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Monday, December 31, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013

PRAMOD NAIR TECHNOLOGY BLOG



"Wishes all viewers worldwide 
 very happy and auspicious"



 YEAR 

".............2013.............."

Sunday, December 30, 2012

10-inch tablet Videocon VT10 with Android 4.1 available online for Rs. 11,200


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Videocon VT10 sports a 10-inch screen with a resolution of 1280x800 pixels. It runs on Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor along with 1GB of RAM. The tablet houses 2-megapixel front as well as rear cameras.

Interesting, when NDTV Gadgets contacted Videocon, the company denied officially launching the tablet. 
 

They further elaborated that the tablet will be available with select online retailers to gauge the market response and is expected to be launched officially by mid-January 2013.

In terms of battery, this tablet comes Li-Polymer-6800mAh battery, which the company claims that will give a browsing time of up to 4 hours. Also in terms of memory, this tablet comes with 8GB of internal memory, which can be expanded to up to 32GB. 

Videocon VT10 will compete with the likes of Micromax Funbook Pro, Zync Z1000 Tablet and Karbonn Smart Tab 10. 

 Micromax Funbook Pro comes with a 1.2GHz processor, runs on Android 4.0 (Android Ice Cream Sandwich) and is available at a best buy price of Rs. 9,999. 

Zync Z1000 Tablet is a 9.7-inch tablet, which too runs on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) but the company is promising an OS update for it soon. It comes with 1.5GHz processor, 1GB RAM and is available at a street price of Rs.10,990. 

Karbonn Smart Tab 10 on the other hand, is a 9.7-inch tablet, which is running on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and is priced at Rs. 10,490.
Videocon had recently entered in smartphone market with two new Android smartphones, the A20 and A30. The A20 is priced at Rs. 4,999 while the A30 costs Rs. 7,299. 

Tablets seem to be the flavour of the season for Indian handset makers. The latest to join the foray is Videocon, with its 10-inch offering VT10. 

This tablet is already available through online deal site SNAPDEAL and HOMESHOP18 for Rs. 11,200.


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1cD5NeXzCBE/Tx123tdbu7I/AAAAAAAADTk/TVi7Y4GwsGE/s1600/homeshop18.com-logo.jpg                                                                                             
 

iberry launches Auxus CoreX4 3G quad-core tablet for Rs. 15,990

 
Technology firm iberry has launched two new models of tablets equipped with third generation (3G) subscriber identification module (SIM) slots for making phone calls and Internet browsing.


One model is equipped with a dual-core processor, while the other one is having quad-core processor.

"When the current Indian tablet PC market is flooded with price-driven tablet PCs, we take immense pleasure and pride to announce the launch of dual-core CPU and quad-core CPU based tablet PCs, both with inbuilt 3G SIM slot for calls and Internet," iberry said in a statement.

The first model called Auxus CoreX2 3G comes with a seven-inch IPS panel display with 1280x800 pixel resolution. This model is priced at Rs.10,990.

The second model Auxus CoreX4 3G is the first ever attempt in India to equip a quad-core CPU on a 9.7 inch tablet PC, the company said. Consumers will have to spend Rs.15,990 to get this model of tablet.

"With most of the current Indian tablet PC companies focussing on low-end low-price tablet PCs, we at iberry take a leading edge in the market with our new ventures, Auxus CoreX2 3G and Auxus CoreX4 3G," iberry said, adding consumers were now giving more importance to speed than cost.

Aakash 3 may come with SIM slot, more exciting apps

 

The third version of low cost tablet 'Aakash' will be a delight for its users as developers are likely to equip it with a SIM slot and more exciting apps, all within the existing price band. 
  
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About 50 lakh 'Aakash 3' tablets are expected to be rolled out in the next phase, the global tender for which may be floated in February next year. 

According to committee members engaged in developing the third version of Aakash, the endeavour will be to make the product as indigenous as possible and involve multiple vendors. 

