Archive | October 19, 2012

Digital Transformation in the Dairy Industry

Since our last session was about our Digital Transformation Projects, I think it’s interesting to share this Businessweek article about how the use of technology is revolutionizing the operations in the dairy industry.

The article focuses in particular on the cow-farms, and provides insights on the way in which the introduction of new technological systems is making them more efficient and easier to manage, while increasing the quality of the products at the same time. These improvements are enhanced by the impressive gathering of data by the machines used in the process, that, while monitoring the process, also check for possible irregularities, keeping track of several parameters and storing them in individual reports for each animal. This, again, helps to improve the process, since it makes it easier to highlight and solve immediately eventual problems.

This example confirms how broad is the potential scope for the application of technology and information-intensive systems, demonstrating how even the most traditional industries can be completely changed by the introduction of the right technology.

Here’s the link to the article:

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-10-18/big-dairy-enters-the-era-of-big-data#r=nav-r-story

Cave men whispered their secrets – and how do we protect our data now?

Image

Presumably from the beginning of time, privacy has been an issue related to communication. While data security and privacy should be of concern to every one of us, it has always been more important to people that try to protect a competitive advantage. I can vividly picture Neanderthals sharing their secrets on good hunting grounds, trying to avoid the echo in their caves.

Information technology’s catalyst effect on global communication, has, as most technologies, also come with a down side. With the advent of the Internet, malicious software has been distributed. Furthermore new technologies, such as cloud and mobile computing, are drastically increasing the vulnerability.  With more and more data stored digitally, also the expected value of such attacks has significantly increased.

For 2011 the U.S. National Security Agency has quantified the loss for US companies due to cyber crime to be $338 billion, in comparison for the same period the U.S. government has spent only $140 billion on education (foreignpolicy.com 2012; usgovernmentspending.com 2012). The head of the N.S.A, Keith Alexander, has called it the “greatest transfer of wealth in history”.

Furthermore the government report estimates that for every company that has been hacked, another 100 companies do not know their systems have been breached.

In a publication of August 2012 The Economist has titled “Who’s afraid of Huawei?” and discussed the threat of Chinese cyber espionage and warfare.  Especially the potential connections between Chinese telecom companies and the Chinese government are of concern to western policy makers and regulators. The current peak of the discussion has been reached two weeks ago, with a report by the U.S. congress claiming that Huawei and ZTE can not be trusted (U.S. House of Representatives 2012).

While informing the public of potential threats coming from the east, official sources have almost forgotten to mention that the FBI and Federal Communications Commission have been meeting with technology and social media companies to argue in favor of a legislation that would require these providers of services to alter their code to more wiretap-friendly products. (wired.com 2012).

With the constant threat of cyber attacks and cyber traps on a large percentage of websites, a strong industry has evolved that supports governments, companies and private users to keep their data safe. According to the N.S.A in 2011 $1 trillion has been spent globally to deal with cyber espionage and crime (foreignpolicy.com 2012). Nevertheless major companies such as Google, Sony, AT&T, Visa and MasterCard have suffered of cyber attacks in 2011.

Being IT users ourselves and probably “gatekeepers” of critical information (particularly sensitive company information) in the future, I wonder what will be our role in this battle. With a forecasted increase in cyber crime and the fear of militarization of cyber attacks, what are the opportunities in this already $1 trillion market for defense?

Can data encryption (see our colleagues post) help us to keep our information secure and continue the move to the cloud, or will there be a point in time when, for privacy concerns, we again sit in the back of the cave and whisper?

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/07/09/nsa_chief_cybercrime_constitutes_the_greatest_transfer_of_wealth_in_history

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/health_care_budget_2011_1.html

http://intelligence.house.gov/sites/intelligence.house.gov/files/documents/Huawei-ZTE%20Investigative%20Report%20%28FINAL%29.pdf

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/05/fbi-seeks-internet-backdoors/

Windows new products – troubles ahead?

Microsoft is about to have its biggest product release in nearly 20 years. Before the end of the month, Windows 8, Windows RT, Surface RT, and Windows Phone 8 will all launch. While you can already pre-order some of these products right now, the party’s really just getting started.

