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FIFA to retest nine goal-line technologies

It was England footballer Frank Lampard that did it. His infamous disallowed goal against Germany at the last World Cup in 2010 reignited the debate about whether goal-line technology has a place in football.

Now FIFA, the sport's world governing body, has announced that it is to test the nine best candidates to see which (if any) could be in place in time for the World Cup in 2014 in Brazil, according to the Associated Press.

However, the demands placed by FIFA on the candidate technologies - which have not been named but are all based in Europe - are pretty onerous. The referee must know within a second what the verdict is, either with a vibration or visual signal sent to something he wears on his wrist. Crucially, the verdict must be 100 per cent accurate, a condition that current systems have so far found difficult to meet.

The two main technologies involved include vision-based system like Hawk-Eye - already used in cricket and tennis at the highest level - which uses six high-speed video cameras to track the ball's flightpath. A second approach is to install a microchip in the ball which senses a magnetic field as it crosses the goal line, sending a signal to the referee.

The last series of tests in March were rather underwhelming: none of the nine technologies tested at Swiss Federal Institute for Materials Research managed to reach FIFA's required benchmarks. The new tests, at the same location, will take place between September and December this year.

A web browser for your calculator

Smartphones, tablets, televisions and of course, the trusty old PC - these days you've got a lot of options when choosing how to access the web. Now there's a new option: the graphics calculator.

Gossamer is a web browser for Texas Instruments calculators created by Christopher Mitchell, a computer scientist at New York University. Websites are formatted and sent to the calculator by an external server. At the moment the browser can only access sites on a pre-defined list, but Mitchell is working on a new version that will let users input any URL.
As you might expect, the retro-browser isn't Mitchell's first venture into programming graphics calculators. He claims on his website to be the "world's most prolific graphing calculator programmer". He very well may be: He previously developed networking software that allows calculators to connect to other devices, an essential pre-requisite to a web browser, along with other programs including a media player and video games.

Dizzy moon lander misses public debut

(Image: NASA)

It was billed as the beginning of a "new era" of private companies racing to reach the moon, timed seamlessly to coincide with the end of NASA's 30-year shuttle program and toasted with champagne, violinists, moon-shaped biscuits and even a song. But what was supposed to be the first public flight test of a commercially developed robotic lunar lander  - an entrant to the Google Lunar X Prize  - ended last night with a good dose of sod's law and more fizz than bang.

The flight test of the $40 million lander  - developed by the one-year-old Silicon Valley based start-up, Moon Express, and scheduled for demonstration in front of a crowd of luminaries, investors, and journalists - was called off at the last minute after engineers couldn't fix a problem with a new gyroscope. It meant the lander was convinced it was spinning in the opposite direction to the one it was actually turning. The expectant audience had to make do instead with video footage of the lander being privately tested last month.

The hiccup is a little disappointing admits Barney Pell, the former NASA research and development manager who co-founded the company and is its chief technology officer. But it is also not wholly unexpected given just how fickle high-tech projects can be, he says. The lander is supposed to be more precise, better able to avoid hazards when it lands and have more thrust for its lighter weight than any previous landers.

"It would have been nice to share with everyone," says Pell, "But the reality of engineering is that things take a while and whenever you are about to demo something it will break just at that moment."

The demonstration comes as the Google Lunar X Prize  - a $30 million competition for the first privately funded team to send a robot to the moon - heats up. The 29 teams currently in the race have until 2015 before the money disappears.

Many are trying to create entries that will have a use and market beyond the contest and Moon Express doubtless has one of the most ambitious long term aims: to mine the moon for rare metals. There is more platinum on the moon than all of planet earth, notes Pell, adding he believes moon mining could be economical, in some cases now, and it has the added bonus of being environmentally benign because "nothing lives there".

Engineers plan to fix and re-test the lander today. We will make it to the moon, insists Pell.

Spotting the flaws in casino card-shuffling machines

(Image: Etienne Ansotte/Rex Features)

Ever feel like others at your poker table seem to have an unfair advantage? Like you were up against a team of expert card counters like the notoriously successful MIT Blackjack team?

Well, you might be, but at least you can take comfort in the fact that a team of statisticians from Stanford University, US, are now making things fairer. They recently discovered that cards dealt by an automated huffling machine  - designed to deal a random set of cards - were more than twice as easy to predict than a human-shuffled pack.

Automated card shufflers have been helping inept - and unlawful - dealers since the 19th century, though it's only in the last 50 years that they have been widely adopted by casinos. Now, though, the machines are sophisticated devices, rented to casinos for around $500 per month per machine - and with one on every card table, that makes for a profitable industry.

Statisticians help casino equipment manufacturers ensure that their shuffling machines spit out cards that are entirely randomly ordered to help foil cheats - and give the average punter like you or me a passing chance at winning a hand.

But, like poker hands, not all automated shufflers are alike, and, like most of my poker hands, some don't work as well as others. The latest trend in card-shuffling circles is the shelf shuffler: a machine which replicates the human riffle shuffle by randomly placing cards on one of a number of shelves, before re-assembling the deck by taking piles from the shelves, again in random order.

The team of Stanford statisticians was contacted by a manufacturer of casino equipment to test a new shelf shuffler, which was already designed and built. The basic tests to ensure randomness of cards coming out of the machine had, apparently, been carried out by the engineers, and the results seemed satisfactory. All the manufacturers wanted to do was double-check that a deck could be passed through the machine and then be used without concern in the casino.

They did not, however, bank on getting the hand they were dealt.

The high-rolling statisticians at Stanford took the task seriously. They set about testing the statistics on which the machine was based, and performed tests to measure how random the machine's results were. They found that a knowledgeable player could guess about 9.5 cards correctly in a single run through a 52-card deck from the machine, compared to 4.5 for a properly shuffled deck.

That boiled down to some cold, hard advice for the manufacturers: their machine's shuffling was not random enough to be used in a casino. In fact, the statisticians have reported that the the president of the company responded "We are not pleased with your conclusions, but we believe them and that's what we hired you for."

Whatever your game, stopping crooked dealers and card-counting players has to be a good thing. Just make sure that, next time you visit the casino, you sit at a table with Stanford statisticians - and steer clear of those MIT card counters.

