2011年11月29日 星期二

Smartphones could have better energy efficiency

Energy | 29.11.2011

Smartphones could have better energy efficiency, Finnish researchers say

Aalto University researchers claim they've quadrupled the energy efficiency of smartphones. This could improve mobile Internet access in developing countries.

A Finnish research team says it's slashed smart phone energy use by more than 70 percent - a finding that may help people in developing countries get better Internet access.

Smartphones - mobile phones that can run applications and use the Web easily - are on the rise worldwide. Recent industry analysis from Gartner shows that 115 million smartphones were sold worldwide in the third quarter of 2011 alone.

The key behind these new energy savings is a network proxy, which better organizes the flow of data between a mobile phone and the network, explained Jukka Manner, the lead scientist for the study at Aalto University, outside of Helsinki.

The team hopes to use a combination of new software on the phone and network proxy hardware to use the phone's cellular radio in a much more energy-efficient manner.

The team presented initial findings at the Africomm Conference in Tanzania last week. Manner told Deutsche Welle that the research has been peer-reviewed, and that in-depth findings would be published early next year.

Internet for developing countries

The researchers looked at use cases in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, hoping to develop solutions for times when access to electricity was difficult.

mobile phoneAalto University researchers want to add another layer to existing mobile infrastructure"In Finland, it's annoying when you're to not be able to charge your phone. But in many places around the world, it's not just annoying, but impossible," Manner said.

Only about 11 percent of Africa's population has Internet access. Yet more than half of the people on the continent have mobile phones.

And according to the Finnish team's research, 90 percent Africans live in areas with mobile phone coverage.

Manner emphasized that though the team looked at cases in Africa, "the technology is not tied to any network or country," and can theoretically be implemented anywhere.

Proxy solution

A proxy is a device that gathers data requests from the phone, then sends them on to the network. Communication goes the other way as well, with the proxy receiving "answers" from the Internet to pass along to the mobile phone.

smartphones 115 million smartphones were sold worldwide in the third quarter of 2011The we content proxy involves a "client application that talks to a dedicated server," Manner said, which organizes the flow of data.

Manner said the Web browser Opera works in a similar fashion.

The device can increase efficiency by, for example, sending bursts of data packets at one time rather than continuously. This results in more "sleep" time for the cell phone, saving battery use.

"It seems a fairly complex and sophisticated piece of technology they've developed," said Steve Furber, a professor at the School of Computer Science at the University of Manchester, in an interview with Deutsche Welle. Furber is also one of the designers behind the energy efficient ARM microprocessor, which is in use in many smartphones, including the iPhone.

Combined efficiency

The Aalto University researchers say they managed to cut power use from smart phones by up to 74 percent.

Although the proxy accounted for the bulk of saved energy, the researchers also utilized websites optimized for mobile phones, Web compression and better data caching to increase efficiency.

Manner noted that they didn't lower the data quality or use any sort of compression.

"We can probably go over 80 percent savings," Manner said.

Author: Sonya Angelica Diehn
Editor: Cyrus Farivar

2011年11月21日 星期一


我相信各大公司如 Google 等 都在開發類似的搜索資料庫分析法

IBM knows a thing or two about shoes. Retailers, take note.
Reuters Blogs (blog)
While some will argue that it takes style and expertise to predict what customers will want to wear even before they know it, IBM begs to differ. It comes down to science, specifically IBM's analytics software. Take shoes for example, in particular the ...


台灣這則新聞讓人想起 H. A. Simon 人工科學 書中的 醫療專家系統 在70年年代末已經建立

作家吳淡如最近在廣播節目,請醫師答覆call in電話,為了不讓醫師背上「隔空問診」的違法問題,請工作人員代接電話,轉述回答。 吳淡如上午接受台視獨家訪問表示,節目中特別提醒民眾一定要去看醫師,還說衛生署如果真要查,應該先查地下電台。 藝人吳淡如主持廣播節目,請來醫師回答Call in,只是這樣的節目現在卻疑似被盯上,就因為涉嫌醫師親自隔空問診的內容。 斬釘截鐵地說,就是過敏性鼻炎,到底是衛教宣傳,還是問診,醫師說他們心中也有一把尺,怎麼可能傻到跟著遊走法律邊緣。 衛生署表示,其實call in宣傳衛教問題都可以,只是一旦有診斷,就會違反醫事法。 節目企圖透過工讀生轉述規避罰則,但衛生署表示,根本就無效,重點在於醫師尺度拿捏,只能建議,不能斷定,否則依舊是違反醫事法。

2011年11月16日 星期三

Internet TV Service

Google to Unveil Online Music Store
Sony, Universal and EMI are expected to have deals in place to let Google sell their music in time for an announcement Wednesday afternoon in Los Angeles.
November 16, 2011 -- 3:00 p.m. EST
Sony Weighs Internet TV Service
Sony is considering launching an Internet-based alternative to cable-TV service, the latest threat to cable and satellite operators that now dominate pay television.

