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TEDx IIT Roorkee

CES 2013




TEDx IIT Roorkee

So on 9th February, 2013, our college graciously became the host of 6 of the most riveting talks in its recent memory. The event was TEDx (x stands for independently organized event) and no, as clearly pointed out by its curator Mr. Nishant Chandra, it was not a 'nakli wala' TED talk. For the uninitiated, TEDx is an independently organized TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) like event at the local level. The talks in the event are held on the exact same lines as the main TED talks i.e. the speakers are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their ideas. As per the TED guidelines for the event, the event cannot host an audience of more than 100 people, a minimum of two official, pre-recorded TED Talks must be shown at events and all original stage content must be recorded on video.

·Mohit Saxena: The theme of his talk was "Starting your start-up from a local player to a global giant". Educated from IIT Roorkee, he is the cofounder and VP of InMobi Ltd., one of the giants in the mobile advertising market. Initially he managed the technology operations at Virgin mobile. He had also worked in AT&T. He emphasized on the notion of having an idea and making it global. His talk basically comprised of his version of 6 commandments for building a successful global business. He very beautifully ended his talk with "...success is never cheap; it inflicts pain and requires patience and discipline; but at the end of story the situation is very beautiful". ·Nehha Bhatnagar: Nehha Bhatnagar is a Bharatanatyam dancer and a disciple of her Guruji, Padmashree Dr. Saroja Vaidyanathan. She has a degree in International Relations from the Knox College, USA. Her main point of focus was equality between men and women. She presented her thought through a mesmerising dance of "Ardhanareshwar": ardh-nariishwar or half-women-lord or lord who is equally man as well as women.

Mathew Chandrakunnel: He is a Professor, Scientist, Theologist, Journalist and much more- a complete dynamic personality with a complete new field of interest of mixing science with religion. His talk was on "The evolutionary nature of Humanity: From Quantum Holism to Cosmic Holism". ·Harish Natrajan: The MD of Bausch and Lomb, he presented his talk on the theme "If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans".




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According to him, it's human nature to love the feeling of control and make elaborate plans for future but life is so full of uncertainty that one cannot truly expect everything to happen according to one's plan. ·Jodie Underhill: She is the lady of action. Jodie is the co-founder of a voluntary waste management organization "The Mountain Cleaners". A simpleton among her fellow speakers, this lady is defined by her action and the result of her firm determination to clean India. Her talk was on "It is our land to clean: Make a difference by following your dreams" and she very aptly gave the audience a live example of the success one can achieve by sheer determination and hard work. She started her talk by uttering "India is dirty..." and went on to elaborate how she works towards cleaning India. Her earnest talk was so inspiring that she received a standing ovation.

·Anup Tapadia: Born in Pune, the guy was probably India's youngest 'Origamist' at the age of 4 and had designed more than 1000 models by the age of 7. He bagged 2 masters degrees in Computer Science by the age of 21. Anup is an alumnus of University of California, San Diego. At the age of 14 he became the world's youngest professional to pass the Microsoft Certifications (MCSD, MCSE, MCDBA). He is the founder of TouchMagix Media Pvt. Ltd. His talk was on "Art and Innovation: Revolutionizing the Science of touch". The central idea which he presented was how technology can be fused with art. He gave numerous examples of how technology can emotionally connect to a user. In his words "... just art is passive and just technology is boring".

India's Fastest Supercomputer

The Param YUVA II clocks in at a just-slower-than-light speed of 524 teraops. Comparatively, its predecessor the Param YUVA clocked in at a modest 54 teraops at peak speed.

