Category Archives: Technology

Apple soon to launch wireless headphones

Apple soon to launch wireless headphones

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here is a rumor that points out to the demise of 3.5mm headphone jack on iPhone 7. There is a report from iPhone Supply Chain that confirms this information. It adds that a Lightning ‘convert up’ would be made available which allows the headphones with 3.5mm outlet to pair up with Lightning connector.

Last year, there were claims by Apple that it had plans of ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack for reducing the thickness of the iPhone by 1mm. This new report adds that Apple is also planning to promote its wireless headset. Claims were made by the previous report that the same size would be retained by the Lightning Connector and there would also be a digital to analogue converter with wired headphones for backwards compatibility.

The removal of the jack won’t go well with the users. Almost laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones ship with the audio port. Considering the past record of Apple, removal of this port wouldn’t materialize. The compact disk drive was ditched by the company from the computer lineup with MacBook Air and soon it was done by other rival manufacturers as well.

Last year, the launch of MacBook was seen by the company having just 1 USB Type-C port for power input and data transfer. Besides, since a while now, the company has been giving hints of dislike towards this 3.5mm jack. In the year 2014, the MFi program specifications were introduced by the company so that 3rd- party manufacturers can make earphones that can connect well with iPad and iPhone through Lightning cable.

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Google likely building smarter chatting app to challenge Facebook

Google likely building smarter chatting app to challenge Facebook

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Google is said to be building a new messaging app, this time with an intelligent twist: it’ll let you chat with your friends or message a Google bot for answers to your questions. The Wall Street Journal reports that Google has been working on this new service for at least a year, though it isn’t known when it might launch.

It isn’t stated how powerful Google wants this intelligent bot to be at launch. Likely, it would be able to do everything that a normal Google search can, offering up answers when it can and providing links when it can’t. That means you might be able to message it for information on the weather or to look up details on a restaurant.The Journal reports that Google will likely allow other developers to build chatbots that run on the service, so you could receive an answer from an app that has the information you’re looking for. Google declined to comment.

The intention is to prevent Google from losing out on search to other messaging services, like Facebook’s, that have been building in intelligent bots of their own. Google doesn’t currently have a successful messaging app — even Hangouts is kind of a mess — so the implication that Google is building yet another one is reasonable. It could always opt to build this service into an existing chat app as well.

The service sounds like it’s meant to directly compete with Facebook M, a bot that Facebook is testing inside of Messenger. Like what Google is said to be doing, M automatically searches the web for answers to questions, but it takes that one step further: for more complicated queries, a human assistant will take over, allowing M to do things far beyond what a computer could. The Journal doesn’t mention Google considering anything outside of the digital realm — that’s its area of expertise, anyway — but it’ll need to offer something at least as powerful if it wants to hook users. Then there’s just the small question of whether Google can get people chatting with their friends, too.

Electric current at room temperature without energy loss soon

Electric current at room temperature without energy loss soon

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A group of researchers in and has found a clue to generate electric current without energy consumption at room temperature. They have identified the requirements for the development of new types of extremely low power consumption electric devices by studying a specific ferromagnetic thin film.

At extremely low temperatures, this specific thin film shows a peculiar phenomenon. As the film itself is ferromagnetic, an electric current is spontaneously generated without an external magnetic field and electric current flows only around the edge of the film without energy loss.

At extremely low temperatures, an electric current flows around the edge of the film without energy loss, and under no external magnetic field. This attractive phenomenon is due to the material’s ferromagnetic properties.

For the first time, researchers have revealed the mechanism by which this occurs.

“Hopefully, this achievement will lead to the creation of novel materials that operate at room temperature in the future,” said Akio Kimura, professor at Hiroshima University and a member of the research group.

However, it was previously unknown as to why such specific film had such ferromagnetic properties that allowed it to generate electric current.

“That’s why we selected the material as the object of our study,” professor Kimura added.

The researchers expect that the finding will provide a way to increase the critical temperature for relevant device applications.

This study was reported in the journal Nature Communications.

 

Looking back on 2015: Microsoft’s biggest year ever

Looking back on 2015: Microsoft’s biggest year ever

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With major product announcements and a number of big bets on the future, 2015 is in the running to be one of Microsoft’s most important years on record.

Topping it was the launch of Windows 10. First previewed a year earlier, 2015 was the year we finally got to see the new operating system in full. Microsoft unveiled key features, including its virtual assistant Cortana reaching beyond Windows Phone and onto the desktop, and its new Edge web browser.

Windows 10 also brought a new Windows Universal App Platform that lets developers build one app that works across Windows 10 Phones, tablets and computers. It’s part of Microsoft’s play to try and raise the number of apps available for Windows 10 tablets and smartphones by tempting developers with a build once, deploy everywhere strategy.

