21 July 2013

BlackBerry Launches Q5 At 24,990; First Impressions


BlackBerry had released Q5, its most affordable Smartphone in the country powered by BlackBerry 10 O.S. With the QWERTY-keypad Q5, the Canadian manufacturer is trying to address criticism raised by high pricing of its earlier BB10 models and also to boost the low-paced sales.

With the new release, BlackBerry now has three phones in the BB10 portfolio-Q5, Q10 and Z10. Q5 borrows keyboard layout from BlackBerry’s earlier model Curve. The device however doesn’t have much difference from its costlier sibling Q10 except that it’s coming in a cheap package. Instead of the Q10’s Aluminum chassis, Q5 is made out of plastic, but sturdy. At 720*720, the 3.1 inch touch screen also has the same resolution as Q10, but the AMOLED display is replaced with an LCD screen.

Considering the internal specs, both Q10 and Q5 uses same Qualcomm Snapdragon dual core processor and 2 GB of RAM. However, the clock speed of Q5’s processor is 1.2 GHz compared to Q10’s 1.5 GHz. The biggest disappointment is the primary camera, which is only 5 Megapixel.   Even though the device is not as luring as Q10, at half the price Q5 offers value for money to a BlackBerry loyalist. But BlackBerry will have a hard time pushing this not so trendy Smartphone amidst the Androids, even at this price tag.

The company had recently reduced price of its full touch Z10 in the wake of competition it face from Apple and other high end Androids.

Sony Smartphone With 20 MP Camera And 2.2 GHz Processor Leaks

Xperia i1 Honami

When it comes to product launches, Sony is the only one catching up with Samsung in the Android space. The Japanese manufacturer had released 8 handsets in the past 6 months including its flagship Xperia Z. The latest one to join the list is reportedly Xpeia i1, codenamed Honami, a Smartphone with mind blowing specs.

Sony is pitching this 5 inch Smartphone against Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom and Nokia’s latest 41 MP Lumia 1020. The device will have a 20 Megapixel Exmor RS camera unit supported by Sony G-lens and Bionz image processor which are usually found in some digital cameras. There will also be a 2MP front camera placed above the full HD screen with 1080p resolution.

A 2.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor will power this device along with 2 GB of RAM. The internal storage capacity would be 16 GB which can be further expanded. The device will pack a bigger 3000MAh battery and will run on Android Jelly Bean 2.2.

The release date of this IP57 certified dustproof and waterproof Smartphone is not yet been confirmed. However, Sony is expected to release it at a press event during IFA expo in Berlin which will be held on September 4.

17 July 2013

Tricks By Online Portals To Make You Spend More

We have always wondered why the grocery stores keep essentials like milk at the loneliest corners and chocolates near the billing counter. This good old marketing technique invented by some genius will make your eyes fall into almost every product while you are traversing the rows to reach milk packet, and may result in you picking up something on your way back. But in an era when the world shops ‘pin to car’ from the lavishness of laptop and Smartphone monitors, what tricks these virtual online supermarkets play to make you spend a bit more?

#3 Surprise!

You might be checking out a particular hotel in a city just for it looks. The very next day, while you are reading a newspaper online, there it is! An ad for that same hotel pops up infront of you even with a discount code. Don’t think it’s a coincidence; It’s what online retailers call ‘Retargeting.’ According to Guillaume Lelait, VP of North America at Fetch, a mobile advertising agency, “Clever retargeting uses algorithms to group items together and deliver relevant timely and valuable ads to users who have been tagged as likely to purchase." The algorithm does way more than that. If you are shopping for an outdoor dining set, you may get an ad for a barbeque!

#2 You are special, while your friend is not:

Online stores treat different people differently. Some will offer coupons to a customer, whom they believe is likely to use it. But the same store won’t offer the coupons to another active customer who is likely to buy the product any way. So how do they do it? Answer is simple- prediction! According to Jerry Jao, CEO of Retention Science, a predictive marketing company, “you can predict how a customer is going to behave.” The data scientists pick up clues from your behavior- like you may come to website and spend 2 minutes entirely on a single product, reading the reviews and checking the size, which marks your interest. However, if the same person checks out four different products and quickly browse through the website, the data analysts can be almost sure about the uncertinity of a deal.

