Posts Tagged ‘Google’
I know like me, even you would be excited, when you will come to know that now there is one more way to be connected with Layman’s Take: SMS Notifications. (Thanks to Google, who made this possible)
Click on the above image to subscribe or following the link. Be assured that this will never get involved in any kind of spamming as even I feel annoyed with any kind of useless SMSs, so I know how readers will feel, if happened so after the subscription. It will just ask for your Gmail login and mobile number and will make use of generic Google Labs service.
Take a look over the Google Labs SMS services, worth checking out. You can find many blogs there.
A discussion has started that if Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s announcement on Monday about NFC with Nexus S was a shot that Nokia should have taken many days before and if this is again a marketing failure from Nokia part. Is this a sign of weak confidence to attract vendors or the major market of Nokia (not Europe and west but Asian continent) is not ready yet to come strong on NFC?
Let’s take a look over the technology first …
What is Near Field Communication (NFC)?
As per Wiki article
Near Field Communication or NFC, is a short-range high frequency wireless communication technology which enables the exchange of data between devices over about a 10 centimeter (around 4 inches) distance.The technology is a simple extension of the ISO/IEC 14443 proximity-card standard (proximity card, RFID) that combines the interface of a smartcard and a reader into a single device. An NFC device can communicate with both existing ISO/IEC 14443 smartcards and readers, as well as with other NFC devices, and is thereby compatible with existing contactless infrastructure already in use for public transportation and payment.
NFC is primarily aimed at usage in mobile phones.
A patent licensing program for NFC is currently under development by Via Licensing Corporation, an independent subsidiary of Dolby Laboratories, while a Public, platform independent Near Field Communication (NFC) library is released under the free GNU Lesser General Public License by the name libnfc.
Existing usages in India
The same technology been under trial across the world in many areas since last seven years (even in India Delta Technologies and Citi Tap and Pay – Citibank India trialing it). Many mobile payment technologies making use of it across world including Nokia and Samsung as of now. Even VISA and MasterCard also working on it at some places.
Applications of NFC
The applications of the such a technology are plenty like Electronic ticketing, Electronic money, Travel cards, Identity documents, Mobile commerce and Electronic keys etc. Exciting for many, as it will make the life even more easier as your smart phone will be one device for all your needs, movies, internet browsing, navigation, music and now even used as a credit card or debit card.
How is it different from already popular Bluetooth technology? Limitations ..
Disadvantages over Bluetooth
Lesser data transfer speeds (max 848 kbps)
Shorter range (max 20 cm) than Bluetooth technology.
Upcoming Bluetooth 4.0 low energy protocol will be consuming even lower power than NFC as of now
NFC alone does not ensure secure communications is vulnerable to data modifications. Applications have to use higher-layer cryptographic protocols (e.g., SSL) to establish a secure channel.
Advantages over Bluetooth
Almost instant connection (around 1/10 seconds) in comparison to pairing procedure of Bluetooth
Low power consumption and could work (alternatively) even when one of the device is powerless
NFC is compatible with existing passive RFID (13.56 MHz ISO/IEC 18000-3) infrastructures
Shorter range makes it suitable for crowded area with high interferences
Not sure, if I am concluding right, but then rather than the tech itself, what’s being stressed as advantage of NFC is the already existing infrastructure for that. I wish to remind people that NFC is not being used in secure payment methods yet, secure means encrypted ones and is very much hack-able.
In other practical limitations, it’s the requirement for compatibility with legacy deployments, including payment systems such as MiFare (used by London’s Oyster cards) which operate at 13.56MHz. MiFare and it’s ilk work over very short ranges, typically a few centimetres, and can be powered by current induced by the reader. NFC, by necessity, shares those capabilities so will operate even if the phone’s battery is dead, but that also means the transmitting at very low power, far too low to break out of a phone casing. This therefore forces NFC to rely on an external antenna to operate.
Why NFC is still half baked technology when it comes to financial usages?
