BSNL's Internet capacity down due to cuts in undersea cable
NEW DELHI, March 31: Telecom PSU BSNL today said its Internet capacity has dropped by 21 per cent due to multiple fibre cuts in three under-sea cable systems that connect the country with many parts of the world.
"... three major cables which are serving as the International Gateway Connectivity are affected because of the multiple fibre cuts," BSNL said in a statement.
"The Sea-Me-We-4, IMEWE and EIG cable systems are the ones affected. Because of this disruption, BSNL has lost around 21 per cent of its total international Bandwidth," it added.
The under-sea cable systems facilitate Internet and various telecom services and any disruption in these cables impact Internet speed and voice quality of telecom services.
It, however, could not be ascertained whether BSNL's customers are experiencing any trouble due to drop in bandwidth.
Tata Communications manages IMEWE and Sea-Me-We-4 cable systems. IMEWE connects India and Europe via Middle East, and Sea-Me-We-4 (SMW4) cable system connects South East Asia to Europe via the Indian Sub-Continent and Middle East.
"Tata Communications can confirm that the SMW4 cable system suffered a cable cut, and that there was interruption of services to some customers on March 27, 2013," TCL said in a statement.
It further said that internet traffic of majority of the company's customers was re-routed automatically via its south Asian and Pacific routes.
"Full restoration of the cable is underway .. In the meanwhile, Tata Communications continues to monitor its network closely to prevent further disruption to our customers," TCL said, adding that the restoration would be soon.
No immediate comments could be obtained from TCL on the status of IMEWE cable system.
The other cable system Europe India Gateway (EIG) connects the UK, Portugal, Gibraltar, Monaco, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Oman, UAE, India, Marseille and France.
TVs get bigger, bolder, smarter at CES show
Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan 9: TV makers showing off their new wares at a huge trade fair will seek to dazzle consumers with bigger, bolder displays, and smarter technologies for consumers who want television to be a "multiscreen" experience.
Companies like Samsung, Sony, LG, Sharp and Panasonic showing at the International CES in Las Vegas this week are making a new push for so-called "ultra HD" high definition of 4K, which can provide stunning, lifelike images at a steep price.
Size is on the rise, with many consumers looking at screen measuring 60 inches (152 centimeters or bigger), especially in the United States, according to the industry.
"For US consumers, bigger is absolutely better," said John Herrington of the US division of Japan's Sharp, one of biggest sellers of jumbo TVs in the American market.
Sharp is selling TVs with displays up to 84 inches (213 cm) using its high-definition display technology called IGZO, using indium gallium zinc oxide.
South Korea's Samsung meanwhile unveiled a new television that lets two people watch two different shows at the same time.
Samsung unveils gesture-control TVs at gadget show
The F9500 television is the first in the world to offer this feature, dubbed "multi-view," using screen technology called "organic light-emitting diode" or OLED.
Viewers must wear special 3D glasses, which come with personal speakers built in to deliver the audio, in stereo, directly to them.
But "ultra HD" and other new televisions remain slow to capture the market because of their prices upwards of $10,000, according to a forecast released by the Consumer Electronic Association which showed the segment capturing just five percent of the US market by 2016.
TV makers are still making aggressive moves to get consumers on new TVs, including addressing the issue of a lack of content available in the new format.
Sony, for example, announced plans to launch at 4K video service in the United States this year, and also unveiled plans for more affordable TVs at 55 and 65 inches (140 and 165 cm) in addition to its 84-inch set.
LG kicks off CES with 55-inch 'ultra-HD' TV
LG said it was the first to launch an OLED set and said it would be selling one in the US market, at a retail price of around $12,000 for a 55-inch model.
"OLED TV will usher in a whole new era of home entertainment," said Jay Vandenbree, senior vice president, LG Electronics USA.
"With its lifelike color, infinite contrast ratio and slim profile, LG OLED delivers an outstanding viewing experience; it's undoubtedly a premium product worthy of its premium price."
Samsung meanwhile on Tuesday unveiled what it called the world's first curved OLED TV, saying it offered "a more immersive viewing experience."
Chinese makers are also getting into the high end with sleek new TVs coming from makers such as Haier and TCL, which unveiled a new smart TV which can use the Google 3.0 platform and which will be sold in the United States later this year.
Yet analysts say that consumers are focused on other features of new TVs, including the ability to stream content from their mobile devices to the big screen or vice-versa.
"We are living in an app-dominated world, whether it's on your smartphone, tablet or television," said Kevin Tillmann, senior research analyst at CEA.
"Consumers want access to their apps at all times and they will use whatever device, TVs included, that offer the best and most convenient user experience."
CEA found more than one in five US adults own a smart app-enabled HDTV and 90 percent use the apps available on their displays in some capacity.
