Posts Tagged ‘program’
Over the past week, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has insisted that the organization’s PRISM data collection program is only being used to target the communications of non-US citizens outside the country. That’s not very comforting for non-US citizens outside the country. So it should come as no surprise that the EU’s commissioner for justice and fundamental rights, Viviane Reding, has written to US attorney general Eric Holder voicing concerns that the US government is spying on Europeans’ data.
There’s THX certification for TVs, ensuring potential buyers that they’ll get solid home-theater audio, so why shouldn’t there be an equivalent for displays? Technicolor, along with software company Portrait Displays, is stepping up to the plate with a new standard for guaranteeing hue quality across panels. The Technicolor Color Certified Program will award screens that meet its requirements with a seal — or logo, as it were — of approval. What are the qualifications, you ask? Technicolor’s spec is based on software from Portrait Displays, which works with OEMs to fine-tune screens for color accuracy. For the end user, the result should be consistent tones across all certified devices either automatically or when the Technicolor color setting is enabled for specific programs or apps. Head past the break for our eyes-on impressions.
Filed under: Displays
President Obama addressed the US government’s controversial domestic surveillance programs on Friday, justifying them in part because of his assessment that “they helped us prevent terrorist attacks.” Now, Reuters and The New York Times cite anonymous government officials who claim that the PRISM program helped foil one attack in particular.
In 2010, Najibullah Zazi pled guilty to plotting an attack on the New York subway system using explosive devices. He was arrested in September 2009, after emailing the phrase “The marriage is ready” to an accomplice to signify that an attack was in the offing. The US and UK governments reportedly intercepted Zazi’s email, leading to his arrest shortly after that message. According to New York Times a…
Microsoft Debuts Crowdfunding Program For Student Laptops, Offers Office 365 Free To First 10K Participants
Microsoft is introducing a new pilot project today called ”Chip In,” which sees the Windows-maker offering to help students crowdsource laptop purchases ahead of next school year. Students with a .edu email address can crowdfund laptop purchases of qualifying devices through the official Microsoft online store, and Microsoft will subsidize 10 percent of the purchase price itself, plus offer free copies of Office 365 University edition to the first 10,000 students to sign up for the program.
The Chip In promotion begins today and goes through September 1, so essentially spanning the entire summer for higher education students. The full list of eligible laptops includes 15 Windows PCs from Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba and Microsoft. The Surface Pro and Surface RT are both included in the list, as are some marquee Windows 8 devices from third-party partners like the Lenovo Yoga and Asus Taichi. Microsoft’s 10 percent discount is automatically applied to the pricing of all those on the list, which you can see here.
While it’s intended for students, U.S.-based faculty and staff are also eligible to participate so long as they have a valid .edu address. To participate, choose a computer, create a profile page using your FB account and request that friends and family chip-in to help meet your funding goal. If you fulfill your goal, Microsoft sends out a promo code you can redeem to complete the purchase. There’s even a provision that allows you to put any amount earned above your goal (should a device go on sale or get a price cut) toward other devices and items in the Microsoft Store. If you fall short of your goal, but raise at least $ 499, you can still use those funds toward a device as well. If you don’t meet that amount, your contributors won’t be charged.
This goes above and beyond the usual back-to-school promotions and is actually a pretty good idea in terms of letting students leverage the good will of relatives and friends who might want to give them a graduation/off-to-college gift but can’t fork up enough for a new laptop all on their own. It might be slightly annoying seeing a lot of inbound requests from students begging for notebooks, but on balance it seems like a good idea, and a smart way for Microsoft to get more people on Windows 8.
Remember EA’s Online Pass program? If you’ve ever purchased one of the company’s games used, it probably rings a bell. The system was devised in 2010 as a way for the company to collect revenue from used game sales, requiring players of second-hand software to pay an additional fee to unlock multiplayer content. Now, EA says the program has run its course. “Many players didn’t respond to the format,” the company told GamesBeat. “None of our new EA titles will include that feature.” The industry still isn’t completely sure how to handle used game sales, but at least this unpopular program is at an end.
Filed under: Gaming
Question by ANNON: How do you program a robot that follows an emitter?
I’m trying to build a wheeled robot that can follow you from a distance as long as you are carrying the emitter. Can someone please point me to any resources relating to such a subject?
I would like the robot to drive towards the emitter while it is at least 50 feet away.
Answer by neville
The success of your robot will depend on its direction-finding (DF) hardware and software.
