Internet population many times greater than world population

 global-thumbInternet is growing in dimensions every second, so much so that there are more addresses than there are people on Earth, claims the team behind Microsoft’s new search engine Bing. Bing has put the number of web pages at “over 1 trillion”, while Google had earlier indexed more than one trillion discreet web addresses.

The current global population stands at more than 6.7 billion, which means that there are about 150 web addresses per person in the world. And this could mean that if a person spent just one minute reading every website in existence, then he or she would be kept busy for 31,000 years, without any sleep.

“An average person would need six hundred thousand decades of nonstop reading to read through the information,” News.com.au quoted Bing as saying. Mark Higginson, director of analytics for Nielsen Online, said that the global online population had jumped 16 per cent since last year.

“Approximately 1.46 billion people worldwide now use the internet which represents a solid 16 per cent increase from the previous year’s estimate (1.26 billion in 2007),” he said.

The largest Internet population belongs to China, with 338 million users online, which is more than there were people in the US. However InternetWorldStats.com (IWS), a website that combines multiple data sources, has claimed that China’s online population is more like 298 million.

“With the rates of India and China still quite low, there is ample room for growth in the coming decade,” said Higginson. But, measuring the online population could be tricky-there are servers, users, per capita numbers, and penetration percentages to evaluate. And thus it is difficult to find a single figure to represent the world online population.

IWS combined data from the UN’s International Telecommunications Union, Nielsen Online, GfK and US Census Bureau, and its latest global figures puts the number of internet users in the world at 1,596,270,108. And this is just 23.8 per cent of the estimated 6,0706,993,152 people in the world. But it changes every day.

“In terms of the future, we anticipate mobile to contribute significantly to internet usage,” said Higginson.

According to IWS, the top 5 countries with the most internet users are:

1 – China (298,000,000 users, or 22.4 percent of their population)

2 – US   (227,190,989, or 74.7 percent)

3 – Japan (94,000,000, or 73.8 percent)

4 – India (81,000,000, or 7.1 percent)

5 – Brazil (67,510,400, or 34.4% percent)

 

Source: Yahoo

The Perfect Present?

gift-certificateBirthdays, Festivals, Marriage Anniversaries…what do these remind one of? Yes, you thought right, Gifts! We all have found ourselves not once, not twice but several times looking for gifts to present our loved ones with on various occasions. Always, we try to present something different, something unique yet something useful, in other words the ‘Perfect Present’. We want the gifts presented by us to be the best, to be first class and also low on the pocket. Well, now we have an easy option – A prepaid gift card

 Fashioned after a gift voucher and a debit card, a prepaid gift card is worth a fixed sum of money and can be swiped at any store. The value or the amount loaded on is entirely up to you. 

A gift card can be used multiple times at various stores until the amount loaded is exhausted. It is unique in terms of the flexibility it gives to the user in relation to what they can shop for and most importantly where they can shop for. Another advantage it offers is that one can check the amount left in it at any ATM centre.

However, a gift card may be used for purchases only and cash cannot be withdrawn.

Also, the card cannot be topped up again – meaning once the amount loaded is exhausted, one cannot load more money onto the same card.

 These cards come with an expiry date, which range from 5 months to a year, depending on the bank which issues it. If there is any amount left after the expiry date, the banks usually return the amount after deducting bank charges. However, banks impose a specific time period after the date of expiry within which the card must be returned in order to collect the balance. And in case, if the amount is exhausted before the expiry date, the card must be simply returned to the bank.

Till now, we have only seen how the card can be used if we are the receivers. Now, the question of purchasing the card arises. Not all banks offer this system of prepaid gift cards. Infact, there are only a handful which do so, namely, HDFC, IDBI, SBI, ICICI, IndusInd Bank and a few others.

However, one can buy the card from the bank at a fee ranging from Rs.100 to Rs. 200, even if one does not hold an account in the bank. (Some banks charge 1% of the amount loaded if the value of the gift card is more than Rs.10, 000.)

I hope this piece of news makes things easier for you, my dear reader as, instead of searching for gifts for hours together, one can now gift these pre-paid gift cards and also give the receiver a choice to select gifts for themselves and buying it from stores they prefer.

Tackle global warming?

The accidental discovery of a bowl-shaped molecule that pulls carbon dioxide out of the air paves the way for exciting new possibilities to deal with global warming.

These possibilities include genetically engineering microbes to manufacture those carbon dioxide “catchers” said JA Tossell, a Maryland University scientist who led the study. He noted that another scientist discovered the molecule while doing research unrelated to global climate change. These findings are slated for publication next month.

Source: Times of India

Hands-free devices while driving?