"To me, content synchronization is where the magic is. People use an average of five or six devices, and now you can seamlessly have that across these," said Danielle Levitas, consumer tech analyst at IDC.
Levitas said a new initiative being pushed by cable firms is known as "TV everywhere," which enables consumers to take their subscriptions to other devices or even on the road.
"Because of how content is licensed a lot of those experiences are limited to the home," she said. "People want to get that content on a tablet in a remote location, or in a hotel room."
Panasonic, in one-upmanship, unveils biggest OLED TV
James McQuivey of Forrester said consumers "are focused on tablets" and prepared for a major new TV purchase. And most already have a capable HD set, and would see only marginal improvement with ultra HD.
"Consumers don't need that resolution. There is no way you can discern the difference unless you have a screen the size of a wall," he told AFP.
"And there is no content available in 4K. So anyone who buys a 4K televison is showing they have money to burn."
Apple unveils new iPhone 5
SAN FRACISCO, Sept 12: Apple has announced its newest smartphone, the iPhone 5, as it seeks to thwart growing challenges from rivals like Samsung, Google and Microsoft.
"It is an absolute jewel. The software and engineering that went into this product is the most challenging our team has ever taken on," Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller told a packed launch event in San Francisco on Wednesday.
The introduction has been among the most keenly anticipated in the tech world, with rumours and leaks over several months about the new device from the biggest company in the sector.
"It is the thinnest iPhone we have ever made, it's the world's thinnest smartphone and weighs just 112 grams," just under four ounces, Schiller said.
"It is 20 per cent lighter than the iPhone 4S." Schiller said the new iPhone features a new design aimed to fit in one's hand and works on the faster mobile Internet networks known as LTE.
"When you carry your phone it should fit beautifully in your hand, that is just how we designed iPhone 5," he said.
"Everything you do looks gorgeous on this beautiful widescreen display."
Analysts expect Apple to sell tens of millions of the new iPhone in the coming months, luring in smartphone buyers who have been waiting to upgrade.
Amazon unwraps larger Kindle Fire, takes on Apple
Santa Monica, California, Sept 7: Amazon.com Inc unveiled a larger, high-speed Kindle Fire tablet on Thursday for $499, challenging Apple Inc's dominant iPad and intensifying a battle with Google Inc and Microsoft in the booming tablet arena.
The world's largest Internet retailer, which got into the market last year with a tablet roughly half the price of the iPad, will begin selling on Nov 20 an 8.9-inch version with a high-definition screen, that works off fourth-generation or 4G wireless broadband.
Called the Kindle Fire HD, its price tag matches the current-generation WiFi-only iPad but its 1920 by 1200 resolution screen lags Apple's so-called "retina" display. At 8.9 inches, it is also smaller.
"Their first Kindle Fire tablet was a device that said 'See, we can tie all this together," but it wasn't a strong enough device," said Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey.
"Now they've really come ready to show that their device line-up is going to be as good as their service line-up. They're tying those two things together, and at a price that is very very hard to compete with. It's going to push everybody's else's price buttons -- including Apple's."
Amazon's volley of products on Thursday comes as technology giants prepare to take the wraps off a slew of new mobile devices. Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 5 next week, and Microsoft and Nokia launched their power powerful Windows phone on Wednesday.
Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, taking the stage in Santa Monica, California, unveiled two 8.9-inch versions, both called the Kindle Fire HD. A Wi-Fi version will go for $299.
Two 7-inch tablets will cost less. The updated Kindle Fire will go for $159 and a Kindle Fire HD version is priced at $199.
Bezos on Thursday stressed that Amazon saw the Kindle family of e-readers and tablets as a service, with hardware a critical element of its digital content business.
Amazon is competing with Apple, Google Inc and other technology companies for a foothold in the booming mobile-device market, because these devices are fast becoming the preferred tool to access consumer media over the Internet. As the world's largest Internet retailer, it is essential for Amazon to have a major presence in this new sector.
Amazon is willing to make little or no money selling cheap tablets and e-readers because it wants to get the devices into as many hands as possible, then sell higher-margin digital content, such as e-books, video, games, apps and music, to a more connected and engaged customer base.
On Thursday, the company also showed off a "paperwhite" e-reader with a much sharper screen and longer battery life.
The 3G wireless version that made digital readers mainstream will sell for $179 starting in October, in time for the crucial holiday season. A Wi-Fi-only version will go for $119, and the cheapest will carry a $69 price tag -- undercutting the cheapest Barnes and Noble Nook.
US asks India to respect internet freedom
WASHINGTON, Aug 21: Voicing its support for full freedom of the internet, US has urged India to maintain respect for fundamental freedoms, while probing rumours that have caused an exodus of northeastern Indians from southern cities.
