Amazon Launches New Kindle Oasis, Most Expensive To Date

amazon kindle oasis0

Each new iteration of Amazon’s Kindle e-reader brings with it new innovations and price points that make these devices a great value. However, this time around, Amazon might have jacked up the price a bit too much for the Kindle Oasis.

Early reviews of the Kindle Oasis have been great, with virtually everyone agreeing on the functional improvements Amazon has made for this reader. But they also agree the $289.99 price tag is high, compared to the Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Voyage, which come in at $80, $120, and $200 respectively.

What the Amazon Oasis Gives You for $290

The Kindle Oasis is 30 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter than previous Kindles.  When portable gadgets lose size, it generally means the battery suffers, and this is the case with Oasis. However, Amazon has overcome this challenge with a frame and cover that doubles as a rechargeable battery. According to the company, you can expect a battery life of eight weeks with 30 minutes of daily reading or months on standby. If you don’t use the case, you can get more than 2 weeks of battery life.

The Kindle Oasis weighs in at only 4.6 ounces or 131 grams with a new 6-inch Paperwhite display. It has 60 percent more LEDs for better reading under all light conditions. It is made from chemically reinforced glass that is much stronger, but still maintains the same 300 ppi resolution and similar contrast of the Paperwhite and Voyage Kindles.

The brains and battery for the Oasis are housed on the right side of the device with a tapered design that doubles as grip (If you are a lefty, don’t worry, a built in accelerometer automatically changes the content when you hold it on your left hand).  This makes one handed operation of the Kindle much easier, letting you use your thumb to access the front bezel to turn pages.

amazon kindle oasis

Kindle Oasis Specs

  • Display: Amazon’s 6″ Paperwhite display technology with E Ink Carta and built-in light, 300 ppi, optimized font technology, 16-level gray scale.
  • Size: 5.6″ x 4.8″ x 0.13-0.33″ (143 mm x 122 mm x 3.4-8.5 mm)
  • Cover: 5.7” x 4.9” x 0.07-0.18” (144 mm x 125 mm x 1.9-4.6 mm)
  • Weight Wi-Fi: 4.6 oz (131 g); Wi-Fi + 3G: 4.7 oz (133 g); Cover: 3.8 oz (107 g)
  • On-Device Storage: 4 GB; holds thousands of books.
  • Cloud Storage: Free cloud storage for all Amazon content.
  • Charge Time: Fully charges in less than 3 hours from a computer via USB cable.
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity: Supports 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication or Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS).
  • Content Formats Supported: Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion.

Kindles are E-readers, and besides the connectivity they offer to download books, there is little else you can use the device for in business. But you can receive documents on it using WiFi or free 3G connectivity.

Unlike other mobile devices, e-readers and tablets have longer lives. This means the well-made Kindle readers of the past are still being used, and it will take real innovation for owners of these devices to buy another one. While the Kindle Oasis has some noteworthy improvements, it may not be enough for older Kindle owners to ditch their perfectly working readers for this version. When you add the higher price tag to the equation, it may be a deal breaker.

You can preorder the Kindle Oasis now, with shipping scheduled to start on April 27th.

Images: Amazon


Facebook Bug Bounty Program Awards Indians the Most for Finding Flaws

Facebook Bug Bounty Program Awards Indians the Most for Finding Flaws


  • Facebook distributed a total of $611,471 to 149 researchers in H1 2016
  • Indians received the biggest share of the bounty in the period
  • Facebook received 9,000 security reports in first six months of 2016

Indians remain the biggest beneficiaries in Facebook’s Bug Bounty program, the company’s initiative to allow security researchers to find flaws on its platform. Joey Tyson, a security engineer at the company, wrote in a post that Indians lead the world when it comes to raking in the moolah, taking the biggest chunk of the $611,741 (roughly Rs 4.08 crores) distributed to 149 researchers via the program between January and June 2016.

(Also see: Bug Bounty Hunters and the Companies That Pay Them)

The USA and Mexico took the next two spots in the list of countries whose developers get the most money for finding bugs on Facebook. The company has distributed over $5 million among more than 900 researchers under the program in the five years since its inception.

