have invested 8 months of energy, passion and resources into our business. We are
ahead of plan, experience positive demand from retailers and have interested venture
capitalists talking to us.
Ideabing: Tell us about the people behind yReceipts
yReceipts: Scott holds a degree in Science from Sydney University. Scott started with
science because of a curiosity to find out how things worked. Quickly he realised that
applying this curiosity to business and technology to make things work better was an
enduring passion. Marketing at Microsoft and a telecommunication firm as well as
experience in management consulting form the basis for his involvement in
yReceipts.Richard has degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from

Sydney University. As a student he worked for a defence contractor which focussed his
career on computer security. He worked for a number of security consulting firms before
taking on an Information Security Management role. Founding yReceipts has enabled
him to return to his passion that began well before he studied or worked, writing
code.Alexander completed a trainee programme at Deutsche Bank and holds a business
degree from the European Business Programme. He worked in Brand Marketing at
Nestlé and was an integral part of building up the European online lead generation
programme at eCircle, Europe’s leading digital direct marketing provider. After another
three years at Monitor Company, a global strategy consulting firm, it really was time to
bring yReceipts to life with Richard and Scott.We are more convinced than ever that our
common passion, different backgrounds and expertises as well as joint belief in a great
idea are the ingredients for a successful business that has the potential to make a
significant change to retailers and shoppers alike.
Ideabing: What are the opportunities in the paperless receipt market today? Will we ever
see paperless transactions in retail stores?
yReceipts: Yes, the market is ready. Businesses and Shoppers alike are interested in
moving away from paper receipts. We offer a revolutionary, environmentally-friendly
service with benefits for retailers and shoppers. We enable retailers to email receipts
directly from stores rather than printing them on paper. We call these receipts: yReceipts.
Ideabing: Why do you believe that yReceipts is the future?
yReceipts:1) The Market Potential is big. Receipts are issued everywhere. UK
businesses issue 7 Billion receipts annually for purchases with payment cards alone. To
name only a few industries: 300,000 retail outlets, 40,000 restaurants and 25,000 hotels
issue receipts every year.2) Multi Channel Retailing is growing. UK online retail is
growing 8 times faster than the overall retail market (Deloitte Touche). Retailers turn to
high growth rates of online retailing. We support retailers to stimulate and accelerate
multi-channel growth by simplifying the way offline shoppers get to online stores.3)
Targeted Marketing drives ROI. Behavioural targeted ads are clicked 670% more often
and lead 2.7 times more often to a purchase than non-targeted ads (Network Advertising
Initiative). With yReceipts retailers can run effective targeted receipt marketing
campaigns. They set conditions defining which ad to display on every receipt. Two
shoppers might buy the same product but see a different ad due to their different
purchase behaviours.4) Shoppers are ready. 85% of shoppers prefer to receive a receipt
electronically rather than on paper (yReceipts Research August 2009). yReceipts arrive
by email and are stored in a secure free online portal.5) Green shopping is popular. 49%
of the UK's top 100 retailers make 'significant' changes to become more environmentally
sound (Martec Group). Marks and Spencer’s initiative “Plan A” defines 180 commitments
to become the world’s most sustainable retailer by 2015 (M&S). yReceipts arrive as an
email and reduce paper waste and deforestation.
Ideabing: Are banks and credit card companies a threat to this market? Or are these folks
some of the main consumers of your service?
yReceipts: No, they are no threat. Rather the opposite. We are in talks with major banks
to explore opportunities how to connect our system directly to credit and debit cards, so
that shoppers can see their receipts in their online banking accounts. Imagine you have
the receipt for your camera purchase next to the credit card transaction in your online
banking account.
Ideabing: What benefits does yReceipts bring to customers over its competitors?
yReceipts: The market is in a nascent stage and there are not many competitors yet. One
of the key differences is that we do not use our system as an email marketing tool. All
shoppers who receive yReceipts from participating stores will never receive more than
the receipt from us. Other companies which start to operate in the same space,
particularly in the US, allow retailers and manufacturers to use the shopper email 55
addresses for digital marketing campaigns after they have received the actual email
receipt. We provide a convenient way of organising and managing receipts for shoppers.
They can feel safe that our system will not lead to unwanted emails in their inbox. Our
users opted for the receipt, therefore they get the receipt. Not more, not less.Another key
difference is that everyone with an email address can use our system without the need to
register for it. We don’t want to force shoppers to use a convenient new service.
Shoppers who decide to register for our free service have many benefits ranging from
being able to get receipts without ever giving out the email address in a shop to
conveniently managing all receipts from participating stores in one secure online receipt
inbox.There are other differences including but not limited to the technical infrastructure
of our system which allow us to distinguish ourselves and establish a competitive market
Ideabing: Are major retailers looking at paperless receipt options today? How difficult has
it been to sell this idea to customers?
yReceipts: Apple is the only major retailer offering digital receipts. More than 80%
(unofficial figure) of their customers opt for email receipts in Apple’s Retail stores. We
bring the email receipt system as a package solution to every retailer. Retailers
understand that it is a paradigm shift for them and their shoppers at the same time. The
market is very young but retailers are very interested in learning about and experiencing
the benefits of paperless receipts.
Ideabing: Are small business showing traction in implementing Web2.0 technologies?
What has your experience been with small businesses in selling the idea of yReceipts?
yReceipts: Small businesses love the idea. They have shorter decision times than larger
retailers and often distinguish themselves through innovative and appealing services that
their larger competitors can’t implement as quickly. yReceipts is an excellent example for
this – especially because it does not require any effort to get their store(s) up and running
with our system.
Ideabing: What is the footprint of yReceipts as of today?
yReceipts: We partnered and continue to partner with major EPoS (electronic Point of
Sale) system providers which serve several thousand retailers in total. In addition the first
10 retailers will offer yReceipts in about 20 shops until the end of July.
Ideabing: Your vision for the yReceipts 5 years from now?
yReceipts: We will be an established and leading market player with an international
footprint and want to play a major role in opening the paperless receipt market. We will
continuously innovate and work in strategic alliances and partnerships to offer consumers
the most convenient receipt management solution and retailers an essential tool
strengthen customer relationships.
Check them out at!
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

IBM's Watson Supercomputer Competes Against

Humans In Jeopardy!
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Technology blows people's minds but doesn't compete in
Jeopardy! that often. IBM's Watson - a human language
comprehending, question-answering super computer took
part in last week's episode of Jeopardy!, considered one of
the toughest quizzes in the world. The computer lost the quiz, but has paved a new path
in the evolution of computers. The last time IBM did magic with computers is when Deep

Blue beat the world's best chess player in 1987. Video of Watson's Jeopardy endeavor
after the break.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:29PM ()

Infographic: How An Intel Processor Is Made

Sunday, June 20, 2010
90% of all the computers in the world use microprocessors made by Intel. This article
explains how its made, starting from sand. Enjoy! Step 1: Sand

Made up of 25 percent silicon, is, after oxygen, the second most abundant chemical
element that’s in the earth’s crust. Sand, especially quartz, has high percentages of
silicon in the form of silicon dioxide (SiO2) and is the base ingredient for semiconductor
manufacturing. Step 2: Purification and growing

After procuring raw sand and separating the silicon, the excess material is disposed of
and the silicon is purified in multiple steps to finally reach semiconductor manufacturing
quality which is called electronic grade silicon. The resulting purity is so great that
electronic grade silicon may only have one alien atom for every one billion silicon atoms.
After the purification process, the silicon enters the melting phase. In this picture you can
see how one big crystal is grown from the purified silicon melt. The resulting mono-crystal
is called an ingot. 3. A Big Ingot 57
A mono-crystal ingot is produced from electronic grade silicon. One ingot weighs
approximately 100 kilograms (or 220 pounds) and has a silicon purity of 99.9999 percent.
4. Ingot Slicing

The ingot is then moved onto the slicing phase where individual silicon discs, called
wafers, are sliced thin. Some ingots can stand higher than five feet. Several different
diameters of ingots exist depending on the required wafer size. Today, CPUs are
commonly made on 300 mm wafers. 5. Wafer Polishing

Once cut, the wafers are polished until they have flawless, mirror-smooth surfaces. Intel

doesn’t produce its own ingots and wafers, and instead purchases manufacturing-ready
wafers from third-party companies. Intel’s advanced 45 nm High-K/Metal Gate process
uses wafers with a diameter of 300 mm (or 12-inches). When Intel first began making
chips, it printed circuits on 50 mm (2-inches) wafers. These days, Intel uses 300 mm
wafers, resulting in decreased costs per chip. 6. Photo Resist Application

The blue liquid, depicted above, is a photo resist finish similar to those used in film for
photography. The wafer spins during this step to allow an evenly-distributed coating that’s
smooth and also very thin. 7. UV Light Exposure

At this stage, the photo-resistant finish is exposed to ultra violet (UV) light. The chemical
reaction triggered by the UV light is similar to what happens to film material in a camera
the moment you press the shutter button. Areas of the resist on the wafer that have been
exposed to UV light will become soluble. The exposure is done using masks that act like
stencils. When used with UV light, masks create the various circuit patterns. The building
of a CPU essentially repeats this process over and over until multiple layers are stacked
on top of each other. A lens (middle) reduces the mask’s image to a small focal point.
The resulting “print” on the wafer is typically four times smaller, linearly, than the mask’s
pattern. 8. More Exposing 59
In the picture we have a representation of what a single transistor would appear like if we
could see it with the naked eye. A transistor acts as a switch, controlling the flow of
electrical current in a computer chip. Intel researchers have developed transistors so
small that they claim roughly 30 million of them could fit on the head of a pin. 9. Photo
Resist Washing

After being exposed to UV light, the exposed blue photo resist areas are completely
dissolved by a solvent. This reveals a pattern of photo resist made by the mask. The
beginnings of transistors, interconnects, and other electrical contacts begin to grow from
this point. 10. Etching

The photo resist layer protects wafer material that should not be etched away. Areas that

were exposed will be etched away with chemicals. 11. Photo Resist Removal

After the etching, the photo resist is removed and the desired shape becomes visible. 12.
Re-Apply More Photo Resist

More photo resist (blue) is applied and then re-exposed to UV light. Exposed photo resist
is then washed off again before the next step, which is called ion doping. This is the step
where ion particles are exposed to the wafer, allowing the silicon to change its chemical
properties in a way that allows the CPU to control the flow of electricity. 13. Ion Doping

Through a process called ion implantation (one form of a process called doping) the
exposed areas of the silicon wafer are bombarded with ions. Ions are implanted in the 61
silicon wafer to alter the way silicon in these areas conduct electricity. Ions are propelled
onto the surface of the wafer at very high velocities. An electrical field accelerates the
ions to a speed of over 300,000 km/hour (roughly 185,000 mph) 14. More Photo Resist

After the ion implantation, the photo resist will be removed and the material that should
have been doped (green) now has alien atoms implanted. 15. A Transistor

This transistor is close to being finished. Three holes have been etched into the insulation
layer (magenta color) above the transistor. These three holes will be filled with copper,
which will make up the connections to other transistors. 16. Electroplating the Wafer

The wafers are put into a copper sulphate solution at this stage. Copper ions are
deposited onto the transistor through a process called electroplating. The copper ions
travel from the positive terminal (anode) to the negative terminal (cathode) which is
represented by the wafer. 17. Ion Setting

The copper ions settle as a thin layer on the wafer surface. 18. Polishing Excess Material

The excess material is polished off leaving a very thin layer of copper. 19. Layering

Multiple metal layers are created to interconnects (think wires) in between the various
transistors. How these connections have to be “wired” is determined by the architecture
and design teams that develop the functionality of the respective processor (for example,
Intel’s Core i7 processor). While computer chips look extremely flat, they may actually
have over 20 layers to form complex circuitry. If you look at a magnified view of a chip,
you will see an intricate network of circuit lines and transistors that look like a futuristic,
multi-layered highway system. 20. Wafer Sort Test 63
This fraction of a ready wafer is being put through a first functionality test. In this stage
test patterns are fed into every single chip and the response from the chip monitored and
compared to “the right answer.” 21. Wafer Slicing

After tests determine that the wafer has a good yield of functioning processor units, the
wafer is cut into pieces (called dies). 22. The Good, the bad and the ugly

The dies that responded with the right answer to the test pattern will be put forward for
the next step (packaging). Bad dies are discarded. Several years ago, Intel made key
chains out of bad CPU dies. 23. Individual Die

This is an individual die, which has been cut out in the previous step (slicing). The die
shown here is a die of an Intel Core i7 processor. 24. CPU Packaging

The substrate, the die, and the heatspreader are put together to form a completed
processor. The green substrate builds the electrical and mechanical interface for the
processor to interact with the rest of the PC system. The silver heatspreader is a thermal
interface where a cooling solution will be applied. This will keep the processor cool during
operation. 25. A Finished CPU

A microprocessor is the most complex manufactured product on earth. In fact, it takes

hundreds of steps and only the most important ones have been visualized in this picture
story. 26. CPU Testing 65
During this final test the processors will be tested for their key characteristics (among the
tested characteristics are power dissipation and maximum frequency). 27. CPU Binning

Based on the test result of class testing processors with the same capabilities are put into
the same transporting trays. This process is called “binning,” a process with which many
Tom’s Hardware readers will be familiar. Binning determines the maximum operating
frequency of a processor, and batches are divided and sold according to stable
specifications. 28. Off to the stores

The manufactured and tested processors (again Intel Core i7 processor is shown here)
either go to system manufacturers in trays or into retail stores in boxes. Many thanks to
Intel for supplying the text and photos in this picture story. Check out Intel’s site for full
size images of this entire process.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:47AM ()

Kia Ads Seem To Equate Humans To Hamsters
Friday, June 18, 2010

I don't know how many of you have bought the Kia Soul, but one thing's for sure - if you
bought one, you must be thinking of yourself as being a hamster who's just its car. Kia's
moved its advertising up a notch in quality from lame scenic drives to sock monkeys and
hip hop hamsters. Kia's spending about $270 Million on creating ads that "rebrand" Kia
as a cooler brand than what it is today. The sock monkey and the hamster are a part of
this re-branding campaign to place Kia in a unique segment. Apart from the ad
campaigns the cars themselves have started to look different, more modern; although the
designs are heavily influenced by other brands. Kia's cars are still a mash-up of different
cars, nothing original about the design. The grill is different though and the interiors are
being loaded with high end looking low end music systems. The engines on these still
remain underpowered and unrefined. This may be in line with Hyundai's plan to push up
the Hyundai brand image to the likes of Toyota and Honda while keeping Kia below
Hyundai's brand image. So yes, Kia thinks we are hamsters - unable to decide on Kia's
lack of creativity under the hood. And Kia doesn't seem to realize that rappers wouldn't
want to be seen in a Kia, at least while rapping - it's a self esteem issue. Video of the hip
hop hamsters after the break.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:00PM ()

The Willow Garage Robot Plays Pool, Will Win

The Next World Champio...
Friday, June 18, 2010
Willow Garage recently gave out 11 of their towel folding PR2
robot but kept the fun part of the robot to themselves. Apart
from the well publicized towel folding thingy that the robot
does, the team at Willow Garage was able to get the PR2 to
play some perfect games of pool. Yeah, the robot sees the
balls via a high res camera, positions itself perfectly guided
by the real time physics engine and pockets every ball it shoots (well, almost). We knew
the robot could see and recognize corners of towels, but who knew this piece of
machinery could play perfect corner shots! Let's be fair to humans though- the PR2 has a 67
special "hand" which is more like a hole in a piece of plastic and not the full five finger
that we have. Consider that an advantage to the robot if you want to. Video of some PR2
pool after the break. [ad code=2 align=center]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:04PM ()

Sleeping Pods, The Perfect Things To Sleep In

At Work
Friday, June 18, 2010

We all know how pampered Google

employees are but did you know Google
lets employees sleep during work?

Employees sleep in one of the sleep pods pictured above. Manufactured by a company
called Metropods, this thing can help you get your power nap done right. Metropod has
five products for you to choose from, all designed to make you sleep. [via Gizmodo] [ad
code=1 align=center]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00AM ()

Ah, Yes, An Inflatable Tie-Pillow
Thursday, June 17, 2010

As if the "Snuggie" was not enough to get people to spend on worthless things, now
there's the "inflatable tie" called the "PillowTie". Did you ask why? Because you may feel
sleepy in that board meeting. No, seriously, this tie is something that you can blow air into
and use it as a pillow. Apparently it doesn't stop there. You can use this tie as a flotation
device if your plane crashes into water. Still don't believe me? Check out the instructions
below and head to this link for a glimpse at this modern marvel. Seriously folks, easy with
what you create. [via Gizmodo] [ad code=1 align=center]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:27PM ()

Skateboard? No. "Hoverboard"

Thursday, June 17, 2010
Design evolves over time, and sometimes design is influenced by sci-fi movies.
Remember all those anti-gravity skate boards you saw in those space movies? Nills
Gudagnin, a French artist has created something that can be classified as a skateboard
without wheels, or a "hover board". It just hovers though, no skating yet. This thing works
using a device created by a company called "Creative Levitation Design" or Crealev. Will
we see this on the streets soon? Let's hope so. Video and pictures after the break.
[gallery link="file" columns="2" orderby="title"] [via] [ad code=2 align=center]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:53PM ()

Video: The New Fast Lane

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Still taking the escalator in the subway station? Want something "faster"? Welcome to
the fast lane! Volkswagen had just juiced up a subway station in Berlin with the "fast lane"
slide to make sure commuters don't have to be stuck on an escalator. This is sure to
lighten up your day, right from the very beginning of the day. Watch the video and you'll
know what we are talking about. [via] [ad code=2 align=center] 69
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:22PM ()

Sun + Fun + Design = Puma Phone

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The day when the sun will power almost everything is not far away. Puma has decided to
take a head start, at least in making an awesome looking mobile phone with Sagem that's
solar powered. The phone has a great interface, mainly aimed at the youngsters. But the
best part is that it's battery gets charged thanks to the solar back panel it sports. In my
opinion the iPhone is not a great looker in front of this red "thing". Capable of making
video calls, keeping your social life up to date and making phone calls, this phone is yet
to land in the US. We are already in love with the design though. You should see a lot
more solar action coming to mobile phones this year. Expect this phone to land on T-
mobile in the US. Head to to check it out. [ad code=1 align=center]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

PepsiCo Issues Open Call for Innovation

Incubator Program
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hey, lets accept it, we are getting out of bad times and going into good times. Great
innovation booms at such junctures and Pepsi wants to nurture this. After their "refresh
the world" campaign Pepsi is setting up an innovation incubator program "Pepsico10" to
incubate new ideas. The program will connect 10 entrepreneurial groups with mentors,
investment and eventually - success. Head to to get in line for this gold
rush. BUT, there's one catch. Your ideas will be used to make Pepsico better. Still
interested? Full PR after the break. *********Start PR Text************** PepsiCo today

launched an innovation incubator program called PepsiCo10, an open call for promising
start-ups in media, communications and technology. In this unprecedented initiative,
PepsiCo will select up to 10 aspiring entrepreneurial groups, match them with industry
mentors, and join with them to activate pilot programs with PepsiCo brands.
Entrepreneurs can find out more information about the PepsiCo10 and apply online now
through June 24, 2010: PepsiCo is partnering on the program with
global venture capital firm Highland Capital Partners and premiere social media
publication Mashable and is connecting selected entrepreneurs with other business
partners, including OMD Ignition Factory, TracyLocke, dmg :: events and Weber
Shandwick. "The PepsiCo10 initiative is our chance to identify, support and team up with
some of the most original emerging technologies and to connect those entrepreneurs
with some of the top companies in media and technology to develop innovative marketing
ideas," said PepsiCo's Director of Digital and Social Media B. Bonin Bough.
Entrepreneurs are asked to focus PepsiCo10 submissions on one of four innovation
segments: social media, mobile marketing, place-based and retail experiential marketing,
or digital video or gaming. Proposals will also be evaluated on their ability to impact
brands and/or further PepsiCo's corporate Performance with Purpose priorities, which
include health and wellness, environmental sustainability, and talent development. "With
this program, we are championing outside innovation and welcoming it into the
organization to push our marketing and communications expertise to new levels,
including how to leverage innovative tools to better connect with and engage our
consumers," said Seth Kaufman, Director of Media Strategy and Investment for PepsiCo
North America Beverages. Following two rounds of rigorous assessment, 20 finalists will
be invited to PepsiCo headquarters for a two-day PepsiCo10 event, during which they will
present their ideas to PepsiCo marketing executives and a variety of partner media and
investment agencies. PepsiCo teams will then evaluate the presentations and potential of
each company and hear keynote addresses and panel discussions from top media,
communications and technology visionaries. Following the presentations, up to 10
entrepreneurs will be named the inaugural PepsiCo10. These organizations will have the
opportunity to execute a pilot project with one of the elite PepsiCo brand teams. "The
PepsiCo10 offers an outstanding opportunity to identify and work with emerging start-ups
that are driving the next wave of innovation and entrepreneurship across the globe,"
added Bob Davis, General Partner with Highland Capital Partners. "We're excited to work
with PepsiCo and lend our expertise to the program." While PepsiCo10 is a new vehicle
for the company, PepsiCo's track record of partnership with innovative start-ups is
healthy. Recently, PepsiCo has inked contracts with location-based social networking site
Foursquare, endorsement marketing firm Brand Affinity, and Twitter advertising platform *********End PR Text*********** [ad code = 1 align=center]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:27PM ()

HP Partners with Vidyo to Offer Anytime,

Anywhere Visual Collaboration
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
HP is making hefty moves in the video conferencing space (HP "Halo"). First the
collaboration with Polycom, then the whole unified communications standards forum, now
this. HP and Vidyo® Inc., a software-based videoconferencing solution provider, today
announced an agreement to expand the HP Halo portfolio to include conference room
and desktop endpoints that run on enterprise networks. The new HP-branded visual
collaboration solutions will deliver high-quality video experiences while operating on 71
infrastructure that delivers a lower total cost of ownership. Available through HP and
channel partners, the solutions will be fully interoperable with traditional
videoconferencing endpoints and current Halo Studios. The offerings will use Vidyo’s
complete VidyoConferencing™ line of software-based desktop and room system-based
solutions running on HP servers to dramatically reduce a customer’s network and video
infrastructure requirements while delivering high-quality, high-definition video.
“Companies need a complete portfolio of endpoint solutions, including video at the
desktop, on mobile devices and in conference rooms, so they can collaborate more
effectively,” said Rob Scott, vice president and general manager, Halo Telepresence
Solutions, HP. “Together with Vidyo, we will provide customers with quality desktop and
conference room video experiences that run over the internet or wireless networks, are
highly reliable and can seamlessly connect to our existing high-end video collaboration
offerings.” Vidyo’s technology is able to optimize the user’s video experience to reduce
latency with H.264 Scalable Video Coding (SVC), an adaptive codec that can ensure a
more reliable video experience on best-effort networks. This also eliminates the need for
a costly multipoint control unit (MCU). According to a report by analyst firm Gartner Inc.,
“Adaptive codecs are game-changing, since they provide a more credible path for high-
quality videoconferencing to migrate more rapidly to the Internet. This greatly improves
reach, reduces transport costs and drives growth.” “Vidyo and HP will offer a set of
solutions that bring together the best aspects in high-end videoconferencing whether at
the desktop, in conference rooms or in Halo studios,” said Ofer Shapiro, co-founder and
chief executive officer, Vidyo. “Vidyo looks forward to partnering with HP to help
enterprises achieve new efficiencies in global video collaboration from this software-
based architecture.” The solutions offered by HP will include an executive desktop
solution running on an HP TouchSmart PC. HP and Vidyo will begin jointly marketing
these solutions later this year. [via HP] [ad code = 1 align=center]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:24PM ()

Love Your City? Then Give It A Citid

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Every company on this planet has a logo, a
corporate identity - right? What about your
city? No? Then make one! The Citid project
aims to give every city on this planet an ID.
The crowd sourced project has already got
entries for almost all the major cities on
Earth. Do you have a design to submit?
Then head off to and submit an
entry. Who knows, you might end up
creating a unique identity for your city. Make sure that your citid has the name of your city
in it and that the logo represents the city for what it is. Some great examples are on the
website for you to be inspired by.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Fixed Broadband in Venezuela Grew 23.3

Percent During 2009
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Latin American nations are taking
impressive strides in cementing a solid
base for the growth of internet. Venezuela
clocked an outstanding 23.3% growth in
2009. The main driver for growth was the
domestic sector taking total internet
penetration to 4.4% in the nation. Mobile
broadband growth also grew by 29% during
2009. This is in line with the growth being
seen in Brazil and India. The problem has
been the low penetration levels throughout the country and high concentration of users
within small areas.

• During the second half of 2009, 108,269 connections were added to the fixed
broadband market in Venezuela, representing a growth of 9.6 percent between June
and December.
• Connections with speeds between 512 kilobits per second and 1 megabit per second
account for 56 percent of the fixed broadband market, and connections faster than 1
Mbps make up 11 percent of the market.
• Residences are the dominant segment, with 77 percent of the market. Reducing the
price of broadband service and making computers and routers more accessible have
led more consumers to acquire broadband connections.
• The enterprise segment makes up 23 percent of the total fixed broadband
connections in the country. Small and medium-sized businesses have 11.58 percent
of the connections.
• The regions with the highest penetration are Capital District (19.12 percent), Miranda
(7.21 percent), Delta Amacuro (7.20 percent), Nueva Esparta (5.09 percent) and
Aragua (4.95 percent).
• Almost all (95 percent) of the mobile broadband connections are for individual
accounts or homes. The remaining 5 percent are in the enterprise segment.
• Caracas has more than half (56 percent) of the mobile broadband connections in the 73
[via Cisco]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:24PM ()

NASA Demonstrates Tsunami Prediction System

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
How do you make sure tsunamis don't kill people by the
thousands? Throw technology at the problem. That's exactly
what NASA did in creating the tsunami prediction system. For
the first time, tsunamis and their magnitudes can be predicted
accurately once an earthquake has struck a region. New
technology dubbed the Global Differential GPS or GDGPS
calculates in real time post an earthquake, the size and
magnitude of a resulting tsunami. This new technology could save thousands of lives
while almost eliminating panic among people in areas that end up receiving false tsunami
warnings. This system has already proved its mettle by predicting the tsunami post the
Chilean earthquake earlier this year. Full press release after the break. ********Start PR
Text************ A NASA-led research team has successfully demonstrated for the first
time elements of a prototype tsunami prediction system that quickly and accurately
assesses large earthquakes and estimates the size of resulting tsunamis. After the
magnitude 8.8 Chilean earthquake on Feb. 27, a team led by Y. Tony Song of NASA's
Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., used real-time data from the agency's
Global Differential GPS (GDGPS) network to successfully predict the size of the resulting
tsunami. The network, managed by JPL, combines global and regional real-time data
from hundreds of GPS sites and estimates their positions every second. It can detect
ground motions as small as a few centimeters. "This successful test demonstrates that
coastal GPS systems can effectively be used to predict the size of tsunamis," said Song.
"This could allow responsible agencies to issue better warnings that can save lives and
reduce false alarms that can unnecessarily disturb the lives of coastal residents." Song's
team concluded that the Chilean earthquake, the fifth largest ever recorded by
instruments, would generate a moderate, or local, tsunami unlikely to cause significant
destruction in the Pacific. The tsunami's effect was relatively small outside of Chile.
Song's GPS-based prediction was later confirmed using sea surface height
measurements from the joint NASA/French Space Agency Jason-1 and Jason-2 altimetry
satellites. This work was partially carried out by researchers at Ohio State University,
Columbus. "The value of coordinated real-time observations from precision GPS, satellite
altimetry and advanced Earth models has been demonstrated," said John LaBrecque,
manager of the Solid Earth and Natural Hazards program in the Earth Science Division of
NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Song's prediction method, published
in 2007, estimates the energy an undersea earthquake transfers to the ocean to generate
a tsunami. It relies on data from coastal GPS stations near an epicenter, along with
information about the local continental slope. The continental slope is the descent of the
ocean floor from the edge of the continental shelf to the ocean bottom. Conventional
tsunami warning systems rely on estimates of an earthquake's location, depth and
magnitude to determine whether a large tsunami may be generated. However, history
has shown earthquake magnitude is not a reliable indicator of tsunami size. Previous
tsunami models presume a tsunami's power is determined by how much the seafloor is
displaced vertically. Song's theory says horizontal motions of a faulting continental slope
also contribute to a tsunami's power by transferring kinetic energy to the ocean. The
theory is further substantiated in a recently accepted research paper by Song and co-

author Shin-Chan Han of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. That
study used data from the NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and
Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites to examine the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
When the Feb. 27 earthquake struck, its ground motion was captured by the NASA
GDGPS network's station in Santiago, Chile, about 146 miles from the earthquake's
epicenter. These data were made available to Song within minutes of the earthquake,
enabling him to derive the seafloor motions. Based on these GPS data, Song calculated
the tsunami's source energy, ranking it as moderate: a 4.8 on the system's 10-point scale
(10 being most destructive). His conclusion was based on the fact that the ground motion
detected by GPS indicated the slip of the fault transferred fairly little kinetic energy to the
ocean. "We were fortunate to have a station sufficiently close to the epicenter," said Yoaz
Bar-Sever, JPL manager of the GDGPS system. "Broad international collaboration is
required to densify the GPS tracking network so that it adequately covers all the fault
zones that can give rise to large earthquakes around the world." ********End PR
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:40PM ()

India: Ford Sees 272% Y-O-Y Sales Growth

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

American car companies may have stared at bankruptcy a

year ago in the US but Ford has seen some tremendous
growth in India. Dubbed as the second fastest growing car
market after China, India is helping Ford to stare at a healthy
future. Thanks to its latest launch - Figo, a small hatchback,
Ford has clocked a whopping 272% year on year growth last financial year. The car
seems to be working its magic in other BRIC nations too. Ford has seen so much volume
for their cars in India that they will now be starting a second production shift to meet
demand. Hey, Americans, the outsourced jobs are bringing money back to your country.
Ford isn't the only company reaping the benefits of a bulging middle class in India.
Japanese and Korean brands have also performed equally well thanks to sustained
demand. ****Start PR text********* Ford India's May sales rose by a record 272 percent
from the same month a year ago to 8,080 units, driven by the popular Figo, which
maintained its position as the top seller in Ford's portfolio for the third consecutive month.
The exceptional May performance also represented an increase of 7.6 percent from the
previous month. To keep up with the strong demand that Figo is helping drive, Ford India
will launch a second production shift next month at its Chennai production facility. “We
have achieved more than 20,000 bookings since launch and are happy to see more and
more Ford Figos gaining visibility and presence on road. It's great to see building positive
sales results month after month, and bettering our sales performance from last month,” 75
said Michael Boneham, president and managing director of Ford India. Ford India
continued to increase its nationwide dealer network during the month of May – which now
includes 165 outlets across 97 cities – as well as its world-class after sales service
programs throughout the country to further strengthen ties with customers and support
the tremendous response for the Ford Figo. *********End PR Text*************
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Coolness: Buses in Brazil Connected To Mobile

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How cool is this? You are in a BRIC nation and you have
mobile broadband on commuter buses? Yeah, Ericsson along
with mobile communications services provider Dataprom is
outfitting public buses in a city in Brazil with 3G broadband.
While the coverage cannot be compared to what we have in the
US, this should be considered a significant achievement
considering that broadband penetration in Brazil is still at a
measly 5.1% compared to 74.% in the US. Fitting buses with
"moving 3G hotspots" is sure to get things moving in the samba
nation. Dataprom claims this to be the first implementation of its kind. Full PR after the
break. ************Start PR Text*************** Are there benefits of connecting buses to a
network? That's a question that the city government of Curitiba in Brazil posed before
deciding to make it the first city in the world to implement a brand new public
transportation solution developed by Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) and Dataprom, the
Brazilian supplier of public-transport solutions. The solution, which is already in use in
Curitiba, connects public buses to 3G mobile broadband networks, and is equipped with
Ericsson mobile broadband modules for high speed access. By supplying the Electronic
Ticketing and Fleet Management Systems, Dataprom and Ericsson will enable controllers
to access a wide range of information about their fleet and monitor the route, stop time,
speed, distance travelled, date of departure and arrival. The largest city in southern
Brazil, Curitiba has a unique public bus service which has raised much interest and
received worldwide recognition. The new solution opens up possibilities for new traveler
services that can help people plan their route and enable them to purchase tickets
wherever and whenever it is most convenient. Alexei Rodrigues, Commercial Director,
Dataprom, says: "We are driving machine-to-machine adoption in the public
transportation sector in Brazil. With Ericsson's expertise and mobile broadband solutions,

our customers can easily manage their fleets and develop applications that can help
them in their daily operations." Mobile broadband solutions like these play a key role in
Ericsson's vision of connecting 50 billion devices by 2020. Eduardo Ricotta, Vice-
President Customer Unit Brazil, Ericsson, says: "We believe that everything that benefits
from a network connection will have one, and our embedded modules enable mobile
broadband connections to any device. Mobile broadband is becoming increasingly
important to transportation companies because advanced communications can make
them all more efficient, safer and greener. The partnership with Dataprom opens up new
opportunities for us in a rapidly growing market." ***********End PR Text************
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:02AM ()

Infographic: The Most Prescribed Psychiatric

Drug in The US
Monday, June 14, 2010
As we go crazy with all the problems we are facing, more and more people try to treat the
condition. Did not understand? Well, if you are going mad, you will ask the doctor to
prescribe you a drug to reduce your agony. Want to know the most prescribed varieties?
The awesome folks at good have created an infographic to explain just that.

Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:00PM () 77
Notion Ink's Rohan Shravan: Adam's Going To
Be Cheaper Than The iPad
Monday, June 14, 2010
Today we talk to Rohan Shravan, Founder
and CEO of Notion Ink – the company
behind the highly anticipated tablet ‘Adam’.
Rohan talks about Adam, IPS display, manufacturing in India and of course, pricing of the
Adam. Full interview ahead - Read on! Ideabing: How is Adam different from other Tegra
chipset based tablets?

Rohan:Adam is certainly not a differentiator in terms of hardware, there are ten other
tablets using the same base hardware configuration. It’s about the UI and user
experience that we will be delivering with the hardware. But Adam will be the only tablet
with an auto focus camera built in. No other Tegra chipset based tablet has an auto focus

Ideabing: IPS display technology vs. PixelQi?

Rohan:PixelQi is definitely better. It’s got the highest resolution on an LCD today, the best
clarity, much lower power consumption. IPS cannot be compared to PixelQi. The two
technologies just cannot be compared.

Ideabing: Why choose Android for Adam?

Rohan:It’s not just Android, Android was just the base. We have developed significantly
on the base. It's going to be a whole new UI and a whole new user experience on the
Adam. The software will be a differentiator.

Ideabing: US Launch date?

Rohan:You will have to wait for the press release for the launch date.

Ideabing: Adam’s price at launch?

Rohan:The press release should have that when we launch Adam.

Ideabing: Any ball park figures?

Rohan:Nope, but certainly below the iPad's price.

Ideabing: So you will be offering the 3G + Wifi option with Adam?

Rohan:Yes, we will be offering the 3G + Wifi option.

Ideabing: Where will Adam be manufactured?


Ideabing: Has it been easy creating a product in India?

Rohan:No, creating a product in India has been difficult. Notion Ink just happens to be an
Indian company by registration, we have research and development going on in USA and
Taiwan. But from the software perspective, yes, India has been a good place to be. For
hardware products to be manufactured in India, infrastructure is still an issue unless the
government ramps up infrastructure development drastically.

Ideabing: How many years before India can compete with China in manufacturing?

Rohan: At least 10 years. Manufacturing costs are going up in China. If the Indian
Government builds enough infrastructure, manufacturing will come in automatically.

Ideabing: How is the success of Notion Ink changing things for Indian entrepreneurs? Are
they able to get funding more easily now?

Rohan: Definitely, things have changed. But, if you are talking from the product
development point of view VC's are still not comfortable with product companies in India.
Unless you definitely know what product you are developing, money does not come in.
MS and Samsung have a great software resource base in India but there is no hardware
support to the extent companies like ours need. Scalability is still a problem. Companies
are talking about manufacturing e-book readers in India, so it’s changing slowly.

Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

The Indian Auto Industry- It’s An Electric Future

Monday, June 14, 2010
The Indian automobile industry finally seems to be waking up to the environment. Major
infraction point being Mahindra & Mahindra capturing 52.2% controlling stake of electic
car manufacturer – Reva, which will now be known as Mahindra Reva Electric Based
Company. Reva was India’s first electric car and did not do too badly for itself. While the
car itself is not much to look at, it sells in 24 countries and has till date sold 3,500
vehicles. Not a bad job for something that the Hulk would use as weights. One might
almost dismiss this as M&M auto climbing on the environmental wave of automobiles, but
this is indeed a very promising move for Indian Auto makers. While India as a nation still
sits on the fence, not being sure of whether it wants to listen to big brother America with
regard to its environmental norms, the wheels of change are turning…slowly, but surely.
We saw Honda launch the Prius in India. And with all the hype of that car from the US
markets, the Prius is seen as a bit of a status symbol, Jeff Dunham jokes
notwithstanding. And this move further cements the fact that the next generation of Indian
car buyers are environmentally responsible. According to its press release, Mahindra has
been working years on developing green technologies for about 10 years now. It currently
deploys diesel hybrid technology on the Scorpio and hydrogen Alfa three wheelers.
Besides, Bijlee (electric three wheeler) developed in 1999, it is also currently working on
an electric version of its mini-truck Maxximo. Reva’s EV technology should prove very
useful for Mahindra. Now, don’t expect people to be going gaga over the new Reva, not
until it can improve on the look of the car, and it receives more infrastructure support from
government authorities. Reva will now have access to decent car technology from
Mahindra too, so it looks like a win-win-win situation. The last win is for the environment.
Posted by Nikhilesh Murthy at 06:00AM () 79
Video: The Future Of User Interface
Sunday, June 13, 2010

From DOS to the Mac to Windows to the iPhone to the Bumptop - UI has changed from
being a command prompt to a full 3D environment. John Underkoffler, the person behind
the super cool interfaces in the movie Minority Report sees UI design go beyond 3D, into
full spatial environments. In the future you will be able to interact with any device, any
surface, anywhere - all using gestures. Video up next.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:52PM ()

IBM Expands Collaboration Software Support to

Include iPad
Sunday, June 13, 2010
We know that the Office productivity suite from MS is coming
to the iPad but IBM's Lotus Notes sure is. I am not sure how
many hi-tech professionals are switching to iPads to check
their email but the number must be large enough for IBM to
decide on giving the iPad some Lotus love. I don't personally love the Lotus Notes suite
but i know folks who are die hard fans of the suite. The suite comes free to the iPad for
existing Lotus Notes users. Go IBM! Go Ipad! Press release coming up. **********Start
Press Release********** BERLIN & SAN FRANCISCO - 08 Jun 2010: IBM (NYSE: IBM)
today announced an expansion of IBM Lotus messaging and collaboration software with
the delivery of secure enterprise mail for the Apple iPad. The news was announced at
both the Deutsche Notes User Group in Berlin and the Apple Developers Conference in
San Francisco. IBM Lotus Notes Traveler is no charge software that can be downloaded
by Lotus Notes customers providing two-way, over-the-air synchronization of enterprise
e-mail, calendar and contact between Lotus Domino servers and mobile devices,
including the iPad. This means that Lotus Notes based information will automatically
synchronize and be up to date on the device. Lotus Notes Traveler also allows iPad
users to enjoy the security of per message mail encryption. "IBM is committed to
providing the broadest possible collaboration software support on all major mobile
platforms. With high anticipation and many requests for iPad compatibility for Lotus
Notes, we're pleased we can offer this now at a highly secure level," said Kevin
Cavanaugh, vice president, messaging and collaboration, IBM. Several organizations in a
wide variety of industries globally have begun using Lotus Software on the iPad. When
Lotus Notes Traveler iPad users are in a meeting, they can now have up to date push
mail, calendar and contacts. "Lotus Notes Traveler on the iPad is convenient and helps

me stay on top of my e-mails. I don't have to go home at night and fire up my laptop to
see my messages," said Dave Stall, Lotus Notes Manager, Roto-Rooter Services
Company. "The iPad is sitting next to me on the couch and I can respond to anything that
needs my attention quickly." "I like when forwarding an e-mail, you can type the first letter
of a person's name and get a list of people. You then select that person by tapping the
screen. This saves a lot of typing and time," added Stall. "I can see this taking the place
of a laptop for the executive and sales staff, and they live on e-mail. Lotus Notes Traveler
makes that transition easy," said John Roling, IT Director, Czarnowski, an IBM client and
business partner. "When Lotus Notes Traveler iPad users are in a meeting, they can now
have up to date 'push' mail and calendar," said Almar Diehl, Groupware Consultant, e-
office. Also, IBM portal based web pages will display clearly on the iPad through the
Safari browser. IBM Lotus Notes Traveler Companion is a native iPhone OS application
that enables the viewing of encrypted mail on the iPad and iPhone. Traveler Companion
is available in the App Store at:
companion/id346633404 IBM Lotus Notes collaboration software is available for the full
spectrum of proliferating mobile and Web connected devices which are used to access
corporate applications and business processes. Lotus Notes is available in a cloud based
version, and also comes bundled with hardware and other offerings via its Lotus
Foundations line for mid-sized businesses. More than half of the largest global 100
corporations use IBM's flagship collaboration offerings, Lotus Notes and Domino. These
clients include the top aerospace and defense organizations; the top nine automotive
firms; the top eight banks; the top four makers of consumer products; the top seven
electronics firms; the top eight insurance companies; the top seven pharmaceutical
organizations; and the top nine telecommunications carriers. **********End Press
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 05:28PM ()

Toyota Develops Advanced Version of Its Virtual

Human Model
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces that the latest
version of its THUMS virtual human model allows detailed
analysis of internal-organ injuries caused by automobile
collisions.THUMS Version 4, of an adult male of average
build, adds detailed models of internal organs to the previous
version’s models of bones and the brain, enabling analysis of
injuries to a wider range of internal organs. Internal organs
are particularly vulnerable during collisions, with injuries to them accounting for
approximately half of all sustained during automobile collisions. To develop Version 4,
TMC worked with outside research institutes including universities and utilized a high-
precision computed tomography (CT) scanner to make detailed measurements of the
internal structure of the human body. By creating precise models of various internal
organs, as well as the positions of and relations between those organs, TMC created a
virtual human model containing approximately 14 times more information than the
previous version. As a result, for analysis of internal injuries, Version 4 can simulate in
greater detail how, during a collision, areas of the torso become deformed and internal
organs are damaged. TMC intends to continue to use THUMS for analyzing internal
injuries resulting from automobile collisions, applying the results to developing and
improving safety devices such as seatbelts and airbags. TMC also plans to add models 81
of a small female and a large male to its virtual-human-model line-up, to enable
simulation of a wider range of accident situations.Toyota Technical Development
Corporation, a TMC subsidiary, plans to begin selling THUMS Version 4 in the autumn of
2010. Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces that the latest version of its THUMS1
virtual human model allows detailed analysis of internal-organ injuries caused by
automobile collisions.THUMS Version 4, of an adult male of average build, adds detailed
models of internal organs to the previous version’s models of bones and the brain,
enabling analysis of injuries to a wider range of internal organs. Internal organs are
particularly vulnerable during collisions, with injuries to them accounting for approximately
half of all sustained during automobile collisions. To develop Version 4, TMC worked with
outside research institutes including universities and utilized a high-precision computed
tomography (CT) scanner to make detailed measurements of the internal structure of the
human body. By creating precise models of various internal organs, as well as the
positions of and relations between those organs, TMC created a virtual human model
containing approximately 14 times more information than the previous version. As a
result, for analysis of internal injuries, Version 4 can simulate in greater detail how, during
a collision, areas of the torso become deformed and internal organs are damaged. TMC
intends to continue to use THUMS for analyzing internal injuries resulting from
automobile collisions, applying the results to developing and improving safety devices
such as seatbelts and airbags. TMC also plans to add models of a small female and a
large male to its virtual-human-model line-up, to enable simulation of a wider range of
accident situations.Toyota Technical Development Corporation, a TMC subsidiary, plans
to begin selling THUMS Version 4 in the autumn of 2010. [via Toyota]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:00AM ()

Intel Capital Invests $10 Million in Analytics Firm

Sunday, June 13, 2010
Intel Capital, Intel Corporation's global investment organization, today announced a $10
million investment in TRA (True ROI Accountability for Media®), a media planning,
measurement and analytics software company. The investment is part of an $18.2 million
Series-C round lead by Intel Capital, which includes participation from existing investors
Arbitron and WPP. TRA will use the funding for market expansion, continued technology

innovation, data acquisition and hiring additional key

TRA provides a Web-based business intelligence platform,

Media TRAnalytics®, that addresses the challenge of
marketing accountability by matching 1.5 million households
of TV data with 54 million households of purchase data for
the largest single-source database -- 370,000 households. Since the official launch 2
years ago, broadcast and cable networks, consumer packaged goods companies and
media agencies have been using Media TRAnalytics® to identify "the right audiences" in
their media planning and selling to improve return on media investment. "Media is driven
by advertising and advertising in the 21st century is driven by data," said Arvind Sodhani,
president of Intel Capital and Intel executive vice president. "By leveraging connectivity,
analytics and database technologies, TRA's solutions align with Intel's goal of discovering
new and innovative technological solutions that have the potential to redefine traditional
vertical industry ecosystems." "We welcome the support from one of the world's leading
technology companies in Intel," said Mark Lieberman, chairman and CEO of TRA. "The
investment will provide the resources and a great partner for TRA's next stage of growth
as we continue to improve advertising accountability for networks, advertisers and
agencies looking to target ‘the right audience'." Funding for the investment comes from
the $200 million Intel Capital Invest in America Technology Fund. Announced in
February, the fund invests in U.S.-based, growth-oriented industries to foster economic
recovery and development and to anchor the nation's competitiveness on the global
stage. [via Intel]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:46AM ()

Philips Plans To Light Up Your Food.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

So there's this bowl made out of bone china in this expensive restaurant. The chef walks
up to your table, greets you and serves you some soup and turns off the lights.
Confused? Don't be. The chef turned the lights off 'cause your bowl of soup will start to
glow. Yeah, Philips is designing some "multi sensorial" materials that can react with
"food" and glow in the dark. It's supposed to enhance your dining experience. ***Start PR
Text*** During the 8th international gastronomy summit, madridfusión, Arzak and Philips
Design present a series of concepts intended not only to delight palates, but also evoke
emotion and stimulate the senses. The latest project from the Philips Design Probes
program is a multi-sensorial concept using an integration of sensory stimuli that subtly
affect the dining experience of which light is the most visible component. The bone china 83
series - Lunar Eclipse (bowl), Fama (long plate) and Tapa da Luz (serving plate) – is
designed to react when food is placed on the plate or liquid is poured into the bowl. Juan
Mari Arzak and Elena Arzak, of the famous Arzak restaurant in Spain1, are pioneering
innovators in molecular gastronomy, a cooking method that improves and creates new
experiences in the cerebral and sensorial interpretation of food. Philips Design
approached Arzak for a creative collaboration employing multi-sensorial gastronomy,
design and technology to explore ways in which sensory experience can be enhanced
during a meal. Clive van Heerden, Senior Director Design-led innovation at Philips
Design: “Sensorial design takes into account all the senses as well as the subliminal and
indirect aspects of our relationship to objects and environments. Arzak’s knowledge of
the Basque and Spanish cuisine and the in-depth understanding of guests’ needs made
them the perfect partner for the project.” Juan Mari Arzak, Chef of Arzak:”Molecular
gastronomy has developed from a handful of exponents into a global phenomenon. It has
led to the adaptation of scientific laboratory equipment and the invention of new kitchen
technology, which makes it a small step to explore the presentation of dishes. The
combination of our food creations on the multi-sensorial bone china concepts adds an
extra dimension to the dining experience.” ***End PR Text***
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00AM ()

State of Florida Leverages Microsoft Cloud

Solution for Census Count
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Looks like Microsoft's scoring big in their "all in the cloud" strategy. The State of Florida
has decided to use Microsoft's cloud solution "Azure" to do their census counting work.
Remember, Microsoft's a late entrant into the cloud business so this might be one of the
big wins Microsoft is looking for. The competition is quite far ahead in the cloud game
compared to Microsoft. ****Start PR Text**** TALLAHASSEE — June 11, 2010 — The
Florida House of Representatives is making one final push over the next month for its
state residents to be counted in the 2010 Census, through its MyFloridaCensus
( website and Web-based application. MyFloridaCensus
is an innovative component in Florida’s overall effort to ensure a complete count of
residents during the ongoing 2010 Census, supplementing door-to-door canvassing,
which ends nationwide July 10. MyFloridaCensus is hosted in the Windows Azure cloud
platform and runs using Microsoft Silverlight for cross-browser compatibility. With the
support of a Bing Maps interface, the collective technology allows visitors to share their
experiences with the 2010 Census and build a social user-generated experience around
the once-per-decade count. In turn, the Florida House provides the U.S. Census Bureau,
state and local governments, and citizens with dynamic feedback and visual
representations of that feedback. Unlike most traditional government websites,
MyFloridaCensus offers Floridians the opportunity to take part in the gathering of
information, and thus affords individual citizens the opportunity to speak for the
betterment of their communities. “Once Florida residents share the census impact in their
communities, we use to work with the U.S. Census Bureau to
account for streets, neighborhoods and communities that may otherwise be missed in the
2010 Census,” said Florida state Rep. Dean Cannon. Basic Needs, New Tools
Government agencies are more frequently being asked to communicate with their
constituencies with the vigor and versatility of the private sector. The combination of
Azure, Silverlight and Bing Maps gives the Florida House the ability to build a dynamic
front-end user experience supported by a back-end system that optimizes for flexibility

and can satisfy heavy peak demand usage. Equally important, MyFloridaCensus
provides a successful proof of concept for future cloud-based public service endeavors.
In 2011, the Florida House will transition MyFloridaCensus into an online tool for the
public to participate in the process of redrawing political boundary lines (redistricting).
“Florida is not only on the leading edge of engaging its citizens on Census participation,
but the Windows Azure solution they’ve chosen to build has broader applicability for
future resident engagement,” said Gail Thomas-Flynn, vice president of State and Local
Government at Microsoft. “More of our state customers are following this approach and
moving unique and ongoing citizen services to the cloud platforms that can scale up and
down according to need.” The Florida House chose to host the application in a cloud
environment because application use is expected to be high for only a few critical weeks
and then gradually fall off over time, until the launch of a new application in 2011.
Windows Azure hosting provides the ability to expand and contract the use of server
space, helping reduce the cost to taxpayers when the site is not in peak use. ****End PR
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:00AM ()

Clever Heads At Bosch Thermotechnology A

Constant Stream Of New Inv...
Friday, June 11, 2010

Bosch Thermotechnik GmbH can rely on its employees’

inventiveness. In fact, the company files many more
patent applications than any other company in the
industry, covering almost all technical aspects of
heating technology. Inventions in the field of energy
efficient thermotechnology are particularly numerous.
Frequently designed to protect the environment, many
new solutions address such issues as reducing
emissions, low-pollutant combustion, fuel savings and
control functions resulting in energy savings. At
present, around 40 percent of the industrial property
rights held by Bosch Thermotechnik revolve around
"green" concepts, and roughly half of these relate to
heating and hot water systems using renewable energy
sources. The trend is clear: the number of "green"
inventions and patent
applications is growing at a fast pace. Patent engineers
Steffen Zecher and Tilmann Haendler certainly cannot
complain about lack of work. All inventions made at Bosch
Thermotechnik on an international level eventually end up on
their desks. In 2007, for example, no fewer than 114
inventions were reported and 63 applications for property
rights filed with the German Patent and Trademarks Office.
And it is quite remarkable that 100 employees contributed to the inventions reported.
Around one-third of these were actively involved in several inventions. “It is very pleasant 85
to see how many employees share this task – the burden is not borne by individual
persons,” says Steffen Zecher. “Our patented inventions – this means ideas, that are
‘new”, ‘inventive’ and ‘marketable’ – give our company an edge over the competition. In
many cases, it is the ‘small’ ideas that ensure Bosch Thermotechnik’s lead in the long
term. And major inventions in the field of heatingtechnology were made here too, of
course, resulting in technologies and products that every installer is familiar with today,”
Mr Zecher explains. Numerous inventions have been presented in the field of control
technology, e.g. for comfort, saving and safety functions. Or to ensure operating,
maintenance and service friendliness of the devices or the solar control, i.e. the optimum
utilisation of solar energy together with the other components of a heating system.
Patents in this field include an excellent invention from Bosch Thermotechnik which
ensures that as much solar energy as possible can be stored. In the course of many
years, Steffen Zecher made some interesting observations. One of them is that the
number of inventions presented increases strongly after holiday periods. People who are
fresh and relaxed are apparently more creative. One more reason to look forward to the
vacation season! [via Bosch]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:54PM ()

Adidas Brings Latest Design And Technology

Innovations In 2010 NBA ...
Friday, June 11, 2010
adidas will celebrate the 2010 NBA All-Star Game by
introducing the brand’s lightest basketball shoe with the
Team Signature Supernatural and outfitting the 2010 All-
Stars with a Texas-inspired NBA All-Star uniform as the
Official Outfitter of the NBA. “adidas basketball helps make
athletes stronger, lighter and faster on the court with the
latest in sport performance technology,” said Lawrence
Norman, adidas Vice President, Global Basketball. “It’s on us to constantly innovate and
improve products in order to help the world’s greatest basketball players become one
step quicker and jump one inch higher. We’re excited to debut our lightest basketball
shoe ever and pay homage to the city of Dallas with the latest NBA All-Star uniform and
look forward to seeing the East and West players come together as one basketball
brotherhood at Cowboys Stadium.” NBA All-Stars Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan, Kevin
Garnett, Chauncey Billups and Derrick Rose will wear the TS Supernatural shoe, the
lightest basketball shoe ever from adidas. The adidas TS Supernatural with Pure Motion
technology will feature the All-Star color scheme of red, white and metallic gold for the
Western Conference and blue, white and silver for the Eastern Conference. The 2010
NBA All-Star jerseys were inspired by the city of Dallas and the symbolic Texas state flag.
The star on the front of the jersey unites opposing east and west players forming one star
when standing next to each other. The single star is divided into five pieces joining as
one, representing five players on each team coming together. The print on the back of
the jersey mimics the distinct dimensional pattern characteristic of the Dallas skyline. For
the first time ever, both the East and West All-Star uniforms will be featured in primary
colors with the East wearing blue and the West wearing red – colors of the Texas state
flag. A full range of NBA All-Star apparel from adidas including shooting shirts, shorts,
pants, track jackets and other collections is available for fans at the NBA Store at Jam
Session, retailers across Dallas and To celebrate the on-court action, adidas is
bringing basketball fans closer to four-time NBA All-Star Dwight Howard through a series

of online videos where they control the viewing experience. adidas will take fans behind
the scenes to see how Dwight uses the latest adidas basketball products to get faster,
stronger and lighter for NBA All-Star through a custom interactive video player created
exclusively for The videos include “Dwight gets Stronger,”
where users can choose what angle they would like to view explosive dunks by Dwight
Howard; “Dwight gets Lighter,” where users can make Dwight fly higher and increase the
intensity of his dunks; and “Dwight gets Faster,” where users can view several of Dwight's
dunks with behind the scenes footage locked in between each dunk. Fans all over the
world will be able to unlock more content of “Dwight gets Faster” by viewing the 30
second “Game Changer” Web Spot. NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas
provides fans the once in a lifetime experience of participating in the NBA All-Star
excitement. Fans have the opportunity to meet and collect autographs from NBA Players
and Legends and see some of their favorite NBA players, mascots, dance teams, and
celebrities. Jam Session is non-stop basketball action where fans can indulge in
everything basketball from comparing hand and shoe size to competing in skills
challenges or getting basketball tips from NBA Players and Legends. Fans will have the
opportunity to jump on the adidas court to take part in a variety of events and exhibitions.
The NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas will take place at the Dallas
Convention Center from Feb. 11-15. For event times and schedule visit,
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00AM ()

NOISEVOX wants to be tomorrow's MTV

Friday, June 11, 2010
This month, Noisevox launched its
groundbreaking music media site,, combining citizen journalism
and exclusive HD video programming in a
social networking atmosphere. As a music
portal for bands, journalists and
photographers, Noisevox is a unique
newcomer to the market in the way it
collects, organizes and publishes its
content. " aims to become a
global destination for music news, reviews
and discovery. It pits schooled, professional
music critics against hip, savvy citizen
journalists; the music is at the center," says
founder David Navarrete. By employing a
traditional media masthead-model and awarding journalists "points" for contributing
content, writers advance in ranking and title. Press credentials, tickets to shows, artist
interviews and free music are just some of the perks that come with being at the top of a
magazine's masthead. Photographers are also encouraged to participate in a similar
creation and reward process. Artists have the ability to upload music and promote
themselves within the community. Close to the site’s heart is the return of music video
programming to screens. Noisevox’s video channel, NVTV, run by music television
veteran John Norris, features exclusive interviews with Lady Gaga, Broken Social Scene,
Vampire Weekend and Arctic Monkeys. Norris, who oversees NVTV, said, “The
abandonment of music news coverage and music programming by video outlets large
and small is at this point the stuff of pop legend. Nothing could make me happier than 87
playing a significant role in its return.” Another NVTV series, Face Time, recently
premiered and more programming is planned for 2010. NV Radio is Noisevox’s internet
radio operation. While programmed commercial- and host-free at the moment by the
site’s staff, Noisevox encourages users to submit playlists of their own, which the radio
station will feature on a weekly and eventually a nightly basis.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Engineering A Viral Music Video

Thursday, June 10, 2010
Seen that music video from OK Go - This too shall pass with all the real "engineering"
behind it? Now watch the creator of the marvel, Adam Sadowsky talk about how he made
it possible. [via Ted]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Intel CEO: Fostering an Innovation Economy

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Intel Corporation President and CEO Paul Otellini today said that innovation and
investments in information and communications technology (ICT) will accelerate
economic recovery and jobs growth worldwide. He made these comments during a
speech at the World Congress on IT in Amsterdam. Otellini also unveiled new Intel
investments in education, and announced the 2010 Intel Challenge for a new generation
of entrepreneurs-in-training.

