Mercedes-Benz (B-Class) – A World’s First in Collision Avoidance

I was currently thinking what kind of topic that I’m going to write into my blog post until I saw a Mercedes-Benz advertising while I was watching movie on television last night then I decided to write it here.

New Mercedes-Benz B-Class is the first Car in the world with Collision Prevention System

Research

The research results prove, in Germany more than 22 percent of passengers or the driver’s fatal injuries caused by automobile collisions from behind. As in the United States, the figure is larger, namely 31 percent. Mercedes-Benz estimates that around 20 percent of all rear-end collisions can be avoided and the severity of such accidents can be reduced a further 25 percent with the use of radar-based collision prevention technology. Prior to this, Mercedes-Benz have gained valuable experience from developing the adaptive cruise control feature DISTRONIC PLUS, which slows or accelerates the car according to a preset distance with the vehicle in front, and brake assist BAS PLUS which ensures maximum brake pressure if applied under emergency situations (drivers have been found to not apply sufficient brake pressure under panic braking). Building on that same knowledge, Mercedes-Benz has now perfected the next step in collision prevention technology to be cheap yet reliable enough for series production in the highly cost sensitive small car segment.

Called COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST, the system is able to recognize stationary objects ahead of the vehicle and if the gap is rapidly reducing dangerously, an audible warning chime is sounded to alert the driver while at the same time, the brake cylinder will be “primed” to deliver maximum brake pressure as soon as the driver hit the brakes. On PRE-SAFE equipped cars, if an imminent collision is detected, all passenger seats will be returned to upright position, lowered windows raised and opened sunroof closed, and seat belt pre-tensioners will be “pre-charged.” If you have to hurled forward, PRE-SAFE make will make sure you are to be hurled forward in the best position possible given the circumstances.

Mercedes Thanks the Airbag

“Thanks Airbag.” We, however, feel that to entirely sum up this commercial’s accomplishments, it would better be named, “What’s Past is Prologue.” Here’s why.

The spot celebrates the 30th anniversary of the arrival of automobile airbags in Mercedes Benz’s with super-cool imagery of people floating car-less along nighttime highways. They eventually find themselves in collisions, and the only thing that materializes to save them are airbags.

Here’s the prologue part: The narrator says, “Stay as you are airbag. We will need you in the future—just not as often.” At which point, we see a driver avoid an oncoming collision with a tanker because of a dashboard warning alarm. The tagline: “The B-Class with Collision Prevention Assist as standard.”

We would be even more impressed if the warning alarm screamed out, “Stop texting while driving”

By Rusdi, Rusdi

WhatsApp Messenger

Well some of you may already know this application called WhatsApp Messenger, I know it since 2010 as one of my friend told me about this application particularly for smartphone and I think I’m going to write about it.

WhatsApp Messenger is a smartphone messenger available for Windows Phone, Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, and Nokia phones. WhatsApp uses your 3G or WiFi (when available) to message with friends and family. Switch from SMS to WhatsApp to send and receive messages, pictures, audio notes, and video messages. And you can free download it here on your smartphone.

The different from SMS?

SMS is an older messaging system with a limited functionality and high cost. WhatsApp Messenger aims to provide more at a lower cost. We are sure you and your friends will figure out the difference between SMS and WhatsApp Messenger very quickly.

The Advantages

I collected all the resources about the main point why people are using WhatsApp:

  • you could still send regular SMS to your friend me that have another brand of smartphones such as Android, Iphone or Blackberry.
  • whatsApp is very convenient – people just like and prefer short message services. Your argument could equally be used to compare why people don’t just send emails instead of text messages.
  • you don’t need to log in, and use a lot of battery power continuously running. This is particularly noticeable on android, they also lose connection frequently and you require to re-log in for it, so Whatsapp is essentially an IM that just works very well on all platforms, without any of the drawbacks of other messengers.

