International Space Station Laptops Got Virus Infected

According to NASA officials, a virus of low-destructive ability had infected the laptops being used at International Space Station. Though a laptop might have been partially damaged, the whole of the computers used to control the space operations remained intact.

The virus was capable of stealing password of laptops used by gamers of as many as ten different online games. However, it couldn't bring a serious harm to the space station, so its functions are found in normal conditions.

The NASA officials have termed this computer virus as W32.Gammima.AG. This low-risk virus, according to Symantec, an anti-virus software company, based in California, is a Window based virus. It needs to get copied, for its spread, using removable media.

NASA spokesperson Kelly Humphries described this password thief as a “nuisance.” He said, “This is basically a nuisance, ” from Johnson Space Center in houston.

Interestingly, this virus was detected much earlier, on July 25. The search is on to detect and trace how it got to reach this too secured space station. However, NASA officials, bound by NASA protocol,refrained from briefing on the details of the virus, and the quantum and type of efforts taken to stop it from inspiring any potential damage to computers.

Further, they seemed confident to track its origin as Humphries said, "We'll do our best to track down how it got there and close that gateway."

But didn't seem perturbed by this latest invasion of a virus on board. "This is not a frequent occurrence but we have had viruses that have made their way on board before," he said. Importantly, the space station has a history of such virus attacks.

Gene Therapy Set to Make A Deaf Ear Singing

The days are not faraway, if an Oregon team is to be believed, when one can see a deaf listening to the chart busters and enjoying symphonies and we may ,also, see them dancing to many tunes.

Most probably, dancing to the tunes of a certain gene, which the scientists believe can bring back the lost hearing ability.

The scientists have shown success in reproducing cochlear hair cells. These cells are efficient converters of sound waves into electric signals. These signals after reaching brain turn into things what we hear or listen to.

Any damage to these hair cells lead to hearing impairment. These hair cells are mostly damaged by the continuous and elongated exposure to harsh and loud noise.

The medical professionals, once completely clueless, had been trying hard to come up with solution to bring an end to this damage. The recent breakthrough has shown many ray of hopes to millions of hearing impaired around the globe.

The experiment, on an unborn mouse, by the medical experts of Oregon Health and Science University became fruitful when it converted a different cell into a specific cochlear hair cell. The team is led by John Brigande.

They performed the gene therapy , on that unborn mouse, using a harmless virus. The key genes,Atoh1, related to hearing ability, were inserted into cells to produce the cochlear hair cells .

The experts found the newly developed cells no less useful than the natural cochlear hair cells . As the hearing ability of the mouse was found pretty normal.

However, the therapy still not done on a human, is the first of its gene therapy helpful to reproduce or repair cochlear hair cells.

Significantly, if this therapy comes favorable, the use of any mechanical or electrical devices can be forbidden in the treatment of damaged cochlea.

Moreover, seeing the result of the early experiments, it is very likely that it will work on humans too. That's why the researchers at Oregon said, "This capability is a crucial first step in defining translational therapies to ameliorate the effects of inner-ear disease in humans."

At present, the only treatment for hear loss, cochlear implant, is not capable of bringing back the hearing to its normalcy. It provides only a minimized version of the sound sensations.

Hopefully, the deaf will have their hearing days back with the normal and maximized sound sensations, may be very soon.

For a Disabled, His Tongue Controls His Computer

The round the clock “busy” tongue has been given a completely new and unique job to perform apart from doing chit-chats, differentiating sweet from salty, wiping off the melting cones etc.

It has been turned into a computer control pad for a below neck disabled. Though sounds extremely amazing, it has to be believed if it claimed by Georgia Tech researchers.

The researchers at Georgia Tech have come up successfully to transform the mouth of a disabled into a virtual computer which would be controlled by the tongue. Interestingly, his thirty-two teeth, even if he/she has the complete set intact or not, will work like a keyboard.

