Friday, November 27, 2009

City Car Sharing Program, car2go, Pilots In United States

car2go smart fortwo cars are on the streets of Austin as part of the car2go car sharing program. Image Credit: Daimler car2go

City Car Sharing Program, car2go, Pilots In United States

Austin, Texas becomes the first location in the international expansion of an innovative solution to short term/short hop transportation use within a city environment.

The "car2go" concept rental program first placed into process in Ulm, Germany October 2008, proved to be a success with the project’s 200 vehicles being rented between 500 to 1,000 times per day. In Ulm, they are used by 15,000 registered customers, which equals more than 15 percent of the citizens who possess a driver’s license within the city. Although the system allows users to book a vehicle in advance, the pilot showed that 90 percent of the participants take advantage of the unique offer to use car2go on a spontaneous basis and by many for one-way trips.

Registered members will have to wave their card to a reader behind the windscreen to gain entry to the cars. Image Credit: Daimler car2go

The United States pilot will also launch with 200 Smart Cars in a joint partnership between the City of Austin and Daimler (Smart Car manufacturer) will initially see the "smart fortwo" vehicles made available 24/7 within the city to a select group of city employees and their relatives, with plans to increase the number of cars and have them registered accessible to all Austin residents and students in early 2010.

Personal PINs (Personal Identification Numbers) will keep track of each driver's usage. Image Credit: Daimler car2go

“The City of Austin is committed to identifying and implementing solutions to address the challenges associated with urban growth, mobility and environmental sustainability,” said Austin, Texas Mayor, Lee Leffingwell. “This pilot-program partnership between car2go and the City of Austin represents a significant step toward helping us alleviate congestion, reduce emissions and increase the use of public transportation.”

200 smart fortwo cars will take part in the car2go pilot throughout Austin, Texas. Image Credit: Daimler car2go

This excerpted and edited from gizmag -

car2go car sharing program hits the US
By Darren Quick, gizmag - 21:22 November 26, 2009 PST

The Austin pilot will see the city become the official headquarters of car2go in North America and is part of the company’s plans to extend the system internationally.

According to car2go, the car sharing market in the US is enjoying the highest growth rate in the world, which is why they made a very conscious decision to bring the concept to a North American city. One of the many reasons the Texan metropolis of 750,000 on the Colorado River [Austin] was selected as the first international site was due to its similarity to Ulm as a science-oriented and university city.

For the Austin pilot, the pick up and drop off area is limited to the greater downtown Austin area, which has an expansion of about 17 square miles where more than 60,000 employees work. Charges are not based on distance, but on time – with rates starting by the minute and competitive hourly or daily rates available for those needing longer rental periods. The rates are all-inclusive, with the cost of all fuel, maintenance and insurance taken care of.

There’s also no need to feed the meter with city-controlled parking fees waived thanks to a deal that sees car2go paying a usage fee to the City of Austin in the form of free driving minutes for employees driving on City business. But the loss of parking revenue should be offset by the reduction in fuel and operating costs for city employee vehicles.

”The goal of the Austin pilot project is to gather experience we can use to ensure the public launch of car2go in North America in 2010 is successful,“ says Nicholas Cole, CEO of car2go North America LLC. “In the second phase we will increase the number of cars in Austin and open the service to the public. We are also talking to a large number of cities in North America and Europe about additional rollouts of car2go.”
Reference Here>>

This may signal the changing face of Public Transportation. Personal use of a public owned car, through the use of Automatic Identification RFID proximity cards tailored to an audience-of-one!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Twitter Revolution: Interview With Warren Whitlock At BlogWorld

Twitter Revolution: Interview With Warren Whitlock At BlogWorld

BlogWorld & New Media Expo - While attending the conferences and exposition at the Las Vegas Convention Center, we, at Symblogogy, had the occasion to meet and interview renown marketing concepts author, Warren Whitlock.

His book, "Twitter Revolution", co-authored with Deb Micek, gives one insight to ways mico-blogging can aid and effect the way a business can use social media tools to advance their marketing objectives.

This excerpted and edited from -

Twitter Revolution

How Social Media and Mobile Marketing is Changing the Way We Do Business & Market Online

by Warren Whitlock (Author), Deborah Micek (Author)


The revolution is underway. The power of social media lies with the people who use tools like You decide how to use your power.

Our goal is not to create rules to follow on Twitter. We simply want to give you the best tips, resources and strategies to guide your success on Twitter at an accelerated pace.

