Ebola and Marburg viruses may be much older than thought

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — New research on the DNA of wallabies, rodents, a number of mammals and bats has found it is likely the ancestors of the Ebola and lesser-known Marburg viruses were in existence tens of millions of years ago, which is much earlier than previously thought. More information: Filoviruses are ancient and integrated into mammalian genomes, BMC Evolutionary Biology 2010, 10:193. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-10-193 Researchers Unravel Mystery of How Ebola and Marburg Kill Negative stain image of an isolate of Marburg virus, showing filamentous particles as well as the characteristic “Shepherd’s Crook”. Magnification approximately 100,000 times. Image courtesy of Russell Regnery, Ph.D., DVRD, NCID, CDC. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Explore further Citation: Ebola and Marburg viruses may be much older than thought (2010, June 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-06-ebola-marburg-viruses-older-thought.html The Ebola and Marburg viruses are known as “filoviruses,” and result in life-threatening hemorrhaging in humans and other primates. Outbreaks occur in remote locations in Africa, and while rare they cause high fatality rates, and seem to appear out of nowhere. There are no effective treatments, and no vaccines.It was previously thought that filoviruses were probably about 10,000 years old, with this figure based on the estimated mutation rate. The new research, by evolutionary biologist Derek Taylor and a team from the State University of New York in Buffalo, has used a different method to estimate their age.The method is one used by paleovirologists, using remnants of virus genes found scattered within the genomes of animals. Viruses are either DNA or RNA based, and many insert their own genes into the DNA of host cells, and it had been thought that RNA-based viruses needed a gene for reverse transcriptase, an enzyme that converts their RNA to DNA in order to do this. Viruses with the gene are called retroviruses, and include the AIDS virus, HIV. Remnant viral genes from ancient retroviruses can be found in virtually every animal’s genome.Filoviruses are RNA viruses that do not have the gene for reverse transcriptase. Taylor and co-worker Jeremy Bruenn discovered non-retrovirus genes in fungi last year, and dubbed them non-retroviral integrated RNA viruses (NIRVs). In January this year a group of researchers in Boston also reported finding RNA viruses (bornavirus) able to integrate their genes into mammalian DNA without the help of reverse transcriptase.Taylor and his team have found “fossil” remnants of filovirus genes inside the genomes of a dozen species, but have not found any in primate species. They used genome databases to find the fossil remnants in mammals, and also confirmed their presence in a dead bat and a wallaby from a local zoo.The team then compared the filovirus remnants in different species and found they were almost identical, which suggests the virus infected animals early in evolution, and the viral remnants were inherited by succeeding generations as the groups diverged to form separate species. For example, the house mouse and Norway rat have the same remnants in the same places in the same chromosomes, even though these diverged from each other over 12 million years ago. Taylor said the odds of a gene inserting itself in the same place among billions of nucleotides are extremely unlikely, which means the filoviruses are much more ancient than previously thought, with the age at least in the tens of millions rather than tens of thousands. There have been numerous studies looking for species that could harbor filoviruses without contracting the disease (known as reservoir species), and bats have been considered good candidates. The presence of NIRVs, which Taylor calls “battle scars of an infection,” could indicate the species with gene remnants could be reservoir candidates. Finding fossil remnants in New World marsupials could indicate the deaths in South America that sometimes occur after unexplained hemorrhagic fevers may be due to unidentified filoviruses.The paper is published online in BMC Evolutionary Biology. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Jakartas 99story Pertamina tower makes energy key design principle

first_img Explore further © 2013 Phys.org More information: www.thejakartapost.com/news/20 … er-construction.htmlwww.dezeen.com/2013/12/11/som- … -harness-wind-power/www.som.com Resembling the petals of a flower, the tapered peak is to leverage wind energy. The crown reveals a wind funnel that will harness winds at the upper floors to generate energy. Then, there is the “Energy Ribbon,” a solar-paneled roof walkway throughout the campus. This covered walkway is to provide both sun and rain protection with energy generated through photovoltaics along the surface of the roof. The need for artificial lighting in the office interiors will be lessened with support from exterior sun shades.The building will include a 2,000-seat auditorium for lectures and performances and a mosque. SOM calls it “a city within a city, blending together living, working and playing while serving as a model of sustainability, efficiency, and collaborative workplace design.”The energy-harnessing theme is clear. SOM said the development will reduce water demand and target zero discharge while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 26 percent by the year 2020 and generating 25 percent energy from renewable resources by 2020.According to the Jakarta Post, local companies will also participate in the project as consultants, and also to work on the project’s central energy generator. As a state-owned company, Pertamina said its mission is “to carry out integrated business core in oil, gas, renewable and new energy based on strong commercial principles both inside and outside the country.” (Phys.org) —A 99-story skyscraper created for the Indonesian state-owned energy company, Pertamina, which is scheduled for completion in 2020, will carry the distinction of becoming Jakarta’s tallest landmark, rising over 500 meters high above Jakarta, and will accommodate some 20,000 workers. However, “tall” is not the key distinguishing factor in the works; the renderings of the sky-piercing building have been released by the architectural and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); the design shows how the Pertamina Energy Tower is to be, in the words of SOM, “the world’s first supertall tower for which energy is the primary design driver.” The building is designed to harness wind energy. Updating building energy codes: How much can your state save? Citation: Jakarta’s 99-story Pertamina tower makes energy key design principle (2013, December 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-12-jakarta-story-pertamina-tower-energy.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

No impediments in this love

first_imgMarriage in India is a ritual that most people hold close to their hearts. It is an event which involves lavish expenses, ranging from the bride’s dress to the catering services and of course the baarat. Usually it is the family of the bride and the groom that have to bear the expenses, but many a times, across the country, many organisations put together their resources to arrange for mass marriages. Bhopal, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh have recently experienced mass marriages. And let’s say, we here in Delhi also have an opportunity to experience a mass marriage this weekend. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’101 disabled couples are going to tie the knot on a lavish wedding ceremony organised by the Narayan Seva Sansthan (NSS). The NSS is a known charitable organisation based out in Udaipur, Rajasthan. The vision to serve and create a blissful matrimonial alliance for the disabled couples is the motto of this mass wedding ceremony which is due to happen on 14 and 15 June at the Ramlila Maidan Ground.Kailash Manav, Chairman, Narayan Seva Sansthan (NSS) said, ‘The organisation works with a motive of Sarva Jan Hitaya- Sarva Samaj Sukhaya, meaning- in the welfare of the public, in the happiness of everyone’. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe two-day free of cost massive event is going to be an extensive arrangement for the brides as well as the grooms who are ready to tie the nuptial knot for a lifetime. Registration room, hospitality room, control room, exhibition, physiotherapy, workshop, traffic control and other requirements have been taken care of, thereby providing quality time to the grooms and brides. One of the unique features about this event is the cosmopolitan culture under which the wedding will be taking place. Whether they be Muslims, Hindus, Christians or from any other religion, this unique occasion will witness the nuptial ties among various to-be-couples from several back grounds. The event is not restricted to Delhi, in fact not just restricted to India. Over 950 patrons from countries like USA, South Africa, Nepal and other countries will also grace the event, apart from the Indian fraternity who will be witnessing the event.Prashant Aggarwal, President, Narayan Seva Sansthan says, ‘To make this event a success, a meeting of Sansthan mandal has been organised. Under the directions of the Sansthan Mandal, several teams of the organization have started visiting various places all over the city; the team is locating physically disabled bachelors and registering them for mass wedding. We are trying hard to make the event memorable for disabled and also for each guest.’last_img read more

