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Facebook buys WhatsApp: CEO Mark Zuckerberg explains why?


Facebook buys WhatsApp: CEO Mark Zuckerberg explains why
Facebook, on Thursday, agreed to buy mobile messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion, making it the company’s largest acquisition. As per the terms and conditions of the deal, all 55 employees of WhatsApp including its founders will be granted restricted stock worth $3 billion that will vest over four years after the deal closes.Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted on his Wall, explaining why he bought WhatsApp.
The text of the letter is given below:I’m excited to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire WhatsApp and that their entire team will be joining us at Facebook.

Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. We do this by building services that help people share any type of content with any group of people they want. WhatsApp will help us do this by continuing to develop a service that people around the world love to use every day.

WhatsApp is a simple, fast and reliable mobile messaging service that is used by over 450 million people on every major mobile platform. More than 1 million people sign up for WhatsApp every day and it is on its way to connecting one billion people. More and more people rely on WhatsApp to communicate with all of their contacts every day.

WhatsApp will continue to operate independently within Facebook. The product roadmap will remain unchanged and the team is going to stay in Mountain View. Over the next few years, we’re going to work hard to help WhatsApp grow and connect the whole world. We also expect that WhatsApp will add to our efforts forInternet.org, our partnership to make basic internet services affordable for everyone.

WhatsApp will complement our existing chat and messaging services to provide new tools for our community. Facebook Messenger is widely used for chatting with your Facebook friends, and WhatsApp for communicating with all of your contacts and small groups of people. Since WhatsApp and Messenger serve such different and important uses, we will continue investing in both and making them each great products for everyone.

WhatsApp had every option in the world, so I’m thrilled that they chose to work with us. I’m looking forward to what Facebook and WhatsApp can do together, and to developing great new mobile services that give people even more options for connecting.

I’ve also known Jan for a long time, and I know that we both share the vision of making the world more open and connected. I’m particularly happy that Jan has agreed to join the Facebook board and partner with me to shape Facebook’s future as well as WhatsApp’s.

Jan and the WhatsApp team have done some amazing work to connect almost half a billion people. I can’t wait for them to join Facebook and help us connect the rest of the world.

Posted By Mantosh Pal

Top 5 Apps For Students!


Smartphones and tablets can be best used in education if you can find right apps. Here are top 5 apps that help students from keeping up with their class schedules to do research and to do group projects. Go through the details below and find the links from where you can download these apps.

My Class Schedule: Timetable (By Sebastian Mayer)

Student life revolves around time tables. But now you don’t have to pen it down in a notebook as apps such as this one let you store all information including schedules, homework, exam dates, etc. Easy to use, this app requires you to feed in all the relevant information to keep reminding you about upcoming classes and exams. The time table is colour coded and easy to read. It also has the feature to automatically mute the phone during a class.

Wolfram Alpha: (by wolfram alpha, LLC)

A must-have application for students, Wolfram Alpha uses its vast collection of algorithms and data to compute answers and generate reports. The app covers a number of domains categorised in mathematics, physics, chemistry, statistics and data analysis, engineering, astronomy, earth science, life science, transportation, etc. This is a complete computational knowledge engine that comes in really handy with instant answers to your queries.
*Android, iOS: Rs164.24

Dictionary.com

When you get stuck at a word, all you need to do now is open this app and search. The app features English Dictionary and Thesaurus with over 2,000,000 definitions, synonyms & antonyms, daily content including Word of the Day, the hot word & slideshows, audio pronunciations, idioms & phrases, voice search and search history. A notable alternative is the Merriam-Webster dictionary for Android.
*Free: iOS, Android, Windows Phone,

Dunno (by spacestation6 Inc)

The power of the Internet has made it much easy to research away from the college library (not to mention the great volume of information available instantly). Dunno takes research to a different level by looking up and compiling all possible resources available about a topic online. So there are sections for web pages, blogs, Wikipedia, images, news, even tweets.* Free: iOS

Trello (by Fog creek software)

This collaborative tool allows students to do group projects with ease. Students can systematically organise projects and delegate work while others can add inputs and comments. It also lets students interact with their classmates and keep track of what each person is doing.
* Free: Android, iOS

Posted By Mantosh Pal

The best laptops for college students: Learning digitally has never been easier!


College life has changed dramatically in the last decade. Many classes are being offered online, academic research has moved to the digital arena, and now many assignments are turned in through email attachment and online learning environments, like Blackboard. Modern college students are increasingly reliant on computers, and that means a laptop is most certainly in your future because a tablet won’t yet cut it. So, how do you decide which one to buy?

