Friday, November 30, 2012

CIOs unlikely to cut IT budgets in 2013

Indian enterprises are cautious about their information technology (IT) budgets for 2013, which they do not see rising much, but are keen to spend on emerging technologies such as mobility, data analytics and cloud computing to improve their core businesses. 

At least 10 chief information officers (CIOs), including those from Future Group that owns the Big Bazaar retail chain, India's largest carmaker Maruti, the Manipal Group andHonda Motor, said their IT spends in 2013 would remain mostly unchanged from this year. 

Sony in talks to sell battery business, Report

Sony is in talks with suitors, including Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision, over the sale of its battery business, a report said on Thursday, as the Japanese firm tries to repair its dented balance sheet.
Sony, which in June announced the sale of its chemical division, was eyeing the sale to focus on core businesses, including its videogames unit, as it battles fierce overseas competition, the Nikkei business daily reported.
Hon Hai -- which makes Apple gadgets in China and has been in separate talks over an investment in Sony rival Sharp -- is among the prospective buyers, as well as Japanese and foreign investment funds, the Nikkei said.

ThoughtWorks and Hoppr bring Rails Girls to India

Following the phenomenal success across Helsinki, Shanghai,  Singapore, Brazil, Australia  and  USA, global IT consultancy ThoughtWorks and Hoppr - mobile device-agnostic location based service provider,will be hosting the first India edition of Rails Girls" next month at ThoughtWorks Technologies' office in Gurgaon.

Started in Helsinki in 2010, Rails Girls is a global, non-profit volunteer community which aims to help aspiring women techies to build their ideas using technology.

Rails for Girls is a day-long Ruby on Rails (a dynamic programming language that offers an ideal development environment for practitioners), workshop for absolute beginners in programming and web development, and the participants will dive into the magical world of designing, prototyping and coding.

Dark warnings about future of Internet access

Every time an Internet user watches "Gangnam Style" on YouTube, packets of digital data course through the global telecommunications system, converging on an iPhone, a tablet or a laptop. Having missed out on most of the lucrative revenue that the explosion of digital content has generated for internet companies, telecommunications providers in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere now want to charge them for carrying this traffic. No way, the content providers say. 

This commercial and ideological clash is set for a showdown next week, when representatives of more than 190 governments, along with telecommunications companies and internet groups, gather in Dubai for a once-in-a-generation meeting. The ostensible purpose of the World Conference on International Telecommunications is to update a global treaty on technical standards needed to, say, connect a telephone call from Tokyo to Timbuktu. The previous conference took place in 1988, when the internet was in its infancy and telecommunications remained a highly regulated, mostly analogue business. 

Nokia Siemens to cut 650 jobs, shut plant in Germany

Mobile network equipment maker Nokia Siemens Networks(NSN) will cut 650 jobs as it shuts down its plant in Bruchsal, Germany, a spokeswoman for the company said. 

The 50-50 joint venture between Nokia Oyj andSiemens AG is carrying out a cost-cutting plan, which includes laying off a quarter of its staff and selling product lines to focus on mobile broadband. 

The restructuring should result in 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in cost savings by the end of next year. 

Aakash 2 tablet unveiled at UN

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon praised India as a "super-power" in the field of information technology as he unveiled the country's first indigenously created low-costAakash 2 tablet here. 

The tablet was showcased at the UN headquarters yesterday on the occasion of the India's current Presidency of the UN Security Council. 

CEO of Datawind, maker of the Aakash tablet, Suneet Singh Tuli, presented the device to the UN Chief who voiced appreciation for the tablet for being "small and handy." 

Skill gap is worrying IT product companies, Survey

Only 2.68% engineers of the five lakh India produces annually meet the skill requirements of the IT products sector, according to a survey by employability assessment firm Aspiring Minds. 

The national employability survey on engineering graduates by the firm states that nearly 92% of engineering graduates lack computer programming and algorithms skill required for IT product companies whereas 56% show lack of soft skills and cognitive skills. 

Cellphone addiction is similar to compulsive buying, Study

Cellphone addiction is similar to compulsive buying and credit card misuse, a new study has found. 

