Saturday, 28 February 2015

First time in world: 5G internet speed of 1Tbps achieved

First time in world: 5G internet speed of 1Tbps achieved
LONDON: Researchers of the University of Surrey have broken all existing wireless data transmission speed records – boy, by a HUGE margin! Professor Rahim Tafazolli, the director of 5G Innovation Center (aka 5GIC) at the University has informed that for the first time in the world speed of 1Tbps was achieved. The new speed is a lot faster than what Samsung’s 7.5Gbps, which it had demonstrated back in October 2014. Note that Samsung is one of the key partners at 5GIC and is working closely with Surrey researchers to advance 5G technologies.
At the V3 Enterprise Mobility Summit, Tafazolli informed that they have developed about 10 breakthrough technologies and one of these allow for wireless data transmissions speed exceeding 1Tbps. Note that these speeds match that of the ones delivered by fibre lines; but this is the first time that technology has allowed delivering those speeds wires-free. The research team used special transmitters and receivers built at University of Surrey separated by a distance of 100 meters. The team is currently working on making the technology market ready and make it public in 2018.
The fiber-lines however are way ahead of the air-waves in the speed game. The current wired data transmission record stands at whooping 43 Tbps, set by researchers at University of Denmark. The team had already achieved 1 Pbps (peta bits per second) but had to use multiple lasers and special fibres.
That said, 5G is still several years away from being consumer ready. One of the bigger challenges in adopting 5G would be enable the entire ecosystem around it. For example, imagine your cell-phone downloading a full-fledged 4K video in just few seconds; but would your microSD card handle it? There’s no clarity on what applications or hardware will be around in the next 10 or 20 years. As Tafazolli puts it, there are hundreds of hundreds of challenges to be overcome before 5G can reach out to masses. Till then, be assured that engineers are working hard to make it all a reality.

Seven Innovations From University of Alabama For Secure Digital Life

Researchers at University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) are working on developing smartphones that maximize the use of embedded sensors. The main objective of making use of sensors is to keep the user safe. The researchers are tapping into the sensors like accelerometer, proximity sensors, light sensors and other environment-aware chips that come in-built with the smartphones. These ideas can revolutionize the way we use our smartphones and other gadgets. These sensor-packed smartphones have several abilities like sensing user’s mood, protect user’s private data and ATM PINs, bypassing cyber-attacks to lead a secure digital life.


Ragib Hasan, Ph.D. an assistant professor at UAB has developed a software for sensing user’s mood. It extracts the information from smartphone camera, accelerometer and microphone to detect user’s attentiveness and respond appropriately. For an instance, if it detects that the user is driving, it would silence all alerts and notifications except the most important ones.

Innovation from Nitesh Saxena working at SPIES Lab trains the phone to learn user’s style of operating. He has developed a mechanism which takes data from accelerometers, gyroscopes and proximity sensors to chart the user gestures while using the smartphone. This helps to detect if the device is in wrong hands.

BlueProximity++ is an Android app developed collaboratively by researchers at University of Helsinki and Aalto University that combines the reading of several sensors including GPS, audio, temperature etc. that can be used to unlock laptops once user’s smartphone is within the range. This is done to overcome replay attack in similar existing system. Here's a video depicting the working of system.

​Witness Oriented Asserted Location Provenance (WORAL) uses Wi-Fi routers and strong encryption methods so that user can check in at a location and securely store information about it on his/her smartphone. The location can be validated by other WORAL user present at same location. Such location history is of great importance in some profession like salespeople and insurance adjustors etc.

Mobile payments system rely on Near Field Communication (NFC) technology which is vulnerable to ghost and reader attack. Yet another system developed by Saxena and team, uses a combination of sensors and information like list of nearby Wi-Fi signals and their strengths to authorize payments.

One of the ways criminals can steal ATM PIN is by using heat-sensing camera just after the user enters his/her PIN. Hasan’s SECRET Lab is devising a way to add a random number while user is operating ATM machine. User would need to scan a QR code which gives a unique code that has to be entered to finish the successful process at ATM this would probably the best countermeasure for all types of ATM attacks.

All smartphone sensors can be hacked by running malicious code on them. Researchers were successful in taking control of devices from as long as 55 feet away. Several attacks are possible that, in case can have severe implications and such attacks are difficult to detect and stop. Hence researchers are now working to devise techniques to prevent and block such attacks.

Facebook Awarded $1.3M In 2014 Under Bug Bounty Program

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has awarded $1.3 million to 321 hackers across the world who helped in identifying security flaws in the social network’s platform. Under the program, there were 17,011 reports submitted in 2014, which is a rise of 16% from 2013.
iPhone Hacker Facebook

Facebook’s bug bounty program getting popular

The social networking site started its bug bounty program in 2011, offering prize money to people who report certain security issues to the company. The minimum reward from Facebook for flagging a security bug is $500.
Collin Greene, Facebook’s security engineer, stated in a blog post that every year, “We are surprised by what we learn from the security community, and 2014 was no exception.”
Facebook shelled out an average of $2,470 per bug report in the United States, where 61 bugs were reported, while worldwide, the average prize size was $1,788. Indian researchers reported the highest number of valid flaws to Facebook, followed by researchers in Egypt, the United States, the United Kingdom and the Philippines.
Facebook came up with a new guide last year to assist hackers in creating better reports and enable them to earn more award money. According to the blog, many bugs were reported last year, including some related to uploading content on Facebook and Instagram servers, going through users’ private messages and posting on their timelines.

Information leak could prove fatal

According to cyber-security experts, social networks and mobile devices are at risk of leaking more information about people who voluntarily share their information online. Experts also note that getting their hands on usernames and passwords can hurt people more than they expect. Criminals can explore the social media accounts of users to gather personal information such as middle name, address, a mother’s maiden name and more, making it simpler to dig out answers to the questions used to verify a person’s identity.
“You have more potential from account credentials than you have with a credit card number,” Lillian Ablon, a researcher at Rand, told Mercury News. The researcher said that the amount of money given to identify the bugs is only a small share of what is offered on the black market. Companies such as Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) have increased their rewards for finding bugs.

Car review new Hyundai 4S Fluidic Verna: Leads in style, and price

Ritesh Gumbar loves the way it looks, Harneet Singh feels it has got significant road presence and Ankur Jain experiences that the rear seat can accommodate his large frame. A lot of people are checking out the new 4S Fluidic Verna at a Hyundai dealer in west Delhi. “The car has been attracting a lot of inquiries,” an executive at the dealership says. “But few bookings,” he adds with a caution. “Buyers perhaps are waiting for price cuts in the Budget.”
While it is too early to figure out why the new Verna hasn’t attracted substantial bookings, it is clear the competition for the car this time around is intense. The Verna was a market leader from 2011 to 2013 for three reasons—it was one of the most beautiful cars on the road, Honda didn’t have a diesel City and Maruti was working on the Ciaz. Times change too fast in the automobile industry—by the end of 2014, the Verna was reduced to a poor third. With the 4S Fluidic Verna, Hyundai wants to place the car back to where it belonged. And in case you are wondering, the “4S” stands for Stylish Exterior; Sophisticated Interiors; Speedy Performance; and Safer Drive. We’ll rate it on these four aspects, beginning with Style.
The outgoing model was loaded with style and the new car takes it a step ahead. There is a lot of play at the front—striking eagle-eyed headlamps, twin-slatted chrome grille, reworked bumper. These changes make the car look bigger, especially when viewed at from front three-quarters. However, daytime running lights have been discontinued. The style quotient at the sides is enhanced by outside rear-view mirrors with LED indicators and subtle wheel arches. The roof line reminds you of a coupe. Changes at the rear are minimal—redesigned tail-lamps and a reworked bumper.
Style quotient: 9/10
The sophistication levels in the cabin have been enhanced ever so slightly. There is a new music system with 1 GB internal memory and a remote control for rear passengers. Front passengers now get armrests and there is a cooled glove box. The NVH levels gone lower. The rear seat now appears more snug, with enhanced thigh support. Another addition is the ergo lever, which allows the rear passenger to adjust the front passenger seat. To our surprise, there are no rear AC vents, which even the class-lower Xcent gets.
Sophistication quotient: 8/10
Powering the new Verna are the same 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre engines (both petrol and diesel). The company, however, says the diesel engines have been mildly tweaked and there is a new, low friction coating on their pistons to improve refinement and efficiency.
The petrol is one of the easiest cars to drive on city roads, its power delivery is linear. The diesel is torquey and never appears out of breath. Good for highways.
Speed quotient: 7/10
The driving dynamics have been improved. The steering wheel is communicative and the suspension set-up has been tweaked—the car no longer feels bouncy and sudden direction changes don’t bother it much. All the variants get ABS, but strangely only the front wheels get disc brakes. The top-end variants gets six airbags, while the base variant gets none.
Safety quotient: 6/10
We add a fifth “S” and rate the car on “Substance”. The petrol is priced from R7.74 lakh to R10.15 lakh and the diesel from R8.95 lakh to R12.19 lakh. The base petrol costs R20,000 and R50,000 more than the City and the Ciaz, respectively. The more powerful variants cost about a lakh more. Yes the new Verna is loaded with features, but in an already competent league, and at such prices, it is difficult for the car to regain its position.

