Metasurface Optics for Better Cellphone Cameras and 3-D Displays

post 8Engineers at the California Institute of Technology have created a metasurface out of tiny pillars of silicon that act as waveguides for light. The way they arrange the pillars allows them to control the phase of light passing through the surface; this ability gives them control over how the light is focused, as well as its polarization, which is important for uses such as liquid crystal displays and 3-D glasses. Metasurfaces are structured planes so thin that they count as being two-dimensional; their periodic designs manipulate light in unusual ways.

“We’re trying to create kind of a new platform for optics,” says Amir Arbabi, a postdoc in Andrei Faraon’s Nanoscale and Quantum Optics Lab. The team described their work in the latest issue of Nature Nanotechnology.

The silicon pillars have to be somewhat shorter than the wavelength of light they’re designed to manipulate. In the case of the metasurface described in the paper, the pillars are 715 nanometers tall, to handle infrared light with a wavelength of 915 nm. But they could easily be made shorter for visible light, Arbabi says. The pillars range in diameter from 65 to 455 nm, and they’re elliptical in shape. The ellipses are not all oriented in the same direction; the pillars’ thickness and orientation determine how they focus and polarize the light passing through them.

Many of the same effects can be achieved with traditional optics, but that requires lining up multiple components such as lenses and prisms and beam splitters. The metasurface gets the job done with less bulk, allowing, among other things, thinner, lighter-weight cell phone camera lenses and better systems for directing the beams of industrial cutting lasers. It could also lead to novel applications. Using one of these devices, a display could switch between two polarizations and display two different holographic images. Or with an intermediate polarization, it could superimpose one image on the other. The metasruface could provide the optics for an LCD to create a 3-D display viewable from many angles without glasses.

What’s more, all of this can be done using the same lithography techniques used to build computer chips, doing away with individual fabrication and manual alignment of components. “We’re trying to take these free-space components that are bulky and large and put them on a chip,” Arbabi says.

It shouldn’t take much effort to move these metasurfaces from the lab to the marketplace, says Faraon. It’s mainly a question of figuring out which optical system applications could benefit from the kind of mass production this technology makes possible. The array of potential applications is vast, Faraon says. “It gives you a unified framework, so you can design whatever optical component you would like.”

Say Hello to MIAOW, the First Open Source Graphics Processor

post 7While open-source hardware is already available for CPUs, researchers from the Vertical Research Group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have announced at the Hot Chips Event in Cupertino, Calif., that they have created the first open source general-purpose graphics processor (GPGPU).

Called MIAOW, which stands for Many-core Integrated Accelerator Of the Waterdeep, the processor is a resistor-transistor logic implementation of AMD’s open source Southern Islands instruction set architecture. The researchers published a white paper on the device.

The creation of MIAOW is the latest in a series of steps meant to keep processor development in step with Moore’s Law, explains computer scientist Karu Sankaralingham, who leads the Wisconsin research group.

“We need innovative new hardware modules, new types of processors, new types of hardware accelerators, and so on,” he says. Open source hardware represents a promising new avenue. “I envision five, ten years from now companies will be leveraging open-source hardware, just like it happened with open-source software,” says Sankaralingham. “For  example, Facebook was built mainly using PHP. PHP is completely open source. It would be hard to imagine that Facebook would have gotten off the ground if PHP wasn’t there.”

Sankaralingham and his colleagues decided to focus on a graphics processor when AMD made the Instruction Set Architecture of one of its graphics processors available. Graphics processors are increasingly replacing CPUs for number crunching.

“What GPGPUs are good at is using GPU architecture to tackle highly computationally intense problems,” says Sankaralingham. “Their architectures have two important properties: They provide very high performance and they are very power efficient.” Consequently, GPUs will be used in, for example, driverless cars, navigation systems, the Internet of Things, and deep learning. In all of these environments, there is a big need for very high computation speed at low power use, the Wisconsin researcher notes.

For now, MIAOW is strictly an academic research project. “One impact it will have in my field,” says Sankaralingham, “is that academic researchers, who have a very low-level hardware implementation in their research, are going to adopt our ideas.”

Another important consequence of the group’s work is that it has “demonstrated that smart teams can go and build meaningful hardware parts that can compete with high-end industrial products.” Sankaralingham says he sees his group’s research as a stepping stone to the building of completely clean-slate designs that don’t rely on any existing commercial products from industry.

Computer Scientists Find Bias in Algorithms

post 6computer scientists have created algorithms to run all kinds of tests on big hauls of data. Powerful learning algorithms, like those that can predict septic shock, improve crop yields, and filter college and job applications, supposedly remove human error and bias. However, algorithms may be more human than we think.

Computer scientists at the University of Utah, University of Arizona and Haverford College in Pennsylvania created a method to both fish out and fix algorithms that may exhibit unintentional bias based on race, gender, or age.

Algorithms can be biased by detecting subtleties or trends in data that correlate with a demographic even though all the data is unlabeled. For example, if offers of employment were made based on an oral exam score, some minority candidates might be filtered out by an initial algorithm screening if there is a small relationship between minorities and scores.

This issue came to the attention of the lead researcher, University of Utah professor Suresh Venkatasubramanian, during a conversation with sociologists about the 1970 U.S. Supreme Court anti-discrimination case,Griggs v. The Duke Power Co. The court ruled that a business hiring decision was illegal if it was discriminatory along racial, religious, or gender lines or because of disability, regardless of whether or not the decision was deliberately prejudiced. Venkatasubramanian wanted to know if algorithms succumb to biases unintentionally the way humans do.

Over a conference luncheon, “we ended up doodling on a napkin how to formulize if a machine-learning algorithm was doing what is was supposed to or if it was discriminatory,” says Venkatasubramanian. “The very idea that an algorithm can be biased is difficult for people to draw. It is perhaps the biggest hurdle in the paper itself.”

In the paper, presented on 12 August at the Association of Computing Machinery’s Conference on Knowledge and Discovery, the group introduced two important new algorithms that work in tandem.

The first implements the disparate-impact rule from the Griggs case and tests whether a particular selection algorithm is discriminatory. If the test results show that the algorithm under question can distinguish attributes—like whether a data point represents a male or female—then it’s labeled biased. The other algorithm the researchers introduced tries to remedy the bias by modifying the actual data set so that any selection algorithm would deliver fair results. The algorithm does this by blurring attributes that may be correlated to, say, race or gender.

To ensure that the new algorithms worked, the researchers ran the test on three sets of data that had previously been analyzed. They found that their technique of detection and repair was more effective than competing methods.

Understanding how an algorithm becomes biased is fascinating, says Venkatasubramanian. The bias is germinated innocently enough within a simple processing system, and develops in a carefully controlled setting. But the self-improving nature of learning algorithms raises concern. Venkatasubramanian and his colleagues wonder whether we can ever trust the fairness of algorithms. To that end, they have begun stockpiling relevant information about where and how they go wrong. He also hopes that the study will help lawmakers understand how algorithms and big data should be treated in a legal case.

Many people believe that an algorithm is just a code, but that view is no longer valid, says Venkatasubramanian. “An algorithm has experiences, just as a person comes into life and has experiences.”

Computer Networks Vocab

Computer network is an interconnection of computer for sharing of information according to some specified rules or protocols. This data is transmitted through OSI (open system interconnection) model. In this process in one device is able to send/receive data to/from at least one process residing in a remote device, then the two devices are said to be in a network. A network is a group of devices connected to each other. Networks may be classified into a wide variety of characteristics, such as the medium used to transport the data, communications protocol used, scale, topology, benefit, and organizational scope. In this article I will make you aware about the some of the common terms used in the field of networking:

·         Computer Network: Computer network is an interconnection of computer to transmit information between computers through a communication channel. This can also be classified on the basis of flow of information like as half duplex and full duplex.

·         Network Topology: Network topology is a geographical representation of network. In general, a computer network is technically classified based on the topology of the total network which includes the structure of the networks too. They are divided into Bus networks, Ring network, Star network, Mesh network, Star-bus network, Tree network, Hybrid network.

·         Routers: Routers is a device which is designed to forwards the data packets that it receives, to the next available or neighboring between the networks.

·         Switches: Switches are the virtual controllers of routers and bridges. Switches control the flow these are operated from each of the individual layers of the OSI layer. Certain cases where the devices operate on multiple layers are called multilayer switch.

·         Bridges: Technically, a bridge acts a connector between the data link layer and the network layer. The three types of bridges are Local Bridges, Remote Bridges and Wireless bridges. Bridges come in three basic types:

1.      Local bridges: Directly connect LANs

2.      Remote bridges: Can be used to create a wide area network (WAN) link between LANs. Remote bridges, where the connecting link is slower than the end networks, largely have been replaced with routers.

3.      Wireless bridges: Can be used to join LANs or connect remote stations to LANs.

·         Network Cards: Network cards are the most important hardware component of a network. The most important functionality of the layer is to enable communication between the computers in a network.

·         Firewalls: A firewall is an important aspect of a network with respect to security. It typically rejects access requests from unsafe sources while allowing actions from recognized ones. The vital role firewalls play in network security grows in parallel with the constant increase in ‘cyber’ attacks for the purpose of stealing/corrupting data, planting viruses, etc.

