What does “Anamorphic” mean ?

September 30, 2014

Anamorphic Widescreen – A process by which a widescreen image is compressed horizontally to fit into a storage medium with a narrower aspect ratio. Compatible playback equipment can then re-expand the horizontal dimension to show the original widescreen image. This is typically used to allow one to store widescreen images on a medium that was original intended for a narrower ratio, while using as much of the frame – and therefore recording as much detail – as possible.

The technique originally comes from cinema. A film would be framed and recorded as widescreen, but the picture would be “squashed together” using a specially crafted concave lens to fit into non-widescreen 1.37:1 aspect ratio film. This film can then be printed and manipulated like any other 1.37:1 film stock, although the images on it will appear to be squashed horizontally (elongated vertically) as in a fun house mirror. An anamorphic lens on the projector in the cinema (a convex lens) corrects the picture by performing exactly the opposite distortion, returning it to its original width and its widescreen aspect ratio.

The anamorphic lens on the projector is a specially crafted convex lens that corrects the picture so that the images on the screen look normal. The optical scaling of the lens to a film medium is considered more desirable than the digital counterpart, due to the amount of non-proportional pixel decimated scaling that is applied to the width of an image to achieve (somewhat a misnomer) a so-called “rectangular” pixel widescreen image. The legacy ITU Rec. 601 4:3 image size is used for its compatibility with the original video bandwidth that was available for professional video devices that used fixed clock rates of a SMPTE 259M serial digital interface. One would produce a higher quality upscaled 16:9 widescreen image by using either a 1:1 SD progressive frame size of 640×360 or for ITU Rec. 601 and SMPTE 259M compatibility a letterboxed frame size of 480i or 576i.

Similar operations are performed electronically to allow widescreen material to be stored on formats or broadcast on systems that assume a non-widescreen aspect ratio.

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Source: Wikipedia


What does “UNIX” mean ?

September 23, 2014

Unix – A multitasking, multiuser computer operating system that exists in many variants. The original Unix was developed at AT&T’s Bell Labs research center by Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, and others. From the power user’s or programmer’s perspective, Unix systems are characterized by a modular design that is sometimes called the “Unix philosophy,” meaning the OS provides a set of simple tools that each perform a limited, well-defined function, with a unified filesystem as the main means of communication and a shell scripting and command language to combine the tools to perform complex workflows.

The C programming language was designed by Dennis Ritchie as a systems programming language for Unix, allowing for portability beyond the initial PDP-11 development platform and the use of Unix on a plethora of computing platforms.

During the late 1970s and 1980s, Unix developed into a standard operating system for academia. AT&T tried to commercialize it by licensing the OS to third-party vendors, leading to a variety of both academic (e.g., BSD) and commercial variants of Unix (such as Xenix) and eventually to the “Unix wars” between groups of vendors. AT&T finally sold its rights in Unix to Novell in the early 1990s.

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Source: Wikipedia


What does “RFID” mean ?

September 16, 2014

Radio-Frequency Identification – (RFID) is the wireless non-contact use of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data, for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects. The tags contain electronically stored information. Some tags are powered by and read at short ranges (a few meters) via magnetic fields (electromagnetic induction). Others use a local power source such as a battery, or else have no battery but collect energy from the interrogating EM field, and then act as a passive transponder to emit microwaves or UHF radio waves (i.e., electromagnetic radiation at high frequencies). Battery powered tags may operate at hundreds of meters. Unlike a barcode, the tag does not necessarily need to be within line of sight of the reader, and may be embedded in the tracked object.

Radio frequency identification (RFID) is part of the family of Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) technologies that includes 1D and 2D bar codes. RFID uses an electronic chip, usually applied to a substrate to form a label, that is affixed to a product, case, pallet or other package. The information it contains may be read, recorded, or rewritten.

