Monday, 22 December 2014

Viber’s Starts Its Own Social Public Chat

Viber is one such app which not only enjoys over 608 million registered users, but also has over 460 million unique users. It was quite predictable and expected that the app developers will be looking forward to extending their features and not keep it limited to calls, voice calls and instant messaging. Recently Viber has rolled out a public chat, which is mainly a social media platform and will allow the users to chat and engage with the brands, personalities and celebrities.

India an advantage for Viber

For Viber, India is their largest market as they have nearly 33 million users and the company has gone big in the country by roping in big names like Anushka Sharma, Ranveer Singh, and Sachin Tendulkar among others. At present Sachin Tendulkar has taken this platform seriously and has gotten nearly 11,000 followers with a handful of posts already.

According to Mark Hardy, Chief Marketing Officer of Viber, there is nothing more exciting than the number of followers increasing day by day. It’s like a clock which we want to keep on ticking. He stated that they started some chats in the UK last week, which has nearly 3,00,000 followers and a similar number has been seen in the Philippines as well. The company is hoping for similar or more response in India as well.

What is the difference? 

Viber’s social media platform started with followers, unlike Facebook or Twitter, who has no followers when they started the media platform. Mark took the example of Whatsapp, which has nearly 600 million users globally and over 70 million users in India itself. He added that it is not the technology, which boost the starting of a platform but it is the users.

He stated that they already have 460 million users as their user base when they are switching over to the social media platform. Hardy stated that the people don’t have anything to be confused about. With OTT and mobile messaging reaching the peak and people starting to get tired of the existing platforms, it is quite practical for them to look for another app which gives them a new level of excitement and engages them more.

What’s in the future? 

According to Mark, the company was initially focused on the user acquisition, but for the next year they will be looking for retention of the users. They are expecting this to be achieved through their new gaming service and public chat platform.

As far as the revenue of the company is concerned, the gaming service and the paid sticker packs are already playing a very important part. Mark stated that they are micro-payment business, where their revenue is generated from the paid stickers, available at the retail price of $ 1.99 and Viber out, which facilitates the calling facility to the mobile phones as lower rates. The company states that the big users will have to spend less money. At present the company has not been able to provide further details.

Google Aiming To Go Straight Into Car with Next Android

Google – A Version of Android, directly in Cars

Google is gearing for a version of Android which would be built directly in cars enabling the drivers to enjoy the benefits of the internet without the need of plugging to their smartphones, a version known as Android M, which would probably show up in a years’ time.

This would be a big step from Google’s present Android Auto software in its latest version of its smartphone operating system which needs a phone to be plugged into a compatible car with a built in screen to access streaming music, maps, together with other apps.

According to Vice President and Automotive Practice Leader of industry research firm Gartner, Thilo, Kowlowski, comments that it provides a strong hold for Google to be part of a vehicle instead of being an add-on, noting, that he was unaware of the latest plans of Google in this regard.

Should Google succeed with Android M, it would be the standard system in empowering a car entertainment system, navigations features and also access valuable data collected by the vehicle. This would strengthen Google’s position in a new market with its arch competing rival Apple Inc's CarPlay.

Google Services with Android Auto/Android M

With the help of direct integration, it would enable the driver to use Google services each time they turn on the ignition without the need of their phone, thus enabling Google with much better use of the cars sensors, camera as well as internet connection which are available in some new models.

According to a source which refrained from being identified and unauthorized to discuss the plans publicly, revealed that Google plans to roll out the next version of its operating systems which is expected in a year or so, though they have not provided any details or time frame for its long term plan of putting Android Auto, dubbed Android M, directly in the cars.

Google plans according to analysts, state that they could face several technical as well as business challenges which would include convincing automakers to integrate their services in their vehicles. Automobiles stand a better attractive prospect taking into account that technology companies are now designing appliances, wristwatch together with other gadgets which can now be connected to the internet. Besides this, according to U.S. Census data, majority of the individuals spend on an average around 50 minutes a day on their commute.

