Xammp – Best tool in the world for web developers.

If you do any type database development; this tool is a must. It allows you to create mock databases and test PHP scripts on your computer without having to upload each time.

Here is a brief video:

Xammp can be downloaded from: http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html



Smartphone for your eye.

Contact lenses, other than the cosmetic variet...

Image via Wikipedia

Researchers have integrated a tiny light emitting diode (LED) display into a contact lens. The display projects images and text into the eye from a mobile device. The electricity to do this is provided wirelessly from a looped antenna embedded in the transparent lens. The eye-LEDS will display a lot more information that the conventional smart phone screen. “This will enable us to generate large images that will appear to float in front of the eye at a distance of 20 to 40 inches,” say Babak Parviz , a nanotechnology specialist at the University of Washington in Seattle.

However, it will be several years before you see this technology launched on the market. In the meantime we can look forward to an intelligent projection, a system in which LEDs are used to project the image of a keyboard onto a surface such as a desk and a display image on the screen above it. This “home computer for the future” will use an infrared sensor to detect even the slightest finger movements.

TIDBIT: How a touch screen works.

A touch screen consist of 5 components:

  1. Protective layer
  2. Touchscreen
  3. Electrical contact to touchscreen
  4. Display surface
  5. Smartphones electronic components

A finger or stylus disturbs the units electromagnetic field, which extends across the touchscreen like an invisible  film of moisture. The smartphone analyzes the disturbance and interprets them as movements.

The human body is a good conductor of electricity. When you place your finger into electric field, current flows through your body and down into the earth. The closer your finger is to the electrode , the stronger the current from that electrode will be-which is how the smartphone always knows where your finger is.

The smartphone interprets each movement your finger makes with the help of data it collects and stores( e.g point of origin , directional movement, speed and endpoint).

Source  [Feb 2011, pg 72-73, Ideas and Discovery]



The Mars Experiment

logo of Mars 500

Image via Wikipedia

In June 2010 six people began a simulation of a flight to Mars that will require them to remain in total isolation for 18 months. No one has ever been left alone like this-which is why the Mars500 project is considered one of the most dangerous experiments in human history.
Excerpt from [page 3,Feb 2011, Ideas and Discovery magazine]

A  few reasons why it’s so dangerous :

Crew members in previous space missions developed animosity towards one another about halfway into the mission, and this often led to violent outbreaks. The first simulation of a mission to Mars had to be cancelled after 180 days because two crew members began fighting and a female crew member was nearly raped. The crew would have likely ended up dead if this was a real mission.

There are no Internet or telephones. All messages are sent to the “ground station” at the IBMP in Moscow. As the ship moves further and further away from the earth there is an increase in communication time delay. For example, after just two months, it would take 20 minutes for a distress call to reach the base and at least another 20 for the base’s response to be received. In an acute emergency- this delay could mean the difference between life and death.

There is a possibility that the isolation might lead to madness. Studies done with prisoners subjected to long periods of solitary confinement have shown that such isolations alters their hormonal balance and can lead to hallucinations.

Source: [Page 3, Feb 2011, Ideas and Discovery Magazine]

Securing your blackberry.

BlackBerry Secured

  • Use a password

Especially if you have a tendency to lose or misplace your phone as much as I do.

Options > Security Options > General Settings and set Password to Enabled.

If you are using a BlackBerry Enterprise Server, then the data that flies back and forth between your handheld and the server is encrypted. The data stored on your handheld is a different story. Content Protection will encrypt your emails and other content stored in the machine. By choosing this option, you will be protected if someone were to connect the device to a USB port and attempt to read its memory. To enable Content Protection, go to Options > Security Options > General Settings. Set Content Protection to Enabled. You have the choice of applying Content Protection to your Address Book. If you do, you will lose the Caller ID function, so you will have to decide if the risk outweighs the inconvenience.

  • Password EncryptionBlackBerry Password Keeper

 There is an already built-in password encryption / storage on your BlackBerry’s desktop called “Password Keeper”. It is a safe way to store passwords on your BlackBerry. You can only access this password store using a password you have set before. This is more secure way to store passwords than using MemoPad or EMails in your mailbox. This is secure enough to store some passwords may be coded to a credit / atm card on the device. I would not write complete login data in there as it is always a good idea to be prepared if someone finally cracks the store.