Monday, 30 March 2015

Here's how social media can help you sniff out your cheating lovers

Mobile applications can be very handy if you want to check whether your lover is having an affair or not and, therefore, a list has revealed top 10 apps that can help you to keep a check on your partner.
The list starts with WhatsApp, Snapchat and iMessage, however, Facebook is the biggest culprit with 76% of woman becoming suspicious because of the social network, the Daily Star reported.
Another app called Manything, which acts as a CCTV for phone, laptop or tablet, secured 19% votes by women as they revealed they had caught their husbands cheating or speaking to their mistress on the phone when they were out of the house via Manything.
5% of women said that Lie Detector app helped them to check infidelity on their partners, whereas, 4% of women said they doubted their husband's faithfulness when they saw famous dating app called Tinder on their phone.
Claire Page, spokesperson for asserted that what he found find most interesting about this list was how obvious some men were and discretion was their main priority and the most important thing when having a successful affair.

Google Glass could teach you to dance!

Got two left feet? Don't worry, Google Glass could teach you to dance by identifying songs and suggesting moves in real time.

Google has filed a patent to create a system by which Google Glass can recommend dance moves to those who wear the high tech device.

"The content identification module may provide information associated with a content of the media sample, such as identification of the song and the dance, to the wearable computing system," the patent reads.

"The wearable computing system may determine dance steps corresponding to the content of the media sample and may generate a display of the dance steps on the HMD (head mounted display)," it reads.

That means Google Glass will have an ability to determine what particular song is playing in the background before suggesting dance moves from a possible library of moves stored in its database, 'Tech Times' reported.

The device may also show the user a video of other people dancing to the same song in order to help the user understand what moves they should be doing.

Google chairman Eric Schmidt recently affirmed Google's commitment to the device and the technology behind it.

The initial research programme for Google Glass, called Explorer, was scrapped, but a new unit specifically devoted to the device is currently active.

"It is a big and very fundamental platform for Google. We ended the Explorer programme and the press conflated this into us cancelling the whole project, which isn't true. Google is about taking risks and there's nothing about adjusting Glass that suggests we're ending it," Schmidt added.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Chinese Leshi TV calls Apple Inc Hitler in recent Weibo post

Apple Inc in a recent poster was compared with Hitler. CEO and founder of Chinese Internet TV, Leshi TV (LeTV) posted an image through the official LeTV Weibo account having an image of Hitler wearing a red armband with an Apple logo on it. The image was originally posted out to hint the upcoming smartphone from the LeTV.
On the top of the image, LeTV was comparing the attributes of closed and open source software. In the native language, it was written as “Crowdsourced, freedom vs. arrogance, tyranny”. Crowdsourced and freedom referred to the collaboratively build Android operating system or any other open source project for that matter, arrogance and tyranny was indicating towards the closed source iOS and the entire Apple ecosystem.
Jia’s words argue about the Cupertino giant’s approach to manufacturing the smartphones that restrict developers from implementing their creativity and innovation. Being in a closed source environment, iOS restricts developers to develop in a particular context, however, not beyond it.
The CEO compared the Apple Inc as a ‘Dusk Empire’, meaning that it will fall and is dying. The image also had a smartphone with doors opening to freedom — at least that’s what the LeTV will say.
It isn’t the first time when Apple Inc has been hit with such type of criticism by the rival companies. It was only a few days ago when Google launched its latest advertisement campaign for Android taking a direct aim at the Apple, saying “Be together, not the same.”
However, Apple Inc isn’t the only company that has maintained the ecosystem of closed source. Microsoft Windows is also doing exactly the same, Windows Phone and Windows for PC all have their source codes kept behind the doors. None of these companies target them for not being open source. The reason is simple, Windows Phone isn’t that popular and isn’t thing to worry about for these companies.
It is without a doubt that the Android and iOS are currently the two pioneers in the smartphone industry, while Apple sells them under its brand name, Google is providing builds to other companies for them install it on their smartphones.
The image can be clearly seen as the marketing strategy and a low-grade attempt to attract few customers on the board, nothing else.

Microsoft acquires LiveLoop

Microsoft has been on a sort of a race to acquire start-ups in the recent past. Its latest acquisition is LiveLoop. LiveLoop is a program which aids in converting PowerPoint presentations into a URL format. With this, anyone can check the URL, and PowerPoint need not be downloaded on the machine. As a result of the acquisition, the program will be closing down on April 24. Microsoft is known to remove traces of the acquired team's work after acquisition.
Using this technology, Microsoft might be hoping to make it easier to access PowerPoint online in the coming days. Although there is already a PowerPoint client available online, it is not that user-friendly.
Microsoft has not revealed the amount it shelled out to acquire LiveLoop. This move comes after it had acquired the calendar app Sunrise for $100 million and e-mail client Acompli at a price of $200 million recently. Under the new CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has become more open to making low-cost acquisitions, and not necessarily big names.

Trai may regulate Skype, WhatsApp

NEW DELHI: Telecom regulator Trai today started the process to prepare regulatory framework for internet-based calling and messaging applications like Skype, Viber, WhatsApp and Google Talk, known as over-the-top (OTT) players.

"Worldwide, there is an ongoing debate among governments, industry and consumers regarding regulations of OTT services and net-neutrality. In this background, Trai today released a consultation paper on regulatory framework for OTT services," Trai secretary Sudhir Gupta said in a statement.

At present, consumers get to make phone calls and send messages using internet connection through mobile applications and their computers. They are required to pay only internet bandwidth consumed but nothing on per call or message basis.

Telecom operators and VoIP service providers or OTT players have been at loggerheads over this issue.

Telecom operators have said that OTT players like Skype, WhatsApp, Viber etc are eating up their main revenue without investing in networks.

On the other hand, OTT players defend themselves by demanding access to internet or web-based services without hurdle for growth of communities and nations.

Trai chairman Rahul Khullar had earlier indicated about starting the process to frame regulation on OTT services after Airtel earned huge criticism from public for its plan to charge separately for VoIP calls, against principles of net-neutrality.

Under the net-neutrality principle, telecom and internet companies should treat all web-based services equally and there should be no differential pricing or any kind of barrier that discourages people from accessing services.

However, there is no legislation in India at present on net-neutrality.

Trai said that Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) offering fixed and mobile telephony are currently being overwhelmed by online content, known as over-the-top (OTT) applications, and services.

"It is becoming increasingly difficult for consumers to know if there is an economic difference in connecting various networks via a landline phone, cell phone, or a computer."

"In fact, young users find it difficult to distinguish among these three networks; from their perspective, all that matters is connectivity," Trai said.

The regulator said that characteristics of OTT services are such that TSPs realise revenues solely from the increased data usage of the internet-connected customers and do not realise any other revenues.

"On the other hand, OTT providers make use of the TSPs' infrastructure to reach their customers... that not only makes money for them but also compete with the traditional services offered by TSPs," Trai said.

Now, you can play Super Mario 64 right in your browser

New Delhi: Do you miss Ninetendo's iconic Super Mario and want to play it right now? The classic 1996 game is now available for download thanks to Unity developer Roystan Ross who has created the Super Mario 64 HD that features the original game's first level- Bob-Omb Battlefield.
Except for the removal of red coins and Big Bob-Omb, nothing has changed in the recreation of the Super Mario 64 HD, dubbed Super Character Controller. There's also an option to play it right in your browser. On his site, Ross says that he has replaced those two elements with giant springs and coin blocks.
The desktop versions are available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Users are suggested not to edit the input settings in the Unity input menu and instead setup your input configuration in the in-game controls menu.
Now, you can play Super Mario 64 right in your browser
Except for the removal of red coins and Big Bob-Omb, nothing has changed in the recreation of the Super Mario 64 HD, dubbed Super Character Controller.

Xiaomi Mi4 available for sale on Flipkart without registration at Rs 23,999

Xiaomi MI4 open sale TeCake
The Chinese smartphone maker, Xiaomi has announced that the 64 GB variant of the Xiaomi Mi4 is available for sale on Flipkart without any registrations, starting from today 2:00 pm. The Indian customers can now purchase the device at any desired time in the one-day event.
Previously, the firm has announced that the next flash sale for the device will be held on March 31, but it has closed the registrations abruptly. In addition, the Redmi Note 4G is the only device from Xiaomi that is available through the flash sale model.
However, the phone is offline available at Airtel’s official outlets in six different cities and 55 stores of The Moblie Store in Delhi NCR. The 16 GB variant is also available at a price of Rs. 19,999 at these stores.
Introducing open sale model and the partnership with The Mobile store, it seems that soon Xiaomi is going to drop the flash sale model in the country. Manu Jain, Xiaomi India head said, “This will be the first time that we’re getting into offline trade in India. In China, about 20-30% of total sales through come from telecom operator’s stores while the rest comes from our online store –”
Xiaomi open sale tecake
Refreshing the specs, the 64 GB variant Mi4 offers a 5-inch 1080p FHD IPS LCD and runs on MiUi6 based on Android 4.4.4 KitKat that is supported by a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 SOC processor. Moreover, the processor is coupled with a 3GB of RAM and powered with a 3080 mAh of gigantic battery. As per the selfie trend, the company has fronted the device with a 8 megapixel of front facing selfie shooter.
Meanwhile, for a decent photography experience the flagship device is packed with a 13 megapixel of primary image snapper that captures high-quality images in daylight and supports low light photography as well. The rear camera is featured with LED Flash, Sony IMX214 BSI sensor and 4K video recording.
Tech Specs for Xiaomi Mi 4
Display 5-inch 1080p FHD IPS LCD
Camera 13MP rear and 8MP front
Processor 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 SOC Processor
OS MiUi based on Android 4.4.4 KitKat
Battery 3080 mAh
Storage 64 GB

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Vine allows for high quality videos on iOS operating system

Short-video sharing app Vine has rolled out support for high-definition videos on iOS operating system and will soon be available on Android as well.
According to the Verge, Vine's blog post said that it is bumping the resolution of each video up from 480p to 720p.
However, the videos will appear somewhat compressed so they can be quickly loaded to mobiles.
On iOS operating system, the new Vines will immediately start uploading in high definition while on Android, the feature will be available "soon".