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The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) unveiled its latest computing innovation, the Param Yuva-II supercomputer, at the C-DAC facility in Pune on February 12th. The capabilities of Param Yuva II surpass those of its predecessors by a whole order of magnitude (10 times faster). It can crunch data up to 524 teraflops. A flop is a single arithmetic operation performed on two floating point numbers. For e.g. 2.3x4.5 being calculated in 1 second is 1 flops. 524 teraflops = 524 x 1000,000,000,000 = 524 trillion floating point operations per second A huge number… but still far behind the world's fastest, the U.S. Department of Energy's top supercomputer- Titan, that works at 17.6 petaflops. In fact, the Param Yuva II ranks 62nd amongst the world's supercomputers.

According to C-DAC, such processing power will give a significant boost to the field of aircraft designing, drug discovery and weather forecasting owing to the NP hard nature of the problems that arise in these areas. The computational requirement for such problems rises exponentially with just a slight increase in the number of variables. Hence, the need for massive number crunching. The boost in processing power will be beneficial to the entire bioinformatics industry to work and formulate better vaccines and drugs to ward off illness. The Param Yuva-II is also designed to be energy efficient as it reduces the cost of energy by a whopping 35 % as compared to the Param Yuva. The facility is a stepping stone for India's plans to develop the fastest supercomputer by 2017, a petaflop version of the Param Yuva II.


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A Revolution In Your Hands

The 2013 International CES was held from January 8 to 11 at Las Vegas. Over 3,000 exhibitors showcased a wide range of innovative products this year. This year the categories include 3D, Accesories, Audio, Automotive Electronics, Embedded Technology, Lifestyle Electronics, Wireless & Wireless Devices to name a few. 2013 International CES however was not necessarily being noted for announcing the newest products, but getting a lot of press for the fundamental changes about to hit the digital world; such as motion detection sensors, the driverless cars and digital home safety and technology We at Geek Gazette present to you the highlights of this much acclaimed and awaited event with several big names revealing expected as well as products so unexpected that you would believe that the participating companies are switching their agship products. We cover amazing new gadgets by NVIDIA, Razer, Sony and Panasonic. Particularly special are the new offerings by Pebble, a smartwatch to act as a notication companion to your smartphone and the rst prototype for a Steam Box, very aptly named the Piston by high-end PC manufacturer Xi3. Last but not least, how could we fail to cover the unbelievable Born Mobile press conference by Qualcomm. Our established lexicon is not worthy of describing the event. Do watch the whole conference!

QUALCOMM: Born Mobile. That Really Happened. The only thing the awestruck crowd could reply, on being asked by Paul Jacobs, the Qualcomm top-man, 'Are you Born Mobile?' was an intensely ebullient 'Yes'. This January, Qualcomm Enterprise bagged much awaited attention in consumer electronics section by hosting CES 2013 Keynote, which was previously the territory of PC manufacturer like Microsoft. The firm, after producing 11 billion silicon chips, affecting almost every other smartphone device on the planet, left no stones unturned to let its presence be felt. Living up to the challenge, Qualcomm's anticipation to illustrate how its technologies affect at consumer level through actors, proved out to be supercool. An OMG jabbering popular girl, a gamer geek and a silicon wannabe entrepreneur, believed to constitute 'Generation M' demoed that they are all born mobile. But the biggest star for the audience was Steve Ballmer, the Microsoft CEO, who ran out on the stage to show off three Windows 8 products. As Jacob mentioned in his talk, 84% of people worldwide say they can't go a day without their mobile device. With

increase in consumers craving smartphone interface on everything they have, the Android mobile operating system is expanding beyond smartphones and tablets to smart TVs, cameras and even Google's Project Glass smart glasses. Qualcomm's chips have an even broader reach, appearing in smart TVs, game consoles, home automation devices and even cars. This arises from the fact that everything in future will be connected to internet, a concept called 'Internet of things', with cars, household appliances and mobile devices communicating with each other. The chipmaker Qualcomm also took the opportunity to unveil two new processors: Snapdragon 600 and 800. Most people who will benefit from these faster, more energy-efficient chips won't know their names. But for the ones who will, this event was just as great as the wand maker Ollivander unveiling magical wands with Dragon Heartstring or Phoenix Feathers core. Well, Geeks do have their own fantasies. And we find this company geeky enough to seize its place in people's heart.

