Archive for January, 2012

Apple’s iOS overtook Google’s Android to become the leading smartphone platform in the US in the fourth quarter of 2011, thanks to strong demand for its latest iPhone model, a study said Wednesday.

In October-December quarter last year, Apple’s share of the US smartphone market doubled from a year earlier to 44.9 percent, while Android’s share fell from 50 percent to 44.8 percent in the same period, according to market research firm Kantar Worldpanel.

While Android retains global smartphone crown, Apple is now growing at a faster rate, driven by the launch of its latest iPhone 4S model in October last year, Kantar Worldpanel noted.

“Overall, Apple sales are now growing at a faster rate than Android across the nine countries we cover,” Xinhua reported quoting Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at the research firm.

Apple posted better-than-expected quarterly results Tuesday, saying it sold a record-breaking 37.04 million units of iPhone in total in the fourth quarter last year, an increase of 128 percent over the year-ago period.

Sam Pitroda, advisor to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Wednesday launched the country’s first cloud-based tablet solution for school students called ‘e-tutor tablet’.

This can be used by students from Class 1 to 12. Priced at 7,500, inclusive of content, the product would be available in the market from April onwards. The e-tutor tablet is a joint effort of Technopark-based e-tutor and Oztern Technology.

Ranjith Balan, founder and managing director of e-tutor, said that this will be the first complete solution for education to be made available on Tablet PCs.

“The teacher can easily explain concepts using the digital whiteboard that is set up in the Tablet PC. Using e-tutor learning tablet the students can access what was taught in the classroom and can also access the collaborative learning platform for discussions on relevant topics taught in the classroom,” said Balan.

The product is also aimed at making internet a safer place for children. E-tutor tablet safeguards the connectivity from the personalized Tablets PCs provided as a part of the solution, and restrict it to connect to internet only through the synchronization module in the product.

Detailing on the technology, Saiju V. Stella, CEO of Oztern Technology, said cloud computing technology can bring about a major leap in the way technology is being used in the educational sector.

“Most of the technology products available in the market today for education act as teaching aids rather than learning aids. Cloud computing also fulfills another major social commitment by reducing the carbon emissions, from dedicated servers and data centres that consume huge amounts of energy, thus making computing more energy efficient and green,” said Stella.

Lessons will be made available to the learner through personalised Tablet PCs, and regular content updates will be made available through a unique cloud – tablet synch mechanism, thus making sure that the device connects only to the relevant locations to access content.

Rajinish Menon, director, Business Strategy and Operations, Microsoft, who was present at the occasion, expressed his happiness to see partners like Oztern coming up with innovative solutions in the education sector using Microsoft Windows Azure which is Microsoft’s cloud computing infrastructure.

Cloud computing is a technology that uses internet and central remote servers to maintain data and applications. Cloud computing allows consumers and businesses to use applications without installation and access their personal files at any computer with internet access. This technology allows for much more efficient computing by centralizing storage, memory, processing and bandwidth.

The world of web-application development framework has a new arrival: Ruby on Rails 3.2, which is said to be quicker and more convenient for web-application developers.

The first version of the Rails framework was released in 2004 as an open-source framework that would help in the quick assembly of web pages, based on the Ruby programming language, and the framework last saw a major release in August, with the 3.1 version.

The latest version of the Rails framework has a number of improvements on the previous version the most important of which is a faster development mode as it only re-loads altered classes instead of the whole library of classes used, making a larger applications a lot faster to load.  It also has a ‘tagged logger’ feature which makes it convenient for a multi-user environment—developers can now filter the log of applications based on who run them. Database queries are tagged and explained, making debugging an activity that can be performed with ease. The new routing engine implemented by the framework, called “Journey”, moreover is a breeze to use especially since it makes linking much faster and noticeable which would be of great help especially in cases that involve numbers like a hundred different links on each page.

While JavaScript has been used by a number of websites as a result of its HTML-5 compatibility, around 226,000 websites use Ruby on Rails. Aaron Batalion, chief technology officer and cofounder of LivingSocial, which uses the framework ardently, said “We wanted to focus on the actual products we were building and less on the engineering”. “Ruby on Rails is interesting because it gets out of your way”.

With technology penetrating every part of our lives, we have learned to search for information on the internet. But could this practice be altering the way we store and process information? A new study has revealed findings that could just go to show that Google could be destroying our memories.

Psychology professors from the Columbia University, the University Of Wisconsin-Madison, Harvard University came together and published the study that said people “remember less by knowing information than by knowing where the information can be found”, essentially meaning that we tend to forget information searched for, and rather remember where on the internet it can be found. “The Internet, with its search engines such as Google and databases such as IMDB and the information stored there, has become an external memory source that we can access at any time,” said the study. “It has become so commonplace to look up the answer to any question the moment it occurs, it can feel like going through withdrawal when we can’t find out something immediately.”

The four tests that the professors conducted on individuals in short, confirmed that searching for information on the internet could be wiping out our “internal memory”, which stores data. “When people expect to have future access to information, they have lower rates of recall of the information itself and enhanced recall instead for where to access it”, said the study.

So instead of remembering data, say what happened during an event, we tend to remember which sites we saw that information on, or where on Google we found the site.

According to the study “These results suggest that processes of human memory are adapting to the advent of new computing and communication technology. We are becoming symbiotic with our computer tools growing into interconnected systems that remember less by knowing information than by knowing where the information can be found.” “This gives us the advantage of access to a vast range of information—although the disadvantages of being constantly ‘wired’ are still being debated”, concluded the professors in the study.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone will overtake the Apple’s iPhone and iPad in market shares by 2015, says a research firm iSuppli.

According to the iSuppli analysis, with the launch of Nokia Lumia 900 at CES 2012, Windows Phone will gain the smartphone market share by 16.7 percent. Nokia Lumia 900 will help Windows Phone to become popular and Nokia will regain the market share which it lost with Android device.

Nokia is not the only seller of Windows smartphone, Samsung, Sony and HTC are also there in this winning game. However, it is expected that Nokia will dominate the market with Windows Phone devices in 2012.

Currently the smartphone operating system market is dominated by Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. But iSuppli predicts that Windows Phone share will set a rise of 62 percent in 2013 which will rule out the dominance of Android and iOS.

This new partnership of Nokia and Microsoft is going to be a win-win situation for both the companies and customers. As Nokia will help in the growth of Windows Phone in market, it will also help other makers of Windows Phone device to have a better acceptance in minds of customers.