Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

All anxiety and excitement will now dry up as Microsoft has finally announced the launch of its new OS, Windows 8. The much awaited operating system would be unveiled on October 26, 2012 almost three years after the launch of Windows 7.

The latest in the Windows series, the new OS would be available from the releasing date onwards for the users of Windows XP, Vista, or 7 as upgradable software. The company would also let the PC makers start selling computers with Windows 8 the same day.

As an upgrade, the OS costs $ 40, much lesser compared to all the previous versions launched by Microsoft. Users who bought Windows 7 PC on or after June 2 can upgrade the OS for $ 15.

The new, touch-friendly Windows 8, as the company claims, would revamp the entire series with its hallmark features. It is designed to run on tablets in addition to the traditional desktops.

Microsoft will also be launching Windows RT, the version exclusively designed to run on tablets alone, along with Windows 8. RT would run on those tablets that are powered by processors similar to that of iPad.

Moreover, Microsoft Corp plans to release its own tablet “Surface”, which would support Windows RT OS. The company has launched the new version of Office and has planned for renewed phone software. It also looks forward for new versions of Windows OS in every three years.

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A new kind of memory chip made from silicon could be a hundred times faster than standard Flash memory chips, British scientists say.

Researchers at the University College London reported in the Journal of Applied Physics that they have developed a new kind of Resistive RAM (ReRAM) memory chip.

The chip is based on materials whose electrical resistance changes when a voltage is applied, and they “remember” this change even when the power is turned off.

ReRAM chips promise significantly greater memory storage than current technology, such as the Flash memory used on USB sticks, and require much less energy and space.

“Our ReRAM memory chips are around a hundred times faster than standard Flash memory chips,” Xinhua quoted Tony Kenyon of UCL as saying.

Launching Airtel’s 4G services in Kolkata Tuesday, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal admitted that 3G services have not been as popular as 2G due to lack of liquidity in the market to invest in the infrastructure and the devices required.

“We will give the environment to the industry to manufacture low cost quality smart phones. But it is the industry which has to deliver. This is the biggest challenge for the industry,” he told reporters.

“3G has not delivered because they paid such huge prices for the spectrum and there is no liquidity in the market for them to invest in the infrastructure and the devices to deliver 3G, for which 2G was successful and 3G was not successful.”

He hoped that the industry would keep this in mind and “ensure that people of this country have low cost devices”.

Sibal was speaking at the launch of broadband wireless access (BWA) services based on 4G technology here.

Telecom major Bharti Airtel Tuesday became the first telecom operator to launch broadband wireless access (BWA) services based on 4G technology in the country.

The high speed service was inaugurated by Sibal.

A successor to the 3G and 2G families, 4G is expected to be five times quicker than 3G services. It would offer services such as high-definition mobile TV and video conferencing.

Asked when the 4G will be rolled out in other cities, the company’s chairman and managing director Sunil Mittal said: “We are working very fast to launch in the other circles that we have.

“Hopefully, within this month it will be launched in Bangalore, within weeks followed by Pune, and then Chandigarh.”

Airtel, which had bagged BWA spectrum in four telecom circles – Kolkata, Maharashtra, Punjab and Karnataka – for rs. 3,314.36 crore in 2010, selected Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE to manage its services in Kolkata.

The other players are yet to announce plans to rollout 4G services.

As the internet takes to center-stage, browsers and the user-experience they deliver are becoming increasingly important. This scenario has HTML 5 being hailed as the future of the web, whether for the desktop or on mobile platforms.

But in an interview with SiliconIndia at its India Software Developer Conference, Aditya Bansod, Senior Director of Product Management at Sencha (a web-app and Mobile HTML5 developer framework) noted that the two areas that HTML 5 is seen lacking as of now, are the areas of gaming, and enterprise IT and security.

So although HTML5 framework and mobile app developing companies have created tools that could be used with CSS3 (and other platforms) to alternate Flash for gaming, “Today still, there’s no better platform for gaming than Flash is,” Bansod noted.

“HTML 5 as a gaming platform is not like Flash. It can be used with a number of other technologies like Silverlight, Web GL, CSS3 transition, CSS3 animation, and many others, but it’s still in the process of getting built and it’s not where Flash is,” he said. “Browsers, moreover, currently aren’t very good at letting the core technologies (Web GL and such) be used for gaming.”

But according to a blog post by AppMobi (another HTML5 development ecosystem), HTML 5 represents an ideal unifying technology that could be used to develop games and apps for a number of platforms (mobile included,) and all at the same time.

Bansod agreed with this viewpoint, saying that for the desktop web, Flash is one of the best tools one could use, especially for gaming, but for mobile, it doesn’t seem to be making any progress. “It’s not as good as it is for the desktop.” This scenario brings about the need for alternatives– in the case of a Flash video replacement (for example) H264 video and AAC audio are used along with the HTML video tag for YouTube on your phone. This replaces a lot of the flash elements. “But for gaming, there’s still no good answer,” noted Banod.

“Another area that I see HTML5 having room to grow is that of Enterprise level security, Enterprise management, Encrypted Data and such,” said Bansod. He noted that a lot of ways to implement applications for these areas were given by Java, and some were supplemented by Flash, and Silverlight, but Bansod said that HTML 5 isn’t there yet.

These two areas are where, according to Bansod, standards are moving ahead of the implementation. He said “I think we need the major players like Google and Microsoft to build on the platform layer, and make Web GL become a really powerful tool, and then we’ll start seeing it, especially in mobile. I think the big next step lies in getting all of that to mobile.”

Many find the act of dialing a mobile number too tedious and time consuming. US researchers have now figured out a way that relies on thought power alone to make such calls without lifting a finger.

Users wear a specially designed headband hooked up to a Bluetooth device that wirelessly sends commands to a Nokia N73 mobile phone.

The technology works by responding to cues from the brain and experts believe anyone with training will be able to master the technique, the Daily Mail reports.

Tzyy-Ping Jung at the Swartz Centre for Computational Neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego, said the device relies on electroencephalogram (EEG) electrodes on the scalp to work out what the brain is trying to say.

Jung believes it could be 100 percent accurate with just a bit of training.

The breakthrough is likely to create safer hands-free mobile phones to help the disabled and elderly and help out professionals in high pressured working environments.

Those used in the initial experiments were between 70 percent to 85 percent accurate when trying to dial a 10-digit phone number.

Thought powered computers have been around for a while, however this is the first time it has been adapted for mobile phones.