Category Archives: Tech News

Biological Nanodots Enable Smartphone Battery To Recharge in 30 Seconds

The Microsoft ThinkNext symposium at Tel Aviv might be the launching pad for a future in which we spend more time using our smart devices rather than charging them. StoreDot, an Israeli startup, has demonstrated their brand new model of electrodes which can help charge a smartphone battery in flat out 30 seconds. Take a look at their video here:

Batteries take a long time to charge because you need to reverse the chemical reactions that fuel it. If you rush this reversal process, you run the risk of damaging the electrodes and also depleting the chemical fluid, called the electrolyte. For the sake of longevity of the battery, you need to spend hours every day charging everything from your laptop battery to your cell-phones. And that can be a painful wait, especially without coffee.

Enter Nanodots

What StoreDot has going for it are tiny biological particles called nanodots. These are tiny synthetic bio-molecules – chemically synthesized peptides – which radically improve electrode capacitance and electrolyte efficiency. They make this process of reversal much faster than earlier.

At the ThinkNext symposium, StoreDot demonstrated their new technology on a Samsung Galaxy S3, but said that they would definitely widen their reach to other big names, like the iPhone.

Samsung Galaxy S3 charged in under 30 seconds. Photo Courtesy: StoreDot
Samsung Galaxy S3 charged in under 30 seconds.
Photo Courtesy: StoreDot

In an interview to Gizmag, StoreDot CEO Doron Myersdorf said:

In essence, we have developed a new generation of electrodes with new materials – we call it MFE – Multi Function Electrode. On one side it acts like a supercapacitor (with very fast charging), and on the other is like a lithium electrode (with slow discharge). The electrolyte is modified with our nanodots in order to make the multifunction electrode more effective.

On their own website, StoreDot touches upon the fact that their new technology is not only revolutionary, but also eco-friendly. They plan to replace all cadmium and lead based technologies with their biomolecules, making them easier to dispose off as well. It won’t be too costly either – StoreDot claims that the chargers will cost only about twice that of regular chargers we have today.

Of course, the spillover into other areas like laptop batteries and, even, electric cars is inevitable. StoreDot seeks two more years to perfect its technology – 2016 is the year to watch out for.

Amazon Launches Fire TV Streaming Settop Box For $99

Today, Amazon has announced its video streaming device – Amazon Fire TV for $99. The device will start shipping in the US from today and can be ordered from Amazon.com. Fire TV customers will also benefit from a 30-day free trial of Netflix and Amazon Prime. Continue reading Amazon Launches Fire TV Streaming Settop Box For $99

WordPress 3.7 Will Come With Automatic, Background Updating

Today, blogging and content management software WordPress released the first beta for its upcoming 3.7 version of the software. Among several bug fixes and feature updates, the biggest apple in the bucket is the ability of the software to update itself – overnight, without any manual input.

wordpress-logoWordPress has had this feature since antiquity, but always via plugins. It is only now that the WordPress core can boast of it. “3.7 Beta 1 will keep itself updated. That’s right — you’ll be updated each night to the newest development build, and eventually to Beta 2. ” — says  Andrew Nacin, WordPress Lead Developer.

There will be situations where “WordPress can’t reliably and securely update itself” — Nacin mentions, and for these you’ll be alerted via email. The automatic updates will also work for official translations, in case you’re running WordPress in a language other than English.

The 3.7 Beta 1 for WordPress is nowhere near a complete, stable offering and you should be wary of installing it on websites you don’t want to risk the working of. In any case, if you’re one of the hard ones, the link to the beta is right here →

Kim Dotcom Working On New Music Service Called Baboom

Earlier this week, Kim Dotcom, the flamboyant German-born entrepreneur and founder of file hosting site Mega, stepped down as director of the startup. Mega was launched in January this year and coincided with the seizure and shut down of Megaupload, its predecessor.

Launched with much pomp and show, Mega has undoubtedly been a success. Dotcom reported that the service acquired 100k registered users within the first hour of its launch, a number that jumped up to a million in two days. Kim also reported 500 uploads to Mega’s servers every second! According to other statistics published by the company, it currently hosts more than 50 million files. If the startup is doing so well, one may ask the question, why is the founder stepping down from administration?