·         Repeaters: A repeater is an electronic device that receives a signal, cleans it of unnecessary noise, regenerates it, and retransmits it at a higher power level, or to the other side of an obstruction, so that the signal can cover longer distances without degradation. In most twisted pair Ethernet configurationsBusiness Management Articles, repeaters are required for cable that runs longer than 100 meters.

·         Hub: A repeater with multiple ports is known as a hub. Repeaters work on the Physical Layer of the OSI model. Repeaters require a small amount of time to regenerate the signal. This can cause a propagation delay which can affect network communication when there are several repeaters in a row. Many network architectures limit the number of repeaters that can be used in a row.

For any problem related to computer network use online technical support provided by some well renowned companies like impcsupport.

Having Trouble with Cash Loans Payment? Here is the Solution

If we talk about the cash loans more, it will help the customer more and more. Besides providing the cash loans as fast as possible for you, they also provide you the way to pay it back easily and safely. They will be very welcomed to show you all the things that you need and are asked from them. It has a function to keep the corporation well. So, there will be no harm on working with the companies that has been helped you in solving the financial problem. To reach it via online, you can visit which will guide you more in it.

Getting the financial problem becomes the problem that most people experience. We know that the economy is affected and connected each other between countries especially if it is dollars. It may make the economic growth of the country is not stable so it may affect our own economy also. Seeing on how high our needs are, it means we need the money as our saving and capital to keep surviving in this real life. Some people may be desperate because of this. They have thought that it will be the end of the day if they can’t have enough money to use. Actually, it’s all depending on us to solve it. There are the cash loans services that will help you to solve this kind of problem. It is not only the fast way for you to get your cash loans in order to use it as well as its purpose, but also it may protect you from any bad actions later after lending the money.

If some people say it is hard to apply the service because its requirement, it is exactly wrong. You can apply it easily by your gadget via internet. Some people also say that it will be risky especially because of the big interest to pay this loan. You may not worry about it. There is the service of loans that may allow you to pay the money back easily with low interest. It means that the duty of payment will be decreased. It is a payday service that you can do every day. You can pay your loans back every day with lower extra interest than if you have to pay it in longer time so you will get more interest. There will be the staff that will help you to pay your loans back. You will be very welcomed there because they will give you the right directions and steps how to do this to help you so much in it. This service can be done via online too if you want. It means you do not need to come to the companies every day just for paying your loans back. Just try to make sure about its rules so you will not get lost in doing the transactions. The services will not torture you with any difficult requirements. It is the right and safe for you to solve the problem in payment.

Get Affordable Computer Repair Services

A computer system is the most dominating machine in the present age of high technology, which is used in homes, agencies, shopping centers, airports, railway stations, hospitals, research laboratories, etc. It is difficult to think the modern-day life without PCs. The current IT sector is rapidly growing and is entirely based on computers. PCs represent the chief source of livelihood for the millions of IT and ITES professionals. Several people earn their income through freelancing projects that require computers to accomplish their assignments. With such an extensive use of these systems, the need for computer repairs arise naturally for hardware as well as software drawbacks. Some of the common hardware drawbacks include:

  • Broken components as a result of a drop
  • Loose or broken plugs and wires
  • Power adapter damaged
  • Damaged screen or displaying improper image – The screen may look distorted or some of the pixels may not display properly indicating damaged pixels.
  • Hard Drive failure
  • Damaged USB ports – Usually, it happens due to improper penetration of USB devices into the port
  • Sticky or broken keyboard – spilled beverages

Apart from hardware issues, PCs can have software problems, hampering the normal functioning of the system like:

  • Computer will not boot up or start
  • Damaged of corrupted Operating System
  • Hard drive data corrupted or inaccessible
  • Corrupted USB drivers
  • Computer viruses & malware
  • Running Slow
  • Internet browsers popup
  • Blue or black screen of death
  • Unable to connect to the Internet

The services rendered through the professional computer repairs are reliable as the professionals are competent, experienced and disciplined who work in an ordered and organized environment to offer system support to the customers. They have an extensive exposure to all kinds of computer related issues and follow a predefined set of procedures to rectify each problem. Therefore, their computer repair solutions are fast, certain and lasting. You may also get service guarantee by the qualified computer repairing company.

In addition to the above, computers have become a personal digital assistants that can store, bookmark, browse, and download the data. Hence, they are bloated with many non essential temporary files and images that get stored in different caches, resulting in their slower speed. You can delete the temporary files yourself or hire the expert if this problem occurs consistently.

The experts of PC repairs can offer 24*7 customer support for your convenience. They can even provide the solution telephonically for the minor PC issues. Also, they will offer protective measures to debar the repetition of the same trouble in the future.

In conclusion, it can be said that if you choose a reliable computer technician, you can certainly enjoy peace of mind. Therefore, for having the right worth of your hard earned money, opt for the modern PC repair services that can deliver the desired results. Start your search on the web to get the details of the companies offering excellent PC repair services. Get in touch with the PC technician to rectify all the issues.

Starting the Electronic Business in Atlanta

Many people want to start their own business nowadays. Unfortunately, some of those people just do not know what kind of business that they need to choose. If you are living in Atlanta, then you might want to try the electronic manufacturing for a start. That is because the electronic is becoming something that many people need nowadays. In fact, you can simply say that the electronics are becoming the primary need of many people nowadays. If you are thinking about the main assembling of the products, you will not need to worry since you can find the mechanical sub-assemblies manufacturer Atlanta.


This kind of service is very helpful when you do not want to be troubled with the small things and details. You just need to leave the small things to them and they will give you the things half-done. Therefore, you can finish the assembling process on your own. Since they are the sub-assembles, you cannot expect the full work from them. That is because you will also need to do the finishing on your own. That is because many electronics are using the similar components and circuit boards but at the end, everything is scored based on the look. Therefore, they are only initializing the process and the finishing is all yours to do.


When you want to use this kind of service for the starting of your business, you will need to find the reliable services that can give you all of your need with the fairly affordable price. That is because some services are very reliable but the price is not something that many pioneers can handle. Therefore, you will need to find the affordable services with the considerably professional job as your business partner. Therefore, you will be able to start this kind of business in Atlanta.

Get Affordable Computer Repair Services

A computer system is the most dominating machine in the present age of high technology, which is used in homes, agencies, shopping centers, airports, railway stations, hospitals, research laboratories, etc. It is difficult to think the modern-day life without PCs. The current IT sector is rapidly growing and is entirely based on computers. PCs represent the chief source of livelihood for the millions of IT and ITES professionals. Several people earn their income through freelancing projects that require computers to accomplish their assignments. With such an extensive use of these systems, the need for computer repairs arise naturally for hardware as well as software drawbacks. Some of the common hardware drawbacks include:

  • Broken components as a result of a drop
  • Loose or broken plugs and wires
  • Power adapter damaged
  • Damaged screen or displaying improper image – The screen may look distorted or some of the pixels may not display properly indicating damaged pixels.
  • Hard Drive failure
  • Damaged USB ports – Usually, it happens due to improper penetration of USB devices into the port
  • Sticky or broken keyboard – spilled beverages

Apart from hardware issues, PCs can have software problems, hampering the normal functioning of the system like:

  • Computer will not boot up or start
  • Damaged of corrupted Operating System
  • Hard drive data corrupted or inaccessible
  • Corrupted USB drivers
  • Computer viruses & malware
  • Running Slow
  • Internet browsers popup
  • Blue or black screen of death
  • Unable to connect to the Internet

The services rendered through the professional computer repairs are reliable as the professionals are competent, experienced and disciplined who work in an ordered and organized environment to offer system support to the customers. They have an extensive exposure to all kinds of computer related issues and follow a predefined set of procedures to rectify each problem. Therefore, their computer repair solutions are fast, certain and lasting. You may also get service guarantee by the qualified computer repairing company.

In addition to the above, computers have become a personal digital assistants that can store, bookmark, browse, and download the data. Hence, they are bloated with many non essential temporary files and images that get stored in different caches, resulting in their slower speed. You can delete the temporary files yourself or hire the expert if this problem occurs consistently.

The experts of PC repairs can offer 24*7 customer support for your convenience. They can even provide the solution telephonically for the minor PC issues. Also, they will offer protective measures to debar the repetition of the same trouble in the future.

In conclusion, it can be said that if you choose a reliable computer technician, you can certainly enjoy peace of mind. Therefore, for having the right worth of your hard earned money, opt for the modern PC repair services that can deliver the desired results. Start your search on the web to get the details of the companies offering excellent PC repair services. Get in touch with the PC technician to rectify all the issues.

Online Access to Secure Sage Cloud Hosting

Sage is popular accounting management solution recognized globally by the industry professionals, accountants, CPAs and Bookkeepers. Every business needs a robust solution to operate the trade and commerce and sage is the one solution for all. Working manual to manage accounts might be inaccurate and deliver inefficient business processing. Sage products have various versions to deliver any kind of trade requirement so customers have many options to choose a perfect software accounting solution for their enterprise. Initially sage developed the software for small organizations who were struggling to operate their payroll and accounts. Gradually sage developed and enhanced the products for medium based firms and it became much efficient for SMEs to grow with the sage solutions. Many new firms have established their trade into a brand and operating globally. Sage solutions are available for global customers as the simplified accounting solution manages entire business of its customers. The application is very simple and easy to understand and this is the main reason for wide use of the solution. Sage is compatible software accounting management solution which truly automates the customer business.