Computers understand hand-waving descriptions

DESCRIBING objects is so much easier when you use your hands, the classic being "the fish was this big".
For humans, it's easy to understand what is meant, but computers struggle, and existing gesture-based interfaces only use set movements that translate into particular instructions. Now a system called Data Miming can recognise objects from gestures without the user having to memorise a "vocabulary" of specific movements.
"Starting from the observation that humans can effortlessly understand which objects are being described when hand motions are used, we asked why computers can't do the same thing," says Christian Holz of the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany who developed the system with Andy Wilson at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington.
Holz observed how volunteers described objects like tables or chairs using gestures, by tracing important components repeatedly with their hands and maintaining relative proportions throughout their mime.
Data Miming uses a Microsoft Kinect motion-capture camera to create a 3D representation of a user's hand movements. Voxels, or pixels in three dimensions, are activated when users pass their hands through the space represented by each voxel. And when a user encircles their fingers to indicate a table leg, say, the system can also identify that all of the enclosed space should be included in the representation. It then compares user-generated representations with a database of objects in voxel form and selects the closest match.
In tests the system correctly recognised three-quarters of descriptions, and the intended item was in the top three matches from its database 98 per cent of the time. Holz presented his findings at the CHI 2011 meeting in Vancouver, Canada, in May.
The system could be incorporated into online shopping so users could gesture to describe the type of product they want and have the system make a suggestion. Or, says Holz: "Imagine you want a funky breakfast-bar stool. Instead of wandering around and searching Ikea for half an hour, you walk up to an in-store kiosk and describe the stool using gestures, which takes seconds. The computer responds immediately, saying you probably want the Funkomatic Breakfast Stool-o-rama, and it lives in row 7a."

Welcome to the age of the splinternet


Openness is the internet's great strength – and weakness. With powerful forces carving it up, is its golden age coming to an end?
How quickly the world changes. In August 1991 Tim Berners-Lee, a researcher at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland, posted a message to a discussion forum detailing a new method for sharing information between networked computers. To make his idea a reality, he also set up a server running on one of CERN's computers. A mere two decades later, some 2 billion of us are hooked up to Berners-Lee's invention, and the UN General Assembly last month declared access to it a fundamental human right. It is, of course, the World Wide Web.
Today, most of us in the developed world and elsewhere take the internet for granted. But should we? The way it works and the way we engage with it are still defined by characteristics it has inherited from its easy-going early days, and this has left it under threat - from criminals, controlling authorities and commercial interests. "The days of the internet as we used to think of it are ending," says Craig Labovitz of Arbor Networks, a security software company in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Could we now be living in the golden age of the internet?
Though it was the World Wide Web that opened the internet to the world, the underlying structure dates back much further. That architecture took shape in the early 1960s, when the US air force asked Paul Baran at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California, to come up with a military communications network that could withstand a nuclear attack. Baran proposed a network with no central hub; instead, information would pass from any point in the network to any other through many decentralised switching stations, or routers.
For Baran's plan to work, every message would be broken up into small packets of digital information, each of which would be relayed from router to router, handed over like hot potatoes. Dividing the message into packets instead of sending it whole meant that communication links would only be busy during the instant they were called upon to carry those packets. The links could be shared from moment to moment. "That's a big win in terms of efficiency," says Jon Crowcroft, a computer scientist at the University of Cambridge. It also made the network fast and robust: there was no central gatekeeper or single point of failure. Destroy any one link, and the remaining routers could work out a new path between origin and destination.
Baran's work paved the way for the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (see "Internet evolution"), which then led to the internet and the "anything goes" culture that remains its signature. From then on, the internet was open to anyone who wanted to join the party, from individual users to entire local networks. "There was a level of trust that worked in the early days," says Crowcroft. No one particularly cared who anyone was, and if you wanted to remain anonymous, you could. "We just connected and assumed everyone else was a nice guy." Even the hackers who almost immediately began to play with the new network's potential for mischief were largely harmless, showing up security weaknesses for the sheer technical joy of it.
These basic ingredients - openness, trust and decentralisation - were baked into the internet at its inception. It was these qualities, which allowed diverse groups of people from far-flung corners of the world to connect, experiment and invent, that were arguably the key elements of the explosive technological growth of the past two decades. That culture gave us the likes of Skype, Google, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
The internet's decentralised structure also makes it difficult for even the most controlling regime to seal off its citizens from the rest of the world. China and North Korea are perhaps the most successful in this respect; by providing only a few tightly controlled points of entry, these governments can censor the data its people can access. But less restrictive countries, such as South Korea, also splinter their citizens' experience of the web by restricting "socially harmful" sites. Savvy netizens routinely circumvent such attempts, using social media and the web's cloak of anonymity to embarrass and even topple their governments. The overthrow of the Egyptian regime in February is being called by some the first social media revolution. Though debatable, this assertion is supported in the book Tweets From Tahrir, an account told entirely through Twitter messages from the centre of the nation's capital.
It is tempting to think that things can only get better - that the internet can only evolve more openness, more democracy, more innovation, more freedom. Unfortunately, things might not be that simple.
There's a problem on the horizon, and it comes from an unexpected quarter - in fact from some of the very names we have come to associate most strongly with the internet's success. The likes of Apple, Google and Amazon are starting to fragment the web to support their own technologies, products and corporate strategy. Is there anything that can be done to stop them?

Autopiloted glider knows where to fly for a free ride


HAWKS and albatrosses soar for hours or even days without having to land. Soon robotic gliders could go one better, soaring on winds and thermals indefinitely. Cheap remote sensing for search and rescue would be possible with this technology, or it could be used to draw up detailed maps of a battlefield.
Glider pilots are old hands at using rising columns of heated air to gain altitude. In 2005 researchers at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, flew a glider fitted with a custom autopilot unit 60 minutes longer than normal, just by catching and riding thermals. And in 2009 Dan Edwards, who now works at the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC, kept a glider soaring autonomously for 5.3 hours this way.
Both projects relied on the glider to sense when it was in a thermal and then react to stay in the updraft. But thermals can be capricious, and tend to die out at night, making flights that last several days impossible, says Salah Sukkarieh of the Australian Centre for Field Robotics in Sydney. He is designing an autopilot system that maps and plans a glider's route so it can use a technique known as dynamic soaring when thermals are scarce. The glider first flies in a high-speed air current to gain momentum, then it turns into a region of slower winds, where the newly gained energy can be converted to lift. By cycling back and forth this way, the glider can gain either speed or altitude.
"Theoretically you can stay aloft indefinitely, just by hopping around and catching the winds," says Sukkarieh, who presented his research at a robotics conference in Shanghai, China, last month.
Inspired by albatrosses and frigate birds, the operators of radio-controlled gliders have used dynamic soaring to reach speeds of more than 600 kilometres per hour by flying between two regions of differing wind speeds.
To plan a path for dynamic soaring you need a detailed map of the different winds around the glider. So Sukkarieh is working on ways to accurately measure and predict these winds. He recently tested his autopilot on a real glider, which made detailed wind-speed estimates as it flew.
The system has on-board sensors, including an accelerometer and altimeter, which measure changes in the aircraft's velocity and altitude to work out how the winds will affect the glider. From its built-in knowledge of how wind currents move, the system was able to work out the location, speed, and direction of nearby winds to create a local wind map.
By mapping wind and thermal energy sources this way and using a path-planning program, the glider autopilot should be able to calculate the most energy-efficient routes between any two points. The system would be able to plot a path up to a few kilometres away when the wind is calm but only over a few metres when turbulent, as the winds change so quickly, says Sukkarieh.
He says that the amount of energy available to a glider is usually enough to keep it aloft for as long as it can survive the structural wear and tear. He plans to test the mapping and route-planning systems more extensively in simulations, to be followed by actual soaring experiments.
"I think we have some examples from nature that mean this should be possible," says Edwards, who is not involved in Sukkarieh's research. "We're just taking our first baby steps into doing it autonomously."

