Facebook Starts Rolling Out Shop and Service Sections to Pages

Facebook Starts Rolling Out Shop and Service Sections to Pages

In a move to make its Pages feature valuable for businesses online, Facebook on Thursday announced two new Page sections – Services and Shop – for emerging markets including in India where 57 percent of people on Facebook are connected to a business.

The Shop section provides businesses with a new way to prominently display the products they are selling on their Page.

It allows people to easily discover, browse and make offers to purchase products through messaging from the businesses they care about, Facebook said in a statement.

The Services section allows service businesses to showcase a list of their offerings on their Page.

If we look at the Indian small and medium businesses (SMB), over 1.99 billion interactions are being generated between businesses and people in the country.

There were two million SMB Pages on Facebook in India as of October last year.

“With the Shops and Services sections on Pages, businesses around the world can help people discover the products and services they care about in a more visually appealing way,” said Adrian Nam, a product marketing manager at Facebook.

Facebook launched Pages to help people market their businesses and make customers learn about products and services for free.

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Services section makes it easier for people to find the information they are looking for and decide whether to work with the business.

Globally, more than one billion people on Facebook are connected to at least one business.

“The Shops and Services sections are a continuation of our efforts to make Facebook Pages the most valuable online presence for the more than 60 million businesses around the world that use Pages each month,” added Ryan Ebanks, another product marketing manager at Facebook.

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Amazon One is Amazon’s First Branded Cargo Plane

Amazon One is Amazon's First Branded Cargo Plane

Seattle-based Amazon is unveiling its first branded cargo plane, one of 40 jetliners that will make up the e-commerce giant’s own air transportation network as it takes more control of its delivery process.

The latest push to speed delivery of its products comes as the company ships an increasing number of packages worldwide. Amazon’s parcel volume was an estimated 1 billion packages in 2015 – the same number that FedEx delivered three years earlier for hundreds of thousands of customers.

Amazon has had issues with the reliability of air freight services. In 2013, it offered refunds to customers who got their Christmas orders late after bad weather and a jump in online shopping caused delays for UPS and FedEx.

Analysts say it makes sense for Amazon to use an air fleet it controls as another way to get its products to online shoppers drawn to fast, no-extra-cost delivery.

“They’re such a big online retailer,” said Satish Jindel, president of shipping consultant ShipMatrix. “There’s so much volume that if you have to add transportation for yourself, why would you pay a retail price when you can get wholesale? It makes sense.”

Amazon will reveal its branded cargo plane, Amazon One, on Friday at the annual Seafair Air Show. The plane will buzz over Seattle’s Lake Washington just before the Navy’s Blue Angels take to the skies, a company official said.

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Amazon leased 40 Boeing jets from Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings and Air Transport Services Group Inc., which will operate the air cargo network. Eleven of the planes already are delivering packages for Amazon’s annual Prime loyalty program, which offers free two-day shipping and other perks. The remaining freighters will be rolled out in the next couple of years.

Aircraft like Amazon One allow the company to “continue to maintain our fast delivery speeds and lower our costs as our Prime base and our Prime member growth continue to soar,” said Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations.

Despite its growing fleet of aircraft, Amazon said it plans to continue to use FedEx, UPS and other transportation partners.

“Because of our growth and the sheer amount of packages, we are supplementing our transportation needs,” Clark said.

The company has been furiously building out distribution centers, where workers and robots pull products off shelves and package them for delivery, as well as smaller sorting plants, which arrange packages by ZIP code for faster delivery. It has a network of more than 125 fulfillment centers worldwide.

Amazon recently reported a second-quarter profit of $857 million on $30 billion in revenue.

The company doesn’t yet have plans to carry packages for others but says it’s constantly evaluating its situation. Amazon has not been shy about competing in businesses areas far-flung from its e-commerce roots.

“Once you have those planes, it certainly creates the opportunity for new products for customers,” Clark said, adding: “Stay tuned and we’ll see what happens in the future.”

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Tags: Amazon, Amazon One, Amazon Prime, Amazon Prime Air, Internet

 

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Lenovo IdeaCentre Y710 Cube, IdeaCentre AIO Y910 Gaming PCs Launched at Gamescom

Lenovo IdeaCentre Y710 Cube, IdeaCentre AIO Y910 Gaming PCs Launched at Gamescom

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The IdeaCentre Y710 Cube is priced at roughly Rs. 86,900
  • The IdeaCentre Y910 is priced at roughly Rs. 1,20,400
  • Both the desktops will be available from October

Lenovo at Gamescom in Cologne has announced two new gaming desktops running on Windows 10. The IdeaCentre Y710 Cube desktop and IdeaCentre AIO Y910 all-in-one PC are priced at $1,299 (roughly Rs. 86,900) and $1,799 (roughly Rs. 1,20,400) respectively, and will be made available starting October.

