Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sacked iGate CEO, Always two sides to the truth

"There are always two sides to the truth", was the cryptic and philosophical response of Phaneesh Murthy, the ousted CEO of iGate, to the sexual harassment charges made by the company's investor relations head Araceli Roiz late on Wednesday night. He only added that since the matter was definitely heading to court, he could not comment anymore.

Late on Thursday, there were reports that an out-of-court settlement might be preferred by some of the parties involved in the case.Facebook exchanges between Roiz's friends show that till May 14 things were seemingly normal with posts talking about 'Araceli and Phaneesh having a baby girl'. But Murthy did not make any mention of this in the press conference he held on Tuesday. Roiz is said to have realized she was pregnant in March. The law firm said she was currently on medical leave.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD to reach 170 countries

Online retail titan Amazon on Thursday announced it is expanding sales of its Kindle tablet computers to "over 170 countries and territories around the world," and its Appstore in nearly 200 countries.
The move steps up the offensive of Amazon against rivals like Apple and Google in the market for tablets and content sold for the devices.

"Kindle Fire HD is the number one best-selling item in the world for Amazon since its launch, and we're thrilled to make it available to even more customers around the globe today," said Dave Limp, vice president at Amazon Kindle.

Russia blacklists biggest social network, Vkontake

Russia's top online social network was banned on Friday from distributing content across the country, raising concerns of a clampdown on a forum used by President Vladimir Putin's opponents to organize protests.

The ban on VKontakte follows more than a month of pressure on the company and its founder, Pavel Durov, who has drawn comparisons with Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg for building an online network with 210 million registered users.

Salesforce.com outlook disappoints, shares dip

Salesforce.com's earnings outlook for the current quarter failed to inspire investors used to strong numbers from the cloud-based business software pioneer, and its shares fell 6%.

Under Marc Benioff, Salesforce's CEO and founder, the company's fast revenue growth has made it a favourite with investors eager to own part of the growing trend among businesses to outsource their information technology needs - from servers to software, a phenomenon known as cloud computing.

Video game allows angry French workers to kill Lakshmi Mittal

Indian steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittaldoes not seem to be the most popular man in France. And the French have found an innovative way to vent their anger against him. A new video game called Kill Mittal is now offering players a chance to take on the Indian billionaire inside a steel factory. The video game has taken inspiration from Mittal's real life decision to shut steel blast furnaces in France's northeastern town of Florange.

The game therefore is giving players - those upset with Mittal, to become a virtual employee of steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal, battling a robotic version of the Indian tycoon to keep the factory open. Players first get to battle the police with barrels and beams before taking on Mittal himself. Much in real life, players will find it difficult to keep the factory open.

Soon, 3D printed food for astronauts in space


In a scene right out of Star Trek, a Texas company is developing a 3D food printer for astronauts to create custom meals on the fly.

With support from Nasa, the firm, Systems and Materials Research Corp of Austin, intends to design, build and test a food printer that can work in space.

"This project is to demonstrate we can create and change the nutrition of the food and be able to print it in a low-gravity environment," the company's research director and lead chemist, David Irvin, said. Three-dimensional printers create solid objects by depositing droplets of material one layer at a time.

Meet the man behind Apple India s EMI idea

If iPhone sales in India shot up three times within months of Apple introducing anEMI scheme for the smartphone, part of the credit goes to Himanshu Chakrawarti, CEO of the country's largest cellphone retail chain The Mobile Store.

The US technology giant piloted the scheme that lets buyers pay for their iPhones in monthly installment under Chakrawarti, 46, and today he is one of the few trade partners Apple directly consults. And Apple is not alone.

In just two years after joining the Essar Group owned The Mobile Store, Chakrawarti has become the Man Friday in India for top smartphone makers including Samsung and Nokia.

Sony s waterproof tablet up for pre order at Rs 45k

Sony Xperia Tablet Z, unveiled at Consumer Electronics Show 2013 in US, is now available for pre-order in India. Major online retailers are taking advance bookings for the device, which is scheduled to be launched early next month. Flipkart, Snapdeal and Infibeamare offering the device with 16GB storage andWi-Fi and 3G connectivity for Rs 44,990 approximately.

