Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Convergence vs Cloud

Given the chance to do any of the one, would you go for a convergence device or put all your data on the cloud to be shared between multiple devices? Cell phones might not be really as good at doing the same tasks as PCs but this wont remain the same for long. Cells already do trend to carry as much processing power as you once had on your PC. The only thing left is a good operating system that makes a cell feel like a PC when you need it to be one. This is not far away as well as you will read below. Clouds, however, are quick and free. With your current multiple hardware you are able to sync all kinds of data. This article aims to explore both options for power users who love to consume technology to its limits.

Smart phones do too much: Horizontal divergence after convergence - Two faces of convergence closing in; Personal computers (converging laptops, desktops and netbooks) and mobile (cellphones, smartphones, tablets and touch pads). These two faces of convergence are evolving from PC based operating systems and mobile based operating systems both. But Ubuntu's developers have something else in mind. To derive the mobile operating system from the PC operating system and combine the two closing converging points of focus into one and go for a phone with the heart of a PC. Smart phones do too much and are now diverging back, but this time horizontally, into devices like Pebble, Google glass etc that interface really really well with humans and decrease the complexity of such powerful computing device that we have consequently created.

Ubuntu netbook remix (UNR) tells a great story of convergence on Linux's part for the netbook devices that are converging with desktop and laptop devices on the operating system support side. UNR used the interface from Unity. Now that Ubuntu's newer version have shifted to the same interface, the two versions (of PC and netbook) have been merged to kill two birds with a single arrow. This doesn't mean that Ubuntu is withdrawing support for the netbook users, it just means that the new interface does not waste real estate on smaller screens as well and is optimal for use on both types of computers and hopefully the installation is lighter for the netbooks from the same version or the Lubuntu netbook remix (LNR) is always there to compete as a derivation of Lubuntu (the Lite Ubuntu OS for low spec PCs).

Easy of use and shifting to android is another example of why convergence is dominating... Cloud on the other hand is making it easier to keep multiple devices on even the vertical level but sync them together for use. You can use your desktop computer at the office, laptop at home and netbook on the travel and yet sync all the data you are (some times selectively) syncing there to even your cell phone so that you can always compute, crunch, work, communicate, record, review, play and whatever-else-it-is-that-you-do on the go. Furthermore cloud is also supporting the syncing of mid-work activities. You can sync your browser history and tabs and start of on the same at another device. I'm personally making more use of cloud than convergence (atleast to talk about the conscious usage of devices as we are inevitably using one-in-all cellphones).

Now why will you need to still converge to a single device? I guess lesser cost along with the optimization of devices is favouring convergence but cloud will still keep its place. Reasons can range from the fact that the person does not own the devices at the workplace but does keep the data and the work between the two devices and so on taking it to multiple horizontal levels. On the contrary, how will the usage be affected when you actually only have a single device (like that of a phone running on Ubuntu) that you connect at a large screen-only terminal and later at a speaker only terminal as well as other horizontal devices that do what they do really well rather than being all-in-one to get your high processing speed and live data, settings and the whole box where ever you go?

Whatever we say to justify it, cloud is giving competition to convergence... but the cloud and convergence are both here to stay even with the shifts of paradigms and will serve the best when they complement each other and better yet when they are compliant with the developing horizontal divergence to retain ease for which computers were originally invented for and the developing internet of things. They are both not going away until we have a break through paradigm shift in materials science and engineering which enables our computing devices to morph and travel along with us.

The possibility of morphing computers is more than far away for us yet, but nanotechnology is enabling new possibilities that might slightly affect how convergence and cloud are both going to end up. It is very likely, in near future, to be possible for phones and computer circuits to be embedded as a fabric (like circuitry in a T shirt which feels the same as fabric and doesn't effect or irritate the skin in anyway) as the enabling technologies are developing rapidly and well on the way.

Cups with reminders

Cups that remind you to drink with the right hand. :)
Great life hack for Muslims.

