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Update News On Data Cloud Storage : Where Does Your Cloud Data Reside?

An overview of data location regulations and which providers support user designation of data storage sites.

 2015 is going to be a major year for cloud computing. As the growth in cloud usage continues, governments are taking more and more interest in security of personal data.

Herein lies a problem. It has become almost impossible to stop data from crossing over the lines on maps that separate one political entity from another. However, politicians want to be seen as exerting their will over important issues, and data sovereignty has become one such issue.
The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is due to roll out across member countries during 2015. The GDPR defines what is deemed to be personal data and sets fines for such data being compromised by any company with operations in the EU. The fines could reach up to 100 million Euros or 5% of worldwide revenues for the offending company. All data breaches will need to be fully documented and disclosed to the EU regulator, and a breach may include the transfer of such data outside of the EU.

In the US, data breach disclosure requirements are already in place. However, via the Patriot Act, FISA (and FISAAA) and the use of disclosure warrants, the US is attempting to extend its reach beyond its shores into other territories. Such actions would obviously break the EU's GDPR.

Although Asia operates essentially as a collection of separate countries, 2014 showed a marked move towards a more European style of data security. As the growing economies of China, South Korea, Malaysia and others drive existing economies of Singapore, Japan, and Australia to change how they operate, each country is adopting data protection laws that they believe will enable them to compete effectively on the global stage.

So, where does this leave data sovereignty? It still looks like the overriding concern should be to partner with a cloud provider that has demonstrable capabilities around data security. Once that decision has been made, the need to maintain data in a specific geographic location can follow on. It's important to find a provider that understands technologies like data caching and content delivery networks (CDNs), which may violate data sovereignty rules.

Overall, data protection laws are still some way behind the actuality of data processing needs. Expect more change, and choose a provider that is prepared to deal with such change.

News Update Giant Battery Handset : Photos Surface Of Oukitel's Juggernaut 10,000 mAh Battery Smartphone, The Oukitel K10000 (Neowin)

Oukitel might not be a brand you're familiar with, but they're coming in with a bang. The recently announced Oukitel U9 has received a bit of attention for featuring things like worldwide LTE support, but it's their next smartphone that will be taking all of the headlines. Battery life is always a hot topic when it comes to smartphones, and while some manufacturers dabble in 4,000, 5,000 or even 6,000 mAh batteries, Oukitel is taking that to a whole new level.
Introducing the Oukitel K10000, a metal-bodied smartphone with a giant 10,000 mAh battery. Details of the device are still sketchy at this point, but we have managed to confirm that it will run Android 5.1 Lollipop out of the box and will have a 5.5-inch display. Finer details of the phone, including things like which SoC it will be packing, the display's resolution, how much RAM it will have or how much storage it will have have yet to be confirmed by Oukitel's engineering team.

What is known, however, is that the phone looks like something out of a Transformers movie, and the battery life will almost certainly be glorious. Going by the figure alone, a user should expect almost a week's worth of moderate usage on a single charge.

While waiting on more details of the phone to be made public, however, we have obtained some exclusive real-world photos of the device which can be viewed below.

Update: We can confirm that it will be a completely battery-centric smartphone, in that it will have the quad-core MediaTek MT6735 SoC (which supports worldwide LTE) and a 720p resolution for its 5.5-inch display. Other details confirmed to Neowin include:

Specifications :
  1. 13 MP rear camera
  2. 5 MP front camera
  3. 2 GB RAM
  4. 16 GB internal storage

Gallery: Oukitel K10000 :


News Update Technology : Solar Plane Takes Off on Record 120-Hour Flight Across Pacific

A solar-powered plane able to fly in sunshine or darkness without using any fuel took off today (June 29) on a planned 120-hour flight across the Pacific Ocean, from Nagoya, Japan, to Kalaeola, Hawaii.

The Solar Impulse 2 took off from Nagoya Airfield at 3:03 a.m. local time in Japan (2:03 p.m. EDT on June 28). The flight, which is expected to take five days and five nights, is part of an ambitious attempt to circumnavigate the world using only solar power.

"This flight will be demanding and challenging particularly given its duration and the fact that no immediate landing is possible and will be a feat never accomplished before in the world of aviation," Solar Impulse officials said in a statement. [See more photos of the plane's round-the-world flight]

 The round-the-world attempt began March 9 in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. On May 31, Solar Impulse 2 attempted to complete the seventh leg of its journey, from Nanjing, China, to Kalaeloa, but the flight was diverted to Nagoya because of bad weather. Last week, after spending weeks in Japan, the plane was again grounded due to poor weather conditions. But today's attempt went off without a hitch, Solar Impulse officials said, marking the start of the mission's longest leg.
"Now fully into the flight to Hawaii. Very strong emotions as I passed the point of no return: exploration starts here," pilot Andre Borschberg, who is also the CEO and co-founder of Solar Impulse, wrote in an update on Twitter. Borschberg included a photo of the Solar Impulse 2 soaring over a bed of fluffy clouds.