RFID tags are used in many industries. An RFID tag attached to an automobile during production can be used to track its progress through the assembly line. Pharmaceuticals can be tracked through warehouses. Livestock and pets may have tags injected, allowing positive identification of the animal. Since RFID tags can be attached to cash, clothing, everyday possessions, or even implanted within people, the possibility of reading personally-linked information without consent has raised serious privacy concerns.

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Source: Wikipedia


What does “Petabyte” mean ?

September 9, 2014

Petabyte - (symbol PB) is 1015 bytes of digital information. A related unit, the pebibyte (PiB), using a binary prefix, is 10245 = 250 = 1125899906842624bytes, more than 12% larger.

1 PB = 1000000000000000B = 1015bytes = 1000terabytes.

The prefix peta indicates the fifth power of 1000 and means 1015 in the International System of Units (SI), and therefore 1 petabyte is one quadrillion (short scale) bytes, or 1 billiard (long scale) bytes.

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Source: Wikipedia


What is a “MotherBoard” ?

September 2, 2014

Motherboard – (Sometimes alternatively known as the mainboard, system board, planar board or logic board, or colloquially, a mobo) is the main printed circuit board (PCB) found in computers and other expandable systems. It holds many of the crucial electronic components of the system, such as the central processing unit (CPU) and memory, and provides connectors for other peripherals. Unlike a backplane, a motherboard contains significant sub-systems such as the processor and other components.

Motherboard specifically refers to a PCB with expansion capability and as the name suggests, this board is the “mother” of all components attached to it, which often include sound cards, video cards, network cards, hard drives, or other forms of persistent storage; TV tuner cards, cards providing extra USB or FireWire slots and a variety of other custom components (the term mainboard is applied to devices with a single board and no additional expansions or capability, such as controlling boards in televisions, washing machines and other embedded systems).

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Source: Wikipedia


What does “CPU” mean ?

August 26, 2014

Central Processing Unit – (CPU) (formerly also referred to as a central processor unit) is the hardware within a computer that carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetical, logical, and input/output operations of the system. The term has been in use in the computer industry at least since the early 1960s. The form, design, and implementation of CPUs have changed over the course of their history, but their fundamental operation remains much the same.

A computer can have more than one CPU; this is called multiprocessing. All modern CPUs are microprocessors, meaning contained on a single chip. Some integrated circuits (ICs) can contain multiple CPUs on a single chip; those ICs are called multi-core processors. An IC containing a CPU can also contain peripheral devices, and other components of a computer system; this is called a system on a chip (SoC).

Two typical components of a CPU are the arithmetic logic unit (ALU), which performs arithmetic and logical operations, and the control unit (CU), which extracts instructions from memory and decodes and executes them, calling on the ALU when necessary.

Not all computational systems rely on a central processing unit. An array processor or vector processor has multiple parallel computing elements, with no one unit considered the “center”. In the distributed computing model, problems are solved by a distributed interconnected set of processors.

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Source: Wikipedia


What is “HeartBleed” ?

August 19, 2014

Heartbleed – A security bug in the OpenSSL cryptography library. OpenSSL is a widely used implementation of the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol. Heartbleed may be exploited whether the party using a vulnerable OpenSSL instance for TLS is a server or a client.

Heartbleed results from improper input validation (due to a missing bounds check) in the implementation of the TLS heartbeat extension, the heartbeat being the basis for the bug’s name. The vulnerability is classified as a buffer over-read, a situation where software allows more data to be read than should be allowed.

A fixed version of OpenSSL was released on April 7, 2014, on the same day Heartbleed was publicly disclosed. At that time, some 17 percent (around half a million) of the Internet’s secure web servers certified by trusted authorities were believed to be vulnerable to the attack, allowing theft of the servers’ private keys and users’ session cookies and passwords. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Ars Technica, and Bruce Schneier all deemed the Heartbleed bug “catastrophic”. Forbes cybersecurity columnist Joseph Steinberg wrote, “Some might argue that [Heartbleed] is the worst vulnerability found (at least in terms of its potential impact) since commercial traffic began to flow on the Internet.”

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Source: Wikipedia


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