Both the desktops sport a red and black design synonymous, and Lenovo claims that the devices are ‘VR ready’. Beginning with IdeaCentre Y710 Cube, the cabinet comes with a built-in handle, and is bundled with an Xbox One wireless controller. It is powered by a sixth-generation Intel Core i7 processor, houses Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080 paired with 32GB of DDR4 RAM. It offers a hybrid storage system of a 2TB HDD and a 256GB SSD. It supports 4K gaming, and high-quality streaming as well. With respect to connectivity, the Y710 sports one HDMI and VGA port, three USB 3.0 ports, and one USB 2.0 port.

The Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO Y910 all-in-one PC is bit a more expensive price point than its companion, and that’s because of the 27-inch Quad-HD (2560×1440 pixels) display packed alongside. All the other specifications of the Y910 remain the same as the Y710. It is important to note that the prices mentioned above are of the variants sporting the GeForce GTX 1070 GPU, and the cost of the devices with the highest specs is unknown.lenovo_ideatek_y910.jpgThere is no word on when Lenovo plans to launch the devices in India. Lenovo recently launched theYoga 710 convertible laptop in India for Rs. 85,490. It features a 14-inch full-HD display that can be swiveled 180-degrees to transform into a tablet. It is powered by sixth-generation Intel Core i7-6500U processor, 8GB of 2133MHz DDR4 RAM and a discrete Nvidia GeForce 940M GPU with 2GB of DDR3 video memory. It weighs 1.55kg, and comes with a 256GB SSD. The company is touting a battery life of up to 8 hours with the 4-cell 53WHr battery on board.

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Tags: Gamescom, Gamescom 2016, Lenovo, Lenovo Gaming PCs, Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO Y910,Lenovo IdeaCentre Y710 Cube

 

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USB-IF Announces Charger Certification Programme for USB Type-C Devices

USB-IF Announces Charger Certification Programme for USB Type-C Devices

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Certification to be provided if products comply with specifications
  • Issued logo to also carry power capability of product in watts
  • Manufacturers can send their products to organisation for certification

There are many USB chargers available on the Internet, but sadly there has been no standard certification that can notify the users if the charger indeed produces the power delivery specifications that are listed on the product. Now, the non-profit body that determines USB specifications and standards – the USB Implementers Forum – has announced that it will perform the standardisation and give the certified logos if the products meet its USB Type-C and USB Power Delivery specifications.

The USB-IF was created to “provide a support organization and forum for the advancement and adoption of Universal Serial Bus technology” as per the organisation’s website. As a part of organisation’s new certification and compliance programme (Certified USB Charger Logo and Compliance Program), manufacturers will submit their products and the certifications will be given on the basis of USB Power Delivery and USB Type-C specifications.

The logo on the product, issued by the organisation on compliance with the required qualities, will also carry the power capacity of the products in watts. The program is meant to certify USB chargers for USB Type-C devices, including laptops, tablets, smartphones, docking stations, displays, and other products.

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“Certified USB Chargers will give users an interoperable power source and a seamless experience. From displays, to smartphones and docking stations, the industry is aligning behind USB Type-C and USB Power Delivery as the last wire you’ll ever need for faster charging,” organisation’s CTO Rahman Ismail was quoted as saying in a press statement.

Standardisation in any field is a good thing but when it comes to electronics, its importance cannot be overstated as a product with poor quality can potentially damage or even destroy other devices that are associated with it.

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Tags: Laptops, Mobiles, Tablets, USB, USB IF, USB Implementor’s Forum, Wearables

 

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Snapdeal Gold Takes on Amazon Prime and Flipkart First

Snapdeal Gold Takes on Amazon Prime and Flipkart First

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Snapdeal Gold promises next day free delivery and more
  • You don’t need to sign up or pay for this
  • Snapdeal Gold is only for 100 percent prepaid products

Snapdeal has launched a new feature called Snapdeal Gold, which promises free next day delivery, free shipping, and extended purchase protection. This follows Amazon Prime and Flipkart First, both of which offer similar features to customers.

The Snapdeal Gold Service is a little different from the aforementioned services though, as you don’t need to sign up for a service to use this. It’s automatic – if any order is found to match Snapdeal Gold requirements, it will get upgraded. As long as it’s being fulfilled by Snapdeal, and you’re paying upfront – by card, netbanking, using Freecharge, or gift cards. Cash on Delivery offers will not get the benefit. Snapdeal also allows people to use a combination of Freecharge cash and Cash on Delivery payments, but only 100 percent prepaid orders will be upgraded to Snapdeal Gold.

