Month: October 2013
Indians may struggle to find reliable internet connections even in metro cities. However, it’s a different story in developed world where blazingly fast internet speed is a norm reveals Akamai’s State Of The Internet report. The report for the second quarter of 2013 lists the countries with the fastest internet connections in the world.
Want to know where all in the world you can find superfast internet speed and where India stands in global ranking? Check out the list…
Hong Kong – 65.1Mbps
Hong Kong maintains its position as the country with the fastest internet connections in the world with peak speed of 65.1Mbps. The internet speed has decreased 0.9% over the past quarter, but grown 32% compared to last year.
South Korea – 53.5Mbps
With top internet speed of 53.3Mbps, South Korea has moved from fourth position in the previous quarter to second in this quarter. The peak internet speed in the country has increased 19% over the past quarter and 14% over last year.
Japan – 48.8Mbps
Japan has moved down one place to third in the list of countries with fastest internet connections. The peak speed 48.8Mbps shows an increase of 3.1% compared to the last quarter and 21% over last year.
Romania – 47.5Mbps
Romania is now at the fourth position in this list, with maximum internet speed hitting 47.5Mbps. This translates to a decrease of 0.6% over the preceding quarter, despite a 23% increase compared to the same period in 2012.
Singapore – 45.6Mbps
Singapore ranks fifth in the list of countries with fastest internet connections, with maximum speed of 45.6Mbps. This marks an increase of 61% over last year and 4.1% over the previous quarter, as per Akamai’s ranking.
Latvia – 44.6Mbps
Latvia has dropped one rung in the table and is now settled at the sixth spot with peak internet speed of 44.6Mbps. This shows an increase of 5.4% since the last quarter and 33% over the same time last year.
Switzerland – 41.4Mbps
Switzerland grabs the seventh spot in the list of countries with fastest internet connections with top speed of 41.4Mbps. This translates to a rise of 3.9% and 38% over the past quarter and year, respectively.
Israel – 40.1Mbps
Despite not making it to the top 10 last quarter, Israel has taken the eight spot in the list this time with top speed touching 40.1Mbps. This represents a 53% rise over last year and 6.4% compared to the preceding quarter.
Belgium – 39.9Mbps
Belgium moves up one spot compared to last quarter and takes the ninth position in Q2 2013. With maximum speed of 39.9Mbps, the country saw a 8.1% rise quarter-over-quarter and 35% over the previous year.
Taiwan – 39.5Mbps
Taiwan rounds up the top 10 countries having fastest internet connections with peak speed of 39.5Mbps. This marks a rise of 61% when compared to the same period in 2012 and 22% over the last quarter.
India – 10.5Mbps
India stands at 112th position in the ranking of nations with fastest internet speed with peak speed of 10.5Mbps. This figure shows a 44% increase in internet speed over previous year and 3.5% over the first quarter of the year.
LED lights have magical possibilities. WIth them, you can light up toddlers in delightful Halloween costumes, rave on the playa at Burning Man, or conduct a light symphony on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge.
You can also use them track people who are shopping and hit them with marketing campaigns, which is what Bytelight enables.
Bytelight has raised $3 million for its indoor positioning system that connects LED lights with the cameras in your mobile device. Retailers can pinpoint your exact location in a store and deliver coupons or redemptions to your phone at “critical points in the buying cycle,” like when you are in front of a product or at the checkout.
People spend a vast majority of their time inside, where GPS doesn’t work or is not accurate. While online retailers can track the online shopping activities of site visitors and target them with relevant offers, brick-and-mortar retailers can’t really. Yet.
A vast majority of commerce still happens in physical stores, and the opportunities to deliver hyper-targeted, geo-located advertising are huge.
Consulting firm Deloitte found that 65 percent of consumers use mobile devices while they shop, and mobile-influenced retail store sales are expected to amount to $689 billion by 2016.
Big-name players including Apple, Google, Paypal, Qualcomm, and Samsung are thus working to bring indoor location tech to market, as are startups like Bytelight, Swirl, WifiSLAM, Estimote, and Shopkick.
Most of Bytelight’s competitors use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) sensors to detect the location of nearby smartphones and communicate.
Bytelight turns LED light sources into positioning beacons, which transmit signals and calculate a positions without requiring an active network connection. The company claims its tech is accurate to less than one meter and can compute location in less than a second.
The applications extend far beyond retail. Building owners, public safety officials, and public spaces such as airports, museums, and convention centers could use the technology to send customized information, special offers, and data directly to users based on their precise location inside a building.
People can use it to find a way around a grocery store or locate a specific booth at a large trade show.
Businesses can also use Bytelight’s analytics to optimize their employee operations, analyze traffic patterns, and measure customer engagement.
Bytelight has partnered with LED manufacturers who license and incorporate its tech into their products. LED lights are commonly used as a cost- and energy-efficient mode of lighting. Every indoor space needs lighting, and Bytelight’s CTO Dan Ryan said this approach turns “an infrastructure cost into a valuable source of data,” not to mention a valuable marketing channel.
