Category: Technology

Want to make free calls

Want to make free calls? Try this service

For those who do not mind the annoyance of advertisements right in the middle of a conversation, a team of engineers in Bangalore has a free voice calling service for any part of the world. Termed FreeKall, it brings voice-over-internet-like services to those without internet access.
Want to make free calls
Want to make free calls
The idea, which was thought up in the dorm of M S Ramaiah Institute of Technology in Bangalore, was launched as a service last Saturday. Still in beta, or testing phase, nearly four lakh FreeKalls have been made so far.
“The response has been phenomenal. Our servers crashed about seven times and we had to bring it back up,” said Yashas Shekar, a 23-year-old who cofounded the company with college-mates Vijayakumar Umaluti and Sandesh Eshwarappa. “On the flip side Sandesh, and Vijayakumar have not slept since Saturday,” chuckled Shekar, a former Godrej Interio employee who shut his first venture, a web development firm, to concentrate on this startup. Read More News>>
New Google Maps now available for all

New Google Maps now available for all

Google makes the new Maps a default interface, offers improved keyword search, new imagery of all places and better directions for all transit modes.

Google has rolled out the latest version of Maps for all users worldwide after working in pre-view mode for nearly a year. The new interface is more streamlined and offers smart route navigation, better integration of search results as well as easier access to picture galleries. search giant has included several new features including search results embedded right into the maps. The results will include the business name, along with its rating, reviews, price guide and much more.

The navigation system will now include real-time traffic reports and previews of the destination using Street View graphics. Different routes for car, bike, public transportation, or pedestrians are all shown, with complete time estimates, on the same screen.

Street View has also been expanded to include more user-submitted photos, giving you access to places where Street View cameras have not reached yet. In the Street View mode, a user willl now see a “carousel” of images at the bottom of the screen that can be searched through. The new Google Maps interface will be rolled out for everyone over the next few weeks. Read More News>>

Apple iOS 7.1 close to final release

Many people didn’t understand how Apple could take so long with iOS 7.1, though we have been able to detail the company’s progress every step of the way. We have learned that Apple will most likely not release another iOS 7.1 beta for download, meaning that the public release of the software should be available sometime in the coming weeks. One of our sources pegs the release happening in early March, though that does seem far away for us. We expect a gold master build to be available before iOS 7.1 makes it way into general customers’ hands, though there is currently no hard date for that.

Apple dramatically overhauled iOS in iOS 7 and with 7.1 a lot of problems like slowness, app crashes and even phone restarts are fixed. Additionally, the operating system feels much more cohesive and thought out, with Apple bringing in some of the flatness in areas, and continuing it through in others. Apple has released five beta versions of iOS 7.1 so far.

Our sources have also started to talk about iOS 8 and what the software will bring to the Apple ecosystem, though that will have to wait for next time.

Bharti Airtel set to acquire Loop Mobile in a Rs 700-crore deal

Bharti Airtel set to acquire Loop Mobile in a Rs 700-crore deal

MUMBAI: Bharti Airtel is set to acquire Loop Mobile in a Rs 700-crore deal that may be announced as early as this week in what will be the first consolidation move in the country’s telecom industry since 2008, taking India’s biggest operator to the top spot in Mumbai, three people involved in the deal told ET. Kotak Mahindra Investment Bank is the sole advisor for the transaction, running the sale process, they said.  Read More News>>
Bharti Airtel is set to acquire Loop Mobile in a Rs 700-crore deal that may be announced as early as this week.

Of Plato and iPads: Should We Use Technology in the Classroom?

Elise Italiano fears that the push to “personalize” education through technology will, in actuality, individualize education and hamper classroom relationships. She wrote a thoughtful piece Thursday at The Public Discourse on the subject:
Ermolaev Alexander / Shutterstock


The very design of these technologies is to multitask, not to concentrate, analyze, contemplate, or wonder. When a teacher is lecturing, students can easily disengage, looking at other apps (some for school and others surely for entertainment), perusing websites, and checking email. Schools that value teachers’ wisdom, expertise, and guidance will wind up undermining their work by asking them not only to deliver meaningful content but to monitor students’ attention constantly. When competing for attention with a device, teachers are implicitly asked to become entertainers.

Her points are valid and well reasoned. Technology’s distractions could very well harm students’ ability to concentrate, reflect, and be still. Additionally, teachers may find themselves scrambling to procure the “next new thing,” for fear of losing their students’ interest: once you decide to use the latest technology to connect with students, you must be prepared to keep up with the trends. Thus there is a cost—monetarily and intellectually—to using technology in the classroom.

Italiano also sees a communal cost in technology’s isolating tendencies. Tablets, phones, and laptops make it easier for students to “tune out.” The focus in a technological classroom changes from student-to-student and/or student-to-teacher to a student-computer relationship, with the teacher occasionally breaking into this primary bond. The human equation in education, including the use of words to bond and instruct, becomes secondary to the visual, interactive, and individual.

Despite her emphasis on communal learning, Italiano also stresses students’ need for silence and solitude—for the “still, quiet, and intentional pursuit of truth.” This is one reason I think school and public libraries are absolutely vital to the education experience, and need to be preserved. They serve as “quiet zones,” where students can step away from the hubbub. School libraries could even enforce a “no cell phones” rule, where mobile devices and other distractions are left at the door.

The above points in Italiano’s story are all very strong. But one of her comments seemed a bit simplistic: she writes, “Though it is becoming clear that technology is changing the way we learn, it is not yet clear that it is improving it.” Read More>>

Narendra Modi woos India Inc, Calls himself Great Advocate of Technology

Narendra Modi woos India Inc, Calls himself Great Advocate of TechnologyAhmedabad: Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, in a bid to woo the India Inc, stressed that social media can be effectively used in involving people for policy and decision making.

