Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Its good to hear a vice president speak about the environment and reassuring to know that a company like IBM really cares about it. Big corporations like IBM need to be weary of the effects they have on the environment. Not like IBM directly impacts the eco system like an automobile or paper company would, but just the notion that they are taking steps to reduce emissions and energy cost tell us alot about the company's values. Finding new technologies that can be both safe for the environment and assits in a company's growth need to be a continuous trend. Creating innovative ways to protect the environment is a upcoming market for IT professionals. In conclusion, what IBM has invested into making their business more "green" will both save money and save face in the public perspective.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The system uses pole-mounted infrared thermometers to read leaf and air temperature, which are transmited to a computer wirelessly every 10 seconds. In case the temperature goes above the set limit the computer sends a text message saying that it is neccesary to turn on the irrigation system. Every plant grows the best at different temperatures and needs different amounts of water. SmartCropTM allows us to get the best out of every plant by figuring out when the plant produces the most. At the same time producers save water and energy because they already know the exact amounts of water and the exact temperature that the plants needs. SmartCropTM was used in Texas in 2008, and it saved about 7 millions gallons of water and $4000 of energy in a year. The amount of water saved is equal to the consumption of 44 homes in a year.
In my opinion SmartCropTM is one of the most important modern inovations in the irrigation system. I think that very soon SmartCropTm is going to be used all over the world because it could save a lots of water and energy and also increase the productivity of the plant. My only concern is that the article didn't say how expensive the system is, so it is hard to tell how profitable SmartCropTm is for a farmer.
Most organizations such as governments, businesses, educational institutions, and households employ printers and similar machines for multiply reasons, ranging from the materialization of information to the embossment of memories. Without the ink printing is not possible. Although the methods of printing have changed since Gutenberg’s printing press, ink is the essential component. For modern printers, what happens when the ink runs out? It’s time to replace the ink cartridge. Before the new cartridge can be bought and installed in the printer, it goes through an arduous packaging process. By packaging I do not mean a nice shiny, colorful box. Simply, the ink is entombed in a plastic shell and includes devices to feed the ink through the printer onto the piece of paper. There is no doubt that these processes of manufacturing, distribution, and implementation of ink cartridges for the purpose of printing, use great amounts of materials and energy. This does not include the grave impact on the environment upon disposal of empty ink cartridges. Although it is viable to recycle the depleted cartridges, most are thrown away in the garbage, destined to reside in a landfill for 1000+ years.
To combat the cartridge problem, Xerox has introduced the ColorQube 9200 series of A3-size MFPs (Multi-Function Printers) which use solid ink sticks. “The ink comes in the form of small sticks, resembling fat pieces of chalk. You pop the sticks into the printer, and they're melted into the printhead, which jets the ink onto the print drum. Paper is passed between a roller and the print drum under pressure, and the image is transferred to the paper.” There is no cartridge to hold the ink. This saves a lot of resources from being used. “Printing 1 million pages on a laser printer would require the manufacturing of 965 pounds of various materials, including cartridges, fusers, and drums. Printing 1 million pages with ink sticks would require 272 pounds of materials.” That not only reduces the harm cause to the environment by the cartridges production, it reduces costs. The savings are then passed on to the buyer. For laser printers, it costs 8 cents to print a page with any color on it, even if the only color is from the logo. For the solid ink printer, it costs only 3 cents per page with an intermediate amount of color. One may say it’s only 5 cents, but it adds up. If one printed 1 million pages, it totals to a savings of $50,000. In this economy, it’s definitely worth the investment. Also, when the ink is used up, there is no cartridge to throw out. That means no added harm to the environment, and no guilt for not recycling.
Personally, I do not see any flaws to this product. It’s cheaper to print items. It’s more efficient, and it’s a environmentally healthy alternative to laser printer ink cartridges. However, there’s some hesitation. The article did not address the speed or quality. Xerox does offer a sample to those interested in the product.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
With these new advances in cellular technology, businesses can operate at a quicker pace than before. Something like looking up a file for a customer has wasted unnecessary time in the past but by downloading applications like SugarCRM, customer records can be retrieved in no time. These new applications are fairly cheap, making them very appealing to businesses that may benefit from their uses. Many new business applications are still being created and this has created a market for other businesses who work to invent these programs. These advances in technology have encouraged business to search for new technologies that may improve business while being very conveniently found on their personal cellular phone. In conclusion, the new applications available for the iphone and itouch have impacted the way men and women conduct business all through out the world.
