New Delhi: US-based iPhone maker Apple has sought incentives from the government to set up a manufacturing unit in the country. In a communication to the government, the Cupertino-based technology major has asked for incentives related to the Department of Revenue and Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeITY), an official told PTI. "They are doing their due diligence from quite some time. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) will write to both the departments regarding this communication for their views," the official added. At present, to boost electronic manufacturing in the country, the government provides benefits under Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (MSIPS). The scheme provides financial incentives to offset disability and attract investments in the electronics hardware segment. It also gives subsidy for investments in Special Economic Zones, among other benefits. Currently, Apple's products are manufactured in six countries including Korea, Japan and the US. Apple's communication regarding setting up of a manufacturing unit assumes significance as the Finance Ministry in May had rejected relaxing the 30% domestic sourcing norms, as sought by the iPhone and iPad maker as a pre-condition for bringing in FDI to set up single-brand retail stores in the country. The company had sought exemption on the ground that it makes state-of-the-art and cutting-edge technology products for which local sourcing is not possible. The government had also turned down the firm's proposal to import refurbished phones and sell them in India. The company sells its products through Apple-owned retail stores in countries like China, Germany, the US, the UK and France, among others. It has no wholly-owned store in India and sells its products through distributors such as Redington and Ingram Micro. The government has announced incentives to promote electronic manufacturing in India and reduce the import bill. Total import of electronics goods were valued at Rs 2.25 lakh crore in 2014-15 as against Rs 1.95 lakh crore in the previous year.
Kochi: MobME Wireless Solutions, supported by Infosys' Kris Gopalakrishnan, on Monday said it has launched 'Geckolyst' to analyse customer feedback to provide comprehensible information for enterprises. India's first campus startup MobME, which primarily focuses on providing mobility and related solutions to telecom players, has expanded its range of technology to cater to the needs of clients in e-Commerce, airlines and retail sectors. "We have completed a decade of growth and are now focusing aggressively on customer experience analytics for all our enterprise customers," said MobME CEO Sathya Kalyanasundaram in a release here. "Geckolyst allows an organization to integrate customer feedback from virtually any source, including call center data, survey responses, social media, customer emails, CRM systems, point of sale data, etc. By collecting data from all sources of customer feedback and combining them into a centralized dashboard with an integrated complaint redressal engine - Geckolyst can help provide an immediate & accurate analysis of customer sentiment," he explained. The company has already started partnering with leading organisations in telecom, banking and retail to provide end-to-end customer experience analytics solution for their businesses, the release said. MobME was founded in 2006 by three enterprising engineering students while pursuing their course. The team initially started with the telecom sector and later expanded its relationship with other sectors. Kalyanasundaram said the launch of 'Geckolyst' will herald MobME's aggressive bid to tap into a critical component of an enterprise, i.E. Customer satisfaction. "It will also mark the company's next trajectory of growth. We have appointed a professional management team and it shows the ability of the company to adapt effectively to the imperatives of changing times to achieve the goals," Kalyanasundaram said.
London: The nursing assistant for your next trip to the hospital may be a robot, thanks to scientists who have trained a robot to imitate natural human actions. The research by Dr. Elena De Momi from the Politecnico di Milano in Italy and colleagues indicates that humans and robots can effectively coordinate their actions during high-stakes events such as surgeries. Over time this should lead to improvements in safety during surgeries because unlike their human counterparts robots do not tire and can complete an endless series of precise movements, researchers said. The goal is not to remove human expertise from the operating room, but to complement it with a robot's particular skills and benefits. "As a roboticist, I am convinced that robotic (co)workers and collaborators will definitely change the work market, but they won't steal job opportunities. They will just allow us to decrease workload and achieve better performances in several tasks, from medicine to industrial applications," De Momi said. In the experiment, the team photographed a human being conducting numerous reaching motions, in a way similar to handing instruments to a surgeon. These camera captures were input into the neural network of the robotic arm, which is crucial to controlling movements. Next, a human operator guided the robotic arm in imitating the reaching motions that the human subject had initially performed. Although there was not a perfect overlap between the robotic and human actions, they were broadly similar. Finally, several humans observed as the robotic arm made numerous motions. These observers determined whether the actions of the robotic arms were "biologically inspired," which would indicate that their neural networks had effectively learned to imitate human behaviour. About 70 percent of the time this is exactly what the human observers concluded, researchers said. If robotic arms can indeed imitate human behaviour, it would be necessary to build conditions in which humans and robots can cooperate effectively in high-stress environments like operating rooms, they said. The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Robotics and AI (Artificial Intelligence).