Tangled headphone leads? Apple has a patent for that


We've previously had some quite lively debate on the New Scientist website about the seemingly intractable problem of how to prevent your headphone leads getting all tangled up - sometimes delaying your mobile audio consumption by whole minutes.

Fear not: Apple is proposing a solution to the problem in a patent application (PDF) filed today.

The folks from Infinite Loop (it's their street in Cupertino, California) note that the problem is caused by the extreme floppiness of the wire on most headsets. Because the wires are hyperbendy, there's nothing to prevent the wire looping back on itself and getting knotted.

Apple's answer is disarmingly simple: stiffen lengths of the cable by placing extra layers of plastic between the protective sheath and the inner conductors to prevent the bending and looping happening quite so much. The stiffness can be varied along each lead so it is not merely rigid, say Apple's five inventors in the patent document.

"The size and distribution of the stiffer portions can be selected to prevent the cable forming loops," the team write.

As usual, Apple never comments on its plans for its patents, so we have no idea if this notion will go into production. But if it does it will be interesting to see how pocketable such a stiffer headset will be. Do you think it's the answer?

Microsoft accidentally reveals social networking plans


It would appear Microsoft has plans to get into social networking. Following the recent release of Google+, Microsoft has accidentally gone live with a site called Tulalip. The site has since been taken down, but tech site Fusible managed to grab some details.

A welcome page tells visitors what it's all about: "With Tulalip you can find what you need and share what you know easier than ever". Users can sign in with their Facebook or Twitter account - Microsoft profiles don't seem to be an option.

Visiting the site now at the domain reveals that it wasn't quite ready for public viewing. The site now reads "Thanks for stopping by. is an internal design project from a team in Microsoft Research which was mistakenly published to the web. We didn't mean to, honest."

It's unclear when or if Tulalip will re-emerge, but it is possible the site will be rebranded for the official launch. The name comes from a group of Native American tribes located near Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, but it doesn't really resonate with existing online Microsoft brands such as Bing or Live - Socl, the domain name, seems much more likely.

Spoofing services make mobile voicemail hacking easy


Hacking into mobile voice mail is surprisingly easy on three of the four largest cell-phone carriers in the US, thanks to web-based services that make your call appear to come from the cell phone you're trying to hack.

Easy access to voice mail is a common convenience on many phones. Opening a mobile displays an icon if someone has left a voice message. Click on the icon, and the phone automatically dials the voice mail box - some without even requiring a password. It's insecure, but a lot of users don't think about it. AT&T Wireless, for example, buries instructions for adding a password deep in its web site. Sprint and T-Mobile also don't require passwords; only Verizon does.

How does it work? The phone is programmed to dial the voice mail number, and the mail system looks at the caller ID of the incoming call to see whose voice mail box to access. It's simple and easy, but it's wide open to anyone who can spoof caller ID (or to someone who finds your phone).

At the end of last year, Congress passed a law making spoofing illegal - but only if used "with the intent to defraud, cause harm or wrongfully obtain value." It's had little effect in slowing caller ID or telemarketing fraud.

The internet offers many web-based spoofing services, easy to locate by searching for "caller ID spoof". Users enter the number they are calling from, the number they are calling, and the number being spoofed, then place calls through the Internet or a toll-free number operated by the service. One web service boasts spoofing makes calling "truly private, fun, and inexpensive!" That sounds like just the thing for fraudsters, stalkers, or, ahem, tabloid journalists.

Burt Rutan's flying car takes to the air


When Burt Rutan, the doyen of aircraft and spacecraft designers takes an outlandish aviation idea seriously it's probably time to sit up and take notice. The founder of Scaled Composites, the Mojave, California-based maker of record breaking planes, has designed and built his own "roadable aircraft" - a car that can be converted into a plane. His involvement in this nascent - and oft-derided - field adds considerable credibility to the notion that personal flight will one day become a reality.

Called the BiPod, the twin fuselage vehicle has two half-litre internal combustion engines that charge lithium-ion batteries in each nose. On the road, the BiPod's wings are stowed between the fuselages and the batteries power a 15-kilowatt electric motor to drive the rear wheels.

In flight mode, four 15 kilowatt motors - two on the wings and two on the tail's horizontal stabiliser - will provide the thrust. The propellors haven't been fitted to the prototype yet but the test vehicle (pictured above) has demonstrated some early potential by flying a few hops above the Mojave Air and Spaceport runway purely by getting the wheels up to flight speed (where airflow gives the wings enough lift to take off).

The news of Scaled's interest comes as MIT-spinout Terrafugia of Massachusetts wins road approval for the Transition, its own roadable aircraft - and as the European Union pumps €4.3 million into developing collision avoidance technology for such personal aircraft. The EU reckons it's only a matter of time, not technology, before we're taking off from our back yards - and wants to ensure the result is not a major-league train wreck as amateurs take to the air.

Anticensorship software to help rebels get the word out


State-backed internet censorship is the method of choice for countries that want to crack down on citizens spreading messages of revolution online. But now dissidents have a tool to help them fight back.

Telex, developed by computer scientists at the University of Michigan, US and the University of Waterloo, Canada, transmits information to blocked websites by piggybacking on uncensored connections with the aid of friendly foreign internet service providers (ISPs).

Dissidents install the Telex client, perhaps from a USB stick smuggled over the border. They then make a secure connection to an uncensored site outside of the censor's network - nearly any site that uses password logins will do. The connection looks normal, but Telex tags the traffic with a secret key.

Foreign ISPs in the network between the client and destination site can look for these tags and redirect the connection to an anonymising service such as a proxy server, which allows users to connect from one location while appearing to be elsewhere. Using Telex is more robust than using such servers directly, as censors can easily block access to a proxy once it is discovered.

The researchers have tested the system by watching YouTube videos in Beijing, China, despite the site being blocked in that country, but they say it's not yet ready for real users. One barrier might be the need for foreign ISPs to install Telex software. "Widespread ISP deployment might require incentives from governments," suggest the researchers - something that the US government might be interested in given its plans to provide rebels with an "internet in a suitcase". Telex also wouldn't be able to help during an Egypt-style disconnect, as dissidents must at least be able to connect to uncensored sites.

First-Place Sweep by American Girls at First Google Science Fair


As a budding inventor and scientist, Shree Bose, in second grade, tried to make blue spinach. In fourth grade she built a remote-controlled garbage can. In eighth grade she invented a railroad tie made out of recycled plastic and granite dust, an achievement that got her to the top 30 in a national science competition for middle school students.
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In 11th grade Ms. Bose, a 17-year-old in Fort Worth, tackled ovarian cancer, and that research won her the grand prize and $50,000 in the Google Science Fair last week.

For the winning research Ms. Bose looked at a chemotherapy drug, cisplatin, that is commonly taken by women with ovarian cancer. The problem is that the cancer cells tend to grow resistant to cisplatin over time, and Ms. Bose set out to find a way to counteract that.

