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Friday, 17 April 2015

Pakistan's delivery startup Forrun is acquired by Arpatech

April 17, 2015: A pakistan based boutique technology services company ArpaTech delivering business solutions to its global customers and gone popular with it's last deal of selling it's subsidiary EatOye to Foodpanda, announced that it plans to acquire instant delivery service provider Forrun. The financial worth of the deal is not declared yet.
                                      
As per the statement released by the company, the acquisition is in line with an overall strategy to focus on the e-commerce, logistics and technology verticals. The acquired company's CEO will stay on his position.

This news will be quite exciting in country's hostile business atmosphere, this will be a motivation for the startup entrepreneurs of the region. Forrun is only three month old and already created waves by signing a deal with Foodpanda as one of it's clients. 

The acquired company's founder Leghari says to Tech in Asia: "We plan on using the capital injection by Arpatech to expand our operations to other cities, whilst also repositioning ourselves as a highly-efficient courier service- catering to a larger segment of consumers."

Source:TechInAsia.com  

Apple Pay soon to debut in Canada

April 17, 2015: Last year when Apple unveiled their flagship smartphone iPhone 6 along with it's revamped iOS 8 platform loaded with new features, one feature which stands out the most was Apple Pay. The potential of allowing the users to use their credit and debit cards through their iPhones and Apple Watch attracted many attentions. Banks across the world warmed up to try their hands to make out a deal with the tech giant to avail their services for Apple Pay.
In Canada, six big banks too forming a consortium to deal with issues related to an upcoming launch of Apple Pay, which is scheduled in November, reports Wall Street Journal.

This form of payment is now considered a key source of technological disruption for traditional banks.

Royal Bank of Canada's chief, while addressing a New york audience recently told that this disruption indeed was a source of concern for the bank.

"The last thing anybody wants is to have someone between you and your customer, and that's what we now have in the payments space," he said.

"We are on a collision course with the Googles and the Apples of the world," he said. "Would you ever pick a fight with those types of companies? No, but we are on that course."

Source: TheGlobalAndMail.com, Image by 9to5Mac.com

Thursday, 16 April 2015

China's popular search engine Baidu created it's own smartwatch OS

April 16, 2015: With growing battle of Google with china's government over privacy has never led tech giant to make it's presence in the region. Every single Google service is blocked in China.  While china's popular search engine Baidu making waves.
                         
The china's top search engine announced it's new smartwatch OS which they claim will give Anroid Wear a run for it's money and they have named it as DuWear.

Kaiser Kuo, Baidu's director of international communications, tells Tech in Asia that a major manufacturer soon going to make a smartwatch that uses DuWear OS and it will be available for users to buy in June.

DuWear will be an open platform and there's an SDK for app developers and hardware manufacturers. The first DuWear OS smartwatch will be displayed in Baidu Future Store. 

Source: TechInAsia.com


An Irish Tech company announced 100 jobs

April 16, 2015: Movidus, an Ireland based technology company that makes software and hardware to enable devices to have human level vision capabilities had announced 100 jobs.
                       
The tech company has raised $40m in funding from number of backers. And the fundraising said to be one of the largest venture capitalist investment ever in Ireland for a technological company.

The company plans to hire the new staff over the next 2-3 years and company mostly looking for software engineers to strengthen their scientific base.

Movidus has designed a chip and accompanying vision sensing software for devices like virtual reality headsets, drones, home automation products and wearables.

The company intends to capitalise on the growing 'Internet of Things' market, which is seeing an explosion in the number of connected machines that can with one another. 

This article first appears in Ireland based blog Rte.ie

Source: Rte.ie

World's first high speed full-body 3D scanner launched by Artec 3D inDubai

April 16, 2015: At Dubai Entertainment Amusement and Leisure Show (DEAL) which had begun on 14th April and schedule to run for three consecutive days, there are many companies released their products and what catches the eyeballs is Artec 3D.
                
Artec 3D, the company specialises in 3D scanners has unveiled their full body scanner which they claims world's first high speed full body 3D scanner. The booth shaped scanner consist of four wide-view high resolution 3D scanners, which rotate around the object. The booth is integrated with a lighting system, a high speed processor and 3D modelling software.

As per company's estimation, the scan takes approximately 12 seconds, and within five minutes a detailed 3D model will get ready and in 15 minutes high quality 3D printable file is completed. 

The scanner will find it's application in wide range of fields like aerospace, medical and manufacturing industries to help with quality control. The product is designed to "capture even the slightest specifics, down to wrinkles on clothes," says Artec.

Artyom Yukhin, president and CEO of Artec 3D, says: "We are very excited to present our shapify booth in United Arab Emirates. The shapify booth has been significantly popular in Asia, the US and western Europe, and today we are thrilled to be sharing our 3D technologies with consumers in the Middle East."

The company is participating at DEAL with partner Jacky's Business Solutions.

"We (have been) the authorised partner for Artec 3D in the GCC for over a year and we've started marketing Artec handheld scanner," said Ashish Punjabi, COO, Jacky's Business Solutions.

Source: ArabianIndustry.com

Microsoft launches Office 365 Video for iPhone

April 16, 2015: Microsoft today through it's official blog announced it's Office 365 video for iPhone. It's an inter-company video viewing & uploading app which offers businesses a private video portal, a company-wide Youtube kind of browsing and searching experience.
                         
The Office 365 was launched on desktop before, now with iPhone app, it brings the power of video on fingertips. Now, the user can create the videos on their iPhone and can upload the video through this app directly on channel of your choice. 

Here's the video where Microsoft demoes it's product:


The app will be available on App store, anyone can download it but users with Office 365 Academics or Enterprise editions subscriptions can utilise the services. 

LG officially shows it's G4 first look on Facebook

April 16, 2015: To keep online rumors and speculations to rest, LG finally revealed the first look of it's flagship smartphone LG G4 on it's official facebook page.
                       
Before, the company revealed the user interface and other information. Now, the phone's look has been revealed. 