PDP BJP seal JK deal Mufti to be CM

first_imgAccording to the agreement reached between the two parties, the PDP will get the chief minister’s post while a BJP leader (most probably Nirmal Singh) will be made the Deputy Chief Minister.PDP veteran Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who is likely to be the next Jammu and Kashmir CM, will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi within the next few days to finalise a Common Minimum Programme (CMP) to be shared by the two allies, said sources . For almost a month, the BJP and the PDP had been working on the CMP, which includes controversial issues like Article 370, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Uniform Civil Code. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIJammu and Kashmir elected a hung Assembly after the votes of the five-phased election were counted on December 23 last year, with the PDP emerging as the single largest party with 28 seats in the 87-member House. The BJP emerged as the second largest party with 25 seats, followed by the National Conference at 15 and Congress with 12. Smaller parties and independents had won seven seats.  Last week, Sayeed had asserted that the two parties will work “shoulder-to-shoulder” to provide the people of Jammu and Kashmir with good governance. There would be structured dialogue between leaders of the two parties and discussions would be held on the issues to finalise up on a Common Minimum Programme before forming the government, he had said. “Both (parties) will work together based on issues. We will work shoulder-to-shoulder so that we can give people a good government,” he added.The Governor’s Rule was imposed in the state on January 9, a day after National Conference leader Omar Abdullah asked Governor NN Vohra to relieve him of the duties of caretaker Chief Minister with immediate effect.last_img read more

Escobar meme lands Kolkata police in hot water

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata police has landed in hot water after posting on its Facebook page a meme of Colombia footballer Andres Escobar’s infamous own goal at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the US which cost him his life days later. The post was an awareness campaign for June 26 — the International Day Against Drug Abuse And Illicit Trafficking — by exploiting the frenzy that the ongoing edition of the World Cup in Russia has generated. The photo showed Escobar rolling the ball into his own net in the 34th minute of the Colombia-USA group league game past the wrong-footed goalkeeper Oscar Cordoba. Beside the photo was another image of a person — whose midriff and a hand are only visible — injecting a drug. The meme came with the slogan in a medley of English and Bengali “Same Side goal bhuleo noi” (Never ever score a same side goal). Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights Escobar’s slip had proved crucial as Colombia succumbed to the pressure and eventually lost the match 1-2. Romania then went on to defeat the US, which pushed Colombia out of the World Cup. Ten days after his blunder, Escobar went out with friends for the first time since his return from the USA despite being advised against it. After a fallout with a few anti-socials, he was fired upon six times with a .38 calibre pistol. Eye-witnesses said the assailants shouted “goal” after each shot, apparently alluding to Escobar’s same side strike. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed Although Kolkata Police refused to comment, the Facebook post got flooded with comments condemning it as many said it was in bad taste. “I understand there is a World Cup going on and police want to cash in. But there are better means to spread awareness. This is in bad taste as someone lost his life because of the incident,” an active social media user said not being wanting to be named. Days earlier, Kolkata Police had posted a similar post on Argentine star Lionel Messi’s penalty miss against Iceland in the World Cup, urging two and four wheelers not to break traffic rules as “every penalty is not missed.” Messi fans lambasted the post while those who support his old adversary, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, shared it tongue firmly in cheek.last_img read more

Shah Rukh Khan has secret fear

first_imgBollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who will be seen in filmmaker Rohit Shetty’s upcoming directorial Dilwale, says that he is facing a ‘secret fear’ at night.The 49-year-old actor shared his problem on micro-blogging website Twitter, where he said that he fears eating up his children because he finds them cute and ‘edible’. “I have this secret fear that one night while I am sleep walking I will eat up my kids… because I find them sooo edible. Slurp slurp,” the Happy New Year actor tweeted.Shah Rukh at the moment has three movies in his kitty.Dilwale, which is slated to hit the theatres on December 18, also stars Kajol, Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon, Boman Irani and Vinod Khanna.He will also be seen in Rahul Dholakia’s Raees and Maneesh Sharma’s directorial Fan, which are slated to release next year.last_img read more

Body of 18yearold found hanging in room

first_imgKolkata: Mystery shrouds the death of an 18-year-old girl whose body was found hanging in her room.The incident took place in Uluberia area of Howrah on Sunday night.The victim has been identified as Paramita Das (18). According to the preliminary investigation, police came to know that the victim was rebuked by her mother on Sunday over her affair with a local youth.The exact cause of her death is yet to be ascertained. Police suspect that the victim might have committed suicide after her family members raised strong objections against her relationship. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt was learnt that the victim developed a relationship with a local youth a few months ago. The family members of the victim later came to know about the relationship and asked her to end it.As she acted otherwise and continued to meet her boyfriend, her mother scolded her. But this did not go down well with the victim as police suspect it to be the reason behind her suicide.Police said the victim went inside her room on Sunday night. As she did not step out of the room for a long period of time, the family members knocked on the door repeatedly. The family members reported the matter to the locals after she did not open the door. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedLocals broke open the door and found the victim hanging from the ceiling fan. She was immediately rushed to Uluberai Hospital where the doctors pronounced brought dead.After being informed, police reached the spot and started a probe in this regard. The body was sent for an autopsy. Police are waiting for the report.No suicide note has been found from her room.This appears to be a case of suicide. A detailed probe has been initiated. All possible angles are being looked into, a senior police officer in the district said.last_img read more

Spectre too long has weak story Pierce Brosnan

first_imgFormer James Bond star Pierce Brosnan finds the 24th Bond film, Spectre, too long and feels it has a weak storyline.Brosnan, who played the coveted role on the big screen in four films from 1995 to 2002, recently watched the Daniel Craig-starrer and was not impressed, reported E! Online.“I was looking forward to it enormously. I thought it was too long. The story was kind of weak it could have been condensed. It kind of went on too long. It really did,” Brosnan said. Also Read – A fresh blend of fame“(‘Spectre’) is neither fish nor fowl. It’s neither Bond nor Bourne. Am I in a Bond movie? Not in a Bond movie?” the actor continued while noting the similarities with the famous Matt Damon franchise. He, however, was all praise for Craig’s performance.“But Daniel, in the fourth go-round, has ownership of it. He had a nice looseness to him. He’s a mighty warrior, and I think he found a great sense of himself in this one with the one-liners and a nice playfulness there. Just get a tighter story, and he’ll have another classic.” Craig’s previous comments suggested that he does not want to be linked to another Bond movie again. He has since explained that it was all sarcasm, and Brosnan understands where his fellow on-screen secret agent was coming from. “Give him another year off here, and he’ll be ready to rock and roll for sure.”last_img read more

Earlylife exercise promotes healthy brain

first_imgThe research indicates that there may be a window of opportunity during early human development to optimise the chances of better lifelong health.“Exercise affects many aspects of health, both metabolic and mental, and people are only now starting to look at the plasticity of these gut microbes,” said senior study author Monika Fleshner from University of Colorado Boulder in the US. Microbes take up residence within human intestines shortly after birth and are vital to the development of the immune system and various neural functions. The human gut harbours over 100 trillion microorganisms. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’These microbes can add as many as five million genes to a person’s overall genetic profile and thus have tremendous power to influence aspects of human physiology. While this diverse microbial community remains somewhat malleable throughout adult life and can be influenced by environmental factors such as diet and sleep patterns, the researchers found that gut microorganisms are especially ‘plastic’ at a young age.last_img read more

The instigators are murderers says Partha

first_imgKolkata: Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee on Sunday alleged that those who are instigating violence are ‘murderers’. “It is important to find out those who are trying to deteriorate the law and order situation across the state,” he said. On the same day, the Union Home Ministry issued an advisory note to the state government over the law and order situation. Later, Chatterjee criticised the step of sending the note.On Sunday night, Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi expressed his concern over the incident of Sandeshkhali. He also expressed his sympathy for the families and near ones of the deceased and appealed to all concerned to see to it that no violent incidents take place further. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIn the advisory note, the Centre has asked Bengal to ensure that all necessary measures are taken to maintain law and order across the state. The state government has also been requested to take strict action against the officials who are found delinquent in discharge of their duties. After the advisory note was received, Chatterjee protested the step and stated that when there is peace in the state, the Centre is deliberately sending such advisory notes. He also raised questions about why any advisory note was not issued for the Gujarat government, despite several instances of violence there. Chatterjee slammed the saffron party without mentioning their name during a programme. He stated that the BJP’s aim is to take over the state and for that they are resorting to violence and murdering Trinamool workers. “There will be resistance but it will be non-violent. They have no words of development and they are planning to murder Trinamool workers to create an unstable law and order situation,” Chatterjee said.last_img read more

