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Sunday, September 28, 2008

IronKey:World's Most Secure & Self-Destruct USB Flash Drive

If you are obsessed with security and you work as a secret agent, then IronKey will suit you best. IronKey has both physical security and cryptochip security to withstand physical and virtual attacks.

The contents of the drive are filled with epoxy, so if a hacker tries to physically access the chips, he'd more likely damage them instead. Even if he did get access to the memory chips, they'd be worthless without the encryption chip. Electron-shielded, even a scanning electron microscope can't get inside. And get a hold of this, 10 incorrect password attempts, and the encryption chip self-destructs, making the contents of the flash drive totally unreadable.

Watch the following video that explains more about IronKey features:

Applications built onto the IronKey help keep your personal data safe. For example, the password manager keeps your passwords safe. Your passwords are securely stored in a hidden hardware-encrypted area inside the device (and not in the drive's file system), being first locally encrypted with 256-bit AES, using randomly generated keys encrypted with a SHA-256 hash of your device password. All of this data is then doubly encrypted with 128-bit AES hardware encryption.

A secure copy of Firefox included with your IronKey encrypts your browsing session through a VPN tunnel to IronKey's Secure Sessions Service. It works by tunneling your entire web browsing communications through the Tor-based Secure Sessions proxy on your IronKey. The Secure Sessions tunnel connects over an encrypted connection to their network routing servers, which in turn route your traffic between a number of servers, and then eventually out to your destination website. This approach protects your identity and your confidentiality, encrypting and anonymizing your Web surfing on almost any network or VPN (virtual private network).

IronKey Specifications:
  • Fast 30MB/sec Read, 20MB/sec Write.
  • Drive contents encrypted with AES CBC-Mode Encryption.
  • Onboard IronKey Password-manager keeps all your internet passwords safe.
  • Secure version of Firefox included that encrypts all your web-surfing traffic.
  • Encased in a potted metal case, not plastic, making it one of the strongest USB keys around.
  • Exceeds MIL-STD-810F military waterproofing standards.
  • The encryption chip self-destructs if an invasive attack is detected.
  • If your Ironkey is lost, you can restore from a secure backup to a new Ironkey in minutes.
  • Dual channel SLC NAND Flash for high-quality and read/write speeds.
  • Works with Windows XP and Windows Vista, Linux and Mac OS X.
IronKey is available in 4 capacities: 1GB ($79), 2GB ($109), 4GB ($149), & 8GB ($299).

Read Also:
Ironkey Personal 1GB Secure Flash Drive Review (Everything USB)
Ironkey Military Strength Flash Drives (ThinkGeek)

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Schedule Your Emails With LetterMeLater


LetterMeLater allows you to send emails to anyone you wish, with the ability to have them sent at any future date and time you choose.

A feature missing from every email service is the ability to schedule when an email gets sent - you must click the "send" button at the exact moment of delivery.

With LetterMeLater, you can write emails with your existing email address, and they will get sent at the exact date, or dates that you specify - down to the minute.

When specifying dates you can use 2 kinds, absolute and relative. An absolute date, (for example March 1, 2008) will always point to the same date. But you can also use a relative date (for example now or 2 weeks) and that will always be relative to the moment that the user schedules the email.

The best feature, in my opinion, is that you can schedule emails by emails without even having to visit the website! You should try it ... just follow the four simple steps.

Some other great features are ...
  • File attachments.
  • The LetterMeLater Widget.
  • Create HTML emails.
  • Send emails from any of your email addresses.
  • Send recurring emails.
  • Your email will be the return address on the emails you send.
  • Import your contacts and create group mailing lists.
  • Send emails with carbon copies (cc) and blind carbon copies (bcc).
  • Manage emails, and edit them before they get sent if necessary.
  • The time of day to send is specified in your local time.
  • No advertisements will be sent with emails.
  • Send scheduled txt messages to your cell phone!
Read Also:
Schedule Emails - by email! (LetterMeLater.com)

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

LG Launches World's First Quran-Enabled TV

LG Quran-Enabled TV

LG Electronics has announced the Middle East-wide availability of the only TV in the world with built-in Quran.

The Holy Qur'an incorporated into LG's newest plasma TV includes all of the 114 suras (chapters) allowing users to search for specific suras or veres and bookmark up to 10 favorites with record and stop button on the remote control.