Bertrand Piccard, the chairman and founder of Solar Impulse and its other pilot, will support Borschberg from the Mission Control Centre in Monaco. Borschberg and Piccard have been alternating being at the controls of the single-seater plane.

Staying alert for such a long solo flight poses many challenges, but Borschberg plans to take 20-minute naps and meditate to keep his blood moving and his muscles relaxed. Piccard previously told Live Science that he uses self-hypnosis to keep focused during long flights. Piccard is expected to pilot the solar plane on the next leg of its journey, from Hawaii to Arizona.

The Solar Impulse 2 is powered by 17,000 photovoltaic cells on its wings, which drive propellers during the day and charge batteries that power the aircraft at night. After arriving in Hawaii, the plane will continue to Phoenix, with a stop planned in the middle of the U.S., before the pilots head to New York City. Following these stops in the U.S., the plane will fly to Europe, and eventually will return to Abu Dhabi to complete their round-the-world expedition. There will be 13 flights in total, if all continues as planned, according to Solar Impulse officials.

News Updated Technology : Solar Impulse 2: Photos of the Historic Round-the-World Flight

 A solar-powered plane has embarked on an unprecedented flight around the world. The aircraft, known as Solar Impulse 2, is designed to fly day and night without using any fuel. The plane took off from Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, and will circumnavigate the globe as part of an initiative that is expected to last until July. Check out these photos of the Solar Impulse 2 mission. [Read full story about the solar-powered plane's flight]

The sky's the limit :

Solar Impulse 2 took off from Al Bateen Executive Airport in Abu Dhabi, to kick off the first leg of its round-the-world flight. The plane's first stop will be in Oman. (Credit: © Solar Impulse)

 Loading Up :

Solar Impulse 2 is loaded into a cargo plane to prepare for the first-of-its-kind flight around the world. The plane began its historic journey in Abu Dhabi, but will make stops in Oman, India, Myanmar, China, and the United States along the way. The plane will also touch down in either southern Europe or North Africa, before returning to Abu Dhabi. (Credit: © Solar Impulse | Revillard | Rezo.ch)

Pieces and parts :

One of Solar Impulse 2's massive wings is loaded into the cargo plane. The ultra-lightweight aircraft has a wingspan of 236 feet (72 meters). (Credit: © Solar Impulse | Revillard | Rezo.ch)

Waiting for take off :

Solar Impulse 2 is powered entirely by solar panels and onboard batteries, which charge during the day. This enables the plane to continue flying even when the sun goes down, including throughout the night. (Credit: © Solar Impulse | Revillard | Rezo.ch)

Prepping for take off :

Test pilot Markus Scherdel in the cockpit, during early tests of the Solar Impulse 2. (Credit: © Solar Impulse)

Flying high :
Solar Impulse 2 soars over fields in Payerne, Switzerland, during a test flight. (Credit: © Solar Impulse | Revillard | Rezo.ch)

Making green tech work :

Solar Impulse 2 is part of an initiative to highlight "green" technology and sustainable energy. (Credit: © Solar Impulse | Revillard | Rezo.ch)

Taking green tech to new heights :

In 2013, Swiss pilots and Solar Impulse co-founders AndrĂ© Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard took turns piloting a first-generation prototype of the solar-powered plane on a coast-to-coast journey across the United States. (Credit: © Solar Impulse | Revillard | Rezo.ch)

Welcoming the sun :
Solar Impulse 2 is an upgraded version of the prototype used for the cross-country flight across the U.S. (Credit: © Solar Impulse | Revillard | Rezo.ch)
Touching down :
The Solar Impulse 2 lands after the first leg of its record-setting around the world flight. (Credit: © Solar Impulse)

News Tech Update : Apple Pay Faces New Challenge From Barclays Contactless Devices

Apple AAPL -0.56% is getting ready to launch its contactless payments service in the UK this week, but one of the country’s main banks has snubbed the iPhone maker to go its own way.

Barclaycard, part of Barclays Group, is launching a set of contactless payment gadgets that anyone with a debit or credit card registered with Visa V +0.19% or MasterCard MA +0.05% can wear, attach to their keys or stick onto their phone to make contactless payments too.

