Monday, 30 June 2014

How to: View Hidden Forums and Websites that ask for registration < Firefox version.

Today I will tell you how to do it on Firefox with an Add-on. What you need is Firefox An Add on called User Agent Switcher ( Download > > All you have to do is to open drop down menu for User Agent Switcher and change your agent to search engine. and then you will views websites like that User Agent (Search engine) that you chooses. Simply after your work is done change the agent back to you own.


Forget the Weather Channel. Who needs television when you’ve got Google? To get your local weather, simply go to and type in weather:”areacode ”. Fill in your area code and you will be given a 4-day weather forecast and today’s temperature, wind, and humidity. You can now feel like the Greek god!!!

Quadcopter sees the woods and the trees

Academics at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) at the University of York are focosing on the opportunities offered by the development of low-cost unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to track, map and explore our cities, countryside and changing environments A new project led by Steve Cinderby, deputy director of SEI at York's Environment Department, is using a "quadcopter" equipped with a camera to capture images and create a digital map of the trees in the Yorkshire Arboretum at Castle Howard, North Yorkshire. The 120-acre arboretum has species from temperate regions from Chile, to Europe, to Australasia. Steve Cinderby was tasked to be the one take charge of finding a low-cost way to map the tree locations. He chose a DJi Phantom quadcopter and mounted a GoPro camera on it that records video and stills, linking to a Wi-Fi tablet that can control and view the images. He said the quadcopter works well because of its accurate sensing platforms, reasonable cost and accessibility."This is an off-the-shelf solution that is designed to be simple and easy to use – but it is definitely not a toy and is a very capable piece of equipment. We can add a direct live feed to a screen or goggles to view images being captured in real-time , and the Phantom can also be upgraded to fly pre-specified transects using its on-board GPS. At the moment we aren't doing this and fly the quadcopter manually so we are always in direct control," he added. The project will provide staff with a detailed digital map of the site that is editable and updateable for research purposes. "To accurately locate the images on the ground we have collected control points using a differential GPS surveying system," Steve Cinderby said. "This is highly accurate down to a few centimetres – as opposed to handheld GPS that are accurate to within a few metres. Once we have the images we will ask volunteers to collect the tree tag information and link it to a photograph by doing field surveys." Similar technology could be used for many different kinds of environmental research, Cinderby said. "By putting different sensors on the platform there is the possibility to gather data for a wide range of environmental issues – air pollution, land cover surveying, wildlife recording, heat mapping… I think the potential for low-cost UAVs for environmental research is quite large." But he acknowledged that as UAVs become more common, the potential for their misuse – and consequent public and legislator backlash – could increase. At the arboretum, however, the public response was generally positive: "Most people are fascinated and want to learn how it works, how much it costs, and where they can buy one. A few people were more cautious and suspicious until I explained the purpose of what we were doing. The only slight criticisms have been over the noise when it is flying at low level in the arboretum, since people come here for tranquillity."

Saturday, 28 June 2014

How To Make $500 Everyday On Your Facebook Account Using Facebook Wealth Formular

If you're a job holder and you feel that working 9-5hours is very difficult. Sometimes, you wake up at 7.00 and sleep 12.00 and still you're not able to earn enough. Companies are getting the most out of you and are not paying you too much. But now, the time has come that you can have the boldness to say bye to your hard job and earn at the comfort of home. This is not like any other work at home method. Last year more than 4000 users made $200/day & more with this "free" method. Even in last month i.e. May 2014 more than 300 people users were able to make $100/day with this "free" method. It's Facebook Wealth Formula. This is a "Free PDF Report" on how to make money online with Facebook. We're offering Facebook Wealth Formula (Free PDF Report) on our website free of cost for a limited period. In this PDF, you'll learn a really simple and awesome strategy to make $500/day from your own FB account. You don't need to have any special skills or technical knowledge.. No, nothing! Still, you can make $500/day from your own FB account. After downloading and reading this PDF, start implementing this method right away. FWF is the most realistic and powerful method to make money WITHOUT investing anything at all. Please do not ask "What to do" or "How to do". Everything is explained in this "Premium" yet "Free" PDF which can be downloaded from this website. Here're simple 2 steps to get your this PDF report free of cost: follow this link to get the free ebook thanks. pls if you want to comment on this post pls comment on the commenting space below for quick responds thanks....

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Trigger finger Cure (part1)

INTRODUCTION In the spring of 2007, while I was working on the computer, something strange happened with my right hand. I could make a fist, but when I released my fingers, the ring finger remained bent. I couldn’t make it go up, or down. When it finally returned to an upright position on its own, it snapped upwards suddenly and painfully. I had no idea what was going on, and frankly, I was sc ared. For 30 years, I stretched my small hands to play classical mus ic at the piano. For more than 20 years i taught piano. Now, I was working online. It was an understatement to say that I needed my hands to function normally! For several days, I did not hing, hoping the condition would go away. I noticed a lot of clicking in the finger when it moved, and the incidents of “locking up” continued. I tried a splint from the drugstore, but it didn’t help. I did notice a slight bump at the base of my ring finge r and wondered if it was related to the problem. In the end, I gave in and went to our family orthopedist. 2 (2)Triger finger Cure He told me I had trigger finger. I’d never heard of the condition until that day. The doctor discussed a potential steroid injection, but said the e ffect might only be temporary, and that it could return. Surgery was the best option. Using a wall chart, he explained that the issue was at the base of the finger where an incision would be made and the restricting elements released. The procedure would b e performed in a hospital setting, but it would require just 15 minutes, and only a local anesthetic would be used . Not knowing any more about the condition, and trusting his advice, I scheduled the procedure. Then I went home and started thinking about it . For me, personally, going straight to hand surgery didn’t feel like the right option. There had to be another way. I started researching trigger finger. One of the things that most interested me from the beginning was the possible connection between trig ger finger and gout. I had also been experiencing pain in my large right toe, and I understood that gout stemmed from an excess of uric acid in the body. I knew enough about nutrition to realize my diet contained far too much sugar and fat for my own good. Over the next few weeks, I repeatedly submerged my hand in warm water and massaged the area where the doctor had explained the incision would be made. I forced myself to do hand exercises, even if it was nothing more than wiggling my fingers to increase t he range of