Sage accounting solution works on cloud and desktop system whichever is the selected system of hosting. Sage cloud is the online hosting of the application on remote server. Remote cloud is on web where the application sage is hosted and users need a secure internet to access. Web servers are designated hosting places which is functional just similar to online access of Google and Hotmail services. Sage cloud is robust online system application hosting which is the real time system for the client. Real time systems incorporate real data access and users to collaborate from anywhere at any time. A user can access the system while business travels, in office, café or home. Hence access and work has become feasible on cloud and many firms have moved their operation from desktop to cloud. Moving to cloud is still a challenge for many organizations as they are insecure of their business on web. They consider web server insecure and data loss so are not feasible with hosting on web. Learning sage application is easy and quick because the simple flow of the application provides good understanding. However users have options to install the free trial version, web portal videos, tutorials online and recorded webinars. For new license purchasing one may get technical expert advice for business management solutions and big discounts to save money on the sage product.

Desktop hosting is little expensive than sage cloud hosting. On desktop hosting which is the oldest method, the operating costs are more than cloud hosting of sage. Company owners and professionals have to operate the extra maintenance cost of servers, infrastructure maintenance too. The Hosting providers offer huge security and data management system to deliver fast superior hosting benefits to customers. Sage accounting application hosting on cloud is new concept that creates wonders delivering rapid productivityPsychology Articles, enhances revenues and multiplies the cash flow. Data hosted on web is encrypted that is readable by users only.

Multiple user access on Intuit QuickBooks hosting

Intuit launched QuickBooks solution for small and medium enterprise organizations to deliver productive business solution. For efficient business process it is important that traders should have a robust application which boosts company growth fundamentals and emphasizes on easy functionality of everyday trading. QuickBooks accounting application is one such that performs all the tasks of a corporate and simplifies the process of company trading. For new users QuickBooks is free to learn and understand the process of accounting. Installation is quick and takes few minutes to get it active on any device. QuickBooks app is robust which operates on small devices such as mobiles, tablets. QuickBooks solution is feasible with all the smartphones in the industry hence user do not have to configure system requirements to work on the application. QuickBooks compatibility has made it popular among all the users due to which it performs to be very productive for its customers. QuickBooks is scalable product delivering high yields as it is very simple accounting solution. Simplified process and easy flow of the application is feasible for users having no prior knowledge on the solution to understand the business process.

Since advancement in information technology QuickBooks has become more simplified. It has more users who really understand the process of business functionality of accounting. Managing accounts efficiently is the basic need of all enterprises whether small, medium, startup or even a self-employed professional. Every trading and commerce entity requires one solution that delivers all in one and QuickBooks is true one such. QuickBooks license can be purchased from Intuit based on corporate requirements. However most popular products like Pro, Premier and enterprise solutions are available to select. Customers can ask for on demand customized tailor made business solutions too. Intuit customizes the accounting modules for specific customers and it is delivered on specific pricing. The basic modules of accounting are payroll, payment, sales, invoicing, inventory, customer management, VAT and manufacturing. Intuit offers big discounts to new customers. To get the discounts one must purchase the license earliest. Intuit QuickBooks hosting is multiple user environment where all the assigned users of the company can collaborate on real time system to work. Multiple users can work in sync to deliver company productivity and eemphasize on business development.

Intuit QuickBooks hosting solution offers two options to select which customers can choose any based on their needs. Cloud hosting is just like accessing the web services of Google or Hotmail. With a secure internet and a web browser on any device it is easy to access the real time application on any system. QuickBooks solutions are compatible with all application to integrate like Microsoft solutions, UNIX or MAC. The application integration allows easy data migration and easy input of the data whenever required thus making the process of accounting easier. Intuit QuickBooks hosting is cost effective solution on cloud where customers can pay rentals subscription based or pay as you go. Subscription payment is easy management of capitals and doesn’t put financial burdens. QuickBooks hosting is secure online access to all the users anytimeArticle Submission, anywhere.

When a Data Breach Occurs, Focus on the How, Not the Who

Perhaps the reason that Sherlock Holmes continues to capture the imagination of successive generations is his success rate. Through his brilliant intellect and observation skills, he always solved the crime. This satisfies the deep human need—sometimes lacking in real life—for justice, restitution, and closure.

This deep need could be the reason for the recent shift in press coverage regarding data breaches. In the past, when a data breach occurred, journalists focused on the types and amount of data taken. This has shifted in recent years to a big focus on who may have been behind the attack. However, there are certainly more important questions than “whodunit” for IT executives when it comes to network breaches and data theft.

If your organization experiences a data breach, and the odds are high that it will, there are five questions that are more important to ask than who was responsible.

1. “What was the entry point?”

If security managers have a real-time view of every connected device, every authorized user, and every malware link clicked, they have a better chance of pinpointing the incoming threats capable of causing damage. Network visibility is essential.

2. “How can we fix it?”

Stopping the attack and fixing the damage is more important than placing blame, and speedy remediation is dependent on good visibility into your networks. The faster you can see and determine the size of the rip in your safety net, the faster it can be repaired. Companies have a clear fiscal incentive to minimize downtime, so this element is critical to running a business seamlessly.

3. “Can they still get in?” 

It makes perfect sense that a great deal of energy is spent stopping and assessing the extent of the impact. However, without proper visibility, most companies are left wondering if they are still being breached – that is, whether the attackers left undiscovered back doors that will allow them back into the company’s systems later, when the incident response goes down.

4. “What exactly was stolen?”

Determining the scope of a data loss can be an extremely long process. This is especially damaging when a data breach affects consumers. Quantifying the breach with speed and confidence causes an affected company less harm in the long run.

5. “What are the lessons here?”

Cybersecurity defenses must evolve intelligently, automatically, and rapidly to ensure that the same infiltration tactic never works twice. Pragmatic, real-world defense depends not on making a network impenetrable, but on making it so challenging to crack that most attackers will eventually move on to easier targets.

Ask the Right Questions

These questions aren’t quite as exciting to ask as “Whodunit?” but they do zero in on the key information needed to mitigate and prevent cyberattacks. It’s clear that there is something in us that wants to be able to squarely point the finger of blame at an individual or group, but in the case of security breaches, this drive just ends up being a very costly distraction.

The focus should be on how the data breach occurred, what was taken, and what damage was ultimately done. Then, organizations must figure out if any back doors have been left open, and subsequently shut them tight if so.

Finally, learn from the attack and create defenses that prevent it from ever happening again, strengthening your network and discouraging cybercriminals the next time around.

Mobile Phone Users Like Different Apps

You would most likely realize it difficult  to imagine your mobile with out any kind of app. In fact, lately there are probably thousands of mobile apps to choose from. This increasing demand for mobile apps creates nice opportunities of making, increasing and sustaining business by catering to them.

You would most likely realize it difficult to imagine your mobile with out any kind of app. In fact, lately there are probably thousands of mobile apps to choose from. This increasing demand for mobile apps creates nice opportunities of making, increasing and sustaining business by catering to them. Mobile apps act as catalysts to extend the productivity of your mobile device. An app developer, who will make out what makes your users happy, encompasses a bigger likelihood of building profitable mobile apps. Making sensible phone games needs not simply solid committal to writing however visual understanding and smart style yet.

Customization Adds Power to Your Campaign

Users have fallen dotty with multi-player apps. Most businesses are choosing the event of mobile applications as a result of the growing use of smartphones and tablets. Individuals are getting down to understand that mobile app development could be a specialised craft. The capabilities of smartphones like BlackBerry, Symbian, Android, Windows and therefore the iPhone have gone to following level, therefore users will expect higher and additional sturdy mobile app development and obtain applications to perform additional advanced functions in even better ways. However, you must solely upset a corporation which will customise mobile apps according to your personal need and preference.

Hook and Then Retain Customers

The clearer you’re concerning what you wish the better it’ll be for you to guage what reasonably associate app you need. The mobile applications ought to be able to manage complicated functions rapidly. customers take applications seriously they are now being used almost in place of traditional desktop websites and modules. Apps that crash or those that look unclear or unfaithful in their layout and style will negatively impact your company’s reputation. On the opposite hand, if you’ll offer them apps which offer them with necessary info concerning product and services yet as updates on promoting offers, you’d be strengthening your client base manifold.
Businesses that develop great mobile apps are rewarded with goodwill and client retention. Increase that mobile diversion is growing in quality. Therefore, after you hunt for a developer who will produce mobile game apps, you’re in a very method future proofing your business. You’ll truly use mobile games as promotional tools and advertise your merchandise and services via them. keep in mind that regardless of how strong the technical component of your appFeature Articles, it’s the artistic part which is able to attract and retain loyal customers.

Novena A Laptop With No Secrets

Has the computer become a black box, even to experienced electrical engineers?

Will we be forever reliant upon large, opaque organizations to build them for us? Absolutely not, we say. And to prove our point, we built our very own laptop, from the circuit boards on up.

