Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Thinking Outside the PC

Ton Steenman is an Intel vice president and general manager of the company's Embedded and Communications Group. While only recently taking over as head of the business after Doug Davis went off to run the newly established Netbook and Tablet Group, Steenman has been instrumental in establishing Intel's position as an embedded supplier to the communications, automotive, retail and industrial control markets.
Ton Steenman, VP and GM of Intel’s Embedded and Communications Group

Intel has had a successful embedded business for many years, but with the advent of a new low-power Atom architecture over the past few years, the prospects are growing as more and more devices connect to the Internet and communicate, from digital signs and ATM machines to retail kiosks and cars, plus beyond.

In a recent interview with ZDNet UK, Steenman said he was tracking over 4,500 design engagements and over 1,500 design wins with Atom SoCs (system on chip), 60 percent of which are with customers who have never used Intel architecture before. We sat down to discuss some of this with Steenman on the eve of his Intel Developer Forum keynote speech in Beijing.

Q: You already have a successful business with over $1 billion in revenue. What is your vision and where do you go from here?
Steenman: We are connecting embedded devices, delivering great experiences and enabling productivity, and these are bringing benefits to society. There is a group of embedded applications that offer a very rich experience for consumers. This is really a transition that has happened over the past 3 years as the expectation of consumers has shifted to much more interactivity with embedded devices, and all of these embedded devices have become connected. There are applications like self check-out at retail stores, ticket kiosks at airports or digital signs that you find in the mall. These are all embedded applications and consumers are exposed to everyday. You might not even notice it, but computers are all around you nowadays. What we're trying to do is make those experiences very rich.

We're also delivering productivity benefits to industries. Platforms that we deliver in industrial control really help factories become more efficient. We bring higher- performance capabilities to machines that are building things, and these machines can become faster and more accurate. Speed and accuracy are the two dimensions that will improve productivity of a factory.

We also need to provide highly scalable networks. Keep in mind that there's going to be billions of connected devices soon, and you need a highly scalable network infrastructure to connect all of these things so that the network can be managed and continue to connect to devices and reliably deliver services. We are helping equipment manufacturers and service providers build scalable intelligence and performance into their networks.

Q: How do you differentiate yourself in the embedded business?
Embedded logo

Steenman: Nobody in the industry today is looking at this opportunity the way we do, which is from the perspective of "how do we really connect all of these devices together and deliver a rich experience?"

We're showing how technology can have a real positive impact on society in the form of great experiences for people and in the form of productivity for businesses and service providers. Productivity eventually drives increases in the standard of living for everybody. At a real technology level, we are looking at security, manageability and connectivity as the three tenants we have to put in place so that the platform can deliver rich experiences, productivity and scalable networks.

Q: Where are your biggest opportunities for growth?
Steenman: There's a big opportunity in China because they are building out a lot of infrastructure to improve the standard of living for so many people. A large amount of infrastructure has to be put into place to enable this, including smart grid technology so everyone has electricity and health care. So that even people in rural villages can have access to health care treatment, better communication networks and transportation, with smart roads and railway systems that leverage the Internet. Most of these projects have a tremendous amount of embedded technology in it. The high-speed railway system just put in a system of Atom-based smart cameras.

China is on a tear. They're doing things fast, and time to market for these technologies is a very important element for them. They like the Intel architecture platform because of its standardization and that there are so many developers out there who understand Intel architecture.

Q: In many cases you're reaching out to customers outside of Intel's core business. What are they asking for?
Steenman: The biggest demand is that we help them with technology and support so they can focus on their applications, and integrating and deploying their system -- like ticketing kiosks that need to be integrated into the overall capabilities of their high-speed rail build out. They're asking us to help them integrate our specific technology into their application.

Q: Why are customers choosing Atom, and what are they converting from if new to Intel?
Interactive embedded retail kiosk is an example of some of the new kinds of devices Intel is enabling with its Atom processor.
Steenman: There are some designs that we're winning from ARM, but there is also just a lot of new applications being developed. Atom is particularly important to our customers because it allows them to build applications in small form factors and have low-power consumption. Atom is giving them a good balance between power consumption and performance.

In China, Geely Auto and Shenzhen Hazen Auto Electronics are two companies building on Atom for the auto industry. In their older models they had ARM processors in there. They're now using Atom because they really want to build a connected vehicle. They need enough performance to add things to the vehicle over time, so they want a highly scalable platform.

Q: How do you leverage other parts of the company?
Steenman: We have good collaboration with Intel Labs, and we're doing a number of research programs with them. For the more immediate designs and opportunities, we collaborate with our Software and Services Group (SSG). Clearly software becomes more and more important, so SSG plays a very critical role with us enabling many of those software stacks and applications on our platform. We do a lot of work with Wind River Systems, the software company Intel purchased a few years ago that builds software stacks on top of Intel architecture for the automotive and communications industries. They are tremendously helpful as we build out our solutions.

Q: What about security, what are you doing there?
Steenman: We're engaging with McAfee now that the acquisition is complete. Just as security is important for computing in general, it is just as important for embedded devices. Almost every company I talk to says that as their applications become connected, and as their applications connect to the Internet, security we can provide at the device level will become a major attribute of differentiation. It's going to be something that more people really worry about, so the collaboration with McAfee is going to be very important for us to enable security in certain dimensions on these connected embedded devices.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Millions Join 'The Chase'

As the list of most intense chase scenes ever filmed goes, the action-packed pursuit in the short film, "The Chase" might not rival Steve McQueen barreling after bad guys through San Francisco in "Bullitt" or Gene Hackman tracking a train-bound thug through Brooklyn in "The French Connection." But just as these and other cinematic heart-stoppers have put theatergoers at the edge of the seats, Internet users by the millions are getting swept up by the live-action and animated short from Intel that incorporates iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, Microsoft Office, Google Maps, Flickr and other sites and programs.
Though it appears actress Tereza Oslacova is performing a stunt for a big-budgeted action flick, it’s actually for a commercial spot for Intel.

In "The Chase," which recently surpassed 2 million views on YouTube, a woman with an envelope of mysterious contents uses her skills in espionage to outwit, outrun and outlast hooligans across various digital media. Played by Czech actress Tereza Oslacova, the heroine – spoiler alert! -- ultimately ensnares the pursuers on a desktop where she is able to put the villains in the trash and eliminate them with a tidy click of the mouse.

The novel spot, shot by a European crew in and around Prague, Czech Republic, is intended to illustrate the multi-tasking power of Intel's latest processors. The film's popularity has taken even Intel by surprise.

"I've never seen such a pick up on anything we've done to-date," said Johan Jervoe, Intel's vice president of creative and digital marketing services based in Santa Clara, Calif. "This is innovative marketing that works, one, because of the sheer production quality, and two, because the original creative concept is cool."

"Car chase … Prague … girls … fast cars … bad guys … old women in lifts … how could it not be cool?" said Adam Foulkes, one-half of the London-based directing team "Smith & Foulkes," the other gent being Alan Smith.

Sporting many standard action movie elements was by design, according to the film's writer, Josh Parschauer, of San Francisco-based ad agency Venables Bell & Partners.

