Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

Photo: Starting up? NASSCOM for Start-ups invites applications from early and growth stage tech startups for the 10,000 Start-ups program on www.10000startups.comThe shortlists would have lot to takeaway including Funding, Acceleration, Mentoring, Enterprise Connects, Hiring support, Concept validation and many more.The best application received by 30th Nov'13 would also get a chance to attend the blackbox.vc connect program in Silicon Valley absolutely free (logistics and stay included)!Apply NOW on www.10000startups.com

Starting up? 

NASSCOM for Start-ups invites applications from early and growth stage tech startups for the 10,000 Start-ups program on www.10000startups.com

The shortlists would have lot to takeaway including Funding, Acceleration, Mentoring, Enterprise Connects, Hiring support, Concept validation and many more.

The best application received by 30th Nov’13 would also get a chance to attend the¬†blackbox.vc¬†connect program in Silicon Valley absolutely free (logistics and stay included)!

Apply NOW on www.10000startups.com

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China-based Lenovo may have not become a dominant brand., other¬†cautionary tale is HTC, the Taiwanese telecom brand whose quick ascendance in the U.S. has been followed by swift collapse. Well these may soon be changing,¬†¬†handful of Chinese brands saw a big opportunity and breakout even in this year CES…

Some Chinese brands saw CES as their springboard for a breakout 2013, lets look at who they were:

ZTE

ZTE has had worldwide presence since 1995. The company manufactures phones for Verizon, among others, but plans to make a bigger name for itself in 2013 with a¬†Firefox OS-based smartphone. ZTE plans to release the device in Europe ¬†and in the U.S. ¬†this year. “They’re really expanding their range and their portfolio,”

TCL

TCL is the world’s 4th largest TV producer after Samsung, LG and Sony. At CES, TCL is displaying an¬†Android-based TV called Ice¬†Screen that includes¬†Frequency, a video curation app that lets you subscribe to BBC, CNN and other channels. Well it sounds very promising…

HUAWEI

Huawei sought to stand out from the pack at CES with the¬†Ascend P1 S,¬†which is billed as the “world’s slimmest smartphone” at 6.68 mm and the Ascend D2 smartphone, which¬†sports a 6.2-inch screen. That not all there are big plans by huawei on cheap and efficient smartphones produce across the globe starting from 2013.

HAIER

Haier, another conglomerate that makes everything from mobile phones to washing machines, showcased a vision-control system for TVs at CES that lets you adjust the volume and browse a news feed with your eyes. Again some big plans in US to produce cheap consumer durable electronics.

HISENSE

Small name but will make a big impact soon, Hisense has been established globally since 2001 and makes TVs, refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners, among other products. Since 2007, it has achieved 30% annual growth. In 2012, the company posted $2 billion in sales. By 2015, it aims to achieve a total of $5 billion in sales. At CES, Hisense got attention by showing off a 110-inch ultra HD TV, a Smart TV controlled by gestures and voice and a glasses-free 3D TV. The company also have big plans on Android phones.

Lets see how this works out..

Even within China there is this kind of engaged marketing that saw Chinese tech companies do especially well in terms of their own brand value. Here’s the table of top 50 Chinese Brands overall with 14 out of which are tech brands (click the two panels to enlarge):

 

Developed countries spend billions of dollars every year on research and development of new technologies to make our lives easier. Scientific research has become an integral part of a nation’s economic stability. Here I have listed the Top 10 List of the world’s most technologically oriented nations.

Tech Driven...

Tech Driven...

1. Finland

Finland is most technologically-oriented country in the world. Well known for high-technology projects and healthcare facilities, Finland ranks as the best country in the world in the 2010 Newsweek survey in terms of health, economic dynamism, education, political environment and quality of life. Finland has a highly industrialised mixed economy with a per capita output equal to that of other European economies such as France, Germany, Belgium or the UK.

2. USA

The United States has been a leader in scientific research and technological innovation since the late 19th century.

Alexander Graham Bell won the first US patent for the telephone in 1876. America holds the credit for some of the major inventions like the long-lasting light bulb, and the first viable movie camera, alternating current, the AC motor, and radio.

