28 January 2012

The News - News

The News - News


Apple Beat Google in US Smartphone Market

Posted: 26 Jan 2012 09:38 PM PST

Apple’s iOS overtook Google’s Android to become the leading smartphone platform in the US in the fourth quarter of 2011, thanks to strong demand for its latest iPhone model, a study said Wednesday.

In October-December quarter last year, Apple’s share of the US smartphone market doubled from a year earlier to 44.9 percent, while Android’s share fell from 50 percent to 44.8 percent in the same period, according to market research firm Kantar Worldpanel.

apple

While Android retains global smartphone crown, Apple is now growing at a faster rate, driven by the launch of its latest iPhone 4S model in October last year, Kantar Worldpanel noted.

“Overall, Apple sales are now growing at a faster rate than Android across the nine countries we cover,” Xinhua reported quoting Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at the research firm.

Apple posted better-than-expected quarterly results Tuesday, saying it sold a record-breaking 37.04 million units of iPhone in total in the fourth quarter last year, an increase of 128 percent over the year-ago period.


10 Health Gadgets for 2012

Posted: 26 Jan 2012 09:35 PM PST

Technology is penetrating into the health industry in a faster phase. Some innovative technologies are trying to make to healthier through your smartphones and tablets. Have a looks at these health gadgets which are going to fight with each other to make you live more in the coming years.

Fitbit Smart Scale:

 
This smart gadget named 'Fitbit Aria' is designed by Fitbit, the maker of popular Fitbit wireless activity tracker. Fitbit Aria helps you to regain your shape by measuring you weight and by keeping track of your body mass and fat percentage for over a period of time.  Users can also synchronize this device to their online Fitbit account wirelessly. You will be able to get hold of this device for $129.95 after spring.

 
 
 

Tinké:

 
Zensorium is the maker of this tech-savvy small and colorful heart monitoring devices that plugs directly into iPhone and measures heart rate, oxygen levels, and blood pressure through your finger. The device stores all your health information in its social network which helps you to track your progress. Company will be launching this device for $100 in next six months, before that they are planning to integrate some more functionality like stress level monitor.

 

Fitness Evolved headphones:

 
This new headphone made by New Balance plays music, monitor your heart rate, and act as a pedometer and stopwatch.  The headphones comes with a NB639 ear buds and detachable ear hooks that match to your ears and audibly announce your exercise stats with the push of a button.

 
 
 

Basis Band:

 
This simple looking Basis Band watch comes with skin-responsive sensors tacked to its bottom to track your daily heart rate, caloric burn, physical activity, and sleep patterns. The band of this watch is light weight and waterproof, therefore users can wear it 24/7. It also comes with interchangeable bands to accolade your entire outfits. It comes with a price tag of $199.

 

EmWave2:

 
HeartMath developed EmWave2 to analyze the physiological effects of overwhelming emotions.  This is an 'inner fitness' device which tracks and displays heart rhythm patterns and show how body reacts to stress. “When we’re really stressed, it looks like an earthquake, and we want to see more of the harmonic waves associated with joy and ease,” says Deborah Rozman, president of HeartMath LLC. Rozman says by showing users what’s going on inside their body; it can help them control how they react to daily stress triggers. This device comes in two formats, one is handheld and the other one is for desktop.

 
 
 

Baby Watch:

 
The main aim of Baby Watch is to reduce parent’s concerns about their new born baby. This is a wearable baby monitor that allows parents to view their child within 500 feet via Wi-Fi or internet connection. The device is very practical as it allows parents to wear the touch screen monitor as a necklace, belt clip, or wristband. The price and availability of this health gadget is not disclosed yet.

 

Smart Baby Scale:

 
This device comes with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity which can be easily synchronized with smartphone. Withings developed this device with WiScale app graphs and also tracks baby’s progress, which allows user to share their baby's data with pediatrician, or friends and family members. The device with cost you arounf $159, but the app is free and will be available in the market in the second quarter of 2012.

 
 
 

Smart Fridge:

 
LG's smart Fridge can be connected to your smartphone to give you a detailed report of what is there in your fridge.  It helps you to plan your diet and also tells about the expiry date of the stuffs in the fridge. This appliance also has a touch screen and voice activated system. This smart fridge will be available in the market by the second quarter of 2012.

