Blog Archive

Tech: New Tech Uses WiFi and Holograms to Let You “See” Through Walls

In Brief

German scientists from the Technical University of Munich have developed an imaging technology that uses Wi-Fi signals to construct 3D hologram images. This could be used to assist in search and rescue operations after disasters.

A Whole New View

If you've played any of the recent Batman video games, you're probably already familiar with his ability to scan through walls using one of the many gadgets he has at his disposal. In real life, German scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) may have developed a technology that could give you a similar Batman-esque skill. What makes it even cooler? Basically all it takes is a Wi-Fi signal.

"It can basically scan a room with someone's Wi-Fi transmission," Philipp Holl said, speaking to Business Insider. Holl and TUM professor Friedemann Reinhard developed the concept behind the technology and published their findings in the journal Physical Review Letters.

It's surprisingly simple, exploiting Wi-Fi's ability to pass through walls. Using two antennas, they record a Wi-Fi field around a particular room. The antennas capture the intensity and the phase of the Wi-Fi field both from its source spot and the places it bounces off from. The result is a holographic image of the room that, while it's not yet vivid, proves that the concept works in practice rather than just theory.

Life-Saving Tech

The ability to see through walls might be a little unsettling at first, as it could open up potential privacy exploitation issues. "Of course, this raises privacy questions. After all, to a certain degree even encrypted signals transmit an image of their surroundings to the outside world," Reinhard said in a press release from TUM, "However, it is rather unlikely that this process will be used for the view into foreign bedrooms in the near future. For that, you would need to go around the building with a large antenna, which would hardly go unnoticed. There are simpler ways available."

The tech could also have many beneficial — if not life-saving — applications. Apart from the potential to be used by spy agencies for legitimate operations requiring the scanning of buildings, it could also be an asset to rescue operations after a disaster such as an earthquake or an avalanche. The antennas could be placed in a truck and then driven around the rubble or debris are to survey and look for survivors.

"These antennas don't need to be big. They can be very small, like the ones in a smartphone," Holl said, meaning they could be easily wielded even in the smallest, most remote, spaces.

Further research, such as on the transparency of specific materials, is needed to refine the technology. But it's exciting to think that superhero technology could come to life in such a way, especially with potentially life-saving applications.

10 Awesome Features in Excel 2013



​ 
 
Helen Bradley
               
Microsoft's updated spreadsheet tool isn't getting a lot of new, whiz-bang features, but it is becoming more functional. That's something both new and experienced users will enjoy—especially a new approach to an old problem that used to require a cumbersome workaround. Complex tasks become easier to perform, thanks to tools such as Recommended Charts and Recommended PivotTables tools. Other changes place choices closer to your data, and use big-business brawn to crunch data right into Excel. To help you get up to speed, read on for 10 new features that make your work easier in the new Excel. Want to know more about the new Office suite? You'll find our full review of Office 2013 here, as well 10 killer features in the new Word 2013 here.

1. Start screen sets the scene

Excel's new Start Screen helps you get to work more quickly. Along its left edge are the most recently used worksheets, any of which can be pinned to your Recent list so they will always be visible. Here, too, you can click Open Other Workbooks to access your files from a disk or the cloud. The Start Screen's top-right corner also shows the SkyDrive (or SharePoint) account you are currently connected to. A range of templates appears here to help you quick start a project. These can also be pinned, or you can use the search feature to look online for other templates. A list of suggested searches can help you get started. New users will appreciate the template choices, and existing users will likee the Recent file list and quick access to existing files. Although the Start Screen can be disabled, I find it useful enough to stick with it. The Open tab has links to recently accessed files and locations.

2. Enjoy a new Backstage View

The Backstage View, introduced in Office 2010, is accessible from the File menu. In Excel this has been revamped to show exactly what you're doing so you can choose the appropriate task. 
The Open tab now gives you access to recently accessed workbooks, making it a combination of the Open and Recent tabs from Excel 2010. You can pin worksheets to this list or click Computer to access recently accessed locations (any of which you can pin permanently here, too). There's also access to your SkyDrive account, and the option to set up additional SkyDrive or SharePoint accounts.
Want to split first and last names into two columns? Look to the new Flash Fill feature.

