Sunday, May 26, 2013

Steering clear of the iceberg: three ways we can fix the data-credibilty crisis in science

Science has a data problem, There’s been a rash of experiments that no one can reproduce and studies that have to be retracted, But there are some nascent efforts to address this credibility crisis by changing the way the data is handled.



science has a data-credibility problem. There’s been a rash of experiments that no one can reproduce and studies that have to be retracted, all of which threatens to undermine the health and integrity of a fundamental driver of medical and economic progress. For the sake of the researchers, their funders and the public, we need to boost the power of the science community to self-correct and confirm its results.
In the eight years since John Ioannidis dropped the bomb that “most published research findings are false,” pockets of activist scientists from both academia and industry have been forming to address this problem, and it seems this year that some of those efforts are finally bearing fruit.

The research auditors

One interesting development is that a group of scientists is threatening to topple the impact factor, which ranks studies based on the journals in which they appear. This filter for quality research is based on journal prestige, but some scientists and startups are beginning to use alternative metrics in an effort to refocus on the science itself (rather than the publishing journal).
Taking a cue from the internet, they are citing the number of clicks, downloads, and page views that the research gets as better measures of “impact.” One group leading that charge is the Reproducibility Initiative, an alliance that includes an open-access journal (the Public Library of Science’s PLOS ONE) and three startups (data repository Figshare, experiment marketplace Science Exchange, and reference manager Mendeley). The Initiative isn’t trying to solve fraud, says Mendeley’s head of academic outreach William Gunn. Rather, it wants to address the rest of the dodgy data iceberg: the selective reporting of data, the vague methods for performing experiments, and the culture that contributes to so many scientific studies being irreproducible.
Stamp of ApprovalThe Initiative will leverage Science Exchange’s network of outside labs and contract research organizations to do what its name says: try to reproduce published scientific studies. They have 50 studies lined up for their first batch. The authors of these studies have opted in for the additional scrutiny, so there is a good chance much of their research will turn out to be solid.
Whatever the outcome, though, the Initiative wants to use this first test batch to show the scientific community and funders that this kind of exercise is value-adding despite the costs, which are estimated to be $20,000 per study (about 10% of the original research price tag, depending on the study).
Gunn likens the process to a tax audit: not all studies can or should be tested for reproducibility, but the likely offenders may be among those that have high “impact factors,” much like high-income earners with many deductions warrant suspicion.
A stumbling block may be the researchers themselves, who like many successful people have egos to protect; no one wants to be branded “irreproducible.” The Initiative stresses that the replication effort is about setting a standard for what counts as a good method, and finding predictors of research quality that supersede journal, institution or individual.

The plumbers and librarians of big data

While the Reproducibility Initiative is trying to accelerate science’s natural self-correction process, another nascent group is working on improving the plumbing that serves data. The Research Data Alliance (RDA), which is partially funded by the National Science Foundation, is barely a few months old, but it is already uniting global researchers who are passionate about improving infrastructure for data-driven innovation. “The superwoman of supercomputing” Francine Berman, a professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, heads up the U.S. division of RDA.
The RDA is structured like the World Wide Web Consortium, with working groups that produce code, policies for data interoperability, and data infrastructure solutions. As of yet there is no working group for data integrity, but it is within RDA’s scope, says Berman. While the effort is still in its infancy, the broad goals would be to come up with a way to make sure that the data contained in a study is more accessible to more people, and also that it doesn’t simply disappear at a certain point because of, say, storage issues.  She says with data it’s like we’re back in the  Industrial Revolution, when we had to create a new social contract to guide how we do research and commerce.
The men who stare at data
You can build places for data to live and spot-check it once it’s published, but there are also things researchers can do earlier, while they’re “interrogating” the data. After all, says Berman, you’re careful around strangers in real life, so why jump into bed with your data before you’re familiar with it?
Visualization is one of the most effective ways of inspecting the quality of your data, and getting different views of its potential. Automated processing is fast, but it can also produce spurious results if you don’t sanity-check your data first with visual and statistical techniques.
Stanford University computer scientist Jeff Heer, who also co-founded the data munging startup Trifacta, says visualization can help spot errors or extreme values. It can also test the user’s domain expertise (do you know what you’re doing and can you tell what a complete or faulty data set looks like?) and prior hypotheses about the data. “Skilled people are at the heart of the process of making sense of data,” says Heer. Someone with domain expertise who brings their memories and skills to the data can spot new insights, and in this way combat the determinism of blindly collected and reported data sets. Context, in the form of metadata, is rich and omni-present, Heer argues, as long as we’ve collected the right data the right way. Context can aid in interpretation and combat the determinism of blindly collected and reported data sets.
The three-pronged approach — better auditing, preservation and visualization — will help steer science away from the iceberg of unreliable data.
Credit - Giga Om.