VIDEO Roy Halladays 17yearold son Braden pitched a perfect inning against the

first_img Advertisement Cy Young winner and Blue Jay’s great Roy Halladay was tragically killed in a plane crash over the Gulf of Mexico last November, but his son and former team honored his memory in unforgettable fashion in a spring training game, today.Halladay’s 17-year-old son Braden, a pitcher for Canadian Junior National Team, received a standing ovation from the fans and players in attendance when he entered the game to pitch the bottom of the 8th inning against the Blue Jays. He drew a heart in the dirt behind the mound and then proceeded to retire the Toronto batters with a perfect 1-2-3 inning.Spring training is mostly meaningless, but this was a special moment honoring the late great. It’s safe to say Doc would be proud.Big round of applause for Braden Halladay as he warms up in Dunedin, Fla. to face #BlueJays pic.twitter.com/qsBomT8LTJ— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) March 17, 2018 Very cool moment. Roy Halladay‘s son, Braden, pitched a perfect inning today against the Blue Jays 🙌🏼 pic.twitter.com/pZ8SuIb8Hl— Starting 9 (@Starting9) March 17, 2018last_img read more

Not For Keeps

first_img 2 min read This story appears in the May 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » May 1, 2000 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Buy off-the-shelf software, and it’s yours to do with as you please, right? Wrong. You didn’t actually purchase the software, but rather a license to use it. “A software license is a contract under which the owner of the copyright of the software authorizes the end user to use the software in a particular way,” says Allan P. Weeks, an attorney and partner with Shipman & Goodwin LLP in Hartford, Connecticut. “The use is constrained by the terms of the license and U.S. copyright law.”Weeks says two types of software license agreements are currently in use: a bilateral agreement and a shrink-wrap or click-wrap license. In a bilateral agreement, the parties negotiate the terms of the license. The shrink-wrap (for packaged software from a store or catalog) or click-wrap (for software downloaded from a Web site) license is a standard form that typically limits the number of computers on which you can load the software, limits copying the program, forbids making it part of a network unless you buy a network license, and sets conditions relative to liability, indemnifications and warranties.If you don’t get the appropriate license and pay for it, you could face charges of U.S. copyright law violations. Also keep licensing in mind when you have software created especially for your company. Unless you have a contract that states otherwise, the author of the software owns it-even if you’ve paid that person to develop the software for you. Have contracts for software development reviewed by an attorney with expertise in intellectual property before you sign them.For more information, contact the Software and Information Industry Association, 1730 M St., NW, #700, Washington, DC 20036-4510, (202) 452-1600, www.siia.net. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »last_img read more

