Google drops a tasty hint that Android 5.0 is coming soon

It is worth pointing out that Google had shipped Android 4.4 with the ART runtime compiler. It was not the default option though developers could switch to it through the Developer Options settings. Google had said that the new runtime was a work in progress.

While most apps are said to be compatible with the new runtime, developers may need to optimize their apps for ART before its release.

It would be interesting to see if Google makes any announcements about the new release of Android during the upcoming Google I/O event on June 25.

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Android 5.0 to make apps faster, increase battery life

ART or Android Runtime will be the default runtime when the next version of Android or Android 5.0 releases.

NEW DELHI: It looks like the next version of Android will be based on a new runtime that will allow apps to run faster and use less battery.

ART or Android Runtime will be the default runtime when the next version of Android or Android 5.0 releases, as per developers at XDA, who spotted the presence of the new runtime in the operating system's code.

ART will replace Dalvik, the current runtime that allows apps to run in the software environment.

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Windows Phone 8.1: Top eight new features

Microsoft launched its highly-anticipated Windows Phone 8.1 update at its keynote address at the Build 2014 conference on Wednesday. The event also saw the unveiling of the Windows 8.1 Update operating system version, alongside three new devices, Nokia Lumia 930Lumia 630 and Lumia 635, which will be the platform lead devices for Windows Phone 8.1 OS version.

Microsoft's Joe Belfiore, VP Windows Phone program management and design, introduced a bevy of enhanced features in the Windows Phone 8.1 that the Redmond giant hopes will bring more personal and smarter experience for consumers.

Microsoft has announced that Windows Phone 8.1 will start rolling out to Windows Phone 8 users in coming months. The Redmond giant also confirmed that the entire Nokia Lumia range will get OTA (over-the-air) update called Lumia Cyan, which will include Windows Phone 8.1 features and the new Lumia features into one update.

We've broken down the eight biggest new features in the Windows Phone 8.1 including the ones that made it into the highlights - Cortana, Action Centre, Word Flow and more personalised Start Screen.

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Fire Phone Immerses Users in Amazon's World

Amazon on Wednesday announced a device that tries to fulfill the retailer's dream of being integrated into consumers' lives at every possible waking moment - whether they are deciding where to eat, realizing they need more toilet paper or intrigued by a snatch of overheard music.

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Nokia Unveils 'Z Launcher' for Android 4.1 or Higher Devices

A Nokia division not owned by Microsoft on Thursday introduced a new Android launcher app called Z Launcher. The Z Launcher app is a limited pre-beta release right now, and is only available via the Z Launcher website, and not via Google Play.

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Nokia Morph Cell Phone

The Morph is a concept that demonstrates how future mobile devices might be stretchable and flexible, allowing the user to transform their mobile device into radically different shapes. It demonstrates the ultimate functionality that nanotechnology capable of 
delivering:: flexible materials, transparent electronics and self-cleaning surfaces.

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Murthy bids adieu to Infosys, once again

BANGALORE: For the second time in three years, Infosys chairman NR Narayana Murthy has bid adieu to the iconic company he co-founded with four other techies in 1981.

On Saturday, he stepped down from the top executive post a year after he returned to revive its sagging fortunes.

Though Murthy retired from the $8.3-billion IT bellwether in August 2011 on turning 65 in compliance with the policy he laid down for co-founders at executive posts, the company's board prevailed upon him to return June 1, 2013 for five years.

The dramatic appointment of renowned technocrat Vishal Sikka, former executive board member of German software product firm SAP AG, as the global software major's first outside chief executive from August 1, however, made Murthy to call it quits, cutting short his five-year tenure.

"I decided to exit a year after my return to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities to the new management and give a free hand to Sikka for steering Infosys into future as a marquee Indian brand in the technology space," Murthy told IANS ahead of the company's 33rd annual general meeting (AGM).

After the handover, the reins of his grown-up "middle child" to Sikka, Murthy will become chairman emeritus again from October 11, relinquishing even as non-executive chairman, an interim post during the transition period.

"Very few people get an opportunity to add value to a great company a second time, that too after retirement," Murthy said in his farewell note to employees, clients, investors and other stakeholders.

If Murthy's return helped the beleaguered company double revenue growth to 11.5% in dollar terms last fiscal (2013-14) and improve operating margin to 25.5% percent in fourth quarter (Jan-March) from 23.5 percent in first quarter (January-March), its human capital took a beating with the exit of a dozen senior executives, including a couple of board directors and over 36,000 lateral and junior techies during the fiscal under review.

"While the results of what we have set out to do are still far from being realised, this journey has been very exciting and invigorating for me, as I got to know many extraordinary employees in sales, software delivery and business enabler functions," Murthy said.

