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Global wearable and IoT solutions provider Omate on Tuesday announced a partnership with Tata Communications to equip its new “Omate x Nanoblock” smartwatch for kids with enhanced security features.

The inbuilt Tata Communications’ “MOVE-IoT Connect” platform in the smartwatch will carry location, messaging and video-calling data over an end-to-end encrypted virtual private network (VPN), ensuring maximum security.

“What sets the ‘Omate x Nanoblock’ apart from other smartwatches is the extra security layer provided by the global private network of Tata Communications MOVE-IoT Connect,” Laurent Le Pen, Founder and CEO, Omate, said in a statement.

“It means that parents can keep track and be in touch with their kids in real-time but no data on the network can be intercepted by unscrupulous individuals,” he added.

The API-enabled, automated “MOVE-IoT Connect” platform is fully integrated with Omate’s business processes, giving the company real-time visibility over customers’ data usage patterns and control over tariffs and billing.

The software-defined capabilities of “MOVE-IoT Connect” also make it easy for Omate to customise features and content with children’s needs in mind.

“Through our partnerships and the ubiquitous network of Tata Communications MOVE-IoT Connect, businesses are able to capture, move and manage information on a global scale, and give people the always-connected digital experiences they crave,” said Anthony Bartolo, Chief Product Officer, Tata Communications.

The “Omate x Nanoblock”, the price of which is yet to be announced, will be available for pre-order in April on http://www.omate.com.

It will start shipping in June in the US and in Europe in the first place.

Omate has offices in the US, Japan and China.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)

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Millions of Android smartphones have reportedly been hijacked in a drive-by cryptocurrency mining campaign. As per security researchers, over the past few months, hackers have secretly been mining Monero coins via smartphones. According to Malwarebytes researchers, the campaign was first observed in January though it had started around November last year.

According to the report, millions of Android mobile users have been redirected to a specifically designed page “performing in-browser cryptomining.” Though the method, the report says, is “automated, without user consent, and mostly silent,” visitors are presented with a CAPTCHA to solve to prove that they are human and not a bot.

The warning message reads as “Your device is showing suspicious surfing behaviour. Please prove that you are human by solving the captcha. Until you verify yourself as human, your browser will mine the Cryptocurrency Monero for us in order to recover the server costs incurred by bot traffic.” Until a user enters the code, the smartphone or tablet continues mining Monero, damaging the device’s processor.

Also see: How to Stop Websites From Using Your Phone or Computer to Mine Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies

Interestingly, upon clicking entering the code, users are redirected to the Google home page, the report says. Also, the code is static and hardcoded in the page’s source, making the process appear malicious. The researchers at Malwarebytes say that victims may face the forced redirection during regular browsing sessions or via infected apps with malicious ads.

“It’s possible that this particular campaign is going after low-quality traffic-but not necessarily bots -and rather than serving typical ads that might be wasted, they chose to make a profit using a browser-based Monero miner,” Jerome Segura, lead malware intelligence analyst at Malwarebytes, wrote in the blog post.

Malwarebytes identified five domains using the same captcha code and Coinhive site keys used for the campaign. According to the data posted on the blog, at least two websites had more than 30 million visits per month, and the domains combined yielded around 800,000 visits per day.

Unsurprisingly, Web filtering or security applications on smartphones have been highly recommended by the researchers, to prevent such hijacks. They say that forced cryptomining is now affecting mobile phones and tablets not only via Trojanised apps but also via redirects and pop-unders. Meanwhile, here is a guide on how to stop websites from using your phone or computer to mine cryptocurrencies.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, the anticipated successor to the popular Redmi Note 4, is expected to be launched in the country on Wednesday at an event in New Delhi. Alongside, recent teasers have also tipped that Xiaomi will finally launch its Mi TV series of televisions in India at the event – specifically, the Mi TV 4. So far, Xiaomi hasn’t launched the Redmi Note 5 in any other region, including China, making the India launch the debut of the smartphone globally. The smartphone is expected to be exclusive to Flipkart, with availability also expected to encompass Mi.com and Mi Home stores. Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for all the details from the event, which kicks off at 12pm IST. You can also watch the live stream of the event right here.