15 Hot New Technologies That Will Change Everything

first_img The Future of Your PC’s Software64-Bit Computing Allows for More RAMIn 1986, Intel introduced its first 32-bit CPU. It wasn’t until 1993 that the first fully 32-bit Windows OS–Windows NT 3.1–followed, officially ending the 16-bit era. Now 64-bit processors have become the norm in desktops and notebooks, though Microsoft still won’t commit to an all-64-bit Windows. But it can’t live in the 32-bit world forever.What is it? 64-bit versions of Windows have been around since Windows XP, and 64-bit CPUs have been with us even longer. In fact, virtually every computer sold today has a 64-bit processor under the hood. At some point Microsoft will have to jettison 32-bit altogether, as it did with 16-bit when it launched Windows NT, if it wants to induce consumers (and third-party hardware and software developers) to upgrade. That isn’t likely with Windows 7: The upcoming OS is already being demoed in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. But limitations in 32-bit’s addressing structure will eventually force everyone’s hand; it’s already a problem for 32-bit Vista users, who have found that the OS won’t access more than about 3GB of RAM because it simply doesn’t have the bits to access additional memory.When is it coming? Expect to see the shift toward 64-bit accelerate with Windows 7; Microsoft will likely switch over to 64-bit exclusively with Windows 8. That’ll be 2013 at the earliest. Meanwhile, Mac OS X Leopard is already 64-bit, and some hardware manufacturers are currently trying to transition customers to 64-bit versions of Windows (Samsung says it will push its entire PC line to 64-bit in early 2009). And what about 128-bit computing, which would represent the next big jump? Let’s tackle one sea change at a time–and prepare for that move around 2025.Windows 7: It’s InevitableWhether you love Vista or hate it, the current Windows will soon go to that great digital graveyard in the sky. After the tepid reception Vista received, Microsoft is putting a rush on Vista’s follow-up, known currently as Windows 7.What is it? At this point Windows 7 seems to be the OS that Microsoft wanted to release as Vista, but lacked the time or resources to complete. Besides continuing refinements to the security system of the OS and to its look and feel, Windows 7 may finally bring to fruition the long-rumored database-like WinFS file system. Performance and compatibility improvements over Vista are also expected.But the main thrust of Windows 7 is likely to be enhanced online integration and more cloud computing features–look for Microsoft to tie its growing Windows Live services into the OS more strongly than ever. Before his retirement as Microsoft’s chairman, Bill Gates suggested that a so-called pervasive desktop would be a focus of Windows 7, giving users a way to take all their data, desktop settings, bookmarks, and the like from one computer to another–presumably as long as all those computers were running Windows 7.When is it coming? Microsoft has set a target date of January 2010 for the release of Windows 7, and the official date hasn’t slipped yet. However, rumor has the first official beta coming out before the end of this year.Google’s Desktop OSIn case you haven’t noticed, Google now has its well-funded mitts on just about every aspect of computing. From Web browsers to cell phones, soon you’ll be able to spend all day in the Googleverse and never have to leave. Will Google make the jump to building its own PC operating system next?What is it? It’s everything, or so it seems. Google Checkout provides an alternative to PayPal. Street View is well on its way to taking a picture of every house on every street in the United States. And the fun is just starting: Google’s early-beta Chrome browser earned a 1 percent market share in the first 24 hours of its existence. Android, Google’s cell phone operating system, is hitting handsets as you read this, becoming the first credible challenger to the iPhone among sophisticated customers.When is it coming? Though Google seems to have covered everything, many observers believe that logically it will next attempt to attack one very big part of the software market: the operating system.The Chrome browser is the first toe Google has dipped into these waters. While a browser is how users interact with most of Google’s products, making the underlying operating system somewhat irrelevant, Chrome nevertheless needs an OS to operate.To make Microsoft irrelevant, though, Google would have to work its way through a minefield of device drivers, and even then the result wouldn’t be a good solution for people who have specialized application needs, particularly most business users. But a simple Google OS–perhaps one that’s basically a customized Linux distribution–combined with cheap hardware could be something that changes the PC landscape in ways that smaller players who have toyed with open-source OSs so far haven’t been quite able to do.Check back in 2011, and take a look at the not-affiliated-with-Google gOS, thinkgos in the meantime. The Future of EntertainmentGesture-Based Remote ControlWe love our mice, really we do. Sometimes, however, such as when we’re sitting on the couch watching a DVD on a laptop, or when we’re working across the room from an MP3-playing PC, it just isn’t convenient to drag a hockey puck and click on what we want. Attempts to replace the venerable mouse–whether with voice recognition or brain-wave scanners–have invariably failed. But an alternative is emerging.What is it? Compared with the intricacies of voice recognition, gesture recognition is a fairly simple idea that is only now making its way into consumer electronics. The idea is to employ a camera (such as a laptop’s Webcam) to watch the user and react to the person’s hand signals. Holding your palm out flat would indicate “stop,” for example, if you’re playing a movie or a song. And waving a fist around in the air could double as a pointing system: You would just move your fist to the right to move the pointer right, and so on.When is it coming? Gesture recognition systems are creeping onto the market now. Toshiba, a pioneer in this market, has at least one product out that supports an early version of the technology: the Qosmio G55 laptop, which can recognize gestures to control multimedia playback. The company is also experimenting with a TV version of the technology, which would watch for hand signals via a small camera atop the set. Based on my tests, though, the accuracy of these systems still needs a lot of work.Gesture recognition is a neat way to pause the DVD on your laptop, but it probably remains a way off from being sophisticated enough for broad adoption. All the same, its successful development would excite tons of interest from the “can’t find the remote” crowd. Expect to see gesture recognition technology make some great strides over the next few years, with inroads into mainstream markets by 2012.Radical Simplification Hits the TV BusinessThe back of most audiovisual centers looks like a tangle of snakes that even Medusa would turn away from. Similarly, the bowl of remote controls on your coffee table appeals to no one. The Tru2way platform may simplify things once and for all.What is it? Who can forget CableCard, a technology that was supposed to streamline home A/V installations but that ultimately went nowhere despite immense coverage and hype? CableCard just didn’t do enough–and what it managed to do, it didn’t do very well. Enter Tru2way.Tru2way is a set of services and standards designed to pick up the pieces of CableCard’s failure by upgrading what that earlier standard could do (including support for two-way communications features like programming guides and pay-per-view, which CableCard TVs couldn’t handle), and by offering better compatibility, improved stability, and support for dual-tuner applications right out of the box. So if you have a Tru2way-capable TV, you should need only to plug in a wire to be up and running with a full suite of interactive cable services (including local search features, news feeds, online shopping, and games)–all sans additional boxes, extra remotes, or even a visit from cable-company technicians.When is it coming? Tru2way sets have been demonstrated all year, and Chicago and Denver will be the first markets with the live technology. Does Tru2way have a real shot? Most of the major cable companies have signed up to implement it, as have numerous TV makers, including LG, Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony. Panasonic began shipping two Tru2way TVs in late October, and Samsung may have sets that use the technology available in early to mid-2009.Curtains for DRMPetrified of piracy, Hollywood has long relied on technical means to keep copies of its output from making the rounds on peer-to-peer networks. It hasn’t worked: Tools to bypass DRM on just about any kind of media are readily available, and feature films often hit BitTorrent even before they appear in theaters. Unfortunately for law-abiding citizens, DRM is less a deterrent to piracy than a nuisance that gets in the way of enjoying legally obtained content on more than one device.What is it? It’s not what it is, it’s what it isn’t–axing DRM means no more schemes to prevent you from moving audio or video from one form of media to another. The most ardent DRM critics dream of a day when you’ll be able to take a DVD, pop it in a computer, and end up with a compressed video file that will play on any device in your arsenal. Better yet, you won’t need that DVD at all: You’ll be able to pay a few bucks for an unprotected, downloadable version of the movie that you can redownload any time you wish.When is it coming? Technologically speaking, nothing is stopping companies from scrapping DRM tomorrow. But legally and politically, resistance persists. Music has largely made the transition already–Amazon and iTunes both sell DRM-free MP3s that you can play on as many devices as you want.Video is taking baby steps in the same direction, albeit slowly so far. One recent example: RealNetworks’ RealDVD software (which is now embroiled in litigation) lets you rip DVDs to your computer with one click, but they’re still protected by a DRM system. Meanwhile, studios are experimenting with bundling legally rippable digital copies of their films with packaged DVDs, while online services are tiptoeing into letting downloaders burn a copy of a digital movie to disc.That’s progress, but ending all DRM as we know it is still years off. Keep your fingers crossed–for 2020. Brought to you by PCWorld The Next Big thing? The memristor, a microscopic component that can “remember” electrical states even when turned off. It’s expected to be far cheaper and faster than flash storage. A theoretical concept since 1971, it has now been built in labs and is already starting to revolutionize everything we know about computing, possibly making flash memory, RAM, and even hard drives obsolete within a decade.The memristor is just one of the incredible technological advances sending shock waves through the world of computing. Other innovations in the works are more down-to-earth, but they also carry watershed significance. From the technologies that finally make paperless offices a reality to those that deliver wireless power, these advances should make your humble PC a far different beast come the turn of the decade.In the following sections, we outline the basics of 15 upcoming technologies, with predictions on what may come of them. Some are breathing down our necks; some advances are still just out of reach. And all have to be reckoned with.Memristor: A Groundbreaking New Circuit32-Core CPUs From Intel and AMDNehalem and Swift Chips Spell the End of Stand-Alone Graphics BoardsUSB 3.0 Speeds Up Performance on External DevicesWireless Power Transmission64-Bit Computing Allows for More RAMWindows 7: It’s InevitableGoogle’s Desktop OSGesture-Based Remote ControlRadical Simplification Hits the TV BusinessCurtains for DRMUse Any Phone on Any Wireless NetworkYour Fingers Do Even More WalkingCell Phones Are the New PaperWhere You At? Ask Your Phone, Not Your Friend25 Years of PredictionsThe Future of Your PC’s HardwareMemristor: A Groundbreaking New CircuitSince the dawn of electronics, we’ve had only three types of circuit components–resistors, inductors, and capacitors. But in 1971, UC Berkeley researcher Leon Chua theorized the possibility of a fourth type of component, one that would be able to measure the flow of electric current: the memristor. Now, just 37 years later, Hewlett-Packard has built one.What is it? As its name implies, the memristor can “remember” how much current has passed through it. And by alternating the amount of current that passes through it, a memristor can also become a one-element circuit component with unique properties. Most notably, it can save its electronic state even when the current is turned off, making it a great candidate to replace today’s flash memory.Memristors will theoretically be cheaper and far faster than flash memory, and allow far greater memory densities. They could also replace RAM chips as we know them, so that, after you turn off your computer, it will remember exactly what it was doing when you turn it back on, and return to work instantly. This lowering of cost and consolidating of components may lead to affordable, solid-state computers that fit in your pocket and run many times faster than today’s PCs.Someday the memristor could spawn a whole new type of computer, thanks to its ability to remember a range of electrical states rather than the simplistic “on” and “off” states that today’s digital processors recognize. By working with a dynamic range of data states in an analog mode, memristor-based computers could be capable of far more complex tasks than just shuttling ones and zeroes around.When is it coming? Researchers say that no real barrier prevents implementing the memristor in circuitry immediately. But it’s up to the business side to push products through to commercial reality. Memristors made to replace flash memory (at a lower cost and lower power consumption) will likely appear first; HP’s goal is to offer them by 2012. Beyond that, memristors will likely replace both DRAM and hard disks in the 2014-to-2016 time frame. As for memristor-based analog computers, that step may take 20-plus years.32-Core CPUs From Intel and AMDIf your CPU has only a single core, it’s officially a dinosaur. In fact, quad-core computing is now commonplace; you can even get laptop computers with four cores today. But we’re really just at the beginning of the core wars: Leadership in the CPU market will soon be decided by who has the most cores, not who has the fastest clock speed.What is it? With the gigahertz race largely abandoned, both AMD and Intel are trying to pack more cores onto a die in order to continue to improve processing power and aid with multitasking operations. Miniaturizing chips further will be key to fitting these cores and other components into a limited space. Intel will roll out 32-nanometer processors (down from today’s 45nm chips) in 2009.When is it