Friday, July 06, 2007

Good vibes power tiny generator

 Good vibes power tiny generatorA tiny generator powered by natural vibrations could soon be helping keep heart pacemakers working.

Created by scientists at the University of Southampton, UK, the generator has been developed to power devices where replacing batteries is very difficult.

The device is expected initially to be used to power wireless sensors on equipment in manufacturing plants.

The generator's creators say their technology is up to 10 times more efficient than similar devices.

Power packed

The tiny device, which is less than one cubic centimetre in size, uses vibrations in the world around it to make magnets on a cantilever at the heart of the device wobble to generate power.

Although the generator produces only microwatts this was more than enough to power sensors attached to machines in manufacturing plants, said Dr Steve Beeby, the Southampton researcher who led the development of the device.

"The big advantage of wireless sensor systems is that by removing wires and batteries, there is the potential for embedding sensors in previously inaccessible locations," he said.

Using the tiny generator also made it possible to use larger numbers of sensors because there was no longer the need to visit them to replace or recharge batteries, Dr Beeby added.

The generator was developed to sit inside air compressors but, said Dr Beeby, it could find a future role in self-powered medical implants such as pacemakers.

In a pacemaker, the beating of the human heart would be strong enough to keep the magnets inside the device wobbling.

It could also be used to power sensors attached to road and rail bridges to monitor the health of such structures.

Work on the project was funded by the EU as part of the 14.3m euros (£9.67m) Vibration Energy Scavenging (Vibes) project that is looking at how to use environmental vibrations to generate power.

Looking for some good webhosting?

IF you want to get professional with your website or blog {unlike me;)},then the first step for you will be to go for a purposeful domain and a nice webhosting company.I hope that most of the gurus will agree that the selection of webhost is one of the most difficult things on the internet.Security,price,bandwidth,space and speed are just few factors that will make you feel like banging your head against the wall.Or in other words,make the selection of webhost a real tough job!

Well,I have got a recommendation for all those folks looking out for some nice webhost,specially if u are looking for some canadian based hosting company.Yup!you got it right!I am talking about Canadian Web Hosting.
Founded in 1998, Canadian web Hosting is a privately held web hosting company with a focus on customer care.Their intelligent and knowledgeable staff provides help 24/7 through toll-free telephone service,e-mail and live online chat.The mission of this canadian company is to provide their customers a reliable and smooth hosting experience and to make them taste the lastest in hosting technologies.

Candian webhosting implements 3 com's TippingPoint Intrusion Prevention System (IPS).Which assures the security of all the data carried by their servers.

They provide wonderful hosting packages both for basic and professional webmasters.You want ASP windows hosting or Cpanel linux hosting,you'll get all there!They provide 30-day money back guarantee plus $25 Google Adwords credit even with basic plan which starts at $3.95/month.They also offer Reseller hosting.The detail price and package menu is available at their website.

Sitebuilder is also offered by canadian webhosting and they claim it to be one of the best available in the market.

I am specially inspired by their support section.I mean that detailed FAQ,tutorials,forums and Live support literally make them available 24/7 for their customers.

Canadian webhosting is basically targetted for Canadian webmasters but I hope that they can give good results to international webmasters as well.So,If you are looking for a webhost,Canadian webhosting is worth looking at!

[This is a Paid-review]

You know security?

Safety and Internet security is one of the most vastly growing concern on the internet.Do u think you know security?If you think,let's put it to test!

An average data over the internet shows that the computers with internet access are attacked per 39 secs!Shocking??Isn't it?

So, what do you think that are you doing enough to protect your personal data? or your computer is an easy target for a hacker?confused?If yes,then move straight towards this Security quiz.It is a 15 question quiz,where safety and internet security related questions will be asked.This is a free quiz and is highly recommended by me to get basic information regarding internet security.And if,after taking the quiz,you want to read some more about internet security,just google internet security and you will find hundreds of articles waiting for you.

