27 January 2012

The News - News

The News - News

Reliance DreamWorks films get 11 Oscar nominations

Posted: 26 Jan 2012 09:07 PM PST

Three films produced by Reliance DreamWorks, a venture between industrialist Anil Ambani and Hollywood producer-director Steven Spielberg, have bagged as many as 11 Oscar nominations this year, it was announced Tuesday.

This is the first time movies produced by a company with such huge Indian holding has bagged such large nominations for one of the most prestigious cinema awards across the globe.

The nominations are for “War Horse”, “The Help” and “Real Steel”.

Directed by Spielberg himself, “War Horse” has been nominated for six categories — best picture, sound editing, sound mixing, original score, art direction and cinematography.

This movie is about the friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert and releases in India Feb 10.

Nomination for best achievement in visual effects is for “Real Stee” — a sci-fi thriller with Hugh Jackman in the lead.

For “The Help”, directed by Tate Tylor, the nominations are again for best picture, as also for best actress, best supporting actress and best picture trophies.

This year’s Oscar nomination pack is led by “Hugo”, which has 11 nominations alone. It is followed by “The Artist” with 10 nominations.

Apart from movies produced by Reliance DreamWorks, India’s only hope at the Oscars — Sohan Roy’s “DAM 999″ — failed to make it to any category.

One of Ambani’s group firms and Spielberg-promoted venture had forged a mega venture in 2008 to make films for the global audience and set up a Hollywood studio.

The deal also helped the celebrated filmmaker to break away from Viacom Paramount Pictures, which owned DreamWorks till then.

While the Reliance Group pumped in $325 million, a similar amount was raised from a consortium of investment banks.

15 File-Sharing Sites on US Feds Hit List

Posted: 26 Jan 2012 03:28 AM PST

A recap of news-making tech events that happened over the weekend would show you how Megaupload, was taken down by US officials due to its infringement of copyrights on content. The event has a lot of Megaupload's peers (such as FileSonic and FileServe) following suit to shut down their file-sharing services before Uncle Sam comes after them.
But there are others that just function fine, and could be taken down because of the following criteria:


RapidShare, WUpload allow large files' sharing with better services for premium accounts:

RapidShare, the Switzerland-based file-sharing site, doesn't have limits on the size of files that can be uploaded or downloaded, but makes the user wait for files in case the account used is not premium. WUpload is another site that comes under the same category since you can upload or download files a maximum file-size of 2 GB for free. Premium accounts allow larger file shares, with no delays or time-outs.


Divx Stage, NovaMov and MegaShare pay up-loaders for files/ down-loaders for downloads:

Divx Stage pays $10 for every time 1000 full-length movies are streamed or uploaded to the site. A user can download up to 1 GB and watch millions of videos at no cost. NovaMov is another site that is very similar in terms of working. MegaShare is another site that allowed users upload up to 10 GB worth files, and rewarded them for download- traffic they brought the site, with "cache points". Every "unique premium download with a minimum 5MB file size" received a point, and when a user had a certain number of points, they received cash.


Users of Depositfiles, UploadHere and KingUpload have to pay for high quality downloads :

Depositfiles allows users to share files up to 300 MB for free, but with a registration, you are allowed bigger limits, and Gold membership gives users high quality downloads with no advertisements. Sites like UploadHere and KingUpload follow similar policies, but the limits imposed are all different.


Putlocker, SockShare, HulkShare Users can share streaming video links:

PutLocker, SockShare and HulkShare go along the same lines of function—users of the site can easily share links to streamed files, say songs, or videos which are easily accessible by other users of the site. But PutLocker and SockShare both end their affiliate program for users who share un-copyrighted material on February 1.


Googling a file name+ MediaFire, OvFile or ZShare= easy download:

Sites like MediaFire, OvFile, ZShare, take users to an easily downloadable file, if the user just Googles say, an artist's name, with the name of the website.


BayFiles doesn't restrict the sharing of copyrighted files:

BayFiles, created by two notable Pirate Bay's founders, is one of the sites which say content that "violates third-party copyrights" can't be uploaded, but it does nothing to stop file-sharing on the site.

iOS Developers Mint $700 Million in Q1

Posted: 26 Jan 2012 03:25 AM PST

Apple paid iOS developers $700 million last quarter, and if you thought nobody could be happier than Apple's investors when the company released its first Quarter results this year, that's news for you.



Out of its revenue of $46.3 billion, iOS developers received a cumulative amount of $4 billion through the App Store. Since 30 percent of Apple's sales come from its Apps Store, ReadWriteMobile (the mobile channel sponsored by Alcatel-Lucent) estimated that the App Store made up for $1 billion of Apple's revenue. Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO said that there are around 550,000 apps in the App Store (including those for the iPad)—which could mean developers might earn around $7200 per app cumulatively.
According to ReadWriteMobile's report, if in case the Android Market generated even 50 percent of the amount the App Store earns, mobile applications could be amounting to $6 billion a year, with $1.5 billion coming in every quarter (this includes in-app purchase).

What remains to be considered, though is that money made via advertisements within mobile apps, would make the gross revenue substantially higher. Since Android phones continue to outsell iPhones, developers could earn big this way too especially since Google doesn't take any of the earning. 70 percent of Android's revenue goes to developers and 30 percent goes to miscellaneous parties such as payment gateways.

