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Why the Economy is Not Yet Ready for Digital Platforms `125

Security Concerns in a Cashless Economy VOL. 30 | ISSUE 1 | JANUARY 2017

Securing Mobile Wallets From Frauds Top Cyber Security Predictions for 2017




technology trends For

Key technologies and trends that are shaping up personal computing and the likely product preferences across 10 hot gadget categories

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76 pages including cover

Contents 17 COveR sTORY


Key technologies and trends that are shaping up personal computing and the likely product preferences across 10 hot gadget categories 18 20 28 32 36 38 40 42 44 46

Where the Indian Television Market is Headed For in 2017 30+ Trends that’ll Impact Smartphones 10 Laptop Trends to Dominate 2017 Key Trends that Will Redefine the Future of Digital Photography 5 Trends That’ll Rock Audio Devices in 2017 The Rise of Digital Wallets: Top Predictions for 2017 IoT for an Intuitive, Cashless Economy Top 10 Cyber Security Predictions for 2017 Security Concerns Rise as India Aims Cashless Economy 7 Upcoming Trends for the Avid Gamer

TeCH anD TRenDs 08 How to secure Your Mobile wallets From Frauds

12 Majority of Businesses and economies are not Ready for Digital Platforms, accenture Research shows

Reviews 56 Blackberry DTeK 50 smartphone

14 why Highly Distributed internet Traffic Puts Pressure on Terrestrial network

58 Honor 8 smartphone

10 Transactions Under the watchful eyes of Bankster Cronies

16 Best selfie Phones to Look Out For! 4

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40+ Security Software, CMS Tools, Office Management and Graphics Solutions • 10 WordPress Security Plugins • 10 free Drupal plugins for security • 9 free Joomla plugins for security • 8 Customer Management Tools • 10 Open Source Tools for Financial Software • 5 Best Open Source Graphics Programs 59 Coolpad Mega 3 smartphone

69 asus Zenfone 3 Max smartphone

67 FiiO X1-2nd Gen Lossless Portable Player Review

sUBsCRiBe nOw!

68 altec Lansing Dual Motion speaker

60 Lenovo Yoga Book 61 Kodak i1190e scanner | Canon Pixma MG3070s MFP 62 Dell inspiron 15 7559 Laptop 66 Zebronics ZeB-FiT100 smart Fitness Band

69 asus sDRw-08D2s-U Lite DvD-Rw | Portronics Yogg smart wristband

Turn to page 64 JANUARY 2017



Tech Musings

Adeesh Sharma, Executive Editor

Demonetisation Fallout: Network Outages Mar Digital Payments Push


We all have experienced/ are too familiar with call drops and network connectivity issues. So how do we trust telcos to manage huge volumes of digital payment transactions that beckon us post demonetisation?


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hile this whole talk about making digital payments sounds very hunky dory, the ground reality for people making the digital transition is anything but satisfactory. With unending queues before banks and ATMs to get some much sought after cash, digital payments do offer the much needed relief. This realisation has also dawned up on those merchants who have never used a PoS terminal at their shops. However, the sheer volumes in India for everything, be it the number of vehicles on roads, people lining up in front of banks and now the increasing traffic on digital payments platforms, ensure that nothing works perfectly. The latest case in point being digital payments platforms. Rahul (name changed) was out in the market on a Sunday evening to purchase some woollens for his family. Supremely confident as he was due to the plastic card securely tucked into his wallet. And of course, negligible cash kept alongside. The shopping was a brisk experience with drastically reduced footfalls across all major marketplaces. Shopkeepers report reduction in business as high as 70% due to demonetisation. Anyways, the only difficult part for Rahul proved to be the PoS terminal. One swipe and there was no response for minutes together. Finally, transaction failed said the machine. Another try and this time the machine stayed silent but to his horror Rahul got the message from his bank confirming his payment. The frantic query to the merchant resulted in an assurance that

the message was not sacrosanct as no transaction slip had been generated. So, they got again to the business of card swiping. The process repeated for atleast 10 times before the payment got through. The merchant blamed the erratic service on the higher volumes of transactions recorded on holidays. But this argument does not hold currency and such a pathetic experience only dissuades the suspecting people from adopting digital payments platforms. Queries to banks on this go in vain as they conveniently pass on the buck to the already stressed telecom service providers. We all have experienced/are too familiar with call drops and network connectivity issues. So how do we expect telcos to manage huge volumes of digital payment transactions that beckon us post demonetisation? I now stand convinced this whole demonetisation exercise has been pushed through in a hurry without a deep introspection on the quality of existing IT/telecom infrastructure expected to take on this new load. Oh! BTW this was just one such instance of digital disruption. There are many such sorry tales waiting to be published, but are the powers that be even listening? As we enter a new year let’s hope all the key stakeholders make a positive beginning towards resolving the digital mess so that the common man finally has something to cheer about. Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous 2017!



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HOW TO SECURE YOUR MOBILE WALLETS FROM FRAUDS As e-transactions are gaining momentum so are the risk of frauds. Here we discuss the best ways to secure yourself – Ashok Pandey


e all are looking for cash alternatives since 500 and 1000 Rs note ban. And there are numerous options as well in which mobile wallets are the most popular. In past few days, digital wallets saw a huge growth. Though all the wallets are secure but in the age of cybercrime nothing is secure. It’s always good to go follow precautions to protect your fiancial records. Here are 3 tips which can help you in this regard…

Keep your wallet account secure To use any wallet, you need an ID and password, the login credential is your identity that allows the wallet to make transactions, so never share it with anyone. Website frauds are common nowadays, so don’t download from websites or social pages which are showcasing fake offers to steal your data. Another good idea is changing the password frequently as well choose a wallet that offers two level security for instance login credentials as well as OTP.


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Be aware of email and phone frauds We have seen several incidents where cybecriminals send fraud mail to gain access to your personal data for a particular offer or information. This could be phishing or spoofing. Never reply or share any personal data including login credentials and debit or credit card data (card no CVV, etc.). Always remember, banks or any of their representatives never send customers email/ SMS or call them over phone to ask for personal information, password or one time SMS (high security) password. Never entertain such calls and never share any info with them. Fake callers will sound professional and they will try to lure you with exciting offers. Simply ignojre them and don’t provide any details.

What to do, when you suspect fraud? If you have noticed suspicious acitivity with your account then contact the customer care of your bank or digital wallet service provider so that they can take action to protect any transaction from your account.


DeMOneTiZaTiOn: TRansaCTiOns UnDeR THe waTCHFUL eYes OF BanKsTeR CROnies When it comes to the distribution of wealth, we know that we are living in a world which is unequal. This move towards a cashless society may aggravate inequality even further and it is just another way of legally forcing common people of this country to reach for their wallets and shell out more – Sidharth Shekhar


emonetization has crippled the cash and it is under attack in India, and elsewhere around the world. It is facing a backlash from the propagators of a cashless system and private businesses are playing a major

role in this. Behind the hype of technology and change, fin tech companies are trying to make money but there is nothing wrong with that. In The Nature of Technology, W. Brian Arthur – an authority on economics in relation to complexity theory, technology, and financial markets – tells us that the history of technology is not one of the more-or-less independent discoveries, but an evolutionary story of related devices, methods, and capturings of phenomena. Similarly, a cashless system depends on the internet and other technical innovations. The advancement in the field of information technology has facilitated innovation in electronic payment where goods and services are traded without the use of physical cash. In a cashless system, the usage of currency as a medium of exchange for goods and services is eliminated by allowing electronic transfer payments or non-electronic payment via cheques. New ways of paying will continue to be introduced but Indians need to recognize the risks and benefits of different payment instruments. People in India generally prefer cash 10

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“UnDeR THe CasHLess sYsTeM, a LOT OF UseR DaTa wiLL Be GeneRaTeD. we DO KnOw THaT DaTa is One OF THe MOsT vaLUaBLe COMMODiTY OF OUR TiMe wHiCH is avaiLaBLe THROUGH OPen DaTa sOURCes PROviDeD BY THe GOveRnMenT anD PRivaTe venDORs. THe OnLY CaUse OF COnCeRn is DaTa seCURiTY anD THe RiGHT OF UseRs TO THeiR DaTa..” over digital payment solutions as they find it more secure. Banknotes are convenient and universally accepted, and they offer unparalleled privacy as a payment instrument which is not the case with the cashless system. 41 percent of the population in India is unbanked. The people living in remote areas may belong to communities or segments of society that undertake economic activity informally and do not maintain records or have any documentation. Through demonetization, the government is not urging but forcing these people to use digital payments. Our ATM infrastructure itself is not ready to handle the banking needs of the billion people. The Reserve Bank of India has acknowledged that cash continues to be a dominant channel of transactions and to cater to this, the ATM infrastructure may be necessary for the short and medium term. Another such report published by NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development), states that it would take at least two decades to cover the entire 1.2 billion population

with new branches which means that the importance of ATMs cannot be de-emphasized, even in the medium term.

Security concerns While demonetization is getting a mixed response from the people and analysts, little has been said about the major challenges that a cashless society brings with it. It can make a society vulnerable and increasingly open to sophisticated internet crimes. Under the cashless system, a lot of user data will be generated. We do know that data is one of the most valuable commodity of our time which is available through open data sources provided by the government and private vendors. The only cause of concern is data security and the right of users to their data. New research from leading market analysts, Juniper Research, suggests that the rapid digitization of consumers’ lives and enterprise records will increase the cost of data breaches to $2.1 trillion globally by 2019, increasing to almost four times the estimated cost of breaches in 2015. The data breach at Target, which took place in 2013 during the height of the holiday shopping season, was one of the largest in U.S. corporate history. Apart from the 40 million whose financial data was exposed, as many as 70 million customers had information such as their name, address, phone number and e-mail address hacked in the breach.

The company had to pay $10 million to the victims of this attack. This attack serves as a warning to retailers around the world about the consequences of infiltration by POS malware. In a cashless world, every payment made is easily traceable. So it is obvious that it is going to give more power to the banks and fin tech companies who will oversee all transactions. Do we really want the government or any third-party service provider to snoop around our personal information?

Seamless integration New technologies have already simplified and smoothed business-to-business and business-to-customer experiences with services like mobile payments, e-wallets, and contactless cards. However, large-scale adoption of the cashless system after demonetization is going to be a problem for our country as it will be a technical challenge for merchants, processors, and users up and down the transaction path to adapt themselves. The success of the cashless system depends on how quickly the society is willing to adopt cashless payment through different stages of innovation processes as the consequences of the adoption of cashless payment differ from society to society. When it comes to the distribution of wealth, we know that we are living in a world which is unequal. This move towards a cashless society may aggravate inequality even further and it is just another way of legally forcing common people of this country to reach for their wallets and shell out more.





MAJORITY OF BUSINESSES AND ECONOMIES ARE NOT READY FOR DIGITAL PLATFORMS, ACCENTURE RESEARCH SHOWS Research released by Accenture reveals that despite the potential for small and traditional businesses to become successful digital platform companies, as few as 10 percent of new start-ups focused on digital platform business models will become profitable independent entities in the coming years – Compiled by Nijhum Rudra


he analysis also reveals that China, India and the U.S. will dominate the platform economy by 2020, and that the gulf between countries will increase. To help bridge this gap, the report outlines five critical steps businesses and governments can take to succeed. Accenture’s report Five Ways to Win with Digital Platforms, published in collaboration with the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, assesses the ability of 16 G20 economies to support the flourishing of digital platforms. It shows that the UK and Germany join China, India and the U.S. at the top of the Accenture Platform Readiness Index (see figure 1), but other emerging markets and European economies are predicted to lag behind, lacking sufficient business and socio-economic enabling conditions. “When you think of digital platforms, think of China and India as much as the U.S. These economies are using the power of platforms to create large scale markets very rapidly,” said Paul Daugherty, chief technology officer, Accenture. “Many European economies are in danger of missing out in the platform economy. Multi-stakeholder cooperation is required to address the fragmented digital markets and to support the greater levels of digital enterprise and consumption that successful platform businesses need.” 12

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Accenture’s analysis shows $20bn was invested in digital platforms between 2010 and 2015 in 1,053 publicly announced deals. More than half of this investment took place between 2014 and 2015. It also shows that rankings on the Platform Readiness Index strongly correlate to the levels of digital platform activity and investment in G20 countries. he report recommends that governments engage with businesses leaders to advance a range of policies that can create a rich enabling environment for digital platforms including the following actions: 1. Prioritize data protection standards and rules: Drive the harmonization of data privacy and data security legislation. Smooth cross-border data transfers. 2. Design regulations with digital platforms in mind: Experiment with regulations alongside new technologies and business models. For instance, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority’s “regulatory sandbox” allows start-ups to test ideas without immediately incurring all the normal regulatory consequences. 3. Encourage cross-border electronic trade. Harmonize taxes and standards, consumer protection, contract laws and logistics infrastructure. The eWorld Trade Platform (eWTP), initiated by B20 China, aims to

Accenture Platform Readiness Index

accelerate international policy collaboration to support SMEs. 4. Invest in digital infrastructure: For example, the E.U.’s Payment Services Directive (PSD2) will empower start-ups to expand customer reach and encourage innovative business models. 5. Think small, act big: Educate SMEs on alternative funding, such as crowdfunding and peer-topeer lending; and on data privacy and consumer protection. Support SMEs with digital economic zones to support e-commerce.

Five ways to succeed Accenture notes that only 15 percent of Fortune 100 companies have developed digital platform business models to date Successful digital platforms will proliferate as small businesses and traditional industries follow the lead set by digital-born platform companies. Accenture identifies five factors critical to sustaining critical mass in digital platforms, which use new technologies to create large scale markets of customers and service providers: 1. Proposition: Create differentiated platform services that extend beyond the point of transaction; and that support both customers on the demand side and service providers on the supply side.


Personalization: Target customers through tailored experiences across all channels, using customer data to anticipate needs and offer bespoke experiences. 3. Price: Apply new pricing models, such as pay-asyou-go, ‘freemiums’, and subscription pricing to respond to peak demand. 4. Protection: Embed trust at the heart of the platform, using both prevention and compensation techniques to attract customers and differentiate the platform. 5. Partners: Scale the platform rapidly by identifying digital partners – such as app developers and payment service providers – who can enrich the platform experience and fulfil customer needs. “Digital platforms are not just the preserve of digital born companies, like Airbnb and Alibaba, but are now becoming a default business model in most industry sectors, both B2B and B2C,” said Francis Hintermann, managing director, Accenture Research. “To enjoy efficiencies and high rates of growth, companies will need to transform everything from the way they co-create goods and services with third parties, tailor their offerings to customers, and price them dynamically. Crucially, they will only sustain critical mass by working with digital partners who can deliver the range of functional services that complete the customer experience.”





WHY HIGHLY DISTRIBUTED INTERNET TRAFFIC PUTS PRESSURE ON TERRESTIAL NETWORKS Businesses that depend on the cable for intercontinental communication could — without sufficient redundant capacity — lose their primary means of connectivity for weeks. That can mean a lot of money down the drain – Nijhum Rudra


n an increasingly global economy, basic business communications and financial transactions happen over networks. And if that traffic is going to another continent, country or region where it has to cross a major body of water, it travels via expensive undersea cables laid on the bottoms of oceans, lakes and seas.


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Most organizations don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it, but submarine fiber optic cables deliver 99.8% of all intercontinental communications, according to telecommunications market research and consulting firm TeleGeography. Considering the sheer volume of traffic they carry, the vulnerability of undersea cable systems is worth losing sleep over.

Trouble can come in many forms under the sea— from boat anchors and fishing trawler nets dragging cables along with the catch, to natural disasters, aging cable infrastructure and even fish bites. Then there’s the high-profile threat of security breaches or terrorist attacks.

High Seas, High Stakes Undersea cable is literally out of sight, but it definitely shouldn’t be out of mind. Any enterprise with international customers, partners or employees needs to understand its reliance on subsea fiber and decide if it needs a backup plan—even if it hinges on satellite connection, which is a much slower and more expensive alternative. Besides, while enterprise networking pros understand that voice and data traffic delivery is increasingly transoceanic, many others assume that those bits and bytes are transmitted wirelessly. Subsea cable disruptions happen a lot—as frequently as every three days, according to

TeleGeography. Because of redundant routing, however, enterprises don’t necessarily know when one occurs. After an outage, users may regain connectivity in milliseconds, minutes, hours, days or weeks—depending on the availability of alternate connections. Detecting and fixing damage typically falls to service providers. Akshay Sharma, research director for Gartner’s Carrier Network Infrastructure group, says with sufficient redundancy and capacity, the effect of a subsea cable cut on network performance should be minimal. But he points out that bandwidth needs are rapidly increasing.

Main arteries of the internet Internet traffic on terrestrial networks is highly distributed, but under the sea, not so much. Fewer than 400 undersea cables carry nearly all telephone and internet traffic across the world’s oceans— providing 294.6 Tbps of capacity to global users in 2015. Of that traffic, 76 Tbps travel to the United States alone, an amount that TeleGeography expects to grow to 108 Tbps in 2016. In the past few years, the largest content providers have become the biggest users of undersea capacity and they will become even bigger customers of long-haul capacity as they expand their own internal networks, according to TeleGeography. Recently, some of those companies—among them Google, Facebook, Microsoft and large global financial institutions—have begun financing and building their own global networks that include undersea cable routes. They are expected to outspend carriers in the next few years. According to TeleGeography, cable costs vary based on distance, with a new trans-Atlantic cable running, on an average, around $250 million to $300 million. Engineers wind the fiber—wrapped in a shark bite shield and large braided conductor—deep in the hull of a specialized ship. The vessel then runs a large plough along the bottom of the seabed and drops the cable in the resulting trench or, in other places, simply lays it directly on the ocean floor.

Conclusion While undersea cable security still needs improvement, monitoring practices have become stronger, with tracking devices alerting network operators to the presence of large ships near cables, for example. But despite these measures—as well as strict no-anchor zones and legal ramifications for those who sever subsea cables—accidents still happen.





BesT seLFie PHOnes TO LOOK OUT FOR! Whenever we check our group pictures, we always try to find our very own self first. Such is the charm of having our picture and that pretty much summarize the reasons why taking selfies have become such a rage ! – Sanjeev Bhatia, Co-Founder,


henever we check our group pictures, we always try to find our very own self first. Such is the charm of having our picture and that pretty much summarize the reasons why taking selfies have become such a rage ! Camera capabilities have been one of the important criteria while buying mobile phones and as the selfie rage is getting popular – we are seeing almost all major smartphone brands have produced phones which are essentially marked as selfie phones. So, if you are looking at the best selfie phone – here are some of the options which actually customers are buying in India across different budget points.

vivo v5 Currently – it’s numero uno selfie phone which offers highest resolution of 20MP for selfie camera. The device is recently launched and marketed as moonlight camera phone. With heavy promotions by brand ambasaddor Ranbir Singh – in a less than a month period – this model have become one of the top seller in 15k to 20k segment. The model comes with various filters, modes etc which actually helps you to take great selfies.

Oppo F1s Oppo F1s is the first selfie focussed model – where the selfie camera resolution is higher than the rear camera resolution. F1s comes with 16MP Selfie Camera and available in 2 variants – 3GB RAM & 32GB Internal Memory and 4GB RAM & 64GB Internal Memory – which actually takes care of both budget criteria – both are catering to 15k to 20k price segment. 16

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Honor 8 Honor 8 is India’s first dual rear camera phone which is retailing around 30k but it’s the selfie camera which is actually being loved by customers. It comes with 8MP Front Camera but it’s 1.4um pixel size sensor makes lot of difference while you shoot selfies from it. However, some other top notched specifications are there to justify the higher price. This is one of the most beautifully designed selfie smartphone right now.