And Microsoft is already screwing it up.

On Oct. 16, in Redmond, Washington, Microsoft announced pricing and availability of its new Surface. On Oct. 26, in New York City, it will roll out its new operating system, Windows 8, and highly anticipated laplet, the Surface RT (which you can already pre-order). On Oct. 29, it will host an event in San Francisco to formally launch Windows Phone 8. Finally, on Oct. 30, back in Redmond, there’s Microsoft’s giant developer conference, Build, where it will announce who-knows-what during a major keynote address.

Four days. Three cities. Two coasts. One giant disaster.

To be fair, the Fall is jam packed with new product releases anyway, because people tend to buy them for the holidays. And of course there is some logic in not releasing everything all at once. By spacing out releases, you can get more of a news bump. It’s a combination of blows with multiple media hits, as publications talk about Thing A in one issue, and then Thing B in another. Potential customers get brand reinforcements. But the key is to actually, you know, space them out.

By hosting events just a few days apart, especially when we’re talking about products with very similar names but with significant differences, Microsoft is as likely to create confusion as curiosity. And confusion is already a tremendous problem. Quick question: What is the difference between Windows 8 and Windows RT? Even the workers at the Microsoft Stores themselves can’t tell you.

But maybe Microsoft doesn’t need stores, or distinct launches. Maybe the advertising dollars the company plans to spend will let everyone know what Surface is, how Windows RT is different from Windows 8, and why you might want to buy one.

Or it could just show a bunch of damn people dancing. Oh. Turns out, that’s just what it did.

There is another problem, as well. The company showed its hand too soon. The media (and Microsoft’s competitors) know what’s coming, but there hasn’t been a ton of ink slung at it yet because they’re either under embargo or they haven’t actually seen anything. They have to wait a few more weeks before they can start writing. But what else is going on in the coming weeks? Well, on the 16th — the same day Microsoft announced Surface RT pricing, availability, and pre-orders — Apple sent out an invitation to an iPad mini event on Oct. 23, just days before Microsoft’s big show in New York. On Wednesday, Google announced its own Android event on Oct. 29, which will take place just three hours before Microsoft’s launch in San Francisco, and a day before Build in Redmond. Oh, and can you guess when Apple — now the world’s biggest company — announces its first earnings post-iPhone 5? Oct. 24.

Bottom line: Microsoft’s big launches are about to be buried in a deluge of news from other companies.

The thing is, Microsoft should know what to do. The company did a great job keeping its June 18 event in Los Angeles a secret. And then when it did its big reveal (Surprise! Surface!) it had a huge news bump and generated a ton of interest in its new device. And although it was similarly obscure in terms of what the device might do, the first Surface ad — little more than a teaser set to a dubstep track — was tremendously effective.

Or take Metro. You know what was a great brand? Metro. It debuted on Windows Phone 7 as Microsoft’s “design language” and represented a complete rethinking of interface elements based on a design-forward philosophy. It bore a striking resemblance to Seattle’s public transit Metro signage. All of which meant it was a great story, with a great name.

And then this past summer, Microsoft killed it. Apparently failed to secure the trademark, so it scrapped the name when lawyers from a German firm came calling. Now that design language is “Modern UI,” or “Windows 8 style UI,” or something. I’m not sure. Metro was a name worth fighting for, and certainly worth paying for. It was a stunning retreat by a company formerly known for playing hardball.

Metro had a story and an identity, it was catchy, and iconic. Windows 8-style UI, on the other hand, sounds like a parody of something you’d see on the side of a Zune box.

And then there’s the crapware. Ed Bott had a story pointing out that manufacturers like Gateway are already advertising Windows 8 machines with exactly the kind of pre-installed software that just slows it down and junks it up. It’s the kind of thing that makes people want to get Macs. It doesn’t matter if Microsoft creates the greatest operating system in the world if it then allows others to junk it up. And, ultimately, it means that Microsoft isn’t in control of its brand.

The Metro name, the crapware, and the horrible release dates all point to the same problem: Even when Microsoft has a great product on its hands, even when its product, engineering and design teams manage to hit one out of the park, it won’t matter once the business team comes in and ruins it for everyone. Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Windows Surface — these are all potentially great products. But if past is prologue, that may not matter.

