Svc Technology Revolutionizes Video Conferencing

A newly minted standard, called scalable video coding (SVC), enables video streaming at multiple resolutions, quality levels and bit rates. The ability to scale video performance based on the end point is achieved through this relatively new technology called H.264/SVC (Scalable Video Coding) that not only compresses but also distributes the video stream.

The standard allows us to have layers of encoded video, and if we use intelligent devices, it can allow us do lots of other things as well. To understand the principle behind these intelligent devices, we need to look at how videoconferences usually work.

Today’s videoconferencing relies on fairly unintelligent devices at the edge, and intelligence in the core, which is also called a “mainframe” model. A multi-point conferencing unit receives streams of video from each participant, decodes them, combines them and re-encodes them.

The traditional approach of doing encoding and decoding in the core introduces delay. It also means that users all get the same data stream, rather than one suited to their bandwidth, window size and client. In short, transcoding in the cloud makes for lousy conversations.

The SVC architecture puts more intelligence at the edge and a specialized router in the core. In the new model, the router and each participant’s client work together. They tailor data transmission to each client’s demands. When a client shrinks the size of their video window, the router knows and as a result, sends fewer bits, less frames, or lower-quality video to that client without affecting everyone else. The router isn’t busy encoding, merging and decoding streams, but it knows about processing, window size and bandwidth, which it can adjust dynamically throughout the call.

The standard tells us how to decode. The method used to encode is a lot harder and is considered the secret sauce. The router is usually a 1RU, Linux-based quad-core computer that handles up to hundred-way conferences. It is usually sold as a subscription model for about $1,000 per HD port per year, which is cheaper than the traditionally capital-intensive spending around video conferencing. Video gateways that let “legacy” video conferencing hardware work with the new standard are also available in the market.

This technology allows us to get live, four-way web-based conferencing in which each participant may have different local settings from a high-definition video at 60 frames per second to a consumer-grade VGA connection to a notebook camera. And the best part is that a typical broadband connection will suffice for end users.

IP Telephony Is A Cost Effective And Secure Technology

IP telephony is a funny name for a very practical and cost efficient technology that allows you to make calls with a digital cordless telephone using a broadband internet connection instead of a regular phone line. Also known as voice over internet protocol or VoIP services, it is becoming more and more attractive to companies looking to lower costs, enhance security, and streamline communication between facilities in a reliable manner, inevitably increasing worker productivity.

The primary reason for migrating to VoIP is cost. Savings vary from firm to firm, but the industry reports an average savings of 40%. With the availability of data and voice bundles from a single provider, IP telephony gives businesses the tools they need to easily track expenses.

Pre-set pricing for VoIP services, with the exception of international calls, is a huge cost savings for businesses. Extra fees for international calls are at a considerably discounted rate compared with time worn telephone service providers. Simple and effortless billing means more time on worker productivity and less time wondering if your phone company has overcharged you.

Unlike traditional phone services with serious security vulnerabilities, multi-level security features such as firewalls, authentication and encryption are in place with VoIP to prevent attacks. These many layers of protection placed within the provider’s networks minimize your businesses susceptibility.

The layered security approach not only prevents attacks, but in the event of a security breach, it reduces the probability that the attack succeeds. Peace of mind can never be underrated.

VoIP offers a simple 3 digit transfer to any supported property or office. It does not matter if one office is in Missoula and the other office is in New York, the call is transferred as if they were in the same building.

It also allows businesses the ability to consolidate call answering from a central location, thus eliminating the liability of every office to manage their incoming calls with centralized call answering. Call centers are taking advantage of the opportunity to hire employees world wide. Employees may work in different time zones, giving greater customer service benefits year round.

Companies are looking for innovative ideas to cut costs and streamline services. IP telephony gives them the price, security and convenience to grow their business without a lot of hassle and a whole lot less complication.

The name may be funny, but VoIP services offer a serious alternative to traditional telephone services. The bottom line is, VoIP can save your enterprise cash without much effort. That is a very good thing.

This Is Your Brain On Technology The Effect Of Technology On Social Interaction

What did people do with their time 20 years ago? How did we ever manage without personal computers, the Internet, cell phones, iPods and 24 hour cable news? The technological landscape is vastly different these days and scientist are wondering just what that means for our brains.

According to research done last year by UCLA scientist Dr. Gary Small, daily doses of technology may be altering the way the brain functions, particularly in social skills. He suggests that all that screen time may weaken the brain circuits involved in face-to-face interactions. He is concerned that fundamental social skills like reading facial expressions during a conversation are being compromised.

Small is particularly concerned about what he calls the digital native, those in their twenties and younger who have been “digitally hard-wired since toddlerhood.” As he explained in an Associated Press article, the digital native runs the risk of being socially awkward and isolated by their inability to interpret non-verbal messages from people. He is afraid this may be particularly true in the classroom that still relies on traditional verbal instruction along with interaction with the teacher and other students.

Small argues his case in his book “iBrain: Surviving the Technological Altercation of the Modern Mind.” He admits that his research about whether or not all this technology is changing brain circuitry is new and ongoing.