The facebook post reads:
"Always have authentic luxury in hand. The brand-new LG G4 with vegetable-tanned leather cover. See the great, feel the great."

The smartphone will schedule to be officially launch on their upcoming event on April 28 will come loaded with Snapdragon 810 processor, a Quad Hd display and more. The event will be reported live on this blog. Stay tune.

Image source: Facebook LG Page


Wednesday, 15 April 2015

India's Restaurant discovery app Zomato acquires MaplePOS

April 15, 2015: The India's restaurant discovery app Zomato has acquired MapleOS, a cloud based point of sale system. The worth of the deal is not disclosed officially yet.
                                   
Founded in 2010 and named among 25 most promising internet companies in India, Zomato build a platform that allows users to search and discover service providing information on home delivery, dining out, cafes and nightlife in cities of India and 21 other countries. 

Last year, Zomato launched an app for restaurant owners to update their menus, pictures, details, and special offers in real time. With this acquisition, Zomato moves a step forward in providing business-focused solutions for restaurants, reports TechInAsia.com. And MaplePOS system could be integrated for B2B payments in the application.

Deepinder Goyal, CEO of Zomato said: "There is a lot that can be done if we are able to build a technology platform that connects to restaurants and vice versa. A world-class cloud-based POS system is the step forward towards building that platform."

The acquired company will be named Zomato Base. The service of the MaplePOS will be integrated with the platform in months to come.

Last week, Zomato raised $50M in series F funding from Info Edge, Sequoia Capital and other investors. 

Chat app Line announces it's availability on Apple Watch

April 15, 2015: The Asia's growing messaging and call app LINE corporation announced through it's website that their services will be available for Apple Watch. The iPhone version of LINE ( app version 5.0.2 and later) will support the Apple Watch.
                              
The entire functionality of Line can be viewed through Apple Watch once the user download the app on their iPhone. The users can able to send and receive messages of Line, and can able to make Line calls directly from Apple Watch.

Line claims that this service could provide users the ability to stay connected with friends and family on LINE, offering them a means of communication while on the move, playing sports, or engaged in other physical activities. 

Video: NASA shows off it's driverless rover that can drift

April 15, 2015: Earlier in January, NASA announced it's partnership with Japanese manufacturer Nissan to build a driverless car which can be drive on the surface of planets and moons. Today, NASA shows off it's ambitious model in Johnson Space Center, the vehicle can operate efficiently without driver and it can drive sideways if necessary.

The car is named as 'Modular Robotic Vehicle (MRV), and it looks similar to golf buggy. It's fully electric and it's capable of achieving cruising speed that would match any modern commercial cars. 

The video shows how it allows the passenger to sit in comfortably while the car spins on the track with ease. The car drifts and wheels can rotate with an angle which no modern car can match. 

There are more features will be added in this vehicle in future and it looks like an exciting project to look forward for future astronauts.


Source: SiliconRepublic.com

In-flight WiFi could allow hackers to hijack planes, warns govt watchdog

April 15, 2015: In a report released this week, the United States watchdog group GAO (Government Accountability Office) warned that the increasing connectivity of our aircrafts, from flight tracking technology to in-flight WiFi, could allow hackers an access point to hackers to potentially hijack a flight.
The watchdog says: "Modern aircraft increasingly connected to the internet. This interconnections can potentially provide unauthorized remote access to aircraft avionics systems."

The report highlights the fact that the cockpit electronics is indirectly connected to the passenger cabin through shared Ip network. Ofcourse, the avionics of the planes is heavily moderated by firewalls. But like all software, this could be hacked .
The report also observes that the older system are less prone to hacking than modern systems, which are more connected to internet while old systems are not directly connected to FAA over the internet.

The GAO says that although the FAA is taking appropriate steps to improve the cybersecurity but there is still a huge room for improvements which could be done to protect planes from potential cyber threats.

"While FAA is working to transform the organization of its cybersecurity efforts," the report further adds, "the experts we consulted said that it could improve upon those efforts by including all key stakeholders in its agency-wide approach. All 15 of our cybersecurity and aviation experts agreed that organizational clarity regarding roles, responsibilities, and accountibility is key to ensuring cybersecurity across organization."

Source: TheGuardian.com, Image by Aerospace-Technology.com

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Hackers attacks Google's Malaysian Homepage

April 14, 2015: Imagine you're in the class, your phone is under your desk, your professor having a rapid fire question round which you've no clue about. To save your face, your hand slowly heads towards your phone to quick google the answer but only to realise that it's been taken down. Worst nightmare, right? Well, some of the Malaysian users experience the same today when their google homepage redirects them to hackers website saying 'Google Malaysia Hacked.'
                           
If reports are to be believed and later confirmed by Google on twitter, hackers breaches MYNIC, the Malaysian based domain name service that runs addresses that end with .com .my. Although, no personal data as such has been compromised.

@GoogleMsia Tweets:

Getting reports some users are experiencing google.com.my DNS redirection. Please use google.com/ncr in the meantime.

The Bangladesh based hacker TiGER-M@TE is behind the attack if the hack page redirection has to be believed. The same group was behind google Bangladesh hack in 2011.

Source: WallSteetJournal.com

Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference to start on June 8th

April 14, 2015: In a press release on their website, the technology firm Apple announced their 26th annual conference. The Worldwide Developers Conference will kicks off on June 8 at San Francisco's Moscone West.
                        
This conference will showcase the future of iOS and OS X. The conference will feature more than 100 technical sessions, over thousand Apple engineers, and hands on labs to help developers integrate new technologies to fine tune their apps. The event will also honour the best new apps with Apple Design Awards. The big surprises too awaits as always Apple does in it's unique style, whatever the latest happenings, we'll keep you updated. Stay tune.

Source: Apple

Google unveils family-friendly app program for developers

April 14, 2015: Google reportedly scheduled to launch a family friendly version of its Play Store in weeks to come. For that, Google invites android developers to submit apps to join their upcoming family oriented program. The apps must justify the theme to give users a family focused experience.
                    