Embedded – Always `On’/Available 

With Android being built in cars, Google services would not be at risk of switching off whenever a smartphone battery tends to go off. For instances, with embedded, it is always on and available, and one does not have to depend on the phone being available there or to be `on’, comments a source, referring to the Android Auto, the built-in version.

This software could connected to other car components such as a built-in navigation system – Google Maps in order to indicate when the fuel content is low and also provide direction to the nearest available gas station. Besides this on tapping on to the car’s components, Google would also avail important information to feed its data hungry advertising business model according to some sources.

The source also informed that Android would need major improvements in performance as well as stability for car maker especially Android Auto which will need power-up instantly whenever the driver starts the car, instead of having to wait for over 30 seconds, as in the case of many smartphones.

Recharge Or Shop The Mobikwik Way And Save Money Too!

Wondering how to avoid disconnection of services of your mobile phone or any of the utility services? Yes, there is a way out and it’s quite simple and convenient to use too. Switch over to the online recharge and payment platform as provided by MobiKwik.

Bill payment and utility recharge has become ever so easy and convenient courtesy the latest internet enabled technology. All you need to do is log online to MobiKwik and select the service provider you wish to make payment to and make the payment instantly. It does not matter whether you are at home or in office or enjoying a movie or a dinner date, just log on to site and pay your bills in a few clicks and have a nice time. Once you signup to become a customer, you will never ever going to worry about a pending bill payment or disconnection of services.

For bill payment or recharge, you can choose to pay through the wallet or even link up with your bank account with HDFC, SBI, Citibank and many more. You can pay through your Credit or Debit Card, this definitely sounds convenient. Moreover, the site does not charge its customers for these services. So, you enjoy maximum advantage along with convenience when it comes to payments of utility bills and mobile recharge.

For cheaper and better mobile plans as well as their recharge, browse through those offered by Reliance, BSNL, Loop, Virgin Mobile, Tata Indicom and other providers. This is not all you can even recharge or switch over to new DTH plans as offered by Reliance Big, Videocon, Tata Sky, Sun Direct, Dish TV and more. For extensive information on plan details and extent of services, you can refer them online.

Shopping using the Mobikwik Wallet is even easier for you just need to top it up with sufficient balance and using a single point of entry to shop. This saves a great deal of effort and time which you would otherwise spend in entering your personal and payment details when doing shopping.

You can even download and use the Mobikwik shopping apps or even use SMS or IVR to shop, recharge and pay your bills and more. The app is available for Android, Windows Mobile and also for iOS users.

Whilst managing busy lifestyles and erratic schedules, forgetting mobile recharges or payment of utility bills is one of the most forgotten tasks by most of us. But with rapid technology changes and excessive reliance of internet has lead to not only online shopping but online recharge and bill payment services too. If you have not yet tried it till now, this is the best opportunity to do so. Be quick enough log on to site right now and explore the various Mobikwik coupon codes on offer.

Trust us when we say MobiKwik can be relied upon to offer best of payment and recharge service in the safest possible manner.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Detection of Super-Earth Transit Extends Terrestrial Frontier

Astronomers have been searching for signs of life in other alien planets in the universe far from our Earth. One of the latest development which has got added as an encouragement is the observation of a super-earth, which is passing right in front of a star which resembles the sun. This observation was made through a ground-based telescope.

According to Ernst de Mooij, who is the lead author of Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland, their observations clearly indicate that we can easily detect any kind of transit of the small planets around any Sun-like stars by using the ground-based telescopes. This detection was made on the island of La Palma, Spain. The Nordic Optical Telescope was used by the international research team to make this observation.

What is exoplanet? 

An exoplanet is kind of planet, which doesn’tt orbit the Sun and instead of this it orbits a different star. Till now it is expected that there are more than 1800 exoplanets are in outer space. In outer space there are also rogue planets that don’t orbit any star and they tend to be considered separately as gas giants.
What is the super earth?