Gionee S6s If you have budget less than 15k – Gionee S6s is the ideal choice. A reliable brand with good focus over after sales service. Bigger 5.5 Inch HD IPS Display with Screen Flash (one we find on iPhones) and dedicated selfie flash do the trick.

iPhone 7 Apple is the brand when you are looking at high end price points and they have improved a lot in their recently launched iPhone 7 camera. With the new Fusion A10 chip, it offers 7MP front facing HD camera which is fun to use especially because of the retina flash which matches the ambient light for a shot with natural-looking skin tones. There’s a long list even if your budget is shoe string. Recenty, we are seeing lot of buzz and customer acceptance for LYF Water series phones which are available sub 10k segment. Year 2017 will evolve and revolve around selfie camera phones for sure.


80+ TeCHnOLOGY TRenDs FOR 2017

Key technologies and trends that are shaping up personal computing and the likely product preferences across 10 hot gadget categories - Adeesh Sharma


t’s that time of the year where we pause and look ahead at the technology roadmap for the new year in the most popular personal technology domains. The year 2016 has seen a lot of action in terms of how people use gadgets to add value to their lives, the kind of gadgets people have shown more interest in, the vendors--new or old-that made it big in the Indian market, and where people purchased their gadgets from—physical or ecommerce marketplaces. We saw more than a handful of new smartphones being launched alongwith an aggressive push by Chinese companies in the Indian market to launch their versions of smartphones and televisions. The laptop segment saw the entry of keyboard-less devices such as the 2-in-1 Lenovo Yoga

tablet that redefines the hybrid category with a touchbased keyboard alongwith a flippable 360-degree display. The year also saw gadget sales zoom further through the ecommerce portals although the mood somewhat dampened towards the end due to demonetisation. The new year promises even more action across these gadget categories with several vendors lining up big ticket models for launch early this year. Over the next few pages we present our predictions on the key technology trends that are going to impact gadgets in personal technology. In case you want to add to this list or have your own set of suggestions, do write to us at pcquest@ Here’s wishing you all a very happy and prosperous 2017!





wHeRe THe inDian TeLevisiOn MaRKeT is HeaDeD FOR in 2017 Curved screen, OLED displays, 4K UHD displays, Chinese brands deflating prices, the television market in India saw it all in 2016. So, what does the future augurs for them in 2017? Based on the inputs we received from the industry and the models we tested at Labs, here’s our list of top ten predictions… - Adeesh Sharma 1. 4K UHD TV prices to come down significantly with 8K UHD TVs on their way: We already see 4K UHD TV prices from some brands available for as low as 35k. So, as has been observed in the past, there’s a huge premium attached to a new technology when it is introduced in the market, but prices gradually come down in calibration with user demand. In India, the demand for LED TV sets in the sub-50k range has always been very high and the same yardstick applies to 4K UHD TVs, notwithstanding the lofty price tags attached to the established brands in the market.

2. Chinese players to dominate market the next year as well: We saw countless of them entering and dominating the Indian market in 2016 with most of them garnering good enough customers through ecommerce portals. Their USP has been oodles of features at lucrative prices. In fact, so intense has been the competition amongst them that we have lost count of the number of brands we’ve witnessed in 2016. We expect this trend to continue in 2017 as well with even more players expected to join the party. 3. More discounts and freebies on budget to midrange LED TVs amidst sluggish economy: Recently we saw attractive discounts being offered on ecommerce portals on TVs within this segment. While demonetisation has been a key factor for sluggish demand, more so from rural areas, another key reason is the intense competition amongst vendors to establish a strong foothold on the Indian turf. So, expect some of the visibly overpriced models in the budget to mid-range segment to go soft over pricing and therefore allure more customers. 4. Expect more sales through online portals due to digital push and increasing faith amongst people on digital platforms: Not so long back, people were loathe at making big ticket purchases through online portals. But all this has changed since last year with big ticket purchases happening frequently through ecommerce portals. Now with demonetisation having been effected and people left with hardly any cash, and also the increased push towards digital payment platforms, such sales are only expected to get more fillip going forward. 5. Curved TV screens might fade away due to lack of consumer interest: This has been another great invention with substantial benefit to the


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again, in partnership with a local reseller. This trend has been quite visible in the smartphone segment as well with smaller, relatively unknown players, buying brand rights and coming out with their products. This is now being replicated across TV brands with lots of Chinese and Japanese brands following suit.

end user. But sadly, practical problems seem to have overshadowed its adoption. The feedback we’ve been getting from users and resellers alike is that people feel uncomfortable accommodating a curved screen on their walls, as it requires more space and could be a source of obstruction and free movement. This defeats the very purpose of hanging a TV on to the wall. So, with not too many people eager to buy such TVs it could well be the end of the road for them. 6. Bigger screens, upwards of 43” to sell more as people get used to watching big screens at homes: Today you can buy a 43” for as low as 22k through different ecommerce portals. So, what people paid to get a 32” inch model in the past, can now fetch them a much bigger screen and it obviously is a joy to watch. Also with HD set top boxes being the norm, the picture quality is well-suited for such big screens. So, what happened to 21-inch screens (with 32-inch screens replacing them) we feel 32-inchers are bound to lose popularity as well. 7. More unknown brands and older brands in partnership with local manufacturers to enter Indian market: Recently Akai has entered the Indian market

8. India to become the biggest market for entry to mid-range LED TVs: The sheer size of the Indian market is good enough reason to predict this. A booming Indian economy and global slowdown add to this outlook. And there are statistics from last year’s sales across both physical and online stores that add weight to this. India has always driven sales for products that have been priced right and that provide the maximum value for money, across all product categories. The smartphone market is a classic example of this frugal mindset and we believe there are bound to be parallels in the television segment as well.

9. The Big Three—Sony, Samsung and LG—to face stiffer competition from newcomers: They already are and they are bound to face even more in 2017. We saw all three, first taking the ecommerce portals a lot more seriously and second, going even further by offering good discounts on most of their older models. This was only made possible due to the entry of lesser known brands in the Indian market and we predict such brands shall put even more pressure in the days to come. 10. End of the road for 3D TVs: Well, they never gained the same amount of popularity as the hype created around them would make us believe. So, we saw most models fading away from public eyes last year. The year 2017 should well and truly see them enter an era of relative obscurity with only the truest of aficionados ever demanding one in future.





30+ TRenDs

THaT’LL iMPaCT sMaRTPHOnes Expect technology to get cheaper and penetrate more budget and mid-range smartphone models - Ashok Pandey, Raj Maurya & Tushar Mehta


martphones are continuously evolving at an unprecedented pace which is likely to increase in 2017 with the development of pocket-friendly, yet sophisticated technologies and augmented focus of manufacturers towards making in India.


Apple, which previously used to be the brickbat for its expensive pricing, now has to compete with new Android launches for the badge of “most elite flagship” smartphone. Elite, unequivocally means expensive. While Samsung has been present in the arena with its pole position launches such as leading Galaxy and Note series, Google invaded it with the launch of the Pixel and Pixel XL, both of which boasted a “premium price” badging.

iPhone an element of luxury, flagships to get pricier:

Despite cut-throat competition, share of iPhone sales has surged in India and expected to rise further. Companies such as LG and Samsung have listed new entries in the premium flagship segment. At the same time, companies like Oneplus are producing and selling phones like the Oneplus 3T which competitive specs at half the price of such flagships. So the larger question remains – are highend flagships really bound to price their products unusually high to gain a buzz in a market where a new smartphone launches every day.

Rich, yet Price-sensitive India will welcome cheaper 4G phones with larger screens and higher specs:

Indian smartphone market is price-sensitive and the dip in unit prices will drive the demand for cheaper smartphones, richer in specs as compared to 2016. As China loses its share in the global phone exports, manufacturing in India is foreseen to gain pace, disrupting the market with more and more competitive pricing. The Average Selling Price of smartphones in India will slump definitely while sales will rise, thanks to Reliance Jio penetration of 4G in India, especially rural areas.

Emerging market a focus for Apple, Make in India spurts growth:

Average Selling Price of smartphones in India to remain under $175 and emerging markets such as Indonesia, India and sub-Saharan Africa will be the centre of attraction for sellers as sales in China will continue to sink due to market saturation. These conditions will favour a surge in sale of Android-based affordable and sub-premium devices. Apple is relying on Make in India as its bids to develop new a manufacturing centre in India. Apple intended to sell refurbished phones in India, but the plea was rejected by Govt. of India for the fear of e-waste accumulation. The company is, thus, focusing on other emerging markets for its refurbished phones with attractive pricing.

Google Hops on the Premium train, competes with Apple: Contrary to Google’s previous launches – Nexus phones, which were affordable phones with flagship-like specs and latest version of Android – Pixel series dons one more characteristics of a flagship i.e. premium pricing. This means, in order to enjoy the best and newest Android experience, you now have to pay a premium. With the launch of Google Pixel phones, the Nexus fanbase has ridiculed Google for the price as much as praised it for its superior User Experience. Google has adopted a marketing philosophy which allows it to be featured across a wider base of user-friendly media including TV commercials, billboards, online ads and newspaper promotions. So the Google phone has, apparently evolved, to suit everyday customers and not just developers, and thus comes with a premium to be paid. Key elements of this evolution include a spectacular camera and refined battery, making it a versatile consumer phone. Its price is still a hesitation. The specs sheet battle between the iPhone 8 and 2017 Pixel phone will be interesting.


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Pricing a Perception Problem:

Pricing the Pixel phone lower than visible competition such as iPhones and high-end Galaxies could have led to a perception problem as anything badged as “budget” is likely to dilute the likeliness of the phone being a status symbol. The iPhones, on the other hand, are cheered for the data protection features, integrated iCloud experience and a pleasing performance. While Android and iOS have continually borrowed gestures from each other, update after next, a gamut of performance and UX preferences that set the two apart.


Perceptions and preferences in the digital market are evolving. Mobile is the new master with clear domination in context of number of devices in the market. At the same time, newer and cheaper launches continue to keep the arena hot. To survive in the competitive crunch, most manufacturers are trying to sustain their buzz by unveiling new devices periodically, while majors like Samsung and Apple ae bidding to innovate in order to retain their pole positions. Screens are like windows to the mobile world and have seen dramatic amount of attention when it comes to innovation and the move is expected to drag further.

ahead of it time with a 5 MP Carl Zeiss lens and Auto-focus. Roumors have faithed Nokia fans that their upcoming launches will sport AMOLED displays, too.

Samsung to be undisputed leader in AMOLED production: Samsunghas its own series of AMOLEDs, called the Super AMOLEDs or SAMOLEDs, which it uses in phones, mostly flagships, with curved displays such as Edge, as well as peddles to other brands such as Oneplus, modified as per brand’s requirements. (Read: Oneplus’ Optic AMOLED is a modified SAMOLED) 97% of AMOLED aremade Samsung. The company has also exhibited curved displays in TV, and price tags of the same are getting leaner. Samsung and this report from Transparency Market Research confides in the fact that curved displays will rise in popularity for their immersive picture and richer 3D capabilities, latter projects a CAGR of 96.7% from 2013 to 2019.

Apple to save LCD from dying:

While a lot of ascendant Android companies are moving towards AMOLED, Apple is relentless with its Retina Display boasting DCI-P3 wide color gamut (or Adobe Wide Gamut RGB is a technology which offers pure spectral primary colours and displays wider range of colours than eRGB). An LCD which has brighter and one of the most accurate and faithful colour reproduction. To an eye that sees it all, most AMOLED screens, until recently, have been believed to be over saturated and adopting these could be a step backwards for the colourconscious Apple. Oversaturated screens, such as those on Samsung phones, offer warmer views which may seem soothing to the eyes, but fail to produce exact colours.

New emerging 3D Touch Techologies:

5.5” to 5.7” screens to be most common choices:

The average screen sized skyrocketed from the favourite 4.7-inches in 2015 to 5.5-inches in 2016. Further, this is not expected to leap past 5.7” very soon. Without much scope to blatantly increase the screen size, the angle of innovation is shifting towards higher resolutions and power-efficient options. AMOLED displays, as per a recent report from IHS Markit, will witness a rise in 2017 owing to the introduction of devices with flexible display and wearables, while the usage of LCD Thin Film Transistor (TFT) displays will decline.

AMOLED Technology will command an upsurge:

AMOLED displays are capable of producing high-contrast, wide viewing angle, vivid colors, and blur-less motion pictures. Additionally, they can be flexible, thin and powerefficient. Nokia was the first (noted) company to deploy AMOLED screens with the launch of N85 (August 2008). The dual slider had not only its screen but camera technology

In 2017, AMOLED screens are likely to become a proposition cheaper and more accessible, and like the rise of fingerprint sensor in 2016, may see a firm upsurge. Rumors suggest Apple may switch to AMOLED screens which could increase the accuracy of Apple’s famed 3D Touch, but Apple’s tendency to set (and resurrect) separate trends makes me believe otherwise.

virtual and Augmented Reality to boost AMOLED usage:

VR technology will gain humongous popularity and this will augment the usage of AMOLED screens for efficient battery consumption and comfort for the eyes. While Samsung has been, a little whacky by flaunting bendable screens, we do not anticipate a lot of launches with flexible displays – not unless Nokia is building something new with a lot of tensile strength.


Dropped from one feet or higher, your phone will get damages if there is no protection, also smudges can easily be seen. A screen guard can protect your phone only partially, not completely. Accidental drop of more than 3 feet is usual and many people have spent a lot of money to fix the screen. So, in future also you’ll buy an expensive




COVER STORY quite clear, because of the cost involved in manufacturing and some other technical challenges it can’t be used more frequently. Thus we can only hope to see sapphire manufacturing processes becoming more refined and less expensive over a period of time. Once this is achieved, more devices would have sappire displays.

Diamond Glass

phone but still worry about the protection. Now you are going to get high grade screen protection.

Corning’s Latest Gorilla Glass 5

Corning’s Gorilla Glass is one of the most popular when you talk about smartphone screen protection but AKHAN’s Miraj Diamond Glass is claimed to be much tougher than the latest Gorilla Glass 5. The company is claiming that diamond glass will be tougher than even sapphire. Moreover, they claim that development and production procedure is quicker and cheaper to mass-produce. As per the company, they are using regular UV grade Corning glass substrate to make it budget friendly and more productive solutions. As the diamonds are extremely rigid substance, using coating of it on the screen can be flexed up to 45 degrees. AKHAN Miraj NCD diamond-covered glass is 800-times thinner than Gorilla Glass 5 and may be stronger than sapphire. According to an independent study sponsored by AKHAN, the Miraj NCD Diamond covered glass is 3.5-times more crack resistant and 7-times more scratch resistant than Gorilla Glass.


Corning brings its latest version “Gorilla Glass 5,” which is being claimed to survive drops onto rough surfaces up to four times better than other rival products. While testing Gorilla Glass 5, it survived up to 80 percent of the time when dropped face-down from over five feet onto bumpy surfaces. According to the company, the new Glass is expected to be incorporated on future products expected to be in iPhone 8 in 2017.

Sapphire displays

Camera is one of the most desirable and popular features in smartphones. The 2016 was a tremendous year with loads of development. We not only seen development in camera sensors, but there are also smartphones with dual lens, including LG G5, Huawei P9, Honor 8 and iPhone 7. To add to this, the world’s thinnest lens, just 0.7 nanometres thick, could change the smartphone photography industry. The industry is pushing the limits and surely we are going to see more improvements in the smartphone’s camera.

Far better camera experience

The mobile cameras are already capable of capturing detailed images. Additionally, with the help of camera UI and software, images comes with rich colours and in-depth details. Even if you are buying a budget smartphone you can have fun in capturing detailed images.

Sapphire displays are significantly harder than toughened glass, yet it’s not available with even expensive smartphone; it’s being used rarely as screen protection but occasionally as a lens cover for smartphone cameras. The reason is 22

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Asus claims to deliver 52 MP image quality using the 13 MP camera. Asus has developed PixelMaster 3.0 that lifts ZenFone 3 Laser’s photography experience. The 13MP sensor has large f/2.0 aperture lens and laser auto-focus for any distance and lighting instant clarity in just 0.03 seconds. It comes with electronic image stabilization (EIS) for blur-free video and an automatic color correction sensor for true-color photography. Low light could be a problem for some of the camera enthusiasts, but with Samsung Galaxy S7 and the S7 edge it won’t be a problem anymore. The device comes with F1.7 lens and larger 1.4µm pixels on the image sensor captures so much more light that your photos come out sharp and detailed. Normally, cameras comes with single photodiodes, but with Galaxy S7 you get two photodiodes instead of one for each and every one of the pixels on the image sensor. It lets the camera focus as quickly and as accurately as you would with your own eyes.

OnePlus 3 comes with Smart Capture technology enabling users to take perfect photo easily and more worry-free than ever before. The phone is empowered with Electronic (EIS) and optical (OIS) stabilization technologies that ensure capturing images and videos with great details, crispiness and smoothness. There is also a robust manual model, as well as you can shoot RAW images.

ISP technology meaning you can get super-sharp close-up photos and videos with optical zoom at 2x.

Honor 8 dual camera enables users to capture more light and better pictures with its innovative bionic 12MP dual lenses. One lens captures rich colors and second one is monochrome that captures more light and increased sharpness. Moto has done something different for camera enthusiasts, it offers mods to Moto Z. The additional camera mod allows 10x optical zoom, meaning an advanced imaging experience.

Wider and better pictures with dual-lens

LG first brought G5 with dual lens and now has followed up with another smartphone V20 with dual lens. The new camera phone comes with Steady Record 2.0 to record crisp, clear content-even when you’re on the move. It has 3 High AOP (Acoustic Overload Point) Mics enabling to record loud scenes at sporting events without cheering fans distorting the sound. The dual-lens camera has the capability of wide angle, meaning wider background for more friends or more inclusive scenic shots. The wide angle lens can capture an astonishing 135-degrees of landscapes and large group shots. The phone allows you to capture most sudden moments of action by utilising LDAF (Laser Detection Auto Focus), PDAF (Phase Detection Auto Focus) and Contrast AF technologies. Apple iPhone 7 Plus has two lenses, one 12 MP wide-angle camera and a 12 MP telephoto camera. The phone offers high-quality zoom and

Honor 8 has wide aperture mode that enables to blur backgrounds from F0.95 to F16. You can enjoy the




COVER STORY article, we are going to compare the three most popular Os: Android, iOS and Windows 10.

Interface and Usability

All these three popular OS have a mixture of colors, flat and fast interface. Both iPhone and Windows have been stuck with their interface but when it comes to Android then you will get lots of variety. The Android stock interface is tweaked and modified by different Android smartphone manufacturers as per the usability and experience they want to provide the users. The different popular customized Android OS are MIUI, EMUI, CyanogenMod and more. The basic difference you will see in the customized Android are home screens, an app drawer and pull down notifications and settings shortcuts placement.

full-manual control of professional cameras with its Professional Mode.

Thinner lens offering immersive photography

Earlier there were phones with more MP camera yet the picture quality was not up to the expectations, but now you can get even better picture quality with lower MP. When LG G5 comes to the market, it had dual camera in the rear but, you could see the camera bump which you can commonly find with any other device. But Huawei partnered with Leica and brought P9 and Honor 8 which don’t have the camera bump, yet capturing great images. As per the researchers at The Australian National University, they have created the world’s thinnest lens, just 0.7 nanometres thick. With such researches we can expect to have more powerful camera in the phone yet small in size.

More beautiful selfies

What the purpose of having a smartphone without a perfect selfie camera! Nowadays, this has become an essential so manufacturers are also adding the more powerful camera at the front and with flash. Vivo V5 has 20 MP front camera with moonlight flash, which allows you to capture best photos even in low light. Similarly, Gionee S6s has 8 MP front camera with flash and Hyve pryme 8 MP camera with flash. The front cameras have beautification mode as well as different filters to enhance the picture quality and people are loving them. As like we are seeing dual lens fixed at the rear, we can expect to have them at the front as well or more powerful selfie camera with more beautification options.


