New EY Cloud-based platform now in India

Nov 6, 2017 0

New Delhi– Leading global professional services firm EY on Monday announced “EY Catalyst” — a new Cloud-based platform that can help businesses in India enhance their performance in supply chain and manufacturing.

“EY Catalyst” allows round-the-clock access to businesses to an extensive IP database that contains tens of thousands of supply chain and manufacturing operational capabilities in multiple languages.

The platform has been in use for more than 20 years in major companies across Europe, the US, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Australia.

“The ‘EY Catalyst’ platform is yet another way we are working in India to help businesses transform their end to end supply chains into strategic assets and valuable sources for competitive advantage, with advanced capabilities to help increase sales, reduce risk and raise cost competitiveness,” explained Ashish Nanda, Partner and India Leader-Supply Chain Advisory Services, EY.

With this, businesses will be able to tap into a database that includes self-assessments, custom-built operational excellence journey maps, leading practices, training tools and analytics capabilities to help manage and monitor their operational improvements.(IANS)

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Vivo opens first ‘Experience Center’ in Bengaluru

Nov 3, 2017 0

Bengaluru– As competition among top smartphone manufacturers gets stiffer, Chinese handset maker Vivo on Friday opened its maiden offline “Experience Center” in Bengaluru in the presence of Kannada actress Sruthi Hariharan.

Spread across 3,600 square feet, the “Experience Center” features retail community zones where prospective buyers can access the entire range of “Y” and “V” series of smartphones.

“The launch of our first ‘Experience Center’ in India is for customers to experience our products before making a purchase decision. We will be launching additional ‘Experience Centers’ across key markets in the country in the coming months,” said Kenny Zeng, Chief Marketing Officer, Vivo India, in a statement.

The company currently has 80,000 retail stores across the country, including Vivo exclusive stores. (IANS)

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Fake version of WhatsApp found on Google Play Store

Nov 3, 2017 0

London– A fake and possibly malicious version of Facebook-owned WhatsApp was found lurking on Google Play Store as “Update WhatsApp Messenger” with developer name as ‘WhatsApp Inc*’.

When IANS checked it on the Play Store, we found the app has been downloaded up to 5,000 times. There is another version under the same name which has a million downloads.

The original WhatsApp has 1 billion downloads.

The existence of the shady software was first highlighted by the popular WhatsApp change tracking website WABetaInfo, via Twitter user @MujtabaMHaq, IB Times reported late on Thursday.

According to the report, a version of popular mobile game Temple Run 2 can also be found which was uploaded in October.

The software posing as WhatsApp Business already have several users complaining about it in comments section.

“DON’T DOWNLOAD THIS APP! IT’S FAKE! WhatsApp Business is not officially available yet for all,” the WABetaInfo social media account tweeted to its 30,000 followers.

It added: “Check only official channels to download WhatsApp Business in future.” (IANS)

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Retailers anxiously await iPhone X supplies amid high demand in India

Oct 30, 2017 0

By Krishna SinhaChaudhury 

New Delhi,– Amid soaring demand for the “super premium” iPhone X in India, Apple premium resellers in the Dehli-NCR region kept their fingers crossed as the initial supply of handsets were yet to reach them.

The authorised Apple resellers told IANS that they have received a frenzied response for iPhone X that is being advertised as arriving in India on November 3.

Pre-booking for the device at a premium reseller in Gurugram exceeded all expectations.

“First booking slot for iPhone X is full and we are now asking users to pre-book the device for the second slot. But we still do not know when the iPhone X will arrive in our stock,” Jeevan from Imagine Store, an Apple premium reseller in Gurugram, told IANS.

“Users can pre-order the device by paying Rs 3,000 in cash which will be refunded if the devices are not handed over to them on time or something goes wrong,” he added.

An iNvent Apple premium reseller in North Delhi said they were yet to receive iPhone X stocks.

“We have not received a single unit of iPhone X so far. We do not know if they have been already shipped or not. The devices are expected to reach us the day it goes on sale or maybe a day before. For iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, we had received the stock earlier,” a sales representative from iNvent told IANS.

“Since it is a global launch, we feel that even those who booked the device in the first slot may not get their desired variants within the given time-frame,” he added.

The flagship device was sold out within minutes on Amazon.in.

“Apple iPhone X went on pre-order on Amazon.in on October 27. Within few minutes of the pre-orders, Apple iPhone X went out of stock,” an Amazon spokesperson told IANS.

Meanwhile, disappointed by the reports of slow supply, Apple fans in the Delhi-NCR region said their decision to buy iPhone X has been hit.

