Iqua Unveils ‘Bluetooth Accessories’ In Indian Market

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Wireless design accessory company, Iqua Ltd has made entry into the Indian market together with a leading IT solution company, Pathfinder Solutions.

On Thursday, the company has formally launched its Bluetooth series and accessories, in the Indian market, which were soft-launched since January 2008.

Iqua has launched three ranges of products including personal, home and office, and car.

The company has offered up around ten models under the personal group, which include the world’s first solar-powered Bluetooth headset. This headset gets charged on its own when exposed to light. Another model is a car clip that resembles a file-punch and can easily be kept on the car’s dashboard, and let drivers to speak on their phones without moving their hands of the steering.

In the home and office class, the company has revealed a Smart Card, which doubles up as an ID card holder and a wireless communication device. The users can also use this Smart Badge as a wireless speaker and microphone for their PCs. Besides, it can also be used to make VoIP Internet calls. Other amazing features of the Smart Card comprise vibration mode for incoming VOIP calls, talk time of up to 40 hours and stand-by time of up to 600 hours and three-way conference call ability.

Finally, under the car category, the company has excited users with ‘Iqua Vizer’, which offers up wireless connection with Bluetooth mobile phones and other portable devices.

The company said that it has already made a sale of 2,000 units in the range of Rs 1,200 to Rs 7,000 in Chennai and Bangalore, where Pathfinder Software, has appointed dealers.

A company release said, “Design, quality and cutting edge technology are the three mainstays of Iqua. At the helm of design and style, the Iqua collection is an irresistible combination of uncompromising quality, International elegance and affordability. Iqua employs technologies which are mature and standardized. It provides flexible cross-platform connectivity solutions for wireless terminals in collaboration with leading hardware, software and distribution companies within the communications industry.”

The company has also decided to sign up 48 dealers in the south Indian market within 3 months to sell its products.

Iqua’s complete product range is also available in Sri Lanka, Singapore and Middle East, the company said


Mobiles more dangerous than fags

Puffing kills. But a new study, led by an Indian-origin researcher, claims that mobiles phones are more dangerous than fags.

"Though mobiles can save lives in emergencies, there is a significant and increasing body of evidence for a link between mobile phone usage and certain brain tumours (which can lead to cancer).

"It is anticipated that this danger has far broader public health ramifications than asbestos and smoking," the study`s lead author Dr Vini Khurana was quoted by `the independent` newspaper as saying.

Smoking kills some five million worldwide each year, according to the world health organisation.

But Dr Khurana, who has based the findings on an analysis of over 100 researches on the effects of cell phones, said the radiation from mobiles could kill far more people than smoking.

"We are currently experiencing a reactively unchecked and dangerous situation. This will be definitively proven in the next decade," he said.

The leading cancer expert said that people should avoid using them wherever possible and that governments and the mobile phone industry must take "immediate steps" to reduce exposure to their radiation.

"Unless the industry and governments take immediate and decisive steps, the incidence of malignant brain tumours and associated death rate will be observed to rise globally within a decade from now, by which time it may be far too late to intervene medically," according to him.

However, the mobile operators association has dismissed Dr Khurana`s study as "a selective discussion of scientific literature by one individual".


Yahoo and MySpace are joining the Google (News - Alert)-led OpenSocial alliance, according to the company.

Yahoo! and MySpace are joining the Google (News - Alert)-led OpenSocial alliance, according to the company.
The alliance is developing a common set of standards to create applications that can run on social networks and other sites. Yahoo!, MySpace (News - Alert), and Google have announced that they have agreed to form the OpenSocial Foundation to ensure the “neutrality and longevity” of OpenSocial as an open, community-governed specification for building social applications across the Web.

This independent non-profit body—with a formal intellectual property and governance framework—will provide transparency and operational guidelines around technology, documentation, intellectual property, and also ensure that stakeholders share influence over its future direction.

“Yahoo! believes in supporting community-driven industry specifications and expects that OpenSocial will fuel innovation and make the web more relevant and more enjoyable to millions of users,” said Wade Chambers, vice president of Platforms at Yahoo!.

He also noted that this support builds on similar efforts with the OpenID community and will expand the opportunity for developers and publishers to benefit from an open and increasingly social Web.

“Together with the OpenSocial community we are setting new industry specifications for social web application development,” said Steve Pearman, senior vice president of product strategy at MySpace.

He also noted that Yahoo! is an important addition to the OpenSocial movement, and through this foundation “we will work together to provide developers with the tools to make the Internet move faster and to foster more innovation and creativity.”

"OpenSocial has been a community-driven specification from the beginning,” commented Joe Kraus, director of product management at Google. “Developers and websites should feel secure that OpenSocial will be forever free and open.”

Yahoo! reportedly considered joining the alliance for months. However, Yahoo executives were worried that Google might wield too much control over the evolution of OpenSocial and over any intellectual property created by the group, The New York Times reports citing people familiar with the company’s plans.

Yahoo! raised those concerns with Google, and now, Google has agreed to give up control over OpenSocial, the report said.

Other members of the alliance include Bebo, LinkedIn and Plaxo.


VMware To Invest $100 Million in India

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Virtualisation software company VMware, Inc. has announced plans to invest $100 million (Rs 400 crores) in India to expand its research and development (R&D) operations in the country. The money will pay for a new 82,000 sq.ft development centre in Bengaluru and for staff increases. The company already has a strong presence across India with offices in Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai.
The new Bengaluru development centre expands on existing R&D operations in Bengaluru and Pune. The centre supports new and ongoing R&D across the company’s entire portfolio of solutions for datacentre and desktop virtualisation. The new centre is located in South Bengaluru and includes a 4,000 sq.ft computer lab.
"Great products are built by great people. India has both an excellent technical education infrastructure and outstanding people. We highly value our Indian citizen employees," said Diane Greene, president and CEO, VMware. "India is also one of our fastest growing markets and where we have increasingly important system integrator partners. For these reasons, we are now substantively increasing our investment in India."Today the company has more than 300 customers and more than 160 channel partners in the country. With offices in five cities, VMware employs nearly 700 people, including more than 500 developers, across India. It has established strong ties to local universities in India including IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Madras, NIT Trichi, NIT Surathkal, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and the RV College of Engineering.


Andhra Pradesh: The Preferred IT Hub In India

The state is expected to get a total of 71 SEZs which will create overall jobs for more than 2.5 million people.

Proactive initiatives of the Andhra Pradesh government and potential to sustain long-term IT growth have transformed Hyderabad to become India's leading IT hub, according to a report released jointly by the Information Technology and Communications Department, government of Andhra Pradesh and Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj. The state continues to be a significant contributor towards India's economic growth.

The state of Andhra Pradesh earns the fourth largest revenues in IT exports amounting to Rs 1.85 billion, accounting for about 15 per cent of the total IT/software exports from India. Beginning with the government's initiative towards the development of the Hitec City in Hyderabad and policy initiatives aimed at bolstering investment, IT development is gradually spreading to other cities within the state. Moreover, the Andhra Pradesh government is now looking proactively at foraying into sunrise IT sectors such as KPO along with animation and gaming.

According to the report 'Andhra Pradesh - The chosen destination for IT', the Indian real estate market is not only growing in terms of pace, but also in scale. Real estate growth engines are no longer in cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune. The smaller cities are now expected to be the growth drivers over the next decade. More than a dozen Tier 3 cities compete with each other to attract developers, investors and occupiers. The smaller cities in Andhra Pradesh will have an advantage due to relentless government support.

According to Anuj Puri, chairman and country head, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, "The IT boom has had a significant impact on real estate development in Andhra Pradesh. The state offers tremendous development potential with Hyderabad at the epicenter of IT growth, followed by emerging cities such as Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupati. The state's initiatives and strategies for infrastructural development, human resource development and policy framework to support and attract investments have helped it become an attractive investment destination for developers and occupiers. From the positive growth momentum built by the government, Andhra Pradesh is steadily placing itself firmly on the global business map."

The report also says: Andhra Pradesh has the highest number of SEZs approved by the central government for the IT sector (as of 31 December 2007). It is expected to get a total of 71 SEZs which will create overall jobs for more than 2.5 million people.
A new ICT (2005-2010) is in place to make Andhra Pradesh the most attractive and preferred destination for the IT companies.Buoyed by significant infrastructure development and the emergence of Hyderabad as the prime IT hub of Andhra Pradesh, the government has identified the IT sector as one of the most important economic drivers for the state, the report concludes. Andhra Pradesh with its strong focus on policy and overall development presents a compelling investment opportunity.


