tech planet

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Details of the Xbox 720 “Leaked”

Details of the Xbox 720 “Leaked”

Some "leaked" information about the next gen Xbox were detailed today. Although we say leaked, they are also probably just a little bit made up as well, but either way, I'll post about them so you have something to think about.
First the downside. We hear that the new Xbox 720 will have tighter DRM controls that will require an almost always-on internet connection so that the Xbox can call back to "authenticate" whatever is being used in the drive.
Moving on to the better stuff... the new games console will possibly have a Blu-ray drive as well as a four (quad-core) or six (Hexa-core) processor with one of the processors being dedicated to look after the built in Kinect function of the device. A built in Kinect does raise a few concerns of course as some like to hide their Xbox behind the TV or under it behind doors. Either way, it's just a rumour, leak or a bit of speculation right now.
Also, there will be two GPUs that function completely separate to each other.
For those upset with the DRM controls, if you are legit with the games and content you buy then there's no need to worry assuming you always have a connection.

Mint Battery – Shake to Charge

Mint-Battery-InternalsThe Mint Battery is a concept gadget that explores the use of kinetic energy to keep an AA battery charged. Rather than using energy from a wall socket or solar panel the Mint Battery looks in to the idea of being able to shake the battery to create charge.
To fit everything needed to make it work the Shakenergy Mint Battery is about half the capacity of a regular rechargeable battery (maybe 750mAh - 1000mAh). What the concept shows is the charging unit being placed at the bottom of the cylinder and the half sized battery sitting just above that.
As it's only a concept it is unknown if the Shakenergy will ever be made. Various factors such as charge time also need to be taken in to consideration. Still, a quite cool idea though regardless of it being practical or not.

Playstation 4 Concept Designed

new-playstation-4-consoleAlthough still a number of years away, a concept designer has decided to create a 3D model of a PlayStation 4. It was created by designer Tai Chiel and has a number of interesting features such as an embedded OLED screen in the transparent section to allow you to view menus, saved games and what looks to be like a game playing on one of the screen shots.
It is unclear when a PS4 will be made available as there are many years left in the PS3 and other consoles like the XBox 360, but that still doesn't stop the design from being great.
What are your thoughts on a PS4. Will one be coming in the next few years?

One way of Cheating in an Exam


Since exams have ever existed, people have always wanted to find a way to get the answers (or in other words, cheat). Strict rules are generally put in place to prevent this from happening. The latest however, might not have been expected. A while back I wrote about the M500 watch which is a regular watch but with a cell phone built in. A watch the same, or similar, had been receiving SMS messages through the exam and the teacher spotted it. The kid must have been crazy though as he was playing with his watch throughout the exam.
This has now resulted in a ban across Thailand of people wearing watches in to exams. You can imagine cell phones being built in to other objects in the future such as glasses, pens and other various items you bring to class. Maybe it's time to start looking at blocking cell phone signals while people are in class although that it's self would raise a few human rights eye brows.

Gadgets in 2012

Have you ever wondered what gadgets will be like in 5 years time? HP recently did and came up with a number of drawings and ideas as to what we might be using in 2012. The first is this HP laptop which can be seen above. It has virtual keys, is razor thin and is featherweight. Hopefully virtual keyboards will be easier to use in 5 years time as currently they suck.
Continue reading on for more cool gadgets from 2012.
Media Mat
Next in line is the Media Mat which is a roll up screen. Flexible screens are becoming available recently but tend to be in grey scale and do not have a fast refresh rate. The screen above is full colour and should be able to roll right up to be stored away when not in use.
Communication is key with current times. Devices need to be able to connect together to share information so that appointments are not missed and family are a button press away. This watch is what ties all these devices together. It is a wireless hub which communicates with the laptop, roll up screen and the other gadgets and allows you to see at a glance what is happening.
PDA Wallet
With the amount of credit cards available these days it is time to have your wallet updated. This wallet features a screen inside which actually makes it in to a digital wallet. The screen allows you to control your finances with in the wallet and to see exactly what comes in and goes out each day. Again, another great idea which links up to the watch to show your current balance.
Of course we all need a tablet PC while we are on the go taking notes in meetings etc... The HP tablet just like the laptop is razor thin and very light weight. As can be seen the design work is very modern and just right for what we might see in 2012. I do have to wonder though if all these devices need to be used in 5 years time or if a collection of them all converging together will be made making most obsolete.
The Shelf has to be one of my favorites. It is not an ordinary shelf, but a shelf in that when a device is placed on it, the device will charge automatically with out connecting wires. This is of course very useful for now, but I wonder what kind of battery charging we will need if fuel cells become more popular which can keep a laptop going for 10+ hours and be instantly charged by topping them up.
Smart Pen
The smart pen is capable of writing on any surface and then storing what was just written in to its memory so you can download it later.
Overall I am impressed with the ideas put forward by HP although most, if not all is not new technology but rather a nice mixture of what we have now, shrunk down a little and made to look good. The idea of having all the devices together is good, but at the same time we are seeing a lot of devices being built together such as the Phone/MP3 and pocket computer in 1 device.