Xperia Tablet Z runs on Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) out-of-the-box and has waistline of just 6.9mm, thinner than that of rivals like Apple iPad and Google Nexus 10. Another key feature is its shockproof, dust resistant and waterproof body, which makes it largely impervious to damage.

Just Dial IPO India s biggest in 2013

Indian search engine Just Dial's initial public offer to raise $174 million was oversubscribed nearly 12 times in what marked the country's biggest IPO this year, stock exchange data showed on Thursday.

The figures were released after the share offer, one of the largest to date by an Indian internet firm, closed on Wednesday.

Yahoo acquires online gaming platform

Yahoo pressed on with its shopping spree on Thursday with the acquisition of a start-up that powers games played on smartphones, tablets, consoles or personal computers.
Word that Yahoo has bought Northern California-based PlayerScale came three days after the aging internet pioneer announced a $1.1 billion deal to buy hip blogging service Tumblr as part of a move to woo a younger online audience.

"Today we acquired PlayerScale," Yahoo said in a statement emailed to AFP.

SAP loses cloud computing specialist Lars Dalgaard

German business software maker SAP said on Friday that Lars Dalgaard, who had widely been expected to lead its cloud computing business, was leaving.
SAP said Dalgaard was stepping down from the management board and leaving the company effective June 1 but that he would continue to act as an advisor to its cloud business.
Dalgaard joined the company in late 2011 when SAP bought Web-based software company SuccessFactors. The acquisition was seen as a catalyst for the German technology giant to try to catch up to rivals in the fast-growing cloud computing market.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Higher import duties on tablets to continue, Finance Ministry

A tablet is a tablet and not a phone even if it allows for phone calls and shall face higher rate of import duty levied on computing devices, says the finance ministry.

The Central Board of Excise and Customs, the apex indirect taxes body, has clarified that tablets that have calling function would be treated as a computing device and not a phone since the main function of the product is more akin to a computer.

Effective cloud operations will make or break your initiative s success

CIOs, engaged in cloud initiatives, have identified one of their top goals - a need for a cloud strategy.

The reason; cloud initiatives not only directly impact technology but the effect extends significantly to business processes and organisational resources. A strategy that aligns process, technology and business service delivery is critical to the future returns on the initiative.

During the course of IT’s mere fifty years of evolving operational models nothing has accelerated, and to varying degrees disrupted the norms of a CIO’s domain, like IaaS, PaaS, SaaS etc.

How cloud based collaboration boosts performance

Online collaboration has evolved during the last decade, delivering even greater value - thanks to a new generation of business technology applications.

Forbes Insights released 'Collaborating in the Cloud,' a Cisco-sponsored study examining the ways business leaders increasingly look at cloud collaboration as a way to increase productivity, accelerate business results and enhance innovation across borders and functions.

The research combines a global survey of more than 500 executives with 15 executive interviews.

'The ability to collaborate in the cloud is becoming a key driver of competitive advantage,' says Bruce Rogers, Chief Insights Officer of Forbes Media. 'Leading companies are doing more to foster cloud-based collaboration - not only internally, but also with an ever-wider swath of external groups including customers, suppliers, partners, and even regulators.'

The benefits of cloud-based collaboration, Rogers continues, include 'greater efficiency, organizational dexterity, and innovation,' to name only a few.

Twitter adds two step verification process

ImageTwitter is adding an extra security measure to users' accounts in an effort to prevent unauthorized logins.


Twitter said in a blog post Wednesday that users will be able to enroll in a login verification program. For those who sign up, Twitter will send a six-digit code using a text message each time they sign in to Twitter.com. Besides their username and password, users will have to enter the code as well to log in.

HC seeks suggestions from FB,Google to protect Indian kids


"Worried" that children can be exploited through social networking sites, Delhi High Court today asked Facebook and Google to submit within four weeks suggestions on safety measures for online usage of such sites by minors in India.