3. Make Flash Fill magic

The most whiz-bang new feature is the Flash Fill tool. Its predictive data entry can detect patterns and extract and enter data that follows a recognizable pattern. It solves some common problems that currently require cumbersome workarounds to achieve.
One such problem is extracting a person's first name from a column of full names. In a blank column adjacent to the one that contains full names, you simply type the first name and then click the Home tab, and select Fill, Flash Fill. The first names of everyone in the list will be entered into that that column immediately. You can use the same process to extract last names, to join first and last names, to extract months, days or years from dates and even extract values from cells.  While you could have always done this with formulas, now Flash Fill ensures anyone can do it very quickly and easily.
Take the guess work out of which chart to choose to best display your data.

4. Simplify choices with Recommended Charts

This falls somewhere between a whiz-bang new feature and something that makes working in Excel more intuitive. Recommended Charts shows only a subset of chart types that are appropriate to the data you've selected. It will help inexperienced users create charts that help explain the data and don't confuse the viewer.
To use the tool, select the data that you want to chart, click the Insert tab and select Recommended Charts. A dialog appears with a range of charts to choose from—click each in turn to see how your data will look plotted on that chart. Select the desired option and click OK, and the chart is created automatically.
Change the look of your chart by selecting options from the pop-up menu.

5. Chart tools get smarter

In previous versions of Excel, when a chart is selected, the Chart Tools tab revealed three additional tabs: Design, Layout, and Format. The interface is simpler in Excel 2013, with only the Design and Format tabs to choose from.
In addition, a set of icons appears outside the top right edge of a chart when it is selected. Click any of these buttons—Chart  Elements, Chart Styles or Chart Filters—to reveal additional chart formatting options. Click Chart Elements to add or remove elements, such as axis titles and legends; click Chart Styles to change the style and color of your chart; or click Chart Filtersto view filtered data using a live preview.
Quick Analysis offers formatting, totals and charts for analyzing your data.

6. Quickly analyze your data

The new Quick Analysis tool can help both new and experienced users find options for working with selected data. To use it, select the data to analyze, and the Quick Analysis icon  appears in the bottom-right corner of the selected data.
Click that icon, and a dialog appears showing a range of tools for analyzing the data, such as Formatting, Charts, Totals, Tables and Sparklines. Click any option, and a series of selectable choices appear; preview those choices by mousing over them. Next, click the option you like to apply it to your data. This feature speeds up the process of formatting, charting and writing formulas.
PivotTables just became ridiculously simple to create.

7. Answer questions instantly with Pivot Tables

Pivot Tables are a powerful tool for analyzing and answering questions about  your data, but they're not easy for new users to create. For the first time, though, if you can click a mouse key, then you can create a meaningful Pivot Table, thanks to the new Recommended PivotTables. To use it, select your data, including headings, and choose Insert, Recommended PivotTables. A dialog appears showing a series of PivotTables with explanations of what they show. All you need do is to select the table that shows what you want to see, click OK,and the PivotTable is automatically drawn for you.
Excel 2013 now integrates Power View for beefy analysis and reporting.

8. Make quick reports with Power View

The Power View add-in, available for previous versions of Excel, is now integrated inside Excel 2013. Power View is typically used for analyzing large quantities of data brought in from external data sources—just  the sort of tool that big business might use.
Incorporated within Excel, it's now  accessible to anyone. To see it at work, select your data and choose Insert, Power View. The first time you use it, the feature installs automatically. Then a Power View sheet will be added to your workbook, and the analysis report will be created.
You can add a title and then filter the data and organize it to display the way you like. The Power View tab on the Ribbon toolbar displays report format options, such as Theme and text formats, as well View options for Field List and Filters Area panels that you can use to filter and sort your data.
Try to work on a worksheet that someone else is editing? You'll be warned that it's locked. You can view and download it, but can't change it.

