29 December, 2014

Marketers in India spend more on print than on television

Marketers in India are spending more on print than on television, according to the latest FICCI-KPMG India Media and Entertainment Report 2014. Advertising spend on print was higher in 2013 as well, and according to the report, print will remain ahead of television at least till 2018.

n 2013, the total advertising spend across media was Rs 36,250 crore — of which print had the largest share at Rs 16,260 crore followed by television at Rs 13,590 crore. In 2014, the report projects that of the total Rs 41,000 crore advertising spend, print will garner advertising worth Rs 17,900 crore. 2014 has been good for the print medium, because of the spend arising out of the Lok Sabha elections, the FIFA Football World Cup and of e-commerce companies, which has been print heavy in their advertising. The rise in the medium's growth could also be attributed to growth in vernacular print publications across the country. Further, government departments and retail players will continue to increase spending in print, the report says.

The KPMG report, however, suggests that print will be ahead of TV and other mediums even in 2018 when it predicts total advertising spends in the industry to grow to Rs 69,380 crore. Of this, print's share will be Rs 27,500 crore while that of television will be Rs 25,300 crore.

24 December, 2014

Big Data Top Trends in 2015

Big Data has seen a huge leap forward in 2014 regarding how it has been represented and used across companies. The adoption rates have grown and the importance of Big Data as a business function has increased, but what are we going to see in 2015? 

In-Memory Databases 

As the use of data has increased in the past year, the speed at which results are needed has grown with it. When this hasn’t been the case, people want to be more informed than before or have the ability to make decisions in real time, rather than through the use of reports reporting on historical data. 

In-Memory databases allow companies the freedom to access, analyze and take actions based on data much quicker than regular databases. This in turn means that either decisions can be made quicker as data can be analyzed faster or more informed as more data can be analyzed in the same amount of time. 

Non-Data Scientists 

As we as a society have become data driven, one of the main aspects that has become clear is that finding the necessary talent has become difficult. This means that companies are often reliant on either too few staff or outsourced consultants. 

Therefore, 2015 is likely to see more automated platforms that can allow employees who may not have as much skill with data as others, to collect, analyze and make decisions based on this data. This could be anything from simple to use interfaces with more complex backends or simpler tasks that could create business results. 

More Sensor Driven Data 

The internet of things is evolving and more companies are using it, but it may well hit its tipping point in 2015. This would be sensor-to-sensor data being collected, collated and analyzed through purely sensor based collection. This can be done in multiple ways from the way that objects are interacting with another object, to the settings that people are using on particular devices. 

Sensor based data is unlikely to out perform transactional data (which currently makes up the majority of data collection) but is still likely to see a marked increase. It is likely that we are going to see more device-to-device data being created and collected in 2015, which could see this number grow beyond transactional data within the next 5 years. 

Deeper Customer Insight 

Despite the fact that transactional data is still more numerous that sensor data, 2015 may be the year that we see it being truly looked at in multi-dimensional ways to create even deeper customer insight. 

This could be anything from geographical data to a deeper understanding of purchasing trends according to different, oblique factors. With new technology allowing metrics to be tracked across even more areas and wearables creating even more possible trackable actions, deeper customer understanding is inevitable. 

HR Analytics 

Once thought of as the definition of making your employees ‘just a number’, HR Analytics are being shown to have significant benefits to both the company and its employees. We believe that 2015 is going to see more companies wake up to the positives that an effective HR strategy can bring. 

From optimizing workflow to tracking overall employee happiness, we are likely to see an increased use of HR analytics in 2015 as those who have adopted it within the last couple of years will be gaining ground on their competitors and those who don’t have it will need to catch up. 

No Ownership In Just One Department 

Data will become a commodity that is not just kept in one department alone and used purely by senior company leaders. 2015 is likely to see a democratization of data throughout the organization, meaning that more departments will become adept at using the insight that it can bring. 

Rather than working towards a central strategy that is created by senior management, day-to-day activities will be based on data and the insights created from it. 

23 December, 2014

The 'Apple Of China' Raises Over $1 Billion, Valuation Skyrockets To More Than $45 Billion

Xiaomi has reportedly raised more than $1 billion in its latest round of funding, which brings the valuation of China's biggest smartphone maker to more than $45 billion.

The funding round - led by All-Stars Investment, a fund run by former Morgan Stanley analyst Richard Ji - is expected to close early this week.

At $45 billion, Xiaomi would be more valuable than most other Silicon Valley technology startups, including Uber, which just closed a funding round that values the ridesharing startup at $41 billion.

Xiaomi has made a name for itself in emerging markets thanks to its phones that are highly similar to Apple's high-end devices, but sold at extremely low prices. The company shipped 18 million handsets in the last quarter - a whopping year-over-year growth of 239% during that period. It's currently the fourth-biggest smartphone maker in the world, and the biggest in China.

22 December, 2014

Uber has applied for at least 24 patents globally

People love Uber because it's convenient. You tap a couple buttons on your phone and a car comes and picks you up.If there's one customer complaint about the company, though, it's probably surge pricing, when the company drives up fare prices during times of high demand.

Uber's surge pricing feature is great for the company's business, since Uber keeps a fixed percent of fares. When Uber's surge price multiplier kicks in, Uber makes more money. It's come under criticism by customers in the past; Uber instituted surge pricing during Hurricane Sandy and customers accused the company of unfairly profiting from the natural disaster. As a result, Uber later said it would restrict surge pricing during emergencies. 

But Uber says the goal is to make sure the supply of drivers will catch up with the number of rides being requested. 

