Jul 27, 2011

Apple pips Google, Facebook to become No 1 international brand in China

apple1.jpgA year after opening a flagship store here,Apple has a problem that any retailer would envy: The huge 16,000-square-foot space is already too small.

Huge crowds descend the store's glass staircase, only to discover legions of mostly young Chinese crowding around spare displays of Apple's devices. Another Apple Store, four miles away, is also packed.

To cope, Apple says it is now planning a third, even largerShanghai store, as well as dozens of other stores throughout the country. The expansion is driven by customers like Wang Shangyan, a 17-year-old professed Apple maniac.

"I have many Apple products, likeTouch, iPod,iPad 2 andMacBook," Wang said after browsing the Apple Store here this week. "I don't have an iPhone but I'm waiting for the fifth generation. I will come to the Apple Store to buy it; it doesn't matter how much it costs."

Apple says its Chinese outlets - two inBeijing and two in Shanghai - are now the four most heavily trafficked Apple stores in the world. They also generate the most revenue, outselling even the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York, which is open around the clock. (Apple plans to open another store in Grand Central Terminal. Analysts say few globalbrands have achieved such a feat in China.

"Apple has done what Google and Facebook cannot do: become No. 1 in China," said John Quelch, former senior associate dean of Harvard Business School and now head of theChina Europe International Business School in Shanghai. "Scarcity sells, and this is the same strategy Apple has used in the US"

Apple's push into China may be important for other reasons: It shows the depth of this country's fast-growing upper middle class.

Foreign brands can absorb another lesson as well. Apple's success shows that with products that are not so easy to counterfeit, Chinese consumers are willing to pay a premium.

The Apple Store, however, is another matter. Last week, an American blogger living in China posted images of what she believed was a fake Apple Store in the southwestern city of Kunming. The store mimicked the Apple decor, right down to the bright blue T-shirts and white tags Apple employees are required to wear.

"It appears the middle class in China is growing faster than Apple's presence," said Charles Wolf, a securities analyst who follows Apple for Needham & Co. "I mean China has taken rip-offs to a new level, pirating Apple Stores themselves. It speaks to the demand for Apple products throughout China."

Apple declined to comment. The company has no authorized store in Kunming, only licensed resellers, which are barred from creating look-alike outlets or even calling themselves an Apple Store.

On Friday, China said its own regulators had begun inspecting electronics stores in Kunming to ensure they comply with the law.

Rack it up to Apple mania, with Chinese characteristics. Scarcity does seem to be feeding the frenzy. Shortages, bottlenecks and delays have created a thriving gray market in Apple products in China, with many consumers paying hefty prices for iPhones or iPads that have been smuggled in from overseas, ahead of the Chinese release date. Apple recently said its bottlenecks had eased.

Last week, Apple reported blockbuster sales and profits in its third quarter, including $3.8 billion in revenue in greater China, which includes Taiwan and Hong Kong. For the first three quarters of Apple's fiscal year, revenue in greater China was $8.8 billion - six times that of a year earlier. Last quarter, Apple may have even generated more revenue in China than Lenovo - the Chinese PC maker that seven years ago acquired IBM's personal computer business, according to a survey by Bloomberg News.

China has become the second-largest market after theUS for apps that run on the smartphone and tablet, according to Distimo, a Dutch company that tracks the popularity of apps. Strong sales of the iPhone and iPad are also helping drive up sales of Apple's other major products, including desktop computers and laptops.

Apple mania has even inspired grass-roots inventors. A year ago, a 22-year-old programmer and his 25-year-old brother introduced what they called the Apple Peel, essentially a case they said helped turn aniPod into a smartphone capable of making calls.

Handset makers get Microsoft Windows Phone update 'Mango'

Microsoft on Tuesday made the latest version of its mobile phone software available to handset partners as it seeks to claw back market share fromApple andGoogle.

The Redmond, Washington-based personal computer software powerhouse said the update to its Windows Phone operating system, code-named "Mango," features over 500 new features and faster browsing with Internet Explorer 9 (IE9).

"This marks the point in the development process where we hand code to our handset and mobile operator partners to optimizeMango for their specific phone and network configurations," Windows Phone corporate vice presidentTerry Myerson said in a blog post.

Microsoft unveiled Mango in May, promising it will be available by year's end for free to existing Windows Phone 7 customers and will ship on new phones fromSamsung, LG andHTC and new partnersAcer, Fujitsu andZTE.

Microsoft said it is also working on a Mango handset in its labs with new partner Nokia, the Finnish mobile phone titan which announced in February it would begin using Microsoft's platform as itssmartphone operating system.

When Mango-powered phones hit stores they'll likely be facing competition from a new iPhone from Apple and the latest versions of handsets running Google's Android software.

According to Gartner, Android will power nearly half of the smartphones worldwide by the end of next year with a 49.2 percent market share.

The market share for the iPhone's was forecast to remain relatively stable at 18.9 percent in 2012.

