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Verizon’s network has once again been hit with downtime in the U.S., with customers reporting that their phones are unable to get a data connection.
Droid Life, which picked up on the outage, says that customers have been having issues connecting to Verizon’s 3G and 4G LTE networks in various major cities across the U.S. including New York, San Francisco, and Chicago.
“We are investigating reports of some customers experiencing trouble accessing the 4G LTE network,” Verizon said in a statement issued to CNET. “The network itself continues to operate and all customers continue to be able to make calls, send text messages and utilize data services. 3G devices are operating normally.”
Verizon did not offer any additional information on when a fix would arrive.
The outage is the third such one for Verizon this month. The company’s 4G LTE network had an outage on December 6, leaving customers across the U.S. with intermittent access to 4G data. That particular problem was fixed in a day and a half. A second outage occurred last week, with customers having trouble connecting to both Verizon’s 4G and 3G networks.
The issues test Verizon’s claim that it has the most reliable wireless network, something it touts in advertising as a leg up on competitors AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

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Whether you host in-house or with a managed Windows hosting provider, if you self-administer a web server it is good to know that by default IIS7 sets application pools to “time-out” after 20 minutes of inactivity. So if you don’t have a visitor to your site within 20 minutes the application pool will shut down – freeing up those system resources. Then the next time a request comes into the site IIS7 will automatically restart the application pool and serve up the requested pages.

This is a great way to preserve resources since every running application pool does place a certain amount of overhead on the system. But, it also means that the first request – the one that causes the application pool to restart – is very slow. It is slow because the process literally needs to start, then load the required assemblies (like .NET) then load the requested pages. Depending on the size and complexity of your application, this might just be a couple of seconds or it might take 30+ seconds (during which time a user would likely give up and move on to a different site).

If you want to extend the length of the time-out setting, just change it from the default of 20 to however many minutes you want. You can also adjust the setting to 0 (zero) which effectively disables the timeout so that the application pool will never shut down due to being idle.

To make this change, open Server Manager; Expand the Roles node; Expand the Web Server (IIS) node. Then click on the Web Server (IIS) node; Expand the node with your local server name; and click on the Application Pools icon. You’ll then see a list of the application pools that are defined on your server. In the right-hand pane you’ll see an option for Advanced Settings – click that.

Once you see the Advanced Settings dialog box just look for the Idle Time-out (minutes) property; click where the default “20” is, and change it to whatever value you prefer.

This is just one of many settings that can impact the performance, uptime, and functioning of your web site. If you don’t have the time or interest in learning and maintaining the various settings for a secure high-performing web server, you might want to consider a fully managed windows hosting solution and let a trained and experienced administrator take care of the work for you.

Surfing the mobile Web is faster with iOS 5 than with iOS 4. At least, that is the result in a recent test conducted by New Relic.
The company, which measures and manages the performance of Web-based applications, conducted two tests–one in the wild and one in a lab. The results of both tests showed that mobile Web pages loaded quicker on an iPhone with Apple’s latest OS than with iOS 4.
The first test measured the average response time for more than 3,000 Web applications, as used by New Relic customers. With its end-user monitoring technology, New Relic team can track performance at the browser level as people interact with different apps. In this test, the average page took 4.1 seconds to load under iOS 5 vs. 9.6 seconds with iOS 4.
The second test was a controlled one that pitted two iPhones with the same hardware against each other, one running iOS 5 and the other iOS 4. In the lab test, the average mobile Web page took 1.88 seconds to load on the phone with iOS 5 and 6.34 seconds to load on the other with iOS 4.
The uncontrolled tests are likely less exact because the customers who were monitored may own a variety of different iPhones. Powered by a dual-core A5 chip, the iPhone 4S should be faster overall than an iPhone 4 or 3GS, regardless of the operating system.
The lab test may be a more accurate gauge since the same hardware was used in a controlled environment.

Samsung unveils Android-based Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus

Samsung has made the somewhat surprising decision to unveil yet another tablet to bolster its line.

Dubbed the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, the Android 3.2 (Honeycomb)-based tablet comes with a 7-inch display and 1.2GHz dual-core processor. In addition to 802.11n wireless support, owners will also be able to connect to HSPA+ networks from the device. On the storage side, customers will be able to choose from 16GB and 32GB variants, and a microSD slot offers the ability to add up to 32GB of additional storage to the tablet.

