Thursday, May 9, 2013

Google Glasses harmful for kids under 13

ImageGoogle has claimed that children under 13 shouldn't wear Google Glass, the company's upcoming futuristic internet glasses.

The web portal's site says: "Don't let children under 13 use Glass as it could harm developing vision." The smart specs use voice control and let the wearer do things like take photos, make video calls and even look at websites, the BBC reported.

Google facing heat from German, French politicians

Politicians in Germany and France say they will press for Google to be quizzed on corporate income tax after a Reuters report highlighted how the company employs sales staff in the UK while telling the tax authorities that sales are made from Ireland.

The report showed the company advertised for "sales" staff to "negotiate" and "close" deals, although a Google executive had told parliament its London-based employees did not sell to UK clients. British lawmakers plan to call Google to testify again to a parliamentary committee to clarify what work it does in Britain.

Cyberattack targets Dutch government websites

ImageDutch government websites were paralysed for several hours overnight after a mass cyberattack which targeted several ministerial sites, a spokesman said.

"The government's sites have been the target of a DDoS attack since last night around 8:00 pm (1800 GMT)," Robert Wester told AFP, referring to a denial of service attack in which hackers bombard sites with traffic in order to jam them.

Twitter ranked worst in controlling hate, terror

In a report by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Twitter has received the 'F' grade for being most influential in promoting hate and terror on the social media front, reports Washington Post.

Social media websites have come under the scanner for having violent or terror spewing content. On the microblogging site Twitter most of the content is posted without getting screened. It can neither be removed from the site without the user removing it personally.

Strife torn Syria loses internet connectivity

Internet connections between Syria and the outside world were cut off on Tuesday, according to data from Google and other global internet companies.

Google's Transparency Report pages showed traffic to Google services pages from the country, embroiled in a civil war that has lasted more than two years, suddenly stopping shortly before 3pm EDT (1900 GMT).

Apple seeks Android source code from Google, Report

In its patent war with Samsung, US technology titan Apple seems to have finally taken the fight to Google. The company founded by late visionary Steve Jobs has asked a US court to direct the world's biggest internet search company to handover the source code of its Android operating system.

According to a news report in Bloomberg Businessweek, Apple told the US court that Google is "improperly withholding" data that it requested in the pre-trial information sharing stage. Apple has sought this information in the second-patent infringement case it has filed at the San Jose court. As per the court filing, the iPhone maker has argued that Android is used in all of Samsung's allegedly infringing products and "provides much of the accused functionality."

Cloud campuses, Tharoor says infrastructure a problem

Cloud campuses may just be what are needed to meet India's growing demand for quality education, but problems like shortage of power and last mile connectivity may play spoilsport.

Stating that there is a need to train the young population to reap the demographic dividend Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor said Wednesday that lack of infrastructure was a big hurdle.

Facebook deals undergo Target test

Target Corp is rolling out Cartwheel, a service that combines social networking and discounts, the latest attempt by a US retailer to lure shoppers into its physical stores rather that seeing them buy from online rivals.

Target said its new programme relies on shoppers using their Facebook accounts. However, shoppers can only redeem the offers they choose in Target's US stores, not online.

Windows 8, What is Microsoft s dilemma

With Windows 8, Microsoft made bold changes to the look of the software that powers most personal computers. But those moves may have been too aggressive for some customers, the company now concedes.

Microsoft revealed that it had sold 100 million licenses for its flagship software since it was released six months ago. That was roughly the same number of licenses it sold for the well-received, previous version of the system, Windows 7, in about the same time period.

Feeling blue, New app may tell you why

Scientists have developed a smartphone app that can help you figure out what triggers your mood swings.

The Emotion Sense app created by a team led by Cambridge University is being credited with having implications for psychological therapy.