 

Mobile MIM 3.0:

 
MIM Software Inc. trying to make clunky medical processes become simple through MIM. The advanced version of MIM allows radiologists and patients to access X-ray and ultrasound scans through the Mobile MIM cloud. While the company says it doesn’t keep track of an exact number of users, it reports “tens of thousands” of people have downloaded the free app since its launch in December.

 
 
 

Wahoo heart rate monitor:

 
It's another heart monitor created by Wahoo. This is a chest strap which is operational with Bluetooth technology to wirelessly track and send your heart rate information to your iPhone 4S. The company says this device is also functional with other popular smartphone fitness applications.


HTC’s surprises for MWC 2012

Posted: 26 Jan 2012 09:30 PM PST

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012 on February 27 in Barcelona is one of the most important annual events for the global technology giants. This year's MWC will be coming up with new interesting and innovative mobiles from various mobile manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, LG, HTC, Nokia and many more.
There are many rumors around the web about the HTC's products which the company will be introducing in the MWC 2012. Here are the juiciest rumors about HTC mobiles.

 

1. HTC Edge

 
The HTC Edge is highly rumored as the first smartphone with quad-core processor to hit the market. The phone is powered by Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor and has a 4.7 inch touchscreen display.

 
The rumors over the internet also said that the Edge will be 10 mm thick and will features a 8 MP camera, 32 GB of internal storage, 1.5 GHz processor speed, 1 GB of RAM, Bluetooth, and is supposed to run on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and HTC Sense 4.0 user interface.

 

2. HTC Ville

 
HTC Ville leaked just after HTC Edge, the rumored Ville is powered by 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, Adreno 225 GPU (Graphic Processing Unit), 4.3 inch Super AMOLED display and 8 MP rear camera with backside illuminated sensor which is capable of recording 1080 pixels of HD video and will run on on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich which moves the navigation buttons on the screen.The other specifications will be same to HTC Edge but the difference is there are no physical buttons in the mobile.

 
 
 

3. HTC Primo

 
HTC Primo looks like a mid range smartphone with integrated Beats Audio support and runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with HTC Sense 4.0 user interface. The rumored Primo is powered by 1 GHz dual core processor, 512 MB of RAM and other features includes 3.7 inch Super AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass and 5 MP rear camera capable of recording 720 pixels of videos.

 

4. HTC Quattro

 
HTC Quattro is a tablet which is going to be launched in MWC 2012. The rumored Quattro tablet will be powered by Tegra 3 processor, 1 GB RAM and this will be the first tablet to hit the market with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

 
Other specifications include 16 GB of internal memory which is expandable via microSD card, Bluetooth 4.0, 2 MP rear camera with 720 pixels of video recording capability and 1.3 MP front facing camera.


Nokia Lumia 900 Coming to India

Posted: 26 Jan 2012 09:27 PM PST

Nokia's latest Windows Phone based smartphone Lumia 900 will be available in India till June.
Nokia showcased this smartphone at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 in Las Vegas. The company has already prepared non LTE version of the smartphone and will launch in the market like India where LTE network is not available.

The Nokia Lumia 900 has an admirable design which is slightly resembles the previous version of Nokia Lumia 800. The smartphone sports 4.3 inch touchscreen AMOLED ClearBlack display at 800×480 pixels of resolution.
Along with its beautiful design, brilliant touchscreen and operating system it is powered by 1.4 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM and runs on latest Windows Phone operating system. It also has a stunning 8 MP rear camera with Carl Zeiss optics, LED flash and a VGA front facing camera. Officially Nokia has not yet revealed the price of this device but it is expected to be around Rs 30000.


e-tutor, India’s First Cloud-based Tablet Solution Launched

Posted: 26 Jan 2012 09:24 PM PST

Sam Pitroda, advisor to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Wednesday launched the country’s first cloud-based tablet solution for school students called ‘e-tutor tablet’.

This can be used by students from Class 1 to 12.

e tutor

Priced at Rs 7,500, inclusive of content, the product would be available in the market from April onwards.

The e-tutor tablet is a joint effort of Technopark-based e-tutor and Oztern Technology.

Ranjith Balan, founder and managing director of e-tutor, said that this will be the first complete solution for education to be made available on Tablet PCs.

