Saturday, February 23, 2013

HTC SyncManager update to put the focus on iPhone imports

HTC recently announced the One smartphone and it looks like the company is going to try and make things a bit simpler for those switching from an iPhone. HTC is reportedly working on improving their SyncManager software so that it will be able to import data from an iPhone backup file. These are the files that are created with iTunes and if things arrive as expected, One users should be able to get data to include images and videos as well as calendar entries and text messages.

Sony PlayStation 4, There s Still No Mass Production Box

After Wednesday night's PlayStation Meeting event, a flurry of questions still surround the future of next-gen gaming and where the PlayStation 4 will fit in.
(See also The PlayStation 4 Is Here, But We Don't Know What It Looks Like)
Since then, Sony has been nice enough to clear up a few of the most pressing issues, namely why it did not show the console even once throughout its two-hour presentation. The answer, from Sony CEO Jack Tretton, is that there is no 'mass-production box' at the moment.

HP promises disruptive innovations

Hewlett-Packard, the troubled but biggest maker of personal computers, on Thursday promised "disruptive innovations" after seeing its profit slip in the past quarter.
HP said Thursday its net profit for its first fiscal quarter ending January 31 declined 16 percent from the same period a year ago to $1.2 billion.
But it also marked a rebound from the prior quarter's $6.9 billion loss stemming from a massive write-down in the value of a British company accused of "serious accounting improprieties."

Ex Infosys exec aims to shake up IT Inc s billing model

A former Infosys Ltd executive is challenging the IT outsourcing industry's billing model by charging for results instead of basing fees on the time and labour put in by the armies of staff working for India's big firms. 

Outcomes-based billing, growing as a share of revenue across the industry and pursued most aggressively by iGate Corp chief executivePhaneesh Murthy, is meant to appeal to clients with less-certain budgets in a tough economy. 

Microsoft India to hold AppFest

In less than a week from now, thousands of charged up students will get together to develop apps for the Windows platform.

On Feb 26, more than 10,000 students from across the country will gear up to code applications for a whole day at more than 50 hub centres, which are currently holding training sessions for students who wish to brush up their coding skills as they register, a Microsoft statement said.

Facebook, Google combine to launch new dollar 3 mn science prize

The world's two leading internet giants have set aside their rivalries and joined forces to set up the most lucrative science prize in history which is more than double the value of the Nobel Prize.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan are working alongside Google co-founder Sergey Brin and his wife Anne Wojcicki to create the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences worth USD 3 million. The project's aim is to reward research aimed at extending human life.

Google Chromebook Pixel: Bold, Beautiful And Very, Very Expensive

Google launched the original CR-48 Chromebook as a companion device to a full-fledged PC. With the Chromebook Pixel, that slate has been wiped clean: Google is now challenging traditional computer makers with a high-end, $1,299 Chromebook.
The rumors were true: the Pixel marries a gorgeous, high-resolution 2560 x 1760 display with a touch interface, tucked inside specs that look and feel like a high-end laptop: a dual-core, 1.8-GHz Intel Core i5 processor, Intel HD 4000 Graphics, 4GB of RAM, and either 32GB or 64GB of local solid-state storage. The 64GB option is included with the even-more-high-end version of the Pixel: for $1,449, you get the larger storage option as well as an integrated Verizon LTE 4G wireless capability, that you'll will have to pay for separately. Oh, and you get a whopping 1 terabyte of Google Drive cloud storage, too.

5 Top iPad Photo Editing Apps

Who says the iPad wasn't meant for creation? Sure, you can't exactly run Final Cut Pro or Adobe InDesign on Apple's tablet (nor would you really want to), but the device has come a long way since 2010. One category of apps that demonstrates the iPad's creative prowess is its growing selection of photo-editing software.
Indeed, there are now a ton of apps that let you manipulate images on your iPad with no shortage of vintage filters, quirky effects  and single-purpose gimmick apps. Those can be fun, but we wanted to focus on the super-popular, fully-featured editing apps that seem best to supplant desktop options for some users. 

