Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sony PSP Successor NGP Game Console Showed

Sony PSP Successor NGP Game Console Showed

Sports 5-inch OLED touchscreen, 3G, Wi-Fi, dual-analog sticks, dual cameras and dual touchpads

At the Sony Computer event at Tokyo, company CEO Kaz Hirai announced the PlayStation Portable 2 game console codenamed NGP. Looks like NGP stands for Next-Generation PlayStation. Packing a 5-inch OLED screen, this new generation PSP game console is curvaceous at its corners. This handheld game console has touchscreen on the front panel and two touchpads on its back panel. Hirai noted that this NGP game console would be released in Japan by year-end.

Kaz Hirai, told that the NGP will offer five new features:
- Revolutionary User Interface.
- Social Connectivity.
- Location-based Entertainment.
- Converging Real and Virtual (augmented reality).
- PlayStation Suite Compatibility.

PlayStation Portable 2 game console offers a 5-inch OLED touchscreen supporting 960x544 pixel resolution which is four times that of the current generation PSP. On the body, NGP carries dual-analog sticks - one on each side of the screen. The action buttons and D-pad have been pushed higher to accommodate the analog sticks. Guess what? These dual-analog sticks promise you DualShock experience just like the ones in DualShock controllers for PS3.

Just above the Action buttons, lies a front facing camera. Another camera lies on the top center at the back of the console. At the back, there are twin-touch pads that will let you interact with the console more effectively and enjoy the gameplay of the upcoming games for the same. Sony seems to have brought back Flash Cards for the game as the NGP will accommodate one. Physically, NGP is larger than the PSP3000.

Internally, Sony's new NGP game console is claimed to come with a faster processor but details of the same aren't divulged as yet. Also, the game console will have motion sensors and gyro sensor to add more fun while gaming as you can tilt and move the NGP game console as you play different interactive games. The shoulder buttons continue to exist but have been sliced to appear more lean.

- CPU: ARM Cortex -A9 core (4 core)
- GPU: SGX543MP4 (4 core)
- Dimensions: 182mm x 18.6mm x 83.5mm (Widthxheightxdepth)
- Screen: 5-inch OLED capacitive, 16:9 aspect ratio, 960x544 pixel resolution
- Touchpads: Capacitive
- Cameras: Front and rear
- Sound: Built in stereo speaker with grills on front and built-in mic
- Sensor: three-axis accelerometer, three-axis gyroscopic sensor and three-axis compass
- Location: Built-in GPS
- Wireless: 3G Network, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (infra and Ad Hoc) and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR

As you can see, the NGP sports a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 based powerful CPU and quad-core SGX543MP4 powerful GPU to support high quality graphics.

New NGP will also sport a totally different and fresh user interface that will carry circular icons arranged in a honeycomb-like grid style. In NGP, you have to swipe the display to browse between different home pages for app shortcuts, just like you do in Android smartphones. Once a game gets installed, it appears as an app icon (just like in smartphones) and users need to swipe through the different homescreens for accessing the game or app they wish to use.

The NGP game console also supports 3G Networks and I wonder how it is going to work for countries like India. We hope the Wi-Fi version will work like a charm as always.

Sony NGP brings a new LiveArea UI which is dubbed as game-oriented communication platform. Basically, it's a User Interface that will let you multi-task while you are gaming. You will be able to comment on or track your friends' activities in real-time. The Near App offers you the list of most popular games near your area. Not only that, users can also browse the nearby users based on map of avatars. Once you tap on a particular avatar, you can see the games that that particular user plays. And of course, you can rate the games.

Sony indeed has introduced a true successor to PlayStation Portable and has also raised the bar of portable gaming for rival Nintendo as well as fiercely popular Apple iOS platfrom. As of now, the official price of the gaming console hasn't been announced but we may expect it to be announced at the Game Developers Conference starting February 28.

(Images: AV Watch, Japan)

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Sunday, January 30, 2011 by NEWS · 0

NEW DELHI: The Apple iPad is finally here! Starting Friday, you can visit the nearest Apple retailer (or iStore) and pick up the tablet you've always wanted. The starting price of Rs 27,990 will most likely make Apple aficionados rub their hands in delight. The base version of the iPad (16 GB, wi-fi only) has been selling at Rs 33,000 in the grey market and on online stores.

Apple iPad

iPad has earned the title of the fastest selling gadget ever. In less than a year of its launch, it has sold nearly 15 million units, earning close to $10 billion in revenue. The iPad launch was announced in the US exactly a year ago (January 27, 2010), though it only went on sale in April 2011. Since then, the iPad has single-handedly reinvented the tablet market.

Though not through Apple, iPad has been on sale in India since August 2010, mostly through the grey market. Several e-commerce websites also started selling the device subsequently. Analysts peg the total number of iPads in India currently at about 40,000 units. This includes sales through the grey market, online sales or those who simply purchased the device abroad.

Not only is the India launch of the iPad delayed (it was launched in Hong Kong & Singapore as far back as July 2010) but the iPad 2, due out in a couple of months, is rumored to have dual cameras, a higher resolution 'retina' display and a faster processor. Add that to the increasing competition from other tablet makers like Samsung, Motorola and BlackBerry and your choice becomes confusing- wait for iPad 2 or pick up a non-Apple device that packs in more features.

Like elsewhere in the world, an entire ecosystem is getting created around the iPad. Accessories for Apple products is a flourishing industry and various accessories for the iPad have been available for the past few months at electronics stores and e-commerce sites.

BSNL has announced 3G plans specifically for the iPad while Airtel, Vodafone and Idea have been selling micro SIM cards (for 3G versions) for some time.

In all, there are six versions of the iPad available; capacities of 16, 32 or 64GB in a choice of Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi + 3G. The 16GB Wi-Fi only version will be priced at Rs 27,990 while the top of the line 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G version will be priced at Rs 44,990.

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MSI WindPad 100W Hits India for Rs. 34,990

MSI WindPad 100W Hits India for Rs. 34,990

Runs Windows 7 Home Premium, houses Intel Mobile CPU, and has dual-cameras

Just after the announcement of Apple iPad for India, MSI has announced WindPad 100W tablet with Microsoft Windows 7 running on it for India. WindPad 100W tablet packs Intel Mobile Processor and has dual-cameras capable of video chat. We already have Google Android based Samsung Galaxy Tab in the country at price of Rs. 28,000 and iPad is available starting Rs. 27,900. While India s so far the first Windows 7 based tablet comes at premium price of Rs.34,990 and makes us say what were they thinking.

Although HP has introduced Windows 7 loaded Slate 500 tablet but it's yet to reach Indian shores officially. Now MSI had taken up the opportunity and introduced the 10.-inch display bearing WindPad 100W. This Windows 7 based tablet houses Intel Mobile CPU, 2GB DDR2 RAM, and 32GB SSD for storage. The 10.1-inch touchscreen display supports 1024x600 pixel resolution.

WindPad 100W carries MSI developed WindTouch user interface to support the touch function.