A versatile joystick for animation artists

Remember those molecule models made from sticks and balls you could assemble to study complex molecules back in school? Something similar has taken shape in the Interactive Geometry Lab at ETH Zurich. ETH-professor Olga Sorkine-Hornung and her team do not study molecules but ways to manipulate virtual shapes, like animated characters on a computer screen. Now they have developed an input device or "joystick" to move and pose virtual characters, made up – similar to the molecule models – of modular building blocks. An artist can assemble these blocks into an approximate representation of any virtual character, be it a human, a dog or an elephant or even just single body parts like arms or a hand. Modular principle In collaboration with the Autonomous Systems Lab lead by ETH-Professor Roland Siegwart, Sorkine-Hornung's team developed a modular "input-puppet" with integrated sensors that can take any shape: A set of 3D-printed modular building blocks can be assembled into an approximation of any virtual character. Sensors in each joint measure the bending angle or the degree of a twisting motion, and transfer this information to a software that computes how the virtual characters should move. "The software assists the artist in registering their newly assembled device to the character's shape," explains Sorkine-Hornung. Thus, the artist can match each actual joint of the input device to the corresponding virtual joint of the animated character. This way, even if the input-puppet features a rather short neck, it can be fitted to an animated giraffe's long neck. Blueprints for further research The researchers have made the blueprints for their device's building blocks freely available as Open Hardware, hoping to foster further research. "Anyone can 3D-print the separate units and with the help of an engineer integrate the electronics," explains Sorkine-Hornung. Also, a set of 25 ready-made building blocks might be made available commercially at some point. "We are going to present the device at the SIGGRAPH conference and exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques this coming August. So we hope to receive some feedback whether there is a demand for a commercially available set and for further improvements of the device's design", says Sorkine-Hornung. The current design only allows bending and twisting in two separate movements. One possible improvement the researchers plan to look into is ball-and-socket joints, similar to the human shoulder joint, allowing easier manipulation of the puppet. Animation artists usually go through years of training in order to learn how to manipulate virtual characters. Every movement is made up of key frames: snapshots of the movement from which a software can interpolate the whole smooth motion. To get a virtual character to move realistically, the artist has to define the key frames, but dragging each virtual limb into the required pose with a computer mouse is tedious and time-consuming. Thus, researchers are working on alternative input devices, like puppets that artists can manipulate directly on their desktop. Some approaches use motion-capture of the puppet with several cameras. Yet, the artist's hands obscure parts of the puppet while handling it, making real-time manipulation difficult. Others avoid this problem by integrating sensors into the puppet's joints. However, these puppets have usually one pre-defined shape, for instance that of a human which is not suitable for manipulating an animated dog.

8 Great Jobs That Don't Requires not A Four-Year Degree

It’s a big time graduation season and plenty of college students will leave campus with a diploma in hand and no job in at hand. As they wonder about in search employment, those recent grads will rely on their hard-earned degrees to land them a well-paying position—and in many cases, they will. But as it turns out, you don’t necessarily need a four-year degree to get a wonderful job.In the new report, the job search portal In a new report, the job search portal identified over a dozen great jobs that don’t require a four-year degree. However, many of these positions do involve comprehensive training—and almost all offer a good salary and potential for significant income and employment growth. “There are many high school grads who simply can’t afford four years of college, and rather than have them focus on what they’re missing, our goal is to show them there are jobs for which you don’t need a degree that will provide a great career,” says Tony Lee, publisher of “We want to show them that there are still great career options, and that they can make a comfortable living.” However, if you do have the means or the opportunity to get a college education, good for you. The average American worker with a four-year degree will make approximately $1 million more during his or her career, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data has revealed that employees with a Bachelor’s degree earn $1,066 per week, on average, while those with an Associate’s make $785; workers with some college education, but no degree, earn $727; and those with a high school diploma bring in $652 per week, on average. (This BLS data accounts for full-time wage and salary workers age 25 and over.) In Pictures: 8 Great Jobs That Don’t Require A Four-Year Degree While those with four-year degrees usually earn more throughout their careers, this report proves you can still make a good living without one. “You’d be surprised by how many people don’t have a college degree that are perfectly happy in their careers,” Lee says. “Parental pressure and societal expectations tell many high school students that the natural next step is college. That’s what has been preached for a while. But if earning a college degree isn’t right for you, or you can’t afford it, you still have plenty of great opportunities. The bottom line is that you need to take a job that will make you happy and help you advance your career, with or without a degree.” Among the top jobs that require only a high school education or an associate’s degree, plus some additional training, are web developer, paralegal, and plumber. These may not require a four-year degree, but getting into these professions—and succeeding in them–is no walk in the park. The median salary for web developers is $75,660, or $36.76 per hour. (Median pay is the wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.) On average, they earn $66,100 a year—and the top 10% make $105,200. The profession is expected to increase by 22% by 2020 (from 2010). According to the BLS, web developers design, create, and modify Web sites. They analyze user needs to implement content, graphics, performance, and capacity. They may also integrate Web sites with other computer applications, and convert written, graphic, audio, and video components to compatible Web formats by using software designed to facilitate the creation of Web and multimedia content. As of May 2012, 102,940 people in the U.S. held this job. Most employers require that their web developers have a thorough understanding of HTML; other languages, such as JavaScript or SQL; and some knowledge of multimedia publishing tools, such as Flash. The BLS says some employers will also “prefer to hire web developers who have both a computer degree and have taken classes in graphic design, especially when hiring developers who will be heavily involved in the website’s visual appearance.” However, a four-year degree isn’t required in most cases.

List of the 10 Highest-Paying Companies in America

Median income for Americans was $34,750 in 2012. In some companies, however, the median was even five times greater than the national number. Based on the figures provided by Glassdoor, 24/7 Wall St. viewing the highest-paying companies in America. The companies that pay their employees the most fall primarily into two industries: management consulting firms and tech companies. These companies employ graduates of elite schools who have skills that are in a very high demand and have high salary expectations to match.Consultancies can afford to pay high salaries. Generally, they are high-margin businesses, relying on a relatively small workforce to generate revenues. McKinsey & Co. and Boston Consulting Group, two consultancies that pay huge salaries, is keeping it up to draw interest from business school students as they compete with some of the nation’s largest public companies to recruit top performers. According to Forbes, 2013 revenue at McKinsey & Co. was $7.8 billion, generated by only 17,000 employees. For tech companies, maintaining the talent pool requires paying very high salaries to bring in software developers and engineers. According to a study by Glassdoor published last year, the six companies that paid engineers the most included Juniper Networks, LinkedIn, Yahoo!, Google, Twitter and Apple — all of which were among the top 15 highest-paying companies overall. Many of the highest-paying companies in America are also listed in Glassdoor’s 2014 Best Places to Work. Most notably, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google are all among the top 15 paying companies, as well as among the top 10 places to work based on employee reviews. Apple,, Chevron, Riverbed Technology and eBay are also among the 30 best-paying companies and the top 50 places to work. Many of the companies paying the highest salaries are headquartered in some of the wealthiest metro areas in the country. Boston, the fifth-wealthiest metro area by median income, is home to Boston Consulting Group. San Francisco, the nation’s fourth-wealthiest such area, is home to four of the top payers, including both design and engineering software-maker Autodesk and social networking company Twitter. But no metro area is home to more top-paying companies than the San Jose area, where Apple, Google, LinkedIn, Yahoo! and Juniper Networks are all headquartered. San Jose topped the nation with a median house hold income of $79,841 in 2012. To identify the companies paying employees the most, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from Glassdoor on median annual salaries by company, as well as job reviews and average salaries for specific positions. We also examined Glassdoor’s 2014 study on the Best Places to Work. In addition, we reviewed 2012 median salaries by occupation from the Bureau of Labor statistic (BLS) NOW THESE ARE THE HIGHEST PAYING COMPANIES IN AMERICA 1. Apogee Medical Median salary: $220,000 Number of employees: 750 (no. of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants) Sector: Manufacturing Headquartered: Phoenix, Ariz. Apogee Medical pays its employees a median annual salary of $220,000 — the best in the country. It is likely that the salaries are high because the company is the largest physician-owned hospitalist group in the country. Hospitalists — physicians who provide comprehensive care to hospitalized patients — are Apogee’s highest-paid employees, making an average of $215,000 per year. According to the company’s website, Apogee employs more than 750 physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, all of which earn more than $100,000 a year. The company also offers a variety of opportunities to improve professionally, including its “Apogee University” program, which is available to all employees. 2. Boston Consulting Group Median salary: $143,750 Number of employees: 6,200 Sector: Business services Headquartered: Boston, M 3. Booz & Company Median salary: $140,000 Number of employees: 3,000+ Sector: Business services Headquartered: New York City, N.Y 4. A.T. Kearney Median salary: $135,000 Number of employees: 3,200 Sector: Business services Headquartered: Chicago, Ill. 5. Juniper Networks Median salary: $134,218 Number of employees: 9,483 Sector: Information technology Headquartered: Sunnyvale, CA 6. Visa Inc. Median salary: $130,000 (tied for 6th highest) Number of employees: 9,500 Sector: Finance Headquartered: Foster City, Calif. 7. LinkedIn Median salary: $130,000 (tied for 6th highest) Number of employees: 5045 Sector: Information technology Headquartered: Mountain View, Calif. 7. LinkedIn Median salary: $130,000 (tied for 6th highest) Number of employees: 5045 Sector: Information technology Headquartered: Mountain View, Calif. 9. Walmart eCommerce Median salary: $125,000 (tied for 9th highest) Number of employees: 2,000,000 (1,500 in Walmart eCommerce) Sector: Retail Headquartered: San Bruno, CA 10. Google Median salary: $125,000 (tied for 9th highest) Number of employees: 47,756 Sector: Information technology Headquartered: Mountain View, Calif.

