Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Talking about speed...

For those lucky ones in Singapore and wired up via (expected to hit 95% penetration this year), they can get *today* :

Starhub: 1000 Mbps down, 500 Mbps up, International up to 100 Mbps @ SGD 396 (USD 316)
200 Mbps down, 100 Mbps up, International up to 25 Mbps @ SGD 158.36 (USD 125.45)
150 Mbps down, 75 Mbps up, International up to 15 Mbps @ SGD 136.96 (USD 109.35)

Singtel: 200 Mbps down, 100 Mbps up, International up to 25 Mbps @ SGD 95.90 (USD 76.55)
150 Mbps down, 75 Mbps up, International up to 15 Mbps @ SGD 85.90 (USD 68.60)

Those are just the two major providers and that does not include discounts if you use multiple services from the respective providers.

There are additional players involved offering a diverse set of packages that cover other speed/price ranges as well.

Actually I am in Peetzig, Germany.
The only available service is Internet via Edge (T-Mobile D) and I got the stratospheric speed of 15 Kbps...
Very often I cannot even open a page, to download my mail I have to do it in steps, to get a page I had to cancel the images reception...and ALL in the High tech country Germany.
And I am 72 Km. from Berlin!!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

It’s hard to create middle-class jobs in the Western World

“Apple’s an example of why it’s so hard to create middle-class jobs in the U.S. now,”
“If it’s the pinnacle of capitalism, we should be worried.”

Apple executives say that going overseas, at this point, is their only option. One former executive described how the company relied upon a Chinese factory to revamp iPhone manufacturing just weeks before the device was due on shelves. Apple had redesigned the iPhone’s screen at the last minute, forcing an assembly line overhaul. New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight.

A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day.

“The speed and flexibility is breathtaking,” the executive said. “There’s no American plant that can match that.”

Similar stories could be told about almost any electronics company — and outsourcing has also become common in hundreds of industries, including accounting, legal services, banking, auto manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.

But while Apple is far from alone, it offers a window into why the success of some prominent companies has not translated into large numbers of domestic jobs. What’s more, the company’s decisions pose broader questions about what corporate America owes Americans as the global and national economies are increasingly intertwined.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Italy is a sinking boat

Nothing can represent Italy as well as the Costa Concordia.
A whale stranded on the cliffs. The captain first caused the problem, then denied it and finally escaped. Just like Berlusconi. The captain pretended to give instructions from the beach, with the feet on a dry ground, while the crew had to act on the boat. Exactly like the parties with the actual Monti government.
The ship has an Italian name, but the owner is American… exactly like our Country. The master American’s name is Carnival, exactly like the management of our public finance.
The crew was totally extra communitarians and underpaid, exactly like those who work in Italy.
In order to save the savable the edge staff has mutinied while the ship was sinking on its flank.
Well, this still has not jet happened on the mainland.
On the Concord the crew has been able to revolt because the captain was not there with the army, like in Val di Susa.
The name Concord refers to unity among the European nations.
Its thirteen bridges have in fact names of European States, among them Greece, Italy, Great Britain, Portugal, France, Germany, but in Europe there are no bridges, on the contrary the Germans would prefer to cut their arm rather than to finance Italy and Greece.
The alarm has been given, when the boat was already turning upside down. Just like the Italian economic catastrophe, Tremorti and the " crisis behind our shoulders". The aids have arrived from private boats. The sloops were insufficient, there was fight among the passengers for the life jackets and everything was chaos.
It seemed just an Italian ordinary day.
The disaster has not happened for natural causes, but for distraction.
The usual rule for Italy.
The Concord sank to approach the island to give the chance to say hallo to friends and authority of the Giglio island. On the boat’s christening the launched bottle of champagne bounced on the flank , the disaster has happened of Friday 13. If we were superstitious we would begin to fear.

Is brain decline inevitable?

Brain decline is not an inevitable part of aging... You don't have to accept embarrassing "senior moments" as the norm. Certainly there are ways to help promote optimal brain function as you age.

Typically, your first brain function to go is your processing capacity or working memory capability. What if you could maintain it instead of losing it?

Research suggests the smart addition of particular nutrients can achieve exactly that. Nutrients such as:

Phosphatidylserine (PS) - Critical nutrient for brain health... important building block for your brain's 100 billion nerve cells. Important for memory, judgment, word recall and reasoning.* Transmits electrical signals through your body along up to 100 trillion pathways, and more...

Choline - Precursor for acetylcholine - a major chemical messenger for memories, thoughts, and other brain functions. Vital for optimal brain function during the natural aging process. GPC (Glycerophosphocholine) is the bioactive form with much clinical evidence for healthy brain function.

DHA/EPA - Fatty acids heavily concentrated in your brain... major building blocks for brain cells. Supports nerve and brain cell function; studies suggest shortages can affect cognitive function.

Astaxanthin - Very strong free radical scavenger helps protect your brain from oxidative damage.
Dr. Mercola

Big Brother watches you

"Disclosing 736 daily pieces of self, or what we talk about when we talk about privacy.