First off, you need to remember that heavy laptops can be a deal-breaker in college. If you plan on walking to and from all of your classes, you don’t want a whopping five-pound notebook swinging from your shoulder. Smaller, lighter models are likely a better fit living on campus. Lighter is usually better, but it’s not always in the cards.

Next, consider battery life. If you’re going to be gone all day long, you don’t want to worry about running out of power half-way through. Being tethered to a wall completely defeats the point of owning a laptop in the first place, right? Before you pull the trigger, make sure your laptop will be able to keep up with your busy schedule.

Lastly, keep in mind how much you’re willing to spend and what your priorities are. If you’re studying video production you need to invest in a powerful machine despite the expense. If you’re an English major, you can likely get away with a much smaller budget. Know what your college career is going to demand ahead of time, and shop accordingly.

MacBook-Air-640x353

MacBook Air – $1000 and up:

For general-purpose tasks like word processing, email, and web browsing, the MacBook Air is absolutely the best-in-class. Available in both 11-inch and 13-inch models, the Air is a thin and powerful laptop that helped define the “ultrabook” concept. With super-fast flash storage, a dynamically-clocked Intel Core i5/i7 processor, Intel HD 5000 graphics, and all-day battery life in such a lightweight package, it’s easy to see why the MacBook Air is the best laptop Apple has ever made.

macbook-pro

MacBook Pro with Retina Display – $1300 and up:

The MacBook Pro is different machine from its smaller brother. As the “Pro” label implies, this series of laptops is for people in need of substantial horsepower. Made in 13-inch and 15-inch variants, the new MacBook Pros are designed from the ground up to empower people working in creative fields. With its excellent high-resolution Retina display, up to 1TB of flash storage, up to a quad-core 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 CPU, and roughly eight hours of battery life, this laptop is a perfect fit for anything from video production to design to programming.

Ranging from 3.46 to 4.46 pounds, this is a bit heftier than the MacBook Air, but that’s the sacrifice needed for the amazing screen and significant performance gains.

Dell-XPS-12

Dell XPS 12 Ultrabook Touch – $1200 and up:

Tablets and laptops both have their uses in a college environment, and this slick model from Dell gives you the best of both worlds. This is a 12.5-inch laptop, but it benefits from a novel “flip-hinge” that quickly transforms the device into a touchscreen tablet. With 4GB of RAM, a 128GB solid state drive, a 1080p display, a lightweight body, and over eight hours of battery life, this ultrabook gives college students exactly what they need to get work done as efficiently as possible.

Lenovo-ThinkPad-X240

Lenovo ThinkPad X240 – $900 and up:

If you’re looking for an affordable and utilitarian ultrabook, check out this Thinkpad from Lenovo. You can grab yourself a low-spec model with a dual-core Intel Core i3 CPU, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB 7200RPM hard drive, a 12.5-inch display, and a pair of batteries for about $900. Even better, the stock model weighs in at just 2.84 pounds!

Of course, you can upgrade to an Intel Core i7 CPU, opt for a 256GB solid state drive, and swap out for a 6-cell lithium-ion battery, but that will dramatically raise the asking price and potentially increase the overall weight.

Dell-Inspiron-151

Dell Inspiron 15 – $280 and up:

Of course, not everyone can afford to buy high-end laptops for college. Fear not, you can still get the job done without spending a lot of cash. Take this Dell Inspiron 15 for example. For just $280, you get a 15.6-inch display, a dual-core Intel Celeron CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 320GB 5400RPM hard drive. It does weigh in at nearly five pounds, but that’s par for the course. It’s certainly not the lightest, fastest, or most power efficient laptop on this list, but the incredibly low asking price makes up for its shortcomings. If you’re on a very tight budget for college and/or you don’t want a machine you need to worry about too much, this is absolutely the laptop you should get.

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Posted By Mantosh Pal

Hackers reveal 4.6m mobile numbers after Snapchat claims it has safeguards


Website releases usernames and phone numbers of Snapchat users in the US, with the last two digits of each number redacted,
snapchat appPublication of user names and numbers came after 
Snapchat's security was questioned by an Australian security research group.

An anonymous group of hackers has dumped a vast database of what appeared to be 4.6 million Snapchat users’ mobile numbers and users names, just days after Snapchat claimed it had safeguards in place to fix a security vulnerability that could divulge users’ personal information.

@adabot on @snapchat
@adabot on @snapchat (Photo credit: adafruit)

A website called SnapchatDB released the vast database, which included usernames and phone numbers of Snapchat users in the US. The last two digits of each number were redacted by the group.