She found the answer in a cellular energy protein known as AMPK, or adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase. She observed that when AMPK was paired with cisplatin at the beginning of treatment the combination diminished the effectiveness of cisplatin. But added later on, when the cancer cells were growing resistant, the AMPK worked to maintain the effectiveness of cisplatin, allowing it to continue killing the malignant cells, at least in cell cultures.

“That opens up a lot of new avenues for research,” Ms. Bose said. Her research was supervised by Dr. Alakananda Basu at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth.

More than 10,000 students from 91 countries entered the science fair, which was Google’s first. The entries, submitted over the Web, were winnowed down to 60 semifinalists and then 15 finalists who presented their findings to judges at Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters last week.

Ms. Bose’s research was named best in the age 17-18 category and best of show over all. Her prize includes $50,000 for future college studies, a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands and a separate trip to visit the CERN particle physics laboratory in Switzerland.

Girls swept all three age categories in the competition, a contrast to generations past when women were largely excluded from the science world.

“Personally I think that’s amazing, because throughout my entire life, I’ve heard science is a field where men go into,” Ms. Bose said. “It just starts to show you that women are stepping up in science, and I’m excited that I was able to represent maybe just a little bit of that.” She will start her senior year of high school in the fall.

“At the end, we were like, ‘Yeah, girl power!’ ” said Naomi Shah of Portland, Ore., who won the age 15-16 category with a study of the effects of air quality on lungs, particularly for people who have asthma. Ms. Shah recruited 103 test subjects, performed 24-hour air quality measurements at their homes and workplaces and had each blow into a device that measured the force of their breath.

Lauren Hodge of Dallastown, Pa., won the age 13-14 category for research on whether marinades reduce the amount of cancer-causing compounds produced by the grilling of meat. She found that lemon juice and brown sugar cut the level of carcinogens sharply, while soy sauce increased them.

Vint Cerf, Google’s chief Internet evangelist and one of the judges, said that gender did not play a role in deciding the winners. “This was a gender-neutral evaluation of all the work that was done,” he said. Nonetheless, “I was secretly very pleased to see that happen,” Dr. Cerf said. “This is just a reminder that women are fully capable of doing same or better quality work than men can.”

The gender tables are not entirely turned among budding scientists. Nowadays the competitors at science fairs are pretty evenly split between boys and girls, both Ms. Bose and Ms. Shah said, and 9 of the 15 finalists in the Google Science Fair were boys.

“I think that was just, like, pure coincidence,” Ms. Shah said of the girls’ sweep, “because all 15 finalists had great projects.”

Perhaps belying a bit the notion that American students are falling behind in science, the United States dominated the top slots. All three of the winners were American, as were nearly three-quarters of the finalists. About 60 percent of the entries came from Americans.

Dr. Cerf said that a common thread among the finalists was that they had explored science enthusiastically for years with the encouragement of their parents.

For Ms. Bose, it was the blue spinach that got her started. “I actually decided that children didn’t want to eat their vegetables because they were green, and so my fantastic idea for the science fair project was to turn a spinach plant blue,” she recalled.

She repeatedly injected blue food coloring into a spinach plant, and a few weeks later she took to school a shriveled, stained vegetable — she had forgotten to water it — and explained that children would happily eat spinach if only it were blue.

“Sounds like a weird beginning, but after that I just realized that science is cool, it’s something I want to do,” said Ms. Bose, who eventually hopes to get a doctorate and a medical degree so that she can both treat patients and look for new cures. “And it’s just been getting better from there.”

China’s Biggest Search Engine, Known for Illegal Downloads, Makes Music Deal


BEIJING — Baidu, the dominant Chinese Internet search engine, on Tuesday announced a major licensing deal with three of the world’s largest music companies that would allow Chinese Web users to legally download and stream hundreds of thousands of songs free.
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Stefen Chow/Bloomberg News

Employees at Baidu's headquarters in Beijing. The company will pay a fee each time songs are downloaded or streamed.

Chinese Web Search Giant Serves Two Masters (July 18, 2011)

The agreement between Baidu and One-Stop China, a joint venture between the Universal Music Group, the Warner Music Group and Sony BMG, will shut down access to a vast amount of pirated music and promises to broadly reshape the way China’s 450 million Web users gain access to online music. The country has long been a haven for pirated content. Baidu has been one of the chief conduits to it, much to the consternation of record labels, publishers and artists both here and abroad.

Under the two-year deal between Baidu and One-Stop China, the three music labels will license over 500,000 songs, about 10 percent of them in Mandarin and Cantonese, which will be stored on Baidu’s servers and available for free streaming and download on the site’s ad-supported MP3 search page and social music platform, Ting.

Baidu will pay a fee to the labels for each time a song is downloaded or played in a stream. It will also share revenue from online ads if that revenue exceeds a certain amount, as well as provide promotional support for the labels. The companies declined to disclose financial details of the agreement.

With Baidu taking up the costs, this deal keeps music free — but legal. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which represents global music companies, estimates that 99 percent of the music found online in China is illegal, much of it available through Baidu. Although China has more broadband connections than the United States and a rapidly growing middle class, the global recorded music industry’s revenue in the country for 2009 was worth just $75 million, compared with $4.6 billion in the United States, according to the federation. So making money from music downloads and streaming in China will have an outsize impact for the labels, since digital sales accounted for 76 percent of the country’s legitimate music revenue in 2010, compared with just 29 percent globally, where CD sales remain dominant.

As part of the deal, on Monday the labels and Baidu agreed to a settlement endorsed by the Beijing Higher People’s Court ending all outstanding litigation. For years, the American and Chinese music industries have singled out Baidu for criticism, saying the company has enabled users to steal vast quantities of copyrighted music, accusations that spurred a number of unsuccessful lawsuits.

In February, the United States trade representative named Baidu as one of the world’s 33 “notorious markets” for piracy and counterfeiting, centering on Baidu’s practice of “deep linking,” or providing search results that direct users to unlicensed songs on other Web sites. Although American search engines have long been forced to abandon such practices, Chinese courts had ruled that deep linking was legal because the music was not stored on Baidu’s servers.

Despite those favorable court decisions, Baidu has now agreed to remove all deep links to music belonging to the three labels, though a small amount of other independently loaded music may remain available. “We’ve never wanted to stand there and thumb our noses at the recording industry,” said Kaiser Kuo, Baidu’s director of international communications. “This is a watershed moment. It’s a great way for us to deliver the best possible user experience by providing free and high-quality music and brings obvious tangible benefits to all parties involved including the labels, artists and advertisers.”

Later this year, as part of the agreement, Baidu plans to introduce a premium fee-based service which will allow paying users to download music onto any computer, tablet or mobile device from a virtual storage locker.

Mr. Kuo added that music search was profitable but had never been a source of major traffic. He said it accounted for a high of 30 percent in 2004 and was now less than 10 percent.

iPhone fireflies flicker across Europe in time-lapse video


Flickering like fireflies as they blink in and out of existence, this rather hypnotic animation is actually a visualisation of the movement of iPhones (and their owners, presumably) over the course of one month.

