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Technology

Apple is Finally Going to Test Self-Driving Cars

Apple is Finally Going to Test Self-Driving  Cars

The world has all the ears on the technology news and what if the news is from the greatest smart phone maker in the world- Apple about the self-driving cars. Well, it surely catches the attention of all the netizens as well as those who are cars frenzy. Apple was given a nod to go with their project of self-driving cars after months of speculation. This has been a great chance for them to showcase their potential in automotive technology. Like Google, they were given three Lexus SUVs for the autonomous cars testing. After obtaining the green signal from the California’s DMV. Apple is now pushing its limits to make a mark in the field of automotive industry.

THE TEST

Like the other cars or companies, Apple will also have its human drivers behind the wheels once they hit the roads of California. Hover, Apple has to compete with the other automobile giants like the BMW, Ford, Honda and many more. There were speculations about the project. There were often rumour about the technology news with regards to driving cars from Apple. Some said that the Apple was going to name the project like “Apple car”, “the iCar”, “Project Titan”

 

THE RUMOURS

Well, some reports came out that the company would be manufacturing driving vehicles while some were focused to spread that the tech giant company was building software for the automobile industry. The software could be used in multipurpose in automobiles. The technology news that buzzed and caught everyone’s ears was that Apple was building cars which were driven by electric or battery much like the Tesla cars. Well, it would certainly put Musk in thoughts. In the late 2015, when Apple hired the automotive engineers, there was a fresh wave of rumour.

 

THE CHANGE

There was a change in the assigned task for which the engineers were hired. They were mainly asked to focus on the software part for the self-driving cars. Whatever Apple does will be the attention for all the people in the world. Now Apple is just waiting for the right time to build the world’s first innovative self-driving cars. The report states that Apple is the 30th company to bag the deal of self-driving cars.  This is indeed a big achievement for the tech giant company who are leaders in the smart phones. This is a great idea to get a kick start in the field of automotive industry. Apple will slowly get the permits in California for all the necessary things required in self-driving.

 

THE SPECULATIONS

Even after getting the permit from the concerned authorities, there is still a speculation on what actually Apple is working. There has been no confirmed news from the company. It is however to be seen to what dimension the work gets into. The more technology they put into will make the cars more accident free and reduce the chance of any casualties in the near future. So, we just need to have patience and wait for the confirmed news to break out.

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Software

Android Overtakes Windows to Become the Internet’s Most Popular OS

Android Overtakes Windows to Become the Internet’s Most Popular OS

The world is full of surprises and we should be ready to embrace that at any time for any cost. Recently, Microsoft has been beaten for being the most used operating system among the netizens. For the recent news, it is the Android that has overtaken Microsoft in the OS market. The survey or the recent study shows that the Android has users close to 37.93 % which overshadows the percentage of Microsoft who figured at 37.91. May be Microsoft have been beaten by a close shave but it is still a matter of concern. The experts believe that there will always be a milestone as well as an end of the dominating rule in terms of the technological market.

THE END OF AN ERA

Well, certainly it is a breaking news for the whole digital market as Microsoft have been the leader in the OS since 1980s. Android came into existence in the late 2005 and within few years it has aced the market and dethroned the leader –Microsoft. The Android users will possess a Windows desktop however. The report is especially true in the part of Asia where the web traffic is more for android. Whereas the European region has an upper edge for the Windows. In the North America, Microsoft stands at the top followed by the Apple.

THE RESEARCH

The recent survey has stated that the 2.5 million websites claimed to generate more than 15 billion monthly page views. The two OS were tracked while making the survey. However, the Windows phone have resulted the downgrade on the graph. There are some parts where Windows have been in the nature but still there has been a degradation on the sale of the PCs. The level has come down from the year 2008. Whereas the market saw a steep increase of the smart phones but Windows pone took a hit in the recent couple of years. The growth is pretty evident in the market places like the developing countries like India. Apple getting a tough fight from its counterpart Android in the smartphone section. The survey also reveals that the cell phones account for the major part of the internet usage in the countries like the US, INDIA and many more. The desktops as usual ruled the market in the Western countries.