Samsung’s decision to announce a new 7-inch Galaxy Tab comes as a bit of a surprise. Earlier this month, the company showed off a 7.7-inch tablet, alongside an 8.9-inch option. Samsung also sells a 10.1-inch tablet. Considering it had nearly all form factors covered, who’d have thought that Samsung would need a fourth option to offer customers?

Samsung’s announcement comes just days after Amazon unveiled its own, and highly anticipated, entrant in the tablet market. That device, dubbed the Kindle Fire (complete coverage), lacks many of the bells and whistles found in the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, including connectivity with mobile wireless networks and both front and rear cameras, but makes up for that with a price tag of just $199.

The Kindle Fire, which also runs Android, is slated to launch in November.

As for Samsung’s 7.0 Plus, the company says that it will start rolling out the tablet to Indonesia and Austria at the end of October, followed by a gradual launch across Asia, the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere around the world. Pricing was not divulged, and Samsung did not immediately respond to CNET’s request for comment on that detail.

When the 7.0 Plus is finally released, there’s no telling if it will face the patent troubles Samsung’s other tablets have run into. From Australia to Europe, Samsung and Apple are locked in a bitter patent battle that has seen the launch of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 held up in Australia and blocked from sale in Germany. Samsung’s smartphones have also come under attack.

Microsoft lists ‘App Store’ as a Windows 8 feature

An app store is officially among the features Microsoft is working to include in Windows 8, much like Apple’s App Store for OS X.

The revelation, which confirmed months of rumors, came today from Microsoft President Steven Sinofsky in a Building Windows 8 blog titled “Introducing the team.” Among a list of teams associated with building the forthcoming operating system was “App Store.”

Sinofsky said that work on the new OS is organized by feature teams, of which there are about 35, each containing 25 to 40 developers.

“Many of the teams listed below describe features or areas that you are familiar with or that you can probably figure out based on the name,” he said. “As we post more, team members will identify themselves as part of these teams.”

Microsoft representatives did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.

Rumors that Microsoft was developing an app store for Windows have been around for more than a year. Based on a series of Windows 8 documents leaked June 2010, Microsoft has reportedly been eager to match Apple at its own game by offering its own dedicated app store.

An app store appeared in a demonstration of Windows 8 that Sinofsky gave at the All Things Digital D9 conference in late June. Included in the start-up menu tiles was a direct link to a Microsoft Store, suggesting that Microsoft was working it own version of an online application store, similar to Apple’s App Store.

The company has also been working hard to keep Apple from winning a U.S. trademark for the phrase App Store. Microsoft argues the phrase is too generic to register and would restrict competitors’ ability to use of the term to describe their own services.

Microsoft has not officially announced when the new OS would be released, but CEO Steve Ballmer said in May that the new OS would reach consumers in 2012, although the company later said Ballmer misspoke. In June, Vice President Dan’l Lewin hinted that Windows 8 would launch during the fall of 2012.

Google shuts down Google Labs

Google CEO Larry Page is making good on his promise to put more wood behind fewer arrows as the company focuses more of its resources and efforts on its core products.

Google today announced in a blog post that the company will discontinue its Google Labs efforts. Bill Coughran, Google’s senior vice president for Research and Systems Infrastructure, said the company has learned a lot by launching very early prototypes in the Labs. But he added that the company’s “greater focus is crucial if we’re to make the most of the extraordinary opportunities ahead.”

What this means for Google Labs right now is that some projects and experiments will end immediately. And some Labs products and tech will be folded into other Google product areas. Coughran also said many Google Labs products that are available as apps through the Android Market will continue to be offered there.

“We’ll continue to push speed and innovation–the driving forces behind Google Labs–across all our products, as the early launch of the Google+ field trial last month showed,” Coughran said in the blog post.

Last week, after the company’s earnings were released, Google CEO Larry Page tried to reassure analysts and investors that the company is focusing on projects that will offer the biggest returns on investment.