In the article “NYPD looking at futuristic weapons technology” the New York police department is looking into a technology that will allow one officers gun to recognize another officers gun regardless of whether they are in a gun fight or at their desk. The NYPD is currently in talks with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on the possibility of adapting a technology like this. In order to adapt this technology officers guns would be implanted with a chip that would send a signal to another gun. In the article they give an incident that did not turn out very well for the NYPD. “On May 28 Officer Omar Edwards was chasing a burglary suspect with his weapon drawn when other officers in street clothes came across the scene. Edwards was fatally shot by an officer.”
In my opinion I believe this technology could be very successful in doing its job. The only thing I would change would be to install the chip into every police officers gun in the United States because why just protect cops in New York from friendly fire when you can protect all of them, I say we should have New York as the test dummy and then if it ends up working, then apply it to every Police Unit in the United States. My only concern with this new technology though is how expensive is it going to be and would they collect the entire police forces fire arms to upgrade them with the chip or are they going to issue everyone a new fire arm with the chip already in it?
Monday, June 8, 2009
Summer is upon us. Hanging out with friends, going to the beach, hosting a barbeque – all of these are staples during these lackadaisical months. And these activities are always relaxing…until night falls. As the sapphire and violet colors envelope the sky, scores of mosquitoes stalk their dinner, causing parties to be moved indoors, repellent candles to be lit, and bug spray to be applied. But, what if this could all be avoided? Astrophysicist Jordin Kare and his team of scientists may have the answer.
Dr. Kare and his colleagues have developed an anti-mosquito laser that was originally introduced during the early 1980’s by Lowell Wood. This laser mimics technology utilized by the Strategic Defense Initiative, a program that former President Ronald Reagan developed to protect the United States from attacks by strategic nuclear ballistic missiles.
So how does it work? First, the laser detects the mosquitoes by honing in on the frequency of their wing beat. Once this is identified, information is sent back to the laser, which then fires at the insect. The result is a small flame that falls to the ground. The laser is planned to distinguish between male and female mosquitoes as well as kill millions of these insects in minutes. Scientists note that the distinction between the sexes may be of significant importance. This importance is the foundation of why this program was unearthed after twenty plus years since only female mosquitoes carry a deadly protozoan parasite, more commonly referred to as malaria.
Last year, Bill Gates contracted several astrophysicists including Kare and Wood in conjunction with PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, a grantee of the Gates Foundation. Right now, researchers are in the research and development phase of using the laser technology to create certain barriers around houses and villages in malaria-ridden areas that could “kill or blind the insects.” Another section of the project is developing a flying drone which is capable of detecting the mosquitoes by radar and can then “sweep the sky with the laser.”
However, this technology has not yet been perfected. Developers are still modifying the strength of the laser so it does not affect other insects, animals or humans. After an interview with Dr. Kare, it has been learned that “The laser is able to distinguish between mosquitoes that go after people and those that aren’t dangerous.” Kare added that there should not be any adverse effects on the eco-system and that the team of scientists is trying to perfect the preciseness of the device. While waiting for this laser to be perfected, alternatives are still available to help combat malaria: vaccinations, mosquito nets and indoor residual spraying.
Hopefully, in the coming years this technology will not only curtail malaria, but it will also allow one to enjoy eating a hamburger during the summer months without being disrupted.
Biometric tethering to mobile devices will not only prevent theft of devices but, will also act as a deterrent to criminals. In the past couple of years the biometric security system has been used to prevent the improper use of mobile phones, PDAs and notebook computers. The new IST technology prevents the use of unauthorized use of audio, text or images file by having the user digitally sign in. This is the first biometrical security system that process all the important information on the SIM card. The only person that can accessthe SIM card is the original user of the device.
As the technical coordinator Roberto Ricci said "Rather than relying on something you possess – you can forget a PIN code or write it down and lose it – biometric security relies on what you are". As Roberto Rici said people very often forget their PIN code and then have a lot of troubles accessing the phone while issue will never occur using the biometric security system. The other advantage of the biometric system is the high quality security in case of lost or stolen phone. In many cases the phone would not be stolen because the potential thief would not be able to use it or access any data. The only disadvantage of the biometric system is that even if the owner of the phone gave the permission of using the phone to someone that would not be possible because the biometric security system recognizes only the authentic owner.
