Saturday, June 23, 2007

Brain-machine interface

Hitachi company in Japan has invented a technology which can control electronic devices without any physical effort but just by reading your brain activity.

The newly developed "brain-machine interface" technology can analyze the changes in blood flow in brain and interpret the brain emotions into digital signals.

The brain-machine interface technology has originally developed for the use in medical analysis and research but now its prospective use in other fields and its potential commercial implementations are being studied by other companies like Honda Motors as well.

Hitachi's scientists are developing a brain TV remote controller letting users turn a TV on and off or switch channels by only thinking. Honda, whose interface monitors the brain with an MRI machine like those used in hospitals, is keen to apply the interface to intelligent, next-generation automobiles.

The technology could one day replace remote controls and keyboards and perhaps help disabled people operate electric wheelchairs, beds or artificial limbs.

Initial uses would be helping people with paralyzing diseases communicate even after they have lost all control of their muscles.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Man Behind the Google Doodle

Do you know who is the man behind Google, who helps keep the Google Brand Fresh?

He is no other than the young man - Dennis Hwang. Dennis, 20 year old, is mild-mannered and keeps a low profile. Mr Denis was recently featured in BusinessWeek magazine. I thought, it will be interesting to know. To read the original full article Click Here.

Hwang's Google logos are viewed by nearly 180 million people a day. He's one of the most important graphic designers in the business world. Hwang is the Google doodler, the man whose hand-drawn alterations of the search engine's logo commemorate holidays, artists' birthdays, and other random events that the company deems important.

In June, 2004, a French astronomer sent Hwang an e-mail explaining that within 24 hours Venus would pass in front of the sun--the first time it had happened in 122 years. Quickly, Hwang mocked up a version of the Google logo where the second "O" had become a sun with a black spot on it representing Venus. He showed the design to Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google's co-founders, who liked it. "We are a geeky company, so it was an easy sell," says Hwang. "Within a few hours, I had posted the doodle and we were alerting the world to this cool event."

A former art-computer science double-major at Stanford University, Hwang is also now Google's Webmaster. He devotes 80% to 90% of his time to managing the team of 30 people who maintain Google's Web pages in more than 100 languages. His doodles, about 50 a year, are dashed off using an electronic tablet that translates his scrawlings onto his screen.

Hwang's whimsical designs serve a serious business function. Google's multi-colored Google logo is just as important a branding device as Apple's apple. As Google balloons into a powerful and controversial tech behemoth (see BusinessWeek.com, 5/30/07, "Google Is Making You Dumber"), the doodles humanize the company. With their rough, hand-drawn look, they hark back to the company's experimental, nimble, intellectual, and fanciful startup legacy. "The doodles let Google wink at their audience," says Bill Gardner, founder of LogoLounge.com, a site that covers trends in corporate logo design.

Born in Knoxville, Tenn., Hwang also spent part of his youth living in a Seoul suburb. As a junior at Stanford in 2000, his residential adviser asked him to be an assistant Webmaster at a then-little-known search engine startup named Google. He started as a summer intern and then worked 40 hours a week his senior year while completing his undergraduate degree.

By that time, Google had already experimented with doodles. The first one was done by Brin and Page in 1999 when they left for the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert. Hwang started doodling almost by accident. "It was simply because I was an art major in a very small company," he recalls. His first design honored Bastille Day in 2000.

To plan his doodles, Hwang meets quarterly with a team of vice-presidents and creative directors. People now expect a doodle on certain holidays, like Thanksgiving. "For others, we look at the calendar and muse about what is happening around the world, interesting events or birthdays of people who have contributed something significant." Once he drafts a doodle, he shows it to Page and Brin. "Holding up my mockups and then holding my breath while Larry and Sergey do their 'thumbs-up, thumbs-down' emperor thing is never boring," wrote Hwang on a Google blog. "I love the fact that my little niche within this company turned out to be something so cool and creative and, well, Google-y."

Hwang also gets many ideas from enthusiastic users like the French astronomer. In 2005 librarians around the country lobbied Hwang for a National Library Week doodle. After he created one, he received a big care package complete with a librarian action figure that shushed.

Some doodles draw strong responses. An early design for Thanksgiving featured an innocuous turkey raking leaves. But it drew vitriolic responses from Brazil, Australia, and other parts of the Southern Hemisphere from users who accused Hwang of being Northern Hemisphere-centric. "That one taught me to think more broadly," he said. Another logo, for Michelangelo's birthday, proved to be a little too risqué for some users. "A lot of businessmen were startled when they pulled up the home page in client meetings and there was the nude David."

The afterlives of his doodles form Hwang's favorite stories. In 2003 he wove the double helix into Google's logo to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the discovery of DNA. Recently, he met James Watson, one of the scientists who discovered DNA. "He asked me for a signed print of the Google DNA logo," says Hwang, his voice brimming with enthusiasm. "I couldn't believe it. My drawing had come full circle."

