Saturday, October 20, 2012

What is hurting Intel, Google and Microsoft

Mobile may be the future of technology, but even with the worldwide proliferation of high-powered devices like smartphones and tablets, some companies are struggling to maintain consistent revenue streams.
Earnings disappointments this week from Intel Corp, Microsoft Corp, Google Inc and AMD underscore how Silicon Valley, both the old guard and new, is struggling to profit from consumers' waning love affair with the stalwart PC and infatuation with mobile -- the most significant tectonic shift in the industry since the advent of the Internet.

Mobile phones can cause brain tumours

Italy's Supreme Court has ruled that use of mobile phones can cause brain tumoursin a landmark case.
And experts have predicted a flood of legal actions from other victims, the Sun reported.
Italian businessman Innocente Marcolini, 60, was diagnosed with a brain tumour after using his mobile phone at work for up to six hours a day for 12 years.
He was complaining of head and chin pains.
Now, his country's Supreme Court found there was a causal link between his heavy phone use and the growth.

Google s hardware push proving costly

Google's hardware ambitions are proving surprisingly costly. The search giant paid $12.5 billion for Motorola's handset business. The division lost another $527 million in the third quarter and the mistaken early release of unexpectedly weak earnings knocked over $20 billion off Google's market capitalisation in afternoon trade. A bigger concern is the risk of long-term management distraction.
While no company wants to release an earnings statement that begins "Pending Larry Quote" in the middle of a trading day, Google doesn't appear to be at fault. It blames RR Donnelley , the financial printer. But the search giant can't point the finger at anyone else for the awful results inside. Earnings fell 20 percent from a year ago to $2.2 billion.

Mastek staggers salary increments over two quarters

Mid-size IT provider Mastek has come up with a unique method to reduce margin impact from staff salary increments. Rather than postponing increments for all staff -- as Infosys did -- it has staggered increments over two quarters. 

The company's junior staff have got their increments in July but the senior staff will get their increments only in October. Because of the staggered wage hike the company was able to cushion its operating profit margins at 8%. Offshore salary increments will be 8% and onshore increments 3.5%. 

TCS profit rises 44 percent, new CFO announced

Tata Consultancy Services  (TCS), India's largest software services exporter, posted a 44 percent rise in quarterly profit, beating expectations, as more overseas clients turned to its outsourcing services to cut costs. The company also announded dividend of Rs 3 per share.
Profit for the three months ended September rose to Rs 35.12 billion ($643 million) from Rs 24.39 billion a year earlier, TCS said. Analysts had forecast a net profit of Rs 33.34 billion, according to Thomson Reuters estimates. Second-quarter revenue of TCS stood at $2.85 billion, a 13% increase Year-over-Year and 4.6% rise over the preceding quarter.

Refer a friend to Facebook and win Rs 50 talk time

Social networking site  Facebook is offering mobile talk time worth Rs 50 to new 'selective' users coming through referrals in India, a senior company official said. 

Kevin D'Souza, Country Growth Manager, Facebook, said the initiative has been taken on a pilot basis and the amount of recharge varies from user to user and place to place. 

To a query on whether this is for users who are coming through referrals, he said: "Yes. It is for users coming through referrals." 

Sony to cut 5,800 jobs, shut down factory

 Sony said it will cut staff in its headquarters by a fifth and shutter a factory making camera lenses and mobile phones in Japan, providing new details of a previously announced plan to trim its global headcount by 10,000 by end-March.
In addition to 1,800 at a chemical business it sold to a state-run bank in Japan, Sony will let go roughly another 2,000 people from its head office and plant in Gifu, central Japan, Sony said in a statement on Friday.

GM to hire 3,000 from Hewlett Packard

General Motors will hire 3,000 workers from  Hewlett-Packard, part of a push to bring most of its computer technology in-house.
The HP employees, who already work on GM projects, will help the automaker toward a larger goal: improving the software technology it puts in cars and uses to run its business.
Thursday's announcement is the latest in series of technology moves at GM. The company plans to hire 10,000 programmers and software experts over the next three to five years. It also wants to shift technology work from outside firms into GM and to open four new IT centers.