Now, buy Xiaomi Mi4, Redmi Note 4G from retail stores

New Delhi: Chinese handset maker Xiaomi will begin promoting the Mi4 and Redmi Note 4G smartphones by way of bodily tales.
The ‘restricted shares’ of each the telephones will probably be obtainable for buy by way of choose places of the Mobile Store retail chain.
Xiaomi has up to now practised on-line promoting of its smartphones and has an unique tie-up with e-commerce website Flipkart.
The Xiaomi Mi4 smartphone is a 5-inch display show that comes with a decision of 1920 x 1080 pixels at 441 ppi together with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 safety. It runs on a 2.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU with 3GB RAM.
It comes with thirteen-MP Sony excessive-velocity again digital camera and an 8-MP entrance-dealing with digital camera. It additionally packs a 3080mAh Li-ion battery.
The 4G model of Redmi Note is a single-SIM handset that has a 5.5 inch HD IPS show with 1280 x 720 pixels and is powered by a Snapdragon four hundred processor. The earlier 3G mannequin of Redmi Note had MediaTek octa-core processor that lagged whereas enjoying excessive-high quality movies and graphics heavy video games.
The handset comes with a thirteen MP rear digital camera with LED flash and a 5 MP entrance digital camera for clear selfies. Inbuilt storage consists of 8GB with microSD card enlargement (as much as 64GB), and a 3,100mAh battery with help for quick charging. The smartphone has received a 3,100mAh battery with help for quick charging.
Redmi Note 4G runs on Android 4.4 optimised with MIUI model 5 on prime, upgradable to MIUI v6 early subsequent yr.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Project Zero: Exploiting the DRAM rowhammer bug to gain kernel p...

Project Zero: Exploiting the DRAM rowhammer bug to gain kernel p...: Rowhammer blog post (draft) Posted by Mark Seaborn, sandbox builder and breaker, with contributions by Thomas Dullien, reverse en...

Karbonn has now ventured into the mobile accessory business in India

Karbonn is known for its super affordable smartphones in India and it will soon be venturing down a new road by launching its own mobile accessories into the market. The company has officially revealed its plans and it looks like it will start small by releasing a just a few products.
The main accessories from Karbonn will be its own power banks. The company isn’t the only smartphone maker to design portable batteries as almost every other OEM already has such a product on the market. Nevertheless, not all of them are affordable and that’s where the brand has the advantage.
Power Bank
It will still have to compete with Xiaomi’s Mi power bank and also OnePlus’s own 10000mAh external battery backup. To do so, Karbonn will be designing 7000mAh and 10000mAh power banks with dual USB ports and LED lights for checking charge status. The higher capacity version will also have an LED torch and a TF card reader which is a pretty nifty feature.
Also read: OnePlus 10000mAh Power Bank launched at $15, coming soon to India
The company will also be designing its own screen protectors which, of course, will be for specific Karbonn-branded handsets only. There’s no list as yet, but you can expect top-tier phones like the Sparkle V to be amongst the devices. These screen guards will feature an anti fingerprint coating and will also be durable, but that’s all we know so far.
The Karbonn power banks will be priced at Rs 999 and up with sales starting from March 25 through Snapdeal. There’s no word on how much the screen protectors will retail for, but they aren’t likely to be exclusive to an ecommerce website like the portable batteries.

Porsche launches GTS versions of Boxster, Cayman

German sport car maker Porsche is extending the GTS (Gran Turismo Sport) principle to the Boxster and Cayman in India. These mid-engine sports models from Porsche feature uprated engines and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) chassis.

The six-cylinder boxer engines fitted are based on the 3.4-litre units from Boxster S and Cayman S. Thanks to fine-tuning, they deliver an additional 15 hp: the Boxster GTS now has an output of 330 hp, while the Cayman GTS delivers 340 hp. 

Torque increases by 10 newton metres in each model. Additionally, the Sport Chrono package is standard. In conjunction with the standard Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) gearbox and Sport Plus mode, this translates into sprints from 0-100 km/hr in 4.7 seconds for the Boxster GTS, with the Cayman GTS a tenth of a second faster.

The Boxster GTS’s top speed is 279 km/hr, while the Cayman GTS is even faster at 283 km/hr. The new top models achieve an overall fuel consumption of 8.2 l/100 km, according to the New European Driving Cycle.

Anil Reddi, Director, Porsche India, says: “With the introduction of the GTS versions of the Boxster and Cayman, we are catering to Porsche purists and true sports car enthusiasts in the country. These two new Porsche sports cars excel visually and dynamically, and assure a rewarding ownership and driving experience.”

The Boxster GTS and Cayman GTS feature PASM as standard which offers the driver a choice of sportier or more comfortable settings at the press of a button. 

The distinctive front and modified rear end, blackened bi-xenon headlights – with Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) – and tail lights as well as silky black gloss exterior lettering are subtle features of these new models. 

The new Boxster and Cayman GTS models are available for order at Porsche dealerships across India. The Boxster GTS (Maharashtra) is priced at Rs 11,290,000 while the Cayman GTS (Maharashtra) is priced at Rs 11,536,000.

5 moves Microsoft must make to advance in mobile

windows phone
At one time, people considered Microsoft a true contender in the mobile space. Just four years ago, some analysts predicted that Windows Phone would leapfrog BlackBerry and iOS to claim the number two spot behind Android. Some researchers expected Microsoft's market share to hit 20 percent, while others even predicted the company would edge past Android.
big data charts graphs analysis woman user
Survey: Big data interest still growing

It's not all positive, however: Security issues and problems with some existing products leave room for
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But we all know how that turned out.

Now, the company must execute a comeback. Microsoft has reinvigorated interest in Windows with the upcoming Windows 10 and revealed innovative surprises like HoloLens, a nod to its vision of the future. By many accounts, today's Microsoft feels fresher and newer than the Microsoft of old.

But Microsoft's mobile business languishes and still lacks any hint of a wow-factor that consumers and enterprise users have grown to expect from mobile leaders. Windows Phone owns but a sliver of the mobile OS market and Microsoft's app ecosystem fails to woo developers and users.

"When people say, 'My life is on my smartphone,' they're not lying. Considering the power the smartphone has on people, it's important for Microsoft to play there," said Ramon Llamas, analyst at IDC. "And Microsoft has unique assets to bring to this space."

Microsoft's years of missed mobile opportunities have taken a toll, but analysts say it's not too late for the software giant to recover. Here are five ways the company can start.

1. Launch high-end devices

Microsoft's focus on the low-end smartphone market hasn't been enough, analysts say. According to IDC, Windows Phone in 2014 had the smallest year-over-year increase in unit shipments among the main mobile OSes at just 4.2 percent, well below the overall market average of 27.7 percent. Despite these numbers, the company continues to focus on affordable handsets, just last week launching its cheapest smartphone yet, the $70 Lumia 430.

Growing its base of users beyond the low-end market -- with higher-end flagship devices, for example -- could help boost its mobile efforts and compete with the likes of Samsung and Apple, IDC's Llamas said.

"Microsoft needs to grow across the spectrum, not just in the mid-range and low-end," he said. "Having a high-end flagship product is essential to bring attention to the rest of the product portfolio. That area has been a clear gap for Microsoft."

But users interested in a high-end Windows device will have to wait. The company said it won't launch a new flagship handset until it makes Windows 10 available this summer.

2. Deliver on Windows 10

Windows 10 will work across PCs, smartphones, wearables and tablets, the company says. Microsoft will let developers write apps for one version of Windows 10 and move them to other versions with little work. In addition, Windows 10 will make it easy for developers to bring their older Windows apps into the Windows 10 ecosystem.

By many accounts, Windows 10 is expected to increase Microsoft's mobile business. But how well Microsoft delivers on these promises will determine its success.

"Windows 10 needs to do three things: It has to do what it says on the tin, so to speak, it has to create that continuity for developers, and it has to go forth and multiply," said John Jackson, analyst at IDC. In other words, a more uniform and congruent cross-platform experience could reinstate users' faith in the Windows ecosystem and create an uptick in devices sold.
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"There's some thinking that the success of Windows 10 can create a demand for mobile products, but it's difficult for me to envision that happening in a way that really moves the needle," he said. Windows 10 alone won't be the panacea for all of Microsoft's mobile shortcomings, but it will improve market share -- just how much, we'll have to wait and see.