The bPay wearable payment devices go on sale from July 1 on a website set up by Barclaycard, and consist of a wristband costing £25, a key fob costing £20 and a sticker for £15. It seems likely that most people who buy the rectangular sticker will place them on the back of smartphones to turn them into digital wallets.
The bPay wristband can be topped up by any debit or credit card that’s registered with Visa or MasterCard. (Photo via Barclays)
Each can be pre-loaded with up to £20 in cash and can be used on any contactless payment till or London’s extensive public transportation network, which last year started working with contactless cards.

From September, the maximum limit to contactless payments will rise to £30. And for those who don’t want to keep topping up their bPay device, there’s an auto top-up feature to enable.

Barclays is only the latest large company to rival Apple Pay with its own offering.

Samsung is expected to launch “Samsung Pay” with the new Galaxy Note 5 in September, and other banks like La Caxia in Spain have launched their own payment wearables that can be topped up via a mobile app.

The SIM card manufacturer Gemalto also has a side business making a range of payment wristbands that sports clubs can sell for use inside and outside of stadiums.

Barclaycard first launched its bPay wristband in June 2014 at the Pride festival in London and says registrations spiked the following September when Transport for London started accepting contactless payments. Barclays hasn’t said how many customers opted into wearing the bPay band.

Barclaycard will make money from the service by taking a small percentage of each payment transaction made, known as an interchange fee. However, ”the majority of income will be from the sale of products, at least in the early stages,” says Barclaycard spokesman Tom Foxton. 
The bPay wristband, key fob and sticker will make contactless payments of more than £30 from September. (Photo via Barclays)

From August, Barclays’ payment device will also go on sale from CycleSurgery and RunnersNeed retail outlets. If any of the bPay devices are lost or stolen (a bigger problem if the auto top-up feature is enabled), users can cancel them by via the app, bPay website or phone.

“All payments come with the same fraud protection that is applied to contactless cards and customers are 100% financially protected against fraud as long as they have not been negligent,” Foxton says.

The Brits have gone crazy for the act of simply holding a card at a till to pay for something. The number of contactless payments more than tripled in 2014 according to the UK Cards Association, with the UK public spending £2.32 billion using the technology.

News Apple iOS Update : Top iOS News Of The Week: Popular Apple Watch, Low Memory Installs, iOS 9 Beta 2

This week in iOS had news of iOS 9 installs to be better with low memory, a patent was granted for iPhones to work better with hearing aids, and claims that Apple Watch is more popular than the original iPhone.
Apple gets innovative with installing iOS 9 on low memory devices

When iOS 8 was released those with 16GB iPhones and iPads were upset as they didn't have enough free memory to install the big update. Those who wanted the update had to delete big apps and files, install iOS 8, then restore the files.

Apple has made owners of such devices happy with the announcement that iOS 9 will do that for them. The installation process will remove apps if memory is needed, and then automatically reload them after the update to iOS 9.

Source: ZDNet

Apple granted patent for better iPhone use with hearing aids
The iPhone has long had good accessibility features, and that could get even better for hearing aid users in the future. Apple was granted a patent that allows a moble device, think iPhone, that can use hardware sensors to detect proximity to a hearing aid and then adjust the phone volume automatically.

Say a hearing aid wearer gets a call. Picking up the iPhone and moving it toward the ear would raise the volume during the call, and then lower it back down when the phone is moved away from the ear.

Source: Cult of Mac

Beta 2 of iOS 9, El Capitan, and watchOS released

Developers testing the upcoming versions of Apple's OSes got the next version this week. Beta 2 of the three OSes -- iOS 9, OS X, and watchOS -- is now available for those intrepid testers.

Source: Neowin

Apple Watch more popular than original iPhone

Researchers have determined that demand for the Apple Watch is greater than that of the original iPhone a few weeks after launch. While this could indicate a stronger reception, odds are the lack of apps after the original iPhone launch has something to do with it.

Source: Cult of Mac

News Update New Handset Impressions : 3 Reasons Why Sony's Xperia Z3+ Doesn't Make Any Sense

Sony has finally launched Xperia Z3+, which is a version of its Z4 smartphone, in India. It has been priced at Rs.56,000. Oh, sorry, it's Rs.55, 990. The company lets you keep Rs.10, just so you have something left in your pocket.

Unfortunately, in a country like India where consumers are extremely price sensitive and care for value, paying this much money for Xperia Z3+ doesn't make sense.
The smartphone. no doubt, has some really great specifications. It has top-of-the-line Snapdragon 810 processor coupled with Adreno 430 graphics chip and 3GB RAM. But it would be a shame if it were any less than that. But all this is on paper, we are yet to find out how it will fare in actual use.