Here Are the 15 Highest-Paying Companies in America

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Thursday, 19 June 2014

Line app urges password changes as Japan probes hacking (Update)

Smartphone messenger application Line, which has hundreds of millions of users across Asia, was urging people to change their passwords Thursday as Japanese police investigated the hacking of hundreds of accounts. At least 303 cases of unauthorised access were confirmed between late May and June 14, including three that involved cash trades resulting in financial loss, a Line spokesman told AFP, without providing further details. "We are cooperating with police in investigating the cases, and we are calling for users to change passwords," the spokesman said. The accounts were hacked "presumably after shared passwords with other online services were leaked somewhere else," he said, adding that to the company's knowledge, all of the breaches occurred in Japan. A police spokesman said the case was under investigation. Set up in 2011, Line now has more than 400 million users, mainly in Japan and mainland Asia, and is growing fast. The service lets users make free calls, send instant messages and post funny photos or short videos, combining attributes from Facebook, Skype and messaging application WhatsApp. Line has forged heavyweight partnerships with football clubs FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, brands such as Coca-Cola and tennis star Rafael Nadal. FC Barcelona, for instance, has a home page on the app which has millions of "friends". One of Line's main selling points is its "stickers"—funny, cartoon-like figures that users can post to friends. Dwango, the operator of the high-profile Niconico video sharing forum, reported last week more than 200,000 accounts had been hacked.

Etisalat Talkzone : make calls as low as 1kobo/sec everyday

It is well proven these days that etisalat is one of the best Nigeria network that offers the cheapest tariff plan. Now they are doing it again... Every interested person can now make call for as low as 1kobo per second on Talkzone. This offer is for all Easy starter and Easy cliq subscriber across Nigeria. Talkzone offers flexible discounts on all calls made to friends and family on the etisalat network and on all other local networks with NO ACCESS FEE. The discounts varies from 10% to 98% on calls made to etisalat lines and 10% to 20% discounts on calls made to other networks. Discounts Discounted rates. 98% 1k/sec 80% 10k/sec 70% 15k/sec Enjoy up to 98% discount on calls at 1 kobo per second to your family and friends. To activate and enjoy this discount tariff, simply dial *244*8# from your easy starter or easy Cliq lines. To know what discount is applicable where you are, activate the cell broadcast feature on your handset and it will automatically display the current discount on the screen of your handset or Just dial *551# before making a call. To deactivate Talkzone and migrate back to: ­ Easy Cliq: dial *244*1# ­ Easy starter: dial *244*2# So hurry now and get on Talkzone from Etisalat to enjoy fantastic discounts on your call rates!!! Source: feel free!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

MTN ZONE Make Cheap Calls On MTN Network

MTN ZONE, what the heck about? MTN Zone is a prepaid pay-as-you-go plan from MTN Nigeria that gives the MTN subscriber the flexibility to choose and monitor the amount to pay for calls even before they dial a number. With this package, the MTN subscriber may choose to make calls as low as 2kobo/sec. On MTN Zone there are enjoyable amazing discounts up to 99%, no hidden charges attached, no daily access charge, no service rental and the most interesting part of it is that from the phone you get to find out exactly what you will be charged before you make a call For any MTN subscriber to enjoy MTN Zone the first thing that need to be done is to turn on the Cell Broadcast feature on his/her phone, then migrate to MTN Zone by dialling *135*1# To turn on Cell Broadcast feature on a mobile phone Go to the phone MENU Select "Settings" Select "Display Settings" Select "Cell info Display" Select "On" if the cell broadcast feature of your phone cannot be turned on this way, then consult your phone's user manual. Once the Cell Broadcast Feature of the phone has been turned on, Dial*133*1# to migrate to MTN Zone. You will recieve an instant message to confirm your migration. Now your Cell phone will always be Broadcasting from time to time different call rates. It is now left for you to decide, if the call rate broadcasted on your phone screen at the moment is cheap and pocket friendly enough for you at that moment go ahead and make the call, if not wait for a cheaper and better discount deal. However, attimes in some zones the mobile phone will not broadcast the discount call rate, in this situation once you dial a number you will see a message immediately displayed on the phone screen. " You will be charged at xxkobo/sec " As usual go ahead with the call if the discount is good, if not try at a later time for maybe a better deal. Now that you know, it is left for you to migrate to MTN Zone and enjoy discount and cheap call rates. For more info call MTN customer care line on 180.

Bookie Buster 21 Secret Systems Used by Pro Sports Gamblers Finally REVEALED!

Hi this is Frank Belanger of Welcome to this special ebook that I’ve created to share with you the secret systems used everyday by pro gamblers. These secret systems allow them to make over $100,000 and even more every year by placing their bets on different games such as NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA, NCAA, etc… The reality is that 98% of sports gamblers are losing money…a lot of money. The remaining 2% are professional sports gamblers. They are making a living at sports gambling. Is it possible ? Yes of course. Ask any sportsbook’s manager and he will tell you that 2% of his regular clients are always winning over the long run. How they do that? Very simple. They all have a proven system! Now believe me. This incredible ebook is like nothing you have ever seen. “Bookie Buster” is an amazing eye opener to a world of high profits using the most powerful systems and low-risk strategies! Before you spend another minute trying unproven schemes that waste for more of this ebook visit this link