"Our ultimate aim is to imbibe the usage of tablets in the education system and create an ecosystem for this," said Deepak B Phatak, committee member and professor in IIT- Bombay's Department of Computer Science and Engineering. 

According to Phatak, computer giants world over are amazed with the device and there is a keen interest among several vendors to participate in this venture. 

Aakash 3 will have a faster processor supporting both Linux and Android operating systems and come with advanced memory, he said. 

"It could also have a SIM card slot so that people can use it as a communication device," Phatak said. 

Apart from Phatak, Prof Ashok Jhunjhunwala of IIT-Madras along with hundreds of students and other partners are also involved in making the new Aakash 3. 

One of the aims of students involved in the project is to develop an application for the tablet that can tell pulse rate among many others. 

It will also have a larger distribution and servicing system so that owners can get their tablets repaired locally. 

Playing down controversies suggesting that several of the tablet's components were of Chinese make, Phatak said emphasis has been placed on adding value to the product with the objective of enhancing its efficacy among students. 

He also suggested two models for Aakash 3 -- one for schools and the other for colleges. 

The most recent version, Aakash 2, developed by IIT-Bombay along with C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing), was launched by President Pranab Mukherjee in November.

The tablet is available for students at subsidised rate of Rs 1,130 while the government purchases it at Rs 2,263.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Internet grows to more than 246 million domain names

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More than five million domain names were added to the Internet in the third quarter of 2012, bringing the total number of registered domain names as of September 30, 2012 to more than 246 million worldwide across all Top-Level Domains (TLDs), a report said Monday.
According to Domain Name Industry Brief, published by VeriSign Inc, a provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world, the increase of 5.7 million domain names globally equates to a growth rate of 2.4 percent over the second quarter of 2012, and marks the seventh straight quarter with greater than two percent growth.

"Worldwide registrations have grown by 26.4 million, or 12 percent, since the third quarter of 2011", a VeriSign statement said.

The .com and .net TLDs experienced aggregate growth in the third quarter of 2012, reaching a combined total of 119.9 million domain names in the adjusted zone for .com and .net.

This represents 1 percent increase in the base over the second quarter of 2012 and a 7.1 percent increase over the third quarter of 2011.

As of September 30, 2012, the base of registered names in .com equalled 105 million names, while .net equalled 14.9 million names, it was stated.

Zync unveils 6 dual-SIM feature phones starting at Rs. 1,399




zync-feature-phones.jpg 

Zync C18, Zync C21, Zync C22, Zync C24, Zync C27 and the Zync C30 come with dual standby functionality and support English and Hindi languages as well as multiple image formats.

The phones have varying screen sizes and resolutions ranging from 1.8-inch with 128x160 pixels to 2.6-inch supporting 240x320 pixels.They come in black and Red colour variants.
 
Shifting focus from tablets to phones, Zync has launched not one, not two but 6 dual-SIM feature phones in India priced between Rs. 1,399 and Rs. 2,499. The devices are available through various retail outlets across the country as well as on popular online retail sites.

The feature phones sport a bar form factor and come with a 4GB micro SD card, a 1.3-megapixel camera with video recording, FM radio, dual LED torch light, a music player and more. Connectivity wise, they support USB (no USB support for C18) and Bluetooth.

Additionally, the high-end Zync C30 comes with a mobile tracker, email support and King Movie Player.

The Zync C18 is the cheapest at Rs. 1,399 followed by the Zync C21, Zync C22, Zync C24, Zync C27, which are priced at Rs.1,990 and the Zync C30 seals the deal at Rs. 2,499.

Zync feature phones specifications

zync-feature-phones-specs.jpg

 

Airtel launches new 3G plan that can be shared between 3 devices


India's leading telecom brand Airtel is applying the  concept of its popular advertisement song  "Jo mera hai woh tera hai Jo tera hai woh mera" meaning what's mine is yours and what's yours is mine in its 3G plan as well.

Airtel has announced a new 3G data plan for the customers, which allows one to share unlimited data usage amongst two of their friends or family members or among three of his/her own devices. 
  