"Returning to sustained economic growth means taking a long-term view with a mindset
of investment," Otellini said. "Innovation results from combining people who have good
ideas with investment. These are the guiding forces that lead to ideas which spawn new
businesses that create new jobs, and ultimately lead to wealth creation and higher
standards of living." To feed the world's innovation pipeline and prepare the next
generation of entrepreneurs, Otellini announced the 2010 Intel Challenge, a competition
that will provide prize money for the best business plans submitted by university students
to help turn their ideas into entrepreneurial ventures. Business plans will be judged on
their potential for positive societal impact and return to investors through the
commercialization of new technologies in areas such as semiconductors, mobile and
wireless, nanotechnology and life sciences. The Intel Challenge currently reaches
Europe, Asia, North America and South America. For 2010, the competition will be
expanded in Europe with new partner institutions and participants from France, Germany
and the United Kingdom. Information on the Intel Challenge can be found here "In the next decade, another half

billion people will enter the workforce, and we will need to create the conditions to
generate meaningful jobs for them and for the existing workforce," said Otellini." Intel has
been in the business of delivering amazing innovations for more than four decades and
we know that some of the best ideas are yet to come. The right investments today to
create the innovators and industries of the future will put the world on the path toward
economic growth." Entries are drawn from a network of universities, including more than
150 colleges offering entrepreneurship classes led by professors trained by Intel through
an innovation-focused curriculum. Participants will compete for $150,000 in prize money,
and will receive mentoring throughout the competition from leaders in the entrepreneur
community. Intel expects that the annual competition will receive more than 10,000
business plan entries over the next 3 years. Winners will compete in the Intel + Berkeley
Technology Entrepreneurship Challenge at the University of California in November. The
winner will also be selected to attend Intel Capital's Annual CEO Summit for networking
and learning opportunities with nearly 600 portfolio company CEOs and executives from
Global 2000 companies. Extending commitments to education Otellini described how
education is the foundation for developing people and economies around the world. As
an example, he highlighted the Intel-powered classmate PC, a netbook that is changing
how 2 million students in 30 countries are learning. He also described the economic
impact of the Portuguese government's Magellan Initiative, which gives every primary
school student a locally manufactured PC based on the classmate PC design. Otellini
also pledged to extend Intel's investments in education and technology literacy with a
new goal to reach 100 countries with Intel education programs and technology tools while
also expanding the PC market to service 100 million new students and teachers with PCs
annually by 2014. This "100x100" effort is part of Intel's World Ahead program. Launched
at the World Congress on IT in 2006, the program is committed to bringing sustainable
and affordable computing and connectivity to the next billion users in emerging
economies around the globe. Since the program's launch, Intel has accelerated the
availability of 40 million new PCs through government-sponsored programs, and invested
$2.5 billion in broadband and WiMAX-enabled Internet access. Intel has also trained over
7 million teachers in more than 60 countries on the use of technology in the classroom,
according to Otellini. Technology serving environmental benefits Recent studies have
estimated that while the ICT industry currently represents 2 percent of total carbon
emissions, the implementation of ICT can contribute to an estimated 15 percent reduction
in carbon emissions for all industries through energy and productivity efficiencies.
Underscoring the potential of energy-efficient computing alone, Otellini outlined the
impact of expected improvements in Intel microprocessors. The company estimates that
as the number of PCs in use today increases to 2 billion, the yearly power consumption
will decrease by half while delivering a 17-fold improvement in computing performance.
ICT can also empower individuals to make more informed decisions about their own
energy use. Research has shown that annual electricity usage could be reduced by 31
percent through regular use of a home energy meter. Otellini demonstrated Intel's Home
Dashboard concept, which lets consumers see how much energy their appliances use,
and provides recommendations gain energy-efficiency in daily routines. [via Intel]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM () 89
2011 Volkswagen Phaeton To Replace Cop
Cars. The Car's The Cop.
Thursday, June 10, 2010

OK, the headline is slightly exaggerated but Volkswagen is getting close. The 2011
Phaeton can read road signs, speed limits, zone information and the likes through its
windshield mounted camera. All this in a bid to make sure you have all the information
"before hand". This brings in the possibility of the car warning you when you violate laws,
much like a cop would. The only difference is that you are sitting in the damn car. This
comes in line with what Audi is doing with its "Travolution", which actually talks to street
signs and traffic lights and adjust the car's speed automatically. Apart from this
annoyance, the car will also download the latest and greatest maps for you area via
Google maps. Apart from that, the car looks great, which maybe an incentive to live with
the cop inside your car.

[via Engadget]

Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Konica Minolta Achieves Zero Waste Level 2 at

All of its Manufactur...
Thursday, June 10, 2010
With the achievement of Zero Waste Level 2 at five additional
manufacturing sites—one in China, one in France, two in the
U.S., and one in Malaysia—the Konica Minolta Group has
met this standard at all of its manufacturing sites worldwide.
To achieve Zero Waste Level 2, very strict conditions have to
be met: the three Level 1 conditions must continue to be satisfied, and simultaneously,
the volume of all materials generated during the production process, excluding products,
has to be reduced, regardless of whether they are recycled or not, by 30% or more per
unit of sales from the FY2001 level. Characteristically, Konica Minolta conducts its zero
waste activities taking into consideration both the economy and risk management. All of
its domestic manufacturing sites already met Zero Waste Level 2 criteria during FY2007.
The five manufacturing sites that have met Level 2 criteria are: Konica Minolta Opto
(Dalian) Co., Ltd., Konica Minolta Supplies Manufacturing France S.A.S., Konica Minolta
Supplies Manufacturing U.S.A., Inc., American Litho Inc., and Konica Minolta Glass Tech
Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. Thus, the achievement of Level 2 at these five sites marks the
successful completion of Konica Minolta’s zero waste efforts at all of its manufacturing

sites. Konica Minolta Opto (Dalian) Co., Ltd., which is mainly involved in the production of
optical lenses and the assembly of optical units, has succeeded in reducing waste by
promoting various measures, such as introducing reusable cardboard boxes for the
procurement of parts, reducing glass abrasive sludge from the polishing process, and
encouraging employees to take personal waste back home. Konica Minolta Supplies
Manufacturing France S.A.S., which engages in the filling of toner for digital multi-
functional peripherals (MFPs) and printers, has achieved reduction in both waste and
cost by introducing reusable boxes used to deliver toner packaging materials from Japan,
sending the boxes back and forth between Japan and Europe, and changing the
packaging form of parts that had been formerly delivered in the cardboard boxes. The
company has also improved the efficiency in the way it fills bottles with toner. Konica
Minolta Supplies Manufacturing U.S.A., Inc., which also engages in the filling of toner for
digital MFPs and printers, has also succeeded in reducing waste and cost by reusing the
packaging materials of toner sent from Japan for the shipping of finished products and by
reducing loss when filling bottles with toner. American Litho Inc. mainly produces pre-
sensitized plates, focusing on Computer-to- Plate (CTP)* for newspaper and commercial
printing. In its efforts to reduce loss arising from stopping production line to switch to
products of different widths, the company introduced an online system to change product
widths without stopping production line. The company also improved production yield by
improving its cutting equipment and recycled the solvents recovered from the coating
process as cleaning solvents, thus achieving reduction in both waste and cost. Konica
Minolta Glass Tech Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. manufactures glass substrates for HDDs, and
most of its waste takes the form of sludge discharged during the glass polishing process.
Though sludge is generally disposed of by landfill in Malaysia, the company has
succeeded in recycling sludge as cement-making material through negotiations with
relevant governmental agencies and cement manufacturers, and has drastically improved
its recycling rate. In addition, the company introduced a state-of-the-art filter press
machine as part of its plant reinforcement, which has resulted in a reduction in the water
content of sludge and in the amount of external discharge. Through these efforts, the
company achieved both Level 1 and Level 2 at the same time, in only its second year
after beginning the operation. Konica Minolta has also formulated "Eco Vision 2050," a
long-term environmental vision with the prevention of global warming at its core, and has
set the target of reducing CO2 Wastes by 80% from the FY2005 level throughout product
lifecycles by 2050. To achieve an intermediate goal by FY2015 as a step toward the
target of Eco Vision 2050, Konica Minolta has also created Medium-Term Environmental
Plan 2015. As part of its efforts to support a recycling-oriented society, zero waste
activities have been further expanded with an aim to reduce the volume of waste
discharged externally from its manufacturing activities by 50% per unit of sales from the
FY2005 level. While zero waste activities have been successfully completed, Konica
Minolta will remain committed to achieving higher goals under the Green Factory
Certification System, a new system that comprehensively evaluates the environmental
impacts of production sites, as part of Medium-Term Environmental Plan 2015.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Infographic: The Lifecycle Of Oil

Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Don't know why gas prices are up? Just how much oil gets produced everyday and how
much do you end up using? This infographic explains it all!

[via Good] 91
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

DuPont Opens North American Photovoltaic

Research Facility
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
DuPont opened a North American
photovoltaic applications lab at its Chestnut
Run facility in Wilmington to support
materials development for the fast-growing
photovoltaic solar energy market. Over 55
representatives from the photovoltaic
industry joined DuPont Chair and CEO Ellen Kullman, David B. Miller, president – DuPont
Electronics & Communications, and Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and other government
leaders for the facility’s opening. “The global demand for renewable energy is strong and
growing,” Kullman said. “DuPont is responding to the demand by collaborating with
customers, governments and other stakeholders to deliver high-performance innovation
that addresses head-on energy challenges today and into the future. This lab will allow us
to access tremendous scientific talent to develop the technology and materials for
converting the energy of the sun into electricity, contributing to decreasing dependence
on fossil fuels.” The lab will accelerate introduction of new photovoltaic materials and
engineering innovations by linking DuPont science and engineering with full-size module
fabrication and state-of-the-art testing capabilities. It will provide an enhanced platform to
enable innovation, technology exchanges and research collaborations among DuPont,
customers, industrial partners, research institutes and universities. The lab is designed to
advance state-of-the-art solar module design, accelerate time to market in photovoltaic
innovation and deliver cost-effective, high-performance solutions for the photovoltaic
industry. “This lab expands the capabilities of the global network of photovoltaic research
and technical centers we have established in Asia and Europe,” said Miller. “As a result,
DuPont will accelerate its ability to develop new materials technologies that meet the
needs of the market. Through our partnerships, we will be able to help create solar
modules that run more efficiently, last longer and make solar energy a viable alternative
for everyone.” DuPont has been at the forefront of innovation in the photovoltaic industry
since its inception over 25 years ago. Many DuPont products have set the standard in the
industry and continue to lead in their markets with consistently high quality and proven
performance. DuPont expects its photovoltaic sales to grow over 50 percent this year,
and to exceed $2 billion by 2014. DuPont’s continued growth is supported by new
innovations that improve module efficiency and lifetime, and enable new photovoltaic
technologies and applications, which ultimately accelerate the industry’s drive to bring

down costs to the point that they are in line with other forms of energy. DuPont – one of
the first companies to publicly establish environmental goals 20 years ago – has
broadened its sustainability commitments beyond internal footprint reduction to include
market-driven targets for both revenue and research and development investment. The
goals are tied directly to business growth, specifically to the development of safer and
environmentally improved new products for key global markets. DuPont is a science-
based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work
by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people
everywhere. Operating in approximately 80 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of
innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and
construction; communications; and transportation.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Help Change the World With a Single Vote

Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Students from around the world will gather
in Warsaw, Poland, next month to
showcase innovative ideas that could
change the world. They are competing in
the eighth annual Imagine Cup, the world’s
premier student technology competition
sponsored by Microsoft Corp. Starting
today and running through July 7, the public
is invited to view videos created by the
students and vote for their favorite projects
at The team
with the most votes will be crowned the
People’s Choice champion and will be recognized July 8 at an awards ceremony at the
Imagine Cup World Festival at the Warsaw opera house. “We believe that, now more
than ever, young people have the ability to make a positive impact on the world,” said
Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft. “These students will be the global
leaders of tomorrow, and we want to provide opportunities to demonstrate their creativity
and innovation on the world stage. I’m in awe of the quality and sophistication of the
Imagine Cup projects. It illustrates the promise of technology to positively transform
education and change the way people live, think, work and communicate.” This year’s
competition started with more than 325,000 high school and university students
registering from more than 100 countries and regions, and it will culminate at the Imagine
Cup Worldwide Finals from July 3–8. Only the top 400 students have made it to the
Worldwide Finals for their original solutions, which range from a multitouch tutoring
system for physically challenged students to a mobile phone application that can test for
hearing loss. The quality of this year’s projects proves that students truly are capable of
doing anything to which they set their minds. During the past three months, local Imagine
Cup competitions have taken place around the world to determine the finalists for the
Software Design competition. The People’s Choice award celebrates the entries in the
Software Design competition by providing an opportunity for fans to see all of the projects
in a fun and interactive way. By voting for their favorite projects, the public can help raise
awareness for critical social issues in education, healthcare and environmental
sustainability. Along with the Software Design competition, finalists have been selected
for the Embedded Development, Game Design, Digital Media and IT Challenge
competitions. The winners of three worldwide online awards also will be announced 93
today. These awards and winners are the following: • Windows® Phone 7 “Rockstar”
Award. Students submitted a Windows Phone 7 application created in Silverlight or XNA
Framework that was original, visually compelling, appealing to the average consumer and
used mobile-oriented features. • Team Beastware from the Advanced Technology
Academy in the United States was selected as the winner. This team of two built a “droid”
XNA game that leveraged the use of the accelerometer on the device unlike any other
app. Through the Microsoft DreamSpark student program, which provides professional-
level developer and design tools to students and educators around the world at no
charge, Team Beastware will head to Poland to showcase its application during the
Worldwide Finals and will have the opportunity to register its app for free on the Windows
Phone Marketplace.* • Windows Internet Explorer 8 Award. The Windows Internet
Explorer 8 Award competition is designed to recognize software applications that create
enhanced user experience by leveraging Web Slices, Accelerators and search providers
in Internet Explorer. • Team Rhea from Poland was chosen as the winner for its project,
Kite Surfer. This project helps advance education by improving search and providing
improved access to information sources. It is a visual search, which breaks the standards
of typical Web searches. It seeks information using Microsoft Bing and visualizes it in
Silverlight using 3-D space. It allows a person to browse through text data, graphics and
videos in a new, innovative way. • Next Generation Web Award. Teams wrote open
source Web applications using modern technologies such as Silverlight or ASP.NET on
the Microsoft Web Platform. • Team Wanna Be Alice from Inha University, Incheon,
South Korea, will head to Poland to showcase its original Web page that connects people
seeking to spread kindness to others as a method of “paying it forward.” More information
about the Imagine Cup and the full list of worldwide finalist teams are available
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Video: New Adventure Sport: Under Sea Base

Wednesday, June 09, 2010
You thought you conquered it all by diving off a plane? How about diving off a cliff under
the sea? No parachutes, no air. Feels good already? Guillaume Nery does that on a daily
basis. Watch! Music by Archive - You make me feel
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

HP Introduces the Future of Printing: Web

Connected and Cloud Aware
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
HP today unveiled a new category of web-enabled printing solutions designed for the
cloud that will, for the first time, allow people to:
• Print from any email device to any new ePrint-enabled printer from anywhere in the
world through the new HP ePrint platform;
• Store documents or files in the cloud and print direct when needed;
• Transform their printers into publishing platforms from which they can customize
print apps and schedule timed delivery of content – such as news from
and Yahoo! and creative after-school activities from Disney – directly to their home or
business printers;

• Manage and customize their full printing experience through the new HP
ePrintCenter to enjoy relevant, fun and interesting content that is formatted for
efficient printing.
To showcase these new solutions, HP announced a full suite of web-empowered e-All-
in-One printers for home and business that start at $99. These will be the first printers
able to “talk” to the “Google Cloud” without requiring a local proxy PC or web appliance,
which means people will be able to access Google Docs, Photos and Calendar directly
from their printers. A selection of new print apps from partners such as Yahoo!,, Facebook®, Live Nation, Crayola, Reuters, DocStoc and Picasa Web
Albums™ also will be available. “We are once again revolutionizing printing to make web-
empowered, cloud-enabled printing the new industry standard,” said Vyomesh Joshi,
executive vice president, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. “We know that our customers
want an easy way to print their content, anywhere, anytime. We’re making that a reality
today by giving people the power to print from any web-connected device – smartphones,
iPads, netbooks and more – to any printer in our portfolio above $99. The world has
changed.” HP web-connected products and services are supported by a digital print
advertising platform that can be leveraged by print app partners. Customers can get
premium content at no additional cost and brands can add value to their audience by
populating select print content with customized messages, promotions and information
like coupons or local services. HP ePrint: if you can email it, you can print it The HP
ePrint platform harnesses the cloud to break down the barriers of distance and
connectivity and allow people to send the files they want to print from their mobile
devices. From a mom and son printing drawings from an iPad, to an executive on a train
sending a presentation from a Palm Pre or Blackberry® smartphone to print and pick up
at a FedEx Office store, HP ePrint allows people to print anytime, anywhere. Every HP
ePrint printer will have a unique simple email address that allows the sender to deliver a
print the same way they would send an email message. Customers also can send
documents to print through an HP ePrint mobile app on their smartphone device to a
home, office or public print location such as a hotel or FedEx Office store. Customers will
be able to send Microsoft® Office documents, Adobe® PDFs and JPEG image files,
among others. HP ePrintCenter: a home for all things printing The HP ePrintCenter is an
online hub for all HP customers to explore new services and customize their printing
experience. For example, people can register their products and receive updates
according to their preferences, configure their devices, track ePrint jobs, and browse and
suggest new print apps. Scheduled delivery available through HP e-All-in-One printers
Following a successful pilot study in two major cities, HP has announced a new service
called Scheduled Delivery, which allows customers to choose content to be pushed to a
printer at a designated time each day or week. For example, they might choose a
customized news feed from to arrive at 7 a.m. for picking up on their way out
of the door, or they might choose fun kids activities from Disney to be ready when the
children get home from school. Users simply register for the news or content feeds of
their choice through the HP ePrintCenter and schedule the day, time and frequency of
delivery so items will be printed and waiting when they want them. The Scheduled
Delivery service also opens up a new era of digital print advertising for HP and content
partners. HP and Yahoo! plan to launch the service as a pilot program to help marketers
consider ways to provide added value to their audiences by populating select print
content from partners with customized messages, promotions and information like
coupons or local services.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM () 95
Schneider Electric Launches MiCST
Collaborative Project
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Schneider Electric announces today the launch of the MiCST
collaborative project, aiming to generate electricity produced
by solar energy through an innovative process, in partnership
with 11 French organisations. The MiCST project consists in
designing and manufacturing an innovative solar plant, using sunlight to heat an energy
supply powering a thermodynamic machine able to drive an alternator that produces ten
electrical kilowatts. This solution shall be designed to provide energy to off-grid areas. It
will be particularly destined to meet the needs of developing countries with strong
sunlight. Simple to install and to maintain, this solution is expected to be easily adopted
by local engineers. The major technical and technological challenges are the necessity to
take in consideration rigorous criteria of robustness, cost reduction and eco-design. The
42-months-project coordinates the expertise of 12 partners, from industry and research.
The project is supported by the French Agency for the Environment and Energy
Management (ADEME). As the leader of this project, Schneider Electric has joined forces
with the Institut National de l’Energie Solaire (CEA/INES), Exosun, Sophia-Antipolis
Energie Développement, Barriquand Technologies Thermiques, Défi Systèmes, Stiral,
Mecachrome France, the Laboratoire Energétique Mécanique Electromagnétisme
(Université Paris Ouest), the Laboratoire d’Energétique et de Mécanique Théorique et
Appliquée Nancy, Cedrat Technologie and the G2ELab. The federation of these players
forms a national momentum, benefiting of high R&D competences in thermal solar
energy. « Through the MiCST project, Schneider Electric reaffirms its ambition to
contribute to energy access for the 1.6 billion people worldwide who are still excluded, by
the means of renewable energies , explains Gilles Vermot Desroches, Senior Vice
President Sustainable Development, Schneider Electric. By designing a solid solar
station, that has the capacity to reduce costs and that is environment friendly, we will help
the disadvantaged communities in their development. » The MiCST Project is part of the
Schneider Electric’s global sustainable programme called BipBop, (Business, Innovation
& People at the base of the pyramid), with the goal of responding to the needs and
requirements of people at the base of the pyramid by offering adapted solutions,
developing training in electrical careers and helping entrepreneurs to set up their
business around access to energy.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Texas A&M Teams With IBM To Speed Drug

Discovery for Tuberc...
Tuesday, June 08, 2010

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Texas A&M University used IBM
supercomputing technology to carry out potentially life-saving tuberculosis research at a
rate more than four times faster than was previously possible. Tuberculosis is an

infectious disease that causes nearly two million deaths per year, with an estimated one-
third of the human population carrying a latent infection. The bacteria responsible for
tuberculosis are mutating to form various drug-resistant strains. Texas A&M researchers
are sequencing the DNA of the mutated strains so they can be tested against different
drugs. In a race against time, researchers must try to find drugs that are effective before
the strains mutate again. With IBM supercomputing technology, they can sequence the
DNA of a specific strain in hours instead of days. Scientists at the Texas A&M
Supercomputing Facility built a software package called the "parallel Genome Analysis
Pipeline" (pGAP) to help fight tuberculosis by more quickly analyzing the genome of
mutated strains on the Facility's "Hydra" cluster -- a 832-core IBM POWER system
coupled with a 20 terabyte (TB), third party storage system managed by the IBM General
Parallel File System (GPFS), a high-performance, extremely scalable clustered file
system. Developed for IBM's AIX operating system and based on Illumina's Genome
Analysis Pipeline, pGAP allows data to flow almost automatically from an Illumina
Genome Analyzer IIx to the Hydra cluster, where it can quickly process in parallel the
large datasets created by DNA sequencing. Using pGAP together with IBM
supercomputing technology is boosting genomics research at Texas A&M. "IBM's Power
Systems provide the performance we need to rapidly process data while GPFS prevents
bottlenecks," said Dr. Raffaele Montuoro, computational scientist at the Texas A&M
Supercomputing Facility and inventor of pGAP. "When combined with the performance
and capability of our own pGAP software, Texas A&M researchers are achieving greater
success in the fight against tuberculosis." The Texas A&M Supercomputing Facility
recently increased its processing muscle even further with the addition of a 2,592-core
IBM iDataPlex, a highly scalable system that can lower power, cooling and space
requirements. Known as "Eos," the new cluster totals 27.14 teraflops, which made it
418th on the Top500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers announced May 31, 2010.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Audi Travolution: Efficiently Through The City

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Building highly efficient cars is one aspect of Audi’s ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ – making
sure that they can be used for efficient journeys is another. The development teams at
Audi see the task in its entirety, and examine the complete road traffic system. Their
travolution project is a concept for a dialogue between cars and traffic signals. It reduces
the amount of time spent at a standstill or accelerating, and in this way cuts the vehicles’ 97
fuel consumption. Today, journalists and
traffic planners are testing travolution on
demonstration runs in Ingolstadt. The
results obtained during the first travolution
project in 2006 were immediate and
dramatic: reduced waiting times at traffic
signals cut fuel consumption by 17 percent.
In a full year this would save as much as
700,000 litres (184,920.44 US gallons) of
fuel. The secret of this success: the traffic
signals in Ingolstadt are controlled by a
new, adaptive computing algorithm that
Audi developed in cooperation with
partners at colleges of advanced
engineering and in business and industry.
Audi has now developed travolution still
further, by enabling vehicles to
communicate directly with traffic light
systems, using wireless LAN and UMTS
links. 15 test vehicles and 25 sets of traffic
lights now permit the system to be sampled
in actual traffic conditions in the city on the
Danube. The traffic signals transmit data
that are processed into graphic form and
shown on the car’s driver information
display screen. The graphics tell the driver
for instance what speed to adopt so that the
next traffic light changes to green before
the car reaches it. This speed, which keeps
the traffic flowing as smoothly as possible, can then be selected at the adaptive cruise
control (ACC) – but the driver can also delegate this task to the car’s control system. If
the car is stopped at a red traffic light, this transmits information via the car’s computer on
how long the driver will have to wait before it switches to green again. If on the other
hand the car approaches a traffic light that is about to switch to yellow or red, the driver is
warned by a visual or acoustic signal, or by a brief interruption to the flow of power from
the engine. When the car is part of a network in this way, the driver can reduce the
amount of time spent at a standstill and cut fuel consumption by 0.02 of a litre for every
traffic-light stop and subsequent acceleration phase that can be avoided. The potential is
enormous: if this new technology were applied throughout Germany, exhaust emissions
could be lowered by about two million tonnes of CO2 annually, equivalent to a reduction
of approximately 15 percent in CO2 from motor vehicles in urban traffic. The travolution
system also makes it possible to pay online when refueling or parking the car. The car
itself communicates with the stationary equipment at the filling station or parking garage.
When the driver confirms the charge via the Multi Media Interface MMI, it is automatically
debited from the customer’s account or credit card. To demonstrate the progress that
travolution development work has made, Audi has organised talks and demonstration
runs for journalists and traffic planners on June 2, 2010 in Ingolstadt, with the aim of
illustrating the potential offered by networking cars with the traffic infrastructure.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

GE Healthcare Unveils Innovative Technology in
Breast Cancer Imaging
Monday, June 07, 2010
GE Healthcare (NYSE: GE), a pioneer in digital
mammography, today announced the introduction of an
innovative technology to aid in breast cancer diagnosis. GE
Healthcare's new SenoBright Contrast Enhanced Spectral
Mammography (CESM) technology reduces ambiguity in
mammography results, enabling physicians to detect and
diagnose cancer with more confidence - even in the densest
part of the breast tissue more rapidly and accurately. Working
like the multiple-flash, red-eye reduction function in a digital
camera, SenoBright uses X-rays at multiple energies to create two separate exposures.
These resulting images specifically illuminate and highlight areas where there is
angiogenesis, growth of small blood vessels potentially related to the presence of cancer.
"A CESM exam takes from 5 to 10 minutes," said Dr. Clarisse Dromain, Gustave Roussy
Cancer Institute, France. "During my investigation of the use of CESM with my own
examinations of patients, I have been able to better define the spread of a cancer
compared to standard mammography and ultrasound, and follow-up exams with an MRI
(Magnetic Resonance Imaging) validated exactly the same results. Moreover, in the
majority of cases the confidence in the diagnosis is high enough that the patient can be
told the results that same day," she added. The diagnostic challenge SenoBright enables
the digital mammography system to detect a whole new type of diagnostic information.
Standard mammography only sees the structure of breast tissue. With SenoBright,
doctors can also locate the proliferation of small blood vessels, potentially associated
with cancerous tumor growth. In addition, it shows potential for measuring the extension
of the lesion to help to plan surgery and treatment. Patients receive an intravenous
injection of standard iodine contrast agent, and after two minutes undergo a five-minute
digital mammography exam. CESM images are acquired in familiar mammography views
so that that they can be quickly and easily correlated with standard results, facilitating
interpretation by other specialists like surgeons or oncologists. "Worldwide, more than 1.2
million people annually are diagnosed with breast cancer. Since 1965, GE Healthcare
has made significant progress in providing solutions for breast cancer detection and
diagnosis that really bring a change to people‟s lives. Today through „healthymagination‟,
we continuously develop innovations to reduce costs, increase access and improve
quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery around the globe," said Reinaldo Garcia,
President and CEO of GE Healthcare for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). "GE
Healthcare is pleased to bring to market such advanced breast imaging technologies like
SenoBright, the result of over 10 years and $12 million investment of research and
clinical collaborations. This innovative technology will support the earlier diagnosis of this
prevalent disease, by providing access to new diagnostic information at a lower cost."
The product development was carried out in collaboration between GE Healthcare and
Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP). The goal of the joint research program is to
develop new and innovative technologies for aiding in the diagnosis of breast cancer
using the latest developments in digital mammography. Dr. Tidu Maini, Science and
Technology Advisor to Her Highness, Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, and
Executive Chairman of Qatar Science & Technology Park, said, "Our collaboration with
GE Healthcare is a step towards making Qatar a global medical innovator while
delivering real health benefits for the local community." Same staff, same equipment— 99
same day SenoBright is an easy procedure that can be conducted by the same staff,
using the same mammography equipment, potentially on the same day as the exam―
allowing medical professionals to cut the critical time patients often have to wait from
detection to diagnosis. "Given our proven history of breast imaging innovations, GE is
proud to release yet another innovative technology, soon to be available to much of our
digital installed base. We are one of the only companies today to engineer and
manufacture the entire mammography imaging chain from tube, and detector to review
workstation, coupled with integration of the comprehensive local requirements for each
customer, " said David Caumartin, GE Healthcare‟s General Manager Mammography.
"SenoBright is likely to be a key enabler of accelerated patient workflow from diagnostics
to treatment planning. It is enhancing the widely accepted technology of digital
mammography by adding the functional information in order to detect angiogenesis."
Clarity of results Digital mammography is considered a relevant means of breast cancer
screening, delivering proven clinical outcomes. The sensitivity and specificity of images
can, however, be affected by a range of factors. Dense breast tissue can overlap with
lesions, which are not always visible on an X-ray, and radiologists‟ interpretation of
images can vary. Inconclusive digital mammography presents a range of challenges to
healthcare professionals and patients. Ambiguity can result in diagnostic error,
demanding further tests that can include ultrasound, invasive biopsy and Magnetic
Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanning ― all of which could delay the diagnostic process, in
some cases by weeks or even months. SenoBright can remove this ambiguity, helping to
ensure that those patients who need to go into cancer treatment do so ― and do so
quickly. Whereas patients who do not have malignant lesions have the potential to find
out on the same day, relieving their burden of uncertainty. Compared to mammography
alone, clinical studies show that SenoBright improves sensitivity and specificity:
• for every 100 cancers, there is the potential to find 13 more
• 6 more benign lesions out of 100 can be correctly classified
• 19 more patients out of 100 without cancer can be sent home
"The addition of intravenous contrast to mammography gives us the possibility to obtain
information in the mammogram that was previously only obtained from MRI," said Dr.
David Dershaw, Director of Breast Imaging at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center,
USA. "This has the potential to convey the advantages of MRI imaging in screening and
diagnosis to women for whom this test is indicated but not currently available." The new
CESM technology works with an upgrade to GE Healthcare Senographe DS and
Senographe Essential digital mammography equipment. GE‟ Senographe platforms are
full-field digital mammography systems designed to meet clinical needs, from screening
to diagnostic and interventional procedures and designed for future advanced
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

The Dark Side of the Cloud

Monday, June 07, 2010
Yes! I am an Avid Pink Floyd fan….and being Indian gives me a birth right to plagiarize
the little things in life. Muhahaha! Now that the evil laughter is out of the way, down to
business. I’ve been reading a lot about the impending ‘Cloud computing’ revolution in the
IT circles. A phenomenon which is supposed to be the next big disruptive technology
(after the iPad). In a nutshell for those who don’t quite get what all the hullabaloo is about,
here goes.

The cloud is just another word for the internet and ‘Cloud Computing’ is a technology by
which you use applications, services or even hardware right off the internet rather than
buy them and store them at your office. You get rid of all those fancy server rooms and
support systems because thanks to the internet revolution, everything is running from
some infrastructure somewhere in the world over the internet. (PS: For those who did not
understand any of the jargon I used, please use this website… . To
break down this phenomenon further, let me put it this way….you no longer have hard
disks on your office premises because all your storage is done on the internet. You don’t
have any other infrastructure because they’re all being controlled by more interested folks
over the internet. Think of you Gmail account (or any other e-mail account)…you don’t
store your mails on your PC, you don’t bother about where it is stored or where it is
coming from. The chat applications you use come from the internet. Nothing is local to
your desktop. This is probably the best example of ‘Cloud Computing’. Before I get into a
near-orgasmic discussion on Cloud Computing( yes…me Geek!), let’s get back to what I
wanted to point out. While everyone are harping on the benefits of the Cloud, we seem to
have forgotten one thing. If everything is moved to the Cloud and you no longer have any
infrastructure on site, what happens to the dedicated IT team that you created who so
painstakingly ensure your infra is up and running? Do we simply fire them? Does or
adoption of a new technology result in the elimination of human infrastructure? I’m yet to
read any article that addresses this issue. What if we find ourselves in an economic
situation like when the industrial revolution came about or when the computer began to
take care of basics like accounting? People lost their jobs, and it was a while before
relevant jobs or replacements came up. With the Cloud promising to automate a lot of
work, we’re looking to make people obsolete. I’m sort of reminded of the terminator series
where Skynet will take over and basically hump the human race. (yes…bad
word…hump…hump…hump) While we’re all feeling extremely happy about this new
technology that will save big companies a lot of costs, we seem to be ignoring a big
economic issue. While the phasing out of people might be slow, it is inevitable. History
has been witness to riots when technology saw mass workers being replaced by
machines that automated the work they did, and how the Cloud is going to be any
different is a question that is beyond me. While IT teams go about all perky about this
new toy, I don’t think CIOs have spoken to HR teams and have factored in this problem.
While there may still be use for these teams with regard to Migration, then what? I think
we have a major economical problem of unemployment on our hands. I don’t want to be
the wet blanket in all this excitement about the cloud, but I think we need to look beyond
mere technological benefits here. Do we have a major transition plan in place? Do we
have a skills upgrade plan in place to make these poor IT folks still relevant to the
system….Food for thought. PS: I just sent in a request today to get the RAM on the office
laptop upgraded, hoping the chaps read this and immediately sanction some fresh RAM
for my otherwise drab of a laptop. 101
Posted by Nikhilesh Murthy at 12:00PM ()

WWDC 2010 Live - iPhone 4 launched. Pictures.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Apple WWDC is live on Ideabing. Watch! Update: We have the cnet stream on now, the
other live stream is way too slow. We leave the options to you though, both feeds
available.Update: Pics coming in via Engadget Sign up for updates while you wait for the
videos to load: [gallery link="file" columns="9" orderby="title"]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:06AM ()

NASA Rover Finds Clue To Mars' Past And

Environment For Life
Monday, June 07, 2010
Rocks examined by NASA's Spirit Mars Rover hold evidence
of a wet, non-acidic ancient environment that may have been
favorable for life. Confirming this mineral clue took four years
of analysis by several scientists. An outcrop that Spirit
examined in late 2005 revealed high concentrations of
carbonate, which originates in wet, near-neutral conditions,
but dissolves in acid. The ancient water indicated by this find
was not acidic. NASA's rovers have found other evidence of
formerly wet Martian environments. However the data for those environments indicate
conditions that may have been acidic. In other cases, the conditions were definitely
acidic, and therefore less favorable as habitats for life. Laboratory tests helped confirm
the carbonate identification. The findings were published online Thursday, June 3 by the
journal Science. "This is one of the most significant findings by the rovers," said Steve
Squyres of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. Squyres is principal investigator for the Mars
twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, and a co-author of the new report. "A substantial
carbonate deposit in a Mars outcrop tells us that conditions that could have been quite
favorable for life were present at one time in that place. " Spirit inspected rock outcrops,
including one scientists called Comanche, along the rover's route from the top of
Husband Hill to the vicinity of the Home Plate plateau which Spirit has studied since
2006. Magnesium iron carbonate makes up about one-fourth of the measured volume in
Comanche. That is a tenfold higher concentration than any previously identified for
carbonate in a Martian rock. "We used detective work combining results from three
spectrometers to lock this down," said Dick Morris, lead author of the report and a

member of a rover science team at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston."The
instruments gave us multiple, interlocking ways of confirming the magnesium iron
carbonate, with a good handle on how much there is." Massive carbonate deposits on
Mars have been sought for years without much success. Numerous channels apparently
carved by flows of liquid water on ancient Mars suggest the planet was formerly warmer,
thanks to greenhouse warming from a thicker atmosphere than exists now. The ancient,
dense Martian atmosphere was probably rich in carbon dioxide, because that gas makes
up nearly all the modern, very thin atmosphere. It is important to determine where most of
the carbon dioxide went. Some theorize it departed to space. Others hypothesize that it
left the atmosphere by the mixing of carbon dioxide with water under conditions that led
to forming carbonate minerals. That possibility, plus finding small amounts of carbonate
in meteorites that originated from Mars, led to expectations in the 1990s that carbonate
would be abundant on Mars. However, mineral-mapping spectrometers on orbiters since
then have found evidence of localized carbonate deposits in only one area, plus small
amounts distributed globally in Martian dust. Morris suspected iron-bearing carbonate at
Comanche years ago from inspection of the rock with Spirit's Moessbauer Spectrometer,
which provides information about iron-containing minerals. Confirming evidence from
other instruments emerged slowly. The instrument with the best capability for detecting
carbonates, the Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer, had its mirror contaminated
with dust earlier in 2005, during a wind event that also cleaned Spirit's solar panels. "It
was like looking through dirty glasses," said Steve Ruff of Arizona State University in
Tempe, Ariz., another co-author of the report. "We could tell there was something very
different about Comanche compared with other outcrops we had seen, but we couldn't
tell what it was until we developed a correction method to account for the dust on the
mirror." Spirit's Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer instrument detected a high
concentration of light elements, a group including carbon and oxygen, that helped
quantify the carbonate content. The rovers landed on Mars in January 2004 for missions
originally planned to last three months. Spirit has been out of communication since March
22 and is in a low-power hibernation status during Martian winter. Opportunity is making
steady progress toward a large crater, Endeavour, which is about seven miles away.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Marketing To Goldfish
Monday, June 07, 2010
My generation has seen so many great infraction points when it comes to the internet
revolution that we really don’t know where to classify ourselves. Gen X, Gen Y…maybe
iGen (if you’re an Apple fan). Information was never so easily available. Marketers now
find themselves unsure of who to cater to. There remain the more traditional buyers in the
senior spectrum who still have enough buying power and who use the internet mainly for
email (and certain unmentionables). On the other hand, there’s this generation who have
so much information on every aspect of every product and the forums to discuss the
same to an extent that would make the doctor performing a post mortem very happy. But
with all this information available, this generation has seen a major dip in the attention
span of people. People want things ‘right here, right now’ (do not sue me Fatboy Slim).
And this has led marketers into a bit of a quandry. With attention spans dropping and the
need for information growing, people want the most in their little exposure to an ad. And
the way Twitter brought about microblogging, we now have what some sections refer to
as micro-advertising. Quick 7 second ads tailor made to the generation whose attention
span has dropped to a point that would give Goldfish a superiority complex. (Okay,
maybe I took that analogy a little too far, but it is that bad). The recent IPL (Indian Premier 103
League) cricket tournament saw pico-ads (really small ads which ran for 3-4 seconds).
Products coming to the point about what benefits they offer. And in this lies a new avenue
for advertisers. Creation of ads that can deliver the point in 4 seconds or less through
either television, or the internet. Gone are the days of long 20-30 seconds ads, that
popped up to ruin your day. And thanks to TiVo and other products that have found the
solution to eliminate advertisements all together, the new brigade of advertising hotshots
need to throw their legacy textbooks out the window and give in to technology.
Posted by Nikhilesh Murthy at 06:00AM ()

VSS Enterprise's first 'captive carry' flight!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Virgin Galactic announced today that VSS Enterprise has completed her inaugural
captive carry flight from Mojave Air and Spaceport. This very first captive carry was a
huge success and both the mothership and spaceship looked absolutely stunning against
the blue back drop of the Mojave skies. Commenting on the historic flight, Burt Rutan
said: “This is a momentous day for the Scaled and Virgin Teams. The captive carry flight
signifies the start of what we believe will be extremely exciting and successful spaceship
flight test program.” Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Galactic added: “Seeing the
finished spaceship in December was a major day for us but watching VSS Enterprise fly
for the first time really brings home what beautiful, ground-breaking vehicles Burt and his
team have developed for us. It comes as no surprise that the flight went so well; the
Scaled team is uniquely qualified to bring this important and incredible dream to reality.
Today was another major step along that road and a testament to US engineering and
innovation.” The VSS Enterprise test flight programme will continue though 2010 and
2011, progressing from captive carry to independent glide and then powered flight, prior
to the start of commercial operations.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Archeologists Discover 'Brain Food' in Early

Human Ancestors' Diet
Sunday, June 06, 2010
A team of scientists now know what may
have helped fuel the evolution of the human
brain two million years ago. Archeologists
working in Kenya unearthed evidence that
our human ancestors ate a wide variety of
animals including fish, turtles and even
crocodiles. Based on analyses of animal
bones and stone tools they excavated, the

research team found that our early ancestors incorporated aquatic "brain food" in their
diet. "These aquatic foods are really important sources of the long-chain polyunsaturated
fatty acids and docosahexaenoic acid that are so critical to human brain growth," said co-
author and paleoanthropologist Dr. Richmond. "Finding these foods in the diets of our
early ancestors suggests they may have helped to lift constraints on brain size and fuel
the evolution of a larger brain." The discovery of such a diverse animal diet is important
because early human brain size increased dramatically after two million years ago.
Growing a large brain requires an enormous investment in calories and nutrients and
places considerable costs on the mother and developing infant. Anthropologists have
long considered meat in the diet as key to the evolution of a larger brain. However, until
now, there was no evidence that human ancestors this long ago had incorporated into
their diets animal foods, from lakes and rivers, rich in brain nutrients. A team of scientists
from Kenya, the United States, the U.K., Australia and South Africa discovered a 1.95
million year-old site in northwestern Kenya in 2004. Preservation of the excavated site
was so remarkable that the team was able to develop a detailed reconstruction of the
environment. Over four years, the scientists excavated literally thousands of fossilized
bones and stone tools, and were able to determine that at least 10 individual animals,
and perhaps many more, were butchered by early humans at this site. Many of these
bones showed evidence of cut marks made by early human ancestors as a result of
using sharp stone tools to cut meat from the bones or crush long bones to access the fat-
rich bone marrow. "At sites of this age we often consider ourselves lucky if we find any
bone associated with stone tools, but here we found everything from small bird bones to
hippopotamus leg bones," said archeologist David Braun of the University of Cape Town
inSouth Africa, who was the lead author on the research. Gaining access to smaller
animals like turtles and fish may have allowed these early humans to increase the protein
in their diet without the danger of interacting with dangerous carnivores, such as lions
and hyenas. These early humans were relatively small and not well suited to compete
with the large carnivores that lived at that time. Stumbling upon brain-fueling food may
have been a fortunate side effect of finding foods at lakes and rivers. The research was
funded by the National Science Foundation. The project was directed by Jack Harris of
Rutgers Universityand represents a collaborative effort between National Museums of
Kenya and a host of international institutions. Paleontologist Marion Bamford of the
University of Witswatersrand in South Africa identified fossilized plant remains that
revealed the wet and possibly marshy environment in which these early humans were
living. Lead zooarchaeologist Jack McCoy of Rutgers University identified bones of
various animals including turtles, fish, crocodiles and large antelopes that ended up as
the meals of these early humans. Dr. Richmond of GW took part in fossil identification
and analyzing how the findings were important for human evolution. The site, known to
the archaeologists by the moniker FwJj 20, is located in the northern part of the Koobi
Fora research area on the eastern side of Lake Turkana in Marsabit District, Kenya. The
presence of overlying layers of volcanic ash helped the team pin down the age of the site.
Geologists on the team, Naomi Levin of Johns Hopkins University and Andrew Herries of
theUniversity of New South Wales, Australia, were able to use a combination of
techniques to estimate the age of the site as close to 1.95 million years. David Braun and
his international team will return to northern Kenya to find more answers to questions
about the diets of our earliest ancestors. The article, "Early hominin diet included diverse
terrestrial and aquatic animals 1.95 Ma in East Turkana, Kenya," will appear in the May
31, 2010, issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). PNAS is a
weekly journal that publishes cutting-edge research that spans the biological, physical,
and social sciences. Established in 1821 in the heart of the nation's capital, GW's
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences is the largest of the University's academic units
with more than 40 departments and programs for undergraduate, graduate and 105
professional studies. Columbian College provides the foundation for GW's commitment to
education, research and outreach, providing courses ranging from the traditional
disciplines to a wide variety of interdisciplinary and applied fields for students in all the
undergraduate degree programs across the University. An internationally recognized
faculty and active partnerships with prestigious research institutions place Columbian
College at the forefront in advancing policy, enhancing culture and transforming lives
through scientific research and discovery. The George Washington University was
created by an Act of Congress in 1821. Today, GW is the largest institution of higher
education in the District of Columbia and has additional programs in Virginia. The
University offers comprehensive programs of undergraduate and graduate liberal arts
study, as well as degree programs in medicine, public health, law, engineering,
education, business and international affairs. Each year, GW enrolls a diverse population
of undergraduate, graduate and professional students from all 50 states, the District of
Columbia, and more than 130 countries. Provided by Newswise, online resource for
knowledge-based news at SOURCE George Washington University
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:16PM ()

WHO: Drug-resistant tuberculosis now at record

Sunday, June 06, 2010
In some areas of the world, one in four
people with tuberculosis (TB) becomes ill
with a form of the disease that can no
longer be treated with standard drugs
regimens, a World Health Organization
(WHO) report says. For example, 28% of all people newly diagnosed with TB in one
region of north western Russia had the multidrug-resistant form of the disease (MDR-TB)
in 2008. This is the highest level ever reported to WHO. Previously, the highest recorded
level was 22% in Baku City, Azerbaijan, in 2007. In the new WHO's Multidrug and
Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis: 2010 Global Report on Surveillance and
Response, it is estimated that 440 000 people had MDR-TB worldwide in 2008 and that a
third of them died. In sheer numbers, Asia bears the brunt of the epidemic. Almost 50% of
MDR-TB cases worldwide are estimated to occur in China and India. In Africa, estimates
show 69 000 cases emerged, the vast majority of which went undiagnosed.

Encouraging signs
Tuberculosis programmes face tremendous challenges in reducing MDR-TB rates. But
there are encouraging signs that even in the presence of severe epidemics, governments
and partners can turn around MDR-TB by strengthening efforts to control the disease and
implementing WHO recommendations. Two regions in the Russian Federation, Orel and
Tomsk, have achieved a remarkable decline in MDR-TB in about five years. These
regions join two countries, Estonia and Latvia, which have reversed rising high rates of
MDR-TB, ultimately achieving a decline. The United States of America and China, Hong
Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), have achieved sustained successes in
controlling MDR-TB.

Slow progress
Progress remains slow in most other countries. Worldwide, of those patients receiving
treatment, 60% were reported as cured. However, only an estimated 7% of all MDR-TB
patients are diagnosed. This points to the urgent need for improvements in laboratory
facilities, access to rapid diagnosis and treatment with more effective drugs and regimens
shorter than the current two years. WHO is engaged in a five year project to strengthen
TB laboratories with rapid tests in nearly 30 countries. This will ensure more people
benefit early from life-saving treatments. It is also working closely with the Global Fund to
Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the international community on increasing
access to treatment.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00AM ()

General Mills Takes Home the Gold at Edison

Sunday, June 06, 2010
General Mills Betty Crocker Gluten Free Dessert Mixes won
gold at the 2010 Edison Best New Product Awards gala in
New York. The product took first place in the consumer
packaged goods food segment. “We are thrilled that Betty
Crocker Gluten Free Dessert Mixes won gold and are honored to have one of the
strongest brand icons in the food industry associated with one of America’s greatest
inventors,” said Jodi Benson, Baking R&D and transformational business development
director for General Mills. “It has been extremely rewarding to welcome gluten free
consumers back to Betty Crocker through this innovative line of products.” Betty Crocker
was the first nationally recognized brand to launch gluten free brownie, cookie and cake
mixes in traditional grocery stores. The products satisfy gluten free consumers’ previously
unmet desire to find great-tasting, affordable and easy-to-prepare desserts that they can
enjoy with their families and friends. Since the gluten in wheat flour provides the structure
for traditional brownies, cookies and cakes, creating dessert mixes without gluten is a
significant and remarkable technical achievement. Once the company successfully
created a winning product, an insightful marketing campaign centered on social media
drove both awareness and support for the launch. Benson notes the critical role General
Mills suppliers played in the development of the product: “General Mills embraces a
connected innovation model in product development. This model results in us looking
inside and outside of the company to share ideas and technologies. We are grateful to
our partners who helped us on this journey.” The 2010 Edison Awards honor a variety of
innovative products – from baking mixes to wind turbines – with gold, silver and bronze
winners in each of its 11 product categories. “The Edison Award winners are the moving
parts in the engine of economic growth,” said Sarah Miller Caldicott, great grandniece of
Thomas Edison and chairperson of the Edison Awards steering committee. “They inspire
people to think outside the box, and their results improve the lives of people around the
world.” The Edison Best New Product Awards are given annually. The awards are a peer-
review honor similar to the Oscars and are voted on by roughly 2,000 members of the
not-for-profit Marketing Executives Networking Group, which includes America’s top
executives and academics. The awards symbolize the persistence and excellence
personified by Thomas Alva Edison, inspiring America’s drive to remain in the forefront of
innovation, creativity and ingenuity in the global economy.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:12AM () 107
Saturday, June 05, 2010
How far can 10 cents a day go? Farther than you think! Sprite is giving consumers an
easy and inexpensive way to give back to communities through the "Sprite Tabs for
Habitat" program. During the month of April, look for specially marked Sprite or Sprite
Zero™ multipacks or 12-oz single cans with a unique green tab and Habitat for Humanity
logo. For each green tab consumers collect and mail in by May 30, 2010, Sprite will
donate 10 cents to Habitat for Humanity, up to $500,000. It’s that easy. Enjoy your Sprite,
recycle your can and send in the green tab. Visit for more
information. "Through the "Sprite Tabs for Habitat" program people can give back to their
communities, help others, and recycle -- all at the same time," said Augusto Elias, brand
director, Sprite, Coca-Cola North America. "We encourage people with busy lifestyles to
see this program as an opportunity to make a difference in their community by simply
mailing in the green tabs found on Sprite and Sprite Zero cans." Habitat for Humanity
builds, repairs and rehabilitates safe, decent and affordable housing in partnership with
low-income families in need. Sprite is making a minimum donation to Habitat for
Humanity for $250,000 and a percentage of the total funds raised will be allocated to help
retrofit homes with water conserving appliances. "In addition to providing funds, "Sprite
Tabs for Habitat" will help Habitat for Humanity provide awareness of the incredible need
for affordable housing that exists in the United States and around the world," said Mark
Crozet, senior vice president of Resource Development for Habitat for Humanity
International. "We thank Sprite for the opportunity to participate in this program." Only
green Sprite and Sprite Zero tabs will count toward the program and all tabs must be
received by May 30, 2010, to be accepted for donation to Habitat for Humanity. To
participate, place the green tabs in a regular or padded envelope. If using a non-padded
envelope, please limit the number of tabs to 20 in each envelope and mail to: Sprite Tabs
for Habitat, P.O. Box 51412, Knoxville, TN 37950. At the conclusion of the program,
Sprite will donate all tabs to a charitable organization to be recycled. In addition to mailing
in green Sprite or Sprite Zero tabs, My Coke Rewards® members can also help Habitat
for Humanity by donating their My Coke Rewards points between now and May 30, 2010.
My Coke Rewards points donated will deliver additional monetary support for Habitat for
Humanity. For more information about this opportunity or how to become a member of
My Coke Rewards , please Sprite will encourage
consumers to participate in the program by placing Habitat for Humanity messaging on
packaging, point of sale, and online. Additionally, Sprite is sponsoring ABC Goes Green,
a micro site on that focuses on offering consumers tips, quizzes and videos on
how to be more environmentally friendly. For more information, please visit
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:00PM ()

Iconic Range Rover Turns 40

Saturday, June 05, 2010
The Range Rover celebrates its 40th birthday on 17 June, 2010. One of the most
significant vehicles in the history of motoring, the Range Rover was the world's first
vehicle as good on-road as off-road. It was the first fully capable luxury 4x4 and was a
milestone in the development of the SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle). There have been three

generations of Range Rover. The original, now known as the Classic, went on sale in
1970 and continued in production, with numerous upgrades and a multiplicity of variants,
for just over 25 years. The second-generation vehicle, known as the P38a, went on sale
in 1994 and was replaced in 2001 by the current model. The continuing success of the
Range Rover ensured that other premium makers jumped into the booming luxury SUV
market. The latest version has enjoyed higher annual sales than any previous models
and continues to be popular around the world. Sold around the world, from London to Los
Angeles, Sydney to Shanghai, Turin to Tokyo, the Range Rover remains the ultimate
choice for the luxury SUV customer. "The Range Rover is really four vehicles in one,"
says managing director Phil Popham. "It's a seven-days-a-week luxury motor car; a
leisure vehicle that will range far and wide on the highways and noways of the world; a
high performance car for long distance travel; and a working cross-country vehicle." From
princes to politicians, from rock gods to rock climbers, from footballers to farmers, the
Range Rover has always appealed to a diverse group of customers. A second model
line, the Range Rover Sport, was launched in 2005, aimed at more sports-oriented driver-
focused customers. It has been a great success, and in 2007 was Land Rover's biggest
selling vehicle worldwide. Later this year, a further member of the Range Rover family will
be added, taking the portfolio to three model lines. The new vehicle will be smaller, lighter
and more fuel efficient, tying in perfectly with the Range Rover brand's commitment to
environmental sustainability. Yet it will be no less premium, no less luxurious, and no less
special than the other Range Rover models. A Brief History: 1966 Work began on the first
Range Rover prototype, known as the '100-inch station wagon'. 1970 The original two-
door Range Rover – known as the Classic – goes on sale. 1971 Range Rover receives
the RAC Dewar award for outstanding technical achievement. 1972 The Range Rover is
the first vehicle to cross the Darien Gap on a British Army Trans-America expedition.
1974 Range Rover completes west to east Sahara desert expedition – 7,500 miles in 100
days. 1977 A modified Range Rover wins the 4x4 class in the London-Sydney Marathon,
a gruelling 30,000 km (18,750 miles) event and the longest ever speed-based car rally.
1979 A specially modified Range Rover wins the first Paris-Dakar rally (a Range Rover
wins again in 1981). 1981 First production four-door Range Rover appears along with the
first factory-produced limited-edition Range Rover – the 'In Vogue'. 1982 Automatic
transmission becomes available on Range Rover. 1983 Range Rover 5-speed manual
gearbox is introduced. 1985 The diesel-powered Range Rover 'Bullet' breaks 27 speed
records, including a diesel record for averaging more than 100mph for 24 hours. 1987
Range Rover launched in North America. 1989 Range Rover is the world's first 4x4 to be
fitted with ABS anti-lock brakes. 1990 Limited Edition CSK – named after founder Charles
Spencer King – is launched as a sportier Range Rover. 1992 Range Rover Classic is the
world's first 4x4 to be fitted with electronic traction control (ETC). 1992 Long-wheelbase
LSE (known as County LWB in the US) launched. 1992 Automatic electronic air
suspension introduced, a world first for a 4x4. 1994 Second-generation (P38a) Range
Rover goes on sale. 1996 Range Rover Classic bows out after total production of
317,615 units. 1999 Limited Edition Range Rover Linley appears at London Motor Show. 109
2001 All-New Range Rover (L322) launched. 2002 Half-millionth Range Rover produced
at the Solihull plant. 2005 Second model line – the Range Rover Sport – launched. 2006
Terrain Response and TDV8 diesel introduced. 2009 Range Rover features all-new LR-
V8 5.0 and 5.0 supercharged petrol engines and technology updates. 2010 Range Rover
celebrates its 40th anniversary. 2010 All-New compact Range Rover to be revealed at
Paris Motor Show.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00AM ()

