Archive for July, 2011
Reading will never be the same again. Mixed media digital books, with their embedded video, interactivity and social networking capabilities, have expanded our notion of what books are, and what it means to read. Enhancing text with videos creates an entirely new kind of experience that’s “exciting and energizing,” says Mike Arnot, VP of marketing at Vook. “It’s very different from just plain reading.”
Books, writing and text aren’t going away, but with the proliferation of digital devices, tablets and smartphones, along with the apps that serve them, the written word is evolving in new and intriguing ways.
In fact, the evolution of digital books is, in some ways, making reading cool again.
“With Kindle, readers read more,” maintained Stephanie Mantello, the senior PR manager for Amazon’s(Nasdaq: AMZN) Kindle.
The Kindle E-Reader
“Kindle owners buy 3.3 times the number of books they purchased prior to owning a Kindle,” she told TechNewsWorld.
Increasingly, though, the meanings of terms like “book” and “reading” are changing. What, for instance, do you call a cross between a video and a book? Well, one company calls it a “Vook.”
Stories in Text and Video
Founded by Bradley Inman in 2008 to incorporate video into books, Vook is a leader in the nascent field of multimedia, video-enhanced books.
“He’d always had the idea that video could really benefit some kinds of books,” Mike Arnot, VP marketing at Vook, told TechNewsWorld.
One of the company’s first Vooks was a Sherlock Holmes work, The Man with the Twisted Lip, which included, along with the written text of the novel, a specially commissioned documentary about London at the time the story was set.
Vook creates some of its own content, such as TextVooks, which cover a variety of historical topics and include animated video along with text. The company also works with media companies such as ABC and NBC and publishers, including HarperCollins, to bring their content to video book format.
Vooks are available across a wide variety of platforms, including iPhones, iPads, and Android devices, as well as Amazon’s Kindle andBarnes & Noble’s (NYSE: BKS) Nook.
iPads and other tablets, in particular, have changed the playing field entirely and created increasing demand for Vook content.
“When the iPad came along, it just took off,” said Arnot. “This is the kind of content that works so well on a tablet device.”
Video combined with text is a powerful tool, particularly for instructional purposes.
“Instead of just reading about golf, get a book with text and also videos that show golf swings,” said Arnot. “In the right places, video makes the written text sing.”
Vooks don’t do away with the need for written text, but enhancing that text with videos creates an entirely new kind of experience.
“It’s an exciting and energizing experience,” said Arnot. “It’s very different from just plain reading.”
Digital Book Signing
And then there’s the problem of how to have an author sign a digital book. Robert Kiyosaki — author of bestselling personal finance book Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach their Kids about Money – That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! and, most recently, Unfair Advantage: The Power of Financial Education — had begun to encounter people at book signings who handed him their Kindle to autograph, and he wasn’t sure what to do about that.
The IT department at Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Company, though, had some ideas. It set up a live Facebook chat last week allowing participants to bring up a pop-up window that asked for name and contact information, along with the dedication that they wanted Kiyosaki to make for them in the book.
Then participants were directed to an Amazon page where they placed an order for a Kindle version of the book. Within three-to-five business days, they received a special digital version of the book, including a unique cover, a bonus chapter, and a special page featuring Kiyosaki’s signature and handwritten dedication.
“We started brainstorming about how we could personalize this experience,” Shane Caniglia, Director of IT for the Rich Dad Company, told TechNewsWorld. “We wanted to make it really easy for the participant.”
It wasn’t the company’s first foray into multimedia books, however. Unfair Advantage is also available as an enhanced digital book through Apple’s (Nasdaq: AAPL) iBookstore, including the full written text of the book accompanied by 17 two-to-three-minute videos of financial experts explaining some of the book’s key points.
The videos help readers to understand the content better than they might by reading text alone, Caniglia said.
Hari Hara Sravan ( MGIT ECE 2nd year)
Scientists at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) and the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel have discovered the process
through which memories are made and then recalled. These scientists have recorded that How individual brain cells calls up a memory?, thus revealing where in the brain a specific memory is stored and how the brain is able to recreate it.
