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Microsoft now offers its full product range in India through Snapdeal

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Microsoft has taken steps to tremendously extend its online market reach in India. The US tech giant just launched a store on India’s Snapdeal, containing its full range of products. The partnership could potentially be huge for Microsoft, as, it extends the company’s online reach in the vast new market to as many as 5000 cities.

This was perhaps an ideal course of action, as Microsoft can now capitalize on the existing popularity of Snapdeal in India, not to mention the functioning supply chain. Sharlin Thayil, group OEM director at Microsoft India, commented on the expansion: Read more »

LastPass reports security breach, but says encrypted user vault data safe

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Password management company LastPass has revealed that it discovered and blocked suspicious activity on its network last week. While the company is claiming that there was no compromise of user accounts as well as encrypted user vault data, it said that hackers were able to access some information including email addresses, password reminders, server per user salts, and authentication hashes.

“We are confident that our encryption measures are sufficient to protect the vast majority of users,” the company said in a blog post. “LastPass strengthens the authentication hash with a random salt and 100,000 rounds of server-side PBKDF2-SHA256, in addition to the rounds performed client-side. This additional strengthening makes it difficult to attack the stolen hashes with any significant speed.” Read more »

PlayStation Vue to offer a la carte subscriptions, coming to San Francisco and Los Angeles

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Sony has announced that in July its Internet TV service PlayStation Vue will begin offering a la carte channel subscriptions, allowing users to choose channels that they wish to subscribe instead of entire bundles. The announcement was made by the company at the ongoing E3 gaming expo.

In addition, the company also announced that the service, which is currently available in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia, will now be available in San Francisco and in Los Angeles as well. There was, however, no word on the pricing. Read more »

Alibaba says will launch Netflix-like online video streaming service in China

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Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has announced that it will soon launch a Netflix-like online video streaming service in the country. Dubbed TBO or Tmall Box Office, the service is expected to launched in about a couple of months.

The announcement was made by the company’s head of digital entertainment Patrick Liu, who also revealed that the service will not only bring shows from China and other countries, but will also feature original content from in-house studios. Read more »

Check out Google Web Light in action

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Google has been working on reducing the load times for websites. The company already serves more streamlined version of search results when you are on a slower connection but wants to do that for web pages as well.

For this they started a new program that compresses websites when you are on a slow connection. This is supposed to load websites 4x faster, consume 80% less data, and because of these two things, increases website traffic by 50%. Read more »

Google announces YouTube Gaming, its competitor for Twitch

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The rumors were true, as it turns out. After it didn’t manage to purchase Twitch last year (which eventually got grabbed by Amazon), Google is launching a competing service. It’s called YouTube Gaming (and not YouTube Live as previously leaked), and it will become available “this summer”. YouTube Gaming will first be offered in the US and UK.

It will come with a new website and app, which will feature gaming-related videos and live streams, powered by what Google calls “the biggest community of gamers on the web”. Read more »

Facebook Messenger now has 700 million users

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Hot on the heels of its Android app grabbing more than 1 billion downloads, Facebook Messenger has now passed 700 million monthly active users. The previous such milestone was reached in March, when Messenger had 600 million monthly active users. And before that, in November of last year, the app boasted 500 million monthly active users.

The information comes straight from Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, who revealed the new figure at an investor meeting. The discrepancy in the numbers (compared to the 1 billion installs on Android alone) obviously comes from the fact that not all the people who installed Facebook Messenger are using it on a monthly basis. Read more »

Twitter’s new feature allows you to share your block lists with others

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In an effort to make Twitter a safer place, the company has introduced a new feature that allows users to share their block lists, effectively letting others block multiple accounts all at once.

“While many users find them [Mute and Block] useful, we also recognize that some users — those who experience high volumes of unwanted interactions on Twitter — need more sophisticated tools,” the company said in a blog post. “That’s where this new feature comes in.” Read more »

iOS 9 brings Continuity outside your Wi-Fi network

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Continuity is undoubtedly on of Apple’s coolest features of late. For anyone not familiar with the technology, it lets you handle your calls and text messages on your Mac, iPad or Apple Watch. Up until now, however, this was only possible if the two devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

This is definitely cool, but kind of limiting. With iOS 9, Apple has extended the feature and your iPhone no longer needs to be connected to the same network as your other Apple tech for Continuity to work. In fact, your handset doesn’t even have to maintain a Wi-Fi connection, as the system now works over any stable data connection. Read more »

YouTube now lets you watch videos in up to 8K

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After recently adding support for 5K resolution, YouTube will now let you watch videos uploaded in 8K resolution natively. That’s 7680 x 4320 pixels at 30fps.

Currently there’s just one video that supports this resolution, and that too is mostly shot using two RED Epic Dragon in 6K in portrait orientation and then stitched together in Adobe After Effects to form the final 8K video. Some of the scenes are shot at 6K in landscape and then upscaled and sharpened for the higher resolution. Read more »

US Army website infiltrated by hackers, Syrian Electronic Army claims credit

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The website of the US Army – – has been taken down after it was defaced by hackers yesterday.

A group by the name of Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) – that supports the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – took credit for the attack, saying they left several messages on the website. Read more »

Apple Music streaming service gets official with $14.99 per month family plan

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Apple’s “one more thing…” moment at today’s developer conference was all about its much rumored music streaming service. It’s called Apple Music, and it has finally been made official. Apple Music is an on demand streaming offering, but it also comes with Beats One, a live radio station that’s being broadcast worldwide 24/7 from three cities – New York, Los Angeles, and London.

Apple Music features Connect, which is a way for artists to upload music, videos, and photos directly to their fans. This is supposed to make Apple Music stand out from its competitors by creating a more direct connection between artists and listeners, just like the name “Connect” implies. And through Connect, you can ‘follow’ artists a la Twitter, to be notified when they post new things. Read more »

Apple Pay to reach the UK in July, 1 million retail locations in the US

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At its developer conference today, Apple has announced that its payment service is indeed headed to the UK, just like the rumors said it was. Apple Pay will become available in the UK next month.

Apple is also making progress with Apple Pay’s adoption in the US, with more than 1 million retail locations expected to accept the solution by July. And in the fall, Discover will bring Apple Pay to its members. Read more »

Apple music streaming service WWDC debut confirmed by Sony Music exec

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According to VentureBeat, the head of Sony Music confirmed the unveiling Apple music streaming service during WWDC. The Cupertino giant’s annual developer conference will kick off in San Francisco in less than 24 hours.

Debut of Apple music streaming service should hardly catch anyone by surprise – rumors about it have been floating for months now. Read more »

Netflix will be available in Spain, Italy and Portugal come October

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Netflix is a true movie-style American success story. In its 18 year history, it has managed to overcome a lot of adversities, market fluctuations and ultimately adapt into one of the most influential media services in the US. But the company has already transcended way beyond its home market. Its services are now available in over 50 counties worldwide, with intent to grow the number to a whopping 200 in the next couple of years.

That’s quite a bar to cover and Netflix seems to be wasting no time in doing so. Starting this October, the service will also launch in Spain, Italy and Portugal. Users there will be able to enjoy the platform’s rich selection of content, including a lot of original series and even take advantage of a one-moth free trial offer. Read more »