|SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY|
What tech surprises lie in store for 2011
Trends Prof Yash
Prof Yash Pal
What tech surprises lie in store for 2011
What’s in store for technology in 2011? Plenty. While 2010 saw the unveiling of hot products like the iPad and iPhone 4 — 2011 looks poised to build on the best of what the preceding year had to offer.
Apple’s iPad was just the beginning. In 2011, expect an onslaught of competitors that want to take a bite out of Apple’s near monopoly in the “pad” market.
New models from HP, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, Motorola, Dell, Asus, Cisco, Lenovo, and others are expected to be rolled out in 2011.
While these products may not have the instant name recognition of an iPad, they’ll all likely have something that the iPad doesn’t: affordability. What will Apple do in response? There are plenty of shortcomings in the iPad that could be addressed by an iPad successor. Expect to see one in 2011.
Upstarts like Facebook and Twitter took the world by storm in 2010. Will tech heavyweights like Google stand by and watch success like that go unchallenged? Unlikely.
Twitter’s 140-character niche may be tough to replicate, but expect 2011 to see competitors attempt to chip away at Facebook’s success. Google is currently rumoured to have a “Google Me” product in the wings, which is expected to give Facebook some competition in 2011. Others are likely to follow suit.
There are plenty of reasons for cloud computing to be taken seriously — by both corporations and consumers — in 2011.
The first is accessibility. Internet access is close to ubiquitous in many areas now, so storing your data on some server that you can reach only when online is less of an issue than it used to be.
The second, though, is cost. In an age when budgets are under the microscope, the cost of running and maintaining your own storage or servers is a factor that can feasibly be eliminated by using cloud-based applications and storage.
And finally, there’s the issue of backups. Put simply, backup routines are someone else’s problem when your data is on the cloud — and that’s a good thing, since many people fail to back up their data adequately, if at all.
Think big and fast in 2011. Traditional mechanical hard drives will be available in 3-terabyte (TB) capacities and larger — and at prices that will be budget-friendly.
Speed freaks, though, will want to look at the upcoming crop of solid state drives (SSDs), which will take full advantage of the newest 6 gigabit per second (Gb/s) SATA drive connectivity standard to pump data through your PC at roughly twice the speed of today’s widespread 3 Gb/s standard.
SSDs will continue to command a price premium in 2011, but increasing capacities overall will bring down prices on the units that are currently the costliest. For those who have been waiting for SSDs to get big enough to be interesting, expect 600 gigabyte (GB) drives to appear early in the year.
Networks are generally boring, but 2011 will see some exciting advances in how you get online — and how quickly.
First, the speedy 802.11n wireless standard will become firmly entrenched in notebooks and wireless routers, making wired-like speeds widely available to notebooks and other wireless devices.
Even better, a plethora of “three-stream” routers will hit the market, making it possible to stream different types of data across wireless spectrums, so your music listening and file downloading won’t slow down your internet surfing.
USB 3.0 was unveiled in 2010, but hardly anyone noticed. Expect that to change in 2011, as a flood of new products are unleashed that take advantage of USB 3.0’s tremendous speed advantage over USB 2.0, as well as its bi-directional communication prowess.
In 2011, don’t buy a desktop or notebook PC that’s not equipped with the improved USB standard.
Expect more choice and more tumult in the mobile space than ever before. For the first time, the smartphone market won’t consist of BlackBerry and iPhone and everyone else. Google Android-based phones and even Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 will provide real competition for the market leaders from both a price and feature standpoint. — DPA
SEVERODVINSK, Russia: Satellite infrastructure for Russia’s challenge to the U.S. global positioning system (GPS) will be ready by March despite the “heavy loss” of a failed launch, the country’s space agency chief said on Monday. Three satellites plunged into the Pacific Ocean last week after a rocket launch went wrong, setting back the Kremlin’s plans to complete its GLONASS navigation system.
Stem cells used to make pancreas, gut cells
WASHINGTON: Stem cells can be transformed into the pancreatic cells needed to treat diabetes and into complex layers of intestinal tissue, scientists demonstrated in two experiments reported on Sunday. In one, a team turned immature sperm cells into pancreatic tissue, while another team turned embryonic stem cells into complex layers of intestinal tissue.
Pompeii collapses spark worry and outrage
POMPEII, Italy: Pompeii mayor Claudio D’Alessio does not want to go down in history linked with Pliny the Younger, the Roman who chronicled the destruction of the ancient city nearly 2,000 ago in an eruption of Mount Vesuvius. “The city is suffering and losing its pieces,” said D’Alessio as he stood near the Via dell’ Abbondanza, the main street leading from the columns of the Forum in the ancient city that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Pepsi close to sweetener breakthrough
NEW YORK: PepsiCo Inc is “very close” to launching new products that use a mix of sweeteners and flavor modifiers to make low-calorie drinks taste better than ever, its chief executive said on Monday. “We want to be out there with a product that is outstanding, not one that is just good,” said Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi at a conference hosted by Beverage Digest.
Can we see a ray of light? If so, why don't we see it at night, when the moon shines because of light?
When we say that a ray of light can pass through vacuum without interacting with any thing, we also say that there is nothing in the path of the light ray. We see lot of stars in the night sky. We do not see the long paths of the light rays coming from them. This means that we see light when it travels in the direction of our eyes. When the light beam is travelling through fog, a smoke or a dust cloud, some of it is scattered in the direction of our eyes, and we might be able to discern the path of the beam of the light going through, but we do not see the photons travelling across but only that bit that is deflected in the direction of our eyes. Indeed, the object seen is the dust or smoke cloud that does the scattering.
What I am saying is best understood by the fact that we see the blue skies. Sky is nothing but that colour of white light that is scattered most copiously by the molecules of air and falls into our eyes. If there were no atmosphere we would not have our blue skies. In fact it is light that comes to us directly in a modified way, courtesy of the air molecules. Out in space where there is no air the sky as we know it does not exist and we say that stars are seen in dark skies.
Why doesn't an egg break if we press against its longer axis?
I think the answer to your query might be the following: In my view an egg is one of the most beautifully sculptured natural objects. Any force along axis has a very tiny component of the force normal to the surface of the shell. The rest is almost longitudinal to the egg shell. This direction is naturally strong against forces in that direction. On the contrary when we put a force along the shorter axis we are pressing almost normal to the surface of the thin shell that is rather strongly held at the two ends. Therefore breaking the shell in that direction is rather simple.