"We wanted a cliché movie action feel," he said. "Using Prague wasn't originally in the script, but 'The Bourne Identity' and 'Mission: Impossible' have shot there, and the cobblestone streets, the different buildings and people of Old Europe helped achieve that feel."

So popular is Prague as a film location, a traffic jam of sorts caused some inconvenience for the 3-day "Chase" shoot in the world capital. Some other locations were unavailable due to production of "Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol," the third sequel in the film franchise. Word got around that "M:I" was shooting in town, so locals often asked the Chase crew where Tom Cruise was. Among those letting them down gently was producer Kacey Hart of Venables Bell.

"Watching a commercial being made is still cool, and even though they wanted to see Tom Cruise, they were still fascinated over the process and how much equipment is needed," said Hart, who has produced several spots for Intel.

Other production challenges
For the model playing a sunbathing beauty whose serenity in her swimming pool is shaken up when the heroine plunges from the sky, it was pretending to be in 90-degree weather when the temperature was closer to 30 – and the heated pool wasn't, adding to the chill of Prague in autumn. For the directors, the most formidable challenge during the making of "Chase" was, to no surprise, the chase itself.

"Obviously, the chase sequence is the most dramatic, impactful and expensive part of any action film," Smith said. "We didn't quite have the budget to smash cars on the streets of Prague, so we had to use our live action almost as the glue between animated stunts."

The test, Foulkes added, was to then "stitch everything together so that the action seamlessly flowed. I think the lack of live action stunts frustrated our DP [director of photography] Oliver Wood, who is used to throwing Matt Damon off roofs."
Czech actress Tereza Oslacova on the set of “The Chase,” Intel’s action-packed film short and Internet hit.

Wood, who lensed all three "Bourne" movies and last year's "The Other Guys," starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, is another reason "Chase" has a motion picture look and feel, albeit lasting for under 2 minutes. Others with feature film experience among the cast and crew include Czech native Pavel Bezdek, who plays the shorter of the two main hooligans and whose stunt work includes "Van Helsing," "Hellboy" and "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian."

Feature work by "Chase's" directors includes the purposely saccharine-sweet "Littlest Elf" cartoon that opens Jim Carrey's 2004 dark comedy, "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. "Their 3-D animated short, "This Way Up," was nominated for an Oscar in 2009. Ads fill up most of Smith & Foulkes' calendar at present, and the team's 2004 work for Honda has filled a trophy case all to itself. The animated spot "Grrr," launched to promote a newly launched diesel engine in the United Kingdom, is one of the most awarded commercials ever.

Time will tell how well-decorated "Chase" is come industry awards season. In the 2 months since it debuted, however, the film has topped Visible Measures' Top 10 Viral Video Ad Chart and was named an "Ad Worth Spreading" at the annual TED conference held earlier this month. The film was one of 10 ideas selected among 1,000 submissions worldwide by the non-profit group originally known as Technology, Entertainment and Design.

"Chase's" success has led to some buzz about a sequel. Intel's Jervoe hasn't ruled one out, fully aware he's got a hit on his hands. The directors said they're game. "Maybe we can blow up some real cars next time," Foulkes said with his partner going one step further: "'The Chase Trilogy' has a certain ring to it."

While any talk of a "Chase" sequel is in the exploratory stage, at best, a sure thing is a global special edition. A re-mastered HTML5 re-release will give viewers a browser-based experience that opens up the different programs and applications in separate windows on the user's actual desktop.

"By showing the story through separate windows, we're more closely portraying the actual desktop performance capabilities of the 2nd generation Intel Core i5 processor," Jervoe said. "This enables viewers to feel like the action is actually taking place on their computer."

Another enhancement is multi-lingual translation of the original English text. Viewers will now be able to experience "Chase" in Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese and other languages. In addition, because the film integrates various online programs and sites into the story, online entities were created to make them real. For users who want a deeper look, viewers are encouraged to find the eight hidden properties found in the film to uncover a deeper experience called "The Hunt." The Facebook tab offers a leaderboard of users from around the world who have uncovered all of the hidden properties.

A re-launch of the film is scheduled for later this month with additional features being added through the early spring.

Free Shot: Intel Atom Part of Commodore 64 Comeback

When one thinks of comebacks, a struggling athlete back on his game or a has-been celebrity returning to the spotlight often comes to mind. But a computer? This comeback won’t likely make the cover of Sports Illustrated or People, but among technology circles, the just-announced return of the Commodore 64 is a pretty big deal. The computer once called the "breadbox" and "bullnose" due to its shape and color is back. Due out this summer is a new version of what was originally an 8-bit home computer that sold about 15 million units between 1982 and 1994. The 2011 edition could be considered retro with its beige color and keyboard-dominated body – even the $595 price for the base unit harkens back to 1982 – but inside it’s an entirely different animal. For one of the five models, we’re talking an 1.8ghz dual-core Intel Atom D525 processor, Nvidia Ion 2 graphics chipset, 2 GB of DDR3 memory, HDMI outputs to connect to a HDTV and your choice of a DVD or Blu-ray drive. If you wind up buying one, enhance your unboxing experience by dusting off your Sony Walkman if you’ve got one and play "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor. That song was No.1 when the C64 debuted.

Centrino and the Hotspot Revolution ... WIFI

Coffeehouses, fast food joints, airports, hotels and college campuses were some of the first public places to offer it, and today WiFi is available on trains, planes, in taxicabs -- almost everywhere, including inside millions of homes around the world.
As part of the effort to promote hotspots, then San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and former Intel CEO Andy Grove unveiled one of the first ‘unwired’ airports at San Francisco International Airport in March 2003.

It wasn't always this way.

Few technologies in recent decades have caught on and become as ubiquitous as quickly as WiFi, but few may remember that things really didn't take off until 2003 when it became a standard feature of laptops with Intel's Centrino mobile technology.

WiFi, short for "wireless fidelity," was derived from its technical specification IEEE 802.11b, a protocol that started evolving in the early 1990s. Centrino was the name Intel gave to its mobile platform that included a new low power processor code-named 'Banias' and a bundle of chips that included Wi-Fi.

"Intel's Centrino effort represented one of the great technology inflection points in the market," said Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group. "It drove us from a largely wired computer world to one that freed us from those cables and allowed our PCs to roam along with us.

"WiFi was struggling in the market because it was relatively hard to set up, unreliable and little understood. It took Intel and a massive push behind Centrino to address these shortcomings and make it into the standard it has become today," Enderle said.

In 2003, WiFi was not widely available or understood by most consumers, and Intel knew it had some work to do to promote the concept as part of a massive launch in March of that year. The company had an entire team charged with working with partners and "validating" hotspots around the world. Armed with $300 million and scores of dealmakers, Intel unleashed a worldwide marketing program to accelerate the mobile computing concept and promote the new Centrino brand. Wired Magazine even published a special "Unwired" edition for the occasion.

Almost overnight, McDonald's, Starbucks, bookstores, hotels and airports began offering WiFi service at their locations, and dozens of wireless routers for the home were being tested, certified and branded so that people could see they were "verified" for optimal experience on Centrino-powered laptops.

