Friday, November 29, 2013

Internet giant Google turns 15

Internet giant Google turns 15NEW DELHI: Internet search giant Google, which initially set shop in a garage but now has more than 70 offices in more than 40 global locations, including India, turned 15.

Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who had met at university in 1995, incorporated the firm September 4, 1998.

Originally called BackRub, it was eventually named Google. Since then, it has become synonymous with internet searching. And one can use Gmail in more than 50 languages.

Befitting the occasion, Google has named the next version of the company's mobile operating system (OS) as Android KitKat after Nestle's popular chocolate and wafer confectionery.

KitKat will be Android 4.4. "We couldn't imagine a better name for our Android K release than the tasty chocolate that's been a favorite among the team since the early days of Android," said Marc Vanlerberghe, director of Android marketing.

According to Google, Android software powers more than a billion smartphones or tablets worldwide.

Smartphones powered by Google's Android software increased their global market share as iPhones lost ground in the absence of new models being unleashed by Apple, the International Data Corporation reported last month.

There are also reports Google will launch a Glass app store sometime next year.

Nestle said that to mark the release of Android KitKat, more than 50 million specially branded KitKat bars will be available in 19 countries, including India.

The packs will lead consumers to the website where they will have the opportunity to win prizes, including a limited number of Google Nexus 7 tablets, and credits to spend in Google Play.

A small number of Android robot-shaped KitKat bars will be offered as prizes in selected markets.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

2014 will witness social messaging players challenge status quo of mobile social networking

In 2014, we will see further acceleration in user growth, together with a widening in the scope of social messaging services
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: The social messaging market is rapidly evolving and expanding as messaging players begin to amass hundreds of millions of users.
In 2014, we will see further acceleration in user growth, together with a widening in the scope of social messaging services. More interestingly, in 2014, Ovum expects to see social messaging players challenging the status quo of mobile social networking and media and creating a paradigm shift in social media that will impact several OTT giants.
According to Ovum's latest Social Messaging 2014 Trends to Watch report, services such as Line and WhatsApp are mobile first services and are changing the way the consumer interacts with social media - be it messaging, voice, games or utilities and widening the possibilities of the type of social services that can be accessed on mobile.
Social Messaging 2014 Trends-to-Watch:
* A new wave of OTT players will hit the market in 2014.
* Expect a fundamental shift in social networking services.
* Social messaging will start to generate revenues.
* Messaging will evolve beyond text.
Neha Dharia, analyst, Consumer Telecoms and author of the report says, social media as an industry is undergoing a major transition, one the key drivers of which is the rapid proliferation of social messaging services. Social messaging apps are mobile centric services are intuitive and viral in growth have the ability to reach a wider audience. As new services get added on to messaging apps, we can expect these services to evolve into mobile media platforms which large user bases.
"In addition, we expect social messaging to slowly but surely start to generate revenues, which will assist in the evolution of social messaging players' offerings from messaging apps to holistic mobile media platforms," Dharia says.
This shift has been driven mainly by mobile-first services due to more consumer accessing social services through mobile devices. The mobile internet used on variety of mobile devices is rapidly taking off in developed and emerging markets alike and will form the basis of the internet in the future.
Dharia states, "There is an increasing shift to mobile devices on either side of the development process and there is no doubt that mobile-first services make fuller use of the advantages of mobile than services that are ported from the PC to mobile."
Social messaging players will trial services that move well beyond communications, including games, payments, information services and utilities. Social messaging apps will continue to evolve into mobile media platforms in their own right, using mobile technology to create contextual services for consumers.
"The rise of this new breed of mobile-focused, messaging-centric OTT players will be the driving force behind the changes in social networking and media services. By 2014 users will no longer need to access services only through a social network. Rather, they will be able to access a service on its own. This service will then be connected by several channels to social networks, social media and other consumer services. What was once a horizontal service platform will have evolved into the glue holding several consumer services together," concludes Dharia.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Top 10 tech trends for 2014: IEEE Computer Society