Dr. ITZHAK FRIED
Dr. Itzhak Fried, Senior Study Suthor and a UCLA Professor of Neurosurgery with his colleagues recorded the activity of hundreds of individual neurons making memories in the brains of 13 epilepsy patients being treated surgically at UCLA Medical Center. Their research detail has been reported in current online edition of the Journal Science.
Surgeons at UCLA Medical Center placed electrodes in the patients’ brains to locate the origin of their seizures before surgical treatment which is a standard procedure in such cases. Dr. Fried used same electrodes to record the neuron activity as memories were being formed.
During the experiment patients were shown several video clips of short duration, including such things as landmarks and people, along with other clips of Jerry Seinfeld, Tom Cruise, “Simpsons” character Homer Simpson and others. As the patients watched these clips, researchers recorded the activity of many neurons in the Hippocampus and a nearby region known the Entorhinal Cortex that responded strongly to individual clips.
Few minutes after watching these clips, the patients were asked to recall whatever clips came to mind. During this recalling process these patients were not prompted to recall any specific clips,” but to use “free recall’ which means, whatever popped into their heads.
At this point researchers found that the same neurons that had responded earlier to a specific clip fired strongly a second or two before the subject reported recalling that clip. These neurons did not fire, however,when other clips were recalled. By observing this researchers found that which clip a patient was recalling before the patient announced it.
During this experiment Dr. Fried noted that the single neurons that were recorded as they fired were not acting alone but were part of a much larger memory circuit of hundreds of thousands of cells caught in the act of responding to the clips.
This research is significant in the fact that it confirms for the first time that spontaneous memories arise through the activity of the very same neurons that fired when the memory was first being made. This link between reactivation of neurons in the Hippocampus and conscious recall of past experience has been suspected and theorized for sometime, but the study now provides direct evidence for this.
So we can say that, Reliving past experience in our memory is the resurrection of neuronal activity from the past.
The research was funded by the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, as well as the Israel Science Foundation and the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation.
Varun ( MGIT ECE 2nd year)
DESCRIBING objects is so much easier when you use your hands, the classic being “the fish was this big“.
For humans, it’s easy to understand what is meant, but computers struggle, and existing gesture-based interfaces only use set movements that translate into particular instructions. Now a system called Data Miming can recognise objects from gestures without the user having to memorise a “vocabulary” of specific movements.
“Starting from the observation that humans can effortlessly understand which objects are being described when hand motions are used, we asked why computers can’t do the same thing,” says Christian Holz of the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany who developed the system with Andy Wilson at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington.
Holz observed how volunteers described objects like tables or chairs using gestures, by tracing important components repeatedly with their hands and maintaining relative proportions throughout their mime.
Data Miming uses a Microsoft Kinect motion-capture camera to create a 3D representation of a user’s hand movements. Voxels, or pixels in three dimensions, are activated when users pass their hands through the space represented by each voxel. And when a user encircles their fingers to indicate a table leg, say, the system can also identify that all of the enclosed space should be included in the representation. It then compares user-generated representations with a database of objects in voxel form and selects the closest match.
In tests the system correctly recognised three-quarters of descriptions, and the intended item was in the top three matches from its database 98 per cent of the time. Holz presented his findings at the CHI 2011 meeting in Vancouver, Canada, in May.
The system could be incorporated into online shopping so users could gesture to describe the type of product they want and have the system make a suggestion. Or, says Holz: “Imagine you want a funky breakfast-bar stool. Instead of wandering around and searching Ikea for half an hour, you walk up to an in-store kiosk and describe the stool using gestures, which takes seconds. The computer responds immediately, saying you probably want the Funkomatic Breakfast Stool-o-rama, and it lives in row 7a.”
Kinect Motion Capture
Many motion capture applications keeps coming for kinect. Kinect motion capture system cab used by 3d applications for capturing motions for 3d animation softwares like motionbuilder, 3ds max, maya, poser, blender etc., And there are two successful motion capture applications using kinect motion sensor which enables animators to setup their own motion capture studio.
