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Latest Technology, Reviews

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 review: Minor league

GSMArena team, 18 November 2013. Introduction The Galaxy Ace 3 arrives as Samsung's latest entry into the popular affordable Ace lineup, and targets cost conscious buyers with a competitive Android version and variants which include a vanilla 3G versio...

UNH scientists document, quantify deep-space radiation hazards

Scientists from the University of New Hampshire and colleagues have published comprehensive findings on space-based radiation as measured by a UNH-led detector aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The data provide critical information on t...

MicroObservatory catches comet ISON

Hopes are high for Comet ISON, which has the potential to become the most spectacular comet seen in years. ISON is speeding through the inner solar system at about 120,000 miles per hour, on its way to a close approach to the Sun on November 28th. Assu...
Google, Latest Technology

Google Maps for Business helps drive global growth for T Dispatch

Posted by Mario Brandao, CTO of T Dispatch

Editor's note: Today's guest blogger is Mario Brandao, CTO of T Dispatch, a fast growing global provider of fleet management software. This post is part of our series on the Transport and Logistics Industry and the ways they’re relying on Google Maps for Business to get people, products and assets to their destinations faster.

If you’re like me, wherever you are in the world, you often depend on the knowledge of taxi and minicab drivers to get you where you want to be. And the firms that manage, equip and train these drivers are on a constant quest to improve the way their cars get around the many cities they travel around in. We started our company back in 2010 with the aim of creating an affordable mapping and dispatch technology that could be used by all sizes of fleet companies to become more efficient and more profitable.

Our clients tell us that drivers can spend around 30% of their time with the car empty; this is ‘dead’ mileage, which is costly and bad for the environment. We use Google Maps and an intelligent autodispatch algorithm to send jobs to the nearest driver, to find jobs within their catchment area and even to allocate jobs on their route home at the end of a shift. Controllers can create and dispatch a booking within 15 seconds, and we’re able to reduce time spent ‘empty’ by up to 50%.
We’ve found our clients love all the different features, too. The Google Tracks API makes it easy to pinpoint exactly where their drivers are at any one time, allowing jobs to be allocated more efficiently by dispatchers. And as this location data can be saved for up to ten years, clients can also use the technology to recognize trends and patterns and create more efficient processes in due course. Google’s snap-to-road tool even helps call centre dispatch managers to find out which side of the road the driver is on, which is especially helpful in some cities with complicated one way systems.

In the future we plan to integrate live weather reports, traffic information and use historical data to predict where busy areas will be, allowing fleets to anticipate where to send the drivers.

From a driver’s point of view, not only does the software help calculate the fastest route with the least mileage, but with Google Directions, drivers are able to calculate directions between locations before setting off, which prevents them from getting lost. Most importantly, most people are familiar with Google Maps and find it easy to use - which is important in a job when you’re often dealing with stressful circumstances like traffic and road closures.
Google Maps provides us with a comprehensive feature set too, so we’re able to offer our customers features like Directions as part of the package, which is a huge selling point for us. Furthermore, if we used some of the competition’s offering, every customer would have to pay a licensing fee but with Google this is avoided.

Google Maps has played a crucial role in helping us grow and move into new markets seamlessly - we’ve won clients across six continents, in over 30 different countries. I’m now looking forward to taking our technology with us to our next area of expansion - South America.

Google, Latest Technology

Smarter ways to plan and optimize transport and logistics with Google Maps for Business

Posted by Elena Kelareva, Product Manager, Google Maps for Business

Editor's note: For transport companies, getting things from point A to point B in the safest, smartest and most efficient way is a top priority. This week we're showcasing the Transport and Logistics Industry and the ways they’re relying on Google Maps for Business to get people, products and assets to their destinations faster.

GPS technology and digital mapping have had a huge impact on making transport and logistics companies more efficient. This week we’ll be demonstrating innovative ways transport and logistics companies can use maps for smarter fleet and asset management, routing, tracking and planning. To kick things off, we’re announcing a new snap-to-road feature of the Google Maps Tracks API that can help organizations gain access to valuable data about where they’ve been.