Micromax Canvas Selfie released with two 13MP cameras

If you remember, the Micromax Canvas Selfie had been launched by the company back in December last year but for some reason it still hasn’t reached the market. The company has now released this Rs 15999 selfie-focused handset finally, while highlighting the fact that it offers a 13MP front camera sitting beside a soft LED flash.
The rear surface of the Micromax Canvas Selfie is also well equipped, for a 13MP snapper has been placed there, aside from a dual LED flash. This device features a faux leather finish on its back panel, while its front is adorned by a 4.7-inch 720p HD display.
Micromax Canvas Selfie
Fueling its operations from within is a MediaTek-made 1.7GHz octa core processor that’s coupled with 2GB worth of RAM. There’s 16GB of storage present on the Canvas Selfie as well, aside from a microSD card slot which supports further expansions of up to 32GB.
Also read: Lenovo launches Sisley S90 smartphone for selfie enthusiasts at Rs 19990
The Android 4.4 KitKat OS has been chosen by Micromax to be the base software here. The company moreover, has even equipped the device with its own software tools that complement its dual 13MP cameras. Lastly, there’s a 2300mAh battery pack onboard this phone as well.
A quick glance at the key specs of the Micromax Canvas Selfie:
– Display: 4.7-inch LCD, 720p HD
– OS Android 4.4 KitKat
– Processor: 1.7GHz octa core
– Memory: 2GB RAM, 16GB storage (expandable up to 32GB)
– Cameras: 13MP rear, 13MP front
– Battery: 2300mAh
Micromax Canvas Selfie
There’s no word on the exact date on which the Micromax Canvas Selfie will be going on sale in India, but you can expect that to happen sometime next week. It will of course be priced at Rs 15999.

Google Unveils Android for Work Mobile Device Management Program

Google this week unveiled its Android for Work effort, which gives organizations some mobile device management (MDM) options.
Android for Work is an MDM platform that supports Android applications. It's also a partner program for Google's hardware and software vendor partners. IT departments will get the benefit of having a "consistent management" approach for Android devices via the program's "standardized management APIs." Developers will be able to "create a single version of any Google Play app that can be securely deployed to any Android device without alterations or wrapping," Google promised, in its announcement.
The platform has four technology components: a Work Profiles security capability, an Android for Work suite of apps, a Google Play for Work deployment and management solution, and built-in Microsoft Exchange and IBM Notes support.
The "Work Profiles" component is designed to help IT pros isolate the work apps and data on an Android device from personal items. Google is promising that "people can use their personal apps knowing their employer only manages work data and won't erase or view their personal content." Work Profiles uses encryption and security capabilities in Android 5.0 "Lollipop," according to the announcement.
The Android for Work app provides "secure mail, calendar, contacts, documents, browsing and access to approved work apps," which can be managed by an IT organization. It's for devices running Android versions ranging from "Ice Cream Sandwich" (4.0) to "KitKat" (4.4). Apparently, the Android for Work app is an alternative option, since Google states that its Android for Work platform requires using mobile devices with "Android 5.0 and higher."
Google Play for Work is a system for managing and deploying Android for Work apps. A Google support article explains that the icons of the business apps managed with this system will appear with "badges" that distinguish them from personal apps. IT pros can white list permitted business apps for deployment to end users. They can control application access based on policies. They can also remotely wipe applications and data from a device "without touching the device owner's personal data."
Google's announcement states that its business apps include built-in support for Exchange and Notes, providing "document editing capabilities for documents, spreadsheets and presentations."
Organizations can use the Google Play store to approve and purchase Android for Work apps. That capability can be set up via the Google Admin console, as Google describes here.
There are even "free" Google Play for Work apps. IT pros can assign them to individuals or groups. The free apps also have "enterprise mobility management" capabilities, according to this Google support article.
The mobile management capabilities that are part of the Android for Work program depend on Google's enterprise mobility management (EMM) partners leveraging Google's platform. Organizations will have to use the services of these partners, it seems. For instance, a Google support page states that "companies must choose a third-party EMM provider to provide the tools to administer their Android for Work deployment."
Apparently, Google is only announcing the program this week. Sign-ups for using Android for Work via Google Apps for Work accounts aren't yet available at this time. "This functionality will be available soon," the support page promised.
Google already has management, device, application and networking partners that have signed up to support the Android for Work program. Google's management partners include companies such as AirWatch, BlackBerry, Citrix, MobileIron and SAP, among others.
Notably missing from Google's partner list is any sign of Microsoft, which makes its Intune mobile device management service and System Center Configuration Manager products. The company has been plugging its own mobile device management story with Windows 8 and the forthcoming Windows 10 operating system for some time, and it's also included iOS and Android as part of its MDM vision.
Google's program seems quite similar to the MDM vision laid out by various Microsoft luminaries. In a recent talk, Brad Anderson, Microsoft's corporate vice president for Enterprise Mobility, explained that Microsoft has built containers specifically for iOS and Android. It's also positioning Windows 10 as an OS with an MDM layer that will permit organizations to manage business apps and data separately from personal apps and data on devices.

Roaming may get cheaper as TRAI calls for 80% rate cut

NEW DELHI: Call and messaging charges while roaming may head south after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Friday proposed sharp 35% and 80% cuts, respectively, to the maximum rates that operators can charge for these services.

Trai has proposed to cut down maximum charges that can be imposed on outgoing local calls during roaming to 65 paise a minute, from the ceiling rate of Rs 1 per minute; to cut STD call rates during roaming to Rs 1 per minute, from a maximum Rs 1.5 per minute; for incoming calls, a maximum of 45 paise per minute, instead of 75 paise permitted at present; and a maximum of 25 paise per SMS sent by customers when they are roaming, compared to the prevailing ceiling tariff of Rs 1.50 per SMS.

"In view of the lack of competition witnessed in the present national roaming services market, the Authority is of the opinion that the best way forward is to prescribe costbased ceiling tariffs for voice calls while on national roaming," Trai said in a draft amendment to its Tariff Order of 1999. "Through the Amendment Order, the Authority intends to reduce the ceiling tariffs for national roaming services."

Trai has sought comments from stakeholders by March 13. It would notify the Amendment Order after considering, and incorporating if necessary, the views of the stakeholders.

"We are still assessing the impact of this (roaming) tariff cut. Even though roaming constitutes less than 8% of the total mobile industry revenue, the government seems to be just chipping all sources of revenue to the operators," Rajan Mathews, director general of the GSM industry body, COAI said. The industry generates some Rs 8,000 crore from roaming charges.

The sector regulator's latest proposal on roaming charges comes after a spate of consumer-oriented orders - slashing the interconnect usage charges (IUC) by 30%, scrapping similar charges for wireline operators, and making mobile number portability (MNP) applicable pan-India --passed by it in the last few days. IUC is the amount that mobile operators pay to each other for calls made from one network to another.

Vodafone India has already challenged in the Supreme Court the Trai order cutting the interconnect charges, which may shave of a bit of the operating income of big telcos.

Apple iPhone 6, 6 Plus prices drop in India

NEW DELHI: iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which were launched in India in October 2014, have seen their prices drop on major e-commerce websites.
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Third-party sellers on Flipkart, Amazon and others are selling the 16, 32 and 64GB variants of both new iPhones at discounts ranging between Rs 2,000-5,000. Among the three, Flipkart is offering the best deals on iPhone 6. Below are the best prices of Apple’s top smartphones in India right now:
Model Launch price Best price
16 GB iPhone 6 Rs 53,500 Rs 48,595 (Flipkart)
64GB iPhone 6 Rs 62,500 Rs 57,448 (Flipkart)
128GB iPhone 6 Rs 71,500 Rs 70,045 (Flipkart)
16GB iPhone 6 Plus Rs 62,500 Rs 55,999 (Flipkart)
64GB iPhone 6 Plus Rs 71,500 Rs 65,999 (Amazon)
128GB iPhone 6 Plus Rs 80,500 Rs 73,999 (Amazon)
Amazon is offering cash back of Rs 8,400 on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to HDFC credit card users. Similarly, Flipkart is offering 10% cash back to Citibank credit card users.
iPhone 6, Apple’s first big-screen smartphone, sports a 4.7-inch HD (1334x750p) display and is powered by A8 processor and 1GB RAM. The smartphone runs on iOS 8 and has an 8MP iSight camera that features phase detection and can take 43MP panorama photos.
iPhone 6 Plus, the company’s first phablet, has a 5.5-inch (1920x1080p) display, and like iPhone 6 is powered by A8 processor and 1GB RAM and runs on iOS 8. It also features an 8MP camera with optical image stabilization and packs a 2,915mAh battery.
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are the thinnest smartphones Apple has made yet.