Google Glasses reportedly coming to consumers this year

Just a couple of days ago, we got to see what it’s like to wear a pair of Google Glasses, which only strengthens our desire for a pair of our own. However, it seems that Google is planning to have Google Glasses shipped out to consumers by the end of the year that aims to bring a “fully-polished” version of the frames to anyone who wants a pair.
Google has confirmed to The Verge that Google Glasses will be making their way into the mainstream by year’s end, and the company said that a pair will cost “less than” $1,500. We would love to interpret that as maybe just a couple hundred dollars, but we guarantee that users will be paying a lot more for such glasses.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Tips to fight fatigue

When your energy levels are low, everything you do becomes a big task. Click on, for practical tips to fight fatigue

If you struggle to make it through the day, avoid a social gathering due to the effort it involves or just feel plain tired day after day; it’s time to step back and rethink what’s bringing you down. Eliminate the things that sap your energy and bring in changes that give your energy levels a boost.

Upcoming 3D tech to make science fiction a reality

Take a walk through a human brain? Fly over the surface of Mars? Computer scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago are pushing science fiction closer to reality with a wraparound virtual world where a researcher wearing 3D glasses can do all that and more. 

In the system, known as CAVE2, a screen encircles the viewer 320 degrees. A panorama of images springs from 72 stereoscopic liquid crystal display panels, conveying a dizzying sense of being able to touch what's not really there. 

Twitter jacked, The latest social media risk

Two American companies have been " Twitter-jacked" this week, taken over by hackers posting crass messages to corporate Twitter pages and replacing corporate logos with those of competitors, further illustrating the often daunting tasks companies face as they strive to manage their social media feeds.

"Managing social media accounts is truly a 24X7 job," said Nicole Siobal, president and co-founder of Social Butterflye, a branding agency that assists start-ups with creating and managing their digital presence.

Accenture led consortium wins EU Visa Information System contract

A consortium of firms led byAccenture has won a contract to maintain the European Visa Information System (VIS) for $93 million (about Rs 503 crore).

"The European Commission Directorate General for Home Affairs has awarded a consortium of Accenture, Morpho ( Safran Group) andHewlett-Packard (HP), a contract to maintain the European Visa Information System (VIS)," Accenture said in a statement. 

Cybersecurity sector holds balance to power in new war

When Kevin Mandia, a retired military cybercrime investigator, decided to expose China as a primary threat to US computer networks, he didn't have to consult with American diplomats in Beijing or declassify tactics to safely reveal government secrets. 

He pulled together a 76-page report based on seven years of his company's work and produced the most detailed public account yet of how, he says, the Chinese government has been rummaging through the networks of major US companies. 

Microsoft rolls out IT tools for disabled people

In a bid to empower the physically challenged with computer education and heighten their employment prospects,Microsoft India on Wednesday showcased several IT tools that promise to help the handicapped take to computers.

Be it the magnifying function on the mouse which enlarges a particular area on the computer screen for partially visually impaired people or the narrator which reads out data written on the screen -- the tools were a hit.

Facebook co founder Eduardo Saverin, Asia is the place to be

 Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin said on Thursday that the success of the social networking site would be hard to match but he hoped to make an impact as an Asia-based technology investor.
"It's clearly a tough act to follow," the 30-year-old Brazilian billionaire told a business conference in Singapore, where he is a permanent resident and putting money as an "angel investor" into Asian and other start-ups. 

More top universities to offer free online courses

More top universities outside the United States are joining the rush to offer "massive open online courses" that are broadening access to higher education.

Coursera and edX, two leading providers of so-called MOOCs, announced major expansions that will roughly double the number of university partners offering free online classes through their websites. 

Mountain View, California-based Coursera said it will add 29 institutions, including 16 outside the US Over the next several months, they will offer about 90 new courses, including some taught in French, Spanish, Italian and Chinese. 

