Posts tagged "developers"

New software bugs drain smartphone batteries while not in use

Washington, Thu, 14 Jun 2012 ANI

Washington, June 14 (ANI): Researchers, including two of Indian origin, have proposed a method to automatically detect a new class of software glitches in smartphones called “no-sleep energy bugs”, which can entirely drain batteries while the phones are not in use.

“These energy bugs are a silent battery killer,” Y. Charlie Hu, a Purdue University professor of electrical and computer engineering, said.

“A fully charged phone battery can be drained in as little as five hours,” Hu said.

He said that since conserving battery power is critical for smartphones, the industry has adopted “an aggressive sleep policy”.

“What this means is that smartphones are always in a sleep mode, by default. when there are no active user interactions such as screen touches, every component, including the central processor, stays off unless an app instructs the operating system to keep it on,” Hu said.

Various background operations need to be performed while the phone is idle.

“For example, a mailer may need to automatically update email by checking with the remote server,” Hu said.

To prevent the phone from going to sleep during such operations, smartphone manufacturers make application programming interfaces, or APIs, available to app developers.

The developers insert the APIs into apps to instruct the phone to stay awake long enough to perform necessary operations.

“App developers have to explicitly juggle different power control APIs that are exported from the operating systems of the smartphones,” Hu said.

“Unfortunately, programmers are only human. They make mistakes when using these APIs, which leads to software bugs that mishandle power control, preventing the phone from engaging the sleep mode. as a result, the phone stays awake and drains the battery,” he said.

Foe the study, the researchers studied 187 Android applications that were found to contain Android’s explicit power control APIs, called “wakelocks”.

Of the 187 apps, 42 were found to contain errors – or bugs – in their wakelock code. Findings showed the new tool accurately detected all 12 previously known instances of no-sleep energy bugs and found 30 new bugs in the apps.

The glitch has been found in interactive apps, such as phone applications and services for telephony on Android that must work even though the user isn’t touching the phone. The app may fail to engage the sleep mode after the interactive session is completed.

Smartphone users, meanwhile, don’t know that their phones have the bugs.

“You don’t see any difference.

“You put it in your pocket and you think everything is fine. you take it out, and your battery is dead,” he said.

To detect bugs in the applications, the researchers modified a tool called a compiler, which translates code written in computer languages into the binary code that computers understand. The tool they developed adds new functionality to the compiler so that it can determine where no-sleep bugs might exist.

“The tool analyzes the binary code and automatically and accurately detects the presence of the no-sleep bugs,” Samuel Midkiff, a Purdue professor of electrical and computer engineering, said.

The Purdue researchers have coined the term “power-encumbered programming” to describe the smartphone energy bugs. Researchers concentrated on the Android smartphone, but the same types of bugs appear to affect other brands, Hu said.

The findings of the study will be presented during the 10th International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications and Services, or MobiSys 2012, June 25-29 in the United Kingdom. (ANI)

New software bugs drain smartphone batteries while not in use


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    Posted by admin - July 3, 2012 at 8:00 pm

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    Do We Really Need a New PlayStation Video Game Console?

    Last week was pretty significant for PlayStation 4 rumours as Kotaku posted up a bunch of stuff they apparently learned from some guy. but it got me thinking; is it really time for a new PlayStation?

    PlayStation 3 was arguably way ahead of it’s time when it first launched back in 2006. Blu-Ray was a new format and has proved to be a superior choice for home theatre lovers (compared to DVD or digital download). Likewise, PlayStation 3′s “Cell” processor has proven to be as expandable as Sony promised all those years ago.

    But for all it’s technological leaps ahead of the competition, the feeling that developers are slow to adopt and exploit that power is ever prevalent. Games such as Uncharted 3 and Gran Turismo 5 show off what PlayStation 3 should be, but for the vast majority of games, the console seems to have become an expensive Xbox 360.

    PlayStation 3 has been on the market for 6 years, though. Despite it’s slow start, the console is going well and has become a legitimate console platform for both consumers and developers alike. It’s currently lacking most in big blockbuster exclusive titles that can only take advantage of the console’s features, so perhaps Sony should focus on that before dipping into a new generation.

    Of course, it’s silly to discount a new console without it being announced. the problem is, though, that the new console will have to be radically different; and sadly innovation isn’t Sony’s strong suit. Their main focus in other generations has been brute power, but there’s an issue with upping the PlayStation 3′s power today.

    It’s no secret that PC hardware has come a long way since 2006. Nvidia’s GTX 680 is proof alone. but consoles aren’t PC’s – they belong in the living room, hooked up to a TV and a kick arse sound system. there are certain limitations and other factors need to be considered.

    Lots of people today own high definition TV’s – but the PlayStation 3 already does HD gaming. Is upping the graphical capabilities enough to get people to buy a PlayStation 4? Probably not – it would be a hard sell. there are emerging technologies like Quad Full High Definition which is 4x the resolution as 1080p, but those TV’s wont see market penetration until the end of 2013 and even then they will be probably too expensive and much too large in size (the smallest is looking to be 55 inches) to be a huge runaway success at first. 3D gaming should take off as more and more TV’s get the capability, but again, PlayStation 3 already has that functionality.

    Sony need to really make a splash with PlayStation 4 to remain relevant. Nintendo’s Wii U’s extra screen will probably prove to be popular, much like the Nintendo DS which used a similar tactic. Simply beefing up graphics might look great on paper, but it doesn’t add anything in terms of entertainment. and Kotaku’s rumour mongering has done nothing to suggest that Sony is preparing a super innovative console.

