What is “Bluetooth” ?

September 27, 2016

Bluetooth – A wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances (using short-wavelength UHF radio waves in the ISM band from 2.4 to 2.485 GHz) from fixed and mobile devices, and building personal area networks (PANs). Invented by telecom vendor Ericsson in 1994, it was originally conceived as a wireless alternative to RS-232 data cables. It can connect several devices, overcoming problems of synchronization.

Bluetooth is managed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), which has more than 25,000 member companies in the areas of telecommunication, computing, networking, and consumer electronics. The IEEE standardized Bluetooth as IEEE 802.15.1, but no longer maintains the standard. The Bluetooth SIG oversees development of the specification, manages the qualification program, and protects the trademarks. A manufacturer must make a device meet Bluetooth SIG standards to market it as a Bluetooth device. A network of patents apply to the technology, which are licensed to individual qualifying devices.

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What does “IBM” mean ?

September 20, 2016

IBM – (International Business Machines Corporation) – An American multinational technology and consulting corporation, with headquarters in Armonk, New York. IBM manufactures and markets computer hardware, middleware and software, and offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology.

The company originated in 1911 as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR) through the consolidation of The Tabulating Machine Company, the International Time Recording Company, the Computing Scale Company and the Bundy Manufacturing Company. CTR was renamed “International Business Machines” in 1924, a name which Thomas J. Watson first used for a CTR Canadian subsidiary. The initialism IBM followed. Securities analysts nicknamed the company Big Blue for its size and common use of the color in products, packaging and its logo.

In 2012, Fortune ranked IBM the second largest U.S. firm in terms of number of employees (435,000 worldwide), the fourth largest in terms of market capitalization, the ninth most profitable, and the nineteenth largest firm in terms of revenue. Globally, the company was ranked the 31st largest in terms of revenue by Forbes for 2011. Other rankings for 2011/2012 include №1 company for leaders (Fortune), №1 green company in the United States (Newsweek), №2 best global brand (Interbrand), №2 most respected company (Barron’s), №5 most admired company (Fortune), and №18 most innovative company (Fast Company).

IBM has 12 research laboratories worldwide, bundled into IBM Research. As of 2013 the company held the record for most patents generated by a business for 22 consecutive years. Its employees have garnered five Nobel Prizes, six Turing Awards, ten National Medals of Technology and five National Medals of Science. Notable company inventions include the automated teller machine (ATM), the floppy disk, the hard disk drive, the magnetic stripe card, the relational database, the Universal Product Code (UPC), the financial swap, the Fortran programming language, SABRE airline reservation system, dynamic random-access memory (DRAM), copper wiring in semiconductors, the silicon-on-insulator (SOI) semiconductor manufacturing process, and Watson artificial intelligence.

IBM has constantly evolved since its inception. Over the past decade, it has steadily shifted its business mix by exiting commoditizing markets such as PCs, hard disk drives and DRAMs and focusing on higher-value, more profitable markets such as business intelligence, data analytics, business continuity, security, cloud computing, virtualization and green solutions, resulting in a higher quality revenue stream and higher profit margins. IBM’s operating margin expanded from 16.8% in 2004 to 24.3% in 2013, and net profit margins expanded from 9.0% in 2004 to 16.5% in 2013.

IBM acquired Kenexa (2012) and SPSS (2009) and PwC’s consulting business (2002), spinning off companies like printer manufacturer Lexmark (1991), and selling off product lines like its personal computer and x86 server businesses to Lenovo (2005, 2014). In 2014, IBM announced that it would go “fabless” by offloading IBM Micro Electronics semiconductor manufacturing to GlobalFoundries, a leader in advanced technology manufacturing, citing that semiconductor manufacturing is a capital-intensive business which is challenging to operate without scale. This transition had progressed as of early 2015.

On August 6, 2015, IBM announced that it will buy Merge Healthcare Inc for $1 billion.

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What is “Chromecast” ?

September 13, 2016

Chromecast – A line of digital media players developed by Google. Designed as small dongles, the devices play audio/video content on a high-definition television or home audio system by directly streaming it via Wi-Fi from the Internet or a local network. Users select the media to play using mobile apps and web apps that support the Google Cast technology. Alternatively, content can be mirrored from the Google Chrome web browser running on a personal computer, as well as from the screen of some Android devices.

The first-generation Chromecast, a video streaming device, was announced on July 24, 2013, and made available for purchase on the same day in the United States for US$35. The Google Cast SDK was released on February 3, 2014, allowing third parties to modify their software to work with Chromecast. According to Google, over 20,000 Google Cast–ready apps are available, as of May 2015.

Chromecast was favorably received by critics, who praised its simplicity and potential for future app support. Over 20 million units have sold globally since launch, and it was the best-selling streaming device in the United States in 2014, according to NPD Group. From Chromecast’s launch to May 2015, it handled more than 1.5 billion stream requests. The second-generation Chromecast and an audio-only model called Chromecast Audio were released in September 2015.

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What is “Netflix” ?

September 6, 2016

Netflix Inc. – An international provider of on-demand Internet streaming media available to viewers in all of North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and parts of Europe, and of flat rate DVD-by-mail in the United States, where mailed DVDs and Blu-ray are sent via Permit Reply Mail. The company was established in 1997 and is headquartered in Los Gatos, California. It started its subscription-based service in 1999. By 2009, Netflix was offering a collection of 100,000 titles on DVD and had surpassed 10 million subscribers.