Net neutrality decision cheered by tech, decried by telecoms

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler joins hands with Commissioners Mignon Clyburn (left) and Jessica Rosenworcel before the start of their hearing and vote in Washington to preserve equal access to the Internet. Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press / ONLINE_CHECK
Silicon Valley tech firms lauded the Federal Communications Commission’s decision Thursday to preserve equal access online, while cable companies that stood to profit from a cloistered Internet warned that regulating the Web like a utility will lead to higher prices.
The commission’s 3-2 vote codifies the concept of net neutrality by barring Internet service providers such as Comcast, Verizon and AT&T from charging for access to an online fast lane, slowing loading times for certain sites, or blocking any site so long as its content is legal.
The rules “ensure that every American — no matter the size of their wallets or the color of their skin — has an equal chance to innovate and reach people online,” said Barbara van Schewick, a professor of law at Stanford University and director of the school’s Center for Internet and Society.
The once-obscure topic became a pressing economic and political issue last year when a Washington, D.C., appeals court struck down FCC rules barring service providers from discriminating against individual websites. Soon after, Netflix accused Internet service providers of slowing access to its streaming video service, leading the Los Gatos company to cut deals to guarantee its movies and TV shows would reach viewers quickly.

Truecaller iPhone App Update Adds New Widget to Help Identify Numbers

Truecaller earlier this week updated its iPhone app to version 5.0, and added a new Today Widget apart from redesigning the UI to optimise it for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and improving other features.
The new Today Widget, called Truecaller Widget Search, is meant to help quickly identify a missed call, and lets users copy a phone number from call history, and then drag down Apple's Today View to see the Truecaller widget and identify the caller. The updated app is available on the App Store.
The feature is available for iOS 8 users, and can also be used to search for people within and outside the user's phonebook. The firm says the app will first help search for the number or name inside the user's phonebook, and if it is not available, will search from within the Truecaller database that is claimed to have 1.6 billion names.
Users can now also information and photos from social media profiles to the Truecaller phonebook, a feature that Android users got back in December. Users will be able to choose the way they look in their friends' Truecaller phonebooks by updating their profile.
Apart from this, the new user interface allows for quick ways to send text messages or place calls to user profiles just discovered. Once a user profile is pulled, users will need to swipe left to place a call or text. The updated Truecaller app for iPhone also brings updated Spam filters for better protection against unwanted calls, and the app is claimed to be faster than before.
Alan Mamedi, co-founder and CEO of Truecaller, spoke of the changes in the new app in a statement, "We want to streamline and personalize the experience for our users as much as possible and a smarter design was essential to improving the experience. This is the next big step we're taking to increase the utility of our app, while helping the iOS community save time with tools they need to identify unknown numbers. We think the new Truecaller will improve the way millions of people use the service every day, and based on some of the great feedback we've had so far, we're confident that we're moving in the right direction toward our next 100 million users."

Friday, 27 February 2015

Android took just 11% of smartphone profit in Q4 - study

Devices running the Android OS captured just 11.3 percent of global smartphone profit share during the final quarter of 2014, down from 29.5 percent a year ago, compared to a record high of 88.7 percent captured by Apple iOS devices, up from 70.5 percent. The latest research from Strategy Analytics revealed that global smartphone operating profit increased by 31 percent year on year to reach USD 21 billion in the fourth quarter. The contrast in the results of the two dominant operating systems is explained by Apple's hugely profitable strategy of premium products and lean logistics, said the report, which goes on to predict that Android's weak profitability will be a concern to Google. In fact, it warns that major smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung or Huawei may be tempted to look at alternative platforms such as Microsoft, Tizen or Firefox if they cannot make decent profits from the Android ecosystem.

World's first 'non-intrusive' smartphone is here

Tired of smartphone's intrusion in your personal space? A new device may be your new hope to stay connected without much hassle.
Monohm Inc. has announced the creation of Runcible - a personal device modelled on the pocket watch.
Flaunting a high resolution, round screen, the device includes a high-performance phone and camera which is meant to "refocus users' attention on real people and the real world".
"People need something to let them control their digital lives in clean, quiet, simple ways," said Aubrey Anderson, CEO and co-founder, Monohm Inc in a statement.
"Runcible is the alternative to the increasingly invasive and commodified smartphone whose app-centric approach distracts us from our lives instead of helping us live them," Anderson added.
Runcible is built on top of Mozilla's Open Source Firefox OS, and KDDI Corporation is Monohm's first carrier partnership.
Runcible's operating system is based on Open Web standards.
Unlike other systems which rely upon complicated middleware and cannot integrate across platforms, applications and devices, Runcible users can simply access the power of the web to command and control the growing number of IoT devices and connected things around us.
What's heartening is that unlike smartphones which become obsolete within two or three years, Runcible's parts can be removed, repaired and upgraded, enabling the device to be kept for decades.
Runcible will never beep, alert or otherwise interrupt us, enabling us to keep our attention where it was always meant to be.
The device would be available by the end of this year.

Motorola Moto E 3G priced at Rs 6,999

Motorola Moto E 3G and 4G (Second generation) has been launched and the low-budget smartphones have been given a facelift
Motorola finally unveiled the Motorola device that it was teasing for a while. Late February 25, Motorola unveiled the Moto E Second Generation 3G handset and also launched a second variant, a 4G LTE version for the same handset. The Moto E has been given a facelift and will cater to the budget segment. The Moto E has been disclosed for a price of Rs 5,999 via a promotional video by Motorola. The handset will be available as early as next week (first week of March). The price and sale date 4G LTE version of the Moto E Second Generation has not yet been announced. We expect the price for the 4G LTE version to stay under Rs 9,000.

Motorola Moto E 3G and 4G (Second generation) has been launched and the low-budget smartphones have been given a facelift. The new Moto E now features a larger display at 4.5-inches with a Gorilla Glass 3 surface. An internal storage of 8GB will be provided and 1GB of RAM will be included in the chipset. Speaking on the chipset, the two Moto E variants will feature a slightly different chipset. The Moto E 4GLTE variant will sport a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor with a 1.2GHz quad-core processor and an Adreno 306 graphics processor. The Moto E 3G will be built around a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 chipset with a 1.2GHz quad-core processor and an Adreno 302 graphics processor. Additionally, the two handsets will also sport a 5MP primary camera along with a front-facing VGA camera. The front camera did not feature on the older Moto E handset.

Karbonn Titanium Dazzle budget smartphone launched for Rs 5,450

Karbonn Titanium Dazzle budget smartphone launched for Rs 5,450
Karbonn expands its Titanium lineup with a new budget smartphone dubbed Dazzle. The all-new Titanium Dazzle is priced at Rs 5,490.
Just like most budget smartphones, it follows the phablet trend with a 5-inch screen featuring FWVGA resolution. On the camera front, it comes equipped with a 5MP auto-focus rear snapper with LED flash and 2MP front camera for selfies.
Under the hood, the smartphone comes powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor coupled with 1GB of RAM. It also gets 8GB onboard storage that can be expanded up to 32GB via microSD card slot.
Just like the recently launched Lava Iris 465, the smartphone supports 21 languages. The Titanium Dazzle is gesture-enabled with features like ‘Swipe’ and ‘Smart Eye’. Swipe allows users to shuffle to the next song by simply swiping their hand across the screen. Smart Eye tracks eye movement and automatically pauses the video when the user looks away from the screen.
The connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Hotspot and Bluetooth 4.0. It runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat. An 1850 mAH  battery completes the package.
The dual-SIM smartphone is available in a dual tone body and dimpled back design – White Golden and Black.
Lava’s Iris 465 is slightly cheaper at Rs 4,499. It sports a 4.5-inch FWVGA display and runs Android KitKat. The specs sheet includes a 1.3GHz dual-core processor, 3.2MP rear snapper and VGA front-facing camera among other features.