The innovation, though in its early stage, has shown bright results, and seems to have brought an end to all the woes of a disabled. They call it “Tongue Drive System.” As the name implies, the tongue has the lead role to play to serve a disabled.

The simple and guided movements of the tongue will help him to run his wash machines and air-conditioners and other home appliances. Now, using his tongue, he can easily roll on his wheelchair without a human support. And most importantly, he can operate his computers.

This rare scientific device is a much needed booster and a lifeline for a helpless disable. It could make him/her self dependent and competent.Assistant professors Mayasam Ghovanloo, the head of this project, seemed optimistic and said, “ You( disables) could have full control over your environment by just being able to move your tongue.”

Moreover, his precious scientific feat has got many advocates also. What they loved most of this device is its versatility and easy to use features. For example, Mike Jones, Shepherd Center, Atlanta said, “ This could give you an almost infinite number of switches and options for communications. It is easy, and somebody could learn an entirely different language.”

Forecast of Auto Electronics Market

The worldwide automotive electronics market is predicted to grow at 9% for a total of $173.7 billion by 2013. Sales for 2008 are estimated at $114.5 billion. Strong growth is estimated in driver assistance, car safety systems, and entertainment while the non-entertainment sector consumer retail, powertrain, and body electronics segments will see different growth rates. According to a new research on the non-entertainment automotive electronics market, the global market of non-entertainment automotive electronics is estimated to touch US$52.1 billion by 2010. The forecast of this growth is estimated to be equally distributed among all product segments and regions. The biggest demand is expected from the emerging markets in Asia and East and Central Europe.

  • The powertrain electronics will continue to dominate and it constitute 32% of the global market in last few years. It will sustain till 2010.

  • The body/chassis electronics will continue to rise at an average growth of 9.4% per year till 2010. During this period, the global market will increase from US$4.0 billion to US$6.3 billion. The manufacturers are looking to enhance the performance and reduce overall system cost, so the trend to fully integrated systems will continue throughout the forecast period.

  • The safety and convenience constitute almost 50% of the global non-entertainment auto electronics market at the current time. It was estimated to be at US$18.5 billion in 2005. Overall safety and convenience accounted for 50.3% of the global market in 2005 at US$18.5 billion. Multiplexing/electrical distribution, body controllers and navigation, all of them are fore casted to grow at a rapid rate till 2010. The navigation market, combined with audio and entertainment will be one of the fastest growing section of the auto electronics market. The driver supporting systems, like night vision, collision avoidance and lane departure warning is also expected to show strong growth.

Toyota Motor Corp. is the undisputed leader in hybrid car manufacturing market. Honda Motor Co. Ltd is at second spot, trying hard to grab some of Toyota's share. General Motors Corp. dominates in the United States market and has the broadest portfolio in the hybrid market. However it lags far behind in the competition in terms of sales. With the continuous improvement in hybrid technologies and decreasing manufacturing costs, the powertrain segment should experience higher growth.

CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) EXPO 2008

CEDIA expo is one of the biggest trade fairs related to residential electronic systems, especially home theater, consumer appliances.

Manufacturers and suppliers of high performance audio and video appliances, from all over the world, utilize this platform for unveiling their latest products or services. It is always open to the members of the trade and press.

This event showcases all the recent technological innovations in audio-video solutions, home cinema, structured wiring, HVAC control, lighting control, blind and security systems, etc. Companies and peoples involved in the planning, design, specification or installation of home electronic systems, find it a perfect event.

Event Dates: Sept. 03 - 07, 2008


Colorado Convention Center

700 14th Street

Denver, CO 80202

USA - United States of America


CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association)

7150 Winton Drive

Suite 300

Indianapolis, IN 46268

USA - United States of America

Major Industry Focus

  • Multimedia Technologies

  • Consumers Appliances

  • Home Exhibitions

  • Household Appliances

  • Domestic Appliance Technology

White Space: The Debate Over Free Wireless Spectrum

With the announcement of the website “” by Google in order to support the white space campaign, the debate over the “white space” issue has reached a new level.