The year 2016 was characterized by the war of smartphone hardware specs. But choosing a smartphone with better OS is the key to enhancing your smartphone experience. In this 24

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The User experience of Android users sometimes suffer in front of iOS & Windows because most Android phones don’t run on stock Android. The stock Android found on Google Pixel (Nougat) and Nexus phones are the bestlooking versions. Different customization means different user experience in terms of design and interface. Coming to Apple iOS, after so many changes the platform still maintains the aesthetic and feel of the iOS. The latest iOS 10 comes with slick animations, notifications, bunch of new apps and totally renovate iMessage. The Apple has maintained its legacy and provide same user interface across all the devices of Apple. All Apple devices get the latest update immediately because they all are managed by a single manufacturer rather than Android, where the majority of users still haven’t received the Nougat release. Windows 10 Mobile interface is completely different from the iOS and Android. It gives a “Live Tiles” user interface that can be arranges and resized by the user. The latest version of Windows supports the continuum that allows you to attach the mouse and keyboard. This feature will switch the phone to the desktop interface when you dock the phone. The Windows tries to make it user interface over stylish but people are not much preferred the windows as compared to iOS and Android. So, the winner in the Interface and Usability category is iOS.


Apple formerly only focused on premium devices and didn’t make any budget devices. The iPhones are always expensive which makes it a status symbol. Last year iPhone 6 came for approximately 50 thousand or more and in 2016 the iPhone has launched the iPhone 7 which starts from 60 thousand.

Microsoft Windows phone are not much expensive and also come with good hardware quality but against its rival iOS and Android have very few options to compete against. Android phones are the only ones in which you get various flavors. Lots of companies like Samsung, Asus, Xiaomi, Blackberry, Google Pixel etc. have a variety of Android smartphones from premium section to budget and this makes Android most Affordable for everyone. So, if we talk about most affordable category smartphone then Android is the clear winner.

app developers make their debut on Google’s Android. But due to different hardware manufacturers for Android, it becomes more difficult for developers to add apps performance demands. On another side the apps on iOS work smoother and efficiently as compared to Android. Coming to Windows 10 mobile, the Windows app store situation is not nearer to App store and Play store. Yes, no doubt that Microsoft has created Windows mobile platform so gorgeous, slick interface but still it fails to compete the app numbers. Microsoft Windows store stands at the third place after iOS and Android but this doesn’t mean that it lacks the useful apps. The Windows app store offers all apps that you need in your daily life such as WhatsApp, Spotify, Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram etc. The Windows 10 mobile is built on the same core where the windows 10 itself this makes it easy to create universal apps that can run on both the platforms. None of the app stores can give an excellent user experience. But in terms of usability and aesthetics, the Apple app store is better than Google’s Play store whereas Microsoft’s Windows Mobile store definitely lags behind both of them. So clearly the Apple app store is winner.

Rooting or jailbreaking

Apps and App Store

The main feature which makes the real difference between the mobile OS is how it handles the apps. If Apps and App store doesn’t optimize correctly, they can break down the OS. All the three iOS, Android and Windows 10 have their own app store: App store, Google Play store and Windows store respectively. There was a time when Apple’s App store had dominated the app space and had the best apps in matters of both design and function. But now the scene has changed. The Android Play store has become a big name in the apps world. Now the new apps are launched on Android more or less simultaneously with iOS. Also, many

Everyone doesn’t need rooting but if you want a root access to control your device completely then Android is the best choice. Rooting is the best option to test beta update, chances to get rid of bloatware and more. Microsoft and Apple do not support rooting often and are completely opposed it. Rooting can be done on some Microsoft devices by unlocking bootloader, whereas for iOS Jailbreaking is the option. Downlinking and installing the apps outside the Apple app store can be possible after jailbreaking. But remember rooting or jailbreaking can void your phone warranty. In the case of rooting the Android is the winner as it can be easily rooted and some vendors also support it.


2016 was a blasting year for smartphone batteries. It was since 9/11 that for the first time a phablet by Samsung was deemed more dangerous than bearded men with peculiar accents. The battery on Note 7 from Samsung exploded while charging, and when the problematic series was called




COVER STORY Wireless Charging will gain impetus:

Although wireless charging has been around for nearly 5 years now, it is likely to penetrate the affordable smartphone segment, just like fingerprint and FullHD screens. This is even more likely since Apple is speculated to release its next iPhone enable with smart charging. It will be interesting to see if Apple will be able to polarize the market with its method of reviving technologies.


While DIY enthusiasts and life hackers have famed technologies like telescope lenses for smartphone cameras, mods have not gained a lot of popularity. Nokia was one of the first companies to retail detachable mods like Xenon flashes for its Symbian powered smartphones,

in for replacement, the replaced devices exploded too. But what could 2017 have in store for batteries in smartphones? Here are some (positive) expectations from 2017:

Graphene to charge up the battery game:

Graphene batteries developed by Chinese manufacturer Dongxu Optoelectronics will be capable of regaining their entire charge in merely 15 minutes. 2017 could woo manufacturers to pick up this idea and pitch it into commercial space, and use similar battery packs which could be used to charge smartphones and mini laptops such as the Macbook Air.

Next Generation li-ion batteries to last twice as long:

SolidEnergy Systems, an MIT spin-out have introduced an anode-free lithium-ion battery which is leaner and can last twice as long, compared to a contemporary Li-ion battery pack. Most devices including smartphones, wearable and laptops are powered by lithium batteries and this new technology could be a breakthrough.

lithium-sulfur supercharged batteries:

Simultaneously, researchers at Cambridge University have developed a prototype of batteries inspired by the lining of cells inside human intestines. These batteries, if harnessed commercially will be capable of holding five times charge as the present generation of lithium batteries.

New Qualcomm Chip with faster Fast Charging:

The newly release Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip comes with Quick Charge 4.0 which will make charging 20% faster. Smartphones using the new Snapdragon flagship chip will be able to gain 5 hours of battery juice in merely 5 minutes of charging. The technology will use USB Type-C interface and in 2017, we may see greater number of manufacturers adopting the Type-C technology. This is primarily because portable laptops and number of new launches in smartphone arena use this technology for not just charging or data transfer, but audio and video sharing qualities. 26

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but it never turned into a recognized business. It was not until the recent launch of Moto Z, that mods were seen as a very viable accessory, but due to their easy-to-use nature, mods have gained the commercial awareness they deserved. Project Ara suspended by Google: Google sank the ship which had Project Ara modular smartphone on board due to lack of its commercial viability. This can mean that the dream of assembling your own phone, just like your PC, would mostly likely remain a dream in 2017. The legobrick concept of Ara smartphone could have been a smart prospect for the evolving world of smartphones, but it was equally obsolete and was shelved by Google for its pricey aspects, after being deemed too ambitious and futuristic. Motorola Mods will garner popularity for ease: For the same of simplicity, Motorola mods like snap-on battery packs, Bluetooth speakers, camera sensors, projectors and what-not have becomes instantly popular. Moreover, these mods which cost between $50and $100 will become cheaper as the user base of Moto Z and Moto Z play gains more ground. Simultaneously, development of crossdevice and cross-interface Mods could spark some more banter in the technology world.

ICTS Desktop PC India's first desktop with HDMI monitor

3Years WarrantyƉ with Adaptor


TRenDs THaT’LL ReDeFine LaPTOPs in 2017

Expect to have a more powerful machine but with much lesser weight and one that is also compact enough to carry along - Ashok Pandey


aptop is a category in which you will find very little differences in terms of base design, but the technology is changing rapidly. From computing power to usability and compactness, everything has got new tweaks. We have got a number of lightweight notebooks these days running on Windows 10 or MAC OS, which have similar functions. But your computing experience

will be radically different in 2017. New laptops are getting thinner and lighter and you can detach the screen to use it as a tablet with the same computing power. The new age devices are becoming sleeker and more attractive as well as faster in terms of performance. Technical advancements are driving in to the era of virtual reality, 4K video and 5G connectivity.

aMD TO seRiOUsLY COMPeTe wiTH inTeL The entire PC market is dominated by Intel, but soon AMD is going to fight back. Intel and AMD are coming with new processors with advance technologies and better performance. Still, Intel rules the market. AMD is planning to bring new Ryzen PC processor, which is expected to be available by this year. AMD Ryzen would be more power efficient with all-new high-performance and highly efficient “Zen” x86 core. It will enable the digital creators, VR pioneers, game world explorers, and tech thrill-seekers. Those determined to imagine, code and conquer without boundaries in the implosive computing era.

vOiCe assisTanCe Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana voice-activated assistants are already available with the devices. Interestingly, every year voice assistance is improving its command as well as adding some new features. It’s expected soon to get voice command to operate your PC as well as voice recognition to be added.


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COMManD THe PC FROM LOnG DisTanCe Right now you can only use the Cortana while sitting neatby, but soon you will be able to command Windows 10 PCs from a longer distance. Intel and Microsoft are working on “far-field speech recognition technology” to ease your life. It will compete with Amazon Echo as well as will bring some more features like accessing information from the cloud, chatting with chatbots, checking email and other tasks.

vR TO RULe 2017 Since the VR came to the market and has become affordable, VR devices are expected to come in various shapes and sizes. These devices can be easily paired with your laptop. Using the VR set you will be able to interact with 3D objects. It will boost a new level of human to computer interaction. Whether you are playing game or using video call or watching movie, these devices will offers you real life experience.

sUPeR THin anD LOnGeR BaTTeRY LiFe LaPTOPs wiTH aRM BaseD PROCessOR Yes, you can soon see some of the laptops even thinner than available right now in the market and it will be possible with ARM based processors. Microsoft has already announced that it will bring PCs with Qualcomm’s ARM-based Snapdragon 835, which is primarily for smartphones. This will help to reduce the thickness as well as enhance the battery life. The ARM-based PCs will run Win32 applications that run on regular x86 PCs via emulation.

BLUeTOOTH 5 wiTH inCReaseD RanGe, sPeeD anD BROaDCasT MessaGinG CaPaCiTY Laptops will ship with new Bluetooth 5 wireless wireless specification. Bluetooth 5 will include significantly increased range, speed and broadcast messaging capacity. Extending range will deliver robust, reliable Internet of Things (IoT) connections that make full use in home and building and also outdoors. The new version is a longer and faster upgrade to the aging Bluetooth 4.2. It will enable PCs to communicate wirelessly with devices up to 400 meters away in clear line of sight, but a more reasonable range is about 120 meters, according to analysts. Bluetooth 5 will transfer data at speeds of up to 2Mbps, which is two times faster than its predecessor.




COVER STORY BeZeL Less anD MORe BeaUTiFUL sCReens Dell has already shown us the thin bezel screen in XPS 13 and Lenovo also has Yoga 910 with beautiful edge-to-edge screens. It is expected to get bezel-less screen next year in laptops as you seen in smartphones. More vibrant and more dynamic screens would also enter in the market. 4K screens and HDR (high-dynamic range) technology will offer you immersive experience while watching movies or enjoying games.

UniFieD MeMORY anD sTORaGe Intel is bringing a super-fast SSD named “Optane”. Further, a DRAM replacement is expected to come which will ultimately unify memory and storage. Intel is not the only company to bring super-fast SSD based on the new 3D Xpoint storage and memory technology. Many other companies will come with their product using the technology provided by Micron. Intel claims that 3D Xpoint will be 10 times denser than DRAM and it has shown the technology being 10 times faster than current SSDs.

viRTUaL KeYBOaRDs On TOUCH PaneL Have used different keyboards and not seen any huge development in this segment from many years. But Lenovo shows us a new and interesting keyboard in its Yoga Book. Apple has also added the Touch Bar in its Mac Book Pro. Lenovo is planning to bring more devices with virtual keyboard because of its versatility. The touch input panel can be used for various purposes including to draw or take notes with a stylus.

UsB TYPe C TO COnneCT aLMOsT anYTHinG Much faster to charge as well as transfer data. Type C is a new trend that we will see in the PCs. Dell, HP and Lenovo have already shipped a few devices with Type C USB port and soon it will be in almost every new device. Though, the giants won’t remove headphone jack and SD card slots from PCs right away, but as these port become common, you won’t see other ports in your laptop, since the versatile USB Type-C can be used to charge PCs and connect displays, storage devices and other peripherals. 30

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With the arrival of new technology like VR, computational imagery, deep data, multiple sensor devices and image recognition, we are going to explore new trends that will change our perception of digital photography - Sidharth Shekhar


e’ve seen smartphones revolutionizing the way we take pictures. With the arrival of new technology like Virtual reality, computational imagery, deep data, multiple sensor devices and image recognition, we are set to witness new trends that are ready to redefine the digital photography landscape in 2017. Here are 10 prominent trends hitting our radar that can change the way we interact with digital cameras. 32

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Encryption for cameras

Journalists and investigative reporters have always relied on encrypted hard drives to protect their sources. However, photojournalists, especially those covering conflict zones or skirting beneath the radar of oppressive regimes need a truly secure encryption to protect their data. Recently, some 150 documentary filmmakers and photojournalists called on Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm,

Ricoh, and Olympus to build in optional encryption to their cameras. The filmmakers signed an open letter from the nonprofit Freedom of the Press Foundation and expressed their concerns about how digital cameras manage images and video and highlighted their reasoning behind the need for encryption.

Highly sensitive imaging sensor

Tamron is currently working on an all-new imaging sensor that’s more sensitive than the human eye and captures an incredible amount of dynamic range. The new sensor is being developed in partnership with the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). The main purpose of the joint endeavor is to create an imaging sensor that’s capable of consistently outputting high dynamic range imagery in incredibly low-light conditions — something that’s proven to be a massive challenge in the past. The intended technology is not focused on consumer cameras and will be used for industrial purposes. However, tech like this will eventually inspire the next generation of DSLR and mirrorless cameras.

Machine Learning and AI

New technologies, like machine learning and artificial intelligence, can take smartphone cameras and photography to a different level, as evidenced by Google’s Pixel phone and other photo-related apps it has built. Through complex algorithms, software can automatically tag your photos and even group them into categories, as well as recognize faces and it is already being used in apps like Google Photos and stock photo services like Shutterstock.


The camera companies are looking into the future. Nikon’s newly released 360-degree camera, the KeyMission 360, signals the company’s desire to enter the virtual reality market, an area that’s also being courted by Ricoh and Samsung. Canon recently demonstrated a VR headset that’s in development, as well as 8K imaging. As long as camera companies are able to finally innovate, survival is within reach. Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 team is already testing a 360-degree virtual reality camera attached to its car. Liberty Media, the U.S. investor group has already expressed interest in creating an all-new streaming service for Formula 1 races. Imagine getting immersed in live 360-degree views, where you can hop on to a front-row seat of your favorite driver’s car.

Reverse mounted Lens

Canon Japan has patented a lens that’s capable of being “reverse mounted” onto a camera to give macro capabilities with full electronic control. Though, there are few adapters available in the market that will allow you to mount a lens backward on your DSLR

or mirrorless camera to effectively turn your lens into a macro lens. But none of them give you autofocus, aperture control, or EXIF data transfer. According to patent publication number 2016-206568, the lens would feature mounts on both ends of the lens and contacts to transmit information and control the electronic components.

AI powered drones

An op-ed in Space News, written by Robert S. Walker, former chairman of the House Science Committee, and Peter Navarro, an economist and public policy expert said, “NASA should be focused primarily on deep space activities rather than Earth-centric work that is better handled by other agencies the two wrote. “Human exploration of our entire Solar System by the end of this century should be NASA’s focus and goal.” Unmanned vehicles are helping scientists gather new information and recently a research team experimented with underwater drones to help develop the technology to enable those unmanned submarines to explore the icy oceans believed to exist on Jupiter’s moon, Europa. Researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology and other organizations used a team of six coordinated drones in Monterey Bay, on the coast of California, earlier this year. While remotely controlled underwater submarine cameras are nothing new, the research team is hoping to teach the tools how to pick up clues from the environment on where to explore next. The project aims to use AI to teach the submersible drones to navigate in the water around them. Most stand-alone cameras now include Wi-Fi connectivity that lets you control the camera remotely or upload photos to the Internet via a smartphone.

The return of the film

We all have found vintage film prints to be cool like turntables. The film cameras have returned for 2016. Nothing can beat the soul of a film camera and it captures real life in an unparalleled way. The colors are dreamy and full of tones and depth. Sales of the photographic film have been steadily rising over the last few years, and people are exploring them like never before.

Resurgence of digital zoom

Due to improved processing and software, digital zooms could see a resurgence. The new iPhone 7 Plus features new design elements like the dual lens and image stabilization, as well as support for uncompressed RAW files. Such features are enough to demonstrate that smartphone makers can overcome the limitations of a thin frame. Apple has changed the camera industry forever and with the iPhone 7, they are getting close to DSLR.





MOvinG FROM POinT-anD-sHOOT CaMeRas TO DsLRs: TOP Five DsLRs in THe MaRKeT If you’ve outgrown your point-and-shoot camera and feel like you’re ready to take your photography to the next step, then an entry-level DSLR is the obvious choice. You might also want to consider a mirrorless camera as an alternative, although you won’t find one with a viewfinder at the same price as a DSLR. DSLRs deliver a big step up in image quality from a compact camera, far more manual control and the ability to change lenses to tackle a huge variety of projects. Obviously, the more features you want, the more you’ll pay, but do you actually need them? Our top camera is one of the cheapest on the market, but still offers impressive performance and image quality, plus enough features to handle most assignments, especially if you’re still learning. Here’s our pick.

Nikon D3400

The D3400 is a beefed up version of the D3300. It’s an entry level DSLR targeted toward shooters who are ready to move on from their smartphones to a more advanced shooting platform. The camera has 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor found along with an ‘EXPEED 4’ image processor, Full HD video capture and an 11-point autofocus system. It has Bluetooth LE connectivity for transferring images from the camera to a smartphone via the ‘SnapBridge’ app. It provides a native sensitivity range of ISO 100-25600 to suit working in a variety of lighting conditions. The lightweight camera body incorporates a 3.0” 921k-dot LCD screen for live view monitoring and image review. The built-in Guide Mode feature has been improved. Pros: Very good photo and video quality for its price. Cons: The Bluetooth-only wireless solution isn’t very good.

Should you buy it? Like its predecessor the D3300, Nikon D3400 is a good choice for competent and inexpensive, general-purpose DSLR and it is still better than current similarly priced competitors.

Canon EOS 750D

Canon EOS 750D is an excellent DSLR for amateurs and semiprofessionals. The 24.2-megapixel sensor is a major improvement and you can record videos at a resolution of 1080p at 30fps. It provides a native sensitivity range of ISO 100-12800, which can be extended up to 25600. 750D has fairly up-to-date wireless connectivity and supports Wi-Fi and NFC, through which you can quickly connect and transfer images and movies to compatible smartphones, tablets, printers or the Canon Connect Station, for easy sharing with your social networks. Through the Canon Camera Connect App, you can transfer images and control the shutter remotely. This App also allows you to shoot remotely with your Canon camera and you can also alter camera settings like aperture, shutter speed and ISO from your mobile phone or tablet. Should you buy it? Excellent DSLR for amateurs and semi-professionals on a tight budget. 34

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Pros: Image quality, 2,016 pixelFast 19-point AF, Wi-Fi and NFC, Canon Camera Connect App. Cons: Limited video capture, Viewfinder coverage.

Nikon D5200

Pros: High-res sensor, Good interface. Cons: No touchscreen.