IPiSoft Kinect Motion Capture Application
Ipisoft comes with a first commercial kinect motion capture software. ipisoft released its desktop motion capture software a year ago. It uses markerless motion capture technology. You just need to record a video using webcam or their suggested sony play station eye for better results. Then their software process the video and converts it to motion capture files. Output supports various mocap formats- Biovision .BVH format including 3DS MAX .BVH,MotionBuilder .BVH,Endorphin .BVH,iClone .BVH,Blender .BVH, FBX,COLLADA (.dae),Valve Software’s Source Engine animation .SMD
Hari Hara Sravan ( MGIT ECE 2nd year)
Watch This Video….
We store and transfer all kinds of files on our computers — digital photographs, music files, word processing documents, PDFs and countless other forms of media. But sometimes your computer’s hard drive isn’t exactly where you want your information. If you want to make backup copies of files that live off of your systems, then portable storage devices that use a type of electronic memory called FLASH MEMORY is the right solution.
Electronic memory comes in a variety of forms to serve a variety of purposes. Flash memory is used for easy and fast information storage in computers, digital cameras and many more electronic data equipments. It is used more like a hard drive than as RAM. In fact, flash memory is known as a SOLID STATE storage device, meaning there are no moving parts — everything is electronic instead of mechanical.
WHAT IS THIS??
Flash memory is a type of EEPROM chip, which stands for Electronically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory. It has a grid of columns and rows with a cell that has two transistors at each intersection.
The two transistors are separated from each other by a thin oxide layer. One of the transistors is known as a FLOATING GATE, and the other one is the CONTROL GATE.
This kind of structure is used for the storage of any data/memory temporarily for a particular period of time. Implies the data is stored in the form of electrical pulse signals i.e., in low and high voltage levels. This storage is done through a kind of technique called Tunneling and it can be deleted by using another technique called Erasing. It’s more like an electronic device than like an electric circuit.
TUNNELING AND ERASING:
Tunneling is used to alter the placement of electrons in the floating gate. An electrical charge, usually 10 to 13 volts, is applied to the floating gate. The charge comes from the column, enters the floating gate and drains to a ground.
This charge causes the floating-gate transistor to act like an electron gun. The excited electrons are pushed through and trapped on other side of the thin oxide layer, giving it a negative charge. These negatively charged electrons act as a barrier between the control gate and the floating gate. If the flow through the gate is above the 50 percent threshold, it has a value of 1. When the charge passing through drops below the 50-percent threshold, then the value changes to 0. A blank EEPROM has all of the gates fully open, giving each cell a value of 1.
The electrons in the cells of a flash-memory chip can be returned to normal (“1”) by the application of an electric field, a higher-voltage charge. Flash memory uses in-circuit wiring to apply the electric field either to the entire chip or to predetermined sections known as blocks. This erases the targeted area of the chip, which can then be rewritten. Flash memory works much faster than traditional EEPROMs because instead of erasing one byte at a time, it erases a block or the entire chip, and then rewrites it.
FLASH MEMORY TYPES:
In traditional single-level cell flash devices, each cell stores only one bit of information. Later, many developers have developed a new form of flash memory known as multi-level cell flash that can store/hold more than one bits rather than a single bit in each memory cell, thus doubling the capacity of memory.
The two main types of flash memory are the NOR Flash & NAND Flash.
NOR-flash is slower in erase-operation and write-operation compared to NAND-flash. That means the NAND-flash has faster erase and write times. More over NAND has smaller erase units. So fewer erases are only needed. NOR-flash can read data slightly faster than NAND.
NAND-flash occupies smaller chip area per cell. This maker NAND available in greater storage chip densities and at lower costs per bit than NOR-flash. It also has up to ten times the endurance of NOR-flash. NAND is more fit as storage media for large files including video and audio. The USB thumb drives, SD cards and MMC cards are of NAND type.
Gopi chand ( Mgit ECE 4th year)
In wet circuits every element has got its independent cicuitary but normal circuits don’t…..but d mechanism of circuitary of these wet circuits isn’t revealed..
Sony’s hosting a press event in Tokyo today where it just made the first announcement: a pair of Android 3.0 tablets — yes, the very two Honeycomb slabs we told you aboutexclusively back in February. The first is the Qriocity-focused 9.4-inchS1 media tablet with both front- and rear-facing cameras and a curved wrap design that resembles a folded magazine.
