Microsoft has changed its mind after all. After announcing a few months ago that Windows 10 will be free even for software pirates, it has taken back that announcement and has instead said that they will no longer be eligible for the free upgrade. According to a report in Tech Times, Terry Myerson, who is chief of Microsofts's operating system unit, said in a blog post that the free upgrade to Windows 10 will no longer be available for devices who are running on non-genuine or pirated versions of Windows 8.1 despite earlier plans of the company to "re-engage" millions of users who make use of pirated versions of the OS, most with which are said to be found in China. "While our free offer to upgrade to Windows 10 will not apply to Non-Genuine Windows devices, and as we've always done, we will continue to offer Windows 10 to customers running devices in a Non-Genuine state," he said in a blog post. Based on this recent pronouncement, the company is possibly planning on continuing their regular notifications to those non-genuine users in the form of what is called "nagware." Non-genuine users will also see a watermark that says that their devices are running on a pirated copy. Myerson continued by saying that these unofficial copies have a "high risk of malware, fraud, public exposure of your personal information and a higher risk for poor performance or feature malfunctions." While this is being done, Microsoft also intends to engage non-genuine Windows users in a more positive way, by offering bundled promos that will be attractive enough for them to invest and switch to genuine software. These promos will be done through partnerships with device manufacturers. The Tech Times report noted that not all non-genuine users are guilty of piracy as some of them may have been victimized by unscrupulous resellers who pass off non-genuine software on the devices they sell. "Microsoft and our OEM partners know that many consumers are unwitting victims of piracy, and with Windows 10, we would like all of our customers to move forward with us together," Myerson added.
Smartphones are flooding the market with more features added in each and every new edition. It has become affordable to the common man to own and use a smartphone, which supports almost all the feature of a high-end smartphone. The competition between the brands have helped to bring down the cost and add more features. The cut-throat competition is a boon to the customers. Let us have a comparison of the latest addition in the budget range, Yu Yuphoria vs Xiaomi Redmi 2 vs Motorola Moto E vs Lenovo A6000. It is upto you to decide which one you should buy. The upbeat smartphone market has made the customer the king. Choose a smartphone, which satisfies your requirement. We have given a comparison of the latest in the market. We do not want to recommend a particular brand for you, instead we would like you to know the features available in each model and decide for yourself.
First there was Raspberry Pi, likely the cheapest and yes, not very powerful, micro computer. Now there is the C.H.I.P. and the Linux micro PC may very well push Raspberry Pi way back on the shelves and grab big attention from coders, developers and geeks seeking a pretty cost-effective computing block for under $10.That's about one quarter of what Raspberry Pi costs and it's boasting a bit more than what Raspberry Pi offers in terms of RAM and power. Heck it's got more ports than the MacBook. Two ports to be exact for VGA and HDMI monitors.The mini computer, which its creator, the Next Thing Company, is hoping to get off the ground through a crowd sourcing effort at Kickstarter, lets users play video games, do some word processing and yes, even check email. It features a 1GHz processor, built-in Wi Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, a micro-USB and a regular USB and even an audio jack along with 4GB of flash storage."Out of the box, C.H.I.P. can connect over composite video, so you can use an old TV or a tiny screen you have," states Dave Rauchwerk, a Next Thing founder, in a video presentation.Its creators describe C.H.I.P. as a "computer for students, teachers, grandparents, children, artists, makers, hackers, and inventors. Everyone really."It even comes pre-loaded with Scratch, an entry-level programming language for budding developers to get their hands wet with animation, games and creating gaming stories.Kickstarter donors who choose to support C.H.I.P. development, with a $49 pledge, get a QWERTY keyboard and housing for the mini PC that boasts a 4.3-inch touchscreen to boot. Next Thing initially aimed to raise $50,000 for the initial production cycle through the fundraising effort that will end come June 6. It's surpassed that goal big time given that 7,532 supporters who have pledged $359,088 as of Saturday.Is this a perfect stocking stuffer for that budding programmer or what? It's like a new Gameboy device for the teenager who loves all things geek. The company states, C.H.I.P. can run thousands of free applications from the open source community. - Manohar