Security Concern

At least these are some lack of WhatsApp that I found on Wikipedia,

In September 2011 a new version of the WhatsApp Messenger application for iPhones was released. In this new version, the developer has closed a number of critical security holes that allowed forged messages to be sent and messages from any WhatsApp user to be read.

On January 6th 2012 an unknown hacker published a website (WhatsAppStatus.net) which made it possible to change the status of an arbitrary whatsapp user, as long as the phone number was known. To let it work it only required a restart of the app. According to the hacker it is only one of the many security issues in Whatsapp.

Another was on the 9th of January Whatsapp reported to have implemented a final solution. In reality the only measure that was taken, was blocking the website’s IP-address. As a reaction a Windows tool was made available for download providing the same functionality. This issue has not been resolved until now. The first notification of this issue has been reported to Whatsapp in September 2011.

By Rusdi, Rusdi

We want your empathy – Blackberry Empathy

You may already know about smartphone called Blackberry, but I think you have not heard about this one of the new type of Blackberry smartphone namely Blackberry Empathy and I think you will surprise with it as I was at the first time.

Introduction

For their sponsored project held by RIM Blackberry at the Art Center College of Design, designers Kiki and Daniel had to incorporate an interface that integrates human emotions with the concept of social networking. The result of this exercise was the Empathy concept. The phone is used in conjunction with a biometrics ring that is worn by the user to collect “emotional data”. Spec-wise it features a transparent OLED screen that becomes transparent when not in use and opaque during interaction. The front is all touch surface, while on the back there is a physical keyboard.

As Daniel describes the interface:

It is of course touch based and all the user’s connections are shown graphically so you can see who is connected to whom. Each contact has an avatar that is encompassed by two colored rings. The inner colored ring shows the contact’s previous emotional state, and the outer ring represents the contact’s current emotional state. It is important to show the shift in emotions in order to see how an event has affected that contact.

Another important feature that we felt was important was the “Emotional Health Chart”. This chart would monitor the user’s emotional health through an indefinite period of time. One would be able to see how a certain event, or phone call/ message has affected the user. Obviously, if the chart shows someone is always upset, there would be a problem… If permitted, a user would be able to view other user’s charts as well.

Unfortunately I couldn’t show you the video in here since a lot of videos on youtube that we can’t watch or share in Germany and I’ve tried to fix it and post it with another kind of website here but it seems it didn’t work but if you wanna watch the video, just click on this link and it will show you the video.

And I’m sorry for only a short post, because I tried to find another sources like for example I was looking for the problem or disadvantageous of this smartphone but unfortunately I don’t find any of them it because they’re still in project which means not produced yet, but I’m promise if I found more information about it I’ll post it soon.

By Rusdi, Rusdi

Remember everything – Evernote

I never know this kind of software before since I got to know from somebody who was giving a presentation about Evernote in our Business Application course, and I was not so impressed with the the tool for the first time until I tried to installed it one time on my computer suddenly I was really impressed and this tool is pretty useful especially for me who really easy to forget something that I just recently learned or knew.

Evernote is a suite of software and services designed for notetaking and archiving. A “note” can be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten “ink” note. Notes can also have file attachments. Notes can be sorted into folders, then tagged, annotated, edited, given comments, searched and exported as part of a notebook. Evernote supports a number of operating system platforms (including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Chrome OS, Android, iOS and WebOS), and also offers online synchronization and backup services.

Evernote is available in a paid version or a more restricted, advertising-supported, free version. Use of the online server is free up to a certain monthly usage limit, with additional monthly use reserved for paying subscribers.

Free and Premium account

The free online service has monthly usage limitations (currently 60 MB/month), and displays a “usage” meter. A premium service is also available that currently costs $5 per month or $45 per year, and currently offers 1,000 MB/month usage.

As well as the larger per-month upload limit, the premium service features faster word recognition in images, greater security and text searching within PDF files.