Google lists the eligibility criteria for developers on their platform website. The apps must be rated ESRB. And adverts need to comply with laws concerning advertising to children and no violent contents to kids under 13. 

Google likes to provide users a new way to browse, search and discover high quality apps and games for their families. And with this program, the developers will get an added discoverability to their apps in addition to the present play store.

Source: Engadget.com

Apple acquires imaging tech startup Linx for $20M

April 14, 2015: As The Wall Street Journal reports, the Israel based camera technology startup Linx Imaging for approximately $20 million. The company utilizes state of the art multi aperture imaging technology that combines innovative image processing, advanced sensors and optics technology to enable effects like background focus blur, parallax images and 3D picture capture.
                   
Apple in it's statement confirmed indirectly the news about their acquisition: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we ge generally do not discuss our purpose or plans"

Linx will use technology that uses the software to extract depth information for each pixel to create a depth map for that can also be used for 3D image reconstruction. 

This technology Apple could use in the future iPhones and tablets but how they utilize it is still unknown but this acquistion hints how serious the tech giant is about iDevice cameras.

Source: MacRumors.com


Monday, 13 April 2015

Worldwide PC shipment hits 68.5m units in First Quarter of 2015

April 14, 2015: As per the International Data Corporation (IDC), the total worldwide shipment in first quarter of 2015 has reached 68.5 million units. The figure is 6.7% less than last year and lowest in last six years.
                      
The research shows the quarter one findings from it's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker explains that a downturn followed a "strong second half of 2014", driven by upgrades from Windows XP, for which Microsoft discontinued support.

The quarter one shipment were the lowest since Q1 of 2009.

Rajanj Singh, Senior Research Analyst says: "Despite the decline, PC shipments in the United States declined at a slower rate than all other regions in first quarter, outperforming worldwide trends for the 11th consecutive quarter."

"The end of Bing promotions on 15-inch notebooks, unfavourable currency exchanges and consequently an increase in prices of components, all led to rise of average selling prices and decline in PC shipments," IDC said in a statement.

Source: ArabianIndustry.com, Image by itp.net

Israeli augmented reality startup receives $5 million funding

April 13, 2015: Israel based augmented reality startup InfintiyAR announced today that it has grabbed $5 million in series B funding led by Japan's SUN corporation, and followed by New Zealand's Singulariteam and US-based Platinum Partners Value Arbitrage Fund.
                         
InfinityAR's vision as their website cite is about creating a new digital environment that will allow people to naturally interact with augmented content in their physical surroundings. The startup technology can turn any device into a powerful content augmented platform. Their software based Augmented Reality(AR) engine will let people interact with physical surroundings. The company says it "can turn any device with two simple cameras into a powerful content augmentation platform."

SUN corporation CEO Motto Kusnir in his statement says: "For us, SUN corporation is the perfect gateway into the japanese market and will help us further establish InfinityAR as a leading developer in the augmented reality space."

Watch their concept video here:


Source: TechInAsia.com, Image by InfinityAR

Planet labs grabs $118 million in Series C funding

April 13, 2015: Planet Labs, a San Francisco based startup which plans to cover the Earth in tiny satellites, announced the close of $118 million in Series C funding today. The round is led by a International Finance Corporation (IFC), a division of the World Bank. The first $70 million funding from that round came from Data Collective, with participation from existing investors.
                      
The funding came in the wake of their successfull launch of 73 satellites. This is what one of the investor thinks: "We're proud that Planet will be our first investment in the DCVC Oppurtunity Fund, which supports the truly exceptional growth-stage companies in DCVC's portfolio. The planet team has driven their company from a brilliant idea in a garage to one of the world's top ten overall space powers in less than three years, with customers, revenue, and the technological advantage commensurate with that position," says Matt Ocko, co-managing Partner of Data Collective.

Founded in 2010, Planet labs is an American company that aims to create an Earth-imaging satellite network with open data access. They design and build network of satellites they call it 'Doves'. In January 14, they have delivered Flock 1, which is world's largest Earth-imaging satellite made up of 28 doves. 

Source: TechCrunch, Image by Planet Labs

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Samsung releases Kernel Source Code for Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

April 12, 2015: Soon after the release of the most awaited Samsung's flagship device Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge on April 10, they had a good news for Android developers. Samsung released Kernel Source Code for numerous models of Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge which allows enthusiast developers community to alter the Android operating system.
                         
The strong community of Android developers usually releases the custom ROMs, kernels and themes which empower users to completely tailor their samsung operating experience as per their needs. With Samsung officially releasing it's kernel source code, enthusiast developers work got a bit more easier.

Now, what is this word Kernel? It's nothing but a heart of Android Operating system. It's act as a messenger which allows the software to communicate with hardware and viceversa. Whenever you click an app on your screen like camera, it will send a requests to kernel which translates the request into something the physical camera hardware on your phone understands and process accordingly. This happens in seconds, in some phones minutes, depends on how faster your phone processor frequency is.

Custom kernel developers creates their own version of kernel to make the devices work more faster and enable new features. 

The code was released on Samsung Open Source Release Center and it is available for following models: 

SM-G920F(S6 Global), SM-G920K(S6 Korea), SM-G920L(S6 Korea), SM-G920T_NA(S6 USA T-mobile), SM-G925F(S6 Edge Global), SM-G925K(S6 Edge Korea), SM-G925L(S6 Edge Korea), SM-G925S(S6 Edge Korea), SM-G925_NA(S6 Edge USA T-mobile).

Source: AndroidHeadlines.com

LG gets patent for Flexible Hybrid Phone-Watch Device

April 12, 2015: LG Electronics name is now included in the list of tech giants like Apple and Samsung for patenting a technology for flexible smartphone that could be used in connection with an attachable wristband accessory. Last week, US Patent and Trademark Office granted a Design Patent No.D726,140 to LG for phone-watch hybrid flexible device.
                      
