Microsoft Paint Isn’t Going Anywhere

If you have grown up with Microsoft Paint as a rescue to all creative worries, Monday must have looked like a black day in history. The cyber world went into a tizzy Monday morning over news that Microsoft would be phasing out 32-year-old Paint application. Many of us were wondering, why would Microsoft take away our favourite doodling app? The news was based on a Microsoft Monday report that placed Paint in the ‘deprecated’ column of the latest Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

microsoft paint on windows app storeThe good news is that our worries were short lived. Microsoft has been quick to clarify that we were all jumping the gun. In a blog post, the Redmond-based technology giant said that Paint is “here to stay”. Although the app will move away from Windows 10, it will be available on the Windows Store. Users will be able to download the app whenever they want.

Paint has been part of Windows for 32 years, turning into a basic tool that everyone relied on. For many of us, it was the first app you learnt. So when news of a possible demise started making the rounds, it put all fans in a tizzy.

Clearing all the worry in the air, the Microsoft blog said, “Today, we’ve seen an incredible outpouring of support and nostalgia around MS Paint. If there’s anything we learned, it’s that after 32 years, MS Paint has a lot of fans. It’s been amazing to see so much love for our trusty old app.”

 

Was Paint the first app you rintroduced to your toddlers? I haven’t done it yet but it’s definiltey going to my weekend task. Just to make sure they are part of the original Windows era!

 

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All That Glitters is Rose Gold

When Apple launched its Rose Gold Apple Watch priced at $ 10,000 plus, a new colour trend came into being. Warmer than white gold and cooler than yellow gold rose gold is a fancy name for something that is little more than a pale metallic pink. ‘Rose’ gold sounds ~dainty~ and ~fancy~; a step above gold and pink.

According to a writer for the New Yorker, “rose gold is warm and flush—what yellow gold would look like if it suddenly suffered an embarrassment.”

Rose gold gadgets have been around for a long time. Samsung came out with the Galaxy Note 3 in 2014, with a gilded rose gold edge. Back in 2003, Motorola offered a pink Razr but called pink instead of rose gold. There are the Huawei Watch and the Mate S smartphone in rose gold. Samsung has a rose gold Gear S2 smartwatch and the Galaxy S7 in ‘pink’ is pretty much rose gold too.

But it was after the Apple Watch and the iPhone 6S in Rose Gold, followed by the iPad 3, MacBook and the Beats by Dre Headphones- all in a charming Rose Gold colour – the trend really took off.

Here are the latest rose gold-tinted gadgets from the rose-tinted world of technology that charges a lot more money for a change of colour:

  1. Apple iPhone 7

i phone 7 rose gold

Source:QuatarBestDeals.com

(Source: apple.com)

With a wonderful 5.5-inch retina HD display, responsive 3D touch,2 rear facing 12-megapixel cameras, 4K video and a re-engineered enclosure that makes it the very first water-resistant iPhone, iPhone 7 plus offers an enhanced user experience, bolstered by the 64-bit A10 Fusion chip that offers a faster CPU performance.

It comes in 3 variants: 32GB, 128GB and 256GB.

Price: Starts at INR 67,000 (Feel free to look out for online discounts!)

2. Apple MacBook

AnandTech

Source: AnandTech

Sixth generation dual-core Intel Core M processors, a Turbo Boost feature that gives 3.1 GHz of processing, an 1866 MHz memory, new Intel HD Graphics 515 and faster flash storage bumped with better battery life on a 12-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Retina display is what the latest MacBook offers.

Price: Starts at INR 106,900

3. Beats by Dre Solo2 Wireless

Beats

Source: Apple.com

(Source: apple.com)

Offering up to 30 feet of wireless listening, 12-hour rechargeable battery, an ear cup padding that buffers outside noise and a durable, compact folding design for easy portability the Beats Solo2 Wireless headphones offer a wonderful experience.

Price: INR20033

4. MI In-Ear Headphones Rose Gold

MI In-Ear Headphones Rose Gold

Source: Mi.com

To satisfy the lust for rose gold earphones, try the MI In-Ear plugs by Xiaomi. These are classy and go with your other rose gold accessories. Don’t miss the really sophisticated box that comes with it.

