[AI] (Tech Dose of the day) Streaming Media, AbsoluteDeNoiser, Google's Hoaxes, Terracotta, Witricity, Google bomb, and much much more!

vishnu ramchandani vishnuhappy at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 22 23:09:28 EST 2008


Tech Dose of the day

Streaming Media, AbsoluteDeNoiser, Google's Hoaxes,
Terracotta, Witricity, Google bomb.

Contributed by M&E (Media & Entertainment Delivery)
Group (MphasiS Software Services)

Streaming Media 
What is Streaming Media? 
Streaming media is multimedia that is continuously
received by, and normally displayed to, the end-user
while it is being delivered by the provider. The name
refers to the delivery method of the medium rather
than to the medium itself. The distinction is usually
applied to media that are distributed over
telecommunications networks, as most other delivery
systems are either inherently streaming (e.g. radio,
television) or inherently non-streaming (e.g. books,
video cassettes, audio CDs). The verb 'to stream' is
also derived from this term, meaning to deliver media
in this manner.
The advances in computer networking combined with
powerful home computers and modern operating systems
made streaming media practical and affordable for
ordinary consumers. Stand-alone Internet radio devices
are offering listeners a "nocomputer" option for
listening to audio streams. In general, multimedia
content is large, so media storage and transmission
costs are still significant; to offset this somewhat,
media are generally compressed for both storage and
streaming. A media stream can be on-demand or live.
On-demand streams are stored on a server for a long
period of time, and are available to be transmitted at
a user's request. Live streams are only available at
one particular time, as in a video stream of a live
sporting event.
What are the social and legal issues?
Some streaming broadcasters use streaming systems that
interfere with the ability to record streams for later
playback, either inadvertently, through poor choice of
streaming protocol, or deliberately, because they
believe it is to their advantage to do so.
Broadcasters may be concerned that copies will result
in lost sales or that consumers may skip commercials.
Whether users have the ability and the right to record
streams has become a significant issue in the
application of law to cyberspace. In principle, there
is no way to prevent a user from recording a media
stream that has been delivered to their computer.
Thus, the efforts of broadcasters to prevent this
consist of making it inconvenient, or illegal, or
both. Plus, using DRM (Digital Rights Management)
technologies recording the bits that came through can
give some control of the reproductions or plays, so if
you have a file created to a streaming capture, you
will need a license or key to unblock / decrypt the
content. Broadcasters can make it inconvenient to
record a stream, for example, by using unpublished
data formats or by encrypting the stream. Of course,
data formats can be reverse engineered, and encrypted
streams must be decrypted with a key that
resides—somewhere—on the consumer's computer, so these
measures are security through obscurity, at best.
Efforts to make it illegal to record a stream may rely
on copyrights, patents, license agreements, or—in the
United States—the DMCA. 
Further References 
Wikipedia :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streaming_media 
What is streaming video? :
http://searchvoip.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid66_gci213055,00.html

How to create streaming video :
http://www.mediacollege.com/video/streaming/overview.html

AbsoluteDeNoiser  
What is AbsoluteDeNoiser? 
AbsoluteDeNoiser is an easy to use software that
produces very competitive noise reduction filtering
for digital images. It is a Java software that should
run on almost every machine : Windows 98/2000/XP, Mac
Os X, Unix, Linux, etc.
Principle:
Digital cameras or scanners often produce images that
contains noise, especially when using high ISO. This
noise is made of random pixel variations that damage
the picture in different manner, adding unwanted
granular effects. To obtain a good result, this noise
should be removed paying a great attention to :
Image details that often can be removed with noise,
and edges definition that are often blured by basic
noise reduction technics.
Keeping some granularity to avoid the common "plastic"
effect of too much noise removal.
Working:
AbsoluteDeNoiser works in 3 steps : 
Edges detection : this analyse makes a separation
between large surfaces with poor details, and places
where some edges and/or details require a special
attention. The value to tune enables to decide the
sensitivity of the edges detection, thus the amount of
the picture that is to be considered as details/edges
or not. Surfaces and edges will then be processed in
different ways in next steps.
Surfacing : performs a calculation of local color
cohesion to decide, for each pixel, what is the mean
color value in the noise variations arround it,
without merging two different surfaces together. This
step also processes surfaces and edges in two
different ways. The more important is the value that
tunes the surface managment : it is the one that
decides of the effective noise reduction. There is
also a secondary value that tunes the edges managment,
but it should often be kept at a low value to avoid
bluring edges : in some cases it offers the
possibility to reduce some edges pixelisation effects.
Texturing : the step 2 may provide with "too" clean
surfaces where some small details or textures could
have been lost, and possibly a "plastic" effect. This
final filter decides the amount of original pixels
that should be added back to the clean surface to
restore details and textures without re-introducing
the noise that should be removed. A first value tunes
how much part of pixels that was removed in step 2
shows a local regularity, thus how much noise vs
details is to be considered on them. There is also a
secondary value that tunes how much pure granularity,
without special regularity, should be added back
without re-introducing bad strong spots and scratches.
Further References 
http://absolutedenoiser.free.fr/