For more information look at the latest wired!

Cheers!

Jakub.

e-Wallets technology develops well

Hi,

Remember the technology of the week e-wallets’ presentation?

The e-wallet space is blowing up. Isis — an NFC-based mobile-payment platform backed by Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile — is set to launch on Monday. Google Wallet, now almost two years old,  is nicely maturing with partnerships with an ever-expanding list of big-name retailers. Apple’s Passbook feature coordinates with existing apps so coupons and gift cards are collected in a single place. Square is hitting the mainstream through a partnership with Starbucks that begins next month. And there are dozens, if not hundreds, of mobile payment and e-commerce apps that threaten to render cash and credit cards obsolete.

Wired magazine has just recently published the outcomes of their study of that market:

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/10/one-month-of-walletless/

 

Enjoy!

windows 8 the new future operation system?

windows 8 is new upcoming operation system of Microsoft. as we can see in the video, company think that in the near future we will use our finger to operate pc just like a tablet.

Get Your Geek On: Introduction to Encryption

First of all:  I have been working on this post for over a week and it turned out to be rather extensive. For that I’m sorry. The reason I’m writing this post is that I was amazed about the misinformed assumptions fellow classmates have and their curiosity on this topic.

History
In its earliest form, people have been attempting to conceal certain information that they wanted to keep to their own possession by substituting parts of the information with symbols, numbers and pictures. Stenographic techniques have been used for centuries. The first known application dates back to the ancient Greek times, when messengers tattooed messages on their shaved heads and then let their hair grow so the message remained unseen. A different method from that time used wax tables as a cover source. Text was written on the underlying wood and the message was covered with a new wax layer. The tablets appeared to be blank so they passed inspection without question. In the 20th century, invisible inks were a widely used technique. In the Second World War, people used milk, vinegar, fruit juices and urine to write secret messages. When heated, these fluids become darker and the message could be read. This technique is still used among inmates in U.S. prisons that belong to gangs.

Even later, the Germans developed a technique called the microdot. Microdots are photographs with the size of a printed period but have the clarity of a standard typewritten page. The microdots where then printed in a letter or on an envelope and being so small, they could be sent unnoticed.

Recently, the United States government claimed that Osama Bin Laden and the al-Qaeda organization use steganography to send messages through websites and newsgroups. However, until now, no substantial evidence supporting this claim has been found, so either al-Qaeda has used or created real good stenographic algorithms, or the claim is probably false. [Tel, 2004]

So why might someone want to use encryption?

Actually, there are numerous reasons why people might want to use encryption. Of course there are military reasons, the need to protect business or financial information, protecting communication from unauthorized access, the protection of stored data, authenticating payments and the prevention of espionage. However, due to a lack of knowledge unnecessary security issues still arise.

Terminology

In order to understand the following sections allow me to introduce some terminology. Code is a technique to replace words or semantic structures by a corresponding code word. The simplest example of this principle is a shift in the alphabet by a fixed amount (e.g. 2 positions make a=c, b=d etc.) Cypher means a replacement based on symbols, where each symbol is mapped to another letter. Cryptography is the science of encrypting or hiding secrets. Cryptanalysis is thescience of decrypting messages (cyphertext) or breaking codes and ciphers in order to obtain the unencrypted message (plaintext). Cryptology is the combination of both Cryptography and Cryptanalysis.

Encryption Algorithms

Due to space constraints I am not digging into the algorithms. Moreover, I am afraid that I have already lost a lot of readers by now, and throwing in numbers might turn off the last readers. If you are really enthusiastic and think I’m leaving out the good parts, just leave me a message or come see me after class. (If it’s before noon, coffee would be appreciated.)

My experience tells me that basically, a good encryption algorithm is as strong as its randomness. In short, there are two algorithm categories; symmetric-key encryption and asymmetric key encryption. Symmetric key encryption uses one key for both encrypting and decrypting messages. Asymmetric key encryption uses complementary keys in order to encrypt and decrypt. Symmetric key encryption is often used repeated communication where asymmetric key encryption is used for one-shot communication like signatures (e.g. DigID). Do keep in mind that the latter is more computationally expensive.