The time-lapse video tracks the movement of 880 iPhones across western Europe, mostly Germany and the UK, in April 2011. The data was uploaded to the CrowdFlow site by volunteers using the same iPhone data log that caused such a fuss a few months ago.

Michael Kreil and colleagues at the site are trying to create an open source record of Wi-Fi and cellphone networks around the world so they can be used in research. In comments on the site's blog, Kreil explains why the points of light fade in and out of focus.

"The geo data of the iPhones are quite accurate, but I only know the locations at specific points in time. So for example I know the accurate position of an iPhone at 12:03 and at 14:27 but I have no clue, how this iPhone had moved in the meantime. So my estimation is that an iPhone moves from the last known location at an average speed of 30km/h - in all possible directions. It's like a diffusion process. That's why the estimated location becomes more and more blurry and the light fades away."

The same reasoning explains why the pinpricks of light become more diffuse overnight: there's no new information on the phone's location and so its likely whereabouts becomes less and less certain as the hours pass.

It's just nice to see that troublesome iPhone location file being put to some sort of good use. Expand to full screen, cue up some suitably jazzy music, and enjoy.

Hire a PHP Programmer to Create Robust Websites


We all know that PHP is an open-source development application required to create dynamic and robust website content. It is one of the most recognized languages required for the web development process. This language is popular amongst the PHP developers all across the world. There are several companies that have potential PHP programmers and developers to guide you all through. Their aim is to develop top-class and user-friendly websites for you. They provide customized services that develop a unique identity for your business.

Earlier when the Internet came into the world as a newbie, there was an urgent requirement of an online presence for every single company in order to reach global customers. However, with the passing years the use of Internet kept increasing at a great speed thereby demanding for a change. It is not just about having an online presence but a presence, which is unique and has a stand-alone identity. If you are looking for such creations and development for your website then hire a PHP programmer from a recognized company.

There have been a lot more companies scattered all over the world serving PHP services with effective solutions. Their professional PHP developers cater to all your business needs, thereby putting up a user-friendly website and reach wide-ranging global customers. If you research well you will find that among other languages, PHP is the best scripting language that creates robust websites and content. It is both easy to write and use as well. However to make a professional website it is essential to hire a PHP programmer who has an extensive knowledge on web development solutions.

This language is popular amongst people as it has simple features and properties to develop a web pages and websites. It is always advisable to appoint developers or programmers from Indian companies, as they are reliable and affordable at the same time. You can hire these people as per your business needs and requirements. How it would be if you get technical experts within your budget predictability and who can work at flexible hours? No wonder your desires will only get fulfilled when you come to the Indian companies.

Another good and beneficial way of doing online business is 'OsCommerce'. Every business owner looks for options and features to develop a website that suits your business requirements and needs. Os-commerece development process can be the ideal selection if you are looking to develop your company website in a unique way. To make the most out of this platform, it is essential to hire Oscommerce developer from a recognized web development company. No wonder with so many things going on in sectors of information technology, the invention of OsCommerce has made things easier all over the world. There are now many companies that has come up with skilled developers and expertise in OsCommerece web developing and designing.

Another most demanding phenomenon for website development that has come up in these days is none but the PHP MySQL development. This is one of those special ways of developing websites that grants various levels of controls depending on your business's importance. PHP M,ySQL is perhaps the ideal combination of online programming languages. You will find a number of PHP MySQL applications available in market and so the PHP MySQL developer is always in high demands.

The author has several years of experience in writing on programming and web development. He provides valuable advice and guidance about how to Hire PHP Programmer or a PHP MySQL Developer and for that matter Hire Oscommerce Developer etc.

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HTML is a scripting language which we use to write web pages. Text is marked up with tags which organise and format the way text is displayed on the page. Because structure is left up to HTML, style is controlled by CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). These can be used to format text, colour and even the position of block elements on a page.

The newest generation of HTML available is HTML 5.

When creating a web page you start off with the
<HTML> tag, this shows the browser that this is a web document. You then create the <head> tag, this contains information about the site, such as the page title ( This is the title in the browser window, not the title of the page), and other meta information about the page itself.

<body> tag is next. this contains the main 'body' of the web page, and so this is where all the main content will be found. To show the web page where the web document ends the closing HTML tag is used </HTML>

All tags that are opened need to be closed. think of the opening and closing tags as a container
in which elements are kept within.

CSS 'Cascading style sheets' are used with HTML to control style. Things such as text colour, type, size, can all be controlled and edited by an internal or external style sheet. This could be a simple text document similar to the HTML one, and would be saved somewhere within the same directory.

Many WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors can be used to create web pages in a more organic way by dragging and editing text and images. These aren't always preferred because they put excessive amounts of code into the script. This can make editing the source code very difficult.

This is the basic structure of a web page:

<HTML> <head><title>My Web Page</title></head> <body> <p>This is a paragraph within the main body</p> </body> </HTML>

The above is a basic web page that would do no more that display a paragraph, but there are considerably more elements at work.

Keywords are a very important part of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). targeting specific keywords will mean a better ranking in search engines. This is often used to obtain leverage over the competition.

SEO can, in it simplest form, mean optimising on page factors such as Title META description, head tags and URL name. Optimising your page in this way can mean the difference between a top 1000 site in the search engine, to a page sitting in the top 100. Focusing on keywords with higher traffic and lower competition could quite realistically get you to a number one ranking.

HTML in its rawest form allows you accurate control over a web page and its elements. From its META information, down to its keywords, structure, style and behaviour.

HTML isn't a programming language it is a mark-up language. It has evolved over the years from a simple way of displaying text, to a more advanced ways of creating web sites containing rich graphics and flash animation.

Basic tags include:

<p>Paragraph</p> <b>Bold text</b> <i>Italic text</i> <h1>Large text header</h1> <center>Centers elements</center>

Andrew is a Website Designer from Suffolk, England, who enjoys creating cool sites and playing keyboard in his band the Looshkins.

Come and see my blogs at html creator

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Introduction to jQuery


jQuery is a JavaScript library full of tools ready to be used - which means that it's pre-written JavaScript, ready for you to put to work in your own webpages. Here, you a get a guided tour of what makes jQuery so popular.

jQuery specializes in letting you select elements in a page, and it does that better than any JavaScript library. You will see how to create wrapped sets of elements in jQuery, so you can handle multiple elements at the same time. You will see how to manipulate wrapped set of elements by changing their appearance, style, visibility, text, and even their HTML.

jQuery also comes packed with super-powerful and cool utility functions, such as functions that let you determine which browser the user has and what its capabilities are. jQuery provides many utility functions and you will get a look at the best ones here.

jQuery is known for its visual effects which includes slike-looking wipes, in which a sheet of color wipes over an element and fades, in which an element and its background fades from view. Here you will see what you can do with these kinds of effects.

