Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hurricane Sandy deals a blow to popular US websites like Gawket, Gizmodo, Huffington Post

 The Huffington Post and other popular US websites struggled to get back on their feet Tuesday after superstorm Sandy knocked them out of cyberspace. 

On its homepage, the Huffington Post blamed power outages triggered by Monday's storm for "technical difficulties" as it offered readers minimalist post-storm updates with no photos or links to other parts of its vast site. 

Windows 8 now has Delhi Airport app

The operators of IGI airport here, Delhi International Airport Limited (Dial), today announced the launch of "GMR Delhi Airport" application on Windows 8 platform. 

The application, launched in collaboration with Microsoft, provides a host of utility features like real-time flight information, live weather information, access to all passengers' facilities available at the airport, a statement from the Dial said. 

Facebook, Twitter abuzz with hurricane chatter

The giant weather system barreling up the East Coast is a favorite topic of conversation on social media fromFacebook to Twitter. As people post updates to friends and family, relay emergency information and lighten the mood with humor, it's clear that discussing natural disasters on social media has become as much a part of the experience as stocking up on bread and batteries. 

TomToms Q3 net profit falls 23percent, cuts full year revenue forecast

Navigation systems and digital map maker TomTom  cut its 2012 revenue target after lower demand in austerity-hit Europe hurt revenues of its flagship consumer product and built-in car navigation division.
"The European economic situation is having a significant impact on the automotive industry. We expect our automotive revenue to remain under pressure in the coming quarters," chief executive Harold Goddijn said in a statement on Tuesday.
TomTom said it now expected revenue for 2012 to be around 1.05 billion euros, down from 1.10 billion euros.

Satyam Computers profit up 17 percent

 India's Satyam Computer Services, in the process of a merger with parent Tech Mahindra, met expectations with a 17 per cent rise in second-quarter profit, as customers, aiming to cut IT costs, gave it more orders. 

Profits for the September quarter rose to 2.78 billion rupees ($51.45 m illion) from 2.38 billion rupees in the year-earlier period, Satyam said in a statement on Tuesday. That compares with analysts' estimate of 2.73 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. 

India's $100 billion-a-year software services industry earns about three quarters of its revenue from the United States and Europe. Australia is also an increasingly important market for the sector. 

Billionaire Anand Mahindra purchased Satyam in a government-sponsored sale in 2009 after the founder of the Hyderabad-based company admitted to one of India's largest accounting frauds. 

Mahindra is seeking to create a consolidated IT services powerhouse by merging Satyam and Tech Mahindra, which provides software services to clients such as BT Group Plc and SAAB AB. 

Tech Mahindra owns close to 43 per cent of Satyam, now called Mahindra Satyam. It is offering one share in itself for every 8.5 shares of Satyam to absorb the company. 

Satyam shares have gained about 39 per cent in value since March 21, when the company announced its plans to merge with Tech Mahindra. The stock closed up 0.65 per cent on Tuesday ahead of the earnings report. 

The sector index lagged the broader market this year, but has rallied about 9 percent since a July low as investors became more optimistic about some stability in the global economic environment. 

Satyam's quarterly sales rose 22.8 per cent to 19.38 billion rupees. Analysts were expecting sales of 19.24 billion rupees. 

Earlier this month, top-ranked Tata Consultancy Services and fourth-ranked HCL Technologiesbeat expectations for second-quarter earnings. TCS reiterated it would beat the 11-14 percent estimate for exports growth made by the National Association of Software and Services Companies, an industry lobby. 

Second-ranked Infosys retained its July outlook for the current fiscal year ending March 2013. Infosys was yet to include revenue from the acquisition of a Swiss consultancy Lodestone Holding. Wipro, the No. 3 provider, will report second quarter earnings on Friday.

LinkedIn, Hiring trends in India relatively strong

Hiring trends in India is relatively strong than other markets around the world as nearly half of employers believe the recruitment volume this year is up from 2011, a survey says.

According to the LinkedIn Recruiting Trends survey with over 3,000 professionals/recruiters from the HR/Talent Acquisition department, of which 255 were from India, hiring in India remains healthy, despite global macroeconomic trends. 

