10 Old Technologies That Are Now the Next Big Thing

The time is now for these new technologies that are in fact old technologies.
Quick, name some of the hot new technologies that are now on stage to lead the new technology revolution. You'll probably name some transportation tech, computer tech and green tech. But how many of those are really new? On second thought, you will find that some of the newest tech is really some of the oldest tech. Technology in and of itself isn't always sufficient to change the world. You need a congruence of smarter technology, economic impetus, social acceptance and a political climate all ripe for change. Here is my list of 10 new techs that are really old tech, with a quick guess why now is their time. I'd welcome your comments and suggestions for 10 additional items.
1. Electric cars. The automobile industry going through a major change from petroleum-based engines to hybrid systems or, in some cases, all-electric. Now that has to be new, right? Wrong. Let's go back to 1902 and the Phaeton and take a ride. Why did the gasoline engine win in the early 1900s? I'm thinking the mobility, range and distribution network had a lot to do with it. And I'm thinking those three factors will drive the second transition to the all-electric car.
2. Efficient public transportation. Jump on and off, frequent schedules, and the ability to quickly branch out beyond the urban center. Sounds like the early trolley system to me. In the 1920s trolley tracks were U.S. You can still ride the trolleys in Europe. Maybe if you could just skip the wires and use hybrids, those trolleys might return.
3. Touch-screen computers. Would you believe I'm typing this on my 1993 Apple Newton MessagePad? No you wouldn't, and you'd be correct. How about on my Windows-based tablet that Bill Gates predicted in 2001 would now be ubiquitous? Right, not on that either. Connectivity, design format, ease of use and useful applications all conspired to keep the tablet computer firmly in the future. Now that is about to change. Even the great gray lady herself, The New York Times, is figuring the tablet will soon move from the future to your hands.
4. Photovoltaic. Sunlight in, power out. What could be easier? It was first accurately described in 1883. What took so long? Well, you needed a long manufacturing ramp to make those cells competitive with the big power plants, and you needed a lot of money to fund those manufacturing facilities. And you needed a lot of innovation to take the basic idea and get it on a roof. You needed government incentives, a marketing plan and a community of installers. It could all happen starting in 2010.
5. Virtualization. Are you looking to lose a barroom argument? Mention to a long-time IBMer that virtualization is a new technology cooked up in Silicon Valley. Now be prepared to hear about virtualization running along quite nicely on 1960s mainframes, thank you very much. Of course, the difference this time around is that virtualization extends beyond the mainframe and IBM-only realm. But IBM did have all the pieces in place way back then.
6. Cloud computing. Remember how we used to chuckle about those 1940s and 1950s predictions that the world would only need four or five big computers? What a bunch of chuckleheads to think that. Now let's see, if Google keeps growing and Amazon keeps growing, that will leave room for three more big cloud companies. I still credit Salesforce.com's  Marc Benioff for seeing this train leaving the station early, but those cloud predictors from the 1950s may have gotten the forecast correct.
7. Encryption. OK, we are in the wayback machine for the next couple.  Why is it that when the credit card hacker breaks into the banking system, they get the actual user name and card number instead of a bunch of scrambled data? Is it because computer-based encryption was seen as too slow, costly and cumbersome when the financial systems were first built? Was it hubris for those early developers to consider their banking systems unhackable? It certainly wasn't because encryption was a new technology. I'd say on this one it is time to go tell the Spartans, who used encryption.
8. Secure banking. When I bank online, I use a name and password to get to a banking site that shows me a nifty icon to assure me I am on the real banking site and not on some hack site in a former Soviet Republic. That cannot possibly be the summit of secure banking and online transactions. Real online security requires something you have (like a fob that is either hardware- or software-based), something you know and some way to determine who you really are. How old is that idea? Dan Brown could probably write a novel about the Templars' check cashing system.
9. Super insulation. In these green-energy-aware times, it is evident that the best energy conservation technique is to not use the energy in the first place rather than try to get more efficient use out of existing energy resources. You can retrofit your house to waste less energy and use more efficient heating and cooling systems, or you can build a super-efficient system from the start. Time to go on vacation. Maybe those old adobe dwellings have something to teach us after all.
10. Personal, pollution-free transportation. You want to travel a mile or so to the store or the library or school. Or maybe you just want to take a nice trip around the neighborhood. What choices do you have? You could walk around the block. You could put down the top on the convertible and at least feel like you were not so confined. Or you could jump on a vehicle first refined for easy, personal, pollution-free transportation in 1885. That would be a bicycle.
Source: http://www.smartertechnology.com/c/a/Technology-For-Change/10-Old-Technologies-That-Are-Now-the-Next-Big-Thing/
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Google Launches Dictionary and Translated Web Search