The jQuery library has taken the front-end development world by storm. Its dead-simple syntax makes once-complicated tasks downright trivial-enjoyable, even. Many a developer has been quickly seduced by its elegance and clarity. If you've started using the library, you're already adding rich, interactive experiences to your projects. Getting started is easy, but as is the case with many of the tools we use to develop websites, it can take months or even years to fully appreciate the breadth and depth of the jQuery library. The library is chock-full of features you might never have known to wish for. Once you know about them, they can dramatically change how you approach the problems you're called upon to solve.

The jQuery widgets, which are popular controls that you can use in your webpages like calenders, accordian controls (that let you open their pleats to see additional pages of contents), sliders, tabs, and many more. The jQuery widgets have a polished, professional looks and jQuery provides them for just about every purpose you can think of in any webpages.

Finally, of course, comes Ajax. jQuery's features are organized into a handful of simple categories: core functionality, selecting, manipulating, traversing, CSS, attributes, events, effects, Ajax, and utilities.

That's the game plan, then to put jQuery to work and see at its most impressive.

To know or learn more about jQuery, its widgets and plugins visit: There's a whole lot of stuff about jQuery on it.

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Best Practices for Mobile Application Development


As per Wikipedia, "Mobile application development is the process by which application software is developed for small low-power handheld devices such as personal digital assistants, enterprise digital assistants or mobile phones." A mobile software or application is a term used to describe software that runs on smartphones and mobile phones and are designed to educate, entertain, or help users in their daily lives.

Due to the widespread use of the World Wide Web, the usage of mobile applications is increasing at a very rapid rate leading to rise in the demand graph of global mobile market. No doubt the demand rate is getting increase but at the same time, many software development companies are not able to get ample amount of opportunities for developing mobile applications. This is because these companies are still restricted to the old application development trend which includes delayed launching of applications accompanied with over-pricing and inefficient usage.

In order to develop feature-rich mobile applications, there are some key development points which need to be followed upon at the very early development stage. These points will surely enable an IT outsourcing software development to achieve an optimal consumer experience as well as satisfaction.

Through this article, we want that every company involved in the profession of mobile application development, should explore, gain important lessons and adopt the best practices which, if followed, will definitely make a way to come up with an efficiently and qualitatively developed mobile application that users will love to use. Keeping in mind the challenges of mobile application development, designers and developers must take full advantage of the lessons learned and best practices and follow the below mentioned tips and practices which can be used to start any new project on a positive footing:

Context is critical for mobile applications. A thorough understanding of the user's context and objectives is a must requirement.
Display minimum number of options possible on any single screen.
Conduct ongoing usability testing throughout the design and development process, including testing on real devices.
The less text input, the better.
Use simple navigation structures pointing to one specific task at a time.
Reducing the number of objects, define proper data structures and carefully manage object handles. These features will help to conserve memory.
Store data on the device selectively and archive less frequently accessed data on the server.
Do as much processing as possible on the server.
Effectively use multi-threading wherever possible to improve performance.
Use high contrast text color and select typefaces for maximum readability.
Provide clear status and feedback based on progress of task completion.
Manage content in a wise manner. Wherever possible, try to crop large images and reduce the size of data files.
Use a consistent User Interface design that helps users maintain a familiarity with the application.
Get involved in real-time interaction via social media. This could include live Facebook or Twitter streams.

On the whole, the developed application should be simple enough to be used, should be friendly and if possible, should allow users to share their experience and status with their friends.

Author's bio:
David Frankk is the author of this article. He has been writing articles for many software development companies like Q3 technologies. Moreover, he has been actively involved in providing useful content writing material related to Software documentation template.
For more details, feel free to visit

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PSD to HTML Conversion to Create Web Page


PSD is the design document created in Adobe Photoshop application. Web page designers use Photoshop for visualizing and creating design for websites.

You can't use the Photoshop graphics design to show it as web page, as it is essential converted it into HTML page for making it live on website.

For creating web pages HTML, CSS, images and JavaScript's are used. If you are planning to create your web page from PSD file then you should know all these technologies. The better way is to hire a professional HTML coder for getting this work done in much professional way.

As Converting a PSD to HTML is not a Child's play, as it requires a comprehensive understanding of various technologies. Owing to the complexity of this process, it is better to avail the services of a professional with an expertise in this field. In fact PSD files are made in the Adobe Photoshop format and hence its conversion to HTML is necessary to make it accessible and visible on the Internet. A PSD to CSS/HTML converted page offers easy accessibility to the users.

One should be very careful while doing HTML coding. A skilled web designer can perform the task of PSD to CSS/HTML conversion with much speed and accuracy. While converting a PSD to HTML an experienced web designer always keep in the mind the users who search the websites, they concentrates on the search engine friendliness of the page.

Conversion of PSD to HTML make a website small and user friendly that get it more traffic. It also imparts a website cross browser compatibility making it available through different browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome and others. This conversion also ensures that the code is related to the meaning of the word and is without any error. PSD to html conversion is also well known for the pixel accurate conversion that ensure website a uniform look across different browsers.

If you are someone looking for PSD to HTML conversion, hire the services of a company that offers hand coded semantic markups and doesn't use automated software for this purpose. Before making a decision you should also cheek the track record of the services provider.

The PSD to conversion should be professionally and once the pages are created must be validated using W3C validation utility. It is also good to check the pages for browser compatibility also.

Professional PSD to HTML Conversion services for converting your PSD files into HTML/XHTML.

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All About Facebook Application Development


An introduction to Facebook Applications

Facebook needs no introduction. It is one of the most popular social networks in the world. Predominated by youngsters, the user base is almost about 500 million active users. Indeed, even these statistics have been taken from one of the applications from Facebook. The fact sheet also states that there are almost as many as 20 million installations of Facebook everyday and they are developed using the Facebook platform, by people from more than 190 countries. One other interesting fact about Facebook is that Facebook development has made inroads to mobile users as well and today, people accessing Facebook through their mobile phones are twice as active as their non - mobile counterparts. Other websites integrate with Facebook as well, in order to spread the awareness about their business or about their websites. As many as 10,000 new business websites are connected with Facebook every day.

Some of the Facebook applications

There is a plethora of Facebook Application Development introduced each day and one is free to choose the application of his / her choice. Some of the applications which are ready - made applications are Facebook for iPhone, Causes, Mafia wards ( a game which has almost half the Facebook users playing), Sketch me, Trip Advisor, Birthday cards and My calendar which server to remind a person about his daily agenda. The beauty of these applications is that there is even an application available, which allows a person scope for Facebook Application Development. This application uses all the protocols of web application building and enables even the least knowledgeable person to build an application.

Games on Facebook

Games seem to be the heart beat of many Facebook user. In fact, the popularity is so high that there is stiff competition between people playing the same game. The very fact that this creative website design is being used so frequently declares the success of Facebook Application development. One of the facts to be noted at this stage is that most of the Facebook Development takes place offshore. Offshore development is one of the business techniques being practised today and it involves setting up the office away from home, with people who possess the required skill sets. The offices concerned with offshore development have different procedures like setting up the physical atmosphere, the computer connections with the necessary tools, hire the required personnel and create the correct protocols for responsibility transfer and reporting.

