31772a6dd13fa30012a6de614c7ac0fc9734955e5797a33812 Money And Knowledge: January 2013

Microsoft to help SC-ST students get jobs

Microsoft and Bournville College of London have been roped in to train Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) students for job interviews.
The three-month course on 'Personal Development', comprising developing the overall personality of students, improving written and spoken English and providing the basic computer knowledge, is slated to start from December.
Ten blocks, including six, in Nadia and four in Bongaon, have been selected where the course will be offered in the beginning. Each batch will have 20 students. The department is yet to decide the number of batches for these two districts.
The course will be offered to the students free of cost. Students who have completed their graduation will be eligible for the course though the selection will be made by Microsoft and Bournville.
The department will spend Rs 9,940 per student for the course apart from providing Rs 250 to each student per month as travel allowance.
State Backward Classes Welfare minister Upen Biswas said 660 students have registered and will now go through a selection procedure. "As per the agreement, Microsoft and Bournville will not only train students to face interviews but also arrange placements for them," Biswas said.

US fiscal cliff: How it will hurt IT companies

Warning to investors: major UStechnology companies could miss estimates for fourth-quarter earnings as "fiscal cliff" worries likely led some corporate clients to tighten their belts last month and refrain from spending all of their 2012 IT budgets.

Tech companies usually enjoy a spike in orders in December as corporations use money left over in their budgets to buy goods on their wish lists - information technology products that are nice to have, rather than essential.

But the so-called year-end budget flush was not as deep in 2012 as in typical years, according to tech analysts and other experts citing conversations with corporate technology buyers and sales sources. They said companies held back onIT purchases in December in part because of Washington's protracted negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff, which is a package of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts that could have pushed the already soft US economy into recession.

It took until late on January 1 for House Republican lawmakers led by John Boehner to agree to a bill to avert the cliff, which President Barack Obama signed into law the next day.

"CIOs and CFOs were not making investments," said Andrew Bartels, an analyst with Forrester Research who advises corporate technology buyers. "If Boehner and Obama had been able to strike a deal by around Dec. 15, we would have had end-of-quarter investments."

Analysts say they expect tech spending to remain subdued through at least the first quarter, as businesses wait to see if Congress can resolve another looming fiscal fight, this time over the debt ceiling and federal spending cuts.

Wall Street has already significantly lowered expectations for the tech sector, which has been underperforming the overall market.

The Street now expects tech companies in the S&P 500 to report a 1.0 per cent drop in fourth-quarter earnings, against an average 2.8 per cent rise for companies in the full S&P 500. Three months ago, analysts were expecting tech sector earnings to rise 9.4 per cent in the fourth quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

First-quarter tech profit growth estimates have also been lowered to 2.6 per cent, from 9 per cent three months ago, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Greg Harrison, a corporate earnings research analyst with Thomson Reuters, said he expects analysts will cut their predictions further after tech companies report fourth-quarter results.

Intel will report its quarterly earnings on January 17, the first of a group of big tech companies reliant on enterprise spending. Intel will be followed by IBM, Microsoft and EMC later in January. Cisco Systems, Dell and Hewlett-Packard close their quarterly books in about a month.

Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott, which manages about $54 billion, said he generally expects fourth-quarter tech results to disappoint, but has yet to determine by how much.

He expects the sluggish performance to continue into the first quarter, then improve in the second half of the year, assuming Democrats and Republicans reach a deal on the debt ceiling and spending cuts.

"So far we only have one piece," he said of the fiscal cliff deal.

Use it or lose it
Even if Washington politicians eventually resolve their differences over fiscal issues, that is not expected to fully restore losses already caused to tech spending, experts said.

Technology projects that were axed at the end of last year will not likely be resumed any time soon because annual tech budgets are allocated on a "use it or lose it" basis, according to experts who advise companies on technology investments.

Technology projects that were axed at the end of last year will not likely be resumed any time soon because annual tech budgets are allocated on a "use it or lose it" basis, according to experts who advise companies on technology investments.

"These budgets are based on how the business is doing at the time. All of these are postponable decisions," said Howard Anderson, a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and frequent adviser to chief investment officers at Fortune 500 companies.