The government has invested in scientific research and technological development leading to major breakthroughs in spaceflight, computing, and biotechnology. It also has the world’s highest number of scientific research papers.

3. Japan

Japan is known for its prowess in consumer electronics, robotics and the automotive industry.

Japan is one of the leading nations in the fields of scientific research, technology, machinery and medical research. It has world’s third largest budget for research and development at $130 billion and over 677,731 researchers. Japan also holds the distinction of receiving the maximum number of science Nobel prizes in Asia. Japan has more than half of the world’s industrial robots used in the manufacturing sector.

4. Sweden

A research powerhouse, Sweden allocates about four per cent of GDP to research and development (R&D).

Sweden tops European comparative statistics both in terms of research investments as a percentage of GDP and in the number of published scientific works per capita.

5. Republic of Korea

Korea shines in the field of electronics, automobiles, ships, machinery, petrochemicals and robotics. The world’s second walking human robot-HUBO was made in Korea. Korea plans to have a robot in every house.

The broadband speed is unparalleled, almost 3 times than that of United States.

6. The Netherlands

The Netherlands has a highly developed electrotechnical industry that manufactures computers, telecommunication systems, electronic measurement and control equipment, electric switching gear and transformers, and medical and scientific instruments.
Dutch firms play a major role in the European Space Agency. The Netherlands has made significant strides with inventions like the artificial kidney, compact disc, microscope, pendulum clock and telescope.

7. United Kingdom

The world’s sixth largest economy by nominal GDP and eighth largest economy by purchasing power parity plays an important role.

The world’s first industrialised country has to its credit the discovery of hydrogen, invention of locomotive engine, jet engine, World Wide Web, incandescent light-bulb; world’s first working television, electric motor, and commercial electrical telegraph.

8. Singapore

Singapore has been ranked amongst the world’s ten most open competitive and innovative nations.

One of the most business-friendly economies, it has a S$1.35 billion Industry Alignment Fund to help Singapore become an innovation driven and knowledge-based economy. The fund will be used for public and private-sector projects in research and development.

9. Canada

Canada has a highly developed technology sector. The government allocates 1.8 per cent of its GDP for research and development.

The Science, Technology and Innovation Council was launched in May 2007 to improve quality of life for Canadians through science and technology.

Canada is investing heavily in science and technology to create more jobs and build a stronger economy.

10. Australia

Australia is the world’s thirteenth largest economy. It scores high in human development, quality of life, health care, life expectancy, public education and economic freedom.

The main focus of research and development is on information and communications, biotechnology and manufacturing. Australia’s strength lies in the areas of astronomical and space sciences.

The times, they keep changing and evolving. When haven’t they been? But change isn’t always good. Good technologies and products usually survive; poor ones usually go extinct. But not all of the technologies and tech products that have swirled down the drain of the tech gene pool deserved their fate. Here are some such tech items we have missed or going to miss forever…

MP3 Players

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Sure, we’ll still have portable devices that can play MP3s, but a few years from now they’ll all be cell phones. Even the once-mighty iPod is no longer a growth product for Apple; in fact, iPod sales are now declining in double-digit percentages. It probably won’t be long before Apple gives up on the thing, what with the far fatter profit margin that the iPhone offers, but consumers will lose out in the bargain. After all, wouldn’t it be nice to listen to a song or two without having to pay 50 bucks a month?

Napster

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This is the one that started it all: The peer-to-peer network let you share your music collection with anybody in the world, and more importantly, get all the world’s music tracks downloaded to your computer. The only problem: Sharing digital assets this way was decreed to be illegal, which was not helped by the fact that on the original Napster, you couldn’t pay for music even if you wanted to. Napster was summarily shut down by the authorities. The brand has since been resurrected as a paid music site. It’s not the same.