The images on the design patent shows a slate flexible smartphone that curves backwards on the top and bottom. Although, there is no clear explanation in patent from LG on how the straight smartphone would be able to bend and stick to bracelet like accessory.
                     
Samsung in a bid to test it's flexible smartphone technology has introduced the curve display this year in Galaxy Edge while Apple is no behind, the company already own a patent for curved wide display based smartwatch. 
                     
Ambitious design patents not always turns into reality but it will be interesting to watch if LG can able to make this concept a reality, which could make LG a serious competitor against it's archrivals.

This reports are first emerged in PatentlyApple.com and AndroidPolice.com. 

Image Courtesy: US States Patent and Trademark Office

Video: This is how Apple Watch is manufactured

April 12, 2015: Apple is known for making devices which are way ahead of their predecessors in terms of quality and design precision. Apple shown already with their phones and computers that they leave no stone unturned when it comes to manufacturing their devices, earlier trends suggest they have pulled the similar feat on one of their most awaited wearable Apple Watch,which is slated to release on April 24.

Apple had given the task of manufacturing it's watch to Quanta, one of the global player in electronics industry. It has manufactured well-known devices like Amazon Kindle Fire and Apple iMacs. The taiwan based company in final stages of production of Apple's new smartwatch. Like most electronics makers, Quanta's factories are in Southern China.

Apple's one of the senior designer John Ive explains in the videos below the manufacturing process of Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Steel

"This watch is made from 140 individual parts..."


Apple Watch Sport - Aluminum:
"Our Engineers design a special alloy which is 60% stronger than normal alloy.."



Apple Watch Edition - Gold:

"Each case is handpolished to in immaculate sheen by highly skilled jewellery art designers.."


Saturday, 11 April 2015

France TV5Monde did gaffe on live television after cyber attack

April 11, 2015: After a day when France popular TV channel TV5Munde suffered a huge cyber attack by hackers claiming to be terror group ISIS, the channel in a major gaffe exposes login details of their social media accounts like Twitter, Youtube behind a journalist on a live television screen.
                     
The company in a statement told the BBC that the visible data was a one-off mistake and was not linked to the attack. The channel's tv station website, social media accounts was attacked last Wednesday.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls condemned the hack calling it unacceptable attack on  freedom of information.

The password were too blurry on screen to be visible but many users has cracked their Youtube channel password from the gaffe. A spokeswomen of the channel brushes off the incident tagging it as an isolated case of negligence. 

Source: BBC.com




Eight new tech companies to start their operations in Ireland Capital

April 11, 2015: As siliconrepublic.com reports, the eight fast-growing companies have located their operations at the Digital Hub in Ireland capital Dublin since the start of this year. The companies employed 17 people till now.
                         
The companies will join close to 90 digital enterprises already operating at the Digital Hub, which is located in state-of-the-art campus in the heart of Dublin city. 

Gerry Macken, Digital Hub CEO said: "There are now almost 650 people working in companies based at The Digital Hub, making us the largest cluster of digital media, technology and Internet businesses in Ireland. We're confident that 2015 will see a marked increases in the success and further growth of the new and existing Digital Hub companies."


Digital Hub is set up by Irish government in 2003 to foster innovation, technological development and creativity in a supportive, entrepreneurial environment.  

Source: SiliconRepublic.com

Apple in talks with Taylor Swift for Beats Music Exclusive

April 11, 2015: Apple is reportedly in talks with Taylor swift for Exclusive content. Apple seems to be looking out to offer exclusive releases from famous celebrities that you won't able to find anywhere, atleast for a limited period of time.
                    
As bloomberg reports, the folks in cupertino are in talks with Florence and the Machine, Taylor Swift and "more than a dozen" others about exclusive deals for its upcoming streaming service.

The report also says that the Beats Misic/iTunes subscription will cost $10/month with a $15 monthly family plan, lining it up with tidal, Spotify and Rdio in terms of cost.

Source: Engadget.com, Image by Dispatch.com

Friday, 10 April 2015

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge arrives in Ireland stores

April 10, 2015: The much anticipated Samsung flagship phone Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, which believes to position Samsung back in competition to face it's rival Apple's growing fan-base, arrives in Ireland now.
                           
The only bad news irishexaminer.com believes is, the stocks of the Galaxy Edge is fairly limited and it will be depend on Ireland's market demand to see how much it will effects the consumers. Here's how it priced in carphone warehouse:

Galaxy S6 (32 GB):

On Red (4G): Plan starts at €55 with unlimited texts, minutes, 5GB data and 100 International minutes for 24 month commitment. And if you pay €5 more each month, you will get extra 1GB with Netflix, Skysports Mob subscription and Spotify.

On Three: Plan starts at €40.66 with 350 Flexi units (1 Flexi units = 1min/2 texts) with all you can data and unlimited 3-to-3 calls for 24 months commitment. And if you pay €14.34 more, you will get unlimited Flexi units.

Galaxy S6 Edge (64 GB):

On Red (4G): Plan starts at €55 with unlimited texts, minutes, 5GB data and 100 International minutes for 24 month commitment. And if you pay €5 more each month, you will get extra 1GB with Netflix, Skysports Mob subscription and Spotify.

On Three: Plan starts at €40.66 with 350 Flexi units (1 Flexi units = 1min/2 texts) with all you can data and unlimited 3-to-3 calls for 24 months commitment. And if you pay €14.34 more, you will get unlimited Flexi units.

Open to All Networks:

Galaxy S6 (32 GB):

Vodafone: €679.99
Meteor: €679.99
Emobile: €679.99
Three: €669.99

Galaxy S6 Edge (64 GB):

Vodafone: €949.99
Meteor: €889.99
Emobile: €889.99
Three: €879.99

For more info, visit the carphone warehouse website.

Image by DigitalTrends


UAE sees increase in demand for IT products: Chamber of Commerce

April 10, 2015: As per the recent reports from the Dubai's Chamber of Commerce and Industry, UAE is seeing a steep increase in the demand of IT products and services. This could be due to the growth in the population and incomes of UAE residents.
                        