The TV includes a multilingual interface for navigating and reading on screen is available in Arabic and Farsi. At the top of the screen is a status bar that displays the name of the sura, verse numbers and the time of day.

The TV also allows viewers to listen to the Qur'an, an excellent feature for allowing several people to study and enjoy the Scriptures together.

In addition to its special features for Ramadan, this TV also includes LG's Time Machine technology, which allows viewers to pause and rewind live TV shows, and record shows for later viewing. The built in 160 GB hard drive is large enough to store 40 football matches or 30 full-length movies.

Read Also:
LG launches world's first Quran-enabled TV that allows viewers to read, search, bookmark and listen to Holy Quran (LG Press Release)
LG honors Ramadan, offering TV with built in Holy Qur'an (AME Info)

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Sha3biyat Al Cartoon 3: UAE Animated Show Reflecting The Mixture of Culture

Sha'beyat Alcartoon

I admit that I'm a big fan of the Arabic animated series (Sha3biyat Al Cartoon), specially the 3rd season which currently being aired on Sama Dubai TV channel during the month of Ramadan. The idea and characters of the show are by (Haydar Mohamed), a young talent from the UAE. The show is directed by (Amer Kokh).

Sha'beyat Alcartoon is a place existed once upon a time in the old Dubai. It was a collection of cardboard and wood manufactured homes and inhabited by several nationalities and cultures. The characters represent the mixture of cultures living in the UAE Society. Look at the following image to see what I mean ...

Sha3biyat Al Cartoon Characters

The following is one of the funniest episodes this year. It's about obtaining driving license in the UAE ...

The picture below shows (Haydar Mohamed) giving instructions to the voice cast of the show. You can see in the picture the director (Amer Kokh) ...

Sha'beyat Al Cartoon Crew

Now see and hear the cast making the voices of the characters ...

Mohamed Haydar is currently working on another animated series. He is also preparing an animated movie to be released to UAE cinemas.

Read Also:
Jahannam (Amer Kokh Blog)
Crazy Piranha (Amer Kokh 2D-3D Animation Company)
Sha'beyat Al Cartoon (Dubai Media Incorporated)
Interview of Mohamed Haydar (Alittihad Newspaper)

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dubai City Tower: Proposal For a 2.4km-High Skyscraper

Dubai City Tower (also called ‘Vertical City’) is an architect’s proposal that began circulating in emails and at a skyscraper forum published in August 25th, but its origins are yet to be determined.

The professional project pitch details 400 habitable stories, topped by a 400m energy-producing spire, making it 2.4km high. The tower is proposed to be sited along the Arabian Gulf where part of the building could push into the ocean creating a marina and a destination for cruise ships and tourism. The proposed tower is organized into four 100 story "neighborhoods" connected via a vertical bullet train that quickly distributes people between Sky Plazas that separate the different vertical neighborhoods.

By comparison, Emaar’s Burj Dubai is largely predicted to be around 800m high and 160 floors.

A “mile-high tower” in Jeddah has been planned by Kingdom Holdings, while Nakheel is building Al Burj, which, according to project sources, will have a final height of 1.28km, although the developer is keeping the details under wraps.

I would not be surprised to see this project under construction. Only Dubai would build such crazy project. It is worth mentioning that there are many amazing architectural projects under planning and construction in Dubai.

The following are the marketing pages of the proposed project:

Dubai City Tower (p.1)Dubai City Tower (p.2)Dubai City Tower (p.3)Dubai City Tower (p.4)Dubai City Tower (p.5)Dubai City Tower (p.6)

Read Also:
DUBAI CITY TOWER | 1.5 Miles (2.4km) High | 400 Stories (SkyscraperPage Forum)
Vertical City, An Architect’s Dream (Khaleej Times)
Creostudio to unveil Vertical City (Project Dubai)
Dubai Future Projects (Realtyna)

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Scientists Test World's Fastest Wireless Network (1.2Tb/s)

The Pisa Researchers

Scientists in Pisa, Italy claim to have set a new world record for the fastest wireless data transmission. They report that during an uninterrupted 12-hour experiment, they were able to achieve throughput speeds above 1.2 Terabits per second; which they say beats the previous wireless data transmission speed record of 160 Gigabits per second by Korean scientists. The researchers claim that speeds of this magnitude can typically only be achieved using fiber optics.