Create stunning images with great clarity and detail using the 24.1 megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor on the D5200. Its advanced 39-point autofocus system never misses its target. For video shooters, the D5200 can record Full HD 1920 x 1080 movies at up to 60i or 50i, although this uses a central crop of the sensor area. More conventional 30p, 25p, and 24p modes use the full width of the sensor. In manual mode you have the option to take limited control of both shutter speed and ISO, but not aperture. Nikon EXPEED 3-branded processor as offering higher speed, better color reproduction, and improved noise reduction. The camera also supports Nikon’s WU-1a Wi-Fi unit, which plugs into the camera’s accessory terminal and allows images to be transmitted wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet for uploading to social media. The device can also be used as a remote control for the camera, complete with Live View. Should you buy it? Decent camera with good performance

Nikon D5500

The Nikon D5000 is good for photographers looking for a very compact DSLR offering a higher level of features than the D3000 series. It is one of the smallest and lightest DSLR made by Nikon The D5500 has a smaller and lighter body with an improved grip, a faster processor, touch-enabled LCD, ‘flat’ picture control, and built-in Wi-Fi. The D5500 uses the same 24.2MP CMOS sensor as the D5300 and comes with Nikon’s latest Expeed 4 image processing engine. On the video front, the D5500 continues to support 1080/60p recording but now offers a ‘Flat’ Picture Control, which allows for easier color grading in post-production. Should you buy it? The Nikon D5500 is a solid performer in the budget segment. If you own a budget level DSLR up to D5200 then upgrading to the D5500 will be a better choice in the long run.

Pros: Fast autofocus, Good touchscreen interface, Wireless connectivity. Cons: No in-built GPS.

Sony Alpha SLT-A68

Sony’s new interchangeable lens camera – A68 – uses Translucent Mirror Technology to offer high-speed shooting and a smaller body size. The 24.2 megapixel A68 features up to 8fps burst shooting, 1080p Full HD Movies in the XAVC Sv format, 79-point autofocus system including 15 cross points and a dedicated F2.8 AF sensor point, a 2.7-inch tilting LCD, an XGA OLED electronic viewfinder with 2359k dot resolution, backlit top LCD display, Dynamic Range Optimizer and HDR, and an ISO range of 100-25600. A68 is good for advanced beginners. With its fast and comprehensive AF system, it’s a good camera for tracking moving subjects. Pros: Fast AF system. Cons: LCD screen, 2.7inch screen, Lacks Wi-Fi.

Should you but it? If you look at the alternatives available, you can choose between a DSLR, and all of the competitors at this price point feature built-in Wi-Fi. Alternative Digital SLRs can be Pentax K-S2 or Canon EOS 750D.





5 TRenDs THaT’LL ROCK aUDiO DeviCes in 2017 Smart earphones, Bluetooth 5.0 and higher resolution audio, these are just some of the trends that’ll rejuvenate audio devices in the new year - Raj Kumar Maurya


udio devices have gone through a wide-ranging phase of development in the past few years but what has not changed is the demand for good audio quality. Audio companies are now moving more towards wireless audio technology. Even Apple this year has dropped the wired headset and has come up with wireless Bluetooth. Let’s see what other trends may come into play to take the audio devices to next level.

High-resolution audio

Now the HRA i.e., High-Resolution Audio is in trend. Devices from Astell & Kern, LG, Samsung, Sony, FiiO to Pioneer are already in the market with the hi-res audio compatible products and other top manufacturers and music publisher are also looking forward to supporting the HRA. High-Resolution Audio is the collection of digital processes and formats of music using higher sampling rates than the standards used in CDs. It is a collection of digital processes and formats of music using higher sampling rates than the standards used in CDs. The HD audio term is used for those devices that can provide high fidelity of sound production. HD audio refers to audio more than 44.1KHz sample rate at 16bit depth (CD-DA) or higher. It usually has a sampling frequency of 96 kHz or 192 kHz at 24-bit, but you can also have 88.2 kHz and 176.4 kHz files too.


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As the consumers move towards the wireless headphones, they want to experience the excellent sound quality. The Qualcomm’s aptX technology is now enabled in the Bluetooth devices to process the High Definition audio. This technology will preserve the sound data quality through the audio transmission, resulting in a ‘better-thanCD’ sound quality. The aptX audio codec supports the 24bit music quality in real-time streaming over Bluetooth A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) connections between source devices such as Smartphones tablets, laptops and sink devices such as Bluetooth stereo speaker, headset or headphones. If the A2DP profile is not present in the device, this means you’re not able to get the high-quality stereo sound. There are many devices in the market already with this technology such as LG TONE Platinum (HBS-1100), Photonics Harmonics, Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Brainwavz BLU-100 and more.

Smart Earphones

AirPods and Bragi Dash give us some idea about what would further happen in the headphone to make them smart. In the coming years, we can except that the earphone would be a lot more than a just a gadget to hear the music. Now the headphones can track the fitness status and digital assistant, the Bragi Dash is one example of this. The Dash can

store up to 1000 songs and has optical touch controls. Also, various audio companies try to find a way to create a headphone that can translate the foreign languages on the fly or have selective noise canceling. Maybe tomorrow you would see a headphone that can fit in augmented reality devices and become more smart and efficient to stream music or respond towards the outside noises. Companies like Apple & BRAGI have already set a ground for the future earphones

Bluetooth 5.0

The Bluetooth is a ubiquitous technology found in almost all wireless and now even in wired speakers. The latest Bluetooth technology is now more energy efficient and is called Bluetooth low energy. The Bluetooth 5.0 can add new benefits to wireless devices because it is designed to consume less power and will significantly increase range, speed and broadcast messaging capacity.

latest features of Bluetooth 5.0

1. Quadruple the range The latest technology BLE 5.0 will offer 4X speed as compared to its predecessors i.e 25MB/s (4.0 version) at low power consumption. This means Bluetooth 5.0 can also able to replace the WiFi communication technology for most IoT applications.

available in the market that are rated IP and are designed to handle more than just splashes, smashes, snow and sand. Even they can be submerged in water 3.3 feet deep for up to 30 minutes. This shows that waterproof is not limited up to your smartphone & watches. Audio industry is also taking it seriously. JBL Charge 3, Braven BRV-XXL, Skullcandy Air Raid are some example 5. Rugged

2. Compatibility Right now, we don’t have any official info about what kind of hardware compatibility is required for the 5.0 version. It can be new hardware or software update such as Bluetooth 4.0 Version updated to 4.1 and 4.2 using Software updates. But there might be hardware changes because here SIG is changing the version. So, that means your old devices is not going to get the latest version of Bluetooth. 3. Range The transmission speed of Bluetooth 4.2 version is 200 feet but the arrival of 5.0 version will double the transmission speed and range i.e. 400 feet with 4x speed. 4. Waterproof Have you thought about listening to music while swimming under water? There are earphones available in the market that are completely waterproof. Photive PH-BTE50, Plantronics BackBeat, Sony Walkman NWZW273S are some examples of waterproof earphones. The waterproof earphones are something in which everybody is not interested but in waterproof Bluetooth speakers, you might be. The Wireless speaker are now on trend due to their portable size and good sound. Many wireless speakers are

As Bluetooth speaker becomes portable and compact, this also increases the accidental drop of the speaker. So, the new trend which has seen in the portable speakers is rugged speakers. The rugged is added in any speaker by providing an extra layer of protection outside the speaker to protect it from exterior shock and scratches. It is perfect for extreme athletes and outdoor adventures. 6. Battery Battery powered speakers are now common in all portable speakers. Also, manufacturers are continuously working on the battery backup, a good battery enabled Bluetooth speaker can give you 6 to 7 hours’ backup at full volume.





THe Rise OF DiGiTaL waLLeTs: TOP PReDiCTiOns FOR 2017 To stay ahead of the rapid changes in payment technology, digital wallet firms need to understand who is driving these changes - Sidharth Shekhar


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s currency is disappearing from people’s wallet they are turning to online options. Every other shop, big or small, is accepting some form of digital payment powered by digital wallets. Postdemonetization, we have witnessed a sharp increase in tie-ups between retailers and digital wallet firms. To stay ahead of the rapid changes in payment technology, digital wallet firms need to understand who is driving these changes. Let’s analyze the key trends that will mark the evolution of digital wallets next year.

Data Security

The true value of the digital wallet goes beyond the transaction; it has immense potential to generate an unparalleled amount of customer transactional data. There is no doubt that this accumulated data helps service providers and merchants harness necessary information to engage the customer with a better experience for each stop on the path to purchase. However, data security is essential for bringing more people into the cashless system. We should not forget that cash provides a sense of security to the people. • With the spike in cases related to online fraud, the government needs to develop a stringent data security protocol in consultation with the service providers.

Identity theft protection

The risks associated with electronic payment instruments are more diverse and harmful. Being the victim of digital hackers can lead to a whole host of problems including, card theft, card skimming, identity theft, account takeover, fraudulent transactions and data breaches. Each of those incidents leads to countless hours of dealing with financial institutions and law enforcement to try to gain access back to accounts, redress fraudulent activity and reclaim one’s own identity. • Financial gain is the main purpose of identity theft but can also include application in criminal or medical scenarios. • With Aadhar card linked to our bank accounts, any attack on the banks’ critical infrastructure can cause widespread financial damage and create havoc amongst the populace. Identity theft monitoring and related services are already being offered

“wiTH aaDHaR CaRD LinKeD TO OUR BanK aCCOUnTs, anY aTTaCK On THe BanKs’ CRiTiCaL inFRasTRUCTURe Can CaUse wiDesPReaD FinanCiaL DaMaGe anD CReaTe HavOC aMOnGsT THe POPULaCe. ”

by many companies globally. For example, ID Watchdog, a US-based firm, offers protection from identity theft and offers both patent-pending monitoring technology and a unique theft resolution guarantee.

QR codes, NFC and BlE beacons

Mobile wallets will follow two separate paths—general-purpose wallets which will use NFC for connectivity, and the proprietary, retailer-based wallets which use a variety of technologies, including optical/QR code and BLE beacons. Today, banks, MNOs, and merchants are all competing in this fast-evolving space, and to have an edge over competitors, they need to have a futuristic mobile wallet capability, whether a proprietary or branded wallet, that suits their strategy and consumer value proposition.

Credit cards to be replaced for mobile wallets

• In 2017, consumers will continue to opt for a mobile wallet. • With its ability to create a fast and seamless experience, consumers will opt to replace their credit cards for mobile wallets and NFC technology. • The great Indian cash-drought has resulted in more and more people making payments online and tech companies are trying to make the most out of the situation. • Samsung is currently testing its Samsung Pay mobile payments service in India and could release the service in the first half of 2017.

Digital assistant

• We already have Google Allo and Siri as personal digital assistants. In 2017, the digital assistant will make a significant impact on the POS and retail industries. • With all the data from Google, a personal assistant can provide a whole new level of interaction between consumers and their mobile devices. • We can expect digital assistants to interact with users on a more personal level, connecting all the data, and providing them with helpful information based on online habits and behaviors.


• Chatbots witnessed an exponential growth this year and from technology companies to retail brands, everyone has invested in this space. It’s all about real-time, personalized approach to engaging the consumers like never before. • Chatbots are going to be even bigger in 2017, with consumers being able to conduct transactions via chatbots. • Bots will change how people shop online. Instead of being limited to browsing or searching, it will be possible to get personalized recommendations based on individual order history or preferences.





iOT FOR an inTUiTive, CasHLess eCOnOMY Communication is the life support for IoT devices. As these smart devices communicate between each other, they can make contextual decisions for the users, based on their own learning. Contextual decisions with financial terms are in best interest of the transacting user – Tushar Mehta


nternet of Things, fondly called IoT, is the word of mouth of every technology evangelist these days. IoT is typically a maze of “smart” devices which are independently connected to the internet as well as with each by means of this IoT network. These smart devices may include Alarm clocks, refrigerators, fitness trackers, home security solutions and even wearable tattoos for controlling mobile devices – anything and everything which can hook up to a network and communicate with other devices.

The Universe of Connected Devices to Rise Hugely This communication is the life support equipment for IoT – as these smart devices barter data from others to provide contextual and insightful solutions for the users. While a Gartner Report forecasts that the number of devices aligned with IoT will increase to 26 billion by 2020, adding a global economic value of nearly $1.9 trillion, IDC stands on a more optimistic side by estimating that the “Universe of Things” will lead to sales of $9 trillion worth of intelligent devices.

Contextual ad Efficient Machine Data Necessary for Modern Banking Businesses The recent stroke of demonetization, which has impacted Indians greatly (although in some instance gravely) has


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spurred the inclination towards cashless modes of payment, an adoption which is likely to contribute to the growth of IoT in the financial sector. IoT-enabled transactions have higher efficiency and take place at warp speed. This translates to better collection and contextualization of user data, better transactions directly online or using mobile devices. Machine-to-Machine interactions in IoT-empowered devices allow collection and transfer of large volumes of user-specific information using various sensors, which will also enable banks and financial institutions to track behaviour and expectations of consumers. Subsequently, this will leverage a personalized support experience to the customers, with insightful and contextual advice. Banks can also use this contextual information for creation of intuitive customer rewards and opportunities for cross-selling.

IoT in Finance Inviting Global IT Leaders IT enterprises are lunging with full force. Samsung has initiated partnerships with the likes of Bank of America and U.S. Bank to enable integration of their new Iris scanner into banking apps on mobile. Google seems to be developing an Operating System for IoT ecosystems, while Microsoft is focusing on developments in the area of Cloud. IBM is engaged in almost everything and recently made news by developing Hyperledger, an opensource protocol for blockchain.

Predictive Analysis and Information of Connected Devices Capable of Making Decisions in Best Interest What this means for consumers is that they can use this learning from Banks to receive highest returns on their investments as well as enable instant, intuitive and automated decision of finances. Val Srinivas, Banking & Securities Research Leader, Deloitte Services LP used his blog post to illustrate an example. Take for instance that your investment account reads and processes data from multiple devices in your personal space, including (let’s say) a heart-rate monitor. In the event of any health calamity or risk, your account may rebalance to reduce your downside exposure or transfer funds into more liquid holdings to facilitate the requirement of cash. This is very much possible using today’s technology.

Cyberthreats to become smarter and difficult to isolate Besides painting a harmonious picture of the consumer data, the IoT devices will need to be backed by strong cybersecurity infrastructure. Resilience comes as a challenge as Enterprises are likely to be less confident in terms of security in the coming year and cyber threats will become more intelligent, and difficult to detect and isolate. Extra layers of security will be required to deal with vulnerability, irrespective of whether the user data is on the network or the cloud. But, despite security concerns, analytics companies like Capgemini are in favour of a positive impact of IoT on our financial engagements, especially benefiting investment, insurance, and healthcare sectors.





TOP 10 CYBeR seCURiTY PReDiCTiOns FOR 2017: CYBeR eXTORTiOn, CYBeR insURanCe, anD MORe Nothing is immune from cyber-attacks and if that ‘thing’ is connected to the internet, it is fair game for an attack. From cameras and thermostats to alarm systems and mobile devices, everything is under the radar of cybercriminals

- Sidharth Shekhar


hen it comes to predicting the future of cybersecurity then it’s all about following the trends and patterns. Nothing is immune from cyber-attacks and if that ‘thing’ is connected to the internet, it is fair game for an attack. From cameras and thermostats to alarm systems and mobile devices, everything is under the radar of cybercriminals. In October this year, a botnet comprised of millions of these devices attacked Dyn, causing a significant outage of internet services. With millions of unprotected IoT devices, we are vulnerable to a major attack that could considerably impact the internet infrastructure, and possibly bring it to a standstill. Many of today’s modern IoT devices are mini-computers connected to numerous other vulnerable devices. Including security in these devices is a critical design task. Here are our top 10 predictions for the year ahead.

Cyber extortion

Cyber criminals have already started to threaten victims with ransomware and DDoS attacks in an attempt to extort money to stop the attacks or to allow victims to rescue the locked files. Ransomware will be used to target IoT devices like SmartTV, wearables, and medical devices. 42

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This is exactly what has happened this year. The extortion has been one of the most profitable activities of cyber-criminal gangs. Security experts have observed a significant increase in the number of ransomware-based attacks that also targeted critical infrastructures such as hospitals and utilities. Next year we can see the rise of criminal-as-a-service.

Technology will converge with humans

According to David Eden, Future Technologist and Product Innovator at Tata Communications, applications such as Amazon Echo and Google Home have shown us how the much-hyped connected home could look like thanks to advances in IoT-enabled sensor technologies and natural language processing. We are moving away from simply using technology to being surrounded by technology that enhances all aspects of our lives and the world around us. But this is just the start. Next, the input and output of devices will disappear into the background altogether. You will no longer have to talk to a connected home terminal, computer or a smartphone, let alone type on one. The Internet of Things will evolve into the Internet of People which will enable humans and machines to interact in a more

seamless, converged way than ever. Wearables are already enhancing our ability to interact with the world. Once things start to interact with these technologies, as well as humans, our understanding of the world around us will augment exponentially. Imagine knowing exactly where to go to catch the right bus in a strange city, or being guided to a meeting within your office without having to check your calendar, as your wearable taps you on the shoulder to let you know which way to turn while you walk along. But, this evolution will bring with it new security threats too because the most connected applications there are, the more vulnerable we become. There have been different efforts throughout the technology industry to tackling massive attacks aimed at webcams and other IoT devices – but this piecemeal approach is woefully inadequate as tens of billions of things become connected to the world’s networks. We will need a much more holistic, standardized and industry-wide strategy to securing the Internet of Things and the Internet of People. Until the industry is able to solve this problem, cyber criminals will continue to exploit the vulnerabilities in the connected word and prevent people, businesses and society as a whole from making the most of the incredible opportunities that the convergence of technology and humans brings.

Espionage goes mobile

Kaspersky security states that multiple threat actors have employed mobile implants in the past, including Sofacy, RedOctober and CloudAtlas, as well as customers of HackingTeam and the suspected NSO Pegasus iOS malware suite. However, these have supplemented campaigns largely based on desktop toolkits. As adoption of Desktop OS’s suffers from a lack of enthusiasm, and as more of the average user’s digital life is effectively transferred to their pockets, we expect to see the rise of primarily mobile espionage campaigns. These will surely benefit from decreased attention and the difficulty of attaining forensic tools for the latest mobile operating systems.

Information warfare

According to securelist, the creation of fake outlets for targeted dumps and extortion was pioneered by threat actors like Lazarus and Sofacy. After their somewhat successful and highly notorious use in the past few months, we expect information warfare operations to increase in popularity for the sake of opinion manipulation and overall chaos around popular processes. Threat actors interested in dumping hacked data have little to lose from crafting a narrative through an established or fabricated hacktivist group; diverting attention from the attack itself to the contents of their revelations.

Connected cars will be taken for ransom

As cars start to have connected capabilities, it is only a matter of time until we see an automobile hack on a large scale. This could include cars being held for ransom, self-driving cars being hacked to obtain their location for hijacking, unauthorized surveillance, and intelligence gathering, or other

automobile-focused threats. This will also lead to a question of liability between the software vendor and automobile manufacturer, which will have long-term implications on the future of connected cars.

Cyber insurance will be the new norm

This year has been one of the worst years in history for network security. According to the Insurance Information Institute, more than 60 different insurance companies are now offering standalone cyber insurance policies, with an estimated U.S. market of more than $3.25 billion in gross written premiums this year. This new trend is a direct result of data breaches that are becoming more expensive for enterprises, with the average breach in 2016 costing $7 million. This issue has made the businesses more concerned about protecting their critical data. 2016 has given us a very clear picture of all the internet based threats and it’s a clear indicator that these kinds of insurance policies should be in even greater demand in 2017.

