Thursday, September 6, 2007

Tech bytes

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IP = Intellectual property ver 1.0. (beta rel) = Innovation Partner! ver 2.0.

Now the latest Version 3.0. IP = Indian Product/Partner!

Product Innovation in India

Innovation in general parlance is a new idea, method or device. When it comes to product innovation, apart from the introduction of a new good or service, it also includes improvements in functional characteristics, technical abilities, ease of use or any other dimension of a product. Innovation adds value and is the driving force for sustainable economic growth. With the surge in IT, India had emerged as a technological and economic power having the largest quality manpower. To add to its strength, the country is carving out a space in the product innovation field as well. Product innovation in India is in its early stages, but is already witnessing a steady growth. BPO’s in the country have climbed the value chain and moved from being providers of back office operations to providers of high-end analytical services as well as consultants for process re-engineering. Today, a large number of enterprise product companies are using development centers and vendor partnerships in India to build and maintain their products, as the competent resource pool in the country is mature enough to create innovative solutions. “The culture of product and business innovation is catching up in India and with the MNCs leveraging the hugely available talen t pool to carry out research here, product innovation is definitely looking up,” says Harsha Angeri, Director, Strategy and Initiatives, Honeywell Technology Solutions Lab. "Also there is a change in mindset with a positive leaning towards innovation and the risk taking ability has shot up among the technical and business talent of the country,” adds Angeri. According to Rajdeep Sherawat, VP, NASSCOM product innovation in India is not a very successful story so far. “But now, we are creating some role models and case studies in product innovation. Many innovations are happening in the country today but these are incremental in nature. We have to change the portfolio of innovation and go for innovation around technology,” suggests Sehrawat. “Over the last few years, a gradual ecosystem has developed in the country to enable product innovation to thrive. A lot of peo ple foray into businesses based on product innovation and the industry as well as the financial community are supporting the same,” explains Siva Ramamoo rthy, Group Director - Marketing, Tejas Networks. There are many types of product development firms like IT service organisations crafting existing IP into products, non Indian product companies with development centers in India as well as Indian product companies. “In India, innovations are happening on two key vectors - function improvement in the design quality and performance and also conceptualisation of new products and applications,” says Srini Rajam, Chairman and CEO, Ittia m System Private Limited. There are two categories of product innovation work happening in India, says YV Prakash, Director of Research, Honeywell Technology Solutions Lab. India through its MNC subsidiaries is contributing significantly to global product lines and also, there are new product innovations for the local markets in India. "India however lacks global blockbuster product innovations with tremendous brand recall. But with the contribution of MNC subsidiaries and product innovations for local markets in India, it is a matter of time before which global product innovation becomes a norm in the country,” believes Prakash.

Many positive factors foster the growth of India in the field of product innovation. The availability of a world-class talent pool with strong expertise in multiple product lifecycles, better connectivity across the world that helps companies in India have better access to market intelligence and product promotion and increased availability of venture capital for product companies. “The biggest positive factor is the increasing and maturing market in India. The size of IT deals have started to get larger an d on par with global deals. The market is also broader with small, medium companies looking at use of technology as a must for their success,” says Rajaram Kannan, Senior Product Manager, SupportSoft. “Also the management expertise and maturity in products has significantly improved when compared to the past,” he adds. Today, even premier universities and other educational institutions are focusing on promoting innovation through incubation centers. The culture of innovation to meet our own needs is spreading in a big way in the country. There are enormous possibilities in the field of product innovation and the country must take advantage of its globally competent talent pool to build a strong product innovation ecosystem.

How strong is your Vocabulary.

"cool, yep i'm pretty strong" if this your answer then lets spell it again, is it cool Or cul Or kool

well dont bother its spelt ' c u i l ' and pronounced as cool it means knowledge in Irish according to the founder of the site.

yep try it "" if you are searching for anything on the web and start counting how much of PRECIOUSprecious POWERpower you are SAVINGsaving of our country. Remember guys.