Yahoo!, MySpace, Google To Form OpenSocial

Yahoo!, MySpace and Google have agreed to form the OpenSocial Foundation to ensure the neutrality and longevity of OpenSocial as an open, community-governed specification for building social applications across the Web. The OpenSocial Foundation will be an independent non-profit entity with a formal intellectual property and governance framework; related assets will be assigned to the new organisation by 1 July 2008.

The OpenSocial foundation will provide transparency and operational guidelines around technology, documentation, intellectual property and other issues related to the evolution of the OpenSocial platform, while also ensuring all stakeholders share influence over its future direction.Yahoo!’s support of OpenSocial and role as a founding member of the new foundation are landmarks for the rapidly growing specification which will now offer developers the potential to connect with more than 500 million people worldwide.“Yahoo! believes in supporting community-driven industry specifications and expects that OpenSocial will fuel innovation and make the Web more relevant and more enjoyable to millions of users,” said Wade Chambers, vice president, platforms, Yahoo!. “Our support builds on similar efforts with the OpenID community and will expand the opportunity for developers and publishers to benefit from an open and increasingly social Web.”“Together with the OpenSocial community, we are setting new industry specifications for social Web application development,” said Steve Pearman, SVP, product strategy, MySpace. “Yahoo! is an important addition to the OpenSocial movement, and through this foundation we will work together to provide developers with the tools to make the Internet move faster and to foster more innovation and creativity.”“OpenSocial has been a community-driven specification from the beginning,” said Joe Kraus, director, product management, Google. “The formation of this foundation will ensure that it remains so in perpetuity. Developers and websites should feel secure that OpenSocial will be forever free and open.”The OpenSocial Foundation website will serve as the portal for the community to find all information about OpenSocial and the foundation as they evolve. Developers and website owners can now visit for the latest specifications, links to other resources and the opportunity to get involved.Engineers from Yahoo!, MySpace and Google will continue to work together and with the OpenSocial community to further advance the specification through the new foundation, continuing several core elements of OpenSocial since its announcement by Google, MySpace and many others in November 2007.


India Rejects Microsoft's OOXML Format: Reloaded!

The BIS LITD 15 Committee has rejected Microsoft's document format OOXML. According to sources, out of 19 members, five of them did not attend the meeting, one of them abstained, five voted in favour of OOXML and the rest voted against. The meeting took place today in Delhi at the BIS office.

Microsoft has released a statement which says, "While we are disappointed with the decision of the BIS LITD 15 committee, we are very encouraged by the support of IT industry players like NASSCOM, TCS, Wipro and Infosys who voted in favour of Open XML becoming an ISO standard.
Further, the Indian government, industry stalwarts and trade bodies have supported multiple standards and technology neutrality. We will therefore continue to work with the government to address any concerns they may have and to achieve its stated goal of technology neutrality. We are committed to working towards what is best for the Indian IT industry."The statement is contradictory in itself where Microsoft is talking about neutrality.
The European Union (EU) has worked really hard to neutralise most of Microsoft's antics. Microsoft's openness seems less out of desire and more out of growing power of FOSS movement and legal pressure by the EU. Neelie Kroes, Competition Commissioner, EU said last month, "Today, the European Commission has imposed a substantial fine, to be precise €899 million ($1.35 billion), on Microsoft for its non-compliance up until 27 October 2007 with its obligations under the Commission's March 2004 decision to provide interoperability information on reasonable terms."Total penalties against Microsoft now stand tall at around $2.5 billion.In the statement, Microsoft further said, "The concerns raised by the LITD 15 Committee have been addressed by the ISO and Ecma International (the proposer of the ISO/IEC DIS 29500 Office Open XML) with a majority of the comments getting addressed at the recently concluded Ballot Resolution Meeting (BRM) at Geneva. We hoped that 98.73 per cent of the total 1027 comments from all National Bodies stood resolved at the BRM would be welcomed by the BIS, as it has been by the National Bodies of numerous countries."This is what the ISO website says about the BRM, "No decision or vote on the document as a whole or any part of it was taken at the meeting, but only on proposed changes to it.
"It further says, "Following the BRM, all 87 national member bodies who voted in the original fast-track ballot have 30 days – until midnight CET on 29 March 2008 – to examine the actions taken in response to the comments and to reconsider their vote if they wish. If the modifications proposed are such that national bodies then wish to withdraw their negative votes, or turn abstentions into positive votes, and the acceptance criteria are then met, the standard may proceed to publication. Otherwise, the proposal will have failed and this fast-track procedure will be terminated. This would not preclude subsequent re-submission under the normal IEC and ISO standards development rules."India's dismissal of OOXML could be seen as first major blow to Microsoft's ambitions of making OOXML as an ISO standard. It might encourage other countries to follow the suite.And everyone hopes this time we would not come across the infamous case reported in Sweden where some alleged Microsoft employees bribed to vote in OOXML's favour


Motorola Splits Into Two!

Motorola has decided to split the company into two independent, publicly-traded companies. The decision taken by the company will separate Motorola's mobile devices business and its broadband and mobility solutions business. The decision was made under tremendous pressure from Carl Icaan, a Motorola shareholder who contended that the company should split from its handheld devices business, according to sources.
The creation of the two stand-alone businesses is expected to take the form of a tax-free distribution to Motorola's shareholders and is expected to be completed in 2009, says the company."Creating two industry-leading companies will provide improved flexibility, more tailored capital structures and increased management focus – as well as more targeted investment opportunities for our shareholders," said Greg Brown, president and chief executive officer, Motorola. The mobile devices business will supply multi-mode, multi-band communications products and technologies. The business designs, manufactures and sells mobile handsets and accessories globally with integrated software solutions. It also licences a portfolio of intellectual property. Recently Stu Reed, president of the company's mobile devices business, resigned from the company, after Motorola lost its market share in mobile devices market. The company is now on the lookout for a new CEO for its mobile devices division."We remain committed to improving the performance of our mobile devices business by delivering compelling products that meet the needs of customers and consumers around the world. As part of that effort, we have undertaken a global search for a new chief executive officer for the mobile devices business," added Brown.The broadband and mobility solutions business manufacture, design, integrate and service voice and data communication solutions and wireless broadband networks for enterprises and government and public safety customers worldwide. These businesses also provide end-to-end digital and Internet Protocol (IP) video solutions, cellular and high-speed broadband network infrastructure, cable set-top receivers and associated customer premise equipment for residential and commercial wireless network system access.


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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

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All submission are given a chance to walk away with prizes which are random chosen. All entries are taken as guest blog entries and will be walking away with prizes once chosen as a blog post on my blog. Topics should not cover any Sexual contents, Porn, Gambling or illegal stuff. Send in all your entries to and if your entry is approved and published, you walk away with one of the prizes from the Treasure box but there are only 14 prizes available, so hurry and submit now. It's that simple! All entries are published over the 2 weeks and winners Prizes will be announced on 14th Apr 2008. Please do drop me a small note on your website and your blog description so that i can add it at the bottom of your blog post.


Netflix Goes Down For 11 hours, Wall Street Pushes Its Stock to All-Time High

Netflix was unavailable yesterday for 11 hours due to a glitch in its scheduled weekly maintenance system, and it will cause users to wait an extra day or two for their rentals.
The outage started yesterday at 7AM Pacific Time, when engineers noted that the weekly maintenance shutdown scheduled in the middle of the night had instead gone off in the early morning. By the time the site was up again at 6PM, Netflix had gained a few disgruntled customers. The outage caused its 52 distribution centers to go down as well (presumably, they didn’t have access to the customer logs), so DVDs scheduled to go out Monday won’t go out until today. As a result, the ranting began.
Many of the Netflix users, clearly experiencing movie-queuing withdrawal, used the outage as an opportunity to talk about the overall lack of open information on the site.
For example, many feel that Netflix isn’t upfront with them about broken DVD’s and waiting times for movies that are heavily in demand (I second this problem: I’ve been waiting for Season One of The Wire for 10 weeks now). When representatives weren’t answering questions immediately yesterday, it caused local newscasts to lead their segments with vague statements like ‘Netflix is experiencing problems due to their technology. We don’t know anything else.’
Basically, people want to know that something is being done to correct the issue of a service they pay for, and would like to know about maintenance sessions in advance (though that would not have mattered yesterday).
So far, there has been no detailed explanation about why the outage happened and why it took so long to come back up. Regularly scheduled maintenance of top websites like MySpace, Facebook, and Netflix usually don’t take more than a few hours.