State-sponsored hacking to increase

The fight for information has already begun and the number of campaigns conducted by Nation-state attacks will increase, but the increasing detection abilities will allow security experts to discover a larger number of state-sponsored hacking campaigns. New types of cyber weapons will be developed with more sophisticated payload to cripple the critical networks of the other party for both cyber espionage campaigns and sabotage operations.

Exploit kits

Exploit kits will continue to dominate the threat landscape. Adobe Flash Player and Microsoft products (Internet Explorer, Silverlight, Windows) continue to be privileged targets of threat actors. RIG EK will continue to be the most used exploit kit in the first months of the year, while the Sundown EK will rapidly increase its popularity.

Rogue nation states will finance themselves by stealing money

According to Tarun Kaura, Director - Product Management - Asia Pacific & Japan at Symantec, there is a dangerous possibility that rogue nation states could align with organized crime for their personal gain, such as what we saw in the SWIFT attacks. This could result in down time for countries’ political, military or financial systems.

Increased IoT DDoS attacks

The Dyn attack in October demonstrated the vast number of IoT devices that don’t have security on them and are tremendously vulnerable to attacks. As more IoT devices are installed in the mass market, the risk of security breach will increase. Once insecure devices are in the market, it becomes almost impossible to fix the issue without recalling them or issuing security updates. Given that this lack of security will continue for the foreseeable future, the number of IoT attacks will only increase as well.





seCURiTY COnCeRns Rise as inDia aiMs CasHLess eCOnOMY The move to make India a cashless country increases security risks for all citizens, with each account/wallet company becoming a single point of failure - Sidharth Shekhar


ost demonetization, we are making strides toward becoming a cashless society. This has led to digital wallet firms witnessing an unprecedented rise in their usage and popularity. Recently chipset maker Qualcomm said that wallets and mobile banking applications in India are not using hardware-level security which can make online transactions more secure. Paytm has been the most aggressive digital wallet firm to capitalize the government’s policy. To expand its service to small vendors the company ignored the privacy and data security concerns of customers. It pulled back its inapp point of sale feature that was designed for merchants to accept credit or debit card payments after security concerns were raised by payment networks such as Visa and MasterCard over data breach concerns. “Post our launch, we have had several discussions with stakeholders on how we can make this process even more secure. Based on some suggestions from the industry, we have decided to add additional certifications and features before making it available to merchants,” Paytm said in a blog post. 44

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Indian financial institutions and weak security

In terms of cybersecurity, India is way behind compared to other countries and this ignorance is evident in the Indian enterprises and financial institutions as well. “Most of the banking or wallet apps around the world don’t use hardware security. They actually run completely in Android mode and users’ password can be stolen. In India, that is the case for most of all digital wallets and mobile banking apps,” Qualcomm senior director product management Sayeed Choudhury has said. He said that even the most famous digital payment application in India is not using hardware-level security. “Reason we are saying that none of them is using it because we work with OEMs (original equipment makers),” Choudhury said. In October this year, 3.2 million debit cards were compromised. The worst-hit of the card-issuing banks were State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, YES Bank and Axis Bank. Cyber-security firm, Kaspersky Lab, announced that it had tracked at least one cyber espionage group, called Danti,

that had penetrated Indian government systems through India’s diplomatic entities. These examples clearly indicate that the threat of cyber damage is real and country’s economic strength can be crippled if hackers gain access to either the bank accounts or the stock market. “Effective public-private partnerships are absolutely essential in the fight against cybercrime to maintain global security. As we are seeing more and more sophisticated attacks – many of which have a global impact – partnerships and information exchange between cybersecurity companies and the private sector are becoming increasingly valuable,” said Altaf Halde, Managing Director (South Asia) Kaspersky Lab India. The usual “modus operandi” in such incidents with attacks against banks is - spearphishing email with a malicious attachment. After initial infection the attackers uploads to the victim additional tools and started lateral movement inside banking internal network. It takes few weeks for them to gain access to bank servers and system administrators account. After that, they can make money transfers - and cashing out via different ways - SWIFT transfers, from ATM, etc. A few months ago, a research by Kaspersky Lab revealed the ATM machines’ outdated communication standard leaves them open to attack. ATMs can be easily hacked; malware can be installed and funds could be stolen. Almost any ATM in the world could be illegally accessed and jackpotted with or without the help of malware. The main reason for this is the widespread use of outdated and insecure software, mistakes in network configuration and a lack of physical security for critical parts of the ATM. The results of the research show that even though vendors are now trying to develop ATMs with strong security features, many banks are still using old insecure models. This makes them unprepared for criminals actively challenging the security of these devices. This is today’s reality that causes banks and their customer’s huge financial losses. Many ATMs studied by Kaspersky were running Windows XP, which is no longer supported by Microsoft. This means their security isn’t up to date and malicious malware can be installed without too much effort.

Strong cybersecurity laws

Cyber threats may range from email hacks to siphoning off bank funds or crashing the stock market by dumping stocks at the fraction of a cost. A comprehensive Cyber Security bill is the need of the hour and it must be introduced which would recognize each of these threat levels and address them in a proportionate manner. In a new research paper entitled “Does The Online Card Payment Landscape Unwittingly Facilitate Fraud?” published in the academic journal IEEE Security & Privacy, researchers from the University of Newcastle explained how online payments remain a weak spot in the credit card security which makes it easy for fraudsters to retrieve sensitive card information.

The technique, dubbed Distributed Guessing Attack, can circumvent all the security features put in place to protect online payments from fraud.

Cash vs Cashless

The move to make India a cashless country increases security risks for all citizens, with each account/wallet company becoming a single point of failure. The drive towards cashless economies is driven by commercial banks and payment service providers rather than governments or central banks. In Sweden, for example, the exercise has been driven by the two major commercial banks, which are closing down ATMs and denying cash services at branches, making it more expensive and burdensome to get hold of cash. But recently the central bank has declared that these banks have gone too far and is calling for a debate in Parliament on the minimum level of cash services banks should offer. But, what happens when a whole economy is on a cashless system? In Belgium, the entire card payment system broke down the day before Christmas, so those doing their last-minute Christmas shopping had to rely on cash payments exclusively. In fact, if you want examples of cashless economies, you have Panama, which has no central bank and uses the US dollar as a currency. Or Zimbabwe, which ceased printing banknotes in 2009 because they had lost value following an extended period of hyperinflation!

Sacrificing privacy for cashless

A switch to cashless means that each and every transaction will be tracked and documented. This is great for governance, but there is no protection for citizens, as to who owns that data, whom they can share it with, and how it will be utilized. Users are going cashless as they don’t have any choice. India doesn’t have a privacy and data protection law, and last year the Government of India held that “citizens do not have a right to privacy under the Constitution”. Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – of which India is one of the signatories – explicitly states that “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.” Other countries in the world have already enacted privacy laws to safeguard their citizens. France began ensuring data security from 1978, while Canada passed the historic Personal Information Protection & Electronic Documents Act in 2000. Mexico has serious punishments for privacy violators and New Zealand has a Privacy Commissioner. What began as “surgical strike” on black money has now transformed into a campaign promoting digital economy and cashless life. The readiness of the regime to tackle economic challenges post demonetization has so far been shoddy and the government should ensure that fin tech companies are getting the full security requirements necessary to make the user’s data safe.





7 UPCOMinG TRenDs FOR THe aviD GaMeR

Future would come with lots of surprises and you would experience them with the whole new range of devices - Ashok Pandey


e all love games; whether feeling upset or feeling tired, games can fill a lot of energy. Though these days outdoor games are not possible for most of the people due to lack of time, people who love to enjoy games have numerous options. Since VR has come to the market, it changed the market greatly; now you can enjoy outdoor games while being indoor.

vR THe new TRenD TO RULe 2017 wiTH aDDeD FUnCTiOnaLiTY As per the research by SuperData - one-third of console gamers will purchase a PlayStation VR. The price of VR also has come down towards affordability and in coming years its adoption rate would be much higher. Smartphones make VR more popular. Especially, new VR sets are not only affordable but also comes with additional functions to play the games.

PHYsiCaLLY COLLaBORaTive GaMes Incorporate the body as well as mind to enjoy the real life like games. VR technology and its experimental tech contemporaries are developing new games in which your body and mind both will be incorporated.

GaMinG wiTH eveRYOne Numerous VR games are already available in the Play store and App store and new ones are coming every week. Though when you say VR the first thing comes to the mind is personal gaming or entertainment. You get the impression that you won’t be able to play with your friends or family. But it’s not true, especially when you live in the tech era. Yes, there are games available that can be played with your friends and family and surely they all require a VR set.


PCQUEST J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7

GrowinG in a DiGital inDia The Growth Market Initiative by PCQuest & CyberMedia helps businesses learn how to understand, choose, implement - ideas, innovation and technology to grow their businesses. The initiative goes beyond providing strategic advice and delves into “HOW TO” actually apply it.

date: 15th February 2017 Venue: new delhi target Audience: 150+ Owners/CiOs/ it decision makers of mid Enterprises Format: A full day event

highlightS OF AgEndA • Keynote address -Growing in a Digital India…… • Presenting Partner Slot • Panel discussion: The need to digitally transform your business • Big Data Analytics Session- Chalking Out the Right Analytics and Big Data Strategy • Cloud Session- Why Adopting a Hybrid Cloud Strategy Makes More Sense • Mobility Session-The Right Mobility Strategy for a Modern-Day Enterprise • Digital Transformation • Panel discussion: Securing Your IT Infrastructure Against New-Age Threats • Demo: Using Open Source Tools in Cutting IT Infrastructure Costs • Best Technology Awards • Vote of thanks and networking over high tea

For Sponsorship Opportunities: Contact: Avinash Kumar Maurya, Email:

COVER STORY 4K GaMinG 4K has become a common term for TVs and soon it will be available with gaming machines. Xbox One Scorpio is scheduled to be available in 2017 offering 4K Gaming. As per the company, it will be quite different from the current offerings and even from the upcoming Sony PlayStation 4 Pro. It could be the most powerful machine till the time equipped with the most powerful graphics processor along with powerful chipset and peripherals delivering the high-end 4K gaming experience.

neXT GeneRaTiOn COnsOLes Portable gaming devices are expected to reach to a new height. Nintendo is expected to bring its newest Switch gaming console. Nintendo Switch offers single and multiplayer thrills at home, enabling gamers to play the same title wherever, whenever and with whomever they choose. It comes with detachable Joy-Con controllers from either side of Nintendo Switch. One player can use a Joy-Con controller in each hand, two players can each take one or multiple Joy-Con can be employed by numerous people for a variety of gameplay options.

FRee OR BUDGeT GaMinG The next era will lead to offer free games online. Games would be available with both free and subscription based and the subscription would offer various benefits and incentives. As we all know that digital content is the future. Due to heavy competition, digital content providers are reducing their fee, or giving lots of offers to attract games. In the future, we can expect free games or at a very low price.

RUn GaMes wiTHOUT insTaLLinG Presently, you have to install the game and it’s consuming a whole lot of space from your hard drive but soon you will be able to play the game even without installing that on your gaming device. And it only necessitating downloads and installations of updates, such as for multiplayer or game-breaking glitches.


PCQUEST J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7

Open Source Corner 40+ seCURiTY sOFTwaRe, CMs TOOLs, OFFiCe ManaGeMenT anD GRaPHiCs sOLUTiOns - Sonam Yadav

10 wORDPRess seCURiTY PLUGins 1. aLL in One wP seCURiTY & FiRewaLL:

2. iTHeMes seCURiTY:

3. wORDFenCe seCURiTY:

4. sUCURi seCURiTY:

5. wP anTiviRUs siTe PROTeCTiOn:

6. CLeF TwO-FaCTOR aUTHenTiCaTiOn:

WordPress itself is a very secure platform. However, it helps to add some extra security and firewall to your site by using a security plugin that enforces a lot of good security practices. The All In One WordPress Security plugin will take your website security to a whole new level. This plugin is designed and written by experts and is easy to use and understand. It reduces security risk by checking for vulnerabilities, and by implementing and enforcing the latest recommended WordPress security practices and techniques.

Sucuri Inc is a globally recognized authority in all matters related to website security, with specialization in WordPress Security. The Sucuri Security WordPress Security plugin is free to all WordPress users. It is a security suite meant to complement your existing security posture. It offers it’s users four key security features for their website, each designed to have a positive effect on their security posture.

iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security) gives you over 30+ ways to secure and protect your WordPress site. On average, 30,000 new websites are hacked each day. WordPress sites can be an easy target for attacks because of plugin vulnerabilities, weak passwords, and obsolete software.

WP Antivirus Site Protection is the security plugin to prevent/ detect and remove malicious viruses and suspicious codes. It detects backdoors, rootkits, trojan horses, worms, fraud tools, adware, spyware, hidden links, redirection and etc. WP Antivirus Site Protection scans not only theme files, it scans and analyzes all the files of your WordPress website (theme files, all the files of the plugins, files in upload folder and etc).

Secure your website with Wordfence. Powered by the constantly updated Threat Defense Feed, our Web Application Firewall stops you from getting hacked. Wordfence Scan leverages the same proprietary feed, alerting you quickly in the event your site is compromised. Our Live Traffic view gives you realtime visibility into traffic and hacks attempts on your website. A deep set of additional tools rounds out a complete WordPress security solution available.

The Clef mobile app provides password-free, two-factor authentication that is highly secure and enjoyable to use. Sync your phone with the Clef Wave to log in. Clef Login Features 1. No passwords: log in securely with the Clef wave, and enjoy two-factor protection without one-time codes. 2. No extra devices: use your smartphone instead of a “third device” such as a USB drive or security key. 3.Single sign on/off: Sync with the Clef Wave once, then enjoy one-click sign-ins for all subsequent sites. JANUARY 2017



Open Source Corner


The Google Authenticator plugin for WordPress gives you two-factor authentication using the Google Authenticator app for Android/ iPhone/Blackberry. If you are security aware, you may already have the Google Authenticator app installed on your smartphone, using it for two-factor authentication on Gmail/Dropbox/ Lastpass/Amazon etc. The two-factor authentication requirement can be enabled on a per-user basis. You could enable it for your administrator account, but log in as usual with less privileged accounts.


A Brute Force Attack aims at being the simplest kind of method to gain access to a site: it tries usernames and passwords, over and over again, until it gets in. Brute Force Login Protection is a lightweight plugin that protects your website against brute force login attacks using .htaccess. After a specified limit of login attempts within a specified time, the IP address of the hacker will be blocked.

9. BULLeTPROOF seCURiTY: BulletProof Security Pro Website Security Suite is the complete website security package for hacker and spammer protection. BPS Pro protects your website files and database with multiple overlapping outer and inner layers of website security protection. The most powerful innermost countermeasure website security layer is AutoRestore|Quarantine Intrusion Detection and Prevention System (ARQ IDPS).


10. vaULTPRess:

VaultPress is a real-time backup and security scanning service designed and built by Automattic, the same company that operates 25+ million sites on The VaultPress plugin provides the required functionality to backup and synchronizes every post, comment, media file, revision and dashboard settings on our servers. To start safeguarding your site, you need to sign up for a VaultPress subscription.


PCQUEST J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7

1. seCURiTY Review:

The Security Review module automates testing for many of the easy-to-make mistakes that render your site insecure. The scope of the security review depends on the composition of the offering. Most offerings contain one or more parts that are classified as Native, Composite (Web Applications), or Client/Mobile. Our approach is to test all parts of the offering to ensure that our mutual customers and their data are not put at risk. The table below describes at a high level what testing is performed for each part.

2. PaRanOia

The Paranoia module attempts to identify all the places that a user can evaluate PHP via Drupal’s web interface and then block those. It reduces the potential impact of an attacker gaining elevated permission on a Drupal site.

3. CODeR

4. XFs


6.BaCKUP anD MiGRaTe:


8.DisPLaY sUiTe:

Coder checks your Drupal code against coding standards and other best practices. It can also fix coding standard violations for you with the PHP CBF command from PHP_CodeSniffer

Backup and restore your Drupal MySQL database, code, and files or migrate a site between environments. Backup and Migrate supports gzip, bzip and zip compression as well as automatic scheduled backups.

The XFS module implements HTTPS to protect you from man-in-the-middle attacks and eavesdropping. It also prevents cross-site request forgery, clickjacking, and content sniffing.

The Custom Contextual Links module allows you to add your own links to the contextual drop down widgets of blocks and nodes. Contextual links are really great for quick access to settings pages within your Drupal install. They cut down the time required to click through the sometimes cumbersome Drupal administrative navigation.

This module makes it possible for site administrators to remove IP-addresses from the flood table, or to remove all IP-addresses from the table depending on the event type.

Display Suite allows you to take full control over how your content is displayed using a drag and drop interface. Arrange your nodes, views, comments, user data etc. the way you want without having to work your way through dozens of template files. A predefined list of layouts (D7 only) is available for even more drag and drop fun.

9. OaUTH2:

OAuth2 Authentication allows users to log into your Drupal site authenticating against a remote identity provider (IDP) via OAuth2. That is, if a user’s credentials can be used to retrieve a valid access token, he/she will be logged into the site with those credentials and the token will be added to his/her session. If the user doesn’t exist yet, it will be created.

10. wORKBenCH:

Workbench provides overall improvements for managing content that Drupal does not provide out of the box. Workbench gives us three important solutions: 1. a unified and simplified user interface for users who ONLY have to work with content. This decreases training and support time. 2. the ability to control who has access to edit any content based on an organization’s structure, not the website structure 3. a customizable editorial workflow that integrates with the access control feature described above or works independently on its own




Open Source Corner 9 FRee JOOMLa PLUGins FOR seCURiTY 1. RSFIREWall

RSFirewall! is the most advanced Joomla! security extension (website firewall) that you can use to protect your Joomla! the website from intrusions and hacker attacks. It’s backed up by a team of experts that are trained to be always up to date with the latest known vulnerabilities, security updates making RSFirewall! the best choice in keeping your website safe.


3. JHaCkGuaRD


6. INCaPSula:

8. OSE aNTI-vIRuS:


Admin Tools is a true Swiss Army knife for your site. Our freely available Admin Tools Core will detect, notify you about new Joomla! releases, fix your files’ and directories’ permissions, protect your administrator directory with a password, change your database prefix, migrate links pointing to your old domain on-the-fly and perform database maintenance, all with a single click.

jHackGuard is designed by SiteGround to protect Joomla websites from hacking attacks. Just add it to your Joomla and it will be safe against SQL Injections, Remote URL/File Inclusions, Remote Code Executions and XSS Based Attacks!


This plugin adds a simple but, in most cases, fundamental protection against SQL injection and LFI (local files inclusion) attacks. It checks data sent to Joomla and intercepts a lot of common exploits, saving your site from hackers.


Eyesite scans your directory structures, storing the details of every file in a database table. The details stored include the file date/time, size, and md5 checksum of the file. Every time Eyesite re-scans the directory structure, it re-calculates the md5 checksum of each file and compares it to the one stored in the database. Eyesite is then able to detect any files in the directory tree that are new, changed, or deleted. If any changes are detected, Eyesite sends you an email. 52

PCQUEST J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7

Securitycheck Pro is a global protection suite designed to protect your website without affecting your server’s speed. This version includes A modular interface to manage the entire extension quickly and easily.

This software can scan various web viruses on your server and supports most of the types of files on the server including PHP, HTML, Javascripts, etc. You can easily configure which types of files to scan under settings. In addition, The component is installed under the Joomla! system, while it’s competent to scan all files on the server even under the different systems.

Incapsula Inc. is a cloud-based application delivery platform. It uses a global content delivery network to provide website security, DDoS protection, load balancing and failover services to clients.

Most hacker attacks are preventable. Instantly protect your website from most attacks with jomDefender, a must-have first line of defense for every Joomlapowered website. jomDefender also protects your site with security features such as an extra admin login screen (makes hackers guess two unique admin passwords instead of one), frontend & backend IP ban/blocking, and much more. We’ve even added a bonus feature in jomDefender that lets you find the best configuration for your website to optimize its page-load time.