Amid all the hubbub over Google DNS on Thursday, the search giant also released two more helpful tools to help you get a richer search experience and improve your language skills. Google launched its dictionary project, offering a feature-rich resource that goes beyond simple definitions of words; and its new translated Web search makes it easier to find Web pages written in more than 40 languages.


Google dictionary puts a full-service resource right at your fingertips that can be accessed through Google's Dictionary page or through a regular Web search. To access words through regular search, click on the "definitions" link on the top right of your results page next to where it says how many results Google has returned for your query (click to enlarge the screen cap).
Google dictionary isn't just for English. The project contains 27 other languages, including the major Western European languages, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Korean, Arabic, Hebrew, and many more. Notable languages currently missing from the project include Japanese and Persian. Google Dictionary also has an English-to-foreign language component, allowing you to translate single words from English into a foreign language or vice versa. This is similar to what you can do in Google Translate.

Rich Definitions Page

Google's word definitions page is full of useful information including an International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) pronunciation guide, synonyms, standard definitions, and usage examples. You can also find external links to Princeton University, Wikipedia, and elsewhere to see to further definitions and usages of the word in question; however, it should be noted this collection of aggregated links on Google's dictionary page has been around for some time, according to The Los Angeles Times.
If the word you're searching for is found in another language, Google provides a link to that dictionary as well, and particularly difficult or unusual words include an audio file to let you hear how the word is pronounced. Try searching in English for words such as schadenfreude or Zoroastrianism to see this in action. Some words may also trigger image results; search for winceyette to see an example of this. You can also bookmark particular words for easier access at another time.
From what I can tell, Google's dictionary project has not been merged with the spell check on Google Docs.
TIP: Google's dictionary is very comprehensive, so for all you juveniles out there: Yes, you can find your favorite dirty words and their definitions in Google Dictionary. And no, these words don't have pronunciation sound files.

Translated Search

Google has added a feature to its search options panel that allows you to search in English across Web sites in
other languages. Google has had a similar feature for some time that allows you to automatically translate foreign language Web sites appearing in Google's regular search results. But this newest feature searches only foreign language Web sites.
googleTo activate the feature, choose a search term like "Beethoven" and then click on "Show Options" on the top left of the results page. Then click on "Translated Search" at the bottom of the options panel on the left side. (Click on the screen cap for a closer look.)
Once you've got your translated search, a box at the top of the results page tells you what language the results are being translated into and what language the results are being translated from. You have the option to add other languages to expand your search; Google supports 42 choices.
TIP: If you installed the javascript uncovered by Gizmodo that gives you the rumored visual revamp of Google, you won't be able to access translated search or Google Dictionary from the search results page. To get this functionality you either have to delete your Google cookie or use another Web browser. http://www.pcworld.com/article/183717/google_launches_dictionary_and_translated_web_search.html

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Google Customizes More of Its Search Results

For many of its users, Google offers Web search results that are customized based on their previous search history and clicks. For example, if someone consistently favors a particular sports site, Google will put that site high in the results when they look up sports topics in its search engine.
But there has always been one catch: people had to be signed in to a Google account to see such customization.
On Friday Google said it was extending these personalized search results, and the resulting improvement in ad targeting, to people who are not logged into the service.
The new service, according to a Google blog post, will use an anonymous cookie on a user’s computer to customize search results based on the user’s last 180 days of search activity. A “view customizations” link will appear on the top right of the search results page, and will lead to an explanation of how the results have been tailored and how the feature can be turned off.
“Our goal is to provide relevant search results,” said Nathan Tyler, a Google spokesman. “The benefits that we’ve seen for signed-in users were so great we want to extend those same benefits to everyone.”
But the change is already irking privacy advocates, who say that using Google while not logging in was one way to minimize exposure to its data-collection practices.
“The key point is that Google is now tracking users of search who have specifically chosen not to log in to a Google account,” said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington. “They are obliterating one of the few remaining privacy safeguards for Google services.”
In an evaluation of the announcement on the blog Search Engine Land, Danny Sullivan noted that there was no way for searchers or others to view the saved search records on Google, and that Google was giving people the opportunity to permanently opt out of the arrangement.
“All the major search engines have long recorded what you search on. Google’s simply using it to refine your results,” Mr. Sullivan wrote. By BRAD STONE http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/04/google-customizes-more-of-its-search-results/
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How I Hire Programmers

