The Ideabing Idea Book I

This book is dedicated to our readers and contributors. It is them who make this website tick, stick and flip. We decided to make a book out of all posts on every 6 months and distribute it for free in digital format. You are free to distribute and/or reproduce this book in any form you want - just make sure the content stays as is.



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


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

46 46 47 49 51 51 52 53 53 54 54 56 57 67 67 68 69 69 69 70 70 71 72


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

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

93 94 94 96 96 97 99 100 102 102 103 104 104 106 107 108 108 110 110 112 112


‘Tattoo’ may help diabetics track their blood sugar Shell Ecobox™ Efficiently Delivers Oil To Engines; Significantly Re... Europcar Reveal the Cost of Dormant Urban Cars to Motorists Volkswagen Invites Users to Help Create the Infotainment Systems of... Cronkite lab's iPhone app connects citizens, officials Aava Mobile Announces 'Virta Android SDK' for Developing Android on... New research identifies promising leads to follow in search for med...

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Shell launches "Smarter Mobility" - innovations for cleaner, more e... 120 Starbucks New Store in Japan is Designed to Reduce Environmental Im... Staples Launches Nationwide Computer and Office Technology Recyclin... Research shows some people don't taste salt like others Microsoft Announces Availability of Hohm Scores for 60 Million Home... SAMSUNG Seek Offers First-of-Its-Kind Reusable Packaging to Make Wi... Ideabing Exclusive: Interview With Cloud Based Game Dev Platform Wi... Why The Aviation Sector Must Fear Cisco Telepresence Video: New Energy NASA's Airborne Infrared Observatory Sees The "First Light" Postal Service Launches Green Newsroom Philips To Bring E-health Solutions To Kenya 121 121 122 123 124 125 127 128 128 129 129


IBM Teams With Hildebrand to Bring Smart Metering to Homes Across B... Belkin Acquires Zensi, Signaling Major Entry into Energy Conservati... Video: Craig Venter On Synthetic Life Guess Who Is Building The Biggest Theme Park In The World. Its Ferr... Infographic: Top Cameras On Flickr

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The Social Network Just Got Better, Famsmile Enters the Scene with ... 133 Greenscroll Cleans Up Your Website's Carbon Footprint. Ideabing Alr... Feature: Design makes a difference – even for trucks Biotech incubator opens its doors at UC Berkeley "Out of Whack" Planetary System Offers Clues to a Disturbing Past Paper Mate Brand Launches First Widely Available Biodegradable Pen Investing In Clean Energy Projects Abroad is Key to Creating Jobs, ... New nanoscale electrical phenomenon discovered In a World First, ASDA Announces 'Not for Profit' Price on All Canc... From Rockets to Race Cars, NASA and NASCAR Team Up in Charlotte Infographic: How The Internet Works HP Joins New Alliance to Drive Unified Communications Interoperability ESPN to Bring Cisco TelePresence to 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa 134 134 136 138 140 141 142 143 144 144 144 145


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

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

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Boeing's Phantom Ray Will Fly In December. Looks Beautiful At Debut Itsy-bitsy DNA spider: Molecules behave like robots Video: Zapping Malaria With Lasers Memonic Lets You Copy-Paste the Web. Emerson Opens $30 Million Global Innovation Center Intel Capital Announces Three Investments NSFW: Trojan Reinvents The Condom First U.S. Demonstration of Honda U3-X Personal Mobility Prototype ... Yahoo! and Nahdet El Mahrousa Launch Social Entrepreneurship Compet... Real Player SP Lets You Download Videos For Any Mobile Device. Seri...

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Lockheed Martin-Built Hubble Space Telescope Marks 20 Years Of Astr... 192 New Method Developed To Capture Fingerprints On Difficult Surfaces US Postal Service Moves Closer to Energy, Fuel Reduction Goals Weird: Earth Space Agency Announces Call for Musicians to Sing Abou... Nestlé Japan aims to reduce CO2 levels with eco-friendly hybrid tra... NASA Sets Launch Date For Space Shuttle Atlantis An Innovation Eco System called Fractal Video: India's hidden hotbeds of invention Computerization Of A Regional Transport Office In India. Sigh. Infographic: State Of The Internet 2009 194 195 196 196 197 197 198 198 199


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

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

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

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

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

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

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Chevy Equinox + Amp = All Electric Chevy Equinox Disruptive Innovation: GE's Next Generation 4MW Windmill Infographic: Who is coming to the USA Idea 288: Save Homeowners Some Energy Costs Idea 287: Find Your Lost Electronic Gear Video: What Can Daylight Savings Time Do To You? Video: How Does A Windmill Change Your Life? Battery Powered Locomotive? Possible. Infographic: The GrowVC startup funding model Photo: Attack Drones Have A New Good Looking Sibling Idea 286: Learn how to report news Flash Is Dead on TV Idea 285: Learn the 4 foundations of a successful blog Xerox Heads To India Looking For Innovation Aha, Nokia wants you to develop apps for their phones! Why We Should Go Back To Mars Infographic: Convert a plane into a flying infographic

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F-35 Lightning Gen II Helmet Mounted Display System achieves first ... 315 Google, Nokia, T-Mobile, Yahoo, Dell and BBC getting pally in Amste... New Green Tech Saves 30% on Industrial and Commercial Air Condition... Idea 284: Build a sustainable fridge Idea 283: Give computers a sense of smell Super Nano Lithium Batteries developed by Illinois based firm Vonage Receives Second Virtual Phone Number Patent 316 317 318 318 319 320


Idea 282: Manufacture Solar Cells Infographic: Aftermath of earthquake at Haiti Large scale water desalination? Possible Infographic: 20 things that happen in a minute Idea 281: Live before you die Idea 280: Get a loan for your small business Idea 279: Start a multi-author blog Idea 278: See the center of the Milk Way galaxy Advertisement Idea 277: Print shoes in 3D Oh Palm, what happened to your innovation? Did Microsoft kill it? o... Idea 276: Get rid of barcodes, get rid of queues Idea 275: Invest in rural India Advertisement

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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 Want to follow NASA on your iPhone? There's an app for that. And it... Idea 272:Make your blog work for you. Idea 271: Start a business in your pajamas Idea 270:One day everything you do will power the planet Advertisment Idea 269: Microsoft, DO NOT put the cart before the horse Idea 268: Crowd source software testing The most original musician on this planet is here Idea 267: Find the right CEO for your company 327 327 327 328 328 329 329 330 330 330


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

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Why innovation will spring out of patent lawsuits in the next decade Idea #251: Watch some LIVE IPL twenty twenty cricket on Youtube. Sp... Idea 250:Make sure your ideas make the cut before you implement it. Idea 249: Start a food truck. It's supposedly one of the best selli... Idea 248: Make sure your blog has the right niche. This way you can... Idea 247: Head to SXSWi Idea 246: Use walls at your office to brainstorm. Save paper, Save ... Idea 245: When you cannot innovate, copy Idea 244: Go find your startup the perfect apps at the Google App S... Idea 243: Develop a business growth strategy. Idea 242: Save $2 mil by removing 1 stop sign. Look at Gary Lauder'...

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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... Contest for this week: Win a 500 GB Seagate External HDD Idea #240: Listen to Charles Leadbeater on innovation Idea #239: Build a mind reading computer. I am not kidding. Idea #238: Rent cars for an hour, or two or 24. Save the planet. Idea #237: When in doubt, sue HTC. Idea #236: Revolutionize sports with tech. Adidas works its magic o... 341 342 342 342 343 343 343


Idea #235: Biodegradable plastics. Finally. Again? Idea #234: Screw Cellular. Get into the Wimax game Idea #233: Start managing your online reputation. Idea #232: Working but want to start something? Just do it! Idea #231: Design for the post apocalyptic world. Really. Idea #230: Become an antiques collector. Start your collection with... Idea #229: Get a celebrity to endorse your product

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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 Idea #226: Having trouble managing a large mailing list? Make life ... Idea #225: Ask your government to share data to the world. Then bui... Idea #224: Listen to cells in your body. One molecule of H2O2 at a ... Idea #223: You a web designer? Then you must be read these magazine... Idea #222: Integrate and grow. Going solo is not the best idea. Idea #221: Outsource your next software project to Kenya. It saves ... Idea #220: Build a tablet PC. Its the next "big thing" Idea #219: Make money for your next startup in these companies Idea #218: Give Flash a chance Idea #217 Idea #216 Idea #215 345 345 345 346 346 346 346 346 347 347 347 347 347


Idea #214 Idea #213 Idea #212 Idea #211 Idea #210 Idea #209 Idea #208 Idea #207 The iBing Shop is now open! Idea #206 Idea #205 Idea #204 Idea #203 Idea #202 Idea #201 Idea #200 Idea #199 Idea #198 Idea #197 Idea #196 Idea #195 Idea #194 Idea #193 Idea #192 Idea #191 Idea #190

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Idea #189 Idea #188 Idea #187 Idea #186 Idea 185 Idea #184 Idea #183 Idea #182 Idea #181 We are giving away 2 "polished stainless steel" iPod Shuffles. Why?... Idea #180 Idea #179 Idea #178 Idea #177 Idea #176 Idea #175 Idea #174 Idea #173 Idea #172 Question from a reader: I have invented a new regulator circuit for... Idea #171 Idea #170 Idea #169 Idea #168 Idea #167

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Idea #166 Idea #165 Idea #164 Idea #163 Idea #162 Idea #161 Idea #160 Idea #159 Idea #158 Idea #157 Idea #156 Idea #155 Idea #154 Idea #153 Idea #152 Idea #151 Idea #150 Idea #149 Idea #148 Idea #147 Idea #146 Idea #145 Idea 144 Idea #143 Idea #142 Idea #141

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Idea #140 Idea #139 Idea #138 Idea #137 Idea #136 Idea #135 Idea #134 Idea #133 Idea #132 Idea #131 Idea #130 Idea #129 Idea #128 Idea #127 Idea #126 Idea #125 Idea #124 Idea #123 Idea #122 We now have traffic from 101 countries. Asia beats everyone else ha... Idea #121 Idea #120 Idea #119 Idea #118 Idea #117

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Idea #116 Idea #115 Idea #114 Idea #113 Idea #112 Idea #111 Idea #110 Idea #109 Idea #108 Idea #107 Idea #106 Idea #106 Idea #105 Idea #104: Help distribute videos on all freakkin platforms #ideabi... Idea #103: Write a marketing plan for your startup #ideabing #idea Ideabing is now on facebook. #ideabing #idea Up and Down and Up again #ideabing #idea Ideabing's massive t-shirt give away. Idea #102 Idea #101 And the winner of the Nexus One is... Ms. Jo Jones won our t-shirt contest Idea #100 Idea #99 Idea #98

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The Ideabing t-shirt contest is over! Idea #97 Idea #96 Idea #95 Idea #94 Idea #93 Idea #92 Idea #91 Idea #90 Idea #89 Idea #88 Idea #87 Idea #86 Idea #85 We have started to conquer the world AND get a free custom tshirt ... Idea #84 Idea #83 Idea #82 Idea #81 Idea #80 Idea #79 Idea #78 Idea #76 Idea #77 Idea #75

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Idea#74 Idea #73 Idea #72 Idea #71 Have ideas to share? Google Nexus One give away! Idea #70 Idea #69 Idea #68 Idea #67 Idea #66 Idea #65 Idea #64 Idea #63 Idea #62 Idea #61 Idea #60 Idea #59 Idea #58 Idea #57 Idea #56 Idea #55 Idea #54 Idea #53 Idea #52 Idea #51

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Idea #50 Idea #49 Idea #48 Idea #47 Idea #46 Idea #45 Idea #44 Idea #43 Idea #42 Idea #41 Idea #40 Idea #39 Idea #38 Idea #37 Idea #36 Idea #35 Idea #34 Idea #33 Idea #32 Idea #31 Idea #30 Idea #29 Idea #28 Idea #27 Idea #26 Idea #25

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Idea #24 Idea #23 Idea #22 Idea #21 Idea #20 Idea #19 Idea #18 Idea #17: Replace all public transport in the world with Maglevs Idea #16: Start a software services company in Chile. Idea #15: Harvest organs from death row inmate Idea #14: Form a country out of facebook users. Idea #13: Ban inefficient light bulbs Idea #12: Form a super bank. Get all the VC's of the world to inves... Idea #11:Desalinate ocean water. Counter ocean level rise due to gl... Idea #10: Replace Silicon transistors with Graphene transistors. Idea #9: Power everything with the sun Idea #8: Enable M&A of nations by other nations. Idea #7: Ban private transport. Idea #1: Make international roaming free on any mobile phone. Launc... Idea #6: Make invisible headphones. Idea #5: Do away with the concept of patents. Let intellectual prop... Idea #4: Make free universal health care, universal Idea #3:Make cameras obsolete. Design something that uses your eye ...

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



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 Language
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


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, 34

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


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 LensesFileSwap 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 ()


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


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, 40

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 ()


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 Ecofriend] 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 BMW
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.


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 () 44

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 PSFK] 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 ()


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


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 5percent 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, nearterm 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 48

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 Year
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 opensource 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 platforms? Ideabing: The Qualcomm Snapdragon platform is slowly becoming the standard, why


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]


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-tostart-one-but-don’t-know-how’ to ‘I-have-so-many-startups-under-my-belt-that-awesomedoesn’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-outof-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 booed 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 () 52

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 ()


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 54

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


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 position. 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


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 58

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


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 60

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


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 Removal

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


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


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


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]


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 Tmobile 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 70

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


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 highquality 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 softwarebased 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


country. [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 co74

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 Text************* 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,”


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 Broadband
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, VicePresident 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 ()


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 camera. 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? Rohan:Taiwan. 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 ()


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 80

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, eoffice. 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: 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 Release********** 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 highprecision 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. 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 TRA
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 personnel. 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


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 Text**** 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


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 AllStars 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


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 88

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 ()


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 90

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 multifunctional 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 presensitized 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]


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 sciencebased 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


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 professionallevel 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 at Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Video: New Adventure Sport: Under Sea Base Jumping
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; 94

• 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-Allin-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 webempowered, 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 ()


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 96

infectious disease that causes nearly two million deaths per year, with an estimated onethird 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’


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—


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 applications. 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.


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 102

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


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 104

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 coauthor 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 fatrich 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


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 levels
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 Awards
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 peerreview 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 ()


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 108

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 driverfocused 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 twodoor 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.


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 LRV8 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-andred 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 110

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-by11-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


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 outmaneuver 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 112

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-andrescue 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-anddeath 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


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 nearinfrared 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. Easyto-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


(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 hotel. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00AM ()

Cronkite lab's iPhone app connects citizens, officials
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


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 hardwareenhanced 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 crosscompatible 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


‘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 laid. 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,


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 others
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.


“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


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 multidisciplinary 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 126

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 Telepresence
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 milehigh 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 ()


Video: New Energy
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Bill Gross, the founder of Idealab, talks about his life as an inventor, starting with his highschool 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


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 wellbeing, 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 patientdata 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 130

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


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


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 trucks
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. 134

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 characteristics
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


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 antimicrobial drugs. Aperys's Chang and a half-time employee are still moving into their 100square 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 ()


"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 ()


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


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 discovered
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 142

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 achip (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 ()


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 144

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


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 146

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


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 folks.

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


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
TESLA MOTORS, INC. (Tesla) and TOYOTA MOTOR 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 150

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. FarmRaised 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 nonprofit 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 installation. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:45AM ()


Intel Unveils 45nm System-on-Chip for Internet TV
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 boxes. 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°


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 Webbased, 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 154

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,


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 patientcentered 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 lowvoltage 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,


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 stopand-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 safetycritical software in industries such as nuclear energy and medical devices, but increasingly, the automotive industry is adding functionality to vehicles that is safetycritical," 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 break. 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 ecoinnovator 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


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 13day, 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


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 Programmers
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


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 mediumsized 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 elephants. • 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 co165

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 VoteGetters 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 166

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: $250,000 • Ben-Gil Elementary Boosters, Benld, IL (Education) • Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation, Erie, PA (Health) $50,000 • 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) $25,000 • 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) $5,000 • 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)


• 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 autostereoscopy. 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 timedivision 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 CooperHewitt, 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 semicrouching 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 ()


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-toend 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-onyear 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 170

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 energyefficient 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

• • • • •


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 541-7375853 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 ()


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 174

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


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 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 Packaging
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 contractualbased 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 systems." 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


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 finetuning 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


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 at: 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-electromechanical 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


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; 182

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 nearoperational 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 robots
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


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 selfassembled 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 184

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, multiinstitute operation. We have people constructing the spider, characterizing the basic spider. We have the capability to assemble the track, and analyze the system with singlemolecule 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 ()


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 Center
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 186

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


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 188

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, U3X 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


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


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 threedimensional 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 ()


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


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 196

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 Text*********** Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00AM ()

NASA Sets Launch Date For Space Shuttle Atlantis
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


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 198

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 ()


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. IINew: 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 lowincome 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 Vehicles
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


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 Down
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 batteries
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 202

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 UrbanaChampaign 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


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.


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 Costs
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 ()


Infographic: Where Energy Is Consumed In Your Home
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 208

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 combinedcycle (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


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 homes. 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 opensource 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


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 selfcalibration 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 Performance
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 coworkers 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


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 214

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 threedose 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


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 starts. 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. Forever.
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


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 indepth. 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 countryspecific, 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 peerto-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 ()


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 220

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,


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 222

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? EasyPeasy!
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 Marketplace
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


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 fieldprogrammable 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 () 224

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 ()


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 226

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 nonrenewable 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.


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 Vehicles
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 smartcharging 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 ()


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 stolen! 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 230

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-BC-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


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 Store
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 ()


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: MPE200) 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 fastmoving 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 amazed! Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

A&E Television Networks Signs With Microsoft’s Admira
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


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 Females
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


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, Possible
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 tinitiny 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


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 Market
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 240

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


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 postdoctoral 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, 242

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 X37 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


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 Devices
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 thirdyear 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.


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 45minute 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 twinengine 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 ()


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 about. 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. Rejoice!
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


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 phone looks awesome to say the least and iPhone will have some serious competition. Then there are the tablets of course in the Dell Mini series. Some hot action it's going to be in the smartphone arena in the coming months. Images after the break. Images courtesy Engaget [gallery link="file" columns="5" orderby="rand"] Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:30PM ()

Apple's iAd Platform Creating Whole Business Units In Advert Agencies
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
When Apple creates a product it makes sure that Apple makes a lot of money out of it and in the process makes sure a lot of people outside Apple make money out of it. Apple's starting to push the concept of high def interactive advertising into major ad agencies quite vigorously -- so much so that one ad agency has created an entire "iAd" business unit! GRAPHOS, an advertising and branding agency has just released a press note stating "Advertising and branding agency GRAPHOS has embraced Apple's new iAd mobile advertising platform by launching The iAd Agency, the first ad firm specializing in developing the breakthrough ads." The Founder of GRAPHOS goes on to say nice things about the iAd platform before stating this -

"After nearly two decades of creating ad campaigns, video, animation and interactive products for our clients, this is exactly where we were heading. We see iAds as something so revolutionary they deserve to be a business focus rather than just another service offering."
Apple has this knack of creating products with long term business implications and this is


just one example. What this also means is that Advertising agencies will actively move towards creating HTML 5 content instead of Flash content. Good thing for the web, we never liked browser plugins anyway. We have to wait and watch what the big ad agencies will be doing next. Full PR after the break. ************Start PR Text*************** The advertising world is about to be transformed, and a newly minted breed of agency plans to be front and center in the revolution. On April 8, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced his iAd advertising platform in a keynote for OS 4, the latest operating system for the iPhone and iPod Touch, due for release in June and followed by a fall launch for an iPad version. Jobs promised the iAd platform would "combine the emotion of TV with the interactivity of the web," famously quipping that existing mobile advertising "sucks." The iAd Agency is the offspring of veteran Alberta-based advertising and branding agency GRAPHOS ( And the timing is perfect for the new firm, says its president. "After nearly two decades of creating ad campaigns, video, animation and interactive products for our clients, this is exactly where we were heading," says GRAPHOS founder Laurier Mandin, who has been a user and fan of Apple product since the 1970s. "We see iAds as something so revolutionary they deserve to be a business focus rather than just another service offering." "It's possibly the most exciting thing that's ever happened to advertising," Mr. Mandin says. "Our team can unite our live-action video and animation capabilities for games and interactive three-dimensional product tours, and suddenly the customer is a participant than just a passive audience member. It's not just about an ad within your app. The user now gets inside the ad and drives it." To further the immersive experience, The iAd Agency will be able to make creative use of all the features within the user's device via iAds, something never seen before in mobile advertising. These can include the multitouch screen, accelerometer, compass, GPS location services, audio and vibration. Ads will take advantage of the new iPhone OS 4 multitasking capability to operate "in-app," meaning users never leave an application to interact and even make purchases. The iAd Agency will use its own animation, creative and development resources and its existing network to build the ads initially, and has begun sourcing additional help, says Kelly Grainger, director of new media development at GRAPHOS. "We've had a phenomenal response from interested developers and programmers, many with a pile of solid iPhone apps to their credit, so we're not worried about getting the work done. We're accepting resumes, especially from experienced people ready to develop with HTML5." Though the iAd Software Development Kit (SDK) for developers is yet to be released, the iAd Agency suggests interested advertisers begin planning campaigns now. "We already know a lot about what the ads will be capable of and how we'll achieve it development-wise, and it takes some time to work through the conceptual and planning stages of a really great campaign," Mr. Grainger says. "Businesses that want to get in early, should get the creative process started right away and we'll make any necessary adjustments once the program officially rolls out. " As with the App Store, all iAds will need to be approved by Apple, Mr. Grainger notes, though the only ads likely to be denied entry to the platform will be ones containing adult or offensive material. As for price, most of the information is still to come. "Apple has always been about doing things best," Mr. Mandin says. "That's why the company is so consistently successful. Right now this is a platform and a product for clients who want to do something absolutely amazing to connect with their audience in a whole new way." The iAd agency is prepared to offer ballpark pricing to potential clients based on the number of interactive components in a campaign and complexity of development, he says. Others will soon follow The iAd Agency, Mr. Mandin acknowledges, but he believes his company has an edge. "We've always been much quicker, more nimble, and more economical than the huge agencies, and the same will apply in creating iAds. Besides, I'm certain this is the beginning of something phenomenal, and competition will be what makes it achieve its potential. Everyone will want to be the agency whose ideas push 252

iAds to the next level, and we intend to be the one to watch." *************End PR Text*************** Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

SAMSUNG Mobile Secures #1 U.S. Market Share For 2009. Eh?
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Apple's harping about their iPhone sales and about Apple being the world's largest "mobile devices" company and all of a sudden Samsung springs out of the blue to declare itself no.1 in terms of market share in the U.S? Doesn't make too much sense, but number are numbers. Right? Apparently Samsung phone users also rank no.1 in loyalty towards Samsung phones. Yeah, they are talking about the lower end of the segment that Apple doesn't care about. End of the road for Nokia? Press release after the break. ***********Start PR text************ Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC (Samsung Mobile), the leading mobile phone provider in the United States,ended the fourth quarter of 2009 as No. 1 in domestic mobile handset market share[1], retaining the title for the sixth quarter in a row. In addition to this distinction, the 2010 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index study ranked Samsung as the customer loyalty winner in the cell phone category, the only wireless handset provider to be awarded the honor for nine consecutive years. The national survey identifies brands that are best able to engage consumers by meeting or exceeding expectations, creating loyal customers. . In the cell phone category, consumer preferences were based on wireless phone design and performance. “The findings by both Strategy Analytics and Brand Keys establish Samsung as the mobile phone industry’s unmatched leader in two distinct yet, complementary categories,” said Dale Sohn, President of Samsung Telecommunications America. “The combination of brand loyalty and market share leadership are two excellent proof points that Samsung is surpassing our customer’s expectations as a quality brand and building strong advocates for our mobile phones. Our ability to meet many different consumer needs at various price points signals the likelihood that Samsung will build on this success for many more years to come.” Brand Keys is the only research consultancy in the world that specializes in customer loyalty, providing brandequity measures that accurately predict future consumer behavior. Findings from the index rank brands based on those that consumers felt best met or exceeded their expectations and were most likely to demonstrate the highest levels of consumer loyalty and profitability over the coming two years. “The wireless category has shifted so dramatically over the past year that it is a tribute to the Samsung brand to be able to incorporate real consumer values as well as technology into their offerings,” said Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys founder and president. “They have been better able to meet the very high expectations of more demanding consumers and this is reflected in the very high ratings they have received in the Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index for 2010.” For more information about the 2010 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Awards, please visit ***********End PR text************* Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()


And We Need A Conveyor Belt Wrist Watch
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I like good watches. I use about 6 of them regularly. But there is one watch that has

stolen my heart. It's called the Devon WorksTread 1. Forget the dials, the LCD display, this one changes the rules altogether. It shows you time on interwoven "time belts". Yes, "belts". Little conveyor belts "convey" time to you in a manner you have not seen before. And rest assured that you will see this only on Devon's watches since they have patented this design. The style is not understated, but it can be considered quite elegant. It's just BOLD. The in your face mofo types - and seems to pull it off very very well. Liking or hating the design is a split second decision. You either love it or just hate it. It's like owning an Aston Martin, you either love it or just plain hate it. It's an acquired taste and I think I will buy this watch. Just look at those beautiful mechanical parts running in total harmony inside that glass case. Reminds me of that Honda Accord "cog" advert, only way more awesome. Video of the "working" of the watch after the break. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

MIT Working On More Efficient Wireless Power Delivery
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
In 2007, MIT researchers announced that they had discovered a novel way of transmitting electricity without the use of wires. Now, the researchers have demonstrated that the system’s efficiency at transmitting energy improves significantly when it is used to charge multiple devices at the same time. The new work, reported in a paper in Applied Physics Letters earlier this year, has also demonstrated a system much closer to one that could be used to power typical consumer electronic devices. In the original proof-ofconcept in 2007, both the transmitter and receiver consisted of coils that were about two feet across. These two units were placed more than six feet apart and were used to light a 60-watt bulb — even with people sitting in between. But the new system uses a slightly 254

larger transmitter, with receivers that are only about a foot across – moving closer to a size that could eventually be built into a PC or a television set. The transmitting coil could be built into a wall or ceiling, the researchers say, and the transfer of power has been shown to work over distances comparable to the size of an ordinary room. André Kurs, a doctoral student in MIT’s Department of Physics and the lead author of the recent paper, says this reduction in size of the receiving coil is an ongoing process. With some more work on further reducing the coil’s diameter and thickness, “we could embed it in a portable device,” he says. The basic underlying principle for transmitting power wirelessly goes back more than a century to the work of Nikola Tesla and

other pioneers of electricity, but the MIT team invented a way of making the process far more efficient and practical. The system works by creating a strong electromagnetic resonance between the sending and receiving coils — similar to the way a tuning fork can start vibrating when exposed to a sound of exactly the right frequency, or the way a radio antenna can be tuned to just the frequency of a single station out of the hundreds that are simultaneously broadcasting their signals. In this case, the magnetic resonance between the two coils is unaffected by objects in between the coils, and by the same token objects between the coils — including people — are not affected by the magnetic fields. The key to that advance — that is, the ability to transmit useful amounts of power using coils of a reasonable size — was found in 2005 by MIT assistant professor of physics Marin Soljačić, who developed the idea along with Kurs, students Aristeidis Karalis SM ’03 ScD ’08 (now a postdoctoral researcher) and Robert Moffatt ’09, and physics professors Peter Fisher and John Joannopoulos. Although predicted by theory, the increase in efficiency when powering two devices at the same time had not been previously demonstrated in experiments. The team that carried out the recent work — Kurs, Moffat and Soljačić — found that when powering two devices at once, which individually could achieve less than 20 percent efficiency in power transfer, the combined efficiency climbed to more than 30 percent. The two receiving coils resonate with each other as well as with the transmitting coil, and help to reinforce the strength of the magnetic field. Kurs says that the efficiency should continue to rise as more devices are


added, climbing toward a theoretical limit of 100 percent. The research has been funded by the NSF, the Army Research Office, DARPA, and a grant from 3M. The amount of power transmitted in the latest experiment was on the order of 100 watts, but Kurs says that is only limited by the amplifier used for the transmitting coil, and can easily be increased. “It could be several hundred watts, or a kilowatt,” he says — enough to power several typical household devices at once, such as lamps, computers or television sets. “You could feed power to a medium-sized room, and power a dozen devices,” he says. The researchers set up a company in 2007, called WiTricity, to develop the invention and eventually bring it to market. Most of the Watertown-based company’s principals and board of advisors are MIT professors, students, or alumnae. The company originally estimated it would take several years to develop a commercial product, and have “been making good progress. I think it’s reasonably close,” says Kurs, who works at the company while completing his doctorate. No further breakthroughs are required, the researchers say, just continued engineering work to find the optimum design of the coils and the electrical control systems. In addition to working on reducing the size of the receiving coils, the researchers are also trying to improve the system for tuning the devices to achieve maximum efficiency. In the laboratory tests, they spent considerable time manually tuning each part of the system, but for a practical consumer product this process will have to be fully automated. “It does get a little harder to tune multiple devices,” Kurs says. A number of other companies have independently jumped on the bandwagon and begun to develop similar wireless power systems, including large companies like microchip maker Intel and electronics giant Sony. “Quite a few companies have reproduced the original results,” Kurs says. And Tesla, whom the researchers acknowledge in the footnotes to their papers, would no doubt be pleased by the progress. “He did have the notion,” Kurs says, “but in practice it’s a hard thing to make work. You need a good model of how your coupling varies with distance and how to minimize the losses in the system, and people didn’t have a good understanding of it at the time.” Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Driveburn Lets You Destroy Your Hard Drive And Save The Planet
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Strange startups eh? Check this one out Driveburn provides a service that specializes in, well, destroying hard drives. I am NOT kidding. All that confidential data will not go into someone else's hands anymore. Driveburn will destroy the drive permanently. Pay Driveburn $25 and they will make sure the drive is "melted" under video surveillance. They also send you a picture of the "destroyed" drive. Wow! So much for proof! After all this they do some good to this planet my recycling the metal that came out of your drive. Good folks eh?Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:23PM ()