On February 25, 2007, Netflix delivered its billionth DVD. In April 2011, Netflix had over 23 million subscribers in the United States and over 26 million worldwide. By 2011, the total digital revenue for Netflix reached at least $1.5 billion. On October 23, 2012, however, Netflix reported an 88% decline in third-quarter profits. In January 2013, Netflix reported that it had added two million U.S. customers during the fourth quarter of 2012 with a total of 27.1 million U.S. streaming customers, and 29.4 million total streaming customers. In addition, revenue was up 8% to $945 million for the same period.

As of mid-March 2013, Netflix had 33 million subscribers. That number increased to 36.3 million subscribers (29.2 million in the U.S.) in April 2013. As of September 2013, for that year’s third quarter report, Netflix reported its total of global streaming subscribers at 40.4 million (31.2 million in the U.S.). By the fourth quarter of 2013, Netflix reported 33.1 million U.S. subscribers. By September 2014, Netflix had subscribers in over 40 countries, with intentions of expanding their services in unreached countries. As of October 2015, Netflix reported 69.17 million subscribers worldwide, including more than 43 million in the U.S.

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What is “LoveFilm” ?

August 30, 2016

LoveFilm (stylised as LOVEFiLM) – It was a UK-based provider of DVD-by-mail and streaming video on demand in the UK and Germany. Acquired by Amazon.com in 2011, the service had reached 2 million subscribers. It also claims over 70,000 titles, and over 4 million DVD, Blu-ray or Games rentals per month in five countries. Through a series of acquisitions, LoveFilm quickly became the leading online DVD rental and streaming outlet in the UK and Europe.

The company offered a download service alongside postal delivery but this ceased on 23 February 2009. The company has started a “watch online” service which offers over 4,700 films available to watch as part of a subscription. This online viewing is available free for subscribers who have opted for one of their unlimited monthly rental plans or the unlimited streaming-only account. In February 2014, Amazon announced that it would fold LoveFilm’s streaming service into its Video service on 26 February 2014. LOVEFiLM’s DVD rental service continues to be available in both Germany and the United Kingdom under the LOVEFiLM brand from Amazon’s local websites.

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What is “MP3” ?

August 23, 2016

MP3 (Stands for MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III) – An audio coding format for digital audio which uses a form of lossy data compression. It is a common audio format for consumer audio streaming or storage, as well as a de facto standard of digital audio compression for the transfer and playback of music on most digital audio players.

The use of lossy compression is designed to greatly reduce the amount of data required to represent the audio recording and still sound like a faithful reproduction of the original uncompressed audio for most listeners. An MP3 file that is created using the setting of 128 kbit/s will result in a file that is about 1/11 the size of the CD file created from the original audio source (44,100 samples per second × 16 bits per sample × 2 channels = 1,411,200 bit/s; MP3 compressed at 128 kbit/s: 128,000 bit/s [1 k = 1,000, not 1024, because it is a bit rate]. Ratio: 1,411,200/128,000 = 11.025). An MP3 file can also be constructed at higher or lower bit rates, with higher or lower resulting quality.

The compression works by reducing the accuracy of certain parts of a sound that are considered to be beyond the auditory resolution ability of most people. This method is commonly referred to as perceptual coding. It uses psychoacoustic models to discard or reduce precision of components less audible to human hearing, and then records the remaining information in an efficient manner.

MP3 was designed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) as part of its MPEG-1 standard and later extended in the MPEG-2 standard. The first subgroup for audio was formed by several teams of engineers at Fraunhofer IIS, University of Hannover, AT&T-Bell Labs, Thomson-Brandt, CCETT, and others. MPEG-1 Audio (MPEG-1 Part 3), which included MPEG-1 Audio Layer I, II and III was approved as a committee draft of ISO/IEC standard in 1991, finalised in 1992 and published in 1993 (ISO/IEC 11172-3:1993[5]). Backwards compatible MPEG-2 Audio (MPEG-2 Part 3) with additional bit rates and sample rates was published in 1995 (ISO/IEC 13818-3:1995).

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What is “Facebook” ?

August 16, 2016

Facebook – An online social networking service headquartered in Menlo Park, California. Its website was launched on February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg with his Harvard College roommates and fellow students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes.The founders had initially limited the website’s membership to Harvard students, but later expanded it to colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It gradually added support for students at various other universities and later to high-school students. Since 2006, anyone who is at least 13 years old was allowed to become a registered user of the website, though the age requirement may be higher depending on applicable local laws. Its name comes from the face book directories often given to American university students.

After registering to use the site, users can create a user profile, add other users as “friends”, exchange messages, post status updates and photos, share videos and receive notifications when others update their profiles. Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups, organized by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics, and categorize their friends into lists such as “People From Work” or “Close Friends”. Facebook had over 1.18 billion monthly active users as of August 2015. Because of the large volume of data users submit to the service, Facebook has come under scrutiny for their privacy policies. Facebook, Inc. held its initial public offering in February 2012 and began selling stock to the public three months later, reaching an original peak market capitalization of $104 billion. On July 13, 2015, Facebook became the fastest company in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to reach a market cap of $250 billion. Following its Q3 earnings call in 2015, Facebook’s market cap soared past $300 billion.

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