A bench of justices B D Ahmed and Vibhu Bakhru voiced concern about Indian children entering into agreement with Facebook and other social networking sites and then being lured knowingly and unknowing into illegality by adults.

Big analytics is a bigger problem than Big Data, Mikael Hagstrom, SAS

Please shed some light on how the role of analytics has changed as compared to yesteryears?


The role of analytics has definitely changed over the years — today we work on segments of data and re-structure database on those assumptions. The assumptions could be around the questions you have. We are now able to work much more in the discovery stage.

US immigration bill, Major provisions

The US Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill this week to overhaul the country's immigration system and give millions of unauthorized foreigners a path to citizenship.

The legislation aims to achieve three main goals: create a path to legal status and eventual citizenship for an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants, secure US borders against illegal entry and make it easier for businesses to hire workers from abroad when needed.

Indian company blamed for global cyber attacks


A Norwegian cyber security firm has alleged that a sophisticated cyber attack infrastructure appears to originate from India, conducted by private actors with no evidence of state-sponsorship. Norman Shark, Norwegian firm, has also named an Indian company that is known to work with Indian military and intelligence as one of the possible suspects behind the attacks.

The Indian company, Appin Security Group, which figures in the report, has rubbished the claims, saying it was "totally false and very imaginative". The company pointed out that the report itself mentions "we are not implicating or suggesting inappropriate activity by Appin. Maybe someone has tried to hurt Appin by falsifying evidence to implicate them. Maybe some rogue agent within Appin Security Group is involved, or maybe there are other explanations."

Murthy scandal, iGate staff gets social media code

ImageOn Tuesday, while many were still coming to terms with news of iGate sacking its chief Phaneesh Murthy, company officials were busy asking employees to cocoon themselves from the outside world, especially the media, in a bid to limit the damage.

iGate employees in India received an email from the company's communication team at around 8 am, explaining the situation and telling them not to discuss it on social media, or talk to journalists.

Hackers find China is land of opportunity

ImageName a target anywhere in China, an official at a state-owned company boasted recently, and his crack staff will break into that person's computer, download the contents of the hard drive, record the keystrokes and monitor cellphone communications, too.

Pitches like that, from a salesman for Nanjing Xhunter Software, were not uncommon at a crowded trade show this month that brought together Chinese law enforcement officials and entrepreneurs eager to win government contracts for police equipment and services.

Start and sell, India s new Valley success stories


Abheek Anand is no ordinary product manager working out of Facebook's California headquarters. The 32-year-old, along with fellow IITian Sohan Majumdar, sold the mobile-based customer loyalty startup Tagtile, which they had jointly launched, to Facebook last year.

Anand and Majumdar represent the new generation of tech entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. This breed thrives by soaking up the Valley's can-do culture, and by turning ideas into startups that attract the attention of the big fish.

Micromax launches data card

Micromax has launched MMX377G, a new data card offering a speed of 14.4 mbps. Micromax MMX377G data card can upload files at a speed of 5.76 mbps.


The plug-and play requires no prior installation for use. Speaking about the new product, Mr. Deepak Mehrotra, CEO Micromax said, "At Micromax we constantly strive to innovate and develop technologically advanced devices. With the internet penetration in the country expected to grow at a steady rate, we have tried to address the need of high speed internet usage with the launch this new dongle. Users can experience high speed internet surfing, social networking, video streaming, gaming and more all on the go with this new device."

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Risky behaviour starts young on web, survey


Australian children are accessing social media websites at an increasingly younger age, a new survey suggests, with one in five "tweens" admitting they have chatted to someone online they do not know.
The report "Tweens, Teens and Technology" by online security company McAfee found that children in the tweens age category of eight to 12 were adopting technology faster than expected, with 67 percent using a social media website.

Despite the age eligibility for Facebook being 13, one in four (26 percent) admitted to using the site -- although 95 percent said they had their parents' permission to do so.

Why BYOD is worrying CIOs

Bringing one's own device to the workplace may be aiding productivity, but it has also emerged as a major area of concern for CIOs as they grapple to secure enterprise data on such devices, a study by Cisco and the Data Security Council of India (DSCI) today said.