Wires

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No I am not kidding ūüôā Try to buy communications equipment today–it’s all wireless. Wireless networks, cellular phones, Bluetooth headsets. We say, bring back wires. Wired communications are faster, cheaper, and less prone to interference and don’t need batteries. Want to make a clear phone call? Pick up an ordinary telephone with a good old coiled handset cord. Want really fast networking? Use wired Ethernet for a gigabit a second. We like portability, but our lust for cord-free technology has gone too far.

Optical Drives

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Suppose that you need to install some software on several computers. You could download a copy from an FTP site, copy it to a thumb drive, and then carry that thumb drive from one computer to another, pausing at each waystation for drivers to install and for Windows to recognize the thing. Or you could grab a labeled, archivable application CD, pop it into each computer’s optical drive, and handle the task that way (assuming that they have such a drive). And don’t get us started on the agony of trying to watch a movie on your laptop without having a drive on your laptop.

The Concorde

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Many of us thought that one day, when we were millionaires, we’d take a jaunt around the world on the supersonic jet. If you’re still waiting for fortune to knock on your door, you’re too late: the Concorde stopped flying in 2003, victim of economic factors and the aftermath of its only fatal crash. It’s ironic that as aeronautical technology has moved ever forward, the only supersonic aircraft the public could fly on has been retired. Now all of us, rich and poor alike, have to obey the pedestrian speed limit of sound.

Dumb Phones

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Your phone has a camera, a GPS device, a compass, voice control, a stock market tracker, a weather center, a calculator, a music player, video game controls, an e-mail management system, a Web browser, an instant messaging client, a restaurant review navigator, a Twitter feed, Facebook, an e-book reader, a happy-hour locator, a virtual DJ, and a sushi identification system. That’s all great. But once in a while, we’d just like to make a phone call. Did you know Nokia has sold 600 millions of handsets, each good for nothing more than making phone calls.

Microsoft Windows

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From the over-the-top marketing campaigns to the soothing default backgrounds to the dulcet startup sounds, what’s not to like about Microsoft Windows? Again, don’t answer that. But mock it all you want, Windows has served lots of people reasonably well over the years. Now the twilight of the OS is approaching, as the cloud consumes more and more of what we used to need our computers to do (explainer: Cloud Computing). From Webmail to hosted apps, online conveniences have rendered full-fledged computers unnecessary for many former users, who can get by with a Linux netbook or a Mac. We’ll miss it one day most of all ūüôā

MySpace

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We hasten to say: MySpace is horrible. We certainly won’t miss the gaudy wasteland that fills 99 percent of MySpace space. Rather, we’re going to miss the original idea underlying this social network–of a place where in theory you might go to find out where your favorite band is playing, listen to their latest tracks, hear a comic try out a few new jokes, and maybe keep in touch with your friends. Instead, MySpace has become a useless (and dying) magnet for spammers, clueless preteens, and attention addicts, none of whom seem to be in on the joke.

Pay Phones

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Every horror movie fan knows the drill: When things get dire, there’s no cell phone signal; or if there is, the battery dies within a couple of minutes or Cell Phone Battery Explodes in the Night. If only FBI could come up with a system of publicly accessible telephones that accepted pocket change and let citizens make calls from any street corner in any country. Alas, the telephone companies have largely dismantled the country’s pay-phone system, though you may still find a few phones in an airport or railway station. Worst of all, the remaining pay-phone stations sit idle and ignored. Whatever happened to turning old phone kiosks into Wi-Fi hotspots idea ?

Manned space exploration

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It’s been 33 years since humans have set foot on the moon or journeyed beyond the close orbit of the Earth. In other words, we’ve stopped exploring. Sure, robotic spaceships and Mars rovers are adding to our knowledge of the universe, but the last people to explore the final frontier are past retirement age–and so are the engineers who put them there. In other words, next time we go into space, we’re going to have to retrain people from scratch. There may be no firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to be in space or to build a space vehicle. This is progress? Hahaha, I laugh all the times when scientists say we have 70% of our earth un-explored, than what the hell are these scientists wasting known earth resources in finding un-discovered planets, first find what’s un-discovered on earth…

