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Archives from month » September, 2012

Nokia’s Lumia 920 costlier than Samsung Galaxy S III

The new Nokia Lumia 920 phone with Windows 8 OS costs more than its nearest rival Samsung Galaxy S III. The new phone cost 25% more than Galaxy SIII and puts itself at a risk in the tight competition in the Smartphone segment. According to Market analysts, Nokia will have a tough time to explain the customers about the increased cost of the new handset. Nick Dillon (Ovum analyst) says that both phones are much more the same, if compared in terms of hardware and it will be difficult for the company to explain the increased cost of Lumia 920.

The fact that Windows 8 mobile OS is still new in the market and is unknown to many customers makes it even more difficult for the company to justify its action. Nokia Lumia 920 will be available to the customers in 5,700 crowns (approx.) without subsidies. This is much more than the Galaxy S III which is available at 4,515 crowns and is the current market leader in sales. Galaxy SIII is the lowest priced Smartphone in its range. The prices of the new Apple iphone5 are also more than the price of galaxy SIII. Nokia was the biggest mobile maker in the world in the past till the arrival of Smartphone’s in the market. Nokia was pushed to the back door by the rivals (Samsung and Apple) and its sales fell. The company is struggling to catch up the vibe of the customers ever since then but it has not been successful in its efforts.

Nokia has already lost more than 3 billion euro’s in the Smartphone segment and has also given pink slips to more than 10,000 people. The new Smartphone, Nokia Lumia 920 launched by the company is seen by market analysts as the last effort to catch up with the sales of Apple and Samsung in the smartphone segment.

Google celebrates 14th Birthday

Google, the world’s largest search giant and celebrated its 14th birthday yesterday. The search giant celebrated its birthday with an animated, birthday cake doodle on its homepage. The Chocolate cake on the home page featured Google’s colors and had 14 candles on it. The candles were then blown out automatically and cake was distributed. The leftover of the dessert revealed the logo of Google. The trend of celebrating its birthday on the home page has been continuing for many years and each time it is more sophisticated than the past.

In 2011, the home page had a doodle depicting the logo of the company which was surrounded by cakes and candles. The whole presentation looked like a snapshot of a photo album. Google, an American multinational is growing at a rapid pace in the market. It provides its users, various products and services like cloud computing, web search etc. The company founded by by Larry Page and Sergey Brin recently acquired Motorola’s Mobile unit in a major deal. It runs (approx.) one million servers in data centers all over the globe and processes 1 billion search request daily. It ranks second in the brand equity database.  It is the most viewed site according to Alexa. The company was registered on 15-09-1997 and it was not actually incorporated as a company till September 1998. The company now has a human resource of more than 50,000 employees (Motorola and Google combined). The present year has been a busy year for the search giant. The release of the new Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Nexus 7 tablets has given a boost to its market value. Google has already made a big move by acquiring Motorola which has given it a chance to enter the mobile market. The road ahead for Google is full of new market opportunities, which if capitalized can take the name of Google to new heights.

Bluestacks Team Up To Make the Android Market a Windows 8 Asset

On comparison with competing mobile platforms, we find that Microsoft has been unable to design apps for their new environment. That is a huge problems that Windows 8 is facing at the moment.

Though this couldn’t possibly be called a solution for this problem, Bluestacks and AMD have become a team to better the situation for users running AMD devices. Now anyone who runs Windows 7 or Windows 8 can install apps made for Android on his PC .This is done through the new platform named AMD AppZone. This also syncs up with the current app selection running on Android phones.

This new version from Bluestacks has been particularly optimized for Radeon video hardware and AMD. This is likely to create quite a difference.

The difference was clearly noticeable in a non technical review of the modified Bluestacks. Apps which lagged and faltered on older AMD machines run smoother on the new version.

Now in addition to handling Android apps through PC, they have the ability to sync with the phone. So although messaging through SMS and app installations extent to the machines of Windows, this does not contain app data. There will be a resetting of apps which store data locally.

