In 10 Days Data Generated by Football World Cup 2014 is 32 Terabytes

The 2014 FIFA World Cup has generated 32 terabytes of “official” information in its first 10 days, in accordance with official network supplier Oi. The event has passed the earlier World Cup, and is on tempo to surpass the Sochi Winter Olympics, which generated 34 terabytes of transmitted information in 17 days.

Oi is considered one of South America’s largest network suppliers, and is offering information transmission for all taking part groups, FIFA, and the 20,000 journalists covering the sporting event. Data utilized by these teams makes up the 32 terabytes, whereas heavy public use of Wi-Fi and cell data networks by followers is just not included, according to GigaOm.

All this information being despatched, obtained and seen may have main advertising implications.

“The first 10 days of the World Cup noticed an quantity of information equal to 171 Tremendous Bowls per day transmitted on the Oi networks for FIFA,” Oi mentioned in a press release.

Firms who’ve invested in notoriously costly Tremendous Bowl advertisements could pay attention to the World Cup knowledge frenzy, however so will the IT neighborhood.  Networking and internet hosting functionality have change into a political situation in Brazil for the reason that NSA PRISM leaks, with lofty targets being met with skepticism in regards to the nation’s technical capabilities.

FIFA director of TV Niclas Ericson referred to Oi and World Cup communications companions at a recent press convention, saying “. . . we’re happy with the outcomes and grateful for what they’ve achieved. The press is also seeing that all the things is working completely, which will be a legacy for the nation,” based on a report by Digital Strategy Consulting.

Investment in Brazilian IT has been rising quickly, and the nation’s cloud services market is projected to surpass $1.1 billion in 2017.

Brazil South grew to become the most recent Microsoft Azure area when it was launched to basic availability in the beginning of June, simply forward of the arrival of soccer followers from all over the world.

 

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Samsung Smart Bike

What do you call a bicycle that doesn’t have a motor, but is packed with electronic features? Well, the emerging term seems to be “smart bike.” We’ve already seen one called the Valour, but now there’s a new one-off known as the Samsung Smart Bike. Above all else, it’s designed to make bicycle commuting safer.

The Samsung Smart Bike was designed by Italian frame-builder Giovanni Pelizzoli and student Alice Biotti. It was created through the Samsung Maestros Academy, an online platform in which Italians who are masters in their field (such as Pelizzoli) teach their skills to promising up-and-comers (such as Biotti).

The aluminum frame, first of all, features curved tubes designed to soak up some of the vibrations caused by riding on rough city streets.

Located between the seat stays of that frame is a rearview camera, that streams a live video feed to a handlebar-mounted Samsung smartphone. There are also four lasers built into the frame, that project a bike lane onto the road on either side of the bike, as it’s moving. Those lasers automatically come on as ambient light levels drop, as detected by the smartphone.

Additionally, an app on the phone uses GPS to make a note of routes that are often traveled by the cyclist. It then offers the option of notifying city officials of those routes, with the suggestion that they add officially-designated bicycle lanes.

The frame also houses a battery, an Arduino module, along with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules. Perhaps a little surprisingly, though, the bike lacks a plain old headlight or tail light.

The Samsung Smart Bike made its public debut in April, at Milan Design Week. There’s no word on any plans for commercialization, but you can see more of the prototype in the video below.

 

Source: Samsung Maestros Academy

Two in One Display gives you two adjustable panels in one display from Philips

Philips Monitors has created a two-in-one computer display that puts a new angle on multitasking. Instead of splitting your workspace between two separate displays, this unit packs two screens onto one base to create a single, space-saving dual-screen experience.

Screens have been getting decidedly wider in recent times, a trend Philips is no stranger to with its 21:9 home cinema range. While ultrawide computer monitors can use “split screen” software, Philips Model 19DP6QJNS Two-in-One Monitor works with two separate 19-inch 250-nit IPS LCD displays. These two units are (almost) seamlessly joined together to create a single 32-inch panoramic screen.

Each of the panels works with its own separate display input cord from your computer and while Philips suggests you’ll likely connect a single computer to these two monitors, it’s also possible for you to connect two separate machines. For example, one side could show your desktop computer while the other could show an additional screen for your laptop.