Five things you need to know about the Apple Watch

Apple has sent out invitations to media for a March 9 event, believed to be celebrating the launch of the Apple Watch.
First unveiled alongside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in September last year, the Apple Watch marks the Californian company's first foray into wearables.
Chief executive Tim Cook confirmed the device would go on sale in April during an earnings call last month, when Apple reported the biggest ever quarterly profit ever made by a company.
Cook is expected to reveal further details about the Watch during the March event, including battery life, pricing and new or previously unexplained features.
While the UK pricing of each Watch version is yet to be announced, the entry-level Sport model will retail in the US from $349 (£230). The luxury Edition's price is expected to run into thousands of pounds, with Apple reportedly installing safes into stores to protect the timepieces. Demand for the Watch, Apple's first original product since the iPad in 2010 is expected to be high. The company is said to have ordered between five and six million units from its suppliers in Asia to meet initial demand, more or less in line with the iPad, which shifted around 7.5 million units within its first six months.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Now play games on Viber

Mobile communications firm Viber Thursday launched Viber Games worldwide in partnership with leading game developers. (Getty Images)
NEW DELHI: Mobile communications firm Viber Thursday launched Viber Games worldwide in partnership with leading game developers.

The games were built using a new private application-programming interface (API) that allows users to sign in with their Viber ID to connect with their friends and contacts and send gifts and boast about their achievements, the company in a statement said.

The new gaming range features Viber Candy Mania and Viber Pop from leading mobile game network Storm8 and Wild Luck Casino.

The users will also be able to send game invites via Viber, and can also see games that their friends currently play.

"Viber Games is the latest feature in our ongoing enhancement of the Viber platform," Michael Shmilov, COO, Viber said.

"Whether users are bragging about their achievements, sending gifts or simply checking out what their friends are playing, Viber Games is another engaging way for people to connect within the app," Shmilov added.

"As a pioneering leader in mobile social games, we are committed to partnering with companies that expand our reach and provide innovative player experiences," Terence Fung, Storm8 Chief Strategy Officer said.

Lizard Squad strikes again; hacks Lenovo website

China’s Lenovo Group Ltd website was hacked, the company said on Wednesday, days after the US government advised Lenovo customers to remove a pre-installed virus-like software, “Superfish“, on laptops that makes the devices more vulnerable to attacks. Hacking group Lizard Squad claimed to be behind the attacks, according to its Twitter page.
Lizard Squad has taken credit for several high-profile outages, including attacks that took down Sony Corp’s PlayStation Network and Microsoft Corp’s Xbox Live network last month. Members of the group have not been identified.
“The domain name service server hosting Lenovo’s website was hacked. We do not have any further information at this time to share. We’ll update as soon as possible,” Lenovo said in a statement to Reuters.
San Francisco-based security firm CloudFlare said hackers transferred the domain to CloudFlare in order to point it to a defacement site.
“As soon as we at CloudFlare noticed, we seized the account and worked with Lenovo to restore service while they worked to recover their domain,” Marc Rogers, Principal Security Researcher at CloudFlare, said in an email to Reuters.
Starting 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, visitors to the Lenovo website saw a slideshow of young people looking into webcams and the song “Breaking Free” playing in the background, according to The Verge, which first reported the breach.
“We’re breaking free! Soarin’, flyin’, there’s not a star in heaven that we can’t reach!,” Lizard Squad posted on its Twitter page, quoting the song from the movie “High School Musical”.
The hackers also posted a couple of screenshots of an email between Lenovo employees regarding the “Superfish” software.
The Department of Homeland Security said in an alert on Friday that the “Superfish” program makes users vulnerable to a type of cyberattack known as SSL spoofing, in which remote attackers can read encrypted web traffic, redirect traffic from official websites to spoofs, and perform other attacks.
Rogers also said CloudFlare was able to restore service before Lenovo recovered the domain, suggesting that the outage was probably “quite small”.
However, Lenovo’s website was inaccessible at 7:54 p.m. ET. A message said the site was unavailable due to system maintenance.

India Tops Facebook's Bug Bounty Program Again With Most Recipients

Facebook on Thursday revealed its 'Annual Bug Bounty' report of 2014, and once again showed India as its largest contributor in reporting valid bugs, followed by Egypt, the US, the UK and the Philippines.
According to the report, the top five earners in 2014 were rewarded $256,750 (roughly Rs. 1.5 crores). India topped the list with the maximum number of bounty recipients - 196 bugs were reported by India, with an average reward of $1,343 (roughly Rs. 83,100). While Egypt and US earned average rewards of $1,220 and $2,470 respectively, reporting 81 and 61 bugs, the UK earned an average reward of $2,768 over 28 reported bugs. Philippines reported a total of 27 bugs and earned $29,500.
It is worth noting that India in Facebook's 2013 Annual Bug Bounty report contributed the largest number of valid bugs at 136, with an average reward of $1,353 (roughly Rs. 80,000). India was then followed by the US, Brazil and the UK.
Also, the report added that as compared to 2013's 14,763 total bugs, 2014 saw 16 percent increase in bug submissions resulting in a total of 17,011 bugs. Out of the total bug submissions, 61 bugs were categorized under the 'high severity', which is 49 percent more than previous year. The social media giant paid $1.3 million to its 321 researchers worldwide.
Facebook said 61 of 2014's eligible bugs were categorized as high severity, 49 percent more than in 2013. It added the company has paid out more than $3 million since it started the Bug Bounty program in 2011, and in 2014 it paid $1.3 million to 321 researchers across the globe. The average reward in 2014 was $1,788, and 65 countries received rewards - representing a 12 percent increase. The Facebook Bug Bounty program now has 123 countries reporting bugs.
Facebook too mentioned some of its "favourite issues" that helped it "learn and get better". These included the hidden input parameters, Amazon S3 Bucket, and Legacy REST API Calls bugs.
"We're excited to see what 2015 holds for the bug bounty program. Report volume is at its highest levels, and researchers are finding better bugs than ever before. We've already received more than 100 valid reports since the start of the new year," said the report. Details can be found on Facebook's Bug Bounty Page.

Moto E (Gen 2) VS Moto E (Gen 1): Everything you wanted to know

The Moto E was more of a resurgence device for Motorola Mobility when it was launched last year. It was Motorola's attempt to re-enter the smartphone market with a simple philosophy: provide a decent handset at an affordable price. Little did we know the handset would create such a storm in the market.
The company has now launched the second generation of the handset. After the formidable success of the Moto G (Gen 2) and the Moto X (Gen 2 ), expectations were obviously high with this one. Let's just say, the company has lived up to them a great deal at that, at least on paper.
Here we have summed up everything you wanted to know about Motorola's Moto E (Gen 2)...

The Moto E (Gen 2) is not alarmingly different from last year's model, heck it's not different at all unless you look very closely. Motorola has been more or less consistent in terms of base design aesthetics across its board of handsets and the trend continues with the Moto E (Gen 2).
The second iteration of the Moto E carries the signature design of Motorola handsets with subtle differences when compared with last gen Moto E. To begin with, the front now has only a single chrome speaker grill, replacing the dual grills found in last year's model. The back panel, although still same in design is now non-removable. Instead the company now gives you simple colored bands to personalize your new Moto E.
The Moto E (Gen 2) comes with a slightly bigger display at 4.5-inches in comparison to last year's model that stood at 4.3-inches. The company has retained the qHD (960×540 pixels) resolution on the second iteration of the Moto E, so there's not a major change in terms of display with this one.

The Moto E (Gen 2) sees a sizeable upgrade in terms of processing power. The new Moto E is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor coupled with 1GB of RAM. This processor is 64-bit capable and a significant upgrade in terms of processing power.
The difference can be gauged from the fact that theoretically speaking the Moto E (Gen 2) packs in a faster processor compared to that in the Moto G (Gen 2), which is powered by Snapdragon 400.
The original Moto E was powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor alongside 1GB RAM.
The Moto E (Gen 2) now comes with 8GB of internal storage in comparison to the meagre 4GB found on last gen Moto E. But if you need more memory, you can add up to a 32GB microSD card.
The Moto E (Gen 2) runs Android 5.0 Lollipop out-of-the-box. Last year's Moto E although upgradable to Lollipop came with Android 4.4.2 KitKat.

The Moto E (Gen 2) sports a 5MP rear auto-focus camera. Last year's model carried a fixed-focus 5MP rear camera. Sadly, an LED flash is still missing.
The new Moto E can record 720p videos at 30fps. Last year's model could record only 480p videos.
The front now carries a VGA camera, which was missing on last year's model altogether.
The original Moto E with a 1980 mAh battery was pretty impressive in terms of battery life. The new Moto E bumps up this aspect and now decks in a 2390mAh battery.
But we don't know whether it will lead to better battery life or not because the new phone also packs in a significantly faster, and consequently more power hungry, processor.