So what are the problems that I see with the Xperia Z3+?

Design :

"Is that Xperia Z2?" I don't want to hear this, especially when my Rs.56,000 phone looks exactly like an old phone that sells for less than half its price.
Looking at the design of Sony phones, one can easily imagine how badly the company is dragging its heels on the looks and feel of its devices. And the dated design is reflecting in the sales of Xperia phones, which are no longer finding too many takers.  Till last year even Samsung would have been blamed of being slow on the design front but then this year the Korean company came out with beautiful Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.

The Xperia Z3+ sports a design that is now almost three years old. It doesn't look like the kind of phone that we expect from a company like Sony. It is definitely capable of coming up with killer designs, but it's just that the Xperia Z3+ is not one of those devices that can be called iconic in design terms.

Hardware :

When I say Sony forgot to do better I am not talking just about the design. If we go back 10 months in history the company launched Xperia Z3. It's totally understandable that the new phone is supposed to be slightly faster compared to the earlier one. But does this slightly faster hardware should command the premium of Rs.18,000? No, that is not what we call progress and a worthy update.

Both the phones have same screen size, same camera resolution, same screen resolution, similar amount of RAM and both support 4G. Interestingly, the earlier version had bigger battery. So the only big difference is the processor. But is it worth Rs.18,000?

Competition :

While it seems Sony has failed to improve its game with the Xperia Z3+, its competitors are doing so much more. Phones like the iPhone 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 are not only cheaper but also look more attractive in almost all aspects compared to the Xperia Z3+.

The Sony Xperia Z3+ is out in Ireland, exclusively available from Vodafone from the 26th of June 2015. We got to grips with the new handset at a launch event last night, read on for our first impressions.
The Xperia Z3+ is Sony’s latest flagship handset, offering up the best of the brand and iterating on the successes of last year’s Xperia Z3.

And it looks very similar to the previous model in person – though it’s actually lighter and manages to be even slimmer at 6.9mm. In the hand, it feels as slick as ever thanks to a premium build which is also tough when you need it to be.

The front-facing camera has been boosted a wide screen lens at 5 megapixels so its perfect for getting everyone in the shot. And its backed up by that blazingly fast 20.7 MP shooter on the back.

The standard model now boasts 32 gigs of storage (up from 16) and is expandable via microSD. The slot for cards features a flap but the really good news is that all other ports are uncovered – so you won’t have to worry about opening them everytime you want to charge. Yet still the phone is water and dustproof – just let it dry out before plugging in any cables.
The Xperia Z3+ actually has a smaller battery to help get the weight and thickness down but Sony says it still manages a full 2.2 days of normal use. With battery saving options, you could stretch that to a full eight days, which is very impressive indeed.

The 5.2 inch full HD display is great for consuming all kinds of media including blockbuster movies. Which is just as well because the handset comes with 8 high res downloads for popular films. Two come in the box, with one a month for the first six months.

The phone also supports High Res Audio, a breakthrough technology which restores the full range of sound in your tunes. The Z3+ also reinstates the placement of the front-facing speakers, offering up full stereo sound which was capable of getting very loud indeed in our brief test.

We also got a quick chance to test out the Remote Play on the handset. This allows you to synch with a PlayStation 4 to play full console games on your smartphone. There’s a special grip which goes around the DualShock 4 controller and holds your phone in the perfect position for play. Over Wi-Fi the frame rates were consistent and being able to use the full controller was a bit of a revelation.

The Sony Xperia Z3+ is a high quality handset with impressive specs and a gorgeous design and we’ll have a more in-depth review very soon.

News Technology Update : Amazon Launches A $100 Million Fund To Support The AI Brain Behind Its Echo Device

Amazon is letting developers use the voice recognition tech behind the Echo and has launched a $100 million Alexa fund.

Amazon has taken the cloud-based intelligence behind its voice-controlled Echo device and is offering it up free to anyone who wants to use it. And to show how serious it is, it is also launching a $100 million investment fund, which already has made seven investments.

Amazon made three related announcements on Thursday covering its plans for the artificial intelligence behind the Echo device. The first is that the voice-activation software development kit will be made available for free to developers who want to add high-quality speech recognition and links to Alexa’s cloud services to their devices. The second is that developers can now add integration to the Echo with a few lines of code, and finally it announced the $100 million investment fund.
Amazon’s move is the equivalent of Apple opening up Siri for any device, and pushes Amazon to compete against Apple, Google and Microsoft in providing a personal assistant and user interface for the smart home. The service is designed for a world where our connected devices don’t have screens (or have really tiny ones). When lights and thermostats are connected, voice is an obvious control mechanism, and Amazon wants to get in on that game to ensure its relevance in the consumers’ life as our homes become smarter.