The free service is supported by advertising, on both the web interface and in the application. The premium service allows the user to disable this advertising.

Free service also does not allow files be available offline. Sometimes it does make them available from cache but that can cause conflicts when synced.

All Evernote accounts, both free and premium, have a maximum limit of 100,000 notes and 250 notebooks

Problem for Mac user

Regarding to the article that has been written by Aaron Harpole, he wrote that the Evenote application for iPhone and iPad is so bad and why?

Regarding the lack of rich text editing on the iPad period, the reason for that is simply because Apple doesn’t actually offer APIs that let you do rich text editing. They offer text box controls that let you enter and edit plain text, but if a developer wanted to offer rich text editing on an iOS app, he/she would have to implement the whole thing from the ground up. Apple has actually done this in their iWork for iPad apps, but for whatever reason decided that it isn’t ready for prime time and didn’t make the APIs for that public for other developers to use, leaving them to have to invent their own solutions (and probably do a poorer job of it).

It’s a tricky thing to do because you have to essentially reinvent all of the core functionality, too, like pressing and holding on text to get the magnifying glass to come up, copy and paste, etc.

Evernote mentioned on their Vyou channel that they’re working on adding rich text editing to iOS, citing it as one of their most requested features, but it’s taking them awhile to implement. To add insult to injury, it’s probably only a matter of time before Apple adds rich text editing to its SDK which will make that reinventing of the wheel all for naught.

At the end I hope this post will be useful for you to read.

by Rusdi, Rusdi

2 Must Have Applications!

In the past last weeks I´ve been writing about the relation businesses and smartphones have.  Now I want to introduce you applications that will definitely make your life easier, well it is not what applications are for???

If you have a smartphone you don´t need to bring your laptop with you all the time, just take out your smartphone and dig into a wonderful world of opportunities.

QUICKOFFICE PRO HD

This is the first application I want to introduce you.  According to businessinsurance.org there aren´t many businesses that don´t use some form of office suite software.  And now because of cloud computing you must be able to access these documents from everywhere.

So, this application will let you open and edit your documents anytime and anywhere.  They also mentioned that the most important feature to consider is remote access.

On phones.com Jeb Brilliant comment that this applications makes his iPad a business device.  He said: I find it makes my iPad a more usable work space, and that he would personally recommened it to anyone.

But, what is QuickOffice Pro HD?

QuickOffice Pro HF is a word processor, a spreadsheet and a presentation program.

Android.appstorm.net explain us how do all these features work. QuickOffice HD can open Word document in both Word 93-2003 and Word 2007 onwards, also Excel formats .xls and .xlsx spreadsheets, and .ppt and .pptx PowerPoint presentations.  It also has a built-in PDF reader and syncs nicely with several cloud-based storage services, including Google Docs, Dropbox and MobileMe, which is vey useful if you want to work on the move or to access your documents from different locations.

Most of Office apps on smartphones were notoriously difficult to use due to the small screen size. But QuickOffice HD is much easier to use and certainly suits larger tablet screens.  When you open the application you are greeted with the Welcome screen, which brings up a list of local files, any recent documents you have accessed and any cloud services you are connected to.  You can also search for documents within the application using the search function, wich obviously eliminates the need to exit the program to hunt for a particular document.

Here a quick demo that demonstrates how the app works!

GOARUNA

- Your files are always with you-

The next evolutionary step in cloud computing for your business on the road is file sharing apps.  You don´t need only to open/edit simple files in office documents, you may have the need to have access to images, videos or a number of other formats while away from the offices.

Yan Matusevich on androidpit.com states that GoAruna is an online storage with unlimited space.  You first need to set-up an account with GoAruna, which you can also use on your phone.  Through this application you can manage, share and have access to all your files at home, at work and on the Go.

With this application you can upload files, share links to specific files with your friends or have them upload files to your own “Dropbox”.  This is all included in your online storage, which is completely safe because of their secure high tech datacenter.

