Posts Tagged ‘holy grail’

Australia Plans To Drill 2,000-Year-Old Ice Core In Antarctica

December 16th, 2012 12:56 admin View Comments


An anonymous reader writes “Australia announced Saturday a new project to drill a deep ice core in Antarctica, which may shed light on past climatic conditions in the continent. The project, Aurora Basin North project, will involve researchers drilling a 2,000-year-old ice core, in order to search for the scientific ‘holy grail’ of the ice core.”

Source: Australia Plans To Drill 2,000-Year-Old Ice Core In Antarctica

Auto-threading Compiler Could Restore Moore’s Law Gains

December 3rd, 2012 12:06 admin View Comments


New submitter Nemo the Magnificent writes “Develop in the Cloud has news about what might be a breakthrough out of Microsoft Research. A team there wrote a paper (PDF), now accepted for publication at OOPSLA, that describes how to teach a compiler to auto-thread a program that was written single-threaded in a conventional language like C#. This is the holy grail to take advantage of multiple cores — to get Moore’s Law improvements back on track, after they essentially ran aground in the last decade. (Functional programming, the other great white hope, just isn’t happening.) About 2004 was when Intel et al. ran into a wall and started packing multiple cores into chips instead of cranking the clock speed. The Microsoft team modified a C# compiler to use the new technique, and claim a ‘large project at Microsoft’ have written ‘several million lines of code’ testing out the resulting ‘safe parallelism.’” The paper is a good read if you’re into compilers and functional programming. The key to operation is adding permissions to reference types allowing you to declare normal references, read-only references to mutable objects, references to globally immutable objects, and references to isolated clusters of objects. With that information, the compiler is able to prove that chunks of code can safely be run in parallel. Unlike many other approaches, it doesn’t require that your program be purely functional either.

Source: Auto-threading Compiler Could Restore Moore’s Law Gains

Everspin Launches Non-Volatile MRAM That’s 500 Times Faster Than NAND

November 14th, 2012 11:02 admin View Comments


MrSeb writes “Alternative memory standards have been kicking around for decades as researchers have struggled to find the hypothetical holy grail — a non-volatile, low-latency, low-cost product that could scale from hard drives to conventional RAM. NAND flash has become the high-speed, non-volatile darling of the storage industry, but if you follow the evolution of the standard, you’ll know that NAND is far from perfect. The total number of read/write cycles and data duration if the drive isn’t kept powered are both significant problems as process shrinks continue scaling downward. Thus far, this holy grail remains elusive, but a practical MRAM (Magnetoresistive Random Access Memory) solution took a step towards fruition this week. Everspin has announced that it’s shipping the first 64Mb ST-MRAM in a DDR3-compatible module. These modules transfer data at DDR3-1600 clock rates, but access latencies are much lower than flash RAM, promising an overall 500x performance increase over conventional NAND.”

Source: Everspin Launches Non-Volatile MRAM That’s 500 Times Faster Than NAND

PS3 Encryption Keys Leaked

October 23rd, 2012 10:02 admin View Comments


An anonymous reader writes “PS3 security has been compromised again. The holy grail of the PS3 security encryption keys — LV0 keys — have been found and leaked into the wild. For the homebrew community, this means deeper access into the PS3: the possibility of custom (or modified) firmware up to the most recent version, the possibility of bypassing PS3 hypervisor for installing GNU/Linux with full hardware access, dual firmware booting, homebrew advanced recovery (on the molds of Bootmii on Wii), and more. It might lead to more rampant piracy too, because the LV0 keys could facilitate the discovering of the newer games’ encryption keys, ones that require newer firmware.”

Source: PS3 Encryption Keys Leaked

Facebook Tests ‘Want’ Button To Hoard User Data, Save Its Stock Price

October 9th, 2012 10:06 admin View Comments


colinneagle writes with news that Facebook is beginning to roll out tests of “want” and “collect” buttons in an attempt to bring users and retailers closer together. “The company is working with Victoria’s Secret, Pottery Barn, Michael Kors, Wayfair, Neiman Marcus, and Smith Optics. The difference between ‘liking’ and ‘wanting’ would be like discovering the holy grail of datamining. Inside Facebook said that although the ‘Want’ button is different than the Want plugin that developer Tom Waddington noticed in June, the company may eventually offer it as a plugin. Unsurprisingly, Facebook wants to keep people on the site as opposed to leaving to visit Pinterest. Collections will offer retailers a Pinterest-like option to engage buyers, offer users a way to collect images, while also collecting even more data about users. For example, Facebook asks, ‘Why are you collecting this?’ Regardless of a user’s answer, the wants and collects will surely be used to deliver targeted ads. Eventually, the Collections feature could help Facebook generate more revenue.”