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Together

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs made the Historic Joint Appearance at the Fifth Annual "D: All Things Digital" Conference. In their rare joint appearance at All Things Digital 5, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates discuss their contributions to the technology industry, the qualities they most respect in one another, and former Apple CEO Gil Amelio’s seamanship. The two men also discussed the history and future of the digital revolution in an unrehearsed, unscripted, onstage conversation with D co-producers Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher.

We never thought we would see the day where Apple and Microsoft so easily and so comfortably share the same stage with that much of respect to each other, but that happened today. Watch out the show.



Visit Personal Blog of Rajesh Shakya at http://www.rajeshshakya.com for accessing more videos of this series.

Microsoft Surface Computer

Microsoft plans to unveil a computing device called Microsoft Surface, featuring a 30-inch screen embedded in an acrylic tabletop.

At first glance, Surface is reminiscent of an old-fashioned arcade game table around which patrons played Pac-Man. But there is no joystick here, and no mouse or keyboard either. The device is controlled by touching the tabletop display.
Microsoft says this touch screen will allow people to “interact with digital content the same way they have interacted with everyday items such as photos, paintbrushes and music their entire life: with hands, with gestures and by putting real-world objects on the surface.”



For example, when a digital camera with Wi-Fi capabilities is placed on the display, the table recognizes the camera and, at a touch of the screen, downloads its photos and video clips. The digital pictures can be sorted and sized by “handling” them as if they were physical prints.

The device uses cameras under the display to detect touches, and unlike traditional touch screens it can handle multiple touches at the same time, said Jeff Gattis, the director of product management for Surface.

Similarly, Surface can read bar codes and identification tags embedded in objects like hotel chain membership cards.

Microsoft hopes this technology will someday be common in homes, but its first uses will be commercial. By the end of this year, Surface will appear in hotels, restaurants, retail stores and public entertainment sites, where it will serve as an information kiosk and handle things like basic customer service. Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, was scheduled to unveil the product today at The Wall Street Journal’s “D: All Things Digital” conference in Carlsbad, Calif.

“With Surface, we are creating more intuitive ways for people to interact with technology,” Mr. Ballmer said in a statement. “We see this as a multibillion-dollar category, and we envision a time when surface computing technologies will be pervasive, from tabletops and counters to the hallway mirror.”

Microsoft also named several partners that will be among the first companies to use Surface, including Harrah’s Entertainment, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide and T-Mobile USA. The device’s cost was not disclosed.

Even without the involvement of other gadgets, though, Microsoft offers some tasty demo modules to show the possibilities.

Restaurant. You pull up on-screen, virtual menus on all four edges of the table at once -- because four of you are eating out together -- and order your meal by tapping what you want. While you wait for the food, you can each play your own video game, or open up four different Web browsers. And then, after dinner, you can call up your bill, split it four ways, and pay, all electronically.

Virtual Concierge. You walk into a hotel. You see a virtual model of, say, New York City; look up a restaurant; see what it looks like; and drag the restaurant's address and phone number into your phone, where it shows up as a text message.

Paint Canvas. Finger-painting for the new millennium. That's gotta be worth $10,000 right there.

Video Puzzle. In this game demo, clear glass tiles (real ones) are placed onto a video that's playing on the surface. Now you can scatter and scramble them on the glass, even turning them upside-down; the challenge is to reassemble the video by moving and flipping the tiles, as though it's a new-age jigsaw puzzle.

T-Mobile Stores. In this phone-store demonstration, you can take a phone model off the shelf -- or several -- and put them onto the tabletop to get the details, like features, calling plans, and so on. You can build a side-by-side comparison, sample some ringtones, or assign a ringtone to someone in your contacts list just by sliding it onto the appropriate name. (Again, this demo doesn't work with any current phones.)

There's a lot of imagination going on here, for sure, but even more hype. I'm especially discouraged by the Web headlines that breathlessly gush about a revolution in computing -- including, alas, Popular Mechanics.com. "Forget the keyboard and mouse," says the headline. "The next generation of computer interfaces will be hands-on."

Visit personal site of Rajesh Shakya at http://www.rajeshshakya.com

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Winning!

Winning means different to all!
The world is changing and the business dynamics are changing almost everyday, so the new challenges are emerging at every step you take. Facing all the challenges that comes in front of you is the winning!

In politics, keeping the aspirations of the people is the winning.

For teachers, keeping students in the classroom with patience for the whole class time is the winning.

For the street children, selling 25 copies of local 2 page news paper at the price of Rs. 3 in a day may be the winning.

From whatever the front, anyone who survives out of challenges is the Winner.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Transparency

Transparency is good. But actually having nothing to hide is even better.
If some one hides something from others, he is never transparent.

Visit www.rajeshshakya.com for more thoughts from Rajesh Shakya.