Since there has been recent emphasis on Windows 8 devices powered by Intel, this is a good step taken by AMD. Now users shall be offered an expanded set of excellent applications since manufacturers can pre-package AppZone with their laptops and tablets. Since performance on older hardware devices has been excellent, no problems shall be encountered on the new devices.

It gets around the intention of Microsoft to create an allied user experience through devices from Windows by providing an option of adding an Android overlay to Windows. AppZone allows users having AMD tablets the first chance to draw on to completely different app ecosystems.

Since many are anticipating that content shall be the deciding factor, Windows 8 is in a complicated situation. It has the maximum apps of any OS. It has few mobile apps. Now it is expected that AMD specific Windows 8 shall have the most mobile apps.


Windows 8 Obsession Doesn’t Scare Off Blizzard Entertainment

It was not very long ago when Gabe Newell, the co-founder and managing director of Valve, stated that “Windows 8 is a catastrophe” for the PC gaming community. Since then he has been extending his company towards broader compatibility with Linux as a dodge against the much hyped Windows 8. However one computer video game entity doesn’t comply by the same. Blizzard Entertainment appears to have changed their skeptic views regarding Microsoft’s Windows 8 and also confirmed that its forthcoming “World of Warcraft” extension will be supporting Microsoft’s new version of Windows, although the work has not yet been started up until now.

Darren Williams, the senior software engineer at Blizzard Entertainment, disclosed in an interview, “We put our games on platforms our players are already on, so yeah, it will be available on Windows 8.”

The owner of video game company Mojang, Markus Persson initially commented regarding Windows 8 that it is possibly “very very bad for indie games and competition in general” by elaborating his concerns about the Windows 8 potential as a closed system. The reason for opposing Microsoft’s new OS from the viewpoint of a major developer is totally fair considering that all the applications for the new version of Windows will be distributed via Microsoft’s closed software distribution hub.

Realistically, Blizzard Entertainment is the first gaming company to have conceded the fact that all these oppositions ultimately crank up out of paranoia. Windows still remains a fair choice if the objective is to design something that would interest the customers.

So long as Microsoft Windows 8 would interest the users, which is where even the games are required being available. Darren Williams while talking about Blizzard’s plans for shifting to Window’s 8, summed up in a CVG interview- “We haven’t worked with Windows 8 directly yet, but we’ll certainly switch over to it. I think that we’ll go with the platforms that the most people are on. There’s no particular fear we have of Windows 8.””


Street view coming to Safari

Apple and Google, two companies, who have been into a lot of discussions off late, are now trying to get together to make map viewing on the Apple gadgets easier. David Pogue, a New York Times reporter, quoted that Google would introduce its street view feature of the maps to Safari users. There has also been a proposal to incorporate an app by Google to the Apple’s App Store which would be confirmed by the year end.

Google’s Android OS caused a major conflict between Apple and Google. Apple also discarded Google maps iOS6. This could have brought in the extremist competition between both the life changing multinational corporations. Even though there were tiffs, it was noticed that Google made a couple of propositions to Apple which was turned off. Google offered to provide voice turn-by-turn directions to the Cupertino Calif. firm but it was rejected when Google demanded for extra branding. After this, there was another proposal made to Apple where their devices were offered to feature Latitude geolocation. The reason being unclear, it was heard that the offer was turned down yet again.

Mapping the world is a difficult task. Google and Nokia were able to map the world only over a considerate amount of time. Apple, of course found it difficult to do this in a quick run. Apple did give a chance to other partners to put up a personalized mapping program but due to the void between the services, the whole task was excruciatingly painful. The mapping has to be done to an extent of great accuracy. And this makes Apple face a lot of issues.

Though Apple is doing its best to provide a user friendly mapping facility, the users of Apple phones, the iPhones, opt to go ahead by using better accessible map sites through their browsers like Google or Safari.