Under the Airtel's Data Share Plan, the subscriber will have to shell out Rs. 1000 per month and can use 3G data on up to three smart devices. There is a cumulative cap of 5GB, on exhaustion of which the Airtel user can continue to use unlimited data but at the speed of 80KB per second.

  
This Data Share Plan is open to all Airtel subscribers (be it postpaid subscriber or a prepaid one) but all the three connections should belong to the same telecom circle. 

To subscribe to this plan, the subscribers can either click here or subscribe via sending an SMS. 

Though on the surface, it looks Airtel is promoting the idea of sharing 3G data between family and friends but it will also be beneficial for people who have more than one connected device and are looking at having a unified data bill for all the devices. Irrespective of how the subscribers uses this plan, this is a good initiative to increase the number of 3G devices in the country and hopefully other operators will follow suit.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

"Fight Back" - India's first mobile app for women's safety

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NEW DELHI: Women in the country can now look forward to alerting their friends and family through the push of a button on sensing danger using a mobile application called 'Fight Back'.
 


Developed by mobile value added services provider CanvasM, the application tracks a user's location and sends SOS messages to selected contacts in case of an emergency. 

"We feel the application can help make a woman feel safe, especially given the current law and order situation. The app allows them to press panic button whenever they feel unsafe. It tracks the location using GPS and alerts the right people," CanvasM CEO Jagdish Mitra told PTI.

The company is also in the process of integrating the solution with Delhi Police's back-end IT infrastructure. "This will enable Delhi Police to also get messages when somebody calls out for help and prompt action can be taken," he added.

There has been an outrage in the country over alleged rape of a paramedical student by six men in a moving bus. While the application is free for consumers in the Delhi-NCR region, other users will need to pay a subscription fee of Rs 100 per annum.

"Such incidents are shameful. The application is our way of contributing to make women feel safe," Mitra said. Fight Back is available for smartphones running on Android, Blackberry and Symbian operating systems, he said.

"We will soon come up with a similar SMS-based application so that the benefits can be extended to non-smartphone users as well," he added. While the application has been available for sometime now, it has seen about 3,000-4,000 downloads.

"The pick up is there but not as much as we had expected. We have been busy with building the ecosystem. We will now work on spreading awareness about the application," he said.

To spread awareness about Fight Back, the company is talking to various companies, including BPOs, and colleges. In addition, they are looking at tie-up with telecom operators and NGOs to promote the service.

"We are in talks with Delhi government as well," he said.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Indian OS developed by DRDO likely to be ready in three years

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HYDERABAD: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Chief V. K. Saraswat today said the need to have a robust cyber security system in place. 150 engineers including premier institutes were working across the country on creating Indian OS, and added it will take at least three more years for getting the Indian OS ready. 
V. K. Saraswat (Chief DRDO India)
 
"One of the major

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Samsung topped the No.1 spot overtaken Nokia





For the first time in 14 years, Samsung has overtaken Nokia to take the number one spot as the top cellphone brand in 2012. Previously, Nokia has sat comfortably at number one as the top handset brand on a yearly basis, but Samsung, which has seen strong sales thanks to their flagship Galaxy S III, has increased their market share lead over Nokia and Apple.
 

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Samsung is expected to account for 29% of all worldwide cellphone shipments by the end of the year, up from 24% in 2011, according to the IHS. Nokia dropped down to 24% this year from 30% last year. Apple sits at 10%, while ZTE is at 6% and LG at 4%. This marks the first time that Samsung has sat atop the list.

Perhaps what’s more critical is that Samsung extended its lead over Apple. Last year, they were separated by 17 percentage points. This year, they are now separated by 19 percentage points.

The IHS said global smartphone shipments are set to rise by 35.5% this year, while overall cellphone shipments will increase by just 1%. This will result in a smartphone penetration of 47%, which is up from 35% in 2011.