According to the research team, the host star, which is called as the “55 Cancri”, is situated just about 40 light years away from earth and is very much visible to the naked eye. The transit of the exoplanet, currently called as the “55 Cancri e” is the shallowest, which has been spotted from a ground-based observatory. During the observation, it was spotted that the exoplanet crosses “55 Cancri” during its transit has the ability to block a small fraction of the starlight. This clearly indicates that the planet could be easily twice the size of the earth and may be about 16,000 miles in diameter.

How is this discovery important? 

This discovery or observation of the research team is very vital especially for the upcoming space missions like PLATO and TESS. It is important because there is the possibility of finding many small planets all around the bright stars. TESS- It is a NASA mission, which is scheduled to be launched in 2017 and PLATO- This is scheduled to be launched in 2024 by the European Space Agency.

Both these missions are important, as they will be searching for transiting terrestrial planets around the close by bright stars. According to Mercedes Lopez-Morales, co-author of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, astronomers are slowly making way in the direction of detecting bio-signatures in Earth-like planets in the region of close by stars.

All these findings are available in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. Those who are not aware, this observation were made by 2 astronomers. The observation will encourage the astronomers towards the remote sensing of the exoplanets in the future. This also encourages them to search for habitable planets apart from Earth. It gives out a possibility that the life could be possible on another planet just like the Earth.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Will NASA Pull Off a Piece of an Asteroid

NASA’s Plan – Asteroid Redirect Mission

NASA has plans on Asteroid Redirect Mission, to snatch an asteroid out of space and send it in lunar orbit for study and recently the agency announced when its first phase of the operation would begin, the spacecraft would be launched in 2019.

NASA has indicated that it needs more information before plunging into the signature space mission. Examining an asteroid from space which does not change over a period of time could provide the scientist with some understanding about the earliest stages of the universe and if all goes well, NASA would pick out an asteroid in 2018 and send up the spacecraft in 2019, either by attaching it to a small asteroid or use it to chip off a piece of a large asteroid. Thereafter it would send both the asteroid- grabbing machine and asteroid to travel around the moon.

A crew of astronauts would be following the rock somewhere in 2020 for hooking the spacecraft and mining the 32 meter asteroid with regards to information on cosmic past. The final design for the craft is yet to be shaped with NASA accepting ideas and has released some sketches on how it would look.

Progress on the Orion Spacecraft

In the meanwhile NASA is also progressing on the Orion spacecraft, with the crew that will go up with it and has another asteroid program in the pipeline, a plan to launch a robot into space in 2016 to have it latched onto an asteroid and return back with samples by itself in 2023.

NASA Associate Administrator, Robert Lightfoot informed reporters during a teleconference recently on, whether taking that option is worth the extra expense and mission risk involved.Lightfoot had presided over the meeting to decide between the boulder grabbing mission known as Option `B’ and an Option `A’ plan, which involved intercepting a small near Earth asteroid and then bring it back intact.

At the end of the meeting, Lightfoot has commented that it would take another two or three weeks to obtain the data that was needed to form the decision and a mission concept review is scheduled for next February. Lightfoot had informed that Option B would be testing more of the technologies which would be used at the time of the future missions to Mars.

Mission Complex/Costlier

The mission would be more complex and around $100 million costlier and the target price tag is roughly $1.25 billion which excludes the launchcosts. Besides this, the figure also excludes the cost of sending astronauts to rendezvous with the space rock in mid-2020. The aim is to execute a manned mission to the captured asteroid by 2025 and in doing so, would manage an exploration goal that had been laid for NASA by President Barack Obama in 2010.

The retrieval mission of the asteroid would also help to develop the technology as well as its techniques that may be essential for a manned Mars trip which is planned according to the agency officials by mid-2030.To fund 18 six month studies `to mature system concepts and key technologies as well as assess the feasibility of potential commercial partnerships in order to support the agency’s Asteroid Redirect Mission, NASA has made a commitment of $4.9 million.