Other studies, in fact, have taken the opposite tact by seeing positive outcomes for technology users. A MacArthur Foundation study found that teens feel very connected to each other through online social networking. The study allayed some parents’ fears that teenagers are vulnerable to online predators the more time they spend socially on the Internet. “The study found that most teenagers steer clear of dangerous sites and use the Web only for research or to communicate with established friends,” according to an article in the Austin-American Statesman.

Parents who are too protective and prohibit computer use for their teens may be keeping their kids out of the broader social loop. The study found that teenagers move between the online social world and the face-to-face interactions with relative ease, one building on the other.

Dr. Maryanne Wolf of Tufts University thinks technology may even affect how people learn to read. Technology requires users to gather information quickly, rather than the more methodical and sophisticated methods of comprehending regular reading material. She is studying if this rapid information gathering could be changing the normal brain pathways formed when reading. She is particularly curious about the affect on young children as technology becomes a more integral component of modern classrooms.

As with any new information technology, like 50 years ago with the inclusion of television to the average American home, there will be curiosity and controversy. It is certainly hard to imagine how our brains waited for the morning paper or the evening news to hear what was going on in the world around us. It seems like each generation has a quicker learning curve when it comes to the latest technology. That could just be human nature, or it could be the circuitry of the brain changing and adapting to the technologically saturated world in which we live.

Advances In Dishwasher Technology

Prior to the purchase of kitchen appliances for your home you should always think about your family and lifestyle. The list of selected few will change the entire setting of the home. For every remodeling or refurnishing the designers will want this data first as this will be the foundation of every home. In the tech savvy world there are trends that are fast changing and you can select one depending on your budget. Buying a gadget means making a huge investment and it should be well thought that is durable in the long run.

Dishwashers have undergone changes over the years, replacing loud, clunky and noisy with incognito models that are so quiet it is difficult to tell if they are on. Look for home appliances that feature concealed control panels built into the top of the door and stylized paneling that keep this appliance from standing out. Humans today have a zero tolerance of noise; hence these gadgets are inbuilt with quieter motors and stainless-steel interiors that can sustain any amount of high temperature. This heat is generated by the water heat used to disinfectant the entire pile of dishes. A very essential feature for places with nearby theaters or if you have kids around then the more less the sound it makes the better it is.

You will be amazed at the number of people who are looking into the possibility of buying two or more dishwashers. This is a trend that is catching up in major kitchens and kitchen remodels for anyhome appliance fixtures. Certified designers all over the city are saying this is the ideal option for larger families or homes that like to entertain, one dishwasher can be cleaning while the other is being filled with new dirty dishes. Companies like Kitchen Aid and Fisher at Canada appliances have also come up with dishwasher drawers, essentially two independent dishwashing drawers that are stacked on top of one another to accommodate single or double-drawer loads. Homeowners interested in cutting-edge technology should be on the lookout for energy-efficiency, shorter cycles, and advanced features designed to cut time and fuss over dishes.

Marine Electronics Lowrance Fishfinder Technology

The fast pace of modern technology means there is always a new gadget or device on the marine electronics market. For example, Lowrance recently introduced Broadband Sounder technology into their line of fishfinders. The Lowrance Broadband Sounder can actually see through structures to detect fish and is also capable of operating at high speed in deep water.

Lowrance has a strong reputation for reliable fishfinders and this new technology makes their product line more appealing than ever. The Lowrance Broadband Sounder offers increased capability for target separation and improved detail in shallow waters.

What Makes the Lowrance Broadband Sounder different?
Lowrance fishfinders with Lowrance Broadband Sounder use a 200 kHz single frequency transducer covering a 60p field of view. The transducer then sends out another signal at 83 KHz covering a 120p field of view. Because the scanning area is broader, targets remain in view for a longer period which means more information can be collected on the target, thus refining the details.

Using the Broadband Sounder technology Lowrance has overcome a common tradeoff. Typically a strong detail at the bottom has meant less definition in the shallow part of the cone. The new technology means greater definition of countours, thermoclines and underwater structures. The result is the ability to use the Lowrance fishfinder to locate fish hiding in grass, weeds, skirting rocks and otherwise playing hard to get.

When you crank up the power on a traditional transducer to increase detail in deeper waters, the result is often increased clutter. While there is more information it is often harder to decipher because of this increased clutter. The Lowrance Broadband Sounder reduces the clutter so when you turn up the gain on the fishfinder, the clutter is filtered, making the detail easier to understand and the fish easier to see. The technology is therefore really useful for clarity in deep water and at the bottom of a river, lake or seabed.

Advantages of The Lowrance Broadband Sounder Fishfinder
The new technology offered in Lowrance fishfinders provides strong bottom lock at high speeds in deep waters. It offers better clarity than previously possible in fishfinder technology and uses digital filtering algorithms to reduce clutter at high gain. This is heavy duty technology for serious fishermen. If you want to take your sportfishing to the next level, it could well be worth your while to look into the the Lowrance Broadband Sounder technology next time you are in the market for a fishfinder.