Cellphone and instant messaging addictions are driven by materialism and impulsiveness and can be compared to consumption pathologies like compulsive buying and credit card misuse, according to Baylor University researchers. 

Google allows 10GB attachments in Gmail

Do you feel the 25MB limit for attachments in Gmail is not enough? Well Google seems to have heard your prayers. The search giant has integrated Google Drive-based attachments in its email service so that users can now send files up to 10GB in size. Google Driveis the company's cloud storage service, similar to Microsoft SkyDrive and DropBox. 

On the official Gmail blog, Phil Sharp, Gmail product manager, posted: "you can insert files from Drive directly into an email without leaving your Gmail." He added, "...with Drive, you can insert files up to 10GB -- 400 times larger than what you can send as a traditional attachment. Also, because you're sending a file stored in the cloud, all your recipients will have access to the same, most-up-to-date version." 

India to discuss alleged security threat posed by Huawei, ZTE

Officials of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) will meet on Tuesday to discuss Chinese network majorsHuawei and ZTE, after the finance ministryasked the body that clears all major investmentsinto the country to examine a recent report by the US Congress Panel that had said the two Chinese equipment makers posed a security threat. 

Department of Economic Affairs secretary Aravind Mayaram, who has called for the meeting, has pointed out that the FIPB had deferred the applications of the two Chinese vendors in 2002, 2005 and 2006, but these companies continued to operate in India 'as their activities falls under the automatic route'. 

Global PaaS revenue to touch dollar 1.2 billion in 2012, Gartner

Worldwide Platform as a Service (PaaS) revenue is expected to more than double to $1.2 billion in 2012 compared to $ 900 million in 2011, according to technology research firm Gartner. 

The market will experience consistent growth with worldwide PaaS revenue totaling $ 1.5 billion in 2013 and growing to $ 2.9 billion in 2016, the technology researcher said in a statement. 

Silicon Valley being challenged by new tech hubs, Study

Silicon Valley remains the world's most attractive spot for technology start-ups with other locations around the world catching up, according to a report published on Tuesday.
Silicon Valley-based start-ups raise, on average, a third more capital than those in other areas, the report, conducted by research firm Startup Genome and funded by Spanish group Telefonica, said.
Silicon Valley continued to lead in metrics including the amount of serial entrepreneurs, revenue models, and the level of education among business founders. Tel Aviv was ranked second, followed by Los Angeles, Seattle, New York and Boston.

Scientists find cheaper way to ensure cyber security

Scientists at Toshiba   and Cambridge University have perfected a technique that offers a less expensive way to ensure the security of the high-speed fiber optic cables that are the backbone of the modern internet. 

The research, which will be published Tuesday in the science journal Physical Review X, describes a technique for making infinitesimally short time measurements needed to capture pulses of quantum light hidden in streams of billions of photons transmitted each second in data networks. 

Oracle takes the fight to SAP in India

Two of the world's largest software makers - Oracle  and SAP - have brought their global fight to India, where enterprises are spending more than ever before on technology.

In the past few weeks, California-based Oracle has published advertisements specifically targeting the clients of world's largest business software maker, SAP of Germany. The advertisements proclaimed that 'Oracle Surrounds SAP', with 96% of SAP customers running Oracle applications.

Infosys, TCS, Wipro go slow on hiring

 Attrition in top-tier IT companieshas seen a sharp decline over the past year, indicating a slowdown in hiring of mid to senior level IT professionals in the current tough business climate. 

Wipro's attrition rate has dropped sharply to 14.6% in the September quarter from the 21-22 % rates in the first half of the last financial year.TCS, the country's largest IT company, saw the rate dip to 11.4% in the most recent quarter, from 14.8% in the June quarter of last year. Mindtree's has dropped in the same period from 25.6% to 16.5%. 

Accessing internet through text messages

It's not necessary to have internet connection on your phone to access the web. A mere text message sent to a particular number can get you basic data from sites like Google and Wikipedia. Text-based applications also provide information like live update of cricket scores. 

Companies like txtWeb, Google and Innoz Technologies have such services. 

