Saturday, February 26, 2005
Enter the 2005 Windows Mobile Application Contest

Contest details

Compete against participants around the world in a contest to find the best applications for Windows Mobile-based Pocket PCs and Smartphones. Entries will be judged on usability, innovation, marketability, and platform optimization. Submissions must be sent to a Mobile2Market logo-testing partner by May 31, 2005.

  • 2 Grand Prize Winners receive $25,000 USD and application distribution.
  • 4 Category Prize Winners will receive a $5,000 USD developer prize package and featured application promotions.
  • 20 Finalists receive featured promotions through Mobile2Market.
* Enter by March 31, 2005, and receive free logo-testing (a $500 value).

For more information on this Contest, visit:

posted by Zeeshan Muhammad @ 8:06 PM | | links to this post

Saturday, February 19, 2005
Discovering the intangible

Today is a big day for me. My article on "Parallel Universes" is published by Dawn Sci-Tech Weekly Magazine. Unfortunately the link for online viewing only last for a week and is no more available now. One more to come in March issue of Spider Mag.


Thursday, February 10, 2005
Time to say Goodbye to Intel

Sony Computer Entertainment, IBM and Toshiba held a press conference in downtown San Francisco this morning to unveil more details on their collaborative Cell processor. While there are still a few details and bits of information that the three companies are keeping mum about for the moment, they did reveal and confirm plenty of specs that had been only rumors and guesses for some time now.

For those of you who like reading numbers more than words, here are some raw specs (which we'll discuss below):

  • Each Cell processor contains 8 Synergistic Processing Units and a single 64-bit Power Architecture Unit (All are RISC designs with SIMD)
  • Operates at >4GHz and capable of >256GFLOPS
  • 256KB Local Storage per SPU and 512KB L2 Cache (2.5MB total)
  • 128+ concurrent transactions to memory per processor
  • High-speed internal element interconnect performing at 96B/cycle
  • 234 million transistors
  • Prototype die size of 221mm^2
  • Fabricated with 90nm SOI process technology

  • Cell microprocessor is a multi-core processor that's designed to handle a large number of tasks simultaneously. The first known major use of the Cell processor will be Sony's next-generation gaming machine, which we'll refer to as PlayStation 3 for the time being (Sony has yet to announce its official name, but you can bet on PS3).

    The Cell processor that was discussed at the press conference is made up of 9 separate cores. There is a single 64-bit Power Processing Element (or Power Architecture Core) and 8 Synergistic Processing Elements (SPEs). The Power Processor Element (PPE) can best be thought of as a variation of a Power PC processor, though its an entirely new design, intending on "overseeing" the work of the whole Cell processor. The PPE sends off various instructions to the 8 SPEs which can then work autonomously.

    Sony, IBM and Toshiba said that they have ran Cell processors at "greater than 4GHz", though they wouldn't name an exact speed. Performance of the processor is said to be in excess of 256GFLOPS (256 billion floating-point operations per second). That's an extremely large number, the sort that you normally throw around when you're talking about arrays of multiple processors or even supercomputers. Measuring FLOPS can be done in a few different ways, but as a comparable number the highest you could get from a fast Pentium 4 these days is somewhere in the upper 20's.

    See the following sites for the complete preview.
    IGN PS2


    Sunday, February 06, 2005
    PlayStation Portable

    For all of you who are unaware of this little gizmo, PSP or PlayStation Portable is a new console developed by Sony for all the fans of PlayStation. Its a nice little handheld version of the ground braking PlayStation 2. Sony Computer Entertainment America announced that PSP will see the day of light in North America on March 24 for suggested retail prices of $249 USD and $299.99 CND respectively.

    PSP comes standard with a good number of extras that help make the purchase worthwhile, including a 32MB Memory Stick Duo, headphones with remote control, battery pack, AC adaptor, soft case, and cleaning cloth. In addition, the bundle boasts a movie/music/game sampler UMD disc with non-interactive demos. On top of everything else, the first one million people to purchase a PSP in the US will receive a bonus UMD featuring the full feature film Spider-Man 2.

    "PSP will evolve and elevate portable entertainment, giving users the freedom to play full 3D games, watch movies, listen to music and connect wirelessly on their terms, their time and their place," said Kaz Hirai, president and chief executive officer, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "More than ever, today's consumer demands access to entertainment outside the home without compromising quality. With more than 100 PSP game titles currently in development worldwide, and the ability to download and listen to digital music and view feature films with breathtaking screen quality, PSP lets users control their entertainment options, all in one package."

    Its becomming impossible to wait for this amazing device. I'll be posting more details and screens shortly.


    Tuesday, February 01, 2005
    Face Recognition

    FACE RECOGNITION software does a poor job of capturing human skin tones and expressions. Microsoft Corp., in Redmond, Wash., with its eye on three-dimensional computer gaming applications, claims in U.S. application 20040210427 that by exploiting recent discoveries in measuring skin reflectance, it can improve images by scanning a face using multiple light sources. These sources include infrared, polarized-light, and narrow-wave-band beams.

    FLASH MEMORY, which is ubiquitous in portable devices and digital cameras, requires careful memory management, especially as storage capacity grows. It's also prone to failure if the same memory blocks are repeatedly used. Samsung Electronics Co., in Seoul, South Korea, says it can not only lengthen memory life but also reduce the time it takes to alter data, in U.S. application 20040210706. The job is done by moving data that is being changed to a separate memory blockā€”and its mapping information to another sector. The process is similar to the way in which a disk drive organizes data on a hard disk so as to avoid unreliable sectors and optimize the data for speed of access.

    EXISTING CRYPTOGRAPHIC methods may not be equal to the task of securely handling patients' medical records because the entire file must be decrypted for any part of it to be read, says Systems Research & Development, in Las Vegas, in U.S. application 20040210763. The company proposes splitting data into separate streams prior to encryption so that, for example, a public health researcher could look for case histories related to a specific condition without having unlimited access to a patient's files.

    Source IEEE Spectrum Magazine January 2005 Issue