Processor: Intel Mobile Processor
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium
Memory: DDR-II 2GB
Display: 10.1-inch 1024 x 600 (with touch function)
Storage: 32GB (SSD)
IO ports: 1xUSB, 1xmini HDMI, DC in, H/P out, SD card reader
Cameras: 2 cameras
WLAN: WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Dimension: 274x173x18.5 mm
Weight: 800g (with battery)
Battery Life: Over 6 hours
Exclusive Apps: MSI WindTouch, EasyFace, Taskbar Magnifier Tool, Photo EasyViewer
Other Features: Supports Multi-Touch, Screen Rotate, Light Sensor Detect, G-sensor

With Apple iPad just hitting the shores and Android based Galaxy Tab already available, we d like to know how many would go for WindPad 100W. There s no war of OSes in India per se but it s good to know that all major OS based tablets are made available in India.

WindPad Back

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Samsung launches latest smartphone

Samsung on Friday launched its latest smartphone ‘Wave II' (S8530), which is based on the ‘bada' platform, the company's own proprietary operating system. “The ‘bada' platform has been designed as a fully integrated platform that supports cutting-edge applications and services. The launch of Wave II represents our efforts to grow this platform further. It enhances the consumers' smartphone experience with advanced entertainment, communication, push e-mail, display and superior usability,” said Samsung India Head (Mobile and IT) Ranjit Yadav.

“With the launch of Wave II, Samsung's mobile phone offering of the ‘bada' platform in the Wave series has been expanded to include five models in the price range between Rs.8,800 and Rs.20,900,” Mr. Yadav said. ‘Wave II ‘ comes with a 5 mega pixel camera with flash LED and a battery which provides 15 hours of talk-time on 2G network and 8 hours of talk-time on 3G.

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20 top scientists quit DRDO in 6 months

BANGALORE: In a severe blow to the already shrinking number of researchers in defence laboratories across the nation, 20 top scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) have quit their jobs in the last six months.

With the economy looking up and IT sector beginning to hire in a big way, defence scientists are opting for better opportunities. Scientists working in the field of computer science, electronics and communications are the most sought after by the private sector, as per DRDO records.

Vijaykumar Saraswath, scientific adviser to defence minister A K Antony, said on Friday: "In the last six months, I have signed about 20 resignations of top scientists. We are losing scientists from our labs and IT sector is picking them up. There were no such en masse resignations in the last two years."

To retain the bright scientists, he said "we need to have good HR policies, which are now in place,", he added.
But there is hope. A large number of young NRI science graduates are approaching DRDO for work. "Also, there are a lot of youngsters from our own universities who have shown interest in pursuing research. We are looking forward to recruiting youngsters," said Saraswat.

In 2008, when 285 scientists had resigned over the span of three years, defence minister A K Antony had promised incentives to arrest the attrition rate in DRDO. The proposed incentives included providing career enhancement opportunities to scientists by granting them study leaves.

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Motorola Defy: Motorola Defy Specifications and Price Revealed

Motorola Defy: Motorola has launched its latest device as Motorola Defy. Motorola Defy is available in India for Rs 18,000. Motorola Defy runs on Google’s Android 2.1 operating system.

Motorola Defy: Motorola Defy Specifications and Price Revealed

Motorola Defy is having specifications such as 512MB RAM, 2GB of internal storage, 5 mega pixel camera with digital zoom, auto focus, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, houses 800MHz CPU, 800Mhz Texas Instruments OMAP 3610 processor and 540mAh battery which gives 6.8 hours of battery backup.

Motorola Defy can access to social networking site such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Motorola Defy provides Google services such as Gmail, Calender and Gtalk. There are no other details about this device.

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MNP: Idea gets more; Reliance, BSNL loss

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Mumbai, Jan 30: The early figures after the launch of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) show that Abhishek Bahchan's campaigns to woo the subscribers have positively worked for Idea Cellular. It became the biggest gainer with a net gain of 12,300 subscribers in just eight days.

Buzz up!
MNP was launched across the country on Jan 20 which allows users to change their service providers while retaining their numbers. The figures made available by telecom companies to the Department of Telecommunications revealed the gain and loss for different service providers in India.

Here is the major shifts after MNP launch:

* Idea bagged a net gain of 12,300 subscribers. (Net gain is the difference between the number of subscribers who left and those who joined)
* Vodafone Essar got a net addition of 11,252 subscribers
* Aircel settled at third position with 3,389 net additions
* Airtel manged to get only 94 customers
* Reliance Communications lost 9,837 subscribers and 192 decided to join it
* BSNL also lost many of its subscribers.

How to switch between operators:
* The subscriber, who likes to avail this service, need to send a SMS from his mobile to 1900.
* Once the customer sends SMS, he will be receiving a unique porting code from the current service provider.
* Then he need to fill the application in a particular format and mention the new service provider, the customer would like to subscribe for.
* The new service provider will collect the information about the user from the current operator. A time period of seven days will be taken for the complete transfer of mobile number to the network of the new mobile operator.
* As a transformation charge for the new operator the subscriber has to pay the amount of Rs 19.

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Facebook becoming more secure

HOUSTON: In order to stay safe and protect users from getting hacked, the popular social networking site Facebook is rolling out a new set of security features.

Facebook, with over 500-million members, has added the ability for users to login and surf the site using a more secure encrypted connection, known as HTTPS.

The encryption is the same used on shopping and banking websites to secure connections, and was previously used on Facebook when passwords are checked.Justify Full

"Starting today we'll provide you with the ability to experience Facebook entirely over HTTPS. You should consider enabling this option if you frequently use Facebook from public Internet access points found at coffee shops, airports, libraries or schools," the company said in a blog post.

Facebook noted that the site may function more slowly using HTTPS, and some features, including many third-party applications, don't currently support HTTPS.

In addition to the added encryption, Facebook said it will now also offer "social authentification," a unique form of the traditional "captcha" coding that will ask a user to identify Facebook friends from their photos.

The two new security features promise to prevent Wi-Fi hackers from fraudulently accessing accounts.

Facebook already uses HTTPS when users log into an external site through Facebook Connect.

Your password, which gets sent back to Facebook from the third party site, remains encrypted.

This will now be extended to user activity within the site itself.

IT experts can already overcome internet security issues by adding third-party security measures and forcing an encrypted connection.

However, Facebook's decision to make full-session encryption a default setting for all users will remove the burden from those that are less aware of Wi-Fi hackers.

Facebook uses captchas to authenticate users when they log in from a country that is not associated with their account.

However, this is now being replaced in favour of a new photo-matching system.

Users will be faced with three photos of one of their Facebook friends, and will have to correctly identify them from a list of six friends' names.

"Hackers halfway across the world might know your password, but they don't know who your friends are," says Facebook engineer Alex Rice.

Rice admits inevitable drawbacks to the new security measures.

Page loading speed will take a hit under HTTPS and many third-party apps are not HTTPS enabled.

Social network users that that collect friends by the thousand may also have difficulty identifying photos of friends at random, and friends who have cartoons or 'lookalikes' tagged under their name could be unidentifiable.

HTTP settings will not change automatically, so users can opt in or out of the new feature.

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Cellphone offers clue to your personality

MELBOURNE: Believe it or not, mobile phones say quite a lot about their owners, says a new study.