HSBC s websites hacked globally

Banking giant HSBC said that some of its websites had been hit by a "large scale" cyber attack that disrupted online services, but it assured customers that their data were not compromised.
The bank said in a statement that HSBC servers came under a "large scale denial of service attack" on Thursday.
It said a number of sites were affected around the world but did not give an exact number or say where they were.

TCS to hire 25,000 from campus

 TCS today announced its second-quarter earnings and shed light on its hiring plans. The company stated that it will be recruiting a total of 25,000 students via campus placements, out of which 12,500 have already been hired.

Speaking about its new hires in Q2 2012, Ajoy Mukherjee, the HR head of the company, commented, "We've hired 18654 this quarter in India. We're sticking to our hiring plans." Out of this figure, 10,205 were trainees, 5,764 were laterals and 2,685 were overseas employees.

Kaspersky developing software to secure PCs at nuclear plants

Russian anti-virus software company Kaspersky Lab is developing a secure operating system to run computers inside nuclear power plants and other vital infrastructure and industrial plants, its founder and CEO said on Tuesday.

Eugene Kaspersky, the Russian computer scientist turned multi-millionaire cyber security expert, told reporters at a company news conference in Dubai the system was at the prototype stage, with his Moscow-based company in talks with government institutions about installing the new operating system. He declined to identify any, saying the talks were confidential.

E governance projects are painful, say corporates

IT companies that won e-governance projects say many of these projects are bleeding. They have trouble collecting payments from governments. And there is a huge disconnect between the corporates and the bureaucracy, with both finding it difficult to understand the other's style of working, leading to inordinate delays. 

Nokia, Our tie up with Microsoft is unique

Microsoft's association with HTC and Samsungfor Windows devices will not impact Nokia's relationship with the software goliath but grow the ecosystem for Windows-based smartphones. Nokia's chief marketing officer Tuula Rytila tells Gulveen Aulakh the company will pitch its flagship device Lumia 920 more aggressively in India where it wants more people to move to smartphones. Excerpts:

LinkedIn redesigning profile pages

Professional networking site LinkedIn has announced a redesign of its profile pages.
The firm said that the new design will make it easier to connect, discover new people, find opportunities and network.
According to CBS News, the site's new features includes a clean look, inline editing and insight into how your profile is found.
The company is rolling out the feature to some users already.

IBM in talks to buy Israeli mobile software firm, Reports

IBM is in advanced talks to buy Israel-based Red Bend Software, a provider of mobile phone software, for $200 million to $250 million, Israeli media reported on Thursday.
Red Bend provides software for device management and mobile virtualisation, technology that enables multiple operating systems to run simultaneously on a mobile phone. It helps cellular phone manufacturers speed up new embedded services, respond swiftly to faults and reduce support costs via remote updates using the web.

Nokia reports dollar 4.7 billion quarterly loss

 Nokia has reported a third-quarter net loss of (euro) 969 million ($1.27 billion) as revenue plunged 19 per cent and sales of its flagship Windows Phone fell under 3 million units. 

The struggling company said that revenue dropped to (euro) 7.2 billion ($9.45 billion) and gave a grim outlook for the rest of the year. 

A year ago Nokia reported a third-quarter net loss of (euro) 68 million on revenues of (euro) 8.9 billion. 

Microsoft launches all India developer and IT pro event

 Microsoft launched TechDays, a four-month-long technology event across 50 cities in India on October 16. TechDays offers developers, IT pros and technology students across the country to attend an in-person event close to the city where they reside. It will help professionals and students alike to familiarise themselves with the latest cutting edge Microsoft technologies and equip them with valuable insights and best practices. With coding sessions planned across each of the locations, TechDays will also provide the attendees hands-on opportunities to create and convert their dream ideas into apps on the Windows 8, Windows Phone and Windows Azure platforms.