3. Target business users

Though Microsoft's Windows Phone continues to struggle, experts project that its market share will creep higher. From 2013 to 2014, Windows Phone grew 4.2 percent  to grab 2.7 percent of the market, according to IDC, which predicts that by 2018, the OS will control 5.6 percent of the market.

"These are still small numbers, but no one is expecting Microsoft to magically flip the switch and 1,000 flowers bloom," Llamas said. "This is a marathon for Microsoft, not a 100-yard dash."

To expand its Windows Phone market share, Microsoft needs to shift its focus to enterprise customers, Llamas said. Microsoft has been touting how great Windows Phone devices are for consumers, but there are business users with very specific needs, wants and demands that Microsoft can serve, he said.

"I think Microsoft has been underselling the enterprise business capabilities that Windows Phone has to offer. Office 365, Skype and OneDrive are very strong assets to bring to enterprise users," he said. "Business users want to have a seamless experience across smartphones, tablets and PCs. By no means should Microsoft leave consumers, but it should expand its focus for productivity."

4. Rethink Nokia
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Satya Nadella, appointed CEO a little over a year ago, has never openly criticized his predecessor Steve Ballmer's vision of "devices and services," but he's had to pick up the pieces of questionable business decisions that supported it. While Ballmer brokered the $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services business, the deal closed after Nadella took over. Nadella has carried out "a strategic alignment" related to Nokia that has involved cutting about 12,500 jobs and closing plants in Europe and Asia.

"I would have thought six months ago that we would have seen some changes in Microsoft's disposition toward hardware, and that hasn't happened," Jackson said. "At this point, you either double-down on hardware, or you don't. When you look at Microsoft's hardware strategy, it's very hard to compete symmetrically with Apple or Google."

Jackson wonders whether Nadella would have made the Nokia acquisition had he been CEO at the time, instead of Ballmer. Nadella may end up deciding to sell off the Nokia division, he said.

"The hardware business, for everybody but Apple at this stage, has become what you'd expect: It's a business with inherently low margins, even for Samsung," he said. "The school of thought that says you, as a platform-centric business, need your own hardware to combat Apple and Google -- that philosophy is changing."

5. Attract developers

To attract more users to Windows Phone devices, Microsoft needs a more robust selection of applications. But for more app developers to write for Windows Phone, Microsoft needs more users. One solution that the company hopes will solve both problems is its universal app platform.

It aims to let developers build one application that will work on PCs, tablets, smartphones and even the Xbox, which could make building compelling apps for the mobile version of Windows 10 easier. But that's a tall order, and experts aren't convinced it will deliver.

"If it actually does what it says it's going to do, developers will find this refreshing and attractive, perhaps more so with enterprise-oriented developers than consumer-oriented development," Jackson said.

Microsoft says it remains committed to growing its application marketplace to attract more users. Both active users and downloads increased in 2014, Microsoft's Todd Brix said in a December blog post.

"We made good progress by both attracting over 30 percent more active users and by exceeding a 110 percent year-over-year increase in app downloads and gross sales," he said. "In addition, the ecosystem has grown, with an 80 percent increase in registered developers and 60 percent increase in app selection year-over-year."

Microsoft's speed of progress will not dazzle anyone, Llamas said.

"This is going to be a long slog, but the pieces are coming together to be better than they have before."

Apple iOS 8.3 will allow users to download free apps

A new feature arriving in the upcoming version of Apple's iOS operating system, iOS 8.3, will make it easier for users to download free apps.
According to TechCrunch, using a new option under the " iTunes and App Store" section with the iOS Settings application, Apple users will be allowed to disable the password requirement for free apps and other downloads.
They will only be required to tap the "Get" button on iTunes and the app will be sent to their device.
The feature is expected to make acquiring new users easier for free app developers .

Tata Photon Walky Wireless Landline With Wi-Fi Launched

Tata DoCoMo, a Tata Teleservices brand, has launched the Tata Photon Walky wireless landline in India.
The new wireless landline from Tata DoCoMo will be available at Rs. 3,850 with monthly tariff plans starting at Rs. 399 for 3GB of data and going up to Rs. 899 for 8GB of data for postpaid users.
The company claims that the new Tata Photon Walky is a multi-purpose device as it can be turned into a portable Wi-Fi hotspot device connecting up to 5 devices. It also allows voice calling. Tata DoCoMo says the Photon Walky is targeted at the "the new age Internet generation."
The Tata Photon Walky supports download speeds of up to 3.2Mbps.
tata_photon_walky.jpgCommenting on the launch, Gurinder Singh Sandhu, Head, Marketing, Mobility, Tata DoCoMo said, "Tata Photon Walky is a unique device that will give the wireless landline users an opportunity to surf the Internet by creating a simultaneous Wi-Fi hotspot. With the rise in the number of smartphone and tablet users in India, there has been a shift in the way Internet is accessed by customers in addition to their otherwise voice usage. With Tata Photon Walky, we have addressed the Internet needs of multiple users including smartphone customers at home or on the move with a single, easy to use device."
Tata DoCoMo late last year launched the Photon Max Wi-Fi Duo dongle with a 4400mAh battery at Rs. 2,899. The device also functions as a power bank for charging electronic devices. It features a microSD card slot to support up to 32GB storage. The Tata Photon Max Wi-Fi Duo (Review) dongle allows up to five devices to connect to the Internet.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Pakistan blocks WordPress

ISLAMABAD: Blogging web site is no longer accessible in Pakistan, according to a media report.

The website was inaccessible on March 22, but there was no official statement from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on whether the ban was official or not, Dawn online reported.

WordPress is a blogging platform that also allows internet users to create their own web sites via easy-to-use templates. Thousands of Pakistanis and several Pakistan-based businesses use WordPress to host their blogs and websites.

The Pakistani government has banned video-sharing web site YouTube since February 22, 2008 due to non-Islamic objectionable videos

Google to add 'on-body detection' & 'smart lock' features for better smart phone use

American conglomerate Google has announced plans to add two new features, 'on-body detection' and 'smart lock' which essentially uses the accelerometer on the smart phone and judges whether the phone is in use or rested on a surface.
According to the web site, if the phone is unlocked and in your hand or in your pocket, the device will keep itself unlocked. But if you rest it on the table or on any other flat surface, the phone will automatically lock itself.
The device cannot judge who is using the phone, so even if we hand over the phone to a friend nearby, it will follow the same protocol. This can be a security concern, especially if the device is stolen.
It's just a convenience feature, and one that can be optionally enabled to let you more easily access your device, but it adds another option to Android's growing stable of ways to make more convenient for the customers.
The feature was reportedly seen on a Nexus 4 running Android 5.0.1 and Nexus 6 running Android 5.1. But it's unclear at this point if this feature is limited to Android 5.0+ devices. When made available, this can be accessed from Settings - Security - Smart Lock.
Google may gradually roll out this feature to all Lollipop devices, but it's still limited to a handful of Nexus smart phones.

Only 20% Indians have access to Internet; 14% use smartphones

Only 20% in India have access to the internet at least occasionally while a mere 14% own a smartphone, a new study conducted across 32 emerging and developing nations has found. The study by The Pew Research Center also found that 65% of internet users in India said they use social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter while 55% have used the internet to look for or apply for a job.
Across the 32 nations surveyed, a median of 44% use the internet at least occasionally, either through smartphones or other devices. Access rates vary considerably across the emerging and developing nations surveyed. Toward the bottom in terms of access rates are some of the world's most heavily populated nations in South and Southeast Asia. These include Indonesia, where only 24% of the population has access to the internet, India (20%), Bangladesh (11%) and Pakistan (8%). Combined, these countries account for approximately a quarter of the world's population.
The study found that Internet usage is more common among young people, the well-educated and those who have the ability to read or speak English. Overall, a median of 64% said the internet is a good influence on education, with at least half also seeing it as a good influence on personal relationships (53%) and the economy (52%).
People are more mixed on the internet's effect on politics, with similar proportions saying that the influence is good (36%) as say it is bad (30%).
The people in emerging and developing nations are more convinced that the internet is having a negative effect on morality. A median of 42% said it is a bad influence on morality, while only 29% see the internet as a good influence.
Socialising is the most preferred type of digital activity for internet users in emerging and developing nations. Many also use cyberspace for getting information about politics, health care and government services. Less common are commercial and career activities, such as searching or applying for a job, making or receiving payments, buying products and taking online classes.
The Pew Research Center survey was conducted among 36,619 people in 32 emerging and developing countries from March 17 to June 5, 2014.

Facebook to introduce new android app similar to Truecaller

Social networking site Facebook has announced plans to introduce a new dialer application for android users. Facebook is currently testing this app with Android and will eventually bring it to smart phones.
According to the , the new application will be a lot like Truecaller, judging by the screenshot. The application will have access to your call logs and will let you block numbers that you desire and even pick out of the commonly blocked numbers from its database.
Facebook is looking to get more involved with its user base by introducing a new dialer application.

