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Source: Times Of India

Renowned Manipuri filmmaker Aribam Syam Sharma's national award winning documentary 'Manipuri Pony' has been selected for screening at the Indian Panorama section of International Film Festival of India (IFFI), 2013, in Goa. The documentary produced by the Centre's film division is the only movie selected this year from Manipur for the 11-day festival beginning on November 20, said the manager of Aribam Syam Sharma Productions. The documerntary explores the animal's contribution to Manipuri culture, its performing arts and myths.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013 21:27

Samsung Galaxy S4 review


Update: The Samsung Galaxy S5 is tipped to make its debut at the MWC show in Barcelona on 24 February 2014. Catch up on everything we know so far with our Samsung Galaxy S5 rumous round-up

It’s here at last, Samsung’s biggest release for a year. The Samsung Galaxy S4 will doubtless be popular but is it the best smartphone of the year, and are the new features – and there are oh, so many of them – worth having?

The brand has not radically changed the design of the phone compared to last year’s Samsung Galaxy S3. Why would it? – the S3 was massively popular, so the company knew it had a winning design.

Even so, look closely and you’ll see definite style improvements, with straighter lines and a sleeker, more serious look to it. The S3 had swirly, curvy lines demarcating the chrome effect from the colour. On the Samsung S4 it’s all straight edges, giving a more elegant and slightly more clinical look that is at once more demure and grown-up.

And to be honest, it looks a bit more like the conventional design of other smartphones so whether this new design is better or worse is purely a matter of taste. The curves at the top and bottom edges are less tapered this time, so the corners are a touch squarer, which is also more pleasing. Less of a lozenge, more of a rectangle with soft edges.

But it’s the same gloss plastic finish, so if you’re keener on a more premium feel like the iPhone 5 or HTC One, you may feel this is a bit shouty. Even so, it’s a classier look than the S3, even on the back where the camera lens (bigger this time) has just the flash near it. On the S3 the flash was to the left of the lens, the speaker to the right. Here, the flash is directly below the lens, both centred at the top of the handset. And the speaker grille is towards the bottom and off-centre, which looks neater.

The design of the buttons has barely changed. The S3 wasn’t big on buttons, sporting only a volume rocker on the left edge and the power button on the right. These are in the same places, but this time around the power button is a little bigger. So is the volume rocker which is a little higher up on the left edge, but these are small changes but, we’d say, are all improvements.

Samsung Galaxy S4: Size and build

Like last year’s model, this isn’t a phone for petite hands. But Samsung has squeezed in a screen that’s bigger than the S3’s into a handset that’s slightly smaller (the dimensions are 136.6mm tall, the same as the S3, while the width and depth, 69.8mm and 7.9mm, are smaller).

The change in depth is particularly noticeable and means that though it’s big it doesn’t feel unmanageable. The display is 5in this year, against last year’s 4.8in on the S3.

Check out our Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Samsung Galaxy S3 specs showdown

Even so, this phone clocks in at 130g against the marginally heavier 133g last time around. Most premium smartphones these days have sealed-in batteries – without the need to finish the battery in a removable case it’s possible to maximise the size and power of the cell – but Samsung has opted for a back that pops off.

This has a big advantage because it means if you run out of juice you can pop in a replacement battery. But it can mean that the build is less persuasive or creaks annoyingly when you flex the phone in your hands. In fact, there’s precious little creak – this is a well-engineered machine.

As before there are two colours, this time white and black. Both look good, though the white looks more lively and has a gentle, subtle texturing that you only see when you look closely.

As with any smartphone, you need buttons to supplement that touchscreen. Samsung, like Apple but unlike almost everyone else, has a physical home button on the front, making it easier to wake the screen. This is especially important when the screen is as big as this phone. Reaching to the bottom of the display rather than the top right can make a palpable difference.

Even so, you can go there if you prefer as the power button is towards the top of the right edge, as usual with Samsung phones. The Home button is a more symmetrical shape than on last year’s model, though still standing slightly proud.

The headphone socket is in the conventional place on the top edge. Apple’s iPhone 5 has it on the bottom. Why should this matter? Well, if you have a protective slipcase, say, you have to remember when listening to music to slide the iPhone into it the wrong way up, which is counter-intuitive.

Better to make a statement with it, as the Nokia Lumia 920 does by plonking it on top in the centre. This left-of-centre placement on the top of the S4 is unexceptional, but fine.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013 21:25

PS4 release date, news and features

The PlayStation 4 is the most powerful games console on the planet.

With more graphical power than the Xbox One, 32 times more system memory than the PS3 and a firm focus on pure gaming experiences rather than media mojo, it has established itself as the next-gen console to beat.

