New year celebrations welcome 2014!


These fireworks were all photoed at a local fi...
These fireworks were all photoed at a local firework display (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sydney Harbour Bridge under construction North...
Sydney Harbour Bridge under construction North Sydney side (Photo credit: john cowper)
These fireworks were all photoed at a local fi...
These fireworks were all photoed at a local firework display (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Celebrations around the world are under way to mark the start of 2014.

People in Auckland, New Zealand, were among the first to celebrate. In Australia, hundreds of thousands gathered for a spectacular firework display around Sydney’s Harbour Bridge.

East Asian cities were next to ring in the new year, with Beijing, Jakarta and Singapore all hosting celebrations.

Among other cities planning big firework displays, Dubai will aim for a world record for the largest display.

Tens of thousands of spectators watched the fireworks over Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour.

The Chinese city of Wuhan called off its display in order to avoid worsening the city’s smog problem.

In Japan, Shinto priests gathered at shrines. Japanese people traditionally visit shrines and temples to pray for their families at this time.

_72021555_020470725-1It's not just about fireworks - Japanese people traditionally visit shrines and temples to pray for their families at New Year,

Dubai’s fireworks display will be streamed live on the internet. Organisers say it will stretch over 30 miles (50km) of seafront, with the highest fireworks reaching more than one kilometre in height.

The show, which begins at 20:00 GMT, will feature a flying falcon made out of fireworks that will move across the island Gulf state.

Later on, festivities will be held in European cities including Moscow, Paris and London.

_72013094_020469776-1In the New Zealand town of Queenstown, revellers partied ahead of the New Year,
_72013096_020469673-1Women in traditional costumes danced during a parade for 2013's last sundown on Bali, Indonesia
_72013098_020469475-1Sydney started celebrations early with a "family" fireworks session at 21:00 local time
_72017098_020469889-1Three hours later, an even more spectacular display lit up the famous Harbour Bridge,

The organisers of London’s display have said crowds watching the show along the banks of the Thames will be able to “taste” the atmosphere, with flavoured mist, “snow” and confetti released.

Spectators will also get scratch ‘n’ sniff programmes and fruit sweets.

Cape Town in South Africa is planning a free concert with lasers, fireworks and a special 3D tribute to former President Nelson Mandela, who died on 5 December.

New York will mark the new year with the traditional New Year’s Eve countdown and ball drop over Times Square, while Rio de Janeiro is once again expecting more than two million people to pack its Copacabana beach.

Posted By Mantosh Pal

 

New Year’s Eve 2013 video: Watch New Zealand’s fireworks display highlights as they are first to welcome 2014!


Thousands of cheering revellers rang in the New Year at 11am UK time as multi-coloured fireworks exploded across the city skyline at midnight.

Fireworks-are-let-off-from-the-Auckland-Sky-Tower-to-celebrate-the-new-year-2974873.png
Fireworks are let off from the Auckland Sky Tower to celebrate the new year, 

New Zealand has become the first country to welcome in 2014 with a spectacular firework display from Auckland’s Sky Tower.

Thousands of cheering revellers rang in the New Year at 11am UK time as multi-coloured fireworks exploded across the city skyline at midnight.

Many danced in the streets while those lucky enough to be able to get on a boat witnessed the incredible light fantastic show on the water as horns were sounded.

SkyCity – a casino and event centre in Auckland – has an impressive tower that provides a dramatic backdrop to the annual fireworks.

Twitter was instantly flooded with well wishes and echoes of “Happy New Year”, as New Zealanders shared pictures of their celebrations.

The next major New Year’s celebration is in Japan.

Thousands of visitors will pray, ring bells and toss coins as offerings at shrines, wishing for health, wealth and happiness.

Midnight in Tokyo is 3PM UK time, and you can follow live updates from across the world with our live blog here.

Posted By Mantosh Pal

 

Facebook is ‘dead and buried’ for young people: Study!