Since it launched in July, Windows 10 has seen massive adoption. Not everybody likes everything about it and Microsoft has made its share of missteps, like keeping details about what personal information was sent from the OS to its servers under wraps until well after users raised privacy concerns about it. But overall, it has been very positively received.

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One of the most unexpected moves of the year was Microsoft’s entry into the laptop computer business with the Surface Book. For years, Microsoft has relied on partners like HP, Dell and Toshiba to produce laptops — and they aren’t out of the picture — but with its own machine it’s attempting a bit of Apple’s successful business model, directly selling the computer it thinks customers want.

The machine has a powerful keyboard with some serious computing power that has a detachable touchscreen, which can serve as a tablet. Early reviews are favorable, and the device is definitely cool. But its premium price and somewhat awkward design don’t lead me to believe that it’s a slam-dunk for widespread consumer adoption beyond Microsoft’s die-hard fanbase.

In the smartphone space, the year was one of contraction. Microsoft laid off thousands of people from its phone hardware division and saw its market share decline from 2.7 percent to 2.2 percent, according to IDC estimates.

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During the year, it released the Lumia 950 and 950 XL flagship phones that were supposed to help drive Windows smartphones back towards relevance. Reviews for the phones are good and it packs some cool, whiz-bang features, like the ability to use iris recognition to unlock the device, but the biggest drawback is a familiar one for Windows smartphones: the small selection of apps.

But Microsoft hasn’t given up on building smartphones yet.

One new technology, Continuum, lets users connect their phone to a keyboard, mouse and monitor for use like a PC. It’s awesome, but requires application support that isn’t really existent in Windows 10’s third-party ecosystem yet. Microsoft is betting that the Windows Universal App Platform will prove popular enough among developers to shore up its lack of apps, but that hasn’t happened yet.

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There’s a lot more excitement building over another hardware project: HoloLens.

When it was unveiled in January, Microsoft showed off something that largely wasn’t even rumored: a headset crammed with technology that let users overlay digital objects on the physical world around them. It’s futuristic stuff, and while the HoloLens doesn’t quite offer wide-angle augmented reality, it’s still a massively cool piece of kit.

One of the most exciting things about it is that the developer tools handle much of the heavy lifting for accessing the device’s hardware capabilities. Voice recognition, spatial mapping and gesture recognition are easily handled by the HoloLens developer tools, so that app makers can focus on building their software. It bodes well for the future of the device, which will be made available for purchase to select developers early next year.

But new software and new devices were only one part of the strategy Microsoft pushed this year. The company also began working with its competitors in ways that it never would have before. Satya Nadella talked on stage with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff at Dreamforce, and other high-level Microsoft executives have appeared at major events hosted by the likes of VMware, Apple and Box.

Microsoft hasn’t given up competing with those companies – far from it. But partnering with its competitors is a titanic shift for Microsoft, and shows a humbler side of a company that wasn’t visible a few years ago. The company also went on a major acquisition spree snapping up a mountain of other companies, including teams behind apps like Wunderlist and Sunrise Calendar. And there was the one that got away. The rumored deal between Microsoft and Salesforce reportedly didn’t happen because Microsoft declined to pony up as much money as Salesforce was looking for. Acquisitions are a pretty dry business, but these deals show a Microsoft that’s hungry to augment its capabilities with the help of outside companies that have proven solutions.

Looking ahead to 2016 is when we get to see if all of the big bets Microsoft set up this year pay off. Analysts expect that this coming year will see a bunch of enterprises upgrade to Windows 10. Microsoft is also gearing up to more aggressively push consumers to upgrade, which in turn may incentivize developers to build applications for the new OS.

But the Windows Store could go the way of the Mac App Store rather than the iOS App Store or Google Play Store. The concerns that system administrators have about Windows 10’s mandatory cumulative updates might stunt adoption. The HoloLens might turn out to be a futuristic flop. Clearly, Microsoft has an intended outcome for all of those moves, but the company’s big bets don’t always work out as intended.

And 2016 is also when Microsoft’s new strategies of going cross-platform and collaborating with other tech companies will stop being new again. At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me if Nadella showed up alongside Tim Cook at an Apple press event — which is a vast departure from Microsoft of 2012, but not the company’s past year. Stay tuned, folks — Microsoft is in for one heck of a ride.

Apple’s next iPhone may sport LG, Samsung display

Apple’s next iPhone may sport LG, Samsung display

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South Korea’s LG Display Co Ltd and the panel-making unit of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd will supply organic light emitting diode (OLED) screens for Apple Inc’s iPhones, the Electronic Times reported citing unnamed sources.

The report comes after years of speculation that Apple will start using the next-generation technology in its phones. OLED screens are thinner and offer better picture quality than the mainstay liquid crystal display screens.

