Saturday, March 30, 2013

Smartphones, tablets behind TV as news source

Television is still the preferred medium for news consumption for most people, rather than laptops, smartphones and tablet PCs, a study by BBC World News today said.

According to the study, conducted by InSites Consulting, respondents said 42 per cent of their time for news consumption was spent on TV, while that on laptops was 29 per cent, on smartphones 18 per cent and tablets 10 per cent.

It also added that rather than competing, the different platforms complemented one another.

Cisco Systems raises dividend 21 percent

Cisco Systems is increasing its dividend 21 percent, its second boost in less than a year.

The San Jose, California-based technology giant will pay a 17 cent quarterly dividend on April 24 to shareholders of record April 8. That's up 3 cents from the last quarter.

Cisco raised its quarterly payout to 14 cents from 8 cents last summer.

Smartphones are Americans new best friend, Study

US smartphone owners tend to be connected from the instant they rise until they fall sleep and revel in every minute of it, a Facebook-sponsored study showed.
"Smartphones, coupled with rich applications and mobile data services, allow us to connect with our family, friends and community from the moment we wake up until the end of our day," IDC researchers said in the report released this week.

"Rather than feeling overwhelmed by it, we enjoy and value this increased social connectedness."

iOS 7 jailbreak supposedly already in the works

With an iOS 6 jailbreak now out and about, developers are starting to think ahead to iOS 7. We’ve already heard from Evad3rs team member David Wang (a.k.a. Planetbeing) about the chances of jailbreaking iOS 7, and according to him, it’ll most likely be a slow battle to find the exploits in iOS 7. However, another well-known jailbreaker has stepped up and pointed out that he has a solution.

Joshua Hill (a.k.a. p0sixninja, who’s a member of the Greenpois0n dev team) took to Twitter and said that, from the looks it, “the next jailbreak might be created entirely by [him].” He followed up with that statement saying that “Evad3rs haven’t gone anywhere,” and he claims he “just discovered all the needed exploits…over the past few months.”

Reshoring drive on, but no threat to IT companies, Analysts

US-based Allison Transmission, which makes automatic transmission and hybrid propulsion systems for off-road and truck vehicle manufacturers, had offshored production of double disc grinders, used to accurately size parts, to a machinery manufacturer in Chennai. Last year, the firm reshored work back to the US, says a report by Reshoring Initiative, a US-based organization that is seeking to bring well-paying manufacturing jobs back to the US.

eBay eyes 68 percent revenue growth by 2015

eBay foresees annual earnings growth of 15 percent to 19 percent over the next three years, and is targeting an increase in revenue of as much as 68 percent for the period. The aggressive goals drove its shares up more than 4 percent.

Executives told analysts at eBay's annual investor day on Thursday that they expect revenue of $21.5 billion to $23.5 billion in 2015, versus $14 billion in 2012, as the company expands globally, focusing more on local commerce and using mobile technology to lure shoppers.

Journey named Game of the Year

A videogame centered on a wordless walk across a picturesque desert walked away with top honours on Thursday at the major Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Journey, created by Thatgamecompany and released last year as a download to Sony PlayStation 3 consoles, claimed six Game Developers Choice Awards, including Game of the Year.

Players guide a robed character on a desert trek toward a distant mountain. Characters in the game occasionally come upon other travellers with whom they can wordlessly share bits of the walk.

25 percent US companies in China victims of data theft

A quarter of firms that are members of a leading US business lobby in China have been victims of data theft, a report by the group said on Friday, amid growing vitriol between Beijing and Washington over the threat of cyberattacks.

26 percent of members who responded to an annual survey said their proprietary data or trade secrets had been compromised or stolen from their China operations, the American Chamber of Commerce in China report said.

TCS ranked top employer in Europe

Indian IT leader Tata Consultancy Services has announced that it has been ranked as number one top employer in Europe for 2013, by CRF Institute.

TCS was chosen as first among the final 20 companies participating at a continental level. To reach the continental level, every company was required to have been previously certified as a top employer in at least five individual countries in Europe.

Google Shopping Express goes public in limited areas

Earlier this month we talked about Google testing a new same-day shipping service for different types of goods to compete with Amazon Prime. At the time, we didn’t know when the service would launch outside of the internal testing that was being conducted at the time. The Google Shopping Express service is now available to the public in limited areas of California.

The shopping services available to select users (meaning you have to apply and be accepted) in San Francisco and the peninsula area spanning San Mateo to San Jose. The service has several participating retailers including Target, Walgreens, Staples, American Eagle, Toys “R” Us, Office Depot, the Blue Bottle Coffee franchise, and more. The service will cost participants somewhere in the area of $64-$69 per year, but official pricing is unconfirmed.

