tech planet

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Amazon may soon enter Brazil's e-commerce market

Amazon may soon enter Brazil's e-commerce market

Brazil's Saraiva, is trying to sell its online business, a move that could pave the way for Amazon's debut in Latin America's fastest growing e-commerce market.

SAO PAULO: Brazil's biggest bookstore chain, Saraiva, is trying to sell its online business, a move that could pave the way for Amazon's debut in Latin America's fastest growing e-commerce market, industry sources said.
Saraiva is widely seen as one of the main hurdles facing Amazon, the online retailer, as it prepares to set up shop in Brazil, a challenging market of 200 million people known for its tax and logistic complexities.
The Sao Paulo-based bookseller wants to sell its e-commerce platform and focus on its chain of over 100 stores and publishing businesses, where margins are higher, three industry executives told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
"Saraiva is trying to sell its online operations. They have offered it to some retailers," said one of the sources.
"Why would this be interesting for Amazon? Amazon's main challenge will initially be overcoming the obstacle of the publishing companies. By buying Saraiva it shortens that distance dramatically," the same source said.
Amazon spokesman Craig Berman declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for Saraiva.
A second source said Saraiva has been preparing to spin off its online retail business for some time to focus on its publishing operations and bookstores, where it also sells CDs and DVDs.
"Their assets in terms of relationships with publishers and distributors could be important for Amazon," the source said.
Amazon is laying the ground to land in Brazil, a $12 billion e-commerce market where still low internet penetration and a swelling middle class should provide sustainable business growth for years to come.
Reuters reported in June that the Seattle-based company was planning to open a digital bookstore in Brazil and start selling its Kindle e-reader by the end of 2012. An online approach would allow Amazon to avoid logistics hazards that could jeopardise a full-scale retail operation.
Saraiva has Brazil's biggest ebook catalog with 12,000 titles in Portuguese, yielding around $250,000 a month in revenue. Though ebooks account for just a fraction of Saraiva's internet business -- it also offers DVDs, electronics and other consumer goods online -- the company says digital book sales are starting to grow at a faster pace.
One person familiar with Amazon's strategy for Brazil told Reuters that Saraiva approached the US retailer in the past, but dismissed media reports of ongoing talks as market speculation. The source said Amazon is sticking to its original plan of focusing on organic growth in foreign markets.

Doors open
Even if Amazon doesn't end up buying Saraiva's online business, the dismembering of Brazil's biggest bookstore could help by weakening its top local competitor.
Earlier this year Saraiva was reportedly pressuring Brazilian publishers not to sign-up with Amazon in an attempt to protect its market leadership, which helped it pull in 731 million reais ($362 million) in net revenue in the first half of 2012.
Saraiva relies heavily on its network of 102 stores across Brazil. Products sold online account for just one-third of the company's retail business and shrank 6.4 percent in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the same period a year earlier.
"Saraiva's online business is not generating the necessary profits," said a third executive familiar with the company's management. "They recently decided to scale down their e-commerce sales in order to maintain profits. And that means the business is not interesting."
Saraiva is looking to unload its online business because of small margins and aggressive price competition from bigger e-commerce players such as B2W, which controls Brazil's top platforms, Submarino and
Earlier this month, Saraiva signaled it was open to entertaining offers following media reports that it was in talks with Amazon.
The company "is always attentive and willing to evaluate business opportunities of any other nature that arise and that may be of interest to its shareholders," Saraiva said in a securities filing.
Some analysts question the potential value of a Saraiva deal for Amazon, arguing that the US company's strong branding would allow it to grow organically and rapidly seize a big chunk of the Brazilian market.
"The process of integrating Saraiva's operations could pose risks for Amazon. It would be better for them to start from scratch," said Caue de Campos Pinheiro, a retail analyst with SLW Corretora in Sao Paulo.
Others, however, say an acquisition would help Amazon safely navigate the Brazilian market, where a mix of steep taxes and poor infrastructure make it a difficult place to do business.
"They would have a head start," said Jordan Rohan, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus in New York. "And they would have access to a management team with local knowledge."

IBM calls for Developers

Are you ready for IBM?

Be a part of IBM India and give wings to your ideas.
If you too share the passion of making this planet smarter,to make an impact, to innovate for the better,then come join us.

Developer Jobs

IBM seeks talented Software Developers/Web developers/.net developers/java and j2ee developers for projects across different domains.
To know more, click on the sample job description below.