Airtel 4G service launched in Pune

 Bharti Airtel today announced the launch of Airtel postpaid 4G services in Pune, the first city to get this network in Maharashtra and the third in India. Airtel 4G services for prepaid customers in Pune will be launched shortly. 

The company also announced the availability and free trial offer of new services for Airtel 4G customers - Airtel Broadband TV and Games On-Demand. 

India, China likely successors to Silicon Valley

Close to half of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) leaders worldwide see India and China to be the likely successors of Silicon Valley as the global technology innovation center within the next four years, a new survey has revealed.
More than two in five technology executives surveyed for KPMG's Technology Innovation Survey 2012 believe Silicon Valley is on the way out as the global technology hub, in which a plurality of 44% expect China to replace it by 2016.

Twitter blocks account for the first time ever

Twitter said on Thursday it had blocked an account in a country for the first time, after German police asked the micro-blogging site to restrict access by a neo-Nazi group.
"We announced the ability to withhold content back in January," Twitter's chief lawyer Alex Macgillivray said in a message posted on the website.
"We're using it now for the first time re: a group deemed illegal in Germany."
In a separate tweet, Macgillivray posted a link to a letter from the police in the northern German state of Lower Saxony asking Twitter to block the account of Besseres Hannover, a far-right outfit which was outlawed last month.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Infosys, IT sector will create large number of jobs

 Infosys Executive Co-Chairman Kris Gopalakrishna said IT industry should create new products and revenue streams to achieve the $300 billion revenue target by 2020.

"We must always set an aspirational target so that we stretch ourselves. We should think outside the box and look at new ways of doing things," he told reporters here at 2012.

Worldwide smartphone users top 1bn, Report

Five years after the release of the iPhone, there are now over a billion smartphone users worldwide,   according to a report.
US research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics said the number of users topped one billion in the third quarter of 2012, with one out of every seven people worldwide carrying one of the devices.
The first smartphone, the Nokia Communicator, came out in 1996, but demand for the devices exploded after the release of Apple's iPhone in 2007.
"The iPhone revolutionized smartphone design and it catalyzed industry growth," Strategy Analytics Senior Analyst Scott Bicheno said in a statement.

HCL to go on deal hunting Vineet Nayar, CEO

 HCL Technologies CEO  Vineet Nayar said his sales team will go 'hunting' in the market in the next 60 days to grab a chunk of the $40 billion worth of contracts coming up for renewal in the next three months. 

"Ours is a guerrilla strategy. Till now, we were in the execution phase of contracts won in last 12 months. In the October to December quarters, our hunters will go after the $40 billion worth of contracts coming up for renewal. At least $8 billion worth of contracts will change hands to new vendors," said Vineet Nayar, CEO of HCL Technologies. 

UP government approves IT Policy 2012

The Uttar Pradesh government today approved the IT Policy 2012, aiming to catapult the state's IT exports. 

The decision was taken at a cabinet meet here, chaired by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. 

To boost Information Technology (IT), IT Enabled Services (ITES) and electronics industry in the state, the government approved the setting up of an IT city in Lucknow and transfer of 150 acres of Gajaria farm land on Lucknow-Sultanpur road for the purpose, official sources said. 

Five technology trends to watch in 2013

Each year in an effort to keep its finger on the pulse of emerging technologies, the  Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), comprising over 2,000 tech companies, releases a list of trends for the upcoming calendar year. 

The latest list released this week gives tech enthusiasts a preview of what trends experts say will become mainstream in 2013. 

Samsung s WP8 based Ativ S in India soon

Samsung unveiled its Ativ S, the world's first Windows Phone 8 smartphone, during IFA 2012 in August. Now, it seems that the device, which is still to launch anywhere across the globe, is headed for India.