Now, a pen with a memory

Anyone who has tried to take notes on a tablet knows how tricky it can be. Seeking to cater to fans of ink and paper, Livescribe has created the Sky smartpen, a writing tool with a tiny computer inside that records notes written on special microdot paper. The notes are sent wirelessly to a personal account through a partnership with Evernote, the digital archive service. 

The pen has up to 8GB memory. It also records audio, which can be beneficial for meetings and lectures. Users can playback moments of the audio by touching the pen at the corresponding spot in the handwritten notes. 

Panorama apps, Taking in a world view

There are apps that stitch together multiple pictures you've taken in a particular location to create one panoramic  view. Such panoramic pictures look fabulous, and ardent photographers are passionate about them. Apple launched apanorama option with the new iOS 6 on the iPhone 5. But even before that, there were panorama photo apps on the Android platform. 

Who will gain if Apple becomes Microsoft

If Apple becomes Microsoft,investors should cheer. At least, that is, for their wallets. Middle age for technology stocks can hurt as shareholders looking for rapid growth lose interest and value-oriented owners await stability. But Apple has already made the transition - before its growth has slowed much. Even if its next decade echoes Microsoft's last, the company is worth over $1 trillion. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Why Infosys continues to be an attractive bet

Institutional investors seem to be still betting big on Infosys  not withstanding the 12% drop in its stock price in 2012 so far. The latest data on share-holding pattern shows that non-promoter, non-institutional stake in the second largest ITexporter publicly listed in India touched a 12-year high in the September 2012 quarter. 

At the end of September 2012 quarter, institutions held a 57.8% stake in Infosys, the highest since the March 2001 quarter. Banks, insurance companies and domestic institutions, have significantly raised their stake from less than 1% 12 years ago to 13.3%. 

Real estate cos go for reputation managment on Facebook, Twitter

If you are one of the thousands of homebuyers whose house-warming plans have been delayed by two years because of developers being behind schedule, where else to vent but on social media? According to real estate research firm Liases Foras, nearly half of the 3,23,000 homes that were to be delivered in 2013 will be delayed; and a third of these won't be ready before 2015.

Even as disgruntled home buyers spit venom onFacebook and Twitter, real estate companies are scurrying to online reputation managers for cover.

Email monitoring jump 36 per cent in September 2012

The monitoring of emails  by various security agencies saw a 36 per cent jump in September while tapping of telephones during the month came marginally down.

According to an official note, the number of emails being screened rose to 1,601 as on September 30 from 1,174 at the end of August--an increase of 36.4 per cent.

The note said 10,490 phones across the country were monitored by various security agencies. The number of phones tapped in August stood at 10,648.

Nokia wins wireless patent ruling against BlackBerry maker RIM

Nokia has won its dispute with BlackBerry maker  Research In Motion (RIM) over use of its patents related to wireless local access network (WLAN) technology, the Finnish company said.

Announcing that an arbitrator had ruled in its favor, Nokia said: "It found that RIM was in breach of contract and is not entitled to manufacture or sell WLAN products without first agreeing royalties."

6 tips to keep your emails secret

If David Petraeus couldn't keep his affair from prying eyes as CIA director, then what chance does an average person have? Experts say people underestimate how transparent digital communications have become.

"Hacking and spying went mainstream a decade ago," said Dan Kaminsky, an internet security researcher. "Everyone is reading everyone else'semails — girlfriends are reading boyfriends' , bosses are reading employees' — because it's just so easy to do."

Yahoo to focus on smartphones, says CEO Marissa Mayer

Yahoo! chief executive  Marissa Mayer said in an interview released Wednesday she is pushing the Web giant's focus to mobile, including getting its employees on smartphones. 

"We have a terrific set of assets on the Web, they are all the things people want to do on their mobile phone," said Mayer in an interview with Fortune magazinewhich was also released by its partner CNN Money. 

In her first media interview since becoming CEO in July, Mayer said she is getting employees to use the popular mobile systems including Google's Android, Apple's iOS and Windows 8, while getting rid of BlackBerrys. 