Where available, you’ll get free next day delivery, otherwise you’ll always get free standard delivery with Snapdeal Gold. Also, instead of the normal seven day timeframe in which you can return a product, with Snapdeal Gold, you’ll have 14 days to return the product you bought.

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One of the nice features is that everything takes place automatically – for example, you don’t choose Gold as an option, just pick an online payment method. If next day delivery is available, your delivery is automatically scheduled for it. What this means is that there’s practically no barrier to entry to getting the benefits from Snapdeal Gold, provided you have an online payment solution. The automatic upgrade is where there’s also a slight catch though – not all items that are fulfilled by Snapdeal or meet the above requirements are eligible for Snapdeal Gold. All in all, Snapdeal Gold looks more like a way to move people away from cash on delivery than anything else.

In contrast, both Flipkart First and Amazon Prime require you to sign up beforehand, and charge money, which is not something everyone will be willing to do. However, it offers less by way of benefits too. For example, Flipkart First gets you priority customer support, and Amazon Prime gives you early access to deals on the site, and once Amazon launches its video service in India, you’ll have access to that as well, which could be a real game changer.

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Tags: Snapdeal, ECommerce, Snapdeal Gold, Flipkart, Amazon, Flipkart First, Amazon Prime

 

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Indian IT Spending to Reach $72.3 Billion in 2016: Gartner

Indian IT Spending to Reach $72.3 Billion in 2016: Gartner

India’s IT spending is expected to rise by 7.2 percent in 2016 to reach $72.3 billion (roughly Rs. 4,73,886 crores), said leading market research player Gartner on Tuesday.

“India will continue to be the fastest growing IT market for the second year in succession and will continue growing to total $87.67 billion (roughly Rs. 5,74,696 crores) by the end of 2019,” said Aman Munglani, research director, Gartner in a statement.

India, currently the third largest IT market in Asia Pacific, will become the second largest by 2019 following China, he said.

Mobile phones, personal computers and tablets falling under the category of devices are expected to account for almost 33 percent of the overall IT spend in India, growing at 9.4 percent in 2016, Gartner said.

Gartner India’s research head Partha Iyengar said that in five years, one million new devices will come online every hour, and “these interconnections are creating billions of new relationships. These relationships are not driven solely by data, but algorithms”.

Highlighting the crucial nature of algorithms, Iyengar added, “Data is inherently dumb. It doesn’t actually do anything unless you know how to use it; how to act with it. Algorithms are where the real value lies. Algorithms define action. Dynamic algorithms are the core of new customer interactions.”

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The next great leap in machine to machine evolution in the Internet of Things (IoT) will be powered by the algorithmic economy, said Gartner in the statement.

“Organizations will be valued, not just on their big data, but the algorithms that turn that data into actions, and ultimately impact customers,” it added.

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Tags: IT, India, Information Technology, Internet of Things, IoT

 

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Samsung Joins Apple in Warning of Gloomy 2016 for Technology

Samsung Joins Apple in Warning of Gloomy 2016 for Technology

Samsung Electronics warned of slowing demand and economic turbulence after its quarterly earnings missed analysts’ estimates, joining Apple in foretelling a downbeat 2016 for the technology sector.

The Korean conglomerate, whose quarterly profit fell short of expectations by almost 40 percent, said the deteriorating global economy was eroding demand for computers and smartphones and depressing component prices. Samsung will invest in new screen and semiconductor technologies such as foldable displays to try and boost profit, executives said on a conference call.

Samsung’s warning came days after Apple its biggest customer according to data compiled by Bloomberg predicted its first sales decline in a decade. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said the company was seeing “extreme conditions” unlike anything the world’s largest technology company had ever encountered, with economic growth in China at its weakest pace in 25 years.

“All technology companies around the world will face a very tough industry ahead. Until the overall demand picks up, it’s a matter of how well they can hold out instead of how well they can battle out,” said Yoo Eui-hyung, an analyst at Dongbu Securities Co. “For 2016, since no demand growth is expected, it largely depends on how well the supply of chips and displays can be managed.”

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Shares of Samsung, the world’s biggest maker of phones, displays and memory chips, finished 2.6 percent lower in Seoul. The stock has fallen more than 9 percent this year, compared with a 2.8 percent decline in the benchmark Kospi index.

The cautionary tones adopted by Apple and Samsung sent ripples through an industry whose fortunes are entwined with the market’s two leading players. Mobile component suppliers TDK Corp., Murata Manufacturing Co. and LG Display Co. slid on Thursday after Apple shares tumbled 6.6 percent.