Ezoneonline, the ecommerce portal from Future Group, has listed Samsung Ativ S in its mobile phone category. Though the site does not give any pricing or launch date details.

Google opens virtual window into secretive data centers

Google is opening a virtual windowinto the secretive data centers   where an intricate maze of computers process Internet search requests, showYouTube video clips and distribute email for millions of people. 

The unprecedented peek is being provided through a new website unveiled Wednesday at . The site features photos from inside some of the eight data centers that Google Inc. already has running in the US, Finland and Belgium. Google is also building data centers in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Chile. 

Intel, Tablet is not the end state of computing

 Intel crossed an earnings bar it lowered for itself last month, but the problems plaguing its main market for semiconductors - personal computers - seemed no closer to ending.

Intel, the world's biggest maker of chips, is feeling pain from a global downturn in demand for personal computers. While Intel makes many kinds of chips, the ones that go into PCsare among its most profitable. The PC market is eroding, however, because of economic weakness and a shift to devices likesmartphones and tablets.

Tablet market, Small companies versus Micromax, HCL

Even a year ago, companies such as Micromax and Lava were thought of as upstarts challenging mighty global corporations such as Nokia. With cut-price mobile phone models packed with features, they redefined the rules of the game and snatched market share from established players. But now, they are established players and little-known companies in the tablet space are doing unto them what they did unto Nokia and others. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Facebook opens first international engineering centre in London

ImageFacebook's first engineering centre outside the United States opened in London on Tuesday, boosting the British government's ambition to make the digital economy a central plank of its growth strategy. 

The company's vice-president of engineering, Mike Schroepfer, said that London is "rapidly emerging as a global technology hub", providing access to the best engineers and a place where other talented engineers would be willing to relocate. 

Karbonn launches Agnee, first made in India 3G tablet

 Innominds and Karbonn today unveiled Karbonn Agnee - the indigenous 3G tablet powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processor - at Innovation Qualcomm India 2012. With QTI Reference Design (QRD) based on QTI's Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 MSM7x27A processor, this 3G tablet has been designed and developed in India by Innominds. 

Karbonn Agnee, powered by QTI's 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, has a 7-inch screen, HDMI, 3G HSPA, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), 4000mAh Li-Polymer battery and supports 720p video. 

Xbox Music to offer free on demand music on Windows 8 tablets

ImageBuyers of tablets that run Microsoft's newest operating system, Windows 8, are in for a pleasant musical surprise: They'll be able to handpick from a selection of millions of songs and stream them for free as long as they put up with an audio ad every 15 minutes. 

The new service, called Xbox Music, is not on offer anywhere else at the moment. 

Govt to set up public private JWG on cyber security

India will set up a permanent working group on cyber security with representatives from the government and the private sector to implement the blueprint created to strengthen the country defense against all kinds of cyber attacks, said Shivshankar Menon, the National Security Advisor. 

This will be the first time that India will allow participation of the private sector in national security matters. The unique nature of cyberspace and its potential for damage has propelled the government and private sector to work together, Menon said. 

EU data agencies give Google months to fix privacy policy

ImageEuropean data protection agencies on Tuesday said Google's new privacy policy does not comply with EU laws and told the US Internet giant to fix it within months or face legal action. 

"Google has a few months, three or four months, to comply. If it takes no action, we will enter a phase of litigation," said the head of France's CNIL data agency, which took a lead role in a European probe into the company. hiring 50,000 temporary workers says it's hiring 50,000temporary workers at order-fulfillment centers across the US this holiday season. 

The Seattle-based online retailer says it expects "thousands" of those it hires to stay on full time.

Full-time workers get stock grants and benefits. The company says its full-time employees make 30 per cent more than traditional retail employees. It says stock grants have added an average 9 per cent to base pay over the last five years. 