Flywheel Ventures, Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, the eCoast Angel Network, Sand Hill Angels, and Google’s Don Dodge (Who is particularly bullish about indoor location tech) contributed to this round.
Boston-based Bytelight closed its seed round of $ 1.25 million just over a year ago, led by VantagePoint Capital Partners.
Twitter is on schedule to go public as a company next month, a sparkling symbol of innovation, technology – and stale, old thinking reflected in a board of seven white men.
Twitter users are reportedly more likely to be female, so it’s bizarre to have no women on the board. But the main reason to add women – not just on Twitter’s board, but in politics, business and the news media – isn’t just equity. This shouldn’t be seen as a favor to women but as a step that would be good for all of us.
In business, there’s abundant evidence that inclusion of women in senior positions is linked to better results. Catalyst, a research organization, found that the companies with the most female board directors earned a 26% higher return on invested capital than the companies with the fewest women.
Likewise, McKinsey & Co found that the international companies with more women on their corporate boards far outperformed the average company in return on equity and other measures. Operating profit was 56% higher.
This isn’t just about boardrooms, though. In the recent government shutdown debacle, some of the first efforts at hammering out a deal to end the crisis came from a group of women in the Senate who were disheartened by the political paralysis. Time magazine’s headline online was: “Women Are the Only Adults Left in Washington.”
That’s progress: The Senate built a restroom off the floor for female members only in 1993, and now, a couple decades later, women are providing adult supervision in the “old boys’ club.”
Still, there’s a long way to go.
The World Economic Forum plans to release its annual Global Gender Gap Report, and the United States ranks an embarrassing 23rd out of 136 countries in the status of women. The US has actually slipped one slot since a year ago and does particularly poorly by international standards in wage equality and in numbers of women in the legislative branch.
Hard-nosed business executives seem to get that this is more than a social justice issue. In a survey by Spencer Stuart, the executive search firm, and Corporate Board Member, a company that researches corporate boards, 4 out of 5 board members said that they believed that boardroom diversity “generally results in increased value for shareholders.”
Yet of Fortune 500 companies, roughly 18% of board members are female. At this rate, it’ll be after 2050 before women hold half of board seats.
So what do women bring to the board table?
Scholarly research suggests that the best problem-solving doesn’t come from a group of the best individual problem-solvers, but from a diverse team whose members complement each other. That’s an argument for leadership that is varied in every way – in gender, race, economic background and ideology.
Another reason companies with senior women may thrive might have little to do with gender. The promotion of women may just be a proxy for those companies that are most open-minded and forward-looking, and those perhaps are the qualities that are mainly driving profits.
Companies sometimes protest that they can’t find qualified women. Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a professor at Harvard Business School, said that the real problem is boards trying to replicate themselves and that plenty of women would add value to the Twitter board.
“I could come up with 30 names without thinking too hard,” she said, adding that the challenge is to “look more broadly for talent and be more welcoming to people not identical to those in power.”
And, sorry, Twitter, but how about adding not just one woman to your board, but three? Research suggests that what matters is having a critical mass of about 30 percent women. In Twitter’s case, if it added three women, its board would still have as many men named Peter as it had women.
I also realize that I live in a glass house, because my world of punditry is a cacophony of mostly white male voices. Gender imbalance isn’t just Twitter’s problem, but a global challenge across many sectors.
In the midst of the 2008 economic cataclysm, there was introspection about whether the overwhelmingly male leadership in finance led to a macho culture of excessive risk-taking. A British study found that trading behavior reflected testosterone levels in employees’ saliva: The more testosterone, the more risky the trades.
Maybe not: Lehman Sisters, equally nondiverse, might also have been prone to herd behavior of a different kind. The smart bet would have been on an inclusive and diverse Lehman Brothers & Sisters – and there’s a lesson there for Twitter, for our government, and for all of us.
Software giant Microsoft was ranked fourth by human resources consultancy ‘Great Place to Work Institute’, which has compiled a list of 25 such companies.
There is no India-based company in this list and all 25 firms are either American or European.
Others in the top 10 include W L Gore & Associates, which was ranked 5th on the list, followed by personal and household goods maker Kimberly-Clark (6th), hospitality giant Marriott (7th), consumer goods firm Diageo (8th), National Instruments (9th) and IT company Cisco (10th).
While there are no Asian companies in the list, and 9 out of the top 10 positions have been occupied by US firms. London-based Diageo was the only firm in the top 10 which did not belong to the United States.
This year, more than 6,000 companies participated in national Best Companies list competitions in more than 45 countries across the world. The organisations featured in this list represent the 25 Best Multinational Workplaces in the world.
“The 25 companies on the 2013 World’s Best Multinational Workplaces list set a high standard for us all. Their outstanding achievement builds a better society by creating great workplaces,” it said.