Redmi Note 5 price in India, availability
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 price in India will be officially announced at the launch event, but a leak has pegged the starting price at CNY 1,499 (roughly Rs. 15,400). As for the availability, we can expect the handset to become available for purchase next week via the flash sale model from both Mi.com and Flipkart. It may hit offline stores too at a later stage.

Redmi Note 5 specifications
The Redmi Note 5 specifications leaked so far suggest the device will be a significant upgrade over its predecessor. With the new 18:9 aspect ratio and bezel-less design, the new model will likely feature a larger display panel in a body that is roughly the same as that of last year’s model. We can expect a 5.99-inch full-HD+ (1080×2160 pixel) display, Android 8.0 Oreo-based MIUI 9 build, and Snapdragon 636 processor under the hood. The handset is expected to come in two variants, one with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, and the other with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage.

The Redmi Note 5 is also reported to come with a dual camera setup, featuring a 16-megapixel primary camera sensor and a 5-megapixel secondary camera sensor. Additionally, it could sport an 8-megapixel front camera sensor with 1080p video recording. The smartphone is also rumoured to include a 4100mAh battery. Lastly, some early renders showed a fingerprint sensor on the back of the device.

Mi TV 4 price in India, availability
The Mi TV 4 was first unveiled at CES 2017, and comes in three screen sizes – 49, 55, and 65-inches. The 49-inch Mi TV 4 is priced at CNY 3,499 (roughly Rs. 33,000), 55-inch Mi TV 4 is priced at CNY 3,999 (roughly Rs. 38,000), and 65-inch Mi TV 4 priced at CNY 9,999 (roughly Rs. 95,000). We can expect India pricing to be around the same. The TV is expected to be exclusive to Flipkart in India.

Mi TV 4 specifications
One of the biggest highlight of the Mi TV 4 is it measures just 4.9mm and is claimed to be 30 percent thinner than the iPhone 7. The Mi TV 4 range sports a frameless design, and comes with integrated Mi TV Bar with 10 speakers, 2 wireless rear satellite speakers, and a subwoofer. The models support Dolby Atmos audio technology with 2 up-firing speakers for what the company claims can offer “an immersive 3D sound experience.”

The Mi TV 4 also comes with a modular TV design which means it can be upgraded in future. The new model features a single cable connection dubbed Mi Port which can connect Mi TV Bar to the display. Xiaomi’s Mi TV 4 models also come with ‘transparent’ stand which makes Mi TV 4 look suspended in the air even without mounted on the wall.

Xiaomi has also added its AI (artificial intelligence) based recommendations UI called PatchWall to the Mi TV 4. The PatchWall, a UI layer on top of the Android OS, is based on deep learning AI technology.

All Mi TV 4 models feature Samsung or LG 4K display panels. It comes with Cortex-A53 quad-core CPU clocked at 1.8GHz coupled with Mali-T830 image processor.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Google launched its own “stories” format Tuesday to compete with Snapchat and Instagram with image-driven news articles aimed at mobile phone and tablet users.

Content for its “AMP stories” initially comes from outlets like CNN, The Washington Post, Conde Nast, Wired, and US People magazine, and is designed to load much faster on mobile devices than conventional articles and videos.

“On mobile devices, users browse lots of articles, but engage with few in-depth,” said Rudy Galfi, who is heading the drive at Google.

“Images, videos and graphics help get readers’ attention as quickly as possible and keep them engaged through immersive and easily consumable visual information,” he added.

“AMP stories” articles fill the screen and are image and video led. Users can tap on the home screen to read further or simply swipe to the next article.