Windows will account for 5.6 percent of the smartphone market at the end of 2011 but will rise to 10.8 percent in 2012, according to Gartner.

Samsung pips Apple, Nokia in smartphone sales for first time

Samsung Electronics, maker of the Galaxy mobile phone, may have surpassedNokia and Apple in smartphone sales for the first time on demand for devices that run on Android software, a research company said.


Samsung is estimated to have sold between 18 million and 21 millionsmartphones globally in the April-June quarter, compared with 16.7 million for Nokia and 20.3 million iPhones, Neil Mawston, a London-based analyst at Strategy Analytics, a research company based in Boston, said in an e-mailed response to questions on July 22. The data exclude tablet-computer sales.

The estimates show Google's Android is gaining ground on Apple in smartphones as Nokia, which is turning toMicrosoft for software support, struggles to keep up with the pace. Samsung, which also produces low-end phones that aren't capable of downloading applications, has said it aims to more than double sales of high-end devices this year.

"Samsung's Android portfolio is selling strongly in most regions," said Mawston. "Samsung stands a reasonable chance of capturing the top spot on a quarterly basis if it can continue expanding its Android portfolio across high-growth markets like China and Brazil.Samsung and Apple will be at similar levels in smartphones by the end of the year."

Catching Nokia

Including basic phones, Samsung will probably have a 20% share this year, compared with Nokia's 26%, closing the gap between the world's two largest handset makers to the narrowest ever, he said. Samsung wasn't immediately able to verify the figures, said Nam Ki Yung, a Seoul-based spokesman for the Suwon, South Korea- based company. Steve Park, a Seoul-based spokesman for Apple, declined to comment.

Cherry Gong, a Nokia spokeswoman in China, didn't immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. Samsung fell 0.4% to 847,000 won at the 3:00 p.m. close in Seoul, while South Korea's benchmark Kospi index lost 1%. The shares have declined 11% this year.

Samsung's global smartphone sales had lagged behind Nokia, Apple andResearch in Motion in the first quarter, according to researcher International Data Corp. The South Korean company's sales are accelerating after it began selling the Galaxy S II, a successor to its best-selling Android device introduced last year to counter Apple.

New Galaxy

Samsung planned to roll out the model in 120 countries through 140 operators from May, the company said in April. The latest Galaxy handset went on sale last week in five cities in China, including Beijing and Shanghai, as the company seeks to make a push into the world's largest market for mobile phones.

The latest 4.27-inch Galaxy phone, unveiled in February, helped Samsung more than double operating profit at its mobile phone business in the second quarter, say five analysts polled by Bloomberg News. Apple reported net income that beat estimates on July 19, lifted by record sales of iPhones andiPads. Nokia reported its first quarterly loss since 2009 as the Finnish company struggles to sell handsets based on its Symbian software.

Jul 23, 2011

Top 10 headphones


Everyone loves their music on the move, and so we all need a good pair of headphones. 

Top 10 headphones,,,,
Phonak Audeo PFE 012

Price: Rs 3960

It's not easy creating the perfect headphone. Music is so subjective that one human's perfect pitch is a little lacking in bass for another, and too brightsounding for pedant no.3. The PFE 012s do about as good a job of satisfying disparate tastes as any in-ears we've tried. Building on the success of the pricier 111s, they dig up bags of detail, deliver sweet vocals and a palpable soundstage, and up the bass to party-worthy levels. They're also barely-there lightweight and subtly attractive. They could easily sell for twice the price.
Sony MDR-570 LP

Price: Rs 2999

If you're after a pair of great-sounding on-ears at a bargain price, look no further. With decent bass, bags of detail and a musical balance that embarrasses more expensive designs, they're better than they have any right to be. And they look great, too.
Klipsch Image X10i

Price: Rs 12,000

Though the X10s were our favourite in-ears for years, the X10i now looks too pricey for the no.1 spot. Built-in iPod/iPhone controls are useful, but it's the sound and size that really impress - the buds are slim as lolly sticks but sound thrilling and insightful.
Sennheiser CX300-II

Price: Rs 2790

Thanks to amazing price reductions, the CX300-IIs represent even better value for money. Replace your bundled headphones with these and you'll find out what you've been missing: deep bass, sparkling detail and dramatic dynamics. You'll thank us later.
Powerbeats by Dr Dre

Price: Rs 15,000

We never had Dr Dre down as a fitness fan, but the headphones he's designed for sweaty gym sessions are seriously impressive. Expect powerful, weighty and dynamic sound, then be pleasantly surprised by the in-line mic and three-button iPhone remote.
Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10vi

Price: Rs 24,995

Offering audio that's full-bodied and punchy, with excellent levels of detail, the 10vis will stay firmly nestled in your lugholes thanks to a shapeable over-ear band. With phone controls on-hand , they're a marvellous choice for affluent iPhone owners.
Bose QuietComfort 15