The year 2014 will mark transition from hype to maturity and broader adoption of many promising technologies
In the coming year, mobile cloud convergence will lead to an explosion of new services, the Internet of Things will evolve into the Web of Things, new analytics tools will be introduced to handle the Big Data deluge, and innovative business models will emerge for 3D printing.
Those are just some of the technological advances that experts from IEEE Computer Society, the community for technology leaders, foresee in 2014.
"The year 2014 will mark transition from hype to maturity and broader adoption of many promising technologies, such as mobile cloud services, Big Data analytics, Internet of Things, 3D printing, and MOOCs," said incoming IEEE Computer Society president, Dejan Milojicic, a senior research manager at HP Labs.
Among the advances that IEEE Computer Society experts forecast:
Mobile cloud convergence will lead to an explosion of new services: Mobile and cloud computing are converging to create a new platform-one that will allow for better synchronization of data, improved reliability and scalability, increased ease of integration, anytime-anywhere access, rich user experiences, and an explosion of new services.
Internet of Things will evolve into the Web of Things: Going beyond the Internet of Things, where identifiable objects are seamlessly integrated into the information network, the Web of Things will take advantage of mobile devices' and sensors' ability to observe and monitor their environments, increasing the coordination between things in the real world and their counterparts on the Web.
New analytics tools will emerge to handle the Big Data deluge: The technology world hasn't quite caught up with the need for trained data scientists and the demand for easy-to-use tools that can give industries the ability to analyze the data they gather. The current level of extreme data demands new data management technologies and processes and new leaders will emerge in this arena in 2014.
New tools and techniques will bring 3D printing power to corporations and the masses: A future where digital functionality can be "printed into" a physical object will continue to be built on in 2014, driven by new toolkits, services, and platforms and innovative business models and processes, such as online 3D printing bureaus and crowdfunding sites.
Online courses demand new technological approaches: As interest in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) continues to explode, there will be a corresponding need for technology to support these new learning systems, and the development of seamless, ubiquitous, and contextual learning styles.
Mobile infrastructure must catch up with user needs and demands: Mobile computing systems must rise to the demands being placed on them by consumers, businesses, and emergency responders. Many systems operate within degraded network, power, or computing environments. Researchers must develop tools, middleware, and applications that can help with these quality-of-service issues.
The year 2014 will mark transition from hype to maturity and broader adoption of many promising technologies
New risks and concerns about social network privacy: Although social networks offer tremendous opportunities, widespread interest in and growth of these systems raises new risks and concerns. For instance, social network users can be bullied, their pictures can be stolen, or their status posts can reach unwanted audiences. A battle now exists between individual privacy and the interests of the system at large. Researchers are searching for new solutions to these challenges.
Intelligent systems and assistive devices will advance smart healthcare: Individual health is encouraged with the development of intelligent systems, apps, gadgets, and mobile systems that focus on diet, exercise, and information provision. There's also a proliferation in the use of intelligent systems for large-scale analysis of biomedical data, socially relevant data, and metadata, such as the spread of disease or certain habits in populations.
Agencies will attempt to tackle e-government interoperability issues: Interoperability is essential to broad success in e-government. Challenges emerging in this area focus on e-government interoperability in cloud computing, open government, and smart city initiatives.
Scientific cloud computing will further change how science is done: Scientific computing is the key to solving "grand challenges" in many domains and providing breakthroughs in new knowledge, and it comes in many shapes and forms. Not surprisingly, it becomes increasingly difficult to design and operate large scale systems capable of addressing these grand challenges.



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Recover lost data from iOS devices

BEIJING, CHINA: 4Videosoft Studio released a brand-new iOS Data Recovery to help users retrieve the deleted or lost data from the iOS devices or iTunes Backup File with ease.
Users can get the lost iOS data back with one click no matter how the data got lost like iOS upgrade, jailbreak, factory settings restore, iOS device damage and other unexpected accident that caused data loss. Now this first-class iOS Data Recovery highly supports iOS 7 and iPhone 5S/5C, iPad Air/mini 2.
Two recovery modes are available for users: Recover from iOS device and Recover from iTunes Back File. When recovering from iOS devices, users are able to regain up to 12 types of data, 5 types of media content and 7 types of text content included.
User of iPhone 5S/5C/5/4S, iPad mini 2/iPad Air/iPad mini with the Retina display/iPad mini/iPad with Retina display/The new iPad/iPad 2 and iPod touch 5 can recover 7 types of text data like Messages, Contacts, Call History, Calendar, Notes, Reminders and Safari Bookmark.
Apart from the above 7 types of text content, users of iPhone 4/3GS, iPad 1 and iPod touch 4 can recover 5 types of media content, such as Camera Roll, Photo Library, Photo Stream, Message attachments and Voice memos.
When choosing Recover from iTunes Backup File mode, users are able to extract the iTunes Backup File for all iOS devices, including the new iPhone 5S/5C and iPad mini 2/iPad Air. Users can get multiple data back from iTunes Backup File like Contacts, Messages, Call history, Calendar, Notes, Reminder, Safari bookmark, Camera Roll, Photo Stream, Message attachments and Voice memos. Both the existing data in the Backup File and the deleted data from the iOS device before users made the backup can be recovered.
In addition, this secure and professional iOS Data Recovery allows users to preview the existing and deleted data from the iOS device or iTunes Backup File before the recovery. Selectively mark those needed and get them back with one click. Once users have this almighty iOS Data Recovery, they are free from the worry about the data loss.