Google claims the format, which it is opening up to software developers, gives “novel ways to tell immersive stories” without the “prohibitively high start-up costs, particularly for small publishers”.

It was developed with major US media outlets and can also be read on a computer, although its promoters said the immersive effect is better on mobiles.

“AMP stories aim to make the production of stories as easy as possible from a technical perspective,” Google said.

“The mobile web is great for distributing and sharing content, but mastering performance can be tricky,” it added.

But AMP Stories give “gives great editorial freedom to content creators,” it claimed.

Snapchat, Instagram and particularly Facebook have all heavily used their own stories formats for full-screen displays of content.

Google said it eventually plans to bring “AMP stories to more products across Google, and expand the ways they appear in Google Search.”

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Previously undetected malware directed at users of the desktop version of the messaging app Telegram has been discovered by the Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab, Kaspersky said on Tuesday.

The Telegram app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration taken September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

The malicious software has been used to target Russian users since March 2017, Kaspersky said in a statement. It was designed to trick users of Telegram’s desktop computer software into enlisting their machines to mine cryptocurrencies like Monero and Zcash.

Telegram ranks as the world’s ninth most popular mobile messaging app and expects to hit 200 million users during the first quarter of 2018, according to a recent white paper by the company. Only its desktop computer version was targeted.

The malware exploited a feature that allows its messaging software to recognise Arabic and Hebrew language text, which is read right to left.

By using a hidden character in the feature that reversed the order of the characters, the attackers could rename a file, triggering the installation of the malware. Examples of the malicious software were only found in Russia, Kaspersky said.

Kaspersky Lab said clues found in the code indicate connections to Russian cybercriminals. It said such messaging app vulnerabilities are not unique to Telegram, noting that last month it had found a way for hackers to steal WhatsApp messages.

Kaspersky said it had reported the vulnerability to Telegram in October and the issue appears to have been fixed.

In a statement posted on an a Telegram technical channel, the company said the attack was a form of social engineering that only worked if a user was tricked into downloading an image file. It was fixed by Telegram in November, the post said.

“This is not a real vulnerability on Telegram Desktop, no one can remotely take control of your computer or Telegram unless you open a (malicious) file,” Telegram said.

Telegram is preparing the biggest initial coin offering, in a private sale of tokens, which could be traded as an alternative currency, similar to Bitcoin or Ethereum, an investment proposal seen by Reuters showed. The offering could raise up to $2 billion (roughly Rs. 12,800 crores), according to media reports.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Apple’s annual software upgrade this fall will offer users plenty of new features: enabling a single set of apps to work across iPhones, iPads and Macs, a Digital Health tool to show parents how much time their children have been staring at their screen and improvements to Animojis, those cartoon characters controlled by the iPhone X’s facial recognition sensor.

But just as important this year will be what Apple doesn’t introduce: redesigned home screens for the iPhone, iPad and CarPlay, and a revamped Photos app that can suggest which images to view.

These features were delayed after Apple concluded it needed its own major upgrade in the way the company develops and introduces new products. Instead of keeping engineers on a relentless annual schedule and cramming features into a single update, Apple will start focusing on the next two years of updates for its iPhone and iPad operating system, according to people familiar with the change. The company will continue to update its software annually, but internally engineers will have more discretion to push back features that aren’t as polished to the following year.

Software chief Craig Federighi laid out the new strategy to his army of engineers last month, according to a person familiar with the discussion. His team will have more time to work on new features and focus on under-the-hood refinements without being tied to a list of new features annually simply so the company can tout a massive year-over-year leap, people familiar with the situation say. The renewed focus on quality is designed to make sure the company can fulfil promises made each summer at the annual developers conference and that new features work reliably and as advertised.

“This change is Apple beginning to realize that schedules are not being hit, stuff is being released with bugs – which previously would not have happened,” when Apple was a smaller company with fewer engineers, customers and devices to manage, says one person familiar with the company. Apple declined to comment.

