Archive for July, 2017



WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging platforms in the world and Windows Phone is one of the least popular platforms supported by the app. However, the latest version 2.17.234 update of the beta app for the platform has hinted at some crucial changes that are coming to WhatsApp very soon. The Facebook-owned app will reportedly get some business-friendly features that will allow businesses and consumers to interact with each other via the platform.

The latest update of WhatsApp for Windows Phone disallows users to add a “check mark” symbol in front of their name in the app, as pointed out in a report by MSPoweruser. While on surface it might not appear to be a big deal, it is being speculated to have been done in order to avoid confusion regarding the authenticity of the businesses in the future.

As per a report by WABeta Info, which has a history of providing credible information regarding upcoming WhatsApp updates, WhatsApp will be verifying business accounts with a check mark, much like the one on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, to provide them certain amount of authenticity while dealing with their customers.

WhatsApp has reportedly been planning to introduce a separate app for businesses, called WhatsApp Small and Medium Business, which will be required to be installed by the businesses to contact their customers. Notably, the report suggests that users will not be required to install a separate app and will receive communication from businesses on their regular app. However, they will get the option to prevent communication selectively from certain businesses or all businesses within the app.

As per WABetaInfo, the communication between businesses and the consumers will further be supported with the support for “Structured Messages” that contain text, image, action items, and the translation of the message. There are said to be certain restrictions on the businesses regarding length and nature of their name and even unverified business can use the app to reach its customers. Additionally, businesses will get a feature called “Public Announcement” that will allow them to pass on official announcements to their users.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

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A Delhi court on Monday summoned as accused app-based cab service providers, including Ola and Uber, for allegedly violating permit rules.

Metropolitan Magistrate Abhilash Malhotra summoned ANI Technologies which runs Ola, Uber India Systems and Serendipity Infolabs which runs ‘Taxi For Sure’ and directed their authorised representatives to appear before it on December 11.

The court’s order came while allowing the plea of NGO, Nyayabhoomi, seeking prosecution of the three firms under various provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act.

The court had earlier recorded pre-summoning evidence advanced by the NGO through its secretary Rakesh Agarwal, in support of the complaint, which also sought summoning of the three firms as accused.

The NGO, which filed the complaint throught advocate Sumit Kumar Modi, also sought recovery of a whopping Rs. 91,000 crores from cab service providers for allegedly not adhering to rules relating to fares and not operating by meters.

The NGO has also sought recovery of an additional penalty of Rs. 26,000 crores from the firms and jail term for them.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


The Nokia 5 smartphone has been launched in multiple countries, including India, and now users are reporting of a strange equaliser issue on their units. Apparently, users are unable to open the Dolby Equalizer settings when in certain music apps like Google Play Music or Spotify. HMD Global was quick to respond on the issue, and has confirmed that it is working on it.

Users have taken to XDA Forums to report this issue where they claim that if they tried to open the Dolby Equalizer through apps like Google Play Music or Spotify, they met with only a white dialogue box, and nothing else. The Dolby Equalizer, on its own accord, opens without any glitches, but specific apps are unable to get it to work.

One of the users shared a screenshot of the email sent by Nokia care talking about the steps taken to resolve the issue on the thread as well. The email confirms that HMD Global is aware about the issue and has informed its developers. The developers are working on it, and will roll out an update rectifying the mistake soon. As a temporary workaround, Nokia Mobile Care is said to suggest downloading third party apps from Google Play in the meantime.

This means that a Nokia fix for this issue is coming soon. This issue isn’t a major one any ways, and shouldn’t really disrupt your everyday tasks on the Nokia 5. Also, this prompt reply is commendable from HMD Global, and reiterates the company’s solid software support for its Nokia lineup. In an interview with Gadgets 360, HMD Global Chief Product Officer Juho Sarvikas had promised monthly patches and regular software updates bringing new features to Nokia users first.

Keeping this promise, we also saw the Nokia 6 getting the July security patch ahead of Google Pixel as well. Let’s just hope that HMD Global continues on this positive streak in the future as well.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


A prominent privacy rights watchdog is asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate a new Google advertising program that ties consumers’ online behavior to their purchases in brick-and-mortar stores.