The left display works with a DisplayPort and VGA input, while the other has a VGA input and MHL-capable HDMI. The Two-in-One also features four USB 2.0 ports. Both LED-backlit displays run at an optimum resolution of 1280 x 1024 at 60 Hz.

Both displays tilt inwards up to 22.5-degrees, but neither tilts upward or downward – vertical adjustments are made by raising or lowering the entire monitor (up to 100 mm/4 in).

One downside is that unlike humungous single panels, this unit still has a 3.5mm bezel around each display panel, resulting in an always-present thin black strip between pictures.

The Two-in-One Monitor was recently shown at the Computex Taipei technology convention where it won the 2014 Computex d&i Gold Award for outstanding innovation.

Philips has not yet finalized pricing, but we do know that it’ll be available for purchase in the autumn of 2014 (northern hemisphere).

Duck and cover protection with new Bullet resistant Bodyguard Blanket

Security blankets generally only provide youngsters with psychological comfort, but the Bodyguard Blanket, from Oklahoma-based ProTecht, LLC., is intended to provide some more concrete security. Made from ballistic materials, it is designed to provide protection from bullets in the event of a school shooting, or from falling or flying debris in the event of a tornado.

It’s a sad state of affairs when children aren’t safe from the threat of gunfire at school. But according to Oklahoma-based company ProTecht, LLC., the US has seen over 40 school shootings since the tragic events that took place on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In many areas, dangers from nature are of greater concern, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimating that around 1,000 tornadoes occur in the US each year, resulting in an average of 70 deaths and 1,500 injuries, most often caused by blunt force trauma.

To provide some protection from both these dangers, ProTecht has rolled out its bullet resistant Bodyguard Blanket, which the company says complies with Type IIIA of the broadly accepted National Institute of Justice (NIJ) ballistic and stab standards used for law enforcement armor in the US. As such, it can protect against a range of ammunition, including .9mm and .22-caliber bullets, absorbing a significant amount of the bullet’s energy by “catching” and deforming the bullet within the layers of the blanket.

ProTecht says it has conducted extensive laboratory tests and estimates the blankets can absorb approximately 490 – 660 joules of energy, or 361 – 486 foot pound of force, whether it be from a bullet or falling or flying debris. They are made from Dyneema, a polyethylene-based material that we’ve seen before in the ballistic whiteboard, which is also intended to provide protection from bullets in the classroom.

Despite its stopping power, the 0.3-in (7.9 mm) thick blankets are flexible and light enough for a small child to carry. They come in three sizes and also feature straps that make it easy for them to be fastened to the user so they can keep them in place while ducking for cover. To make them – and the user – easier for search and rescue teams to locate, they are bright orange in color.

The Bodyguard Blankets aren’t cheap at US$1,000 each, but the company points out they would still be a cheaper option than building dedicated shelters at every school in tornado-prone areas.

At $300, the Ballistic Backpack provides a cheaper alternative, but with less coverage. Well-heeled teachers – if there is such a thing – also have the option of bulletproof suits, including the Diamond Armor and Garrison Bespoke’s offering.

A ballistic test of the Bodyguard Blanket can be seen in the following video.

Source: ProTecht

Smart FootBall named miCoach by Adidas tracks your striking power and finesse

It was back in 2007 that Adidas first explored the potential of an intelligent football. In the time since, it has continued to smarten up sports performance with heart-monitoring phones, fitness tracking watches and intelligent football boots. Now, just as the globe turns its focus to next month’s World Cup in Brazil, it has unveiled the miCoach Smart Ball, a soccer ball with built-in sensors to track everything from the power of your strike to the finesse of your free kick.

The Smart Ball is a 32-panel, regulation size and weight soccer ball (or football, depending on where you hail from) fitted with a Bluetooth 4.0 module. Adidas is tight-lipped on the sensors and algorithms the ball uses, but says it is capable of calculating speed, bend, the location of impact and the trajectory of the kick. It then transmits this data to the companion smartphone app where users can track their development.

Within the app, users can draw on these statistics to refine their technique. It also includes challenges where users can try to bend their free kick around a virtual wall or perfect the “knuckle ball,” where the ball is struck dead in its center to create an unpredictable flight path.

