Monday, 3 March 2014
Tuesday, 25 February 2014
It’s now been one day since the official unveiling of the Nokia X lineup at MWC in Barcelona. And while most of the details were already known far in advance , there
were a few surprises the day of. For starters, we received not one, but three Android-powered Nokia devices. We also learned a bit more Nokia’s custom UI,
including the Fastlane notification center and more specifics about various device specifications. But for the most part, the Nokia X family is almost exactly what we
thought it would be—a low end device with a matching low end price tag. So now that we know all about the Nokia X and what it has to offer, let’s take a look at who the device is meant for, and whether it makes for a compelling purchase.
The Nokia X family is the company’s first foray into the Android platform. But rather than being Google’s Android that we know and love in the Nexus device
lineup, or even the “Android” that we tolerate after being marred with various layers of OEM skins, the Nokia X family features something so far removed from Android that it only lives up to its name at its very core. Running atop Android 4.1.2, the heavily skinned device does offer Android application compatibility, but you’d be hard pressed to notice any traditionally Android UI paradigms or features. Instead, the end product is much more akin to Amazon’s Kindle Fire line, albeit with slightly more freedom by virtue of side-loading.
As a direct consequence of the heavy modifications and skinning, there is no “Google” to be found on the device.
You don’t have access to Google Services like Maps and Hangouts, and you certainly don’t have access to
the Google Play Store and its vast wealth of applications. Instead, you are given access to the Nokia Store for your application needs, as well as third party
app stores, which can be installed via side-load. And what about Google Services? They’ve all been replaced
with Nokia and Microsoft counterparts. But Microsoft’s offerings are probably decent as well, right? The answer
is of little to no consequence because if you were after Microsoft services and were bound to the Microsoft ecosystem, you’d own a Windows Phone rather than a low-end Android phone that has some peripheral ties to Microsoft.
But at least it’s cheap. Ranging from €89 ($122) for the Nokia X to €109 ($150) for the Nokia XL, the Nokia X family is certainly friendly on the wallet. But let’s not forget about other budget options such as the much higher end Moto G —a phone that features much higher end specifications and an interface that actually looks like Android for just $30 more than the XL.
Perhaps we’re being a tad bit harsh. I’m sure there’s somebody out there who is a die hard Microsoft services fanboy, who wants a device with access to the
wealth of Android applications, and who happens to live on a shoestring budget. For this person, the Nokia X family is perfect. But for the rest of you, do yourself a favor and save up your pennies while by eating Cup Noodles for a month, and get yourself a Moto G.
Saturday, 22 February 2014
The feature that allows you to hide your "last seen" status on WhatsApp has been exclusive to the iPhone for years now. WhatsApp right on the heels of their
multi-billion dollar deal with Facebook has finally decided to let the Android family join in as well. Android users can rejoice as you can now avoid people tracking your every movement on the social messaging app.
The updated version of WhatsApp will bring one of the most demanded features to the Android app. The feature will also allow users to hide their 'last seen'
from certain people, all their contacts or only from contacts in their phone book.
The feature has been available to iOS users of the app for quite some time now but the implementation is a bit different in the Android version. An interesting advantage to Android users is that they
can change between 'seen' and 'unseen' more than once in a day. Whereas for iPhone users they can only change it once, and then have to wait a whole 24 hours before they can change it again.
In addition to the new feature, WhatsApp also released another bonus. This bonus allows you to hide your profile picture and status from people who are not in
your contact list or people in your list, you don't want looking through your personal information. Again an Android specific feature, it is yet to debut for iOS phones.
The new version is not yet available on the Play Store. However, you can download the APK file from the
WhatsApp website. The app is designed to run on Android 2.1 or higher.
The new features will work well with the public who have been complaining about major privacy issues for a while now.
Source : DNA
Thursday, 20 February 2014
Facebook is big. It has over 1 billion users. Almost everyone who is on the web has a Facebook account. Almost everyone who has a smartphone has the Facebook app installed.
But the success of Facebook in future is far from certain. The whole technology industry, the way we communicate through our gadgets, is undergoing a big change. And Facebook has not been exactly at the forefront of the change. When iPhones and Androids started reaching hands of consumers, Facebook was slow to grasp the trend. It treated the mobile part as afterthought and missed the chance to take a lead.
Facebook realized its mistake around two
years ago and since then is putting mobile first. But, by that time it was already a little late. It faced several big challenges. The two biggest were Instagram and WhatsApp.
Now, Facebook has bought both Facebook probably paid too much for both. It is a big company with lots of resources and it could have probably built similar services in less money. But it is possible that it panicked. Though it had reasons to panic.
Almost every Facebook user utilizes the
platform for sharing photos. But when
Instagram debuted on iPhone, it found favour among web users who not only wanted to share photos but also wanted the photos to look good. Instagram helped amateur users (people who are not too tech savvy) click - or
rather create - photos that looked great. It became popular because of its filters.
Facebook tried taking it on in the mobile
scene. It failed, realized that more and more people were using Instagram to share photos - something they earlier used to do on Facebook - panicked and made an offer that Instagram couldn't refuse.
With WhatsApp, something similar happened. From the looks of it, WhatsApp is an instant messaging app. But looks can be deceptive. The app has metamorphosed into the primary
communication tool, which is not only used to share text messages but also videos, audio files and images. The ability to form groups in WhatsApp means it has become a social
networking app and is a direct competitor to Facebook.
