Thursday, 11 July 2013

Muslim search engine 'Halalgoogling' launched

ISLAMABAD: A Muslim search engine that blocks forbidden content as per Islamic law has been launched. The press release said that 'Halalgoogling' gives resultsleading search engines such as Google and Bing.

It added that the search engine has a built-in advanced special filtering system that blocks Haram content according to the Law of Islam.

According to the Express Tribune, a special and unique filter system in the search engine excludes forbidden contentits search results such as pornography, nudity, gay, lesbian, bisexual, gambling, anti-Islamic content.

The system has been designed to respect Muslim culture, the report stated.

Does Nokia have battery life concerns with flagship Lumia 1020?

Does Nokia have battery life concerns with flagship Lumia 1020?

The name is still anyone's guess, but the battery inside the hotly tipped Nokia Lumia 1020 (or is that the Nokia 909?) may not be up to much after aging shell appeared online.
A snap of the accessory was picked up by Russian site Izvestia, and details which accompanied the photo suggested it would provide users with an additional 35 per cent battery life.
Apparently the Nokia-branded accessory packs a 1020mAh battery into the clip on shell, complete with sizeable porthole for that much-rumoured 41MP PureView camera.

Is that it?

That said, 1020mAh is relatively small for an externalging pack, with cases usually packing larger batteries at the expense of a bulkier design.
Nokia Lumia 1020 - Nokia 909 - LEAK
Usually these cases are produced by third party manufacturers and it seems a little odd that Nokia is making one itself. It raises our suspicions that the Lumia 1020 may struggle to see out a whole day on a singlege.
Luckilyour questions will be answered later this week as Nokia is due to reveal its next flagship smartphone - originally touted as the EOS - in New York on Thursday, and we'll be there to bring youthe latest.
  • Whet your appetite with a recap of everything we know about the Nokia Lumia 1020 so far

Facebook Graph Search reaches to more users

NEW YORK: Users who may have grown frustrated with Facebook's rudimentary search feature are getting an updated version designed to make it easier to find people, places and photos on the site.

Facebook unveiled its social search tool in January but only made it available to a small fraction of its 1.1 billion users, as its engineers continued to tweak and test it. Over the next few weeks, the company is rolling out the social search tool, called "Graph Search," to everyone whose language is set to US English.

Unlike searches on Google, which are good for finding specific things, Facebook's tool is useful in unearthing information about your social circles. Graph Search lets you find friends who live in San Francisco who are vegan. Friends of friends who live near you andhiking. Photos of your boyfriend taken before you met him in 2010. Nearby restaurants that your friends- and so on.

But soon after Facebook launched the tool, the internet had a field day with less innocuous and more embarrassing queries, showing just how much information people reveal about themselves on the site, intentionally or not. Care to find out which brand of condoms your friends prefer? Graph Search might tell you.

A blog called posted a collection of searches ranging"married people whoprostitutes" to "current employers of people whoracism." Both yielded more than 100 people.

While it is possible that some of those Facebook users are fully aware that what they've shared is easily searchable, it is likely that some are not. It's easy to click "like" on a page and forget about it.

To avoid any unpleasantness, Facebook plans to notify users that it's "getting easier for people to find photos and other things you've shared with them" along with a reminder that they can check "who can see my stuff" under their privacy settings.

"The goal is to avoid bad surprises," said Nicky Jackson Colaco, privacy and safety manager at Facebook. But she stressed Facebook's view that the search tool "indexes information differently than we have ever been able to do before, in a really positive way."

Facebook does not currently show users ads based on what they are searching for, but the company may do in the future. As Google has shown, it's a lucrative business. Research firm eMarketer estimates that Google will take nearly 42 per cent ofUS digital ad spending this year, well above Facebook's share of less than 7 per cent.

With its new search tool, Facebook is clearly trying to divert traffic and ad spendingits rival.

Lenovo launches business class M93z all-in-one PC

Lenovo launches business class M93z all-in-one PC

Lenovo is looking to do the corporate job with a new all-in-one (AiO) PC and two additional desktop models that pack Intel's fourth generation Haswell i7 CPU.
The China-based company's ThinkCentre M93z features a 23-inch full HD LED IPS display in an AIO design with anti-glare glass on the models equipped with 10-point multi-touch.
It arrives with security features in the form of a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) that encrypts data and key information such a passwords and digital certificates, and USB ports that can be disabled to prevent data theft and unauthorised use of storage devices.
Lenovo has plumped for Intel's vPro and Active Management Technology in the M93z, which it claims speeds up data encryption and decryption and protectsunauthorised access and remote management, which could come in handy in the event of certain breaches.
AvailableAugust, prices for the model start at £500 for the base configuration and rise should you opt for an optional 1GB AMD Radeon HD discrete graphics card and Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD) for improved performance.

Tiny addition

Lenovo has also introduced a smaller desktop machine in the form of its ThinkCentre M93p, which packs Intel's i7 Haswell CPU into a small, box-like form factor that measures the width of a golf ball (34.5 mm, before you get the tape measure out).
Lenovo claims that the model is "the most energy-efficient ThinkCentre desktop ever".the M93z, it's offered with a 64GB SSD drive and an optional SSHD drive. It will be availableAugust starting at £550 (excluding VAT).
Finally, the company is also launching its ThinkCentre M83 Enterprise Desktop, which also features Intel's 4th-generation Haswell CPU, a 64GB SSD drive and optional SSHD. It's another model designed to save space, but Lenovo says there's plenty of room for expansion into an optional tower form factor. It will be availableDecember starting at £500 (excluding VAT).
The PC industry is currently faced with a gloomy outlook. In May, market watcher IDC revised its forecast to predict that worldwide PC shipments will decline by 7.8% in 2013 as users consider ing PC purchases or opt for alternative tablet and mobile devices.