Semicon Policy Encourages Slew of Investments

Semicon Manufacturing Investments

Confirmed Investments
  • Sem India ($2 b)
  • Solar Semiconductors ($1 b)
  • Titan Energy Systems ($750 m)
  • Nanotech Silicon India ($2 b)
  • XL Telecom & Energy ($75 m)
  • KSK Energy Ventures ($70 m)
  • Embedded IT Solution ($5 m)

In-principle approvals
  • Chandradeep Solar
  • Neotech Solutions
  • Photon Energy Systems
  • Suvarna Ventures
  • Ramtera Solar

Under consideration
  • Videocon ($250 m)
  • Moser Baer ($2 b),
  • Hindustan Semiconductor ($1 b)

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries is looking at setting up an over $5 billion photovoltaic (PV) cell manufacturing facility in Jamnagar.

The Union minister of state for commerce said that the government has received an expression of interest from the company for an integrated facility that would do everything from “sand to silicon”। Jamnagar in Gujarat is home to Reliance’s refinery, the world’s biggest.

A Reliance spokesperson declined to comment on the matter. A semiconductor industry analyst said he would be surprised if Reliance gets into the sector. “They typically look for quick returns, and a PV cell manufacturing facility will take at least seven years to start paying back,” he said.

But whether or not Reliance takes the plunge, the government’s semiconductor policy announced early last year appears to be delivering dividends.

The Union minister, who was speaking to journalists at the India Semiconductor Association’s Vision Summit, said seven projects worth $7 billion (over a 10-year period) had been confirmed in the Fab City in Hyderabad. “Another five projects worth $800 million have been given in-principle approval, and five proposals worth $6 billion are under active consideration,” he said.

The bulk of the proposed investments are for setting up PV cell/module manufacturing facilities. A photovoltaic or solar cell is a device that converts solar energy into electricity. Assemblies of cells are used to make PV modules/arrays. Individual cells are used for powering small devices such as electronic calculators, while arrays generate a form of renewable electricity, particularly useful when electrical power from the grid is unavailable such as in remote rural areas.

The investments are partly the result of the semiconductor policy, under which the government has agreed to bear 20-25% of the capital expenditure during the first 10 years, subject to the condition of a minimum investment of Rs 2,500 crore for semicon manufacturing (wafer fabs) plants and Rs 1,000 crore for ancillary plants.

Arul Shanmugasundram, GM in Applied Materials, supplier of manufacturing systems and related services to the global semiconductor industry and which is supplying products to Indian PV players like Moser Baer, says the domestic opportunity for PV cells is big. “There’s plenty of sunlight available in India, there’s a huge energy shortfall, and now the government is also encouraging solar energy through incentives (the feedin tariff policy under which an attractive tariff is paid for energy from solar cell farms),” he said. Solar energy is not very competitive now, but higher volumes and improved technologies are expected to bring costs down sharply.

Having fun with Google Earth

Google Mail might be the most popular application in Google’s software arsenal but when it comes to casual use, perhaps Google Earth takes the cake. When it was launched, many observers had turned their noses up at it, saying that it was at best an online atlas that allowed you to zoom into specific locations. Well, those gentlemen (and some ladies) have been consuming vast amounts of humble pie ever since as Google Earth has emerged as one of the most popular online applications of recent years. And it is not just because it shows a lot of maps and zoomed-in locations and is extremely easy to use—no, there is oodles of fun hidden behind Google Earth for those willing to look for it. And Google keeps adding to the goodies—from tours to games to developer tools and other little knickknacks, there is plenty to play around with in Google Earth, even if you are not a great fan of maps.
Here’s a brief look at just some of them. (Note: All of them might not work with all versions of the software.)

Flight Simulator: Considered by many to be the ultimate Easter Egg in online applications is the flight simulator that Google has hidden inside Google Earth. Just hit the Control and G keys together and you will see the cursor change into the shape of an aircraft as you are placed in G-Mode. Yes, you will have to work out the calibration and controls but once you get the hang of it, well, you can fly around the world, tweaking heights and speed as per your requirement. No, there are no enemies to shoot down, but even then, this can be quite an experience!

Play Tour: Want to find out how travelling from one place to another feels? Well, use the ‘Play Tour’ mode of Google Maps. All you need to do is click on the Directions in the Search option, pick two locations and then ask Google Earth to search for a route. Most people are so satisfied by just seeing the route that they miss out the Play Tour button that appears in the Directions menu. Well, just click on it and you will be flown all along the route between the two venues. And you can adjust the speed, viewing angle, and height of your tour, as well as pause midway to check out landmarks. How neat is that!

