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Wikipedia has blocked editing rights from some computers at the US House of Representatives ins response to “disruptive” revisions of the online encyclopedia.
A 10-day ban imposed Thursday blocked any editing from an IP address at the US Capitol, which is shared among a number of computers.

“You have been blocked from editing for a period of 10 days for persistent disruptive editing,” a Wikipedia posting said.

The move came after unusual revisions were pointed out by Twitter account @congressedits, which describes itself as “a bot that tweets anonymous Wikipedia edits that are made from IP addresses in the US Congress.”

The account was created by a software developer named Ed Summers.

Some of the changes, which were later undone, said that John F. Kennedy’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald acted “on behalf of Fidel Castro” and that the news blog Mediaite was “sexist” and “transphobic.”

While Wikipedia allows users to contribute and edit entries, it also monitors for unverified or unsubstantiated comments.

A notice posted on one of the anonymous entries from Congress said: “Please refrain from making unconstructive edits to Wikipedia… Your edits appear to constitute vandalism and have been reverted or removed.

“Administrators have the ability to block users from editing if they repeatedly engage in vandalism.”

A spokeswoman at the Wikimedia Foundation, which operates Wikipedia, pointed out that the block only applies to a single IP address, not all computers located in Congress.

“The Wikipedia community is the arbiter of administrative decisions related to community editorial policies,” spokeswoman Katherin Maher said in an email.

“In this case, the decision was made by a member of the English Wikipedia community, based on their assessment that the IP address in question was being used for disruptive editing. Wikipedia English has a behavioral guideline against disruptive editing.”

(gadgets.ndtv.com)


Amazon.com Inc’s heavy investment in content and technology to fight off deep-pocketed rivals is proving to be more costly than many had expected, raising fears that operating earnings will be remain under pressure indefinitely.

Amazon’s shares fell 12 percent to $314.76 in early trading on Friday, wiping out about $18 billion from its market value.

At least 13 brokerages cut their price targets on the stock, by as much as $60 and to a low of $340, after the company reported a bigger-than-expected second-quarter loss on Thursday. At least two downgraded ratings to the equivalent of “hold”.

Amazon is engaged in “a massive ecosystem war” with Apple Inc, Google Inc and Microsoft Corp Macquarie Research analyst Ben Schachter said.

“Within that context, it is clear that this … is going to be expensive and will impact margins,” he wrote in a note to clients.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Holdings Group Ltd also looms as a threat to Amazon as it expands in the U.S. market, Schachter and others say.

Amazon is spending billions of dollars to expand its network of warehouses, build up its business in China and India, and to buy digital content to help its Prime online video service take on Netflix Inc.

Google forced Amazon to cut prices for its Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing service earlier this year by offering big price cuts earlier this year.

Sharp price cuts for AWS – which also faces competition from Microsoft’s Azure cloud service – hurt Amazon’s revenue growth in the quarter, coming in below analysts’ expectations.

Amazon’s digital content store, which offers mobile and tablet apps, ebooks, music and video, competes with Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play store.

Google is also taking on Amazon through its Shopping Express home-delivery service.

It has been a busy year for Amazon. The company has also unveiled a subscription book service, a TV streaming-box, and the “Fire” smartphone – all of which required investment.

Another operating loss
Amazon forecast an operating loss of $410 million-$810 million for the third quarter ending Sept. 30, a sharp increase from a loss of $25 million a year earlier.

“The primary bear case against Amazon is, and always has been, that (Chief Executive Jeff) Bezos will never ramp margins, as he will always find new investments,” Schachter said.

“We have to admit that after this 3Q guidance, it is frustratingly difficult to dismiss such concerns.”

Pacific Crest analyst Chad Bartley said the poor operating earnings outlook would weigh on the stock in the second half.

Amazon shares should be valued at $36.67, based on analysts’ expected earnings growth rates over the next decade, according to StarMine.

“In our view, the company clearly has solid growth prospects for the foreseeable future as it invests in new businesses,” BMO Capital Markets analyst Edward Williams said.