coming? Intel has been very good about sticking to its road map. A six-core CPU based on the Itanium design should be out imminently, when Intel then shifts focus to a brand-new architecture called Nehalem, to be marketed as Core i7. Core i7 will feature up to eight cores, with eight-core systems available in 2009 or 2010. (And an eight-core AMD project called Montreal is reportedly on tap for 2009.)After that, the timeline gets fuzzy. Intel reportedly canceled a 32-core project called Keifer, slated for 2010, possibly because of its complexity (the company won’t confirm this, though). That many cores requires a new way of dealing with memory; apparently you can’t have 32 brains pulling out of one central pool of RAM. But we still expect cores to proliferate when the kinks are ironed out: 16 cores by 2011 or 2012 is plausible (when transistors are predicted to drop again in size to 22nm), with 32 cores by 2013 or 2014 easily within reach. Intel says “hundreds” of cores may come even farther down the line.Nehalem and Swift Chips Spell the End of Stand-Alone Graphics BoardsWhen AMD purchased graphics card maker ATI, most industry observers assumed that the combined company would start working on a CPU-GPU fusion. That work is further along than you may think.What is it? While GPUs get tons of attention, discrete graphics boards are a comparative rarity among PC owners, as 75 percent of laptop users stick with good old integrated graphics, according to Mercury Research. Among the reasons: the extra cost of a discrete graphics card, the hassle of installing one, and its drain on the battery. Putting graphics functions right on the CPU eliminates all three issues.Chip makers expect the performance of such on-die GPUs to fall somewhere between that of today’s integrated graphics and stand-alone graphics boards–but eventually, experts believe, their performance could catch up and make discrete graphics obsolete. One potential idea is to devote, say, 4 cores in a 16-core CPU to graphics processing, which could make for blistering gaming experiences.When is it coming? Intel’s soon-to-come Nehalem chip includes graphics processing within the chip package, but off of the actual CPU die. AMD’s Swift (aka the Shrike platform), the first product in its Fusion line, reportedly takes the same design approach, and is also currently on tap for 2009.Putting the GPU directly on the same die as the CPU presents challenges–heat being a major one–but that doesn’t mean those issues won’t be worked out. Intel’s two Nehalem follow-ups, Auburndale and Havendale, both slated for late 2009, may be the first chips to put a GPU and a CPU on one die, but the company isn’t saying yet.USB 3.0 Speeds Up Performance on External DevicesThe USB connector has been one of the greatest success stories in the history of computing, with more than 2 billion USB-connected devices sold to date. But in an age of terabyte hard drives, the once-cool throughput of 480 megabits per second that a USB 2.0 device can realistically provide just doesn’t cut it any longer.What is it? USB 3.0 (aka “SuperSpeed USB”) promises to increase performance by a factor of 10, pushing the theoretical maximum throughput of the connector all the way up to 4.8 gigabits per second, or processing roughly the equivalent of an entire CD-R disc every second. USB 3.0 devices will use a slightly different connector, but USB 3.0 ports are expected to be backward-compatible with current USB plugs, and vice versa. USB 3.0 should also greatly enhance the power efficiency of USB devices, while increasing the juice (nearly one full amp, up from 0.1 amps) available to them. That means faster charging times for your iPod–and probably even more bizarre USB-connected gear like the toy rocket launchers and beverage coolers that have been festooning people’s desks.When is it coming? The USB 3.0 spec is nearly finished, with consumer gear now predicted to come in 2010. Meanwhile, a host of competing high-speed plugs–DisplayPort, eSATA, and HDMI–will soon become commonplace on PCs, driven largely by the onset of high-def video. Even FireWire is looking at an imminent upgrade of up to 3.2 gbps performance. The port proliferation may make for a baffling landscape on the back of a new PC, but you will at least have plenty of high-performance options for hooking up peripherals.Wireless Power TransmissionWireless power transmission has been a dream since the days when Nikola Tesla imagined a world studded with enormous Tesla coils. But aside from advances in recharging electric toothbrushes, wireless power has so far failed to make significant inroads into consumer-level gear.What is it? This summer, Intel researchers demonstrated a method–based on MIT research–for throwing electricity a distance of a few feet, without wires and without any dangers to bystanders (well, none that they know about yet). Intel calls the technology a “wireless resonant energy link,” and it works by sending a specific, 10-MHz signal through a coil of wire; a similar, nearby coil of wire resonates in tune with the frequency, causing electrons to flow through that coil too. Though the design is primitive, it can light up a 60-watt bulb with 70 percent efficiency.When is it coming? Numerous obstacles remain, the first of which is that the Intel project uses alternating current. To charge gadgets, we’d have to see a direct-current version, and the size of the apparatus would have to be considerably smaller. Numerous regulatory hurdles would likely have to be cleared in commercializing such a system, and it would have to be thoroughly vetted for safety concerns.Assuming those all go reasonably well, such receiving circuitry could be integrated into the back of your laptop screen in roughly the next six to eight years. It would then be a simple matter for your local airport or even Starbucks to embed the companion power transmitters right into the walls so you can get a quick charge without ever opening up your laptop bag. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Enroll Now for Free The Future of Mobile PhonesUse Any Phone on Any Wireless NetworkThe reason most cell phones are so cheap is that wireless carriers subsidize them so you’ll sign a long-term contract. Open access could change the economics of the mobile phone (and mobile data) business dramatically as the walls preventing certain devices from working on certain networks come down. We could also see a rapid proliferation of cell phone models, with smaller companies becoming better able to make headway into formerly closed phone markets.What is it? Two years is an eternity in the cellular world. The original iPhone was announced, introduced, and discontinued in less than that time, yet carriers routinely ask you to sign up for two-year contracts if you want access to their discounted phones. (It could be worse–in other countries, three years is normal.) Verizon launched the first volley late last year when it promised that “any device, any application” would soon be allowed on its famously closed network. Meanwhile, AT&T and T-Mobile like to note that their GSM networks have long been “open.”When is it coming? Open access is partially here: You can use almost any unlocked GSM handset on AT&T or T-Mobile today, and Verizon Wireless began certifying third-party devices for its network in July (though to date the company has approved only two products). But the future isn’t quite so rosy, as Verizon is dragging its feet a bit on the legal requirement that it keep its newly acquired 700-MHz network open to other devices, a mandate that the FCC agreed to after substantial lobbying by Google. Some experts have argued that the FCC provisions aren’t wholly enforceable. However, we won’t really know how “open” is defined until the new network begins rolling out, a debut slated for 2010.Your Fingers Do Even More WalkingLast year Microsoft introduced Surface, a table with a built-in monitor and touch screen; many industry watchers have seen it as a bellwether for touch-sensitive computing embedded into every device imaginable. Surface is a neat trick, but the reality of touch devices may be driven by something entirely different and more accessible: the Apple iPhone.What is it? With the iPhone, “multitouch” technology (which lets you use more than one finger to perform specific actions) reinvented what we knew about the humble touchpad. Tracing a single finger on most touchpads looks positively simian next to some of the tricks you can do with two or more digits. Since the iPhone’s launch, multitouch has found its way into numerous mainstream devices, including the Asus Eee PC 900 and a Dell Latitude tablet PC. Now all eyes are turned back to Apple, to see how it will further adapt multitouch (which it has already brought to its laptops’ touchpads). Patents that Apple has filed for a multitouch tablet PC have many people expecting the company to dive into this neglected market, finally bringing tablets into the mainstream and possibly sparking explosive growth in the category.When is it coming? It’s not a question of when Multitouch will arrive, but how quickly the trend will grow. Fewer than 200,000 touch-screen devices were shipped in 2006. iSuppli analysts have estimated that a whopping 833 million will be sold in 2013. The real guessing game is figuring out when the old “single-touch” pads become obsolete, possibly taking physical keyboards along with them in many devices.Cell Phones Are the New PaperLog in to your airline’s Web site. Check in. Print out your boarding pass. Hope you don’t lose it. Hand the crumpled pass to a TSA security agent and pray you don’t get pulled aside for a pat-down search. When you’re ready to fly home, wait in line at the airport because you lacked access to a printer in your hotel room. Can’t we come up with a better way?What is it? The idea of the paperless office has been with us since Bill Gates was in short pants, but no matter how sophisticated your OS or your use of digital files in lieu of printouts might be, they’re of no help once you leave your desk. People need printouts of maps, receipts, and instructions when a computer just isn’t convenient. PDAs failed to fill that need, so coming to the rescue are their replacements: cell phones.Applications to eliminate the need for a printout in nearly any situation are flooding the market. Cellfire offers mobile coupons you can pull up on your phone and show to a clerk; Tickets.com now makes digital concert passes available via cell phone through its Tickets@Phoneservice. The final frontier, though, remains the airline boarding pass, which has resisted this next paperless step since the advent of Web-based check-in.When is it coming? Some cell-phone apps that replace paper are here now (just look at the ones for the iPhone), and even paperless boarding passes are creeping forward. Continental has been experimenting with a cell-phone check-in system that lets you show an encrypted, 2D bar code on your phone to a TSA agent in lieu of a paper boarding pass. The agent scans the bar code with an ordinary scanner, and you’re on your way. Introduced at the Houston Intercontinental Airport, the pilot project became permanent earlier this year, and Continental rolled it out in three other airports in 2008. The company promises more airports to come. (Quantas will be doing something similar early next year.)Where You At? Ask Your Phone, Not Your FriendGPS is taking off, as phone makers, carriers, and service providers have realized that consumers generally have no idea where they are, ever. A location-based service (LBS) takes raw GPS data that pinpoints your location and enhances this information with additional services, from suggesting nearby restaurants to specifying the whereabouts of your friends.What is it? LBS was originally envisioned as simply using old-school cell-phone signal triangulation to locate users’ whereabouts, but as the chips become more common and more sophisticated, GPS is proving to be not only handy and accurate but also the basis for new services. Many startups have formed around location-based services. Want a date? Never mind who’s compatible; who’s nearby? MeetMoi can find them. Need to get a dozen people all in one place? Both Whrrl and uLocate’s Buddy Beacon tell you where your friends are in real time.Of course, not everyone is thrilled about LBS: Worries about surreptitious tracking or stalking are commonplace, as is the possibility of a flood of spam messages being delivered to your phone.When is it coming? LBS is growing fast. The only thing holding it back is the slow uptake of GPS-enabled phones (and carriers’ steep fees to activate the function). But with iPhones selling like Ben & Jerry’s in July, that’s not much of a hurdle to overcome. Expect to see massive adoption of these technologies in 2009 and 2010.25 Years of Predictions:Our Greatest HitsPredicting the future isn’t easy. Sometimes PC World has been right on the money. At other times, we’ve missed it by a mile. Here are three predictions we made that were eerily prescient–and three where we may have been a bit too optimistic.1983 What we said: “The mouse will bask in the computer world limelight… Like the joystick before it, though, the mouse will fade someday into familiarity.”We hit that one out of the park. Mice are so commonplace that they’re practically disposable.1984 What we said: “Microsoft Windows should have a lasting effect on the entire personal computer industry.””Lasting” was an understatement. Windows has now amassed for Microsoft total revenues in the tens of billions of dollars and is so ubiquitous and influential that it has been almost perpetually embroiled in one lawsuit or another, usually involving charges of monopoly or of trademark and patent infringements.1988 What we said:”In the future you’ll have this little box containing all your files and programs… It’s very likely that eventually people will always carry their data with them.”For most people, that little box is now also their MP3 player or cell phone.And Biggest Misses1987 What we said: “When you walk into an office in 1998, the PC will sense your presence, switch itself on, and promptly deliver your overnight e-mail, sorted in order of importance.”When we arrive in our office, the computer ignores us, slowly delivers the overnight e-mail, and puts all the spam on top.1994 What we said: “Within five years… batteries that last a year, like watch batteries today, will power [PDAs].”Perhaps our biggest whiff of all time. Not only do these superbatteries not exist (nor are they even remotely in sight), but PDAs are pretty much dead too.2000 What we said: We wrote about future “computers that pay attention to you, sensing where you are, what you’re doing, and even what your vital signs are… Products incorporating this kind of technology…could hit the market within a year.”While many devices now feature location-sensing hardware, such a PC has yet to come to pass. And frankly, we’d be glad to be wrong about this one. The Future of Mobile Phones The Future of Your PC’s Software 15+ min read December 2, 2008 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. The Future of Entertainment last_img read more