Image credit: Android Police
Facebook will face competition from Truecaller, as this app essentially works on the same idea. So users probably won't be able to use the two in tandem. So, it might be hard for Facebook to convince users to switch over to this new dialer app.

Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 edge to be made in India

NEW DELHI: Samsung has launched its flagship Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge smartphones in India, within three weeks of the global launch, as the Korean electronics giant looks to compete with rival Apple's iPhone6.

The company said it will also manufacture the sixth edition of the flagship devices at its Noida facility in the first half of the year.

"India is among the select 20 countries for the first phase of launch of Galaxy S6 and S6 edge. The Indian R&D team has made a valuable contribution in making these smartphones... We also plan to begin manufacturing these devices in India in the first half of this year," Samsung India vice president marketing (mobile and IT) Asim Warsi told PTI.

He added that India-manufactured devices will be primarily targeted at the domestic consumption.

Warsi said the pre-booking for the devices is open from today and would be up for sale from April 10.

Samsung, which is the world's as well as India's largest smartphone player, had unveiled the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this month.

The company's facility at Noida has a capacity of producing over four million mobile phones a month and manufactures both affordable and high-end devices.

The Galaxy S6 will be offered in three storage options -- 32 GB (Rs 49,900), 64 GB (Rs 55,900) and 128 GB (Rs 61,900).

The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge is priced at Rs 58,900 (32 GB), Rs 64,900 (64GB), and Rs 70,900 (128 GB).

In the past years, Samsung's global competitor Apple has made inroads in the Indian smartphone market. Its latest offering -- the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus -- were launched in India in October 2014 with prices starting at Rs 53,500.

The high-end model was available for Rs 80,500 at the time of launch. Both iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB versions.

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge will compete in the premium category, which accounts for less than a percent of sales in volume terms but about 20% in value terms.

According to IDC, about 22.5 million smartphones were shipped in India in the October-December 2014 quarter with Samsung accounting for 22% share.

The Indian market, which is driven primarily by affordable devices, saw domestic firms like Micromax and Intex following in the tally with 18% and 8% share, respectively in the reported quarter.

The S6 and S6 edge feature 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED screens, have the world's first 14 nano meter mobile processor with 64-bit platform, 16MP rear and 5MP front cameras and 2,550 mAh battery (2,600 mAh in S6 edge).

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Micromax Canvas A1, Spice Dream Uno Android One handsets to get lollipop 5.1 update

Indian mobile makers, Micromax and Spice will be rolling out android 5.1 Lollipop updates to their android smartphones. Micromax will update its Micromax Canvas A1 with Lollipop 5.1 while Spice is going to update its Dream Uno with the new update.
The confirmation about the updates came through Spice's Facebook page that read: "Your rocking weekend starts...Spice rolls out Lollipop 5.1 update for Spice Dream Uno users. Check NOW!"
Similarly Micromax said that Canvas A1 users can follow to install Android 5.1 Lollipop on their handsets.
"Canvas A1 with Android One should at least have 30 percent battery to install the OS. Users would have to connect to a Wi-Fi network, check for system updates under the handset's Settings option, and download/ install the package if available," the company said.
However, both the companies have not yet mentioned what changes the Android 5.1 Lollipop OS update will bring to these smartphones. Some of the highlights of the Android 5.1 Lollipop that we know are-easy handling of Wi-Fi toggles and Bluetooth from Quick Settings, fix for random app crashes, improved security in case the smartphone has been stolen or is lost.

Samsung all set to launch Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge in India tomorrow

Samsung all set to launch Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge in India tomorrow
Samsung has started sending out invites for the launch of its flagship devices – Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge – in India. The launch event is slated to take place in New Delhi on Monday.
It is known that Samsung will start shipping the new Galaxy S6 models in April.  So, India launch before that was expected as the company can open up pre-orders for the devices here.
Recently, Samsung Netherlands site had listed the 32GB variant of Galaxy S6 for € 699 (approximately Rs 48,400), the 64 GB version for €799 (which comes to Rs 55,300) and the Galaxy S6 Edge for 32 GB version at €849 (which comes to approximately Rs 58,800), while the 64 GB version of the S6 Edge is listed as €949 (which comes to Rs 65,700).
The price of the 128 GB version of the smartphone was not mentioned on the site, raising suspicions on whether it will be part of the initial launch phase. An earlier report had said that the 128GB version of the Galaxy S6 will cost €949, while the Galaxy S6 Edge’s 128GB variant will be priced €1049 which comes to Rs 73,300.
The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge have a metal frame and a glass body both on the front and back.
Galaxy S6 Edge
Galaxy S6 Edge
In terms of specs, the Samsung Galaxy S6 sports a 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLOED display with 2560 X 1440 resolution which comes to a very high 577ppi pixel density. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge also sports a 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED but with dual edge display. Both use Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for protection.
The devices are powered by Samsung’s Exynos 7 Octa-core processor which contain two quad-core processor clocked at 2.1 GHz and 1.5GHz respectively. The smartphones have 3GB RAM.
Both smartphones also use the 14 namometer mobile processor with a 64-bit platform, new LPDDR4 memory system and UFS 2.0 flash memory which the company claims, will provide higher performance and enhanced memory speed with lower power consumption.
The devices run on the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop and come with a 16MP rear camera along with a 5MP front facing camera. The Galaxy S6 has a 2,550mAh battery, while the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has a 2,600mAh battery. Both support universal wireless charging. Samsung also claims that they support incredibly fast wired charging (around 1.5 times faster than the Galaxy S5) providing about 4 hours of usage after only 10 minutes of charging.

New BBM Protected service offers secure exchange of IM chats on BlackBerry, iOS, Android phones

New BBM Protected service offers secure exchange of IM chats on BlackBerry, iOS, Android phones 
New Delhi: In the wake of the Freak attacks and resulting concerns about digital privacy, BlackBerry has decided to offer a secure server for its BBM enterprise users across platforms to exchange messages through a new IM service.
The BBM Protected for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry phones uses encryption keys which are generated by the communicating mobile devices themselves. It is part of the BBM Protected IM service which offers the standard IM app-like features along with boosted security.
A report on PhoneArena stated that the service allows BBM Protected customers to have secure chats with non-BlackBerry Protected workers at other companies, or with customers.
If you are a BBM Protected subscriber and want to IM someone without the service, that user simply needs to download and install the free version of BBM for their BlackBerry, iOS, or Android phone.
BBM Protected is available for BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, iPhone, and Android devices, and no BES is required.

Google testing new on-body detection feature for Android phones

Google testing new on-body detection feature for Android phones 
New Delhi: Google is reportedly introducing a new feature for Android phones that can detect human touch and automatically adjust the lock mode. Using the accelerometer of the phone, the feature can figure out when you are holding the phone or have it in your pocket, and lock it when it is away.
If you unlock the device once, it will stay unlocked till you are holding it or keep it in your pocket. Once you keep the phone away, it will lock again; while picking it up again will require you to manually put in the passcode.
AndroidPolice stated in its report that the purpose behind the feature is to add just a little convenience and security, and avoid the data being easily stolen by potential thieves if you leave your phone sitting on a table or forget it somewhere.
However, there is a catch here. If you hand your phone to someone else while it is unlocked, it will not lock again as the feature isn't equipped to recognise owner's hands or which pocket it sits in.
The feature was spotted on Nexus 4 running Android 5.0.1 OS. Although it is not a feature related to the latest Android 5.1, but would require a 5.0 OS or above that to work.

Apple to bring in 'revamped TV' with App store, Siri in June

A report has said that Apple may bring in a "revamped Apple TV" at its World Wide Developers Conference in June.
Apple's revamped TV is expected to offer more storage and feature a version of Apple's latest mobile chip, the A8, along with third-party apps, voice control with Siri, and an internet-TV service, The Verge reported.
The inclusion of an App store would make the long awaited TV "more dramatic, capable and interesting," as it would allow apps and games to take over the entire

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Benelli wants major share of mid-segment luxury pie

Shirish Kulkarni (left) and George Wang. DH Photo  Superbike major DSK Motowheels, which recently introduced high-end motorcycles of Italian giant Benelli in the Indian market, has said that it aims to capture a major share of the luxury bike market’s mid-segment.
DSK Benelli has rolled out a range of motorcycles in India — Tornado Naked Tre or TNT superbikes — that range from TNT 300, TNT 600i, TNT 600 GT, TNT 899 to TNT R, priced between Rs 2,88,000 and Rs 9,65,000 (ex-showroom Bengaluru). The TNT 300, 600i, and 600 GT (in engine capacities of 300 cc to 600 cc) constitute the mid-segment, according to the company, based on the price point.

“We are certain that the 300-600 cc motorcycle segment will continue to grow and we expect to see our business grow there too. We aim to occupy a majority share of the mid-segment, even as we move on to develop more high-end products,” Benelli Board Director George Wang told Deccan Herald on Friday.