“However, heavy spending is hampering profitability in the near term, placing pressure on the margin structure.”

More than 10 million Amazon shares had traded by late morning, more double the 50-day moving average.

(gadgets.ndtv.com)


Lava Mobiles seems all set to launch another Android 4.4 KitKat smartphone, Lava Iris 460, as it has been listed on the company’s website. The company, which has yet to officially launch the smartphone, has not revealed pricing and availability details.
According to the listing, the dual-SIM (GSM+GSM) supporting Lava Iris 460 runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat out-of-the-box. The handset features a 4.5-inch FWVGA (480×854 pixels) IPS display with a pixel density of 218ppi.

It is powered by a 1.3GHz dual-core (unspecified chipset) processor coupled with 1GB of RAM. The Lava Iris 460 sports a 5-megapixel autofocus rear camera along with LED flash and there is a 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera also onboard. The handset supports storage expansion via microSD card (up to 32GB), with 8GB of inbuilt storage already on the device.

The Lava Iris 460 packs a 1650mAh Li-ion battery, which is rated to deliver up to 6 hours of talk time on 2G and 3 hours of talk time on 3G network. The various connectivity options on the Lava Iris 460 include 3G, 2G, Bluetooth, GPRS/EDGE, Wi-Fi, and GPS/A-GPS. The smartphone measures 130x65x8.75mm.

Earlier this month, Lava had launched a large-screen smartphone called the Magnum X604, a 6-inch phablet priced at Rs. 11,999.

The dual-SIM (GSM+GSM) supporting Lava Magnum X604 runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat out-of-the-box. The large screen Magnum X604 features a 6-inch HD (720×1280 pixel) IPS display and is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core (unspecified chipset) processor with Videocore IV GPU coupled with 1GB of RAM.

It sports an 8-megapixel autofocus rear camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. The Magnum X604 supports storage expansion via microSD card (up to 32GB), with 8GB of inbuilt storage already on the device. The Lava Magnum X604 packs a 2600mAh battery.

(gadgets.ndtv.com)


The organizers of the FirstNet LTE public safety network have the frequencies and standards they need to build the system, and they know where the money’s coming from. They know how to get there from here, but it won’t be a quick trip.

FirstNet will realize a vision that emerged in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, using technology that didn’t exist until years later. It will be a single network linking all federal, state and local public-safety agencies in the U.S., based on the same radio spectrum and technology throughout. Though it won’t replace every public-safety radio system in use today, FirstNet will help to eliminate the crazy quilt of incompatible radio systems and frequencies that makes it hard for different teams to coordinate their efforts.

That’s no small matter when the news is bad enough to send first responders from multiple cities, counties or states converging on one area. For example, the many firefighting forces that battle summer blazes around the West often can’t communicate directly with each other because they use different types of radios and different frequency bands, said TJ Kennedy, acting general manager of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), which is in charge of making the network a reality.

The systems that first responders use now, including more than 10,000 separate LMRS (land mobile radio system) networks, also fall short of many users’ needs. Some public-safety employees have to use their own smartphones in order to use apps, send photos and make calls in the field, according to Kennedy. Once FirstNet’s built, all agencies will be able to sign up for the same national service, built on modern mobile broadband technology. It will span not just the 50 states but also U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands, and is intended to cover as much land as possible. In some cases that will probably require satellite, but most wireless will go over land-based LTE.

As with any effort to coordinate across 50 states and six territories, spanning about 60,000 public safety agencies, the network won’t happen overnight. In fact, FirstNet isn’t committing to any precise timeline or budget for getting it done. To give an idea how long the effort might take, there’s a 46-step process that has to be carried out for each state and territory. The group is making progress: In many states, it’s on step 7, Kennedy said.

That long process is designed to make sure the FirstNet system serves the needs of each state. FirstNet is meeting with local agencies and others involved with the issue, educating them about the technology and finding out what they want out of it.