There's no doubt that last year's Moto E set benchmarks for entry level smartphones. This year's offering certainly looks a better upgrade on paper, and looking at Motorola's track record, the Moto E (Gen 2) is expected to be one hell of a device in terms of performance at its price.
The company has launched the Moto E (Gen 2) in two variants: a 3G variant that will retail at $119.99 (roughly Rs.7,430) and a 4G LTE variant that will retail at $149 (roughly Rs.9,288).
The 3G variant of the Moto E (Gen 2) will be powered by a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 32-bit processor while the LTE variant will come with 1.2GHz quad-core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor. Rest of the specifications remain unchanged.

Photos of Samsung Galaxy S6 leaked ahead of official debut

Photos of the Samsung Galaxy S6 seem to have been leaked ahead of the official debut of the smartphone that is scheduled for March 1.
According to the Verge, the photos were posted on xda-developers forum and were exposed by Mobile Bulgaria.
The pictures show that the phone does not have a display that bleeds over the edge as Samsung showed in its ads.
Samsung may be releasing two different variations of its flagship device at Mobile World Congress on March 1.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

India at the bottom in global 3G usage: Facebook

NEW DELHI: Only 13% of subscribers in India are using 3G and 4G networks even as high speed mobile data services are being around for over two years, a study by Facebook-led said today.

According to the report, India stands at the bottom when it comes to mobile data usage. aims to brings together a global partnership of tech leaders, nonprofits and local communities to connect two thirds of the world that do not have internet access.

"Countries like India are indicative of entry-level data use. Based on Cisco's 2014 VNI Mobile Forecast, India is at the lower-end of global use, in that mobile users average 149 MB per month," the study said.

The report puts entry-level data usage at below 100 MB per month.

Assuming the top 20% of users generate 85% of traffic, the bottom 80% average less than 30 MB per month, it added.

"This data average is reflective of conditions where, 13% of Indian connections are on 3G/4G networks, 47% of network capacity is driven by streaming audio and video and 15.3% of connections are via smartphones," the study revealed.

According Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), the total broadband subscribers under the mobile device users (phones and dongles) segment stood at 69.99 million at the end of December 2014.

While, total mobile subscribers stood at 943.97 million during the same period, Trai data showed.

However, mobile data usage charges in India are among the lowest in the world.

In India market forces and competition have driven the cost of data to a price point at the bottom quartile of global prices, at $2.40 and $0.80 (in USD purchasing power parity), for prepaid data plans of 250MB and 100MB per month, respectively.

This is affordable by 59% and 94% of the Indian population, respectively," it added.

The report also revealed that lack of awareness and led to people not leverage the full advantages on internet.

"Research in countries including Ghana, South Africa, India, and the US confirmed that lack of awareness, perception of lack of value or utility or lack of ability are the primary reasons why people don't use the internet," it added.

Overall, the report said, the most recent estimates have predicted that, by end-2014, almost 3 billion people will have connected to internet at some point within the previous year.

"Connectivity is concentrated in developed countries and sparse in developing countries, where 78% of the population is online compared to 32, respectively," it added.

Developing countries are home to 94% of global offline population. The US and Germany have connectivity rates as high as 84%, while Ethiopia and Myanmar are connected at rates below 2%, it said

Microsoft to discontinue support for Google, Facebook chat in

WASHINGTON: Microsoft has announced that it will be killing off Google and Facebook chat from its email service in the coming weeks.

The company informed users about the change through an email. In the email, Microsoft attributes its decision to drop Google Chat support to search giant's decision to discontinue the chat protocol used by the Google Talk platform.

The email goes on to add, "We understand that this may disappoint some of our customers, but we hope that you'll try Skype for chat, and voice, video calling, so you can take advantage of the more robust ways to keep in touch with friends and family."

This means, going forward, the only chat service available on will be Skype.

The email from Microsoft also clarifies that "This update will not impact the connection to your Facebook and/or Google accounts, which means your People page will stay updated with the latest contact information from the services you have connected."

In all, the decision seems to be latest in the ongoing Microsoft-Google feud.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

No sex, please, we're Google

Google has banned adult content on its Blogger service, threatening to tear down blogs that host sexually explict images. In a sudden reversal of its previous stance that "censoring this [adult] content is contrary to a service that bases itself on freedom of expression", Google has given Blogger users just a month to censor their blogs or face having them removed from public view. 
"Starting March 23, 2015, you won't be able to publicly share images and video that are sexually explicit or show graphic nudity on Blogger," the company's new Adult content policy states, noting it will make an exception on "nudity if the content offers a substantial public benefit, for example in artistic, educational, documentary, or scientific contexts."
Google says blogs which contain adult content will be made "private" - for viewing by their owners only - unless all "sexually explicit or graphic nude images or video" are removed by March 23. Google previously required blogs hosting adult content to categorise their sites as such, which should make it easier for the company to identify potential infringements among the millions who use the service. 
The reasons for Google's sudden policy swing are unclear. Google is making no visible effort to sanitise its search results beyond the long-established Safe Search filters, although the timing does coincide with another Google initiative to make its services more palatable for children.
YouTube for Kids
The company yesterday launched YouTube Kids, a version of its video app tailored for younger viewers. Google says "parents can rest a little easier knowing that videos in the YouTube Kids app are narrowed down to content appropriate for kids".
It's not clear if all of the content for YouTube Kids - which is currently only available in the US on Android and iOS - has been handpicked or merely shows videos that are categorised as suitable for children. The facility to disable the search engine in YouTube Kids suggests it's the latter. 
Aside from refining the content, YouTube Kids also has a revamped interface and a timer, which allows parents to limit the amount of time their sproglets spend watching Minecraft videos, without having to physically wrestle the device from their hands.

Apple acquires Camel Audio, a music technology company: Report

Apple acquires Camel Audio, a music technology company: Report
Apple has acquired Camel Audio, a London-based music technology company, according to a report by MacRumors.
Camel Audio produces the Alchemy software suite, featuring plug-ins, virtual synthesisers, effects and so on to help with digital tracks. The acquisition doesn’t come across as a surprise as last month the company shut its doors to customers and its products were no longer available. However, it didn’t talk about acquisition.
The site reportedly wrote, “We would like to thank you for the support we’ve received over the years in our efforts to create instruments and effects plug-ins and sound libraries. Camel Audio’s plug-ins, Alchemy Mobile IAPs and sound libraries are no longer available for purchase. We will continue to provide downloads of your previous purchases and email support until July 7, 2015.”
MacRumors have now got their hands on a document that names an Apple lawyer as the new director of the company and the address is also changed to 100 New Bridge Street, which is Apple’s UK HQ.
“Apple’s decision to discontinue Camel Audio’s products – rather than simply bring them in-house, as it did with Beats – suggests they will be folded into existing Apple products,” points out BusinessInsider.
It isn’t yet clear how the company plans to utilise Camel Audio. However, it is speculated to be employed for the future version of Logic Pro X that is Apple’s software designed for professional musicians or GarageBand. However, there is no official word from Apple or Camel Audio, yet.

