Sify Technologies sets up Global Delivery Center at Hyderabad

Sify Technologies sets up Global Delivery Center at Hyderabad

Sify Technologies has announced the setting up a state-of-the-art Global Delivery Center at Hyderabad. This will be the company’s largest delivery center in India.

Sify had recently announced a global partnership with Fujitsu Limited to collaborate on providing ICT solutions. The two companies are collaborating to strengthen their global approaches to developing new customers and markets, and to jointly win multi-regional opportunities, starting with the North America market. When completed, this 200,000 sq.ft. Delivery Center will focus on supporting the partnership through the development of solutions for the Third Platform (also known as “SMAC” Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud Platform).

Commenting on the development, K T Rama Rao, Minster of IT and Panchayat Raj, said, “We are happy to welcome India’s ICT pioneers, Sify Technologies, Global Delivery Center in Hyderabad. We are determined to position Telangana as the preferred destination for IT companies in India and are continuously streamlining measures so that it is easy to do business here.”

Chairman of Sify Technologies, Raju Vegesna added, “This state-of-the-art Global Delivery Center will build solutions for the Third platform and support our applications and system-integration resources globally. Hyderabad, with its best infrastructure, Cosmopolitan culture, abundance of skilled domain knowledge resources, excellent education system and cost effectiveness is critical to our ambitions. The dynamic leadership in Telangana has also been very accommodative of IT entrepreneurial ventures. This Delivery Center will help further our credentials as a Global Managed Services player”.

Jolla announces that it is unable to fulfill all Jolla tablet crowdfunding perks

Jolla announces that it is unable to fulfill all Jolla tablet crowdfunding perks

Jolla has announced that the serious financing challenge in November-December had unfortunately had a bigger impact on the Jolla tablet project, and as the financial situation is improving, the company is actively planning the best way to finalise the project and to find a solution that fits towards both – Jolla tablet contributors as well as future business plans, along with the investors.

According to the Jolla Blogpost, “We don’t have all pieces of the puzzle figured out just yet, but a few things are now certain: we are happy to say that we will be shipping an additional small batch of the Jolla Tablet to early backers during early 2016, targeting to send invitations during January. The bad news here is that we are not able to complete the production to fulfil all contributions. In other words, all of our backers will not get a Jolla Tablet. However, you can be sure you will not end up empty handed. We might even have some positive surprises in stock for you. But more on that will follow, feel free to speculate!”

Last year, Finland’s Jolla, the Nokia break-away operating system company that transformed its erstwhile MeeGo operating system into Sailfish, will also focus on India, but only on the software platform, in an attempt to expand in fast-growing markets. As part of its changed strategy, the Finnish brand will also tie up with local e-commerce and apps to provide regional content on the operating system itself.

How an end to phone discounts will actually help customers

How an end to phone discounts will actually help customers

AT&T will no longer offer discounted phones with two-year contracts starting Jan. 8. Before you rush out to beat the deadline, consider that you might be better off paying full price for the phone.

That’s because phone companies also reduce the monthly bill for voice, text and data services when you buy your own phone or bring a used one. Some may pay a bit more, some a bit less, but the overall bill is roughly the same. What you get in return is more flexibility in which phone you buy and how long you stay with the carrier.

AT&T’s decision comes as no surprise. In the third quarter, only 1 in 5 customers chose a contract plan when they signed up with AT&T or upgraded their phones. T-Mobile broke away from contracts completely nearly three years ago, and Verizon stopped offering contracts to new customers in August. Sprint also has been weighing dropping contracts completely.

Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure told The Associated Press in September that discounted, contract phones – including his company’s – amount to “a gimmick, a trick. You tell people I’m going to give you a free phone, but really the customer pays in a more expensive service plan.”

Indeed, phone discounts mask the true costs of phones and phone services. Here’s an explanation of the changes:

What are my options now?
Most people now buy and pay for phones in monthly installments, though you can also pay the full price upfront. You can also bring a used device, such as one from a friend or family member who has upgraded to a newer model. Sprint and T-Mobile also have leasing options – you pay less each month, but you don’t get to keep or resell the device in the end.

Will i pay more?
Not necessarily so, even though you now have to pay the full price for a phone.

When you got a discounted phone under contract, you were already paying the balance in the form of fees. For instance, the full cost of an iPhone 6s is $650. Although you pay just $200 at the contract rate, the phone company passes along the remaining $450 in higher monthly fees for voice, text and data. Over two years, the $450 comes to $18.75 a month. Put another way, your phone company is subsidizing your phone by $18.75 a month and tacking that on to the phone bill for voice, text and data.