In terms of Google white space is the space of unused frequencies in the range traditionally defined for Television channels. Google and some other leading companies wants to transform this range from licensed, like TV where specific frequencies are granted exclusively to a specific channel, to unlicensed, like Wi-Fi where anyone can use it. They call it "Wi-Fi on steroids." The spectrum would enable longer-range, higher data rate, and faster wireless connectivity for all types of gadgets.

Along with Google other technology companies like Intel, Dell, HP, Microsoft, and Phillips Electronics are united in a coalition called the Wireless Innovation Alliance. They have been lobbying the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) to open up this spectrum for unlicensed use after the digital TV transition early next year.

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and phone companies are entirely against this initiative. The TV and phone companies want exclusive rights to various frequencies. These spectrum that sit idle between TV channels as buffers, in order to ensure that TV signals don't interfere with each other, could be used to provide broadband wireless services. But according to the broadcasters, these channels will cause interference with their TV signals and eventually resulting in major problems for people watching TV.

The FCC has done a number of testing of the spectrum to see if wireless devices will interfere with each other. The results of the tests have been mixed. But Google has make out a solution for this problem. Now it is proposing new rules to designate specific frequencies for TVs, wireless microphones, and for other devices, and then another spectrum for wireless Internet access.

Next month the FCC is likely to release a report based on the test results. It will finally vote on whether to open the spectrum in the next few months. This issue has become as much of a political debate as it has a technical one. The National Association of Broadcasters is pointing that interference can't be avoided, based on tests as evidence. While Google and other technology companies argue that these are simply proof of concept devices and are not even like the prototypes that could be used in commercial products.

NAB and other Wireless companies, such as Verizon are opposing the use of white spaces because they have their own business motivations for opposing the use of white spaces. The afraid of interference might be a concern for the NAB but the more prominent reason for opposing this concept is that its members are reluctant to give up control of airwaves, which they believes are theirs.

Along with other technology companies, Google has its own motivations and interests to consider. Google can make more from advertising if more wireless spectrum and broadband services are available. Other companies like Intel, Microsoft, and Motorola would also be benefited as they could sell more products and services to consumers who use this unlicensed spectrum.

E-Waste Market Size Continues to Grow

The modernization and digitization have proved to be worthy for the entire world and humanity but it has also given us a menace in the form of e-waste. With the increasing use of electronic devices and electrical equipment, the collection of e-waste is also mounting.

E-waste or electronic waste is a term used for those electronic equipment that has reached its end of life in the hand of its current user. These devices when disassembled or destroyed are either taken for reuse or slated for hazardous disposal. Some of the electronic waste can be recycled and they are called as a "commodity" while those which cannot be reused is categorized as "waste".

E-Waste Market Size

The global market of electronic waste is estimated to be $7.2 billion in 2004 and it is predicted to increase at average annual growth rate of 8.8% till 2009 to $11 billion.

  • Due to the rising demand of high value engineered plastics, the recycled plastics sector will register the maximum revenue growth. It will grow at 10.2% AAGR.

  • The recycled metals market will continue to be dominated by the growth in metals mined from end of life electronic waste, growing at an AAGR of 8.1%.

  • Recycled glass is low valued hence the recycled glass market continues to be stagnant. Glass cullets sold into the marketplace will continue to command modest prices.

  • The cathode ray tube recovered from the old CRTs are vastly used in the new CRTs. The market demand for recovered cathode ray tube feedstock is growing and getting stronger. Due to this higher value glass-to-glass recycling the market will grow at an AAGR of 7.5%.