Intel Gets Ready 2 Go

Intel's roughneck notebook, the 2go PC, has been officially announced. The educational laptop, formerly called the Netbook, has a low end but good enough set of specs: a Celeron M processor, 512MB RAM, a 9" LCD screen and a 40GB hard drive are spiced up with a card reader, mesh supporting 802.11b/g WiFi, a 640x480 camera and a couple of USB ports.
Rumor says the CTL manufactured 2go is coming to stores in the next two months for around $400, with a choice of Linux or Windows XP. With that handle, it's a little like a cross between the original "toilet seat" iBook and a toy typewriter, but the tough plastic case and small size should see it doing well in the currently super-hot mini-notebook market, up against the Cloudbook and the Eee. See the full specs below.


Microsoft groups together social contacts

Windows Live, Microsoft's online application arm has partnered with a number of social networking sites to ease the portability of address books.
LinkedIn, Tagged, Hi5, Bebo and Fabebook have agreed to use the Windows Live Contacts API, a tool that lets members port contacts lists, and search for contacts, across participating sites.
John Richards, Director of Windows Live Platform at Microsoft, announced the news in his blog, saying, "I’m pleased to announce that Microsoft has partnered with some of the world’s top social networks on contact data portability. Starting today, we will be working with Facebook, Bebo, Hi5, Tagged and LinkedIn to exchange functionally-similar Contacts APIs, allowing us to create a safe, secure two-way street for users to move their relationships between our respective services.
The collaborations with Facebook, Bebo, Hi5, LinkedIn and Tagged will make it easier, safer, and more secure for people to have access to their contacts and relationships from more places on the web."
Facebook and bebo are currently live with the service, the others, Richards said, would follow in the coming months.
Richards added that Microsoft had also released a complimentary tool, explaining, "Along with these collaborations, Microsoft is introducing a new website at that people can visit to invite their friends from our partner social networks to join their Windows Live Messenger contact list."


IBM invests in EnterpriseDB

IBM has invested in the open source database firm EnterpriseDB, as the firm looked for financers in its third round of investment.
EnterpriseDB announced that it has raised some $10bn from investors in this latest push, "This latest round of investment in EnterpriseDB is an acknowledgement of our business model, technical innovation, and emergence as a leading force in the PostgreSQL community, including our work in the areas of database compatibility and performance," said Andy Astor, chief executive officer, EnterpriseDB in a statement.
IBM may have invested in the firm as a means of strengthening its position in the web application services market, and to keep up with competitor Sun, which has enjoyed success following its acquisition of the open source firm MySQL about a month ago.
Inna Kuznetsova, director, IBM Linux Strategy, added, "IBM has a long history of supporting open source initiatives, including Linux, Apache, and Eclipse, and this investment is another example of IBM's long-standing commitment to open standards."


Amazon in Facebook tie-up

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Amazon is looking to harness the potential money-making opportunities in social networks, by launching two new applications for Facebook users.
Amazon Giver allows users to view other users' Amazon "wish lists", and click through to buy items. It also generates recommendations for individual users based on their Facebook profile page interests and likes.
The Amazon Grapevine application, meanwhile, updates users' friends if they write a product review on Amazon or update their own wish lists.
Industry experts said the move shows the increasing maturity of Web 2.0 and the trend towards personalisation in e-commerce.
"This is a key milestone in the evolution of personalisation because it shows major retailers actively trying to harness the profile data held by social networks," argued Richard Hughes, director of e-commerce software vendor BroadVision. "We are witnessing an 'inversion of control' driven by social networking momentum."


Sony Ericsson's K850i Cybershot

The K850i Cybershot cellphone exemplifies Sony Ericsson's distinctive lineup. It bears vice and virtue in equal measure. It is its own thing.
First, however, hardware: at $450 or so unlocked, the K850i is an international 3G handset with quad-band GSM, HSDPA@3.6Mbps, a 5 megapixel camera and an accelerometer. It's about four inches long, two wide, and a couple of centimeters deep. It weighs 118 grams: it's not a brick, but it's not a miniature, either.
There's a Memory Stick Micro and microSD card slot, 40 Mb of internal flash, PictBridge USB for direct output to photo-printers, and various backlighting color options. The display resolution is 240x320 pixels. An FM radio is built-in. There's Bluetooth, but no WiFi.
First impressions are of typical Sony-Ericsson stylishness. And as powerful as it is, it's just a little too swish for its own good. The system's user interface is extravagant and pretty, but a little slow to respond. The menu system is uncluttered and easily navigable, but it's often hard to find what you're looking for. The touchscreen selectors, physical keys and that rail of a D-Pad are well designed, but fiddly and unintuitive in combination. The 5MP snapper takes nice shots, but with a time-to-shoot of at least 5 seconds (and considerable shutter lag even when it's awake) it still feels like a cellphone. The picture blogging feature is neat, though trying to type on that art installation of a keypad isn't.
It's the software, however, that S.E. is pushing, and it's not hard to see why. Among the goodies are 3D games, simple photo and video editing suites, a bizarre image morphing program, an RSS feed reader, the NetFront web browser, and the usual PIM suspects.
Of the 3D games, the tennis and Need for Speed titles are flashiest, but the accelerometer-driven version of Marble Madness is the one most likely to get you flattened by a truck. What iPhone SDKers are just now brewing, K850i users have been enjoying for months — though apart from the addictive controls, it's not a particularly good rendition of that classic game.
The PlayNow music store was not tested, as it wouldn't consent to operate without a better network connection than what it could acquire. If you don't have decent HSDPA in the air, this machine's best considered a dumb player, music-wise. The speaker is loud and clear for a cellphone, mind you.
Other interesting programs include TrackID, which hooks into a song-identification service, and Autocam, which takes screenshots of whatever's on the display. There don't seem to be a lot of third-party apps about, but Java developers interested in the series may head for the Developer World website.
The K850i is a good phone that's not altogether comfortable with its own triple play of 5MP camera, cellphone and music player. This $400 3G handset can deal with anything you throw at it—so long as you learn to deal with its limitations first.


Google launches hosted ad management service

Friday, March 14, 2008

Google launched a free hosted service on Thursday that helps Web site publishers sell advertising faster and fill unsold slots on their sites.
Ad Manager, which Google said has already been tested by a few businesses, is designed to streamline how ads are placed on Web sites and generate performance reports detailing how successful those ads are in reaching consumers, including click-through rates and revenue paid by the advertisers for those clicks.
Google said Ad Manager's purpose is to ease some of the problems that come with managing advertisements on a Web site, such as gauging available inventory and how to pick the highest-paying ads. The service is hosted on Google's servers, and Web site publishers can access it through a Web browser.
As of Thursday, Ad Manager entered a beta testing phase, and other publishers may apply to participate. Google makes technology such as Ad Manager available for free to enlarge the circle of publishers that use its advertising technology, bringing it revenue through fees.
Other online advertising specialist companies charge for similar placement and management services, including DoubleClick, which Google bought for $3.1 billion in April 2007. European regulators approved the acquisition earlier this week.
Ad Manager is flexible enough to let publishers sell their own advertising, Google said. For ad space they can't sell, publishers can opt to use Google's AdSense system to fill unsold slots.
Google's AdSense delivers text advertisements that are matched with the content of a Web site. Google will let publishers use Ad Manager in tandem with similar technology from other competing ad placement networks.
Ad Manager can also target ads at specific users. It is capable of delivering ads based on a user's domain, the brand of Web browser and language it uses, the PC's operating system, and how much bandwidth is available on their Internet connection.
That information may seen potentially sensitive, but it's automatically revealed when a browser visits a Web site. Increased attention has come around how Internet advertisers target ads to users and how they handle personal information.


Security skills in high demand

Security skills are a top priority for IT managers, according to new global research by IT trade association CompTia.
The report found that nearly three-quarters of the 3,578 IT managers in 14 countries surveyed said IT security was the most important skill for IT professionals, but supply is not meeting demand, according to CompTia's European director, Matthew Poyiadgi.
"People are more security aware than they were two years ago but the skills required for businesses to cope with increasing cybercrime remain lacking," he explained. "To really get to grips with the problem, we need to train up both the people managing business IT networks and everyone using them as well."
The research found that the UK has one of the highest gaps between the perception of how important security skills are and how proficient the workforce is in those skills.
"Better security awareness through IT security education for all staff, regardless of job title, from network administrators right through to project managers is a necessity given the rising rates of information security breaches, " argued Poyiadgi.


Microsoft, Yahoo enter tentative discussions

Microsoft and Yahoo executives met for the first time on Monday to discuss Microsoft's initial $44.6 billion cash and stock bid for the company, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
The meeting is the first since Microsoft made the unsolicited offer on Jan. 31, and gave Microsoft a chance to pitch its vision of the future of the two companies. Yahoo rejected the initial offer last month, saying it was too low.
The meeting included several executives from both companies but was not a negotiation and no investment bankers attended, the report said. No further talks have been scheduled.
The report said it wasn't immediately clear if the CEO's of either company attended the meeting.