Price: Rs 21,263

Bose's latest long-haul headphones are its finest yet. Wearing a pair is as comfortable as binding pillows to your head with silken thread, and both sound and noise cancelling are exemplary. For a louder, more rocking listen, try Monster's Beats Studio.
Shure SE535

Price: Rs 31,000 

Your eyes don't deceive - that is how much Shure's flagship three-driver IEMs cost. They look and feel it, though, with a thick, replaceable cable that attaches to the buds via articulated joints. And the sound? Unbelievably detailed, utterly uncompromising.
Sennheiser PX310 BT

Price: Rs 24,990

Here we have an excellent pair of noise-cancellers that are a significant step above ordinary budget headphones. Smooth, crisp and balanced sound along with Bluetooth capability and a powerful enough battery make this a winner.
AKG K701

Price: Rs 19,990

With a swanky headphone amp, these reference-quality , openbacked headphones create a sound to rival hi-fi speakers ten times the price. Got more dosh? Try the supremely revealing Sennheiser HD 800s or breathtaking Grado GS1000is.


[Thanks 4 economictimes indiatimes]

Google in talks to buy InterDigital: WSJ


Google Inc has held talks about buying U.S. wireless chip technology company InterDigital to boost its patent portfolio , the Wall Street Journal said on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

InterDigital, which has a market value of $3.11 billion and 2010 revenues of $395 million, said earlier this week its board was evaluating strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company or of its patents.

Google is forging ahead in the smartphone market but has been hampered by a lack of intellectual property in wireless telephony, which has already exposed it to patent-infringement lawsuits from rivals including Oracle .

Earlier this month it lost out to a consortium including Apple , Microsoft and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion in a $4.5 billion auction of thousands of telecoms patents belonging to bankrupt group Nortel

. "Google must keep trying to buy strategic patent assets," said Florian Mueller, intellectual property analyst.

The wireless industry has been embroiled in a wave of patent suits in recent years as incumbents try to protect their position against newcomers like Google, which entered the market three years ago with its Android smartphone software.

Android, used by phone makers including HTC , Motorola and Samsung , has rapidly overtaken Nokia to become the world's most popular smartphone platform, with about one-third of the market.

Interdigital describes itself as a developer of wireless technologies and makes most of its money from licensing its patented technology and from damages it wins in patent lawsuits.

The company holds and licenses around 8,800 mostly telecommunications patents that range from basic wireless system designs and processes to increase network coverage to ways of extending battery life and making more efficient use of bandwidth.

Google did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. InterDigital could not be reached for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

The Journal said that InterDigital expects to fetch a price that not only reflects the value of its patents but also the long-term recurring revenue that stems from licensing patents.

Google and Interdigital have been in touch in recent days but financial advisers for InterDigital will likely approach a wide number of technology companies as part of the auction, the paper said.

Google+ buys online groups startup Fridge

Online groups startup Fridge said on Thursday it has been bought by Google+ and will become part of the Internet giant's freshly-launched social network.

New York city-based Fridge is closing and its small staff will become part of the Google+ team, the startup said in a post at its website.

"We look forward to continuing the vision of creating fresh and exciting social group experiences for users across the Web," the Fridge message read.

"We strongly believe in the group social experience and couldn't think of a better place to realize our vision" than at the Google+ Project.

More than 20,000 groups had reportedly been formed at Fridge for sharing pictures, opinions, videos and more. The website boasted more than 40,000 users monthly.

"The Fridge team shares our vision of bringing the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to the web, and we're excited that they'll be joining Google," a spokesperson for the California company said in response to an AFP inquiry.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Google+, a rival to Facebook , launched on June 28 and has been a hit despite the fact that membership is invitation-only while the service remains in a test phase.

Google chief Larry Page said last week that the Google+ social network already has more than 10 million members.

The service allows users to separate online friends and family into different "circles," or networks, and to share information only with members of a particular circle.

Jul 22, 2011

Google (Google1998)

This article is about the corporation. For the search engine, see Google Search. For other uses, see Google (disambiguation).

Google Inc.

Google1998 (click)

Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products,[2]AdWords program.[3][4] The company was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, often dubbed the "Google Guys",[5][6][7] while the two were attending Stanford University as PhD candidates. It was first incorporated as a privately held company on September 4, 1998, and its initial public offering followed on August 19, 2004. At that time Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt agreed to work together at Google for twenty years, until the year 2024.[8][9] and the company's unofficial slogan – coined by Google engineer Amit Patel[10] and supported by Paul Buchheit – is "Don't be evil".[11][12] In 2006, the company moved to its current headquarters in Mountain View, California. and generates profit primarily from advertising through its The company's mission statement from the outset was "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful",
It has been estimated that Google runs over one million servers in data centers around the world,[13] and processes over one billion search requests[14] and about twenty-four petabytes of user-generated data every day.[15][16][17][18] Google's rapid growth since its incorporation has triggered a chain of products, acquisitions, and partnerships beyond the company's core web search engine. The company offers online productivity software, such as its Gmail email service, and social networking tools, including Orkut and, more recently, Google Buzz and Google+. Google's products extend to the desktop as well, with applications such as the web browser Google Chrome, the Picasa photo organization and editing software, and the Google Talk instant messaging application. Notably, Google leads the development of the Android mobile operating system, used on a number of phones such as the Nexus One and Motorola Droid, as well as Google Chrome OS, which is brand new (was just released on June 15, 2011)[19] but is best known as the main operating system on the Cr-48 and also on commercial Chromebooks since June 15, among them the Samsung Series 5.[20] Alexa lists the main U.S.-focused google.com site as the Internet's most visited website, and numerous international Google sites (google.co.in, google.co.uk etc.) are in the top hundred, as are several other Google-owned sites such as YouTube, Blogger, and Orkut.[21] Google also ranks number two in the BrandZ[22] The dominant market position of Google's services has led to criticism of the company over issues including privacy, copyright, and censorship.[23][24] brand equity database.

More Google Details....

Jul 21, 2011

Nokia posts $523 million loss, lower sales in Q2

Stephen ElopMobile phone maker Nokia Corp. has posted a loss of (euro) 368 million ($523 million) as sales slumped in the second quarter.

The company posted a profit of (euro) 227 million in the same period last year.

Nokia said Thursday its revenue fell 7 percent to (euro) 9.3 billion from (euro) 10.0 billion the previous year.

CEO Stephen Elop says Nokia's challenges were ``manifested in a greater than expected way'' in the April-June period.

Nokia is being squeezed in the low-end market by Asian manufacturers like ZTE and in the high-end market by the makers of smartphones like the iPhone and Blackberry devices. Its global market share dropped below 30 percent earlier this year for the first time in more than a decade.
The once-dominant mobile phone giant slipped behind Apple Inc.'s iPhone in the second quarter in terms of the quantity of smartphones shipped to vendors.

Apple was already making more money on iPhone sales than Nokia was on its N9 and other smartphones. Now it's also passed Nokia in terms of smartphone volumes, and analysts said South Korea's Samsung , which reports next week, may have pushed Nokia to No. 3.

``The results were very bad. Pretty much everything is heading in the wrong direction,'' said Neil Mawston of London-based Strategy Analytics. ``Nokia has to move with lightning speed to upgrade their portfolio.''

Still, markets found some bright spots in Nokia's report, like the (euro) 430 million it received in royalty income, following a legal battle with Apple.

The US company last month agreed to pay Nokia a one-time sum to settle long-standing patent disputes as well as royalties for current licenses.

Also, Nokia said it was accelerating its cost-cutting plan to exceed the previously targeted savings of (euro) 1 billion in 2013. The reductions would be achieved through cuts in staff and outsourced professionals, facility costs ``and various improvements in efficiencies,'' the company said.

Nokia's share price rose 5 percent after the announcement but then fell back and was up 1.5 per cent at (euro) 4.14 in afternoon trading on the Helsinki Stock Exchange .

Chief executive Stephen Elop, brought in from Microsoft, has led the company into a partnership with the software provider to develop new smartphones using the Windows Phone operating system. Elop acknowledged that Nokia was facing greater than expected challenges in its strategy shift.

``However, even within the quarter, I believe our actions to mitigate the impact of these challenges have started to have a positive impact on the underlying health of our business,'' he added.

Nokia, which posted a profit of (euro) 227 million in the same period in 2010, said revenue fell 7 per cent to (euro) 9.3 billion from (euro) 10.0 billion last year.

It shipped 88.5 million mobile devices in April through June, down from 111 million a year ago and 108.5 million in the previous quarter.

Its smartphone volumes fell to 16.7 million units, compared to Apple's more than 20 million iPhones sold in the same quarter.

Nokia rose to the top position in the cell phone business in the late 1990s when it overtook Motorola . Although it struggled in the U.S., it dominated almost everywhere else, primarily through mass sales of low- and mid-priced mobile phones.

Now, Nokia is being squeezed in the low end market by Asian manufacturers like ZTE and in the high end by the makers of smartphones like the iPhone and Blackberry devices. It remains the biggest mobile phone maker overall, but its global market share dropped below 30 percent earlier this year for the first time in more than a decade.

Nokia's share price has nearly halved this year, falling below (euro) 4 this month.

The Espoo , Finland-based company hopes to regain momentum through a linkup with Microsoft, whose Windows Phone operating system will replace Nokia's Symbian software. Symbian has been losing ground to Google's popular Android platform. Nokia expects to launch its first Windows phones later this year.

``While the tie-up with Microsoft is likely to yield results from 2012 onwards, Nokia is clearly in survival mode as it pushes ahead with a painful cost-cutting exercise,'' said Manoj Ladwa, a senior trader at ETX Capital in London.