Our mission is to help you avoid trial and error as early adopters were forced to endure, and help you participate in one of the greatest communication revolution of our time.

This book was designed to help show everyone from the small business owner to the CEO of a large corporation; from work at home moms to politicians in Washington, DC how they can participate in the fastest growing social network and micro-blogging revolution taking place right now.

Join us on Twitter!

About the Author
Warren Whitlock is a #1 best selling author, publisher, and editor of the blog focused on social media and marketing strategy.

Deb Micek is the author of the first published book on New Media Marketing, Secrets of Online Persuasion, Coach Deb ranks among bleeding edge experts and trendsetters - all while keeping things simple for her clients.
Reference Here>>

Please review video for further insights to the "Twitter Revolution"!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

3D "Digit" Image Capture - A Better Fingerprint ID

FlashScan3D along with its research partner, the University of Kentucky, received a grant from the Science and Technology Directorate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to develop non-contact fingerprint. Image Credit: FlashScan3D

3D "Digit" Image Capture - A Better Fingerprint ID

A new way to capture an image of a human fingerprint has emerged from the labs of the University of Kentucky. The University has been a leader in research in the use of structured light and its application to biometrics.

Within the law enforcement community, the preferred form of fingerprint is the “rolled” or “rolled equivalent” fingerprint. Image Credit: FlashScan3D

In partnership with a for-profit private company, FlashScan3D, the University of Kentucky has developed a non-contact, rolled equivalent scanner that capture 3-dimensional data of fingerprints and palm prints. No ink, and no potential for error due to a sloppy imprint process.

Structured light illumination's (SLI) core technology revolves around the use of projecting a known pattern of pixels (often grids or horizontal bars) on to a scene. The way that these deform when striking surfaces allows vision systems to calculate the depth and surface information of the objects in the scene enabling the scanner to capture 3-D fingerprint data and provide an accurate representation that far surpasses any other imaging technique.

So, Structured Light makes quantitative 3-D surface measurements that reveal actual ridge shape and depth. It is precisely this 3-D structure that gives a fingerprint its unique latent print characteristics and allows for the formation of minutiae. Capturing this data in 3-D allows for a more accurate representation of the true object, rather than a 2-D representation of a 3-D object, and ultimately yields more accurate data.

The 3D fingerprinting device works by projecting a series of striped lines wrapped around the finger. The process is called structured light illumination (SLI). The image of the lines of the fingers is then perfectly captured by a 1.4 megapixel camera at roughly 1,000 pixels per inch, thus automatically producing a detailed 3-dimensional model of the fingerprint ridges and valleys in proper places [ctrl-click to view animated image]. Image Credit: LiveScan3D

This excerpted and edited from LiveScan3D -

Features & Benefits

Speed of Capture:
FlashScan3D's device captures a rolled equivalent fingerprint in less than 1 seconds with no operator manipulation of the subject’s hand. This feature allows the device to be used in operations with significant time constraints or high volume locations such as airports or security checkpoints where capturing rolled equivalent prints would have been impossible in the past due to the operational constraints of the current generation of rolled equivalent scanners.

Image capture in a field application. Image Credit: FlashScan3D

3-D Data:
The unique characteristic of our system is that it is able to capture fingerprint data in 3-D. Unlike competing systems that acquire an image of what a fingerprint looks like, our system makes quantitative 3-D surface measurements that reveal actual ridge shape and depth. It is precisely this 3-D structure that gives a fingerprint its unique latent print characteristics and allows for the formation of minutiae. Capturing this data in 3-D allows for a more accurate representation of the true object , rather than a 2-D representation of a 3-D object, and ultimately yields more accurate data.

As fingerprint databases continue to grow exponentially both in the U.S. and abroad, more accurate data and matching will become increasingly necessary to aid in searches and correct identification of subjects.

10 Print Capture - FlashScan3D's non-contact 3-D technology captures 10 rolled equivalent prints plus 2 palm prints.Image Credit: FlashScan3D

Backwards Compatible:
Although our device captures data in 3-D, our flattening algorithm ensure that the device outputs data that is formatted to meet the ANSI/NIST ITL 1-2000 standard making it easily compared to and consistent with existing fingerprint databases. Data can be captured and stored in 3-D, while still being able to leverage the size and pervasiveness of existing 2-D databases or for latent print comparison.Flashscan could greatly increase airline safety

Using a Structured Light Illumination technique, which is an inherently non-contact scanning method, we are able to produce higher quality images with better minutiae detection results since there is no contact with the scanner to distort the image. Our images are more consistent and repeatable since there are no varying amounts of pressure when in contact with the sensor. In high volume environments a non-contact scanner is advantageous because there are no latent prints or residue left on the scanner that need to be cleaned or could generate noise for subsequent scans. Since contact with the imaging sensor is not required, it allows the device to be completely sealed, preventing dirt, sand or dust from impacting the scanner.

