Science and Technology Current Affairs



18-Apr-2014
Science and Technology
Nearby friends feature to come in Facebook soon

 

Facebook is all set to roll in a new feature for Android and iOS app. As per media reports this would enable people to see who all of their friends are nearby. Just like Facebook shows nearby places now it will also show nearby friends. For this both the users have to enable the feature in their mobiles.

17-Apr-2014
Science and Technology
IIT Delhi students developed ICT-based system to check claims on govt websites

A group of IIT Delhi students have been working since 2011 to develop an ICT-based system for improved governance and delivery of schemes. This ICT-based system in its final stage is competent enough to collect the claims posted on government websites for auditing the data. It will create a sort of pressure on government to take action on the claims. As per the media report the project will be displayed at IIT-D's "Open House 2014" on Saturday.

14-Apr-2014
Science and Technology
44% of Twitter users never woke up

As per a report by a firm specializing in analyzing usage of Twitter as many as 44% of the profiles there on Twitter have not tweeted. That is almost 50% of the 974 million active users never posted a single tweet. Some also believe in stalking that is reading only others tweet without stating their presence. Then 30% have only 1-10 tweets while only 13% have tweeted 100 times. 47% of the users do not have a DP or the profile picture. That is they never uploaded one. 1.5 billion users signed in for Twitter and of which 500 million were removed as they were spam profiles or violated any condition.

Reference: IANS

12-Apr-2014
Science and Technology
Agni-I ballistic missile undergone a successful trial

Surface-to-surface Agni-I ballistic missile has successfully undergone a trial at night. The trial of the missile took place from a military base in Odisha. The Strategic Forces Command launched the missile from Wheeler Island. It is located off the coast close to Dhamra in Bhadrak district and at a distance of about 170 km from state capital Bhubaneswar. Test range director M V K V Prasad called this a routine user trial. Agni is already a part of the army. In this missile solid propulsion booster and a liquid upper stage is used. It has been made from the country’s own ballistic missile Prithvi. Test of these missiles does not require specific weather or time and thus can be tested as per the choice of the user. The first trial of Agni was done on January 25, 2002 from the same base.

Source:IANS



11-Apr-2014
Science and Technology
Kudankulam atomic power plant will now begin commercial operation in May instead of April

Kudankulam atomic power plant will launch its commercial operation in May as informed by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL). The project was 99.85% completed as of March 2014. This is a 1000 MW unit and the 2nd unit of the same capacity will begin operation in December 2014. This project is at completion stage of 97.03%. Earlier it was stated that the 1st unit will start operation in April. The two Russian reactors are being set up by NPCIL at a cost of Rs.17,000 crore. The 1st unit reached the criticality stage in July 2013. In Agust 2013 it received the approval for generation of 50% or 500 MW by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). Later on the nod was given for generation of 75% of the capacity.

Reference: IANS

09-Apr-2014
Science and Technology
Mars Orbiter reaches halfway in its journey to the Red Planet

The orbiter, India’s spacecraft to Mars has reached half of its journey to the red planet. This is after 4 months when it moved away from Earth on December 1. The spacecraft reached the halfway mark at 950 am today. Mars is located at a distance of 400 million km from Earth. The Orbiter which weighs 1337 kg is 39 million km from earth if calculation is done based on the radio distance. It is travelling at the speed of 1.55 km per second. The spacecraft was launched on November 5. Mars takes 24 hours 37 minutes to revolve round the sun while earth requires 365 ¼ days for this. The Orbiter when it enters the Mars orbit the scientific study will start with the help of five indigenous instruments.

Reference: IANS

08-Apr-2014
Science and Technology
Know your Lok Sabha candidate through Google

A portal has been set up by Google which will enable the voters in India to get details about their Lok Sabha election candidates. The portal whose Url is www.google.co.in/elections will be helping the voters to gain information about the candidates, the constituency from which they have stood in the elections and the lawmaker who has been there for 5 years. The contestant’s details like education, financial information and their social media presence will be provided. Clicking on the Google map and zooming in to the locality will offer the said information. The database will be regularly updated from validated sources. The users will be able to know about the search trends, news, videos, Google+ hangout details.