Businesses need to bet on innovation

Leading CIOs have called on IT professionals to be more proactive in driving business improvements and winning the confidence of senior executives.
Consultancy Capgemini’s third annual global CIO survey, which was published last week, revealed that two-thirds of CIOs regard IT as playing a critical role in fostering business innovation. However, only a quarter say that IT is taking a leadership role in delivering that innovation.
Rorie Devine, chief technology officer of online gambling firm Betfair, suggested that the best way to ensure IT delivers innovation is by building it into business objectives. “We have set a target percentage of revenue that we want to derive from new products – and set up both structured and non-structured channels to deliver it,” he said.
According to Chris Robinson, IT director at construction firm Davis Langdon, it is time for IT to become the “engine room of business innovation”, adding that CIOs need to “spend the majority of their time on relationships and understanding the business.”
Alex Thomson, IT director at Travelodge, argued that he has helped the business improve conversion on its web site. “It is the role of IT to demonstrate to its business counterparts that it can add value and, in doing so, it will be invited to lead business innovation,” he said.
As IT has become the engine room of today’s enterprise, many departments end up focused on operations, said Capgemini’s executive consultant, Ivar Sinka. “But if you do that to the exclusion of all else it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy,” he said. “There should be an element of the [business change agent] role and the [IT operator] role in CIOs, and ­ matching the balance of the two with your sector’s requirements is important.”
Alex Cullen of analyst firm Forrester argued that many CIOs do not receive the necessary executive support to ensure that innovation is prioritised. Typically, business leaders will say they want innovation in business models and processes but subsequently focus “only on product innovation”, he said. " Consequently, while CIOs say they want to be involved with innovation, it almost never makes the CIO’s top five priorities," Cullen added.
The research found that in most businesses that were classed as “top innovators”, the CIO reported directly to the chief executive or chief operating officer.


Corporates eye green networking kit

The popularity of networking kit that minimises its environmental impact is set to soar, experts predict.
Power consumption and other 'green' issues are fast becoming the IT industry's biggest challenge, reports In-Stat.
This focus will broaden to all types of IT equipment, and settle on one of the most power-hungry devices: the local area network switch.
As a result of this growing environmental awareness, switch vendors that address energy efficiency sooner rather than later will have significant opportunities to develop a competitive advantage in their respective markets.
"As many businesses develop green initiatives using best practices published by organisations like The Green Grid, IT managers will be forced to absorb some degree of responsibility for their power usage," said In-Stat analyst Victoria Fodale.
"The role of energy efficiency will grow considerably in importance for future equipment purchases."
Recent research by In-Stat noted that shipments of power-over-Ethernet ports, which can consume more than 10 times the energy of standard ports, have tripled since 2005.


Sun's Server Room Case Mods

There must be some case-modders working at Sun Microsystems: Someone installed glowing green lights underneath the raised floor in a server room at the company's headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif. The effect, as anyone who has ever installed glowing lights inside their own PC knows, is sweet.
This photo comes from Patrick Norton, host of Revision3's Tekzilla and cohost of systm (where he's building compressed-air cannons). Thanks, Patrick!


Space Station Puts 12GB In Your Pocket

If we were feeling kind, we'd describe the Space Station's looks as "utilitarian". Lack of prettiness aside, this initially neat looking idea has some other problems.
It is essentially a USB Flash memory holder. Each of those modules holds one or two gigs and is itself a standalone thumb drive. Surely it would be more useful to have a whole 12 gigs in one credit card (or smaller) sized box. What this gives you is essentially a partitioned drive, which is so 1999.
The price, though, isn't bad. $90 will get you the 12GB version, and the 6GB is $60.


DIY Laser Lightshow for $80: Useless but Awesome

Thursday, March 13, 2008

What's cooler than a green laser? A green laser that paints semirandom moving spirograph patterns on your wall. Toronto-based hardware hacker Artur Petrovskyy shows you how to make one of your own from about $80 in parts in a new how-to on Laser show for poor man.

Apart from the laser, the key to the magic is three mirrors mounted on motors, positioned so that the laser beam bounces off each mirror in turn before it passes out of the box and onto your wall. Petrovskyy mounted the mirrors slightly off from perpendicular to the motors' axles, so the mirrors oscillate as they spin. The combined motion of the three motors gives the laser beam a lovely eccentric path, which you can control by twiddling three knobs that vary the speed of each motor. Petrovskyy also added a microcontroller to randomly change the motors' rate of rotation.

Not only does this project look fun, but it's also relatively inexpensive and seems fairly achievable, even for someone with minimal gear hacking skills such as myself. OK, so chip programming is probably beyond me -- but I believe you could do a simpler, analog version by connecting the potentiometers under the knobs directly to each mirror's motor.

Petrovskyy points interested people to a $17 green laser module from, and other parts are probably available from Edmund Scientific, Jameco, or your local Radio Shack.


DIY Laser Lightshow for $80: Useless but Awesome

What's cooler than a green laser? A green laser that paints semirandom moving spirograph patterns on your wall. Toronto-based hardware hacker Artur Petrovskyy shows you how to make one of your own from about $80 in parts in a new how-to on Laser show for poor man.

Apart from the laser, the key to the magic is three mirrors mounted on motors, positioned so that the laser beam bounces off each mirror in turn before it passes out of the box and onto your wall. Petrovskyy mounted the mirrors slightly off from perpendicular to the motors' axles, so the mirrors oscillate as they spin. The combined motion of the three motors gives the laser beam a lovely eccentric path, which you can control by twiddling three knobs that vary the speed of each motor. Petrovskyy also added a microcontroller to randomly change the motors' rate of rotation.

Not only does this project look fun, but it's also relatively inexpensive and seems fairly achievable, even for someone with minimal gear hacking skills such as myself. OK, so chip programming is probably beyond me -- but I believe you could do a simpler, analog version by connecting the potentiometers under the knobs directly to each mirror's motor.

Petrovskyy points interested people to a $17 green laser module from, and other parts are probably available from Edmund Scientific, Jameco, or your local Radio Shack.


Super Safe Lock Lets You Swap Out Keys

High-tech lock maker Kwikset has announced the SmartKey. Its banner feature is anti-bumping technology, which supposedly makes the lock un-pickable (bumping is about the quickest and easiest way to break a lock, involving a hammer, a dummy key and, well, that's it).

But we don't care for the security so much as the convenience. The SmartKey lock can be re-keyed by the owner. You put in your old key, hit a "learning" button inside the lock and then swap in any key. That key is now paired with the lock. Very neat, and very easy, allowing a single key to be used in a multitude of locks. The downside? Let's just say you might want to keep a spare.


AOL to pay $850M for social network Bebo

AOL said Thursday it will pay $850 million to acquire the online hangout Bebo, giving the struggling Internet company a foothold in an expanding business.

Bebo is strong in many markets around the world, particularly Britain, and has a global membership of more than 40 million, according to AOL. In the United States, however, it is far behind MySpace and Facebook in the number of monthly users, according to comScore.

Ron Grant, AOL's president and chief operating officer, said the deal should help AOL expand internationally and Bebo grow in the United States. He said the all-cash deal, expected to close in a month, also should give AOL an engaged audience from which it can generate additional advertising revenue.

"This is going to be the cornerstone of our strategy to really go after the social media space," Grant said in an interview, adding that AOL would be looking to integrate Bebo with its instant-messaging communities, AIM and ICQ.

AOL has been looking for ways to boost its advertising revenue to offset steep declines in dial-up Internet subscriptions. After several quarters of strong growth, AOL's advertising expansion has been slowing, putting pressure on the company's parent, Time Warner Inc., to sell the Internet unit.

In a conference call with reporters, AOL Chief Executive Randy Falco said Time Warner's willingness to spend $850 million was indicative of its commitment to AOL's future.

The deal is an acknowledgment that AOL still needs to seek additional outlets for expanding its audience and its advertising opportunities. But it also underscores the growing value of social networks such as Bebo to media companies as potential gold mines for online advertising dollars.

Falco called the acquisition "game changing for AOL," one that will power key elements of the company's strategic push into advertising.

News Corp. bought MySpace for $580 million in 2005, but has estimated the network is now worth more than $15 billion. News Corp. also owns the Fox television and movie studios in addition to its newspaper and Internet holdings.

Facebook Inc., the No. 2 social network behind MySpace, now has a $15 billion market value, based on Microsoft's purchase late last year of a 1.6 percent stake for $240 million.

Both MySpace and Facebook, however, have struggled to capitalize on their large audiences. Facebook drew strong criticism from its users when it unveiled amid much fanfare its "Beacon" program that tracked and shared information about their purchases and other actions made on other Web sites.