Recently, we came to hear that the government is mulling ban on use of hands-free and Bluetooth technology while driving. Well, just like a coin this topic too has two sides to it. One that we should encourage use of hands-free devices and not ban them while ‘A ban is the correct move’ will be the counter view. In this post, I will justify both the views.

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‘Encourage use of hands-free devices’

While a ban on using a cell phone while driving without hands-free or Bluetooth is vouched for, it’s just going too far to ban people from using Bluetooth and other hands-free devices to conduct conversations while behind the wheel. Talking directly into handset does split the driver’s attention and accidents are more probable as the person behind the wheel is physically incapacitated and this will slow down reaction time. But making or taking calls via hands-free devices makes it easier for the driver to concentrate on his driving too as he doesn’t have to hold the phone.

Moreover, if the government decides to ban the use of hands-free devices while driving, it is like banning talking to somebody sitting beside you in the car or listening to the radio. When technology is at our door step, making it possible for a modern convenience to be used without compromising, why should we pass laws to curb use of technology while driving? The government should spend more time tracking down people who don’t use hands-free devices than banning people who use them.

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The counter view: ‘A ban is the right move’

The government is in the right path by ensuring that no loopholes are left in its laws and including ban on hands-free devices. The assumption that being physically incapacitated distracts the driver is at fault. It is the mental distraction that causes most of the accidents. The people supporting the notion may argue that having a conversation with a fellow passenger should also be banned. But there is a huge difference in having a conversation via a hands free device and talking to a co-passenger.

The difference is that a fellow passenger will keep an eye on the road and will stop or have a pause when needed, while a person on the other hand of the device, has no such clue as to what is happening on the road and the conversation will remain unchanged, demanding the driver’s attention and lessening his focus on the road at the moment, he need it most. Thus, the ministry of road transport and highways is right in banning hands-free devices along with handsets.

Having given you both the sides of this topic, I leave it to you to decide which view you would prefer. After all, perceptions differ.

New fuel of the New era

510_03131337bransleskolan1In this era, when we all are dependent upon exhaustible fossil fuels for transport, Lars Stenmark of Uppsala University (Sweden) has come up with a green alternative – Hydrogen balls. He believes that by storing hydrogen gas in small balls, we can overcome the risk of fires and explosions as storing the gas in a spherical form, will help it to withstand twice the pressure that a cylindrical form can. If the car crashes and the tank breaks, the hydrogen-filled balls would just spread out and roll away and the gas from any broken balls would simply seep out and disappear into the atmosphere, thus causing no harm to the environment.

So do you all agree with him? Can small ping-pong balls replace our fossil fuels and help us save the environment from further harm? Think about it.

Technology used to cut down use of technology.

abrn244lAfter reading the title of my blog post, you may wonder how technology can be used to cut down use of technology. Well, this has occurred. Researchers at the University of Utah have found or rather invented a car key that prevents mobile use while driving. Isn’t technology being used to prevent mobile usage to reduce the number of road accidents?

This cost-effective solution to improve driving safety has been aptly named: ‘Key2SafeDriving’. The system includes a device that encloses a car key (which could be used by more members of a family). The device connects wirelessly with each key user’s mobile via either Bluetooth or RFID (radio-frequency identification) technologies. And when the engine is turned on with the automobile ignition key, a message is sent to the driver’s mobile, placing it in ‘driving mode’ and displaying a ‘stop’ sign on the phone’s display screen.

While in driving mode, users cannot use their mobiles to talk or send text messages, except for calling emergency nos. Researchers have also taken care of incoming calls which will be automatically answered with a message saying ‘I am driving now. I will call you later when I arrive at the destination safely’.

Where are we heading to?

images2While going through today’s newspaper, I came across an article, which read: ‘Al-Qaida threat may dissipate soon: Report’ (it was actually a continuation of today’s headlines ‘India to rise, match US Clout’. – Asian Nations will lead by 2025: American Intel Report.

A part of the article read:

Among other bad news in the report (by NIC) was the projection that the use of nuclear weapons would become more likely. “The world of the near future will be subject to an increased likelihood of conflict over scarce resources, including food and water, and will be haunted by the persistence of rogue states and terrorists groups with greater access to nuclear weapons,” it said. “The likelihood that nuclear weapons will be used will increase with expanded access to technology and a widening range of options for limited strikes,” it added.

Among the more scary prospects that the report offered was one of a global pandemic, which it said could happen with the emergence of a new, highly transmissible and virulent respiratory infection that does not as yet have any countermeasures. If such a disease does emerge, the report cautioned, the worst case scenario could see as much as a third of the world’s population becoming infected and hundred of millions dying.

After reading this, ‘I asked myself, ‘Where does the future of the younger generation lie’?

Are we heading towards eternal light or is it just the momentary flashing of light before darkness?