08-Apr-2014
Science and Technology
Windows XP support ends today

The final security update of Microsoft Windows XP will be released today. After this the support for this version of Windows will end leaving those running it with host of security vulnerabilities. As per statistics one in five computers runs the 13 year old XP all over the world. It is not that the computers running this operating system will face any issues as such but the only thing is that the computers will be susceptible to cyber attacks. Each month Microsoft releases patches for security which henceforth won’t be released by the company. Windows XP even though has been there for 13 year has still vulnerabilities in it. The bug fixes over the year though have been done. With the recent news of Microsoft announcing the end of its support for XP the attacks have again increased which had died down after the release of Windows 7.

07-Apr-2014
Science and Technology
Algorithm to decide whether pictures will go viral or not on Facebook

Social media posts are done with the motive that it will get the maximum shares. You have to design your strategy in a way that this happens but now there is a tool which can predict whether your pictures will get the maximum shares and be viral or not. Computer researchers from Stanford have designed an algorithm for this. On Facebook only one out of 20 images gets a single share. Out of 4000 images only one will have 500 shares. The algorithm will be revealed at the International World Wide Web Conference. For formulating this algorithm 150000 photos which were shared at least 5 times were studied. If once the pictures are shared there is 50% chance of the shares getting doubled. Then another pointer is at what rate the pictures are being shared. Furthermore the number of networks also decided in making the picture viral.

05-Apr-2014
Science and Technology
Bharti Airtel is the second largest mobile services company in Nigeria

In terms of number of subscribers, Bharti Airtel in Nigeria has become the second largest mobile services company. Nigerian telecom regulator NCC has released the latest statistics and according to these, Airtel has crossed Globacom by holding 21% market share and 26,194,336 mobile subscribers. MTN is the largest company in Nigeria mobile market. It holds 45% share in the mobile market and has 57,183,745 mobile subscribers. Airtel Africa CEO Christian de Faria has called this a remarkable achievement for Airtel. He said that it shows our investments are in right direction and so giving us result. In Nigeria Airtel was launched in 2010. Since its launch the company made total investment of more than USD 1.7 billion dollars in its Nigerian telecom network.

04-Apr-2014
Science and Technology
India reports maximum bugs on Facebook

 

India had accounted for largest number of bug reports in Facebook bounty programme last year. India has 93 million users on Facebook. There were as many as 14,763 submissions reported in 2013, of which among these 687 bugs are eligible for rewards. The bug leads to malfunction of software or a hardware mostly occurring when there are different softwares running in a cycle and there is a conflict. Facebook had made a payment of $ 1.5 million last year to people who are termed security researchers to report about bugs on the social media platform. From India 136 bugs were reported and the average reward given was $1,353. Facebook had reported though that the severe issues have not come this year.

02-Apr-2014
Science and Technology
Twitter brings in date search feature in its advanced search

Twitter has introduced new feature by which now the users can search tweets based on date. Like if anyone wanted to see what was tweeted during the last Lok Sabha polls then he and she can do so with the new feature in the advanced search. You can look for the tweets from a user to another user that is the mentions as well as tweets from a user or tweets based on some keywords. The search earlier could be done manually earlier in the advanced search by using the operators ‘Since:’ and ‘Until:’ to find out about a tweet from a specific date. But not everyone could use these due to complexity of the search. Now it all gets easy and people just need to key in the right search terms and even find tweets based on sentiments like positive, negative or neutral. There is option to save the search as well.

01-Apr-2014
Science and Technology
Slimmest phone in the world ELIFE S5.5 launched by Gionee

 

Gionee has unveiled the slimmest phone in the world, the ELIFE S5.5, in India. The phone has 5.55mm body. It will hit markets in India from mid-April and will be priced at Rs 22,999. The phone combines best of designs and has not compromised on hardware and software. The company started operations in India a year back. The phone also has a very fast processor. The technical specifications are as follows:

  • 5.0” Super AMOLED Plus display
  • 1.7GHz Octa- Core processor
  • 13.0MP primary Camera with a 95 Degree Ultra-Wide Angle
  • AMIGO OS 2.0 which is based on Android 4.2 OS
  • Internal storage is 16GB+2GB
  • 2300mAh Battery which cannot be removed
31-Mar-2014
Science and Technology
Facebook cleaning fake likes and fake accounts off pages on politicians and parties

Social media is being liberally used these days by the political parties. But the factor which concerns everyone is the amount of fake profiles and its social signals which present a wrong picture. Facebook is now coming down heavily on fake accounts which depict huge amount of likes. Close to 52000 pages are there on politicians on Facebook of which 60 are verified. Facebook has initiated auto as well as manual blocking process through which the suspicious accounts will be blocked. Along with this the agencies who sell likes are being blacklisted so that they have to close shop. Many of the likes on pages of politicians as well as parties are from fake accounts.

