AeroMobil is a “flying car” that perfectly makes use of existing infrastructure created for automobiles and planes, and opens doors to real door-to-door travel. In terms of automobile configuration, it fits to a standard parking space, its engine enables it to tank at any gas station, it is fully accustomed to road traffic and as a plane it could both take off and land at any airport in the world.
As the internet closes in on speeds of 1 Gigabit, or 1,000 Mb, per second, it is expected to unleash a new set of applications, significantly altering the online as well as the offline existence of individuals and companies, impacting education, health care and business. However, it could widen the digital divide.
According to research conducted by US-based think-tank Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center, there will be changes across all aspects of life as internet connectivity advances by 2025. About 1,400 people, most of whom are technology experts in various fields, were asked for their thoughts on how they see the world changing in the mega-speed era.
Hyper-personalised interactions with information and surroundings are expected along with vivid telepresence and video, immersive virtual reality environments and a deepening dependence on machines. People are also expected to tap into vast stores of information as they navigate their lives, said most experts.
Gigabit connections are 50-100 times faster than the average fixed-line speed but are still quite limited in the US. Globally, cloud service provider Akamai reports, that the average global connection speed in quarter one of 2014 was 3.9 Mbps, with South Korea reporting the highest average connection speed, 23.6 Mbps and the US 10.5 Mbps. India, on the flip side, lags far behind not just in speed but also in terms of usage.
Marti Hearst, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley, summarised the predictions of the Gigabit age by categorising these into different areas. “Entertainment: You play sports and music virtually, distributed across the globe. Co-living: You have virtual Thanksgiving dinner with the other side of the family. Work: Finally, we greatly reduce flying around for meetings because virtual conferencing feels real. Health care: Remote assessment, treatment, and surgery. More generally, more interaction will be done with others remotely. For example, your golf lesson could be done with a coach remotely, in real time, while he or she watches your swing at the tee and has you make corrections and adjust your grip.”
In the past every major advance in bandwidth has brought new innovation that has led to new services and applications to digital life. “In the internet’s early days, slow modems facilitated email; faster dial-up modems helped websites become usable; early broadband rollout allowed for quicker sharing of relatively big files such as the MP3 music files that were shared on the first peer-to-peer services like Napster; later broadband advances allowed for streaming activities that have given rise to services like YouTube, Amazon Prime, and Netflix,” the report said.
With higher internet speeds, the connection between humans and technology will tighten as machines gather, assess, and display real-time personalised information in an “always-on” environment. This integration will affect many activities-including thinking, the documentation of life events (‘life-logging’), and coordination of daily schedules.
Laurel Papworth, a social media educator, said the Lost Generation had to manually document their lives but we are looking at full video lifestreaming in the near future. “Lifestreaming from ultrasound to final illness (and beyond if we add intelligent bots to the life data) will be the killer app. The challenge going forward is to live a full life. No one will be able to sit around in their underwear watching TV if their lives are being streamed for current and future generations.” He added that there is a small possibility that by 2025 behaviour will have normalised (back to passive – not caring of opinion of watchers) but more likely that will take more time.
However, Rex Troumbley, a graduate research assistant at the University of Hawaii at Manoa added a word of caution about the widening digital divide.
“We should not expect these bandwidth increases to be evenly distributed, and many who cannot afford access to increased bandwidth will be left with low-bandwidth options. We may see a new class divergence between those able to access immersive media, online telepathy, human consciousness uploads, and remote computing while the poor will be left with the low-bandwidth experiences we typically use today,” he said.
Internet giant Google started a project to build its Google Fiber network running at 1 Gigabit per second and Kansas City was chosen among 1,100 communities that pitched to be part of the project. Google is now planning to build similar networks in Austin, Texas, and 34 more communities.
A coalition of technology companies says it has disrupted a hacking campaign linked to Chinese intelligence, demonstrating for the first time a private-sector model that they believe can move faster than investigations by law enforcement agencies.
The hackers have used tools found in some of the most sophisticated spying operations linked to China, including a 2010 attack on Google Inc and the theft of some of the US’s most valuable technology. Malicious code used by the hackers has been removed from 43,000 computers worldwide since October 14, according to a report the coalition is releasing on Tuesday. The take-down largely bypassed traditional law enforcement tools, relying instead on cooperation between companies that are normally fierce competitors. Coalition members — which include Microsoft Corp, Cisco Inc and Symantec Corp — say they can act faster than governments because they operate global internet systems and have business relationships with tens of thousands of companies.