Infographic: Place Jobs Here
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Thought this picture was awesome. Too much fame does this to anyone! Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()


Infographic: Visualizing The Internet
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Ever thought how the internet would look if you put it in a rectangular block and zoned it like a city? BBC's got an awesome infographic that zones out the internet. Did you know that social media sites make up for 20% of the internet? Infogfx after the break. [via BBC] Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Receipt Email Services Becoming A Startup Business Model
Monday, April 19, 2010
Square started the whole "bill anywhere, accept payments anywhere, email the receipt" thing but the emailing receipt piece has become the business model for one startup called "yReceipts". yReceipts is special because it lets both the shopper and the retailer manage receipts - more like a marriage between and squared minus the payment hardware. yR lets you link your debit or credit card directly with your account -- what this means is that you receive a yreceipt to your email for every transaction on your credit or debit card (could be classified under self-generated spam if you are a heavy shopper). For the retailer yRetailer has a fairly straight forward solution that fits directly into existing POS solutions, no overhead cost of buying new payment processing hardware. Good stuff, more startups will be getting on to this train soon. Watch out Square! Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:25PM ()

iPad In India - Perspective Of An Indian Newspaper Reader
Monday, April 19, 2010
I don’t know how it works in the rest of the world, but a lot of my friends have this habit of locking themselves up in the loo with the morning newspaper. It’s a fairly annoying habit personally, because I feel quite apprehensive to touch that newspaper again. Before you think I’m going to be talking about morning habits of people, trust me on this….I’m not. Fast forward to the launch of the much awaited Ipad….Steve Jobs opens that brown envelope. Ooooh! Aaaah! Ohhh! Yawn! Isn’t that a really big Iphone? Nooooooo…’s much more. I happened to have a cup of tea with my professor the same evening and we were talking about the future of print media in this country. While I believe that it’s heading south for the winter with no signs of it returning in the spring, my professor vehemently begs to differ. While media itself is


changing the way it delivers, the concept is pretty much the same. I spoke about the epaper being considered more favorable by my generation…basically because of two reasons. First, it’s the right thing do for the environment…and the second thing is that it’s free. Yes! We are cheap…we like free. So don’t scoff…you like it too! And then I went on to say how Twitter changed the way news is delivered and basically how the internet is going to kill paper. And now with the Ipad coming in, people can read in nice big fonts and not squint to read on their phones. Well, here’s the mistake of talking to a professor. When data does not make sense, the irrationality of human beings always will. Prof says, ‘Areyou seriously suggesting that theIpadis going to replace my morning newspaper when I spend time in theloo? They said that about laptops, I don’t believe anyone will take that…or theIpadto theirloo. And isn’t the darn thing a touch screen too?’ Besides the disturbing fact that I now knew what my prof did in the morning with his morning newspaper… when you come to think of it, besides being really large to sort of carry around, isn’t it just plain disgusting if you’re taking a touch-screen based device to the loo in the morning? I guess, I’ve been sold…newspapers will be around for a while. Posted by Nikhilesh Murthy at 11:53AM ()

Video: Hallucinations are a mirror of your personality
Monday, April 19, 2010
And you thought hallucinations meant nothing? Hey, when you're high, you are in a different world and now its official. Oliver Sacks walks you through the theory. Watch. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:36AM ()

Chipin Creates Crowd Sourced Fundraising!
Friday, April 16, 2010
Great new startup this - called "Chipin". It does exactly what it sounds like. Lets users chip - in money for your events. Fill in the amount you want to raise, and for what. Key in your email address and crowd source your fundraising effort. Simple enough? The whole concept works well, given that the onus of marketing the event for which you want to raise funds is on you. Chipin helps - they let you setup an event page to track the money raised for the event. We have setup one for Ideabing [:D] - do feel free to donate money. We have posted the Chipin widget on the left pane of the website. Chipin comes with good social connections - it lets you publicize your event across almost all social networks in a single click. And the money goes straight into your PayPal account. Yay!


Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Fragging in the Sub-continent
Friday, April 16, 2010

Gaming is finally getting the recognition it deserves. From being more than mere entertainement, please recollect the first days of Pong, to the current days of COD Modern Warfare 2 (three words for that…OMG), gaming has become recognized world over as a business and an art. India is not far behind when it comes to not only being the largest market for games and gaming consoles, but is now a major hub for games development and game testing. With numerous entrepreneurs coming out of premier business and technology schools like the IIM’s and IITs, games development in India is all set to pull a Veni,Vidi, Frag. While we’re not yet at a position like and Eidos or an EA, considering the money being doled out by banks, investors and venture capitalist, India has been focusing a lot on the mobile gaming market, and of late the social gaming market. And with facebook, orkut, and india’s own becoming major hubs for people to get together and meet, there is only one way for gaming in India to go, up. But then, through all this, there still remains a major problem of social acceptance from a number of spheres in India. Most of India still consider gaming a juvenile pastime. Even now, every time I play Counter-Strike, I can hear my father screaming ‘ You’re going to amount to nothing in life’. And this is the story with most Indian households. If you’re a good programmer, convention demands you join a big corporate house and create financial applications. And if you were an entrepreneur, you created financial applications. Notice our obsession with financial applications! But there is hope, with avenues like facebook giving people access to numerous games, and which has become a source of revenue for my college administration, (fines from guys who were caught playing Black Beards Island during a class about finance derivatives….again, obsession 260

with finance). Posted by Nikhilesh Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Drug discovery, Netflix style?
Friday, April 16, 2010
Ranking algorithms are one of the hottest topics in computer science: they’re what determines the order of Google’s search results and which movies and books Netflix and Amazon recommend to their customers. Now researchers at MIT and Harvard Medical School have shown that ranking algorithms could find an important application in a somewhat surprising field: drug development. Drug development typically begins with the identification of a “target” — a molecule involved in the biological processes underlying some disease. The next step is to try to find chemicals that either promote or suppress the molecule’s production. Scientists have assembled huge libraries — both virtual and physical — of chemical compounds that might be active against biological targets, and drug developers who have identified a target usually select a group of candidate drugs from those libraries. But the majority of drug candidates fail — they prove to be either toxic or ineffective — in clinical trials, sometimes after hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on them. (For every new drug that gets approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, pharmaceutical companies have spent about $1 billion on research and development.) So selecting a good group of candidates at the outset is critical. Drug companies have been using artificial-intelligence algorithms to help select drug candidates since the late 1990s. But Shivani Agarwal, a postdoctoral associate in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Deepak Dugar, a graduate student in chemical engineering, and the Harvard Medical School’s Shiladitya Sengupta have shown that even a rudimentary ranking algorithm can predict drugs’ success more reliably than the algorithms currently in use. The improvements were relatively modest, but to Agarwal, they’re an indication that recent research on more sophisticated ranking algorithms holds real promise for drug discovery. “The algorithms we use are actually very basic,” she says. “So there’s a lot of scope for even further improvement using more-optimized ranking algorithms.” How they did it: At a general level, the new algorithm and its predecessors work in the same way. First, they’re fed data about successful and unsuccessful drug candidates. Then they try out a large variety of mathematical functions, each of which produces a numerical score for each drug candidate. Finally, they select the function whose scores most accurately predict the candidates’ actual success and failure. The difference lies in how the algorithms measure accuracy of prediction. When older algorithms evaluate functions, they look at each score separately and ask whether it reflects the drug candidate’s success or failure. The MIT researchers’ algorithm, however, looks at scores in pairs, and asks whether the function got their order right. Next steps: Agarwal is investigating algorithms that maximize the accuracy of the rankings at the top of a list, even at the expense of lower rankings, since drug developers are generally interested in only a handful of the most promising drug candidates. Source: “Ranking Chemical Structures for Drug Discovery: A New Machine Learning Approach,”


Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling, Apr. 13, 2010 Funding: National Science Foundation, Department of Defense Era of Hope Scholar Award, Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Honk! A Social Network For Buying Cars
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Yeah, this was the only thing remaining to use the "social" angle of things. A new startup lets you choose cars making sure your new car fits around your life. For example, if you choose male, single suggestions vary from

convertibles, to coupes to all sorts of flashy cars. And if you choose to be a family guy, the options change. The website also takes into consideration your lifestyle before suggesting a car - like you being an outdoorsy guy with a lot of snow boarding and trekking in your weekend schedule. So if you are the clubbing kind the website suggests cars you can shell out more moolah on. And then there is this whole thing about what the overall package must be to take care of all option mentioned above. And the website has the usual package a social website must have - connects to facebook and twitter and lets you honk your likes and dislikes to your friends. Go check it out here - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Feature Consolidation Or Greed?
Thursday, April 15, 2010
The age of feature consolidation has arrived for big product companies. Apple launched the iPhone OS4 SDK a couple of days ago, Twitter acquired Tweetie and today Twitter announced at the Chirp conference that they will launch their own url shortening service in place of One pattern that has emerged out of these is that product companies are now ready to throw the kitchen sink at the user. Another pattern is that product companies are now making their platforms "unique" and hence forcing it upon everyone. Is this the time for feature consolidation? While Apple maintains the incremental feature 262

upgrade strategy with the iPad hardware (read no camera, no video conferencing, no flash support), it certainly thinks the iPhone is worth the truckloads of features users have been asking for after 3 long years. On the other hand, Twitter has gone for complete dominance. By making Twitter's own url shortening service "mandatory" if you want to use twitter it is killing off any other url shortening service out there. Apple's new developer agreement restricting them to creating apps using Apple's platform does something similar. The acquisition of Tweetie also plugs a hole in the Twitter product - desktop and mobile clients. Both Apple and Twitter have also thrown in hard-to-turn-down advertising platforms since both seem to hate Google's dominance in that area. Another take away from these episodes of hole-plugging is that these companies now have products that has gone past the tipping point. No one can stop using these products, leave alone switch to new ones which do the job as well as these do. The next logical step is to bring users and developers into platforms that give them a single window access to everything you needed. Period. You may call it arm twisting but companies call this "higher profits". Of course these moves come with the threat of law suits but who cares as long as these companies keep making profits for their share holders. What it also means is that the products have matured so much as to make way for new ones (read iPhone 4G and a super Twitter). What we feel bad about is that hapless developers get treated badly after the party is over. Sounds and feels more like greed, not feature consolidation. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Tweet Your Emails. Really!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
We have written about some great startups here on Ideabing. But here is one very interesting startup that lets you "tweet-toemail". The concept's simple, and very powerful. Say you want to send en email to a bunch of friends but you really do not remember all their email addresses. All you have to do is create a hash tag on with all the emails that you want to group mail. Now go to any twitter client and just blurt out the message with the hash tag in place. Wallah! the email gets across to all these people you wanted to get in touch with! This service certainly has legs, both commercially and socially. This could be a great way to get to relief groups in one tweet during a natural disaster, or maybe reach a bunch of friends to get to a pub. We will keep an eye on these folks!


Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:47AM ()

5 Reasons Why Facebook Setup Shop in India
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Here are 5 reasons why I think Facebook setting up shop in India for application development and marketing is a totally brilliant Idea: 1. Throwing Sheep will be replaced with the desi variant of ‘Throwing the Sacred Cow’. You can hit more people with a cow than with sheep. 2. Move over crazy Taxi, we are going to develop ‘Crazy BPO cab driver’. The developer will be a former BPO employee who had a near death experience on his way to work and quit the next morning. 3. ‘Farmville’ will now feature the ever game-changing ‘drought’ option. 4. Mafia wars will now have the Mumbai variant that features actual Mumbai Underworld folks. 5. Face book will introduce the new ‘matrimony’ option. (It’s about time arranged marriages became fun) All jokes apart, I am oddly delighted that Facebook decided to set up shop in India. This gives a chance for numerous application developers working out of garages to actually join a firm that people have heard off. And you can say what you want, facebook has the most addictive applications. I am afraid to start playing them for fear of wasting too many hours on them. Who will play Counter-Strike if I keep playing Farmville? Jokes apart, this is probably one of the wisest moves on part of any social networking website. India does have the second largest population and far more users of the internet than most other countries. And considering the number of official languages we have, facebook will have a complete new challenge on its hands with multi-lingual support. That’s 8 million users talking in different languages. Good luck FB developers! Also considering the fact that most of the top application developers for a certain company named after a fruit (It could be orange, or Pomegranate…) come from Asia, FB seems all set to take the desi road to supremacy. Posted by Nikhilesh Murthy at 11:59PM ()

Entrepreneurship For Dummies
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
They say anyone can be an entrepreneur. They say anyone can come up with big ideas. I like to believe they are right. To be an entrepreneur, to start an enterprise, is to be able to stand up and step away from that which appears easy. Things appear easy since everyone else is doing it. You don’t feel alone. So why is this important? Why does almost every decision in life come out to be something related to feeling like you’re now a part of a larger group that made the same choice? Humans are social beings. They’ve stayed together in all activities, the most interesting one that comes to my mind is hunting. When our forefathers wore nothing but animal skin, if that at all, they hunted in groups. One person took on the role of the tracker, another took on the role of the first 264

attacker, a third took on the role of the chaser etc. This turned out to be most useful when they were hunting prey larger than themselves, and a group of people acted as one to bring down an entity larger than them for the mutual benefit of everyone. Once they made the kill, the entire group feasted without having to worry about who gets a larger proportion of the meat. I wonder if the strongest person, or the leader, got a major portion of the meat. Not that it matters, but as we have evolved, this trait to be part of something bigger brings individuals together. Whether it is a shared idea of freedom, or a shared idea for a product that can change people’s lives, or just simply a shared idea to dream of a better world, people have found solace in company. It means a lot to an individual to be accepted by a group, as one of them. An entrepreneur on the other hand chooses to deliberately stray away from the herd. He chooses not to listen to conventional wisdom. Similar to an explorer, he wishes to chart unknown territory because he believes that there is something out there, a hunch or a wish was enough for him to believe. Based on this whim alone, he bravely chooses to step away and fight his primal instinct to be a part of the herd. After exploration, he has essentially made it safe for others to exploit the field, and he joins the herd again if only for a short while. To be an entrepreneur is not to be the guy who comes up with a lot of ideas. This is an intuitive statement that you’ve known all along. It is said that for the problems faced by people, there is but a finite set of solutions. Hence, frankly considering that you’re not the only one worried about social networks or global warming or even education in third world countries, it is highly likely that a “Best-solution-to-a-given-problem” idea that you have, has also occurred to someone else. It then just matters as to who is willing to walk that little bulb through to the room where it can shed light to a lot of people. An entrepreneur is the person who chooses to explore not because he wants to make the maximum money without sharing it with anyone, it’s because he enjoys the joy of starting something new. Armed only with his skill and confidence, he is the person who can influence and convince other people to join him in his vision. He’s the one who will take it all the way and see it to completion. All because the kick and rush he gets is not in the activities themselves, it’s in the fact that he’s building something new, the money just being a by product. The question I put forward to you, is do you want to be an entrepreneur just because you have an idea that can make millions? or do you believe so much in your idea, that you’re willing to step away from the crowd, walk down an uncharted road, and come back for the sheer joy of exploring something new? Posted by Joel at 06:00PM ()

One Of The Best Places For You To Watch CEOs Talk
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
There's, and then there are several other websites were you can watch CEO's rant about leadership and related stuff. There is on website that we think offers best value for a viewer. Say Hello to High impact leaders on


high def video - what else do you need? The website features interviews of execs split into 8 categories - Leadership, Sales, Technology, Governance, Innovation, Marketing, Strategy and Human Capital. Great place to spend your time if you cannot afford to spend your time in front of the TV. These folks have interviewed Fortune 500 CEO's and visionary entrepreneurs remarkably well. Image after the break.

Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Plastic Electronics Could Slash The Cost Of Solar Panels
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
A new technique developed by Princeton University engineers for producing electricity-conducting plastics could dramatically lower the cost of manufacturing solar panels. By overcoming technical hurdles to producing plastics that are translucent, malleable and able to conduct electricity, the researchers have opened the door to broader use of the materials in a wide range of electrical devices. With mounting concerns about global warming and energy demand, plastics could represent a low-cost alternative to indium tin oxide (ITO), anexpensive conducting material currently used in solar panels, according to the researchers. Using the method, they were able to make a plastic transistor, a fundamental component of electronics that is used to amplify and switch electronic signals. They produced the electrodes of the transistor by printing the plastic onto a surface, a fast and cheap method similar to the way an ink-jet printer produces a pattern on a piece of paper. Loo said the technique potentially could be scaled up for mass production presses akin to those used to print newspapers. "Being able to essentially paint on electronics is a big deal," Loo said. "You could distribute the plastics in cartridges the way printer ink is sold, and you wouldn't need exotic machines to print the patterns." By allowing plastic solar cells to be manufactured using low-cost printing techniques and by replacing ITO as the primary


conducting material, the plastics the team developed hold potential for lowering the cost of solar panels. Currently, the electricity generated by plastic solar cells is collected by a transparent metal conductor made of ITO. The conductor must be transparent so that sunlight can pass through it to the materials in solar cells that absorb the light energy. A rare and pricey byproduct of mining, ITO had come under increasing demand for use in flat-screen televisions, mobile phones and other devices with display screens. "The cost of indium tin oxide is skyrocketing," Loo said. "To bring down the costs of plastic solar cells, we need to find a replacement for ITO. Our conducting plastics allow sunlight to pass through them, making them a viable alternative." The researchers anticipate that the plastics also could replace expensive metals used in other electronic devices, such as flexible displays. In addition, the scientists are beginning to explore the use of the plastics in biomedical sensors that would display a certain color if a person had an infection. For instance, the plastics turn from yellow to green when exposed to nitric oxide, a chemical compound produced during ear infections in children. If the devices could be produced at a low cost, they might be useful in developing countries that lack advanced medical facilities. "You wouldn't need any fancy machines or lab equipment to diagnose an infection," Loo said, "all you would need is your eyes to see the color change in the plastics." The co-authors of the paper were Joung Eun Yoo, who received her doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Texas-Austin in 2009 with Loo as her adviser; Kimberly Baldwin, a high school student who spent a summer in Loo's lab; Jacob Tarver, a Princeton chemical engineering graduate student; Enrique Gomez of Pennsylvania State University; Kwang Seok Lee and Yangming Sun of the University of Texas-Austin; Andres Garcia and Thuc-Quyen Nguyen of the University of California-Santa Barbara; and Hong Meng of DuPont Central Research and Development. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation, the W.M. Keck Foundation and the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. "Conductive polymers [plastics] have been around for a long time, but processing them to make something useful degraded their ability to conduct electricity," said Yueh-Lin Loo, an associate professor of chemical engineering, who led the Princeton team. "We have figured out how to avoid this tradeoff. We can shape the plastics into a useful form while maintaining high conductivity." A multi-institutional team reported on its new technique in a paper published online March 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The area of research, known as "organic electronics" because plastics are carbon-based like living creatures, holds promise for producing new types of electronic devices and new ways of manufacturing existing technologies, but has been hampered by the mysterious loss of conductivity associated with moldable plastics. "People didn't understand what was happening," said Loo, who co-wrote the paper. "We discovered that in making the polymers moldable, their structures are trapped in a rigid form, which prevented electrical current from traveling through them." Once they understood the underlying problem, Loo and her colleagues developed a way to relax the structure of the plastics by treating them with an acid after they were processed into the desired form. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()


Seth Godin On Making Your Product Stand Out
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
We Love Seth Godn. We think he is one of the best thinkers around. Today's post contains a video of Seth at the TED conference talking about making your products stand out in the crowd. His rules are simple - the purple cow gets noticed. Ideas that spread, win. Video after the break. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:59PM ()

Vitamin Water Has 1.33 Million Facebook Fans? WTF!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Woah, we did know that the "fancy" water biz was booming but we did not know that Vitamin Water has 1.3 million fans just on Facebook! While there are conflicting views of big brands' competence in using social media to lure consumers the Vitamin Water Facebook page seems to prove it all wrong. Pepsi is capitalizing on this strategy too with its "Refresh Projects" campaign. Visit the Vitamin Water Facebook Page here: link OR Sign up on the Ideabing Facebook Page here: link Question: Do you really like Vitamin Water SO MUCH? Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:06PM ()

What An Advert! What An Idea!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
There can be very little debate as to how important marketing is for any product or service.And the giver of this product or service has a great responsibility to bombard his target segment in as many ways as possible, each way getting more captivating than the other. A marketing strategy should be such that it makes the audience stop,consider and seek the product/service as if they really had a desperate need for it. Here is one such captivating strategy. My husband and I live inside the campus of a popular business school in India. Since every student in the business school comes with a minimum of fours years of work-experience, the parking space in the campus has a wide variety of high-end cars. However, the course at this business school is so tremendously hectic, 268

that the students hardly get time to start their car engines and therefore all cars have a thick coat of dust on them. And since everybody on campus knows how common a feature this is, no one bothered to react. No one except one gentleman who cashed in on the dust, literally. One friday morning, all cars on campus had a name and a mobile number written on them, simply using the dust on the cars. It further said "Wash your car this week end!". Every car owner on campus stopped to see this advertisement on his/her car, considered the option and called the gentleman to fix up a time for the car wash as if they desperately wanted to wash their cars. Suddenly, there was such a high demand for this offer, that it involved a heavy workforce by the "car-wash company", methodical scheduling to wash the cars and there began a lucrative, steady-income, repeat-business model. And there was yet another new, successful entrepreneur. Posted by Deepti Natarajan at 06:00PM ()

Think Geek Makes Amazingly Geeky Products. We Likes.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Its not everyday that you come across insanely creative people, and I think I have come across a whole bunch of them today. ThinkGeek makes insanely innovative products - I have not seen other companies selling anything even close to these awsome prodcuts. What products, you ask? Well, picture this - a wearable drum kit on a tshirt, a guitar etched into you shirt or maybe a device that tunrs your tv on and off "randomly"! All great stuff to annoy thy spouse. I especially like the Think Geek rock band! Ideabing loves ThinkGeek! Go check them out at These are the same guys who made the Wifi Detector tshirt. Some product pics after the break. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:59PM ()

HP Labs Discovery Holds Potential to Fundamentally Change Computer ...
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
HP today announced advancements in research from HP Labs – the company’s central research arm – that could change the way computer systems are designed while better equipping them to process the current “information explosion.” HP Labs researchers have discovered that the “memristor“ – a resistor with memory that represents the fourth basic circuit element in electrical engineering – has more capabilities than was previously thought. In addition to being useful in storage devices, the memristor can perform logic, enabling computation to one day be performed in chips where data is stored, rather than on a specialized central processing unit. Highlights • The latest findings about the memristor are detailed in a paper published this week in the journal “Nature” by six researchers at HP’s Information and Quantum Systems Lab, led by R. Stanley Williams. These developments follow the HP Labs team’s first demonstration of the existence of the memristor in 2008. • HP has created development-ready architectures for memory chips using memristors


and believes it is possible that devices incorporating the element could come to market within the next few years. • HP researchers also have designed a new architecture within which multiple layers of memristor memory can be stacked on top of each other in a single chip. In five years, such chips could be used to create handheld devices that offer ten times greater embedded memory than exists today or to power supercomputers that allow work like movie rendering and genomic research to be done dramatically faster than Moore’s Law suggests is possible. • Eventually, memristor-based processors might replace the silicon in the smart display screens found in e-readers and could one day even become the successors to silicon on a larger scale. Memristor chips and energy use • Memristors require less energy to operate and are faster than present solid-state storage technologies such as flash memory, and they can store at least twice as much data in the same area. • Memristors are virtually immune from radiation, which can disrupt transistor-based technologies – making them an attractive way to enable ever smaller but ever more powerful devices. • Because they do not “forget,” memristors can enable computers that turn on and off like a light switch. Supporting quotes “Memristive devices could change the standard paradigm of computing by enabling calculations to be performed in the chips where data is stored rather than in a specialized central processing unit. Thus, we anticipate the ability to make more compact and power-efficient computing systems well into the future, even after it is no longer possible to make transistors smaller via the traditional Moore’s Law approach.” – R. Stanley Williams, senior fellow and director, Information and Quantum Systems Lab, HP “Since our brains are made of memristors, the flood gate is now open for commercialization of computers that would compute like human brains, which is totally different from the von Neumann architecture underpinning all digital computers.” – Leon Chua, professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department, University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Chua initially theorized about and named the memristor in an academic paper published 39 years ago. Images and videos • Photo of the memristor: • IEEE Spectrum’s “Six-Minute Memristor Guide”: Stan Williams gives a whiteboard talk about how the memristor works: • “The Next Step in Revolutionary Electronics”: Video about the discovery of the memristor, produced by The Next Step: Links • Article about memristor on the HP Labs website: • FAQ on memristor: • Memristor named one of “Wired” magazine’s “Top Technology Breakthroughs of 2008”: tPage=all Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()


Infographic:Know Your Brands
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
You think you know your brands? Not so much as the guy who shot the Oscar winning short - Logorama. A brilliant short film which reflects upon the brands that are around us in an everyday setting. Don't understand what i mean? Then watch this movie. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Chip Checks For Oral Cancer
Monday, April 12, 2010

The gentle touch of a lesion on the tongue or cheek with a brush can help detect oral cancer with success rates comparable to more invasive techniques, according to preliminary studies by researchers at Rice University, the University of Texas Health Science Centers at Houston and San Antonio and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