If you forgo the contract, your monthly bill for voice, text and data is typically reduced by $15 or $25 a month. The $25 discount applies for higher data plans – usually ones you share with family members. In such cases, you’re actually better off buying the phone yourself, as you’re getting a $25 bill reduction but giving up only $18.75 in subsidies.

If your discount is only $15, and you’re giving up $18.75 in subsidies, then technically your bill is going up slightly. What you get instead is flexibility.

What do you mean by flexibility?
Because phone companies were subsidizing phones, there was an incentive to get the most expensive model, even if you didn’t need that. These days, there are many mid-range Android phones that do what high-end phones did just a few years ago. If you choose one of those models, you keep the savings. That’s also the case if you get a friend or relative’s old phone. You no longer feel that you’re losing out by not claiming the most expensive phone in a contract renewal.

And if your phone lasts longer than two years, there’s no longer the pressure to upgrade just to claim the phone subsidies. You simply pocket the savings.

More important, you’re no longer tied to two-year contracts.

Does this mean i can switch whenever i like?
Yes and no.

If you buy a phone under an installment plan, you’re still stuck with the phone company until you pay off the phone. That said, rival companies often have promotions to pay off the balance for you. And if you pay the full cost of the phone upfront, you own the phone and can switch whenever you like. Just be aware that certain phones work on limited number of networks, so it’s still not total freedom.

What if rates increase once i pay full price for a phone?
Phone rates can go up at any time, but that historically hasn’t happened because of stiff competition. In fact, phone companies have been offering more data for the same prices, an effective price cut.

And if your phone company does increase the rates, just go to another. Again, rivals typically offer promotions to switch. You can always take your phone number with you as long as you sign up with the new company before cancelling.

Can i still get a subsidized phone?
Sprint still offers contract plans, though they aren’t emphasized and they may disappear any day.Verizon offers contracts only to existing customers who renew. At AT&T, contracts will be offered only under certain business plans.

Samsung Electronics warns of tough 2016 amid fourth-quarter outlook concerns

Samsung Electronics warns of tough 2016 amid fourth-quarter outlook concerns

South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said it expects a difficult business environment in 2016 due to weak global economic conditions and heightened competition in key businesses including memory chips and smartphones.

In a statement, Samsung said Chief Executive Kwon Oh-hyun told employees in a New Year’s address that low global growth will persist this year, with greater uncertainty stemming from issues such as financial risks for emerging countries.

The comments, which didn’t disclose specific forecasts, come amid growing concerns that October-December results for the world’s biggest maker of smartphones and chips may be weaker than previously expected. “Negative impact from weak demand and falling sales prices for semiconductor and liquid crystal display industries was likely bigger than initially anticipated,” brokerage Korea Investment said in a report issued separately on Monday.

Korea Investment lowered its estimate for Samsung’s fourth-quarter operating profit to 6.4 trillion won ($5.41 billion) from 6.8 trillion won previously. The mean estimate of 36 analysts’ forecasts compiled from a survey by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S is for operating profit of 6.8 trillion won, 8.1 percent lower than the 7.4 trillion won booked in the third quarter.

Samsung CEO Kwon also warned of greater competition in the firm’s main businesses, Samsung said in its statement, without offering detailed financial forecasts. It already said in late October that operating profit for the quarter will be lower than July-September earnings, citing seasonally weaker demand for its component businesses.

Apple increases iPhone, iPad prices in Germany over new content levy

Apple increases iPhone, iPad prices in Germany over new content levy

Apple raised the prices for hand-held devices in Germany at the start of the year, following a deal between the tech industry and content producers that will benefit a range of creative professionals including musicians, actors and pornographic filmmakers.

The Cupertino, California-based company confirmed in a statement Sunday to The Associated Press that the price increase affecting iPhones and iPads is linked to the new copyright levy.

Apple Inc., Samsung and others agreed last month to pay about 5-7 euros ($5.50-$7.70) for each smartphone or tablet imported to Germany. A basic version of iPhone 6s now retails for 744.95 euros ($811.03), compared with 739 euros last year.

The agreement matches similar arrangements already in place for other consumer electronics and consumables such as blank CDs. It is based on a 1965 German law that allows consumers to make private copies of sound, images or texts in return for a small surcharge when they buy the device.

Markus Scheufele, a copyright expert at the tech industry lobby group Bitkom, said the deal includes back payments for phones sold after 2008, and tablets sold after 2012.

In the long term, the industry wants to move away from adding a fixed surcharge on devices to subscription services and pay-per-use models, where consumers only pay for what they actually download, he said.