Monday, November 25, 2013


Going global with SEO


Five strategies to optimize results

NEWBURY PARK, USA: Multinational companies must adapt their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies to meet local market requirements or risk losing brand value, customer loyalty and profits in foreign countries.
According to Jon Ritzdorf, an SEO globalization expert with Moravia, one of the world's largest providers of multilingual services, an SEO program that works well in one country can often be completely off target in another.
"Global companies spend thousands of dollars to get as much from their SEO programs as they can, but the majority still just duplicate their current strategy abroad. It's a very costly mistake because a one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work and might even alienate potential buyers," Ritzdorf said.
To maximize global SEO, Ritzdorf says companies should:
Localize keywords. How do you optimize a bagel store's website in Indonesia? You can't assume you'll attract Indonesians with the same words a New Yorker would use. Businesses need to do market-specific keyword research in each country, instead of just translating pre-existing keywords into the local language.
Use country-specific domains. A ".com" address might be universally recognized, but it isn't always optimized. Use country-specific codes to register your top-level domains.
Use local hosting providers. Find hosting providers in the countries or regions you serve. This supports your SEO efforts and demonstrates a stronger presence in a particular country or region.
Know the local country requirements. Different countries have different rules for establishing a country-specific URL. Some actually require an established presence in their respective country before allowing a country-specific domain. The more you can localize your information and contents, the better.
Get more social. Facebook is the world's top social network, but it's far from the only one. The Chinese love Renren and Weibo. Italians use Meemi. Russians revere VKontakte, and the Vietnamese now have Mimo. If your goal is to optimize SEO globally, using the wrong social network to reach key international market segments is nothing to lol about.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Huawei launches Ascend W2, coming to India soon

Huawei launches Ascend W2, coming to India soon
Huawei has unveiled the Ascend W2, its second Windows Phone 8 smartphone, and said that it is coming to India soon.
NEW DELHI: Chinese manufacturer Huaweihas unveiled the Ascend W2, its second Windows Phone 8 smartphone. The new device is a follow-up to the Ascend W1, launched earlier this year, and has a 4.3-inch screen. 

The company has said it will be launched in Netherlands and Russia this month and will hit other international markets afterwards. In a release, Huawei said that this smartphone is expected to be launched in India soon. 

The all-new Ascend W2 has an IPS display with 800x480p resolution and features the TFT Magic Touch technology. It packs a 1.4GHz dual-core processor under the hood and comes with 512MB RAM. The internal storage in the smartphone is 8GB and the manufacturer offers free 7GB of SkyDrive cloud storage. 

On the back, Ascend W2 sports a 5MP camera that can capture 720p videos; it has no front camera. It can access the internet over 2G, 3G and Wi-Fi networks and transfer data via Bluetooth 3.0 and microUSB 2.0. Powered by a 1,700mAh battery, this handset comes in four colour options - red, black, blue and yellow. 

Kevin Ho, President of Handset Product Line, Huawei Consumer Business Group, said, "We created Huawei Ascend W2 so value-savvy people don't have to compromise on great technology. Huawei Ascend W2 provides an enhanced visual experience and impressive stand-by time, and can be customized inside and out with splashes of colour." 


Friday, November 22, 2013

IT companies lean on startups to win big deals

IT companies lean on startups to win big deals
India's large software exporters are partnering with startups to win outsourcing contracts in hottest technology areas.

BANGALORE/MUMBAI: India's large software exporters are partnering with startups to win outsourcing contracts in hottest technology areas such as cloud computing, enterprise mobility and data analytics.

Third-ranked Wipro, Noida-based HCL Technologies, mid-sized firms Zensar and 3i Infotech, are all looking at startups as a force multiplier to complement their portfolio offerings as building their own solutions would be time-consuming and resource-intensive.

"Reality is that we cannot have everything done by people here; therefore we partner with these startups who are really good and have greater speed," said Anurag Srivastava, chief technology officer of Wipro.

The Bangalore company evaluated close to 80 startups from around the world over the past 18 months and signed some 30 technology services contracts with clients, leveraging products and solutions from some of these startups.

Chennai-based product startup Orangescape's business application development platform was critical in helping Wipro complete the Rs 1,800-crore deal from ESIC. Wipro is also partnering with other startups such as Splunk, Pingar, Opera, Axeda, Solix and Cloudmunch.