The legal complaint from the Electronic Privacy Information Center, to be filed with the FTC on Monday, alleges that Google is newly gaining access to a trove of highly-sensitive information – the credit and debit card purchases records of the majority of US consumers – without revealing how they got the information or giving consumers’ meaningful ways to opt-out. Moreover, the group claims that the search giant is relying on a secretive technical method to protect the data – a method that should be audited by outsiders and is likely vulnerable to hacks or other data breaches.

“Google is seeking to extend its dominance from the online world to the real, offline world, and the FTC really needs to look at that,” said Marc Rotenberg, the organisation’s executive director.

Google called its advertising approach “common” and said it had “invested in building a new, custom encryption technology that ensures users’ data remains private, secure and anonymous.”

The Washington Post detailed Google’s program, Store Sales Measurement, in May. Executives have hailed it as a “revolutionary” breakthrough in advertisers’ abilities to track consumer behavior. The company said that, for the first time, it would be able to prove, with a high degree of confidence, that clicks on online ads led to purchases at the cash register of physical stores.

To do this, Google said it had obtained access to the credit and debit card records of 70% of US consumers. It had then developed a mathematical formula that would anonymise and encrypt the transaction data, and then automatically match the transactions to the millions of US users of Google and Google-owned services like Gmail, search, YouTube, and Maps. This approach prevents Google from accessing the credit or debit card data for individuals.

But the company did not disclose the mathematical formula it uses to protect consumer’s data. In a statement, Google said that it had taken pains to build custom encryption technology that ensures that the data the company receives remains private and anonymous.

The privacy organisation is asking the government not to not take Google’s word for it and to review the algorithm itself. In its complaint, the organisation said that the mathematical technique that Store Sales Measurement is based on, CryptDB, has known securityflaws. Researchers hacked into a CryptDB-protected healthcare data based in 2015, accessing over 50 percent of the stored records.

Google also would not disclose which companies were providing it with the transaction records. When asked if users had consented to having their credit and debit transactions shared, Google would not specifically say. The company replied that it requires that its unnamed partners have “the rights necessary” to use this data.

In its complaint, reviewed by the Washington Post, the privacy group alleges that if consumers don’t know how Google gets its purchase data, then they cannot make an informed decision about which cards not to use or where not to shop if they don’t want their purchases tracked. The organisation points out that purchases can reveal medical conditions, religious beliefs, and other intimate information.

Google also told the Post that it does not have access to the names or other personal information of the credit and debit card users, and that it does not share any information about individual Google users with partners.

Advertisers receive aggregate information, for example, for an ad campaign for sneakers that received 10,000 clicks, the advertiser learns that 12 percent of the clickers made a purchase.

Users can opt-out anytime, Google says. To do so, users of Google’s products can go to their My Activity Page, click on Activity Controls, and uncheck “Web and Web Activity,” Google says.

The privacy group says the opt-out settings and the descriptions of what users are opting out of are confusing and opaque. The group says that the company continues to store server and click data even when Web and App Activity is turned off, and that to opt-out of everything requires a labyrinthine process of going to a number of third party sites. Meanwhile, opting out of location-tracking requires going to a separate button and interface. None of the opt-out descriptions specifically describe credit card data.

In 2012 and in 2011, Google paid multi-million dollar fines to settle FTC charges on privacy issues. The 2012 case, for $22.5 million, Google was charged with misrepresenting its privacy promises to users of Apple’s Safari browser, who were the under the impression that they could opt-out of ad-tracking. In 2011, in response to a case brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Google settled FTC charges that it used deceptive tactics and violated its own privacy promises when it launched its social network, Google Buzz.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


We’re fast approaching a new age where bezel-less displays are the new norm. Xiaomi kicked it off with the Mi MIX, while LG and Samsung followed with the G6 and Galaxy S8, respectively, and Apple is expected to do the same with its upcoming tenth anniversary iPhone. Huawei is also looking to shift to ‘full-screen’ displays when it launches the Mate 10 flagship, CEO c confirms.

Bezel-less displays have been trend for smartphones in 2017, and Huawei’s CEO has confirmed rumours that began earlier this month that the successor to the Mate 9 will feature a near bezel-less display as it looks to grow mobile shipments tis year and take on the giant Apple. In an interview with Bloomberg, Richard Yu said that the Mate 10 will be unveiled right around the time Apple reveals its next iPhone, which means we’re looking at a possible September unveiling. In fact, Huawei’s CEO unabashedly revealed that the Mate 10 will have features that will trump Apple.