India has been a dominant force in the Facebook bug bounty program over the past few years. Cyber-security researchers and developers from India had been awarded roughly Rs 4.8 crores since the program was started, according to data the company released in March this year. Facebook did not reveal the breakup of the bounty distribution for the first half of 2016.

Facebook’s Bug Bounty program lets white hat hackers report vulnerabilities in Facebook and its acquired companies and products, such as Instagram, Free Basics, Oculus, and Onavo. With the help of the Bug Bounty program, security researchers were able to report over 9,000 bugs on Facebook platforms in the first half of the year.

(Also see: Facebook Fixes Flaw That Could’ve Let Anyone Access Your Account)

This year, Facebook added WhatsApp to the program, expanded payment options to include Bitcoin, and switched to an automated payment process so researchers can be paid faster, Tyson said in the post. Additionally, the award notifications now include information on how the specific bounty was determined.

More changes are coming to the initiative, as Facebook plans to share more educational resources on security fundamentals and topics specific to our products.

Tags: Facebook, Facebook India, Facebook bug bounty, Facebook Security Researchers, White Hat Hackers


Which Social Media Site Do You Use Most for Business? [POLL]

This week, we want to know what social media site you're spending the most time on for your business. Check back for your most popular social media sites.

Social media has become a bigger part of a lot of small business’s marketing and customer engagement strategy since its infancy.

Quick question: Does anyone remember creating a MySpace page to promote their company? Sure, some — musicians, mostly — still use that platform but there are so many more popular options these days. And each one presents unique opportunities to reach an audience in a unique way.

Want to reach the general population? You’re probably using Facebook. Talking to your small business owner contemporaries? That sounds like a job for LinkedIn. Looking to be part of a national movement? A tweet with the right #hashtag gets you involved.

So, this week, we want to know …

Which social media site do you use most for business?

What Are Your Most Popular Social Media Sites?

We’re giving you a choice of the big ones: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+.

Let us know which platform is open most on your phone or occupying a tab most often in your web browser. In the comments section below, tell us why.


Aditya Birla Nuvo, Grasim fall most in 8 years after merger announcement

The merger is not only complicated in its structure, but also unconvincing on several other elements, including the valuations of the holding company and its disadvantage to minority shareholders. Photo: AFP

The merger is not only complicated in its structure, but also unconvincing on several other elements, including the valuations of the holding company and its disadvantage to minority shareholders. Photo: AFP

Mumbai: Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd shares on Friday tanked close to 24.63% intraday as analysts and minority investors disapproved of its proposed merger with Grasim Industries Ltd. The merger is not only complicated in its structure, it is also unconvincing on several other elements, including the valuations of the holding company and its advantage to minority shareholders.

Grasim shares declined close to 8.35% intraday.

Both stocks saw their biggest single-day fall in eight years,Bloomberg data showed.

Aditya Birla Nuvo touched a low of Rs1,180 a share, a level last seen on 30 June, and fell as much as 24.63%, its steepest fall since 24 October 2008. It closed the day at Rs1,290.15, down 17.6% from the previous close.

Grasim Industries touched a low of Rs4,160 a share, a level last seen on 11 June, and fell as much as 8.35%, its steepest fall since 11 December 2008. It closed the day at Rs4,565, up 0.57% from the previous close.

HSBC Securities and Capital Markets India Pvt. Ltd trimmed its target price as well as stock recommendation on Grasim to “hold” from “buy”. Other domestic and international brokerage firms are reviewing their forecasts based on the management commentary following the merger announcement on Thursday evening.

“Merger will likely remain an overhang as increasing complexity will be perceived negatively. Concerns regarding increasing complexity with addition of several non-core businesses remain,” said an HSBC note.

ALSO READ | Aditya Birla to merge Nuvo, Grasim

Emkay Global Financial Services Ltd saw the merger transaction as a negative for existing shareholders. “Grasim becomes a holding company for the financial services business (in addition to being the holding company for cement business, UltraTech). Likelihood of using cash flows to fund Idea’s requirements is an additional negative. We don’t see any synergistic benefits from this transaction,” it said, downgrading its recommendation on Grasim to “reduce” from “buy”.

