A flow of global news in pacy bits

     Print Edition: October 2011

From Wi-Fi to Li-Fi?
Light bulbs could be used to broadcast wireless Internet, a leading physicist has claimed. Harald Hass, who is a professor of engineering at Edinburgh University, recently talked of an LED light bulb that can communicate as well as illuminate. Called DLight, it can send data faster than 10 mbps, the speed of a typical broadband connection. "We transmit wireless data via inefficient electromagnetic waves. Light is also part of the electromagnectic spectrum," Hass said.

Ultracheap, Ultrathin?
There is so much competition in the tech world that secrecy is a given. In the absence of solid information, rumours abound, as they did with Apple's iPhone, Microsoft's Kinect and Google's phone. Now there is a strong buzz about Intel's "Ultrabook". Intel does not make laptops, only chips for them. Often, Intel releases reference designs, that is, it designs a product and gives it to manufacturers along with a few million chips that will go into the product. We hear now of the Ultrabook, an ultra-slim laptop that has a max girth of 20 mm (MacBook Air is 19 mm). The first notebook in the Ultrabook line is the Asus UX21, a 17 mm laptop that is thinner than the Air, includes a 11.6-inch display, one USB 2.0 port and one brand new USB 3.0 port. Intel has requested companies to price Ultrabooks below $1,000.

On-Demand 3D For Your Vaio
Wouldn't it be nice not to have to wear those glasses when viewing 3D imagery? Well, Sony is saying, yes you needn't. The Japanese laptop maker is releasing a "lenticular sheet" that can be placed over the screen and enable glasses-free 3D any time you want the give your eyeballs a depth punch. And unlike other glasses-free techs (like those used in the Nintendo 3DS and HTC Evo 3D), the sheet does not have poor viewing angles outside of the "sweet spot". Sony says the overlay sheet will cost about $183 a sheet. If anything, the sheet is a good option to have when you want to view things in 3D. At other times, you can just relegate it to the back of the desk.

 72% The proportion of time that Indian smartphone users spend on activities like gaming, apps and Internet access. The remaining 28 per cent is the time used for voice calls and text messaging.
Back-To-Back TV
It's almost as if the proverbial mad scientist is at work in the tech labs around the world.
Now Haier has come up with a cool, transparent OLED TV. This slim 22-inch transparent OLED TV shows sharper images on a display that has a resolution of 1680 x 1050. Not only that, the images can be seen from both sides, so forget viewing angles-even if you are behind the TV you will not miss out on the action. This amazing machine is in the early stages yet and there is no word on its availability date. Hopefully it will be released soon as a product.

Battery With The Mostest
The bane of batteries draining out quickly might just become history with Japan's Sumitomo
Electric Industries coming up with a new material that has the ability to triple the capacity of lithium-ion cells. Called Aluminum-Celmet, it replaces the aluminium foil anode in a rechargeable Li-ion battery. The porous character of Celmet affords a much larger volume of lithium compound that helps in increasing electricity flow by an additional 98 per cent. What is more, such a battery will also have a higher charging capacity of up to three times.

100 M For Twitter
When Twitter began five years ago, no one, least of all its founder Jack Dorsey, could have foreseen that it would reach a milestone of 100 million active users. This the social networking site did this month, according to Twitter Chief Executive Dick Costolo. He also revealed that Twitter users are now sending 230 million Twitter messages a day. and that 50 million people log into Twitter every day.

iPad On The Rampage?

Shipments of personal computers are slowing down. They are expected to grow only 3.8 per cent this year, far less than the projected 9.3 per cent, according to market firm Gartner. Two factors are behind this: economic worries and the rise of the tablet, specially Apple's iPad. Computer makers are dealing with the shift in consumer demand to tablets, which are not included in the PC shipment estimates. Apple is the only company that has been able to capitalise on the changing tastes. PC shipments are expected to reach 364 million units this year.

 3 hours The time spent on their smartphones by Indians in the 15-25 years age group. Those in the over 31-year category spend just two hours on their smartphone.
Heart Monitor On Wheels
Imagine the horror of suffering a heart attack while you are driving. Since heart attacks can
happen anywhere at any time, Toyota is working on a steering wheel with sensors that can automatically slow a car down if it senses any irregular heart activity. These new steering wheels aren't likely to be part of the next batch of Toyota cars, but the idea is spectacular. Particularly since the steering wheel could also beam "real-time" information to nearby hospitals about a heart-failure having occurred and the possibility of a car accident. Similarly, Ford is also working on a seat with a builtin heart rate monitor. It looks like heart rate sensors will be the car's next must-have, like the GPS was five years ago.

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