Google's Hoaxes  
What are Google's Hoaxes? 
Google has a tradition of perpetrating April Fool's
Day hoaxes, which generally have an intellectual sense
of humor.  
Some of the hoaxes:
Google Mentalplex
In 2000, Google announced a new "MentalPlex" search
technology that supposedly read the user's mind to
determine what the user wanted to search for, thus
eliminating the step of actually typing in the search
query. 
PigeonRank
In 2002, Google reveals the technology behind its
PageRank System — PigeonRank. Google touts the
benefits of this cost-effective and efficient means of
ranking pages and reassures readers that there is no
animal cruelty involved in the process. The article
makes many humorous references and puns based on
computer terminology and how Google PageRank really
works. 
Google Copernicus Center
In 2004, fictitious job opportunities for a research
center on the moon. Luna/X (a pun to Linux as well as
a reference to the Windows XP visual style and Mac OS
X) is the name of a new operating system they claimed
to have created for working at the research center. 
Google Gulp
Google Gulp, a fictitious drink, was announced by
Google in 2005. According to the company, this
beverage would optimize one's use of the Google search
engine by increasing the drinker's intelligence. It
was claimed this boost was achieved through real-time
analysis of the user's DNA and carefully tailored
adjustments to neurotransmitters in the brain (a
patented technology termed Auto-Drink). The drink was
said to come in "4 great flavors": Glutamate Grape
(glutamic acid), Sugar-Free Radical (free radicals),
Beta Carroty (beta carotene), and Sero-Tonic Water
(serotonin).
This hoax was likely intended as a parody of Google's
invite-only email service called Gmail. Although
ostensibly free, the company claimed the beverage
could only be obtained by returning the cap of a
Google Gulp bottle to a local grocery store: a causal
loop. In the Google Gulp FAQ, Google replies to the
observation "I mean, isn't this whole invite-only
thing kind of bogus?" by saying "Dude, it's like
you've never even heard of viral marketing." 
Google Romance
On April Fool's Day 2006, Google Romance was announced
on the main Google search page with the introduction,
"Dating is a search problem. Solve it with Google
Romance." It pretends to offer a "Soulmate Search" to
send users on a "Contextual Date". A parody of online
dating, it amusingly had a link for "those who
generally favor the 'throw enough stuff at the wall'
approach to online dating" to Post multiple profiles
with a bulk upload file, you sleaze in addition to
Post your Google Romance profile. Clicking on either
of these gave an error page, which explained that it
was an April Fool's joke and included links to
previous April Fool's Jokes for nostalgia. 
Gmail Paper
At about 10:00 PM Pacific time (where Google has its
headquarters) the day before April 1, 2007, Google
changed the login page for Gmail to announce a new
service called Gmail Paper. The service offered to
allow users of Google's free webmail service to add
e-mails to a "Paper Archive," which Google would print
(on "96% post-consumer organic soybean sputum") and
mail via traditional post. The service would be free,
supported by bold, red advertisements printed on the
back of the printed messages. Image attachments would
also be printed on high-quality glossy paper, though
MP3 and WAV files would not be printed. 
Google TiSP
Google TiSP (short for Toilet Internet Service
Provider) was a fictitious free broadband service
supposedly released by Google. This service would make
use of a standard toilet and sewage lines to provide
free Internet connectivity at a speed of 8 Mbit/s (2
Mbit/s upload) (or up to 32 Mbit/s with a paid plan).
A user would drop a weighted end of a long,
Google-supplied fiber-optic cable in their toilet and
flush it. Around 60 minutes later, the end would be
recovered and connected to the Internet by a "Plumbing
Hardware Dispatcher (PHD)." The user would then
connect their end to a Google-supplied wireless router
and run the Google-supplied installation media on a
Windows XP or Vista computer ("Mac and Linux support
coming soon"). Alternatively, a user could request a
professional installation, in which Google would
deploy nanobots through the plumbing to complete the
process. The free service would be supported by
"discreet DNA sequencing" of "personal bodily output"
to display online ads that relate to culinary
preferences and personal health. Google also
referenced the cola-and-Mentos reaction in their FAQ:
"If you're still experiencing problems, drop eight
mints into the bowl and add a two-liter bottle of diet
soda."  
The non-hoaxes 
Google has chosen April Fool's Day to announce some of
their actual products. This marketing strategy is used
to make people think that the product is a hoax and
spread the word around, and then to surprise them when
they realize that it is real.
Shortly before midnight on March 31, 2004, Google
announced the launch of Gmail. Some believed it was a
hoax, because free web-based e-mail with one gigabyte
of storage was unheard of at the time.
In 2005, Google increased Gmail storage to two
gigabytes and released Google Ride Finder.
On July 20, 2005, the 36th anniversary of the first
human landing on the moon, Google debuted a version of
Google Maps that included a small segment of the
surface of the moon. It is based entirely on NASA
images and includes only a very limited region.
Panning causes the map to tile. Zooming in too much
shows a picture of Swiss cheese. The map also gives
the locations of all moon landings, and the Google
Moon FAQ also humorously mentions a connection to the
Google Copernicus hoax, which Google claimed to be
developing. Supposedly, by 2069, Google Local will
support all lunar businesses and addresses.   
Further References 
http://teck.in/2005/08/googles-april-fools-day-hoaxes.html
http://esteban8a.blogspot.com/2007/04/google-hoaxes.html
http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2004/04/01/google-gmail-april-fools-hoax