The technology that the Pisa scientists utilized to achieve such high bandwidth, actually shares a significant similarity with fiber optics: Both technologies use optical communications. Unlike Wi-Fi or microwave communications, which use radio-based transmissions, the Pisa scientists used a Technology called free-space optical communications, which transmits data using light.

In vacuum of space, it is possible to transmit tens of megabits per second or more over many thousands of kilometers, using moderate laser average powers of the order of a few watts. On Earth, however, there are a number of challenges that currently limit the range of free space optical communications to only a few kilometers.

The Harvard Broadband Communication Laboratory states, "although relatively unaffected by rain and snow, free space optical communication systems can be severely affected by fog and atmospheric turbulence."

One of the biggest challenges that free space optical communications faces--whether in space or on Earth--is that communications are limited to line-of-site. Unlike some radio communications, free space optical communications requires that no obstacles interfere with the beam, and it cannot bend around objects.

Read Also:
Scientists Test World's Fastest Wireless Network (HotHardware)
'World's fastest WiFi' uses 'lasers' (Engadget)
What is Free Space Optical Communications? (Harvard Broadband Communications Laboratory)

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Blue Waters: World's First Sustained Petascale Supercomputer (1 Petabyte RAM / 10 Petabyte ROM)

An IBM Supersomputer

Blue Waters is a petascale supercomputer being designed and built as a joint effort between the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and IBM. Blue Waters is supported by a $208 million grant from the National Science Foundation and dedicated to open scientific research.

When Blue Waters comes online in 2011, researchers will be able to predict the behavior of complex biological systems, understand the production of heavy elements in supernova, design catalysts and other materials at the atomic level, predict changes in the earth's climate and ecosystems, and simulate complex engineered systems like power plants and airplanes.

The system will deliver sustained performance of one to two petaflops for many real-world scientific and engineering applications. Those are codes scientists and engineers use every day, not benchmarks. A petaflop is computing parlance for 1 quadrillion calculations per second.

More than 200,000 processor cores will make that performance possible. They will be coupled to more than a petabyte of memory and more than 10 petabytes of disk storage. All of that memory and storage will be globally addressable, meaning that processors will be able to share data from a single pool exceptionally quickly.

"A system with a large amount of globally addressable memory might come in at two terabytes of memory. Blue Waters will have 500 times that. This configuration makes Blue Waters a unique resource for the most compute-, memory-, and data-intensive applications. Handling data in this way means a broad range of researchers can get all of their work done in one place and don’t have to move among different machines with specialized architectures," said Rob Pennington, NCSA's deputy director.

Read Also:
University of Illinois, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, IBM, and partners to build first sustained petascale system for open scientific research (NCSA)
Massive $208 million petascale computer gets green light (Network World)

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Microsoft HD View Beta 3: Display With Interaction Very Large Images

HD View is a new viewer developed by Microsoft Research's Interactive Visual Media group to aid in the display and interaction with very large images. Click here to try it online.

Recent advances in camera and sensor technology and software for stitching images together (like Photosynth) has led to the creation of images containing billions of pixels (gigapixels). These images are often panoramic, that is, they cover very wide fields of view. Since monitors typically contain only one to two million pixels, it is only possible to actually see 1/1000th of such image data at once. Also, viewing very wide fields of view require unwrapping of an image projected onto a curved surface (think of a map of the world) which can cause distortions.

HD View leverages current graphics hardware to allow smooth panning and zooming as well as the viewing transformation described below. The new viewer was developed with a number of goals in mind. It should:
  • Allow smooth panning and zooming on large images,
  • Only download enough data to create the current view (and possibly look ahead to the next), and
  • Always display the current field of view with an appropriate projection. This means that when zoomed way in you should be presented with a standard perspective projection providing a sense of immersion, and when zoomed out you experience a curved projection so that get a full overview of the scene. In between the projection should smoothly transition.
  • Finally, it should be easy to create your own HD View content and present it to the world via the web.
HD View is a plugin that currently supports all major browsers on the Windows platform. The first time that you visit a page with HD View content you will be prompted to install the HD View plugin. After this, it should automatically load the content. If you are used to working with Google Earth, then the control and zooming are very much the same.

Thank you Mohamed Alnuaimi for the tip!

Read Also:
Microsoft Research HD View Beta 3

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

LHC: The Big Bang Machine To Discover the Origin of the Universe

The Large Hadron Collider
Heart of the Machine

International scientists working at an underground complex started up a huge particle-smashing machine on today aiming to recreate the conditions of the "Big Bang" that created the universe. Experts say it is the largest scientific experiment in human history and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the biggest and most complex machine ever made.