The joint study titled 'Reinventing the Network in the Context of Security' found respondents saying that current generation of security capabilities implemented by companies can protect them from traditional threats.

What companies can learn from Apple


The image of the American income tax law is of horrible and immense complexity.

But it turns out that in many ways it is not that complicated. The Apple tax tactic that came in for denunciation at Senate subcommittee hearing was not particularly difficult to carry out, and it seems to have been something known to some tax experts - but not to many of those whose job it is to write tax laws.

Hitachi unveils cloud solutions for enterprises


Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), part of the Japan-based electronics major Hitachi, on Wednesday unveiled solutions and services, which will help enterprises to adopt cloud computing to address demands like growth of unstructured data, accessing information from anywhere.

HDC claims that it is industry's first integrated file sync and share solution that is built, sold and supported for the enterprises entirely by a single vendor.

Goa girl develops touch free phone technology


The next 'in' feature for your smart phone might very well be gesture-recognition and it is a young Goan who is behind the innovation. The creation is set to make touchscreen technology passe and would allow users to interact with their devices through thin air.

Native of South Goa's Velim, Andrea Colaco, has not only earned a graduate and master's degree, and later earned one of the most-sought after doctorate seats at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute Technology (MIT), but has earlier this month won the MIT $100K entrepreneurship competition for her innovation which provides real-time, millimetre accurate 3D gesture sensing on devices like mobile phones.

Asus launches world s first dual OS PC at Rs 87,000

Taiwan-headquartered motherboard maker Asus rolled out the world's first dual OS (Windows 8 and Android 4.1) All-in-One PC ASUS Transformer AiO, which is priced between Rs 87,000 and Rs 1.07 lakh.

ASUS Transformer AiO comes with a detachable display that can also be used as a standalone tablet around the home, the company said.
 

Will IT cos be forced to hire more Americans

In a bipartisan vote of 13-5, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a broad overhaul of the nation's immigration laws, sending the legislation onto the floor, where the fight is expected to last through June.

The move came as the committee reached a deal on one of the final snags threatening the legislation _and agreed to hold off on another particularly controversial amendment, which would have added protections for same-sex couples.

Sacked iGate CEO may lose Rs 84cr in severance

Phaneesh Murthy, the disgraced former chief executive of iGate, may lose as much as about Rs 84 crore in severance benefits after being sacked by the US-based firm for professional misconduct.


Murthy, who was sacked yesterday for not disclosing a relationship with a subordinate, however, is entitled to a post termination benefit of $6,000 per month till he and his spouse reach the age of 65.

More teens migrating to Twitter, Poll

Twitter is booming as a social media destination for teenagers who complain about too many adults and too much drama on Facebook, according to a new study published about online behavior. It said teens are sharing more personal information about themselves even as they try to protect their online reputations.

Teens told researchers there were too many adults on Facebook and too much sharing of teenage angst and inane details like what a friend ate for dinner.

Intel CEO creates new devices group

Intel Corp's new chief executive, Brian Krzanich, has launched a sweeping reorganization of the world's top chipmaker and created a unit aiming to retake the top chipmaker's lead in mobile and semiconductor innovation.

The shakeup, announced internally just days after the 30-year veteran took the helm, places most of Intel's main product groups directly under his supervision and hands its sprawling global manufacturing operation to new president Renee James, said a source close to the company, who declined to be identified.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Now, robot takes drink order via smartphone

ImageScientists have created a cocktail-making robot that can be controlled by smartphones.

Party attendees at the Google I/O Conference in San Francisco last week were invited to send a drink recipe via a smartphone application to a three-armed robot Makr Shakr.

They could then interact with attendees having similar taste to collaboratively design the perfect drink via social media. MIT's Senseable City Lab wanted to see what happened when a lot of people take control of an industrial manufacturing machine.

See, how your smartphone can help you stay fit


It's possible that you find it hard to motivate yourself to exercise or to head to the gym, and you don't like the idea of a personal trainer. It's time for an app, in other words; and there are many out there to help us get in shape.