The app uses sensors on your phone to collect information about where you are, how active you have been and who you have been speaking to, for example.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Govt can now snoop on your SMSs, online chats

The government last month quietly began rolling out a project that gives it access to everything that happens over India's telecommunications network—online activities, phone calls, text messages and even social media conversations. Called the Central Monitoring System, it will be the single window from where government arms such as the National Investigation Agency or the tax authorities will be able to monitor every byte of communication.

But privacy and internet freedom advocates are worried that in the name of security, the government could end up snooping on people, possibly abusing a system that does not have enough safeguards to protect ordinary citizens.

iPhone manufacturer Foxconn plans future beyond Apple

Terry Gou did almost everything thatApple could ask for. He made all those iPhones - and he made them cheap. When Apple was subsequently criticised for low wages and poor working conditions at his factories in China, it was Gou's company, the Foxconn TechnologyGroup, and not Apple, that caught the most heat.

But now Foxconn, a potent symbol of the perks and perils of globalisation, is taking a step that, not all that long ago, would have seemed unthinkable: It is contemplating life far, far beyond Apple.

Foxconn, which is based in Taiwan but does most of its manufacturing in mainland China, wants to reduce its reliance on Apple. Its new strategy is a shift away from making products that other companies design, and toward developing products of its own, with an especially aggressive push into designing and manufacturing large, flat-screen televisions.

Nokia, Not dumping Microsoft s Windows Phone

Nokia chief executive Stephen Elopsaid the company would remain focused on using Microsoft's Windows Phone software to compete with smartphone rivals such as Samsung.

Nokia's first-quarter results showed incremental gains in sales of Lumia smartphones which use Windows software, while sales of its basic phones - traditionally Nokia's strong point - plunged. That prompted speculation the company may need to adopt a new strategy.

Murthy spending more time with Infosys top execs

In a move that may assure investors, Narayana Murthy, Chairman Emeritus at Infosys, is believed to have been actively involved in the operations of the company for the past few months.

ET Now sources have said that Murthy is spending more time with the top management and is said to have posed some tough questions to the leaders in the company's Annual Strategy Review Meet.

Samsung India eyes 10 percent revenue from enterprise biz

Samsung India today said it is targeting to garner up to 10% of revenues from enterprise business this year.

"In terms of enterprise business, we are targeting to achieve approximately 5-10% by the end of this year of overall Samsung India revenues," Samsung director (enterprise business) Akash Saxenaa told PTI.

The company will be focussing on education and insurance sectors in order to meet the target.

How Credii is making technology consulting easier

No matter the size of the company, it is inevitable that it has to move on and adopt some new technology for its business. Often, large companies are the only ones which can hire consultants to help them buy the software that they need. Mid-sized businesses rarely have the resources for it. "The biggest challenge for these (mid-level ) companies is that their operations are getting more complex every day," says Vamshi Mokshagundam, co-founder and CEO of Credii.

Credii has developed a technology that helps businesses find the right software and services, and also helps software vendors discover what prospective clients are looking for and why. "The way consultancy and advisory services are rendered, it's few-to-few . Most consultancy firms are limited by their delivery mechanisms. They can do one-on-one meetings, they can do workshops at the most. And we found that there is a huge need out there for choosing the right software. The hurdle was the delivery mechanism."

Snarky blogs make a comeback in Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is taking itself a tad too seriously, and a few of its shriller residents have taken note.

Recent weeks have seen the birth of a few new blogs poking fun at America's crucible of technology, among them, a relaunched version of the classic, and, perhaps most discussed,

Call it the zeitgeist. To a certain class of steely-eyed observers, Silicon Valley's overvalued startups, its kingmakers, and those who get caught up in its hyped products need taking down a peg.

A sampling: "I love Quora. Like I love Prince Harry: for his sad, never-be-king desperation," wrote the anonymous scribe behind Jesus Christ Silicon Valley in musings about a question-and-answer service little used outside Silicon Valley that has nevertheless raised $50 million.

A spokeswoman for Quora declined to comment on the blog or whether company founders had read it.

Intel launches PC awareness drive in India

Intel targets to reach out to large number of teachers and learners across India to spread awareness about the importance of PCs and IT technologies.

