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July 29, 2012

India tops the list of spam-relaying nations: Sophos

 

Earlier in April, Trend Micro had released a report stating that about 20 percent of spam originates from India. Now, Sophos has revealed its own report stating that India tops the world list in spam-relaying nations despite only 5.3 percent of the world’s Internet users reportedly living in India.  It even says that if there’s a spam mail in your inbox, there's more than a one in ten chance that it was relayed from an Indian computer. The report goes on to say that India has topped the list by a significant margin and was accountable for 11.4% of the world’s spam seen throughout April, May and June.
India tops the list
India tops the list


It is believed that a vast majority of spam comes from home computers that have been compromised by hackers and commandeered into a botnet. These remote hackers can send spam from recruited computers and are also capable of potentially stealing information or installing other malicious code. The new report further adds that there are chances that most of the spammers who are relaying their messages through compromised Indian computers are not based in the country at all - and just taking advantage of zombie computers that have been unwittingly recruited into a botnet. Such spam emails make up an average of 45-50 percent of corporate email, which means one unwanted, unsolicited message for every legitimate communication. 

The report also points out that first-time internet users in growing economies are said to be easy targets. They become an easy target as no appropriate measures are taken to block the malware infections in their PCs that spew spam. With an increase in Internet and PC penetration in India and probably lack of appropriate safety measures, users in developing countries like India become easy targets 

In Sophos’ last report, it had revealed that the overall throughput of global email spam messages had decreased since Q1 2011. One of many reasons for this is better work by ISPs. However, it had also pointed out a change in tactics employed by cybercriminals. Spammers are said to increasingly find traditional email spam ineffective and are turning to social networks to spread various kinds of marketing spam campaigns.

Social sites like Facebook and Twitter have been targeted with campaigns but the newest target of these malicious minds is Pinterest. PInterest is used by spammers to distribute posts linking to webpages that offer to sell goods, or earn commission for the spammers. Though basic marketing spam decreases, the number of messages that spread malware or represent more targetted attempts to phish usernames, passwords and personal information has been increasing.

Trend Micro’s report for the quarter's top spam-sending countries included India at 20 per cent, Indonesia at 13 per cent, South Korea at 12 per cent and Russia at 10 per cent. It even said that this isn’t a cybercrime and appears to be more of a long term or on-going campaign. Spam spewing malware was detected even in Android phones lately. The malware would spread on Android mobile phones and take control of e-mail accounts to create a ‘botnet’ and send out spam. Terry Zink, Microsoft security engineer revealed that the malware had infected phones of users who access Yahoo! e-mail accounts and sends out spam messages. Earlier a report had revealed that the malware targeting Android users have quadrupled since 2011. It said that about 10 Android malware families have come to the forefront in 2011, while the number has increased to 37 families in the first quarter of 2012. This clearly shows a year over year growth of a staggering 270 percent. A comparison between the number of malicious Android application package files (APKs) received in Q1 2011 and in Q1 2012 reveals a more alarming find — an increase from 139 to 3063 counts. [via Tech2]

Swipe launches new tablet line-up, 3D Life tablet priced at Rs. 5,999

 

Swipe Telecom, a California based technology start-up has launched its new tablets for the Indian market – Swipe 3D Life, Swipe Halo TabX74S and Swipe Float TabX78. These tablets are aimed at addressing the growing demand for affordable tablets in urban, semi-urban and rural India. The highlight of the launch is the new 3D Life tablet that supports three dimensional content on-the-go.
3D tablet launched at Rs. 5,999
3D tablet launched at Rs. 5,999


Bringing 3D technology to tablets, the Swipe 3D Life is targeted at children and youth, laying emphasis on 3D gaming and videos. The tablet ropes in the Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) operating system with a usual 7-inch TFT five point touch capacitive touchscreen, featuring 800 x 480 pixels resolution. Powered by the A13 Cortex processor that clocks at 1.5 GHz, the tablet lets you load content on its 4 GB internal memory. Its 3400 mAH battery claims to offer video playback time of 5 to 6 hours. On the connectivity front, it supports Wi-Fi and 3G, and there is a front camera too. This 3D tablet is affordably priced at INR5,999.