Saturday, May 25, 2013

Jawfish Games Launches Its Real-Time, Multiplayer Platform For iOS, Android




Jawfish Games, a Seattle-based startup run by a former professional poker player and the engineering team that built the Fult Tilt Poker site, launched a gaming platform that can host more than 100,000 simultaneous players in real-time tournaments across iOS, Android and the web.
While asynchronous, turn-based games have done well on mobile platforms and Facebook over the last five years, pure, real-time multiplayer games haven’t caught on as quickly partially because data connections haven’t been fast enough and because a game developer would need a critical mass of players to match them synchronously.
But Jawfish, which has raised $3.65 million in funding from firms like Founders Fund’s angel fund, Right Side Capital and other angels, says it has built a platform to do just that. Their platform can support more than 100,000 simultaneous players and host 1 million tournaments for less than $10 in bandwidth.
They initially came out with a few games in partnership with Seattle’s Big Fish Games, but now they’re bringing out more of their own titles.
Because Jawfish’s CEO Phil Gordon is a championship professional poker career who has hosted The World Series of Poker and published five books on the game, the company is doing a poker game (of course). The poker game is designed to have the look and feel of a broadcasted game with Gordon’s running commentary throughout play.
They’ve also launched a basic word search game, called Jawfish Words, that lets players compete on the getting the highest scores, finding the longest words or the most diagonals. There more obscure goals too, like finding the most words with a single vowel. They launched that game last month through a partnership with Amazon. The company has pointed out some promising stats: the average player spends 21 minutes and plays 10.7 tournaments a day. Each tournament is about 60 to 90 seconds long.
They plan to building out a suite of classic games, from casual to casino titles that make use of the platform. “Basically what we’re looking to do is to take games that people know and love and reinvent them for multiplayer real-time tournaments,” Gordon said. “That’s exactly what we’re going to do across a wide spectrum of games.”
While Jawfish hasn’t opened its platform up to third-party developers, there are other gaming networks that add multi-player mode to indie titles that are blowing up. Nextpeer, an Israeli startup, went from having just a few games in its network to well over 1,000 developers in the last several months.
“Barring a top 10-kind of franchise wanting to use our platform for multiplayer mode, it’s incredibly unlikely that we’re going to work with other studios,” Gordon said. “Certainly not for anything but the top tier. We know that our platform is the only one of its kind in the world and we think that it’s in our interest to keep the platform close to the vest and develop our own games.”


Credit - Tech Crunch

Friday, May 24, 2013

HTC Desire 600 brings quad-core processor and BlinkFeed to the midrange

HTC is planning to release a mid-range device in the Desire range that will include a quad-core processor, 8-megapixel camera and its Sense 5 UI but has not yet confirmed that it will be headed to the UK.




HTC has announced the Desire 600, a mid-range dual-SIM Android Jelly Bean smartphone.



The handset was announced on Thursday, but HTC has yet to confirm whether it will be headed to the UK or the US.


The Desire 600 has some relatively high-end specs for a midrange phone, including a 1.2Ghz quad-core processor, dual SIM slots, an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 1.6-megapixel front-facing camera for stills or video calling.


The Desire 600 will also include other headline features found on the company's current 'hero' handset the HTC One. Among them will be the Sense 5 UI, which features the BlinkFeed news and social media feed, as well as the HTC BoomSound dual front-facing speakers and BeatsAudio software.



The Desire 600 also includes the Video Highlights software that automatically creates 30 second clips of highlights from footage stored on the phone.



A spokeswoman told ZDNet that the handset had been confirmed for release in Russia, Ukraine, the Middle East and Asia, but did not provide pricing details.