There are many possible solutions, varying from simple hardware and complex software to complex hardware and (maybe!) not so complex software.
Single-channel DF refers to the use of a multi-antenna array with a single channel radio receiver. This approach to DF obviously offers some advantages and drawbacks. Since it only uses one receiver, mobility and lower power consumption are obvious benefits for a battery-powered robot, but without the ability to look at each antenna simultaneously (which would be the case if one were to use multiple receivers) more complex operations need to occur at the antenna in order to present the signal to the receiver – so more complex software is required. The two main categories that a single channel DF algorithm falls into are amplitude comparison and phase comparison. Some algorithms can be hybrids of the two.
The pseudo-doppler technique is a phase based DF method that produces a bearing estimate on the received signal by measuring the doppler shift induced on the signal by sampling around the elements of a circular array. The original method used a single antenna that physically moved in a circle but the modern approach uses a multi-antenna circular array with each antenna sampled in succession.
The Watson-Watt technique uses two Adcock antenna pairs to perform an amplitude comparison on the incoming signal. An Adcock antenna pair is a pair of monopole or dipole antennas that takes the vector difference of the received signal at each antenna so that there is only one output from the pair of antennas. Two of these pairs are co-located but perpendicularly oriented to produce what can be referred to as the N-S (North-South) and E-W (East-West) signals that will then be passed to the receiver. In the receiver, the bearing angle can then be computed by taking the arctangent of the ratio of the N-S to E-W signal.
At the other end of the scale, a single mechanically-rotated loop aerial could be used, coupled to the drive system which goes in the direction of the highest received signal. However this would probably consume more battery power for the antenna drive system etc.
Add your own answer in the comments!
Jolla Confirms It Will Program Its Debut Phone Next Month & Begin “Pre-Sales Project” To Take Repayments From Followers Ahead Of 2H Launch
Jolla, the Finnish start-up consisted of ex-Nokians who left to keep the MeeGo fire burning, has verified it will be reflecting off its first mobile next month, and kicking off a “pre-sales” campaign to permit fans to register to purchase the phone. Although Jolla has demoed its Sailfish UI in some information previously, it has actually usually been tight-lipped about its plans for the gadget’s hardware design — so next month will imply another huge reveal.
Jolla had previously pegged the 2nd half of this yearfor its launching gadget launch. Today it has verified to TechCrunch that this launch timeframe is not altering, despite its purpose to reflect the phone following month. It provided the following emailed statement confirming the pre-sales campaign and noting that the shipping timeframe remains the exact same:
Jolla will showcase its first device in May. The precise timing of the introduction will be revealed later. A pre-sales campaign is anticipated to start after mid-May. The campaign is currently being planned and further details will be readily available at the time of the item introduction. The sales beginning of the first Jolla gadget will take location throughout the 2nd half of 2013 as earlier revealed. The pre-sales campaign was stated previously in Finnish publication digitoday, which ran a meet with Jolla chairman Antti Saarnio. According to the meeting (translated from the Finnish by Google equate), the pre-sales campaign will be a”Kickstarter-style”crowdfunding campaign, whereby very early backers can anticipate to obtain a gadget with a couple of unique extras compared to buyers who pile in later. Jolla told TechCrunch via Twitter that the pre-sales project is not a crowdfunding project to money the initial production run, rather”pre-sales is for the followers to register their interest and see to it they get the device initially”.
Nevertheless the difference in between a pre-sales project for fans and a crowdfunding project to fund manufacturing is a minimal one, and mainly an advantage of emphasis. In its meet with digitoday, Saarnio evidently discusses taking”advance repayments” and”pre-payments”from fans who sign up to buy the device — payments that” will not be so wonderful as to make up a threshold for the fans”but will be tiered, allowing them to get a more” customized”phone, the even more they pay. Jolla has not, nonetheless, confirmed this advanced payment detail separately to TechCrunch. Its statement suggests it is still wrapping up strategies for the pre-sales campaign. Update: Jolla has now verified by means of Twitter that it will be taking payments ahead of the phone’s launch from fans who mean to buy it.”Yes, there will be different choices to reveal the support and get something in return. Stay tuned for the announcement in May,”it stated. The pre-sales campaign is clearly component of Jolla’s marketing and community-building efforts to spread out the word about Sailfish and construct energy behind it. But taking payments ahead of production likewise makes good sense for a start-up with limited resources to develop hardware and one that is competing in such as fiercely competitive space, against smartphone makers with such huge resources.
