Archive for April 6th, 2009

The trend of memory cards

Monday, April 6th, 2009 by Yi-Jou Wu

The trend of memory cards


Giuseppe showed us an interesting article about digital storage.

“Digital memory group test Recordable Media”

From this test report, we can get 4 points of memory cards’ trend:

1.      smaller size

2.      bigger capacity

3.      higher speed and much more stable for writing and reading

4.      cheaper price


Kingmax released 16GB water proof SD card which can keep data for 10 years.

The size of Waterproof SD card is still too big for mobile phone.

If Kingmax can provide smaller size with nice price, just like miniXD card, I think it will be good for mobile phone photography.

Go to beach, taking pictures and share photos with friends at once.


Besides it, I am thinking

1.      Will Memory card be integrated into 1 specification? Which type will be the one?

2.      Dram’s price is falling. In 2020, do consumers have to pay for another memory cards?? I mean, when I buy a new camera mobile phone, maybe it has 8 GB memory inside already as standard. Or memory cards are replaced by another new style of storage.


To question 1, the development of memory card may be separated into 2 ways, secure digital and compact flash cards will keep their size for digital cameras using, mini and micro SD will go for small devices, such like mobile phones.

It is hard to say which memory card will be the only one in this market.

Fuji’s camera can not only adopt their proprietary format XD but also SD.

Fuji has to do this.

When consumers buy another new camera, they will think what kind of memory card they have already and choose a new one which can adopt their old cards.

Probably, all cameras can adopt every kind of memory cards one day.


To question 2, yes, it will.
iPhone has already integrated large storage. I believe it will be a trend in mobile phone market.

Future of Networks and Internet. Part IV. Borderless Scenario

Monday, April 6th, 2009 by Roberto Saracco

Discussion on the Borderless World (I did not participated in the group) pointed out the following:

There are no more borders, but a global commercial infrastructure. Companies have the ability to provide software and services that allows government to step back.

There is  strong service orientation overcoming the limits of nations with global solution to global problems.

The drawback is that the focus short term and fundamental research is disappearing, due to lack of funding (diverted to commercial interest). This short term is also affecting investment in long term research funding, there may be volatility in the market, instability and area of non-sustainable investment. There may be inequalities on access to services, in healthcare, education, labor and infrastructure.

This correspond to social inequalities with the survival of the fittest.

On the contrary the opportunities are in finding a better balance between public and private, redefining universal services. Companies are becoming more like Governments (with Corporate Social Responsibility).

The lack of universal services will be a threat to many, there will be a failing of public governance, would there remain a role for a Government or it will be substituted by a Global Company controlling the infrastructure and deployment of services (a Telecom Operator?!).

I do not agree to some of these speculations, I do not see as a consequence the fact that a borderless world would necessarily stymie basic research, nor I feel that a borderless world will create de facto monopolies. I rather think that we would have competing giants leveraging massive economies of scales but at the same time the low barrier of entrance (provided by the absence of boundaries) and the intrinsic diversity of markets will provide plenty of opportunities to smaller dynamic companies to play their game.

The new old story of 3D images.

Monday, April 6th, 2009 by Giuseppe Piersantelli

I’ve always been a bit skeptical about 3D images — both still and motion pictures. It’s a quite old technology based on stereoscopy (the first prototype was patented in 1900) which became popular in the US during the 50s. Several movies were shot with 3D techniques. People crowded theatres to wear that weird glasses and watch action movies on the screen.

Even if about a hundred years have passed from the first attempts, 3D is still far from being a commercial product. When I visit events and shows — like the IBC, NAB or CES — I have always the opportunity to try some 3D prototype — basically, a 3D LCD screen and glasses — but it doesn’t amaze me at all.

I admit that some videogames can take advantage of 3D — violence is more real in 3D — but I am not sure I would spend a premium price, like, 12 bucks to watch a comedy or an action movie wearing those glasses.