Last quarter saw about 60-65 million Android devices sold while 37 million iPhones and 15 million iPads were sold in the same period. Although Apple did hit a record high last quarter, there are a number of markets that it still has to penetrate, which leaves it a huge scope for growth.

On the whole, there is a world of opportunity for mobile developers whether they develop for the iPhone or Android.

3-Tier Chips to Drive More Powerful Computing

Posted: 26 Jan 2012 03:23 AM PST

Scientists are developing a chip with three or more processors stacked vertically to ensure an unprecedented speed, memory and calculating power, better functionality and wireless connectivity, reveals a study.


“It’s the logical step in electronics development, because it allows a large increase in terms of efficiency,” said Yusuf Leblebici, director of Microelectronics Systems Lab, Switzerland, who led the study.

Unitl now, chips could only be assembled horizontally via connections along their edges. They were connected vertically by several hundred very thin copper microtubes. These wires passed through tiny openings, called Through-Silicon-Vias (TSV), made in the core of the silicon layer of each chip.

“This superposition reduces the distance between circuits, and thus considerably improves the speed of data exchange,” explained Microelectronics researcher Yuksel Temiz, according to a university statement.

The team had to overcome a number of difficulties, such as the fragility of the copper connections as they are miniaturised to an extreme degree (about 50 micrometers in thickness), and are as thin as human hair.

“In three years of work, we tested thousands of TSV connections, and had more than 900 functioning simultaneously,” said Leblebici.

“Now we have a production process that is really efficient, the laboratory has also manufactured 3D multi-core processors, connected by a TSV network,” he added.

The technology will initially be made available to a number of academic research teams for further development before being commercialised.

Apple Bounces Back in Q1

Posted: 26 Jan 2012 03:21 AM PST

Apple's first quarter results silenced the uncertainties analysts forecasted last quarter, with returns that exceeded expectations. The world's most valuable technology company sold 37.04 million iPhones, 15.43 million iPads, and 5.2 million Macs.

Apple cash

Apple postponed the release of the latest iPhone by a quarter, and so heightened the expectations and demand for the product, a factor that could be responsible for the tech giant's $46.33 billion revenue. Wall Street Analysts estimated an average of $38.91 billion, but according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, the tech giant's revenue jumped by 73 percent.

Sales for the iPad alone grew by 111 percent over its sales in the same quarter last year, while that of Macs shot up by 26 percent during the same period.

In spite of its staggering success, Hendi Susanto from Gabelli said "I would say Apple still has many unpenetrated international markets … Apple is still far from its saturation." Michael Walkley from Canaccord Genuity further explained saying "It sets up Apple well for the rest of the year". "They are still ramping up the new geographies like the iPhone 4 in China, which they just started selling in January and we’ll see in March results." He also added that the growing popularity of Siri and the iPhones, a better-looking iPhone 5 at the end of the year and with next-generation LTE mobile will inspire another slew of profits for 2012.

E-Commerce Sites Needs To Be Savvier In Approach For Survival

Posted: 26 Jan 2012 03:17 AM PST

In 1994, e-commerce companies emerged globally with the birth of industry giants like Amazon.com, Dell.com and eBay, which despite recession were able to survive and exhibit growth. The recession opened doors to several marketing and buying trends that left the e-commerce industry with two options, adapt them and survice or reject, roll over and die. However, yet another recession, the second in so many as four years, is predicted to hit the global economy this  year, this begs the question, 'can the industry stand another recession?'

ecommerce site, ecommerce, struggle

We saw several e-commerce websites shutting their work due to various reasons. MSN Mall and Taggle shut down as they found it impossible to withstand the competition in the market and many of the e-commerce companies are selling their products much below cost price to attract consumers, Kalahari was shut down just two years after the launch due to low margin, and there are several more stories lying unsaid. So, how are the e-commerce companies going to ensure their existence if this recession is to hit and save themselves from the spill out.

Different e-commerce companies provide different flavors to the customers. The strategy for survival differs accordingly.  Anshuman Banpna, Co-Founder and CEO, mygola, says, "We are a globally focused service provider website. We do not sell traditional goods online, rather we are more online service based." mygola is a service provider which provides users with their own personal travel planners, does all the research and bookings for the customer's trip.

However, several e-commerce startups are well placed to take advantage of the recession due to the flexibility that they have inherited in their genes from their past experiences. The current recession will affect  the macro-services. "The e-commerce giants who are macro-services providers, like Amazon and Groupon, will have impact on their business due to change in the macro-economy," says Nishith Shah, Co-Founder, Fab.com. Fab.com is a New York-based e-commerce company that offers daily design inspirations and sales on huge discounts.

If the recession hits, more and more consumers will be looking for better deals and the success and failure of an e-commerce company depends on how smartly they procure things, and pass on the bargains to the consumers. The startup e-commerce companies struggle most with getting users. "They need to go out of the way to find customers and once found, they need to make sure that the order is fulfilled. Startups need to be savvier to acquire customers," adds Shah.

"When the customers have limited budget, they plan more stuffs accordingly. What you need to do is reposition yourself. We are going to approach our existing customers providing more information about the local tourist places that they can visit with low spending," adds Bapna. According to him, when The budgets come done, customers do not stop spending money, rather they start spending more intelligently. The most different and customized way the companies prepare to approach their customers, the more they ensure their success in the economy downturn.