2011年11月4日 星期五

Dennis Ritchie and John McCarthy

John McCarthy (1927-2011)

Dennis Ritchie and John McCarthy

Dennis Ritchie and John McCarthy, machine whisperers, died on October 8th and 24th respectively, aged 70 and 84

NOW that digital devices are fashion items, it is easy to forget what really accounts for their near-magical properties. Without the operating systems which tell their different physical bits what to do, and without the languages in which these commands are couched, the latest iSomething would be a pretty but empty receptacle. The gizmos of the digital age owe a part of their numeric souls to Dennis Ritchie and John McCarthy.

As was normal in the unformed days of computer science in the 1950s and 1960s, both men came to the discipline through maths. They were rather good with numbers. As a teenager Mr McCarthy taught himself calculus from textbooks found at the California Institute of Technology in balmy Pasadena, where his family had moved to from Boston because of his delicate health. Mr Ritchie was not quite as precocious. He breezed through school in New Jersey, of course, and went on to Harvard to study physics. After receiving a bachelor’s degree, however, he decided, with typical modesty, that he was “not smart enough to be a physicist”.

When Mr McCarthy and Mr Ritchie first developed an urge to talk to machines, people still regarded the word “digital” as part of the jargon of anatomy. If they no longer do, that is because of the new vernaculars invented to cajole automatons into doing man’s bidding. In 1958 Mr McCarthy came up with the list-processing language, or LISP. It is the second-oldest high-level programming language still in use today—one whose grammar and vocabulary were more perspicuous and versatile than the machine code early programmers had to use. A little over a decade later Mr Ritchie created C.

C fundamentally changed the way computer programs were written. For the first time it enabled the same programs to work, without too much tweaking, on different machines; before, they had to be tailored to particular models. Much of modern software is written using one of C’s more evolved dialects. These include objective C (which Apple favours), C# (espoused by rival Microsoft) and Java (the choice for a host of internet applications). Mr Ritchie and his life-long collaborator, Ken Thompson, then used C to write UNIX, an operating system whose powerful simplicity endeared it to the operators of the minicomputers which were starting to proliferate in universities and companies in the 1970s. Nowadays its iterations undergird the entire internet and breathe life into most mobile devices, whether based on Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS.

Mr McCarthy has had less direct impact. That is partly because he believed, wrongly, that minicomputers were a passing fad. In the early 1950s, while at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he pioneered “time-sharing”, by which multiple users could work on a single mainframe simultaneously. Mr Ritchie, who moonlighted as a mainframe operator at MIT while a graduate student at nearby Harvard, also dabbled in time-sharing. Yet unlike his younger colleague, whose UNIX spurred the development of mini- and later microcomputers, Mr McCarthy always argued that the future lay in simple terminals hooked up remotely to a powerful mainframe which would both store and process data: a notion vindicated only recently, as cloud computing has spread.

Needed: 1.8 Einsteins

As for LISP, Mr McCarthy created it with an altogether different goal in mind—one that was, in a way, even more ambitious than Mr Ritchie’s. Whereas Mr Ritchie was happy giving machines orders, Mr McCarthy wanted them—perhaps because he had never suffered human fools gladly—to talk back. Intelligently. LISP was designed to spark this conversation, and with it “artificial intelligence”, a term Mr McCarthy coined hoping it would attract money for the first conference on the subject at Dartmouth in 1956.

In 1962 Mr McCarthy left MIT for Stanford, where he created the new Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He set himself the goal of building a thinking machine in ten years. He would later admit this was hubristic. Not that technology wasn’t up to it. The problem lay elsewhere: in the fact that “we understand human mental processes only slightly better than a fish understands swimming.” An intelligent computer, he quipped, would require “1.8 Einsteins and one-tenth of the resources of the Manhattan Project” to construct.

Neither was forthcoming, though the Department of Defence did take an interest in Mr McCarthy’s work at Stanford from the start. Mr Ritchie, too, was briefly on the Pentagon’s payroll, at Sandia National Laboratory. He did not stay long, though. “It was nearly 1968,” he later recalled, “and somehow making A-bombs for the government didn’t seem in tune with the times.” So in 1967 he moved to AT&T’s Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey, where his father had worked for many years, and where both C and UNIX were born. He never left.

For his part, Mr McCarthy continued to tinker away at a truly thinking machine at Stanford. He never quite saw his dream realised. Mr Ritchie had more luck. “It’s not the actual programming that’s interesting,” he once remarked. “It’s what you can accomplish with the end results.” Amen to that, Mr McCarthy would have said.

2011年11月1日 星期二

醫護夥伴機器人(Partner Robot)

豐田汽車發表新型「夥伴機器人」之一的「平衡練習助手」結合電玩元素,讓使用者更具樂趣。 (彭博)

〔編 譯林翠儀/綜合報導〕日本汽車大廠豐田汽車(Toyota),1日發表4款新型照護及醫療用「夥伴機器人」(Partner Robot),包括可協助癱瘓者自行上廁所、協助下肢麻痺者上下樓梯的照護機器人,以及可供練習步行的機器輔助腿、利用電玩遊戲練習平衡感的助理機器人 等,預定2013年在日本上市。

結合電玩 滑板機器人教平衡感





機械臂 將癱者從床移到廁所