Monthly Archives: October 2010

Yahoo Redesigns Search Engine

Shows search results in visual format, mobile search for iOS and Android gets HTML5 richness

Yahoo has rolled out refreshed search engine favoring news and entertainment related searches for Yahoo U.S. domain. Shashi Seth, senior VP, Yahoo Search & Marketplaces noted, on the official Yahoo Search Blog, that this change is the first in the series of search enhancements. When you visit search.yahoo.com and search for entertainment or news-related topics, you ll get to see a box with vertical text tabs for different options – Videos, Images and Twitter. Yahoo is indeed trying to keep up in the search engine competition.
It is after long that Yahoo has tried something new for its search to clearly differentiated itself from Microsoft Bing. Instead of throwing up a long list of links and text, Yahoo has taken a different approach and shows up an intuitive box. If you search for any term, for instance Scott Pilgrim, you’ll get to see an Overview box that gives you comprehensive information about the movie – Scott Pilgrim vs The world in the box. On the right side of the box, you’ll find images, videos and Twitter menus. Click on either of those menus and it will slide from the right to the left end.

The web search has also been enhanced with HTML5 technology for Apple iOS based iPhone and other devices as well as Google Android devices. The new ‘Trending Now’ list will give you brief information on the heavily talked about topics on the web in form of a slideshow. Similarly, the image search also incorporates a slideshow feature and users can view the slideshow from public Facebook albums as well as Flickr.

Try out the new Yahoo Search on search.yahoo.com and let us know what you think about it. Do you think it’s a worthy enhancement compared to Google Instant?

Two New Facebook Security Features Out

Experts explain why this may prove counterproductive

Under fire for its recent disregard for user privacy, Facebook has made amends by tightening security and has now introduced two new features to enhance secure accounts – one-time passwords and remote logout.

One-time password is meant for people who access Facebook through public places like cybercafes. This is significant in a country like India where there is low PC penetration leading to a great chunk of the users accessing Internet from Internet Cafes. Unfortunately, this feature is restricted to U.S. only, but it may be extended to India as well. This feature is accessed by sending an SMS to receive a temporary password that expires after twenty minutes. Remote logout lets you, well, remotely sign off your Facebooks session. It’s useful when you log in through a friend’s computer or phone, but forget to log off.

However, if experts from IT security firm Sophos are to be believed, Facebook’s one-time password still leaves users vulnerable to security risks. According to Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, “If you believe a computer might not be secure in the first place, why would you use it to access personal accounts such as Facebook? A temporary password may stop keylogging spyware, giving cybercriminals a permanent backdoor into your account, but it doesn’t stop malware from spying on your activities online, and seeing what’s happening on your screen.”

Makes perfect sense, because the first rule of security is to stay clear of any unnecessary scenario that compromises security. So there’s no real reason to log into Facebook from public computers. However, for those who have no choice – like the ones who don’t have a PC – it’s an added layer of security. Like they say, something’s better than nothing.

Now A Software To Detect Sleepy Drivers And Warn Them

German researchers are working on software that will detect and warn sleepy drivers.

Researchers in German are working on a new software that will help in deducting sleepy drivers and also warn them to stay off roads. To be developed by Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology, Eyetracker, a driver assist safety system that monitors facial features, and delivers an audible warning whenever the driver appears sleepy.

The system uses two cameras to monitor the pupils’ positions, and then watches for changes in a person’s line of vision. Utilizing up to six dashboard-mounted cameras with compact 3 to 4 millimeters lenses, the Eyetracker system processes up to 200 images per second to detect sleepiness using parameters like line of vision and eyelid position, irrespective of the spatial position of the driver’s head. he self-contained control unit is about the size of a matchbox, which means it could easily fit under a seat or in a console and can be installed anywhere in the car without much effort.

The researchers are planning to showcase the gadget at the VISION trade fair in Stuttgart to show how Eyetracking works in the field. Until that the product won’t be commercially available.

Panasonic To Go Green With School Students

Panasonic is working on a program called ”Ecos’kool”, to sensitize school children on environmental issues.

Panasonic is all set to launch a program that will encourage and engage young minds to contribute towards a greener tomorrow. Dubbed “Ecos’kool”, a nationwide environment sensitization programme across 100 schools will start in Delhi and Chandigarh on September 14th and October 7th respectively and will continue till Feb 2011. A pilot programme across 7 schools has successfully concluded as part of phase I.

The Ecos’kool activity involves educating school children by taking out time from their schedules, engaging them in an hour long fun filled session, sharing alarming environmental issues and highlighting how their modest contribution can bring about a change. As educating in the budding stage creates a lifetime impact, Panasonic has chosen an age bracket of 9 years- 12 years to inculcate the conservation thought process.