Analyst Mikko Ervasti at Evli Bank in Helsinki found some positive news, in that the average selling price of a Nokia handset fell to (euro) 62, down from (euro) 65 in the first quarter. Elop earlier this year hinted that the company would start lowering its prices to compete with low-end rivals, particularly in China.

Apple beats Nokia in smartphones category

Apple iPhone 4GApple has beaten world's largest mobile phone maker Nokia in the smartphones category, an area the Finnish company had been losing ground to the US tech giant since the iPhone hit the market, as per the April-June quarter results filed by the two companies.

Nokia, which filed its second quarter results today, sold 16.7 million smartphones worldwide, while Apple's third quarter numbers reveal that it sold 20.34 million units, across the globe.

Apple came up with its June quarter results on Tuesday. During the June quarter, Nokia saw the erosion of its smartphone sales, which dipped 34 per cent compared to 25.2 million units sold by the company in the same quarter of 2010.

Sales of other mobile phone devices of Nokia was down by 16 per cent to 71.8 million compared to 85.8 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Apple during the third quarter ended June 25, reported sales of 20.34 million iPhones, a 142 per cent growth, over the same period a year-ago quarter.

Nokia in its June quarter results reported a 20 per cent decline in its total sales volume of mobile phones (both multimedia phones and smartphones) to 88.5 million unit from 111 million unit it sold in the corresponding period a year ago.

Nokia witnessed a 42 per cent decline in sales in North America, 41 per cent in Greater China, 30 per cent in Europe, 20 per cent in Asia Pacific, 2 per cent in Middle East and Africa combined.

Its sales volume, however, grew by 10 per cent in Latin America.

Will rivals do to Google what Facebook did to MySpace?

Will rival search engines do to Google what Facebook did to MySpace?

That's possible after US antitrust regulators last month started investigations against the search engine for abusing its dominant market position, say experts. The US action is the second antitrust investigation against the search engine after the EU launched first such action against Google last year.

"Google's position is more precarious than it first appears. If consumers and advertisers decide that Google's methods are biased or it has dropped the ball, defection to (Microsoft's) Bing or elsewhere could follow rapidly - witness the migration from MySpace to Facebook,'' says Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington .

Criticizing antitrust investigations against Google, he says in an article in the Vancouver Sun that US action against the search engine will undermine competition.

"Rivals claim that Google manipulates its search results to disfavour competitors' offerings and bolster its own properties. How Google ranks sites or steers traffic is its own prerogative. Yet even if it were to 'unfairly' favour its own properties, it cannot escape the ruthless market consequences of those actions, as competitors would be ready to exploit its folly,'' says Wayne in the article written jointly with Alberto Mingardi , director general of Instituto Bruno Leoni in Milan, Italy.

The authors say government intervention will undermine healthy competition.

"Competing search engines like Microsoft's Bing are gaining ground. Others could be created by alliances among firms, should it come to that. It wasn't long ago that many of us were 'locked in' to the Yahoo and AltaVista search engines. The very emergence of Google would have been impossible if antitrust enforcers' vision of Internet market share were true.''

The authors say if US antitrust investigations create the impression among consumers and advertisers that Google's methods are biased, "defection to Bing or elsewhere could follow rapidly - witness the migration from MySpace to Facebook.''

MySpace was the most popular social networking site till 2008 when Facebook overtook it.

According to the authors, "Google's market power derives from consumers choosing to use it. To forcibly deny that choice is wrong in its own right and short-circuits the competitive process that yields consumer feedback and keeps companies on their toes.''

Google last month received a formal notification from the US Federal Trade Commission ( FTC )) that it has begun a review of its business.

"It's still unclear exactly what the FTC's concerns are, but we are clear about where we stand. Since the beginning, we have been guided by the idea that, if we focus on the user, all else will follow,'' the Mountain View , California-based search engine has said in its reaction to the antitrust notification.

Google is currently the world's second most valuable company after Apple . 

Rovio Mobile's Vesterbacka on how Angry Birds became successful


Angry Birds Talk about killing two birds with one stone. Particularly if it's from Peter Vesterbacka , the CMO or the Mighty Eagle of Rovio Mobile, the Finnish company behind the Angry Birds phenomenon. At Cannes, apart from speaking at the annual ad fest, Vesterbacka was also scouting and hunting for talent .

The success rate - two short-list for the top position at Rovio. Even as he moves to the next level of talent hunt, Verterbacka takes pot-shots , aiming directly at the brands. Brands, he says, are wasting their time advertising on television. "With our reach we can provide a much better bang-for-the buck to them" . While, one can debate the claims made by the Mighty Eagle, the fact remains Angry Birds has caught the attention of millions across the world. In a chat with BE, Vesterbacka talks about the origin of Angry Birds and the flight towards becoming an entertainment company in the time to come.

How did Rovio Mobile and Angry Birds happen?