Here is a list of 8 customer management tools that helps to increase customer satisfaction


Freshdesk is a helpdesk solution that offers everything you need to deliver exceptional customer service. It helps to manage all your customer conversations in one place, no matter what the source email, phone or social media, so you can offer support that is both personal and quick. It has a multi-channel feature that guarantees exceptional support through phone, email, your website and even Facebook and Twitter. All from one place!


AnswerHub uses Q&A format to help customers ask questions easily, route them to the correct experts, and provide a single place to find answers. Features like ideation, gamification, and community analytics help to keep customers engaged and spot opportunities to improve. It is a tool that offers more than just a question and answers model and it allows you to create an interactive Q&A community.

HappyFox It helps to track and manage all customer support requests across multiple channels like email, chats, social media and phone in a centralized ticket support system. Integration with other web apps like CRM, live-chats, voice and bug tracking apps makes it practical help desk. Similar customer support queries can be handled using canned actions and smart rules to automate responses.

Zendesk is the leading cloud-based customer service software solution. Zendesk helps to lower support costs, raise productivity, and increase customer satisfaction. Zendesk is easy to try, buy, implement, and use. It is loved by both service teams and customers.


8. HaPPyFOx


iSupport is used to help professionals every day to help them solve their most demanding support issues. iSupport enables you to manage Incidents, Problems, Changes, CMDB, Assets, Knowledge, Workflows, and more.

It is a web-based live chat and ticketing help desk solution which supports its users to manage large amounts of emails & provide highquality customer service. The system is browser-based for both Windows and Mac. FocalScope offers integrated features like Personal/Group Email Accounts, Email Threading, Ticket Ownership, Ticket Priority, Email Workflow Processing and To Do lists.


It helps you track and resolve customer issues quickly, thereby delivering superior customer support and taking customer satisfaction to the next level. SupportCenter Plus is a web-based customer support software that lets organizations effectively manage customer tickets, their account & contact information, the service contracts and in the process providing a superior customer experience.


CustomAnswers provides a flexible and robust CRM platform that is customizable to a vast array of business processes and workflows. Across all channels of communications, phone, emails, walkin etc, capture manage and track all customers interactions. it is a highly customizable tool and easy to use. JANUARY 2017



Open Source Corner 10 OPen sOURCe TOOLs FOR FinanCiaL sOFTwaRe

1. allOCPSa




This suite includes a dashboard, bookkeeping, project management, time tracking, to do lists, CRM, calendar, and much more, all designed specifically to meet the needs of professional service organizations. Operating System: OS Independent

Neogia combines ERP, CRM, eCommerce, business intelligence and other functions. It is the solution for managing a business, complete, modular, evolutionary and simple of use. Operating System: Windows, Linux


It installs on your Web server and can be accessed from any browser. It includes a number of screenshots and an online demo so that you can see how it works before you download. Operating System: OS Independent

OpenERP offers a modular design. It also offers helpful comparisons with other open-source ERP solutions, as well as SAP and Microsoft Dynamics. Operating System: Windows, Linux

webERP offers browser-based ERP and accounting functionality. It can run on any Web server and supports multiple themes and multiple languages. Operating System: OS Independent


PCQUEST J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7


Key features of this ERP/CRM/SCM suite include product management, sales and purchases, billing and accounting, customer relationship management, issue tracking and reporting. Operating System: OS Independent


The xTuple/ PostBooks edition tracks sales, accounting, operations, and CRM. xTuple is a cloud-based service. Operating System: Windows, Linux, Unix, OS X


It lets you track a watch list and your current investments in 24 global stock markets. It includes advanced starting capabilities, alerts, stock-picking filters, optional cloud storage. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

9. CHaRTSy

Chartsy makes it easy to view the trading history for your favorite stocks. It includes you to a YouTube tutorial, as well as plug-ins to help you analyze your stock picks. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

10. BuDDI

This “personal budget software ” requires very little financial knowledge on the part of the user, and with the help of the quick start tutorial, you can be up and running in as little as five minutes. Operating System: OS Independent



GIMP has a rich set of filters and tools to manipulate photos for print or Web publishing.It has a comprehensive user manual and a fair amount of help online. GIMP is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X, and it now runs natively on OS X, without the need to install special X11 libraries.



Inkscape lets you edit and create complex (or simple) artwork -anything from icons and simple clip art to complex illustrations for children’s books.

LibreOffice is the most actively developed free and open source office suite, a project of The Document Foundation. The LibreOffice suite comprises programs for word processing, the creation, and editing of spreadsheets, slideshows, diagrams and drawings, working with databases, and composing mathematical formulae.


Scribus is similar to tools like Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress. The Scribus Project provides packages and installers for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.


Blender is capable of stunning 3D work—and not just still images. Blender has been used to create animated masterpieces like Big Buck Bunny and Elephants Dream. Blender is available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and more.




gadgets corner SMARTPHONE


A Well-designed phone with added security features — Ashok Pandey


lackBerry has stopped shipping its devices with BB OS and their two new devices DTEK 50 and 60, launched recently, are being manufactured by TCL. However, the Blackberry quality is still maintained. We received BalackBerry DTEK 50 review unit, which looks decent but does this Android have the BB benefits like security? Let’s find out… Lightweight phone: As like previous BB devices you won’t find any physical keyboard in this 5.2-inch device. The phone is surprisingly thin, only 7.4mm and light, just 135 grams. The plastic build phone has a black aluminum band with shiny silver edges. The dimension of the phone is quite balanced enabling you to hold the device even with one hand. On the right side panel, there are volume rocker and one dedicated programmable button to launch any app you want. This can be customised as per your choice. It holds a 5.2-inch, 1920x1080p IPS screen which produces good colours. It has good level of brightness allowing you to use the phone even in direct sunlight. The BB effect: We can expect higher security from Blackberry and other functions in the phone and the company did just that. It’s an android phone and the UI is pretty clean offering similar experience, yet BB has done several tweaks to it. There is a productivity tab that can be seen at the edges. Slide out and you will get calendar, etc. BlackBerry Hub is also there, enabling the user to add multiple email accounts, slack messages and social media updates. About the security of the device, BB uses storage encryption which can be found in smartphones running Android 6.0 or above. As it’s named after DTEK, an app that informs the user about other apps’ access permission for instance camera, GPS, mic and other. But Android 6.0 or above running device also force for the same permission. Thus, we can say it’s a secure phone but nothing out of the world. However, as like Google’s Nexus and the newly introduced Pixel, which get patched the quickest, the DTEK is also one of the device which will bring them quicker than other devices. Can handle various apps: The phone has the capability to handle different apps and games easily. Though we found that it’s slightly slow in opening apps. But while running them we didn’t encounter any lag in the performance. We played games like Asphalt 8 and Fifa. It was able to handle both games; even while switching between these two there was no visible lag. Decent camera: You can click decent quality images with the rear camera in both day and low light conditions. Though in low light it can produce a bit noise, still it’s acceptable. The front is also good in terms of selfie and groufie images. The UI of the camera is also simple and clean. 56



Price: `21,990/-




Key SpecS: 5.2-inch full HD display, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor, 3GB RAM, 16 GB ROM (expandable up to 2TB), 13MP rear camera, 8MP front camera, 2,610 mAh battery, Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS proS: Clean UI, build quality, decent performance and battery conS: Average camera

Day long battery backup: While using the device, it lasted for about 11 to 12 hours with moderate usage that includes playing games, taking calls, playing music and video and surfing the net. In our video loop test, we were able to watch almost two movies roughly about 5 hours 36 minutes over Wi-Fi, with full brightness and volume. It offers pretty decent battery life, allowing you to play with the device day long. Bottomline: In this price range, BlackBerry DTEK 50 is a decent and common device with some BB tweaks. If you prefer BlackBerry as a brand and looking for added security, then you can consider this. Else go for Asus Zenfone 3 Max or Lenovo Zuk Z2 Plus available at lower price.





325+ Telecom Delegates 31Eminent Speakers 5 Power Packed Sessions 44 Telco Awards CEO Roundtable

Telecom Person Of the Year Gopal Vittal CEO, Bharti Airtel

Lifetime Contribution Sandip Das, Chairman & Senior Partner Maitreyi Capital Advisors

Panel Discussion Digital Aspirations of a Billion People

Panel Panel Discussion The Digital Service Provider

Akhil Gupta, Vicewith Chairman, Bharti Enterprises Fireside Chat Industry Champions

Panel Cloud as a Digital Transformer Presenting Par tner

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Panel Panel Discussion Fireside Chat with Industry Champions

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gadgets corner SMARTPHONE


A great mobile with dual camera to boot — Raj Kumar Maurya


uawei’s sub-brand Honor has launched the Honor 8,which is a successor of Honor 7. This mid-range smartphone is a direct competitor of OnePlus 3 and ASUS Zenfone 3. Honor is promoting it with a special USP i.e. dual camera setup. Not so unique yet attractive: Honor 8 has a very compact and aesthetic design. The metal design sandwiched between two glasses with the 2.5D curve, adding premium looks. We have seen phones with dual glasses, but its size, plane design along with dual lenses, make it quite cool. Though it looks cool, the glasses are prone to fingerprints. Moreover, also it is quite slippery. At first glance, the smartphone resembles the iPhones, 2.5 D glass on tech front and metallic rims running along the edges. Above the display, the placement of the sensor, ear speaker grills and camera is as usual, but the notification’s LED placement is something different. It’s placed inside the speaker grills at the left side and only visible when it glows. The top side of the phone has an IR blaster and bottom is accomplished by USB Type-C port and 3.5mm audio jack on the left side. Right side metallic frame is comprised of a SIM card slot which is basically a hybrid tray. The fingerprint scanner at the back has a silver ring and also pushable to trigger multiple tasks such voice assistant, gesture, locking apps etc. It sports an LTPS (Low-temperature Polycrystalline Silicon) 5.2 inches full HD display which looks very sharp. It produces natural and punchy colors with great sharpness. The display is bright enough to read the text under direct sunlight without any problem. Further, to save your eyes from the stress, there is a feature called ‘EYE’ that filter the blue light of the display. Dual lenses to capture every detail: The camera of Honor 8 is packed with a dual 12-megapixel configuration to capture the images with better depth and sharpness. For creating blur background effect the camera app has afeature called ‘Wide Aperture”. The images captured by the Honor 8 are crisp and possess a good amount of detailing along natural colors. If you are a selfie lover, then the front camera of 8 megapixels is not going to disappoint you. Yes, the low-light selfies are a little bit noisy but still it will not let you compromise the quality of the picture. At this price point, the OnePlus 3 has a 4K recording option but unfortunately the Honor 8 doesn’t. various interesting features: The Honor 8 is based on Android v6.0 Marshmallow with a customized layer of EMUI v 4.1. An interesting feature of this phone is Knuckle sense that allows you taking screenshot and screen recording using knuckles. For controlling different electronics items, it supports infrared sensor & comes with pre-install app called smart controller. Runs smoothly: In order togive a smooth performance, it is built with Huawei-owned processor called HiSilicon Kirin 950 octa-core. If you are a multi-tasker, then phone is not going to disappoint you, as it has 4 GB RAM and 32 GB for storage that can expandable up to 128 GB using Hybrid SIM card slot. The processor is enough to run heavy apps and games smoothly.We 58



Price: `29,999/-




Key SpecS: 5.2 inch 1080x1920 pixels Display, 1.8GHz octa-core CPU, Front Camera. 8-megapixel. RAM, 4GB, Android 6.0, Storage 32GB, Rear Camera 12-megapixel, 3000mAh proS: Premium design, Powerful processor and performance, Good camera conS: No FM, Slippery body

didn’t find any major lag while multi-tasking. Moreover, we did notice some heat while updating and using the camera. Great battery: Honor 8 uses a 3000 mAh battery to power its hardware. The phone offers three different battery mode: Performance, Smart and Ultra. In our battery tests, we ran a video loop test in which we got 8 hours and 10 minutes’ battery backup at high volume and brightness. Bottomline: Honor 8 is a well-designed smartphone with a great combination of hardware. However, in comparison with Oneplus 3, in some respects, it wins and in some it loses the battle. Some missing features like FM and VoLTE made it not such a preferred phone as compared to OnePlus 3 and Asus Zenfone 3. However, if are looking for a phone with good looks and great performance with clean UI and battery then Honor 8 is for you.



An exclusive for India smartphone that comes with 3 SIM slots — Adeesh Sharma

Price: `6,999/-


he Coolpad Mega 3 smartphone is bound to cause some ripples in the 7k smartphone segment, comes at it does with a 3 SIM slot and an additional slot for your memory card. Designed specifically for the Reliance Jio offer, the smartphone offers users already having two SIM cards, an additional slot to try out the free Jio SIM. So, you get the option to enjoy the best from three network operators simultaneously. It has been available from Dec 7th exclusively on 5.5” IPS HD Display: Available in three color variants: gold, grey and white the smartphone provides decent viewing experience for the price with an HD 5.5” IPS screen. It runs on Android 6.0 with minimal user interface customisation. 2GB RaM, 16GB ROM: The RAM has been reduced to 2GB with this model but this reduction is understandable at this price point. Similarly, there’s a reduction in internal storage at 16GB. However, you can expand it to 64GB with an external memory card. The Coolpad Mega 3 also supports OTG. 8MP front and rear cameras: The 8MP front camera comes with a fixed focus and is clearly not a delight for selfie lovers. However, the 8MP rear autofocus camera does a decent job, again for the price, in shooting photos and videos in broad daylight. The performance is expected to take a hit during night. Processor, battery and network connectivity: Coolpad Mega 3 smartphone runs on MT6737 1.25GHz quad core processor with a decent 3,050 mAh battery. It feels a little




Key SpecS: 5.5” IPS HD Display, 2GB RAM, 16GB ROM, 8MP front and rear cameras, MT6737 1.25GHz quad core processor, 3,050 mAh battery, 802.11 b/g/n standard, Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity proS: Triple SIM slots, low price conS: Poor display and camera

too big at 170 gms but is still good enough to be handled with one hand. Also, the smartphone might not do a good job with multitasking apps but the battery is bound to provide day-long backup with regular usage. The smartphone works on 802.11 b/g/n standard and provides Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. And needless to add here, it does support 4G Volte. You also have the accelerometer, proximity and light sensors but do not yet expect a fingerprint sensor at this price! Bottomline: Meant for basic usage, so dont expect to run any fancy apps or games on it. The phone is good for those looking to go digital at an affordable price.




gadgets corner SMARTPHONE


A balanced phone backed by good hardware and massive battery — Ashok Pandey


sus Zenfone phones have got new design with its 3rd series. With this, Max also gets an upgrade and now it’s lightweight and stylish. You may ask about the massive 5000mAh battery which was carried by the previous device. The 3 Max phone has 4100mAh, though smaller than previous one, but it gives good performance. Looks similar yet different from its siblings: The front doesn’t look much different from other Zenfone devices, though its back has metallic finish giving it a rich feel. The front is entirely covered with 2.5D curved glass, so you can see lines on it sometimes but on the rear you won’t find any smudges, thanks to its metal finish. The phone is available in four different colors viz., Sand Gold, Titanium Gray, Glacier Silver and Rose Pink. large 5.5-inch vibrant screen: It’s not a bulky phone having a huge screen and giant battery, thanks to its design team who managed everything. The 5.5-inch full high-definition IPS display offers good detail and intense 450nits brightness enabling you to use the device without any trouble even in bright light conditions. The thin 2.25 mm bezel and 77.5% screento-body ratio makes the device comfortable to hold even in one hand. And though it is powered by a huge battery, it weighs only 175 grams, so is lightweight for your pocket as well. Lag free performance: Packed with powerful hardware, the device can handle various games and apps easily. We played games like Mortal Combat X, NFS and Asphalt 8 etc. There was no visible lag in the performance. Even while switching between apps, we didn’t notice any lag. The phone runs smooth and its UI is also cool. The PixelMaster rear camera captures beautiful images in high-resolution. Just like previous Asus smartphones, this one also has various options to shoot images in different conditions. It captures image with good amount of detail and rich colors. The front camera also shoots sharp selfies and clear video chats. For security, it has fingerprint sensor at the back that works perfectly as well as offers different functions including swipe down across the sensor to activate the selfie camera and then allows you to tap with your tip to take a picture. The large battery is the best and main USP of the phone. With the moderate usage it was able to last for more than 2 days. In our video test, it lasted for more than 12 hours and 58 minutes playing video with full brightness and volume over Wi-Fi. 60



Price: `17,999/-




Key SpecS: 5.5-inch (1080x1920p) Full HD display, 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core 64-bit processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB internal memory expandable up to 128GB, 16MP PixelMaster Camera with 5p Largan lens, f/2.0, 8MP Front Camera, Android M v6.0.1 with ZenUI 3.0, 4100 mAh battery proS: Great battery, lightweight, design, good performance conS: A bit expensive

Bottomline: If you’re looking for a great battery phone but don’t want to carry weight, then this is the right device with good overall performance, but a bit expensive. So, if you are ready to spend 18k then it’s a perfect choice.



An ultra-thin hybrid laptop for basic productivity tasks — Adeesh Sharma


t just 9.6 mm thickness this carbon black 2-in-1 hybrid between a laptop and a tablet really redefines the future of a productivity device for an always on-the-move professional. It weighs just 690 gms and feels like a true hard bound folder when held with both hands. Lenovo’s thinking behind this product has been to create a fusion device between a tablet and a laptop so you get to experience all: browse, work and play. Meant to handle basic productivity tasks, good enough for most professionals on the move, the device packs Intel’s Atom x5 processor within its thin base and works on Windows 10 Pro OS that’s the Windows version for mobile devices.

