Apple CEO Tim Cook, in a letter to employees, has said that 2014 will be a big year for the company and customers will love its new products. Many in the tech community have taken this as a hint that Apple will finally unveil big-screen iPhones and iPads. And a recent report gives credence to this speculation.

Chinese technology website Digitimes, which has leaked Apple gadgets accurately in the past, has reported that the big-screen iPhone is scheduled for a May launch. This upcoming model will have a 20nm chipset made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).

It has long been rumoured that Apple is working on two big-screen iPhones – one with a 4.7-inch display and the other with a 6-inch panel.

The report also says that a big-screen iPad, with display sizes measuring 12.9-inch or 13.3-inch, will be unveiled in October next year. It is likely that Apple will pick the 12.9-inch screen size for final production; this falls in line with an earlier report that Apple will launch a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 4K resolution in October.

Apple is working with Taiwan’s Quanta Computer to manufacture this upcoming tablet. This large-screen iPad will replace the 11-inch Macbook Air, says the report, citing sources.

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On Nov 5, 2013 the OpenStack Design Summit in Hong Kong, we announced the Ubuntu OpenStack Interoperability Lab (Ubuntu OIL). The programme will test and validate the interoperability of hardware and software in a purpose-built lab, giving Ubuntu OpenStack users the reassurance and flexibility of choice.

They’re launching the programme with many significant partners onboard, such as; Dell, EMC, Emulex, Fusion-io, HP, IBM, Inktank/Ceph, Intel, LSi, Open Compute, SeaMicro, VMware.

The OpenStack ecosystem has grown rapidly giving businesses access to a huge selection of components for their cloud environments. Most will expect that, whatever choices they make or however complex their requirements, the environment should ‘just work’, where any and all components are interoperable. That’s why they created the Ubuntu OpenStack Interoperability Lab.

Ubuntu OIL is designed to offer integration and interoperability testing as well as validation to customers, ISVs and hardware manufacturers. Ecosystem partners can test their technologies’ interoperability with Ubuntu OpenStack and a range of software and hardware, ensuring they work together seamlessly as well as with existing processes and systems. It means that manufacturers can get to market faster and with less cost, while users can minimise integration efforts required to connect Ubuntu OpenStack with their infrastructure.

Ubuntu is about giving customers choice. Over the last releases, they’ve introduced new hypervisors, and software-defined networking (SDN) stacks, and capabilities for workloads running on different types of public cloud options. Ubuntu OIL will test all of these options as well as other technologies to ensure Ubuntu OpenStack offers the broadest set of validated and supported technology options compatible with user deployments. Ubuntu OIL will test and validate for all supported and future releases of Ubuntu, Ubuntu LTS and OpenStack.

Involvement in the lab is through our Canonical Partner Programme. New partners can sign up here.

The troubled mobile phone maker BlackBerry still has at least one very loyal customer: US President Barack Obama.

At a meeting with youth to promote his landmark healthcare law, Obama said he is not allowed to have Apple’s smartphone, the iPhone, for “security reasons,” though he still uses Apple’s tablet computer, the iPad.

Apple was one of several tech companies that may have allowed the National Security Agency(NSA) direct access to servers containing customer data, according to revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The companies deny the allegation.

Obama fought to keep his BlackBerry after coming to the White House in 2009, though he said only 10 people have his personal email address. Neither George W. Bush nor Bill Clinton used email during their presidencies.

BlackBerry, a Canadian company formerly known as Research In Motion, virtually invented the idea of on-the-go email, but lost its market stranglehold as rivals brought out more consumer-friendly devices, like Apple’s iPhone and phones using Google’s Android software. The company recently halted plans to be sold and is trying to chart a new course by focusing on large business and government clients.

On the outside, the Surface 2 may look like its predecessor, the Surface RT. It’s ever-so-slightly thinner and lighter than the original, but you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the two. That doesn’t mean, however, that they’re identical. Far from it.

The Surface 2 has a new two-position kickstand, the microSD card slot has been moved down slightly, and there are no longer screws on the back of the case.

These subtle, external differences, however, pale when compared with the massive internal hardware and design changes Microsoft made on the new tablet

Unfortunately, when making all these hardware upgrades, Microsoft also completely reworked the tablet’s internal design, and in doing so made the Surface 2 much more difficult to crack open and repair than its predecessor.

Glued-on front panel, plastic body make opening difficult: Opening last year’s Surface RT began with removing the tablet’s back cover. Not so for the Surface 2. As with the Apple iPad, cracking open this tablet requires heating the edges of the front panel to loosen the adhesive that holds it to the tablet’s body. While heating the panel, you’ll need to gently pry it away from the body with thin tools. Unlike the iPad, however, the Surface has some internal components and external trim pieces that are made from plastic, which can warp if overheated.

Redesigned interior: The internal hardware is mounted to the Surface 2’s body, with the front panel and display being a single, removable unit. The Surface RT’s hardware on the other hand was actually mounted to the front panel and display assembly, which also served as the tablet’s body. There’s also a new plastic bezel that runs around the tablet’s outer edge and serves as the mounting surface for the front panel/display assembly. The Surface 2 is built more like the Surface Pro than the Surface RT, which makes the tablet more difficult to open and repair.