Mobile share of web traffic in Asia has tripled since 2010

In just over two years, the share of web traffic in Asia that comes from mobile devices has almost tripled. In fact, in some countries, close to half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. India is very close to mobile traffic breaking 50% of all web traffic, as are several other countries in Asia as well as Africa.

If you look at the top countries in the world ranked by number of mobile phones, there’s little surprise that China is the number one, followed by India, United States, Brazil, and Indonesia.
But if we look at the percentage of users that go online with a mobile device compared to with a computer, the list changes.
In late 2010, we investigated what part of all web usage across the world was mobile, and we’ve done so again with the latest figures available. This is what it looks like right now:
Mobile versus desktop web traffic
Comparing the figures from 2010 to the current ones reveals a dramatic increase in just over two years:
Mobile share of web traffic
20102012Increase 2010-2012
North America4.71%7.96%69.00%
South America1.46%2.86%95.89%
We should point out that these numbers are percentages out of the total of web traffic and do not reflect any change in the absolute number of people or devices.
But by all accounts, mobile web traffic counted in absolute numbers is virtually explodingin the next few years.

Countries with largest mobile share of web traffic

When we dig a little deeper into this information, we find that, in several countries, mobile web traffic is close to overtaking web traffic from computers.  Over at The Next Web, Jon Russell recently predicted that mobile web traffic in India will overtake PC web traffic this year, which seems pretty likely to happen.
Right now, the countries with the highest share of mobile traffic as part of total web traffic are:
  • 48.87% – India
  • 47.09% – Zambia
  • 44.95% – Sudan
  • 42.36% – Uzbekistan
  • 40.65% – Nigeria
  • 37.95% – Zimbabwe
  • 35.46% – Laos
  • 34.66% – Brunei
  • 31.79% – Ethiopia
  • 29.2% – Kenya
As you can see, Africa and Asia split the list between them. Africa amassed six countries, which left Asia with four.
The first European country is the United Kingdom with 10.71%, and the U.S. showed 8.61% mobile web traffic as share of all web traffic.
It’s worth noting that Europe scored a 183.43% increase in mobile browsing share over this period, not that far behind Asia. But with the mobile share only increasing from 1.81% to 5.13%, Europe is still far behind both Africa and Asia when it comes to the percentage of users accessing the web using mobiles.

The trend is set to continue

Worldwide, mobiles only account for about 10% of web access, but it’s a figure that is growing fast. With some countries already closing in on 50% of web traffic coming from mobiles – with India in the lead – it’s safe to assume this development will only continue.
Clearly, people are taking to their mobile devices all over the world to get on the Internet, but more so in Africa and Asia than elsewhere.
This is a very interesting development to follow, and we’re sure to report on it in future articles.
Note about the data: We used data from StatCounter as the basis for our analysis. The data for 2012 covers the first seven days of May, 2012.

The (very) uneven distribution of DNS root servers on the Internet

As we reported last Friday, the number of DNS root servers on the Internet has grown significantly the past few years. Now we will take a closer look at how those root servers are distributed across the world.
Since the root servers are critical to Internet’s DNS infrastructure, they would ideally be spread out in a way that serves the Internet population in a fair and even manner. That is, however, not the case.
As you’ll see, when you start taking regional Internet user numbers into consideration, the distribution of root servers is highly uneven. Some regions are clearly underserved.