Columbia Sportswear Designs Innovative

Backpack Line for National S...
Friday, June 04, 2010
The National Ski Patrol (NSP) and Columbia Sportswear
announced a partnership in which Columbia’s innovative
Rescue Series backpack collection designed for snow
professionals will be made available for NSP members to
purchase through the NSP Winter Catalog. "Columbia
has worked hard to listen to patrollers about their
demanding equipment needs and has created a series of
packs that can be used at work and everyday based on
this feedback,” says NSP Executive Director Tim White.
“We’re excited to collaborate with Columbia to offer
these patroller-friendly packs." The Columbia Rescue
Series is a collection of three backcountry and mountain
packs created for medical, avalanche and rescue
professionals. The packs include Omni-Shield™
advanced repellency technology, which protects against
water and stains. They also include heavy-duty construction using ballistic materials,
reflective accents, a ski carrying system with a patent-pending design, and an insulated
hydration system, making the packs in the Rescue Series the ultimate for on mountain
emergency response crews. Rescue Series models include: The Rescue Specialist™;
The Rescue Stryker™ and the Rescue Ranger™. The three packs include a black-and-
red color scheme, a fleece-lined goggle pocket, quick-release buckles on waist belt and
sternum strap, and a drainage system to clear melted snow after a pack is opened in a
storm. In addition, the two larger packs have a removable reflective cross and clear
pouches to help you see and quickly access trauma medical supplies. Rescue Series
packs will be available only through the print and on-line 2010/11 NSP Winter Catalog
( The packs will debut at the NSP’s 2010 Patroller Education Conference,
which takes place April 14-16 in Snowbird, Utah.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:40PM ()

Researchers make gesture-based computing

interfaces more accessible
Friday, June 04, 2010
Academic and industry labs have developed a host of prototype gesture interfaces,
ranging from room-sized systems with multiple cameras to detectors built into laptops’
screens. But MIT researchers have developed a system that could make gestural

interfaces much more practical. Aside from
a standard webcam, like those found in
many new computers, the system uses only
a single piece of hardware: a multicolored
Lycra glove that could be manufactured for
about a dollar. Other prototypes of low-cost
gestural interfaces have used reflective or
colored tape attached to the fingertips, but
“that’s 2-D information,” says Robert Wang,
a graduate student in the Computer
Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory who developed the new system together
with Jovan Popović, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer
science. “You’re only getting the fingertips; you don’t even know which fingertip [the tape]
is corresponding to.” Wang and Popović’s system, by contrast, can translate gestures
made with a gloved hand into the corresponding gestures of a 3-D model of the hand on
screen, with almost no lag time. “This actually gets the 3-D configuration of your hand
and your fingers,” Wang says. “We get how your fingers are flexing.” The most obvious
application of the technology, Wang says, would be in video games: Gamers navigating a
virtual world could pick up and wield objects simply by using hand gestures. But Wang
also imagines that engineers and designers could use the system to more easily and
intuitively manipulate 3-D models of commercial products or large civic structures. The
glove went through a series of designs, with dots and patches of different shapes and
colors, but the current version is covered with 20 irregularly shaped patches that use 10
different colors. The number of colors had to be restricted so that the system could
reliably distinguish the colors from each other, and from those of background objects,
under a range of different lighting conditions. The arrangement and shapes of the
patches was chosen so that the front and back of the hand would be distinct but also so
that collisions of similar-colored patches would be rare. For instance, Wang explains, the
colors on the tips of the fingers could be repeated on the back of the hand, but not on the
front, since the fingers would frequently be flexing and closing in front of the palm.
Technically, the other key to the system is a new algorithm for rapidly looking up visual
data in a database, which Wang says was inspired by the recent work of Antonio
Torralba, the Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Associate Professor of Electrical
Engineering and Computer Science in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and
Computer Science and a member of CSAIL. Once a webcam has captured an image of
the glove, Wang’s software crops out the background, so that the glove alone is
superimposed upon a white background. Then the software drastically reduces the
resolution of the cropped image, to only 40 pixels by 40 pixels. Finally, it searches
through a database containing myriad 40-by-40 digital models of a hand, clad in the
distinctive glove, in a range of different positions. Once it’s found a match, it simply looks
up the corresponding hand position. Since the system doesn’t have to calculate the
relative positions of the fingers, palm, and back of the hand on the fly, it’s able to provide
an answer in a fraction of a second. Of course, a database of 40-by-40 color images
takes up a large amount of memory — several hundred megabytes, Wang says. But
today, a run-of-the-mill desktop computer has four gigabytes — or 4,000 megabytes — of
high-speed RAM memory. And that number is only going to increase, Wang says. Since
the glove is made from stretchy Lycra, it can change size significantly from one user to
the next; but in order to gauge the glove’s distance from the camera, the system has to
have a good sense of its size. To calibrate the system, the user simply places an 8.5-by-
11-inch piece of paper on a flat surface in front of the webcam, presses his or her hand
against it, and in about three seconds, the system is calibrated. Wang initially presented
the glove-tracking system at last year’s Siggraph, the premier conference on computer 111
graphics. But at the time, he says, the system took nearly a half-hour to calibrate, and it
didn’t work nearly as well in environments with a lot of light. Now that the glove tracking is
working well, however, he’s expanding on the idea, with the design of similarly patterned
shirts that can be used to capture information about whole-body motion. Such systems
are already commonly used to evaluate athletes’ form or to convert actors’ live
performances into digital animations, but a system based on Wang and Popović’s
technique could prove dramatically cheaper and easier to use.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Ideabing Contest Of The Month

Friday, June 04, 2010
Signup for our daily newsletter and win a $200 Visa gift card. 3 lucky winners get a $200
Visa gift card each from Ideabing. Head here to sign up-
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 03:46PM ()

Carnegie Mellon's Soccer-Playing Robots Get

Creative With Physics-B...
Friday, June 04, 2010

Robot soccer players from Carnegie Mellon University competing in this month's
RoboCup 2010 world championship in Singapore should be able to out-dribble their
opponents, thanks to a new algorithm that helps them to predict the ball's behavior based
on physics principles. That means that the CMDragons, the Carnegie Mellon team that
competes in RoboCup's fast-paced Small-Size League, likely will be able to out-
maneuver their opponents and find creative solutions to game situations that could even
surprise their programmers. It's possible that the physics-based planning algorithm also
might enable the players to invent some new kicks. "Over the years, we have developed
many successful teams of robot soccer players, but we believe that the physics-based
planning algorithm is a particularly noteworthy accomplishment," said Manuela Veloso,
professor of computer science and leader of Carnegie Mellon's two robot soccer teams.
"Past teams have drawn from a repertoire of pre-programmed behaviors to play their
matches, planning mostly to avoid obstacles and acting with reactive strategies. "To
reach RoboCup's goal of creating robot teams that can compete with human teams, we
need robots that can plan a strategy using models of their capabilities as well as the
capabilities of others, and accurate predictions of the state of a constantly changing
game," said Veloso, who is president of the International RoboCup Federation. In
addition to the Small-Size League team, which uses wheeled robots less than six inches
high, Carnegie Mellon fields a Standard Platform League team that uses 22-inch-tall
humanoid robots as players. Both teams will join more than 500 other teams with about

3,000 participants when they converge on Singapore June 19-25 for RoboCup 2010, the
world's largest robotics and artificial intelligence event, RoboCup
includes five different robot soccer leagues, as well as competitions for search-and-
rescue robots, for assistive robots and for students up to age 19. The CMDragons have
been strong competitors at RoboCup, winning in 2006 and 2007 and finishing second in
2008. Last year, the team lost in the quarterfinals because of a programming glitch, but
had dominated teams up to that point with the help of a preliminary version of the
physics-based planning algorithm. "Physics-based planning gives us an advantage when
a robot is dribbling the ball and needs to make a tight turn, or any other instance that
requires an awareness of the dynamics of the ball," said Stefan Zickler, a newly minted
Ph.D. in computer science who developed the algorithm for his thesis. "Will the ball stick
with me when I turn? How fast can I turn? These are questions that the robots previously
could never answer." The algorithm could enable the robots to concoct some new kicks,
including bank shots, Zickler said. But the computational requirements for kick planning
are greater than for dribbling, so limited computational power and time will keep this use
to a minimum. Each Small-Size League team consists of five robots. The CMDragon
robots include two kicking mechanisms — one for flat kicks and another for chip shots.
They also are equipped with a dribble bar that exerts backspin on the ball. Each team
builds their own players; Michael Licitra, an engineer at Carnegie Mellon's National
Robotics Engineering Center, built the CMDragons' highly capable robots. Like many
robots in the league, the CMDragons have omni-directional wheels for tight, quick turns.
In addition to physics-based planning, the CMDragons are preparing to use a more
aggressive strategy than in previous years. "We've noticed that in our last few matches
against strong teams, the ball has been on our side of the field way too much," Zickler
said. "We need to be more opportunistic. When no better option is available, we may just
take a shot at the goal even if we don't have a clear view of it." In addition to Veloso and
Zickler, the CMDragons include Joydeep Biswas, a Robotics Institute master's degree
graduate and now a first-year Ph.D. student in robotics, and computer science
undergraduate Can Erdogan. "Figuring out how to get robots to coordinate with each
other and to do so in environments with high uncertainty is one of the grand challenges
facing artificial intelligence," Veloso said. "RoboCup is focusing the energies of many
smart young minds on solving this problem, which ultimately will enable using distributed
intelligence technology in the general physical world."
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

‘Tattoo’ may help diabetics track their blood sugar

Friday, June 04, 2010
Paul Barone, a postdoctoral researcher in MIT Department of
Chemical Engineering, and professor Michael Strano are
working on a new type of blood glucose monitor that could
not only eliminate the need for finger pricks but also offer
more accurate readings. “Diabetes is an enormous problem,
global in scope, and despite decades of engineering advances, our ability to accurately
measure glucose in the human body still remains quite primitive,” says Strano, the
Charles and Hilda Roddey Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering. “It is a life-and-
death issue for a growing number of people.” Strano and Barone’s sensing system
consists of a “tattoo” of nanoparticles designed to detect glucose, injected below the skin.
A device similar to a wristwatch would be worn over the tattoo, displaying the patient’s
glucose levels. A 2008 study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that
continuous monitoring helped adult type I diabetes patients who were at least 25 years 113
old better control their blood glucose levels.
However, existing wearable devices are not
as accurate as the finger-prick test and
have to be recalibrated once or twice a day
— a process that still involves pricking the
finger. “The most problematic
consequences of diabetes result from
relatively short excursions of a person’s
blood sugar outside of the normal
physiological range, following meals, for example,” says Strano. “If we can detect and
prevent these excursions, we can go a long way toward reducing the devastating impact
of this disease.” Most existing continuous glucose sensors work via an injection of an
enzyme called glucose oxidase, which breaks down glucose. An electrode placed on the
skin interacts with a by-product of that reaction, hydrogen peroxide, allowing glucose
levels to be indirectly measured. However, none of those sensors have been approved
for use longer than seven days at a time. The technology behind the MIT sensor,
described most recently in a December 2009 issue of ACS Nano , is fundamentally
different from existing sensors, says Strano. The sensor is based on carbon nanotubes
wrapped in a polymer that is sensitive to glucose concentrations. When this sensor
encounters glucose, the nanotubes fluoresce, which can be detected by shining near-
infrared light on them. Measuring the amount of fluorescence reveals the concentration of
glucose. The researchers plan to create an “ink” of these nanoparticles suspended in a
saline solution that could be injected under the skin like a tattoo. The “tattoo” would last
for a specified length of time, probably six months, before needing to be refreshed. To get
glucose readings, the patient would wear a monitor that shines near-infrared light on the
tattoo and detects the resulting fluorescence. One advantage of this type of sensor is
that, unlike some fluorescent molecules, carbon nanotubes aren’t destroyed by light
exposure. “You can shine the light as long as you want, and the intensity won’t change,”
says Barone. Because of this, the sensor can give continuous readings. Development of
the nanoparticles and the wearable monitor is being funded by MIT’s Deshpande Center
for Technological Innovation. Barone and Strano are now working to improve the
accuracy of their sensor. Any glucose monitor must pass a test known as the Clarke
Error Grid, the gold standard for glucose-sensor accuracy. The test, which compares
sensor results to results from a lab-based glucose meter, needs to be very stringent,
since mistakes in glucose detection can be fatal. They are still years away from human
trials, says Barone, but they may soon start trials in animals. Those tests will be key to
determining the value of this approach, says Buckingham. “You don’t know how good it
will be until you put it in someone and see how strong the signal is,” he says.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Shell Ecobox™ Efficiently Delivers Oil To

Engines; Significantly Re...
Thursday, June 03, 2010
This week at the Michelin Challenge Bibendum 2010, Shell Lubricants announced that it
offers an innovative product called Ecobox™, an alternative to traditional plastic
packaging for motor oil. Through its design, Ecobox™ can help owners and operators of
oil change facilities more efficiently store, manage and deliver oil to their customers'
vehicles. The bag containing the oil in the Ecobox™ carton is designed to help improve

speed and ease of use compared to bottles, as it drains
quickly, leaves minimal residual oil behind and requires less
handling than quart bottles. Using the Ecobox™ plastic liner
results in 89% less plastic landfill waste than the equivalent
24 quart plastic bottles, and the Ecobox™ carton is fully
recyclable. The Ecobox™ pump system provides motor oil
delivery that helps improve many operational tasks
associated with dispensing oil using individual quarts. The Ecobox™ is part of Shell's
'smarter mobility' approach to developing innovations for cleaner and more efficient
transport of people and goods. Smarter mobility has three elements: smarter products,
smarter use and smarter infrastructure. The effort is not just a concept; it is evident in
Shell's work every day to help accelerate the global shift to cleaner, more energy efficient
road transport. The Ecobox™ system is a prime example of smarter use, through smarter
packaging. "The Ecobox ™ system is being introduced in the United States through a
controlled rollout, with eventual plans for it to become a global offering," said Tan Chong
Meng, Shell's Executive Vice President for B2B and Lubricants. "While the Ecobox ™
system and many of our other smarter mobility efforts provide incremental improvements,
each of the benefits provided is a step towards cleaner, more efficient mobility." Oil is
easily dispensed from the specially engineered box and valve, and then transferred to the
engine crankcase by a custom-designed Ecobox™ pump system. The Ecobox™ carton
can reduce storage space in shops, as it is about one-half the size of the equivalent
volume of single-quart cases. As the number of viscosity grades installed locations are
required to keep on hand continues to increase, the Ecobox™ system can allow installers
to offer a wider range of specialty oils to meet customers' needs by making it easy to
stock and install a number of different motor oils without the need for bulk storage. Easy-
to-read Ecobox™ carton labeling and the specially organised storage rack help
technicians select and install the correct oil, while delivery of oil to the vehicle is simplified
through no-drip digital metered delivery nozzles.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:49PM ()

Europcar Reveal the Cost of Dormant Urban

Cars to Motorists
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Europcar has revealed new research that shows the cost of
dormant urban motors is £65bn. Parked cars clogging up
residential roads in the UK's cities is a long-familiar sight, but
the cost of dormant urban motors (DUMs) is today revealed to be £65bn a year.
According to new research by Europcar, which has just launched its free WeDeliver
service ( ) of vehicles to
customers' door, car ownership for the time-poor city dwellers costs them £3.50 for every
mile they cover - excluding fuel. On average a city car owner only spends 4 hours, 40
minutes at the wheel each week - meaning that their car remains parked for 97% of the
time. With the depreciation of their car, and the cumulative with costs for maintenance,
insurance, fines and parking totalling £5,328.96 a year, it's no wonder that nearly half
(48%) would sell their car if there was a convenient alternative to ownership. The nature
of city life also means that two thirds (66.6%) of car owners still regularly opt to use public
transport, cycle or walk to cover short distances and avoid congestion or parking stress.
Over half (51%) admit that expense is the most stressful part of owning a car, a quarter 115
(24%) cite maintenance, while 44% say that their car has been damaged or vandalised
due to being left parked outside for prolonged periods of time. Catriona Lougher,
Marketing Director at Europcar ( ) commented: "This research
shows how busy lifestyles and the nature of urban living and travel has filled out cities
with dormant urban motors. "Europcar has developed a free weDeliver service as a
solution to this trend, meaning would-be motorists can have a vehicle dropped off at their
door at a time that suits them and picked up again when they're finished with it - for free.
That's perfect for Brits in cities who feel they don't use their car often enough, but want
the freedom of a car when they want do to travel." WeDeliver can be the perfect stress
busting solution for the city dweller. The new service includes free delivery within 15
miles of an address and offers a rather speedy one hour delivery window even in Britain's
busiest city, London. To make things even easier customers can now have their car
delivered to a home, business or even hotel address making car rental
( queues a thing of the past.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:19PM ()

Volkswagen Invites Users to Help Create the

Infotainment Systems of...
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Volkswagen is inviting designers, programmers, developers
and interested users to help develop applications for the
Infotainment systems of the future as part of the Open
Innovation Contest, “App My Ride”. With this contest,
Volkswagen has become the first car manufacturer to use the
idea of open innovation for the further development of its
products. In the so-called "App My Ride" competition, users
can jointly develop new Infotainment applications with
Volkswagen. A jury of experts will select the winner whose
creativity will be rewarded with special prizes. "Our aim is to invite the international
developer community to take part in designing a future system," says Prof. Dr Jürgen
Leohold, Head of the Volkswagen Group Research. So-called apps, also known as
application programmes for certain devices which are available through an online shop,
have helped to contribute to the smartphone boom. Applications designed by users (User
Generated Content) are of central importance to the boom and are made available online
by other users. Companies like Apple and Google successfully aid this nearly
inexhaustible source of innovation. "A quiet revolution is taking place right now," explains
Dr Johann Füller, CEO of the innovation agency partner to Volkswagen through the "App
My Ride" competition, Hyve AG. "The customer-orientated culture of the internet places
an enormous power in the hands of the users. Leading organisations are starting to
harness this power to develop better solutions and increase their competitiveness."
Exactly what the "App My Ride" contest is targeting. Currently a prototype for
Volkswagen’s Infotainment system is being developed in which Flash applications
designed by different creators can be accumulated. In order to research the potential of
apps for the vehicle Infotainment system, Volkswagen is trying to produce the most
varied collection of applications possible. An "innovation community" open to all internet
users will be created as of 3rd May 2010 for the competition under the following URL: Here, participants in the competition can log in and either
load programmed apps or send in their creative ideas for future ones. "The participants
are supposed to imagine what the purpose of their ideal Infotainment system is and how

it would work and now they have the opportunity to make it a reality. At the same time,
you can analyse the existing apps on our platform and discuss their design, uses and
purposes," explains Dr Peter Oel, Head of "Control Designs and Drivers" of Volkswagen
Group Research. To develop an app, the participants must have the following: - An idea
for an app to be installed in a vehicle - Graphic design of the user interface -
Programming in Adobe Flash / Flex The purpose, design and logical construction of the
app should be geared towards the possible requirements of drivers and other occupants.
The participant’s creativity will be rewarded at the end of the competition. The most
innovative application will be chosen by the "App My Ride" community and a jury
consisting of Volkswagen managers and external experts. Besides cash and non-cash
prizes worth up to €14,000, a special prize for students will also be awarded. This
involves a placement within Volkswagen Group Research in Tokyo, Shanghai, California
or Wolfsburg. Moreover, the winner of the competition can also expect an exclusive trip to
take part in an international vehicle presentation which covers the costs of the flight and
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00AM ()

Cronkite lab's iPhone app connects citizens,

Thursday, June 03, 2010
The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism
and Mass Communication’s New Media
Innovation Lab has developed an
innovative iPhone application that makes it

easier for citizens to connect with their

elected officials. The Arizona Political
Directory application allows mobile users to
search for their federal, state and county
representatives using their smartphone’s
built-in GPS system. No matter where a
user is in the state, the app will identify
which elected officials represent that
location. The app, which also is searchable
by office, district or name, provides links to
the officials’ websites, short biographies
and contact information. The app is free and available for download in the iTunes store. A
Droid-compatible version is currently in development. The New Media Innovation Lab
developed the application for The Arizona Guardian, an online political and public affairs
publications. The lab, which is staffed by students from across the university, has been
developing new media products and conducting research for news organizations since it
opened in 2006. It is led by Retha Hill, a digital media leader and former vice president
for BET Interactive, the online unit of Black Entertainment Television. Hill said the Arizona
Guardian project is a win-win, providing a media outlet with an innovative new product
while giving students invaluable experience in digital media development. Cody Shotwell
and Elizabeth Shell, both recent graduates of the Cronkite School, began work on the
Arizona Political Directory last fall while working in the innovation lab as part of their
graduate studies. "With this project, our students had to use their reporting skills to get
information on every elected official from the county level on up; they had to use project 117
management skills to make sure they delivered what the client needed; and they had to
quickly get comfortable with the intricate procedure of developing an app that would be
acceptable in the Apple store,” Hill said. Students also worked with coders and traveled
across the state testing the application’s performance. Hill said the data available in the
Arizona Political Directory is exactly the kind of information that newspapers used to
publish in political directories prior to an election. “Today, we can deliver relevant
information to people when they need it – when they are engaged in an issue and want to
immediately call, tweet or e-mail a representative – and where they need it, based on the
geographic location of the user,” Hill said. Other projects developed by the lab include a
bartering site for mothers to swap goods and services, which is slated to become part of’s offerings, Facebook applications and a variety of widgets for media
clients. The lab has developed a green game to increase energy awareness and
conducted research about how young people use new media for the Newspaper
Association of American Foundation and for the Gannett Co.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:32AM ()

Aava Mobile Announces 'Virta Android SDK' for

Developing Android on...
Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Aava Mobile ( today announced Virta™ Android, a hardware-

enhanced software developer kit (h-SDK) for Android developers wishing to write
applications for smartphones and tablets running the newest Intel® Atom™ Processor
Z6xxx Series based platforms (previously codenamed "Moorestown"). The Virta Android
is a fully functioning x86 smartphone that comes pre-loaded with a tailored Android SDK
ported to Intel Atom processors. Aava Mobile created Virta Android to give application
developers a real-world device for development and testing. Virta Android is cross-
compatible with all current Android SDK software and comes with a capacitive touch
screen, accelerometer, GPS, haptic feedback, and video/still camera. Virta Android
includes a GSM/EDGE quad band and WCDMA triple-band (band I, II and V) modem,
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and all antennae connectivity for complete platform and application
testing. The Virta Android is the only phone factor SDK for developing and testing
Android platforms and applications to run on Intel Atom processor based devices. The
Virta Android h-SDK was created in cooperation with Intel and has been validated and
hardened for Android by Wind River. "Developers require a stable and feature-complete
development platform to achieve fastest time to market. Aava Mobile licensed the Wind
River Platform for Android to meet developers' needs by offering a reliable software
foundation that is highly optimized for the Intel-based device?s baseline capabilities," said
Chris Buerger, senior director of product management at Wind River. Application
developers Ixonos and Teleca are already using a beta version of Virta Android. "We've
found Aava's SDK to be very stable and compelling experience while the addition of a

functioning smartphone as part of the SDK enables us to test UI and usability issues in a
real world setting," said Andrew Till, vice president of solutions marketing at Teleca.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:22PM ()

New research identifies promising leads to follow

in search for med...
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
New research conducted by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) was
today published in Nature identifying promising potential
leads to develop new medicines to treat malaria. The
research comes from a year-long screening of more than 2
million compounds in GSK’s chemical library to seek out those that could inhibit the
malaria parasite, P. falciparum, and reports on an analysis of the more than 13,500
compounds, or hits, that showed greatest activity. The largest group of compounds,
where their mode of action is understood, were kinase inhibitors and the authors suggest
that further exploration of these compounds might lead to novel antimalarial therapeutic
strategies. In an accompanying editorial piece in Nature , David A. Fidock from the
Departments of Microbiology & Immunology and of Medicine (Infectious Diseases),
Columbia University Medical Center, New York commented: “This <prediction> would
constitute an important new direction for antimalarial drug development — one that might
cross paths with the vast chemical repositories developed to target kinases in other
disorders.” The study also identified compounds that may be inhibiting processes in
human red blood cells which could be necessary for the parasite's survival. This opens
up a novel possibility of fighting infection by looking to halt these processes in human red
blood cells, rather than stopping the malaria parasite itself. GSK is committed to
stimulating new research into neglected tropical diseases, such as malaria, which blight
developing countries. In January 2010, as part of the company’s commitment to open
innovation in this area, GSK announced its intention to share data and chemical
structures identified in its screening of the 2 million compounds from its library against the
parasites that cause malaria using on-line resources. As of today, the 13,533 ‘hits’ are
accessible on public websites, marking the first time that a pharmaceutical company has
made universally available the structures of so many compounds. More than 80% of
these molecules are proprietary to GSK, and therefore the information will be new to the
research community. All these data are available online through the European
Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and Collaborative Drug Discovery. Together with the
added intelligence in the Nature publication, scientists globally have been given
thousands of chemical starting points to stimulate their research into this deadly disease
which kills one child in Africa every 30 seconds. “The world desperately needs new
medicines to fight malaria,” said Dr Patrick Vallance, head of Drug Discovery at GSK.
“These data provide us and other researchers around the world with several new leads to
follow. We hope this information will drive further studies into the disease, and we call for
all researchers to add their findings back to the EBI to create an open worldwide
collaboration to expand our collective knowledge and make new medicines.” About the
data The data contains the ‘hits’ or results from a screening of the 2 million compounds in
GSK’s compound library to determine the effect of these compounds on the malaria
parasite. The screening project identified 13,533 compounds that showed strong
inhibition on the parasite. Kinase inhibitors constituted a large proportion of the molecules
with previously known activity and now identified as antimalarial hits. The data includes
the chemical families that GSK is currently researching for this indication and the 119
‘mechanisms of action’ for those compounds which the company has previously tested
for other indications. Most of the compound structures identified have been classified as
capable of being converted into medicine. The current microbiological information for the
compounds and the structures has been put on online resources that are easily accessed
by researchers. The EBI site has been constructed so that scientists globally can add
their data to the information there, with access free to all. The value of the release of
information is enhanced by the collaboration of the web hosts and the specialist research
tools on the site, that are being made available to researchers at no cost to them.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:20PM ()

Shell launches "Smarter Mobility" - innovations

for cleaner, more e...
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Shell unveiled a package of innovations, dubbed "Smarter
Mobility", aimed at speeding up the global shift to cleaner,
more energy-efficient road transport. Shell launched the
concept at Michelin’s Challenge Bibendum sustainable
mobility conference. Shell’s Downstream Director, Mark
Williams said: “A big part of Shell’s business is about
providing the fuels, lubricants and even road surfaces that
make it possible for people and goods to move around in
motor vehicles. So customers faced with energy, climate and economic challenges can
turn to us for ways to save fuel and emit less CO2.” Williams went on to say: “While
electric vehicles, hydrogen and advanced biofuels all have huge potential, there will not
be enough of them to make a real difference for another decade or more. That’s too long,
so we’re acting now to make today’s transport system cleaner and more efficient. We’re
calling it ‘Smarter Mobility.’” Through “Smarter Mobility”, Shell is helping its customers
today in three main ways:

Smarter products
With smarter use of new additives, today’s petrol and diesel can yield big savings. Today
Shell Fuel Economy formula products are available in over 21 countries. In 2009, Shell
launched its most advanced Fuel Economy formula fuel to date, Shell FuelSave, which
helps customers save up to one litre per tank with every fill.* In addition to smarter fuels,
smarter products include more efficient lubricants, and even innovative plastics that allow
carmakers to create lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Smarter use
Smarter products deliver even better results when used in smarter ways. So, for
example, Shell is offering fleet operators a service called FuelSave Partner that
electronically tracks fuel use and recommends different speeds, routes and driving styles
to optimise economy. FuelSave Partner can cut fleet fuel use by as much as 10%. Shell
also offers fuel economy driving advice to motorists, runs competitions to promote more
efficient driving, and has deployed celebrity FuelSave “ambassadors” around the world to
encourage smarter use of fuel.

Smarter infrastructure
Shell is helping to develop a more energy efficient global road transport infrastructure. An
example is a process designed to produce and lay asphalt at lower temperatures – the
Shell WAM Foam Process, which reduces overall energy consumption by between 25%
and 35% compared to conventional asphalt. A simple, economic, lower carbon road
surface, Shell Instapave, is being rolled out in Latin America and India to replace fragile,
dusty and unsafe dirt roads and it can be ready for use in as little as 30 minutes after it is
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Starbucks New Store in Japan is Designed to

Reduce Environmental Im...
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) opened its
newest store in Fukuoka, Japan. Inspired by Starbucks™
Shared Planet™, the company’s ongoing commitment to
ethical sourcing, environmental stewardship and community
involvement, the store’s design reflects the character of the
surrounding neighborhood and helps to reduce environmental
impacts. Located at the center of Ohori Park, it is the first
Starbucks store in Asia to be registered for LEED
certification*. “Our new design approach will reinvigorate
customer experience in Asia because it aligns with the evolving lifestyle and values of
Asian customers. The Ohori Park store is a good example of how we aspire to cultivate
an enhanced sense of community and environmental consciousness. We look forward to
bringing this kind of innovation to more customers around the Asia Pacific region,” said
Andy Adams, vice president, Store Development, Starbucks Coffee Asia Pacific.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Staples Launches Nationwide Computer and

Office Technology Recyclin...
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS), the world's largest office
products company, today announced that it now makes it
easy to recycle used computers and other office technology
at any Staples store nationwide, becoming the first national
retailer to offer computer recycling in stores every day.
Staples makes it easy for customers to recycle e-waste by simply bringing their used
computers, monitors, laptops, printers, faxes and all-in-ones to any U.S. Staples store,
where the equipment will be recycled in accordance with environmental laws. All brands
will be accepted, regardless of whether or not the equipment was purchased at Staples,
for a fee of $10 per large item. Staples is working with Amandi Services, one of the
country's most experienced and innovative electronics recyclers, to handle recycling of
the equipment, following standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA). "It's not always easy being green. However, through the leadership of Staples, 121
Americans will see that preventing pollution by recycling unwanted electronics is as easy
as it gets," said Stephen L. Johnson, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency. "EPA and our Plug-In To eCycling partners are helping make sure yesterday's
high-tech gadgets do not go to waste." "An estimated 133,000 computers are discarded
every day in the U.S.," said Mark Buckley, vice president of environmental affairs at
Staples, Inc. "We know that small businesses and consumers want to recycle their used
office technology but are often frustrated by the lack of convenient options available. By
making it easy to recycle, Staples helps customers take action in handling e-waste in an
environmentally responsible way." Equipment is bagged and sealed when customers
drop them off at the Staples customer service desk. The equipment is then picked up and
delivered to Amandi Services, who disassembles the equipment into its component parts
and uses industry-leading standards for data destruction. Amandi then recycles the raw
materials, such as the plastics, metals, printed circuit boards and Cathode Ray Tubes
(CRT). The CRTs, which are the most hazardous part of electronics waste, are recycled
utilizing Amandi's proprietary technology into a raw material that is used to manufacture
new televisions.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:58PM ()

Research shows some people don't taste salt like

Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Low-salt foods may be harder for some people to like than
others, according to a newly published study by a researcher
in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. The
research indicates that genetics influence some of the
difference in the levels of salt we like to eat. Those
conclusions are important because recent, well-publicized
efforts to reduce the salt content in food have left many people struggling to accept fare
that simply doesn't taste as good to them as it does to others, pointed out John Hayes,
assistant professor of food science, who was lead investigator of the study. Published in
the latest edition of Physiology & Behavior, "Explaining variability in sodium intake
through oral sensory phenotype, salt sensation and liking" was a collaboration between
Hayes and University of Connecticut professor Valerie Duffy. The research involved 87
carefully screened participants who sampled salty foods such as broth, chips and
pretzels, on multiple occasions, spread out over weeks. Test subjects were 45 men and
42 women, reportedly healthy, ranging in age from 20 to 40 years. The sample was
composed of individuals who were not actively modifying their dietary intake and did not
smoke cigarettes. They rated the intensity of taste on a commonly used scientific scale,
ranging from barely detectable to strongest sensation of any kind. "Most of us like the
taste of salt. However, some individuals eat more salt, both because they like the taste of
saltiness more and also because it is needed to block other unpleasant tastes in food,"
said Hayes. "Supertasters, people who experience tastes more intensely, consume more
salt than do nontasters. Snack foods have saltiness as their primary flavor, and at least
for these foods, more is better, so the supertasters seem to like them more." However,
"supertasters" also need higher levels of salt to block unpleasant bitter tastes in foods
such as cheese, Hayes noted. "For example, cheese is a wonderful blend of dairy flavors
from fermented milk, but also bitter tastes from ripening that are blocked by salt," he said.
"A supertaster finds low-salt cheese unpleasant because the bitterness is too
pronounced." Hayes cited research done more than 75 years ago by a chemist named

Fox and a geneticist named Blakeslee showing that individuals differ in their ability to
taste certain chemicals. As a result, Hayes explained, we know that there is a wide range
in taste acuity, and this variation is as normal as variations in eye and hair color. "Some
people, called supertasters, describe bitter compounds as being extremely bitter, while
others, called nontasters, find these same bitter compounds to be tasteless or only
weakly bitter," he said. "Response to bitter compounds is one of many ways to identify
biological differences in food preference because supertasting is not limited to bitterness.
Individuals who experience more bitterness also perceive more saltiness in table salt,
more sweetness from table sugar, more burn from chili peppers and more tingle from
carbonated drinks." Supertasters live in a neon food world, Hayes said; nontasters, on
the other extreme, live in a pastel food world. "Interestingly, nontasters may be more
likely to add salt to foods at the table because they need more salt to reach the same
level of perceived saltiness as a supertaster," he said. "However, most of the salt we
consume comes from salt added to processed foods and not from the salt shaker." This
new research increases understanding of salt preference and consumption. Diets high in
salt can increase the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. That's why public health
experts and food companies are working together on ways to help consumers lower salt
intakes through foods that are enjoyable to eat. Currently, U.S. citizens consume two to
three times the amount of salt recommended for good health. Hayes advises consumers
to lower their salt intake by reading the food label and looking for products that contain
fewer than 480 mg. of sodium per serving.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00AM ()

Microsoft Announces Availability of Hohm Scores

for 60 Million Home...
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Starting May 26 2010, more than 60 million homeowners will
be able to answer one simple question: “Am I an energy hog
or an energy miser?” Microsoft Corp. today announced the
availability of the Hohm Score, an estimate of a home’s energy efficiency, offered as part
of the company’s free online home energy management tool, Microsoft Hohm. By simply
typing in an address at, anyone can see the Hohm Score
for almost any home in the United States. “The Hohm Score provides an easy way for
anyone to measure their home energy efficiency, and compare it with others. It’s
important to note that the average Hohm Score here in the U.S. is a failing grade,” said
Troy Batterberry, product unit manager of Microsoft Hohm. “Fortunately, by making some
simple changes to your household, consumers can easily achieve a passing mark, and
save an estimated tens of billions of dollars each and every year.” Hohm Scores are
calculated by comparing a home’s actual and potential energy efficiency, and is grounded
with advanced analytics licensed from Lawrence Berkeley National Labs and statistical
data from the Department of Energy. In addition to individual scores, Hohm Scores are
available by ZIP code, city and state so anyone can compare a home’s score with others
around the country. The national average Hohm Score comes in at 61, with Hawaii
topping the list as having the highest average Hohm Score and with Texas coming in last.
Here are the states with the highest and lowest Hohm Score averages: Highest average
Hohm Score • Hawaii – 81 • Delaware – 70 • Maryland – 70 • District of Columbia – 68 •
New Jersey – 67 Lowest average Hohm Score • 47. Arkansas – 53 • 48. Oklahoma – 52 •
49. Nevada – 51 • 50. Tennessee – 51 • 51. Texas - 51 “The Hohm Score is the first step
in helping us all make smarter decisions about our home energy use,” Batterberry said. 123
“If each of the 60 million households improved their Hohm Score by five points,
collectively that would equal an estimated $8 billion in savings a year.” Available today for
free to all U.S. residential energy consumers, Hohm is working to help everyone save
energy and money by offering insight into home energy usage and by providing
personalized recommendations. Hohm has established partnerships with utilities and the
Ford Motor Co., and is actively working with these partners to realize a long-term vision of
connecting just about anything that uses energy to help automate and optimize energy
use for consumers. • More information and supporting digital content is available
at •
Join the Microsoft Hohm community on Facebook at • Follow Microsoft Hohm on Twitter at
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:24AM ()

SAMSUNG Seek Offers First-of-Its-Kind

Reusable Packaging to Make Wi...
Monday, May 31, 2010
print (NYSE: S) and Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile), the
number one mobile phone provider in the nation1, today announced immediate
availability of Samsung Seek™, an affordable and compact messaging device featuring a
full-QWERTY slide-out keyboard, intuitive touchscreen and the speed of Sprint’s 3G
network. Customers can express their individual style with three color options and an
easy-to-use, customizable menu system that provides instant access to their favorite
features and applications. Innovative Environmentally Friendly Packaging With the launch
of Samsung Seek, Sprint and Samsung are the first in the United States to trial a new
recycling solution that enables customers to easily reuse the packaging to ship old
wireless phones, batteries, accessories and data cards with a postage-paid paper mailing
label. Customers who purchase the Cool Blue or Fantasy Pink Samsung Seek can use
the label and box to repackage their old equipment for recycling in less than one minute
and at no charge. Sprint will recycle both the equipment and the box. To compare the
performance of this new solution, the Scarlet Red Samsung Seek will contain the
traditional postage-paid envelope made of LDPE #4 recyclable plastic for customers to
recycle their old wireless device. Samsung Seek eco-friendly packaging: - Several plastic
elements – the inner tray, bags for literature and the battery, and mailing envelope – are
replaced with paper-based solutions. - Box and inner tray contain at least 90 percent
post-consumer waste (PCW) paper fiber, are 100 percent recyclable, and come from
sustainable forests. Top sheets and liners are chlorine-free, printed with soy inks, and
have a water-based aqueous coating. - Mailing label contains 30 percent PCW paper
fiber, is 100 percent recyclable, has a water-based acrylic adhesive, and is attached with
glue dots that are RoHS and REACH compliant. - Literature band contains at least 30
percent PCW paper fiber and is 100 percent recyclable. “Sprint is committed to
environmental sustainability and product responsibility,”said Kevin Packingham, Sprint
senior vice president-Product Development. “Each time customers use the postage-paid
mailing label with the box to recycle an old device, they are helping keep electronic and
packaging waste out of landfills and support Internet safety for kids. All net proceeds from
the sale of recycled equipment collected will be used to fund and promote 4NetSafety, a
charitable program of Sprint Project Connect™.”
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Ideabing Exclusive: Interview With Cloud Based
Game Dev Platform Wi...
Monday, May 31, 2010

We had written about an awesome cloud based game

development ecosystem WildPockets. Today we sit down
with WildPockets CEO Shanna Tellerman for an interview
on the platform, the team behind WildPockets, CMU, the
future of gaming and Apple's role in the future of gaming.
Full interview after the break. Ideabing: Tell us how Wild
Pockets started Shanna: Wild Pockets got its start as
something very different, as is the story for many start up
ideas. While I was a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon
University’s Entertainment Technology Center I was
working on a platform to enable emergency responders to
customize 3D game environments to use in training
simulations. This project ultimately had legs and I spun it
out from the University to form our company. The idea
grew over time from an easy to use platform to create 3D
environments for training into an easy to use platform to
create 3D environments for anything you can imagine. Ideabing: Tell us about the team
behind Wild Pockets. Shanna: We have a small but incredibly passionate team. Our core
team is several very smart engineers, artists, designers and managers, some from
Carnegie Mellon as well. The engineering team lead is Aaron Tarnow, who bridges an
understanding of the business requirements, artistic vision and engineering constraints.
He has been the technical visionary behind Wild Pockets from its inception. On the other
side of the wall (literally) is our art, design and marketing team. The art team is led by
Eddie Canaan who has been working on the product alongside me since we were both in
graduate school. We have a tiny but strong web team that has made incredible things
happen at lightning speed. The one sole member of the business side alongside me is
Emily Skopic who manages to not only keep the office running smoothly but also heads
up the creativity and tight management of our marketing and PR. Ideabing: What is the
thinking culture like at Wild Pockets? What values do you nurture that makes Wild
Pockets successful? Shanna: At Wild Pockets we believe in everyone! This spans from
our product to our team to our development process. In our product we are driven by the
desire to make everyone capable of creating amazing 3D games and experiences. We
believe in opening up game development to new audiences and giving people the tools to
bring their natural talents to the world. On our team we believe that everyone has an
important perspective on the company, our product and our customers. Hearing people’s
ideas and perspectives shapes the direction we go and leads to an open avenue for
innovative new ideas. We have always had a very young team, but that has not stopped
us from believing in ourselves and each other, and because of this we have tackled many
things that others may have thought were impossible. It is amazing what can be achieved
when someone tells you that you can do it! Ideabing: How is Wild Pockets’ GD platform
different from the other platforms available today? Shanna: We are the first game 125
development platform to offer a cloud-based collaborative environment. Traditionally
game platforms are tools companies that charge developers to use their product. We had
an entirely different vision for Wild Pockets; we wanted to create an open environment
that was as accessible for free directly from your web browser. We envisioned Google
Docs for game development, where you could instantly access, build, save and share the
games you develop. Our business model is based on the success of game developers;
we take a percentage of transactions once a game has become commercially successful.
Ideabing: How does Wild Pockets enrich a game developer’s work and finally a gamer’s
experience? Shanna: Wild Pockets is an extremely easy development environment to get
started working in and allows for rapid prototyping and development. This enables a
developer to more quickly innovate on the game play mechanics in their game. This kind
of rapid prototyping is the basis for innovative and ground breaking design. Ultimately,
the players reap the benefits because developers have the flexibility and freedom to
experiment and come up with new game concepts. Ideabing: Talk us through how Wild
Pockets is changing the definition of game development platforms Shanna: Game
development platforms have traditionally been downloadable desktop software that is
licensed. Wild Pockets is built around the cloud and a community, which brings about a
whole new method for creating games. The Wild Pockets method is more efficient since it
leverages the power of a community of shared assets and tools, and it simplifies all he
hassles in game development. Developers can therefore concentrate on the thing that
matters most – creating a great game. As a free, web-based development environment
the platform is extremely accessible and gives all of the modern advantages of cloud
hosted software including hosted file systems, remote collaboration, access rights, and
instant distribution online. Ideabing: Is cloud based gaming the next big thing? Do you
see a significant shift in the way the gaming industry is thinking about how games are
delivered to end users? Shanna: Cloud based gaming is absolutely one of the next big
things. There are many advantages to having a game hosted and served from the cloud
that benefit both players and developers. One of the best features of this set up is the
ability to continuously update games adding new content, fixing anything that is broken
and continuing to improve the player’s experience without the player ever having to install
or update the game themselves. The game industry is absolutely shifting in a major way
right now. Development studios large and small are thinking about delivering content as a
digital download instead of the traditional packaged goods model. New business models
are also emerging with the success of micro-transactions and free to play games. The
key to all these new models is a connection back to the cloud in some way to provide an
ongoing, fresh service to the player. Ideabing: Two out of three CEO’s of startups we
have interviewed come from Carnegie Mellon University. What is it that makes folks from
CMU so adept at creating successful products? Shanna: Carnegie Mellon is a multi-
disciplinary institution which allows for the cross breeding of great ideas. In today’s world
you need a mix of skills, backgrounds and perspectives to come up with a relevant and
visionary idea. CMU is an ideal location for this kind of brainstorming and product
development because it has such a wide range of extremely strong disciplines. CMU is
also a very hard working and highly focused institution, something that is a requirement
for anyone bringing a product to market. Ideabing: Your view on Apple changing the
landscape of gaming? Is the iPhone and iPad on your cards as viable and sustainable
gaming platforms? Shanna: We believe Apple has opened a fantastic new channel for
independent game developers. They have invigorated the idea that with a few weeks and
some focused time in your garage you could make a top selling game or app. This has
been a really exciting opportunity for developers. However, we are quite cautious about
Apple as a sole platform for our own product. They have been notoriously closed to third
parties and have wiped out entire businesses through regulation changes. Apple’s
influence however has led to many other fantastic mobile opportunities such as Android

and upcoming Windows Phone 7 stores. Ideabing: Your thoughts about game
development platforms 5 years down the line? How much of a role will Apple play in
transforming the industry in your perspective? Shanna: Apple has already played a highly
transformative role and may very well continue to open up new avenues. I am uncertain
how long they will sustain a close developer relationship though, they have hit some
rocky roads recently and if they continue in this line of thinking they may ultimately
alienate developers who now have many competing options to choose from. There is no
denying that they have been the first to open up this market and have reaped the rewards
of doing so. Ideabing: Your vision for Wild Pockets 5 years down the line? Do you see the
next EA emerging? Shanna: Our vision for Wild Pockets in 5 years is that we have
created an open environment that is so flexible and friendly to developers that we have
become not just the development hub for independent game creation across all web
enabled platforms, but that we have become their community as well. Ideabing: Your
message to entrepreneurs? Shanna: If you have an idea that you are passionate about,
go for it! There is nothing stopping you and it isn’t as overwhelming to get things going as
you may think. If you find great advisors, mentors, and a great team, you can make
anything happen.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Why The Aviation Sector Must Fear Cisco

Monday, May 31, 2010
All of us have dreamt at some point in time becoming the CXO of some major firm and
owning the all important personal jet. And as 18 year old males…being a part of the mile-
high club. Don’t deny it. Anyway, things which we have seen our conventional CXOs use
seem to have been stripped away and everyone is running on bare minimum. The whole
concept of ‘taking out a plane’ to meet clients seems to be vanishing. Thanks to the
internet and excellent connectivity, the requirement for physical interaction has been
more or less eliminated. Networks are managed remotely; servers’ remotely…even
doctors are consulting remotely. With the cost of air travel sky-rocketing, more and more
people are looking to save up. Where does the CXO fit in? And there was Cisco’s
telepresence. (please read up on this….one heck of a concept). CXOs no longer have to
leave HQ to meet potential clients or other CXOs. And I don’t mean the old grainy
screens of web chat, but actual rooms that are built to simulate a collaborative
environment where its almost like the other guy is just there. Although the concept is still
fairly nascent and has not been embraced with open arms yet, it will be soon enough
once someone shows them balance sheet. Airlines can say goodbye to ‘loyalty
programs’, so can attached hotel chains. People would no longer need to travel unless it
is for fun. What happens to all those fancy jet manufacturers like Cessna? File for
bankruptcy? What about all those travel accounts generally fudged by lots of business
travelers? (Mostly bills from raiding the mini bar at the hotel after a long day of mindless
meetings and they wonder why they still do this for a living). All gone. Cisco just brought
the world a whole lot closer. It’s easy to myopically ignore sectors like hospitality which
would be affected too. Looks like man was really made to stay on the ground. And I bet
the Wright brothers never saw Telepresence coming. While it might still be early for me to
prophesize an ‘Up in the Air’ like scenario where people would be fired over the internet,
we can’t ignore telepresence. PS: I am not trying to gain any brownie points from Cisco. I
was just awed by the technology. Really I was!
Posted by Nikhilesh Murthy at 12:00AM () 127
Video: New Energy
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Bill Gross, the founder of Idealab, talks about his life as an inventor, starting with his high-
school company selling solar energy plans and kits. Learn here about a groundbreaking
system for solar cells -- and some questions we haven't yet solved.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:00PM ()

NASA's Airborne Infrared Observatory Sees The

"First Light"
Sunday, May 30, 2010
The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy
(SOFIA), a joint program by NASA and the German
Aerospace Center, achieved a major milestone May 26, with
its first in-flight night observations. "With this flight, SOFIA
begins a 20-year journey that will enable a wide variety of
astronomical science observations not possible from other
Earth and space-borne observatories," said Jon Morse,
Astrophysics Division director in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters
in Washington. "It clearly sets expectations that SOFIA will provide us with "Great
Observatory"-class astronomical science." The highly modified SOFIA Boeing 747SP
jetliner fitted with a 100-inch diameter reflecting telescope took off from its home base at
the Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif., of NASA's Dryden Flight Research
Center. The in-flight personnel consisted of an international crew from NASA, the
Universities Space Research Association in Columbia, Md., Cornell University and the
German SOFIA Institute (DSI) in Stuttgart. During the six-hour flight, at altitudes up to
35,000 feet, the crew of 10 scientists, astronomers, engineers and technicians gathered
telescope performance data at consoles in the aircraft's main cabin. "Wind tunnel tests
and supercomputer calculations made at the start of the SOFIA program predicted we
would have sharp enough images for front-line astronomical research," said SOFIA
project scientist Pam Marcum of NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. "A
preliminary look at the first light data indicates we indeed accomplished that." The
stability and precise pointing of the German-built telescope met or exceeded the
expectations of the engineers and astronomers who put it through its paces during the
flight. "The crowning accomplishment of the night came when scientists on board SOFIA
recorded images of Jupiter," said USRA SOFIA senior science advisor Eric Becklin. "The
composite image from SOFIA shows heat, trapped since the formation of the planet,
pouring out of Jupiter's interior through holes in its clouds." The highly sensitive Faint
Object infraRed CAmera for the SOFIA Telescope (FORCAST) used for these initial
observations was operated in flight by its builders, a team led by Cornell's Terry Herter.
FORCAST captures in minutes images that would require many hour-long exposures by
ground-based observatories blocked from a clear infrared view by water vapor in the
Earth's atmosphere. SOFIA's operational altitude, which is above more than 99 percent of
that water vapor, allows it to receive 80 percent or more of the infrared light accessible to
space observatories. The SOFIA program is managed at Dryden. Ames manages the
SOFIA science and mission operations in cooperation with USRA and DSI.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00AM ()

Postal Service Launches Green Newsroom
Sunday, May 30, 2010
The U.S. Postal Service unveiled its green
newsroom, a one-stop shop for all its
environmental information. Replete with
photos of its energy-saving vehicles and
facilities, green products and services, and a time-lapse video of the construction of New
York’s largest green roof, the Postal Service’s green newsroom is its newest, most
informative site to visit on Earth Day. “At the Postal Service’s green newsroom, every day
is Earth Day,” said Sam Pulcrano, vice president, Sustainability. “Our history of
environmental efforts goes back more than 100 years and Earth Day is a perfect
opportunity to tell Americans about the Postal Service’s planet-friendly initiatives.”
According to Pulcrano, the USPS green newsroom is a robust source of sustainability
news and answers key green questions including:

• How big is the Postal Service’s carbon footprint?

• How is the Postal Service decreasing its carbon emissions?
• How many hundreds of millions of dollars in energy costs has the Postal Service
saved since 2007?
• How many hundreds of thousands of tons of waste did the Postal Service recycle in
2008? (Hint - enough to fill America’s tallest building.)
• How are expired or unwanted pharmaceuticals safely discarded with the Postal
Service’s help without harming the environment?
Visitors to the green newsroom can learn about the Postal Service’s first test of electric
vehicles in 1899, when it found that mail could be delivered in less than half the time
taken by horse-drawn wagons. They also can find out how many billions of miles were
traveled last year to deliver America’s mail, and how many millions of gallons of
alternative fuel were purchased by the Postal Service in 2009. Viewers of the site can
expand their green knowledge and Earth Day conversation with interesting facts
including: how many tens of thousands of alternative fuel-capable vehicles are in the
Postal Service’s fleet; where the Postal Service uses mules to deliver mail; and which
mail delivery vehicle has zero emissions, and costs only 2 cents per mile to operate. “We
hope America visits the new green newsroom, and, to learn more about
the Postal Service’s commitment to the environment,” Pulcrano said. The Postal Service
has won more than 75 environmental awards, including 40 White House Closing the
Circle, 10 Environmental Protection Agency WasteWise Partner of the Year, Climate
Action Champion, Direct Marketing Association Green Echo, and the Postal Technology
International Environmental Achievement of the Year, 2009. The Postal Service receives
no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and
services to fund its operations.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Philips To Bring E-health Solutions To Kenya

Saturday, May 29, 2010
Philips today initiated a healthcare roundtable discussion with
key stakeholders from the healthcare sector and government
in Nairobi, as part of Philips’ Cairo to Cape Town Tour, in 129
which, from May 12 to July 20, 2010 Philips travels across Africa to raise awareness for
the opportunities of new solar powered lighting and best in class healthcare solutions to
improve the quality of healthcare in Africa. As a leading company in health and well-
being, Philips aims to help transform the quality of healthcare in Kenya and other African
countries through meaningful solutions, innovations and partnerships. At the round table,
discussions will focus on the most urgent needs for healthcare providers in Kenya and
will support defining and executing best-in-class solutions. “We see that economic
reforms initiated by the Government have started to pay-off with remarkable growth in
Healthcare development - both in the public & private sector; hospitals are undergoing
upgrades and there is a lot of interest in the digitization of healthcare. Strengthening
control over the prevention of medical errors, increased efficiency and cost reduction are
issues we can solve together”, says Mr JJ van Dongen, Senior Director and General
Manager, Philips Healthcare – Africa & Country Manager – Philips South Africa. Philips
opens up opportunities for e-health in Kenya Philips aims to offer high-level cooperation
with the healthcare sector in Kenya to help solve the urgent healthcare needs of the
country such as increasing healthcare quality and access, cost reductions, upgrading
healthcare infrastructure, knowledge sharing and improving connectivity. On request from
several leading hospitals, Philips is introducing the Healthcare Informatics iSite solution in
Kenya. The iSite Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) and RIS
(Radiology Information System) platforms are web based solutions and utilize Internet
standards and protocols for communication. These solutions create a filmless, paperless
workflow for patients and care providers. In addition to being installed at the main hospital
site, the iSite PACS can also connect remote sites over a Wide Area Network. E-health
solutions – increase efficiency, reduce medical errors and bring down healthcare costs
Clinicians today are exposed to information overload in hospitals. Innovations in
healthcare technology have introduced both complexity and promise. An incredible
amount of data is generated per patient throughout a hospital, from patient records to
discharge notes and lab results to vital signs. There is too much information to process,
which can slow decision making and thus patient care. Critical patient data can also be
misplaced, or even misread. Delays in information management affect decision-making.
Information Technology (IT) support is therefore critical. E-health platforms like the iSite
PACS enable access to data to aid in Clinical Decision Support from anywhere in a
hospital complex or even from remote sites. Healthcare Informatics systems seamlessly
integrate islands of information across the patient care cycle, turning volumes of patient-
data gathered by diagnostic imaging, cardiac testing and patient monitoring systems, into
clinical information and knowledge. The intuitive, easy-to-navigate web-browser
technology enables healthcare professionals to begin using the applications with minimal
training. Philips is also offering a unique and flexible ‘pay-per-study’ service business
model that fits customer needs, where customers pay per view, rather than buying a
PACS system up front. This business model has proven to be very beneficial for the user.
The model guarantees performance and uptime commitments, up to a level of 99.99%,
providing full support for the system throughout the lifetime of the PACS contract. The
first iSite PACS installation is currently underway at the Nairobi Hospital. According to Dr.
Cleopa Mailu, CEO of the Nairobi Hospital, “We are very excited to have the Philips iSite
system installed at our hospital, as it will lead the charge with respect to enterprise
integration across clinical departments, which is a key factor in preparing the Kenyan
healthcare system for electronic health records and moving to a truly digital hospital.
When a physician can accurately and quickly make a diagnosis, the patient stands to
benefit through earlier treatment options”. With partnerships like this, Philips
demonstrates its commitment to providing people focused and meaningful healthcare
solutions. “We believe that Kenya is ready for e-health. The government is stimulating
investment in laying out fiber glass optics to improve connectivity and we foresee this as

being a large and meaningful solution for the country’s most important challenges in
healthcare”, adds Mr JJ van Dongen. “We believe the digitalization of healthcare will
continue to accelerate development”.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:00PM ()

IBM Teams With Hildebrand to Bring Smart

Metering to Homes Across B...
Saturday, May 29, 2010
IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced it is teaming with energy
consultant Hildebrand to help consumers make more
informed decisions about their energy consumption with IBM
data management software. As part of this effort, citizens and
companies are working together to make more efficient use
of energy by collecting, storing and analyzing detailed energy usage information in real
time from homes across the UK. The Hildebrand monitoring system enables real-time
analysis of electricity usage for households, or even for individual appliances, to help
people make better decisions about energy efficiency in the home and minimize their
environmental impact. Hildebrand received funding from the Seventh Framework
Programme for EU Research (FP7) for a 30-month research project that would allow
stakeholders from local authorities, private businesses and universities to study energy
monitoring and its effect on human behavior. The Hildebrand project involves installing
small, low-cost energy monitoring devices at groups of homes in five European cities:
Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester in the UK, and Plovdiv and Ivanovo in Bulgaria.
Each of these groups form a 'living lab,' giving the researchers access to real-world
energy usage data, and allowing them to study the behavior of individuals and their
attitudes towards energy management. Homeowners can access this information online
in a simple format that displays their electricity usage and perform analytics, such as
calculating costs against the users' electricity tariff, or comparing their usage to the
average for their group. The end result is that people can make more informed decisions
about energy management and change their behavior in order to reduce electricity bills
and minimize their environmental impact. "Giving citizens more information and better
control over their energy use will cut down on costs and consumption as well as reduce
their overall impact on the environment," said Guido Bartels, General Manager of Energy
& Utilities at IBM. "With this collaboration, we can demonstrate how smart and connected
communities can be more energy conscious and in turn, more sustainable." "IBM
software delivered spectacular results. In the first proof-of-concept we simulated three
million homes sending readings once a minute and we were able to capture nearly
50,000 readings per second using only a quad-core, dual-processor Intel server. In the
second, we moved to a slightly larger server and found we could deliver analytics
response times of between one and three seconds for a similar load," said Clive Eisen,
Chief Technology Officer at Hildebrand. "You don't need to understand the technical
details – the point is that suddenly, energy monitoring for three million homes or more
became a practical proposition." Traditional databases struggle to deal with time-series
data (i.e. 'pulses' of data arriving at regular intervals from one or more sources), because
their structure makes it difficult to store and index this data efficiently. Using IBM Informix
however, Hildebrand was able to create a single database object for each data-source,
and now simply updates it with the latest readings whenever a new 'pulse' of data arrives
related to energy consumption. This provides a far more manageable information
structure, which makes it easier to store, extract and analyze data. IBM also recently 131
announced that the city of Amsterdam is using IBM software to help 500 Amsterdam
households cut energy bills and reduce CO2 emissions. This is part of the Amsterdam
Smart City initiative in which citizens, governments and companies are working together
to make more efficient use of energy, water and mobility to create a more sustainable
city. The Hildebrand solution is powered by IBM Informix database software, using the
Time Series capability.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00AM ()

Belkin Acquires Zensi, Signaling Major Entry into

Energy Conservati...
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Belkin International, Inc., today announced that it has
completed its acquisition of Zensi, a leading developer of
technology that senses and monitors energy use. Indicating a
greater commitment in energy management, this strategic acquisition is part of Belkin's
expansion of its current Conserveenergy management product portfolio. Belkin Conserve
products, available worldwide, currently enable energy conservation in both homes and
offices. Later this year, Belkin will introduce additions to its Conserve line, bringing more
solutions for managing energy in the home. "I am very excited about our vision to help
people make better, more informed decisions about their energy use. Zensi's technology
furthers our ability to create powerful yet elegant energy management solutions." Energy
management is of meaningful concern to people. According to a November 2009 survey
by Parks Associates, 81 percent of US online households show high interest in cutting
energy costs. And, when asked the main reason for learning about ways to reduce
energy consumption, 58 percent of people questioned stated that they wanted to learn
how to save money on their electric bill. Belkin's Conserve products will provide easy,
cost-effective ways for people to be more engaged in their energy use. Zensi's product
portfolio includes exclusive licenses to patent-pending technology developed at the
School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology and in the
Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering departments of the
University of Washington. Inventors and professors Shwetak Patel (University of
Washington), Matthew S. Reynolds (Duke University), Gregory Abowd (Georgia Tech),
and PhD candidate Erich Stuntebeck (Georgia Tech) are all Zensi co-founders. Patel and
Reynolds will now contribute their expertise as consultants to Belkin's technology
development efforts. Zensi co-founder and CEO Kevin Ashton joins Belkin as General
Manager of the new Conserve business unit.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Video: Craig Venter On Synthetic Life

Friday, May 28, 2010
Remember Mr. Venter? The artificial cell guy? We have a video of the dude making the
presentation on the synthetic life his team created. Watch!
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Guess Who Is Building The Biggest Theme Park
In The World. Its Ferr...
Friday, May 28, 2010
All things big are coming up in Abu Dhabi
and now the world's biggest theme park's
being built there and it's themed "Ferrari".
Yeah, its the Ferrari World theme park.
Expect to ride some really fast roller
coaster rides, take a boat tour inside a
Ferrari engine and take an F1 car for a spin
in a virtual world. Don't believe us? Watch
the video.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:48PM ()

Infographic: Top Cameras On Flickr

Friday, May 28, 2010

Flickr user but no idea what cameras are out there clicking those awesome pics? This
inforgraphic by Column Five Media reveals the top ten cameras on Flickr. Check it out.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

The Social Network Just Got Better, Famsmile

Enters the Scene with ...
Friday, May 28, 2010
Just when the industry thought that everything had been done with social networks here
comes famsmile with the introduction of Video Chat incorporated into its social site. As
the larger social networks re-invent themselves to become search engines and music
sites, famsmile will take a different approach and focus on serving the current and new
generation of online social goers by delivering a simple yet powerful site that even 133
grandma can use. Famsmile also allows
users to login using their facebook or twitter
account. In an interview with Sonia Delapaz
(co-founder of famsmile) we asked if she
thought that famsmile stood a chance
against the social network giants, she
responded "We are not looking to replace
any of the other social sites, what we are creating is a simple place where people can
stay connected to family. Even when traveling they can see their children, spouse,
parents, and friends using our Video Chat feature, now that is cool".
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Greenscroll Cleans Up Your Website's Carbon

Footprint. Ideabing Alr...
Thursday, May 27, 2010
A Canadian startup Greenscroll has setup
something that lets you clean up all the
carbon footprint of your website.
Greenscroll lets you offset the greenhouse
emissions produced by the computers,
servers, data centers your website utilized
to run your website. This is a great way to get yourself to clean up some of the mess
cloud computing is projected to produce in the coming months and years. As more
companies go online with their websites and social networks more data centers, servers
and computers are used to run those cool apps you all love. The bitter truth is that all
these machines spew out tons and tons of CO2. HP's getting to fix this issue with manure
powered data centers. However small businesses who don't have the moolah to own
their data centers can their bit to offset their carbon footprint starting at $5 a month and
maxing out at $100 a month. Not much if you care about the home you live in called
Planet Earth. We think that this business model is great considering the price point and
the goodwill that green computing brings to your firm. You could actually start of with
"corporate green social responsibility" right away with Greenscroll. Head here and start
cleaning up your website's CO2 footprint right away! Ideabing has already signed up for
the Greenscroll program, so you can surf the website guilt free.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Feature: Design makes a difference – even for

Thursday, May 27, 2010
Trucks are typical commercial vehicles. In light of this, one might expect truck buyers’
purchasing decisions to be based entirely on rational factors such as fuel consumption,
payload, service costs and transport kilometres per euro. Well, think again. Truck design
is more important that you may imagine. At Volvo's design studio, around 60 people work
with product design for different Volvo companies - Volvo Trucks, Volvo Buses, Volvo
Construction Equipment and Volvo Penta. Patrik Palovaara specialises in truck design.