“We believe this is a first-of-its-kind effort,” said Peter LaMontagne, chief executive officer of Novetta Solutions LLC, a cyber-security company based in McLean, Virginia, that is part of the coalition. “The security industry is starting to raise the bar, or hopefully forcing hostile actors to have to spend more of their resources” to continue attacks.
The coalition includes software providers, rising stars in the security industry and firms that manufacture the hardware from which the internet is built.
FireEye Inc, iSight Partners and other companies that are part of the effort are challenging Chinese hackers who have operated for more than six years stealing secrets from governments, technology manufacturers and thousands of other companies in the United States, Asia and Europe, according to the report. “This demonstrates a greater degree of coherence and effectiveness on the part of the private sector than we’ve seen up to now,” said Zachary Goldman, executive director of the Center on Law and Security at the New York University School of Law, who wasn’t involved in the effort.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and other Obama administration officials have repeatedly listed China as one of the top hacking threats to the US during congressional hearings and in public speeches.
Companies have complained for years that the government collects information on state-sponsored perpetrators for intelligence purposes but doesn’t do enough to stop them.
“What’s different here is the priority is stopping the harm as opposed to imposing consequences on the perpetrator,” Goldman said.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation issued an alert on October 15 warning the makers of microchips, computer networking equipment and data storage services that Chinese hackers are trying to steal their secrets. The alert was done in coordination with the private-sector coalition and took aim at the same sophisticated hacking group, according to a representative of a coalition member who asked for anonymity to discuss a private matter.
The alert indicates Beijing-backed hackers continue to operate even after US prosecutors in May won an indictment of five Chinese military officials for stealing trade secrets from American companies.
“The FBI has recently observed online intrusions that we attribute to Chinese government affiliated actors,” said Joshua Campbell, an FBI spokesman, in an e-mail. “Private-sector security firms have also identified similar intrusions and have released defensive information related to those intrusions.”
The hackers, dubbed Axiom by the coalition, have used customised malicious code and a global network of compromised computers to conduct espionage and extract sensitive government documents and corporate trade secrets, according to the report.
The report doesn’t list victims though says they include technology companies and government agencies, pharmaceutical and energy companies, media organisations and pro-democracy dissidents opposed to the Chinese government.
China’s ministry of state security, the intelligence and security arm of the government, likely tasked Axiom with carrying out some of its most secretive attacks using custom malware known as HiKit, according to LaMontagne.
The FBI alert this month said the hackers were using HiKit, indicating the same group the coalition has uncovered.
The malware allows data to be uploaded and downloaded on compromised computers and has been found on 180 machines since October 14, LaMontagne said.
“The fact the primary beneficiary of information stolen in these campaigns is not military or directly financial, but rather intelligence benefiting Chinese domestic and international policies, is highly telling and implies the Chinese intelligence apparatus could be behind such attacks,” according to the report.
Axiom is more sophisticated and stealthier than other Chinese-based hackers, the report said. Hackers linked to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army were identified in 2013 by cyber-security company Mandiant Corp because they allowed their names to be known through online forums and by registering internet domains.
“In contrast, there have been no identified mistakes in operational security on the part of Axiom operators to date,” the report said.
The setback to the hackers may only be temporary, the companies say. The hackers have been ejected from tens of thousands of computers and their malware will now be harder to hide from security tools, said Brian Bartholomew, a senior intelligence analyst at iSight Partners, a Dallas-based security firm and a member of the coalition. They can build new infiltration tools but that is a costly and time-consuming task, he said.
“Information on individuals stored by Western and Asian government entities has also been targeted by Axiom,” according to the report. “Information held by these organisations include details on individuals with access to confidential or classified information, which would be extremely useful for intelligence and counter-intelligence operations.”
A link also exists between Axiom and the high-profile attack in 2010 called Operation Aurora that targeted the networks of Google, Yahoo! Inc, Adobe Systems Inc and dozens of other prominent technology companies, LaMontagne said in an interview.
