Google Camera App Tipped to Get Google Goggles Features

Google Camera App Tipped to Get Google Goggles Features

Internet giant Google is rumoured to include an extra modification of Google Goggles to the officialGoogle Camera app in Android devices for searching information by just taking a picture.

The extra functionality is nothing new but the implementation of Google Goggles technology the search giant already uses, Slash Gear reported last week.

Google Goggles is an augmented reality (AR) app that allows user to make a search by taking a picture of anything. For example, to search for the creator of a painting, one can click a picture through Google Goggle app and it will find you the details of the painting from its database.

Goggles can read text in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Turkish, and translate it into other languages.

Goggles also works as a barcode/ QR code scanner. It can recognise famous landmarks, translate by taking a picture of foreign language text, add contacts by scanning business cards or QR codes, solve Sudoku puzzles and find similar products.

In Google Goggles, one can only search the whole image, which has proven to bring plenty of discrepancies, the report said.

Images often display plenty of distractions, background items and other objects that may throw off a search result.

However, according to the report, there will be a new feature integrated, allowing users to outline the specific areas of the image in order to directly target their searches.

For example, if one wants to find the model number of a Nike shoe in a picture having a lot of other stuff, the user can select that shoe and outline it to focus the search.

Furthermore, it is said this technology has also been tested in “wearable computing devices”, suggesting this technology may be incorporated with other products like Google Glass and VR headsets.

Google Goggles was launched in 2009 as a visual search technology app but after a few years the company stopped updating it and it fell by the wayside.

Google may merge this app directly with the camera so it comes incorporated in all phones.

Supreme Court Gives Government More Time to Curb Child Pornography Sites

Supreme Court Gives Government More Time to Curb Child Pornography Sites

The Supreme Court on Monday gave the government more time to suggest ways and means for blocking child pornography in its all forms as it was told that due to Holi holidays, the required meeting of officials with National Commission for Women (NCW) could not take place.

Granting two weeks’ time as Additional Solicitor General Pinki Anand said the meeting of the officials with NCW has yet to take place, a bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh asked the government to address the submission by the petitioner Kamlesh Vaswani that government, after passing an order blocking 450 child porn websites in 2014, revoked it later.

Asking the government to suggest the ways to curb child pornography, the apex court on last hearing on February 26 had said it could, if it wanted, seek suggestions from the National Commission for Women and “we are sure the said Commission would give its suggestions to the Union of India”.

The court had also said that “the innocent children cannot be made prey to these kind of painful situations, and a nation, by no means, can afford to carry any kind of experiment with its children in the name of liberty and freedom of expression”.

“Watching pornography or compelling watching pornography can’t come with the freedom of expression, speech and thought,” it said, asking Anand to “file an appropriate affidavit of the competent authority to suggest the ways and means so that these activities are curbed”.

Expressing its difficulty in dealing with the issue of clamp down on websites carrying child pornography, the government had told the court on February 26 that “as far as the child pornography is concerned, exercise has been undertaken and the central government shall come with the scheme so that appropriate directions in that regard can be issued”.

New Nasa Launch Control Software Late, Millions Over Budget

New Nasa Launch Control Software Late, Millions Over Budget

Launch control software under development for Nasa’s deep-space exploration program is more than a year behind schedule and tens of millions of dollars above projected costs, according to an internal audit released Monday.

Nasa’s own inspector general conducted the audit at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, where the agency hopes to launch its next-generation rocket on a test flight in 2018.

The goal is to send astronauts to Mars in the 2030s, using this supersize Space Launch System, or SLS, rocket and an Orion capsule. The 2018 SLS premiere will include an unmanned Orion; the first Orion with a crew should launch five years later.

Nasa has agreed to an independent review once software is delivered for the 2018 test flight. In the meantime, officials said they have instituted improvements. Inspector General Paul Martin deems that satisfactory and considers the matter resolved.

Software needed to support SLS and Orion is experiencing the same startup trouble as previous command and control software programs, the audit found. Development of this new launch control software is now projected to exceed $207 million, 77 percent above 2012 projections.

The software won’t be ready until fall 2017, instead of this summer as planned, and important capabilities like automatic failure detection, are being deferred, the audit noted. The system is vital, needed to control pumps, motors, valves and other ground equipment during countdowns and launches, and to monitor data before and during liftoff.

Nasa decided to write its own computer code to “glue together” existing software products a decade ago – while space shuttles still were flying and commercial shippers had yet to service the space station. Both delivery companies, SpaceX and Orbital ATK, rely on commercial software, the audit noted.

Commercial software products would be a better option for Nasa as well, according to the audit, especially given recent advances in the area.

The ground systems development and operations program’s “reluctance to change course reflects a cultural legacy at Nasa of over-optimism and over-promising what the agency can achieve in a specific timeframe,” the report stated.