Smart glasses for people with poor vision being tested in Oxford

Oxford University researchers are measuring how their smart glasses would help people with limited vision overcome and avoid walking into obstacles. 'The idea of the smart glasses is to give people with poor vision the ability that boosts their awareness of what's around them – allowing greater freedom, independence and confidence to get about, and a much improved quality of life,' says Dr Stephen Hicks of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Oxford, who is leading the development of the glasses. The smart glasses consist of a video camera mounted on the frame of the glasses; a computer processing unit that is small enough to fit in a pocket; and software that provides images of objects close-by to the see-through displays in the eyepieces of the glasses. The transparent electronic displays, where the glasses' lenses would be, give a simple image of nearby people and obstacles. The camera with specially designed software interprets the nearby surroundings allowing people to see important things much more distinctly than before, such as kerbs, tables and chairs, or groups of people. The glasses don't replace lost vision but assist with spatial awareness. Anyone using the glasses looks through them to make the most of their existing sight, with additional images appearing in their line of sight to give extra information about who or what is in front of them. In some cases, details such as facial features can become easier to see – making social interaction more natural. The glasses work particularly well in low light and can be used to cope with night blindness. Lyn Oliver, 70, of Faringdon in Oxfordshire has a guide dog, Jess, to help her get around. She was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa in her early 20s, an eye disease which gradually leads to loss of vision and blindness. Lyn has tried out the smart glasses and describes how they could help when out with her guide dog: 'If Jess stops, the glasses can tell me if she's stopped because there's a kerb, there's something on the floor or it's roadworks, and it'll give me a sense of which way she may go around the obstacle.'Lyn relates how on one occasion, when she was without a guide dog for six months last year and just using a cane, she walked into a car. 'Some people insist on parking on the pavement, then swear at you because you've walked into their precious car. There was just too much traffic noise for me to detect it there. With the glasses on, I would have seen the car.' Dr Hicks' team has set up testing venues in Oxford and Cambridge where they can control the lighting and introduce obstacles to avoid. Participants are tracked as they navigate through obstacle courses, with and without smart glasses. The study will involve 30 volunteers with poor vision. The group is also beginning to see how people respond with the glasses in indoor spaces like shopping centres. Iain Cairns, 43, a copywriter for a marketing agency in London, tried out the smart glasses in Oxford's Covered Market. Iain was diagnosed with the inherited eye condition choroideremia at around the age of 12. On having the glasses fitted, Iain reacted: 'Ooh, I can … I can see your face. It's, er, like suddenly going into … Like the Lord of the Rings when he puts the ring on. And sees things in a new way … That tablecloth is looking lovely. It's getting the pattern of the tablecloth … It's like I've wandered into an 80s pop video. Everyone has cool A-ha drawings round them. It's now much more of a scene with several people in.' Iain says he can see the potential of the smart glasses: 'The glasses could really help with a lot of day-to-day challenges I'm facing in getting around or walking down the street. I do still have some sight. What is great about these glasses is that you can see through them and make the most of the vision you've got. They add to what you see with extra information.' The Oxford University researchers carried out preliminary tests last year of an earlier prototype with 20 volunteers having a range of eye conditions and levels of vision. They found that people could quickly get used to the glasses, and it was the third of people with the lowest vision that really found benefits in using the glasses to get around and avoid obstacles. There are roughly 100,000 people in the UK alone with this low level of vision and who could potentially benefit. The research and development of the glasses is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The trials are being carried out with the support of the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). The group has been awarded further funding from the Royal Society to look at introducing more features into the glasses, such as face, object or text recognition. An audio prompt via an earphone would give people more information about who or what they are seeing. 'We eventually want to have a product that will look like a regular pair of glasses and cost no more than a few hundred pounds - about the same as a smart phone,' says Dr Hicks.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

The 30 best smartphones: The best phone you can buy in 2014

Smartphones are an important and personal tech purchase so at PC Advisor we review all the major handsets available to buy in the UK. Here we rank them into the 30 best smartphones of 2014. When you've found the phone you like, compare mobile phone deals to get the best tariff. See also: What's the fastest smartphone of 2014: processor, web and graphics performance comparison We test and review smartphones in-depth and here are the best of the best from all the operating systems including iOS, Android and Windows Phone. We update this story all the time as we review the latest smartphones. See also: 20 best Android smartphones in UK: What's the best Android phone you can buy in 2014? Smartphones and features to look out for in 2014 Although they've ranked the 30 best smartphones which had been reviewed, there are some upcoming handsets to be aware of. Once they ve had them in, tested them fully, and reviewed them, they are likely to make this chart. This means it might be worth holding off your purchase for a little while. Take a look at: The 23 best tablets of 2014: What's the best tablet in the UK right now? The Samsung Galaxy S5 has now had the review treatment and comes with features like dust- and waterproofing which is becoming more common. Like the iPhone 5s it has a fingerprint scanner and also adds a heart rate monitor which is something they've not seen on a smartphone before. Scroll down to see where it ranks. Also see: Best SIM-only deals: Best SIM-only and Data SIM deals for smartphone and tablet users Samsung has fallen short of rivals with the Galaxy S5 but the firm is rumoured to be launching a better built and higer spec Galaxy S5 Prime. Also announced at MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the Sony Xperia Z2, the latest iteration of its flagship smartphone. Not much has changed compared to the Z2 but improvements have been made. Like other new flagships, it's got the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor. It can also record and output 4k video. See where it ranks in the chart now. HTC has now announced the HTC One M8 and it's already on sale and in our chart and check out where the new Huawei Ascend P7 ranks. See also: All New HTC One (M8) release date, price, specs and features. LG has now introduced the LG G3 and it's in our chart already. Other smartphones to look out for this year but are likely to be a way off are the Google Nexus 6 and iPhone 6.

How to Make Your Skin Glow in Minutes

Nothing makes you feel as confident as having glowing, radiant skin. good looking skin makes you look younger and feel healthier no matter what your age or physical condition is . there are many ways of taking care of your skin which can give you the opportunity for some serious pampering. So go ahead--make your skin glow. You deserve to look and feel fabulous. Part 1 of 4: Daily Facial Care Routine
1. Exfoliate your face gently. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, impurities and excess oil while preparing your skin for cleansing and toning. After scrubbing, use a cleanser on your skin. Gently massage your skin in circular motions for a few minutes to promote blood circulation, to remove makeup and to eliminate excess oil, or sebum. Many cleansers contain exfoliating beads or other ingredients that allow you to accomplish both tasks at once. Just avoid cleansers that have drying ingredients like deodorants, colors or fragrances. Also, skip cleansers that have "antibacterial" on the label.
2. Pour some toner onto some cotton batting. Rub the toner over your face until no excess dirt remains.
3.Apply a good moisturizer with natural oils such as rosemary or almond. Massage the cream into your skin for hydration and a dewy look. Use a moisturizer with at least SPF 15 to prevent premature aging from sun exposure. Look for moisturizer containing humectants like glycerin, propylene glycol or urea. Humectants attract water when you apply them to your skin and improve its hydration. Choose moisturizers with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs). AHAs improve dead skin cell turnover, which results in decreased dryness, acne, wrinkles and age spots. Switch moisturizers according to the season. In the summer, use a lighter product. In the winter, choose something thicker and heavier.
4.Use the same family of products. If you use 1 brand of cleanser, choose your toning and moisturizing products from the same brand. Taking a unified approach is often better for your skin, because mixed brands don't always interact well with one another. Part 2 of 4: Caring For the Skin On the Rest Of Your Body
1.Avoid taking long, hot showers. Sure, they feel great, but they also strip your skin of essential moisture. Especially in the winter, limit your showers to 10 minutes and keep the water lukewarm.
3.Skip soaps with heavy deodorants. nstead, go with a soap that contains added fat, like Dove, Neutrogena or Oilatum. The added fat leaves a moisturizing layer on your skin after your shower is over.
4.Smear a thick moisturizing cream or balm over your hands and feet at night. Then, cover your hands with thin cloth gloves, and put some socks on your feet to allow the moisture to hydrate your hands and feet.
Always use a loofah when you wash your body. Loofahs get rid of dead skin cells and also prevent bumps from ingrown hairs. To make your skin even more smooth, you can sprinkle your loofah with some drops of a cleanser containing AHAs.
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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Using Twitter to track flu, Lady Gaga

