Tech Talk April 2015

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Snapchat Ranks Best with Youths, Facebook with Retirees
On Snapchat, if you’re under 35, you’re in good company. A whopping 71 percent of Snapchat’s US-based users are between the ages of 18 and 34, a new study from research firm ComScore shows. That easily topped Facebook and Twitter, which are made up of 38 percent and 41 percent of users in that age group, respectively. Popular Yahoo-owned microblogging service Tumblr wasn’t so far behind, with 53 percent of its users falling between the ages of 18 and 34. Snapchat, which was founded in 2011, is a mobile app that allows users to take photos or videos that automatically self-destruct after a set time. The service was reported last year to have over 100 million users worldwide, but a report in January suggested that it may be closing in on 200 million active users.
 
Whatever the case, Snapchat is big and continues to grow at a rapid pace due in large part to its younger users. Last year, ComScore reported that Snapchat was the third-most-popular social-media app among people between the ages of 18 and 34, trailing only Facebook and Instagram. That study looked at the cumulative number of users and not the makeup of each company’s individual user base. Snapchat’s success hasn’t been lost on other companies. 
 
Twitter’s $100 Million Live-Streaming Video App Has Arrived
Twitter has launched Periscope, an app that lets users broadcast live video recorded on their smartphone directly to their followers on social media. The micro-blogging site bought Periscope earlier this month for a reported $100 million. Periscope is Twitter’s answer to Meerkat, a month-old live broadcasting app that made a splash at SXSW festival this month. "Periscope lets you broadcast live video to the world. Going live will instantly notify your followers who can join, comment and send you hearts in real time. The more hearts you get, the higher they flutter on the screen," the company said in its iTunes listing. "Hearts" are equivalent to "likes" on Facebook.
 
When a broadcast is finished, a replay is available to watch and exists for 24 hours before it is automatically deleted. Users can tweet a link to their live broadcast and streams can also be made private. The app is currently only available on iOS. Earlier this month, Twitter blocked Meerkat’s access to its so-called social graph - essentially preventing Meerkat users from importing their Twitter followers, making it hard to connect with people. Periscope and Meerkat are two of a number of broadcasting apps. Ustream and Livestream have also popped up to take advantage of improving data coverage on smartphones. 
 
Cars Slow When They See Speed-Limit Signs
Ford is to sell a car that can read road signs and adjust its speed accordingly to ensure the vehicle is not driving too fast. The speed-limiting tech can be activated via the steering wheel and briefly overridden by pressing firmly on the accelerator. The car company suggests the facility will help drivers avoid fines and could reduce the number of accidents. However, one expert said the innovation might only serve as a "stopgap". "There's a plan for speed restrictions to be beamed to your car's computer systems and controlled from there, rather than requiring street sign visual recognition systems," said Paul Newton, an automotive industry analyst at the IHS consultancy. "This would be part an extension of the networks that will connect vehicles, allowing cars to warn those behind them if they are slowing down, which is all part of a move toward autonomous vehicles that drive themselves."
 
Such a system, however, is some way off. Ford's technology will become available to the public this August, when it launches the second generation of its S-Max cars in Europe. A spokesman for the US car company told the BBC the facility would probably be extended to other models around the world. 
 
Tim Cook to Donate His Fortune to Charity
Apple CEO Tim Cook is giving hundreds of millions of dollars to charity. Cook, who is close to becoming a billionaire, says he will pay for his nephew's college education, then donate the rest of his wealth to philanthropic projects, according to Fortune. Cook isn't the first top executive to give his money away. Warren Buffett and Bill Gates launched The Giving Pledge in 2010 -- a campaign to persuade billionaires to give at least half of their fortunes to charity. More than a hundred have signed up so far, including Michael Bloomberg and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg.
 