The report also states that the growth is largely driven by the IT requirements of businesses and families. The study was conducted mainly to evaluate the trends and expectations for UAE's IT and electronics market. 

The demand for computer products across the MENA region and South Asia being pointed in study as one of the reason which creates oppurtunity for UAE businesses to re-export to these regions. This has made Dubai one of the leading IT hub for the MENA region, says report.

The report further says: "The UAE computer and peripheral market achieved sales volume of about 2,900 units in 2014, and is set to increase by 6.5% to around 3,185 units by 2018, according to a report based on data from Euromonitor International. Within the coming three years the market is forecast to be valued at AED 3.37bn."

Source: ArabianIndustry.com, Image by FactInform.blogspot.com

Net Neutrality under threat in Europe and India

April 10, 2015: While Net Neutrality in United States will see the light of the day on this coming Monday with government's new net neutrality rules will be published on Federal Register, which prevents Internet providers from unfairly speeding up or slowing down certain favored web sites over others, but policy makers in other parts of the world, particularly in India and Europe, are considering the contrary rules against net neutrality which could hurt the consumers and start-up businesses.
                      
The European council consist of 28 countries members last month adopted a proposal that would allow telecommunication companies to charge Internet based enterprises like Netflix, Google to deliver their contents and videos faster than those smaller companies with lesser resources that cannot afford to pay.

In India, the country's telecommunication regulator asked for comments on whether it should consider adopting similar provision what European Union adopted. The regulator also asked if internet providers should charge extra fees for services like WhatsApp, Skype and Youtube on top of the fees people already pay for access to the internet.

This move in Europe and India draws flak from official sources and Internet activists. The internet activists in India organized a campaign against the regulators's proposal.

Chandrashekar, an independent member of the India's Upper house of parliament from Karnataka state, tweets his support for net neutrality: "#NetNeutrality ensures non-discriminatory access to services to all consumers, and is core to #DigitalIndia," he further adds, "too important to let private players to be the ones making the rules."

Recently, India's largest telecom company Bharti Airtel drop it's plan to charge Skype and Viber due to hue and cry on social media.

Source: Nytimes.com, Image by desiexpressonline.com

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

India's ecommerce giant Snapdeal acquires Freecharge

April 8, 2015: India's one of the leading ecommerce giant Snapdeal has reportedly acquired a online mobile recharging platform Freecharge. This latest acquisition by the company is believed to be a strategic move to strengthen it's online retail presence. The acquisition figures has not been officially disclosed yet but sources privy to details suggest it could be around $450 million in cash and stock.
                        
Snapdeal CEO Kunal Bal explains his reason behind his company's acquisition: "We want to target the new tsunami of users who are going to come on to the Internet. This (acquisition) improves our ability to acquire users at a significant ability at a very low cost."

The negotiation between the two companies lasted about a month before closing a deal. "Together we represent the largest mobile commerce company in the country now," said Bahl.

FreeCharge, founded in 2010 is an ecommerce website company based in Mumbai and it offers online facility to recharge any prepaid and postpaid mobile, DTH and data cards in India.

Source: Ecnomictimes.com, Image by Yourstory.com

Apple officially released iOS 8.3 update

April 8, 2015: After it's official release of Yosemite 10.10.3 for Mac users earlier today, Apple has released it's iOS 8.3 update for their mobile devices.
                            
The update as Apple claims will improve performance of Wifi and Bluetooth, App Launch, App responsiveness, Safari tabs, Control Center, 3rd-party keyboards, keyboard shortcuts and a new simplified chinese keyboard. 

The most notable feature of this update which grabs many headlines is it's racially diversified 300 new emojis. And Siri learned some new languages like Russian, Turkish etc.

And as usual, there are host of bug fixes and smaller tweaks as well.

Facebook unveils It's Messenger app for the web

April 8, 2015: Facebook seems to be storing lots of suprises in the days to come, soon after their F8 annual conference last month, Facebook unveils some of their key updates following weeks. Today, the tech giant launched it's standalone Facebook Messenger on the web.
                     
The current service of facebook messenger on it's website will continue and there will be separate messenger.com website too from where you can do messaging just like you do on you standalone mobile messenger app. Sounds complicated? Why two messengers you may be think, right? Well, Facebook wants you to experience your messaging experience with it's standalone web browser without bothering about your newsfeed and unrelated subway surfer notifications.

"Today, we're launching Messenger for web browsers - a standalone web chat product accesible via Messenger.com. Once logged in, people can dive directly into a dedicated desktop messaging experience, keeping their conversations going and picking up where they left off," says Facebook to VentureBeat.


Asia's tech giant Singtel acquires Chicago firm Trustwave for $810m

April 8, 2015: As techcrunch reports, the south asia's tech giant Singtel with over 500 million customer base acquires Chicago based cyber security firm Trustwave in a deal worth $810 million. As per the deal, Singtel will have 98% equity interest in the acquired company.
Based in Chicago, Trustwave offers services in threat, vulnerability and compliance management and has more than three million business subscribers. The company has presence in 26 countries including Europe, Asia-Pacific Region and North America. It operates five security operation centres and nine engineering centres. The chairman of the company will retain remaining two percent stake of the company.

Chua Sock Koong, Singtel Group CEO explains the reason behind the acquisition: "Our extensive customer reach and strong suite of ICT services, together with Trustwave's deep cybersecurity capabilities, will create a powerful combination and allow Singtel to capture global opportunities in the cybersecurity space."

Source: TechCrunch.com

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

This smart lock lets you in with a simple knock

April 7, 2015: Cold evening, you came back home after a long day of work only to realise that you've forgotten your keys in your office desk and there is no one inside home. Yes, l've been through this and i'm sure most of you. Life throws you in situations where you feel helpless, to make your life a bit easier, Candy house cames up with an idea. An idea of simple smart lock which works through an app to open door or just with a knock pattern. One click or one knock, and that's it, it opens for you.
                            