Nichetech Computer Solutions is a fast growing Facebook application Development and Offshore Software Development Company which has had a fair experience of developing a good number of Facebook applications.

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.NET Framework MSIL: What Is Obfuscation?


Q: What is Obfuscation?

A: Obfuscation allows you to protect your code from reverse engineering by making your code so confusing that it cannot be easily decompiled into human readable code. A well-written .NET obfuscator tool does this for you automatically by modifying assemblies after compilation. Altering the code in such a way that the code will still run and execute in the same way but any attempt to decompile the assemblies will only produce meaningless code that will confuse human interpreters.

Basic .NET obfuscators just rename all the identifiers within the code to randomly generated names, i.e. all class and method names will be renamed to meaningless words. They may use hashing techniques or arithmetically offset the characters to unreadable or unprintable characters. These techniques make the code hard to understand and navigate but with time and a bit more effort than non-obfuscated assemblies they can be reverse-engineered.

Advanced .NET obfuscators provide even more protection. They use advanced techniques to not only rename the symbol identifiers but change the underlying MSIL code within the assemblies making the code almost impossible to decompile by decompilation software. While it will always be possible to manually analyse the MSIL code and reverse-engineer an assembly, if the code is too difficult to decompile with the use of automated decompilation software, it is safe to say that it will be nearly impossible for a human to decompile and reverse engineer the assemblies and most certainly not worth the effort it would take to do so.

Basic obfuscation (i.e. symbol renaming) can be further enhanced by overload induction. Overload induction takes symbol renaming a step further by reusing symbol names where ever possible. If two methods or functions have different parameters they can be renamed with the same identifier name even if both methods may have completely different functionality. This adds further confusion since the majority of methods and functions within the assemblies end up with the same symbol names.

A side effect of the symbol renaming used by .NET obfuscators is that any stack traces produced in error messages are no longer in human readable format. Advanced .NET obfuscators provide the ability to parse these obfuscated stack traces and return a human readable version. In general this functionality is only available to the person/company who obfuscated the code in the first place and is either controlled by password encrypted symbol names or symbol name lookup files.

Obfuscation Example:
The following C# example demonstrates symbol renaming in conjunction with overload induction:

Source Code Before Obfuscation:

private void IncreaseSalaries(EmployeeInfoCollection employees) {
while (employees.HasMore()) {
employee = employees.GetNext(true);

Reverse-Engineered Source Code After Obfuscation:

private void a(a b) {
while (b.a()) {
a = b.a(true);

The above example not only makes the code incredibly difficult to understand, but it also compacts the code by using shorter symbol names resulting in smaller assemblies.

Have you liked this article, Obfusasm.NET Obfuscator can be used to obfuscate your own assemblies, and CodeReflect.NET Decompiler can be used to check that they are obfuscated.

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Rich Internet Application: Then and Now


There was a time when websites meant static pages with loads of information in them. All that changed with the introduction of graphics and Rich Internet Applications. RIA development is seen as one of the challenging and intriguing territories among website developers. RIA developers have added life to websites and made them more interactive. RIAs are deployed across browsers and developed using Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash, Flex, Ajax, Java, WPF etc. With only a few websites having adopted RIAs to promote themselves there is tremendous potential in the platform which is why technical experts are terming it as next logical step in Internet's evolutionary process.

RIAs have combined the rich intuitive experience of desktop applications with the power and rich of the Internet. They provide a great user experience by encompassing audio and visual elements. Businesses like e-commerce and those which are heavily customer centric are gaining heavily using Rich Internet Applications. This has helped businesses increase their customer base by substantial numbers as the quality of their online service has seen significant improvement.

Most businesses outsource RIA development to offshore RIA development centers in countries like India and Philippines. Here these applications are developed by experienced developers to suit a customer's specific demands. These experts handle your custom development projects to brand your business at the same time meet all your business needs with the application. What's more the cost of application development in these countries is lower, thanks to the low cost of hiring well trained technical labor.

How RIAs Have Changed the Internet

Traditionally all processing was done on the server with a new webpage being downloaded each time a user clicked. Rich Internet Applications reduced bandwidth usage and server load as the processing was shared between the web server and the application server. This has also helped in reducing operational costs.
Rich Internet Applications have reduced multi-screen interface and is offering single application view to the users thereby reducing the business process significantly. This has helped in enhancing user productivity and satisfaction.
Websites had to be flipped back and forth if the user visited multiple pages in a website resulting in a slow and painstaking user experience. RIAs have changed the rules of the game with complex set of information with the ease of a desktop application.
RIAs help in tracking customer behavior efficiently as the application can classify and distinguish between customers automatically. Traditionally webmasters had to analyze huge volumes of data manually to study about customer behavior.
Web pages can be incrementally updated with the use of RIA which wasn't possible in the past. Also information can be fetched and displayed in anticipation of a user's response by tracking these common online habits.

Vishal Arora is an iPhone and Flash expert working as a technical writer with Evon Technologies, an offshore development company dealing with mobile, software, and web application development.

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Latest Java Technology


AJAX stands asynchronous JavaScript and XML. It is a new technology for developing the web applications. It was invented in 2005 for loading the webpage contents. It is used to enable the web applications to extract the data in servers. Web applications extract the data in asynchronous manner. AJAX supports all the web browsers, because AJAX applications are not platform dependent. In this technology the data is extracted by using XML HTTP request object. It is used to exchange the information from server to client. There are two ways for extract the data from server that are Make an HTML form

Use post to extract the data

AJAX based on the following web standards that are HTML


In AJAX, JavaScript uses the XML HTTP request to communicate with server. It uses HTTP request, the webpage request and get the reply from the server. AJAX tag is an open source project. AJAX tag is a JSP tags that are used in java script server pages. AJAX tag is a combination of java classes and java script source files. Functions of AJAX tags are Auto complete.

Call out
Drop down
Update field
AJAX control toolkit

It is an open source project. This is a combination of ASP.NET, Microsoft and it provides to write reusable, extensible ASP.NET extenders and controls. It contains more than 30 controls that are used to create rich web pages. AJAX sea dragon toolkit used to make an image full screen and it enables to pan, zoom and it enables to perform file upload without doing a post back.

AJAX web services

It is used to access the web services from client script web pages. Client script web pages communicate with the server by using communication layer and it is used to make web calls. The web calls are done by using proxy classes. A proxy classes is a script that are generated by server. Proxy class represent the client object method of web service. The communication layer contains the information about client script types. It supports the complexity application between client and server. Server architecture consists of server communication layer with HTTP handler, custom services, and page methods.


it provides a way for user to interact with a website without refreshing. In this technology, server provides only the required information to client and it save bandwidth. Usability it decreases the use of bandwidth.