Others, like Cook, are going their own way. Last year, Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma started a multi-billion dollar charity. Cook certainly has plenty of funds to give away. His pay at Apple more than doubled last year to USD 9.2 million, according to a regulatory filing. In 2014, USD 145 million worth of stock awards vested, and he's got another USD 536 million in stock awards to come. Cook, who came out last year, also told Fortune that he felt his sexuality was a "yawner," especially internally at Apple. He remains the only publicly gay CEO in the 700 largest corporations. John Brown served as CEO of BP from 1995 to 2007, but only acknowledged he was gay after he was forced to leave office when a former boyfriend outed him. Cook took the reins at Apple in 2011 after Steve Jobs resigned.
 
Samsung Launches Galaxy E7 and E5
Samsung has introduced two new mid-segment smart phones Galaxy E7 and Galaxy E5 in the market. According to the company, the powerful and compact smart phones offer superior viewing and best selfie experience.  
 
The Galaxy E7 is powered by a 1.2 GHz quad core processor and runs on Android Kitkat. The phone comes with 2 GB of RAM and has an internal storage of 16 GB that can be expanded up to 64 GB. The phone has a 13MP Autofocus camera with LED flash and a 5 MP front camera. It comes with a 5.5 inch display. Likewise, Galaxy E5 has a 5 inch display, and it runs on Android Kitkat and comes with a 1.2 GHz quad core processor. It has 1.5 GB of RAM and 16 GB internal storage. The phone with 5 inch display has a 13MP Autofocus camera with LED flash and a 5 MP front camera.
 
Both these handsets come with Super AMOLED display that delivers deep contrast and better viewing angles. Both the handset’s cameras have features like wide angled selfie, selfie with palm gesture, selfie with voice command and beauty face. Galaxy E7 and E5 are 7.3 mm thin and have a narrow bezel. These dual SIM supporting phones are equipped with features like Ultra-Power Saving Mode, Private Mode and Multi screen. 
 
The Samsung Galaxy E7 is priced at Rs 32,500 and Galaxy E5 comes with a price tag of Rs 27,500.  
 
Micromax Launches Canvas Xpress A99
Micromax has launched a new model Micromax Canvas Xpress A99 in the market. The Canvas Xpress A99 runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop Operating System, the best operating system in its range of smartphones available in the market. According to Micromax, this is the first time any phone has offered inbuilt Android 5.0 Lollipop OS without having to upgrade. The phone is powered by a 1.3 GHz quad core processor, and has 1 GB of RAM. Coming to display, the phone has a 4.5 inch FWVGA screen. The imaging devices of the phone include a 5 MP autofocus primary camera and a 0.3 MP front camera. 
 
On storage front, Micromax Canvas Xpress A99 has an internal memory of 8 GB which can be extended with an SD card up to 32GB. Connectivity features include 3G, Bluetooth and GPS support. Also, the phone supports dual SIM cards, and is powered by a 1950 mAh battery claimed to offer 7 hours of talk time on a single charge.
The handset comes with Hotknot function that data sharing just by tapping the screen. The feature can be used to share images, videos, music, browser and more. In addition, software like Hike, Bookmyshow, Clean ace and Games club are preloaded on the phone. With all these features, Micromax Canvas Xpress A99 is priced at Rs 12,815. 
 
Color Mobile’s New Models
Colors mobile has introduced two new handsets X Factor X135 Flash HD and X Factor X118 Flash in its X-Factor series. According to the company, X Factor Flash HD is chiefly designed to enhance photography experience with A 13 MP rear camera and 5 MP front camera with flash on both. The handset is claimed to be the perfect phone for selfie enthusiasts. X Factor Flash HD has a 4.7 inch HD IPS Screen, and is powered by a 1.3 GHz quad core processor. The phone has internal storage of 8 GB and has 1GB of RAM. The model supports dual SIM cards with 2G and 3G networks and has a 1800 mAh battery. 
 
Similarly, X Factor X118 is an upgraded version of its predecessor X118. The phone runs on Android 4.4 Kitkat and has a 4.5” FWVGA screen. It comes with 8 MP rear camera and 3.2 MP front Camera  with flash on both the cameras. 
 
The handset has a battery of 1650 mAh. Both the phones have a unique feature that functions even in locked mode with a gesture. 

 

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