Mary Johnston, Scott Alan Miller, Tammy Hopkin...
Mary Johnston, Scott Alan Miller, Tammy Hopkins and Eric Millen before the York Junior Prom 1994 (Photo credit: SheepGuardingLlama)
English: University College London Union on Go...
English: University College London Union on Gordon Street (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This is icon for social networking website. Th...
This is icon for social networking website. This is part of Open Icon Library’s webpage icon package. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LONDON: Facebook is “dead and buried” for young people in the UK, who are moving on to “cooler things”, according to a major study of social media.

Professor Daniel Miller is one of team of eight ethnographic researchers based at University College London who are working on a study across seven countries including India, China, Brazil and the UK to examine social media trends.

Miller said the social networking site was “simply not cool any more”.
“what we’ve learned from working with 16 to 18-years-olds in the UK is that Facebook is not just on the slide, it is basically dead and buried,” said Miller.
Children and teenagers are increasingly  communicating thought newer contenders such as Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and WhatsApp.
The young people are apparently logging off to avoid the stigma of using the same  site as the older generation and to keep their indiscretions private from relatives,
“What appears to be the most seminal moment in a young person’s decision to leave Facebook was surely that dreaded day your mum sends you a friend request,”
“Parents have worked out how to use the site and see it as a way for the family to remain connected, In response, the young are moving on a cooler thing,”  Miller said!
Miller said the switch was taking place despite the face that none of the rising stars of social media apps can match Facebook for ease of use
“In my school research, the coolest friends are connected to each other via Snapchat, WatsApp is used to communicate with quite close friends and twitter the wider friends, Instagram can include strangers and is used a little differently,” said Miller.
“Facebook, on the other hand, has become the link with older family, or even older siblings who have gone to university,” he said.
“I don’t expect Facebook to necessarily disappear altogether, but I think it’s finished for the young in the UK and I suspect other countries will follow.” said Miller
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Posted By Mantosh Pal

Facebook dominates in US rush to social networking!


Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...
Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Français : Logo de Facebook Tiếng Việt: Logo Facebook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON: The surge into social networks is gaining pace among Americans, with Facebook dominating but with many people using multiple platforms, a study showed Monday.

facebook2A Pew Research Center survey found 73 per cent of Americans over age 18 on the Internet use at least one social network — or about 63 per cent of the total adult population.

Facebook is the preferred network, used by 71 per cent of online adults, or 57 per cent of all American adults, according to Pew researchers.

However other platforms like Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter are making gains, and a growing number of people are using multiple social networks.

Pew found that 42 per cent of Internet users (or 34 per cent of all American adults) use two or more of the five most popular social networks.

Use of Facebook rose to 71 per cent of online adults from 67 per cent a year ago, the study found.

A large part of the growth for Facebook came from older Americans: Roughly 45 per cent of Internet users over 65 are using Facebook, up from 35 per cent in late 2012.

Four other social networks, including Facebook-owned Instagram, are battling for the number two spot for US users.

LinkedIn is used by 22 per cent of online American adults and is especially popular among college graduates and those in higher income households. That is up from 20 per cent a year earlier.

Pinterest usage grew sharply to 21 per cent of online adults, from 15 per cent a year ago. Pew said that women are four times as likely as men to be users of the bulletin-board style social media platform.

Some 18 per cent of online adults use Twitter, up from 16 per cent a year ago, Pew said, with adoption levels particularly high among younger adults and African-Americans.

Instagram use rose to 17 per cent of online adults from 13 per cent a year ago, according to the survey. Much of this growth came in the 18 to 29 age bracket and among African-Americans.

Pew found that Facebook and Instagram drew high levels of “user engagement,” with a majority of users checking in on a daily basis.

Some 63 per cent of Facebook users visit the site at least once a day, and 40 per cent do so multiple times throughout the day.

That compares with 57 per cent of Instagram users who visit the site at least once a day and 46 per cent of Twitter users.

The researchers also found considerable overlap among the leading social networks. For example, 93 per cent of Instagram users also use Facebook, as do 83 per cent of LinkedIn members.

Some 53 per cent of Twitter users also use Instagram, and 53 per cent of Instagram users use Twitter, the survey found.

The report is based on telephone interviews conducted from August 7 to September 16 among 1,801 adults age 18 and older. For the total group, the margin of error is estimated at 2.6 per centage points and 2.9 points for Internet users.