Price: INR2000 (approx.)

5. Unitek Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Unitek Portable Bluetooth Speaker

With its roundish rose gold aluminium unibody with Bluetooth 2.1, up to 3.5 hours of playtime, built in micro phone hands free function, auto-scan FM radio, 3W speaker with enhanced bass and a micro USB cable that acts as an antennae, this little wireless speaker packs a punch and matches all the rose coloured gadgets you may have.

Keeping in tune with the trend, it should be mentioned that the world of rose gold gadgets expands to rose gold charging cables, electric toothbrushes, clip-on phone cameras and watches. One could also simply purchase some of the gazillion covers available in this colour till another colour (metallic anything) becomes the next big thing.

Price: INR3000 (approx.)… Read the rest

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Why Was Google Slapped With a$2.7 billion Fine?

Google fine

You know what they say about monopoly—it is business at the end of its journey. To think of Google here would sound exaggerated right now. However, there have been many cases recently where Google has been warned for misusing its position in the search market. Global economic forums and anti-trust agencies are keeping a close eye on their activities to prevent a global technology giant from creating ripples in the market.

Recently, the European Union’s competition commission slapped Google with a $2.7 billion antitrust fine, inquiries while blaming the popular search engine for giving out false shopping results. Google is being criticised for promoting its own shopping comparison higher than others.

European Commission first reported the matter to Google in 2015. It studied 1.2 Billi inquiries before arriving on the decision that Google was unfairly manipulating shopping results. There were hundreds of companies that complained about Google for displaying its shopping services inappropriately.

EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestages called it an abuse and illegal under European antitrust laws. According to European Competition Commission guidelines, Google should be unbiased and treat its rival services equal to its own when comparing prices.

In support of the internet giant, Google General Counsel Kent Walker said that Google’s shopping comparison is a service provided to customers. He explained his point using the example of Puma shoes that has links to five different European retailers.“Our data shows that people usually prefer links that take them directly to the products they want, not to websites where they have to repeat their searches,” said Walker. Clearly, Google completely disagrees with the fine imposed by the EU antitrust.

The search engine giant can appeal this decision to the bloc’s highest courts and they have 90 days to take any action. It can either try to end the conduct or pay the penalty amount, which accounts for up to 5% of the company’s average daily global revenue. Google has been asked to ensure that it complies with the EU antitrust guidelines and finds ways to implement the decision.

This is not the first time that Google is accused of an anticompetitive activity. In past, it was reported that Google has promoted its apps and services unfairly to suppress competition of Android devices.

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In a spin over fidget spinners

Till sometime back, you would have been reprimanded for being fidgety.Currently, a restless nature is trending and help is available at your fingertips. Or that’s how the marketers of fidget spinners would like us to believe.

It’s unlikely you haven’t heard of fidget spinners until now. It is has been reported as the biggest gadget trend of 2017 and we are just half way through the year.In fact, Amazon has listed it as one of the top-selling products under its ‘Toys & Games’ category.

For the uninitiated, a fidget spinner is essentially a toy/gadget that doesn’t require technology or batteries to run. It has three spokes along with an inline skate and ball bearings that make it a spin. Extremely popular across age groups –school children form a major chunk of users – it’s easy to use, cheap to buy and portable. Promoted as a fun way to beat stress and restlessness, fidget spinners have gained a steady fan following. There’s even a Fidget Spinner Association that is looking to host a championship in September.YouTube has enough videos gone viral that prove the gadget’s popularity.

Take a look at this:

Now here’s the not so good part about what seems like a harmless toy. Parents across the world and health experts are raising concerns about the safety of fidget spinners and its repercussions on mental health. New videos about children taking the spinners to school and cases of addiction of the gadget have surfaced. Some schools have even banned the toy.

In some cases, new versions of the spinner have caused injury. The spinners with lithium button batteries also have small parts which pose a choking hazard. The toys are now being called ‘dodgy’. So can fidget spinners help with attention and anxiety, as claimed by those who make them?