Huawei Ascend P1 LTE is India s first 4G phone

Huawei, in partnership withQualcomm and Bharti Airtel, announced Ascend P1 LTE, India's first 4G smartphone. Powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 processor, the phone can handle high speed data on the LTE network and voice calls on the underlying 3G network using circuit switched voice fall back (CSFB) technology. 

Huawei, however, has not yet revealed the price and availability of the device. Sources said the company would talk about price and availability within a few weeks. Earlier TOI had reported that Huawei could be the first smartphone company in India to launch a 4G phone. 

Microsoft Surface priced below Apple s new iPad

Microsoft is setting the price of its new Surface tablet below comparable versions of Apple iPad, signaling its intent to grab a slice of the booming tablet market. 

The world's largest software company, which announced its surprise foray into computer manufacturing in June, said it would sell a 32-gigabyte (GB), Wi-Fi only version of its tablet at $499, versus $599 for a comparable version of Apple's new iPad. 

Microsoft's tablet, which is taller and slightly heavier than an iPad, will go on sale on October 26 as the company launches the new touch-friendly Windows 8 operating system. A limited number will be available for pre-order from a Microsoft website from Tuesday morning. 

HCL Infosystems, Tie up with Dell adds to our portfolio significantly

In an interview with ET Now, Rothin Bhattacharyya, EVP-Strategy, HCL Infosystems, talks about their distribution tie-up with Dell as well as sales and margin targets. Excerpts: 

ET Now: Give us a sense of what this distribution tie-up with Dell really entails. Is there any exclusivity with Dell as well in the tie-up?Rothin Bhattacharyya: We are very pleased to announce the strategic tie-up that we have had with Dell. This tie-up is with our wholly-owned subsidiary which is our distribution arm. What we are really doing is that this is one step in our rollout of our multi-brand distribution strategy. We are very pleased that Dell is one of our early partners in this strategy. 

Apple iPhone 4, 4S prices slashed in India again

In an unprecedented move,Apple India has slashed the prices of iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S within a week of lowering their retail prices, say media reports. Industry sources have stated that an Apple spokesperson confirmed the second price cut of the last two iPhones. Moreover, the spokesperson also saidiPhone 3GS has been discontinued in India, just like in the global market.

After the recent price cut, the 8GB model of Apple iPhone 4 will cost Rs 26,500, whereas the 16GB variant of Apple iPhone 4S will be retailed at Rs 38,500. During the price revision of last week, the prices of iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S were Rs 28,300 and Rs 41,500.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How to use Twitter for more than just tweeting

Twitter may limit you to only 140 characters but the add-ons you can get for it are virtually unlimited. ET introduces you to 35 less-known ways that let you do a lot more with your Twitter account. Tweriod analyses your tweets and followers to let you know the best time to tweet. Tweeting then will get you more responses/retweets. Here, you can see a page that collates tweets with a particular hashtag or keyword — makes it easy to track a topic on twitter.

Amazon says Kindle users entitled to e book refunds

Owners of's Kindle e-readers will receive refunds on past e-book purchases and see e-book prices drop if a judge approves legal settlements with publishers accused of fixing prices, according to the internet retailer.
Amazon told Kindle owners in emails on Saturday that they could receive a refund of between 30 cents and $1.32 for e-books they bought between April 2010 and May 2012. The books must have been published by three publishers who have agreed to settle a lawsuit that accused them of inflating e-book prices.

Softbank buys 70 percent stake in US‘ Sprint for dollar 20bn

Softbank has reached a deal to buy 70 percent of US wireless carrier Sprint   Nextel for $20.1 billion in the largest ever foreign acquisition by a Japanese company.
The agreement, announced on Monday at a joint news conference in Tokyo by Softbank president Masayoshi Son and Sprint chief executive Dan Hesse, will bring together the third biggest mobile carriers of both Japan and the US, underlining the growth ambitions of Softbank, which has made a series of acquisitions and investments over the last couple of decades.