Apple supplier Foxconn freezes hiring

Apple's manufacturing partner Foxconn Technology Group has frozen hiring at a Shenzhen plant that makes gadgets including the iPhone 5 and put the brakes on recruiting for other factories across China, but said the move was not linked to any single client.

Foxconn, which runs a network of factories across the world's No. 2 economy that make products for tech companies from Hewlett Packard to Dell, sought to pour cold water on a Financial Times report that it had imposed a hiring freeze while it slows production of Apple's latest smartphone. 

Infosys, Ministry can give reason for MCA21 glitch

Software services company Infosys, which recently won the contract to manage the internet portal for India's Ministry of Corporate Affairs - earlier handled by rival Tata Consultancy Services - has said that it has fulfilled all its commitments and that only ministry can provide reason for recent glitches.

In the last few weeks, MCA21, the portal used by companies to file key documents has been marred by snags delaying business transactions and registrations. The MCA21 website has data of over six lakh companies registered in India.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Apple Reclaims Leader Board In Smartphone Wars With iPhone 5, 4S

The clock turns, the pendulum swings and we have a new leader on top of the Smartphone Wars scoreboard. 
Apple’s iPhone was the big winner in global shipments in the last quarter of 2012. Actually, it was two of Apple’s iPhones. The iPhone 5 shipped 27.4 million units to top all smartphones on the market. It was followed by the year-old iPhone 4S that shipped 17.4 million units, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics. 
The vaunted Samsung Galaxy S 3 flagship? It did not even beat the year-old iPhone 4S and came in third at 15.4 million units shipped. 

Hotmail Users, It s Time To Move To, Like It Or Not

'OK, people, listen up. Seymour, pay attention. Elsie, turn on your hearing aid. It's time to move your Hotmail accounts to Hey! No, stop complaining. Don't use that language, Ethel, it's un-ladylike.'
Yes, the the time has come - the hundreds of millions of email users who are currently using Hotmail will be migrated over to by this summer, Microsoft said Tuesday. For many of Microsoft's long-time customers, this will be their first experience with the Windows 8-styled 'Metro' user interface that Microsoft is propagating around its properties.

Why YouTube CMO considers India a unique market

As the developed economies grapple with tough times, India is ostensibly the wholesome flavour of the season. Global CMOs are dropping by on Indian shores with increasing alacrity. The chief marketing officer of YouTube, Danielle Tiedt confesses in an exclusive interview, "India is really IT for us at YouTube." 

She is in a surprisingly good mood considering she lost her bags in transit en route to India. The loss gave her an opportunity though to go around the city a bit and indulge in some 'retail therapy' and also reaffirmed the global reach of YouTube. 

Profoundis Labs selected for Microsoft Accelerator programme

Overcoming stiff competition, Profoundis Labs, a Startup Village company that provides a wide spectrum of business optimization solutions to enterprises, has been selected for the prestigious Microsoft AcceleratorProgramme. 

Profoundis is among the 13 technology startups shortlisted from over 350 applicants across the globe and the first one from Kerala to ever enter the MS accelerator programme, which providestremendous global market exposure and extensive technological support from the world's biggest software company, a press release quoting Profoundis Co founder and CEO Arjun R Pillai, said. 

Yahoo s latest attempt to reinvent the portal is too little and too late

There’s been a rush of optimism about Yahoo lately, thanks in large part to its new CEO, much-admired former Google executive Marissa Mayer. After a number of speeches about her broader strategy to reinvent the company, the new chief Yahoo unveiled a redesigned site on Wednesday — a relaunch that garnered a bunch of somewhat lukewarm reviews from the usual suspects. The reality is that Yahoo’s latest attempt to reinvent the old “portal” approach to the web might have made sense five years ago, but it is both too little and too late.