Commenting on the occasion, Shripal Gandhi, Founder and CEO, Swipe Telecom, said, “India is fast approaching the 1 million per anum tablet sales with current size estimated at $400 million (INR2200 crore). The market for tablets is poised to explode to the extent that 1 million tablets that got sold in a year will be sold every month in the next 3-5 years”.

The next in the Swipe tablet line-up is the tabX78 Float aimed at executives and business professionals. The tabX78 Float weighs 295 grams with 8.5 mm thickness, and comes with support for the Hindi language. The key feature of this tablet is its sleek look. Featuring a touchscreen similar to that of the 3D Life, the tabX78 runs on Android 4.0.3, and is powered by a 1.5 GHz Boxchip A13. The internal memory of 4 GB is expandable upto 16 GB, and it comes with support for external 3G and Wi-Fi. This sleek tablet is priced at INR6,999. 

The third and the last is the tabX74S Halo, a 7-inch tablet with SIM functionality for calling and web browsing. Powered by a 1.5 GHz A10 processor and 1 GB RAM, the tablet runs on Android 4.0.3, and comes dipped in white and black hues. The spec sheet includes a 2 MP rear camera and a 1.3MP front camera, a 7-inch touchscreen with 800 x 480 resolution, 4 GB internal memory, an HDMI port and full HD 1080p video support. The tabX74S Halo is priced at INR9,999. 

“Our internal research shows massive latent demand for technologically superior tablets such as 3D technology and a smartphone tablet at competitive prices. At Swipe Telecom, we have a repertoire of product designs that will cater to all strata of the society without pinching them on their wallets. Our business model is based on the philosophy that superior technology does not necessarily mean premium pricing,” added Shripal.

The Swipe range of tablets is available at India’s leading online stores such as Flipkart, Snapdeal, eBay and Ncarry.

Facebook's user base increases to 50 million in India

 

While we already know that Facebook is an extremely popular social networking website in India, new stats clearly show that it has managed to attract millions of users in the past two years. The new statistics revealed by Facebook show that its user base in India has increased from 8 million in 2010 to 50 million now. Moreover, most of these Indian users access the social site from their mobile phones, which is compelling Facebook to rethink its business model for India.
Facebook irks users
Facebook user base increases


While in countries like the U.S., people starting using the social site on their desktop and then moved to mobile phones, users in India (including first time users) have been accessing the social site on their mobile phones. Kirthiga Reddy, Facebook Director (Online operations and head of office, India) said, “While for other countries it was the desktop which was first used to get in to the portal, in case of India it was the mobile phone. Because many people are going to Facebook first on mobile and they might never go to desktop again. The situation has also prompted Facebook to come out with many innovations so that the site can be accessed through any mobile phone”.

Facebook for India has shown immense growth in past two years. According to the information available on the Facebook official website, it had 901 million active users at the end of March 2012, and approximately 80 percent of these monthly active users were outside the US and Canada. Reddy also spoke about their strict policy of not allowing children below 13 years of age to use the social site. "Our policy is that children below 13 years of age are not allowed... we have taken that very seriously. Anytime someone is being reported being under 13 (of age), we immediately look into that and take action. There is a lot of education and initiatives we engage in," she added.

Facebook only recently launched its App Center in India. The launch came after the social networking giant's announcement about the App Center going global. App Center makes it easy to find apps through your friends, and gives apps another way to grow. Each person has a personalized experience in the App Center, with recommendations based on the apps they and their friends use, whether it be games, fashion, food, fitness, travel, or any other lifestyle app. The apps are shown according to recommendations by users. The App Center is available on mobile via the Facebook app for iOS and Android, or by accessing Facebook.com on mobile.

In recent reports, about how researchers from the University of Missouri developed a new scale, which can help judge one’s personality from the way they use Facebook. The study claims that all those people who like high-risk activity tend to update their statuses often, and also upload photos and interact with friends frequently. On the flip side, those who are reserved, rarely scroll through Facebook’s “news feed”, and don’t indulge in uploading photos or actively engaging with their friends. [va Tech2]

Google Fiber service for Internet and cable TV launched

 

Google has launched its Google Fiber service in Kansas City today. The highly anticipated service is aimed at consumers only, and offers gigabit-speed Internet connectivity and cable TV. Google has divided the service into three packages. There is a common construction fee of $300 for connecting the home to the fiber infrastructure, irrespective of the package opted for. Internet access alone will cost $70 for Internet. Internet and cable TV service will cost $120 a month.