We’ve already explored the physical underbelly of the Internet, but what happens to the actual data that it digests? 28,000 MMS messages — multimedia pieces of communication like photos, videos, and voice communication — are sent into the world every second, and cell phone companies record much of the metadata that travels with them, like location, identity of the receiver, amount of data transferred, and the cost of the transmission.
The average user has 736 pieces of this personal data collected every day, and different service providers retain this information for anywhere between 12 and 60 months.
Network is a remarkably designed piece of motion graphics by graphic design student Michael Rigley exploring the secret life of our MMS data and the tradeoffs we inadvertently face as we choose convenience of communication over privacy and control of personal data."
The Secret Life of Your Personal Data

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The new "Superbug"

"Compelling new scientific evidence suggests United Nations peacekeepers have carried a virulent strain of cholera -- a super bug -- into the Western Hemisphere for the first time.
The vicious form of cholera has already killed 7,000 people in Haiti, where it surfaced in a remote village in October 2010. Leading researchers from Harvard Medical School and elsewhere told ABC News that, despite UN denials, there is now a mountain of evidence suggesting the strain originated in Nepal, and was carried to Haiti by Nepalese soldiers who came to Haiti to serve as UN peacekeepers after the earthquake that ravaged the country on Jan. 12, 2010 -- two years ago today. Haiti had never seen a case of cholera until the arrival of the peacekeepers, who allegedly failed to maintain sanitary conditions at their base.

"What scares me is that the strain from South Asia has been recognized as more virulent, more capable of causing severe disease, and more transmissible," said John Mekalanos, who chairs the Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School. "These strains are nasty. So far there has been no secondary outbreak. But Haiti now represents a foothold for a particularly dangerous variety of this deadly disease."

More than 500,000 Haitians have been infected, and Mekalanos said a handful of victims who contracted cholera in Haiti have now turned up in Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and in Boston, Miami and New York, but only in isolated cases.

How cholera landed in Haiti has been a politically charged topic for more than a year now, with the United Nations repeatedly refusing to acknowledge any role in the outbreak despite mounting evidence that international peacekeepers were the most likely culprits. The UN has already faced hostility from Haitians who believe peacekeeping troops have abused local residents without consequence. They now face legal action from relatives of victims who have petitioned the UN for restitution. And the cholera charge could further hamper the UN's ability to work effectively there, two years after the country was hobbled by the earthquake.

Over the summer, Assistant Secretary General Anthony Banbury told ABC News that the UN sincerely wanted to know if it played a part in the outbreak, but independent efforts to answer that question had not succeeded. He said the disease could have just as easily been carried by a backpacker or civilian aid worker.

Banbury said the UN, through both its peacekeeping mission and its civilian organizations "are working very hard ... to combat the spread of the disease and bring assistance to the people. And that's what's important now."

"The scientists say it can't be determined for certainty where it came from," Banbury said. "So we don't know if it was the U.N. troops or not. That's the bottom line."
A UN spokeswoman repeated the answer when asked again last week: "The [scientists] determined it was not possible to be conclusive about how cholera was introduced into Haiti," said the UN's Anayansi Lopez.continue

When piracy gets dangerous

"A British student faces up to a decade in a U.S. prison for actions which are not even a crime in the UK. Campaigners say Richard O’Dwyer, 23, is being abandoned by his country in the same way as computer hacker Gary McKinnon.
Mr O’Dwyer is accused of listing places where films and TV programmes could be illegally downloaded, on a website he ran from his university bedroom in Sheffield [UK]. Legal experts say this is not an offence under British law, and he did not download any of the entertainment himself. ..."

"... Instead of putting the men on trial in the country where their alleged offences took place, the British legal system is permitting them to be bundled on a plane to America. Mr O’Dwyer’s mother Julia ...said the ‘rotten’ U.S./UK extradition treaty needed 'fixing fast' and warned: 'If they can come for Richard they can come for anyone.' ..."

"The huge controversy over yesterday’s verdict will heighten demands for the UK’s extradition laws to be changed. MPs have demanded that the Government should insist a person must normally be tried in the country where the offence took place. They also want urgent reform to the lopsided 2003 Extradition Act – which gives far greater protection to Americans than it does to their British counterparts. The U.S.
requires ‘sufficient evidence to establish probable cause’ before agreeing to extradite anyone to the UK, while Britons going in the opposite direction are not afforded the same protection."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The future is Open-source hardware

Open-source hardware is on its way and it’ll foster a new era of innovation, according to MIT.
The emergence of freely available hardware designs and near-free components will unleash the same sort of technology innovation that open-source software kicked off a decade or so ago, Ito said Tuesday.

“If you want to build a video camera, some day you’ll be able to find all the standard parts, the designs online for free and then you’ll only design the pieces of the product that interest you,” Ito said at an MITX fireside chat in Cambridge, Mass.

Developers would focus their attention on the more valuable hardware they build atop that standard base, just as software developers write specialized software that runs on Linux and open-source middleware instead of proprietary Unix or Windows operating systems and Oracle’s WebLogic or IBM’s WebSphere middleware.

The industry is starting to talk open-source hardware in the context of the Open Compute Foundation which focuses on data center servers. That means far broader application.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cloud computing

Cloud computing is advancing faster than our ability to secure systems.
Companies are rapidly moving their most critical data and information from file cabinets and secured servers to shared servers on the Web.
Cloud computing provides significant cost savings and operational advantages.
But it also unleashes a Pandora’s box of security concerns.
We’ve already seen cloud break-ins originating from China.
And a number of legitimate Internet companies have suffered when the FBI confiscated a shared server in a cloud hosting facility that also hosted rogue applications.
One major security breach could throw cold water over the entire industry and slow down the corporate adoption that is expected to drive cloud growth this year and for many years to come.
Vivek Wadhwa, Published: December 30
There is clearly another bubble inflating in the cloud computing sector, with every company that uses a distributed architecture now calling itself a “cloud company.” So what does 2012 have in store?