Admittedly, we did not delude ourselves that we could build a laptop that would be faster, smaller, or cheaper than those of Apple, Dell, or HP. However, we did set out to build a machine powerful and convenient enough to use every day. Fortunately, our dream inspired enough people to crowdfund the effort. Our laptop, which we call Novena, started shipping to backers in January 2015.

Events favored our quest. Because Moore’s Law is slowing down, garage innovators can take a couple of years to develop a high-tech gadget without discovering that the completed version is obsolete. It has been three years since we started the Novena project and yet the 40-nanometer process on which our central microprocessor is based continues to occupy a sweet spot between cost and performance.

Also, the economic malaise of 2008 left a lasting mark on global supply chains. Even today, manufacturers are no longer too busy printing money to make the time for producing small, boutique projects like ours; instead, they see us as an opportunity to gain an edge over their competition. Owners of small factories in China turned out to be eager to learn our agile approach to engineering, so they, too, could take on the challenge of low-volume production and address the growing market of hardware startups.

We started by considering the constraints of the most complex and brittle pieces of any such system: the software. We wanted to build a complete computer, one with a long-term-support road map, and we had neither the resources nor the manpower to negotiate with vendors of proprietary hardware and software. We wanted to be able to inspect and understand as much of the system and its components as we could, so if we came across bugs or other anomalous behavior, we could rely on our wits to figure it out, rather than on the profit-motivated (and often empty) promises of a vendor‘s sales team. As a result, we decided to produce a laptop that was as free as possible of closed-source embedded firmware.

Firmware is basically software (such as drivers, kernels, and bootloaders), installed at the factory, that runs on “bare iron”—the computer itself, not its operating system. It’s found not only on the main CPU in your laptop but also on about a dozen embedded controllers—small, special-purpose processors that take care of such things as managing the battery, keeping your hard disk free of errors, and maintaining your Wi-Fi connection. Each of these processors runs a bit of firmware; sometimes the firmware can be updated or modified, typically for the purpose of fixing bugs or adding features. But such updates can also introduce bugs or security flaws, and if you haven’t got the ability to inspect the firmware, then you, the user, must depend utterly on the vendor to take care of security.

Laptop, Open Wide: The Novena opens to reveal the circuit boards; when it’s closed, the outward-facing display lets you use it like a tablet.

This open-source requirement of ours ended up influencing the selection of almost every piece of hardware, including the main CPU, the battery controller, and the Wi-Fi module. For example, we couldn’t use Intel’s x86 microprocessors because they can accept firmware updates that we cannot debug or inspect. Instead we chose an ARM-based Freescale i.MX6 system-on-a-chip, which has no such updatable code embedded. (A system-on-a-chip, or SoC, is similar to a microprocessor except it has more of the supporting hardware, such as memory and peripheral interfaces, needed to make a complete computer.) The i.MX6 does have some code burned into it to coordinate the computer’s boot-up process, but this firmware can’t be changed, and its unencrypted binary code can be read out and analyzed for possible security problems.

Another advantage was Freescale’s policy of distributing a very detailed reference manual covering most of the chip’s real estate without requiring a nondisclosure agreement. That’s important because such an agreement would have gotten in the way of the community involvement that our strategy for long-term support required.

Our next choice had social repercussions. When you adopt a CPU/operating-system combination, you also adopt its developers. We decided against Google Android because it’s optimized for phones and tablets, its graphical display typically shows only one application at a time, and its touch-screen paradigm is too imprecise for computer-aided design work. Therefore, in order to create a system that our target market of developers and creators could use, we decided to run on our ARM chip a version of Linux called GNU/Linux. GNU, which authored both the OS libraries and the license that the Linux kernel uses, is a coder’s organization, right down to the self-referential acronym itself (it stands for “Gnu’s Not Unix”).

Unfortunately, most Linux versions for ARM were not designed for personal computing but rather for routers and the set-top boxes that convert signals for viewing on televisions. Manufacturers that use Linux generally build their own, highly customized system around what’s called the Linux kernel—the core framework of the OS. That way, they ensure that their customers, who integrate the software into a larger system, never see so much as a Linux command prompt. Examples include TiVo and airline in-flight–entertainment systems. On top of that, vendors use an old “snapshot” of Linux—that is, they copy whichever kernel is around at the time of chip release. Then they add a lot of patches to it to create a board support package (BSP) for their product, which is a kind of “quick start” kit for hardware developers who don’t want to muck around too much with Linux kernel minutiae.

Frequently these BSPs contain proprietary bits that developers can’t copy, that don’t take advantage of features that came with the original kernel, and don’t even follow the standard formatting procedures for Linux code. These undisciplined shortcuts may speed a product to market, but they make the kernel impossible to maintain, update, or improve. As a result, most systems that are based on Linux run kernels that are years out of date. This is not a plan for long-term customer support.

Therefore, we adopted the latest kernel available. We patched and extended Freescale’s open-source BSP code to comply with Linux community standards, then submitted our changes to the managers of the Linux community at large. They reviewed our code and provided feedback over several months of iterations.

At that point, our code was finally ready to be “upstreamed” into mainline Linux. It’s a time-consuming and laborious process, but when it’s over the Linux community can adopt our version and maintain it. The main advantage of this upstreaming process is that features that come with future Linux kernels can be unlocked by simply downloading the latest version of the operating system and compiling it, without having to repeat the code-review process.

Hardware-accelerated graphics proved to be another challenge. Most modern desktop computers assign each application or graphical widget an off-screen memory buffer to render their output on the screen. Only then does the graphics processing unit (GPU) “composite” the various outputs to make the seamless image seen on the screen.

This two-step process decouples the application’s drawing rate from the screen’s refresh rate, preventing a “race condition,” in which two input signals compete to be the first to affect the output. Such racing can produce artifacts such as “tearing,” in which the attempt to drag a window ends up moving only the top part by the time the screen refreshes. The newly redrawn half of the window closest to the cursor thus looks torn off from the lower half. Also, the two-step decoupling process can be used to create subtle cues, such as transparency and blur, where foreground windows and title bars can take on the character of frosted glass, providing a hint of what content might lie underneath them.

Unfortunately, the integrated GPU on the Freescale i.MX6 chip is closed source. Remember how we said that the vendor-supplied BSPs are typically snapshots of older kernels? The code that Freescale provided for drivers—that’s the software that controls various peripheral devices, like printers and GPUs—is compatible only with an out-of-date version of Linux. And this driver has an unfortunate quirk: It requires any application that talks to it to do all floating-point calculations in software! That’s far slower than doing the calculations in hardware.

This example nicely illustrates why closed-source products can be so frustrating. If we’d used this closed-source driver, we would have locked ourselves into an outdated version of Linux and forced other applications to do floating-point calculations in software. But if we’d gone open source to exploit all the features and benefits of the latest Linux version and to allow floating-point calculations done in hardware, users would have had to reverse-engineer the GPU to create compatible open-source drivers.

The Novena’s Heart:  A view of the custom-designed internal circuit boards. Underneath the red heat sink is the CPU, and to its immediate right, the FPGA. The white high-speed expansion connector at the top right enables users to easily expand and modify the hardware’s capabilities.

We decided to stick to our guns and reject the closed-source GPU altogether, which meant we would have to render graphics in software.

Unlike Windows and Mac OS, Linux gives you a choice of how your computer appears to the user. This appearance is governed by a software utility called a desktop window manager. You can select this appearance by picking a particular “distribution” of Linux and coupling it with a particular window manager. We couldn’t use the popular Ubuntu and RedHat distributions because they basically require GPU hardware acceleration, which we had rejected. Instead, we used a slightly older-looking but more open-source-friendly distribution called Debian. We coupled it with a desktop window manager option called Xfce4, which is explicitly designed to run well on systems without GPUs and thus is particularly good at software rendering.

But that arrangement, we hope, is merely a stopgap. The user community behind Novena is trying to create, through reverse engineering, open-source drivers that would allow the built-in GPU on the i.MX6 chip to render graphics directly. At the moment, we have drivers that can accelerate the drawing of 2-D figures on the screen, which makes scrolling and window dragging much smoother. We hope eventually to figure out enough of the GPU to let us do 3-D graphics with acceleration sufficient to produce a user experience much like that of any mainstream laptop.

As the software evolved, the hardware evolved with it. The most extraordinary step we took was to include a field-programmable gate array (FPGA), a type of processor chip that can be reconfigured by its user to change the chip’s specs and capabilities. Basically, this reconfigurability allows the chip to do things in hardware that would otherwise have to be done in software

Novena’s Peek Array: The brass nuts in the open area at the left constitute the Peek Array, a number of points on which users may attach expansion boards of their choice. Standard-issue laptops lack this trick for making the hardware more hackable.

For instance, if you wanted to accurately control a dozen motors, you’d have a lot of trouble doing that in software. Motion control requires exquisite real-time control over waveforms, and if you try to get your operating system to do that it would constantly be shifting from one task to another and back again, adding too much timing jitter. Imagine that stutter you see in your Web browser but in a self-driving car or a drone: instant wreck. However, it’s a relatively simple matter to create hardware that runs the fussy timing and key control loops, and it’s also trivial to replicate variations of that hardware again and again in an FPGA.