Email snooping: What intelligence agencies track

The Obama administration for over two years allowed the National Security Agency to collect enormous amounts of metadata on email usage by Americans, according to one of the latest leaks of government documents by the now-famous whistleblower Edward J Snowden. 

But what is e-mail metadata anyway? It's information about the people you're sending emails to and receiving emails from, and the times that the messages were sent — as opposed to the contents of the messages. It's the digital equivalent of a postal service worker looking at your mail envelope instead of opening it up and reading what's inside. 

That sounds harmless, but it turns out your email metadata can be used to connect the dots of your life story. I learned thisparticipating in Immersion, a project by MIT's Media Laboratory. Immersion is a tool that mines your email metadata and automatically stitches ittogether into an interactive graphic. The result is a creepy spider web showingthe people you've corresponded with, how they know each other, and who your closest friends and professional partners are. 

After entering my Google mail credentials, Immersion took five minutes to stitch together metadataemails going back eight years. A quick glimpse at my results gives an accurate description of my life. 

In an Immersiont, each person is represented by dots. The more you've emailed with the person, the bigger the dot gets. In my results, the biggest dot was my boss at my last job; the second biggest was my long-term former girlfriend. The medium-size ones were some of my closest friends. Lines that connected some dots showed friends of mine who knew each other.

Soon, drive your car with smartphone


WASHINGTON: Satellite-navigation firm Garmin is introducing its first portable head-up display, or HUD, for smartphone navigation apps. 

The head-up display projects real-time driving directions onto the windscreen of a vehicle. The device is capable of projecting crisp, bright directions onto a transparent film on the windshield, which will reduce driver distraction. 

The company said the device pairs wirelessly with a compatible Bluetooth-enabled smartphones such as iPhone, Android phone or Windows 8-powered phones. 

The benefit is seen as reducing the distance the driver's eyes need to movethe road to take in the latest route guidance, Fox News reports. The Garmin HUD is a portable device that can be movedcar to car, and will be launched this summer for 130 dollars, the report added.

What makes Snapchat hit among teenagers


The Snapchat application, mainly used for sending selfies (a picture taken of yourself) is gaining popularity among youngsters, especially teens. With this app, users can take a photograph or record a video and send it to a friend. After a set time limit, the image or video self-destructs . The time limit can be10 seconds to as little as one. 
Snapchat has seen incredible growth in recent years; and it's catching on fast in Bangalore as well. The app allows teenagers to "be themselves without being too conscious of how they look" and they are enjoying it. "Snapchat's a quick and easy way to communicate," says 16-year-old Gayatri Menon, who uses this photo-messaging app to send pictures of things she finds interesting or funny every day. "Ithe app because of its self-destruction feature," says Abhilasha Seth.

"I can take as many absurd, embarrassing pictures of myself and not dread the consequences." 
But the popular conception of Snapchat is that it's used by teens to send nude and semi-nude pictures. "Sexting on Snapchat is fun and spices up my relationships," says a teenager who uses the app frequently. But notagree. "I really don'tthe concept of Snapchat. It seems a little pointless. Although many of my friends use it, I find texting a better alternative ," says 17-year-old Manvendra Kikkeri.

A photographer created a Tumblr blog dedicated to the nude Snapchat pictures. "He says he put out an open call for salacious shots on Twitter and was overwhelmed by the response," writes Doug Gross on The only way a recipient can preserve the photo is to take a picture of it with another camera. But, Snapchat immediately sends the user a notification saying that a screenshot has been taken, but often, it's too late.

Galaxy Star review: Cheapest Android Samsung

NEW DELHI: Galaxy Star is a very important smartphone. In many ways, it is more important than the likes of Galaxy S4, iPhone 5 and HTC One that are usually in limelight. 

With a market price of less than Rs 5,000, this is the cheapest Android phonea big companySamsung. Unlike many other affordable smartphones that run two or three years old versions of the OS, Galaxy Star is powered by Jelly Bean (Android 4.1). 
For consumers — and there are millions of them in India — looking to movea feature phone to an affordable smartphone, Galaxy Star seemsa tantalizing option. 

All depends on whether the device delivers on its promises or not. 

After spending a considerable time with it, we can answer this question in affirmative. Yes, Galaxy Star did what it was supposed to do. It is a good Android phone for its price. But sadly it fell short of what we expected it to do. 

So,does that leave you, the consumer? Should you buy Galaxy Star or not? The answer depends on what you wantyour smartphone. 

Case for Galaxy Star 
It looks cute: At a time when big 5-inch screen phones are commonplace, using Galaxy Star is a refreshing change. It is small and looks cute with its rounded edges. It is also rather chubby, which gives it a pebble look. The shell of Galaxy Star is madeglossy plastic but for style, Samsung has added a plastic frame with faux metal finish around the screen and a small ring around the camera. Overall, we were pleased with the build quality. It has top class finish, which is much better than what you get with phones sold by local OEMs. 

Decent screen: The screen in Galaxy Star is not perfect but it is acceptable, considering its low price. It is bright and shows decent colours. It also has a comparatively good touch response. Yes, the screen size is too small and resolution too low but in terms ofshowing colours, we found it pretty good. 

