Saturday, 29 August 2015

Microsoft’s Upcoming Cityman And Talkman Don’t Look Like Flagships

The world is changing indeed! Famed leaker @evleaks or Evan Blass has leaked out what looks like legitimate renders of the upcoming Microsoft flagships and things don’t look too good, Both Cityman and Talkman are visible in crystal clear renders and frankly speaking, it appears that Microsoft took the budget Lumia 640 XL and simply switched a few components. Clearly, a lot of Windows Phone fans will be missing Nokia today. While Windows Phone fans will be disappointed, there is some good news. We also have details about the hardware specifications of these two upcoming flagships (since there is no choice anyways).

For the Talkman which is the smaller one of the two:
=>We get a 5.2 inch WQHD (2560 x1440 pixels) OLED display
=>Inside there is hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal memory (expandable)
=> For the camera, there is a 20 MP PureView unit on the back and a 5 MP wide-angle unit up front =>The device will pack in the usual connectivity options along with a USB Type C port and Qi Wireless charging via a flip cover
=>All of the above will be powered by a removable 3000 mAh battery

Coming to the Talkman’s elder sibling the Cityman:
=>We get a 5.7 inch WQHD (2560 x1440 pixels) OLED display
=>Inside there is octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal memory (expandable)
=>For the camera, there is a 20 MP PureView unit on the back with what appears to be a triple LED flash and a 5 MP wide-angle unit up front
=>The device will pack in the usual connectivity options along with a USB Type C port and Qi Wireless charging built-in
=>All of the above will be powered by a removable 3300 mAh battery

Both smartphones are expected to sport a polycarbonate body, with the Cityman also showing off its aluminium side-buttons. As for “the world is changing” bit, it is, and so are the times. It is now a time when Samsung is producing polished and refreshed designs made of metal and glass, while Microsoft (dare we say Nokia) with its acquired Nokia bits is making a fool of the brand with designs like we have seen today.

Instagram adds new photo sizes to retain users and attract ads

Instagram has added new layout options in addition to its signature square for pictures and videos in a bid to attract more advertisers and to stop users defecting to more flexible services such as Snapchat. The move is the first major alteration to the photo-sharing, social media service since Facebook Inc bought it for $1 billion in 2012, and addresses the wishes of many of its 300 million users, who have been constrained by the square format. “It boils down to giving advertisers and users more options,” said Debra Aho Williamson, a social media marketing and advertising analyst. “You want people to be able to see more of your ad. It’s something advertisers are definitely going to be interested in.” One in five photos and videos posted on the service do not fit the square format, Instagram said in a blog post. “Friends get cut out of group shots, the subject of your video feels cramped and you can’t capture the Golden Gate Bridge from end to end,” it said. From Thursday, Instagram’s web-based service and its mobile apps running on Google Inc’s Android system and Apple Inc’s iOS will allow portrait and landscape formats, giving both users and paying advertisers more options. The move should help Instagram in its battle with newer rivals such as Snapchat for users in the fast-moving messaging and media-sharing market. At the same time, it should attract more advertising revenue for Instagram, which said in June it would open its platform to all advertisers by the end of the year, rather than just to select brands. Instagram is expected to generate nearly $600 million in advertising revenue by the end of this year and $2.8 billion in 2017, according to projections from research firm eMarketer. By comparison Facebook, the world’s most popular online social network, generated more than $12 billion in revenue in 2014. The growing service hit one billion users in a single day for the first time on Monday. To promote the new formats on Thursday, Walt Disney Co released exclusive footage of its upcoming film, “Star Wars, The Force Awakens,” using the new landscape option. - See more at:

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Panasonic unveils Toughbook CF-54 semi-rugged laptop at Rs 1,39,000

Panasonic, Panasonic Toughbook, Panasonic Toughbook CF-54, technology news
Panasonic has introduced another Toughbook model called CF-54. Panasonic claims this semi rugged PC to be the thinnest and lightest in its category and is aimed professionals who are always on the move. With the ruggedity it offers it can also be used for usage by service engineers in the automotive diagnostic industry, field work and other business verticals, mainly for indoor maintenance, without compromising on the aesthetic appeal of the PC. It can also be customised as per customer usage with integrated ports, 3G, dedicated GPS and other customisation. The Toughbook CF-54 has a thickness of 29.8 mm and weighs 1.99 kg light. “This makes it approximately 50% thinner and 25% lighter than the previous model CF-53,” said Panasonic in a statement. The CF-54 is equipped with the new 5th Generation Intel CoreTM i5-5300U vPro processor with 3 MB cache, 2.3 GHz up to 2.9 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology with 4GB RAM expandable upto 16GB. It has a sunlight viewable screen that enhances the screen for easy outside viewing and comes with a spill resistant keyboard, vibration, shock resistant features and is 2.5 feet drop shock resistant. “It has a good battery backup with 11hrs operational backup, it also has an option of hot swappable battery feature enabling you to change batteries without shutting down the computer, allowing you to work 24X7 if your work demands. It offers optional smart card reader, fingerprint reader and contactless smart card reader and various interfaces and options like Serial Port, VGA, PC Card, Rugged USB, 2nd LAN, etc,” according to the statement. Priced at Rs1,39,000, it is built for easy integration into existing IT infrastructures. - See more at:

Review: Pixel V1

Lava Pixel V 1 is the fourth smartphone to be launched under Google’s Android One initiative. Photographs: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Indian smartphone maker Lava has launched an Android One device for Rs.11,349. The Pixel V1 is part of Google’s Android One initiative, which aims to provide good, affordable Android phones.
Price matters
At Rs.11,349, the Pixel V1 is the most expensive Android One phone; the three phones launched earlier as part of this initiative are the Micromax Canvas A1 (Rs.6,499), Spice Dream Uno (Rs.6,499) and Karbonn Sparkle V (Rs.6,399).
The Pixel V1 faces stiff competition from more established rivals, the Lenovo K3 Note (Rs.9,999) and Yu Yureka Plus (Rs.8,999), which offer a better experience.
The screen lacks crispness
The Pixel V1 has a 5.5-inch display, with a screen resolution of 1,280x720 pixels. Though the screen size is ideal for watching movies, reading and gaming, the resolution is on the lower side. Plus, the screen isn’t very crisp, so the text looks dull. It isn’t very vivid either; the colours look washed out in videos and photographs. In comparison, the Yureka Plus and K3 Note each have 5.5-inch displays with full HD (1,920x1,080 pixels) resolution, with better text reproduction and colours.

The camera is slow
The Pixel V1 has a 13-megapixel camera. On paper, that seems fairly powerful. But just as with a lot of other smartphone cameras, this one struggles in low-light shots which are not clear or detailed. Even daytime shots are not crisp.
The default camera app is the Google Camera (free download on the Google Play Store). It does not have a lot of features and the user really does not have much control over aspects such as exposure, sharpness, contrast. etc. It also takes time to process images after the shutter button has been pressed. The Yureka Plus also comes with a 13-megapixel camera, which is faster and offers better picture quality.
Stutters during heavy tasks
Lava uses a MT6582 quad-core MediaTek processor and has paired it with 2 GB RAM. This provides enough power for smooth reading, calls, YouTube videos and social networking. Games and movies, however, do not run smoothly—it stuttered with HD movies and games like FIFA 15. While this phone is good for basic tasks, it isn’t worth the price. In comparison, the Yureka Plus is powered by a more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor, works smoothly and supports 4G networks. The Pixel V1 works only with 2G and 3G network
Battery life is average
The Pixel V1 comes with a 2,650 mAh battery, which sounds impressive on paper. In real life, it barely managed to last a full day when used as a primary device for reading, Web browsing, calling and watching videos.
The positive aspect

The Pixel V1 is a smart-looking phone with neat design touches. The plastic looks like aluminium. The compact design ensures this 5.5-inch phone feel like it is 5 inches. The Pixel V1 weighs 135g, which is less than what many 5.5-inch phones weigh.The Yureka Plus weighs about 155g. The Pixel V1 runs the latest Android One software, based on Android 5.1(Lollipop). The company promises that the phone will receive all Google OS updates for the next two years.

Apple working on service to transcribe voicemail messages

Apple's digital assistant, Siri, will soon be able to transcribe voicemail messages from iPhones, according to the publication Business Insider, which reported that the new service could make its debut next year. "Apple employees are testing a voicemail service that uses Siri to answer your calls and transcribe voicemail messages," said Business Insider. "Apple's iCloud service will then send you the text of the transcribed voicemail - meaning you will never need to listen to your voicemails again," the publication continued, adding that the service presumably will debut with the iOS10 operating system. Business Insider said that the new option will also help to bridge the generation gap because young users don't like to use voicemail. Essentially, when an iCloud Voicemail user is unable to take a call, Siri will answer instead of allowing the call go to a standard digital audio recorder. It will then transcribe the incoming voicemail. Apple is thus following in the steps of Google, which is already offering a voicemail transcription service as part of its Google Voice service, although the quality of the service has not always been very good. Google recently announced on its blog that it is improving the quality of the Google Voice transcriptions with a new technology that the firm says reduces transcription mistakes by about half. EFE

