- latest science and technology news stories

This blog discusses the experiences of a consulting professional currently working at EmPower Research, a firm that provides decision support services to clients through offices in NYC, San Francisco and Bangalore, India.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Among top 10 transport trends in 2010, I like cars that drive (and stop) on their own: autonomous cars! Even Google is on this.
For free software, visit daily. They give away one software FREE every day. They give games free too. Enjoy.....
The 10 Things That Science Fiction Promised That DID HAPPEN in 2010 Are Here. Enjoy a thrilling read.
Here is how Malawi succeeded in putting behind drought and becoming a food-surplus nation.
A journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step. In case of food security, Malawi has shown the way with success in cropping management
Forrester has named EmPower Research among one of the "vendors with proprietary social analytics tools and professional consulting teams that write custom research reports based on social media data".

Great news to end 2010 with and to begin 2011 with. Read on here for more.
Forrester rates EmPower Research as a vendor with proprietary social analytics tools and professional consulting teams for custom research.
Here is hoping stem cell transplants become as common as band-aid in the future so that more diseases can be cured predictably.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New York, are you ready to welcome the new taxi in your city? Bye bye, Ford Crown Victory..we will miss you.
The "Rasputin" of Boney M is no more. RIP, Daddy Cool.
Stem-cell transplant cures man of HIV - for the first time in the world. Great news. What next?
The next 5 predictions to watch out for - says IBM. Here is hoping these become reality rather than wishful thinking!
Sahara can fuel 50% of world's electricity if these two solar power projects take-off. Let's hope they do!
Hilarious take on one's personality basis the email client used.
DYK that comp-aided "algorithm" trading makes up 70% of volume on Wall St. Wow - that is so scary! AI alert!
Now man makes a machine that mimics how plants break down sunlight. This can transform energy acquisition, going forward. Kudos!
Hats off to JK Rowling. The sport that she wrote about - Quidditch, is now going mainstream. Amazing to see that.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

DYK that computer-aided "algorithm" trading accounts for about 70% of trade volume on Wall Street. Wow - that is so scary! AI alert!
Want to know what fidgetal, misApp, wikisqueak, dreadsheet or disgracebook mean? Read on. Hilarious take on new words!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Moving into a new larger office is just a GREAT FEELING. Congrats EmPower on another SMILESTONE! Here is a toast to many more in the offing!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Was appalled to see poor service on Shatabdi Exp. from Mysore to Blr. Sadly, rlwy employees don't know what premium service means! Awful!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

An excellent article on the hits and misses of futurologists in the past. Amazing to see how man thought about the future.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Assange showed us how politicians lead two lives & exposed the science of diplomatic trickery. Sadly, this will continue! Thick skin helps!
Global economic giants woo India as they look for more business. Sadly, India is not able to manage to keep its house in order!
A lunar eclipse that was the first to fall on the winter solstice since 1638. The next solstice eclipse won’t be until 2094. WOW!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Btw, BT stands for Behavioral Targeting in my last post. Could not fit it in thanks to Twitter-Logic.
I pity the ad industry. When they target all, they are penalized for spamming. When they do BT, they are told to behave. Not funny at all!
Just coming to terms with the fact that ADs are a HUGE unwanted part of life now. 30-35% or more of my daily time is spent dodging ads. WTF?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Want to know how our lives could change? Check this video out - this firm has been purchased by RIM now! Amazing is not enough!!
DYK the mother of PC demos happened 42 years ago? Many features that we have now were shown then. Doug Engelbart, take a bow!
Another idea for solar power - this time the panels go on TOP of the freeway. Wherever they are, tapping the sun is important.
Wondering if in the future, Facebook/Orkut/MySpace ID will be used for identity verification? Think about it...may be a good idea. Thoughts?
Played Business after years yesterday. Nice game...very used to be called Trade when we used to play it...ah nostalgia!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Great street food in Mumbai - no surprises and drool!!
DYK that humming birds cannot walk. That was quite an eye opener to me!!
Global remittances cross $410B in 2010. India leads the pack at $55B.
This is a rare disease that is scary and aspirational at the same time. Imagine if you slept for 10 days at a time! You like that?
BlackBerry store on CMH Road repaired my Curve but chipped part of the device. WTF? Is this Airtel service that AR Rahman croons about? Bad!
FedEx/Ketchum study says corporates spent 5-15% of overall external comms budgets on social media programs in 2010. Interesting statistic!
Saw an hoarding on Chrome today while on my way to office. Set me thinking - OOH for a browser? Game changer or desperation by Google?