Analysts said that makers of hardware, from computers to networking gear, likely missed out on the year-end budget flush because businesses can postpone upgrades for years by buying new software that is compatible with older equipment.

They said they expect some companies to have postponed the purchase of new PCs in the fourth quarter, which could hit the results of Windows and Office maker Microsoft, along with PC makers Dell and HP, as well as chipmakers Intel and Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

Nucleus Research analyst Rebecca Wettemann said some businesses likely delayed buying new PCs to avoid having to upgrade to Windows 8, which was introduced late last year.

"A new operating system causes huge disruptions for businesses," she said. "Who wants to take that on in the face of all the other uncertainty?"

Microsoft, Dell, HP and Intel declined to comment. AMD did not return requests for comment.

Beyond concerns about the US economy, corporate IT buyers are also worried about the potential for further weakness in Europe and Asia.

Last Thursday, Forrester cut its closely watched forecast for 2013 global IT sales, citing the fiscal cliff debacle as one reason. Forrester now expects global IT sales to rise 3.3 per cent to $2.2 trillion this year, down from its previous forecast for 4.3 per cent growth.

Virtual storage
Analysts say the weak economy may boost adoption of recently introduced data storage technologies that allow companies to put more data on the equipment they already own, reducing the need for them to buy more hardware.

Some companies have already paid for that technology, but have yet to implement it because staff are not yet comfortable using it, said analyst Cindy Shaw of investment research firm Discern.

Shaw said that executives at those companies are likely to tell their IT staff to implement that technology to get full use out of existing equipment before they can buy more.

Storage equipment makers NetApp and EMC, along with hard drive makers Western Digital and Seagate Technology are likely to suffer the most from more use of the new technologies, which include storage virtualization. NetApp and Western Digital declined to comment. EMC and Seagate could not be reached for comment.

Defenders of the tech industry say the fallout from the fiscal cliff is already factored into share prices. The S&P 500 Information Technology Index has climbed 1.6 per cent over the past month, below the 4.0 per cent increase in the broader S&P 500 Index.

Some technology companies appear poised to outperform the pack.

Oracle Corp said on Dec. 18 that it expects software sales growth to stay strong in 2013 despite fears about the fiscal crisis. The company's earnings beat Wall Street forecasts in its most recent quarter as strong software sales offset a sharp drop in hardware revenue.

Analysts said that IBM, whose quarter ended December 31, may have fared better than other big technology companies, because it is has a large amount of recurring revenue from its services and software divisions.

"Oracle and IBM both have super strong sales teams that can bring home what they need to year after year," said Kim Forrest, senior analyst of Fort Pitt Capital.

Galaxy S2 Jelly Bean Update Release Date Gets Closer

Galaxy S2 Jelly Bean Update Release Date Gets Closer is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.
The Samsung Galaxy S2 Android 4.1 Jelly Bean release date has inched closer as Samsung Korea has posted details about the upcoming update on its website which could be a sign that the company is making final preparations for a roll out. Read: Samsung Galaxy S2 Jelly Bean Update Now Rumored for January. While it hasn’t specified a release date for the Galaxy S2 Jelly Bean update yet, Samsung Korea has posted the details of the upgrade to its website which could mean that a roll out, at least in Korea, is imminent. The posting, discovered by SamMobile, fills Galaxy S2 owners in on a lot of the details surrounding the promised update including the fact that the update will take the internal memory down from 12GB to 11GB and that it will roll out through Samsung Kies. Samsung Kies of course is Samsung’s software that allows owners to download software through their PC and that means that those with a Galaxy S2, again at least in Korea, shouldn’t be looking for an update to arrive Over-the-Air. (OTA) The version of the software will likely be Android 4.1.2, the latest version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and it will bring a host of new features to replace Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the current version of software running on the Galaxy S2. Read: AT&T Galaxy Note, S2 & One X Jelly Bean Updates Could Roll Out in January. Our favorite Android 4.1 features can be seen in the video below and Samsung will be making some additions to its own hardware as well. There will be improved camera functionality, Pop-Up Play for video, and Easy Mode which is perfect for newcomers to the software. What this means for Galaxy S2 owners in the U.S. is unclear. We imagine that the Galaxy S2 Jelly Bean update will first roll out to owners in Korea and then spread to other regions later in the year. American carriers, and AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon all carry the Galaxy S2, are typically last to these updates so it could be awhile before those still toting the Galaxy S2 see their Jelly Bean update arrive. We heard previously that the update might start in January and it’s now looking like that might be a possibility.