Best in class email, IM, and Facebook experience: The biggest strength of Galaxy Star is the OS it runs. Jelly Bean, which Samsung has customized with its Touchwiz user interface, allows a user to access popular servicesGmail, Google Talk, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. We checked out these services on the device and found they work very well. This is a big plus for Galaxy Star as it brings a decent email and web communication experience at a price of Rs 5,000. 

Access to very good apps, including quality games: The presence of Android Jelly Bean also means you have access to almostAndroid apps, provided the hardware in Galaxy Star can handle them. You can download and installsorts of music players, instant messages and utility appsthe Play store. As far as games are concerned, you can't play somethingNeed For Speed Swift, which require lots of graphics horsepower, but gamesTemple Run or Jewels Star can be played. Also, there is no GPS in the phone. This means navigation apps that require precise location don't work well with the device. 

Decent battery life: Galaxy Star lasts around 14 hours when used with 2G data connection. It's not great but is above average. Acceptable camera: The 2MP camera in Galaxy Star is capable of shooting clear images in daylight. Considering the low resolution, they don't have much in terms of details, but the colours come out well. The images are good enough to be shared on social media sites, especially if you use filters. There are many photo apps in the Android store. They work well on Galaxy Star and you can use them to get the best out of the camera. As expected, in low light and for video shoots the camera fares poorly. 

Case against Galaxy Star
Small screen and low resolution: Of these two issues, low resolution is particularly bothersome. On a feature phone, consumers often don't mind low resolution because they don't expect to browse web or watch videos on it. On an Android smartphones, expectations are different. The text on Galaxy Star doesn't look sharp and within apps it is difficult to make out fine user interface details due to the low resolution screen. Small screen is also an issue. We wish that Samsung could have brought its A game to the affordable phone market and had given Galaxy Star a bigger screen. 

Slow performance: While Galaxy Star has fairly decent hardware for its price, if you push the phone hard it starts to lag. AppsFacebook, Gmail and WhatsApp work well. Even web browsing works well if you stick to mobile version of websites. But a bit more demanding tasks make the phone slow. Pinch-to-zoom while browsing full websites is slow, especially on Chrome browser. The phone can run gamesTemple Run, but there are occasions when it may miss a touch or swipeyou, frustrating your efforts to create new records while running awaythe monster. Multitasking is supported but low amount of RAM means apps running in background are often flushed out of the memory to make space for the active apps. 

No 3G: Galaxy Star can only handle Wi-Fi and 2G (EDGE) connection. This creates two issues. One, due to 2G pings and slow speed, the phone feels slower than it is because appsFacebook or web browsers take extra seconds to display or process content. The second issue is that you can't use Galaxy Star as a modem to access fast internet. Tethering, which allows use of an Android phone with a SIM as modem to provide Wi-Fi connectivity to other devices, is supported. But speed is limited to 2G, which is poor. 

Star vs Asha Given the price of Galaxy Star, it is obvious to compare it to Nokia Asha 501. We haven't reviewed the Nokia device yet but we have used it enough to tell you how Galaxy Star and Asha 501 fare. 

Both devices offer solid build quality, similar camera performance and similar connectivity options (no 3G on Asha 501). Overall, Asha 501 feels marginally faster during the use. But it is saddled with an interface and app ecosystem that is inferior to what Galaxy Star offers. If you want a phone primarily for making calls and messages, Asha 501 is a good option. 

But if you want a phone that can handle more than calls and messages, Galaxy Star is a better deal. It is a better device for browsing the web, playing games, accessing emails (especially if you use Gmail) and using Facebook. It also offers access to more and vastly better apps as well as contact and calendar management through Google services, which is a real boon. 

Final words As we said earlier, Galaxy Star delivers on the promises it makes. It is one of the better Android phones for Rs 5,000. But then it fails to meet the expectations that we havea companySamsung. The low-end Android market needs something that breaks new ground and offers decent Android experience, even if it is basic, in a device that has at least a 4-inch screen and support for 3G. 

Buy Galaxy Star if you are looking for an affordable Android device that can help you keep in touch with your friends on Facebook and Gmail as well as let you access smart functionsGoogle contacts and Google calendar. But if you intend to use it for playing games, watching videos or browsing internet, we suggest you spend a bit more and buy an Android phone that sells for around Rs 8,000 to Rs 9,000. 

Specs 2.9-inch capacitive touchscreen (240 x 320 pixels resolution)
1GHz single-core processor
Mali 300 graphics chip
4GB internal storage
support for up to 32GB microSD card
2-megapixel camera, QVGA video recording
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 2G, dual sim
1200mAh battery
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Price: Rs 4,999 

Skype vs Facetime app: Take your pick

Skype, now owned by Microsoft, does have an app for the iPad. You can find instructions for getting started with it on the Skype site. 

One of the biggest advantages Skype has over Apple's FaceTime app is that you can make audio and video calls to other Skype users around the world on more types of hardware. This includes calling Windows and Mac computers, Android devices, Windows Phone handsets and even certain Skype-enabled televisions and Blu-ray players. Skype-to-Skype calls are free, and for a bit of money, you can call regular telephone numbers. 

Apple's FaceTime app is also free for one-to-one video calls, but it only works on certain Apple-made products. These include camera-equipped iOS devices made within the past few years and Macs running OS X 10.6 and later. Still, because it is integrated into the operating system, FaceTime can be a little easier to set up and use if you plan to chat only with people carrying Apple gear. 