And at one point, we did in fact want to control a lot of motors. We had the wacky notion of mounting Novena in a quadcopter chassis so that our laptop could hover and follow us around the office; we figured we’d use the FPGA to interface with the requisite motors and sensors. Consequently, the FPGA’s input-output connectors were originally targeted toward servos and motors.

Cooler heads eventually prevailed. We instead optimized the FPGA for data acquisition by adding a bank of local high-speed DDR3 RAM chips, a form of high-speed dynamic access memory. This upgrade allowed developers to implement a variety of expansion cards, including one for software-defined radio and another that worked as a digital sampler, which could allow engineers to use our laptop as a portable oscilloscope.

Because we developed the project on a shoestring budget and with no solid requirement other than to build the laptop we ourselves would want to use, the laptop evolved organically. Instead of designing circuits into the motherboard specific to a particular battery or LCD—typical for most consumer laptops—we modularized the system. We linked subsystems using generic connectors with pin-outs that were merely educated guesses as to what users would end up hooking onto those pins.

As a result, the final incarnation of the laptop includes specialized adapter boards for the battery pack, LCD, and front-bezel arrangement (the frame for the display). The good thing about this modularity is that users can adapt the system to meet their own needs. We’re delighted to have received reports of users changing out LCDs and building custom battery packs. And users can add the keyboard of their choice. We don’t include one.

Aside from the inclusion of an FPGA, our hardware decisions were fairly lackluster, even when compared with what comes in a low-end Intel laptop. Our i.MX6 SoC contains a quad-core ARM CortexA9 running at 1.2 gigahertz—a 32-bit processor, which means the system is limited to 4 gigabytes of RAM. We did, however, choose a fairly decent 1920-by-1080 display, which is the spec limit for the i.MX6 chip. Our battery life is acceptable, at a bit over 6 hours.

Soup To Nuts: At top are the CPU’s red heat sink and the FPGA; next is the LCD signal adapter [2nd from top] and the battery board [3rd from top]; next, the optional software-defined-radio module; then the port farm; at bottom is the digital sampler expansion card, which can turn the laptop into an oscilloscope.

We included a few extra features just for the fun of it. We built in an accelerometer, although we really don’t know what we’re going to do with it. Accelerometers are cheap, and there are a lot of fun things you can do with your computer when it’s aware of being tilted, hit, or dropped. For instance, you could make your laptop play a sound clip of “Goodbye, Cruel World!” when it detects that it is in free fall.

Most laptops have one Ethernet port at the most, which means that they can act only as endpoints in a network. But we gave Novena two ports to let it sit between nodes, filtering and monitoring traffic for security purposes. The ports also allow our laptop to function as a Wi-Fi router and as an Internet firewall for other wired devices—a handy feature when on the road. And although 20 hertz is considered the low end of human hearing, one of us (Huang) has a broader hearing range, so we took the unusual measure of extending the analog frequency response of the headphone jack to below 20 Hz.

These little features are never included on a consumer laptop. But it’s these customizations that make the project fun and unique. They add cost—but it’s our cost overrun! The fully loaded laptop sold for US $2,000 during the crowd campaign. So far, we’ve sold about 500.

Initially, we didn’t plan on going as far as building a mass-producible case. In fact, we made our first case by hand out of leather, bound like a book. The warm reception it got on social media led us to attempt a crowdfunding campaign via Crowd Supply, a site that takes the idea of Kickstarter and turbocharges it with a Web store and logistics services.

One thing we learned in that brush with the mainstream consumer was that most people were not prepared for the experience we were delivering. Our laptop won’t run Windows or Mac OS, nor is it particularly fast or thin. So in order to differentiate our laptop and make it more attractive to true techies, we decided to add some of the things that developers prize. These included mounting bosses—an internal array of metal nuts—which we call the Peek Array (after Nadya Peek, of FabLab fame).

Typical laptops are unhackable because there’s no place to put other…stuff. If you can find the empty space in a laptop, you’d have to glue your expansion board in place or drill a hole through the case to mount your custom hardware. Not so with the Peek Array! Its dozens of threaded nuts allow users to screw all manner of small project boards into the laptop case. Want to add a pulse oximeter to Novena so you can measure the level of oxygen in the blood running through the capillaries of your finger? Or maybe a barometer so you can monitor your airliner’s cabin pressure? With just a few screws you can mount your customization inside Novena’s laptop case.

Andrew “bunnie” Huang visits the Portland, Ore., workshop of collaborator Kurt Mottweiler, who is working on the Heirloom version of the Novena laptop. This special configuration features a hand-crafted wood-and-aluminum case.

We also designed the case to open easily under the impetus of an air spring, like the ones used to raise the seat on ergonomic office chairs. With the flick of a switch, the lid (with the screen) opens automatically. We preferred this to a conventional clamshell design on the theory that any laptop that exposes its guts to the user will particularly appeal to users prepared to hack the guts. (People who fear naked circuit boards shouldn’t buy our laptop anyway!)

The case is designed to serve through generations of electronics hardware. For instance, to hold the liquid-crystal display in place we used computer numerically controlled (CNC) machining to make an aluminum bezel. Anyone with access to an entry-level machine shop can fabricate a custom bezel to accommodate a different LCD, as well as mount additional sensors (such as a camera or a microphone) or additional buttons and knobs.

By putting most of the ports on a single edge, which we call the Port Farm, we made it easy to replace the panel covering it. That way the user can keep the case itself even as the motherboard and the Port Farm evolve.

We took into account the total costs of manufacturing tooling as well. For instance, though injection-molded plastic is very cheap on a per-unit basis, the steel tools that produce it are not. You need an oil-cooled block weighing about a ton, capable of handling pressures found at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, machined internally to a tolerance less than the width of a human hair, with a moving clockwork of dozens of ejector pins, sliders, lifters, and parting surfaces separating and coming back together again smoothly over thousands of cycles. It can easily cost $250,000, which is why the injection molding process can pay for itself only in very large manufacturing runs. We instead used a combination of CNC aluminum, optimized plastic design, and family molds (whose various parts each form a different aspect of a given product). We needed just 10 machine tools to produce the case, for an up-front investment of about $50,000.

As we write this, we’ve shipped all of our standard laptop and desktop units to our crowdfunding campaign backers. We’ve marshaled nearly a thousand components from dozens of vendors, from Shenzhen, China, to Fremont, Calif.

Thanks to the magic of crowdfunding and a slowdown of Moore’s Law, a two-person team was able to have the funds and the time to implement an everyday-use laptop. Furthermore, this laptop’s schematics, circuit board layouts, mechanical design files, kernel, drivers, and application programs are all open source and available for anyone to download.

Such transparency is unprecedented. We hope it will encourage other engineers to follow in our footsteps and help users reclaim their technological independence.

Technical Training in SAP Customer Relationship Management

A few major technical concepts that are associated with SAP CRM include:

Object oriented/ object based programming: CRM is used primarily through object oriented and object based programming. Being an ABAP type system, it is not fully object oriented but programs are written in a manner similar to object orientation.

GUID as a primary key: A generally or globally unique identifier is one of the major components of CRM. These are called GUID’s and are in either a 16 bit, 22 bit or a 32 bit character format. The GUID helps prevent issues regarding the number range conflicts while also allowing for easy read access when it comes to CRM tables.

Data model different from ERP: SAP CRM happens to have a data model that is based on unique segment and is similar to HR info types. Therefore not all information is kept in very large tables when it comes to a business object. In addition to this, select statements are generally avoided when it comes to reading data in CRM. Instead, API’s that are part of the system are recommended.

Single client per instance: Multiple clients are not required in the development system when it comes to a simple CRM landscape. This is because the CRM itself can download the customising from the ERP and use this as the starting point for the CRM. Usually though, a middleware connection between ERP and CRM is recommended practice.

BDC is unsupported: BDC as a data input model cannot be used by SAP CRM. As opposed to this, a rich API framework is provided that comes with a XIF adapter that can be used to extract/import data from the system.

A keen understanding of the business process is fundamental: Being a business process driven platform, SAP CRM depends upon the understanding of the user on the business process. This is absolutely necessary to create a solution that is technically correct.

A keen understanding and knowledge of SAP CRM in a technical respect is absolutely essential for those who are looking to make it big, especially when it comes to marketing in large organisations. Using this platform effectively can be a huge help when it comes to understanding and working on client behaviour and client requirements. It allows users to create a better relationship with multiple customers within a smaller span of time and effectively creates a link between organisations and customers.

Apple Makes Swift Open Source: What Is the Impact on App Development?

At its 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple introduced Swift as a compiled programming language for iOS, OS X and WatchOS. Apple describes the Swift as safe, fast, interactive and modern programming language for iOS, OS X and WatchOS. At the recently concluded WWDC 2015, Apple announced its decision to make Swift open source later this year. The company also announced Swift 2.0 with a new error handling API, better performance, and a number of new features. As an open source programming language, it can now be used by small companies and freelance app developers. At the same time, like other open source technologies Swift will also be supported by a large and active community. So Swift 2.0 will have a huge impact on iOS and OS X application development.

How Swift 2.0 will Impact iOS and OS X Application Development?