Analysts said that minority shareholders are likely to raise objections to the merger deal as Grasim will continue to get the same or higher holding company discount when compared with Aditya Birla Nuvo. This is simply because Grasim will become the holding company of Idea Cellular Ltd and the demerged financial services entity which will be named Aditya Birla Financial Services Ltd under the new structure.

“There is no value unlocking foreseen through the deal,” said an analyst with an American broking firm, on condition of anonymity due to the firm’s compliance rules.

CLSA in a note to investors wrote that the transaction creates a complex conglomerate and adds confusion for minority shareholders. “The new company has multiple businesses that share no commonality whatsoever,” it said.

The Aditya Birla Group is merging two of its main companies, Aditya Birla Nuvo and Grasim Industries, both of which also serve as holding companies, in an attempt to create a stronger entity, and unlock shareholder value by spinning off and listing one of Nuvo’s subsidiaries, Aditya Birla Financial Services Ltd (ABFSL).

ALSO READ | The rise of Aditya Birla Financial Services

“Grasim will suffer the holding company, conglomerate discount that Aditya Birla Nuvo suffered for all these years. Sector-focused investors will not invest in such a diversified entity when there are direct operating entities listed,” said Shriram Subramanian, founder and managing director at proxy advisory InGovern Research Services Pvt. Ltd.

“If you see the beneficial interest of promoters in each of the companies, it is in the range of 20-30%, yet the promoters are able to retain control through cross-holdings and layering,” Subramanian said. So, the to-be-listed Aditya Birla Financial Services will have only 26% minority shareholders, and promoters will have 74% control, while the “true” beneficial interest of the promoters is only 39%, he said.

“We always advocate simple shareholding structures and business structures, but this maze of businesses will disappoint investors,” Subramanian added.

The merger will create an entity with yearly revenue of Rs59,766 crore, net profit of Rs4,245 crore and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, a measure of operating profitability, of Rs12,000 crore.

Each shareholder of Nuvo will receive three new equity shares in Grasim for every 10 held. That means a shareholder with 100 shares of Aditya Birla Nuvo will end up with 30 shares of Grasim. And each shareholder of Grasim (post-merger) will receive seven shares in ABFSL for each share held. That means a shareholder with 100 Grasim shares will also get 700 shares of the finance company. In aggregate, each shareholder of Aditya Birla Nuvo who owns 100 shares will receive 30 shares in Grasim and 210 in ABFSL, Mint reported.

“It’ll come up for voting. I think we looked at multiple options of restructuring and when we looked at all the options, I think we felt as a management team, this is a restructuring which makes sense for both sets of shareholders,” Ajay Srinivasan, chief executive, ABFSL, said during a conference call to investors’ concerns over dilution in the holding in the financial services business and whether the board had other alternatives to the merger plan.

“…there would be pros and cons for every structure, which one can consider. And I think we can keep debating on that, but at the end of the day when we looked at the shareholders’ perspective and what makes sense for shareholders, we thought this is a great way of restructuring and giving access to shareholders directly to financial services, and at the same time take care of the residual, a smaller holding company, which would have risen as a result of a demerger of financial services.

“What we presented to shareholders to look at is a very strong company, which offers pretty much a proxy to the India growth story. It’s a mix of manufacturing and services businesses. It is the story which delivers significant growth going forward and this is an option to shareholders to either invest in this company or look at investing in each of the operating businesses, which we are giving as an option,” Srinivasan explained.


