Tag Archives: Tech news

Samsung signs Banky W and Sasha

SEWA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co. Mobile Division announced that it has signed on singers – Banky W and Sasha – as its brand ambassadors.

The recent development is in synchronization with the electronics giant’s continuous brand positioning exercise “aimed at maintaining its leadership position in the country.”

R&B crooner, Banky W, while giving his remark, said “Samsung Mobile represents the hope for a better tomorrow, given its commitment to providing quality products and services as well as the development of youths in Nigeria. I’m indeed very proud to be associated with them.”

For the original story, click here

Angry Birds now on Google Chrome

One can download Google Chrome and install the first batch of Angry Birds levels then (or just visit chrome.angrybirds.com, which works in most browsers), because Google and Rovio are giving their new browser-based version away free.

They’ve also added a few “Chrome-inspired” levels (these work in any browser, too). I can’t tell you what they look like, because you have to beat the first batch (“Poached Eggs”) to unlock them, and…well…okay, confession: I still haven’t beat “Poached Eggs” on my iPhone. No do-overs until I have the full complement of 189 of 189 gold stars, secured without the aid of the Mighty Eagle, mind you.

More details on this story here

Microsoft acquires Skype

Microsoft has acquired Skype for $8.5 billion. The aftershocks of this deal would be felt on three subsets of the tech world — mobile, social networking, SMB services — other than improving real-time communication over various platforms. Microsoft is expected to bring in deeper Skype integration into Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live, Hotmail and Messenger, as mentioned in the press release.

More details on the acquisition and its effects here

+1 Button from Google

Nearly a year after Facebook’s Like Button, Google has announced its own rival , the +1 Button. It was launched yesterday (Mar 30 2011) as part of Google’s search engine allowing you to +1 (pronounced Plus One) and will soon be arriving at websites near us.

Want to know how it works? Watch this cool +1 video from Google


T3 Gadget Awards 2010

The results are out and the Apple iPad has won the Gadget of the year award..

Spotify won the same award last year

2010 Winners:

Innovation of the Year: Apple iPad

App of the Year: Google Maps Navigation

Commuter Gadget of the year: iPhone 4

Phone of theYear: HTC Desire

Camera of the Year: Panasonic Lumix GF1

Computer of the Year: Apple Macbook Pro

For the complete list and details check the official site: T3 Gadget Awards 2010

Dell Streak Launched in India

Dell Streak will be available for pre-booking at all Dell Exclusive stores, Tata DOCOMO ‘Dive In’ centers and authorized retailers. Dell Streak customers will also be entitled to a data plan through Tata DOCOMO that will allow up to 500MB of data usage free every month for a period of six months on Tata DOCOMO Postpay connections. With Tata DOCOMO likely to be one of the first private operators to bring 3G connectivity in India, Streak users can look forward to the best “on-the-go” entertainment, social connection, and navigation experience.’ says the Official Dell Blog.

You can get all the Technical Details of the Dell Streak here

Personally I am disappointed by the price. Rs 35000 for a Locked phone is way too high. This is possibly the most expensive Android based Tech gadget. Whats more disappointing is the fact that it is not available without contract.

Running on Android 1.6 (Upgrade support to Froyo soon), it supports flash , has a 5 MP camera and has a 5 inch long screen.

Although feature packed, the price tag might hinder its entry to mass-market considering the large number of  ‘cheaper’ Android phones available today in India.

Wishing Dell the best.

New HP CEO – Léo Apotheker

The appointment of former German software executive Leo Apotheker as Hewlett-Packard’s next chief executive sends an unmistakable signal that the board of the world’s largest technology company is prepared to gamble big on an aggressive push into the software business.

Leo takes over after Mark Hurd resigned after a Sexual Harassment charge

Former SAP chief Apotheker called software the “glue” that will hold together the different parts of the company.

Apotheker has no experience with consumer products, which make up a sizable portion of HP’s business. He also faces the challenge of holding together a group of managers at HP, some of whom were passed over for the CEO job.

HP recently won a bidding war against Dell for storage company 3Par.