There are no dearth of smart locks but almost all of them want you to bring out your phone or enter a code to get in. Sesame, a smart lock lets you get in with a secret knock on either your door or your phone. The device fits on your single cylinder existing deadbolt within seconds without any tools required. And an optional WiFi bridge gives you both remote access as well as an option to determine which friends are allowed inside. The battery lasts about 500 days and sends notification when the battery is low. The simplicity is the unique selling point of this product.

This is a crowfunded project featured on Kickstarter and it has been backed by 5481 backers till now amounting $902,200 till now. The pledge goal was for $100,000 and it surpassed it's goal by huge margin.

If you like their idea, you can back them here at Kickstarter.


Charge your mobile phone in one minute with this battery

April 7, 2015: With technology, we have been able to bring an entire universe on our palm. Whether to shop or to browse work emails, our life is now depend on smartphone. But, charging doesn't last as long as we expect it to be, and charging back full too take at least 30 minutes to an hour for a lithium battery. So, scientists at Stanford University came up with an innovative idea to solve this problem, they have developed a new type of aluminum-ion battery that charges just in one minute. How cool is that?


Hongie Dai, professor of chemistry at Stanford, said: "We have developed a rechargeable aluminium battery that may replace existing storage devices, such as alkaline batteries, which are bad for the environment, and lithium-ion batteries, which occasionally burst into flames." He further adds, "Our new battery won't catch fire, even if you drill through it. Lithium batteries can go off in an unpredictable manner - in the air, the car or in your pocket."

Apart from safety factors, the scientist claims it will transform the battery performance with "unprecedented charging time" down to one minute.

"Another feature of the aluminium battery is flexibility. You can bend it and fold it, so it has the potential for use in flexible electronic device. Aluminium is also a cheaper metal than lithium.", says Ming Gong, co-lead author of the journal Nature study published in his article.

Watch the video to know more:


Source: SkyNews.com



Monday, 6 April 2015

Facebook app to integrate WhatsApp soon

April 6, 2015: After major annoucements in their last month's F8 conference, Facebook seems to be having too many ideas to implement in coming days. As per the early reports emerged in GeekTime, Facebook reportedly testing a new WhatsApp integration in it's Facebook app on Android platform. This will allow users to share the facebook content on whatsApp.
The next version of Facebook app on android will be 31.0.0.7.13 and it comes with an integrated whatsApp icon on all facebook posts. The update is yet to be announced officially, we will update you as it comes. 

Facebook acquired WhatsApp last year for $19 billion. This is the first move by the company to interlink their acquistion with the parent platform.

Source: GeekTime

This American gave up his Cambridge Scholarship to launch his car rental app in India

April 6, 2015: It was in 2013 after completion of his graduation, David Back got a full scholarship in business school at the Cambridge University. But, an idea strikes his mind that he never thought will change his fortune forever. He along with his friend Greg Moran gave up their scholarships to move to India to pursue their dream startup. And the idea was about a car rental app and they named it 'Zoom Car.'
                           
They have launched 'Zoom Car' official operations in 2013 with just seven cars. Within less than a year, their company operates more than 250 cars in Banglore. Zoom collabrated with the auto manufacturers like Ford and Mahindra which allowed them to become the first car rental company in India to offer an electric vehicle. They also work with local real estate developers, universities, hotels and corprate IT parks for secure parking for their vehicles and to provide convinient pick-up points for their customers.

David could've settled for a much easier idea for his startup by launching any ecommerce website or a photo sharing app, but he choosen a less travelled path and he explains why, "Zoomcar is both an oppurtunity to build a $1 billion company and at the same time have a big impact. It gives people an alternative to private car ownership - that means fever cars on the road and fewer total miles driven. This allow us to play a part in helping mitigate global climate change."

He further explains why the demand for rental car service will increase in years to come "While the price of cars is coming is coming down, driver wages are going up much faster than inflation because now drivers have an oppurtunity to drive for all the different companies with taxi apps like Uber, Olacabs, and so on. This trend favours renting self-driven cars significantly."

The unique selling point of this startup is everything will be done through app. The app has a 'mobilizer' which sends a signal to unlock the car once the check out is done. There's no driver from company involved in this process. Pick up points can be parking areas of your nearby hotel or university, malls or parks.

The rental starts at INR 19 ($0.3) per hour which covers entire trip cost like fuel, insurance, roadside assistance and tax. Zoomcar app is available on both iOS and Android platform.

Zoomcar owns 900 vehicles at this time at about 100 locations across banglore, delhi and pune. The company owns 600 cars financed by bank loans. They claim to have completed 60,000 bookings till this date.

The company is serious about it's expansion, "In the next four months, we plan to enter Chennai, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. We will also more than double our fleet to 2,000 vehicles," says Back.

Source: TechInAsia.com

Apple latest patent hints next iPhone could be waterproof

April 6, 2015: Apple latest patent has a good news for selfie lovers and miley cyrus fans, you could take your iPhone in near future for bath selfies. Apple rolling out one new idea after another. Last month, Apple gets a patent for light splitting technology for iPhone camera, now they get patent for 'Water Tight iDevice Buttons.'
As per the Patently Apple reports, the company's latest patent shows a design for liquid impermeable buttons, which hints that Apple eyeing for a waterproof device in near future. The new button technology would include a sealed, waterproof layer that prevents water and unwanted material (like dirt or sand) from getting inside the phone, similar to the devices like Sony Xperia Z2 or Galaxy S5.

You can read the detailed report about the patent here at Patently Apple.

