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Monday, 4 June 2012

Whats happening at Facebook?

Have you had problems logging in to FB? Are the investors happy with the timing of all this? What's going on within Facebook? Here's some possible reasons and speculations being made by industry experts about the less talked about factors that may have caused the issues at the social networking giant.

Facebook has had a lot of things happening over the last week or so. The hype about its IPO was overwhelming even for the big media companies to digest and speculations drove public attention and made them zombies. I make that comparison because they were blinded and were not looking at actuality of events. It was a very important occasion though for Facebook but it did not turn out as well as they had predicted it to. The IPO reached much lesser value from its initial prediction by not just Facebook itself but even big time investors.

Mark Zuckerberg stocks Facebook's IPO :)

What made matters worse was Facebook's so called outage. The entire website was inaccessible for hours on certain days. Mark Zuckerberg had mentioned a statement in his IPO which said that, 'If the website goes down then users will go away and may never return'. No one looked at this back then but now that it did happen, investors were losing patience. Hackers like ' The Anonymous' were predicted to have hacked the website and Facebook stayed away from explanations and this made matters even worse. Big investors had already invested aggressively, all thanks to the media speculation but thanks to all the problems at the wrong time, the stocks plunged. IPO investors were now scared and they might even start selling soon. When they do so, stocks will plunge deeper.

But the point is why did this happen. Is all this random occurrences of events that just happened to happen or was there a strategic business plan behind what happened? Well, there are three major possibilities for these turn out of events according to us:

Its Mark's plan to make buy-backs possible: Before you say what are you talking about? Think about this, it was him who was against making Facebook public and held it from happening for longer than he could stop it. Finally when he was under immense pressure from all sources is when he cracked and made the public offering. So, all this could be his plan to sell the stocks at a certain price then make the stocks fall and offer buy-backs when it sounded that they were unsuccessful.

The website was hacked: It is a very high possibility that the website was hacked. The worst part of this is that Facebook would never let public know that it did happen because they would lose public confidence especially when its privacy rules are under so much of confusion. By the way, they are having users vote on their change in privacy today. Something does sound fishy because again why now? but who knows whats gonna happen next, even Facebook can not be certain or can they be?

They did have a problem with their cache: The last possibility could have been that Facebook did actually have a problem with how they were handling their cache and changed the software in use. It apparently made matters worse and they have now fixed it. Well, its quite possible but the timing of this makes no one feel comfortable especially if you have invested millions just a week ago and the stock prices are falling. Investors are very nervous.

Well, Facebook has really had a lot of drama right from the word go. So, we as the people are certainly not surprised by how its public offering turned out. Lots of drama as usual. Hope things change for the good for everybody.

Well, thats what we think. But do let us know what you feel and how things may turn out for Facebook in the next month or so. Do you think this is truly Mark's plan? He isn't new to doing things like this or is it just another hurdle for Facebook that they will fight through?

Sunday, 3 June 2012

How does Dialup Internet work?

Today we will be talking about Technology History. The oldest yet still existing form of Internet - Dialup!

Remember connecting through your telephone to the internet, if not then you have missed one of the oldest form of internet connectivity options. Here is a quick note on how this form of technology works.

Its quite simple but quite unique, the computer connects to the internet through the telephone lines. This is the same technology that works when you connect your cellphone to your computer to connect your PC to the internet.

The service provider sets up a telephone number that helps establish a connection to the internet. The user sets up his computer to dial that number and a connection is established. The problem is that the computer understands or speaks in a digital language where as the telephone can only understand or speak the analog language. The only solution is a Modem - Modulator Demodulator, this devices acts as a translating device which translates the phone's language to the computer and the computer's language to the phone.

So, when the phone company sends a signal with details of your Google search the modem helps the computer in translating it into text and images that are understandable. Dialup internet can reach a maximum of 56kbps and is ideal for downloading email. It's more advanced predecessors are ISDN and Broadband. Which are quite different and we will talk about them sometime later. The videos below talk more about how dial-up works in real life and how slow & frustrating it can be.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Self-driving Cars - Initial Review

We are back! Today we will do an initial review of the latest in Car technology - Self-driving cars. Why today? Well, today is a great day in Car Technology History, the first ever self-driving car was tested to the road officially just a few days back, Volvo drove its three fully self driven cars and a truck in Barcelona, Spain. Also, the state of California has approved this technology for road use today, so you are bound to see a lot of these on the road very soon.

The technology is not new to car manufacturers though, its been there for quite a long time, infact some of you may have recollected that this technology in its initial stages was banned from F1 because it was making everything so automated that drivers may soon not be required. Moving on, let me quickly show you how this works.

This technology majorly works based on sensors. It has some basic protocols (rules) and commands stored in a processing unit that continuously measures and processes data live to make sure the car drives perfectly. It has four major types of sensors mounted which help guide the vehicle. I will not talk about the technical aspects of these here but more on what they really do which is much more important.

Radars: This technology is in use in most of our vehicles in the market. The radars act as sensors which guide the vehicle while parking and during accidents when it helps you brake on time. The new advance version of this technology is majorly used to calculate average speed of vehicles around the Car, so that it can drive at that speed. Also, it does the above functionality to act as a device for safety. There are four of these on-board two front and two rear. They are essential devices that help the car function without a driver. They also have an inbuilt mechanism on-board that helps the car drive itself even when one front and one rear Radar is lost.