His latest creation is Volvo Trucks' new construction truck,
the Volvo FMX. "It's true that truck design is largely about
rational factors like aerodynamics and ergonomics," he says.
"But there's also an emotional dimension. The truck's
appearance is strongly linked to both its function and its
identity and, by extension, to its brand."

Details accentuate the truck's

The Volvo FMX is an excellent example of this. Palovaara and his team based the truck's
design on its predecessor, the Volvo FM, but accentuated its robust, rugged
characteristics by introducing external changes that clearly express certain qualities. New
functionality was also added in several key areas, including a completely new central
towing device on the front with a stronger fastening point. This resulted in a new front with
a powerful lower section that clearly distinguishes the Volvo FMX from its predecessor.
"Volvo Trucks commissioned us to design a product that would appeal to construction
customers," says Palovaara. "The market's response proves that we succeeded." [gallery
link="file" columns="2" orderby="title"]

Interpretation, vision and form

A truck designer's first challenge in a new project is to interpret the client's requirements
and preferences and the results of user studies, and then create his or her own personal
vision of the new truck. The designer may draw inspiration from countless sources, for
example the animal kingdom, film, fashion or extreme sports. During this phase,
countless sketches are produced. The designer can give free rein to his or her
imagination and challenge traditional concepts of how a truck should look - while always
remaining realistic. "When making strategic sketches, I often work with three themes,"
says Palovaara. "An extreme visionary theme, a basic theme and a theme that falls
somewhere in between the two."

From drawing to full-scale model

After this initial period of sketching, the team chooses a design theme to develop further.
Now they start producing CAD models to verify factors such as ergonomics,
aerodynamics and functionality for the new truck. "Air resistance is of strategic
importance because it is critical to fuel consumption," explains Palovaara. The team
includes surface modellers and studio engineers who are responsible for regularly
reviewing the design process with Volvo Trucks' production technicians and ergonomics,
aerodynamics and technical design experts. A team of clay modellers at the design
studio build a full-scale clay model of the new truck that allows everyone involved to
follow the verifications made with the CAD model. "Many people only fully realise what
the new truck will look like when they see the full-scale model," says Palovaara. "The
model provides a reference point for everybody, from Volvo's CEO to tool makers and
subcontractors. And many people have their say before the shape, colour and surface of
the design are finalised.

A creative competitive factor

So everybody has an opinion about design. But is it possible to define what makes a
good truck design? And how important is the design from a larger perspective? The
Umeå Institute of Design at Umeå University has collaborated closely with Volvo Trucks 135
for many years, and is one of the world's leading study institutes in this field. Tapio
Alakörkkö, Department Head at the Umeå Institute of Design, comments: "Design is a
creative discipline that improves a company's competitiveness. In Scandinavia, we have
a tradition of creating functional designs. For us, a good truck design is about focusing on
the driver and finding out how we can make his working day easier and develop his work
routines - not least so that more women will choose to become truck drivers.

Arousing the desire to buy

Even if a design is primarily functional, its success also depends on arousing consumers'
desire to have it. Purchasing decisions are not only made by the logical left brain. "Good
design is to do with the dreams a product evokes in people, what they hope to get out of
it," explains Alakörkkö. "Design is what makes people tick", it's that simple. Another factor
that drives development forward is the link between concrete product design and
visionary concept design. "Concept design is important in getting people's brains to think
outside the box," says Alakörkkö. "By discussing the design on the basis of a common
vision, we can move the goal posts forward. Concept design also serves as a sounding
board for our views - do we like this vision or not?"

At the forefront of development

Needless to say, designers who work for a leading truck manufacturer must always
remain at the forefront of development. They keep abreast by reading the industrial press
and attending trade fairs, but it takes more than this to know how trucks will develop by
the year 2020. "Trends in truck design are driven by technical development," explains
Palovaara. "New fuels, new materials and logistics solutions influence the commercial
vehicles of the future. He should know. In the design studio, concealed behind long
curtains, are models of future Volvo trucks that few human eyes have seen - yet.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Biotech incubator opens its doors at UC Berkeley

Thursday, May 27, 2010
The California Institute for Quantitative
Biosciences (QB3) at the University of
California, Berkeley, opened a new biotech
incubator on Thursday, May 6, hoping to
duplicate the success of the "QB3
Garage@UCSF," which has helped birth
more than 28 biotech startups since 2006.
Recent UC Berkeley Ph.D. graduate
Wesley Chang is the QB3
Garage@Berkeley's first tenant, occupying
one-eighth of an 800-square-foot
windowless basement room in the
campus's Stanley Hall, and saving a lot on
the costs of getting his new company,
Aperys, LLC, off the ground. "This is a
good fit for us, because we have access to the Biomolecular Nanotechnology Center,
which is right across the hall," said Chang, a former UC San Francisco post-doctoral
fellow who hopes to sell specialized cell culture platforms that allow researchers to grow

nerve cells in precise patterns to simplify experiments. "With the mixed capabilities here,
including microfabrication and cell culture labs, we can do our research without having to
put up our own infrastructure." Early-stage costs, including lab space and expensive
equipment, are a big hurdle for start-ups, which typically have few investors. Chang, for
example, has a small business grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to tide
him over until the next phase of funding, whether it's additional federal funding, venture
capital or from angel investors. "I'm even now applying for money that will allow us to
move on to the next phase, and at the same time to start building a base of customers
that potentially could be recurring customers for our devices," he said. Within two years,
it's expected that Aperys will be out the door to make room for other nascent companies.
"We hope that this business incubator will jumpstart new companies with origins in UC
research labs," said Susan Marqusee, director of QB3's UC Berkeley branch and a
professor of molecular and cell biology. "These are almost pre-start-ups that would find it
hard to lease the small amount of space they need. Instead, they can rent a small
amount of bench space from the QB3 Garage@Berkeley, benefit from our core research
facilities and world-class scientists and engineers, and get themselves ready to move to
the next level. It’s our hope that this innovative approach will help ensure that discoveries
made by QB3 and UC Berkeley researchers will achieve their potential." The garage
model proved successful at QB3's University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) branch,
where many of the 28 original start-ups on the UCSF Mission Bay campus and in the
surrounding neighborhood have successfully landed follow-on funding, and one has
already been purchased by larger companies. Sixteen of those companies were
launched in the past year. "Only two of the 28 startups have failed, which is pretty
amazing," said Douglas Crawford, associate executive director of QB3 at UCSF Mission
Bay. The UC Berkeley and UCSF QB3 garages are part of the larger QB3 Mission Bay
Incubator Network that leverages private money to nurture start-ups in the vibrant
scientific atmospheres surrounding the two campuses. The network is a public-private
partnership between QB3, the city of San Francisco; the San Francisco Center for
Economic Development/Chamber of Commerce; FibroGen, Inc.; and Alexandria Real
Estate. One of the first tenants of UCSF's garage was Cristian Ionescu-Zanetti, a former
post-doctoral researcher with UC Berkeley's Luke Lee, professor of bioengineering.
Ionescu-Zanetti is now CTO of Fluxion Biosciences, Inc., which markets microfluidic
systems for improved cell analysis. Now in its own quarters in San Francisco, Fluxion is
expanding its customer base in Asia and last year won a $1.8 million grant from the NIH
to further develop its high-throughput screening technique in order to discover new anti-
microbial drugs. Aperys's Chang and a half-time employee are still moving into their 100-
square foot garage space at UC Berkeley, but they're eager to interact with the scientists
around them. "The product we are developing is specifically targeted toward the research
environment, so there potentially are a lot of collaborators upstairs or within walking
distance with whom we could work, and for whom we could provide easy-to-use cell
culture substrates that will make their experiments go faster," Chang said.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM () 137
"Out of Whack" Planetary System Offers Clues to
a Disturbing Past
Thursday, May 27, 2010

The discovery of a planetary system "out of whack," where the orbits of two planets are at
a steep angle to each other, was reported today (May 24) by a team of astronomers led
by Barbara McArthur of The University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory. This
surprising finding will affect theories of how multi-planet systems evolve and shows that
some violent events can happen to disrupt planets' orbits after a planetary system forms,
say researchers. "The findings mean that future studies of exoplanetary systems will be
more complicated. Astronomers can no longer assume all planets orbit their parent star in
a single plane," McArthur says. McArthur and her team used data from Hubble Space
Telescope (HST), the giant Hobby-Eberly Telescope, and other ground-based telescopes
combined with extensive modeling to unearth a landslide of information about the
planetary system surrounding the nearby star Upsilon Andromedae. McArthur reported
these findings in a press conference at the 216th meeting of the American Astronomical
Society in Miami, along with her collaborator Fritz Benedict, also of McDonald
Observatory, and team member Rory Barnes of the University of Washington. The work
also will be published in the June 1 edition of the Astrophysical Journal. For just over a
decade, astronomers have known that three Jupiter-type planets orbit the yellow-white
dwarf star Upsilon Andromedae. Similar to our Sun, Upsilon Andromedae lies about 44
light-years away. It's a bit younger, a bit more massive, and a bit brighter than the Sun.
Combining fundamentally different, yet complementary, types of data from HST and
ground-based telescopes, McArthur's team has determined the exact masses of two of
the three known planets, Ups And c and d. Much more startling, though, is their finding
that not all planets orbit this star in the same plane. The orbits of planets c and d are
inclined by 30 degrees with respect to each other. This research marks the first time that
the "mutual inclination" of two planets orbiting another star has been measured. And, the
team has uncovered hints that a fourth planet, e, orbits the star much farther out. "Most
probably Upsilon Andromedae had the same formation process as our own solar system,
although there could have been differences in the late formation that seeded this
divergent evolution," McArthur said. "The premise of planetary evolution so far has been
that planetary systems form in the disk and remain relatively co-planar, like our own
system, but now we have measured a significant angle between these planets that
indicates this isn't always the case." Until now the conventional wisdom has been that a

big cloud of gas collapses down to form a star, and planets are a natural byproduct. Left
over material forms a disk. In our solar system, there's a fossil of that creation event
because all of the eight major planets orbit in nearly the same plane. Several different
gravitational scenarios could be responsible for the surprisingly inclined orbits in Upsilon
Andromadae. "Possibilities include interactions occurring from the inward migration of
planets, the ejection of other planets from the system through planet-planet scattering, or
disruption from the parent star's binary companion star, Upsilon Andromedae B,"
McArthur said. Barnes, an expert in the dynamics of extrasolar planetary systems added,
"Our dynamical analysis shows that the inclined orbits probably resulted from the ejection
of an original member of the planetary system. However, we don't know if the distant
stellar companion forced that ejection, or if the planetary system itself formed such that
some original planets were ejected. Furthermore, we find the revised configuration still
lies right on the precipice of stability: The planets pull on each other so strongly that they
are almost able to throw each other out of the system." The two different types of data
combined in this research were "astrometry" from Hubble Space Telescope and "radial
velocity" from ground-based telescopes. Astrometry is the measurement of the positions
and motions of celestial bodies. McArthur's group used one of the Fine Guidance
Sensors (FGS) on Hubble Space Telescope for the task. The FGS are so precise that
they can measure the width of a quarter in Denver from the vantage point of Miami. It was
this precision that was used to trace the star's motion on sky caused by its surrounding —
and unseen — planets. Radial velocity makes measurements of the star's motion on the
sky toward and away from Earth. These measurements were made over 14 years using
ground-based telescopes, including two at McDonald Observatory and others at Lick,
Haute-Provence and Whipple Observatories. The radial velocity provides a long baseline
of foundation observations, which enabled the shorter duration, but more precise and
complete, HST observations to better define the orbital motions. The fact that the team
determined the orbital inclinations of planets c and d allowed them to calculate the exact
masses of the two planets. The new information changed which planet is heavier.
Previous minimum masses for the planets given by radial velocity studies put the
minimum mass for planet c at 2 Jupiters and for planet d at 4 Jupiters. The new, exact,
masses found by astrometry are 14 Jupiters for planet c and 10 Jupiters for planet d.
"The HST data show radial velocity isn't the whole story," Benedict said. "The fact that the
planets actually flipped in mass was really cute." The 14 years of radial velocity
information compiled by the team uncovered hints that a fourth, long-period planet may
orbit beyond the three now known. There are only hints about that planet because it's so
far out, the signal it creates does not yet reveal the curvature of an orbit. Another missing
piece of the puzzle is the inclination of the innermost planet b, which would require
precision astrometry 1,000 times greater than Hubble's, a goal NASA's planned Space
Interferometry Mission (SIM) could attain. The team's Hubble data also confirmed Upsilon
Andromedae's status as a binary star. The companion star is a red dwarf less massive
and much dimmer than the Sun. "We don't have any idea what its orbit is," Benedict said.
"It could be very eccentric. Maybe it comes in very close every once in a while. It may
take 10,000 years." Such a close pass by the primary star could gravitationally perturb
the orbits of its planets.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM () 139
Paper Mate Brand Launches First Widely
Available Biodegradable Pen
Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Paper Mate(R) brand is bringing innovation to the everyday writing experience and
helping consumers go green with the introduction of Paper Mate Biodegradable - the first
widely available line of pens and mechanical pencils made with a majority of
biodegradable components, which break down in soil/home compost in about a year.
"The Paper Mate Biodegradable pen and pencil were developed based on insights that
consumers desire simple, affordable ways to incorporate greener practices into everyday
activities at school, home or the office," said Bill Mullenix, President of Newell
Rubbermaid's Everyday Writing global business unit. "This is the first line of
biodegradable writing instruments to be widely available to consumers globally. By
offering a unique combination of performance and affordability, we're making it easy for
consumers to be greener." The Paper Mate Biodegradable line is the latest
demonstration of Paper Mate's ongoing commitment to the environment. In 2009, the
brand launched a line of products made from recycled sources that includes the Paper
Mate FlexGrip Ultra(R) Recycled Ball Point Pen made from 70 percent recycled material,
Paper Mate Earth Write(R) Recycled Pencil made from 100 percent recycled wood and
Paper Mate Write Bros.(R) Recycled Ball Point Pen made from 80 percent recycled
material, along with Liquid Paper(R) DryLine(R) Grip Recycled Correction Film made
from 67 percent recycled material. In addition, Newell Rubbermaid Office Products
brands including Paper Mate(R), Sharpie(R) and Expo(R) this year announced
partnerships with TerraCycle(TM), the upcycling company that finds new ways to
repurpose items that would otherwise be thrown away, to create the world's first program
to collect and reuse or recycle pens, markers and other writing instruments. These
products and programs add up to a robust green offering from the Paper Mate brand.
"Across Newell Rubbermaid businesses and brands, we are continually studying our
consumers to help us design and deliver innovative solutions that also offer performance
and value," said Lisa King, Vice President of Insights and Innovation for Newell
Rubbermaid. "Paper Mate Biodegradable was developed as a direct result of consumer
insights that showed a significant consumer desire for more environmentally conscious
products offered at an affordable price." While refreshing the image of the iconic Paper
Mate brand and bringing innovation to the everyday writing category, Paper Mate
Biodegradable* continues to provide the smooth writing experience consumers desire. In
fact, Paper Mate Biodegradable* pens feature a new writing system that delivers darker,
more vibrant lines and greater smoothness than many conventional ball point systems.
Paper Mate Biodegradable products look and feel like conventional plastic, but their
compostable components are a bio-plastic made from plant-derived sugar, an annually
renewable resource. When disassembled and placed in yard soil or home compost, they
decompose in about a year, increasing compost and reducing waste. Additionally, the
products are packaged in 100-percent PVC-free recyclable material. The Paper Mate

Biodegradable pen is available in black, blue, red or purple ink and retails for
approximately $1.70. The mechanical pencil comes in 0.5mm or 0.7mm lead sizes and
retails for about $2.70. Both are currently available in the United States and Canada and
will be available globally later this year.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Investing In Clean Energy Projects Abroad is Key

to Creating Jobs, ...
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Putting a price on carbon pollution and investing in
clean technology projects in developing countries
could create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the US
and help America catch up to China and Europe in the
clean energy race, according to a new report issued
by World Wildlife Fund. WWF’s report highlights a
significant, but rarely discussed, economic angle to
the Senate’s deliberations on the American Power
Act, which was recently introduced by Senators John
Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). Unlike
the House-passed climate bill, which set aside one
percent of revenues from emissions auctions for
international clean technology investments, the
American Power Act contains no such dedicated
funding stream nor a program to guide these public
investments. This lack of secure, long-term funding would limit the job-creating potential
of the legislation by limiting the opportunities for American companies to export their
energy technology to global markets. “We’re leaving jobs on the table that this provision
could create,” said Lou Leonard, WWF’s Director of US Climate Policy. “If America wants
to have any chance of catching Europe and China in the clean energy race we simply
cannot afford to ignore international markets for American clean technologies.” It is widely
recognized that Energy Technology is emerging as the new Information Technology –
that is, the next major driver of economic growth, said Leonard. But unlike the IT field, in
which the US has held a commanding lead, the Energy Technology field is being
dominated by China and Europe, which are out-investing the US in clean energy and
have policies in place that limit carbon pollution, which in turn creates market demand for
clean technologies. According to WWF’s report, Getting Back in the Game: U.S. Job
Growth Potential from Expanding Clean Technology Markets in Developing Countries,
China out-invested the US 2:1 last year in clean energy and exported three times as
much clean technology products and services, as measured in absolute dollars. The
report further finds that the US has lost market share in environmental goods and
services in almost every regional market. The International Energy Agency estimates that
$27 trillion in clean technology investments are needed in developing countries over the
next four decades. Capturing just a fraction of that demand could create hundreds of
thousands of jobs in the United States. According to the WWF report, the US could create
280,000 to 850,000 new jobs if it captures just 14 percent of the clean technology market
in the developing world. “Creating such new markets would also increase American
exports, potentially reducing the trade deficit,” said Leonard. “We don’t need twelve steps
to break our oil addiction and put the US in the lead of the clean energy economy. We
can do it in two,” said Leonard. “First, create market incentives for clean energy 141
technologies here in the US by passing a climate bill that puts a price on carbon pollution.
And second, include an international clean technology program in a US climate bill that
will increase demand for new clean technologies, lower costs and maximize the number
of new American jobs.”
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

New nanoscale electrical phenomenon

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

At the scale of the very small, physics can get peculiar. A University of Michigan
biomedical engineering professor has discovered a new instance of such a nanoscale
phenomenon—one that could lead to faster, less expensive portable diagnostic devices
and push back frontiers in building micro-mechanical and "lab on a chip" devices.

In our macroscale world, materials called

conductors effectively transmit electricity
and materials called insulators or dielectrics
don't, unless they are jolted with an extremely high voltage. Under such "dielectric
breakdown" circumstances, as when a bolt of lightening hits a rooftop, the dielectric (the
rooftop in this example) suffers irreversible damage. This isn't the case at the nanoscale,
according to a new discovery by Alan Hunt, an associate professor in the Department of
Biomedical Engineering. Hunt and his research team were able to get an electric current
to pass nondestructively through a sliver of glass, which isn't usually a conductor. A
paper on the research is newly published online in Nature Nanotechnology. "This is a
new, truly nanoscale physical phenomenon," Hunt said. "At larger scales, it doesn't work.
You get extreme heating and damage. "What matters is how steep the voltage drop is
across the distance of the dielectric. When you get down to the nanoscale and you make
your dielectric exceedingly thin, you can achieve the breakdown with modest voltages
that batteries can provide. You don't get the damage because you're at such a small
scale that heat dissipates extraordinarily quickly." These conducting nanoscale dielectric
slivers are what Hunt calls liquid glass electrodes, fabricated at the U-M Center for
Ultrafast Optical Science with a femtosecond laser, which emits light pulses that are only
quadrillionths of a second long. The glass electrodes are ideal for use in lab-on-a-chip

devices that integrate multiple laboratory functions onto one chip just millimeters or
centimeters in size. The devices could lead to instant home tests for illnesses, food
contaminants and toxic gases. But most of them need a power source to operate, and
right now they rely on wires to route this power. It's often difficult for engineers to insert
these wires into the tiny machines, Hunt said. "The design of microfluidic devices is
constrained because of the power problem," Hunt said. "But we can machine electrodes
right into the device." Instead of using wires to route electricity, Hunt's team etches
channels through which ionic fluid can transmit electricity. These channels, 10 thousand
times thinner than the dot of this "i," physically dead-end at their intersections with the
microfluidic or nanofluidic channels in which analysis is being conducted on the lab-on a-
chip (this is important to avoid contamination). But the electricity in the ionic channels can
zip through the thin glass dead-end without harming the device in the process. This
discovery is the result of an accident. Two channels in an experimental nanofluidic device
didn't line up properly, Hunt said, but the researchers found that electricity did pass
through the device. "We were surprised by this, as it runs counter to accepted thinking
about the behavior of nonconductive materials," Hunt said. "Upon further study we were
able to understand why this could happen, but only at the nanometer scale." As for
electronics applications, Hunt said that the wiring necessary in integrated circuits
fundamentally limits their size. "If you could utilize reversible dielectric breakdown to work
for you instead of against you, that might significantly change things," Hunt said. The
paper is called "Liquid glass electrodes for nanofluidics." This research is funded by the
National Institutes of Health. The university is pursuing patent protection for the
intellectual property, and is seeking commercialization partners to help bring the
technology to market.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

In a World First, ASDA Announces 'Not for Profit'

Price on All Canc...
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Today, in a world first, Asda announces a
commitment to sell all privately prescribed
cancer treatment drugs on a permanent
‘not for profit’ basis potentially saving
thousands of pounds for sufferers. Lung
disease is the biggest cancer killer of women in the UK and as part of Asda’s ‘not for
profit’ commitment it now means that the price of Iressa, used to treat lung cancer, is now
available for £2,167.71 compared to £2,601.25 at Lloyds Pharmacy, £3,251.57 at Boots
and £3,253.56 at Superdrug. Cancer is the UK’s second biggest killer, affecting nearly
300,000 people per year and for many the cost of treatment is well above what they can
afford. Research compiled for Asda compared the price of seven of the most commonly
privately prescribed cancer drugs available at the main high street pharmacies in the UK
where marks ups of up to 76 per cent were uncovered. Superdrug was found to offer the
highest prices on four out of the seven drugs compared and marked up all seven of the
drugs by 50 per cent over cost price. Prices at Lloyds and Tesco were consistently
marked up by 20 per cent, while at Boots, all seven drugs were marked up by either 50
per cent or 27.5 per cent. Currently, cancer sufferers in the UK face a three pronged
challenge in their battle for affordable treatment:
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM () 143
From Rockets to Race Cars, NASA and NASCAR
Team Up in Charlotte
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
From better brakes and safer tires to heat-resistant paint and
cleaner emissions, NASA's contributions to the racing world
will be featured in the traveling exhibit: "From Rockets to
Race Cars" the weekend of May 29-30 at the Charlotte Motor
Speedway in North Carolina. Over the years, NASA has
provided technology that not only helps the racing world, but
also improves conditions for all drivers while helping to
protect the environment. On display will be a quarter-scale
NASA Benefits Race Car as well as a Wheel Exhibit, that includes a NASCAR tire,
Shuttle tire, Lunar Rover tire, Lunar Tweel (a non-pneumatic tire/wheel combination) and
a Spring Tire allowing fans the opportunity to see, touch and compare the wheels of
yesterday, today and tomorrow. Fans will get a shot at NASA Spin the Wheel and NASA
Plinko where they can win prizes if they answer NASA-related questions correctly. A
"Rockets to Race Cars" photo opportunity will allow visitors to have a photo taken with
their own camera in which they look like they are sitting in a NASA Race Car. Race fans
can also get up close and personal with an astronaut suit, space food and tools. To find
out what else NASA and NASCAR have in common, check out the exhibit this weekend
or the final exhibit stop at the Kentucky Speedway, June 11-12.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:45PM ()

Infographic: How The Internet Works

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Use the internet but don't know how it works? This infographic might help. Posted by
Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

HP Joins New Alliance to Drive Unified

Communications Interoperability
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
HP announced it is a founding member of the Unified
Communications Interoperability Forum (UCIF), a
collaborative effort among hardware and software vendors,
service providers and network operators to eliminate the
barriers to unified communications (UC). The UCIF was and
co-founded by Polycom and created to address issues
around the current inability to connect systems from leading
UC companies worldwide. As part of forum, HP is working to
enable HP Halo visual collaboration solutions to interoperate seamlessly with other
standards-based video solutions. HP is joined in the UCIF by four other founding

members – Juniper Networks, Microsoft, Polycom and LifeSize/Logitech Communications
– as well as Acme Packet, Aspect, AudioCodes, Broadcom, BroadSoft, Brocade,
ClearOne, Jabra, Plantronics, RADVISION, Siemens and Teliris. “Customers want UC
deployments that provide a consistent user experience across multiple devices and
platforms, which can bring new productivity to their teams,” said Rob Scott, worldwide
general manager, Halo Visual Collaboration Business, HP. “The forum’s members will
work together to enable interoperability across the UC stack – including voice, video,
instant messaging and presence.” Mark Gorzynski, chief scientist, Halo, HP, will sit on the
UCIF board.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

ESPN to Bring Cisco TelePresence to 2010 FIFA

World Cup South Africa
Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cisco today announced that ESPN will use

Cisco TelePresenceTM to deliver live and
recorded coverage of soccer matches and
connect the global soccer community with
teams, players and coaches at the 2010
FIFA World Cup Soccer Tournament in
South Africa. The incorporation of Cisco
TelePresence will allow ESPN to deliver
televised content more effectively and
economically as well as enhance soccer fans' viewing experience. Cisco TelePresence,
which uses high-definition video and audio to create a face-to-face virtual experience, will
further enhance ESPN's coverage of soccer matches throughout the month long
tournament. By using the existing Cisco broadband network in South Africa, the two
industry leaders are transforming the sports television industry by enabling a more timely
delivery of video content, including greater fan access to unique game analysis and
player footage. "The World Cup is one of the premier sporting events that unite
communities across the globe. It transcends borders, languages and cultures," said Paul
Mountford, senior vice president of emerging markets, Cisco. "And as a global company
that is focused on connecting communities through the collaborative use of technology,
we're excited to work with ESPN in bringing interactive communications services to the
residents of South Africa and beyond. Coupled with the new Internet connectivity that
SEACOM is bringing to South Africa, the region has a unique opportunity to transform the
lives of its citizens and make the tournament one of the most connected events in
sports." ESPN is taking advantage of the Cisco TelePresence HD real-time video for its
live coverage of the 19th FIFA World Cup Soccer Tournament, a first for any video 145
communications solution. The technology will also give the worldwide leader in sports
increased flexibility and expanded coverage, enhancing both the content and coverage of
the games. The immersive experience is made possible with imperceptible latency,
regardless of distance, ultimately leading to a more compelling interview. In addition, with
the deployment of Cisco TelePresence in South Africa, ESPN will be able to host remote
interviews with visiting country leaders, coaches, players and fans, all from highly secure
and quiet locations with convenient access to key stadium sites. The remote broadcast
interviews captured via Cisco TelePresence will then be accessible for soccer fans to
view on ESPN's worldwide soccer sites.

Advantage ESPN: Business Benefits

• By utilizing Cisco TelePresence to conduct exclusive World Cup reports from Cape
Town and Port Elizabeth, ESPN will achieve significant cost savings as compared to
traditional remote interviews.
• Even though these two locations are hundreds of miles from the International
Broadcast Center in Johannesburg, Cisco TelePresence technology negates the
need for ESPN to send news trucks to the host cities, creating an "always available"
virtual studio.
• ESPN will televise exclusive World Cup reports from Cape Town and Port Elizabeth
on the network's news and information shows.
Ball in the Fan's Goal: Dynamic Video Experience
• Most soccer enthusiasts will want to maximize their viewing experience with access
to more behind-the-scenes footage. Cisco TelePresence gives ESPN the opportunity
to present a larger number of interviews with players, coaches and analysts.
• All Cisco TelePresence interviews captured during the tournament will be converted
to video files for posting and viewing on the ESPN Soccernet site.
• This Cisco TelePresence technology will be used for remote face-to-face interactions
for other upcoming sporting events.
Overtime: What's Next
• As the TV business model continues to evolve, Cisco is innovating the way that
sports and media organizations deliver content, providing a timely delivery of unique
video content into the home and allowing fans to engage in richer ways with the
sports and teams they love.
• The Cisco TelePresence ecosystem will continue to expand worldwide, changing the
game for how fans experience sports.

Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

HID Global Previews New On Metal RTI

Transponder with Broadband UHF
Monday, May 24, 2010
HID Global, leader in solutions for the delivery of secure
identity, announced it will be previewing a new broadband
ultra-high frequency (UHF), radio-frequency identification
(RFID) transponder designed to help companies more
effectively track, manage and improve the utilization of high-value, returnable metal
containers for liquids. Targeted primarily for use in the beverage, chemical and petroleum
industries, the new returnable transport item (RTI) tagging solution will be previewed

today at the HID Global annual invitation-only channel partner event to be held in
Chester, Wales. To meet the growing market demand for UHF-enabled RTIs, the On
Metal RTI tag features an innovative, curved housing suitable for cylindrical RTIs. This
shape, combined with its collar design, enables the transponder to be welded onto metal
surfaces. The transponder is designed to withstand exposure to harsh environmental
conditions, and it supports simultaneous read of multiple items in a single pass. The new
RTI tag also provides broadband Self Resonance Frequency (SRF) from 840 to 928
MHz, allowing worldwide use without reduction of performance. "Our next-generation RTI
tag will be a significant addition to our portfolio of identification solutions for industry and
logistics, with potential for application in a wide variety of industries," said Helmut
Dansachmueller, director of product marketing, HID Global's Identification Solutions (IDS)
business. "We are working with industry-leading system integration partners to deliver
complete, best-in-class solutions and services to enable our mutual end-customers to
more effectively track their high-value assets." HID Global expects to make additional
announcements related to product availability and deployments with key integration
partners over the coming months.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:51PM ()

Ideabing Exclusive: Interview with Mukta Darera,

CEO of iReboot
Monday, May 24, 2010
There are entrepreneurs and then there are
super innovative entrepreneurs. We are
happy to have found one of the latter
type.Today, we interview Mukta Darera, the
twenty something CEO of iReboot. iReboot
is based in Bangalore, India and helps
people switch careers. In a country like
India where any career other than engineering, law and medicine is frowned upon,
iReboot is bringing about a social change of sorts by giving people a change to
experiment with their "dream jobs" before they dive into it full time. Mukta Darera is a
radio jockey, a mentor, a drummer and an entrepreneur. We ask her questions on the
unique startup. Ideabing: Tell us more about iReboot. Mukta: iReboot is a life orientation
company. Our mission is to help our clients discover themselves, and in turn, their career
calling, by helping them harness their potential and leverage their passion and drive
through a structured program that includes a combination of intensive workshops, job
simulations, internships, volunteerism, personal mentoring and counseling. Whether it’s
discovering a new hobby, choosing a career path while still in school, or a mid life career
shift into something they have always wanted to do, iReboot will help structure it in a way
that helps the clients benefit from interacting with an exhaustive list of some of the finest
mentors available. Ideabing: How did it start? Why was it started? Mukta: When I was in
high school, a group of friends and I gathered interesting material from the Internet and
elsewhere to draw up a newsletter. Then we set about printing copies of the same and
convincing our peers to buy it, rather than read it for free. So, in a way entrepreneurial
spirit was always in my blood. Two years into my job at Intel, and despite being a part of
many activities at Intel, I felt the experience was not fulfilling in terms of all the things I
wanted to do in life. I also saw my peers not living the dreams that they always had.
While my workplace was fantastic, I found my work quite meaningless. I wanted to do
something that would make a difference. As a natural progression in my career, I wrote 147
the CAT (Common Admission Test). I obtained the 98th percentile and made it to SP
Jain. However, I didn't feel strongly about going to SP Jain. I researched the jobs and
positions of the alumni of SP Jain and the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), and did
not find it very appealing. I had to address a creative need within me. I wanted to be
passionate about what I was doing. I am a very energetic person and have involved
myself passionately in all the projects that I took up at Intel. I thought if I could direct
these energies into my own company, it would do very well. On the SP Jain site, I saw
this course called SYB (Start your Business). I logged on to IIMB website to search for
something similar, luckily I found MPWE(Management Program for Women
Entrepreneurs). I resigned from my job at Intel, gave up the B school seat and joined this
course. I had the idea of iReboot before I joined MPWE but was not sure about how
feasible it was or how to execute it. The idea was further built during my stint at the
Management Program for Women Entrepreneurs, at IIM Bangalore during the summer of
2008. It was here that the need for a service like this was further reinforced and this was
the beginning of a scalable model and business plan that launched iReboot. During
MPWE, I had two business plans; Aushad (her family pharmacy retail chain) and Reboot
(later rechristened to iReboot because Reboot was already registered). However,
something made me realize what my true calling was. I chose iReboot. Ideabing: Is there
a fundamental shift in the career patterns of next generation India? Is the software career
too clichéd now? Mukta: Yes, the world has changed and so have the career
opportunities. The new generation of students are making a very active career choice. At
iReboot we have children who are academically brilliant wanting to opt for fields which
have so far been considered only by the ones who don't make it to medicine or
engineering. They are passionate and willing to take the risk. Being a software engineer
in India was very easy and lucrative simply because of the world market dynamics. It is
not "cliched" per se , it is just that there are many software engineers not by choice but
because of circumstances. However, even in the software industry, you could find niches
where you could enjoy your job and explore your creativity. Ideabing: Talk us through
iReboot's market. Mukta: The market encompasses all age groups. It doesn’t matter what
stage of life you are in. iReboot is a service that empowers its clients by facilitating a
glimpse into their dream job or alternate career, in a way that does not compromise with
their current situation and does not involve taking a rash decision of leaving one's
occupation. It is similar to school children making their first tentative career choices and
trying out a variety of options before finally settling down on one. It is also for working
professionals considering a mid life career change and trying out a dream job over the
weekend before actually making a commitment and taking the plunge. It’s also for
companies that are looking for ways to build teams, develop trust and increase
productivity or even for holiday seekers looking for a ‘life experience’ holiday. For
instance living the life of a coffee planter while on a holiday Ideabing: How many careers
has iReboot changed since it began the service? Mukta: We have had about 800 clients.
About 20 have switched careers. About 60 have developed serious hobbies and
moonlight with their second career. Ideabing: How much does it cost a person to switch
careers through iReboot? Mukta: Anywhere from Rs.2500 to Rs.16000 Ideabing: Any
plans of going beyond Bangalore with iReboot's service? Mumbai and Delhi in the next 3
years Ideabing: A few words of wisdom for entrepreneurs trying to start new services?
Mukta: Believe in yourself. Don't be bogged down by naysayers. But remember the idea
is to be successful, not to prove a point. Enjoy the ride!
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Yes, You Need A Facebook Fan Page Evaluator
Monday, May 24, 2010
Have a Facebook page you use to market
stuff? Not sure if your page is up to the
mark? How about a Social Page Evaluator?
Hell yeah, Vitrue - a social media marketing
company has just launched a "social page evaluator" to let you know if your page makes
the cut. While giving you the current value of your Facebook fan page in plain $$ the site
also suggests the "potential" of your social media page. Neat eh? For example, the
current value of the Walmart Facebook fan page is about 2 million dollars while the
potential is about 12 million. The site also lets you compare your fan page with other fan
pages and see where your page stacks up. This is a great tool for social media marketing

Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Not Another Technology University

Monday, May 24, 2010
Big news…India allows foreign universities to set up shop locally. Who’s first out of the
stables? Virginia Tech! Now normally, I would be proud that India is finally getting what
she deserves, but hear me groan! GROAN! Now, the curriculum of Virginia Tech is highly
impressive…agricultural sciences, natural resources, liberal arts, human sciences and a
host of impressive avenues. But then, the average Indian is not allowed to think beyond
engineering (especially software), medicine and law. So I guess my brethren would be
gunning for the engineering seats. That’s what the exponentially multiplying army of
engineers in India needed. A shot in the arm. Kapoow !!! And somehow, I don’t see the
situation improving. More and more engineering and medical related colleges will begin
setting up shop here. It would be great to see something like a Harvard Medical or a John
Hopkins for medicine…same goes with law and…engineering! ( I just rolled my eyes
over). I think we need a whole bunch of colleges who for once focus on the alternatives. I
would probably drop my pants and dance the samba around a sombrero if something like
a Berklee School of Music set up shop in India. If you want proof, look at the number of
carnatic musicians and Hindustani musicians who’ve become fairly renowned in the US.
And all this is because, tradition is far too deep rooted. If you ask me, or in this case, I’m
telling you (this is called consulting) we’ve had enough of engineering colleges. And this 149
is coming from one of those many engineers. Okay, we engineers are considered to
be….ahem…smart…ahem…intelligent….ahem…. systematic….ahem…. and oh so
many other good things, but then there is the whole ‘too much of a good thing’. So any of
those universities reading this blog….puh-lease no more engineering colleges!
Posted by Nikhilesh Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Tesla Motors and Toyota Motor Corporation

Intend to Work Jointly on...
Sunday, May 23, 2010
CORPORATION (TMC) announced that they intend to
cooperate on the development of electric vehicles, parts, and
production system and engineering support. The two
companies intend to form a team of specialists to further those
efforts. TMC has agreed to purchase $50 million of Tesla’s
common stock issued in a private placement to close
immediately subsequent to the closing of Tesla’s currently
planned initial public offering. “I’ve felt an infinite possibility
about Tesla’s technology and its dedication to monozukuri (Toyota’s approach to
manufacturing),” said TMC President Akio Toyoda. “Through this partnership, by working
together with a venture business such as Tesla, Toyota would like to learn from the
challenging spirit, quick decision-making, and flexibility that Tesla has. Decades ago,
Toyota was also born as a venture business. By partnering with Tesla, my hope is that all
Toyota employees will recall that ‘venture business spirit,’ and take on the challenges of
the future.” “Toyota is a company founded on innovation, quality, and commitment to
sustainable mobility. It is an honor and a powerful endorsement of our technology that
Toyota would choose to invest in and partner with Tesla,” said Tesla CEO and cofounder
Elon Musk. “We look forward to learning and benefiting from Toyota’s legendary
engineering, manufacturing, and production expertise.”
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Chefs Tout Sustainable U.S. Catfish

Sunday, May 23, 2010
Chefs from across the nation gathered at
the Monterey Bay Aquarium this week for
Cooking for Solutions , the annual event
focusing on sustainable seafood and
organic agriculture education and
awareness. This year’s three-day event
drew record crowds estimated at more than
10,000 consumers, chefs and media
members. Attendees were greeted with
tastings from dozens of sustainable food
and wine sponsors, including the U.S.
Farm-Raised Catfish industry. Benjamin
Brown, executive chef at Pebble Beach Golf Resort, and Cameron Hamilton, executive

chef for Google Inc., offered tastings of Tequila Catfish Tacos with Tomato and Avocado
Salsa, along with Catfish Tostadas with Spicy Cabbage Slaw, Spring Onions and Green
Garlic, while representatives from The Catfish Institute (TCI) were on hand to answer
questions and provide information about the domestic catfish farming industry. The
aquarium’s Seafood Watch program has, since its creation, recognized U.S. Farm-
Raised Catfish as a “Best Choice” in its sustainable seafood guide, making this event a
permanent part of TCI’s marketing campaigns for the past several years. “We realize the
importance of making wise choices when it comes to the foods we consume,” said Roger
Barlow, TCI president. “Overall seafood consumption is on the rise, while the world’s
ocean populations are under unprecedented strain from overfishing and pollution.” “The
U.S. Catfish industry has a spotless environmental record and is recognized as a leader
in sustainable aquaculture,” Barlow continued. “We appreciate the recognition we receive
through Seafood Watch, and we are pleased to be able to sponsor Cooking for Solutions
each year.” Founded in 1986 and based in Jackson, Miss., The Catfish Institute is a non-
profit organization with the goal of raising consumer awareness about the benefits of U.S.
Farm-Raised Catfish.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:00AM ()

Have you got Britain's oldest boiler? Npower

Energy will buy it for...
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Since the UK Government’s boiler
scrappage scheme launched in January,
npower hometeam has overseen the
removal of hundreds of ancient boilers
across the length and breadth of the country. With record numbers of Brits taking
advantage of the scheme, which offers consumers £400 off a new, energy efficient boiler
when replacing one which is G-Rated, hometeam engineers have uncovered several
antique systems. Inspired by these discoveries, npower hometeam is launching a
nationwide hunt to find Britain’s Oldest Boiler. Richard Cotton, head of sales for npower
hometeam, commented: “If your boiler is particularly old – perhaps the same age as your
grown-up children, or has been in the house longer than you have been married – you
could be the owner of Britain’s Oldest Boiler!“ The owner of the oldest system uncovered
will win £3,000 towards a brand new A-rated energy efficient boiler, and installation. For
full details of how to enter please email npower was
the first energy supplier to pledge to continue its boiler scrappage scheme once the
Government scheme closed, meaning consumers could still be eligible to receive as
much as £400 towards the cost of a new boiler; almost a third off the cost of a typical
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:45AM () 151
Intel Unveils 45nm System-on-Chip for Internet
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Intel Corporation unveiled the Intel® Atom™ processor
CE4100, the newest System-on-Chip (SoC) in a family of
media processors designed to bring Internet content and
services to digital TVs, DVD players and advanced set-top

The CE4100 processor, formerly codenamed "Sodaville," is

the first 45nm-manufactured consumer electronics (CE) SoC based on Intel architecture.
It supports Internet and broadcast applications on one chip, and has the processing
power and audio/video components necessary to run rich media applications such as 3-D
graphics. "Traditional broadcast networks are quickly shifting from a linear model to a
multi-stream, Internet-optimized model to offer consumers digital entertainment that
complements the TV such as social networking, 3-D gaming and streaming video," said
Eric Kim, senior vice president and general manager, Intel Digital Home Group. "At the
center of the TV evolution is the CE4100 media processor, a new architecture that meets
the critical requirements for connected CE devices." CE Industry Rallies Around Intel CE
Media Processors Joining Kim on stage during his keynote were executives from Adobe
Systems, BBC (British Broadcast Company), CBS, Cisco and TransGaming. These and
other companies are working with Intel to advance content, services and infrastructure for
connected CE devices. As TVs become more interactive, Adobe* Flash* is an important
enabling technology to help content developers blend together video, 3-D animation and
rich graphics. Intel is working with Adobe to port Adobe Flash Player 10 to the family of
Intel CE media processors to optimize the playback of graphics and H.264 video to
enable for the first time a wide array of Flash-based content on the television. "The
architecture of Intel media processors provides a powerful and innovative platform to
showcase Flash-based applications in a vivid way," said David Wadhwani, general
manager and vice president, Platform Business Unit at Adobe. "Flash Player 10
combined with the performance of the Intel media processor and its support for standards
such as OpenGL ES 2.0 offers a compelling environment for Flash-based games, videos
and other rich Web content and applications." The companies expect Adobe Flash Player
10 to be available in the first half of 2010 for Intel media processor-based CE devices.
Malachy Moynihan, vice president for video product strategy, Cisco Service Provider
Video Technology Group, discussed how delivering premium video to the TV will require
intelligent networks and content storage. "Cisco is helping service providers evolve their
networks to a medianet, integrating the best elements of the existing broadcast
infrastructure with carrier-grade IP networks to provide new services like unified video
experience," said Moynihan. "The crucial components to enable a unified video
experience include the need for an emerging monetization model across the video
ecosystem as well as client devices with quality graphics and a high-performance
processor to truly enhance the visual appeal for consumers." On-Demand Gaming for TV
TransGaming President and CEO Vikas Gupta announced an on-demand gaming
service called* to be optimized for connected digital TVs and CE devices
powered by Intel media processors. "At TransGaming, we're in the business of enabling
existing games to operate on alternative operating systems," said Gupta. "Since Intel CE
processors run on Intel architecture, it's a fast and easy migration from the PC to the CE
platform." The service will offer a broad library of games such as sports,

action and adventure and provide content developers with a software development kit to
support the migration of existing games and the development of new games based on
the Intel CE platform. It will help revolutionize the delivery and global consumption of
video games and provide a turnkey monetization strategy for CE manufacturers and
cable/satellite providers (MSOs). TV Widgets, Interactive TV Applications Intel CE media
processors provide a full-featured software framework called Widget Channel for the
development of Internet applications, or TV widgets. Broadcast networks such as CBS
are expanding the gallery of TV widgets to help their viewers find and connect to
premium content in a more personalized manner. "Navigation is the No. 1 challenge for
today's television viewers," said George Schweitzer, president, CBS Marketing. "Intel's
CE technology and our new TV Widget platform are designed to help people find the
shows they want and discover new programs that are relevant to their interests. What's
more, the TV Widget gives us another platform to connect and interact with our audience
while delivering an exciting new television experience." Intel is working with the industry
to expand Widget Channel to provide consumers a range of services such as movies,
music, games and personal videos. TV Widgets and services shown at IDF were from
Accedo Broadband, The Associated Press,, CBS, CinemaNow, Dailymotion,
Immediatek, Mediafly, MyVideo, Netflix, PlayJam, RadioTime, RallyPoint, ShowTime
Networks, Tagesschau and WhereverTV.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Microsoft and eGovernment Partners Take

Citizen Services to the Cloud
Saturday, May 22, 2010
At the fourth annual Microsoft Worldwide Government
Solutions Forum in Bergen, Norway, Joel Cherkis, general
manager for Applied Innovation in Public Sector at Microsoft
Corp., outlined how the company’s Citizen Services Platform (CSP) and partner
ecosystem will take advantage of Microsoft’s cloud-based solutions to give citizens —
digital natives and newcomers — broad choices in how, where and when they access
government services and to boost government efficiency. “People expect a government
that responds, acts and communicates with their digital lives,” Cherkis said. “Microsoft
and our partners are helping provide government technology like CSP to empower
citizens to have a continued conversation with their governments and empower
governments to provide a proactive response.” Boosting government efficiency improves
delivery of citizen services, which drive individual and economic capacity, ultimately
building a competitive society. Government can set up the right environment and
structure to ensure that the potential of every individual is converted into results. To this
end, Microsoft and its partners are part of this essential fabric, playing an important role in
helping the economy thrive, addressing important societal challenges and empowering
individual organizations, governments and citizens to reach their full potential through
technology. Software Innovation Moves Public 360° to the Cloud Software Innovation, a
leader in the Scandinavian market helping organizations control, manage, and share
information and documents, has launched its first cloud application on Windows Azure.
Public 360°, the company’s flagship product suite for standard case and document
management, allows governments to make information about ongoing cases and
correspondence available to the public through Internet publishing. Running 360° Public
Journal on Windows Azure is a first step in Software Innovation’s cloud strategy for
improved user experience for citizens that will culminate in the launch of the Public 360° 153
suite as an on-demand service on Windows Azure, planned for release in the first quarter
of 2011. “Governments worldwide have a common vision to deliver efficient, on-demand
services for citizens and businesses that are available at any time and any place through
the Internet,” said Halvor Walla, CEO at Software Innovation. “The cloud can
revolutionize citizen services, and, as a company, we are committed to invest in Windows
Azure as a development platform to further improve government services and user
experience. 360° Public Journal on Windows Azure is a key landmark in that journey.”
Gecko Launches Cloud-Based Geoinformation Client Gecko Information Systems AS, a
Norway-based provider of portal, case and document management solutions tailored to
the public sector, announced geoPort, a Web-based geoinformation client hosted though
Windows Azure that enables both citizens and public servants to access public mapping
services. Emerging infrastructure for sharing geographical information and data,
especially within the public sector, requires lean, flexible, and elastic geographical
information systems (GIS) viewers and clients. Through geoPort, citizens and employees
will have user-friendly online access to public spatial services for publication, decision
support and emergency-handling purposes. “There has been a sharp rise in demand for
sophisticated mapping services in the public sector. By providing citizens with a Web-
based, low-threshold GIS client hosted in the cloud through Windows Azure, public
bodies can provide simple and real-time access to existing spatial data both from internal
and public sources — and in any combination of these,” said Brynjar Gevelt, CEO at
Gecko Information Systems AS. “This is key in enhancing efficiency. In addition, having
an intuitive user interface encourages the production, distribution and use of advanced
thematic maps throughout the entire organization.” Altinn Announces New Solution The
CSP has been designed to help governments and partners accelerate the modernization
of government and to bring services and information to businesses and citizens anytime
and anywhere. Altinn, the Norwegian central government collaboration platform and
eGovernment portal developed by Microsoft and Accenture, is working to deliver this goal
through the next generation of its platform for businesses and citizens to access public
services. Altinn allows actors in the private sector to access public services and
collaboration processes within and across government agencies through a single point of
access, simplifying the interaction between government, businesses and citizens by
providing an electronic channel for accessing information and allowing for written
communications with the public sector. Altinn’s new solution, Altinn II, will add more
functionality, flexibility and increased privacy, as well as a simplified user experience for
public sector employees. The new solution and concept also will include a coordinating
function to optimize efficiency across organizations. By enhancing access to information,
Altinn can help public authorities reduce processing time and costs. “Altinn contains a
portal solution for the public for services and information and contains a very
comprehensive toolbox for providing electronic services,” said Erik Fossum, director
general of the Brønnøysund Register Centre, a body under the Norwegian Ministry of
Trade and Industry working with Altinn. “By providing better access to information and
simplifying the user interface, businesses and citizens can make even more use of the
technology to fulfill their needs. There’s huge potential for gain by the whole public sector,
as well as businesses and citizens in the future.” Since its initial launch in 2008, the CSP
has been adopted by local and regional governments around the globe, with success
stories in many locations including Bergen, which was chosen to host the event May
19–20 and recognized last year by Microsoft for the city’s use of ICT to serve and engage
citizens. The event will host more than 250 local and regional government elites, IT
professionals, and executives to showcase their solutions and discuss the future of
eGovernment services. This year, seven global Microsoft customers were recognized by
their use of ICT to serve and engage citizens. The individual awards have been an
integral part of the event since 2008 as a traditional way of recognizing best practices in

the use of ICT by government agency customers of Microsoft. In the past winners have
been from Spain, the U.K., Canada and last year’s winner of the sustainability award was
the city of Bergen for the “paperless government” project, which led to it co-hosting this
year’s event at the city. Further information about the fourth Microsoft Worldwide
Government Solutions Forum, including a list of sponsors, can be found online at
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Intel Study Reveals Telehealth Will Dramatically

Transform Health Care
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Health care delivery in the United States will undergo
dramatic changes over the next 10 years through the
adoption of telehealth, according to a national survey of
health care and information technology professionals
sponsored by Intel Corporation.