Broadband penetration in India to reach 600m by 2020

Proactive steps are being taken to enhance broadband penetration in India, which is set reach the level of 600 million from the present 20 million by 2020, so as to cover the entire breadth and length of the country, according to a Confederation of Indian Industry(CII) press release.
Addressing the CII-Media Entertainment Summit 2012 titled India - The Big Picture, secretary, department of information technology and chairman telecom commission, R Chandrashekar said that the Indian government was investing over Rs 20,000 crore over the next few years for strengthening the broadband network in the country.

Nokia Lumia 920, 820 to ship this week

Finnish phone maker  Nokia said its new Lumia smartphones, key to the company's hopes for recovery, will begin to appear in some European markets this week.
Nokia late on Monday said its high-end Lumia 820 and 920 phones, which will run on Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 software, will this week reach first operators and retail outlets in France and Britain and later in Russia and Germany as well as other select markets.

Spam hits Indian users of Skype

A "malicious spam" has hit the internet-based audio-video communicator 'Skype' in the Indian cyberspace and anti-hacking sleuths have asked users to remain alert and cautious. 

"A malicious spam   campaign is on the rise targetingSkype users by sending instant message which appears to come from friends in the Skype contact list," a government advisory to 'Skype' users in the country said. 

TCS Indore campus expected to create 10,000 jobs

IT major Tata Consultancy Services  (TCS) said it will set up an integrated campus in Indore for IT and BPO with an initial investment of Rs 550 crore in the first phase. 

An agreement to this effect was signed by TCS and officials of the state government in Indore at a function presided over by Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chauhan. 

Vertu opens first flagship store in New Delhi

Luxury mobile phone maker Vertu today opened its first boutique store in India, here, with plans to expand to other cities like Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. 

"There is a huge growth opportunity here. People in India today are well travelled, they appreciate luxury products...We want to tap that potential," Vertu president Perry Oosting told PTI. 

Though he did not comment on the investmentsmade, Oosting said the company would expand to other major cities in the country through a partner-based model. 

Apple in safe hands despite software chief‘s exit, Analysts

The exit of Apple's longtime mobile software products chief may be a surprise, but a band of able executives led by Tim Cook and a bigger role for design boss Jonathan Ive meant the company was in good hands, analysts said on Tuesday. 

Ive, Apple's celebrated industrial design chief will now look into both hardware and software designs, following the departure of Scott Forstallafter years of friction with other top executives. 

Panasonic, We will lose 9.6 billion this year

Panasonic said that it would book a mammoth $9.6 billion net loss in the fiscal year to March as the Japanese consumer electronics giant undergoes a major overhaul of its troubled business.
While the firm said it would achieve an operating profit, restructuring costs and writedowns would see it post the whopping 765 billion yen shortfall.

This would be close to the record 772.2 billion yen net loss last fiscal year, one of the worst-ever losses for a non-financial Japanese firm.

Amazon may soon enter Brazil‘s e commerce market

Brazil's biggest bookstore chain, Saraiva, is trying to sell its online business, a move that could pave the way for Amazon's debut in Latin America's fastest growing e-commerce market, industry sources said.

Saraiva is widely seen as one of the main hurdles facing Amazon, the online retailer, as it prepares to set up shop in Brazil, a challenging market of 200 million people known for its tax and logistic complexities.

Acer delays Windows RT tablets

Taiwanese computer maker Acer is putting off the launch of tablets using Microsoft's new Windows RT operating systemto give itself time to see how Microsoft's own Surface tablet fares. 

The world's No. 4 PC vendor by shipments initially planned to roll out Windows RT tabletsbased on ARM chips early next year. However, the launch of Microsoft's tablet last week and the mixed reviews it has drawn has prompted Acer to wait and see until at least the second quarter of 2013. 

Dell India to shift focus to notebooks

Dell Computers today said that going forward, it would shift its focus more on to notebooks as the category has a huge potential in this market.
"If you look at market like this, I see huge potential for notebooks. That is the biggest segment that is growing, largely because of growing work force and consumers who want mobility. Tablets will pick up like a secondary device, but primarily it will still be notebooks,"Dell India executive director (marketing) P Krishnakumar told here.