Software Developer/ Web Developers

The software developer role function requires candidates to develop code using programming specifications, high level design documents and implement the identified components based on client requirements. Software Developers also ensure that the implemented components are unit tested and ready to be integrated into the product. You will provide defect fixes identified by the verification team during the software development life cycle and be exposed to projects across different domains.
As a software/ Web developer, you will support service specialists in performing problem determination and analysis on client systems. Depending on the severity level of a problem, you will be required to work directly with clients through conference calls or onsite visits and provide insight and feedback regarding the client environment to the development organization and be responsible for existing and new product development.
There are projects are available across several platforms - Java , J2EE, .net

Top four reasons you should join IBM, now
There are many reasons to consider joining an organization such as IBM. Here are four good ones to think about.
  • + ExpandReason #1: Change the way the world works
  • + ExpandReason #2: Be a leader at a leading company
  • + ExpandReason #3: Work with the best and brightest
  • + ExpandReason #4: Join more than just an 'IT' firm

Upcoming ?Windows 8 gadgets

What is Windows to go ?
Windows 8 Enterprise edition supports a mode called Windows To Go, which puts the whole OS on a pen drive, including your apps and settings. This pen drive can boot on any computer that is runningWindows 7 or 8 and you are going to get the same settings and apps that you were using on your machine.

Many manufacturers will be launching USB pen drives with this version of Windows.
What is Windows RT?
PCs and notebooks run on processors that are built by Intel or AMD - and regular Windows 8 runs on this architecture. Most tablets, on the other hand, use processors that are based on architecture created by ARM. These chips are less powerful and are designed for portability and battery efficiency.
To cater to devices running ARM-based chips, MS is launching a stripped-down version of its OS called Windows RT. This version will not be capable of running regular software like Photoshop CS, PC games, etc. Instead, all apps for RT will be made specifically for the Modern UI. On the plus side, Windows RT devices will ship with a touch-optimized Microsoft Office2013.
Do you need Windows 8?
Right now, most users don't need to upgrade to Windows 8. But if you're buying a new laptop or desktop, then sure, go for it.
Of course, if you use a touchscreen PC running Windows, then definitely upgrade to Win 8.
Also, if you are currently considering a new notebook PC, it might make sense to wait a few months till new models with touchscreens make their way to the market.
Touted as the flagship device for Windows 8, this hybrid tablet/PC has been designed by Microsoft. Surface sports a sleek, modern industrial design, with a hinge at the back that pops out to prop the tablet on a table. It can also be paired with a cover that doubles up as a keyboard with touch buttons.
10.6-inch screen (1366x768 pixels) | 1.4GHz quad-core Tegra 3 CPU | 2 GB RAM | 32GB/64GB storage | Front and back 720p HD cameras | Wi-Fi , Bluetooth 4 | 2xUSB2.0, microSD card ports | Up to 8 hours battery life

Dell XPS One 27
This all-in-one computer from Dell comes with a touchscreen, which makes it a perfect companion to Windows 8. The XPS One 27 is not the only Windows 8 all-in-one , but is one of the first. Dell has gone all out to equip it with the best-inclass components, making it a very powerful computer despite its sleek and slim design.
27-inch touchscreen (2560x1440 pixels) | Intel Core i7 quad-core processor | Up to 16GB RAM | Up to 2TB HDD | Nvidia GeForce GT 640M graphics | DVD-RW or Blu-Ray drive | Wi-Fi , BlueTooth | 6xUSB3.0, Ethernet ports, multi-format card reader

Asus Taichi
The Asus Taichi convertible notebook-tablet hybrid comes with not one but two screens, with one on top of the lid. So when the lid is closed, it is a tablet - and when it is open, Taichi is a laptop. The best part is that a user can use the two screens separately. This means your son can watch a movie on the touchscreen while you work on the office presentation on the primary screen.

11.6-inch screen (1920x1080 pixels) and 11.6-inch touchscreen (1920x1080 pixels) | Intel Core i5 dualcore processor | 4GB RAM | 128GB SSD | two 720p HD cameras | Wi-Fi , Bluetooth 4 |2xUSB3.0, Micro HDMI, Mini VGA, Ethernet ports | Around 5 hours battery life