Our device is designed to function independently of an operator. The subject simply positions their finger above the sensor and the system to captures the fingerprint. The quality of the print is no longer tied to the skill of the operator manipulating the subject’s hand as is the case today. This feature reduces training and staffing costs, eliminate any possibility for operator error, as well as produces a more consistent, high quality print. The fact that the device is automated also opens up the possibility to use the system for unattended access control.

Flashscan yields better treatment of worn or damaged printsBetter Treatment of Damaged or Worn Prints: A combination of our 3-D and non-contact imaging technique yields better treatment of worn or damaged prints. Within the realm of non-contact print capture, structured light techniques have the advantage of capturing the surface independent of how smooth it is.

Go/No Go – Real Time Quality Assessment:
Our system provides immediate feedback to the subject/operator as to the quality of the captured fingerprints. If something goes wrong with the scan, the subject is notified to re-scan. This real time quality assessment feature helps reduce the failure to enroll rates due to images of poor quality.

Self Calibrating:
To ensure that the image sensors stay calibrated we position a calibration pattern in the scanner, such that the cameras can automatically calibrate themselves prior to each scan, preventing performance drift and eliminating any need for manual calibration. In the event the device becomes damaged or is in some way incapable of calibrating itself, the system will alert the operator with a visual indicator.

Impervious to Sweat/Oil: Our structured light imaging technique is not affected by discolorations in the skin and is resistant to the specularity produced by shiny surfaces caused by sweat or oil.

Liveness detection/Built-in Anti Spoofing Capabilities:
A 3-D system is inherently much harder to fool by deceptive means simply because it is much harder to re-create the 3-D characteristics of a fingerprint using a dummy or fake finger. Because we capture data in 3-D we can test for curvature and ridge modulation to prevent the use of a simple flat photographic pattern.
Reference Here>>

Bing Reduces Its Ping

Bing Reduces Its Ping
Bing Records First Monthly Decline Since Launch

Bing's monthly market share in the US and globally has fallen for the first time since its launch, according to analysis conducted by web analytics firm StatCounter. The firm's research arm StatCounter Global Stats finds that Bing's share of the US search market in September fell by over one percentage point to 8.51% from 9.64% in August. There was little consolation for Microsoft from the performance of its new partner, Yahoo! which also declined, to 9.40% from 10.50%.

"The trend has been downwards for Bing since mid August," commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. "The wheels haven't fallen off but the underlying trend must be a little worrying for Microsoft."

Google was the beneficiary from the decline of its main rival, increasing by more than two percentage points to 80.08% in September from 77.83% the previous month.

Globally, Bing also declined slightly to 3.25% from 3.58% - a trend mirrored by Yahoo! which fell to 4.37% from 4.84%. Google breached the 90% mark to 90.54% - similar to its global market share a year previously (90.53%).

Data is based on an analysis of 4.6 billion search engine referring clicks (1.1 billion from the US) which were collected during the period September 2008 to September 2009 from the StatCounter network of over three million websites.

StatCounter, which provides free website traffic analysis, is one of the largest web analytics firms in the world monitoring in excess of ten billion pageloads per month.

US Search Market

Date Bing Yahoo! Bing & Yahoo! Combined Google
Sep 2008 5.71%* 12.57% 18.28%* 79.36%
May 2009 7.81%* 10.99% 18.80%* 78.72%
June 2009 8.23%* 11.04% 19.27%* 78.48%
July 2009 9.41% 10.95% 20.36% 77.54%
Aug 2009 9.64% 10.50% 20.14% 77.83%
Sep 2009 8.51% 9.40% 17.91% 80.08%

* Market share figure includes MSN Search and Live Search

(ht: StatCounter)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Photoshop Fifty - Crafted Images Of Our Age

Fifa Under 20 World Cup – Toronto Image Credit:

The Photoshop Fifty - Crafted Images Of Our Age

This posting from Graphic Design Blog was so interesting ... I decided to post the whole thing here.