The test by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), conducted inside the tightly-sealed chamber buried under the Swiss-French border, could unlock many secrets of modern physics and answer questions about the universe and its origins.

The 10 billion Swiss franc ($9 billion) machine's debut came as a blip on a screen in the control room, with a particle beam the size of a human hair appearing in the 27-km (17-mile) circular tunnel.

Scientists will later today send another beam around the chamber counter-clockwise to ensure the path is clear. Once this is established, particle beams can be sent in both directions simultaneously to create high-energy collisions at close to the speed of light.

Physicists around the world will be watching for whether those collisions recreate on a miniature scale the heat and energy of the Big Bang, a concept of the origin of the universe that dominates scientific thinking.

Once the particle-smashing experiment gets to full speed, data measuring the location of particles to a few millionths of a meter, and the passage of time to billionths of a second, will show how the particles come together, fly apart, or dissolve. It is in these conditions that scientists hope to find fairly quickly a theoretical particle known as the Higgs Boson, named after Scottish scientist Peter Higgs who first proposed it in 1964, as the answer to the mystery of how matter gains mass. Without mass, the stars and planets in the universe could never have taken shape in the eons after the Big Bang, and life could never have begun -- on Earth or, if it exists as many cosmologists believe, on other worlds either.

The Big Bang is thought to have occurred 15 billion years ago when an unimaginably dense and hot object the size of a small coin exploded in a void, spewing out matter that expanded rapidly to create stars, planets and eventually life on Earth.

Project Facts:
  • Cost: $6 billion to $10 billion. Europe’s CERN research organization says it’s investing $6 billion. Adding the value of other contributions since 1994, including the detectors, boosts the total to as much as $10 billion. To some extent, it depends on who’s doing the counting and what the currency rates are.
  • Years in the making: 14. Scientists had the LHC in mind back in 1979, when they were designing the underground ring of tunnels for a less powerful collider, the LEP. CERN gave the go-ahead for the LHC in December 1994, but it had to wait until the LEP was shut down in 2000. Now the LHC uses the renovated ring.
  • Top energy: 14 trillion electron volts. A trillion electron volts (TeV) is about the energy of a mosquito in flight. But at full intensity, the LHC’s two collider beams contain hundreds of trillions of protons. Each beam has energy amounting to 7 TeV. That adds up to the punch of a bullet train traveling at 100 mph.
  • Peak power consumption: 120 megawatts. 120 megawatts of generating capacity is enough to take care of the electricity needs of more than 40,000 typical U.S. households, or all the households in the Geneva area.
  • Number of collaborators: More than 10,000. Scientists and engineers from 111 nations have contributed to the European-led project. U.S. labs have contributed superconducting magnets and other equipment, and more than 1,000 U.S. researchers collaborate on experiments.
Following are 5 facts about the Large Hadron Collider (LHC):
  1. Though built to study the smallest known building blocks of all things -- known as particles -- the LHC is the largest and most complex machine ever made. It has a circumference of 27 km (17 miles) and lies 100 meters (330 feet) under the ground, straddling French and Swiss territory.
  2. At full power, trillions of protons will race around the LHC accelerator ring 11,245 times a second, traveling at 99.99 percent the speed of light. It is capable of engineering 600 million collisions every second.
  3. When two beams of protons collide, they will generate temperatures more than 100,000 times hotter than the heart of the sun, concentrated within a miniscule space. Meanwhile, the cooling system that circulates superfluid helium around the LHC's accelerator ring keeps the machine at minus 271.3 degrees Celsius (minus 456.34 degrees Fahrenheit).
  4. To collect data of up to 600 million proton collisions per second, physicists and scientists have built devices to measure the passage time of a particle to a few billionths of a second. The trigger system also registers the location of particles to millionths of a meter.
  5. The data recorded by the LHC's big experiments will fill around 100,000 dual-layer DVDs each year. Tens of thousands of computers around the world have been harnessed in a computing network called "The Grid" that will hold the information.
Read Also:
Mysteries of universe to be probed in giant project (Reuters)
Cern collider ready for power-up (BBC)
Super-smasher targets massive mystery (MSNBC)
Discovery or doom? Collider stirs debate (MSNBC)
Scientists turn on biggest ‘Big Bang Machine’ (MSNBC)
Fact Box: Five facts about CERN's Large Hadron Collider (Reuters)

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Google Enters The Browser War With (Google Chrome)

Google Chrome Screenshot

Google launched today its own internet browser, Google Chrome, in a new challenge to Microsoft Internet Explorer and Firefox. The Chrome browser, designed to cope with the next generation of graphics and multimedia dominated web applications, was announced in a Google blog late Monday. It will launch initially for Windows machines in 100 countries, with Mac and Linux versions to come.

