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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

BlackBerry 10 gets Indian touch


KOCHI: BlackBerry, whose smartphones have for long been used by the professional class, is adding a dash of spice to attract younger users. Its latest phones will feature applications developed by 57 companies housed within Kochi's Startup Village, an incubation centre backed by the Kerala government.

Students employed by these companies have developed nearly 150 apps on the BlackBerry platform, ranging from algorithms for guessing your mood to those that help start and accelerate a car.

These apps reflect an image makeover for the device maker, Research in Motion (RIM) - the maker of BlackBerry phones - which is trying to eat into the market share of larger rivals Apple and Samsung. BlackBerry was until recently offering users about 1,05,000 apps, compared with 7,00,000 for Android phones and 7,75,000 for Apple.

To bridge this gap, RIM turned to sourcing innovation from new locations and chose Kerala as its first destination in Asia-Pacific last year.

"We found the Kerala Start-up Village to be excellent in garnering college support, and providing land, legal and financial assistance to student entrepreneurs," said Annie Mathew, director alliances and business development at RIM India.

RIM provides free toolkits, BB 10 devices and developer support to students developing apps. Nearly a tenth of the 4,00,000 developers working on the BlackBerry platform now are from India.

Industry experts believe that by creating a robust app ecosystem RIM expects to shore up its declining share in the global smartphone market which fell to 5% last year from 10% in 2010.

"The reason RIM lost the race to Apple and Samsung was because it had no exciting hardware or platform for developers," said Kunal Bajaj, director at mobile venture One97 Communications and a BlackBerry user. "With BB 10, RIM aims to get some of that buzz back."

RIM will also pay developers $10,000 (Rs 5.4 lakh) for every app successfully ported on the BB 10 platform. The company expects to have 70,000 apps globally with its new BB 10 devices being launched this week.

Arjun R Pillai, 24, who quit Infosys last year to team up with his college mates and launch Profoundis, has developed about 12 apps for the BlackBerry platform.

His company's apps 'Sense' and 'Emotion' use search algorithms to analyse the mood of a blog or predict whether a movie can be a hit or flop. His other apps 'Yoga' and 'Cook Book' are also being ported to the new platform.

"The only challenge behind developing an app for BlackBerry was that the exposure was low compared to an Android. Hopefully, it will get resolved now," says Pillai. Mathew of RIM believes having fewer apps on BlackBerry World in contrast to rival platforms, is not a disadvantage. "We just focus on the quality of apps, never the quantity. After all, how many poker games do you need?"

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Land Rover delivers first 2013 Range Rover

Land Rover delivers first 2013 Range Rover

Land Rover has delivered the first example of its all-new Range Rover flagship at the company's new visitor center in Solihull, Great Britain. The 2013 Range Rover made its public debut last year at the Paris Motor Show.

Shared with corporate partner Jaguar, the newly opened visitor center will be used to deliver vehicles to customers directly from the factory. 

To go along with that plush treatment, Jaguar Land Rover designed the center to resemble a “high-quality boutique hotel.”

The keys to the first 2013 Range Rover were handed over to Denys Shortt, who has owned Range Rovers for the past 25 years, and his wife Debbie.

“My wife and I have really enjoyed our day here, the unveil was spectacular and it’s a very special place to be handed the keys and have an introduction to our new cars,” Shortt said.

Mark Cameron, Jaguar Land Rover Global Brand Experience Director, added: “This facility has been designed to provide customers with the opportunity to come into direct contact with our brand. 

It offers an intimate setting while delivering bespoke and premium experiences using the latest technologies to offer the very highest levels of customer service.”

The new Land Rover, which will arrive in U.S. dealers later this year, weighs 700 pounds less than the outgoing model, improving fuel economy and overall performance. 

In the U.S., the Range Rover will be available with two V8s, both of which will be mated to an eight-speed automatic.

Lamborghini India launches Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 at 4.77 Cr

A Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 attracts attention from showgoers during the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 11, 2012. CES, the world's largest consumer technology tradeshow, runs through January 13.

Super sports car maker Lamborghini, which today rolled out the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Roadster, said it expects a higher growth for its super luxury cars in the domestic market.

The new Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster is priced at Rs. 4,77,50,000 (ex-showroom Delhi) and will go on sale from mid 2013 at Lamborghini dealers nationwide.

It features new Dione 20'/21' rims crafted in light forged aluminum which lower the weight of the vehicle by 10 Kg.