It's a games console built by gamers for gamers. It won the hearts and minds of many from the word go, with lots of prospective next-genners left feeling alienated by some of Microsoft's bizarre policies and choices for the Xbox One – many of which were reversed as a result of a backlash.

Coming in at £350, the PS4 is also £80 cheaper than the Xbox One, making it appear terrific value. It doesn't come with the PlayStation Camera (the One does come with Kinect) but this can be bought separately for £45 if you so wish.

The differences between the PS4 and Xbox One are actually evident before you even switch them on. Despite the two consoles both sporting similar half-matte half-gloss finishes and containing very similar internal components, they really couldn't be more different.

For a start, the PS4 is small and sleek in comparison to the enormous VCR-like square cuboid of the Xbox One. And this means that the PS4's box is half the size and weight of the Xbox One. The Sony console can be extracted from its packaging and plugged in and booted up in a couple of minutes.

Xbox One on the other hand comes in a huge, hulking box. It's fiddly to open and unpack, and it's full of little compartments, carboard and plastic to get in the way and make a mess with. The environment was not a concern for Microsoft when it designed the Xbox packaging, clearly.

This is the kind of streamlining that typifies the PlayStation experience with PS4. It's a console designed for gamers to play games and in this respect it could be described as more of spiritual successor to the PlayStation 2 – still the best selling games console the universe has ever known.

Source : TechRadar

Tuesday, 16 July 2013 21:23

Apple's iPhone 5s Review

Unquestionably, the standout features of the iPhone 5s are its newest hardware inclusions and upgrades, namely Touch ID, the M7 motion co-processor, 64-bit architecture and the all-new iSight camera. These are not only what differentiate it from the previous iPhone 5, but justify its place as the flagship iPhone when compared to the iPhone 5c.

Now, fingerprint scanning is a pretty boring subject and our only real day-to-day experience of using the technology is with those digit readers built into laptops – a slide-to-unlock affair that worked 60% of the time.

So, when Apple bought AuthenTec, spawning rumours of similar technology being integrated into its devices, we weren’t exactly enamoured. However, Apple has done its age-old trick of turning a dull feature into something resembling sexy.

Introduced to replace passcode authentication for unlocking the phone and making iTunes purchases, Touch ID is a joy to use. The sensor is built right into the Home button and registration of a thumb, finger or both – five digits can be registered – takes about a minute using a most-pleasing enrolment system.

Once recorded, Touch ID has 360-degree, readability of registered digits, meaning it’ll unlock your phone no matter what way up you’re holding the handset. The key selling point, however, is the simplicity and speed of identification.

You don’t have to use Touch ID, but after a few hours with it, the mere thought of entering a four-digit passcode to unlock the device seemed so passé. And this is so easy.

For some – 36%, according to a McAfee study earlier in the year, including this reviewer and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer – Touch ID could be the first time security of any kind will be used to protect entry to their phone. It's all seamless, efficient and totally Apple.

Apple is keen to point out that it doesn’t store fingerprint details in iCloud or any of its remote servers. It’s all contained within the hardware, meaning nobody can get at your data. Even the NSA.

While this is great news for security, we can’t see Apple opening up Touch ID for third-party development anytime soon. So forget your dreams about online fingerprint banking (Barclays declined to comment on its plans) and real-life retail payments. We'd have also liked the option to open different apps with different digits. Maybe in the next iOS 7 upgrade.

Next in the handful of hardware advancements is what could turn the iPhone 5s from an evolutionary upgrade to a revolutionary game changer.

Like the GPU that bears the graphical strain from a computer's processor, the new M7 Coprocessor takes the weight of motion measurements - compass, accelerometer and gyroscope - away from the all-new A7 CPU.

Apple claims this will provide a 6x power saving for (iOS 7-updated) apps that record motion - Nike+, Strava, Moves, etc - but this dedicated chip can also tell what state of movement you're in and will adjust the iPhone 5s accordingly.

To test this, we used Apple Maps to plot an A to B route that required driving and walking. Upon reaching our destination, and exiting the car, the navigation switched from car to foot, taking us down one-way streets that wouldn't have been possible in a motor.

If the Coprocessor is clever enough to know where you are and what you're doing (to an extent), it could pave the way for the next wave of apps and features. One example we were given was this: if your iPhone 5s is put in a gym locker while you pump iron, it knows that a) you're not using it b) there's no network coverage c) it's stationary.

The iPhone could then power itself right down, switching off 3G/4G, the screen and so forth until the time it’s picked up again, where it would come back to life, ready to take that call from your PT asking why you sat in the sauna for two hours rather than making yourself sick doing burpees.

