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Sunday, June 26, 2005

Computer and Emotions, may soon be a reality

A computer character, capable of realistic emotional expressions may soon be incorporated into working applications.

The research team in the Information Society Technologies (IST) project ERMIS created a prototype able to analyse and respond to user input.

In the analysis phase, the team extracted some 400 features of common speech, then selected around 20-25 as the most important in expressing emotion. These terms were then fed into a neural network architecture that combined all the different speech, paralinguistic and facial communications features. For facial expression, some 19 were selected as the most relevant and were input accordingly.

More Details

Pure Logix - Clean and Safe Water

A purification system that is designed to remove viruses, bacteria, parasites, pesticides and heavy metals from water could provide developing nations with a low-cost, sustainable supply of safe drinking water, its UK maker claims.

Recent data from the World Health Organisation suggests that up to 3,000 children die each day through consumption of polluted water. The Aqualogix, invented by Essex firm Ashton Industrial, can produce 5,000 litres of drinking water daily from surface water sources such as lakes and rivers — enough to sustain 1,000 people.

It can also process brackish water into fresh water for drinking and irrigation. It does not require a power supply or chemicals and can be operated using a foot pump or connected to a vehicle battery or solar power system.

The device uses Ultra-Filtration (UF) to remove impurities. Water is strained through a sieve to capture weeds and coarse matter, then passed through an Active Carbon filter impregnated with tiny amounts of silver to prevent bacterial growth. This improves taste and removes pesticides, herbicides and nitrates.

Know More

Mobile pollution warning!!!

Hold on, this is not the pollution due to mobiles, but its the mobiles that assist, in knowing the pollution.
Here is the Report from UK.

Making Bridges Last

University experts have studied one of Britain’s most prominent landmarks in a bid to discover how the latest satellite technology could make bridges last longer and remain safe for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.

The team from The University of Nottingham’s Institute of Engineering Surveying and Space Geodesy (IESSG) and Brunel University spent 48 hours on the Forth Road Bridge, which links the Lothians to Fife in Scotland, to find out how the bridge’s movements were affected by both heavy traffic and other environmental factors like the wind.

Their findings could enable engineers to assess whether bridges that were built decades ago are still safe to be used by traffic and if they need to be modified to prolong their lifespan.

Article in Depth

Segate to Provide Encrypted Laptop Hard Drives

For those reliant on laptops for work, data security can often be an issue, especially if the laptop is stolen. Various third-party encryption tools are available, but Seagate looks to one-up them with its new Hardware-Based Full Disc Encryption (FDE). Slated to begin shipping in 2006, the drives automatically encrypt data as it is written to the drive.

Seagate will offer hardware-based full disc encryption technology on its new Momentus FDE family of hard drives, providing the industry's strongest protection against unauthorized access to data on stolen or retired notebook PCs. FDE technology requires only a user key to encrypt all data, not just selected files or partitions, on the drive.

FDE uses Triple DES to do the job and will be available on its Momentus 5400 2.5" hard drives for laptops in sizes ranging from 40GB to 120GB. Seagate also claims the drives will have performance identical to other 5400 rpm drives without the built-in encryption. Pricing has not been announced, but expect to pay a premium for the FDE drives.

Firefox Browser Keeps Growing

Firefox Browser Keeps Growing

"The message for Web masters is clear: Make sure your Web site is compatible with Firefox, because more and more of your visitors are using it to go to your Web site," said Dan Shapero of NetApplications.com, an Aliso Viejo, Calif., maker of applications for monitoring and measuring Web site usage.

The Firefox browser of California's Mozilla Foundation, which competes with Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Internet Explorer, gained market share last month.

Firefox's market share rose to 8 percent in May, up from 7.38 percent in April, while Internet Explorer's market share fell 0.77 percent to 87.23 percent, IDG News Service reported today.

Firefox has been consistently boosting its market share by 0.5 percent to 1 percent each month.

Mozilla Firefox 1.0.5 and Thunderbird Test Builds Available
Mozilla Quality Assurance Weblog Launched
First Beta of RISC OS Mozilla FireFox Port Released

Linux Muscles Into Microsoft's Space

Linux Muscles Into Microsoft's Space

How can migrating businesses be sure that the security and reliability of their networks will, at the very least, stay intact? Looking at some facts and figures provides a good start. In the past few years, Microsoft has experienced near-catastrophic exploitations with the MyDoom, Nimda and MS Blaster worms.