"Last year we achieved 21 per cent growth here. This year, we expect a higher growth," Automobili Lamborghini sales manager for Southeast Asia & Pacific, Andrea Baldi, told reporters here without disclosing a target.

Lamborghini is a company of the German auto major Volkswagen Group. The new Roadster will go on sale from mid-2013 at its two dealers, he added.

Stating that the domestic market has good potential for the super luxury cars, Baldi said, "This market will see steady and continuous growth in the years to come."

India will grow faster than some of the current markets in the next five years, he said. On the new car, Baldi said the Aventador Roadster is the most exciting supercar that embodies performance, design, technology and engineering excellence. I am sure it will further develop our presence in this market."

The super luxury car maker had entered the country in 2005 and today it operates two outlets-- one each in Delhi and Mumbai.

"We are considering other cities also, mainly Chennai and Bangalore. But there are some challenges like finding the right dealer and infrastructure," he said.

Stating that India is slowly accepting the super cars as a means to realise aspirations, he said, "We are hopeful of the success we can achieve here."

HTC unveils 4-inch Desire U with Android 4.0, 1GHz processor


 The device is expected to retail for 7990 New Taiwan Dollar (about $274) or at NT$ 291 per month on contract from Chunghwa Telecom. Launch details for other regions remain unknown at the moment.

Specs wise, the Desire U doesn't have much to show off. At 9.32mm thick and weighing 119g, the smartphone sports a 4-inch capacitive touch display (800x480) and runs on Android 4.0 with the company's Sense UI atop. It comes with a 5-megapixel auto focus rear camera with LED Flash.

Internally, the device is powered by a 1GHz processor with 512MB RAM and has 4GB of internal storage with expansion options upto 32GB via microSD cards. The smartphone comes with a 1,650mAh battery.

An interesting addition to the phone's design is the micro-drilled cover art on the back panel. The HTC logo is engraved in the centre and like most other HTC device. 

It features Beats Audio integration. Connectivity protocols include Wi-Fi 820.11 b/g/n, 3G, Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX and GPS. The device will come in black and white colour options.

HTC has been in the news lately for its M7 full-HD device that is expected to launch one week ahead of the Mobile World Congress next month. The HTC M7 has been leaked in press renders over the past few weeks also seen with the yet-to-be-announced Sense 5.0 UI.

Previously rumoured specifications for the device indicate a 4.7-inch full-HD display, making it an incredible 468ppi. Other alleged specs include a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor with 2GB RAM, 32GB of internal storage, 12-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel one in the front.

HTC Desire U key specifications
  • 4-inch (800x480 pixels) capacitive touch screen display
  • 1 GHz processor
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 4GB of internal storage expandable up to 32GB via microSD
  • 5-megapixel auto focus rear camera with LED Flash
  • 3G, Wi-Fi 820.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX, GPS
  • 1,650mAh battery
  • Android 4.0 with HTC Sense UI
  • 9.32mm thick
  • Weighs 119 grams

Belkin announces intent to acquire Cisco's home networking business unit
CHENNAI: Belkin, a California based firm, announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Cisco's Home Networking Business Unit, including its products, technology, Linksys brand and employees. With global operations, Linksys' main office is located in Irvine, Calif.

"Belkin's ultimate goal is to be the global leader in the connected home and wireless networking space and this acquisition is an important step to realizing that vision," said Chet Pipkin, CEO of Belkin.
  Belkin intends to maintain the Linksys brand and will offer support for Linksys products as part of this transaction. All valid warranties will be honored by Belkin for current and future Linksys products. After the transaction closes, Belkin will account for approximately 30% of the U.S. retail home and small business networking market.
"With complementary innovation and engineering strategies in the combined organization, Belkin will be able to create new opportunities for consumers, distribution partners and resellers, and will have the strongest retail presence in the U.S. networking marketplace. 

Belkin also will have access to a large installed base that will be able to upgrade their networking environment to take advantage of new technologies in the smartphone, tablet, notebook and home automation arenas," Pipkin said. "Additionally, Linksys will enhance Belkin's capabilities to meet the needs of the service provider space and small business users."
Belkin and Cisco intend to develop a strategic relationship on a variety of initiatives including retail distribution, strategic marketing and products for the service provider market. Having access to Cisco's specialized software solutions across all of Belkin's product lines will bring a more seamless user experience for customers. Merging the innovation capabilities of Linksys and Belkin provides a powerful platform from which to develop the next generation of home networking technology.