"By *raising* the price you *increase* the number of cars on the road and maximize the number of safe convenient rides," Uber explains in a blog post on surge pricing. "Nobody is required to take an Uber, but having a reliable option is what we're shooting for."

Soon, Uber's surge pricing could be Uber's alone.

Uber has applied for at least 24 patents globally. Among them was a patent for "dynamically adjusting prices for service" on mobile devices. That sounds a lot like surge pricing. That patent is still pending.

Ten of the 13 patents Uber's filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office have been denied for being too obvious or other reasons. But Uber continues to push for patents.

If the patents are granted and upheld, Uber could theoretically extract license fees from competitors who do the same thing, like Lyft (which calls its surge pricing "Prime Time"), or force them to adopt different tactics.

Apple Raised Over $20 Million For AIDS Research By Covering The App Store In Red

If you visited Apple's App Store in November, you might have been confused as to why everything seemed to be drenched in the color red.

Apple teamed up with 25 developers to give their apps a red makeover for its Project Red holiday campaign, which ended up raising over $20 million for AIDS research.

Apps like Angry Birds and Farmville 2, some of which offered exclusive content, donated all proceeds to the Project Red campaign, and Apple also donated a portion of its sales from online and retail stores during both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

In an email to employees obtained by Recode, Apple CEO Tim Cook congratulated employees on the $20 million raised for AIDS research and Project Red, the charity co-founded by U2 frontman Bono that Apple has been closely involved with in the past:

In an email to employees obtained by Recode, Apple CEO Tim Cook congratulated employees on the $20 million raised for AIDS research and Project Red, the charity co-founded by U2 frontman Bono that Apple has been closely involved with in the past:

"I'm thrilled to announce that our total donation for this quarter will be more than $20 million - our biggest ever - bringing the total amount Apple has raised for (PRODUCT) RED to over $100 million. The money we've raised is saving lives and bringing hope to people in need. It's a cause we can all be proud to support."

18 December, 2014

It takes only 300 tweets to know one's personality 

Being aware of how the social media works is not as easy as it sounds. It is more like building your personal brand strategy which involves balancing between giving too much information or giving too little information. 

The idea is to make yourself socially visible to the influencers or recruiters of your dream job. To do this, you will need to find out which social communities do these influencers interact in. By engaging with this community in meaningful ways, you will create a presence and visibility for yourself, as an expert. 

so how many tweets have you got? less than 300 hundred or more than that.

Here is the article published in Economic Times

16 December, 2014

Infographic: Who Are Product Managers?

So who is a product manager? This might sound like a simple question but in real sense, there is always confusion about the role of a product manager. Some organizations use the following words to refer to product managers – program manager, market planner, product planner, practice manager, product editor and/or product marketing.

Do you want to learn more about this? check out the following inforgaphic

13 December, 2014

10 data science predictions for 2015

These predictions were published by the International Institute for Analytics (IIA). They produced a nice infographics, featured below.

Here are IIA's predictions for 2015, in plain text:

  1. Organizations will clarify CAO and CDO roles and how they fit into their overall staffing structure.
  2. Storytelling will be the hot new job in analytics.
  3. Ensemble methods for analytical models will grow in popularity.
  4. The application of analytics for holistic and integrated security breach prevention will be a top priority.
  5. We will see the emergence of "The Analytics of Things."
  6. Companies will double their investment in generating new and unique data.
  7. Hadoop will go mainstream.
  8. Privacy demands will spark tools and services that allow consumers to determine if and how their data is shared and at what price.
  9. Analytics, machine learning, and cognitive computing will increasingly take over the jobs of knowledge workers.
  10. Automated decision-making will come of age in 2015.

12 December, 2014

Google Announces The Top Apps, Movies, Music Of 2014

Most Downloaded Apps by Category in 2014

Education: Duolingo
Health & Fitness: MyFitnessPal
Music: Pandora
Photography:Flipagram
Social: Facebook
Entertainment: Netflix
Sports:NFL Mobile
Travel: TripAdvisor

The Year’s Fastest Growing App Category
Health & Fitness

GAMES
Top Downloaded Games in 2014
Candy Crush Saga
Don’t Tap The White Tile
Farm Heroes Saga
Subway Surfers
Clash of Clans

Feature: Achievements
Play Games users unlocked 3.5 billion achievements this year

MOVIES & TV
Movie of the year: Frozen
TV show of the year: The Walking Dead
Comeback Movie: Toy Story
Most searched actor on Google Play: Robin Williams

MUSIC
Album of the Year: Frozen: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Song of the Year: Dark Horse by Katy Perry
Song of the Summer: Fancy by Iggy Azalea
Fastest Growing Genre: Soundtracks (fueled by Frozen, Guardians of the Galaxy, Despicable Me 2, The Lego Movie and The Great Gatsby soundtracks)

NEWSSTAND
News Sources of the Year:
The New York Times
TMZ
Forbes Now
The Verge
The Huffington Post
The Daily Beast
The Wall Street Journal
Gizmodo
Android Central

Some of the most read articles of 2014:
Flavorpill – 15 ’90s Teen Heartthrobs Who’ve Resurfaced on TV
Mental Floss – 50 More Awesome Facts (About Everything)
MarketWatch – 10 most miserable cities in America
Houzz – Bathroom Workbook: How Much Does a Bathroom Remodel Cost?
The Verge – The Verge Awards: the best of CES 2014

BOOKS
Books of the Year:
The Fault in Our Stars
Fifty Shades of Grey
Divergent
Twelve Years a Slave
Insurgent

11 December, 2014

What Social media had to say about Uber ban in India

When the rape of a passenger by an Uber taxi driver came to light on Saturday, social media users raged against the taxi hailing company's 'reckless' expansion that led to lax security checks. 

