Appraisal – Capability Maturity Model Integration

Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) is a process improvement approach whose goal is to help organizations improve their performance. CMMI can be used to guide process improvement across a project, a division, or an entire organization.

CMMI in software engineering and organizational development is a process improvement approach that provides organizations with the essential elements for effective process improvement. CMMI is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by Carnegie Mellon University.

According to the Software Engineering Institute (SEI, 2008), CMMI helps “integrate traditionally separate organizational functions, set process improvement goals and priorities, provide guidance for quality processes, and provide a point of reference for appraising current processes.

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5.3 billion mobile subscriptions

There will be 5.3 billion mobile subscriptions by the end of 2010, estimates The International Telecommunication Union (October 2010). That is equivalent to 77 percent of the world population. And is a huge increase from 4.6 billion mobile subscriptions at the end of 2009.
• 90 percent of the world now lives in a place with access to a mobile network. For people living in rural communities this is lower at 80 percent.
• At the end of 2010 there could be 3.8 billion mobile subscriptions in the developing world – that’s 73 percent of global subscriptions.
• For more on the latest ITU stats read this: interview with ITU statistics chief Susan Teltscher

Key Global Telecom Indicators for the World Telecommunication Service Sector in 2010
(all figures are estimates)
  Global Developed
Africa Arab
Asia & Pacific CIS Europe The Americas
Mobile cellular subscriptions
5,282 1,436 3,846 333 282 2,649 364 741 880
Per 100 people 76.2% 116.1% 67.6% 41.4% 79.4% 67.8% 131.5% 120.0% 94.1%
Fixed telephone lines
1,197 506 691 13 33 549 74 249 262
Per 100 people 17.3% 40.9% 12.1% 1.6% 9.4% 14.0% 26.6% 40.3% 28.1%
Mobile broadband subscriptions
940 631 309 29 34 278 72 286 226
Per 100 people 13.6% 51.1% 5.4% 3.6% 9.7% 7.1% 25.9% 46.3% 24.2%
Fixed broadband subscriptions
555 304 251 1 8 223 24 148 145
per 100 people 8.0% 24.6% 4.4% 0.2% 2.3% 5.7% 8.7% 23.9% 15.5%
Source: International Telecommunication Union (October 2010)   via: mobiThinking

World’s first ice touchscreen virtually burns

World’s first ice touchscreen virtually burns – tech

IT BRINGS a whole new meaning to freeze frame. A team at Nokia in Finland has created one of the unlikeliest computer displays yet – the world’s first ice touchscreen.

It is not a practical device, of course, but the screen is being seen as a step towards an era in which the surfaces around us gain computing capabilities (see “What is ubiqitous computing?”).

“This was a playful experiment, but one that we think showed interactive computing interfaces can now be built anywhere,” says Jyri Huopaniemi at Nokia’s research lab in Tampere, whose team built the touchscreen, dubbed Ubice, or ubiquitous ice.

Finland has a tradition of building snow and ice sculptures during its long winter. It was these that inspired the device, says Antti Virolainen, a member of the Nokia team. “We decided to see if we could make an ice sculpture that was interactive.”

The team commissioned a firm in nearby Oulu to retrieve a tonne of 25-centimetre-thick river ice, and used a chainsaw to cut it into 50-centimetre-square slabs. They used these to make a 2-metre by 1.5-metre ice wall and then blasted the surface with a heat gun – more typically used for stripping paint – to create a smooth surface.

The team made their wall an interactive one by using digital projection technology, rather than peppering the ice with sensors that would raise the cost of the installation, Virolainen told the Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces conference in Saarbrücken, Germany, last week. The icescreen uses rear-diffused illumination (RDI), a technique first used by Microsoft in its table-based interactive touchscreen, Surface, launched in 2008.

A near-infrared light source mounted behind the “screen” bathes it in invisible light, and an array of near-infrared cameras, also behind the wall, are focused on the front surface. A hand placed on the ice reflects the light towards the camera array and the signal each camera receives helps a nearby PC establish the hand’s position, size and motion. The PC is also connected to a projector, which uses the data to project imagery – such as flames – beneath the user’s hand.