#1 What you see depends on where you live

Consider you are living in Miami and the first thing you see while logging into an apparel website would be an advertisement for a swimsuit. But someone who is logging into the same website from another region will be seeing another ad.  Online retailers are now exploiting opportunities in location based services. According to Kartik Hosanagar, an associate professor of Internet commerce at the Wharton School, "Brands now have the ability to physically target consumers when they are in close proximity to a store location - reaching users at a time when they are most likely respond to an offer and take immediate action. Also bringing foot traffic into a store becomes even easier when the ad offers a 'map to nearest location' element where you can redeem a coupon or discount."

It's Time To Take A Social Media 'Vacation'

More than 50 per cent of Internet users, suffering from social media overload, have either taken or have considered taking a "vacation" from social networking, a new study has found.

Irrelevant updates and a lack of time are the top reasons people desire a break from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social network, researchers found.

The study by the online organisation hub MyLife.com reveals that online users are becoming overwhelmed by the increasing number of social networks and email accounts they manage.

The survey of more than 2,000 adults ages 18 and older found more than 40 per cent of adult Internet users manage multiple social networking profiles, and more than half belong to more social networks or visit their networks more frequently than they did two years ago, 'BusinessNewsDaily' reported.

Additionally, the average adult manages 3.1 email addresses, up from 2.6 a year ago.

Overall, 35 per cent of those surveyed spend more than 31 minutes a day visiting social networking sites, and reading and responding to personal emails.

Nearly 60 per cent of those surveyed experience anxiety as a result of missing an important event or status update if they don't monitor their social networks, and more than half report a fear of missing out, the study found.

'Miracle Material' To Boost Internet Speed 100 times


Using 'miracle material' graphene in telecommunications could dramatically make the internet a hundred times faster, a new study has found.

Researchers from the Universities of Bath and Exeter have demonstrated for the first time incredibly short optical response rates using graphene, which could pave the way for a revolution in telecommunications.

Every day large amounts of information is transmitted and processed through optoelectronic devices such as optical fibres, photodetectors and lasers. Signals are sent by photons at infrared wavelengths and processed using optical switches, which convert signals into a series of light pulses.

Ordinarily optical switches respond at rate of a few picoseconds - around a trillionth of a second. Through this study physicists have observed the response rate of an optical switch using 'few layer graphene' to be around one hundred femtoseconds - nearly a hundred times quicker than current materials.

Graphene is just one atom thick, but remarkably strong. Scientists have suggested that it would take an elephant, balanced on a pencil to break through a single sheet.

Already dubbed a miracle material due to its strength, lightness, flexibility, conductivity and low cost, it could now enter the market to dramatically improve telecommunications, researchers said.

"We've seen an ultrafast optical response rate, using 'few-layer graphene', which has exciting applications for the development of high speed optoelectronic components based on graphene," lead researcher Dr Enrico Da Como said.

"This fast response is in the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum, where many applications in telecommunications, security and also medicine are currently developing and affecting our society," said Da Como.

"The more we find out about graphene the more remarkable its properties seem to be. This research shows that it also has unique optical properties which could find important new applications," Co-Director of the Centre for Graphene Science at Bath, Professor Simon Bending added.

In the long term this research could also lead to the development of quantum cascade lasers based on graphene.

Quantum cascade lasers are semiconductor lasers used in pollution monitoring, security and spectroscopy. Few-layer graphene could emerge as a unique platform for this interesting application.

The study was published in Physical Review Letters.

Linux Powered Pen That Never Let You Make Mistakes

German inventors have developed a new pen that gently vibrates every time it senses a spelling mistake or sloppy handwriting.

Lernstift is a regular pen with real ink, but inside it is a special motion sensor and a small battery-powered Linux computer with a Wi-Fi chip.

These parts allow the pen to recognize specific movements, letter shapes and know a wide assortment of words. If it senses bad letter formation or messy handwriting, it will vibrate, 'ABC News' reported.

Users can choose between two functions: Calligraphy Mode — pointing out flaws of form and legibility or Orthography Mode — recognizing words and comparing the word to a language database. If the word isn't recognized, the pen will vibrate, according to Daniel Kaesmacher, the 33-year-old co-founder of Lernstift from Munich. The other co-founder, 36-year-old Falk Wolsky had the idea for the pen last year while his 10-year-old son was doing his homework.

"His son had been struggling with his work and staying focused and Falk thought there should be a pen that gives him some sort of signal so he stays focused," Kaesmacher said.

After a year and a half in development, the founders have now brought Lernstift to Kickstarter to begin raising money and gauging interest.