Biometric system has advantages and disadvantages like every other system or device but it's a great invention that is going to improve the mobile security and reduce the unauthorize use of mobile devices. In my opinion the biometric system is going to benefit mostly adults and business people while it's not going to be good for younger kids. The reason is that the kids like to share phones with their friends to play games, listen to music and surf the web.
Before the end of 2009, trials of the first 100 Gigabit Ethernet router will become available via Juniper. The 100 Gigabit Ethernet router is an interface for Juniper’s T1600 core router to help increase the magnitude to the already available 10Gbps interfaces today. The news of this new technology was released today, in an article at CIO.com, while it will be showcased during this week at Interop Tokyo. The article can be found at http://www.cio.com/article/492476/Juniper_Ships_Cloud_Switch.
Juniper states that the new interface is needed because of the growth in network traffic, video communications, advanced wireless services and virtualized cloud computing. With this new technology, service providers will be able to reduce their number of interfaces that are required by their networks while also simplifying their topologies. It seems as though this new technology will seemingly provide service providers with a more efficient system that will be able to enhance their operational efficiencies. Juniper claims that the 100 Gigabit Ethernet router will “alleviate running multiple fiber optic cables and ease the inefficient operations and management of link aggregation.”
With the use of new technology comes difficulties in connections and compatibilities with other providers and interfaces, but Juniper’s new interface is a network-facing module. This means that the interface will be able to connect to other Juniper T1600s. They will be able to connect through a service provider core instead of edge routers delivering services to customers. The logistics of Junipers new interface model as seemingly more efficient. The new interface will implement CFP pluggable optical modules. These modules are “designed to support different rates, protocols and link lengths over different media types, including both multimode and single mode fiber.” The CFP pluggable optical modules will be designed especially for 40G and 100 Gbps applications, including Ethernet.
Overall, not only will this new interface provide service providers with more efficient operations and help combat the growing advances in communications and services, but the Junoper 100 Gigabit Ethernet interface will be available at a price less than 10 Gigabit Ethernet router ports. In this respect, it seems as though Juniper is targeting the market by being the first company to launch a new product and enhancing their product by offering it at a lower price than the competition. Although this new product seems to provide all new and better capabilities, its true ability will be unknown until it is released.
Click here for a photo: http://www.networkworld.com/slideshows/2009/060809-products-of-the-week.html#slide10
It's true these cameras could quite possibly be very worth while in terms of revenue for the city however how much would they cost initially to install and what would the yearly expense of keeping this program be?
The internet program that would keep this running is called InsureNet and said they would “only” charge “just” about 30% of the total revenue in exchange for their services. Also...just how legitimate is this program? Sure, it sounds fantastic to be able to catch all the uninsured drivers in Chicago without pressing into others privacy but if you have a system that can check all license plates for insurance plans automatically there is a constant privacy invasion of all those who drive through these intersections.
InsureNet seems to be able to offer quite a bit as well and it all looks good on paper but the questions of how good it actually is comes up among everyone that seems to look at the proposal. In addition to these questions of the legitimacy of the company the idea of who actually is unemployed in the city of Chicago is worry some as well. When you consider the population of people who would be uninsured you have to think of why they are uninsured. Generally these are people who don’t have a job and are collecting unemployment, so this leads to the idea of the “extra” money being collected by the Chicago government which is coming directly from unemployment checks that were sent out the week before.
As questionable as this idea may or may not be I think that in theory it would be a good idea. Even if not all the money that could be collected actually gets collected this could combat the fact that so many people drive uninsured. The “threat” of having these cameras at major intersections may just be what we need to insure a majority of people continue to renew their insurance. In my opinion the biggest problems that would come about with these cameras would be the cost of installing them. If in some way they could use the cameras that already exist this may be their best bet at keeping cost down but you have to keep in mind people’s privacy regardless of who they are.
This article introduces a new way to access the internet wirelessly while within a automobile or train, ViFi. ViFi, which is Vehicle WiFi, is a project from Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington that explores a possible solution to a mobile problem with WiFi.
While in motion within an automobile or train, WiFi internet connections tend to become faulty. This is because WiFi accesses an internet connection from a wireless access point, or base station, while within that base station's range. Once the device accessing the internet connection leaves the range, another basestation must be located in order to reconnect, which is often times slow and disrupts internet activites and phone calls. ViFi presents an answer to this problem. ViFi connects to several basestations simultaneously, so that the person accessing the wireless connection "can request data via one base station and have that data routed to his computer even if he moves out of range of the original base station."