The reason Kansas was picked as the launch city is explained by, Kevin Lo, General Manager of Google Access, in a blog post on the Google Fiber Blog. Kevin wrote, “When we announced that we wanted to provide a community with Internet access more than 100 times faster than what most Americans enjoy today, we asked who was interested in working with us. More than 1,100 cities raised their hands, and those of you in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri won us over with your enthusiasm for better, faster web connections.”
Google Fiber
Google Fiber


The registration process for this service in Kansas has already started will end on September 9, 2012. However, you will need to do something more than just register to avail the services. First, you need to pre-register by visiting the Google Fiber website. Next you have to rally neighbors to register for the services. The neighborhood with the most number of registrations will get the service first.

The different packages are:

Google Fiber + TV: This is the ultimate package which offers symmetrical gigabit-speed connection plus Google TV, which offers local channels, YouTube, Netflix and Google’s “fiber channels.” Consumers opting for this package will also get a brand Nexus 7 tablet, which they can use as a remote control for the TV. There is also a regular Bluetooth remote control in the package, in case you find the tablet a bit too big to pass as a remote control. Plus, Google is also planning to release an iOS app for controlling the Google Fiber TV product with iPhones or iPads. A Wi-Fi router and a 2-terabyte storage box are part of this package. Consumers will also get a free terabyte of storage in Google’s cloud locker, G Drive. The total cost for this package is $120 per month and if customers sign a two-year contract Google will waive the $300 connection fee.

Google Fiber: This package offers the same thing except the TV package. This will suit consumers who just want high-speed Internet connection and are not much interested in the TV service. This package costs $70 a month and for users who sign a 1-year contract Google will waive the $300 connection fee.

Free Internet: This is exactly what it says – free Internet connection with no monthly charge. However, consumers will have to pay the construction fee of $300 either lumpsum or $25 a month if they sign up for one year. This plan covers any household which falls in the fiber footprint.

I love India, but Apple has higher potential elsewhere: CEO Cook

 

In an earnings conference call that Apple CEO, Tim Cook held with analysts, he affirmed that while he loves India, he believes that there are other countries where Apple has higher potential in the intermediate term. Cook was answering questions pertaining to Apple's presence (or the lack of it) in the country, and the company's future growth plans in India.

Cook also added that the multi-layered distribution in India has been adding to the costs of getting products to market. Cook was further quoted as saying, "We have a business there and the business is growing but the multi-layered distribution there really adds to the cost of getting products to market". He, however clarified that this does not mean that the company will not focus on the country. He said his "own perspective is that in the intermediate term there will be larger opportunities outside (of India)". 
Apple to launch a new tool for creating ebooks?
Apple to launch a new tool for creating ebooks?


Tim Cook recently also rubbished rumours of opening an Apple store in the country, saying that they had no such plans in place. These stores were said to be on the lines of those that the Cupertino brand has in countries such as the U.S, the UK, and Germany, as opposed to the Apple product resellers in India, such as the Reliance iStore and Imagine

Just last month, Apple introduced its iTunes Store across 12 Asian countries, including Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan. India remained conspicious by its absence. Though India already has access to the App Store for purchasing applications for iOS devices or Mac computers, it is sad that despite being an emerging market, India has been overlooked as a destination for direct sale of music or videos from iTunes. This has left many users without a choice, and more often than not, left them with the option to download music illegally. 