Battlefield 1 Is the most steeply-priced game in India

Battlefield 1 Is the Most Expensive Game in India

Battlefield 1 can now be pre-ordered on disc.
the sport charges Rs. five,199 and is available completely on Amazon India.
This fee makes it the maximum highly-priced popular edition recreation in India.
After a stellar presentation from EA on what to anticipate with Battlefield 1, PS4 and Xbox One discvariations have eventually been priced on Amazon India. And similar to the superlative Overwatch on theXbox one which price Rs. five,000 digitally, count on to pay a similar rate for a physical reproduction of Battlefield 1.

in keeping with a listing on Amazon India, a bodily reproduction of Battlefield 1 will set you againthrough Rs. 5,199 on the PS4 and Xbox One. This makes it the most steeply-priced trendy edition gameat retail in India. in the past EA were regarded to rate its video games on par with first-birthday partytitles from Sony and Microsoft.

Now the charge hike seems to match what you could count on to pay for a game within the uk or Europe what with a quick test on Amazon’s united kingdom internet site confirming this parity when you account for taxes and obligations.

(also see: Halo 5, Forza 6, upward thrust of the Tomb Raider Are the most costly Xbox One games on Pre-Order)

The listing on Amazon India additionally means that EA is persevering with its partnership with Amazon,some thing that become demonstrated via others within the deliver chain. some of whom have their owntheories at the excessive price for the sport.

it’s in all likelihood just a placeholder rate to decide response,” a sub distributor revealed to devices360. “After EA sees few pre-orders, theres’a risk it is able to be to be had for a decrease charge.”

we are hoping that is the case. different EA video games like Battlefield Hardline occupied 40 to 50GB at the PS4 and Xbox One and around 60GB on the pc. The sheer size mixed with bad bandwidth makesshopping for the game digitally a non-starter for plenty. furthermore, this will see FIFA 17, Mass impactAndromeda, and anything else EA has in keep to be had at a higher charge.

comparatively, Battlefield 1 will fee you lots less digitally. it is Rs. three,500 for the standard version on the Xbox One even as the Early Enlister Deluxe version will value you Rs. 4,240. And in case you‘re at thePS4, the standard version is Rs. 3,375 while the Early Enlister Deluxe edition is for Rs. three,999. bothPS4 versions come with a subject that can be received while downloading the sport.

if you‘re seeking to play Battlefield 1 on pc, you’ll need to shell out at the least Rs. 3,499 for the sport. Pre-ordering nets you access to the Hellfighter percent, containing themed objects inspired with the aid ofthe Harlem Hellfighter infantry regiment. it also includes seven days early get right of entry to to aunfastened multiplayer map launched later in 2016. there’s the Early Enlister Deluxe edition whichexpenses Rs. four,999. It comes with early access, allowing you to play 3 days previous to release. in addition to this are weapons and items stimulated by means of Lawrence of Arabia, the purple Baron, in addition to 5 Battlepacks which furnish you get entry to to weapons, gear, and weapon upgrades.

in spite of EA’s marketing tie-up with Microsoft, it is extremely good that the game is still the cheapest at the PS4 until you pick it on computer, then you can purchase it via EA foundation for Mexico which is thought to have the most inexpensive price. though this could exchange, what with EA revoking pricealternatives that used to paintings through this loophole.

down load the gadgets 360 app for Android and iOS to live up to date with the trendy tech news, productopinions, and exceptional offers at the popular mobiles.

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The iPad Pro is the most accessible computer Apple has ever built

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with traditional laptops, like the MacBook. I own one of the first aluminum unibody models.

It was my first Mac, and despite being ancient in computer years, it’s still serviceable. I don’t use it much anymore, but it’s fun to think that a machine I bought in 2008 is capable of running OS X El Capitan in 2016 (albeit not well).

My MacBook may be slow and technically obsolete, but it still *works*. Its longevity speaks to Apple’s hardware prowess—design-wise, today’s MacBook Pros are direct descendants—and the Mac’s value proposition.

Though the MacBook chugs along, it’s not all roses. In my experience, I’ve found the laptop’s form factor to work against me in terms of accessibility.

As I wrote last year, the problem is that a laptop’s screen has always felt “far away.” Being visually impaired, I need to get as close as possible in order to see comfortably, and a laptop’s screen makes that difficult. I have to lean in to see, almost the point where my nose is touching the display. It’s not only ergonomically terrible but I look pretty silly doing it. I try to compensate for this by adjusting the position of the screen and using software tricks like increasing the size of the mouse pointer, but its benefits are nominal.

