Instagram hits 100 million users

The milestone comes just a few months after the photo-sharing company’s second birthday, and less than one year since Facebook (FB) bought Instagram for $1 billion.
Instagram hits 100 million users
Co-founder Kevin Systrom penned a long blog post to commemorate the news, chronicling Instagram’s modest beginnings in a chilly co-working space atop the San Francisco Bay and the journey to becoming a global phenomenon.”Now, more than ever, people are capturing the world in real-time using Instagram—sharing images from the farthest corners of the globe,” Systrom wrote. “What we see as a result is a world more connected and understood through photographs.“Systrom’s post also discussed a couple who met through Instagram and began dating, the Instagram habits of small artisan businesses, and a United Nations aid worker who uses the platform to share images from refugee camps in Sudan.”Instagram, as a tool to inspire and connect, is only as powerful as the community it is made of. For this reason, we feel extremely lucky to have the chance to build this with all of you,” he wrote.The feel-good post focused on Instagram’s successes, and it didn’t mention a rough patch the company skidded through just two months ago.

In December, Instagram announced a rule change that would give the company commercial rights to user accounts and images. Users revolted, because in a worst-case scenario, the new rules would have allowed the company to sell images to outside parties.

Backlash was swift, with users vowing to dump their Instagram accounts altogether. Instagram quickly backtracked, saying that wasn’t their intent, and promised to “modify specific parts” of the new terms to make its intentions clear. That softened policy went into effect in January.

Some thought the damage had already been done, with reports warning of an Instagram user exodus. At 100 million monthly actives, however, it seems many Instagram users stuck around.

See on: CNN

Samsung Galaxy S4 To Feature Visa NFC Payments

Samsung will announce their new Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone on the 14th of March at a Samsung Unpacked event in New York, and now Samsung and Visa have announced a new deal that will see future Samsung devices, like the Samsung Galaxy S4 come with NFC Visa mobile payments.

Companies that plan to offer mobile payment services will be able to use the Visa Mobile Provisioning service with NFC enabled Samsung devices, and we presume the new Samsung Galaxy S4 will be one of the first devices to use Visa payments from Samsung.

Samsung Galaxy S3
We are expecting the new Samsung Galaxy S4 to be available worldwide in April and we previously heard that the handset is expected to launch in the UK some time between the 15th and 22nd of April.

See on: Geeky-Gadgets

By Silhoutte James

BlackBerry launches first BB10 device in India at $800

BlackBerry launched its first smartphone from its BlackBerry 10 line in India on Monday, pricing the phone at 43,490 rupees ($800).

Blackberry

The touch-screen BlackBerry Z10 phone, which goes on sale in India from Tuesday, will compete with Apple Inc’s iPhones and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s high-end Galaxy series phones.

The Z10 has already gone on sale in the United Kingdom and Canada, and is expected to hit the United States in mid-March.

See on: Reuters

By Silhoutte James

D-Link DIR-605L Cloud Router Review

D-Link announced its cloud service and a range of cloud-based products at this year’s Consumer Electronic Show (CES). The DIR-605L Cloud Router is one of the products unveiled by the company in Las Vegas. We received the unit last month and here’s our somewhat belated review.

d-link dir-605l router

In the box
DIR-605L
Power Adapter
1 LAN Cable
User Manual

Build & features
The router looks rather plain with a black plastic body that is dominated by two large, non-detachable antennas at the back. The top features seven indicator lights at the front – Power, Internet, Wireless and numbered lights for each LAN port. The backside sports the power port, WAN/ Internet port and 4 LAN ports. A WPS button is present on the side.

The DIR-605L is pretty much a no-frills router, with 300 Mbps 802.11n wireless networking perhaps the only feature hitherto seen in higher-priced routers. There’s no dual-band wireless (only 2.4 Ghz), no Gigabit Ethernet or USB ports.

Setup & options
The router does not come with a CD. You simply join the default wireless network or connect via LAN cable and follow the web-based setup to configure your network. The setup is simple enough without being anything special.

The router supports port forwarding & triggering, dynamic-DNS, UPnP and other features you expect from a modern router. An interesting addition is Parental Control Rules that let you define a black/white list of sites that users can access and have a schedule associated with each list. This lets you, for example, have a pre-defined list of sites your kids can access while you are at work during the day, and an unrestricted Internet when you are around. The feature works as advertised.

Performance
This is where the router really begins to shine. The wireless range is excellent, thanks, no doubt, to the dual antennas. We installed the DIR-605L in a large six-bedroom house that was originally being served by two dated routers working in conjunction. The DIR-605L served strong signal in every corner of the house.

The wireless performance was excellent and we didn’t experience any signal drops or any need to reset the router during our 3-4 days test period. The data transfer speeds were satisfactory and in line with the specifications.

Cloud integration

dlinkiphoneapp.jpg

The DIR-605L is mydlink enabled, which is D-Link talk for a device that supports its cloud service mentioned earlier. Once you’ve signed up for the service, you can link and control all your mydlink enabled devices from the web or mobile. D-Link has also released iOS and Android apps that let you do the same.