Acer Iconia 510
Acer Iconia 510 is primarily a tablet, but it runs on full-fledged Windows 8. It also comes with a dock to make it usable as a notebook. And given that it runs on the low-powered Atom processor, you can expect better battery life.
10.1-inch screen (1366x768 pixels) | Intel Atom Z2760 dual-core processor | 2GB RAM | 32GB storage, expandable microSD slot | Wi-Fi , Bluetooth | 8MP primary camera, 2MP front camera | USB, micro HDMI, micro USB ports | Around 9 hours battery life.
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13
The IdeaPad Yoga 13 is a power-packed ultrabook, but that's before you flip back its screen a full 360 degrees and convert it into a tablet with its multitouch screen. Lenovo has also included its Motion Control technology with which users can gesture at the webcam to flip pages, rewind/forward music, adjust sound volume, etc. Also, when flipped 270 degrees, the base turns into a pretty nifty stand for the tablet.
13.1-inch screen (1600x900) pixels | Intel Core i5 dual-core processor | 4GB RAM | 256GB SSD| 720p HD front camera | Wi-Fi | USB2.0, USB3.0, LAN, HDMI ports, 3-in-1 card reader | Up to 7 hours battery life.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Microsoft won't solely favor Nokia with Windows Phone 8

Microsoft's relationship with Nokia is rock-solid, both companies say, but Microsoft isn't shy about backing HTC, either.

Invitation to Microsoft's official Windows Phone 8 launch
Microsoft and Nokia may have vowed to support one another through thick and thin, but Redmond's newfound vocal support of HTC's Windows Phone 8X device means Microsoft isn't relying on one partner to see its platform through.
Our invitation to Microsoft' official launch of the Windows Phone 8 operating system cleverly wraps event details into HTC's premier Windows Phone. It turns out that this design is one of four depicting key Windows phones that Microsoft sent to journalists inviting them to the event. Two show off HTC handsets and two depict the Nokia Lumia phones.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's involvement in the September Windows Phone 8X unveiling was a show of support for HTC, whose new phones bear a striking resemblance to Nokia's Lumia 920. Although Microsoft is spreading the Windows Phone love, this invitation is one more indication that Microsoft won't play favorites with Nokia, the one company dedicated to solely supporting Windows Phone's platform going forward.
HTC's upsurge as a serious Windows Phone player is significant. Verizon, the U.S.'s largest carrier, is using the Windows Phone 8X device as its first foray into Windows Phone in more than a year. Verizon completely ignored Nokia's Lumia 900 and every other Windows Phone of 2012. If Nokia can't compete with HTC on Verizon, it could easily lose ground to HTC as the U.S.' pre-eminent Windows Phone brand.
HTC Windows Phone 8X, Nokia Lumia 920
The HTC Windows Phone 8X (right) strongly resembles the Nokia Lumia 920.
(Credit: CNET )
For his part, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop projects an air of disconcern. Speaking to CNET in an interview, he said:
Anyone can call their devices "Windows Phone." So, we could call our devices "Windows Phone." But what we did was we established the "Lumia" name for this family of products, because Lumia does signify that we've been able to go a step further than the standard spec with Windows Phone devices.
Nokia has also commented that HTC's unveiling is "more good news for the Windows Phone ecosystem," emphasizing instead its differentiated features, like the PureView camera, wireless charging, and Nokia Music.
We'll see what Microsoft has in store at its October 29 launch. CNET will be on the ground, covering the action.

Acoustic Barcodes Are The Audio QR Codes Of The Future

A new technology has been created called Acoustic Barcodes which consist of a pattern of physical notches on an object that when swiped with a finger nail, or the edge of the smartphone, created a complex sounds that can then be converted by a smartphone or similar device into a binary ID.
The Acoustic Barcodes work in a similar way to the popular QR codes, but use audio rather than just images. Check out the video after the jump to learn more about the new Acoustic Barcodes and way they could possibly work with smartphone devices and everyday objects.
Acoustic Barcodes
The creators of Acoustic Barcodes explain : “A single, inexpensive contact microphone attached to a surface or object is used to capture the waveform. We present our method for decoding sounds into IDs, which handles variations in swipe velocity and other factors. Acoustic Barcodes could be used for information retrieval or to triggering interactive functions. They are passive, durable and inexpensive to produce. Further, they can be applied to a wide range of materials and objects, including plastic, wood, glass and stone. We conclude with several example applications that highlight the utility of our approach, and a user study that explores its feasibility.”
Acoustic Barcodes are currently just a concept at the moment, but the idea could very well make the jump to mainstream uses very soon. As always we will keep you updated with progress as more information becomes available. To learn more about the Acoustic Barcodes jump over to the Chris Harrison website.

Painter robot turns your sleep into 'art

(Credit: Video screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET )
Last time I stayed at an Ibis hotel, I had a good experience. Quick service, decent decor, and a great location in central Busan, South Korea. Sadly, it lacked a robot.
The international chain is making up for this shortcoming by offering something no guest can do without: a robot that paints your sleep patterns.
In a decidedly wacky PR stunt being held in Paris, Berlin, and London, Ibis commissioned a robot arm to turn select guests' sleep data into painted canvases.
The Sleep Art project involves an ABB industrial robot and a special mattress equipped with 80 sensors.