Interested in the number of tweets about the flu in recent days, weeks or months? Whether the tweets are positive or negative? How they are dispersed geographically down to the street level? Words commonly used with flu? Or, even, predicting of the number of tweets about the flu in the coming days? a web site that visualizes data about health-related disorders, drugs and organizations from Twitter, news stories and online health forums, such as WebMD, does all of that. The site is the work of Vagelis Hristidis, an associate professor of computer science at the Bourns College of Engineering at the University of California, Riverside and a team of researchers. "This is a tool that brings the power of social and news big data to your fingertips," Hristidis said. The tool has applications for a wide range of groups. Government agencies could use it when preparing for a public health emergency, such as the H1N1 (swine) flu scare in 2009/10. Drug companies could use it to check the sentiment and volume of online chatter related to their drugs and these of their competitors. Media outlets could use it to track trends. Health psychologists could use to learn what keywords dominate health-related forums or which disorders have the biggest online communities. The site is a health-specific outgrowth of a similar site, Social Predictor (, which Hristidis and his group also created. Social Predictor focuses only on Twitter and news, but has a wider set of topics, including celebrities, food and real estate. The key focus of Social Predictor, as its name implies, is the prediction of future trends. For example, if you type in "Lady Gaga" you quickly get four graphs that show number of tweets, sentiment of tweets, number of news stories and sentiment of the news stories. It defaults to the past two-month period, but the dates are adjustable. Once the graphs are displayed, you can click on each date to a see a pop-up window that lists the most popular tweets or news stories for that day. Clicking "see more" opens a new window that displays all relevant tweets on a map. Social Predictor also offers a tool to predict the future trends of user-input time series, such as stock prices or daily sales of a product, based on the chatter related to user-input keywords, such as a stock ticker or the name of a product. The Health Social Analytics site breaks keywords into three health categories: disorders, drugs and organizations. Once a keyword is selected, the page refreshes and displays a line graph in the center. On the line graph, there is a pull down menu with 16 categories that can be viewed. Most categories have to do with the number and sentiment of tweets and news stories. The user can adjust the start and end date of the graph. In addition to the line graph, there is a Google map with color coated numbers showing high concentrations of tweets about that keyword in different parts of the world. The tweets can be broken down to the street level. The start and end date of the data collection can also be adjusted. Finally, there is an interactive graph that looks like a spider web. It shows the selected keyword in the center and other words commonly found alongside it in tweets. The more common the word the larger the green circle next to it. The user can also click the "Health Forums" link and see similar information about health-related Web health forum. Health Social Analytics and Social Predictor build upon previous work by Hristidis and other researchers that used data from Twitter to help predict the traded volume and value of a stock. A trading strategy based on a model created by Hristidis and others outperformed other baseline strategies by between 1.4 percent and nearly 11 percent and did better than the Dow Jones Industrial Average during a four-month simulation.

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5 things you didn’t know about the BlackBerry Q10

What goes into designing a successful smartphone? Turns out there’s a lot more to the design process than many realize. Take the BlackBerry Q10 for example. The design appears to be quite simple. In fact, some may say it shares the same design as the Bold, or any other classic QWERTY-style BlackBerry device. Take a closer look. “There are millions of decisions that go into every Blackberry.” says Todd Wood, SVP of Design for BlackBerry as he sat down with me at BlackBerry Live, the annual developer conference in Orlando, Fla. “It’s a creative process. It’s about teamwork. It’s sort of a village raising a baby.” More than 100 people helped design the latest BlackBerry device, spending countless hours discussing the shape, form, look and feel. A lot of thought went into every single aspect of the device. Wood let me in on some of the secrets of the BlackBerery Q10′s design. Here’s a few things you may not know about the Q10: 1. You helped design the BlackBerry Q10 BlackBerry likes to listen to customer feedback on its devices. If you’ve ever reached out to BlackBerry to complain about a feature you didn’t like on one of its smartphones, there’s a good chance the company listened carefully to what you said. “We involve a lot of customers. We do a lot of interviews with end users. We do a lot of testing” Wood tells me. Waterloo is home to BlackBerry’s head office, but hidden away on campus is a facility many people don’t know about. BlackBerry has a production line where it creates first run handsets right on site. BlackBerry can physically create each prototype for testing, and then not only gives them to engineers to test in the field, but also to avid BlackBerry users who agree to help in the testing process under strict non-disclosure agreements. “The first run is always internal but we do bring in end users. They have to sign a non-disclosure and all that stuff.” Says Wood. “There’s always some glitches or bugs and you can run down to the production factory and deal with it right away. Once it’s mature, we can hit the send button and send the [final design specifications] to manufacturing plants all around the world.” 2. The keyboard frets play tricks with your mind Nestled in between the rows of keys on your keyboard are metal bars BlackBerry refers to as frets. While many would guess these are placed there for aesthetics, these frets actually play a trick on your brain, making you think the keys are further apart on the phone than they really are. “They separate the rows of keys. That visually makes it simpler. It’s like putting a bunch of books on a shelf,” says Wood. One way to think about it is like frets on a guitar. Wood says guitarists find it easier to play music with an instrument with frets. However you take the frets away and it becomes much more difficult to play. The same goes with typing on a keyboard — whether it’s physical or virtual. “There are 35 keys but the graphic read is quite simple. That makes it much more approachable.” The frets on the BlackBerry Q10 also act as a structural component. If you look at the side of the phone you’ll notice the frets intercept with the outer frame. This is known as a “dovetail,” a common technique in furniture making. “One of the designers who worked on this is a wood-worker and he was thinking of the structure of this and how we can get these edge-to-edge keys to work together to create a strong and efficient structure. It’s jewellery-like detail.” You may also notice there is a fret on the rear of the phone. While you may think this is for design, the fret serves a purpose. Wood says the fret actually keeps the lens of the rear camera off the surface you place your phone on, helping to prevent scratches. Who knew? 3. The Mystery Behind the Font A lot of thought went into the font you see on the keyboard on the BlackBerry Q10. It’s known as Slate Pro and it was developed right here in Canada by 66 year-old Rod McDonald, who lives in Lake Echo, N.S.. “It’s a sans serif font if you geek out about fonts. It’s a very functional font but it’s also humanistic. It has these very subtle lines and curves to it that you might now notice at first but after you live with the font you begin to notice these things.” says Wood. The font was originally created back in 2008 and was one of two typefaces BlackBerry considered for the Z10 and Q10 smartphones. Slate Pro is also used on the virtual keyboard of the Z10, giving users a seamless experience. 4. The Back of the Phone is made from Glass One of the first things I noticed when I picked up the Q10 was how it felt in my hand. The device is not only comfortable to hold, it has an unmistakeably silky, smooth grip. But it almost didn’t turn out that way. “The first prototypes were made with carbon.” says Wood. “We tested the carbon and it turns out it interfered with the radios. So we said, ‘we like the look, can we do a material which still has all those properties?’” Wood says engineers at BlackBerry spent years developing a special type of black glass which was woven to create the back panel you see today. It was inspired by Formula One racing, boat paddles and skis. “Structurally it’s like re-enforced concrete. The fibres create the tension…so all the forces are managed in a very sophisticated system.” 5. Startup Screen Easter Egg Like any computer, you have to wait for smartphones to boot up once they are turned on. Wood let me in on a little secret. BlackBerry has baked a tiny Easter egg into its start up so you can get an idea of how long the start-up process will take. “When the system boots up it’s actually going through all types of sophisticated things, checking it’s secure, decompressing data to boot up.” says Wood. If you place your finger on the BlackBerry logo you will see a percentage show up on the screen, letting you know when the device will be ready to use. “We made it entertaining. It’s like being in Disney Land and you’re waiting in line for a ride and a band comes along or some sort of entertainment comes a long to help you pass the time.” If you look at the shape of the logo, you’ll also notice it resembles that of the trackpad used in the latest Bold devices.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Performance of facial recognition software continues to improve