On the day Centrino was released, thousands of verified hotspots were live, and Intel set a goal to have more than 10,000 verified hotspots by the end of the year.

In 2003 industry analyst firm IDC estimated that more than 118,000 hotspots would exist worldwide by 2005.

Prior to 2003, WiFi wireless Internet technology was relatively unknown to most people. In 2004, Pyramid Research reported that 75 million WiFi users existed globally, and that number was projected to climb to around 327 million in 2009.
T-Mobile was one of the first to partner with Intel to establish dozens of validated wireless hotspots around the U.S. Signs like this one alerted people to the presence of Wi-Fi.

Research numbers at the time varied, but most showed that the uptake of WiFi was momentous and not just a short-lived flash in the pan.

"Every great technology advancement had an event tied to it that caused it to spread widely," said Enderle. "For color it was Walt Disney's "Wonderful World of Color." For WiFi it was Intel's Centrino."

WiFi quickly changed the workplace, allowing people to roam around the office or work from coffee shops while staying connected to email and the Internet without wires. Yet WiFi went well beyond serving work needs. It turned laptops into a must-have personal device that people carried with them almost everywhere they went, even on vacation. Like a wallet, people began to think twice before leaving home without their laptop.

Sept. 25, 2003, 6 months after Centrino was released, was celebrated across the United States as "One Unwired Day." People with WiFi-equipped laptops got free wireless Internet access at more than 5,500 public WiFi hotspot locations nationwide. Hotspots continued popping up in common places around the world – places like libraries, museums and cities squares -- and in such unusual places as the volcanic Mount Etna in Sicily and even hard-to-reach Mount Everest.

U.S. cities competed for the honor of being named "Most Unwired City." Portland, Ore. won the first Unwired City crown in 2003, followed by San Francisco in 2004 and Seattle in 2005, according to research sponsored by Intel and carried out by Bert Sperling's Best Places.

Not everything rolled out as quickly and smoothly as everyone had hoped. The innovative Connexion by Boeing in-flight Internet service was something industry experts and the media got to experience at San Francisco International Airport months prior to the launch of Centrino. The service was available on several airlines, but in 2006, Boeing announced that it would discontinue its Connexion service, stating that, "the market for this service has not materialized as had been expected." A few years later, after industry struggles and consolidation, many airlines began offering in-flight Internet service again, and today JetBlue, Southwest, Virgin are among airlines offering WiFi services on many flights.

Today, the growth of public wireless hotspots continues, according to JiWire, an advertising company that focuses on location-based channels such as WiFi networks. JiWire's Insights report released in August 2010 showed that the number of wireless hotspots in the United States grew 17 percent, and that free hotspots outnumbered fee-based service locations for the first time.

JiWire reported that over 55 percent of public hotspots in the country were free, mostly at hotels, cafes and airports, but pointed out that there was an 11 percent increase in other locations offering free wireless Internet access, including universities and public transit systems.

WiFi is now common in almost every new laptop and is being built inside all kinds of consumer electronics, including portable gaming devices, game consoles, tablets and mobile phones. The WiFi Alliance, a trade association that promotes Wireless LAN (WLAN) technology and certifies products built to certain standards for trusted interoperability, reported that there were 761 million shipments of WiFi products in 2010.

"These days, an electronic product not capable of communicating or accessing content at any time or in any place is regarded by consumers as deficient," said Jagdish Rebello, senior director and principal analyst for consumer and communication electronics at IHS. "This wireless revolution is contributing to a global boom in demand for WiFi chipsets."

With all the hotspots around the world, from coffee shops to nature preserves, it's hard to imagine there are more places to unwire. But more hotspots are coming, and more billions more devices are gaining connectivity functionality. IDC predicts some 15 billion intelligent, connected devices by 2015. According to research firm iSuppli, shipments of Wireless LAN chipsets are on pace to exceed 1 billion units in shipments in 2012 and more than 2 billion units by 2014.

And if you thought your home, hotel, local restaurant or coffee shop was all you needed to unwire, you may be in for a surprise. The next hotspot might just be your own car or in your pocket thanks to various services being offered by cellular carriers today on the latest smartphones.

"WiFi in the car is a hot topic these days," said iSuppli analyst Stacey Oh. "Whereas WiFi was an aftermarket accessory in the past, original equipment manufacturers now are touting it as a key offering."

Raising the IQ on Smartphones ....Lama Nachman

We expect a lot out of smartphones today, but some technology and human behavior scientists believe that mobile computing devices can do even more if only they knew more about their owners.

Tinkering with cameras, microphones, software and other features inside today's smartphones, a team of researchers inside Intel Labs is exploring ways to improve the Intelligence Quotient of future smartphones so they're not just more efficient, but more intuitive about their owner. This was the topic of a recent Future Labs podcast interview.
Lama Nachman, a senior researcher at Intel Labs, is finding ways to raise the IQ of future smartphones using context aware computing technologies.

"We're making systems much more aware of the user and what they're trying to do," said Lama Nachman, a senior researcher at Intel Labs in the podcast. "And then essentially facilitate, act on their behalf, and make recommendations. So devices become much more personalized to us and our needs."

The driving concept behind this context-aware research is to develop artificial intelligence by enabling mobile devices to grow wiser as they build and tap into a database of specific information about owner behavior, movement and even mood.

Researchers such as Nachman say that people would have to train their phone by capturing and identifying sound patterns and images in the owner's world. If a phone owner was at home riding a stationary bike, researchers say, the phone could discern that the rider was indoors, and screen calls accordingly. Simultaneously, it could track how long the user was on the bike and feed that information to an exercise application on the owner's phone.

Nachman said being able to track one's own activities like commuting, watching TV or chatting with work colleagues might help people better optimize the way they use their time in the same way that financial software lets us manage our personal finances. Applications could even use data to help the owner by reminding him or her to "take the stairs" or "there's time between meetings, take a 5-minute walk."

These background-sensing technologies raise questions about privacy. Today, commercially developed applications require people to accept terms and conditions before they can be used. Since wiretapping is illegal in the United States, cell phones can't automatically turn themselves on and start recording conversations.

Andrew Campbell, a professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College, said users need to be kept in the loop in this area of "active computer learning," and developers must find ways to ensure that users keep control of their personal data.

"This issue of privacy is an Achilles heel when you're looking to advance science," said Campbell. "These sensors are an extraordinary opportunity and there has to be good solutions to preserve people's privacy. We must allow them [device owners] to own their data. It's a double-edged sword because we want to innovate at the same time."

Intel executive quits as smartphone biz falters

The Intel executive who led Intel's so-far-unsuccessful push into smartphones and tablets quit as that business comes under unrelenting competitive pressure from companies like Apple, Qualcomm, and Nvidia.