“I am using iPhone 6s and was waiting desperately for a new iPhone. I waited for iPhone 8 but the user feedback was not good so I thought I would wait and pre-book iPhone X,” Yatharth Sinha, an advocate with Delhi High Court, told IANS.

“Now that I have read reports of delay in iPhone X delivery, I might have to settle for iPhone 8 Plus. If iPhone X reviews are great then I will buy it later,” noted Sinha, adding that he might also opt for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S9.

Gaurav Sharma, a heavy smartphone user, said: “No, I haven’t booked the device yet. I am waiting for reviews and then will take a call”.

“If reviews come out good then I might buy iPhone X in January,” added Shobhit Dev, a professional photographer.

iPhone X — which also marks the 10th anniversary of the device — will cost the users Rs 89,000 (for 64GB model) and Rs 1.02 lakh (for 256GB variant). (IANS)

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Cisco, Google tie up for new open hybrid cloud solution

Oct 26, 2017 0

San Francisco– Google has announced a new partnership with Cisco to deliver an open hybrid cloud solution that will help customers better develop and manage applications on-premises and on Google Cloud.

“Together, the companies will work on a complete solution to develop, run, secure and monitor workloads, enabling customers to optimise their existing investments, plan their cloud migration at their own pace and avoid lock-in,” Nan Boden, Head of Global Technology Partners at Google Cloud, said in a blogpost on Wednesday.

“Developers will be able to create new applications in the cloud or on-premises consistently using the same tools, runtime and production environment.”

The joint Cisco and Google Cloud hybrid solution will help developers to make the use of open source platforms, such as Kubernetes and Istio, GCP Service Catalog and service mesh monitoring.

Using these services, developers can discover available Google Cloud services, auto-authenticate from on-premises to Google Cloud services, future-proof existing on-premises applications to be cloud ready.

The Cisco-Google Cloud solution will also include a number of components (hardware, software and cloud services) that can be tailored to the needs of each customer, purchased together or separately, Boden said.

While Cisco software components will be licensed on an annual subscription basis including one-, three- and five-year terms, for Google Cloud services, developers will have to purchase them directly through Google or via authorised resellers.

The solution will be available to a limited number of customers during the first part of 2018, with planned general availability later in the year. (IANS)

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LG makes profit in Q3, handset business continues to suffer

Oct 26, 2017 0

Seoul– LG Electronics on Thursday said it swung into the black in the third quarter due to strong sales of home appliances, but it continued to lose money in the handset business.

Net profit came to 336 billion won (US$298 million) in the July-September period, compared to a net loss of 81.5 billion won posted a year earlier, Yonhap news agency reported citing regulatory filing from LG Electronics.

Operating profit came to 516 billion won, also up 82.2 per cent from a year earlier, and sales advanced 15.1 per cent to reach 15.2 trillion won.

The figures are in line with a guidance report released earlier this month.

The company said its home appliances and air solution division posted an operating profit of 423 billion won, sharply up 26.1 per cent from a year earlier.

Sales also advanced 16.4 per cent on-year to reach 4.9 trillion won, the company added, citing expanded sales of air purifiers, clothes dryers and wireless vacuum cleaners.

LG also attributed its solid performance to expanded sales of premium products in overseas markets including North America, Europe and Asia.

As for the home entertainment division, its operating profit came to 458 billion won, a record quarterly high, driven by expanded sales of high-end televisions including organic light-emitting diode (OLED) models.

The division’s sales moved up 12 per cent on-year to reach 4.6 trillion won.

But despite strong sales from home appliances and TVs, LG posted an operating loss in the mobile division for the 10th consecutive quarter.

The mobile arm posted an operating loss of 375.3 billion won, due mainly to the rising production cost of smartphones and increased marketing costs.

LG, however, said sales moved up 7.9 per cent on-year to 2.8 trillion won helped by the steady shipment of its G6 flagship model, along with good demand for its budget Q6 smartphone series.

To revitalise the mobile division, LG said it will expand the global release of the V30 smartphone and also focus on promoting budget handsets.

The vehicle components arm posted an operating loss of 29 billion won as the company continued focusing on making investments, it added.

LG Electronics said it plans to expand sales of premium home appliances in the coming months, while continuing efforts to cut production costs.

The company said it will also continue making investments into its vehicle components business, saying demand from electric automobiles will continue to expand, as major carmakers from the US and Europe vowed to make aggressive inroads into the segment. (IANS)

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Why Chinese smartphone giants have failed to succeed in US

Oct 25, 2017 0

San Francisco– Chinese smartphone giants like Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Lenovo have made deep inroads into India, Russia and even Africa, but grabbing a foothold in the American market still appears to be a distant dream.