Nokia Lumia 920 sold out in US, Report

 Nokia seems to have finally gotten it right with Lumia 920. The Finnish phone maker's flagship device running on Windows Phone 8 has reportedly received over 2.5 million pre-orders worldwide and is nearly sold out in the US. A report in Yahoo China stated that the number of advance bookings worldwide for Nokia Lumia 920 were over 2.5 million in less than three weeks. 

Vodafone launches security solution for enterprises

Vodafone India launched a solution, Secure Device Manager, for its corporate clients which will allow enterprises secure company data on mobile handsets and tablet PCs of their employees. 

Vodafone India is the first Indian telecom operator to launch such a service. Its UK parent offers the solution in the UK and Germany and has 18,000 active users. 

Facebooks Gifts service lets users shop using credit cards

Facebook is already privy to its users' email addresses, wedding pictures and political beliefs. Now the company is nudging them to share a bit more: credit card numbers and offline addresses. 

The nudge comes from a new Facebook service called Gifts. It allows Facebook users - only in the United States for now - to buy presents for their friends on the social network. On offer are items as varied as spices from Dean & DeLuca, pajamas from BabyGap and subscriptions toHulu Plus, the video service. This week Facebook added iTunes gift cards. 

Xbox World, New Microsoft console to support Blu ray, new Kinect

As a bit of a last hurrah for Xbox World, the UK gaming magazine that's set to ride off into the sunset after its December 12 issue, its editors have pulled together all of their secrets and sources to spoil plenty of information about Microsoft's new rumored Xbox gaming console well in advance of its (likely) first appearance in early-to-mid 2013.
Spoiler: It might even just be called, "Xbox," as opposed to the "Xbox 720" or any of the other flashy names thrown around rumor reports as of late.

Googles Android is eating Apples lunch

Smartphones and tablets powered by Google's  Android software are devouring the mobile gadget market, eating into Apple's turf by feeding appetites for innovation and low prices, analysts say.
The Android operating system powered nearly three out of four smartphones shipped worldwide in the recently ended quarter as the mobile platform dominated the market, according to industry trackers at IDC.

Review, 4 superzoom digital cameras

If you've outgrown your standard point-and-shoot, but are still uncomfortable with the manual controls in a DSLR, then you might want to consider superzooms. Regardless of what you want to capture, whether candid moments at a birthday party, split-second action photos of your kid on a football pitch, or even the scenic vistas of Manali, these shooters can handle it all...

What is Ultra HD 4K

Just when you thought it was safe to buy a 1080p HDTV, along comes another new video format. In fact, you may have even seen a "4K" logo in movie theaters lately. But what exactly does 4K mean (aside from the stock memory in a Radio Shack TRS-80, for the aging geeks like me in the audience)? Is 4K—now known officially as Ultra HD—something you can get today, or at least soon enough that you should hold off on buying, say, an HDTV or Blu-ray player? Is it something you'd even want? Here's everything you need to know about Ultra HD—for now, at least.

Touch screen desktops, A hazard to your health

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is floating around extolling the virtues of Windows 8. Reviewers are giving more positive reviews than negative reviews. Smart people I know have actually changed their minds, agreeing that Windows 8 is great. Life is good at Microsoft.
That said, I personally do not like it. I specifically dislike the idea of full-screen apps running on 27-inch screens. Will I like it more if the desktop PC becomes a touch-screen PC where the advantages of touch come to the fore? No.

Here is why Cisco bought Meraki for dollar 1.2 billion in cash

Cisco Systems of San Jose, California says it is buying Meraki Networks of San Francisco for around $1.2 billion in cash. The news of the deal leaked on Twitter, when Cisco accidentally posted the news on its blog and swiftly removed it, but it was too late. Cisco is hoping to focus on smaller companies and medium sized campuses with Meraki and its products.
Meraki rises from the Roofnet
The company which makes WiFi gear focused on large campuses and corporations was started in 2006 and emerged from an MIT research project, Roofnet. It was backed by Sequoia Capital and Google, and initially focused its energies on consumers and building municipal WiFi networks, including one in San Francisco.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Facebook adds iTunes credits in gift service

Facebook said Monday it was adding Apple iTunes  digital credits to its new gift service at the social network. 