Tinu Cherian, who has over 150,000 followers on Twitter tweeted: "Uber suspended in Delhi halting 6,000+ jobs. Delhi Police DCP had issued character certificate to driver. By that logic Delhi Police must be banned." 

In the first 24 hours, the issue got more than 15,000 mentions and started trending on Twitter. It was a hot topic on Facebook and various forums, shows a quick social media analysis by Simplify360, a social media analytics company. 

"Social media has escalated the issue to the highest level, now it's time for authorities to bring the real culprit forward and do justice," said Bhupendra Khanal, CEO of Simplify360. Many users termed the official response as "knee jerk reaction". 

Karthik Srinivasan, National Lead- Social, Ogilvy said: "Not actively engaging on social media, to questions being posed, may actually be a better strategy because the sheer number of questions that could come up may not be easy to handle at all." 

There are various angles in which this whole thing can be looked at, to name a few: 

1) Uber should have done proper due deligence before handing their tag to th e driver, and should have sacled wth discipline
2) Police should have throughly checked in the credentials agaon before issuing the character certificate.
3) The most important of it all - How many of those who posted about this have actually used Uber ;)

A better approach would be to plug systemic deficiencies to ensure that they remained in step with technological developments. 

10 December, 2014

YouTube now tells you what happens when you upload copyrighted music

For a number of years now, YouTube has used its Content ID service to automatically scan for copyrighted tracks and remove them.Sometimes, it’s unclear why a video is taken down or muted, though, so YouTube will now warns creators about will happen if they upload a video with a copyrighted song.

For example, if you wanted to upload a video featuring Charli XCX’s song “Boom Clap,” YouTube will warn you that it will show ads for the artist on your video, where it will be viewable and that copyright holders can ask for it to be removed anytime.

Would  be interesting to see the  how it will impact their ad revenue as there are talking this step which would certainly be much welcomed by artists


09 December, 2014

Facebook finally brings Graph Search to mobile, now lets you look up any post

Facebook’s Graph Search tool introduced in early 2013 brought along some notable abilities, allowing you to input queries like “Photos of me after 2012″ or “Friends who work at The Next Web.”

The company is now significantly upgrading the tool. As of today, you can finally use all those specific queries right on your phone.

Just as notable, Facebook is also now allowing you to look up any specific post. The company says this was the most requested feature for Graph Search, so now you can easily pull up an old video you just remembered or that article you’d been meaning to read for a long time.

To look up a post, simply type in some keywords that appear in it; Facebook uses”Caroline wedding” and “Ice bucket challenge” as examples. It’s essentially the same as a Google query, except in this case you’re searching through a database of posts made by you and and your friends.

Graph Search has certainly long been useful for power-users, but the introduction of these two new abilities should make it much more relevant for the average Facebooker.

The changes are rolling out this week for the iPhone and desktop versions of Facebook. The company isn’t offering a specific time for when they will be available on the Android or web versions of the social network, but says it intends to look for user feedback on the iPhone and desktop iterations before bringing the upgraded Graph Search to other platforms.

Opportunity Cost of Gangnam Style

What humanity could achieve if it weren’t galloping in front of computer screens? In the 16,000 years of time spent watching G Style, we could have built 20 Empire State buildings, four Great Pyramids of Giza and... see below.

The flaw in this analysis of course is that it assumes if we did not watch G Style that we would have done something productive. Big flaw!

But fun to think about how much time this represents. And because 2 billion views is not enough, here's Gangnam Style one more time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0

06 December, 2014

New Technique Allows Researchers To Extract Audio From Silent Video

By looking at the minute vibrations in high speed video, researchers at the Department of Engineering of the Catholic University of America have created a method for extracting sound data from high-speed silent video footage.

While this wouldn’t work for, say, extracting sound from old silent film, the res
earchers say they could extract conversations from vibrations at a “far distance,” a prospect that is at once fascinating and a bit scary.

The paper, “Audio extraction from silent high-speed video using an optical technique,” appeared in the journal Optical Engineering.

This technique is not new – MIT researchers were able to read sound from a stray potato chip bag – but this method uses a simpler image matching system to sense audio.

05 December, 2014

Activia, Samsung and Nike the most shared social video brands of 2014

Activia is the most shared social video brand of 2014, research from Unruly has found.

The brand’s La La La (Brazil 2014) World Cup ad starring Shakira helped Activia win this, with the ad seeing over 5.8m shares worldwide.Activia was followed by last year’s winner Samsung, who has racked up 4.3m video shares, and sports giant Nike (3.8 m) in third.Each of the top three had launched a video to tie in with the World Cup.

They were followed by Coca-Cola, the NBA, Budweiser, Go-Pro, Adidas, Pepsi and EA.

Sequoia, Nexus Invest In Location Based Food Ordering App TinyOwl

Map based food ordering app TinyOwl, has raised $3 Mn from Sequoia Capital India and Nexus Venture Partners to deepen it presence in home market Mumbai and also diversify into other geographies.

Founded in March by IITians including Harshvardhan Mandad and Gaurav Choudhary, TinyOwl serves as a portal for ordering food in your locality. With close to 3500 restaurants on its list, the startup competes with the likes of Foodpanda, Tastykhana.

Currently available on android and iOS, the app facilitates payments through credit cards or cash-ondelivery.
The online food ordering and delivery space has been seeing active investor interest and also consolidation to have a larger pie of the market.