It was a transitioning year for Nokia as they struggled with transitioning their products from Symbian over to Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 8 operating system. Samsung, on the other hand, spent the year selling 30 million Galaxy S III units, while Nokia just recently starting selling their flagship devices.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Over 14,000 websites hacked in this year till Oct: Govt



NEW DELHI: Over 14,000 websites have been hacked by cyber criminals till October this year, an increase of nearly 57 per cent from 2009. 

While the number of websites hacked in 2009 stood at 9,180, it grew to 14,232 in 2011 and in the first 10 months of this year itself it has already crossed the 14,300-mark. 

About 16,126 websites were hacked in 2010, while 14,392 websites were hacked in the year 2012 (till October), as per the information tracked and reported by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In). 

To check hacking and cyber crimes, the government has conducted six cyber security mock drills since November 2009 to assess preparedness of organisations to withstand cyber attacks, Minister of Communications and IT Kapil Sibal had said in Parliament. 

He had said ministries and departments have been advised to carry out their IT system audit regularly to ensure robustness of their systems. 

A total of 294 websites belonging to various ministries and government departments were hacked in the January-October 2012 period. 

During May-June, 2012, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks were launched against a number of government websites by various hacker groups. A DDoS attack is an attempt to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users. 

Sibal said there is, however, no proposal to establish an autonomous institution on cyber security. 

Further, he stated that according to National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB) a total of 696, 1,322 and 2,213 cyber crime cases were registered under the IT Act and cyber crime related IPC sections in 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively. 

A total of 1,184 persons were arrested for cyber crime under the IT Act, while 446 people were arrested under IPC section of cyber crimes in 2011. 

A total of 157 cases were registered for hacking under IT Act in 2011, while 65 persons were arrested for the same. For loss/damage to computer resource/utility, 826 cases were registered and 487 persons arrested. 

Likewise, 496 cases were registered for obscene publication/transmission in electronic form and 443 persons were arrested. 

Under the IPC sections of cyber crime maximum number of cases were registered for forgery (259) in 2011 and 277 people were arrested for it. For criminal breach of trust/fraud, 118 cases were registered and 129 people arrested.

Karbonn launches 5.9-inch Android phone A30 at Rs 11,500

Karbonn launches 5.9-inch Android phone A30 at Rs 11,500

New Delhi: Karbonn has launched a new phone - A30 - that has a 5.9-inch screen and runs Android 4.0 ICS operating system. It is a dual SIM phone.

The phone has an 8 megapixel rear camera and a 1.3 megapixel front camera. Its memory can be expanded up to 32 GB. It has a 2500 mAh battery. The Karbonn A 30 is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor.

The phone is available on Saholic.com at a price of Rs 11,500. The product is available in two colours - black and white. Karbonn has not disclosed RAM, internal memory and the maker of processor.

Other features include Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Wi-Fi Direct, Gesture Mode, Face detection and a 3.5 mm Jack.

Key specifications: Karbonn A30
Dual SIM
Android 4.0 (ICS)
1 GHz Dual Core processor
3G support
1.3 front camera
5.9-inch capacitive Multi Touch
8.0 Megapixel Auto Focus rear camera with Flashlight
Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct
Wi -Fi Hotspot
Expandable upto 32 GB
Yes, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
2500 mAh battery


Friday, December 14, 2012

Kapil Sibal: Postpaid Users to Avail Nationwide MNP by February 2013

Kapil Sibal: Postpaid Users to Avail Nationwide MNP by February 2013
 
 
Kapil Sibal, Telecom Minister of India, has announced that the facility of MNP (Mobile Number Portability) will be made available on a nationwide scale from February 2013. If this facility comes into practice, subscribers will no longer have to change their phone number even if they change circles. 
 
Currently, the subscriber can port numbers within the same circle only. The ‘One India, One Circle' plan of the government will also do away with national roaming. Kapil Sibal revealed during the meeting, India Telecom 2012, in New Delhi that the government has come up with a broad agenda starting from December 2012 lasting till February 2013, in order to implement the National Telecom Policy 2012 (NTP 2012) within the time frame. 
 