San Francisco: Facebook has released a mobile app for finding local happenings to enjoy with friends. The Events app tailored for iPhones hit Apple's online shop, with a version "coming soon" for smartphones powered by Google-backed Android software, Facebook product manager Aditya Koolwal said in on online post. Events is a stand-alone spin on a section at the leading online social network that lets people share plans for concerts, poetry slams, plays or other types of events they are interested in attending. "When you open Events, you can quickly catch up on new events your friends are interested in, recently-announced events by the Pages you like, and updates from events you're already connected to," Koolwal said. More than 100 million people daily use Facebook's events section to discover activities they can take part in with friends, according to Koolwal. The Events app lets people browse for happenings based on factors such as location or interest, and to explore potential outing options with the help of interactive maps. Plans made in Events are organised on a calendar and shared back to Facebook friends. California-based Facebook has been building a family of mobile applications to stay tuned into modern lifestyles in which smartphones are used to quickly connect and share with friends or colleagues. Facebook has a mobile app for the social network, as well as Messenger and WhatsApp messaging programs that each claim more than a billion users. Facebook also owns photo and video sharing app Instagram, which reported earlier this year that it topped 500 million users.
London: American tech giants Microsoft, Google and Salesforce have officially adopted the EU—US Privacy Shield framework, enabling them to receive personal data from the European Union (EU) in compliance with the new standards. They are now among the 103 companies — out of the 5,526 signatories – that have so far signed up to replace the defunct Safe Harbour framework. Facebook, Apple and Twitter are yet to adopt Privacy Shield, Britain-based Ars Technica website reported. The European Commission adopted the Privacy Shield in July to facilitate the transfer of personal data from the EU to the US. Privacy Shield is a voluntary scheme, whereby companies promise to treat European citizens’ personal data in compliance with European Union data rules. Those pledges are then enforced by the US Department of Commerce. According to the EU, the arrangement was necessary because the US does not meet the data protection standards required by Europe. The European Court of Justice annulled the previous law in October 2015. Since its introduction in 2000, the previous agreement had come to be relied on by 4,400 businesses, including internet giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon. But an Austrian law student argued that since Facebook data was subjected to mass surveillance by US intelligence agencies, it did not offer an adequate level of protection. The student lodged a complaint with the Irish supervisory authority, in the light of the revelations made in 2013 by American whistleblower Edward Snowden concerning the activities of the US intelligence services, in particular the National Security Agency (NSA). The case was later transferred to the European court. After investigation, European Court of Justice concluded the agreement invalid, saying “the transfer of the data of Facebook’s European subscribers to the US should be suspended.” Recently, in a setback to US tech giant Apple, the European Commission announced that Ireland must demand 13 billion Euros in taxes from the Cupertino, San Francisco—based company. The White House has termed the order for tech giant Apple as unfair.
Bengaluru: Chinese telecom gear maker Huawei on Friday launched its largest global service centre (GSC) in India with an initial investment of Rs 136 crore. The facility will handle the highest number of projects compared to its other three GSCs in China, Romania and Mexico, the company said. "The inauguration of this center, our largest GSC, further reaffirms our commitment to India....We have earmarked an initial investment of Rs 136 crore," Huawei India CEO Jay Chen said here. "The India GSC will handle more than 50 projects, supporting over 30 countries in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, serving over 350 million subscribers," he said. Huawei has hired over 1,000 engineers, network operation specialists and support staff to work at this centre. The India GSC is co-located with Huawei Research and Development Centre in Bengaluru. "It is largest GSC in terms of number of projects that it will handle and it will be operational round the clock," Chen said.
New Delhi: It’s no secret that Google and its competitors like Apple or Facebook view India as a key market for their future. With hundreds of millions of users waiting to come online, most on them on mobile first, India has tremendous potential. And this time too, Google and Apple competes unveiling slew of initiatives to educate students and developers as a part of its training program in India, aiming to train two million mobile app developers. Google announced the training program as Apple plans to open a development accelerator in Bengaluru, which will provide specialized support to iOS app developers. These market giant’s war offers India a tremendous opportunity to bag the careers in the reputed firms, where Google alone is expected to offer the program in about 2,000 universities, training about 4,000 faculties to reach more than 250,000 students every year. “India is expected to have the largest developer population globally, overtaking the US by 2018, with four million developers, but only 25% are building for mobile today. We believe India is uniquely placed to innovate and shape the internet experience of billions of users who are and will come online on the mobile platform,” said Caesar Sengupta, vice president of product management at Google. Through this three year program, Google wants to establish an end-to-end Android training program, specific training channels, and a certification program that will attest that developers are ready to work in the field of Android development. Trainees will be given the opportunity to take an exam called Associate Android Developer Certification that will help them obtain jobs in the industry. This certification is recognized globally and is designed to assess skills and knowledge that are actually required in Android development jobs. Interested developers can already take the exam, for a fee of Rs. 6500. Google will also work with training partners including Edureka, Koenig, Manipal Global, Simplilearn, Udacity and UpGrad to ensure that their trainers and courses are up to the mark. The search giant will also source all android developer fundamentals, practicals and courseware and make them available to everyone for free. “We want to contribute to the Skill India initiative and help make India the global leader in mobile app development,” said Sengupta.