The study found that a majority of decision makers believe

that the emergence of telehealth will have a major role in improving the quality and
delivery of care to an increasingly chronically ill and aging population. "The survey
demonstrates the increasing need to shift from the current reactive health care system to
a more proactive model that champions the patient and gives clinicians the information
they need," said Mariah Scott, director of sales and marketing for the Intel Digital Health
Group. "At Intel, we are dedicated to creating telehealth and remote health management
solutions today to create a better health care landscape for tomorrow." Telehealth
Believed to Dramatically Affect Patient Outcomes Telehealth solutions, which deliver
health-related services and information via telecommunications and computing
technologies, are currently being used by two-thirds of health care professionals with an
87 percent satisfaction rate. These professionals believe that improved patient outcomes
are the biggest perceived advantage to telehealth adoption, followed by additional
benefits such as more complete clinician access to patient data and early identification of
health issues. Of the respondents not currently utilizing telehealth, 50 percent plan on
implementing it within the next year as the market for telehealth and home health
monitoring is expected to grow from $3 billion in 2009 to an estimated $7.7 billion by
2012. New Models of Care for Rapidly Aging Population With the onset of the globally
aging population and increasing numbers of chronically ill patients, a hospital-based,
transaction-driven health care system is no longer sustainable. The study shows clinical
decision makers believe that the adoption of technology, and particularly telehealth
solutions, will cut costs and improve patient outcomes. Additionally, the recently passed
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provides an impetus to start using new
models of care when dealing with chronically ill and aging populations. For respondents,
health care legislation will have the biggest impact on health care delivery in the next 5
years, and they have high confidence that the law will accelerate the adoption of
telehealth. Barriers to Telehealth Adoption According to clinical decision makers,
reimbursement is the primary barrier to telehealth adoption. Despite evidence that
telehealth can reduce hospital readmissions by up to 25 percent and significantly cut
costs for health care organizations, many see changes in reimbursement policy as
necessary to enable wider access to telehealth care. Following reimbursement, concerns
that clinical staff and patients will be unable to successfully use new technologies, 155
despite strong evidence to the contrary in pilot studies, remain a major barrier to
adoption. Telehealth is already creating sustainable change in today's health care
industry by moving care from the hospital to the home and achieving true patient-
centered care that transcends boundaries of time and location. This study reveals a need
for better education about how to overcome perceived barriers in order to implement
proven and cost-effective systems that improve quality of life for patients and clinicians
alike. Intel is committed to inspiring change in health care through people-centered
innovations. By leveraging new technologies and models of care, Intel offers solutions
that shift the center of care from the institution to the person and can be scaled up or
down depending on future needs. Research Methodology Penn Schoen Berland (PSB)
conducted 75 phone interviews with health care and IT professionals in the United States
who play a role in determining telehealth adoption and implementation within their
organizations. Overall, margin of error is +/-11.3 percent.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Artificial Life Created By Humans. Now Go Pray

To God, If You Still...
Saturday, May 22, 2010

Its a great day for atheists, I am one. The first fully

"artificial" cell has been created thanks to Craig Venter,
the all so awesome dude who created synthetic DNA Yes,
DNA not from another animal - purely synthetic, like your
water bottle. A bunch of scientists took this synthetic
DNA, built chromosomes and created some single celled
organisms out of it. Cool eh? The team - 20 members
strong and hand picked by Venter himself and led by
Nobel laureate Hamilton Smith has changed the dynamics
of the "belief" that some "God" created this planet, and
you, and me. What they really did is put together a
chromosome that 381 genes long and 580,000 base pairs
strong. This as then put into a cell that "took control" of
running it, effectively creating a "new form" of life. What
application does this have for us, you may ask. Well, the

uses vary from creating new life (of course) to creating designer babies to treating
illnesses to stopping global warming (yeah, you are saved now). The problem is, that
governments don't like this kind of a thing. Religions say one thing about God and here is
Venter playing God. This get fussy, you know. But we are all in for new forms of life.
Aren't you bored of humans already? But one thing you must know- Earth was definitely
not created in 3 days. Amen.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Samsung Announces New High-performance

NAND Memory – a 30nm-class, ...
Friday, May 21, 2010

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced

semiconductor technology solutions, announced availability
of an eight gigabit (Gb) OneNAND™ chip that takes
advantage of advanced 30 nanometer (nm) class* process
technology. Based on a single-level-cell (SLC) NAND flash design, the new high-density
OneNAND addresses the need for more code data storage in smartphones, a trend being
driven by the increasing use of diverse application software and larger amounts of
multimedia software. The high-density OneNAND memory is now sampling with volume
production scheduled by the end of this month. “We are happy to see that our advanced
30nm-class NAND solution is being widely adopted in smartphones,” said Sejin Kim, vice
president, Flash memory planning/enabling, Samsung Electronics. “The availability of an
8Gb OneNAND chip will add considerably to our diverse line-up of advanced mobile
memory solutions.” “Not only does our new OneNAND nicely address the need for higher
density memory in smartphones, but it will enable the addition of many more features,
bringing greater customer value, while broadening the scope of the OneNAND market.”
The 8Gb OneNAND features the reliability of a SLC design and the proven performance
of OneNAND, which reads data at 70 megabytes per second (MB/s), more than four
times the speed of conventional NAND (17MB/s). These characteristics and a low-
voltage design make it a particularly attractive solution for handling the growing amount
of code data used with touch screens and other high resolution smartphone features.In
addition, by applying advanced 30nm-class process technology, Samsung is able to raise
productivity by 40 percent over its previous 40nm-class design. Since 2004, Samsung
has expanded the adoption of its OneNAND as a high-performance solution that can be
applied to handset applications without having to develop separate software. OneNAND
memory can be used as buffer memory not only for ‘writes’ in the system – thanks to its
faster-than-NAND ‘write’ speeds, but also as a buffer for faster, high-performing ‘read’
operations thank to its NOR flash interface. According to market research firm, iSuppli, 157
the demand for embedded NAND flash in mobile handsets is expected to reach 1.1 billion
units (1 gigabyte (GB) equivalents) in 2010 and more than doubling to 2.5 billion 1GB
equivalent units in 2011. Moreover, the Strategic Analysis firm forecasts that demand for
smartphones will reach 285 million units in 2010 and grow to 580 million units in 2013.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:29PM ()

IBM and McMaster University Collaborate on

"Smarter Transportation"...
Friday, May 21, 2010
McMaster and IBM (NYSE: IBM) have launched a research
project to investigate how the automotive industry can
connect a vehicle's multiple microprocessors, which currently
work in isolation, to create a "cognitive car" that can predict
vehicle failures before they happen, redirect drivers to less
congested routes and help reduce traffic accidents.
Engineers at McMaster will study how using a single IBM
multi-core processor to integrate what are currently disconnected automotive systems
could improve vehicle efficiency and driver safety, as part of a Shared University
Research (SUR) Award from IBM. IBM's multi-core processor is a "super" microprocessor
capable of performing many complex calculations simultaneously. It was originally
developed for video games but now has applications for financial services, energy
exploration, information-based medicine, digital animation and oil and gas production.
The research will focus on integrating data from sensors and microprocessors in the
vehicle and on roads to help drivers reduce accidents. In addition, researchers will look at
how this same system can give drivers real-time visual information and alerts to take
alternate routes, to reduce driver tension, road congestion and emissions related to stop-
and-go traffic. Dr. Alan Wassyng, acting director of the new McMaster Centre for
Software Certification and McMaster's Software Quality Research Lab and an associate
professor in the department of Computing and Software, will lead a research team of
faculty and graduate students, and work with automotive industry partners and several
other Ontario universities on the project. "To date, our research has focused on safety-
critical software in industries such as nuclear energy and medical devices, but
increasingly, the automotive industry is adding functionality to vehicles that is safety-
critical," says Dr. Wassyng. "Investigating how a powerful multi-core processor could be
applied to manage that functionality will go a long way in helping build a smarter car that
helps drivers operate their vehicles more safely and efficiently." The program will also
study how this increased computing power can help vehicles better integrate into regional
and global transportation systems, including roadside service, traffic management, air
quality management, and emergency services. The research team will use IBM Rational
software, used extensively by the automotive industry to design, deliver and manage
software throughout the course of the study. "This project with McMaster University is an
important step in advancing intelligent transportation," said Karen Newman, Americas
Automotive Industry Lead, IBM Global Business Services. "While cars today generate a
great deal of information, IBM believes connecting that information can change the
dynamic of the commute."
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:22AM ()

Infovideo: Use Less Plastic
Friday, May 21, 2010
That bottle of soda you just put away will land in the ocean in about a week's time. What
happens to that plastic? has a video to show you what happens. Video after the
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Levi Strauss & Co. Asks: What's The Future Of

Line Drying?
Friday, May 21, 2010
Levi Strauss & Co. is asking consumers to let all their good green
laundry ideas hang out. Starting on June 1, green pioneers and
inventors can submit original air-drying solutions as part of the
company’s “Care to Air” contest, with the chance to win $10,000 in
prizes. The company is looking for the next generation of air drying
design ideas that will improve or replace the typical clothesline.
Design ideas will be accepted from June 1- July 31, 2010, and
winners will be announced on August 16. Full contest details are
available on According to Levi Strauss & Co.’s
research about the lifecycle of its core products, line drying is one of
the best ways consumers can reduce the climate change impact of
their clothes. However, line drying clothes has become a thing of the
past in America, as 92 percent of U.S. households have a dryer,
according to Project Laundry List. Levi Strauss & Co. is working to
change that trend by encouraging consumers to think differently
about their laundry habits with its “Care Tag for Our Planet” campaign. With its “Care to
Air” contest, the company is working to spread the word about the positive environmental
impact of line drying and encourage creative design solutions that may change the way
people dry their clothes. “We know that simple changes in laundry habits can have a big
effect on the climate change impact of clothes – and none is more important than line
drying,” says Michael Kobori, vice president for social and environmental sustainability,
Levi Strauss & Co. “When we think about machines that use a lot of energy, cars and air
conditioners quickly come to mind. It’s easy to overlook something as simple as a clothes
dryer. With this contest, we’re looking for pioneering designs that will help future
generations think differently about air drying.” The Levi’s® “Care to Air” contest will
accept submissions with partner Myoo Create, an online crowdsourcing platform, from
June 1 – July 31, 2010. Myoo Create hosts competitions that allow mass collaboration in
pursuit of a better future. Anyone can participate in this open competition by either
submitting a design or voting on a favorite submitted design. Submissions will be
narrowed down to five finalists in early August, including three “crowd favorites” chosen
by the Myoo community as well as two all-around favorites chosen by a panel of eco-
innovator judges. The five finalists will present their designs on August 16 in San
Francisco to the judges. Full details about the contest and contest rules can be found at The “Care to Air” contest is the latest initiative from Levi Strauss &
Co. designed to engage with consumers about how simple changes in caring for clothes
can help the environment. Earlier this year, the company launched the “Care Tag for Our
Planet” campaign, changing the product care tags in Levi’s® jeans to include instructions 159
about ways consumers can reduce the environmental impact of their clothes after leaving
the store. Consumers can also promise to care for their jeans and the planet by taking
the Care Tag Pledge on-line at, vowing to washing in cold, washing
less, line drying and donating unwanted clothing to Goodwill®.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:36AM ()

Polycom Co-Founds UCIF to Advance Unified

Communications Interopera...
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Polycom, Inc. [Nasdaq: PLCM], along with
HP, Juniper Networks, Microsoft, and
Logitech / LifeSize, today announced the
co-founding of the Unified Communications
Interoperability Forum (UCIF), a non-profit
alliance of worldwide technology leaders working together to deliver open unified
communications (UC) solutions. The UCIF is dedicated to providing customers with
standards-based, cross-vendor interoperability of UC hardware and software solutions
that span enterprises and the service provider cloud to enable organizations and
consumers to seamlessly communicate and collaborate. Recognizing that interoperability
based on open standards is a key requirement to drive UC further into today's
enterprises, UCIF members will collaborate to facilitate the widespread UC adoption and
deliver a reliable and rich UC experience from mobile, to desktop, to immersive
telepresence solutions. "Polycom's heritage is providing customers with the ability to
communicate without boundaries through standards-based, open collaboration solutions,"
said Andy Miller, Polycom president and CEO. "As the cornerstone of our Polycom Open
Collaboration Network strategy, we deliver an innovative portfolio of high-quality,
platform-agnostic voice and video solutions that interoperate with the leading UC
platforms, providing flexibility and protecting the investments of our customers. The UCIF
sole purpose is to drive open, standards-based solutions, and to squelch any efforts to
promote proprietary solutions against the interests of our customers. We're delighted to
be a founder of UCIF and its noble mission to promote interoperability throughout the UC
industry." "Interoperability is not only critical to customer success for deploying unified
communications but intrinsic to the delivery of legacy, current and next-generation UC
tools, services and infrastructure from multiple vendors. Until now, efforts to achieve
interoperability have appeared ad-hoc, which has given customers little assurance that
their existing and planned investments are protected and will deliver the value promised,"
said Jonathan Edwards, research analyst, Unified Communications, IDC. "I'm delighted to
see Polycom take a leading role by joining the UCIF. Together, these companies will help
drive industrywide adoption of open standards and develop programs that put
accountability on the vendors and provide peace of mind and investment protection for
end customers – something that will surely accelerate adoption of UC technologies." The
UCIF will utilize existing industry standards and define new standards to eliminate the
gaps between current protocols and broad-based interoperability. UCIF membership is
open to hardware and software solution providers, service providers and network
operators. For more information or to join the UCIF, About the UCI
Forum The Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCIF) is a non-profit alliance
of worldwide communications technology leaders working together to realize the potential
of unified communications (UC) by increasing efficiency, decreasing implementation
costs and improving the interoperability experience for UC customers. The UCIF's vision

is to enable interoperability of open, standards-based UC hardware and software across
enterprises, service providers, and consumer clouds, as a means of generating
incremental business opportunity for all stakeholders in the ecosystem and of increasing
the business use of UC technologies and services. The UCIF creates and tests
interoperability profiles, implementation guidelines and best practices for interoperability
between UC products and existing communications and business applications. Visit to learn more.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:25PM ()

Tata Nano bags the Gold Prize in the 2010

Edison Awards
Thursday, May 20, 2010

Remember that little car "Nano" made by a little known company in India - TATA? The
world's cheapest car seems to have impressed the people who judge innovation at the
Edison Awards. Tata Nano has bagged3 Edison Awards including the top prize in the
transportation category. This award goes a long way in recognizing Indian innovation as
a medium of socio-economic change. This is the latest set of awards after the car won
almost all innovation awards on this planet last year. The car's available for purchase
starting at about $2500 if you don't mind the engine catching fire on the road.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 03:16PM ()

Mars Institute "Moon-1" Humvee Rover reaches

Devon Island, High Arctic
Thursday, May 20, 2010
An international team of researchers led by
Mars Institute scientist Dr. Pascal Lee
successfully reached Devon Island, High
Arctic, on Sunday, 16 May, 2010 after a 13-
day, 150 km vehicular journey from
Cornwallis Island to Devon Island, along
the fabled Northwest Passage. The
Northwest Passage Drive Expedition team of six departed Resolute Bay, Nunavut, on 5
May aboard the Mars Institute’s Moon-1 Humvee Rover and two snowmobiles. After
encountering several days of immobilizing snowstorms and extremely rough sea-ice 161
conditions, the team finally reached the west coast of Devon Island late in the evening of
16 May. “It’s both a great joy and a relief to get our Moon-1 onto solid ground on Devon
Island” said Lee. “This final sea-ice crossing was quite a challenge, but we had a
fantastic team and vehicle, and we just kept working at it”. Accompanying Lee were
crewmembers Joe Amarualik, John W. Schutt, and Jesse Weaver, and the Jules Verne
Adventures documentary team comprising filmmaker Jean-Christophe Jeauffre and
director of photography Mark Carroll. The primary goal of the Northwest Passage Drive
Expedition is to transfer the Mars Institute’s new Moon-1 Humvee Rover to Devon Island,
a location known to present unique scientific and operational similarities to the surface of
the Moon and Mars. There, the rover will be used as a concept vehicle simulating future
pressurized rovers to be driven by humans to explore other planetary bodies. The
expedition is an integral part of the Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) on Devon Island where
research in space science and exploration is being conducted by the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the
Mars Institute, the SETI Institute, and other partnering organizations. Last year, Lee’s
team logged a record-breaking drive of 494 km in the Moon-1 along a western section of
the Northwest Passage, the longest distance ever driven on sea-ice in a road vehicle.
This year, the team applied the same winning strategy to avoid the roughest areas of
sea-ice along the Wellington Channel. It used a variety of radar satellite remote sensing
data and its own surface reconnaissance by snowmobile to find the smoothest possible
ice route between Abandon Bay, Cornwallis Island, and Domville Point, Devon Island,
where the Moon-1 is now safely parked. The next step will be to drive the Moon-1
overland to the Haughton-Mars Project Research Station on Devon Island later this
Summer, where it will be used in conjunction with the Mars-1 Humvee Rover already
deployed there to begin long-range dual pressurized rover exploration studies. “The
arrival of the Moon-1 on Devon Island ushers in a new phase in our space exploration
work that will be critical to enabling humans to explore other worlds sooner, more safely,
and more productively” remarked Lee.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Microsoft Investigators Uncover Emerging Form

of Click Fraud
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Microsoft Corp. has filed two lawsuits this
week in the U.S. District Court for the
Western District of Washington detailing
evidence of an emerging form of click fraud
in online advertising the company has
dubbed “click laundering.” One lawsuit is a
John Doe suit alleging that unidentified
defendants engaged in this activity; the
other lawsuit names Web publisher
RedOrbit Inc. and its president, Eric Ralls,
as defendants. Click laundering, a
previously unknown form of pay-per-click
(PPC) advertising fraud, was uncovered by Microsoft investigators following dramatic and
irregular growth in click traffic on two sites within its Microsoft adCenter network.
Investigators believe that had the click laundering scheme gone undetected, the
perpetrators could have defrauded advertisers of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“Online ad fraud is evolving in sophistication all the time. Fighting it demands vigilance
and dedication to an honest and secure online marketplace. We believe that a trusted
marketplace is critical to Internet commerce, and Microsoft will continue to take
aggressive action working with industry and law enforcement to protect our platforms,
customers and advertisers,” said Brad Smith, senior vice president and general counsel
for Microsoft. PPC fraud, also known as click fraud, is a type of Internet fraud in online
advertising that occurs when a person, automated script or computer program imitates a
legitimate website visitor by clicking on an ad to generate a charge-per-click without
having actual interest in the target of the ad’s link. Microsoft adCenter monitors click
traffic carefully to prevent advertisers from being charged for non-valid clicks, and
Microsoft has been active in investigating and taking action against click fraud when
found, including taking legal action where necessary. Click laundering is a newly
uncovered form of click fraud in which technical measures are used to make invalid ad
clicks appear to originate from legitimate sources. It is analogous to money laundering in
which the origin of illegal profits is disguised as legitimate. Click laundering attempts to
avoid fraud detection systems that have been put in place by the ad platform — in this
case, Microsoft adCenter — to protect online advertisers. Through various means,
including malware programs, fraudsters are able to trick innocent Internet users into
visiting websites where they unknowingly click on advertisements. Click launderers also
can further disguise the origin of those invalid clicks by using scripts and other methods
to alter information that is sent to the ad platform. Microsoft is filing these lawsuits to help
protect its ad platform and promote the integrity of online advertising for the benefit of all
legitimate advertisers, to stop the fraudulent behavior, and to recover the damages
caused by the click laundering. These actions are part of an ongoing effort by Microsoft
Advertising and the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit to work with others across the industry
to identify and address emerging threats to the integrity of the online advertising
ecosystem through technical and legal means. This week, Microsoft closed another
lawsuit the company filed in 2009 regarding click fraud in auto insurance verticals and
World of Warcraft, following a successful settlement with defendant Eric Lam. Terms of
the settlement are confidential, but the lawsuit successfully brought the click fraud
activities described in the complaint to an end and helped Microsoft further refine and
evolve its approach to combating click fraud. Such cases demonstrate the evolving
nature of fraud in online advertising and the need for ongoing investments across the
industry to maintain a healthy Internet marketplace.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Infosys Awards India's Best Student

Wednesday, May 19, 2010
India based IT services leader Infosys Technologies
announced the national winners of Aspirations2020, an online
programming contest organized by the Infosys Campus
Connect Program in India. The winning team from
Dwarkadas J. Sanghvi College of Engineering, Mumbai received a certificate and cash
prize of Rs. 1.5 Lakh, and the runners up team from Galgotias College of Engineering
and Technology, Noida received a certificate and cash prize of Rs. 1.2 Lakh.
Aspirations2020 is a programming contest series organized by the Infosys Campus
Connect Program, to enhance the problem solving skills of pre-final and final year
engineering and MCA students. The objective of the contest is to encourage participants 163
to develop their problem solving abilities through algorithmic thinking and logical
reasoning, demonstrating the solution through programming and team work.
Aspirations2020 received online registrations from over 104,000 students, in 474
engineering colleges across 20 Indian states. The National Finals held in Hyderabad on
March 19, saw participation from 14 teams comprising of 3 members each. The teams
reached the finals after four rounds namely - Teaser Round, College Round, Inter
College Round and State Level Finals. Providing the perspective for the initiative, Mr. T.
V. Mohandas Pai, Member of the Board, Infosys Technologies, said, "We need the
students of India to develop problem solving skills. Open competitions such as
Aspirations2020, help students develop analytical and problem solving skills, making
them competitive for the future." Presenting the awards, Srikantan Moorthy, Head -
Education and Research, Infosys Technologies, said, "The Campus Connect Program
has been created to bridge the gap between the academia and industry, aligning college
curriculum to the industry's requirements to prepare students for a career in the IT
industry. The Aspirations2020 programming contest is an initiative that is aimed at
bringing the best engineering talent in India together to interact and learn from each
other. The participants of Aspirations2020 have demonstrated that they are willing to take
initiatives, raise their own confidence levels, and willing to expose themselves and be
compared with peers. I congratulate the winners of this contest on their determination
and achievements." For more details about Aspirations2020, please refer -
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

HP Labs Designs Data Center Fueled by "Cow

Dung". To Build Data Cen...
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
HP today presented new research from HP Labs, the company’s central research arm,
showing how the manure output of cows and the heat output of data centers can be
combined to create an economically and environmentally sustainable operation. In a
research paper presented at the ASME International Conference on Energy Sustainability
in Phoenix, Ariz., the HP researchers explain how a farm of 10,000 dairy cows could fulfill
the power requirements of a 1-megawatt (MW) data center – the equivalent of a medium-
sized data center – with power left over to support other needs on the farm. In this
process, the heat generated by the data center can be used to increase the efficiency of
the anaerobic digestion of animal waste. This results in the production of methane, which
can be used to generate power for the data center. This symbiotic relationship allows the

waste problems faced by dairy farms and the energy demands of the modern data center
to be addressed in a sustainable manner. Highlights Dairy farms and data centers may
appear to be unexpected partners; however, HP Labs has shown that the specific needs
and challenges of both can be aligned to create a sustainable life cycle, using
technologies readily available today.

• The average dairy cow produces about 55 kg (120 pounds) of manure per day, and
approximately 20 metric tons per year – roughly equivalent to the weight of four adult
• The manure that one dairy cow produces in a day can generate 3.0 kilowatt-hours
(kWh) of electrical energy, which is enough to power television usage in three U.S.
households per day.(1)
• A medium-sized dairy farm with 10,000 cows produces about 200,000 metric tons of
manure per year. Approximately 70 percent of the energy in the methane generated
via anaerobic digestion could be used for data center power and cooling, thus
reducing the impact on natural resources.
• Pollutants from unmanaged livestock waste degrade the environment and can lead
to groundwater contamination and air pollution. Methane is 21 times more damaging
to the environment than carbon dioxide, which means that in addition to being an
inefficient use of energy, disposal of manure through flaring can result in steep
greenhouse gas emission taxes.
• In addition to benefiting the environment, using manure to generate power for data
centers could provide financial benefit to farmers. HP researchers estimate that dairy
farmers would break even in costs within the first two years of using a system like
this and then earn roughly $2 million annually in revenue from selling waste-derived
power to data center customers.
Changing the energy equation HP is working to transform the way in which businesses
and societies organize and operate by changing the way energy is consumed and
produced, thereby creating more sustainable ecosystems. HP Labs is committed to
designing data centers that are substantially more efficient and use local, renewable
energy resources. Contemporary data centers are increasingly co-located with power
generation or cooling resources to reduce operational costs. Power generation microgrids
can take advantage of a variety of local power generation options to reduce the
dependence on the utility grid for power. Microgrids can employ solar cells, wind turbines,
biofuels or other sources, many of which are renewable, to generate electricity used to
power data centers. The prevalence of dairy farms in the United States presents a co- 165
location opportunity that generates biofuel from farm waste.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:51PM ()

GE Marks 50th Anniversary Of The Laser With

Launch Of New “Laser Di...
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
GE scientists specializing in laser
technology development at GE Global
Research, the technology development arm
for the GE (NYSE: GE), today marked the
50th anniversary of the invention of the
laser with the launch of “Laser Diode-logues” - a new blog feature on the Research Lab’s
technology blog, Edison’s Desk – The anniversary is this Sunday,
May 16th. “Through Laser Diode-logues, we will celebrate the achievements of the past
50 years in laser technologies and talk about future innovations that GE and others are
working on that will define the next 50 years,” said Kevin Harding, Principal Scientist at
GE Global Research and a fellow and past president of SPIE, the international society for
optics and photonics. The first blog post highlights GE’s first big breakthrough in lasers,
the invention of the semiconductor (diode) laser in 1962. Invented by GE scientist Robert
Hall, the diode laser’s impact still looms large today helping to enable everything from the
world wide web, TV remote controls and price code scanning in stores. Watch a video
interview of Robert Hall providing his recollections of this major invention. Harding added,
“Today, we don’t think twice when surfing the internet, scanning cable channels with our
TV remote, listening to a CD or moving more swiftly through the check-out line at the
grocery store. All of these common, everyday conveniences were made possible, in large
part, by GE’s invention of the diode laser.“ Robert Hall’s career as a physicist in GE’s
R&D labs spanned more than 40 years. An area where he had significant impact was in
semiconductor technologies, which GE continues to drive today in applications such as
silicon carbide power devices and thin film solar cells. By the time he retired in 1987, he
had received 43 patents and many prestigious honors along the way. In 1994, he was
elected to the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

The Pepsi Refresh Project Announces Top Vote-

Getters to Receive $1....
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Thirty-two ideas, from rebuilding an
elementary school to providing care
packages to new families, are on track to
be collectively awarded $1.3 million this month, for garnering the most votes in April for
the Pepsi Refresh Project. Through this ground-breaking initiative, Pepsi will award more
than $20 million in 2010 to the ideas voted most likely to move our communities forward
by the public via online voting. "National Teacher's Day is May 4, and we are pleased to
have so many ideas inspired by educators or even submitted by teachers themselves,"
said Pepsi Refresh Project Education Ambassador Liz Dwyer. Refresh Ambassadors are
building awareness and driving participation in the program as well as supporting funded

Ideas. The top vote-getters in six categories (Health, Arts & Culture, Food & Shelter, The
Planet, Neighborhoods and Education) caught the public's attention by making a
compelling case for why they deserved a Pepsi Refresh Grant. The Pepsi Refresh
Project launched in January and invited individuals and organizations to submit
beneficial, achievable, constructive and "shovel-ready" ideas that would make a positive
impact on communities. Each month, ideas are voted on by the public to select the 32
grant recipients to receive funding. Americans voted for over 1,000 ideas from April 1
through April 30 at With the April ideas' votes tallied, Pepsi
is working with partners at Global Giving and GOOD to ensure that each idea qualifies to
receive funding. Once approved, each idea will have the opportunity to be put into action.
Ideas on track to receive funding this month include those that benefit communities,
including Project Sweet Peas, designed to provide care packages to new families with
infants in intensive care. "The stress of having a child in intensive care is unimaginable to
most people," said Mallika Chopra, Pepsi Refresh Project Health Ambassador.
"Something as small as a gift bag with every day items will help make tough times a little
easier for these parents." This month, in total, the Pepsi Refresh Project is set to award
two $250,000, ten $50,000, ten $25,000 and ten $5,000 grants. The top vote-getters on
track to become Pepsi Refresh Grant recipients from the April round of voting include:
• Ben-Gil Elementary Boosters, Benld, IL (Education)
• Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation, Erie, PA (Health)
• Anthony DiNicola, Burlington, CT (Neighborhoods)
• Global Language Project, New York, NY (Education)
• Heather Hall ? Lone Star School, Bristow, OK (Education)
• Hudson Valley Youth Wind Ensembles, Lake Katrine, NY (Arts & Culture)
• KIDDS Dance Project, Inc., Lithonia, GA (Neighborhoods)
• Kim Wendt ? Mitchell Middle School, Racine, WI (Education)
• National AMBUCS, Inc., Danville, IL (Health)
• American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Jersey City, NJ (Health)
• Rosendale Theatre Collective, High Falls, NY (Arts & Culture)
• Waukee High School Earth Club, Waukee, IA (The Planet)
• 100 Mile Club, Norco, CA (Health)
• BigHouse Foundation, Opelika, AL (Education)
• ChangEducate, Durham, NC (Education)
• Fair Haven Center for Women, Inc., Demotte, IN (Food & Shelter)
• imMEDIAte Justice, Los Angeles, CA (Education)
• Project Sweet Peas, Topeka, KS (Health)
• Roy Waldron School, Smyrna, TN (Health)
• Stay Off The Streets, Inc., Ambridge, PA (Neighborhoods)
• Talbert House Community Correctional Center, Lebanon, OH (Education)
• The Hep B Project, Berkeley, CA (Education)
• Anita Jones and Meals on Wheels, Norman, OK (Food & Shelter)
• Golightly Educational Center, Brownston, MI (Education)
• Heather Howe at Hartwood Elementary, Fredericksburg, VA (Education)
• Jen Nall, Pawstotherescue, Mullins, SC (Food & Shelter)
• Jennifer Luckart, Easton, CT (Education)
• Mary DeWerff, Peachtree City, GA (Health)
• Pet Mission, Redondo Beach, CA (Neighborhoods)
• Salisbury-Rowan Symphony Orchestra, Salisbury, NC (Arts & Culture) 167
• Sharon Ponton, Springfield, VA (Health)
• White Bluffs Quilt Museum, West Richland, WA (Neighborhoods)

Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:10AM ()

Toshiba Mobile Display Develops OCB Liquid

Crystal Panel for 3D Gla...
Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Toshiba Mobile Display Co., Ltd. has developed an OCB (Optically Compensated Bend)
liquid crystal display panel for 3D glasses suitable for watching 3D television, enjoying 3D
movies, or playing 3D games. In recent years, increasing demands for more realistic
images has been the catalyst for 3D displays in various applications, such as movies, TV
broadcasts, games, and mobile phones. As a result, the stereoscopic display market is
expected to grow rapidly. A 3D image is created by providing slightly different images to
your left and right eyes. There are two methods of separating a picture into left and right
images: one uses special glasses, and the other is without glasses, called auto-
stereoscopy. The with-glasses approach is applied to movies and TV, and there are two
primary methods: one uses polarizing filters, and the other is based on time division. This
new LCD panel employs the latter time-based, with-glasses approach. In the time-
division with-glasses method, images for the left and right eyes appear alternately, with
the special glasses working as a synchronous shutter. That is, when the left image
appears, the left liquid crystal shutter opens while the right shutter closes. When the right
image appears the right shutter opens while the left shutter closes. Repeating this
operation at high speed allows the user to synthesize the left and right images in their
brain and to recognize them as a 3D image. If the right image is sensed by the left eye, or
if the left image is sensed by the right eye, double vision occurs which is called 3D
crosstalk. This phenomenon degrades the quality of the resulting image and causes eye
fatigue. In this new liquid crystal display panel, suitable for application in a pair of
glasses, TMD has used OCB technology to achieve both high-speed response and a
wide viewing angle while maintaining high contrast. Glasses adopting these panels
feature high-speed shutter opening and closing, yielding a significant reduction in 3D
crosstalk. In addition, the wide viewing angle provides vivid 3D images across a wide
field of view, such as in movie theaters and living rooms. Glasses adopting these panels
would allow the viewer to enjoy high-quality 3D images in comfort with minimized fatigue
when watching TV, viewing a movie, or playing a game for a long time.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Honda Bodyweight Support Assist Device
Selected for Innovation Exhibit
Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Honda's experimental Bodyweight Support Assist walking assist device will be

showcased in the National Design Triennial "Why Design Now?" exhibition at the Cooper-
Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution in New York, NY, from May 14,
2010, through January 9, 2011. The exhibition of design innovation will showcase the
work of designers from around the world that demonstrate the value of design in helping
solve some of society's most urgent human and environmental problems including
sustainability, accessibility, universality, fair trade, conservation, health, education,
creative capitalism, and underserved audiences. The designers are being recognized for
enhancing human experience by inventing solutions that are as beautiful as they are just.
Honda developed the Bodyweight Support Assist device to help support bodyweight to
reduce the load on the user's legs while walking, going up and down stairs and in a semi-
crouching position. The device reduces the load on leg muscles and joints utilizing an
easy-to-use structure consisting of a seat, frame and shoes. Unique Honda technologies
include mechanisms that direct the assisting force toward the user's center of gravity and
control the assist force in concert with the movement of the legs - making it possible for
the device to provide natural assistance in various postures and motions. Learn more in
this 3 minute 0S_SL8IWObY Demonstrating that
"innovation has no limits" Honda began research into a walking device in 1999 at the
Fundamental Research Center of Honda R&D Co., Ltd., which is also the home of
Honda's ASIMO advanced humanoid robot. The cumulative study of human walking,
along with the research and development of technologies conducted for ASIMO, led to
advances in cooperative control technology that made this device possible. A second
Honda device, Stride Management Assist (not in the Cooper-Hewitt exhibit), is designed
for the elderly or people with weakened leg muscles, but who can still walk on their own.
Honda has applied for more than 130 patents for its various walk assist devices, including
Bodyweight Support Assist and Stride Management Assist, and is engaged testing to
evaluate their full potential for real-world customer use.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM () 169
Infovideo: Your Life, Unthreaded.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
So what do you do every day in your life? Music group Royksopp's video "Remind Me"
tries to make sense out of everything you do, everyday. Video after he break.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

P&G Launches Supplier Environmental

Sustainability Scorecard
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG) today
announced the launch of the Supplier Environmental
Sustainability Scorecard and rating process to measure and
improve the environmental performance of its key suppliers.
The new scorecard will assess P&G suppliers' environmental
footprint and encourage continued improvement by measuring energy use, water use,
waste disposal and greenhouse gas emissions on a year-to-year basis. It is hoped that
this breakthrough work will lay the foundation for an industry standard and the scorecard
will be "open code" for use by any organization to help promote a working discussion and
determine common supply chain evaluation processes across all industries. "The launch
of the Supplier Environmental Sustainability Scorecard represents the next step in P&G's
commitment to environmental sustainability and reflects the Company's holistic, end-to-
end supply chain strategy," said P&G Chairman of the Board, President and Chief
Executive Officer Bob McDonald. "We will grow P&G's business by touching and
improving more consumers' lives in more parts of the world... more completely. To
accomplish this, we must continually innovate and grow responsibly and sustainably.
Keeping Sustainability at the core of our business fuels innovation and strengthens our
results." P&G's new supplier scorecard is the result of 18 months of work and close
collaboration with the organization's Supplier Sustainability Board, which includes more
than 20 leading supplier representatives from P&G's global supply chain. The scorecard
relies on accepted worldwide measurement standards and sound science, including
protocols from the World Resources Institute, the World Business Council for Sustainable
Development and the Carbon Disclosure Project, so as to minimize redundant efforts and
build on existing best practices. P&G's goal in deploying the scorecard is to enhance
supply chain collaboration, measure and improve key environmental sustainability
indicators, and encourage the sharing of ideas and capabilities to deliver more
sustainable products and services for its consumers. "We worked closely with a global
team of P&G personnel, suppliers and supply chain experts to determine the most
effective way to measure the environmental performance of our diverse global supplier
base," said Rick Hughes, P&G global purchasing officer. "Our suppliers wanted a tool
that was flexible yet grounded in existing measurement standards and, by working
together, we developed a framework that will help drive real improvement across all
industries." The scorecard is specifically designed to focus on, and encourage, year-on-
year improvement - regardless of a supplier's total size or the current stage of its
sustainability program. Roll-out beyond P&G's key suppliers will be determined once
learnings from the first phase of deployment are incorporated. Suppliers will have a full
year to prepare to report their data before the rating can adversely impact their supplier
rating with P&G. In the future, P&G will use the scorecard to determine each supplier's

sustainability rating as part of P&G's annual supplier performance measurement process.
As part of its effort to create an initiative that can have far reaching cross-industry impact,
P&G suppliers are also encouraged to use the scorecard within their own supply chains.
Click here to download the scorecard:
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Sony launches “Road to Zero” environmental

plan and sets 2015 mid-t...
Monday, May 17, 2010
Sony Corporation announced its “Road to Zero” global
environmental plan on Aprill 7 2010. The plan, which includes
a long-term goal of achieving a zero environmental footprint
by 2050, uses backcasting methods to set specific mid-term
environmental targets for the next five years in line with that goal. Sony’s definition of
zero environmental footprint is not only limited to the neutralization of carbon emissions,
but also extends to waste and use of finite materials such as oil-derived virgin plastics.
Targets are based on four environmental perspectives – climate change, resource
conservation, control of chemical substances and biodiversity – across all product
lifecycle stages, from research and development to recycling. The mid-term targets will
be implemented globally across the Sony Group beginning in fiscal year 2011 (April
2011), and will extend through the end of fiscal year 2015 (March 2016), at which time
new targets for the following 5 years will be set. Specific mid-term targets include:

• 30% reduction in annual energy consumption of products (compared to fiscal 2008)

• 10% reduction in product mass (compared to fiscal 2008)
• 50% absolute reduction in waste generation (compared to fiscal 2000)
• 30% absolute reduction in water consumption (compared to fiscal 2000)
• 14% reduction in total CO2 emissions associated with all transportation and logistics
(compared to fiscal 2008)
• 16% reduction in incoming parts packaging waste (compared to fiscal 2008)
• Increase of waste recycle ratio to 99% or more
• 5% reduction in utilization ratio of virgin oil-based plastics in products (compared to
fiscal 2008)
• Assessment of impact of resource procurement and facility construction on
biodiversity, and promotion of biodiversity programs such as groundwater cultivation
• Minimization of the risk of chemical substances through preventive measures;
reduction in use of specific chemicals defined by Sony; and promotion of use of
alternative materials
“We are fully committed to putting our innovative spirit and technological expertise to use
to help solve environmental challenges,” said Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and
President of Sony Corporation. “From the development of new materials and energy-
efficient technologies, to the introduction of better processes in manufacturing and
production, we will work aggressively to meet the ambitious targets we are setting for
ourselves and, at the same time, establish a model for others in our industries to follow.”
Sony has already made significant progress in reducing its environmental impact around
the world. Sony’s European sites, for example, have reduced their CO2 emissions from
electricity use and facility heating by approximately 93% between fiscal years 2000 and 171
2009. In addition, the majority of its BRAVIA TV range now carries the EU ‘flower,’ an
eco-label introduced by the EU to certify greener, more environmentally friendly products
that comply with strict ecological criteria. Sony Europe is also a founding member of the
‘European Recycling Platform’ (ERP). Fully operational in 11 European countries, the
ERP effectively manages end-of-life collection and recycling for all consumer electronics
products. In 2008, approximately 60,000 tons of electronic waste were collected and
recycled on behalf of Sony in 20 European countries. In the U.S., Sony Electronics (SEL)
was the first consumer electronics manufacturer to institute a nation-wide Take Back
Recycling Program in 2007 through which consumers can recycle any Sony-branded
product free of charge. To date, SEL has recycled more than 13,000 tons of electronic
waste through its take back efforts. In Japan, Sony is the only company that voluntarily
collects used small-sized consumer electronics on an experimental basis jointly with a
municipality, Kitakyushu City in southern Japan. Gold, silver, bronze and palladium are
extracted from the products discarded by city residents and are subsequently reused by
Sony. For example, the recycled gold was used in Sony's semiconductor chips that were
then adopted for use in Sony Ericsson's "URBANO BARONE" mobile phone (available in
Japan through KDDI Corporation since February 2010). In addition, the new VAIO W eco
edition, launched in most major global markets this year and designed to be the
industry’s most environmentally friendly laptop, features recycled plastic parts, an
electronic manual and an innovative carry-bag that saves 10% in CO2 emissions during
production. Sony Pictures Entertainment, based in Culver City, CA, took an important
step toward its zero waste goal in June 2009 by partnering with the City of Culver City in
a first-of-its-kind organic waste composting program. Thanks to this program, the studio
has already diverted up to 80% of its waste from landfills (as of December 2009). In
addition, an estimated 8,559 set pieces were reused in 2009, saving over a million
pounds (500 tons) of material and helping reduce impact on natural resources. That
same year, the studio recycled 81 tons of electronic waste. Sony’s fiscal year 2015
targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and power consumption per product were
reviewed and approved by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) as a renewal of the
company’s Climate Savers Programme commitments. Sony has been a member of the
WWF Climate Savers Programme since 2006. The Programme was organized by WWF
International to mobilize companies to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

OSU Studies How to Make Cows Happy and

Increase Milk Output
Monday, May 17, 2010
If you want a dairy cow to produce as much
milk as possible, one of the things you need
to do is make sure she spends enough time
each day just lying down, content and at ease. But to be happy, she's got to be
comfortable in her pen or wherever she is. Wanting to help dairy farmers learn more
about this to maximize their milk production, Oregon State University has launched
research to study the factors that influence dairy cows' comfort level. To do this, the OSU
dairy center is using an Israeli-made ankle bracelet that senses when a cow is lying down
by determining the angle of her leg to the ground. When a cow lies down, the blood flow
to her udder increases, which produces more milk. "This device is a way for the cows to
tell us things," said Aurora Villarroel, an OSU Extension veterinarian in the College of
Veterinary Medicine who is conducting the research. "It's a way for us to interpret what

they're doing without being there 24-7 or filming them." Villarroel and her team attached
the device, which is orange and about the size of a deck of playing cards, to about 100
cows earlier this year and began gathering baseline data. Now she's asking dairy farmers
what factors they'd like OSU to test. She's encouraging dairies to contact her at 541-737-
5853 with their ideas or questions. She aims to start testing some of their suggestions
this summer. The factors can vary from environmental to nutritional. For example,
researchers may see if straw bedding makes a cow lie down more than sand or if
separating Jerseys from Holsteins instead of having mixed herds affects their time on the
ground, Villarroel said. Or perhaps they'll tweak the size of the freestalls or the number of
cows in a pen and see what happens, she added. Additional factors might be drastic
weather changes, what the cows eat, and times of milking, she said. Whatever the factors
might be that influence the amount of time a cow rests, the bottom line is that more time
on the ground equals more milk, according to research. A study by the William H. Miner
Agricultural Research Institute in New York looked at how much milk was produced by
cows that rested between seven hours and 17 hours a day. "We found a positive
correlation between those two variables," said Peter Krawczel, a research assistant at the
institute. "The result was that we predict that for each additional hour of rest, there would
be a gain of 3.7 pounds of milk." For example, he said, if a cow normally rests for seven
hours a day, but increases her rest to eight hours, then her milk production would
increase 3.7 pounds that day. If she rested for nine hours, she would produce 7.4 more
pounds that day, he said. Those extra pounds mean extra cash for dairies. In Oregon,
dairy farmers grossed $500 million in milk sales in 2008, according to a preliminary report
by the OSU Extension Service. In terms of farmgate sales, milk was Oregon's third
largest commodity group after cattle and nursery crops, the report said. OSU isn't just
using the ankle bracelets to record cows' resting habits though. The device, which is
made by SAE Afikim, also works as a pedometer, counting how many steps a cow takes
each day. This helps dairies know when a cow is ready to be bred because cows' activity
levels increase when they're in heat. Once the cows are in the milking parlor, a sensor
transmits the data in their ankle bracelets to a computer where it can be analyzed.
Custom reports can then be made for herds and individual cows. Although using
pedometers to detect heat in U.S. cows isn't new, OSU is the only facility in the country
that is using ones that sense if cows are lying down, said Udi Golan, a products manager
for Afikim who talked about the device during an open house at the dairy center this
month. He said Afikim plans to start selling pedometers with this tilt-detecting sensor in
the United States in a few months. Dairy equipment provider DeLaval will distribute them.
Also at the open house, Ben Krahn, the manager of the center, explained how he and his
crew are using other technology that is new to the center, which is run by the animal
sciences department in the College of Agricultural Sciences. A few weeks ago, they
began using radio frequency identification tags on the cows’ ears that function as
barcodes. Cow handlers wave a wand next to them and the cow’s personal medical
record immediately appears on a handheld computer. Data include the cow's birthdate,
when she was bred, who her parents are, when a veterinarian last examined her, and
how much milk she has produced. Examiners can also input data into the handheld
device, which is about the size of a small paperback book. Having a computer at a cow's
side means that examiners don't have to run back to an office computer and look up data
or possibly make mistakes while jotting it down on a clipboard, said David Nansel, an
account manager for Utah-based DHI-Provo, which makes the software. DHI-Provo
asked OSU to test it out so the company can fine tune it for the industry, Nansel said.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM () 173
Storytrails- A Trail Mixed With A Story Makes A
Lot Of Sense
Monday, May 17, 2010
It probably comes from our love for bedtime
stories. Story Trails, a Chennai, India based
company, started by an MBA graduate from
one of the elite business schools in India,
creates business through stories long lost.
How it works: Story trails invites
professionals, students and in fact anybody
who loves stories to participate in what they call a "trail". Trails comprise of themed tours
combined with a story associated with the theme. Right now Story Trails have the
Peacock trail, Country roads, Dancer trail, Bazaar trail and Steeple chase for you to
choose from. Story trails has done extensive research to dig out stories pertaining to the
theme that these trails revolve around. These are stories that you would never get to hear
from a travel guide and that is how Story Trails distinguishes itself from tourist guides.
And that is not all. Story trails has its own creative way of rendering stories to its audience
which is what makes the experience complete. Who is it for? Originally Story Trails was
started to get a businessman from a foreign country or a traveler to India interested in
India and the way of life in the country. Now, Story trails does a lot of work for corporates
who intend to have a team outing, for a family that looks at a new way to bond, for a host
who intends to find a new way to entertain a guest or for parents who want to redefine a
birthday-party-experience for their child and for anyone willing to take a break. Be part of
the story. Experience India with them!
Posted by Deepti Natarajan at 06:00AM ()

Russia: On The Come Back Trail

Monday, May 17, 2010
Russia is seeing a macroeconomic revival of sorts. The largest country in the world was
almost ignored completely thanks to the end of the Cold War and also the fact that James
Bond wanted nothing more to do with them after ‘Goldeneye’. And this is revival is not
thanks to the sudden increase in the export of Vodka or Women Tennis players who look
good on court. (Yes! That was a totally sexist statement…but I can’t help it if they do look
good). Russia was lucky enough to inherit most of the defense industrial base after the
breakup of the former Soviet Union. This makes them the largest exporter of armaments.
If you’ve not seen this movie called ‘Lord of War’, I suggest you check it out to get an idea
as to how this is so. I’m not too sure if this is something to be proud of, but then, talking
purely business, hey…there’s some rubles to be made! Besides the AK47 rifle, Russia is
surprisingly the third biggest destination for outsourcing software behind China and India.
Did you know that? Currently, Russia controls a little over 3 percent of the offshore
software development market. The Russian IT industry has growth concentrating on high
end niches like algorithm design and microelectronics. And thanks to government tax
breaks and the development of SEZs, international technology corporations like Intel,
Motorola, Sun Microsystems, Boeing, Nortel have opened their R&D centers in Russia.
With energy becoming the new buzzword, Russia finds itself having one of the largest
petroleum industries of the world. Second largest coal reserves, eighth largest oil

reserves and the largest exporter of natural gas have made Russia a key figure in every
industry across the world. It’s fairly evident that the Russian economy finds itself slowly
standing up with the help of trade. Main exports include petroleum and petroleum
products, natural gas, wood and wood products, coal, metals, chemicals, and a wide
variety of civilian and military manufactures. But is this enough to bring back the glory
days? While the number of $295.6 billion as of 2009 seems optimistic, I figure that while
Russia seems to have the general Idea of how to head north, they still have a long way to
go. Russia has three simple problems which could come back to bite it in the rear as the
economy grows.
1. Reduction in Russian Population (With all that cold weather and Vodka, one
would not think that copulation would be a problem…anyway…)
2. Decline in the skill level of manpower resources – While Russia is producing
one of the highest number of graduates each year, a lot needs to be focused on
developing manual labor for its numerous manufacturing sectors. There also
remains a gap in the focus on labor for niche areas in technology.
3. Ageing Infrastructure – This will be the foremost problem for not only Russia but
for any economy looking to make itself competitive in the world. This is probably
one of the main reasons that China has made itself a force to be reckoned with.
Being a major figure of the G8 and a part of the new BRIC economic force, Russia has
decided to come to the field and play. While they do seem to be holding of the opponent,
a question remains if they are playing their best side. If all else fails, at least we’ll still
have Vodka and those good-looking women tennis players.
Posted by Nikhilesh Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Greenpeace: iPad Is Bad For The Environment

Sunday, May 16, 2010
At the launch of Apple’s iPad, a new Greenpeace report reveals how the rise of cloud
computing threatens to see greenhouse gas emissions from powering ever expanding
data centers spiral out of control. (1) Greenpeace report shows cloud computing GHG
emissions tripling by 2020. "Make IT Green - CloudComputing and its Contribution to
Climate Change" shows how the launch of quintessential cloud computing devices like
the Apple iPad, which offer users access to the "cloud" of online services like social
networks and video streaming, can contribute to a much larger carbon footprint of the IT
sector than previously estimated. The report builds on previous industry research (2) that
shows that at current growth rates data centers and telecommunication networks, the two
key components of the cloud, will consume about 1,963 billion kilowatts hours of
electricity in 2020, more than triple their current consumption and more than the current
electricity consumption of France, Germany, Canada and Brazil combined. (3) However,
the report also shows how IT can avert climate chaos bybecoming a transformative force
advocating for solutions that increase the useof renewable energy. "As the cloud
expands, the IT industry's appetite for energy will increase, making it a major source of
climate change unless the industry adopts and advocates renewable energy use and
backs laws to cut global warming," said Casey Harrell, Greenpeace International
campaigner. "IT companies like Microsoft, Google, and IBM are now in powerful positions
at the local, national, and international levels. They must use that influence to promote
policies that will allow them to grow responsibly without helping to fuel climate change.
Facebook recently announced the construction of its own data center in Prineville,
Oregon, running primarily on coal. By choosing energy company PacifiCorp, a utility that
sources the majority of its power from coal-fired power stations, Facebook missed a
chance to promote the use of renewable energy and instead reinforced the coal industry's 175
grip on the United Sates power grid. (4) "The ICT sector has the ability to help us combat
climate change by doing what it is best at - innovating to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions and increase energy efficiency," Harrell said. "Technologies that enable smart
grids, zero emission buildings and more efficient transport systems are key to cutting
climate change pollution. But given the current pace of growth in cloud computing, the
industry needs to get its own carbon footprint under control." (5) Greenpeace calls on IT
industry giants to put their might behind government policies that give priority grid access
for renewable sources like wind and solar energy. IT companies should also support
economy-wide climate and energy policies around the world that peak emissions by
2015. 1. "Make IT Green - Cloud Computing and its Contribution to Climate Change" is
available for download at
climate-change-2903102. 2.The Make IT Green report builds on the seminal analysis of
the Smart 2020 Report (2008) which detailed the growing carbon footprint of data centers
and telecommunication networks. To make the data of the report more accessible as an
instrument to evaluate the projected impact of the cloud on electricity demand and their
relationship to energy policies, the Smart 2020 analysis has been de-aggregated to show
overall electricity consumption. The 2020 Report provides carbon footprint figures in
MtCO2e as a combination of two sources of emissions: indirect emissions from electricity
use (scope 2) and indirect emissions from upstream production (scope 3), or embodied
carbon. To show electricity or energy use emissions separately, a correction factor
[Scope 2/ (Scope 2+3)] was applied. This correction factor for Scope 2 is derived from the
information provided on global internet footprint in the Smart 2020 Report, which includes
PCs in addition to telecoms and data centers. The Smart 2020 Report is available at 3. National electricity consumption data obtained
from the United States Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook, 2007 data. 4. To
challenge Facebook to drop coal and use clean energy, Greenpeace began an advocacy
page on Facebook. As of 31st March, more than 370,000 people have signed one of the
Facebook groups (in English and Spanish) 5.
The ICT sector's abilities to lead and to innovate are the reasons Greenpeace began its
Cool IT Campaign in 2009. The campaign uses direct company engagement and public
engagement to provide pressure on the ICT industry to put forward solutions to achieve
economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions reductions and to be strong advocates for
policies that combat climate change and increase the use of renewable energy. For more
information visit
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:59PM ()

UPS Sets "Green" Standards for Shipment

Sunday, May 16, 2010
UPS (NYSE:UPS) became the first carrier to offer its
customers an assessment of their shipment packaging based
on environmental standards. Under the Eco Responsible
Packaging Program, UPS will evaluate a customer's
packaging processes in three areas of sustainability: damage
prevention, right-sizing and packaging materials. UPS will
score the results and those customers who meet the
requirements can display the program's logo on their
shipment packaging. Responsible packaging obviously

begins with protecting the contents; damaged goods not only frustrate the recipient but
often lead to the need to remanufacture and reship, doubling the carbon footprint.
Shrinking the size of the box means less material used and fewer assets needed to
transport the package. Finally, using packing and shipping materials with a more
sustainable profile is important for the environment. UPS's rigorous assessment
methodology and processes are verified by Societe Generale de Surveillance (SGS), an
inspection, verification, testing and certification company. The service also has been
praised by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) and Business for Social
Responsibility (BSR), the latter a global business network and consultancy focused on
sustainability. "Our engineers have always directed our customers to use the right kind of
packaging to protect their goods," said Bob Stoffel, senior vice president, engineering,
strategy, supply chain and sustainability. "This service gives our customers a new way to
demonstrate that they are serious about sustainability when it comes to shipment
packaging." The evaluation will assess the customer's transport packaging systems and
procedures, rather than product packaging found on retail shelves. The contractual-
based service is available to customers who commit to sustainable packaging solutions.
Pricing is determined on a project basis. The program is conducted by the UPS Package
Engineering Group, which is known for its expertise in transport packaging principles and
also sought out the expertise of third-parties to ensure that its standards represent best
practices. "Embedding environmental evaluation in day-to-day packaging decisions is a
critical step to improving the stewardship and conservation of valuable resources for the
future," said Anne Johnson, director of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. "UPS brings
an unprecedented scale to assessing the environmental impacts of transport packaging
systems and their Eco-Responsible Packaging Program will raise awareness and
continually inform more resource efficient and ultimately, recoverable transport packaging
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Lockheed Martin To Deliver VINASAT-2 For

Nation Of Vietnam
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] announced
today the award of a contract by Vietnam
Posts and Telecommunications Group
(VNPT) of Vietnam to build the VINASAT-2
satellite. In-orbit delivery is slated for the second quarter of 2012. Financial terms were
not disclosed. Based on the highly reliable A2100 spacecraft platform manufactured by
Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS), Newtown, Pa., VINASAT-2 will
be located at 131.8 degrees east longitude and provide a minimum service life of 15
years. The VINASAT-2 contract marks the second satellite order VNPT has awarded to
Lockheed Martin, which will manage the project in its entirety, including satellite design
and manufacturing, launch procurement, and final in-orbit testing before customer
acceptance. Lockheed Martin successfully delivered VINASAT-1, the first satellite ever
for the nation of Vietnam, in 2008. VINASAT-2 will feature 24 Ku-band fixed high power
communication channels, providing uplink and downlink coverage over Vietnam,
Cambodia, Thailand and Laos. Lockheed Martin's low-risk solution utilizes and leverages
heritage Ku-band flight-proven equipment from numerous previous A2100 programs to
meet the customer's schedule requirements. LMCSS has delivered 38 A2100 commercial
spacecraft, with an average cycle time of 24 months with satellites of similar complexity 177
as VINASAT-2. “Lockheed Martin is extremely proud that VNPT has again placed its faith
in us to provide a low-risk technical solution that will fully satisfy mission needs,” said
LMCSS Vice-President Joe Rickers. “With a focus on minimizing risk and providing
schedule assurance, we look forward to achieving operational excellence and mission
success in support of VNPT's business objectives." “Lockheed Martin’s in-depth
experience was reflected in Lockheed Martin's feasible solutions to mitigate the risk of the
project in the contract signed today,” said VNPT Chairman of the Board Pham Long Tran.
“From the shared success of the VINASAT-1 project, I do believe that Lockheed Martin
will be able to again meet the schedule requirement and jointly cooperate with VNPT for
the successful implementation of the VINASAT-2 Project.” In addition to VNPT, Lockheed
Martin has delivered 19 spacecraft to Asian customers, including nine A2100 satellites.
The Lockheed Martin A2100 geosynchronous spacecraft series is designed to meet a
wide variety of telecommunications needs including Ka-band broadband and broadcast
services, fixed satellite services in C-band and Ku-band, high-power direct broadcast
services using the Ku-band frequency spectrum and mobile satellite services using UHF,
L-band, and S-band payloads. The A2100's modular design features a reduction in parts,
simplified construction, increased on-orbit reliability and reduced weight and cost. The
A2100 spacecraft’s design accommodates a large range of communication payloads.
This design modularity enables the A2100 spacecraft to be configured for missions other
than communication. The A2100 design has been adapted for geostationary Earth orbit
(GEO)-based earth observing missions and is the baselined platform for Lockheed
Martin’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite Series-R program. In addition,
the A2100 serves as the platform for critical government communications programs,
including the Advanced Extremely High Frequency and Mobile User Objective System
satellites. The A2100 also serves as the spacecraft platform for Lockheed Martin’s GPS
III program.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Nano parfait a treat for scientists

Sunday, May 16, 2010
In two new papers, Rice University researchers report using
ultracentrifugation (UCF) to create highly purified samples of
carbon nanotube species. One team, led by Rice Professor
Junichiro Kono and graduate students Erik Haroz and William
Rice, has made a small but significant step toward the dream of an efficient nationwide
electrical grid that depends on highly conductive quantum nanowire. The other, led by
Rice Professor Bruce Weisman and graduate student Saunab Ghosh, employed UCF to
prepare structurally sorted batches of semiconducting nanotubes that could find critical
uses in medicine and electronics.