The rapid emergence of new technologies such as cloud computing social media, enterprise mobile applications and data analytics have forced large technology services companies to partner rather than trying to build everything themselves. India's software services sector is trying to combat falling margins in their traditional business areas, which are getting fast commoditised.

Such partnerships could expand the scope of the market, especially higher-margin business for these companies, with minimal upfront investment."Large services are playing plugging-the-gap game with these startups," said Arup Roy, research director at Gartner. "Startups come with fresh thinking, without any baggage of serving large clients."

HCL Technologies, India's fourth-largest technology firm, works with about over two dozen technology partners, many of them startups. "It enlarges the scope of our work," said Sanjeev Nikore, senior corporate vice president for consumer, manufacturing and public services at HCL. Nikore said HCL looks for companies that have been "established to some extent with one or two clients in India if not abroad" and whose expertise fits the company's client requirement.

Taking a cue from larger rivals, mid-sized technology outsourcing firm Zensar Technologies has identified startups and plans to develop a joint go-to-market strategy with them. "If a company has a good product - say a mobile app for insurance - we partner with them and make them part of our ecosystem," said Ganesh Natarajan, vice-chairman and chief executive officer of Zensar.

Sharad Sharma, co-founder of software product industry thinktank iSpirt, said that while this development could lead to an increase in engagements with chief information officers by companies, the technology industry is yet to see any significantly large deal wins from its partnership with startups."Earlier both product companies as well as service providers would go to the CIO (separately). Now we are seeing this effort merge but it is still in early days," Sharma said. "The feeling is that these tie-ups will yield great value." 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Next Google can come from India: Eric Schmidt

India's entrepreneurial innovators have the potential to build the "next Google" if the country "plays its cards right".
Next Google can come from India: Eric Schmidt

NEW YORK: India's entrepreneurial innovators have the potential to build the "next Google" if the country "plays its cards right" and ensures Internet access for millions of its citizens, Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt has said.

In an essay written for the book 'Re-imagining India: Unlocking The Potential of Asia's Next Superpower' edited by global consulting firm McKinsey, Schmidt dubbed India "an Internet laggard" saying he feels Internet in the country today is like where it was in America in about 1994 - four years before Google was even born.

He said India must increase its Internet penetration across towns and cities, a move that will have a positive impact on its economy and society.

The former Google CEO said he witnessed the creative potential of India's people all around him in Silicon Valley where India-born entrepreneurs account for 40 per cent of start-ups.

"Just think what will happen when India's entrepreneurial innovators are able to create great global companies without leaving their country. They will change the world. Hundreds of large firms focused on the Internet will be founded and will succeed by focusing purely on Indian consumers, Indian taste, Indian style, Indian sports.

"Can anyone of those companies ultimately become the next Google? Of course."

"That may not happen for quite a few years. But if India plays its cards right, we will soon see Indian engineers and small businesses tackling Indian problems first, then exporting the solutions that work best," Schmidt said.

With a total population of 1.2 billion, India has over 600 million mobile-phone users but only about 150 million people regularly connect to the Internet.

In 2011, India's Internet penetration rate was 11 per cent, "far below" that of developed nations where penetration rates average 70 per cent.

India's Internet penetration rate is less than a third of China's penetration ratio of 38 per cent and less than half of those in developing countries, which average 24 per cent.

"By any reasonable definition, India is an Internet laggard... In spite of its well deserved reputation as one of the world's leading IT and software development hubs, India is far from being the connected society many foreigners imagine," Schmidt said.

The number of India's broadband users, 20 million, is even smaller, Schmidt said however adding that India is on the cusp of a connectivity revolution.

"I believe India has the chance to leapfrog its current connectivity challenges, bring Internet access to a majority of its citizens - and even raise its penetration ratio to 60 or 70 per cent within the next 5-10 years," he said.

He said if India connects its next 500 million people with Internet, it would make the country the largest open-access Internet market in the world.

"In 10 years' time I predict it will be almost impossible for any child in India to imagine what life was like before the Internet. But to realise that promise India must make the right technology choices," Schmidt said.

Schmidt stressed that one key choice India should make is how quickly it builds out the fixed-line networks in its cities and towns adding that fiber-optic cables are by far the best way to promote higher connectivity.

India should also get its cellular technology right, making the transition from 2G and 3G to 4G technology as quickly as possible.

Fourth generation technology makes "far more efficient use of the spectrum and users can get so much more bandwidth out of it".