But Juergen Becker, a spokesman for the umbrella organization ZPUe that negotiated the deal on behalf of content producers, said past experience had shown that consumers would always find ways to copy material for free, without paying for it, making the up-front surcharge on devices fairer.

All forms of content are covered by the deal, meaning that proceeds from the new levy will also be shared with a group representing “creators, producers and acting artists of erotic and pornographic films.”

“Since it’s assumed that these are copied too, they get a share,” Becker said.

Expect smarter and friendlier gadgets at the tech show

CES 2016: Expect smarter and friendlier gadgets at the tech show

From drones, cars and robots to jewelry, appliances and TVs, the new technology on display at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show promises to be smarter and friendlier than ever.

The annual tech extravaganza with more than 3,600 exhibitors set to formally start on Wednesday in Las Vegas is likely to see innovation across a range of sectors, from health care to autos, connected homes, virtual reality and gaming.

“There are always a couple of winners at CES, and sometimes there are the sleepers that turn out to be the cool thing,” Gartner analyst Brian Blau told AFP. But Blau said the innovations are “often evolutionary, not revolutionary.”
Televisions will play starring roles at the show as usual, with giants such as Samsung, Sony, LG and Vizio among contenders in a market rapidly shifting to ultra-high definition.

“We are in the sweetest of the sweet spot in the TV market,” NPD analyst Stephen Baker told AFP while discussing CES.

“Sales of 4K TVs are exploding right now,” he said, referring to the popular new high-definition format.

Drones are also expected to make a splash at CES, where an Unmanned Systems Marketplace has doubled in size from a year earlier to cover 25,000 square feet (2,300 square meters).

Blau expects the drones on display at the show to be more sophisticated, with easy controls and even applications that let them be operated using smartphones.
“If you want to make it popular with consumers you have to make it relatively easy to use and foolproof,” he said. “And that is what a lot of drone manufacturers have been doing.”

Apple presence felt
Electronics makers are also using building smart technology into all manner of devices, allowing them to adapt to how people use them, responding to voice or gesture, for example.

“A lot more of your devices are going to run with less direction from you but a greater sense of how to help you out,” Blau said.

The trend of once-dumb devices getting smarter will continue to include light bulbs, remote controls, thermostats and other devices in the home as well as “wearables” such as jewelry or clothing.

“We are going to see a lot of wearables, and more smart clothes than last year,” Blau said.

Apple does not officially attend CES, but smart household products tuned to the technology giant’s HomeKit and controlled by iPhones were expected to be plentiful.

Samsung and Google-owned Nest were also expected to make moves to be at the center of smart homes, where the market is vexed by the lack of a single standard or system for devices to speak with each other.

Spotlight on cars
Cars rolled out at CES may also showcase the potential for digital technologies enhancing consumer goods, according to NPD analyst Baker.

Mark Boyadjis of IHS Automotive referred to cars as a “core pillar” of the show.
Innovation in cars is changing the way people interact with vehicles, as technology handles more and more aspects of driving.

“In the long run, it means maybe delivering cars without steering wheels, or steering wheels that can be moved or put away,” Boyadjis said.

“It means physical buttons may all but be gone, being replaced by display, gesture recognition, speech recognition.”

A record 10 automakers will be showing at CES along with at least 115 automotive tech companies, according to the Consumer Technology Association, which organizes the show.

Virtual reality spreads
CES will also boast a big section devoted to virtual reality, as product makers jump into the trend ahead of the expected releases in 2016 of headsets from Oculus, Sony, and Valve.

It remained to be seen whether new contenders would step up to challenge “the big three” in VR, but CES goers would likely see uses of the technology extended beyond gaming, according to Blau.

CES will, of course, have its share of colorful creations including a Haier moving refrigerator designed to resemble the beloved R2-D2 of blockbuster “Star Wars” film fame.

“As for what sells, we won’t know that until later this year,” Baker said of the sea of offerings set to go on display.
The premier consumer electronics show set a record last year with more than 176,000 people attending.

At this year’s CES, officially open from January 6-9, organizers aim to cap attendance at that level with security ramped up in the wake of last month’s attacks in California.

“While we know of no credible threat against CES, we remain vigilant,” said Gary Shapiro, president of CTA, formerly the Consumer Electronics Association.

Virtual Reality technology could rule in 2016

Virtual Reality technology could rule in 2016

Following years of hype, 2016 looks to be the year that Virtual Reality (VR) actually becomes real as firms like HTC, Sony and Samsung propose to launch equipment this year to make this possible.

The HTC Vive, Sony’s PlayStation VR, Facebook’s Oculus “Rift” and Samsung’s “Rink” headset will be seen in the market in the next few months, BBC reported on Saturday.