STEAM BOX: Valve's Take On Console Gaming is their approval that they've hired Linux developers to Valve's CEO Gabe Newell confirmed that the company port their own titles over for Linux-based OSs and have was working on a Steam Box in December last year. confirmed that their own take on the Steam Box will use Think of Valve's Steam Box as a handheld PC. Its early the system in place of Windows. Not that you'll be forced prototypes might be squished into a small cuboid at the to use it, though: again, Newell's watchword is openness, moment, they might be more at home under your and he stated specifically that users can "install Windows television than your monitor, and - most shockingly - it if they want." It could change PC gaming from a might not even be running Windows: but it is sure as hell Windows-centric model to something even more open a computer. The Steam Box is designed to play games and disparate. over Steam; Valve's proprietary game downloads If your Steam Box can run games at service, boasting a huge library of If your Steam Box can run better resolutions, without restrictive computer games. games at better resolutions, proprietary networks, and for a Valve's first foray into the world of without restrictive proprietary cheaper price than a nexthardware has been unveiled as a PC-type networks, and for a cheaper generation Xbox or PlayStation, then box by high-end PC maker Xi3, a Steam price than a next-generation the choice seems simple. By Box appropriately codenamed Piston Xbox or PlayStation, then the divorcing it from the top of your desk ready to go in a brushed chrome case. choice seems simple. and simplifying the game delivery It's a prototype system, which means we mechanism through Steam, the Steam Box should also shouldn't expect to see this particular model any time go some way to removing the remaining stigmas from PC soon, but the Piston project is intended to show off Steam gaming. game play on large high-definition TVs, making use of Don't expect the first Steam Boxes to arrive with the Steam's "Big Picture" mode, which was created fanfare of a new console launch. They're a new trend, specifically for use with larger screens. rather than a brand new machine, but they might turn Newell and Valve have spent the last year decrying the out to have more of an influence on gaming than oncoming Windows 8 and its new Metro UI, while singing anything else over the next few years. the virtues of free, open-source operating systems. Such


Arming The Gaming Revolution

In our Autumn 2012 issue, we covered the prototype, codename Project Fiona and now at CES 2013, Razer has unveiled their almost finished product named the Razer Edge, a true gaming tablet. It packs an Intel 3rd gen ULV CPU and NVIDIA GT 640M GP. For a tablet this is ridiculous amount of power (It's the same GPU that Sony provides in its full blown laptops). The Edge on its own is pretty chunky at 0.8 inch; but its soft touch outer body allows easy handling. The Intel processors provide good firepower for gaming and with such a powerful GPU, a tablet cannot get any better. Featuring a 1366x768, 10.1 inch IPS display, it boasts sharp graphics and a large viewing angle. It sports the Synaptics ClearPad, which provides accurate touch response and more than 10 touch inputs simultaneously for an error free gaming experience. With an onboard 40Wh battery it provides over three hours of PC gaming on the go. The Razer Edge is not just the raw power it houses as a tablet, but also the dedicated collection of accessories that complement it. Razer showcased a dock with dual Xbox like controllers that also contains another 40Whr battery for the tablet. The dock itself is very ergonomic and allows to game on-the-go with two hands just like PSP but with builtfor-PC games. Among other accessories is a keyboard dock with extended battery that also houses many other connectivity ports. The size of the tablet will make a few people reconsider, and there is also the question of CPU throttling due to a very compact design for such powerful internals. But, then again the Razer Blade was revolutionary and engineers at Razer are confident that they have created a next-gen thermal design and have successfully delivered mighty performance in a small form factor. Tentative availability is scheduled for Q1 of this year with different configurations available. We believe it will garner a lot more interest upon its launch, and being avid gamers ourselves we are dying to buy a few of these.