India Yamaha Motor today launched the Yamaha Fascino scooter. Sporting a “rich and class modern retro” design, the scooter is targeted at the Indian youth, which Yamaha says makes up over 50 percent of the population. Fascino stands for fashion and the company claims it has comfortable seats, a large footboard and the engine are equipped with Yamaha’s Blue Core technology to help achieve a mileage of 66 km/l, under ideal test conditions. This is the highest claimed mileage on a scooter in India. Yamaha Fascino is priced at Rs. 52,500/- (ex-showroom, Delhi) and comes in 5 colours – red, cobalt, white, cyan and black. Weighing 103 kg, Yamaha India’s lightest scooter is powered by a 113 cc air-cooled 4-stroke, SOHC 2-valve engine that develops 7.1 PS @ 7,500 RPM and 8.1 NM @ 5,000 RPM, paired to a CVT. The ‘Blue Core’ engine is fed by a carburettor, and according to Yamaha’s standard test conditions, it delivers a mileage of 66 km/l. The scooter comes with drum brakes that retard the 90/100-10 53J tires. It measures 1,185 mm long, 675 mm wide, 1,120 mm tall and has a wheelbase of 1,270 mm. The fuel tank capacity is rated at 5.2 liters. Yanaha continues to launch new scooters with the same engine as its first scooter, the Ray. Meanwhile, the attractive pricing of the Yamaha Fascino is sure to be a threat to Piaggio who manages to sell around 2000 units of the Vespa every month. By Premji
Both Planes and choppers have their own pros and cons. To get the best benefits of both, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) is now developing a hybrid of both. Below are the technical specs of it: Greased Lightning, or GL-10, is currently only a prototype but could eventually be used to carry up to four passengers, for package delivery, surveillance or mapping. Dubbed Greased Lightning—or GL-10—the prototype was developed by a research team at NASA’s Langley Research Center, initially as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). “We have a couple of options that this concept could be good for,” said Bill Fredericks, aerospace engineer. “It could be used for small package delivery or vertical takeoff and landing, long endurance surveillance for agriculture, mapping and other applications.” “Each prototype helped us answer technical questions while keeping costs down,” said aerospace engineer David North. “We did lose some of the early prototypes to ‘hard landings’ as we learned how to configure the flight control system.NASA researchers took a rather unique prototype aircraft for a spin last week: Greased Lightning, a 10-engine electric plane with rotating wings that allow it to take off and land like a helicopter. Planes are fast and can carry a lot of stuff a long way, while helicopters are slow but they don’t need enormous runways and they’re extremely maneuverable. It capabilities were recently shown off during tests over Virginia during which the wings and rotors were shown shifting and rotating into place to switch between modes. The GL-10 has four engines on each wing and one on each tip of its rear stabilizer — that’s much different from the large, tilting rotors of the V-22 Osprey or the rotating jets on a Harrier. Aerospace engineer Bill Fredericks said: ‘During the flight tests we successfully transitioned from hover to wing-borne flight like a conventional airplane then back to hover again. The GL-10 Greased Lightning is a ten-engine, battery-powered prototype with a ten-foot wingspan that can change its shape midair to fly either horizontally or vertically. So far we have done this on five flights.’ The original plan was to develop a drone with a 20ft (six metre) wingspan powered by diesel and electric engines, but the team have tested a smaller remote-controlled version with a 10ft (three metre) wingspan. This month, NASA announced it recently took off vertically and, for the first time, successfully rotated its wings to transition from “helicopter” mode to standard “wingborne” flight. Nasa has built 12 prototypes, in total, from a simple five-pound (2kg) foam model up to a 55 lb (25 kg), high quality, carbon fiber GL-10 built in the model shop by expert technicians. It’s a tiltrotor design: The engines rotate to propel the aircraft either up and down (like a helicopter), or forward (like a propeller-driven plane). The latest test flight showed the GL-10 successfully transitioning between hover mode, with the wings vertical, to flight mode, in which they face forward like ordinary aircraft. The team will be showing off Greased Lightning at the Association for Unmanned Vehicles Systems International 2015 conference in Atlanta later this week. The team believes the concept is four times more aerodynamically efficient in cruise mode than a helicopter, thanks to its wings and forward-facing props.