With a whole new data stream open to developers, it won't be long before a new breed of M7/iOS 7 apps appear in the App Store. What's more, if there's one emerging area that the M7 would supplement perfectly, it's wearable technology. iBand before Christmas, then?

Another improvement that could pave the way for Apps 2.0, is the A7 CPU/64-bit architecture combo. On paper, Apple claims the power couple will deliver speed twice that of the A6 chip and vastly improved OpenGL ES 3.0-compatible graphics.

At the time of writing, no 64-bit games or apps were available. The Infinity Blade demo we saw at the iPhone 5s/c launch admittedly looked outrageous in terms of graphical prowess but, while Apple says iOS 7 was built with 64-bit in mind, the spec bump won't be apparent until developers start taking advantage.

However, Apple's in this for the long game and will soon have all its devices - iMacs, iPads, iPhones - and operating systems - Mac OS and iOS - all running under the same programming banner, which will no doubt please developers. Moreover, no one else is doing that. Apart from Samsung, who was quick to confirm its next raft of smartphones would be 64-bit.

As another spec-war begins, we can report that the A7 chip has definitely made the Camera app a lot zippier on the iPhone 5s. Real-time previews, on-the-fly effects processing, slo-mo, autofocus (see more in iSight, below) are faster and free from lag or judder. For us, this app demonstrates the most noticeable speed improvement in the iPhone 5s's armory.

Source :
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Tuesday, 16 July 2013 15:08

Android's New Offering - KitKat

Welcome to Android 4.4 KitKat!
Android KitKat brings all of Android's most innovative, most beautiful, and most useful features to more devices everywhere.
This document provides a glimpse of what's new for developers.

Find out more about KitKat for consumers at 
Android 4.4 is designed to run fast, smooth, and responsively on a much broader range of devices than ever before — including on millions of entry-level devices around the world that have as little as 512MB RAM.
KitKat streamlines every major component to reduce memory use and introduces new APIs and tools to help you create innovative, responsive, memory-efficient applications.
OEMs building the next generation of Android devices can take advantage of targeted recommendations and options to run Android 4.4 efficiently, even on low-memory devices. Dalvik JIT code cache tuning, kernel samepage merging (KSM), swap to zRAM, and other optimizations help manage memory. New configuration options let OEMs tune out-of-memory levels for processes, set graphics cache sizes, control memory reclaim, and more.

In Android itself, changes across the system improve memory management and reduce memory footprint. Core system processes are trimmed to use less heap, and they now more aggressively protect system memory from apps consuming large amounts of RAM. When multiple services start at once — such as when network connectivity changes — Android now launches the services serially, in small groups, to avoid peak memory demands.

For developers, Android 4.4 helps you deliver apps that are efficient and responsive on all devices. A new API, ActivityManager.isLowRamDevice(), lets you tune your app's behavior to match the device's memory configuration. You can modify or disable large-memory features as needed, depending on the use-cases you want to support on entry-level devices. Learn more about optimizing your apps for low-memory devices here.

New tools give also give you powerful insight into your app's memory use. The procstats tool details memory use over time, with run times and memory footprint for foreground apps and background services. An on-device view is also available as a new developer option. The meminfo tool is enhanced to make it easier to spot memory trends and issues, and it reveals additional memory overhead that hasn't previously been visible.
New NFC capabilities through Host Card Emulation

Android 4.4 introduces new platform support for secure NFC-based transactions through Host Card Emulation (HCE), for payments, loyalty programs, card access, transit passes, and other custom services. With HCE, any app on an Android device can emulate an NFC smart card, letting users tap to initiate transactions with an app of their choice — no provisioned secure element (SE) in the device is needed. Apps can also use a new Reader Mode to act as readers for HCE cards and other NFC-based transactions.

Android HCE emulates ISO/IEC 7816 based smart cards that use the contactless ISO/IEC 14443-4 (ISO-DEP) protocol for transmission. These cards are used by many systems today, including the existing EMVCO NFC payment infrastructure. Android uses Application Identifiers (AIDs) as defined in ISO/IEC 7816-4 as the basis for routing transactions to the correct Android applications.

Apps declare the AIDs they support in their manifest files, along with a category identifier that indicates the type of support available (for example, "payments"). In cases where multiple apps support the same AID in the same category, Android displays a dialog that lets the user choose which app to use.

When the user taps to pay at a point-of-sale terminal, the system extracts the preferred AID and routes the transaction to the correct application. The app reads the transaction data and can use any local or network-based services to verify and then complete the transaction.

Android HCE requires an NFC controller to be present in the device. Support for HCE is already widely available on most NFC controllers, which offer dynamic support for both HCE and SE transactions. Android 4.4 devices that support NFC will include Tap & Pay for easy payments using HCE.

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