I hope that you'll like the quiz and will get a lot better scores than mine;)

[This is a paid-review]

Record fine over TV quiz phone-in

Richard and JudyThe company behind the Richard and Judy premium rate telephone quiz scandal has been fined £150,000.

Premium rate services regulator Icstis imposed the record penalty on Eckoh UK Ltd after an investigation into the Channel 4 show.

It found viewers were urged to call its You Say, We Pay quiz after potential winners had been chosen, showing a "reckless disregard" for TV viewers.

Icstis is referring the case to media regulator Ofcom.

The watchdog has indicated it may wish to investigate the actions of the parties involved under the Ofcom Broadcasting Code.

Icstis also ordered a sanction to provide refunds to all those affected.

But Eckoh complained that it had been made a "scapegoat" and that it would consider appealing.

'Fundamental failings'

Icstis chairman Sir Alistair Graham said the size of the fine reflected the "very serious nature" of the breach of its Code of Practice.

"The hearing panel found clear evidence of fundamental failings in the winner selection process.

"Winners were being chosen before the competition closing deadline, whilst millions of additional viewers were still encouraged to phone in and pay to enter the competition but were denied the opportunity of fair consideration.

"Such reckless disregard for viewers is unacceptable. In this case, viewers were not only 'paying competition entrants' but also consumers who enjoy a high degree of consumer protection already provided by Icstis."

He added: "The public should be able to use these services with absolute confidence."

Icstis said that almost five million viewers entered the competition at a cost of £1 per call.

But 47% of calls were received after the shortlist of winners had already been chosen. Production company Cactus were responsible for choosing potential winners.

We are extremely sorry for anyone who entered the competition and were not dealt with appropriately.
Nik Philpot, Eckoh

A Channel 4 spokesman said it was shocked to learn that management at Eckoh were aware the competition was not being operated properly six months before the problems were made public.

The spokesman said: "We engaged Eckoh in good faith as a reputable and experienced service provider and we are very disappointed by their failure to ensure that all calls to the competition were handled properly."

Channel 4 said it has since introduced a new monitoring regime to audit the performance of service providers on its remaining phone-in competitions.

'Misled the public'

Eckoh spokesperson Harry Chathli said: "Icstis accepts that Eckoh has learnt from this case, but nonetheless has imposed this sanction 'to provide incentive to other service providers who may not yet have taken the steps that Eckoh have to ensure compliance'.

"Because of this we can't help but feel that we've been made a scapegoat and we will be considering an appeal once we have seen the result of the Ofcom investigation."

Eckoh said the regulations governing premium rate services were "fundamentally flawed".

In a statement the company said: "Under the current Icstis Code of Practice, the service provider is exclusively responsible for any breaches of compliance, irrespective of who is actually responsible or how this came about. It is for this reason that only Eckoh has been fined today.

"Information providers, in this case Channel 4 and Cactus, are outside the jurisdiction of Icstis and it is unable to take action against them unless they agree."

"In our view where a television programme has misled the public in promoting calls to a premium rate service it would seem appropriate that either the broadcaster or production company, or both, should also be brought before the regulator."

LED displays and signs for outdoor advertisement

If you want LED displays and signs for outdoor advertisements,I'll recommend you to have a look at Proton LED.
They have really impressed me with there perfect system.They provide digital LED displays for outdoor advertisement.Their displays is as good to display TV like video and animations.Here are the few specifications that made me love them:
  1. Full colog RGB full motion video at 150 frames per second.
  2. Connect wirelessly to upload new video or animation.
  3. Fully configurable via Internet hence,as a bussines man,providing you full freedom to upload the video from any place,anytime by just using an internet equipped windows media cell phone.
  4. Display is equipped with thermostatic devices to prevent any damage from weather.
  5. The display has been succesfully wind tested at 150MPH.
  6. Display provides wide view angles of upto 140 degrees.
Apart from all those wonderful features,the company claims that the display can withstand a jolt from a brick to a shot-gun blast.Their site contain some videos of what LED signs will look like,which are worth looking.The site doesn't mention any cost or estimated budget,but reading all these wonderful features what they are providing,It's worth contacting them.
[This is a paid-review]

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Gadgets 'threaten energy savings'

The growing popularity of hi-tech devices, such as flat-screen TVs and digital radios, threaten to undermine efforts to save energy, a report says.