Skype 7th Birthday – Talk free for a month

Click on the image for more details on the offer

RIM Playbook – the Blackpad

Previously popular as the Blackpad, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion unveiled a touchscreen tablet computer on Monday called “PlayBook” aimed at business users.
“It is the world’s first professional tablet,” RIM president and co-chief executive Mike Lazaridis said as he showed off the device at an RIM event in San Francisco.
The PlayBook is one of a number of tablet computers slated for release in a bid to challenge Apple’s popular iPad and is the first foray outside the mobile phone realm for the Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM.
The PlayBook has a seven-inch (17.8-centimeter) touchscreen, smaller than the 9.7 inches of Apple’s iPad, and also plays Adobe Flash video software, which is banned from the Apple device.
“You are going to be able to get the full Web experience,” Lazaridis said, stressing its integration with RIM’s BlackBerry smartphone, a favorite among many professionals.
BlackBerry smartphone users can pair their handset with the PlayBook using a Bluetooth connection to view their email, calendar, documents or other content.
The PlayBook also features front- and rear-facing cameras to support video conferencing and allows multi-tasking between programs.

More details on the Playbook here

Google's 12th Birthday

Google celebrated its 12th Birthday on 27th September 2010.


Looking back at Google’s major milestones over the years

Courtesy: PC World’s article on Google’s 12th anniversary

1998 — Google named Top Search Engine
If you didn’t know, Google’s birthday — Sept 27 — is actually the day when Google was incorporated as a company back in 1998. The domain Google.com was registered on Sept 15, 1997, when Google decided to shed its uncanny name – BackRub. And within no time, in December, Google.com topped PC Magazine’s list of top search engines on the Internet.

1999 — Google changes its logo
Apart from opening its first Palo Alto office and shifting to new Mountain View offices, Google dropped the exclamation mark from its logo. It also added a permanent link to search U.S. government documents on its Google homepage.

2000 — Google supports 10 languages
Not just satisfied to serve English-speaking netizens, Google.com expanded its scope and added support for 10 additional languages: French, German, Italian, Swedish, Finnish, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Norwegian and Danish.

2001 — Google Image Search, Eric Schmidt on board
Apart from Eric Schmidt joining Google’s Board as Chairman on March 26, 2001, Google also began its acquisition binge by acquiring Deja.com’s Usenet Discussion Service. Google later added search and browse features and relaunch it as Google Groups. Google Image Search also began its online journey in 2001.

2002 — AOL Partnership, Google Labs for public
A major break for Google came in the form of a partnership with AOL to offer Google search and sponsored links to 34 million customers using Netscape and AOL.com. This was also the year when Google launched Google Labs for people to try out Google’s beta technologies.

2003 — Blogger.com, AdSense launched

This was the year when Google acquired Blogger.com and launched AdSense which allowed websites to access Google’s vast network of advertisers — earn a share of its revenue.

2004 — Gmail, Orkut are born
This was an important year for Google, as it started looking beyond its search engine roots. It launched Gmail on April 1, 2004 — no April Fools joke — and its own social networking website, Orkut — currently India’s No. 2 social networking website. Engineering offices also opened in India for the very first time, in Bangalore and Hyderabad.

2005 — Google Maps, Earth, Talk, and more…
A busy year for Google as it launched Google Maps and Google Earth for navigation. This was also the year when Google Talk, a free downloadable IM chat client was released. Google also released Google Reader for feed addicts amongst us.

2006 — Google buys YouTube, releases Picasa Web Albums, Docs
Google entered China with Google.cn domain, providing localized search results — not knowing it would threaten to move out of China in the coming years. 2006 also saw the birth of Google’s Picasa Web Albums initiative which allowed users to upload and host their photos and images online. Google Apps for domain and Google Docs was also flagged off this year.

YouTube — the online video sensation — was acquired by Google for $1.65 billion.

2007 — Gmail for everyone, AdSense for Mobile
This was the year Gmail was finally made available for everyone by Google — until then Gmail was only an invitation-based email service. You needed an invite to join. Google also announced AdSense support for mobile platforms. Google also acquired Postini, a crucial stepping stone for greater security for cloud-based services. Presentation also came to Google Docs.