There are three questions you have when you’re hiring a programmer (or anyone, for that matter): Are they smart? Can they get stuff done? Can you work with them? Someone who’s smart but doesn’t get stuff done should be your friend, not your employee. You can talk your problems over with them while they procrastinate on their actual job. Someone who gets stuff done but isn’t smart is inefficient: non-smart people get stuff done by doing it the hard way and working with them is slow and frustrating. Someone you can’t work with, you can’t work with. The traditional programmer hiring process consists of: a) reading a resume, b) asking some hard questions on the phone, and c) giving them a programming problem in person. I think this is a terrible system for hiring people. You learn very little from a resume and people get real nervous when you ask them tough questions in an interview. Programming isn’t typically a job done under pressure, so seeing how people perform when nervous is pretty useless. And the interview questions usually asked seem chosen just to be cruel. I think I’m a pretty good programmer, but I’ve never passed one of these interviews and I doubt I ever could.
So when I hire people, I just try to answer the three questions. To find out if they can get stuff done, I just ask what they’ve done. If someone can actually get stuff done they should have done so by now. It’s hard to be a good programmer without some previous experience and these days anyone can get some experience by starting or contributing to a free software project. So I just request a code sample and a demo and see whether it looks good. You learn an enormous amount really quickly, because you’re not watching them answer a contrived interview question, you’re seeing their actual production code. Is it concise? clear? elegant? usable? Is it something you’d want in your product?
To find out whether someone’s smart, I just have a casual conversation with them. I do everything I can to take off any pressure off: I meet at a cafe, I make it clear it’s not an interview, I do my best to be casual and friendly. Under no circumstances do I ask them any standard “interview questions” — I just chat with them like I would with someone I met at a party. (If you ask people at parties to name their greatest strengths and weaknesses or to estimate the number of piano tuners in Chicago, you’ve got bigger problems.) I think it’s pretty easy to tell whether someone’s smart in casual conversation. I constantly make judgments about whether people I meet are smart, just like I constantly make judgments about whether people I see are attractive.
But if I had to write down what it is that makes someone seem smart, I’d emphasize three things. First, do they know stuff? Ask them what they’ve been thinking about and probe them about it. Do they seem to understand it in detail? Can they explain it clearly? (Clear explanations are a sign of genuine understanding.) Do they know stuff about the subject that you don’t?
Second, are they curious? Do they reciprocate by asking questions about you? Are they genuinely interested or just being polite? Do they ask follow-up questions about what you’re saying? Do their questions make you think?
Third, do they learn? At some point in the conversation, you’ll probably be explaining something to them. Do they actually understand it or do they just nod and smile? There are people who know stuff about some small area but aren’t curious about others. And there are people who are curious but don’t learn, they ask lots of questions but don’t really listen. You want someone who does all three.
Finally, I figure out whether I can work with someone just by hanging out with them for a bit. Many brilliant people can seem delightful in a one-hour conversation, but their eccentricities become grating after a couple hours. So after you’re done chatting, invite them along for a meal with the rest of the team or a game at the office. Again, keep things as casual as possible. The point is just to see whether they get on your nerves.
If all that looks good and I’m ready to hire someone, there’s a final sanity check to make sure I haven’t been fooled somehow: I ask them to do part of the job. Usually this means picking some fairly separable piece we need and asking them to write it. (If you really insist on seeing someone working under pressure, give them a deadline.) If necessary, you can offer to pay them for the work, but I find most programmers don’t mind being given a small task like this as long as they can open source the work when they’re done. This test doesn’t work on its own, but if someone’s passed the first three parts, it should be enough to prove they didn’t trick you, they can actually do the work.
(I’ve known some people who say “OK, well why don’t we try hiring you for a month and see how it goes.” This doesn’t seem to work. If you can’t make up your mind after a small project you also can’t make it up after a month and you end up hiring people who aren’t good enough. Better to just say no and err on the side of getting better people.)
I’m fairly happy with this method. When I’ve skipped parts, I’ve ended up with bad hires who eventually had to be let go. But when I’ve followed it, I’ve ended up with people I like so much so that I actually feel bad I don’t get to work with them anymore. I’m amazed that so many companies use such silly hiring methods instead.- http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/hiring
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50 Greatest Twitter Tips & Twitter Secrets