After winning a game development competition sponsored by Nokia and HP, Niklas Hed founded a mobile game development studio in 2004 in Finland. We had developed 51 titles, before Rovio hit gold with Angry Birds. The Angry Bird app took off in small countries first - Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Greece, and the Czech Republic - before being featured on the front page of the UK App Store in February of 2010, where it jumped from 600th to first. Since then, the growth has been explosive - the app is number one in 79 countries, with 250 million downloads, 4 million Facebook fans, and tens of millions of views on Facebook!

What was the origin of the Birds, who have shaken the world with their anger?

Our game designer Jaakko Lisalo created a concept featuring a flock of manic birds, and something about their furious expressions was immediately appealing to the rest of the Rovio team. The game-play hadn't even been developed yet, but there was a feeling in the air that these birds had something special. Many of the now iconic elements associated with Angry Birds weren't even present in the initial screen-shot and were only implemented during the development process.

To what do you attribute the success of the Angry Birds phenomenon across the globe that seems to be popular across the ages?

From the beginning, we were focused on creating a worldwide phenomenon. (We felt) There's something inherently appealing about these birds - maybe it's their crazed expressions , bright colors and broadly drawn features, or their hero's quest to rescue their eggs. Like many iconic characters, the flightless Angry Birds may appear small and vulnerable, but they are actually very powerful. Think pudgy Mario the plumber versus the monstrous Bowser , or Bugs Bunny versus the hunter Elmer Fudd. That's a narrative that's very appealing to all ages.

With a following, comprising of 50 million downloads and 1.2 billion hours a year consumption, what are the plans for the Birds to take them to the next level?

We have an amazing fan base. In addition to our four million fans on Facebook and our millions of views on YouTube, we get tons of pictures from fans of their homemade art, crafts, cakes, videos, musical tributes, live-action games, and clothing, as well as mountains of tweets expressing their interest and support. This shows that people are really excited about these characters and want to engage with them more. We're going to keep existing fans engaged while pushing into new platforms and forms of media in order to reach as many fans as possible.
We recently acquired the Finnish animation studio Kombo, and just recently we had a very exciting media announcement. David Maisel, the former chairman of Marvel Studios, will be acting as a special advisor to Rovio in order to help us develop our film and media strategy and will also serve as executive producer of future Angry Birds films. We're ramping up our book publishing operation, and we have a cookbook of egg recipes already on the way.

As we transition into being an entertainment company, we're going to keep releasing great new games, but we're also going to offer many new ways of interacting with these beloved characters. Without getting into the specific details of our long-term plan, we can say that "world domination" is a good start!

How is your fan base in India? Anything specifically lined up for the Indian market?

We have a significant and growing fan base in India, and we are hoping for even more intense growth as adoption of smart phones in India increases. To thank our fans in India for their support, we're even looking into the possibility of giving them a special treat!

Jul 20, 2011

Google Earth can detect illegal mining in Goa: Ecologist

The Google Earth application could be effectively used to track down illegal mining activity in Goa, a noted environmentalist said on Wednesday.

"You get to spot all the mines very clearly on Google Earth software. Everybody can see and find out how many of them are illegal," said environmentalist Madhav Gadgil , addressing a convention at Dona Paula here.

Regional Plan 2021, a futuristic document prepared by the State Government , shows legal borders of the mines and "if we compare the Plan with Google images, we can come to know about the illegal mining," he said.

The veteran green activist also questioned the alacrity shown by mine owners in the state to extract iron ore and export it.

"Why are they in such a great hurry? Ore reserve is not going to be depleted, it will remain below the earth and demand for it will continue."

Goa has 100-odd mining sites and companies export 45 million metric tonnes of iron ore annually. 

Jul 17, 2011

Internet use affects memory: Study

NEW YORK: Internet searches are making information easy to forget, as more people rely on computers as a type of "external memory," a Harvard University study found.

About 60 Harvard students were asked to type 40 pieces of trivia, such as "An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain," into computers, and were told either the information would be saved or erased. People who believed the data would be saved were less likely to remember, according to the study published online by the journal Science.

The widely available Internet has made it an instant go-to library where facts and figures are easily found, the researchers said. The study suggests that search engines such as Google Inc. , and databases such as Amazon. com Inc's IMDb.com serve as an external "memory, where information is stored collectively outside ourselves," they said.

"We are becoming symbiotic with our computer tools, growing into interconnected systems," the authors wrote in the paper.

"We have become dependent on them to the same degree we are on all the knowledge we gain from our friends and coworkers - and lose if they are out of touch."

The research also found that people are primed to look to the Internet first for knowledge. Another experiment, run on 34 undergraduates at Columbia University in New York, showed that people remembered where they stored their information better than they were able to recall the information itself.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, was founded in 1998 by Sergey Brin and Larry Page, after the two Stanford University students created a search engine they called "BackRub."