“The jury is still out on whether a fidget spinner is simply a toy or a gadget that can eliminate anxiety in children and adults, and even help those with ADD or ADHD focus,” Claudia Swartzberg, chief executive of Top Dog Education was quoted in a news report. “While many are claiming they aid mental focus, there’s no science that supports the notion they have therapeutic properties. However, even though there is no data to show that fidget spinners are beneficial rather than being fun, teachers, many parents, and learners claim they’re helping their mental focus in and outside the classroom,” Swartzberg was stated as saying. In an interview that appeared on www.healthline.com, Dr. John L. Bender, a member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians says, “It would not be proper to claim that there was a level of evidence comparable to a full scientific study to base such a claim.”… Read the rest

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The New Snapchat Update Has Parents in a Tizzy

Image

Picture source: Netsafe

Almost every few days, Snapchat rolls out a new fun filter for users to play around and click photos with. You could be a furry Koala one day, a ferocious looking gorilla or a cute puppy the next. It’s mostly harmless fun with your friends and those who follow you.

But the newest update to Snapchat has parents worried. Snap Map, the new addition to the App, lets friends and anyone who follows you see your location. “You can share your locations with each other so you can see where they’re at and what’s going on around them,” reads the official update.

It’s this sharing of location that has raised security concerns among parents.

The main concern is that once a story is shared in the ‘Our Story’ option in Snapchat, anyone anywhere can see the location of those in the story. It’s like everyone’s watching every step you take. It comes as little surprise that many concerned parents and adults have shown their dislike for the feature by posting views using the hashtag ‘stalking’ (#stalking).

Even though Snapchat recommends adult users, the App enjoys huge popularity among pre-teens and teenagers. According to a news site, parents have concerns that if children added a potential predator, bully, or other undesirable people to their friend list, they could be easily located.

“Given how specific this new feature is on Snapchat – giving your location to a precise pinpoint on a map – we would encourage users not to share their location, especially with people they don’t know in person,” said child safety group Childnet International in a post on their site. It went on to issue a safety alert saying, “It is important to be careful about who you share your location with, as it can allow people to build up a picture of where you live, go to school and spend your time.”

But in their defense, Snap Chat lists out that “only the people you choose can see your location — so if you’re friends with your boss, you can still keep your location on the down low during a ‘sick day’.”With Snap Map, location-sharing is off by default for all users and is completely optional.

How to be safe?

We live in unpredictable times. With social media penetration on the rise, especially among children, here are some safety guidelines you could get your child to keep in mind when using Snap Map, courtesy Internet safety website Webwise.ie:

  • Location setting: Consider using the Ghost Mode or selecting close friends, this will give you more control over who can see you. If you choose the Friends setting – Ensure you review your friend list. Do not share your location with people you do not know in real life.
  • Location-sharing services can give other users a clear picture of the places you regularly visit (home, school, etc.). Consider whether this is information you want to share with others.
  • If you choose to share a story using the ‘Our Story’ feature anyone can view that story regardless of what sharing setting you choose for Snap Map. Consider how much information you want people to see.

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Ringing in a Power-Packed Comeback with Nokia 3

Nokia 3, latest technology news, tech news, smartphone reviews, latest smartphones
Source: nokia.com

Who doesn’t remember the boxy-looking but extremely durable early phone models from Nokia? In fact, didn’t we all flaunt it at one point in time?One of the best-remembered features of a Nokia phone was its power backup. You could go for days, well, at least more than a day, without having to plug in the charger. That’s unlikely today, where power banks and fast-chargers sell as much as smartphones.

The earlier models of Nokia, released in early 2000 and the next couple of years, were bestsellers. Nokia was a game changer and ruled the mobile industry for more than a decade. But in recent years, new brands and Android phones took over the market, phasing Nokia phones out.

The return with Android

Well, it seems the hiatus wasn’t for long. Earlier this year, Nokia announced that it’s set for a comeback.It isn’t going to be easy as the company has to now face rising competitors, price conscious buyers and live up to expectations. This is a huge risk on the part of the company but Nokia has accepted the challenge of reinventing themselves to join the new mobile league. But this is the age of the smartphone. Will new Nokia smartphones have what it takes to make once-upon-a-time users sit up and take notice? We decided to test out the newly launched Nokia 3 to get an idea.Nokia has re-launched with HMD Global, a Finnish company which has launched Nokia 3 at an affordable price of Rs. 9,499.