David Hallerman, a senior analyst with the research group eMarketer, said that despite the traffic Bebo gets, AOL won't necessarily find ad opportunities ample.

"It's just the category," he said. "There's a disconnect between traffic and monetization.

Bebo President Joanna Shields, who will stay on to run the company, said her site has been successful attracting sponsorships from major brands to run with original programming. With the targeting technologies AOL already has built and acquired, she said, Bebo should be able to extend that success to other formats such as display advertising.

"A lot of these (social-networking) companies are developing the types of assets AOL has assembled," Shields said in an interview.

Falco said AOL also would have opportunities to "recirculate traffic from Bebo to our network," which includes ad-supporter properties like Moviefone and MapQuest.

AOL has launched 17 international Web sites over the last year and expects to expand to 30 countries outside the U.S. by the end of 2008. AOL said Bebo plans to launch in five countries this year and will be "featured prominently" in AOL's international expansion efforts after the deal is closed.


YouTube Coming to TiVo

TiVo is stepping up its defense against the Apple TV by bringing YouTube to its set-top boxes. TiVo Series 3 and TiVo HD owners will be able to stream Chocolate Rain directly to their TVs using the familiar TiVo front end. The press announcement doesn't make it clear whether the clips can be saved to the DVR's hard drive, but as the box is always sat at home and connected to broadband it shouldn't make much difference.

Like the Apple TV, users will be able to login to their YouTube accounts to view playlists and favorites, but again it is unsure if TiVo users will have the full gamut of junk available for browsing or if there will be a special TiVo section: The Apple TV and iPhone only have access to a (large) subsection of YouTube content right now.

The most interesting part of this is that it bypasses the TV industry's restrictive stance on DVRs and its insistence on people watching ads instead of skipping them. Add this to Amazon's Unbox, Photobucket and Picassa support and the TiVo starts to look like a pretty versatile box.


World's First MP3 Player: Eight Songs in Your Pocket

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Register has a great little history lesson on the origins of the MP3 player. The first commercially available player was the Saehan MPMan F10, which went on sale in May 1998. The player featured what today are almost laughable specs: 32MB flash memory, a plug and pray parallel port and a tiny, wristwatch-style LCD display. The MPMan was followed a few months later by the infamous Rio PMP300, commonly believed to be the first MP3 player; a mistake probably attributable to the fact that Rio was immediately sued by the RIAA. I guess some things never change.


Kinetic Charger: Shake a led to charge

Monday, March 10, 2008

Here comes the time to chuck out those old chargers no matter they run on electricity or Solar Energy1 that keeps you dependent on the source of power, sun or something else. Why we are being so bad is for the simple reason that we have got something better- the kinetic charger, which is fueled by the energy generated by your movement. Yes, the kinetic charger is like an anklet that can be worn around your ankle and as and when you move your leg the charger gets charged to fuel your gadgets.Must say an interesting and cool concept! Now you just need to shake a leg to charge your gadget…best for those who hit the floor every now and then. Their gadgets will never run out of battery!


Innovative Keyboard With Storage Space

Well this might be the first keyboard which comes with a flat storage space beneath the keys where you can easily store a lot of stuff related to your daily use. The idea is simple but its innovative enough to bring attention and it will definitely help to organize your cluttered desktop if the lazy inside of you want it to be.

Having the same size as of a standard keyboard, The Keyboard Organiser is a unique keyboard that opens like a clam shell to enable users to store their everyday desktop items such as pens, CD’s, markers, paper clips, stamps and more.

This is the worlds first and only patented fully functional computer keyboard that makes use of all the empty space. What a smashing idea !! The Keyboard Organiser has won many innovation awards and we can easily see why.
The PS/2 keyboard and Desktop organizer is available for $50( Rs 1950 approx) can be ordered via TradeSales


Samsung's music-mobile phone takes on Apple

Samsung Electronics and Adidas have joined the race against Apple and Nike to offer a device that plays music and keeps track of workouts.
Samsung's miCoach music-mobile phone even lives up to its name by encouraging people as they run, telling them to "speed up" if they aren't keeping pace, and giving them updates on their heart rate, time left in their run, and more.
The system includes a heart-rate monitor, a sensor to attach to a pair of running shoes, and a Web workout journal to help people design and keep track of fitness programs.
With miCoach, Samsung and Adidas enter the fray against Apple and Nike, which started offering the Nike+iPod sports kit in the United States in July 2006, also aimed at people with active lifestyles.
The Nike+iPod system also keeps track of workouts, telling runners the distance traveled, calories burned, and other information via earphones, as well as on the iPod display screen.
The main differences between the two systems are that the Samsung model is also a mobile phone, while the Apple one is just a music player. Any runner can stop their music and workout by pressing a button on the miCoach, then answer a phone call. But the device has far less music storage capacity than the iPod. The miCoach comes with 1GB of storage space, while the iPod Nano comes in 4GB and 8GB capacities.
The cost of the two systems is also different. Samsung/Adidas buyers will pay around €400 ($612) for the deluxe kit with the miCoach mobile phone, heart monitor, shoe sensor, and more. That compares to a $328 gift pack offered by Nike for the Nike+iPod system, which includes an 8GB iPod Nano, a $100 Nike shoe gift card, an iTunes card, and the Nike+ Sports kit.
One key detail for avid runners is that the Samsung/Adidas system does not tie a user to a specific brand of shoe like the Nike+iPod system does. The sensor sold with the Samsung/Adidas system fits on the laces of a runner's shoes, while the sensor in the Nike+iPod system is built into the shoe.
The miCoach will be available first in Germany, then the rest of Europe by the end of March, according to Sophia Kim, a Samsung representative. At least two different kits will be sold through Samsung and Adidas stores and mobile phone retail outlets. The basic kit, which includes the miCoach mobile phone and arm band, will cost around €200, while the deluxe kit, which also includes the shoe-sensor, heart monitor, and more, will cost about €400.
Prices have not been officially set yet, Kim said, nor has a time frame to enter North America or Asia.
The miCoach mobile phone is a slim, 14.5-millimeter thick slider handset with a 2-inch LCD screen with a textured back to offer better grip. It comes in seven colors, including pink, red, dark gray, sapphire, and silver. The handset includes a 2-megapixel camera and can connect to a computer via a USB connection or wirelessly with Bluetooth.
Adidas designed the monitoring systems for the miCoach package, as well as the Web-based coaching and training system, Kim said. The two companies are working together on sales and marketing.


IE8 Balks at Windows Update

Users who try to reach Windows Update with Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) Beta 1 are greeted with a message stating, "To use this site, you must be running Microsoft IE5 or later."
IE8 Beta 1 was Released last week after an unveiling at MIX08, the Web developer conference Microsoft hosted last week in Las Vegas. The preliminary version runs on Windows Xp , Vista, Server 2003 and Server 2008.
Users were understandably confused when IE8 refused to call up Windows Update. "After updating my IE7 to IE8 today, I tried to update my windows vista by visiting the Windows Update Web site, but then I was redirected to an error page," said a user identified as zkyboy on a Microsoft support newsgroups. "Why? IS IE8 not the latest version browser?"
How to Rectify
To reach Windows Update, IE8 Beta 1 users must click on the "Emulate IE7" button, which switches the new browser into IE7 mode. That requires a restart of IE8, however.
"Windows Update is updating their site to support IE8," said a Microsoft employee named Eric Law in a comment to an IE Development team blog post last Thursday. "For now, click the Emulate IE7 Button, restart all IE windows, and visit [Windows Update]. Sorry for the inconvenience."
Computerworld confirmed that the IE7 emulation mode within IE8 allowed access to Windows Update.
Other Problems
Elsewhere, users have reported problems accessing or rendering other sites with IE8 Beta 1, including Facebook, Google Inc.'s Gmail and Microsoft's own Windows Live Mail.
Of course, quirks and bugs are common in beta software, a fact acknowledged by some who left comments on the IE development blog. "Reading a lot of those crash 'victims' above, I hate to say it, but this is a Beta," said a user labeled as IT_guy. "I would not be surprised to learn that they have a gazillion array of add-ons, toolbars and utilities blighting the browser. Those vendors are going to have to shape up and re-tool."