12 July 2013

Flipkart Secures $200 Million, Largest Round Of Funding In Indian E-commerce

Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce platform, has raised USD 200 million from its existing investors including Naspers, Accel and Tiger Global. It is the largest amount to ever be invested in an e-commerce company in India. The funds will be used for building and strengthening Flipkart’s technology capabilities, bolstering the robust supply chain and developing the talent pool.

Sachin Bansal, Co-founder and CEO of Flipkart.com said, “This investment validates the belief that our investors have not only in our capabilities as a market leader – but also in the potential of e-commerce in India. We are building a world-class organization that has always led from the front, taking advantage of and even creating a plethora of opportunities for the e-commerce industry. With this investment, we can now take Flipkart to the next level, pioneering technology and supply-chain innovations that will change the face of online shopping. This will not only enable us to reach our goal of $1 billion GMV by 2015 but also help us achieve bigger milestones in the future.”

Binny Bansal, Co-founder and COO of Flipkart said, "Over the last six years Flipkart has grown in strength and today we are a company that has defined e-commerce in India – and we continue to remain leaders in this space. The growth potential is enormous and our investors share this vision. Each round of funding has come at a strategic point during our growth. Our aim is to continuously improve the shopping experience for customers and provide sellers with a highly scalable platform on which to do business.”

Flipkart Facts: 2013

·         Registered users - 96 lakhs
·         More than 10 lakh unique visitors every day
·         Peak items shipped in a day - 1.3 lakhs (June 2013)
·         Launched PayZippy, an online payments solution
·         New categories that we have entered (June 2012 – 2013): Apparel, Footwear, Toys, Accessories, Sports and fitness, and eBooks

Sandeep Maheshwari Awarded The Creative Entrepreneur Of The Year 2013

Sandeep Maheshwari was chosen for being the most creative change maker and innovative entrepreneur who expanded the envelope of stock photography beyond compare. Innovating time and again across levels, Sandeep Maheshwari’s barometer of growth is not what reflects in annual sales targets and profit equations. Rather, this young entrepreneur strongly believes in ‘Customer Delight’ through a large range of stock images and videos of India.

Today, ImagesBazaar is not just the World’s largest collection of Indian images but a way of life for more than 8000 renowned brands across 45 countries. With a constant makeover and thousands of images introduced every month, ImagesBazaar has been the most unique and expansive face of India with over a million images and videos from varied parts of the country.

On being bestowed with the award, Sandeep Maheshwari said, "We started with a mission. A mission to capture the diversity of the Indian subcontinent, be it culture, traditions, relationships, festivals or emotions, and showcase it to the world like never before. On this occasion I would like to thank my entire team who made it possible.”

Solar Headphones To Charge Mobiles Soon

A pair of headphones that can harness solar power to charge mobile devices when you are on the move has been designed in the UK.

Andrew Anderson, a Glasgow-based designer, launched the OnBeat headphones on crowdfunding site Kickstarter and hopes to have them on sale by early next year.

The headphone band is fitted with a flexible solar cell with a charge capacity of 0.55 watts.

"The headphones have an integrated flexible solar cell that covers the full headband which capture solar energy whilst out and about," Anderson said on Kickstarter.

"The energy is stored in two light-weight Lithium Ion batteries held within the two ear cups for a balanced weight and fit on the head.

"For those rainy days we have also developed the headphones to be able to be charged via USB directly from your computer or mains socket," he said.

Anderson hopes to raise 200,000 pounds to get the headphones into production.

"We are still working on the design and prototype. We need to improve the headphones - people want to know about noise cancellation," he told the BBC.

He admitted that his father Frank had come up with the idea.

"It's really simple - you would think it had already been done. You can buy solar chargers for phones but the thing is it's like you're carrying two phones around," he said.

Nexus 5 Based On LG G2 Is Coming In October With Android 5

Stakes are again high on Google bringing out iteration to its Nexus series under the craftsmanship from LG.  Even though the South Korean manufacturer had denied these rumors early, a Korean tech website came out with a latest report that Nexus 5 is being built in the same platform of LG’s G2.

According to the report, the device will be released in early October with a brand new version of Android, Key Lime Pie, on board. The detailed specifications of this device is not yet revealed, however considering the fact that Nexus 5 is being built parallel with LG’s G2, they likely will share similar specs.

Last year, Nexus 4 had followed the same trend, as it was built alongside LG’s Optimus G, which shared the same specs.

The phone will supposedly be the first one to feature 3 GB RAM. Powered by a Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor clocked at 2.3GHz, the device will have a 13 MP camera, 2700 mAh battery and a 5,2 inch full HD IPS display.