Microsoft to Merge Lync, Skype Teams But Not Products

On Tuesday, Microsoft is expected to announce that it has combined the teams behind its two VOIP communications solutions, Lync and Skype, into a single team, paving the way for what the company is calling a universal 'living room to the boardroom solution.' But will presence of two distinct communication apps confuse the marketplaces Skype and Lync are meant to serve?
Microsoft will also show off an intriguing 'Lync Room System,' including cameras and remotely-configured lights, that the company is developing with partners. Finally, Microsoft plans to announce Lync 2013 apps for both Windows Phone 8 and iOS that will arrive in early March, with Android apps arriving about a month later.

It turns out a lot of companies like building their own storage gear

First, cloud storage startup Backblaze pioneered the concept of open source storage hardware. Then, it showed how to pack 135 terabytes into a 4U case (which Backblaze calls a “pod”) for less than $8,000. As it turns out, a lot of people really like what the company is doing: Backblaze rolled out the specifications of its third-generation storage pods on Wednesday against the backdrop of hundreds of companies building and actually selling the designs.
And just who has built storage systems using the Backblaze specifications? Netflix is probably the most-famous adopter — it uses storage pods as part of its content-delivery network infrastructure — but others include Vanderbilt University, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Popular online photography service Shutterfly stores petabytes worth of users’ old photos on BackBlaze’s storage pod architecture.

Digital data generated by India in 2012 equals Mt Everest

Digital data generated by India last year, which if stored in Apple's iPhone 5 with 32 GB space, will equal over 5,100 stacks of the device, as tall as Mount Everest, a study by EMC-IDC said. 

"India's digital information in 2012 would equal to more than 5,100 stacks of iPhone 5 devices that are as tall as the sub continent's famed Mt Everest," an EMC-sponsored IDC digital universe study said. 

Indian IT to give smaller salary increments in 2013, Report

Aon Hewitt today announced the results of the 17th edition of the Annual Salary Increase Survey. Reflecting the economic growth expectations of 5%, India Inc projects an average salary increase of 10.3% for 2013, while the IT sector is likely to dole out lower increments than in 2012. 

Margin compression, a cautious outlook in terms of the global economic state and large bench strength have led to IT service organisations projecting a conservative salary increase of 9.6%. On the other hand, IT product organisations, fuelled by growth opportunities in the domestic market and greater penetration in Tier II cities posted relatively higher salary increase of 11.2%. 

Infosys, TCS, Wipro in top 10 H 1B visa recipients, Report

The Top 10 companies benefitting from H-1B visas are offshore outsourcers, a US publication reported, prompting an eminent American engineering organisation to seek a review of the ongoing immigration reforms. 

"The data shows: Top H-1B users are offshore outsourcers," and Computerworld found that, "based on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data analysed, the major beneficiaries of the proposed increase in the cap would be pure offshore outsourcing firms". 

Want to but a tablet cum laptop, please suggest.

I am considering a tablet-cum-laptop along the lines of the Lenovo Ideapad Yogaand the Dell XPS 12 Convertible. Are these devices good? Or should I be considering a separate laptop and tablet instead?

- Bashir Patel, A Sivakumaran, Karen Almeida

Yahoo co founder Jerry Yang joins Lenovo board

 Lenovo Group said Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang is to join its board as an observer, as the world's No. 2 maker of PCs expands its mobile business to tap global demand for smartphones and tablets. 

Yang, who co-founded Yahoo in April 1995 and served as chief executive from June 2007 to January 2009, will not be able to vote or have any of the other rights of a director, Lenovo said on Wednesday. 

The Hong Kong-listed company will pay Yang $61,875 per year and offer equity rights with a value of $135,000 in return for attending board meetings and providing views. 

Who s the best cloud storage provider, Microsoft, says Nasuni, but it still likes Amazon

So here’s an interesting tidbit. Nasuni, which manages cloud storage for small and midsized businesses, ran a set of exhaustive tests to assess the performance, availability and scalability of five major cloud storage providers. And the winner? Microsoft Windows Azure. Yup. Not Amazon S3, but Azure Blob storage.
“We ran uptime tests and other tests and the long and short of it is that all the vendors got better, but Azure just leapfrogged. It was the fastest, had the best availability and uptime and was the only provider to never register an error,” Connor Fee, VP of marketing for Natick, Mass.-based Nasuni said in an interview.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Microsoft Outlook goes public, as Hotmail retires

 Microsoft is so confident it has the Internet's best email service that it's about spend at least $30 million to send its message across the US.