A successful Orion orbital test flight, in 2014, used United Launch Alliance’s unmanned Delta IV rocket.

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016), Galaxy J7 (2016) Smartphones Go Official

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016), Galaxy J7 (2016) Smartphones Go Official

Samsung has finally put an end to the innumerable leaks and rumours for its Galaxy J 2016 smartphones by making the Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) and the Galaxy J7 (2016) official. The two smartphones are listed on the company’s China website revealing the specifications without any prices. The company has also not mentioned when the duo will arrive in other regions. Both come as a successor to the Samsung Galaxy J5 and the Galaxy J7, which were launched in July last year.

Jumping right into the specifications, the Android-based dual-SIM supporting Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)as per the listing features a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) resolutions Super Amoled display with a pixel density of 402ppi and is powered by an octa-core processor (unspecified) clocked at 1.6GHz, clubbed with 3GB RAM.

It sports a 13-megapixel autofocus rear camera along with a front-facing 5-megapixel camera. Both the cameras come with f/1.9 aperture and a dual-tone flash. The Galaxy J7 (2016) houses 16GB of inbuilt storage, out of which users get only 10.4GB for storing their files. However, this should not be an issue as it also supports storage expandability via microSD card (up to 128GB). It is worth mentioning that the handset has three separate slots for the two SIM cards and an external storage card. On the connectivity front, the handset supports 4G LTE (India bands included), NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v4.1, GPS, and Micro-USB 2.0.

Measuring 151.7x76x7.8mm, the Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) weighs 170 grams and is backed by a 3300mAh battery, which is rated to deliver up to 354 hours of standby time. It will be available in Gold, White, and Pink colour variants.

As for the Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016), the dual-SIM supporting smartphone features a slightly smaller 5.2-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) resolution Super Amoled display and is powered by a quad-core processor (unspecified) clocked at 1.2GHz, clubbed with 2GB of RAM. The device is backed by a 3100mAh battery said to deliver up to 369 hours of standby time.

On the connectivity and camera front, the Galaxy J5 (2016) shares the same innards as the Galaxy J7 (2016). The smartphone measures 145.8×72.3×8.1mm and weighs 159 grams.

Telecom Commission Clears Entry of Virtual Network Operators

Telecom Commission Clears Entry of Virtual Network Operators

Clearing the way for the entry of telecom service retailers, inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission on Monday approved long-pending proposal on virtual network operators, which will offer voice and data services under their own brands without owning network or spectrum.

“The Commission has approved Trai’s recommendation on Virtual Network Operators after including clarification it provided. It will need Telecom Minister’s approval. A new licence will be issued UL VNO for this. It should be implemented within few weeks,” an official source said.

“VNO will be able to offer all telecom services provided by a telecom operator with which it has partnered. It can sell services of more than one operator,” the source said.

A VNO leases bandwidth from various telecom operators to provide voice and data services to customers. VNOs would offer all telecom services permitted under Unified Licences – permits that were issued in 2013. These players are expected to reduce marketing and sales costs of telecom companies struggling in the sector, besides sharing some operational expenses, too.

“VNO will be able to invest in setting up mobile towers and other elements in network required for providing services. However, it will not be able to sign deal directly to interconnect infrastructure laid by it with other telecom operator,” the source said.

These players may also offer some relief to telecom PSUs, BSNL, and MTNL, which have already adopted a revenue-sharing model focusing on reducing capital expenditure. However, these companies will need to change their old licence to Unified Licence.

“VNO will be able to integrate service[s] and offer [them] to the customer as it wants. There will be no limit on integration and offering of services from licence or government that will be available shortly. VNO on its own will be free to use technology required for offering various services,” the source said.

In case a VNO has partnered with multiple service providers, then it can offer voice call service of one and data service of other player.

FBI Probing Virus Behind Outage at MedStar Health Facilities

FBI Probing Virus Behind Outage at MedStar Health Facilities

Hackers crippled computer systems Monday at a major hospital chain, MedStar Health Inc., forcing records systems offline for thousands of patients and doctors. The FBI said it was investigating whether the unknown hackers demanded a ransom to restore systems.

A computer virus paralyzed some operations at Washington-area hospitals and doctors’ offices, leaving patients unable to book appointments and staff locked out of their email accounts. Some employees were required to turn off all computers since Monday morning.

A law enforcement official said the FBI was assessing whether the virus was so-called ransomware, in which hackers extort money in exchange for returning a victim’s systems to normal. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss publicly details about the ongoing criminal investigation.

“We can’t do anything at all. There’s only one system we use, and now it’s just paper,” said one MedStar employee who, like others, spoke on condition of anonymity because this person was not authorized to speak to reporters.

MedStar said in a statement that the virus prevented some employees from logging into systems. It said all of its clinics remain open and functioning and there was no immediate evidence that patient information had been stolen.