Who is that stranger in your social media photo? A click on the face reveals the name in seconds, almost as soon as you identified your best friend. While that handy app is not quite ready for your smart phone, researchers are trying to develop reliable methods to match one person's photo from millions of images for a variety of applications. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) reports that results from its 2013 test of facial recognition algorithms show that accuracy has improved up to 30 percent since 2010. The report by NIST biometric researchers Patrick Grother and Mei Ngan, Performance of Face identification Algorithms,* includes results from algorithms submitted by 16 organizations. Researchers defined performance by recognition accuracy—how many times the software correctly identified the photo—and the time the algorithms took to match one photo against massive photo data sets. "We studied the one-to-many identification because it is the largest market for face recognition technology," Grother said. "These algorithms are used around the world to detect duplicates in databases, fraudulent applications for passports and driving licenses, in token-less access control, surveillance, social media tagging, lookalike discovery and criminal investigations." Four research groups enrolled in both the 2013 and the previous 2010 test,** allowing NIST researchers to compare performance improvements over time. They found that those groups had improved their performance on the tests by from 10 and almost 30 percent. One organization decreased its error rate from 8.9 percent in 2010 to 6.4 percent in 2013. In both years the study used a database of 1.6 million faces. In 2010, the images were frontal "mugshot" images from law enforcement agencies that closely comply with the ANSI/NIST ITL 1-2011 Type 10 standard. In 2013, researchers added a small database of images taken for visa applications that meet an ISO/IEC (International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission) standard and 140,000 webcam images taken in poorly controlled environments that do not comply with any standard. The tested algorithms performed the best on the semilar high-quality, ISO standardized images collected for passport, visa and driving license applications. Detecting duplicates in those applications is the biggest segment of the face recognition marketplace. No algorithms worked well with the webcam images. Search failure rates for those images were around three times greater than for the higher quality images. The study also shows that rates of missing facial matches increase as the database size increases as expected, but that it does so only slowly. When the number of facial images increased by a factor of 10—from 160,000 to 1.6 million—the error rate only increased by about 1.2 times. This slower-then-expected growth in error rates occurs in many natural phenomenon, and "is largely responsible for the operational utility of face identification algorithms," explains Grother. Images of older individuals were identified more accurately than those of younger persons, suggesting that we become steadily easier to recognize using facial recognition software, and more distinguishable from our contemporaries, as we age.

Chatty Japan robot makes friends on first day at work

A chatty humanoid robot whose makers claim it can understand people's emotions made its first friends Friday as it struck up conversations with shoppers in Tokyo And the device—named Pepper by its designers—proved an effective marketing tool for mobile carrier SoftBank, delighting managers who put it to work collecting customer opinions. "So you came to meet me today?" asked Pepper of one shopper in the store in the upmarket Omotesando area of Tokyo. "I am so happy to see you. What are you doing this weekend?". The 120-centimetre (four-foot) tall robot which moves on rollers and has what appears like a tablet computer strapped to its chest, was unveiled Thursday by SoftBank president Masayoshi Son, who billed it as an "emotional" robot that understands "70 to 80 percent of spontaneous conversations". After a couple of dance and a few stories, visitors were smitten. "He is so cute. He is like a real child," said Itsumi Yabe, 28, who was visiting one of the outlets with two of her friends. Shintaro Hamada, 23, was impressed by Pepper's capability to carry on conversations. "I thought he would just talk regardless of what I say, but he really interacted with me. That was great," he said. The robot, one of at least three stationed in the store, can also conduct automatic market research, said Kaname Hayashi, deputy director of SoftBank's business development and management department, because it is able to accumulate data about what kind of products and content make people happy. "We've learned that he can get people's attention and has a greater impact than images streaming on television or screens at outlets," he said. Terry Gou, chief executive of Taiwan's Foxconn which is to manufacture the robots when SoftBank starts selling them for about $2,000 each in February, said the robot industry was embarking on a new chapter. "We use a lot of robots in factories..., but this is for consumers and also for communication," he told AFP. "This can really become a revolution." More robots will work the floor of SoftBank's flagship Ginza store, before a fleet of them are rolled out at locations across the country.

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Friday, 6 June 2014

Making a covert channel on the Internet

he best way to keep a message secret is not just to encrypt it, but to hide the fact that the message is even there. Computer scientists have created "covert channels" on the Internet, but they have been slow and fairly easy to detect. Now a Cornell researcher has demonstrated a way to send messages that are undetectable by ordinary methods, with high reliability and enough bandwidth for video chat. The secret is to go down to the hardware level, where the hidden signal is measured in picoseconds. "If you had the same precise tool that we have you could detect or intercept the message," said Hakim Weatherspoon, assistant professor of computer science. "You'd want the Department of Defense to deploy this." Weatherspoon and colleagues described their method at the USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, April 2-4 in Seattle. When you send a message on the Internet, your computer encodes letters, numbers and other data into strings of ones and zeroes and organizes them into "packets" that contain an address and other identifying information followed by a chunk of content. Your computer sees the ones and zeroes as different voltages, but a network interface translates them into pulses of light that it injects into optical fiber to send across town or across the country, with a pulse representing 1 and no pulse representing 0. At the receiving end, similar hardware translates the pulses of light into electrical signals for a computer that gathers related packets together and extracts the message. The network standard is to insert at least 12 "idle characters" – just a string of zeroes – between packets. A message can be hidden in the data stream by varying the length of that space. Making it longer than normal can represent a one, shorter a zero. When this is done by software, an administrator monitoring the network can easily detect it; a statistical analysis of the traffic will reveal patterns in the timing. A network also can be designed to jam such covert channels by regulating interpacket delays.
Conventional hardware measures interpacket delays in milliseconds, but a Chupja channel varies them by picoseconds, Weatherspoon explained. Creating the covert channel is an exercise in balance, he added. The variation must be small enough to avoid detection, but large enough to survive minor delays and distortions as the signal goes through network routers. In tests, the researchers sent covert messages over thousands of miles and many "hops" on the National Lambda Rail research network – from Ithaca to New York City to Cleveland, Chicago, Boston and back – with less than a 10 percent error rate, which can be managed by standard error-correcting software. Bandwidth is more than 80 kilobits per second. "We're able to send very complex messages," Weatherspoon said. "You can do the things you're used to doing, like looking at websites, but do so covertly." To protect or prevent such covert channels, the researchers concluded, administrators will have to deploy hardware that can monitor traffic at a finer-grained level.