New Facebook app to allow free voice calls to friends

Facebook is preparing to launch a new feature for its Messenger app which allows users of the social networking site to place free voice calls tofriends.

The feature is so far available only to smartphone users in Canada and is buried within the latest update to the app, but it will eventually allow users to make free internet voice calls, known as VoIP calls, to any Facebook friend.

Experts are saying it represents an attempt by the world's largest social network to dominate the social world by taking on the default calling function in mobile phones, the 'Daily Mail' reported.

The new feature comes at the same time as Facebook Messenger rolled out a new feature worldwide which allows users to record and send a voicemail-type message to friends.

Working in a similar way to video messaging in the company's Poke app, users press and hold a red record button, speak their message, and it appears in line as part of the conversation.

TechCrunch writer Josh Constine imagines a range of uses for the function, from messaging while driving to recording the waves lapping at a beach to send to friends.

However, its addition to the Messenger app seems merely to make it an 'even more complete app' he writes, adding that he expects video messaging to soon be added as well.

One-tenth the size of the US, but with very similar demographics and mobile usage trends, Facebook is using Canada as a testing ground in advance of rolling out the feature in other markets, the paper said.

By clicking the 'i' icon in the top right of a conversation in the most recent update to Messenger, users reveal a 'free call' button which allows them to contact any friend also within the test region.

However, while Facebook is not charging users for the service, the call is not technically free since it will use data on users' existing mobile plans.

TechCrunch said that the move into voice messaging and VoIP can be seen as an attempt by the social network to take on the default, mobile network operated calling function on smartphones.

Internet emits 830 million tonnes of carbon dioxide

 Internet and other components of information communication and technology (ICT) industry annually produces more than 830 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas, and is expected to double by 2020, a new study has found.

Researchers from the Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET) and Bell Labs explain that the information communications and technology (ICT) industry, which delivers Internet, video, voice and other cloud services, produces about 2 per cent of globalCO2 emissions -- the same proportion as the aviation industry produces.

In the report published in journal Environmental Science & Technology, researchers said their projections suggest that ICT sector's share in greenhouse gas emission is expected to double by 2020.

They have also found new models of emissions and energy consumption that could help reduce their carbon footprint.

The study said that controlling those emissions requires more accurate but still feasible models, which take into account the data traffic, energy use and CO2 production in networks and other elements of the ICT industry.

Existing assessment models are inaccurate, so they set out to develop new approaches that better account for variations in equipment and other factors in the ICT industry.

They describe development and testing of two new models that better estimate the energy consumption and CO2 emissions of Internet and telecommunications services.

The researchers suggest, based on their models, that more efficient power usage of facilities, more efficient use of energy-efficient equipment and renewable energy sources are three keys to reducing ICT emissions of CO2.