The government had planned to implement MNP on a national level under the NTP 2012. This will allow subscribers to retain their numbers even if they move about the 22 telecom circles in India. Kapil Sibal: Postpaid Users to Avail Nationwide MNP by February 2013 the policy aims at inducting telecom services in the rural areas upto 70 percent by 2017 and a 100 percent penetration of telecom industry in urban areas within 2020. 
 
Sibal stated that GDP growth and proliferation of broadband connectivity intimately related. He added that if the domestic manufacturers enhance their expertise and capabilities, the tablet and smartphone market will also play a crucial role in growth and development. 
 
 The agenda scheduled till February 2013 have some other key initiatives such as unified licenses regime, M&A guidelines, creating funds for R&D as well as manufacturing, approving spectrum allocation and their pricing, and finalizing spectrum sharing guidelines.

India's first multilanguage Astrology channel launched on YouTube

AGRA: AstroSageIndia, said to be the country's first multi-language astrological YouTube channel was launched, on the special date of the century - 12.12.12 at 12:12 p.m.

Actress Shreya Narayan inaugurated the new offering. 


Shreya, who has acted in films like "Saheb, Biwi aur Gangster" and "Rockstar", launched the facility from her residence, through a live video-cast. She clicked the website exact at 12:12 p.m.

Shreya feels that the channel AstroSageIndia is an exceptional achievement. Through the medium of this channel, people will not only get access to excellent content, but also the principles of astrology could be understood in a better way, she said.

Singer Kartar Singh inaugurated and launched the channel AstroSageIndia at the Goverdhan Hotel here.

Kartar Singh said he is a firm believer in astrology and hoped this new technology will help in clearing the mist around astrology.

The director of AstroSage Punit Pandey, CA Ashok Jain, Chandra Kant Tripathi (Central Hindi Institute registrar), Surendra Sharma and Rakshit Tandon lauded the foray in the IT sector by Agra-based professionals.

"Our efforts through AstroSageIndia will help remove all the misconceptions and disbeliefs related to astrology," Punit Pandey, director of the website, told IANS.

"AstroSage's Astro Kundali software is the most popular and trusted software for android phones and tablets. We hope that our new initiative will help people in every possible manner," he added.

Pandit Hanuman Mishra said the unique date chosen for the launch of the YouTube channel AstroSageIndia has its historical and astrological significance.

"The date comes once in a century. The number 12 has its own importance in astrology, because there are 12 zodiac signs, 12 houses and 12 Jyotirlingas," said Mishra, adding that people from every corner of the world will be able to gain knowledge through this channel.

IT specialist Rakshit Tandon spoke on the event and said the popularity and usefulness of YouTube is not hidden from anyone. He further said that the YouTube astrology channel is a matchless initiative and its popularity cannot be compared to the popularity of channels from other mediums.

Tripathi said: "There is a requirement of such distinctive projects in the IT field and this YouTube channel enjoys special importance."

At the outset, instead of bouquets, the guests were welcomed by presenting them their respective birth charts.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Facebook banned Pakistan Taliban page


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Facebook says it has taken down a page apparently used by the Pakistan Taliban to recruit propagandists for a new quarterly magazine.   

The social media network said its rules banned pages which promoted terrorism. 
Terrorist analysts last week said the site had been set up by a media unit affiliated with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). 
A posting on the Umar Media TTP page said: "Pen is mightier than the sword (sic). Now you have a chance to use this mighty weapon ... Would you like to be a writer for Ahyah-e-Khilifat [Sign of the Caliphate]?" The account appeared to have been created in September and had just a handful of messages, written in English. 

It attracted more than 270 "likes" before begin taken down. 
A statement from Facebook said: "We have rules that bar direct statements of hate, attacks on private individuals and groups, and the promotion of terrorism. 
"We have a large team of professional investigators both in the US and abroad who enforce these rules. Where abusive content is posted and reported, Facebook removes it and disables accounts of those responsible.