DNS root server distribution

First, let’s have a look at the actual distribution of the world’s root servers. We have grouped them by world region, so you can get a good overview:

So, that’s how the root servers are distributed. Now compare that with the distribution of Internet users across the same regions. We have kept the colors for the regions the same, so you can easily compare the two charts.

It’s not hard to see that there are some staggering differences here. One would imagine that if all things were equal, the distribution of root servers should mirror the distribution of Internet users. But it’s not even close.
Here are a couple of the most blatant discrepancies:

  • Europe and North America together have only 36% of the Internet population, but 62% of the root servers.
  • Asia has 45% of the Internet population, but only 17% of the root servers.
Clearly Asia is getting the short end of the stick.

Internet users per root server

To further illustrate the differences in root server distribution, you can look directly at how many Internet users there are for each root server site in a region. The lower the number, the better.

There is a lot you could say about this, but we’ll settle for a few observations.
  • Asia, worst off by far, has more than 5 times as many Internet users per root server as North America.
  • Oceania, consisting mainly of Australia and New Zealand, is in the best shape of all the regions based on this metric.
We also included the world average so you could have a reference point. You can see how the world is divided in two parts here:
  • Above average (a bad thing in this case): South America, Middle East, Africa, Asia.
  • Below average (a good thing in this case): Europe, North America, Oceania.


An interesting side note is that in 2007, the world average was 9.4 million Internet users per root server site. In 2012 it is, as you can see in the chart above, 7.6 million. That is definitely an improvement.
Asia on the other hand has gone from 16.7 million Internet users per root server site in 2007 to 20.3 million in 2012.
In other words, the world as whole is getting a better ratio between the number of Internet users and root servers, while Asia is getting a worse ratio.
In the past 5 years the world Internet population has doubled, and more than half of the new Internet users have come from Asia. It’s clearly a region that is becoming increasingly underserved in terms of DNS infrastructure.


The overall distribution of root servers is much better than it was a decade ago. There are more of them, in more locations, and the hardware involved is more powerful. However, the distribution of root servers seems to have taken a wrong turn at some point, not matching its growth to how the Internet population is spread out.
To some extent you can probably blame this on the general state of the Internet’s infrastructure. The more “developed” regions, with more established infrastructure, are better off. However, the differences are so large that that is unlikely to be the only reason.
We think that the root server distribution should take regional Internet population size into consideration, so we hope the people in charge read this and act accordingly as the Internet continues to grow.

Toshiba Satellite Ultrabook

An apparently still unnamed ultrabook from Toshiba was on display. It promises to be a bit more affordable than present ultrabooks and supposedly it’ll be available in May for $799.

Samsung Series 9 laptops

The second generation of Samsung’s stylish laptop certainly isn’t cheap (starting around $1,400), but they are simply gorgeous. And you now have two models to choose from, a 13-inch and a 15-inch model.

Razer Project Fiona gaming tablets

More than anything else, this has our juices flowing. 10.1-inch display (1,280 x 800 pixels), Hydra-style controllers, Intel Core i7 processor, Dolby 7.1 surround sound, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, and more. Wow! Unfortunately we may have to wait up to a year before being able to buy it.


GoPro showed off the HD HERO2, a rugged video camera capable of recording 1080p video. Plus, the Wi-Fi BacPac + Wi-Fi Remote Combo Kit allows you to remote control 50 cameras at a time as well as stream video live.

LG TV with voice and gesture control

The future of TV may be upon us, and LG seems to be showing the way, adding voice and gesture control to its SmartTV lineup. We think this will add a whole new dimension to watching sports events. 

Parrot AR.Drone 2.0

More sturdy construction, compass, HD camera – there’s a lot to like about the updated Drone. Exactlywhat we would use it for, we still don’t know, so that hasn’t changed. But who really cares?

Nokia Lumia 900

Could it be that Nokia finally has a hit smartphone on its hands after years of falling behind? We were optimistic already when the Lumia 800 came out, but now the 4.3-inch display and front-facing camera of the 900 are really seducing us in a bad way.

Top 10 new gadgets at CES 2012 – smartphones, tablets and TVs

No, we didn’t go to CES this year, but we’ve followed the action from Las Vegas from afar with great interest.
Today is the last day of CES, so we wanted to bring you a selection of what we thought were the most exciting new gadgets and technology coming out of Las Vegas this January.
So here’s our pick for the ten most exciting gadgets at CES 2012, in no particular order.