9. Share files and work with other people

Working with other people on shared files in real time is a double-edged sword. While it's useful to do this, you will face problems when two people try to change the same item at the same time. In Excel 2013 you can share and work collaboratively on files with others via SkyDrive using the Excel WebApp, and multiple people can work on the same file at the same time. However, you cannot open a worksheet from SkyDrive in Excel 2013 on your local machine if someone else is currently working in the same worksheet. This protects the worksheet against conflicting changes.
Instead, if one person is editing an Excel file that's stored online, others with permission can view and download it, but they cannot change the original, whichis locked until the person working with it is finished.
Like other applications in the Office 2013 suite, Excel 2013 saves files by default to the cloud. You can open, view, and edit Excel files  online in a browser using the Excel WebApp without having Excel 2013 on the local hard drive.
Share your cloud-stored worksheets with friends on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

10. Share work to your social networks

Here's a handy way to share a to-do list, an event planning worksheet, or whatever spreadsheet you desire with your social network. You can now share Excel workbooks with Facebook and more from within Excel 2013 itself. To see the Post to Social Networks option, the best way to save the file first to SkyDrive.
If you haven't saved your file to SkyDrive, then choose File, Share, and click Invite People. You'll be stepped through the process of saving the file to the Cloud so that Save As options later appear automatically. Once this is done, you are returned to the Share panel where the Post to Social Networks option now appears. Here you can select any social network that you have linked to your Office 2013 account. You can select whether viewers can view or edit your shared worksheet, and you can include a message, and then post it for review.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Helen Bradley is a business and lifestyle writer, blogger, photographer; Photoshop and Lightroom professional; and an expat Australian.
More by

Story: How A Password Changed My Life

I was having a great morning until I sat down in front of my office computer
"your password has expired" - a server message flashed on my screen, with instructions for changing it.


Coming up with a new code doesn't seem like a big deal, unless you work at my company, where we have to change it monthly, using at least one uppercase character, one lower case character, one symbol and one number.

Oh and the password can't be fewer than eight characters.

And I can't use any of the same passwords I've used in the past three months.

Suddenly I was furious, what didn't make it any better was that I was deeply depressed after my recent divorce.

Disbelief over what she had done to me was what I thought all day.

That didn't mean anything to the empty field with the pulsating cursor, waiting for me to type a password that I have to reenter many times – for the next 30 days.

I remembered a tip I'd heard from my former boss . He'd said " I'm going to use a password that is going to change my life".

I couldn't focus on getting things done in my current mood.

There was clear indication that I needed to regain control over my life, but I couldn't heed them.

My password became the indicator. My password reminded me that I shouldn't let myself be a victim of my recent breakup and that I was strong enough to do something about it.

I made my password – Forgive@her ,

I had to type this password several times every day each time my computer would lock.

Each time I came back from lunch I wrote forgive her.

The simple action changed the way I looked at my ex-wife.

That constant reminder of reconciliation led me to accept the way things happened and helped me deal with my depression.

As one month wore on, I felt a slow healing began to take place.

By the time the server prompted me to change my password following month, I felt free.

The next time I had to change my password I thought about the next thing that I had to get done.

My password became Quit@smoking4ever .

It motivated me to follow my goal and I was able to quit smoking.

One month later, my password became Save4trip@thiland, and in three months I was able to visit Thailand.

Seeing how reminders helped me materialize my goals kept me motivated and excited.

While its sometimes difficult to come up with your next goal, keeping at it brings great results.

After a few months my password was Save4@ring !!!

Life is going to change again !!!

Make Sure You Mean What You Say and Do

Image result for Change for the better

If you Stay, stay forever,
If you Go, Do it today,
If you change , change for the Better,
And
If you talk,
Make sure you mean
what you say….

Today's Inspiration: Egg and Potato

Image result for potato and egg in boiling water

The Same boiling Water
Softens the Potato
And
Hardens the Egg.
It’s about
What you are made of
And
Not the Circumstance..

Success: What You are Doing?

Image result for successful

If you want to be Successful
Just
Know what you are Doing
Love what you are Doing
And
Believe in what you are doing

Watching News Is Bad for You



News is bad for your health and your brain. It leads to fear and aggression, and hinders your creativity and ability to think deeply. The solution? Stop consuming it altogether By Rolf Dobelli, Author of THE ART OF THINKING CLEARLY


In the past few decades, the fortunate among us have recognised the hazards of living with an overabundance of food (obesity, diabetes) and have started to change our diets.