Early this month, premium Apple product MacBook Pro with Retina Display made its entry into the country with a premium price tag. The base version starts at Rs. 1,52,900. The price of the product in India is roughly the equivalent of Rs. 30,000 more than what it is selling for in the U.S. The reason Apple is pricing these notebooks in India at such prices could be the decline in the Rupee in comparison to the Dollar. [via Tech2]

July 28, 2012

Google Launches Voice Enabled 34-Button Scientific Calculator


Google has had a calculator integrated into its search results for a long time. Using the calculator was as easy as typing a math problem such as 2+2 into the search bar and hitting enter. Google has made that calculator much more complex and useful with the addition of a new scientific calculator with 34-buttons.
google calculator
The calculator promises much of the same functionality of a real calculator. The best news is that the scientific calculator is available not only on your desktop computer, but via your mobile phone and its voice search enabled. When on the smartphone, the scientific functions can be seen when you rotate the phone into landscape mode.
To use the calculator in voice mode just click the mic icon and speak your equation. This might be the perfect thing for the times you need to work out a complex equation and your calculator ran out of batteries. You still have a calculator, right?
[via TechCrunch]

July 24, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 officially launches in India at Rs. 32,990


Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 has finally landed on our shores for Rs. 32,990. The tablet, whose production was riddled with snags and was even halted, after the company didn’t seem satisfied with the kind of specs it had to offer, is finally up for grabs. Running Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is fuelled by a 1 GHz Dual Core Processor. The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is powered by a 7,000 mAh battery. It sports a 3 MP shooter with video recording capabilities at an HD 720p resolution. The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 weighs in at 583 grams. The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is a rebadged version of the company's existing Tab 10.1 (or Tab 750).
Old wine in old bottle
Launched in India: Samsung Galxy Tab 2 10.1


The company had first announced the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 at MWC 2012 event. Compared with the Tab 10.1, the new model is a bit thicker and heavier. There is a slight change in the design too, as the stereo speakers are more prominently placed facing the front, rather than the sides. While the screen resolution and type have remained the same, the Tab 2 (10.1) does get expandable memory support this time.

For those who've missed it all along, here's a quick look at what it has to offer: 
  • 10.1-inch PLS LCD display with a resolution of 1280 x 800
  • 3G, Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, 
  • Bluetooth v3.0, USB 2.0, 
  • 3 MP auto-focus rear camera with full HD 1080p video recording capabilities @ 30fps
  • VGA front facing camera for video calling
  • 16/32GB Internal memory with MicroSD Card support up to 32 GB
  • 3.5mm audio jack

The tablet is available in silver and white colour variants. If the tablet has got you impressed, and you find it worth the money, then head over to the company's e-store here.  [via Tech2]

HOW YOUR FAVORITE SITES ARE USING YOUR DATA


The rise of social sharing sites has brought about an interesting change in how our data is being used. All of the different sites you frequent on a daily basis are actively gathering facts about you. You may have noticed that when you were searching for a perfect new summer tank top on Urban Outfitters, that when you left to check other websites those same tank tops started following you in ads on those new sites. Social networks are betting on a future built on a personalized web, an Internet paradise filled with items the virtual you will be more apt to share, pin, tweet, or “like.”
Social sites, search engines and applications are increasingly using our information in an effort to provide a more personal web experience. Facebook, Pinterest, Google, Pandora, and Twitter are some of the most popular websites that are changing the way we are being advertised to. The value of this change will bring more of the products and services we actually enjoy and want to look at, instead of all the junk we aren’t interested in, or even remotely care about. As we wake up to how the web is changing, it will most likely be seen as a fair exchange for the information we offer to companies and advertisers in our social profiles. It will also create a more personalized way for brands to interact with their customers.
Click here or the graphic below for a full-sized view.
 [via Baynote ][via Visual News]