Terracotta  
What is Terracotta? 
Terracotta is Network Attached Memory (NAM). NAM is
best suited for storing what we like to call scratch
data. NAM must look just like RAM to the application.
Terracotta coined the term "Network Attached Memory"
to explain what the technology does for Java
applications. 
Terracotta offers IT organizations a lightweight
approach to scalability that lowers costs and
simplifies deployment by reducing development effort
and easing the load on application servers and
databases.  Terracotta uses high-performance mapping
of server memory changes, to share temporary
“work-in-progress” data among servers. That makes an
application highly available without placing such
temporary data in an expensive relational database. It
also provides dramatic cost savings and much higher
performance and scalability than either databases or
application-tier caches. 
"Terracotta takes a smart approach to scalability that
works well with Liferay Portal,” said Bryan Cheung,
Liferay’s chief executive officer. “Our enterprise
users will be pleased with how easily Terracotta
enhances their most performance-critical Liferay
deployments."  
What is its usefulness? 
1. Simple - use what you need at development time, add
high availability at run time. 
2. Fast - share application data within the
application itself. 
3. Reliable - Add high availability to frameworks that
don't have by default. 
4. Saves Time and Money. 
5. Reduce Development Effort and Dependencies on
Application Servers and Frameworks.
Terracotta helps simplify enterprise application
development by providing a purpose-built
infrastructure service. It can be used in the
following cases:
Distributed Caches
Distributed caches shared through Terracotta improve
throughput without changing the code. This is because
sharing cache data across application nodes improves
cache hit rate by allowing one server to populate the
cache on behalf of many.
Hibernate
Terracotta helps to reduce pressure on the database
caused by O/R-mapped applications deployed in a
clustered environment. Use it to cluster your
Hibernate second level cache. 
HTTP Session Clustering
When clustered by Terracotta, web application session
becomes highly available without actually being
replicated to every app server in the cluster. This
leads to scalable applications especially when used in
conjunction with an HTTP load balancer. 
Virtual Heap for Large Datasets
With Terracotta, Java applications can address heap in
excess of one machine's physical RAM. Your JVM can
spill data to the Terracotta Server Cluster. The
Terracotta Servers can, in turn, spill data to disk.
This two-tier system ensures high performance by
keeping data as close to the processing context as
possible. It also makes it possible for 32 bit systems
to access terabytes of data. 
Cluster OSS Frameworks
Terracotta enables developers to build highly
available, highly scalable applications with a variety
of Open Source development frameworks, including some
that do not have built-in high availability features. 
Master Worker
Master - Worker is a design pattern that Terracotta
users leverage to divide and route large workloads
around a grid of JVMs. 
POJO Clustering
Terracotta works with or without a container.
Terracotta works with Open Source and proprietary
frameworks. This is because Network Attached Memory
works with the POJO's in those frameworks and it works
the same for your own POJOs. No Spring beans, getters
and setters, serialization, or other interfaces are
required in order to use the technology. 
Further References 
http://www.terracotta.org/confluence/display/orgsite/What+Is+Terracotta
http://www.terracotta.org/confluence/display/orgsite/How+Terracotta+Works