A big update to Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform is coming this autumn, filling in many of the missing pieces that made Microsoft an also-ran in the smartphone wars. But the so-called “Mango” update is more than just a game of catch-up; it also brings a bunch of features that other phones don’t have, or can only add through third-party apps.
Here’s a rundown of what Windows Phone 7’s Mango update will bring:
Finally, Windows Phone apps will be able to run in the background, so if you’re listening to some tunes in Slacker Radio, the music will keep playing even as you switch to other apps. The multitasking menu is accessed by holding the “back” button on the phone’s hardware.
The Bing search function in Windows Phone now has a local “scout” function that lets you see what’s nearby, based on the phone’s current location. Categories include places to eat and drink, things to see, stores to shop and can’t-miss highlights.
Live Tiles are a big part of Windows Phones. They’re those little app grids that occupy the home screen, and they often show information such as unread message counts or the weather. With the Mango update, users will be able to control the types of information that third-party apps display through these tiles. For instance, you can bookmark a specific product in Best Buy’s app, and the Live Tile will tell you where to find that product nearby.
The Mango update in Windows Phone will let users link multiple e-mails to a single inbox. On the phone’s home screen, Live Tiles can be set up to include e-mails from any number of addresses.
Twitter and LinkedIn
Although individual apps are already available for Twitter and LinkedIn, they won’t be integrated with the Windows Phone home screen until Mango arrives. The update will let users see how many messages they have through the phone’s Live Tiles.
Got a group of friends that you stay in touch with? Windows Phone’s Mango update lets you throw them all into a single Live Tile, showing their latest e-mails, messages, status updates and photos. Through this tile, you can quickly fire off a message to the entire group.
Voice-to-Text, Vice Versa
Windows Phone will throw a bone to users who can’t break the text messaging habit, even while driving. The update lets users dictate text messages by voice, and have incoming text messages read back to them.
If a contact goes offline in a messaging service such as Facebook, Windows Phone will let users continue the conversation on another service, or through text messages. A selection screen shows all services through which the other person can be reached.
Internet Explorer 9
Microsoft’s revamped mobile browser brings support for HTML5, used on the mobile versions of video sites like YouTube and Vimeo. Speed is also improved, with Microsoft claiming that its browser loads pages faster than iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices….
Hari Hara Sravan ( MGIT ECE 2nd year)
Watch This Video….
TAKING a photo using a camera timer is fraught with problems – not least making sure you are all in shot before the timer runs out. Gesture recognition algorithms could solve this, by allowing people to control a camera remotely, using only a wave of a hand.
Shaowe Chu at the University of Tsukuba in Japan has developed a digital camera whose software lets the photographer pan or tilt the frame before taking the shot.
The system only works with cameras equipped with viewfinders that can be flipped round to face the front, or those that have a viewfinder on the front and the back. This lets the user see the frame and control virtual buttons that appear on screen by moving their hand over where they appear in the frame.
One, which Chu calls the “hover button”, operates the shutter. When a hand within the viewfinder’s frame points a finger at this floating icon and stays on it for 1 second, the camera initiates a short countdown sequence before the shot is taken.
Panning and tilting is achieved by sliding a finger up and down, left and right, over a cross-hair icon displayed on the viewfinder’s screen, which is picked up and acted on by an algorithm that detects movement.
The system, due to be presented in July at the Human-Computer Interaction conference in Orlando, Florida, is still just a prototype and so uses a motorised digital camera to pan and tilt, but this would be easy to achieve digitally on a simpler camera, Chu says. The camera spots hands using an algorithm that detects skin tone, with fingers identified by a separate algorithm that analyses shape.
It’s a novel application for hand gesture recognition, says Chris Melhuish of the computer vision group at the University of Bristol, UK. But, he adds, “things like changing light levels can make it extremely difficult for a single camera system to be reliable”. Chu admits that lighting conditions have an effect, and says the system works best indoors.
The other problem is that Chu only tested the camera from a distance of 2 metres. Any further away and it might become difficult to see what’s going on in the viewfinder. To get round this, he is working on a feature that would activate the shutter with a head nod from any distance, allowing those all-important group shots.
Hari Hara Sravan ( MGIT ECE 2nd year)
Watch This Video….