Thursday, November 17, 2016

Microsoft finally unveils Surface Studio

NEW YORK: Expanding the Surface family, Microsoft has unveiled Surface Studio, Surface Dial and a more powerful Surface Book along with an announcement that a major update is coming to more than 400 million Windows 10 devices in early 2017.

"At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more," said Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella at an event here on Wednesday.

"With Windows 10, Microsoft Surface and the medium of Mixed Reality, we aim to empower the builders, the makers and the creators with the tools to create, collaborate and express themselves in new ways," the Indian-born CEO added.

Starting at $2,999, Surface Studio is a new class of device that transforms from a workstation into a powerful digital canvas, unlocking a more natural and immersive way to create on the thinnest LCD monitor ever built.

With ultra-HD 4.5K screen, Surface Studio delivers 63 per cent more pixels than a state-of-the-art 4K TV.

The device works beautifully with pen, touch and Surface Dial -- a new input device designed for the creative process that lets you use two hands on the screen to compose and create in all new ways, Microsoft said.

Launching as a free update in early 2017, the Windows 10 Creators Update will enable anyone to create, share and experience in 3-D and mixed reality, connect people faster to those they care about most, and empower every gamer to be a broadcaster.

With the Creators Update, Microsoft Edge will be the first browser to fully embrace 3-D.

Surface Studio has 28-inch PixelSense Display that immerses the user in 13.5 million pixels of true-to-life color and the Zero Gravity Hinge allows the screen to effortlessly adjust to each stage of the creative process.

When the screen transitions take place from Desktop Mode to Studio Mode, it sits at a 20-degree angle, the same angle as a standard drafting board, making it ideal for sketching, writing and designing.

"Architects can sketch their ideas with the Surface Pen, put them into production using powerful 3-D modeling software, and review and mark up plans with a client, all on one device," Microsoft said.

The $99 Surface Dial integrates with Windows 10 to work with Surface for a faster and more intuitive way to scroll, zoom and navigate.

When you place the Dial directly on the screen, it brings up a set of digital tools specific to the app that is open, allowing people to more seamlessly move through their workflow.

The combination of Dial, pen and touch creates a more immersive and tactile way for people to create in digital environments.

Microsoft also introduced $2,399 Surface Book with Performance Base, making the most powerful laptop in its class even better.

The three new Surface Book models feature 6th Generation Intel Core i7 processors and pack more than twice the graphics processing power as the original Surface Book. Surface Book brings 16 hours of battery life.

With the Surface Book with Performance Base, engineers can spin 3-D CAD models with thousands of parts; designers and developers can render large files quickly; and gamers can play more of their favourite games.

No other laptop combines similar battery life, performance and pixels in as lightweight a package.

With the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft unveiled a comprehensive vision across hardware and software to bring 3D to everyone. The Creators Update brings new creativity and gaming experiences built around the people who matter most.

Microsoft announced that HP, Lenovo, Dell, Acer and ASUS will ship the first VR headsets capable of mixed reality through the Creators Update.

"Coming in 2017, these accessories will contain built-in sensors to enable inside-out, six-degrees of freedom for simplified setup and to more easily move around your home as you experience virtual worlds - no markers required," the company said.

With the Windows 10 Creators Update, the new VR accessories will work with affordable laptops and PCs and start at $299.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

ADB Commands Used in Testing

ADB (Android Debug Bridge) is a command line tool to control Android devices
The ADB tool is located in the directory <android_sdk>/platform-tools/. You should put this directory in the PATH environment variable.
Common ADB commands used in testing:
adb devices
Lists all devices and emulators attached to the system
Note: Once the device is connected to PC via USB cable, make sure “usb debugging”
Option is turned on in developer option and appropriate device driver is installed
adb install <APK path>
Installs the new applications on the device
adb uninstall <Package name>
Uninstalls the specific application
adb install  -r <APK path>
Replaces existing application, application data is not deleted on replacing the app.
adb logcat
Logcat is a command that reads logs from Android devices. Pressing “Ctrl+C” terminates the logcat event. To dump the logs in to a file use adb logcat –d > filename.txt
adb shell
Executing adb shell commands exposes the android shell, adb shell gives access to device internals.
Most of the standard Linux commands like “cd,ls,cat,rm” can be used from android shell
Transferring the files using adb
Most of the android devices primary media storage is mapped to “/mnt/sdcard/” so we can use adb command line to push and pull the files from devices.
adb push <file path in PC>  <file path on device>
This command pushes the file from PC to Device
adb pull <file path on device> <file path in PC>
This command pulls a file from device to PC