That search engine, later dubbed Google - became the company's backbone, as it expanded access to billions of web documents. Google, a play on the word "googol," a mathematical term for the number represented by the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros, went public in 2004.

It isn't clear what the effects of being so "wired" will have on people over time, the authors, led by Betsy Sparrow of Columbia, wrote.

"It may be no more than nostalgia at this point, however, to wish we were less dependent on our gadgets," the authors said. 

For More...

Jul 16, 2011

Website Design Simple Tips Part 1

 Probably if you are reading this article now then you maybe already a webmaster who own a website , or maybe you are willing to own a website , if you are going to create and own a website , then you should read these great tips in planning your website before starting creating it .
Without planning you may fail in reach your set goals that may lead you to a high depression feelings .
Lot of people who are willing to create a website they create it in one day and night without thinking about their strategies that can implement to have a website with good content to serve it to their visitors , they may talk to themselves one day and say let’s create a website about games for example and then he start to buy his domain name and web hosting and create the website in 1 or 2 days and then only 2 or 3 month later and he will close his website , do you know why ? , let’s answer you with these 4 important tips that this person haven’t done it :
1 ) Ask yourself , why I’m creating this website .
By asking yourself such a question you can determine for which purpose you are creating your website , is it for your work group ? , for your school ? , for your friends ? , or do you create a website to earn money from it ?
Knowing why you are creating a website will make your niche you are going to target easy to found , what are your audience and which script you are going to use to post your contents .
2 ) What is your website niche .
Very important question you must ask it to yourself , I’m really sad for people who create a website that don’t have a specific niche talking about . Never create a website that talking about everything , if you create a website that talking about everything , then you are going to lose everything .
Specific a niche for your website , pick a niche that you are in love , a niche that you can write articles and give your visitors valuable things .
3 ) Knowing your audience .
Feel your visitor like he is standing in front of you now , what is his name , his nationality , his mother language , how old is he , male or female , beginner or expert .
Answering this small questions will make you know which audience you are targeting , it is important to know which people you are targeting , don’t create content and target beginners and expert at the same time , if you do this I can tell you that you don’t have a niche like the one above who create a website about everything .
For sure to talk with a beginner not as to talk with an expert , every kind differ from the other on how he could understand you and often expert visitors are busy one that need fast information , not as the beginner one who want to know more and more , also targeting males not as targeting females , every gender have his different way on how to give him the information .
So you should now know that talking to an expert is not as to talk to a beginner , talking to a person 21 years old not as to talk to a person 15 years old , as well as male or female and so on .
4 ) What you are going to give to your Visitors .
You must know , if you choose your niche in a right way then this point will never stop you , if you pick a niche that you are in love with some experience and knowledge about it , then you will know what you are going to give them that you will know that it is a valuable content that will let your visitors loves you and your content and may become a regular visitor that visit your website daily .
Remember to give your visitors a valuable thing , never think to earn from your website unless you are giving your visitors a valuable thing . just give them a valuable content to give it back to you in cashes .
If you are willing to create a website , then it’s better to you to read this great tips and do them in your upcoming website plan , don’t just create a website that you don’t now for what it is created and for whom and why , always answer the questions in this topic to know which road you are going to walk , after that set your goals.
for example you may set a goal like reaching 500 visitors/daily after 2 months , always work on a goal , after it end set a new advanced goal and so on until you reach a great goal at the end with a great website with a great income , also always search for the new in your niche and talk about it , My last advice to you …. Just Implement !

Analysts hail Google results, raise price targets

Shares of Google Inc surged 13 percent before the bell on Friday, a day after the Internet giant posted blockbuster second-quarter results that blew past Wall Street expectations, prompting at least three brokerages to raise their price targets on the stock.

"We are witnessing signs of increased competitive advantage for Google, particularly in Display and Local, with Search showing no signs of slowing," Evercore analyst Ken Sena wrote in a note.

Evercore's Sena raised his price target on the stock to $735 from $670, while Collins Stewart analyst Mayuresh Masurekar raised his price target to $725 from $680. Jefferies raised it price target on the stock to $830 from $800.

The results were strong despite a seasonally slow quarter, macro softness and substantially higher costs, analyst Masurekar said.

On a conference call, Chief Executive Larry Page said Google's new social networking service, Google+, had signed up more than 10 million people.

Evercore's Sena said he was encouraged by Google+ both in terms of traction and the company's plans to integrate its data signals and sharing capability into other Google products and services.

The better-than-expected results and successful Google+ launch should stem some of the short-term stock angst about their investment and development strategy, Wells Fargo analyst Jason Maynard said.

Investors had feared Google's ever-increasing spending would eat into margins. Operating expenses leapt 49 percent to $2.97 billion in the second quarter, to about a third of revenue.

Google is fighting technology heavyweights that include Apple Inc and Microsoft Corp , as well as upstarts such as Groupon, as it seeks to protect its lucrative search business at a time when mobile gadgets and social media are redefining the way consumers use the Web.