Top car makers Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Honda have begun the new fiscal on a high note by posting robust sales in April, riding mainly on new models. Maruti Suzuki India announced that its domestic sales increased by 27.3 percent during the month of April 2015 to 1,00,709 units as against 79,119 units in April 2014. Sales of mini segment cars, including, Alto and WagonR, has raised to 35.9 per cent to 35,403 units compared with 26,043 units in the corresponding period last year, while the compact segment sales comprising Swift, Estilo, Ritz, Dzire rose by 8.7 per cent to 42,297 units in April this year as compared to the same period of the previous fiscal. Rival Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) sold 38,601 units last month as compared with 35,248 units in April 2014, up 9.5 per cent. HMIL Senior Vice-President (Sales and Marketing) Rakesh Srivastava said the growth during the month was achieved "on the strength of strong and young product portfolio led by 12,425 units of Elite i20 and i20 Active in a challenging market conditions especially in the rural market." Utility vehicle major Mahindra & Mahindra saw its domestic sales rise by 1 per cent to 34,467 units last month as against 34,107 units in April last year. "The auto industry is hopeful of a better financial year as we see positive sentiments on the back of various policy and project announcements leading to higher levels of economic activity," M&M Chief Executive (Automotive Division) Pravin Shah said. General Motors India reported 31.87 per cent decline in sales at 3,612 units in April 2015 as against 5,302 units in the same month last year. General Motors India Vice President P Balendran said, "The overall customer sentiment has not picked up as expected and the rural markets are also facing challenging times. The fuel price hike from last night is also expected to impact demand going forward." "The company expects interest rates to be reduced in phases and some of the reform-oriented announcements made by the government to be implemented in a timely manner to aid economic recovery," he added. By Premji
Free messaging and calling app Viber today announced that it has than 40 million registered users in India. Viber is in direct competition to VOIP services like Skype that offers high-quality audio calls to users globally. Viber commenced its operations in India in December 2013 with13 million users. Viber has over 516 million unique users in 193 countries. Viber has added multiple features considering the requirements of the Indian users. One of the key releases last year was Viber Public Chats, a feature that allows users to discover, share and interact with conversations, communities and content on mobile. “This is a significant achievement for Viber and its users in India. Within a very short time span we have trebled our reach in India. Today, we are a strong community of 40 million users, our growth bears testimony to the fact that we are committed to our users in India and are consistently innovating to offer a variety of messaging and entertainment features. ” said, Anubhav Nayyar, Country Head, Viber India. Key part of Viber’s feature offerings is stickers that users can utilize to visually convey emotions during text chats. The app also includes the ability to send text messages, photos, videos and doodles and make outbound calls to cellular phones and land lines across the globe. Viber is available across virtually every mobile and desktop platform including iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Windows, Mac, Linux and Symbian devices. The Viber’s ability to attract 40 million users is a great achievement for Viber India. This is because of the user friendly approach of the Viber by providing the features as required by the Indian customers. By Premji
Researchers at Oregon State University have invented a new technology which can boost the bandwidth of WiFi systems by 10 times, using LED lights to transmit information. The technology can be integrated with existing WiFi systems to reduce bandwidth problems in crowded locations, such as airports or coffee shops and in homes with multiple WiFi devices. The invention will pave way for higher data accessibility and adds more number of users. This will also help to boost the technologies which are dependent on WiFi. Recent advances in LED technology has made it possible to modulate the LED light more rapidly, opening the possibility of using light for wireless transmission in a "free space" optical communication system. "In addition to improving the experience for users, the two big advantages of this system are that it uses inexpensive components, and it integrates with existing WiFi systems," said Thinh Nguyen, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. "I believe the WiFO system could be easily transformed into a marketable product, and we are currently looking for a company that is interested in further developing and licensing the technology," Nguyen said. The prototype, called WiFO, uses LEDs that are beyond the visual spectrum for humans and creates an invisible cone of light about one meter square in which the data can be received. For addressing the issue of a small area of usability, the researchers created a hybrid system that can switch between several LED transmitters installed on a ceiling, and the existing WiFi system. The system can potentially send data at up to 100 megabits per second. Some current WiFi systems have similar bandwidth, but it has to be divided by the number of devices connected, so each user might be receiving just 5 to 10 megabits per second, the hybrid system could deliver 50-100 megabits to each user, researchers said.The research team has already secured a provisional patent for WiFO and is now looking for sponsorships and partners for manufacturing WiFO commercially. Nguyen said that the WiFO can easily be made in as low as a dollar and is adaptable to USB standards. By Premji
