Facebook is all set to transfer data via lasers through its Internet.org project. The aim of Facebook Internet.Org is to make internet accessible from all corners of the world. Currently, Facebook’s founder Zuckerberg disclosed that the company’s connectivity lab was developing a laser communication system that can beam data from the sky to communities. As the project progresses, the company wants to dramatically increase the speed of sending data over long distances from megabytes to terabytes and then to even Petabytes.
As a part of this project, earlier this week, Mark Zuckerberg showed off several photographs of lasers he suggested would be sending internet signals all around the world. These lasers will be used with Facebook’s Internet.org project, beaming information from a plane flying overhead or a satellite flying way overhead.
Well, this isn’t the first experiment to test lasers to transfer data. Organizations like the ESA and NASA have already indulged in such experiments and attained success to a certain level till date. The first gigabit laser-based communication ever sent was sent all the way back in November of 2014. This communication via laser was called the European Data Relay System (EDRS) and it was successfully run for the first time by the ESA (European Space Agency) – again in November of 2014.
Now, Facebook wants to follow the same, in order to make its founder’s dream of connecting every corner of the world to the internet.
Digging deep into the facts, even the ESA’s EDRS Communication is also not the first done with lasers. Way back in January 2013, NASA beamed an image of Mona Lisa to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Previous to that, the laser communication was just limited to emission and detection. In the same year, around October ’13, NASA went for lunar laser Communication demonstration, firing data between New Mexico and a craft orbiting the moon.
Last year, in December 2014 NASA started OPALS mission, in which it uploaded 175 megabytes of data in 3.5 seconds and that too in between the International Space Station in space to the surface of the earth.
As of now, Facebook will be using drones and balloons to transmit internet Wi-Fi services in regions where the terrain and other issues prevent connectivity via wires. If in case, the project of data transfer via lasers attains success, then it will use the said technology in place of drones and balloons.
Video Storage has become a serious concern for Baltimore’s video surveillance network following Freddie Gray’s arrest and the subsequent unrest in the city. As per our sources, the unrest has significantly reduced the storage capacity of some cameras on Baltimore’s closed circuit system.
It is reported that storage capacity of some of the city’s 700 surveillance cameras has been reduced from 28 days to three, meaning video evidence of any illegal activity taking place before the security cameras will be wiped out after 72 hours, unless a police officer shows up to save the evidence to external media. The capacity of other cameras has also been reduced to a lesser degree from before.
City attorney made this decision to cut down on the capacity of cameras in order to save storage capacity and bandwidth demand. However, the attorney has assured that the footage pertaining to Gray’s death or the crimes committed during the unrest have been saved to a secured media. Spokesman Kevin Harris said the intention was to make sure that all records pertaining to the entirety of the Freddie Gray incident are preserved.
Harris said officials examined all options to avoid interfering with CCTV surveillance or violating regulatory requirements and decided that cutting the capacity on some cameras was the best choice.
Other options, such as copying the information onto external hard drives, NAS storage, or saving to a cloud-based storage system, were not feasible, as they would involve temporarily stopping the cameras from recording, “potentially leaving a blind spot in the crime fight.”
This shows how the deployment of the entire CCTV system lacks technicality features such as failover, redundancy and a backup.
Harris said that the fed is interested in spending $140,000 on new hardware for long term storage at some point of time this year.
It has to be notified over here that police have relied on CCTV footage to make arrests in more than 1,000 cases per year and this is going on from the past 3 consecutive years.
Improper maintenance of evidence or loosing video evidence can prove fatal for the authorities, if any case, lands up in the court against them. And if that is lost, because the managers of the system or the government that is maintaining the system, failed to retain the evidence, then the defendant can argue that the prosecution is prejudicial because they allowed the evidence to be erased and that can lead to serious consequences.
City Councilman Brandon Scott, vice chairman of the Public Safety Committee, said questions about storage capacity have come up during the debate over body cameras for police. He said the CCTV storage shortage shows a need to modernize Baltimore’s digital capabilities. Scott added that the council was ready to go for the first round of funds in this storage upgrade issue, once the decision gets approved at the higher level.