Video and audio quality in both apps may vary based on network and data traffic issues, especially if you are calling over a 3G or 4G cellular connection instead of Wi-Fi . Since both apps are free for video calls, there is nothing stopping youusing both as you need them — or even adding Google+ Hangouts into the mix if you are a member there, too.

India to have highest IP traffic growth rate: Study

DUBAI: India is set to have the highest Internet Protocol (IP) traffic growth rate with a 44 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR)2012-2017 followed by Indonesia (42 per cent CAGR) and South Africa (31 per cent CAGR) over the forecast period, a new study has revealed. 

The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast (2012-2017) projects that global IP traffic will grow three-fold between 2012 and 2017. 

By 2017, the highest traffic-generating countries will be the United States (37 exabytes per month) and China (18 exabytes per month), says the report. 

At the regional level, the Middle East and Africa (MEA) will continue to be the fastest growing IP traffic region2012-2017 (5-fold growth, 38 per cent compound annual growth rate over the forecast period); MEA was the fastest growing region last year as well (10-fold growth, 57 per cent compound annual growth rate for 2011- 2016 forecast period) in this category, the report said. 

Asia-Pacific (APAC) will generate the most IP traffic by 2017 (43.4 exabytes/month), maintaining its leadershiplast year. 

According to the report, by 2017, there will be about 3.6 billion Internet users - more than 48 per cent of the world's projected population (7.6 billion). In 2012, there were 2.3 billion Internet users - about 32 per cent of the world's population (7.2 billion). 

By 2017, there will be more than 19 billion global network connections (fixed/mobile personal devices, M2M connections), upabout 12 billion connections in 2012. 

Global network users will generate 3 trillion Internet video minutes per month, that is 6 million years of video per month, or 1.2 million video minutes every second or more than two years worth of video every second.

Microsoft to shut pioneering online TV service


The predecessor of many modern internet TV services, MSN TV was purchased by Microsoft in 1997 for 425 million dollars, and requires a significant amount of hardware including a set-top box and bespoke keyboard, reports BBC. 

According to the report, MSN TV allows users to check email, use MSN chat services and share photos online. 

Stuart Miles, founder of technology news website Pocket-lint said that there are a lot of companies which are trying to make things more efficienttheir end. 

He further said that MSN TV is a technology that served a purpose at the time and now it is redundant.

Yahoo shuts down search engine AltaVista

NEW YORK: Once up on a time, there was a popular search engine called AltaVista. It lives no more. 

On July 8, its owner Yahoo sent to the internet graveyard to rest alongside order-almost-anything venture and the butlerAsk Jeeves. 

Palo Alto, California-based AltaVista was introduced in 1995, three years before Google was founded. Eclipsed by Google in the early 2000s, AltaVista's star had already faded by the time Yahoo acquired it as part of its $1.7 billion purchase of Overture Services in July 2003. Overture had bought AltaVista earlier that yearMassachusetts-based CMGI. 

Yahoo announced AltaVista's fate on its Tumblr page late last month. Search industry expert Danny Sullivan likened AltaVista to a bright child neglected by its parents. 

"You were loved. You really were," Sullivan wrote in a blog post eulogizing the site. "People did not want to leave you. But despite adding new features, some of which Google copied, you couldn't keep up with the pace and innovation of that company, which decided against becoming a portalyour corporate masters ordered for you."

Indeed, AltaVista's decline began after it expanded to become moreYahoo, offering a bevy of online services instead of sticking solely with search. By the time the site reversed course, it was too late. Its finances were sinking and Google was on the rise. 

Yahoo's June 28 announcement of AltaVista's end is brief. It's buried as the eighth item on a list of other services the company is shutting down. Along with the mention of AltaVista's July 8 expiration date, the post says only: "Please visit Yahoo Search forof your searching needs." 

According to dataonline research firm comScore, most people in the US use Google for their search needs, followed by Microsoft's Bing. Yahoo is in third place. 

Google under scanner in UK over privacy policy

LONDON: The UK authorities have reportedly criticized search engine site Google for its privacy policies and have warned the site of 'enforcement actions' if the policies are not reformed. 

The Information Commissioner's Officer (ICO) believes that Google policies do not comply with the UK Data Protection Act and does not make it clear how the user data is used acrossits products, BBC reports. 

According to the report, other European data authorities have made similar complaints against Google. 

ICO spokesperson said that Google must amend the policy before 20 September or face the 'possibility of formal enforcement action.' 

The report said that ICO in a co-ordinated effort with other 27 European authorities has sent the letter to Google questioning its policies and asking for reforms. 

Meanwhile, Google said that its privacy policy respects European law and allows the company to create simpler, more effective services adding that the company has engaged fully with the authorities involved in the process and it will continue to do this forward. 

The ICO has ordered Google to destroyrelevant data disks before the end of July or be deemed in contempt of court, the report added.

Obama faces flakMuslims over Ramadan tweet

ImageUS President Barack Obama's tweet on Ramadan wishes has invited criticismMuslims angry over drone strikes and forced feeding of Guantanamo Bay detainees during Ramadan fasting. 

The Guardian reports that Muslims have expressed outrage on Twitter calling Obama a hypocrite and insincere. 

According to the report, some Muslims have criticized the president for forced feeding of Guantanamo Bay detainees during Ramadan fasting, as well as drone strikes in the Middle East.

Google Glass user records arrest in real-time

Google's wearable technology Google Glass was put to another test for its recording capabilities when one of its users taped an arrest in progress. 