Beautiful Day tips : Twitter is a micro-blogging service and it is very hot now. It allows users to send at most 140 characters to their followers. Twitter opens a new way to connect with other party in the community. It’s so successful because it’s simple and easy to create your own community.
I’ve been tweeting for quite some time now, mainly for personal learning, making new friends, and observing what communities are doing. Following are 50 greatest Twitter tips and Twitter secrets to move you towards a successful experience on Twitter.

  1. Pick a memorable username.
  2. One tweet one story.
  3. Try to follow back when people following you, you’ll get credits for your kind action.
  4. No puns for optimized headline.
  5. Focus on keywords for optimized headline.
  6. Don’t consolidate stories.
  7. Link directly to the story.
  8. No subheads.
  9. Don’t try to fill up 140 characters, keep it short to your point.
  10. The highest form of compliment on Twitter is the retweet. Share the love, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
  11. Spend some time making a custom background.
  12. Don’t make your background look like some sort of advertisement, it turns people off.
  13. Speak your mind, be personal and be transparent!
  14. Tweet with photo with TwitPic.
  15. Be interesting, boring story turns people off.
  16. Be informative, now is the time to use Twitter to tell people about your business goals, your professional interests, to spread knowledge and offer customer support.
  17. Be interactive.
  18. Be considerate, people will feel it.
  19. Find a balance, there is no exact number of how many tweets per day.
  20. Be a observer, observer what communities are doing.
  21. Learn from Twitter user who has most followers.
  22. Upload a photo of yourself and show it in your Twitter profile, people love to know who they are chatting with.
  23. Try to tweet regularly so that people know you have an active presence.
  24. Try to not use Twitter as your own personal “this is what I’m doing” list.
  25. Try to add value to the conversation by sharing links.
  26. Mix some personal information so that people know you’re a human being and not just an online merchant pushing links.
  27. Thank people when they follow you on Twitter with a direct message.
  28. Start conversation with the “@” command, don’t just wait for people to talk to you.
  29. Ask questions. Twitter is great for getting opinions.
  30. Make sure to respond to people that ‘@’ or direct message you to show your respect.
  31. Make noise beyond the Twittosphere, this is only way to build a following is for people to know you’re there.
  32. Don’t worry about how many Twitter followers you have, if you become an active participant you will see your followers increase.
  33. Don’t spam anyone with anything.
  34. Promote your Twitter name in your email signature, business cards, websites, blogs. Don’t be afraid to mention Twitter offline either.
  35. If you see that people are talking about you (good or bad) on Twitter search, then join in the conversation!
  36. Don’t stalk or harass people on Twitter, if someone ignores you, just let it go.  The same goes for you, if people are stalking or harassing you, you can block them on twitter.
  37. Go mobile, there’re tons of Twitter apps for the iPhone and Blackberry.
  38. Try to keep your Twitter “following/follower” ratio balanced.
  39. Fill up your information in Twitter profile, people like to know who you are.
  40. Link to a website that’s relevant, preferably your blog or Facebook page.
  41. Be patient you won’t build relationships or feel the community spirit over night.
  42. Get a good desktop client with TweetDeck.
  43. Track your results and statistics with TwitterBurner.
  44. Make objectives about what you want to achieve by using Twitter, and stick to them.
  45. You don’t have to read every tweet.
  46. When promoting a blog post, ask a question or explain what’s coming next, instead of just dumping a link.
  47. Learn quickly to use the URL shortening tools like TinyURL and all the variants. It helps tidy up your tweets.
  48. If someone says you’re using Twitter wrong, forget it. It’s an opt out society. They can unfollow if they don’t like how you use it.
  49. Talk to people about their interests.
  50. Enjoy and have fun with your Twitter conversation, don’t make it too serious!
Do you have more Twitter tips and Twitter secrets to add? Just share with us in the comment box below. I’m glad to hear from you.
Enjoy with the Twitter tips. Wish you have a successful Twitter journey!

Source: http://www.bloghighlight.com/50-greatest-twitter-tips-twitter-secrets/

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