Smartphones, tablets behind TV as news source

Television is still the preferred medium for news consumption for most people, rather than laptops, smartphones and tablet PCs, a study by BBC World News today said.

According to the study, conducted by InSites Consulting, respondents said 42 per cent of their time for news consumption was spent on TV, while that on laptops was 29 per cent, on smartphones 18 per cent and tablets 10 per cent.

It also added that rather than competing, the different platforms complemented one another.

Windows 8 hardware requirement update hints at 7 inch tablet

A recent change in Microsoft’s hardware requirements for Windows 8 is creating a lot of speculation on what Microsoft has planned in the future. Previously, Windows 8 could only run on displays with a resolution of at least 1366×768. However, that requirement has been lowered to only 1024×768, which means that we could see smaller form factors of Windows tablets in the future.

Of course, Windows 8 has supported 1024×768 for a while now, but hardware requirements from Microsoft as far as tablets are concerned requires at least a widescreen 1366×768 resolution, which is rather odd, but Microsoft has quietly updated its tablet requirements with the new spec, meaning that smaller Windows tablets could be in our future.

Hackers are out to destroy data, not just disable it

American Express customers trying to gain access to their online accounts on Thursday were met with blank screens or an ominous ancient type face. The company confirmed that its website had come under attack.

The assault, which took American Express offline for two hours, was the latest in an intensifying campaign of unusually powerful attacks on US financial institutions that began last September and have taken dozens of them offline intermittently, costing millions of dollars.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Accenture Q2 profit beats street expectations

Accenture beat analysts' second-quarter profit estimates on strength in its outsourcing business, but said full-year revenue growth would be below the mid point of its previously forecast range of 5 to 8 percent. 

Outsourcing revenue rose 9 percent to $3.3 billion in the quarter, while consulting revenue fell by about 1 percent to $3.8 billion. 

Accenture's shares fell about 2 percent in premarket trading, after closing at $74.88 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. 

CEO changes mind on inexpensive BlackBerry 10 handsets

If you were worried that you’d never get your hands on a BlackBerry 10 smartphone because the first touchscreen device was too expensive – bucker up! Today BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins has made an almost offhand comment about the future of the inexpensive BlackBerry 10 handset – a device he’d previously all but dismissed as a possibility. Today during an earnings call that had rather mixed news for the company, a “midrange BlackBerry 10″ smart device was confirmed.

Toshiba Launches New Single Lane Two Differential Channel SPDT Bus Switch ICs Supporting PCI Express Gen3 8Gbps

Toshiba Single-Lane (Two Differential Channel) SPDT Bus Switch ICs Supporting PCI Express Gen3 (8Gbp ...
Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) has launched new single-lane SPDT (Single Pole Double Throw) bus switch ICs that support PCI Express Gen3 (8Gbps) and achieve wide bandwidth characteristics of 11.5GHz at -3dB. The new products, TC7PCI3212MT and TC7PCI3215MT, are suited for applications involving the switching of PCI Express (single lane), USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0 signals. Mass production will start from the end of March.
Toshiba Single-Lane (Two Differential Channel) SPDT Bus Switch ICs Supporting PCI Express Gen3 (8Gbps) (Photo: Business Wire)

Global IT spending to reach dollar 3.8 trillion in 2013, Gartner

 Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.8 trillion in 2013, a 4.1% increase from 2012 spending of $3.6 trillion, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, a research and consultancy firm. Currency effects are less pronounced this quarter with growth in constant dollars forecast at 4% for 2013. 

"Although the US did avoid the fiscal cliff, the subsequent sequestration, compounded by the rise of Cyprus' debt burden, seems to have netted out any benefit, and the fragile business and consumer sentiment throughout much of the world continues," said Richard Gordon, managing vice president at Gartner. "However, the new shocks are expected to be short-lived, and while they may cause some pauses in discretionary spending along the way, strategic IT initiatives will continue," he said in a release. 

ZTE s Micro Base Station Enhances CSL s Services at Rugby Sevens 2013

ZTE Corporation (“ZTE”) (H share stock code: 0763.HK / A share stock code: 000063.SZ), a publicly-listed global provider of telecommunications equipment, network solutions and mobile devices, has announced their micro-base station solution was used to enhance Hong Kong mobile operator CSL’s communication services at the Hong Kong Stadium during the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens 2013.