Nevertheless, sometimes I read on the Internet some interesting news related to a new 3D application or service. This morning, for instance, InformiTV reports that the media giant Sky is working to live broadcast though satellite the 3D version of a concert by Kean rock band. According to the article:

The event was broadcast over satellite using conventional systems and received on a standard Sky+HD set-top box. The signal was displayed on a Hyundai 46 inch 3D television screen and could be viewed stereoscopically using glasses with polarising lenses.

A separate stream was made available online which could be viewed using traditional anaglyph red and green lenses.

Even if some special equipment is required, this article says that Sky is investing money to experiment a more innovative way to deliver and present 3d videos.

But, at the present time, 3D is still complicated. Regular 3D displays, based on anaglyph technology, require the old fashioned red and green glasses: will you wear that stuff while seating on a couch to wach the last Dr. House episode with your girlfriend? I don’t think so.

Alternative technologies could make it possible displaying 3D content without special glasses, but the expensive equipment needed is not suitable for a home environment yet.

Browsing the Internet, you can find some attempts to display 3D content without the 2D glasses. Mitsubishi has developed a system for displaying three dimensional TV content. But look at how many computers and projectors are involved in the test!

At Philips, engineers and technicians are devolping some 3D dispays (WOWvx series) which don’t require any glasses.

While some big manufacturers and other players involved in the 3D business are proposng their innovative solutions to help 3D increase its popularity, it think that the basic problem of 3D is as old as its technology itself: the lack of content. As InformiTV states, since no appealing 3D content will be available, consumers won’t invest their money in enabling technologies and content production will not ramp up until there is a significant audience. Producing, delivering and displaying 3D content is still expensive. It is still a niche content, suitable for short clips, iMax theatres and videogames.

What if 3D equipment was available on consumer electronic market? What if a 300$ digital camcorder and a 500$ big screen TV were able to shoot, produce and display user generated 3D content? Could CE devices help 3D more popular? What if gaming consoles like the Wii, the PS and the XBox were shipped also in 3D version?

Future of Networks and Internet. Part III. Scattered Scenario

Monday, April 6th, 2009 by Roberto Saracco

The scattered scenario is to a certain extent mapped onto the idea of digital divide. This is not necessarily true since a scattered situation may be the result of political cultural pressure, i.e. I can have a scattered constituencies because of different access capabilities that result in one constituency being able to access certain services and another being hampered, but I can have two communities that have exactly the same technical capabilities but one because of political enforcement cannot access certain services and two others that having diversity in language and culture are matter of fact scattered in terms of what they access and use.

One point I like to make is that we have always lived in scattered constituencies, whose impact is still visible today in terms of 6000 different languages, tens of religions and thousands of sects and creeds, political boundaries and the concept of Countries.

As engineers we tend to focus on the “digital divide” but, matter of fact, communication, digital communications has made the scattering less pronounced and has helped in connecting the different constituencies. So, although it is important to address the digital divide it is also important to realize that this is a step forward towards a less scattered world.

It is important to notice that whilst in the past the Dunbar number (representing the number of people I can be acquainted with, my friends, my relatives, business partners, clients…) was necessarily greater than the Scoble number (the number of people sharing my same interests that I have the opportunity of running into) now, with the Web, we see that the Dunbar number is approximately the same as before but the Scoble number has grown to the thousands and potentially millions because of the opportunity provided by the network to connect with people I know nothing about except they share my same passion on something.

Actually, it is debatable if this scattering is for the worse or for the better. The discussion addressed the shortcomings and opportunities deriving from a scattered world/scenario.

In scattered scenario there may be drawbacks in missing the advantages of scales, more difficulties in establishing policies, in strengthening the divide among constituencies. Radicalization may be strengthened by a scattered scenario with increase fights and oppositions.

Scattered constituencies, by approaching issues in different ways may come to different solutions, thus increasing innovation and enriching the overall system. As a matter of fact scattered constituencies are part of a global ecosystem and this ecosystem can benefit immensely from the diversity brought forward by these scattered constituencies.

Scattered constituencies enabled by the web overlap on the physical world, this latter regulated within certain geographical boundaries. E-democracy is difficult to map where the constituency is not part of a single regulatory-country framework.

Conversely Regulations may be feeling threatened by scatterd constiuency they cannot control and this may lead, as it is happening in several parts of the world to the ostracisms of non conforming constituencies.