In fiscal 2015-16, the high-end motorcycle segment (250 cc and above), involving imported CKDs, is expected to register sales to the tune of 9,000 units (barring India-manufactured models of KTM and Honda), which by next fiscal would reach 11,000 units. DSK Benelli is aiming at selling 3,000 units during the period, a majority 70 per cent of which will be in the volume-centric mid-segment.

According to DSK Motowheels Chairman Shirish Kulkarni, “In the next 3-4 months, we will roll out three or four new models. By the end of this year, we would have launched over 12 models. We are looking at all categories to unveil new bikes, including less-than-250 cc mass volume models. At the moment, the company is looking at launching bikes in the 300 cc to 1,000 cc categories by the next year.”

DSK Benelli boasts of offering a luxury biking experience across a wide range of models. “Existing players service only niche, top-end segments. We bring a whole range from affordable machines to higher-end biking steeds,” Wang claimed. 

Depending on the company’s growth in the first three years going forward, it will chart further investments. “We have invested Rs 200 crore to push our automotive business plans (including Hyosung), which includes our facility at Wai, Maharashtra, which comprises an assembly capacity of 15 (CKD) bikes a day,” Kulkarni said.

Currently, the company has nine dealerships in the country. In the next 4-5 months, 11 more outlets would be added, with an aim to have 20 dealerships opened by the year-end. Meanwhile, DSK Benelli has opened a new facility in Bengaluru.

OnePlus to Begin Offering the One on Amazon India Without Invite

The OnePlus One is a great device. We were really impressed with it when we did our review last summer. It’s got flagship specs, with a mid-range price. Here in the US, and most of the world, OnePlus has been selling the One on an invite system. Which has had a lot of backlash. However, in India, it looks like they’ll be able to get the device without an invite from Amazon. On March 24, users in India will be able to grab the OnePlus One from without an invite. Which is a pretty big deal, seeing as Carl Pei told us back in January that they won’t be getting away from that in the future either. Seeing as the company doesn’t want to sit on a ton of inventory, seeing as they are still a new startup.
As expected, supplies will be limited. So if you’ve been looking to get a OnePlus One, and you’re in India, you better act quick. The Silk White 16GB version is going to be on sale for Rs 18,999 (about $305 USD) and the 64GB Sandstone Black model is going to be sitting at a price of Rs 21,999 (or about $355 USD). Which means there’s only a $5 difference in prices between India and the US. This comes shortly after OnePlus raised the prices in the Europe due to the declining Euro. The 16GB OnePlus One in Europe is going to €299 and the 64GB gets bumped up to €349. Basically matching the prices in the US.
The OnePlus One is still a great phone, and it’s the company’s first phone. OnePlus has actually been teasing a new product that’s coming next month. They say it’s a “#GameChanger” so many of us are betting on VR or a gamepad for the OnePlus One. We’re also awaiting the OnePlus Two, or whatever the company calls the next generation device. Which we’re hearing is going to be announced in Q2 and Q3. OnePlus is still running Cyanogen’s software, however, they are releasing their own custom ROM called Oxygen. Which will be released next week, actually, ahead of CyanogenMod 12S. Lots of new software dropping next week for the OnePlus One though.

Lenovo A6000 to be available without flash sale

NEW DELHI: Lenovo A6000, the cheapest 4G-enabled Android smartphone in the market, will be available without registration during March 23 and March 25, 2015 on Flipkart.

The sale is part of Flipkart's Big App Shopping days promotion as part of which the ecommerce giant will be offering discounts and freebies to users of its mobile app. The A6000 is usually available via a weekly Wednesday flash sale on Flipkart and requires consumers to register in oredr to purchase the smartphone. Lenovo will not host a flash sale for the phone next week.

Following last week's flash sale, Lenovo had claimed that it has sold 1,80,000 units of the A6000 smartphone in the Indian market.

Available at Rs 6,999, the Lenovo A6000 sports a 5-inch IPS HD (720x1920p) display. Powered by a 64-bit 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor and 1GB RAM, the phone comes with 8GB of storage space.

The phone runs Android 4.4 KitKat with Lenovo's Vibe UI 2.0 custom interface.

A6000 sports an 8MP rear camera (with auto focus and LED flash) and a 2MP front facing camera.

The dual sim phone supports 4G LTE connectivity with support for both FDD 1800MHz (Band 3) and TDD 2300MHz (Band 40) in addition to other popular connectivity options including Bluetooth 4.0 and 3G.

Featuring a 2300mAh battery, the phone has two speakers and Dolby Digital Plus sound.

Lenovo will also offer its Vibe X2 and Z2 Pro smartphones at a discounted price of Rs 17,999 and Rs 29,999, respectively during the FlipKart Big App Shopping Days. The Vibe X2 sells at Rs 19,999 while the Z2 Pro retails at Rs 32,999. The Vibe X2 is a premium mid-range smartphone that offers 4G connectivity and a faux-layered design. Lenovo also offers Xtensions or rear covers that fit tightly with the phone and enhance functionality. The company will also bundle a battery layer with the phone without any extra charges during the 3 days.

The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro is a 6-inch display-equipped phablet that comes with a 2K resolution display and a 4,000mAh battery. Lenovo says it will sell the last few units of the phone during the sale.

Airtel 4G services go live in Moga

Bharti Airtel has announced the expansion of its 4G services to Moga which has now become the 11th town in Punjab to welcome the next generation network. The other areas in this Indian state that already enjoy the telecom company’s 4G coverage include Amritsar, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Mohali, Panchkula, Patiala and Phagwara.
In a press release issued to announce this roll-out, Manu Sood who serves as Airtel’s CEO for Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, noted that customers who sign up for the speedier network can look forward to an ‘electrifying’ Internet browsing experience courtesy of the company’s 4G home Wi-Fi service. This surely means impeccable WhatsApp voice calling too, right?
There’s little need to wax eloquent on what the availability of 4G services means to Airtel customers, of course. Users should technically be able to download a standard length movie in less than 5 minutes. Hooking up multiple devices to the same connection through a Wi-Fi hotspot won’t hurt either and let’s not even get started on YouTube, Vimeo and other sites.
Also see: Bharti Airtel expands 4G service reach in Punjab telecom circle
Airtel’s 4G coverage should be capable of delivering buffer free streaming of videos over the web. The operator is the biggest telecom company in India and is already busy trying to cement its future too. It’s been signing deals with various brands with the idea of keeping its top spot in the market as the country continues to pine for more data at faster speeds.
In January, it was spotted inking a pact with Nokia Networks India over the same. And in 2014, Airtel shook hands with Huawei concerning hardware support. Early this month, there was that deal with China Mobile regarding something similar too.

Facebook reportedly testing new calling feature called 'Phone' for Android app

Facebook reportedly testing new calling feature called 'Phone' for Android app 
New Delhi: In what seems like a new upadate to Facebook, a dialer button has been spotted on the social media giant's Android app.
The feature appears to have mistakenly popped live on the app with a FB-Only tag before its launch and showed a dialer icon, named Phone. However, tapping it to install leads to a 'no page found' error, possibly due to its premature showing up on the app, while the original release is yet to be announced.
A report on the Android Police noting the element said that the Phone button seems like a replacement for a dialer and will block calls from commonly blocked numbers and show you detailed information about incoming calls.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Tag Heuer developing luxury smartwatch with Google, Intel

Most of the smartwatches we’ve seen so far have come from technology companies, but Swiss watchmakers are joining the game.
The latest is Tag Heuer, which announced Thursday that it’s developing a luxury smartwatch with Intel and Google. The watch will ship this year and run Google’s Android Wear OS.
Other details, such as pricing, weren’t immediately available. Android Wear watches from Lenovo, Asus, Sony and Samsung are cheaper than the upcoming Apple Watch, which starts at $349 but will sell for up to $17,000.
For decades, Swiss watches have been revered for their precision and craftsmanship. Rolex has resisted the smartwatch game so far, but Tag Heuer and Swatch are introducing products without abandoning their mechanical roots.
It’s still not clear how much of an appetite there is for smartwatches. Gartner has said they’ll account for 40 percent of consumer wrist-worn devices by 2016.
Swiss manufacturers will try to make headway by trading off their respected brands, said Matthew Bain, founder of Matthew Bain Inc., a fine-watch collecting company.
“I think it will be hard to compete with the technology of Apple,” he said.
Getting into the market makes sense for Tag Heuer, if only to see how well a product will sell, said Chris Hooper, founder of Windy City Watch Collector, which collects and sells new and vintage timepieces.
Tag Heuer probably can’t develop smartwatch technology internally, so working with Google and Intel makes sense, Hooper said.
Smartwatches are only the latest development to threaten the Swiss watch industry, which has had to reinvent itself multiple times in more than a century of existence. The introduction of quartz watches in the late ‘60s and the influx of low-cost watches from Asia in the ‘70s both hurt Swiss watchmakers, who adapted to the changing market.
“The Swiss watchmakers have done a very good job of reinventing themselves, but also selling to the public the cachet of a finely made mechanical watch,” Hooper said.
They’ll be observing the market closely to see how much demand really exists. Swiss watches are often sold as collectibles to be passed down through generations, while smartwatches can be made obsolete with a software upgrade, Hooper noted.
Smartwatches are multifaceted instruments for more than just telling time. They send reminders, collect health information, browse the Web, and notify users of text messages, phone calls and Facebook posts.
While Silicon Valley companies have focused on technology, Swiss manufacturers can use their brands and craftsmanship to make smartwatches more alluring.
Success depends on a good design and a good brand as much as on functionality, said Mike Bell, general manager at Intel’s New Devices Group, in a recent interview.
“As more traditional watch brands come out with smartwatches, you’ll see acceptance because it’s going to be an extension of a brand that people already like, as opposed to a computer company saying ‘hey, I took a cell phone and taped it to my wrist and it’s a smartwatch’,” Bell said.