The most dangerous aspects of NFC, which is being skipped while talking about easy financial applications are related to security and unfortunately most of them still open, which puts a big question mark on implementation of such a technology in financial domain at least. This been a kind of dead technology for this domain since years due to some serious limitations. Most of them were mentioned in a paper long back, PDF link here, worth reading once, mentioning a few of them here in my words…
The biggest threat to this technology is the simplest phenomenon, loosing your cell. Against the common PIN security mechanisms, NFC one is a PIN-less method, means once someone else gets his hands on your lost phone, there will be no stopping misuse of the same till you get your account cancelled from carrier. Obviously, software running on top will come up with some solution to this.
There are already many methods to intercept the communication between two devices over NFC. An Open source device which is able to eavesdrop passive and active NFC communications is the Proxmark instrument.
Data modification/ destruction
Data destruction is relatively easy to realize, while by complex measures one can even modify the bits of data. Though there are methods that an NFC device could employ to avoid such threats and possibilities.
Because NFC devices are usually also implementing ISO/IEC 14443 functionality, the relay attack described are also feasible on NFC. For this attack the adversary has to forward the request of the reader to the victim and relay back its answer to the reader in real time, in order to carry out a task pretending to be the owner of the victim’s smart card. One of libnfc code examples demonstrates a relay attack using only two stock commercial NFC devices.
Once lawfully opened access to secure function or data is usually protected with time out closing on pausing the usage. Modern attack concepts may interfere despite the intention to shut down access when the user turns inactive. The distance of a successful attacker to the locus of lawfully granted access is not addressed with any of the described concepts of NFC.
Nokia and NFC
I was like big time surprised, when I came to know that my oldest handset Nokia 3220 had NFC back in 2004. It was actually the first commercial product including NFC that shows that Nokia is always unbeatable when it comes to adopting the latest tech and bringing to the world.
Nokia was an early backer of NFC and co-founded the NFC Forum in 2004 with the technology’s creators, Philips Semiconductors and Sony Corp. Nokia had earlier introduced four NFC models, the 3220 and companion 5140, the 6131 and the 3G 6216. These phones have accounted for more than half of NFC trials and other NFC projects held since 2005, NFC Times estimates, (see Project Database) and were some of the few available for sale.
Recently in February 2010, they were about to come up with Nokia 6216 model, which was going to be the first NFC SIM phone ever came to market and it was even notified to leading operators, but later on the idea got cancelled.
There is still a pressure from operators to bring this tech early on handset. Not from Nokia, but some of experts even say that built-in NFC inside the SIM cards would be more reasonable than a specialized phone, if the carrier really care about it.
Is NFC gonna pull the market?
While there was much talk about NFC in tech world since long, its sure been Google CEO, who should be credited for bringing it in lime light again, which was fading since Nokia delayed the commercial implementation. But what more turns the technology gonna take?
Definitely, the technology is not about the hardware only due to its current unsecure nature and sure it remains a question that should the big tech leaders put money behind this project, when it will still rely on software implementations or should look over other alternatives like China is trying with their own RF SIMs.
Pushing NFC Technology on big scales is a risk that was once taken by Nokia in 2003, when they co-founded the NFC forum, but still after 7 years of trials across the world, we don’t see much momentum behind the technology in comparison the development in other wireless technologies like Bluetooth etc. While Nokia still taking risk around their once founded Symbian Forum, sure it stands a hard question that they should take the same risk of pushing NFC on big scales.
I don’t think that Nokia is wrong on it
I think Nokia gonna be silently putting NFC chips in all of its upcoming models and will be observing other big movements like Google’s move. Whenever they find the infra in place, they will be ready to go without doing anything as hardware will be already in place and just a software update and some negotiations will make it. Simple reasoning is Nokia can’t stand behind the name of a failures, while Google is used to face many like their Wave, Buzz etc.
What you think on it? Please tell
Just noticed something while watching Delhi Dardevils Vs Kolkata Knight Riders on YouTube/IPL. YouTube seems to have made some serious changes for live telecast since April 07, 2010 or two three days before. The video quality has really improved a lot in resolutions and the improvement is no way lesser that one wont notice. Not sure about the technical details as unable to find any mention on their own site. But its really a welcome step.