With Linux, the uptime is high, the price is low, and the flexibility is amazing.

Microsoft Cuts of Sybari Sales to Linux,Unix
Updates from TechNewsWorld

FireFox Configurations - Tips and Tricks

Firefox fans, both new and old, may benefit from a few tips that appear in an article published by PCMag.com. Author Sarah Pike takes you step-by-step through a handful of nifty features and configurations you may not have noticed before.

Pike explains a few easy-to-overlook Firefox basics, like the red "Update" icon, which appears in the upper right-hand corner only when an update is available.

Pike also covers two ways to manually update the Firefox web browser and associated themes and extensions, plus how to import data from other web browsers (wholesale or selectively), and how to set multiple home pages (it's as easy as typing "|" between a string of URLs).

Additionally, Pike discusses RSS feeds, recommendations for wrangling bookmarks, and a few settings that theoretically give Firefox a bit more speed. Perhaps best of all, Pike points the way to a few about:config resources, for help with everything else you might want to tinker with.

Visit PCMag.com to learn a few Firefox tricks.

Google - Summer of Code

Google's "Summer of Code" program, designed to introduce students to the world of open source software development.
Google has chosen 410 projects (out of over 8000 proposed) for sponsorship. Over 100 appear to be related to Open Source desktop software.
The results include 24 from KDE, 12 from GNOME, 15 from GAIM, 10 each from OpenOffice and Mozilla, and many more. Specific projects haven't been announced yet, but Greg Stein from Google announced the breakdown to the "summer-discuss" Google Group on a per-project basis.

Further details on Google's "Summer of Code" program are available here (PDF download).

More Updates to come Shortly.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Fedora Core turns four

"It purrs. It hums. It mesmerizes," says the Fedora Project, in a message announcing the release of its completely Open Source Fedora Core 4 this week.

Fedora Core 4 hits the scene almost exactly one month after Fedora Core 4 Test 3 was set loose for testing. According to the announcement, Fedora Core 4 improves on Fedora Core 3 with the following:
  • Gnome 2.10
  • KDE 3.4
  • OpenOffice.org 2.0 pre-release
  • Support for PowerPC architecture
And, it's "100% unconditionally" free -- both as in speech, and as in beer.

Fedora Core 4 is available for download now via HTTP and BitTorrent from Red Hat and a number of mirrors world-wide. Drop by the Fedora Project to learn more.

For nealy a year i have been using the Fedora Core 2. I still love it. shall soon swith to FC 4.
FC4 - Download Station
Download Server

TUX magazine draws 50,000 subscribers by third issue

Linux Journal's younger sibling TUX magazine, "The first and only magazine for the new Linux user," published its third issue this month, along with word that the free "digital publication" has now surpassed 50,000 subscribers.

"Clearly a dire need existed for a publication like TUX, because its success has greatly exceeded our expectations," says TUX editor-in-chief, Nicholas Petreley. "The data show that Linux is growing rapidly on the desktop, even faster than MacOS," he adds. Petreley expects that growth to accelerate, now that there is a magazine dedicated to "average" desktop Linux users.

TUX is a monthly publication available as a downloadable PDF to subscribers. Subscription is free, requiring little more than a valid email address. Address, occupation, and other sensitive data are optional, and not required.


SLYNUX Can Now Be Downloaded!

SLYNUX Can Now Be Downloaded!

Last month CXOtoday carried the breaking story of grit and determination of Kerala-based, 15-year old Sarath Lakshman who overcoming all odds developed SLYNUX- a highly user-friendly GNU/Linux operating system designed for beginners.

For all those who came in late, SLYNUX is a live Linux distribution, which includes content of about 2GB made available by using transparent compression. This is a debian based GNU/Linux developed from Knoppix (credit of most features of this Distro goes to knoppix). 256 MB Ram is recommended to run SLYNUX Live CD for good performance.

The desktop of this operating system is arranged so as to make it friendly to the user. It comes with a wide range of application programs, which are pre-installed. It can be run completely from CD without installation with options of installing a hard disk.

According to Lakshman, his current Web space sponsor has refused to host the SLYNUX.ISO file. So, the teenager is hunting for some Web space.
For those interested in trying this distro, SLYNUX is now available for download.

HP Ships More Than 1 Million Linux Servers

HP Ships More Than 1 Million Linux Servers

HP has announced that it has set an industry-first milestone by shipping more than one million Linux servers to customers since 1998, 45% more than any other major hardware vendor.