    Do we really need a new PlayStation right now? Does Sony need to beef up the graphics, or should they be focusing on getting the most out of the current console? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.

    Do We Really Need a New PlayStation Video Game Console?


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      Posted by admin - April 4, 2012 at 8:00 pm

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      Survey Research and Smartphones: An Introduction

      Survey research is constantly evolving. Developers and researchers are always looking for new ways to generate responses from a representative sample, and have them glide through the survey with ease in order to gather the best data.

      One method that is becoming more and more common – and needs to evolve to keep up with the times – is that of survey research through smartphones.

      Everyday People and Smartphone Use

      These days, millions of men and women spend most of their Internet time on smartphones, rather than the traditional computer. They use their cell phones to check the Internet, check their emails, and simply waste time when they’re bored at work or at home.

      When you send someone a survey to complete, your hope is that they fill out the survey when they have a few moments. not long ago, those “few moments” were spent sitting in front of a computer, surfing around the Internet. Now those few moments are spent on their smartphones, playing games, checking email, or continuing to surf the Internet.

      Reaching the Smartphone User

      This represents an opportunity for any business hoping to improve their response rate and reach customers that have long since abandoned checking their emails and completing research studies. Consider the iPhone, where a user can download an app and complete any survey as a panel user whenever a notification pops up. If these surveys pay, and the customer has some free time, the survey will be completed immediately and the customer will receive the valuable incentive.

      How Close is Smartphone Survey Technology?

      There are a couple of issues with moving surveys onto smartphones. First there is the issue of panels – it may be more beneficial for panel companies, rather than survey software companies, to create survey apps in order to successfully manage a panel in a way that may not be possible through the software itself. Another issue is that of necessity – since most smartphones can access the web, it may not be necessary to target smartphone owners directly. They can take the survey online using their Internet programs rather than depend on any type of “for-smartphone” software.

      Regardless of the future of this industry, it’s clear that smartphones are changing the way people take surveys, and potentially for the better. The greater accessibility and way that people use their smartphones allows more and more individuals to complete online surveys and ultimately provide you with more data for your research.

      Survey Research and Smartphones: An Introduction


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        Posted by admin - April 1, 2012 at 4:00 am

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        Xbox 720 may have been discussed in London

        We are continuing to see a variety of rumors and speculation emerging about the next game consoles from Microsoft and Sony. Whether its job listings or new patents awarded to the companies that may lead to new features for future devices, it seems work is well underway. Today we can tell you that the Xbox 720 may have been discussed in London.

        Earlier this month we told you that the next Xbox from Microsoft was rumored to have the codename Durango. this was compared to the Project Natal name that was first used for the hugely successful Kinect motion sensor, and Durango uses the same South American origin.

        Now according to an article on SlashGear Crytek developer Sean Tracy may have let sip a secret developers meeting in London via Twitter. the tweet was quickly pulled but Tracy mentioned he was “enjoying the Durango developer’s summit”. he continued by saying some revealing talks were taking place, it has been claimed by some sources that Crytek were currently working on a TimeSplitters 4 title as one of the first titles coming on the next gen hardware.

        There continues to be talk that the next Xbox will be first showcased at this year’s E3 event during the summer, even though this has been previously denied. Yesterday we told you the news that Bethesda had begun hiring for the next gen hardware, with the first title thought to be Fallout 4, and now even more job listings point to new consoles on route.

        Now according to an article over at Electric Pig the development team behind the Fable franchise is looking for new staff. the job listing is for a lead programmer to work on hardware that is not yet available, and for an unannounced title. It also states that the candidate will need to have experience working with DirectX 11, which isn’t used on either the Sony PlayStation 3 or Microsoft Xbox 360.

        This is technology that has been rumored previously to be coming on the next Xbox though, and with all these recent job listings must mean that next gen hardware technology is already known by developers.

        Do you think we will see any new hardware showcased by Sony or Microsoft this year?

        Xbox 720 may have been discussed in London


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          Posted by admin - March 24, 2012 at 6:00 pm

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          Nintendo kicks off next-gen battle, plans late 2012 Wii U launch

          Reuters reports that Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said the Wii U will arrive in the US, Europe, Australia and Japan by the end of 2012.

          This will take advantage of the end-of-year shopping season, which Nintendo hopes will drive sales of the new console.

          The Wii U will offer a touchscreen tablet-shaped controller and precision motion controls. The controller will display information that won’t appear on TV screens. The console itself will also offer HD graphics.

          It will be the first of the next-generation games consoles launched, as rumours suggest the next Xbox – which many have dubbed the ‘Xbox 720’ thanks to the lack of an official name – will see a release by the end of 2013.

          Reports have said it could be six times more powerful than the Xbox 360 and that developers will get development kits for the console in August of this year.

          Kotaku reports that the next Xbox could be able to play Blu-ray discs but may include an “anti-used game system” which may mean the console won’t be able to play used games. It could be used to aid publishers who lose money from used games sold by gaming retailers, though this rumour is unconfirmed from Microsoft.

          The next Xbox could also have a smaller controller and could ship with a new version of the Kinect hands-free motion sensor.

          As for the next PlayStation, Kazuo Hirai, who is responsible for Sony’s video game division, believes the PlayStation 3 has a “10-year cycle” and that Sony will not stray from this. this could mean that the next PlayStation may not emerge until 2016.

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          Nintendo kicks off next-gen battle, plans late 2012 Wii U launch


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            Posted by admin - February 2, 2012 at 11:00 am

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