Addressing the corporates at NASSCOM through video conference on Friday, Modi sought support of India Inc in digitising the country and talked about how he is inspired by the social media.

“I am inspired by the social media, it is a source of inspiration for me. I am able to connect with so many people through social media,” Modi said in his address.

In his 30-minute speech, Modi called himself a great advocate of technology. He said that Information Technology (IT) can transform the country and our lives. Saying that technology is an inevitable force in modern world, Modi pointed that sooner it is deployed and mastered, the better it is.

Urging NASSCOM for its active engagement, he spoke about the need to bring an IT revolution in the country and said that it can empower and also bring the isolated parts of India closer, adding that IT can bridge the gap between demand and supply. E-governance is easy and effective, Modi said and added that it brings empowerment, equity and efficiency of the economy.

In his address, Modi also emphasised on the need to empower the youth with necessary skills and the vast potential of the IT industry to convert the challenges into opportunities.

Modi also stated that IT in today’s time is significant in the domain of the e-governance. The BJP PM candidate said that IT can the growth engine of India and that when we celebrate 75 years of celebration, we must become a different nation.

 (Source : Zee Media Bureau/Himanshu Kapoor)
New mobile app to track train schedules on a real-time basis

New mobile app to track train schedules on a real-time basis

Railway officials claim a new mobile app will allow commuters to track train time, expected arrival time, platform number and the following train; app likely to be launched in six months

Joining the bandwagon of enterprises launching user-friendly applications or apps for mobile phones, the Indian Railways has decide to launch an app that will help commuters track train schedules on a real-time basis.
This application will allow commuters to track their train even as it is approaching the railway station. It would show the train time, expected arrival time, platform number and the following train. The app is likely to be launched for public use in the next six months,” said a senior railway official.

Apart from keeping a tab on train schedules, commuters can purchase local train tickets using this app. Once a person is near a railway station, he or she can type the code of the station they are headed for. The commuter will immediately receive a message or an e-ticket, once the payment is made through internet banking.

The authorities said they were working on a solution to prevent the message or e-ticket from being copied or forwarded. They were also trying to figure out ways to ensure that the phone does not switch hands after booking tickets. Read More News>>

Revenue and profit rise at Google, but mobile is a persistent challenge

Revenue and profit rise at Google, but mobile is a persistent challenge

here is no denying that Google has become a mobile company. Now, Google – along with shareholders, industry partners and advertisers – is trying to figure out what that means.

In mobile advertising, Google is wrestling with how to make as much money on phones as it has on the ads that appear on desktop computers. Its fourth-quarter earnings report Thursday showed that it is continuing to struggle with lower ad prices on phones. Yet some of the new types of ads it has introduced have paid off handsomely, as have mobile businesses like the Play store for Android devices.
In mobile advertising, Google is wrestling with how to make as much money on phones as it has on the ads that appear on desktop computers.But in other areas, like manufacturing smartphones, Google has decided that the business is better left to someone else. On Wednesday, it announced that it would sell Motorola Mobility, which it bought less than two years ago for $12.5 billion, to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. Motorola’s $384 million loss in the fourth quarter contributed to Google’s failure to meet analysts’ earnings expectations for the quarter.

Google executives would prefer that people stop talking about mobile at all.

“People aren’t distinguishing what they’re doing on different screens, so advertisers should be more agnostic about where they reach the user,” Nikesh Arora, Google’s chief business officer, said on a conference call with analysts. “The fundamental tenet is not to speak about mobile, mobile, mobile. It’s really about living with the users. What device are you on? What’s your question? How can we assist you? That’s a much broader and richer set of activities for us.” Read More News>>

President Obama wants to create six new technology hubs across the US

President Obama is aiming to increase America’s focus on technology and startups after revealing his ambition to create six new tech hubs across the US, CNET reports.

The proposal, which was made during the President’s State of the Union address this evening, aims to build on two existing hubs — located in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Youngstown, Ohio — which Obama says have “connected businesses to research universities that can help America lead the world in advanced technologies.”

“We… have the chance, right now, to beat other countries in the race for the next wave of high-tech manufacturing jobs,” the President said. He did not disclose more details of the proposed new hubs, though we’ll know more as and when a proposal is put to Congress.

Apple gained considerable attention when it moved some part of its manufacturing process for Macs back to the US. Google-owned Motorola went a step further by producing its new Moto devices entirely in US — an angle that it has been keen to push to consumers.

Apple CEO: Mobile payments a big opportunity

Could Apple soon move into the mobile payment market? During an investor call for its fourth quarter earnings report, Apple CEO Tim Cook said his company is intrigued with mobile payments. “You can tell by looking at the demographics of our customers and the amount of commerce that goes through iOS devices versus the competition that it’s a big opportunity on the platform,” Cook said.

The news comes just days after a Wall Street Journal report said the tech giant was actively working on ways to implement a mobile payment system. The report cited the shuffling of executives to build the payment service as evidence, as well as additional sources familiar with the potential business.

Apple has multiple avenues available to implement a mobile payment system, not the least of which is the iPhone 5s’ Touch ID fingerprint sensor. That feature currently enables users to pay for music, movies and apps via Apple’s iTunes and App stores.

Touch ID is a hot feature for many iPhone customers, too. According to Cook, the fingerprint reader has resulted in more consumers opting for the $199 iPhone 5s versus the $99 iPhone 5c, which doesn’t offer the Touch ID sensor. Read More>>