New computer spying program linked to Flame authors

The security company that has discovered some of the most sophisticated spying software unearthed to date says it found a related program, dubbed "miniFlame," which can carry out more precise attacks on targets in the Middle East. 

While the original Flame virus swept in data from perhaps 5,000 computers, largely in Iran and Sudan, the new miniFlame struck only about 50 "high-value" machines, according to Kaspersky Lab research published on Monday. Ira n had previously blamed Flame for causing data loss on computers in the country's main oil export terminal and Oil Ministry. 

How Google is seamlessly moving close into daily life

Lisa Cericola, 31, a food editor and blogger, recently held a party at her home in Brooklyn, N.Y., with grilled steak and chimichurri on the table and the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the iPod. 

Soon, a debate broke out. Was the singer saying, "With burned shed it's a lovely view?" Or "With blood I shed alone with you?" 

Like most people these days, Cericola knew what to do. She grabbed her BlackBerry and Googled. (The answer, from the song "Scar Tissue": "With the birds I'll share this lonely view.") 

Apple may unveil 13inch MacBook Pro on October 23

Tech giant Apple is expected to unveil a 13-inch MacBook Pro during an event on October 23, where it is likely to launch the new iPad mini. 

According to a report by 9to5Mac, the newMacBook will have a high-resolution Retina display. 

The device will reportedly inherit the thin and light enclosure from the 15-inch Retina model, and it will be sold in two configurations, alongside the standard 13-inch MacBook Pro, which was updated with faster processors in June, Mashable reports. 

Samsung Galaxy Premier s specs, price, pics leaked

 Samsung is reportedly working on a new Android-powered smartphone called the Galaxy Premier. A report in technology blog MobileGeeks says that the upcoming phone, code named Samsung GT-i9260, will not be the speculated Nexus 4, but an altogether new device.

In Galaxy Premier, the South Korean smartphone manufacturer seems to have stuck to the pebble-esque design which it introduced in its flagship Galaxy S III and then followed in Galaxy Note II and the recently-unveiled Galaxy S III Mini.

Soon, store 10 terabits on a fingernail sized device

A new discovery may open the way for the development of next generationdata storage devices with capacities of up to 10terabits (10 trillion bits) per square inch - vastly enhancing storage on much smaller data devices. 

Imagine storing thousands of songs and high-resolution images on data devices no bigger than a fingernail. 

India is important R&D centre and market, Alcatel Lucent

Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) said its commitment to India remains unchanged even as the French telecom infrastructure firm has announced plans to reduce its global headcount by 5,000. 

"India is an important research and development centre and market for Alcatel-Lucent globally. Our commitment to building India's broadband infrastructure remains unchanged," Alcatel-Lucent said in a statement.

Most IT graduates leave Goa for jobs in other cities

About 82 per cent of the 1,000-odd information technology (IT) graduates from Goa's technical education institutions have to migrate for jobs, a top official of a leading trade body said Monday. 

Addressing a press conference in Panaji, GoaChamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) president Manguirish Pai Raikar said that a synergy between the state government and IT industries, which are the primary employers for IT graduates, would go a long way in arrestingthe "brain drain", which was primarily caused by the dearth of jobs in the state. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Google Maps to help voters in next Delhi elections

The next Delhi assembly election may see the electorate accessing Google Maps for various poll related information like location of polling booth and checking their names in the electoral rolls.
The initiative is being taken by the Election Commission to encourage people to exercise their franchise and the national capital is all set to become the first state to have the facility, chief electoral officer of Delhi Vijay Dev said today.

Worried over layoffs, 51 percent Britons check work emails during holidays

About 51 per cent of people in Britain check work emails every day while on holiday and as many as 38 per cent call the office because of fear of losing job in the recession, a new study has revealed.
According to the study, a third surveyed said that working on holiday had made the break less enjoyable, while 15 per cent said it had caused an argument with their partner, the Daily Mail reported.