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Top 6 Jobs that will survive automation pressure

Automation is being projected as a threat to jobs, but some job profiles will indeed grow even in that era!

Ever since automation came into being, it has been a fear for many in the IT-ITes industry. Recent studies by Nasscom and McKinsey Global Institute accelerated the fear further by stating that like low-skill, low-wage jobs some high-skill, high-wage jobs too will succumb to the pressure of automation.
The picture looks a little gloomy for a moment but if you look closer, you will find a ray of hope. While automation will lead to some job cuts, there will be other jobs that will gain. Archana Sharma, Director, Xavient Information Systems, is all for automation but believes that human beings cannot be replaced in many tasks. “In the past, as some jobs have disappeared, others have risen in their wake. From the past experiences, it is safe to say that technological advancement has always taken us forward. Machines are getting smarter – smart phones, smart homes, smart cars, smart luggage etc., only because humans are getting smarter in creating those. By 2017, while the low skilled jobs might be less in demand, the highly skilled careers will retain their place. All jobs requiring emotional intelligence, human touch, creativity, innovation and interpersonal skills will always be in demand. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will do, only as much it is taught. It will surely be increasing in its capability always, but so will be human smartness and growth,” she says. 
She shares the top job titles that will gain in the era of automation. These job titles are poised to lead IT professionals to newer heights, while the industry may face job cuts due to automation:
Product developers – Product developers will always be in demand. They are responsible for designing and creating a new product. In addition, they also have to foresee updation of a product in the market. This is not a new job title, but will always see traction as it requires human touch.
Data analysts/visualisers/scientists – Big Data will get bigger in the automation phase as well. While data collection can be automated, human beings would still be required to analyse the chunks of accumulated data. This cannot be automated because human touch is required in gathering insights.
AI and robotics leads – While robots will be able to replace humans in many regular and mundane tasks, human beings will continue to supervise and manage them. After all, robos are machines.
Gamification designers – Any design related task could never be and will never be automated as it requires human brain.
QA analysts – QA is an important step in the making of any software product. QA Analysis will always require humans to be on the job.
Network engineers - Network engineers have  always been and will continue to be very important guys. They are entrusted with the task of designing and implementing vast computer networks, which apparently cannot be automated.
Digital marketing professionals – Campaigns can be automated, personalisation cannot. Hence, we will continue having a digital marketing While campaigns can be automated, personalisation cannot.
IoT managers – Last, but certainly not the least are the IoT managers. IoT is a hot property in the tech world, so are the IoT managers. We would continue needing them to manage ‘smart’ things.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Full disk encryption flaw could affect millions of Android users