Anand Chandrasekher, who had been senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Ultra Mobility Group, announced today that he will be leaving Intel to "pursue other interests." Effective immediately, Mike Bell and Dave Whalen, both vice presidents of Intel Architecture Group (IAG), will co-manage the group, which is responsible for building Atom chips that go into smartphones and tablets.
This follows the departure last year of Eric Kim, who headed another team--Intel's Digital Home Group--that targeted the Atom processor for consumer products such as TVs.
"Intel remains committed to this business," said David Perlmutter, executive vice president and IAG general manager, in a statement, referring to smartphones. "We continue to make the investments needed to ensure that the best user experience on smartphones and handhelds runs on Intel architecture, and to ship a phone this year," he said.
Chandrasekher had become somewhat infamous for making regular appearances at Intel conferences over the last few years and invariably waving a prototype smartphone or handheld device for the cameras, then promising that an Intel-based smartphone was on the way. But none ever materialized.
"The industry has gone right past them," said Ashok Kumar, an analyst at Rodman & Renshaw. "They're just another player [in the smartphone and tablet markets]. There's no first among equals," Kumar said, referring to the ARM processor business, which is dominated by an oligarchy of other big chip companies, including Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Samsung, Apple, Marvell, and Nvidia.
Another analyst says that Intel's first chip designed specifically for tablets and smartphones, "Moorestown," was a failure. "Moorestown was a complete flop," said Linley Gwennap, principal analyst at The Linley Group, a chip consulting firm. "Intel is still struggling to get traction in tablets and particularly smartphones. Atom is in a few tablets that run Windows, but Windows tablets are not very popular, except in a few vertical applications," he said.
And what about Intel's next-generation Atom for smartphones? "It remains to be seen whether Medfield (the next Atom for smartphones) will do any better, since Intel has not disclosed any details on that product yet. In addition to finding customers, the new [Ultra Mobility Group] management has a big task in figuring out how to integrate Atom with the ex-Infineon baseband products," Gwennap said, referring to Infineon's wireless business, which Intel purchased this year.
"Legacy (Windows) compatibility doesn't matter in the post-PC era. All the blockbuster products that Apple has had are post-PC. Therein lies the conundrum for Microsoft and Intel," added Kumar.

Intel Smart Phone

Intel is getting ready to make a long-belated entry into the smartphone market with a new-and-improved chip. But the usual questions linger.

A much-ballyhooed Intel-based phone from LG never materialized. Will one this time around?
(Credit: LG)
The most obvious ones are: Will it appear in a phone that is groundbreaking enough to entice buyers? And will this finally usher the world's largest chipmaker into one of the world's largest chip markets?
The answers are hard to come by--Intel is saying little about the chip, due later this year, or about customers at this point--though the trends are clear. Market researcher IDC said in February that vendors shipped about 101 million smartphones during the fourth quarter of 2010, surpassing, for the first time, the 92 million PCs shipped during the same period.
But Intel's reticence is understandable: it doesn't want to announce the chip without real phones in tow. Its current version of a chip slated for smartphones ("Moorestown") never found any top-tier takers in the phone industry, despite promises in 2009 that devices were in the works.
An LG phone that was preannounced two years ago never appeared. And Nokia's new alliance with Microsoft means a previously-announced Intel-centric partnership is not a priority. Those are mistakes Intel doesn't want to repeat--which may also have been contributing factors to this week's departure of the executive who headed up Intel's smartphone chip business.
"They understand the boy-who-cried-wolf reputation [they've incurred], so they are really trying to coordinate chip announcements and [phone maker] announcements so they'll be taken seriously," said Mike Feibus, principal analyst at TechKnowledge Strategies, a marketing research firm.
The description Intel currently provides of the chip is only about 30 words. "Medfield is Intel's smartphone chip manufactured on the company's leading-edge 32 [nanometer manufacturing] technology. It will deliver high performance and competitive low power."
That vague description could imply a lot, however. Though Intel has not yet succeeded in making the kind of ultra-power-efficient chips required for smartphones, the company is arguably the world's premier chip manufacturer and building a low-power but very powerful processor is certainly a feat it's capable of. Competitors like Nvidia--whose chips currently power high-end smartphones from LG and Motorola--and Qualcomm do not make their own silicon and must compete to get silicon from the same manufacturing source.
Important aspects of the silicon are the same, too. For example, the core of Nvidia's chip--based on a design from U.K.-based ARM--is essentially identical to ARM designs now being offered by rivals like Texas Instruments or Qualcomm.
While this provides standardization for Android phone makers, it provides little wiggle room for chip differentiation. That's not the case for Intel's chip, which uses a proprietary in-house design built with in-house manufacturing facilities.
"Moving the smartphone lineup to their leading-edge process plays a big role in making Medfield competitive," said Feibus.
But others have doubts about how serious Intel is about chip designs in this area and how willing it is to tap into the meat of its most cutting-edge manufacturing tech, which is allocated mostly to its much more lucrative laptop PC silicon--a market it comfortably dominates with little competition.
"In order to be competitive, Medfield should be 22 nanometer," said Linley Gwennap, principal analyst at chip consulting firm The Linley Group, referring to Intel's most advanced manufacturing tech, which is due later this year.
"Intel's going to be doing 22 nanometer PC products at the end of this year [but] they're not using their leading edge technology on the [Medfield] stuff," said Gwennap, who believes that Intel should abandon the standard practice of using lagging-edge technology for consumer silicon.
Another question is whether Intel will immediately crank out a dual-core processor--a specification that has become de rigeur for high-end smartphones from Motorola and is expected for upcoming Apple iPhones. "They're focusing on cutting power in this release (Medfield). So it's going to be hard for them to do anything that increases power," added Gwennap, who thinks it will be single core initially.
And Intel is still a long way from becoming a well-rounded phone chip supplier like Qualcomm, which supplies the entire gamut of phone chips, from the most pedestrian feature phones to the slickest smartphones and tablets. Though the wireless tech Intel acquired this year from Infineon should help it compete against cell phone chip stalwarts, it provides little more than parity.
Finally, let's not forget that Intel doesn't make the end product. Companies like LG--which is rumored to have a Medfield product in the works--do. And they are the final arbiters of the phone's design and interface, the two features that consumers key in on.
Medfield-based phones are expected midyear. Which means by the end of this year we should know whether Intel is in the running to be a major manufacturer of mobile phone chips or will remain for the foreseeable future what it has always been: PC processor supplier to the world.

Top Ten Paying I.T Companies


 I asked folks at Glassdoor.com, a Sausalito, Calif.-based company that that tracks employee satisfaction, to run a custom query for me. I wanted to find out which 10 publicly traded companies had the best pay packages for their engineers. Whenever we have a slump here in Silicon Valley, there is an exodus from startups to more established players. Opportunities are almost always there for engineers. Sure, hiring is going to slow down — even at large companies — but engineers are almost always in demand.
It’s hardly a surprise that Google is leading the pack, but the composition of the top 10 is pretty interesting. It’s good to see the old stalwarts, especially chipmakers (who are facing some seriously tough times), are staying competitive. Too bad their stocks aren’t doing so well — but then, what do they say about buying low? :-) I am surprised, however, by the absence of Cisco Systems and Intel.
Rank Employer Avg Salary Avg Bonus Avg Total Pay
1 Google $106,666 $42,759 $149,425
2 Synopsys $118,908 $15,189 $134,096
3 Broadcom $115,093 $15,023 $130,116
4 Xilinx $114,996 $11,779 $126,775
5 Yahoo $114,280 $12,441 $126,721
6 KLA-Tencor $110,227 $15,611 $125,838
7 Sun Microsystems $118,358 $7,356 $125,714
8 Intuit $107,740 $16,349 $124,089
9 Vmware $100,817 $19,768 $120,585
10 NVIDIA $112,291 $8,095 $120,386