Analysts have been predicting for well over 10 years that new Chinese entrants will be taking the US market by storm, Counterpoint Research said in a blog post on Wednesday.

“Yet, there has been limited change on this front. Globally, Chinese handset original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) own more than 43 per cent of smartphone market share. Yet, in the US it is 18 per cent,” said Jeff Fieldhack, Research Director at Counterpoint.

ZTE and Alcatel have cracked the top five, breaking through with solid volumes within prepaid channels. Motorola (Lenovo) remains a niche but well-known vendor within Verizon.

Others have been relegated to the US open channel with very limited growth prospects. Why is it so difficult for OPPO, vivo, Huawei and others to grab a foothold in the US?

“There are many barriers for new players in carrier-controlled markets. Carriers continue to hold the power in the US controlling over 70 per cent of sales. US carriers are not interested in building handset OEM brands,” Fieldhack said.

The US smartphone market is dominated by Verizon Wireless with 147.2 million subscribers (Q2 2017), AT&T Mobility with 138.8 million subscribers (Q3 2017) and T-Mobile US with 70.7 million subscribers (Q3 2017).

“Carriers expect brands to either bring in users on their own recognisance or for brands to spend big money to do so. Further, it is expensive to carry many brands, many stock keeping units (SKUs) ? especially when many do not sell well,” Counterpoint informed.

It is expensive to support the costs of testing, training, marketing and handle returns of low volume brands. New brands must present very unique or compelling cases to carriers.

“Carriers are interested in known brands bringing full portfolios. For example, it is easier for carriers to sell a full suite of Samsung Galaxies at multiple price points than smaller brands who only address certain price points,” explained Fieldhack.

US carriers are concerned that young handset OEMs are not fully paying for all required IP.

These carriers are concerned that they will have to deal with embargos and lawsuits if there is litigation following new OEMs they have ranged.

The US market has grown into an all-or-nothing market. Spend big on marketing campaigns or a device will be drowned out by the major launches.

“Carriers are looking for large, flashy ad campaigns to bring subscribers into stores. And, often carriers will throw in money to these large campaigns. Big spending has become a normal mode of business for the major carriers,” the blog post said.

Most importantly, the US market is a mature smartphone market and over 50 per cent of subscribers have purchased multiple Apple and Samsung smartphones.

“So, to become a top 5 OEM in the US market will take the hardware, heavy marketing, and a strong value offering to switch a subscriber from another OS and/or another OEM ecosystem,” Fieldhack said.

To crack the US market will take a multi-year plan and will take a considerable amount of patience, he added.(IANS)

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Lenovo, Intel take first step toward killing passwords

Oct 25, 2017 0

San Francisco–  In a bid to protect online privacy, identity and other data, Lenovo and Intel have announced the first PC-ready, built-in authentication measures that adhere to FIDO (Fast Identity Online) Alliance standards.

Instead of relying just on passwords, users now have a safer way to log into websites with the touch of a finger on an integrated fingerprint reader or a quick click of a button in real-time.

Using Intel “Online Connect” on 7th and 8th Gen Intel Core processors, Lenovo’s latest PCs including the Yoga 920, ThinkPad X1 Tablet (2nd generation), ThinkPad X1 Carbon (5th generation) and IdeaPad 720S integrate FIDO-certified authenticators directly into the core of the PCs.

This will bring simpler and safer online authentication when logging into popular websites like PayPal, Google, Dropbox and Facebook.

“I am thrilled to see the realisation of this partnership between FIDO Alliance board members Intel and Lenovo, which resulted in the PC industry’s first FIDO-enabled embedded fingerprint,” Brett McDowell, Executive Director of the FIDO Alliance, said in a statement.

The FIDO Alliance, backed by companies such as Samsung, Google and Microsoft, supports killing passwords altogether.

With these integrated FIDO authenticators, websites use security keys that are protected and rooted deeply in the PC’s hardware, ultimately increasing user protection and reducing fraud.

With the touch of a finger on the encrypted fingerprint reader embedded on the PC, users can easily authenticate to their PayPal account.

An additional security factor is incorporated into the authentication process after users log in to a website using their standard user ID and password access.

Instead of using a separate security key or SMS code, 2nd factor authentication is built into the PC to identify the user and directly prompts the user to click a button to log into websites.

With authenticators built directly into PCs, merchants can extend enhanced security measures to millions of users who routinely use their computer to access social media, banking information and online shopping.

“People need hassle-free, built-in security that helps to protect them when logging into websites for banking, shopping and social media,” said Johnson Jia, Senior Vice President of Lenovo’s PCs and Smart Devices Product Group.