Japan’s Nikkei newspaper reported last month that Apple plans to start using OLED screens for iPhones starting in 2018. LG and Samsung Display are close to a final agreement with Apple for the screens, the Electronic Times report said, adding the two Korean firms plan a combined 15 trillion won ($12.8 billion) in capital expenditure to build up OLED production capacity over the next two to three years.

Apple will likely provide some funding to both firms to help with the investments, the paper added.

Samsung Display, which currently supplies OLED smartphone panels to parent Samsung Electronics and Chinese vendors, is likely getting bigger volumes from Apple than LG Display, the paper said.

 

LG Display and Samsung Display declined to comment, while Apple could not be immediately reached for comment.

India gets its first solar-powered village in Bengal

India gets its first solar-powered village in Bengal

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It was celebration time for the people of Pandri, a village in the Purulia district of West Bengal, illuminated with lightening after years of hassle. The excitement doubled when the village was installed with first solar-powered electricity and also became the first in the country to evolve as a decentralized solar power village.

Like most of rural India, Pandri village, located at the foot of Ayodhya hills, always waited for its share of power supply. The installation has come as a boon to over 80 households, who were earlier heavily dependent on firewood.

“Kerosene is sold at Rs 40 per litre in the market. Now the money will be saved, thanks to the solar lamps. We are really grateful to the solar aid,” said Kasinath Mahata, one of the villagers.

Delivered by the Art of Living, a non-profit organization in Bengal, under the Sri Sri Rural Development Program Trust (SSRDPT), the eco-friendly device has over 72 solar panels covering an area of approximately 2,000 square feet and drawing power from the 1.2 kilo watt solar power grid built in the region.

Cooking has become easier without having to worry about the fuel with the installation of a solar power-run rice hulling machine.

Also, the installation of a 5 HP water pump attached to the nearby dam has made farming more convenient.

Executing the plan was a task for the villagers and NGO representatives. Installing a 1.5 kilometre long wire for 72 solar panels was back breaking.

Meanwhile, the solar panel will not only reduce the daily problems of the villagers but will also minimize environmental hazards. The eco-friendly measure is seen as a move to end deforestation, simultaneously cutting down on green house gas emissions.

The solar panel however comes at a cost. Villagers are required to pay Rs 100 as monthly revenue to ensure its proper maintenance. Self-help groups have been formed to manage the solar lighting, water pump and the rice hulling machine.

 

Sweden introduces six-hour work day

Sweden introduces six-hour work day

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Sweden is moving to a six-hour working day in a bid to increase productivity and make people happier.

To the envy of workers who graft from 9 to 5, Sweden has adopted a 6-hour working day, to increase productivity and happiness.

Employers across the country have already made the change, according to the Science Alert website, which said the aim was to get more done in a shorter amount of time and ensure people had the energy to enjoy their private lives.
Toyota centres in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city, made the switch 13 years ago, with the company reporting happier staff, a lower turnover rate, and an increase in profits in that time.

The eight-hour workday hasn’t changed much since Henry Ford first experimented with it for factory workers. Now, Americans work slightly longer—an average 8.7 hours—thoughmore time goes into email, meetings, and Facebook than whatever our official job duties actually are.

But a new study has revealed that UK workers could settle for a slightly longer 7-hour working day as the ideal. Employers across Sweden have introduced the changes, according to the Science Alert website. It is hoped that as people intensify but shorten their work day they will be able to better enjoy their private lives.

Toyota centres in the city of Gothenburg have worked to 6-hour days for 13 years. The company said its employees appear happier, it has a lower turnover rate, and has seen its profits increase.

Meanwhile, at 42.9 hours – amounting to 8.5 hours a day – the UK has the fifth longest working week in Europe, ahead of Germany at 13th place and France, which came in 25th place, according to Eurostat.

However, an OECD study showed that the UK has the 25th hardest workers out of 38 countries, placing it significantly below average. In the wake of the findings, a recent YouGov poll revealed that if workers could set their the hours they worked to maximise their productivity, they’d chose seven hours.

A YouGov poll on the same topic in the US showed that the majority also said a shorter worker day is more productive, but fewer people than in Britain choose up to 7 hours or up to 7.5 hours.

When the length of the working week was considered, 44 per cent of people in the UK said that 4 days would be the length of the ideal working week.

Filimundus, an app developer based in the capital Stockholm, introduced the six-hour day last year.

“The eight-hour work day is not as effective as one would think,” Linus Feldt, the company’s CEO told Fast Company.

“To stay focused on a specific work task for eight hours is a huge challenge. In order to cope, we mix in things and pauses to make the work day more endurable. At the same time, we are having it hard to manage our private life outside of work.”