HTC reported its Q1 2013 results earlier this month, which revealed the company suffered a 98 percent decline in profits year on year. Overall sales declined more than 35 percent, due in part to fierce competition in the mobile space

Credit - Ben Woods

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Remote Control Apps for Android Devices


Assuming Direct Control!
It seems like the world is coming close to the point being able to control just about any household appliance from a single device. We're not quite there yet, but there are numerous apps out there that can help you turn your Android smartphone into a TV or media center remote, or even a remote controlfor your desktop! Check out this collection of smart TV remote appsmedia center remotes, andremote desktop apps for the couch potato in you.


Credit - Tom G.

20 CELEB BATHING SUITS WE DON'T UNDERSTAND


By Stacie Anthony
Every summer, a celebrity or two will step out in swimwear that we just don’t understand. From lingerie-inspired bikinis to intergalactic mono-kinis, click through to see what thoughts went through our heads when Hollywood types stepped out in perplexing swimwear.



Check out other 20 Celeb Pictures in below Link.Its not a spam friends.


Credit - MSN.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Potential benefits of Google Glass in the Workplace

What if your company required every employee to wear Google Glass? Some of the potential applications could include quality and safety checks, security, and note-taking.



What if your company required every employee to wear Google Glass?


So Google Glass is finally in the hands of the public and we're pounded daily with commentary about how it's the death of privacy, looks lame, and is rife with potential exploits.
All possibly true.
Let's put outrage aside and think about what some of the purposes might be:There has not been much discussion of what Google Glass may bring to the workplace. What if the company you worked for required everyone to wear Google Glass? The immediate reaction for many is: "I would quit, that is an outrage!" 
Quality Check - Say you're a tired, overworked factory worker in China making the iPhone 7g3D. At some point your arms are going to waiver, your hands won't place the screw in the right place, and that little iPhone destined for California will be defective. If the factory line worker is wearing Google Glass (with video enabled and recording nonstop) the management will know when employee exhaustion limits are being reached, which units are defective, and what other factors are affecting the employee's job on the line.
Efficiency Check – Similar to the scenario above; as management peers through the virtual vision of their employees' Google Glass, they might notice that it is taking 10 hand movements to perform a task when it only requires three hand movements to get it done. Time for employee training to cut down on excess movements! (Apply it to other less physical operations too).
Safety Check – humor aside, this could be a critical application for Google Glass in the workplace. Places like construction sites (and restaurants) require stringent safety regulations as well as hygiene regulations. These are no-compromise scenarios where utilizing Google Glass helps ensure safety as well as can be used for audit purposes.
Security Check – Imagine if each policeman wore Google Glass. If they were in potential security situations the recordings would be great for analysts to watch and it's also a backup measure if they're accused of abuse or wrongdoing.
Ultimate Note-Taking – Zone out during your meetings. Google Glass records the audio and video of what people are drawing on the whiteboard. Later on have audio-to-text kick in and voila, instant notes mapped to a timeline of the visuals of the meeting.
Overall Monitoring – Perhaps the most useful and terrifying of all. Nonstop monitoring of what employees are up to at work. Everyone becomes a camera. Imagine a scenario where your IT department manages the Google Glasses that you are wearing.
How soon do you think we will see Google Glass showing up in the workplace? What workplace scenarios does it enable?

Credit - Howard Lo.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Chronicle Star on Possibly Playing Human Torch


"Things change and time goes on. It's 2013 right now."


A couple of weeks ago, it was reported that Chronicle star Michael B. Jordan was the frontrunner to play Johnny Storm, aka Human Torch, in Josh Trank's upcoming Fantastic Four Reborn.
Much of the fan response was positive, but not surprisingly there were a few naysayers unhappy with the idea of a black Human Torch, as the character is traditionally portrayed as white. And while Jordan wouldn't comment on whether or not he's starring in the film, he did have something to say about the negative remarks:
"Things change and time goes on. It's 2013 right now," the actor told USA Today in a recent interview. "The characteristics of the Human Torch are his name is Johnny Storm, he's charismatic, and he's a playboy. That's it. You know what I'm saying? That's all there is." As for the positive response? "I get a lot of support and a lot of love from comic book geeks. I love it," he said.

Still, this doesn't mean that Jordan has the role just yet. "[Trank and I] are good friends. It's something that if it happened I would be ecstatic," he said with an "off-the-record" wink. "I'd love to be a part of it."