The shift is an admission of what many customers have already come to notice: Some Apple software has become prone to bugs and underdeveloped features. In recent months, users have complained about text messages appearing out of order, the iPhone X registering incoming phone calls late and frequent app crashes.

Apple has also recently released features later than it expected, as the rush to meet the annual deadline overtaxed engineers and created last-minute delays. For example, last year’s iOS release didn’t initially include previously touted features that would let consumers send money via iMessage or synchronise full text message histories among Apple devices.

The decision to formalize the process and give engineers more time to perfect software is a major cultural shift. For years, the company hasfunnelledd its energies into quick-turnaround, splashy upgrades that are designed to wow the faithful and make rivals seem slow-footed.

The strategy has paid off handsomely because the feature-packed upgrades keep customers tied to Apple’s ecosystem and prompt them to use more of the company’s lucrative services. More than 90 percent of Apple customers use either of the last two major iOS updates, compared with 30 percent of Android users who have downloaded the two latest versions of Google’s mobile OS, according to data from both companies.

But the feature-packed upgrades place huge demands on Apple’s beleaguered engineers. At Google, teams update apps on their own schedule and aren’t tied to the annual Android release. At Apple, all new features are tied to a big release in the fall, when Apple rolls out its splashiest new software, and a more modest update in the spring. Individual apps aren’t updated on their own, and everything is driven by the release schedule.

Under the previous system, a person familiar with Apple says, “inevitably, some things will be late because you underestimated how long it would take. Some things have to be cut, some things have to be rushed. It’s the result of having thousands of people working on the same schedule.”

The first test of the new development strategy will come in the fall, when Apple debuts the next iPhone and iPad software upgrade. Internally code-named “Peace,” it will likely be called iOS 12.

The change that will cause the biggest stir: making it possible for a single third-party app to work on iPhones, iPads and Mac computers. The upgrade will be folded into the upcoming macOS 10.14 (known internally as “Liberty”) and could involve bringing to the Mac some of Apple’s own iPhone apps, including Home, which controls smart appliances.

Apple’s popular Animojis will get new characters and a more easily navigated menu. The animated emojis will also come to the iPad; the company is working on a new model that will have the required Face ID camera. Apple plans to integrate Animojis into FaceTime, letting people put virtual faces over themselves in video calls. (Technology to bring multi-person conferencing to FaceTime video calls is being explored but might not be ready for this year.)

Also in the works for this year: a redesigned version of Apple’s stock-tracking app and updated version of Do Not Disturb that will give users more options to automatically reject phone calls or silence notifications. Apple is also working to more deeply integrate Siri into the iPhone’s search view, redesign the interface used to import photos into an iPad on the go and make it possible for several people at once to play augmented reality games.

Consumers will have to wait until 2019 for significant iPad-focused software upgrades. Among them: A feature that will make it possible to run several windows in one app and click between them just like tabs in a web browser (the Mac got this feature a couple of years ago) and a related enhancement that lets two screens from the same app run side-by-side. Other updates that have been pushed back include new features for the Apple Pencil stylus and a toggle in the email app that will mute notifications from specific threads.

In the past, “Apple’s smaller scale helped it build better-quality software than the rest of the market,” says Steven Troughton-Smith, a veteran app developer. “But with its newfound size it has seemingly been unable to find the right balance.”

Finding a new balance between speed and quality will be tricky. On the one hand, spreading feature updates over a longer period could hurt Apple’s competitiveness in the fiercely contested smartphone market. On the other hand, sticking to what Troughton-Smith calls a “ruthlessly ambitious” upgrade cycle risks rushing out features before they’re ready and undermining Apple’s vaunted reputation for quality.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Flipkart on Monday launched its Apple Days sale to offer various iPhone models at discounted prices. The Flipkart sale also includes cashback offers on EMI transactions made through ICICI Bank credit cards. Models that are a part of the new sale include the iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6, and iPhone SE. Similarly, the Flipkart sale gives discounts on various iPad models, EarPods, and Apple Watch. There is also assured up to 50 percent buyback value on select iPhone models. The Flipkart sale will run until Thursday, February 15.