Earn digital badges
Nike Training Club is free on Android and iOS. It has a simple, clean interface, so you can exercise without distractions. The home page has a summary of your training performance and a menu bar that takes you to pages with more details on your previous workouts. There's also a rewards page where you can earn digital badges for completing workouts. To start exercising, you click the Get Workouts button, or pick Quick Start and choose the workout you did previously. Workouts vary, depending on whether you want a leaner body or a stronger one. When you choose an activity the app inquires about your experience level.

Google plays its IaaS hand with Compute Engine general release


Among the hive of activity at Google I/O, one of the search giant’s more interesting announcements has come in the form of a general release of Google Compute Engine (GCE), giving developers increased access to Google infrastructure.
Google’s latest push is a further move into the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) space, and culminates in the Silicon Valley company finding itself jockeying for position in a three horse race alongside Amazon and Microsoft.
Last month Microsoft ramped up its IaaS portfolio with the release of Infrastructure Services, enabling Windows Azure customers to migrate apps into the cloud, pricing it in direct competition with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

5 tips to outsmart phone thieves


Phone theft, especially of highend ones, has increased sharply in recent years. Here a few ways to dodge the robbers.

Be like a dolphin
Dolphins sleep with one eye open, to stay semi-alert to lurking predators and unexpected danger. If you need to use your phone in the wilds of the subway or sidewalk , do so discreetly, reserving at least a portion of your cognitive capacity for minding what is happening around you. Avoid leaving your phone on the table at restaurants, bars and coffee shops where it can easily be snatched.

How to increase your PC s speed


Your computer can slow down due to a number of reasons. One of them could be accumulation of unnecessary files in the disk. A simple way to speed up the computer is to periodically clean the disk. There are some files, like Temporary Internet Files, that can safely be removed.

These are web pages stored in the computer's hard disk to enable quick viewing of pages previously visited. These are different from bookmarked pages, and can be safely removed. Click on Start button > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup.

Former Nokia employees unveil first MeeGo smartphone


A group of ex-Nokia software developers unveiled their first smartphone, aiming to prove their former employer wrong by making a success of a technology dropped by the Finnish mobile phone maker.

Jolla was founded by Nokia's former MeeGo software team that was shut down after the company decided to switch to Microsoft's Windows Phone software in 2011. With just 70 employees and 11 million euros ($14.11 million)in venture financing, Jolla joins a handful of boutique operating systems such as Ubuntu which together have less than a one-percent presence in the mobile phone market.

Microsoft s next gen Xbox all set for debut

ImageMicrosoft offers a glimpse Tuesday at a new-generation Xbox as videogame consoles evolve into home entertainment centers and adapt to competition from smartphones and tablets.
A tented stage has been set up at the technology giant's headquarters in the city of Redmond in Washington State for an "Xbox Reveal" event to play out just weeks before a major annual E3 videogame conference in Los Angeles.
The console debut, to be streamed worldwide to Internet-linked Xbox 360 consoles, will spotlight the hardware and platform while Microsoft will show off games at E3.

Ex McAfee employees launch Instagram rival wooplr


As social media evolves, platforms take on distinct roles. Tumblr, for example, is where the under-25 s go to share images of characters from their favourite shows. Instagram has undergone a memetic mutation to become a platform for sharing photographs of food. Now, a Bangalore-based company is hoping to become the platform of choice for people who want to share their photographs and opinions on clothing, accessories and food.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Why days of lower phone tariff may be over

ImageIndian mobile telephone companies have come a long way and no longer perceive lowering prices and increasing subscribers as tools for survival. To ensure their sustenance, telecom players in India are slowly hiking call rates and doing away with promotional offers.

"The reason behind increasing call rates is that none of the players has a serious incentive to lower prices. The intensity of competition has come down after many players left the Indian market following cancellation of some licences after 2G scam," Mahesh Uppal, director, Com First telecom consultancy, told IANS.