First Videocon, now Tikona: 4G is all about competitive pricing


Picking up cue from Videocon, Mumbai-based Tikona Digital is also planning to price its 4G services aggressively to disrupt the market place.

Tikona plans to launch the services at 2-5 Paise /MB in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh in the second half of 2013.

“These tariffs will disrupt the market. We will be able to do this since we’re already offering data plans at a price point of 2-5 paise per MB for broadband on WiFi which gives speeds of up to 10 Mbps,”  the company’s chief executive Prakash Bajpai has been quoted as saying in the Economic Times.

The company is also planning to roll-out around 30,000 public WiFi hotspots in the country within the next five years. This, however, could pose a threat to Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries which  reportedly has also  inked a contract with Ericsson to set up around 30,000 WiFi hotspots across commercial buildings, offices and malls  since it has the advantage of having a pan-India BWA presence.

Earlier this month, Videocon also announced that it will  launch 4G services in all the six circles (Bihar, Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh East and Uttar Pradesh West) in which it recently bought 1,800 MHz spectrum for Rs 2,221 crore, but at prices lower than 2G and 3G.

Currently, only Airtel has launched 4G services in a few cities such as Kolkata and Bangalore but at a much higher Rs 13-15 per MB (Its 6GB plan in Kolkata costs around Rs 999 (plus taxes) , while Aircel and RIL  plan to launch their 4G services in another six months.

Analysts expect RIL to offer very high-speed internet services at cheap rates, which is why perhaps the company has plans to launch MiFi devices, which will convert the 4G signal to a mobile WiFi hotspot, allowing users to access 4G speeds across various Internet enabled devices on the go.  Reliance’s comparative 4G edge lies in the ability to build better economies of scale by offering a pan-India service, attracting more customers by offering nationwide 4G roaming.

Moreover, analysts are betting on RIL to be the game-changer as they have no backlog of investments in 2G and 3G unlike other 4G service providers.

With so many players in the fray, competitive pricing is the only way out for these telecom majors. As Mahesh Uppal, director at Com First (India), a consultancy firm, told ET, ”Anyone launching 4G services has to be price competitive. Otherwise, why would a consumer move to a new player if he also has to pay a higher tariff. Broadband on mobile is a vanilla product.”

However, even if competitive pricing is possible on data dongles which are available from Chinese manufacturers like Huawei,  handsets (smartphones) that can support TD-LTE ( 4G works on only phones with this technology) are relatively unknown.

Despite this hurdle, Bharti Airtel has so far added 3,180 TD-LTE subscribers through its 4G network in Kolkata and Bangalore, while state-run BSNL has provided 50,077 connections through 4G/WiMAX.

According to a recent estimate, number of TD-LTE users is likely to reach 5 million by 2013. But the growth of this market depends more on equipment manufactures such as Nokia, Samsung and Apple, which are expected to launch LTE-enabled smartphones in the near future.

Some existing 4G operators are going to offer pocket-sized Wi-Fi routers for around Rs 2,500 which would enable existing EDGE or 3G-enabled smartphones to use high-speed internet.

MOTOROLA Mobility to shut down Chennai manufacturing facility




Motorola Mobility, owned by Google Inc., has decided to indefinitely suspend operations at its phone assembly and packaging unit in Chennai. The move was part of the company's effort to streamline global supply chain.

The closure will come into effect from February next year and is expected to affect 76 employees. The Chennai unit was started in 2008 with an investment of Rs.172 crore.

"Yesterday we started informing our 76 employees of our plans to suspend operations as of end February, 2013. We have no current or forecast production requirements that would require the continued use of our Chennai facility," The Hindu quoted William Moss, director for communications in Asia Pacific, Motorola Mobility, as saying over phone.

"However, we want to stress that our other centres in India will continue to operate. We are working with our colleagues to settle all dues, provide relief packages and to help them find other opportunities."