Joe Biden Sees No Legal Problem with Taxing Violent Video Games


At a gun legislation strategy meeting held at the White House recently, United States Vice President Joe Biden suggested there would be "no legal reason" why taxing violent media, including video games, would be an issue. This taxing of any kind of "violent images" could, of course, extend to film and television, as well.
The Vice President's declaration came in response to a suggestion made by Reverend Franklin Graham, who attended the meeting alongside 19 other religious leaders. According to Politico.com, attendees at the meeting said that Biden responded favourably to the Reverend's idea, going so far as to say there would be “no restriction on the ability to do that, there’s no legal reason why they couldn't."
It was suggested by Graham that proceeds of the tax would go towards victims of gun violence and their families, according to the website's sources.
As Geek.com correctly notes, this sort of concern is nothing new. The Obama Administration has funded research into the effects of violent video games on young people following the Sandy Hook tragedy, and is a common theme in the wake of any major national tragedy. At this point there's no indication that Graham's suggestion will come to fruition, with Vice President Biden eventually concluding that a study should be made on the effects violent video games have on developing brains.
Credit - ign

EA Senior Engineer: 'The Wii U Is Crap'

Twitter can be an interesting place to voice your opinions, and EA’s Bob Summerwill – a Senior Software Engineer and Architect – has sounded-off there with his thoughts about Nintendo’s struggling Wii U console. His comments, of course, follow EA's admission that it has no Wii U games in development.



Source -ign

Smartphone App Wrap: Travel, TV, Google, and sports

As summer approaches and we start to think about getting out and about, I took a look at apps related to travel, sports, and the new Google I/O launches.


(Image: Google Hangouts)


As the pleasant weather finally approaches, we start to think about travel, baseball, golf, music, and enjoying time with family and friends. This collection of apps covers all these aspects of life while also including two new Google offerings from the I/O conference last week.

Google Hangouts

Platform: Android
Price: Free
Google has always had a piecemeal approach to communications so I was pleased to see them launch Hangouts as they attempt to consolidate these communications. Hangouts replaces Google Talk and gives you a quick and easy way to chat and connect via a video call.
Hangouts also lets you work across multiple platforms, including your desktop so communications flow better. I look forward to SMS integration like we see in Facebook Messenger.
Credit -ZDnet.

Android has become a hedge against Microsoft and Windows

HP, in a way, is putting Microsoft and Windows on notice with its new Android offerings.

HP SlateBook x2 is both an Android tablet and laptop. The laptop part is an Android first for HP.
(Credit: Hewlett-Packard)

Hewlett-Packard rolled out another Android device this week. This could become a pattern as PC makers hedge against a world that's less about Microsoft and more about Google.
On Tuesday, the largest PC maker in the world -- a dubious distinction these days -- added a laptop-tablet hybrid to its growing stable of products based on Google operating systems.
The $479 HP SlateBook x2 is an Android first for HP. It's "powered by Android, the world's most popular mobile operating system...100 percent tablet, 100 percent notebook, 100 percent Android," according to the company's ad copy.

The operative phrase is "most popular mobile operating system." HP knows that mobile, not desktop, OSes are where things are headed.
This follows the announcement of an HP Chromebook and the Slate 7 Android tablet in February.
Don't expect HP to stop there. Android is a force of nature that's only going to get bigger and more important.
Asus, another big Windows PC maker, is leaning more on Android these days too. It makes the popular Nexus 7 for Google (second-generation 7 is due soon), its Transformer Pad has been well received, and Asus came out with an Intel-based Android FonePad recently.
And Acer, after whining incessantly about Microsoft's foray into the PC business via Surface, has been busy introducing its share of Android devices, like its most recent entrant, the Iconia A1.
All of the above "PC makers" will continue to make Windows laptops, hybrids, and tablets (HP also announced the Windows 8-based Split x2 this week), but the market momentum is in Android's favor.



-By Cnet.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Microsoft's new IllumiRoom puts a living room in your Xbox (Durango?)

Summary: Many expect Microsoft to announce its next-generation Xbox (720 or Durango maybe?) but it could be missing one its best features - a projector which extends your video over an entire wall.