In fact, for most people who use WhatsApp, it is more important than the Facebook app on their phones.
While Facebook remains an excellent service, there is also a feeling among its users that the social networking site has become a little messy. Several revisions have left the Facebook timeline cluttered and devoid of any character. Most Facebook users have too many people as their virtual friends, with many of them being almost strangers. There
is too much noise on Facebook. On mobile, there are too many advertisements and promotions.
Facebook also looks a little confused about what its users want. It has tried Facebook Messenger, Chatheads, Facebook Home, but they haven't exactly caught on. It has also introduced concepts like hashtags and trends -
copied from Twitter - but so far there is no indication that users have liked these
In contrast, WhatsApp is direct. It is more
personal. It has a sense of purpose.
WhatsApp has become an app that people use because they need. Facebook has become an app people (still) use out of habit.
In a way, buying WhatsApp is a pre-emptive move from Facebook. The social networking site is not going to get too many new users through WhatsApp. Anyone who is using WhatsApp, probably also has Facebook installed on his mobile phone. The revenue
potential too is not that clear at the moment. WhatsApp is not rolling in money. It charges users less than $1 per year after one year of use. It doesn't display advertisements. It
doesn't sell smileys or stickers. It doesn't try to bundle additional services or offer any premium pack.
Even if WhatsApp has one billion paying
users, the revenue with the current model is going to be around $1 billion. By any
account, this is a very modest figure for a
Silicon Valley company.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pulled the trigger on massive deal for one reason: WhatsApp was turning into a huge competition. It was making mobile users spend less time on Facebook. This is the same reason why he spent almost $1 billion on an app that gave users photo filters.
Yes, with its massive reach, WhatsApp has potential to be a money-minting machine. But for now, Facebook is paying $ 19 billion to save itself from WhatsApp. How WhatsApp is going to help Facebook on mobile phones is going to be an afterthought.
Source: Times of India
Wednesday, 12 February 2014
Though this photo may look like a prom
picture on Facebook that's been blingee'd, it's actually the very first photo that was ever uploaded to the web. The history of the picture—in all its random glory and woeful photoshopping—is amazing.
the lovely ladies in the photo were part of a musical group called Les Horrible Cernettes, a comedy band based at the CERN laboratory in Geneva which was comprised of admin assistants and significant others of CERN scientists. The photo was tweaked in version one of Photoshop on a color Mac and saved as a .gif before being uploaded by Tim Berners-Lee, one of the inventors of
And here's the photo before Photoshop.
Looking at this unedited, it's almost fitting that this was the first picture uploaded to the web, every other picture on Facebook looks just like it
Source : gizmodo
Thursday, 6 February 2014
Has the world just witnessed its first ever robot suicide?
Tedious housework was seemingly too much for one cleaning robot to take, when it apparently rebelled and
decided to end it all. The android was given the tiresome task of cleaning up
some spilt cereal before it climbed on to a kitchen hotplate where it was destroyed, according to reports in
It had reportedly grown weary of being forced to clean the same house every day and decided to become a martyr to the robot cause. ‘Somehow it seems to have reactivated itself and made its way along the work surface where it pushed a cooking pot out of the way and basically that was the end of it,’ explained fireman Helmut Kniewasser, who was called to tackle the blaze at Hinterstoder in Kirchdorf.
‘It pretty quickly started to melt underneath and then stuck to the kitchen hotplate. It then caught fire. By the
time we arrived, it was just a pile of ash.’
He added: ‘The entire building had to be evacuated and there was severe smoke damage particularly in the flat where the robot had been in use.
‘It’s a mystery how it came to be activated and ended up making its way to the hotplate
‘I don’t know about the allegations of a robot suicide but the homeowner is insistent that the device was
It took an hour to clean and make the building safe. The homeowner plans to sue the robot’s manufacturer
Tuesday, 4 February 2014
Technology giant Microsoft has named India-born top executive Satya Nadella as new chief executive officer, capping the five-month search for present CEO Steve Ballmer's replacement. Given below are some interesting facts you should know about Satya Nadella:
1. Hyderabad-born Satya Nadella, 47,
attended Hyderabad Public School in
Begumpet before getting a Bachelor of
Engineering in Electronics and
Communication from the Manipal University.
2. After moving to the US, Nadella earned
Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He also completed Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago.
3. Nadella has been with Microsoft since 1992. During his long tenure with the company, he also held a key responsibility at Bing, and although Bing has never been Microsoft's crown jewel, Nadella helped it grow.
4. Nadella has played a key role in bringing some of Microsoft's most popular technologies, like its database, Windows server and developer tools, to the cloud, called Azure.
5. Nadella also helped Microsoft bring a cloud version of Microsoft Office to the cloud, Office 365. Microsoft says Office 365 one of its fastest growing products ever.
6. Prior to Microsoft, Nadella worked at Sun Microsystems, now owned by Oracle.
7. Nadella, if he emerges as the chosen one, would be only the third CEO in Microsoft's 38-year history after Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.
8. The appointment would be a significant achievement for Nadella, who would join a proud circle of India-origin executives helming top global companies.
Source: Times of India