July 23, 2012

Top 10 Free Responsive Image Galleries/Slideshows


If your website relies heavily on images, then having an image gallery is a great way to showcase your content on your website. Having said that, this idea may also backfire if visitors are coming from a mobile or touch device. Mobile users deserve some love too, hence the purpose of today’s post.
responsive galleries
There are a variety of responsive image galleries, slideshows and sliders to better manage your photos, screenshots and other forms of images on your site. Some incorporate transition effects, fade-in, fade-out and other effects, as well as thumbnail views of the gallery for faster access, flexibility and ease-of-use to view your site in full all-out browser mode and palm-sized smartphone screens.
To make it easier for you to find the right pick for your website’s needs, we have put together a showcase of the best 10 galleries, slideshows and sliders we know of. They are all available for free, making them the perfect addition to position your website well for optimized browser and mobile viewing.
An image carousel complete with slide effects and fade animations created by Woothemes, FlexSlider 2 showcases photos and/or videos, and works on all major browsers.
flexslider 2
"Inserting the carousels structure into a container with a fluid width will also make the carousel fluid." Made sense to us but check out the demo for a in-depth look at 5 demonstrations of the potential behind this concept.
Elastislide
Want to give your readers fast access to all images in the same album? Then this is the best gallery mode for you. With options to slide through the thumbnail carousel or through the photos themselves, this method is not unlike how you view the gallery in some smartphones, making it an intuitive experience.
Responsive Image Gallery
Prefer to showcase your photographs in full-screen mode? Try this Supersized slideshow that resizes your photographs to fit the viewer’s screen, no matter the dimensions.
Supersized
This one works with a build from mobile first approach. Images will swiftly rescale to fit orientations, portrait or landscape and users are treated with both a full gallery view and individual image views that they can easily swipe through. It works perfectly for desktop browsers too.
Photoswipe
Care for a lightweight and responsive slider plugin that works on all major browsers including IE6 to IE9? Set your images sliding with this very responsive slider plugin.
ResponsiveSlides.js
wmuSlider – [demo | download]
Another lightweight jQuery photo slider, this one features a sliding transition and will snap back to the first image in the queue once the viewer reaches the end of the slideshow.
wmuSlider
Camera – [demo | download]
Apart from the not-so-common transition effects, this slideshow also has autoplay options (that stops itself when you hover over it), caption and pagination support. It also supports html elements and videos.
Camera image slider
With a variety of transition formats including 3D transform support, refineslide allows you the luxury to mix-and-match your slideshow effects. It also has good browser support, and a Javascript fallback as well as caption support.
RefineSlide
galleria – [demo | download]
A responsive Javascript image gallery that reacts to dynamic measures and media queries. Get quick access to the full album, slideshow video, caption, pop-out option, and full screen mode all in one bar below the photo gallery.
galleria

Bonus:

Folks at webcodebuilder combines Woothemes’ FlexSlider and Jeremy Martin’s Kwicks into one responsive jQuery plugin they call the -FlexSlider feat. Kwiks. This plugin displays Kwicks accordion on higher resolutions, and use FlexSlider on smaller resolution.
flexslider feat kwiks
[via hongkiat]

20 Ridiculously Simple File-Sharing Web Tools


If you have ever tried to send files through email, you would understand it when we say "simplicity counts". File-sharing is all the hype now with a few big names (Dropbox and Google Drive) paving the way and smaller more adventurous web apps pushing the envelope, re-inventing the file-sharing saga as we know it. And as the world moves towards offices or projects that involve people that work in different timezones, driving over to your colleague’s place with a pen drive full of your work files is no longer an option.
Which is why we thought that you might appreciate this list of ridiculously simple and easy-to-use file-sharing tools you can find on the Web.
We’ve identified 20 tools worthy of checking out. Out of the list, we’re featuring 5 of our favourites. Take your pick of your favourite or if you have a new rising tool that we just have to know about, let us know in the comments.
Onward to the file-sharing future!

Our Favourite 5

1. Minus

A favourite with the crowds, Minus is no stranger to the file-sharing community because of its versatility and user-friendliness, plus the perks it has to offer. Let me count the ways: drag-and-drop to share images and documents, music and videos; 10 GB of free storage upon sign up; referrals are capped at 50GB per account; and you can manage, organize and share your uploaded files (up to 1GB per file) to social-media sharing websites like Youtube, Digg, Reddit and even your own blog.
Minus
You can also check out the other files that are shared publicly on Minus.com. There’s a whole community built within these walls where you can look through, like, comment and download another user’s images. For private use, just share the shortlink to restrict access to your precious files. If you like an image and want to download it, the download speeds will be slower for anonymous accounts; sign-up for free if that bothers you.
Minus
Minus is not only a web tool, it’s also available on mobile (Android, iPhone, iPad) and desktop (Windows, Mac, Ubuntu) so it has pretty much covered all major bases to ensure that you have constant access to all your files, inhibited only by your own Internet connection.