Specific financial terms of the transaction are undisclosed. The transaction is subject to various standard closing conditions and is expected to close in March 2013.

Dhingana Debuts Mobile Everywhere Music Streaming

The world’s largest on-demand Indian music streaming service, announced today the launch of its service on mobile web, making it available to all web-connected devices with no need to download an application. 

Dhingana’s mobile web is free, giving users quick and easy access to a library of a half of a million songs in 38 Indian languages and genres. With Dhingana mobile web, users can search for any song or album or listen to thousands of playlists right from their mobile device. 

Mobile web makes it easy to browse through the various genres of music and search for new music without taking up any extra space on your mobile device.

“We’ve always had a very strong focus on smartphones and building highly engaging native apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Nokia. We are thrilled to launch Dhingana for Mobile Web and allow users with any mobile phone to stream music instantly,” said Snehal Shinde, CEO and Co-Founder of Dhingana. 

“In a country like India where 80% of the mobile internet usage is from low-end feature phones via mobile web, we are now the first Bollywood and Indian music streaming company to embrace mobile web globally and ensure users can listen to music from any internet-enabled device, from high-end smartphones to low-end feature phones.”

Dhingana also announced today 3.5 million mobile app downloads. As an app, Dhingana is now available for iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, Android, Windows and Nokia devices, as well as HTML5.

For more information on Dhingana, please visit

Karbonn S1 Titanium Android Smartphone Coming Soon

Saturday, January 26, 2013 While Micromax will take the laurels of introducing India’s first quad-core based smartphone at a sub Rs 15,000 price range, we reckon there is more to come from other mobile manufacturers in the country, which could be the trend for smartphones in the country this year.

Karbonn, the brand which has launched India’s biggest display based smartphone A30 has quietly prepared its own pocket-friendly quad-core based device, dubbed as S1 Titanium. The phone was spotted on Karbonn’s official website and the company is currently taking the bookings for the same.

The S1 Titanium is said come with a display of 11.4-cm (4.5-inch) qHD version and runs Android 4.1 aka Jelly Bean OS. Under the hood, the smartphone has a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor and 1 GB RAM to power the affordable device from Karbonn. S1 has a rear 5 MP camera and VGA front-facing shooter for video calls. 

The smartphone alike all the other competitive devices, has dual-SIM support and offers connectivity features including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, USB 2.0. Karbonn has loaded the S1 Titanium with a 1,600 mAh battery.

Earlier this week, Micromax had announced the launch of A116 Canvas HD , which is a 12.7-cm (5-inch) quad-core smartphone with features like 1 GB RAM, 720p display, 4 GB internal storage, and runs Android 4.1 aka Jelly Bean.


---> 11.4-cm (4.5-inch) qHD display
---> Android 4.1 aka Jelly Bean OS---> 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, 
---> 1 GB RAM ---> 5 MP rear and VGA front-facing camera ---> Wi-Fi, 3G, GPS, USB 2.0, 
---> dual-SIM support ---> 1,600 mAh battery 

Micromax A54 Smarty now available for Rs 4,659

Micromax has been on the launching spree for quite some time now. Building on the announcement it had made few days back about launching about 30 models of devices this year, it has now added Micromax A54 to its portfolio. While the company has not officially announced it per say, but it is available with online retailer Infibeam for Rs 4,659.

The Android smartphone flaunts a 3.5-inch HVGA capacitive touch screen offering resolution of 480 x 320 pixels. As the dual-SIM phone market ascends heights, this also comes with dual-SIM compatibility.

With a single-core Qualcomm processor clocked at 1GHz, 3.0-megapixel rear camera, the device surely offers a decent set of specs; however it runs on a relatively older version of Android, i.e Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

On connectivity front, it offers Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and micro USB support. And to keep the phone running for long periods it has a 1,300mAh battery.

Lava Xolo X500: An Atom-based Android phone

Lava wants to take its smartphones to a new level with the new Intel Z2420 chip. The Xolo 900 maker is set to make a device based on Intel’s Atom Lexington Z2420 chip which was showcased at CES 2013.

The Xolo 900, the company’s flagship phone, was launched last year at is powered by the Z2460 chip.

The Atom Lexington Z2420 chip featured in the new Lava smartphone is a single core processor that utilises hyper-threading technology. Intel claims this configuration give a 10–15 percent in performance output.

The chip maker also states that this feature is in no way more powerful than chips sporting two physical cores.