Panasonic falls short of announcing job cuts in restructuring drive

Japan's Panasonic fell short of announcing any job cuts in its medium-term business blueprint, though it will spend 250 billion yen ($2.7 billion) over the next two years to revamp its TV, mobile phone and semiconductor units. 

President Kazuhiro Tsuga, who last year surprised investors by describing Panasonic as a "loser" in consumer electronics, told reporters in Tokyo on Thursday that the near-century-old company will expand its automotive and housing development businesses as it pulls back from those unprofitable consumer electronics enterprises. 

BlackBerry reports profit, 1m sales of Z10 phones

BlackBerry says it sold about 1 million of its critically important new BlackBerry 10 devices and returned to profitability in the fourth quarter. 

The earnings provide a first glimpse of how BlackBerry's new touch-screen Z10 is selling internationally and in Canada since its debut January 31. Details on the US launch are not part of Thursday's financial results because the Z10 just went on sale in the US last week. 

Windows Blue to bring cross PC Bluetooth sync

According to a leaked build of the next-generation update to Windows 8 going by code-name “Windows Blue”, you’ll soon be able to sync not only some of your account information from computer to computer with your Microsoft account. What Within Windows describes here is a laundry list of elements you’ll be factoring in to your Microsoft account associations – everything from Bluetooth device recognition to Installed Apps. Soon you’ll be able to bring your account with you wherever you go, on whatever PC you happen to be logging in on!

Razer Edge gaming tablet, What the heck is it

If you’ve not heard of it before, the Razer Edge gaming tablet can seem like a bit of an odd unicorn. While we’ve heard of gaming tablets before, this really does appear to be one of the most grand efforts a company has made thus far – especially considering the rise of the Android tablet and the iPad – both of which could be considered “gaming tablets” in their own right. What have we got here then? We’ve got Windows 8, a 3rd-gen Intel Core i7 processor, 256GB SSD, and a fabulous 8GB of RAM – and NVIDIA graphics, too!

Bio batteries will soon be reality

 Bio-batteries have now taken a giant leap towards becoming a reality. British scientists have made an important breakthrough in the quest to generate clean electricity from bacteria. 
The study has found for the first time that it is possible for bacteria to lie directly on the surface of a metal or mineral and transfer electrical charge through their cell membranes. This means that it is possible to tether bacteria directly to electrodes - bringing scientists a step closer to creating efficient microbial fuel cells or bio-batteries.

Oracle unveils faster servers with T5 microprocessors

 Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison unveiled a new line of faster servers on Tuesday, the latest step to revive a shrinking hardware division and shore up a core software business threatened by smaller rivals.

Servers built with Oracle's new T5 microprocessors have beaten several performance records and run business databases and applications much faster than previous versions, the billionaire told reporters at a launch event in Redwood City.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Nokia, Google clash over free to use video encoding tech

Finland mobile maker Nokia and Internet search giant Google have clashed over software that is part of free-to-use video encoding technology.

Google wants its video coding programme, called VP8, to be a core part of the WebM project that is making web-centred video production tools.

Nokia, however, says it owns key patents that define parts of VP8 and has filed an official objection to Google's plan.

Judge bans girl from Facebook

A Canadian judge has banned a 12-year-old Manitoba schoolgirl from the Facebook social network for a year after she threatened two teenagers, local media reported.

According to local radio station CJOB the accused posted messages online saying she wanted to strangle her two 13-year-old former friends, after a falling out over a boy.

Microsoft to sell IPTV unit to Ericsson, Report

Ericsson is in talks to buy Microsoft Corp's IPTV business, which makes software used by phone companies such as AT&T to deliver television over the Internet, Bloomberg reported, quoting people with knowledge of the matter.

Bloomberg said the transaction could be announced as soon as the coming few weeks.

Both Microsoft and Ericsson declined to comment on the report.

GDC 2013, Smartphones, tablets are the future

It's a time of transition for the video game industry.
With last year's launch of the Wii U, the impending arrival of the PlayStation 4 and the likelihood of a new Xbox on the horizon, the next generation of video game consoles is nearly here.
However, more than half of the attendees at this week's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco identify themselves as indie developers and their next creations will be for smartphones and tablets. So when it comes to the next generation of consoles, the question on their minds doesn't seem to be "What's next?" but rather "Who cares?"

7 from Bangalore among MIT innovators

Seven innovators from Bangalore figure in MIT Technology Review's latest list of young innovators (under 35 years of age) in India.

Among them are Phanindra Sama, 32, founder of bus booking system RedBus, and Valerie Rozycki Wagoner, 29, co-founder of Zipdial, the marketing and analytics platform for mobile based on missed calls.