Windows 10 silently uses your bandwidth to send updates to others

"Windows Update Delivery Optimization lets you get Windows updates and Windows Store apps from sources in addition to Microsoft. This can help you get updates and apps more quickly if you have a limited or unreliable Internet connection. And if you own more than one PC, it can reduce the amount of Internet bandwidth needed to keep all of your PCs up-to-date." A system that helps you save some bandwidth by sending updates to other PCs on your network. Sounds great, right? But then you read on [emphasis added]: "Delivery Optimization also sends updates and apps from your PC to other PCs on your local network or PCs on the Internet." So Microsoft is turning newly upgraded Windows 10 PCs into systems to effectively fileshare updates with others. Some aspects worth highlighting: Delivery Optimization is turned on by default in Windows 10. At no point during the Windows 10 installation process are users asked about this, which means that those with a restricted bandwidth don't get the chance to opt out. WUDO doesn't replace the existing Windows Update mechanism but instead is used to augment it. Microsoft states in the FAQ that WUDO "uses the same security measures as Windows Update and the Windows Store" and "doesn't access your personal files or folders or change any files on your PC". There are three options: Get and send updates from PCs on your local network and PCs on the internet, just with PCs on your network, or turn the feature off. For Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education the default option is to download and share updates with PCs on your local network, while for all other versions Windows 10 with send and receive files from PCs on your local network and PCs on the internet. WUDO will not use connections marked as metered. To mark a connection as metered click Start > Settings > Network & Internet > Wi‑Fi > Advanced options and use the toggle switch under Set as metered connection. WUDO can be disabled. Go to Start > Settings > Updates & security > Windows Update > Advanced options and then select Choose how updates are delivered, and use the toggle to turn Delivery Optimization off. Beyond the ability to turn the feature off or mark connections a metered, I don't see any obvious method to control how much bandwidth this feature consumes. While WUDO doesn't present any known security risks at present, security expert Graham Cluley was keen to point out that hackers have previously managed to exploit weaknesses in the Windows Update mechanism, using it to spread the Flame malware.

YouTube’s Desktop Web Player Gets A New Look

Does YouTube look different to you today? If you’re noticing that the YouTube player on the desktop seems to have a sleeker look-and-feel, then you’ve probably spotted the update YouTube has just rolled out. The company launched a new HTML5 video player for desktop users, which now features a transparent control bar that disappears when you’re not using it, as well as updated buttons and drop-down menus. The revamped player, spotted by the Google Operating System blog, has been in testing for around four months. With the changes and the disappearing controls, the YouTube player on the desktop now operates more like it does on mobile devices. However, as part of the update, the “Watch Later” button has been removed from the control bar. The buttons on the new player are also larger, while the drop-downs for speed and quality also look to be more mobile-inspired, the blog noted at the time of the initial tests.The updates, while minor in the grand scheme of things, come at a time when more people are watching YouTube on their phones than ever before. The company recently noted that, on mobile, YouTube is now seeing average session times of over 40 minutes, which is up more than 50 percent over last year. Meanwhile, growth in “watch time” on YouTube is now up 60 percent year-over-year – which is the fastest growth rate it has seen in two years. It makes sense then that YouTube would want to streamline its products to make its desktop web player feel more like its mobile counterpart, especially as users switch back and forth between devices. This is not the first time that YouTube has updated its product due to the impact of mobile users and their behaviors, we should point out. Recently, for example, the company made a change to how it displays vertical videos – which is a popular format now because of how users today hold their phones when they hit “record.” With an update to its iOS and Android apps, YouTube now expands these videos to fill your phone or tablet’s display.

Twitter experiments with 'News Tab' feature

The feature is the latest in a string of products the San Francisco company has launched since Jack Dorsey took the reins as chief executive in June. Facing mounting pressure from Wall Street to improve ad revenue and user growth, the launch of features such as News Tab and the recently-released product and place pages are seen as the social network’s latest efforts to make relevant a platform that has fallen behind competitors such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. The News Tab feature, which is already available in Japan, appears as a middle tab on the mobile version of Twitter, and brings up a list of trending headlines. When users click on the headlines, they’re taken to a story screen with image, some text from the story, and the top tweets discussing it. cComments Got something to say? Start the conversation and be the first to comment. ADD A COMMENT 0 “We’re experimenting with a news experience on iOS and Android as we continue to explore new ways to surface the best content to users,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a prepared statement. In its most recent quarter, Twitter reported having 304 million monthly active users, up 2 million from the first quarter.

Motorola rolls out home pick up and drop service in Delhi NCR at Rs 199

Motorola has introduced a pilot project called Moto Xpress to provide after- sale services to its consumers at their doorstep in Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida. Moto Xpress is a home pick up and drop service, that will rectify software and accessory related issues, on the spot within an hour and hardware issues will be resolved within 5 working days. The service can be availed for Rs 199 each time.
“In case, an issue arises with your Motorola smartphone, you can dial our Moto Xpress Service Booking number ‘011-41717124’. As you register your request, our service staff will reach out to a trained Motorola representative who will be at your doorstep on his bike, in no time,” according to a release. Currently, Motorola has 160 service centers across the country.

Govt lifts ban on websites that don't have child pornography

Faced with criticism over its order to block access to 857 pornographic and humour websites, the government on Tuesday lifted ban on all those sites that do not feature child pornographic content.
Days after its blanket ban order drew severe criticism on social media and other forums, the department of telecom said in an order: "The intermediaries (ISPs) are hereby directed that they are free not to disable any of the 857 URLs... which do not have child pornographic content."

A top official said, "The government is directing internet service providers (ISPs) as an interim measure to disable porn sites featuring child pornography. Other considerations will be looked into after court hearing."
The telecommunications department, in a discreet order last Friday, had asked ISPs to block access to 857 websites, including humour sites 9GAG and CollegeHumor.
DoT, in the order, asked for "disablement" of URLs of 857 websites under the provision of section 79(3)(b) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 "as the content hosted on these websites related to morality, decency as given in Article 19(2) of the Constitution of India. It asked contents of the letter to be kept confidential.