The Smart Ball is designed specifically to be used as a training tool in dead-ball situations, such as free kicks, penalties, corners, shots, goal kicks and long passes. The sensors only track the ball’s movement through the air and are rendered useless if the ball is kicked along the ground.

Building technology into a round ball appears an emerging trend, suggesting there is something to be gained from tracking its orientation and trajectory through the air. Wilson last month revealed its Smart Basketball, which also pairs with an smartphone app to provide feedback on performance. When it comes to soccer, this technology could prove particularly useful where the way the ball is struck can be the difference between bending it like Beckham and sending it into the stands.

The Smart Ball is compatible with Bluetooth LE-capable iOS devices and comes with a charging base and wall plug. It is available through the Adidas website for US$299.

Source: Adidas

New record efficiency for quantum dot photovoltaics

Flexible, inexpensive, large-area, lightweight solar cells are difficult to produce as they require an inert atmosphere and high temperatures, and they often degrade in a short time after exposure to air. Researchers at MIT, however, have used a new method to craft solar cells from ultra-thin layers of quantum dots in a process that promises to avoid these problems, and at room temperature. At the same time, they have also set a new record of nine percent for the most efficient quantum-dot solar cells produced to date.

This latest research builds on previous work by the Lester Wolfe Professor of Chemistry, Moungi Bawendi in producing quantum dots as thin, uniform coatings with accurately governed properties. Able to be applied to a range of materials, the tiny particles contained in the film are individually very efficient at turning light into electricity.

According to Vladimir Bulovic, Fariborz Maseeh Professor of Emerging Technology in MIT’s School of Engineering, bringing them together in thin coatings “allow them to do what they do as individuals – to absorb light very well – but also work as a group, to transport charges.”

As a result of this arrangement, charges are transported across the film to be collected at the edges where they can then be used in a circuit to create an electric current. Although not yet as efficient as standard types of solar cells, with around nine percent of the light energy received by the cells being converted into electric current, it is the degree of improvement in this area in a short amount of time that is the notable aspect.

“Silicon had six decades to get where it is today, and even silicon hasn’t reached the theoretical limit yet,” says Bulovic. “You can’t hope to have an entirely new technology beat an incumbent in just four years of development.”

However, it is the ease at which these quantum dots contained in a film are created which is the most impressive aspect of the work to date. Untold opportunities to apply thin, uniform coatings of electricity-generating quantum dots over surfaces – all without the creation limitations of traditional solar cells in regard to atmosphere, degradation, and temperatures – open up potential for consumer, military, and aerospace product manufacture.

A paper on the research was recently published in the journal Nature Materials.

Source: MIT

Skyscraper viewing platform tilts visitors over the edge at one of Chicago’s skyscraper

A new attraction has been installed at a Chicago skyscraper for visitors with a head for heights. 360 Chicago, formerly the John Hancock Observatory, has installed a viewing platform with a difference. Tilt gradually leans visitors by up to 30 degrees out over a 1000 ft (305 m) drop.

The idea was conceived by engineering company Thornton Tomasetti, with a view of letting people explore their own limits. Naturally, a great deal of planning and development was required. The original drawings of the building had to be studied along with measurements from the existing viewing platform. From there, a process of continuous review and revision was required until the design was finalized.

The initial fabrication of the steel structure was completed in February this year, and the platform was installed later that month. In order to do so, the west portion of the existing viewing platform had to be remodeled, setting the steel frame, attaching the hydraulic unit, testing the unit and finishing the detail of the new space.

The 360 Chicago building sits close to the shoreline of Lake Michigan and visitors to the viewing floor have impressive 360-degree views. The Tilt platform itself can accommodate eight users at a time and moves out using hydraulic cylinders. Once the guests are situated safely inside the compartments, which are on the 94th floor of the building, the platform tilts out by 19 degrees, then 25 degrees and then 30 degrees.

Tilt overlooks Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, a 13-block stretch of North Michigan Avenue that features shops, restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues. The attraction itself is owned by Montparnasse 56 Group, which also runs the the Observation Deck at Montparnasse Tower in Paris, France, and the Berliner Fersehturm / TV Tower in Berlin, Germany.