The test that uses Rice's diagnostic nano-bio-chip was found to be 97 percent "sensitive" and 93 percent specific in detecting which patients had malignant or premalignant lesions, results that compared well with traditional tests. The study appeared online in the journal Cancer Prevention Research. "One of the key discoveries in this paper is to show that the miniaturized, noninvasive approach produces about the same result as the pathologists do," said John McDevitt, the Brown-Wiess Professor of Chemistry and Bioengineering at Rice. His lab developed the novel nano-bio-chip technology at the university's BioScience Research Collaborative. Oral cancer afflicts more than 300,000 people a year, including 35,000 in the United States alone. The five-year survival rate is 60 percent, but if cancer is detected early, that rate rises to 90 percent. McDevitt and his team are working to create an inexpensive chip that can differentiate premalignancies from the 95 percent of lesions that will not become cancerous. The minimally invasive technique would deliver results in 15 minutes instead of several days, as lab-based diagnostics do now; and instead of an invasive, painful biopsy, this new procedure requires just a light brush of the lesion on the cheek or tongue with an instrument that looks like a toothbrush. "This area of diagnostics and testing has been terribly challenging for the scientific and clinical community," said McDevitt, who came to Rice from the University of Texas at Austin in 2009. "Part of the problem is that there are no good tools currently available that work in a reliable way." He said patients with suspicious lesions, usually discovered by dentists or oral surgeons, end up getting scalpel or punch biopsies as often as every six months. "People trained in this area don't


have any trouble finding lesions," McDevitt said. "The issue is the next step -- taking a chunk of someone's cheek. The heart of this paper is developing a more humane and less painful way to do that diagnosis, and our technique has shown remarkable success in early trials." The way forward is with nano-bio-chips -- small, semiconductor-based devices that combine the ability to capture, stain and analyze biomarkers for a variety of health woes that also include cardiac disease, HIV and trauma injuries. Researchers hope the eventual deployment of nano-bio-chips will dramatically cut the cost of medical diagnostics and contribute significantly to the task of bringing quality health care to the world. he new study compared results of traditional diagnostic tests with those obtained with nano-bio-chips on a small sample of 52 participants, all of whom had visible oral lesions, leukoplakia or erythroplakia and had been referred to specialists for surgical biopsies or removal of the lesions. Of those patients, 11 were diagnosed as healthy. The chips should also be able to see when an abnormality turns precancerous. "You want to catch it early on, as it's transforming from pre-cancer to the earliest stages of cancer, and get it in stage one. Then the five-year survival rate is very high," he said. "Currently, most of the time, it's captured in stage three, when the survivability is very low." The device is on the verge of entering a more extensive trial that will involve 500 patients in Houston, San Antonio and England. That could lead to an application for FDA approval in two to four years. Eventually, McDevitt said, dentists may be the first line of defense against oral cancers, with the ability to catch early signs of the disease right there in the chair. McDevitt's co-authors include Rice senior research scientist Pierre Floriano, Rice postdoctoral associate Shannon Weigum and Spencer Redding, a professor and chair of the Department of Dental Diagnostic Science at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSC). Also contributing were Chih-Ko Yeh, Stephen Westbrook and Alan Lin of the Department of Dental Diagnostic Science, H. Stan McGuff of the Department of Pathology and Frank Miller, Fred Villarreal and Stephanie Rowan of the Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, all at the UTHSC at San Antonio; Nadarajah Vigneswaran of the Department of Diagnostic Science, UTHSC at Houston; and Michelle Williams of the Department of Pathology at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. The researchers received a Grand Opportunity Grant from the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research Division of the National Institutes of Health for the w o r k . R e a d t h e a b s t r a c t at Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:59PM ()


Palm Is Up For Sale! Yay!
Monday, April 12, 2010
We had written an article some time back questioning Palm's capability to innovate. With Palm's share price falling like a rock down a bottomless pit, Palm is reportedly up for sale! Bloomberg reports this bit of interesting news. Goldman Sachs and Frank Quattrone's Qatalyst Partners will be looking for potential buyers. Palm reportedly has done this voluntarily. Interesting turn of events, given that Palm's CEO Jon Rubinstein recently said "I think we have a better product than Droid". Sure you do, Jon - but consumers want the iPhone! News is that Dell has already taken a swipe at Palm. HTC and Lenovo are in the race too. This fight is going to be a crazy one. America vs. Taiwan. Fight! Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Want To Broadcast Your Events? Plancast Is Here.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Think about this - you are attending an event, you want more people to get there. What so you do? You can send out an email to everyone you want to invite or you could call them up or you could simply go on Plancast and "broadcast" the event. The website defines Plancast like this

"Plancast is a service for sharing your upcoming plans with friends. It's a social calendar of sorts. Just submit the things you're thinking about doing in the future, and your friends will be able to hear about them - and maybe join you, too!"
Like most online services these days Plancast directly connects to your Twitter and Facebook accounts to make sure all your friends see what you are doing, when and where. Brilliant service to use if you are the event trotting guy. Users can opt to join the event by just clicking "count me in". Built by Mark Hendrickson and Jay Marcyes, this service has joined a flurry of services trying to reduce the clutter among social apps. We give this service 5 stars! Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()


Sustainable Chairs: Possible
Monday, April 12, 2010
Hey, this might sound very "commercial" but there's nothing commercial about this idea. You drink Coke off a plastic bottle, right? Now Emeco picks up 111 of these nasty bottles which would otherwise just stay dumped in the landfill for years and makes the Navy 111 range of chairs out of them. Yeah, i know - plastic chairs have been around for decades but why din't these guys think of this brilliant idea like 25 years ago? Correct - it takes oil shortage, global warming and a near financial collapse of the world for humans to think straight. These chairs are "hand polished" for 8 hrs before being considered fit for sale. Anyways, these chairs are good looking and come in 6 colors, and will increase the "cool factor" of your living room. Each one of these chairs cost $230 (ouch) and is sold at "Design Within Reach" Go, tree hugging millionaire, buy some of these chairs. Pics after the break.


Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

A Website To "Fulfill Your Dreams". Brilliant!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
So, you are someone who cares about your community, wants to help people. What do you do? You invest in some micro finance institution, or maybe start an organization that helps build communities. What else can you do? You can now "fulfill" dreams of people! A website lets you do that and in the process lets you fulfill your own dreams. On one condition - for every dream of your that is fulfilled, you fulfill 3 dreams of others. Great concept, if it works. Members are known as "papayos" and these folks help fulfill others' dreams. Its a social network with a twist. Started by Felipe Velazquez, a Colombian architect the network's aim is to "feed vitamins" to your dreams. The group already has a considerable user base but your membership has to be approved before you can start contributing. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:27PM ()


Person Vs. Process – Which One’s The Right Tool For Your Startup?
Sunday, April 11, 2010
The journey of a company from its birth as a startup, to its maturity as a successful organization, has been studied and is well defined. So much so that it’s now essentially textbook. Successful startups have few motivated people working in it, and it’s not work-life balance that’s so much the priority as much as getting the company to stay ahead. It’s a purpose waiting to be accomplished. Anyone can come up with a good idea, fewer are considered capable of making it click, and a smaller group within this bunch can repeat that success. What else could explain the difference between luck and capability in today’s world? The art of being able to repeat success is considered very important, and that’s where the entrepreneur takes on a lesser role. Another person is typically brought in to take on the role of a professional manager, to tighten the nuts and bolts and lend efficiency to the startup. It’s very rare to find people with entrepreneurial qualities who also have professional managerial skills. So the entrepreneur wisely (and with much pain) passes the reins to the hands of another, so the young company can grow further. The professional manager understands that while it is possible that people have the ability to do the best they can in any situation, he should account for the unpredictability that comes with them. We are not machines, our decisions are dependent on our individual experiences. It is possible that we work hard one day, and not work at all on the next. I might bring my personal baggage to work, and take my official baggage back home. We are human after all. The idea of a process shows up around this stage. So what is a process? I believe that it has the ability to allow ordered actions to take place in a controllable manner to achieve success repeatedly. As such, the series of actions can be tweaked; output can be measured and benchmarked against expected output. This in turn provides feedback which lets the manager work out the kinks in the system, to get better output. In short, a process tries to fix the unpredictability of people by replacing it with the predictability of systems and machines. This is all fine if we are only bothered about getting work done efficiently. People embrace the chance to repeat the miracle they just performed, and follow the process wholeheartedly. Difficulty does not arise at the stage of process implementation, but at the stage of sustenance after a waiting period. It is at this stage that we really see if the person uses the process as a tool to do better, or if he follows it just because he has to. The moment people start complaining, it is a signal to the manager to decide what should be fixed – the people or the process. It’s a worrying sign when people don’t complain, and don’t praise the process either. Fixing the process is easy, change a step here, modify another there, get consistent feedback from those who work alongside it, to make the life of the person easier. But does it come at the cost of reduced efficiency? Fixing the people is not as easy. There’s so much beyond our control. It’s important to fix the cause, not the symptoms. Unfortunately it is common to see the symptoms getting treated. To declare the results of this to be positive or negative, can be highly and well debated. Therefore, does this come at the cost of


motivation? So we come to ask ourselves if in this day of “Eat or be eaten”, if we want to side with efficiency or motivation. We could always take the middle lane on this road, but it’s considered unstable compared to the stable paths of efficiency and motivation. Where the company finally reaches, depends on the lane it takes. When it comes down to the matter of your company’s survival, what would you do? Posted by Joel at 01:20PM ()

The impatient Indian Entrepreneur goes rural
Saturday, April 10, 2010
There is a new beast on the prowl, and it’s an impatient beast that has got fed up of complaining and waiting for the older beasts in the jungle to make a move. Okay! I’ll be honest, I tried to make a dramatic introduction to the impatient entrepreneur, but this was the best I could come up with. But this comment is the naked truth. The Indian entrepreneur has evolved from being young folks who opened shops, restaurants or set up trade businesses that imported/exported dry fruits; to being technology entrepreneurs and business solution entrepreneurs. Two things have brought this around. The action of the Indian government and the inaction of the Indian government. Confused? Okay…here goes. India opened its borders to business with the great liberalization movement of 1991. Thank you PV Narasimha Rao. For the first time, India saw beyond its local boundaries and the world saw India beyond our non-existent snake charmers. But that’s where this peak of economic growth became a plateau. India became the land of haves and have-nots. A great economic disparity ensued, which very few governments have been able to tackle from a long term perspective. And there arose numerous socio-economic issues that still keep India on a leash. Even today, you’d find most government officials talking about fixing these issues, but nothing long term over the horizon. And this has frustrated the Indian Entrepreneur. And thanks to VC’s showing a lot of interest in India, which for all practical purposes has become the new ‘land of opportunity’, the Indian entrepreneur has gotten fed up of waiting on the world to change.( I hope John Mayer will not sue for borrowing his line….big fan JM) There is a new found sense of responsibility and a lot of well educated folks from top universities are busy creating products, business models and self-sustaining systems that are targeted at people working at the grass root level. ‘Rural’ is the new rage. One finds more and more entrepreneurs investing in ideas for cleaner and cheaper energy, business models that ensure farmers know where to get best prices, retail tie-ups to ensure the middle men are cut out, microfinancing programs and much more. More and more people understand that despite the success of a few entrepreneurs in fields of software, the crux of India’s development continues to remain in the mass rural sector. The impatient entrepreneur has understood that one needs to start small and tackle issues that are significant size. SO thinking on a grand scale is impractical as government laws and rural social stigma leave a lot to be desired. And this is where the impatient entrepreneur has to show a lot of patience. India is the land of ample opportunity for numerous entrepreneurs genuinely looking to make a difference. Posted by Nikhilesh Murthy at 11:36PM ()


Eva Vertes looks to the future of medicine
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Eva Vertes takes a look at the future of Cancer cure in this amazing video - what insight! Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 05:54PM ()

Steps To Make Your Blog Better
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Its been a while since we posted some awesome tips from Problogger. Lets head there today. There is an excellent post about how to improve your blog today. Head here - link Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:26AM ()

Apple Lessons: How To Kill Your Rivals
Friday, April 09, 2010
Polygeek posted a hilarious piece of video by Monty Python (bring out your dead) that equates to what Apple is doing to Flash forcefully killing it, although Adobe keeps screaming "I am still alive". The last few weeks have been very important for Apple not just in the product launch department but also in the "I will drive a knife up your heart and drink your blood" department. It all started with Apple suing HTC over the patent violation issue. While the iPad launch marked launch of the the "Flash is now dead" campaign, the iPhone OS 4 event went on to mark the campaign against Google's products and the final nail in the coffin for Flash. While Steve's potshots on Google's AdMob and the eventual launch of iAd will mark the end of Google's domination in iPhone advertising, Apple's ban of 3rd party development platforms being used for App development for iPhone and iPad will almost certainly kill flash as a mainstream development platform. Adobe of course went off into a defensive approach over Flash CS5's "port flash code to iPhone" functionality being rendered useless. Apple is also being VERY loud about the numbers of iPhones and iPads being sold on a daily basis to make sure the message is driven deep into the minds of those who develop content for these platforms that there are certain technologies Apple wants you to use and you use it. Period. Apple has also employed a very subtle signs to show Google the finger as well. Look at the screen grabs below. The frame on the left is from the Keynote presentation at the iPhone launch in 2007 while the frame on the right is from the iPhone OS 4 launch event in 2010. Notice that Apple left Google out of some Steve Jobs presentation glory?


More insult after the injury with potshots at Google. Stevie said:

"we tried to buy a company called AdMob... but Google snatched it away."
2 important companies have been rubbed in the face with apple's glorious middle finger in the past 2 months. It's Apple's time now and Stevie's going for the kill. Apple's valuation is hovering around the $220 billion mark, a foot away from Microsoft's $260 Billion market cap. Microsoft is relatively safe from Apple's kill bill rage but MS's mobile product may already be weak thanks to iPhone OS4's feature enhancements. Apple wants to dominate in the mobile space, and on its terms. It's catch me if you can for the other players. Hurray for competition! Go Apple! Kill 'em all! Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 05:38PM ()

Innovative Desalination Technology To Receive Government of Canada ...
Friday, April 09, 2010
A project led by Saltworks Technologies Inc. to develop a low-energy water desalination system that has the potential to greatly improve the affordability and accessibility of clean water will receive up to $580,000 in funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). The funding was approved by the Board of Directors of SDTC in June 2009 as part of the foundation's fourteenth funding round. "By supporting innovative, clean energy technologies like those developed by Saltworks Technologies, the Government of Canada is helping to create a stronger and greener economy, and position Canada as a world leader in this field," said Andrew Saxton, MP for North Vancouver and Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board. "And we're also helping to position Canada as a go-to source for environmental and energy solutions that can be used here and around the world." "Access to clean water is a growing issue and it's imperative that we find innovative ways to effectively clean the water resources that are available," said SDTC President and CEO Vicky Sharpe. "The technology developed by Saltworks provides a sustainable and inexpensive solution to this issue that could be used in Canada as well as around the world." The Low-Energy Desalination Demonstration project involves building and testing a commercial-scale 1,000 litre/day pilot plant for seawater and brackish industrial water treatment. This novel desalination system, powered by an inexpensive low temperature thermal energy conversion system that can use solar energy or process heat to reduce electricity consumption, is expected to operate without chemicals while avoiding the harmful salt loading that is often associated with other desalination approaches. The process also has the capability to input waste saltwater brine and treat it to produce freshwater and solid salt with low


energy consumption. "Support from SDTC has enabled Saltworks to pilot its technology on real seawater at a small commercial scale. This sets the building blocks in place for the future and has generated valuable IP, know how, and high skill jobs," said Saltworks CEO Ben Sparrow. Other project partners include BC Hydro's Powertech Labs Inc. and the BC Innovative Clean Energy Fund. [via Marketwire] Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:18PM ()

GE's LED Bulb Lasts 17 Years
Friday, April 09, 2010
The inventor of the first visible light-emitting diode makes history again this year as it begins to show customers a 40watt replacement GE Energy Smart® LED bulb available later this year or early 2011. GE Lighting’s new LED bulb is expected to consume just 9 watts, provide a 77-percent energy savings and produce nearly the same light output as a 40-watt incandescent bulb, while lasting more than 25 times as long.

The new GE Energy Smart® LED bulb is expected to outperform currently available products that may be underwhelming consumers right now. GE scientists and engineers designed the bulb to better direct light downward on the intended surface and all around, not just out the top of a lampshade, as most current LED bulbs are prone to do. The new GE LED bulb offers 450 lumens—the Energy Star® threshold to be considered a 40-watt incandescent replacement. Currently available LED bulbs produce 350 lumens or less. GE has filed multiple patent applications for the bulb and expects it will be an ENERGY STAR® qualified LED omnidirectional light bulb. “This is a bulb that can virtually light your kid’s bedroom desk lamp from birth through high school graduation,” says John Strainic, global product general manager, GE Lighting. “It’s an incredible advancement that’s emblematic of the imagination and innovation that GE’s applying to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.” GE Energy Smart® LED bulb product snapshot:

• Expected to consume just 9 watts—compared with 40-watt incandescent/halogen or 10-watt CFL, while delivering nearly the same light output; • Expected 25,000-hour rated life—will last 17 years (4 hours per day), which is 25 times longer than a general service 40-watt incandescent or halogen bulb and more 280

than 3 times longer than a standard 8,000-hour rated life CFL; • LED technology delivers the instant full brightness of an incandescent or halogen bulb; • Durable solid-state design with no filament to break; • Contains no mercury and will be RoHS compliant; and • Feels cooler to the touch than CFLs and far cooler than incandescent bulbs. The 9-watt GE Energy Smart® LED bulb, a replacement for 40-watt general service incandescent bulbs, hits store shelves this fall or in early 2011. Retailers set pricing but it is expected to be $40 to $50. The new bulb joins GE’s growing family of LED bulbs in a broad range of shapes, wattages and colors, including, spot and flood lights (PAR20 & PAR30), ceiling fan bulbs (A15), medium globes (G25), small globes (G16.5), candles (CA10), and night lights (C7). All of GE’s Energy Smart® LED bulbs are rigorously tested to ensure constant color, long life and verifiable lumen ratings. For more information, visit or To learn about GE’s dedication to LED quality standards, visit GE will put prototypes of the bulb—outfitted with Cree XLamp® XP-G LEDs—on display at two upcoming trade shows: Light + Building 2010 in Frankfurt, Germany, and LightFair 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The high-efficiency, high-lumen-output LEDs used in the GE bulbs are Cree’s smallest and brightest lighting-class LEDs, designed specifically for general lighting. “The introduction of high-quality retrofit light bulbs, like the GE Energy Smart® LED bulb, is a key next step in the LED lighting revolution,” notes Norbert Hiller, Cree vice president and general manager, LED Components. Strainic adds: “Consumers have been reluctant to move away from less efficient incandescent bulbs because they love the light quality. This new GE Energy Smart® LED bulb will address that lighting preference head-on and give consumers yet another option to light their homes and businesses.” New Lighting Legislation Starting in 2012 and continuing through 2014, standard incandescent light bulbs are going away as a result of U.S. federal lighting efficiency standards: 100-watt bulbs can no longer be made in January 2012; 75-watt bulbs can no longer be made in January 2013; and 60- and 40-watt bulbs can no longer be made in January 2014. GE has consumers covered each step of the way with alternatives such halogen, CFL and LED bulbs that already meet the new efficiency standards. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 05:55AM ()

Apple's New iPhone Developer Agreement: Flash? Who?
Thursday, April 08, 2010
The iPhone OS 4 took was launched this morning and a developer beta of the SDK was available shortly after that. The SDK came packaged with a shiny new EULA that has some content that shook many developers who built apps using 3rd party IDE's to the ground. While it affects 3rd party environments such as Titanium from Appcelerator and the Unity Game Development Tool by Unity Technologies, it affects Adobe most. Adobe's much touted Flash CS5 which can port to code to iPhone and Android platforms from Flash code may never see the light of day on the iPhone or the iPad. Remember the Wired magazine demo we had posted built out of Adobe Air? Well, that may never come out for the iPad in the form it was originally built. Apple's new terms require developers to write code only in "Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine". The timing could not have been better either. With 4 days to go for Adobe CS5's release, Apple has just sprayed water on camping fires of at least 2 million


developers waiting to start development for the iPhone on Flash.

While Adobe maintains that these are "Beta" TOS, Unity is not so sure. In fact TechCrunch reports that Unity responded to their query about the TOS' effect on the company like this:

“We have no indication from Apple that things are going to change. We have a great relationship with Apple and will do everything we can to comply with Apple’s TOS (also, these are ‘beta TOS’, and these easily get changed) so that we can provide uninterrupted service to our more than 120K users.”
Appcelerator CEO Jeff Hayne wrote an email to developers using their Titanium platform stating

"Titanium User: First, and most important: we value each and every one of you. As always, we will do everything within our power to ensure that Appcelerator Titanium remains the best platform to enable each of you to develop mobile and desktop applications on. Should any issue arise that may affect our community, you can expect that we will be as proactive, transparent, and forthcoming as possible. Now to the issue at hand. As part of its announcement this morning, Apple proposed updating its Terms of Service for iPhone OS 4.0. Since iPhone 4.0 is still in beta, both the APIs and the Terms of Service are covered under NDA, so we cannot speak to specifics or Apple's intent with its proposed language. However, these terms are subject to clarification and change by Apple up through its official launch, which looks to be mid-summer. Until iPhone 4.0 is actually released, we will work with Apple to ensure that we abide by any updates to its Terms of Service, just as we have done successfully in the past. We know that you put a lot of trust in Appcelerator and effort into your applications. You have our commitment that we will do everything possible to ensure that Titanium remains the outstanding platform for


cross-platform application development for years to come. We will update you with more information as soon as we gain a clearer understanding of today's announcement. Until that time, iPhone OS 3.2 remains the officially released SDK and 3.2 is still the official Terms of Service. All apps written under 3.2 are in accordance with these terms and all apps written to date for 3.2 have been approved.Please feel free to reach out to us on ourblog, viaTwitter, or via email with any questions. Thanks for everyone’s support and well wishes today.Sincerely, Jeff Haynie CEO " As far as we know Apple, this move is solely to keep Adobe out of the iPhone space in any way possible. Antitrust suit anyone? Forcing developers to use a particular development platform may not be the best way to keep antitrust suits out of your way. Intel and Microsoft have be forced into settlements in the past and Apple may be dragged into one soon. But Apple will defend itself stating that the iPhone and the software that runs on it are made and sold by Apple, and hence requires developers to adhere to its terms in order to maintain a certain standard of quality. Things will be clear in a couple of months when the production version of iPhone 4.0 OS is released for general use. We will keep you updated. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:15PM ()

MIT takes step toward airport scanners that can identify explosives
Thursday, April 08, 2010
MIT researchers have developed a new way to tune the frequency of lasers that operate in the terahertz spectrum. The result is an important step toward airport scanners that could tell whether a vial in a closed suitcase contains aspirin, methamphetamines or an explosive. Tucked between microwaves and infrared rays on the electromagnetic spectrum, terahertz rays can penetrate clothing, plastic, and human tissue, but they’re thought to be safer than x-rays. Since they’re absorbed to different degrees by different molecules, they can also tell chemicals apart. But accurately gauging an object’s chemical composition requires exposing it to a continuous range of terahertz frequencies, which interact with it in different ways. In a paper appearing in the most recent issue of Nature Photonics, Qing Hu, a professor of electrical engineering at MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics, and his colleagues describe the first practical method for tuning terahertz quantum cascade lasers, a type of laser considered the most promising source of terahertz radation. What’s more, the method is a fundamentally new approach to laser tuning that could have implications for other emerging technologies. How they did it: Tuning a laser usually requires either changing the length of its lightemitting cavity or changing its temperature. Hu compares these two approaches to changing the pitch of a guitar string by pressing down on it — changing its length — or screwing its tuning peg — changing its tension. Neither approach, however, works very well with terahertz quantum cascade lasers. A third way to change the pitch of a guitar string, however, is to change its diameter: the lower-pitched strings on a guitar are thicker than the higher-pitched ones. And Hu’s tuning technique is, roughly speaking, to change


the diameter of the light beam. A light beam confined in, say, an optical fiber or a long, thin, quantum cascade laser exhibits an electromagnetic-field pattern called a “transverse mode.” The transverse mode is kind of like another electromagnetic wave that’s perpendicular to the light beam, except that unlike a light beam, it dies off very quickly. Hu’s new tuning technique requires a particular type of quantum cascade laser called a wire laser, where the wavelength of the transverse mode is actually greater than the width of the laser itself. Bringing a block of another material close enough to the laser deforms the transverse mode, which in turn changes the wavelength of the emitted light. In experiments, Hu and his colleagues found that a metal block shortened the wavelength of the light, while a silicon block lengthened it. Varying the proximity of the blocks also varies the extent of the shift. Next steps: In its experiments, Hu’s group used a mechanical lever to bring a block of either silicon or metal close to a quantum cascade laser from a single direction. But they’ve designed and are now building chips that would use electronically controlled microelectromechanical devices to bring the silicon and metal blocks in from different directions, giving the laser a precise and continuous tuning range from short to long wavelengths. Source: “Tuning a terahertz wire laser” by Qi Qin, Benjamin S. Williams, Sushil Kumar, John L. Reno and Qing Hu, in Nature Photonics, published online on November 22 Funding: The work was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and National Science Foundation. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:56PM ()

Will iPhone Become Invincible With OS4?
Thursday, April 08, 2010
Hey, the suspense is over. The sneak peek event of the iPhone OS4 was held at the Infinite Loop campus today. The new OS officially bring multi tasking to the iPhone. No more jailbreaks required to run multiple apps at once. This update is limited to the iPad, iPod 3G and iPhone 3GS only. So does this make the iPhone 3GS the ultimate mobile device you could have? With over 1500 new API's added for developers to access and tons of new features like "Folders" for bunching apps, single window email view for all your email account, the iPhone will be the most feature rich phone ever. Nothing to crib about anymore? Hold of on the 4G cribbing, you will need new hardware for that. A lot of cues have been taken from the Windows 7 series phone OS internals in this rev of the iPhone OS. Coming for general download this summer. iPhone dev program Developers can download the SDK right away. Head here - link Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:24PM ()

Santander's Robots Will Guide You Through The Bank's Massive HQ
Thursday, April 08, 2010
What do you do to guide visitors on a campus which is just "huge"? Deploy helper robots, of course. Santander, one of the world's largest banks has deployed highly 284

sophisticated "helper robots" that guide you to whatever place you want to visit within the massive visitor center at Madrid, Spain. All the experience, in a language of your choice. Santander claims that this is the first time swarm intelligence technologies have been applied in a commercial setting. they call it "SiGA" or Santander intelligent Robotics Assistance. That is just one piece of technology you will see at Santander's super high tech HQ. There are interactive walls where you get information ranging from Satander's history to current market numbers - all in real time. There are also augmented reality maps that guide you through the campus on a big ass map - as big as a medium sized swimming pool! Very, very, cool. Pics and video after the break. [gallery link= "file" columns= "5" orderby= "rand"] Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Trazzler Answers The "Where Should I Go" Question
Thursday, April 08, 2010
Ever traveled to a new part of the country and not known what interesting places are around that area? Fear not, Trazzler is here to help you. A travel suggestions website -

Trazzler specializes in suggesting places to explore around a given zip code. This service is awesome given that you tend to discover places you have never heard of before, like local coffee shops near Bend, OR or the "Graveyard of the Pacific" in Astoria. Great site to plan your travels with your friends. The site lets you access more features via Facebook connect like inviting friends to a trip and writing "travel stories" of your past travels. The site supports crowd sourced content, so you can be sure that the information being passed on to you is authentic. Screengrab after the break. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:34AM ()


Video: The Emotion Behind An Invention
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Ever thought what drives an inventor to invent something? Yes, there's the need for something and the shortfalls of some other invention that drives someone to create something better. But what does it take to make an inventor to go so far as to make the invention touch millions of lives? It's the emotion. The emotion to give back to the community. The emotion to make lives better. Watch Dean Kamen, the inventor of Segway talk about his invention - a completely robotic arm for persons who have lost their arms completely. This arm can do everything your natural arm can do, and more. Video after the break. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