“The Ecos’kool concept is one among the many remarkable initiatives being undertaken by Panasonic across the globe as part of its “Go Green” commitment. Through this programme, we hope to create awareness about environmental issues in the present day scenario and ways to curtail the same amongst the youth in a fun filled and engaging manner.” said Arjun Balakrishnan, Director Operations and Planning, Panasonic India

Panasonic also presents participating children with badges and certificates to give them a sense of pride in playing a vital role in making the planet greener and safer to live. Also, as part of the programme, the promoter distributes leaves on which the students write their names. In addition to this a graffiti wall is created with the names of the students who have pledged to conserve the environment. A Facebook community is also created in a bid to encourage school students to join the campaign.

National Instruments India Launch The Latest Version Of Labview-2010

The latest version of LabVIEW will help in designing, testing, measuring and controlling applications.

National Instruments has unveiled the latest version of its LabVIEW 2010, a graphical programming environment for design, test, measurement and control of applications.

LabVIEW which can be used for capturing, analyzing, and simulating signals from multiple sources (sensors, PC boards remote terminals) and allows engineers to analyze, simulate the required signals and systems as per his design requirements for range of innovative applications. The latest version of National Instruments’ flagship product claims to reduce time with new features like off-the-shelf compiler technologies that execute code an average of 20 percent faster.

According to Mr. Jayaram Pillai, Managing Director India, Russia & Arabia, National Instruments said, “National Instruments is dedicated to empower the Indian Engineer through user-defined, software-based approach for developing test, control, and embedded applications and the India LabVIEW Conference facilitates the exchange of information and ideas about innovative advances in technology and NI products”.

Facebook Partners With Bing For Search Engine

Facebook joins hands with Bing to make search results sound more personal.

Microsoft has joined hands with Facebook to provide users a personal touch while they access their search results on Microsoft’s search engine Bing. As part of the four-year alliance between the two companies, Bing search engine will show users which sites and products their Facebook friends like.

To be optional, the new feature dubbed “Liked Results” will allow users to go through information that has already been liked by their friends who have previously gone through the information. Thus now the things you search will come with a personal recommendation form your Facebook friends. In addition to this, the new feature will also help users search for friends on Facebook.

The new feature though is only rolled out to users in the United States.

Adobe To Update Its Security Features In Its Latest Version Of Reader

Adobe’s latest reader will contain a major security upgrade.

Adobe which is all set to launch the new version of its reader by the end of this year is all set to update the security features to protect it from “Attacks”.

Adobe Reader Protected Mode will reportedly use sandboxing technology to limit the potential damage from a hacking attack. Brad Arkin, senior director of product security and privacy at Adobe said that the sandbox will be on by default. If an exploit, which is a mechanism developed by an attacker in order to deliver malicious software to a computer – attacks the application, it won’t be able to get out of the sandbox,

“Even if a bad guy finds a flaw to attack they are stuck in the sandbox. They would need a second level do something interesting,” said Arkin.

The Sandbox technology is used by both Microsoft and Google in their applications, and Adobe worked with both of those companies in developing the system for Reader.

With Adobe coming under criticism for its security flaws for which it has announced patches to fix the problems, the sandbox technology might just be the solution they are looking for.

Now Make Calls Through Facebook

Facebook and Skype will soon announce a partnership that will allow users to make calls to their friends via Facebook.

In what looks like a challenge to Google phone-in service, Facebook is all set to partner with Skype, leading Internet telephone service provider, to allow Facebook users to make calls to their friend via their Facebook profile.

The report which is yet to be confirmed by both the parties will bring in cheers to users of Facebook around the world. If the deal does comes through Facebook users will have the facility of texting, having video chat and voice chat with other individuals on their Facebook network. This deal will help Skype’s 560 million users to link with 500 million members Facebook.

This feature though will be available only through the new Skype 5.0 which is in the beta stage and will be in market within the next two to three weeks.

Google Tests Driver-Less Car

Google is testing a car that drives itself automatically in traffic.

Search engine Google is all set to go places with a car that it has developed, which drives itself automatically in traffic.

Google has been testing a car, on the roads of California, which can steer, stop and start without a driver. The car comes attached with video cameras on the roof, along with radar sensors and a laser range finder to see other traffic.

The car has covered 140,000 miles and was accompanied by a engineer in the driver’s seat who was ready to take control of the vehicle instantly by grabbing the wheel or touch the brake should something go wrong with the system. The car so far has witnessed only one accident, when one of the cars was rear-ended by a driver at a stop light.

The car is aimed at preventing traffic accidents, free up people’s time and reduces carbon emissions

India Working To Develop Operating System Of Its Own

India is all set to create a Operating System of its own to strengthen cyber security.

In a bid to protect the country from cyber attacks the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is working on creating a new Operating system of its own.

V.K. Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister and DRDO Director-General said the creation of a Operating System will help in preventing cyber crimes and will also strengthen the cyber security of the country.

To be located in the City of Hyderabad and Delhi, the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in partnership with software companies will encourage and contribute to the development of the project

The Operating System will also be developed for commercial purposes and will have Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chennai and other universities and Industries will also take part in the project.

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