Witricity  
What is Witricity? 
The highlight of the year was a technology that has
the potential to have a far greater transformative
impact called Witricity. When electric current is
passed through a coil of wire a powerful electronic
field is created around it. Electronic devices would
pick up the power when brought into the room. 
The investigated design consists of two copper coils,
each a self-resonant system. One of the coils,
attached to the power source, is the sending unit.
Instead of irradiating the environment with
electromagnetic waves, it fills the space around it
with a non-radiative magnetic field oscillating at MHz
frequencies. The non-radiative field mediates the
power exchange with the other coil (the receiving
unit), which is specially designed to resonate with
the field. The resonant nature of the process ensures
the strong interaction between the sending unit and
the receiving unit, while the interaction with the
rest of the environment is weak. 
In July 2007, US researchers showed-off a relatively
simple system that could deliver energy to devices,
such as laptop computers, without the need for wires.
The setup, called Witricity, was able to make a 60W
light bulb glow from a distance of 2m (7ft). The bulb
was even made to glow when obstructions such as wood
and metal were placed between the transmitter and
receiver.
What can we see in the future? 
If this technology passes all tests and comes to our
homes one day then we can say that the need for power
cables will end and our cell phones, laptops and PMPs
will never need a battery charge as they will
automatically get charged when you are in a room
transmitting wireless electricity.  
Further References 
MIT News : 
http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2007/wireless-0607.html
Wikipedia : 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WiTricity
Witricity Revolution Information : 
http://www.witricitynet.com/
Mobile & Wireless : 
http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Mobile-and-Wireless/WiTricity-Transmitting-Electricity-Wirelessly/
http://www.instablogs.com/live/scientists-develop-witricity-a-wireless-answer-to-all-your-electricity-problems/

Google bomb  
What is a Google bomb? 
A Google bomb (also referred to as a 'link bomb') is
Internet slang for a certain kind of attempt to
influence the ranking of a given page in results
returned by the Google search engine, often with
humorous or political intentions. Because of the way
that Google's algorithm works, a page will be ranked
higher if the sites that link to that page use
consistent anchor text. A Google bomb is created if a
large number of sites link to the page in this
manner. 
The first Google bomb known about by a significant
number of people was the one that caused the search
term "more evil than Satan himself" to bring up the
Microsoft homepage as the top result. Numerous people
have made claims to having been responsible for the
Microsoft Google bomb, though none have been
verified.  
Types of Google Bombs:
Humor Bombs : Mathes' original Google Bomb remains the
classic of this genre. It's pretty funny to see your
friend come up in Google as the No. 1 talentless hack
in the whole world. Successful humor bombs, like most
Google Bombs, require search key words that don't get
a lot of traffic. 
Ego Bombs : Many bloggers want to be the top search
result for their first name or full name. Free-lance
writer David Gallagher posted this plea on his site:
I've decided that I want to be the most famous David
Gallagher on the Internet, and if you have a Web site,
you can help. How? Link to this site like so: David
Gallagher. 
Money Bombs : So far, no one's paying bloggers to set
off Google Bombs, but the practice is probably
inevitable. Last month, Weblogger Brig Eaton floated
the idea, saying that her father would be willing to
pay to get his site Google Bombed into the No. 1
search result for Santa Cruz real estate. A week and a
few (free) links later, 
www.santacruzrealty.net
had moved from the No 189 Google result to No. 39....
Justice Bombs : Angry Webloggers can mete out
vigilante justice by Google Bombing sites that violate
the bloggers' standards for Internet ethics.  
Further References 
Wikipedia : 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_bomb
http://www.wordspy.com/words/Googlebombing.asp
Google bomb on BBC : 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1868395.stm
Google bomb Watch : 
http://blogoscoped.com/googlebomb/


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