Recent deals in the space.

FoodPanda had acquired Pune based, TastyKhana from its peer, Delivery Hero.
Foodys.in, a delivery startup in the city of Hyderabad was seeking to raise $4-5 Mn (c.INR 250-300 Mn) in its first external fund raise.
AntFarm, a platform which creates and incubates businesses has added another firm - Meals On Wheels, an online food delivery venture, to its portfolio

Gangnam Style music video 'broke' YouTube view limit

YouTube said the video - its most watched ever - has been viewed more than 2,147,483,647 times.It has now changed the maximum view limit to 9,223,372,036,854,775,808, or more than nine quintillion.Gangnam Style became a worldwide hit when it was released in 2012, largely due to the surreal video.

How do you say 9,223,372,036,854,775,808?

Nine quintillion, two hundred and twenty-three quadrillion, three hundred and seventy-two trillion, thirty-six billion, eight hundred and fifty-four million, seven hundred and seventy-five thousand, eight hundred and eight.
YouTube's counter previously used a 32-bit integer, which is a unit used to represent data in computer architecture. This means the maximum possible views it could count was 2,147,483,647.On 1 December, it posted a statement saying: "We never thought a video would be watched in numbers greater than a 32-bit integer... but that was before we met Psy."

Google, which owns YouTube, later told website The Verge that engineers "saw this coming a couple months ago and updated our systems to prepare for it". YouTube now uses a 64-bit integer for its video counter, which means videos have a maximum viewer count of 9.22 quintillion.Psy has yet to comment although news of YouTube's change was posted on his Facebook and Twitter pages.

The second most-watched video on YouTube - Baby by Justin Bieber - lags behind Gangnam Style by more than a billion views.

02 December, 2014

InMobi raises $5 million from SoftBank

Mobile ad network InMobi has raised $5 million (Rs 31 crore) from its high-profile investor SoftBank, with the Japanese company promising another $25 million if new investors come on board.The focus for the Bangalore-based company is to become profitable to attract new investors, as it also aims to make an initial public offering in the next two years. 

The seven-year-old company, which started as mobile-search engine mKhoj, now has an outreach to 872 million unique devices around the world. Earlier InMobi had raised $15.1 million from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Ram Shriram's Sherpalo Ventures in two rounds in 2008 and 2010. SoftBank followed that up with a $200 million round in 2011.

Over the last three years, the company has evolved to better target its ads in different formats such as banner, video and native. Over the past few months it has also rolled out a slew of products aimed at engaging deeply with developers and advertisers alike. 

I believe this funding is not much, but having a brand such as Softbank affiliated surely helps them gain prominence across markets not to forget the valuation. Good luck InMobi

Twitter Experiments With Engagement Stats Directly In Tweets

Want to know just how many people actually care about what you’re tweeting? A new Twitter experiment spotted by ex-Twitter platform head Ryan Sarver will show many you how users are clicking on the links in the updates you post, with a handy link directly in the expanded Tweet view in the iOS application. As usual with Twitter’s features, this is limited to a small sample pool of users at first, but could roll out more widely if deemed successful.

At the bottom of the tweet view, for those with this feature enabled, you’ll see a “View Analytics Details” link, which takes you directly to a synopsis of the overall interaction with said tweet, including overall impressions, and “engagements,” which includes how many people actually clicked on a link you shared, how many expanded the tweet and more.

The quick glimpse at how your tweet is faring seems like something that would be very useful for brands and others who thrive on social media success – but the question is whether they might reveal a little more than Twitter is comfortable sharing with a general audience. The feature is out-of-the-way enough that it will probably go unnoticed or unused by most who don’t care about that kind of thing, however.

Quick access to analytics without having to resort to an external dashboard is actually incredibly handy, but again, these tests don’t necessarily always bear fruit in terms of broad feature launches, so don’t hold your breath if you’re not already in this particular test bucket.

01 December, 2014

Google Glass to get Intel inside, says WSJ report

Google Glass will get an Intel-powered overhaul in its next generation, according to The Wall Street Journal. The report says Google Glass with Intel inside will arrive in 2015.

The WSJ’s sources says an Intel chip will replace the Texas Instruments processor which currently powers Glass. The purported deal between Google and Intel is said to be part of a wider push into wearables by the chip maker.

Intel has previously revealed its own MICA wristband, targeted at the female market, as well as plans for a smartwatch with Fossil and a smart bracelet collaboration with Opening Ceremony.

The new report doesn’t include any technical details on how Intel might contribute to the next generation Google Glass hardware but says the company plans to help push uptake of the device in medicine and manufacturing.

It remains to be seen whether getting Intel involved will help Google to turn Glass into a true consumer product or whether it even wants to achieve that. We’ll have to wait until next year to see if this rumor comes to pass.

26 November, 2014

Nimbuzz hopes to take on TrueCaller with Holaa

Almost a month after, Guragon-based chat and mobile VoIP provider Nimbuzz was acquired by UK-based New Call Telecom, the brand has launched its new call management platform called Holaa today.

Holaa is basically a free caller ID app and is much like the popular Truecaller app. It is available only on Android. Holaa!, like Truecaller, allows users to see details like the caller’s name, photo and location during an incoming call live. It also helps block spam calls from pesky spammers or other unwanted callers.

Holaa! allows users to search people’s names based on their phone numbers and alerts the registered user if the caller is marked as spam by other members of Holaa! community. The app syncs with Facebook, Google accounts and phonebook to provide the caller’s name, photo, location and email ID. Users can also opt out of Facebook and Google account sync feature.