With the launch of Xperia Z, Sony has a new addition to its premium segment. Xperia Z traverses a path different from its predecessors, with a glossy design, smoother finish and a larger and better screen. It's effectively a forensic sheet for fingerprints and smudges but has a sound form factor. At the same time, Sony has been able to keep its profile relatively thin. It's a mere 7.9mm thick, making it almost as skinny as the iPhone 5. The beautiful giant proudly presents a 5-inch 1080p display powered by Sony's Mobile BRAVIA 2 engine, which brings your content to life with its high contrast, robust color reproduction, and sharp viewing angles. It has a pixel density of 441ppi, far greater than the iPhone 5's 326ppi. Once in hand, the beauty of the phone does not fail to win your heart. Sony has made a huge leap by incorporating an IP 57 certified water and dust proof system. The Xperia Z is not just a pretty body, it also has blazing fast internals, sporting a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 processor coupled with 2GB of RAM. Graphics are powered by an Adreno 320 GPU, so gaming and 1080p video playback are no big deal. AnTuTu benchmarks the phone at a respectable score of 16954 points, only behind the Optimus G, Nexus 4, Note 2 and S3. Flip the phone over to catch a look at the impressive 13-megapixel auto-focus camera that features an Exmor RS sensor, LED flash, and 1080p video recording. Additionally, it supports 4G LTE connectivity, a microSD card slot, 2330 mAh batteries, and NFC. The phone also has a HDMI TV-out to easily stream HD videos from your phone to your TV. On paper, the Xperia Z seems to be a powerhouse and one well-suited to be Sony's 2013 flagship phone. The quad-core processor and generous RAM should help it power through more than everyday tasks and the high-resolution screen is certain to display crisp, life-like images and videos. The real competition will be the Samsung Galaxy S4, but its flashy new design and clever pricing may prove a trump card for Sony.

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PEBBLE SMARTWATCH: It Even Tells The Time The design is startlingly simple. A full plastic body wraps around a 1.26-inch screen - a black and-white "e-paper" panel with a backlight built in, a vibrating motor, a magnetometer, ambient light sensors and a three-axis accelerometer. The face is slightly curved outward and the buttons on each side stick out just far enough to be pressed with ease. It's waterproof and scratch-resistant. It connects to an Android or iOS device using Bluetooth 2.1 and also includes support for Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth Low Energy). It quotes a battery life of 5-7 days on a single charge. It has apps pre-installed, including a cycling app to measure speed, distance and pace through GPS, and a golf rangefinder app that supports more than 25,000 courses along with the music controls and changeable watch faces. More apps can be downloaded from the phone, and a Software Devel opment Ki t is al so


available. This 'wearable tech' can be considered as a notification bar that detaches from your phone and sits on your wrist and alerts you with a silent vibration. It can show notifications for incoming calls, SMS messages, calendar reminders, weather alerts, emails, Gmail messages (multiple accounts), Google Talk messages, Google Voice messages, Twitter & Facebook messages, and WhatsApp messages with silent vibrating alarm and timer. With a price tag of $150 it makes a great companion for class, the movies, or any situation where you would rather know what the notification is before actually pulling out your phone. With a few limitations that it has support for only a few apps at present with support being added for Android apps , it's a simple, minimal yet fashionable product that easily blends into everyday life.

Handheld Gaming Reinvented

One of the hottest topics of CES 2013 was NVIDIA's handheld gaming offering – Project Shield. The company seemingly came out of left field with the device's announcement during its Monday press conference. Calling it 100% Android, the full-size controller plus 5 inch multitouch screen houses the new Tegra 4 processor. And mind you, Project Shield runs Android Jelly Bean 4.2. "Project Shield was created by NVIDIA engineers who love to game and imagined a new way to play" said JenHsun-Huang during the press conference. Surely, the company's assertion was that Project Shield will do to gaming what iPod and Kindle have done for music and books. NVIDIA wants to bring portable gaming to another level. Its 20 plus hours of game time and 720p, 294 dpi retinal screen make it a great handheld entertainment device. Project Shield has access to the biggest launch line-up for any handheld gaming system ever. You can't beat the countless pc games, more than 18000 Steam games and 675000 plus Google Play games and apps. One of the best parts of NVIDIA's Project Shield is the fact that its launch games are familiar-it's everything that you can already own on the PC, Steam, Google play, and NVIDIA's own TegraZone Store. PC and Steam games can be streamed to the device through Wi-Fi so long as