NYU Stern Starts The "Regulating Wall Street" Blog
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
As reform bills that have the potential to transform the future of financial regulation work their way through Congress, NYU Stern professors are providing their unbiased, real-time views on a new blog, “Regulating Wall Street.” Last year, many of these faculty members developed 18 independent policy papers that addressed the causes of the financial crisis and proposed market-focused solutions to reform the global financial system. Their recommendations, which were favorably received by Washington, were published in a book, Restoring Financial Stability: How to Repair a Failed System, (Wiley, March 2009). The blog “Regulating Wall Street” is a prelude to a forthcoming book of the same title authored by Stern faculty and to be published by John Wiley & Sons later this year. Although the blog and book both cover all aspects of the upcoming financial reform, there is a special focus on: • Commenting on specific Congressional proposals on systemic risk of financial institutions and developing alternative ways to manage this risk – including taxes, restrictions on behavior and specially designed resolutions for institutional failure. • Addressing the impact of the shadow banking system that nearly brought down capital markets, specifically looking at how to regulate the heretofore unregulated OTC derivatives market, money market funds, repo market and hedge funds. • Evaluating Congress’ newly proposed regulatory structures, such as the overall architecture for regulating banks and non-bank financial institutions, the credit rating agencies and the consumer finance protection agency. Among the faculty contributors to the blog and book are: • Viral Acharya, systemic risk, OTC derivatives and repo expert • Edward Altman, bankruptcy and credit risk expert • Thomas Cooley, expert on the role of the Fed and overall financial architecture • Robert Engle, Nobel Laureate, systemic risk and OTC derivatives expert • Matthew Richardson, systemic risk, money markets and hedge funds expert • Nouriel Roubini, international economist, widely acknowledged as predicting the financial crisis • Ingo Walter, risk management expert • Lawrence White, expert on rating agencies and GSEs “NYU Stern’s faculty continue to provide important insight into the fundamental policy questions facing the world in the aftermath of the financial crisis,” said Peter Henry, dean 286

of NYU Stern. “Their independent analysis is critical to the reform debate and fully engages our institution in a critically important conversation on the future of the global economy.” Read the blog at and follow Regulating Wall Street on Twitter at Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

AOL Joins MIT Media Lab Consortium
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Some good press not so bad when your brand rep is getting hurt badly eh? AOL is trying something similar. It has joined the MIT Media Lab as a Consortium Level Sponsor. This means AOL will shell out a lot of money in the hopes that the venture will bring out something wild that AOL could use to build its product base. While AOL is trying hard to stem the flow of cash quarter on quarter and even putting Bebo up for sale, this venture may one one that is quite rewarding. MIT folks develop all sorts of fun stuff (read this and this) and AOL would gladly benefit from some top notch research. We just hope AOL doesn't shutter itself soon. Full PR text after the break. ***Start PR Text*** AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) today announced it has joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab as a Consortium-level sponsor. The Media Lab is a pioneering research community focused on the study, invention and creative use of digital technologies. The sponsorship, initially for three years, was spearheaded by AOL Ventures, a division established by AOL in 2009 to nurture early-stage, externally developed opportunities and employee-originated ideas. AOL will have the opportunity to collaborate on the Media Lab’s groundbreaking research, including rights to license work developed at the Media Lab during its sponsorship. “AOL and the Media Lab have each pioneered significant advances in the way people communicate and consume information in a digital environment, which makes this an exciting collaboration for AOL,” said Jeff Reynar, Head of Technology for Engineering and Products, New York. “Investing in innovation in a creative, non-traditional environment is a fundamental part of AOL’s future, and through this collaboration, the company will be able to interact with Media Lab researchers and benefit from early access to emerging technologies.” Reynar, who joined the company in late January, is building out and managing AOL’s New York Technology Center and is focused on innovation for AOL’s content business. He also will be responsible for coordinating the collaboration for the company with Media Lab research teams on projects to explore and develop advances in areas that can help transform the way people interact with digital technologies. The Media Lab, founded in 1985, applies an unorthodox research approach to envision the impact of emerging technologies on everyday life. Media Lab designers, engineers, artists, and scientists work atelier-style in some 30 research groups on projects aimed at inventing – and reinventing – how humans experience, and can be aided by, technology. The Lab is supported by more than 60 sponsors, including some of the world’s leading corporations. "We live in a time of abundant challenges for individuals and for society," said Frank Moss, Media Lab director. "AOL's passion for informing and connecting people around the world is in direct synergy with the Media Lab's unique model of idea creation and innovation. We’re delighted to count AOL among our family of corporate sponsors, and look forward to working with Jeff and the talented team at AOL to develop new ways for people to communicate and connect." AOL Ventures provides an entrepreneurial environment to attract and develop original ideas to foster initiatives that benefit consumers, advertisers


and employees and are aligned with AOL’s long-term strategy. ***End PR Text*** Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

5 Good Looking Alternatives To Craigslist
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Craigslist turned 15 this month, but the design has stayed 15 years old. While it commands the majority of the classifieds market share, its looks don't command too much goodwill. So what alternatives do you have which look better than the cluttered craigslist? List and screengrabs after the break. Oodle Buy my stuff Adoos Ebay classifieds Yellow Pages [gallery link= "file" columns= "5" orderby= "rand"] Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:58PM ()

Now Call Your Friend's Phone For Free Via Facebook
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Likiwi, a French company has just launched a beta program of its Facebook based VOIP application. What this lets you do is simple - lets you call any your friends' phones for free and asks you to watch an advertisement in return. Not bad actually, as long as you are not in a hurry to call your friend - then you have to pay for an "urgent" call. Calls are unlimited and free as long as you have "credits" to make the call. Likiwi gives you a variety of ways to earn credits for making calls ranging from making you watch ads to making people sign up for the service to giving you kickbacks based on the minutes you spend calling someone using credits purchased using real money. These nice folks also throw in a personal phone number for you to be able to receive calls on Facebook on a "private" number. This will run you 3 euros a month (about $5 a month). You also have the freedom to choose a phone number in a country "of your choice". Neat, no? Looking at the number of tablets being released which run web browsers as their Operating systems i think this service makes sense. But Facebook as your telephone? Doesn't make too much sense. I hope these folks make something available outside of Facebook. A video of the product after the break. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 05:31PM ()

An Afternoon Nap Markedly Boosts The Brain’s Learning Capacity
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
If you see a student dozing in the library or a co-worker catching 40 winks in her cubicle, don't roll your eyes. New research from the University of California, Berkeley, shows that an hour’s nap can dramatically boost and restore your brain power. Indeed, the findings suggest that a biphasic sleep schedule not only refreshes the mind, but can make you smarter. Conversely, the more hours we spend awake, the more sluggish our minds become, according to the findings. The results support previous data from the same research team that pulling an all-nighter — a common practice at college during midterms


and finals — decreases the ability to cram in new facts by nearly 40 percent, due to a shutdown of brain regions during sleep deprivation. "Sleep not only rights the wrong of prolonged wakefulness but, at a neurocognitive level, it moves you beyond where you were before you took a nap," said Matthew Walker, an assistant professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and the lead investigator of these studies. In the recent UC Berkeley sleep study, 39 healthy young adults were divided into two groups — nap and no-nap. At noon, all the participants were subjected to a rigorous learning task intended to tax the hippocampus, a region of the brain that helps store fact-based memories. Both groupsperformed at comparable levels. At 2 p.m., the nap group took a 90-minute siesta while the no-nap group stayed awake. Later that day, at 6 p.m., participants performed a new round of learning exercises. Those who remained awake throughout the day became worse at learning. In contrast, those who napped did markedly better and actually improved in their capacity to learn. These findings reinforce the researchers' hypothesis that sleep is needed to clear the brain’s short-term memory storage and make room for new information, said Walker, who presented his preliminary findings on Sunday, Feb. 21, at the annual meeting of the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Diego, Calif. Since 2007, Walker and other sleep researchers have established that fact-based memories are temporarily stored in the hippocampus before being sent to the brain's prefrontal cortex, which may have more storage space. "It's as though the email inbox in your hippocampus is full and, until you sleep and clear out those fact emails, you’re not going to receive any more mail. It's just going to bounce until you sleep and move it into another folder," Walker said. In the latest study, Walker and his team have broken new ground in discovering that this memory-refreshing process occurs when nappers are engaged in a specific stage of sleep. Electroencephalogram tests, which measure electrical activity in the brain, indicated that this refreshing of memory capacity is related to Stage 2 non-REM sleep, which takes place between deep sleep (non-REM) and the dream state known as Rapid Eye Movement (REM). Previously, the purpose of this stage was unclear, but the new results offer evidence as to why humans spend at least half their sleeping hours in Stage 2, non-REM, Walker said. "I can’t imagine Mother Nature would have us spend 50 percent of the night going from one sleep stage to another for no reason," Walker said. "Sleep is sophisticated. It acts locally to give us what we need." Walker and his team will go on to investigate whether the reduction of sleep experienced by people as they get older is related to the documented decrease in our ability to learn as we age. Finding that link may be helpful in understanding such neurodegenerative conditions as Alzheimer’s disease, Walker said. In addition to Walker, co-investigators of these new findings are UC Berkeley post-doctoral fellow Bryce A. Mander and psychology undergraduate Sangeetha Santhanam. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:25PM ()


Video: Solar Powered Cargo Ship? Oh Yeah!
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
We did not see this coming. A cargo ship that carries Toyota Prius cars runs partially on soler energy. Now, how cool is that? The ship name "Auriga Leader", a part of the NYK Line shipping company actually pulls this off quite well! With large areas of open spaces on the ship I think this is one of the best thinking I have seen from mankind. They intend to augment this solar power with wind power as well! Go On, NYK Line. Save mankind. Video after the break. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

India Getting In "Big" Time Into Interactive Entertainment.
Monday, April 05, 2010
So, you thought this wouldn't happen. The last thing to be outsourced to India would be game development, right? Well, consider it done. Big Entertainment, owned by billionaire Anil Dhirubhai Ambani has bought a 50% stake in video game development house Codemasters for an undisclosed amount. This after Big Entertainment bought 50% in Dreamworks Studios for $325 mil. All these developments come close on the heals of Zinga and Facebook making large investments in India. Big Entertainment already owns, a Yahoo games style gaming portal. It also owns Jump Games, which churns out games for mobile phones. The game distribution capability of Big Entertainment is quite large considering that the parent company owns Reliance telecom - one of the largest mobile services company in India. Well done Anil, you are finally taking India into the realm of game development. Maybe now parents will not scream at their kids for having played too many games on their computers. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:33PM ()

Princeton Engineers Turn Noise Into Vision
Monday, April 05, 2010
A new technique for revealing images of hidden objects may one day allow pilots to peer through fog and doctors to see more precisely into the human body without surgery. Developed by Princeton engineers, the method relies on the surprising ability to clarify an image using rays of light that would typically make the image unrecognizable, such as those scattered by clouds, human tissue or murky water. In their experiments, the researchers restored an obscured image into a clear pattern of numbers and lines. The process was akin to improving poor TV reception using the distorted, or "noisy," part of the broadcast signal. "Normally, noise is considered a bad thing," said Jason Fleischer, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at Princeton. "But sometimes noise and signal can interact, and the energy from the noise can be used to amplify the signal. For weak 290

signals, such as distant or dark images, actually adding noise can improve their quality." He said the ability to boost signals this way could potentially improve a broad range of signal technologies, including the sonograms doctors use to visualize fetuses and the radar systems pilots use to navigate through storms and turbulence. The method also potentially could be applied in technologies such as night vision goggles, inspection of underwater structures such as levies and bridge supports, and in steganography, the practice of masking signals for security purposes. The findings are reported online March 14 in Nature Photonics. Jason Fleischer (right), a Princeton assistant professor of electrical engineering, and graduate student Dmitry Dylov have developed a new method for using nonlinear materials to reveal images of obscured objects. (Photo: Frank Wojciechowski) Images for news media In their experiments, Fleischer and co-author Dmitry Dylov, an electrical engineering graduate student, passed a laser beam through a small piece of glass engraved with numbers and lines, similar to the charts used during eye exams. The beam carried the image of the numbers and lines to a receiver connected to a video monitor, which displayed the pattern. The researchers then placed a translucent piece of plastic similar to cellophane tape between the glass plate and the receiver. The tape-like material scattered the laser light before it arrived at the receiver, making the visual signal so noisy that the number and line pattern became indecipherable on the monitor, similar to the way smoke or fog might obstruct a person's view. The crucial portion of the experiment came when Fleischer and Dylov placed another object in the path of the laser beam. Just in front of the receiver, they mounted a crystal of strontium barium niobate (SBN), a material that belongs to a class of substances known as "nonlinear" for their ability to alter the behavior of light in strange ways. In this case, the nonlinear crystal mixed different parts of the picture, allowing signal and noise to interact. By adjusting an electrical voltage across the piece of SBN, the researchers were able to tune in a clear image on the monitor. The SBN gathered the rays that had been scattered by the translucent plastic and used that energy to clarify the weak image of the lines and numbers. A new technique for revealing images of hidden objects may one day allow pilots to peer through fog and doctors to see more precisely into the human body without surgery. Developed by Princeton engineers, the method relies on the surprising ability to clarify an image using rays of light that would typically make the image unrecognizable, such as those scattered by clouds, human tissue or murky water. In their experiments, the researchers restored an obscured image into a clear pattern of numbers and lines. The process was akin to improving poor TV reception using the distorted, or "noisy," part of the broadcast signal. "Normally, noise is considered a bad thing," said Jason Fleischer, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at Princeton. "But sometimes noise and signal can interact, and the energy from the noise can be used to amplify the signal. For weak signals, such as distant or dark images, actually adding noise can improve their quality." He said the ability to boost signals this way could potentially improve a broad range of signal technologies, including the sonograms doctors use to visualize fetuses and the radar systems pilots use to navigate through storms and turbulence. The method also potentially could be applied in technologies such as night vision goggles, inspection of underwater structures such as


levies and bridge supports, and in steganography, the practice of masking signals for security purposes. The findings are reported online March 14 in Nature Photonics. Jason Fleischer (right), a Princeton assistant professor of electrical engineering, and graduate student Dmitry Dylov have developed a new method for using nonlinear materials to reveal images of obscured objects. (Photo: Frank Wojciechowski) Images for news mediaIn their experiments, Fleischer and co-author Dmitry Dylov, an electrical engineering graduate student, passed a laser beam through a small piece of glass engraved with numbers and lines, similar to the charts used during eye exams. The beam carried the image of the numbers and lines to a receiver connected to a video monitor, which displayed the pattern. The researchers then placed a translucent piece of plastic similar to cellophane tape between the glass plate and the receiver. The tape-like material scattered the laser light before it arrived at the receiver, making the visual signal so noisy that the number and line pattern became indecipherable on the monitor, similar to the way smoke or fog might obstruct a person's view. The crucial portion of the experiment came when Fleischer and Dylov placed another object in the path of the laser beam. Just in front of the receiver, they mounted a crystal of strontium barium niobate (SBN), a material that belongs to a class of substances known as "nonlinear" for their ability to alter the behavior of light in strange ways. In this case, the nonlinear crystal mixed different parts of the picture, allowing signal and noise to interact. By adjusting an electrical voltage across the piece of SBN, the researchers were able to tune in a clear image on the monitor. The SBN gathered the rays that had been scattered by the translucent plastic and used that energy to clarify the weak image of the lines and numbers. "We used noise to feed signals," Dylov said. "It's as if you took a picture of a person in the dark, and we made the person brighter and the background darker so you could see them. The contrast makes the person stand out." The technique, known as "stochastic resonance," only works for the right amount of noise, as too much can overwhelm the signal. It has been observed in a variety of fields, ranging from neuroscience to energy harvesting, but never has been used this way for imaging. Based on the results of their experiment, Fleischer and Dylov developed a new theory for how noisy signals move through nonlinear materials, which combines ideas from the fields of statistical physics, information theory and optics. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Air Force. Their theory provides a general foundation for nonlinear communication that can be applied to a wide range of technologies. The researchers plan to incorporate other signal processing techniques to further improve the clarity of the images they generate and to apply the concepts they developed to biomedical imaging devices, including those that use sound and ultrasound instead of light. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Idea 293: Video: Start A Pirate Radio
Monday, April 05, 2010
London city is becoming very famous for all the weird reasons these days. Unauthorized radio stations or "Pirate radio" stations are beaming music from artists who would never get an audience otherwise. Some Londoners even consider owning a radio station a right! VBS has put together a great documentary together on London's Pirate Radios. Pirate radios have an estimated 20 million listeners. The so called pirates hide themselves from OFCOM - UK's communications regulator by using some high tech gear. Check these radio stations out - we think its got some great music. [via VBS] Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM () 292

Too Much Padding Last Week
Monday, April 05, 2010
There's been too much iPad news last week and now the news about iPhone 4 OS and Microsoft's "secret" event. Last week's been too hectic OK? Why cram this week with more events? Is Apple going to release a new device on 8th April? Or is it just the software for the next device? 4G? Multitasking? Full customization? Is Microsoft going to add a new pad into our lives and take out some padding from our wallets? We will wait and watch. But for now we will just make sure you get good tech news. Stay tuned. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:22AM ()

Forget Lithium Ion Batteries. Take a look at Lithium Air Batteries.
Monday, April 05, 2010
A team of researchers at MIT has made significant progress on a technology that could lead to batteries with up to three times the energy density of any battery that currently exists. Yang Shao-Horn, an MIT associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering, says that many groups have been pursuing work on lithium-air batteries, a technology that has great potential for achieving great gains in energy density. But there has been a lack of understanding of what kinds of electrode materials could promote theelectrochemical reactions that take place in these batteries. Lithium-oxygen (also known as lithium-air) batteries are similar in principle to the lithium-ion batteries that now dominate the field of portable electronics and are a leading contender for electric vehicles. But because lithium-air batteries replace the heavy conventional compounds in such batteries with a carbon-based air electrode and flow of air, the batteries themselves can be much lighter. That’s why leading companies, including IBM and General Motors, have committed to major research initiatives on lithium-air technology. In a paper published this week in the journal Electrochemical and Solid-State Letters, Shao-Horn, along with some of her students and visiting professor Hubert Gasteiger, reported on a study showing that electrodes with gold or platinum as a catalyst show a much higher level of activity and thus a higher efficiency than simple carbon electrodes in these batteries. In addition, this new work sets the stage for further research that could lead to even better electrode materials, perhaps alloys of gold and platinum or other metals, or metallic oxides, and to less expensive alternatives. Doctoral student Yi-Chun Lu, lead author of the paper, explains that this team has developed a method for analyzing the activity of different catalysts in the batteries, and now they can build on this research to study a variety of possible materials. “We’ll look at different materials, and look at the trends,” she says. “Such research could allow us to identify the physical parameters that govern the catalyst activity. Ultimately, we will be able to predict the catalyst behaviors. ” Why it matters: Lightweight batteries that can deliver lots of energy are crucial for a variety of applications — for example, improving the range of electric cars. For that reason, even modest increases in a battery’s energy-density rating — a measure of the


amount of energy that can be delivered for a given weight — are important advances. Next Steps: One issue to be dealt with in developing a battery system that could be widely commercialized is safety. Lithium in metallic form, which is used in lithium-air batteries, is highly reactive in the presence of even minuscule amounts of water. This is not an issue in current lithium-ion batteries because carbon-based materials are used for the negative electrode. Shao-Horn says the same battery principle can be applied without the need to use metallic lithium; graphite or some other more stable negative electrode materials could be used instead, she says, leading to a safer system. A number of issues must be addressed before lithium-air batteries can become a practical commercial product, she says. The biggest issue is developing a system that keeps its power through a sufficient number of charging and discharging cycles for it to be useful in vehicles or electronic devices. Researchers also need to look into details of the chemistry of the charging and discharging processes, to see what compounds are produced and where, and how they react with other compounds in the system. “We’re at the very beginning” of understanding exactly how these reactions occur, Shao-Horn says. Gholam-Abbas Nazri, a researcher at the GM Research & Development Center in Michigan, calls this research “interesting and important,” and says this addresses a significant bottleneck in the development of this technology: the need find an efficient catalyst. This work is “in the right direction for further understanding of the role of catalysts,” and it “may significantly contribute to the further understanding and future development of lithium-air systems,” he says. While some companies working on lithium-air batteries have said they see it as a 10-year development program, Shao-Horn says it is too early to predict how long it may take to reach commercialization. “It’s a very promising area, but there are many science and engineering challenges to be overcome,” she says. “If it truly demonstrates two to three times the energy density” of today’s lithium-ion batteries, she says, the likely first applications will be in portable electronics such as computers and cell phones, which are high-value items, and only later would be applied to vehicles once the costs are reduced. Source: “The Influence of Catalysts on Discharge and Charge Voltages of Rechargeable Li–Oxygen Batteries,” Yi-Chun Lu, Hubert A. Gasteiger, Michael C. Parent, Vazrik Chiloyan, Yang Shao-Horn. Electrochemical and Solid-State Letters, 1 April 2010 (Vol.13, No.6). Funding: Department of Energy, with additional support from the Martin Family Society of Fellows for Sustainability and the National Science Foundation Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

A web based iTunes? Its Here
Sunday, April 04, 2010
Apple may not be interested in releasing an iTunes in the cloud but 3rd party developers see immense value in this model. That said, there is no telling what Apple is up to after the acquisition of Anyway a startups called AudioBox has created a very iTunesy looking web app called AudioBox available at It is basically a cloud service that stores all your music and lets you stream it to your PC with an internet connection anywhere in the world. The UI looks very much like iTunes with some features thrown in here and there that lets you manage you music repository. There is no software to install on your PC which means less hassle. The service starts for off free with 1 GB of online music storage and goes all the way up $24.99 a month giving you 151 GB of storage space. AudioBox will be adding mobile players and multi format audio playback soon. Right now it supports M3 files only. The company claims that your data will be perfectly safe but who's to confirm in these days of cyber wars. After Lala's 294

exit this is the first service to get into the online personal music streaming space. But unlink Lala AudioBox does not let you purchase music. It's all going to be your music online. 3rd party developers will also be able to plug into AudioBox thanks to the developer API. Will Google snap it up? Go take it for a test drive, its worth the trouble. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:59PM ()

MIT researchers develop heat-powered electronics
Sunday, April 04, 2010
It can be inconvenient to replace batteries in electronic devices that need to work for long periods of time, either in biomedical monitoring systems worn by a patient or in monitors for machinery or industrial installations in remote or inaccessible situations. But new technology being developed by MIT researchers could make such replacements unnecessary. New energy-scavenging systems being developed by MIT Prof. Anantha Chandrakasan and alumnus Yogesh Ramadass PhD ’09 could provide power for such sensors just from differences in temperature between the body (or other warm object) and the surrounding air, eliminating or reducing the need for a battery. The unique aspect of the new MIT-developed devices is their ability to harness differences of just one or two degrees, producing tiny (about 100 microwatts) but nevertheless usable amounts of electric power. The findings were presented last week at the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco. Ramadass says that as a result of research over the last decade, the power consumption of various electronic sensors, processors and communications devices has been greatly reduced, making it possible to power such devices from very low-power energy harvesting systems such as this wearablethermoelectric system. Such a system, for example, could enable 24-houra-day monitoring of heart rate, blood sugar or other biomedical data, through a simple device worn on an arm or a leg and powered just by the body’s temperature (which, except on a 98.6-degree F summer day, would almost always be different from the surrounding air). Or it could be used to monitor the warm exhaust gases in the flues of a chemical plant, or air quality in the ducts of a heating and ventilation system. How they did it: The key to the new technology is a control circuit that optimizes the match between the energy output from the thermoelectric material (which generates power from temperature differences) and the storage system connected to it, in this case a storage capacitor. Next steps: The present experimental versions of the device require a metal heat-sink worn on an arm or leg, exposed to the ambient air. “There’s work to be done on miniaturizing the whole system,” Ramadass says. This might be accomplished by combining and simplifying the electronics and by improving airflow over the heat sink. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 03:34PM ()


Video: The Next Beneficiary Of Innovation: The Coffee Cup
Saturday, April 03, 2010 Do we need a better coffee cup? Consider this - 58 billion coffee cups thrown away every year in the USA alone. I think we need a better coffee cup. Video after the break.
[via GOOD] Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:25PM ()

India Finally Makes Elementary Education Free And Compulsory, Till ...
Saturday, April 03, 2010
Elementary education was always free in India, till the 10th grade. But there was no mechanism to make sure it was implemented. Finally, after almost 65 years of independence India made the "free" education "compulsory". In a country where kids work from the age of 4 just to live, it will be interesting to see how effectively this law is implemented. This problem coupled with rampant corruption, a shortage of teaching staff, lack of basic infrastructure will must pose some serious problems to the government. This free education will be for all kids between 6 to 14 years of age. Of the 5-10 million kids that this law promises to benefit only 20-30% may actually see full benefits. What will cost the Indian government $35 billion over the next 5 years will go a long way in defining the sub continent's competence over the next century. A fully literate and educated India in the next 50 years? The west has some serious competition coming its way if the education systems are not fixed, quickly. Imagine two billion educated people. India may have to start an H1 visa program in the next 50 years. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:50PM ()

Is Adobe Romancing The iPad This Time?
Saturday, April 03, 2010
Flash may not have been the best thing Adobe created keeping the iPhone and iPad in view but it looks like Flash may not be the ultimate answer for Adobe to make love to the iPad. The solution, which sounds quite light is Adobe Air. Wired magazine has teamed up with you know who to create one of the most stunning magazine reading experiences that we have seen in our lives. While editors at Wired magazine describe the iPad as the "platform we have been waiting for since 15 years", Adobe doesn't really talk about the iPad. They just say "We will help make experiences better on new platforms". Hmmm.. why so much hatred before you go to bed with Apple, Adobe? Apple's gonna ask you to 296

say its name, ain't it? Video demo of the Wired Magazine for iPad after the break. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:54PM ()

Ideabing gift certificate giveaway
Friday, April 02, 2010
We will make this really easy for you. Ideabing is giving away a $5 Gift certificate to EVERY person signing up for our daily newsletter. No exceptions. Sign up here:

Sign up with a valid email address - that's where the gift certificate will be delivered. Please allow 4-8 weeks for delivery of gift certificates. Context ends 24 April 2010.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 03:11PM ()

Open Source Micro Finance Platform Starts A Revolution
Friday, April 02, 2010
Now this is what we call grass roots revolution. The Grameen Bank, that showed the world that poor people are capable of paying back loans wants to replicate the model that worked in the remotest parts of Bangladesh across the globe. To achieve this, Grameen Foundation - a part of the Grameen Bank has built a system called Mifos or "Micro Finance Open Source" that lets entrepreneurs enter the micro finance arena with one less barrier. Entrepreneurs no longer have to depend on paperwork to manage investments. Mifos allows them to manage investments via an online framework which works in conditions that are all too prevalent in third world countries - limited internet access. The architecture is so flexible that you can hook up your existing institution's database and access it from anywhere via a variety of means - the internet, via text messages and even via phone calls. This allows Grameen Foundation to establish a "standard" in the way micro finance institutions should operate in order to be profitable while providing open source, inexpensive technology. Tens of institutions in India and Brazil have adopted this framework. Go check it out here. A short video about Mifos after the break. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:49AM ()


Infographic: What Does It Take To Be A Nerd?
Friday, April 02, 2010

Let's accept it. To be an innovator you got to be a nerd, somewhere, somehow. There's a Venn diagram to get that calculated. Picture after the break. [via sedcontra] Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Video: How Much Do You Know About Your Online Consumers?
Thursday, April 01, 2010
So, you have this company that sells stuff online. But what do you now about people buying your stuff? This video by GOOD puts the numbers across. Watch. [via GOOD] Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:55PM ()

America's First Super Car. The Rapier SL-C.
Thursday, April 01, 2010
When was the last time you saw an "American" super car? We are not talking about them muscle cars, we are talking Ferrari and Lamborghini beating, race track hugging super car. A little known company called Rapier Automotive made this possible. What could be dubbed the first true American super car. What is called the 2010 Rapier SL-C goes from 0-60 in about 3.2 seconds, hits a max speed of 222mph and runs you a bill of $179 grand. All this, delivered in 9 months. This beautiful car is completely hand made as per specs handed out by the owner who orders the car. The stock car has a Chevy LS7 heart that pumps out 500 HP @ 6200 rpm. All these specs put this car right behind the Saleen S7 which has about the same 0-60 figures but runs you an extra $400 grand to own. So, is this the "low cost" super car going worth it? You decide. Pics after the break. [gallery link="file" columns="4" orderby="title"] 298

Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:20PM ()

Flash Was Dead Yesterday, Today It Is Being Buried.
Thursday, April 01, 2010
The iPad has more or less killed Flash, like we mentioned sometime back. Now Apple is up to burying Flash altogether. Apple has put out a list of VERY prominent websites that have ditched Flash in favor of HTML5. Cool eh? The list includes bigwigs such as,, and After the "Flash is dead on TV" post we had several tweets telling us things like "Flash is changing for the better" and "Flash is not as dead as you think" but we are assuming that these tweeters did not see this day coming. Why bother maintaining 2 different standards when you can have one? Especially when the iPad is getting so much attention? Reminds me of the days when each browser had a different way of doing things - ultimately several browsers died by not adhering to the new rules of engagement. Will Flash become one such martyr? Or will Flash become the platform HTML5 will flourish on? Only time will tell. The site also lets you submit your own iPad ready site. For now, lets observe a minute's silence as Flash is lowered into the grave. A resurrection is not ruled out though.

Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:55PM ()


Idea 292: Allow Tweeters To Schedule Their Tweets
Thursday, April 01, 2010
There are many Twitter apps available on the internet, but one in particular has caught our eye. Its called "Twaitter". Notice the Twitter + Wait = Twaitter formula? Yeah, this service lets you schedule your tweets - FREE. Twaitter is web based and lets you tweet your tweets out when ever you want. You are not just allowed to tweet to Twitter but also allowed to post to which means that you have a Twitter tool that lets you be all over the social networking map in one button press! This service is required, especially when you are a lone blogger, like MOST bloggers on the internet. We are so impressed with the service that Ideabing's primary tweet scheduling service is Twaitter. And yes, they also provide follow management for twitter apart from feed management for your twitter all your rss feeds. Go check it out yourself! its awesome

Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Video: Ideas For A Better City
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Live in a crowded city? Some big cities across the planet are making lives better by making small changes in the way things work. Watch the video for more insight. [via GOOD] Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:36PM ()

One Low Cost Innovation, One Smoked Up Car
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Remember the cheapest car in the world the Tata Nano? The Nano is a prime example of low cost innovation, from the 300

drawing board to the consumer. Delivered at a very inexpensive $2500 - $3500 a piece. That said, there are problem with this model of innovation. While you are trying to get the cheapest product out, you tend to ignore a few key problems. Apart from the absence of air bags and a crash safety rating, one particular problem with the Nano coming to the fore is "self immolation" of the car. About 3 cars have "caught fire" on the road. While Toyota's sucking it up with all the recalls, the corrupt Indian political system may not allow a high profile company like Tata, which manufactures the Nano to lose credibility in the Indian market. Since the car has been announced to be launched in the EU later next year, it remains to be seen how the Nano will be received in nations that are used to 4 airbags and 5-star crash safety rated cars. I wonder how the Indian government can even let these mini coffins run around on the streets anyway! But hey, Tata has shown the world how you can give 1 billion people what they need at an affordable price. This model will go a long way in defining how multinational car manufacturers do business in countries like India. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:32PM ()

New Electric Car Company On The Block
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
How often do you see a company scoring $394 million on funding? Coda Automotive has just scored that much in funding! Coda will be using these funds to ramp up battery production for their new car. Although its not a great looker, the company expects the Code "Hero" to give 120 mpg equivalent and get a 5-star crash safety rating. Not bad for a company which does not have the media presence an electric car company must have! But who cares? They just got themselves a lot of money to play with. No price point for the car yet, but it looks like the car is being made for the masses. Images of the car after the break.


Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:11PM ()

Solar Energy Scoring Big Bucks. Enphase Energy scores $40 mil.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Solar Energy companies are commanding a large piece of the money going into clean energy startups. We had reported Spectra Watt's $41 million round some time back. Now its Enphase Energy's turn. Enphase energy, a solar energy inverter manufacturing company has scored a cool $40 million in financing. It is important to note that money is flowing into the solar energy market both on the energy generation and the energy storage and distribution ends. This brings a lot of strength into this sector as we go into an of oil free future. Bay Partners led the equity financing. This round of financing also included participation from Horizon Technology Finance, Bridge Bank (NASDAQ: BBNK) and existing investors Third Point Ventures, RockPort Capital Partners, Madrone Capital Partners and Applied Ventures LLC. Full PR text after the break. ***Start PR Text*** PETALUMA, CA--(Marketwire - March 30, 2010) - Enphase Energy, the leader in solar microinverter systems, today announced that it has secured $40 million in funding, with Bay Partners leading the equity financing. This round of financing also includes participation from Horizon Technology Finance, Bridge Bank (NASDAQ: BBNK) and existing investors Third Point Ventures, RockPort Capital Partners, Madrone Capital Partners and Applied Ventures LLC. "Enphase has captured significant market share in the inverter space in an extraordinarily short time frame. This financing will be used to fund our expansion plans and further strengthen our balance sheet," said Sanjeev Kumar, chief financial officer of Enphase Energy. "We are pleased to have the support of Bay Partners, Horizon Technology Finance, Bridge Bank and our existing investors, and their recognition that Enphase is poised to further accelerate this market share growth." "Enphase has a remarkably driven management team, and an excellent track record of technology innovation. We're excited to invest in a company that is leading the transition in the inverter market from central to microinverters," said Sandesh Patnam, general partner at Bay Partners. "Shipping 250,000 inverters in such a short period of time is a remarkable achievement for any company," said Greg Clark, Managing Director of Horizon Technology Finance. "This new round of financing will enable Enphase to continue this phenomenal growth." "We look forward to providing a fast-growing company like Enphase with working capital," said Mike Lederman, Senior Vice President and Team Leader of Bridge Bank's Technology Banking Group in San Francisco. "Enphase's success thus far is a direct result of their ability to execute and we're excited to participate in their growth." Recognized as the fastest growing inverter company in the U.S. in 2009, Enphase Energy continues to outperform the market having sold more than a quarter million microinverters since launch. Enphase Microinverter Systems provide more productive, reliable, safe and cost-effective solar energy than conventional approaches, for both small and large-scale systems. The Enphase Microinverter System is the first


and only commercially available microinverter system. It dramatically improves the economic model of solar energy, helping advance the adoption of residential and commercial solar power. Enphase integrates state-of-the-art microinverters and powerline communications with Web-based monitoring to create a new class of advanced solar energy solutions. Enphase systems offer a number of advantages over traditional central inverters including a five- to 25-percent increase in energy yield, increased system reliability as well as a simpler and safer installation. Enphase products also remove design constraints by allowing modules to be installed in any combination of type, age and location. In addition, a proprietary communications technology is a key component of the Enphase Microinverter System, enabling continuous, remote, per-module monitoring to maximize energy production. ***End PR Text*** Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Idea 291: Know Japan, Well
Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Don't know about the most technologically advanced nation in the world? A 12 minute video from Kenici, a graphic designer from Japan might be able to enlighten you. I think I can head off to Japan right away and have absolutely no problems living there, after watching this video. Video after the break. UPDATE: The author of the video as taken the English version offline. We have now posted the Japanese version. Thanks for the tip Jerome! Japan - The Strange Country (Japanese ver.) from Kenichi on Vimeo. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:49PM ()


Idea 290: Smash Microscopic Particles Together.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
We are not really looking for life "out there" very actively but hey, we ARE seeking bigger answers - like how this universe was formed. The CERN Large Hadron Collider has taken one step forward in realizing answers to that question. The LHC struck particles at a record 7TeV today in search for the "God Particle". What LHC calls the first high energy collision sets the ground for new discoveries in Physics. Are we looking at a new golden age of Physics? We will know in 2 years time. Apparently 2000 graduate students are in line to access full data from these experiments. Full PR text after the break. ***Start PR text*** LHC research programme gets underway Geneva, 30 March 2010. Beams collided at 7 TeV in the LHC at 13:06 CEST, marking the start of the LHC research programme. Particle physicists around the world are looking forward to a potentially rich harvest of new physics as the LHC begins its first long run at an energy three and a half times higher than previously achieved at a particle accelerator. “It’s a great day to be a particle physicist,” said CERN1 Director General Rolf Heuer. “A lot of people have waited a long time for this moment, but their patience and dedication is starting to pay dividends.” “With these record-shattering collision energies, the LHC experiments are propelled into a vast region to explore, and the hunt begins for dark matter, new forces, new dimensions and the Higgs boson,” said ATLAS collaboration spokesperson, Fabiola Gianotti. “The fact that the experiments have published papers already on the basis of last year’s data bodes very well for this first physics run.” “We’ve all been impressed with the way the LHC has performed so far,” said Guido Tonelli, spokesperson of the CMS experiment, “and it’s particularly gratifying to see how well our particle detectors are working while our physics teams worldwide are already analysing data. We’ll address soon some of the major puzzles of modern physics like the origin of mass, the grand unification of forces and the presence of abundant dark matter in the universe. I expect very exciting times in front of us.” "This is the moment we have been waiting and preparing for", said ALICE spokesperson Jürgen Schukraft. "We're very much looking forward to the results from proton collisions, and later this year from lead-ion collisions, to give us new insights into the nature of the strong interaction and the evolution of matter in the early Universe." “LHCb is ready for physics,” said the experiment’s spokesperson Andrei Golutvin, “we have a great research programme ahead of us exploring the nature of matter-antimatter asymmetry more profoundly than has ever been done before.” CERN will run the LHC for 18-24 months with the objective of delivering enough data to the experiments to make significant advances across a wide range of physics channels. As soon as they have "re-discovered" the known Standard Model particles, a necessary precursor to looking for new physics, the LHC experiments will start the systematic search for the Higgs boson. With the amount of data expected, called one inverse femtobarn by physicists, the combined analysis of ATLAS and CMS will be able to explore a wide mass range, and there’s even a chance of discovery if the Higgs has a mass near 160 GeV. If it’s much lighter or very heavy, it will be harder to find in this first LHC run. For supersymmetry, ATLAS and CMS will each have enough data to double today’s sensitivity to certain new discoveries. Experiments today are sensitive to some supersymmetric particles with masses up to 400 GeV. An inverse femtobarn at the LHC pushes the discovery range up to 800 GeV. “The LHC has a real chance over the next two years of discovering supersymmetric particles,” explained Heuer, “and possibly giving insights into the composition of about a quarter of the Universe.” Even at the more exotic end of the LHC’s potential discovery spectrum, this LHC run will extend the current reach by a factor of two. LHC experiments will be sensitive to new massive particles indicating the presence of extra dimensions up to masses of 2 TeV, where today’s reach is around 304

1 TeV. “Over 2000 graduate students are eagerly awaiting data from the LHC experiments,” said Heuer. “They’re a privileged bunch, set to produce the first theses at the new high-energy frontier.” Following this run, the LHC will shutdown for routine maintenance, and to complete the repairs and consolidation work needed to reach the LHC’s design energy of 14 TeV following the incident of 19 September 2008. Traditionally, CERN has operated its accelerators on an annual cycle, running for seven to eight months with a four to five month shutdown each year. Being a cryogenic machine operating at very low temperature, the LHC takes about a month to bring up to room temperature and another month to cool down. A four-month shutdown as part of an annual cycle no longer makes sense for such a machine, so CERN has decided to move to a longer cycle with longer periods of operation accompanied by longer shutdown periods when needed. “Two years of continuous running is a tall order both for the LHC operators and the experiments, but it will be well worth the effort,” said Heuer. “By starting with a long run and concentrating preparations for 14 TeV collisions into a single shutdown, we’re increasing the overall running time over the next three years, making up for lost time and giving the experiments the chance to make their mark.” ***End PR text*** Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Idea 289: Award An Outstanding Engineer
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Do you know an outstanding engineer? Someone who has pushed the boundaries of technology and created something amazing? Then go ahead and nominate them for an SME award. The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the world’s leading professional society serving the manufacturing industry, is issuing its annual call for nominations for the 2011 International Honor Awards, the Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award and the Award of Merit. For more than 50 years, the prestigious International Honor Awards have honored academics and leading business people who have made outstanding contributions and achievements in their fields. Some previous recipients have included Carol Bartz, CEO of Yahoo!, Richard E. Morley, the father of the programmable controller, Gene Haas, founder and president of Haas Automation as well as Masahiko Mori, president of Mori Seiki Co. Ltd. There are seven distinct Honor Awards including those which recognize exceptional success in manufacturing management, research, productivity, manufacturing education or service to SME. While the Honor Awards recognize those at the zenith of their engineering or industrial careers, the Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award honors engineers age 35 and under for exceptional accomplishments in technical publication, patents or technical professional society leadership. And like the International Honor Awards, SME’s Award of Merit also has a long history. Since 1958, this award has recognized SME members who have made valued and balanced contributions to the Society’s professional activities and growth. This call for nominations coincides with the ramp up to the Bridging the Gaps: SME Annual Conference. Slated for June 6-8, 2010 in Nashville, Tenn., the Conference will bring together manufacturing professionals looking to share and discuss new ideas, the latest developments and real solutions. The Conference will include a diversity of activities including technical and breakout sessions, keynote speakers, facility tours as well as awards ceremonies. Several 2010 Award of Merit and Outstanding Young


Manufacturing Engineer Award recipients are scheduled to be honored during the Conference at an Awards Luncheon scheduled for Monday, June 7. Later that day, the 2010 International Honor Award recipients will be recognized at the International Awards Gala. Both events are expected to spur nominations for 2011. The annual deadline to submit nominations is August 1 of each year. Nomination forms can be downloaded from each individual award’s landing page (Honor Awards, Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award and Award of Merit) or at Forms can be sent electronically to nominations(at)sme(dot)org, by faxing to 313.425.3406 or mailed to SME Headquarters at: SME International Awards & Recognition Committee c/o Executive Offices Society of Manufacturing Engineers One SME Drive, P.O. Box 930 Dearborn, Mich. 48121-0930 USA For more information about the SME Awards visit or to register for the SME Annual Conference visit Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Chevy Equinox + Amp = All Electric Chevy Equinox
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Tired of waiting for that much talked about all-electric car (read Nissan Leaf) or can't afford one of those Fisker Karmas?? If you cannot wait, the check this out. A little known company from Ohio called Amp Electric Vehicles is taking regular road cars and converting them into all-electric versions. The latest feat has been the conversion of a full fledged Chevy Equinox to an all electric version. The motor runs a full 150 miles before it runs out of charge and can run at 90 miles an hour all through! Not bad for a heavy-as-a-tank SUV. They have three cars in their range - the Chevy Equinox, the Pontiac Solstice and the Saturn Sky although the company has conveniently replaced the cars' GM brand names with "Amp". If you want to get your hands on one of those Equinoxes get ready to cough up 50 grand. If you just want to have a look at them then they will be at the NY Motor Show starting March 2 2010. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Disruptive Innovation: GE's Next Generation 4MW Windmill
Monday, March 29, 2010
An interesting article is out on PopSci - a break up view of GE's brand new next gen windmill. The new windmill generates a massive 4 MW of electricity! This beats GE's best wind turbine with a rating of 2.5 MW. Although this energy output is about 75% of Enercon's E126, which sports a 6MW rating, the GE windmill will be unique in its own right. The blades which are 170 feet long and made of carbon fiber can twist as required to get the most lift out of the wind around it. The effect is a considerably large energy output even at lower wind speeds. The length of GE's new blade is about 40% more than the length of blades on conventional windmills today. The second aspect that makes this baby unique is that it has not gearbox. Since the blades do not need high wind speeds to work, they do not need a gearbox. This is a major shift from conventional windmill 306

operation. What this means is that the windmill does not need the frequency of maintenance that conventional windmills need. All this put together outputs higher energy at lower wind speeds coupled with lowered maintenance costs. See this one fly in 2012. [via PopSci] Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:01PM ()

Infographic: Who is coming to the USA
Monday, March 29, 2010

We recently wrote about Xerox heading to India looking for Innovation. Today let us look at who is headed to the US. This graphic - a representation of the 2008 statistic of who got to the US is a beautiful way of putting the message across. While Mexico tops the list of countries from which immigrants came to the US, China and India take up the second and third spots respectively. Infograhic after the break. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()


Idea 288: Save Homeowners Some Energy Costs
Monday, March 29, 2010
Think your home appliances are eating up too much electricity? There may be a solution in sight. Washington based Am erican Grid has just released a system which could save an average American household up to 20% on electricity bills every month. What these folks call the Smart Home Energy Network plugs into everything in your house that consumes electricity. The system once setup is like a wireless network for your home appliances. All of them start "talking" to the main "gateway". It then tracks energy consumption, stores and transmits this data wirelessly for you to view on your computer- something that they call a "Home Energy Dashboard". The company also claims that their monitoring system is compatible with all the brands of appliances you can buy at major retailers. Neat eh? Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Idea 287: Find Your Lost Electronic Gear
Monday, March 29, 2010
Lost your phone anytime and never got it back? Chances are that you never had a "Stick-and-find" label on that phone. Did you also know that more than 9,000 cell phones and 1 Million laptops are turned in to Southwest Airlines' lost and found every year and that 65% of these items are never reclaimed? A new company - Stick And Find claims to turn that number around its head if people start using a specially coded label which helps people return lost and found goods without hassle. Full PR text after the break. ***Start PR Text*** An independent trial has been conducted to determine whether people who find lost or misplaced items are likely to return them if there was a convenient way to locate or contact the owner. The study realized a 75% success rate, with three quarters of the cell phones that were intentionally “lost” in public places for the study being returned. This was directly related to the fact that the lost phones had been affixed with special identifiable labels from StickandFind to let people know how to return them to their owners. StickandFind labels are permanent, attractive, and preserve anonymity. Most people have no contact 308

information on their often expensive items. That means anyone who finds such an item has no way of knowing where or how to return it or to even let the owner know that their property has been found. All too often, recovered goods are turned in at a counter in public places, and end up sitting unclaimed. In a separate study supported by Dell, it was determined that more than nine thousand cell phones and one million laptops were turned into Southwest Airlines every year. Of that number, 65% never left the company’s Lost and Found department. Airline personnel were unable to contact the owners since there was no identifying information on the lost items. The reason the StickandFind trial was so successful in recovering goods was because of the special labels applied to the phones. Each label contained a unique eight digit code, along with the website, so that for any item found, returning it would be quick and easy for the ‘finder’. Thanks to the successful trial, professional StickandFind labels are being made available to the public. The specially coded labels can be ordered through the website for multiple products and are easy to adhere to the items, without difficulty. Once a lost item with a StickandFind label is recovered, the ‘finder’ simply enters the information onto the website or calls the 24 hour bilingual recovery center. Stick and Find notifies the item owner immediately and arrangements are made for the return to take place. With privacy being such an important issue, StickandFind also takes steps to ensure user confidentiality. Customers can specify how they wish to be contacted once their items are found. Users can remain as anonymous as they wish, and make StickandFind act as intermediary should they choose. No confidential or identifying information is released to the ‘finder’ unless the owner chooses that option. This feature is especially important for women. The labels are permanent and cost effective, especially when compared to the price of replacing items, such as laptops, mobile phones, iPods, cameras or other equipment. The design is tasteful and does not to detract from the appearance of the item. Labels can be ordered with black or white print on a transparent background. Individual labels are $9.95, with multi-pack discounts available for businesses and large orders. There are no other costs involved to take advantage of the Stick and Find service and there are no annual or recurring fees. Once the market becomes more aware of Stick and Find, the percentage of lost, abandoned or unclaimed items should drastically reduce. As the trial results demonstrate, a large portion of the population is genuinely honest and happy to return misplaced items that are found, so long as they are provided with a convenient way to do so. For the price, StickandFind has made this option extremely attractive and affordable for consumers. An independent trial has been conducted to determine whether people who find lost or misplaced items are likely to return them if there was a convenient way to locate or contact the owner. The study realized a 75% success rate, with three quarters of the cell phones that were intentionally “lost” in public places for the study being returned. This was directly related to the fact that the lost phones had been affixed with special identifiable labels from StickandFind to let people know how to return them to their owners. StickandFind labels are permanent, attractive, and preserve anonymity.Most people have no contact information on their often expensive items. That means anyone who finds such an item has no way of knowing where or how to return it or to even let the owner know that their property has been found. All too often, recovered goods are turned in at a counter in public places, and end up sitting unclaimed.In a separate study supported by Dell, it was determined that more than nine thousand cell phones and one million laptops were turned into Southwest Airlines every year. Of that number, 65% never left the company’s Lost and Found department. Airline personnel were unable to contact the owners since there was no identifying information on the lost items. The reason the StickandFind trial was so successful in recovering goods was because of the special labels applied to the phones. Each label contained a unique eight digit code, along with the website, so that for any item found, returning it would be


quick and easy for the ‘finder’. Thanks to the successful trial, professional StickandFind labels are being made available to the public. The specially coded labels can be ordered through the website for multiple products and are easy to adhere to the items, without difficulty. Once a lost item with a StickandFind label is recovered, the ‘finder’ simply enters the information onto the website or calls the 24 hour bilingual recovery center. Stick and Find notifies the item owner immediately and arrangements are made for the return to take place. With privacy being such an important issue, StickandFind also takes steps to ensure user confidentiality. Customers can specify how they wish to be contacted once their items are found. Users can remain as anonymous as they wish, and make StickandFind act as intermediary should they choose. No confidential or identifying information is released to the ‘finder’ unless the owner chooses that option. This feature is especially important for women. The labels are permanent and cost effective, especially when compared to the price of replacing items, such as laptops, mobile phones, iPods, cameras or other equipment. The design is tasteful and does not to detract from the appearance of the item. Labels can be ordered with black or white print on a transparent background. Individual labels are $9.95, with multi-pack discounts available for businesses and large orders. There are no other costs involved to take advantage of the Stick and Find service and there are no annual or recurring fees. Once the market becomes more aware of Stick and Find, the percentage of lost, abandoned or unclaimed items should drastically reduce. As the trial results demonstrate, a large portion of the population is genuinely honest and happy to return misplaced items that are found, so long as they are provided with a convenient way to do so. For the price, StickandFind has made this option extremely attractive and affordable for consumers. ***Start PR Text*** Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Video: What Can Daylight Savings Time Do To You?
Monday, March 29, 2010
What does Daylight savings time do to your health and body? You will be surprised to know that the effects range from heart attacks to even suicides according to studies by the New England Journal of Medicine. Video after the break. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:44AM ()

Video: How Does A Windmill Change Your Life?
Sunday, March 28, 2010
The American power companies offer green energy as a "luxury", at a premium. But in an impoverished country like Malawi where "regular" power is at a premium what does one do? William Kamkwamba tells us a moving story. Video after the break. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:07PM ()


Battery Powered Locomotive? Possible.
Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hey, throw your Prius away. Norfolk Southern's NS999 locomotive pumps out 1500 HP and runs for 34 hrs straight. Penn State and NS have pulled this amazing feat off. Got get one! Full PR text after the break. In September 2009, Norfolk Southern unveiled its NS 999, a prototype 1,500-horsepower switching locomotive that relies solely on rechargeable batteries for power. When the company set out to design and build this allbattery-powered locomotive, they had little experience with batteries and the assembly of battery plants. So the company needed a partner to help with battery research and testing. Gerhard Thelen, corporate vice president responsible for research and development, contacted Penn State’s College of Engineering, and with the assistance from the Industrial Research Office, representatives from Norfolk Southern spent a day meeting with faculty members and researchers. “In that one-day visit, we were able to assess the abilities of Penn State researchers working in our particular areas of interest,” says Thelen. “We knew about the difficulties in managing the batteries properly so you don’t lose the life or create safety issues. In the visit we had, the researchers convinced us that through testing and modeling, they could come up with a duty cycle that would optimize the life and prevent any safety issues from occurring.” Also, Thelen adds, because of the number of batteries in the locomotive (over 1,000) and the high cost involved, Norfolk Southern preferred that testing on charging and discharging the batteries was done in the lab first. Thelen and his team are working with Chris Rahn, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Chao-Yang Wang, Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Electrochemical Engine Center, one of the top fuel cell and battery research labs in the country. Partial funding for the collaborative research project comes from the U.S. Department of Energy. Wang is researching battery systems, particularly looking into how many charge and discharge cycles can be achieved in locomotive operations. “It’s what we call cycle life,” explains Wang, “and that’s very important because that determines the life of the battery system, which is a very expensive component in the locomotive.” Wang’s research group has been conducting experimental testing and computer modeling to learn the battery cycle life and how to extend it. Rahn’s role in the research is system dynamics. “My job is to develop the models to be used by systems engineers so they can analyze the system to see how it is performing—to predict the state of charge in the actual battery system, for example,” says Rahn. “One of the things we’re doing is developing a meter that will provide the status of every single battery in the system.” The team has completed its first year of research and has received funding for a second year. “During that first year, we were looking at the actual batteries and testing under different concepts of charging and discharging,” explains Rahn. “And this will continue.” They have good models that predict the performance of the batteries. The next step, Rahn says, is to look at those models in terms of aging. “One of our questions is, ‘how do you make this battery pack last for five years?’ That involves understanding what causes batteries to age and fail.” Thelen says


that working with Penn State has allowed Norfolk Southern to advance its research and development opportunities. “We don’t have the capabilities or knowledge that a university like Penn State has,” he says. “Chao-Yang is one of the top battery people in the country. Even if we did our own testing, we wouldn’t have his subject knowledge. And Chris Rahn’s expertise helps us incorporate that knowledge into the locomotive.” With the success of this collaborative effort, Thelen hopes to develop a closer relationship between Norfolk Southern and Penn State. “We’re very much interested in having graduates work for us, and this is a good project to give us visibility.” Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Infographic: The GrowVC startup funding model
Saturday, March 27, 2010
We have talked about 2 crowd sourced startup funding groups- GrowVC and Kickstarter Today we post an infographic that allows you to understand how the GorwVC community funding model works. Graphic after the break.

Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:50PM ()

Photo: Attack Drones Have A New Good Looking Sibling
Saturday, March 27, 2010
The Predator UAV was getting old, and seriously, it was ugly. Now thanks to Northrop Grumman the UAV family may get a good looking sibling. NG has just released an image of the X-47B UAV.This drone has stealth capabilities too.. This one's headed to the US Navy. Image after the break. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 05:45PM ()


Idea 286: Learn how to report news
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Some weekend fun we shall have, shall we? We all love the news don't we? Now learn how to make a news report, BBC style. I love British humor, especially when it's coming out of the BBC! LOL! Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:20PM ()

Flash Is Dead on TV
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Oh poor Flash, we pity you. We supported you, HP supported you, you somehow coaxed Microsoft and Google into supporting Flash on their mobile operating systems. But are you going to survive Hulu and CBS TV dropping Flash as their defacto video platform? You heard it right Flash, you are now dead on TV. What's more? There are tutorials popping up teaching developers how to build HTML 5 apps. Soon you will be dead on Android, on Windows Phone 7 series and on everything else. So long, Flash. We will miss you. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:08AM ()

Idea 285: Learn the 4 foundations of a successful blog
Friday, March 26, 2010
We love Darren Rowse - we think he is the one of the best resources you could tap if you want to be a successful blogger. Today he writes about the 4 foundations of a successful blog on Problogger. Head here for more - link. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:50PM ()


Xerox Heads To India Looking For Innovation
Friday, March 26, 2010
This piece of news is awesome. Xerox will open its first ever "innovation hub" in India. Xerox is not the first company to bring R&D work to India but is the first to bring it at the scale they are talking about. Maybe the whole bad blood between technology companies and Obama is making companies shift entire innovation and product development operations to other countries like India instead of haggling with the US government over H1 and L1 visas. When whole technologies and products come from India, there is nothing that was really outsourced, right? And there was this report which claimed an abundant supply of talent within the US to work at growth of science and technology firms. Hmm, Maybe these corporations just cannot afford the engineers in the USA anymore. What poses to be the start of a new wave of technology companies actually moving the entire innovation process to low cost locations instead of small portions of work could be a great strategy to keep the company fresh with new ideas and great products while cutting costs. Nice job Xerox! Full PR text after the break. ***Start PR text*** Xerox Corporation, inaugurated its first ever innovation hub in India at the Olympia Technology Park inChennai. The concept of such initiative is to bring Xerox's scientists & engineers and leading Indian academic institutions, research labs and industry partners under one roof. "Open innovation" is the motto of this particular project. The hub will undoubtedly act as a link between Xerox Corporation and India. Chief Technology Officer and President of the Xerox Innovation Group, Dr. Sophie Vandebroek informed that India is the world's largest and fastest growing market as far as technical innovations are concerned. At the same time it has been blessed with some extra ordinary analytical brains. He also revealed that the India Innovation Hub is an effort to create more sophisticated research facilities in India. The company can use the nation's local knowledge to extend its expertise in global initiatives. Initially the firm will emphasize on developing various document management solutions for theemerging market countries like India. ***End PR Text*** Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:48PM ()

Aha, Nokia wants you to develop apps for their phones!
Friday, March 26, 2010
Guess who wants to get into the apps game now! Nokia wants the "innovator" in you to develop apps for their next gen mobile platforms. They have even setup a website - With rumors abound about a Symbian 3 handset to be in the market soon and a platform that could change Nokia's fortunes, you might be in for a gold rush. Nokia has to pull this one off thanks to Windows 7 Phone and the rumored iPhone 4G with LTE network support. The Ovi store has more or less been useless so they need to get some fresh stuff into it. 3 winners get $30k, $15k and $5k in each of the categories Nokia has laid out. The 3 Best apps gets a massive $50k each and a showcase in the Ovi Store. Cool 314

stuff eh? Go on, get working on them apps. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:24PM ()

Why We Should Go Back To Mars
Friday, March 26, 2010
Watch Joel Levine talk on why we have to go back to Mars. Only this time go back with way more technology. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Infographic: Convert a plane into a flying infographic
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Kulula, a South African airline has converted its planes into flying infographics. Ranging from designs that mark the parts of a jet to explaining what daylights saving is all about this is a rather cool concept. Never seen something like this before. Check out pictures after the break. [gallery link="file" columns="4" orderby="title"] Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:51PM ()

F-35 Lightning Gen II Helmet Mounted Display System achieves first ...
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Looks like what was something we were ogling at yesterday is a reality so quickly. San Jose, CA based Vision Systems International is behind this Darth-Vader style Helmet Mounted Display System. VSI announced the successful first flight of the F-35 Gen II Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) on the F-35B Lightning II Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing (STOVL) jet. Full info after the break. VSI is currently performing under a Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. for the delivery of the F-35 Gen II helmet displays and aircraft ship-sets in support of the F-35 Lightning II HMDS program. VSI has also received contracts for production tooling and initial funding for the Pilot Fit Facility Standup at Eglin Air Force Base for the HMDS program. "The most advanced helmet mounted display system in the world flew a very successful flight on the F-35," said VSI President Drew Brugal. "The Gen II system is the culmination of extensive VSI R&D. It provides the F-35 aviator unmatched situational awareness presenting symbology and pilot selectable augmented reality in a wide field-of-view display format. The "virtual" Head-Up Display (HUD) presented by the HMD replaces traditional HUD systems and gives the pilot precise, stable symbology in


the forward cone and a seamless transition to mission critical symbology in the remaining field-of-regard." The F-35 Gen II HMDS displays biocular video and symbology information on the helmet visor, providing pilots with all information necessary to execute both day and night missions under a single integrated configuration. The system enables pilots to accurately cue onboard weapons and sensors using the helmet display. The HMD also allows the aircraft systems to alert pilots of potential threats and hazards, significantly improving situational awareness. Advanced night imagery is provided by the helmet mounted night camera and aircraft Distributed Aperture System (DAS). The F-35 Gen II HMDS's accuracy and very low latency enables the F-35 to be the first front line tactical aircraft in decades to eliminate the traditional HUD. The HMDS is the "virtual" HUD of the aircraft. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 05:56PM ()

Google, Nokia, T-Mobile, Yahoo, Dell and BBC getting pally in Amste...
Thursday, March 25, 2010

When do Google, Nokia, T-Mobile, Yahoo, Dell and BBC decide to meet up in Amsterdam? When they want to discuss monetization strategies for location based services. We are so optimistic about location based mobile services that we predict that location based services will make up for 30% of all mobile advertising revenues in the next 2 years, if not more. Going hyper-local is the trend today thanks to Gowalla and Foursquare helping things. Recently the who's who of search and mobile will meet up at the Location Business Summit in Amsterdam starting 28th April 2010 to discuss how they can make money out of our locationo-philia. Full PR text after the break. Location-based services are gaining real traction with consumers and businesses alike. Innovation and investment is rampant, but one vital question remains: How should companies monetise location data and services? Gartner predicted that the number of subscribers using location-based services (LBS) globally would double in 2010, even as mobile device sales decline by 4%. The number of LBS subscribers is forecast to reach 95.7 million by the end of this year, up from 41 million in 2008. LBS-associated revenues will also more than double this year, reaching $2.2 billion, up from $998 million last year. However, the industry is struggling to identify the winning profit strategy. “The expected increase is due to the availability of GPS-enabled wireless phones, along with reductions in prices for services and the growth in application storefronts that offer location-aware software,” says Annette Zimmermann, a Gartner analyst, who will be keynoting the Location Business Summit in Amsterdam on April 28th – 29th. The industry also seems confident that 2010 is the year in which LBS will take off with consumers. “Location is everywhere,” says Fraser Campbell, CEO of Wcities. “Location-enhanced services are multiplying at an incredible pace. The key disrupting trends are platforms, convenience and personalisation.” Analyst predictions are also supported by serious investment in the industry. After Nokia’s $8.1 billon acquisition of mapping giant NAVTEQ, it is clear that


location-based services are a top priority for the world’s largest phone manufacturer. Sylvain Grande, head of Places at Nokia, agrees, and stresses the importance of a seamless experience. “The companies that facilitate the interactions between the desktop and the mobile while connecting people, personalising their experience and making it effortless, will be a great value to the consumer.” Despite consumer adoption and investment, the clear profit models are yet to be defined. Location and context-enhanced advertising still attracts the most attention, but there is also a great interest in local search, location data mining and intelligence, revenue sharing models, the long tail of services, premium content and free services. The location industry will be convening to discuss the winning profit models on April 28th and 29th in Amsterdam at The Location Business Summit – Europe’s largest LBS conference. Osman Iqbal, Head of research at TheWhereBusiness and conference director, commented: “The demand for a high level LBS meeting in Europe has been absolutely phenomenal. It’s incredible that there isn’t a conference out there for an evolving industry that is bursting with players, investment and innovation.” With more than 200 attendees, the conference will be the business epicentre for high-ranking members in the LBS ecosystem. The fast evolving competitive landscape will be dissected by the leading industry figures, partnerships formed and vital decisions made on the future direction of companies. The industry’s elite will come together with more than fifty senior level speakers from Google, Yahoo!, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Microsoft Advertising, Nokia, Ogilvy, BBC, Dell Computers, Intel, Open Street Map, Orange FT, Opera Software, Penguin Books, Yelp, KPN and more. With a mix of mobile operators, advertising agencies, content providers, LBS service providers, mapping companies and device manufacturers attending, the Amsterdam conference will be the hub of the entire location ecosystem. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:47PM ()

New Green Tech Saves 30% on Industrial and Commercial Air Condition...
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wow! that's what I call a leap in technology. One that saves money while lowering greenhouse emissions. This new technology promises to dramatically lower industrial and commercial cooling costs while quickly paying for itself. Greenworks Energy Solutions' ( Pre-Cooling system works to lower the energy consumed by air conditioners, air-cooled chillers and other refrigeration equipment by 25-30% during warm months. The system works by using a proprietary Pre-Cooling mist technology to lower the temperature of air before it is introduced through the air intake of cooling systems. Independent tests have shown that 'pre-cooling" the air consistently saves from 25-30% in energy usage. Fact: As much as 50% of a facilities' energy usage can be from cooling in warm months. Fact: Roof temperatures can be 15 - 25 degrees hotter than ambient on the ground. Fact: Every 10 degrees over 95 degrees an air conditioning system loses 2 points of SEER rating. This means air conditioning systems' efficiency drops dramatically when it is needed most. Fact: Reducing the temperature of air going into an air conditioning system can reduce energy consumption 25% or more. Fact: Independent testing shows the PreCooling system available from Greenworks can reduce energy usage up to 30% and can pay for itself in as little as one summer. Developed and proven over the past few years, the Pre-Cooling system has been successfully installed on manufacturing plants, retail stores, warehouses and even military bases around the US. To ensure trouble-free


operation, the units feature a proprietary filter to keep the system clean and prevent scale buildup near condensers. In addition a thermostat control prevents "slugging", a condenser flow problem which can occur if the air is allowed to over-cool. "Of all the energy saving products we have evaluated, the Pre-Cooling system is the simplest, most affordable and common-sense choice we have seen. It installs easily, operates on its own, requires very little maintenance, and the results speak for themselves," said Josh Novak, president of Greenworks Energy Solutions. "Some of our solutions are very technical and may require energy audits, evaluation and testing in order for customers to understand their value. However, this system has really made it simple and we can show customers their results just minutes after installation. We believe any industrial or commercial facility with a cooling system can benefit immediately with the Pre-Cooling units." Keep it coming! We need this planet to be a lot MORE cooler than it is right now. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:00AM ()

Idea 284: Build a sustainable fridge
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Refrigerators are the monsters of power consumption in your home. The problem with conventional fridges is that you need electricity to run them which is not a problem if you live in the US, but certainly is a problem if you are living in a remote part of Africa. Lack of refrigeration affects a lot of thing - from storing food to storing life saving drugs. An inventor - Adam Grosser's got an idea to make a fridge which uses absolutely no electricity. Watch the video and you will know what it is all about. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:10AM ()

Idea 283: Give computers a sense of smell
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I DO NOT want my computer complaining when I don't take bath. But folks at Evolved Machines have decided to give my computer a sense of smell anyway. How? By building the world's first Integrated Circuit chip built out of Field Effect Transistors (FET) made using Carbon Nanotubes. So long, Silicon! Evolved Machines, today announced completion of the first carbon nanotube field effect transistor (nanotube-FET) integrated sensor chip. Consisting of 1,536 nanotubeFET sensors along with a digital backplane for individually addressable gating and readout, the sensor chip is the first integrating high temperature carbon nanotube growth with a conventional logic backplane. Development of this milestone in the use of nanotube transistors was funded in part by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) under the auspices of its RealNose program. When functionalized with single-strand DNA (ssDNA), Evolved Machines’ affiliate Nanosense has demonstrated that this new class of sensors exhibits sequence-specific, rapid, and highly reversible responses to volatile odorants. 318

These properties enable a new generation of both hand-held and robotically mounted sensors, allowing the repeated re-sampling required to identify target odorants in the presence of complex background environments. The DNA sequence-dependence of analyte binding confers enormous dimensionality, allowing chemical detection of diverse odorants with a single chip. Applications for sensor devices based on this technology range from the detection of explosives and contraband, to the monitoring of industrial environments for toxic industrial chemicals, to breath-based diagnosis of lung cancer and other disease emitting a volatile signature. In addition, recent results have demonstrated that the nanotube-FET sensor can also be functionalized with membrane proteins embedded in nanoscale membrane discs (Nanodiscs). Ligand- and receptor-specific binding is then read out as a concentration-specific perturbation of transistor current. Here the array of nanotube FET’s can be functionalized with a panel of membrane proteins, with their binding to candidate molecules read out rapidly and electronically. This class of sensor chips comprise a new platform for the screening of compounds against panels of membrane receptors, with potentially broad and powerful applications across biotechnology, including but not limited to drug development. Looks like these chips are headed to Afghanistan and Iraq to sniff out explosives and narcotics. Nice job DARPA! You guys are just plain amazing! Wonder when the food tasting chip will be out. At least i don't have to taste the food I cook before I eat it. Let the computer bear the brunt! Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:10PM ()

Super Nano Lithium Batteries developed by Illinois based firm
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
OK, check this out. EcoloCap, an Illinois based research firm has just delivered the Nano Lithium battery with what the company claims it the best commercially available Nano Lithium battery tech. This means faster battery recharge times and longer drives on those Electric Vehicles everyone is talking about. The Nano Lithium X (Adding an X adds the x-factor innit?) battery technology also has the lowest cost of production and sales price. The large capacity of the battery will allow for the fastest recharge time of any commercially available battery. Using a multidisciplinary approach involving electrical, mechanical, scientific, thermal and statistical analysis, the Nano Lithium X battery was extensively tested for its charge and discharge capabilities at 100 amps, 150 amps, 200 amps and 235 amps. Rigorous testing has concluded that the Nano Lithium X Battery performs even better than the company previously estimated (talk about low expectations!), and represents a substantial improvement over existing lithium-ion batteries in terms of energy density, total cost, and recharge time. Goodie, goodie! “It is rewarding to see that our investment in developing the Nano Lithium X battery has come to fruition, and we are excited to generate substantial value for our shareholders,” said EcoloCap Solutions President and CEO Michael Siegel. “This battery is well-positioned to become a leader in key markets seeking high-performance batteries, including use in electric vehicles, golf carts, cellular towers and similar demanding applications.” He added. Test results have concluded that the Nano Lithium X Battery is now proven to have:


• The highest energy density output of any commercially-available battery • The fastest recharge time of any comparable commercial battery • The lowest cost per unit of energy output of any commercially-available battery This technology fills a void in the market for high-powered batteries at a low cost. The battery employs low levels of powdered Lithium, enabling it to be produced at a lower cost than all other types of lithium cells. At the same time, no other technology can match its performance. While typical lithium-ion batteries require hundreds or thousands of small milliwatt to single watt cells in most applications, EcoloCap’s batteries are far more efficient and cost-effective, with each cell rated at 4.2 volts at 240 Ahr. EcoloCap is ecstatic with the final test results for the Nano Lithium X battery and management is currently exploring strategic opportunities with leading battery manufacturers. you have to be mate! You guys are powering the world of tomorrow! Full test results after the break Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Vonage Receives Second Virtual Phone Number Patent
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Woah! The once troubled Vonage could start stepping on many tails with this patent. A broad patent awarded to Vonage can change the way the VOIP market operates, at least in the USA. The patent -- No. 7,680,262 – titled “Method and Apparatus

for Placing a Long Distance Call Based on a Virtual Phone Number,” allows consumers to communicate to distant locations without incurring long distance or international calling charges. This is Vonage’s second patent related to the use of virtual phone numbers. Vonage’s first patent directed to the use of virtual phone numbers -- No. 7,386,111 -- was granted on June 10, 2008. “We continue to drive innovation that translates into unique products and services for our customers,” said Nick Lazzaro, senior vice president of product development and information technology. “This breakthrough takes advantage of our Session Initiation Protocol-based network and enables our customers to save significantly when they communicate with their friends and families across the country or around the world.” Virtual phone numbers allow people outside a Vonage customer’s local calling area to call for the price of a local call. Vonage customers can choose a virtual phone number in the calling area of a parent, relative or friend or wherever they want to establish a “virtual” presence. Vonage offers virtual phone numbers across the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and in more than 14 other countries. What this really means is that no other VOIP company may allow users to "roam" on a VOIP connection. We will have to wait and watch what this means for players like Magic Jack and Skype who provide the

virtual number calling feature in their products AND let users roam the world with their account anywhere in the world and call in to any US number just by hooking up to the internet. We also have to see how the proposed WiMax based calling coming to the US gets affected by this patent, Google Voice as well. Nice on Orange fella! Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Idea 282: Manufacture Solar Cells
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
SpectraWatt, a New York based high efficiency solar cell manufacturing company has just scored a massive $41 million round of funding. Investors include Intel Capital, PCG Clean Energy and Congentrix Energy. We know green tech will get a lot of attention in the coming years, companies like Bloom Energy and SpectraWatt are demonstrating just that. With Obama pushing the concept of USA becoming the leader in clean tech, this sure is a bright beginning! SpectraWatt was a part of Intel corporation before it was spun out as a separate entity. This round of funding certainly fuels the next phase of growth for SpectraWatt. Full press release after the break. ****Start Press Release**** Hopewell Junction, NY - March 23, 2010 - SpectraWatt, manufacturer of photovoltaic cells for the solar industry, has received $41.4 million in investor funding in the form of convertible debt. Investors include Cogentrix Energy, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Intel Capital, PCG Clean Energy & Technology Fund and two other unnamed sources. The funds will be used to finalize completion of the company’s factory, advance internal operations and technology development and allow for planned capacity expansion. “We are pleased to announce this significant incremental funding in SpectraWatt,” said Andrew Wilson, SpectraWatt CEO. “These investors share our vision of an empowered U.S.-based solar industry delivering innovative industryleading products. The funds will allow us to expand and build toward that national goal.” SpectraWatt has completed construction of its manufacturing facility in Hopewell Junction, New York and has begun initial cell production. The company is currently preparing for an official launch in the spring with customer shipments beginning in the second quarter of 2010. “We are excited to see SpectraWatt begin producing products for the growing solar industry,” said Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital and Intel executive vice president. “This investment reiterates Intel Capital’s commitment to the clean technology and renewable energy markets. SpectraWatt’s focus on advancing solar cell technologies, which complements Intel Capital’s strategy, will help accelerate the adoption of photovoltaic technology worldwide through greater energy conversion and manufacturing efficiencies.” ****End Press Release**** Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:30PM ()

Infographic: Aftermath of earthquake at Haiti
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Yeah we know, we are on an infographic overload. We first posted the "20 things that happen in a minute" infogfx. in fact, we may consider posting one infographic every day! but now lets go to something more grim. After the earthquake at Haiti there was a rush to get the world to see what was happening. The data was raw, it had to be put into a format that everyone understood. The following infographic describes very elegantly the damage done to Haiti's population. The graphic covers key information such as the hardest hit cities, the hardest hit population and the aid flowing in to Haiti. Emily Schwartzman, the author of the amazing piece of information won the contest at


Great work! The infographic up next. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:26PM ()

Large scale water desalination? Possible
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
You will run out of fresh water, eventually. Every country is dreading the day when there is no water left in its rivers. BRIC nations are already struggling, thanks to their industrial growth in the past decade coupled with population growth. There is no freakkin water left that is good for drinking. All their rivers are either dirty or they have just run dry. The only sources of water left for these nations are the oceans and the seas, filled with salt water. Desalination costs shit loads while sucking up lots of electricity. There has been no cost effective option till now. Nanotechnology has come to the rescue, again. New research has brought to light, a new technology which could cut costs of desalination drastically. Dubbed Ion Concentration Polarization, the technology can desalinate water AND purify water at the same time. This technology also brings up the possibility of small and medium scale desalination plants thanks to the filtering membrane's efficiency and size. You also have the option to run this on battery power. Going into the next decade this technology coupled with improving battery technology could mean uninterrupted supply of fresh water to people at a lower cost. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:48AM ()

Infographic: 20 things that happen in a minute
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
So, what did you do in the last 1 minute? Got to this website? Checked up some email? Let's go beyond the realm of you. Let's see what happens around you in a minute. We found this amazing infographic at The graphic more or less summarizes the cycle of life and death and everything in between. For all you know this thing might change your life. One thing remains constant though - USA is making money throughout the cycle. Take a peek. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()


Idea 281: Live before you die
Tuesday, March 23, 2010 Watch Steve Jobs talk about life and death, connecting the dots and doing what you REALLY want to do.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Idea 280: Get a loan for your small business
Monday, March 22, 2010
Hey, ever stuck thinking where to get a loan for your small business or startup? has advice for you, from local banks to credit cards to tapping into your retirement funds. Head here - link Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Idea 279: Start a multi-author blog
Monday, March 22, 2010
A single author blog is easy to maintain, and run. You have no one to convince, except yourself. But if you are thinking of a multi-author blog Darren Rowse of The Casual Observer has some insights for you. Head here - link Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Idea 278: See the center of the Milk Way galaxy
Monday, March 22, 2010
You live on a tiny planet called Earth. Earth is in one of the solar systems in a galaxy called Milky Way. The galaxy has a beautiful center. Watch it here. Galactic Center of Milky Way Rises over Texas Star Party from William Castleman on Vimeo. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:45AM ()

Monday, March 22, 2010
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:44AM ()

Idea 277: Print shoes in 3D
Monday, March 22, 2010
An interesting piece of news this. 3D printing has been around for ages but for mechanical parts design and development. Going mainstream with 3D printing to "create" objects of everyday use is a growing trend, it seems. has fished out one such example - 3D printed shoes! Desktop Factory, a South Carlina based technology company has developed and is now selling a desktop 3D printing system which can be


had for as little as $4995. The company also claims that its "3D prints" are durable thanks to the technology it uses. The system can take all industry standard 3D formats as input and deliver a actual 3D product on your desktop. HP just released a 3D printer as well. The market is heating up! Soon you will be able to print everything you need, just pay for the "ink". Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:31AM ()

Oh Palm, what happened to your innovation? Did Microsoft kill it? o...
Sunday, March 21, 2010

There were days when Palm was king of the hill. It held a niche market of CXO's who wanted to manage their time efficiently. That was the time when no mobile phone company had dared to manage CEO's lives as well as Palm's devices did. I remember my friend's dad importing one of those shiny Palm PDA's just to make sure he knew when his meetings were. He had a Nokia cell phone. What changed over a period of 5 years? 5 years in which Palm went from king of the hill to dog of the streets? Palm has gone down SO bad that investors are now lowering its target share value to $0. Ah, such a shame to a company of its stature. So, when did the fall begin? The fall began when Palm started losing track of market conditions about 10 years ago. While sticking to its Palm PDA platform it ignored Windows mobile as a force that could change the way people managed their time. The rusty Palm interface and lackluster app support made the Palm platform old, boring and almost useless. Windows mobile had it all - the familiar operating system that people saw on their desktops every day, the Microsoft office apps, the tons of applications to manage anything and everything a CXO ever wanted. Moreover Palm was still stuck catering to a target audience that had diluted. Thanks to a generation that embraced technology like ants would, sugar - Windows mobile had found its spot among the many million mobile phone users. Time management was no longer for top managers, it was for everybody. Enterprises realized this and started rolling out Windows mobile PDA's across the board. It integrated well with the exchange servers they used and the applications they deployed. there was no need for enterprises to buy their employees a PDA and then invest in middle ware to interface corporate infrastructure with the hardware. Palm started losing revenue, and quickly. Palm realized that its platform was aging and then did something drastic to change its fortunes. Palm switched to Windows mobile. Wow! How could a company that was so well known for its innovation do something so stupid? In one stroke Palm become "another" hardware 324

manufacturer. Since there were a million other hardware vendors offering similar if not better Windows mobile cell phones Palm got into this crazy market of hardware manufacturers and failed to innovate in that arena as well. As we can see today, HTC has won. Another factor that killed Palm is the emergence of Blackberry as an enterprise email platform. While Windows mobile was great at sending and receiving email, Blackberry was awesome! It was a master at this craft, and it was inexpensive to own one. Palm was slowly being cornered into this spot where key technologies mattered than who made the hardware that ran those technologies. As years passed every damn phone started becoming a "smart phone". Everyone wanted to look at emails everywhere, irrespective of who that person was. Palm's market was not niche anymore. The field was huge and everyone had a piece of pie. Perhaps the biggest blow to Palm was Apple's iPhone. While Apple targeted the phone at anyone and everyone, it made sure all your productivity tools were "available" via the app store. There was no reason for anyone to choose any platform other than the iPhone. The UI was fresh, unique and uncluttered. Although the iPhone had its shortfalls, people who purchased it just loved it. Apple was at its game again - when you release something into the market, make it perfect for everyone, and it won. Windows Mobile, Blackberry and Palm lost market share heavily to Apple. Palm had not given up yet. It tried to capitalize the iPhone's shortcomings to sell its new OS platform - the Palm WebOS on a new phone - Palm Pre. But hey, who's perfect? The marketing was bland and crappy, so was the carrier it tied up with - Sprint. Who ties up with Sprint to sell new phones - maybe Kyocera? The timing couldn't have been worse either. The product was announced a couple of days before Apple's next phone's announcement AND delivered after 6 months by when Apple had already sold about 500 thousand shiny new iPhones. And the fact that Palm's sticking to Sprint does not help issues either. With a share prince stuck at $4.50 a share today, we could be seeing the share price go down to $0 in the next one week. End of the road, Palm? Or is Apple going to eat you up? Apple, remember - Eat not the Palm that feeds you! Oh, and did we mention Google's Android platform that every hardware manufacturer is embracing? It IS the end of the road for you Palm, unless someone rescues you. Lesson to be learned is this - do not stop innovating at any cost. When you succumb to your rival's platform you lose your niche. Let’s hope for the best for palm. Let’s hope that the government rescues this company as well, like they rescued GM. That way the FCC will have another reason why they should argue for net neutrality. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 05:41PM ()

Idea 276: Get rid of barcodes, get rid of queues
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Remember that Black Friday queue you were in during thanksgiving last year? That could change if retailers dump the bar codes and pick up shiny new RFID tags to process billing. While bar-codes require a physical bar code reader to read data regarding the product, RFID tags can be read wirelessly and without the need for a physical tag reader at the billing counter. What this means is that you no longer have to stand in a long queue to bill all that you have purchsed. Your shopping cart will come equipped with an RFID tag reader that will recognize all items in the cart for which you can pay, right at the cart! Folks at Rice


university have accomplished the feat of creating this type of an RFID tag which could replace the ailing barcode. Size and flexibility, the main barriers for RFID tags - have been taken care of, thanks to nanotechnology. These tags are now so flexible and thin that they can be slid into product packaging or into the product itself to avoid detection while making you wait a lot less at the billing counter. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:24AM ()

Idea 275: Invest in rural India
Saturday, March 20, 2010
A million online micro finance platforms exist but which ones are the best to reach rural India? While local banks lend money to the majority of the poor, two online micro finance startups are making a difference - and 30dollarfinance (30df). These seem to be the only online gateways to get exclusively into the Indian rural micro finance scene. While rangde has no restriction on the gender of the borrower 30df is exclusively for rural women. Both agencies also provide a credit rating system to keep the investor informed about the creditworthiness of the borrower. While claim a 98.9% repayment rate, 3df boasts of a 100% repayment rate! Both agencies are a good way to get into the micro finance market in India, especially if you are sitting at home in the US or the UK and cannot make it to rural India on our own. Field partners work with both agencies and investment management is taken care of by them. Rangde accepts payments in INR while 30df accepts payments in USD. While 30df does not give an interest payback on your investment, Rangde does. My investments in micro finance institutions have yielded 100% repayments so far. If you are interested in a far more diversified investment across geographies head to Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:11AM ()

Saturday, March 20, 2010
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Idea 274: Build a new type of power outlet. Get rid of home fires.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Watch John La Grou talk about a new type of fire outlet that stops home fires before they happen. He converts normal electrical outlets into intelligent network systems to achieve this. How cool! Watch the video for more. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:53PM ()

Idea 273: Add augmented reality to a car's windshield
Friday, March 19, 2010
And here we are again, talking about augmented reality. This time its GM. They are predicting that future cars will have special sensors that will augment your real word vision with virtual display technologies via a transparent display in the form of a windshield. Wow! Imagine, the windshield points to the building that you have to reach, or even draws out the road for you on the windshield just in case its too foggy! More in the video. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00AM ()

Want to follow NASA on your iPhone? There's an app for that. And it...
Friday, March 19, 2010
Want to stalk NASA everywhere you go? NASA just released an updated version of it popular iPhone App. The app has gone hyper social with integration with Facebook and Twitter. Its also got a cool offline caching system (very useful in case you are running on the AT&T network) to make sure you don't miss out on the action one bit, even when you are offline. What's more, you can even read emails sent by astronauts apart from viewing amazing pictures and stunning videos. Screen shots right after the text. Go download it from the Apple App Store, its free. [gallery link="file" columns="5" orderby="rand"] Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:12AM ()