This application you can get if for free, but with a maximun of storage of 2 GB, or if you would like to use it for business then you can get it for $75 a month for 5 users with a storage capacity of 350 GB.  Choose your best option!

I hope I gave you an overview on this apps, which might make your life a bit easier!  Give them a try!

Free Photoshop alternative?

Say goodbye to Photoshop

If we talk about digital image-editing software, Photoshop clearly comes in
mind.

Adobe’s program is probably the best and with a price of about 1000€ one of
the most expensive tools in this area.

Nowadays, Photoshop is the epitome of image editing. Not everyone needs it,
wants or can afford it and looks for alternatives. Meanwhile, there are a lot of Graphic-Tools that provide professional results similar to Photoshop. The extensive feature set of Photoshop leaves nothing to be desired, but quite a lot of them can also be found in free, (online) applications.

When I strumbled upon John Arnold’s Blog while discovering the web, I realized that there are quite some neat tools which are directly usable in the browser:

1. GIMP  – opensource all-rounder 

The “GNU Image Manipulation Program” (GIMP) got published in 1995 and is by
now one of the most used free opensource alternatives
to Photoshop. For professional image-editing demands GIMP offers a lot of
features for the creation, design and editing of images and graphics.

The program contains all the common functions that we already know through
Photoshop and offers many effects and filters, good retouching- and montage
features as well as functions for image correction as well as tousands of
other options. Almost every action can be automatized by scripts. A lot of
downloadable plug-ins available in the internet allow to integrate useful features into GIMP and hence its opensource software it will be constantly developed.

2. Picnik - Google’s image-editing tool 

Today’s Web 2.0 provides countless free tools to edit images and graphics. The problem most of those tools have is that they lack possibilities in terms of functionality. Often there is too much advertising that impairs the usability of the program. When Google developed Picnik they created an exception. The application is based on Flash and in terms of usability and functionality almost on the same high level as Adobe’s Photoshop.

It’s possible to import photos from your own computer as well as from photocommunities like Flikr or from social networks like facebook and easily edit them. In addition to the usual image processing functions such as rotating, cropping, exposure, sharpness and colors, the basic version of Picnik provides the user some nice features like “Instant Slimming!”, adding picture frames or  the possibility to place text(bubbles) in your picture for snapshots or traditional holiday photos. The premium account offers more features, including batch uploads, full-screening and professional photo editing tools.

While researching I found heaps of free image-editing tools and websites.
Most of them are pretty similar, without major differences in terms of
functionality. These tools are great but yet unable to compete with
Photoshop. You can easily sharpen or cutting a snapshot with Picnik, but
you will have problems with coloring or collaging. A huge plus for online
tools like Picnik is that they generally have no hardware requierements to
your computer. You don’t need a highend cpu neither an expensive graphic
card.

We will see what will be developed in the future.

Ads can be fun

Ads suck…mostly! They interrupt television program and make us feel like we’ve been taken for fools often enough.

But, if you already feel annoyed by certain advertisements, would you have the willingness to buy the praised product? Probably not!

 

It could be different. Sometimes, there are actually exceptions between promotional movies that do not force you to grab the remote control to zap on a different channel or make you flee towards the fridge. Some spots can literally be awesome – weather because they convince in terms of movie technology and offer something pleasant for the eye of the viewer, or because the they contain funny/exciting moments. Sometimes advertising is so good that the spot even reaches cult status.

If you are searching for these spots on the internet, online platforms such as Youtube are probably the best place for it. Many companies, for example the mail order company OTTO, publish their spots on Youtube: “Cloth Swopping – OTTO”

The advertisment remains memorized – in this case, in a positive way!

 

Some more pics that I’ve found on the web:

Nike Run benches NYC

Nike Run benches NYC

reverse installed Subway Station benches. Facing the Ad.

reverse installed Subway Station benches. Facing the Ad.