Social analyst David Chalke said a person's mobile phone could give outsiders insight into their attitudes towards work, rest and play.

"Twenty years ago when you said 'your phone', you meant the white Telecom commander on the wall in the kitchen, but it doesn't mean that at all now it means your social accessory. In fact, a research by Roy Morgan revealed most attributes differed between owners of mobile phone brands.

The iPhone users thinks computers give them control over their lives. "iPhone is the Alfa Romeo," Chalke said. SonyEricsson users like a full social life. LG users are women aged 14 to 24. Samsung users tend to be conservative dressers over 50. "Samsung is the Daihatsu." Blackberry users are high-earners aged 35 to 49. Nokia users are unlikely to be aged 14 to 24 and less likely to have played arcade video games in the past three months, according to him. "Nokia is the security blanket."

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Huayra launches £860,000 flying machine

SM Motors - Pagani Huara

Is NOW the right time to launch an £860,000 hypercar? Probably not, but ­Pagani clearly think it is.

A replacement for the iconic Zonda, the Huayra is powered by AMG’s trusty bi-turbo 6.0 V12, good for up to 730bhp.

Top speed is 230, with 60 coming up in just over three seconds. ­Keeping all that power tidy is a Bosch three-stage traction control system.

There’s a seven-speed paddle-shift box mounted transversely behind the engine, kerb weight is just 1350kg and the whole plot, including those fabulous gullwing doors, is made of carbon fibre wrapped around a carbon titanium skeleton.

Uniquely, Pagani say the body ­actually changes shape like an aircraft wing to reduce aerodynamic drag, with four movable air flaps that can be manually or ­automatically ­operated. If that’s not enough, you can even adjust the front ride height to control air flow under the car at speed and during hard braking.

The Huayra’s tour de force, though, is its heavily chromed baroque interior, which glitters like a Bond Street ­jeweller’s window.

And Pagani are really bullish, planning to invade the US and Chinese markets, doubling ­annual production and even opening an entire new factory this year.

Double dips aside, we should be heartened by the fact that there are plenty of people out there for whom £860,000 for a weekend toy is a mere bagatelle. Apparently they are known as wealth creators.

by NEWS · 0

Mass Defect

Considering that the first Mass Effect game was exclusive to the Xbox 360 and PC it was obvious that PS3 owners would miss out on the sequel as well. However the fine folks at EA and Bioware thought otherwise and have brought this galactic adventure to Sony’s black box with a few extras to keep it up to speed.

While Xbox 360 and PC owners have the option of importing their Mass Effect 1 save file to see how decisions made in the first game tie-in here, the PS3 version gets an interactive comic, a sort of a digital “Choose Your Own Adventure” book to make a few key decisions that would impact the game world and introduce you to the series.

Also it includes all the downloadable missions on the disc itself adding around 6 hours more to your playtime.
In spite of all these upgrades and bonuses to accommodate the PS3, Mass Effect 2 feels like a quick and dirty port for a lot of reasons. For starters, there’s a lengthy hour long installation process onto your PS3 hard drive, hilarious considering that it’s only a 5GB install.

In order to access the interactive comic you need to download 676MB worth of data, which is preposterous given that it could fit on the disc itself.

Even more preposterous are some of the bugs present. In some scenes the game ran slower than a powerpoint presentation, yes it literally crawled. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a nasty glitch that corrupts your save file, forcing you to restart the game from the beginning. In short, it’s a mess only compounded by the fact that the manual is four sparse rags of paper, shoddily done in the name of saving the environment.

If you somehow manage to overlook these flaws you’d appreciate the streamlined approach.For instance, all the throwbacks to older role-playing games such as detailed menus, character statistics and levels have all been culled to their bare essentials.

Your character only gains experience after missions, the dialog system is realistic and you don’t have to worry about clunky vehicular controls. Include a better, cleaner interface and combat that has more in common with Gears of War and you have a sequel that has more in common with The Empire Strikes Back than Transformers 2.
And there’s a solid story too, without spoiling much you’re back from a more than certain death, have to traverse the far reaches of the galaxy in a brand new spaceship and recruit a motley crew of aliens, humans and robots in what would culminate to be a suicide mission to save the universe.

Minus every possible technical niggle and idiotic design call this looks every bit like 2010’s game of the year. But, considering that the PC version is available at one-fifth the cost and playable on most machines you could do better.

So much so that we’re hard-pressed to recommend this to anyone but the most hardcore of PlayStation 3 fanboys.

by NEWS · 0

iFusion Smart Station steps in for iPhone

iFusion Docking Station

The last interesting iPhone dock we reported about was the MiLi HD which enables users to transfer their most liked multimedia content to the flat screen or home theater system without any worries. iFusion has unfurled its first integrated communications docking station for the remarkable iPhone dubbed Smart Station.
The offering flaunts handy Bluetooth technology, a full duplex speakerphone and a patented ergonomic design. It promises to enhance the entire user experience by delivering advanced voice quality. Designed with a neat cradle design, the device lends support to the iPhone 4, 3G and 3GS.
The newest entrant accommodates the Apple smartphone with utmost comfort. Further, the docking station delights users with power, battery and seamless data synchronization using an incorporated USB cable. It supports A2DP Bluetooth streaming, thereby allowing users to enjoy their iPhone music collection using the internal speakerphone.
This new iPhone docking station is expected to ship in April 2011 and can now be pre-ordered from the official website for $169 (approx Rs. 7,762).

by NEWS · 0

Plantronics rolls out Voyager Pro UC Bluetooth headset

Voyager Pro UC

Wireless communication seems to be a must in this ever-growing technological world. Extending its support, Plantronics has unfurled the Voyager Pro UC Bluetooth headset. The company’s smart sensor technology augments the overall communication experience.

Owners can conveniently answer incoming calls simply by placing the headset on their ear. The peripheral avoids accidental dialing by locking the call button and supports listening to streaming media and recorded webinars through A2DP technology. The smart sensor technology intuitively pauses streamed media from mobile phones and PCs whenever the headset is removed as well as resumes the stream when its worn again.

The company has come up with a software that further integrates the mobile and PC communications experience through the Voyager Pro UC. The utility level is further enhanced since the headset informs applications like Skype and Microsoft Lync whenever the user is busy and accordingly changes the status to busy. Owners can effortlessly swap between instant message chats to voice conversations just by placing the device on the ear.

“For years, mobile calling and computer-based communication services like Skype or Microsoft Lync have existed in silos,” remarked Renee Niemi, senior vice president of Communications Solutions at Plantronics. “The Plantronics Voyager Pro UC unifies and simplifies communications for today’s connected and increasingly distributed workforce by enabling accurate availability information and delivering intuitive features like smart call transfer. For 50 years, Plantronics has revolutionized the way we communicate and today’s announcement represents our longstanding commitment to innovation and making smarter communications a reality.”

The packed in highly portable mini-USB Bluetooth adaptor renders wideband audio for PC conversations and software that permits easy interaction between the PC and the handset. The solution also comes along with AudioIQ2 technology and three layers of WindSmart technology to accurately lower wind distortion. Equipped with a custom speaker, the newest entrant puts forth full-spectrum audio. The adaptive 20-band equalizer provides distortion-free audio and functions efficiently with AudioIQ2 technology to control sound with utmost ease.