Visitors can currently check out Tilt for an introductory rate of US$5 (plus the cost of the general admission).

The video below provides an introduction to Tilt.

Source: 360 Chicago

Google’s first 100 percent self-drive car on streets

Google has revealed its first self-driving car prototype, which as you guessed requires no driver. The prototype accommodates for two passengers and is missing quite a few of the features you’d expect to see in a standard car. With no need for a steering wheel, mirrors or braking and accelerating pedals, the car comes fully equipped with special software and sensors that feed information into an onboard computer, which then drives the car.

Google has been experimenting with autonomous driving technology since 2010, which allows cars to drive themselves. In the past the company has experimented with retrofitting ordinary cars with video cameras and radar sensors, linked to a detailed mapping system, which allows the car to navigate through urban streets and traffic without the assistance of a driver. Now the first completely new build self-driving prototype has been developed.

Focusing on safety, Google’s self-driving prototype features sensors that can “see” beyond blind spots and detect other vehicles, objects, pedestrians and landmarks within a 360 degree radius that spans approximately the length of two football fields.

“In a normal car there’s power steering and power brakes, and if the power steering fails, as a strong person you can use your muscles as a fallback to still steer the vehicle”, Google’s Chris Urmson told re/code in a recent interview. “In our car there is no steering wheel so we have to design really fundamental capabilities. So we have effectively two motors and they work so if one of them fails the other can steer, so the car can always control where it’s going, and similar with brakes.”

The car also features collision protection for both its occupants and pedestrians, including a foam exterior and flexible windshield. During the testing phase of this new technology, Google has capped the vehicle’s maximum speed to 25 mph (40 km/h) in order to minimize any potential danger.

The interior of the vehicle has also been kept simple and practical for testing purposes. There are two comfortable passenger seats, with seatbelts and spacious leg room; a small storage compartment, stop and start buttons positioned in the center console and a navigation screen displaying the planned journey.

Google has plans to build a further 100 self-drive cars within the year, with safety tests to commence over the (Northern Hemisphere) summer.

“If all goes well, we’d like to run a small pilot program here in California in the next couple of years,” says Google. “We’re going to learn a lot from this experience, and if the technology develops as we hope, we’ll work with partners to bring this technology into the world safely.”

Check out the new Google self-driving car in the video below.

Source: Google

Sony Cyber Shot RX100 III adds faster lens

Sony has announced the third iteration of its RX100 camera, and the new point-and-shoot looks like it could be one of best compact cameras on the market. It features everything that was great about previous RX100 cameras, plus a faster zoom lens, Sony’s speedy BIONZ X image processor, and a built-in pop-up electronic viewfinder.

When Sony launched the first RX100 in 2012, it made us rethink what compact zoom lens cameras could do. Its large sensor, combined with a versatile zoom, was capable of producing outstanding image quality, in a very portable package. Then with its sequel, the RX100 II (M2), Sony improved the camera with the addition of features like Wi-Fi connectivity and a tilting screen.

The new RX100 III (M3) uses a 20.1 megapixel one-inch-type (13.2 x 8.8 mm) CMOS sensor, similar to the 20.2 megapixel one in its predecessor. However, it’s now paired with a BIONZ X image processor, as used in the high-end Sony A7. This means the camera can produce quality images, with natural reproduction of fine textures, in a variety of lighting conditions. It has an ISO range of 125 to 12,800, and features speed priority shooting at 10 fps.

While the new processor also helps ensure swifter focus tracking and detection, it’s slightly disappointing that the autofocus system is still contrast detection-based rather than a speedier hybrid set-up. That said, a new eye autofocus function, which detects and focuses on a subjects eye, is a welcome addition, like it was in the recently announced Sony A77 II.

Manual controls have also been upgraded on the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III, and functions ca...

The biggest improvement to the RX100 III is probably its new Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T 24-70-mm equivalent F1.8-F2.8 zoom lens. While not reaching quite as far on the zoom end (the RX100 II went to 100-mm equivalent) it goes wider, and is considerably faster. A maximum aperture of F2.8 on the telephoto end of the zoom means better light-gathering power and the ability to blur out the background of an image.