Alps Electric Co., which Bloomberg-compiled data shows is most closely co-related with Apple, led losers with a decline of 17.4 percent.

Samsung reported net income excluding minority interests fell 39 percent to KRW 3.24 trillion ($2.7 billion) in the December quarter, lagging the KRW 5.4 trillion average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. That result includes a KRW 2.5 trillion non-operating loss due to impairment charges, the impact of a stronger Korean won and anemic growth in its key smartphone and chip units.

On Thursday, it said will buy back KRW 2.99 trillion of stock in the second phase of its buyback program.

Global smartphone shipments rose just 6 percent in the final quarter of 2015 the slowest pace of growth on record, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

Samsung said it shipped 97 million handsets including low-end feature phones and 9 million tablets in the holiday quarter. Strategy Analytics estimates Samsung’s smartphone shipments grew a mere 0.8 percent in 2015 due to tougher competition from Apple in the high-end segment and China’s XiaomiCorp. and Huawei Technologies Co. in the budget category.

“The overall smartphone market will remain difficult throughout this year but we still see growth in the lower-end segment, although competition will be tougher,” Lee Kyeong-tae, vice president of the mobile communications business, said on the call. “We will continue to add more follow-up models of the A and J series this year to strengthen our competitiveness in the lower-end space.”

To fire up consumers, Samsung will introduce two new versions of its top-tier Galaxy S models at theMobile World Congress in Barcelona next month, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The S7 phone will have a 5.1-inch front screen and the S7 Edge will have a 5.5-inch screen stretching down the sides, one of the people said.

Cost controls helped enhance margins even as mobile division sales fell. Operating profit at the unit rose 14 percent to KRW 2.23 trillion from KRW 1.96 trillion a year earlier.

Operating income at the chip unit rose just 3.7 percent to KRW 2.8 trillion. Prices for DDR3 4-gigabyte dynamic random access memory chips averaged $1.93 in the quarter, compared with $3.77 a year earlier, according to data from inSpectrum Inc.

Samsung said this month that its foundry business received orders from Qualcomm to make Snapdragon 820 chips. It’s decided to use Qualcomm’s chips for about half of its upcoming S7 devices only a year after turning away from the U.S. company, people with direct knowledge of the matter have said.

Operating income from displays fell 36 percent to KRW 300 billion while profit at the consumer electronics division, which comprises TVs and home appliances, rose more than fourfold to KRW 820 billion in the quarter, benefiting from falling panel prices and strong U.S. holiday-quarter demand for 4K televisions.

© 2016 The Washington Post

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Digital Agriculture Market Platform to Launch in April, Says PM Modi

Digital Agriculture Market Platform to Launch in April, Says PM Modi

A digital platform for enabling farmers to sell their produce at a better rate anywhere in the country will be launched on April 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in Sehore on Thursday as he resolved to ensure doubling of the farmers’ income by 2022.

PM Modi, who unveiled guidelines for the recently-launched Prime Minister’s Crop Insurance Scheme at a rally in Sehore, said this was one of the various initiatives of his government aimed at ensuring the welfare of the farmers who have been in distress due to vagaries of weather.

Besides the Crop Insurance Scheme, the Prime Minister spoke about Soil Health Card scheme, PM’s Irrigation Scheme, organic farming, ensuring adequate availability of urea and ethanol-blending programme to help the sugarcane farmers and also pitched for ‘Startup’ initiatives in agriculture sector.

The Prime Minister pushed for more and more use of modern technology and equipment along with traditional wisdom of farming to boost the agriculture sector, not only to meet the domestic needs but also cater to the demands from abroad.

“We want to integrate technology in the agriculture sector. There should be a mix of progressive farming and age-old wisdom,” the Prime Minister said.

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Noting that the farmers do not get adequate price for his produce despite working hard as he has no choice but to sell in the nearby mandis, Prime Minister Modi said the government has decided to address this by adopting a digital mechanism.

“We are setting up a National Agriculture Market, a virtual and digital platform, in the coming days… On April 14, the birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar, we will launch the online platform,” PM Modi said at the rally which was attended by union ministers Sushma Swaraj, Radha Mohan Singh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan besides others.

The Prime Minister said this platform will enable the farmers, using a mobile phone, to sell their produce anywhere in the country, wherever they can get a better price.

At the rally, the Prime Minister said all states as well as agriculture community should take a pledge to double the farmers’ income by 2022, the 75th year of the country’s Independence. “We will do whatever is required achieve this.”