To explain how a PC can change their lives, the company has launched a nationwide integrated campaign to increase the relevance and demand of personal computing devices and drive domestic adoption of technology.

"The campaign will reach out to consumers in a targeted manner across ten states through a series of interventions in the form of advertisement and others," Sandeep Aurora, director, marketing and market development, Intel South Asia, told reporters today.

Cheaper Apple iPhone confirmed for 2013, Report

After launching a smaller, cheaper version of the popular iPad last year, Apple is looking to up the ante in smartphones too. The world's biggest technology company will launch the much-speculated cheaper iPhone this year, according to a report by ETrade Supply.

As per a source of ETrade Supply in Foxconn, which manufacturer iPhones, Apple is gearing up to launch a budget smartphone. Last year, ETrade Supply sources had leaked accurate information about upcoming Apple products, including the front panel of iPhone 5.

How to send, share heavy files

Email service providers limit the size of the files you can attach to 25MB. That becomes a problem if you have too many photos or videos to send. Most people get round the problem by sending the files in batches, though it is annoying for the sender as well as the receiver.

Cloud-based storage systems have made the task easier. Users of Google Drive, SkyDrive of Microsoft and Dropbox can share files uploaded to them with another user. So no need to send any file. You can also attach a file directly from Google Drive to Gmail.

5 apps to ensure hassle free holiday

Google Search trends show that Indian tourists are getting adventurous. Scuba diving, tribes, and cruise in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand were among top destinations and interests searched for. Internationally, Seychelles and Bahamas figured among places queried, according to Google.

Lalitesh Katragadda, country head, India products, Google, said the trend shows a change in the way Indians holidayed.

Google Glass, Not yet launched but already banned

Google's wearable computer, the most anticipated piece of electronic wizardry since the iPad and iPhone, will not go on sale for many months.

But the critics are already in a lather.

The glasses-like device, which allows users to access the internet, take photos and film short snippets, has been pre-emptively banned by a Seattle bar. Large parts of Las Vegas will not welcome wearers. West Virginia legislators tried to make it illegal to use the gadget, known asGoogle Glass, while driving.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Women creates fake Facebook account to harass herself

ImageA Michigan woman has been accused of creating a Facebook account to stalk herself.

Cheryl Nelson, a 52-year-old, complained to sheriff's deputies that she was the victim of stalking, harassment and other crimes.

According to Fox News, but authorities learned that she set up a Facebook account with her ex-boyfriend's information and made it appear that his new girlfriend was using it to harass her.

Detective Jason Russo of the sheriff's department said Nelson could not let go of her relationship with her former boyfriend.

How Sebi plans to use WhatsApp, BBM

Amid a large-scale usage of smartphone messaging services like BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and WhatsApp by manipulators to spread sensitive information about their target stocks, market watchdog Sebi is mulling over steps it can take to check risks being posed by these new-age mobile applications.

To strengthen its probe and oversight on stock market transactions, Sebi has already got software tools in place along with IT experts to analyse discussions on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Samsung launches dual sim smartphone, Galaxy Core

Samsung has announced a new addition to its smartphone portfolio: Galaxy Core. According to the company, this smartphone is meant for portability and power, and features optional dual-sim technology.

The all-new Galaxy Core features a 4.3-inch TFT screen with 800x480p resolution and 217ppi pixel density. It is powered by Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and packs a 1.2GHz processor under the hood, paired with 1GB RAM. Internal storage in the device is 8GB, and the phone supports microSD-based expansion up to 64GB.

YouTube helping musicians find fame and fortune

ImageYouTube is proving to be a powerful launch pad for a new generation of internet-savvy music stars from Psy to Macklemore and beyond.

The Google-owned video-sharing website has catapulted Psy, Macklemore, Justin Bieber and others onto global stages where they can cash in on digital downloads of songs; packed concerts; online ads, or even sponsored music videos.