Google to Bring Faster WiFi to Starbucks

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Coffee drinkers, rejoice: Starbucks stores across the U.S. will soon be getting free Wi-Fi from Google.Google announced Wednesday that it is partnering with Starbucks to enhance the coffee-shop internet experience that many professionals now rely on. It’s promising to make the wireless internet up to 10 times faster than Starbucks customers have previously enjoyed. Google Fiber cities, such as Kansas City, Kan., will get Wi-Fi that is up to 100 times faster, the company said. Google Fiber is an ongoing initiative to build a high-speed internet network using fiber-optic technology.AT&T currently provides free Wi-Fi to Starbucks customers. But over the next 18 months, Google will replace AT&T’s service in all 7,000 company-operated Starbucks locations across America.Starbucks chief digital officer Adam Brotman said the coffee giant had not planned to drop AT&T, but was looking for ways to partner with Google and saw an opportunity to improve Wi-Fi speeds, according to a report published today by CNET.AT&T, however, said it too had proposed 10 times faster network and Wi-Fi speeds to Starbucks, according to the report.Related: Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz Says He’s Not Afraid of Dunkin’ Donuts Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 1 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now » July 31, 2013last_img read more

How This Google Glass Startup Is Saving Doctors Time

first_img This story appears in the December 2014 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 4 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now After meeting at Stanford University’s biodesign program, Ian Shakil and Pelu Tran began tossing around concepts for a health-care startup. In the summer of 2012, after trying Google Glass for the first time, an idea came into focus: What if they created a service for doctors—powered by the device—to record, store and retrieve patient health records? And what if that service could vastly reduce the avalanche of data entry doctors face each day?The pair quickly dove into engineering; Shakil left his marketing and business-development job, and Tran—then a fourth-year med student—put his studies on hold. The result: Augmedix, a Google Glass platform that automatically populates a patient’s electronic health records based on conversations during appointments with physicians. Additionally, physicians using the service can verbally request details from a patient’s records, such as cholesterol count or blood pressure, and the information immediately pops up in the smart specs. Billed as “the first Google Glass startup,” Augmedix debuted in summer 2013 at trials in San Francisco and rural Texas. Today dozens of doctors in 12 medical facilities across five states use the product, including Dignity Health and two other national health-care networks. Shakil, Augmedix’s CEO, predicts that nearly a thousand MDs will be using the platform by the end of 2015. “We save doctors a third of their day,” Shakil says. “Our doctors talk about Augmedix the way people talked about the iPhone when it first came out.” Patients are thrilled, too, he says, because doctors—now liberated from time-consuming documentation—can devote more time and attention to them. Investors have been equally impressed. In May the San Francisco upstart closed a $7.3 million financing round led by Silicon Valley venture capital firms DCM and Emergence Capital Partners. Kevin Spain, general partner at Emergence Capital, who sits on Augmedix’s board, believes technology and cloud services will help overhaul the country’s costly, bloated health-care system. “Every doctor you talk to, when you ask them what their biggest problem is, it’s data entry,” says Spain, who has also invested in health-care IT startups Doximity and Welltok. “They’re spending anywhere between 25 and 50 percent of their time entering data into the computer every single day. I really believe that means that patients receive worse care.”Doctors using Augmedix pay a monthly subscription fee, which covers the cost of the glasses, software and technical support. Pricing varies depending on medical specialty, patient volume and schedule, says Shakil, who declined to give specifics. Augmedix, which has 50-plus employees, is straining to keep up with demand. Shakil is using much of the capital raised to bring in new hires to increase distribution and improve the service, focusing on salespeople, product managers and engineers and back-end developers. New features are in the works, too.An alert system called Guidance prompts doctors to perform tasks that may be overlooked during patient visits (for example, ordering lab work) or reminds them that a patient has been in the waiting room for a certain period of time. A separate feature lets doctors communicate with one another directly by video in Google Glass; say, if they need an out-of-state specialist to weigh in on a diagnosis or treatment plan. Partnerships with other tech companies—such as Thalmic Labs, creator of the Myo armband, a device that detects subtle movements of the hand and fingers—further extend Augmedix’s capabilities.“We’re not just talking about saving time or humanizing the doctor-patient interaction,” Shakil says of Augmedix’s prospects. “What we’re really talking about is improving the quality of care immeasurably.”  December 31, 2014 Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