Migration from Objective-C to Swift

With the introduction of Swift, most app developers would prefer to use Swift over Objective C. Swift also makes it easier for developers to write applications in a quicker and simpler way. Thus, it becomes essential for both beginners and seasoned iOS app developers to learn and use the new open source programming language.

Beginners can Learn and Use Swift Easily

Swift borrows a number of features from other programming languages like C#, Ruby, Python, Java and JavaScript. But it still lacks several advanced features provided by other modern languages. The developers familiar with these programming languages can learn and use Swift without putting any extra time and effort. In addition to using its simple syntax, the developers are also not required to use header files. At the same time, the programmers also have option to import C libraries and Objective-C modules to Swift simply using the import statements. Now it will be easier for developers to master the open source programming language and start writing iOS apps within a shorter amount of time.

Reduced Development Cost

Most developers prefer developing apps for iOS and OS X to get higher returns. A number of reports have also highlighted how iOS makes it easier for developers to monetize their mobile apps and get higher returns. But iOS app development is often considered to be more expensive than Android app development. As Apple is going to make Swift open source, the enterprises and developers can now use the programming language without paying any licensing fees and royalty. The open source programming language will further help small businesses and freelance developers to reduce development cost significantly.

Emphasis on the Latest Version of XCode

Before the release of XCode 6.0.1, developers have to handle bugs, unexpected errors and crashes while writing iOS apps in Swift. But Xcode 6.0.1 made it easier for programmers to write complex iOS apps in the programming languages. For instance, the Swift Interactive Playground included in Xcode 6.0.1 enabled programmers to write code in Swift and check the results instantaneously. Also, the code completion features of the Swift Interactive Playground makes it easier for beginners to learn the programming language and observe how it interacts with various APIs. So while using Swift 2.0, the programmers have to use the most recent version of Xcode and iOS emulator. Apple is expected release the upcoming version of Xcode with a number of new features and functionality to effectuate iOS app development with Swift.

New Language Features and Enhancement

In addition to making Swift 2.0 open source, Apple also includes several language features and enhancements in it. Thus, while using the open source programming language, the developers can avail a number of new features.

New Error Handling Model: Swift 2.0 will come with a new error handling model that is both natural and user-friendly. In addition to working with Apple SDKs seamlessly, the error handling model will further allow programmers to use commonly used keywords like try, catch and throw. Thus, now it will be easier for developers to check and eliminate the errors in their code quickly.

Option to Check If the API is Compatible with the Target OS: While choosing a specific API, the developers have to check its compatibility with older versions of target OS. As most APIs do not support older versions of the operating system, the developers have to put both time and effort to pick the right API that works with the target OS. The Swift compiler now makes it easier for programmers to check the compatibility of a specific APIs with target operating systems. If the API is not compatible with an older version of the OS, the compiler will show an error message. The compiler will further allow programmers to run the API on compatible OS by wrapping the code safely using #available blocks.

New Protocol Extensions: Swift 2 will also come with features to effectuate development of protocol-oriented apps. Along with adding protocol extensions, the open source programming language also uses these protocols extensively. Instead of using global functions, programmers can use Swift 2.0 to add methods to common types. Thus, they can easily chain the functions naturally, while making the code more readable.

Better Compatibility with Apple SDKs: Swift 2.0 is also designed to work seamlessly with various Apple SDKs. To work better with Apple SDKs, the open source programming language will come with two distinct features, i.e., nullability annotations and generics. The programmers are not required to use optionals frequently as the annotate API cannot return null. Also, the generic systems used by SDKs will enable programmers to store detailed type information directly in the code.

At this juncture, one may need to understand in detail, the feasibility of iOS developers shifting to Swift from Objective C . Some uncertainties still remain e.g. Apple has not revealed all information about Swift 2.0. That is why; the real and full impact on Swift as an open source programming language can be assessed accurately only when Apple reveals more information.

Mukesh Pandian is a true blue Bangalorean. Born in a techie family, he loved everything technical and fell in love with iPhone and iOS. He builds iOS and Mac apps and writes about software development on Apple platforms. He is a diehard Cricket fan and spends his weekends playing cricket in a narrow lane. He plans to build a cricket stadium in his community someday. He recently wrote a blog about the 10 common mistakes an iOS developer makes. He is one of the key bloggers at Allaboutapps.

What Apple Has In-Store For Us, With IOS 9

The launch of iOS 9, expected possibly this autumn season, has already started drawing a lot of market attention. Built-in apps, iOS intelligence, performance, security, increased productivity with an incredible iPad experience. iOS appears to be smarter, more astute in just about everything. Wondering how? Apple alleges that the more we explore iOS 9 and its functionality, the more it will make us wonder how we ever did without it. Let us now get going to delve deep into the pool of services iOS 9 has to offer.

  • Powerful Built-in Apps: Apps designed for our everyday and significant endeavors from the mailing, messaging, browsing the net, maps and you just name it, and iOS 9 will have it. With all this, iOS 9 will facilitate a brand-new way to experience the news. Get all news you want to read, at a single step without having to shift apps. More than ever, what you get is a rich and captivating experience with leading news sources providing access to personalized stories (that of your interest).
  • An Ever Smarter SIRI: We all know Siri as an iOS assistant whom we can talk to, and get powerful aid. Siri has also been the technology to power searches on our iPhone and iPad. So, what’s up with the new Siri in iOS 9? Well on that, you just cannot stop wondering! Siri will gradually grow up and appear a lot more intelligent with the new iOS 9. Siri can now search upon a wider range of topics, to get an all the more broader range of answers. With a better understanding of our inputs, Siri in iOS 9 will be able to deliver app results faster, and will propose suggestions even before we ask. HEY SIRI, what’s up?
  • More Noteworthy Notes: With the ever useful notes app, iOS 9 will now bring to you an easier way to turn your to-do list into a checklist, use your fingertips to sketch your thoughts, and take photos from within the notes app or add an existing photo/video to a notes app. In addition, iCloud lets you access all your notes irrespective of the device you are using with all changes updated dynamically (in real time).
  • Apple Maps: Maps will now feature ‘customized’ transit views. This will enable you to get around and see what is around, when you are on the GO. You can now explore the list of categories (food, drinks, shopping, etc.) ‘Nearby’, even checking out what is within each category.

iOS 9 is designed to perform and shine at every level. The underlying implementation of iOS 9 will uncover a range of surprising functionality like a more responsive performance, easier updates with a tougher level of security, a better battery life, and smoother

How To Optimize Your Variable Data Printing For Speed and Profitability

t’s widely accepted that print has a central role in multi-channel marketing and that in combination with a range of digital ‘touches’ it can significantly raise response rates. Digital printing technologies of various kinds are now in widespread use, enabling personalised or variable data printing (VDP) so that not only is the text and image content of each piece tailored to the individual recipient, even the number of pages can be varied to suit.

Today’s sophisticated multi-channel marketing automation tools are a far cry from the simple mail merge of the 1990s and earlier, or even the hybrid printing of a decade or so ago, when brochures or mailers pre-printed on offset presses could have personalised text overprinted via a digital print head.

Now, everything is printed afresh on each page. While that’s no problem for toner or inkjet presses, it does potentially place a huge burden on the digital front end (DFE) and the RIP that has to drive the press. With the graphical complexity of customised pieces increasingly limited only by the designer’s imagination, the processing stage in printing VDP jobs can quickly become a major productivity bottleneck.

Instead of imaging a page once for the digital press and then printing it several hundred or thousand times, there has to be an imaging process for every page, which is then printed once. Half-an-hour’s delay before printing several hundred copies over a couple of hours might be acceptable, but even a minute’s delay between every copy would be a productivity disaster.

Ideally, the press should be driven at its full rated speed during a VDP print run, which typically gives the RIP just fractions of a second to prepare each new page. Bad design/file construction practices can seriously impede this. Bad practices include unnecessary layering of objects and haphazard use of transparency effects, using images that are at higher resolution than is required for print, or producing vector art with unnecessarily large numbers of control points, for example.

To further complicate matters, there is no one way to create VDP jobs. There is a variety of authoring tools, ranging from simple plug-ins for popular graphic design software through to dedicated cross-media production suites that generate variable data print, email and other online assets from the same core material. With most of them it’s equally possible to create VDP files that are good or bad from a printability perspective; they might – eventually – produce exactly the same print but can be better or very much worse in terms of total processing time and therefore job turnaround.

VDP ’emitters’ like this also use a range of VDP ‘languages’ to hand off the print job to the DFE. Some are proprietary to specific hardware vendors – IBM’s AFP and Xerox VIPP, for example – and some are more generalised or open, such as PPML or PDF/VT. While all of them have been developed to explicitly support variable content, some originate from the text-based transactional print world, while others are firmly aimed at graphically-driven marketing and promotional applications.

There are some important differences in the capabilities of these print formats, particularly with regard to graphics handling and especially in the level of support for advanced features such as transparency. The ability to preview the VDP print stream for checking purposes varies too: the older formats don’t support any previewing at all, as the output file is assembled only at print time, while PPML jobs can be checked but only with a dedicated viewer. PDF and PDF/VT can be previewed using any PDF viewing application. Whatever DFE or RIP a printer has, it must be able to accept and process VDP files in the format that the customer or internal studio can supply.

