Sunday, August 24, 2014

Metis Eddy

Metis Eddy
Metis, an Indian education startup, has launched a tablet for kids at Rs 9,999. The new tablet, named Eddy, runs on Android 4.2 and is aimed at educational content for 2-8 year olds.

The 7-inch screen tablet sports a 1.6GHz dual-core processor with 1GB RAM and internal memory of 8 GB, which can be expanded to 32GB with a microSD card. A 3200mAh battery ensures more than 4 hours of continuous usage time on full charge.

Children can read books, learn to play the piano, explore the world and the universe as well as practice math through games on Eddy. All the games preloaded on the tablet are violence-free.

Eddy also comes with an exclusive recommendation engine for parents, the Kids Radar, which recommends the most suitable learning apps for their kids on the Play store.

Xolo Q3000

Xolo Q3000
Xolo has launched the Q3000 phablet in India at Rs 20,999. The phablet has a 5.7-inch full HD screen and runs on Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean).

One of the highlights of the phablet is its 4,000mAh battery, which delivers battery life of approximately 2 days. The new Xolo Q3000 is powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core Mediatek processor, with 2GB RAM and comes with 16GB internal storage and supports 32GB microSD card. 
 
It sports a 13MP camera on the back and 5MP camera in front. Connectivity suite of Xolo Q3000 includes 2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and microUSB 2.0.

2014 ZERO SR – FIRST RIDE

It's hard to resist this electric speed demon.

2014 Zero SR action shot
Few other motorcycle companies have made bigger strides in a shorter time than Zero. When we rode first-generation bikes back in 2007, they were crude and needed lots of improvements before they could be taken seri­ously. And improve they did—dramatically. We were impressed with the 2013 S model we tested a year ago, but this new top-of-the-line SR beats that bike in range, acceleration, and top speed.
Key to the $16,995 ($19,490 as tested) SR’s improvement over the S ($12,995 to $14,995) is its 660-amp motor-controller that Zero claims provides 24 percent more power (67 versus 54 hp) and 56 percent more torque (106 versus 68 pound-feet). The Z-Force permanent magnet, brushless motor has new magnets that can withstand higher temperatures for better sustained performance.
The SR model comes standard with an 11.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, while ours was equipped with the optional Power Tank ($2,495) that adds another 2.8 kWh. With the standard three-prong cord plugged into a conventional 110-volt wall outlet, a full charge typically takes around 10 hours. Speeding up this process is pricey. Zero’s quick-charge unit ($599.99), when paired with the integrated unit, cuts the time in half, while upgrading to a CHAdeMO plug (as found on many electric cars) can cut that to an hour and a half total. That accessory, however, will set you back another $1,799.99, and charging stations are still few and far between.
When accessorized for max range and quickest recharging, the SR has a price that jumps to a lofty $21,290. For that kind of money, you can get a BMW K1600GT or Ducati Panigale.
2014-Zero-SR-static-1Our best range in Eco mode and riding a normal pace was 93.1 miles. When we selected Sport and repeatedly accelerated very aggressively and made a couple of top-speed runs, we still achieved 68.4 miles. While pure urban riding greatly extends range due to the lower speeds and regen braking, we feel our mix of surface streets and freeway paint a more realistic picture. It’s the 10-hour wait for a full recharge that is the real Achilles’ heel for this electric bike.