Anti-virus products not good enough to beat computer viruses

The anti-virus industry has a dirty little secret: Its products are often not very good at stopping viruses. Consumers and businesses spend billions of dollars every year on anti-virus software. But these programmes rarely, if ever, block freshly-minted computer viruses, experts say, because the virus creators move too quickly. That is prompting start-ups and other companies to get creative about new approaches to computer security.
"The bad guys are always trying to be a step ahead," said Matthew D Howard, a venture capitalist at Norwest Venture Partners who previously set up the security strategy at Cisco Systems. "And it doesn't take a lot to be a step ahead."
Computer viruses used to be the domain of digital mischief-makers. But in the mid-2000s, when criminals discovered that malicious software could be profitable, the number of new viruses began to grow exponentially. In 2000, there were fewer than one million new strains of malware, most of them the work of amateurs. By 2010, there were 49 million new strains, according to AV-Test, a German research institute that tests anti-virus products. The anti-virus industry has grown as well, but experts say it is falling behind. By the time its products are able to block new viruses, it is often too late. The bad guys have had their fun, siphoning out a company's trade secrets, erasing data or emptying a consumer's bank account.
A new study by Imperva, a data security firm in Redwood City, California, and students from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is the latest confirmation of this. Amichai Shulman, Imperva's chief technology officer, and a group of researchers collected and analysed 82 new computer viruses and put them up against more than 40 anti-virus products, made by top companies like Microsoft, Symantec, McAfee and Kaspersky Lab. They found that the initial detection rate was less than 5%.
On average, it took almost a month for anti-virus products to update their detection mechanisms and spot the new viruses. And two of the products with the best detection rates - Avast and Emsisoft - are available free; users are encouraged to pay for additional features. This despite the fact that consumers and businesses spent a combined $7.4 billion on anti-virus software last year - nearly half of the $17.7 billion spent on security software in 2011, according to Gartner.
"Existing methodologies we've been protecting ourselves with have lost their efficacy," said Ted Schlein, a security-focused investment partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. "This study is just another indicator of that. But the whole concept of detecting what is bad is a broken concept."
Part of the problem is that anti-virus products are inherently reactive. Just as medical researchers have to study a virus before they can create a vaccine, anti-virus makers must capture a computer virus, take it apart and identify its "signature" - unique signs in its code - before they can write a programme that removes it.
That process can take as little as a few hours or as long as several years. In May, researchers at Kaspersky Lab discovered Flame, a complex piece of malware that had been stealing data from computers for an estimated five years. Mikko H Hypponen, chief researcher at F-Secure, called Flame "a spectacular failure" for the anti-virus industry. "We really should have been able to do better," he wrote in an essay for Wired.com after Flame's discovery. "But we didn't. We were out of our league in our own game."
Symantec and McAfee, which built their businesses on anti-virus products, have begun to acknowledge their limitations and to try new approaches. The word "anti-virus" does not appear once on their home pages. Symantec rebranded its popular anti-virus packages: Its consumer product is now called Norton Internet Security, and its corporate offering is now Symantec Endpoint Protection.

Acer to launch 7-inch Android 4.1 tablet at Rs 7,999 in India: Report

The competition in the budget tablet market seems to be getting hotter. Acer is reportedly all set to launch its upcoming Iconia Tab B1 for Rs 7,999 in India. The tablet is speculated to be rolled out in early 2013.
Previously, Wall Street Journal quoted a source as saying that Acer was working on a $99 tablet that will have a 7-inch screen with 1024x600presolution and run on Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). A US Federal Communications Commission(FCC) application for the tablet revealed others specifications of the Google Nexus 7 rival, including 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 512MB RAM, 8GB onboard storage, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi as well as microSD support.

Though it made an appearance at US FCC, the tablet according to WSJ, is aimed primarily at emerging markets. Images of Acer Iconia Tab B1 surfaced on a Serbian forum and were confirmed to be real by WSJ's source.

Earlier in November, Asus-manufactured Google Nexus 7 was launched at Rs 19,999 in India, much higher than expected, considering that the device sells for $199 in US. According to a CyberMedia research, Micromax was the leader in the Indian tablet market in second quarter of 2012. In October last year, Manufacturers Association of IT predicts that the country's tablet market is set to grow by 40% till 2015-16, to 7.3 million units from 0.95 million units in 2012.

If Acer captures the attention of the Indian tablet buyers with its Iconia Tab B1, it is expected to give tough competition to Micromax's Funbook series, the leader in the tablet segment in India. It is widely expected that the Taiwanese manufacturer will showcase the device at Consumer Electronics Show, scheduled for Jan 8 to 11, 2013, in the US.

Next Prev Editor's Pick News Article IT hubs coming up in Andhra‘s Tier-II cities

The Andhra Pradesh government is taking steps to promote Information Technology in the state, Minister for Information Technology and Communications Ponnala Lakshmaiah said today.