This Video Doorbell Lets You Answer Your Door With Your Smartphone

first_imgAugust 25, 2015 Two years ago, Jamie Siminoff did the walk of shame off the set of Shark Tank. Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary rudely told the serial entrepreneur-inventor that he was dead to him for not accepting his offer. His pitch on the popular show yielded zero dollars and embarrassment. He had failed, and in front of millions.Flash forward to today and Siminoff’s invention that tanked on Shark Tank — Ring, a video doorbell that lets people answer their doors using their smartphones — is flush with investor cash, including an infusion from Richard Branson just last week. (The British billionaire randomly saw someone use his smartphone to interact with a UPS delivery man via Ring and “was immediately hooked by the product.”)“It’s like beyond surreal,” Siminoff recently told Business Insider, reflecting on his company’s post-Shark Tank rebound. “I still can’t believe it.”Image credit: RingRelated: This Brilliant Braille Smartwatch Lets the Visually Impaired Feel What Time It IsSiminoff and fellow consumer tech veteran Mark Dillon founded Ring four years ago and have raised some $38 million in the last year alone. The mission of their business, which now has 120 employees, is to “reduce crime in communities and empower consumers by creating a ‘ring’ of security around homes and neighborhoods.”The $199 Wi-Fi connected doorbell features an HD night-vision video camera that records video in real-time and saves it to the cloud for $30 per year. Outfitted with motion sensors, speakers and a microphone, the compact device also enables for two-way communication. When someone arrives on your doorstep, the app issues smartphone notifications via its companion iOS or Android app to alert you to arriving guests and delivery people — anyone, even potentially suspicious visitors. That way, you can tell visitors or delivery people you’ll be just a minute or ask them to come back later. You can even tell unwanted guests to buzz off (or perhaps something more polite).Image credit: RingRelated: This $30 Device Can Break Into Almost Any Keyless Door in Your Car or HomeSo far, the invention has amassed an estimated $3 million in sales, some of which Siminoff chalks up to publicly blowing it on Shark Tank. “There was definitely a snobbery of, ‘Oh you were on Shark Tank’ almost like, ‘That’s embarrassing,’” he told The Wall Street Journal. “Then I showed them the numbers and what the show has done for us in terms of awareness and everything else. If you’re a consumer brand, I don’t think there’s anything else quite like [Shark Tank] that can do that for you.”Who’s dead to who now, “Mr. Wonderful”? Looks like Siminoff never needed your money in the first place. Your reach was more than enough.Related: Why This Hearing Device Is Making Noise With Investors 3 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalscenter_img Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now »last_img read more

3 Steps to Turn Your Smartphone Into a SelfImprovement Engine

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. June 5, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. For how indispensable our smartphones have become — can we just call them phones now — they might be doing us more harm than good. Research from the University of Texas suggests that we’re measurably less intelligent (read: dumber) when our phones are within sight. According to a 2017 report by analytics firm Flurry, we spend five hours per day on these IQ-shrinking devices. But this doesn’t mean our pocket technology is inherently bad. We just need to learn how to manage our phones for maximum benefit.I’ve grown a lifestyle coaching business in part by teaching executive-level men and women how to do just that. Curious to learn how make the most of your phone?Related: New Google OS Has Tools to Help With Your Tech Addiction1. Set daily tech limitationsYou know how you get these aspirations to be better at x, y or z? And you say, “I’m going to be better!” but it never happens? A lot of people do that with their smartphones. They instinctively suspect it’s not healthy to be on Whatsapp four hours a day, but without a daily goal for limiting the habit their habit never changes. That’s why you have to set a daily goal for limiting smartphone use.I advise all of my clients to set strict limitations in their daily planners for technology use throughout the day, which also includes texts and messages. (This means disabling notifications for everything but incoming phone calls.) Some do checks every two hours for 10 minutes, some check twice or three times a day. But no matter what my clients communication demands are, the knee-jerk, “Ah, I don’t know what I should be doing so I’ll just reach for my phone like Frodo with the ring” reaction is eliminated, which forces them to do more work.You’ll want to alert bosses and clients of your new communications schedule (which involves setting email autoresponders) and assure them that less is definitely more in this case.Related: Apple, Facebook and Google Vets Form Coalition to Fight Tech Addiction2. Relieve your mind with a smart note-taking system.You know the sense of panic that starts building up when you have so much to do but don’t quite know what to do? David Allen, author of Getting Things Done, likens our brains to a computer. In that analogy, the that panic is a malfunctioning mental “RAM.” Like any computer, your brain at capacity ceases to function properly.Allen’s solution is to unburden your mental hard drive by uploading your thoughts and tasks onto a computer hard drive via a note-taking system. Your phone is the perfect place to start. It’s always with you, always ready to relieve your brain. If you have an iCloud account, your phone notes automatically sync to your computer notes, and vise versa. Don’t have a Mac? Consider purchasing an iPhone, then download an iCloud account on your PC or laptop for free. Here are the folders you need to start:HealthCareerHappinessGoalsSelf-ImprovementProcrastinationsLife (for general observations)GratitudeImportant peopleIdeasWhat’s workingNext action*—Any time you have an insight, deadline or task, file it away in the relevant tab to act on later. To make sure you come back to your ideas and actually act upon them, Allen suggests creating a “Next Action” sub-tab for each category. You’ll set a reminder to revisit your “Next Actions” list once or twice a week. (More on reminders in the next section.)For instance, if you’re realizing that you’re running low on thank-you cards for your clients/business partners, but can’t take care of it immediately, you would go to your career tab and then to your “next action” subtab to input the new directive: purchase another stack of “thank you cards” at Wallgreens. Review your next action tabs regularly, you’ll see that specific action and schedule it.You’ll want to program, “Review my next action tabs for 15 minutes” into your phone twice a week, once at midweek and once on the weekend.Related: The 5 Best To-Do List Apps to Boost Your Productivity3. Take advantage of your reminders.Smartphones, especially the apps, are colossal distractions to most people. Polls show that 92 percent of our phone time is spent on them. But when you start limiting your phone use in general, and start using the reminders app, your phone alerts you to focus on what you really need to be doing. Which turns your phone into a focus aid.The easiest way to start using your reminders is to activate Siri or your Google Assistant, and to dictate whatever you want to be reminded of. If you want to begin your big project next Friday at 2:00 pm, you’ll say: “At 11:00 am next Friday, remind me to set my 2:00 pm alarm for starting new project.” The wording has to be just like that example, otherwise the robot will confuse the times. And unfortunately you can’t schedule alarms past a day in advance. You can also manually set alerts in the reminders app — it just takes five times longer.To cultivate the habit of using your reminders, start setting reminders for everything for a week: walking your dog, paying bills, even (what the hell) sex with your spouse. That way when you come across something that you really need to be reminded of, like an important meeting, you go to your phone by reflex. This one feature has saved me countless frustrations and missed appointments.last_img read more