Design your world - online robots, 3D printers at CeBIT

(Hanover, Germany-AFP) - Need a copy of your wedding ring, a new name tag for the dog, or a spare part for the washing machine? Just print it, is the message at the CeBIT IT fair in Germany.
A host of companies are showcasing new tech marvels, from web-connected robots to 3D printers, that can turn homes, schools and offices into design labs and mini factories.
They say the merging of the virtual and physical worlds will unleash a wave of creativity, democratise manufacturing, and lead people to print rather than buy their Christmas presents.
One of the most eye-catching projects at CeBIT in Hanover is "Robochop", where heavy-duty industrial robots carve foam cubes into furniture or sculptures, based on designs people upload online.
Part tech show, part digital-age art installation, it invites Internet users worldwide to create a shape on their PC or tablet using simple design software and upload it for the bots to cut using a hot wire.
The 2,000 most inspiring designs will be mailed free of charge to their creators' homes, anywhere in the world, say the brains behind Robochop, design duo Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram.
They say the installation is "a means of translating digits into things".
"These robots are a mini factory that is connected not to the owner of the factory but to everyone else," Weisshaar told AFP.
"That's what's going to completely change over the next years. Software will be written that allows users to take over machinery without having the engineering knowledge that you would normally need if you just bought a robot."
Dentures and spaceships
On a more modest scale the 3D printer has for years been a vital tool for designers, engineers, architects and researchers, who typically use it to create models and prototypes.
But here too, breakneck advances in precision, resolution, speed and available materials are rapidly changing the industry.
3D printing has made headlines with eye-popping uses, including downloadable designs for handguns, a prosthetic beak for a Costa Rican toucan, and the "printing" of entire homes with a mix of concrete and recycled rubble by a Chinese company.
The technology "has in fact been around for more than 25 years, but it has been covered by patents", said Sara Bonomi, of US 3D printer maker formlabs. "The industry is really developing so much now because these patents are expiring and the technology is becoming accessible for everyone."
Formlabs makes high-resolution desktop 3D printers that have been used to design everything from jewellery to dentures, and medical devices to the model spaceships seen in Hollywood blockbuster "Interstellar".
While most 3D printers create models "from the bottom up", using resin from a nozzle to add layer upon layer, formlabs employs lasers that solidify a resin to create objects with ultra-crisp detail, in a process sometimes called "optical fabrication".
Compostable plastic
As 3D printing advances, becomes more affordable and enters more family homes, it will change the way people live, Bonomi said.
"Definitely in the future we will be able to customise rings and shoes, and then you can just print them at home," she said -- cautioning that this may lead some do-it-yourselfers to create counterfeits of branded products.
"There will be more questions about copyright and what you can actually make," she warned.
Vitezslav Musilek, of Czech company be3D, predicted that "the world in 10 years will be much easier to live in".
"If you need to purchase a replacement part or you want a new product, you will either download it from a webpage or model it yourself and then print it on your home 3D printer or somewhere else," he said.
Such objects would include "a mobile phone case, or a name tag for your dog ... household appliances like a missing part in your dishwasher, or maybe your own chess set".
So will the 3D printing revolution add new mountains of plastic to a planet already choking in garbage?
Not necessarily, according to Musilek, who said his company's DeeGreen printers use a thermoplastic that is 80 percent corn starch, biodegradable and free of toxic fumes when used.
"When you put it in the compost," he said, "given the right temperature, humidity and bacteria, it will completely dissolve, leaving no pollution to harm the environment."

Vine iOS update lets you watch videos offline

WASHINGTON: Vine has released an update that will make its iOS app faster when starting up and will enable it to work offline.

Vine users will be able to download videos even when the app is closed, reported The Verge.

The update is aimed at ensuring that videos are ready to go as soon as you open the app, even if you don't have an internet connection.

Videos will preload from your main feed and from Vine's explore section. The process will consume more of your data however; it will affect you only if you're a regular user.

The update will also introduce a smaller video size for people on slower connections.

Vine plans to bring the update to Android soon.

Nearly 40 per cent of iPhone owners interested in Apple Watch: Poll

The high-tech smartwatch, which will range in price from $350 to $17,000 for an 18-karat gold model, is Apple Inc's first major new product in five years.
SAN FRANCISCO: About 40 per cent of adult Apple iPhone owners in the United States are interested in buying the company's new Apple Watch, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll.

The high-tech smartwatch, which will range in price from $350 to $17,000 for an 18-karat gold model, is Apple Inc's first major new product in five years and consumer demand for the device is being closely watched by competitors and investors.

Owners of the iPhone are a particularly important market for Apple as it launches the new watch, which goes on sale April 24. Because the watch needs an iPhone to work fully, analysts say the most likely pool of initial buyers will already have an Apple smartphone in their pockets.

BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk said that with more than 100 million active iPhone users in the United States and closer to half a billion globally, the survey was "pretty encouraging" for a product that has not been seen in shops, even if was unclear how much of the interest would translate into purchases.

Pacific Crest Securities analyst Andrew Hargreaves said it was not clear how many people wanted or needed a smartwatch. But he expected Apple's cache and marketing might to deliver strong initial sales of the Apple Watch.

"Winning Apple customers is more realistic at this point," said Hargreaves.

The watch allows users to check email, listen to music and make phone calls.

Ipsos surveyed 2,469 Americans aged 18 and older online between March 9 and March 17 and found that 24 per cent expressed an interest in purchasing the Apple Watch, including 10 per cent of those describing themselves as "very interested." The data was weighted to reflect the US population and has a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.

Among the iPhone owners, 39 per cent were interested in purchasing the Apple watch, including 17 per cent describing themselves as very interested. There were 788 iPhone owners in the survey with a credibility interval of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Discussions about the watch have flooded online social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook since Apple held a splashy event in San Francisco on March 9 to showcase the watch.

Social media chatter about the Apple watch was 15 per cent positive and 5 per cent negative in the week following Apple's event, according to an analysis that the firm Networked Insights conducted for Reuters. The remaining 80 per cent was neutral. By contrast, the social conversation for Apple's iPhone 6 during the same week was 5 per cent positive and 0 per cent negative, according to the analysis.

Among the conversations relating to the Apple watch during the one-week period, 5.8 per cent of the comments showed an intent to purchase, according to Networked Insights, which analyzes tweets, public Facebook posts and other sources. Social comments about the iPhone 6, which has been on sale since September, showed a 2.9 per cent purchase intent during the same week.

Pros and cons of the Apple Watch

apple watch afp
Durban - In the six months since Apple chief executive Tim Cook unveiled the company’s entry into the smartwatch market, fanboys and tech watchers alike have engaged in speculation about how much each model would cost, the app selection, battery life and when it would arrive in stores.
Recently, Cook took the stage at the company’s HQ in Cupertino, California to flesh out these details, unleashing a deluge of media coverage that’s probably left you more confused than informed.
I have trawled through it all and distilled it to its essentials. Here are four reasons you’ll want to go out and buy the Apple Watch… and four more you may want to steer well clear.
It’s an Apple
For many Apple fans this will be enough of a reason for them to snap it up. I predict long queues at Apple stores when it goes on sale in several countries (but not SA) on April 24. This adulation is not without merit. Apple products have a reputation for being superbly crafted and a joy to use.
Design and build quality
By all accounts from the journalists lucky enough to have handled it at the Cupertino event the Apple Watch is a marvel of industrial design. From the entry level aluminium bodied “Sport” model to the top-of-the-range 18-karat gold “Edition”, these wearables seem to be true works of functional art. Moreover…
It feels like a real watch
While many smartwatches already on the market feel like clunky smartphones shrunken down just enough to fit on to a wrist strap, the Apple Watch feels like a premium wristwatch.
Quality doesn’t come cheap and for many Apple fans that’s a plus, not a minus. After all, what’s the point of owning a prestige timepiece if everyone’s wearing one tomorrow? Never fear. With prices starting at $349 (R4 300) for the smaller sized aluminium “Sport”, climbing to $549 (R6 800) for the stainless steel model, all the way up to an eye-watering $17 000 (R210 000) for the gold version with all the optional extras, you won’t battle to find one that sets you apart from the rabble.
It’s an Apple
However good the Apple Watch is, it needs to be paired with a recent model iPhone. But most smartphone owners in South Africa own an Android-powered device. If you’re one of them you’ll have to ditch that phone and shell out for an iPhone, hardly an attractive option with top notch Android-compatible alternatives available, several now in their second or even third generation.
It’s a first generation device
As such, you can expect all manner of glitches and bugs. Most will be patched and ironed out over time, but the second generation Apple Watch, whenever that comes, will be leaps and bounds ahead of this version.
You’ll have to wait for it
The Apple Watch goes on sale in the US, the UK, Australia, and several European and Asian countries on April 24. There’s still no word on when it’ll land in South Africa but you can expect it to be weeks, maybe even months after that.
The premium price tag that’s a selling point for Apple snobs is a turn-off for more down-to-earth techies. With several smartwatches with all the functionality – in some cases more – of the Apple Watch on the market for half the price or less, it may not be the smartest choice.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Windows 10 targets current pirates with free update