“The teacher can easily explain concepts using the digital whiteboard that is set up in the Tablet PC. Using e-tutor learning tablet the students can access what was taught in the classroom and can also access the collaborative learning platform for discussions on relevant topics taught in the classroom,” said Balan.

The product is also aimed at making internet a safer place for children. E-tutor tablet safeguards the connectivity from the personalized Tablets PCs provided as a part of the solution, and restrict it to connect to internet only through the synchronization module in the product.

Detailing on the technology, Saiju V. Stella, CEO of Oztern Technology, said cloud computing technology can bring about a major leap in the way technology is being used in the educational sector.

“Most of the technology products available in the market today for education act as teaching aids rather than learning aids. Cloud computing also fulfills another major social commitment by reducing the carbon emissions, from dedicated servers and data centres that consume huge amounts of energy, thus making computing more energy efficient and green,” said Stella.

Lessons will be made available to the learner through personalised Tablet PCs, and regular content updates will be made available through a unique cloud – tablet synch mechanism, thus making sure that the device connects only to the relevant locations to access content.

Rajinish Menon, director, Business Strategy and Operations, Microsoft, who was present at the occasion, expressed his happiness to see partners like Oztern coming up with innovative solutions in the education sector using Microsoft Windows Azure which is Microsoft’s cloud computing infrastructure.

Cloud computing is a technology that uses internet and central remote servers to maintain data and applications. Cloud computing allows consumers and businesses to use applications without installation and access their personal files at any computer with internet access. This technology allows for much more efficient computing by centralising storage, memory, processing and bandwidth.


Now a Satellite to Track Down People in Distress!

Posted: 26 Jan 2012 09:21 PM PST

Israeli scientists are developing miniature satellites that can identify people in distress.

Experts at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology aim to launch three small satellites weighing six kg each to orbit earth at an altitude of 600 km for one year.

signals

Once in orbit, the satellites would pinpoint people showing signs of distress, Xinhua reported quoting the daily Ma’ariv Wednesday.

The orbiters will also help conduct surveillance of birds’ migratory patterns across the globe, among other missions.

Project head Pini Gurfil received a $2.1-million grant from the European Research Council last June to develop Disaggregated Spacecraft Architectures (DSA), a method for launching satellites in separate components.

After reaching their designated altitude, these unattached components would cluster together and communicate wirelessly to form a complete satellite.

The researchers’ ultimate goal is to develop technology that will enable flight in a DSA formation.

“This is the first time ever that an attempt will be made to launch three satellites, which will fly together in a unified formation,” Gurfil told Ma’ariv.

“A launching of this kind has not been possible until now due to the size and weight of the satellites and other problems,” he said.

As part of the experiment, the satellites will be equipped with a specially-designed propulsion system that will assist in maintaining the flight formation for an extended period of time. Once in space, the satellites will attempt to receive signals from earth and calculate their origin.

The project will be officially inaugurated next week at the 7th annual Ilan Ramon Space Conference near Tel Aviv, which will be attended by representatives of international space agencies and leading space experts. Technion researchers have set 2015 as the deadline for a launch.

Gurfil said that if successful, the experiment would be significant to the development of miniature satellites and technologies that seek to miniaturize electronic components for civilian applications.


Teach Your Child About Money

Posted: 26 Jan 2012 09:17 PM PST

'A penny saved is a penny earned' makes the same sense to children as it does to adults. So, it becomes exceedingly important for parents to teach their kids about money, its importance and about saving and investing it. With the economies of the world talking about various economics terms, kids might become curious about what they hear. So, explaining them in basic terms about money and managing it is always a good deal. Here are some do's and don't's given by SmartMoney to teach our kids about moolah –

Discuss More Often About Money – Talking to our children about money properly is a challenging but mandatory task. Making them understand the importance of starting on early savings is a good option. However, one must know that teaching them about money can be tricky. They must learn the importance of money but not get blinded by it. No one would want another Scrooge after all. Inculcating the importance of money is not a destination but a journey. So, parents must be patient about this tedious, yet fruitful process.

 
Use Routine Tasks to Discuss About Money – Everyday tasks can be used to set an example for kids. Going to the grocery store or to the ATM are fine instances to teach kids about money. They must know that there are sources of income and ways one can disburse it. Demarcating the 2 is crucial as kids must know that there has to be a steady flow of money in order to spend it. So, go ahead and make the little ones know about this fact of financial life.

