Saturday, November 07, 2015

TechTalk November 3, 2015

thanks Shutterstock

Jatin Mava from Nexa,, joins the show to talk technology.


Here is what we got up to on the show.

Sony Xperia M5 Dual
1465 dhs

On the inside

  • Google Android™ 5.0
  • 64-bit MediaTek Helio X10 Octa-core processor (2.0 GHz)


  • 5” Full-HD (1920x1080 pixels)


  • Main camera 21.5 MP Exmor RS with Hybrid AF F2.2 with ISO up to 3200
  • Front camera 13 MP Exmor RS with AF


  • 2600 mAh
  • Talk time (GSM): up to 11 hours 49 min.***
  • Standby time (GSM): up to 671 hours***
  • Talk time (UMTS): up to 12 hours 11 min.***
  • Standby time (GSM): up to 656 hours***
  • Standby time (LTE): up to 607 hours***
  • Music listening time: up to 62 hours 32 min.***
  • Video playback time: up to 8 hours 2 min.***


  • Waterproof and dust tight (IP65 and IP68)****
What the ratings mean!

more on the phone

So, there is nothing to not like about this phone and the price really makes it sweet.

-big selling point is the water and dust proof.
-the cameras are awesome
-5 inch screen is big but at the lower side of the pablet market.
-there is a bit of an adjustment going from Samsung to Sony, the feel of the operating system
-works great with the Smartband 2
-looks great

Memory & Storage

  • 3 GB RAM
  • Up to 16 GB flash memory
  • Up to 200 GB microSD™ card
The about pingpad sections takes you to MEDIUM for a nice writeup!

Users have their pick of numerous collaboration tools ranging from Google Docs to Slack, but newcomer Pingpad is aiming to do something different by becoming a sort of miniature social network. Most tools focus on document sharing, messaging or time management. Pingpad delivers a combination.
The free app for iOS, Android and the Web allows users to create groups then share notes, projects and documents, as well as delegate tasks, among members.
Serial entrepreneur Ross Mayfield put this app together after he and his spouse-to-be planned their wedding. The couple found they had to use multiple apps and services to do so, so they decided to combine them all into one, easy-to-use option and make it available on smartphones.


Uber Germany exit!

Über bad news for Uber in Germany — the car service giant is pulling out of Hamburg, Düsseldorf, and Frankfurt after a long and arduous battle over driver licenses. And for now, it looks like Uber has lost. Citing regulations that the company has deemed harsh and restrictive, Uber noted in a statement on Friday that “the process of registering an independent rental car enterprise has proved as too costly and time consuming” for many of their prospective partners. Guess you can’t win ’em all.
The move isn’t particularly surprising for Germans who decided nine months ago that Uber drivers need to obtain the same licensing as commercial taxi drivers in order to transport passengers to and from their destinations. While you can still call a car in Berlin and Munich, this latest retreat seems to mark a turning point in the longstanding battle between German lawmakers and the often controversial company.

Android Security Problem

First, let’s cover how antivirus software works on Windows. Antivirus software on Windows hooks into the operating system at a low level. To provide real-time protection, antivirus applications use “file system filter drivers” to intercept file access requests and scan those files for malware before they’re allowed to run or otherwise be accessed. If the antivirus application detects a problem, it can block the access and use its low-level permissions to immediately delete or quarantine the malware.
That’s how antivirus works on Windows — Windows provides a way for antivirus software to get low-level system access.

Android doesn’t provide a way for antivirus apps to get this low-level access. Android confines all apps to sandboxes and restricts the permissions they can use. There’s no special way for an antivirus app to hook into your system at a low level and stop you from installing a malicious app, or stop a malicious website or message from exploiting a security hole and running malicious software on your system.
When the malware is already running, the Android sandbox prevents the antivirus application from interfering with or closing a malicious app. If the malware used a security hole to gain root access, that malware is actually running with higher permissions than the antivirus app itself.
You can see this when you install an antivirus app on Android — it has to list its permissions, just like every other app.

Do we need Nextgen antivirus protection?

Antivirus and malware protection programs are great, but they have a fatal flaw: they can only protect your PC from threats they know about. It's not a terrible problem, but it gives attackers a brief window of opportunity to harm your computer every time they tweak their code. If a PC hasn't nabbed the latest update to its protection suite, it's vulnerable -- but it doesn't have to be that way. Researchers are using deep learning algorithms that can spot new malicious code naturally, without database updates.
If an artificial neural network can be trained to recognize a face, why can't it be trained to recognize potentially malicious code? Well, according to Israeli startup Deep Instinct, it can. The company is building a deep-learning antivirus suite that can (reportedly) spot new malware with 20% higher accuracy than today's best protection software. The claims are unverified, but the company's approach isn't without support: researchers at both Microsoft and Invincea have published papers demonstrating the potential of deep learning malware detection systems. One experiment found 95% of new malware without updates. That's encouraging.
Like most deep learning initiatives, self-learning malware detection software is still in the early stages -- but if successful, it could be a game changer. Check out TechnologyReviewat the source link below for the full story.