29-Mar-2014
Science and Technology
HTC Desire 310 launched in India

HTC Desire 310 has been launched for Rs 11,700 in India. It is an entry level smartphone of HTC with great features and design. In this price range, the smartphone will present feature like powerful quad-core processor. Faisal Siddiqui, Country Head, HTC India said that to own a smartphone is the wish of everybody. The Desire will provide super-fast processing features at the lowest possible price. User will get a 4.5 inch display with TFT screen and 1.3 GHz cortex A7 quad-core processor.  User will also get a 5 megapixel camera along with VGA front camera. The phone comes with an operating system Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and has 4 GB internal memory and 512 MB RAM.

28-Mar-2014
Science and Technology
Nuclear enabled Prithvi-II surface-to-surface missile test fired successfully

The successful test firing of the nuclear enabled Prithvi-II surface-to-surface missile was done from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Odisha’s Balasore district at a distance of 230 km from Bhubaneswar. The test was carried on by Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Indian Army as part of the routine training exercise. Prithvi one of the five missiles which are part of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme has been the first ballistic missile built indigenously. The missile has a flight duration of 483 seconds and can reach an altitude of 43.5 km and is capable of transporting 500-kg of warhead. It can reach the target in few meters of precision and has capability of dodging anti-ballistic missiles. It is more deadly than other missiles in the world.

28-Mar-2014
Science and Technology
Facebook delves in the idea of beaming internet through drones

Facebook wants the world to be connected to the web, most importantly use Facebook. The pressing problem in this dream is that many parts of the world are not connected through internet. For this there is a novel initiative which is internet will be beamed from the sky though drones. Internet.org, the company in which Facebook has partnership along with other tech companies, is already doing the experiments for this. Internet.org was launched with the vision of providing low cost internet. The team which is looking into the options through which internet will be transmitted through the drones is part of the Connectivity Lab, a new department in Internet.org. Solar powered drone is one of the options. In fact Google has also delved in the idea of hot air balloons transmitting internet to the remote areas still untouched with the power of internet.

27-Mar-2014
Science and Technology
Preparations on for ISRO's 2nd navigational satellite launch

ISRO is making preparations for the launch of the rocket and the second navigational satellite, Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System-1B (IRNSS-1B), to be launched on April 4 at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. It is Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System-1B (IRNSS-1B), which uses the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). ISRO informed that the rocket and the satellite are now integrated and the complete vehicle tests are now being done. On March 28 there will be a launch rehearsal and the countdown starts on April 2 which will be for 53 hours. The IRNSS-1B satellite weighing 1432 kg will be blasted in space at 5:14 pm on April 4. It will be included in the Indian regional navigational system which has seven satellites. It provides the precise locational information within the country and 1500 km in the country’s radius.

26-Mar-2014
Science and Technology
Galaxy S5 at Rs 51000 to be available from April 11

Samsung will be launching its latest premium smartphone, Galaxy S5 on March 27 in India. One can buy this device from April 11, pre-booking starts from March 28 and ends on April 10. The device will come at a price of Rs 51500. The Citibank credit card users will enjoy 15% cash back offer. Phone feature includes 5.1 inch inches screen, 1920 x 1080p resolution, 2.5GHz quad core application processor, 2GB of RAM, Android KitKat OS, bit modified Touch Wiz UI. The phone comes with a 16MP primary camera and 2MP secondary camera. The phone can shoot ultra-HD videos at 30 frames per second. There is a fingerprint scanner included in the home button itself. The phone is also water resistant and can resist water at the depth of one meter for 30 minutes. There are two storage variants of 16GB and 32 GB.

24-Mar-2014
Science and Technology
ATMs in the country run on Windows XP

The financial organizations are now thinking of shifting to Linux since Windows XP support will be over by April 8 in India. Linux has been chosen as it will give the firms more control over their system. In the world 95% of the financial firms work on Windows XP which is three editions older than Windows 8. What is a matter of concern is that the ATMs are run on XP and the number is higher than the computers in the bank run on XP. In fact the ATMs are not included in the 4 million computers which need to be upgraded. Some of the ATM have migrated to Windows 7 though. The saving grace is that the newer ATMs have the latest version and only the older ATMs have the previous version. A new ATM machine comes at a price of Rs 1.8 lakh.

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