“The geography and the needs of public safety in Maryland are probably very different from the needs in Alaska,” Kennedy said.

Ultimately, each state and territory will choose whether to build the local wireless portion of the network themselves or have FirstNet do it. They can’t opt out of the system altogether. Once the wireless infrastructure is in place, individual police departments, fire departments and other agencies will sign up and pay for service on FirstNet in much the same way they now buy service from a commercial mobile operator. FirstNet expects the service to be competitively priced, Kennedy said.

The network itself will be built and operated by carriers or other bidders that respond to FirstNet RFPs (requests for proposals), which will lay out the requirements for the system. Those criteria are still being set.

There’s better news on the funding and technology for FirstNet.

Though not all the money is there yet, the funding sources for the system are secure, Kennedy said. The law that authorizes the network says the money to build it will come from three national auctions of wireless spectrum, which are forecast to bring in about US$7 billion. One of those, the so-called H Block auction, has already generated about $1.5 billion. Still to come are the sale of a band called AWS-3 to mobile operators, coming in November, and later the so-called incentive auctions to convert TV frequencies to mobile broadband.

FirstNet is also likely to be an easy fit with other networks and devices. It’s designed to run entirely on IP (Internet Protocol), with a fast wired backbone in the core and LTE wireless networks at the edge. Because all the major commercial carriers in the U.S. use LTE, any gear that goes into the network or into first responders’ hands can be based on the same mass-produced technologies, keeping costs down.

Unlike current public-safety systems, FirstNet will also have enough bandwidth to carry voice, video and data on mobile devices. The network has been assigned a 20MHz chunk of spectrum in the 700MHz band, comparable to what the major commercial carriers are using in that band. Carriers like 700MHz for its long-reaching signals and ability to penetrate walls.

Some devices on the market already are equipped to use FirstNet’s band, and more will follow, Kennedy said. Some other countries have adopted the same band for public safety, most importantly Canada, which shares a continent-wide border with the U.S. This could allow for interoperability between U.S. and Canadian systems if needed, he said.

(itnews.com)


The easy access Google’s web crawlers have to sites is increasingly being exploited by cybercriminals in launching distributed denial of service attacks, a security vendor says.

Fake Web crawlers accounted for 4 percent of the total number of legitimate ones, called Googlebots, analyzed by Incapsula.

In investigating more than 50 million fake Googlebot sessions, Incapsula found about 34 percent were clearly malicious, with roughly 24 percent of those used in DDoS attacks against a website’s application layer.

A Googlebot is the search software Google uses to collect documents from the Web in order to build its searchable index. Googlebot requests to Web servers are identifiable through a user-agent, which is the online equivalent of an ID card.

Cybercriminals are creating imposter user-agents to trick Web servers, Incapsula said. While careful inspection would reveal the fakes, website administrators tend to be lax when it comes to Googlebots in order to get the highest possible rankings on the search engine’s results.

“Most website operators know that to block Googlebot is to disappear from Google,” Igal Zeifman, product evangelist for Incapsula, said in the company’s blog. “Consequently, to preserve their SEO (search engine optimization) rankings, these website owners will go out of their way to ensure unhindered Googlebot access to their site, at all times.

“In practical terms, this may translate into exceptions to security rules and lenient rate limiting practices.”

Incapsula has rated fake Googlebots the third most commonly used technology in DDoS attacks. The U.S. is the top source, followed by China and Turkey, respectively.

Identifying and blocking malicious Web crawlers involves using tools that can separate the fake and legitimate ones through their point of origin.

However, such technology carries an additional cost, due to the need for more processing power and software capabilities.

The findings were based on an analysis of 400 million search engine visits to 10,000 sites, which resulted in 2.2 billion page crawls over a 30-day period.

(itnews.com)


Apple will “set the world on fire” with “unbelievably massive” sales of the next iPhone, analysts said this week.