"Starting today with Facebook Gifts, you can instantly gift your friends  iTunes digital gifts and recommend albums, movies, games, apps, and more available on the iTunes Store," a Facebook statement said. 

The iTunes "digital gifts" will be available in amounts of $10, $15, $25, or $50. For now, it is available only for US users of Facebook. 

India maintains Internet cannot be governed

The Indian government has sought suggestions from different stakeholders on the position that India should take before it begins negotiations with other countries at a global  internet governance meet in Dubai this week. 

In an open house held by the government on Tuesday,telecom minister Kapil Sibal gave stakeholders representing civil society, mobile phone companies and social media two days to put in their comments in writing after some objected to the language used in certain clauses of the draft prepared by the government for discussion at the World Conference on International Telecommunications 2012. 

Google hits back against German copyright law, launches internet campaign to drum up public support

Google launched an Internet  campaign in Germany on Tuesday aiming to drum up public support against a proposed law that would force the search engine to pay publishers for content offered on the site.
The one-minute Internet video, entitled "defend your net", shows consumers using the search engine to find what they want on the web.
"For more than 10 years, you have been able to find the things that move you. A planned law will now change that," the firm says in the video.

SAP woos students to promote entrepreneurship

Global enterprise software major SAP India hosted a hi-tech event here on Monday to promote entrepreneurship among 5,000 students from 200 universities across the country and bridge the industry-academic gap.
"The 'Techniversity 2012' is an ideal platform for varsity students to learn about key technologies and trends required to shift from academia to industry, as the event is based on education, inspiration, innovation, career and competition," SAP Labs India vice-president Sunder Madakshira told reporters on the occasion.

Times Internet acquires mens lifestyle portal MensXP

Times Internet has acquired, a lifestyle portal for men, the digital media company announced on Monday.

The aim of the acquisition is to further improve the content on MensXP and expose it to a larger audience, Times Internet said in a statement. It did not disclose the value of the transaction. 

MensXP, whose channels include fashion, technology, health and entertainment, was founded three years ago by entrepreneur Angad Bhatia. 

IT hiring, APAC region to have 9,60,000 jobs by 2015

redicts that by 2014, IT hiring in major western markets will come predominantly from Asian-headquartered companies enjoying double-digit growth. 

"An increasing number of successful Asian companies - particularly from China and India - are enjoying double-digit growth rates and will substantially grow their geographic footprints, making investments in major western markets through 2015. Consequently, these organizations will be responsible for major hiring of IT professionals to support their growth at a time when western companies will still be coping with the impact of the economic crisis," Peter Sondergaard, Gartner senior vice president and global head of research said. 

iPhone 5, Apple iOS beats Google Android in US

ImageEarly success for the iPhone 5 smartphone has helped Apple to overtake Google's  Android  software in the United States, research firm Kantar WorldPanel said on Tuesday. 

Apple's US market share in the 12 weeks to October 31 more than doubled from a year ago to 48.1 per cent, putting it within reach of the record 49.3 per cent it managed in early 2012. 

Intel launches new Itanium processor series

Computer chipmaker Intel launched a new series of processors, Itanium 9500, which the company claimed is over two-times faster than its previous generation processors. 

The new Intel Itanium processor 9500 series is more than twice as powerful as the previous generation, making it ideal for today's most demanding workloads, including business analytics, database, and large-scale ERP applications, Intel said in a statement. 

An app by Indians is no. 1 grosser on the Apple iPad

Magzter, an online magazine store developed by two Chennai-based entrepreneurs Girish Ramdas and Vijayakumar Radhakrishnan, has become the top grosser on the Apple iPad.

Since last Thursday, Magzter has overtaken international favourites and long standing grossers like Angry Birds, NY Times for iPad, Clash of Clans and Frontline Commando. On Tuesday, Clash of Clans had briefly recovered its No. 1 spot, but when TOI last looked at the list of top grossers on the iPad, Magzter was back at the top. The iPad has over 700,000 apps.

Ahmedabad amongst the top 10 cities in India in e commerce,

 Ahmedabad ranks amongst the top 10 cities in India in e-commerce, according to a recent city-specific analysis done by

The report says over 500 orders are made from Gujarat every day on with the average order value in Gujarat higher by 10% compared to any other state. Cities that top sales in Gujarat include Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodhra and Rajkot.