Windows 8 off to stunning start, Microsoft

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer on Tuesday said the Windows 8 operating system was off to a "stunning" start with four million upgrades downloaded since its release on October 26.
"In just the last three days, we have sold four million Windows 8 upgrades," Ballmer said while kicking off a Build Conference for developers at the software giant's headquarters in Redmond, Washington.
"The level of embrace from enthusiasts is very, very high."

Angry Birds Land to open soon in Asia

The company behind Angry Birdssaid on Wednesday it would open its first theme park in Asia next year at a site near Shanghai as it builds on the brand of the hugely popular game.
'Angry Birds Land' will be located in Haining city in China's Zhejiang province, next to the commercial hub of Shanghai, and will be the firm's third theme park after one in Finland and another in Britain.
"People in China want to get out and spend their free time at a leisure destination," RovioEntertainment's general manager for China, Paul Chen, told AFP.

VIA introduces worlds smallest x86 quad core system

VIA Technologies today announced the world's smallest x86 quad core system, theVIA ARTiGO A1250 slim system featuring a 1GHz VIA quad-core processor and the latest VIA VX11H media system processor (MSP), in chassis the size of a paperback novel. The ultra-compact VIA ARTiGO A1250 is suitable for a myriad of applications in the home or office, including home server, home automation, hotel management, media streaming, digital signage and surveillance as well as medical and healthcare applications. 

ARMs new chips to turn smartphones superfast

 British chip designer ARM  on Tuesday launched processors to power a new generation of smartphones and also offer low-energy solutions for servers, increasing its incursion into a market dominated by Intel.
The Cambridge-based company, whose technology is in Apple's iPhone 5 and Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S3, said its latest blueprints would deliver three times today's processing power using the same amount of energy.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Vodafone may cut 500 jobs in Australia

Vodafone Hutchison Australia, the country's third-ranked mobile phone company, said on Monday it plans to cut up to 500 jobs out of a workforce of 5,000 as part of a restructuring as it struggles with shrinking market share. 

The company, a 50:50 joint venture between Vodafone Group Plc and Hutchison 3G Australia, has 6.8 million customers and operates brands including Vodafone, 3 and Crazy John's. 

MTNL, BSNL fail to give dates for BlackBerry interception

 Public sector undertakings -- MTNL and BSNL have not yet given any time frame for testing of services for interception of Blackberry services notwithstanding the December 31 Government deadline for operators to comply with it or shut their services. 

In a letter, the Government conveyed to Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) that "Blackberry interception solution is in the final stages of development and testing by RIM and the telecom service providers in conjunction with an Legal Intercepting (LI) vendor. 

Steve Jobs last masterpiece finally ready to sail

Visionary Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' final masterpiece was no iPhone or iPad. It was rather a 260-foot yacht that he had been designing before his death in October 2011.
Jobs, however, never had a chance to use the eye-catching vessel, and the yatch has finally been completed by a Dutch shipbuilder this month, one year after his death.
Jobs had employed the chief engineer of his Apple stores to help design a special glass that allowed the ship to be installed with ten-foot-high windows across the hull.

SAP eyes long period of high sales growth, Report

Germany's SAP may be able to sustain high sales from software and related services for a "very long time," co-chief executive Bill McDermott told a German newspaper.
"It's our ambition to grow with double-digit numbers for a very long time to come," Euro am Sonntag quoted McDermott as saying in an interview published on Sunday.

Japan vulnerable to cyber attack

When most of the world was watching the Olympic Games, dozens of Japanese students were enthralled by the world ofcomputer viruses and bugs. 

Some locked themselves in a room and spent six hours analyzing a malware worm called Gumbler that had tampered with the websites of Japanese companies like Honda in 2009. 

The era of PC has ended, Gartner

Over the next five years, 65% of enterprises will adopt a mobile device management (MDM) solution, according to Gartner, a research firm. With the increased functionality of smartphones, and the increasing popularity of tablets, much of the network traffic and corporate data that was once the primary domain of enterprise PCs is now being shifted to mobile devices. 