“As well as they did with the iPhone this quarter, with all the rumors of a new iPhone [this fall], I was impressed with the results,” Van Baker of Gartner said about Apple’s second-quarter earnings released on Tuesday. “That tells me when the next generation comes out, they’re going to set the world on fire.”

On July 22, Apple reported it sold 35.2 million iPhones in the second quarter, a 13% increase over the same period the year before. The number was under Wall Street’s expectations of 35.8 million, but still surprising to some, Baker included, because sales have tended to droop in the quarter prior to the debut of new models.

Virtually everyone expects Apple to unveil at least one new iPhone, possibly several, in September and the following months, if only because of a rising tide of component leaks from sieve-like Asian suppliers. That smartphone, dubbed “iPhone 6″ by outsiders in lieu of any formal acknowledgement by Apple, will reportedly boast a larger 4.7-in. screen, with an even-bigger second model sporting a 5.5-in. display possible at the same time, or more likely, later this year or early in 2015.

Pent-up demand for a larger screen from Apple will trigger a buying spree, analysts have predicted. Smartphones with bigger displays are increasing their share of the total market, and are especially important in countries like China, where they serve as both phone and tablet substitute. Apple boosted the size of the iPhone’s display from 3.5-in. to 4-in. with 2012′s iPhone 5, but contrary to some expectations, used the same-sized screen for last year’s iPhone 5S and 5C.

And China, as Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly said, is the company’s best growth opportunity.

“But there’s a lot of pent-up demand among developed economies for a bigger iPhone, too,” Baker contended. “I think [the iPhone 6] is poised to do extremely well.”

Other long-time Apple watchers were on board, too. “I am extremely bullish about the iPhone 6,” said Ben Thompson, an independent analyst who covers the technology field from his Stratechery website. “It’s going to be unbelievably massive.”

Apple seems to be expecting the same: In the second quarter, it committed a near-record $21 billion to third-party manufacturers for components and equipment as they presumably geared up for a string of new product announcements this fall.

Those commitments, as Apple has regularly laid out in its quarterly filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, are pre-payments for outsourced manufacturing and the components those companies use to assemble products. As of the end of June, Apple had $15.4 billion in such commitments.

Also off the balance sheet was an additional $5.6 billion in obligations, mostly for acquiring manufacturing and tooling equipment put in place by Apple’s component makers and product assemblers.

The $21 billion total, then, is an indication of Apple’s own build forecasts for the coming quarters, and thus its expectations for sales. The $21 billion is 46% higher than the same period the year before, a quarter prior to the launch of the iPhone 5S and 5C. The $15.4 billion in manufacturing/component commitments is 18.5% higher than that line in the second quarter of 2013.

Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research, after agreeing that the numbers are big, cautioned against reading too much into the data, which some have used to bolster opinions that Apple will introduce at least one new product category, probably a wearable line, this year.

Apple’s pre-paid commitments for components, tooling and equipment to third-party suppliers and manufacturers exploded in the June quarter, a signal, say analysts, of a huge second half of 2014 for the impending iPhone 6. (Data: Apple, SEC filings.)

“It’s so hard to put this into context, because Apple’s revenues and shipments from iPhone are growing constantly, and it’s virtually a certainty that the fourth quarter will be Apple’s biggest quarter ever even if it doesn’t launch new products,” Dawson said in an email. “As such, you’d expect to see a ramp up in this stuff.”

Thompson echoed that. “I do think most of the investment is for [the iPhone 6] specifically,” he said in an emailed reply to questions Saturday.

Even so, Dawson was intrigued by the $5.6 billion in commitments for tooling and equipment, the largest amount Apple has ever poured into that bucket, and 24% more than the previous record of $4.5 billion in the second quarter of 2012. That was just months before the introduction of the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini, the latter a new segment of its tablet line.

“I found it interesting that the ‘other’ commitment is by far the biggest ever, which covers things like production facilities and factories,” Dawson said. “If they’re investing in new ways of making products, that’s where that would show up. I think it’s extremely likely that Apple is planning for a very big iPhone quarter at the very least, but I think the sheer level of spending points to one or more new products, too.”