“Overall, we are focused on long-term, absolute profit and growth, as we have always been,” Page said. “It’s easy to focus on things that we do that are speculative, e.g., driverless cars. But we spend the vast majority of our resources on the core products. We may have a few small speculative projects happening at any given time, but we are very careful stewards of shareholder money. We are not betting the farm on this stuff.”

Google recently killed off a couple of other projects that were not gaining traction. Last month it pulled the plug on Google Health, a personal health records service, and turned off the lights on Google PowerMeter, a service for monitoring Web-based home energy use.

How To Check Balance?
The Basic Question Which Troubles you when you switch from one cellular network provider to other.
With The Increased number of cellular network providers each day, more People struggling to check balance in their mobile account, This Post has tried to cover information about your mobile network provider in India.

Reliance GSM

Dial *367# From Your Reliance Mobile to Check Account Balance.
Customer Care Number for Reliance GSM Mobile: Dial *333

Tata Docomo

To Know Account Balance information dial *111# from your Tata Docomo Mobile.
Get Interactive Voice Call Balance Announcement by dialling 12525 from your Tata Docomo Mobile.

Aircel

To Check your Balance in Aircel, Dial *125# from your Aircel Mobile.
For Voice Announcement of your balance, Dial 123
Customer Care Support Dial 121.

Idea

To Check Account Balance in your Idea Mobile Dial *130# from Your Idea Mobile.
Customer Care Number for Idea: 98*** 12345
[Replace *** with respective Phone Number Series]

Airtel

To Check Balance in Airtel Dial *123# from Your Airtel mobile.
Customer Care Support for Airtel: 121

Vodafone

To Check Balance from your Vodafone Mobile Dial *111# .
Happy to Help Customer Care Support: 111

BSNL

To Check Balance Dial *123# from your BSNL Prepaid Mobile.

Microsoft is offering a deal to students on the edge of summer.

Starting May 22, students who buy a new PC for $699 or more will receive a free Xbox 360 4GB console, the software giant said in a blog post today. The offer is available to online shoppers who buy a PC from Dell.com, HP.com, or Microsoft’s online store. Those who want to head to a retail outlet can find the deal at Best Buy or Microsoft’s stores.

In order for students to get the free Xbox 360, they will need to have .edu e-mail address at the time of purchase. If they don’t have a .edu e-mail address, they can go to a retail store and present their student IDs.

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 4GB console currently retails for $200. The hardware features built-in Wi-Fi and comes with a black Xbox 360 wireless controller. Those who want additional storage will need to buy a hard drive separately.

The Xbox 360 has been performing exceptionally well at retail as of late. According to research firm NPD, the software giant sold 297,000 Xbox 360 units in April and bested Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii. Microsoft said that the Xbox 360 has been the best-selling console in 10 of the last 11 months.

Microsoft’s free Xbox 360 offer is valid through September 3, or while supplies last. The offer will be coming to Canada and France “soon,” Microsoft said.

Courtesy : CNET

The deal is done. Microsoft is buying Skype for $8.5 billion in cash in its first sizeable acquisition since August 2008, when the Redmond software giant spent $486 million on Greenfield Online.

In fact, this is Microsoft’s biggest financial bet to date in terms of M&A, trumping its $6 billion+ purchase of aQuantive, which dates back to May 2007, in size.

The purchase price includes the assumption of Skype’s debt.

The agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of both Microsoft and Skype.

Skype will become a new business division within Microsoft, and its current chief executive Tony Bates will assume the title of president of the Microsoft Skype Division, reporting directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

The deal was first reported by GigaOM‘s Om Malik (he does that sometimes) and later confirmed by the Wall Street Journal, who cited people familiar with the matter.

The $8.5 billion question: did Microsoft overpay for Skype?

Perhaps, perhaps not. Only time will tell. As always with these things, the many tech industry pundits and analysts will look at this deal from all possible angles and then some, and still only a handful will end up being somewhat accurate when we look back in a couple of years.

From a non-financial point of view, the acquisition makes a ton of sense today, though.

Skype digitally connects dozens of millions of people on a daily basis, enabling them to communicate with each other through voice calls, chat messages and video conferencing.

There’s no doubt it’s a big brand on the Web (with both consumer and enterprise appeal, worldwide at that), and is poised to keep mattering in the next decade and beyond.