Having accomplished the task of finding an eminent successor to retiring chief executive and another co-founder SD Shibulal and putting the company back on the growth path, Murthy said getting Sikka on the board was a culmination of efforts he had put in over the last 12 months though the task of rebuilding the bellwether would take 36 months to yield results in terms of sales, delivery and cost-effectiveness.

"I will share my views and vision for the company's growth ahead with employees and shareholders at the AGM later in the day. The task ahead is, as stated earlier, to increase the company's competitiveness in the global market to achieve the industry-leading growth and margins," Murthy said.

Asserting that he brought the company to a shape from where Sikka would be able to carry on, Murthy said he had the satisfaction of doing the job to the best of his ability and fulfill the mandate the board gave year ago.

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TCS CEO N Chandrasekaran's salary surged 60% in '13-14

BANGALORE: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) CEO N Chandrasekaran received Rs 18.7 crore as compensation in 2013-14, up 59.7% from Rs 11.7 crore last year. It also makes him perhaps the highest paid CEO of an Indian IT services company. His compensation does not include dividends from the 88,528 shares he owns in the country's largest IT services company.

Chandrasekaran's remuneration is more than twice as much as former Infosys president BG Srinivas's salary of $1.2 million (Rs 7.8 crore) and Wipro CEO TK Kurien's $1.1 million (Rs 6.5 crore). Wipro chairman Azim Premji's compensation more than doubled to $1.7 million (Rs 10.2 crore) in 2013-14.

The sharp rise in Chandrasekaran's compensation is a reflection of the company's robust performance, surpassing the industry growth of about 13%. For the 2014 fiscal, TCS's revenue grew 16.2% to $13.4 billion and its net income was up 22.9% to $3.1 billion.

"At a macro level, global IT spending continues to grow year-on-year and it is my belief that the Digital Five Forces (mobility, big data, cloud computing, social media and robotics) are going to accelerate this trend, as IT usage increases across industries. The ongoing investments in your company will enable it to play an impactful role in this technology evolution," said Chandrasekaran in a letter to shareholders.

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WWDC14 - Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2014

Apple has taken a new leap with its software that will power its new generation devices in the year to come. The company announced new iOS 8 with several new features, and the latest desktop operating system called OS X Yosemite for Mac range of computers. At its annual WWDC (Worldwide Developer Conference) event in US, Apple showcased several new capabilities that it has added via iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite.Though Apple failed to surprise this year with that famous 'One Last Thing' by not making the much-awaited announcement about Apple's entry into a new product category, possibly smart homes or a fitness device, the new software features will definitely please owners of existing Apple devices.

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Apple announces iOS 8, OS X Yosemite

NEW DELHI: Apple on Monday announced an all-new iOS 8 for iPads and iPhones, and OS X Yosemite, the next version of its desktop operating system for Mac range of computers. However, it disappointed by not announcing any new hardware as was being expected.

Calling it 'the biggest release since the launch of the App Store, giving users new features and developers the tools to create new apps', the Cupertino giant listed out a number of new features that mark a virtual overhaul of the iOS to suit its new mobile devices that will get launched later this year.

Visually, iOS 8 isn't very different from iOS 7. But Apple said the OS delivers a simpler, faster and more intuitive user experience, and comes with new features like iCloud Photo Library, allowing users to access their photos and videos more easily across their devices.

Interestingly, using the new Messages feature a user can easily share voice, video or photos a la Whatsapp.

There is also an entirely new Health app that gives users a clear overview of their health and fitness data, all in one place. But Apple lovers were left disappointed as the company failed to announce any fitness device as of now.

iOS 8 also includes predictive typing for Apple's QuickType keyboard, and option of SWYPE-like keyboards.

Another nifty and much-demanded feature called Family Sharing has now been introduced.

Using Family Sharing, a iOS user can share all purchases, photos and calendars within the same household; and use iCloud Drive, so users can store files and access them from anywhere.

"iOS 8 offers simpler, faster and more intuitive ways to use your device with incredible new features like iCloud Photo Library, a new Messages app, the QuickType keyboard and an entirely new Health app," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering.

"We're also giving developers amazing new tools to make managing your health and your home from your devices an integrated, simple and secure experience."

The new iOS, as also the new OSX, come with a slew of new features and some that indicate Apple is keen to catch up on the ground it has lost to rival Android from Google.

The announcements were made at the WWDC 2014 (Worldwide Developers Conference), Apple's ongoing annual developer conference.

OS X Yosemite comes with a new, overhauled user interface, new apps and new continuity features that make working across Mac and iOS devices virtually seamless.

Apple will now offer iCloud Drive (which will be located in the Finder) to store files of any type. Basic plan for free iCloud storage, however, stays the same at 5 GB. But 20 GB onwards, the more affordable rates indicate Apple is keen to fight it out with Google in cloud storage arena for its users.