Users in the U.S. can pick up the Plantronics Voyager Pro UC along with a mini-USB Bluetooth adapter and software that enables interaction between the PC and mobile phone for $199.95 (approx Rs. 9,183). This new headset will hit stores across Europe and Asia in February 2011.

by NEWS · 0

Dunhill Wallet Uses Biometrics to Protect Your Cash

Dunhill Biometric Wallet

It's a catch-22: Dunhill's wallet is designed to keep one's cash safe using the latest technology to thwart would-be muggers and pickpockets. However, after you've shelled out $825 for said wallet, you'll find that there's little money left in it worth protecting.

That's right. $825.

What you get for your investment, however, is a "virtually indestructible" wallet, as reads Dunhill's site. But more importantly, the wallet also comes with biometric security features built into its carbon fiber casing. You need to press a finger against a reader on the wallet in order for it to actually open—similar to the biometric readers found on a variety of consumer laptops. If the wallet can't verify that it's you trying to extract that $5 bill from its confines, it doesn't open. Simple, eh?

But that's not all. The wallet also comes with a Bluetooth sensor as well, which links directly to your Bluetooth-friendly mobile device. Similar to a hands-free ignition system for one's car, the wallet is able to sense when it's more than five meters away from your phone—in theory, the two would be close together in one's pants or purse, but not quite so much if, say, the wallet is being carried away by an unsavory attacker.

Unlike before, however, the wallet's ability to open isn't dependent on its distance from you, merely a fingerprint. In this case, should the wallet's distance exceed five meters from your phone, an alarm is supposed to automatically sound on your mobile device to alert you that your wallet is presumably missing. While that's going to be a real pain for anyone who keeps his or her phone in another room from his or her pants, it's a unique security feature that just can't be matched by wallets of the conventional, non-Bluetooth variety—otherwise known as 99 percent of the rest of market.

You can't purchase the wallet in stores at the moment—only Dunhill's "personal shopper" service can be used to find said product and ship it to you free of charge.

by NEWS · 0

American tablet on Indian shores

You no longer need to visit the grey market to buy the Apple iPad. The iconic tablet computer is finally available in India, even though it’s been over 9 months since its US launch.

When Apple launched the iPad in the US on April 3, 2010, hardcore fans and enthusiasts thronged the company’s retail stores, with hundreds of people standing in lines. Jenna Wortham from NY Times reported that, “There are about 300 people in line at the store, but the lines are moving fairly quickly.” 300,000 iPads were sold that day by midnight. 28 days later, Apple went on to sell 1 million iPads and the number increased to 3 million by June 22.

iPadWhat’s most surprising about the Indian launch of the iPad is the pricing. The entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi version costs only R 27,900 while the top-end 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G variant will set you back by R 44,900. Just to compare pricing, the former costs R 23,000 ($499) in the US and the latter, R 38,000 ($829). The average difference works out to hardly R 5,000.

Not one to miss out, mobile service provider BSNL has already launched several 3G data plans for the iPad. Prepaid plans start at R 100 per day with unlimited data usage. Both prepaid and postpaid plans offer unlimited access for R 999 per month. Other carriers are expected to come out with iPad specific plans soon. Even so, the iPad, just like the (yet to be launched) iPhone 4 should even work with existing 2G plans from Vodafone, Airtel and other Indian carriers. Just remember that it needs a micro-SIM; regular mini-SIM cards won’t fit in the slot.

Other competitors in the Indian market include the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab that costs R 38,000 and the 5-inch Dell Streak that’s available for R 34,999. Both of these devices run Google’s Android 2.2 operating system and sport 3G and Wi-Fi.

For the uninitiated, the Apple iPad has a 9.7-inch LCD touchscreen that’s based on IPS (in-plane switching) technology. IPS LCD screens have better colour depth and viewing angles compared to conventional displays. The iPad runs the same operating system as the iPod Touch and iPhone 4 – IOS. System internals too are the same as those in the iPhone 4 – a 1GHz processor, 16/32/64 GB memory configurations, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and (optionally) 3G connectivity, a digital compass and GPS. The 9.7-inch screen packs in 1024x768 pixels and sports a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating. Unlike Samsung and Dell’s tablets, the iPad doesn’t come with a camera.

Even though the iPad has stormed the markets worldwide, many Indians feels as if Apple is clearing old stock to make way for the launch of the next version of the iPad, that amongst other things will include a front and rear camera and a high-resolution Retina Display. “A little too late, a little too less. Let the iPad 2 come out!” mentions a user on “Look at the brighter side. We get official warranty for the imported iPads which otherwise wouldn't have been possible,” sums up another member.

by NEWS · 0

BI, value creation key for CIOs: Gartner

CIO - Increasing enterprise growth, reducing costs and attracting new customers are the three areas CIOs are focusing their attention on in 2011, according to the latest research from Gartner.

The analyst firm's 2011 CIO Agenda research, based on the responses of some 2000 CIOs worldwide, indicated most in the position had a clear focus on the growth of their business for the next year, with a priority on improved business intelligence.

“Business intelligence is appearing fairly rapidly, and it’s been number one for several years,” Gartner analyst John Roberts said at a press briefing in Sydney.

“Now does everyone work for an intelligent business where everyone in your organisation has exactly the right information in the right format in the right time to make the possible question? I ask people in business processes that question and most of the time the answer I get is 'no'.”

Roberts said CIOs may become complacent, and need to find new opportunities to innovate in the IT space.

“We’ve digitised more and more of our business processes across our organisation, but still I want you to say there are great opportunities to look for the white space,” he said. “We have an opportunity to change business models thanks to the technologies that we have today.”

Finding new opportunities to create greater business value will be vital, according to Roberts, predicting CIOs could have adverse compensation or bonuses by 2015 if they can't deliver required levels of value to the business. Some CIOs and high-level executives, such as Commonwealth Bank's Michael Harte, already have a certain percentage of their annual compensation based on reliability of systems and customer satisfaction.

With the stakes raised even higher for CIOs in 2011, Roberts said IT leaders are being put in a complicated position of needing to take risks in a time of uncertainty.

“It’s going to be all about risk and placing your bets in a very uncertain world to move forward,” Roberts said. “Reaching that decision point will be something that will impact a lot of people’s minds over the next year or two.”


by NEWS · 0

Vedanta to establish science college in Orissa

Lanjigarh (Orissa), Jan 30 (PTI) Even as its proposed Rs 15,000 crore university project hit roadblocks, Vedanta group today said they will set up a state-of-the-art science college near its alumina refinery here."The establishment of a science college was a long pending demand of the people of western Orissa as no such institution exists near Lanjigarh," Mukesh Kumar, president and chief operating officer of Vedanta Aluminium (VAL) said here.Being set up by Vedanta in collaboration with DAV educational group, Vedanta Science College (VSC) would start classes from 2011-12 academic year, he said."The aim is to spread science education in interior parts and improve the quality of life of the poorest of the poor besides developing technical manpower for state's industrialisation," Kumar said adding Vedanta has already been running a school here since 2006 in partnership with DAV.The proposed college would be a boon to locals, mainly tribals."Besides getting employment, science education would help us to enhance quality of life in today's science-oriented society," said Prof Arun Kumar Pujari, Vice-Chancellor of Sambalpur University.

by NEWS · 0

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Naukri And MakeMyTrip Launch BlackBerry Apps

ndian Internet majors Make My Trip and Naukri have launched their own free BlackBerry apps, both integrated with the Blackberry handset and BlackBerry services. This follows the recent launch of a Blackberry app from matrimonial portal, which also made use of Blackberry’s push services.