The US "have seen these reports that northeastern Indians are returning to the northeast from cities in southern India, and these media reports that the returns are due to concerns about personal safety", State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters Tuesday when asked about India blocking some websites for allegedly orchestrating a campaign of hatred.
"On the larger question of internet freedom, you know where we are on that issue, and we are always on the side of full freedom of the internet," she said.
"But as the Indian government continues to investigate these instances and preserve security, we also always urge the government to maintain its own commitment to human rights, fundamental freedoms, rule of law."
Asked to explain its stand on WikiLeaks in view of its professed support of full freedom of the internet, Nuland said: "WikiLeaks didn't have to do with freedom of the internet. It had to do with the compromise of US government classified information."
The US had not asked for any investigation by the Indian government nor was it part of the investigation, Nuland said, noting that India itself has "called an investigation of some of the sources of the rumours that have caused people to start to move".
"And so we are going to obviously watch and see how that process goes forward," she said.
Asked if the US had or would ask US-based companies, including Google, Facebook, and Twitter to comply with Indian government's directive to go after the sources of erroneous information, Nuland said she could not speak "of the conversation that those companies may or may not be having with the Indian government".
"We maintain open lines to our own companies in India, as we do around the world, and we are obviously open to consultation with them if they need it from us," she said.
How magician Steve Jobs pulled off Apple's tricks
SAN JOSE: Back in the early 1930s, a magician by the name of Horace Goldin went to court to defend his signature illusion: sawing a woman in half.
Goldin filed a lawsuit against the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. for using this magic trick in an advertisement and explaining how it worked. According to an article in The New York Times from March 1933, Goldin, who had won a patent for the illusion a decade earlier, asserted that the ad had adversely affected his ability to get people to see his shows. He asked for $50,000 in damages. (That's about $865,000 in today's dollars.)
I thought about Goldin last week as I sat in a federal courtroom here in the capital city of Silicon Valley. I listened to evidence presented in a patent lawsuit that Apple has brought against Samsung Electronics. Apple claims that Samsung copied its designs for the iPhone and the iPad.
You see, even just by filing his patent, and then using it to litigate, Goldin publicly drew attention to the secrets of his profession. Apple, by going to a jury trial to defend the patents of its most prized products, is also allowing competitors and the public to see inside one of the most secretive companies in the world.
Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, was very much in the mold of a magician. People often spoke of being sucked into a "reality distortion field" as he pitched his new products. Anyone who closely watched those dramatic announcements may recall how he repeatedly used the word "magical" to describe his latest devices.
The way the audience oohed and aahed during his performance was as if Jobs was saying: "Step right up! Ladies and gentlemen. Boys and girls of all ages! See the latest magical Apple device. You can stretch your fingers on the flat screen and zoom into a photo or map!"
It was, after all, Arthur C. Clarke, the science fiction author, who once said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." And as Jobs knew so well, one thing that makes magic so, well, magical, is that you don't know how it works. It's also one reason Apple is so annoyingly tight-lipped.
Based on early depositions and courtroom documents that have been submitted for the Apple v. Samsung trial - including photos, emails and prototypes - we're starting to learn just how Jobs pulled off his tricks.
On the first day of the trial, Christopher Stringer, a longtime industrial designer at Apple with a flair for the theatrical - he wore an ice-cream-white suit - explained the process the company goes through to create these prototypes.
For example, 15 or 16 designers worked together around a kitchen table. When it came time to plan the devices, the company tried almost everything. There are iPads of various exaggerated shapes and sizes. They are white, black or metallic. One iPad has a strange stand that protrudes from the back.
Some of the early prototypes of the iPhone are bizarre. One, a long black rectangle, looks as if it is twice the size it should be. Others have beautifully curved glass screens. Another resembles an old silver iPod that just happens to be a phone, too. And there's the strangest of all: an iPhone that looks like a stretched hexagon made of cheap black plastic.
While in court Friday, Philip W. Schiller, Apple's senior vice president for worldwide product marketing, pulled the curtain further back when he divulged the company's advertising budgets - often more than $100 million a year for the iPhone alone. Also at the hearing, Scott Forstall, senior vice president for iPhone software, explained that the early iPhone was called "Project Purple." Forstall said it was built in a highly secure building on Apple's campus. A sign on the back of the building read "Fight Club." Behind the security cameras and locked doors, most employees on the project did not even know what they were working on.
This is just the beginning. There will be weeks of trials and other executive inquisitions that will explain how other magic tricks work inside Apple.
For its part, Samsung accuses Apple of copying from Sony - Sony! - and other electronics makers. It even sent out a news release containing evidence that the court would not allow to be presented before the jury that showed what it says is truly behind the magic.