Google Glass, Demand for ban growing

Google Glass, the US techology giant's revolutionary wearable computer is still months away from release, but there is a growing movement across America seeking to limit and in some cases ban the use of the glasses due to both privacy and safety concerns.

"We heard of many crashes caused by texting and driving, most involving our youngest drivers," Republican Gary Howell of the West Virginia state legislature told tech website CNET.

What those red equal sign on Facebook, Twitter mean

Are you wondering what are those red equal-sign on Facebook and Twitter all about?

This is a symbol being spread by the Human Rights Campaign, an organization in support of gay marriage that is running a particularly successful social media initiative as the US Supreme Court discusses the issue over the next two days.

In a Facebook, the HRC asked gay marriage supporters to "paint the town red," wearing red in their wardrobe as well on their Facebook pages.

Oracle to unveil high end servers on SPARC platform

Oracle Corp, the world's No.3 software maker, plans to launch two mid- and high-end servers — T5 and M5 — the fastest in the company's SPARC product line.

The SPARC T5-2 and the SPARC M 5-32 , which support mission-critical business applications such as ERP and core banking , are upgrades of Oracle's T4 and M4 series , respectively. Both servers are equipped with the world's fastest processor, the company claims.

E com players in India on life support

There are more hidden skeletons in India's ecommerce story. Almost 80% of the venture capital backed ecommerce firms are on life support after failing to raise fresh funds, said investment bank Allegro Capital, in a recent report on the sector.

In the last three years, 52 ecommerce start-ups raised $700 million in VC funding, but only 18 companies were able to attract any follow-on investments . The more alarming statistic is that just seven firms could raise a chunky late stage funding in a business playing on the 'last man standing' model, the report added.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Recipe, Lemon Bars Recipes for high tea

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: About 45 minute
Makes: 16 squares

Google preferred co, IT top course for engineering grads

The Information Technology sector is the most preferred choice for India's engineering students, with Google, Microsoft and Infosys emerging as the top three most desired employers among them, according to a survey by market insights and information provider Nielsen.

As per the Nielsen's Campus Track Technology School survey 2012, the Class of 2013 is looking at a starting salary of over Rs 11 lakh per annum, a 20 per cent rise from the previous batch, where the average expected starting salary was Rs 9.3 lakh.

Confused between Samsung Galaxy Grand and Micromax A116 Canvas HD, help.

I am confused between the Samsung Galaxy Grand and the Micromax A116 Canvas HD. Could you please advise what is a better purchase?

—Umesh Taneja Kartik Gandhi, Vikas Kajla, Siddharth Chaurasia, Shanay Singh, Ankit Sharma

Both, the Canvas HD and the Galaxy Grand, are 5-inch phablets that run on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and come with 8MP cameras. That said, there are a few differences. Let's look at these phones individually.

Government of Maharashtra Supports Microsoft Initiative to Build Apps for Social Good

Microsoft today kicked off Windows AppFest in collaboration with the Government of Maharashtra to build apps for social good. The initiative will encourage app developers to ideate and create solutions that address social and civic issues. These apps will help civil authorities seek alternative methods of interacting with citizens. The top three apps will be selected for a presentation at a conference hosted by Asian Development Bank.

Lenovo eyes top spot in Indian smartphone, tablet market

We want to win in India — that's the biggest initiative this year," says Yang Yuanqing, 47, chairman & CEO of the $30 billion Lenovo Group.

For the global chief of the world's second largest computer maker, this means selling one million smartphones and 3,00,000 tablets this year in India, where it has just started selling these two categories of gadgets.

Facebook may know what you didn t even post

Debra Aho Williamson, an advertising industry analyst and devoted coffee drinker, was intrigued by a promotion that popped up on her Facebook page recently. Sign up for a Starbucks loyalty card, it said, and get $5 off.

"When I saw that, I thought, I'm already a member of their loyalty club," she said. "Why don't they know that?"

Michael Dell a free agent in buyout tug of war

Michael Dell likely couldn't have known when he proposed taking his company private last year that he would trigger a three-way contest between two private equity giants and one of Wall Street's most aggressive activist investors. The outcome of that battle now hinges on the billionaire Texan.

Few predicted a bidding war for a company struggling to re-model itself as its core market declines - let alone one that pushed its value above $24 billion. Behind the scenes, a less-public tug-of-war is emerging, centered on the 47-year-old founder himself.