It also turns the Echo, a device that combines a series of microphones and a speaker with cloud-based intelligence, into the hub of a smart home. But instead of just controlling connected lights or appliances, it also is a bridge to a variety of services on the web such as your calendar. So eventually you may be able to ask the Echo to “wake you up in time for your 8:30 meeting” and it will have the intelligence and means to do so.

Today, by offering what Amazon calls Alexa Voice Services developers can use the natural language recognition that the Echo uses to control their own connected devices via voice. So a connected vacuum cleaner could understand a spoken command to “Vacuum the living room.” Already Amazon is working with Intuit, Glympse, StubHub, AOL and others to add voice capabilities to their products. Products using the Alexa voice recognition and speech services will launch later this year.

That’s impressive, but Amazon is taking it one step further with the Alexa Skills Kit for developers.

This will offer developers a way to integrate their products with the Echo devices in people’s homes. So with a few lines of code a connected oven maker can enable their product to work with the Echo. Amazon made the Echo generally available to consumers this week, and this announcement ensures that the device will only get more capable as time goes on. All Amazon has to do is ensure that there’s a large market of consumers who have and use the Echo, and developers will be forced to support the platform.

To help with this, Amazon has built the investment fund which ensures that certain services and products will be working with the Echo. The fund has already made investments in The Orange Chef, a company making connected kitchen prep devices; Scout Alarm, a DIY connected security system; Garageio, which makes a connected garage door opener; Toymail, a company building connected toys; Dragon Innovation, which helps companies build consumer devices and will promote the Alexa services to its customers; MARA, a virtual running coach; and Mojio, a company making a device that plugs into a car’s diagnostics port.

With these investments, customers who own the Echo and these devices will soon be able to ask their Echo “Is my garage door open?” or “Do I need gas in my car?” and get a spoken answer. What Amazon has done is unveil an entire ecosystem built around voice control for the smart home, apps and anything else, all in one week. So go spend $179.99 on the Amazon Echo. Because right now, it’s the device that gets you closest to living in the future.

News Lenovo SmartPhones Update : Lenovo Eyes ‘Make In India’ Push With Smartphones Manufacturing Snit

Chinese electronics major Lenovo is looking at the possibility of setting up a manufacturing unit for smartphones and tablets in India.

The company already has a computer manufacturing plant in Puducherry.

“We are exploring the opportunity of setting up a manufacturing unit in the country,” Bhaskar Choudhuri, director (marketing) of Lenovo India said.

This is particularly because of the government’s impetus on ‘Make in India’ as well as the huge opportunity which country presents, he said.
Lenovo, which enjoys leadership positions in sales of laptops, PCs and tablets in India, is also planning to aggressively boost smartphone business in the country.

He said that the smartphone penetration in the country was only 30 per cent. “This shows that there is enough headroom for growth,” he said.

Lenovo was particularly looking at the 4G/LTE enabled smartphones as the company had already launched few such products. “The response to the smartphones was stupendous”, he said.

“We believe that 4G/LTE will be the dominant technology in the years to come,” Choudhuri added.

The company would also expand retail presence with the opening of more exclusive Lenovo stores, he said.

News Google Update : Google Play Music Is Now Free

Google is the latest and most significant tech company to add a reporting system for taking down revenge porn.

New York (CNNMoney) — Google has made its streaming music service Google Play Music free to use, without a subscription.

The catch is that you'll have to listen to ads, similar to the way free versions of Spotify and Pandora work.
Google launched the new version for U.S. desktop users Tuesday (June 23), and will roll out updates to its Android and iOS app later this week. If you still want to pay the $9.99 a month fee to skip the ads, you can.

Just like Spotify and Rhapsody, Google Play Music lets people listen to songs on demand, create playlists, or stream preset compilations that Google thinks you would want to listen to during certain activities.

Launching a free version of Google Play Music comes as no surprise. Streaming media companies have struggled to find enough people willing to pay monthly subscriptions, and have increasingly turned back to selling ads to buoy their businesses.

For example, Spotify recently started letting people listen to music ad-free for 30 minutes in exchange for showing them a video ad. It sounds like a strange mix, but video ads make more money than other types of advertising on the Internet. Only about 30% of Spotify's user base pay for the monthly service.

Meanwhile, Apple is bucking the trend. Its new Apple Music service is available by subscription-only for $9.99 a month.
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