Microsoft has given all indications that its yet-to-be named, next-generation Xbox will be unveiled at its "A New Generation Revealed" event May 21 at 10am PT / Noon ET. One feature that is expected to bring the Xbox 720 to a new level (but might not be ready at launch) is IllumiRoom which Microsoft first showed off at this year at CES.
Microsoft Research describes it as a system which "augments the area surrounding a television screen with projected visualizations to enhance the traditional living room entertainment experience."
Here's a video that Microsoft prepared to show off the basics of IllumiRoom.
As usual, rumors about what is going to be included in the new gaming console are flying everywhere but Microsoft, following the footsteps of Apple and Steve Jobs, has dilvulged almost no information and no one has left a device in a bar, as yet.
The name of the new device is not even known. Most people and publications are calling it the Xbox 720, but some say it was given the code name Durango which could stick.  More on this and other rumors at the end of this gallery.
IllumiRoom projects across an entire wall.

Credit -Brett Jones Microsoft and ZDnet.

WhatsApp Beats iMessage With 10 Billion Messages a Day


The popular app sends 300 billion messages per month; the same amount iMessage has generated in its lifetime.
WhatsApp popularity is so vast that it exceeds the amount of iMessages has send in its lifetime in just a single month.

Apple had announced during its iPad event that over 300 billion iMessages have been sent between iOS users since the system released during the autumn of 2011. While the aforementioned figure is certainly impressive, WhatsApp experiences 10 billion monthly messages sent per day, which is around 300 billion messages sent per month.

WhatsApp has boasted the 10 billion-a-day-messages-sent figure since August, 2012. In comparison, one billion messages were sent via the app per day during October, 2011.

A year ago, WhatsApp ranked in the top five apps category in more than 50 countries. By the summer of 2012, however, it became the number one app in more than a hundred countries.

World's First 3D Printing Pen is a Kickstarter Success


Though 3D printers aren't an uncommon sight at CES, we saw more 3D printers than ever at CES 2013. What we didn't see, what a 3D pen. A company by the name of WobbleWorks is this week causing a splash with a 3D printing pen that allows users to 'draw' their own 3D printed objects.

WobbleWorks' 3D pen is called the 3Doodler and the Kickstarter project to fund its development and production was launched yesterday. The pen uses ABS plastic which is heated up and then cooled. The user can either draw onto a surface, or draw in the air and WobbleWorks plans to make special stencils available through its website (including one for the Eiffel Tower you see above).
WobbleWorks was hoping to raise a paltry $30,000 to bring 3Doodler market. In the single day it has been live, the project has raised over half a million dollars. With 32 days left before the Kickstarter expires, it seems WobbleWorks' 3Doodler is well on its way to commercial availability. Anyone pledging $50 or more will get their very own 3Doodler. Other than that, there's no indication as to what the pen might cost when it launches.

The 10 Funniest Tech Parody Videos of 2012

No matter how interesting, motivating, or outright tragic things get, you can 
always count on the Internet to help make fun of whatever interests us.

In case you could use a laugh (or ten), we’ve assembled some of the most outrageous videos poking fun at our life in the tech field.



Oh, and lest you watch these videos at the wrong time, or simply don’t want to stray into anything excessively vile, we’ve added notes not safe for work (NSFW) ratings from 0 (pure as a virgin bunny) to 5 (suitable for the most veteran artists of profanity). So don’t say we didn’t warn you.

By -Tom

Samsung Galaxy S4 to hit 10 million sales next week


CEO opens up on sales of the flagship Android smartphone


KOREAN PHONE MAKER Samsung's flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone will reach the 10 million sales milestone next week, according to the firm's co-CEO
Speaking to the Korea Times, Samsung co-CEO JK Shin talked up how well the Samsung Galaxy S4 has been selling since its release in April. He said, "We are confident that we will pass more than 10 million sales of the [Galaxy] S4 next week. It is selling much faster than the previous model [Galaxy] S3."
What isn't clear is whether Shin was referring to actual sales or shipments to retailers and mobile operators. However, given that earlier this week it was revealed that Samsung shipped four million Galaxy S4s in five days with the expectation to hit the 10 million mark by the end of the month, we're assuming that he was talking about shipments. We've contacted Samsung to clear this up.
Either way, these statistics make the Samsung Galaxy S4 the firm's fastest selling smartphone to date. If the Samsung Galaxy S4 reaches 10 million sales in the next week it will have done so in less than a month. In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S3 took two months to hit the 10 million sales mark.
"Samsung spent 50 days to pass the 10 million sales mark for the [Galaxy] S3. The [Galaxy] S4 will be Samsung's first '10 million seller' device less than a month after its official debut," Shin added.
These figures show Samsung's continued dominance in the Android market, despite its Galaxy S4 handset being widely criticised for its lack of available storage and its cheap plastic casing. Yesterday, for example, it was revealed thatSamsung rakes in 95 percent of all profits in the Android industry, putting rivals HTC and Sony to shame.
By -inquirernet