There’s also the addition of a retractable OLED electronic viewfinder which rises from the top plate next to a pop-up flash. With 1,440,000 dots, it gives users a viable alternative to composing shots on the 3-in rear LCD monitor, which has 1,228,800 dots. That said, the monitor now tilts 180-degrees, which could come in handy for selfies.

There’s the option to shoot Full HD 1080p video at 60/50 fps, though this can now be done in AVCHD or XAVC S format at up to 50 Mbps. Slow motion fans will be pleased to know the RX100 III can also shoot 720p footage at 100 fps. Clean HDMI output means Full HD footage can be stored to an external recorder.

While it makes a great point-and-shoot, manual controls have also been upgraded on the RX100 III, and functions can be assigned to a new custom button or control wheel. Despite the extra features which have been packed into the aluminum camera, it still measures a pocketable 101.6 x 58.1 x 41.0 mm (4 x 2.3 x 1.6 inches) and weighs a travel-friendly 290g (10.2 oz).

Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity means it’s easy to share images or video instantly, and there’s now the option to use Sony’s PlayMemories Camera Apps.

The Sony RX100 III will be available in June and will set you back about US$800.

Product page: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III

MIT develops glasses free 3D projector which is alternative to holographic video

The 3D format has had something of a renaissance in recent years, but the technology still has some way to go before the potential of “real-life” multiperspective 3D can be realized. The Camera Culture group at the MIT Media Lab is developing a new 3D video projection system that doesn’t require glasses and provides different users different perspective angles of the same object. The team sees it not as a final answer, but as a transitional system that sits between current technologies and true holographic video.

In one form or another, 3D projection systems have been around almost as long as the cinema itself. The trick has always been to come up with something practical and economical – preferably without the glasses, nausea, and headaches. Over the decades, the Bijous and Odeons of the world have seen two-color systems, polarized light systems, mechanical shutters and multiple projectors systems come and go as each fell short of the mark.

The MIT approach was to come up with a glasses-free video projection system with a wide vision angle, ultra-high resolution, yet is mechanically simple and doesn’t require elaborate installations, as well as being cheaper than conventional holographic systems of comparable quality. The idea is that it will act as a short term, intermediate solution until a more mature technology can be developed, while making it attractive as a transitional technology for users of more conventional 2D systems.

The MIT system doesn’t just produce an illusion of parallax – it creates an actual shift in perspective for multiple viewers looking at the image from different angles, as if were looking at real objects. In addition, it provides better resolution and contrast than conventional 2D video.

The heart of the projector is a pair of flat panels of liquid-crystal modulators that act like tiny liquid-crystal displays (LCD) set between the backlight source and the lens. The first bank of LCDs produces light patterns at particular angles. This pattern passes through the second bank, but only at these angles. These then pass through a series of lenses that are arranged in the same manner as a Keplerian telescope. The patterns then pass through a transparent projection screen made up of lines of vertical lenses, a bit like the striated transparent sheets found in children’s books and toys that shift between a pair of images. These resolve the patterns into a 3D image that shifts as one moves from one of eight points of view to another.

The modulators refresh the image 240 times every second, which is less than that of modern televisions, but ten times that of standard-speed film. The system requires a lot of bandwidth to work, but it also opens the possibility of the system displaying ultra-high resolution video. Part of the reason for this is that the MIT system uses data compression algorithms that concentrate on reproducing the edges of the images rather than the body of objects, because edges change more as an object moves or turns. The algorithm also produce a brighter image with stronger contrast by generating something closer to “true black,” which is not possible for LCDs.

Another way the image is improved is by how the light patterns interfere with one another. By manipulating this, the system can gain higher resolutions, though this requires some prodigious real-time calculations. In addition, the MIT system doesn’t simply enlarge the image, which reduces the field of vision in 3D projections. Instead, the system spreads out the pixels from one another.

The team sees the technology as having applications in collaborative design and medical imaging as well as in entertainment.

The video below explains the basics of the technology

Source: MIT

 

Samsung releases tab for schools Galaxy Tab 4 Education

Samsung has announced a new addition to its Galaxy range of tablets. The Galaxy Tab 4 Education is the company’s first tablet designed for use in schools and can be used at both primary and secondary levels. It will provide access to education-focused apps, books, and videos.