The announcement about the Chennai unit comes a day after Google announced that Singapore-based Flextronics would acquire Motorola's manufacturing operations in Tianjin, China, and would also assume the management and operation of its Jaguariuna, Brazil, facility. Employees and assets at both locations will transfer to Flextronics after the transaction closes.

The agreement between Motorola and Flextronics also includes a manufacturing and services agreement for Android and other mobile devices. The companies expect to complete closing activities by the first half of 2013.

HTC unveiled 5-inch HTC Butterfly with 1080p display

 


TAIPEI: Taiwan's HTC has unveiled a new smartphone HTC Butterfly boasting a higher resolution display than Apple's iPhone 5 just days before its rival's latest handset goes on sale on the island.

HTC Butterfly launched, has a 5-inch 1080p display


The HTC Butterfly features a 5-inch Super LCD 3 display with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution at 441 pixels per inch, against Apple iPhone 5's 326 ppi pixel density. HTC has used the third generation Super LCD display clubbed with Corning Gorilla Glass 2 technology to create a slimmer and stronger touchscreen display in the Butterfly.

The HTC Butterfly is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 (Krait) mobile processor running at 1.5 GHz along with Adreno 320 graphics chip. To power it up HTC has chosen Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update combined with HTC Sense 4+ user interface. The smartphone carries 2 GB of RAM for smooth performance and has a 16 GB of integrated memory (11GB user available) which can be further upped by 32 GB through a Micro SD card.

HTC has used 8 megapixel camera with image stabilisation, auto focus, LED flash, and a backside illumination sensor along with HTC's own ImageChip. Its 8 megapixel rear camera, which comes with f/2.0 aperture and 8mm lens, is capable of clicking great quality images even in low luminance. The camera can also be used to record full 1080p HD videos and one can also capture 6 megapixel photos while recording the video simultaneously. 

HTC has also added Smart Flash that enables five levels old brightness intensity for the flash. In the front there is a 2.1 megapixel camera also capable of recording full 1080p videos at 30 frames per second.

HTC has packed a 2020 mAh battery in this smartphone and the device comes powered with Beats audio enhancement for some great sounding tunes. 

HTC is selling the Droid DNA in the USA for $600 (Rs 32,000 approximately), so the HTC Butterfly is expected to be priced around the same price bracket.

Tuesday a rumour day for Kashmir of ‘cosmic rays’ via phone

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Late on Tuesday night, residents across Kashmir scrambled to switch off their mobile phones. The reason was not pesky calls but another ‘incoming’ hazard: a rumour that harmful “cosmic rays” were going to enter Earth via the phones from Mars, and set off blasts. 

The government finally had to step in and make announcements on radio and television, threatening to book people spreading the rumour, to quell the panic. 

It was around 10 pm that the buzz started, with people making frantic calls to friends, relatives and neighbours urging them to switch off their mobile phones as dangerous “cosmic rays” were headed for Earth. The news was attributed to not just the ever-reliable BBC but also the NASA. Soon, it had made its way to Facebook and Twitter. 

Some people called up the J&K Disaster Management Cell and local media houses to check the veracity of the reports. 

The rumour coincided with predictions that the world was going to end on December 12, citing the ancient Mayan calendar. 

Amir Ali, coordinator of the Valley’s Disaster Management Cell, said he received dozens of calls. “Many people were not ready to believe me,” he said, adding that several told him they were being asked to switch off phones and leave them outside as these could blow up, causing deaths or injuries. 

“I tried to assure people it could be a prank or a bid to steal mobile phones,” he said. Ali even went to social networking sites to reiterate that it was all a rumour.

Student Sana Iqbal said a friend had called to urge her to switch off her mobile phone. Ashiq Ahmad received more than a dozen calls. “Initially, I also switched off my mobile, but then I checked the BBC site and there was no such news,” he said.

Yahoo Unveils Revamped, Sleeker Yahoo Mail Services


Yahoo is rolling out faster, better-designed and sleeker email services, all bearing the backing of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who joined the company July 16 after helping to make email one of the biggest successes with her former employer, Google. 