The Naukri App

The app allows registered users to Search for new jobs, view job recommendations, update user profiles and get access to customised job search packages. Naukri’s usage of the BlackBerry’s core functionality is fairly limited: it comes only in the form of Job Alerts being integrated with the device’s message inbox. The app doesn’t allow new registrations, which can be done only through a desktop browser. Like’s application, this too has been developed by Early Sail.

Nikhil adds: Wonder why Info Edge didn’t consider integrating both and Brijj into the same application: it would help introduce Naurki users to Brijj, and also allow Brijj users to search for jobs on Naukri. The focus of the two portals might be different, but really, Naukri should be leveraging its job listings and integration better. Brijj competitor LinkedIn has an integrated Blackberry application as well, but the focus there is on professional networking, not necessarily jobs.

The MakeMyTrip App

The MakeMyTrip app allows flight search and booking through a secure channel: the application saves the user’s search preferences as well as other personal details to avoid entering them for every new transaction. More importantly, it integrates flight bookings with the BlackBerry calendar, sends alerts for updated flight schedules and lets users set flight reminders. Users can see existing bookings, request e-tickets, cancel bookings and check refund status through the app. The app also let users post travel updates on Facebook and Twitter accounts. The app also has Restaurant Listings and details for five cities in India and lets users locate nearby restaurants through GPS.

Nikhil adds: Why not go beyond MMYT’s core functionality of ticketing and attempt something like TripIt, or for that matter, offer travel suggestions to its users?

Thursday, January 27, 2011 by NEWS · 0

Motorola Defy launched in India

27th Jan 2011
Priced at Rs 18,500, resistant to water, shock and dust

New Delhi: Motorola India on Tuesday launched another Android powered mobile phone in the Indian market. The newly launched Motorola Defy is the second mobile phone coming out of the telecom giant's stable in as many days.
In fact, it seems like the company has picked up momentum in recent times and trying to coming up strongly after a really bad phase of close to five years. In the recent past Motorola has announced a slew of smartphones-- the Charm, Motorola Quench XT5, FlipOut, Motorola Milestone XT800 Glam and now the Defy, an Android 2.1 run device.
The Motorola Defy aims to offer a different taste to its users as it is a rugged smartphone with water, dust and drop resistant features. Perhaps the first rugged smartphone. But the catch is it does not look like a rugged handheld device. Not at all a pain to your eyes.
It features a 3.7-inch capacitive touchscreen with gorilla glass display, 5 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED Flash, MotoBlur UI and FM radio.
This 3G phone comes with 2GB of internal memory which could be expanded up to 32 GB. As a norm of the time, the Defy links to various social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.
We ill be coming out with its review very soon. Watch out this space.

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Nokia launches affordable mobile phone targeting youngsters

AHMEDABAD: Targeting youngsters who want to be connected to social networking sites, Nokia today launched its affordable mobile phone with QWERTY device in Gujarat.

"The Nokia X2-01 is competitively priced with colourful design and optimised for messaging performance," head service marketing, Nokia India, Jasmeet Gandhi told mediapersons here.

"Among mobile phones, QWERTY category of phones are the fastest growing segment where messaging and accessing emails could be faster," he said.

"The X2-01 is targeted at the youngsters who want to be connected with the internet and social networking sites, and want information on the go," Gandhi said.

It has been kept in the affordable range looking at the spending capacity of college goers and teenagers, he added.

Gandhi said with the new 3G spectrum coming in place, Nokia is also planning to add more 3G enabled phones to its portfolio.

In the past few years the company has seen more business coming from the rural market rather than the urban centres, he added.

The main reason behind this growth from rural areas was because the mobile operators had now started exploring the rural markets, Gandhi said.

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The Ford Fiesta lives on, as the Fiesta Classic!

2011 Ford Fiesta Classic

The brand new 2012 Ford Fiesta is all set to hit Indian shores shortly and along with that, many including yours truly were wondering what would happen to existing Ford Fiesta version. Ford India has now come out in the open and allayed all the fears about the Fiesta going out of production by doing an Ikon reprise. Yes, just as the Ford Ikon continues to soldier on even as it’s replacement, the Ford Fiesta started selling in India.

Similarly, the old Ford Fiesta will continue to sell alongside the new model, albeit in a rebranded avatar, and will now be called the Ford Fiesta Classic. Now, will Ford India chop off the Fiesta Classic’s prices and reposition the car as a VFM mid segment sedan alternative. Well, this just might happen in the coming days, making the Ford Fiesta Classic a terrific VFM buy for all those in the market for a solidly built, taut handling sedan with a rorty petrol or a frugal diesel engine.

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Now, get a glowing smile with LED teeth

LONDON: Now you really can light up the room with your smile — thanks to a new trend for LED teeth that`s sweeping Japan.

Japanese schoolgirls could be the driving force behind a new era of fashionable accessories for your teeth. Instead of gold, however, these "fronts" contain bright multicolored glowing LED lights.

The mouth insert lights up when the wearer opens their mouth, providing a glowing smile, reports the Daily Mail. The LED teeth can even be controlled by a remote, which allows you to change the colour. The LED smiles can easily be affixed to your teeth and glow different colors while you smile. The colors can be changed wirelessly through a computer interface. Of course they work best in the dark.

The product is being advertised as a `party in your mouth`, and demand has gone through the roof. The new fashion accessories were originally created as an experiment by two Japanese designers and are now being used in a commercial advertising a winter sale at a Japanese clothing store, Laforet Harajuku. They are quickly becoming a sought after accessory.

Motoi Ishibashi, one of the designers involved in the project, explained in a blog post that the original idea for the LED smiles came after he saw a video last year of LED Throwies, which are little lights that can be affixed to a magnet and thrown on metal surfaces. They are like lighted graffiti.

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Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook Page Hacked

First they targeted Nicolas Sarkozy's Facebook page, and now they have targeted none other than Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg's page on his own social networking website according to a report.

An unknown hacker hacked into the Facebook account of the 26-year-old celebrity CEO and recent Times Person of the Year, and posted this message.

"Let the hacking begin: If Facebook needs money, instead of going to the banks, why doesn't Facebook let its users invest in Facebook in a social way? Why not transform Facebook into a 'social business' the way Nobel Price winner Muhammad Yunus described it? What do you think? #hackercup2011"

Within no time of posting this message, more than 1800 people had already liked this post and there were over 500 comments below it. It is pretty obvious that Zuckerberg did not post this message and his profile page was taken down by Facebook when it discovered the hack.