The coalition has sent technical information to companies and government agencies about how Axiom operates through 64 security firms in 22 countries.
“We were able to sit down, put aside the secret-sauce speech that everyone normally gives and says, for the greater good, let’s share everything that we have,” Bartholomew said. “The private sector has some reach and access that law enforcement doesn’t.”
The coalition will continue to monitor the impact its efforts are having on Axiom.
“The big question: Is this going to shut them?” Bartholomew said. “The consensus is probably not, but it’s a good effort at throwing a wrench in their operations. They’re going to have to reboot and develop all new malware.”
Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s embassy in Washington, said Chinese law stops internet crime and the country is a victim of hacking attacks.
“Judging from experience, this kind of reports or allegations is usually fictitious,” Shuang said in an e-mail.
He said, “Groundless accusations at others is not constructive at all and does not contribute to the solution of the issue.”
YouTube, the popular online video service owned by Google, is planning to offer a paid, ad-free version, the head of the site said.
The move would represent a significant change for the world’s No. 1 online video website, whose free videos, often accompanied by short commercials, attract more than 1 billion users a month.
“There are going to be cases where people are going to say ‘I don’t want to see the ads or I want to have a different kind of experience’,” Susan Wojcicki, a Google senior vice president who heads the YouTube business, said at the Code/Mobile technology conference in Half Moon Bay, California late on Monday.
Wojcicki, who became the head of YouTube in February after several years overseeing Google’s multibillion-dollar advertising business, said a paid video service was “near-term” but provided few details, including how much a subscription would cost.
In May 2013, YouTube launched a pilot program that allowed individual content creators to charge consumers a subscription fee to access a particular “channel” of videos. Wojcicki on Monday described a broader subscription service in which consumers would pay to access an ad-free version of YouTube’s vast collection of videos.
“We’re early in that process. But if you look at media over time, most of them have both ads and subscription,” he said.
Microsoft has dropped a huge bomb today by disclosing that calls placed to and from Skype to mobile phones and landlines in India will be discontinued from early next month. So if you mainly use the service to make calls within the country, we’d recommend against renewing your subscription.
Microsoft will pull the plug on the service on November 10. To make things clear, only calls made to landlines and mobile phones from within India are being restricted. This means that you’ll still be able to contact others outside the country via Skype and even receive or make calls to India from other locations outside the borders.
Skype-to-Skype calling which is absolutely free won’t be affected either and you can continue using credit to send text messages to contacts. Microsoft hasn’t provided a reason behind this decision, but Medianama notes that it’s most likely due to legal reasons.
The publication explains that calls between PCs and IPs in the country are currently permitted, but not if they originate from within India and are terminated on a mobile phone or landline. Companies have been working around this issue by simply routing calls which have been originated from an IP in India internationally and finally terminated on a mobile phone or landline.
So until November 10, you’ll be able to continue using your Skype Credit to make calls to phones and landlines in India. For reminder’s sake, be sure to cancel your subscription if you plan on using the calling service in the country only. More information and assistance on how to close your subscription can be found on the company’s support website.
Setting up public Wi-Fi hotspots is all the rage now, with a station in the city of Bangalore being the first one in India to offer the facility. The service has been rolled out by Railwire which happens to be the retail broadband initiative of RailTel Corporation of India. The latter is a Public Sector Undertaking controlled by the Railway Ministry.
It is the Bangalore City railway station which ferries about passengers through the Silicon Valley of India, that has started delivering high speed Internet access to travelers. Before this, we’ve seen public Wi-Fi hotspots being announced for Hyderabad and Connaught Place in Delhi. But the capital of Karnataka was also the first city in the country to deliver such a facility in several key areas.
As is the regular practice, users will be able to surf the web on their mobile devices over Wi-Fi only for a limited period of time. In this case, it is 30 minutes, which isn’t too bad. Those who need more bandwidth will be required to purchase scratch cards (similar to those recharge vouchers for your phone) from the provided Wi-Fi Help Desk, says a post onNDTV.
The price plans for additional data cover Rs 25 for 30 minutes extra and Rs 35 for one more hour. The top-up is valid for an entire day, that’s 4 hours. If you don’t want to trouble yourself with the task of going to the aforementioned help desk, you can buy yourself added browsing time online with a credit or debit card, providing you still have enough bandwidth left to do so.