The barrage begins Tuesday when Microsoft's twist on email,, escalates an assault on rival services from Google Inc, Yahoo Inc, AOL Inc and a long list of Internet service providers.

As part of the process, all users of Microsoft's Hotmail and other email services operating under different domains such as will be automatically converted to by the summer, if they don't voluntarily switch before then. All the old messages, contacts and settings in the old inboxes will be exported to Users will also be able to keep their old addresses.

Samsung launches 16 new premium smartTVs

South Korea's Samsung Electronics on Tuesday launched a range of giant internet-enabled televisions as part of a strategy to cement its lead in slowing global markets by focusing on premium models. 

The 16 new smartTV models, which come in sizes ranging from 46 to 75 inches, allow users to navigate the internet, offer specialised apps such as video games and recognise various spoken queries and hand motions. 

Social media disaster for Burger King, Twitter feed says chain sold to McDonald s

Screen shot of burger king hack
Even by the standards of social media fiascos, this one’s a doozy. On Monday, Burger King’s official Twitter feed announced the chain had been sold to its rival and began posting pro-McDonald’s messages and tales of employee drug use.
The strange Twitter activity took place after hackers apparently took control of Burger King’s account and replaced its name and image with the McDonald’s logo. 
The blue checkmark beside the @burgerking name indicate that this is indeed Burger King’s official Twitter account. Other tweets included:
This is why we were sold to @mcdonalds! All of our employees crush and sniff percocets in the bathrooms =[ @dfnctsc…

3 hot voice recording apps for your smartphone

Remember pocket voice recorders, and their fiddly (but cute) miniature cassette tapes that stored your business memos and interviews? These gadgets have largely gone the way of the dodo, because digital voice recorders replaced them. Digital recorders don't need the tiny tapes, they can record with less audio distortion and they offer extras like easy downloading of your recordings to a computer. 

But nowadays even digital voice recorders are at risk of extinction because smartphone apps can do many of the same tasks. 

When iCloud isn t enough, balancing other cloud storage options

Rene Ritchie’s excellent article on iCloud and Dropbox has forced me to examine how I use iCloud and other cloud storage. When iCloud launched in 2011, I had hopes it would be a single-source solution, but over the years it’s become apparent to me that for my uses, no single cloud-based storage fulfills all my needs. Instead, I rely on a few different solutions based on the strengths of each platform.
Here’s what I use for storing documents related to my freelance business, as well as the voluminous amount of research data for my hobbies.

How to make your videos go viral on internet

While the vagaries of taste and timing determine which videos go viral and which YouTube channels develop large followings, it's easier to tell which videos will make viewers feel as if they can't click away fast enough.

It boils down to narcissism. It's all about who is watching you. Be conscious of your audience and its needs, rather than getting mired in your own egotism.

A hand-held video camera is nice and offers more features and flexibility, but your smartphone is fine.
The only additional equipment you might need is a lapel microphone for clearer audio. And if there isn't enough ambient light to illuminate your face, spring for a clamp lamp.

Now, a software to shrink 3D files

Three dimensional imaging files are often huge in size and require large amounts of computing power. For example, a drawing with animation of a simple bicycle would be about 32MB in size using the computer-aided drawing (CAD) software Pro E.

But Bangalore-based 3DSoC found a way to shrink 3D file sizes. "Our goal is to make 3D for all. We really want to democratize 3D files and move it away from CAD and animation," says Krishnan Ramaswami, managing director and chief technology officer at 3DSoC. The company developed a patented file format called the VIS files, which dramatically reduces the size of 3D files down to the order of kilobytes . "I would call the VIS files the MP3 file format of the three dimensional world," he adds. The same animation of the bicycle on the VIS file is about 2.6 KB. 