2. GE.TT

If you’re into sharing an ‘album’ amount of photos, you will love this tool. Again, it’s a drag-and-drop tool (we’ve established that it’s now a requirement for file-sharing simplicity) but you get to share whole photo albums with it. Share the url to the page via email or to your Facebook, Twitter or G+ account and your friends will have access to your photos and can download them as well.
Ge.tt
Now, the files shared will only be available for 30 days, unless you get an account with them. If you have an anonymous account, you get 250MB to play around with. If you sign up, you get 2GB which can fill up rather quickly with high-res photographs. So if that’s not enough, you can sign up for 5GB, 40GB or 100GB (!) of file-sharing storage space – at an affordable price.
Ge.tt
Size limitations aside, it’s a very easy-to-use tool to transfer large quantities of photos over the Internet.

3. Droplr

Mac users, if you’re looking for a brief but effective tool to share files, Droplr might be what you are looking for. With a guest account, you already get 1GB; register and you can keep the files you store in there for longer than a week. If you’re not a fan of ads, they also have a pro version (recently released) that goes for only $3/mth with which you get up to 100GB storage, ad-free.
Droplr
Apart from its seamless integration between Mac, Windows and the iPhone (v2.0), Droplr allows you to share files, and copy links with keystrokes. No more rummaging around or highlighting short links. Inside its CMS (not the Pro account), you can also manage and sort your files according to a file type filter on the left sidebar and by details of the files on the top sorting row. All files are also displayed on an image preview mode, plus the searchbar also makes it extra easy to locate your files.
Droplr
There are other extra features worth mentioning, one of which is its code-sharing features, as the tool enables syntax highlighting; you also receive viewcounts for all your files. Its iPhone app has also been receiving glowing remarks, evidence of an always evolving, always improving file-sharing solution.

4. Ypix.Me

Despite limiting the types of files you can share on Ypix.me to just screenshots and images (max: 3MB/file), this ridiculously easy-to-use tool gives new meaning to real-time sharing, and we’re not referring to quick upload and download times. For starters, the Ypix.me main page is so stripped down that the landing page, the instructions and the tool itself are all on the main page, with good reason.
Yes, Pix Me!
To use it, drag and drop an image file into the cloud in the middle of the page, then share the url address via the social buttons or a manual copy-paste to a fellow collaborator. As you continue dropping in images, you will see the page update itself. The best bit? Your collaborator can also drop his annotated or altered image files into the same stream. On the left side of the page you can scroll through the dropped in pictures, and click on any screenshot to bring it to view.
Yes, Pix Me!
Since new additions to the page trigger a page refresh (akin to photo-streaming), everyone who has access to the url gets the same view, so everyone is literally on the same page. None of the images you drop into a ypix.me page can be deleted on your end, however, all pages will be cleared in 30 days so nothing gets stored, even if you want it to be. No registration or sign-ups required.

5. DropCanvas

Easily the most recently developed tool on this list, DropCanvas is amazingly easy to use. Just drag and drop your files from your desktop into the empty space in the middle of the page and as expected, you get a link to share with your friends. On the other end, your friends with access to your files can download whatever you drop in. The tool automatically compresses the files selected for download to reduce the file load – a very considerate approach seeing as how file-sharing is now done by the album-load.
DropCanvas
More good news, there is no limit to how much you can upload and store on DropCanvas although each canvas (I’ve figured out that it just means an album or a large folder) has a limit of 5GB. You can have several Canvases to your name and can easily keep track of each one by registering for a free account.
DropCanvas
One thing we’d like to straighten out: there is an ‘editing’ option available but it’s mostly for adding and deleting files from the canvas and not for image editing. All in all, a very nice file-sharing option for larger files like music and videos.

More Tools

Here are a few other tools that you might prefer if all you want to do is share a large file or files online. They all allow you to complete the file transfer, or file sharing, via the shortlink provided. There will be differences in upload and download times and some of these tools keep your file in their server longer than usual but it still beats having to share your files via the very restrictive, ‘email’ way. All you need is an Internet connection.
GigaSize
Drawpr
4Shared
Send Space
File Convoy
PasteLink
WeTransfer
Just Beam It
Uploader Box
Snaggy
Share Send
Senduit
Uploadie
imgur
[via hongkiat]