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X Prize is known for doling out big bucks for tech leaps like Spaceship One and now the foundation is teaming with Singularity University and Deloitte Consulting to try to bring more cash-bearing companies on board. To that end, they created the Innovation Partnership Program (IPP) to get industry together with inventors, scientists and other developers twice a year with the goal of funding new competitions. The first meeting took place last week and included heavyweights like Google, Sprint Nextel and Qualcomm, who tossed around ideas like crowdsourcing, sensor tech and 3D printing. In exchange for their largess — a seat at the table starts at $ 250,000 — businesses get in on the ground floor to breakthrough tech and the fortunes it can bring. IPP cautioned that the four day event “is not a volleyball picnic or a plush retreat,” so if you had visions of shirtless CEOs, Top Gun-style, you can breathe a sigh of relief.
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Forget having kids. Forget mind-transfers. Real immortality lies in naming a video transition after yourself. No, seriously. To make eternity happen, you simply need to donate $ 500 to Jonathan Thomas’s Kickstarter project and in return he’ll let you create and name a transition effect in a new cross-platform version of his free, open source video editing program, called OpenShot. Currently Linux-only, it supports regular timeline-based video editing with layers and compositing, transitions, effects, titles and support for a wide range of AV formats courtesy of the usual open source codec libraries. If it reaches its $ 20k goal, Thomas will start work Windows and Mac OS editions alongside Linux, anticipating a beta release before the end of the year. Smaller donations will receive more minor possessions in the afterlife, such as your name in the credits. Bigger pledges — of up to $ 10,000 — will flip things around slightly and require Jonathan Thomas to sell you his soul. Go get it, Pharoah!
Filed under: Software
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Nokia’s Asha line of less-expensive smartphones, not developed on Microsoft’s Windows Phone but Nokia’s own proprietary OS, is getting a new boost of attention today. The company is unveiling a new (and free) premium developer program for Asha developers. Modelled on a premium program started for Lumia developers last year, those participating will get extra developer resources, credits towards promoting finished apps in Nokia’s app storefront or via advertising in other apps, and a free device, so that they can boost numbers in the Nokia Store for content made for the Asha line of phones. Nokia tells me that there are now 130,000 apps, ringtones and wallpapers for Asha in the Store already, without breaking out the number of apps compared to other content.
Not only will this help to boost the number of apps in the Nokia store, but it furthers the idea of Asha as the “other” smartphone line being pushed by Nokia — and not just another high-end feature phone. As IHS analyst Ian Fogg noted after seeing the news: “Nokia builds the case for Asha to be considered a smartphone.”
Nokia says that for developers to be considered, there are some criteria to be met. For “stage-one productivity membership” (this includes extra developer support, the free device and expanded remote access), a developer need to have at least two apps built for any mobile platform and currently in any mobile store (not just those run by Nokia itself). For “stage-two” membership (this includes the promotional options of either app store placements or $ 500 worth of advertising), the developers need to agree to develop and publish at least one app for the Nokia Store to work on an Asha device.
The Lumia premium developer program, Nokia says, has proven to be its most successful developer program ever.
But if Nokia’s Lumia line is considered its “flagship” fleet of smartphones, then the Asha devices are the company’s ever-essential workhorses.
In Nokia’s Q4 results that it reported in January, the company announced 9.3 million Asha devices sold, more than twice the number of Lumia devices (at 4.4 million). While Nokia has been working hard to create Lumia handsets that are stretching ever further into the low cost segment — the most recent being the $ 180 520 handset unveiled at the Mobile World Congress this year — Asha devices were already there, with devices going for under $ 100 already unveiled last year.
This fact makes the Asha and ever-more important link in the chain that Nokia has to be careful not to break as it tries to bring its vast population of users in emerging markets on to Nokia smart devices, rather losing them to the rival Android ecosystem as led by Samsung, Huawei and dozens of other handset makers. Samsung in particular has approached the market with an aggressive device strategy across virtually every mobile handset price point (and feature set).
The developer program and its stated purpose to create apps for Asha devices is very much part of that strategy. As Apple has very conclusively proven both with the iPhone and iPad tablet, one of the biggest draws to a particular piece of hardware is the software that you will be able to use on it.
The idea, of course, are for those apps to be quality as well as in quantity. “We want to reward apps that really engage the user,” Kenny Mathers, director of developer programs and monetisation at Nokia, said in a statement. “We’ll be looking for high-quality graphics and user interface, plus great user reviews, with a minimum rating of four stars from at least 25 Nokia Store user reviews.”
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