Twitter Brand Hub
-very cool

As part of Twitter’s ongoing efforts to highlight the strengths and benefits of the platform to a wider audience, the micro-blog giant has today released a new audience analysis tool called ‘Brand Hub’. Brand Hub takes Twitter’s on-platform analytics to the next level, offering new insights into elements like share of voice, audience demographic profiles and additional detail into the 'what' and 'how' of people talking about your brand via tweet. And while much of this type of data’s been available through third party sources for some time, this is the first time Twitter has incorporated such info into their own, free features - and given the information is coming direct from the Twitter itself, you can expect the data to be highly accurate, analyzing the full range of tweet conversations to add more context to your analytics. Here’s how it works:

More from Dropbox!

Using Dropbox at work?

Create a free team to unlock new features

Creating a team unlocks free work features — like centralizing company files in a team folder, separating work and personal files with two Dropboxes, and sharing faster withgroups.

Google Keep gets a bit better!

Google Keep is my go-to app for writing short notes and setting reminders for myself. I've also used it as a mindmapping tool from time to time. Today, Google Keep for Android got a huge update. You can now draw notes in the app. To draw a note just open the app and tap the pen icon to start drawing. You can also add a drawing to a text, image, or voice note. To add drawings to an existing note tap the three dots in the upper-right corner of the screen and select "add drawing."


MIT striped Down Virtual reality glove
Keyboards, mice, and touch screens all have their uses but have distinct limitations. They’re not particularly good for interacting with 3-D objects, such as those found in virtual reality or design programs. A company called Gest thinks its device, which slides onto the back of your hands and fingers to track their movements, provides a more natural and useful alternative.
The Gest controller has four soft, rubbery half-rings that clip onto your fingers, and a pad that straps onto the back of your hand. Each device contains 15 inexpensive sensors that measure motion with gyroscopes and accelerometers, much like those found in mobile phones. Thumb movements are inferred using data from the other sensors.
“The keyboard and mouse don’t make sense for things like augmented reality and virtual reality,” Gest cofounder Mike Pfister says. “It’s not going to succeed unless there is a really intuitive, fundamentally new input method.”
When I met Pfister in a San Francisco coffee shop, he slipped a prototype Gest controller onto each hand and began tapping on the table as if it were a keyboard. As his fingers drummed, potential words popped up on the screen. He tapped and swiped his hand to scroll through and select the correct word. “Hello, welcome to the future of interaction,” he wrote.

Another cool Smartphone but out of the UK!
WileyFox is a new name to the smartphone world. The British-based company has brought together partners from around the world to produce its first two handsets, the Swift and the Storm. They both promise an open and ‘freedom-rich’ experience with high specifications at a competitive price.
Today I’m looking at the smaller Wileyfox Swift model to find out if it can stand up those claims and how good the handset actually is.

Priced at £130 ($200) unlocked, the Swift comes with 16 GB of storage and microSD card support, 2 GB of RAM, a removable 2500 mAh battery, and a 5-inch IPS display with 720×1280 resolution covered by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3. Given the budget price of the device I’m happy with 720p, and the smaller screen dimensions mean the 293 pixels per inch specification offers great quality for the price. Wileyfox has also ramped up the brightness of the backlight on the handset, trading away some color reproduction for outdoor visibility. You’d be hard pushed to suggest this was a budget handset on the evidence of the screen alone.
Performance-wise the Snapdragon 410 holds no surprises. It pairs up a quad-core 64-bit CPU running at 1.2 GHz with an Adreno 306 GPU. That puts the Swift in the same specification space as this year’s Moto G handset, although the Moto G CPU runs at a slightly faster 1.4GHz. In normal use you’re not going to notice the drop in speed, but place some heavy demands on the Swift (notably in gaming) and you can see a touch of slowdown in the system. The question of whether this is acceptable in a budget device is always a judgement call. For me you’re not buying the Swift (or the larger Storm) for high-end specification, you’re looking for an all-rounder that does the job you need it to do with little fuss. The Swift delivers that.

The lying down desk!
The Altwork Station, a fully-reclining chair, desk and screen combination has been made available for pre-order at a princely $3,900 (£2,550), ahead of an expected full price of $5,900 (£3,850).
The company behind it, Californian start-up Altwork, says it is aiming the station at “high intensity” computer users, and says it has spent five years building the device.
"It allows you to work any way you want and the computers seamlessly moves with you"
The station has a built in curved monitor, but has a magnetic desk that allows peripherals to remain attached even when it is vertical.
The backlash against sitting down for hours on end has led to standing desks popping up in offices around the world, although a recent study suggested that this is no better for you than sitting.