But most of us do not yet understand that news is to the mind what sugar is to the body. News is easy to digest. The media feeds us small bites of trivial matter, tidbits that don't really concern our lives and don't require thinking. That's why we experience almost no saturation. Unlike reading books and long magazine articles (which require thinking), we can swallow limitless quantities of news flashes, which are bright-coloured candies for the mind.

Today, we have reached the same point in relation to information that we faced 20 years ago in regard to food. We are beginning to recognise how toxic news can be.

News misleads.Take the following event. A car drives over a bridge, and the bridge collapses. What does the news media focus on? The car. The person in the car. Where he came from. Where he planned to go. How he experienced the crash (if he survived). But that is all irrelevant. What's relevant? The structural stability of the bridge. That's the underlying risk that has been lurking, and could lurk in other bridges. But the car is flashy, it's dramatic, it's a person (non-abstract), and it's news that's cheap to produce.

News leads us to walk around with the completely wrong risk map in our heads. So terrorism is over-rated. Chronic stress is under-rated. The collapse of Lehman Brothers is overrated. Fiscal irresponsibility is under-rated. Astronauts are over-rated. Nurses are under-rated.

We are not rational enough to be exposed to the press. Watching an airplane crash on television is going to change your attitude toward that risk, regardless of its real probability. If you think you can compensate with the strength of your own inner contemplation, you are wrong. Bankers and economists – who have powerful incentives to compensate for news-borne hazards – have shown that they cannot. The only solution: cut yourself off from news consumption entirely.


News is irrelevant.Out of the approximately 10,000 news stories you have read in the last 12 months, name one that – because you consumed it – allowed you to make a better decision about a serious matter affecting your life, your career or your business.

The point is: the consumption of news is irrelevant to you. But people find it very difficult to recognise what's relevant. It's much easier to recognise what's new. The relevant versus the new is the fundamental battle of the current age. Media organisations want you to believe that news offers you some sort of a competitive advantage. Many fall for that. We get anxious when we're cut off from the flow of news. In reality, news consumption is a competitive disadvantage. The less news you consume, the bigger the advantage you have.


News has no explanatory power.News items are bubbles popping on the surface of a deeper world. Will accumulating facts help you understand the world? Sadly, no. The relationship is inverted. The important stories are non-stories: slow, powerful movements that develop below journalists' radar but have a transforming effect. The more "news factoids" you digest, the less of the big picture you will understand. If more information leads to higher economic success, we'd expect journalists to be at the top of the pyramid. That's not the case.


News is toxic to your body.It constantly triggers the limbic system. Panicky stories spur the release of cascades of glucocorticoid (cortisol). This deregulates your immune system and inhibits the release of growth hormones. In other words, your body finds itself in a state of chronic stress. High glucocorticoid levels cause impaired digestion, lack of growth (cell, hair, bone), nervousness and susceptibility to infections. The other potential side-effects include fear, aggression, tunnel-vision and desensitisation.


News increases cognitive errors.News feeds the mother of all cognitive errors: confirmation bias. In the words of Warren Buffett: "What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact." News exacerbates this flaw. We become prone to overconfidence, take stupid risks and misjudge opportunities. It also exacerbates another cognitive error: the story bias. Our brains crave stories that "make sense" – even if they don't correspond to reality. Any journalist who writes, "The market moved because of X" or "the company went bankrupt because of Y" is an idiot. I am fed up with this cheap way of "explaining" the world.


News inhibits thinking.Thinking requires concentration. Concentration requires uninterrupted time. News pieces are specifically engineered to interrupt you. They are like viruses that steal attention for their own purposes. News makes us shallow thinkers. But it's worse than that. News severely affects memory.

There are two types of memory. Long-range memory's capacity is nearly infinite, but working memory is limited to a certain amount of slippery data. The path from short-term to long-term memory is a choke-point in the brain, but anything you want to understand must pass through it. If this passageway is disrupted, nothing gets through. Because news disrupts concentration, it weakens comprehension.