Chris Barrett, founder of the website and a documentary filmmaker, posted video of the arrest while walking along the boardwalk in Wildwood New Jersey on July 4, ABC News reports. 

According to the report, Barrett encountered the end of a fight and two men being led away in handcuffs and recorded the incident with Google Glass. 

Barrett said that his recording demonstrates the potential of Google Glass adding that it is a case study to show how it will change citizen journalism. 

He further said that as the wearer is the own steady cam, there is less possibility of a shaky video and appears to be better than the typical video taken at night. 

The report said that Google Glass do not indicate to non-users whether it's currently taking pictures or recording video. 

Barrett added that if Google Glass takes off, the world may be scary for some people; however, with any new technology people are nervous. 

The much anticipated wearable technology has been debated upon by critics over its potential abuse of people's privacy.

No takers for over 30% iOS apps: Report

As software giant Apple celebrates fifth anniversary of its App Store, a tracking service has claimed that about two-thirds of the total number of apps are 'zombie apps' as they are barely ever installed by the users. 

According to BBC, Apple's CEO Tim Cook said that 90% ofthe apps in the marketplace are downloaded at least once a month and the customers have now downloaded 50 billion apps.

However, tracking service Adeven said that 5,79,001 apps out of a total of 8,88,856 apps in their database are zombies which never appear in Apple's master-list of the most downloaded apps worldwide, at which runs to over 3,00,000 places. 

The report said that Apple has paid out $10 billion to app developers for its App Store, which is three times more thanthe other app stores combined. 

Apple is celebrating the fifth anniversary of App Store which went live on July 10, 2008 as an update to iTunes and had reportedly offered free apps which were originally priced up to $20.

'Patients' online privacy under threat‘

Patients searching for health-related information on the internet may find their privacy threatened, said a research letter published in a major US medical journal.

Marco Huesch, a researcher at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, searched for "depression," "herpes" and "cancer" on various health-related websites and observed that the data was being tracked.

"Confidentiality is threatened by the leakage of information to third parties" through trackers on the websites themselves or on consumers' computers, he wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Should someone living with depression, herpes or cancer research his or her condition online, as an increasing number of patients are doing, these search terms might not remain private, Huesch said.

Disclosure of any conditions could result not only in "embarrassment" but also "discrimination in the labor market," he added.

The scientist used freeware privacy tools DoNotTrackMe and Ghostery to detect third party entities on the websites he browsed and commercial software calledles to intercept any transmission of the information he generated to third parties.

Of what he called a "convenience sample" of 20 high-traffic sites, which include the official pages of the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration as well as WebMD and Weight Watchers,had at least one third-party entity, and six or seven on average, he said.

Thirteen out of 20 websites contained third-party elements that tracked user data, said Huesch, highlighting the role of social media plug-ins, which appeared on five of those 13 sites.

Plug-ins such as the Facebook "Like" button "allow tracking on websites even if the online user is not logged into social media" and "the user does not actually press the social button," he said.

Seven of the 13 websites in question leaked Huesch's searches to tracking entities.

Huesch warned that the risk of personal or professional embarrassment could "reduce the willingness of some people to access health-related information online."

Currently, threats to privacy are "insufficiently addressed in current legislation and regulations," according to the scientist.

Until regulations on information-gathering are enacted, he advised patients and physicians to use free privacy tools for online browsing, or to search via websites maintained by professional societies or government researchers.

Soon,charge your mobile with headphones

A pair of headphones that can harness solar power toge mobile devices when you are on the move has been designed in the UK. 

Andrew Anderson, a Glasgow-based designer, launched the OnBeat headphones on crowdfunding site Kickstarter and hopes to have them on sale by early next year. 

The headphone band is fitted with a flexible solar cell with age capacity of 0.55 watts. 

"The headphones have an integrated flexible solar cell that covers the full headband which capture solar energy whilst out and about," Anderson said on Kickstarter. 

"The energy is stored in two light-weight Lithium Ion batteries held within the two ear cups for a balanced weight and fit on the head. 

"For those rainy days we have also developed the headphones to be able to beged via USB directlyyour computer or mains socket," he said. 

Anderson hopes to raise 200,000 pounds to get the headphones into production. 

"We are still working on the design and prototype. We need to improve the headphones - people want to know about noise cancellation," he told the BBC. 

He admitted that his father Frank had come up with the idea. 

"It's really simple - you would think it had already been done. You can buy solargers for phones but the thing is it'syou're carrying two phones around," he said.

BlackBerry Z10 rollout was a disaster, investor says

Thorsten Heins, the president and chief executive of BlackBerry, acknowledged that the company's new line of phones, which he originally promoted as something that would revive its flagging brand, had a flawed release in the United States.

But Heins, speaking at the company's annual meeting, told investors BlackBerry just needed more time for a turnaround - and he again sought their patience.

Not everyone was biting. One shareholder, referring to one of the new phones, the BlackBerry Z10, told Heins: "My sense is that the rollout of the Z10 was a disaster."

"Were we perfect at the launch?" Heins responded. "Probably not. Was it a disaster? I don't think so."

After more than two years of development, the new phones and their new operating system were supposed to give BlackBerry smartphones capabilities similar to those of phones made by Apple and Samsung, the dominant forces in the market. But hopes have vanished that the new phones would swiftly increase market share in the United States - now just 0.9 percent, according to a surveyKantar Worldpanel ComTech.