What’s so special about Nokia 3?

At first glance, Nokia 3 seems impressive with its high-quality polycarbonate back which comes with a matte finish look and detracting fingerprint facility.

Nokia seems to have spent a good time learning about smartphones in the last few years and has even launched a series of tablets. Nokia 3 is the first phone in the smartphone category and it hit the shelves earlier this month. It comes with a 5-inch HD screen for a good display, which gives crystal clear images and good visibility. It will be fun to watch movies, videos and click pictures with the Nokia 3. Its 8 MP front and rear camera and 16GB storage will make sure you never run out of space for your selfies. The phone offers inbuilt apps on beauty, Twitter, Facebook and low-intensity games, which should make it more lucrative for customers. It has an inbuilt memory and a 2,650mAh non-removable battery inside which is good enough to last for a day without charging.

The phone also offers the provision of a microSD slot to expand its internal space by another 128GB. Like most of the smartphones available these days, it supports 4G connectivity making it a good choice for consumers who are glued to the internet 24/7.

So what is our take?

Nokia 3 gives us numerous reasons to bring it home. It’s packed with good features, boasts of easy accessibility and high battery backup. Along with that, there is good storage and the best part is its smart pricing. The price will give it an edge over other leading brands in the market. We also really liked the way it looks. We tried the multimedia on the Nokia 3 and here’s what we found – the loudspeaker can handle high volumes but is not very loud.But overall, this phone has all the qualities and features required in a Gen Next smartphone. If the battery lasts as long as it promises to, this would be a winning comeback by the manufacturer.

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Radio Hopping in Virtual Garden

Radio garden, tech news, latest technolgy

Picture this. It’s late in the night and you are tossing and turning in bed, trying hard, very hard to get to sleep. You have exhausted your song playlist and can’t fathom switching on the television for some late-night viewing. You reach for your phone. A message pops up‘You don’t want to miss this’ it reads along with a link to what seems like a radio station. Only this is no ordinary Internet radio station. It’s nearly 8,000 of them. From across the world.Welcome to Radio.Garden.

Hey, what garden?

Firstly, Radio.Garden is not an Internet radio station. It is a website with links to radio stations across countries, cities, genres, languages, all just a click (truly just one click) away.Designed by Amsterdam-based Studio Puckey, Radio.Garden lets anyone, anywhere in the world tune into a radio station at any point in time for a live feed.

How does it work?

Radio garden, tech news, latest technology

Log on to the site and the first thing you see is a 3D globe (Google Earth interface), which in a few seconds gets covered with tiny green spots. There are no names marking the countries or cities. A tiny pointer lets you glide over the world and as you rest it on any of the green spots, it tells you the name of the city and country you have reached and the radio stations you can tune into.One minute you could be listening to Celtic music from Glasgow and a few minutes later, be plugged into ghazals from Karachi or enjoying classic country numbers playing out from Christchurch, New Zealand.

Why are we gushing over it?

We have to admit, it has us hooked. The number one reason is easy accessibility. The interface is very easy to use and there are no long sign-ins required (not just yet). You don’t need to download an app or register to use the service. Heck, you don’t even need earphones to get the radio on.Though it will definitely help if you have them on while listening to a popular talk show streaming out of North America. Also if you were good at geography lessons, you won’t take long to zero down on your favourite place on the planet. Finding Boston on the map took us a while.

Nevertheless, it’s good fun to place the pointer anywhere in the world and be surprised with what’s playing. Hop across continents and find your favourites. There’s also an interesting history section on the site that plays out a compilation of sounds from a particular place recorded a decade ago. We tried Kolkata and it took us to 1986 with sounds of a Durga Puja, hawkers and street noises coming through.A delight to hear. Are you ready to tune into the world?… Read the rest

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16-Year Old Girl’s App Meant to Fight High School Bullies

sitwithus

Imagine you’re at your school cafeteria and looking for a place to have your lunch. You don’t want to sit alone but you are a little shy of sitting with your peer. A girl your age faced the same problem and decided to do something about it.

