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India's high-tech cities, web whispers, Babbage's Difference engine and more...

Photos of the month - April 2008
By Natasha Lomas, Contributor on
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1 of 12 Natasha Lomas/ZDNET

Photos of the month - April 2008

This month silicon.com senior reporter Nick Heath visited India to check out the high-tech goings on in Hyderabad and Chennai.

Pictured here is Tata Consultancy Services' campus - the outsourcing company's largest global development centre.

Click here for more photos of Hyderabad and Chennai. And keep reading for more snaps from the Indian business scene.

Photo credit: Nick Heath

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2 of 12 Natasha Lomas/ZDNET

To celebrate Earth Day, Nasa has released its 10 favourite photos taken by astronauts on the International Space Station.

In this 2003 photo from Expedition 7, you can see layers of the Earth's atmosphere. The orange troposphere is the lowest and most dense section. The tropopause is the section between the troposphere and the blue atmosphere.

Click here for all 10 images.

Photo credit: Nasa

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3 of 12 Natasha Lomas/ZDNET

Australian ISP Telstra is installing a 9,000km undersea internet cable running between Australia and Hawaii.

Pictured are the different layers of the cable, including the fibreoptic itself, a protective steel sheath, copper sheet which carries 12kV of charge to power the optical amplifiers, and finally white plastic insulation.

To see the full deep-sea photo story, click here.

Photo credit: Alex Serpo

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4 of 12 Natasha Lomas/ZDNET

HP is targeting the mini laptop market with this sub-£300 offering aimed at mobile workers and school children. It comes with a choice of operating system: Windows Vista Business or Novell SuSE Linux.

Click here for more pictures of the HP 2133 Mini-Note PC.

Photo credit: HP

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5 of 12 Natasha Lomas/ZDNET

Tech millionaire Nathan Myhrvold commissioned London's Science Museum to make him a version of Charles Babbage's famous Difference engine, a machine designed to mechanically calculate polynomial functions.

The reincarnated machine is currently being exhibited in the Computer History Museum in California. Click here for photos of it being installed in the museum.

Pictured above is the counting mechanism of the Difference engine - in perfect symmetry prior to its first-ever usage.

Photo credit: Daniel Terdiman/CNET News.com

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6 of 12 Natasha Lomas/ZDNET

Scientists in the US have developed a robot (pictured above) - named El-E - that uses lasers to help it pick up items from both floors and shelves, and could be a lifeline for people with mobility difficulties.

El-E uses a custom-built omni-directional camera to see most of the room. After it detects a selection has been made with the laser pointer, the robot moves two cameras to look at the laser spot and triangulate its position in three-dimensional space. Once it has reached an object, sensors in its hands will guide it on opening and closing its gripper until it has a firm hold on the object.

See El-E in action here.

Photo credit: Georgia Institute of Technology

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7 of 12 Natasha Lomas/ZDNET

Satellites are keeping an eye on Welsh roads to keep them free of ice for motorists. The cutting-edge Masternaut Three X telematics system allows a control centre to track 20 gritter lorries that keep a 178km stretch of the M4 motorway in South Wales clear of snow and ice.

See more photos here.

Photo credit: South Wales Trunk Road Agency

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8 of 12 Natasha Lomas/ZDNET

Here, an exhibition of electronic art at the Science Museum in London attempts to digitally interpret the sights and sounds of 100,000 people chatting online. Glowing green excerpts dance across a curved bank of 231 screens and are randomly read by computer-synthesised voices. See the full photo story here.

Picture credit: Nick Heath

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9 of 12 Natasha Lomas/ZDNET

Innovision, one of the companies involved in O2's six-month Oyster mobile wallet trial in London, has been showing off potential applications for NFC phones using its Topaz tag technology.

Here a tag enables an NFC phone to automatically load a webpage without the user needing to type in a lengthy URL.

Click here for more photos - including the 'Seeing eye phone'.

Photo credit: Natasha Lomas

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10 of 12 Natasha Lomas/ZDNET

Nokia has added to its internet tablet series with its first WiMax-enabled device: the N810 WiMax Edition.

Click here to see more.

Photo credit: Nokia

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11 of 12 Natasha Lomas/ZDNET

UK troops on the ground are to get an eye in the sky that will help save lives by reducing 'friendly fire' and the number of air attacks. From 2012 the Land Environment Air Picture Provision programme (Leapp) will pull together information from a range of land- and sea-based sensors to paint an up-to-the-minute picture of local aircraft, missile and even artillery movements.

Here a soldier operates one of the specialist vehicles that control the system. Vehicles are fitted with five radar units and four control nodes and backed up by air picture trailers.

Here's the full photo story.

Photo credit: MoD

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12 of 12 Natasha Lomas/ZDNET

silicon.com recently took a trip to visit Wipro, one of India's biggest IT companies, at the Electronics City high-tech business park in Bangalore, India.

The sprawling campus is home to around 15,500 of the company's 88,000 employees, who work in shifts around the clock supporting its offshore customers.

One of the training programmes for Wipro recruits is around language for those working with clients and customers overseas. There are various levels taught and level 4 (seen at the bottom right for Japanese) involves a six-month residential course so the employee can "soak themselves in the culture", a Wipro spokeswoman said.

Click here to see the full photo story.

Photo credit: Andy McCue

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