In August 2010, Skype filed to go public, expecting to raise $1 billion, but not long after appointing a new CEO, former Cisco SVP Tony Bates, the company put its IPO plans in the freezer while it looked for ways to generate more revenue from the popular service.

Skype’s 2010 revenue was $860 million, adjusted EBITDA was $264 million, and – as many are tripping over each others to point out – the company actually lost $7 million last year.

But looking ahead, chances for the business to keep growing, perhaps even acceleratingly so, are fairly big. In that sense, it’s a valuable asset to own (and to keep out of others’ hands).

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Microsoft and Skype said they “hope to obtain all required regulatory clearances during the course of this calendar year”.

Microsoft also pledged that it would “continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms”.

Since its former owner eBay sold the company to a consortium of investors formed by Silver Lake Partners, Joltid (the company founded by Skype’s original founders, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis), the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Andreessen Horowitz in November 2009, the company has been pursuing an aggressive strategy to be available everywhere, anytime, both in enterprises, the living room, even classrooms and, very importantly, on smartphones.

Microsoft, of course, has the exact same ambitions of ubiquity, and Skype and recently acquired Qik fit nicely into many of its current product offerings: think Windows Phone (combined with Nokia), Xbox and Kinect, Bing, Office 365, Windows Live Messenger and other Live products, Lync, Outlook, SharePoint, Internet Explorer, Azure, and so on.

The purchase also provides Microsoft with a wealth of p2p and collaboration technology expertise and intellectual property, an increasingly important asset to have these days.

It also brings reach: Skype’s user base is comparable to that of Facebook in terms of size (more than 600 million registered users, that is) and the social network in fact has tie-ins with Skype already on a product level.

Courtesy : Techcrunch

LONDON: Apple has overtaken Google as the world’s most valuable brand , ending a four-year reign by the Internet search leader, according to a new study by global brands agency Millward Brown.

The iPhone and iPad maker’s brand is now worth $153 billion, almost half Apple’s market capitalization, says the annual BrandZ study of the world’s top 100 brands.

Apple’s portfolio of coveted consumer goods propelled it past Microsoft to become the world’s most valuable technology company last year.

Peter Walshe, global brands director of Millward Brown, says Apple’s meticulous attention to detail, along with an increasing presence of its gadgets in corporate environments, have allowed it to behave differently from other consumer-electronics makers.

“Apple is breaking the rules in terms of its pricing model,” he told Reuters by telephone. “It’s doing what luxury brands do, where the higher price the brand is, the more it seems to underpin and reinforce the desire.”

“Obviously, it has to be allied to great products and a great experience, and Apple has nurtured that.”

Of the top 10 brands in Monday’s report, six were technology and telecoms companies: Google at number two, IBM at number three, Microsoft at number five, AT&T at number seven and China Mobile at number nine.

McDonald’s rose two places to number four, as fast food became the fastest-growing category, Coca-Cola slipped one place to number six, Marlboro was also down one to number eight, and General Electric was number 10.

Walshe said demand from China was a major factor in the rise of fast-food brands. “The Chinese have been discovering fast food and it’s such a vast market — Starbucks, McDonald’s… and pizza has hit China,” he said.

“The way McDonald’s has reinvented itself, adapted its menus, added healthy options, expanding the times of day it can be visited, for example oatmeal for breakfast… that allied with growth in developing markets has really helped that brand.”

Nineteen of the top 100 brands came from emerging markets, up from 13 last year.

Facebook entered the top 100 at number 35 with a brand valued at $19.1 billion, while Chinese search engine Baidu rose to number 29 from 46.

Toyota reclaimed its position as the world’s most valuable car brand, as it recovered from a bungled 2010 product recall. The survey was carried out before the March earthquake that caused massive disruption to Japanese supply chains.

The total value of the top 100 brands rose by 17 percent to $2.4 trillion, as the global economy shifted to growth.

Millward Brown takes as a starting point the value that companies put on their own main brands as intangibles in their earnings reports.

It combines that with the perceptions of more than 2 million consumers in relevant markets around the world whom it surveys over the course of the year, and then applies a multiple derived from the company’s short-term future growth prospects.

Courtesy : Techgig