The fact of the matter is that laptops are harder for me to use because I can’t get as close to the screen as I need to work effectively. It isn’t that I *can’t* use laptops; it’s that using them has always felt like an uphill battle I can’t win.

The iPad, particularly the 12.9-inch Pro, offers a vastly different experience. It’s roughly the size of the 12-inch Retina MacBook, but the tablet’s form factor and interaction model make it so much better for accessibility.

It’s for these reasons (as well as my familiarity with iOS) that has made me a believer in using the iPad as my main computer. Unlike my old MacBook, I can hold the iPad Pro as close to my face as necessary, and I can do things simply by touching the screen.

My enthusiasm for the iPad is why I disagree strongly with Tech Insider’s Tim Stenovec, whom I feel was off the mark when he recently wrote the iPad Pro “isn’t as versatile as a computer,” as it seems his comment overlooks a niche but not insignificant demographic: the accessibility community.

I contend that the iPad is in many ways *more* versatile than a laptop for people with disabilities. Computing and productivity isn’t always about a spec sheet or raw power or Photoshop. The iPad *is* a full-fledged computer, no question about it. After using a review unit for a while, I believe the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is the most accessible computer Apple has ever built.


The iPad Pro’s Killer Feature: Bigger Is Better

From an accessibility standpoint, the iPad Pro’s killer feature is its screen.

In [writing about why I switched to an iPhone 6s Plus, I said this about the iPad Pro:

At 12.9 inches, the iPad Pro’s display is the best thing to happen to my vision in a long time. Its effects aren’t only about pixel density or color accuracy; it’s about sheer size. The iPad Pro’s screen is huge and has completely transformed how I work. Everything I see on the iPad is better simply by virtue of the big screen, from managing email to browsing the Web to typing on the virtual keyboard.

The key takeaway I have from using the iPad Pro is that bigger screens are better for my vision. The Pro’s huge screen is a glory to behold because my eyes don’t have to work as hard to read text or find buttons; everything I see is more visually accessible. The great part is that it’s the same iPad experience I was used to on the 9.7-inch model, only now it’s super-sized. There was no learning curve or period of adjustment in moving to the Pro. Suffice it to say, moving to the iPad Pro from my iPad Air 1 has been a considerable upgrade.

While it may seem trite or overly simplistic to assert that the iPad Pro is great mostly for its screen, it makes sense in an accessibility context. Using the iPad Pro has been nothing short of a revelation. It’s taught me to embrace the ginormous iOS devices *because* of their ginormous screens, their overall unwieldiness be damned.

It’s worth noting, too, just how much of an effect the iPad Pro’s screen has on one’s perception of other devices. After only the first few hours with my review unit, my old iPad Air felt comically small. Compared to the Pro, using the Air made me feel as though I were holding an iPad Mini. It’s a stark contrast, to be sure, but I can’t see myself returning to the “small” 9.7-inch size after using the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Holding and Using the iPad Pro

When it was first announced, I worried the iPad Pro would be uncomfortable to use while sitting on the couch, to read or watch videos, because the device is so large. As it turns out, holding the tablet hasn’t been an issue. It is heavier than my iPad Air 1, but its weight is commensurate with its size. It’s not heavy overall, but like the iPhone 6s Plus, is better when held with two hands. Nonetheless, also like the 6s Plus, the Pro’s awesome screen trumps any concern over its physical size.

If I’m not holding the Pro, I’m typing with it on my lap. Though I do like the Smart Keyboard (more on it later), most of my “working hours” (i.e., writing) are spent using the virtual keyboard. I like it a lot, even though typing isn’t the easiest thing for me to do. The larger screen naturally allows for a larger keyboard, and I feel like my hands have more room to move. I feel like the bigger space is more forgiving on my two-finger, hunt-and-peck typing style.


iOS 9 On the Big Screen

As I wrote previously, iOS on the iPad Pro is instantly familiar to me. The difference is that iOS has never before been thrust onto a display as large and packed with as many pixels as the iPad Pro’s. That I can see more at a glance is undoubtedly a good thing, but it doesn’t mean everything is perfect.