Source: Facebook Tests ‘Want’ Button To Hoard User Data, Save Its Stock Price

Only English Final Fantasy 2 NES Cartridge On Sale for $50K

August 23rd, 2012 08:25 admin View Comments

NES (Games)

Croakyvoice writes “In what seems to be the in thing at the moment comes another auction to add to last months Zelda Nes auction and that crazy Million Dollar Collection. This time for RPG fans this could be classed as the Holy Grail of Nes games. The game in question is Final Fantasy 2 which was never released outside of Japan but luckily for the person who at this time is selling this on Ebay for 50K, there was one made for the 1991 Winter Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas by SquareSoft, sadly the USA version never had a release because they decided to work on the Super NES instead.”

Source: Only English Final Fantasy 2 NES Cartridge On Sale for $50K

Mobile Marketing Set to Create Havoc and Opportunities

May 18th, 2012 05:32 admin View Comments

Procter & Gamble should be kicking itself for not developing a mobile operating system when it had the chance: More people worldwide own mobile phones than toothbrushes. Get ready for a tsunami of mobile marketing and commerce to crash on the shores of retail.

The beauty of mobile devices from a marketing perspective is that you can reach consumers at a more personal level – right in their pockets. The Holy Grail of marketers used to be a home telephone number and address. Direct mail and telemarketing, despite being some of the most hated forms of advertising, are historically effective. Now mobile takes marketers closer to consumers than direct mail ever will.

But mobile isn’t just one marketing channel. It’s several. Think about how you use your smartphone. You use apps, you search the Net, you visit websites. You text friends and family. 

“The challenge for global brands in mobile is finding relevancy to the various activities a consumer may be performing at any given time.  The misconception is that mobile is a new marketing channel, when in reality it is several new channels, all with vastly different implications for brand marketers,” said Jeff Peden, CEO of Boston-based local advertising startup Crave Labs.

The trend toward mobile marketing and commerce is significant, and it’s only going to grow. According to research firm Deloitte, 19% of merchants said they plan to invest $100,000 or more on mobile platforms. The money will go toward building apps, delivering through the various marketing channels that mobile affords and providing services for other businesses. About 22.5% of businesses are seeing the most traction in business-to-business mobile solutions while 33.7% are gaining mobile momentum in the business-to-consumer sector. Overall, 37% of enterprise companies have seen significant impact on their top and bottom line revenue through mobile.

Reaching consumers is a big part of the game, but it is only a start. The goal is to generate transactions. This is where relevance comes in. How do marketers achieve relevance through mobile?

“Tying into the context of the consumer (location, time of day, et cetera) improves relevancy in these cases,” Peden said. “In the case of search, brands should be directing consumers to the closest place of action, turning that immediate local intent into a physical transaction. In other modes, such as gaming or video, the content of an ad has to be just as rich and compelling as the app in which it’s running.”

These observations aren’t just theoretical. Nearly 29% of consumers who research a product in a retail location through a smartphone end up purchasing that product online. Mobile commerce is expected to be a $163 billion market by 2015. Companies that focus on mobile solutions for consumers will reap the greatest reward. Procter & Gamble could sell more toothbrushes if it used a location-aware price comparison app for shopping lists. Amazon has been a leader in price-comparison shopping and its strength in m-commerce should only grow as the ecosystem expands and smartphone users come to rely on their devices’ in-store utility.

The infographic below, courtesy of Deloitte, serves as a rough map to the biggest m-commerce opportunities for developers, brands and retailers. 

Click here for a larger version of the infographic.

Source: Mobile Marketing Set to Create Havoc and Opportunities

MIT Hack Turns the Green Building Into a Giant Game of Tetris

April 22nd, 2012 04:37 admin View Comments

Classic Games (Games)

An anonymous reader writes “MIT hackers have turned the Green Building, the tallest building in Cambridge, into a giant, playable, full color game of Tetris. According to the IHTFP Hack Gallery, “MIT hackers have long considered ‘Tetris on the Green Building’ to be the Holy Grail of hacks.”"

Source: MIT Hack Turns the Green Building Into a Giant Game of Tetris

The Holy Grail of Rich Location Data Made Easy With new SDKs from Geoloqi

February 23rd, 2012 02:30 admin View Comments

geoloqi_150x150.jpgThe holy grail of mobile geo-location services is persistent, aware, real-time data delivered straight to your device. It is incredibly difficult to pull off. Especially if the idea is to, “give you vision beyond the Greek gods.” Accuracy, battery life and location-aware push messaging are hard to build and even harder to implement on a scalable basis.