UCF is what it sounds like: a super-fast version of the centrifuge process medical lab
technicians use to separate blood cells from plasma. The process involves suspending
mixtures of single-walled carbon nanotubes in combinations of liquids of different
densities. When spun by a centrifuge at up to 250,000 g – that's 250,000 times the force
of gravity – the nanotubes migrate to the liquids that match their own particular densities.
After several hours in the centrifuge, the test tube becomes a colorful parfait with layers
of purified nanotubes. Each species has its own electronic and optical characteristics, all
of which are useful in various ways. Weisman's lab reported its results in today's online
edition of Nature Nanotechnology. Weisman is a professor of chemistry at Rice. Kono's
lab reported its results recently in the online edition of ACS Nano. Kono is a professor in
electrical and computer engineering and professor of physics and astronomy. The lack of
pure batches of nanotubes species "has been a real hindrance in the field for nearly 20
years," Weisman said. While the UCF technique is not new, Ghosh found careful fine-
tuning of the gradient structure let him sort at least 10 of the numerous species of
nanotubes contained in a single sample produced by the Rice-created HiPco process.
Basic research is a big early winner, "because when you can get pure samples of
nanotubes, you can learn so much more about them," Weisman said. "Secondly, some
electronic applications become much simpler because the tube type determines the
nanotube's band gap, a crucial electronic property." Biomedical applications may benefit
by exploiting the optical properties of specific types of nanotubes. In the Kono lab,
metallic nanotubes rose to the top of the spinning vial while nearly all of the
semiconducting nanotubes sank to the bottom. What surprised lead researchers Haroz
and Rice was that nearly all of the metallic tubes were armchair SWNTs, the most
desirable species for the manufacture of quantum nanowire. Zigzag and near-zigzag
species, also considered metallic, would also sink out. Armchair nanotubes are so-called
because of their "U"-shaped end segments. Theoretically, armchairs are the most
conductive nanotubes, letting electrons charge down the middle with nothing to slow
them. The composition of the gradient solution made a difference in the quality of the
samples, Haroz said. "One of the surfactants we're using, sodium cholate, has a
molecular structure that's similar to a nanotube -- basically hexagons put together," he
said. "We think there's a match between the sodium cholate and the structure of
nanotubes, and it binds just a little bit better to an armchair than it does to zigzags."
Hurdles remain in the path to quantum armchair nanowires that nanotechnology pioneer
and Nobel laureate Richard Smalley, Haroz' first mentor at Rice who died in 2005, felt
would be a panacea for many of the world's problems. Fix the distribution of energy and
solutions to other challenges – clean water, food, environmental woes – will fall into
place, he believed. "Step 1 of the armchair quantum nanowire project is, 'Can we get
armchairs?' We've done that," said Haroz. "Now let's make macroscopic structures -- not
necessarily long cables, but small structures -- to test their conductivity." Rice research
scientist Sergei Bachilo is co-author of the Nature Nanotechnology paper with Weisman
and Ghosh. Grants from the National Science Foundation and the Welch Foundation 179
supported the research. Co-authors of the ACS Nano paper with Kono, Haroz, Rice,
Weisman and Ghosh are Robert Hauge, Distinguished Faculty Fellow in Chemistry at
Rice, Rice junior Ben Lu and Los Alamos National Laboratory researcher Stephen Doorn.
The Department of Energy office of Basic Energy Sciences, the Welch Foundation, the
Air Force Research Laboratories, the National Science Foundation and the Laboratory
Directed Research and Development program at Los Alamos National Laboratory
supported the research. Read the Kono abstract at:
o r y K e y R e a d t h e W e i s m a n a b s t r a c t
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:29AM ()

UCLA gets $5.5 million from Defense agency to

create new rotating m...
Saturday, May 15, 2010
If you've ever used an iPhone, a Wii video game or an
automobile airbag, you've benefited from micro-electro-
mechanical systems (MEMS) technology, in which arrays of
tiny devices mounted on computer chips — many no larger
than the width of a human hair — are able to sense and
respond to changes in heat, light, motion, sound or other
external stimuli. Now, the UCLA Henry Samueli School of
Engineering and Applied Science has been awarded $5.5
million from the U.S. Defense Department's central research
and development agency to advance MEMS technology for
use in defense systems. The four-and-a-half-year grant
from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency
(DARPA) will fund research by UCLA engineers to create
electrically connected, rotating microscale motors for
sensing and communications as part of the agency's
Information Tethered Micro Automated Rotary Stages
program. The micromachining techniques used to fabricate
microdevices have been highly successful in producing
miniature systems and components — including sensors,
actuators and electronics — that combine high performance
with low weight and power consumption. And early MEMS work demonstrated multiple
avenues for realizing micromotors that are able to rotate 360 degrees. But even with the
progress of MEMS technology, the use of rotating microdevices has not been as
widespread as might be expected, according to DARPA, primarily because most
applications have used structures fabricated into rotary stages without the availability of
active electrical power, limiting the utility of the stages. "Providing electric connections
can be a little tricky, especially on continuous rotating platforms," said Chang-Jin "CJ"
Kim, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UCLA Engineering and
principal investigator on the DARPA project. "You rarely see physically free objects
electrically connected. You can't have electrical wires protruding from an object that
rotates endlessly. So that's one of the challenges we are facing." Providing electrical
power on a stage while allowing full rotation and precise position control of these
components would lead to microsystems with much higher performance and functionality.
The goal of the UCLA Engineering team is to demonstrate a MEMS-fabricated rotary

stage that would enable free rotation coupled with electrical power and signal transfer.
This would launch the implementation of sensing and device operations on a microstage
with position-measuring accuracies that would most likely be better than those obtained
by large, instrumented optical rotary stages. Thus far, Kim's group has successfully
created a rotary stage using liquid droplets as the mechanical element that serves as a
bridge between two moving objects. The liquid droplets, formed into a series of rings,
provide physical support as well as rotational lubrication to the stage and allow for
multiple stable electrical connections. "On the microscale, smaller than a millimeter, the
surface tension of liquid droplets, in terms of strength, is stronger than the weight of the
droplet," said Kim, who specializes in MEMS. "That's why a smaller water droplet beads
more and spreads less than a larger droplet. It stays in the form of a sphere. The smaller
it gets, the greater the effect of surface tension gets. With liquid bearings formed by free
droplets, only because they are very small, there is no solid-to-solid contact and there is
no wear." Kim's rings are made of liquid metals or ionic liquid, which not only allows for
higher power but also leads to more stable electrical contact. The team's next step will be
to use electric signals to rotate the stage. Thus far, the capability to precisely rotate
micromachined structures in a controllable manner has not been achieved. "The rotary
stage will be electro-statically activated by high-voltages applied across electrodes
placed beneath the stage, and the high voltages will be applied by a high-voltage driver
circuit," said Ken Yang, a professor of electrical engineering at UCLA Engineering and a
co-principal investigator responsible for the development of the electronic interface that
controls the rotary stage. "The position of the stage will roughly be determined by
activating a proper set of electrodes," Yang said. "The capacitance between electrodes
will be a measure of the precise position. The control electronics will determine the
appropriate sequence of binary voltages driven to each electrode. This will determine
how the stage moves, in what direction, and how fast. We intend for the controller to be
fully incorporated on an integrated circuit, also located beneath the rotor." Once the team
shows proof of concept, they will concentrate on making the motorized rotary stage
smaller, more accurate and more efficient. Other members of the UCLA team include Eric
Chiou, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering; Sungtaek Ju, an
associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering; Jason Woo, a professor
of electrical engineering; and Chris Gudeman of Innovative Micro Technology (IMT), a
company specializing in micromachines.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:36PM ()

Toyota USA Foundation Awards $500,000 To

Western Kentucky University
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Western Kentucky University (WKU) has been named the recipient of a $500,000 grant
from the Toyota USA Foundation. Awarded over three years, the grant will help fund
WKU’s Math and Technology Leadership Academy (MTLA) which aims to increase K-5
student interest and achievement in math and technology among high risk youth in the
Bowling Green Enterprise Community, as well as other areas of Warren County,
Kentucky. WKU will develop the MTLA by providing intense math and technology
professional development to educators, in order to strengthen their own skills, develop a
national model for teacher preparedness and in turn, increase student achievement in
these areas. Professors from WKU’s Ogden College of Science and Engineering, College
of Education and Behavioral Sciences, and Gifted Studies will partner with
representatives from Bowling Green Independent Schools, Warren County Public 181
Schools and the Housing Authority of
Bowling Green to develop unique,
challenging experiences for the MTLA
teachers and the students they serve. In
addition, the MTLA will aim to increase the
number of diverse students qualifying for
advanced math opportunities while
encouraging family involvement through
Math and Technology Community School
events. “We’re very grateful for the
generosity of the Toyota USA Foundation,”
said Rick Dubose, WKU’s director of
corporate and foundation relations. “Thanks to their support, WKU and its partners can
move ahead in their efforts to make MTLA a reality. By increasing the effectiveness of
teacher leaders, we believe we can better engage young students and introduce them to
new opportunities in math and technology. At the outset, a total of 18 schools and nearly
9,000 students stand to benefit. But over the long term, we believe the positive impact for
families and communities will be far greater.” “We’re proud to support WKU’s Math and
Technology Leadership Academy and strongly believe in its mission to engage and
increase achievement among young students in high-risk, diverse communities by
developing teachers’ skills and experiences,” said Jim Wiseman, group vice president of
corporate communications and chief communications officer Toyota Motor North
America. “We are highly confident that the University’s partnership with area educators,
school districts and the Housing Authority of Bowling Green will yield great results not just
in Western Kentucky, but ultimately in communities across the country.” About the Toyota
USA Foundation
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Video: Is Your Internet Chrome Fast?

Saturday, May 15, 2010
Google's advertising is below par for most of their products, but they seem to have done
a good job out of advertising the Chrome Browser. In the latest video demonstrating the
speed at which chrome can deliver the internet to you, website are loaded while
competing with sound waves, lightning and a potato. All in an effort to show you what
speed really means. Video after the break.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:53AM ()

Boeing's Phantom Ray Will Fly In December.

Looks Beautiful At Debut
Friday, May 14, 2010
After only two years of development, the Phantom Ray
unmanned airborne system (UAS) was unveiled at a
ceremony in St. Louis on May 10. Built by Boeing in St. Louis,
the sleek, fighter-sized UAS combines survivability with a powerful arsenal of new
capabilities. “Phantom Ray offers a host of options for our customers as a test bed for
advanced technologies, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance;

suppression of enemy air defenses;
electronic attack and autonomous aerial
refueling – the possibilities are nearly
endless,” said Dennis Muilenburg,
president and CEO of Boeing Defense,
Space & Security. With a 50-foot wingspan
and measuring 36 feet long, Phantom Ray
was designed and developed by Boeing
Phantom Works based on a prototype the
company had originally created less than a

decade ago for the Defense Advanced

Research Projects Agency (DARPA)/U.S.
Air Force/U.S. Navy Joint-Unmanned
Combat Air System (J-UCAS) program.
Using a rapid-prototyping approach,
Phantom Ray evolved into the technology
demonstrator unveiled today on the floor of
Boeing’s St. Louis facility. “We’re really
excited about this because Phantom Works
is back as a rapid prototyping house,
operation and organization,” said Craig
Brown, Boeing Phantom Ray program manager. “This is the first of what I expect to be
many exciting prototypes, and they’re all with exciting technology.” Financed entirely by
Boeing, Phantom Ray is a testament to the company and its Phantom Works division’s
commitment to becoming the leader in the global unmanned systems market. “Phantom
Ray represents a series of significant changes we’re making within Boeing Defense,
Space & Security,” said Darryl Davis, president of Phantom Works. “For the first time in a
long time, we are spending our own money on designing, building and flying near-
operational prototypes. We’re spending that money to leverage the decades of
experience we have in unmanned systems that span the gamut from sea to space.” This
revolutionary aircraft is on-schedule to take its first taxi tests later this summer and soar
through its initial flight profiles as early as December, continuously gaining ground toward
becoming an unmanned system that could one day penetrate enemy forces and provide
a new specter of security for the warfighter.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Itsy-bitsy DNA spider: Molecules behave like

Friday, May 14, 2010
A team of scientists from Columbia
University, Arizona State University, the
University of Michigan, and the California
Institute of Technology (Caltech) have
programmed an autonomous molecular "robot" made out of DNA to start, move, turn, and
stop while following a DNA track. The development could ultimately lead to molecular
systems that might one day be used for medical therapeutic devices and molecular-scale
reconfigurable robots – robots made of many simple units that can reposition or even 183
rebuild themselves to accomplish different
tasks. A paper describing the work appears
in the current issue of the journal Nature.
The traditional view of a robot is that it is "a
machine that senses its environment,
makes a decision, and then does
something – it acts," said Erik Winfree,
associate professor of computer science,
computation and neural systems, and
bioengineering at Caltech. Milan N.
Stojanovic, a faculty member in the Division of Experimental Therapeutics at Columbia
University, led the project and teamed up with Winfree and ASU Biodesign Institute
researcher, Hao Yan, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry and an expert in DNA
nanotechnology, and with Nils G. Walter, professor of chemistry and director of the Single
Molecule Analysis in Real-Time (SMART) Center at the University of Michigan in Ann
Arbor, for what became a modern-day self-assembly of like-minded scientists with the
complementary areas of expertise needed to tackle a tough problem. Shrinking robots
down to the molecular scale would provide, for molecular processes, the same kinds of
benefits that classical robotics and automation provide at the macroscopic scale.
Molecular robots, in theory, could be programmed to sense their environment (say, the
presence of disease markers on a cell), make a decision (that the cell is cancerous and
needs to be neutralized), and act on that decision (deliver a cargo of cancer-killing
drugs). Or, like the robots in a modern-day factory, they could be programmed to
assemble complex molecular products. The power of robotics lies in the fact that once
programmed, the robots can carry out their tasks autonomously, without further human
intervention. With that promise, however, comes a practical problem: how do you
program a molecule to perform complex behaviors? "In normal robotics, the robot itself
contains the knowledge about the commands, but with individual molecules, you can't
store that amount of information, so the idea instead is to store information on the
commands on the outside," Walter said. And you do that, said Stojanovic, "by imbuing the
molecule's environment with informational cues." "We were able to create such a
programmed or 'prescribed' environment using DNA origami," Yan said. DNA origami, an
invention by Caltech Senior Research Associate Paul W. K. Rothemund, is a type of self-
assembled structure made from DNA that can be programmed to form nearly limitless
shapes and patterns (such as smiley faces or maps of the Western Hemisphere or even
electrical diagrams). Exploiting the sequence-recognition properties of DNA base pairing,
DNA origami are created from a long single strand of DNA and a mixture of different short
synthetic DNA strands that bind to and "staple" the long DNA into the desired shape. The
origami used in the Nature study was a rectangle that was 2 nanometers (nm) thick and
roughly 100 nm on each side. The researchers constructed a trail of molecular "bread
crumbs" on the DNA origami track by stringing additional single-stranded DNA molecules,
or oligonucleotides, off the ends of the staples. These represent the cues that tell the
molecular robots what to do – start, walk, turn left, turn right, or stop, for example – akin to
the commands given to traditional robots. The molecular robot the researchers chose to
use – dubbed a "spider" – was invented by Stojanovic several years ago, at which time it
was shown to be capable of extended, but undirected, random walks on two-dimensional
surfaces, eating through a field of bread crumbs. To build the 4-nm-diameter molecular
robot, the researchers started with a common protein called streptavidin, which has four
symmetrically placed binding pockets for a chemical moiety called biotin. Each robot leg
is a short biotin-labeled strand of DNA, "so this way we can bind up to four legs to the
body of our robot," Walter says. "It's a four-legged spider," quipped Stojanovic. Three of
the legs are made of enzymatic DNA, which is DNA that binds to and cuts a particular

sequence of DNA. The spider also is outfitted with a "start strand" – the fourth leg – that
tethers the spider to the start site (one particular oligonucleotide on the DNA origami
track). "After the robot is released from its start site by a trigger strand, it follows the track
by binding to and then cutting the DNA strands extending off of the staple strands on the
molecular track," Stojanovic said. "Once it cleaves," adds Yan, "the product will
dissociate, and the leg will start searching for the next substrate." In this way, the spider
is guided down the path laid out by the researchers. Finally, said Yan, "the robot stops
when it encounters a patch of DNA that it can bind to but that it cannot cut," which acts as
a sort of flypaper. Although other DNA walkers have been developed before, they've
never ventured farther than about three steps. "This one," said Yan, "can walk up to
about 100 nanometers. That's roughly 50 steps." "This in itself wasn't a surprise," said
Winfree, "since Milan's original work suggested that spiders can take hundreds if not
thousands of processive steps. What's exciting here is that not only can we directly
confirm the spiders' multistep movement, but we can direct the spiders to follow a specific
path, and they do it all by themselves – autonomously." In fact, using atomic force
microscopy and single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, the researchers were able to
watch directly spiders crawling over the origami, showing that they were able to guide
their molecular robots to follow four different paths. "Monitoring this at a single molecule
level is very challenging," Walter said. "This is why we have an interdisciplinary, multi-
institute operation. We have people constructing the spider, characterizing the basic
spider. We have the capability to assemble the track, and analyze the system with single-
molecule imaging. That's the technical challenge." The scientific challenges for the future,
Yan said, "are how to make the spider walk faster and how to make it more
programmable, so it can follow many commands on the track and make more decisions,
implementing logical behavior." "In the current system," said Stojanovic, "interactions are
restricted to the walker and the environment. Our next step is to add a second walker, so
the walkers can communicate with each other directly and via the environment. The
spiders will work together to accomplish a goal." Added Winfree, "The key is how to learn
to program higher-level behaviors through lower-level interactions." Such collaboration
ultimately could be the basis for developing molecular-scale reconfigurable robots –
complicated machines that are made of many simple units that can reorganize
themselves into any shape – to accomplish different tasks, or fix themselves if they break.
For example, it may be possible to use the robots for medical applications. "The idea is to
have molecular robots build a structure or repair damaged tissues,"Stojanovic said. "You
could imagine the spider carrying a drug and bonding to a two-dimensional surface like a
cell membrane, finding the receptors and, depending on the local environment," said Yan,
"triggering the activation of this drug." Such applications, while intriguing, are decades or
more away. "This may be 100 years in the future," Stojanovic said. "We're so far from that
right now." "But," Walter added, "just as researchers self-assemble today to solve a tough
problem, molecular nanorobots may do so in the future." The other coauthors on the
paper, "Molecular robots guided by prescriptive landscapes," are Kyle Lund and Jeanette
Nangreave from Arizona State University; Anthony J. Manzo, Alexander Johnson-Buck,
and Nicole Michelotti from the University of Michigan; Nadine Dabby from Caltech; and
Steven Taylor and Renjun Pei from Columbia University. The work was supported by the
National Science Foundation, the Army Research Office, the Office of Naval Research,
the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, the Searle Foundation, the
Lymphoma and Leukemia Society, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and a
Sloan Research Fellowship.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:01PM () 185
Video: Zapping Malaria With Lasers
Friday, May 14, 2010
Malaria kills people and there's no denying that. Africa is the worst affected of this vicious
disease and nothing seems to slow it down. So what do you do to get rid of Malaria?
DDT? education? nets? What do you do when none of this works? You zap them with
lasers, of course. Sounds like an episode of Star Trek in Malarialand? Former CTO of
Microsoft and founder of Intellectual Ventures - Nathan Myhrvold hasa team of innovators
and technologists who have built a super low cost laser shooting equipment that
measures the wing beat of insects, identifies female mosquitoes and zaps them with a
laser. Instant death! Still don't believe it? Watch the video after the break.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Memonic Lets You Copy-Paste the Web.

Friday, May 14, 2010
Ever tried collating information out of those
bookmarks that you saved up for your next
research project? Must be hard eh? The
information keeps changing on those pages and you never get to keep the data you
wanted. Memonic seems to solve this problem. Memonic is a service that lets you
"choose" bits and pieces of information on the internet and save it so that you never ever
loose the information you always wanted to save. All you have to do is add the "save to
memonic" button to your browser and activate it. Then you can click on information you
want to save and wallah, you have a content copying tool at your fingertips. All this
information you just saved up is stored in your account never to be lost again! Video
demo of the service after the break.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Emerson Opens $30 Million Global Innovation

Thursday, May 13, 2010
Emerson Process Management, a global business of
Emerson (NYSE: EMR), today announced the opening of the
state-of-the-art Emerson Innovation Center, Fisher®
Technology in Marshalltown, Iowa. This $30 million
investment is designed to help customers tackle the toughest
engineering challenges facing today’s process manufacturing and energy industries. The
world’s appetite for energy is driving the development of next-generation nuclear plants,
mega-train liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants, and large oil and gas refineries, which
require larger capacities and highly engineered control valves and instrumentation. The
136,000-square-foot Emerson Innovation Center is designed to help companies deliver
record volumes of natural gas and other forms of energy and consume less in the
process, reducing costs and making plants run quieter and with reduced greenhouse
emissions. The center is home to the world’s largest “flow lab” that, for the first time,
enables large valves to be tested in real-world plant conditions to ensure production

reliability, efficiency, environmental compliance, and safety before being installed at a
customer site. “No other facility in the world can do what our Marshalltown Emerson
Innovation Center can do – from seismically qualifying a 35,000-pound control valve to
testing a two-story-tall valve that controls the flow of feedstocks for a petrochemical
plant,” said Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management. “This $30
million investment in innovation directly reflects Emerson’s commitment to helping our
customers run smarter plants that improve production quality, lower operations and
maintenance costs, and enhance environmental performance and worker safety.”
Emerson, whose Fisher valves are installed in more than 90 percent of the world’s
nuclear facilities, is able to provide seismic qualification of its valves at the new
Innovation Center, which is critically important to making nuclear plants safe and reliable
during earthquakes. Emerson was recently awarded contracts to provide its Fisher
control valves for Westinghouse Electric Company’s newest generation of nuclear power
plants. “We are very pleased to be working with Emerson Process Management for
control valves on our AP1000™ nuclear power plant,” said William Rice, Westinghouse
director of engineering. “We plan to take advantage of this new facility to prove out critical
operating characteristics, under actual passive heat-removal system service conditions,
for one of Fisher’s unique large control valves designed to meet our requirements.” The
center’s flow lab has enough capacity to fill an Olympic-sized pool in just over eight
minutes, or a Goodyear “blimp” in about 12 seconds. Control valves can be tested at
pressures up to 3,500 psi (pounds per square inch), the equivalent of providing enough
force to support a sport utility vehicle on a postage stamp. Meanwhile, the center also is
home to a 26,000-square-foot sound chamber in which Emerson can develop and verify
noise levels of new devices before a customer’s plant is built. Located in Marshalltown,
Iowa, home to Fisher, which was acquired by Emerson in 1992, the center required
almost 2 million pounds of process piping, more than 1,600 feet of 30-inch and 36-inch
pipe, seven underground air storage tanks each more than 150 feet long, and more than
4,500 cubic yards of concrete.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Intel Capital Announces Three Investments

Thursday, May 13, 2010
Intel Capital, Intel Corporation's global investment
organization, today demonstrated its ongoing support for
technological innovation with the announcement of three
U.S.-based investments totaling approximately $15 million.
The deals include eldercare website, real estate
investment ratings provider SmartZip Analytics and
infrastructure services provider Virtustream.

In addition to these three investments, Intel Capital also highlighted several recently
announced investments. These include educational gaming company Tabula Digita,
Carrier Ethernet solutions provider Overture Networks and advertising technology
company BlackArrow. "Technological innovation is an important driver for growth across
all economies," said Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital and Intel executive vice
president. "New ideas require an ecosystem to take root and grow to encourage the
formation of new businesses and creation of new industries. These three investments,
ranging from IT infrastructure to digital health and the consumer Internet, reflect the core
emphasis Intel Capital places on cultivating the most promising areas of innovation to
foster the development of the technologies of tomorrow." Details on the new investments 187
follow: (San Mateo, Calif.) is an online destination for family caregivers facing
myriad challenges of eldercare, a rapidly growing category within digital health. Its
offerings include thousands of original articles, helpful tools, advice from more than 50
leading experts, a community of caregivers and a comprehensive directory of eldercare
services. With 1 million unique monthly visitors, is a trusted source of
eldercare information and community on the Web. will use the new funding to
support the company's continued expansion, including further development of the site, its local eldercare services directory and new marketing programs.
SmartZip Analytics (Pleasanton, Calif.) offers independent investment ratings and
analysis on over 70 million U.S. residential properties. The company's products are used
by homebuyers, investors and real estate professionals to find, compare and assess the
best places and best properties to buy. Built using proprietary analytics, SmartZip ratings
bring efficiency to the real estate market by helping consumers make better informed,
more confident home purchase decisions. Intel Capital's investment will be used to
expand availability of SmartZip's home investment ratings and reports nationwide.
Virtustream (Washington, D.C.) is an infrastructure services firm committed to helping
clients fully actualize the enterprise cloud by providing strategy, integration and managed
services utilizing virtualization technologies, and xStream, the company's secure cloud
platform. Virtustream delivers efficient infrastructure solutions backed by guaranteed
service levels and a resource-based pricing model. The company offers three pillars of
service including professional services, cloud services and managed services. The
investment from Intel Capital is earmarked for the continued development of
Virtustream's infrastructure and the expansion of the xStream cloud computing platform.
Funding for all six investments comes from the $200 million Intel Capital Invest in
America Technology Fund. Announced in February, the fund invests in U.S.-based
growth-oriented industries to foster economic recovery and growth, and to anchor the
nation's competitiveness on the global stage.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

NSFW: Trojan Reinvents The Condom

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Some innovations make us feel good, literally. Trojan, the condom brand has created
something super unique. They have changed the shape of the condom, literally. The
"Trojan Ecstasy" that is promised to feel "like nothing's there" looks like a baseball bat.
With dual lubrication on "his and her" side of the rubber, the Ecstasy promises sweet
sweet pleasure for them lovers. Check out the cool features this thing has! Technology
has found its way deep deep into your love life like never before! Posted by Akshaya

Murthy at 06:00AM ()

First U.S. Demonstration of Honda U3-X

Personal Mobility Prototype ...
Thursday, May 13, 2010

Honda held the first U.S. demonstration of the company's U3-X personal mobility
prototype, first introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show in October of last year. The three-day
debut event will run through April 8 at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times
Square. A second demonstration will be held April 13-15, at the 2010 Society of
Automotive Engineers (SAE) World Congress in Detroit, Michigan.

With U3-X Honda rethinks the concept of personal mobility, providing the rider with
freedom of movement in any direction - forward, backward, sideways and diagonally - by
simply leaning slightly in the desired direction. The lightweight and compact one-wheeled
device also features a foldable seat and retractable footrests. A lithium-ion battery pack
provides power for up to one-hour of use and can be recharged by plugging in to a
conventional household or office 120-volt power outlet. Weighing roughly 22 pounds, U3-
X uses an advanced Honda proprietary balance-control system which derives from its
research into human walking dynamics for the development of the ASIMO bi-pedal 189
humanoid robot. To realize full freedom of movement in all directions, the U3-X also
employs the world's first omni-directional driving wheel system (Honda Omni Traction
Drive System) which utilizes a series of concentrically mounted wheels - a larger, forward
and backward moving inner wheel and a series of smaller sideways moving outer wheels.
Diagonal motion is achieved when both forward and sideways moving wheels operate in
tandem. In addition, the compact size and one-wheel-drive design of U3-X was intended
to provide user-friendly and pedestrian-friendly operation with low-mounted foot pedals
that make it easy for the rider to reach the ground, and a seat height that places the rider
at approximately the same eye-level as other people. As a company that values mobility,
Honda began research into robotics in 1986 and walking devices in 1999, culminating in
the development of ASIMO, the world's most advanced bi-pedal humanoid robot. The
cumulative study of human walking and balance control has also led to the development
of numerous other experimental technologies including the U3-X personal mobility device
as well as Honda's Stride Management Assist and Bodyweight Support Assist walking
assist devices -- all geared toward further advancing human mobility through
technological innovation.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Yahoo! and Nahdet El Mahrousa Launch Social

Entrepreneurship Compet...
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) underscores its commitment
to the Arabic-speaking world by announcing a new social
entrepreneurship campaign and competition in partnership
with Nahdet El Mahrousa, an Egypt-based nongovernmental organization (NGO). Yahoo!
Inc., Yahoo! Middle East, and Nahdet El Mahrousa are spearheading an unprecedented
online campaign called "Social Innovation Starts With YOU" to encourage social
entrepreneurship among young Egyptians. This campaign is aligned with the U.S.
Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship that will take place on April 26-27, 2010, in
Washington, D.C., where Yahoo! cofounder Jerry Yang will deliver a keynote speech
addressing entrepreneurship and innovation. "Yahoo!'s announcement to acquire
Maktoob last year shined the spotlight on tech entrepreneurs in the Arab world and the
incredible potential and talent in the region that is largely untapped," said Ahmed Nassef,
vice president and managing director of Yahoo! Middle East. "This partnership with
Nahdet El Mahrousa continues our commitment to invigorate and grow the Internet
market in the Middle East as a whole and will enable the next wave of tech entrepreneurs
from Egypt to realize their dreams. We can't wait to see their innovative ideas!" Social
Innovation Starts With YOU Today there are more than 16.5 million* Internet users in
Egypt, representing one of the largest** Arab Internet populations. The "Social Innovation
Starts With YOU" campaign is aimed at inspiring and motivating young online Egyptians.
Starting in April, two successful Egyptian social entrepreneurs will be featured on the
"Social Innovation Starts With YOU" website (,
sharing their compelling stories and providing advice to up-and-coming entrepreneurs. In
June, up to 10 entrepreneurs will be featured, and visitors to the website can vote for the
entrepreneur who they think has made the biggest impact on their communities. The
winner will be featured on the front page of and invited to be a judge for the
campaign's Social Innovation Competition. In the Social Innovation Competition,
launching in June, Yahoo! and Nahdet El Mahrousa will invite individuals from across
Egypt to be the next social entrepreneurs of the year by developing new ideas in the

fields of education, health, environment, and a wildcard category. The campaign's
website will serve as an entry point for aspiring entrepreneurs by providing an online
toolkit of inspirational stories, advice, resources, and Web services to get them started.
Ten winners will be honored with monetary grants and technical and management
support to help bring their ideas to life. Among the winners will be already existing social
entrepreneurs who will receive support to scale their efforts and achieve wider impact. In
total, Yahoo! will contribute $500,000 to the campaign, and as part of that, will provide
close to $250,000 in monetary grants to awardees. In addition to monetary support, the
awardees will receive training and mentoring support for three years to help ensure their
success. "In partnering with Yahoo!, we are furthering Nahdet El Mahrousa's mission to
engage and activate young Egyptian professionals in the development and public arenas
and in shaping Egypt's future," said Ehaab Abdou, cofounder and board member of
Nahdet El Mahrousa. "The 'Social Innovation Starts With YOU' campaign will provide a
valuable platform for budding social entrepreneurs in Egypt to help make their enterprise
ideas become a reality, as well as help existing social enterprises scale up. As an added
benefit, we believe that supporting emerging and existing enterprises will help create new
jobs for Egypt and the region." Builds on Yahoo! Middle East's Efforts Yahoo!'s social
entrepreneurship campaign with Nahdet El Mahrousa follows its announcement in August
2009 that Yahoo! had acquired, the leading online community in the Arab
world, which has more than 19 million unique users. This acquisition is part of Yahoo!'s
larger strategy to grow its business throughout the world's emerging markets by
connecting consumers with the content and services that matter most to them in their
local language. Internet users benefit from the combination of Yahoo!'s popular products
and services with Maktoob's compelling local content, which reaches one in three people
online throughout the region. The acquisition extends Yahoo!'s current offerings by
adding capabilities to deliver relevant Arabic-language content and services, as well as
Arabic versions of Yahoo!'s popular Yahoo! Messenger and Yahoo! Mail services. About
Nahdet El Mahrousa Nahdet El Mahrousa (NM), in Arabic meaning the Renaissance of
Egypt, is an Egyptian youth-led non-governmental organization, established in November
2003 and registered with the Ministry of Social Solidarity. NM seeks to make a positive
and lasting impact on Egypt's cultural, economic and social development through
activating and engaging Egyptian youth in the country's development, public work and
decision-making arenas. NM achieves these goals through its core program, the
"Incubator of Innovative Social Enterprises," which acts as a vehicle for social innovation.
NM currently incubates several active social enterprises in the areas of youth
development, arts and culture development, health services and the environment, linking
education to employment, promoting the culture of research and development, promoting
the values of citizenship and tolerance, and preparing emerging young leaders and
development practitioners. The NM incubator addresses a wide community of youth,
students, and other beneficiaries throughout the country.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Real Player SP Lets You Download Videos For

Any Mobile Device. Seri...
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Remember Real Player? The wannabe Windows Media Player? Yeah, the same guys
are upping the game now. In what seems to the continue the web video format war
across mobile devices (read flash vs. html 5) Real will enable you to convert video from
*any* website to any format your mobile device supports. What's more? the "Real Player 191
SP" is free. Device support is massive with
support for any freakkin mobile video
format plus Xbox and PS3. Pretty
impressive stuff eh? Go check it out
yourself. Download RealPlayer SP here.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:23PM ()

Lockheed Martin-Built Hubble Space Telescope

Marks 20 Years Of Astr...
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (HST),
built and integrated at the Lockheed Martin
[NYSE: LMT] Space Systems facility in
Sunnyvale, was launched 20 years ago aboard Space Shuttle Discovery, on April 24,
1990, ushering in a new golden age of astronomy. HST was released by the crew into
Earth orbit the next day and the universe hasn't looked the same since. “HST has had a
fundamental impact on astronomical research and how we view our universe. It is a
source of enormous pride to us all that the HST originated at Lockheed Martin in 1977
when we were awarded the prime contract for building and integrating the spacecraft,”
said Joanne Maguire, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems
Company (LMSSC). “We’ve been at NASA’s side on this incredible journey ever since.”
Since its launch in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has established itself as a premier
astronomical observatory that continues to make dramatic observations and discoveries
at the forefront of astronomy, while opening up the universe to the public through its
beautiful and inspiring pictures. Among a long list of achievements: • Hubble’s ability to
detect faint supernovae contributed to the discovery that the expansion rate of the
universe is accelerating, indicating the existence of mysterious “dark energy” in space. •
Observations of Cepheid variable stars in nearby galaxies were used to establish the
current expansion rate of the universe to better than 10 percent accuracy. • In 2009,
Hubble provided our deepest view yet into the universe’s distant past. The faintest and
reddest objects in the image are galaxies that formed just 600 million years after the Big
Bang. No galaxies have been seen before at such early times. This latest deep field view
also provides insights into how galaxies grew in their formative years early in the
universe's history. • Hubble provided the first direct measurements of the three-
dimensional distribution of dark matter in space. • Peering into nearby regions of star birth
in the Milky Way galaxy, Hubble has revealed flattened disks of gas and dust that are the
likely birthplaces of new planets. • When Sun-like stars end their lives, they eject
spectacular nebulae. Hubble has revealed fantastic and enigmatic details of this process.
• Hubble made detailed measurements of a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting a nearby star,
including the first detection of the atmosphere of an extra-solar planet. • The explosive
collision of Comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter in 1994 gave Earthlings a cautionary
tale of the danger posed by cometary impacts. • Hubble observations have shown that
monster black holes, with masses millions to billions times the mass of our sun, inhabit
the centers of most galaxies. • Hubble played a key role in determining the distances and
energies of gamma-ray bursts, showing that they are the most powerful explosions in the
universe other than the Big Bang itself. During its 20 years in space, HST has traveled
more than 2.97 billion miles along its orbit, taken more than 900,000 exposures of over
30,000 celestial objects that have generated over 8,842 peer reviewed scientific

publications reporting Hubble results. Hubble was conceived to tackle scientific goals that
could be accomplished only by an observatory in space. Its mission was to spend at least
20 years probing the farthest and faintest reaches of the cosmos. Crucial to fulfilling this
objective was a series of on-orbit servicing missions by Space Shuttle astronauts. The
First Servicing Mission took place in December 1993 and the Second Servicing Mission
was flown in February 1997. In December 1999, Servicing Mission 3A was performed
followed by Servicing Mission 3B in March 2002. After years of arduous planning and
rehearsing, the Space Shuttle Atlantis and the STS-125 crew launched successfully on
May 11, 2009 and completed Servicing Mission 4, the final astronaut visit mission to the
orbiting Hubble Space Telescope. In an incredible 13-day high wire ballet of humans and
machines, the Atlantis crew retrieved, upgraded, sustained and repaired the telescope,
then set it free to continue exploring the universe well into the next decade. During the
mission’s five dramatic spacewalks, astronauts installed two new science instruments,
repaired two others, replaced all six batteries and all six gyros, installed a new science
data computer, attached a soft capture mechanism to the Telescope, and fitted new
insulation panels to three of Hubble's equipment bays. The two new instruments the crew
installed were the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and the Wide Field Camera 3, both of
which will significantly expand Hubble’s astronomical observing capability by as much as
70 times. Each mission extended Hubble's scientific power with new instruments,
modernized its systems with new technology, and performed critical maintenance and
repairs. “All of the past and present members of the HST team here at the NASA
Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), and in Sunnyvale and Denver, feel a profound
sense of satisfaction as we look back on our roles in building, testing, deploying,
operating and servicing this magnificent observatory,” said Tony Cruz, Lockheed Martin
Space Systems HST program manager. “It really is not boasting to say we’ve all helped
make history with our contributions to HST and its continuing legacy.” The Lockheed
Martin Hubble servicing mission team included individuals from Lockheed Martin Space
Systems and Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services and was
responsible for: • Spacecraft Systems Engineering and Design Integration • Payload
Integration and Test at GSFC and Kennedy Space Center • Astronaut Training Support •
Replacement Satellite Hardware Design and Development • Space Shuttle Support
Equipment Design and Development • Spacecraft Mission Operations and Control •
Ground Software • Spacecraft Flight Software • Servicing Mission Planning and Timeline
Development. The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. manages the
HST program for the Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters. The Space
Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md. selects observing programs from numerous
proposals and analyzes, archives and disseminates incoming astronomical data. The
Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the
European Space Agency. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC). LMSSC,
a major operating unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation, designs and develops, tests,
manufactures and operates a full spectrum of advanced-technology systems for national
security and military, civil government and commercial customers. Chief products include
human space flight systems; a full range of remote sensing, navigation, meteorological
and communications satellites and instruments; space observatories and interplanetary
spacecraft; laser radar; ballistic missiles; missile defense systems; and nanotechnology
research and development.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM () 193
New Method Developed To Capture Fingerprints
On Difficult Surfaces
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
CSI notwithstanding, forensics experts
cannot always retrieve fingerprints from
objects, but a conformal coating process
developed by Penn State professors can
reveal hard-to-develop fingerprints on
nonporous surfaces without altering the
chemistry of the print. "As prints dry or age,
the common techniques used to develop
latent fingerprints, such as dusting or
cyanoacrylate -- SuperGlue -- fuming often fail," said Robert Shaler, professor of
biochemistry and molecular biology and director of Penn State's forensic sciences
program. This happens because most of the techniques currently used for developing
fingerprints rely on the chemistry of the print. Fingerprints are made up of a mixture of
secretions from the body that reacts with different chemicals to form a visible or
fluorescent product. Infrared and x-ray imaging also target specific chemicals left behind
by the ridges and valleys in the skin. "Lots and lots of processes take advantage of the
chemistry of fingerprints," said Shaler. "This approach looks at the geometry of the
fingerprints." The conformal coating applications suggested by Shaler and Ahklesh
Lakhtakia, Charles Godfrey Binder professor in engineering science and mechanics, use
the physical properties of the fingerprint, not the chemistry of the substances left behind.
In fact, the researchers believe that even after the fingerprints are developed using the
coating, forensics experts could sample the fingerprint material to determine specifics
about the person who left the prints. "The body chemistry of the person who left the
fingerprint can tell us some things," said Shaler. "If the suspect is older or younger or a
lactating mother, for example." The researchers used a form of physical vapor deposition
-- a method that uses a vacuum and allows vaporized materials to condense on a surface
creating a thin film. Normally, the deposition process requires exceptionally clean
surfaces because any speck of dust or grease on the coated surface shows up as a
deformity. However, with fingerprints, the point is to have the surface material's ridges
and valleys -- topography -- show up on the new surface so analysts can read them using
an optical device without the necessity of chemical development or microscopy. "This
approach allows us to look at the topography better and to look at the chemistry later,"
said Shaler. "We wouldn't have thought of this by ourselves, but we could do it together."
One benefit of this approach would be the ability to retrieve fingerprints off fragments
from incendiary or explosive devices and still be able to analyze the chemicals used in
the device. The specific method used is a conformal-evaporated-film-by-rotation
technique developed to create highly accurate copies of biological templates such as
insect eyes or butterfly wings. Both are surfaces that have nanoscale variations. "It is a
very simple process," said Lakhtakia. "And fingerprints are not nanoscale objects, so the
conformal coating is applied to something big by nanotechnology standards." The
researchers tested two materials for coating, magnesium flouride and chalcogenide glass
-- a combination of germanium, antimony and selenium. The coating material is heated in
a vacuum, while the artifact to be coated is rotated fairly quickly to allow deposition over
the entire surface. "We need to have a coating that is uniform as far as we can see," said
Lakhtakia. "But we do not need much of a coating -- in the range of only a micron." The
researchers tried coating a variety of fingerprints on glass and even on tape. They coated

pristine fingerprints and those that had been fumed with SuperGlue. In all cases, the
coated fingerprints were usable. Of course, like all approaches, this one can only be used
on nonporous surfaces, surfaces that do not de-gas. The equipment used to deposit the
coating is a laboratory device, but it can produce the coating in about 15 minutes. The
researchers would like to design a portable device that could be brought to a crime scene
and produce readable fingerprints on site. "We are in the process of redesigning the
chamber and looking not just at fingerprints, but at other objects," said Lakhtakia. "These
would include bullets, cartridges, footprints, bite marks and lip impressions." Shaler and
Lakhtakia have filed a provisional patent application on this process.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

US Postal Service Moves Closer to Energy, Fuel

Reduction Goals
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The U.S. Postal Service released its 2009 annual report on sustainability performance in
which Postmaster General John E. Potter credited postal employees for the agency's
environmental achievements. "Quite simply, we want to be the best -- best neighbor, best
business partner and the best place to work when it comes to sustainable practices," said
Potter. "As the first federal agency to publicly report its greenhouse gas emissions, we've
established an invaluable baseline to guide us as we work to scale back these emissions
by 20 percent by 2020." The Postal Service has set aggressive goals to reduce energy
use 30 percent by 2015, petroleum fuel use 20 percent by 2015 and greenhouse gas
emissions 20 percent by 2020. In 2009, the agency reduced its total facility and vehicle
energy use 9 percent, as it increased its alternative fuel use 26 percent. In 2009, Postal
Service employees reduced the amount of municipal solid waste generated by 7 percent
compared to the year before. Postal employees also increased the amount of recycled or
reused electronics by 73 percent in the same timeframe. The 2009 sustainability report is
available at the Postal Service's green website, which shows customers
how to "skip the trip" by using free carrier pickup, Click-N-Ship and other online services.
In 2009, online transactions increased 13 percent, meaning fewer trips to Post Offices,
saving customers time and fuel and reducing their carbon emissions, too. "It's our goal to
make sure every letter and package mailed is a greener experience for the people who
use our services," said Sam Pulcrano, vice president, Sustainability. "Reduce, reuse,
recycle is more than a slogan -- it's a way of doing business throughout the Postal
Service. We are reducing energy and fuel use, our carbon footprint is growing smaller,
and our employees and customers are benefiting from our environment-friendly
practices." Pulcrano attributes other sustainability successes to the Postal Service's
inclusive "culture of conservation." Highlights from the sustainability report include: -- 10.8
trillion -- reduction in British thermal units (Btu) in facility energy use since 2005 -- $400
million -- savings in energy costs since 2007 -- $314 million -- savings due to reduced
contracted transportation fuel use -- 10 million -- saved sheets of paper through Human
Resources online initiatives -- 2 cents -- cost per mile to operate three-wheeled electric
delivery vehicles According to Pulcrano, "The Postal Service is making good progress in
achieving its sustainability goals and continues to lay a solid foundation for a sustainable
future for our organization, our employees and our customers. As federal agencies begin
to 'green the government' the Postal Service continues to step up and take action." The
Postal Service has won more than 75 environmental awards, including 40 White House
Closing the Circle, 10 Environmental Protection Agency WasteWise Partner of the Year,
Climate Action Champion, Direct Marketing Association Green Echo, and the Postal 195
Technology International Environmental Achievement of the Year, 2009.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Weird: Earth Space Agency Announces Call for

Musicians to Sing Abou...
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Weird publicity stunts are carried out by companies, and one company is getting weirdly
creative in the way they are going about this task. Its one thing to inspire people to think
of space exploration as a career and it is another thing to ask musicians to sing about
their fantasy to go see distant planets. One "Earth Space Agency" - a private civil space
agency wants musicians to write and sing about exploring alien worlds in the hopes to
"encourage humans to dream big and to break the provincial lifestyle" Earth Space
Agency's founder Sandijs Aploks goes on to say that music can make humans "less
fearful of aliens" and hence entice them to get into space exploration. Right. I believe that
one day aliens will land on this planet but this is no way of preparing them for that day!
Anyways, full PR after the break. *****Start PR Text********* Earth Space Agency is now
asking musicians to sing songs about their desires to go and see alien worlds. The
mission is to encourage humans to dream big and to break the provincial lifestyle. “How
far are we today with going to the stars? And honestly?” asks Earth Space Agency's
founder Sandijs Aploks. “Musicians can help us to accelerate the process by introducing
back in our pragmatic society some joyful and naive optimism of previous decades. “That
provincial fear from the aliens as potential aggressors, stories about alien abduction,
avoidance to undertake really huge and novel space projects which can solve our energy
problems -- that all clearly shows that humans need some help in changing their way of
thinking.” Musicians, producers, and video clip makers can help humanity to get into
space by joining their forces to release a motivating album that would be capable to ignite
again humans’ desire for space adventures. “It is about the social responsibility of public
persons to help to make this world a better place. Let's create the hymn of the planet
Earth that inspires and unites us and gives us the goal to become a space civilization,”
summarizes Sandijs Aploks. *****End PR Text*********
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 05:29PM ()

Nestlé Japan aims to reduce CO2 levels with

eco-friendly hybrid tra...
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Well well, Nestle's up to something to up its
"eco friendly" image. They have replaced
110 of their management team's cars with
hybrid ones. I don't know if company
changing cars to hybrid cars helps create a
green image but they are trying for sure Full PR after the break. ************Start PR
Text************ Nestlé Japan has replaced 110 of its management company cars in
exchange for eco-friendly hybrid cars, as part of its continuing effort to reduce its impact
on the environment. In line with the Company's Policy on Environmental Sustainability,
Nestlé Japan aims to reduce CO2 emission by 80.4 mega tonnes a year and cut down on
petrol usage. Cars will be replaced when they reach a certain mileage or when they are
at the end of their lease period. Nestlé Japan aims to switch all company cars by the end

of 2014. Nestlé Japan will also continue to monitor the auto
industry, while looking into replacing vans used by the sales
division to hybrid vans. At the same time, it will implement
training sessions for employees to promote eco-friendly
driving at its sales offices throughout Japan *********End PR
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00AM ()

NASA Sets Launch Date For Space Shuttle

Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to begin a 12-day flight to
the International Space Station with a launch at 2:20 pm EDT
on Friday, May 14, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in
Florida. The STS-132 mission is Atlantis' final scheduled
flight. Atlantis' launch date was announced Wednesday at the
conclusion of a flight readiness review at Kennedy. During
the meeting, senior NASA and contractor managers
assessed the risks associated with the mission and
determined the shuttle and station's equipment, support systems and personnel are
ready. STS-132 is the third of five shuttle missions planned for 2010. Two flights remain
until the retirement of the shuttle fleet. The STS-133 and STS-134 launches are targeted
for September and November, respectively. The six astronauts for Atlantis' STS-132
mission will deliver the Russian-built Mini Research Module-1, also known as Rassvet
(dawn in Russian) to the station. The flight also will transport critical spare parts and
cargo, including six new solar array batteries and Ku-band antenna systems. During the
mission, three spacewalks are planned to put those spare parts on the station.
Commander Ken Ham and his crew are scheduled to arrive at Kennedy at approximately
7 p.m. on Monday, May 10, for final launch preparations. Joining Ham are Pilot Tony
Antonelli, and Mission Specialists Garrett Reisman, Michael Good, Steve Bowen, and
Piers Sellers. STS-132 will be Atlantis' 32nd mission and the 34th shuttle flight dedicated
to station assembly and maintenance.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

An Innovation Eco System called Fractal

Monday, May 10, 2010
A private company in India called Fractal is
making innovation an everyday thing. What
started off as an engineering firm has
turned to making its employees CEO's.
Read on. Origins : It all started when Mr L Kannan, founder of a product engineering
company based in Chennai, India, observed that all his engineers (both natural and
qualified) working on his pet project - the spinning machine, had their own innovative
ideas and that these creative juices were going untapped. Being a highly passionate
product engineer himself, he couldn't resist lending an ear to these sparks of ideas and 197
visualizing the potential and impact of these sparks. This empathy gave birth to a new
eco system. The eco system called Fractal. Vision and Mission: Today, Fractal is no
more "just a product engineering company". Fractal acts as a platform where passionate
innovators and engineers come together, share ideas and resources and give life to their
pet projects. Fractal mentors these ideas, helps the innovator drive the project in the right
direction and shares the dreams of the innovator to create a profitable business through
the product being engineered. Fractal distinguishes itself from venture capitalists and
angel investors simply because the investment is far greater than sheer money. Fractal
also distinguishes itself from incubators because the innovator does not pay back in
terms of money to get incubated. The Eco System: So how is Fractal an eco-system?
Firstly, Fractal has a very well connected network comprising professors from esteemed
colleges, investors with a true sense of engineering, successful innovators, engineers
and visionaries. While these are people who support Fractal from the outside, there is an
incessantly growing core Fractal team, comprising highly-skilled engineers from all
domains (mechanical, computer, electrical, electronic etc.) each working on their pet
project besides rendering necessary service to other pet projects functioning under the
Fractal umbrella. This is what every innovator gets from and gives back to Fractal. This is
what makes Fractal a true eco system. The Road Ahead : The Fractal mentoring team
staunchly believes that there is a great disparity between the number of able engineers
(and therefore ideas) and the number of entrepreneurs who have capitalized on these
ideas (the number of entrepreneurs being far too less). They have understood that the
reason for this is either that the idea was a brilliant one but the owner of the idea never
knew how to take it forward in the right direction or, that the idea was basically flawed but
the owner never had a forum to discuss, share and weigh the prospects of this idea.
Fractal is now looking at various channels to create an awareness about this eco system
and in-turn, the Fractal belief system and thereby bring in a wide range of worthy
engineers under the Fractal umbrella. Do you somehow belong here?
Posted by Deepti Natarajan at 04:00PM ()

Video: India's hidden hotbeds of invention

Monday, May 10, 2010
India is moving ahead in its quest for innovation. While the innovation in India is termed
"invisible" there are visible changes these innovations are bringing about. Watch Honey
Bee Networks' Honey Bee Networks supports and helps in nurturing grass roots level
innovation by facilitating knowledge sharing among communities. Anil Gupta talk about
tapping grassroots innovation in India
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00AM ()

Computerization Of A Regional Transport Office

In India. Sigh.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Here is a business project for anyone who has the patience. I call dibbs on the idea…so
you need to pay me 40% as a consultation fee. I recently went in to get my learners
permit for a car at the Regional Transport Office. Now being from a predominantly IT
background, I’m not used to seeing that many files. Remember files? The actual ones
which look very similar to the icon on your computer? Files…made out of
cardboard…remember cardboard? Anyway, the place had only 6 computers….all black

and white monitors, and the only reason they were there was to make use of the dot
matrix printer (remember those?) to print out the learners permit. Otherwise, the entire
place seems to have become a tomb for files from 1985 stacked away in some corner.
The amount of paperwork is not funny. Here is how it typically goes, I take a form…one
for the for the car…then I fill them up, which takes a total of 20 minutes. All this
while pulling off one heck of a balancing act in the long line outside the officer’s room.
Once it is filled up and you’ve given adequate address and age proof, one needs to get a
signature…and sometimes a lecture from the officer, followed by which you fill in another
register to obtain the written test question paper. The paper is then corrected elsewhere
by another officer who tosses it into the ‘accepted’ box if you pass. One then returns after
a day or so to get the learners permit and that too is on paper, pulled out from the very
many files in another dingy room. People like me have gotten so used to the concept of
automation’ and computerization, that such a large amount of paper work is just plain
annoying. When I casually asked one of the officers there as to why they don’t
computerize everything, I was decently reprimanded with ‘ You IT fellows have all these
funny ideas….we are like this only and it is working’. Okay, here is the business idea. If
someone wants a learner’s permit, they fill out a form online and take a print out and then
take it to the officer for signing. If cleared, they can make the written tests online, and
have results delivered instantly. If the person clears, they collect the ready template for
the permit immediately or else, it goes into a database and they can come at a later date
and take up the exam. You cut out all the disguised employment for bill creation and
multiple officers to adminster tests and put signatures. Not to forget the fact that all that
paper work is done away with, and all the records are online. I know, I’ve not put too
much thought into this, and this is as naïve an idea as it can get. I am not even sure if
someone has tried this before, but imagine the government contracts on e can make from
this. Well, that’s my business plan in short. Looking for people who want to sort of get
together and get this rolling…
Posted by Nikhilesh Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Infographic: State Of The Internet 2009

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Always wanted to know who the internet is being used by, why it is used and how? This
infographic might help. [via]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00PM () 199
UTSA Researchers Win $9.2 Million In Stimulus
Funding During 2009
Sunday, May 09, 2010
The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) announced
today that it received $9.2 million in stimulus funding for
scientific research and university recruitment during 2009.
The majority of that funding, from the National Institutes of
Health and the National Science Foundation, will support researchers in UTSA’s College
of Sciences and College of Engineering. “UTSA is in a race with six other schools to
reach Tier One research status, so the opportunity to compete for stimulus funding
couldn’t come at a better time for us,” said Robert Gracy, UTSA’s vice president for
research. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, better known as the
stimulus bill, is an economic recovery package adopted to help states stabilize budgets
and stimulate economic growth. The bill allocates approximately $111 billion toward
infrastructure and science including approximately $21.5 billion through the National
Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal agencies for scientific research and
development projects. UTSA's 2009 stimulus funding will support the following 22
research and recruitment initiatives:Conformations and interactions of insect olfactory
receptor proteins, $209,630 Research will investigate the purpose and function of four
different parts of an insect pheromone receptor's structure. Findings will reveal how
pheromones can attract beneficial insects or repel harmful insects to protect the food
supply and control insect-borne diseases. Candida albicans biofilm dispersion as a key
step during candidiasis, $216,750 Research will look into how the fungus Candida
albicans forms biofilms and causes yeast infections. CAREER: Contingent static analysis
for dynamically composed systems, $425,000 Research is about new static analysis
techniques that will result in the development of faster and safer computer programs. II-
New: Enhanced parallelization for high performance computing, $227,178 Research will
establish a cluster for high-performance computing to increase the execution
performance of scientific applications. Decarbonoxylative allylic amidation: methods and
synthetic application, $390,000 The chemistry research will contribute to the development
of more effective medications to treat cancer and HIV. Post yield behavior vs. bone
quality, $330,574 Research will study the mechanism that occurs at the nano/molecular
level after bone begins to deform and structurally fails and will aid understanding of how
that process causes bones to become increasingly fragile. Modularly designed
organocatalysts for asymmetic reactions, $269,097 The chemistry research will help
develop medications that would retain their effectiveness when patients are prescribed
only half the regular dosage. Integrating high performance computing in research and
education for simulation, visualization and real-time prediction, $5,000,000 Funding will
establish a supercomputing center for interdisciplinary, computer-based research,
education and training. The center will help establish a recruitment pipeline for
engineering students of all levels from high school to Ph.D. Plant root templated
geotextiles, $354,478 Scientists will inject living plant roots with novel plastic polymers to
develop synthetic root systems that reinforce soils. A combined biochemical, molecular
and computational approach to understanding the regulation of gibberellin biosynthesis,
$150,000 This funds a study of the genes responsible for the biosynthesis of plant
hormones called gibberellins, which affect a plant's life cycle from seed germination to
flowering and seed production. A new strategy for learning highly similar concepts,
$125,416 Research will test the effectiveness of a strategy called differential-associative
processing to learn pairs of highly similar concepts. Aging, improving prospective

memory, and a formal model, $143,961 Research will focus on improving prospective
memory in young and older adults. Mechanism of steroid resistance in EAE/MS,
$105,131 Funding will help develop biomarkers that monitor the effectiveness of
glucocorticoid treatment and the development of autoimmune disease resistance.
Bacterial proteins containing novel iron sites, $22,600 The research is about the
structure, function and catalytic mechanisms of bacterial iron enzymes that scavenge
toxic oxygen and nitric oxide molecules, which are toxic to these microbes.
Computational discovery and analysis of community structures in biology networks,
$124,117 Research will develop computer programs to better understand the genetic
networks of complex diseases, such as diabetes and cancer. Recruitment of new stem
cell biologist, $316,750 Funds are for a new tenure-track assistant professor specializing
in stem cell research to support the UTSA Institute for Cellular and Molecular Primatology
and Department of Biology. Crime Analysis Consortium: Building capacity in Bexar
County, Texas, $371,522 Funding will help conduct data-driven crime analyses across a
consortium of Bexar County, Texas, law enforcement agencies and produce processes
and centralized databases that will better direct law enforcement resources. Federal
work-study, $266,452 A federal work-study student employee will assist in providing
need-based financial aid to students. Additionally, UTSA teamed with the University of
Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio on four projects. They include:Cell model
for KSHV infection and genetic manipulation, $53,183 Research will define the functions
and molecular mechanisms of microRNA in Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated Herpes Virus
during replication. Diabetes: Implant integration, success and benefit, $44,643 Research
will analyze pentosidine concentrations in bone samples. Partnership to address physical
activities among low-income Latino adolescent girls, $15,624 Research will identify
barriers to physical activities in Latinas and develop effective strategies to promote
participation in physical activity. Partnership to address physical activity among low-
income Latino and adolescent girls, $77,619 Work will include the development,
deployment and maintenance of the project's cell phone service to promote Latina health
and connect youth to community resources.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:42PM ()