Mobile app developers slow to address security concerns: McAfee report

Mobile app developers slow to address security concerns: McAfee report 
With malware and other security threats continue to chase mobile users, a new McAfee report reveals mobile app providers have been slow to address the most basic SSL vulnerabilities –  improper digital certificate chain validation.
In September 2014, the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) at Carnegie Mellon University released a list of mobile apps possessing this weakness, including apps with millions of downloads to their credit.
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Intel Security's McAfee Labs Threats Report: February 2015, includes assessments of the mobile threat landscape and the failure of mobile app developers to patch critical secure sockets layer (SSL) vulnerabilities, potentially impacting millions of mobile phone users.  
McAfee Labs also revealed details on the increasingly popular Angler exploit kit, and warned of increasingly aggressive potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) that change system settings and gather personal information without the knowledge of users.
The new report comes shortly after F-Secure released a similar report highlighting growth of malware and banking related threats for Internet users in India.
In January, McAfee Labs tested the 25 most popular apps on CERT’s list of vulnerable mobile apps that send login credentials through insecure connections and found that 18 still have not been patched despite public disclosure, vendor notification, and, in some cases, multiple version updates addressing concerns other than security. McAfee Labs researchers simulated man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks that successfully intercepted information shared during supposedly secure SSL sessions. The vulnerable data included usernames and passwords and in some instances, login credentials from social networks and other third party services.
Although there is no evidence that these mobile apps have been exploited, the cumulative number of downloads for these apps ranges into the hundreds of millions. Given these numbers, McAfee Labs’ findings suggest that the choice by mobile app developers to not patch the SSL vulnerabilities has potentially put millions of users at risk of becoming targets of MITM attacks.
“Mobile devices have become essential tools for home to enterprises users as we increasing live our lives through these devices and the applications created to run on them ,” said Vincent Weafer, SVP of McAfee Labs, part of Intel Security. “Digital trust is an imperative for us to truly engage with and benefit from the functionality they can provide. Mobile app developers must take greater responsibility for ensuring that their applications follow the secure programing practices and vulnerability responses developed over the past decade, and by doing so provide the level of protection required for us to trust our digital lives with them.”
Another Q4 development followed closely by McAfee Labs was the rise of the Angler exploit kit – one of the cybercrime-as-a-service economy’s latest contributions to off-the-shelf tools delivering ever greater malicious functionality. Researchers saw cybercriminals migrate to Angler in the second half of 2014, when it surpassed Blacole in popularity among exploit kits.  Angler employs a variety of evasion techniques to remain undetected by virtual machines, sandboxes, and security software, and frequently changes patterns and payloads to hide its presence from some security products.
This crimeware package contains easy-to-use attack features and new capabilities such as file-less infection, virtual machine and security product evasion, and the ability to deliver a wide range of payloads including banking Trojans, rootkits, ransomware, CryptoLocker, and backdoor Trojans.
The report also identified a number of other developments in the final quarter of 2014:  
         Mobile Malware. McAfee Labs reported that mobile malware samples grew 14 percent during the fourth quarter of 2014, with Asia and Africa registering the highest infection rates. At least 8 percent of all McAfee-monitored mobile systems reported an infection in Q4 2014, with much of the activity being attributed to the AirPush ad network.

·         Potentially Unwanted Programs. In Q4, McAfee Labs detected PUPs on 91 million systems each day. McAfee Labs sees PUPs becoming more and more aggressive, posing as legitimate apps while performing unauthorized actions such as displaying unintended ads, modifying browser settings, or collecting user and system data.

·         Ransomware. Beginning in Q3, the number of new ransomware samples began to grow again after a four-quarter decline. In Q4, the number of new samples grew 155 percent.

·         Signed Malware. After a brief drop in new malicious signed binaries, the pace of growth resumed in Q4 with a 17 percent increase in total signed binaries.

·         Total Malware. McAfee Labs now detects 387 new samples of malware every minute, or more than six every second.

64GB Xiaomi Mi 4 to go on sale today at Rs 23,999

Update: Xiaomi’s 64GB Mi 4 units will be up for grabs today in the flash sale on Flipkart. The 16GB unit will be up for grabs at 2PM and the highly anticipated 64GB Mi 4 at 5PM.
Xiaomi’s flash sales usually have devices being swept off the shelves in seconds, but today’s sale went on for minutes. Today, 35,000 units of the 16GB Mi 4 went on sale.
Next week, the company is expected to finally bring the 64GB unit of the Mi 4 to India. On its official Facebook page, Mi India has now announced that it will begin taking registrations for both devices today starting at 6PM.
An earlier announcement was made on Xiaomi’s official Twitter handle too.
The tweet was quite simple and only mentioned the capacity and a Rs 23,999 price point. The original Xiaomi 16GB Mi 4 goes on sale tomorrow.
We reviewed the Mi 4 and were impressed with the phone, although had stated that the 16GB storage space of which 12GB was available to the users, would not really go down well with a lot of users. Also for just Rs 2,000 over the Mi 4 price point – the OnePlus One certainly offers better value.
The timing is particularly interesting because just today morning OnePlus One made an announcement stating that it in order to celebrate its 10 weeks in India, it will be selling the OnePlus One tomorrow in an open sale format ie. no invites will be required to buy the OnePlus One tomorrow. The OnePlus One sale will start at 10am IST tomorrow.
It is no surprise that the Xiaomi Mi 4 is facing a lot of heat from the OnePlus One, which at just Rs 2,000 more offers a 4G LTE handset and 64GB storage space. While Xiaomi has matched its upcoming Mi 4’s storage capacity with the OnePlus One, the phone will still be a 3G handset. Also the Xiaomi Mi 4 with 64GB storage will cost Rs 2,000 more than the OnePlus One.
This is a first for Xiaomi, to announce a new variant of its phone before the parent phone starts selling. Clearly Xiaomi seems to be on a sticky wicket, as unlike its budget offerings, the Mi 4 is priced quite close to the OnePlus. A quick look at any forums in India will give you a picture of how a lot of Indian consumers are not happy about the fact that Xiaomi would limit the storage space to 16GB on the Mi 4, while pricing is touching Rs 20,000.
The response to the 16GB Mi 4, at least on the forums, seems lukewarm. But one can only get a real picture after the Mi 4 flash sale tomorrow. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how this battle between the OnePlus One and Xiaomi Mi 4 pans out.

Lenovo launches the Yoga 3 Pro in India starting at Rs 1,14,990

Lenovo launches the Yoga 3 Pro in India starting at Rs 1,14,990
Earlier this year at CES 2015, Lenovo had showcased a range of new devices including the showstopper Yoga 3 Pro. The company has now decided to bring the Yoga 3 Pro to the Indian market at an event held in Mumbai. Carrying a hefty price tag starting at Rs 1,14,990, the Yoga 3 Pro will be available exclusively at Lenovo’s Smart Connected devices store ( and also at Croma outlets across the nation.
Available in a champagne-gold colour, the Yoga 3 Pro claims to be the thinnest convertible device. True to the Yoga range of devices, it can be used in four modes – tablet, laptop, tent and stand.
The Yoga 3 Pro is said to be 17 percent thinner and 14 percent lighter than the Yoga 2 Pro. It retains the 13.3-inch QHD+ 3200 x 1800 pixels of resolution. Users can connect to the keyboard with what Lenovo calls a “watchband hinge” that built using 800 pieces of steel and aluminum.
Under the hood, it is powered by an Intel Core M-70 processor, 8GB of RAM, and SSDs up to 512GB. It includes the latest wireless technologies like 802.11 ac and Bluetooth 4.01. For music afficiados, it packs in JBL stereo speakers. The Yoga 3 Pro promises 7.2 hours of battery life with the 44Whr lithium-polymer battery pack.
At the event, Lenovo has also showcased other devices including the ThinkPad PCs and tablets. Lenovo spoke about its intensive ThinkPad lineup as its 100 millionth device is just on the way. The ThinkPad range includes ThinkPad X1 Carbon, ThinkPad helix 2, ThinkPad X250, Tiny M73 desktop, and ThinkPad accessories like the sleeves and cables.
Lenovo’s robust range of tablets include the Yoga Tablet 2, Yoga Tablet 2 Pro, Yoga Tablet Any Pen and Tab 2 A7-30.  The Yoga Tablet 2 Pro comes with a built-in pico projector. It features a 33,78 cm QHD display  and 8W sound system to help turn your device into a movie screen. With the Any Pen, you can pick a ballpen or pencil and scribble on the screen to take notes just like you would have done on paper. The versatile Tab 2 A7-30 is a phablet-like device with a 7-inch display in a mere 8.9mm form factor. It weighs 269 grams and comes equipped with a SIM slot.
The company has also displayed the P90, the company’s first smartphone that comes powered by 64-bit Intel atom processorand 5-mode XMM  7260 LTE-advanced modem. The company’s Vibe Xtension Selfie Flash is a pocket-seized flash that plus into the audio jack to take selfies. However, it works only with Vibe X2.
The Yoga Tablet 2,  Tablet 2 pro and Any Pen are available on Flipkart priced at Rs 28,999, 49,490 and Rs 22,499 respectively. The A7-30 will be available this month for Rs 8,500. The ThinkPad Carbon X1, Helix 2 and X250 are priced at Rs 1,25,000, 1,04,000 and 82,000 respectively. The Tiny in One monitor and Tiny M73 Desktop are available at a starting price of Rs 40,000.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Pebble to reveal new smartwatch with slimmer design, updated OS: Report

New Delhi: Pebble Technology Corporation has put up a countdown on its website for a new announcement that is speculated to reveal a major update to the smartwatch's hardware and software.
The company behind the Pebble smartwatch is going to make the announcement at 10 AM on February 24, but there is no detail on the website about what exactly it will be introducing.
If rumours are to be believed, the updated Pebble smartwatch will have a slightly wider, e-paper-like display in colour which will have an improved backlight. It will also be encased in an overall thinner design but will not be touch-enabled like the Apple Watch, a report in 9to5Mac stated.
Pebble to reveal new smartwatch with slimmer design, updated OS: Report
The company behind the Pebble smartwatch is going to make the announcement at 10 AM on February 24, but there is no detail on the website about what exactly it will be introducing.
#pebble #smartwatch #apple watch
The speculated updates also include battery life specifications in line with the current models along with an addition of a microphone and Nuance- voice recognition software.
The updated Pebble smartwatch will have the charging and data transfer pins at the bottom, which now has a which now sports a plastic body with aluminum edges.
It is also said that the new version will have an updated Pebble watch OS, which will feature a timeline view that records a list of recent notifications and the entire UI features will have many new animations. Third-party applications will not go away, but the operating system will turn its focus to alerts and notifications for future calendar events.
The Pebble watch will run on a faster Cortex M4 processor with a 6-axis gyroscope and it is expected that the price of the updated watch will be close to the price of the Pebble Steel model, which sells at $199.
It is also speculated that the new Pebble will not be sold via the official website initially but through Kickstarter, which is a funding platform for creative projects.