Presently, Capt. Eric Kowalczyk, a police spokesman, would not say how many cameras have lost capacity or where they are located. But he agreed that this move to cut down storage capacity can prove fatal in future for Baltimore.
Currently, the city spends about $1.8 million annually to maintain the camera systems. The money comes from the state and Maryland’s casinos. It was the US Department of Homeland Security which helped the city to get the CCTV system off the ground in 2005. However, it failed to retain its helping hand further on this context.
Baltimore’s CCTV system has helped the police in the following situations.
- In January, cameras captured part of an incident in which a police officer who said she feared for her life shot a man during a struggle in Northwest Baltimore.
- In February, they recorded a man charging at police before being shot by officers.
- In February 2012, surveillance video showed a police officer in Baltimore striking a man in the face during an arrest. After the footage came to light, police dropped assault charges against the man and suspended the officer.
City surveillance footage has also been key to investigations of violent crime.
- In February 2014, police used cameras to track a suspect in the killing of Terry Junior Davis, a 48-year-old nurse who was found dead in his home.
- Gray, 25, was arrested near the Gilmor Homes housing project in West Baltimore and placed in a police van on April 12. He suffered a severe spinal cord injury in police custody and died a week later. His death spurred a week of protests and demonstrations. Then, on the day of his funeral, the city erupted in riots, looting and arson. Six officers have been charged in Gray’s arrest and death. But initially there was no evidence, as the public security surveillance systems stopped recording after a couple of days for some reason, during the investigation period. Few private detectives who were hired by the social welfare organization traced out a private surveillance system which helped the investigators discover partial evidence that the police officers were at fault at the time of Gray’s arrest. The partial evidence was available due to the delay in the investigation process, and by the time the investigation went full throttle, some cameras in the private property erased the previous day’s images.
So, retention of the footage of the unrest could help police solve hundreds of investigations from that time period. He said that outside analysts could help police process the data. In some instances, analysts were able to identify masked people by finding them in other footage earlier in the day, when their faces weren’t masked.
Therefore, finally, what this article’s wants to conclude is that video storage attains equal importance in the field of video surveillance and so while allotting the budget for mission critical surveillance deployment, better keep the cost of video storage appliances in mind and then plan the rest.
Intel Corporation is planning to offer a new breed of processors codenamed Skylake chips after August 2015. The company is planning to release the chips just after its Intel developer Conference, held in between August 18 and 20 in San Francisco, California.
As per our records, Intel’s Skylake is said to improve the experience of using Microsoft’s Windows 10, which will be in PCs after July 29th, 2015. The new breed of processors will be branded as “Sixth Generation Core” processors and will come with great performance and reduced power consumption.
As per the latest buzz on some technology blog platforms, Intel’s Skylake processors will facilitate “wire –free” technology where data and power can be transmitted via a set of wires.
Although, the release of Skylake chips to commercial market is yet to be done, some PC makers like Asus have already had their hands-on these chips. Asus last month shows all-in-ones and mini desktops based on Skylake with support for the new DDR4 memory and USB 3.1 data transfer protocol. PCs based on Skylake will also have ports based on Thunderbolt 3- a new technology that runs on USB Type-C cables and can transfer data at 40 Gbps. These chips will also support Windows Cortana and Windows Hello features, a new Windows 10 biometric feature in which faces, fingerprints or eyes can replace passwords.
Now, coming to game lovers, Intel will allow high-level overclocking to an extent which no one has observed till date in the world. And that too, without the risks, such as over-heating and high voltage consumption.
Note- Overclocking is nothing but to run the processor faster than the speed for which it as been tested and approved. It will allow squeezing every last ounce of processing power out of your new PC.
Intel has hurried to get Skylake to PCs so it can close the curtains on the troubled predecessor Broadwell chips, which were delayed due to manufacturing issues on the 14-nanometer process. Intel has resolved manufacturing issues so Skylake processors are rolled out on time.