Reasons for Increasing E-Waste

Due to the increasing areas of information society and the dependency of businesses on computer and Internet, the e-waste has been mounting. Perhaps e-waste is the fastest growing segment of the municipal solid waste stream. E-waste has been mounting rapidly with the rise of the information society. In developed countries, e-waste constitutes 1% of solid waste but it is expected to grow to 2% by 2010. In developing countries, the percentage of e-waste out of solid waste ranges from 0.01% to 1%. But in recent future, the developing countries including, China will be the fastest growing segment of the e-waste market. Over the next five years, the electronic waste in developing countries has the potential to triple the amount at current.

The rising mount of electronic waste isn't going to be cut recently. Computer sales are growing at a rate of 10% worldwide and sale of DVD players are doubling every year. Along with that the rate of obsolescence of electronic equipment is increasing. The life-cycle of the electrical and electronic equipment are shortening. The life period of a television set is reduced to 10 years while that of a computer remains only 2-3 years. All the above mentioned facts are equally responsible for the rising e-waste. In spite of such horrendous situation manufacturers and governments have not kept pace with electronic waste policy and practice. Eventually a high percentage of electronics are ending up in the waste stream releasing harmful toxins into the environment.

2nd quarter of 2008 proves fruitful for global mobile device market

Unlike the first quarter of 2008, the second quarter of this year proves to be beneficial for the mobile phone vendors worldwide. According to the research firm ABI, 301 million units were shipped in this quarter. It positively reaffirms the forecast that the global device market will deliver 13% growth in 2008 and mobile shipment will touch the 1.3 billion units mark.

Despite the slowdown of world economy, the tier one handset vendors enjoyed shipment growth between 15 and 22 percent. Eliminating the inflation woes, consumers in emerging market in Asia, Africa, South America, and Middle East fearlessly signed up smart mobile phones. According to Jake Saunders, ABI Research vice president, “If there is an economic slowdown, no one bothered to tell the mobile device buying public. These healthy gains in net subscriber additions are stimulating replacement and upgrade sales. In developed markets handset purchases tended to be flat, but those consumers who did purchase dug deeper and paid out more for coveted higher-end handsets and smart-phones.” In spite of the turbulence in the global economy the mass market’s attraction with getting the latest and greatest handset shows no sign of weakening.

Nokia continues to be the undisputed leader in the handset market. For the first time Nokia surpassed the 40% market share. Samsung was far behind at the second place with 15.2% share. Motorola and LG are too close to each other. Motorola's share is 9.3% slightly ahead of LG's 9.2%. at the end of third quarter of 2008 lg might take over Motorola. At the fifth place was Sony Ericsson with the market share of 8.3%.

Nokia has been continuously refreshing its portfolio in the high-end, mid-tier categories and the ultra-low cost handset market. Nokia’s overall market share is likely to hold.

Waterless Printing: An Environment Friendly Technology

The vast use of technology has created a lot of problems for us and the biggest of them is the threat to our environment. Now we are trying to revive with the implementation of environment friendly technologies in various fields and applications. Waterless printing is such an environment friendly technology used in printing environment.

Waterless printing is a type of offset lithographic printing that don't require water or dampening systems used in traditional printing. This technology uses a special silicone rubber coated printing plate, special ink, and means of temperature control on press. It is less environmentally damaging than conventional lithographic printing. The use of such technologies in current printers should be encouraged

Traditional printing technologies consume vast amount of resources, such as water, chemicals and energy. Almost all the big presses need thousands liters of water annually as part of their printing requirements. Using the technological advancement, waterless printing is able to reduce these environmental impacts. This printing technology uses Computer to plate (CtP) technology and silicon plates to eliminate chemicals and water altogether. Some of the waterless printers also use vegetable-based inks and Direct Ink (DI) technology exclusively to further reduce resource use, pollution and VOCs emissions.

The traditional waterless printing use dampening solutions that contain alcohols or petroleum-based solvents. These solutions constitutes of volatile organic compounds that contribute to smog. But a waterless press don't need 100,000 liters of water and 10,000 liters of alcohol annually that is consumed by a typical mid-size printer. In that way it wouldn't contribute to environmental problems.