Encryption and its use have been a controversial topic for years. Until the late ‘90s encryption algorithms were seen as munitions in some countries, including the U.S. and Germany. All kinds of issues arose from this form of governmental control. Companies were forced to release separate versions of their software (one for export, one for domestic use). Even T-shirts were printed stating (in cyper) “This T-Shirt is a munition.”

Open Source  

To prevent governments in creating backdoors, some developers started collaborating in the cloud. In 1991 PGP was the result of their effort. Since it was given away on the internet the U.S. felt this was export. Zimmerman and other developers saw it as a form of free speech. In 1996 court order ruled computer code to be speech leading to U.S. government dropping most export restrictions in 2000. Nowadays, many advanced encryption algorithms are open source, including AES which may even be used by U.S. Top Secret Agents. And did you know AES was originated by Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijmen in 1971? That sounds pretty Dutch right?

Next-Gen Encryption Algorithms

AsI stated before, cryptographers are continuously seeking for the algorithm that generates the most random cipher. Quantum Cryptology looks promising, although it contains flaws and researchers are worrying about its practicality. MIFARE, (PDF alert) an encryption algorithm used for securing data packets between satellite and RFID-chip. (Yes, it’s used for the OV-chipcard. No, it’s not cracked) is pretty advanced. It’s a well-kept secret that it uses swipe time and distance to satellite amongst other variables to generate random cipher. Hi Brenno!        

Password Strength

I am amazed that you are still reading. In a discussion with fellow classmates I stated that longer passwords are not always more secure. In short, very long encrypted passwords generate simply less random cipher. Below you find an illustration of common misunderstandings about password strengths.

Blogs and Websites

Since we’ve all been using WordPress for quite a while now I thought it was about time to look behind the scenes of WordPress. There are substantial differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. For those of you, who are into blogging or creating your own website (maybe you even have one already?), this shouldn’t be any news.

But where exactly lies the difference? Essentially they both look the same, however, WordPress.com is directly targeted at people, who simply love blogging, while WordPress.org is the perfect place to create your own customized website.

WordPress.com offers a free service for blogging about anything and everything and it is easy to use for anybody. You don’t need any special skills to create a decent looking blog and you don’t need to pay for a domain name or anything like that (unless you want a really fancy domain). Your have nice templates and predetermined widgets.

WordPress.org on the other hand enables you to freely set up a completely customized website. While you need to pay for hosting (at a different hosting service) and a domain, you get to be as creative as you can be. You can easily add any function that you like (depending on your own capabilities) and make your personal website stand out. This is perfect if you need a more complex website.

Which one would you use WordPress.com or WordPress.org?

Red Wildhog vs Chocolate Pikachu

“Honey. I’m home late. Gonna watch the match with the guys in a pub. Don’t wait up.”

“I didn’t know there is any Champions Leage football match to be played this evening.”

“No there isn’t. It’s much better. It’s the Starcraft Final!”

Yesterday evening on De Wereld Draait Door (Dutch talkshow) three gentlemen were talking about game tournaments. I got really fascinated by this and want to share this with you guys. It turns out that millions of people all over the world are already pulling all-nighters in bars just to be able to see the Messi’s and Ronaldo’s of gaming live in action. The gamers are like popstars and young children have posters of their icons hanging above their beds. Like sports matches these battles are provided with live commentaries and turn out to be very spectacular to watch even for a non-gamer like myself.

So next week 2012 GSL Season 5 kick-off in the Smitse anyone?

 

http://www.youtube.com/v/_raBwbwRQCs&fs=1&source=uds&autoplay=1

Spotify Is Dead: Long live the King?

If you are living in The Netherlands and want to legally enjoy your digital music, there are plenty of solutions available. However, there is a good reason why so many people have not embraced one platform to fulfill all their music needs. Either the legal music platforms are not very user-friendly (e.g. restrict the user with DRM, unclear pricing, dramatic UI, insufficient music database, strange recommendations, advertisement policy) or divide the profits between them and the record labels as opposed to the artists.