According to the company, HP has led the worldwide Linux server market for 29 consecutive quarters. In the first quarter of 2005, HP grew 2.5 percentage points faster than the market in units on a year-over-year basis.

It shipped nearly 10 times as many Linux servers as Sun, led IBM by almost 8 percentage points in quarterly revenue share and outpaced Dell in both units and revenue.

"The numbers don't lie. Customers are turning to HP for deploying integrated Linux and Open Source solutions," said Martin Fink, vice president and general manager, Open Source and Linux Organization, HP.

The company claims that it is focused on Linux and Open Source development and innovation in key areas such as blade solutions, desktop PCs and notebooks, enterprise servers, virtualization and consumer devices.

Windows 2000 still holds the Charm for Users
Have patches become a routine for Microsoft customers?

VR3 the FM Modulator


If you don't want to spend $200 for an iPod and FM transmitter, now you can get MP3 audio in your car for just $30 with the VR3. With a good capacity keychain flash drive (a 500MB stick costs just $45), you can load up lots of great audio for your car (500 MB = 8 hours of audio files, or 16 half-hour programs). If You Already own a flash drive, then You are more than halfway there. Plug the flash drive into your computer's USB port, copy over the downloaded files you want to listen to, and plug the drive into your VR3, which sits in your car's cigarette lighter port. The VR3 plays through your car's FM Tuner and is grounded, so the audio quality is as good as your car stereo, at least in my and my friends' cars. There is no shuffle; files play only sequentially. But the player holds its position when you turn the power off (at least in our cars) -- great for audio books.

The play/stop and skip forward, skip backward buttons are easy to find by feel, in case you can't see the device easily because of where it plugs in your car. If you do have an iPod, the VR3 comes with a wire for playing your iPod out into it as well. It's really a beautiful little tool.

VR3 FM Modulator $35
Available from
Next Power USA

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Nokia, Apple Develop Open-Source, Mobile Web Browser

Leading smartphone maker Nokia said it has worked with Apple to develop an open-source, mobile Web browser that uses many of the same elements found in Apple's Safari browser. Nokia said it has been working with the Macintosh computer maker to build a new browser for use in its highly popular Series 60 of hand-held devices and said the result would be a more robust Web-page viewing experience from mobile devices. The new browser will use the same open-source components that are the foundation of the Safari product, including WebCore and JavaScriptCore.

Mac News World

Saturday, June 04, 2005

G-Tek’s Linux-powered PWG500 cellphone


Taiwanese manufacturer G-Tek isn’t all that well known, but they’re showing off a new cellphone called the PWG500 that runs on Linux and has an Intel PXA255 200MHz processor, 16MB of flash ROM, 8MB of RAM, quad-band GSM/GPRS, Bluetooth, 802.11b/g WiFi, and support for VoIP. What’s completely inexplicable is the phone’s miniscule LCD screen (just 96 x 64 pixels) and its lack of either MP3 playback software or a built-in digital camera. Should hit stores in Taiwan in either August or September.

From Engadget

Nano Clusters - The NextGen Data Storage


Toshiba and Samsung began producing 4GB 0.85-inch hard drives earlier this year, but that’s nothing compared with what researchers at Glasgow University are working on.
The team is developing nano-clusters — clusters of molecules 10,000 times thinner than a human hair — that they say could be used to create next-gen data-storage that could cram “10,000 more ‘storage units’ into a given area than is currently possible.”
That would pump that 0.85-inch drive up to 40TB. Deets are sketchy, so we’re taking a wait-and-see on this, but that won’t stop us from thinking about how we could fill all that space. Let’s see, that’s 10 million songs, 8,000 movies, and many many more

Scottish Researches working on Nano-Clusters

Friday, June 03, 2005

Quake 4 - The God of All Games

The trailer for Quake 4 is out.Quake 2 was too good to resist. Quake 3 the Best ever Death Match. Quake 4 looks even better. As befits a game made at the dawn of the era of perfect, on-the-fly photorealistic game engines, the thing just looks to incredibly badazz as to beggar the imagination.

But if the trailer is anything to judge by, the storyline and gameplay are every bit as good as the graphics (in Quake 4, you're still playing a space-marine hunting down evil alien cyborgs, but you're a cyborg yourself, tormented by the steel in your bones). I can't wait to play this.
Flash Here:: Link

Update: "GameTrailers.com usually has downloadable versions of game trailers only found on officials sites buried in Flash. There are three here, plus an exclusive interview in both QT & WMV."