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Nov 30, 2011

Intel working on augmented reality chipsets

Total Immersion, a pioneer in emerging field of augmented reality (AR), is working with Intel to bring AR features, like gesture recognition, into Intel's chipsets, an executive of the privately held firm said.

Speaking at the Reuters Global Media Summit, Total Immersion's marketing chief Antoine Brachet said consumer acceptance will decide when products would reach the market, but he thinks this could happen in 2-3 years.

Running on smartphones or computers, AR overlays digital information - text, graphics, games -- on images of the world around us.

Intel, whose processors are used in 80 per cent of the world's personal computers, took a stake in Total Immersion in March when its investment arm led the $5.5 million funding round in the firm.

"What we are doing together with Intel is working on their chipset ... so inside the chipset you can have some AR features, like gesture recognition that can be transferred from software to hardware," Brachet said.

Moving the feature into hardware will make it faster to use for consumers and could boost takeup of the new technology among consumers as it would be in all devices, without the need for additional downloads.

The 1999-founded Total Immersion is one of the largest players in the emerging augmented reality industry which has lately attracted technology sector heavyweights like Google, Intel and Qualcomm.

"Those guys understand the fact that something is going to happen and they want to take a potential position in that," Brachet said.

Your New Facebook Status: 63,206 Characters or Less

Twitter, as everyone and their tweeting dog knows, limits your status updates to 140 characters. But Facebook? Facebook laughs in the face of such limitations. On Facebook, 140 characters is barely clearing your throat.
In a blog post Wednesday, Facebook’s Journalist Program Manager (and Mashable alum) Vadim Lavrusik announced that the limit of Facebook status updates has now been upped to “more than 60,000 characters.” When Mashable asked, Lavrusik explained what that meant, exactly: You can now post a status update measuring 63,206 characters.
But not one character more than that. Sorry, would-be Facebook novelists; you’ll have to split your prose into multiple updates. (As Lavrusik points out, an average novel will now require nine status updates.) This also goes for group messages and posts on your friends’ walls — so you can now annoy the heck out of them with unreasonably long catch-up messages.
Facebook update character limits have been expanding almost as rapidly as the social network itself. Until March 2009, the limit was barely bigger than Twitter’s, at 160 characters. Then 420 characters marked the end of your post’s potential. This summer, it jumped from 500 to 5,000, and now the limit has hit the stratosphere.
So much for social media keeping things short and sweet. At least one Facebook user has already attempted a status update with 60,000 characters of nonsense words, but he’ll need to add 3,206 more to hit the limit.
Below is Facebook’s visualization of the status update limits. Would you ever post a message this long? Let us know in the comments. But please, if you can, keep it short.

Twitter, mixi join hands to challenge Facebook

Twitter Inc and Japan's biggest homegrown social networking site mixi Inc joined forces to strengthen their ground against a rapidly expanding Facebook. 

For Twitter, the partnership with a local social network could point to a new strategy as the San Francisco-based microblogging service seeks to accelerate global growth. Japan is the company's second-biggest market after the US and has served as a key international testing ground of sorts. 

Japanese was Twitter's first foreign language platform, and it opened its first overseas office in Tokyo earlier this year. In April, the company hired James Kondo in Japan as its first international country manager. 

Kondo said he didn't know if Twitter would forge similar partnerships in other countries. But the company is keen to see what happens with the experiment, which launched with a limited Christmas-themed application, he said. 

"This is going to be an interesting case," he told The Associated Press. "We're going to see what works and what doesn't work, and we're going to build on top of that as opposed to throwing out something that may not work." 

For mixi, the announcement couldn't have come at a better time. 

The seven-year-old Tokyo-based company had been the dominant social networking platform in Japan. Despite its massive popularity elsewhere in the world, Facebook failed to make much of an impact in the country. That is, until this year. 

Data released this week from Nielsen NetRatings Japan showed that mixi stood in third place behind Twitter and Facebook in terms of unique visitors in October. 

More than 14.5 million users visited Twitter, and 11.3 million went to Facebook, according to the Nielsen report. In contrast, about 8.4 million visited mixi. Google's social networking service was a very distant fourth. 