Late last month, BlackBerry said that it had shipped just 2.7 million of the new models, about a million fewer than analysts expected. That disappointing news set BlackBerry's stock sharply downward and eliminated the possibility that the annual meeting would be a turnaround celebration.

When Heins introduced the company's new phones in New York this year, he spoke to an excited crowd, a situation that was repeated at a meeting this spring with enthusiastic developers. But Tuesday, when he faced a crowd of shareholders and questions about the weak sales of those phones, the reception was far more muted.

And maybe that is the best he could have hoped for. A few weeks ago, when the shipment numbers were released, the company also reported an $84 million loss in the latest quarter. BlackBerry shares still have not recovered - and a chorus of harsh questions about the direction of the business have not gone away.

Heins again warned investors to expect more losses during the current quarter, while the company increases its spending on marketing and other promotions for the new BlackBerry 10 line of phones. And although the company has spent the past two years saying the phones were the centerpiece to its future, Heins repeatedly said on Tuesday that "we are not a devices-only company," and he outlined his hopes for growth in its data services business.

He attributed the disappointing reception for BlackBerry 10 to the US market.

"It is really a challenge in the US," Heins said at the meeting, which was webcastthe University of Waterloo in Ontario. When another shareholder asked him why the company had been unable to win over US investors, particularly ones based in New York, he said: "I would absolutely admit that this is an uphill battle."

Richard Piasentin, the managing director of sales and marketing for the United States, left BlackBerry last month, Adam Emery, a spokesman for the company, said Tuesday.

Some of the problems with the release of the BlackBerry 10 seemed more related to the products than to advertising or lack of prominence in carriers' stores, which had been cited as problems.

Some buyers of the Q10, a model that includes BlackBerry's signature keyboard, have said they were disappointed to discover that it initially could not synchronize calendar and contact information with corporate systems that use Microsoft Outlook. Others discovered mail syncing issues that they had not had with previous BlackBerrys. And although BlackBerry continues to expand the apps offered for the phone, many important ones are missing, and assessments of their overall quality are mixed.

Among the disappointed was Mark R. McQueen, the president and chief executive of Wellington Financial in Toronto. While McQueen is a BlackBerry loyalist, his frustration with the Q10 became so great that he wrote two detailed posts enumerating its problems on his blog, which is widely followed in Canada's financial community. He wrote that the phone's shortcomings had prompted him to sell his BlackBerry shares at a loss.

"The sad reality is that BlackBerry management has failed to deliver on the incredibly modest expectations of someone who has held shares in the company, on and off, since the late 1990s," McQueen wrote.

Many technology reviewers praised several features of the new phones. Mike Gikas, the senior editor for electronics at Consumer Reports, said the new phones were "pretty good, but they don't have the pizazz of top-shelf performers. No one's dying for these phones."

He said that whenever he was asked for his thoughts about the new BlackBerrys, "the next question is: 'Do you think they're going to be around?' And that's a consideration for people on a two-year contract."

Flipkart raises $200m, biggest in Indian e-commerce

Online retailer Flipkart has raised $200 million (about Rs 1,200 crore)its existing investors, the single largest round of investment in the Indian e-commerce space. The investment values the company at $1.5 billion, sources familiar with the development said.

The investors are Naspers, the South African internet major that recently bought out bus ticketing startup redBus, private equity firms Accel Partners and Tiger Global, and San Francisco-based family office Iconiq Capital. The total investment in the company, over five rounds of funding, is now over $380 million.

SachinBansal, co-founder and CEO of Flipkart, said the investment was a big validation of the Flipkart model and the Indian e-commerce growth story. "There have been skeptics on Flipkart and Indian e-commerce. Today's development should put to rest these arguments," he said.

The amount Flipkart has received and its valuation is one more indication of the interest that Indian technology startups are receiving globally. Japan's telecom and intenet company SoftBank invested $200 million in Bangalore-based ad network Inmobi in 2011. Last month, Naspers bought redBus for an estimated $120 million. A consortium led by General Atlantic invested $108 million in analytics services firm Mu Sigma in 2011.

Bansal said the annualized run rate of the total value of transactions on Flipkart was over $500 million, and the company was on target to hit $1 billion by 2015. Asked about profitability, he said the company was not profitable only because of the massive investments it was still making. "We can be profitable if we stop investing. But we want to be market leaders in a number of categories, and the market is almost doubling every year, so it's a strategic decision to invest. Binny (BinnyBansal, the other co-founder) and I are thinking very, very long term," he said.

He said the fresh money would be used for investments in technology, improving the supply chain, and developing talent. "One day last month we shipped 1.3 lakh items. That's 1.5 items a second, or, if you look only at daytime, about 4-5 items a second. In a few years, this will become several million shipments a day. The only way to handle that kind of volume is through automation, and that will require a lot of investment," he said.

The company, which started by selling books online, now is into numerous categories including electronics, apparel, watches, cameras, footwear, beauty & personal care, baby care and a host of others. It has 96 lakh registered users, up2.5 lakh two and a half years ago.

Nokia to bet on 41MP Lumia to beat Apple, Samsung

Nokia is expected to unveil a new smartphone with a 41MP camera on Thursday, banking on advanced optics to make up for meagre marketing resources and limited phone apps. 

Analysts, however, are skeptical that a new camera for the flagship Lumia smartphone will be enough for the Finnish company to regain market sharerivals Samsung and Apple. 

Several said that Nokia needs to market the handsets more aggressively - a tough challenge in the face of its dwindling cash reserves after years of poor sales and the decision this month to buy Siemens' stake in their equipment joint venture. 