Piracy website gets support from US government

 It's a wildly popular website laden with unlicensed songs and Hollywood movies, a prime exhibit of the digital piracy that is strangling the music industry in Asia and eroding legitimate online sales around the world.
But a few clicks inside the free-to-download bonanza that has pushed Vietnam's into the globe's top 550 websites reveals a surprising presence: the American government, which maintains a bustling social media account on the site.

IBM reports breakthrough in chip making technology

IBM scientists are reporting progress in a chip-making technology that is likely to ensure the shrinking of the basic digital switch at the heart of modern microchips for more than another decade. 

The advance, first described in the journal Nature Nanotechnology on Sunday, is based on carbon nanotubes, exotic molecules that have long held out promise as an alternative material to silicon from which to create the tiny logic gates that are now used by the billions to create microprocessors and memory chips. 

iPhone 5 price war starts, iPad mini debuts

Apple iPhone 5 is yet to be launched in India and retailers have started taking pre-orders, but at least one seller has tried to one-up the competition by slashing the prices.

TOI had reported on Friday that the change in Apple's retail strategy could result in differential pricing and a possible price war in iPhone 5 prices in the weeks to come.

Samsung fined Rs 10,000 over faulty phone

Samsung India has been asked by a consumer forum to pay Rs 10,000 to one of its customers for selling him a faulty mobile phone and then failing to get it repaired.
The compensation was awarded by the Central Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum after Samsung offered to settle the matter by paying Rs 10,000 to complainant Mulk Raj Manchanda.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Microsoft lets users slide for election news, analysis

US voters can slide their political orientation and news to the left, right or center with an elections website launched by Microsoft search engine Bing.
The Bing Elections 2012 site was launched "to bring together comprehensive election news, up-to-the-minute election results, and social media insights -- all in one place," Bing marketing chief Mike Nichols said in a blog post.
In one unique feature, users of the site will be able to click on a bar to shift the news orientation to the left or right.

Canon eyeing top spot in inkjet printer market by 2015

Canon is aiming to be the leader in the country's inkjet printer market by 2015, a top official claimed.
"With the new exciting range of printers and innovations coming from Canon, we aim to be No. 1 in India by 2015," Canon's Group Executive for Inkjet Product Operations Hideaki Fukai said in a statement.
The company today launched of imaging software 'My Image Garden' for its PIXMA range of inkjet printers.

Facebook IPO fallout: Analyst‘s firing shocks Silicon Valley

The firing of Citigroup stock analyst Mark Mahaney on Friday in the regulatory fallout from Facebook's initial public offering was greeted with shock and dismay in Silicon Valley, where Mahaney was a well-known and well-liked figure.
"Pretty shocked," was the reaction of Jacob Funds chief executive Ryan Jacob, who described Mahaney as one of the most respected financial analysts covering the internet industry.

India among fastest growing Internet markets, Study

ImageIndia is among the top three fastest growing Internet   markets in the world, a study by industry body   Assocham and ComScore   has said. 

"Among the Bric nations, India has been the fastest growing market adding over 18 million Internet users and growing at an annual rate of 41 per cent," the study said. 

The Internet user base in the country is approximately 125 million, the study added. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

No end to HCL and Infosys war of words over British co Axon

There seems to be no let-up in the war of words between two of India's biggest software companies that was triggered by the bidding battle for British company Axon four years ago. 

HCL Technologies and   Infosys are now seeing a fresh bout over the Bangalore-based company's long-awaited acquisition of Lodestone in September. And to boot, the protagonists on both sides are Steves - Steve Pratt of Infosys and Steve Cardell of HCL Technologies. 

Microsoft vs Apple, Roles reversed as Surface takes on iPad

It used to be that Microsoft was the evil empire, and Apple the scrappy underdog.
Now the roles are reversed, and Microsoft is challenging a dominant Apple, which has staked its claim as the leader of the sizzling mobile sector for tablets and smartphones, as well as the biggest seller of digital music.
Microsoft, still the biggest force in the PC market with its Windows operating system, is making a new, belated effort on Apple's turf.

Most of the low cost devices are good for nothing

If the Centre and state governments convert their stated intentions into actions, an explosion in tablet sales is around the corner. Several governments are lining up huge orders for low-cost tablets to either meet the computing needs of their staff or, in what is seen as a quasi-political statement, to hand out to citizens, mostly children. 