Samsung S3 to get Jelly Bean Update

The much-hyped Samsung Galaxy S3 is about to get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update as it started to roll out in Europe, making it the first non-nexus Android device to receive the update. However the users in U.S. have to wait for it. The users in Europe are going to receive the Jelly Bean update first which started on Sept 24th. In the later part of the month, these updates will be pushed out to other countries by Samsung. Reports say that the update, which is initially accessible through Samsung KIES, started rolling out with the eastern European countries, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia.

Not like the Apple iOS updates which rolled across the globe at one fell swoop; Samsung seems to have decided to keep Europe on its first priority list, leaving the users in U.S. with scraps. Likewise the launch of Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will be taking place first in UK and afterward in the U.S. However, Samsung has not yet confirmed its plans for the roll out of update in the U.S. and is most likely to be near the time when Galaxy Note 2 releases in U.S.

Until now Samsung Galaxy S3 was available with 16GB memory capacity,which is now available for Rs. 38400 in India. However Galaxy S3 can be at the moment availed at the price of Rs. 41500 in Indian market with an in-built memory capacity of 32GB through Samsung e-store. Samsung has also announced a 64GB version of Galaxy S3, whose price or India release date is still not known.

Previously, Samsung had predicted its Android-powered Galaxy S3 would be selling 10 million units by the end of July. The tech-giant had also affirmed that it presumed to witness operating profit of $5.9 billion during the second quarter. Presently competing with Apple’s iPhone 5 in the smart phone market, Samsung has recorded a huge demand for Galaxy S3 among the users.


Microsoft Boosts Win 8 Apps by Persuading College Students

Microsoft, the world’s largest tech giant, is about to make its big endeavor in its first tablet, Surface and other devices coming up this year. Microsoft will be requiring adequate apps for challenging the 200000 and above apps provided by Apple iPad, to gain a share in the tablet market that might reach $66.4 billion in 2012 as expected by DisplaySearch. With high standards set for the app selection to get through the competition of the rivals, Google and Apple. For fulfilling this, Microsoft has been persuading the college kids to intern as app developers for Windows 8.

An analyst at Directions on Microsoft, Wes Miller said, “Microsoft has struggled to get college kids interested in developing for Windows.” Microsoft’s New England Research and Development Center (NERD) generated sufficient interest among the computer science students for making the placement pilot program permanent. Attracting the undergraduate developers is predominantly vital for employment in U.S., which lags after India and China for its ability to produce skilled engineers.

Presently, Mobile applications are huge and everyone in this market wants to be top-notch. With Windows 8 hardly populated, there lies a huge opportunity for the early developers. David Hilal, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets, spoke in an interview, “Microsoft is definitely playing catch-up with respect to the global app marketplace. They need to get more users for their apps to entice developers, but they need better apps to attract more users.”

Through college recruitment Microsoft can encourage the developers to design apps for phones and tablets, where the tech-giant has little or no share correspondingly. Interns who were the first to build apps for the Windows 8 new user interface are now expected to stir keenness among their peers and draw attention to its potential to those who are about to begin their careers as software developers. Microsoft’s new version of its tablet, Surface that is most analogous to Apple’s iPad won’t run the older apps of Windows, compelling the developers to start from scratch.

Pennsylvania Potentially Legalizing Payday Lending

The world of finance and consumer advocates are split on their opinion of whether or not payday lending is a good thing.  The need for a source of short-term financing is great for many, but at what cost do they fill this need with a payday advance type loan?  In Pennsylvania it is currently not even an option, as payday lending is illegal. (See more here.)  This could be about to change however, but to the chagrin of those consumer groups who maintain they are nothing but a debt trap.  The issue is really about choice.  Shouldn’t those that need the services have the option, and be granted the opportunity to pay back the money on time, thus avoiding the debt trap.  The alternative is often an overdrawn bank account, or worse, theft.


