Thursday, December 24, 2009

Festive Wishes

I wish to send warm festive greetings and say HAPPY CHRISTMAS to all readers of this blog. And to all and every person too - so please pass on this message.


Each person matters - so a BIG THANK YOU for everyone who has visited this blog.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Night vision for cars

New technology for those late-night drives... it seems that Bosch has now released an enhanced version of its night vision system, first featured in this year's new Mercedes E-class:

The new system can identify pedestrians and alert the driver to their presence.Like its predecessor the system, dubbed "Night Vision plus" by the German electronics giant, provides a high-contrast image of the area immediately ahead of the vehicle. The difference is that the image is also analysed in the latest version. As pedestrians are identified and highlighted on the screen, the driver has much more time to take action than they would if relying on the beams of headlamps alone.

The technology, known within Mercedes-Benz as "Night View Assist Plus" is also available on the latest S-Class.The Bosch active night vision system uses four main components to provide an accurate reproduction of the area immediately ahead of the vehicle. Infrared headlights with a range of 150 metres – three times further than conventional dipped headlights – "illuminate" the road, and what they pick up is recorded by a camera behind the windscreen. The images are then processed by a control unit and shown on a high-resolution display in the cockpit.

Read more - and see the video - at: 'Night vision for cars'


Thursday, December 03, 2009

HAL's bells: IBM makes 'thinking computer' breakthrough

Not there yet...but the tech-boffins are scurrying to get closer to the Tech-Holy-Grail... here's the latest over at IBM:

Scientists say they've made a breakthrough in their pursuit of computers that "think" like a living thing's brain - an effort that tests the limits of technology.Even the world's most powerful supercomputers can't replicate basic aspects of the human mind. The machines can't imagine a wall painted a different colour, for instance, or picture a person's face and connect that to an emotion.

If researchers can make computers operate more like a brain thinks - by reasoning and dealing with abstractions, among other things - they could unleash tremendous insights in such diverse fields as medicine and economics.A computer with the power of a human brain is not yet near.But this week researchers from IBM are reporting that they've simulated a cat's cerebral cortex, the thinking part of the brain, using a massive supercomputer.The computer has 147,456 processors (most modern PCs have just one or two processors) and 144 terabytes of main memory - 100,000 times as much as your computer has.

The scientists had previously simulated 40 per cent of a mouse's brain in 2006, a rat's full brain in 2007, and 1 per cent of a human's cerebral cortex this year, using progressively bigger supercomputers.The latest feat, being presented at a supercomputing conference in Portland, Oregon, doesn't mean the computer thinks like a cat, or that it is the progenitor of a race of robo-cats.The simulation, which runs 100 times slower than an actual cat's brain, is more about watching how thoughts are formed in the brain and how the roughly one billion neurons and 10 trillion synapses in a cat's brain work together.

Read more at - 'HAL's bells: IBM makes 'thinking computer' breakthrough'

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

US to take greater control of the Internet

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has an article on the proposition to increase US government control over the Internet - in the name of increasing competition and expanding service!

Federal regulators are considering whether the government should take greater control of the Internet and ask consumers to pay higher phone charges in order to provide all Americans with cheaper access to broadband Internet service.The Federal Communications Commission Wednesday will lay out the case for expanding broadband Internet service, outlining current obstacles to making it widely available. The agency is considering whether to force Internet providers to share their networks with rivals and raise fees charged on consumer phone bills to pay for the broader access.

The proposals, which have sparked criticism from telecommunications and cable companies, represent a reversal from the Bush Administration, when regulators cut back on government control of Internet and telephone service.

The new commission, controlled by Democrats, is considering whether more government control is needed to ensure competition and more affordable Internet service.

Read original article - 'US to take greater control of the Internet'