Fujitsu smartphones venture outside Japan, with elderly Europeans in mind

Fujitsu is known for many things outside its native Japan, but not for its smartphones. To a small degree, this is now about to change – in June, the company will launch an Android device for senior citizens, the Stylistic S01, on the Orange network in France. The device fits into a longstanding range that, in Japan, is named Raku-Raku.
The S01 runs Android “Ice Cream Sandwich” 4.0 in a near-unrecognizable form, featuring a simplified layout with very large onscreen buttons. But it also has other features tailored to its target audience, such as what Orange describes as “a unique screen technology” that essentially forces users to press icons harder in order to make them work – the idea here is to help those who aren’t used to touchscreens to avoid accidentally launching things they don’t intend to launch.

Meet HCL Tech s new CEO, Anant Gupta

Anant Gupta, only in his second month as the new chief executive officer of the $4.2-billion HCL Technologies, is already toying with the idea of writing a book. His predecessor Vineet Nayar wrote one too, on employees. But Gupta, 45, wants to write one on sourcing strategies. "I believe the entire sourcing strategy will evolve, with paradigms around labour arbitrage, remote fixing of problems, integrated offerings on social, cloud, mobile and analytics services etc," Gupta says. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 to be costlier than iPad mini, Report

Samsung's upcoming tablet with an 8-inch display will be more expensive than its rival iPad mini. Bulgarian online retailer, the price of Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 will start at 699 lev, whereas iPad mini's base variant starts at 679 lev in the country. The company also said that the tablet will be available in the country by the end of March.

The price tag makes Galaxy Note 8.0 the first Samsung device to cost more than the corresponding Apple gadget. This model is rumoured to have an 8-inch Super Clear LCD display and S-Pen stylus compatibility and runs on Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) out-of-the-box. The iPad mini retails at a price of Rs 21,900 in India, whereas the upcoming Samsung tablet is likely to sell at Rs 25,800.

New iPhone app, Over 800,000 people line up

More than 8,00,000 people are waiting to access a new iPhone app that aims to transform their email experience by helping them achieve the elusive "inbox zero" -- a fully processed and empty inbox.

The Mailbox app, which launched this month, is slowly rolling out invitations to people waiting in line. The excitement, according to its creators, is a testament to their frustration with existing, out-dated methods of dealing with email.

Microsoft s Mobile Ambition, Not Dead Yet

You can be forgiven for writing off Microsoft's mobile future. Given that Apple's operating income for its iPhone and iPad devices nearly surpasses Microsoft's total revenue, or that Google's Android market share makes Windows Mobile's share look like a rounding error, it's easy to disregard Microsoft's chances in mobile. That is, unless you're a CIO. Within the enterprise, CIOs continue to rate Microsoft above all other vendors, giving Microsoft some breathing room.
The question is, how much?

The CIO's Pick

Platform as a Service, 6 Ways PaaS Will Change The Enterprise

Guest author Bart Copeland is CEO of ActiveState.
Jetpacks, flying cars, hybrid cloud. Which one will be ubiquitous in two years? Here’s a hint: It’s the one that doesn’t involve personal air travel.
In two years, the cloud-computing-enabled enterprise will have the enviable luxury to take much for granted, including accelerated time to market, seamless deployment, true polyglot coding and agile-as-you-want development.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Antivirus companies fight criticism more than hacks

Craig Elliott, chief executive officer of Pertino, a cloud-networking start-up, knows that the antivirus software his company uses won't deter all hacking attacks. That won't stop him from using it. "It's a safety blanket," he says. "It's CYA [cover your ass] more than anything else." 

That's why the antivirus industry, born in the late 1980s to combat floppy-disk viruses, has staying power, even in this era of sophisticated hacks from China and elsewhere. Although the word virus generally applies to all manner of computer attacks, data security pros no longer just worry about old-style viruses — programmes or pieces of code that replicate and spread from computer to computer, degrading their performance.