Microsoft will soon come up with affordable Lumia 640 smartphone

Microsoft may soon launch its new budget phone codenamed as Lumia 640 (model number RM-1109). The handset is said to be available at an affordable price. The company has not given more details about the device.
The smartphone is expected to hit its first appearance at the Mobile World Congress taking place next month.
Microsoft has revealed some of the features of the upcoming smartphone.
PhoneArena reported that this smartphone, which could be a successor to the Nokia Lumia 630 and Lumia 635, will have HSDPA+, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 along with dual SIM capabilities and support for digital TV. The phone will be boosted with a 2500 mAh battery.
However, there is no information provided by the company whether the device will run Windows Phone 8.1 or Windows 10.
In view of the Holi festival, Microsoft has recently announced a new promotional offer for its premium Lumia handsets in India. The company brought 'guaranteed cashback offers' on the Lumia 930 and Lumia 830 smartphones. After the cashback, the Lumia 830 and Lumia 930 can be purchased at discounted prices of Rs.21,800 and Rs.31,600 respectively.

Microsoft developing People Sense app for finding friends on Windows phone

In a bid to go head-to-head against Apple's Find My Friends, Microsoft is reportedly building an app called People Sense, which would integrate Bing Maps with messaging and calling features.
The app, currently codenamed Buddy Aware, will provide real-time location info for the people you follow along with detailed directions to contacts' locations and calling and messaging baked right in, reported The Verge.
However, it is not yet clear when it will be released.

Report: Pros and Cons of Apple Car

It appears like Apple is all gears up to make a memorable entry in automotive business. The rumor of Apple’s electric car is completely astounding for Apple Lovers. However, the biggest car makers of the world are taking it in a bit different way. Apple’s decision to enter in car industry if extremely perplexing for analysts and car manufacturer. Currently, Apple dominates majority of the tech market. In comparison, the profit chances in car industry are not more than 5 to 6 percent.
Apple Car rumors
A car from Cupertino? An Apple auto? The iCar, for goodness sake? Some scoff, calling it preposterous and questioning the legitimacy of the “sources” who told Bloomberg an electric vehicle could come as early as 2020. Others embrace the idea, eagerly hoping Apple will take on the likes of Tesla and Elon Musk in the electric-vehicle game.
When it comes down to it, it’s likely — if those sources are to be believed — that Apple is indeed building a car. Starting a car company really is just a money game, when it’s all said and done. And as we know, Apple has plenty of that, having reported a record net profit of $18 billion last quarter alone. If a company has that sort of cash, it can hire all the people needed to make the parts fall into place. And a recent report from 9to5Mac detailed the key execs Apple has hired, from Mercedes-Benz and Tesla parts makers like A123 Systems and ECMO Gears.
Considering all that, a 2020 launch date for the Apple car may sound surprising but is actually fairly reasonable.
Indeed, an Apple car — like so many Apple products before it — may transform car sales, but it won’t necessarily revolutionize the automotive world with its design or performance. Frankly, Apple would be remiss to try to reshape how cars are formed or how fast they can go. That’s another story, though.
Instead, if it’s smart and serious about entering the car realm, Apple should launch the world’s first share-only car. That and that alone would shake up and turn the automotive industry upside down — in Apple’s favor.
Dealers forsaken
Tesla, as we have seen time and time again, is fighting an uphill battle to circumvent the dealer network in this country, keen to sell cars directly to customers. There are plenty of reasons why Tesla might want do this. Chief among them is that Elon Musk wants to do things his way, rather than follow the beaten path.
Apple, like Tesla before it, will want to blaze its own EV trail as well. And following Musk’s would be unwise for a whole host of reasons. Never actually selling the car to consumers, though, would solve many issues.
Cannot Contact Server
First, never selling but rather sharing the car would keep the power in the hands of the Apple brand, and out of the grubby meat hooks of third-party dealers. Second, it’d be the road yet untraveled, which is sexy (and all-too Apple). And most important, it would be the only substantive way to redefine and leave Apple’s indelible mark on the automotive industry. Think Different, right? Because car sharing is coming, and with or without Apple it will change the way we relate to cars and individual mobility.
Car sharing is coming in a serious way, whether it is in a few years or a few decades … and all the major brands know it. But it seems none wants to be the first to really embrace it. This makes sense, because their current business model works (and why fix something that isn’t broken?).
Car sharing is inevitable, though. As global populations become more urbanized and our gadgets continually redefine freedom and mobility, fewer people will be interested in owning a car. That said, they’ll still need one from time to time. And that’s where sharing comes into play.
Automakers like Audi and Ford have told me at length how they aren’t opposed to car sharing; it will mean more cars on the road, racking up more miles more quickly. That means more cars will need to be produced, which equates to more profits.
To get car sharing truly rolling, there needs to be a spark to start the car-sharing fire, however, and Apple could be the flint. It stands alone — thanks to those vast sums of money and proven track history as an transformer — as the biggest threat to the automotive establishment.
Related: Apple’s secret project Titan: a minivan-like electric vehicle?
So put away your Apple Pay, fanboys, and stop hoarding iTunes gift cards. You won’t be buying an Apple Car anytime soon.

Meet Rangan Srikhanta, the former refugee who wants to change the world one laptop at a time

Could this computer change the world for our kids?

Not-for-profit agency One Education has developed a prototype for the 'XO Infinity', a low-cost modular laptop with parts that can be updated as a child gets older and technology changes.
He came to Australia barely two months old with his family fleeing war in Sri Lanka.
Now 31, the Tamil migrant with a broad Aussie accent acquired in Homebush, NSW, wants to give back.
Rangan Srikhanta wants to ensure every child has a free, modular computer to last throughout primary school, in the process teaching them self-reliance and allowing Australia to contribute to changing the world.
Rangan Srikhanta's computer, business and social passions have come together in the modular affordable XO-Infinity he hopes to distribute to every primary school child in the world. Rangan Srikhanta's computer, business and social passions have come together in the modular affordable XO-Infinity he hopes to distribute to every primary school child in the world. Photo: Simon Schluter
A University of Technology Sydney computer science and business graduate, the passionate social entrepreneur's path first led him to auditing at global firm Deloitte, but his origins kept his feet firmly on the ground.
"With war ravaging in Sri Lanka, Homebush was Tamil central. That was a massive influence with many of my friends. They were very vocal, seeking independence for the Tamil people. Much of it influenced me: what if similar things were happening to a minority in Australia – to indigenous people?," Srikhanta recalls.
"We came to a country where people had open arms. As much as we wanted for Australia to do something for the Tamils, [we asked] what could we do for Australian society?"
The XO-Infinity: A silicon case is peeled off to allow children to change parts as required. The XO-Infinity: A silicon case is peeled off to allow children to change parts as required. Photo: Simon Schluter
He saw the opportunity when American entrepreneur and author Nicholas Negroponte spun the One Laptop Per Child project out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab in 2005.
The non-profit produced low-cost rugged laptops to be distributed to poor children around the world. By 2008 it had distributed 600,000 XO machines throughout Asia, Africa and South America, and Srikhanta was hooked.
But the Australian charity did things a little differently. Where OLPC began to encounter adoption barriers , OLPC Australia began innovating.
Its offshoot, One Education, created charging stations and repair kits, teacher incentive programs, and training for student IT champions to fix other kids' PCs.
It found a sponsor and mentor in Commonwealth Bank's former technology chief Michael Harte. Together with Telstra, HP and Oracle they raised more than $3 million over five years.
Then, as the first XOs began to filter through disadvantaged schools, Srikhanta met a NSW MP who would later make history by siding with Labor to bring Julia Gillard to power.
Rob Oakeshott was impressed with the project and in a chance meeting introduced the former refugee to the then prime minister, eventually securing the project $11.7 million in funding – enough for 50,000 XOs, charging racks and spare parts.
The backdrop to Srikhanta's success was the Rudd government's struggling Digital Education Revolution and its promised conventional laptop to all secondary students.
"They took a very similar approach to OLPC [overseas], a top-down approach, forced adoption, but didn't have a device people could support locally. It was locked down, and it being high school kids, it complicated things," Srikhanta says.
"The reality was they fell over on multiple fronts (…) unfortunately Rudd didn't have a social enterprise whose sole purpose was to do something like this."
This week, the Australian 15-employee One Educationwill announce its new generation low-cost computer. A Lego-like modular PC-and-tablet in one that can be assembled by a four-year-old, updated as components reach their end of life, and repaired in the last their primary years
Its main components - screen, battery, keyboard, CPU, camera, Wi-Fi connection - are separate parts of the puzzle, with the main bits concealed under a soft silicon cover. A trade scheme will allow schools to swap parts as the technology evolves and students' needs change.
The XO-Infinity is only a prototype thus far.The first working model is due in August, the first shipment early next year.
Srikhanta's timing is again impeccable.
As two  million original machines reach their end of life around the world, and his adoption program spreads, the potential is there for global expansion.
On Friday the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) released a new report showing eight in 10 Australian parents think digital skills and computer programming should be taught in primary and secondary schools. Six in 10 parents believe it's important children learn to design, build or program apps.
The research, done in conjunction with NICTA and the Australian Computer Society, underlines concerns surrounding proposed changes to the national school curriculum that would see technology taught formally only from Year 9.
Srikhanta is having none of it.
"[We want] to teach kids they don't just have to be consumers. That they can actually pull things together… and give them the opportunity to update the parts."
"All the machines you see, especially the tablets on the market, they are glued together, quite literally. If a part breaks or a part needs to be changed the standard solution is actually to throw away the whole device and purchase a whole new one."
"We think there's a tremendous amount of waste in that."
He is also very aware that Apple has a strong presence in schools and in more affluent areas children are practically brought up with consumer-grade tablets like the iPad.
That's why, he says, One Education designed a device that won't lock children or schools into an operating system – it works with Android, Windows and Linux – and why it concentrates on primary schools, with an emphasis on equality.
If his dream comes true, every child will have access to one, regardless of their social economic status. That will be his legacy. His chance to give back.
"I wouldn't have been provided [this opportunity] in Si Lanka. To have met Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, raised $20 million, spent time with senior CEOs. I feel an obligation and gratitude to Australia," he says.

