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 :)


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.

10 November, 2014

New Apple tool for ex-iPhone users hopes to sort iMessage issue once and for all

Although it’s well beyond the comprehension of die-hard Apple fans as to why anyone would dump their iPhone for an Android or Windows Phone device, such acts of iOS desertion do of course happen.

Trouble is, when folk do scarper across to a rival platform, many of those ex-iPhone users discover that a number of text messages never make it to their new handset. The long-running issue is apparently down to an Apple bug that results in messages continuing to get routed to an iPhone no longer in anyone’s ownership.

The good news is that the tech giant has finally gotten around to properly dealing with the issue, launching a Web tool that allows people leaving iOS to deregister their phone number to ensure future messages are received on the correct – ie. their new – device.

The tool, located on Apple’s website here, offers two methods for dealing with the issue – one aimed at those who still have their iPhone, and another for those who’ve already shifted to another platform.

Frustration with the iMessage problem, and Apple’s apparent reluctance to sort it out in a timely fashion, led to a California woman filing a class action law suit against the Cupertino company back in May.

Airtel’s One Touch Internet portal is for first-time mobile Internet users

In an attempt to attract first-time mobile Internet users in India, Bharti Airtel today launched its ‘One Touch Internet’ initiative. The WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) portal will allow first-time users to discover the Internet easily and help them overcome common perception barriers around the mobile data experience.

Available for 2G and 3G prepaid mobile customers on Airtel – ‘One Touch Internet’ will work as a single point destination for uninitiated internet users to see-try-buy a host of popular services (including social networking, videos, online shopping and travel bookings) through free tutorial videos and trial packs.

Airtel prepaid mobile customers can now call 111 or simply visit http://one.airtel.in on their mobile phones’ web browsers to get tutorials. Currently available in English and Hindi, ‘One Touch Internet’ will soon also be available in 8 Indian vernacular languages in weeks to come.

How ICleanIndia app is helping you participate in Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Mission

In his maiden official visit to India, Mark Zuckerberg made headlines by promising to build a mobile application to support the Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat Initiative. The statement didn’t receive a gleeful response given the fact that recently government had also announced #MakeInIndia.

Taking the opportunity given by #MakeInIndia movement, Delhi-based startup, SocialCops has released an Android Application “ICleanIndia – Swachh Bharat Mission” to enable citizens to participate in the Swachh Bharat Movement. Simply put, the application provides a crowd-sourcing platform where citizens can share pictures of unclean spots in their city and take the necessary action by inviting friends/co-workers for a cleanliness drive.

The PMO’s clarion call to the citizens of India couldn’t have been clearer – stop complaining & start participating in change instead. Communities & citizens around the country have been responding to the initiative in different ways – by organizing community clean up drives, government offices have been cleaning up offices & schools have been organizing their students in droves.

The ICleanIndia mobile application will allow citizens to: 1. Post photos of unclean spots in their locality; 2. Mark the photographs on a map; 3. Organize a cleanliness drive & invite friends & neighbors to join in. It seamlessly connects with your Facebook & Twitter accounts & allows you to share your story & photos with your friends.

Aligned with PMO’s vision of citizens devoting 100 hours a year to clean India, the ‘I Clean India’ application will help individuals to clock their hours, compete for badges and share their work across Social Media platforms. SocialCops process millions of discrete data points to derive insights – that enable key decision makers – the government, corporate heads, policy makers, non profits and media houses to make data driven decisions.

SocialCops has recently raised a round of funding from Rajan Anandan, Managing Director of Google India & Manoj Menon, Managing Director of Frost & Sullivan, APAC.

06 November, 2014

WhatsApp finally tells you when your messages have been read

If you’re a WhatsApp user, you should see a small but useful change start rolling into the app. The app will now light up its double-check marks blue when a message has been read.If the read receipts don’t seem new to you, you’re probably not alone. Many users have misinterpreted the double check marks next to messages to indicate that a message has been looked at, as so may other platforms offer the feature, but that’s not the case.

In reality, the double check marks simply mean a message has been received by the other user (the single check only tells you the message reached WhatsApp’s servers). The blue coloring adds a third layer of information, as an updated FAQ will confirm.