Indian animation industry poised for growth

'Hanuman', 'Hanuman Returns' and now 'Bal Ganesh'... the string of successful animation movies is an indication of the fast growth that the Indian animation industry is poised for after the development of some very advanced software.
'As far as the Indian animation movie production is concerned, a new phase has now started after advanced software has been developed. Technology is key to the growth of the animation sector,' Ashish Kulkarni of Jadooworks, a Bangalore-based animation company, told IANS.
As of today, India has about 200 animation, 40 VFX and 35 game development studios, but the country needs more workstations to make optimal use of the potential that the industry has.
A.K. Madhavan, of Crest Animation Studios, says: 'At Crest, we get trainers from the US and Canada to train our staff and help them understand the current trends in animation in the world market. This ensures that the output is on a par with the acceptable levels for international standards, especially Hollywood,' he said.
Both Kulkarni and Madhavan agreed that given the demands, animation movie making will soon emerge as a self-sufficient industry and attain a full-ledged stature.
The Indian animation movie production, however, had a rather shaky start. In 1984, when the renowned artiste Ram Mohan wanted to make an animation movie on the Indian epic Ramayana in collaboration with the Japanese filmmaker Yogo Sako, he was not given permission by the government to go ahead.
The government said that the sanctity of the epic would be lost if a 'cartoon film' was made on it. Finally, Mohan had to go to Japan to make it as he and Sako were determined to present the Ramayana as an animation series.
The movie, 'Ramayan,' executed under Mohan's leadership, created a revolution in the international market in that it made the Western world aware for the first time of talent available in India to make animation movies.
India saw an outsourcing boom subsequently. But, due to the high cost involved, together with shortage of manpower and technology, animation movie making stagnated after 'Ramayan' was released.
Although animation studios sprang up in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Thiruvananthapuram, they were preoccupied with outsourcing work.
Some of them did create story-based animated work, but those were meant only for the advertising commercials. It was only since 2000 that corporate houses set their sights on producing animation movies.
UTV was the first corporate entity to plan animated versions of India Book House's popular 'Amar Chitra Katha' series in the 1990s. But the project did not get off the ground. A decade later Percept Picture Company (PPC) brought to India its Hanuman series of animation features - 'Hanuman' and 'Hanuman Returns.'
Made on a budget of about Rs.15 million, PPC's first animation movie 'Hanuman' went on to earn Rs.70 million for the corporate entity. PPC followed it up with 'Hanuman Returns'.
Shemaroo in another Indian company that feels animation is good business. It has set up its own animation studio to create animation movies in-house. Though Shemaroo's maiden animation attempt, 'Bal Ganesh', did not see the success of PPC's 'Hanuman' and 'Hanuman Returns', it scored in terms of quality.
'Wait till our next animation production 'Ghatothkach, The Master of Magic' is released. Animation movie-making is still in its infancy. It will take some time for it to stand on its own feet,' Shemaroo vice president Smita Maroo told IANS.
What goes in India's advantage is that an animation movie can be made here 15 times cheaper than the cost of a Hollywood production.
At a one-day conference on animation and gaming in Chandgarh recently, Punit Vatsayan, managing director of Mobera Systems Pvt. Ltd., said the Indian animation and gaming industry is projected to reach the $1 billion mark by 2010 from the current combined revenues of $402 million.
Navin Gupta, chief operating officer of the Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics (MAAC), a Mumbai-based animation training institute, said the Indian animation industry is still hard-pressed for skilled manpower.
Right now, about 300,000 students are undergoing training in animation technology across India. 'Most of the professionals are still at the entry level,' Gupta said, adding that the way the industry is growing, even these 300,000 professionals will not be enough to handle the work load in the coming years.
'We need more than the 10,000 artistes and 2,000 programmers that we have today,' he said. The future for India's animation movie sector, as these experts feel, is bright. A number of Bollywood production houses like B.R. Films, Adlabs, Pritish Nandy Communication and UTV, besides Percept Picture Company and Shemaroo, are into making animation movies.
Some independent producers, like Sajjid Nadiadwala, are also joining the fray.
UTV's recent deal with Walt Disney Studios is expected to provide a good impetus to take the Indian animation movie-making sector to a higher level. UTV already has four animation movie projects in the pipeline and a $20 million co-production deal with Overbrook, Hollywood actor Will Smith's production house.
It is also planning a $10 million co-production with Porchlight Pictures. 'Right now, we have five animation projects on hand,' UTV movie production Alpana Mihsra said.


Micro Focus Upgrades Management Tool

Enterprise software management company Micro Focus has upgraded its application portfolio management (APM) product which allows IT managers to better understand their core enterprise infrastructure.
Micro Focus feels that APM is becoming increasingly important as IT departments come under increasing management scrutiny and budgetary pressure. IT managers recognize they must show management where their funding is spent, and the benefits it provides to the business as a whole.
This is where applications such as Enterprise View can help, says Micro Focus, as it provides a consolidated view of the business and technical intelligence across an organization's portfolio of applications. Micro Focus says this allows system administrators to make more informed decisions especially as it allows them to pinpoint bottlenecks and free up under-utilized resources.
"Enterprise View is effectively a business decision support system," said Jeremy Spencer, Product Solutions Director at Micro Focus. "This is especially critical for large enterprises, which can have thousands of applications supporting the business."
"How on earth do you know that the money you spend to manage and support those applications are providing value for money?" asks Spencer. "How do you know which apps are nearing the end of their life span and which ones to outsource?"
Monitors, Tracks, Learns
Enterprise View builds up an in-depth knowledge of each application. It allows the administrator to set thresholds, so if defect levels for example hit a particular point, it raises a flag for attention. It also allows for impact analysis.
"If organizations want to change the application, they must be aware of the repercussions," said Spencer. "This APM tool carries out an impact analysis of the million lines of code and looks at the resulting change and how many areas of the application will be affected. It also estimates the effort needed to make that change, using industry standard costing models."
Spencer laments the fact that currently there is a lot of focus on tools that help IT departments manage new tasks and projects (ie new stuff). "This is missing out that 80 percent of the IT budget is geared around maintaining existing systems," said Spencer.
"Only now are people waking up to the fact they can drive more cost saving from managing their existing infrastructure," he added. "A lot of CIOs have not woken up to the fact that this software will allow them to turn to CFO and say they are exploiting all the resources to the maximum. They can look at the product portfolio and see how many resources are supporting a particular application and then reassign them."
The new version (5.6) of Enterprise View is an incremental rather than a major upgrade, but it has a range of enhancements, including language improvements, as well as environment and platforms updates. Technical analysis capabilities have improved, as have outsource management support as it is now possible to link applications to service providers or teams. A new enterprise view portal has been added to "increase reporting flexibility and enhance the user experience."
Other changes include enhanced product documentation, and Micro Focus is claiming a 10 to 15 percent performance improvement with the Oracle connection layer. Product instalment capabilities, security, and product APIs have also been tweaked.
The upgrade also includes the addition of graphic dashboards that provides (in real-time) an accurate snapshot of the entire product portfolio. This includes information on dynamic inventory, software quality, and outsource management.
Pricing is not readily available, but readers are advised to contact Micro Focus directly.


Just click and send free SMS!

The brainchild of Hyderabad-based SMSCountry Networks Pvt. Ltd., 160by2 was launched following widespread demand from consumers as well as advertisers.
'On one side were users who wanted free SMS and on the other side were brands and media companies trying to reach these consumers. Initially we ignored them but as the number increased, we realised that there was a genuine opportunity here, waiting to be exploited,' said Satya Kalyan Yerramsetti, CEO, SMSCountry Networks Pvt. Ltd.
For sending an SMS from, one needs to only fill up a simple registration form.
The name '160by2' was based on the concept that users can send free SMS of up to 80 characters while the remaining 80 would be utilised by advertisers, with both sides getting to use half of the mobile screen.
'The advertiser pays for the SMSs that are sent from the users to another mobile user. Thus every free SMS used by the user is subsidised by the advertiser,' Yerramsetti told IANS.
'There is a specific thing called the 'Ad Serve' engine, which intelligently understands what ad to be tagged into each user-generated SMS based on advertiser requirement and accordingly prices the advertisements,' he explained.
For example, one of the firm's clients, McDonald's, wanted to promote its delivery number in Mumbai. Thus every SMS that was being sent in Mumbai during the general lunchtime hours carried an ad stating: 'Get a free McShake, call our toll-free number.'
'We haven't yet monetised our website that has about 600,000 page views every day but we see a huge potential in monetising and offering contextual advertising,' he said.
The company has sales offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. It has run campaigns for almost 15 brands such as Cadbury, GSK, McDonald's, Kingfisher Airlines, Jet airways and Force India F1 among others.
It is also keen to service the local retail market and is working in association with various media planning agencies such as Madison and Starcom IP.
'Our idea is to make SMS free for everyone in the country and every free SMS will carry an appropriate ad in it. So we are talking to a couple of telecom operators such as Airtel and Idea Cellular to offer SMS to their subscribers completely free and we will serve ads into the messages,' Yerramsetti averred.
It plans to start this initially in a few big circles and eventually roll out on a pan-India basis.
'As a pilot we might work in a couple of circles and when the operators see a huge revenue potential we will roll out across circles.' has over 450,000 registered users with the registrations growing at 30-40 percent month on month.
'We reached about 1.5 million mobiles in the month of February 2008 and served ads in about 60 percent of those SMS. About 30 percent of our recipient base is registered with 160by2,' he said.
Mobile advertising in India is still in a nascent stage offering huge potential waiting to be tapped.
'Today we see a few start-ups trying out different models but we do not look at them as competition. No one really understands the consumer needs and behaviour on this medium,' highlighted Yerramsetti.
'Hence, for us the competition is basically from global advertising giants like Google, Yahoo and MSN who are looking at entering the mobile advertising space. There are also the global mobile operators like Vodafone, T-mobile, who with their dwindling ARPUs (average revenue per users) want to get into future money-spinners like advertising on mobiles.'
It also has plans to serves ads into third-party mobile content providers like news, cricket, horoscope and stock alerts among others.