You may also like: Bangalore is officially the first Indian city to offer free Wi-Fi
After Bangalore, RailTel has been charged with the task of distributing Internet bandwidth through Wi-Fi at important stations. The order comes directly from the Railway Ministry, though no stations have been named as the next ones set to receive wireless web connectivity.
Last Updated 10/29/2014, 5:30:00 AM (India Standard Time)
Location 18.5N 298E Movement N at 8 mph
Very Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘NILOFAR’ over westcentral Arabian Sea.
The very severe cyclonic storm, ‘NILOFAR’ over westcentral Arabian Sea moved north- northwestwards in past 06 hours and lay centred at 0830 hours IST of 28th October, 2014 near latitude 15.80 N and longitude 61.70 E, about 1110 km southwest of Naliya (Gujarat), 1150 km south-southwest of Karachi (Pakistan) and 820 km east-southeast of Salalah (Oman). It would move north-northwestwards during next 12 hrs and then gradually recurve northeastwards and cross north Gujarat and adjoining Pakistan coast around Naliya by 01st November forenoon. However, as the system would come closer to Gujarat coast, it would weaken and cross the coast as a cyclonic storm.
Under the influence of this system, rainfall at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy falls would commence along coastal districts of Saurashtra and Kutch from 31st October night. Squally winds speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph would commence along and off Gujarat coast from 31st October night and would become 80-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph at the time of landfall. Sea condition along and off Gujarat coast will be rough to very rough from 31st October night and would become high from morning of 1st November.
Damage expected: Damage to thatched roofs and huts. Minor damage to power and communication lines due to uprooting of trees and breaking of tree branches.
Fishermen out at sea along and off Gujarat coast should return to the coast. Total suspension of fishing operations. Coastal hutment dwellers to be moved to safer places. People in affected areas to remain indoors around landfall time.
Watch Satellite Images of Nilofar Cyclone Here:http://www.imd.gov.in/section/satmet/dynamic/insatsector-ir.htm
Check Latest track/position of Nilofar Cyclone Here :http://www.rsmcnewdelhi.imd.gov.in/index.php?lang=en
Check here Nilofar Cyclone Update and prediction of next 5 days: http://www.wunderground.com/wundermap/?lat=14.2&lon=62.9&zoom=6&rad=0&wxsn=0&svr=0&cams=0&sat=0&riv=0&mm=0&hur=1&hur.wr=0&hur.cod=1&hur.fx=1&hur.obs=1&fire=0&ft=0&sl=0
Latest Bulletin from IMD: http://rsmcnewdelhi.imd.gov.in/images/cyclone_pdfs/indian_1414331982.pdf
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Washington, Oct 18 (ANI): Search engine giant Google is reportedly set to roll out a new stricter update to fight against the most notorious pirate sites next week.
Google said that they have now refined the signal in ways that they expect to visibly affect the rankings of some of the most notorious sites.
It’s also extending this system to demoting auto-complete predictions that return results with many Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) demoted sites.
However, the Search already outright removes auto-complete suggestions that explicitly encourage piracy, making this a relatively small change in the larger anti- piracy scheme; it sounds like the demotion of ‘notorious’ sites may be more dramatic. (ANI)
TOKYO — A planned $10 billion Russian high-speed rail system is a key project covered under the strengthened cooperation that Russia and China agreed to Monday.
The China Railway Construction Corp., railcar manufacturer CSR and other government-owned Chinese companies will help link Moscow to Kazan, about 770km east of the capital. With a maximum speed of 400kph, this would be Russia’s first high-speed rail system. The plan is to begin operations in 2018 before the World Cup soccer tournament.
The Chinese side will not only help build tracks and stations as well as provide cutting-edge tech in railcars and related systems, but also offer low-interest loans to finance the construction.
“We will work to build a high-speed transportation network to connect Beijing and Moscow,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said.
Russia is working to put a system with 5,000km of track in place by 2030 but lacks unique technologies of its own. China, meanwhile, has built the world’s largest high-speed rail system by adopting technologies from Japan and Germany. It will likely be involved in future Russian rail projects as well.