Schmidt said it may take time for India to achieve these two goals because its telecommunications industry is under capitalized and has a lot of debt.

"But I am confident that eventually the transformation will happen," he said.

The Google head said investing in a bigger, faster telecom network will have a big payoff for India as that network combines with one of the most "radically life-altering developments" of the last decade - the emergence of moderately-priced mobile devices.

"In India this phenomenon is sure to unleash a customer-driven revolution on a scale we have never seen before in education, financial services, healthcare and entertainment," he added

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Top global IT firms have more staff in India than home nations

Top global IT firms have more staff in India than home nations
IBM has been steadily reducing its US employee numbers and has simultaneously increased sharply its Indian ones. (AP photo)

BANGALORE: It's a measure of India's strength in software services and the number of engineers it produces that some of the world's largest IT companies have more employees in India now than in their home countries.

And increasingly, these foreign companies are shifting their consulting base to India, thanks to the talent coming out of the country's business schools.

IBM, the biggest in the business, has been steadily reducing its US employee numbers and has simultaneously increased sharply its Indian ones. The company does not officially break up its employee numbers by geography, but the IBM employee organization Alliance@IBM puts the US figure for 2012 at 91,000, down from 127,000 in 2006. The last time IBM provided figures for India was in 2007, when it said it had 73,000 employees here. Since then, all estimates suggest that the company has added another 50,000 to 60,000 employees, taking the total count to about 1.3 lakh.

That puts the India number at more than 40% of the US figure. It also means — given IBM's global headcount of 4.3 lakh — that one in almost every three IBM employee is in India.

One-third of global IT workforce is in India

Around one-third of the global workforce employed in top IT companies is based in India — a sign of the fact that our country is virtually turning into the global IT headquarters.

Sample this: Accenture's strength in India, at over 90,000, is more than double that in the US (its traditional home), at about 43,000. The company has a total strength of 2.75 lakh, which means India accounts for a third of its workforce. French IT major Capgemini has over 44,000 of its 1.25 lakh employees in India; its staff strength in India grew by 50% in just the past two-and-a-half years. It has just 20,000 staffers in its home country, France. Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) has 24,000 of its 98,000 employees in India. Though TOI could not obtain its US strength, that in India would be at least its second largest operation.

"No other place can scale up as India can," says Aruna Jayanthi, CEO of Capgemini India, a company that makes no bones about its overwhelming dependence on the country. India produces some 5 lakh engineers a year, and even though many of them are said to be unemployable straight off campuses, numbers that are employable are significant. Most of them are sufficiently comfortable in English, and given India's more than two-decade experience with software, engineers graduate with a certain comfort with the space.

"We have no problem getting talent. There is a surplus at the entry level and salaries at this level have stabilized. So for the foreseeable future, India will be our key centre of delivery. In fact, all our freshers from around the world come here for 6-8 weeks of training," says Jayanthi.

Siddharth Pai, partner and president in outsourcing advisory firm ISG Asia Pacific, says the East and West are demographically different, with sizable ageing populations in the West. "This and the demand for specialized skills that's available in plenty here compared to that in other countries have made India play the global delivery game. Companies competing for specialized skills will ramp up their headcount in India. Leadership skills will also come out of here and India will find its place in the global leadership league," he says.

Sundararaman Vishwanathan of IT consulting firm Zinnov notes that while American companies have been adept at putting India at the centre of their global delivery strategy, some European and Japanese companies have been behind in the India-adoption curve and are now taking the acquisition route to acquire service capabilities here. Japan's NTT Data, one of the world's biggest IT services companies, acquired Intelligroup, an IT company with a significant India presence, two years ago, and bought Indian datacentre services provider Netmagic last year.

Most of the IT services companies are also now building strong consulting strengths in India — consultants that are used not just for India, but also for global engagements. Capgemini India started establishing this business two years ago and already has 200 consultants, a number that has doubled in the past year. Jayanthi says India's top business schools produce very good quality talent for consulting. "We train them by sending them to different countries. India also does 80-90% of the research and ground work for consulting engagements," she says.

Courtesy: Times of India

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Google opens up Glass invites to public

Google's Glass Explorer website has introduced a formal wait list for consumers, who want to book the device before its launch sometime next year.

The new option gives users a chance to declare a spot in the programme to become Glass explorers, as soon as it becomes available, provided they're willing to pay the steep 1,500 dollars entry fee, the Verge reports.

Earlier, the only way to get the device was either to be selected by Google, or get in through the Explorer invite programme, which opened to the friends of the initial explorers.

However, Google did not disclose the number of Glass units that might be given out through the wait list.