Samsung says the Galaxy Tab 4 Education has been designed to be durable and easy to manage, as well as providing easy access to digital learning resources. The company says it “allows teachers and students to connect, communicate, and collaborate while securing peace of mind for school administrators.” We’re taking that as bloated PR speak for “tablets in the classroom.”

The device includes access to Google Play for Education, a specially-tailored version of the Android app store. Users can access a range of “teacher-approved” resources to enhance the learning process and help personalize learning for individual students. A future upgrade to the Samsung School, a service that allows sharing of content between teacher and students, will add integration with the new tablet.

The hardware itself includes a protective casing and Corning Gorilla Glass for rugged use. It sports a 10.1-in WXGA display with 1280 x 800 resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio. We’re also looking at front and rear cameras, 16 GB of memory, a microSD card slot (for up to a further 64 GB of external storage), and the option to connect a USB keyboard. AllShare Cast can be used to mirror content to other displays and charging carts are available for classroom storage. Near Field Communication (NFC) technology is included with the aim of making it quick to set up a number of devices.

The tablet will run Android 4.4 KitKat and will also include Samsung’s MultiWindow, which allows users to view two apps side-by-side. The device supports WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n and Samsung says it has a battery life of 10 hours to comfortably accommodate a full school day.

The Galaxy Tab 4 Education is available now for schools in the US planning for the 2014-2015 academic year. Educators can buy the tablets through Samsung distribution and channel partners with a suggested retail of US$369.99 each.

Source: Samsung

Glass bottom floor Glacier Skywalk gives new views of Columbia Icefield

Hovering above the Columbia Icefield in the Canadian Rockies, the recently opened ‘Glacier Skywalk’ offers visitors a breathtaking experience (Photo: Brewster Travel Canada)

Back in 2011, the original designs for the Glacier Skywalk received attention after winning the Future Projects Category Award at the World Architecture Festival. Three years on the project is finally complete and the cliff-edge walkway and awe-inspiring observation deck are now open to the public, providing spectacular views of the Columbia Icefield in the Canadian Rockies.

The Glacier Skywalk incorporates a meeting area, free viewing area, cliff-edge walkway and observation deck. The award winning design features an impressive curved glass-floored walkway, which is suspended 280 m (918 ft) above the Sunwapta Valley. The ambitious project was completed by the design build team PCL Construction Management, engineering firm Read Jones Christofferson and Sturgess Architecture for Brewster Travel Canada.

“In developing our design, we carefully considered what would maximize the impact of the site for visitors while respecting the environment,” says engineering firm, Read Jones Christofferson. “We wanted to push the limits of the sense of exposure offered and quickly decided that the best way to approach this would be to construct a glass floored walk area. We want people to feel as if they are suspended in the air over the Sunwapta Valley floor.”

Similar to the Grand Canyon Skywalk, the engineering firm decided to curve the glass walkway in an effort to offer additional views and a thrilling experience seemingly beyond the structural supports. The design features an intricate cable suspension system that reduces the appearance of the supports and thus gives users the sense of danger as they walk above the dramatic landscape.

“When contemplating material choices and construction methods, we took into consideration the local site restrictions, the importance of blending the structure into the natural surroundings, long term durability and ongoing maintenance requirements, budgetary considerations, as well as the expressed desire for a rapid construction time,” says Read Jones Christofferson. “Weathering steel was selected because the bulk of the structure can be substantially fabricated off-site; it is very durable, has limited maintenance requirements and will naturally blend in with the surrounding geology.”

The total cost to complete the Glacier Skywalk, including consultation, environmental monitoring and assessment, planning, design and construction, was approximately CA$21 million (approx. US19 million).

Apart from the Glacier Skywalk, visitors to the Jasper National Park can also jump on board a huge Ice Explorer and go out onto the surface of an ancient glacier, They can also take in the Northern Lights, which are best viewed in the winter months, with stargazers benefiting from the fact that the Park is the second largest dark sky reserve in the world.

The Glacier Skywalk is open daily from May to October, with tickets prices set at CA$24.50 for an adult and CA$12.50 for a child (under 16).

Sources: Brewster Travel CanadaRead Jones ChristoffersonSturgess Architecture via Designboom