Vegetarian Restaurant

Vegetarian Restaurant

Swiss Skydive - Elevator

Want more? Visit: Coloribus

The Sahara – Powerhouse of Solar Energy

In my last week’s post, I wrote about the introduction and buildout of solar ovens in Africa which was one indicator of my today’s entry. I talked about the advantages and the sustainability of these tools, that surely have a big impact on the African population and ecology but if we take the sun as a source of energy, trust me, it can do way more than what I’ve talked about so far.

It’s based on the right concept that says “start small, grow as you go“. As I mentioned last week, the approach to implement solar ovens in the every day life of geographically remoted and electrically isolated farmers, has turned out to be a huge success, refering to the cost-benefit ratio as well as the added value. If we had to set up an equation for the poor it would be: a little=a lot.

Is Africa suited for Solar Energy?

The introduction of solar ovens is a microsocial and -economical aspect but what I’ve been wondering about for the last week is if solar energy is also applicable to macroeconomic and -social facets. How can countries and continents benefit from African  solar energy?

Have a look at the following graph.

This map indubitably reveals the potential of solar energy in Africa. As you can see irradiance of the African continent is one of the world’s highest. Meghan Simonds writes about “Africa’s abundance of solar energy“. Though the whole continent seems to face extremely high irradiance, there are two spots that stand out. It’s the deserts. Besides the Kalahari desert which marks the dark spot in the south, it’s predominantely the Sahara that could become Africa’s powerhouse for solar energy. Dr. Gerhard Knies, co-founder of TREC, believes in deserts:

“we could meet the entire world’s energy needs by covering a fraction of the world’s deserts — just 0.5 percent — with concentrated solar power plants.”

The Foundation of Desertec

Knies’ research and assumptions eventually resulted in a project called Desertec. It’s aiming for a massive network of wind and solar farms that could connect to Europe via high voltage direct current transmission cables. “These cables are supposed to only lose 3% of their electricity per 1000km“, Charis Michelsen states.

An Unattainable Dream?

While others still regard Desertec as an unattainable dream, big companies such as E.ON or Siemens have joined the project establishing the Desertec Industrial Initiative (Dii). Especially after Germany has announced to dismantle its nuclear power plants, the project seems like the perfect solution in order to gain energy. Is it a German project?

“Yes, the initiative came from Germany. But there are 15 different nationalities involved, including companies such as HSBC and Morgan Stanley. This is just the start”,

Paul van Son, Dii’s CEO, answers.

It’s not a Walk in the Park!

Due to the harsh weather conditions in the desert, maintaining the troughs turns out to be the biggest problem the project has to face. High winds and sandstorms let the scientists hit problems. Bodo Becker, the operations manager at Flagsol, declares tough numbers:

“Due to the dusty conditions, we are witnessing about 2% degradation every day in performance, so we need to clean them daily. We use about 39 cubic metres of demineralised water each day for cleaning across the whole site.”

39 cubic metres, that equals 10.300 gallons of water which is  38.989 liter of water each day. Taking into consideration the general lack of water in deserts, this number seems unimaginable.

Exploitation or Mutual Benefit?

Although the project could be seen as the solution of one of the world’s biggest problems, it encounters resistance, especially by Africans. Daniel Ayuk Mbi Egbe of the African Network for Solar Energy points out why:

“Many Africans are sceptical [about Desertec],” he said. “[Europeans] make promises, but at the end of the day, they bring their engineers, they bring their equipment, and they go. It’s a new form of resource exploitation, just like in the past.”

Despite all that, the truth is Europe does benefit from Desertec, but so does every African country. Since the plans include a massive network, it seeks after a fair distribution of energy.

This project, to me, seems finally like a great and effective approach to cover the world’s demand with natural, sustainable energy. With time, new improvements and methods will contribute to a more effective and efficient production of solar energy which will in fact result in less waste and destruction.

Distraction

The Internet. The World Wide Web.