"Music has always been a universal language, and YouTube is a perfect platform to build community around the energy that is music," said Vivien Lewit, artists attorney turned YouTube music content partnerships director.

Silicon Valley s new mantra

ImageAt Facebook's headquarters in Palo Alto, California, are stark white posters with bright red statements like "Done is better than perfect" and "Move fast and break things."

These disruptive philosophies embody the spirit not just of Facebook but of Silicon Valley. Yet today, when technology companies have become the prime targets of rogue governments and hackers, the ideologies that drive these companies to provoke could end up disrupting these companies.

Conversely, the signs sitting in security research firms across the country warn, "Carelessness causes security incidents."

Google Glass, Why it is not for everyone

ImageLast week, I glimpsed the future. I tried on Google Glass, the much-anticipated computer eyewear that lets you skim email and shoot video.

After some awkward fiddling, I managed to make the device work for me. It was a dazzlingtaste of something I'd previously seen only in science-fiction movies. I marveled at many things, but mostly at the magical way the display - a glowing, transparent cube - floated over my field of vision, showing maps, photographs and simple messages.

All too soon, my time was up. I handed the high-tech glasses back to a Google employee, with the sinking feeling that it could be a while before I'd be that close to them again.

Apps turning smartphones into home monitoring system

ImageWorried about what your dog is chewing on when you're at work, or whether your home is secure while on vacation? New apps can transform old smartphones into remote security cameras for home monitoring systems.

Presence, which was launched late last month, converts a spare internet-connected iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch into a free video camera with real-time video and audio streaming, and motion detection and notifications.

Public cloud services mkt to touch dollar 443m in India

ImageThe public cloud services market in India is forecast to grow 36% in 2013 to total $443 million, up from $326 million in 2012, according to Gartner. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), including cloud compute, storage and print services, continues as the fastest-growing segment of the market in India, growing 22.7% in 2012 to $43.1 million, and it is expected to grow 39.6% in 2013 to $60.2 million.

Software as a service (SaaS) continues to be the largest segment of the cloud services market in India, comprising 36% of the total market in 2012. Gartner predicts that from 2013 through 2017, $4.2 billion will be spent on cloud services in India, $1.6 billion of which will be spent on SaaS.

Nimbuzz CEO sees great future for company in India

ImageAs Bharti rolls out its 4G network in India city by city and Reliance Jio Infocomm ties up infrastructure deals almost at the rate of one a week, there is one man cheering on the sidelines.Vikas Saxena, CEO of Nimbuzz, the messaging platform on mobiles, sees a great future for his company in India and for 4G.

Nimbuzz, which was launched in the Netherlands in 2006-07 and shifted its headquarters to India two years back, has around 150 million users worldwide. Around 25 million of those are in India. A huge chunk — 50 million or so — is in West Asia. Nimbuzz's messaging platform helps aggregate the phone book of a mobile phone with all other social media and email contacts to enable seamless messaging.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

An app to programme bionic hands

Double-amputee Jason Koger used to fly to visit a clinician when he wanted to adjust the grips on his bionic hands. Now, he's got an app instead. 

Koger this week demonstrated the i-limb ultra revolution, a prosthetic developed by the British firm Touch Bionics. Using a stylus and an iPhone, Koger can choose any of 24 grip patterns that best suit his needs. 

It's the latest evolution in equipment for Koger, who lost his hands in an all-terrain vehicle accident in 2008. 

Increase in cyberespionage recorded in 2012, Symantec

Symantec's 'Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 18 (ISTR)' has said that there has been an increase in cyberespionage, with a global average number of targeted attacks per day in 2012 being 116, compared with 82 in 2011 and 77 in 2010, recording a 42% increase in targeted attacks. 

The report said that targeted attacks such as Disttrack in 2012 are commonly used for the purposes of industrial espionage to gain access to the confidential information or intellectual property on a compromised computer system or network. Worldwide, the targets for attack in 2012 were knowledge workers who create the intellectual property that attackers want (27% of all targets in 2012) and those in sales (24% in 2012). 