Passwords no more? Researchers develop mechanisms that enable users to log in securely without passwords

Passwords are a common security measure to protect personal information, but they don't always prevent hackers from finding a way into devices. Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham are working to perfect an easy-to-use, secure login protection that eliminates the need to use a password—known as zero-interaction authentication. The research is led by Nitesh Saxena, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences and co-leader of the Center for Information Assurance and Joint Forensics Research. The work, in collaboration with the University of Helsinki and Aalto University in Finland, was recently presented during the International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications and the Financial Cryptography and Data Security conference. Zero-interaction authentication enables a user to access a terminal, such as a laptop or a car, without interacting with the device. Access is granted when the verifying system can detect the user's security token—such as a mobile phone or a car key—using an authentication protocol over a short-range, wireless communication channel, such as Bluetooth. It eliminates the need for a password and diminishes the security risks that accompany them. A common example of such authentication is a passive keyless entry and start system that unlocks a car door or starts the car engine based on the token's proximity to the car. The technology also can be used to provide secure access to computers. For instance, an app called BlueProximity enables a user to unlock the idle screen in a computer merely by physically approaching the computer while holding a mobile phone that has been set up to connect with it.
However, existing zero-interaction authentication schemes are vulnerable to relay attacks, commonly referred to as ghost-and-leech attacks, in which a hacker, or ghost, succeeds in authenticating to the terminal on behalf of the user by colluding with another hacker, or leech, who is close to the user at another location, Saxena says. "The goal of our research is to examine the existing security measures that zero-interaction authentication systems employ and improve them," Saxena said. "We want to identify a mechanism that will provide increased security against relay attacks and maintain the ease of use." The researchers examined two types of sensor modalities that could protect zero-interaction systems against relay attacks without affecting usability. First, they examined four sensor modalities that are commonly present on devices: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and audio. Second, they looked at the capabilities of using ambient physical sensors as a proximity-detection mechanism and focused on four: ambient temperature, precision gas, humidity and altitude. Each of these modalities helps the authentication system verify that the two devices attempting to connect to each other are in the same location and thwart a ghost-and-leech attack. The research showed that sensor modalities, used in combination, provide added security. "Our results suggest that an individual sensor modality may not provide a sufficient level of security and usability," Saxena said. "However, multiple modality combinations result in a robust relay-attack defense and good usability." Platforms that employ sensor modalities to prevent relay attacks in mobile and wireless systems are available on many smartphones or can be added using extension devices, and they will likely become more commonplace in the near future, Saxena says. "Users will be able to use an app on their phones to lock and unlock their laptops, desktops or even their cars, without passwords and without having to worry about relay attacks," said Babins Shrestha, a UAB doctoral student and co-author on the papers. "Our research shows that this can be done while preserving a high level of usability and security."

Monday, 2 June 2014

A faster Internet — designed by computers?

Computer-designed algorithms for controlling network congestion yield transmission rates two to three times as high as those designed by humans.TCP, the transmission control protocol, is one of the core protocols governing the Internet: If counted as a computer program, it’s the most widely used program in the world. One of TCP’s main functions is to prevent network congestion by regulating the rate at which computers send data. In the last 25 years, engineers have made steady improvements to TCP’s congestion-control algorithms, resulting in several competing versions of the protocol: Many Windows computers, for instance, run a version called Compound TCP, while Linux machines run a version called TCP Cubic. At the annual conference of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Data Communication this summer, researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Center for Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing will present a computer system, dubbed Remy, that automatically generates TCP congestion-control algorithms. In the researchers’ simulations, algorithms produced by Remy significantly outperformed algorithms devised by human engineers. “I think people can think about what happens to one or two connections in a network and design around that,” says Hari Balakrishnan, the Fujitsu Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, who co-authored the new paper with graduate student Keith Winstein. “When you have even a handful of connections, or more, and a slightly more complicated network, where the workload is not a constant — a single file being sent, or 10 files being sent — that’s very hard for human beings to reason about. And computers seem to be a lot better about navigating that search space.” Lay of the land Remy is a machine-learning system, meaning that it arrives at its output by trying lots of different possibilities, and exploring further variations on those that seem to work best. Users specify certain characteristics of the network, such as whether the bandwidth across links fluctuates or the number of users changes, and by how much. They also provide a “traffic profile” that might describe, say, the percentage of users who are browsing static Web pages or using high-bandwidth applications like videoconferencing. Finally, the user also specifies the metrics to be used to evaluate network performance. Standard metrics include throughput, which indicates the total amount of data that can be moved through the network in a fixed amount of time, and delay, which indicates the average amount of time it takes one packet of information to travel from sender to receiver. The user can also assign metrics different weights — say, reducing delay is important, but only one-third as important as increasing throughput. Remy needs to test each candidate algorithm’s performance under a wide range of network conditions, which could have been a prohibitively time-consuming task. But Winstein and Balakrishnan developed a clever algorithm that can concentrate Remy’s analyses on cases in which small variations in network conditions produce large variations in performance, while spending much less time on cases where network behavior is more predictable. They also designed Remy to evaluate possible indicators of network congestion that human engineers have not considered. Typically, TCP congestion-control algorithms look at two main factors: whether individual data packets arrive at their intended destination and, if they do, how long it takes for acknowledgments to arrive. But as it turns out, the ratio between the rates at which packets are sent and received is a rich signal that can dictate a wide range of different behaviors on the sending computer’s end. Down to cases Indeed, where a typical TCP congestion-control algorithm might consist of a handful of rules — if the percentage of dropped packets crosses some threshold, cut the transmission rate in half — the algorithms that Remy produces can have more than 150 distinct rules. “It doesn’t resemble anything in the 30-year history of TCP,” Winstein says. “Traditionally, TCP has relatively simple endpoint rules but complex behavior when you actually use it. With Remy, the opposite is true. We think that’s better, because computers are good at dealing with complexity. It’s the behavior you want to be simple.” Why the algorithms Remy produces work as well as they do is one of the topics the researchers hope to explore going forward. In the meantime, however, there’s little arguing with the results. Balakrishnan and Winstein tested Remy’s algorithms on a simulation system called the ns-2, which is standard in the field. In tests that simulated a high-speed, wired network with consistent transmission rates across physical links, Remy’s algorithms roughly doubled network throughput when compared to Compound TCP and TCP Cubic, while reducing delay by two-thirds. In another set of tests, which simulated Verizon’s cellular data network, the gains were smaller but still significant: a 20 to 30 percent improvement in throughput, and a 25 to 40 percent reduction in delay. “I am thrilled by the approach,” says Victor Bahl, research manager of the Mobility and Networking Group at Microsoft Research. “When you can constrain the problem domain and define precisely what you want out of the protocol, I can believe that their system is better than a human.” Bahl cautions that “when the protocol has to do many things for many people or many devices, then it’s not clear whether this is the optimal method.” But he adds that it could very well be that, in the future, networked computers will adopt different congestion-control policies depending on the types of applications they’re running. “I could see that that’s where this thing would excel,” he says.