Idea 272:Make your blog work for you.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Have a blog running your life but not enough money flowing in off the adverts that you post on your blog? Chances are that you are running a pay per click program on your blog. The problems with CPC based adverts are a million but there are ways to get around these headaches. To start with, I am going to state the obvious here before more hardcore suggestions are given: a. Write better content b. Publicize your site via whatever means you can c. Make your blog social. A standalone blog disconnected from


the social web will not work out so well in today’s context. d. Make your blog search engine friendly e. Keep discussions going on your website f. Post regularly – maybe twice a day. This way your audience sees fresh content more often g. Get guest writers of repute to grace your post, their rep will rub off on your blog Once you have setup the site to make it the advert magnet you want it to be, understand what CPC advertising is all about. Most publishers think every ad pays out equally. This is not the case. CPC ads have a different payout for every single ad. The payout depends on a. The advertiser b. The advertising agency c. The advertising platform (Google adwords, cpx-interactive etc) lists 7 ways to increase ad click through rates (link). There are chances that CPC is not for you, based on the traffic you get on your website. High traffic websites may want to run CPM ads (Cost per 1000 impressions). There are several advertising platforms that support CPM advertising. Since several browsers have ad blocking capabilities it is possible that all ads on your website do not work for you, especially CPM ads. However this is used only by a small percentage of web users. If your blog is a massive authoritative one, you could also choose an affiliate program which pay per action (CPA). What this means is that you sport a banner of an advertiser who pays you commission for every action that the user completes – the action could be a sale, a sign up, a visit – whatever the advertiser decides. Bur beware of fraudulent advertisers, your commissions may not come your way. Choose affiliates carefully. Google Affiliate program and Commission Junction are two major affiliate platforms. The final form would be to get private advertisers to post adverts on your site. This is possible only via a high quality blog. This lets you negotiate the terms of posting the advert. As a general rule of thumb make sure your blog has a design to gobble up several sizes and formats of adverts. Each advertiser has an array of sizes of banners and links to offer, and it’s up to you to monetize it most efficiently. This way you can fit any type of ad – CPC or CPM into these slots. All in all, make a better blog and get better traffic. Traffic brings in advertisers, Advertisers bring in money. It’s like nurturing a plant, the more care you give the sweeter the fruits it will bear. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:55PM ()

Idea 271: Start a business in your pajamas
Thursday, March 18, 2010
No money to start a new business? That's the case with most of us, right? While most businesses require some amount of investment there are a few of them that do not. lists 9 such businesses. Go take a peek! - link Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:00PM ()

Idea 270:One day everything you do will power the planet
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Alright, everyone's talking about everything green these days. But what's your idea of green? Vimeo posed a contest and here's one of 'em. Power the planet with every small thing you do. Really. Watch video for more. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()


Thursday, March 18, 2010
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Idea 269: Microsoft, DO NOT put the cart before the horse
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Ughh. We spoke too soon. Too soon about the awesomeness, amazingness and guilt-free-ness of owning a Windows 7 Series Phone. A couple of bones are starting to show up. a. NO Winmo 6.5 devices can be upgraded to W7SP b. NO "Copy and Paste"! (WHAT? Its just copy and paste. JUST. How could you not achieve that?). Didn't all of Winmo till date have copy and paste? c. The phones will be locked to AT&T. Just kidding. This would be a W7SP killer, almost immediately. Microsoft has started to give out details waaaaaay too early on W7SP. I think they should have waited till devices start getting launched - at least a few hundreds of those devices would have been sold. Now where does it stand in relation to the iPhone? Well, gets back to iPhone 2G in terms of functionality levels. Does it record videos or no? LOL, this is getting funny. All that jazzed up UI for nothing? Give us a break fellas! Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:00AM ()


Idea 268: Crowd source software testing
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Everything's being crowd sourced eh? Check this one out - An interesting company has come to the fore - uTest. uTest is a global marketplace for crowd sourcing your software testing requirements. How could you benefit? a. No guilt of outsourcing your work to India b. You application gets tested in the real world - literally! c. you save on software and hardware costs involved. Privacy of data may be an issue though. If you are a tester sign up here - link. Novel Idea! Watch an interview with the CEO below. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00PM ()

The most original musician on this planet is here
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
This dude is amazingly funny! To be honest I haven't watched a song this original. This dude's from India and has his music on iTunes. Visit his website here: Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:00PM ()

Idea 267: Find the right CEO for your company
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Why bother finding a good CEO for your startup? Ever heard of the HP fiasco? A good CEO can help you avoid those scenarios, and grow your business at the same time - like Eric is right now, for Google. More expert tips on finding the right CEO here - link Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00AM ()

Wednesday, March 17, 2010
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Sony Playstation "Move" has one leg in the grave
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Hmm, we seem to get it right more often than not. We were wondering why Sony ripped off the Wii and called it "Play Station Move". We don't even want to start on what it looks like, we will just say it looks like a toy you figure out what toy. Looks like the copy move hasn't really paid off. Microsoft which is on an innovation high with its success with Windows 7 and the launch of Windows Phone 7 series has scored again with consumers, this time with the Xbox Project Natal where you don't need no controller- YOU are the controller! Mashable 330

reports that Sony's "MOVE" is already in 2nd place according to a readers' vote competing with Microsoft's project Natal! Microsoft's give 'em a peek and ask them what they feel approach is working well. It worked with Windows 7, now with Project Natal. Don't copy Sony. Make something new. Watch the Project Natal video if you don't know what we are talking about. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:00AM ()

Idea 266: Bank on the FCC to fix your internet speed
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Remember the FCC? Yes, the same guys who intervened in the whole net neutrality thingy and the Google voice thingy? The FCC is now up to fixing the internet in the USA. First the announcement of the mobile broadband test app for the iPhone and now talk about increasing broadband penetration to 90% of Americans. Apparently the penetration stands at 65% right now. Somehow, the plan will help reduce health care costs. Most probably that will be achieved by using Optic fiber cables in place of catheters. More here - link. One thing that confuses me, why only an iPhone app for mobile broadband speeds? Did AT&T get into FCC's bad books? Doesn't the chairman of the FCC carry around an iPhone? Interesting. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00PM ()

Idea 265: Pixallate your TV. Make it your personal assistant
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Another art diploma project, another brilliant idea. What if your TV could disintegrate into a million pieces to rearrange itself around anything, turning any surface into a display? The student names it "curious" displays. Watch video for more insight. Curious Displays from Julia Tsao on Vimeo. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:00PM ()

Idea 264: Make use of that stimulus money. Buy robots.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Will you stop complaining about how the stimulus money is being used? We know its been misused here, here, here and in many other places. All that aside, there are some people putting it to good use here, here and here. The best use of the money I have come across is this one - buying robots for a technology company. Hey, tech is what keeps America ahead. All hail the stimulus package! More here - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:37AM ()


Tuesday, March 16, 2010
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Idea 263: Buy a Windows Phone 7 series mobile device. Avoid patent ...
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
HTC has been dragged into something it is not really responsible for. Google has stood behind HTC like an overpaid body guard. Apple has been threatening HTC with patents which are too broad in definition to be limited to HTC's phones. So what happens if Apple wins the battle? In all probability you will lose multi-touch, the interface and the identity of your Android phone. You can however be proud that you are a FOSS supporter (chuckle). All that said, how can you keep your "super" phone and its identity and all the features it comes with? You cannot. Buy a Windows 7 series phone. Yeah I sound like an anti open source fanatic, but seriously, this level of ripoff in an open source Operating System? Android has copied way too many things fro the iPhone! Starting with the swipe unlock action on the home screen, next the whole icon based UI thingy, then the home button, then the.. the list goes on. Agreed that its open source, but don't steal so much from your competitor's design, especially when its Apple's design. Apple itself seems to have taken cues from Symbian S60's UI, minus the home button and multi-touch magic. Nokia will not sue Apple on those grounds since Nokia most probably never patented any UI elements like Apple did. Moreover USA is a loss market for Nokia, so we would think they are a little chicken when it come to lawsuits in the US. This is all you have to do to remain free from any rip-off products. Get yourself a Windows phone 7 series mobile device. Why? Have you looked at the amazingly fresh, original UI on the WinMo 7 series phone? Just check that UI out! Only a genius could have made a UI so amazingly original!Plus you get to play all your Xbox 360 games on it. Imagine starting your game at home on the Xbox and finishing it on your cell phone! how cool is that? Plus you have flash support, so you can watch movies right off any web page! Your life is going to be free of any guilt associated with ripped off interfaces and home buttons. Multi-touch could still be an issue but come on, Apple and Microsoft are buddies, right? They can work things out. Not so with Google 332

though! Just one disadvantage. Your 12 month old toddler may not be able to figure out how the phone works. Its a good thing, kids shouldn't be playing with cell phones anyway. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:33AM ()

Ah, more crowd sourced fund raising for startups!
Monday, March 15, 2010
Remember Growvc? The crowd sourced funding company? Now you have more options - Kickstarter, a new crowd sourced funding company is giving away cash for promising startups. Read more here or get right into the action here. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:00PM ()

Want to see the sun in 3D? There's an app for that
Monday, March 15, 2010
This one we couldn't resist posting.You've seen Google maps, Google sky and a host of other apps that show you the way on the road and in the sky. Now check this out - a 3D Sun app for the iPhone! Its free, so anyone with an iPhone can get it. Check it out here Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:00PM ()

Idea 262: Get some poppy. Kill the pain.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Hey, always high on Opium? Do you live in Afghanistan by any chance? We have always known the drugs made out of poppy kill pain - basically by making you sleep. It can also get you high if you do Opium, a really sweet high. Indians have used poppy in a variety of foods including what is known as the "ghasa-gase payasa" (ghasa-ghase means poppy in a Dravidian language called Kannada) which is a sweet dish made out of milk and poppy seeds and lot of those Indian spices (recipe here). The western world however chose to make painkillers out of it - Morphine and Codeine being the most famous. Now, after all these years of biotechnology research scientists want to isolate the genes that produce these two chemicals and see how they can use it to treat pain in an whole new way! More here - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:00AM ()

Idea 261: Learn how to manage big accounts
Monday, March 15, 2010
Got too many big names on your client list? Folks at Inc suggest you drop some of them. - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:00AM ()


Idea 260: Weigh digital data
Monday, March 15, 2010
Would you like to buy 1 lb of data? Would you want it delivered to your home? How much does Iran weigh? How much does the crisis in Iran weigh? How about the crisis 12 days ago? A student in Germany has made it possible to weigh data "physically". Watch the video and you will know. virtual gravity - the physical weight of data from Silke Hilsing on Vimeo. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:53AM ()

Idea 259: Learn some old tricks to make your blog better
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Copyblogger has some great tips for bloggers. Today they have put up some "old school" tips to make some fresh green. Go take a peek - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:00AM ()

Idea 258: Buy a business
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Have enough cash but don't know where to start? Maybe its time that you buy an existing business. The advantage is that the business already has a ready consumer base, a monthly revenue and qualified employees. This saves you a lot of time and money. But for you to understand how to get this all done, head here - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:45AM ()

Idea 257: Invent new ways of presenting data to infomorons
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Bored with the way you interact with your computer? Want something brand spanking new? 2 students have demonstrated new ways in which abstract data for entities such as water pollution levels, per capita income etc. can be delivered to you and me who don’t really care about such data. These folks use highly immersive graphics to deliver the message and make us care about such data. Neat stuff. Video up next. Experiencing Abstract Information from Stefan Kuzaj on Vimeo. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:59AM ()


Why we arent giving away an iPad like everyone else
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Sure, every freakkin tech blog network is giving away an iPad. Why is Ideabing not interested? Because we don’t think the iPad will be able to cater to your needs. Yeah it’s from Apple, we know that. It looks good, we know that. But if you cannot surf like 80% of all websites ever built on a tablet which is supposed to give you the "best" internet experience, we don’t think it’s worth the time or money. Since Flash is a no no for the iPad, we will certainly be giving away the HP tablet when it makes its debut, or the Notion Ink Adam when that comes out. Right now go win yourself a Seagate external hard drive or a Nikon D90 DSLR Camera. Head to the contests page. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:48AM ()

Tech Move series: Part 1 of 5: Where are the terms technology, inno...
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Still think USA is THE place to be for technology and innovation and all things like that? Sure its citizens consume lots of technology and innovation but where is it starting to create a mature buzz? One theory (that we suggest) is that Google trends is a safe way to predict that. Since Google trends uses search volumes to determine the graph, its more or less like the pulse of the people behind the searches, just like the Twitter time line. We have setup a series of 5 posts to cover this topic, since there is lots of data to be parsed. We call it the Tech Move series. Suggest a better name if you can think of one. Lets get to post no. 1. Lets look at the countries behind these searches over the past 7 years. Which countries do you think searched the most for these 3 terms? Remember we predicted this some time back? Its India. These folks are searching for the 3 terms quite voraciously. So voraciously that USA finishes in a lowly 10th spot. Overall, Asia takes the cake. The graphic below must be able to help you digest this fact. The only comforting thing for the US may be that it finishes 6th overall in the "idea" category while it stays out of the top 10 in the "innovation" category. We will get into more details in further posts. For now if you are living in the US, start thinking. Go to India. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:58PM ()

Idea 256: Holographic "3D" Displays
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Thrilled enough with Avatar and Alice in wonderland? All that 3D, that was entertainment. But what about real world 3D vision? No glasses and bull crap like that? Remember CNN tried holograms during the US elections although it looked


way too crappy? What about 3D for architectural design firms? Many companies are trying to get this thing to work but one company in the US is showing it off. Zebra Imaging has released a full color, full 3D holographic display system and its available all the way from 12X12 sq. inch all the way up to 24x36 sq. inch panels. Some really cool stuff going on here. What you basically get is a fully scalable, rotatable panel that lets you visualize 3D stuff in real time. What this means is that all the stuff we saw in Avatar is achievable in real time, especially when you are planning to destroy home tree.Only problem is that Zebra Imaging is still on this planet. All that said, interactivity still remains an illusion. You win, James. Hey, Sony - when are you making 3D holographic stuff for PS3? Video after the jump. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:00AM ()

Idea 255: Location based coupons.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Remember the "online coupon" company we had written about? Looks like the world is moving one step forward from there. Now we are talking about "location based" coupons. Not only will you phone have coupons, its going to be location based coupons. Let me give you an example. Lets say you walk into Walgreens on Times Square. You obviously want to know what offers are on at that location. You could pick up the handout and flip through the pages OR you could pull out your "smart phone" or "super phone" and check in into the location, just like you would into a flight. This check in triggers a response from the server delivering all the coupons for that particular location! Say you did not find what you need at Walgreens. You walk across the street into Duane Reade. You do the drill again for that location. Yay! you got the deal you wanted! There are players in this field but they are not quite in the coupons business yet. Gowalla and Foursquare serve a purpose but not entirely on the coupons front. New York times has some perspective. What does Ideabing think? Yes, it will take off, in the next 1 year. Reasons? a. There is going to be an explosion in the number of phones that will have built in GPS in the next year and beyond. b. Data usage is now normal for most mobile subscribers c. Retailers want in on the whole location thingy d. LTE networks are being setup, FAST. Isn't that what SXSW was all about this year? Need more reasons? Try subscribing to anything in print in the next 2 years. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:40AM ()

Idea 254: Learn how to feed the world. Becoming a vegetarian helps.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Picture this. If you line up all the people in the world in a single line, 1 out of every 7 people in the line is malnourished. How do you feed them? Become a vegetarian. Seriously! Check out the video. How to feed the world ? from Denis van Waerebeke on Vimeo. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:09AM ()


Idea 253: Buy pico projectors. Distribute it among your road warriors.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Lagging sales? Got a good product offering but clients don't see the point? Can't afford to not show off your shiny ppt's to clients when you are traveling but don't always travel to places that have projectors? Get a Pico projector dammit! They fit in your pocket dude! AND your wallet. They aren't too expensive, some start at $199. Just buy a bunch of them and distribute it among your road going marketing ninjas. Entrepreneur has a good article about these little light emitting, pocket fitting thingys. CNET's got a list. Some of these connect right into that iPod of yours and into laptops. Cool, no? Go ahead, get projecting! Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 05:35PM ()

The next steps in mobile communication? Rob Glaser's got something ...
Friday, March 12, 2010
Already overwhelmed with the amount of change you have seen in the mobile arena of late? Don't be. There is more to be overwhelmed with in the coming days/weeks/months. All the new hardware coming out will force fundamental changes in the way technology is implemented today. iPad's going to make AT&T change some stuff around core mobile telephony infrastructure. There's 4G coming in across the board, then there's LTE. Phew! Imagine the change coming through? Former CEO of Real Networks - Rob Glaser's got some thoughts to share. Head here - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:22PM ()

Idea 252: Build a flying telescope. NASA style.
Friday, March 12, 2010
NASA's just built a flying telescope. No. The telescope does not fly-fly. It sits on a 747 jumbo jet and pilots fly the jumbo jet which in turn makes the telescope, well, fly. Weak language skills. I know. This thing is the infrared kind, the ones used to take a peek at distant stars. Video right after this. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:04AM ()

Why innovation will spring out of patent lawsuits in the next decade
Friday, March 12, 2010
Its strange what competition can do to you. Especially to Nokia. First Apple claimed that they are the biggest mobile devices company. Nokia rejects that claim. Then there are patent lawsuits, counter suits filed by both parties. Nokia sounded like a loser, really. Nokia has not invented much off late, has it? Same old Symbian bricks hitting the market again and again. But then came the resurgence, the zeal, to beat Apple at its game.


Several of its programs came to the fore - Symbian was opened up, the community design program was launched and then came this interesting patent filed by Nokia. A freakking battery charging mechanism based on movement. You move around, the phone charges up. Harnessing motion was not a big deal for watches, it always had moving parts. But harnessing it out of solid state electronics? Patent worthy stuff! So you take this phone, put it in your pocket and walk around all day - right? The thing is that this phone will not run out of battery, ever - as long as you are moving. When you join the dots, you start looking into the future of mobility. Since this thing charges up upon movement, you will almost always carry it with you. This opens up an amazing set of applications ranging from location based services to (really crisp, truly, meaningfully) green energy. What IF you could plug the phone back into your wall socket and light up your home? That is extremely possible in rural India where one whole house lights up on ONE single bulb. Neat stuff eh? Who said necessity is the mother of invention? Patent law suits could be an equally motivating factor. Good job, Nokia! Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:45AM ()

Idea #251: Watch some LIVE IPL twenty twenty cricket on Youtube. Sp...
Friday, March 12, 2010
So, how many sports events have you seen live on Youtube? Zero? Then this is your chance to be a part of the sports broadcasting revolution. Youtube will be telecasting "Live" cricketing action from the Indian Premier League twenty twenty series. IPLT20 as it is known is the MLB of Cricket, only much larger. So much larger that NBA moved their schedule to make sure IPL fans get to watch their cricket. Afterall, there are about 1.5 billion people who watch cricket across the globe. And Google is telecasting this event "Live" (with a 5 minute delay) to the entire world. How much does it cost to watch these matches live? Zero - Zilch. It is also a proclamation by BCCI (IPL's parent body) that broadcast piracy will be taken care of via the fremium model. Watch out for big branding of Google all over India. Google is making a big statement with this tourney - sports broadcasting is not a big deal for Google. With NBA, MLB, EPL closely guarding their telecast rights to be sold for billions, IPL may break the mold. Its amazing how much change technology can bring to sports. ESPN started this with, now Google is taking over. We have talked on Ideabing about Adidas doing this, we have also advised you to guy purchase a cricket team in India to play in next year's IPL! Keep an eye out for Cricket, that's where the next sporting revolutions are going to happen, be it broadcasting, clothing or sporting technologies.This must be giving the beautiful game some serious inferiority complex. IPL website: IPL youtube channel: IPL iPhone App: 8 IPL schedule: Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:28AM ()


Idea 250:Make sure your ideas make the cut before you implement it.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
OK, how many of you have been trying out ideas for a LONG time with no success whatso-ever? I am guessing 99% of you. The problem is that you have a great idea, but your idea may not have a market. Make sure you do your research before you dive. More at this link - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:48PM ()

Idea 249: Start a food truck. It's supposedly one of the best selli...
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Ready to truck? I mean "Food" truck? Of all the things you can do in the world to get rid of your boring job where you pretend to work and your employer pretends to pay, food trucks are the hot potatoes among entrepreneurs. Don't believe me? Watch the video. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 05:37PM ()

Idea 248: Make sure your blog has the right niche. This way you can...
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Problogger has some of the best tips for the blogging world. I thought one particular post right out of the crowd like a dancing peacock! How do you make sure your blog gets the right attention? Get the right name, and then get the right nice and then write the right stuff. That's what makes money for you and you become "riche" - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 03:22PM ()

Idea 247: Head to SXSWi
Thursday, March 11, 2010
There's an interactive session going on at SXSW, find out more - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Idea 246: Use walls at your office to brainstorm. Save paper, Save ...
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Ever imagined what would happen to all those ideas you guys generate if you ran out of whiteboard space at office? Don't worry! Ideapaint is here to convert your wall into a giant brainstorming workspace. Brilliant idea, no? - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:00AM ()


Idea 245: When you cannot innovate, copy
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Oh Sony, what have you done! We know you want to make sure The Nintendo Wii is eating into your market share but was releasing your own "stick" the only way to get the market share back? Or is it a part of your overall "3D" strategy? We shall see. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00AM ()

Idea 244: Go find your startup the perfect apps at the Google App S...
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Google has just launched the Google Enterprise App Store. What does this mean for your small business? It means free to use, cloud based secure software available to you. Improve productivity or just go ahead accept credit cards without having to pay the bank! Gogole knows what to sell for free, when. - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Idea 243: Develop a business growth strategy.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
You business not growing as quickly as you wanted? Maybe there is something lacking in the way you are running your business. Do you have short term and long term goals for your business? Do you have the plan for 5 years from now? Learn how to develop a strategy for long term growth here - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:00AM ()

Idea 242: Save $2 mil by removing 1 stop sign. Look at Gary Lauder'...
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Not often do such thoughts come to the common man's mind. One 3 way Stop sign can account to $2 million in losses per year for people using that intersection! Don't believe it? We will let Gary Lauder to guide you through this insane calculation. Oh, he also has a new traffic sign for you to use! Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:00AM ()


Subscribe to our posts and win a Nikon D90 SLR Camera plus a lens k...
Thursday, March 11, 2010 Howdy! Want to win yourself a shiny new Nikon D90 plus a lens kit worth $1300? Then head to this link and subscribe to our daily posts. Contest ends March 27 2010 by Akshaya Murthy at 12:27AM ()

Idea #241: Attend Cloudcamp 2010. If you are in the cloud computing...
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Cloudcamp 2010 dates are up! If you want to be in the know, you got to go - to this event. Cloudcamp is THE idea exchange conference on cloud computing. This is where the next "avatar" of the internet will take shape. After the success of Google docs, Salesforce and the likes, expect the whole world to fly, in the cloud. Book your seats now! Venues and dates listed below. Register here - March 11, 2010 in Westminster, London, UK March 13, 2010 in Vancouver, BC, Canada March 16, 2010 in Philadelphia, PA, USA March 23, 2010 in Washington, DC, USA March 26, 2010 in Wellington, New Zealand April 1, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia April 6, 2010 in Toronto, Canada April 8, 2010 in Perth, Australia April 14, 2010 in Dublin, Ireland April 15, 2010 in Cork, Ireland April 20, 2010 in Springfield, MA 01105, USA April 20, 2010 in Barcelona, Spain April 27, 2010 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil May 5, 2010 in Durham, United Kingdom May 6, 2010 in Leeds, United Kingdom July 22, 2010 in Dunedin, New Zealand July 23, 2010 in Christchurch, New Zealand September 17, 2010 in Hamburg, Germany Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:00PM ()


Contest for this week: Win a 500 GB Seagate External HDD
Wednesday, March 10, 2010 Win a 500 GB Seagate External Hard drive. What do you have to do? Leave a comment and/or re-tweet this post with the #ideabing hashtag. The highest retweeter wins the hard drive. Simple enough? Now start retweeting!

Contest closes 14th March 2010
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:25PM ()

Idea #240: Listen to Charles Leadbeater on innovation
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00PM ()

Idea #239: Build a mind reading computer. I am not kidding.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I am warning you! This is a plot to control your mind. The author claims that it can save your life though. Read on - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()


Idea #238: Rent cars for an hour, or two or 24. Save the planet.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:00PM ()

Idea #237: When in doubt, sue HTC.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
No one saw this coming, or did Google see this coming? Apple's selection of HTC as a sue-mate over 20 patents that Apple holds is interesting. Is Apple just setting the rules straight fro the US market? You shall not use multi-touch or icon based menus or a home screen button. This is plain funny! When did Apple get down to this level? Aren't they supposed to be good competitors? I see an antitrust suit coming Apple's way Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:00PM ()

Idea #236: Revolutionize sports with tech. Adidas works its magic o...
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Adidas knows how to sneak into a sport and flush it with technology. They have done it with Football, Basketball, Baseball (and many other sports) now its Cricket. Their new "Pellara" bat is supposedly much lighter while being more balanced. Perfect for front footers who like to smak the ball across the boundary line - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Idea #235: Biodegradable plastics. Finally. Again?
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Oh we have heard this before. Biodegradable plastics. Sounded more like a marketing stunt than anything else! But apparently IBM and Stanford University have both unveiled "sustainable" plastics. Does this mean i can throw that Walmart plastic bag in my garden? in about 10 years time? - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:00AM ()

Idea #234: Screw Cellular. Get into the Wimax game
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Still planning a cellular network roll out? Don't bother. Voice as we know it will be obsolete by 2012. All communication will use data. Invest in a WiMax network instead.


Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00AM ()

Idea #233: Start managing your online reputation.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Everyone's online these days but few get the spotlight. Ever wondered why no one gives a damn about you online? Ever tried to gauge your reputation among your online peers? Read on - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Idea #232: Working but want to start something? Just do it!
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Never quit your job to start something new, at least till the startup grows up to stand on two and a half feet. Entrepreneur gives you some advice. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:00AM ()

Idea #231: Design for the post apocalyptic world. Really.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Look what people are up to. Some believe the world's going to end tomorrow. These folks have ended up designing structures that can support post apocalyptic life. Really, will you be able to survive without the internet? Lets just be optimistic and look at these images Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:00AM ()

Idea #230: Become an antiques collector. Start your collection with...
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
The antiques sector has taken a beating during the recession, but it may be coming back to life now. Auctions have been demanding high values for collections and more interesting things are coming up for auction. Wired reports that the oldest "flying car" is up for auction. Silly? Yeah right - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()


Idea #229: Get a celebrity to endorse your product
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Oh well, you knew it. Want your product to go places? Then get a celebrity to endorse it. Don't get Britney to endorse your SEO product, get Bill Gates to do it. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:00PM ()

Idea #228: You will love this bit of news if you are in the social ...
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Wow! The hugely successful social check in company Causeworld is getting some serious "charity money". Citi, the latest to give away money for free. Did we just pay the government to bail Citi out? What the hell's happening? - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:00PM ()

Idea #227: Read this blog if you are in the p2p lending arena
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
In the p2p lending business? Then you need all the news fro across the globe in that territory. Check out This blog give you the latest news and insights. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00PM ()

Idea #226: Having trouble managing a large mailing list? Make life ...
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Mailchimp, the cool-ass mailing list management website is doing some seriously impressive stuff. Check them out here - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:00PM ()

Idea #225: Ask your government to share data to the world. Then bui...
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
A great movement is on to harness government data. A few good people have made apps to harness and present this data, as useful information. tim Berner-Lee talks about this movement. Are you building something like this? Let us know! Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:00PM ()


Idea #224: Listen to cells in your body. One molecule of H2O2 at a ...
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
New "Sensor Array" developed by MIT detects "single molecules" of Hydrogen Peroxide being emanated from cells - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00PM ()

Idea #223: You a web designer? Then you must be read these magazine...
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Smashing Magazine compiles a list of print magazines you should be reading if you are a serious web designer - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:00AM ()

Idea #222: Integrate and grow. Going solo is not the best idea.
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Hootsuite now integrates with Gowalla and Myspace. Is your product integrating too> Let us know! - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:05AM ()

Idea #221: Outsource your next software project to Kenya. It saves ...
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
A social entrepreneur is driving software development in Kenya employing refugees. Sounds too good to be true? Read on - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:00AM ()

Idea #220: Build a tablet PC. Its the next "big thing"
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang talks tablet PC's, mobility computing and Nvidia's vison for the future. Watch the video below. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:00AM ()


Idea #219: Make money for your next startup in these companies
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Looking for a high growth job? Maybe you have one waiting for you in one of these companies. See CNN money's best places for job growth list here. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:00AM ()

Idea #218: Give Flash a chance
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
HP's latest tablet PC aims at doing exactly that. Shouldn't Silverwire be given a chance too? The tablet's running Windows after all! Head here - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:00AM ()

Idea #217
Monday, March 08, 2010
Understand poverty. #ideabing #idea #money Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:25PM ()

Idea #216
Monday, March 08, 2010
Take a sports car, plug it into the wall. #ideabing #idea #technology #innovation Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:22PM ()

Idea #215
Monday, March 08, 2010
Make your blog stand out from the crowd. #ideabing #idea #blogging Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:20PM ()

Idea #214
Monday, March 08, 2010
Head to Brazil. Make some money there. #ideabing #idea #money Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:16AM ()


Idea #213
Monday, March 08, 2010
Democratize the internet, even in Iran. #ideabing #idea #internet Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 05:14AM ()

Idea #212
Monday, March 08, 2010
Let the blind see the world. #ideabing #technology #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:11AM ()

Idea #211
Saturday, March 06, 2010
Offer exotic cars on rent. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:09PM ()

Idea #210
Saturday, March 06, 2010
Make money off unsigned music artists. #ideabing #idea #music Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:49PM ()

Idea #209
Saturday, March 06, 2010
Start a Cricket team in India. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:43PM ()

Idea #208
Saturday, March 06, 2010
Assemble a high performance team for your next project. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:24AM ()


Idea #207
Saturday, March 06, 2010
Use a sea-squirt to test new medical advances. #ideabing #idea #medicine #technology Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:20AM ()

The iBing Shop is now open!
Saturday, March 06, 2010 We have put up a new "store" on Ideabing! We call it the "iBing Shop". Buy books on ideation, innovation, management or even buy software to streamline your small business, all at the iBing store. The store is powered by, so your transactions are super secure. Let us know what you think of the store, we will make changes to suit your needs.
Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 03:38AM ()

Idea #206
Saturday, March 06, 2010
We told you there was electricity in your garbage. #ideabing #idea #energy Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:18AM ()

Idea #205
Friday, March 05, 2010
Clean up the planet. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:15PM ()

Idea #204
Friday, March 05, 2010
Alternate energy from space? Oooh yeah. #ideabing #idea #energy Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:48PM ()

Idea #203
Friday, March 05, 2010
Adapt to new technologies. #ideabing #idea #google @rebuzzthis #startups Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 05:27PM ()


Idea #202
Friday, March 05, 2010
Give the iPad even MORE competition. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 03:21PM ()

Idea #201
Friday, March 05, 2010
Get website referrals to work for your small business. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:11PM ()

Idea #200
Friday, March 05, 2010
Build a hybrid power plant. #ideabing #idea #energy Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:25AM ()

Idea #199
Friday, March 05, 2010
Sleep well, oh great multitasker #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:25AM ()

Idea #198
Friday, March 05, 2010
Got a disruptive idea? Show it off here. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 05:30AM ()

Idea #197
Friday, March 05, 2010
Want iPhone users to grace your site? Ditch Flash. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 03:20AM ()

Idea #196
Friday, March 05, 2010
Make hay while the sun shines. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:20AM ()


Idea #195
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Make the iPad work for its money. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:15PM ()

Idea #194
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Know what makes a blog tick. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:19AM ()

Idea #193
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Innovate in the name of sports. #ideabing #idea #sports Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:16AM ()

Idea #192
Thursday, March 04, 2010
First know what innovation means. #ideabing #idea #innovation Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:13AM ()

Idea #191
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Don't share your product roadmap with anyone. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:11AM ()

Idea #190
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Refresh what you know, again and again. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:08AM ()

Idea #189
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Create something that everyone wants. #ideabing #internet #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:05AM ()


Idea #188
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Tell users how much energy their bulbs are eating up. #ideabing #idea #energy Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:03AM ()

Idea #187
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Get your sales team working. NOW. #ideabing #idea #internet Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:58AM ()

Idea #186
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Add a "Caller ID" system to your website. #ideabing #technology #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:56AM ()

Idea 185
Thursday, March 04, 2010
A credit monitoring system to play games? #idea #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:54AM ()

Idea #184
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Grow, with your competition. #ideabing #idea #microsoft Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:46AM ()

Idea #183
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Watch Google's CEO talk about technology, innovation and the global economy. #ideabing #idea #technology #google Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:10PM ()

Idea #182
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Get the sun to get that odor out of that public transport. #ideabing #idea #energy Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:01PM ()


Idea #181
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Yay! wearable batteries! #ideabing #idea #energy Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 05:54PM ()

We are giving away 2 "polished stainless steel" iPod Shuffles. Why?...
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
So, seen the new 4 GB "polished stainless steel" iPod Shuffle on the Apple store lately? We are giving away 2 of them. What do you have to do to get your hands on one? Simple. Tell us why you are worth it. Leave a comment why we should give it to you and 2 of the best reasoners will get a shuffle each. Contest ends 7th March 2010. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:56PM ()

Idea #180
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Get some sound startup advice. #ideabing #idea #makeastartup Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:41PM ()

Idea #179
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Allow anyone to make beautiful music. ANYONE. #ideabing #idea #innovation Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:36PM ()

Idea #178
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Get your innovation timing right. #ideabing #idea #innovation Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:33PM ()


Idea #177
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Generate supercool blog headlines. #ideabing #idea #blogs Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:29PM ()

Idea #176
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Building a new product? Then attend this session. #ideabing #idea #events Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:28PM ()

Idea #175
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Deligate work well. Learn how. #ideabing #idea #advice #leadership Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:21PM ()

Idea #174
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Read out books to listeners. #ideabing #idea #startup Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:20PM ()

Idea #173
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Go for the moon! #ideabing #idea #space Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:10PM ()

Idea #172
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Fill up your booze with oxygen the next time round. It reduces hangovers. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:02PM ()


Question from a reader: I have invented a new regulator circuit for...
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
We had a question from one of our readers today - "I have invented a new regulator circuit for electrical fans. How do I copyright this?" Mr. Mohamed, I am assuming you want to know how to patent the idea and not really "copyright" it. We suggest that you file your patent in the United States of America since USA provides the best protection for your ideas. Here's what you have to do. 1. Document your idea thoroughly - diagrams, working of the circuit, why it is unique etc. 2. Try and get the idea working via a prototype 3. Hire a patent attorney to prepare a patent application and make the submission for you (click here to search for patent lawyers). They will check if the patent already exists for the same circuit design. In case there is another circuit of the same kind which has also been applied for a patent, the lawyers will be able to represent you in court. If you do not want to hire a lawyer, head straight to the US Patent and Trademark office website. You will find all the information in the world on how to file for a patent in the US. Check your local government's patent office website for details on how patents work in your country. Keep your questions coming! We love them! Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:02AM ()

Idea #171
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Take part in the Intel science talent hunt. #ideabing #idea #intel Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:00AM ()

Idea #170
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Build your blog, STRONG. #ideabing #idea #blog Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:56AM ()

Idea #169
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Check out the top 10 areas you have to start your company in. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:53AM ()


Idea #168
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Listen to Arun Sarin on leadership. #ideabing #idea #leadership Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:50AM ()

Idea #167
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Build a social operating system. #ideabing #idea #ubuntu - Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:46AM ()

Idea #166
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
A retractable swimming pool. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:42AM ()

Idea #165
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Help people schedule their tweets. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:38AM ()

Idea #164
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Learn leadership from Jeff Bezos. #ideabing #idea #leadership Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:14AM ()

Idea #163
Monday, March 01, 2010
Watch how P&G innovates. #ideabing #idea #innovation #fmcg #retail Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 05:27PM ()

Idea #162
Monday, March 01, 2010
Build a perfect insulator. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:52AM ()


Idea #161
Monday, March 01, 2010
Take a peek at the state of web design in Israel. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:48AM ()

Idea #160
Monday, March 01, 2010
Make sure your workforce does not have minors working in it. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:43AM ()

Idea #159
Monday, March 01, 2010
Don't like the way a movie ended? Then end it the way you want it to end. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:37AM ()

Idea #158
Monday, March 01, 2010
Is Twitter the next Google? #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:30AM ()

Idea #157
Monday, March 01, 2010
Want to go to Google I/O 2010? Then check this out. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:28AM ()

Idea #156
Monday, March 01, 2010
How do you reduce poverty? Reduce the price of electricity. Watch Bill Gates talk on energy. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:21AM ()

Idea #155
Monday, March 01, 2010
Marrying a geek? Then get this ring! #ideabing #idea #innovation


Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:13AM ()

Idea #154
Monday, March 01, 2010
Grow your business by shouting out loud. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:06AM ()

Idea #153
Monday, March 01, 2010
Not enough comments on your blog? Understand why. #ideabing #idea #blogging Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:04AM ()

Idea #152
Monday, March 01, 2010
Seeking an entrepreneur community in India? Head here. #ideabing #idea #startups. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:01AM ()

Idea #151
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Check out America's coolest college startups. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:56PM ()

Idea #150
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Teach machines how to make music. And then make them self learn. And then make them produce works which humans envy. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:29AM ()

Idea #149
Friday, February 26, 2010
Did we say "Augmented Reality" was the future? #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:48PM ()


Idea #148
Friday, February 26, 2010
A disruptive idea. Read on. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:13AM ()

Idea #147
Friday, February 26, 2010
Want to know how square works? Watch the video. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:04AM ()

Idea #146
Friday, February 26, 2010
Learn something new in design today. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:58AM ()

Idea #145
Friday, February 26, 2010
This is seriously cool stuff. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:52AM ()

Idea 144
Friday, February 26, 2010
Translate your website into music. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:46AM ()

Idea #143
Friday, February 26, 2010
Show your customers that you care. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:39AM ()

Idea #142
Friday, February 26, 2010
See what your website's rank is in the world wide web. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:31AM ()


Idea #141
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Thought a solar powered plane was impossible? Then watch this. #ideabing #idea #innovation Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:59PM ()

Idea #140
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Building a UI for a business web app? Get some advice here. #ideabing #idea #design Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:54PM ()

Idea #139
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Tired of gridlocks on the road? IBM may have a solution. #innovation #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:47PM ()

Idea #138
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Can create jobs in the US? Get a green card free! #ideabing #idea #startupvisa Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:21PM ()

Idea #137
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Find out why Google search is the best. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:28PM ()

Idea #136
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Get a peek at the wireless future of health care. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:19PM ()

Idea #135
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Find out why Intel is investing that $200 mil in tech. #ideabing #idea


Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:13PM ()

Idea #134
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Now use Quicken on Mac. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:03PM ()

Idea #133
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Generate energy in your backyard. #ideabing #idea #energy Watch CBS News Videos Online Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:50PM ()

Idea #132
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Get into the flow. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:46PM ()

Idea #131
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Augmented reality - the next big thing. #ideabing #idea #innovation Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:43PM ()

Idea #130
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Work form home. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:42PM ()

Idea #129
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Does Apple know this? #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:40PM ()


Idea #128
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Run your cell phone on fuel cells. #ideabing #idea #innovation Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:17AM ()

Idea #127
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Charge your cell phone in your pocket. #ideabing #idea #innovation #energy Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:14AM ()

Idea #126
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Are you a guest writer on a blog? Then read this. #ideabing #idea #bloggers Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:10AM ()

Idea #125
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Get a piece of this pie. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:08AM ()

Idea #124
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Learn how to use multimedia for your marketing your business. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:01PM ()

Idea #123
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Help more students graduate from college. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:51PM ()

Idea #122
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Hire only those who fit into your startup's work culture. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:46PM ()


We now have traffic from 101 countries. Asia beats everyone else ha...
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Remember our last post 5 days back regarding traffic to Ideabing from 30 countries? Guess what, the number of countries people visit us from has tripled since then and so has the traffic. We now have visitors from 101 countries across the globe! We cannot thank our readers enough for this! Check out the stats after the break. Traffic patterns have changed over the past few days - Asia has emerged as the largest consumer of the content on the website. India in particular has gobbled up a HUGE portion of the global traffic. USA is not far behind but doesnt look lke its going to catch up with Asia anytime soon. The traffic chart now look like this (most to least traffic) India - 23.2% USA - 20% Egypt (!!) - 4% Pakistan - 3% Philippines - 3% UK - 3% Iran (!!) - 3% Romania - 2% Malaysia - 2% Indonasia - 2% Rest of the world - 35% There is also an interesting trend building up. since our website shows up on search engines when you look for ideation, ideas and similar keywords, correlating this with the traffic suggests that the thirst for "new ideas", ideation and innovation is growing at a phenomenal pace in Asia. Although there is traffic from BRIC nations, it is from developing countries that we are seeing most traffic. Africa is not fa behind either. They are the ones who search for these keyword most! Looks like the developed world will face some really stiff competition in the coming years in areas of innovation and startup building. All in all, we thank all our readers for dropping in, checking the site out and coming back for more. We appreciate your support. This will go a long way in making Ideabing what we envision ourselves to be in the coming years THE spot for people to come and look or new ideas. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:56AM ()

Idea #121
Monday, February 22, 2010
Are you a writer or a photographer trying to get your content up? Get your butt here. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:00PM ()

Idea #120
Monday, February 22, 2010
Get some advice on healthy competition. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:55PM ()


Idea #119
Monday, February 22, 2010
Don't get into the online music business. The d00d is already in. Big time. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:49PM ()

Idea #118
Monday, February 22, 2010
Become a domain name seller. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:42PM ()

Idea #117
Monday, February 22, 2010
Drive more traffic to your small business blog. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:38PM ()

Idea #116
Monday, February 22, 2010
Get into this business school if you want to start a company, for less. #idea #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:34PM ()

Idea #115
Monday, February 22, 2010
Give the bars in your area some publicity. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:28PM ()

Idea #114
Monday, February 22, 2010
Give people some space to brag. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:19PM ()

Idea #113
Monday, February 22, 2010
Make telephone calls cost zilch. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:14PM ()


Idea #112
Monday, February 22, 2010
Know the "customer is always right" rule well. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:23PM ()

Idea #111
Monday, February 22, 2010
Take a peek at the most innovative companies today. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:12PM ()

Idea #110
Monday, February 22, 2010
Get Obama to pay for your next clean energy venture. #ideabing #idea #venturecapital #energy Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 03:25PM ()

Idea #109
Monday, February 22, 2010
Manufacture "personal" power plants. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 03:15PM ()

Idea #108
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Read this. #IDEABING #IDEA Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:54PM ()

Idea #107
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Carry coupons with you by not carrying them with you. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:51PM ()

Idea #106
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Help businesses write business plans. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:44PM ()


Idea #106
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Develop apps for Windows Mobile 7. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:33PM ()

Idea #105
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Get your startup back to profitability. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:28PM ()

Idea #104: Help distribute videos on all freakkin platforms #ideabi...
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Help distribute videos on all freakkin platforms. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:31PM ()

Idea #103: Write a marketing plan for your startup #ideabing #idea
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Write a marketing plan for your startup. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:24PM ()

Ideabing is now on facebook. #ideabing #idea
Sunday, February 21, 2010
It was natural, we had to be on facebook. Ideabing is now on facebook. Go here to see what we are up to. You can also become our fan on facebook now. Do that, and you will get listed for our t-shirt giveaway contest. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:19PM ()

Up and Down and Up again #ideabing #idea
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Our website as been up and down and up again thanks to some problems with the server our website is hosted on. We are back up now and should continue posting ideas soon. Dont forget to enter the Ideabing massive t-shirt giveaway contest! Its on right now! Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:02PM ()


Ideabing's massive t-shirt give away.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
We are giving away a massive load of t-shirts from Glenzz Tees. How do YOU get one? Follow us on twitter @ideabing and/or become a fan of ideabing on facebook. Show us some love and we will return the favor! Contest ends Sat - 27th Feb 2010. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:52AM ()

Idea #102
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Help people meet their friends. #ideabing #idea #loopt Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 03:32AM ()

Idea #101
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Help websites see what visitors are clicking on. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 03:05AM ()

And the winner of the Nexus One is...
Saturday, February 20, 2010
2 contests ending in one day. The traffic to our website shot up today - looks like everyone wanted to get in line at the last moment. Lets me get to the point. One Ms. Sally (she did not update her full name, just signed up as Sally) from the United Kingdom has won the Ideabing Google Nexus One giveaway contest. Ms. Sally, we have sent you an email asking you for your shipping address. We will ship the phone to you as soon as we receive your shipping address! Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:53PM ()

Ms. Jo Jones won our t-shirt contest
Saturday, February 20, 2010
You know it pays to visit Ideabing and check things out! Not only you get a truckload of ideas to start with (some useful, some not so much) but also get to win some cool stuff! Mr. Ms. Jo Jones won our t-shirt contest. We have sent him a $25 gift certificate from! More contests are coming - keep visiting our website! Sorry Ms. Jones, we mistook you to be of the other gender! Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 02:29PM ()


Idea #100
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Carry the phone OS with you, on the SIM card. #ideabing #idea #android Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:25AM ()

Idea #99
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Pick the right site for your business. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:20AM ()

Idea #98
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Change the way people think about aerodynamics. #ideabing #idea #design #aerodynamics Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:15AM ()

The Ideabing t-shirt contest is over!
Saturday, February 20, 2010
The first Ideabing t-shirt contest is now "over". Thank you for the overwhelming response, from a total of 53 countries! We will announce the winner shortly. The winner get a $25 gift certificate from us to shop on The Google Nexus One contest is still on, for the next 18 or so hours. Get yourself rushing to this link! Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:01AM ()

Idea #97
Friday, February 19, 2010
Give small businesses the power to accept credit cards, anywhere. #ideabing #idea #iphone Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:56PM ()

Idea #96
Friday, February 19, 2010
Build a fan without blades. #ideabing #idea #dyson Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:45PM ()


Idea #95
Friday, February 19, 2010
Cant get enough TV? Let customers carry one around. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:54AM ()

Idea #94
Friday, February 19, 2010
Find out which franchise is the best for you to start with. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:51AM ()

Idea #93
Friday, February 19, 2010
Is your VC killing innovation? Find out why. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:47AM ()

Idea #92
Friday, February 19, 2010
Fed up of waiting for a doctor's appointment? Then stop waiting. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:45AM ()

Idea #91
Friday, February 19, 2010
Stop using Google adsense. Sell your OWN ads. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:40AM ()

Idea #90
Friday, February 19, 2010
Bid for Government projects. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:34AM ()

Idea #89
Friday, February 19, 2010
Thought Google analytics was good? Think again. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:30AM ()


Idea #88
Friday, February 19, 2010
Run your business on Google's stuff. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:26AM ()

Idea #87
Friday, February 19, 2010
Learn how to advertise on facebook. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:23AM ()

Idea #86
Friday, February 19, 2010
Go beyond branding. Provide personal branding services. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:19AM ()

Idea #85
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Start an alternate media company. #ideabing #idea #publishing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:21PM ()

We have started to conquer the world AND get a free custom t-shirt ...
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Ideabing went live a week ago (our first post here) and readers from over 30 countries frequent the site now!We started to receive some fan mail (and some hate mail) for the content on the website. The majority seem to love the site. Keep it coming folks! We love you guys! Expect more from the newest kid on the block in technology blogging. We have big plans for the future (muhahahahahaha :D). So what countries are our readers coming from (see screen grab of map below)? The list in order of traffic 1. USA (of course!) 2. India - not Asia since traffic from India is about 90% of traffic from Asia, almost equal to the traffic from the US! 3. EU 4. Rest of Asia 5. Africa 6. Rest of the world As a thank you gesture we are giving away one t-shirt of your choice from You know the drill - register at our website or subscribe to our posts. One lucky winner gets a custom made t-shirt of their choice (with the Ideabing logo of course) from Also check out our Google Nexus One giveaway contest. You still have 2 days to get in line to win one. Go here unless you do not read a really big 370

announcement on our homepage. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:48AM ()

Idea #84
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Get funded by Comcast for you next media venture. #ideabing #idea #media #civentures Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:32AM ()

Idea #83
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Stack up lyrics of all the songs in the world. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:28AM ()

Idea #82
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Build an iPhone app. Then get bought by Google. #ideabing #idea #google Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:25AM ()

Idea #81
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Start a nuclear power plant in the USA. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:16AM ()

Idea #80
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Get into the iPhone credit card payment arena. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:11AM ()

Idea #79
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Make a spokeless cycle, well, almost. #ideabing #idea #yale Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:03AM ()


Idea #78
Thursday, February 18, 2010
See if you are fit to be a CEO. #ideabing #idea #leadership Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:54AM ()

Idea #76
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Start a space company. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:30AM ()

Idea #77
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Sell weapons to India. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:30AM ()

Idea #75
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
When all else fails, go social. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:30PM ()

Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Get people to date for free and earn $10 million. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:00PM ()

Idea #73
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Predict the infrastructure needs of a company. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:30PM ()

Idea #72
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Help websites retain their visitors. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 05:30PM ()


Idea #71
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Enlighten the world for free. #ideabing #idea #publishing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:24AM ()

Have ideas to share?
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Hello Ideabing patrons! Share your ideas with us. We will publish them to the world. Head here and submit your ideas. the best ideas submitted through the week will be published on Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 01:10AM ()

Google Nexus One give away!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
We are giving away ONE Google Nexus One "Super Phone" to a lucky visitor on There are 3 ways for you to qualify to win this one. Do one of these before 6 PM PST on Saturday, 22nd Feb 2010 to be eligible. a. Register yourself at our site on the home page. b. Subscribe to our posts here. We wont spam you, promise! c. Leave a comment on any post on the website before 6 PM PST on Saturday, 20th Feb 2010. The winner will be announced on Monday, 22nd Feb 2010 after a lucky draw. We will ship the phone to where ever you are on this planet. This will be the first of "many" contests on Ideabing. Keep visiting to be in the know. All the best! Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:43AM ()

Idea #70
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Create a tool for companies to manage their twitter campaigns. #ideabing #idea #twitter Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:17AM ()

Idea #69
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
See if you want to head to Singapore to start your company. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:14AM ()


Idea #68
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Make your company the coolest workplace for people. #ideabing #idea #workplace Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:07AM ()

Idea #67
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Make sure your competition does not kill your business. #ideabing #idea #startup #failure Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:02AM ()

Idea #66
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Start an online music website. #ideabing #idea #music #technology Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:57AM ()

Idea #65
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Start your company with the right branding. #ideabing #idea #franchise Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:47AM ()

Idea #64
Monday, February 15, 2010
Get your company ready for the next gold rush. #ideabing #idea #windows #microsoft Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 06:34AM ()

Idea #63
Monday, February 15, 2010
Start your own URL shortening service. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 05:09AM ()

Idea #62
Monday, February 15, 2010
Don't let go of this opportunity in the mobile app space. #idea #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 05:04AM ()


Idea #61
Monday, February 15, 2010
Get seed funding for your startup from a community of entrepreneurs. #idea #ideabing #growvc #startups Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 04:52AM ()

Idea #60
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Make money riding on Apple's back. #ideabing #idea #technology Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:21PM ()

Idea #59
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Build a highly profitable blog. #idea #ideabing #blog Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:16PM ()

Idea #58
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Mind others' money. #ideabing #idea #internet #technology Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:12PM ()

Idea #57
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Start an adult oriented magazine. #idea #ideabing #publishing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:09PM ()

Idea #56
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Become a farmer. #idea #ideabing #technology Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:03PM ()

Idea #55
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Chill out with design gurus. #ideabing #idea #technology Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:57PM ()


Idea #54
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Get people to check in, not at an airport though. #ideabing #idea #foursquare Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:27PM ()

Idea #53
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Get banks to fight to lend money to you. #ideabing #idea #money #lending Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:09PM ()

Idea #52
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Get people to discover their roots, really deep roots. #ideabing #idea #technology Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:06PM ()

Idea #51
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Allow people to meet in high definition. #ideabing #idea #technology #online Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:02PM ()

Idea #50
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Attend the most important tech conference of the year. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:43AM ()

Idea #49
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Decide what your priorities are. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:39AM ()

Idea #48
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Raise $33 million for your startup. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:35AM ()


Idea #47
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Get help from Microsoft to run your startup. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:31AM ()

Idea #46
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Make the Apple iPad look obsolete. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:24AM ()

Idea #45
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Challenge the need for mobile voice networks. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:19AM ()

Idea #44
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Allow people to show off what they are spending on. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:15AM ()

Idea #43
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Lend money to a total stranger. #ideabing #idea Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:04AM ()

Idea #42
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Change the way people pay for your stuff. #ideabing #square #money #iphone #payments Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:59AM ()

Idea #41
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Give your startup the right launch pad. #ideabing #business plans #funding #venture capital Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:53AM ()


Idea #40
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Make HTML 5 mainstream by killing off mainstream technologies. #ideabing #apple #flash #html5 #adobe Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:33AM ()

Idea #39
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Empower the world to compete with facebook. #idebing #ning Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:29AM ()

Idea #38
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Let people wear a different design, one t-shirt at a time. #ideabing #zazzle #design Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:24AM ()

Idea #37
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Get talented music artists stand up on their own feet. #ideabing #indie music #sonicbids Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:20AM ()

Idea #36
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Help small businesses build a solid company through your company. #ideabing #crm #personal finance Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:15AM ()

Idea #35
Friday, February 12, 2010
Hack Microsoft technology and create your own. #ideabing #divx #microsoft #avi Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:56PM ()


Idea #34
Friday, February 12, 2010
Make people ditch Microsoft office. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:49PM ()

Idea #33
Friday, February 12, 2010
Get the right resources for your startup to thrive. #ideabing #startupweekend #dropbox #amazonwebservices #gmail #skype #twitter #wordpress #salesforce Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:39PM ()

Idea #32
Friday, February 12, 2010
Get your ass down to a worthwhile weekend. May help you get your idea going places. #ideabing #startupweekend Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:34PM ()

Idea #31
Friday, February 12, 2010
Board a bus, start your own company in 3 days. Then show it off at a conference. #ideabing #startupbus Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:54AM ()

Idea #30
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Start a business news paper, take it online, index the hell out of it on Google, threaten to pull the index and make money. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:23PM ()

Idea #29
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Build a list of internet radio stations around the world. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:15PM ()


Idea #28
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Create Sports analysis software. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:12PM ()

Idea #27
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Copy a popular brand name and make it your own. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:09PM ()

Idea #26
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Create a website that gives out FREE ideas. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:51PM ()

Idea #25
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Create a scam busting website. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:49PM ()

Idea #24
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Make money out of the poor. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:47PM ()

Idea #23
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Make money out of trash. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:45PM ()

Idea #22
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Copy facebook and twitter and launch a new microblogging service. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:41PM ()


Idea #21
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Go into space and then dive into the deep sea. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:37PM ()

Idea #20
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Ban CRT everything. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:56PM ()

Idea #19
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Build a building to house a city. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:52PM ()

Idea #18
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Build Farmville for actual farmers. Include predictive rainfall, crop prices. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:50PM ()

Idea #17: Replace all public transport in the world with Maglevs
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Replace all public transport in the world with Maglevs. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:45PM ()

Idea #16: Start a software services company in Chile.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Start a software services company in Chile. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:28PM ()


Idea #15: Harvest organs from death row inmate
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Harvest organs from death row inmates. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:23PM ()

Idea #14: Form a country out of facebook users.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Form a country out of facebook users. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:18PM ()

Idea #13: Ban inefficient light bulbs
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Ban inefficient light bulbs. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 08:32AM ()

Idea #12: Form a super bank. Get all the VC's of the world to inves...
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Form a super bank. Get all the VC's of the world to invest in it. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 07:18AM ()

Idea #11:Desalinate ocean water. Counter ocean level rise due to gl...
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Desalinate ocean water. Counter ocean level rise due to global warming. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:56AM ()

Idea #10: Replace Silicon transistors with Graphene transistors.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Replace Silicon transistors with Graphene transistors. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:54AM ()


Idea #9: Power everything with the sun
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Power everything with the sun. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 12:53AM ()

Idea #8: Enable M&A of nations by other nations.
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Enable M&A of nations by other nations. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:26PM ()

Idea #7: Ban private transport.
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Ban private transport. Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 11:02PM ()

Idea #1: Make international roaming free on any mobile phone. Launc...
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Make international roaming free on any mobile phone. Launch an all in one unlimited calling plan for cell phone users. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:54PM ()

Idea #6: Make invisible headphones.
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Make invisible headphones. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:39PM ()

Idea #5: Do away with the concept of patents. Let intellectual prop...
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Do away with the concept of patents. Let intellectual property thrive in public domain. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:35PM ()


Idea #4: Make free universal health care, universal
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Make free universal health care, universal. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:32PM ()

Idea #3:Make cameras obsolete. Design something that uses your eye ...
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Make cameras obsolete. Design something that uses your eye to snap up pictures and record videos. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 10:29PM ()

Idea #2:Make nuclear fusion power technology available to the poore...
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Make nuclear fusion power technology available to the poorest nations on the planet. #ideabing Posted by Akshaya Murthy at 09:58PM ()




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