The post has since been deleted and Zuckerberg's page is now back up again. Strangely, Facebook has not commented about the hack and there is no mention about it on Mark Zuckerberg's now online Facebook profile either. It is therefore anyone s guess about how the hacker broke into his account.

Online security firm Sophos has made and posted a video about this hack and you can see it in the video below.

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PSP2: Sony unveils PlayStation Portable successor - the NGP

Sony has revealed the successor to its PlayStation Portable (PSP) console at a press conference in Tokyo.

PSP2: Sony unveils NGP in Tokyo

PSP2: The Sony NGP will be available later this year.

Codenamed NGP, Next Generation Portable, the console will be available later this year

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Facebook Launches Group-Buying Prototype

Facebook is currently testing a new feature called “Buy With Friends,” which allows users to get discounts on virtual goods purchased by their friends.

Here’s how it works: A user makes an in-app purchase using Facebook’s currency, Facebook Credits, and shares it in his or her newsfeed. A friend sees the purchase and can then buy the same item at a discount directly in the newsfeed.

Currently, the feature only works for certain in-game purchases of virtual goods. Developers determine the items and terms of the promotion.

Speaking at the Inside Social Apps Conference in San Francisco Tuesday, Facebook’s head of commerce product marketing Deb Liu said that during early tests, more than half of users chose to share their purchases with friends, Forbes reports.

Although Buy With Friends is currently restricted to virtual goods, we can easily envision how this feature could be expanded to include physical goods as well, especially as more and more retailers set up shop on Facebook. The prototype could be Facebook’s way to participate in the kinds of group-buying offers recently popularized by the likes of Groupon and LivingSocial.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

LG Shows Off 3D G-Slate

Amid speculations that the LG G-Slate would offer stereoscopic 3D capability, a Korean music video seems to have confirmed that this will indeed be the case as reported.

If you carefully watch the music video, you can see briefly that there are dual cameras at the back of the G-Slate, which is required to shoot real 3D video. It had been hinted earlier that there would be glasses-free 3D display such as that on the Nintendo 3DS, and this video shows that that would actually be true.

A recent FCC filing showed a couple of holes on the back of the G-Slate at the spots where the cameras can now be seen in the video, furthering the claims. You can also see a front camera, an HDMI port and a microUSB port in the video, in addition to a stand. As you may already know, the LG G-Slate will be powered by NVIDIA's Tegra 2 and will run on Android 3.0 with an 8.9-inch capacitive touch screen with a resolution of 1280x720. Availability of the LG G-Slate is not confirmed, but it may be available in the US by March for around US$400 with a carrier subsidy from T-Mobile.

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Monday, January 24, 2011 by NEWS · 0

Wolverton: New Google Nexus S smartphone no great leap forward

When Google unveiled the Nexus One early last year, it was clearly the best Android smartphone on the market. It's hard to make the same claim about the Nexus S, the second device in the series, which hit store shelves last month.

Partly that's because the Android market has developed over the past year. When Google launched the Nexus One, only a handful of devices ran Android, Google's smartphone operating system. And AT&T, the nation's second-largest wireless carrier, didn't offer Android phones.

Nexus One was created as a flagship device to demonstrate to consumers and manufacturers the potential of Android. Google teamed with device manufacturer HTC to pack a speedy new processor, the latest version of Android and a refined user interface into a sleek new design.

Google also attempted to shake up the broader cell phone industry by selling the Nexus One directly to consumers at its full price rather than the discounted price that carriers offer to entice consumers to sign a two-year contract.

That effort failed, and the Nexus One sold only modestly. But the device succeeded wildly in spurring innovation on Android. Within months, device manufacturers and wireless carriers were offering a wide range of Android-based devices, many sporting technical specifications equal to or surpassing those of the Nexus One.

The Nexus S seems unlikely to have a similar impact. Manufactured by Samsung, it is decidedly less ambitious than the Nexus One.

Gone is the attempt to shake up the cell phone industry. The Nexus S is being sold through Best Buy, not directly by Google. And while you can get it without a contract, Best Buy is promoting it with a discounted price that comes with a two-year deal with T-Mobile.

Gone too is a serious attempt to set a new bar for Android. Yes, the Nexus S includes a fast new processor. Yes, it includes the latest version of Android. And yes, it has features not yet found on other Android phones. But many of these new features are incremental changes. The new 1 GHz processor is zippy, but most recent top-of-the-line Android phones have felt pretty snappy.

The Nexus S includes a near-field communications (NFC) antenna, which eventually could be used to do a wide range of things. For example, you could go to a company's website by swiping your phone in front of a poster, or pay for your groceries by waving your phone in front of a cash register.

But NFC technology is in its infancy and isn't widely used. So for now, you can't do a lot with the NFC antenna. And given the rapid pace of change in the Android marketplace, features like the new processor and NFC antenna will certainly be matched shortly by new, non-Nexus Android devices.

Meanwhile, many other features on the Nexus S are "me too" additions already found on other devices.

It has a front-facing camera, but so does Apple's iPhone 4 and HTC's Evo 4G, both of which were released in mid-2010. It also includes a three-axis gyroscope, which can be used by games and augmented reality applications. That's a welcome addition to Android, but Apple started the trend with the iPhone 4.

The Nexus S comes up short on battery life as well. Samsung and Google say it gets six hours of talk time -- compared with 10 for the Nexus One -- but I think that's stretching it.

Also, the Nexus S works only with T-Mobile's 3G network. That's unfortunate because T-Mobile is the least popular of the major carriers and tends to have far poorer coverage than its rivals.

Samsung packed 16 gigabytes of flash storage into the Nexus S, giving it more onboard space to store music, videos and applications than most other Android phones. But unlike most other Android phones, you can't plug a memory card into the Nexus S to give it more memory. Apple also doesn't offer a memory card slot in the iPhone, but it does offer a 32-gigabyte model. Google and Samsung don't.

The Nexus S includes Android version 2.3, dubbed "Gingerbread," which has new interface features, including a new virtual keyboard. Google claims this keyboard is more user-friendly than before, but I found it less so; I repeatedly mistyped words on the Nexus S.

Partly, that may have been because I'm used to the virtual keyboard on my iPhone. But as you type on the Nexus S, a row of suggested words appears above the keyboard. I found it all too easy to inadvertently tap on one of those suggested words when I meant to type a letter on the top row of the keyboard.

So I was unimpressed with the Nexus S. Here's hoping Google aims for the fences with the Nexus model, because its partners are doing pretty well adding incremental improvements on their own.

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Social networking sites are a 'modern form of madness'

Social networking websites are making us "less human" by isolating people from reality, a US academic claims.

Social networking sites are a 'modern form of madness'

The way in which people frantically communicate online via social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook can be seen as a modern form of madness, according to the leading sociologist.

Sherry Turkle, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, writes in her new book, Alone Together: “A behaviour that has become typical may still express the problems that once caused us to see it as pathological.”

She explains that people are become isolated from reality due to such social networking sites because technology is dominating our lives and making us "less human".

Under the illusion of allowing us to communicate better, technology is actually isolating us from real human interactions in a cyber-reality that is a poor imitation of the real world, she suggests.

“We have invented inspiring and enhancing technologies, yet we have allowed them to diminish us,” she writes.