The intention currently visible from various governments adds up to 10 million tablets, according to numbers released by hardware body Manufacturers Association of Information Technology (MAIT). 

Nokia launches Asha 308, 309 in India

ImageFinnish handset major Nokia is keen to take its popular Asha range of mobile phones across the globe as the company introduced two new models. 

The company currently retails high-end smartphones under the Lumia range to over 100 countries. 

"We have not gone globally (through Asha range of Phones)", Nokia India, regional general manager (south) TS Sridhar said unveiling dual-sim Asha 308 (Rs 6,149) and single sim Asha 309 (Rs 6,349) mobile phones today coinciding with their first anniversary. 

Intel, AMD, others join hands to combat cyber challenges

Five US technology companies, including top weapons makerLockheed Martin and chip maker Intel, plan to team up to tackle "grand challenges" in cyberspace amid growing concerns about computer security.
The non-profit research consortium, to be known as the Cyber Security Research Alliance (CSRA), will also include Advanced Micro Devices, Honeywell International and EMC'sRSA Security division as founding members.
The consortium will coordinate industry research and work closely with government to develop "break-through technologies" to improve cybersecurity, said its president Lee Holcomb, a senior executive at Lockheed's information systems and global solutions division.

Nokia out of top 5 globally, tops in India

Finnish mobile handset manufacturer Nokia, which is facing a major crisis in global sales, still tops the list of mobile handset market in India even as it has been displaced from the fifth spot in global sales by the beleaguered BlackBerry maker  Research in Motion (RIM). 

According to a report by Cybermedia, Nokia had 22.2 per cent share of the Indian handset market in terms of total unit shipments in the first half of 2012, followed by Samsung with 13 per cent and Micromax in the third spot with 5.5 per cent share. 

Apple iPhone 5 prices start at Rs 45,500 in India

Apple iPhone 5, which will be launched in India on November 2, will be priced at Rs 45,500 for the entry-level 16GB model. The 32 and 64GB models will be sold at 52,500 and 59,500 respectively.

The prices have been shared by Redington, one of the two distribution partners of Apple in India, in the country and are in line with the unconfirmed price range that TOI had earlier reported

Top tips to set strong passwords

On the internet,   passwords offer the first line of defence and they are necessary to keep your accounts safe. However, most of us while choosing passwords for various accounts on the internet bypass certain basic criteria. Mostly for the convenience of remembering, we tend to keep the same password for all the accounts. In most cases, easy-to-guess passwords are set thereby compromising online security. 

A password is more of a lock than a key. Hence, it is really important to have strong passwords to your various services online so that you can defend against cyber criminals. 

Windows 8, An OS made for touchscreens

We talked about Windows 8 on a laptop (and desktop) a few days ago. It is a good OS but with dual personality and on a laptop, without a touchscreen, this affects the user experience in a rather negative way. Even Microsoft tacitly acknowledges that Windows 8 works best when it is paired with a touchscreen. To test this claim, we spent some days with a Windows 8 tablet. 

Made by Samsung, the tablet that we used was powered by a Core i5 Sandy Bridge processor and 4GB RAM. It was rather thick and was prone to overheating because of the powerful hardware inside it. But fortunately, this tablet was just a concept device. It will not go on sale in the market. 

Surface creates buzz, but iPad mania missing

US shoppers woke up with mild Surface fever on Friday, lining up in moderate numbers to buy Microsoft's groundbreaking tablet computer designed to challenge Apple's iPad.
The global debut of the Windows 8 operating system was greeted with pockets of enthusiasm, but not the mania reserved for some previous Apple launches.
Microsoft is positioning the slick new computing device, which runs a limited version of Windows and Office with a thin, click-on keyboard cover, as a perfect combination of PC and tablet that is good for work as well as entertainment.

Apple iPad mini pre orders begin

Apple has begun taking pre-orders for the iPad mini, its latest tablet which was launched on October 23. The company is taking advance bookings for both Wi-Fi only as well as Wi-Fi + 4G models of the device, but shipping times vary. 

While the former will be delivered to buyers on November 2, the latter will be shipped around mid-November, according to information provided on Apple's online store which went offline for a while for updation. 