Laser: There is usually a laser device mounted on top of the car, the 64 beam device produces three and a half measurements a second. It identifies vehicles, objects, humans and animals around it. This is a critical component as it helps the inbuilt computer sense the objects and is the eye of the car. It detects objects and the road in all directions from the car in one go, three times a second.

GPS: Nothing too fancy about this GPS. Just like any other positioning system, it helps get directions. The only difference is that the human does not get directions now, instead the car does. You think that's difficult, its actually easier because the computer translates the code for humans but for another electronic device that does not need human responses, digital signals are the way to go and are easy to interpret and translate. What that means is that you can tell your car that you need to go to office and sit back & read a newspaper while it gets you there.

Wheel Encoder: This is a device that sits directly on the wheel, its a little different from the regular ones we use in our cars to measure speed. What it does is that it detects not just the speed but the direction in which the wheel is going. This wheel encoder helps the computer use the steering and checks the direction. The front two encoders are for steering while the rear check speed especially to make sure a vehicle is at a right speed for a turn measuring friction, slip and climbing ramps.

These were the most amusing devices that are essential for self-driving cars. However, Volvo's test cars were different from this technology. They used something totally different. In their test they had a truck driven by an actual person leading the group of four self driven vehicles. The self-driven vehicles just imitated the speed, steering, braking and basically everything that the leading truck did. This technology is not a very practical solution for everyday cars. So, we did not mention it in the beginning. You can find the Volvo test video and the other self-driven car video below. You can see that the truck in the front is driven by a human and the rest by bots

Tomorrow we will be doing an exciting post on one of the pioneers of internet history. Keep connected and enjoy the day!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Samsung Galaxy S3 - Full Review

Today we will be reviewing the Samsung's about to be launched phone, Samsung Galaxy S3. Right to the point. As Samsung says, "Designed for humans. Inspired by nature."

New Amazing features:

Smart Stay - Specifically designed for reading, watches your eye movement. When you fall asleep or are not looking at the phone, it dims the screen and eventually goes on a power saving mode.
Direct Call - Messaging someone and wanna call them. Just bring the phone close to ear and it will automatically dial.
Social Tag - Got a picture of a group of friends. It automatically recognizes them and links them to your phonebook. So that you can touch the picture and Call, Message or Email them. You can also email the picture to them instantly.
S Beam - Place two of these phones back to back and automatically transfer files with one touch.
All share cast - It projects whatever you are watching, videos, pictures or games to a nearby TV, Computer or any other project device wirelessly by the means of an accessory that needs to be connected to the projecting device.
Pop up play - Watching a long video, wanna do somethingelse while watching it. Just drag the video along to that screen and watch the video while using other applications.
S-Voice - Great voice responsive system, just say 'Hi Galaxy' at anytime to activate. Automatically configured actions like increase volume, search, open gmail, Howz the weather?. Good competition for Iphone Siri but the only difference is that Siri is faster as it has most of the commands stored in the internal memory whereas Galaxy has only certain commands stored and rest will be searched online.
Camera - 8 MP. Burstshot - It click 20 pictures at one go and automatically suggests best picture based on smile, face and light quality. Plus its got Geo-tagging, auto focus (manual too), face & smile detection, image stabilization and LED Flash. HD video with 1080p at 30 FPS. 1.9 MP front camera for video calling. Basically the best you can get.

Estimated prices:

US -  $ 799.99 (AT&T, Verzion basic model), UK - £ 499.95 (Without Sim), India - Rs. 35,000 (Without Sim - Best Buy)
10 Million of these devices are already pre-booked.

Technical Specifications:

  • 4.8" HD AMOLED capacitive touchscreen (quite large but smaller than Galaxy Note)
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS
  • 1.4 GHz Quad core processor (this makes it really special)
  • 1GB RAM
  • dimensions of 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm (making it razor thin)
  • 133grams (a little heavy)
  • 8 MP rear camera (amazing) and 1.9 MP front camera (great for video calling)
  • Quad band 3G & 2G
  • 4G LTE 700 network (North America, Korea, Japan)
  • EDGE/GPRS and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, DLNA with Wi-Fi Direct
  • Can also be used as Wi-Fi hotpot (quite insane for a phone)
  • Bluetooth 4.0 and micro-USB v 2.0(MHL)
  • Standard 2100 mAH Li-Ion battery (pretty sweet)
  • 16 GB 32 GB & 64 GB internal options which are expandable further up by 32 GB

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Introduction - Hello World!

Technology Blip is a daily blog on the latest happenings and updates from technology. Our blog is gonna cover different commonly used forms of technology on specific days of the week. That means seven days a week, we'll cover seven different forms of technology gadgets, software, history and other media.


This is our schedule:
Sunday         :    How does technology work? - History!
Monday        :    Cell Phones
Tuesday       :    Tablet PCs
Wednesday  :    Laptops
Thursday      :    TVs
Friday           :    Softwares
Saturday       :    Cars

Keep connected with us to be updated with the latest in technology and do remember to share & subscribe so that we can keep this going.

Please watch my first podcast above by clicking the play button.