Her warnings – and those from other cyber-sceptics – follow the death of Simone Back, a woman in Brighton who posted a suicide note on Facebook that was seen by more than 1,000 of her "friends".

Yet none of them called for help – instead trading insults with each other on her Facebook wall.

Turkle’s book has created significant attention in the US because her previous works, The Second Self and Life on the Screen, were most positive about changing technology.

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New tech creates 'super dogs' to handle dangerous tasks Read more: New tech creates 'super dogs' to handle dangerous tasks - The Times of India http:

LONDON: Trained dogs are capable of finding bombs, people and other objects with the help of a handler. Now American scientists have developed a new system which could turn canines into remotely guided "super dogs" that can take on dangerous tasks.

Researchers at the Auburn University in the US, who were behind the amazing innovation, said their technology could enhance the abilities of sniffer dogs to take on dangerous situations.

It could also change the way guide dogs are able to assist their owners by finding the scientifically safest way to negotiate journeys, the researchers said. David M Bevly, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Auburn, led a team who sought an alternative to the electrode implants used in previous remote guidance research.

They have now developed a custom vest fitted with GPS, spatial sensors, a processor and a radio modem which can be accessed wirelessly. Through the emission of vibrations on the dog's left or right side, it can be directed through the tightest of gaps without the need for a handler nearby.

The team tested the harness at the university's Canine Detection Research Institute, with a trained yellow Labrador named Major taking on a series of navigational tests.

Bevly plans to test the harness over longer distances and believes it could have implication for drug and bomb detection operations.

"If I'm trying to locate drugs, I don't want the cartel know that I'm snooping around." Using the technology, Bevly said, a single handler could guide several dogs through inspecting an entire airport and the military could also employ the harness to direct medical aid to at-risk troops.

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Apple creates App Store Twitter account

Though the App Store has several methods for keeping track of the newest and most noteworthy Apps, Apple has decided that a dedicated Twitter account would further promote some of its favorite applications for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

(Credit: Screenshot by Joe Aimonetti/CNET)

The @AppStore account has just been verified by Twitter as officially as the first post, "Welcome to App Store on Twitter! Follow us to discover new apps, get exclusive offers, and share with friends. #appstore" was retweeted by the verified @iTunesTV account (and several other accounts).

The second tweet from @AppStore promotes the Nike Training Club App, "Motivation. Full-body workouts. On-demand instruction. It's all available on Nike Training Club. #appstore".

Apple asks users to "follow us for official App Store tweets including our featured apps, exclusive offers, and more." No exclusive offers have been posted, though following certainly can't hurt.

What are your favorite follows on Twitter? Let me know in the comments! (And follow me, @ammojoe, for peculiar insights mostly derived at coffee shops.)

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Tweeting into trouble: Worm hits popular site

Using Twitter, the popular microblogging site, could land your computer in trouble. A rogue worm has hit the site, which directs the victim to an IP address, asking to download a fake antivirus.

The cyber security wing of the Department of Information Technology (DIT) has warned users on the online site to beware. It has suggested all Twitter users refrain from downloading any links posted on Twitter.

"Exercise caution while clicking on any link in tweets inside the e-mail message, instant messages or web pages," the Cert-In said.

Twitter is a website offering a social networking and microblogging service, enabling its users to send and read messages called tweets.

Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters, displayed on the user's profile page.

The scam spreads through malicious links abusing the URL shortening service. If an unwitting user follows the links, they are directed to a fake anti-virus page after multiple redirections.

From there, the domain redirects the user to an IP address pushing a fake antivirus. Once on the website, the victim gets a warning that his/her machine is running suspicious software.

The user is then invited to remove all the threats from their computer by downloading a fake anti-virus called Security Shield.

Del Harvey, director of Trust and Safety for Twitter, had tweeted that the company was working to remove the malicious links and reset passwords on compromised accounts.

Similar attacks on Facebook, Orkut and other sites had come to light. With their growing popularity the networking sites are a favourite with hackers.

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Indian call center exec didn't follow customer's accent

Bangalore: "I was on the phone each time for 10 minutes minimum , I think to people in Mumbai , and got so frustrated because I couldn't understand what some of the people were saying."

"I had to ask their staff to repeat themselves over and over. I felt like throwing the phone out of the window," said 59 year old Brummie Viv Tomkins, a retired paramedic. Indian call center exec didn't follow customer's accent

Viv had called BT a number of times to resolve some bill issues. Each time she called, she was routed to the Mumbai based call centre.

Viv Tomkins complained in her letter to BT that she was not able to understand the accent of the Mumbai based call centre, which provides customer services to telecom giant British Telecom (BT). BT in turn sent a letter to Viv explaining that the advisers were not able to resolve her issue as they were not able to understand her accent.

Charlene Conway, from BT's correspondence centre in Durham, however, wrote back: "I can certainly understand the difficulty in resolving your inquiries. Whenever you spoke to advisers, to resolve your issue, they had problems understanding you.
The retired paramedic said: "I couldn't believe the cheek of it. I know I've got a Brummie twang but I speak the Queen's English."

BT said "We'd like to apologize. The letter was not intended to cause offence. We have contacted the customer to clarify."

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Gartner urges CIOs to harness power of social networking

CIOs need to begin exploiting the potential of social networking technology this year, or risk losing the initiative to other parts of the business, analyst company Gartner warned today.

IT departments face an unprecedented opportunity in 2011 to take ownership of social media, said Ken McGee, vice president and research analyst at Gartner.

The last time an opportunity like this came up was the arrival of the web. That traded away from IT to sales and marketing. Our advice to IT is don't blow it this time," he said.

CIOs will need to understand topics such as cognitive psychology and sentiment analysis, in addition to their traditional technical skills, as social media becomes ubiquitous, Gartner claims.

"There is no greater force on the planet to consumers than the input of people they know or those that are their peers. That cannot be ignored," said McGee.

Social media is only one of a number of technologies that are beginning to transform the IT department from a cost centre into a revenue-generating part of the business.

CIOs will be able to take advantage of context aware computing, pattern recognition technologies and other innovative IT projects, if they want to drive revenue for the business.

"In the past, IT has been a cost centre that helps reduce costs and increase productivity. We have never seen a period where there are as many IT-enabling business drivers that are revenue drivers." he said.

"This is a clarion call to say you better get on board or see the train go by."

McGee advises CIOs to audit their company's top performing products and services, to identify which can benefit from social networking and other revenue-generating technologies.

"This is the year to make a decision whether this applies to you or not. And if it does, you need to start on the path. Apply 50% of your training budget to acquire some of the social science skills needed. Start this year," he said.

By the middle of the decade, companies will be hiring CIOs as much for their ability to generate revenue for the business as for their project skills.

"It is an evolution. As people leave their slots, the CEOs and the boards will say more often than not, we need someone unlike the person who has just left," McGee said.

However, he warns that many CIOs could miss the chance.

"Given the current course and speed, it could go the way of the missed opportunity we saw in the early days of the web. That is why we are offering no apology for getting on the rooftops saying here is an opportunity," he said.