 
Have a Routine – Kids can be taught about having a few good habits with money. Telling them to save a little each day, week or month is a good way to make them learn about saving. Gradually, they will learn that a good source of money can be their own savings as well. So, they will spend wisely and less recklessly.

 
Teach Kids Charity – 'Charity Begins at Home' could not be more true in this situation as well. Kids must know that money is feisty entity and need not favour all. So, it is up to us to help the less fortunate ones with money. Being a part of an NGO or donating a generous amount to people in times of calamities must be taught to children. However, make sure that they know who should be the right recipient and not get fooled by free-loaders. Kids must know that they can give only if they have enough for themselves and their dear ones. Also, kids will learn what they see. So, be a giver yourself first before teaching them about charity.

 

Teach to Attempt at Earning Money Themselves – One is not advising children to go and look for part-time job or anything. This highlights the fact that saving money and spending it wisely from an early age is going to become a very good habit as an adult. When kids will learn that money is hard to ear but moderately easy to save, they themselves will ask their parents about what they want to do with their share of money. This is again a tricky area and needs to be dealt with patience. Remember, kids will not listen to you in the first go. Be patient, make them learn using terms they are comfortable with and never forget that this takes time. Never expect overnight results.

 
Give Them Pocket Money – Getting pocket money from parents almost feels like the birth-right of kids these days. Having a weekly or monthly piggy bank account is what we have grown up seeing. Our kids will learn from the same way. Make saving money fun by asking them in what kind of piggy bank they would want to save their money. Gone are the days when one had to crack open one's favourite money pig and cry over the trusted friend. One advantage of plastic and technology are the new age piggy banks. These banks need not be broken. Moreover, these days, banks are more than just piggies but other animals as well. So, go ahead and give kids their pocket money and fun ways of stashing it away.

 
Have an Expenditure Log – Always remember to 'cut your cloth according to you size.' The same goes for children as well. Kids must be taught to save more money than spend it but not become a miser either. Having a daily or weekly log to record one's expenditures will make one aware of how much is being spent on what. When one knows where money is going, one can do something about it. Buy kids colourful diaries and note-books to make this irksome task fun. Remember, making things fun is the only way kids will learn. After all, look at how many of us still remember our nursery rhymes because they were taught in a fun manner.

 
Having a Savings Account – It is never too early to open a savings account for children. Though they operate their accounts only after 10 years of age, having a savings account early will never hurt. Moreover, it can act as a good ID proof as well. LIC's Komal Jeevan Policy and Jeevan Ankur Plans might bring in good investment for it but they benefit our children just as much. Do remember that having such policies help kids to know the value of saving money in productive ways.

 

Coach Them About Investing – Investments are an inevitable part of life. We make an investment each and every day. These need be just monetary ones but philosophical ones as well. We invest in our lives, our loved ones and our work. These investments teach us that a little progress everyday reaps great rewards. Kids must be taught this important life lesson as well. Being a good role-model in this sphere is extremely important as kids learn from parents.
Educate on Basic Investing – Making kids learn that investing is an integral part of saving is very important. One need not introduce them to MoneyControl.Com or anything. Parents just need to involve their kids when opening their bank accounts, telling them about where grown-ups invest their money and how important it will be for them to do the same when they grow older. Do remember that kids will not learn if we merely tell them to invest like we do. Going down to their level and explain in their terms is very important. As each kid relates to different things, parents will have to explain them differently. Also, siblings might not behave in the same way in terms of money. So, if one is spend-thrift and the other is not, do not be harsh with the former. Learning about saving money will indeed take time and being patient is the only way out.

 

Steer Clear Of – As parents, we tend to overdo certain things and our kids will do the same when they themselves become parents too. It's like a parent gene to interfere in certain matters of our children because we care. However, this is not a good deal all the time. Remember that not all our fingers are of the same size but each is important to perform daily tasks. So, kids need to do their own thing and learn what goes best for them, be it their clothes, toys or ways of saving money. Interfere only if things go awry and otherwise not.

 
Avoid Being a Salvation Source – Like people say, it is sometimes bets to let people learn from their mistakes because this way they will know for sure which things to avoid. In the same way, sometimes it is okay to let kids get bruised in financial terms. One is not saying to make them lose their mind over loss of money or shortage of it but to make them know that parents are the last resort and should be consulted only as the last option. This seems more appropriate with teens but goes just as well with younger kids. If they want some toy or dress they like, let them start saving on their own and help them every week or month to let them know that you are there but only secondary to their efforts.

