Archive for December, 2008

The Very Best of 2008

December 31st, 2008

It’s the end of 2008.

Another year had come and now going to the end, with new hopes and dreams for another new year.

See if these listed below are the highlights of the year 2008

Marvin Lee’s 2008 World Technology Breakthrough

1. Flexible Displays

A sliver of the future can soon be tucked into your back pocket. For years, researchers have worked on thin, paperlike displays that can be folded, rolled or sewn into the sleeve of your hoodie. Flexible displays could change the way we interact with the info-universe, creating new kinds of cellphones, portable computers, e-newspapers and electronic books.
2. Edible Chips

Not the usual chips you eat.

Tiny edible chips will replace the organizer, tracking when patients take their pills (or don’t) and monitoring the effects of the drugs they’re taking. Proteus, a Redwood City, California, company, has created tiny chips out of silicon grains that, once swallowed, activate in the stomach. The chips send a signal to an external patch that monitors vital parameters such as heart rate, temperature, state of wakefulness or body angle.

The data is then sent to an online repository or a cellphone for the physician and the patient to track. Proteus says its chips can keep score of how patients are responding to the medication. That may be just the beginning, as the chips could improve drug delivery and even insert other kinds of health monitors inside the body. Now doctors may have a better answer to a common patient complaint — they will know exactly how it feels.

3. Speedo LZR

The LZR Racer Suit (pronounced as laser) is a line of high-end swim suits manufactured by Speedo using a high-technology swimwear fabric composed of woven elastane-nylon and polyurethane – Gore-tex. The suits are manufactured at Petratex, a textile factory in Paços de Ferreira, Portugal; the technology is patented in that country. The line was launched on February 13, 2008.

This suit has been developed in association with NASA, Ansys, Inc. (which supplied fluid flow analysis software and support), and the Australian Institute of Sport as well as the support of Speedo’s sponsored athletes, and it is marketed as the world’s fastest swimsuit. This is the focus of Speedo’s campaign for the 2008 Summer Olympics, spearheaded by Michael Phelps of the United States.

The Beijing Olympics proved to be an unprecedented success for Speedo and the LZR Racer with 94% of all swimming races won in the suit. At the Games, Michael Phelps (who was wearing the suit) won a historic 8 gold medals. In total 23 out of the 25 world records broken, were achieved by swimmers competing in the LZR suit.

4. Flash Memory

Solid-state flash drives offer faster response times than hard disk drives and they require much less power. The hitch is that they are almost eight times more expensive than hard disk drives. But with the star power behind flash storage, the prices have nowhere to go but down.

5. GPS

Global Positioning System is nothing new but in fact is a system which has been operational since 1978 and available for commercial use since 1993, but for years its use was relegated to expensive personal navigation devices and the dashboards of high-end cars.
Contrary to popular belief, the GPS service is actually provided free to civilian. One would only need to purchase a GPS navigational device to obtain data from the GPS satellite in orbit. In 2008, it is so popular that even Malaysia’s national carmaker, Proton has started to install GPS devices into their cars.

6. The Memristor

The definition of the memristor is based solely on fundamental circuit variables, similar to the resistor, capacitor, and inductor. Unlike those more familiar elements, the necessarily nonlinear memristors may be described by any of a variety of time-varying functions.

The discovery will make it possible to develop computer systems that remember what’s stored in memory when they are turned off. That means computers that don’t need to be booted up and systems that are far more energy efficient than the current crop. Researchers also hope the memristor can help develop a new kind of computer memory that can supplement or ultimately replace dynamic random access memory, or DRAM — the type of memory used in personal computers.

7. Video-Capable SLRs

The D90 is the first SLR in the world that can record video. Any control, effect or lens that is available for the D90’s still photos is now available for videos. Think of all the freedom you gain that you wouldn’t generally have on a camcorder: control over focus, depth of field and exposure, special effects like fisheye, monochrome and vivid and excellent image stabilization when using a Nikon VR lens.

8. USB 3.0

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced on November 17, 2008, that version 1.0 of the specification has been completed and is transitioned to the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), the managing body of USB specifications. This move effectively opens the spec to hardware developers for implementation in future products.
A new major feature is SuperSpeed bus, which increases the maximum transfer rate to 5.0 Gbit/s. USB 3.0 devices supporting SuperSpeed bus are expected to be available in commercial controllers in the second half of 2009. Consumer products are expected to become available in 2010.
At least Windows 7 and Linux drivers are under development but no public releases available yet as of December 2008.

9. Google Android

Android is a software platform and operating system for mobile devices, based on the Linux kernel, developed by Google and later the Open Handset Alliance. It allows developers to write managed code in the Java language, controlling the phone via Google-developed Java libraries. Applications written in C and other languages can be compiled to ARM native code and run, but this development path isn’t officially supported by Google.