To be fair, the SR is an exercise in what kind of performance can be extracted from an electric platform, so we tried not to obsess about the sticker shock. As with all electric vehicles, you feel tethered to the socket, but the larger battery pack has made the SR’s range more livable and useful. Maximum range during testing in mixed urban and freeway use was 93 miles, meaning your one-way leg (without a charge) shouldn’t exceed 45 miles.
Around town, the SR is a fun and fast commuter. Stoplight to stoplight, the SR will smoke just about any automobile, and we love its stealthy manner.
Off-the-line acceleration in Sport mode (one of three, including Eco and Custom, all managed via smartphone) is solid, with a recorded best 0-to-60 time of 4.3 seconds. That’s a full second slower than Zero claims, but the 13.07-second/98.6-mph quarter-mile was a full second quicker than the S we last tested. Roll-on performance was also impressive, the SR taking 1.7 seconds to go from 40 to 60 mph and only 2.5 from 60 to 80. Top speed was 98.7 mph.
Chassis performance has improved dramatically, as well. The 43mm inverted fork and shock have provisions for compression and rebound damping adjustment, while the shock also has a threaded preload collar.
2014 Zero SR action shot #2
When we wandered off the grid in search of back-road fun, the SR proved to be an agile corner carver. After we got the shock dialed in (more preload and rebound damping), we were fairly happy with chassis performance.
Gripes? The front brake needs an upgrade. The single twin-piston Nissin caliper is barely up to the task of slowing the SR from speed, delivering wooden lever feel to boot. Also, while the reasonably low seat accommodates shorter riders, we’d take more foam for better comfort.
If you asked us a few years ago whether Zero could close the gap to “real” motorcycles, we would have been apprehensive to say yes. Now, that apprehension is gone, but Zero still needs to focus on refinement and cost reduction. Other motorcycles in the SR’s price range come with ABS, electronic suspension, integrated navigation, world-class brakes and LED headlights, which are nowhere to be found on this Zero.
Judged purely on its own merits, however, the SR showcases what is possible from an electric motorcycle powertrain. Zero’s next big step is to build a bike that can go head to head with the competition and have no excuses, regardless of what type of powerplant is hidden under the cowl. From what Zero has shown us so far, it doesn’t appear that will be too far off in the future.
SPECIFICATIONS
PRICE (AS TESTED)$19,490
MOTORbrushless, high-temp magnet
MAX BATTERY CAPACITY14.2 kWh
SEAT HEIGHT31.8 in.
CHARGE TIME, STANDARD9.9 hours
CLAIMED WEIGHT452 lb.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Dell Venue 7, Venue 8

Dell Venue 7, Venue 8
Dell has launched a pair of Android tablets in India – the Venue 7 costs Rs 10,999 and Venue 8 is priced at Rs 17,499. Venue 7 sports a 7-inch display with a 1280x800 pixel resolution, while the Venue 8 sports an 8-inch display with the same resolution.

Both the models are powered by Android 4.2 and run on 2GHz dual-core Intel Atom processors with 2GB RAM. Venue 7 sports a 3MP rear camera and a VGA front camera, while the Venue 8 features a 5MP rear camera and a 2MP camera in front.

Venue 7 comes with 16GB internal storage while Venue 8 comes with the option of 16 or 32GB storage. Both tablets come with a microSD card slot. The company has launched Wi-Fi version of the tablet.

Canon PowerShot G16

Canon PowerShot G16
Canon India has launched PowerShot G16, the company's latest compact camera, at Rs 34,995. The compact camera features a DIGIC 6 processor for relatively lower shutter lag, and a new 12.1MP High Sensitivity CMOS sensor.

It can shoot Full-HD(1080p) video at 60p. Canon claims that the high speed AF improves focus speed by shooting 12.2fps continuous shooting in full resolution and 5.7fps with AF.

The PowerShot G16 features a zoom range of 5x, with a focal range of 28mm-140mm and this is expandable to 10x using Canon's new ZoomPlus feature. The company claims that the camera's f/1.8 (W) - f/2.8/ (T) lens performs well in low light, for creating soft backgrounds with shallow depth-of-field.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Making Facebook a powerful hiring tool

HireRabbit offers a software-as­a-service (SaaS) platform to build customized job sites on Facebook pages.
 
Hire Rabbit has an attractive pitch. Its co-founder Pipalayan Nayak says companies are two minutes away from hiring bright bunnies through their Facebook and mobile career sites, provided they use a preset template to get started. "That's less time than it takes to munch a carrot!" he says.

HireRabbit offers a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform to build customized job sites on Facebook pages. The job site sits within the company's corporate Facebook page and it works on smartphones and tablets. "Traditional channels of recruitment including job boards are becoming obsolete. Though firms allocated significant hiring budgets annually, social recruiting was not even a blip. But Facebook is now one of the most trafficked, and the social recruiting landscape has taken off very well," said Nayak, an electronics engineer who graduated from National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Rourkela.

Nayak started HireRabbit in 2012 with Prafull Sharma from NIT Surathkal. The two had worked together at IBM Software Labs in Bangalore for five years before starting the venture. The company has over 200 customers including CitiusTech, Aditi Technologies and US-based Choptank Transport. HireRabbit was incubated at Microsoft Ventures in 2012.