Dropbox will soon require Kernel access

first_imgDropbox will soon require Kernel access by Martin Brinkmann on May 26, 2016 in Internet – 22 commentsDropbox revealed Project Infinite, a new way of managing files on desktop systems when the Dropbox client is being used, about a week ago.The main feature that Project Infinite brings along with it is a placeholder mechanic that displays all files on the desktop computer even if they are not synced. This gives you an overview of all of the files stored on Dropbox and improves manageability because of it.This is similar to what Microsoft’s SkyDrive Onedrive offered for some time before the feature was pulled by the company (too confusing to users was the reason I think that Microsoft gave back then).Dropbox did not reveal all the required information about Project Infinite last week, and has just published another blog post that reveals technical information on how the company plans to make the feature available.by DropboxThe company invested “the better part of two years” to create the solution. The gist of the article is that Dropbox will require Kernel access for the new feature.Traditionally, Dropbox operated entirely in user space as a program just like any other on your machine. With Dropbox Infinite, we’re going deeper: into the kernel—the core of the operating system.With Project Infinite, Dropbox is evolving from a process that passively watches what happens on your local disk to one that actively plays a role in your filesystem.Current versions of Dropbox operate in the user space only, and while that limits what Dropbox can do with the program somewhat, it is safer for a variety of reasons.A Dropbox client with kernel access can theoretically see and access everything on the system. While that may not be a problem on its own, you do trust Dropbox enough to store some of your files on their servers after all, it can have serious security or performance implications.Bad code could cause crashes or performance issues, and security vulnerabilities could wreak havoc on the system thanks to kernel access.Dropbox is not the only program to require kernel access, but access for the most part is limited to security solutions and system drivers.We don’t know yet if there will be a switch in the Dropbox client to turn kernel access on or off. If I had to guess, I’d say it will be implemented without such a switch meaning that Dropbox will require kernel access going forward.If you feel uncomfortable giving the program these access rights, you may want to consider one of the following options:Use Dropbox exclusively on the website. This is not very practical as it does away with the comfortable syncing and making available of files, but is more secure from a security point of view.Use a third-party sync client such as Multi Cloud instead which gives you access to your Dropbox files on the desktop without using the Dropbox client.Drop Dropbox, and switch to another cloud synchronization service instead.Now You: Do you mind giving Dropbox kernel access?SummaryArticle NameDropbox will soon require Kernel accessDescriptionDropbox’s upcoming Project Infinite will require operating system kernel access. Read on to find out what that means, and what you can do about it.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more

Opera launches News and Search app for Android

first_imgOpera launches News and Search app for Android by Martin Brinkmann on June 09, 2016 in Google Android – 2 commentsOpera Software launched a new application for Android devices called Opera browser – news & search that moves away from the classic web browser concept.The company has experimented with news feeds and personalized news in Opera browsers both on the desktop and mobile devices for some time, and it seems that the new app marks the next step in the company’s journey.Opera browser – news & search is not a classic web browser anymore even though it comes with functionality to load web pages.Think of the new app as a special version of the Opera browser that focuses on delivering news and providing search capabilities.Opera browser – news & searchThis becomes apparent right on first start. The browser interface is divided into a search form at the top, and news below it.You can use the search form to run searches or type web addresses directly. Basic controls to go back, open the home page or switch tabs are provided at the bottom of the interface.The news part displays an assortment of news articles on the frontpage. You can customize what is displayed there by swiping to the right to display the available channels.These include sports, politics, entertainment and other topics that look like an extended version of what recent versions of the Opera browser for the desktop offer.You can preview any channel with a tap on it, and hit the subscribe button to add its feed to the frontpage queue.When you load an article from the news section for the first time you are notified about another feature that Opera baked in: reading mode.You may load articles in reading mode, a special version of the web page the article was published on, that focuses on improving readability by changing fonts and removing elements on the web page such as menus that are not required for the article.You may use reading mode on an article by article basis, or enable it as the default viewing mode for news articles in the application.Reading Mode is not available for all web pages or articles that you open in the app however.The app ships with a reading list feature that you can add any article to. You may access the list of saved articles at any time by tapping on the sign-in icon in the menu bar at the bottom of the screen. Please note that you don’t need to sign in to use the feature.Reading mode offers sharing options to spread the word on social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook.Opera browser – news & search supports Opera’s data saving technology to reduce data transfers when using the application, and options to download photos, files and articles to the device for offline access.The settings list pretty much the same preferences that the mobile versions of Opera browser do.Closing WordsIf you use the Internet mostly for news and search, then you may find Opera’s new application useful. It is not available in all regions right now though, and that is probably one reason why news are focused on the US currently.It seems likely that this is going to change with future releases though, and if you don’t mind that, you find the download on sites such as APK Mirror.The name of the app is somewhat confusing as it is easy enough to confuse it with the regular Opera mobile browser called Opera browser – fast & safe. Additionally, it shows up as Opera with the default icon on the Android device after installation.Now You: What’s your take on the application?Summary12345 Author Rating3 based on 2 votes Software Name Opear browser – news & searchOperating System AndroidSoftware Category BrowserLanding Page https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.opera.android.browser Advertisementlast_img read more

Mozilla launches Firefox Rocket browser in Indonesia

first_imgMozilla launches Firefox Rocket browser in Indonesia by Martin Brinkmann on October 02, 2017 in Firefox – Last Update: October 02, 2017 – 30 commentsFirst traces of a new web browser by Mozilla, makers of Firefox, appeared today on the company’s official support website.Firefox Rocket is the name of the new browser, and it is only available in Indonesia currently. The description on Mozilla’s support web page reveals some information:Firefox Rocket is a light but feature-packed browser that lets you save data and phone storage, capture and share content, and browse quickly even on slow connections.The very same page highlights some of the features of the new browser:Browse faster with Turbo ModeSave data and speed up your browsing with Block imagesClear your cache / free up phone spaceCapture web pages with ScreenshotsSome of these features are also available in other Firefox versions while others are exclusive to Firefox Rocket for now.Turbo Mode sounds a lot like Opera Turbo on first glance. Firefox Rocket Turbo Mode hides third-party content such as advertisement on web pages visited in the browser. It is unclear at this point in time whether Turbo Mode is a content blocker that is built-in to Firefox Rocket, or if it is a solution like Opera Turbo which uses a proxy to block and compress content before it is transferred to the user’s device.Another feature that is not part of other versions of Firefox by default is the option to block images from being loaded. Firefox Rocket is not the first browser to offer that feature though; Vivaldi and Opera support a similar feature for instance natively.The third feature of Firefox Rocket that Mozilla highlights is the option to clear the browser cache without clearing the browsing history, form history or login sessions.Finally, Screenshots is also available in Firefox Rocket. Mozilla launched Screenshots recently for Firefox on the desktop.Mozilla makes no mention of the systems that Firefox Rocket is available for. It is likely that Firefox Rocket is available for Android, and not for the desktop. We don’t know as well whether it is based on Firefox code, or something else.If you are from Indonesia let us know if you had a chance to play with Firefox Rocket already.Closing WordsIt is quite unclear to me right now why Mozilla launched Firefox Rocket, a new web browser, and not implemented the functionality in Firefox Mobile or Firefox Focus instead.I will update the article when new information comes to light.Now You: What’s your take on this new browser?SummaryArticle NameMozilla launches Firefox Rocket browser in IndonesiaDescriptionFirefox Rocket is the name of the new web browser by Mozilla, makers of the Firefox web browser, and it is only available in Indonesia currently. Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more