Some canvases recall the geometric doodlings of a Spirograph. Some look like light trails made by fireflies.
Throughout the night, sensors pick up data on a sleeper's movements, temperature, and sounds. Algorithms translate them into brushstrokes using a palette of four colors.
I wonder if snoring translates into abstract expressionism.
It took 100 people six months to produce the sleep artist, and it runs on 50,000 lines of code, according to Ibis, which is owned by France-based Accor.
If you want to sign up for the chance to have your sleep painted by the machine, check out the Berlin and London event dates here.
Just don't have any nightmares about robots.

Delta Six Controller Hits Kickstarter

Some of our readers might remember the very unique rifle styled games controller called theDelta Six which we featured here on Geeky Gadgets at the beginning of this month.
Now the Delta Six first-person-shooter (FPS) controller has landed on Kickstarter looking to raise enough pledges to help it make the jump from concept into production. To learn more about the Delta Six games controller watch the video after the jump.
Delta Six Controller
David Kotkin the game controllers designer has created it to provide gamers with a controller for first person shooter that will add even more game immersion, he explains: “When I designed Delta SiX, I wanted to create a product that combines motion control gaming with a hardcore First Person Shooter methodology. It has been my goal for years to design a product that will take gaming—online and off to the next level.”
Once launched the Delta Six controller will be compatible with Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, the Wii U, and the Kickstarter open source console OUYA. For more information jump over to the Kickstarter website to learn more and make a pledge.

Microsoft Reveals Its Sold Over 70 Million Xbox 360 Consoles Worldwide

Microsoft has revealed this week that since its launch back in November 2005, its Xbox 360gaming console has now sold over 70 million units worldwide.
Consolidating its position as the worlds second most popular gaming console after Nintendo’s Wii console which has amassed a massive 96.5 6 million sales, as of the end of June 2012.
Xbox 360 Consoles
Sony’s PlayStation 3 takes up third position clocking up an impressive 63.9 million unit sales, as the end of March 2012. Eurogamer explains that Microsoft’s:
“Entertainment and Devices Division, of which Xbox is a part, enjoyed revenue of $1.95 billion, a decrease of just 1 per cent year on year. Income dropped from $340 million to $19 million off the back of tough comparisons: Microsoft launched Gears of War 3,

Battlefield 3 in September 2011 and didn’t launch anything major during Q1 fiscal 2013.”

Microsoft also identified that their Xbox 3660 gaming console is the most popular out of the three in the US, holding a massive 49 percent market share.
Source: Eurogamer

Sunday, 14 October 2012

WINDOWS 8 New Slider Views

Not Just About Metro

I'll take you on an app tour shortly, but first I want to mention some features built into Windows 8 that improve on earlier editions of Windows. The Metro interface and the Microsoft store have garnered considerable scrutiny, but other aspects of Windows 8 may be more important to users who are considering upgrading. Though most of the Windows 8 sales volume will come from the OS's inclusion on new systems shipped with the OS, PC users who are considering upgrades naturally want to know whether the pain of upgrading will pay off in better performance and broader functionality. Here's a brief rundown of "under-the-hood" improvements to Windows 8:
  • Smaller memory footprint: Windows 8 uses memory more efficiently and requires less memory to run. This is important for systems like Ultrabooks, which often ship with 4GB of nonupgradable RAM, some of which must be allocated to the graphics frame buffer.
  • More-efficient performance: Windows 8 and its underlying subsystems consume less of the CPU's resources than previous incarnations do. That's important for ultraportables and tablets, whose CPU performance may lag behind that of higher-end systems.
  • Reduced disk-space requirement: As solid-state drives become increasingly common, disk space for user files will be at a premium.
  • HyperV integration: This advance is crucial for enterprises and businesses that rely on VMs to run work apps in a world where people want to bring their own devices to work.
  • Built-in SkyDrive integration: Cloud storage is now an integral part of the operating system.
  • Improved multimonitor support: Among Windows 8's features for handling multiple monitors is the new ability to adjust and set the location of the task bar.
Most of these differences, with the possible exception of improved multidisplay support, won't have special appeal to desktop PC power users, but they will have major a impact on the effectiveness of mobile systems, which often ship with constrained memory, CPU, and storage.

App Improvements

Unhappy Windows users criticized the limited functionality of earlier incarnations of Windows 8's included Metro apps. The latest release's included apps--Music, Mail, Video, and News, among others--are much more polished, though a few rough edges remain.


TO DOWNLOAD NEW WINDOWS 8 Full  version -->Wndows 8-The Complete Guide