Firms needn't do the grunt work of manually posting jobs on their Facebook page. "A company's Facebook page's jobs listing will be automatically synced to its applicant tracking system (ATS) using our platform. It can redirect candidates to apply for jobs through the existing application flow and it allows the firm to track candidate source data inside its ATS. Candidates can also apply for jobs from Facebook and the company can receive applications in its ATS, thanks to our powerful API integration," he said.

The company also helps design customized Facebook pages to influence passive candidates and to position the company as an employer of choice.

"Our platform powers the microsite by integrating Facebook APIs," Nayak said. The company optimizes tweets to include hashtags, job title, location and a short URL with its Twitter integration platform. HireRabbit measures key metrics like job site views and number of applicants using its analytics dashboard.

The company offers a 14-day trial, post which customers can switch to a subscription-based model. It offers a flexible pricing model across three levels —master, black belt, and blue belt. Companies opting for a black belt package pay $119 monthly for posting 15 active jobs and $8 each for an additional job posting. The blue belt package comes at a monthly subscription for $39 per month. "Customers can upgrade, downgrade or cancel the monthly plan any time," Nayak said.

HP Slate 6, 7 VoiceTab

HP Slate 6, 7 VoiceTab
HP has unveiled two Android voice-calling tablets in India – Slate 6 VoiceTab and Slate 7 VoiceTab. The Slate6 has been launched at a price point of Rs 22,990, while the Slate7 has been priced at Rs 16,990.

Both tablets are powered by Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) and have 5MP rear camera and 2MP front-facing camera.

The Slate 6 sports a 6-inch IPS LCD display with 720p resolution. The device is powered by a 1.2GHz Marvell PXA1088 chip and 1GB RAM. The dual-sim tablet comes with 16GB built-in storage, expandable up to 32GB via microSD card. Powered by a 3,000mAh battery, it supports 3G, Bluetooth 3.0, WiFi and GPS connectivity options.

HP Slate 7 sports a 7-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 800x1280 pixels. This device is also powered by a 1.2GHz Marvell PXA1088 chip and 1GB RAM. The dual-sim tablet comes with 16GB internal storage, expandable up to 32GB via microSD card. It is powered by a 4,100mAh battery and has connectivity options like 2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and microUSB 2.0.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sony Vaio Flip 13

Sony Vaio Flip 13
Sony has launched the Vaio Flip 13 hybrid laptop in the country at Rs 99,990. The convertible laptop has a hinge mechanism that allows the touchscreen to be flipped over such that the model can be used as a tablet.

This mechanism also enables the device to be used as a kickstand (which Sony calls Viewer mode). Sony Vaio Flip 13 has a 13-inch Triluminous Display with 1080p resolution and runs on Windows 8.1 operating system.

The model has a 1.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM, 128GB flash drive and Intel HD Graphics 4400 GPU under the hood. The model weighs 1.31kg, has an 8MP camera and offers battery life of 7.5hours. The company also launched a 14-inch and two 15-inch laptop-cum-tablets in the same series.

Moto G

Moto G
Motorola re-entered the Indian market after a gap of two years with the launch of Moto G smartphone. The dual-sim phone comes in two variants – 8GB at Rs 12,499 and 16GB at Rs 13,999. It has a 4.5-inch 720p screen and runs on Android 4.4 (KitKat), the latest version of the software.

On the back, Moto G sports a 5MP camera, while a 1.3MP camera is in front. The device runs on a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, backed by 1GB RAM. Powered by a 2,070mAh battery, this smartphone has connectivity options like 2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and microUSB 2.0.

Amazon Kindle PaperWhite

Amazon Kindle PaperWhite
Amazon has launched its Kindle PaperWhite e-reader in India. The WiFi-only version of the device is available at a price of Rs 10,999, while the 3G+WiFi version is priced at Rs 13,999.

Kindle Paperwhite features new display technology with improved built-in light; a 25% faster processor and new touch technology with 19% tighter touch grid for better sensitivity.

The e-reader also boasts of some new features such as Kindle Page Flip in-line footnotes, Freetime and Vocabulary Builder. The ereader now also offers Facebook and Twitter integration for sharing recommendations, highlighted sections and quotes. As per the company, the new e-reader offers higher contrast and better reflectivity for whiter whites and blacker blacks. The new Paperwhite weighs 206gm and offers battery backup of 8 weeks on a single charge.

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