Good Manners

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So finally there you are, pouring your soul out to your best friend over a cocktail, and just when you hit the meat of your story, he reaches into his pocket, pulls out his cell phone, and starts looking through his text messages and e-mail. Sure, he’s nodding along while you relate your tragic tale…but is he really listening or just arranging a hook-up for later. Being connected by technology means never being out of touch with anyone else…and the rise of texting makes simultaneously carrying on multiple conversations less obvious than it would be via voice. That doesn’t make it right of course, but…hey, you can keep talking while I check this message. You see all these people on the road hanging to there mobile and gadgets all the time, everytime, I too love tech, but before that – there is more beautiful things to see and be heard, so the next time you hang out with your close friends and family give the technology some rest and have a Great Time !!

UK-based broadband provider Supanet conducted a survey of its web hosting customers. Supanet wanted to find out the qualities that customers consider to be the most important when shopping for a web host. If you want to gain more customers and improve your relationship with the ones you have, this is one top ten list that’s worth a look.

Unfortunately, while the company gave a top ten list, it didn’t go into any detailed explanations of why customers said these were the ten most important factors in their decision to choose a particular web host. It also didn’t state how many people were surveyed, or explain their survey criteria or methodology. Even a search of the company web site did not turn up more than the press release. So this survey can’t exactly be described as scientific.

On the other hand, the results make a certain amount of sense, intuitively speaking. “It came as no surprise to find that customers looking for a good web hosting service are after value for money,” noted Andrew Barton, marketing manager for Supanet. He’s referring to the number one item on the survey’s list. While I certainly can’t conjure information that isn’t there, I have been researching the web hosting industry for close to two years now. My first article on the subject appeared in June 2005, and regular visitors to this site can attest that I’ve hardly been idle since. I’ve heard my share of horror stories, and I think I can at least make some educated guesses as to why customers look for the qualities in a web hosting company that Supanet’s survey says they do. So without further ado, let me present the list with my comments.

As I mentioned, the number one item on Supanet’s list was “value for money.” If someone has put together a web site as a hobby, it’s probably not going to be something on which they can spend a lot of money. Web sites that are labors of love involve the owner investing time rather than money, so whatever money goes into the site had better stretch as far as possible.

This is doubly true if the web site is home to a business. While there may be some money coming in, and the company may be willing to invest some of that in its web presence in the hope of bringing in more money, no business can afford to waste money. The bursting of the dot-com bubble near the turn of the millennium proved that point. So if you want an individual or a company to trust their site to you, you have to show them that they’re getting their money’s worth.

The second quality on Supanet’s list is “great customer service.” To some extent, this follows naturally from the first item. Every customer considers himself to be the center of his own universe. That’s not something to struggle against; it’s simply a fact of human nature. Add to this the fact that most of your customers, if you’re a web host, have their own customers to worry about, and you understand why customer service is such a high priority.

Great customer service means courteous, knowledgeable representatives who are available whenever your customers need them. It means giving customers what they want as quickly as possible; it can even mean anticipating their needs. Support that’s available 24/7 in several forms (email, chat, telephone) is a good start. If your customers aren’t particularly tech savvy, you might even have to do some spoon feeding.

The third item on Supanet’s list is “multiple hosting features.” Customers appreciate the ability to choose. If you try to lock them in to one package or don’t offer features they need (such as script hosting), they will look elsewhere. Indeed, the number of features a web host can provide has become a point of competition between hosts. For example, 1stchoicehost says that it offers its customers standard or web-based email, shopping carts for e-commerce, support for multiple versions of Microsoft Front Page, the MySQL database, server side includes (SSI), email forwarding, Perl, Java, autoresponders and much more. You might consider surveying your own customers to find out what hosting features they want. If you’re really brave, ask the ones who are switching from you to a different web host why they’re leaving. If they talk about hosting features that you don’t offer, you might want to see what it would take to revamp your services.