Many really do not know exactly how good computer graphics programs that manipulate images are. Great manipulations or manipulations that are mistakes, it makes little difference because the average person may sense something might be a little peculiar but most who view the image, see the larger picture, and move on.

Do not believe what you see in this mashed up image/symbol world!

This excerpted and edited from Graphic Design Blog -

50 Photoshopped Advertising Designs - The Wonders and Blunders!!

Charlie B. Johnson

Interesting ads brilliantly convey a brand’s message to its targeted audience and potential clients. Moreover, Photoshop techniques are used nowadays to make these ads more appealing and expressive. But, be careful…. Photoshop techniques can make the print ads look creative, funny, intelligent and at times a DISASTER. It does not only add more colors to your product advertisements but if used carelessly it can harm your brand’s strong image.

Using high quality Photoshop techniques, print ads can be turned out into big wonders but have you ever seen Photoshop blunders…check some here.

Don’t forget to tell which of these you enjoyed the most….Wonders or the Blunders?

Photoshop Blunders:

1) Dust Jeans - Let’s Hold Hands: The tagline suggests the gesture of holding hands but unfortunately the person, to whom other hand belongs, is missing in the picture.
Dust Jeans - Let's Hold Hands

2) Tiger Woods in Washington Post: The image shows a clear blunder with Phil Mickelson is standing in front of Tiger Woods and both players looking in opposite direction for the same ball.
Tiger Woods in Washington Post

3) Garnier: On a closer look of this Garnier Hair Color ad you will notice that the lady is not holding the cherries and the hands are shopped in.

4) Torchwood: The image is a clear blunder as both hands are either right or left.

5) Pepsi Photoshop cans: The reflection is off. It should be straight-down parallel with the can, but actually leans forward.
Pepsi Photoshop cans

6) Lexar 8GB: The reflection of the SD card has "4GB" as the memory, not 8GB like in the picture.
Lexar 8GB

7) Azoogle: You can easily witness that the “Big Amount” check has been shopped in, as the check is missing in the reflection of car and man’s shadow.

8 ) Braking The Cycle:
The back wheel of the cycle is half gone but a failed attempt has been made to make it appear as a complete cycle.
Braking The Cycle

9) Unwigged & Unplugged: Two hands on the guy’s shoulders, both belong to the guy on the right somehow.
Unwigged & Unplugged

10) Paris-Match: You can only see the legs of a man behind Sawkozy who was later chopped out from the picture.

11) StarGate: An additional lady face has been shopped on the right end.

12) INFDaily: I don’t think I need to point out an additional hand at Beyonce’s back.

13) Studier in Halle:
Studier in Halle

14) Formoza:

15) Nestle Loops:
Nestle Loops
16) Street Hear:
Street Hear

17) TuttoSport:

Wonders of Advertisement Designs:

Talking about advertising designs, you always expect some great ideas and concepts to sparkle your eyes. Here are some vibrant, punchy and conceptually strong print ads, which you will regret if miss them.

Architect’07 Fair – Thai house hair
Architect’07 Fair – Thai house hair

Johnson & Johnson, Sundown
Johnson & Johnson, Sundown

Clinic All Clear – Smoke
Clinic All Clear – Smoke

Fifa Under 20 World Cup – Toronto
Fifa Under 20 World Cup – Toronto

McCormick – Chicken
McCormick – Chicken

Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Natural Mineral Water – Watermelon
Natural Mineral Water – Watermelon

Onitsuka Tiger – Shoe
Onitsuka Tiger – Shoe

PlayStation 2-Death by Ninja
PlayStation 2-Death by Ninja

SPI Insulating Windows – Ice
SPI Insulating Windows – Ice

WWF- Homeless Polar bear
WWF- Homeless Polar bear

Yamaha X-City – Elephant
Yamaha X-City – Elephant

Fly Emirates:
Fly Emirates


Green Peace:
Green Peace

Coca Cola:
Coca Cola
Dunkin Donuts:
Dunkin Donuts
Ray Ban:
Ray Bax



M&M’s - Personalized M&M’s:
M&M's - Personalized M&M's


Lifebuoy Handwash:
Lifebuoy Handwash


Ashtanga Yoga Center:
Ashtanga Yoga Center

WMF Knives:
WMF Knives


Event Brand:
Event Brand

Neonic Evolution Limited CCTV:
Neonic Evolution Limited CCTV

Reference Here>>