jump to navigation

The most respected “Father” and “Child” in the world today December 22, 2005

Posted by Vasudevan in My thoughts.
add a comment

The most beautiful word in this world is, no doubt, “mother”. But the word mother cannot exist without “father” and “children”. In other words, mother is dependent on father and children.

We have heard a lot about mother – her love, affection, forgiveness etc- but, few about father and his child. The topic for discussion today is on a father and a child!

I can see your raised eyebrows now. You must be wondering, why does this guy speak about mother, father and children through a Blog dedicated to Information Technology? Wait, you will figure that out as you read!

Can you tell me what would be the most important thing that a child owes in his life? To me, it is his life to his father! But, the child will begin to realize this only when he get matured (May be by 15 – 20 years). Soon, he will start repaying back to his father.

Let’s keep the philosophies apart for the moment. Now look one of the most respected father and child in the world today. Guess who?

It is Sir. Tim-Berners Lee and his child, World Wide Web (WWW)

Mr. Berners – Lee created WWW in 1989 with an objective provide a space for mankind to share information. The child grew up slowly as a medium for publishing. Later people and organizations around the world built content and started sharing the same. When baby WWW becomes Mr. WWW, people realized its possibilities beyond what they have been doing with it. The energetic WWW began to spread its wings and started imparting its energy to its fellow dependents. Soon, it sowed to grow personal and community networks. Thus Blogs and Web 2.0 services were created.

Mr. WWW is one of the most respected sons in the world today. His father turned old. Now it is his duty to support his father and the time has come to pay back his love.

Yes…. Ladies and gentlemen, Sir. Tim Berners Lee – the father of Mr. WWW – has begun to write his own Blog. This would be the first time that he depended on his child by writing publicly from a personal viewpoint. All these days he was addressing his child’s “customers” through seminars and conferences by being the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium. His Blog addresses “the geeky semantic web stuff mostly”.

Important to say, Mr. Berners’s Blog Dig received 455 comments for his first post.

That is a great honor to Mr. Berners from his child’s customers!

Brief profile of Sir. Tim Berners Lee (Taken from http://www.w3.org)

Tim Berners-Lee is the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium, Senior Researcher at MIT’s CSAIL, and Professor of Computer Science at Southampton ECS.

berners lee.jpg

A graduate of Oxford University, England, Tim now holds the 3Com Founders chair at the Laboratory for Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL)at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He directs the World Wide Web Consortium, an open forum of companies and organizations with the mission to lead the Web to its full potential.

With a background of system design in real-time communications and text processing software development, in 1989 he invented the World Wide Web, an internet-based hypermedia initiative for global information sharing. while working at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory. He wrote the first web client (browser-editor) and server in 1990.

Before coming to CERN, Tim worked with Image Computer Systems, of Ferndown, Dorset, England and before that as a principal engineer with Plessey Telecommunications, in Poole, England.

The Annotatable Audio project: BBC Radio’s web tool to manage billions of audio files December 21, 2005

Posted by Vasudevan in Technology news.
add a comment

In one of my previous posts, – Interactive web services now rocks the internet world – I have described 10 most discussed Web 2.0 services. Surprisingly, even BBC Radio also have an innovative service, but currently not available to the public. The service offers the users to describe, segment and annotate on audio files spread across the Internet. This service has a Wikipedia model as the users can overly cooperate and accrete user-created annotations and metadata.

I warn you, this is a long post. Decide fast to read now or later.

Mr. Tom Coates – a member of BBC Radio & Music Interactive R&D team – describes the purpose of this project as below.

“The media landscape is changing incredibly quickly – ten or twenty years ago in the UK you might have had a choice of a dozen or so radio and television stations broadcasting at any given time. Over the last decade that’s grown to hundreds of stations, plus a variety of on-demand services like Sky Box Office. Over the next few decades, it’s pretty clear that the massive archives of content (that every broadcaster in the world has accrued over the last seventy or eighty years) will start to appear on-demand and on the internet. You can already see the evidence of consumer interest in the sheer number of conventional stations that broadcast repeats, and on the international sales of DVDs across the world. An on-demand archive is going to make the number of choices available to a given individual at any point almost completely unmanageable. And then there’s the user-generated content – the amateur and semi-professional creations, podcasts and the like that are proliferating across the internet. In the longer term there are potentially billions of these media creators in the world.

All of this choice, however, creates some significant problems – how on earth are people expected to navigate all of this content? How are they supposed to find the specific bit of audio or video that they’re looking for? And how are they supposed to discover new programmes or podcasts? And it gets more complicated than that – what if what you’re not looking for is a complete coherent half-hour programme, but a selection of pertinent clips – features on breaking news stories, elements in magazine programmes, particular performances from music shows?”

The team then decided to develop a web interface to let the users to articulate collectively about an audio piece – may be a Radio programme, speech, music, podcast etc – available on the Internet. Anxious to know more about this? OK. Hear from the creator itself!