Skylake will take on AMD’s chips code-named Carrizo, which are now reaching PCs. AMD is rushing to release its next-generation chips based on a CPU core code-named Zen, which will be in PCs next year.
More details will be revealed at the conference held in August this year.
International Data Corporation (IDC) released a latest report in which it mentioned that worldwide data storage hardware sales witnessed a boom in early 2015. As per the report, it is expected that more than 28 billion gigabytes of storage were shipped in the first two quarters of 2015.
The report “IDC’s worldwide Disk Storage Systems Market” also confirmed that the revenue grew 6.8% year over year during the said period for worldwide enterprise storage systems as it reached the mark o $8.8 billion.
IDC expects that the overall revenue of these vendors will reach the mark of $23.6 billion, on going with the current growth curve.
Spending on traditional external arrays fell during the quarter while demand for server based storage and hyper-scale infrastructure was up strongly.
Note- Hyper scale storage computing was introduced by Facebook and Google few years back and refers to distributed infrastructures that support cloud and big data processing and can scale to thousands of servers.
The largest revenue growth occurred in the server market, where internal storage sales were up by 23.3%. Internal storage sales benefitted from healthy server sales and not just upgrades to existing server infrastructure. Storage systems that were sold directly to hyper scale or internal cloud data center users accounted for 12.6% of total spending in the quarter, up by 22.9% year over year.
External disk storage system revenue fell during the first quarter and was down by 0.6% to $5.6 billion year over year.
High-end storage array sales were up 1.3% from a year ago to $1.5 billion. IDC said the uptick represented a “reprieve from the protracted drop in sales the high-end market has been experiencing.”
Entry-level storage sales grew by 1.1% to $1.4 billion, whereas midrange arrays, which accounted for the largest portion of the market, declined by 2.4% to $2.8 billion.
The most popular external storage arrays were all-flash models and hybrid flash arrays, which combine NAND flash with hard disk drives. All-flash and hybrid arrays drove the external storage market in the first quarter with 81.6% revenue growth ($403.1 million) and 9.1% ($2.5 billion) year-over-year growth, respectively.
Microsoft is planning to get rid of Nokia at sometime next year. The Redmond giant which acquired Nokia in between 2013-14 for $7.6 billion has already warned investors in April 2015, that the smart phone division was at an elevated risk of impairment.
In business sense, impairment means the market value of the business is less when compared to what is being carried on paper. In such business scenarios, the proprietors of such companies should balance accounts by taking a non-cash charge to the tune of the difference.
It has to be remembered over here that the Nokia Acquisition was one of the last moves made by former CEO Steve Ballmer, who stepped down in Feb 2014. Current, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was reported to have opposed the acquisition.
However, Nokia’s acquisition by Microsoft failed to revive the fortune of both the companies in the smart phone segment.
If one has been closely following mobile platforms related developments, you may notice that Windows Phone has been loosing share as Android and iOS continue to dominate the market.
According to Gartner study, Microsoft OS operated Nokia Phones occupy a meager 3.2% share in smart phone market segment. While Android has 60% share and its competitor iOS occupies 36.8% of share.
While Microsoft has been extending its apps and services to other operating system making its own mobile platform less relevant, it has continued to support development and is set to introduce Windows 10 for phones. The company is also planning to replace Nokia label on its current phones to Microsoft tag, after its Windows 10 phones flood the market.
According to Softpedia, Microsoft is having a plan B to implement, if in case, Nokia phones sales don’t improve even after the release on Windows 10.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and his senior leadership team are debating on whether the company should continue Windows on phones and small tablets or just bundle Microsoft services on Android in coming years.
If at all, things don’t fall as per their expectations, Microsoft is planning to lower the prices of the current mobile produce and wants to sell them at any cost. Later, early next year, the company is planning to either sell the company on no-profit, nor loss basis, which will be a last remedy.