Meanwhile LG has send out press invites for August 7 event, where the company will showcase its flagship G2 for the first time.

08 July 2013

ASUS Unveils World's Thinnest Window 8 Tablet/ Detachable Notebook

ASUS India today unveiled the Transformer Book TX300 – World’s thinnest Window 8 tablet and detachable Notebook.  The ASUS Transformer Book will be available in India at an MRP of 91,999/- across select ASUS authorized retail outlets starting second week of July 2013.

The ASUS Transformer Book is a 13.3-inch notebook with a detachable tablet which has a Full HD IPS Touch panel and a 178 Degree viewing angle. It comes with an Intel Core i5 processor for an outstanding notebook and tablet performance. Separate storage has been provided for the notebook and tablet with a high-capacity hard drive and an Ultra-fast SSD. The ASUS Transformer Book is available with Windows 8 Professional. The device features ASUS SonicMaster audio with Bang & Olufsen ICEpower for rich and detailed sound.

The tablet is powered by 3rd generation Intel Core i5 processor. Inspired by the beautiful Zenbook ultraportable, the ASUS Transformer Book features a sleek profile and a precision-engineered all-metal design with unique spun metal finish that’s the result of a sophisticated 32-step manufacturing process. Transformer Book is as striking as it is resilient and is perfect proof of the ASUS spirit of persistent perfection.

Whether used as a Windows 8 multi-touch tablet or a notebook with keyboard and touchpad, ASUS Transformer Book always has an incredible performance on tap. The 3rd generation Intel Core i5 processor seamlessly switches between applications for effortless multi-tasking with Windows 8 apps, while Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 delivers an automatic burst of speed whenever it’s required. The Transformer Book lets the users Enjoy smooth HD movie playback, responsive gaming and incredible sound quality, thanks to ASUS SonicMaster audio technology.

With two types of internal storage device, the ASUS Transformer Book works the way users want to. As a tablet, the 128GB SSD means apps launch instantly for a slick and seamless Windows 8 experience, while ASUS WebStorage ensures easy access to secure cloud storage when travelling far and wide.

Connect ASUS Transformer Book to its notebook dock and it instantly becomes a fully functional notebook with up to a 500GB hard drive, with exclusive ASUS high-speed bridge technology that ensures blisteringly fast 5Gbit/s data transfer speeds.

In Notebook Mode, ASUS Transformer Book features a backlit keyboard with ambient light control that automatically adjusts its brightness to suit the surroundings, making it easy to keep on top of any productivity task.

ASUS Transformer Book has up to five hours’ battery life in full notebook mode and up to eight hours in tablet mode. Power Up! technology extends notebook battery life still further by disabling the dock’s hard drive and ports to leave the keyboard and touchpad active, giving up to eight hours’ use.

ASUS Transformer Book has a mobile dock that’s more than just a backlit keyboard and smart gesture touchpad. With a 500GB hard drive, two USB 3.0 ports and Gigabit LAN, it’s a fully featured notebook with a built-in battery of its own.

With up to two weeks’ standby time in Notebook mode, there’s no need to waste time waiting for ASUS Transformer Book to shut down, while two-second resume from standby means it’s ready for action when users are.

ASUS Transformer Book features a Full HD display with 1080p resolution and IPS technology for an incredibly crisp and detailed image, with a wide 178 degree viewing angle. Multi-touch support gives full fingertip control with Windows 8 too, while Mini Display Port makes it easy to connect an HDTV for big-screen viewing.

Developed with the audio experts at Bang & Olufsen ICEpower, ASUS SonicMaster technology delivers outstanding cinematic sound quality. Four speakers in Notebook mode give an immersive listening experience and MaxxAudio provides fully customizable EQ control for perfect results with movies, music and games. Audio recording is crystal-clear too, thanks to a high quality array mic that filters background noise.

With a front 720p HD and a rear 5-megapixel camera, ASUS Transformer Book is perfectly equipped for capturing high-quality images. Users can enjoy crystal-clear face-to-face video chat with family and friends, and simply tap the screen to take a photo.

Accidentally tripping over a plugged-in notebook power lead risks damage to the lead, the notebook — and, worst of all, the user. Transformer Book solves this problem with a clever power lead that doesn’t plug into a socket, but snaps onto it magnetically. A firm tug is enough to break the connection safely, so there’s no risk of dragging Transformer Book off a desk by snagging its power lead, or having it snatched from your hands if you pick it up when still plugged in.