It keeps a tab whenever the user moves away from their home network and notifies if they wish to block calls from unknown numbers. The app regularly provides additional information about phone book contacts, which, the user can add to their directory by using the ‘Merge’ feature. Users can also share contact information for both phone book contacts and unknown contacts with their friends using a share option allowing the sharing of names, mobile numbers, photos and e-mail addresses.

True caller had the first movers advantage which helped them gain users worldwide, would interesting to see how Holaa would attract users to its platform - What marketing channels they would tap to capture market such as India 

24 November, 2014

Symantec has a found a spying tool active on computers around the world

Computer security experts Symantec say their researchers have uncovered a sophisticated malware tool on Windows PCs across the globe, that appears to be used for spying and data collection, reports Recode.

Named ‘Regin’, the tool is a Trojan that has infected several organizations’ and individuals’ computer systems between 2008 and 2011, and again since 2013. Symantec’s researchers say Regin has been developed with “considerable effort into making it highly inconspicuous,” making it hard to detect, track and understand its activities.

The team also says that “Regin remain undiscovered and additional functionality and versions may exist,” and that they’ll continue to post updates on future discoveries as they happen. 

21 November, 2014

The 25 Best Inventions of 2014 - TIME Magazine

TIME’s  released an annual round-up of the best inventions making the world better, smarter and—in some cases—a little more fun.

Mangalyaan is among the 25 'Best Inventions of 2014'. The list also includes inventions by two Indians for developing an exercise space for prisoners in solitary confinement and a tablet toy for kids. 

Here is the complete list: 

  1. The Real-Life Hoverboard - Hendo Hoverboard
  2. The Supersmart Spacecraft - Mangalyaan
  3. A Reactor that Could Realize Nuclear Fusion - High-beta fusion reactor
  4. Wireless Electricity - Witricity
  5. 3-D-Printed Everything
  6. Watches that Redefine Smart - Smart Watch
  7. The Smartphone that Puts Privacy First - Blackphone / $629
  8. The Cooler that Powers Your Party - Coolest Cooler
  9. The Chip that Stops Your Slouching - Lumo Lift
  10. The Car that Makes Electric Enticing - BMW i3
  11. The Tablet that Replaces Laptops - Microsoft Surface Pro 3
  12. The Ring that Alerts You in Style - Ringly 
  13. The Pillbox that Gets Personal - Pillpack 
  14. Bananas that Prevent Blindness - “Superbananas”
  15. The Wheel that Gives Bikers a Boost -Copenhagen Wheel
  16. The Seamless Sign-Language Translator - MotionSavvy uni 
  17. The Filter that Fights Ebola - Hemopurifier
  18. The Selfie Stick (and Hairbrush)
  19. The AC that Lowers Your Energy Bills - Quirky + GE aros 
  20. The Prison Room that Helps Inmates Relax - “Blue Room”
  21. The Tablet Toy that Gets Physical - Osmo
  22. The Coaching Basketball - 94fifty smart sensor
  23. Wrappers You Can Eat - Wikipearls
  24. Screens that Showcase Digital Art - Electric objects
  25. Action Figures that Empower Girls - IAmelemental


You can read in detail about each of these inventions at the link

5 critical Do’s and Don’ts of trademarks

In the present day and age, the importance of intellectual property is increasing exponentially and therefore the right steps towards choosing and registering your trademark is an essential action for the future of your business. Registering you trademark is like indicating to everyone that this specific logo, symbol, word, name or design is exclusively used for the goods or services provided by your business. This legal right is especially vital in cases where another business may later infringe on your rights. A few specific aspects must be kept in mind before choosing the right trademark, such as the factors below.

#1 Run a Clearance Search
#2 Be smart in choosing the right trademark
#3 Registering your trademark at the earliest is a good idea
#4 Appropriate usage of the trademark for enforceability
#5 Keep your future growth and expansion in mind

A detailed explaination for each of these can be found in this article at Yourstory

20 November, 2014

Firefox Dumps Google For Yahoo

Mozilla announced today a new five-year contract with Yahoo where Yahoo will be the default search engine in the US. That means when you open up your browser, you won't see Google search anymore. Firefox users will see a "new enhanced Yahoo Search experience" beginning in December.

It will feature a "clean, modern interface" and will support Do Not Track, Mozilla says.Google has been the default search engine since 2004. But, according to Mozilla, "Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, eBay, Amazon, Twitter and Wikipedia will continue to be built-in as alternate search options."

Firefox is the third-most popular web browser, with between 14% and 19% market share, depending who's talking.According to Mozilla, 100 billion searches are conducted per year using Firefox.

Yahoo has been making a big push to improve its search product. In April, Re/code reported that Yahoo had a secret plan to get Apple to dump Google as the default search in its iOS devices and use Yahoo instead.

The financial details of the deal weren't disclosed. According to AllThingsD, the most recent renewal of the deal it had with Google in 2011 was $300 million per year for three years. In 2012, 97.9% of Mozilla's revenue came through partnerships with search engins, according to Infoworld.

This wouldn't really impact Google much considering the dominance they have through Chrome, personally i haven't been a great fan after trying  the updated version which Firefox released - used to get stuck, it certainly would be interesting to see how Yahoo would lure Apple to use them over Google.

19 November, 2014

Whatsapp Just Switched on End-to-End Encryption for Hundreds of Millions of Users

In my yesterday's post I was referring that Whatsapp should come with new features apart from Blue ticks to compete with like to Snapchat, lo and behold today they have announced this encryption feature and here is the beauty of it all - “THIS IS THE LARGEST DEPLOYMENT OF END-TO-END ENCRYPTION EVER.”