One of the, if not the, greatest Tools of the last century. It has created a completely new business, it has revolutionize the way we communicate, the way we gain knowledge and understanding, the way we work and especially our whole life.

It gave us access to the whole world. In Germany are over 51 Million people “online”, nearly 2 billion worldwide. There are more than 22 million Facebook users in Germany, 155 million in the USA, and they upload a total of 36 billion images, every minute 48 hour of new videos are uploaded to YouTube and 2 billion videos are watched per day, there are 152 Million blogs and like 202 million internet domains.

So that´s are nice facts, but why?

Let me ask you something did you read this text above without any pause?
You did not check Facebook, Google+ or another social media?
Or maybe the television in the back? Or maybe you change a song on YouTube?
Ok, possible not because this text was very short, but I hope you get a clue of my stupid point.

Distraction

I like to quote Sir Ken Robinson.… living in the intensive stimulating period in the history of the earth.
The Distraction is everywhere, ok not only the internet, but with all the Smartphone’s around it has doubled his potential impact.

 “Dark Side “

It is a thing we are all do. By writing this text I checked Facebook, after finding Sir Robinsons video you was distracted by YouTube, because I found other interesting videos.
Sometimes I think we humans are still the noisy little monkey.

And with that comes another problem

Multitasking. Multitasking. Multitasking

We often try to keeping track of everything around us and so we try to divide your attention. But that has affects like Clifford Nass, a Stanford professor of communications, worked out on a study.

… heavy multitaskers experience cognitive issues, such as difficulty focusing and remembering things. They were actually worse at juggling various activities, a skill crucial to many people’s work lives, than those who spent less time multitasking.

Some additional information.

What I want is to encourage you to look at yourself. And rethink. How can you avoid that distraction? Because that is something you can only find out for yourself. Maybe it is the good old discipline or something else. I don´t know.

But remember the easy and all time access to all kind of information’s (distraction) is like a tsunami for us.

Google announces Search by Image and Voice Search for Desktop

I dont know if its too late to share or not because everybody seems to know this news that Google Search now can be searched by image and voice instead of typing on searching box.
 

While Google is still by far the most dominant search engine on the Web, it can’t afford to rest on its laurels with Microsoft constantly adding new features to its Bing search engine. At Google’s ‘Inside Search’ event, the company has announced several new features designed to ensure it stays on top of the lucrative search engine game. Users will now be able to search using images, enter search terms by voice and have the top search results pre-rendered so they appear instantly.

Google Goggles has been letting users conduct searches based on pictures taken on mobile devices since 2009 and now Search by Image brings the same functionality to the desktop. Users can drag and drop an image from the Web or stored locally on their computer over the Google search box and Google will try and identify it and bring up relevant results. Users can also Search by Image by copying and pasting an image URL or uploading an image by clicking on the camera icon in the search box. Google is also releasing extensions forChrome and Firefox browsers that will let users search an image on the web by right-clicking on it.

The company says it is rolling out the feature globally in 40 languages now, but it doesn’t look to have been activated in my neck of the woods yet so I wasn’t able to put it the test by attempting to identify the location of my holiday snaps. If you point your browser to images.google.com and see a camera icon in the search box, however, you should be good to go.

Another feature making its way from mobile devices to the desktop is Voice Search. The feature is limited to Chrome 11 or higher users who will see a microphone icon in the search box. Users can click on the icon and speak their search – provided their computer has a built-in or attached microphone.

Also revealed at ‘Inside Search’ is Instant Pages, which is basically an evolutionary step of its Instant Search feature introduced last year that provides search results as you type. To speed up things even further, Instant Pages will pre-render the top search result in the background so it will appear instantly when clicked. Instant Pages will be included in the next beta release of Chrome but can be tried now with the developer version.

Check out the videos below for examples of the new Google features.
 
google search by image

google search by voice

by Rusdi Rusdi