Samsung: Galaxy S4 sales to hit 10 million next week

CEO opens up on sales of the flagship Android smartphone


KOREAN PHONE MAKER Samsung's flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone will reach the 10 million sales milestone next week, according to the firm's co-CEO
Speaking to the Korea Times, Samsung co-CEO JK Shin talked up how well the Samsung Galaxy S4 has been selling since its release in April. He said, "We are confident that we will pass more than 10 million sales of the [Galaxy] S4 next week. It is selling much faster than the previous model [Galaxy] S3."
What isn't clear is whether Shin was referring to actual sales or shipments to retailers and mobile operators. However, given that earlier this week it was revealed that Samsung shipped four million Galaxy S4s in five days with the expectation to hit the 10 million mark by the end of the month, we're assuming that he was talking about shipments. We've contacted Samsung to clear this up.
Either way, these statistics make the Samsung Galaxy S4 the firm's fastest selling smartphone to date. If the Samsung Galaxy S4 reaches 10 million sales in the next week it will have done so in less than a month. In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S3 took two months to hit the 10 million sales mark.
"Samsung spent 50 days to pass the 10 million sales mark for the [Galaxy] S3. The [Galaxy] S4 will be Samsung's first '10 million seller' device less than a month after its official debut," Shin added.
These figures show Samsung's continued dominance in the Android market, despite its Galaxy S4 handset being widely criticised for its lack of available storage and its cheap plastic casing. Yesterday, for example, it was revealed thatSamsung rakes in 95 percent of all profits in the Android industry, putting rivals HTC and Sony to shame.
By -inquirernet

Samsung: Galaxy S4 sales to hit 10 million next week

CEO opens up on sales of the flagship Android smartphone


KOREAN PHONE MAKER Samsung's flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone will reach the 10 million sales milestone next week, according to the firm's co-CEO
Speaking to the Korea Times, Samsung co-CEO JK Shin talked up how well the Samsung Galaxy S4 has been selling since its release in April. He said, "We are confident that we will pass more than 10 million sales of the [Galaxy] S4 next week. It is selling much faster than the previous model [Galaxy] S3."
What isn't clear is whether Shin was referring to actual sales or shipments to retailers and mobile operators. However, given that earlier this week it was revealed that Samsung shipped four million Galaxy S4s in five days with the expectation to hit the 10 million mark by the end of the month, we're assuming that he was talking about shipments. We've contacted Samsung to clear this up.
Either way, these statistics make the Samsung Galaxy S4 the firm's fastest selling smartphone to date. If the Samsung Galaxy S4 reaches 10 million sales in the next week it will have done so in less than a month. In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S3 took two months to hit the 10 million sales mark.
"Samsung spent 50 days to pass the 10 million sales mark for the [Galaxy] S3. The [Galaxy] S4 will be Samsung's first '10 million seller' device less than a month after its official debut," Shin added.
These figures show Samsung's continued dominance in the Android market, despite its Galaxy S4 handset being widely criticised for its lack of available storage and its cheap plastic casing. Yesterday, for example, it was revealed thatSamsung rakes in 95 percent of all profits in the Android industry, putting rivals HTC and Sony to shame.
By -inquirernet

Cannes 2013: Sonam Kapoor creates floral drama on day two

Thank God for Sonam Kapoor. Even as Vidya Balan styles her beautiful Sabyasachi pieces with a distinctly matronly twist, Sonam is flying the fashion flag at Cannes for us.