Carnegie Mellon, Nissan Team Up For Electric

Sunday, May 09, 2010
Students at Carnegie Mellon University
spent the spring semester exploring the
future of electric vehicles through a
partnership with Nissan North America (NNA). The class is a cross-campus collaboration
among faculty and researchers at the university's Carnegie Institute of Technology
(College of Engineering), School of Design and Tepper School of Business. The
classroom challenge for this semester focused on addressing issues and developing
solutions related to electric cars projected to be in the market in the next five years.
Professionals from Nissan's advanced planning and product planning groups, engineers
from Nissan Technical Center North America, researchers and designers from Nissan
Design America supported the students as they executed their projects. The students'
goal: developing real-world innovations for Nissan electric vehicles. "Nissan's electric
vehicle program presents an unprecedented opportunity for re-imagining the future of
transportation," saidRachel Nguyen, director, advanced planning, NNA. "The student
teams offered uniquely informed perspectives on zero-emission mobility and what that 201
means for their generation." The class worked in six teams, each of which spent the
semester working towards a single concept, presented today in the final class. Nissan
has committed to moving beyond a single electric vehicle solution through the
introduction of several electric vehicles, and these different solutions are designed to help
Nissan explore future possibilities. Projects include: an in-car work station; an interactive
dashboard for entertainment and connectivity; grocery-shopping support system; an
automated vehicle cleaning system; a suite of ergonomic features to reduce stress; and a
vehicle trash, recycling and organization system. "Carnegie Mellon University's
interdisciplinary approach to teaching offers these students the opportunity to gain
experience on real-world projects," said Jonathan Cagan, Ladd Professor of Mechanical
Engineering and co-director of the Master of Product Development program. "We're
looking forward to the possibility of seeing these solutions on the road, in future iterations
of Nissan electric vehicles." Cagan teaches the course with Peter Boatwright, Associate
Professor of Marketing, and Eric Anderson, Associate Professor of Design.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Real Time Photo Sharing Service Radar Shutting

Saturday, May 08, 2010
An amazing service is shutting down this
month. Radar - the real time photo sharing
service is closing it door on May 26th.
Radar was one of the first startups in the
photo sharing business along with Flickr
and the service was certainly unique considering the real time photo sharing feature. Now
the startup is shutting down the service post its acquisition by Shutterfly, an online photo
printing service. They are working on a new photo printing service called Wink. Wink lets
you create "photo strips", like Moo but a little longer maybe. Radar users can move their
pictures to Shutterfly before Radar is shut down. Apparently Facebook and Flickr have
made "just photo sharing" obsolete. Wishing the team the best of luck for everything they
do in the future!
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:00PM ()

Silicon nanoparticles will power next-generation

Saturday, May 08, 2010
They say there is a thin line between love
and hate, a statement with which many
electronic consumers would agree when they are holding their beloved iPhones, unable
to use it because the batteries need charging. Soon enough consumers could be using
electronics powered by next-generation batteries with far longer lives. Researchers in the
laboratory have replaced a standard component in batteries with silicon nanoparticles to
successfully increase the batteries’ energy storage capacity. Lithium-ion batteries, which
power everything from cell phones to cars, have three major components: the anode (the
negative part of the battery) and the cathode (the positive part). These determine a
battery’s power capacity, and the electrolyte resting in the middle of the two regulates the

rate at which lithium is shuttled back and forth. The way a battery creates power is by
transporting electrons between the two anode and cathode terminals, otherwise known
as electrodes. Lithium ions partnered with electrons are stored and start off the journey at
the anode, or negative side of the battery. Then the electron leaves the battery to power
the device attached to the battery. The lithium ion flows through the battery to the positive
side, where it once again meets up with the electron. The anode typically has been
composed of carbon and graphite, however, researchers have replaced the bulk of the
graphite with silicon. So instead of layers of just graphene, it is now a three-part
graphene-silicon nanoparticles-graphene sandwich. Graphene is a honeycomb network
of carbons, graphite is multiple layers of graphene stacked in a specific pattern. Silicon
nanoparticles were a natural choice for researchers for various reasons, the primary ones
being that silicon has the highest energy density of any element and it is cheap.
Replacing graphite with silicon nanoparticles increases the amount of energy that can be
packed into a battery by 10-fold. “These types of nanomaterials [silicon nanoparticles]
show significant promise in the development of energy generation, storage and
conversion devices,” said Chad Mirkin, director of the International Institute for
Nanotechnology and George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern
University.In a paper releasing their most recent findings, a team of NU researchers show
that silicon nanoparticles, supported by a graphene and graphitic network can increase
the power density and cycling life of lithium-ion batteries. A cycle is made up of one
complete charge and discharge.Commercially available lithium-ion batteries have to meet
life-cycle standards set by the government. For instance, laptop or cell phone batteries
must have a life-cycle of at least 300. Within the 300 cycles the batteries capacity should
be at least 80 percent of its original capacity. If a battery originally lasts 10 hours by the
300th cycle it should last at least eight hours. The hurdle for researchers is being able to
have a lithium-ion battery with silicon-based anodes that lasts the requisite charging
cycles. “Right now with silicon batteries the battery is great at the very beginning, but by
increased use it is lowering the capacity of the battery and the wear and tear eventually
gets to it by 100 cycles,” said Cary Hayner, an NU Ph.D. student and one of the four
authors of the paper. Hayner and his colleagues have created high capacity batteries, but
he says it will be another five to 10 years before they are able to reach government
mandated life-cycles for lithium-ion batteries with silicon based anodes.Whether
Northwestern’s research group is able to achieve this first is unknown. What is certain is
that the future of batteries “at some point will be silicon,” said Hayner. The prospect of
having more powerful batteries to use in cars that will decrease America’s dependency
on oil is alluring to everyone, particularly the U.S. Department of Energy. One of its
programs, the Energy Frontier Research Centers recently granted $20 million in funding
to Northwestern University, Argonne Laboratories and University of Illinois at Urbana-
Champaign The money was part of a $2.4 billion stimulus package earmarked by the
Obama administration for U.S. batteries and electric vehicles. It is the single largest
investment in advanced battery technology for hybrid and electric-drive vehicles ever
made, according to an energy department press release last year announcing the grant.
“The stimulus package not only is leading to new jobs but also is funding cutting edge
work, which will drive the economy of tomorrow,” said Mirkin, a member of President
Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. A123 Systems is one of two
companies working on advanced batteries that received $550 million in federal stimulus
funds last year for establishing battery-manufacturing plants. Its work on advanced
lithium-ion battery packs is being used in applications ranging from transportation
vehicles to power tools. The company started up at a university lab at Massachusetts
Institute of Technology. “Federal support for startups has historically been best applied at
the basic research level, nurturing radical new approaches across the sciences,” said
Steve Jurvetson, managing director at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, whose venture capital 203
firm frequently looks at companies manufacturing lithium-ion batteries or companies’
creating products that use these batteries. Jurvetson, a venture capitalist, sits on the
board of Tesla Motors, a manufacturer of electric vehicles that use 6,831 lithium ion cells
in their roadsters. Hayner notes that because of the power and light weight of silicon
nanoparticles, “the lithium battery that currently powers a Tesla would weigh much less
than it currently does. And you would be able to drive the car for longer distances.”Tesla
car owners -- and people with an overabundance of lithium-ion battery powered
electronics -- are eagerly awaiting lithium-ion batteries with silicon. [via Medill Reports]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00AM ()

Tiny Particles May Help Surgeons By Marking

Brain Tumors
Saturday, May 08, 2010
Researchers at the Ohio State University have developed a
way to enhance how brain tumors appear in MRI scans and
during surgery, making the tumors easier for surgeons to
identify and remove. Scientists at Ohio State University are
experimenting with different nanoparticles that they hope may
one day be injected into the blood of patients and help
surgeons remove lethal brain tumors known as
glioblastomas. In the journal Nanotechnology, researchers
reported that they have manufactured a small particle called
a nanocomposite that is both magnetic and fluorescent. These nanocomposites measure
less than twenty nanometers in size (a nanometer is one billionth of a meter). One sheet
of paper, for example, is about 100,000 nanometers thick. “Our strategy is combining two
particles that contain different properties to make one particle with multiple properties,”
explained Jessica Winter, assistant professor in chemical and biomolecular
engineeringand biomedical engineering at Ohio State. The magnetic nanoparticles
emphasize color contrasts within MRIs, allowing doctors to see potential or existing
cancerous tumors before surgery. The fluorescent nanoparticles can change the color
that the tumor appears in the brain when seen under a special light. Neurological
surgeons could benefit from a multi-functional particle that would allow them to better see
the tumor with an MRI before surgery, and then see it physically during surgery, Winter
said. “We’re trying to develop a single nanocomposite that’s magnetic – so you can do
preoperative MRI – and that’s fluorescent – so that when neurological surgeons go into
surgery, they can shine a light on the tumor and it will glow a specific color such as
green, for example. Then, the surgeon can simply remove all of the green,” Winter said.
“With traditional magnetic contrasting agents, you’ll get an MRI, but you won’t see
anything during surgery,“ she added. Winter’s study provided convincing proof that a
particle with dual properties can be formed. However, these multi-functional particles
can’t be used for animal or human testing because the fluorescent particle, cadmium
telluride, is toxic. “We’re currently working on an alternative fluorescent particle which is
composed of carbon. This will eliminate the complications that arise with ingesting the
cadmium telluride particles,” Winter said. atients with a specific form of deadly brain
tumor, glioblastoma, could benefit from Winter’s work. Glioblastomas are usually located
in the temporal, or frontal lobe of the brain, and tumors located there are difficult to see
and remove. Combining the two particles could provide doctors with help both before and
during the surgery to remove a brain tumor, Winter said. One of the successes in creating
the new nanocomposite particle was how they did it, Winter said. It is normally difficult to

combine particles like these, a process known as doping. The Ohio State researchers
pursued an approach which had not been attempted before. They chose to bind their
fluorescent particle on top of their magnetic particle at extremely high temperatures. "The
key is that our synthesis is done at pretty high temperatures – about 350 degrees Celsius
(around 660 degrees Fahrenheit),” Winter explained. “The synthesis was unexpected, but
cool at the same time, and we were excited when we saw what we got.” The primary
neurological surgeon that collaborates with Winter and her team, an assistant professor
with the Department of Neurological Surgery, Atom Sarkar, hopes to test the approach on
animals at some point. But first they have to produce a particle that contains no toxic
ingredients. If results continue to be encouraging, Winter is optimistic that similar
multifunctional particles could become an innovative part of neurological surgery within
the next five years. Others involved with Winter on this research were two of her post
doctoral students, Shuang Deng and Gang Ruan, and one of her graduate students, Ning
Han. Shuang has recently left and now holds a faculty position in China. The researchers
received funding from the National Science Foundation.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Mexico's Online Population Soars 20 Percent in

Past Year
Friday, May 07, 2010
ComScore, Inc. (Nasdaq: SCOR) today released a report on
Internet growth in Mexico based on data from its comScore

Media Metrix service. The report found that in March there were 15.5 million home and
work Internet users age 15 and older in Mexico, an increase of 20 percent from the
previous year, making it one of the fastest-growing markets. Microsoft Sites ranked as the
top online property in Mexico reaching more than 90 percent of the online population,
followed by Google Sites, Yahoo! Sites and Facebook. "With more than 15 million
Internet users in Mexico and growing fast, advertisers are increasingly turning to the
digital medium to reach their desired audiences with increased sophistication and
efficiency," said Ivan Marchant, comScore Country Manager for Mexico. "The ability to
target audiences across a variety of dimensions including demographics and behaviors is
vital to the success of digital campaigns. comScore's growing presence in Mexico reflects
the increasing importance of the digital medium to consumers' lives in this market." In the
past year, Internet usage in Mexico has grown considerably across nearly all measures. 205
The total number of visitors has grown 20 percent to 15.5 million while visitor
engagement has surged. In March, the average Internet visitor in Mexico spent 28 hours
online (up 7.5 percent), consumed 1,898 pages of content (up 18 percent) and went
online 49 times during the month (up 18.6 percent). Among users age 15+, Microsoft
Sites ranked as the top online property in Mexico with 14.3 million visitors, up 29 percent
from the previous year, followed by Google Sites with 14.2 million visitors, which grew 32
percent. Yahoo! Sites grabbed the #3 spot with 9 million visitors (up 23 percent), followed
by with 8.7 million visitors, more than triple the number of visitors from the
previous year, as the social networking site solidified its popularity in the market. Online
properties native to Latin America including Mercado Libre (5 million visitors), Batanga
(nearly 5 million visitors), and (4.7 million visitors) also ranked among the top
ten. [via prnewswire]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:00PM ()

Truecar: Tells You What Your New Car Really

Friday, May 07, 2010
Looking around town to find the best price
for a new car? makes that
work a very easy thing to do! Truecar gives
you the lowest price, the highes price and
the average price of a car across dealer
networks in your zip code and makes it look pretty. Think of it as Autotrader married to
etrade. Awesome stuff. Check out the neat graphs it shows you! Posted by Akshaya
Murthy at 08:00AM ()

Qualcomm Is Giving Away Flo TV Personal TV's
at Uplinq 2010
Friday, May 07, 2010
This is becoming a trend now. Google gave away Nexus One
at their last I/O event, now Qualcomm at its Uplinq 2010
conference will give away Flo TV's with a 1 year paid

subscription from AT&T to all everyone registering for the event before May 4th! The
device costs about 200 bucks and the TV service costs about 30 bucks a month on these
FLO handheld TV devices. We posted this late s you missed the "window" to get a free
device. I am sure more conferences will give more things away so stay tuned. Image of
the email after the break Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM () 207
Infographic: Where Energy Is Consumed In Your
Thursday, May 06, 2010
Seeing huge electric bills but do not know why? This
infographic may be able to help you visualize energy use in
your home.
Lower Electric Bills Graphic
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:00PM ()

DIY Lenses For Your Eyes - Look Again.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

About 45% of all Americans wear some sort of vision correction. Out of this, the majority
wear eyeglasses made of, you know - glass or plastic. But what do you do in places such
as sub-Saharan Africa where access to eye doctors, leave alone eyeglasses is as bad as
access to water? Well, make your own glasses. Confused? Prof. Josh Silver, a physicist
at the University of Oxford, UK has a unique solution to this problem. Literally. He
proposes to replace glass lenses with liquid lenses. You vary the curvature of the lens by

increasing or decreasing the amount of a viscous liquid held inside a transparent pocket.
This way you are the eye doctor and need no prescription for the power of eyeglasses
you need. You are also in control when it comes to changing power of correction
required. Say one year down the line your eye's power changes. Just change the amount
of liquid in the pocket. Ingenious eh? These eyeglasses can be made for a fraction of the
cost of normal eyeglasses and are being distributed across the globe in economically
poor regions. Video after the break!
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00AM ()

Anonymous Feedback From Your Co-workers?

Good Idea!
Thursday, May 06, 2010
BetterMe, Inc announced Thursday that its
free online tools for anonymous feedback
are currently being used by employees in
more than 1,000 companies. The site,
which launched in February, allows users to
send feedback as well as "feedback
requests" on any topic, from work to school to social situations. Fifty-nine percent of
feedback sent through the site is categorized by the sender as work-related. "We are
seeing a grass-roots feedback revolution in companies. People are taking BetterMe into
the office, sending feedback to bosses and coworkers, and asking for comments on their
own performance," said BetterMe founder and CEO Sterling Mace. "People are hungry
for honest, constructive workplace communication." David Hung, President and CEO of
Medivation says that BetterMe is enabling employees to have important conversations
they were previously reluctant to start. "BetterMe provides employees with an important
tool to improve their own performance as well as the performance of their teams," said
Hung. "Feedback is crucial to organizational development and BetterMe facilitates the
exchange of constructive feedback that may not have been happening before."
Employees across a variety of companies and industries use BetterMe for workplace
feedback, including a national healthcare services nonprofit, a global provider of IT
products, and a multinational candy company.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

GE Achieves Cleaner Coal Energy Milestone

Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Marking a major milestone on the road to America’s clean
energy future, GE (NYSE: GE) today announced the
shipment of the second of its advanced, highly efficient
turbines to Duke Energy’s integrated gasification combined-
cycle (IGCC) power plant in Edwardsport, Ind. GE is
providing the IGCC technology for Duke’s Edwardsport
facility, which is expected to be the largest, most advanced
commercial IGCC plant in the world in 2012.

“With GE Energy’s advanced technology, we are building one of the cleanest and most 209
efficient coal-fired plants in the world”

“With GE Energy’s advanced technology, we are building one of the cleanest and most
efficient coal-fired plants in the world,” said Catherine Heigel, president, Duke Energy
Carolinas, South Carolina. “This project demonstrates our commitment to building a clean
energy economy for our communities.”

“GE Energy’s IGCC technology embodies the company’s commitment to powering the
world with cleaner energy products,” said Monte Atwell, general manager—gasification
for GE Power & Water. “It helps preserve a role for coal in a cleaner energy economy,
both here in the United States and around the world.” GE Energy’s IGCC technology
solution, which is available today, converts coal to gas. Pollutants—NOx, SOx, Mercury
and particulate matter—are then removed from the gas. IGCC offers the ability to capture
carbon dioxide (CO2) prior to combustion, providing an efficient, economical and
commercially feasible means of reducing this greenhouse gas when compared to a
traditional coal plant. Atwell noted that strong federal policy leadership and financial
incentives are needed to accelerate the widespread adoption of IGCC technology in the
United States. “The administration and Congress need to help jump-start America’s
transition to a cleaner energy economy,” he said. “The United States can lead the world
in IGCC technology development and deployment, but the time to act is now. Already,
China is emerging as a world leader in the construction of more efficient, less polluting
coal plants. If America doesn’t act swiftly, the opportunity to export U.S. IGCC technology
to coal-rich nations like China and India may be lost.” GE Energy has been a pioneer in
the development of IGCC technology, having provided the technology for several
milestone IGCC projects, including the pilot Coolwater IGCC plant in Barstow, Calif. GE
Energy’s IGCC technology also has been operating on a commercial scale at Tampa
Electric’s 250-megawatt Polk Power Station since 1996. The two GE 7F syngas
turbines—which will operate on cleaner burning syngas fuel produced from coal—were
manufactured in GE’s Greenville, S.C., plant, which employs approximately 3,100. The
first turbine shipped to Edwardsport in early April. When complete, Duke’s Edwardsport
plant will generate up to 618 megawatts of electricity, enough power to nearly 500,000
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:00PM ()

Willow Garage Giving Away 11 PR2 Robots

Worth Over $4 Million
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Oh, the very slow but super "towel folding" robot "PR2" by Willow Garage will soon see
clones of itslef in 11 institutions and universities across the globe including the USA,
Europe and Japan. Theis "giveaway" is worth $4 mil! The objective is to get these towel
folders to be developed into something more useful than just folding towels. The creators
wnat universtities and tech institutes t ofigure out how these cumbersome robots can be
put to better use. The "Personal Robot 2" utilizes an open robot platform design and is
powered by 16 cores of raw processing power. What also makes the PR2 unique is an
open source "robot operatine system". The lucky 11 universities/institutes that will receive
the PR2 are as follows: Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg with the proposal
TidyUpRobot The University of Freiburg's strength in mapping has led to multiple open-
source libraries in wide use. Their group will program the PR2 to do tidy-up tasks like
clearing a table, while working on difficult underlying capabilities, like understanding how

drawers and refrigerators open, how to recognize different
types of objects, and how to integrate this information with
the robot's map. Their goal is to detect, grasp, and put away
objects with very high reliability, and reproduce these results
at other PR2 Beta Program sites. Bosch with the proposal

Developing the Personal Robotics Market: Enabling New Applications Through Novel
Sensors and Shared Autonomy Bosch will bring their expertise in manufacturing, sensing
technologies and consumer products. Bosch will be making robotic sensors available to
members of the PR2 Beta Program, including a limited number of "skins" that will give the
PR2 the ability to feel its environment. Bosch will also make their PR2 remotely
accessible and will expand on the libraries they've released for ROS. Georgia Institute of
Technology with the proposal Assistive Mobile Manipulation for Older Adults at Home
The Healthcare Robotics Lab at Georgia Tech will be placing the PR2 in an "Aware
Home" to study how robots can help with homecare and creative assistive capabilities for
older adults. Their research includes creating easier ways for adults to interact with
robots, and enabling robots to interact with everyday objects like drawers, lamps, and
light switches. Their human-robot interaction focus will help ensure that the software
development is closely connected to real-world needs. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
with the proposal Unified Framework for Task Specification, Control and Coordination for
Mobile Manipulation KU Leuven in Belgium is a key player in the open-source robotics
community. As one of the founding institutions for the Orocos Project, they will be
improving the tools and libraries used to program robots in ROS, by, for example,
integrating ROS with Blender. They will also be working on getting the PR2 and people to
perform tasks together, like carrying objects through a crowded environment. MIT CSAIL 211
with the proposal Mobile Manipulation in Human-Centered Environments The diverse
MIT CSAIL group will use the PR2 to study the key capabilities needed by robots that
operate in human-centered environments, such as safe navigation, interaction with
humans via natural language, object recognition, and planning for complex goals. Their
work will allow robots to build the maps they need in order to move around in buildings as
large as MIT’s 11-story Stata Center. They will also program the PR2 to put away
groceries and do simple cleaning tasks. Stanford University with the proposal STAIR on
PR2 PR1 was developed in Kenneth Salisbury's lab at Stanford, and ROS was
developed from the STAIR (Stanford AI Robot) Project. We're very excited that the PR2
will become the new platform for the STAIR Project's innovative research. Their team will
work on several applications, which include taking inventory, retrieving items scattered
about a building, and clearing a table after a meal. Technische Universität München with
the proposal CRAM: Cognitive Robot Abstract Machine TUM will research giving the PR2
the artificial intelligence skills and 3D perception to reason about what it is doing while it
performs various kitchen tasks. These combined improvements will help the PR2 perform
more complicated tasks like setting a table, emptying a dishwasher, preparing meals, and
other kitchen-related tasks. University of California, Berkeley with the proposal PR2 Beta
Program: A Platform for Personal Robotics The PR2 is now known as the "Towel-Folding
Robot", thanks to the impressive efforts of Pieter Abbeel's lab at Berkeley. In two short
months, they were able to get the PR2 to fold fifty towels in a row. Berkeley will tackle the
much more difficult challenge of doing laundry, from dirty laundry piles to neatly folded
clothes. In addition, their team is interested in hierarchical planning, object recognition,
and assembly and manufacturing tasks (e.g. IKEA products) through learning by
demonstration University of Pennsylvania with the proposal PR2GRASP: From
Perception and Reasoning to Grasping The GRASP Lab proposal aims to tackle some of
the challenges facing household robotics. These challenges include tracking people and
planning for navigation in dynamic environments, and transferring handheld objects
between robots and humans. Their contributions will include giving PR2 a tool belt to
change its gripper on the fly, helping it track and navigate around people, and performing
difficult two-arm tasks like opening spring-loaded doors. University of Southern California
with the proposal Persistent and Persuasive Personal Robots (P^3R): Towards
Networked, Mobile, Assistive Robotics USC has already demonstrated teaching the PR2
basic motor skills so that it can adapt to different situations and tasks, such as pouring a
cup. They will continue to expand on this work in imitation learning and building and
refining skill libraries, while also doing research in human-robot interaction and self-
calibration for sensors. University of Tokyo, Jouhou System Kougaku (JSK) Laboratory
with the proposal Autonomous Motion Planning for Daily Tasks in Human Environments
using Collaborating Robots The JSK Laboratory at the University of Tokyo is one of the
top humanoid robotics labs in the world. Their goal is to see robots safely and
autonomously perform daily, human-like tasks such as retrieving objects and cleaning up
domestic environments. They'll also be working on getting the PR2 to work together with
other robots, as well as integrating the ROS, EusLisp, and OpenRAVE frameworks. A
video documentary of the PR2 robot beta program after the break
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00AM ()

Breakthrough Will Boost Semiconductor
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
UT Dallas researchers have laid the
groundwork for attaching virtually any
organic molecule to silicon, a technological
feat that promises to greatly improve
semiconductor devices’ performance in
health care and solar power applications in
particular. “This is very exciting to have
been able to go beyond what was thought
to be possible,” said Dr. Yves Chabal, principal
investigator in the project and head of the Materials
Science and Engineering Department at UT Dallas. His
team’s accomplishments were reported in two articles in
the October 2009 and February 2010 issues of the
journal Nature Materials. For semiconductors such as
silicon to interact with the environment – as a biosensor
that detects cancer-marker proteins, for example – it
would be necessary to have an organic layer that
interacts with those proteins. That interaction would
then be detected by traditional circuitry underneath. A
critical challenge for fabricating biosensors and
photovoltaic solar cells is to attach functional organic
molecules without introducing electronic defects at the
semiconductor surface. Up until now,
biosensor devices were made using
oxidized silicon, resulting in poor stability.
And photovoltaic devices were limited due
to what are known as interface traps,
resulting in less-efficient energy transfer.
Nearly 20 years ago, Chabal and co-
workers at Bell Labs devised a method to
prepare oxide-free silicon surfaces perfectly
terminated with a layer of hydrogen atoms.
Recently, methods to attach organic
molecules to that surface have been developed, but the number of molecules that can be
attached is very limited, restricting the value of these methods for most applications, such
as biosensors, microelectronics, optoelectronics and solar receptors. If oxidized surfaces
are used instead, poor stability results, limiting performance and eliminating widespread
use. Chabal’s latest effort took five years, culminating in several breakthroughs that
enable two novel ways to make hydrogen-terminated silicon surfaces more reactive with
organic molecules. The key to these processes is the ability to nanopattern these silicon
surfaces in a very controlled fashion. “We persisted primarily because of the excitement
of the scientific discovery,” he said, “but also because I could see that such fundamental
knowledge could have a big impact on industrial applications.” In addition to enabling
biosensors that detect minute quantities of substances such as cancer-marker proteins,
the new technology promises a new generation of higher-efficiency solar cells, which
have long languished at efficiency of less than 50 percent. Such higher-efficiency 213
photovoltaic cells would incorporate sunlight-sensitive biomolecules, nanoparticles or
quantum dots that capture photons and transfer the energy to the electronic substrate.
Chabal, who also holds the Texas Instruments Distinguished University Chair in
Nanoelectronics at UT Dallas, believes the findings of his team’s results could find their
place in commercial applications within five to 10 years. Chabal has been studying
semiconductor surfaces for 30 years. His team’s work is performed in the Laboratory for
Surface and Nanostructure Modification in the 3-year-old Natural Science and
Engineering Research Laboratory building at UT Dallas and in collaboration with
colleagues at Rutgers University, Accelrys Inc. and the Laboratoire d’Analyse et
d’Architecture des Systèmes in Toulouse, France. The research was carried out with
support from the National Science Foundation (Chemistry Division), including its U.S.-
France cooperative research program. Important collaboration also took place with
additional researchers at UT Dallas, Intel, Air Products and Zyvex Labs.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Google invests $38.8 mil in two US wind farms

Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Wow! Now that's an investment! After Solar, Google's headed in the windy direction.
What can be dubbed Google's first main stream investment in utility grade green energy
will power about 55,000 homes thanks to Wind energy. The two wind farms in North
Dakota are developed by Next Era Energy Resources. In a blog post on Monday, Rick
Needham, Google's green business operations manager, wrote: "Through this $38.8
million investment, we're aiming to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy in a
way that makes good business sense, too." Google has made a concerted effort in
pushing the climate change issue via its philanthropic arm and investment in
green tech is Google's way of showing that they care. The two wind farms will generate
about 169.5 MW of energy per year. This is a small chunk of Next Era Energy Resources'
wind farm capacity of 7000 MW per annum.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

FDA Approves First Cancer Vaccine. Yay!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Not too often does the Food and Drug Administration approve something too good to be
true, be it in the interest of people or not. The FDA on 29th April, approved a Cancer
vaccine for men with advanced prostate cancer. This allows the immune system to fight

the cancer cells on its own rather than with the aid of chemicals injected into the body.
Full PR text after the break. ***********Start PR Text************* FDA Approves a Cellular
Immunotherapy for Men with Advanced Prostate Cancer The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration today approved Provenge (sipuleucel-T), a new therapy for certain men
with advanced prostate cancer that uses their own immune system to fight the disease.
Provenge is indicated for the treatment of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic
prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and is resistant to standard
hormone treatment. Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer among
men in the United States, behind skin cancer, and usually occurs in older men. In 2009,
an estimated 192,000 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed and about 27,000
men died from the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute. “The availability of
Provenge provides a new treatment option for men with advanced prostate cancer, who
currently have limited effective therapies available,” said Karen Midthun, M.D., acting
director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. Provenge is an
autologous cellular immunotherapy, designed to stimulate a patient’s own immune
system to respond against the cancer. Each dose of Provenge is manufactured by
obtaining a patient’s immune cells from the blood, using a machine in a process known
as leukapheresis. To enhance their response against the cancer, the immune cells are
then exposed to a protein that is found in most prostate cancers, linked to an immune
stimulating substance. After this process, the patient’s own cells are returned to the
patient to treat the prostate cancer. Provenge is administered intravenously in a three-
dose schedule given at about two-week intervals. The effectiveness of Provenge was
studied in 512 patients with metastatic hormone treatment refractory prostate cancer in a
randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial, which showed an increase
in overall survival of 4.1 months. The median survival for patients receiving Provenge
treatments was 25.8 months, as compared to 21.7 months for those who did not receive
the treatment. Almost all of the patients who received Provenge had some type of
adverse reaction. Common adverse reactions reported included chills, fatigue, fever,
back pain, nausea, joint ache and headache. The majority of adverse reactions were mild
or moderate in severity. Serious adverse reactions, reported in approximately one quarter
of the patients receiving Provenge, included some acute infusion reactions and stroke.
Cerebrovascular events, including hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes, were observed in
3.5 percent of patients in the Provenge group compared with 2.6 percent of patients in
the control group. Provenge is manufactured by Seattle-based Dendreon Corp.
***********End PR Text**************
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

The Yatra To Entrepreneurship

Tuesday, May 04, 2010
1 train, 13 destinations, 15 role models, 18 days, 400 participants, 9000 kilometers. This
in short is the story of the Tata Jagriti Yatra( The Tata Group of
companies along with Jagriti (awakening in Hindi), an India-based NGO to specifically
promote the spirit of social entrepreneurship besides business entrepreneurship have
come together for the last three years and have been promoting the most raved about
journey for budding entrepreneurs. The yatra (journey in Hindi) invites applications from
all over India. The application process for the yatra starts as early as April while the
actual yatra starts on Dec 24th every year. A rigorous interview process with an eminent
panel filters application to choose the 400 worthy candidates from over hundred thousand
applications that pour in each year. A dedicated train remodeled to house the entire yatra
team is all ready to take the yatris (people who take part in a journey) to over 13 cities all 215
over India. In each city the yatris meet a successful entrepreneur, specifically a social
entrepreneur, understand his/her business model and journey, get a chance to see their
fitment into any of these ventures and take home with them a thorough understanding of
a very successful entrepreneurial venture. Besides meeting the entrepreneurs, some
cities also have an added attraction of a panel discussion with eminent members from
various domains discussing a key issue related to entrepreneurship. While the above
happens during the day, the participants spend their evenings and nights on the train
making presentations to one another about the meet with the entrepreneur, have
facilitated group-discussions on various topics and together work on a business model
similar to what they last saw. And if one were to think that this is an opportunity heavy on
their pockets, it just gets better with the sponsorship scheme that this initiative has.
Deserving yatris get either a part or sometimes even a full sponsorship for the entire
yatra. This is the third successful year of the Yatra. The application process has already
started in full swing. Come December and the engine to yet another new awakening
Posted by Deepti Natarajan at 06:00AM ()

4000 MW A Year Out Of Geothermal Energy.

That's What Indonesia Is P...
Tuesday, May 04, 2010

What do you do when your country's volcanoes is spewing out hot gases left right and
center? Make electricity of course! Indonesia wants to follow Scandinavia in harnessing
geothermal energy to the tune of about 4000 MW per year. Yup, just 4000 MW. The
Indonesian government wants to reduce its reliance on Coal powered thermal energy.
They want to achieve this by plugging power plants over hundreds of active volcanoes
that litter the archipelago - see map below. All this by the year 2014. What this means for
Indonesia is that 35% of it population that does not have electricity will get electricity while
reducing the country's carbon footprint. Also note that geothermal energy is sustainable
and hence could be a long term solution to Indonesia's energy woes. Whatever it is, we
are happy to see third world countries go green while developed nations keep spewing

out greenhouse gases.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

We Need Robotic Maids. We Do.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Oh Japanese robot builders, are you sure we need things like this in our lives? Floor
cleaning robots are great but do we really need dish cleaning "maid" robots? Why are we
making our lives a movie? (read I Robot). OK, lets stop the drama and get to the meat of
the topic now. Jouhou System Kougaku Laboratory of the University of Tokyo has
created what they call the "HRP2", a humanoid robot which helps you clean dishes. The
"HRP2" also vacuums and sweeps your home's floor, hence earning the title of a "Helper
Robot" in the true sense. This brings up the issue of Ethical Treatment of Robots. Are you
going to make slaves out of these pieces of metal and silicon? Oh we dread the day
when the "machines" will turn against us! Until then, check out these pics of the amazing
Helper Bot. [via IEEE Spectrum]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Floating Powerplants Will Make Us More Power.

Monday, May 03, 2010
You thought wind energy was stuck on green pastures? The freaks from Denmark have
taken it off the fields and put it on the high seas. Seriously! Dubbed the Poseidon, the
massive "floating" power plant harnesses energy from the winds of the high seas that
don't get to the high plateaus. Poseidon is based on a hydraulic power take-off system.
What this means is that a bunch of windmills will float on water generating power. This 217
guarantees higher energy production capacities compared to other wave based energy
systems. There are several positive environmental impacts from the construction of
Poseidon. The energy production from a 230 meter Poseidon power plant will reduce the
annual emission from a traditional fossil fuel power generation by:

• 145 tons of sulphur dioxide

• 120 tons of nitric oxides
• 35,000 tons of carbon dioxide
• 2,600 tons of slag and fly ash
Poseidon utilizes and absorbs the inherent energy from the waves, thereby reducing the
height of the waves significantly and creating calm waters behind the front of the plant.
Impressive stuff! We are just waiting for a sea full of these things generating electricity for
us. We love green tech!
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Ideabing Exclusive: Interview with the CEO of 30

Dollar Finance
Monday, May 03, 2010
We had introduced you folks to a new
microfinance startup called 30 dollar
finance concentrating on microfinance for
rural Indian women. The founders have been kind enough to grant us an interview on
what 30 dollar finance is up to. We talked to Snehal Fulzele, the CEO of 30 dollar finance
( on the team, why India and a host of other topics. Full interview ahead.
[Ideabing] Talk us through how began. [Snehal] It began at Carnegie Mellon
University in Oct 2008 where I was taking a course on 'Information and Communication
Technology for Human Development'. Back then, I had a vague idea of micro-credit as a
concept, but this was the first time I was reading and researching about microfinance in-
depth. I was and am fascinated by the impact it had made at the bottom of the pyramid. I
started researching about microfinance in India and a potential opportunity to start
something based on it. Few observations about micro-finance - it is an epitome of social
innovation, strikes a balance between capitalism and socialism, and provides an
excellent opportunity to set up sustainable non-profit/for-profit initiatives. My team started
drafting 30 Dollar Finance's plan in Jan 2009. Martin Fisher, founder of KickStart,
explains how cash based economy can be a viable and sustainable solution to poverty.
30DF seconds that – we say raising income is a solution to poverty. 30DF is one such
attempt to progress towards a cash based economy. [Ideabing] Tell us about the team

behind [Snehal]'s core management is comprised of highly motivated
and smart individuals. The two ’M’s of the team - Mandar Marathe and Murari Sinha are
the pillars of 30$F. Their dedication and ability to come up with innovative solutions to our
road blocks amazes me. In short, they make 30$F youthful and impactful. Our Operation
heads, Kaustubh Tamaskar in India and Shivkumar Yellewar in the Middle East work
independently on creating chapters, forming corporate/NGO/non-profit partnerships and
finding investors. The core team never loses focus on overall short term and long term
goals and 30$F's mission. [Ideabing] Why does 30df concentrate on microfinance for
India? Why not the global approach of Kiva? [Snehal] We want to focus on India,
because we want to focus on India - we want to start in our own backyard. There are
more than 100 million poor people in India who are yet to get a taste of microfinance.
There is going to be demand for microfinance in India in the coming years; Regulation of
microfinance industry in India may have mixed results especially for the ultra-poor section
of the society. We want to focus on the ultra-poor section of India who may get ignored.
Right now, we are small and there are resource limitations. We have built an online
system which is capable of scale, but we are short of resources on handling country-
specific, ethnic challenges that expansion will present. So, we do not have any future
plans to go beyond India. [Ideabing] Tell us what inspired you to make this service
exclusive to rural women [Snehal] Traditionally, microfinance is catered towards women.
The ability to generate and control their own income can empower poor women.
Research shows that credit extended to women has a significant impact on their families'
quality of life, especially their children. We will continue to serve women beneficiaries.
[Ideabing] What has been the repayment rate among your borrowers? [Snehal]
Mathematically, it is almost 99%. But for us, providing micro credit means more than just
giving money - it goes beyond that. I grew up in a small place and women there are
innately shy, or rather they are never taught to talk. I was amused when I talked to them –
these women can talk!! Could this be a by-product of micro finance activities in this area?
I asked – and was told unequivocally by all beneficiaries that it is a direct impact of initial
6 months of training they received from our on-field staff as a part of forming a self-help
group and regularly held meetings after that at Village and District levels. Well, in addition
to that, everyday operations of self-help-group like accounting, payments, disbursement
etc. and regular interaction must have ignited and sustained this entrepreneurial flame in
these village women. [Ideabing] How much influence does technology have on your
operations? [Snehal] Technology is playing crucial role in streamlining our operations and
making it more efficient every passing day. Essentially it helps in reducing transaction
costs, providing transparency to our social investors, reusing artifacts that our on-field
partner creates for their operations for 30$F's tracking purposes. [Ideabing] Let’s go
beyond the realm of rural microfinance. Your views on the mainstream peer to peer
lending market? [Snehal] In the present economy, when the credit crisis is making it
harder for cash-devoid households and businesses to get bank loans, the opportunity for
creditworthy applicants to borrow money from strangers at slightly higher interest rates
can be seen as something of a godsend. It is for-profit and seems to be impactful but
definitely not in the gamut of things 30$F is trying to achieve i.e. focusing on using peer-
to-peer lending to provide microcredit to poor beneficiaries. [Ideabing] Any plans to
diversify into mainstream lending markets? [Snehal] No. Not at this point in time.
[Ideabing] Anything you would want to tell aspiring entrepreneurs? [Snehal] That people
execute an idea and people are more important than the idea itself. Having the right team
will make you successful!
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM () 219
Nokia Money Pilot Begins In India. Ahem.
Monday, May 03, 2010
Almost everyone in the world owns a cellphone, some of you folks are probably reading
this off your fancy Blackberry (Please donate cash…I want one too). So what does a
company like Nokia do when it has put a cellphone in almost everyone’s hands? Bank on
the re-sale? Well…that would be a little ambitious simply because the major markets in
countries like India and China lie in the low end phones. So what does Nokia do now that
it has hit the plateau and is all set to take the slide down the product life cycle? In a fairly
ambitious attempt, Nokia announced the launch of Nokia money. I happened to catch a
small demo on Youtube, which was fairly interesting as to how Nokia have decided that
merely selling cellphones no longer was the deal for them…the future lies in services.
This sounds awfully familiar to the IBM story. And if that is anything to go by, expect a fair
amount of time before Nokia bring a whole lot of people from the skeptics side of the
fence to the ‘must-have’ side of the fence. While they have teamed up with the Yes Bank
in India and are using the city of Pune to pilot the service, I see one major problem with
the service. A fairly simple problem called ‘Trust’. Come to think of it , trust is a problem
not only special to Nokia money, but to anything that involves money. While people never
trust their telecom operators, Nokia decided to make the service operator independent.
While we might give them a thumbs up for ‘most Trusted Brand’… I don’t see how Nokia
plans to get over this core problem. It’s not a problem with technology, the features are
amazing and very convenient (check out the video on Youtube) but that does not change
the fact that one finds it tough trust their money over something like a phone. How Nokia
plans to navigate the technology chasm before they hit the mainstream is going to be a
very interesting case study by itself. If Nokia really want to promote the financial platform,
they’ll probably have to look into the manner in which ATMs replaced human tellers.
People who had gotten used to seeing a face give them money and update their pass
books (which is still a system at many government banks in India) took a while to cozy up
to the ATM, I believe Nokia need to tell the same story with new characters. The next few
months are going to be interesting to see if Nokia Money has an IBM or HP happily ever
after …or otherwise.
Posted by Nikhilesh Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Canada's First Financial Social Media Platform

Launches in Calgary
Sunday, May 02, 2010
Today, PODIUM Participation Funds (PODIUM), the first Financial Social Media Platform,
launched in Calgary. PODIUM uses an online voting system that allows shareholders to
make hands-on decisions, influencing their investments while helping to advance local
business opportunities into global ventures. Through a community based approach,
PODIUM combines social media with modern online technologies to create a wholly
shareholder owned and influenced corporation that is locally connected, and driven by
local capital. Funds from shareholders are pooled to provide capital for investment into
local businesses. PODIUM expects to generate strong, consistent returns for
shareholders. PODIUM intends to introduce private equity to a new audience in Calgary.
Shareholders and local businesses will connect and encourage entrepreneurs to submit a
proposals for funding, and then present the opportunity to PODIUM shareholders who
then use the online voting platform to decide if the deal will be funded or not. When an

idea is accepted, each shareholder has
been included equally in which businesses
to invest in, has a personal interest in the
investment and shares equally in any
profits. "Since March of 2009 we have been
laying the groundwork, developing our
system and ensuring we have the right
people in place to execute this new
initiative. We have done our homework,
proven our model, and have our first
Founding Fifty shareholders committed,"
said Cameron Chell, Founder of PODIUM.
"It's now time to take the next step and start
investing in Calgary ventures, and today we are celebrating this accomplishment with
local entrepreneurs and business leaders." The PODIUM team built this innovative
concept using three major components, and would like to expand this model in the future:

• Using social media to invite community members to join the PODIUM platform;
• Leveraging the knowledge and expertise of the crowd to help forward and influence
what businesses the corporation invests in; and
• Individual $5,000 investments are TFSA and RRSP eligible.
PODIUM is the first Canadian Participation Capital™ investment company providing an
original platform for investing using online tools that ensure investment transparency from
start to finish.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:39PM ()

UTSA Mechanical Engineering Students Design

Lunar Utility Cart for ...
Sunday, May 02, 2010
UTSA mechanical engineering students Luis Carlos Salinas,
Chris Kite, William Dunne and Philip Haberle have yet to
graduate, but they have already collaborated with NASA to
design a new lunar utility cart. And, after building a prototype, 221
the UTSA student group has been named the Texas Space Grant Consortium Design
Challenge’s Fall 2009 “Top Design Team.” “NASA plans to return to the moon in 2020,
and the astronauts who make that journey will need novel equipment that is adapted to
lunar conditions,” said John Simonis, senior lecturer in the Department of Mechanical
Engineering and one of the team’s mentors. “The Texas Space Grant Consortium Design
Challenge is one way engineering students can contribute to the development of NASA’s
new equipment solutions.” The lunar utility cart allows astronauts to transport 500 Earth
pounds of cargo, experiments, geology samples or equipment on the rough terrain of the
moon. The cart is collapsible for space launch and travel and easily operated by one
crewmember. The students have also designed it to withstand lunar temperature
fluctuations. The Consortium competition’s judges especially liked the cart’s six-spoked
wheel design. The cart’s wheels, based on the Mars Exploration Rovers, are wide
enough to prevent the cart from bogging down in the soft dust found on the moon’s
surface, and they have casters that allow the wheels to swivel 360. In the stowed
position, the wheels conveniently lock. Self-coined “Team No Boundaries,” the four
aspiring engineers designed the lunar utility cart during the two-semester planning and
design course sequence required of all UTSA mechanical engineering majors. During the
first semester, the team worked through ideas about cart shapes and attributes. During
the second semester, the team refined its cart design and built a prototype. Team No
Boundaries was eager to work with NASA fellow Robert Treviño, an ergonomics expert,
when planning the cart’s design. “Not just anyone gets to work with someone from
NASA,” said team member Salinas. “He provided a lot of NASA resources that we could
use for our project. He helped us visualize how objects on the lunar surface behaved. He
provided us a Web site with a whole lot of information about designing devices for space
applications.” Team member Chris Kite added, “Dr. Trevino encouraged us to reach
forward and design the cart with a caution for an astronaut’s ergonomics while staying
within the constraints that NASA required. It was his welcoming personality that allowed
us to keep on rocking.” The team also received tips from UTSA mechanical engineering
professor Yesh Singh, who specializes in mechanism design, machine element design,
finite element applications in mechanical design and the mechanics of solids. “Dr. Singh
advised us in his areas of expertise,” said Salinas. “He knows how materials behave in
certain conditions. He advised us on the stress situations that could happen on the lunar
surface.” To rack up $1,650 in scholarship and other monies, Team No Boundaries
bested a group of formidable teams at the design challenge. They included teams
representing Lamar University, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and The University of Texas at
Austin. In addition, their “Top Design Team” award entitles the group to receive a trophy,
currently en route to UTSA from United Space Alliance. It depicts a commemorative
Space Shuttle Model bearing the signatures of NASA astronauts who have flown aboard
the Shuttle. “The overwhelming success of our two teams in this important state-wide

competition is another indicator of the high quality of the Mechanical Engineering
program at UTSA,” said Efstathios Michaelides, professor and chair of the Department of
Mechanical Engineering. “Our students have shown that they can compete very well with
the best out there and win similar awards.” So, what are the team’s next steps? “We do
foresee NASA probably using some of the features and ideas withheld in the design,”
said Salinas. “Dr. Trevino has suggested we take the cart to NASA’s rock yard, an
artificial lunar surface. We’ve also given thought to modify the design for commercial use
and patent that design. We’ll see what happens.” Cost of the Cart Casters: $90.87
Frame: $187.88 Wheels: $35.86 Platform: $69.03 Handle: $97.16 Miscellaneous: $30.48
Total: $511.28
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Wild pockets: Making Online 3D Games?

Sunday, May 02, 2010
You like Farmville eh? How about making a
game yourself then? No resources to buy
an engine to make it happen? No problem.
Wild Pockets, a CMU Entertainment Labs
offspring has a solution for you. Wild Pockets is a free to use end to end online game
development ecosystem that gives you a full featured game engine and a host of other
features that can make your game work and then make sure it keeps working. Wild
Pockets gives you the power to first create the game thanks to the engine and all the 3D
models and textures you need to get your game up and running. It then lets you make
sure you monitize it via its micro transaction system built into the engine itself. Not
enough? There's more. You also get to directly tag your game into Youtube, track
analytics of your game's use across the web and then its all freakkin free! The WP engine
supports 3D art from most 3D modeling applications including 3DS Max and Maya. Go
build your game now!
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Forum Drives University Innovations Toward

Sunday, May 02, 2010
In just three minutes, John Groves explained how his
innovation could save time. Groves, a chemistry professor at
Princeton University, told a panel of business leaders
gathered on campus April 8 that a new technology he helped
develop could catch dangerous side effects of drugs in the earliest stages of
development, long before they would be tested in humans. Compared to existing
technology, he assured the panel, "we can do it faster and cheaper." Groves was among
16 presenters at Princeton's fifth annual Innovation Forum, which showcased Princeton
research that has the potential to be commercialized. The scientists and engineers
extolled their innovations to an audience of investors, members of the University
community and a panel of judges that, after hearing the quick presentations, allotted
more than $40,000 to the top three entries. "World-class research is performed in the 223
labs here at Princeton, and we will get a glimpse of some of this research tonight," Pablo
Debenedetti, vice dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, told the
audience. "There are many ways that this research can be deployed to benefit society
and improve our world. One way is to encourage faculty to share their research with
interested observers such as you and create opportunities for scientists and engineers to
talk with investors and community members about the real-world applications of their
work." This year's forum was sponsored by the University's Keller Center for Innovation in
Engineering Education, the Jumpstart New Jersey Angel Network and Drinker Biddle &
Reath LLP in conjunction with Princeton's Office of Technology Licensing. Jumpstart
Chairman Mario Casabona said his organization participates in the forum as a way of
supporting innovation and entrepreneurship. “Programs like this continue to foster the
culture of innovation that we have worked so hard to achieve and maintain here in New
Jersey,” he said. The presentations, in fields including health, optics, computing and
transportation, were followed by a poster session and reception in the Friend Center
Convocation Room. The winning entry, presented by Hahn Kim, a postdoctoral
researcher in chemistry, also involved speeding the process of drug development. Called
OrgCast, it is a method for quickly generating large numbers of molecules and testing
whether they are reactive in the human body. Using the technique, Kim and his
collaborators have identified about 4 million molecules that hold potential as new drugs.
Second place went to HepatoChem, the technology developed by Groves and Marc
Bazin, a visiting associate professional specialist in chemistry. The technique mimics the
way the liver works, enabling the automated and rapid biochemical analysis of drug
compounds to speed the scientific discovery of new drugs and drug metabolites. Third
place went to Niraj Jha, a professor of electrical engineering, who developed a
technology called NATURE for use in general-purpose computer chips called field-
programmable gate arrays (FPGA). NATURE provides a more efficient way of storing
data on FPGA chips, leveraging advances in nanotechnology and potentially enabling
FPGA chips to increase their currently small share of the market. Two of the entries
addressed health and infrastructure problems in remote regions of Africa. Ismaiel Yakub,
a graduate student inmechanical and aerospace engineering, presented a system for
using inexpensive clay filters to remove parasites from drinking water, andTiffany Tong,
an electrical engineering graduate student, proposed a method for manufacturing and
distributing solar-powered lanterns to areas with no access to the electrical grid. "People
don't realize how big of an issue this is," Tong said during the poster session. "Many
people rely on traditional, nonrenewable resources that are expensive and produce a lot
of smoke. As a result, children can't study at night, and many people suffer respiratory
problems. We propose using cheap LED lights and housing them in bodies made of
wood or other natural materials instead of plastic. There's a huge potential market."
Videos of the Innovation Forum presentations will be available beginning April 18 on the
engineering school website.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:06AM ()

AT&T Is Rethinking Possible. We Don't Think So.
Saturday, May 01, 2010
Seen those new AT&T ads on TV? The whole "Rethink Possible" thing? When did they
give up making fun of Verizon? Why? Because the iPad is in its kitty and the iPhone 4G
is headed Verizon's way as well. Maybe? Apple WWDC is 1 month away and AT&T
doesn't want to loose customers to Verizon thanks to AT&T's not-so-awesome 3G "map".
So is this whole ad campaign just a bunch of marketing bullshit? May not be so. AT&t's
rolling out the 4G network quite quickly, faster than most predictions at least in "select"
cities. So the whole rethink possible is limited to that map rather than USA. So, there
goes, all the speed talk about AT&T's network is a bunch of bull coupled with zazzy
marketing. More AT&T "Rethink Possible" videos here - link
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Infographic: Google Page Rank explained

Saturday, May 01, 2010
Your website geta a lot of visitors but your Google page rank not going up? This
infographic might be able to explain why. [via elliance]
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Robots That Can Balance On A Ball. Bullshit!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

You must have heard of walking robots? Maybe 7 more species of them who did
everything but crawl? But have you heard of one that freakkin balances on any ball?
Welcome to the word of Masaki Kumagai who has built a robot that can do exactly that,
while carrying a truckload of stuff on its head. This is a robot that uses some really good
algorithms to balance itself on a ball. What's more? This one can talk to more of it's kind
to do some heavy lifting and balancing. How's carrying a door frame sound like to you?
Watch the video and drool.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM () 225
Video: Volkswagen's First Two Wheeler
Friday, April 30, 2010

That Jetta's running eh? How about the bike in its boot? Did not quite understand? Let
us explain it to you. Volkswagen is planning on selling you an electric bike that fits into
the spare tire compartment in your car. Why such an absurdity? It seems they have a
good business case. And they launched it in China. No, the Americans do not deserve
electric bikes. Video embedded below.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

McCormick Adds More Solar Power from

Constellation Energy
Friday, April 30, 2010
Constellation Energy (NYSE: CEG) and
McCormick & Company, Inc. (NYSE: MKC)
today announced an agreement to develop
a new 1.8-megawatt (DC) solar
photovoltaic power system at the McCormick distribution center in Belcamp, Md. This will
be the largest single rooftop solar installation in Maryland, and is the second solar
installation developed for McCormick by Constellation Energy. In late 2008, the
companies brought a nearly 1-megawatt solar installation online at McCormick’s Spice
Mill in Hunt Valley, Md. Construction of this latest installation has been scheduled to
begin in late June with estimated completion by the close of 2010. “In order for
renewables to expand and make a meaningful impact, you have to have organizations
like McCormick that make a commitment to sustainability and developers such as
Constellation Energy that make clean energy practical and reliable,” said Michael Smith,
senior vice president of green initiatives for Constellation Energy. “We are very pleased
to be working again with McCormick on a new solar installation. This affirms that
Constellation Energy’s solar model creates an affordable and realistic renewable energy
solution for our customers.” Constellation Energy will finance the project, including design
and construction of the installation, and then own and maintain the solar power system
for a period of 20 years. McCormick purchases energy produced by the solar installations
hosted at its facilities. Structuring solar projects in this way creates an attractive business
model that creates no upfront costs for customers and provides them with firm power
costs over a long term. Constellation Energy expects McCormick to save an estimated
$3.4 million in electricity costs over the term of the agreement. “We have had a very

positive response to our earlier solar installations from our customers, employees and
shareholders,” said Alan Wilson, chairman, president, and CEO of McCormick. “With this
new project, McCormick becomes one of the largest corporate users of solar power in the
state of Maryland. This is a great source of pride and a clear sign of our ongoing
commitment to the environment and sustainability in general. Sustainability makes great
sense from a business perspective and is ‘Truly our Nature’ at McCormick.” The
McCormick Distribution Center solar project is currently designed to utilize 8,372
crystalline photovoltaic solar panels on the facility’s 363,000 square foot rooftop. The
system is expected annually to generate power equivalent to the amount of electricity
used by 195 homes in a year. Generating that same amount of electricity using non-
renewable sources would result in the release of more than 1,600 metric tons of carbon
dioxide, a greenhouse gas, and the equivalent of the emissions from more than 300
passenger vehicles annually. The project will also create a number of new green jobs,
requiring approximately 17,000 man-hours during construction. Constellation Energy
currently has approximately 25 megawatts of on-site solar projects completed or under
development throughout the U.S. and announced recently that it has set aside $90 million
to fund the development of similar solar installations in 2010. Qualifying projects of 500
kilowatts generally require at least 100,000 square feet of roof space or two acres of
open ground.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Earthwatch Institute moves world headquarters to

Harvard property i...
Friday, April 30, 2010
Earthwatch Institute, a leading international
nonprofit environmental organization, will
move its world headquarters to the Allston
neighborhood of Boston this spring,
Harvard University announced today (March 24). Earthwatch, an organization committed
to scientific research and environmental education, has a staff of approximately 50 and
will occupy 15,000 square feet of Harvard-owned property at 114 Western Ave. that once
served as the headquarters of WGBH media. The move is scheduled for April 26. To
celebrate its arrival in the community, Earthwatch will offer three fellowships for
Allston/Brighton public school teachers, who will be able to join one of its research
expeditions to advance public understanding of science and the changing environment.
Earthwatch also envisions lectures, open houses, and other forms of outreach to
neighboring communities starting in June. The lease agreement between Harvard and
Earthwatch highlights the University’s continuing stewardship of its properties and active
engagement with the Allston community. Last December, President Drew Faust said
Harvard would focus on “aggressive and effective leasing of vacant or partially vacant
Harvard properties, and community engagement,” in an effort to improve neighborhood
vitality. Earlier this year, Harvard opened a free, temporary indoor ice rink in a formerly
vacant Allston property that has resulted in more than 2,000 visits in less than two
months. Harvard continues to market available properties aggressively, seeking tenants
that can enliven the community through new services or public programming. “In
Earthwatch, we’ve found an organization that will be an important presence in Allston and
an exciting addition to the growing green jobs sector in Boston,” said Katie Lapp,
Harvard’s executive vice president. “Earthwatch is a respected, research-based
organization with an interest in building stronger ties with Harvard, Allston, and Boston. 227
We’re delighted to be the catalyst for their move.” “The need for objective science-based
information about our world has never been greater, and we are poised to develop and
deliver practical, sensible solutions that work and connect individuals to help make a
difference,” said Ed Wilson, CEO and president of Earthwatch. “We see our move to
across the street from Harvard Business School and into the hub of Boston as critical to
our ability to expand our reach to citizens and scientists. We look forward to new
partnerships with Boston businesses, schools, and organizations invested in the
conservation of our environment,” Wilson said. A pioneer of citizen science, Earthwatch is
one of the world’s largest private funders of research expeditions, with a portfolio of
nearly 100 projects in 40 countries that focuses on four priorities: preservation of water
and the oceans, understanding the impacts of climate change, conservation of
ecosystem services, and protection of cultural heritage. Earthwatch works with employee
teams representing more than 30 Fortune 500 companies and has earned a reputation
for engaging citizens of all ages in scientific research, especially teachers and students in
education programs designed to improve math and science literacy. “Anytime Harvard
finds tenants for its properties that are vacant or partially filled, it’s an encouraging sign.
Harvard has made it clear that filling these buildings with viable tenants is a priority, so it’s
good to see them continuing on that track,” said Paul Berkeley, chairman of the Allston
Civic Association and a Harvard Allston Task Force member. “Bringing Earthwatch to this
neighborhood not only fills a vacancy, it brings a notable environmental organization to
Allston that could also provide programming that can serve this neighborhood.” The move
to Allston completes the first phase of Earthwatch’s strategic plan to expand the reach of
its international research and environmental education programs over the next decade. It
is also the latest chapter in a series of Harvard connections that began in 1972, when
Earthwatch founder Brian Rosborough was called to support the eclipse expeditions of
Harvard solar astronomer Donald Menzel in Nova Scotia and Mauritania. That expedition
launched Earthwatch’s unique approach to social venture capital. Since then, nine
Harvard scientists, including noted biologist E.O. Wilson, have served as science
advisers. More than a dozen Harvard scientists have been principal investigators for
Earthwatch since its founding. Earthwatch will host open houses in the new Allston
headquarters in June to introduce itself to its Allston and Harvard neighbors, as it
explores ways to strengthen its local ties and engage the surrounding community in its
mission. For more information on Earthwatch and its Harvard connections.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

GE, Nissan to Drive Smart Charging for Electric

Friday, April 30, 2010
In the race to build a smart-charging infrastructure that fuels
the coming plug-in car revolution, GE and Nissan have
teamed to research new technology developments that will
make smart charging a reality. The two companies signed a
three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore
new technologies that are needed to build a reliable, dynamic
smart-charging infrastructure. The MOU brings together two
companies with expertise in the most critical elements
needed to make smart charging work. GE is a world leader in
the energy sector, with a customer base that cuts across the entire electric grid network.
Nissan is one of the world’s top automakers and a leader in electric vehicles. The all-

electric, zero-emission Nissan LEAF is scheduled to launch later this year in Japan, the
United States and Europe. “In the past few years, we have seen an acceleration of
innovations in plug-in hybrid and electric cars that have sparked a revolution in smart-
charging technologies,” said Mark Little, senior vice president and director, GE Global
Research. “Together with Nissan, we will take a comprehensive look at what
technologies will be needed in the car, on the grid and at home or work to make smart
charging a reality.” “Nissan’s vision is to realize zero-emission mobility through a holistic
approach by collaborating with various partners in a broad range of industries,” said
Shunichi Toyomasu, corporate vice president, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. “Working with GE,
we expect this joint research project will provide insight for the home/building and electric
grid connections which supports electric vehicle.” GE and Nissan have outlined two key
areas for potential collaborations. The first relates to the integration of electric vehicles
with homes and buildings. The second focuses on electric vehicle charging dynamics
with the larger electric grid. In coming months, GE and Nissan will work to identify specific
projects they can partner on in each of these areas. Much of the GE work will be
conducted at GE’s global research operations located in Niskayuna, New York, where the
latest electric transportation research and smart grid technology will facilitate the
collaboration. Nissan will participate mainly through it Nissan Technical Center North
America, located in Farmington Hills, Michigan, with support by the Nissan Advanced
Technology Center in Japan.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Achieving Your Goals Just Became Easy.