Infosys visa cost jumped 50perecnt in FY13

Stricter norms and higher rejection rate of work permits have pushed up the visa-related cost of country's second largest software services company, Infosys by more than 50% to Rs 308 crore in 2012-13 fiscal.

According to Infosys' Annual Report 2012-13 , the company's overseas travel expenses included visa charges of Rs 308 crore for year 2012-13.

Is business breakup is what Sony needs


Nowhere is the opulence of Old Hollywood more palpable than on the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City. Arching just inside the front gate is an eight-story rainbow. This grand $1.6 million sculpture, a condition of a lot expansion, rose last year and became a symbolic link between past glories - "The Wizard of Oz" was filmed here - and current ones.

Years of cutbacks have taken the shine off many studios, which now look like glorified factories. But Sony has preserved its lot as a perfect little movieland town: Executive suites overflow with orchids, and cafes border a new park where employees sip lattes and stretch on the grass.

RPG Group, Yes Bank to sort out hacking issue


Yes Bankand RPG Life Sciences (of Harsh Goenka) are blaming each other for the Rs 2.4 crore the company lost due to the second reported hacking of a current account of a corporate. The bank says that it is the responsibility of the account holder to prevent misuse at its end and it (the bank) is responsible only for the back-end which it claims is safe.

Executives from Yes and RPG Life will meet to settle the issue which has made the corporate world worried about the security of bank accounts.

Soon, your phone will be beamed onto your palm

Researchers are developing a revolutionary new technology that puts the mobile phone on the palm of your hand — literally. Using a special camera that combines high-speed vision and two rotational mirrors, Masatoshi Ishikawa and colleagues at the University of Tokyo have found a way to project a device's display or keyboard onto the palm or any other surface, so that one can operate it remotely at home or office.

The system can detect the movement of a 3D object every two milliseconds, Ishikawa said. The high-speed vision allows the programme to track moving objects, so that users would be free to walk with the phone image on their palm, without the display ever shifting, ABC News reported.

Google Nexus 4 review, A killer smartphone

After a long delay of six months,Google Nexus 4 has finally made its way to India. Though it is being sold by LG and remains unavailable on Google Play Store as of now, we are glad that the much-awaited flagship Nexus smartphone of Google is finally retailing in the domestic market.

It is widely known that Nexus 4 has top-notch hardware (at least as per last year's standards, when it was launched) and is priced much more competitively than rivals. We tested the device to see exactly how good it is and whether it is a better option than the likes of Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC One X etc, which fall in the same price band.

Google Glass, Cool or creepy


Google staged four discussions expounding on the finer points of its "Glass" wearable computer during this week's developer conference. Missing from the agenda, however, was a session on etiquette when using the recording-capable gadget, which some attendees faithfully wore everywhere - including to the crowded bathrooms.

Google Glass, a cross between a mobile computer and eyeglasses that can both record video and surf the Internet, is now available to a select few but is already among the year's most buzz-worthy new gadgets. The device has geeks all aflutter but is unnerving everyone from lawmakers to casino operators worried about the potential for hitherto unimagined privacy and policy violations.

Changing face of Silicon Valley

In a busy factory, machinists move sheets of aluminum roll in the back door to be molded, stamped, twisted and notched into high-tech electric cars that sell for more than $60,000 each.

Down the road in another plant, crews slice solar cells, place them under glass sheets and create panels that ship by the boxful to Europe. Elsewhere in this town, industrial workshops and laboratories buzz with workers building everything from robots to microprocessors.

Why Yahoo bought Tumblr, and what it needs to do

Yahoo! geared up for a major announcement Monday said to be a $1.1 billion deal to take over popular blogging platform Tumblr, a move that could bring a younger, hipper audience to the struggling Internet pioneer.
The deal, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, if confirmed would be the largest for Yahoo! since Marissa Mayer took over as chief executive last year. Neither Yahoo! nor Tumblr commented on the report.

"We don't comment on rumors or speculation," a Yahoo! spokesman said in an email. Mayer, however, has scheduled a news conference in New York on Monday at which the company said it will unveil "something special."
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