“We will have an even more powerful product,” Yu says. “The Mate 10, which has much longer battery life with a full-screen display, quicker charging speed, better photographing capability and many other features that will help us compete with Apple.”

The CEO’s remarks comes soon after Huawei reported a slowdown in smartphone shipments the year with an estimated 140 million-150 million smartphones expected to ship by year-end. This is only marginally better than last year’s 139 million figure. Huawei claims the reason behind this is that the company is focusing on chasing profits rather than volumes, and it plans on doing this by shifting focus towards high-end phones.

The Chinese manufacturer also plans on unveiling an “AI processor” this year that looks to make smartphones “intelligent”. Yu, however, did not clarify whether Huawei’s dedicated AI processor will be included with the upcoming Mate 10.

As for everything else that is expected to come with the Mate 10, earlier this month it was reported that the upcoming smartphone will come with facial recognition, support for AR, and could have 3D sensing as well. Additionally, the smartphone is tipped to come with iris scanning and is expected to be powered by Huawei’s HiSilcon Kirin 970 SoC based on the 10nm process.

The Huawei Mate 10 is tipped to come with a 6-inch (1080×2160 pixels) display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, identical to the LG G6 and similar to the Galaxy S8. Cameras on the smartphone are expected to be Lieca-branded, as was the case with the Mate 9. Going by CEO Richard Yu’s statement, the Huawei Mate 10 could be unveiled some time in September.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Intel’s more than two decade reign as king of the silicon-based semiconductor ended Thursday when Samsung Electronics surpassed the US manufacturer to become the leading maker of the computer chips that are a 21st century staple much as oil was in the past.

Samsung reported record-high profit and sales in its earnings report for the April-June quarter, and while Intel’s reported earnings beat forecasts, the US company’s entire revenue was smaller than sales from Samsung’s chip division.

Samsung said its semiconductor business recorded 8 trillion ($7.2 billion) in operating income on revenue of KRW 17.6 trillion ($15.8 billion) in the quarter.

Intel said it earned $2.8 billion (roughly Rs. 17,960 crores) on sales of $14.8 billion (roughly Rs. 94,927 crores). Analysts had expected the US chipmaker to report $14.4 billion (roughly Rs. 92,359 crores) in quarterly revenue.

“Given Samsung’s strength today in flash memory, I am not surprised Samsung surpassed Intel in semiconductor revenue,” said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, adding that Intel may be able to catch up Samsung when Intel’s memory output is at full production capacity in about six months. “I think we will see a lot of back and forth between the two companies.”

On an annual basis, Samsung’s semiconductor division is widely expected to overtake Intel’s sales this year, analysts at brokerages and market research firms say.

Mobile devices and data are the keys to understanding Samsung’s ascent as the new industry leader, even as its de facto chief is jailed, battling corruption charges, and it recovers from the fiasco last year over the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 smartphones.

Manufacturers are packing more and more memory storage capacity into ever smaller mobile gadgets, as increased use of mobile applications, connected devices and cloud computing services drive up demand and consequently prices for memory chips, an area dominated by Samsung.

Just as Saudi Arabia dominates in oil output, Samsung leads in manufacturing the high-tech commodity of memory chips, which enable the world to store the data that fuels the digital economy.

“Data is the new crude oil,” said Marcello Ahn, a Seoul, South Korea-based fund manager at Quad Investment Management.

For over a decade, Samsung and Intel each ruled the market in its own category of semiconductor.

Intel, the dominant supplier of the processors that serve as brains for personal computers, has been the world’s largest semiconductor company by revenue since 1992 when it overtook Japan’s NEC.

Samsung is reaping the rewards of dominating in the memory chip market that is growing much faster than the market for computers that rely on processing units dominated by Intel, said Chung Chang Won, a senior analyst at Nomura Securities.

“Greater use of smartphones and tablet PCs instead of computers is driving the rise of companies like Samsung,” Chung said.

Since 2002, Samsung Electronics has been the largest supplier of memory chips, called DRAMs and NANDs. But for years demand for memory chips was vulnerable to boom-and-bust cycles depending on output and on demand from the consumer electronics industry. At times, competition was brutal as supply gluts arose.

That changed in 2012 when Japan’s Elpida filed for bankruptcy and was sold to Micron Technology, leaving only three major suppliers of DRAM, a type of memory chip used in servers, computers and handsets: Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix and Micron.