THE DESIGN

Windows need to come up with something very special in terms of the phones that have been designed. Else the Android will keep on ruling the market with the smart phones. This year is pretty unpredictable in terms of the technological market or the gadgets stuff. However, there can be a slight chance or bleak possibility that the Android overtakes the iOS in terms of the revenue from the smart phones. With Android coming into picture, there has been a major fall in the buying of the PCs with Windows OS. We need to have patience and look for the best in the digital market.

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Internet Security

Internet Security: Hacker Documents Show NSA Tools for Breaching Global Money Transfer

Internet Security: Hacker Documents Show NSA Tools for Breaching Global Money Transfer

We are living in the age of computer and digital technology has embraced the society in such a way that a person or organization find it quite difficult to get anything be done, without a bit of computer touch. The computer and the internet technology have paved the way for some other developments in almost every sector, which are the integral part of an individual, as well as, for the society itself but the Internet Security is the big concern for every individual.

Like other sectors, the use of computer and the internet have made the banking sector faster and diversified, which help their potential customer to get the best service of any banking issue. It is now known to all that the erstwhile service of the bank, such as; deposit and withdrawal of money on the manual manner, have now become obsolete and the computerized services are available in almost every bank, even in the remote areas.

Now, one can easily avail the net banking system of the bank, which allows the client of any bank to operate his own account from his own office or home, just with the help of a laptop, tablet or smartphone, which are having the facility of the internet. While we are considering the internet banking system, the very first thing that comes to our mind is the Internet Security, which ensures the safekeeping of our hard earned money, deposited in the bank.

Important issues to be noted in Internet Security

Very recently, an alarming issue came out, where some hackers released some documents and files that provide the blueprint of how the famous U.S. National Security Agency are using the weak link in any commercially available software that may help in gaining access to the all important global system for the transfer of money between various banks. According to documents, revealed by a group, named Shadow Brokers, indicated that NSA had already accessed the SWIFT mode of money transfer system through different service providers in the Latin America and Middle East region in Asia.

It is a great threat to the Internet Security, so far the banking sector is concerned, as the internet banking cannot be considered as the safest possible banking operation in this kind of situation, which is now being considered as one of the major issues in this sector. It is stated by experts of the cyber security that some screenshots have indicated some of the SWIFT affiliates had used Windows servers, which were vulnerable in 2013, to the Microsoft exploits and the conclusion made that the NSA had taken the advantage of this loopholes in the Internet Security.

Conclusion

It is reported that NSA has targeted, not one but nine computer servers at EastNets, one Dubai-based bureau of services and SWIFT contractors, as claimed in the documents, released by the Shadow Brokers. The documents also revealed that NSA has used some of the code to inquiry the important Oracle database and SWIFT servers, handling the transactions, which is a real threat to the Internet Security, which needs to be noted and corrected for getting the optimum security of the banking system.

 

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Technology

Beyond Graphene: Advances Make Reduced Graphene Oxide Electronics Feasible

Beyond Graphene: Advances Make Reduced Graphene Oxide Electronics Feasible

Conversion of Reduced Graphene Oxide Opens Up a New World for Technological Advances

Graphene is an allotrope of carbon which forms a thin layer of carbon atoms bonded together in a hexagonal honeycomb. Isolated in 2004, it has remarkable physical properties that can be applied to a number of things.

The news of its invention created a frenzy in the world of science as Graphene was the thinnest material known which is 150 times stronger than steel and can stretch to 120% of its length. Around the world, research institutions have been trying to develop ways to revolutionize the production of  sheets.

Technology has made this possible by the reduction of Graphene oxide into rGO or reduced Graphene oxide.  This is an extremely vital process which impacts the quality of the rGO produced. It can be achieved by chemical, thermal or electrochemical processes.

It is no news that scientists had already found a number of methods to rGO in the past. This could be done through a number of technological means such as:

  • Treating Graphene oxide with hydrazine hydrate.
  • Exposing it to hydrogen plasma or a strong pulse light.
  • Directly heating Graphene oxide or heating it in distilled water at varying degrees.
  • Combining it with an expansion-reduction agent like urea.
  • Linear sweep voltammetry.