Facebook has surged over the last year in Japan, in part due to the popularity of the hit movie "The Social Network." The Nielsen data indicates that it surpassed mixi midway through the year. Growing social gaming services GREE and DeNA also pose threats to mixi. 

Twitter and mixi said they offer contrasting-and mutually beneficial-services. While Twitter is a public platform with real-time information, mixi is a closed network. Most users limit their networks to a small group of their closest friends. 

Mixi hopes that by partnering with Twitter, it can better integrate public information and conversation into its tight-knit communities. 

"Mixi rightly had a choice to do it themselves or partner with someone who's good at this," Kondo said. "And we're glad that they thought that Twitter would be a good partner. I think we can provide value that's distinctive." 

Kenji Kasahara, mixi's founder and president, said that the two companies started talking after the March earthquake and tsunami. Both services were used extensively as critical information lifelines in the wake of the disaster. 

Twitter in particular gained credibility in Japan after the earthquake. New users flocked to the site for real-time information about the nuclear crisis, electricity blackouts and aftershocks. 

"Had our services been connected during the disaster, we would have been able to provide much better service for our users," he said at a joint press conference at mixi headquarters. 

But for starters, mixi has created a "mixi Xmas 2011" page, through which its users can share holiday messages on both platforms and send "social gifts" to friends. 

Other new joint products are also in the works. The companies said they hope to cooperate on emergency communications during disasters, location-based applications, advertising and business services.

Microsoft overhauls SkyDrive cloud storage

Microsoft overhauls SkyDrive cloud storage
Microsoft has announced that its cloud-based storage system SkyDrive has been overhauled to allow 'app-centric' sharing.
Microsoft insists that the update, which also offers up better file management, HTML5 uploads and CSS transitions, is based on user feedback.
Also included are photo improvements (including geo-tagging support), support for more file types and performance enhancements.

Key product

SkyDrive is a key Microsoft product, although it has very much been left in the background to date, basically offering cloud storage that can be tied into a plethora of the software giant's other products.
Microsoft's changes should mean single file sharing is much easier, and documents in Office Web Apps can be shared from within the program rather than forcing you to exit – a key complaint of SkyDrive users to date.
Drag and drop has been implemented for HTML5 file API supporting browsers, and rich PDF files can now be read from within SkyDrive.

Nov 28, 2011

ARM launches free native Android app toolkit Beats Java speed by up to 4x

ARM launches free native Android app toolkit
For small firms, ARM has release Development Studio 5 Community Edition, a free version of its reference software development toolkit.
Known as DS-5 CE. "the new edition is dedicated to the Android application developer community and helps them create native software for compute intensive tasks that can run up to 4 times faster than Java code," claimed the firm. "DS-5 CE includes limited, but essential functionality from the premium DS-5 toolkit to help solve common Android application developer pain points."
Included is an integrated graphical debugger for NDK-generated code and visibility of processor information including NEON single instruction multiple data (SIMD) registers.
It permits development of Java and C/C++ code in the Eclipse development environment, and there is a tailored version of the Streamline performance analyser for compatible Android development platforms.
"Streamline captures detailed, system-wide performance statistics from a variety of sources which helps developers to locate hotspots in their code and isolate potential causes," said ARM. "Platform builders can add support for Streamline by integrating an open source driver available from the Linaro website."
"We have worked with ARM to ensure that DS-5 support is available as an easy to install add-on for Linaro Ubuntu images in the past and are working together to deliver a similar developer experience for DS-5 CE as part of our Android images", said Alexander Sack, platform technical director, Linaro.
DS-5 CE is available free-of-charge for use by individuals and organisations with annual revenue of $100,000 or less, and up to 10 employees.

Capture Button’s Click Event of User Control in the Page

Example 1:


Almost every application nowadays makes use of UserControl. This article helps you to understand how one can capture the button's (placed in User Control) click event inside the page which holds the user control.

Using the Code

To start with, let's first create a new website and add a user control to it and name it Demo.ascx. This is how youruser control looks like initially.