Don’t know its due to the fact that I am getting past of teenage or the fact that losing game to Bangladesh in last World Cup made many of Indians not that much interested in Cricket anymore, but it’s is true that these are sure not those days, when I am very much involved in each bit of cricket as I was earlier used to be. Could say lack of cable at home now days might be added in to the same. With Live Telecast of IPL in this season, Youtube/Google really have connected many like me back to Cricket again.
Even then I can’t assure that I always surf YouTube/IPL page in time with start of the match everyday, but when yesterday I did the same then a pleasant surprise was waiting for me there. The quality was exactly something like might have been that of any TV Telecast. I was really up to asking that when does this happened. Even YouTube controls were different than usual (Will add screenshot of controls later) Check out ..
I am on 22” TFT+MTNL 3G+ NVidia 8600, but don’t think these things do anything much special about YouTube broadcast, but really owe you Google.
Have you ever woke up dreaming that you are alone in some desert? You go right, you go left, run forward, come backward, just to find sand everywhere. May be you are just half a mile from the way out, but which way?
Similar has been theme of many horror flicks, where a group get lost in desert or sea and then bad things happen … Have you noticed that such movies started loosing their effect now days? Because when we might be watching them in full ‘tension’, then some kid of our family jumps in to shout on screen “Don’t any of you all have Nokia with you?”
Sometimes enabling the invention to reach the masses becomes much bigger than the invention itself, same is with Nokia/ Ovi Maps otherwise we were hearing only stories about Jack’s compass
How this all started?
It was path breaking move, when for the first time time Nokia started giving Smart2Go for free in February 2007, after acquiring German Route Planning Software Company Gate5 in August 2006. That time, it really made the statement that soon high charging navigation companies & gadgets will be out of market and normal users, who might have heard of it in flight navigation like big things only, will have their piece of cake right into their hands. Being the largest cellfone manufacturer of world and known for longer life batteries, it was expected to be a real life thing and it became the same.
With Smart2Go, Nokia was using Tele Atlas NV, but later, the rival full time navigation giant TomTom acquired the same and before it could hurt Nokia, Nokia acquired Navteq (which earlier was powering Google Maps) to keep this lovely child within their own hands (it still operates independently under Nokia) and Smart2Go became a core part of Nokia Product line with the name, we been familiar from long Nokia Maps, which later on after association with Ovi Services and Ovi Suit renamed to Ovi Maps by public beta on August 28, 2008. So, this was the story behind Ovi Maps as we see it today.
“Ovi” is a Finnish word that stands for “Door” and it really opened the door for so many possibilities. Ovi Sync, Ovi Store, Ovi Maps, Ovi Mails, Ovi Share, Ovi Files, Ovi Player etc. It really changed the way, a normal user was using the Smartphone. Personally myself loved the way, I kept my contacts synced on all my Smartphones.
How Navigation devices work for mobiles?
This all started due to regulation encouragement for mobile phone tracking that was associated with E911 then (Enhanced-911) and lots of mobile phones started having built-in receivers with varying degrees of coverage and user accessibility.
There been one class of mobile devices, who works on A-GPS means wont work once out of range of their carrier’s cell towers and the another class that works worldwide on satellite GPS signals like dedicated GPS devices. Even the third class has been introduced as hybrid positioning system, which usages other signals like wi-fi spots etc.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is actually a constellation of 27 Earth-orbiting satellites (24 in operation and three extras in case one fails, though I am not sure about the numbers actually). The U.S. military developed and implemented this satellite network as a military navigation system, but soon opened it up to everybody else. Later many others joined the same like China, like Google with its own Satelites and its became an open world, when GPS tracking is concerned.
Each of these 3,000- to 4,000-pound solar-powered satellites circles the globe at about 12,000 miles (19,300 km), making two complete rotations every day. The orbits are arranged so that at any time, anywhere on Earth, there are at least four satellites "visible" in the sky.