The new OS X offers a new Today view in Notification Center that gives a quick look at everything users need to know in one place, just like Notifications in iPhone. But it is doubtful if Mac users would want to use Notifications the way they use them on iPhone.

Safari has a new design that puts the most important controls at the front, but not much seems to have been done to it. Apple did, however, claim the tweaks have made it the fastest browser in the world.

OS X Yosemite also has Handoff that lets users start an activity on one device and pass it to the other. This means they can continue with that activity while on the move with their iOS device like iPad or iphone.

Instant Hotspot is another interesting feature that makes using the iPhone's hotspot as easy as connecting to a Wi-Fi network. Yosemite now also offers users the ability to make iPhone calls on your Mac.

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Infosys CEO selection progressing as planned: Narayana Murthy

BANGALORE: Infosys executive chairman NR Narayana Murthy said the selection process for the new CEO is progressing as planned and the name of the candidate would be announced when the process concludes.

"The selection process for the new leader is progressing as planned. The new CEO will be announced at the conclusion of the process. While the search is on, Infosys Board, Shibu, Kris and myself will continue to steer the company in the direction we have set. I assure the best of Infosys is yet to come," he said in an email sent to employees on Friday.

The communication comes at a time when the management is making every effort to reassure employees and clients a smooth leadership transition as it is in the midst of identifying its first non-founder CEO. "Further to my previous email, as we embark into newer horizon for our employees and clients, we will see some transition in leadership. Please be assured that the leadership change takes into account the best interest of the company as a whole," he wrote in the email. The communication is seen as an attempt to quell uncertainties around its leadership challenges after eleven senior executives quit Infosys since Murthy returned to the company in June last year.

Murthy has also recognized BG Srinivas's contribution in growing the company. " I hold BG in high esteem and I support his aspirations. His last day will be June 10, 2014," Murthy said. He also said the BG Srinivas is an integral part of the company and has played an important role in the second-largest IT firm.

Srinivas, who quit Infosys on Wednesday, was appointed as the group managing director and executive director of Hong Kong-based telecom and media giant PCCW effective July 14. He will be entitled to a basic salary of approximately US$1.14 million (equivalent to approximately HK$8.84 million) per year, plus a housing allowance and a non-discretionary annual bonus of $1,80,000 (equivalent to approximately HK$1.4 million).

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Online banking thefts soar in Japan, prompt compensation rethink

TOKYO: Hackers stole nearly $2 million from the online bank accounts of Japanese businesses in April, a surge in theft that has prompted some banks to curtail online services and rethink compensation policies, executives and regulators say.

In April there were 50 cases of theft from online accounts held by Japanese businesses with nearly 200 million yen stolen, according to a person with knowledge of the industry-wide tally, which has not been made public. That was more than the entire previous year.

Japanese businesses reported 34 cases of online banking theft for the year ended March with a total of 182 million yen ($1.8 million) stolen, according to data released by the Japanese Bankers Association.

Earlier this month, a senior official with Japan's Financial Services Agency told regional bank executives that regulators were concerned that online theft could cause a chain of small business failures and bankruptcies, according to participants who attended the closed-door meeting.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Mizuho Financial Group said their corporate customers had been hit by online thefts. Top regional lenders such as Fukuoka Financial Group and Bank of Yokohama also said their clients had also experienced losses.

Corporate users of online banking in Japan tend to be small businesses and family-owned firms. In a typical theft, hackers trick owners into surrendering passwords or gain control of poorly protected computer systems to make transfers out of their accounts, industry officials and security experts said.

"This has become a serious problem," Masaaki Tani, president of Fukuoka Financial Group, the largest regional bank, said earlier this month.

It was not clear why cases of such theft had increased so rapidly although bankers elsewhere have warned of a growing threat from hackers. "Cybersecurity attacks are becoming increasingly complex and more dangerous," JPMorgan Chase & Co chief executive Jamie Dimon said in a letter to shareholders in April.

Japan's banks are divided on how to respond. Promising compensation might remove an incentive for businesses to tighten security, some executives say. At the same time, tightening security too much could kill the convenience of online banking.

In April, many regional banks suspended a service which allowed clients to transfer money on the spot to accounts that were not pre-registered. Chiba Bank reduced its online transfer limit to 10 million yen, from just under 100 million yen.

Until now, the question of whether to compensate businesses for online theft has been left to each bank. Most offer fewer protections than they do for individual accounts.

Resona Bank has said it will compensate business clients for Internet losses of up to 50 million yen when customers have taken appropriate security measures.

The lender is part of Resona Holdings, Japan's fourth-largest banking group by assets. Resona's pledge is part of a push to build its business, including lending, to small- and medium-sized businesses at a time when overall loan demand remains weak.

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