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Parallel programming may not be so daunting

“Lock-free” parallel algorithms may match performance of more complex “wait-free” algorithms. Computer chips have stopped getting faster: The regular performance improvements we’ve come to expect are now the result of chipmakers’ adding more cores, or processing units, to their chips, rather than increasing their clock speed. In theory, doubling the number of cores doubles the chip’s efficiency, but splitting up computations so that they run efficiently in parallel isn’t easy. On the other hand, say a trio of computer scientists from MIT, Israel’s Technion, and Microsoft Research, neither is it as hard as had been feared. Commercial software developers writing programs for multicore chips frequently use so-called “lock-free” parallel algorithms, which are relatively easy to generate from standard sequential code. In fact, in many cases the conversion can be done automatically. Yet lock-free algorithms don’t come with very satisfying theoretical guarantees: All they promise is that at least one core will make progress on its computational task in a fixed span of time. But if they don’t exceed that standard, they squander all the additional computational power that multiple cores provide. In recent years, theoretical computer scientists have demonstrated ingenious alternatives called “wait-free” algorithms, which guarantee that all cores will make progress in a fixed span of time. But deriving them from sequential code is extremely complicated, and commercial developers have largely neglected them. In a paper to be presented at the Association for Computing Machinery’s Annual Symposium on the Theory of Computing in May, Nir Shavit, a professor in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; his former student Dan Alistarh, who’s now at Microsoft Research; and Keren Censor-Hillel of the Technion demonstrate a new analytic technique suggesting that, in a wide range of real-world cases, lock-free algorithms actually give wait-free performance. “In practice, programmers program as if everything is wait-free,” Shavit says. “This is a kind of mystery. What we are exposing in the paper is this little-talked-about intuition that programmers have about how [chip] schedulers work, that they are actually benevolent.” The researchers’ key insight was that the chip’s performance as a whole could be characterized more simply than the performance of the individual cores. That’s because the allocation of different “threads,” or chunks of code executed in parallel, is symmetric. “It doesn’t matter whether thread 1 is in state A and thread 2 is in state B or if you just swap the states around,” says Alistarh, who contributed to the work while at MIT. “What we noticed is that by coalescing symmetric states, you can simplify this a lot.” In a real chip, the allocation of threads to cores is “a complex interplay of latencies and scheduling policies,” Alistarh says. In practice, however, the decisions arrived at through that complex interplay end up looking a lot like randomness. So the researchers modeled the scheduling of threads as a process that has at least a little randomness in it: At any time, there’s some probability that a new thread will be initiated on any given core. The researchers found that even with a random scheduler, a wide range of lock-free algorithms offered performance guarantees that were as good as those offered by wait-free algorithms. That analysis held, no matter how the probability of thread assignment varied from core to core. But the researchers also performed a more specific analysis, asking what would happen when multiple cores were trying to write data to the same location in memory and one of them kept getting there ahead of the others. That’s the situation that results in a lock-free algorithm’s worst performance, when only one core is making progress. For that case, they considered a particular set of probabilities, in which every core had the same chance of being assigned a thread at any given time. “This is kind of a worst-case random scheduler,” Alistarh says. Even then, however, the number of cores that made progress never dipped below the square root of the number of cores assigned threads, which is still better than the minimum performance guarantee of lock-free algorithms.

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Press Release Fire By Brad Callen Copyright © 2005 Pressreleasefir – All rights reserved 2 Table of Contents Introduction: Gr ound Ze ro .................................................................................4 Chapter 1: Backg round No ise............................................................................5 What is a pre ss releas e?...................................................................................5 Press Releases tend to be the least underst ood marketing tool, especially in the age of the small business. New business owners have a foggy idea at best on how to promote their services, and while concepts like traditional print advertising and Internet marketing have become ma instream, generating publicity from media contacts remains a secret art. for more information on this ebook follow this link

How to crowdsource your wedding photos

When Erin and Doug Halka began planning their wedding, they also looked for ways their guests could share photos of their ceremony and reception "We thought about using disposable cameras, putting them on all the tables, and letting people take pictures," said Doug Halka. But the thought of collecting cameras and developing film seemed antiquated. Then they came across WedPics, one of several photo-sharing apps for weddings. The app lets guests upload images directly to a private album viewable online by the bride and groom, wedding guests and other invitees. "Everyone's got their phone in their pocket at all times," said Doug Halka. "They're snapping pictures, they can immediately upload the photos, and now we have all the pictures to share with everyone else."Since the Halkas signed up for WedPics, 423 photos have been uploaded to their page. The pictures range from their courtship to the engagement party and all the way to their April wedding in Atlanta. "Now we have pictures just in one place to remember our entire wedding," Erin Halka said. No longer do brides and grooms have to rely on a single official photographer to capture all the key moments from their big day. Increasingly, couples are crowdsourcing their wedding photography through WedPics and similar photo-sharing apps such as Capsule, Wedding Party, Guest Shots and AppilyWed. Most wedding apps are free and are available for iPhones, iPads and Android devices. Guests can also upload images to the apps' websites from a desktop or digital camera. Online wedding albums are kept private unless couples enable social sharing, which allows guests to share photos and videos back out to their existing social networks. "It enables every couple to create a private social network around each of their individual weddings," said Justin Miller, CEO and co-founder of WedPics. "We see people uploading photos and videos from early on in their engagement all the way through the honeymoon." Incorporating technology at weddings has become increasingly popular. According to a recent survey from wedding site, 19% of couples are using wedding apps to crowdsource their photos and another 41% are considering doing so. Other couples are taking this a step further by inviting guests to share their wedding photos in real-time streams on social media. "A lot of couples are creating their own custom hashtags for their wedding and then encouraging guests to take photos and upload them to Instagram and sometimes Twitter," said Anja Winikka, site director for Still, Winikka doesn't see apps or hashtags replacing the professional photographer at weddings. "The one gripe I might hear is that guests kind of get in the way," she said. "If you have a bunch of guests with their phones up, it changes the look of the photo entirely. On the other hand, I don't hear photographers who are worried that this is going to take away from their business."The prospect of a sea of smartphones and point-and-shoot cameras sticking out of the aisles has led some couples to want to unplug. According to TheKnot's survey, 28% of brides have either asked or are planning to ask their guests not to take photos during the ceremony. "Unplugged weddings have become sort of a trend because it's so common for everybody to have their phones out," Winikka said. "The idea there from the couples' perspective is that everyone is going to be really present." Even so, a lot of couples still want as many photos as possible to remember the big day, she added. Since 2012, more than a million people, including couples and their guests, have signed up for WedPics, Miller said. Miller started the company in his basement in Raleigh, North Carolina. He had 12 people working for him full time when his young company was featured in the local newspaper. "The day after (the story) was released, we got a knock on the door with somebody showing an eviction notice," he said. "It turned out to be a blessing in disguise because we landed our first tech angel investor." Since then, WedPics has moved offices and raised even more money. The company recently closed their first round of venture-capital funding, and future prospects look bright. After all, said Miller, "People are always going to be getting married."