YouTube ban to be lifted in Pakistan

Pakistan, which had banned popular video-sharing website YouTube  following the release of a film that allegedly insulted Islam, will lift the ban next month, an official said.
Farooq Awan, chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) said the website may be reopened within 20 days, the Dawn reported on Friday.

Review, Nintendo Wii U

When Nintendo first broached the idea of multiple-screen video games in 2004, many critics were skeptical that players could focus on two images at once. Yet the handheld DS, blending one touch-sensitive screen with a slightly larger video display, became a runaway hit.
Turns out the portable DS may have just been a dress rehearsal for Nintendo's latest home console, the Wii U, which blows up the dual-screen concept to living-room size. It goes on sale in the US on Sunday, starting at $300.

Apples stock on a downward spiral as taxes worry investors

Gravity has taken hold of Apple, and a lot of investors have been smacked on the head.
Apple, the largest US stock by market value, was headed toward its eighth straight week of declines on Friday, as the rush to secure profits before a potential hike in capital gains taxes next year has investors dumping the market favourite.
Since hitting a record high of $705.07 a share in September, Apple has lost about a quarter of its value. The stock's descent has vastly outpaced those of the S&P 500, which is down just under 7 percent in the same time frame.

Microsofts Do Not Track effort draws advertisers ire

A movement by privacy activists to curb tracking of internet users' browsing habits scored a major victory last month when Microsoft launched its new browser with "do not track" as the default, or automatic setting.
But some advertisers are in revolt against the move, certain websites are skirting the Microsoft effort and the debate over online privacy and tracking is heating up.
The controversy stems from practices used by websites and marketing partners to track browsing activity to be able to deliver ads targeted to individuals.

WhatsApp, BBM, iMessage gain foothold as SMSes decline

The habit of traditional messaging via SMSes among Americans has slowed for the first time ever, a new study has suggested.
The number of SMS messages sent per customer each month dropped 3 percent to an average of 678 texts in the third quarter, according to a report by independent mobile analyst Chetan Sharma.
However, that doesn't mean Americans are turning their backs on emoticons and LOLs completely, as customers are just looking for cheaper ways to text, the New York Daily Newsreports.

Review, Google Nexus 10

When I first turned on Google's new tablet computer, I immediately thought of it as a mere conduit to Google services.

Besides giving you quick access to Gmail and YouTube, the Nexus 10 steers you to digital movies, books and other content available for sale through Google's online Play store.

Because of that, I wasn't thinking of the Nexus 10 as an alternative to Apple's general-purposeiPad - even with a price tag that's $100 cheaper, starting at $399. It took more thought and time with the Nexus to change that perception. After all, apps available for Android smartphones work on the tablet as well.

Fujitsu launches notebook cum tablet

Fujitsu Technology Solutions has unveiled a notebook-cum-tablet. The notebook's screen can be easily detached from the keyboard component to use as a tablet.

Satoru Hayashi, executive vice chairman ofFujitsu Technology Solutions, told TOI that the innovation followed a study of the way people used products like laptops, tablets and smart phones often for the same purposes -- like reading a note or a book or for writing.

Facebook, 4 things to avoid

Very few of us read the lengthy terms and conditions when we sign up for anything, but social networking site Facebook has some very strict rules that might lead us being de-friended by the network itself if we aren't careful.
Some of the reasons are actually about legal realities, such as businesses unwittingly breaching copyright with the content on their Facebook pages, while others are just laws according to Facebook and can lead to a personal page being removed or disabled without warning, reports.

Whats the shelf life of a techie, Just 15 years

If you have seen Skyfall, you will doubtless remember the 20-something Q. It's the first time ever in a James Bond film that Q or the Quartermaster - MI6's resident tinkerer who creates all the wonderful spy gadgets that Bond uses - is younger than Bond himself, much younger. So when Bond meets Q in Skyfall, he scoffs, "You still have spots (pimples)," to which Q replies, "Age is no guarantee of efficiency."