 

Posted By Mantosh Pal

India’s e-commerce market rose 88% in 2013: Survey


English: Skyline of Mumbai from across Back Bay.
English: Skyline of Mumbai from across Back Bay. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Jawaharlal Nehru Trust Port in Navi M...
English: Jawaharlal Nehru Trust Port in Navi Mumbai, India. One can see unloaded trucks on the right heading for the harbor cranes, while loaded trucks on left head out. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

India‘s e-commerce market grew at a staggering 88 per cent in 2013 to $ 16 billion, riding on booming online retail trends and defying slower economic growth and spiralling inflation, according to a survey by industry body Assocham.

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English: DTC Buses in Delhi, India
English: DTC Buses in Delhi, India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The increasing Internet penetration and availability of more payment options boosted the e-commerce industry in 2013,” Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said.

“Besides electronics gadgets, apparel and jewellery, home and kitchen appliances, lifestyle accessories like watches, books, beauty products and perfumes, baby products witnessed significant upward movement in last one year,” Rawat said.

According to the survey, India’s e-commerce market, which stood at $2.5 billion in 2009, reached $8.5 billion in 2012 and rose 88 per cent to touch $16 billion in 2013. The survey estimates the country’s e-commerce market to reach $56 billion by 2023, driven by rising online retail.

As per responses by 3,500 traders and organised retailers in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Kolkata who participated in the survey, online shopping grew at a rapid pace in 2013 due to aggressive online discounts, rising fuel prices and availability of abundant online options.

Among the cities, Mumbai topped the list of online shoppers followed by Delhi, while Kolkata ranked third, the survey found.

The age-wise analysis revealed that 35 per cent of online shoppers are aged between 18 years and 25 years, 55 per cent between 26 years and 35 years, 8 per cent in the age group of 36-45 years, while only 2 per cent are in the age group of 45-60 years. Besides, 65 per cent of online shoppers are male while 35 per cent are female.

To make the most of increasing online shopping trends, more companies are collaborating with daily deal and discount sites, the survey pointed out.

The products that are sold most are in the tech and fashion category, including mobile phones, ipads, accessories, MP3 players, digital cameras and jewellery, among others, it found.

India has Internet base of around 150 million as of August, 2013, the survey said.

“Having close to 10 per cent of Internet penetration in India throws a very big opportunity for online retailers to grow and expand as future of Internet seems very bright,” Rawat said.

Those who are reluctant to shop online cited reasons like preference to research products and services online (30 per cent), finding delivery costs too high (20), fear of sharing personal financial information online (25) and lack of trust on whether products would be delivered in good condition (15), while 10 per cent do not have a credit or debit card.

 

Posted By Mantosh Pal

Microsoft launches new safety app for Windows phone users


Microsoft Office Mobile on Windows Phone
Microsoft Office Mobile on Windows Phone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Microsoft and Flickr
Microsoft and Flickr (Photo credit: mlcastle)

Technology giant Microsoft today launched a new application ‘Guardian‘ with safety features, exclusively for Windows Phone users.

Guardian enables users to switch on a ‘track me’ feature in the app that lets friends and family track them in real-time using Microsoft Windows Azure cloud services and Bing Map APIs, the company said in a release.

microsoft-launches-new-safety-app-for-windows-phone-usersGuardian users can call for help through an ‘SOS’ alert button and also connect to security agencies, police and hospitals easily via this app in times of crisis, it added.

It took more than six months for a team of Microsoft employees in India to develop the safety app in the Microsoft Garage, the company said.

Microsoft Garage is a global employee innovation initiative that gives Microsoft employees an outlet to explore ideas.

“Guardian is a robust personal security app with more safety features and capabilities than any other comparable app available to Indian smartphone users today,” Microsoft IT India Managing Director Raj Biyani said.

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

Posted By Mantosh Pal

Paul Walker and other stars who died during production!