Under the e-agri platform, the government is working towards integrating all the 585 wholesale mandis of the country by 2018 in a phased manner, for which Rs. 200 crores have been earmarked as of now.

In the first phase, 200 mandis will be integrated by this March-end while another 200 will be connected to the online platform in 2017 and the rest by 2018.

The Centre has received proposals from states like Karnataka, Gujarat, Telangana, and Maharashtra for developing necessary infrastructure in wholesale markets. A strategic partner for implementing the national agri e-market has also been identified.

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Tags: Digital India, India, Internet, Narendra Modi

 

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SecureWorks Raises $112 Million in Year’s First Technology IPO

SecureWorks Raises $112 Million in Year's First Technology IPO

Dell Inc’s cyber-security unit SecureWorks Corp raised $112 million in the first US initial public offering of a technology company in 2016, less than it had hoped for, amid investor skepticism over its profit margins and prospects.

Market jitters and fluctuations in technology stocks have kept investors skittish about the sector. This time last year, six technology companies had already priced their IPOs, raising a total of $1.6 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.

SecureWorks priced 8 million shares on Thursday at $14, missing its previously indicated $15.50-$17.50 range, according to a person familiar with the matter. The company was originally aiming to price 9 million shares.

The source asked not to be identified ahead of an official announcement. SecureWorks did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Technology investors are hoping SecureWorks will open the door for other IPOs in the sector. Technology companies such as storage provider Nutanix Inc have kept their IPO plans on hold, waiting for a more favourable market environment.

In November, payment provider Square Inc completed an IPO that valued it at $2.9 billion, nearly half of the $6 billion valuation that private investors had previously assigned to it.

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Founded in 1999, SecureWorks helps small- and medium-sized businesses manage their security services and protect their networks. Large technology and services firms have bought many of SecureWorks’ rivals in recent years such as Solutionary, Trustwave and SilverSky. It has 4,200 clients in 59 countries.

Cyber-security companies captured investors’ attention last year, amid a spate of high profile hacker attacks. Nevertheless, several of the cyber-security companies that went public in recent years have faltered in the public market. Firms such as FireEye continue to trade under their 2013 IPO price.

Several security companies remain on deck for an IPO. SoftOptiv Security LLC and Blue Coat Systems Inc have both hired investment banks for IPOs expected to come later this year.

The IPO comes as its parent company Dell Inc, which purchased SecureWorks in 2011, is awaiting approval for its proposed acquisition of EMC Corp. SecureWorks has said it will use proceeds from the offering to fund growth initiatives and not support Dell’s own business.

SecureWorks shares are scheduled to start trading on Nasdaq on Friday under the symbol “SCWX.”

Bank of America Corp, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co are among the underwriters for SecureWorks’ IPO.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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Indian IT Infrastructure Market to Reach $1.93 Billion in 2016: Gartner

Indian IT Infrastructure Market to Reach $1.93 Billion in 2016: Gartner

The Indian IT infrastructure market will increase marginally to $1.93 billion (roughly Rs. 12,807 crores) this year whereas by 2020, it is likely to grow to $2.13 billion (roughly Rs. 14,137 crores), Gartner said Tuesday.

The IT infrastructure market includes server, storage and enterprise networking equipment.

In 2015, the market stood at $1.90 billion (roughly Rs. 12,611 crores). “The Indian IT infrastructure market will total $1.9 billion in 2016, a 1 percent increase from 2015,” Gartner said.

Indian enterprises will continue to focus on optimising their infrastructure and operations budgets in 2016, it added.

“Optimisation is primarily driven with an objective to create next generation data center architecture that can support the ever increasing challenges of digital business. With the emergence of bimodal IT, there are a lot of investments made in Mode 1, and there is an increasing focus on building Mode 2 infrastructure,” Naveen Mishra, research director at Gartner said.

Gartner said Mode 1 workloads are witnessing investments in areas such as cloud, software defined storage and network coupled with integrated systems.

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“Public cloud is increasingly becoming relevant for data center managers and IT leaders in India,” it added.

Enterprise networking is the biggest segment within the Indian IT infrastructure market with revenue expected to total $848 million (roughly Rs. 5,628 crores) in 2016.

“This is an area where enterprises are focusing heavily in terms of their optimisation efforts and evaluating software driven networking, as this is becoming a barrier to a seamless digital experience,” Gartner said.

Mishra said with a revenue projection of $253 million (roughly Rs. 1,679 crores) in 2016, storage investment will witness a decline from last year primarily due to improved performance.

“Enterprises are increasingly investing in software defined storage, evaluating alternate, cheaper devices, such as flash storage, which is helping them to contain the ever increasing storage costs,” he added.

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