Everything that would keep your online business running


Written on Tuesday, July 22, 2008 by Gemini

As this title says, you must be wondering what am I gonna talk about “everything that your online business needs…”? Trust me; I had the same question when I first read this wonderful article on Aplus.net blog. It instantly took me by surprise and delight! It is one of those tidy and neat blogs who keep their reader hooked onto. It presents the latest happenings in the online supermarket – everything that one should know in order to expand one’s online footprint – starting from latest buzz on domains and latest applications launches to tips to choose right domain name to latest mergers and acquisitions. Phew!

Aplus dedicated hostingThe recent news – ICANN opens up new TLD’s – instantly hooked me onto exploring it further. On my exploration, I found that this site has content neatly organized in various sections with a neat look-and-feel and intuitive navigation. One can directly go to categories of one’s interest and can also avail some of the fantastic services offered by Aplus.net – like
web hosting (many options like business hosting, dedicated hosting are available), professional web design, etc. Oh boy, you will agree with me that this is like one-stop-shop for all the handy tips that your online existence (not only business) will need to survive. Check it for yourself…

Now your Maid will obey all your orders and will serve you all the time


Written on Friday, July 18, 2008 by Gemini

Those who have watched The Jetsons cartoon show might remember Rosie, the robotic kitchen maid. Now, scientists are working towards making her a reality

In a new project, German scientists are providing a glimpse into the kitchen of the future; complete with a new robot that can keep track of the contents of the larder, and learn simple tasks. Their automaton, they say, could soon be making your dinner while you relax! According to the researchers at the Technical University of Munich, who are involved in the ‘Assistive Kitchen’ project, the B21 robot exploits the use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags on dishes and utensils to avoid some of the object-recognition difficulties that have plagued previous household robots.

“If you want to interpret and understand everyday activities using vision data, it’s very complicated, error-prone, and resource intensive. But if you do the same with RFID tags, there is very little sensor information, but it’s highly correlated with the activities you are performing,” lead researcher Michael Beetz said.

The researchers say that not only does their robot know where everything is, but it can also learn simple tasks simply by observing the movements of the objects. Setting the table is very easily recognised from cups and plates disappearing from the cupboard and appearing on the table – and cleaning up later is characterised by the same objects disappearing from the table and appearing in the dishwasher. Robots would even search Web sites and use language software that convert natural language into robot-friendly instructions.

Brazilian company develops software to Unlock the new iPhone 3G


Written on Wednesday, July 16, 2008 by Gemini

A Brazilian company is claiming to be the first to have found a way to unlock Apple’s new iPhone 3G, getting around restrictions that require users to sign up for calling plans with exclusive carriers, reports said on Tuesday.

The Web site of Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo and other sites such as Digg.com and Gizmodo.com said the firm, DesbloqueioBr, hacked the phone by altering its firmware and by adding a special card add-on to the SIM chip. The results allow iPhone users to connect to any carrier, not just the one that has an exclusive arrangement with Apple in each country where it is sold.

It's an expensive affair!

But the Brazilian hack doesn’t come cheap. DesbloqueioBr plans to charge between $250-375 to unlock an iPhone, which itself costs around $200 in its basic 8GB version in the US. However, there are some problems with the Brazilian fix, such as a drop in the quality of connection, and Apple’s ability to wipe out the hack with a software update.But one of the company’s partners, Breno MacMasi, said there would always be ways to circumvent the locks.“ Apple has made some big mistakes, so we will be able to come up with another hack. It’s going to be a game of cat-and-mouse,” he said.

Further reading:

Google Page Rank - How is it calculated???


Written on Thursday, July 10, 2008 by Gemini

The secret of Google Page Rank (PR) is finally out...
And I feel proud to bring the original version, directly from the horse's mouth (i.e. from Amit Singhal, Google Fellow in charge of the ranking team at Google)!!

Google ranking is a collection of algorithms used to find the most relevant documents for a user query. We do this for hundreds of millions of queries a day, from a collection of billions and billions of pages. These algorithms are run for every query entered into most of Google's search services. While our web search is the most used Google search service and the most widely known, the same ranking algorithms are also used - with some modifications - for other Google search services, including Images, News, YouTube, Maps, Product Search, Book Search, and more.

There are basically 3 main philosophies behind Google PR:
  1. Best locally relevant results served globally.
  2. Keep it simple.
  3. No manual intervention.

No discussion of Google's ranking would be complete without asking the common - but misguided question: "Does Google manually edit its results?" Let me just answer that with our third philosophy: no manual intervention. Isn't that a good news guys??!!!

Visit the original post on Introduction to Google Ranking to know more... SPREAD the word.

New software allows blind people surf the Internet from any PC


Written on Saturday, June 28, 2008 by Gemini

US scientists say they have written new software that enables the blind to surf the Internet at any place.