“imagine yourself as a normal user coming to a page about a particular programme or speech. What you see is a simple interface for playing and scrubbing through the audio at the top of the page with marked ‘segments’ highlighted. If you hover over those segments they brighten up and display the title of that section. If you click on them, it starts the audio playing from that point. This correlates to the sections below which could be filled with any amount of wiki-style content – whether that be links or transcripts or background information or corrections or whatever. Beneath that are tags that users have added to describe the programme concerned. If you click on any of the segment permalinks to the left it starts the audio at that point and changes the URL to an internal anchor so you can throw around links to chunks of a programme or a speech. So basically you get a much richer and fuller experience of the audio that you’d get by just listening to it in a media player. Here’s a screen cap”

annotatable_audio_playback_small.jpg

“But it gets much more exciting when you actually delve a bit deeper. If you want to edit the information around a piece of audio, then just like on a wiki you just click on the ‘edit / annotate’ tab. This brings you up a screen like this:”

audio_annotation_edit_small.jpg

“Here you can zoom into the wave form, scrub around it, and decide either to edit a segment or create a new segment. Once you’ve decided (in this walkthrough I decided to edit a pre-existing segment) you simply click on it, at which point the editing interface appears:”

audio_annotation_edit_open_small.jpg

“And on this screen you can change the beginning and end points of the audio by simply clicking and dragging, you can change the title to something more accurate, add any wiki-style content you wish to in the main text area and add or delete the existing fauxonomic metadata. If you want to delete a segment you can. If you need to keep digging around to explore the audio, you can do so. It’s all amazingly cool, and I’m incredibly proud of the team that made it.

This final screen represents that last core aspect of wiki-like functionality – a history page that allows you to revert back to previous versions of the annotations if someone has defaced the current version:”

audio_annotation_history_small.jpg

I too have some ideas of offering a web service where I will make use of – (technorati tags) “audio, web service, annotation, grouping, community, photos etc etc ….”

Hmmmmm…..No I will not tell you that now. I want to get acquired by Google!

DualCor cPC: A killer mobile computing product for the global enterprises is ready for launch! December 19, 2005

Posted by Vasudevan in My thoughts, Technology news.
add a comment

It’s a cell phone. It’s a computer. It’s the two invaluable companions of the modern executive in one.

CNET News.com

dualcor1.jpg

DualCor Technologies next month will unveil the cPC, a full-fledged handheld Windows XP computer that also comes with a built-in smart phone that runs Windows Mobile 5.0. The cPC is 6.5 inches long, 3.3 inches wide, 1.2 inches thick and has a 5-inch diagonal screen. It will be aimed at sales representatives and executives who travel extensively, said CEO Steven Hanley, who joined the company seven months ago…”

Oh boy…. its really a cool product. A product like this – an hybrid version of mobile phone and a Tablet PC – was long awaited. Nowadays, most mobile staff would not like to carry too many devices (Laptop, PDA, mobile phone and ofcourse an “iPod”) when they are the move. By concept, DualCor cPC would do the magic of replacing 3 different device and deliver value by integrating the functions of all the 3 devices into one. This would definetely mark a new milestone in mobile computing horizon for sure.

The product is powered by two operating systems. Both Windows XP Tablet PC edition and Windows mobile 5.0. The team behind this “mobile wonder” claim that the product supports virtually any Windows XP compatible applications such as MS Office, Outlook mail client, adobe acrobat, SAP, Oracle etc. The device also allows the user to switch between both operating systems with “Zero Lag”.

The cPC has a shared colour touch screen display of 5 inch and supports 800×480 resolution. Its 40GB HDD, 1 GB of DDR2 RAM and 1 GB Nano Flash memory is a lot indeed! The bettery will last for 3 – 8 hours for continuous usage and hundred of hours
on standby. Not over, it provides connectivity through 3 USB ver2.0 Hi- Speed ports (2 Type A and 1 Type B), a mini VGA port for external display (Monitor, projector etc), Compact Flash II and both telephone and stereo headsets.It also has design feature of left and right mouse bottons (easy to operate using thumbs). The physical dimensions are 6.5 x 3.3 x 1.2 inches, may be slightly bigger than a standard Pocket PC.

The cPC comes with a special glass for the display manufactured by LG which is brighter that any other smart phones. They achieved this through a new technology which provides a brightness level of 200 NITS (A unit of photometric luminance equal to one candela/meter^2 or 0.292 fL.)

In a nut shell, the product delivers great values to mobile work force around world through its compelling USP of “Laptop cum PDA cum Mobile Phone in ONE”.

The target price for cPC is $1500 and volume discounts are also available.

But, more than lovers skeptics are all around. It goes on like this…

There are a lot of subsidies out there in the BlackBerry world, so people aren’t used to paying a lot of money for them. Notebooks are going down in price.I don’t know where the magic number is, but it is somewhere in the mid-hundreds.”

Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies.

Neverthless he added, “It pushes the envelope on what devices can do. It will certainly get a lot of raised eyebrows.”