Internet hosts over 10,000 extremist websites, Analyst

There are more than 10,000 extremist websites on the internet compared to fewer than 100 countering them, an analyst on Tuesday told a conference which stressed the need to rebut militant propaganda.

"In many ways, the terrorists are very successful in cyberspace," said counterterrorism analyst Rohan Gunaratna, who heads the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research in Singapore.

Just four phone calls may reveal your identity, Report

Just four phone calls are enough to reveal your personal information, MIT researchers have warned.

A new study led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that data derived from mobile phone networks, using just the location of radio masts, could identify the about a vast majority of people from just four pieces of information.

The discovery raises questions over the increasing use by businesses and government agencies of supposedly anonymous data, The Telegraph reported.

Dell buyout, All you want to know

Dell said it received alternative proposals from Blackstone Group and Carl Icahn that might be superior to the $24.4 billion offer from founder Michael Dell and private equity fund Silver Lake Partners last month.

Details of the three bids are below:

Silver Lake/Michael Dell Proposal

Mahindra Stayam, Tech Mahindra merger delayed

Tech Mahindra today said it has extended the proposed merger of MahindraSatyam with itself for six months.

The company in a BSE filing said that its "board of directors extended the validity of the (amalgamation) scheme by a further period of six months, ie up to September 30, 2013."

Indian IT doubles market share in 6 years

Indian IT outsourcers have more than doubled their share in total worldwide IT spends over the past six years, and the bigger Indian IT companies have outpaced their MNC counterparts over this period.

India IT companies accounted for $31 billion, or 4.8%, of the worldwide IT spending of $641 billion in 2006-07 . This year, it is estimated to be $77 billion, or 9.8%, of the global spending of $785 billion, according to research by brokerage firm Angel Broking.
The research also looks at 13 of the top global IT outsourcers — eight MNCs and five Indian — and finds that the Indian outsourcers' share in the total revenues of the 13 companies has risen from 7.7% in fiscal 2007 to 14.3% in fiscal 2012, and that of the MNCs has dipped correspondingly from 92.3% to 85.7%.

Why Google dumped Reader revealed

Internet search giant Google could be shutting down its RSS app Google Reader in a bid to avoid problematic compliance issues related to privacy, it has been claimed.

The US-based tech giant said it is closing the news aggregator on July 1 because of declining usership.

But sources have claimed that Google is doing so to better orient itself so that it stops getting into trouble with repeated missteps around compliance issues, particularly privacy, AllThingsD reports.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Social media needs to be regulated, Salman Khurshid

Lauding the effectiveness of social media, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has said the freedom that comes out of using it needs to be regulated.

"Social media is effective today because we are equal. It is the equality of social media and your ability to manipulate and use technology that gives you the freedom - a freedom which then, perhaps, needs to be regulated. It needs to be regulated because every freedom has to be regulated," Khurshid said here.

Speaking on the topic of freedom vs equality atThe Telegraph National Debate here last night, he said, "I have never known of equality being regulated but I have known of every freedom (being regulated)."

Android Monetization Platform

Metaps Inc. (HQ: Tokyo, CEO: Katsuaki Sato, hereafter 'Metaps') has announced that it has reached an agreement to collaborate with Appota Corporation (CEO: Do Tuan Anh, hereafter 'Appota') operator of Vietnam's largest mobile app market, to adopt the Metaps SDK as its official monetization engine.
As of February 2013, Appota has over 2,600 developers providing content, delivering a total of 13 million downloads per month to its user base over 7.6 million smartphone users, making it the largest mobile app market in Vietnam. Furthermore, by strengthening their partnership with Metaps, Appota plans to further expand their business outside of the rapidly growing Vietnam market into surrounding Asian countries such as Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.

Cisco deploys virtual lecture facility in BITS Pilani

Networking giant Cisco said BITS Pilani has deployed its virtual lecture facility that will benefit 11,000 students and 700 teachers with access to business leaders and guest lecturers around the globe.

"Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani, has successfully deployed Cisco TelePresence videoconferencing and Cisco WebEx technologies as part of a cross-campus technology initiative, BITSConnect 2.0," said Cisco Director Collaboration Sales (India & SAARC) Minhaj Zia.

Why US is luring young web warriors

 In the eighth grade, Arlan Jaska figured out how to write a simple script that could switch his keyboard's Caps Lock key on and off 6,000 times a minute. When friends weren't looking, he slipped his program onto their computers. It was all fun and games until the program spread to his middle school.

"They called my parents and told my dad I was hacking their computers," Mr. Jaska, 17 years old, recalled. He was grounded and got detention. And he is just the type the Department of Homeland Security is looking for.