<% @ Control Language="C#" AutoEventWireup="true" 
 CodeFile="Demo.ascx.cs" Inherits="Demo" %> 
Now add a button to this user control.
<% @ Control Language="C#" AutoEventWireup="true" 
  CodeFile="Demo.ascx.cs" Inherits="Demo" %>

<asp:Button ID="btnClick" runat="server" Text="Click Me!!!" onclick="btnClick_Click" />
If you want to extend the button click placed in the user control to the page, then declare an Event handler and on the click of the button just make a call to the declared event handler. This will work as a property for any web page.
public event EventHandler ButtonClickDemo;

protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
protected void btnClick_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
   ButtonClickDemo(sender, e);
Place the control in your *.aspx page. In the Page_Load event of your page, assign a new event handler to theUser control’s event handler property. And, now use the newly declared event handler.
public partial class _Default : System.Web.UI.Page 
    protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
        Demo1.ButtonClickDemo += new EventHandler(Demo1_ButtonClickDemo);

    protected void Demo1_ButtonClickDemo(object sender, EventArgs e)
         Response.Write("It's working");
Now when the button (which is placed in user control) is clicked, event handler declared in the page will be used to handle the click event.

Example 2:

  “What is delegate?” we all have faced this question in one or more interview. :) and the most common answer is “Function pointer”. Here I am showing a simple example of delegate. I have one user control and one aspx page. The user control contains one button. When user click on this button I will call a method on main page using delegate. Here is my user control,
<%@ Control Language=”C#” AutoEventWireup=”true”CodeFile=”WebUserControl.ascx.cs” Inherits=”Dalegate_WebUserControl” %>
<asp:Button ID=”btnTest” runat=”server” Text=”I am Inside User Control”OnClick=”btnTest_Click” />
Fig – (1) WebUserControl.ascx
            On WebUserControl.ascx.cs I have written simple delegate and event handler as shown below,
public partial class Dalegate_WebUserControl : System.Web.UI.UserControl{
    // Delegate declaration
    public delegate void OnButtonClick(string strValue);
    // Event declaration    public event OnButtonClick btnHandler;
    // Page load    protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
    protected void btnTest_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
           // Check if event is null           if (btnHandler != null)
           // Write some text to output           Response.Write(“User Control’s Button Click <BR/>”);
Fig – (2) WebUserControl.ascx.cs
          Above code first check whether btnHandler is not null and than raise the event by passing argument. You can pass any number of argument in event. You need to change public delegate void OnButtonClick(string strValue) and btnHandler(string.Empty) lines for changing number of arguments. Now take a look at aspx page,
<%@ Page Language=”C#” AutoEventWireup=”true”CodeFile=”Default.aspx.cs” Inherits=”Dalegate_Default” %>
<%Register Src=”WebUserControl.ascx” TagName=”WebUserControl”TagPrefix=”uc1″ %>
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN”“”>
<html xmlns=”” >
head runat=”server”>    <title>Untitled Page</title>
body>    <form id=”form1″ runat=”server”>    <div>        <asp:Label ID=”lblText” Text=”I am On Main Page : “ 
=”server”></asp:Label>        <asp:DropDownList ID=”ddlTemp” runat=”server”>            <asp:ListItem>Chirag</asp:ListItem>            <asp:ListItem>Dipak</asp:ListItem>            <asp:ListItem>Shailesh</asp:ListItem>        </asp:DropDownList>        <br />        <br />        <uc1:WebUserControl ID=”WebUserControl1″ runat=”server” />    
    </div>    </form>
Fig – (3) Default.aspx
          Default.aspx has one drop down list and a user control as shown in above code. Lets look at cs file,
public partial class Dalegate_Default : System.Web.UI.Page{
      protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
             // Declare and Define Event of User Control. When User Clicks on button
             (which is inside UserControl)
             // below event is raised as I have called raised that event on Button Click             WebUserControl1.btnHandler += new 
      void WebUserControl1_btnHandler(string strValue)
             Response.Write(“Main Page Event<BR/>Selected Value: “ + 
                                     ddlTemp.SelectedItem.Text + “<BR/>”);
 Fig – (4) Default.aspx.cs
            Now when you run the application and clicks on button you can see that when user click on button the user control raise the click event and calls the WebUserControl1_btnHandler(string strValue) method on main page.


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