The June quarter was the second straight that Apple had significantly boosted its tooling/equipment commitments. In 2014′s first quarter, Apple reported $2.8 billion in such obligations, an 87% increase from the previous quarter, and with the exception of 2012′s June quarter, the highest ever until the just-reported period.

In the last six months, Apple has committed $8.4 billion to the tooling/equipment category, 21% more than any other two-quarter stretch in the company’s history — another data point that may support Dawson’s contention that Apple has something new up its sleeve.

Like Baker, Dawson and Thompson, most analysts anticipate a big second half for 2014′s iPhone, again assuming that Apple does debut handsets with 4.7-in. or larger displays and, like last year, starts selling the new model(s) late in September.

Brian White of Cantor Fitzgerald, for example, has forecast Apple will sell 37 million iPhones in the third quarter — a 9.5% increase over 2013 — and 57.8 million in the final, fourth quarter, which would represent a 13.2% boost from last year.

(itnews.com)


During an earnings call this week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella repeatedly promoted Lumia smartphones running on the Windows Phone platform. The call was just five days after the company announced a record 18,000 layoffs that raised concerns about Microsoft’s long-term commitment to its phones.

As he answered questions from analysts, Nadella described a number of coming improvements to Windows Phone and Lumia hardware that include a dual-use functionality to separate work and personal data. As long expected, he also committed to a single Windows operating system for devices of all screen sizes, down from three, in the next release.

Nadella also described ways that the company was differentiating Windows Phone from competitors by developing apps and features like the new Cortana digital assistant as a means to improve user productivity.

Still, Nadella was somewhat equivocal at one point about the future of phones at Microsoft. “We will responsibly make the market for Windows Phone,” Nadella said. “However, we’re not in hardware for hardware’s sake … Going forward, all devices will be created with the explicit purpose to light up our digital work and life experiences.” He also reiterated Microsoft’s — and his — mantra “to define our core as the productivity and platform company for a mobile-first, cloud-first world.”

Analysts said Nadella’s remarks illustrate why it’s important for Microsoft to continue selling phones, even though Windows Phone has a small market share.

“You cannot have a ‘mobile first’ approach without a phone,” said Ryan Reith, an analyst at IDC . “That doesn’t mean Microsoft has to own the phone, but the platform has to work. I believe they will stick with owning the phone because they went and purchased the (his emphasis) Windows Phone hardware manufacturer … Overall, it’s a sticky subject.”

Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar WorldPanel, agreed that Microsoft can’t say it wants to be “mobile-first” without a phone.

“For now, showing off what the Microsoft ecosystem — and not just the OS — delivers depends on the hardware they can deliver,” she added. “Unless sales pick up, it is hard to get device makers to trust that it is worth investing in the ecosystem.”

Nadella’s earnings-call comments came less than a week after Microsoft described plans for layoffs of 14% of its work force. Those layoffs will include 12,500 Nokia workers who came aboard after the $7 billion purchase of Nokia was finalized in late April.

When the layoffs were announced, Nadella also said Microsoft would drop Android-based Nokia X phones. Subsequently, reports surfaced that Microsoft has also discontinued the Nokia Asha line of low-cost feature phones.

What Nadella said

During the earnings call, Nadella described how a team of workers is developing dual-use functionality for Lumia smartphones to separate work and personal data. He also indicated a greater focus on the productivity features in Cortana, the digital personal assistant in Windows Phone 8.1, as well as Office Lens, an app introduced in March to use the phone’s camera to take pictures of whiteboards and documents to make them readable to save in OneNote.

Nadella also touted Microsoft’s Universal Apps initiative, first introduced at the Build conference in April, as a way to entice developers to build apps that work across desktop, tablet and, certainly, phone platforms.

Recognizing that Windows Phone has barely reached 4% market share in the U.S. and more than 10% in some European countries, Nadella talked generally about how Microsoft will focus on “productivity scenarios” to differentiate Windows Phones from other phones to improve sales.