Source: Popsugar.com

Report allegedly claims Samsung hired 500 fake fans to present at Galaxy S6 launch in China, Samsung denies

April 6, 2015: Samsung seems to be taking some extreme public relation measures to give tough competition to Apple. As per the latest reports came out from Shanghai, Samsung allegedly paid 500 fake fans to pose at their recent event for launch of their flagship model Samsung S6 and S6 Edge. The complete attendance for the event was 1000 out of which the report claims half of them are fake. The undisclosed person who allegedly recruited the fans on behalf of Samsung claims that the company was looking for people under 30 who look like students. They had been paid $4.80 for at least an hour of attendance.
The fans had also been told to pose a real fans and asked to tell press that they present at event because they love Samsung phones. Many fans has been recruited through an ad in popular chinese messenger app WeChat. Every hired person should post a picture, phone number and name on WeChat. They also had to 'like' Samsung Galaxy Baidu page. Although, Samsung denies these reports terming it as total groundless and bogus.

In a statement released from Samsung today morning through it's blog, the company said: "Our findings have indicated that under no circumstances has anyone hired or give money to attend the event. In fact, more than 1,100 attendees, including consumers and industry officials, have all been formally invited to the Shanghai Culture Square where the event took place."

Source:WantChinaTimes

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Samsung S6 Edge is as bendable as iPhone 6 Plus, more likely to break:Report

April 5, 2015: Apple's iPhone 6 Plus when it was released last year created a ruckus on social media for it's infamous bendgate, this time Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge went through a similar test and results seems to be more negative than it was with iPhone 6 plus.
                       
San francisco based extended warrantly service provided SquareTrade has came out with an interesting video showing Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge being put through a bend test alongside the iPhone 6 Plus and HTC One M9.

The results shows Galaxy S6 Edge bends as much as iPhone 6 Plus but the samsung's flagship model breaks into pieces when excessive pressure applied unlike it's rival Apple model. The video also shows the similar test being done on HTC M9.

The iPhone 6 Plus bending pressure is 110 pounds and breaking point is at 179 pounds. While Galaxy S6 Edge bends at 110 pounds and it also cracks at this point, and when 140 pounds pressure applied, it breaks into pieces.

The test was carried out by SquareTrade using 'Bend Bots', the machine used for applying pressure on smartphones to test it's durability and strength. 

When it was Apple under criticism for it's Bendgate design flaw, Samsung was the first to take potshots with viral memes, it will be interesting to see how Apple will respond to the samsung's similar desig flaw. Will they give samsung the taste of their own medicine? Stay tune, we'll keep you updated.

Source: NDTV.com

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Startup's inspiring box brings classrooms to villages without electricity or internet

April 4, 2015: Education has always played a pivotal roles in society, from changing the mindset to improving the standard of living. Education bought a much needed sanity to an otherwise messed up world. Spreading the education in under-developed and developing nations has always been the challenge, although awareness in recent years bought people towards education. But lack of resources has made parents to pull their children's towards work at very young age. Those tiny hands supposed to carry the pen are serving the tea. Five students at Oberlin College found an opportunity in this global challenge, they took the task in their hands to make a meaningful impact on global education, so they came up with an idea to connect classrooms across the world through a Bright Orange Box and a video Pen-Pal program and they named it LumenEd.
                         

What is Bright Orange Box?
The Bright Orange Box is a 7 inch touchscreen box with 500 lumen projecting capability. The box has ability to record 1080p videos from it's back camera and dual microphones. The box has inbuilt WiFi and 3G GSM Modem which can act as a router to provide internet to classrooms in remote locations. This provide unique opportunity for the 90% of classrooms in developing countries without internet. The inbuilt 77Wh battery provides back up of 3 hours and can charge through solar charging unit or traditional wall unit. 
                           
The video Pen Pal program allows to connect the classrooms across the globe like never before through the short and simple videos they can record and share from box. This also allow students explore cultural similarities and differences both inside and outside the classroom. Developed nations can share the videos through their iOS and Android devices from their classrooms through a simple app.

LumenEd will become an another case study of how technology has changed the face and contours of modern 21st century teaching and learning if their idea succeeds.

Their New Bright Box scheduled to enter the classrooms in India, Ghana and Senegal in Summer 2015. Their pilot program in New Delhi in collaboration with 'Teach for India' already doing wonders.

If you like their idea and want to help them succeed, you can support them here on Kickstarter.



HTC M9 up for pre-order at Best Buy Canada

April 4, 2015: HTC's flagship device M9 will be available in Canada on April 17th across the different carriers. The pre-orders will be up at Videotran, Rogers, Bell, Koodo, TELUS, SaskTel and WIND mobile.
                                   
Good news for those who like to grab at the earliest, canada's popular retailer Best Buy made pre-orders live already on Rogers, Bell and TELUS. At the moment, Rogers and Bell only have the gunmetal grey version while TELUS will also have on silver model. The phone will be priced at $199 on a 2-year contract or $750 without commitment.

HTC M9 comes up with a 5-inch Super LCD3 display, with 1920 x 1080 pixels. The processor will be new 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 with four cores clocked at 1.5GHz.

Source: MobileSyrup.com

Apple Watch pre-orders starts on April 10 at 12:01am PDT

April 4, 2015: As NextWeb.com reports, the Apple Watch exact time for pre-orders starts at 12:01am PDT and we already know the schedule date is April 10.
Earlier, Apple just released the date but timing is confirmed as 12:01am PDT now. It's important to note the exact timing for someone who want to buy at the earliest because it may sold out within hours of it's release. The pre-orders are usually simultaneous across regions so that will be likely to be same for Apple Watch. The time will be 3:01am on the East Coast, 8:01am in the UK.

The prices for aluminum sport model begin at $349, standard steel model at $549 and the cheapest among all, $10,000 for the gold edition series. It will hit the stores officially on April 24.


Friday, 3 April 2015

The Irish Sun unveils New Sports Pack for Web and Mobile

April 3, 2015: The Irish Sun officially launched its new Irish Sun Sports Pack which offers subscribers exclusive highlights and content across multiple sports, reports irishtechnews.
                             
This pack is announced with the help of Dublin hurler Danny Sutcliffe and footballer Sinead Goldrick. The sports pack will feature highlights from the GAA Hurling and Football championship and the National Allianz Leagues, in addition to videos, news and exclusive match reports.

