Archive for the ‘ work related ’ Category

Wordless Thursday – History of Marketing

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Is Dell Going to Follow Suite to What Google is doing ?

Past few days there have been unconfirmed reports of DELL having talks with the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh and discussed its intent to move from China into safer Markets. Apparently, DELL sees huge potential in India as the country is playing a dramatic shift towards selling services to business clients after shaking off its singular dependence on direct sales of personal computers, as per the Economic Times. Add to it the fact that India has showed proven growth in the recession when other states have not been able to (finger pointed to China).

The Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, was quoted in the Hindustan Times as saying he’d just met with Dell’s chairman, who would like to move all of their set-up to a country “with security of legal system”. They’ve currently got one factory in India already, so it might seem an obvious choice. Mr. Dell, the founder of Dell is quoted to be saying, “India is a great place to be in. It is growing faster than China for us”. Dell, whose return as CEO in 2007 redefined a hardware company that once championed the direct sales model, sees the Indian market helping its offshoot Dell International Services expand beyond technology and consulting services to healthcare, insurance and governance. In India, the company won a Rs. 90-crore contract from Max Healthcare late last year.

Dell generates annual revenues of nearly $1 billion and has a free cash flow of $4.6 billion from India. “Over the last three years, consumer, public sector and small medium businesses have been growing in India.” On India’s ambitious Unique ID (UID) project, Dell said that he is keen on participating, particularly on aspects such as how it can the used to deliver healthcare by storing patient records. The company is also eyeing the smart phone market. “There’s a huge market to be tapped out there if we go by the smart phone user base,” he said, adding that just 1.5 percent of the world’s 4-billion mobile phone users have a smart phone.

Everyone knows about the Google – China fight and Google to leave China soon. Well after that, GoDaddy the domain registration firm has mentioned that it will leave china as well. Now Dell. Could this be the beginning of a mass exodus. Might be, considering the famous Chinese legislation which might have companies manufacturing in China to provide their schematics

Via Gizmodo via HindustanTimes via SiliconIndia

Zero Baggage Allows Travelers To Fly Without Luggage

One of the biggest pains for passengers, airlines and airports alike is the baggage of people. It is unbelievable the amount of baggage that gets lost or misplaced in a single days operation. In fact this article in the telegraph puts the number at close to 2.5 Million a year. Considering the fact that all airlines have to pay an amount to people who miss or misplace baggage it is a major issue for everyone. A new startup Zero Baggage has come up with a system that allows travellers to fly without luggage.

Zero Baggage aims to change the travel experience by letting its users fly without checked luggage, borrowing items from local suppliers through the duration of their trips. Zero Baggage also has novel perks that come along with the service; users accrue carbon credits for traveling light, which can be reimbursed for various services such as a spa trip or dinner. Members of Zero Baggage can also opt to buy new items, or store personal effects at frequently visited places. The service also has a community feature, which enables travelers to connect with people at their destination. Zero Baggage will start its services in November 2010. I am really looking forward to seeing this work, should be one of those interesting technologies that may help revolutionize travel if it works, or just fail otherwise.

Here’s a video on how the service works:

You can also check out their service at : http://zerobaggage.com/index.html

Source via pfsk

New Invention for Sleep at Airports

The airport Industry is considered the peak in commercial automation in terms of the technologies in use, of course there is Industrial Automation, Military Automation as the other parts or you could say peaks. But in Commercial Automation, working on an Airport is like working on a Spacecraft. The airports often throw up technologies and or gadgets that may in fact one day move into daily life a few examples of these would be travelators, escalators, and image recognition through security cameras etc. I am working on the Dubai Airport expansion project and recently came across this interesting little device from the consultants who have designed the Dubai Airport, Airport De Paris International (ADPi) that they have installed in the Paris Airport as a sample.

Sleep Machines, that allow people to sleep or rest while they wait for flights these seem like amazing machines. It looks just right, the perfect place to catch up on your sleep between long flights. We like its clever design, with sheets that are automatically changed by winding from one roller to another, just like a conveyor belt. Each Sleep Box is decked out with an LCD display, Wi-Fi, a place to stash your luggage, and plenty of sockets for charging up your laptop and cell phone. Sure beats sleeping in a chair. Check out the pictures of the same here below and also the video below.

How technology is helping rebuild places like Haiti

[tweetmeme] The greatest perils of modern human life is the reaction to “Acts of God”, no one knows when these will actually happen and however ready we humans seem to be to react to these earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes etc, we never seem to be ready enough. Haiti and the earthquake there has just proved it even more. Scientists are working all over the world to actually come up with a solution for early warning solutions, while that seems to be eluding us; there is another aspect of this problem that technology is really helping with, and that is rehabilitation and rebuilding, and they are doing it in a way that is ecologically sustainable.