Let’s first accentuate the positive. One of the advantages of using iOS as a primary platform is the operating system’s lack of cruft. Conceptually speaking, where OS X was conceived around keyboard-and-mouse input and multiple windows, iOS is radically different. It’s built for touch, gestures of all sorts, and, until recently, showed only one app at a time. This lack of complexity is partly why iOS devices are loved by people of all ages and abilities, and why iOS is so great for accessibility. As I wrote at the outset, this simplicity is a key reason why I choose to work from an iPad rather than a MacBook.

Of course, iOS has grown more mature and complex since “iPhone OS 1.0” in 2007. One of the [marquee features of iOS 9]( is the multitasking support for iPad. Being able to see two apps at once has greatly improved my productivity, as I’m now able to have Safari open beside my text editor, which saves me from constantly switching back and forth to research information and grab links. It’s so nice.

As I familiarized myself with iOS 9’s multitasking features, one thought that persisted in my mind was how accessible the Split View model is. With desktop OSes, I’ve run into a lot of trouble trying to manage windows on screen—resizing them is especially troublesome because of the difficulty in finding a window’s edge and judging an appropriate size.

By contrast, Apple has limitations regarding how much of their screen an app can occupy. This lessens my cognitive load because I no longer need to struggle in deciding where I want to put things; I only need to decide if I want an app to take up a quarter or half of the screen.

More importantly for accessibility, the mechanics by which you invoke Split View or Slide Over are infinitely more accessible than fiddling with a mouse pointer. All I do is move my finger to drag the divider where I want it; it also helps the divider is dark enough that I can easily see it on screen.

I have only one complaint about iOS on the iPad Pro. It’s likely Apple is going to preview iOS 10 in the next few months, and I’d love to see the company push even further at enhancing the experience on iPad. The multitasking improvements notwithstanding, iOS is effectively an OS meant for smartphones, and it really shows on iPad Pro. It would be awesome to see Apple rework iOS on the 12.9-inch model to take even better advantage of the screen real estate. Buttons and other user interface elements could be made more pronounced without requiring Display Zoom, for instance. Likewise, the insertion point, magnification loupe, and cut/copy/paste menu all sorely need a visual upgrade.

On a display as large as iPad Pro’s, these elements’ small size is untenable for the visually impaired. At the very least, iOS 10 should include an setting under Accessibility where users can adjust the size of the insertion point, similar to the mouse pointer option on the Mac.

Gripes aside, I’m pleased by the overall experience of iOS on the iPad Pro. I think it’s important to clarify, though, that for as much as I laud iOS, I don’t mean to imply that OS X is inaccessible or a worse system. I like the Mac very much, but the accessibility benefits to using a touch-driven OS are so obvious that it feels right to spend the majority of my time on iOS.


The Accessories: Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil

First, the Smart Keyboard. I’ve written practically the whole of this article on it, and it’s been great. Although I hated it at first, I’ve grown to really like the Smart Keyboard. It looks good, feels good to type on, and isn’t too bulky. I’ve tried several third-party iPad keyboards in the past, but none match the niceness or features (firmware updates!) of Apple’s solution.

My favorite thing about it? Hitting Command-Tab to quickly switch apps.

That said, the Smart Keyboard would be better if it had two things. First, I’d love backlit keys. I don’t know how practical this is, engineering-wise, but the keys as-is are tough to see in low light. I spend several seconds looking for the right keys to press because it’s hard to tell what I’m looking at, and more often than not, I end up hitting the wrong key(s). The extra light would go a long way in helping me more easily spot keys. Secondly, the Caps Lock key needs an indicator light. One great aspect about my old Apple wireless keyboard is it has a little green light that tells you whether caps lock is on or not. That visual cue is a valuable, however subtle, accessibility aid. Even in writing this piece, I’ve lost count at how many times I’ve pressed Caps Lock in order to see if it’s on or off because I can’t tell which state it’s in, and I keep making typos. It’s frustrating.