Company spokeswoman Ann Nickels said she couldn’t say whether it was a ransomware attack. She said patient care was not affected and the hospitals were using a paper backup system.

When asked whether hackers demanded payment, Nickels said: “I don’t have an answer to that,” and referred to the company’s statement.

Dr. Richard Alcorta, medical director for Maryland’s emergency medical services network, said he suspects it was a ransomware attack. He said his suspicion was based on multiple earlier ransomware attempts on individual hospitals in the state. Alcorta said he was unaware of any ransoms paid by Maryland hospitals or health care systems.

“People view this, I think, as a form of terrorism and are attempting to extort money by attempting to infect them with this type of virus,” he said.

Alcorta said his agency first learned of MedStar’s problems about 10:30 a.m., when the company’s Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore called in a request to divert emergency medical services traffic from that facility. He said that was followed by a similar request from Union Memorial, another MedStar hospital in Baltimore. The diversions were lifted as the hospitals’ backup systems started operating, he said.

MedStar operates 10 hospitals in Maryland and Washington, including the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, along with other facilities. It employs 30,000 staff and has 6,000 affiliated physicians.

Monday’s hacking at MedStar came one month after a Los Angeles hospital paid hackers $17,000 to regain control of its computer system, which hackers had seized with ransomware using an infected email attachment.

Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, which is owned by CHA Medical Center of South Korea, paid 40 bitcoins – or about $420 per coin of the digital currency – to restore normal operations and disclosed the attack publicly. That hack was first noticed Feb. 5 and operations didn’t fully recover until 10 days later.

Hospitals are considered critical infrastructure, but unless patient data is impacted there is no requirement to disclose such hackings even if operations are disrupted.

Computer security of the hospital industry is generally regarded as poor, and the federal Health and Human Services Department regularly publishes a list of health care providers that have been hacked with patient information stolen. The agency said Monday it was aware of the MedStar incident.

Alleged Xiaomi Smartphone With 4.3-Inch Display, Snapdragon 820 SoC Leaked

Xiaomi earlier this month launched its flagship Mi 5 smartphone at the MWC 2016 event in Barcelona and will be bringing the device to India on Thursday. However, a new leaked image now indicates there might be a new smaller Xiaomi smartphone in the making already.

The leaked image coming from Weibo (via Gizchina) shows an unknown black coloured smartphone’s display running MIUI. The device is said to feature a 4.3-inch display, and might be launched as an iPhone SE competitor in the future. The handset is tipped to feature a HD (720×1280 pixels) resolution display and powered by the flagship Qualcomm chipset, the Snapdragon 820, clubbed with 3GB of RAM. It is also said to house 32GB of inbuilt storage and a 13-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilisation. The alleged Xiaomi-made smartphone is expected to carry a price tag of CNY 1,799 (roughly Rs. 18,400). A fingerprint sensor is also tipped.

xiaomi_mi_43_inch_phone_leak_weibo.jpgAlthough Xiaomi is far from confirming any of the aforementioned specifications, the device if real will be one of the best small-screen handsets in the market as it features top-notch specifications under-the-hood.

On a related note, Xiaomi Mi 5 will be launched by the company in India on Thursday. With the unveiling of the smartphone, India will become one of the first markets with Xiaomi’s flagship outside China. Barra had recently revealed that the company received a massive 16 million registrations for the first sale of Mi 5 in China.

To recall, the Xiaomi Mi 5 was announced in three versions – standard edition featuring 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 32GB inbuilt storage; prime version featuring 3GB LPDDR4 RAM and 64GB storage, and pro version featuring 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 128GB storage. It is not clear if Xiaomi will launch all three variants in India.

Google Search Now Lets You Easily Save, Sort Images on Desktop

Google Search Now Lets You Easily Save, Sort Images on Desktop

If you’re one of those people who likes to save the photos that they have come across on Google Image search results, you will be glad to know that Google is making it easier for you to do that. Three months after Google introduced a feature to allow users to Google Image search result photos to their phone, the Mountain View-based company is now allowing users to save directly to their desktop.

Late last year, Google introduced a feature that allows users to save photos in their mobile browser and also organise these images in different folders. Google announced on Monday that it is bringing this feature to the desktop as well.

Utilising this feature, you can save your favourite images – and when you get time and have a desire – sort these images into different folders so it is easier for you to find these images when you come looking for it later. The feature works the same way on the desktop as it does on the mobile device. You can click the star button to favourite an item, and from there you can add it to a collection. You can also add tags to different images. The feature is very similar to Pinterest.

“For example, if your yard is in need of some spring re-planting, just go to your desktop, search for an image and tap the star to save your potential new flowers, bushes, or even swimming pools,” the company wrote in a blog post. “When you’re at the store ready to start buying, you’ll be able to pull up your saved images on your phone and start building your perfect yard. You can also tag your saves to keep them organised.”