Presently, Microsoft wants to stay friendly with Google Play devices and wants to exchange its apps store for Google’s first-class applications such as Maps, Youtube, Search on Windows. However, it is not clear if this implies that Microsoft will make its own Android devices bundled with its apps or just pre-load its apps on Google devices like the Nexus Phones.
However, Google developing quality apps for Windows Phone would be a big move. Google and Microsoft had been at the loggerheads with each other when the latter had developed a full-fledged YouTube app for Windows Phone. Google had blocked it alleging that the app was against its terms of service. Microsoft has been trying hard to reduce the app gap between Windows Phone and competing platforms. In April, Microsoft executives had announced that the company will release new tools to help developers quickly adapt the apps they’ve built for Apple or Android devices, so they will work on smartphones, PCs and other devices that use the new Windows 10 operating system. Conversely, Google developing quality apps for Windows Phones would be a big move on this note.
Google and Microsoft had been at the loggerheads with each other when the latter started to develop its own Youtube app for Windows phone. Google termed this development as against its terms of service and asked Microsoft to stop such developments at present and in future.
Since, then Microsoft is trying hard to reduce the gap between Windows Phone and Competing platforms, but has failed many times.
Now, Microsoft CEO Satya and his senior management team have decided to play safe, before it’s much awaited and overly- hyped Windows 10 operating system releases.
FYI, Windows 10 will be an operating system which can be used on Mobile phones, PCs and Laptops.
If in case, the sales of Nokia phones doesn’t pick up by early next year, even after the release of its Windows 10, then the company is planning to get rid of the entire Nokia company at any cost.
Wonder, whose going to take it thereafter?
Youtube, a video storage and sharing platform-solely owned by Google is all set to refresh its features soon. The company will now on support creators more on this subject as it has decided to introduce ten new features for them. And the features are—
Comments- Finally, Youtube has paid its attention towards the comments section of its Youtube videos. The company has come up with a better ranking system that reduces the visibility of spam and junk in comments. The rate of dislikes on comments has dropped by more than 30% across Youtube with the latest algorithm in place. A spokesperson from Youtube has also disclosed that all the X-rated comments, trolling, abuses, poking done in comments will be reviewed in coming days as per the new algorithm. If found guilty for more than 5 times, the user ID will be blocked and an explanation can be demanded. If the user doesn’t mend his/her ways, then their ID will be permanently blocked. But the other fact in this segment is that comments made only in English are reviewable and other language comments made in French, Chinese, Spanish and all other world recognized languages will be kept away from this algorithm.
Subscriber notifications- To all those fans who do not want to miss out the content from their favorite creators, here’s an update. Google has build a simple new way for fans to opt in to get mobile and email notifications each and every time the channels they subscribe to publish a new video.
Subscription feed- Google has made it easier to get to the subscription feed in an update to the Youtube Mobile app coming soon.
Get a faster creator studio app- Google is also working on improvements to the creator studio app. Creators will get more insight about what’s happening on their channel, and notifications that help you decide what to do about it.
Video management made simple- Google has made it easier for the users to manage their videos from their mobile phone. It has made two major requests to the creator studio app by adding the ability to update thumbnails from a user phone and to enable/disable monetization on their videos, wherever they are.
Cards are two types now- Cards are awesome. They help you promote other content, sell merch and raise funds and more. User feedback is helping Youtube develop even more new card types. First up: the Channel card, which lets the user link your videos to other channels, and will be a great way to share the love with collaborators.
360 degrees videos or 3D content- In order to enhance the user experience, Youtube has added 360 degrees video on Youtube. By this year end, it is going to add 3D content mix to these videos. So, get immersed in this world.
Live streams made better- For those who like to watch their favorite channels live; Youtube has also added more to their viewing experience.
New Creator Community- The new YouTube Creator Community will be a new online forum for finding collaborators, sharing advice, and giving us feedback.
Updated creator community- Youtube has updated its creator community by making it easier to search and personalize their learning experience.
Currently, some of the features are already on heave and some can be expected in a week’s time. But some will take some time to be rolled out.