At present waterless presses are running in the minority but they are rapidly gaining popularity. The waterless presses are also being praised for the reduced paper set-up waste and the high quality color reproduction.

Benefits of Waterless Printing

  • Strong alkaline solutions are not used at all

  • Complete elimination of dampening solution containing IPA and other pollutants

  • Major reduction in waste paper

  • Added value in printed materials

Which one is better: CRT or LCD?

For many of us it is difficult to decide the priority between CRT monitors and LCD monitors. We often face situations where we don't know which one to choose. Both of them has their advantages and drawbacks. Now-a-days most desktop computer systems are sold with LCD monitors by default. But it will be good to know the difference and which they would be better off purchasing.

Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT)
The most obvious benefit that CRT monitors held over LCDs was their color rendering. CRT monitors have better contrast ratios and depths of colors display than LCDs. But this isn't true for all cases because many strides have been made in LCDs to narrow this gap. The color ability of CRT monitors degrade over time as the phosphors in the tube break down. CRT monitor's ability to easily scale to various resolutions is one of its important advantages. The screen can easily be adjusted to lower resolutions by adjusting the electron beam in the tube. The picture clarity remain intact.

Along with these advantages, there are disadvantages as well. The size and weight of the CRT monitors are its biggest drawbacks. A LCD monitor of same size as CRT monitor weights 80% lesser. With the increase in screen size, the difference increases too. Power consumption is the other major disadvantages. CRT monitors consumer and generate a lot more heat than the LCD monitors.

Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD)
Its biggest advantage is size and weight. Due to the lightweight LCD screens it have been possible to have larger screens. LCD screens also tend to produce less eye fatigue to the user. The CRT tube tend to cause strain on heavy computer users due to its constant light barrage and scan lines. The constant screen display of pixels along with lower intensity of the LCD monitors produces less fatigue for the user.

The main drawback of the LCD screens is their fixed or native resolution. The LCD screens are only able to display the number of pixels in its matrix and no more or less. Due to lower response times video was a problem with early LCD monitors. However many improvements have been done but still some of them have low response times.

China has the largest number of Netizens

The home of world's largest population, China, has now the most number of Netizens too. According to the figures released by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), China has currently 253 million people using the net thus surging ahead of United States, which currently has 223 million Internet users.

The number of Internet users in US constitutes 71 percent of its entire population while the Chinese netizens constitutes only 19 percent of entire population. The figures itself indicates that China will hugely outnumber US in near future. CNNIC, China's official net monitoring body, told BBC, "This is the first time the number has drastically surpassed the United States, becoming the world's number one". Since last year the number of net users have shown 56 percent increase and it is predicted that it will continue to increase by around 18 percent per year.

The Internet market is booming in China and so is the Web advertising. According to the investment firm Morgan Stanley, on-line advertising market in China is growing by 60 to 70 percent a year. By the end of this year it could touch a $1.7 billion market. “The Internet market is the fastest-growing consumer market sector in China. We are still far from saturation. So the next three to five years, we’re still going to see hyper-growth in this market.”, said Richard Ji, an Internet analyst at Morgan Stanley.

China’s topmost Internet companies, including Tencent, Baidu, Sina and Alibaba, are flourishing and are outperforming the China-based operations of American Internet giants like Google, Yahoo and eBay. The upcoming Beijing Olympics has partly helped the advertising sales. Riding on this wave the Chinese search engine, Baidu showed an 87 percent increase in profits in the second quarter of 2008. Baidu is currently holding a market share of 63 % in the Chinese search market. Its closest rivals, Google holds 26% of the Chinese search market, while Yahoo holds only 8 percent.

Though China tops in the race of the number of Internet users but it has yet to catch the US in terms of total revenue generated. The figures released by Analysys International states that China's Internet firms made total revenues of $5.9billion in 2007. For the same period US combined Internet revenue was around $21.2billion.