[picapp align=”none” wrap=”false” link=”term=haiti+earthquake&iid=8080515″ src=”7/e/c/2/Haitians_Continue_To_c270.jpg?adImageId=10822790&imageId=8080515″ width=”500″ height=”333″ /]

Containerization has revolutionized cargo shipping. Today, approximately 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide moves by containers stacked on transport ships. The humble containers are now moving not just goods, but are getting to provide safe housing and quick. Shipping container architecture is a form of architecture using steel intermodal containers (shipping containers) as structural element, because of their inherent strength, wide availability and relatively low cost. There are inherit advantages to this soltuion if using shipping containers, Strength and Durability, Modular,  Transport, Availability and the obvious, Cost . The other side of the coin is actually that there is a downside which are, Temperature inside the cabin, Building permits to use this might be a problem, and others. However in places like Haiti where massive rebuilding needs to happen and quickly, these seem to be what the doctor ordered.

[picapp align=”none” wrap=”false” link=”term=shipping+container&iid=287541″ src=”0284/b2d83c5e-cc7d-48cc-a9c0-218d490248d7.jpg?adImageId=10822664&imageId=287541″ width=”477″ height=”480″ /]

Researchers at Clemson University are scurrying to figure out how to turn their project, known as SEED, into a way to contribute emergency housing to Haiti right now. SEED was initially conceived as a way to utilize some of the estimated 30 million shipping containers that were languishing in ports all over the world by turning them into homes for victims of hurricanes in both the Caribbean Islands and the United States. The design from SEED optimizes the usage of the container where it is simply cut in a few strategic places to allow for airflow and light while it is still in the port, then transported to the site for further modifications such as a coated with ceramic paint for insulation and fitted with wooden shipping pallets that act as “pods” for bathing and cooking.

Additionally, the containers are augmented with another surplus item: 55 gallon drums fitted with an interior slip to protect against leaching. On the roof of the container they become the real “seeds” of the project” filled with dirt and planted for “emergency food restoration.” Christensen says other surplus items such as old tires can also be made into raised beds for growing food.

Interestingly, the idea of using Shipping containers for housing has been around for a long time, in fact its very pracical usage is the Data Centers, Google maximizing the usage of these. Well housing is not something new as well, in fact if you scout the web, you will really find awesome examples of these containers. Check out some awesomely designed examples below:

all terrain cabin 10 Brilliant, Boxy and Sustainable Shipping Container Homes

mobile dwelling unit

port a bach 10 Brilliant, Boxy and Sustainable Shipping Container Homes

12 container house 10 Brilliant, Boxy and Sustainable Shipping Container Homes

If you are interested more, you could check out these great lists with more of these shipping container styled housing designs :

How to mess up your computer ?

[tweetmeme] A lot of “IT Guys”, including friends of mine have been helping most people around with information regarding how to save the computer crashes, Data, Operating System management etc. But there is definitely one thing that we cannot help do, and that is prevention. As the saying goes “Prevention is better than cure”.

Keeping this in mind I wanted to put together a list of everyday things that might mess up your computer, without any more bullshit, here are the 9 things that you should do if you want to mess up your computer.