Finally, a note about attaching the keyboard. My review kit from Apple included both accessories, and I had the hardest time in the beginning trying to get the Smart Keyboard and iPad together. This is due to dexterity issues caused by my cerebral palsy, as well as my low vision. (In other words, folding the keyboard and seeing where the Smart Connector is supposed to dock.) After a few expletive-laden attempts, it took a how-to video by a friend sent over iMessage for me to finally grasp the proper technique.

iPad Pro 9.7 - 1

Regarding Apple Pencil, there aren’t enough superlatives in the dictionary to describe how great it is. In fact, I would say a solid argument could be made that the Pencil, on its own merits, was the most impressive product to come out of Cupertino last year. It’s quintessential Apple: their classic mix of hardware and software integration that works so well, you’d swear it’s magic. It’s that good.

Using the Apple Pencil with iPad Pro feels to me like the digital equivalent of the analog pen (or pencil) and paper. The Pencil feels good to hold and to write with. Like with the Smart Keyboard, I’ve used other stylus-like devices with iPads in the past, but none come close to delivering what the Pencil can. It’s one of those “only Apple” things that Tim Cook often boasts about, because Apple controls the whole stack by designing their products in concert.

The best part about using Apple Pencil is that it’s gotten me to explore my creative side. I envy (and admire) [hose who have far more artistic ability than I, but I do enjoy doodling and coloring. One of the first App Store apps I downloaded for the iPad Pro was Pigment by Pixite, an “adult coloring book” that’s become one of my favorite apps.

As with printed coloring books, you’re presented with black-and-white “pages” of pictures spanning various categories to color. It’s a well done app; I especially like that you can pinch-to-zoom to better see the lines. It’s a big help for me in seeing more detail and making sure my work is neat. Most of all, I like Pigment because coloring is therapeutic.

When I’m stressed or get a case of writer’s block, I find it relaxing to grab my Pencil, open Pigment, and color away for a few minutes. It’s fun, although I’ve yet to finish a page. It’s more about process than product.

I have no qualms over the Apple Pencil itself. The only issue I have is that I’m paranoid about losing the cap. It’s tiny, and I fret over it falling to the floor and rolling into the abyss because, given my eyesight, I’d probably never see it again. I’ve jokingly tweeted a few times that Apple should make a Find My Apple Pencil Cap app for iPhone, so as to help people find the cap when they inevitably misplace it.


Final Thoughts

I cringe whenever I see others in the tech press who, like Tim Stenovec did, say that the iPad isn’t a real computer. I think this line of thinking is shortsighted and does the iPad a disservice. I concede that a MacBook remains better than an iPad Pro at performing certain tasks — podcasting is one example — but the iPad is getting so powerful now that the list of things it can’t do is growing ever more esoteric.

At this point, I think to perpetuate the tired “laptops are for creation, tablets are for consumption” rhetoric is disingenuous.

In terms of accessibility and ease of use, however, the iPad Pro is the clear winner over a laptop. As a person with years of experience using iPads in accessibility-centric settings, I am keenly aware of the tablet’s strengths and weaknesses. Yes, the experience of using iOS on the iPad can and should improve, but whatever faults that presently exist doesn’t entirely deter from its obvious and far-reaching benefits. This applies to the disabled and non-disabled alike. Today’s iPad Pro is a powerhouse, and its future potential feels limitless.

John Gruber astutely pointed out in concluding his iPad Pro review that “the future of mass market portable computing involves neither a mouse pointer nor an x86 processor.”

I sincerely believe that. The iPad Pro may not be a laptop replacement for everyone, and that’s okay, but it surely is for me. The allure of iOS and the tablet’s form is irresistible, and its combination makes computing much more accessible. While I’ll forever lust over the 12-inch MacBook’s svelte design, the 12.9″ iPad Pro is absolutely the better “laptop” for my needs.


Amazon Named India’s Most Trusted Online Shopping Brand: TRA

Amazon Named India's Most Trusted Online Shopping Brand: TRA

World’s largest e-retailer Amazon is India’s most trusted online shopping brand followed by home-grown Snapdeal and Flipkart, a survey said.