Configurations in which VDP composition software, hand-off language, DFE/RIP and digital press are all developed and supported by the same vendor are one solution, and should guarantee compatibility and productivity but they may lack flexibility. If the entire VDP document design, database management, document construction, processing, print and finishing cycle is carried out under the printer’s roof then tight integration between components ought to yield a productive solution. But what happens when a new client wants to manage their own database to generate and send differently formatted VDP files for output? What if a new campaign idea calls for graphical features in the printed material that are beyond what is currently supported?

The alternative is to look for a production system that can accept input in any of the popular VDP formats and which has the necessary power and flexibility to work productively with all of them. An ideal system would also have the ability to drive more than one make or model of digital press. This increases long-term flexibility and improves return on investment as the business grows and new speed, finishing or quality options become available.

Some level of VDP capability will be supported by just about any existing digital press installation and may provide enough functionality to begin offering VDP work to test the market. However, if VDP and multi-channel marketing are part of a more comprehensive business development plan, it’s important to invest in the right production equipment for both the immediate need and for the future.

Computers and Their Importance

A computer can be defined as a general purpose device that can easily be programmed in order to carry a set of logical and arithmetic operations in an automatic manner. Since a sequence of various operations can be changed easily, the computer is capable of solving more than one kind of a problem. On a conventional basis, a computer consists of at least one element for processing that is typically called a central processing unit. This processing unit or element is responsible for carrying logical as well as arithmetic operations.

In this world it is impossible to even imagine that any person can survive without a computer. These computers have become an electronic device for any particular individual as they are used on a daily basis. They are essential in all the dealings related to businesses. The business industry is the industry that has gained a lot because of the existence of computers. These computers have gained this amount of popularity because they have improved a lot in terms of productivity and efficiency. There is a very large amount of information in the business and industrial sectors and also in the personal lives and all this information is stored in the computers.

The staff and workers of any particular business can become very efficient just be making proper use of all the computers that are available at their disposal. The businesses can save a lot of valuable time by executing all their tasks and works on super speed computers. For example the accounting procedure has become very easy because of the existence of software that can be used on the computers. Schools, colleges and various other educational institutions also make good use of the computers. Marks, attendance and student history are something that are stored in the computers for future usage.

The media and entertainment industries have also benefitted a lot because of computers. In fact these industries cannot survive without the existence of computers. The portability of computer devices is also something that has benefitted the general public. Laptops, tablets and palmtops have replaced the traditional desktop computers and because of this decrease in size, it has become very easy to use a computer. This importance of computers can easily be judged by simply looking at the number of people using them on a daily basis. It is used by people of all age groups and not only by professionals.

Just What Can You Do With 3D Printers?

3D imaging has moved from the virtual world to the real world with the advent of affordable quality 3D printers. For years 3D Printers were expensive, cumbersome and hard to use. That is no longer the case. Now 3D Printers are fun, easy to use, small enough to fit on a desktop and affordable and will become more affordable going forward as prices keep coming down now that more people are buying them. But what can you do with them?

It turns out, all sorts of things. Of course, you can 3D Print a Yoda statue or a bust of the President or some form of art or toy, but they can be used for much more. The Smithsonian is currently 3D Scanning their Dinosaur collection and making the files available on line. That means you can log in, download the files and 3D Print your very own Dinosaur. Archaeologists are 3D imaging and 3D Printing relics. Now students can actually handle artifacts without fear of damaging a priceless find, making them better students. Dentists are using 3D Printers for temporary false teeth. Machine shops are 3D Printing molds of hard to find parts and casting them in short runs for clients. Engineers are 3D Printing prototypes; Architects are 3D Printing building models; chefs have 3D Printed chocolate in intricate designs combining food and art; a firm even 3D Printed a bridge over a river by merging a 3D Printer with a robot.

3D printers are great for schools and not just engineering departments of colleges and universities. There are entire curriculums available for K through 12 classes centering on Math, Science, History and yes Art. And departments other than Engineering can benefit from 3D Printers on the university level. Chemistry and Physics departments can 3D Print molecules and atoms, making tangible what has been only described or viewed in a 2D image. History departments can 3D Print a village from the 17th century and give students a better understanding of the layout. Priceless artifacts can be 3D Scanned and 3D Printed giving students a hands on experience of things to valuable to be handled before. There are medical applications as well. Medical engineers have used 3D Printers to print prosthetic arms, hands and legs at a much reduced cost than traditional manufacturing. The possibilities are nearly endless.

As more and more folks get access to this technology, more possibilities will come out. Who knows what people will achieve with 3D Printers in the future. It should be fun finding out.

Benefits of a USB Charging Station and What You Need to Know

A USB charging station is a convenient device which can benefit you at the office and at home. It is a high powered desktop device that will make your life easier in a digital world where you have multiple items that need charging at the same time.

Most people these days have a mobile phone, a tablet computer and maybe even other items that require charging via USB. In most instances a family of our can have up to eight devices that all require USB to charge, as you can imagine this results in a lot of USB adapters and wall plugs to keep everything fully charged and operating at all times.

With a USB charging station you have the ability to charge multiple devices simultaneously. They come with up to four USB ports, all ready to take on your device and charge it to full as and when needed. The station can be used to charge one single device or more devices, all at the same time and with complete convenience and ease.

The main benefit of the USB charging station is that it is neat and compact. You can place it on your desk or on a table in the home and it can help hide unwelcome cables and a volume of wall adapters. When needed, you simply plug the device into the unit to enjoy a charging effect.

Another benefit you will find with these devices is that each of your products that require a USB to charge will have different amp requirements. The USB charging station should recognize what amps are required for each device and then allocate the correct amount to ensure the best charging experience at all times.

Further it should provide you with the ability to save time and energy. With so many devices in the office or home relying on USB to charge, it’s easy to lose cables or wall adapters, it can leave you frustrated and spending countless hours searching for cables. With the USB charging station, you can leave it on your desk as it looks neat and smart, it is always there when you need it, simply plug in and allow to charge.
It is quick and easy to use. In addition to it being neat and tidy and giving you the ability to use it in the office or at home, you will find that the simplicity of using this device can save you time on a daily basis without having to read through detailed manuals or trying to find the right charger for the right product.

Always ensure when you purchase an item such as a USB charging station that you only purchase from a reputable supplier that provides quality products from top manufacturers. You need peace of mind when it comes to charging the items you rely on daily, you need to know that they will charge without any damage and to the highest standard.

Shop around for products and compare them against each other to find the ones that are going to meet your particular charging requirements. Whether you have one mobile phone or a number of devices, you need to know that the USB charging station you use is going to provide you with years of use, convenience and ease moving forward.

Focus on quality over price to ensure that you purchase the best of the best. High quality products should come with a good warranty to provide you with peace of mind and give you years of use and enjoyment in the future.

Avantree is a leading supplier of Bluetooth products from car kits to music accessories and adapters to Bluetooth headphones and so much more. The company designs, develops and manufactures the highest quality products with a worldwide customer base. They use their knowledge and experience in the industry, building up a solid reputation for the best quality, stylish design and competitive prices. Avantree offers superior customer’s service at all times and adhere to very strict RoHS standards. They focus on the environment, using natural and recycled products wherever possible, including all their packaging.

How to Get The Best Mobile Website

Trying to navigate a full website on an iPhone or Android can be incredibly difficult, meaning there is a demand for an easier, more streamlined format for mobile users.

So the question remains: How can a company ensure that they have a top-of-the-line mobile website for consumers? By keeping in mind these tips, a great mobile website is quite reachable:

User Friendliness

This is arguably the most important aspect of any kind of website. If a client cannot navigate a site easily, they will avoid it. This means that it is essential to ensure that the experience is as easy and to the point as possible. Things that can be done to accomplish this are:

• Limiting your page count: By getting right to the content and the important aspects of your site, people won’t be wasting their time by continuously clicking and looking for the specific page they need. Look at the most viewed pages of your website, and make those easily accessible on your mobile site.

• Streamlining your layout: Continuing with the theme of limiting pages, create a type of “road map” for clients to follow. Getting them from Point A to point B in the least amount of taps, you not only save time on both ends, but you help consumers find content in a quick and timely manner.

• Enabling a “Full-Site Option”: Keep in mind though, that sometimes people will be looking for something very specific on your website. Having an option for them to look at the full layout might save them time rather than trying to find it in your streamlined and generalized mobile site.


• Optimizing White Space: Formatting any digital space can be a bit daunting, and by using white space effectively, you can ensure that a crisp, clean design does not become cluttered and chaotic. With less space to use, ensuring that a user can click on what they intended is the goal, and by keeping a clean appearance, this is an easy task to accomplish.

• Reduce Text Entry: To make things as simple as possible for a user, reducing the amount of text that they need to enter to find what they need is essential. Utilizing features such as drop down menus and check lists are an easy and cost effective way to allow for a customized experience and road map to help get results as fast as possible. Creating an easy, fast, and customized experience for a user is what any website should strive for. Following these tips can help to turn your website into a great mobile site.