Tight supplies coupled with rock solid demand have pushed prices of memory chips higher, with average selling prices of DRAMs and flash memory chips doubling over the past year, bringing South Korea’s memory chip makers record wide profit margins. Both Samsung and SK Hynix are expected to report all-time high profits this year.

Amid this boom that analysts call a memory chip “super cycle,” global semiconductor revenue is forecast to jump 52 percent this year, reaching $400 billion (roughly Rs. 25,65,531 crores) for the first time, according to market research firm Gartner.

For the full year, Intel is expected to post $60 billion (roughly Rs. 3,84,829 crores) in annual sales, according to a market consensus polled by FactSet, a financial data provider. Samsung Electronics’ semiconductor business is expected to report KRW 71.9 trillion ($62.6 billion) in full-year revenues.

Looking ahead, Samsung and SK Hynix, which control more than three quarters of the global DRAM sales, are raising their spending on semiconductor capacity and development in anticipation of robust future demand. SK Hynix raised its capital spending to KRW 9.6 trillion ($8.6 billion) this year, up more than 50 percent from last year. Samsung has said it plans to spend $18 billion in the next four years to expand memory chip production capacity at its South Korean plants.

Not just tech companies but also transport, retail, tourism, food and other industries are seeking ways to better use or manage data, to gain insights on trends or customer preferences and otherwise make money from “big data.” The rising use of vehicle connectivity and the “internet of things” is expected to drive still further demand for the chips that have helped Samsung move ahead, at least for now.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Infinix, a Hong-Kong based mobile manufacturer, is planning to debut in India with a series of smartphones. E-commerce website Flipkart has been teasing a smartphone from the company, which could be the Infinix Note 4 going by the partial image. Meanwhile, Transsion Holdings-owned Infinix has updated its Indian website teasing a couple of other smartphones to come as well, namely the Zero 4 and Zero 4 Plus.

The Infinix Zero and Zero 4 Plus are expected to make it to India based on a teaser video on the company’s Indian website, however no launch date is mentioned as of now. The Infinix Zero 4 sports a 5.5-inch full-HD IPS display and is powered by a 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6753 octa-core processor coupled with 3GB of RAM. It sports a 16-megapixel rear camera, and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. It packs a 3000mAh battery and runs on the company’s XOS based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

The Infinix Zero 4 Plus is the bigger of the two in terms of screen size. It sports a 5.98-inch full HD IPS display with 2.5D glass on top. It is powered by a 2.1GHz MediaTek Helio X20 deca-core processor coupled with 4GB of RAM. The smartphone comes with two storage options of 32GB and 64GB, but it’s still unknown whether both the variants will be available in India. As for the camera, the Zero 4 Plus packs a 20.7-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), Laser Autofocus, and Pro Mode. The front sees a 13-megapixel camera with f/2.2 aperture, and flash. It houses a 4000mAh battery along with XCharge 3A charging. The dual-SIM smartphone runs XOS based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Talking about the the Flipkart teaser. The Infinix Note 4 seems like the most possible smartphones to launch, and is likely to be Flipkart exclusive. The smartphone has been teased with the hashtag #GoBeyond, highlighting a large battery with fast charging support. The Infinix Note 4 features a 5.7-inch display with a 2.5D glass on top and a metal unibody frame. It is powered by an octa-core chipset coupled with 2GB of RAM. The home button houses a fingerprint sensor that can unlock the phone in 0.15 seconds. The smartphone comes with 16GB of inbuilt memory that is expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB).

The Infinix Note 4 sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash, and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. It packs a 4300mAh battery supported by XPower that stretches the standby time for up to 2 days on normal usage. It is also supported by fast charging technology that can charge the phone to 45 percent in half an hour. It runs on the company’s own XOS 2.2 based on Android Nougat.

Notably, another mobile manufacture from Transsion Holdings, called Tecno, entered the Indian market earlier this year with the launch of Tecno i3 (Rs. 7,990), i3 Pro (Rs. 9,990), i5 (Rs. 11,490), i5 Pro (Rs. 12,990), and i7 (Rs. 14,990).

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Moto X4, the much-anticipated fourth-generation Moto X-series smartphone, was expected to be revealed earlier this week alongside Moto Z2 Force. That, however, didn’t happen, and now the European pricing of the unannounced Moto X4 has been tipped.