Spotify
In 2010 Spotify tried to fill this gap for Dutch users. With a rapidly growing global market share of 9.1% in 2010 and a market share of almost 20% of the global market for streaming services in 2011, it was bound to become the leading service provider in the industry in a few years.

But, as Elise Zonneveld pointed out, Spotify has trouble achieving profitability, despite its ever growing user base due to high royalty costs. Sound quality, limited supported formats and DRM are also not encouraging new users to convert to a premium account.

Kim Dotcom
Do you remember Kim Dotcom?  While this media mogul awaits the outcome of the increasingly scandalous efforts by the US and New Zealand governments to extradite him to face charges of copyright infringement, the founder of Megaupload is preparing to launch a new business line soon—a cloud music service called Megabox. Put top-notch programmers and designers in their natural habitat, feed them bacon and over-sugared energy drinks and something good has to come out.

 

Did you notice the sentiment analysis features and tight integration with all kinds of webservices? Looks promising doesn’t it?

Megabox: Music service or malware?
“These new solutions will allow content creators to keep 90% of all earnings and generate significant income from the untapped market of free downloads,” Dotcom told TorrentFreak. “I created an innovation that could solve the piracy problem.”

At first it looks like a promising new business model but the technical aspect gives it a sinister taste.

Technically, since users are made aware of what Megakey is doing and are willingly allowing the software to be installed on their computers, Megakey falls into the same legal realm as ad blockers. But once it is installed, users won’t necessarily know which ads are hosted on the sites they are visiting, and which are injected by Megakey. The ad injection mechanism of Megakey could also pose a major security risk to users.

If that isn’t enough to give the music industry and media companies a case of indigestion, Dotcom has also announced that he’ll be re-launching Megaupload later this year.

Taking Googles philosophy to a broader level

With our case at hand and a fleet of Google posts, here comes another one, but with a broader perspective. Currently I am reading a book, by Jeff Jarvis: ‘What would Google do?’ and want to give a short review and recommendation.

The book analyzes Google’s way of doing business in a very similar to our course, and thereby gives direction to a new form of competition in global (e-)markets. It also covers many of the I essentials, such as platform architectures, network effects therein, mass of niche markets and disintermediation (“middlemen are doomed”). 

What I find particularly interesting about the book though, is that takes the lessons learned two steps further, by applying the concepts not just to the new IT-businesses, but first across all industries (e.g. manufacturing and services), and second even to governments and public institutions. Considering modern day bureaucracies and inefficiencies (think for example about health care), it gives a refreshing view and energy on problems societies face as a whole. 

 

Overall it is a fun read, which applies learned concepts a bit further away from the (necessarily) exam focused perspective, which I can recommend to everyone who found an interest in the topics but also likes to think outside the business faculty 😉

http://www.amazon.com/What-Would-Google-Jeff-Jarvis/dp/0061709719/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350638993&sr=8-1&keywords=what+would+google+do

 

Netflix, international expansion as future strategy?

Netflix, international expansion as future strategy?

In correspondence with the Netflix case discussion in the workshop about what they should do in the future, here is a little give away on one of the things they decided.

http://jobs.netflix.com/jobsListing.html?id=NFX00144

http://www.nu.nl/internet/2937472/netflix-zoekt-nederlandse-werknemer.html

It seems that they are going for an overseas expansion, not only to the Netherlands but also to Turkey, Germany, Italy, Norway and other countries.

I remember this was not the choice we opted for. Why do you think they chose this strategy?

Google, what they did yesterday.

ht youtube down kb 121018 wblog YouTube Goes Down; Not Googles Best Day

Some people got this message yesterday when they wanted to visit YouTube. The service was down from 4.15 till about 4.30.

“Some users encountered errors, or a slower than normal experience on YouTube today. Our engineers worked quickly to address the issue and fixed the problem within minutes. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this caused our users,” a Google spokesperson told ABC News.

Fortunately, Twitter was online, so the users could complain about their YouTube frustrations.

Google had a bad day yesterday, they already accidentally released their financial information in the morning, which caused their stock price to drop about 10% and stock trading was halted.