Xolo X500 specifications:

Processor: 1.2GHz processor with Intel Hyper-Threading Technology

Operating System: Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

Display: 3.5-inch TFT display with 480 x 320 pixel resolution

Memory: 512MB RAM

Storage: 4GB internal, expandable up to 32GB via microSD

Camera: 5-megapixel camera

Battery: 1,500mAh battery

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Airtel opens dynamic mobile exchange to support Bring Your Own Device trend
BANGALORE: Bharti Airtel has launched Airtel Dynamic Mobile Exchange (DME) for corporates. The solution allows the workforce to access enterprise data from anywhere on a device of their choice, in a secure manner- thus enhancing the business productivity while meeting mobile data security requirements of the enterprise.

With ever changing business environment and with more demanding customers - ubiquitous mobile is emerging as an alternative that helps in maintaining better work-life balance. From field-force to in-house executives, employees prefer to use personal smart phones and tablet for official work. 

Keeping pace with this demand, the concept of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is gaining momentum and therefore security of data sitting on these devices are paramount for every organization. 

Airtel DME ensures seamless implementation of the Enterprise BYOD concept without compromising on corporate data security. As a unique feature, Airtel DME allows employees to segregate official & personal data on the same device by containerizing the information such as emails, data applications, documents etc. 

The solution empowers IT administrators to remotely manage and control the device basis individual company policy. In case of loss of the mobile device, the corporate container can be remotely locked and data can be wiped off, thereby protecting sensitive corporate information.
"With changing business environment, youth driven trends like BYOD is gaining ground in India. According to industry estimates, approximately 70% of all smart phone-owning professionals are now using their personal devices to access corporate data, but almost 80% of today's BYOD activity remains inadequately managed because of various security concerns. 

This calls for businesses to implement innovative solutions that allow them to take control and benefit from BYOD phenomenon - without losing corporate data. AirtelDME provides a secure mobile solution to our corporate customers, allowing their workforce to access company information - anytime, anywhere,'' said Drew Kelton, president, Airtel Business, Bharti Airtel.

Micromax launches A116 Canvas HD hitting india the first week of February 2013

The Micromax A116 Canvas HD is powered by MediaTek's MT6589 1.2 GHz quad-core processor and will run on Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). It packs in a 2100mAh battery. Micromax Canvas HD come with 5-inch HD IPS screen that supports HD resolution (1280x720) and a colour depth of 16.7 million.

This smartphone is expected to be available in the market in the first week of February. The company has not disclosed the exact price for this device but has indicated that it will be retail for under Rs. 15,000.

The smartphone comes with an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and 4X zoom. There is a VGA front camera on-board. Other features of the smartphone include 1GB RAM and 4GB of internal storage, which can be expanded to up to 32GB via microSD card.

Commenting on the launch and association with MediaTek, Deepak Mehrotra, Chief Executive Officer, Micromax said, "At Micromax, we constantly strive to innovate and develop great technological experiences for our consumers. Today's launch marks our association with MediaTek to bring forth our first quad core phone in this segment, offering consumers a great user experience with latest features and added functionality." 

He further added, "We are excited with the success of Canvas 2, which has clearly established Micromax as number one player in the new 5-inch phablet category in India. We are looking forward to similar success with the new phone being unveiled today."

Speaking at the occasion, Finbarr Moynihan, General Manager - Business Development at MediaTek, said, "In less than 2 years of launching our first smartphone chipset, MediaTek's shipments in this category have grown more than ten times, with 110 million units in 2012.

As the world's first commercialized quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC, the MT6589 is an innovative solution that accelerates product development, simplifies differentiation, and offers the best possible experience that mid to high-end smart device owners desire. Micromax shares our core philosophy of pushing the bar on innovation and bringing it within the reach of the masses."

key specifications
  • 5-inch (1280 x 720 pixels) HD IPS display
  • 1.2 GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6589 processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB internal memory, expandable up to 32GB
  • 8-megapixel rear camera
  • VGA front camera
  • 2100 mAh battery
  • Android 4.1

The Brain of Micromax A116 Canvas HD's  quad-core MediaTek MT6589 chip

Lets take a closer look :-

The real star whose performance we’re waiting to see is the MT6589 from Mediatek, which the company claims is the world’s first commercially viable quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC. The MT6589 has 4 Cortex-A7 cores, clocking in at 1.2GHz and replaces the Adreno GPU with a PowerVR Series 5XT GPU. The combination of the two allows for the processor to provide support for full HD content, along with being able to handle a 13MP camera. It also supports 3D content, and is capable of shooting in 3D and convert 2D footage to 3D on the fly.