Launched last year, Google Maps Tracks API allows users to store, display and analyze GPS data on a map. For a shipping company with a fleet of delivery trucks, for instance, the Tracks API offers a way to record all the routes and places its vehicles have traveled to and from. Stored in the Google cloud and visualized on a Google Map, fleet managers can access their information reliably, securely and using a map interface they’re familiar with.

With snap-to-road, transport and logistics companies can have an even more accurate view of their GPS information. Based on GPS data points, it identifies the most likely road a truck has been traveling on and plots the route on a map. This allows an organization to easily decipher driver behaviors and routing trends.
The images above show the same GPS data from a delivery truck before and after applying snap-to-road. With snap-to-road, the delivery route is correctly shown on a Google map, indicating that the driver traveled down a major highway.
For a transport company, having more accurate ways to track and understand GPS data means they can plan and predict routing and logistics with greater precision. Contact our sales team for more information about the Tracks API and how Google Maps for Business solutions can help your business.
Latest Technology

From your CS class to the real world: a deep dive into open source

Today marks the start of Google Code-in, a global online contest for pre-university students (13-17 years old) interested in learning more about open source software. Participating students have an opportunity to work on real world software projects and earn cool prizes for their effort.

For the next seven weeks students from around the world will be able to choose from an extensive list of tasks created by 10 open source projects. Some tasks require coding in a variety of programming languages, creating documentation, doing marketing outreach or working on user interfaces.

Participants earn points for each task they successfully complete to win T-shirts and certificates. At the end of the contest, 20 students will be selected as grand prize winners and flown to Google’s Mountain View, California headquarters. Winners will receive a trip to San Francisco, a tour of the Googleplex and a chance to meet with Google engineers.

Google Code-in 2012 grand prize winners at the Googleplex with a self driving car

More than 1,200 students from 71 countries and 730 schools have participated in Google Code-in over the past three years. Last year, our 20 grand prize winners came from 12 countries on five continents!

We hope this year’s participants will enjoy learning about open source development while building their technical skills and making an impact on these organizations. Please review our program site for contest rules, frequently asked questions and to get started.

Posted by Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Programs

Latest Technology

OUYA Limited Edition console goes on pre-order in the US

OUYA will be releasing a new limited edition of its Android console. It’s a brand new white version and will double the internal storage up to 16GB.

The new White Edition will be available only in the United States, though.

The white OUYA Limited Edition is already available on pre-order and costs $129 – $30 more than the regular OUYA console. If you place your order before December, you’ll be getting your white OUYA just in time for Christmas.

OUYA has already added support for external USB drives, so the limited internal storage is not a problem anymore. The Play Store APK can also be side-loaded on the OUYA, so you won’t have to buy a game twice in order to play it both on your OUYA console and Android smartphone. It isn’t the best solution, but it is still a solution.

Source | Via

Latest Technology, Nokia

Listen with Lumia – Part 2

Last time, we discussed the ideal ingredients of an audiobook app, and two apps that offer easy-to-use solutions for getting started. In this second part,...
Latest Technology

Samsung suspends the Android 4.3 update for Galaxy S III

Just two weeks ago Samsung started seeding the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean firmware to its Galaxy S III ex-flagship. It brought variety of new features and support for the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, but was plagued by lots of issues. Early adopters reported th...
Latest Technology

A Foxconn factory reportedly stops iPhone 5c production

The production of the iPhone 5c reportedly took yet another hit, according to DigiTimes. First, in the beginning of October we heard rumors Apple is halving the production of the iPhone 5c due to the low user demand and sales. Just few days ago we lea...
Latest Technology

More details on QHD Vivo Xplay 3S emerge

The Vivo Xplay 3S is shaping up to be a Galaxy Note 3 killer. A new batch of leaked specs reveal more about the mysterious phone with a 5.5" QHD screen (2,560 x 1,440). That resolution (4x 720p) requires a beefy GPU.

