Google Targets Blackberry and the iPhone in its Quest for World Domination

September 18, 2008

android
Conference attendees were given a sneak peek at the look off the Google Android )pictured above)

A decade ago, the fears expressed in the media were that Microsoft was headed towards world domination thanks to their operation system and software. Only a decade later, Google is now the driver’s seat in the technological world thanks to their dominance online with web applications. Their internet browser known as Chrome has launched successfully and will in the future do battle with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

Now Google is branching out and heading into the mobile phone world with the coming release of Google Android. Claudine Beaumont explains: Read the rest of this entry »


Did you hear the one about McCain, your wife, and the blackberry?

September 17, 2008

mccain
In his lust for power, Presidential candidate John McCain explains to the press how he likes to carry a first generation mobile phone around with him to prepare himself for when he gets the “Presidential Football” that will allow him to nuke the world

Being a world leader in technology, American politicians have constantly championed research and development in this area not only for business purposes, but also for matters of national security. Some of these politicians go as far as to take credit for inventions that shouldn’t really be credited to them. For instance, many allege that former Presidential candidate Al Gore claimed to invent the internet. This has led to cottage industry of jokes, especially in the online world. Common sense would suggest that in the future, political figures would hesitate to exaggerate their roles in technological development.

John McCain doesn’t live by those rules. Yesterday, John McCain’s economic advisor credited the candidate with the invention of the . From Wired.com:

Asked by campaign trail reporters what McCain’s experience as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee does to help him to understand the economy and lead the country through its current turmoil, Douglas Holtz-Eakin waved his BlackBerry in the air, according to The Politico.

“Telecommunications of the United States is a premier innovation in the past 15 years, comes right through the Commerce committe,” Holtz-Eakin said. “So you’re looking at the miracle John McCain helped create and that’s what he did.”

Holtz-Eakin has been mocked by the blogosphere since he uttered those words.

But there is a political dimension at play here which few realize. McCain’s reintroduction of the “culture wars” in this election through his choice of Sarah Palin as his Vice-Presidential candidate leaves McCain in a bit of a dilemma: his invention is playing havoc with the stability of the family! Professionals Choosing Blackberry Over Spouse:

How much do tech-addicted workers love their PDAs? Let’s count the ways.

A new survey found that about 35 percent of professionals would pick their PDAs over their spouses if they had to choose.

Senator McCain, your invention is destroying the family.


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It’s the end of the world as we know it….and I feel fine

September 10, 2008

Hadron
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is all set to start smashing atomic particles today

The media frenzy surrounding the Large Hadron Collider has hit fever pitch as today is the day when the first atomic particles are shot around the 27km track. Some scientists fear that the test could create tiny black holes that could put our planet’s existence in threat.

The world’s most famous theoretical physicist, Professor Stephen Hawking tut-tuts the notions of dangerous black holes being formed. Read Hawking’s take on today’s events (and the experiments to come) in Stephen Hawking’s £50 bet on the world, the universe and the God particle. Here’s an excerpt:

“If the LHC were to produce little black holes, I don’t think there’s any doubt I would get a Nobel prize, if they showed the properties I predict,” Professor Hawking told the Today programme. “However, I think the probability that the LHC has enough energy to create black holes is less than one per cent, so I’m not holding my breath.”

click here to read the rest of the article


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Trends in the Next Decade of Technology

September 6, 2008

Future technology
Future technology in a scene from “Minority Report”

Technological process is quickening from century to century, decade to decade, and year to year. In the previous millenium, some argued that technological advances would create a utopia for humanity. Some of the excesses of the past century showed this argument to be patently false. Technology is for the most part neutral and depends on how and why it is used and by whom it is used.

The speed with which our world is undergoing technological transformation is plain to see. The popular futurist Raymond Kurzweil tells us that we are approaching technological singularity: a point of unprecedented technological progress, caused in part by the ability of machines to improve themselves using artificial intelligence. That sounds frightening, as it should. However Kurzweil’s singularity is still some time away, should it actually ever happen.

In the meantime Nature.com has asked several leading technological experts to predict the trends in technology over the next decade. Words like haptics and phrases like semantic web will be more commonplace. Here’s an excerpt from this excellent article:

Leo Kärkkäinen – Chief visionary, Nokia Research Center, Espoo, Finland

PRODUCTS WITH MEMORIES

Ordinary products are going to have memories that store their entire history from cradle to grave, and that consumers can easily access.