Alternatively, you can long press on a message to access a ‘Message Info‘ screen, detailing the times when the message was received, read or played.

Of course, one could use ‘last seen’ indicators on the top left of a conversation to know when a contact was last in the app, but the blue checkmarks are more direct. It would have been nice to see this added in as an on opt-out feature though – some users may not be so fond of the additional information.

Internet Users In India: Kolkata Beats Bangalore, Mumbai Tops With 16.4M Users

According to recent IAMAI report, Mumbai is the number one city when it comes to number of Internet users in India. Delhi comes in second!
However, quite surprisingly Kolkata has more internet users than the silicon valley of India, Bangalore. Kolkata has 6.27 million users compared to Bangalore’s 5.99 million. Kolkata has jumped two places compared to last year from fifth to third just behind Delhi.
While Mumbai has the highest number of internet users, Delhi registered maximum growth as compared to last year. They had 8.1 million in 2013 compared to 12.15 million in 2014, a growth over 50 percent compared to last year.

Mumbai grew at 37 percent Y-O-Y followed by Bangalore at 36 percent Y-O-Y. Pune and Hyderabad registered a growth of 33 percent each.
Overall, the top 4 metros (Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai) have a 23% penetration of Internet Users in India. The other 4 Metros (Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Pune) have 11% penetration of Internet Users, with Bangalore registering the highest growth.

Internet Users in A Cities
Among the smaller cities (who have population of more than 10 lakh people), Surat registered maximum number of users with 2.97 million users followed by Jaipur and Lucknow.

While the internet penetration in Metro’s is quite respectable at 23 percent, all other cities in India have close to 10 percent penetration or lower. And overall, in rural areas, internet penetration is abysmally low.
Considering that majority of Indian population still resides in rural areas, on a global level, India has one of the poorest internet penetration in the world.
The reasons for poor internet penetration are many, but the 2 most important factors remain to be poor broadband connectivity and high internet prices. Infact, due to rise in mobile phones, India has more or less skipped the broadband generation and moved to mobile internet, which again is quite expensive to most most people in India.
We hope the new Government, which is more technology tilted than any of the previous ones, takes this seriously and ensures that internet penetration improves in India.

05 November, 2014

A real-time map of everyone who’s clicked that ‘I voted’ button on Facebook

You may be seeing a ton of activity on Facebook today related to the election. Maybe you've even clicked Facebook's button that notifies all your friends that you've voted. If so, you're one of several million users who've done so.

As you might expect, Facebook is collecting data on all those people. And, according to its numbers, the button is popular: Users are clicking it at a rate of 358,000 per hour. Most of them so far are based on the East Coast because of the earlier time zone, but expect that to change as more people get to the polls over the day.

To help visualize that activity, Facebook's set up a real-time map showing exactly when someone clicks the "I voted" button. It counts the density of clicks for a given area, and individual clicks show up as blips on the map. From the data Facebook has gathered so far, it seems nearly 40 percent of "I voted" clicks came from women aged 25 to 44. Men are sharing at far lower rates across the board, though.

Facebook's "I voted" button isn't just a fun way to tell friends that you've done your civic duty; it's actually part of a much larger experiment to determine what Facebook's effects are on voter turnout. As Facebook has claimed previously, the social network drove 340,000 extra people to the polls in 2010.

Here's what this year's "I voted" heat map looks like, as a GIF. Click here for a larger version.

04 November, 2014

Evernote Adds Work Chat, Context Features to Apps

Some of the features Evernote teased last month at its annual Evernote conference in San Francisco are finally seeing the light of day.First up is "Work Chat," a new feature that allows Evernote users to chat about projects they're working on directly in the Evernote client—presumably preventing those from having to keep up their favorite inter-office chat applications while they work.

"Today, the connections between working and communicating are loose. Why should you have to drop what you're doing in Evernote and be sucked into another app to get the answers and feedback you need? Or, worse yet, draft an email that your teammates might read in a few hours (or days) and wait until then to pick up your work again," reads Evernote's description.

"It doesn't need to be this way. Your workspace should foster the collaboration and communication you need. Your work should be improved by the very tools you use to do it."
Evernote syncs up with your Google Contacts and allows you to chat with your colleagues via the service's desktop, Web, and mobile apps. When you blast over a chat request to a friend, they get a little notification within the Evernote app if they're currently running it. They also get an email message that offers them a link they can use to launch Evernote.