The new Yahoo Mail services were announced Dec. 11 in a post by Mayer on the Yahoo corporate blog, touting their redesigned interfaces and more intuitive features for mobile and desktop computing platforms from Android to Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch to Windows 8. 

"Email is the ultimate daily habit," wrote Mayer in the post. "It's often the first thing we check in the morning and the last thing before going to bed. Why? Because it's one of the simplest and most basic forms of communication. And since it's such an important part of our daily lives, we're making a few improvements to Yahoo Mail."

The changes come in response to user requests and because Yahoo had to keep up in a changing email world where companies like her former employer, Google, continue to make their free email offerings even better for their users.

In October, Google's Gmail service added capabilities for its users to compose multiple emails to different people at the same time, which wasn't possible in the past using Gmail. That limitation was one of the most frustrating things about using Gmail in the past. 

Microsoft has also been busy updating its free email services to take on competitors. In August, Microsoft announced a refresh of its 16-year-old Hotmail services with a new name, Outlook.com, and a streamlined interface, key improvements and the integration of social media connections. 

Yahoo's Mail services aren't staying on the sidelines, according to Mayer's post. 

"You've told us loud and clear that you want fewer distractions when it comes to email," wrote Mayer. "You want to quickly log in, communicate, and get on with your day. And we've listened. Starting today, the new Yahoo Mail is fast, easy and available anywhere you go. These improvements will be available on all major platforms: Web, Windows 8, iPhone/iPod Touch and Android." 

The revised mobile iPhone and Android Yahoo Mail apps are available immediately, but desktop users will see the new features roll out over the next few days, wrote Mayer. 

"We've redesigned the new version of Yahoo Mail with speed in mind—getting through your emails is faster than ever before," she wrote. "We've also made your inbox more intuitive and easier to navigate, allowing you to focus on what matters most: your messages. And, because mobile is everything these days, Yahoo Mail now has a consistent look and feel across devices." 

Mayer came to Yahoo in July after the company went through an embarrassing and distracting string of three CEOs who had led the company since January. 

Yahoo was one of the pioneering online businesses back in the mid-1990s, when it became one of the most popular Websites and search engines on the then-nascent Internet. 

In recent years, Yahoo has often languished and fallen behind many more nimble, innovative Internet companies, but it's again trying to push forward with Mayer at the helm. 

Mayer was one of Google's first 20 hires in June 1999 and was the company's first female developer. She went on to lead group efforts with Google's Gmail and search products for more than 10 years.

Aakash2 to sell at Rs 1900 soon: Kapil Sibal

 
Tablet lovers, specially the students would soon be able to buy the Aakash 2 tablet at a price of Rs 1900 ($35). The current price of the tablet is $49. 

This was announced by the telecom minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday at Reverse Buyer Seller Meet (RBSM) here organised by Telecom Equipment and Service Export Promotion Council.

He said that Aakash has all the amenities of any modern tablet. “It performs the same function as a $150 tablet,” Sibal said.

He said that next version of the tablet will also have Skype, an application used for making voice calls using Internet connection and does not necessarily require a SIM.

The government is in process to get Cabinet approval for manufacturing of 50 lakh units of Aakash tablet in India, Sibal said. 

“A global tender for its production in the country will be floated then”

Earlier this month the much talked about tablet designed, developed and manufactured by DataWind Ltd. for supply to IIT Bombay was launched by the President Pranab Mukherjee.

DataWind is to supply 100,000 units of Aakash 2 to IIT Bombay, which intends to distribute them to Engineering University and College students.

Few days back an English daily had reported that DataWind founders and NRI brothers Suneet and Raja Singh Tuli may have procured these devices off-the-shelf from manufacturers in China for $42 ( Rs. 2,263 then), exactly the price at which they sold these to the Indian government.

But Tuli refuted this saying that for expediency sake it had the motherboards and kits manufactured in its Chinese subcontractor's facilities, and then the units have been 'kitted' in China at various manufacturers whereas the final assembly and programming has happened in India.