LG Display breaks loss making streak after 7 quarters

 LG Display reported its first quarterly profit in two years on Friday as sales of its screens used in Apple iPad and iPhone offset weak demand from TV manufacturers, the South Korean panel maker's biggest revenue source.
LG Display, which vies with Samsung Electronics's panel unit for the top position inliquid crystal display (LCD) flat screens globally, reported 253 billion won ($230 million) in operating profit for its July-September third quarter.
That was a tad below an average forecast for a 265 billion won profit in a poll of 13 analysts by Thomson Reuters.

Apple nets record dollar 8.2 billion profit on iPhone sales

Apple on Thursday revealed record revenue and profit figures for the fourth quarter ended September 2012, riding on 58 per cent higher iPhone sales over the same period last year, even as new worries emerged for the US firm.
The Cupertino-based maker of iPhone smartphones, iPad tablets,  Macbook notebooks and iMac desktop computers posted revenue of $36 billion and net profit of $8.2 billion, or $8.67 per diluted share for its last quarter. 

Google, Apple, Microsoft, Crucial test ahead

The biggest names in consumer technology, stung by a string of disappointing quarterly results this month, are suiting up for what's shaping to be the fiercest holiday battle in years.
Apple nets record $8.2bn profit on iPhone sales 

Investors and consumers have already largely written off flaccid quarterly numbers from tech behemoths like Microsoft, Apple, Google and Amazon. What counts is the next 60 days, when the biggest names in technology do battle at a near-unprecedented scale and pace.

HTC profit falls 79 percent in Q3

Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC on Friday reported a 79 percent drop in third quarter profit as intensifying competition from Apple and Samsung Electronics hurt sales.
HTC said its profit totaled 3.9 billion New Taiwan dollars ($99 million) on revenue of NT$70 billion in the three months through September. It was HTC's fourth consecutive fall in quarterly profit.
The company predicts revenue to drop to NT$60 billion in the fourth quarter despite traditional pre-Christmas buying and its introduction of two new models running on Microsoft's Windows 8 software.

Google Nexus 4 specs with Android 4.2 leaked online

Details of Google's new flagship Nexus 4 smartphone have apparently been leaked by the UK's largest independent mobile phone retailer.
Carphone Warehouse's website briefly displayed a listing offering the LG Nexus 4 on contract from 31pounds per month on O2 or Vodafone from 30 October.
The device is expected to be the centrepiece of a Google event in New York on Monday, 29 October, when the firm is also expected to update its Nexus 7 Android tablet, The Telegraph reports.

Microsoft CEO confirms plans to launch more devices

Steve Ballmer, the chief executive of software giant Microsoft, has confirmed he plans to release more devices.
"Is it fair to say we're going to do more hardware? Obviously we are... Where we see important opportunities to set a new standard, yeah we'll dive in," Ballmer said.
According to the BBC, Ballmer's comments came ahead of a Windows 8 launch event inNew York, following which Microsoft's Surface tablet will go on sale.

iPhone 5 coming on November 2, App Store adopts Rupee pricing

Even as Apple iPhone 5 launch in India has been delayed by a week to November 2, the company on Friday started billing inIndian rupee on the App Store.

The move will benefit the vast app developer community that sells on the App Store as well as the users who download paid applications and content from the company's online store.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer buys mobile app developer Stamped

Yahoo Inc said on Thursday it bought a small, mobile start-up company in New York, marking one of new Chief Executive Marissa Mayer's first moves to revamp the struggling Web pioneer by acquiring outside products and technology. 

Yahoo purchased Stamped, which makes a product that lets consumers share favorite restaurants and music on their smartphones. It did not disclose financial details. 

Windows 8 to bridge gap between PC, mobile devices

Microsoft launched a radical redesign of its world-dominating Windows operating system, introducing a touch-enabled interface that attempts to bridge the gap between personal computers and fast-growing mobile devices powered by the company's fiercest competitors.
The debut of Windows 8 heralds the biggest change to the system since 1995, when the company first offered built-in internet support. And with so much riding on it, the overhaul could be Microsoft's most important product since co-founder Bill Gates won the contract to build an operating system for IBM's first PC in 1981.