Viewing the universe: Last year, Google decided to give users an eyeful of not just the earth but also the skies by including the Google Sky feature that allowed one to check out different constellations and planets, by using imagery from different telescopes. Well, if you get tired of looking at the same old stars and galaxies, you can actually go all the way out and check out the ENTIRE universe. Yep, all you need to do is hit the Control and G keys together when in Sky mode for activating G-Force mode. A few tweaks and you could actually end up seeing the entire sky like a globe. If Archimedes had this view, he would have moved the universe!

A trip into the past: Want to find out how the sky looked two hundred years ago? Well, the latest version of Google Sky (which is a part of Google Earth) allows you to do just that. All you need to do is go to the Historical Sky Maps section. The section contains a number of sky maps from David Rumsey’s famous historical map archives. A treasure trove for those who think that the stars foretell the future—just go all the way back to, say 1857, and find out if what the sky had in store for 2007 actually worked out!

Podcasts: Again a Google Sky update, this feature has added a welcome audio touch to Google Earth. Users can now get information on astronomical events by clicking on the Current Sky Events option. Most of the podcasts are mercifully short (around 90 seconds) and run from within the application.

Make your own view: Google has released the Sky Application Programming Interface (API), which allows developers to tweak code and come out with their own specific view of the sky. Now, that’s a sight for sore eyes!

MAP WORK: A man tries out a touch screen displaying Google Earth at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas

Tiny virtual PCs add new layer of security

hey, Worried about people accessing your private information whenever you use a public computer? There is a way to protect yourself: Devices as small as a keychain allow you to use any computer without leaving a trail of evidence.

A new computer program known as MojoPac can turn most flash memory sticks, hard drives or iPods into “virtual” PCs that can run most programs that work on Windows XP. The devices draw on the host computer’s resources — including its electricity, Windows XP software and DVD drive. Yet they retain their independence as they move from machine to machine.

This independence allows people to use public computers without a trace of their session being left behind. PCs typically store a record of activity long after the computer has been turned off. “It’s a slick way to move from machine to machine,” says Rob Enderle, founder of the Enderle Group, a research firm that follows the PC industry. “It’s about as safe as you can get.”The device cannot be bought. You have to make it by down
loading free software onto a computer drive such as the thumb-sized USB flash memory drives that were so popular as gifts this Christmas. It also works with iPods, many other digital music players and regular external hard drives. Once the MojoPac shell is created, users need to install their own software — just as they would do on a regular PC running Windows XP.

MojoPac’s developer, RingCube Technologies, asserts that most programs are compatible, including Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop and a slew of free programs. AGENCIES

Breakthrough Converts Electrical Signals Into Light Pulses,

Reducing Energy Consumption & Heat Output

Coming soon: Supercomputer on a chip

Frankfurt: IBM says it has made a breakthrough in converting electrical signals into light pulses that brings closer the day when supercomputing, which now requires huge machines, will be done on a single chip.

In research published on Thursday in the journal ‘Optics Express’, IBM said it had produced electro-optic modulators 100 to 1,000 times smaller than comparable silicon photonics modulators and small enough to fit on a processor chip.

By connecting processing cores on a chip by light instead of with wires, the problems of high energy consumption and heat generated by multi-core chips could be bypassed, enabling leaps in computing power.

IBM said it had reached a “milestone” in the quest to connect hundreds or thousands of processing cores on a tiny chip. By comparison there are nine cores on the sophisticated chips that power the Sony (6753.T: Quote, Profile, Research) PlayStation 3 games console.

“Just like fiber optic networks have enabled the rapid expansion of the internet by enabling users to exchange huge amounts of data from anywhere in the world, IBM’s technology is bringing similar capabilities to the computer chip,” said Will Green, IBM’s lead scientist on the project.

He said using light instead of wires to send information between the cores could be as much as 100 times faster and use 10 times less power than wires.

Green said IBM had used standard industry processes and tools to make the tiny silicon Mach-Zehnder electro-optic modulators. That gave the research team confidence the process could be replicated commercially, although it would likely take at least a decade for that stage to be reached.