According to tipster Roland Quandt, the Moto X4 will be launched with a price tag of EUR 350 (roughly Rs. 26,500) for the European market. Quandt in a tweet claims that the said pricing of the Moto X4 is for Eastern Europe. Additionally, the leaked pricing only refers to a 32GB storage variant which may mean that there will one storage variant only. The rumoured pricing is notably is around the same mark when the last Moto X-series smartphone was launched. Back in 2015, the Moto X Style was launched at $399 (approximately Rs. 27,000). The Moto X4 is expected to be announced soon.

The rumoured Moto X4 has already been leaked in the past several times seemingly revealing the handset. Based on preliminary leaks, it will run Android 7.1.1 Nougat out-of-the-box and sport a 5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display.

Further, the Moto X4 is said to be powered by a Snapdragon 630 SoC, and launch in two variants – 3GB RAM/ 16GB storage and 4GB RAM/ 32GB storage. In terms of optics, the smartphone is likely to sport a 16-megapixel camera at the front. The Moto X4 is expected to come with a dual camera setup with a 12-megapixel and another 8-megapixel sensor at the back. Other rumoured features include NFC, IP68 rating for dust and splash resistance, and a 3800mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 via USB Type-C.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Alphabet Inc’s Google aims to train 10 million people in Africa in online skills over the next five years in an effort to make them more employable, its chief executive said on Thursday.

The US technology giant also hopes to train 100,000 software developers in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, a company spokeswoman said.

Google’s pledge marked an expansion of an initiative it launched in April 2016 to train young Africans in digital skills. It announced in March it had reached its initial target of training one million people.

The company is “committing to prepare another 10 million people for jobs of the future in the next five years,” Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai told a company conference in Nigeria’s commercial capital of Lagos.

Google said it will offer a combination of in-person and online training. Google has said on its blog that it carries out the training in languages including Swahili, Hausa and Zulu and tries to ensure that at least 40 percent of people trained are women. It did not say how much the programme cost.

Africa, with its rapid population growth, falling data costs and heavy adoption of mobile phones, having largely leapfrogged personal computer use, is tempting for tech companies. Executives such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s chairman Jack Ma have also recently toured parts of the continent.

But countries like Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, which Google said it would initially target for its mobile developer training, may not offer as much opportunity as the likes of China and India fortech firms.

Yawning wealth gaps mean that much of the population in places like Nigeria has little disposable income, while mobile adoption tends to favour more basic phone models. Combined with bad telecommunications infrastructure, that can mean slower and less Internet surfing, which tech firms rely on to make money.

Google also announced plans to provide more than $3 million (roughly Rs. 19.2 crores) in equity-free funding, mentorship and working space access to more than 60 African startups over three years.

In addition, YouTube will roll out a new app, YouTube Go, aimed at improving video streaming over slow networks, said Johanna Wright, vice president of YouTube.

YouTube Go is being tested in Nigeria as of June, and the trial version of the app will be offered globally later this year, she said.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Accenture Friday said it has developed an artificial intelligence powered solution to help visually impaired people improve the way they experience the world around them and enhance their productivity in the workplace.

The solution, called Drishti, was developed as a part of Accenture’s focus on Tech4Good, which aims to apply technology to improve the way the world lives and works by solving complex social challenges, a company release said.

Accenture, plans to introduce Drishti to more than 100 visually impaired employees in India.

The solution is currently being piloted at Accenture in South Africa, and a Spanish language version is being tested with Accenture employees in Argentina.

Drishti, which means ‘vision’ in Sanskrit, provides smart phone-based assistance using AI technologies such as image recognition, natural language processing and natural language generation capabilities to describe the environment of a visually impaired person.

Initially developed and tested with 10 blind professionals through a collaboration with the National Association for the Blind in India, the solution provides narration to the user on the number of people in a room, their ages, genders and even emotions based on facial expressions.

It can also be used to identify and narrate text from books and documents, including currency notes, and identify obstructions like glass doors to improve the safety of the user.

“This Tech4Good solution is a great illustration of how AI technology can empower humans by augmenting their capabilities so they can achieve more for themselves and the world around them,” said Paul Daugherty, chief technology and innovation officer, Accenture.

Pallavi Kadam, executive director, National Association for the Blind in India said, “This project makes us excited for a not-too-distant future where the widespread use of technologies such as this will have a significant and positive impact on the blind community.”

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)