All four brokerages maintained their top ratings on Google stock.

Shares of the company rose $68.06 to $597.00 in trading before the bell. The stock closed at $528.94 on Thursday on Nasdaq.

Google changing way brain remembers information: Study

Internet search engines like Google are changing the way our brains remember information, according to a new study that says readily available information online makes people easily forget facts since computers become their external memory ".

Researchers from Harvard University and Columbia University said Google and databases such as Amazon.com, IMDb.com serve as an external "memory, where information is stored collectively outside ourselves".

People are more likely to remember things they think they will not be able to find online and will have a harder time recalling information which they know they can easily access online, the study added.

"Since the advent of search engines, we are re-organising the way we remember things," Columbia University psychologist Betsy Sparrow said.

Our brains rely on the Internet for memory in much the same way they rely on the memory of a friend, family member or co-worker.

The research also found that people remembered where they stored their information or where to look for information on the internet better than they remembered the information itself.

In the paper titled "Google Effects on Memory: Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips," researchers conducted four experiments.

They gave students 40 statements, asking them to type the information on a computer.

Those who were told the information would be saved had a much harder time remembering the statements later than those who were told it would be erased.

Similarly, Columbia students were asked a series of questions and allowed to take notes.

The students who were told the information would be saved in one of six computer folders had a harder time remembering the information later than those who were told it would be erased.

About 60 Harvard students were asked to type trivia, such as "An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain," into computers, and were told either the information would be saved or erased.

People who believed the data would be saved were less likely to remember, according to the study published online by the journal Science.

In the last experiment, Columbia undergraduates were told the same information would be saved in files with names such as 'facts', 'data' and 'names'.

The students remembered the file names better than the information itself, the study said.

Sony backs unique games for PlayStation Network

Sony Computer Entertainment America on Wednesday revealed a plan to invest $20 million in unique games tailored exclusively for PlayStation Network (PSN).

The money will be distributed during the coming three years to Sony affiliated studios as well as to independent game makers chosen for backing by a "Pub Fund" the Japanese entertainment colossus established in 2009.

The move is part of a strategy by Sony to win more fans to its online PSN for PlayStation 3 videogame console users by providing enticing games unavailable at rivals such as Xbox Live.

"We think it is important for everyone with a PS3 to be engaged in the network," PSN marketing director Brandon Stander told AFP.

"It needs to stand out from the crowd to make sure it is top of mind," he said. "Consumers have lots of entertainment options and we want to be the place in the gaming category for stuff that can't be found anywhere else."

Upcoming titles for the PSN portfolio include "Eufloria" in which players explore space and nurture semi-organic creatures.

A "PAYDAY" game for PSN will let people play as career criminals pulling off major heists.

A vibrant "Papo & Yo" game that challenges players to solve puzzles with the help of a monster sidekick with a dangerous addiction to poison frogs is due out on PSN next year.

An early version of the game proved a hit at the major Electronic Entertainment Expo videogame extravaganza last month in Los Angeles.

"Certainly tried-and-true things have a place in our hearts, but this investment seeks to push the boundaries of what is out there," Stander said.

"We hope to bring artistry and originality to interactive entertainment."

Rumours of 'BlackBerry Cyclone' to take on Apple TV

BlackBerry company Research In Motion (RIM) is rumoured to be toying with the idea of entering the home entertainment business .

If it is true, this will be the second major departure for the Waterloo-based RIM from its core business of smart phones where it ruled the market till last year. Last April, RIM unveiled its PlayBook tablet - the first non-BlackBerry product - to challenge Apple's iPad.

Now it is rumoured to be working on a media box to match Apple TV .

"We have confirmed with one of our source's RIM is working on just that a media hub. The media hub's code-name is 'BlackBerry Cyclone','' Nerdberry web site has reported.

According to the report, the 'BlackBerry Cyclone' will be Wi-Fi-enabled and connect to your home TV via HDMI. It will also have Netflix, YouTube and access to media devices on the WiFi network.

"We are hearing the release of the 'BlackBerry Cyclone' will be later this fall. We are waiting for more info to come in at this time. This is going to be a great product for streaming media,'' the web site has said.

Apple has not only beaten the BlackBerry company in the smart phone market but also become the undisputed leader in mobile computing with its iPad.

RIM's efforts to take on the iPhone with its BlackBerry Storm and the iPad with its PlayBook tablet have failed to make any dent on Apple's supremacy in the mobile computing market.

It remains to be seen how much of a challenge the rumoured 'BlackBerry Cyclone' will pose to Apple TV.

At its annual shareholder meeting this week, RIM also announced to unveil seven new models of BlackBerry in the coming months to replace its aging handset line-up.

Bu the announcement failed to revive RIM stock which - at $27 - has fallen more than 50 percent this year, reducing its market worth to just $14 billion. 

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