Once connected, those participating in a chat can pass along Evernote notes or notebooks to one another. And when you're browsing shared notes and notebooks via your own Evernote account, you'll see who's been discussing them.
"You'll notice that shared notes and notebooks will show the faces of your teammates. These faces indicate that the individuals are actively engaged with the content that you both have access to," reads Evernote's description.

"The fascinating aspect of this feature is that it's not just happening within the note that you're currently viewing. You'll see these images in your note and notebook lists. This tells you that a colleague is working on something even if you're not looking at it. All of a sudden, you have a reason to start a conversation in Work Chat or review what they're adding. All without ever leaving your workspace."

Premium Evernote subscribers can also make use of the Context feature that arrives as part of the same update that unlocks Work Chat. As you type new notes within Evernote, Context goes back through other notes you've made and lets you know about any related thoughts (in case you'd like to refer to them in your latest note). It can also search your extended network (via LinkedIn) whenever you mention a person, and can scan various news organizations for related articles you might want to cite within your note about a particular topic.

03 November, 2014

WhatsApp won’t get Voice-Calling feature till early 2015: report

The much expected voice-calling service for WhatsApp has been delayed and will arrive in the first quarter of 2015. Earlier reports had suggested that the update would be released in the second quarter of  2014. WhatsApp’s CEO Jan Koum had made the announcement at the 2014 Mobile World Congress. He was quoted as saying, “We are going to introduce voice in WhatsApp in the second quarter of this year”. According to Koum’s announcement, it was revealed that the service would first come to Android and iOS, followed by Windows and BlackBerry.

Now it appears that there has been a delay in plans. Speaking at the Code/Mobile event by Re/Code, Jan said that the company is facing some technical hurdles. One of the reasons why voice calling has not yet been activated is because the company is finding ways to implement voice calling services in areas where Internet connectivity is poor and 3G services and Wi-Fi access is restricted and thus where people are still on 2G services.

According to the CEO, this feature will not clash with Facebook Messenger which already has  voice calling over WiFi. He said that although the two are similar in nature, WhatsApp is a strictly mobile only service and will not compete with Messenger offering, which is accessible via Desktops as well. Facebook had acquired WhatsApp earlier this year.

Koum adds, “Before [the acquisition] we experimented with monetisation, we tried to charge in some countries,” Koum told Re/code’s Liz Gannes at the Code/Mobile conference on Tuesday. “We didn’t have the long-term financial support of Facebook.”

The company tried to make profits by charging users in a few countries before the acquisition, but they generated only $10 million in revenue in 2013. That revenue came from user subscriptions, not social ads which drive the bulk of Facebook’s revenue. Koum says, WhatsApp has “no plans” to bring advertising into its app.

Voice calling on WhatsApp can also give competition to popular apps such as Viber, LINE and Skype. Hopefully, we shall see the launch of voice calling for WhatsApp by the first quarter of 2015.

Adobe and Nielsen to Create Industry’s First Comprehensive Measurement Platform for Digital Content

This collaboration will integrate Nielsen’s digital audience measurement products with Adobe Analytics and Adobe Primetime. Media companies will benefit from new Nielsen Digital Content Ratings, Powered by Adobe, that will offer comparable metrics to measure audiences accurately and consistently across every major Internet-connected device, including desktops, smartphones, tablets, game consoles and over-the-top (OTT) boxes.

Major media companies and broadcasters already rely on Adobe to deliver TV across screens and tap into digital viewer engagement. Our partnership with Nielsen, once complete, will provide analytics coupled with ratings to benefit advertisers, media companies, and consumers. The integration also seeks to provide deeper consumer engagement through the delivery of personalized content and ads. We’re excited to already have some major companies on board for the initial rollout – including ESPN, IPG Mediabrands, Sony Pictures Television, Starcom MediaVest Group, Turner Broadcasting, Univision Communications Inc., and Viacom.

Data from Nielsen’s Digital Content Ratings, Powered by Adobe, will be available in the Adobe Marketing Cloud, allowing brands to use the data to better optimize their marketing campaigns.

Video Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJCE6QIbVHY