The fourth item on Supanet’s list reflects back to the second item, great customer service; it’s “responsive support.” If your customer has to leave five trouble tickets with you just to get some kind of reaction, the last one is likely to include a comment about changing web hosts. Even if you can’t get to a particular item right away, you need to send a message to your customer that you have received their ticket and will look at their problem as soon as possible. Give them a short, reasonable time period as to when they can expect to hear back from you about it – and treat that as an ironclad promise. Remember, if the issue they’re bringing to your attention is affecting their ability to serve their own customers, they’re likely to be very short on patience. If your customer sees that you’re working on the problem, and giving it a priority, they’ll be reassured. The only way they can see that is if you keep them in the loop as to what is happening.

Surprisingly, it’s only when we get to the fifth item on Supanet’s list that we come across “generous web space and bandwidth.” One would think that this would be more important than it is. Perhaps web hosting customers have figured out that web space and bandwidth is cheap (or else there wouldn’t be so many free web hosts). When a particular commodity is cheap in comparison to other things, people often value it less. Still, that’s fairly high on the list, so there is some concern about this.

Customers who have used web hosts for a while know about overselling, which may explain one of the reasons this item made the list. Also, as a web host, it’s a good idea to be honest with your customers about their web space and bandwidth needs as you understand them – don’t sell them more space than they need, but don’t sell them less either. For example, the needs of an ecommerce site will be different from the needs of a primarily content-based site, and even among content sites, a text-based site will have needs that are different from a podcaster’s site. Naturally, site traffic also plays a role.

The sixth item on Supanet’s list is “web site security.” I’d be more surprised that this didn’t rate higher if it wasn’t for the nature of the qualities that rated above it. If a hacker breaks into one of your customers’ web sites, it can be a worse problem than if a thief breaks into a brick-and-mortar store. A hacker can do more than steal merchandise; he can vandalize the site, steal credit card and other information to commit identity theft, set up malicious scripts to download spyware onto the computers of web surfers who visit the site, use the site as a base from which to send spam…the list goes on. It could damage or destroy someone’s livelihood. Don’t let this happen to your customers; take web site security seriously.

Supanet says that being a “reliable hosting company” achieved the number seven spot on the list of items that are looked for by customers. This is a quality that is made up of other characteristics. Customer service is one; doing what you say you’re going to do is another. Also, since many web hosting customers know that the field is huge and crowded with fly-by-night operations, they want to know that you’re going to be around for a while. The best way to convince new customers that you’re reliable is by giving great service to the customers you have; time will do the rest.

The eighth item on Supanet’s list is “up-time reliability.” If you’re hosting ecommerce companies, their ability to serve their customers is directly related to your ability to serve YOUR customers. Your customers need to know that their web sites will be up all the time, that they won’t go offline unexpectedly, and that whatever glitches do come up at your end will be fixed quickly and efficiently. If you as a web host suffer a crash or otherwise let your customers go offline unexpectedly, then visitors cannot access your customers’ web sites (to say nothing of site owners’ inability to access their own sites!). A web site that can’t be accessed is worst than a “closed” sign on a brick-and-mortar store. If a web surfer tries to find a site and it’s not online, they may never try again. At least with a brick-and-mortar business, a potential customer may try the store again if it has hours posted as to when it is open.

The ninth item on Supanet’s list is “easy and fast access to your data.” This may be more important to content-based sites than ecommerce sites. Either way, customers see their web site’s content as their data; why shouldn’t they have a right to access it any time they want to? It has to be easy because not everyone who owns a web site is tech savvy these days, and there are few things as frustrating as technical barriers to what should be a simple process. Also, from a search engine optimization perspective, putting fresh content on your site on a regular basis encourages the search engines to index your site more frequently, which can help a site’s standing on the search engine results pages. To companies who receive a lot of visitors by way of the search engines, this is very important.

The tenth item on Supanet’s list is a “wide range of hosting packages.” This is reminiscent of item three, multiple hosting features. Customers want to know not only that you have packages that suit their current needs, but that you have ones that will suit their future needs as well. This way, it will be quite some time before they outgrow what you have to offer.

If you can provide your customers with all of the ten items that Supanet’s survey indicates are important, you will be in a good position to grow your business and build a reputation as an outstanding web hosting company. Hope this helps all the diving into web hosting..