  1. Surf the Internet without a Firewall : Many internet users mostly at home plug their computers right into their cable or DSL modems and hop onto the Internet without realizing that they’re putting themselves at risk from viruses and attackers. Every Internet-connected computer should be protected by a firewall; this can be a firewall built into the broadband modem or router, a separate firewall appliance that sits between the modem/router and the computer, a server at the network’s edge running firewall software, or personal firewall software installed on the computer (such as ICF/Windows Firewall built into Windows XP or a third-party firewall program like Kerio or ZoneAlarm). One advantage of personal firewalls on laptop computers is that they’re still with you when you take the computer on the road and plug into a hotel’s DSL or cable port or connect to a wireless hotspot. Just having a firewall isn’t enough, though. You must also be sure it’s turned on and configured properly to protect you.
  2. Neglect to run or Update Antivirus and/or Anti Spyware programs : Let’s face it: Antivirus programs can be a royal pain. They’re always blocking some application you want to use, you often have to disable them to install new software, and they have to be updated on a regular basis to do any good. Seems like the subscription is always expiring and prompting you to renew it–for a fee, in many cases. But in today’s environment, you can’t afford to go without virus protection. The malicious programs that AV software detects–viruses, Trojans, worms, etc.–can not only wreak havoc on your system but can spread via your computer to the rest of the network. In extreme cases, they can bring down the whole network. Spyware is another growing threat; these are programs that install themselves on your computer (usually without your knowledge) and collect information from your system that is then sent back to the spyware program’s author or vendor. Antivirus programs often don’t address spyware so it’s important to run a dedicated spyware detection and removal program.
  3. Install and uninstall lots of programs : There are so many freeware and shareware programs made available as Internet downloads by their authors. We know we all do it, but some users even install pirated software or “warez.” The more programs you install, the more likely you are to run across ones that either include malicious code or that are poorly written and cause your system to behave improperly or crash. The risk is greater with pirated programs. en if you install only licensed, final-release commercial software, too many installations and uninstallations can gunk up the registry. Not all uninstall routines completely remove program remnants and at the least, this practice can cause your system to slow down over time. You should install only the programs that you really need, stick with legitimate software, and try to minimize the number you install and uninstall.
  4. Keep disks full and fragmented : One of the results of installing and uninstalling lots of programs (or adding and deleting data of any kind) is that it fragments your disk. Disk fragmentation occurs because of the way information is stored on the disk: On a new, clean disk, when you save a file it’s stored in contiguous sections called clusters. If you delete a file that takes up, for example, five clusters, and then save a new file that takes eight clusters, the first five clusters’ worth of data will be saved in the empty space left by the deletion and the remaining three will be saved in the next empty spaces. That makes the file fragmented, or divided. To access that file, then, the disk’s read heads won’t find all the parts of the file together but must go to different locations on the disk to retrieve it all. That makes it slower to access. If the file is part of a program, the program will run more slowly. A badly fragmented disk will slow down to a crawl. You can use the disk defragmenter built into Windows (Programs | Accessories | System Tools) or a third-party defrag program to rearrange these pieces of files so that they’re placed contiguously on the disk.Another common cause of performance problems and application misbehavior is a disk that’s too full. Many programs create temporary files and need extra free space on the disk to operate. You can use Windows XP’s Disk Cleanup Tool or a third-party program to find and delete rarely used files, or you can manually delete files to clear space on your disk.
  5. Open all attachments : Some folks just can’t help themselves: Getting an e-mail message with an attachment is like getting an unexpected gift. You just have to peek inside to see what it is. But just as that package left on your doorstep could contain a bomb, that file attached to your mail message could contain code that will delete your documents or system folder or send viruses to everyone in your address book. The most blatantly dangerous attachments are executable files–those that run code–with extensions like .exe, .cmd, and many others (see http://antivirus.about.com/od/securitytips/a/fileextview.htm for a list of file extensions for different types of executables). Files that aren’t themselves executables, such as Word .doc files and Excel .xls files, can contain embedded macros. Scripts (Visual Basic, JavaScript, Flash, etc.) aren’t directly executed by the computer but are run by other programs. It used to be that you could assume plain text (.txt) or graphics (.gif, .jpg, .bmp) files were safe, but not anymore. File extensions can be spoofed; attackers take advantage of the Windows default setting that doesn’t display common file extensions to name executables something like greatfile.jpg.exe. With the real extension hidden, it shows up as greatfile.jpg. So the recipient thinks it’s a graphic, but it’s actually a malicious program. You should open attachments only when they’re from trusted sources and only when you’re expecting them. Even if the mail with the attachment appears to come from someone you trust, it’s possible that someone spoofed their address or that their computer is infected with a virus that sent the attachment to you without their knowledge.
  6. Click on everything : Opening attachments isn’t the only type of mouse click that can get you in trouble. Clicking on hyperlinks in e-mail messages or on Web pages can take you to Web sites that have embedded ActiveX controls or scripts that can perform all sorts of malicious activities, from wiping your hard disk to installing a backdoor program on your computer that a hacker can use to get in and take control of it. Clicking the wrong link can also take you to inappropriate Web sites that feature pornography, pirated music or software, or other content that can get you in trouble if you’re using a computer on the job or even get you in trouble with the law. Don’t give in to “click mania.” Think before you click a link. Links can also be disguised in phishing messages or on Web sites to appear to take you to a different site from the ones they really point to. For example, the link might say http://www.safesite.com, but it actually takes you to http://www.gotcha.com. You can often find out the real URL by hovering over the link without clicking it.
  7. Pick the wrong passwords : That brings us to another common mistake that can expose you to attacks: picking the wrong password. Even if you don’t belong to a network where the administrator forces you to select strong passwords and change them regularly, you should do so. Don’t pick passwords that are easy to guess, such as your birthdate, loved one’s name, etc. Longer passwords are harder to crack, so make your password at least eight characters long; 14 is even better. Popular password-cracking methods use “dictionary” attacks, so don’t use words that are in the dictionary. Passwords should contain a combination of alpha, numeric, and symbol characters for best security. A long string of nonsense characters may create a password that’s tough to crack, but if you can’t remember it, you’ll defeat the purpose by writing it down (where an intruder may be able to find it). Instead, create a phrase you can remember easily and use the first letters of each word, along with logical numbers and symbols. For example: “My cat ate a mouse on the 5th day of June” becomes “Mc8amot5doJ.”
  8. Ignore the need for a backup and recovery plan : Even if you follow all these suggestions, an attacker may crash your system or your data may be corrupted or get wiped out by a hardware problem. That’s why it’s essential that you always back up your important information and have a plan for recovering from a system failure. Most computer users know they should back up, but many never get around to it. Or they make an initial backup but don’t update it regularly. Use the built-in Windows backup program (Ntbackup.exe in Windows NT, 2000, and XP) or a third-party backup program and schedule backups to occur automatically. Store backed up data on a network server or removable drive in a location away from the computer itself, in case of a natural disaster like flood, fire, or tornado.Remember that the data is the most important thing on your computer. The operating system can be reinstalled and so can applications, but it may be difficult or impossible to recreate your original data. Nonetheless, you can save time and frustration by backing up your system information too. You can create mirror images of your disks using popular ghost or clone programs. This will allow you to restore the system quickly instead of going through the tedious installation process.
  9. Plug into the wall without surge protection : Here’s one that actually can physically destroy your computer equipment, as well as the data it holds. You may think your systems are in danger only during an electrical storm, but anything that interrupts the electrical circuit and then starts the current back again can fry your components. Something as simple as someone turning on an appliance that’s plugged into the same circuit (especially a high voltage one such as a hair dryer, electric heater, or air conditioner) can cause a surge, or a surge may be caused by a tree limb touching a power line. If you have a power outage, you may experience a surge when the electricity comes back on. You can protect your systems against damage from power surges by always using a surge protector, but it’s important to be aware that most cheap surge protectors will survive only a single surge and need to be replaced afterward. An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) is better than a surge protector; it has a battery that keeps power flowing smoothly even when there’s an outage, to give you time to gracefully shut down.