The Pebble Smartwatch is not just a watch but a lot more– it's the latest attempt to turn your wrist into a launchpad for a wearable computing revolution. It's the rst watch built for the 21st century claiming its welldeserved position among one of the top 10 gadgets unveiled in CES 2013.

the PC running the games is packing an NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPU. Under Project Shield's game pad exterior lays a NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, which has a 72-core GeForce GPU. It's also the first quad-core application of ARM's most advanced CPU core – the Cortex A-15. All of this translates into beautiful graphics with maintained snappy movements and lag free gameplay. Essentially NVIDIA's doing what Netflix and Onlive have done for users-having all the major resources handled in another location and using Wi-Fi bandwidth to offload the heavy duty processing. On disk capacity, NVIDIA has confirmed that there will be a microSD card slot for expandable storage. Other ports include a microUSB port, a headphone jack, and an HDMI port for easy video output to a big screen. NVIDIA, working with Valve, ensured that Project Shield would take advantage of Steam's Big Picture mode. The technology is awesome but the inability to stream all the games and pricing may limit the appeal of NVIDIA's portable PC. Unfortunately, PC and Steam games can only be streamed via local Wi-Fi, as there needs to be a PC running the games; this controller based handheld device is just a receiver.

A New era of Digital entertainment

The television industry has taken a big leap during the fall of 2012. Our home entertainment experience is going through a revolutionary change. 1080p is no longer the gold standard. Televisions with Ultra High Definition (UHD) i.e. 3840x2160 resolution are ready to take us to a whole new world of television viewing experience. More pixels mean higher detail, more clarity and sharpness to the image quality. TV viewing will become more immersive than ever before. Major brands like Sony, Samsung, and LG etc. have announced their multiple UHD products .It might be bugging you that without content, what will be the benefit of UHD. But companies like Sony and Nikon have announced their UHD recording professional cameras that will become future industry standard. Netflix has already demoed its upcoming UHD streaming services. These next generation TVs use OLED-Organic Light Emitting Diode panels to offer viewers a cinema-like experience. Unlike the current technologies like plasma, LCD, or LED, the OLED can completely shut off the emission on per pixel basis. Theoretically it provides infinite contrast ratio. OLEDs have the thinnest form factor as compared to any existing display technology. TVs as thin as 4 mm could be expected in near future.

Moreover this display technology consumes less than half the power as compared to the current available technology and thus making it eco-friendly. These televisions give a whole new definition to smart TVs. They bring multi core processors to handle the massive delivery of content to user. They are more integrated with social networking than ever before. The highlight of such televisions is the new multi-view technology that enables more than one person to watch different programs at the same time on the same television set without compromising the screen realestate. A pair of vertical and horizontal polarizing shutter glasses have made this possible. It has vast potential in multiplayer gaming. From the current trend the direction of the digital entertainment industry is crystal clear. And this shift proclaims the death of 3D technology. One will no longer have to wear a clunky pair of polarizing glasses for an immersive experience as new UHD technology ensures a more realistic experience and is more future proof. Major hurdles preventing it from shooting off are ultrahigh cost and limited availability of UHD content, but OEMs are working hard for it to be available to the masses, ushering a new era of television industry.

The Geek - Feb 2013 Issue  

"The Geek" is the newsletter of the official on-campus technical magazine or the inquisitive and tech-savvy junta of IIT Roorkee. It is a on...

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