The feature is currently only available for users in the United States.

Xiaomi Announces 'Mi Ecosystem' Sub-Brand

Xiaomi Announces 'Mi Ecosystem' Sub-Brand

At an event in China, Xiaomi on Tuesday announced a new sub-brand called Mi Ecosystem. The new brand is meant to cover products manufactured by Xiaomi’s ecosystem partners.

As per Xiaomi, the Mi Ecosystem sub-brand will adhere to the “philosophy of making products that stand out as works of art in daily lives.” It adds that its ecosystem partners are chosen because they adhere to the “high-quality” required to be aligned with Xiaomi.

Xiaomi said that to build the Mi Ecosystem, it has thus far invested in 55 companies that design and manufacture products beyond the company’s own three core product categories: smartphones, smart TVs, and smart routers. It added that 29 of these companies have in fact been incubated by Xiaomi since their founding, including Zhimi (responsible for the Mi Air Purifier) and Viomi (responsible for the Mi Water Purifier).The company added that so far, 28 Mi Ecosystem companies have won international design awards, while 20 companies have launched products. The companies have also become “industry benchmarks” in their own right, with spectacular sales figures for such startups – no doubt helped by the Xiaomi brand. It said that seven Mi Ecosystem companies already have annual sales of over $100 million, while two have reached annual sales of over $1 billion.

Xiaomi in a statement added that its Founder and CEO, Lei Jun, started exploring the ecosystem business model two years ago with the aim to “promote an upgrade in Chinese manufacturing with a new concept of ‘Made in China’ products.” The statement adds, “Rather than simply being a venture company, Xiaomi imparts to these companies its approach to making quality products, sharing its methodologies and existing resources, including supply chain, e-commerce, marketing, and branding.”

xiaomi_mi_induction_heating_pressure_rice_cooker_in_story.jpgThe first product under the Mi Ecosystem brand is the Mi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker (seen above). Priced at CNY 999 (roughly Rs. 10,200), the rice cooker is supposedly 40 percent cheaper than its Japanese counterparts, the company says. It will go on sale in China via Mi.com during the Mi Fan Festival beginning April 6.

As you’d expect from Xiaomi, the Mi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker is an Internet-connected device, and not just a ‘dumb’ pressure cooker. The Wi-Fi-enabled cooker can be controlled via the Mi Home app. Xiaomi says users can scan a packet of rice to identify the type of rice, brand, and origin, and depending on these factors, the rice cooker will adjust its heating to best suit the rice type. The company says it currently supports more than 200 brands of rice, a list that will be expanded in the future. The Mi Home app also provides recipes for dishes that can be made with Mi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker, including cakes, and users simply have to select the recipe in the app for the cooker to adjust itself.

What began as a software company five years ago, Xiaomi has grown to become a major manufacturer of smartphones, tablets, as well as TVs. The company now sells products such as suitcases, air purifiers,LED lights, routers, set-top boxes, and even lamps under its brand. The vast majority of these products, however, don’t leave China’s boundaries. In recent years, Xiaomi has been working with different governments such as India, Singapore and ‚Äčtheir regulations to launch more of its products, while also working on its debut in the United States and United Kingdom markets.

Moto G (Gen. 3) Now Receiving Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow Update in India

Moto G (Gen. 3) Now Receiving Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow Update in India

Motorola is rolling out the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow OTA update to its smartphones in India. Whileearlier this month the Moto X Play got the update, the company has now brought the same OS update to the budget Moto G (Gen 3) handsets. The handset already received the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update earlier this year.

The Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow update changelog stays the same as that seen in the Moto X Play OS update. The update comes bundled with Google’s monthly security update – Android security update for March – as well as adds Unicode 8.0 emoji support. The update for the Moto G (Gen. 3) also brings camera shutter tone switch, letting users turn off/on the shutter sound any time. Some stability improvements have also been made.

The new update is now available over-the-air (OTA), though Moto G (Gen 3) users can manually check for updates by going to the Settings app of the smartphone, and navigating to About Phone > System Updates. The update v24.61.55 weighs 371.4MB, so we recommend users to switch to Wi-Fi before downloading the OS update.

Moto G (Gen. 3) got the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update back in January this year. Android Marshmallow (previously just Android M) brings features such as revamped app permissions; GoogleNow on Tap feature; Android Pay mobile payment system, and new fingerprint APIs for developers among others. It also features some Google’s security patches as well.

Apart from the regular Marshmallow features, Motorola will be also pushing some Moto-specific changes that users will see after updating to the new Android OS version. Some changes to Moto enhancements include removal of Moto Assist feature as part of upgrade to Android M. The company explains that the latest OS includes an option for ‘Do Not Disturb’ under the ‘Sound and notification’ settings that performs similar function what Moto Assist does.