Microsoft has laid out the minimum requirements for computers and mobile devices to run Windows 10 -- and has also revealed that pirated copies of Windows will be upgraded too.
Microsoft's operating systems unit Executive Vice-President Terry Myerson took to the stage to talk up the new software at the Windows Hardware Engineering Community (WinHEC) summit in Shenzhen, China. Having already confirmed that current users of Windows 7 and 8 would get a free upgrade to Windows 10, Myerson revealed that the free upgrade will be available to illegal copies of the software too.
The move is an attempt to bring pirate users back into the official Microsoft sphere, and is likely to have the greatest impact in China, where it's reported that the majority of software is not properly licensed. To tackle China, Microsoft has partnered with Chinese companies Tencent and Qihu 360.
Microsoft also revealed that Windows 10 will launch in 190 countries "this summer".
Desktop PCs will need to be packing at least 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage to run the 32-bit version of Windows 10. Computers will need to double that up for the 64-bit edition. Screens are required to be bigger than 7 inches for Windows Pro, or bigger than 8 inches for the consumer version.

Country has 95.5 crore mobile subscribers: Telecom minister

A whopping 95.5 crore mobile phone connections have been taken by India's 120 crore population, Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday.
Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said this was a reflection on how much the mobile phone network has expanded in the country.
"There were 30 core internet connections in the country till last year which was more than the United States and next to China.
In the use of smartphones, India is next only to the US," the minister said during question hour. He said the telecom ministry was implementing the Technology Development for Indian Languages (TDIL) programme and its objectives included research and development of language technologies, software tools and applications for Indian languages, proliferation of language technology products and solutions.
Another objective of the programme was to develop standards for linguistic resources, tools and applications for inter-operability.
The minister said under the TDIL programme, CDs containing software tools and fonts for 22 constitutionally-recognised Indian languages have been made available in public domain through the <> portal.
This has empowered the citizens to use Information and Communication Technology in their own languages.
Further, various Indian language tools, technologies, linguistic resources and standards developed under the TDIL programme have been made available, like machine translation, optical character recognition, text to speech, sanskrit tools, monolingual search engines.
Prasad said a number of initiatives to develop tools like language CDs and keyboard drivers for android based mobile devices, technologies like machine translation, optical character recognition, cross lingual information, text to speech, automatic speech recogntion etc. and standards like unicode, web standards, speech standards, corpus standards and natural language processing standards have been taken.
"TDIL is an ongoing research and development programme which caters to emerging language technology needs of the masses and changing Information and Communication Technology environment," he said.

Google Play launches a global age-based app rating system based on local standards

Google Play ratings system
Google is announcing that it is adopting a global age-based system for rating apps in its Google Play store. The system is automated so that developers can answer questionnaires and get a recommended rating quickly that covers advice for parents about how old kids have to be to play the game or app.
The system also has safeguards to deal with incorrect ratings, and it will have oversight from Google Play and ratings agencies around the world. One of the smart things about it is that it can develop automated ratings for a game or app based on the local customs of various regions with ratings systems. It’s all about having developers better label their apps for the right audience, Google said.
The system is based on the fact that people in different countries have their own ideas about what content is appropriate for kids, teens and adults, said Eunice Kim, Product Manager for Google Play, in an interview with GamesBeat.
“We know that cultural standards are different the world over,” Kim said. “We wanted to be sensitive to those differences, especially when we have a billion users using the product every day. We wanted to make sure it wasn’t burdensome for the developer.”
Developers can answer questions about an app, such as whether it uses any images with nudity or common naughty words. Then Google Play generates an automated rating for the title based on ratings systems. In North America, the title is based on ratings from the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, an industry supported group that is part of the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC). Other members include the Pan-European Game Information (PEGI), Australian Classification Board, Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (USK) and ClassificaĆ§Ć£o Indicativa (ClassInd). Territories without ratings authorities will display a generic age-based rating.
ESRB ratings
Above: ESRB ratings
Image Credit: ESRB
The system will be implemented for all apps in the coming weeks around the world. Google believes that the change will give developers an easy way to communicate ratings to users and receive better app discovery and engagement for their apps.
“Android is in the hands of a billion people in 190 countries, and we have paid out more than $7 billion to developers,” said Purnima Kochikar, director of business development for Google Play, in an interview. “What we are doing here is helping developers categorize their apps in a way that users understand.”
To sign up for a rating, developers can sign in to the Android Developer Console and complete the new rating questionnaire for each app. Apps without a completed rating questionnaire will be marked as “Unrated” and may be blocked in certain territories or for specific users. Starting in May, all new apps and updates to existing apps will require a completed questionnaire before they can be published on Google Play. The ratings have descriptions that help parents out, such as “has nudity.” Kochikar noted that the developer doesn’t rate the game; the agency produces the rating based on the questionnaire.
“This is an emerging area, and no one else does it this way,” said Kim. “In the past, it has taken thousands of dollars and weeks to rate video games. We believe the accuracy and the objectivity here is beyond what is available in the market now. This is a technical solution to a human problem (of having too many games to rate). The answers to the questionnaire map to different rating levels. They do not proactively review the ratings before they get published, but they have the right to review them after they are published. It is meant to be a streamlined process.”
Kim said the system was initiated in response to user interest. It wasn’t driven by complaints or laws in various countries.
“We previously had one size fits all,” Kochikar said. “Now it is based on local ratings.”
If there is a mistake, developers can challenge the rating. Or if a developer misrepresents a game, Google Play can override a rating so it is consistent with what the rating agencies would do. The rating agencies can also step in.
Previously, Google used a rating system that it had designed itself, but it was one system for the entire world.
“It’s top of mind for us to do a better job with families and parents,” Kim said.
Patricia Vance, head of the ESRB, said in an interview that the process with Google took about a year to complete. She said that other carriers and platforms are in the midst of creating their own policies based on similar notions. The ESRB launched its own solution for digital game ratings a few years ago, and this Google Play system leverages that work. The IARC now has ratings that cover 1.5 billion people around the world, she said.
“It was built to be scalable and to handle the higher volumes of mobile apps,” Vance said. “We needed a scalable system that was also verifiable.”
In a related development, Kochikar said that several months ago, Google began reviewing apps before they were published on Google Play to better protect the community and improve the app catalog. Developers can check where their app is in the approval process. Google doesn’t approval apps with sexual content, copyright-infringing intellectual property, and real-money gambling.
This new process has a team of human experts who are responsible for identifying violations of the developer policies earlier in the app life cycle. This team uses automated tools and their own judgment to quickly decide whether apps can be published or not. Kochikar said that developers haven’t noticed any delays in the process, and now the team can approve apps in a matter of hours rather than days.
Google also provides reasons why apps are rejected or suspended, based on its content policies.
Vance noted that other carriers and platforms are performing the same analysis now. Apple has not signed on yet, she said. Vance said she believes that titles based on Xbox Live, Nintendo eShop, and the PlayStation Network will use the same IARC system as Google for territory-based ratings around the world. So far, the Firefox Marketplace has also approved the IARC system.
Kochikar attributes the success of Android to a focus on better business management, smarter tools for developers, and a good user experience. Kochikar said carrier billing is available in 32 countries, with 11 new ones added in 2014. Gift cards are in 28 countries, with 21 added in 2014. And PayPal is available in 18 countries, all launched last year.
“We are in more places and more ways,” Kochikar said. “We’ve focused on flexible business models, including in-app purchases and subscriptions.”

Opera Coast 4.1 for iOS Adds Video Boost and More New Features

The updated Opera Coast browser is available on the App Store and is compatible with all devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch) running iOS 7.0 and higher.
The video boost feature on Opera Coast browser is claimed to compress the overall video size to reduce the time taken to buffer the video. It works only when Opera Turbo is enabled.
"Using the Rocket Optimizer engine, Opera's video boost is the first time that video optimization has been integrated into a Web browser, so your browser can now become your favourite video app. Opera Coast has always been about reflecting how people truly surf on their mobile devices, and part of that is kicking back with trending, inspiring or downright hysterical videos," explained company in its press briefing.
Other than video boost, company says that Opera Coast now has more features to speed up browsing experience. The browser has added a page-loading status with the progress bar, an easier way to return to search from the Discover news feed (by swiping down), and support for sharing pages directly to Pinterest, Evernote, Pocket and Kik. Opera also claims that users can now navigate back to the previous page of a secure website without refreshing the page.
Last month, Opera mobile browser added a feature - Opera Max App Pass - that let operators offer subscribers free access to selected apps.
The new Opera Max App Pass feature will soon also allow advertisers to offer phone users sponsored or paid passes for using mobile apps. The feature is being tested by Telenor in some Asian markets, said company.