Samsung Galaxy S6 latest video teaser hints at a metal body and thin bezels

Samsung Galaxy S6 latest video teaser hints at a metal body and thin bezels
The Galaxy S6 is one phone that is creating quite a lot of buzz around it and Samsung is milking the attention with newer teasers. Samsung released a video teaser simply titled, The Next Galaxy, which shows what’s being speculated at the Galaxy S6. In addition to this, the Samsung Instagram page has also released a visual teaser of the S6.
The teaser gives ample hints that with the Galaxy S6, Samsung will finally ditch the plastic element in the build and give us an all metallic body phone. There are artsy visuals of liquid metal sliding along what looks like the edge of the phone.
‘Borders will disapper,’ says the voice over which hints that the Galaxy S6 will have extremely thin bezels on the sides. The other statement, ‘Reflections will be free,’ hints at an anti-reflexive coating.

The video also gives a brief hint of a curved edge display. This again adds gravitas to the rumours that Samsung will release the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S Edge. A report by Sammobile has confirmed that the Samsung Edge device will come with an Edge screen on both sides.
Citing some internal sources, the report further adds that the Edge screens will be 30 to 50 percent less curved than the Edge display on the Galaxy Note Edge.The reason behind this is the smaller size of the device and the volume and power buttons on the sides. The curves on both sides will be uniform.
In terms of specs , the Galaxy S6 may feature an Ultra HD 4K display, 4GB RAM and a 20MP camera. An initial specs list for S6 said that the device would have a 5.3-inch 4K AMOLED display, a 64-bit Exynos 7420 or Snapdragon 810 processor depending on the country, 5 megapixel front camera, and Broadcom’s new sensor chip. The most recent report talks about 5.1-inch displays, one of the models to feature three-sided display and an extremely easy-to-use camera.
Samsung is also expected to release the Galaxy S6 with Exynos 7 and LTE.  Initially, Samsung was testing the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset, but it was found to cause over heating, which made Samsung drop the idea of using the Snapdragon 810 SoC. Qualcomm hasagreed to rework the Snapdragon 810 SoC for Samsung’s flagship device.
Another report had revealed that the 32GB Galaxy S6 variant is likely to be priced at 749 euros that is approximately Rs 53,000, 64GB at 849 euros which comes to approximately Rs 62,000 and and 128GB version to cost 949 euros (approx. Rs 69,300). The 32GB Galaxy S6 Edge is likely to be priced at 849 euros ​that is about Rs 59,500, 64GB version at 949 euros (approx. Rs 66,400) and 128GB variant at 1049 euros which comes to Rs 73,300.

WhatsApp starts rolling out voice calling feature to Android users

NEW DELHI: After testing the feature with select users, it appears mobile messaging service WhatsApp is now rolling out the much awaited internet calling functionality to a wider set of people.

Earlier on Friday, a number of users of WhatsApp's Android app were able to get the voice calling feature activated by simply receiving a call from a user who had the service turned on. This meant that initial testers were able to extend it to their friends who further helped other WhatsApp users join the club. However, this invite system is not working for all users.

We were able to get the voice calling feature activated on our Android phone after receiving a WhatsApp call. Although, we were able to make voice calls to other Android and BlackBerry 10 users with the latest version of the app, the feature was not being activated for all users. It's possible that WhatsApp may have set a limit to the number of users one could invite or is only allowing a limited set of users at this time to test its networks.

The feature is not available yet on the iPhone although WhatsApp's recent iOS update had introduced a calling button within the chat window. The feature also doesn't work on Windows Phone hadsets, at the moment.

After activation of the feature, WhatsApp's user interface changes to feature separate screens for dialing a voice call to WhatsApp contacts, call logs and ongoing calls. The chat window also displays a calling button (represented by a phone icon). The active call screen sports buttons for turning on the loudspeaker, switching to the chat window and for muting the call.

It's worth pointing out that WhatsApp has not officially announced the rollout of the feature yet.

The voice calling feature will bring WhatsApp in direct clash with apps like WeChat, Viber and Line that already allow users to make calls and send messages. WhatsApp is the biggest instant messaging app in the world, with 700 million active users in January 2015.

World Cup, India vs South Africa: Jinx broken, Men in Blue thrash Proteas by 130 runs

Defending champions India routed South Africa by 130 runs in a World Cup demolition at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday, ending a so-called jinx.
The Men in Blue had never beaten the Proteas in three meetings at the World Cup before this match, but were all over the South Africans at the fourth time of asking.
Chasing 308 to win, South Africa looked nothing like one of the title favourites as they crumbled to 177 all out in 40.2 overs in front of a crowd of almost 87,000.
Only Faf du Plessis (55) showed any meaningful resistance after Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan had hit 137 and Ajinkya Rahane made 79 in the champions' imposing total of 307 for seven.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Xiaomi to sue websites for selling phones illegally

NEW DELHI: Xiaomi will be taking legal action against websites selling its phones illegally and infringing on the company's trademark in India where the Chinese handset maker has an ongoing patent dispute with Ericsson.

The Swedish telecom equipment maker had alleged earlier this month that Xiaomi was selling Mediatek-powered smartphones through, in violation of an interim order of the Delhi High Court that allowed the company to only sell Qualcomm chipset smartphones.

The largest smartphone maker in China had told the court that the website was not an authorized seller for Xiaomi products.

"They're infringing on trademarks and they're making the world believe that it's a genuine Xiaomi site, which it is not," said Manu Jain, head of India operations at Xiaomi. "The products sold on these websites are not meant for India and are sold at significantly higher price points.

We have written to them multiple times, and we will be taking legal action against them," he added. Jain said though site was not functional any more, the company will still proceed with legal action against it and four to five other sites, which were selling Xiaomi products illegally.

Flipkart and Airtel are authorized Xiaomi sellers in India.

In more steps to conform to Indian laws and assuage lingering concerns, Xiaomi is in talks with manufacturing partners Foxconn and Inventec to set up a manufacturing base in India, its second most important market after China, apart from moving its data servers here by end of 2015.

"We're holding conversations with Fox-Conn and Inventec, who majorly manufacture for us, to set up an assembly line in India," Jain said. The manufacturing location is still to be decided.