Richard Ladner, a professor of computer science at the University of Washington (UW), revealed that the software – dubbed WebAnywhere – can read aloud Web text on any computer with speakers or headphones. “This is for situations where someone who’s blind can’t use their own computer, but still wants access to the Internet: At a cyber caf, a school, at a friend’s house, etc,” said Ladner. Doctoral student Jeffrey Bigham developed WebAnywhere under Ladner’s supervision. Unlike current screen-reading software, WebAnywhere is the first accessibility tool to be hosted on the Web – meaning it doesn’t have to be downloaded onto a computer.It processes the text on an external server located in UW, and then sends the audio file to play in the user’s Web browser.“You don’t have to install new software.

So even if you go to a heavily locked-down computer, say at a library, you can still use it,” Bigham said.While testing, the researchers asked a few visually impaired people to use it to do three things – check email, look up a bus time table and search for a restaurant’s phone number. People using WebAnywhere – which, so far, works only in English – were able to successfully complete all three tasks, using a variety of machines and Internet connections. The free program and audio-visual demonstrations are available online at http://webanywhere.cs.washington.edu/.

Finally, a car that runs on ..... WATER!


Written on Friday, June 20, 2008 by Gemini

Skyrocketting fuel prices, adulterated fuel, long queues at petrol stations, often unscrupulous attendants out to fleece you - your cup of woes spills over everytime you need to fill the tank of of your car.

But all this could be history if Genepax - a Japanese company -- is successful in commercialising its latest innovation: the 'water car.'

Genepax unveiled the car in Osaka, Japan on June 12, saying that a litre of any kind of water would get the engine going for about an hour at a speed of 80 kmph, or 50 mph.

Genepax president Kiyoshi Hirasawa, in a mission statement published on the company's official web site, said, "Our mission is to develop technology and products for efficient production and use of energy. By 'efficient,' we mean ecologically and economically efficient. Ecological and economical energy is our business. Our goal is to create energy that is not taxing on our natural environment."

The water needed to run the car could be tap, rain or sea water, the company clarified. Once the tank (which is at the rear) of the Genepax car is filled with water, a generator would extract hydrogen from the water using, what the comapny calls, its Water Energy System, or WES, to produce electricity that the car runs on. As opposed to the hybrid cars which emit water, Genepax's invention consumes water.

Whether the car is a commercial success or not remains to be seen, but Genepax said it had applied for a patent and is planning to collaborate with Japanese auto manufacturers. "Energy made from water," as Hirasawa says, "is not a dream story anymore We hope many people will join us in our challenge to promote the use of our WES, for the better future of the earth," he added in a statement.

We've seen plenty of promises about water-powered cars (among other things), but it looks like Japan's Genepax has now made some real progress on that front, with it recently taking the wraps off its Water Energy System fuel cell prototype. The key to that system, it seems, is its membrane electrode assembly (or MEA), which contains a material that's capable of breaking down water into hydrogen and oxygen through a chemical reaction. Not surprisingly, the company isn't getting much more specific than that, with it only saying that it's adopted a "well-known process to produce hydrogen from water to the MEA." Currently, that system costs on the order of ¥2,000,000 (or about $18,700 -- not including the car), but company says that if it can get it into mass production that could be cut to ¥500,000 or less (or just under $5,000). Head on past the break for a video of car in action courtesy of Reuters.

Creating diamonds from............. Tequila!!


Written on Sunday, June 15, 2008 by Gemini

Mexican researchers at the University of Nueva Leon have discovered a new way to make a type of synthetic diamond using ............. tequila!!!

The scientists found that when the potent Mexican spirit is heated under pressure, it produces diamond structures, which are able to conduct electricity. The crystals used to make diamond film have previously been made from a number of different chemicals, often including nitrogen. However, the experiment is believed to be the first time that researchers have proved that any type of alcohol can be used to produce synthetic diamond. Diamond film is tougher than silicon, so it could be useful for devices that must operate at high temperatures or under other harsh conditions. However, diamond films are expensive and difficult to make. Now, researchers from Mexico have shown that the crystals can be created by heating the country’s national drink.

For the experiment, the boffins heated 80 per cent proof ‘tequila blanco’ which has a short aging process and is bottled soon after distillation in a low-pressure chamber. The drink formed into crystals which tests later confirmed had a diamond structure and were able to conduct electricity. “Some kinds of tequila seem naturally to have the right mix of atoms (to create diamond),” lead author Javier Morales said. Experts think that the use of alcohol to create diamond could have potential. “The result is certainly funny, but the process seems reasonable. I don’t know of any previous attempts to make diamonds from drinks,” said Rudolf Pfeiffer, professor of Physics from the University of Vienna in Austria.