Addressing a gathering after laying foundation stone for IT Incubation Tower at Rushikonda IT Park, the minister said the state government had planned to project Tier-II cities as next-generation IT hubs.

The state government is planning IT Incubation Towers in Kakinada, Tirupati Warangal and Kariminagar, as well as one in Visakhapatnam.

In 2003, Andhra Pradesh IT sector had only 334 firms which earned Rs 5,025 crore from exports and employed 50,000 professionals. Today, the exports had touched Rs 53,000 crore, as 1,250 IT firms employed as many as 3.25 lakh persons, he said.

The Minister also said the state government plans to promote Visakhapatnam as electronic hardware hub. The government is creating Electronic Manufacturing Clusters and one such cluster would be opened in Parawada in the district.

Vice-president of the Rushikonda IT Park Association O Naresh Kumar said steps should be taken to ensure uninterrupted power supply to IT companies.

Microsoft acquires start-up id8: Source

Microsoft bought start-upid8 Group R2 Studios as it looks to expand further in technology focused on the home and entertainment, a person familiar with the situation said.

id8 Group R2 Studios was started in 2011 by Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor Blake Krikorian. It recently launched a Google Androidapplication to allow users to control home heating and lighting systems from smartphones.

Krikorian's Sling Media - which was sold to EchoStar Communications in 2007 - made the "Slingbox" for watching TV on computers.

Krikorian will join Microsoft with a small team, according to the Wall Street Journal, which reported the acquisition earlier. Microsoft also purchased some patents owned by the start-up related to controlling electronic devices, the newspaper added.

Krikorian and a Microsoft spokesman declined to comment.

Krikorian resigned from Amazon.com Inc's board in late December after about a year and a half as a director at the company, the Internet's largest retailer.

Top 10 free data recovery softwares

Top 10 free data recovery softwares are :

Recuva: RECUVA-Portable   It’s one of the most popular, file-recovery softwares. It is user-friendly and has many advanced features. File recovery is possible from external drives (USB drives, etc.), from hard drives as well as memory cards. It is also possible to recover files from an iPod. Recuva can be used to undelete files in older Windows versions such as NT, 98, ME and 2000. Windows Vista, XP, 7, Server 2008/2003, and the 64-bit, Windows versions are supported. Glary Undelete: gu This has one of the best data recovery interfaces available. It has a very simplistic ‘Folders’ view- somewhat similar to the Windows Explorer viewing style. The ‘state’ indicator tells you what success rate you can expect with any file recovery. The downside to this software is that it will ask you to install a toolbar. With Glary Undelete you can recover files from removable media, hard drives. No more concerns about losing files from USB drives and memory cards. It works with Windows XP, 2000, 2003, 98, 95, Vista, NT and ME. It is possible to recover files from Windows 7 as well… Pandora Recovery:
With its advanced ‘surface scan’ feature, a larger number of files of a popular format can be easily recovered. It undeletes files from programs that are in a popular format. It is necessary to install this software on your hard-drive before you actually use it. This software will undelete files from memory cards, hard drives, etc. It is also possible to connect a compatible PC. It supports for Windows XP, 2000, 2003, Vista as well as Windows 7 SoftPerfect File Recovery:
This small, 500kb, trouble-free, standalone software is a very portable one. It is very uncomplicated and user-friendly. The recovery procedures bunched with the non-cryptic buttons makes this a very simple program window and no installation is necessary. This software helps you undelete files from memory cards, hard drives etc. Apart from DVD and CD drives, it supports all data storage devices on that are on your PC. Avira UnErase Personal: avira-unerase-personal Once it has been installed, a single click is all that is needed to access all the deleted files on a drive. It can help undelete files from USB drives, hard drives, memory cards and other devices. It is meant to work with Windows 2000 and XP versions only but it also works with Windows Vista. This software has a single-click operation which is a definite plus point. FreeUndelete : free-undelete This tool is different in that it has a ’folder-drill-down’ function. What this means for users is that there is no unmanageable listing of the files that need to be recovered. It undeletes files from memory cards, hard drives and other storage devices that are attached to your PC. It is compatible with all Windows versions- XP, Vista etc. It also works with Windows Vista ADRC Data Recovery Tools: adrc-data-recovery-tools-file-recovery This user friendly software helps in data recovery without any sort of documentation. Since it is a standalone software it can be used with any removable media as well. It is a very uncomplicated program and can be used to undelete files from any memory cards, USB and other devices except CD/DVD ones. Officially, it supports Windows 2000, XP and 95 but it works on Windows Vista as well. CD Recovery Toolbox:
This program is unique in that it can be used for data recovery even from corrupted or damaged files. It cannot recover files from portable media devices or hard drives, but that is not one of its features. It officially supports Windows 2000, 95 and XP but it also works efficiently on Windows Vista. TOKIWA Data Recovery :
This totally uncomplicated, standalone software has only one program window that can be used to scan, sort and undelete files. It can recover files from memory cards, hard drives, USB drives and other such external drives. It supports Windows XP, 95, 98, 2000, 2003, Vista, NT and ME. It also works with Windows Vista. Wise Data Recovery : wise_data_recovery_3_15_165_portable_1507968 This is a very intuitive, well laid out utility and includes a fast search filter. It can undelete files from MP3 players, SB flash drives and memory cards. It is compatible with Windows XP, X64, Vista, Vista 64. It can recover files like word, photo, email and text. There are quite a few more data recovery softwares that you can use to recover your precious data, but these are the best of the lot. As you will notice, most of them are user-friendly and some don’t even need installation. You can decide which one best suits your requirement and download that particular one. Different tools support the various systems such as Windows XP, Vista, ME, NT etc. Since all of them are free of charge, you also have the option to change to a different one that matches your specifications. Some of the software can also be used for recovering data from CD, DVD’s, HD DVD and Bluray and damaged optical drives.