Next to the bad news from yesterday, there was some good news from Google. Google announced the new Chrome Book. It will be launched in the USA and UK next week. The new Chrome Book is a lot cheaper than the current available versions, about $200. It doesn’t have any moving parts, cooling fans or mechanical drive. Google will provide 100 GB of cloud space, next to the 16 GB flash drive. Google says the battery capacity will be more than 6.5 hours and it will boot under 10 seconds. It has a smooth and thin design, but it  totally looks like the Macbook Air. Will it beat the Macbook Air? Will it gain a significant market share? Testing will have to tell this.

samsung chromebook2012 2

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57535492/youtube-down-for-some-users-working-on-fix/

http://www.androidauthority.com/google-shares-drop-almost-10-after-leaked-q3-2012-numbers-reveal-20-drop-profits-123960/

http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/29160-google-announces-new-chromebook-with-us-$249-price-tag

Google’s guts – an inside view into Google’s data centers

For those interested in what is required to support a Big Data habit, here you go. Google recently posted a streetview style video showcasing one of their data centers.

Use of Cell-phone data to fight a disease

In the article How Cell-Phone Data could slow the spread of Malaria, it suggests that the use of location data and thereby tracking people could be a good way to fight the disease by being able to determine where to focus malaria-control programs. Researchers have been studying this in Kenya by capturing the travel habits from nearly 15 million Kenyans by tracking their movements through 11,920 cell towers. The collected data was then mapped against the occurrence of malaria recorded by health officials. This way, the health officials will know where the most infections originate in order to target interventions. I think this is a really good way to make use of cell-phone data as it can really improve the health of the people in Kenya and decrease the death rate.

For more information, you can read the article: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/429569/how-cell-phone-data-could-slow-the-spread-of/.

In addition, there is also an application that looks for signs of sickness and it is called: DailyData. It was developed by Ginger .i.o, which automatically collects data from mobile phones to warn users and their physicians that they are about to get sick. DailData analyzes information on the location of the user and the frequency of calls and text messages in order to determine whether the user

is having health problems. It searches for patterns and then searches for deviations from it. This interesting article can be found here: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/424422/an-app-that-looks-for-signs-of-sickness/?mod=related.

I personally think that this app is not so useful as people behave very different from each other and therefore it is too difficult to find a pattern. Besides,

what is “normal’’ behavior and when is one deviating from it?

Android mini pc

The MK802 is a $74 mini PC running Google Android. It has a 1.5 GHz Allwinner A10 ARM Cortex-A8 single core processor, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of storage.

There’s a micro HDMI port for connecting a monitor, a USB port for a keyboard and/or mouse, and a mini USB port.

It’s a pretty impressive little computer for $74… but don’t expect bleeding edge performance, even running a light-weight operating system like Android.

Nice to have or not?

Information is food

On Ted.com I found this interesting video. Since our course is not only about technology but also about information this video is really inspiring. JP Rangaswami, talks about how we consume data. He muses on our relationship to information, and offers a surprising and sharp insight: we treat is like food. Sometimes a metaphor creates more understanding to what is really going on!

“Information, if viewed from the point of view of food, is never a production issue. … It’s a consumption issue, and we have to start thinking about how we create diets [and] exercise.” (JP Rangaswami)

http://embed.ted.com/talks/jp_rangaswami_information_is_food.html

The Web Index: helping increasing the understanding of Internet’s impact

Here’s a very interesting article by The Economist about the Web Index, a system that, according to its website (http://thewebindex.org) “is the world’s first multi-dimensional measure of the Web’s growth, utility and impact on people and nations”, thus trying to get a more precise understanding of the actual impact of the World Wide Web in each country. The Web Index ranks 61 countries using different criteria about the use of the Internet (web usage, quality and extent of their communication infrastructure, socio economic impact, and so on), and its main purpose is to help nations “figure out where to spend money and effort most effectively” in order to get the most out of the possibilities offered by the Internet.