2008 — DoubleClick acquired, Google Sites launched
Google further strengthened its stronghold on online advertising by acquiring DoubleClick to serve context-sensitive ads more precisely and also greatly empower publishers. Google also launched Sites, an initiative to better collaborate and serve videos, documents, and calendars online. Google Chrome Web browser was also publicly released in December, 2008.

2009 — New Google Favicon, Latitude service

Google launched a brand new favicon this year — not a big deal but still an exercise to rebrand the company. Google Picasa was also launched for Macs at Macworld 2009. Google Latitude — a new Maps feature — also saw the day of light in 2009.

2010 — Instant Search, Caffeine Web-indexing
In August, Google released a new Web indexing technique called Caffeine. And soon after it was finished revamping the way it indexed the Web, Google unveiled Instant Search — possibly the biggest refresh to its end-user interface Web page.

So, today on it’s 12th birthday, Google has become an indispensable part of our online lives and looks ready to enter its teenage. Let’s all hope Google gets past its puberty years relatively unscathed, and all for the better. For more in-depth information on Google’s timeline since its inception, visit Google 10th birthday.

AOL to acquire TechCrunch Network of Sites

In confirmed news, our loved (now beloved?) Technology blog- TechCrunch is to be acquired by AOL to help them expand their offerings.

Mike Arrington takes us through the process of the discussion and takeover while Tim Armstrong celebrates!

Segway Owner dies in Segway accident

James W. Heselden, a British businessman who invented and sold fortification containers for flood control and military protection and who owned the company that makes Segwayelectric scooters, died Sunday after plunging from a cliff in West Yorkshire, the police said, apparently while touring his property on a Segway. He was 62.

Mr. Heselden was born in Leeds, in modest circumstances, and left school at 15. He worked as a coal miner, lost his job after the 1984 miners’ strike, and used his severance pay to start Hesco Bastion, which manufactures the Hesco barriers he invented in 1990.

His body was found late Sunday morning after a passer-by reported seeing a man plummet 30 feet into the River Wharfe, the police said, adding that a “Segway-style vehicle” had also been found. They did not say what had caused the accident.

More details: Segway Owner dies

AMD says Goodbye to ATI brand

Advanced Micro Devices last week  said it will remove the ATI name from its products by the end of the year, killing a brand name synonymous with graphics enthusiasts for 25 years.
AMD offers a range of graphics products under the ATI brand, including the Radeon, FirePro and Eyefinity offerings. The chip designer will instead attach the name AMD to those products by the end of the year, said Drew Erskine, an AMD spokesman.
The change in brand name won’t affect the company’s graphics product offerings or plans, Erskine said.
ATI was originally established in 1985 as a graphics company and was acquired by AMD in 2007 for US$5.4 billion. At the time of the acquisition, ATI was the one of the largest graphics chip providers for consumer electronics, set-top boxes and gaming consoles. AMD said at the time it would continue to offer ATI products, and it also announced a next-generation processor design called Fusion, which would combine high-performance graphics and CPU processing on a single piece of silicon.
BusinessWeek reports AMD parting with ATI brand

Google buys Like.com

Like.com, which began life as Riya.com,  a visual search company has finally been acquired by Google. As Riya.com, the company  focused on facial recognition, leverages computer vision and machine learning technology to allow users to search for goods by visual similarity.

While Google’s primary interest in the company is likely to involve using its technology to add value to its core search products, Google also stands to gain through the enhancement of related image recognition services like Google Goggles.

Like.com CEO Munjal Shah confirmed that his company has agreed to be acquired in a post on Like.com’s Web site .

This acquisition is Google’s third in the recent past , after it acquired social currency site Jambool and social entertainment site Slide.com earlier in August.

How many more to go, is the question most analysts are asking. To follow the news stay tuned!