Leaving Mega under the reigns of CEO Vikram Kumar, who was instated in February this year, Kim Dotcom has decided to move towards fresher ventures and brighter pastures. At the top of his bucket list right now seems to be a new music startup, which he’s decided to call Baboom. As tacky as the name may sound, the idea itself is not new. Dotcom has wanted to make a revolutionary music service ever since his row with Universal back in 2011.

Back then, the proposed name was Megabox, but Dotcom decided to use something better and without the mega branding. He has also said that the new company will be owned and managed completely by him, unlike Mega. Dotcom says the Baboom project has already received several millions in funding and tie ups with artists is an ongoing process.

Baboom aims to be a free music streaming service, wherein artists will receive 90% of revenues which will be collected using advertising. There will be a subscription model too, which will provide for an advert-less experience.

“I am really excited about Baboom. I can’t wait for artists to see what i have created for them. Their entire career can be managed on Baboom. Artists never had more freedom, transparency and control.” — Dotcom

Dotcom doesn’t plan on launching a less-than complete product, so we’ll have to wait a few months however, he does plan on keeping the excitement up throughout the waiting period and this teaser of the website he provides helps with just that.

Baboom

In an emailed statement to a publication, Mega CEO Vikram Kumar said Dotcom — otherwise known as Kim Schmitz — resigned “to be able to focus on the extradition case, an upcoming music website, and to build a political party.” However Kim recently found out he can’t exactly run for parliament. His twitter says “I cannot run for parliament because I’m not a New Zealand citizen. But I can be Party President. So be it.”

So there we have it. New music service on the block and Kim Dotcom playing politics in New Zealand. How will it stack up against the formidable labels and how will he vie for the good public eye? Only time will tell.

Additional reporting aided by Torrentfreak exclusives.

Celebrating India’s 66th Independence with Google Doodle

It’s that time of the year where people of India pay homage to their leaders and those who fought for India’s freedom. On the 66th Independence Day (67th if you count 15th August 1947 as the first Independence) of India, Google India is celebrating the occasion with a tri-colored doodle on its home page, in the form of a ribbon, which on mouse over will greet you with a message, “Indian Independence Day”.

67th Indian Independence Day commemorated with Google doodle

Google has been celebrating India’s Independence Day with a doodle on its home page every year since 2003, where most of the doodles featured the Indian national flag. However, the 2011 and 2012 doodles were quite different as Google created the doodles by featuring the Indian national symbols in place of the Tricolour. Last year, we saw a beautifully designed colorful peacock with a large plume tail.

On this day, the Prime Minister of India hoists the Indian flag on the ramparts of the historical site Red Fort in Delhi.

Along with India, three other countries celebrate their Independence Day on August 15 – Bahrain, South Korea and Republic of the Congo.

Happy Birthday India.

Google Doodle Celebrates Erwin Schrödinger’s 126th Birthday

Today Google is celebrating the 126th birthday of Erwin Schrödinger, a famous Austrian physicist who won Nobel prize in 1933 for his eponymous equation on quantum wave mechanics. He is perhaps best know for the mind experiment known as Schrödinger’s Cat.
Erwin Schrodinger was born on August 12, 1887 in Vienna, Austria, to Rudolf Schrodinger and Georgine Emilia Brenda. After being tutored at home, Erwin Schrodinger studied in Vienna under Franz S. Exner and Friedrich Hasenohrl. By 1911, he was assisting Exner. Erwin Schrodinger also worked in the fields of electrical engineering, atmospheric electricity, and atmospheric radioactivity, however, he’s mostly renowned for his work in quantum mechanics.
Schrödinger’s cat is one of the most famous experiments, sometimes described as a paradox, devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. It illustrates what he saw as the problem of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics applied to everyday objects, resulting in a contradiction with common sense.