P4 Some repeats got cut last wee
Youtube Red
After many months of speculation, YouTube has finally unveiled its premium subscription service: $9.99 a month for ad-free viewing and listening, offline caching and a raft of other features too.

YouTube Red includes YouTube Music Key (now just YouTube Music), which continues to offer unlimited Google Play Music streaming. The site, which already offers TV shows and movies, will make exclusive shows and moviesfrom the likes of star vlogger PewDiePie and CollegeHumor available in the paid service. Think of it like a Netflix for the YouTube generation, a young viewers who are already glued to the site—and might pay to see even more.

The new service delivers ad-free streaming, offline viewing, exclusive shows, improved music features and Google's version of Spotify all for $9.99 a month. But after 10 years of free, ad-supported access, the real question is whether YouTube will be able to be able to persuade people to cough up money.
The existing YouTube isn't going anywhere, and will continue to operate much as it always has, and there's a risk that the majority of users will too.

Another month, another billion for Uber… The ride-hailing business is reportedly raising yet again — planning to raise close to $1 billion in new investment according to the NYT citing “people close to the matter”, with investors looking at a valuation of between $60 billion and $70 billion for the six-year-old startup.
If the NYT’s report is on the money, it comes mere months after the WSJ reported Uber had raised almost $1 billion in new financing, with a valuation then, in July, of more than $50 billion.
We’ve reached out to Uber for comment and will update this story with any response. Update: An Uber spokesman declined to comment.
Uber’s war-chest runs to more than $8 billion in confirmed financing rounds at this stage.
Why does a ride-hailing business that likes to claim it’s not a transportation company need such a massive money mountain behind it? It’s pretty clear Uber subsidizes the cost of rides as part of its market expansion acceleration strategy — as a way to undercut traditional taxi opposition and put pressure on local ride-hailing competition.
It’s also been spending big on trying to crack specific international markets, such as the Chinese market, where it faces some fast growing (and well funded) local competition —raising around $1.2 billion last month to fuel its growth there, and another $1 billion in July focused on India.
The company has also signaled its ambitions go beyond getting people from A to B, withmerchant delivery programs, such as food delivery (Uber Eats) and a same-day courier service (Uber Rush), being piloted and soft launched in various cities.
It’s also engaged in driverless car tech research — envisaging an evolution of its platform, down the road, where Ubers are driven by robots rather than self-employed human ‘partners’. The meatsacks will just be sitting in the back.
The accelerating stack of investment rounds and valuations is a measure of the scale of Uber’s ambitions to become a global on-demand logistics platform business — a vision that’s clearly convinced investors. (Albeit, it gets easier to be convinced when you’re taking a punt on an $8 billion investment stack.)

China and Apple!
Perhaps the most important number in Apple’s quarterly release on Tuesday came from China, and it’s not the good news Apple makes out. The company’s over reliance on the Chinese market is starting to hinder its progress despite management’s attempts to give it a positive spin.
During Tuesday’s earnings call, Apple chief executive Tim Cook sang the praises of the Chinese market, saying it will one day be Apple’s largest. In fiscal 2015, which ended for Apple on Sept. 26, Greater China provided 25 per cent of the company’s revenue, for the first time overtaking Europe, responsible for just 21.6 per cent of Apple sales. An economic slowdown? Not according to Cook, who is worth quoting at length here:
Frankly, if I were to shut off my web and shut off the TV and just look at how many customers are coming in our stores regardless of whether they’re buying, how many people are coming online, and in addition looking at our sales trends, I wouldn’t know there was any economic issue at all in China. And so I don’t know how unusual we are with that. I think that there’s a misunderstanding, probably particularly in the Western world, about China’s economy, which contributes to the confusion. That said, I don’t think it’s growing as fast as it was; but I also don’t think that Apple’s results are largely dependent on minor changes in growth.
The statistics Cook cites in support of this view are impressive: 87-per-cent growth in iPhone sales year-on-year in Greater China (which includes Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau) despite the entire market’s 4-per-cent growth; revenue almost twice as high in the last quarter as a year ago; and the iPhone 6 now the bestselling smartphone in China, with the iPhone 6 Plus at number three. These numbers are less relevant, however, than two others: a drop in quarter-on-quarter sales in Greater China and an erosion of Apple’s overall market share there.
In the last quarter of fiscal 2015, Apple made $12.5-billion in revenue in Greater China, a 5.4-per-cent drop compared to the previous three months, despite the inclusion of the first weekend of iPhone 6s sales in the fourth quarter, 2015 data. In 2014, the new iPhone 6 wasn’t immediately available in China, so the fourth quarter didn’t benefit from the new product boost -- and still sales were higher than in the previous three months.
Cook is wrong to say the Chinese slowdown isn’t affecting his company’s sales. The effect has been immediate and quite obvious. But Apple’s market share in the Asia Pacific region, which includes China, wasn’t growing even before it manifested itself.

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