Top 10 highest I.T paid Jobs

If recent salary figures are any indication, tech workers are whistling a happy tune. The Yoh Index of Technology Wages indicates that wages are the highest they've been since Yoh began monitoring in 2001.
According to Yoh, which tracks the pay of thousands of staffers on short- and long-term projects, the average hourly wage for technology worker in Q1 2007 was $31.80. (This works out to a yearly income of about $63,000, given that annual income can be calculated by doubling your hourly rate and adding three zeros.)
This average rate, of course, is modest compared to the pay earned by those workers in greatest demand nationwide. Yoh reports that IT experts earned the following hourly rates in 2007’s first quarter:
• .NET Developer: $53.40
• Database Administrator: $59.80
• ETL Developer: $66.52
• Hardware Engineer: $75.68
• Java Developer: $57.27
• Project Manager: $60.73
• SAP Functional Consultant: $76.67
• Technical Consultant: $83.72
A Humming Job Engine
The robust pay levels listed above are the product of steady growth over the last few years. As expanding businesses have gobbled up IT workers, available tech pros have become comparatively scarce. Pay has levitated accordingly.
So despite all the gloomy predictions about the corrosive effect of offshoring, how it will depress domestic tech wages, actual American-based IT pay levels are moving steadily upward.

“For a couple of years we’ve had solid, steady growth in wages – a couple percent per quarter,” says Jim Lanzalotto, a VP at Yoh. Better yet from a worker’s perspective, wages have seen a steady surge from the end of the 2006 into the first quarter of 2007.
In fact, average tech wages have risen 3 to 5 percent in the first quarter of 2007 alone, Lanzalotto tells Datamation.
Hiring trends are a leading indicator for the economy, because labor costs are such a fixed cost issue that firms won’t hire unless they’re feeling optimistic. Hence, the healthy hiring trends point to a healthy economy in the near- to mid-term. Apart from some unforeseen geopolitical or cataclysmic events, “I don’t see anything getting in the way of solid growth for the next few quarters,” Lanzalotto says.
Tech Jobs: The Real Hot Ones
Some of the emerging technologies that are fueling tech job growth are Web 2.0, SaaS, and social networking. Additionally, technologies with broad industrial use, like RFID and eCTD (Electronic Common Technical Document), are creating openings.
Also driving the need for skilled workers is a desire by large companies to extract more value from their expensive infrastructure investments.
“The ongoing focus on enterprise technologies is continuing,” Lanzalotto says. The movement toward companies trying to squeeze as much as they can out of investments in SAP or Oracle or Peoplesoft is pronounced. “Companies are looking for as many ways to leverage that ERP investment that they made,” as possible. For skilled tech gurus who can extend the functionality or flexibility of enterprise-wide software apps, pay levels are superior.
They’re superior, too, for workers who are directly involved in bringing new products to market.
“What we’re really learning is that there is an ‘arms race’ around product development for companies,” he says. Firms launching new products know that these new items muse be slick and feature-rich to impress buyers in a crowded market.
Companies are hungry for expert help in this push, and are willing to open their pocketbook for it. For instance, a designer who can incorporate buzzworthy bells and whistles into the newest cell phone can command a significant paycheck.
“So those [companies] are always trying to come out with better products and faster products and cooler products and more unique products. And they’re all trying to beat the hell out of each other to get there,” Lanzalotto says. Workers who support this process are “absolutely” in demand.


The Nokia N8 introduces a 12 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics and Xenon flash, HD-quality video recording, film editing software and Dolby surround sound. All in a beautiful, aluminium design.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Free Iphone Antivirus for iphone 3G and 3G s

Trend Smart Surfing, a free iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G
anti virus that provides safer web surfing experiences during surfing the web using iPhone. Trend Smart Surfing perhaps is the first secure browser to protect iPhone user from Web pages with malicious intent.

Meanwhile, Trend Micro Smart Surfing is powered by the Trend Micro Smart Protection Network using advanced “ in the cloud ” Web Reputation technology to protect you from Web pages with malicious intent. Any iPhone web surfing attempt to access a bad or malicious URL, Trend Smart Surfing will block access to the URL and a notification will appear in the iPhone web browser.

Trend Smart Surfing – Free iPhone Antivirus Application Features

  • Secured by the Trend Micro Smart Protection Network
  • Blocks access to Web pages with malicious content
  • Helps protect against phishing attacks
  • Provides color-coded search results to easily identify harmful Web pages
  • Easy-to-modify protection strength level and notifications
  • Supports browsing multiple Web pages at the same time
Once installed Trend Smart surfing on your iphone, Trend Micro surfing will scan through all URL access on your iphone web browser invisibly against constantly updated Web Reputation database. If any web url address is known to be a phishing site or contains malicious content such as spyware, malware or other potentially harmful content the Web page is blocked with a notification.
Since the Web is increasingly being used by Cyber criminals to steal personal and financial information. It’s good that use Trend Micro Surfing as iphone antivirus protection for greater security and peaceful browsing.

Top 8 Free antivirus for windows 7

Microsoft Security Essentials : Microsoft Security Essentials provides real-time protection for your home PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. Microsoft Security Essentials is a free download from Microsoft that is simple to install, easy to use, and always kept up to date so you can be assured your PC is protected by the latest technology. For more details and how to download MSE, you can check our article totally dedicated on MSE.

2) Avast Free Antivirus : avast! antivirus software is available for free and commercial use. It provides complete virus protection for your computer. Antivirus engine is complemented by anti-spyware, firewall and antispam modules to protect you against phishing schemes, identity theft and internet-distributed web viruses. Automatic updates for greater user convenience and safety.

3) AVG Free Antivirus : AVG has been around in the Antivirus market from ages and gained lot of loyal users to their kitty. They also provide upgraded version which is very costly but I believe that their free Antivirus program is great for users having personal computers. AVG user interface is pretty simple and it takes a minute to install on your computer.

4) Avira AntiVir Personal : One of the simple to use and light Antivirus software in the market. It works perfectly fine to detect virus, spyware, rootkit threats. The best part of Avira is that it is quiet outstanding in terms of finding malware. Few false positives about Avira is that it does not inlude E-mail scanner in free version, but if you open any infected E-mail, it comes again into action.

5) Panda Cloud Antivirus : The first free cloud antivirus against viruses, spyware, rootkits and adware. Panda Antivirus Beta3 supports Windows 7 (32 and 64bit). .  The antivirus carries out BackgroundScan by deactivating many unnecessary operations.

6) Comodo Firewall + Antivirus : Comodo Firewall and Antivirus is now Comodo Internet Security.Comodo Internet Security 4.0 includes a built-in sandbox which combines file system/registry virtualization and least-privileged user account principle in order to combat unknown malware.