Whatsapp announced that it’s implementing end-to-end encryption, an upgrade to its privacy protections that makes it nearly impossible for anyone to read users’ messages—even the company itself. Whatsapp will integrate the open-source software Textsecure, created by privacy-focused non-profit Open Whisper Systems, which scrambles messages with a cryptographic key that only the user can access and never leaves his or her device. The result is practically uncrackable encryption for hundreds of millions of phones and tablets that have Whatsapp installed—by some measures the world’s largest-ever implementation of this standard of encryption in a messaging service.

Whatsapp’s rollout of strong encryption to hundreds of millions of users may be an unpopular move among governments around the world, whose surveillance it could make far more difficult. Whatsapp’s user base is highly international, with large populations of users in Europe and India. But Whatsapp founder Jan Koum has been vocal about his opposition to cooperating with government snooping. “I grew up in a society where everything you did was eavesdropped on, recorded, snitched on,” he told Wired UK earlier this year. “Nobody should have the right to eavesdrop, or you become a totalitarian state—the kind of state I escaped as a kid to come to this country where you have democracy and freedom of speech. Our goal is to protect it.”

In its initial phase, though, Whatsapp’s messaging encryption is limited to Android, and doesn’t yet apply to group messages, photos or video messages. Marlinspike says that Whatsapp plans to expand its Textsecure rollout into those other features and other platforms, including Apple’s iOS, soon. 

This certainly would get a step closer in making payments possible through their app, watch out all you Whatsapp Users - this would mean lesser apps on your phone and more space for better performance

Snapchat has announced a new mobile payments feature: Snapcash.

Snapchat has partnered with Square on a Venmo-like payment feature called SnapCash.
Snapcash lets you quickly message cash to friends once you've entered your debit card. All the transactions are handled by Square.

This project has been in the works for a while.Here's how SnapCash works: Send a private message to a friend like you normally would on Snapchat. Type in a dollar amount. The app then recognizes the amount and a green "$" button lights up. If you want to send that amount, just press the button.

Snapchat won't keep your debit card information on file. Instead, Square keeps it all. So Snapchat powers the money message, and Square deals with the messier financials. Thats a nice thought Kudos to the team. Sending money over SnapCash automatically turns that person into a Square account holder, so it should help Jack Dorsey's multi-billion-dollar payment startup onboard the young demographic (teens and 20-somethings) that Snapchat attracts.

Venmo, an eBay owned peer-to-peer payments solution, isn't profitable, so this isn't a revenue lay-up for Snapchat. Venmo is also popular among college students, so even though Snapchat likely has more users, SnapcCash has its work cut out for it.

Whatsapp whats your next big move - Blue Tick marks didnt impress me much. Till then Happy Snapcash-ing! 

18 November, 2014

Power to loses points - Microsoft Is Sick Of PowerPoint

We can't even remember the last time we saw someone under 30 fire up a PowerPoint instead of a Prezi when giving a talk.Microsoft hopes to put the kibosh on that with Microsoft Sway, its new presentation app.

Just incase you are unaware - Sway lets you drag and drop photos, videos, files from your computer, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or cloud storage. It works via a Web browser or an app for your phone and the presentation is stored on the Web, which surely would save a lot of time.It has some nice features like "change my mood" which lets you choose a new layout, background, and fonts. The "remix" button does that for you (a little like the "I feel lucky" button on Google).

Prezi says it has over 50 million people use it including 80% of the Fortune 500. That's an awful lot of people who have had their heads turned from PowerPoint. Microsoft needs an easy-to-use alternative to Prezi, and Sway fits that bill.

Here's a demo from Microsoft's video. Notice this Microsoft ad shows the guy using Sway on an iPad. 
Are we to look for an Apple & Microsoft partnership soon?

Uber Drivers Are Worried This New Spotify Deal Is Going To Ruin Their Ratings

Uber is expected to announce a new partnership with music-streaming service Spotify on Monday - and Uber drivers aren't happy.

The problem is, in order to play the music through the car's speakers, Uber drivers will reportedly plug their work phones into their car's speakers using an auxillary port, which only exists in more modern cars.

Uber drivers have already taken to UberPeople.net, a forum for Uber drivers, to complain about this new feature, worried about receiving one-star reviews from customers if anything goes wrong.

Basically, Uber drivers are concerned the partnership will raise customers' expectations of what an Uber trip should be. Instead of a simple taxi ride, customers could come to expect Uber drivers to play DJ, and since not all cars are equipped with modern technology for this to work, drivers are concerned that this will result in unfair one-star reviews.

Surely Indian people would like such feature but desi beats and some honey singh would be the need of the hour, since the classic music has been laid to rest, thanks to our upgraded preferences ;)

16 November, 2014

8 Major Changes Twitter Will Make in 2015

1. Instant Timeline

This is mainly for new Twitter users who are welcomed on Twitter with an empty timeline from people they are forced to follow while the sign up stage is on. Twitter intends to now show the new users a screen where they can upload their contacts to find friends and this is further analysed by Twitter to come up with a personalized instant timeline.

Twitter added: “Instant Timeline is not just something we’ll offer to new users, but to people who come back without a healthy timeline.”

2. Timeline Highlights

Ever missed reading tweets from your cluttered timeline while you followed a million people? Well, Twitter is going to be kind to you while you are away from the platform and collate the best tweets for you to read when you are back. Cool no?

Twitter adds, ““Every time you open the Twitter app, you’ll see something great.”

3. Big on Events

Events have been a good source of user increment for the website. The micro blogging site will add up to 25 events next year to customize experiences for the users.