She set up SitWithUs app. This new app makes finding friends in the school easy. This credit goes to a 16-year old girl, Natalie Hampton from California.She’s an 11th grader from Sherman Oaks.Natalie says that bullying and loneliness can literally kill a person, especially a student and she herself has been through this all. She also reveals her nightmarish experience of bullying when she was in the 7th grade. Her experience of loneliness and eating alone is what inspired her to create this app. While she is now attending a different school and is flourishing socially, the memory of being bullied and sitting alone still haunts her.

What’s the App About? 

“SitWithUs” is an app that helps those students who find it difficult to get friendly with people. It is for students who have difficulty finding a place to sit at break time. This amazing app helps them locate a welcoming group in their cafeteria.

The app allows students to register themselves as “ambassadors,” thus inviting others to join them. Further, they can post “open lunch” events as an indication for anyone seeking company. It is an invitation for lonely students to join the ambassadors’ table.

According to Hampton, the app is necessary because it prevents students from being publicly discarded by their peers.

Speaking on its privacy standards, Hampton says, “This way it’s very private. It’s through the phone. No one else has to know. And you know that you’re not going to be rejected once you get to the table.”

The 16-year old school girl asks her fellow students to be brave and take a stand againstbullying. The app has already become popular and is getting positive feedback from her schoolmates. “People are already posting open lunches at my school,” she says. “So I’m very excited that things are already kicking off with a great start”.

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Music Streaming Becomes The Next Big Thing

Music  Streaming Becomes The Next Big ThingStreaming music has become the new age equivalent of a radio, with services like Spotify, Pandora Internet radio, Jango and more taking up the top favourite positions. According to a US-based market research firm, almost 68 percent of smartphone owners in USA choose live music streaming as their preferred source of everyday music. 

This research, released by Parks Associates, has highlighted and reaffirmed the mobility of music fans in today’s age and time. Approximately 45 minutes of music is streamed everyday, making it a significant number when seen collectively.

Another aspect of this research compared the change in rankings with regard to the popularity of music subscription services between mobile broadband and fixed-line broadband. Further, the research also showed that Amazon Prime Music is the most popular paid music subscription service among US broadband households while iPhone users consumed more media as compared to Android users.

Looking at the carriers, it has been found that Sprint and T-Mobile customers held the highest numbers of daily music consumption at a 75 percent subscriber rate, as compared to the 66 percent of Verizon subscribers.

With these research findings in place, let’s look at the future of music streaming and how it will affect us:

  1. Big entertainment companies will consolidate their offers and services to create a multi-platform, blended music space and smaller payers will either have to join hands or be pushed out completely.
  2. Because the music streaming subscription libraries are highly commoditized, companies are focusing on ways to sell it further- by working very hard to improve the sound quality and enhance user experience. This means that your favorite songs will sound better.
  3. Music subscriptions will enjoy loads of revenue, with labels seeing the most notable rise.
  4. Ad supported free music services are not doing so well, which means that music shall gradually shift away from being “free.” Of course, there will always be a place on the internet for it, but there will be increased pressure on music lovers to pay up for quality sound.

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What to expect from Netflix in India?

Viewers can now access the huge repertoire of domestic and international video contents courtesy Netflix that has arrived in India. The video content that is streamed by Netflix can be viewed on smartphones, laptops, tablets and television screens, a feature that keeps Netflix ahead of other similar companies operating in India. It can also be viewed on larger screens by using Apple TV and Playstation. Netflix exclusively produces a lot of globally popular contents, too.

Netflix in IndiaUncensored content

Considerable amount of uncensored content will be available but all contents streamed by Netflix are rated for the category of viewers that debar children from viewing adult contents. Although plenty of contents have been left out from the catalogue, the collection of new titles is laudable. Indian viewers would be happy to access contents that had remained out of bounds for them, till now.

Bollywood Films

Besides international titles, classic Bollywood films from Hum Aapke Hai Kaun to Piku find a place in the catalog and the process of enhancing the list is already on. Netflix provides a huge platform for independent cinema in India that can now overcome the problem of not finding enough screens to reach to viewers.

Smooth streaming and seamless viewing are assured.

 

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