Radio-frequency identification tags are a good option because they are already widely used to track inventory and to control theft. They are cheap and can be powered by an outside power source, such as the radio signal from the device being used to read them. But there may be another enabling technology that wins out.

Near-field communication systems already allow a phone to be used like a smart card for a travel pass or as an electronic wallet to pay for goods. If that technology can talk to the things you buy, as well as the systems through which you pay for them, it will enable consumers to choose not to buy goods that are unhealthy, allergenic, have used environmentally unfriendly methods or employed child labour.

As with many technologies, it could potentially be used for bad purposes; we have to ensure that privacy functions are built in to the system to put the consumer in control of whether they want to be tracked.

click this link to read the article in its entirety


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iPod – The Symbol of Our Age and Why I Refuse To Buy One

September 3, 2008

iPod
iPod – its presence is ubiquitous

I don’t have an iPod. There, I said. In fact, I refuse to buy an iPod. If I wish to listen to music, I have a stereo and I have my laptop at home, plus I have a stereo system in my car should I wish to listen to music while driving.

During the day in the city, I’ll see hundreds of people going every which way with iPods attached to their bodies and heads. Whether they’re walking to the subway or working out in the gym, these people are detached from the mass around them. It’s precisely this detachment from the reality in their midst that I can’t appreciate. When I’m walking around, I enjoy not just the sights but also the sounds of the city around me. Each and ever sense combines to give me a better understanding of my surroundings. Wearing an iPod cuts me off not only from my surroundings, but it also cuts me off from the people and the community as a whole. Wearing an iPod also tells others that you are in your own space and wish not to be bothered. It’s difficult to call it elitist since it is an incredibly popular technology, but the iPod can be deemed a rejection of the immediate world around you as you seek to control your sensory perception by listening to a pre-arranged soundtrack.

Rob Clowes of Spiked Online elaborates on how the iPod separates an individual from their surroundings in his review of Michael Bull’s Sound Moves: IPod Culture and Urban Experience entitled: The Dialectic of wearing an iPod. I’ve provided several excellent excerpts. Read the rest of this entry »


Google enters the Web Browser Market with Chrome

September 2, 2008

chrome
Google released a comic explaining the workings of their new web browser “Chrome”

Microsoft has another reason to be worried.

Late last night, Google announced that they’ll be releasing their own web browser entitled “Chrome” later today in 100 countries. Alongside the announcement is a comic that explains the technology behind the release and does it in a fashion that a layman can understand. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is the web browser king and Google is looking to bite into its market share with this release.

From what I’ve seen, the main benefits touted in this new browser are its better service of web applications, better internet security, and its open source nature plus the fact that it is lightweight compared to its competitors.

Take a look at the comic for a thorough explanation of what is behind Chrome and what it intends to do.


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4 Search Engines for a Better Wikipedia Experience

August 12, 2008

Wikipedia

Wikipedia – the world’s most popular collaborative website

Are you a Wikipedia junkie like I am? I’ll spend hours bouncing from page to page never once completing a destination that I first intended but still having a great time throughout the entire journey. This site also uses wikipedia as a source for many of the hyperlinks that you find embedded throughout the posts.

I just came across a great article that lists four search engines for wikipedia. One of the links offered is Similpedia:

similipedia
Similipedia is one of the best Wikipedia search engines available. Not only is it extremely accurate and effective, it has a completely different approach to search. Instead of typing in a query, e.g. computers, you are asked to copy and paste a URL or a paragraph containing at least 100 words. Just press “enter” and let it go to work.

I decided to try copying and pasting the first two paragraphs of Tina’s article on Adobe Reader. The result were articles on Wikipedia ranging from Adobe Acrobat, PDF, to a comparison of e-book formats – all of which were relevant. Similpedia just added a new widget to their website that allows you to add code to your website and Similpedia will automatically add relevant Wikipedia articles. They have other widgets that include: a Firefox add-on, bookmarklet, contextual RSS as well as a WordPress widget for similar content. I highly recommend trying them all out.

Read about the other three search engines at this link.


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