4. Beyond Vine

Twitter aims to develop a lot more apps that will not only help bring more users to the platform but also help the company’s objective of becoming the fastest revenue generating company. The products Twitter wants to create will help in information sharing and be more of a distribution platform.

5. Hashtags more search friendly 

Twitter plans to index over 50K most popular hashtags at all search engines to make this already powerful tool more search friendly. Well, I hope not to see more brands running more spammy hashtag contests.

6. Video Friendly

Users might be able to upload, edit and publish videos on Twitter since the platform aims to concentrate more on video content. This might be an additional feature apart from Vine.

7. Value for Logged Out Users

Twitter will create value for logged out users too or those users who come to the platform without logging in. Considering Twitter’s popularity and embeds on a million websites, users tend to flock to the website through referrals. Hence for instance, if a users comes to Shopper’s Stop profile, not only will he/she view tweets from the brand but also some recommendations tailored by Twitter. This will help increase content consumption and get the user more interested in the platform.

8. Advertise, Advertise

Twitter has some unique plans for its advertising options. The platforms plans to begin Quick Promote, similar to Facebook’s boost post.

13 November, 2014

Xiaomi Breaks Records, Sells 1.1 Million Mi Units Within 24 Hours

Xiaomi has announced that it has sold 1.16 million Mi smartphones in just 24 hours in China, generating a revenue of $254 million. This number is 2.8 times over the company’s revenue of 550 million yuan generated as a part of Singles’ Day in 2013. This is quite a phenomenal performance by Xiaomi, which according to IDC has sold over 17.3 million smartphones in the whole of Q3, 2014.

For those who are not familiar with November 11 (11/11), it is known as Singles’ Day (Anti-Valentine’s day or Bachelor’s day) in China and has become one of the largest online shopping days. Heavy discounts are offered by online retailers on a wide array of products as a part of the Singles’ Day sale, which is even bigger than the Cyber Monday and Black Friday sales in the US.

Xiaomi, which is just 4-year-old, has become the No.1 smartphone brand in China. The company’s VP Hugo Barra confirmed via Twitter that the sales have generated a revenue of $254 million with 1.16 million Mi units sold.

SpaceX to help beam unfettered and very low cost internet from space with 700 micro-satellites

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has confirmed a plan to launch mini satellites to enable  internet connectivity in remote areas of the world. Rumors of this plan had been doing the rounds, culminating in an article in the Wall Street Journal.

As he confirmed the development, he said the Journal story was wrong on several counts and he will make a detailed announcement after three months.

Ex- Googler Greg Wyler will partner with Elon to develop these satellites, WSJ had said. Greg has been working with Google’s arm of satellite internet and resigned later believing Google can’t deliver on the grand vision due to lack of manufacturing experience, it added.

Elon’s confirmation on Twitter triggered questions on whether this service is going to “unfettered and free.” Musk promised to deliver unrestrained  connections, for a price, but at a low cost

The project is estimated to cost at least $1 billion to take off. According to the Journal, these satellites will weigh about 250 pounds and Elon and Greg will send about 700 mini-satellites to beam-down internet signal to earth at a speed of light. Wyler’s company WorldVu Satellites Ltd has a license to a lump of radio spectrum that comes handy to beam satellite connectivity.

12 November, 2014

Google Has Developed An Intimidating Robot - Ian

This is awesome news !

Boston Dynamics has created this enormous robot, and maybe most impressively, taught it how to re-enact a famous scene from "The Karate Kid,". dBoston Dynamics is owned by Google.

This slightly terrifying beast of a robot is 6'2" and weighs 330 lbs. Its name is Ian.

The robot was programmed by IHMC in Florida. Ian came in second at the US Government's Robo-Olympics, and was apparently able to walk, carry a fire hose, and get in a car and drive it. 

So now making robots for the movies gets more closer to reality - are we to look for the next Terminator movie ? Hope so :)

The Daily routine of FAMOUS CREATIVE PEOPLE

Turns out great minds don’t think alike. Discover how some of the world’s most original artists, writers and musicians structured their day, based on ‘Daily Rituals’ by Mason Currey. Filter the different categories by toggling on or off, and hover over the colored bars to learn more about the daily routines.

11 November, 2014

Alibaba says Singles Day shoppers spend $2 billion in first hour

Alibaba sold $2 billion of goods in the first hour of its Singles Day shopping bonanza in China Tuesday, the firm said, maintaining its dominance as the world's biggest retail event as it went global for the first time.

The ecommerce giant said the amount its marketplaces shifted amounted more than a third of the $5.8 billion full-day sales recorded on the same day last year.

Alibaba has been pushing November 11 as Singles Day -- so named for the number of ones in the date -- since 2009 as it looks to tap an expanding army on Internet shoppers in China, which has the world's biggest online population.

Singles Day already surpassed major shopping festivals in the US in terms of transaction value last year, toppling the combined sales of $3.7 billion recorded on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, according to an estimate by Internet analytics firm comScore.

The day was originally marketed as an "anti-Valentine's Day" in China featuring hefty discounts to lure the country's singletons and price-sensitive buyers.

It has been expanded globally this year to include overseas merchants and customers.

Within the first hour and 12 seconds, more than 12.23 billion yuan ($2 billion) of deals were settled on both domestic and international retail marketplaces, Alibaba said in a statement, adding that 45.7 per cent of the transactions were made via mobile devices.