The site later appeared to have been taken down, but, while accessible, explained that the material had been published to “raise awareness” of the issue.

“This information was acquired through the recently patched Snapchat exploit and is being shared with the public to raise awareness on the issue. The company was too reluctant at patching the exploit until they knew it was too late and companies that we trust with our information should be more careful when dealing with it,” it said.

“For now, we have censored the last two digits of the phone numbers in order to minimise spam and abuse.”

The site also said it might consider releasing the unredacted database “under certain circumstances”.

The publication of the user names and numbers came after details of the vulnerability was made public by an Australian security research group called Gibson Security on Christmas Day. The group outlined how the vulnerability could be exploited, and said Snapchat did not respond to it when it raised the issue months ago.

Gibson Security tweeted it had no involvement in the release of the user information.

“We know nothing about SnapchatDB, but it was a matter of time til something like that happened,” it tweeted.

After Gibson published its findings Snapchat said it took user privacy seriously and replied in a blogpost: “Theoretically, if someone were able to upload a huge set of phone numbers, like every number in an area code, or every possible number in the US, they could create a database of the results and match usernames to phone numbers that way.

“Over the past year we’ve implemented various safeguards to make it more difficult to do. We recently added additional counter-measures and continue to make improvements to combat spam and abuse.”

Snapchat has been contacted for comment on the release of the SnapchatDB database.

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Posted By Mantosh Pal

Apple insists it did not work with NSA to create iPhone backdoor program!


National Security Agency Seal
National Security Agency Seal (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)
Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase
Image representing Edward Snowden as depicted ...
Image by None via CrunchBase
Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

Tech giant denies knowledge of DropoutJeep tool to retrieve information and insists it ‘cares deeply about customers‘ privacy’

6fd4d5f7-4fb7-40ad-921b-4630b4e3a224-460x276Apple said: ‘We have never worked with the NSA to create a back door in any of our products, including iPhone.’

Apple has denied any knowledge of a National Security Agency tool to hack into iPhones after newly-released documents showed the tech giant’s bestselling phone was targeted by the spying agency.

Documents released Monday showed the NSA had worked on software that would allow it to remotely retrieve virtually all the information on an iPhone including text messages, photos, contacts, location, voice mail and live calls.

The software, DropoutJeep, was first disclosed by Der Spiegel and security researcher Jacob Appelbaum. The NSA slides are dated 2008, a year after the first iPhone was launched.

In a statement, Apple said: “Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a back door in any of our products, including iPhone. Additionally, we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program targeting our products. We care deeply about our customers’ privacy and security. Our team is continuously working to make our products even more secure, and we make it easy for customers to keep their software up to date with the latest advancements.

“Whenever we hear about attempts to undermine Apple’s industry-leading security, we thoroughly investigate and take appropriate steps to protect our customers. We will continue to use our resources to stay ahead of malicious hackers and defend our customers from security attacks, regardless of who’s behind them.”

According to the slides, DropoutJeep required “close access methods” in order to be installed on an iPhone, meaning NSA agents would need physical access to the device. However, the slide notes: “A remote installation capability will be pursued for future use.”

The slides mention iOS5, an iPhone operating system that was launched in June 2011 and updated by iOS6 in September 2012. It is not clear whether the NSA managed to develop the ability to perform remote installation. Given that Apple sold 250m iPhones in its first five years, large scale implementation of DropoutJeep seems unlikely by close access methods.

The spyware is one of the tools employed by the NSA’s ANT (Advanced or Access Network Technology) division to gain backdoor access to various electronic devices. According to Applebaum, the NSA claims a 100% success rate on installation of the program.

Apple, along with its peers, has consistently denied working with the NSA unless it has been legally compelled to do so. The NSA documents, first obtained by whistleblower Edward Snowden, have revealed that the NSA has developed the capability to hack other companies, including Google and Yahoo, without their knowledge.

The slide is dated four years before the NSA included Apple in its Prism monitoring program. Apple was the last of the big tech companies to be included in the program, designed to ease data collection for the NSA. Microsoft, by contrast, joined the scheme in 2007, according to the NSA’s slides.

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

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

Ebay post-Christmas auction shines spotlight on unloved gifts!


Image representing eBay as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

 

Sought-after iPad Airs appear immediately on auction site alongside DIY tools and unloved women’s clothes but Lady Gaga album dominates rival resale site MusicMagpie

 

iPad AirThe number of new iPad Airs rose 25% on eBay on Christmas Day.

 

Listings for tablet computers shot up 25% on auction site eBay onChristmas Day, compared with the day before, as Brits moved quickly to offload unwanted presents.