UK consumers spend £12bn a year on electronics, much of which is less efficient than older technology, a study by the Energy Saving Trust found.

By 2020, the gadgets will account for about 45% of electricity used in UK households, the organisation projected.

It said flat-screen TVs and digital radios were among the worst offenders.
Paula Owen, author of the report called The Ampere Strikes Back, said household appliances currently consumed about a third of an average home's electricity.

But she warned this was likely to increase as a result of people buying more energy-intensive devices.

The simple message to people is switch things off when you have finished using them
Dr Paula Owen,
Report author

"Your old-fashioned, bulky cathode ray tube TV on average consumed about 100 watts of electricity when it was switched on," Dr Owen explained.

"What we are seeing now is a trend for much bigger flat-screened TVs. On average, we are seeing a three-fold increase in the energy needed to power these TVs.

"Pretty much in every other sector [such as fridges and washing machines], we find that as the technology moves on, the products get more and more efficient.

"Consumer electronics does not work like that."

'Radio ga-ga'

The equivalent of 14 power stations will be needed just to power consumer electronic devices by 2020, the report warned.

By that time televisions on standby will consume 1.4% of all domestic electricity, it predicted.

Digital radios were also singled out by the report as being energy intensive.

"Traditional analogue radios consume about two watts when they are switched on," Dr Owen said.

"We've looked at digital radios and the average consumption of these is eight watts."

She added that listening to the radio via digital TVs or set-top boxes had an average consumption of more than 100 watts.

Recent research by the communications watchdog Ofcom said that more than 80% of UK homes now had digital TV.

More people are buying digital TVs or set-top boxes because by the end of 2012 the analogue TV signal will no longer be available in the UK.

But not all new technology was criticised by the report.

"Mobile phones and their chargers are one area where we have seen an improvement," Dr Owen said.

A few years ago, she said, the current being drawn by chargers that were plugged in but not actually attached to a phone was about three to five watts.

"We have done some testing on the newest mobile phones and chargers you can buy today and reassuringly we could see that 'no-load' consumption had fallen below one watt."

But she added that the sheer volume of mobiles being used, about 63 million in the UK, meant that a huge amount of energy was still being wasted if people were not unplugging their chargers when they were not being used.

The report called for governments, manufacturers and retailers to do more to promote energy efficient devices, but also said consumers had a role to play.

"The simple message to people is switch things off when you have finished using them," urged Dr Owen.

Wii outselling PS3 'six to one'

Nintendo's Wii console outsold Sony's PlayStation 3 in Japan last month by six to one, says research.

Nintendo sold 270,974 Wii consoles last month while Sony sold 41,628 PS3s, according to Enterbrain, a Japanese publisher that tracks console sales.

Nintendo has sold about 2.76m Wii consoles in Japan since the launch last December, while Sony has sold 970,270 PS3s since it debuted last November.

About 17,616 Xbox 360 consoles were sold in June.

Last week, Phil Harrison, PlayStation's head of worldwide studios, told US Game Informer magazine that pundits should not judge the success of the console based on the launch software line-up.


He said: "You only have to go back to the games that launched PlayStation 1 and Playstation 2.

"If you took those few dozen titles and analysed them, you would never have imagined that either of those formats would have on to sell over 100m units each."

Globally, Sony has struggled so far to replicate the success it had with the first two PlayStation consoles.

The machine has also suffered from a lack of "killer" exclusive titles which showcase the power of the machine.

PlayStation fans are still awaiting some of the biggest franchises on the machine to emerge, such as Metal Gear Solid, Killzone 2 and Gran Turismo.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Spam King arrested

SAN FRANCISCO: They call him the "Spam King," but Robert Soloway is an unlikely figure accused of flooding computers with emails promoting everything whatever is financially beneficial for him.