Linking the DIR-605L to the cloud was pretty straightforward but of limited utility. While it’s nice to be able to monitor your router from anywhere in the world without fiddling with half-a-dozen settings, the mydlink service doesn’t let you do much with the device. You can monitor the throughput and, sure, you can reboot your device when needed, but, chances are, when your router really needs a reboot, it won’t have a live Internet connection for you to remotely login either!

Verdict
What the DIR-605L lacks in features, it makes up in performance. If you are looking for a wireless router for a duplex apartment or large office, this one deserves a second look.

Price
Rs. 2,900

Pros
Steady performance
Good range

Cons
Lacks features that other similar-priced routers offer

Rating
Performance 4
Features 2.5
Design 3
Value for Money 3.5
Overall 3.5

See on:  ndtv.com

By Silhoutte James

Malware Attack on Apple Said to Come From Eastern Europe

At least 40 companies including Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. were targeted in malware attacks linked to an Eastern European gang of hackers that is trying steal company secrets, two people familiar with the matter said.

Apple, one of three victims to publicly disclose attacks this month, said some of its internal Mac systems were affected by a malware attack. The hackers used an iPhone-developer website, according to the people familiar with law enforcement efforts, including investigations by the FBI and Secret Service, and didn’t want to be identified because of the probe.

“We identified a small number of systems within Apple that were infected and isolated them from our network,” Cupertino, California-based Apple said yesterday in a statement. “There is no evidence that any data left Apple. We are working closely with law enforcement to find the source of the malware.”

The attack is part of the same series of invasions that also led to recently disclosed breaches at Facebook and Twitter, according to investigators working with the companies. Apple was the first to discover the attack, one of the people said.

The hackers appear to be seeking company secrets, research and intellectual property they can sell underground, the people familiar with the matter said. While such attacks have previously been associated with China, sophisticated criminals in other countries have now successfully hacked corporate networks.

‘Sophisticated Attack’

Facebook said last week that it was subjected to a “sophisticated attack” by hackers who took advantage of weaknesses in a mobile-developer website. Apple said its computers were infected in a similar manner, though it didn’t name Facebook or any other affected companies.

Twitter, the microblogging site with more than 200 million active users, said this month that it detected unauthorized attempts to hack into its systems and that attackers may have obtained access to information for about 250,000 people. It said the perpetrators were “extremely sophisticated.”

Information from the social media sites could be used to target employees of other companies, the investigators said.

Employees at the companies were first infected when they visited the iPhone developers site iphonedevsdk.com, which the hackers had infiltrated and used to implant malware via a security flaw in the victims’ browsers. Bedford, Massachusetts- based RSA Security Inc. has dubbed the tactic a “waterhole” attack, because victims are attracted to the source of the infection like animals attracted to a waterhole on the savanna.

Attractive Targets

In this case, the website was probably visited by software developers and other employees of technology companies, which would present attractive targets to hackers, according to Anup Ghosh, founder of the security firm Invincea Inc. The hackers, who don’t know ahead of time exactly who will be infected, then use those initial infections to burrow deeper into networks of companies that might have valuable data, Ghosh said.

Investigators suspect that the hackers are a criminal group based in Russia or Eastern Europe, and have tracked at least one server being used by the group to a hosting company in the Ukraine. Other evidence, including the malware used in the attack, also suggest it is the work of cyber criminals rather than state-sponsored espionage from China, two people familiar with the investigation said.

The New York Times Co. reported Jan. 30 that its computer network was hacked repeatedly by attackers in China. For four months, the newspaper’s computer systems were infiltrated and Chinese hackers accessed some passwords for its reporters and other employees, the publisher said.

More on: http://www.bloomberg.com

5D28XZ7VH2BU

Google set to release Touch-Screen Laptop Soon

Edging into Microsoft’s touch screen territory, the Web giant is said to have developed its first touch-capable laptop to run on Chrome’s operating system.

As the divide between laptops and tablets continues to shrink, word is that Google has already developed its first Chrome-powered touchscreen laptop.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the tech giant’s new device would come with cloud computing and could go on sale as soon as this year.

This endeavor would put Google in closer competition with Microsoft, which has already developed its own Windows touch-screen laptops. According to the Wall Street Journal, 25 percent of all Windows 8 laptops sold in the U.S. last month had touch screens.

samsung touch screen laptop

Microsoft also has a major claim on the low-cost laptop market. But, Google edged into this territory over the past year too. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google sold nearly 100,000 $199 and $249 Chromebooks in the U.S. during the fourth quarter of last year.

Chrome OS already includes a touch-screen keyboard, which means that it shouldn’t be too difficult to add a touch-centric interface to the operating system, especially with Google’s experience with Android.

The company launched two Chromebooks from Acer and Samsung last year. It’s unclear which hardware manufacturer Google might have partnered with for the possible upcoming touchscreen laptop.

Having touch on a traditional laptop is a growing trend and could be commonplace in the near future — as it is for any mobile device now.

More on:  Cnet

By Silhoutte James