Flipkart sale offers on iPhone models
Under the Flipkart Apple Days sale, the iPhone X is listed at a starting price of Rs. 82,999 (MRP Rs. 89,000). Customers buying the latest iPhone model can also avail a cashback worth Rs. 10,000 that is exclusive to ICICI Bank EMI transactions. The iPhone X 256GB variant, on the other hand, is available under the new sale at a price of Rs. 98,999 (MRP Rs. 1,02,000). There is also an exchange discount of up to Rs. 18,000. If the iPhone X is still not in your budget, or if it’s not your choice, you can buy the iPhone 8 Plus at a price starting at Rs. 66,999 (MRP Rs. 73,000). The iPhone 8 is also available as a part of the new Flipkart sale with a starting price of Rs. 55,999 (approximately Rs. 64,000). Both the new iPhone models can be availed with a cashback worth Rs. 8,000 on EMI transactions and include an exchange discount of up to Rs. 18,000.

The iPhone 7 Plus 32GB version is available at Rs. 56,499 (MRP Rs. 59,000), while the iPhone 7 Plus 128GB variant comes at Rs. 62,500 (MRP Rs. 82,000). On the other side, the iPhone 7 32GB version is available at Rs. 42,999 (MRP Rs. 49,000), while the iPhone 7 128GB variant is priced at Rs. 55,999 (MRP Rs. 58,000) and the iPhone 7 256GB version is available at Rs. 56,890 (MRP Rs. 74,400). Both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus come with a cashback worth Rs. 4,000 that is valid on ICICI Bank EMI transactions. Further, there is an exchange discount of up to Rs. 18,000.

For customers planning for a cheaper option than the iPhone 8 or iPhone 7, the Flipkart sale includes the iPhone 6s 32GB at Rs. 34,999 (MRP Rs. 40,000). The iPhone 6s Plus 32GB is listed at Rs. 39,999 (MRP Rs. 49,000). The iPhone 6 32GB is also part of the new sale and is available at an as low price as Rs. 25,299 (MRP Rs. 29,500). The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 deals can become even sweeter with a cashback worth Rs. 2,500 that is valid on EMI transactions only. Besides, there is the iPhone SE 32GB at an affordable price of Rs. 19,999 (MRP Rs. 26,000) that can be bought at a lower price by availing an EMI transaction cashback worth Rs. 2,000.

Flipkart offers on iPad, Apple Watch, and EarPods
Apple iPad models under the Flipkart sale are available with discounted prices. The iPad 32GB Wi-Fi only variant comes with a discounted price of Rs. 22,890 (MRP Rs. 28,000), while the iPad 128GB Wi-Fi+Cellular variant is available at Rs. 45,990 (MRP Rs. 47,900). The iPad Pro 64GB Wi-Fi only model is listed at Rs. 49,900 (MRP Rs. 50,800) and the iPad Pro 256GB model comes at Rs. 61,500 (MRP Rs. 63,500). Likewise, customers purchasing the Apple Watch will receive a discount up to Rs. 8,700, whereas the Apple EarPods are listed at Rs. 1,999 (MRP Rs. 2,400).

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Several US cybersecurity firms said on Monday that they had uncovered a computer virus dubbed “Olympic Destroyer” that was likely used in an attack on Friday’s opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Games.

Games Organisers confirmed the attack on Sunday, saying that it affected Internet and television services but did not compromise critical operations. Organisers did not say who was behind the attack or provide detailed discussion of the malware, though a spokesman said that all issues had been resolved as of Saturday.

Researchers with cybersecurity firms Cisco Systems, CrowdStrike and FireEye said in blog posts and statements to Reuters on Monday that they had analysed computer code they believed was used in Friday’s attack.