Camera 'looks' through clothing

A camera that can "see" explosives, drugs and weapons hidden under clothing from 25 metres has been invented.
The ThruVision system could be deployed at airports, railway stations or other public spaces.
It is based on so-called "terahertz", or T-ray, technology, normally used by astronomers to study dying stars.
Although it is able to see through clothes it does not reveal "body detail" or subject people to "harmful radiation", according to the designers.
"It is totally and utterly passive - it receives only," said a spokesperson for Thruvision.
The portable camera, which has already been sold to the Dubai Mercantile Exchange and Canary Wharf in London, will be shown off at the Home Office scientific development branch's annual exhibition later this week.
Body glow
Unlike current security systems that use X-rays, the ThruVision system exploits terahertz rays, or T-rays.
This electromagnetic radiation is a form of low level energy emitted by all people and objects.
These are able to pass through clothing, paper, ceramics and wood but are blocked by metal and water.
The system works by collecting these waves and processing them to form an image which can reveal concealed objects.
"If I were to look at you in terahertz you would appear to glow like a light bulb and different objects glow less brightly or more brightly," said the firm's spokesperson.
"You see a silhouette of the form but you don't see surface anatomical effects."
In addition, the system does not involve any of the "harmful radiation associated with traditional X-ray security screening", according to the firm.
The company has made previous versions of the camera, but the T5000, as it is known, is the first that works both indoors and out.
The system exploits technology originally developed at the government owned Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) in Oxfordshire.
"Astronomers use T-ray cameras that can see through dust and clouds in space, revealing what lies beyond," explained Dr Liz Towns-Andrews, of the Science and Technology Facilities Council which runs RAL.
Other terahertz systems, developed by companies such as TeraView, are used to probe the structure of pharmaceutical compounds.


Mastek Acquires STG International For $29 Million

Mastek, a $184 million IT solutions company, has acquired Systems Task Group (STG) International Ltd, an IP-based enterprise solutions provider to the North American property and casualty insurance industry, for $29 million. This acquisition is the second such initiative by Mastek during the current financial year and follows the acquisition of another insurance-focussed IT company Vector Insurance Services in July 2007.

As per the agreement, Mastek, through its wholly owned US subsidiary MajescoMastek, will be acquiring a 100 per cent equity stake in STG International Ltd in an all-cash transaction for $29 million, with 85 per cent of the total consideration payable at this time and the remainder to be linked to ongoing performance and paid by way of earn-outs. Following this transaction, STG will operate as 'STGMastek'.Commenting on the acquisition, Sudhakar Ram, chairman and MD, Mastek, said, "STG enjoys very strong brand recognition and has over the years built a satisfied customer base in the P&C insurance industry. With STG's established strengths in the P&C segment complementing our own competencies in the life and annuity segment, our status as a leading IP-based enterprise-wide solutions provider in the insurance vertical will be reinforced with this initiative."Shared Praful Nikam, chairman and founder, STG, "We are very enthusiastic about the opportunities presented by joining Mastek. They have world-class processes and capabilities, as well as a global presence and strong intellectual property. We believe that our existing and future customers will substantially benefit from the size and scale of Mastek and their superior system integration capabilities and processes."The acquisition will be value accretive to Mastek both financially and operationally. STG reported revenues of $17 million and an EBITDA of $1.73 million for the financial year ended 31 December 2007. The integration of STGMastek with Mastek's existing operations is likely to be completed in about 90 days (i.e. by June 2008), and its contribution will be reflected in Mastek's consolidated performance partly in FY2008 and fully in FY2009. The STG management team, including its founder Praful Nikam, will continue to be actively involved in its operations and support William McCarter, who will be taking over as president of STGMastek. All other managers and employees, including about 350 professionals with extensive experience in the P&C insurance segment, will also be retained and will continue to support Mastek in its objective to grow its insurance vertical business in North America.
Source: Business Wire India


Nokia Siemens, TCS Ink Multimillion-Euro Outsourcing Deal

Tata Consultancy Service (TCS) Ltd and Nokia Siemens Networks have entered into a multimillion-euro agreement to jointly research and develop telecom products at Nokia Siemens' Dusseldorf centre in Germany. Nokia Siemens will affect a transfer of product engineering, research and development services and parts of its operations and business software (OBS) to TCS. The operations transfer includes 90 employees, who will be moved to TCS as part of the deal.
The agreement would create an efficient set-up in which TCS will provide global R&D services to Nokia Siemens by leveraging its expertise in the telecommunications sector.According to N. Chandrasekaran, chief operating officer and executive director, TCS, "The agreement with Nokia Siemens reiterates TCS' capability to enhance customers' business by leveraging our superior R&D services and strong domain. We will share with Nokia Siemens innovative approaches, global best practices and benchmark standards to ensure excellence.""The new regional delivery centre for telecommunications customers in Dusseldorf - where the transferred employees will work - is strategic to TCS as Germany is a key European market," added Chandrasekaran.Nokia Siemens has placed innovation and R&D at the top of its strategic agenda as it tries to achieve its vision of getting five billion people connected by 2015.


Nokia Siemens, TCS Ink Multimillion-Euro Outsourcing Deal

Tata Consultancy Service (TCS) Ltd and Nokia Siemens Networks have entered into a multimillion-euro agreement to jointly research and develop telecom products at Nokia Siemens' Dusseldorf centre in Germany. Nokia Siemens will affect a transfer of product engineering, research and development services and parts of its operations and business software (OBS) to TCS. The operations transfer includes 90 employees, who will be moved to TCS as part of the deal.

The agreement would create an efficient set-up in which TCS will provide global R&D services to Nokia Siemens by leveraging its expertise in the telecommunications sector.According to N. Chandrasekaran, chief operating officer and executive director, TCS, "The agreement with Nokia Siemens reiterates TCS' capability to enhance customers' business by leveraging our superior R&D services and strong domain. We will share with Nokia Siemens innovative approaches, global best practices and benchmark standards to ensure excellence.""The new regional delivery centre for telecommunications customers in Dusseldorf - where the transferred employees will work - is strategic to TCS as Germany is a key European market," added Chandrasekaran.Nokia Siemens has placed innovation and R&D at the top of its strategic agenda as it tries to achieve its vision of getting five billion people connected by 2015.


Find Your Stolen Laptop With Locate Laptop!

When a laptop gets stolen, it is not just the physical loss of a machine but also the loss of valuable and sensitive information that it stores. Unfortunately, corporate and individuals do not have a plan to counter this yet. Realising this need, Unistal Systems Pvt Ltd has come up with a new software product -– Locate Laptop, powered by proprietary WebSniff technology. Developed in-house by Unistal, Locate Laptop can locate reportedly stolen laptops leveraging on the World Wide Web.
Locate Laptop not only tracks and recovers stolen computers, but also deters theft. It keeps track of the whereabouts of each employee while travelling, and the moment he logs in via the Web, a report is generated with his complete details and is sent to a designated individual within the organisation. This is done without the knowledge of the employee, so as to maintain privacy. All that users have to do is install Locate Laptop on to their computers. In an event of theft or loss, users need to report to Unistal's emergency response team or login to their Personal Tracking and Monitoring Page and submit the theft/loss. This activates Locate Laptop's WebSniff technology and alerts as soon as the offender connects to the Internet. The city and IP address are informed to the user. It keeps tracking all the locations whenever the offender connects to the Internet. With the help of local law enforcement authorities, users can retrieve their laptop. "Laptop thefts and loss are on an incessant rise and have led to serious damages for professionals and corporate. According to credible industry sources, 97 per cent of stolen computers are never recovered, and 57 per cent of corporate crimes are linked to them ... all the more reason for corporate and individual professionals to be proactive and adopt preventive measures like Locate Laptop," said Alok Gupta, director, Unistal Systems.Locate Laptop is available at all Unistal's authorised channel partners at a price of Rs 3,000 ($55) per licence. It can also be bought online at Unistal is also offering money back guarantee on the product to its Indian customers which states that they will get five times the cost of Locate Laptop software in case the laptop is not traceable.