"So why are we launching Google Chrome? Because we believe we can add value for users and, at the same time, help drive innovation on the web." Google's Sundar Pichai said in a blog post.

The application can be downloaded for free and its code will be open source so no rights will have to be paid by anyone using or adapting the software. Chrome is Google's latest weapon in its bid to become the leader in all Internet areas. The latest major browser war was won by Microsoft when it won the battle for dominance in the 1990s against Netscape Navigator.

UPDATE (09/09/08): Thanks to Carsten Knobloch from Germany, you can run the browser directly from a USB stick by downloading the Portable Google Chrome. You simply unzip the package and start the browser. The portable Google browser is about 11MB, and additionally isolates web history, cookies and cache on the /profile/ folder on the stick. Knobloch's Chrome reportedly has been tested on XP SP3 and Vista SP1.

Read Also:
Google Chrome
A fresh take on the browser (Official Google Blog)
Google Chrome Comic Book
Google launches internet browser (BBC News)
Google sets off Internet browser war (AFP)
Portable Google Chrome Browser for USB Sticks (Everything USB)

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Microsoft Photosynth: Turn Your Digital Photos Into 3D Experience

Microsoft Photosynth

About 16 months ago, I wrote about Microsoft's Photosynth and its demo of converting regular digital photos into a 3D experience. Just two weeks ago, Microsoft released Photosynth software that allows users to use their own digital photos to create a 3D space and a totally new method in sharing your experience of a place with others.

Photosynth analyzes a set of photos of a place or an object for similarities each other, and uses that data to estimate where a photo was taken and build a model of the subject. It then re-creates the environment and uses that as a canvas on which to display the photos. Photosynth is available for free at photosynth.com, where you can explore creations from users around the world and build synths of your own.

A Photosynth experience begins with nothing more than a bunch of digital photos. They might all have been taken by one person, or they might be a mixture of images from many different cameras, shooting conditions, dates, times of day, resolutions, and so on.

Each photo is processed by computer vision algorithms to extract hundreds of distinctive features, like the corner of a window frame or a door handle. Photos that share features are then linked together in a web. When the same feature is found in multiple images, its 3D position can be calculated. It's similar to depth perception - what your brain does to perceive the 3D positions of things in your field of view based on their images in both of your eyes. Photosynth's 3D model is just the cloud of points showing where those features are in space.

Getting started with Photosynth is easy:
  1. To begin, just take a few dozen digital photos — 20 to 300 photos are required, depending on the size of the place or object — with overlap between each shot, from a number of locations and angles.
  2. Next, download a small, free software application to your computer from http://photosynth.com. This software works in concert with the Photosynth Web site, which is also a free service.
  3. Build your synth in just two easy steps: First, from the Photosynth Web site, click on Create and select the pictures you want to use. Then, give your creation a name and click on Synth, and Photosynth automatically creates and uploads your synth. In about the same amount of time it would take to upload the pictures to a photo-sharing site, you can enjoy your pictures in dramatic and detailed 3-D.
  4. The finished synth can be accessed from any Windows XP- or Windows Vista-powered computer with a broadband connection. If you want to comment on other people’s synths or create your own, you’ll also need a free Windows Live ID.
  5. Once created, synths can also be embedded on Web sites, blogs and social networking sites or virtually anywhere HTML can be edited.
Following this release, the Photosynth team will join MSN — an important step in continuing to improve Photosynth and share the experience with an even wider audience. In addition to letting users create and share synths at photosynth.com, over the next year Photosynth will begin to become a key part of the experience for MSN’s 550 million monthly visitors worldwide. Synths will be prominently featured on MSN.com. To create a more absorbing experience for its visitors, MSN will use synths of popular destinations and notable events in many of the places where static images are used on the site today.

Read Also:
Photosynth (Official Website)
Microsoft Live Labs Introduces Photosynth, a Breakthrough Visual Medium (Microsoft PressPass)

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