Other firms to figure in the top 10 trusted online shopping brands are eBay, Myntra, Yepme, Jabong,Naaptol, Shopclues, and Askmebazaar.

The survey was conducted among 2,500 respondents – aged 21 to 50 years – across 16 cities and its findings have been compiled in The Brand Trust Report, India Study 2016. The report is issued annually by TRA (formerly Trust Research Advisory).

“Amazon is India’s most trusted online shopping brand with 36 percent of the trust pie. Together, these three brands make up for 76 percent of online shopping trust pie,” TRA Chief Executive Officer N Chandramouli told reporters in New Delhi on Friday

Overall, South Korean smartphone maker Samsung Mobiles has emerged as the most trusted brand in the country followed by Sony and LG, while Tata Group is the only Indian corporate to figure in the top five.

As per the study, the top five most trusted brands are Samsung Mobiles, Sony, LG, Nokia and Tata. The top 20 most trusted brands which have improved their ranking over last year include Samsung Mobiles, Sony, Nokia, Honda, ICICI Bank, Maruti Suzuki, HDFC Bank, Airtel, Hero MotoCorp, Dove, Lux, Samsung, Pepsi, and Puma.

Top 20 trusted brands which slipped in rankings are LG, Tata, Bajaj, and Apple.

In the diversified FMCG space, Cavinkare has emerged as the most trusted brand, followed by Nirma, while Patanjali claimed the fourth position.

Maggi leads the FMCG food category, gaining 42 ranks from 2015 to occupy the 65th position in the overall trust rank list.

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Tags: Amazon, Apple, E Commerce, eBay, Ecommerce, FMCG, India, Internet, Jabong, LG, Myntra, Naaptol, Nokia,Samsung, Shopclues, Sony, Yepme

India Among Most Vulnerable Nations to Cyber-Attacks: Study

India Among Most Vulnerable Nations to Cyber-Attacks: Study

When it comes to vulnerability to cyber-attacks, India along with China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and South Korea is most vulnerable, says research led by an Indian-American scientist.

While the US is ranked 11th safest of 44 nations studied, several Scandinavian countries like Denmark, Norway and Finland were ranked the safest in the book authored by V.S. Subrahmanian, professor of computer science at the University of Maryland.

“Our goal was to characterise how vulnerable different countries were, identify their current cyber-security policies and determine how those policies might need to change in response to this new information,” said Subrahmanian, with the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS).

Damaging cyber-attacks on a global scale continue to surface every day. Some nations are better prepared than others to deal with online threats from criminals, terrorists and rogue nations.

Subrahmanian discussed the findings at a panel discussion hosted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington on Wednesday.

The authors conducted a two-year study that analysed more than 20 billion automatically generated reports, collected from four million machines per year worldwide.

The researchers based their rankings, in part, on the number of machines attacked in a given country and the number of times each machine was attacked.

Machines using Symantec anti-virus software automatically generated these reports, but only when a machine’s user opted in to provide the data.

Trojans, followed by viruses and worms, posed the principal threats to machines in the US.

However, misleading software (fake anti-virus programmes and disk cleanup utilities) was far more prevalent in the US compared with other nations that have a similar gross domestic product, the authors noted.

The results suggest that US efforts to reduce cyber threats should focus on education to recognise and avoid misleading software.

“People – even experts – often have gross misconceptions about the relative vulnerability (to cyber-attack) of certain countries. The authors of this book succeed in empirically refuting many of those wrong beliefs,” said Isaac Ben-Israel, chair of the Israeli Space Agency and former head of that nation’s National Cyber Bureau, in a foreword to the book.

The co-authors on the book are Michael Ovelgonne, a former UMIACS postdoctoral researcher; Tudor Dumitras, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in the Maryland Cybersecurity Centre; and B. Aditya Prakash, assistant professor of computer science at Virginia Tech.

A related research paper was presented at the 9th ACM International Conference of Web Search and Data Mining in February this year.