“A key place where we’re going to differentiate is looking at productivity scenarios or these digital work and life scenarios that we can light up on our phone in unique ways,” he said, in response to a question.

As an example, he brought up Office Lens as a “unique scenario” for taking a picture of anything to have it automatically recognized with optical character recognition software and stored in OneNote. He added that screen innovations in Surface tablets “show us the way, that there is a lot more we can do with phone by broadly thinking about productivity.”

Future phones, he said, will have innovations like note-taking with a stylus and a high pixels-per-inch count as seen in the Surface Pro 3.

While Lumia phones with Windows Phone 8.1 have Office software capabilities, Nadella said the coming focus on productivity “is not about just Word or Excel on your phone … It is about thinking about Cortana, and Office Lens, and those kinds of scenarios in compelling ways.”

Nadella wasn’t specific about when a dual-use software component will come to Windows Phone, but he did say he wants Microsoft to “have the software to have the smarts about separating out the state, caring about IT control and data protection, while … an end user gets to have the experiences that I want. That’s how we are thinking about harmonizing those digital life and work experiences.”

Dual-use smartphones are not new. BlackBerry introduced the concept with the Z10 in early 2012 with its BlackBerry Balance software. Samsung’s Knox enterprise-focused software also provides dual work and personal software for its Android phones, and Google picked up on the same idea in its coming version of Android, dubbed “L,” for later this year.

Nadella also said that with Cortana users will have “productivity experiences that will go beyond individual applications to deliver ambient intelligence that spans applications.” For example, with the new Lumia 635 smartphone, a phone user can use Cortana to leave a voice message, such as, “Pick up milk when I get to the next store” and then use Bing search and Here maps to locate the nearest store. When the user later gets to the store, located with GPS, the phone reminds the user to pick up milk with an audible alert and text message.

Regarding Universal Apps, Nadella described the concept as a way to attract developers to Windows Phones under the “mobile-first, cloud-first” mantra he has laid out. If an app runs on a desktop and can also run on a tablet or smartphone, it gives the developer access to more than 300 million devices, including desktops and laptops, worldwide.

“That’s really the reason why we are actively making sure that universal Windows apps is available and developers are taking advantage of it,” Nadella said.

Many analysts believe the biggest deterrent to the success of Windows Phone is because the mobile operating system has access to fewer than a third of the number of apps available for either Android or iOS.

As expected, Nadella also confirmed that Microsoft will “streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one, single converged operating system for screens of all sizes.” He said more information will be available in “the coming months.”

Microsoft said it sold 5.8 million Lumia-branded phones from the time of the Nokia acquisition to the end of the fourth quarter, and that they contributed $1.99 billion in revenues. Lumia device sales were primarily in the lower-priced Lumia 500 and 600 series, the company said.

Costs related to the acquisition of Nokia resulted in a loss of $692 million on the $1.99 billion in revenues. The deal also reduced profits by 8 cents a share. The Nokia business is now called Phone Hardware within Microsoft. It should break even by fiscal year 2016, Microsoft predicted.

Still, some analysts are skeptical

“Nadella was clear in his direction of Windows, including one Windows for all screen sizes and form factors. I think they still have a future in mobile, but that future is limited,” said Jitesh Ubrani, an IDC analyst.

“That said, in the past, Microsoft was infamous for the infighting that took place between various business divisions. It seems that some of that, probably to a much lesser degree, will still exist. It’s tough to be a hardware player and lock in consumers into your ecosystem when you are trying to expand the services business and appeal to a broad audience on multiple platforms.”

With Windows Phone, Microsoft is trying to play to its strengths with budget smartphones like the low-cost Lumia 530, Ubrani added. “I think this [low-cost phone] strategy is enough to keep them in the running, but I wouldn’t expect any significant changes in the overall market.

Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold associates predicted when the layoffs were announced that Microsoft would sell off its phone business within 18 months. After the earnings call, he said he was “skeptical” Microsoft can make its phones profitable by 2015/16 as Microsoft has predicted.

“Microsoft could potentially keep the phones going forever, given they can subsidize the products with profits from other operations,” Gold said. “But it is going to be very difficult to make the phone business profitable, despite comments by Nadella.”

To be taken seriously in the phone OS space, Microsoft has to make it attractive for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to build appealing devices, Gold said.

“Some of that will be done by having a unified OS strategy across product categories. But there is a lack of momentum behind Windows Phone right now, and it will be hard to rebuild that. I’m still of the opinion that Windows Phone as a device manufactured by Nokia/Microsoft does not have a bright future, and a spinout or selloff of the Nokia business is likely.”

This article, How Microsoft’s CEO sees growth for Windows Phone and Lumia, skeptics aside, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

(itnews.com)


The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has dropped its investigation into disclosures about Facebook advertising sales before the company went public in 2012.

Facebook said Thursday in an SEC filing that it was notified by the agency in May that the inquiry had been terminated and no enforcement action was recommended.

The SEC launched its investigation over claims that Facebook shared lowered advertising-sales projections immediately before its initial public offering with some analysts, who then shared that information with a select group of investors without disclosing it to the wider public.

Dozens of lawsuits were filed against Facebook over the matter. Many of them, however, were dismissed last year by a federal judge, who ruled that Facebook made “extensive warnings” in its registration statement around the health of its business tied to mobile trends.

Facebook’s mobile advertising business now is healthy and strong.

Morgan Stanley led the underwriting of Facebook’s IPO. The bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Facebook declined to comment beyond the filing, and the SEC declined to comment.

The events surrounding Facebook’s IPO are the subject of various state and federal inquiries. There were technical glitches too, which delayed trade notices and caused some trading firms to lose money due to mismatched shares.

(itnews.com)


Apple still has redemption codes available for its public beta of OS X Yosemite, signaling that it hasn’t reached the 1 million mark it said earlier would be the cap on participants.

Computerworld today confirmed that Apple was still handing out Yosemite betas by requesting download codes from several Apple ID accounts. Apple served up the codes.

When Apple unveiled the free beta program — the company’s first for an upcoming version of OS X in 14 years — it said the deal “is limited to the first one million people who sign up, so join today.”

Some observers had predicted that the codes would be snapped up quickly, even before the beta became available. Apple started serving up the preview Thursday.

Because Apple has no recent history of offering OS X preview to the public, it’s impossible to characterize the remaining codes as a problem, although the cap itself suggests that Apple was confident it would convince that many customers to participate.

Microsoft, whose Windows outnumbers OS X by a huge margin, regularly serves up millions of previews to its enormous customer base. Windows powers about 1.5 billion PCs, while about 80 million Macs are in use, according to recent claims by each company. That’s 19:1 in favor of Windows.

But Apple’s Redmond, Wash. rival hasn’t always been as successful as it wanted in pulling in testers. In January 2009, after Microsoft said it would cap the Windows 7 beta at 2.5 million activation keys, it first discarded the cap and next extended the download deadline.

At the time, Microsoft declined to say whether the 2.5 million cap had been reached or surpassed, or to disclose how many copies it provided users.

Three years later, Microsoft crowed that customers had downloaded more than 1 million copies of the Windows 8 Customer Preview in its first 24 hours of availability. Microsoft did not set any limit on the number who could download and activate Windows 8′s sneak peek.

Interested Mac owners who want to try the Yosemite preview can obtain a redemption code from Apple’s website. An Apple ID is required.

Apple is still sending out email notifications after new beta registrations, signaling that it hasn’t exhausted its self-set 1 million copy cap.

(itnews.com)


Instagram may be designed for smartphones, but you’ve probably noticed that the best photos have a distinctly non-camera-phone vibe to them. Savvy Instagrammers post high-quality DSLR or point-and-shoot photos instead. You can create a high-quality Instagram feed, too, with a little help from Dropbox and your iOS or Android device.