All three security companies said the Olympic Destroyer malware was designed to knock computers offline by deleting critical system files, which would render the machines useless.

The three firms said they did not know who was behind the attack.

“Disruption is the clear objective in this type of attack and it leaves us confident in thinking that the actors behind this were after embarrassment of the Olympic committee during the opening ceremony,” Cisco said in its blog.

The attack took the Olympics website offline, which meant that some people could not print out tickets and WiFi used by reporters covering the games did not work during the opening ceremony, according to Cisco.

The attack did not affect the performance of drones, which were initially scheduled to be included in the opening ceremony, but later pulled from the program, organisers said in a statement.

The drone light show was cancelled because there were too many spectators standing in the area where it was supposed to take place, the statement said.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Alphabet’s Google this month hired Injong Rhee, who recently resigned as Samsung Electronics’s chief technology officer, to lead its Internet of Things business, he said in a LinkedIn post Monday.

Google spokeswoman Jane Hynes confirmed to Reuters Rhee’s hiring by Google’s cloud computing unit, but declined to comment further.

Rhee said in his post that he will serve as entrepreneur-in-residence under Diane Greene, chief executive of the cloud computing group, which sells software and hardware to other businesses.

Rhee said he aims to harmonise Alphabet’s various projects related to the Internet of Things, or IoT, a term that encompasses any device that accesses data online. Self-driving cars, home appliances with virtual assistants and the latest weather sensors on farms fall under the emerging category of technology.

“One of the first things I would like to do with my Google colleagues is to get these efforts coordinated and aligned toward a concerted IoT story of Google — in the process, create distinct consumer and enterprise product lines,” Rhee wrote in his post.

Each of the leading cloud computing sellers, including Amazon.com, Microsoft, Google and IBM, offer services aimed at helping companies analyse data from a network of Internet-connected equipment. Google’s effort is among the most nascent, though.

Rhee left Samsung in December after more than six years there, most recently serving as a chief technology officer and head of software and services’ research and development. He was involved in the launch of the company’s Knox security system, Bixby digital assistant and Samsung Pay mobile wallet.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Xiaomi’s first product announcement of 2018 for India is scheduled to take place on February 14 in New Delhi. While the company hasn’t officially revealed any of the products that are set to arrive, the Chinese phone maker and its online partner, Flipkart, have sent out their fair share of hints. While the Redmi Note 5 has already been hinted at for launch on that date, the latest product page from Flipkart and a teaser video from Xiaomi point towards the launch of the first ever Mi TV in India – quite possibly, the latest Mi TV 4.

A teaser page went live on Flipkart earlier this week that details features of an upcoming product from Xiaomi. It can be deduced that this will be the Xiaomi Mi TV 4, as it is Xiaomi’s only product to sport a “Slim 4.9mm body.” This variant was showcased by the company at CES 2017, and could become its first smart TV to launch outside of China. However, there are no details around which model – 49-inch, 55-inch, or 65-inch – will be launched for the Indian market.

Another teaser video was posted on Xiaomi India’s Twitter account on Monday that hints once again at launch of the Mi TV. Certain frames in the video titled “#WhatIsThat” show the slim profile of what appears to be a large display. This video does not, however, point towards which variant of the Mi TV is expected on Wednesday.

There is no update on the pricing of the TV, but Xiaomi’s past and the “Easy on the pocket” claim on Flipkart’s brand page suggests that it would be competitive enough to take on the current players, including Samsung and LG, in the premium smart TV market.

Apart from the Mi TV 4, we can expect the Redmi Note 5 to make a debut at the launch event. There is no confirmation from the brand, although the mention of “redminote5” in the code on Mi.com pretty much confirms that the successor to the Redmi Note 5 is expected in India this week.

The launch is set for 12pm on February 14, and we will be at the event to give you updates around the products and their subsequent pricing and availability.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)