In September the state Senate Banking and Insurance Committee is conducting a hearing in Pennsylvania on the topic as a result of a renewed push to get legislation on the governor’s desk before the year ends.  While it did pass the House of Representatives by a narrow margin in June, no action was taken before the summer vacation.  Opposition points to a recent study by Pew Charitable Trust that seems to verify the “debt trap” theory.  It revealed that most often these loans are not abused for luxury items, but rather necessities such as utilities, rent, and food.  This makes it unlikely that many borrowers will be able to repay the loan before their next paycheck, and thus the slow decent into the death pit begins.


Supporters are not naïve.  They know the dangers and have placed safety nets in the new legislation that are designed to mitigate risk to both the lender and the borrower.  For example, loans will be limited to either $1,000 or 25% of gross monthly income.   While it seems to be a step in the right direction, consumer groups say it still isn’t enough.  The outcome remains to be seen.

iPhone 5 Shipping Date Pushed Back

The tremendous demand for the new iPhone has been quite overwhelming for Apple after it sold nearly two million iPhones in the opening 24 hours. The demand for Apple’s new device has been so awe-inspiring in the last week that it seems like the tech giant is facing difficulty in keeping pace, making it push back the shipping date to 3 to 4 weeks. Apple even closed booking orders for iPhone 5 for some time on Saturday.

With over two million pre-orders logged in the opening 24 hours for iPhone 5, that is almost more than double of iPhone 4 in the previous year, Apple was compelled to give the new shipping dates. Although a bulk of orders are presumed to be completed on 21st September, Apple has rolled back the shipment dates by a couple of weeks.

The magnificent design, larger display and 4G LTE technology is proving to be beneficial for iPhone 5 as a result of the built-up craze for it among the customers. Scott Stein of CNET appreciated the new iPhone’s features by saying, “”The iPhone 5 has them, plus a new processor, plus a new design, plus iOS6, plus a lot more. It’s the best iPhone that’s been made.”

Presently listed estimates on Apple’s United States, Australia and Canada show that iPhone 5 won’t reach your doorway. Right now the Apple Online Store shows that phones procured today might not be delivered for 4 weeks.  However the scenario is somewhat better in UK, Germany and France where the shipment estimates are hanging around for two-three week.

AT&T and Verizon, the websites of the company’s U.S. partner carriers, also indicate stock-outs and delivery dates extending to 2-3 weeks for all the models of iPhone 5. Same applies to Sprint, one of the three big U.S. wireless carriers, although the models of 32GB and 64GB are pushed back to only 1 week. While the shipments are delayed, on Friday iPhone 5 will be released to nine countries.


Windows 8 Flash fixed

The days of Adobe’s Flash, one of the most vital platforms or technology to publish website content in browsers, has gone by. Google who had integrated flash in its very successful mobile software, the Android, has now excluded it in its latest version of the mobile operating system, namely Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. This non-inclusion has been reasoned as security cautions.

Most malware and adware attacks carried out in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer are because of the security threats that are mostly left unattended and unpatched. Microsoft, like Google has attempted to build the Adobe system’s flash right into the nucleus of its latest version of Internet Explorer, the IE10, which is scheduled to be bundled with its latest operating system Windows 8. Earlier Google had done the same for the Google’s Chrome internet browser. The Redmond based software giant, Microsoft, has left a lot of paths and channels open for hackers to carry out malware practices and phishing. The security update to the software can come only through windows’ update because of its core integration into IE10. Though, Adobe did release the patch for correction of the eight vulnerabilities, in august, but those updates never reached windows’ internet explorer users as Microsoft released its patch update via windows update. The RTM tablets and PCs which have already been shipped do not have this update. Hence the software giants’ internet explorer 10 and windows 8 RTM versions will still have the vulnerabilities when they will finally be released to the buyers.

The security threats that loom over the users who use windows’ internet explorer 10, are grave. The risks that pose have to be addressed quickly and updated soon. Microsoft understood this and released a statement saying it would release an update soon but not until October. But only to succumb to pressure, and finally issue a patch to take care of the security problems.

So if you have a windows RTM machine or the internet explorer 10, you should consider getting an update to security issues as soon as possible. (To know more, click here).