Online news has an even worse impact. In a 2001 study two scholars in Canada showed that comprehension declines as the number of hyperlinks in a document increases. Why? Because whenever a link appears, your brain has to at least make the choice not to click, which in itself is distracting. News is an intentional interruption system.


News works like a drug.As stories develop, we want to know how they continue. With hundreds of arbitrary storylines in our heads, this craving is increasingly compelling and hard to ignore.

Scientists used to think that the dense connections formed among the 100 billion neurons inside our skulls were largely fixed by the time we reached adulthood. Today we know that this is not the case. Nerve cells routinely break old connections and form new ones. The more news we consume, the more we exercise the neural circuits devoted to skimming and multitasking while ignoring those used for reading deeply and thinking with profound focus.

Most news consumers – even if they used to be avid book readers – have lost the ability to absorb lengthy articles or books. After four, five pages they get tired, their concentration vanishes, they become restless. It's not because they got older or their schedules became more onerous. It's because the physical structure of their brains has changed.


News wastes time.If you read the newspaper for 15 minutes each morning, then check the news for 15 minutes during lunch and 15 minutes before you go to bed, then add five minutes here and there when you're at work, then count distraction and refocusing time, you will lose at least half a day every week. Information is no longer a scarce commodity. But attention is. You are not that irresponsible with your money, reputation or health. Why give away your mind?


News makes us passive.News stories are overwhelmingly about things you cannot influence. The daily repetition of news about things we can't act upon makes us passive. It grinds us down until we adopt a worldview that is pessimistic, desensitised, sarcastic and fatalistic. The scientific term is "learned helplessness". It's a bit of a stretch, but I would not be surprised if news consumption, at least partially contributes to the widespread disease of depression.


News kills creativity.Finally, things we already know limit our creativity. This is one reason that mathematicians, novelists, composers and entrepreneurs often produce their most creative works at a young age. Their brains enjoy a wide, uninhabited space that emboldens them to come up with and pursue novel ideas.


I don't know a single truly creative mind who is a news junkie – not a writer, not a composer, mathematician, physician, scientist, musician, designer, architect or painter. On the other hand, I know a bunch of viciously uncreative minds who consume news like drugs. If you want to come up with old solutions, read news. If you are looking for new solutions, don't.

Society needs journalism – but in a different way. Investigative journalism is always relevant. We need reporting that polices our institutions and uncovers truth. But important findings don't have to arrive in the form of news. Long journal articles and in-depth books are good, too.

I have now gone without news for four years, so I can see, feel and report the effects of this freedom first-hand: less disruption, less anxiety, deeper thinking, more time, more insights. It's not easy, but it's worth it.

Inspiration: When Something Bad Happens

Image result for strong

When Something Bad happens
You have three Choices
You can either let it Define You
You can let it Destroy You
Or
You can let it Strengthen You

Things are Difficult

Image result for dare to venture
It’s not because
Things are Difficult
That we Dare not Venture,
But It’s Because
We Dare Not Venture
That things are Difficult…

Good People Bad People



It is human tendency to share anything and everything with our loved ones or friends. But how many of us really give a second thought while we try to share something bad about someone ?

Do we ever think that we are no one to decide who is good or who is bad but just accept them for what they are or ignore and let them live their lives.

Before concluding someone good or bad, if we remember words of Shakespeare - there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. So keep your thinking crystal clear to bring peace to your mind which ultimatley enlighten the people around you.

Stress Tip: Do Something Constructive


Feeling guilty is like sitting in a rocking chair. We rock back and forth emotionally, but it doesn't get us anywhere!
The next time you find yourself sitting in the rocking chair of guilt, hop off and move to a better emotional place. How? Ask yourself, what can I do to make amends? And then act on it. 
Do something constructive and you'll feel better about it.

Be Fair

Image result for stand up
If you are Right
Stand Up Bold and Strong
But
If you are Wrong
Learn to Accept and Learn..
Always Remember
If the ROOTS of your confidence
Is Deep and Strong
Don’t fear the Wind of
Uncertainty and Negativity