Bit rate

     Print Edition: June 2012

Everyone knows that for a perfect surround sound experience you need specific speakers for each channeled sound placed in the right position in a theatre. This necessity for meticulous configuration of speakers could be history with Dolby's new Atmos system. Instead of channels (the 2.1, 5.1 and 7.1 types), Atmos enables "adaptive rendering to ensure that the playback experience is as close as possible to the creator's original vision in any given environment, irrespective of the specific speaker configuration in the playback environment". Capable of transmitting 128 simultaneous and lossless audio inputs (channels), and the ability to render from 5.1 all the way up to 64 discrete speaker feeds, Dolby Atmos has just heralded a new audio reality for theatre goers.

They say the human brain is the greatest computer ever. So how many megabytes would the brain be able to store? Between 10-100 terabytes is the estimate of computational experts, according to a report in Slate Magazine. One TB is equal to around 1,000 GB. There are about 100 billion neurons in the brain, each capable of a thousand data points. But experts say this is only a rough calculation, with a lot of assumptions about neuron activities

While India may be adding religious channels by the day, San Diego in the US has a 24-hour programming for canines. Yes, a special TV channel just for Rufus. Makers of DogTV say dogs left alone at home will no longer wilt in loneliness, but will have a relaxing time that takes care of the normal separation anxiety that they can suffer from. Experts, of course, say that dogs can see motion on TV only as still images and are unlikely to be perked by screen action. But in a test at California, pets isolated in a behaviour evaluation ward were quieter and less than normal with DogTV on.

Is the rising price of car fuel scaring you? Wait till August this year and you might just have a wish fulfilled out of thin air. According to heavy rumours online, Tata Motors is finalising its plans for a car that uses compressed air to push its engine pistons. The MiniCAT (CAT stands for Compressed Air Transport) apparently has a top speed of 105 kmph and covers 300 km before it requires a few minutes of compressed air at a specially designed "petrol pump". It also uses just a litre of vegetable oil for its moving engine parts. The Air Car was developed by former Formula 1 engineer Guy Nègre for Luxembourg-based Motor Development International (MDI).

680 million: The number of monthly average users of Facebok in March 2012, including 188 million in the US, 241 million in Europe and 230 million in Asia. The number of daily average users is 526 million.

4.5 billion: The number of text messages received by Americans in 2011 that they identified as spam. Richi Jennings, an independent market analyst, said the number had risen from 2.2 billion in 2009.

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