Monday, December 6, 2010

MFIs in India under pressure as borrower defaults and political intervention question their survival.
A new biz model - Facebook as a platform for collecting loyalty points in rewards programs. Will be interesting to see if it works.
Interesting discovery that can help repair Multiple sclerosis damage found. A definite ray of hope for MS patients.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Broadband can bridge the economic divide by improving areas like health, commerce & governance. This report says it all.
Now this Italian city follows a best practice that I want to see recreated EVERYWHERE. A wind-win situation sums it up well.
How Google Translate helps you find food....very interesting......thanks @basrur

Monday, November 29, 2010

Interesting to note how a potato-only diet is still healthy! Surprised? Click away.
Wonder why P2P services like lending, car sharing, etc do not enjoy mainstream status? Is it becoz we are slaves to big brands? Intriguing!
Scientists are trying to charge an automobile on the go using IPT (inductive power transfer) - this will be a killer app if perfected.
Funny to note how cos. launch variants of a product eg. Tablet, Kindle, in succession. What abt IP? Smells like co-optition/cartel to me.
DYK fastest way of adding nos. is by avoiding 9. So, 13+15=1+3+1+5=1+0=1. Faster way is by avoiding 3+1+5=9, hence total is 1. Try it!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

DYK that a duck's quacks don't echo! Similarly, kangaroos and emus cannot walk backwards......interesting to know.....isn't it?

Friday, November 12, 2010

The flip side of expressing anger on Twitter exposed!! Caveat Emptor, Twitter People. The law is not amused.
DYK what's common between a computer and a sugar cube? Read on to find out. You will be amazed!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

DYK 90% of our brains develop when we are between 0-6 years old. The mental make-up happens quite early! Quite interesting.
Indians command much respect among MNCs - nice to see that. How to translate this among ourselves is a tough one!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

If Mukesh Ambani chose to switch spending on his new $1B home to saving tigers, they could thrive for another 12 years! Wishful thinking?
A shortfall of $35M per year seen in conserving tigers. Hoping that some of the world's billionaires will help here.
Why can't man respect nature? To kill a majestic animal for unproven medicinal powers is so disgusting.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

DYK that the human brain can store about 4TB of data. This equals the space in 935 DVDs. Cool, isnt it?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

DYK that chewing gum can make your heart beat faster? Surprised? So am I......
Planning to move to charge for online news? These newspapers did and lost 87% of readership. Lessons learnt - keep it nice & easy!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Want to understand the web behavior better? These tools will come in handy!
DYK the web banner ad that now generates $24B every year, was born 16 years ago? Wired claims the prize.
Waiting for the day when one can review/correct online content directly with a pen on the screen!! Yes, it is possible.
DYK the annual economic impact of man's abuse on Mother Nature? The GDP of UK/Italy or higher. Thanks, Teeb.
DYK the annual economic impact of man's abuse on Earth? It equals the GDP of UK/Italy PER YEAR. Thanks, Teeb.
Electric airplane, anybody? Good for learning and easy on the pocket!
Churchill's sins are out. How he starved Bengal in 1943, is a chilling fact. Great leaders have flaws 2!
Cloning is the last option to maintain Earth's biodiversity. Awesome approach. Better than extinction.
Evidence of time travel under scrutiny in an old Charlie Chaplin movie....Spooky!!
Twitterverse can predict stock market mood, a study finds. Very interesting.
This CaMEL is a robot that hauls luggage for the army and.. has a remote-controlled M2 gun.
The world's most famous astrologer is no more. Goodbye, Paul. RIP. Many football teams will NOT miss you!
Driverless vans complete epic journey, thanks to technology. A new paradigm in the making?

Friday, October 22, 2010

You have heard "Walk like an Egyptian"...ever seen "Walk Like a Dolphin?" Take a look!
test Testing out.
Who is the greatest footballer? Pele. Why? Becoz he DID NOT cheat like Maradona!
Social web application innovations to be harnessed thru the sFund by FB, Zynga and Amazon. Will it work?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How one person's ambition to help his mother bore fruit after years of effort is worth reading.
Telecommuting wins as 3 in 5 workers say they can do better from home - thanks to a new Cisco study.
China playing big brother in rare earth space. Western world, watch out.
The journey of a 1000 miles begins with the single step (read first pedal). Man is learning ro change!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Interesting POV by a baby boomer - their gen have led a good life. Now they want death - incl. how and when!
Fiji loses its "birth certificate" - the legal Independence Order presented by Prince Charles in 1970. Funny!
Another journey for the mathematically inclined - fractals. Examples of fractals include clouds and pine trees...thanks, Benoit Mandelbrot
Optical illusions is such a fascinating and educational journey for the brain! Amazing.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Social Networking Is Going & Growing LOCALLY. Tencent Has > IM Users In China Than FB Global Footprint.
Steep 2012 Olympics ticket prices. Is it worthwhile? There are better causes to support globally.
Developed world to face native wrath as they seek immigrants to keep the growth ticking. Germany is one case.
DYK your morning cup of coffee consumes 140 ltrs of water in its creation? Tea drinkers are nicer - their cup requires 35 ltrs only. Scary!
How countries use water globally explained. A must-read to understand the elixir of life better. is an inspirational site that helps clean water discovery in African villages. Very noble cause.