Portland-based startup Geoloqi thinks it can pull it off. The startup is aiming to give rich location data to enterprise and government customers through a release of a new SDK for Android and iOS an API. The idea is to turn complicated real-time location-aware data into a platform that developers can drop into any app.

amber_case_geoloqi.jpgGeoloqi’s goal is to disrupt the first generation of location services, according to founder Amber Case. That means the Foursquares of the world are put on notice. The Geoloqi platform will provide cross-platform SDKs that are mobile carrier agnostic. It can track location in real-time and provide analytics on users and their location data and history. Enterprises, retailers and government agencies can create geo-fences, push messages and visitor metrics.

Right: Amber Case

The biggest innovation for Geoloqi may be its battery saving properties. Case said that in a couple instances the company wrote the code that connects a device its backend infrastructure was written in binary code to make it as lightweight as possible.

“Some of the systems that we have added to build or extend out the systems we have to actually make it work, in some of the cases we have actually written it down in binary so we can actually get a small enough packet size off the phone connecting to the server so we can reduce the battery life drain and have less connections. The server architecture, which is a custom-server architecture is scalable to our base,” Case said.

After Geoloqi launched it rapidly found that its clientele was not going to be end-users and fellow mobile developers. Enterprises and government were the most interested parties because that is no easy system for creating location-aware real-time data.

“We are not selling an app, we are selling a platform system. So, if an enterprise or a retailer already has an app location, it just allows them to just plug it in and have location taken care of,” Case said. “People really wanted to add these aspects to their apps and carriers understood that their existing enterprise and government customers were asking for something more real time and they were not able to provide it. So, they started calling us up and asking for a sort of hybrid solution so they could better serve their existing customers.”

The dream of location-aware data is “The Starbuck Dilemma.” In the Starbuck scenario, a user walks by one of the popular coffee houses and their device will recognize where it is and send a push-notification to the user. It is a mix of geo-fencing, push and real-time marketing that is delivered straight to the user’s pocket. There is power in proximity marketing.

geoloqi_tracking.jpg“The key story in this place is that I want to go by Starbucks and have a location-based message. That story has been there for 20 years but it is very difficult to implement,” Case said.

As a platform, the intention is for customers to build on top of Geoloqi to provide the type of data location that the first generation providers cannot deliver. The next step is to provide analytics on top of that and enable enterprises targeted marketing like never before.

“We are really focusing on enterprise. This might be a silly analogy but what Salesforce did for CRM, making it really easy and painless for the enterprise, we want to do that for the enterprise for location and really make a bridge between that old guard of location services and real time, much higher functionality, much higher resolution location services,” Case said.

Source: The Holy Grail of Rich Location Data Made Easy With new SDKs from Geoloqi

How Companies Learn Your Secrets

February 17th, 2012 02:50 admin View Comments


Hugh Pickens writes “For decades, Target has collected vast amounts of data on every person who regularly walks into one of its stores. Now the NY Times Magazine reports on how companies like Target identify those unique moments in consumers’ lives when their shopping habits become particularly flexible and the right advertisement or coupon can cause them to begin spending in new ways. Among life events, none are more important than the arrival of a baby, and new parents are a retailer’s holy grail. In 2002, marketers at Target asked statisticians to answer an odd question: ‘If we wanted to figure out if a customer is pregnant, even if she didn’t want us to know, can you do that?‘ Specifically, the marketers said they wanted to send specially designed ads to women in their second trimester, which is when most expectant mothers begin buying all sorts of new things, like prenatal vitamins and maternity clothing. ‘We knew that if we could identify them in their second trimester, there’s a good chance we could capture them for years,’ says statistician Andrew Pole. ‘As soon as we get them buying diapers from us, they’re going to start buying everything else too.’ As Pole’s computers crawled through the data, he was able to identify about 25 products that, when analyzed together, allowed him to assign each shopper a ‘pregnancy prediction’ score and he soon had a list of tens of thousands of women who were most likely pregnant. About a year after Pole created his pregnancy-prediction model, a man walked into a Target outside Minneapolis and demanded to see the manager. He was clutching coupons that had been sent to his daughter, and he was angry. ‘My daughter got this in the mail!’ he said. ‘She’s still in high school, and you’re sending her coupons for baby clothes and cribs? Are you trying to encourage her to get pregnant?’ The manager apologized and then called a few days later to apologize again but the father was somewhat abashed. ‘It turns out there’s been some activities in my house I haven’t been completely aware of. She’s due in August. I owe you an apology.’”

Source: How Companies Learn Your Secrets