"What I'm expecting to see is a powerful device that will differentiate itcompetitors' high-end handsets. But whether this will be enough to compete with Samsung and Apple? I doubt it," said Francisco Jeronimo, of research firm IDC. 

"They need to raise the level of awareness. They may have the best camera, the best maps, but if consumers don't really know what they can do, that's not enough." 

Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop, hired in 2010 to revive the former leader in mobile phones, has bet the company's future in smartphones on Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system. 

While simpler feature phones still account for the majority of Nokia's handset sales, smartphones are viewed as crucial for its survival because of their higher margins and the increasing demand for internet access and consumers' growing tendency to switch to cheaper models made by Asian manufacturers. 

While existing Lumias have won positive reviewscritics and technology blogs, they have struggled against Samsung's handsets, which use Google's Android operating system, and Apple's iPhones, which run on iOS. 

IDC estimates that Android and iOS accounted for 92.3% ofsmartphone shipments in the first quarter of this year. 

Windows Phone, meanwhile, accounted for 3.2%, with a shortage of apps proving a major handicap. It has only 1,60,000 apps in store, while rivals offer about five times as many because developers prefer to make them for the higher-volume operating systems. 

The new phone to be unveiled on Thursday is expected to be the most advanced of the Lumia range. Nokia already has a 41MP camera on its 808 PureView phone, but that model runs on the Symbian platform, which is being phased out. 

Nokia has not given details, but a source confirmed that the camera technology would be its main selling point and the company's own website promises "41 million reasons" to tune into the event in New York. 

No silver bullet
While tech industry analysts say it is crucial for Nokia to boost marketing and promotions through its carrier partners, the company is likely to keep a wary eye on its marketing expenses. 

Nokia said last week that its net cash position at the end of the second quarter was between 3.7 billion euros and 4.2 billion euros ($4.7 billion to $5.4 billion), indicating that cash burn may have been as high as 800 million euros in the quarter. 

It also said that net cash would have been 2 billion euros to 2.5 billion euros had its deal to buy Siemens's 50% stake in Nokia Siemens Network closed in the quarter. 

Standard & Poor's downgraded Nokia by one notch on Friday to B+BB-, forecasting that net cash could fall as low as 1.3 billion euros at the end of the year. 

One portfolio manager for one of Nokia's top 10 institutional investors, who declined to be identified, said he is not in favour of Nokia boosting marketing spending too much and is happy with a slowly-but-surely approach. 

Alandsbanken analyst Lars Soderfjell, too, said Nokia should aim for modest marketing - enough to improve sales and buy more time for a turnaround without accelerating cash burn. 

"This is one of the most-anticipated models and it's important that they continue to renew their product portfolio... but I look at this as a very gradual turnaround. I don't see there being a silver bullet model," he said. 

"The most important thing, really, is to continue to gain market sharetheir current low level in smartphones, to achieve profitability. If it can gain a couple of percentage points in market share, then it can gradually recover." 

IDC's Jeronimo suggested that Microsoft should be doing more heavy lifting to market Windows Phone handsets. Without Nokia's commitment to Windows, Microsoft would have no leading handset partner - a reason the software giant is seen as the most probable buyer if Nokia were to sell its handset business. 

"I think Microsoft has relied a lot on Nokia to promote Windows Phone. That's not enough," he said. "It will be hard for Nokia to do the entire investment."

First Apple computer auctioned for $387,000

The first Apple computer hand-built and signed by the company co-founder Steve Wozniak has sold for more than $3,87,000 in an online auction. 

The Apple I, one of roughly 200 made by the fledgling Apple Computer Company in 1976, was bought by an unknown buyer at Christie's auction house. 

The computer was designed and built by the American inventor, Wozniak, in Palo Alto, California. 

Steve Jobs came up with the idea of selling it and the pair went on to found Apple - one the world's most valuable technology company, The Times reported. 

The original device comprised a single motherboard mounted on a wooden base, but was without a keyboard, a transformer or a display. 

Though the device never took off, it was the precursor to Apple's breakthrough product - the Apple II, a machine that looks far moretoday's desktop PCs and considered one of the most revolutionary computers ever created. 

The Apple 1 sold a the auction is believed to be among the first 25 produced. It was inscribed with the serial number 01-0025 in black ink and was hand-built by Wozniak. 

Wozniak signed the computer work "Woz", the nickname that his friends and fans continue to call him. The date code on its processor is 1576, suggesting the chip was manufactured in the 15th week of 1976. 

An Apple I was sold at an auction in Cologne, Germany last month, for $6,71,400, breakingprevious records for sales of a personal computer.

Chinese institute develops 100MP camera IOE3-Kanban

A Chinese institute claimed to have successfully developed a 100 megapixel camera which could produce high-resolution imaging in the fields of aerial mapping, disaster monitoring and intelligent transportation systems. 

The IOE3-Kanban camera was developed by the Institute of Optics and Electronics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences making it China's highest pixel camera, CAS said in a statement. 

The camera is capable of producing images with 10,240 x 10,240 pixels, the statement said. 

Moreover, it is small and light, with its widest part measuring only 19.3 cm, state-run Xinhua quoted the statement as saying, adding that it can be used at temperatures rangingminus 20 degrees centigrade to 55 degrees centigrade. 

Its high sensitivity and high dynamic range (HDR) features mean it will be useful in high-resolution imaging in the fields of aerial mapping, city planning, disaster monitoring and intelligent transportation systems, the statement said. 