Truly Inspirational is a charity site that helps clean water discovery in African villages. Very noble cause.
Awesome airplane paint jobs revealed. Enjoy the 10 best creations. Amazing!
India is far behind in gender equality.....buck up!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Noise changes our tasting ability - funny but true. Now u know y airlines food is bland?
33 is the new lucky #. 33 miners, drilling took 33 days and the drive to hospital took 33 minutes. Howz that for coincidence? Quite amazing!
Chile shows the world how to manage a crisis and emerges victorious! Are you there, BP?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The master nonstop flyer were here 65M years ago! Take a bow, Pterosaur!
The reason why spamsters succeed is simply becoz WE OPEN THEIR MAILS! Stop doing it!
Top 50 Start-Ups - Mobile and information discovery players rank high
Planning some R&R at Honey Valley in Coorg during Diwali......should be fun doing NOTHING for once!
Jai Ho - this is truly inspirational.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Finished reading Rashmi Bansal's "Connect The Dots". Quite inspiring but the choices of entreprenuers could have been better. What say all?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Thanks BIOS - RIP! Welcome UEFI - thanks for helping PCs boot within seconds starting 2011.
Super-cheap price for large volumes = Mantra for developing nations to enable quick progress.
Smartphone photos especially from the iPhone can be cool too......take a look for yourselves!
Did you know who was the first woman to be awarded a patent? Hats off, Mary Kies, a black woman at that!
Intelligent individuals donĂ¢€™t make groups SMARTER - sensitivity is a CSF.
Social media tracking is now a business MANDATE. EmPower Research can help cos. here!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

BRIC countries require $800B in investments by 2015 to meet water needs - world in water peril.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

7 skills that one needs to know in the Information Age....Superb List.....
The critical success factors that have made Apple the darling of the media revealed.
Solar panels on roads can fix the grid and create a new paradigm. Brilliant idea
Top 10 unanswerable questions of all time revealed. Some of them are bang on! Brace yourselves. Here they come...
RIM takes on iPad with Playbook. PB looks good - will it win the battle? My money is on RIM!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What if the colour scheme of nature was different? Red leaves, yellow sky, blue mud, green branches? Hmmmmmm
Wow, did you know that it requires 4000 litres to make a shirt? The virtual water concept is still a matter of debate - wonder when we will learn from it.
One of my all time favourites....what a rendition!! Mark Knopfler - you rock!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

When will be available on BlackBerry? Hope it happens soon!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New Technology

Handheld devices could soon have pressure-sensitive touch-screens and
keys, thanks to a UK firm's material that exploits a quantum physics

The technology allows, for example, scrolling down a long list or
webpage faster as more pressure is applied.

A division of Samsung that distributes mobile phone components to
several handset manufacturers has now licensed the "Quantum Tunnelling

The approach could find use in devices from phones to games to GPS handsets.

In January, Japanese touch-screen maker Nissha also licensed the
approach from Yorkshire-based Peratech, who make the composite
material QTC.

However, as part of the licensing agreements, Peratech could not
reveal the phone, gaming, and device makers that could soon be using
the technology to bring pressure sensitivity to a raft of new devices.

Quantum mace

The composite works by using spiky conducting nanoparticles, similar
to tiny medieval maces, dispersed evenly in a polymer.

None of these spiky balls actually touch, but the closer they get to
each other, the more likely they are to undergo a quantum physics
phenomenon known as tunnelling.

Tunnelling is one of several effects in quantum mechanics that defies
explanation in terms of the "classical" physics that preceded it.

Simply put, quantum mechanics says that there is a tiny probability
that a particle shot at a wall will pass through it in an effect known
as tunnelling.
QTC-enabled handset
The pressure-sensitive key can already be found in an available handset

Similarly, the material that surrounds the spiky balls acts like a
wall to electric current. But as the balls draw closer together, when
squashed or deformed by a finger's pressure, the probability of a
charge tunnelling through increases.

The net result is that pressing harder on the material leads to a
smooth increase in the current through it.

There are a number of ways to make switches or screens
pressure-sensitive, such as using mechanical switches.

However, the QTC approach is particularly suited to making thin
devices. Pressure-sensitive QTC switches can be made 70 micrometers
thick - about the thickness of a human hair.

QTC is better than switches based on so-called "conducting polymers",
because they conduct no electricity until they are pressed, leading to
better overall efficiency.

Samsung Electro-mechanics has now incorporated the QTC into the
navigation switch familiar on smartphones - in addition to the up,
down, left, right and centre button, the up and down functions are

This is useful for scrolling more or less quickly through, for
example, a long list of emails.

"That same model can be used in many other ways, like in games: to
control how hard I want to jump or run for example," said Peratech's
chief executive Philip Taysom.

"Electronics are being given the ability to sense something that we
take for granted, which is how much we're touching and applying
force," he told BBC News.