Filled with hardware upgrades: Along with the radically changing the tablet’s internal design, Microsoft also gave the Surface 2 lots of hardware upgrades. The Surface 2 has two microphones (compared with the Surface RT’s one), stereo speakers, a USB 3.0 port, better front-facing (3.5-megapixel) and rear-facing (5.0-megapixel) cameras, a new 1,920×1,080-pixel-resolution display, and a faster 1.7GHz Tegra 4 processor.

Difficult, time-consuming to open repair
The Surface 2 is definitely an improvement over last year’s model when it comes to hardware specifications and performance. Kudos to Microsoft for that.

But it has also officially become the most difficult-to-crack-open tablet I’ve ever worked on. The front-panel adhesive is incredibly hard to work around, there are more than 60 screws inside the case (of all different sizes), and most of the motherboard connectors are extremely fragile and easily broken. I can only hope Microsoft will make some design changes for next year’s model. Unfortunately, I doubt it will.

China’s rulers will ultimately take it upon themselves to dismantle the “great firewall” that limits its people’s access to the Internet because doing so will boost China’s economy, the inventor of the World Wide Web said.

In an interview about his World Wide Web Foundation’s rankings of the way 81 countries manage the Internet, Tim Berners-Lee, a London-born computer scientist who invented the Web in 1989, also scolded the United States for undermining the Internet’s foundations with its surveillance programmes.

Revelations about the scale of that surveillance and poor rural penetration rates pushed the United States from second place into fourth in the survey, which examined Internet access, freedom and content. Sweden came out on top for the second year.

But it was China, which the survey ranked at 57 out of 81, down from a ranking of 29 out of 61 last year, where Berners-Lee saw the greatest potential for improvement.

“The Berlin Wall tumbled down, the great firewall of China – I don’t think it will tumble down, I think it will be released,” he told Reuters by telephone.

“My hope is that bit-by-bit, quietly, website-by-website, it will start to be relaxed,” he said. “The agility of a country which allows full access to the web is just greater; it will be a stronger country economically as well.”

China’s state Web-censorship system blocks Facebook, Twitter and some foreign news sites as well as content that the Communist leadership considers damaging to stability and cohesion.

“The citizens are not really in a position to smash the great firewall because the government controls the Internet, the Internet companies,” said Berners-Lee, 58.

“All that can happen is that the government realises it is not in their interests, that it is holding up the economy, holding up the development of the country.”

Berners-Lee said he was encouraged that the increased use of social media had stoked political mobilisation across the planet, but cautioned that growing surveillance and censorship threatened the future of democracy.

SPYING VS FREEDOM

Berners-Lee took particular aim at eavesdropping conducted by the United States and Britain, saying the extent of the spying laid bare by US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden showed that rights had been set back.

“The rights of the individual have been severely eroded and eroded in secret,” he said of the US and British surveillance programmes. “It is a very serious threat to the Internet.”

While he admitted the state needed the power to tackle criminals using the Internet, he called for greater oversight over spy agencies such Britain’s GCHQ and the NSA, and over any organisations collecting information about private individuals.

“It is clear in the case of the US and the UK that there just has not been that oversight and accountability to the public,” he said.

“Whatever oversight you have has to be very strong, have the ability to find things out and strong rights to be told things … It has got to be very seriously independent and accountable directly to the public rather than accountable through some secret route to part of government.”

Britain’s spy chiefs have argued that media reports about Snowden’s revelations have weakened the ability of the security services to stop those plotting deadly attacks against the West.

Britain came third in the rankings, the same as in 2012 but below Norway in second place. Russia, the world’s biggest energy producer, was at 41 in the ranking.

A map of the world produced by Berners-Lee’s foundation showed Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as countries which extensively censored political content.

So was it really worth inventing the World Wide Web, and has it been a force for good or for evil?

“Overall, it has been a staggering force for good because it has been so empowering for humanity,” he said. “Humanity is basically good, creative and collaborative.”

Microsoft sold over 1 million of its new Xbox One game consoles within 24 hours of their hitting store shelves on Friday, on par with Sony’s PlayStation 4 despite launching in far more countries.

The new console, which launched in 13 countries, set a record for first-day Xbox sales and is currently sold out at most retailers, Microsoft said in a statement.

Sony said it sold 1 million PS4 units in 24 hours after launching last Friday in just the United States and Canada. The PS4 expands to other regions, including Europe, Australia and South America, from November 29. It then hits Japan in February.

Microsoft is locked in a console war with Sony this holiday season. The software giant hopes the Xbox One not only entices gamers but attracts a broader consumer base of TV fans and music lovers with its interactive entertainment features and media apps.

“We are working hard to create more Xbox One consoles,” said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of marketing and strategy at Xbox.

Robert W Baird & Co analyst Colin Sebastian has said he expects shipments of 2.5 million to 3 million units for both the Xbox One and PS4 in the fourth quarter.