Samsung Series 7 SC770 Touch and SC750 displays revealed

Samsung has outed a pair of new monitors, unable to keep quiet about the stylish duo until their official reveal at CES 2013 next week. The Samsung Series 7 SC770 Touch Monitor, and the non-touch Series 7 SC750, come in at 24- and 27-inches respectively, both running at 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution and with HDMI inputs for easy hooking up to your Windows 8 box, laptop, or something else.

The larger SC750, shown above, uses a WVA (Wide Viewing Angle) LED-backlit LCD panel with 300 cd/m2 brightness and a 5,000:1 contrast ratio. Sat pretty on its brushed metal stand, which rotates 90-degrees for portrait-orientation use, it’s been pared back to the minimum to keep bulk down: you don’t get speakers (which, admittedly, are usually awful on monitors), DVI, DisplayPort, or a USB hub, only the HDMI input.
As for the Series 7 SC770 Touch, shown below, that uses an MVA panel with slightly lower brightness, at 250 cd/m2, though has the same contrast ratio and 178-degree viewing angles as its bigger, non-touch sibling. It doesn’t rotate, however, the lower-profile stand instead offering 60-degree tilting.
Of course, the real appeal of the SC770 is its touchscreen, which is intended for Windows 8 users wanting to get finger-friendly with their computing. It supports ten finger multitouch, for pinching, twisting, dragging, and all the rest of the usual gestures.
Both of the new Series 7 displays will go on sale worldwide in Q1 2013; Samsung is yet to confirm pricing.
Samsung_Series_7_SC750_1 Samsung_Series_7_SC750_2 NX20NX210NX1000스팩 Samsung_Series_7_SC770_Touch