CD and DVD Printing and Packaging – Preparing Your Artwork

Creating Artwork for CD or DVD On-Body Printing

Always use a template

This sounds fairly obvious, but there are a few very good reasons why you should always design using a template.

1. If you’re printing onto a printable CDR or DVDR using an office inkjet printer then you need to carefully measure the printable area of your chosen disc because they can vary wildly in terms of exterior and interior diameter.

2. If you’re going to be supplying your completed CD or DVD artwork to a professional printing company then they will have their own printable area constraints for the particular brand of CD or DVD that they supply. In some instances the printer may print right up to the centre hole of the disc but other printers may prefer not to. Check with them before beginning your design work and ask for a template to be supplied.

3. A template supplied by a professional CD and DVD printing company will be at the correct resolution (300dpi to 400dpi) and will specify any additional requirements such as inner and outer limits for any text that is included in the artwork. There is often a requirement for text to be at least 3 to 4 mm clear of the inner and outer edges of the disc. Also, the acceptable file formats of the finished artwork will be specified.

4. Always allow for artwork bleed. If you can supply an artwork file for CD or DVD printing that allows an extra 2 or 3mm outside of the external and internal printable disc surface diameters then this is ideal.

Most of the artwork supplied to us by experienced packaging designers is a 124mm square artwork that contains all the pertinent features well inside the printable area of the CD or DVD.

In our experience, most project delays with artwork, occur because the designer wasn’t working to the correct printable disc area size or has supplied artwork at a resolution lower than 300dpi which would result in a poor quality print.

A Typical CD or DVD Template

Consider the Appropriate CD or DVD Printing Process

Screen Printing – If your design consists of solid block colours then the most effective print process for your CDs or DVDs would be screen printing. Screen printing involves producing fine mesh screens, one for each colour in the artwork, and then using a screen printing machine to apply UV light sensitive ink in the appropriate colour. This process can only apply up to 6 separate colours and should not be used where there is any colour gradient; the colour should always be solid and consistent.

If you’re design features any specialist ink requirements such as metallic ink or fluorescent ink, then this will be the process used and the rest of your artwork will need to conform to the requirements for screen printing.

Lithographic (Offset) Printing – For complex images, such as photographic images or artwork featuring colour gradients, litho printing is used. This process involves using a rubber sheet wrapped around a cylinder to transfer the ink from a printing plate to the disc. Very high resolution prints can be achieved using litho printing but there are still a few constraints to be aware of, such as:

    • Don’t use subtle colour gradients (transitions from one colour to another) over large areas. This can result in a “banded” print where there are not enough shades of colour to make a smooth transition from dark to light or colour to colour.


    • Don’t use photographs taken in poor light conditions, they may look cool and artistic on a computer screen but when printed the subtleties of a dark figure against a slightly lighter background will most probably be lost unless you alter the exposure of the photograph which will open up another can of worms.


  • Avoid having large areas of one, solid colour in designs destined for lithographic print. It can be very difficult to litho print a large, flawless block colour area and you would more than likely get inconsistencies.

Creating Artwork for CD or DVD Packaging

The process used to print onto cardstock packaging is a digital printing process. The card will normally have a semi-glossy silk finish as standard. The packaging can then be finished with a gloss or matt laminate if required, depending upon your artwork requirement. Some of the considerations for CD packaging or DVD packaging artwork are the same as for CD or DVD on-body artwork, such as not using subtle gradients over large areas and not using dark photograph images, but there are also a whole host of other considerations due to the variety of CD and DVD packaging available and how it is printed and manufactured.

Card Wallets

A typical template for a basic card wallet will have the front panel on the left hand side and the rear panel on the right with the spine area marked. There are variations available such as extra folded printable panels or a “gatefold” design where there is a printable panel to either side of the centre panel which houses the disc.

When designing artwork for card wallets, you will need to give some thought to the following:

    • Crossover images – If the artwork for the front and back of the wallet is a completely different colour then you will have a hard colour transition at the spine fold. Movement may occur during the digital print process which could cause slight misalignment of the front and rear images, so wherever possible, try to use images that blend into one another or use a consistent colour for front and rear artwork.


    • Creasing – If your artwork is very dark and particularly for black artwork, you can sometimes experience a “cracking” effect along the spine or folded edges of the card where the dark ink at the fold cracks away from the card and you see white card exposed beneath it along the crease. You need to run a test print and try carefully creasing the spine if you’re doing your own printing, to check whether your material will suffer from this effect. If you’re using a professional printing company ask to see samples of dark coloured, folded card packaging to check the creasing process used by your printer won’t cause this effect.


  • Text Position – Keep any text in your design at least 4 to 5 mm away from any edge in case of slight printing misalignment.

CD Jewel Case Booklets or DVD Case Booklets

Very often, CD or DVD packaging will require a booklet of some sort to accompany the disc. In the case of audio CDs they usually contain lyrics and acknowledgements of anyone who worked on the project. In the case of computer software supplied on CD or DVD, the booklet would contain instructions on how to use the software.

The printing material is obviously a lighter grade than that used to make card wallets but the same considerations need to be acknowledged.

    • A dark print needs to be creased correctly to prevent “cracking” as in the case of the card wallet folds.


    • Crossover images need to blend into one another, again, as with the card wallet


    • Text needs to be kept 4 to 5 mm away from any edge as well as the crossover edge down the booklet spine


    • When a booklet contains many pages, an effect known as “creep” occurs because of the bulk of the folded paper which causes the inner pages to extend further out than the outer pages when they are folded. The creep will vary as the number of pages and the paper thickness increases. The greater the number of pages in a booklet, the greater the need to ensure all text, graphics, images and objects are kept a minimum of 10 mm inside of the vertical trimmed edge.


    • If your booklet contains more than 2 printed panels bear in mind that booklets can only be made with page numbers that are a multiple of 4 (4,8,12,16 etc.) as each new sheet will have 4 printable panels.


  • When laying out the design for your booklet, consider carefully where each page should be positioned on the template. For example, in an 8 page booklet pages 1 and 8 will be printed on the same sheet with page 1 on the right and page 8 on the left. The rear side of this sheet will feature pages 2 and 7, with page 2 on the left and page 7 on the right.

Create a rough mock-up of your booklet before beginning the design work in order to understand clearly how pages are positioned in relation to one another when printed.

Digipack Printing

A digipack is a cardstock CD or DVD packaging solution with a plastic CD holding tray glued onto the inside right-hand panel, where the design is printed onto one side of the template.The template is then folded and glued to form a robust and stylish package. As with the Card Wallet above, you will need to consider the position of crossover images but also this is one packaging option where you will definitely need a template to understand how the panels that make up the finished product are positioned so that all images are correctly orientated.

In Summary

Hopefully, the information contained in this article will assist you in creating your CD or DVD disc and packaging artwork and help to eliminate some of the commonly made and potentially costly errors that are possible when embarking upon your first project of this kind.

Even for experienced disc art and packaging art designers there remains a need to check and double check that the artwork meets the printer’s requirements as different printers will often have different working parameters.

Intuition: A Different Dimension of Computing

Ever walked into a room and had that nagging feeling that something is wrong? Or have you ever found it near impossible to stop thinking about someone, only to receive an unexpected phone call from them? Can you predict the weather better than your local news team? Or do you have a knack for languages that defies all logic and reason?

Each one of us- as humans and as an individual- is fascinating and creative, ever in discovery of our own potential and capabilities. We exercise and stretch ourselves to break new ground and boundaries; every once in a while however we defy our own imaginations, encountering and experiencing what we might term as super-human. But our intuition is anything but unusual or superhuman; infact it is at the very core of our makeup as human beings.

So what really is intuition? Essentially, intuition is our capacity to process information outside our waking consciousness. Our mind works like a supercomputer, with our intuition running in the backdrop- constantly picking up on clues, stimuli and information usually too subtle for our attention and awareness. This information, just like the information we process consciously, allows us to better grasp and respond to our environment, a situation or a person. Because this occurs outside our conscious awareness, we may not always be able to pinpoint exactly how we arrived at our conclusions, knowledge and understanding, but the process is as natural to us as breathing itself.

For long science has debated the validity of intuition and related phenomenon. But with there being so man interesting accounts and observations, the questions are not as much about whether intuition exists as about how it works. Here too, research has come to show our brain’s capacity to process information outside waking awareness, opening the field wide open to debate, theories and ideas. Whether or not science ever finds a satisfactory answer, our intuition continues to enlighten our choices, feelings, responses and impressions of people and the world around us. From gut instincts to remarkable insights, we continue to bring new dimensions to our comprehension and experience of our environment through our intuition.

But like every other muscle in the body and every aspect of our being, the more attention we give our intuition and the more we exercise it, the sharper it gets. Instead of brushing it away as mere pointless ramblings of an unengaged mind, paying attention to the whispers of our intuition can help clear and clean out our intuitive channels. Whether focusing on your gut feelings or listening to your intuition for advice on decisions, the more you practice connecting with your intuition, the better you get at bringing its gifts into your life.

Meditation is a fabulous way to fine tune our intuition. Taking time out to clear and calm the mind, helps hear our intuition and its voice- even over the initial protests of our own reasoning and logic who cannot satisfactorily explain our own intuitive awareness and its findings.