How patent wars are hurting IT companies

Patent demands are taking a big toll on technology companies, with results that range from forcing companies to tweak their products to exiting their business altogether, according to a study from the Santa Clara University School of Law. 

The study underscores the increasing difficulty of dealing with patent claims. Patents have become a major part of business strategy, with companies like Apple and Samsung battling each other in courts around the world in cases that could result in hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. 

IT infrastructure has changed in last five years

Stored digital data is doubling every two years reaching one zettabyte last year equivalent to 4.9 quadrillion books. Over 1 billion devices will be connected to the internet this year. Each one of them will start churning out heaps of data. While the most common analytics are based on structured data, the real goldmine is in unstructured data that is 5 times larger and growing 3 times faster. Art Coviello, executive chairman of RSA, the security division of EMC, talks about how Big Data is addressing security challenges. Excerpts. 

GM s internet enabled cars coming in 2014

Dan Akerson is pushing General Motors to build cars that the US automaker's top executive hopes will attract a target demographic: his grandkids. 

"I have grandchildren that have only grown up in a world with smartphones," Akerson, a former telecommunications executive, said on a conference call to discuss GM's quarterly results. 

An emerging generation of tech-savvy consumers has changed the way GM and its rivals approach in-car entertainment and navigation systems. If done well, these systems can draw new buyers and allow automakers to tap new sources of revenue and boost profit margins. 

BYOD trend to become mainstream by 2017, Gartner

When you walk in your office you are used to your employer providing a workspace, desktop, coffee and more. By 2017, you will still get your coffee, but might have to lug your own device at work as the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend becomes mainstream. 

As BYOD programs become more commonplace, 38% companies expect to stop providing devices to workers by 2017, according to a global survey of CIOs by Gartner, a research firm. 

IT hiring to grow 3 fold in next 3 years at Infopark

Despite the slow growth in information technology recruitment in the country, the Infopark in Kochi has projected a healthy growth in recruitment over the next few years. IT employment is expected to grow three times over the next three years at the Infopark. 

Since its inception in 2004, Infopark has created over 3.4 million square feet of space and has provided employment to nearly 18,500 IT professionals. Around 134 IT companies have taken space in the park. 

4G services, Ericsson sees tough fight in China

Ericsson expects cut-throat competition between telecoms equipment makers as China prepares to spend billions of dollars on high-speed networks, punishing margins at a time when profitability is already under pressure. 

A decade-long price war launched by Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE has already forced suppliers like Nortel and Motorola out of the market while smaller players like Alcatel-Lucent are mired in losses. 

US Immigration reform will attract skilled workers

US President Barack Obama said the ongoing effort to fix the existing "broken immigration system" will not only provide a pathway to earned citizenship for the illegal immigrants, but would also attract the highly- skilled entrepreneurs and engineers who will help create jobs.

In his weekly address to the nation, Obama said the "commonsense immigration reform bill" introduced in the Senate is a compromise, which means that nobody got everything they wanted - including him.

"But it's largely consistent with the principles I've laid out from the beginning," he said.

"It would continue to strengthen security at our borders and hold employers more accountable if they knowingly hire undocumented workers. It would provide a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million individuals who are already in this country illegally," Obama said.

Now, book your parking slots online

Like most people, Krishna Chander, 29, has had to talk himself out of visits to malls, fearing that he may not get parking on reaching there. A couple of times he even tried the old Indian trick of leaving his car in the nearby bylanes and hoping nothing happens, only to find that it had been towed away by the police. 

Frustrated, he had begun to avoid malls and areas that he thought offered a slim chance of "easy parking" — more often than not, also the best places to shop — until he came across the Facebook page of uPark, India's first online parking network. Chennai-based uPark, founded in 2011 by Shyam Ramachandran and Rajesh Subramanian, allows customers to book parking slots ahead of their visits to shopping malls through online booking or a mobile phone application, helping them to plan better. "It has helped me big time.