Paul Walker
Paul Walker (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Paul Walker at the Fast & Furious premiere at ...
Paul Walker at the Fast & Furious premiere at Leicester Square. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cover of "Fast & Furious"
Cover of Fast & Furious
Stars who died during production
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The death of Paul Walker and his friend, identified by CNN affiliate KCAL as Roger Rodus, leaves some questions regarding the production of the latest “Fast & Furious” movie, which was filming in Atlanta. Here’s a look at other celebrities who have died during the production of movies and TV show

 

Posted By Mantosh Pal

Google: Not Optimistic on Future of Bitcoin


English: Hal Varian
English: Hal Varian (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

bitcoin
bitcoin (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

 

bitcoin
bitcoin (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

 

Bitcoin may be gaining popularity but a senior official of internet giant Google said he was not “particularly optimistic” about the digital currency‘s future since it suffers from being the first in that space.

 

“It (bitcoin) is partly a medium of transaction, a medium of exchange,” Google’s chief economist Hal Varian said.

 

A concept that came into existence in 2009, bitcoin has become very popular of late with its exchange rate surging past $1,000 per unit in November from a little more than $200.

 

“I think something like this technology will take hold in the future but I am not particularly optimistic about bitcoin because it suffers from being the first in the area.

 

“We have a saying in the US that you can always tell pioneers that they are the ones with errors in their bags,” Varian said here.

 

He was interacting with the audience after giving a talk on ‘The Information Economy in an Internet Age: New Paradigms for Competitiveness and Economic Growth‘. The event was organised by economic policy think tank ICRIER.

 

Meanwhile, in a set back to the emergence of bitcoins, China has directed its banks and other financial institutions not to deal in it.

 

Besides, the United States has said that all prevailing money laundering laws would apply to bitcoins.

 

The Indian authorities might issue an advisory to warn against the potential risks associated with this new digital currency.

 

 

 

Top 5 PC Games For Ultimate Fun


Image representing Xbox as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase
Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

The gaming industry is advancing in leaps and bounds with the incorporation of the enhanced technology and sophisticated hardware. The leading market players in this segment, Sony and Microsoft, are drastically changing the way gaming was looked at with their products  Playstation and Xbox respectively. Even with these coveted gaming consoles in the market, the entertainment that PC games provide is of no lessfun. The cheap prices at which they come makes fun double fold. We present you the top 10 PC games that can unleash the ultimate fun for the gamers as compiled by PCMag.

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#5 Guild Wars 2

The game developed by ArenaNet will take you to world filled with action where you have to combat fire spitting dragons. The multiplayer online game is set in the medieval period in the land of Tyria and provides the option to select the skill set, race and profession according to the gamers wish. If you want to take it to a big picture the ‘world v/s world’ feature will take it to cross server wars. The game free unlikeother  massively multiplayer online game.

Posted By Mantosh Pal

Windows-Based Tablet Sales To Touch 39.3 Million Units By 2017: IDC


Tablet PC logo
Tablet PC logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Image representing Windows as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

New Delhi: The growth of smart devices like 2-in-1s and tablets is expected to fuel the volume for desktop vendors and the PC ecosystem in coming years with shipments of Windows-based tablets expected to touch 39.3 million units by 2017, research firm IDC said.

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Two-in-ones are devices that can function both as a tablet and a laptop.

“Emergence of 2-in-1 devices, many of which will run Windows along with Windows-based tablets themselves, is expected to provide some new volume for the Windows platform as well as the PC vendors and other parts of the traditional PC ecosystem in coming years,” IDC said in a statement.

IDC said it finds that PC is still the primary computing device; its usage is nonetheless declining each year as more devices become available.

“The Windows-based tablet market is expected to grow to 39.3 million units in 2017 from less than 7.5 million in 2013 and less than 1 million in 2011,” IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Trackers Vice President Loren Loverde said.

However, he added that relative to the PC market size of roughly 300 million units by 2017, these Windows tablets would add just a couple per cent a year relative to PC growth.

“Even so, these Windows devices are projected to account for 10 per cent of a combined PC and Windows Tablet market by 2016, making them an important growth segment for the PC ecosystem,” Loverde said.

The research firm forecasts that global PC shipments are expected to fall by 10.1 per cent in 2013, slightly below the previous projection of 9.7 per cent and by far the most severe yearly contraction on record.

The firm expects PC shipments in 2013 to touch 314.2 million units from 349.4 million last year. Shipments are projected at 305.1 million units by 2017.

Posted By Mantosh Pal