Far from being an introverted computer nerd, Soloway dined at fine restaurants, threw hip parties, drove a Mercedes convertible and wore designer clothes.

And US officials are now branding him the king of one of the most vexing phenomenons of this interconnected, computerized world - the tide of unwanted spam swamping email in-boxes. "He was a con man living quite a lavish lifestyle," Assistant US Attorney Kathryn Warma told AFP after Soloway, 27, was arrested in Seattle, Washington, late last month.

Warma convinced a federal judge to keep Soloway in jail without bail while he awaits trial on charges of fraud, identity theft and money laundering. Soloway had made at least a million dollars from his spam empire since relocating to Washington state in 2003, according to IRS agent Sylvia Reyes. But when FBI agents raided his 17th-floor apartment, they found one lone, unimpressive computer.

He promoted his Newport Internet Marketing firm as a way for businesses to swiftly increase sales five-fold with his "broadcast email" service or by buying his software to send messages themselves. He sold spamming kits for 149 dollars each, agents said. Soloway rented servers then used a "Dark Mail" program to send bulk emails and disguise where they came from and who sent them.

The unsolicited email was delivered through "botnets," networks of online computers hijacked by "botherders," hackers that amass armies of "zombie" machines by infecting them with malicious codes without the owners' knowledge. It was a great money-spinner. Police found closets stuffed with designer clothes, including Prada, Gucci, Armani and Versace. Among his belongings confiscated as "proceeds of crime" were scores of sport coats and suit jackets, an Armani wristwatch and two dozen pairs of designer sunglasses. "He threw great parties in his pad, wore cool clothes and drove a hot car," Warma said. "It was a way for him to promote his criminal activity."

Among the complaints that led federal officials to Soloway were those from his customers, who said his services and software didn't give the promised results. "Just because people paid him money doesn't mean it worked," Warma said. Soloway changed "cyber bank" and Internet financial transaction accounts frequently and drained his funds routinely. And despite his expensive lifestyle, agents who executed search warrants at four of Soloway's bank accounts, could find only 5,000 dollars.

In testimony Soloway gave during a lawsuit filed against him by Microsoft in 2005 he said he was his company's sole employee and that he started the business in California when he was 16 years old. "It's the only employment I've had in my life," court documents quote Soloway as saying. "So you could say I've never worked for anybody."

Microsoft won the civil trial and Soloway was ordered to pay the company seven million dollars in damages for spamming abuses. But Soloway bragged in online chat rooms that the world's largest company would never get its court-ordered award.

Rushdie 18 years ago

(The story behind a protest against 'Satanic Verses' that turned horribly wrong)

On February 12, 1989, a large number of protestors gathered in the heart of Islamabad under the banner of Tahafaz-i-Namoos-i-Risalat to condemn the publishing of 'Satanic Verses' written by Salman Rushdie in the United Kingdom

When the protest came to an end, seven people had lost their lives, thirty more had sustained injuries and forty four police personnel were injured in clashes with the protestors.

When the incident took place the Benazir government was just around two months old. The procession was led by Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan, Maulana Abdul Sattar Niazi, Maulana Kausar Niazi and Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

A judicial enquiry commission was formed under Justice Ijaz Nisar who at that time was a Lahore High Court judge to look into the facts of the matter which then published its report in August 1990.

During the enquiry these leaders pleaded that the People's Party government had an ulterior motive of crushing the ulema on their very first appearance in Islamabad so that the greatest hurdle in the way of the secular government was removed or at least weakened.

The district administration justified its action in self-defence, pleading that the armed protestors were highly disorganised with no single leader in command and the protestors looted a petrol pump and collected petrol from there. The administration estimated the size of the crowd between 30,000 to 40,000.