Intel to Launch Cable TV Service and Set Top Box at CES 2013

According to TechCrunch, Intel is planning to launch its own virtual cable TV service and set top box in the near future. The news comes at a time when rumors of Apple's own television service have been becoming more frequent. To combat licensing issues, Intel has decided to roll out the service on a city-by-city basis rather than launching nationwide, allowing Intel to negotiate for control of smaller markets with content providers, who have been reluctant to hand over valuable licensing rights. A source in the video distribution industry directly familiar with Intel's plans and content dealings tells TechCrunch the semiconductor company is dead serious about getting its chips into the living room. After its effort to convince smart TV manufacturers to use its chips in the initial launch of Google TV failed a few years ago, it's decided to go it alone. The source said that Intel was frustrated with 'everyone doing a half-assed Google TV so it's going to do it themselves and do it right.' The plan is to create a set-top box and subscription TV service that would appeal to people who want streaming TV access but don’t want to entirely cut the cable cord and lose key content like sports.Like Intel, Apple has been said to be working on a similar set up for its rumored Apple-branded television set, an idea that was made famous by Walter Isaacson's biography on Steve Jobs, when Jobs expressed his desire to revolutionize the television industry.Since then, the Apple television set has been the source of much speculation, and it is believed that Apple is hoping to include features like Siri and FaceTime, as well as content from third party providers and motion control. Apple has faced problems with content procurance, which may be why the much rumored TV has yet to make an appearance. There have been similar rumors about a more robust version of the Cupertino-based company's existing Apple TV set top box, but that too has yet to be seen. As of mid–2012, Apple has been rumored to be in talks with cable services like Comcast and Timer Warner Cable, though no content deals seem to have been made public. The Wall Street Journal (via TechCrunch) notes that Intel has also had problems securing content deals, with content providers unwilling to offer television channels piece meal because of contractual barriers set in place by cable providers. Intel's city-by-city launch aims to allow content providers to experiment with access in less restrictive markets. Intel's cable TV service and set top box may launch as soon as January 7 at Intel's CES event, according to tipsters. There's still no word on when an Apple television might be announced. The most recent rumors state that Apple's Foxconn factories are currently testing several television set designs, in the 46–55 inch range.

Facebook forced to drop flawed special New Year messaging feature

Nearly a week after   Facebook launched its New Year's messaging feature, the social networking site was on Monday forced to drop the app following a flaw that allowed anyone to see and even deletepersonal messages intended for others.

The popular website had last week launched its Midnight Message Delivery feature to allow users to send New Year's messages to friends that automatically arrive on the stroke of midnight tonight.

However, one student blogger noticed that a simple tweak of the URL at the top of the page allows users to access messages written by total strangers - and even delete them, the Daily Mail reported.

Jack Jenkins, a Aberystwyth University student, found the privacy flaw on Facebook's Midnight Message Delivery features on his blog early this morning. "Facebook have not been very security conscious when setting this up," he wrote.

A Facebook spokeswoman confirmed that it is aware of the issue and working on a fix.

"We are working on a fix for this issue now," she said. "In the interim we have disabled this app on theFacebook Stories site to ensure that no messages can be accessed," she added.

By experimenting with the flaw, Jenkins said he was even able to see pictures sent by people. "By simple manipulation of the ID at the end of the URL of a sent message on the FacebookStories site, you are able to view other peoples Happy New Year messages."

"It is you may say a pretty harmless flaw, as they tend to be generic messages and you can't see who sent them (it shows your profile pic next to the message, as if you've sent it)," he said. "However you can see the names of the recipients of the message," he said. 

iberry launches two tablets with built-in 3G sim

Technology firm iberry has launched two new models of tablets equipped with third generation (3G) subscriber identification module (SIM) slots for making phone calls and internet browsing.

One model is equipped with a dual-core processor, while the other one is having quad-core processor.

"When the current Indian tablet PC market is flooded with price-driven tablet PCs, we take immense pleasure and pride to announce the launch of India's 1st dual-core CPU and quad-core CPU based tablet PCs, both with inbuilt 3G SIM slot for calls and Internet," iberry said in a statement.

The first model called Auxus CoreX2 3G comes with a seven-inch IPS panel display with 1280x800 pixel resolution. This model is priced at Rs 10,990.

The second model Auxus CoreX4 3G is the first ever attempt in India to equip a quad-core CPU on a 9.7 inch tablet PC, the company said. Consumers will have to spend Rs 15,990 to get this model of tablet.

"With most of the current Indian tablet PC companies focussing on low-end low-price tablet PCs, we at iberry take a leading edge in the market with our new ventures, Auxus CoreX2 3G and Auxus CoreX4 3G," iberry said, adding consumers were now giving more importance to speed than cost.