Both the PS4, priced at $399 in the United States, and the Xbox One, with a price tag of $499, offer improved graphics for realistic effects, processors that allow faster game play and a slew of exclusive video games.

Smartphone maker HTC has launched its most expensive handset for Indian market, HTC One Max, for maximum retail price of Rs 61,490.

“HTC One Max has largest display from HTC’s stable. This is phone comes with stylus, insurance for theft, liquid damage and option to be purchased in monthly instalments,” HTC India country head Faisal Siddiqui told reporters.

The phone will be available at market offered price of Rs 56,490.

HTC has jumped to 5.9-inch display screen with One Max, from 4.7-inch screen size phone model.

Siddiqui said that the company is providing six month installment schemes.

“The customer will have to not bear processing and interest charges. We will take care of it,” he said.

In this new phone, the company has introduced a scanner below rear camera which save finger print of user and allows secured access of phone to its owner only.

HTC One Max comes with 16GB or 32GB onboard memory that can be expanded using a microSD card slot. It also has a 50GB of additional storage option for free on Google Drive.

The phone has 3,300mAh embedded battery. A normal 4-inch screen size smartphone generally comes with 1,800-2,000mAH battery size.

Enterprise software group SAP said it was debating whether to accelerate moving more of its business to the cloud, a change in strategy that could have a small impact on its target of growing sales to more than 20 billion euros.

But co-chief executive Jim Hagemann-Snabe said the change would generate more sales by 2017.

“We have a situation now where we see the move to the cloud particularly in certain markets like North America happening even faster, and this is a great opportunity for us to revisit whether we should accelerate the move to the cloud,” he said at a Morgan Stanley investor conference on Friday.

“This would have impact on the 2015 level, I don’t expect enormous impact but it would have some impact because you are delaying some revenues. However in a 17 time frame you would have more than that back, so I think it would be the right thing for the company if we had the opportunity.”

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Android Powered Devices have virtual machine in which apps run is one of the huge advantage. Android has been using Dalvik Virtual Machine which make use of JIT (Just-In-Time) Compiler since first version of it. Now it is the decision by Google to include a new runtime in Android 4.4 KitKat known as Android RunTime (ART) which make use of Ahead-Of-Time (AOT) Compilation that promises to make your device faster and your battery last longer ..

Android Virtual Machine : Dalvik vs ART

Android Virtual Machine : Dalvik vs ART

Before we jump into this brand new VM, and why it’s turned off by default, let’s make sure everyone understands what we’re talking about ..

Virtual Machine

Virtual Machines are not physical machines but as a software makes possible to run other machines in a your physical machine. For example consider you having a Windows Machine (Assume as it is the only physical machine you are having with you) and if you want to use a Linux or a Mac System, then Virtual Machine paves the way to running a Linux machine or Mac Machine in your Windows Machine ..

Advantages

One of the advantages is the physical separation of each environment in which all the apps (including viruses, malware, and even crashed apps) are all kept apart from your main OS ..

And the next thing is the ability to run programs written for one architecture on a box that runs something different. For example, the ability to run programs compiled to run on an ARM-based CPU when your computer is running an Intel-based processor ..

Android and VM

In order to target different many devices like Tablet, Smartphones, PC, TV, Watch and other gadgets running Android on different hardware architecture, Android uses a specialized virtual machine to run their apps ..

The concept lies here. Developers write code and we download those from the Play Store or some other source. This code is mostly uncompiled. When you use those, it gets comipled to target(in otherwords ‘according to’) the type of device we are having ..

Dalvik (JIT Compilation)

Usually Android uses Dalvik Virtual Machine to compile and run. The concept of Dalvik lies here. Dalvik VM uses JIT (Just-In-Time) Comiplation, which means the downloaded and installed app remains uncompiled untill it’s first launch. And when it is launched first time, it gets compiled just in that time and loaded into RAM (main memory) and hence the name Just-In-Time Compilation. This whole process repeats again when the app/os gets restarted ..

ART (AOT Compilation)

Now Android 4.4 KitKat includes a new runtime call “Android runtime”, ART. Unlike JIT, which must compile every app everytime whenever it’s loaded, ART works on a concept called ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation. The Concept lies here. When you download and install an app it automatically pre-compiles. This takes up more space on your device and takes longer to initially install when compared to Dalvik. However, apps launch quicker and are arguably faster when run using ART rather than Dalvik. What’s more, since less time is required to run apps, your processor doesn’t get worked as hard and your battery life may benefit as a result ..

ART is not set Default

ART is currently very experimental. Not every app works properly in ART, and if you already installed all your apps under Dalvik, you’ll need to reboot and wait up to 20 minutes (less if you have fewer apps, more if you’ve got a bunch) for that first boot to complete. You see, it’s got to pre-compile all of them so they’re ready for you. For all of those reasons, ART is disabled by default ..

Benefits

As based on reports from various sources, it is approximated as follows

  1. 50% – 100% increase in speed
  2. 25% increase in battery life

AOT compilation is the future, and ART is the way Google is going to get us there. This is just the first little step toward a much more lofty goal. Perhaps ART will be the standard runtime in Android 5.0 ..

For further more information visit here ..