After a stunning Anamika Khanna sari and jacket ensemble at the opening ceremony, Sonam scored a second style high in floral Dolce & Gabbana. The drama of the oversized flower motifs, strapless bodice and voluminous skirt was paired with simple sideswept hair and a Sunita Kapoor neckpiece. On a red carpet populated with other fashion stars including Freida Pinto and Harry Potter actress Emma Watson, Sonam's ensemble was high-impact. 





credit - ndtv

Ring-a Ring-a noses! After Sonam, Vidya Balan adds desi flavour with a nose ring at Cannes

It looks like Bollywood ladies are on a mission to make traditional nose ring popular worldwide.

After Sonam Kapoor created a buzz as she was spotted wearing a huge nose ring on the red carpet at Cannnes, it was Vidya Balan who made heads turn in a Sabyasachi sari and a nose ring by Pankaj Surana.








Spot-fixing: for Sreesanth, it’s going from bad to worse

A year back, S Sreesanth could barely stand. Confined to a wheelchair with his toes having almost given up on him, his career seemed to be close to ending.




After Thursday, the transformation had taken a turn for the worst.
“That Sree had to get into it despite all the money that the T20 League gives is very surprising,” a Royals player told HT. “And it is even more shocking because there was no way you were going to doubt him.”
In fact, over the last week, the 30-year-old Sreesanth had been guiding the younger bowlers in the side.
He was extremely friendly, trying to help all the bowlers. There seemed to be nothing wrong with his life,” said the player. “It was only for the last game that Sreesanth was not along because he had been not selected owing to poor form. But he had taken that well too.”
-HT

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4 Review: The everything phone for (almost) everyone


The Galaxy S4 is Samsung's latest flagship Android smartphone so here's our in-depth Samsung Galaxy S4 review.

The Galaxy S4 is Samsung's latest flagship Android smartphone so here's our in-depth Samsung Galaxy S4 review.
The Galaxy S3 has not only got to follow-on from the hugely popular Galaxy S3, but take on the might of rival flagship smartphones including the iPhone 5Sony Xperia Z and HTC OneSee alsoSamsung Galaxy S4: details, what you need to know.
Here's what we think of the new Android heavyweight.

Samsung Galaxy S4: Design and build

The Galaxy S4 looks something like a cross between the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2. It comes in 'black mist' and 'white frost' colours which look pretty standard but still stylish. We understand that other colours will launch later on in the year.
Despite the fact Samsung has stuck with the same flimsy plastic rear cover found on the Galaxy S3, the design of the Galaxy S4 is impressive. This is mostly because the firm has managed to put a larger screen into a slightly smaller handset, compared to the S3. It's an impressive feat and means the Galaxy S4 doesn't feel unwieldy in the hand. It's both thin and light at 7.9mm and 130g.
The device feels more solid than the Galaxy S3, but the plastic build is a downfall of the Galaxy S4, it can't compete with the likes of Apple, Sony and HTC in this area.
There are a couple of caveats other than the build quality to mention. The first is a minor niggle in that the front of the handset is interrupted by the front facing camera and three sensors, most noticeable on the white model. The other is that the touch sensitive buttons below the screen which sit either side of the physical button are a) difficulty to reach and b) get pressed too easily due their close proximity to the edge of the device – namely the back button if you're right handed.




Samsung Galaxy S4 video review

Samsung Galaxy S4: Hardware

There's no faulting the Galaxy S4's hardware which rivals devices like the HTC One and Sony Xperia Z. It's a shame that the UK model comes with a 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor instead of the Exynos octa-core chip. Nevertheless, the Galaxy S4 is no slouch of a phone.
With a whopping 2GB of RAM the Galaxy S4 blasted through our benchmarks as we expected it would.
It breezed its way to being a new record holder in both Geekbench 2 and GLBenchmark with results of 3227 and 41fps. The former is significantly more than the HTC One's 2721 previous record and almost twice that of the Galaxy S3.
The Galaxy S4 couldn't quite manage a treble win but still gave us an impressive time of 1092ms in the SunSpider test. The iPhone 5 remains the best phone in this area at 903ms.
However, at the end of the day these are just numbers and you can get excellent performance from similar hardware for less money in the HTC One and Sony Xperia Z. Even with outstanding benchmark results, we found the Galaxy S4 occasionally laggy when opening certain apps.
Once again, storage is an iPhone matching 16GB, 32GB and 64GB and Samsung has gladly kept the microSD card slot for expansion. This is an area where Samsung has one up on many of its competitors, namely the iPhone 5 and HTC One.
However, as others have found, the device comes with a large chunk of the storage space already used up. Our 16GB model had just over 9GB of free storage which is much less than we are accustomed to finding. The microSD card helps but you can't install apps here so it makes for a tricky situation.
The 5in Full HD screen on the Galaxy S4 is really impressive. The SuperAMOLED technology means colours are vibrant but not over the top like previous models. It matches the Xperia Z's pixel density of 441ppi meaning the HTC One is still the highest at 469ppi – a minor difference. Samsung says it consumes less power than the Galaxy S3's display which we hope is true.