The enquiry commission noted that confusion seems to have been caused by the advertisement placed in the press by Tehrik-e-Tahafaz-i-Risalat and the demonstrators were not informed about the arrangements settled with the administration that they were to halt at a barrier to be placed at a distance from American centre, that only leaders would proceed onwards to hand over the protest note. On the other hand they were intimated by the advertisement that the protest rally was to be staged in front of the American Centre

"It was strange that the infamous book was published in the UK, the US did not have any plan to publish it, still the organisers chose to protest in front of the USIS building in Blue Area instead of going to the British High Commission office," recalled Abdul Hameed Alvi, the then media advisor to USIS while talking to TNS.

Many of the witnesses that came before the commission agreed with the suggestion that America had nothing to do with the publication of 'Satanic Verses', neither was Salman Rushdie a resident of America, nor was the book published from there.

Identifying what went wrong, the the 160 paged commission report found that when the protestors crossed the barrier a scuffle ensued between the police and the protestors. The protestors pelted stones at the police that resorted to firing tear gas but the direction of the wind changed and the tear gas smoke instead struck the police. Meanwhile, the jeep carrying the leaders arrived at the scene where it was hit by a stray tear gas shell. Brick-batting was also going on. As a result those in the jeep were injured.

"It would therefore be incorrect to presume that the jeep of the leaders was made a target. The gas shells fired on the protesters encircling the jeep accidentally hit the occupants. Finding the leaders hurt the protesters became furious. They advanced towards the police in a state of intense anger, pelting stones on them. Seeing them getting violent, the police receded towards the depression by the side of the American Centre. Some of the protesters taking advantage of police drifting away, scaled over the walls of the American Centre, smashed its window-panes, damaged the dish antenna and destroyed the main entrance. Two or three of them climbed up the roof of the American Centre and pulled down the American flag. The demonstrators who were present on the eastern side of the American Centre also joined them and resorted to brick batting."

The report observed that the demonstrators tried to set a vehicle in the American centre on fire. A tent of the security guards and a security post was also burnt. As none of the leader was around, there was nobody to impart any instruction to the crowd.

Getting reinforcement, the police appeared on the scene again to prevent the situation from becoming worse. It resorted to firing that resulted in deaths.

"If the situation called for police firing, there was hardly any justification in aiming at the protestors directly. The police could have directed its shots towards the legs instead of vital parts of their bodies, the firing in that case could have merely incapacitated them rather than cause their instantaneous death," noted Justice Ijaz Nisar

Why the protestors chose to go to American Centre could be explained by the fact that a large number of international media was present in Islamabad to cover an event relating to formation of a future government in Afghanistan. Rushdie was not an American citizen nor the United States published the book but the anti-Rushdie protest turned into an anti-west or an anti-America protest, a fact attested by the then prime minister Benazir Bhutto in a press conference on her return from China soon after the incident.

The judicial enquiry commission in its report in August 1990 recommended the government to pay a minimum of Rs 100,000 as compensation to the legal heirs of each of the dead, Rs 50,000 to those with fire arm injuries and Rs 25,000 each to the persons having other injuries. Of the seven dead only three were from Rawalpindi. Rest of them belonged to the adjoining cities of Jhelum, Attock, Mansehra etc.

The father of one of the persons killed, Zafar Iqbal Sultan Muhammad Mirza, who was then principal of Qandeel Institution for the Blind and Deaf in Rawalpindi, told TNS that his son was not religious. "He had taken intermediate examination from Government College and was taking tests to join army. On the fateful day he along with his friends went to the protest and got killed," Mirza recalled. "The amount of compensation was not enough because the amount spent to seek justice was much more."

Sunday, July 01, 2007

England smoking ban takes effect

Smokers across England have sparked up at work and in the pub for the last time as the ban on smoking in enclosed public places begins.

The new law, which came into effect at 0600 BST, is intended to cut deaths from second-hand smoke.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland already have similar bans in place.

Many venues held farewell events for the final night of smoking on Saturday, while local authorities are preparing to enforce the ban.

Doctors estimate second-hand smoke kills more than 600 people a year.

The government also hopes it will help smokers to quit, and discourage children from taking up the habit.