“It was -15 °C out there so it was very interesting to show ice on fire,” says Virolainen. “It wouldn’t have been anywhere near as interesting with a plastic screen.”

Patrick Baudisch of the University of Potsdam in Germany, who has turned toy building blocksMovie Camera and floorsMovie Camera into interactive devices, says the touchscreen could be compared to Microsoft Surface, with flaws in the ice limiting the accuracy with which it can locate a user’s hand. “But that would miss the point. This is a wonderful piece of work and a quirky idea.”

Nokia suggests ice sculptors, or owners of ice buildings like the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, could make a feature of the technology.

“Playful experiments like this are important – people really liked it,” says Huopaniemi. “New forms of interaction, sensing and content delivery for future mobile devices could come out of it.”

Neuroengineering: UCLA / Caltech researchers help patients move mouse cursors with their brains

UCLA / Caltech researchers help patients move mouse cursors with their brains

It’s certainly not a revolutionary new concept — whiz kids have been tinkering with brain-controlled interfaces for years on end — but a collaboration between UCLA scientists and colleagues from the California Institute of Technology has taken the idea one leap closer to commercialization. Itzhak Fried, a professor of neurosurgery at UCLA, kept a close watch (via embedded electrodes) on how a dozen humans reacted to certain images, and eventually, Fried and co. were able to show that Earthlings can “regulate the activity of their neurons to intentionally alter the outcome of stimulation.” In other words, they were able to move a mouse cursor with just their mind, and brighten a test image with a 70 percent success rate. By honing the process of controlling what actions occur when focused on a given subject (or input peripheral), it opens up the possibility for paralyzed individuals to not only check their email, but also control prosthetic limbs. It’s hard to say when this stuff will be put to good use outside of a hospital, but the video after the break definitely makes us long for “sooner” rather than “later.”

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Mount Everest now ‘wired’ for Internet, ready for Starbucks

TeliaSonera subsidiary Ncell has just completed installation of a 3G base station at 5,200 meters (17,000 feet) that will reach the 8,848-meter peak of Mount Everest. Mind you, we’ve already seen a cellphone call made from the world’s highest peak using a temporary base station in a Motorola publicity stunt. This time, however, it’s permanent and faster allowing climbers to surf the internet or make 3G video calls. Why would Ncell want to build a base station in such a sparsely populated area? Because it is there.

Make a panoramic Google Earth of your own with Liquid Galaxy.

Google just released footage and source code for its Liquid Galaxy blueprint.

Maybe not every SME or household  has the wherewithal to purchase eight 55-inch HDTVs and a dedicated Linux server for each, Google’s got everything else you need. The company just open-sourced the code, scripts and even the physical blueprint for its massive Liquid Galaxy rig late last week, letting folks buzz Google Earth natively across loads of screens. If you’re ready to build your own, you’ll find all that good stuff at our source link; if you first need a refresher course on why it’s worth the money.

COWI – 3D city model of Monaco

COWI – 3D city model of Monaco.

Photo: Principality of Monaco
COWI was awarded as part of a consortium to generate the 3D city model of Monaco at a very high level-of-detail, including facade details for the whole project area of 8sqkm.
New high-resolution aerial images For COWI’s semi-automatic 3D modelling, new aerial images with a resolution of 4,5cm will be used. The high resolution allowes COWI to model details on the roofs and the facades.

Impressive level-of-detailThe project requirements are challenging and will result in a 3D model including various facade details like balconies, canopies and stairs. The 3D city model will be even enhanced with modelled crossings, bridges as well as cliffs.

GIS and visualizationThe 3D city model is suitable for 3D visualization, but is also produced to a high GIS standard and can be used in the clients GIS (ESRI).

International 3D projects by COWIThe acquisition of the project in Monaco is supporting COWI’s strategy focusing on international 3D projects and becoming the leading global player in the field of 3D city modelling.