 
Avoid Making Goals for Kids – We may not feel that kids know best but they tend to be better judges of certain things. Telling them to save money the way we did will not always help because we hail from different generations. Our ways of learning are different. Some basic points remain same but need to be revamped to cater to the needs of the younger generation. Kids might prefer doing things their ways because this way they will learn about money not because of what we want them to do but because they themselves want it. They might go for monthly and not weekly savings but as long as they save a good deal of money, it's a lesson well learnt. Moreover, if there are improvements in their spending patterns and not just an increased amount of savings, then we can proudly say that we worked as a team to teach our kids about money.


Dow row: London Olympics Ethics Commissioner Quits

Posted: 26 Jan 2012 09:11 PM PST

Sustainability Commissioner to the London 2012 Olympics, Meredith Alexander, quit on Thursday in protest of the sponsorship deal with Dow Chemical Company for its connection to the Bhopal gas disaster. Alexander was appointed by Mayor of London Boris Johnson to monitor the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

Alexander, head of trade and corporates at the charity Action Aid told the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 that she could no longer remain in the unpaid post given LOCOG’s refusal to end the association.

She was one of 13 commissioners.

“I don’t want to be party to a defence of Dow Chemicals, the company responsible for one of the worst corporate human rights violations in my generation. It is appalling that 27 years on, the site has still not been cleaned up and thousands upon thousands of people are still suffering.

“I believe people should be free to enjoy London 2012 without this toxic legacy on their conscience,” she said.

Welcoming Alexander’s resignation, Amnesty International said the London 2012 Olympic organisers must admit their mistake in awarding the lucrative seven million pound contract to the Dow Chemical Company.

Dow Chemical owns US-based Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), the company that held a majority share in the Indian subsidiary that owned and operated the UCC plant responsible for the 1984 gas leak disaster, which killed thousands of people.


27 January 2012

The News - News

The News - News


Reliance DreamWorks films get 11 Oscar nominations

Posted: 26 Jan 2012 09:07 PM PST

Three films produced by Reliance DreamWorks, a venture between industrialist Anil Ambani and Hollywood producer-director Steven Spielberg, have bagged as many as 11 Oscar nominations this year, it was announced Tuesday.

This is the first time movies produced by a company with such huge Indian holding has bagged such large nominations for one of the most prestigious cinema awards across the globe.

The nominations are for “War Horse”, “The Help” and “Real Steel”.

Directed by Spielberg himself, “War Horse” has been nominated for six categories — best picture, sound editing, sound mixing, original score, art direction and cinematography.

This movie is about the friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert and releases in India Feb 10.

Nomination for best achievement in visual effects is for “Real Stee” — a sci-fi thriller with Hugh Jackman in the lead.

For “The Help”, directed by Tate Tylor, the nominations are again for best picture, as also for best actress, best supporting actress and best picture trophies.

This year’s Oscar nomination pack is led by “Hugo”, which has 11 nominations alone. It is followed by “The Artist” with 10 nominations.

Apart from movies produced by Reliance DreamWorks, India’s only hope at the Oscars — Sohan Roy’s “DAM 999″ — failed to make it to any category.

One of Ambani’s group firms and Spielberg-promoted venture had forged a mega venture in 2008 to make films for the global audience and set up a Hollywood studio.

The deal also helped the celebrated filmmaker to break away from Viacom Paramount Pictures, which owned DreamWorks till then.

While the Reliance Group pumped in $325 million, a similar amount was raised from a consortium of investment banks.


15 File-Sharing Sites on US Feds Hit List

Posted: 26 Jan 2012 03:28 AM PST

A recap of news-making tech events that happened over the weekend would show you how Megaupload, was taken down by US officials due to its infringement of copyrights on content. The event has a lot of Megaupload's peers (such as FileSonic and FileServe) following suit to shut down their file-sharing services before Uncle Sam comes after them.
But there are others that just function fine, and could be taken down because of the following criteria:

 

RapidShare, WUpload allow large files' sharing with better services for premium accounts:

 
RapidShare, the Switzerland-based file-sharing site, doesn't have limits on the size of files that can be uploaded or downloaded, but makes the user wait for files in case the account used is not premium. WUpload is another site that comes under the same category since you can upload or download files a maximum file-size of 2 GB for free. Premium accounts allow larger file shares, with no delays or time-outs.