Mentory Makes It Happen
Thursday, April 29, 2010
So you have this goal. Maybe you want to reduce your weight
or you want to make sure you finish your work on time. You
try hard but you cannot get things to work for you. If by
chance you need a mentor to help you accomplish your goals, turn to
Mentory helps you find a mentor to suit your needs. You setup goals for yourself and the
mentor helps you achieve them. Awesome concept! Mentory boasts of a boatload of
mentors and a lot of interesting goals. Go start off on your goals now!
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

A New Way To Fight Corruption In India

Thursday, April 29, 2010
How do you fight corruption in a country like India? What if the police force is itself
corrupt? Shaffi Mather talks about his ventures that stop corruption in India.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM () 229
Got A Startup? Shout It Out On Sproutpitch
Thursday, April 29, 2010
There's always a need to put forth that
elevator pitch for your startup. Now you
have an outlet. Sproutpitch lets you show
off your elevator pitch video online. It
doesn't stop there. The pitch then get
evaluated by a community of entrepreneurs. Good deal, but there's nothing more that the
website offers. Sproutpitch offers the usual social connections to prominent social
networking sites and lets users "heart" a pitch. These are the kind of websites
entrepreneurs need coming out of a recession. There are a lot of categories under which
you can file your pitches. It would have been great if the website offered some sort of
linking to investors. However, this is a public website. Make sure your ideas are not being
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Footnote Lists All The Best Historical Documents.

We Like This Thing
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Not often do you see startups venturing into archiving
historical records. The closest one came last time was
Google with the Google Books platform and it's been a rough
ride. However one startup - has gotten into archiving "historical" records in
all forms - print, audio and video. Archives are of "original" historical documents starting
all the way from the 1700's to the present day. Wow! This has got to be the most useful
website for the people of the United States. Every singe document is available in digital
form. What's more interesting is that users can upload their own documents to
complement existing documents. What you are seeing here is the beginning of a great
digitizing exercise of the history of the USA. Great work, Footnote.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

BSR And IDEO Reveal The ABCDs Of Building

Sustainability Into Produ...
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Sustainability is not just about modifying
products, but about modifying the way
products are made. The wider range of
factors to consider in product design and
management, such as eco-toxicity,
recyclability or renewability, often lie
outside the expertise of traditional
designers and product managers. Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), in
conjunction with design and innovation firm IDEO, have published a joint report, Aligned

for Sustainable Design: An A-B-C-D Approach to Making Better Products, to educate
companies about how to create internal and external alignments that achieve their
sustainable design goals. "Companies succeed in sustainable product design by
developing a more integrated design process," said Emma Stewart, Ph.D., Director of
BSR's Environmental R&D team. "Rather than just focusing on new strategies and skill
sets, they create new, cross-functional connections in their organizations that enable
them to design and commercialize breakthrough products." Using in-depth case studies,
Aligned for Sustainable Design examines the processes that Nike, Herman Miller, Clorox
and others have been going through to develop a capacity to design products more
sustainably. These real-world examples show that, as companies begin to pursue
sustainable design, they must recognize the many functions that shape their design
options and choices. The A-B-C-D framework breaks these ideas down to illustrate how
companies Assess, Bridge, Create and Diffuse capabilities in their organizations. It helps
to show why companies are transitioning away from a "pipeline" model of product
development to a more integrative design process that connects employees and groups
in ongoing learning loops throughout the design process. These cross-functional
connections are key to encouraging innovation. Aligned for Sustainable Design: An A-B-
C-D Approach to Making Better Products is an indispensable resource to companies
navigating this process. The report is available on BSR's website:
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

World Bank And Pfizer Announce Initiative To

Help Improve Healthcar...
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
The World Bank and Pfizer Inc. announced they will
collaborate to improve the healthcare infrastructure,
specifically the supply chain, in developing countries, starting
with Africa. The novel public-private collaboration will focus
on enhanced use of Information and Communication
Technologies' (ICT) transformative power to improve
healthcare delivery. The project demonstrates both Pfizer's and the World Bank's
commitment to improving healthcare delivery by creating a funding mechanism to
expedite the identification of gaps in Africa's healthcare infrastructure and ultimately aid in
the implementation of ICT solutions. The effort will be part of the World Bank's new
eTransform Initiative, which was formally launched today at a World Bank Spring Meeting
side event attended by developing country ministers of finance and communications. The
eTransform Initiative aims to convene public and private sector stakeholders to promote
government transformation through the use of innovative ICTs. The goal is to use
technology to increase government effectiveness and help governments in developing
countries use their healthcare and other resources more efficiently. About 270 million
people in Africa lack regular access to even the most essential medicines. According to
the World Health Organization (WHO), among the biggest obstacles to improved health
outcomes are inadequate health delivery and financing mechanisms that place the
heaviest burden on the poor and sick, who are the least able to pay. "We recognize the
importance of improving healthcare infrastructure in developing countries so more
patients can have access to life-saving medicines," said Jean-Michel Halfon, president
and general manager of Pfizer's Emerging Markets Business Unit. "This collaboration is
the most recent example of Pfizer's Global Access strategy to improve healthcare access 231
for low-income populations in emerging markets through non-traditional approaches that
will contribute towards the development of commercially viable, sustainable delivery
models." "The eTransform Initiative helps access global expertise through peer-to-peer
networks of industry innovators and country leaders, and through a knowledge bank. It
also establishes a mechanism to fast-track promising projects by funding their initial
design. Under the eTransform Initiative, the World Bank and Pfizer will work together on
knowledge-sharing initiatives. They will also work to set up a trust fund to finance
innovative, ICT-based solutions to healthcare in developing countries." The funding
mechanism, or Healthcare Project Development Facility (HPDF), will be one of several
sector-specific project development facilities within the eTransform Initiative. The HPDF
entails that countries submit grant requests to support a competitively-bid feasibility
study. Study outcomes serve as the basis for proposed solutions and, if accepted by the
country and eligible for World Bank funding, the solution will be implemented on a country
level. The collaboration will focus on Africa in the initial phase. Africa is the world's fastest
growing cellular market, with about 400 million mobile phones in use. With billions of
people in the developing world having access to reliable technology, such as mobile
communications, there is a tremendous opportunity to use technology to radically
improve healthcare delivery,†said Mohsen Khalil, director of the World Bank's Global
Information and Communication Technologies Department. “Through public-private
collaborations, which bring together global expertise, appropriate technologies, efficient
processes, and necessary financial resources, the potential of health and technology can
be fully realized. The collaboration will focus on supporting the eTransform Initiative
through studies or pilots that improve healthcare infrastructure and sharing global
knowledge about technology in developing countries, including the use of mobile
applications. "We understand that to truly make a difference in the lives of low-income
people in emerging markets, we first need research-based evidence to identify and better
understand the existing capabilities and needs of a country to improve healthcare access
for its people," said Ponni Subbiah, vice president, Pfizer Global Access.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Pepsi Adds Refreshing Content To Nokia's Ovi

Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Nokia announced the launch of the Ovi Store football channel
featuring exclusive Pepsi content as well as entertainment,
apps and information from the world's most recognized
football content providers. The channel leverages Ovi Store's
global reach to offer Nokia football fans around the globe the easiest place to shop for the
most popular and most refreshing mobile football content. Launching today, Nokia's Ovi
Store football channel is the ultimate football fan destination featuring highly popular
apps, games, and the ability to quickly personalize and refresh your Nokia. As part of
Ovi's football offering, Pepsi's charity football anthem 'Oh Africa' will be featured for sale
on Ovi Music Store. The charity single performed by six-time Grammy nominee, Akon,
featuring Keri Hilson, the Soweto Gospel choir and sixteen youth from around the world is
the soundtrack to Pepsi's 2010 football campaign. In addition, Pepsi's football athlete
themes and wallpapers will be available for free on the Pepsi home page at
"Pepsi's unique content combined with Nokia's unparalleled global reach offers football
fans around the world the chance to get involved with this year's great Football summer
no matter where they are," said Marco Argenti, VP and Global Head of Media, Nokia.

"The Ovi Store football promotion offers passionate football fans instant access to news,
apps, games and a growing selection of personalization content from some of the world's
top teams." Claudia Lagunas, Digital and New Media Director at PepsiCo International
commented: "Working with Nokia allows us to connect and communicate with the
worldwide mobile community. Nokia's Ovi Store offers an exciting new channel through
which to share our football content with millions of football fans around the globe." Also
launching today is the Nokia Skill Dribbler competition giving mobile gamers the
opportunity to win a Football trip of a lifetime for two to see 'El Clasico' in Barcelona. To
win, skill dribblers have to show off their silky football game skills, avoiding tackles and
keeping control of the ball for as long as they can to accumulate points. The highest
weekly scorers will receive a shirt signed by a one of the worlds' top footballers and Nokia
N97 mini. The top scorer of the competition will be on their way to Barcelona. To enter
and play Skill Dribbler visit In addition to PepsiCo's content Nokia's Ovi
Store football channel will also host a long list of further content dedicated to 2010's
summer of football. From competitions and tournament updates to personalizing your
device, football is a lot more fun when you are part of the action. Some of the key content
and features to get you involved include: Great goals If you are supporting Brazil,
England, or just great football, Great Goals will whet your appetite for what's to come with
a series of free audio and video downloads dedicated to great goals scored by great
players. Football updates and news No matter where you are in the world, you can't catch
every game of the tournament but you can still get live updates. 2010's summer of
football news and update applications are available from the largest football websites in
the world. Livemobile Football, ESPN Soccernet, and are all available as free
applications to keep you up to date with breaking news from around the world, previews
and recaps of games for all major leagues in the world and more. Games Experience the
latest in mobile football gaming and battle to win the cup for your country. Games
available include Gameloft's Real Football 2010 and Real Football Manager 2010, and
beat the rest in the next generation of sports radar built for speed shooting, Speedhero
Multisport, and the latest football games from EA SPORTS. Touchnote A picture is worth
a thousand words, but reminding everyone your country beat their country with a
postcard is priceless. This app takes digital pictures and makes them into physical
postcards in a matter of clicks. Social networking Whether heading to South Africa or just
down the street to your local bar, stay in touch with your friends and family to let them
know where you are watching the game. Share your football experience with fans back
home, comment on games, post media, and find out where the nearby parties are. Social
networks like Nimbuzz and Buddycloud make sharing easy from your Nokia device. Ovi
Maps Don't miss the Game because you got lost, Use new Ovi Maps with free walk and
drive navigation available on Nokia smartphones to find your way to stadium, bar, park,
or wherever you choose to watch the game. After the game, find the best sights,
restaurants, hotels and events wherever you are through the Lonely Planet and Michelin
travel guides that come free with the new Ovi Maps. To download Ovi Maps, visit
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM () 233
FIFA And Sony To Launch First Ever Global 3D
Experience Of The FIFA...
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
- Schedule of the 25 games in 3D announced - Sony to
release the official 3D FIFA World Cup™ film on Blu-ray Disc
in 2010 - Sony to produce and show 25 exclusive promotional
trailers for the official 3D Film featuring images of the FIFA
World Cup in 4,000 retail stores globally - 3D live broadcast and public viewing to be
made available at selected locations globally - Sony 3D technology as the provider of
cutting-edge next-generation 3D solutions Following the initial joint announcement to
make the world's first FIFA World Cup™ available in 3D, FIFA and Sony Corporation
today unveiled insights into what the football fans around the globe can expect from this
innovative undertaking to add a third dimension to the football viewing experience.
Coinciding with the rapidly growing consumer interest in 3D fuelled by the release of
blockbuster movie titles in 3D and impending launch of 3D TV sets for the home, the first
ever FIFA World Cup™ in 3D will further capture the excitement for millions of football
fans around the globe. With a total of seven pairs of Sony's professional HDC cameras
on rigs at every match (model: HDC-1500), the action on the pitch will be captured in a
stunning 3D quality enabled through its proprietary multi-image processor (model: MPE-
200) and 3D Outside Broadcast truck. Sony's cutting-edge processor, the only one in the
market to date, makes an end-to-end workflow possible in the production process and
automatically adjusts the depth-of-field to ensure an unprecedented and optimal 3D
viewing experience around the world. Starting from the FIFA Confederations Cup last
year in South Africa, Sony has been working on enhancing the 3D capturing of fast-
moving football action and has since conducted a number of 3D filming trials in Europe.
3D filming will be realised at five out of the 10 FIFA World Cup stadiums: Soccer City and
Ellis Park in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. 25 matches in total
will be filmed and broadcast in 3D, which will include a carefully chosen selection of those
games expected to attract most public attention, including the opening game on June 11
at Soccer City (South Africa vs Mexico) and the crowning final game on July 11 also in
Johannesburg. Other games to be captured in 3D are: 1. June 11 16:00h RSA v MEX 2.
June 12 16:00h ARG v NGA 3. June 13 20:30h GER v AUS 4. June 14 13:30h NED v
DEN 5. June 15 20:30h BRA v PRK 6. June 16 16:00h ESP v SUI 7. June 17 13:30h
ARG v KOR 8. June 18 16:00h SVN v USA 9. June 19 13:30h NED v JPN 10. June 20
20:30h BRA v CIV 11. June 21 20:30h ESP v HON 12. June 22 20:30h NGA v KOR 13.
June 23 20:30h GHA v GER 14. June 24 16:00h SVK v ITA 15. June 25 16:00h POR v
BRA 16. June 27 20:30h 1st B v 2nd A 17. June 28 16:00h 1st E v 2nd F 18. June 28
20:30h 1st G v 2nd H 19. July 2 20:30h Quarter finals 20. July 3 16:00h Quarter finals 21.
July 3 20:30h Quarter finals 22. July 6 20:30h Semi finals 23. July 7 20:30h Semi finals
24. July 10 20:30h 3rd place match 25. July 11 20:30h Final "The 3D feed from these 25
matches will be made available for broadcast on 3D channels, which can be enjoyed by
consumers on their 3D-compatible TV sets in the comfort of their home, almost as if they
were in the football stadium themselves," said Niclas Ericson, Director of FIFA TV.
"Whilst discussions with major broadcasters are ongoing, I am very pleased to announce
the first confirmed partners for the 3D live broadcast, who are ESPN in the US and
Sogecable in Spain. We expect further announcements to be made shortly," he added. In
line with FIFA's and Sony's endeavour to make this new exciting 3D viewing experience
available to as many football fans as possible, a dedicated global 3D public viewing
project will debut at this year's FIFA World Cup. Eight matches will be fed live to digital

cinemas and selected venues in 3D HD quality around the globe. To this end, FIFA has
appointed Swiss-based Aruna Media AG to manage the exclusive 3D cinema and
entertainment venue rights for live games in 3D. Aruna plans to broadcast live 3D
coverage of matches to around 26 countries and is in advanced discussions with several
major markets. Reaffirming its leading position at the forefront of the emerging 3D
market, Sony is the key technological enabler of this new viewing experience and
enhances the excitement of football fans, either watching a football match live in the
stadium or enjoying a new 3D experience through 3D TV channels or at the public
viewing events around the world. "Sony has long standing credentials in the creation of
professional 3D technology and content for theatrical use," said Hiroko Saito, Deputy
General Manager of Global Sponsorships, Sony Corporation. "True to our strategy eFrom
the lens to the living-room', we are actively involved at every stage of the 3D value chain
and proudly draw on the strengths of the e3D World created by Sony', which
encapsulates our expertise in professional solutions, consumer electronics, movie
making and gaming alike. We are very excited to capitalise on these strengths and to be
able to complement our compelling 3D proposition by bringing an entirely new viewing
experience to the world of football through our partnership with FIFA," Saito added.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Video: Where Does Your Money Travel

Tuesday, April 27, 2010
So you have this dollar bill you spent at the grocery store yesterday. Do you know where
this bill travels the next day or in the next year? There's one way to find out. If you had
registered that dollar bill at, then you might have been able to track it.
Those who did register their dollar bills at have left some amazing
trail of information about the note and in the process created a massive data pool which
gives us insights about human migration within the US. Watch the video below and be
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

A&E Television Networks Signs With Microsoft’s

Tuesday, April 27, 2010
A&E Television Networks (AETN) and Microsoft Corp. today
announced an agreement in which AETN will use Microsoft’s
Admira television marketplace to help optimize sales of its
inventory on Bio, History International and History en Español channels starting in April
2010. Through the use of aggregated, anonymized cable and satellite set-top box
viewership data, Admira will help advertisers and agencies find the right audiences at the
right times across participating AETN programs. Admira will enable advertisers and
agencies to segment their advertising buys simply and effectively to better maximize
campaign objectives. In addition, AETN’s sales force will use Admira as an accountable
planning, reporting and verification tool to construct customized media plans. “The
addition of AETN channels to our growing footprint further validates not only Microsoft’s
Admira television marketplace, but also the use of anonymous, set-top box data to
substantiate the audience value of television inventory on a national scale,” said Scott
Ferris, general manager of the TV/Video Business Group, Advertiser and Publisher 235
Solutions at Microsoft. “Programmers recognize that data-driven, audience-centric media
buying can help them better monetize their inventory and deliver increased value to
advertisers and agencies. Television is an increasingly important part of Microsoft
Advertising’s vision to help advertisers and publishers engage with consumers on any
screen, anywhere, at any time.” “We knew from the start we wanted to collaborate with
Microsoft and Admira,” said Michael Peretz, senior vice president, Sales Revenue
Management, A&E Television Networks. “Admira’s dynamic solution will allow us to
simplify the sale of our inventory and allow advertisers to benefit from the near-real-time
set-top box viewership data to find the audiences they’re looking for across our networks
and platforms. Models like Admira are the future of selling television.” Beginning in the
second quarter of 2010, AETN will make available select inventory from its national Bio
and History International channels, which are received in more than 47 million U.S.
households, and its History en Español channel, which has 29 million subscribers across
the U.S. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Pesticide Atrazine Can Turn Male Frogs Into

Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Atrazine, one of the world's most widely
used pesticides, wreaks havoc with the sex
lives of adult male frogs, emasculating
three-quarters of them and turning one in

10 into females, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley, biologists.

The 75 percent that are chemically castrated are essentially "dead" because of their
inability to reproduce in the wild, reports UC Berkeley's Tyrone B. Hayes, professor of
integrative biology. "These male frogs are missing testosterone and all the things that
testosterone controls, including sperm. So their fertility is as low as 10 percent in some
cases, and that is only if we isolate those animals and pair them with females," he said.
"In an environment where they are competing with unexposed animals, they have zero
chance of reproducing." The 10 percent or more that turn from males into females –
something not known to occur under natural conditions in amphibians – can successfully
mate with male frogs but, because these females are genetically male, all their offspring
are male. "When we grow these guys up, depending on the family, we will get anywhere
from 10 to 50 percent females," Hayes said. "In a population, the genetically male
females can decrease or wipe out a population just because they skew sex ratios so
badly." Though the experiments were performed on a common laboratory frog, the
African clawed frog ( Xenopus laevis ), field studies indicate that atrazine, a potent
endocrine disruptor, similarly affects frogs in the wild, and could possibly be one of the
causes of amphibian declines around the globe, Hayes said. Hayes and his UC Berkeley
colleagues report their results in this week's online early edition of the journal

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In last week's issue of the Journal of
Experimental Biology, Hayes and colleagues published a review of the possible causes
of a worldwide decline in amphibian populations, concluding that atrazine and other
hormone-disrupting pollutants are a likely contributor because they affect recruitment of
new individuals and make amphibians more susceptible to disease. "These kinds of
problems, like sex-reversing animals skewing sex ratios, are much more dangerous than
any chemical that would kill off a population of frogs," he said. "In exposed populations, it
looks like there are frogs breeding but, in fact, the population is being very slowly
degraded by the introduction of these altered animals." Some 80 million pounds of the
herbicide atrazine are applied annually in the United States on corn and sorghum to
control weeds and increase crop yield, but such widespread use also makes atrazine the
most common pesticide contaminant of ground and surface water, according to various
studies. More and more research, however, is showing that atrazine interferes with
endocrine hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone – in fish, amphibians, birds,
reptiles, laboratory rodents and even human cell lines at levels of parts per billion. Recent
studies also found a possible link between human birth defects and low birth weight and
atrazine exposure in the womb. As a result of these studies, the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) is reviewing its regulations on use of the pesticide. Several states are
considering banning atrazine, and six class action lawsuits have been filed seeking to
eliminate its use. The European Union already bars the use of atrazine. Hayes's studies
in the early 2000s were the first to show that the hormonal effects of atrazine disrupt
sexual development in amphibians. Working with the African clawed frog, Hayes and his
colleagues showed in 2002 that tadpoles raised in atrazine-contaminated water become
hermaphrodites – they develop both female (ovaries) and male (testes) gonads. This
occurred at atrazine levels as low as 0.1 parts per billion (ppb), 30 times lower than levels
allowed in drinking water by the EPA (3 ppb). Subsequent studies showed that native
leopard frogs ( Rana pipiens ) collected from atrazine-contaminated streams in the
Midwest, including from areas up to 1,000 miles from where atrazine is applied, often had
eggs in their testes. And many males had lower testosterone levels than normal females
and smaller than normal voice boxes, presumably limiting their ability to call mates.
Hayes' research also established that many frogs in Midwestern streams contaminated
by atrazine and other pesticides have compromised immune systems, leading to
increased mortality from bacterial disease. Those early studies were hampered by the
inability to easily distinguish genetically male from genetically female frogs. Male frogs
have two identical sex chromosomes (ZZ) while females have both a Z and a W – the
opposite of XX female and XY male humans. But because all frog chromosomes look the
same under a light microscope, it's not simple to distinguish male from female. To
overcome this, Hayes' colleague Roger Liu developed a line of all-male frogs so that the
genetics would be unequivocal. "Before, we knew we got fewer males than we should
have, and we got hermaphrodites. Now, we have clearly shown that many of these
animals are sex-reversed males," Hayes said. "We have animals that are females, in the
sense that they behave like females: They have estrogen, lay eggs, they mate with other
males. Atrazine has caused a hormonal imbalance that has made them develop into the
wrong sex, in terms of their genetic constitution." Coincidentally, another lab in 2008
discovered a sex-linked genetic marker in Xenopus, which has allowed Hayes to confirm
the genetic sex of his frogs. In Hayes' study, where 40 frogs lived for about three years
after hatching in water with 2.5 ppb atrazine, about 10 percent of the frogs appeared to
be resistant to the effects of the pesticide. In ongoing studies, Hayes is investigating
whether this apparent resistance is inherited, as well as whether the sex-reversed males
have more susceptible offspring. Syngenta, which manufactures atrazine, disputes many
of these studies, including Hayes', that show adverse effects of the pesticide. But Hayes
said that "when you have studies all over the world showing problems with atrazine in 237
every vertebrate that has been looked at – fish, frogs, reptiles, birds, mammals – all of
them can't be wrong." "What people have to realize is that, just as with taking
pharmaceuticals, they have to decide whether the benefits outweigh the costs," he said.
"Not every frog or every human will be affected by atrazine, but do you want to take a
chance, what with all the other things that we know atrazine does, not just to humans but
to rodents and frogs and fish?" Hayes' long-term studies of the effects of atrazine on
frogs have been assisted by many UC Berkeley students, including co-authors on the
current paper: undergraduates Vicky Khoury, Anne Narayan, Mariam Nazir, Andrew
Park, Lillian Adame and Elton Chan; and graduate students Travis Brown, Daniel
Buchholz, Sherrie Gallipeau and Theresa Stueve. The work was funded by the Park
Water Co., Mitch Kapor, Freada Klein, the Mitch Kapor Foundation, the David
Foundation, the Cornell-Douglas Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, the UC Berkeley
Class of '43 endowed chair and the Howard Hughes Biology Fellows Program.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Shootitlive Enables Real Time Media Publishing

Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Ever been to a live concert and wanted to
share videos the concert to all your friends
in real time? A startup called Shootitlive has
made this possible. The company claims that you can upload videos and images to the
internet within 60 seconds of shooting it, as long as you are in an area with 3G coverage.
This is how it works - Once you sign up for their service, take your WiFi equipped camera
and go shooting. You choose which pictures gets publishes by clicking a button on your
camera and the videos or photos get published in real time. Cool Eh? Apparently
Scandinavia's largest newspaper company uses Shootitlive to publish live media for their
internet assets. Go check it out at
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Video: A Full Sized Home In 300 Sq. Ft. Yup,

Monday, April 26, 2010
When you live in Hong Kong where space is the most important commodity, you tend to
innovate in the way you live. That's exactly what architect Gary Chang did with his tini-
tiny apartment. Just 300 sq ft in overall floorspace, Gary Chang changed his home into a
really large one by adding moving walls. A full sized bedroom, a TV room, a decent sized
kitchen, a bath tub and even a guest bed - all in this much space? Watch video below to
know how.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

“MoonBots” Challenges Parent-Child Teams to
Conduct Google Lunar X ...
Monday, April 26, 2010
The X PRIZE Foundation, Google Inc.,
LEGO Systems, National Instruments, and
Wired’s GeekDad will announce
“MoonBots: A Google Lunar X PRIZE
LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Challenge” today
at the FIRST WORLD Championships. The new contest will challenge small teams
comprised of children and adults to design, program, and construct robots that perform
simulated lunar missions similar to those required to win the $30 million Google Lunar X
PRIZE, a private race to the Moon designed to enable commercial exploration of space
while engaging the global public. To further this purpose, the X PRIZE Foundation and
Google have now joined forces with three other well known technology companies to
offer a competition that will stimulate learning of robotics and team building while exciting
students and their families about their potential roles in the new Moon race. “The Google
Lunar X PRIZE is helping to open a new era of lunar exploration that will involve much
broader participation than the first Moon race,” said William Pomerantz, Senior Director
for Space Prizes at the X PRIZE Foundation. “We want students and their parents to
understand that they can tackle difficult engineering problems and generate important
new ideas regardless of their age or their background—and that they can have fun doing
so. This contest is quite accessible for even very young children, but still demands
creativity, intelligence, and hard work. It’s a perfect starting point for the next generation
of rocket scientists!” Once registration for the contest opens, teams will be asked to
submit designs illustrating how they will build, program and operate their robots using
LEGO MINDSTORMS robotic kits. There will be no charge to enter the contest and
registration will be open to teams across the globe. The competition will encourage the
participants to use free software tools such as Google’s SketchUp, LEGO’s Digital
Designer, National Instruments LabVIEW, and Google’s YouTube platform to delineate
how their entry will be constructed and how their team will function. From these
submissions, a select group will be chosen as finalists and provided with free LEGO
components to construct a large Moonscape that will serve as the competition’s ‘playing
field.’ Finalists will then construct, program and demonstrate their robots to be judged.
For more than a decade, the LEGO MINDSTORMS robotics toolkits have given children
of all ages the best of both the physical and virtual world, combining LEGO bricks with
state-of-the-art hardware and easy-to-use programming software. LEGO MINDSTORMS
empowers users to conceive, build and program robotic inventions for both play and
learning purposes. In just 30 minutes, young robot creators can build and program their
first working LEGO robot. “Thanks to the many thousands of users in the LEGO
MINDSTORMS community, we have an impressive track record when it comes to
amazing, imaginative robotic inventions and applications,” said Steven Canvin, Marketing
Manager for LEGO MINDSTORMS. “Users have in the past decade created LEGO
MINDSTORMS robots that have been into space twice, so creating the MoonBots contest
together with the partners around the Google Lunar X PRIZE is a natural choice”. The
teams of children and adults around the world will be challenged to use their imagination
and problem-solving skills to develop a robot for a complex mission, and we hope that
their work will encourage and inspire others to explore their creativity”. “The mission of
the LEGO Group is to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow, and we hope that the
MoonBots Challenge can be part of fulfilling that mission”. "We hope competitions like the 239
Google Lunar X PRIZE will revolutionize space exploration, and we want everyone to be
as excited about space as we are," said Tiffany Montague, Technical Program Manager
of the Google Lunar X PRIZE. "MoonBots is an important next step in this ongoing effort
because it will help better our understanding of the challenges of working, and eventually
living, in space. The participants in the MoonBots competition may become the future
technologists and engineers that ultimately help us return the Moon - we're looking
forward to seeing their work." "Travel to the Moon holds a unique place in childrens'
imaginations, and using LEGO to bring our kids' imaginations to life is one of a
GeekDad's favorite pastimes." says Ken Denmead, Editor for the GeekDad blog at
WIRED. "WIRED and its GeekDad parenting blog look forward to working with our
partners on the MoonBots challenge to inspire the next generation of lunar explorers to
build their dreams with one hand while they reach for the stars with the other." “Today's
students are tomorrow's innovators,” said Ray Almgren, Vice President of Academic
Relations at National Instruments. “National Instruments is committed to inspiring children
to develop their creativity and explore the wonders of science and engineering through
hands-on experiences such as the MoonBots contest. MoonBots participants will
program their robots with easy-to-use, graphical software powered by National
Instruments LabVIEW – the same software used by engineers and scientists around the
world for innovative applications such as testing next-generation gaming systems and
creating breakthrough medical devices." To learn more about the MoonBots competition
and to find out upcoming information when to register to compete, please visit For more information about the Google Lunar X PRIZE and the
teams currently registered in the competition, please visit High resolution photographs, video and other team
materials are available upon request.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Video: Seven Species Of Robots

Monday, April 26, 2010
Well, if you call Asimo a human being, does the robotics world have other species to
show off? Hell Yeah! Dennis Hong of Robotics Mechanisms Laboratory or RoMeLa at
Virgina Tech actually has 7 species of robots lurking around in their labs! Visit the folks at Watch Mr. Hong show off his robots in the video below.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Persay Brings Voice Based Biometrics To The

Monday, April 26, 2010
So seen those sci-fi movies eh? They scan everything, the
eye, the palm, finger prints to get you into that secret lab.
What if the villain cut your hands off, pulled your eyes out and
you still had to get into that secret lab? Well, there's a
solution. If that biometric security system used the solution
from Persay then your voice would get you through that security door. Persay is a voice
biometrics company. They say that your voice is as unique to you as your fingerprint is,
and hence your impersonator should really be "speechless". Persay offers multiple
biometric security solution, all driven by voice. Voice Password, Free Speech and S.P.I.D

are three of their offerings right now. Applications range from authentication to criminal
identification. Woah! You guys just found kryptonite!
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Paper Describes Functional Nanomaterials For

Medical, Health Devices
Sunday, April 25, 2010
A team led by researchers from North
Carolina State University has published a
paper that describes the use of a technique
called atomic layer deposition to

incorporate “biological functionality” into

complex nanomaterials, which could lead to
a new generation of medical and
environmental health applications. For
example, the researchers show how the
technology can be used to develop
effective, low-cost water purification
devices that could be used in developing
countries. “Atomic layer deposition is a
technique that can be used to create thin
films for coating metals or ceramics, and is
especially useful for coating complex
nanoscale structures,” says Dr. Roger
Narayan, the paper’s lead author. “This
paper shows how atomic layer deposition
can be used to create biologically functional
materials, such as materials that have antibacterial properties. Another example would be
a material that does not bond to proteins in the body, which could be used for implantable
medical sensors.” Narayan is a professor in the joint biomedical engineering department
of NC State’s College of Engineering and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
One of the applications discussed in the paper is a material that could be used as a filter
for point-of-use water purification. “This would be very helpful in the developing world, or
in disaster situations – like Haiti – where people do not have access to safe water,”
Narayan says. “Over one billion people do not have access to safe water. This can lead
to a variety of public health problems, including cholera and hepatitis.” Specifically, the
researchers show that atomic layer deposition can be used to create a film for coating
nanoporous membranes, which may be used for filtering out pathogenic bacteria. “The
film could also provide antimicrobial functionality,” Narayan says, “to neutralize bacteria.”
In the study, the researchers found that membranes treated with one of these films were
able to neutralize two common pathogens: E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus. The
researchers are currently working with colleagues to assess how well the membranes
perform against a variety of environmental bacteria. It’s anticipated that these
membranes could find use in a variety of medical and environmental health applications,
such as hemodialysis filters and implantable sensors. The research, “Atomic layer
deposition-based functionalization of materials for medical and environmental health
applications,” is published in the March issue of the journal Philosophical Transactions of
the Royal Society A. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and 241
the National Institutes of Health. The research was co-authored by Narayan, Dr. Nancy
Monteiro-Riviere, professor of investigative dermatology and toxicology at the Center for
Chemical Toxicology Research and Pharmacokinetics at NC State, Dr. Chunming Jin, a
post-doctoral research associate at NC State, and Dr. Junping Zhang, a former post-
doctoral research associate at NC State. Additional co-authors were from Kodak
Research Laboratories, Argonne National Laboratory, North Dakota State University,
National Yang-Ming University in Taiwan, and Taipei Medical University in Taiwan.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:56PM ()

Unmanned Space Flight? Possible

Saturday, April 24, 2010
Boeing [NYSE: BA] today announced the successful launch
of the Boeing-built Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), also known as
the X-37B, for the U.S. Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office.

The OTV was launched on an Atlas V rocket into a low Earth orbit today at 7:52 p.m.
Eastern time from Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 41. "The X-37B has the potential to
bring to space the flexibility that unmanned systems provide warfighters and combatant
commanders today," said Dennis Muilenburg, president and CEO of Boeing Defense,

Space & Security. "With the ability to be launched into space and then land on its own,
the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle is an example of the kind of innovation that Boeing has
been doing for decades to advance aviation, space systems, and now unmanned
systems. Close teamwork between the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, the United
Launch Alliance Atlas team, and the 45th Space Wing at Cape Canaveral Air Force
Station made this launch a success." The vehicle will be used to demonstrate a reliable,
reusable unmanned space test platform for the Air Force. Program objectives include
space experimentation, risk reduction, and concept-of-operations development for
reusable space vehicle technologies. "The Orbital Test Vehicle combines the best of
aircraft and spacecraft to enable flexible and responsive missions," said Paul Rusnock,
Boeing vice president of Experimental Systems and program director for the X-37B. "This
first flight will demonstrate the readiness of the X-37B to begin serving the Air Force as it
continues to investigate ways to make space access more routine, affordable and
responsive." Boeing's commitment to this space-based unmanned vehicle spans a
decade and includes support to the Air Force Research Lab's X-40 program, NASA's X-
37 program, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's X-37 approach,
landing and test vehicle (ALTV) program. Boeing program management, engineering,
test and mission support functions for the OTV program are conducted at Boeing sites in
Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, and El Segundo, Calif. A unit of The Boeing Company,
Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and
security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions,
and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft.
Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business
with 68,000 employees worldwide.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:08PM ()

Want To Bet Aimlessly? Flusta Is Here For You

Saturday, April 24, 2010
How many betting sites have you seen letting you bet on
random things like "Is nose hair bad or mono brows?" Well, if
you like betting on random things rather than on your favorite
hockey team then head directly to Flusta. This s a crazy
place where you can create bets on anything you want and vote on bets created by other
users. You can also post a bet and challenge your buddies. All this is balanced with a
"points" system. Every time you vote on someone else's bet you get 6 points and you will
need those points to post your own bets or accept others' bets. No other use for those
points. So the more point you have the more bets you can set up. Weird business model
but we like the betting part. We have setup our own bet to you - Was the leaked iPhone
4G planted by Apple? - go vote here - link
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Don't Like Your Job? iReboot Can Help

Saturday, April 24, 2010
Have you lately bumped into anyone who
works at his/her dream job? Well, in an era
where dream jobs are like a hunt for the
white elephant, one company in India took 243
form with a vision to create dream jobs. It’s called iReboot. This company dared to cut
straight through the rat race by helping working professionals identify their dream job,
equip themselves with necessary skills and even pursue their dream job for a living. How
it works: iReboot has on its platter a wide variety of unconventional jobs in domains of
sound, music, dance, theatre, media, travel, writing, events, fashion, arts, lifestyle, food
and medicine, sports, fitness and a few miscellaneous jobs like selling antiques and dog
training. The platter ceaselessly grows. iReboot invites participants mainly from the IT
sector to attend their mentorship programs. They first conduct an internal inventory test
which helps every participant realize what s/he has a natural flare for and where s/he
aptly belongs. iReboot is very well connected with some of the big names in every
domain that they deal with who act as mentors to these participants. Participants of all
programs go through a rigorous mentoring and training program where they are given
ample exposure to their chosen segment. Candidates are taught all that there is to know
in the chosen field. Further, they are also given a close-to-live, hands-on experience and
a certificate by their mentor strongly recommending them to companies in that sector.
Thus, these candidates are all set for their dream job. Have you found yours yet?
Posted by Deepti Natarajan at 12:07AM ()

CMU Student Uses Skin as Input For Mobile

Friday, April 23, 2010
A combination of simple bio-acoustic
sensors and some sophisticated machine
learning makes it possible for people to use
their fingers or forearms — and potentially,
any part of their bodies — as touchpads to
control smart phones or other mobile
devices. The technology, called Skinput,
was developed by Chris Harrison, a third-
year Ph.D. student in Carnegie Mellon
University's Human-Computer Interaction
Institute (HCII), along with Desney Tan and Dan Morris of Microsoft Research. Harrison
will describe the technology in a paper to be presented onMonday, April 12, at CHI 2010,
the Association for Computing Machinery's annual Conference on Human Factors in
Computing Systems in Atlanta, Ga. Skinput,,
could help people take better advantage of the tremendous computing power now
available in compact devices that can be easily worn or carried. The diminutive size that
makes smart phones, MP3 players and other devices so portable also severely limits the
size and utility of the keypads, touchscreens and jog wheels typically used to control
them. "With Skinput, we can use our own skin — the body's largest organ — as an input
device," Harrison said. "It's kind of crazy to think we could summon interfaces onto our
bodies, but it turns out to make a lot of sense. Our skin is always with us, and makes the
ultimate interactive touch surface." In a prototype developed while Harrison was an intern
at Microsoft Research last summer, acoustic sensors are attached to the upper arm.
These sensors capture sound generated by such actions as flicking or tapping fingers
together, or tapping the forearm. This sound is not transmitted through the air, but by
transverse waves through the skin and by longitudinal, or compressive, waves through
the bones. Harrison and his colleagues found that the tap of each fingertip, a tap to one
of five locations on the arm, or a tap to one of 10 locations on the forearm produces a

unique acoustic signature that machine learning programs could learn to identify. These
computer programs, which improve with experience, were able to determine the
signature of each type of tap by analyzing 186 different features of the acoustic signals,
including frequencies and amplitude. In a trial involving 20 subjects, the system was able
to classify the inputs with 88 percent accuracy overall. Accuracy depended in part on
proximity of the sensors to the input; forearm taps could be identified with 96 percent
accuracy when sensors were attached below the elbow, and 88 percent accuracy when
the sensors were above the elbow. Finger flicks could be identified with 97 percent
accuracy. "There's nothing super sophisticated about the sensor itself," Harrison said,
"but it does require some unusual processing. It's sort of like the computer mouse — the
device mechanics themselves aren't revolutionary, but are used in a revolutionary way."
The sensor is an array of highly tuned vibration sensors — cantilevered piezo films. The
prototype armband includes both the sensor array and a small projector that can
superimpose colored buttons onto the wearer's forearm, which can be used to navigate
through menus of commands. Additionally, a keypad can be projected on the palm of the
hand. Simple devices, such as MP3 players, might be controlled simply by tapping
fingertips, without need of superimposed buttons; in fact, Skinput can take advantage of
proprioception — a person's sense of body configuration — for eyes-free interaction.
Though the prototype is of substantial size and designed to fit the upper arm, the sensor
array could easily be miniaturized so that it could be worn much like a wristwatch,
Harrison said. Testing indicates the accuracy of Skinput is reduced in heavier, fleshier
people and that age and sex might also affect accuracy. Running or jogging also can
generate noise and degrade the signals, the researchers report, but the amount of testing
was limited and accuracy likely would improve as the machine learning programs receive
more training under such conditions. Harrison, who delights in "blurring the lines between
technology and magic," is a prodigious inventor. Last year, he launched a company,
Invynt LLC, to market a technology he calls "Lean and Zoom," which automatically
magnifies the image on a computer monitor as the user leans toward the screen. He also
has developed a technique to create a pseudo-3D experience for videoconferencing
using a single webcam at each conference site. Another project explored how
touchscreens can be enhanced with tactile buttons that can change shape as virtual
interfaces on the touchscreen change. Skinput is an extension of an earlier invention by
Harrison called Scratch Input, which used acoustic microphones to enable users to
control cell phones and other devices by tapping or scratching on tables, walls or other
surfaces. "Chris is a rising star," said Scott Hudson, HCII professor and Harrison's faculty
adviser. "Even though he's a comparatively new Ph.D. student, the very innovative nature
of his work has garnered a lot of attention both in the HCI research community and
beyond." The HCII is a unit of Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science, one of the
world's leading centers for computer science research and education. Follow the School
of Computer Science on Twitter @SCSatCMU.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:09PM () Planning To Add Receipt Management

Feature. We Knew This W...
Friday, April 23, 2010
Remember the post where we mentioned that the receipt emailing thingy is gaining
traction as a business model? Well, the very famous personal finance management site is running a survey right now to know if you would like it if they would
automatically store receipts from "top retailers" out of your credit/debit card transactions. 245
Mint posted this about 10 minutes ago.

"Your thoughts please... We're thinking of

adding a new feature that would allow
users to store receipts from some of the top
retailers within your Mint account. Would
you find this feature useful?"

The response has been an almost unanimous "Yes" and so we believe the feature should
be hitting your accounts very soon. Mint obviously takes receipt management seriously
and we believe most banks should start offering this service to all their consumers very
soon. What happens to paper receipt processing and management companies like is yet to be seen. Hit up the survey here if you think you will need this
feature in your Mint account.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 03:42PM ()

F/A 18 Super Hornets Flying On Biofuel. GE's

The Culprit
Friday, April 23, 2010
When was the last time you saw a fighter jet fly "green"? GE
has managed to power a Boeing F/A 18 Super Hornet with a
50/50 blend of biofuel and regular fuel. Awesome, right? Now
wars need not be as taxing on the environment! GE made
this possible through its F414 jet engine. While the Super
Hornet is the US Navy's first fighter jet to get the green
engine, more are in the pipeline. The US military has been
the biggest sponsor of green tech and this is another shining
example of things working very well in their favor. Obama's
plan for energy independence seems to be
working. Full PR text after the break.
*********Start PR Text************* The F414
turbofan engine powered the 'Green
Hornet,' an F/A-18 Super Hornet fueled by
a 50/50 biofuel blend, marking the first time
a United States Navy (USN) fighter had
taken to the skies with a non-petroleum fuel
source. The flight took place on Earth Day
at the Naval Air Station in Patuxent River,
MD. “This flight culminates several months of component and ground testing by the F414
team to clear the engine for flight, and by all counts the aircraft did not know the
difference between the conventional fuel and the ‘drop in’ biofuel blend during the 45-
minute flight,” said Mike Epstein, GE Aviation Alternative Fuels Leader. “We are proud to
play a role in helping make energy independence and security a top priority for the Navy.”
Prior to flight testing, GE ran more than 500 hours of component tests and close to 20
hours of F414 engine testing to validate that the engine would operate successfully using
the biofuel blend. The blend used in the Super Hornet is derived from the camelina plant,
which is a U.S.-grown, renewable, non-food source. The USN has set a goal of meeting
half of its energy needs from alternative sources by 2020. Applied to today’s military
aircraft, the ‘Green Hornet’ initiative can increase capability by reducing reliance on fossil

fuels from foreign sources and decrease volatility associated with long fuel supply
transport lines. GE is working on a wide range of research and development efforts to
support the broader Green Hornet initiative, including development of component
technologies that could reduce specific fuel consumption (SFC) for the Navy’s twin-
engine F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fleet by 3 percent and save two million gallons annually.
Other “green” efforts include a noise reduction kit for the F414 that includes a chevron
exhaust nozzle, where each serrated lobe penetrates into or out of the primary flow and
generates a secondary stream to reduce engine noise. Testing has shown a 2-3 decibel
reduction, which is equivalent to turning off one of the F/A-18’s two engines. Powering
the Green Hornet extends GE Aviation’s leadership in evaluating fuels from alternative
energy sources for commercial and military engines to maximize economic benefits for
customers and minimize the carbon footprint on the environment. In January 2009, a
CFM56-powered Continental Airlines Boeing 737 demonstrated the use of sustainable
biofuel to power a commercial aircraft for the first time in North America. One year earlier,
Virgin Atlantic flew its GE CF6-powered Boeing 747 from London to Amsterdam,
becoming the first airline in the world to fly on biofuel. GE Aviation, an operating unit of
GE (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of jet engines, components and integrated
systems for commercial and military aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to
support these offerings. For more information, visit CFM is a 50/50
joint company of Snecma (Safran Group) and GE. *********End PR Text**************
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:58AM ()

Google Navigation On The iPhone? Drool! Drool!

Friday, April 23, 2010

The last time Google tried to put its product

into an Apple product, things did not work
out so well. The whole thing about AT&T
being converted to a data pipe in case
Google Voice came aboard the iPhone did
not go down too well AT&T or Apple. This
time round it may be different. TechRadar
reports that Google Navigation may finally be headed towards 1, Infinity Loop. Yes, you
heard it right! The iPhone may finally get the all too amazing Google Navigation app. It's
not just the iPhone but also other platforms that may get it - read Blackberry and Palm
WebOS. It is unlikely that Symbian will get it since Nokia already has it's own navigation
product. No timelines yet, but it's coming. Good timing, iPhone OS4.0 and all that? Good
times in store for Apple fanboys.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM () 247
Augmented "Hyper" Reality
Friday, April 23, 2010
So, you walk into a Seven Eleven 10 years from now. You want to get yourself a cup of
tea but don't want to see any advertising. What do you do? Pay 7/11 some money to tone
down the advertising while you shop. Then you go into the store and get instructed on
how to make a cup of tea. Then you walk out after paying for the tea. All this in
augmented reality. Cool eh? Keiichi Matsuda calls it Augmented "Hyper" Reality. This is
going to be how you shop in the future. Trust us. Watch video to know what I am talking
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:14AM ()

Compostable cutlery. Seriously.

Thursday, April 22, 2010
Ok, we have been talking about the "green"
thing on Ideabing since the beginning of
time but this startup is awesome.
Introducing Vegware . They sell freakkin compostable tableware and cutlery! From
spoons to bowls to cups to everything you can eat your food in made out of plants. We
have seen Pepsi's "half the plastic" in our bottles bullshit but I think Vegware is doing the
right thing. Today's a field day for green folks. First Ecoscene then this. Now you don't
have to feel guilty throwing that cup in the garden. Even the "plastic" cups they talk about
come from corn based elements. Awesome! Don't expect green stuff to be cheap though.
A 50 pack of Vegware cups will run you $8 instead of $1 if you bought regular plastic
cups. 8 times the cost? Guess its worth it to save Planet Earth. but come on, at least you
can brag about being green and all that.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:45PM ()

Ecoscene: A Review Site For All Things Green

Thursday, April 22, 2010
Yeah, we are all going green. But where do
find the "best" green products? Look now
further than Ecoscene. Ecoscene is a
review site for eco-friendly products.
Product reviews range from apparels to food to office products. The site has quite a few
reviews from a lot of authors. This site may actually give you some great reviews. Apart
from independent reviewers Ecoscene also has an "Ecoscene approved" section where
you can find Ecoscene approved products. Reviews are quite comprehensive based on a
lot of factors including materials, functionality, organic origin and even its packaging.
Good stuff for the green folk. Go knock yourself out crazy!

Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:02PM ()

SETI Releasing Radio Telescope Signal Data.

Thursday, April 22, 2010
SETI Institute, an interdisciplinary scientific organization that explores the nature of life
throughout the universe, announced that starting today it will make large quantities of
astronomical radio telescope data accessible to astronomers and other scientists as part
of an effort to build a global community of searchers for evidence of extra-terrestrial
intelligence. Today's announcement represents the latest milestone in SETI Institute's
mission to facilitate mass collaboration in the search for civilizations beyond earth. The
radio telescope data will be released by setiQuest, a program formed in 2009 after SETI
Institute Director Dr. Jill Tarter was awarded the 2009 TED Prize, whose benefits
included $100,000 and the assistance of the global TED community to help realize her
"One Wish to Change the World." Accepting the prize, Dr. Tarter asked the TED
community to "empower Earthlings everywhere to become active participants in the
ultimate search for cosmic company." After months in development, the setiQuest
program has reached the point where it is able to invite the global scientific community to
access radio signal data collected by SETI Institute's Allen Telescope Array (ATA).
Commissioned in 2007, the Allen array is operated jointly by SETI Institute and the
University of California at Berkeley. It is a "Large Number of Small Dishes" (LNSD)
telescope array designed to conduct surveys for both conventional radio astronomy by
the university, as well as for SETI Institute's research. SETI Institute analyzes the ATA
radio data in real time with special software to detect technological signals from a distant
extra-terrestrial civilization. The process is analogous to listening to one hundred million
radios, each tuned to a different channel and attached to an antenna that is highly
sensitive to just one millionth of the sky, to find faint signals. To date, SETI Institute's
methods have focused on the search for what are called narrowband signals. One of the
benefits of opening the ATA data to the global scientific community is to invite
development of techniques to analyze broadband signals. The radio telescope data will
be made available through setiQuest's website,, in the form of files
containing streams of data samples from specific targets in space. Data can be accessed
by registered participants in the setiQuest program. SETI Institute hopes that by making
the ATA data widely available, scientists around the world will develop new and
innovative ways to process the massive quantities of radio signals streaming from space 249
every second. SETI Institute search programs have processed data in real time and
discarded it shortly after the observation. They are capturing these new data sets to invite
the public to expand the search. Now, setiQuest will provide a day's worth of ATA data
each week, and will leave the data on its website for up to six months. While astronomers
and specialists with experience in digital signal processing (DSP) may by the likely initial
population of scientists and technologists with an interest in setiQuest, the program
welcomes scientists and technologists of all disciplines. Those interested in learning how
they can be part of the setiQuest project can find more information
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:34PM ()

Video:No More Filthy Water

Thursday, April 22, 2010
There is not too much you could do with filthy water. Especially in Africa. So what do you
do? Invent a filter that makes super filthy water super clean. Thats what Micheal Pitchard
did. He demos it at TED. Video after the break.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

A Social Network Exclusively For The 40+ "Girl"

Crowd. Ahem.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Alright, move over Facebook, the 40+ "girl"
crowd doesn't consider you its online social
hangout anymore. A new social networking
website claims to be THE place for the
crowd to be. Called Fabulously 40 and
beyond, the website offers the 40+ ladies a
forum to discuss issues that are unique to
40+. Ranging from beauty advice to advice on
becoming moms, this is certainly a one-of-a-kind
website. But why restrict the site to women? I have
no clue. Maye because the 40+ "boys" crowd thinks
its a stupid idea. This website lets you use FB
connect to get through if you are to confused about
signing up. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:10AM

Dell Releasing 4 New Smartphones Very Soon
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Engadget has just reported a "leak" of
Dell's future line up of mobile devices. Yes,
you heard it right, Dell is unleashing
Thunder, Bolt and Lightning and in the
process creating Smoke in the coming few
months on mobile phone consumers.
These will be the 4 new models of
smartphones Dell will be releasing
eventually. Three of them will run Android
(Thunder, Flash and Smoke) while Lighting
will run Windows Mobile 7 Series. Each