7) ClamWin Free Antivirus : ClamWin is a Free Antivirus program for Microsoft Windows 7 / Vista / XP / Me / 2000 / 98 and Windows Server 2008 and 2003. It comes with an easy installer and open source code. Please note that ClamWin Free Antivirus does not include an on-access real-time scanner. You need tomanually scan a file in order to detect a virus or spyware.

8 ) Free eScan Antivirus Toolkit Utility : eScan Antivirus Toolkit 12.x is compatible with Windows 7 – 32 & 64-bit OS. eScan Antivirus Toolkit is a FREE utility that enables you to scan and clean Viruses, Spyware, Adware and any other Malware that may have infected your computer. The eScan Antivirus Toolkit requires no installation and can be run directly from anywhere, on your computer, USB Drive or from a CD ROM. It can also be run even if you already have other antivirus software installed on your computer.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Samsung Galaxy Tab Wi-Fi Only Up for Preorder on Amazon UK (To Ship March 31)

When Samsung launched the Samsung Galaxy Tab P1000 (3G) back in October 2010, the overpriced Froyo tab got some attention as the iPad was the only other known tablet in the market. Since then, Motorola Xoom and the iPad 2 have arrived with many more to follow. Now, Samsung hopes to revive sales with a Wi-Fi only version – Samsung Galaxy Tab P1010 – but it may be a little late to expect any ripples.
Amazon UK has the Samsung Galaxy Tab P1010 up for preorder for £299 ($477) with a release date of March 31. The price of the sans cellular radio version is £100 lesser than the unlocked SIM-free original. The release date of the Android 2.2 tab is rumored to be around April 4 in the US with a price tag of $399 but there’s no confirmation from Samsung yet. Nothing up on Amazon US pages either. However, the dates are close and an April 4 release is highly probable.

Samsung Galaxy mini : Review

Hands on with the Samsung Galaxy Mini
The world is always looking for ways to save money thanks to the blasted recession, and increasingly users are turning to cheaper handsets as a way to offset cost.
That's the theory behind the Samsung Galaxy Mini – a complete Android experience contained with a smaller footprint with some cost savings keeping the monthly fee down.
The little unit is certainly on the dinky side; you feel you could accidentally swallow it if you were inclined to put it in your mouth (or you got caught in a really dangerous bet).
Samsung galaxy mini review
The plastic-covered unit might look and feel a little budget, but that's mostly to do with the light feel of the Galaxy Mini – at only 105g it could hide in a pocket all day without being found.
The yellow plastic of the model we had on test was nicely metallic, although the overall feel of the chassis felt like it had more in common with the likes of the Samsung Genio range.
Samsung galaxy mini review
The front keys were sparse, with the main home button being the primary eye draw – this is well placed and easy to hit no matter what size of hands you're rocking.
The outer chassis shell feels a little fragile in our opinion, and the coverings for the micro-USB and microSD slots could be open to a bit of damage from time to time.
Samsung galaxy mini review
Samsung galaxy mini review
The 3.14-inch screen also suffers from the weight deficiency too, with taps and swipes, while being accurate and useful, sometimes feeling a little hollow.
However it should be firmly noted that all the above is in keeping with the budget model tag, and is perfectly acceptable for a phone that might cost as little as £15 per month.
Samsung galaxy mini review

Top 5 best selling Android Phones in 2010

And finally we built the list of world best selling Android phones of 2010. Android is the world most stylish phone so far. There are many reasons why Android phone is first choice. Some of them are Usability, Flexibility, One Button vs Many, Customizations, App Integration, Notifications, Multitasking, Cloud, Search, Flash Player etc. Android Operating system footing the cell phone companies like Samsung, Motorola and Nokia to plane new Android phones for next generation. We are making easy for customer to choose top best selling Android phone which are currently available in the market. Lets compere top 5 best selling Android phones of 2010.
You may Free Download Android, iPhone and Blackberry apps.
List of top 5 best Android phones of 2010
HTC Hero:

HTC hero is one of the best selling Android phone of 2010 with such a stunning features. HTC sense interface is one of the best Android interface. HTC hero boost 3.2 inch capacitive touchscreen with Teflon coated body. This great touchscreen support multi-touch gestures. You can use two fingers to zoom in and out on web page, photographs just like Palm pre and iPhone 3GS.
Motorola Droid:

Motorola Droid is struggling very hard to boost up their Droid market. Recently Motorola get the tittle of world thinnest phone with slide out QWERTY keyboard. This thinnest phone loaded a high screen resolution of 3.7 inch touch screen. Motorola Droid is most popular Android company in U.S.
Google Nexus One:
Nexus One is the fastest Android phone of the world running on Android OS 2.1 with boasting 800×480 pixel screen resolution. Some of the great features of Nexus One which edge over other Androids are 1 GHz processor, 3-D graphics accelerator and HD video support.
Samsung Moment:
The full keyboard and bright display gave this phone the specs that you cannot easily ignore. The phone lacks the extra features of the Motorola CLIQ and HTC Hero on Sprint, but with some research and digging through the Android App Market, you can find almost all the missing features, often for free.
Motorola Backflip:
This unique Android model from Motorola hit the AT&T mobile this spring. Motorola Backflip attract the customers who are tired from Apple iPhone that never changing look. Some of the cool features of Motorola Backflip are 3.1 inch touchscreen with 480×320 pixels.

Texas Instruments 20 Megapixel camera phone technology

New OMAP-DM5x coprocessors from Texas Instruments bring 20 megapixel imaging and 720p high-definition camcorder capabilities to mobile phones. Further addressing consumer expectations for mobile phones that deliver performance equivalent to stand-alone consumer devices, Texas Instruments Incorporated announced two new members of its OMAP-DM5x family of coprocessors, which deliver the industry's highest megapixel capability, with up to 20 Megapixel still imaging capabilities, as well as 720p high-definition (HD) camcorder functionality. With this new technology, manufactures are able to produce 20 Megapixel camera phones.

20 Megapixel camera phone

20 Megapixel camera phone technology
The Texas Instruments OMAP-DM515 and OMAP-DM525 coprocessors accelerate imaging and video performance, giving handset manufacturers an easy way to upgrade existing camera phone designs to get to market quickly with cutting-edge multimedia capabilities.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

YouTube co-founders may team on new start-up

Chad Hurley greets audience members at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum last night.
(Credit: Greg Sandoval/CNET)
NEW YORK--YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen are considering ideas for a new start-up.
Six years after the pair and Jawed Karim founded the phenomenon video-sharing site, Hurley and Chen are "dabbling with new ideas" for a start-up, Hurley said last night during a discussion he participated in at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in Manhattan.
Asked by a member of the audience what the two might be planning, Hurley, 34, was naturally secretive but said they're looking at what might be done with the "basic components that every Web site needs to get off the ground." Another idea he said he has toyed with for some time has to do with indexing videos.
Silicon Valley venture capitalists are probably reaching for their checkbooks. YouTube is one of the Valley's best-known success stories. The service has become rooted in our culture. Once dismissed by critics as a place for funny pet videos, YouTube is now a video archive, teaching tool, digital soap box where politicians go to stump, a means to expose criminals and police wrongdoing, a popular jukebox, and a vital news source for people all over the world.
In October 2006, Google acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion. Hurley, who reportedly pocketed more than $340 million from the sale, was YouTube's CEO up until last fall, when he moved into an advisory role. Salar Kamangar, a former Google vice president of Web applications, is now YouTube's chief.
Hurley was at Cooper-Hewitt to discuss design, which he studied in college. He designed YouTube's original logo as well as the logo his first employer, PayPal, used for many years. He also designs wallets, shirts, and jackets for Hlaska, a fashion company he co-founded.
If he and Chen start another company together, he'll probably do that logo too and you can bet it will be simple, free of pretense, and accessible to anyone.
"That's what I like about Google and Craigslist," Hurley said. "Your product has to say that anyone can be part of it."