Samsung Galaxy S4: Software

As you might know, the Galaxy S4 will ship with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The interface is familiar to that of the Galaxy S3 so existing Samsung users will feel right at home. Other Android users shouldn't find it too hard to get used to either, since everything is located where you would expect it to be.
One tweak is that the settings menu has been split into different tabbed sections, but this isn't hard to get accustomed to. As well as the Google Play Store, the Samsung Hub is another source for games, movies, music and books.
What Samsung offers is seemingly endless amounts of software features on top of the usual Android ones. The firm did this with the Galaxy S3 to differentiate itself and has gone even further with the Galaxy S4. Since there are so many we'll go through each one, explaining what it does and whether it's any good.
Air View and Air Gesture
Air View and Air Gesture are innovative screen technologies. The former lets you can preview information by hovering a finger above the screen while the later means you can scroll through content or answer the phone with a wave of your hand. They work reasonably well once you get the hang of it and could be handy, albeit in a few niche situations such as when you're cooking and have messy hands.
Smart Scroll and Smart Pause
Samsung has also advances its Smart Screen technology with the Galaxy S4. Smart Scroll and Smart Pause are two new features which utilise the front facing camera. They allow you to scroll up and down pages and pause video content without touching the screen.   
We found the automatic scrolling of Smart Scroll buggy and hard to use – apparently it doesn’t work too well if you wear glasses and it often scrolled when holding the phone at a suitable viewing angle. When it does work, it's a neat thing to show off in the pub but we can't see a real-life use for it apart from being extremely lazy. It also doesn't work if you're using the Chrome browser or Gmail which is a shame.
We can see that automatically pausing a video if you look away from a screen is cool but pretty handy too, the problem is a slight delay before it happens and a weird sensation where you don't know if the handset has done it properly or not. The feature works with your own videos and apps like YouTube.

Multi Window
One of our favourite features is Multi window. This allows you to use two apps side by side in a similar way to Snap Views in Windows 8. You can have a straight 50:50 split or let one app take up more real estate than the other to varying degrees. It works in both portrait and landscape but an annoying retractable side bar stays put unless you switch the mode off.
S Translator and S Health
Two key apps which Samsung pre-loads onto the Galaxy S4 are S Translator and S Health. The S Translator helps you communicate either by text or speech recognition with someone who doesn't speak your language. It works pretty well but there are only eight languages aside from English plus it needs a data connection to work which isn't handy when you're abroad and roaming.
For those into fitness gadgets, the Galaxy S4 is one in itself. With its multiple sensors and S Health app you can keep track of your steps, calories used and other information.
WatchON
Like the HTC One, the Galaxy S4 can be used as a TV remote control because it has a built-in infrared sensor. It's a handy way of controlling your TV if you've lost the remote and also works for multiple devices in rooms around the house. Furthermore, it tells you what's on the box and gives recommendations. Compatibility will vary between devices and you might not get all the functions working. At the end of the day, reaching for the dedicated remote is still easy, if far more boring.
Overall it's a mixed bag when it comes to these software features. Many seem to be there for the sake of it, to have bragging rights but no real day-to-day benefit to the user. However, some are really handy.
Plenty more software features appear in the camera app which we'll talk about next.

Samsung Galaxy S4: Cameras

The Galaxy S4 has a 13Mp rear facing camera and a 1.9Mp front facing camera and both images and video footage from each was very impressive with excellent levels of details, good exposure and colour saturation on the default 9.6Mp (16:9) setting.







When not being used so heavily, the Galaxy S4 holds it charge well when in standby so lighter users can expect a couple days use from the phone. We got through 24 hours and lost just over half of the battery, the screen sucked up most of the power
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Picture Credit - CNet
Content Provider - PCAdvisor.