The new Health Secretary, Alan Johnson, welcomed the ban saying that tackling the causes of illnesses saved lives.

"A smoke-free country will improve the health of thousands of people, reduce the temptation to smoke and encourage smokers to quit," he added.
England's chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson said the ban was a "momentous move" and would prevent the deaths of both smokers and non-smokers.

"We are removing from the air at a stroke 50 cancer causing chemicals, and that's bound to be good news for the exposure to risk," he said.

From Sunday anyone lighting up illegally could be fined £50 - reduced to £30 if it is paid within 15 days.

The figure rises to £200 if an individual is prosecuted and convicted by a court.

Businesses failing to comply with the ban could be hit with fines of up to £2,500.

The ban has prompted protests by smokers and those concerned about what they see as the "nanny state".

A legal challenge to the ban has been launched at the High Court by Freedom2Choose, which says the change in the law contravenes the European Convention on Human Rights.

Smokers from the group defied the ban The Dog Inn in Ewys Harold, near Hereford.

Landlord Tony Blows said he was prepared to go to court.

Mr Blows said: "I'm doing it for the simple reason that this is my home. My wife and I work 200 hours a week in this pub. It's private property and there's no way they can stop us doing it.

"Pubs have been smoking for goodness knows how long and you just can't do that. It's been brought in on the back of a pack of lies."

Decline in sales

Others are worried that the ban will mean the demise of the traditional pub and other social haunts such as middle-eastern style shisha cafes.

Market researchers Nielsen estimate beer sales in England and Wales could drop by 200 million pints each year because of the ban.

However, a survey by the Campaign for Real Ale suggested England's 6.2 million regular drinkers are likely to go out to pubs and bars more often after the ban.

Its study also found that 840,000 people who currently do not go to the pub said they would do so after smoking was made illegal.

Mark Hastings, communications director of the British Beer and Pub Association, said that although the ban may lead to a small decline in beer sales, pubs would also see an increase in the sale of food.

Anger at Prince free CD giveaway

The music industry has reacted angrily at a decision to give away the new album by US musician Prince with a tabloid newspaper.

Planet Earth will be given free with a future edition of the Mail on Sunday.

The 10-track CD from Prince - whose hits include Purple Rain, Sign O' The Times and Cream - is not due to be released until 24 July.

Paul Quirk, co-chairman of the Entertainment Retailers Association, said the decision "beggars belief".

"The Artist formerly known as Prince should know that with behaviour like this he will soon be the Artist Formerly Available in Record Stores," said Mr Quirk, referring to a period in the 1990s when Prince famously stopped using his name in favour of a symbol.

No one has done this before... this is just setting a new level
Stephen Miron, Mail on Sunday MD

"It is an insult to all those record stores who have supported Prince throughout his career.

"It is yet another example of the damaging covermount culture which is destroying any perception of value around recorded music."

The practice of "covermounts" - where newspapers attempt to lure readers with DVDs and CDs - is used widely in the industry.

The Mail on Sunday's recent CD giveaways include Peter Gabriel, Dolly Parton, Duran Duran, UB40 and Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells.

Stephen Miron, the newspaper's managing director, said: "No one has done this before. We have always given away CDs and DVDs, but this is just setting a new level."

Out of business

Mr Miron declined to say how much the newspaper had paid to secure the deal.

He added that the newspaper was not out to put music retailers out of business.

"They are living in the old days and haven't developed their businesses sufficiently. We can enhance their business. They are being incredibly insular and need to move their business on," he said.

But HMV chief executive Simon Fox has said it would be "absolutely nuts" to give the album away for free.

The company revealed on Thursday that its profits had more than halved in the face of cut-price competition from supermarkets and online retailers.

The deal has also led to the UK arm of Sony BMG pulling out of the distribution agreement.

"Given the sheer number of copies we are talking about here it seemed the right thing to do for retailers to become exempt from the deal in the UK," said a spokesman for Sony BMG, the world's second-biggest music company.

Prince is due to play 21 concert dates in London later this year.