Microsoft Brings Vendors Together To Test Interoperability

Friday, March 7, 2008

Promoting user choice amongst document formats and expanding opportunity for developers, partners and competitors, Microsoft has launched a Document Interoperability Initiative. The Document Interoperability Initiative focusses on bringing vendors together to promote interoperability between document format implementations through testing and refining those implementations, creation of format implementation test
suites and the creation of templates designed for optimal interoperability between different formats.

Microsoft hosted in Cambridge today a number of independent software vendors (ISVs), including Novell, Mark Logic Corp., Quickoffice Inc., DataViz Inc. and Nuance Communications, to launch this collaborative, community-based initiative. The Cambridge event is the first in a series of labs around the world that will bring together vendors to test interoperability between their implementations of well-known document formats and between implementations of different formats.

The Cambridge lab will test interoperability between existing
implementations of the Microsoft Office Open XML Format and the Open Document Format (ODF) on a variety of platforms and devices, including Mac OS X Leopard, iPhone, Palm OS, Symbian OS, Linux and Windows Mobile.

The labs will also include a set of integrated round table discussions between vendors about what steps should be taken to promote real-world interoperability between document format implementations in the marketplace.

Stated Jean Paoli, general manager, interoperability and XML architecture, Microsoft, “The labs are designed to bring technical staff together to roll up their sleeves and test interoperability between implementations of formats and address issues that are identified either in those implementations or in the translation technologies used to work across formats.”

According to Tom Robertson, general manager, interoperability and standards, Microsoft, “The Document Interoperability Initiative brings vendors together to achieve real-world interoperability between documents that customers use through testing of implementations, building conformance test suites and creating document formats that optimise interoperability between different formats. As part of the interoperability principles, we announced on 21 February 2008, this initiative helps achieve our goal of reshaping business practices to meet the interoperability needs of our customers and the market.”

Also announced today is the 1.1 release of a translator between ODF and Open XML for Microsoft Excel (spreadsheet) and Microsoft PowerPoint (presentation) applications.


Software Buyers Are Not Ready For New Options: Survey

In an Agresso-sponsored survey 'Mid-Market Service Companies' Enterprise Investment Strategies and Adoption Trends', Albert Pang, director, enterprise applications research, IDC, found too many companies are overspending on ERP software due to complacency and relying on brand names.

Forty-seven per cent of the respondents stated that their financial applications costs exceeded their planned budgets by as much as 100 per cent. According to IDC research, this buyer complacency to continue down the same path with the same vendors may be costing public and private sector businesses millions of pounds annually.

"Companies need to acknowledge the hidden costs of their ERP software following initial implementations," said Pang. "Many users need to ask whether they should continue to stick to their current ERP system providers. If they don't, it seems to suggest that they are not willing to consider the options of using new, perhaps lesser known vendors. There is either a sense of complacency or one of hopelessness that costs can never be reined in."

IDC says 83 per cent of ERP customers say they will still buy from the same vendor despite cost over-runs and change issues.

"The business leaders need to analyse and perhaps adjust their buying behaviour to review a wider array of alternatives before deciding on replacement solutions,"


TCS Introduces IT-As-A-Service For SMBs

Tata Consultancy Services has launched its strategic business unit focussed on meeting the technology needs of SMBs. TCS will offer 'IT-as-a-Service' (ITaaS) in a business model giving SMBs the experience of customised low-cost solutions scalable to their growing business needs.
ITaaS is a subscription-driven model that allows SMBs to scale as they grow and pay as they use. It is hosted centrally on a common platform in order to facilitate alignment of technology adoption to the needs of the business and bring scalability to the business model. The ITaaS model will allow SMBs to take advantage of TCS’ existing intellectual property, infrastructure and scale, as well as that of its partners. It will provide SMBs with blueprints for business process improvement and deliver integrated end-to-end managed solutions in IT and telecom.

It also offers flexible pricing options to reduce capital expenditure, manage cash flows and maximise return on investment. This will help provide SMBs with opportunities for greater cost control and faster go-to-market. The ITaaS model will encompass solutions across industries as well as the entire stack of industry-agnostic horizontal services to meet the needs of SMBs.

“We believe the ITaaS model can help make Indian business even more competitive on the global stage and put the power of technology on their side to build competitive advantage. We view this as a means of making India Inc. more competitive and TCS being an integral part of sustainable and profitable growth of SMBs,” said S. Ramadorai, chief executive officer and managing director, TCS.

“Our technology leadership and global experience combined with delivery excellence, best-in-class service offerings and globalised best practices in consulting and IT services takes us beyond standard catalogued solutions to a framework that can enhance customer experience and ensure certainty of delivery and services for small and medium business,” said V. Ramaswamy, head, SMB unit, TCS.


'Quantum logic clock' now rivals the world's most accurate clock

An atomic clock that uses an aluminum atom to apply the logic of computers to the peculiarities of the quantum world now rivals the world's most accurate clock, which is based on a single mercury atom.

The measurements were made in a yearlong comparison of the two next-generation clocks, both designed and built at the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the US.

"The aluminum clock is very accurate because it is insensitive to background magnetic and electric fields, and also to temperature," said Till Rosenband, the NIST physicist who built the clock. "It has the lowest known sensitivity of any atomic clock to temperature, which is one of the most difficult uncertainties to calibrate," he added.

The new atomic clock is referred to as the "quantum logic clock", because it is based on the logical reasoning process used in quantum computers. The clock is a spin-off of NIST research on quantum computers, which grew out of earlier atomic clock research.

The atomic and mercury clocks were compared with record precision, allowing scientists to measure the relative frequencies of the two clocks to 17 digits - the most accurate measurement of this type ever made.

The comparison produced the most precise results yet in the worldwide quest to determine whether some of the fundamental constants that describe the universe are changing slightly over time, a hot research question that may alter basic models of the cosmos.

The aluminum and mercury clocks are both based on natural vibrations in ions (electrically charged atoms) and would neither gain nor lose one second in over 1 billion years - if they could run for such a long time - compared to about 80 million years for NIST-F1, the U.S. time standard based on neutral cesium atoms.

The mercury clock was first demonstrated in 2000 and is now four times better than its last published evaluation in 2006, thanks to ongoing improvements in the clock design and operation.

The mercury clock continues its reign as the world's most accurate for now, by a margin of 20 percent over the aluminum clock.

But the quantum logic clock's tandem ion approach is unique among the world's atomic clocks and has a key advantage over the mercury clock.

"You can pick from a bigger selection of atoms," explains NIST physicist Jim Bergquist, who built the mercury clock. "And aluminum has a lot of good qualities - better than mercury's," he added


Infosys Kindles Spark Across India

To brighten International Women’s Day, Infosys has launched SPARK - a two-day event for women students in their fourth-sixth semester from engineering colleges across India. SPARK, an IWIN (Infosys Women’s Inclusivity Network) and Infosys’ Campus Connect initiative, seeks to empower women from both urban and rural colleges. Currently, through SPARK, Infosys has reached out to over 1,200 students across 420 colleges in several cities including Bengaluru, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Mangalore, Mysore, Pune and Thiruvananthapuram
Speaking about the programme, Geetha Kannan, VP and head, diversity council, Infosys Technologies Ltd, said, “Infosys has built, institutionalised and evangelised inclusivity in the workplace. We are keen on enhancing awareness amongst women about the IT industry and career prospects therein. As women increase their contribution to the IT industry, we believe that such programmes will positively impact their aspiration for long-term careers. We wish to see more women stay in the workforce and attain leadership positions.”

The initiative is aimed at women students experiencing ‘Infosys’ through a two-day visit to the Infosys campus closest to their educational institution. The event will enable them to garner perspective on: the IT business, training to prepare for interviews (using self assessment and role plays), project approach to enhance analytical and problem-solving abilities amongst students and campus tour to understand the Infosys work environment.

In addition, this event will provide students with an opportunity to interact with the women leaders at Infosys and learn about the various aspects of a career in IT. Participating in SPARK will also allow the students access to the Campus Connect portal resources and online career counseling centre.

In line with Infosys’ commitment to gender inclusivity, Infosys plans to grow SPARK into a larger programme touching 5,000 students over the year.



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