10. Apple App Store

Until this year, mobile app developers lacked an easy way to get their software into the hands of consumers, forcing them to make deals with finicky and power-hungry carriers if they wanted to get any distribution at all. Apple’s App Store changed all that. It made creating and distributing mobile applications for cellphone users easy — jumpstarting the mobile-app development market and creating clones such as the Android Market. It even forced Research in Motion to offer a BlackBerry Application Storefront. For thousands of programmers, the cellphone is the new PC.
Do not misunderstood it as the Apple Online Store which was also made available for Malaysia this year.

Source: Wired

Marvin Lee’s 2008 Marvellous Internet Products

  1. Facebook – The website currently has more than 140 million active users worldwide. Facebook is easily the fastest growing social networking site in the world. Although in Asia, Friendster is still reigning the top spot in some countries, Facebook is the most common name in the Web 2.0 arena.
  2. Google Reader – This could be the year I have spent most time with RSS and captured the most information from the internet with my Google Reader. In the age of marvellous internet where we are having “information overload”, Google Reader helps to find specific information I’m interested in and keeping myself most up-to-date.
  3. Facebook Platform – The platform of which Facebook provides application, undoubtedly, a lot of efforts are used to build this platform to enable applications to be developed for Facebook. It has APIs for applications to access facebook information using Facebook Markup Language (“FBML”), Facebook Javascript(FBJS) and the most recent Facebook Connect.
  4. Google Android – Yes, I know it’s already in the 2008 breakthough list, but it’s Java and Google! I’ve tried the Android SDK before, I might delved deeper into it when the time comes.
  5. Netbooks – Mobile laptops, compact version of notebooks are in town. The latest in Malaysia being the Dell Mini 9 netbook.
  6. WordPress – One of the most popular blogging system developed in PHP with a wide array of plugins easily available, the same system that powers this blog. Need to say more?
  7. YouTube – They say the kids are using more of YouTube to search for information than using Google. There are more ads available in YouTube videos in 2008 as they try to figure how to monetize YouTube. YouTube Live was launched on 22nd Nov 2008.

To end 2008 on a lighter note, and amid all the technological stuff and rush, enjoy a mashup of some popular pop songs of the year 2008.

Songs in the mashup include:

* Flo Rida Featuring T-Pain – Low
* Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love
* Alicia Keys – No One
* Lil Wayne Featuring Static Major – Lollipop
* Timbaland Featuring OneRepublic – Apologize
* Jordin Sparks Duet With Chris Brown – No Air
* Sara Bareilles – Love Song
* Usher Featuring Young Jeezy – Love in This Club
* Chris Brown – With You
* Chris Brown – Forever
* Ray J & Yung Berg – Sexy Can I
* Rihanna – Take a Bow
* Coldplay – Viva La Vida
* Katy Perry – I Kissed a Girl
* T.I. – Whatever You Like
* Rihanna – Disturbia
* Rihanna – Don’t Stop the Music
* Natasha Bedingfield – Pocketful of Sunshine
* Chris Brown Featuring T-Pain – Kiss Kiss
* Ne-Yo – Closer
* Colbie Caillat – Bubbly
* Mariah Carey – Touch My Body
* Madonna Featuring Justin Timberlake – 4 Minutes
* Pink – So What
* Finger Eleven – Paralyzer

Internet, Technology

Watch YouTube videos offline with flv player

December 23rd, 2008

Sometimes, for some reasons (especially with slow internet connection) you might want to save the YouTube video to your computer and watch it when you have the time. You might also want to download a few and watch all of them at one go?

The YouTube videos are actually flv files or Flash Video files. To watch it offline, you’d need to save the flv files to your local drive.

Unless you like challenges and you know how to view HTML source and dissect them to pull out the video file path, online websites that act as such tools are easily available.

One that I use is

It is actually just a simple tool to extract the file path and then push it to you with the download links.

To watch it, I use a free FLV Player when before this, not many flv files player are available. Those were the early days when YouTube starting to get famous and the player version was just a simple player without many features.

It was actually created by an individual, Martijn de Visser for free and the version now is 2.0. It can be downloaded here.

While it has since evolved to version 2.0 with some cooler features, I’m still hoping that it can support playlist like our media players. Playlist is useful as I’m hoping to run through a playlist of tutorial files without the need to open them individually.

So, are you using any offline FLV Players? Do they support playlists?

Internet ,

CSA Malaysia is now CSC Malaysia

December 23rd, 2008

This has got to be the best or seamless name change for an IT company.

In Malaysia, CSA ( Computer Systems Adviser ) is a well-known company in the IT industry. For all I know, they can provide hardware procurement, installation, software, project management, consultancy, and any other IT related services I have ever heard of?

CSA Malaysia has been in existence since 1971 has more than 1200 dedicated personnel covering Peninsular and East Malaysia.

In the world, CSC ( Computer Sciences Corporation ) is also a well-known company in the IT industry. CSC is a public listed company in New York Stock Exchange and was founded in April 1959.

Many would have even safely assumed that they are related as both of them have ‘CS‘ in their name.

So the only better thing to do is of course to have a name change for CSA Malaysia which in fact now is a wholly owned subsidiary of CSC, and will be known as CSC Malaysia Sdn Bhd (CSCM).

Official announcement here, and news here.

CSC Stock Quote.

Malaysia, News, Technology ,