 

The site had nearly 2,000 items listed under “unwanted Christmas gifts”on Friday morning as people in the UK found themselves with an estimated £2.4bn worth of non-ideal presents.

 

Surprisingly, many people chose to resell one of this year’s most sought after gifts – an iPad Air. The latest Apple gadget outnumbered iPad Minis by four to one in listings put up on eBay on Christmas Day.

 

Ebay claims 80% of people in the UK are prepared to resell an unwanted gift. Certainly handmade items seemed high up on the list of things to pass on. An impressive 25,000 craft items were listed for sale on Christmas Day. However, rival site MusicMagpie said the gift most listed on its site on Christmas Day was Lady Gaga‘s album Born This Way, followed by The Inbetweeners Movie.

 

The most unwanted gifts are DIY tools, according to eBay, but clothing is one of the hardest presents to get right, especially for women. More than 10 times more women’s clothes than men’s clothes were listed for sale on eBay on Christmas Day. Meanwhile, Topshop dresses, Topman shirts and Next women’s jeans were among the top 10 items being sold on MusicMagpie.

 

Hints about the bestsellers this Christmas, meanwhile, have emerged from Amazon. The online retailer, said that former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson‘s book My Autobiography was its best selling book alongside children’s works Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck, the animated films Despicable Me 2 and Monsters University followed by the superhero movie Man of Steel.

 

The retailer said more than half of its customers shopped using either a smartphone or a tablet computer. The Centre for Retail Research estimates that up to £370m was spent online on Boxing Day, which could rise to £450m on Friday. Around 13.3 million people are estimated to have turned out for the start of the clearance sales, up 2% year-on-year, according to CRR..

 

Posted By Mantosh Pal

 

 

Top 5 Most Wanted Hackers, FBI offering $100,000 for each,


English: Seal of the en:United States District...
English: Seal of the en:United States District Court for the Northern District of California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

artPwdW1Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI has added 5 Most wanted hackers in their list and offering up to $100,000 for information leading to their arrests.

Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI has added 5 Most wanted hackers in their list and offering up to $100,000 for information leading to their arrests.

Well, the amount of reward is really big and off-course exploits of the hackers were also not small, let us give you an introduction of 5 Most wanted hackers:

First two are from Pakistan named Farhan Arshad and Noor Aziz Uddin, they are wanted in an international telecommunications hacking scheme that took place between 2008 and 2012. They both were able to gain unauthorized access to business telephone systems, resulting in losses exceeding $50 million. Arshad and Uddin are part of an international criminal ring that the FBI believes extends into Pakistan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Spain, Singapore, Italy, Malaysia and elsewhere.

Third one is Carlos Perez-Melara, he is involved in running a fraudulent website in 2003 that offered customers a way to “catch a cheating lover.” Those who took the bait downloaded spyware that secretly installed a program on their computers that allowed scammers to steal the victims’ identities and personal information.

Fourth one is Andrey Nabilebich Tamme, he is involved in a Malware named Opeartion Ghost Click which compromised more than four million computers in more than 100 countries between 2007 and October 2011; there were at least 500,000 victims in the United States alone.

Last, but not the least, Alexsey Belan, he is wanted for allegedly remotely accessing the computer networks of three U.S.-based companies in 2012 and 2013 and stealing sensitive data as well as employees’ identities.

You can read a brief summary and more info of the hackers {HERE.}

image_thumbALEXSEY BELAN

Computer Intrusion; Aggravated Identity Theft; Fraud in Connection With a Computer,

REWARD: The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest of Alexsey Belan.

Between January of 2012, and April of 2013, Alexsey Belan is alleged to have intruded the computer networks of three major United States-based e-commerce companies in Nevada and California. He is alleged to have stolen their user databases which he then exported and made readily accessible on his server. Belan allegedly stole the user data and the encrypted passwords of millions of accounts and then negotiated the sales of the databases.
Two separate federal arrest warrants for Belan have been issued. One was issued on September 12, 2012, in the United States District Court, District of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, after Belan was charged with obtaining information by computer from a protected computer; possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices; and aggravated identity theft. The second warrant was issued on June 6, 2013, in the United States District Court, Northern District of California, San Francisco, California, after Belan was charged with two counts of fraud in connection with a computer and two counts of aggravated identity theft.
Belan has Russian citizenship and is known to hold a Russian passport. He speaks Russian and may travel to Russia, Greece, Latvia, the Maldives, and Thailand. He may wear eyeglasses and dye his brown hair red or blond. He was last known to be in Athens, Greece.

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Posted BY Mantosh Pal