Monday, 4 April 2011

What is the difference between managed and unmanaged code?

  • Managed Code

    Managed code is code that is written to target the services of the managed runtime execution environment (like Common Language Runtime in .NET Framework). The managed code is always executed by a managed runtime execution environment rather than the operating system directly. Managed refers to a method of exchanging information between the program and the runtime environment. Because the execution of code is governed by the runtime environment, the environment can guarantee what the code is going to do and provide the necessary security checks before executing any piece of code. Because of the same reason the managed code also gets different services from the runtime environment like Garbage Collection, type checking, exception handling, bounds checking, etc. This way managed code does not have to worry about memory allocations, type safety, etc. Applications written in Java, C#, VB.NET, etc target a runtime environment which manages the execution and the code written using these types of languages is known as Managed Code. Managed code is always compiled into an Intermediate Language (MSIL in case of .NET Framework). The compiler used by .NET framework to compile managed code compiles it into Intermediate Language and generates the necessary metadata, symbolic information that describes all of the entry points and the constructs exposed in the Intermediate Language (e.g., methods, properties) and their characteristics. The Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) Standard describes how the information is to be encoded, and programming languages that target the runtime emit the correct encoding.

    In .NET Framework Managed Code runs within the .Net Framework’s CLR and benefits from the services provided by the CLR. When we compile the managed code, the code gets compiled to an intermediate language (MSIL) and an executable is created. When a user runs the executable the Just In Time Compiler of CLR compiles the intermediate language into native code specific to the underlying architecture. Since this translation happens by the managed execution environment (CLR), the managed execution environment can make guarantees about what the code is going to do, because it can actually reason about it. It can insert traps and sort of protection around, if it's running in a sandboxed environment, it can insert all the appropriate garbage collection hooks, exception handling, type safety, array bounce, index checking and so forth.

    Managed code also provides platform independence. As the managed code is first compiled to intermediate language, the CLR’s JIT Compiler takes care of compiling this intermediate language into the architecture specific instructions.

  • Unmanaged Code

    Code that is directly executed by the Operating System is known as un-managed code. Typically applications written in VB 6.0, C++, C, etc are all examples of unmanaged code. Unmanaged code typically targets the processor architecture and is always dependent on the computer architecture. Unmanaged code is always compiled to target a specific architecture and will only run on the intended platform. This means that if you want to run the same code on different architecture then you will have to recompile the code using that particular architecture. Unmanaged code is always compiled to the native code which is architecture specific. When we compile unmanaged code it gets compiled into a binary X86 image. And this image always depends on the platform on which the code was compiled and cannot be executed on the other platforms that are different that the one on which the code was compiled. Unmanaged code does not get any services from the managed execution environment.

    In unmanaged code the memory allocation, type safety, security, etc needs to be taken care of by the developer. This makes unmanaged code prone to memory leaks like buffer overruns and pointer overrides and so forth.

    Unmanaged executable files are basically a binary image, x86 code, loaded into memory. The program counter gets put there and that’s the last the Operating System knows. There are protections in place around memory management and port I/O and so forth, but the system doesn’t actually know what the application is doing.

Differences between ASP.NET and ASP

Process Isolation
ASP is run under the inetinfo.exe(IIS) process space and hence susceptible to application crashes as a result the IIS needs to be stopped or restarted. ASP is related to the process isolation setting in IIS. But, ASP.Net
The ASP.NET worker process is a distinct worker process, aspnet_wp.exe, separate from inetinfo.exe ( IIS process), and the process model in ASP.NET is unrelated to process isolation settings in IIS.
Note :- IIS is still the entry point to a ASP.NET application

Non-MS Platform Support

Classical ASP had no mechanism of running itself on non- Microsoft technology platforms like the 'The Apache Web Server'
ASP.NET could be run on non-Microsoft Platforms also. Cassini is a sample Web server produced by Microsoft which, among other projects, has been used to host ASP.NET with Apache.

Multi Language Support in WebPage

In ASP only two languages were available for scripting VBScript and Jscript/Javascript. But in ASP.NET We are no longer constrained to the two scripting languages available in traditional ASP: Any fully compliant .NET language can now be used with ASP.NET, including C# and VB.NET.

Note :- (C# and VB.Net are both server Side languages.)

Interpretation Vs Compilation

In ASP, ASP engine executes server-side code, which is always through an interpreter (JScript or VBScript). When a traditional ASP page is requested, the text of that page is parsed linearly. All content that is not server-side script is rendered as is back to the response. All server-side script in the page is first run through the appropriate interpreter (JScript or VBScript), the output of which is then rendered back to the response. This architecture affects the efficiency of page rendering in several ways. First, interpreting the server-side script on the fly.As a side effect, one common optimization for ASP applications is to
move a lot of server-side script into precompiled COM components to improve response times. A second efficiency concern is that intermingling server-side evaluation blocks with static HTML is less efficient than evaluating a single server-side script block, because the interpreter has to be invoked over and over again. Thus, to improve efficiency of rendering, many ASP developers resort to large blocks of server-side script, replacing static HTML elements with Response.Write() invocations instead. Finally, this ASP model actually allows different blocks of script within a page to be written in different script languages. While this may be appealing in some ways, it also degrades performance by requiring that a particular page load both scripting engines to
process a request, which takes more time and memory than using just one language. But in ASP.NET, In contrast, ASP.NET pages are always compiled into .NET classes housed within assemblies. This class includes all of the server-side code and the static HTML, so once a page is accessed for the first time (or any page within a particular directory is accessed), subsequent rendering of that page is serviced by executing compiled code. This eliminates all the inefficiencies of the scripting model of traditional ASP. There is no longer any performance difference between compiled components and server-side code embedded within a page they are now both compiled components. There is also no performance difference between interspersing server-side code blocks among static HTML elements, and writing large blocks of server-side code and using
Response.Write() for static HTML content. Also, because the .aspx file is parsed into a single code file and compiled, it is not possible to use multiple server-side languages within a single .aspx file.
Debugging benefits
In classic ASP it was very difficult for us to debug the application. ASP developers had time to debug application due to limited support due to the interpreted model.
But in ASP.NET In addition to improved performance over the interpreted model, pages that are compiled into classes can be debugged using the same debugging tools available to desktop applications or component developers. Errors with pages are generated as compiler errors, and there is a good chance that most errors will be found at compilation time instead of runtime, because VB.NET and C# are both strongly typed languages. Plus, all the tools available to the .NET developer are applicable to the .aspx developer.
Server-Side code placement Web Page 
class=docText>Especially if you are using ASP pages it is possible to include executable code outside the scope of a function within a script block marked as runat=server, and , it is possible to define a function within a pair of server-side script tags.
But in ASP.NET, In ASP.NET it is no longer possible to include executable code outside the scope of a function within a script block marked as runat=server, and conversely, it is no longer possible to define a function within a pair of server-side script tags.