Intelligent transportation system is aimed to provide innovative services relating to different modes of transport and traffic management, enabling various users to be better informed and make safer, more coordinated, and 'smarter' use of transport networks. 

The camera is equipped with advanced optical systems, camera control systems and high-capacity data recording systems, and it has proven successful in a recent trial use as a part of a national aerial remote-sensing system, it said. 

The institute also developed an 81-megapixel camera during the 10th Five Year Plan period (2001-2005), and the latest achievement took the researchers two years to develop. 

A megapixel is one million pixels, and is a term used not only for the number of pixels in an image, but also to express the number of image sensor elements of digital cameras or the number of display elements of digital displays.

Samsung launches Galaxy S4 mini, S4 zoom in India

NEW DELHI: Just a day after Micromax launched its new flagship Canvas 4 phablet in India, Samsung has rolled out two smartphones in the country. Both new handsets - Galaxy S4 mini and Galaxy S4 zoom are variants of the South Korean company's top-end device Galaxy S4, launched earlier this year.

Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S4 mini in May with a 4.3-inch SuperAMOLED screen having 960x540p resolution and pixel density of 256ppi. It is powered by a 1.7GHz dual-core CPU and runs on Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean). This smartphone has been priced at Rs 27,990 in the Indian smartphone market.

The phone has 8GB internal storage, 1.5GB RAM and microSD support up to 64GB. On the back of the phone is an 8MP camera with LED flash, while a 1.9MP unit is on the front panel. Connectivity options in the smartphone are 2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, microUSB 2.0, NFC and infrared.

Unveiled in June, Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom, priced at Rs 29,990, boasts of better camera than the original Galaxy S4. It features a 16MP rear camera with 10X optical zoom with xenon flash on the back. This new phone's camera boasts of optical image stabilization as well as 24mm wide lens and can record 1080p videos at 30fps.

The all-new Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom also has a 4.3-inch SuperAMOLED screen with 960x540p resolution with 256ppi pixel density. The device is powered by Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) and runs on a dual-core 1.5GHz processor. It has 8GB internal storage, 1.5GB RAM and supports microSD cards with capacities up to 32GB.

Connectivity suite of this smartphone has features2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, infrared and microUSB 2.0. This handset has a 2,330mAh battery and features a 1.9MP front camera. At 208gram, it is heavier that the likes of Samsung Galaxy Note II and Nokia Lumia 920.

Both the phones come with a free flip cover, 2GB free data on 3G network and interest-free EMI option for six months.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Costs And Incidence Of Malicious Corporate Attacks Way Up


It used to be that the biggest threat to corporate data breaches was simple incompetence. But even as the volume of malware remains roughly constant, the incidence and cost of malicious attacks on corporate networks are increasing.

Malware Contained?

Google recently updated its Transparency Report to showcase fluctuating levels of malware and phishing. The good news is that while phishing sites have increased, malware seems to somewhat contained:
This will come as small consolation to enterprises, however, which are coping with a 614% increase in mobile malware exploits in the last year alone, according to a new report Juniper Networks. Up to 92% of such malware has been targeted at Android, given its dominant market position.
While most of the malware remains targeted at retail consumers, sending fraudulent premium SMS messages, the report finds that 'several attacks...could potentially be used to steal sensitive corporate information or stage larger network intrusions,' giving hackers the ability to 'use the mobile device to do reconnaissance and go deeper into the corporate network.'
Unfortunately, this isn't simply a hypothetical problem.

Corporate IT Under Siege

Even as IT departments and users have apparently become less prone to system glitches and negligence, according to a 2013 study by the Ponemon Institute and Symantec of 277 companies that experienced losses or thefts of protected personal data, the incidence of malicious attacks is rising fast.
And while it's never been cheap to have hackers hit your system, the cost malicious breaches is rising sharply.
Whileenterprises need to concern themselves with data breaches, the cost of infiltration increases significantly for highly regulated industriesFinance and Healthcare.

Raise The Barricades?

What to do? It's simply not going to work to demand an entire enterprise use a particular phone - those days of Blackberry uniformity are over - and it's not clear that attacks mostly originate at the device level, anyway. Mobile devices are being used to infiltrate corporate networks, but much of the threat remains on the server side.
As the report finds, U.S. and U.K. companies received the greatest reduction in data breach costs by having a strong security posture, incident response plan and chief information officer appointment. The U.S. and France also reduced costs by engaging data breach remediation consultants.
In other words, while it's impossible to blockadethreats - the Ponemon Institute found that 51% of enterprises report getting hit with hourly attacks - a little vigilance goes a long way.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

70 percent of Indian students own a smartphone, more user base in small cities: TCS survey

Nearly 70 percent of Indian students own a smartphone, with more user base in smaller cities than metros, according to the findings of the TCS survey 2012-13. The findings of survey of nearly 17,500 high school students the ages of 12-18 between the ages of 14 and 16 across 14 Indian cities reveals that smart devices and unprecedented levels of online access are making this generation the most connected yet. This is changing the way they communicate with each other and transforming both their academic and social lives.
India’s Post-Millennial generation seem set to overtake the preceding Millennial generation or Gen Y, taking communication over social networksFacebook and Twitter and instant messaging modesWhatsApp to newer extremes, as per the survey.

Key findings of the survey include: 

• Nearly three out of four students cited “Research for School” as the main reason to access the Internet followed by social reasonschatting/connecting with friends (62 percent). Read More
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