Here’s a video that gives a brief idea about it —

Born: August 12, 1887, Vienna, Austria
Died: January 4, 1961, Vienna, Austria
Spouse: Annemarie Bertel (m. 1920–1961)
Parents: Rudolf Schrödinger, Georgine Emilia Brenda
Honors and Awards:

  • Nobel Prize for Physics (1933) – for the formulation of the Schrödinger equation
  • Max Planck Medal (1937)
  • Erwin Schrödinger Prize of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (1956)
  • Austrian Decoration for Science and Art (1957)

WordPress.com Now Offers Custom .CO Domains

WordPress bloggers now have an option to register a .CO domain for a price $25/year for their site hosted on WordPress.com. The existing options prior to the .CO domains were .ME, .COM, .NET, and .ORG

The .CO domain is a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Colombia, which is administered by .CO Internet SAS. WordPress in a blog post announced the availability of the domain as an option earlier today. The announcement also stated that there are “more than 1.5 million .CO domain names registered by individuals and businesses in over 200 countries worldwide. A .CO domain name is short and memorable, making it a great option for your WordPress.com website or blog.”

How to register a .CO Domain with WordPress?

You can register a .CO domain for your WordPress site by navigating to Store and then to Domains in your Dashboard. Type the desired .CO domain name under the “Add a Domain” option.

WordPress .CO Domain

Click on the “Add domain to blog” button, and in the next page you will be asked to enter a few details including your contact information. You can also add Private Registration to your domain for an additional $8

Click on the “Register Domain” button and in the next screen you will be asked to make a payment of $25 to register your .CO domain. Once you have activated your domain, navigate to Store and then to Domains in your Dashboard, and select button next to the new .CO domain you wish to activate, and click Update Primary Domain.

However, if you’re new to WordPress.com and would like to register a new site with .CO domain, then go to the WordPress.com signup page and fill in the desired details. From the drop-down menu select .CO as your domain and proceed with the registration followed by the payment page.

Google Reader — Marked As Read

So, that’s the end of Google Reader.

By now you might have already switched to Feedly or a different RSS service as Google has officially shut down its 8-year-old popular RSS reader — Google Reader. The service had many active users, but for Google, it seemed to be fading away.

Google in a post said, “While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader.”

Google Reader has now been discontinued. Visiting the site would display the following message:

Thank you for stopping by.

Google Reader has been discontinued. We want to thank all our loyal fans. We understand you may not agree with this decision, but we hope you’ll come to love these alternatives as much as you loved Reader.

Sincerely,

The Google Reader team

Google Reader Discontinued

Google Reader. Marked  as Read.

So, now what?

Well, for now you can stick to Feedly as it one of the best (free) available RSS service providing with additional features and capabilities. You can easily organize, read and share content that you have subscribed to. Feedly provides a magazine-like experience and is integrated with most of the popular social networks.

Alternatively, you can try a list of other popular service which can viewed here.

And this is how Hitler reacts to when he finds out Google Reader is shutting down:

FreshDesk Report Confirms that Customers Are Increasingly Adopting Social Media in lieu of Phone and Email for Lodging Complaints

FreshDesk, one of the best known startup success stories to emerge from India, has published a State of Customer Support report based on the data gleaned from the 250,000 users of its customer support software.

The key takeaways are not very surprising. Customers hate being put on hold, and are the happiest when their queries are resolved within a reasonable amount of time following which satisfaction ratings plummet. In most cases, customers expect their queries to be resolved within a day. However, resolution time isn’t the sole parameter that determines customer satisfaction. Transparent and effective communication is also of paramount importance.

FreshDesk-Customer-Satisfaction-Index

While email continues to be the biggest source of support queries, its prominence decreased by 7% in 2012-13 compared to 2011-12. Phone support, which is the second most dominant medium, also lost ground. Unsurprisingly, it’s support through social media that registered the strongest growth. Support requests through forums more than tripled, while complaints registered through Facebook increased by about 150%. Twitter, which has been very publicly adopted by various organizations for reaching out to customers, is surprisingly lagging behind Facebook and Forums, but gained by more than 50% to overtake support through chats. Unlike phone and mail, social media allows customers to very publicly air their grievances, which often prods the companies into reacting faster. However, a worrying trend is that on Facebook, firms are often quick to respond but fail to seriously follow through. Conversely it also appears that in the hurry to offer faster resolution on social platforms, accuracy and accountability suffers. Email support is the leader in terms of accuracy with least amount of reopened or reassigned tickets.

FreshDesk-Customer-Complaint-Sources

FreshDesk-Customer-Support-Response-Time