A GPS receiver’s job is to locate four or more of these satellites, figure out the distance to each, and use this information to deduce its own location. This operation is based on a simple mathematical principle called trilateration. Trilateration in three-dimensional space can be a little tricky, for those interested in details, can check always amazing HowStuffWorks link or also the other link to know that how at least 8 satellites are always in line of sight or each position on earth still due to a number of factors, its always mentioned that the accuracy should be taken up to 15 m to 20 m .
What makes Nokia’s Ovi Maps different and better?
Nokia made it possible to reach this technology right into hands of common people, not only that but Nokia used Free Hybrid Vector design specially made of mobile usage and provides offline Maps (No Network coverage required, though if available then will assist in locking the location fast). Moreover, the coverage of over 180 countries make it best maps with best global coverage that even go up to street level navigation for 74 countries in 46 different languages (must be more by now).
When I am talking about Languages, then yes!! not only text, but Nokia started providing Voice based turn by turn navigation for many of its devices. I have used it several times (regularly you say) and always been fascinated by its accuracy. I really wonder sometimes that it knows my city and even street much better than any person living here from years. Yeah!! though these maps get updated only twice a year (might be the frequency increased by now), so there are limitation about quick and shot-lived changes, but even then you must give them credit for devising such a great system that much available to you.
I personally praised Google Maps a lot like Google’s other services, but still I must accept that Google stands behind when the actual usability for mass is concerned. Yes!! Google is excellent about coverage, about searching addresses and about other innovations like Street View and so clear satellite view, but what are you paying? Google’s Maps are always rendered online means they are of no use once you out of coverage (leave the data charges aside and draining of battery aside), moreover, still Voice based turn by turn navigation reached to only Android 2.0 devices (none of them below 25k I guess), while Nokia is providing you turn by turn voice guidance for life time free on devices costing around 10k.
Google might be great about Route Planning before start your travel and it would be quite handy to keep a route instruction generated by Google Maps including local landmarks etc, but you never know what network reception will you get while on the way, so Ovi Maps does matter a lot.
High Data Charges, Inability to serve without Network coverage and Non-availability of Voice based turn-by-turn navigation for low cost devices, there are the three points, which keeps Google still behind when it comes to actual mass and keep you fascinated that how Nokia actually does it?
Just got to see a post from Aaron Baker on WomWorld about the same topic, I ranted about some times back. Google Maps Vs. Ovi. Although he is comparing it with Nexus one, which has the voice navigation with it (the prominent lacking factor in Symbian Version of Google Maps), but still he find Google Map more real time tracking. Although I am not convinced that much due to the factor that Nexus one is obviously much highly powered than E72 (with which he was comparing), moreover the differences were only a friction. So, its not conclusive that Google Maps/ Nexus is better about Navigation in cost effective way specially.
Yes!! I am quite a fanboy, when it comes to talking about Google and its services and as I wrote in my posts Google Maps Vs Ovi Maps and Things I don’t like in N900, I sure do over Google Maps imaginary and intuitiveness a lot. Street View, Integration with Buzz and latitude makes it invincible, while Nokia trying to cope up with lots of innovations, integration with Facebook and Ovi, but still I am not sure that there is some continuous tracking like Google Latitude, which could come quite handy like in my case, when I lost my Nokia 5800 (at least there was a possibility), there is anything like street view (although its not available for India till now) or Buzz.
What Nokia has at its best is powerful and rich voice navigation with offline maps, which is the core of the part. Its actually usable than just a play thing. Google provides maps online means if consuming your data channels even if you travel the same road. Yes! Nokia Maps also use bandwidth for A-GPS, but if you compare then its 10 times lesser than Goggle Maps. It means that even if Google starts maps with voice, they still sit behind due to offline nature of Nokia/ Ovi Maps.
So here my opinion is, Google Maps looks good enough, available easily on computers as well and provides many other small/ big thing as well, but still about Navigation Nokia one is better and actual thing. Accurate, cost effective, voice navigation even in Hindi and already built-in your cell. Its like some expert in era and Google one still has to go some way to be a favorable one for mobiles like support for offline maps, voice navigation and in-built compass (if available). For Nokia, I wish they could add something like Latitude, integration with twitter/ buzz and improve their satellite view (I know Google cant be defeated in this side at least).