If you are interested in knowing more about it, here’s the link to the article.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2012/09/qa-tim-berners-lee

The next generation of computers: Bio computers and Quantum computers

Moore’s law will break down
In 1965 Intel’s co-founder Gordon Moore made a prediction about the power of computer chips. Moore predicted that the power of computer chips would double every 18 months. This prediction became known as Moore’s law, and has been inspiring Intel’s innovations. Up till this day Moore’s law has ever since been correct. However, scientist believe that maintaining Moore’s law will become quite difficult. They predict that the speed at which computer power is currently being developed, will gradually decline by the end of this decade. Over the years chip producers have been cramming more and more transistors on a single computer chip. As a result that they have reduced the production process of chips to a microscopic scale. But the increasingly smaller production process brings problems. One major problem with the current silicon technology would be heat generation. A problem which becomes bigger with the increasingly smaller production process.

Image

Alternatives to silicon chips
At the moment Intel and its competitors are maintaining Moore’s law by use of multicore chips to achieve parallel computing. But even Intel has admitted that silicon technology eventually will come to an end. Therefore a number of alternative computer technologies have been proposed. Scientists have proposed optical computers, bio computers, and even molecular computers. Because of massive parallel computing, a bio computer would only require several hours to perform analysis on a huge amount of information. This far surpasses the centuries it would take for our conventional computers .

 

The power of quantum computing
In the long run there is a good possibility that we will see quantum computers. Quantum computers can truly be seen as the ultimate computers. They would probably mark a leap forward in computing power far greater than the transition from the very first calculator to a modern day supercomputer. The potential power of quantum computers truly is mind boggling. A quantum computer basically is a massive parallel processing machine. Which means that it can work on millions of calculations simultaneously. Whereas a conventional computer works on one calculation at a time in sequence. However, don’t expect to see a quantum computer anytime soon.

Why have two cameras, two SIM cards, two data plans?

As we are all busy these days, with our exams approaching, I thought I’ll have a break and share a nice product with you, which is perfect in terms of sustainability and modularity. Allowing you to avoid having two cameras, two SIM cards, two data plans for your phone and your tablet.

On 16th of October Asus announced the release of a new hybrid device, Asus Padfone 2, where a powerful smartphone can be implemented to an empty base and transformed to a tablet.

The smartphone alone, comes with a Super IPS+ screen of 4,7 inches and a resolution of 720p, a four core processor and a camera of  13 Megapixels!
As a tablet has an IPS screen of 10,1 inches and a resolution of 1280x 800 pixels.

When it comes to software, it has installed the Ice Cream Sandwich release of Android and it is going to be updated to Jelly Bean soon!

Although Netherlands is not one of the European countries, the device is going to be offered, I think for a device like that we can all be a little patient!

Till now I must say I wasn’t really a tablet fun, as to me is just a device that allows you to play angry birds in a bigger screen..
I own a notebook for all my mobility needs and I’m totally satisfied for over year now, but if this device will come up with an external keyboard it will really get me thinking..

Even if I don’t end up buying a tablet after all I hope many others manufacturers will follow this excellent example which will reduce the amount of resources needed today, in order to have a tablet and a smartphone.

Enjoy the video below!

The Adblock and Tracking Challenge

More and more users begin to become aware of their privacy on the web. Tools and browser extensions allow users to exclude advertisements, stop trackers and click-stream analyzers. These tools such as Adblock Plus and Ghostery already hit more than 100 million downloads and show continuous strong growth (Source). This poses a challenge to companies such as Google and other advertisers who are in need of accurate information for the auctioning of keywords and to target the right users on the right website.
Ghostery’s business-model still allows advertisers to get the data, because Ghostery sells the recorded data of blocked trackers, but the advertisers consequently lose their monopoly on generating that data in the first place (Source). This takes a significant advantage out of Google’s and other advertisers’ hands, and this group of companies might soon be forced to buy outside tracking data in order to make accurate predictions for keywords and tools such as Adsense.
An additional challenge is the growing usage of Adblock software, which not only blocks all of Google’s ads in the search-result list, but also all the other annoying flashy banners that are nowadays implemented on every larger website. If this trend prevails, it will force advertisers to fight these extensions, which they are already trying with little success (Source), and to come up with new solutions to attract users to their products. But especially for advertising-market-makers such as Google this is going to be difficult, as these companies will lose their ability to push advertisements to users. Enhanced by the reduction of user data, the business model of online advertisers might go into a new era, if the growth of such blocking tools will remain comparably strong.