WhatsApp to be free for Indian users: Report

WhatsApp, the popular Facebook -owned instant messaging service has always been free for a year, and beyond it users need to shell out a nominal $1 a year fee to further use it. However, there could be some good news for Indian users as Neeraj Arora, its VP told the students at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad that the service will be free for Indian users. A Deccan Chronicle report quoted him claiming that the $1 annual fee will not apply to its users in India.

Reportedly, WhatsApp will not charge Indian users due to the lack of credit and debit card penetration in the country. If it does so, it will risk loosing users in the country. At the moment, the service has 70 million active users, which comprises 1/10th of WhatsApp's total user base.

According to a report by the Hindu Business Line, Arora also believed that Indians could build the next WhatsApp. A former alumnus of IBS Hyderabad he said, " Indians have it in their DNA to build the next WhatsApp for the world."

Recently, the service added a new blue double tick feature , which indicates a received message. There has been some user backlash regarding this feature, as many users have grown used to the old system and some prefer the fact that message delivery receipts are not sent back to the sender of a message.

Last year, the service was acquired by social networking giant Facebook for a whopping $19 billion.

In the instant messaging space, WhatsApp reigns supreme but it does face competition from Google's Hangouts, SnapChat, We Chat, Line and Skype QIK.

Facebook Messenger Cross 500 Million User Milestone

#FBMessenger #App - It hasn’t been long since Facebook forced users to download the Messenger app for mobile if they want to chat with their friends, because it is no longer possible to do that using the main Facebook app. That might have brought about an increase in the number of users on the Messenger app. Today the social network announced that the app now has 500 million users, that’s half a billion people around the world, using this application to stay in touch with their family and friends. Initially there was some controversy around how Facebook essentially forced its users to download the Messenger app if they wanted to chat with their friends. In a recent Q&A session CEO Mark Zuckerberg took up this question and explained the reason behind this decision.

Updates are pushed out for the Facebook Messenger app almost every two weeks and this moment will not be slowing down. David Marcus, who runs the company’s messaging products, writes in a blog post that a lot more “innovation and updates” will be released in the coming months. Payments is one space where many expect Facebook to expand into using the momentum it has generated with the Messenger application, but so far the company is not confirming any such plans for the future, so we’ll have to wait and see if and when that happens.   

Microsoft drops Nokia name with newest Lumia phone

Microsoft has unveiled a cheaper smartphone, costing about 110 euros ($135), as it eyes emerging and other low-cost markets for growth.

The new model is the first Lumia smartphone under Microsoft's own brand name. The company has released a few Lumia models since it bought Nokia's phone business this year, but those models still carried the Nokia brand.

The Lumia 535 Windows smartphone will have a 5-inch screen, as measured diagonally. It comes with 5-megapixel front and rear cameras, which should snap sharper selfies than typical smartphones.

Microsoft is trying to expand its small market share worldwide with cheaper devices. To do that, it has cut manufacturing costs. For instance, camera and control buttons on many models can now be tapped on the screen rather than being physical buttons on the frame.

Despite the low cost, Microsoft said the new phone will offer the same Microsoft services that high-end phones do. That includes Skype video calls, Office apps and the virtual assistant Cortana.

As is common with phones for emerging markets, Microsoft is making a version with slots for two SIM cards so that people can switch between service providers more easily. In such markets, rates vary so much that many people have multiple accounts to take advantage of the best deals.

The Lumia 535 is expected to go on sale this month. Microsoft didn't announce any U.S. plans.

Watch How Much Digital Alteration a Beauty Ad Really Gets [UPDATED]

A senior colorist gives us a glimpse at what it takes to make the model in a L'Oréal Garnier commercial look so good

It’s no secret that the face and body of pretty much every model in every advertisement we see in magazines has been smoothed and slicked into perfection through the magic of Photoshop. (Plumping lips and slimming thighs even happens when the model doesn’t want it to.) But if you’ve ever wondered whether the same sort of digital alteration happens to the models featured in the commercials that pop up on your television screen, well, the answer is yes.

In the above video Andreas Brueckl, the senior colorist at European postproduction outfit Colormeup, has created an eye-opening behind-the-scenes look at the color-correction process. Brueckl, who has worked on almost 200 commercials, condenses the half hour he spent color-correcting a L'Oréal Garnier commercial down to three minutes.

Although the model and the background might look just fine to the average person, Brueckl shows us how he tweaked every single thing you see on the screen. The model is naturally gorgeous, but the extra luminosity you see in her skin, the sheen of her blond hair, and her lack of dark circles are all due to a few clicks of Brueckl’s mouse. He even adjusts the lighting of the background and the color of the Garnier packaging. Despite all the changes, Brueckl wrote on the video’s Vimeo page that he didn’t have to show “much of the beauty retouching and skin grading” because “the model has a very nice skin and with the help of Garnier it was not much work for me.”

Of course, the women and girls who will see this commercial—and countless other advertisements like it—might not know that this model doesn’t in real life look exactly like the finished product. That disconnect between reality and a corrected version of a person does plenty of damage to viewers. Multiple studies have shown a connection between ads that have altered images of people in them and emotional and mental health issues.

That’s why the bipartisan Truth in Advertising Act of 2014, which was introduced in Congress in March, asks the Federal Trade Commission to create a “strategy to reduce the use, in advertising and other media for the promotion of commercial products, of images that have been altered to materially change the physical  characteristics of the faces and bodies of the individuals depicted.” It also asks the commission to create an “appropriate, risk-based regulatory framework with respect to such use.” The act has only been introduced, not signed into law—which means that unless the folks who work on the ads, like Brueckl, let us see what it takes to create perfection, we'll never know just what's real and what's been created on a computer screen.