Multimedia goodness aside, the MediaTek MT6589 processor inside the Micromax A116 Canvas HD also supports dual active SIM cards, meaning that if you are engaged on a phone call on one SIM, the other SIM can still be used to receive and make calls and texts. It also supports HSPA+ with speeds of up to 42Mbps, a significant jump over the MT 6577, its predecessor, whose capabilities were bottlenecked at 7.2Mbps.

While it is fairly obvious MT6589 might only be able to match up with 70-80 percent of the current generation’s top-end quad-core phones' performance, given that the Micromax A116 HD only costs a fraction of what these premium phones do, the phone’s sheer performance potential is going to create quite a buzz.

With such powerful parts ticking under the hood, along with the fact that it will ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box, the Micromax A116 Canvas HD certainly looks like a good option for those who want processing power on a budget.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Samsung launches Galaxy Grand for Rs 21,500 in India

Samsung has finally released the India price for its new Galaxy Grand smartphone. The device, which runs Android 4.1 aka Jelly Bean, will cost Rs 21,500.

As part of a special introductory offer, Samsung says that the device will come with a Flip Cover in the box and users can download music and movies through ‘My Services’ worth Rs. 8000 for free along with 50GB Dropbox space. Vodafone users also get 2GB data download free per month for two months.

Samsung has launched the dual-SIM version of the device. The single SIM version is GT-I9080 and should be launched soon. In the dual-SIM version, Samsung promises total communication flexibility, which allows users to manage two phone numbers from a single phone. 

It is possible to receive calls on one SIM number while taking a call from the other, ensuring efficient management of personal and work commitments without ever missing a call 

Key features of the device are:

The smartphone has a 5-inch screen WVGA TFT LCD screen

  • It has an 8 megapixel rear camera and 2 megapixel front camera.
  • It runs Android 4.1.2 aka Jelly Bean.
  • It has 1.2 Ghz dual-core processor along with 1GB RAM.  
  • The device has 8GB memory space and supports a MicroSD card and is expandable up to 64GB.
  • It supports Bluetooth 4.0 and 4G LTE.

Pranav Kalyan an Indian-Origin becomes Youngest Microsoft Technology Specialist

Pranav Kalyan
Pranav Kalyan, a fourth grader from Willow Elementary School in California, has become the youngest  Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist. Kalyan is now listed on Wikipedia's List of Child Prodigies under "computer science."

Pranav with his family
On Jan 9, nine-year-old Kalyan of Indian origin cracked the MCTS (Microsoft Certification Technology Specialist) exams based on ASP.NET Framework 3.5 to become the youngest certified Microsoft associate.

Before Kalyan's feat, a Dubai-based computer prodigy, Babar Iqbal, was the youngest certified Microsoft professional associate. He had accomplished the MCTS certification in .NET 3.5 at the age of 12.

Kalyan started his interest in computers at the age of two and began coding simple HTML at the age of six. His father is also a computer programmer with the same certification, so its no surprise to see Kalyan's parents being a major influence.

Kalyan would study up to eight hours a day on weekends. "He also reads large college texts in mathematics and science. He is currently mastering calculus," Kalyan's father added.

"As a toddler, Pranav was more fascinated by computers than toys. He started writing small software programs at the age of six," said the prodigy's father Kalyan Kumar.
Pranav's father hails from Madurai, Tamil Nadu. He is now settled in California and currently works at the Bank of America, Los Angeles.

The elated father said,"He (Pranav) is capable of solving problems in differential calculus and integral calculus. His efficiency in mathematics helped him write programs".

The computer prodigy said that he spent the last 18 months to prepare for the MCTS exams and further claimed that he sat close to eight hours a day on computer programming in his holidays, reported the news agency.

Pranav's achievement is no small feat. His logical and mathematical skills put many computer graduates to shame. Microsoft's certification is one of the hardest technical tests to crack. Even many tech wizards find it very hard to clear the test. Only a few programmers in the world have received the honours till date.

Microsoft offers MCTS certification in a large array of technical fields such as SQL server, Visual Studio, Windows Server, Windows Client and many more topics.

So what is he up to now? Kalyan is currently developing his own software titled "P-studyware" for Windows and is building his own website. Kalyan wants to become an astronomer.