The list also includes Autodesk ranked at the 11th place, followed by Monsanto (12th), BBVA (13th), American Express (14th), Hilti (15th), Telefonica (16th), Accor (17th), Quintiles (18th), SC Johnson (19th), FedEx Express (20th), Atento (21st), Mars (22nd), McDonald’s (23rd), The Coca-Cola Company (24th) and Novartis (25th).
Together, these companies employ more than 11.9 million employees.
These companies were selected from more than 1,000 corporations, they have appeared on at least 5 national Best Workplaces lists, have at least 5,000 employees worldwide, have at least 40% (or 5,000 employees) of their workforce based outside their home country.
But there are various password manager apps meant to solve those problems. The best-known password manager app is 1password by AgileBits. This app keeps your many Web site passwords, for your bank and so on, safely locked up. It also can keep track of other data like passport details, addresses and more.
The app has a plain yet attractive interface that makes using it a breeze, because its various icons and controls are obvious at one glance.
Tapping the “+” icon brings up a menu that offers you many data categories , like bank account numbers, e- mail details and wireless router passwords . You simply select the appropriate category and enter as much data in the boxes on the next page as you prefer. All your entries are then listed in the main app, and you can group them into folders if you want to keep work and home data separate.
1Password also has a secure browser built into it. It allows you to surf to your bank’s Web site, in one typical case, where it will automatically enter your passwords for you or enter credit card details into shopping sites.
If you think your passwords are too weak, 1Password has an automatic strong password generator that will randomly put together a complex password for you. These may be harder to remember than your usual passwords but, of course, the app remembers them for you.
This app excels in security. There’s a master password that protects your data, and data stored inside the app is encrypted — which makes it safe even if someone steals your device. Its main downside is the price: It’s $18 on iOS. There is a free Android version, but it’s much simpler and you can’t enter new data.
Scientists from Finland have developed a new technology whereby a ring, nail or wristband acts as a user interface allowing files to be transferred directly from one screen to another simply by touch.
The new InTouch user interfaces allows you to touch a file on one screen, for example, with a structure nail and transfer it through the nail to your friend’s smartphone or even to your car.
From the end user viewpoint, the data transfer between devices currently happens using memory sticks, short-range point-to-point connections (for example, Bluetooth) or the cloud (sharing services).
The solution, developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, allows files to be received, sent and shared much more easily than before.
The InTouch user interface operates with touchscreens and allows file transfer either directly or via a cloud service.
The new concept also enables entirely new kinds of interactive devices and product categories, and opens up new business possibilities, the researchers claim. Areas of application for the technology might include digital devices, cars, the manufacturing industry, logistics and health care. There is a patent pending for the technology.
The festival season is here, and it’s time for a whole bunch of fun photos. But a good camera is not all that’s required for fantastic snapshots.
It’s true; you don’t need to be an expert to touch-up your snapshots. These simple tools will let you crop, rotate, and retouch your pictures, and will even let you add that extra tadka – photo frames and special effects – to your snapshots with a single click of your mouse button.
Professionals might swear by Adobe Photoshop, but there are a whole bunch of users who’ve discovered the magic of an internet-based photo editor called Pixlr. This online tool, like any advanced image editor, comes with the layers option; over 25 graphic filters (blur, sharpen, diffuse, pixelate, emboss and engrave), a complete tool-set (stamp-clone, ink, eraser, magicwand, gradient-fill ), and even photo adjustment options (levels, curves, hue and saturation, brightness and contrast). All you have to do, is open the picture you want to edit in the app, work on it using the tools at your disposal, and then save the finished image back onto your machine.
Now, in case you’re a first-timer, and find Pixlr too daunting, you could try out the simpler Pixlr Express or Pixlr-o-matic .
Express uses simple onetouch buttons to make adjustments in contrast and colour, to auto-fix your snapshots, and even rotate and resize them. Using this tool you can apply photo effects, add digital frames to your pictures and even overlay your images with text. Pixlr-o-matic simplifies things even further. Import a JPEG from your computer and you can apply readymade effects to your images. Simply select the effect you like and you’re done. Pixlr Express, Pixlr-o-matic are also available as free apps for Android and iOS. pixlr.com
If you have a dodgy internet connection, then editing images online might not work out in your favour. Instead, it would be better if you made changes to your pictures using software on your PC before posting them to your web album or social network.
Picasa, which is a 14.3MB free download, lets you straighten and crop photographs, and then even lets you use filters, effects and quick fix tools like Auto Contrast, Auto Colour and Retouch. Creating a collage or a poster is just as simple, and takes just a few clicks.
People in group photos can also be tagged: tag a person in one snapshot, and Picasa’s brilliant built-in face-detection algorithm takes over, identifying the same person in other images.
Additionally, this software comes with a ‘batch edit’ feature that lets you automate repetitive tasks across multiple files. Once you are done, images can be uploaded directly to your Google+ account (with the face tags intact), or exported to another folder, with a watermark. picasa.google.com