Virtual reality is a computer-simulated reality (in a device) that replicates, via photos, an environment that simulates a physical presence in places in the real world or an imagined world, allowing the user to interact in that world.

Virtual reality artificially creates sensory experiences which can include sight, hearing, touch and smell.

For example, with a VR device you can climb Mount Everest making your way gingerly across a shaky bridge while trying not to look down into an icy chasm — all while sitting on a couch in your house.

The devices may be showcased at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that will be held from January 6 to 9 in Las Vegas.

The HTC Vive is seen as the device providing the best VR experience. Its launch, slated for last year, was delayed for some further tweaking.

Sony’s PlayStation VR and Facebook’s Oculus “Rift” headsets can be seen in the markets in the next few months while Samsung has big plans to unveil its “Rink” at the CES.

Apart from gaming, Virtual Reality technology may prove to be a ground-breaking technology in many areas of life, the report said.

Two psychologists from London, Ashley Conway and Vanessa Ruspoli, developed a system that uses Oculus’ Rift headset to treat patients with phobias.

Their company Virtual Exposure Therapy aims to give patients exposure in a virtual world to the thing they fear.

“It is not the real world but a very visceral experience. You get a physiological reaction. It is a really good bridge between not being able to do something and doing it in the real world,” Conway explained.

But we will have to wait a little longer for the launch, price and feedback details of the respective devices.

Netflix most likely to make its India debut at CES 2016

Netflix most likely to make its India debut at CES 2016

Video-streaming service Netflix is all set to enter India, the Hindu Business Line reports. The same is expected to be announced at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show 2016 (CES 2016) that is set to take place in the coming week in Las Vegas. The video-streaming giant who has been making plans to enter the country however refused to share any details as to how it plans to spread out in India.

News about Netflix entering India have been reported since June 2015 but nothing concrete has evolved from the same until now. Seems like the video-streaming giant that is moving to other countries worldwide wants to take advantage of high-speed 4G LTE services that will replace existing 3G connections on mobile devices.

According to an older report from the Times of India, “US-based Netflix, has firmed up plans to enter India by 2016, according to people familiar with the matter. This has sent domestic DTH players into a tizzy with some of the major ones chalking out strategies to diversify beyond television. On the cards are iconic shows including Buniyaad, Nukkad and Malgudi Days on various mobile devices across iOS and Android.”

4G speeds will be able to deliver faster speeds and are a perfect fit thanks to better battery savings on mobile devices. Netflix’s earlier plans involved going global by year end of 2015, so far things have not turned out to be this way. The delay to entering the Indian market was earlier attributed to everything from licensing costs and internet infrastructure to the diversity of genres.

Apple iPhone’s App Store running slow? This simple fix could help you out

Apple iPhone’s App Store running slow? This simple fix could help you out

While Apple has been innovating rigorously in the past year in terms of software, it indeed seems to be ignoring issues like stability and performance and this even applies to its recent line up of devices. Users are also facing problems with Apple’s App Store in terms of browsing speeds and downloads, and this is where a quick fix that we came across onAppAdvice could help.

The author claims that opening the App Store on your iPad or iPhone and tapping any of the bottom icons (Featured, Top Charts, Explore, Search, Updates) ten times will clear the App Store’s cache that will speed up your browsing experience.

Apple App Store Quick Fix 1

Tapping any of the icons on the bottom row 10 times will clear the cash and this is indicated when the top bit of the Store goes blank as you can see from the screenshot below.

Apple App Store Quick Fix 2

We tried the trick out for our selves and we did notice a slight speed bump in terms of the browsing speeds. But don’t take our word for it, try it out yourselves and let us know if you noticed any improvements in the comments below.

In an update, the author also pointed out that the quick-fix works with the iTunes Store and the Watch App Store as well.

Facebook Safety Check feature now active for Manipur quake

Facebook Safety Check feature now active for Manipur quake

With a powerful earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter Scale rocking India’s northeastern region early Monday, Facebook has activated its safety check tool to help people in the area let friends and family know they are safe.

“A major earthquake just struck northeastern India and we’ve activated Safety Check to help people in the area let friends and family know they’re safe,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote.

Facebook Safety Check Manipur

“Tremors were also felt in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal. If you appear to be nearby, we will send you a notification to access Safety Check so you can share that you are safe and see that people you care about are safe as well,” Zuckerberg posted on Facebook.

The quake occurred at 4.35 a.m. and had its epicentre in Manipur’s Tamenglong district. Initial reports indicate that one young girl was killed and 30 were injured.

“My thoughts are with everyone in the affected areas. May you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy,” Zuckerberg said.