Step One: Transfer and pre-process your images

The goal is to get the photo off your camera and onto a phone or mobile device with the Instagram app installed. The first step starts with your camera.

Importing your photos

Transferring your photos to your computer only adds an extra minute or two, and has the added benefit of letting you use your computer to back up and organize your photos.

You can transfer your photographs from your camera to your PC with a card reader, or by connecting your camera directly to your computer. Copying the images into a folder is the quick-and-dirty way, but photo organizing software like Google’s Picasa will make it easier to locate your images quickly.

If you’re shooting RAW files with a DSLR, you should be using a more full-featured photo organizer like Adobe Lightroom.

Editing and cropping

You can edit photos on your computer before you post them to Instagram. If you don’t have a copy of Adobe Photoshop, you can use a number of free tools like Pixlr, Adobe Photoshop Express or GIMP.

Remember that images posted on Instagram are square. When cropping, set the editor to select an area with a 1:1 ratio.

While you can crop and resize in the Instagram app, you’ll probably get better results on your computer.

If you’re transferring a lot of photos, you can save storage space on your device by proactively resizing your images to 640×640 pixels–Instagram’s native size.

Step Two: Move your photos to your mobile device via Dropbox

The next step is to move the photos to a cloud service, which has the additional benefit of providing an off-site backup. We’re going to use Dropbox for this example, but any cloud storage account with a mobile app will do.

Set up Dropbox to receive your photos

On your computer, go to your Dropbox folder and create a new folder called “Instagram Photos.” Copy the desired photos into this folder.

When you open the app, you should see everything you’ve stored in your Dropbox folder, including your new directory of Instagram photos.

Unlike the desktop application, the mobile Dropbox app doesn’t automatically download files to your mobile device. Instead, it just allows you to view all the files you’ve stored in Dropbox.

iOS

If you’re using iOS, you’ll have to download the photos to use them with Instagram.

Navigate to your Instagram Photos folder in the Dropbox app. To download a photo, tap the small download icon in the bottom-right corner of the photo, then tap Save Image.

Android

With recent versions of Android, you don’t have to download the photos to your device to use them in Instagram.

If you have an older version of Android, though, you’ll have to download the files to your phone, as with iOS. This is also the case if you’re using BlueStacks to emulate an Android device on your PC.

Navigate to your Instagram Photos folder and find the photos you want to use. Tap and hold on the photo’s name, then select Export from the menu that opens up. From there, choose to save the picture to the SD card.

Save the photo in your device’s Pictures folder–this will make it available in the Gallery. You can use this same procedure to export an entire folder at once.

Step Three: Post to Instagram

Now you’re ready to use Instagram to edit and post your photo. This process is nearly identical in both the Android and iPhone Instagram apps.

To begin, open Instagram and tap the blue ‘shutter’ button located directly in the center of the bottom bar. To the left of that button, you’ll see a button to open a saved image.

Selecting photos in iOS

In iOS, you access saved images via an icon showing a thumbnail of the most recent image in your camera roll. Tap it, and photos will appear at the bottom of the screen, including those we transferred over from Dropbox.

Tap the photo you want to use, crop it (if necessary), and tap Next.

Selecting photos in Android

In Android, tap the saved-image button, which looks like a tic-tac-toe grid of nine squares.

If you have a recent version of Android, you’ll be presented with an option to choose where to look for your photos. You should see an option to use Dropbox.

If you don’t see an option to choose the source of the photos (or you don’t see the Dropbox icon), download the photos manually per the instructions above.

Tap the Dropbox icon, navigate to your Instagram Photos folder and select the photo you want to share.

In older versions of Android (or if you downloaded the photos to your phone manually), look for the photos in the Gallery.

After you select your photo, you can use the standard suite of Instagram editing tools and filters. Finally, post to your feed and prepare for a shower of Likes and admiring comments.

Have fun, and happy shooting!

(itnews.com)

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