    Note also that the generated class definition provides a default constructor for you, and if you try to define your own default constructor within your page, it will cause a compiler error. This can be somewhat frustrating if you are trying to properly initialize elements of your class (such as filling up our array of values or subscribing to events). Fortunately, an alternative technique gives you more complete control over the class definition while separating the layout from the page logic. This technique is called code-behind.

Deployment Strategies
In traditional ASP applications, components used by pages and deployed in this fashion were notoriously difficult to update or replace. Whenever the application was up and running, it held a reference to the component file so to replace that file, you had to shut down IIS (temporarily taking your Web server offline), replace the file, and restart IIS.
But in ASP.NET, The goals of ASP.NET was to eliminate the need to stop the running Web application whenever components of that application need to be updated or replaced that is, updating an application should be as simple as using xcopy to replace the components on the Web server with the new updated versions. To achieve this xcopy deployment capability, the designers of ASP.NET had to ensure two things: first, that the running application not hold a reference to the component file and second, that whenever the component file was replaced with a new version, that new version was picked up with any subsequent requests made to the application. Both of these goals are achieved by using the shadow copy mechanism provided by the Common Language Runtime (CLR).
Shadow copying of assemblies is something you can configure when you create a new application domain in .NET. The AppDomainSetup class (used to initialize an AppDomain) exposes a Boolean property called ShadowCopyFiles and a string property called CachePath, and the AppDomain class exposes a method called SetShadowCopyPath() to enable shadow copying for a particular application domain. The Boolean property turns the mechanism on for a particular application domain, the CachePath specifies the base directory where the shadowed copies should be placed, and the SetShadowCopyPath() method specifies which directories should have shadow copying enabled.
ASP.NET creates a distinct application domain for each application it hosts in its worker process and for each application domain, it enables shadow copying of all assemblies referenced in the /bin directory. Instead of loading assemblies directly from the /bin directory, the assembly loader physically copies the referenced assembly to a separate directory (also indicated in the configuration settings for that application domain) and loads it from there. This mechanism also keeps track of where the assembly came from, so if a new version of that assembly is ever placed in the original /bin directory, it will be recopied into the Noteshadow" directory and newly referenced from there.
In addition to shadow copying of assemblies, ASP.NET needs the ability to create and load assemblies on the fly. The first time an .aspx page is referenced, as we have seen, it is compiled into an assembly and loaded by ASP.NET. What we haven't seen is where those assemblies are located once they are compiled. Application domains also support the concept of a "dynamic directory" specified through the DynamicBase property of the AppDomainSetup class, which is a directory designed for dynamically generated assemblies that can then be referenced by the assembly loader. ASP.NET sets the dynamic directory of each application it houses to a subdirectory under the system Temporary ASP.NET Files directory with the name of the virtual directory of that application.
One consequence of both dynamic assembly generation and shadow copying is that many assemblies are copied during the lifetime of an ASP.NET application. The assemblies that are no longer being referenced should be cleaned up so that disk space usage doesn't become a limiting factor in application growth. In ASP.NET shadow copied assemblies are removed as soon as possible after a new version of that assembly is copied, and dynamically generated assemblies that are no longer used are cleaned up the next time the ASP.NET worker process is bounced and the particular application associated with the dynamic assemblies is run again. In general, this means that you shouldn't have to worry about unused assemblies generated by ASP.NET wasting space on your machine for very long.

New Page Directives
In ASP you must place all directives on the first line of a page within the same delimiting block. For example:

But in ASP.NET, you are now required to place the Language directive with a Page directive, as follows:
<%@Page Language="VB" CodePage="932"%> <%@QutputCache Duration="60" VaryByParam="none" %>

You can have as many lines of directives as you need. Directives may be located anywhere in your .apsx file but standard practice is to place them at the beginning of the file. Several new directives have been added in ASP.NET. I encourage you to look these up in the ASP.NET documentation to see how they may benefit your application.

Threading Issues
The threading model of COM object created using VB within a web-based application is STA. ASP worker thread resides in its own STA and hence the compatability is fine in this case with a little performance hit.
But in ASP.NET, The ASP.NET threading model is the Multiple Threaded Apartment (MTA). What this means is that components that you are using that were created for the Single Threaded Apartment (STA) will no longer perform or function reliably without taking some extra precautions in ASP.NET. This includes, but is not limited to, all COM components that have been created using Visual Basic 6.0 and earlier versions. You will be glad to hear that you can still use these STA components without having to change any code. What you need to do is include the compatibility attribute aspcompat=true in a <%@Page> tag on the ASP.NET page. For example, <%@Page aspcompat=true Language=VB%>. Using this attribute will force your page to execute in STA mode, thus ensuring your component will continue to function correctly. If you attempt to use an STA component without specifying this tag, the run time will throw an exception. Setting this attribute to true will also allow your page to call COM+ 1.0 components that require access to the unmanaged ASP built-in objects. These are accessible via the ObjectContext object. If you set this tag to true, your performance will degrade slightly. I suggest doing this only if you absolutely need to.

Validation & Browser scripting capabilities
  • ASP has no inbuilt facility for Validation of controls.i.e, checking whether a textbox is left blank or not or a combo is selected or not or if a phone number does not fit a particular pattern for a area and many such examples.
  • The user had to write the client side Javascript code for all these kind of validations.
  • Client and server side validation both were the headache of the of the developer.
  • Javascript code to fit a particular Browser was also the developer's burden. He had to write specific code so that it could fit a set of browsers. It took lot of the developers time.
But in ASP.NET, In built validation controls are provided which are as easy to implement and the developer has to worry the least.
The features provided by ASP.NET validation controls is :-
  • Browser Independent coding :- Developer does not have to worry about the browser how the controls would render to.
  • Client-Side or Server-Side :- The Validation Controls manage the code checking if the client side code is disabled the validation is done on the server side.

Rich Validation set :- There are 6 types of validation which cater to the needs of the validation requirements:
  • RequiredFieldValidation Control - Requires that the control not be left blank.
  • CompareValidator Control - Used to compare Data in Two Controls
  • RangeValidator Control - Used to check for Range validation.(also supports various data Type - Date , string etc..)
  • RegularExpressionValidator Control - Used to check the complicated patterns in the user input.
  • CustomValidator Control- The final control we have included in ASP.NET is one that adds great flexibility to our validation abilities. We have a custom validator where we get to write out own functions and pass the control value to this function.
This control also provides Client side and server side validation of which the Server side validation could be a different function altogether.
  • Validation Summary - The validation summary control will collect all the error messages of all the non-valid controls and put them in a tidy list. The list can be either shown on the web page (as shown in the example above) or with a popup box