Microsoft 'not killing' Internet Explorer just yet

Microsoft's Internet Explorer has although slipped lower and lower on the popularity meter in the past few years, however, several Windows users, including celebrities like Zooey Deschanel, came to its rescue after Microsoft hinted that it might squash the ageing browser.
The confusion started when Microsoft's Chris Capossela said at the Microsoft Convergence event on Monday that the company was working on a new browser name and brand that will feature in Windows 10, reported Mashable. Capossela added that the project was codenamed "Project Spartan."
This statement was read as a hint that the IE browser in the upcoming Windows OS will be replaced by another browser. However, Microsoft late clarified that the IE browser will be very much alive. A spokesperson said, "Project Spartan is Microsoft's next generation browser, built just for Windows 10."
The firm said that it will continue to make Internet Explorer available with Windows 10 for enterprises and other customers who require legacy browser support.

More Channels Could Be Coming to Apple’s TV Service

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Presents Democalypse 2014: South By South Mess 

Discovery and Viacom are reportedly in talks with Apple

Apple’s rumored upcoming pay-TV service may be getting a more robust channel offering than originally thought.
The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the new service, now says that Discovery Communications (owner of Discovery Channel and Animal Planet) and Viacom (owner of Nickelodeon and Comedy Central) are in talks to partner with Apple, a move that could bring programs like MythBusters and The Daily Show to the platform.
The Journal had earlier reported that Disney, CBS and 21st Century Fox were considering bringing their channels to the service, which would deliver content via the Internet on Apple devices such as the Apple TV and iPad.
The price of Apple’s service is still up in the air, but figures ranging from $25 to $40 per month have been floated so far in media reports. If the new service actually launches, Apple will be competing not only with traditional cable operators but also other tech companies like Sony that are also planning on launching pay-TV offerings.

Windows RT is Dead, But Microsoft Hasn't Learned

Windows RT is dead, according to a Microsoft slide shown on today. It will not receive updates. It has no upgrade path, although it may get a few consolation features. It was a bad idea in the first place. And now, Microsoft may be making the same mistake again with Windows 10.
Names and stories matter; they tell you what things are. Windows RT, a variant of Windows 8 designed to run on ARM-based tablets using chips from the likes of Qualcomm and Nvidia, was doomed because of a bad name and a bad story. Crammed in between Windows Phone and Windows 8.1, RT ran a subset of desktop Windows applications that were distributed through the Windows app store. Most notably, it had a full copy of Microsoft Office relatively early for low-cost tablets.
But Microsoft could never properly communicate exactly which apps did and didn't run on RT, confusing potential customers who then went for either "real Windows" or iOS tablets. The killer messages for Windows are productivity and gaming, but the vast majority of line-of-business apps and the vast majority of Windows games never ran on RT.
RT was made irrelevant when Intel came out with x86 processors small and cheap enough to fit into $299 tablets like the four-star Lenovo Miix 2 8"$269.00 at Amazon, thus making slates trying to leverage a Qualcomm price and power-efficiency advantage look irrelevant when competing against "full Windows" tablets able to run all Windows apps, with no compromises.
Windows 10 Mobile Phone Series For Phones and Tablets
So now we have Windows 10 coming. Windows 10 will run on mobile phones, 7-inch tablets, 10-inch tablets, laptops, and desktops. But wait! There are two versions of Windows 10, and they are incompatible. They run different apps. Both are called "Windows 10."
The evolved Windows Phone, which is designed for both ARM and x86-based processors, and which runs on devices with 8-inch or smaller touch screens, runs one set of apps. The evolved Windows 8.1, which runs only on x86 processors and has a non-touchscreen mode, runs another set of apps. But Microsoft is giving them the same name.
This has resulted in a lot of confusion in the press. I've heard Microsoft partners calling the new phone OS "Windows 10 Mobile," "Windows Mobile 10," "Windows Phone 10," and "Windows 10 for Phones." Today's slide lists it as "Windows Mobile 10," which I've had Microsoft executives tell me is wrong. The Microsoft website calls it "Windows 10 for phones." I think our house style around here at the moment is "Windows 10 for phones and tablets," but that's subject to change.
This is important because Microsoft can't afford to have consumers be confused. Pretty much all Android devices (in the U.S.) run pretty much all Android apps; the same goes for iOS devices. (When Amazon forked Android, it changed the name to Fire OS.) The same needs to go for "Windows 10," or less technical buyers will once again be confused and frustrated as to what they're actually purchasing.
When Do We Get One Windows?
There needs to be one Windows, or two. Ideally, one. Not three. Microsoft's two major competitors have gone for the two-OS strategy—Mac OS and iOS, Android and Chrome OS. Microsoft's impenetrable advantage in home and enterprise computing has always been the epic depth of its bench of third-party apps. Throwing that away, as it did with Windows Phone, really weakened the company.
I'd be very interested to see if Microsoft can find some way to truly bring the power of Windows 10 to mobile platforms. Maybe that's some sort of virtualization or streaming-app solution. It's amazing to me that OnLive and Nvidia, among others, have shown Windows games streaming to Android devices, but that there's no official, well-supported solution to stream Windows games to Windows phones. Microsoft will stream Xbox games to some Windows devices, but for now, it looks like that excludes all the ARM-based phones and tablets. Microsoft has been very unclear on this. I hold out hope.
If Microsoft is truly going the two-OS route, it should commit. Embrace Windows 10 for phones as a well-integrated, well-optimized sibling of Windows 10, and stop trying to conflate the two. The last thing we want to see is Windows RT all over again.

LG India Tech Show 2015: Announcements

Hot on the heels of the Mobile World Congress and CES at Las Vegas, LG offered a sneak peek of its big tech launches for the Indian market. The LG India tech show, now in its third edition was held in Delhi today and showed off LG’s capabilities in the home entertainment, appliances and mobile devices categories. As expected, LG took the wraps off the LG G Flex 2, that we first saw at CES, the slightly overwhelming 105K OLED TV with its 266 cm screen, the LG Inverter V AC with its unique ‘mosquito away technology’ and the mammoth 1000-litre double ‘door-in-door’ refrigerator.
Larger than life:
If you have Rs 60 lakh in spare change, you might want to consider the world’s first 5K television. Even as consumers are gradually making the shift to 4K TVs, LG has upped the ante with the launch of this massive 5K TV that takes ‘immersive’ to another level. A 266 cm screen, IPS 5K panel with 11 million pixels and a horizontal 5120 x 2160 resolution. The TV gets a leg up with a 7.2 channel sound system designed by Harman/Kardon that packs in a whopping 150W of sound. If the price is out of your budget then the 77 4K OLED TV might do the trick. Priced at Rs 15 lakh, this TV, with seriously deep blacks and life-like colours, also features sound designed by Harmon/Kardon and the all-new Web OS 2.0 for an enhanced ‘Smart’ TV experience.

Bend it like LG:
LG’s first G Flex device with a curved display didn’t exactly set the sales charts on fire, but that hasn’t stopped LG from unveiling a successor – the much improved G Flex 2. The G Flex 2 is a gorgeous blend of four distinct curves that lend this device its unique form factor. It doesn’t just make the device easy to grip but the G Flex 2 also has excellent viewing angles on the 5.5-inch Plastic OLED screen. The camera is ridiculously quick and very selfie-friendly – it now supports gesture controls for selfies up to 1.5 metres; you might not need that selfie stick after all. The device also comes with a unique self-healing back cover that makes minor scratches disappear almost miraculously. The device is also a powerhouse – the first device with the new generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor (64 bit, Octa-core) and also comes with a handy quick charge mode that promises to fire up your device from 0 to 100% in 40 minutes flat. At Rs 55,000 LG seems to have priced the device more wisely than its predecessor.  

LG ups its wearable game:
We’ve been fans of LG’s newest wearable – the LG Watch Urbane, since it debuted at the Mobile World Congress. It’s easily one of the best looking smartwatches out there and can actually pass for a spiffy looking designer watch. There’s a slightly bright gold case and a more sober silver case (you can play around with custom straps). It’s not all form though; this device comes in two versions – one that runs on Android Wear while the other (The LTE version) sports LG’s custom interface and also has its own SIM card slot. The Urbane is powered by a 1.2GHz processor (plus 1GB RAM) and also features 4GB of onboard memory. It sports the same plastic OLED display similar to the one found on the G Flex 2. At an expected price band of Rs 25,000 – 30,000 it might still be a tough sell for LG given that consumers are still playing the waiting game as far as wearables go.
Mid-market trio:
Much of the action in the smartphone space is in the fiercely competitive Rs 10,000 – 20,000 segment where finicky consumers want serious bang for their buck. LG has lined up three devices – the Leon, Spirit and Magna (priced between Rs 12,000 and Rs 18,000) in a bid to carve a 10% market share in the smartphone segment in India. The devices are bound to stand out in this cluttered segment with their ‘slightly’ curved form factor (the screens of these three devices are not curved though) and their striking IPS displays. All three devices come with Android 5.0 (Lollipop) out of the box.