I really again wanna remind you all that, well there are tools that are available for going about fixing your computer and I will come through with it, in later posts. But for now, this is your list of things not to do 🙂

Burj Khalifa is NOT the tallest …

[tweetmeme]  The massive Burj Khalifa here in Dubai officially opened after nearly 5 years of work including some from yours truly, It succeeded Taipei 101 as the world’s tallest building. There is no disputing its preposterous height: At 169 stories, or 2,717 feet, the $4.1 billion tower stands a little more than half a mile high. But not everyone agrees that it qualifies as the tallest manmade structure. And suppose it does? Given how fast the Dubai boom bubble has bust, it’s hard not to think of the building as a monument to the false economies of the 2000s.

Countries on the verge of economic ascendancy can be relied on to build the tallest structure in the world as an expression of their ambition. It was true of America when the Empire State Building topped out in 1931, as it was Kuala Lumpur in the late 1990s and Taiwan in the mid-2000s. It was almost inevitable that the Middle East would steal the crown. The problem, of course, is that over the past six years Dubai had become the poster child of the maligned borrow-and-build approach to prosperity. Shares of Emaar Properties, the tower’s developer, have dropped 86% since Dubai real estate peaked about a year ago. The structure had previously been known as Burj Dubai, but at the ribbon cutting ceremony it was officially renamed Burj Khalifa in honor of Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi or so is the official word on it. It might as well be a cost that Dubai had to pay to try and spread its wings before the economy had developed.

Living here in Dubai we all kind of know that, 90% of the tower’s 1,044 condo apartments have been sold, but most were bought as investments and will likely go unoccupied for the time being. The first residents are supposed to move in later this month, but the real-estate crash may cause a good number of buyers to abandon their deals. Nor will there be much demand for the thirty-seven floors set aside for offices. Burj Khalifa may be a shining spiral edifice on the outside, but it’s interiors will be 3.7 million square feet of emptiness, a vertical ghost town. It’s the architectural equivalent of Pamela Anderson’s breasts a puffed up esthetic for an era of disingenuous.

However, it may not be the tallest structure, depending on the type of measurement. The Ursa tension leg platform (pictured above), an oil production facility 130 miles southeast of New Orleans owned by Shell Oil, has a total height of 4,285 feet from the sea floor. However, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, an obscure coterie of engineers that presides over height statistics, does not consider an oil platform a building because it extends underwater, has minimal habitation and supports itself with tethers. So for now, Dubai holds the record, however dubious it may seem.