California: Google’s latest play really surprised the techie world. It is about Google's biggest Android security update ever, Avast's acquisition of AVG for $1.3 billion. The July security update for Android is the biggest Google has ever released. While the June update for 2016 only patched 40 issues to Google's mobile operating system, the new update addresses 108 different vulnerabilities. That makes a total of 271 patches in 2016. The July update also introduces a new method of patching, using dual patches to help accelerate the process and more quickly fix vulnerabilities. Avast, the IT security company announced July 6 that it's acquiring rival antivirus company AVG Technologies. The $1.3 billion deal joins two of the biggest vendors in the consumer antivirus industry. Once the deal closes, the combined company will reach more than 400 million users across the world. Under the terms of the deal, which is expected to close in September or October, Avast will pay $25 for each share of AVG. Besides sharing corporate origins in the Czech Republic, both companies are known for offering free consumer antivirus products with paid upgrades. Together, the joint company is expected to continue a new focus on protection for mobile devices. The offer came from Avast with an all-cash deal, made possible through cash on hand and debt financing and AVG seems happy to accept, praising the move as great for both the company's future and shareholders. As for Avast's benefits from the acquisition and future plans, it seems no major restructures are currently planned, as in the migration of AVG's user base. Instead, Avast sees great potential in using AVG's 400 million existing client endpoints, 160 million of which on mobile, to "act as de facto sensors, providing information about malware to help detect and neutralize new threats as soon as they appear,". Definitely a smart strategic move, though it is the major tech acquisition in last few months. Just last month, Microsoft made its biggest acquisition by acquiring LinkedIn, the social network for professionals, for $26.2 Billion in cash.
Houston: Millions of Facebook users will soon be able to connect with more people around the world by sharing their posts and comments in multiple languages. The world's largest social networking site announced that its own developers have built a multilingual composer. The tool enables users to compose a single post that will appear in multiple languages. Other users will see that post in their preferred language. "People use Facebook to share information and ideas in many different languages," the Facebook team wrote in a blog post. "In fact, 50 per cent of our community speaks a language other than English and most people don't speak each other's languages, so we're always thinking about ways we can help remove language as a barrier to connecting on Facebook". A user test has already started and anyone in the test group can enable the multilingual composer by going to the Language section of their Account Settings. The composer, Facebook noted, is only available for desktops now, but others can view the multilingual posts across all platforms. According to Facebook, while the site is just beginning to test the service with individual users, they began testing it with pages earlier this year. The "multilingual composer," as the feature is called, allows you to write a post in one language and then choose additional languages in which you would like it to be published. If you write a post in English but publish it in Spanish, for example, any of your friends or followers who use Facebook in Spanish would see that Spanish translation of your post. The new composer, which will work for all permutations of the 45 languages Facebook currently translates, is beginning to roll out. A new feature uses automatic translation software to help people post Facebook updates in multiple languages at the same time. Users viewing a post made that way are shown the version most likely to be readable to them in light of their own past language use and settings. The new feature is also designed to provide Facebook with valuable new data to help its translation software convert slang and other colloquial language from one language to another. That could improve the company's automatic translations of short posts and comments from friends not using your language. "The multilingual-post option that starts rolling out today was inspired by the fact that many people already write posts in multiple languages. But they had to either write multiple versions of a message in one post or create separate posts--strategies that tend to reduce the chance anyone would respond," said Fazil Ayan, who leads work on Facebook's translation software. Language, according to Jeff Kagan, an independent industry analyst, continues to be the barrier that separates people the most. This new artificial intelligence-driven tool could help break down that wall.
Washington: A team of international researchers, including an Indian-origin graduate student, is developing software that could let you control your smartphone through eye movements to play games, open apps and do other stuff. The team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Georgia and Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Informatics has so far been able to train software to identify where a person is looking with an accuracy of about a centimetre on a mobile phone and 1.7 centimetres on a tablet, MIT Technology Review reported. According to study co-author Aditya Khosla from MIT, the system’s accuracy will improve with more data. To achieve this, the researchers created an app called GazeCapture that gathered data about how people look at their phones in different environments outside the confines of a lab. Users’ gaze was recorded with the phone’s front camera as they were shown pulsating dots on a smartphone screen. To make sure they were paying attention, they were then shown a dot with an “L” or “R” inside it, and they had to tap the left or ride side of the screen in response. GazeCapture information was then used to train software called iTracker, which can also run on an iPhone. The handset’s camera captures your face, and the software considers factors like the position and direction of your head and eyes to figure out where your gaze is focused on the screen. About 1,500 people have used the GazeCapture app so far, Khosla said, adding if the researchers can get data from 10,000 people they’ll be able to reduce iTracker’s error rate to half a centimetre, which should be good enough for a range of eye-tracking applications. The study results were recently presented at the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition in Seattle, Washington. Other potential usage of the software could be in medical diagnoses, particularly to diagnose conditions including schizophrenia and concussions, Khosla said.