Feldt has said staff members are not allowed on social media, meetings are kept to a minimum, and that other distractions during the day are eliminated – but the aim is that staff will be more motivated to work more intensely while in the office.

 

 

Cyber security is no longer just a CTO problem

Cyber security is no longer just a CTO problem

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At the advent of the information technology industry, companies of all types began employing IT teams to take care of technology and digital data concerns. Soon, many executives realized they also needed someone to lead their IT teams and be the authority to make all technology decisions. That’s how the position of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) was born.

As the digital landscape changed and grew, CTOs faced challenges of all sorts. The biggest challenge, and the most threatening to business stability and productivity, was the rapid expansion of cyber-attacks. It became clear to CTOs, and their counterpart, the Chief Information Officer (CIO), that protecting a company against these types of attacks would be a sophisticated, but necessary, process. So as hackers grew in numbers, so did the companies providing cyber defenses.

These days, cyber security is often a given. No company’s IT department, especially one that deals with sensitive customer information, would dream of not encrypting files or using firewalls. While many cyber security companies still offer these basic protection tools, many have matured to fight even the most aggressive hackers.

This evolution of cyber security requires intelligent marketing that reaches beyond the CTO. It’s not just the CTO and CIOs who need convincing anymore. Cyber security, with such a presently wide breadth of effect, touches every aspect of business, calling for all decision makers and employees to be informed, educated and trained on company security practices.

Marketing beyond the CTO can improve conversions and effectiveness of a security solution.

Digital threats are on everyone’s minds in today’s seemingly fragile cyber environment. The annualChapman University survey about what Americans fear most revealed that, in 2015, citizens fear cyber terrorism just below government corruption. This broad unease of a prevalent issue may be alarming to the mass public, but is a good sign for the understanding and cooperation to mitigate the problem. Fear is an excellent motivator in encouraging people to take necessary measures for security.

Cyber security is not just the concern of a company’s IT team or higher office. It should be on the mind of all employees. Having every worker trained and informed about keeping information secure and what defenses are in place help fight threats from all angles.

The data breach at the health insurance conglomerate Anthem this past year was caused by a number of factors and conducted by outside hackers, but employees were a key piece of the story. It was through imitation company websites where employees were directed through email to enter account numbers and passwords that hackers accessed the personal information of 80 million customers. It was a non-security employee who noticed his database credentials were being used to run a query he had not originated. Without his vigilance, the breach may have affected even more people and continued even longer.

If the Anthem employees had been properly educated about keeping data secure, a huge breach could have been prevented. It is the smallest actions and efforts that can keep data in the right hands with the right safeguards in place. What some companies haven’t yet grasped is that every employee has an obligation to do his part in defending networks against attacks.

Marketing cyber security involves influencing everyone at a company from the biggest decision makers to the lowest level employees. Changing the way the business world thinks about cyber security calls for intelligent strategies and appealing to customer logic.

It is more than a CTO’s duty to find and implement the best defenses. Because cyber security affects a wider range of business operations, it is valuable to send cyber security marketing messages beyond the IT department. CEOs and entry-level workers all face the same burden of protecting digital data.

Union Government launches two mobile apps for farmers

Union Government launches two mobile apps for farmers

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Union Government has launched two mobile applications namely Crop Insurance and AgriMarket Mobile to benefit farmers These apps were launched by Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh in New Delhi to celebrate the birth anniversary of former Prime Ministers Choudhary Charan Singh and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The main purpose for developing these Apps is to provide all relevant information to farmers and other stake holders in real time to create conducive environment for raising farm productivity and income to global levels.

1.Crop Insurance mobile app-It will help farmers find out complete details about insurance cover available in their area. It will also help farmers to calculate the insurance premium for notified crops, coverage amount and loan amount.Farmers can use this app to get details and information about normal sum insured, premium details, extended sum insured and subsidy information of any notified crop in any notified area.

2.AgriMarket Mobile app-It can be used by farmers to get the market prices of crops in the mandi within 50 km radius of the device. It can automatically tracks the location of person using mobile GPS and fetches the market prices of crops in those markets.

 

New achievement by India in space technology

New achievement by India in space technology

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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Wednesday put Singapore’s first commercial earth-observation satellite in space through a launch on the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV). The TeLEOS-I, a 400-kg satellite, was joined by five other smaller satellites, all from Singapore, on the PSLV-C29 mission.

The six satellites, which together weight about 624 kg, were deposited into an orbit of 549 km from the earth’s surface.

 TeLEOS was the first one to be deployed in the orbit after a flight of about 18 minutes and 12 seconds. It was followed by the other five satellites in quick succession within the next three minutes. The launch took place from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 6 pm.

These six satellites took the count of foreign satellites launched by ISRO to 57. PMNarendra Modi congratulated ISRO scientists on the successful launch.