Touch-based keyboard adds to the bling: While we don’t appreciate the broader than usual bezel, the touch-based keyboard, called the Halo keyboard by Lenovo, does add to the bling value. It can be made to appear or disappear through a touch-sensitive button and this is one of the main factors that contributes to the slimness of the device. The haptic feedback we received while typing was pretty decent and the keys can increase in size based on their usage frequency. For instance, if you use the character ‘E’ too often, the touch keyboard has been programmed to increase its size for future. Such a size modification reduces the possibility of accidently touching any adjacent key and thus having to delete it all the time, something we frequently experience while typing on smartphones. Digitise notes and sketches through an electromagnetic stylus: What if you want to scribble something on a notepad and are loathe at having to type it again on the Notepad app? This device provides a way around through the combination of a magnetic writing pad and electromagnetic stylus (designed by Wacom) called Real Pen. It can draw with the precision of a pen or a brush with 2,048 pressure levels and 100-degree angle detection. The good part is that it does not require charging and the ink can be replaced with standard ink tips, just like an ordinary pen. Just to give you a quick idea, it works through a magnetic note pad placed on the keyboard base. You may place any piece of paper on this magnetic pad and it works just fine. The supplied Real Pen can be used to scribble anything on it and the same text or drawing is simultaneously reflected on the screen, thus saving time. key specifications of lenovo yoga Book: The Lenovo Yoga Book is built to enhance mobility while taking care of the varied needs of the new-age professional. It provides the full functionality of a tablet with a 10.1” full HD IPS touch-screen that runs on the Windows 10 Pro OS. While you may not be able work with heavy software, the basic productivity office tasks should be good to go. The Yoga Book comes with 4GB LPDDR3 RAM and 64 GB ROM which should do a decent job at multitasking. The storage can be expanded to 128 GB through an SD card slot. The Intel Atom x5 2.4 GHz quad core processor is pretty much standard for such devices and you can also insert a nano SIM for the on-the-move connectivity. The battery capacity at 8500 mAh sounds decent and Lenovo

Price: `49,990/-




Key SpecS: 690 gm, Windows 10 Pro, 4GB RAM, 64 GB ROM, Intel Atom x5-Z8550 Processor @2.4 GHz, 8500 mAh Li-ion battery, 10.1” FHD IPS display, 16.7 million colors, Cameras: 8 MP auto focus rear, 2 MP fixed focus front, 4G VoLTE. proS: Ultralight, easy to handle conS: Keyboard a little slow to respond

claims it can last upto 13 hours with routine productivity tasks. So that you don’t miss out on any smartphone functionality it also comes with an 8MP auto focus rear camera but the front camera is just 2 MP and that too with a fixed focus, a little bit of a dampener considering that it is the age of selfie-phones. Additional connectivity options: The device supports 4G LTE with WLAN support for 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac. The left side sports one microUSB and one micro HDMI port along with SIM and microSD card slots. On the right of the base are the 3.5 mm headphone jack, the volume rocker and the power button. The Bluetooth connectivity is a surprise omission but may be this could be done away with given the changing connectivity preferences these days. The Lenovo Yoga Book also has the usual mix of sensors: vibrator, G-sensor, ambient light, Hall sensor and GPS. Bottomline: A good device at a decent price for those looking for an absolutely light device to travel with.




gadgets corner SCANNER




Towards (Almost) Paperless Workplaces

Quality & Affordable Wireless Printing — Tushar Mehta

— Tushar Mehta

Price: `59,800/-

Price: `3,995/-






iling and then digging up of relevant documents of paper is something that all of us struggle with, each day. With emerging technologies, businesses are steering towards a paperless workplace, and scanners are at the starting point for digitization. Kodak’s new i1190E desktop scanner bids to lead the shift towards a work environment that doesn’t rely on paper. Compact and versatile: Lightweight and compact, the Kodak i1190E scanner is a great tool for businesses of all scales. By de-cluttering paper, it increases efficiency and reduces carbon footprint. The scanner tray can accommodate up to 75 pages of sizes from Folio (8.5 x 13”) to as small as 2 x 2.5” visiting or ID-cards, giving flexibility. It allows duplex scanning for two-sided documents and barcode reading. Convenience at a Single Touch: It comes with a USB Type-A to Type-B cable, a 24V power adapter and a CD with drivers and Kodak’s proprietary Capture Pro software. Power jack and USB port are at the rear. The front has touch-enabled keys and an LCD display to present number of documents scanned in the batch and selected presets. These presets, part of Kodak’s Smart Touch Technology, allow nine user-friendly tasks including creating JPEGs or PDFs, direct scan and mail, organizing scans and uploading to the Cloud. Remarkable Quality – Rich Colours and Crisp Text: The optical resolution of the scanner is 600 dpi (dots per inch is a unit of optical resolution) with output between 100 and 1200 dpi. The i1190E scanner fulfills expectations by scanning of 25 A4 sized duplex pages in approximately 39 sec; average time per page is 1.5 sec. For resolution higher than 300 dpi, the per-page scanning time is up to 10 sec. Depth of the output colour is commendable, images sharp and text clearly readable. Limited Connectivity Options: The downsides include lack of Wifi or mobile support. Hence, a PC has to be always connected to power the scanner on. Kodak provides EMC Toolkit allowing developers to create browser-based apps, or intergrating barcode scanning. Bottomline: Powerful image Key SpecS: CMOS based CIS processing capabilities allow sensor, Single and multi-page, Output users to step up their workflow, resolution 100-1200 dpi, built-in dedicating time for more important Barcode Scanner processes. Colours are rich and proS: Convenient operations, images crisp. Price tag of $895, user-friendly presets, duplex scanning, rich colour and crisp text, quick and translating to roughly Rs. 59,800, is accurate, Barcode scanning a setback. Businesses can use the conS: Expensive, lack of Wifi integrated Barcode reader in their ERP or Accounting Software. 62







oarding passes, pictures from family vacations, photocopies of vital documents – now everything printed at home. The Canon Pixma MG3070S is an all-in-one printer solution which doesn’t cost heavy bucks. Enabled with Wi-Fi, this multifunction printer is ideal for homes and small offices. Pleasant Personality at Tempting Price: This newest addition to the Pixma series of inkjets is a versatile performer which prints, copies, scans and can do this wirelessly, with remarkable quality at merely Rs. 3,995. It sits comfortably on a study table and can easily be disguised due to its plain matte-style black colour. The shutter to flatbed scanner as well as the paper tray seem feeble and bend easily. You must install Canon Print Inkjet/SELPHY App from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store to initialize wireless and cloud printing. Bring Striking Colours to Paper: Canon Pixma MG3070S outsteps expectations by producing rich colours prints and copies with generous sharpness. Pictures have decent saturation and hues close to real life. Printing black & white documents under test consumed 15 sec per page while each coloured page took approximately 29 sec. Users could, however, be set back due to the turbulent sounds during printing. Using CIS (Contact Image Sensor) method, scans at 100 dpi, 300 dpi and above 300 dpi take eight, 14 and 52 seconds respectively. Wireless Printing at Fingertips: Canon’s Print Inkjet/SELPHY App furnishes features to get prints and scans in the main menu with customization options for print size and quality. It also supports Cloud Printing and Pixma Cloud Link allowing direct printing from online services like Facebook, Dropbox, Twitter etc. Users can obtain scans directly on their mobile devices and order prints online using this app. Cost-effective Setup for all Needs: Ink Cartridges are economically priced at Rs. 746 (coloured) and Rs. 499 (black), making the Canon Pixma MG3070S a delight for the pocket. There’s no USB plug ‘n play, however, for printing directly from a thumb drive or external hard drive. Bottomline: Offering the ease of wireless printing and Pixma Key SpecS: All-in-One Coloured Printer, Scanner & Copier. 600 dpi Cloud Link at a convenient price, flatbed CIS Scanner, Wireless Printing, this all-in-one from Canon is a Canon Cloud Link replete package for the money. proS: Attractive Price, Wireless Quality is impressive and prints Scanning & Printing, Vivid Colours are sufficiently sharp. There’s no conS: Lack of Duplex Scanning or Bluetooth or USB plug ‘n play, but Printing the price leaves no room for any complaining.


DELL INSPIRON 15 7559 A power-packed laptop for avid gamers

— Tushar Mehta


ell’s new gaming laptop is a lunge ahead from the traditional budget offerings in the Inspiron series. Inspiron 15 7559 offers a treasure of upgrades under the hood, available at a price of Rs. 1,17,690. Powered-packed, this makes for an interesting option in the gaming-oriented segment. Build that attracts attention, not Fingerprints: At 2.67kg, the Inspiron 7559 is chunky and feels sturdy, but not conveniently mobile. The rubberized matte black finish doesn’t attract many fingerprints, while red accents around the body give it a refreshing look. The palm rest is well spaced and doesn’t creak.

Inspiron 7559, In and Out: The right side houses a USB 3.0 port, a Kensington lock, Ethernet port and SD Card jack. Left has two USB 3.0 ports along with combo headphone jack, power input and one of the three exhaust grills while remaining two are placed at the rear. Given the thickness of the laptop, lack of a physical Optical Media drive is displeasing. Lifting the lid with one hand doesn’t flex the 15.6” screen, most of which is covered with glass and houses HD webcam and dual microphones. The full-sized chiclet keyboard is backlit and has a soft texture, offering comfort while typing. The keys are big-lettered and decently spaced, except the crampy num-pad. The clickpad-style trackpad is sensitive and seamlessly responds to multi-finger gestures. Promising Specifications: Inside, it is powered by latest Skylake 6th Gen quad-core Intel i7-6700HQ CPU with Hyperthreading (Intel’s proprietary application in which each physical core acts like two virtual cores) with 16GB of DDR3 RAM and Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M GPU with 4GB dedicated DDR5 graphics. It unites a 1TB 5400 RPMHard Drive with 128GB SSD, letting it power on and off, or launch applications in the blink of an eye. Beautiful 4k lED Screen: The Ultra-HD 4K (3840 x 2160) LEDbacklit touch screen is alluring. It has great touch response but tends to be bouncy. Owing to its resolution, the screen is otherwise very sharp and animations seem fluid. Colours lean towards warm tones and are soothing to the eyes. Display is fairly bright for indoor seating. However, the screen is highly glossy in nature, making daylight-viewing difficult. average Sound Quality: The laptop falls short of perfect in terms of its audio experience. It has 2.0 speakers on the top and a sub-woofer at the bottom, making it a 2.1 setup. The sound quality is decent, but it tends to muffle sounds of instruments while playing music and movies or games with dominating soundtracks. Dell’s focus is clearly on mids and highs lacking much emphasis on deep bass.Using MaxxAudio, one can tweak the Equalizer to achieve suitable and comfortable audio. Impressive Performance: There is no visible lag in opening large files, heavy software, and loading games. Putting its gaming virtue to test, we observed that Far Cry 4 and Need For Speed (NFS) Rivals run with noticeable shuttering at 4K resolution, but seamlessly at lower resolutions.

Price: `1,17,690/-




Key SpecS: Intel i7-6700HQ Quad-core with Hyperthreading, 16GB DDR3 RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M with 4GB DDR5 GPU, 128GB SSD, 1TB HDD, 2.1 Dell MaxxAudio Speakers, 6-cell 74Wh battery, Weight: 2.67kg proS: Stunning 4K display, High Performance, SSD, Sturdy build, Good battery conS: Average sound, No optical drive, Heavy weight

Dell’s new “revolutionary” mechanism with three exhausts vents hot air off from two fans, using 240 thermal fins. This keeps heat at bay considerably and temperature doesn’t rise to uncomfortable levels, even during heavy gaming. Convincing Battery life: The Inspiron 7559 comes with a 6-cell 74 watt-hour battery which lasted six hours while running on Windows High-Performance mode with full brightness at 4K resolution, while during our standard video loop test, it lasted for 2 hours 45 minutes. The battery is non-removable and the bottom lid must be unscrewed to take the same out. Bottomline: Undeniably, performance is one arena that Dell Inspiron 15 7559 masters, with due focus on performance-intensive games, except minor lag on heavy graphics usage. Overall, a champion performer for the price.The notebook’s consistent performance and rugged build earn it golden stars, but the heavy weight could be a peeve for many. Users who consume a lot of multimedia from DVDs will have to settle without an optical drive.





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gadgets corner FITNESS BAND


A smart fitness band for budget-conscious users — Tushar Mehta


e are toiling towards overflowing calendars and tiring schedules don’t spare us much time for any physical activity. Simultaneously, machines are consuming a large share of our labour. Lately, health concerns due to declining state of environment, our unhealthy “fast” food habits and long due consideration to studies relating depression and low physical activity, have made us anxious, if not necessarily aware. Even if we have time, we lack the stimulus for exercise and fitness. Fitness accessories such as the Zebronics ZEBFIT100 Smart Fitness Band have gained popularity as they help users to steal time to focus on fitness, by merely reminding them to walk. Economical and elaborate fitness: We Indians obsess over numbers, and this is what the Zebronics ZEB-FIT100 Smart Fitness Band takes advantage of. It is a slick accessory which you can hook up with any of your Android and iOS devices and record basic information like your footsteps, distance traversed, calories burnt, and much more, to help you set your fitness goals each day. Priced at Rs. 1,414, the pocket-friendly fitness band is available in black, blue, gray and orange colours. The bracelet strap is made of high-quality silicon and feels durable. It is splash resistant, but not advised to swim with. light-weight, but not insignificant: Weighing just 25.8grams, the device will not add any bulk to your wrist. It comes with a 1.24cm OLED display, and a button on the side; the bottom has a 3-pin charging point. USB charging clip is supplied in the package. Initially, one must download the Zeb-Fit App from Google Play/iOS App Store to be able to connect their phone to the ZEBFIT100 fitness band for synching. Single Button, Multiple Features: The button on the side lets you cycles between screens that display time, footsteps tread, distance walked in kilometers, calories burnt (all calculated on the basis of footsteps) and a “Find My Phone” option. The OLED screen also notifies in events of alarms and calls, displays notifications as well as Caller ID, with the help of tender vibrations. If you’re not a fan of having your wrist buzzed up every ten seconds you can turn notifications off or choose apps selectively. The button can also serve as shutter for camera, but restricted to the camera option in Zeb-Fit app, which renders poor quality & low-res pictures. While the information displayed on the band is limited, the app offers detailed stats about your activities on daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly basis. Monitor for a healthy sleep: The built-in sleep monitor lets you track your sleep activity, classifying them into Deep sleep, Light sleep and Awake hours, based on any movement during wee hours. Furthermore, the built-in Sedentary reminder prompts you to walk in regular intervals, which can be set using the app. The wrist sense feature deploys gyroscope to wake the screen with a twist of the wrist. The anti-theft option vibrates the band when the Bluetooth connection is lost. 66



Price: `1,414/-




Key SpecS: 32-inch HD LED Display, 1366 x 768 resolution, Android v4.4, ARM A7 1.7GHz dual-core processor, 512MB RAM + 4GB ROM, 2 USB, 2 HDMI, VGA, Ethernet proS: Lightweight, Easy usage, inexpensive, Notifies for calls, alarms and 3rd party apps notifications, Effective sleep monitor conS: Lack of GPS or Heart-rate monitor

Not everything that lurches is a footstep: Although very elaborate, there’s a basic hitch in the way devices like these process and presents information. Everything is computed on the basis of the pedometer, basically attributed to jerks or vibrations which the pedometer may account to footsteps. Besides walking, these could also arise from bumps while driving, air-guitaring or even brushing your teeth. Owing to the lack of a GPS or heart rate monitor, this device fails to differentiate between walking and other forms of physical activity like running or cycling. Now, that is a problem even fitness bands from Fitbit exhibit and not specific to the brand. verdict: Zebronics’ ZEB-FIT100 smart fitness band has plenty of features which can help you sow seeds of your physical and mental transformation. Fortunately, it comes at an attractive price. In one single charge, the Lithium-polymer battery can easily last more than 72 hours. For courageous souls, it can also be a sassy smart watch. Bottomline: Zebronics ZEB-FIT100 Smart Fitness Band has features good enough to get you started on your recurrent New Year resolution of getting fit (or fitter). It ensures a tight watch on your sleep and habits of physical activity, periodically reminding you to get up and shake a leg.


A SOLID PERFORMER: FIIO X1 2ND GEN HIGH-RESOLUTION MUSIC PLAYER A nifty digital music player with good sound audio quality

— Sidharth Shekhar


stablished in 2007, Fiio has made a steady progress in the research and development of countless portable music products. Their latest release, the X1 2nd Gen is an updated version of their best-selling player, the original X1. The all-new X1 2nd Gen comes with Bluetooth 4.0 wireless and a more responsive touch wheel user-interface with a good design. Fiio has included a few interesting accessories as usual. The first X1 had a black silicon cover but the new X1 comes with a very minimal and unobtrusive hard clear case. Build & design: The looks and feel of X1 Second gen is more modern than the older X1. The new X1 is also a touch smaller and lighter than the outgoing model. Fiio has successfully managed to give us a ‘touch scroll’ experience which reminds me of the classic iPods. However, the touch-wheel control found on Apple’s devices is far superior to the one found on the new X1. In terms of build quality and design the all-new X1 is a good looking device. The X1’s isn’t as responsive and at times a noticeable lag is visible and users will take some time getting used to the touch wheel. The headphone/lineout port is now at the bottom, and the card slot has also moved to the bottom (on the right side). The volume and power buttons rest in the same place. The screen provides vibrant and brighter display but seems to be of a lower resolution. Fiio X1 has received a new UI design and the Bluetooth 4.0 system allows you to easily enjoy the music with reduced latency and high sound quality. As far as the range is concerned, if there are no obstructions then you can easily get the specified 10 m range, but if there are any obstructions (walls, doors, furniture, etc), then the range comes down to 5 m. The all new X1 gets higher signal-to-noise ratio and supports full differential line output to achieve balanced line output function, as compared with PCM5142 of last generation. The second-gen X1 supports up to 256GB Micro SD cards with no built-in memory. The 1,800mAh lithium-polymer battery provides up to 12 hours of playback time with APE, FLAC, ALAC, WAV, WMA, AAC, and MP3 files, with up to 32bit/192 kHz resolution. I connected my Altec Lansing Dual Motion speaker to the X1 through Bluetooth and the sound was fine but distrorted above 55. Also, users will take some time getting used to second-gen X1’s menu navigation and user-interface. I started listening to the X1 2nd Gen with a pair of audiotechnica ATH-SR5 portable headphones, and really liked what I heard. The volume at 60 was solid and even if you pump it up the sound quality never fades or distorts.

Price: `7,499/-

SCORE PRICE: 7/10 DESIGN: 7/10 SOUND: 8/10



Key SpecS: Fiio X1ii, 2x Screen protectors (One already applied), USB cable, Clear case, 3x ‘Hi Res’ stickers, 2x body stickers, Warranty card Quick start guide proS: Solid value for money, build quality, sound quality conS: Laggy, average looking UI

verdict: If you’re looking for a high-grade sound quality, then the second-gen FiiO X1 is the best player out there. Powered by a solid battery and good Bluetooth it’s an ideal portable player for travelers and people on the go. The sound is very good and all you need is a decent pair of headphones or earphones to connect. Bottomline: The new 2nd generation FiiO X1 lossless portable music player brings comprehensive improvements of performance, ergonomics and design, starting with its touch wheel. One of the best high-res audio player in the market at this pricepoint.




gadgets corner AUDIO


If you’re a traveler, currently looking for an affordable Bluetooth speaker then Altec Lansing Dual Motion is the best choice — Sidharth Shekhar


ltec Lansing – an American audio electronics company which specializes in consumer loudspeakers, headphones, and multimedia products has returned to India with a new range of audio products. Established in 1927 in the USA, Altec Lansing was the first brand to enter the audio industry and commands a rich legacy of more than 8 decades. It was Altec Lansing that created the computer speaker market in 1990. From developing the first high-fidelity audio system for the general public in 1948 to the first speaker (XT1) with full USB technology in 2005, Altec Lansing has come a long way since then. We reviewed Altec Lansing Dual Motion speaker which targets the budget speaker market. Design and specifications: The design of Altec Lansing Dual Motion speaker is bland and looks like just an ordinary Bluetooth speaker with no standout features. The speaker is made of plastic with physical buttons at the top for play/ pause, volume and call handling. The speaker is designed with Micro-USB port, AUX input and a physical on-off switch on the back of the system. Powered by two 1.75-inch drivers with the brand logo at the front, the speaker is portable and easy to carry and has a small strap on the left side. The company claims that the battery will run for about 5-6 hours on a full charge. The sales package includes a USB cable for charging and a 3.5mm stereo cable for wired connectivity. Performance: The Bluetooth range of this speaker is a standard around 10m. I played Oxygène 3, which is the nineteenth studio album by the French electronic musician and composer Jean-Michel Jarre. The focus track was Oxygène Part 14 and we found that the speaker’s sound was clear but deep rhythms in the song were too soft. Bass lovers won’t be pleased with the Dual Motion as the thump is missing. The mid-tones are clear but it becomes terrible at higher volumes. The treble is slightly on the higher side. However, compared to other portable speakers on the market, Altec Lansing Dual Motion fares better in terms of sound quality. Thanks to the space between the two drivers, the frontfiring speaker produces an appealing sound. However, pushing the speaker to produce louder sounds will lead to a distorted output. The speaker also has a microphone which can be used for hands-free calls, but the voice quality on the calls is poor. The microphone is ineffective and sound often echoed back to the person on the other end of the call. The Dual Motion is only good for basic listening and can be used in small rooms 68



Price: `1,499/- (amazon, Flipkart)




Key SpecS: 2 x1.75” Neodymium drivers, 5-6 hours of playback time, Bluetooth Conferencing. proS: Good sound, Good soundstage, Decent price conS: Thump in the bass is missing, Average battery life

for house parties. It can also be an ideal travel companion if you prefer to keep your sound around with you. The battery life of this device is good and in our tests it lasted for 5 hours on full volume. verdict: The best thing about Altec Lansing Dual Motion Bluetooth speaker is its overall decent performance. The price itself won’t burn a hole in your pocket and at Rs 1,499, you get a decently-built speaker with decent sound. So if you’re a traveler, currently looking for an affordable Bluetooth speaker then Altec Lansing Dual Motion is the best choice. Bottomline: The Altec Lansing Dual Motion is a decent performer. Apart from distortion at high volume, the speaker makes for a compelling buy at its price tag. If you are planning to buy a Bluetooth speaker for personal use, then go for Dual Motion.