Caught in flight

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The phone with the heart of a PC

Shared via Ubuntu.

High-end smartphones have a brain as powerful as a full PC. Ubuntu, with its next-generation Mir graphics architecture, uniquely enables a new kind of convergence device: a phone that docks to become a full PC and thin client. Enterprise IT departments will soon be able to replace phones, thin clients and laptops with a single corporate device.

With support for remote Windows apps over Microsoft RDP, Citrix or VMWare, the Ubuntu superphone is a complete enterprise solution — and a new opportunity for operators to deliver enterprise IT to SMEs in LTE markets. And because it enjoys the full capabilities of Ubuntu — including kernel-level control of every app — it puts the security and manageability of UNIX in your pocket.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

10 Things Unchanged in 100 Years

With a juggaar for everything and new engineering applications rapidly developing some things remain reliable as ever:

1. Railway:


Locomotives are still one of the economical ways to chug along the heavy payloads on the land.

2. Telephone:


Still more reliable than a cell phone and used mostly for businesses and home numbers and we fall back to them as safety nets when cell networks go down.

3. Rifle:


Both in hunting and in military, rifles have evolved significantly but are still the primary weapons.

4. Iron:


Although multiple alternative processes and mechanisms have been invented for mass ironing of clothes and the new era presents us with "wash and wear" clothes; with the advent of nanotechnology we are further developing towards perfectly 'ironed' clothes without actually ironing them. Irons how ever still remain an essential equipment of domestic use in every home because clothing relates to culture and is always going to have a blend of the past in it.

5. Books:


While this is one of the most affected things by computers, internet, e-commerce and even tablet PCs, books are not going away any time soon. They have been (arguably) the oldest means of storing information we know and will stay even along with computerized capabilities. Now the debate is, what all categories of information will move to the internet and computer culture and what will stick to the tradition. Or will it be in another kind of division?

6. Automobile:


With more than significant improvements automobiles / cars have evolved to a great extent but the internal combustion engine has (unfortunately) stayed for a long time and is going to be a part of our travel for the near future. It's time we convert to greener engines and mechanisms but that doesn't mean automobiles are going to go away. Humans seem to be comfortable with relatively near land travel on these ;)

7. Sail boat:


These, once primary means of travel, have now become a major shore side sporting activity as well as a leisure & adventure travelling means.

8. Acoustic musical equipment:


Another one, related to culture, which is not going to away in near or far future. Electronic music has added new blends to the music culture, but the acoustic music has morphed in the modern music as well as kept its place as classical music equipment.

9. Incandescent light bulb:


Since the corporate war which Tesla struggled in against Edison, bulbs have remained in use in one form or another. 'Energy savor' bulbs have mostly replaced the common use in household which too are now being replaced by LEDs, however, the incandescent bulbs are still in places where they are considered more dispensable since they cost lower than 'energy savors' although much less energy efficient. The LEDs are, however, going to change this fact and the era of incandescent bulbs seems to end atleast from domestic use in near future.

10. Toilet flush:


Perfected around 1880, it's uses one of the simplest 'control systems' invented - the float valve and seems to have made its place in the domestic technologies to stay for foreseeable future.

Cycle locking the slippers

Locking a car with a cycle lock might be hardly protective, and a genius overkill locking a CD with it but locking your slippers and cycle in one go (probably outside a mosque?) is ingenious.

Locking your car with a bolt and padlock

You've seen pencil bolt for doors, padlock for the clutch, and the Mehran and bike padlock juggaar... but locking your car with a bolt and padlock is new even by those standards; kundi & tala on car.

Shackle the car 2

Only in Pakistan. See also the previous post on shackling the car with a chain and padlock.

Juggaar handicap car

Completely built out of whatever available.

Roof top grass

Blending in with the landscape.

Splashes from horses' hooves

Brilliant design similar to the suspended tap fountain, these fountains create the illusion of splashes from the hooves of the horses and hence the illusion of movement mimicking an actual crossing; a fountain at each step in the water.