“We’re looking at much more real-world applications in the timeframe of 10 to 15 years or something like that. There’s a lot of pieces to come together. There are many challenges ahead,” Green said.

He said in future tiny supercomputers on a chip could expend as little energy as a lightbulb, paving the way for enormous reductions in cost, energy, heat and space required while increasing communications bandwidth. Technology services company IBM is also the world leader in supercomputers, which are used for problems requiring intensive calculations, for example in quantum physics, weather forecasting and molecular modeling.

Drastically shrinking the size and energy requirements of supercomputing could open up possibilities of powerful data analysis in remote locations or high-resolution three-dimensional image rendering in real time, Green said.

“You immediately can envision the mobile applications that
that would allow you to do,” he said. “Remote laboratory instruments for medical applications, screening for diseases or even complicated DNA analysis.”

IBM’s research team has been working on the project, partly funded by a US government defense research agency, for about five years. Green also said it was impossible to predict what a supercomputer on a chip might eventually cost.

Hackers might have got hold of critical flaw in internet

Internet security researchers on Thursday warned that hackers have caught on to a “critical” flaw that lets them control traffic on the Internet. An elite squad of computer industry engineers that laboured in secret to solve the problem released a software “patch” two weeks ago and sought to keep details of the vulnerability hidden at least a month to give people time to protect computers from attacks.

“We are in a lot of trouble,” said IOActive security specialist Dan Kaminsky, who stumbled upon the Domain Name System (DNS) vulnerability about six months ago and reached out to industry giants to collaborate on a solution.

“This attack is very good. This attack is being weaponized out in the field. Everyone needs to patch, please,” Kaminsky said. “This is a big deal.”

DNS is used by every computer that links to the Internet and works similar to a telephone system routing calls to proper numbers, in this case the online
numerical addresses of websites.

The vulnerability allows “cache poisoning” attacks that tinker with data stored in computer memory caches that relay Internet traffic to its destination.

Attackers could use the vulnerability to route Internet users wherever the hackers wanted, no matter what website address is typed into a web browser.

The threat is greatest for business computers handling online traffic or hosting websites, according to security researchers. The flaw is a boon for “phishing” cons that involve leading people to imitation web pages of businesses such as bank or credit card companies to trick them into disclosing account numbers, passwords and other information.

“I was not intentionally seeking to cause anything that could break the Internet,” Kaminsky said during a conference call with peers and media। “It’s a little weird to talk about it out loud.”

Kaminsky built a webpage,, where people can find out whether their computers have the DNS vulnerability. As of Thursday, slightly more than half the computers tested at the website still needed to be patched. “People are spending tens of thousands of hours getting this patch out the door,” Kaminsky said.

The US Computer Emergency Readi
ness Team (CERT), a joint government-private sector security partnership, is among the chorus urging people to quickly protect computers linked to the Internet. “Just like you should wear a seat belt going down the road to be safe in a car accident, the same applies here,” said Jerry Dixon, a former director of cyber security at the US Department of Homeland Security.

Hackers of the world to unite in Pune

New Delhi: They call themselves ClubHack, a meeting place for hackers. A forum where ‘ethical hackers’ will come together openly on a common platform for the first time in India.

Next Sunday, the first hackers hangout in India will take place in Pune. “It’s a one of a kind conve n t i o n , where hackers, security professionals, geeks, cyber lawyers and the like from across the globe will meet to discuss issues on cyber security, learn how to hack and then investigate,’’ says Rohit Srivastwa, founder, ClubHack. Their aim is to ‘make security common sense’ and showcase the strength and knowledge of Indian hackers to the world.

The concept has been borrowed from similar meets like Black Hat, Def Con and Toorcon, that takes place in the US and Europe every year. These popular hackers’ conventions attract a lot of media attention simply because of the background of the people who attend them.

However, it is the dark image of hackers the media has built that ClubHack wants to change. “This is a serious forum where technical and legal issues will be discussed,’’ assures Rohas Nagpal, president, Asian School of Cyber Law. In fact, admission to the meet is purely based on invitations. And the team is checking every request thoroughly to ensure people with dubious background do not enter the hall that day. “Indeed, 40% of those who come do have a hacking background. But these are penetration testing engineers and their job is to look for vulnerabilities of sites,’’ says Srivastwa.