Twitter began implementing a new policy aimed at curbing use of the social network to incite violence and to crack down on abuse and harassment on the service. The new rules are the latest, implemented by social media networks aiming to stem violence and harassment while attempting to safeguard freedom of online speech. “We need to ensure that voices are not silenced because people are afraid to speak up,” said Twitter’s head of product management Shreyas Doshi in a blog post. “To that end, we are today announcing our latest product and policy updates that will help us in continuing to develop a platform on which users can safely engage with the world at large.” Doshi noted that Twitter had updated its policy on violent threats “so that the prohibition is not limited to ‘direct, specific threats of violence against others’ but now extends to ‘threats of violence against others or promoting violence against others.” He said the previous policy “was unduly narrow and limited our ability to act on certain kinds of threatening behavior.” New policy allows the social network to “lock” abusive accounts for specific periods of time, which could help crack down on so-called cyber-bullying and spam. “This option gives us leverage in a variety of contexts, particularly where multiple users begin harassing a particular person or group of people,” Doshi said. He added that Twitter would be testing “a product feature to help us identify suspected abusive Tweets and limit their reach.” The new tool will help Twitter to identify abusive activity by looking at “a wide range of signals and context, that frequently correlates with abuse including the age of the account itself and the similarity of a tweet to other content that our safety team has in the past independently determined to be abusive,” said Doshi. By Premji
Indian railways have launched a mobile app for paperless ticketing for unreserved category. Commuters of Indian railways can now use a mobile phone App to get tickets in the unreserved category as the Indian railways takes forward its initiative for paperless ticketing from today. "We are launching a mobile-based paperless unreserved ticketing application today," said a senior Railway Ministry official. When the ticket is bought using the App, a commuter need not take a print-out of the same and can show its soft copy on the cellphone to the ticket checker on the train. The paperless ticketing system would also save time for passengers as it allows them to avoid lining up at the ticket window. You can download the App from the Google App store for Android-based mobile phones. After the download, the user will get a registration ID number for creation of a railway e-wallet. Money for buying tickets will have to be loaded through the e-wallet mobile payment system either online or at a ticket counter at any station. Passengers have the option of topping up the e-wallet at ticket counters or on the Indian Railways (IRCTC) website using a credit or debit card. You can even renew season tickets using the App. Mobile app will be a great help for commuters in the unreserved ticketing segment and also for season ticket holders. App-based ticketing system was experimented in the Mumbai suburban sector on a pilot basis and found very successful. The App will be available for cellphones running on the Android operating systems. By Premji
Google is planning to send helium balloons around the world and deliver Internet to users in remote areas. The project is named ‘Project Loon’ and was started in June 2013 by the top secret Google Division X and now is going for beta phase. Google will be conducting Project Loon trials in Australia, New Zealand and Latin America. Mike Cassidy from Google says that Google will be using its own manufacturing facility and automated systems to deliver a balloon in hours instead of days. He stated that the company is ready to launch thousands of balloons in the skies. Google has already tied up with leading service provides like Telstra in Australia, Telefonica in Latin America and Vodafone in New Zealand for end point connectivity. Cassidy stated that their testing of Project Loon revealed that the helium balloons can stay afloat for six months. Google can keep a real time track of the balloons and retrieve them once they have outlived their life or run out of helium. Cassidy said that Google has developed allied software systems and hardware for the same. Google has said that the helium powered balloons can be used in disaster regions like earthquake or tsunami affected areas, where on-ground communication has been destroyed, can provide much necessary real time information about the situation on ground.