The major flaw of this technology is that chemical reduction has resulted in poor yields in terms of surface area and electronic conductibility. Thermal reduction structurally damages Graphene platelets with pressure build-up and release of carbon dioxide. According to recent news, electrochemical Graphene reduction is the best method to produce high quality rGO, which is almost similar to pristine Graphene.

According to Jay Narayan, it is extremely conductive but it is not a semiconductor. That is why he created rGO. Researchers in his lab, Narayan and AnaghBhaumikwere able to convert p-type or positively charged rGO into n-type or negatively charged rGO and create a layered material.

This material can be used to develop rGO based transistors that can be used in electronic devices.  They achieved this by implementing a completely new kind of technology where they combined rGO into the entirety of wafers made of silicon or sapphire.

This successful wafer-scale integration was done through a pulsed laser deposition technique.  The researchers used laser to confuse chemical groups and move electrons across groups, throughout the wafer. This effectively converted positively charged rGO to negatively charged rGO in a process of pulsed laser annealing using a nanosecond ArF excimer laser.

This wafer scale integration is done at regular room temperature and pressure and takes about 1/5th of a microsecond for completion. It results in a wafer with negatively charged rGO layered on the surface and positively charged rGO layered underneath.

The p-n intersection where the p-type and the n-type meet is extremely important for transistor applications. News of this scientific breakthrough has taken the world of researchers by storm as it has opened up a new frontier for further extensive research in Graphene-based functionalized 2D materials.

Research Paper

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Social Media

Backdoor access to WhatsApp? Rudd’s call suggests a hazy grasp of encryption

Backdoor access to WhatsApp? Rudd’s call suggests a hazy grasp of encryption

Is there going to be a backdoor access to WhatsApp soon?

The end to end encryption created by the popular messaging app “Whatsapp” seems to be “completely unacceptable” to the British government. Home secretary Amber Rudd has requested the tech companies to find backdoors to this end-to-end encryption of Whatsapp so that terrorists find no safe place to hide. The advent of the social media has given birth to several private chat boxes for people to converse. Most of these have take security measures to respect the privacy of the users.

While it has led to more secured socializing over the internet, it has also given a secured platform for antisocial activities. This is where the debate begins between the privacy of the users and the security of the nations.

Two years ago, when Paris suffered the brutal attack on Charlie Hebdo office, David Cameron had suggested that the government and the intelligent agencies should be invested with the legal power to have access to the encrypted conversations of terrorists over messaging apps and social media. Similar requests have been made to Whatsapp following the attack in Westminster for the sake of the safety of the country.

The tussle between government and the tech companies

None of the parties is ready to leave an inch in this struggle over security and privacy. While the government wants easy access into the conversations to able to track terrorist attacks and planning of suspected people through these messaging apps, the tech companies have strongly refused to compromise with the privacy given by them to the users. There has been a long going debate and legal struggle over this issue of privacy versus security.

Among recent examples that can be cited, the San Bernardino shooter’s case is the most relevant in this matter. The FBI wanted iPhone company to help them find access to the shooter’s iPhone but the company was just not ready to let go of the security of their system which could in turn jeopardize with the privacy of other users.

The struggle continued till FBI found another way to hack into the iPhone of the shooter and let go of their demands from the iPhone company. The information stored in the shooter’s phone was extracted by officials with the help of an unnamed group.

Backdoor leaves a way for exploitation

If there’s a backdoor for security reasons, there are high chances of misuse too. If the conversation over Whatsapp or other social media is not encrypted it simply implies that it is not secure. There cannot be a backdoor only meant for moral or legalized use.

If there is legislation for backdoor access to encrypted conversations over social media, it means that every time you chat with someone you may be under legal surveillance and your privacy may be at stake. This also leaves the door open for widespread control over private lives of people. There may also be high chances that cyber criminals misuse this backdoor access technique to violate your privacy.

While some feel that it is a matter of national security and doing away with end-to-end encryption is worth it for the sake of being safe, others opine that it is a direct approach over controlling people’s lives. At present, this never-ending debate is at its peak with the hope that there would soon be a way to selectively break encryption of terrorist conversations.

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