The Irish Sun global GAA deal allow subscribers across the globe an access to 85 league and championship matches each year on their brand new mobile app, which is available on both iOS and android platform.

And subscribers of this sports pack gets full access to official highlights from every premier league, Champions League, SPFL, FA Cup and Europe League game along with UFC content and the offers.

The subscribers get free for first month with no commitment, and then €4.99 per month from there on. The subscription can be used on any smartphone or tablets.

To avail free 30 days free trail, sign up at www.thesun.ie/join

Source: IrishTechNews

Electronic Flight Bag saves 50% printing cost for Gulf Air

April 3, 2015: The kingdom of Bahrain's flagship carrier Gulf Air rolls out a new kit for their pilots what they describe as 'Electronic Flight Bag'. This service was announced last year by the company.
                         
This allows pilots to use iPad loaded with essential flight documents instead of carrying paper-based materials. Usually pilots has to carry heavy flight bags containing flight plans, aircraft manuals and navigational charts as formal requirement to complete the journey. The introduction of Electronic flight bag reduces the carriers's cost of printing by almost 50% and made pilot's lives a bit easier.

Dr Jassim Haji, Director of IT at Gulf Air, said to itp.net in his statement: "Those paper-based manuals are heavy, very time consuming to update and maintain, and costly," He further adds, "The pilots also need navigational charts as part of the flying process, which are traditionally printed on large papers. These are not easy to use in the small cockpit. Essentially, these traditional approaches for using paper-based materials are not convenient, and such heavy materials burn more fuel."

While other airlines buy the services like this from third party companies, Gulf Air build and developed electronic flight bag in-house, so that it could be totally integrated with the airline's infrastructure.

According to Dr Haji, the project succeeded in making pilots' lives easier. And Gulf has serious financial gains with this move, he explains. The airline has seen a 50% saving on printing costs- around 500,000 sheets per year, amounting to $1.5 million.

Read the full case study on this deployment in the April 1st issue of Arabian Computer News.

Source: itp.net 




Microsoft launched it's scanning app Office Lens on iOS

April 3, 2015: Microsoft seems to be taking iOS platform too seriously, many of their popular apps like MS word, excel, powerpoint has already been launched last year on iOS. Now, they've launched their scanning app Office lens on iPhone and iPad.
                     
Previously, it was only available for windows users. The app description reads: "Office lens trims, enhances, abd makes pictures of whiteboards and documents readable. Office lens can convert images to editable Word, Powerpoint and PDF files."

Here are the few of the app features:

• With Whiteboard mode, Office lens trims and cleans up glare and shadows.

• With Document mode, Office lens trims and colors images perfectly.

• Pictures can be saved to OneNote, OneDrive or preferre cloud storage.

• Choose to convert images to Word (.docx), Powerpoint (.pptx) or PDF (.pdf) files that are automatically saved to OneDrive.

The app is now avaialble for free in App Store.


Thursday, 2 April 2015

Hyperkin turns iPhone 6 Into a Game Boy

April 2, 2015: What started as a April Fool joke on Monday on reddit turns out to be a real concept, Hyperkin announced with it's official press release about it's upcoming innovative product named 'Smart Boy', which turns iPhone 6 into a a functioning Game Boy.
                             
As reported by businessinsider, the Smart Boy will allow people to insert their iPhone 6 into the device, giving them access to physicial controls such as an 8-way D pad and four buttons designed to mimic the A, B, select, and start buttons found on the original Game Boy.

What considers to be the standout feature is Smart Boy can also works with original Game Boy and Game Boy game catridges, which will slot into the back of the device.

Chris Gallizi, Hyperkin's product developer said: "We wanted to create retro device that can be easily adapted into any modern gamer's arsenal of devices."

The device will have it's own battery and use iPhone screen as monitor to display the game with the help of it's dedicated iOS app. Android users has to wait a bit more as the developers work on android platform is still in progress.

There is no official date of release yet, we will update as it comes. Stay tune.

Source: BusinessInsider.com

Canada based start-up brings home lights control on your smartphone

April 2, 2015: The Canada based start-up Circuit Utility Basic Systems brings their ambitious project 'Flipswitch' for funding on kickstarter. Flipswitch connects directly to your smartphone through bluetooth and it will bring full control of your home lights in your hand.
                         
The company claims to provide an alternative economical solution to complicated and expensive home automation. The entire system will run through smartphone with no additional servers or controlling unit required.  
                         
Flipswitch is enabled with a special omni-direction antenna which helps signals transmit and receive 360 degree. Their test has proven flipswitch to be more efficient than Wifi hub.

The switch will come with an official app and plans to develop following functions: 

• 7 days timer
• Remote On/Off
• Flip mode (please see Personal Customization)
• Sleep Mode
• Proximity sensor
• Simple Interface
• Scan rate (less battery draining)
• Alarm mode

If you like the idea, you can fund them here on Kickstarter.

Watch the video to know more:

Unitus Seed Fund holding competition for Indian Edtech startups

April 2, 2015: The Seattle and Banglore based company Unitus Seed Fund is holding a series of competition for Indian Edtech Startups, in collabration with a Banglore based accelerator Sylvant Advisors. There will be two winners for each compeitition, and the winner will get chance to pitch their idea for seed funding of US$160,000 from Unitus.
                         
There will be three competitions, the first competition was concluded on 27th March, which was an online pitchfest with viewers in the US and India. Over 100 Edtech startups participated, and LabInApp and Math Adventures emerged as the winners of the first competition. 

The winner LabInApp is a real time 3D virtual laboratory to help students and teachers perform or demonstrate their science experiment online. And the runner up Math Adventures is an activity based learning platform for mathematics.

Will Poole, Managing Partner of Unitus Seed Fund, says: "India has a US$100 billion for-profit education market. A huge number of firms have launched in the past 10 years, yet the quality and longetivity of their products or service is far from uniform. We believe that upcoming "edupreneurs" need expert mentoring, and a dynamic network community."

The next round of competition is scheduled on 15 May and the last one will be held on september 2015.

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