LG Launches Quad-Core Optimus G Pro At 42,500

Optimus G Pro

LG has launched its Optimus G Pro, a 5.5 inch full HD phablet in India at a price tag of 42,500.

Combining superfast performance, design aesthetics and a full HD screen, Optimus G Pro debuts as a perfect rival to Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz powers this  device and A 2GB RAM assists the processor in smooth multi-tasking.

The 13 MP rear camera is combined with LG's software features like dual camera recording and 360-degree panorama photographs makes this device a favorite of photographers. The phablet also has a 2.1 MP front camera for video chats.

Running on Android Jelly Bean, the phone has an inbuilt storage of 32 GB which can further be expanded with MicroSD card. A huge 3140mAh battery, which is one of the biggest in class, powers the device.

The device, which was delayed more than a month from its proposed launch will have a tough time capturing the market in India. Adding to it, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2, the main rival to this phabet is available at a cheaper rate, and moreover, the company is rumored to bring the next iteration to Note 2 soon.

04 July 2013

Aakash 4 To Offer Nexus 7 Specs At 3000

The next version of the Aakash tablet, called as Aakash 4, will come with bumped up specs that are close to Google’s Nexus 7. According to the specifications released by the department of electronics and information technology (DeitY) on Monday, the device will also support calls and 4G services.

The specs also suggest that the new tablet will be an improvement over the Aakash 3, based on the Datawind UbiSlate 7C+. The device has 7 inch display LCD display with 800 x 480 pixels resolution. It comes with 1 GB RAM, and 4 GB internal memory that can be extended up to 32 GB via microSD card. It will have dual-bootable operating systems, Android Jelly Bean along with Ubuntu distro. The tablet will support internet connectivity via SIM, WiFi and 2G, 3G, or 4G internet dongle and also support external keyboard and mouse. When it comes to battery the device is said to support at least 3 hours of online 720p video playback.  

In terms of CPU performance, Aaksh 4 will have a minimum of 3537 Antutu Benchmark score and it is comparable to Google Nexus 7, which has a score of 3679, according to Arun Prabhudesai from trak.in. The Antutu Benchmark is an application that gauges the speed and performance of Android based mobile devices.

Aakash 4 is to cost around Rs 3,000, according to HRD ministry officials.

Social Media Makes a Difference: Rs 18 Cr Raised for Uttarakhand Relief Fund

The most recent tragic incident caused by the flood in the temple town of Uttarakhand has left everyone in awe. The so called ‘Himalayan tsunami’ not only took away the lives of many people in and around the area but has also left people with no basics like food, clothing and shelter. It will take ages to restore this town which is totally destructed.

However, every cloud has a silver lining and in this case the contributions in many forms are flowing in from different parts of the country, especially from online platforms like social networking sites. The word spread through social media reaches more number of people in a short period of time and will help the locals return to their normal lives sooner, reported Sunetra Choudhury for NDTV.

In the last one week, the Prime Minister's Relief Fund has already obtained an extraordinary sum of almost 18 crore from all parts of India which in a way is an indication that the citizens of the country are indeed shaken and stunned by this heart breaking event.

Officials are expecting that the amount collected might be much higher than the 2010 Leh floods, which had collected 156 crore in three months. This time the facility of online payments that has been introduced is indeed a faster mode.

Already 3.57 crore has been derived from the websites pmindia.gov where 10,264 people have logged on to make their shares of contribution. An additional 7.2 crore was collected from unknown people whose numbers and identities are not available and there are no means either to track them.

It is still doubtful whether 18 crore is a huge amount to get from a country with 1.2 billion population and where some of them with considerable disposable incomes.

The officials proclaimed, "This time the government has promoted the idea of giving on social media and it has certainly made a difference," reported NDTV.

However, among all the dilemma whether enough contribution will be obtained or not, many fraudsters have come up with fake links with images and videos that are circulated online requesting and also encouraging masses to donate funds for flood relief.

To avoid such deceiving groups, the government has put up some genuine sites and bank accounts to deposit the amount for donations. Some of them include The Prime Minister’s national relief fund with a facility of net banking too.

So far many government departments like the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) and Public Sector Undertakings like Coal India have assured their one day salaries for the relief contribution. Also most of the MPs and MLAs have donated from their MPLADS (Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme) funds. ASSOCHAM, a corporate group has also contributed 2 crore

The government is encouraging people to donate smaller amounts too. In the days to come, the SMS system where one can pledge 10 rupees per message will be introduced.