ASUS SDRW-08D2S-U LITE DVD-RW A stylish new external DVD drive

— Tushar Mehta


A stylish iOS and Android compatible smart band for monitoring your health — Raj Kumar Maurya

Price: `2,999/-



Price: `1,949/-





ewer generations of notebooks have a new USP these days – they are getting noticeably leaner. Marketing campaigns orbit around this transformation. Consequently, optical drives have lost much of their significance in portable computing machines, but optical disks are still far from being obsolete. While web dominates most data sharing, you are still likely to be run into CDs or DVDs which carry crucial information. External DVD reader/writers, thus, save the day. Asus’ External DVD-RW drive, SDRW-08D2S-U Lite is, as the name suggests, a lightweight and portable DVD writer. Stylish Textured Design: Asus has managed to keep bland looks astray with a style they call the Diamond-cut design. The drive comes handy in cross-OS data sharing as it is compatible with Windows and MacOS. Allowing direct plug n’ play, utility is straightforward and doesn’t need you to stress your brain. Not needing it externally, the drive sources power from its USB 2.0 connection interface. It is priced at Rs. 1,949 and is a cheap storage and sharing peripheral. Standard Speeds: The Asus SDRW-08D2S-U Lite has bundled along with it, popular software for consuming and storing digital media such as CyberLink Power2Go 8, E-Green and CyberLinkPowerBackup. Additionally, it secures data for you using AES 256-bit encryption, offers Passwordcontrol and feature to hide files. Reading speeds are in the order of 24X for CD-R (read-only) and CD-RW (read & write), 8X for DVD-RW and DVD-R (DL {dual layer}). CD-Rs are written at 24X, CD-RW at 16X, DVD-R at 8X and DVD-R (DL) at 6X. Quiet & Convenient:The device operates at low decibels and does not disturb a quiet ambience. Weighing Key SpecS: External USB 2.0 280g, it is easy to carry with you in DVD-RW Drive, 20 x 142 x 142 mm (H a laptop bag. x W x D), 280 g, Read: DVD R: 8x; DVD Bottomline: It comes bundled RW: 8x, DVD R(DL): 8x; CD R: 24x; CD RW: 24x, Write: DVD R: 8x; DVD RW: 8x, with useful software for copying DVD R(DL): 6x; CD R: 24x; CD RW: 16x, and burning disk images. In an era PC & Mac Compatible when USB 3.0 is available, even in proS: Plug n’ Play, Compact 7 budget laptops, lack of support for Lightweight, Green Mode for Laptop it is uncanny. Asus U-Lite DVD-RW Battery Efficiency, Looks drive serves as a convenient conS: Lack of USB 3.0 option for storage and distribution of data.



ortronics has recently launched a Portronics YOGG smart wristband that comes with a 0.9-inch OLED display and can track exercise levels, monitors sleep patterns, gives instant motivational feedback and provide alerts to help you make live a healthier lifestyle. It also works as a watch as well as caller ID for your Smartphone. Portronics YOGG smart wristband design: The design of Yogg is very stylish and looks very elegant in black color. The curved edges of the display make perfectly fit over the wrist. There is a small button on the side that can perform different functions such as switching between your daily stats along display on and sleep mode functionality. The strap of the band is made up of soft elastic material which is enough strong and durable to suffer hard working environment. Portronics YOGG smart wristband features and Performance: The Yogg smart wristband can be paired with iOS and Android via an app called Yogg app. The Portonics YOGG smart wristband is a 24*7 wearable device due to its water resistance capabilities. But never plunge it in any liquid as it not a waterproof and liquid can cause damage. It will not only keep track of your daily activity and exercise levels but also act as a beeper for calls and social networking messages. For security, Portronics YOGG smart wristband has built-in anti-theft/ lost feature that starts makes device beep if the user moves more than 10 meters away from the configured smartphone. Portronics says that the device has a battery life of almost five days but we able to get almost 4 days of backup from this device. By monitoring the depth of sleep YOGG also lets us effectively manage our rest time. It enables you to wireless sync the data with your Smartphone – Android and iOS. The USB charger comes bundled with the device has a clip that has some charging pins. Just fasten the clip with a watch to charge it. Bottomline: Using the Yogg for more than two weeks, we didn’t find any visible performance lag while exploring the device or using its functions. However, we missed gesture controls and touch screen in it. If these two options are there it will be more awesome. The MRP Key SpecS: 0.91 inches OLED display, Soft elastic material , of this is 2,999 but one can get Notification support, Activity tracker, it on Flipkart at 1,599 due to Anti-theft system discount. So, if you are looking proS: Budget price, OLED display, for an accurate activity tracker Notification support, Activity tracker, that will keep you updated about Anti-theft ability your daily activity records and conS: No touch screen notifications then you can go for it.





With exactly a month post-demonetisation, the banking system simply refuses to get its act together. Unending long-queues of people outside bank branches and ATMs are now on verge of entering the Guiness Book of World records for the maximum number of days at a stretch for the cash crunch. Following others to offer similar facility, Vodafone is offering through its network of 1,20,000 m-pesa outlets across the country the facility to withdraw petty cash. However, the facility is unique to the M-Pesa wallet holders. The money stored in the M-Pesa account is secured by a 4 digit M-Pesa pin which should be known only to you, just like an ATM. Customers (Vodafone and Non-Vodafone) can visit any of the 1,20,000 outlets and use the unique cash-out feature. Further, the Vodafone M-Pesa digital wallet too can be easily digitally loaded via credit or debit card or net banking. Interestingly, 56% of the outlets are located in the rural India, and considering the fact that the smart phone penetration in rural India is not at par with urban India, this is indeed a good initiative. The inimitable M-Pesa app allows even a feature phone user to transfer money and cash it, through a short USSD code.


Tenable Network Security Inc released findings from the 2017 Global Cybersecurity Assurance Report Card, in which the world’s information security practitioners gave global cybersecurity readiness a “C-” average with an overall score of 70 percent. The 2017 Global Cybersecurity Assurance Report Card solicited insights from 700 security practitioners in nine countries and across seven industry verticals to calculate a global index score reflecting overall confidence that the world’s cyber defenses are meeting expectations. According to this year’s data, global Cybersecurity confidence fell six points over 2016 to earn an overall score of 70 percent - a “C-” on the report card. The overall decline in confidence is the result of a 12-point drop in the 2017 Risk Assessment Index, which measured the ability of respondents to assess cyber risk across 11 key components of the enterprise information technology (IT) landscape. For the second straight year, practitioners cited the “overwhelming cyber threat environment” as the single biggest challenge facing IT security professionals today, followed closely by “low security awareness among employees” and “lack of network visibility (BYOD, shadow IT).” “Today’s network is constantly changing - mobile devices, cloud, IoT, web apps, containers, virtual machines - and the data indicate that a lot of organizations lack the visibility they need to feel confident in their security posture,” said Cris Thomas, Strategist, Tenable Network Security. “It’s pretty clear that newer technologies like DevOps and containers contributed to driving the overall score down, but the real story isn’t just one or two things that need improvement, it’s that everything needs improvement.” 2017 Key Global Findings • Cloud Darkening - Cloud software as a service (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) were two of the lowest scoring Risk Assessment areas in the 2016 report. SaaS and IaaS were combined with platform as a service (PaaS) for the 2017 survey and the new “cloud environments” component scored 60 percent (D-), a seven point drop compared to last year’s average for IaaS and SaaS. • A Mobile Morass - Identified alongside IaaS and SaaS in last year’s report as one of the biggest enterprise security weaknesses, Risk Assessment for mobile devices dropped eight points from 65 percent (D) to 57 percent (F). • New Challenges Emerge - Two new IT components were introduced for 2017 - containerization platforms and DevOps environments. • DevOps is transforming the way software teams collaborate through increased consistency and automation, but it also introduces new security concerns. In fact, respondents reported just 57 percent confidence in the ability to assess security during the DevOps process. • At the same time, adoption of containerization technologies like Docker is exploding as organizations look to accelerate innovation cycles and reduce time-to-market. Unfortunately, only 52 percent of respondents felt that their organization had a handle on how best to assess risks within container environments. 70

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Bharti Airtel launched two new bundled packs for its prepaid customers offering free voice calling and data benefits. Rs. 145 pack Priced at Rs 145, the pack offers 300 MB data to customers with 4G ready mobile phones along with free Local and STD Airtel-to-Airtel calls. The pack will offer 50 MB data (in addition to free Airtel-to-Airtel calls across India) to customers with basic mobile phones, suited for web surfing and accessing light social media applications. The pack has a validity of 28 days and is available to customers across India. Rs. 345 pack Priced at Rs 345, the pack offers 1 GB data to customers with 4G ready mobile phones along with free calls - Local and STD – to any network in India. The pack will offer 50 MB data (in addition to free calls to any network across India) to customers with basic mobile phones, which are suited for web surfing and accessing light social media applications. The pack has a validity of 28 days and is available to customers across India. Ajai Puri, Director – Market Operations (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel said, “This is another initiative from us to bring innovative bundle offers to our customers in line with our endeavour to provide the great value backed by a superior network experience.” Airtel has over 260 million mobile customers. It offers 2G, 3G services in all 22 circles and 4G services in 21 circles. Airtel’s mobile network covers 96% of India’s population. Notes: The above pack prices are for Delhi circle, it will vary circle to circle; Customers in Kerala can enjoy the data benefits on 2G/4G.

DEMONETISATION: FM ARUN JAITLEY ANNOUNCES INCENTIVES FOR USING DIGITAL PAYMENTS PLATFORMS • Railway tickets booked online will get 10 lakhs insurance cover free (Currently charge of Rs.0.92 per person will be waived if made digital payments). • One lakh villages with population less than 10,000 to get 2 PoS machines free, supported through financial inclusion fund. • Govt will support RRBs, Cooperative Banks through NABARD to issue “Rupay Kisan Cards” to 4.32 cr Kisan Credit Card holders. • Monthly and seasonal tickets for suburban railways to offer 0.5% discount on digital payments. • This is effective from Jan 1, 2017, starting from the Mumbai suburban railways. • Railways to provide a discount of 5% for digital payment of paid services offered through its affiliates. • General insurance or Life insurance bought online and paid by Digital payment platforms will get discount of 10% and 8% respectively. • Petrol diesel cheaper by 0.75% , if payment made through digital platforms.





During its annual Connect(); developer event, Microsoft Corp. unveiled a series of products and partnerships that strengthen the company’s Azure cloud platform for building intelligent, crossplatform apps and services. Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie detailed significant steps Microsoft is taking to empower the ecosystem by giving developers greater choice in the tools they use — including joining the Linux Foundation as a Platinum Member to better collaborate with the open source community, welcoming Google to the independent .NET Foundation, and working with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. to enable .NET developers to build apps for more than 50 million Samsung devices worldwide. Guthrie also demonstrated a preview of Visual Studio for Mac, which enables developers to write cloud, mobile and macOS apps on Apple’s Mac operating system using the popular development environment; a preview of the next version of the company’s flagship SQL Server database with support for Linux, Linux-based Docker containers and Windows-based environments; and a preview of Azure App Service on Linux with support for containers. “We want to help developers achieve more and capitalize on the industry’s shift toward cloud-first and mobile-first experiences using the tools and platforms of their choice,” Guthrie said. “By collaborating with the community to provide open, flexible and intelligent tools and cloud services, we’re helping every developer deliver unprecedented levels of innovation.”


The Ministry of Finance had yesterday announced a 0.75% discount on digital transactions at fuel stations and a 10% discount at the toll plazas for digital payments. FreeCharge is accepted at more than 25 utility companies covering cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Jaipur, Indore, Nagpur, Noida, Bhopal, Jodhpur, Ajmer, Jamshedpur, Bhagalpur, Jabalpur, Bodhgaya and in states and union territories like Chattisgarh, Meghalaya, Tripura, Telangana and Daman & Diu. FreeCharge users in these areas will get cashback when they pay their electricity bills using FreeCharge. In addition, FreeCharge had recently announced that food & beverage payments on its platform had grown 12 times in the past one month. To thank its users, it announced 25% cashback on food orders placed through Zomato, Foodpanda and Swiggy and paid through FreeCharge. Users will also get a 10% cashback on 3G data and prepaid recharges done through the FreeCharge wallet. FreeCharge, is accepted at all the touchpoints identified by the government to move towards a less cash economy. FreeCharge recently announced its national level partnership with all the three major oil marketing companies including IOCL, HPCL and BPCL, which will cover more than 53,000 petrol pumps across India. Freecharge also recently announced going live at various toll expressways including the Yamuna expressway, Badarpur-Faridabad toll and shared plans to go live across 500 others toll points by January 2017. 72

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Hyve Mobility announced the availability of Hyve Pryme, the flagship Deca-core smartphone, on Amazon from December 15th, 2016. Launched in association with MediaTek, Hyve Pryme is a pure Android smartphone, offering an extensive range of superior capabilities. The handset is powered by MediaTek’s flagship Helio X20 processor, along with Hyve Mobility ensuring its CTS compliance, whilst bringing patented technologies like Touch2Call. Announcing the commencement of shipment at Amazon, Mr Abhishek Agarwal, CEO and Jt.Managing Director, Hyve Mobility said, “We are excited to finally make the smartphone available to Indian users on Amazon. It has been an enriching experience, collaborating with the industry leaders in the field of technical innovation and bringing forth India’s first Deca-core handset. Smartphones have come to become a part and parcel of our lives and with Hyve Pryme,TM we intend to make superior technology available at a comfortable price point to Indian users. We are affirmative that the Pure Android smartphone will resonate with the preferences of present day ambitious and tech-savvy users.”

Key features offered by Hyve Pryme • Pure Android 6.0 • Powered by the 2.3 GHz MediaTek Helio X20 SoC, the world’s first mobile processor with Tri-Cluster CPU architecture and ten processing cores (Deca-core) • All-metal body in champagne colour • 13MP f/2 rear camera with dual flash, HDR photography, 8 MP front camera with flash • 4GB RAM for seamless multitasking and enhanced performance. • 32GB internal memory ensures availability of ample storage space. • Touch2Call fingerprint dialling which enables quick and easy one touch dialling for favourite numbers • exFAT file system for seamless Micro SD card usage across platforms. Supports up to 200GB of external storage • 3500mAh TruLife™ battery which delivers the committed all day performance • USB-C with Fast charge • Dual SIM 4G/3G with pan India coverage with VoLTE • IR Blaster for remotely controlling devices with your choice of 3rd party app from the Google Play Store. • 2 years standard warranty with accidental protection and pickup and drop facility across India for service.


FreeCharge’s “Flat 100% Cashback Sale” received overwhelming consumer interest on day 1 of sale as users flocked to grab tempting cashback offers on a range of online and offline offers. The traffic on FreeCharge surged 4X on the first day of sale, as consumers enjoyed a flat 100% cashback offer across more than 1,00,000 merchant stores. Offline transactions on merchants like Cafe Coffee Day, Heritage Fresh, McDonald’s, Hypercity, Crossword jumped 5 times as buyers enjoyed the surprise weekend deals. Buyers also locked into online deals on Domino’s, Snapdeal, Bookmyshow, Jabong, and Driven by exciting offers on recharges, including a cashback offer of “20 on rupees 20” recharge that caught attention of many regular users, nearly 800 recharges were done every minute using FreeCharge on Day 1 of the sale. The increased consumer interest has also translated into a sharp increase in transactions in the food & dining vertical across prominent merchants like Swiggy, foodpanda, Zomato etc over a non-sale day. More than 2100 orders were placed every minute on Day 1 of the sale. Speaking on the same, Govind Rajan, CEO, Freecharge said, “The enthusiastic response we have already received on the first day of flat 100% cashback sale is a huge testimony to the effort and great motivation to keep up the cashless momentum. Post demonetization, the team is putting in long and exciting hours to ensure that we provide more and rewarding options for our users to go cashless.” In the lead up to the sale, FreeCharge had prepared extensively by scaling up its systems such as the checkout process, the fraud management system to ensure a seamless experience for its consumers. To ensure the same, the customer service team was also ramped up by close to 3 times to reduce the turnaround time for query resolution significantly.





Tally Solutions announced the launch of its GST mobile application to ensure easy adoption of the Technology led law. The app will be a rich source of information on Goods and Services Tax (GST) for businesses and will help them with understanding GST and its nuances. Its user friendly interface has been designed to cater to both sets of users - those who are adept with technology and those who are easing into the use of technology, for better understanding and automation of their accounting practices. This free enterprise application can be downloaded by Android and iOS users from their respective App stores. Tally has constantly been making efforts to equip small businesses and traders with the right information to train and prepare themselves for the Tax reform. Recently, Tally qualified as a GST Suvidha Provider (GSP) by the GSTN Network. They also collaborated with the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) in a bid to train and educate the Trading community on GST. Additionally, Tally has also launched a blog to help with the provision of the most updated information on GST and its allied impact on verticals. Commenting on the launch, the Executive Director of Tally Solutions, Mr. Tejas Goenka said “Tally has been proud of building the simplest and most advanced technology solutions for businesses over the past 30 years. After a number of events that we have conducted with our Partners in the eco-system, across the Nation, we realised the need to develop an easy to use yet comprehensive tool that would ensure businesses transition smoothly to GST in the coming year. It is to deliver this solution to the businesses that we have invested in the Tally for GST App.” Tally has conducted over 170 events across the Nation with various partners for GST awareness and training of small businesses. Tally powers more than a million businesses and is constantly mobilising its manpower and systems to help ease of transition of their existing as well as additional users to GST regime. Tally is proactively taking initiatives to impart the right knowledge and training for GST compliance and enablement right from the grassroots level in the Country.


Apple has released iOS 10.2 to the public, marking the launch of the second major update to the iOS 10 operating system since its release in September. The iOS 10.2 update is available as a free-over-the-air update for all iOS 10 users, and it can also be downloaded via iTunes. Apple has introduced new features and design tweaks to iOS 10.2 which includes a new “TV” app (exclusive only to US users for now), for watching various TV shows, subscribing to premium content, and streaming it via the app. Apple Music app has been updated as well and iOS users can now just swipe up the Now Playing screen and it will let them access Shuffle, Repeat, and Up Next when listening to Music. There’s also a new SOS feature that will call emergency services when the power button on the iPhone is pressed five times. There are more than a hundred new emoji, including several profession emoji available in both male and female genders. Apple has also redesigned many existing emoji, adding more detail to make them look more realistic. This update will be available for iPhone 5 and later devices, iPad 4th generation, and later devices, and iPod touch 6th generation and later devices. 74

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RNI No. 45949/87 DPR No. DL(S)17/3319/2014-16 (Published on 1st of every month) Posting Date: 3&4 every month. Posted at Lodhi Road HPO

RNI No. 45949/87 DPR No. DL(S)17/3319/2014-16 (Published on 1st of every month) Posting Date: 3&4 every month. Posted at Lodhi Road HPO

Pcquest january 2017