When it comes to vulnerabilities and security, Google’s Android has never been in the good books of security experts or even its users to a great extent. Now, another vulnerability has surfaced that claims to leave millions of devices affected. Security expert Gal Beniamini has now revealed another flaw in Android encryption.
According to the DailyMail, the security researcher has said that Android devices with full disk encryption and powered by Qualcomm processors are at risk of brute force attacks wherein hackers can use persistent trial and error approach. Full disk encryption is on all devices running Android 5.0 onwards. It generates a 128-bit master key for a user’s password. The report adds that the key is stored in the device and can be cracked by malicious minds.
“Android FDE is only as strong as the TrustZone kernel or KeyMaster. Finding a TrustZone kernel vulnerability or a vulnerability in the KeyMaster trustlet, directly leads to the disclosure of the KeyMaster keys, thus enabling off-device attacks on Android FDE,” Beniamini explains.
A combination of things like Qualcomm processors verifying security and Android kernels are causing the vulnerability. Google along with Qualcomm is working at releasing security patches, but Beniamini said hat fixing the issue may require hardware upgrade.
“Full disk encryption is used world-wide, and can sometimes be instrumental to ensuring the privacy of people’s most intimate pieces of information. As such, I believe the encryption scheme should be designed to be as “bullet-proof” as possible, against all types of adversaries. As we’ve seen, the current encryption scheme is far from bullet-proof, and can be hacked by an adversary or even broken by the OEMs themselves (if they are coerced to comply with law enforcement),” he adds.
Lately, encryption debate had taken centre stage when Apple refused to unlock an iPhone belonging to a terrorist involved in San Bernardino shooting. The FBI reportedly managed to break into the device without Apple’s help and is believed to have paid a whopping $13 million to do so.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Google’s My Account will now help both iOS and Android users find their lost phones

Google has announced an update to its “My Account” service launched last year which will now include a feature that helps users find their lost or stolen phone. You’ll soon be able to find this new option just by googling “I lost my phone,” the company says. While Google already offered tools for Android users with missing devices, this expands Google’s phone-finding help to iOS devices.
Before, Android phone or tablet users could access the Android Device Manager to locate, ring, or remote wipe their device right from the web, similar to Apple’s “Find my iPhone/iPad.” And you could already search Google for “find my phone” to kick off this functionality, too, if you were an Android device owner.
Now, explains the company, users of both iOS or Android devices will be able to access similar options from the My Account page. Via the new “Find your phone” feature, you’ll be able to locate your phone, lock it remotely, call it, secure your account, leave a callback number on its screen, and more.
But in testing, it’s clear that Google can’t actually take control of iOS users’ devices. Instead, it directs users to Apple’s iCloud to find and lock their phone. Plus it offers a tool for calling the phone, and lets you sign out of Google services remotely, which is helpful for protecting your account from hacks. It also includes suggestions on how to reach out to your carrier or a local lost and found on Google Maps.
Google is also making it easier to reach the feature, as well as the My Account site in general. In the latter case, the company says that, in the near future, you’ll be able to find the site just by searching Google for your own name.
You’ll be able to launch the site from the Google app, too, by saying “OK Google, show me my Google account.” This works today in English, and support for other languages is coming soon.
The My Account site, for those unfamiliar, launched almost exactly one year ago to offer Google users centralized access to privacy and security settings across the company’s services. Today, that includes things like Ads Settings, plus Privacy and Security checkups. The idea is to make it easier to manage and protect your data and privacy as related to Google’s many services in one destination, instead of having to visit each property individually.
To date, over a billion people have used My Account, Google says.
The new “Find your phone” feature is available now, with Google search integration arriving shortly.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Say Goodbye to GPS ! India all set to switch to the Desi Navigation System,IRNSS

It's time we move away from the American Global Positioning System (GPS) and make way for our own desi navigation system — the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System or IRNSS on our mobile phones. 

In October 2015, Isro held a major meeting in Bangalore involving location and navigation device manufacturers, mobile phone manufacturers and global information system (GIS) technology developers  where the advantages of using the IRNSS technology over the current GPS technology was showcased.

Isro feels that seven IRNSS constellation satellites once operational by July next year will be significantly more accurate than the American GPS system.
Unlike American GPS, Isro is recommending a small additional hardware in handheld devices that can receive S-Band signals from IRNSS satellites and inclusion of a code in the phone software to receive L-Band signals.

"Both these L and S-band signals received from seven satellite constellation of the IRNSS are being calculated by a special embedded software which reduces the errors caused by atmospheric disturbances significantly. This, in turn, gives a superior quality location accuracy than the American GPS system," says a senior Isro official. 

All the seven satellites of Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) are expected to be in orbit by March 2016, Indian Space Research Organisation.
ISRO also aims to make signals available not only to India and surrounding countries but also to the entire globe, ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar said.