Google buys Metaweb – improves semantic search

Google said it has purchased Metaweb, whose Freebase open-source database catalogs 12 million movies, books, TV shows, celebrities, locations and companies, among other data sets.
Freebase maps the relationship of real-world entities, or people, places and objects, to deliver relevant answers. Metaweb provides widgets and custom integrations of this semantic search technology for content providers.
Metaweb, according to this demo, uses existing relational context to suss out users’ intend in their searches where several different words may be used to query against one entity.
Google intends to use Freebase to help quickly bring Web searchers accurate answers to questions that are tough for a computer to answer.
Specifically, Google will use the Freebase assets to improve existing search tools such as rich snippets and searches for factual answers.
Google Director of Product Management Jack Menzel explained in a blog postthat while users can currently find answers such as President Barack Obama’s birthday or specific events happening in a city, there are additional layers of search and fact finding Google’s existing technology could not serve.
“We can offer this kind of experience because we understand facts about real people and real events out in the world. But what about [colleges on the west coast with tuition under $30,000] or [actors over 40 who have won at least one Oscar]? These are hard questions, and we’ve acquired Metaweb because we believe working together we’ll be able to provide better answers.”
The buy also comes nearly two years after Microsoft acquired Powerset to help its Bing search engine bridge the semantic Web.
Powerset provided search results from a multitude of articles from Wikipedia and, ironically enough, the Freebase database Google now owns.
In that vein, it is fair to question whether Google will tinker with Microsoft Bing’s existing use of Freebase. Menzel said Google and Metaweb plan to maintain Freebase as a free and open database and want other Web companies to use and contribute to the data.
“We believe that by improving Freebase, it will be a tremendous resource to make the Web richer for everyone,” Menzel explained. “And to the extent the Web becomes a better place, this is good for webmasters and good for users.”
Translation: Neither Bing nor anyone else threatens our search empire.
However, Freebase said in a blog post it is not taking on new content partners as it seeks to help Google “link content with entities.”
The buy comes two weeks after Google moved to purchase ITA Software for $700 million, a deal that is soon to face scrutiny from federal regulators.

Google said it has purchasedMetaweb, whose Freebase open-source database catalogs 12 million movies, books, TV shows, celebrities, locations and companies, among other data sets.
Freebase maps the relationship of real-world entities, or people, places and objects, to deliver relevant answers. Metaweb provides widgets and custom integrations of this semantic search technology for content providers.
Metaweb, according to this demo, uses existing relational context to suss out users’ intend in their searches where several different words may be used to query against one entity.
Google intends to use Freebase to help quickly bring Web searchers accurate answers to questions that are tough for a computer to answer.
Specifically, Google will use the Freebase assets to improve existing search tools such as rich snippets and searches for factual answers.
Google Director of Product Management Jack Menzel explained in a blog postthat while users can currently find answers such as President Barack Obama’s birthday or specific events happening in a city, there are additional layers of search and fact finding Google’s existing technology could not serve.
“We can offer this kind of experience because we understand facts about real people and real events out in the world. But what about [colleges on the west coast with tuition under $30,000] or [actors over 40 who have won at least one Oscar]? These are hard questions, and we’ve acquired Metaweb because we believe working together we’ll be able to provide better answers.”
The buy also comes nearly two years after Microsoft acquired Powerset to help its Bing search engine bridge the semantic Web.
Powerset provided search results from a multitude of articles from Wikipedia and, ironically enough, the Freebase database Google now owns.
In that vein, it is fair to question whether Google will tinker with Microsoft Bing’s existing use of Freebase. Menzel said Google and Metaweb plan to maintain Freebase as a free and open database and want other Web companies to use and contribute to the data.
“We believe that by improving Freebase, it will be a tremendous resource to make the Web richer for everyone,” Menzel explained. “And to the extent the Web becomes a better place, this is good for webmasters and good for users.”
Translation: Neither Bing nor anyone else threatens our search empire.
However, Freebase said in a blog post it is not taking on new content partners as it seeks to help Google “link content with entities.”
The buy comes two weeks after Google moved to purchase ITA Software for $700 million, a deal that is soon to face scrutiny from federal regulators.

Source: eWeek