There is WiFi technology available that grant internet access wirelessly while traveling; however, these devices are costly and can sometimes be slower than a normal WiFi connection. This problem has been encountered by 3G networks so far. Furthermore, ViFi uses "standard mass-produced WiFi hardware", therefore making it cheaper to produce and place in cities or on highways.
This technology is currently being tested on Microsoft's campus. They have successfully connected two shuttle buses to the internet through a network of 11 base stations. Hopefully this number will be reduced in the future therefore improving the project by making it more efficient, but in the meantime researchers have given this project positive feedback.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
This week Microsoft unveiled and displayed their new piece of gaming technology at E3, the biggest video game exhibition of the year. "Natal," the revolutionary addition to the Xbox 360 console eliminates the need of the controller. It can track a gamer's body movement, recognize facial expressions and voice, and scan images of real items. Not only does it recognize motion, natal responds. Microsoft Senior Vice President Don Mattrick alongside Steven Spielberg unveiled the video demonstration to the convention's attendees. The video showcased a young woman, Claire, interacting with Milo, a virtual boy. This is made possible by the combination of and the great advancements in existing technologies. "The 'Project Natal' prototype device showcased at the E3 press conference combines a camera, depth sensor, microphone and processor running proprietary software."
"Natal" was the grandest and most talked about item at E3. After seeing and hearing, there was no doubt for its number 1 position. Truly, a barrier has been broken. That barrier, Mattrick remarked in the video, is the wall resurrected between the player and the game by the controller. Individuals are no longer bound to the many buttons, thumbsticks, and trigger to enjoy and delve into the virtual world. This is the reason why Natal surpasses the Nintendo Wii. Although the Wii senses movement through infared technology, the person is still confined to his or her ability using the controller. Natal, makes direct interaction becomes a reality. Short of being sucked into the television, the player is emersed into another dimension. Also, the technology used by Natal could definitely be applied to other aspects of life for commercial use, from security to shopping. I was reminded of the movie Minority Report. In the film, when people walk into a store, sensors recognize and remember who the customer is and makes recommendations.
Although there is much amazement and fascination over Natal, there are a few visible problems. First, there has been no announcement on the release date for the product. Many products are introduced at E3 but do not become mainstream for a while. This showcase could be only the beginnings of the product. Natal may need to be perfected and paired with a lineup of adventures to be sold to the public. Second, it sounds expensive especially in a recession. Just looking at previous gaming packages like guitar hero and rock band which cost between $100 - $170 (not including tax), gives some insight about the possible price of Natal. Third, virtual reality does not measure up to the real world. Its always better to play a game of football with a bunch of friends rather than making throwing motions in front of a television screen.
Here are a couple of youtube links http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HluWsMlfj68
Friday, June 5, 2009
A company has introduced a new technology called Schlage LiNk, which is a product that will allow you to remotely control the entrance to your home/property. It will monitor who enters and exits the property by monitoring and controlling access via the regular key lock. It will send text messages and alerts to you mobile phone/ devices or even computers to alert you when it is being activated. You can open the door from remote locations. It is already receiving mixed reviews. Some are valid to me and some are others showing their own paranoia in the use of new technology. On Youtube there is even a video to promote and discuss the product. Check it out !
What I found to be most useful is the monitoring of the device and how it will send you a message indicating that someone has entered the property. This can be great in making sure your dependent children have arrived home safely, technicians or housekeepers are entering during the right times. It can be (almost like) a remote wireless timelock for employees as well. Some of the negative comments that have been written indicated that they are not sure that the supplier has worked out all the 'bugs', some even stated that it did not work at all. Some have written that it is a great product and has 'put their minds at ease' to know when their property was being entered.
Others complained that it was too much for the average consumer - they also said it was too expensive. What I found to be interesting in the whole product concept of the Schlage LiNk, is that it is an innovative idea and the overall enhancement of personal safety. It's a technology watchdog and for the most part if used in the best interest and protection of self and property - I feel it will be a worthwhile investment. It can be found of course online but also at Loews, Home Depot and most hardware / electronic stores. I think we should give it a chance first before we denounce its worth !!! Check it out !