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An Introduction in Java Concurrency


The programming language Java supports concurrent programming and all processing is done in threads. In the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) resources can be accessed by any or several of those threads. Each thread can possibly access any object or resource in the program. The programmer in this case must make sure that access to these resources is managed properly. In other words, only one thread can access resources at the time, so all other threads must be prevented from accessing (partially) updated resources. Java as a programming language has some native support for managing access to resources, this is called Java concurrency.

Concurrency is beneficial for several reasons. It can minimize response lag, maximize throughput, simulate autonomous object for modelling and offers exploiting multiprocessors and overlapping I/O for parallelism. Concurrency using Java threads must be protected by locks and such. Implementing concurrency however, results in an increase in complexity and can lead to higher resource usage.

If different threads, either on one core or on multicore, are using a shared resource, a concurrency library is needed. The Java concurrency library provides shared-memory concurrency. Distributed concurrency and message passing require additional frameworks. Because computations in a concurrent system can interact with each other while they are executing, the number of possible execution paths in the system can be extremely large, and the resulting outcome can be Indeterminacy in concurrent computation. Concurrent use of shared resources can be a source of indeterminacy leading to issues such as deadlock, and Resource starvation

Deadlocks can arise when protecting accesses from concurrent threads by locks. This is due to the fact that several threads are trying to access (or even alter) the same memory. With parallel programming these threads can be working at the same time, but with concurrency it can be possible that one thread is paused, and another thread tries to access the same memory. The Java concurrency library provides locks but cannot ensure that deadlocks do not occur. An alternative to using locks is to write code in a message passing style.

Message passing communication makes the concurrent components communicate by exchanging (passing) messages. This message passing can be done by blocking the sender until the message is received or asynchronous. Asynchronous message passing may be reliable or unreliable.

Message passing concurrency tends to be easier to understand than shared memory concurrency because it looks more logical at the first glance. It is considered to be a robust form of concurrent programming. There are various mathematical theories to help understand message passing systems. Examples are the actor model, ambient calculus and Pi-calculus.

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iPhone Application Development: Exciting Career Opportunity for Creative Developers


Smartphones, and especially iPhones, have found favor with a vast majority of professionals and teenagers. Apps have fueled this popularity for iPhones, and considering the growing demand for people who can create innovative apps for iPhone; it would be a good career move to work as an iPhone application developer.

"Apps are bullshit," in the words of Jason Baptiste, CEO On Swipe. The company says that for most businesses apps are useless, and the companies could do a lot better if they used his firm's services which let them create striking and touch enabled sites via browser technology. It's an amazing concept which might work wonders for business promotion on tablet devices.

The opening statement of his speech to investors has shock value; it's almost like opening lines of John Donne's poems that begin with a shocking line and build up a convincing argument on it. But that's about it: apps are loved by most Smartphone users. Apps make life fun and easy for users, and the phenomenal success of smartphones is indebted to diverse innovative apps.

The two biggest names in smartphones market, iPhone and Android, have gained popularity and user-appreciation owing to the large number of apps in their app stores. iPhone application development is a huge business and there are millions of apps in the apple app store, and billions of apps have been downloaded by excited users.

In the rapidly changing world of communication technology it is not easy to predict a change; tried and tested technologies are replaced by newer technologies every day. But iPhone application development is here to stay: perhaps not for next ten years, but at least for the next five years. There is an incredible demand in the market for iPhone developers who have the ability to harness the iPhone SDK and create attractive and well-functioning apps for iPhone.

At present, a large number of developers working on iPhone application development have shifted from other software development department. But in the light of new development, a number of institutes and organizations are providing training for iPhone developers. Although numerous new and astounding iPhone apps are released every day, there is a paucity of iPhone app developers in the market. If you are a creative person with interest in logic and passion for software development, a career in iPhone application development beckons you.

When app development was in its initial stages, it was limited to making existing web sites compatible with the iPhone format. But now the need is for creative developers who can exploit the unique features of the iPhone devices and format to creative apps and websites that are made especially for the iPhone.

While there are a number of people involved in iPhone application development, there are very few who possess expertise with iPhone development in the true sense. There is space for you to use your creative, create apps and websites for iPhone and put them on the iPhone app store and make a lot of money!

If you are a creative individual, you can use your understanding of iPhone development to get high-paying jobs, or you can develop your own apps and market them over the iPhone app store to earn some serious money. The best part of this career is that you are not stuck in a boring job-your work forces you to innovate and use your brains, and you get paid for your creative and talent.

Tri-Force is a web development company renowned for its offshore iPhone application development and mobile application development capability. Tri-Force also lets you hire offshore developers to work on your projects. Contact us at

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About Programming Languages


Programming language translators are taken as best example of system software. The computer programming language is developed with the primary objectives and simplifies the large number of peoples to use computer without any need to know the details of internal structure of the computer.

Languages are matching with the type of operation to be performed by the algorithm for various applications. Languages are also to be designed for the machine independent process.

There are some of the popular high level language are taken. These are:

It stands for formula translation. It is the oldest high level language. The first version of this language was known as FORTRAN - II, and next popular version was FORTRAN -04. FORTRAN-77 was the most powerful than its predecessors. Recently this version has FORTRAN has known as FORTRAN-90, which is superseding of FORTRAN-77.

It stands for Common Business Oriented Language. Now a day's it is widely used to programming language for business data processing and outsourcing process.

3. Basic:
It stands for Beginners of All Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. It was developed for the users who are starting and their learning process of the computer and it can be learned quickly.

4. Pascal:
It was named after the French mathematician Pascal. It was designed and developed by Nicholas. The main objective behind of this language development has which allows beginners to learn good problem solving and programming methods.

5. 'C' Language:
'C' is the dominant high level language for building programs. For these types of application and it has been taken primary development language for personal computers and workstations. It is widely used by the independent software developers for building package applications. 'C' is having the highest degree of portability across the various hardware platforms.

History of 'C' Language:
'C' is one of the most popular programming languages; it was developed by Dennis Ritchie at Bell Laboratories at USA in 1972. It is an upgraded version of two earlier languages, which were also developed at Bell laboratories.

Language Founder
1. Algol International Group
2. BCPL Martin Richards
3. B Ken Thompson
4. C Dennis Ritchie
5. K & RC Kernighan and Ritchie
6. ANSI C ANSI Committee
7. ANSI/ISO C ISO Committee

'C' is a Middle Level Language. And the low and high level languages are,

1. Low Level Language:
The low language is in terms of 0's and 1's (bits). 'C' language has the certain features of low language, which allows the programmer to carry out operations on bits that are normally available as an assembly or machine language.

2. High Level Language:
High level languages are easily understandable and have been designed to give a better program efficiency. These languages are machinery independent. Examples are FORTRAN, PASCAL, C, and C++... etc.

C stands among these two categories. It is a middle language. It means it performs the task of low language as well as high level language.

Features and Applications of C Language:
1. It is highly portable.
2. This is strong language whose rich set of building in functions and operators can be used to write any complex program.
3. 'C' has the ability to extend itself. We can continually add our own functions to the existing library functions.
4. This is well suited for writing system software as well as application software.
5. This program can be run by different operating system of the different computers with little or no alteration.

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