 

Divx Stage, NovaMov and MegaShare pay up-loaders for files/ down-loaders for downloads:

 
Divx Stage pays $10 for every time 1000 full-length movies are streamed or uploaded to the site. A user can download up to 1 GB and watch millions of videos at no cost. NovaMov is another site that is very similar in terms of working. MegaShare is another site that allowed users upload up to 10 GB worth files, and rewarded them for download- traffic they brought the site, with "cache points". Every "unique premium download with a minimum 5MB file size" received a point, and when a user had a certain number of points, they received cash.

 

Users of Depositfiles, UploadHere and KingUpload have to pay for high quality downloads :

 
Depositfiles allows users to share files up to 300 MB for free, but with a registration, you are allowed bigger limits, and Gold membership gives users high quality downloads with no advertisements. Sites like UploadHere and KingUpload follow similar policies, but the limits imposed are all different.

 

Putlocker, SockShare, HulkShare Users can share streaming video links:

 
PutLocker, SockShare and HulkShare go along the same lines of function—users of the site can easily share links to streamed files, say songs, or videos which are easily accessible by other users of the site. But PutLocker and SockShare both end their affiliate program for users who share un-copyrighted material on February 1.

 

Googling a file name+ MediaFire, OvFile or ZShare= easy download:

 
Sites like MediaFire, OvFile, ZShare, take users to an easily downloadable file, if the user just Googles say, an artist's name, with the name of the website.

 

BayFiles doesn't restrict the sharing of copyrighted files:

 
BayFiles, created by two notable Pirate Bay's founders, is one of the sites which say content that "violates third-party copyrights" can't be uploaded, but it does nothing to stop file-sharing on the site.


iOS Developers Mint $700 Million in Q1

Posted: 26 Jan 2012 03:25 AM PST

Apple paid iOS developers $700 million last quarter, and if you thought nobody could be happier than Apple's investors when the company released its first Quarter results this year, that's news for you.

 

Apps

Out of its revenue of $46.3 billion, iOS developers received a cumulative amount of $4 billion through the App Store. Since 30 percent of Apple's sales come from its Apps Store, ReadWriteMobile (the mobile channel sponsored by Alcatel-Lucent) estimated that the App Store made up for $1 billion of Apple's revenue. Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO said that there are around 550,000 apps in the App Store (including those for the iPad)—which could mean developers might earn around $7200 per app cumulatively.
According to ReadWriteMobile's report, if in case the Android Market generated even 50 percent of the amount the App Store earns, mobile applications could be amounting to $6 billion a year, with $1.5 billion coming in every quarter (this includes in-app purchase).

 
What remains to be considered, though is that money made via advertisements within mobile apps, would make the gross revenue substantially higher. Since Android phones continue to outsell iPhones, developers could earn big this way too especially since Google doesn't take any of the earning. 70 percent of Android's revenue goes to developers and 30 percent goes to miscellaneous parties such as payment gateways.

 
Last quarter saw about 60-65 million Android devices sold while 37 million iPhones and 15 million iPads were sold in the same period. Although Apple did hit a record high last quarter, there are a number of markets that it still has to penetrate, which leaves it a huge scope for growth.

 
On the whole, there is a world of opportunity for mobile developers whether they develop for the iPhone or Android.


3-Tier Chips to Drive More Powerful Computing

Posted: 26 Jan 2012 03:23 AM PST

Scientists are developing a chip with three or more processors stacked vertically to ensure an unprecedented speed, memory and calculating power, better functionality and wireless connectivity, reveals a study.

chips

“It’s the logical step in electronics development, because it allows a large increase in terms of efficiency,” said Yusuf Leblebici, director of Microelectronics Systems Lab, Switzerland, who led the study.

Unitl now, chips could only be assembled horizontally via connections along their edges. They were connected vertically by several hundred very thin copper microtubes. These wires passed through tiny openings, called Through-Silicon-Vias (TSV), made in the core of the silicon layer of each chip.

“This superposition reduces the distance between circuits, and thus considerably improves the speed of data exchange,” explained Microelectronics researcher Yuksel Temiz, according to a university statement.