But no, this will not be a teaching ground for hackers, even though the meet will have a session on how to hack a site. In fact, there are sessions like hacking Firefox to steal web secrets and presentation of a hardware that can crack encryption faster. But all these will only help in showcasing vulnerabilities.

Srivastwa who has been working in this space for sometime now, says he has analysed the vulnerabilities of several popular websites of India. These include a few MNC and Indian banks, ec o m m e rc e sites, online share trading sites, popular email, news and search sites even government websites.

“Behind every hack is a dumb user and malicious users are on the lookout for every possible weakness,’’ Srivastwa explains. No wonder, ClubHack organisers are filtering the people so only 200 can make it this time. However, those who cannot attend should not lose heart as Club-Hack will be an annual event from now on.

India loses Intel’s chip unit

Delay In Announcing Semiconductor Policy Upsets Chip Maker

New Delhi: Intel Corp, the world's largest maker of computer processors, said on Wednesday its decision to bypass India for setting up a semiconductor manufacturing unit was on account of the government's delay in announcing a policy for the sector.

"The Indian government has missed the 'window of opportunity' in our scheme of things as it was a bit slow in announcing its semiconductor manufacturing policy," Craig Barrett, chairman, Intel said here.
Barrett justified his decision to go to Vietnam and China by saying, "The decision of where to locate a manufacturing base is planned years in advance".

However, he said India remained high on Intel's list of future manufacturing destinations, should the environment in India be favourable and also if the company were to require additional capacity.

However, industry experts point out that companies like Hutchison that have displayed
patience with the government in India have been more than adequately rewarded. "Perhaps it is Intel and its shareholders that have missed the 'window of opportunity' by ignoring India in this case as well as in the past," counters a telecom & IT consultant.

Barrett himself has often said that India and China would be among the top three economic powers in the world in the next 25 years, but Intel's investment
commitments to India do not reflect this bullishness.
"India and China will grow at a much faster pace than the developed nations... both will emerge among the top economic powers... it is inevitable," he said.

Asking the Government not to protect old technologies, Barrett said the company is in discussions with government for allocation of spectrum for Wi-Max services (Internet wireless broadband), a cheap and easily deployable service, and with other companies for adoption of this innovative technology.

Barrett also said it would respond quickly to provide additional information sought by US regulators over its plans to merge its chip unit with STMicro Electronics. "As you know, the Federal Trade Commission of the United States made a second request for some additional minor information before giving approval," he told reporters.

"The European Union has already given approval. We expect a very rapid response back to FTC and then a very rapid response from them back to us."

Water-powered cell phone
Samsung Electro-Mechanics has developed a microfuel cell and hydrogen generator that runs on H20. When the handset is turned on, metal and water in the phone react to produce hydrogen gas. The gas is then supplied to the fuel cell where it reacts with oxygen in the air to generate power. Other fuel cells need methanol to produce hydrogen, while this one needs only water. Since the micro-fuel cell can generate up to three watts of electricity, it could be used in mobile devices. The new fuel cell could power a handset for 10 hours, twice as long as rechargeable batteries.

Phone, audio & video player watch

The IMobile Flying C1000 is a GSM telephone, a digital audio player and more. It features a touchscreen, 60MB of built-in memory, an audio/video player (MP4/MP3) and Bluetooth. It’s also got a USB port and a stylus. It’s pretty nice looking!

दांत में बहुत दम है .........
Tooth-controlled controller

Osaka University researchers have developed a head gear that uses infrared sensors and a microcomputer to let people operate music players by clenching their teeth. The computer receives acommand when the user clenches his or her teeth for about one second — which differentiates the action from other activities such as chewing gum and talking. The researchers also suggest that the control system could be used to control cell phones, PowerPoint presentations and wheelchairs.

Gesture-controlled watch

Researchers at the Georgia In stitute of Technology have developed a working prototype of a watch that can recognise gestures. It uses an array of infrared sensors to detect hand movements in close proximity to the watch. The gestures are then interpreted by software to control a remote device. The watch embeds Bluetooth wireless connectivity so it can command external devices. For instance, if you wear a tiny MP3 player in an earbud, the watch could act as a remote control for that device.

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