Future of Networks and Internet. Part II

Monday, April 6th, 2009 by Roberto Saracco

International Futures is a tool for thinking about long term global futures. It assists in understanding the impact of various parameters on different nations. As an example what is the implication of networking in different parts of the world? A map shows the density of networking in the various nations and one can then zoom onto one and look at related parameters and compare these with a different country with similar or different values.

This has been used to provide a number of different projections like the one following indicating the effect of different situations: Scattered vs Connecting vs Borderless.

Future of Networks and Internet. Part I

Monday, April 6th, 2009 by Roberto Saracco

Here I am again in Belgium, in a cloudy Brussels, at a workshop to discuss the Future of Internet: policy options for the Ubiquitous Network Society.

The audience is varied, I am, probably, one of the very few with some tech background, most of the others are layers, sociologists and philosophers. Notable the presence of several strategists working in Ministries around Europe. The objective of this meeting is to provide input for the European Commission on ICT strategy research funding in the next decade.

Some major trends are being offered for discussion, as enabling factors for Internet of X (where X may stand for “things”, “humans”, “services”…):

-         Convergence of infrastructures (towards a global information infrastructure)

-         Computing as utility

-         Human computer convergence

-         The intelligent web

One of the concepts put forward is that the infrastructure is as good as “people” perceive it: trust is within people, not within the infrastructure. Technology in the infrastructure can be, is actually, an important tile of the puzzle but much more is needed.

It is interested to notice that when this audience speaks about tech trends they mean to address aspects that are influenced by technology…not the technology evolution per sé but the effects of technology evolution.

The views are divided in borderless world, connecting world and scattered world and how these affect/are affected by competition, regulation, technology incompatibility (lock in phenomena).

Head-mounted cam for Cops will record everything

Monday, April 6th, 2009 by Gianni Fettarappa

Taser has a plan to give police departments a wearable device to let cops record every minute of their day and then upload and share these videos to a secure website.

I think this technology is another brick to collect data , and to understand the behaviours of the citizens that also have a right to watch the recordings of the actions of the police and cops have the ability to show administrators and even jurors exactly what they saw, from their visual perspective.

“Our Axon technology will be a lifeline to protect truth,” says Steve Tuttle, the vice president of communications for Taser.

The new camera is head-mounted and it will record everything. Each headset plugs into computer that has an LCD screen so that officers can watch instant replays of every action. When the day is done, just plug the recorder into the docking station, and all of the evidence will be automatically uploaded to Taser’s data warehouses via an encrypted connection.

Privacy is at risk but, according to the Axon, the system features a “Privacy Mode” that temporarily suspends recording.

The device is designed to integrate into the existing radio communications through a standard 3.5 mm headphone connection, and this provides a two way communications in addition to full audio-video recording. The size and weight of the head camera is like a standard Bluetooth headset, so in the future this tecnology could be embedded into consumer glasses, sunglasses, caps, hairbands and so on. Every individual could record and store everything his eyes see: his entire life.



Internet 2020 The Internet with Things: Enabling Factors – Part 2

Monday, April 6th, 2009 by Roberto Saracco

Communication infrastructures should be able to provide ubiquitous connectivity in presence of a significantly increased traffic load and should be very efficient to decrease the cost per bit.

Network architectures will probably need to adapt and transform from a point to point communication and point multipoint to multipoint to point communication. Replication of data and service delivery may be necessary to distribute traffic load and to cut delays.

Control of ownership and of what information and services are overlaid on an object, to share revenues (and responsibilities) is a crucial factor that may hamper the success of the Internet with Things.

Technologies and architectures for mash ups are important to enable the business. Openness of platforms and of the application layer of objects embedding computers can stimulate the creation of offer by third parties. Clearly security needs to be assured. 
This requires a different approach to the design of objects (from dishwasher to television, from cars to trains….) to transform them in platforms supporting third parties’ services. Companies that can deliver this kind of “product-platform” will benefit from the increased product value derived from third parties investment.

Socially there is a need of moving from the idea of product to the one of services, and along with that the acceptance of different pricing models.