The team had to overcome a number of difficulties, such as the fragility of the copper connections as they are miniaturised to an extreme degree (about 50 micrometers in thickness), and are as thin as human hair.

“In three years of work, we tested thousands of TSV connections, and had more than 900 functioning simultaneously,” said Leblebici.

“Now we have a production process that is really efficient, the laboratory has also manufactured 3D multi-core processors, connected by a TSV network,” he added.

The technology will initially be made available to a number of academic research teams for further development before being commercialised.


Apple Bounces Back in Q1

Posted: 26 Jan 2012 03:21 AM PST

Apple's first quarter results silenced the uncertainties analysts forecasted last quarter, with returns that exceeded expectations. The world's most valuable technology company sold 37.04 million iPhones, 15.43 million iPads, and 5.2 million Macs.

Apple cash

 
Apple postponed the release of the latest iPhone by a quarter, and so heightened the expectations and demand for the product, a factor that could be responsible for the tech giant's $46.33 billion revenue. Wall Street Analysts estimated an average of $38.91 billion, but according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, the tech giant's revenue jumped by 73 percent.

 
Sales for the iPad alone grew by 111 percent over its sales in the same quarter last year, while that of Macs shot up by 26 percent during the same period.

 
In spite of its staggering success, Hendi Susanto from Gabelli said "I would say Apple still has many unpenetrated international markets … Apple is still far from its saturation." Michael Walkley from Canaccord Genuity further explained saying "It sets up Apple well for the rest of the year". "They are still ramping up the new geographies like the iPhone 4 in China, which they just started selling in January and we’ll see in March results." He also added that the growing popularity of Siri and the iPhones, a better-looking iPhone 5 at the end of the year and with next-generation LTE mobile will inspire another slew of profits for 2012.


E-Commerce Sites Needs To Be Savvier In Approach For Survival

Posted: 26 Jan 2012 03:17 AM PST

In 1994, e-commerce companies emerged globally with the birth of industry giants like Amazon.com, Dell.com and eBay, which despite recession were able to survive and exhibit growth. The recession opened doors to several marketing and buying trends that left the e-commerce industry with two options, adapt them and survice or reject, roll over and die. However, yet another recession, the second in so many as four years, is predicted to hit the global economy this  year, this begs the question, 'can the industry stand another recession?'

ecommerce site, ecommerce, struggle

 
We saw several e-commerce websites shutting their work due to various reasons. MSN Mall and Taggle shut down as they found it impossible to withstand the competition in the market and many of the e-commerce companies are selling their products much below cost price to attract consumers, Kalahari was shut down just two years after the launch due to low margin, and there are several more stories lying unsaid. So, how are the e-commerce companies going to ensure their existence if this recession is to hit and save themselves from the spill out.

 
Different e-commerce companies provide different flavors to the customers. The strategy for survival differs accordingly.  Anshuman Banpna, Co-Founder and CEO, mygola, says, "We are a globally focused service provider website. We do not sell traditional goods online, rather we are more online service based." mygola is a service provider which provides users with their own personal travel planners, does all the research and bookings for the customer's trip.

 
However, several e-commerce startups are well placed to take advantage of the recession due to the flexibility that they have inherited in their genes from their past experiences. The current recession will affect  the macro-services. "The e-commerce giants who are macro-services providers, like Amazon and Groupon, will have impact on their business due to change in the macro-economy," says Nishith Shah, Co-Founder, Fab.com. Fab.com is a New York-based e-commerce company that offers daily design inspirations and sales on huge discounts.

 
If the recession hits, more and more consumers will be looking for better deals and the success and failure of an e-commerce company depends on how smartly they procure things, and pass on the bargains to the consumers. The startup e-commerce companies struggle most with getting users. "They need to go out of the way to find customers and once found, they need to make sure that the order is fulfilled. Startups need to be savvier to acquire customers," adds Shah.

 
"When the customers have limited budget, they plan more stuffs accordingly. What you need to do is reposition yourself. We are going to approach our existing customers providing more information about the local tourist places that they can visit with low spending," adds Bapna. According to him, when The budgets come done, customers do not stop spending money, rather they start spending more intelligently. The most different and customized way the companies prepare to approach their customers, the more they ensure their success in the economy downturn.