It seems that even if Apple wins the patent case against Samsung, it may find itself in the same pickle that Goldin did 80 years ago.
Although the federal court threw out Goldin's claim in 1938, the damage had already been done. Besides the large legal fees, the news media brought more attention to how the magic trick of sawing a woman in half actually worked - it was no longer magical. (The secret involved two women. The first woman's feet protruded from the base of the box, the other's head stuck out of the top.)
Years later, when Goldin developed a new illusion in which a giant buzz-saw blade appeared to cut through a woman who was not even enclosed in a box, he chose not to file a patent. He didn't follow up with any litigation against people who tried to copy or use his trick. He had learned it didn't pay to protect his secrets that way.
By showing the public how it designs products that twice radically changed the electronics industry, Apple has risked losing some of its magic.
iPhone-hit Apple misses forecasts
SAN FRANCISCO, July 25: Apple’s results fell short of Wall Street’s targets as the European economy sagged and consumers held off on buying its flagship iPhone ahead of a new version expected in the fall, hitting its stock price. Apple posted a 23% jump in revenue from the same quarter in the previous year to $35 billion, about $2 billion below Wall Street’s forecast. Net profit jumped 21% from a year earlier to $8.8 billion, about 10% below expectations.
From March to June, Apple shipped 26 million iPhones, well below the 28-29 million that Wall Street analysts had predicted, even taking into account a pause in buying ahead of the iPhone 5. It was a far cry from the 35.1 million that moved in the March quarter. However, sales of the iPad, the tablet that accounts for well over half the world's market, came in at 17 million in the fiscal third quarter, above expectations.
From the previous quarter, sales fell 22% in Asia-Pacific, outstripping a 3-6% drop in the US and Europe.
Shares of the world’s most valuable technology company dropped more than 5% after Apple had a second quarterly miss in under a year.
Apple, under Tim Cook since August, divided the blame for the miss between muted purchases in Western Europe and the pullback in demand as consumers wait for the new iPhone 5 model that many expect will be launched in September or October.
NETGEAR Extends Enterprise Class ReadyDATA Unified Storage to SMBs
NEW DELHI, July 17: NETGEAR has announced the ReadyDATA unified storage family. ReadyDATA is an enterprise-class storage product that is significantly less expensive and dramatically easier to use than traditional enterprise offerings. These new products feature native de-duplication, thin provisioning and unlimited snapshots, with support for SATA, SAS and SSD disk drives.
ReadyDATA scales to 180TB capacity (five times larger than the current flagship model), and is the first product of its kind to include data replication as a standard feature.
The ReadyDATA platform delivers tier-1 storage features with extraordinary simplicity. Users can leverage thin provisioning in virtual environments, replicate files and databases to offsite locations and recover data from unlimited point-in-time snapshots, all with just a few mouse clicks.
And, every ReadyDATA includes the world's first cloud-managed replication, ensuring secure, high-performance disaster recovery without extra software, servers or network configuration. Now customers and partners can avoid complex licensing, expensive installation specialists and incremental maintenance agreements, as well as the intimidating prices associated with traditional "big IT" offerings.
Subhodeep Bhattacharya, Regional Director, India & SAARC said “NETGEAR continues to venture beyond its SMB networking roots with the new ReadyDATA line of midmarket unified storage arrays that offer built-in, enterprise-grade data protection and management capabilities. The enterprise class ReadyDATA unified storage solution is a part of NETGEAR’s “SMART IT” approach wherein we have made the next generation of storage with enterprise features affordable to our valued customers and also an ideal solution for cloud based storage to customers.”
Two new models join NETGEAR’s storage line up, which already includes the NETGEAR’s ReadyNAS systems aimed at the file storage and sharing requirements of SMBs. With ReadyDATA, however, NETGEAR is aiming the midrange segment of the market with storage arrays that can scale up to 180 TB and include features like de-duplication.
Apple's next iPhone to have thinner screen
NEW YORK, July 17: Apple Inc's next iPhone will use a new technology that makes the smartphone's screen thinner, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter. This is currently being manufactured by Asian component makers, Sharp Corp, Japan Display Inc and South Korea's LG Display Co Ltd who are mass producing the panels for the iPhone using so-called in-cell technology, WSJ said citing sources.
The adoption of in-cell technology means Taiwan's Wintek Corp and TPK Holding Co Ltd, which supplied the touch-panel layer of the iPhone 4S screen, did not get orders for the next iPhone, the paper said citing people with knowledge of the matter.
The technology integrates touch sensors into the LCD, making it unnecessary to have a separate touch-screen layer. The absence of the layer makes the screen thinner and the quality of displayed images would improve, said DisplaySearch analyst Hiroshi Hayase, the Journal reported.
Apple could not immediately be reached for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.