The chipset is a Snapdragon 800 with Adreno 330 and it's the 8974AB version, which has the GPU clocked at 550MHz instead of 450MHz, which is the norm in most Snapdragon 800-powered devices (including the Note 3). There's 3GB of RAM too.

The device will have a camera of unknown resolution with an f/1.8 aperture. There's also a built-in Hi-Fi audio chip" and USB 3.0 connectivity (which is unique to the Note 3 among pocketable devices).

Other connectivity includes 4G LTE – of the international and Chinese varieties.

The Vivo Xplay 3S is yet to be officially announced but rumors point to a launch in the first half of next year.

Source (in Chinese) | Via


World’s smallest FM radio transmitter

Nov. 18, 2013 — A team of Columbia Engineering researchers, led by Mechanical Engineering Professor James Hone and Electrical Engineering Professor Kenneth Shepard, has taken advantage of graphene's special properties -- its mechanical strength and electrical conduction -- and created a nano-mechanical system that can create FM signals, in effect the world's smallest FM radio transmitter.

"This work is significant in that it demonstrates an application of graphene that cannot be achieved using conventional materials," Hone says. "And it's an important first step in advancing wireless signal processing and designing ultrathin, efficient cell phones. Our devices are much smaller than any other sources of radio signals, and can be put on the same chip that's used for data processing."

Graphene, a single atomic layer of carbon, is the strongest material known to man, and also has electrical properties superior to the silicon used to make the chips found in modern electronics. The combination of these properties makes graphene an ideal material for nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS), which are scaled-down versions of the microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) used widely for sensing of vibration and acceleration. For example, Hone explains, MEMS sensors figure out how your smartphone or tablet is tilted to rotate the screen.

In this new study, the team took advantage of graphene's mechanical 'stretchability' to tune the output frequency of their custom oscillator, creating a nanomechanical version of an electronic component known as a voltage controlled oscillator (VCO). With a VCO, explains Hone, it is easy to generate a frequency-modulated (FM) signal, exactly what is used for FM radio broadcasting. The team built a graphene NEMS whose frequency was about 100 megahertz, which lies right in the middle of the FM radio band (87.7 to 108 MHz). They used low-frequency musical signals (both pure tones and songs from an iPhone) to modulate the 100 MHz carrier signal from the graphene, and then retrieved the musical signals again using an ordinary FM radio receiver.

"This device is by far the smallest system that can create such FM signals," says Hone.

While graphene NEMS will not be used to replace conventional radio transmitters, they have many applications in wireless signal processing. Explains Shepard, "Due to the continuous shrinking of electrical circuits known as 'Moore's Law', today's cell phones have more computing power than systems that used to occupy entire rooms. However, some types of devices, particularly those involved in creating and processing radio-frequency signals, are much harder to miniaturize. These 'off-chip' components take up a lot of space and electrical power. In addition, most of these components cannot be easily tuned in frequency, requiring multiple copies to cover the range of frequencies used for wireless communication."

Graphene NEMS can address both problems: they are very compact and easily integrated with other types of electronics, and their frequency can be tuned over a wide range because of graphene's tremendous mechanical strength.

"There is a long way to go toward actual applications in this area," notes Hone, "but this work is an important first step. We are excited to have demonstrated successfully how this wonder material can be used to achieve a practical technological advancement -- something particularly rewarding to us as engineers."

The Hone and Shepard groups are now working on improving the performance of the graphene oscillators to have lower noise. At the same time, they are also trying to demonstrate integration of graphene NEMS with silicon integrated circuits, making the oscillator design even more compact.

For this study, the team worked with research groups from the School's Departments of Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Physics. This work is supported by Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship 2012 and the U.S. Air Force, using facilities at the Cornell Nano-Scale Facility and the Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research (CEPSR) Clean Room at Columbia University.