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>>
Browse less, find more

Browse less, find more

Source: http://www.business-standard.com

You don’t like a helicopter salesperson, but you like to be addressed by name when you enter your favourite retail store. You have little time to browse through the products randomly piled across the shopfloor, but you hate to be prompted along the way. You are a fastidious shopper, but you don’t mind relevant suggestions while negotiating the aisles at the store.

Browse less, find more
This is one area where brick and mortar businesses have had an edge over online stores – the art of gently nudging the customer towards things that might not have been on her shopping list in the first place. Now online stores have closed that gap – the smart ones are working overtime to incorporate data-driven merchandising to provide targeted and relevant offerings that help visitors make a purchase. They are providing navigation that enables consumers to easily refine product choices by important product attributes. In short, e-retailers have entered the domain that was once the exclusive preserve of brick and mortar stores: that of guided discovery. 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.
http://www.thinkdigit.com/uploads/artImg198x166_19830.jpgThe 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>>

Android handsets are a lot cheaper than iPhones

Android handsets are a lot cheaper than iPhones? Shocking!

While it might seem obvious that an Android phone is cheaper than Apple’s iPhone range, the average price of a phone running Google’s OS is now half the price of that from the Cupertino brand.

According to statistics site Statista (where you can see the price differences rising over the years) that difference currently sits at $374 (£224, AU$414), with iPhones selling at an average of $650 (£390, AU$720) and Android’s selling with a mean value of $276 (£165, AU$305).

Android handsets are a lot cheaper than iPhones
That means in 2013 the average Android handset was only around 40% the cost of an iPhone. So what do these numbers actually mean?

Global issue

In truth, the numbers are more indicative of a worldwide trend rather than that of the western world. While Android flagships like the HTC One or Galaxy S4 do generally come in cheaper than their Apple counterparts, the price issue is much wider.

Android handsets have dominated the budget market for quite some time thanks in no small part to the open source nature of Android. No cost to license the OS has led to a proliferation of super-cheap device, and even using the ‘full fat’ Android OS means lower-cost handsets like the Huawei Ascend G510 or the Samsung Galaxy Fame still bringing a relatively premium experience. Read More>>

Galaxy S5 to launch with only a Full HD display?

Bored of S5 rumours? Well, here’s another: Samsung could be struggling to make enough high-res screens

Last week we’d have bet heavily on a few inalienable truths about Samsung’s next flagship phone: the Galaxy S5 will have a larger screen, it’ll come in two flavours, and the headline model will have a QHD display.

But that suddenly looks a little less likely according to ET News, which claims that the Galaxy S5 will launch in two flavours, but the first to hit the shelves will be the Full HD S5 (in early April / late March, according to the latest information) followed by the QHD option later in the year.

Separate sources have also confirmed this to TechRadar as well, which means we’re inclined to believe the veracity.

QHD chicken or Full HD egg?

The question is whether it’s the display itself that’s tough to make, or Samsung being able to increase the graphical processing power to a sufficient level to run the pixels – either way, the QHD panels have not even begun production, according to the report, while Full HD versions (which use a new type of pixel arrangement to improve the screen over the Galaxy S4) are already rolling out.

There’s also a question over the frame to be used with the S5 – will the QHD model come with a metal frame, or will that be used to give the Full HD flagship some lustre?

Rumours suggest that it might be tricky for Samsung to produce metal bodies to the level required for a widespread handset like the S5, which would explain the need to have two options on sale.

Either way it’s less than a week until we see one of the (likely) big-hitting phones of 2014 – we just can’t wait until the speculation stops.

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>>