Intel “Online Connect” can be downloaded from the web and will be made available via Lenovo System Update and Lenovo App Explorer on all Lenovo laptops with 7th and 8th Gen Intel Core processors.

“Intel continues to drive innovation that simplifies and secures the computing experience,” added Chris Walker, Vice President, Client Computing Group and General Manager, Mobility Client Platform at Intel. (IANS)

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Indian techies driving Next-Gen cyber security architecture: McAfee CEO

Oct 23, 2017 0

By Sourabh Kulesh

Las Vegas– As enterprises the world over scout for next-generation cyber security architecture to mitigate attacks, the Indian systems integrator (SI) community is helping major companies embrace state-of-the-art security structures, Chris Young, Chief Executive Officer of McAfee, has said.

“A lot of companies in India are trusted providers of cyber security solutions to firms around the world. Indian companies have the same challenge and opportunity as other companies. I think they have the right ability to drive the architectural model that other firms are using,” Young told IANS on the sidelines on “MPOWER Cybersecurity Summit” here.

“Given the strength in the Indian SI community, they are actually playing a big part in helping other companies realise the next-generation architectural vision,” he added.

With its largest research and development facility in Bengaluru — employing over a 1,000 engineers — the US-based McAfee’s revenues are growing in double digits in India.

Over the next couple of years, the country is expected to become one of McAfee’s top markets.

India is one of the fastest-growing markets for McAfee in the APAC region. McAfee has partnered with approximately 49 per cent of ET 500 firms and aims to cover 60 per cent — with an overall target to increase the customer base by 20 per cent.

When asked to comment on the investment by the Indian organisations in the cyber security space, Young told IANS: “Several top firms in India have industry-leading cyber security operations and are working with the best available tools to ward off data breaches. They have some of the best people. I don’t see underinvestment happening in the cyber security space in the country.”

The time is ripe for companies globally to “move investment from where we have been to where we are going”.

On ransomware, Young said that it has been in existence for 30 years, with first attack reported in late 1980s. But the year 2013 saw a surge in ransomware attacks.

“This probably took off owing to the change in the hackers’ ability to monetise the attacks. Customers are witnessing data breaches which use exploits that go beyond malware itself. Hackers are using trusted tools to execute their sinister plans,” Young noted.

Young said there is a need to adapt to the situation to avert adversaries by detecting the problems, correcting them and eventually protecting them against cyberattacks.

“We need to increase the capabilities of the first responders by 20 per cent by keeping them up-to-date,” he told reporters.

Globally, McAfee cybersecurity solutions protect more than a quarter-of-a-billion endpoints across every category of device, serve nearly two-third of the world’s 2,000 largest companies and defend more than 200 million consumers each day.

To empower companies protect their systems, Young announced the launch of new endpoint and Cloud solutions during the event.

The solutions go beyond machine learning to take advantage of the speed and accuracy of advanced analytics, deep learning and artificial intelligence (AI), thus increasing efficiency of security operations.

The company also announced collaboration with networking and security major Cisco to provide customers comprehensive visibility and real-time security orchestration. (IANS)

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Google now lets you take a virtual walk on Mars

Oct 20, 2017 0

Washington– If you are curious about the unknown terrains of the Red Planet, here is your chance to take a walk on Mars for free all the while staying in your living room, thanks to Google’s immersive experience initiative Access Mars.

Google collaborated with NASA to produce Access Mars that lets users wander the actual dunes and valleys explored by NASA’s Curiosity rover.

“The experience is built using WebVR, a technology that lets you see virtual reality right in your browser, without installing any apps. You can try it on a virtual reality headset, phone, or laptop,” Ryan Burke, Interactive Producer at Google’s Creative Lab wrote in a blog post late on Thursday.

The experience was adapted from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s OnSight software, which assists scientists in planning rover drives and even holding meetings on Mars.

Imagery from NASA’s Curiosity rover provided the terrain.

“We’ve been able to leverage VR and AR technologies to take our scientists to Mars every single day,” said Victor Luo, lead project manager at JPL’s Ops Lab, which led the collaboration.

“With Access Mars, everyone in the world can ride along,” Luo said.

Since being rolled out to JPL’s scientists in 2015, OnSight has made studying Martian geology as intuitive as turning your head and walking around.

Access Mars lets anyone with an internet connection take a guided tour of what those scientists experience.

A simple walkthrough explains what the Curiosity rover does and details its dramatic landing in 2012.

Google said that JPL will continuously update the data so that users see where Curiosity has just been in the past few days or weeks.

“All along the way, JPL scientist Katie Stack Morgan will be your guide, explaining key points about the rover, the mission, and some of the early findings,” Burke added. (IANS)

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