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'My Total Facebook Views' scam spreads

NEW DELHI: In case you are curious to know how many people visit your Facebook profile, hold your curiosity. The app 'My Total Facebook Views' which has been doing rounds on the world's most popular social networking site is yet another of those Facebook scams.

The rogue application attempts to trick Facebook users to click a malicious link that tells the number of people who visited their profile. Upon clicking the link, users are asked to fill out a survey and grant them access to their personal information. However, doing this leaves you vulnerable to malware that can be downloaded on your system when you click the link.

The scam, which is spreading virally via status updates, includes a link to the suspicious service and text that reads, "My total facebook views are: 1245 Find out your total profile views."

There are no apps on Facebook to measure profile views currently, or know who visited your profile page. According to Facebook, "The exercise exposes your profile to malware and shares your personal information with an entity that will send you more spam in the near future."

According to reports, the rogue app also runs by the names ProfileSpy and Pro Check. Last year too a similar scam that spread like wildfire had hit Facebook that offered insight into who viewed your Facebook profile.

Last week, another scam was reported to have affected a large number of Facebook users. This viral scam -- My 1st St@atus -- was designed to earn revenue for its perpetrators. In fact, messages claiming to share the users' first ever Facebook status updates are still being posted on users' walls by this rogue application though the number has come down since then.

Typical posts read -- "My 1st St@tus was: '[random message]'. This was posted on [random date]. Find your 1st St@tus @ [LINK]". When users clicked on this link, which appeared to have been posted by a Facebook friend, they were taken to a rogue Facebook application, just like in the case of 'My Total Facebook Views'.

This application would then ask users to give it permission to access their profile. This would give the rogue application the ability to post the same message from the affected account to all in the friends' list. Users were also taken to a webpage which contained a survey.

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Microsoft announces new release of CRM platform

Dynamics CRM 2011 to offer improved integration with Microsoft SharePoint and Link Online

Microsoft has announced a new release of Dynamics CRM. The online version costs $34 per user, per month.

The software maker is reportedly competing with other CRM platforms such as and Oracle CRM On Demand.

Oracle CRM On Demand starts at $75 per user, per month, while the cost of Professional services start at $65 per user, per month. Enterprise services start at $125 per user, per month.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM director Bill Patterson said the company will provide full sales, service and marketing functionality in its standard service unlike which does not offer marketing functionality or real-time intelligence unless one uses the Enterprise edition.

He added that Dynamics dashboards are continuously refreshed as compared to competing platform which require users to hit refresh, leading to additional charges when they exceed it twice per hour.

The Web-based interfaces, workflows and related alerts can be developed without coding, Microsoft said of its product.

Dynamics CRM 2011 also offers improved integrations with Microsoft products including SharePoint and Link Online.

The service is available outside of North America for the first time.

by NEWS · 0

Review: HTC 7 Mozart

Windows Phone 7 might not yet have been "officially" launched in India but the first Windows Phone devices are already out in the market. First off the mark was the large-screen HTC HD7, and now comes the second, again from HTC, the MTC 7 Mozart.

Where the HD7 had an almost smallish tablet-like design, with the 4.3 inch screen dominating, the Mozart has a relatively smaller (but still big) 3.7 inch display. Its frame is also less wide but it retains the relative slimness of the HD7, making it one of the most palm-friendly larger touchscreen devices we have seen.

But what really stands out is its design — in the HTC Legend tradition, the Mozart has been crafted out of a single piece of anodized aluminum.

This does not seem to be evident from the front of the phone, which is dominated by the 480 x 800 display, but comes to the fore when you turn the phone over and see the anodized aluminum with the company name engraved on it.

The front has three soft keys (Home, Search and Back), there is a dedicated camera key on the right side and rather unusually, the volume rocker on the left. The innards, like the HD 7, are impressive too — a 1GHz processor, 576 MB RAM and 8GB onboard storage.

However, while the HD7 was very much a professional device, the Mozart is targeted at the multimedia loving crowd. The display is lovely (very good for Web browsing and watching video), there is high-fidelity virtual surround sound which sounds just wonderful, and most significant of all, an 8.0-megapixel camera with autofocus and a Xenon flash, no less.

And this being Windows Phone 7, it is all covered in a brilliant tile interface where you can add any number of tiles (representing shortcuts and/or apps) to a vertically scrolling homescreen, which works with butter-like smoothness with hardly any lags and comes with mail and office apps out of the box. The Mozart is a great-looking phone with a very good looking OS to boot.

Windows Phone 7 looks good and works very fast but is still relatively limited with no real multi-tasking (apart from getting push notifications and playing music in the background), no option to send data over Bluetooth, no support (as yet) for Windows Marketplace for apps and Xbox Live for gaming, no storage expansion, and very limited USB connectivity to a PC (our Windows 7 machine refused to recognise the device, although it did so once we used Zune software to transfer music to it).

The camera is surprisingly disappointing, given the high pixel count and the excellent flash, with HD video being a bit on the jerky side and still images often looking dull, although the excellent Photo Enhancer app did help us improve them no end. Battery life is average; at least one recharge a day is needed.

The Mozart is among the most stylish smartphones we have seen. Unfortunately, it is undone to an extent by Windows Phone 7's shortcomings and its own in the camera department. Still, if looks, sound and interface matter, you will be hard pressed to find a better device.

by NEWS · 0

Apple iPad to land India on January 28

Surprise, surprise… Apple has done it again. While the rest of the world is busy waiting for the official iPad 2 specs and launch date, the Cupertino giant is planning on releasing its predecessor in the Indian market a few days from now on January 28.

According to a Telegraph Kolkata report, the 9.7-inch tablet will be making it to our shores in its full glory, with all its versions available. The 3G-enabled versions will cost between Rs. 33,000 to Rs. 44,000 for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions. The Wi-fi versions will cost a more reasonable Rs. 26,000 to Rs. 37,000 for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions.

Apple has finally decided to launch iPad officially in India. The company is all set to make the product available in India from January 28. The iPad will only be sold by Apple's premium retailers.

The device will be launched in two versions, the Wi-Fi-only version and the 3G+Wi-Fi version. Both will come in three capacities - 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. The 16 GB Wi-Fi version will cost 26,000. On the other hand, the 64GB Wi-Fi version will cost 37,000.

The 3G+Wi-Fi version will be priced at 33,000 for the 16 GB model. The 64 GB model will cost 44,000. The 32 GB 3G iPad will also be available, however, its price isn't known yet.

The trend of dumping predecessors in India seems to be the topic for the day. Motorola announced the Indian launch of their XT800 Glam earlier today, even though China has already gotten its hands on an upgraded XT800+. NowApple has joined in on the fray by releasing the iPad, even though an official announcement is expected in the next couple of weeks.

You’ve got to hand it to them though. If the release does happen as predicted, a lot of people will be in two minds – whether to pick up the readily available version, or wait for one that has had no official announcement yet, leave alone the fact that it might not make it here for another year. It’s an underhanded move, but it’s a smart one.

Either way, you don’t need to plan overseas trips just to get your hands on this tablet, or trawl through online retailers for some good deals. You can just walk into your nearest Apple store in a couple of days to pick it up – and that certainly isn’t a bad thing.

by NEWS · 0

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