Apple:World’s Most Valuable Brand


Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

A new survey on the value of brands has placed Apple as the world’s most valuable brand, ending Google’s four-year reign at the top of the list. The ‘Brandz’ survey, done by global brands agency Millward Brown, found that the Apple brand is worth an estimated $153 billion, which was an 84% increase from last years survey.

Global brands director of Millward Brown, Peter Walshe, said that Apple’s pointed to a number of factors that has led to Apple’s rapid rise in brand valuation. He said that their meticulous attention detail and presence in corporate environment were two of the reasons that they have behaved differently to other consumer electronics manufacturers and went on to say:

Apple is breaking the rules in terms of its pricing model. It’s doing what luxury brands do, where the higher price the brand is, the more it seems to underpin and reinforce the desire. Obviously, it has to be allied to great products and a great experience, and Apple has nurtured that.

Technology and telecommunications companies generally dominated the list, with Apple (1), Google (2), IBM (3), Microsoft (5), AT&T (7) and China Mobile (9) holding six of the top 10 spots, sharing it with the old-heavyweight brands of Coca-Cola (6) and McDonalds (4). Meanwhile Facebook entered the top 100 at number 35 this year, with a valuation of $19.1 billion.

The survey is done by Millward Brown essentially observing the value that the companies put on their own brands in their earnings reports and analysing it in conjunction with the results of a survey of more than 2 million consumers.

Topicmarks Summarizes Long Texts For You



Ever come across a lengthy Malcolm Gladwell New Yorker essay that all your unemployed friends will probably  be talking about later, but you simply don’t have time in betweentweeting working to read?

Well Founder Showcase winner Topicmarks was made for the case of Gladwell and even denser documents like research papers and legal texts, breaking them down into digestible pieces when all you really need to read is an executive summary.

Using semantic text extraction and personalization technologies, Topicmarks extracts text from the .pdf, .doc, .html and .txt documents that you upload, copy/paste, email in or enter the URL of. The service then gives you the option to view the “Overview,””Facts,””Summary” and”Keywords” of the document as well as “Properties” where you can see the original source. You can also interact with the “Overview” in a multitude of ways, including searching by key word and adding more or less text to the summary as needed.

Topicmarks is like a more-fleshed out TL;DR, with an “an enormous breadth of possible applications across various use cases and verticals” says co-founder Roland Siebelink. It has the same aspirations as enterprise solutions Autonomy and OpenText but available for free to consumers within a certain usage amount.

When given the criticism that the Topicmarks.com site sure had a lot of text on it for a service that summarized text (specifically, “Maybe you should run Topicmarks through Topicmarks?”) Siebelink told me, “Up to now the site has been geared particularly towards power users who understand how the technology works, now we’re focused on polishing the interface for the general audience who does not want to know how it works.”

Ambitiously, Roland says his future plans are to make the summarization technology readily available across all devices, “wherever people read digital information.” Topicmarks is currently raising a 500K seed round.

Article courtesy: TechCrunch.com

The Google self driving car


Google revealed a few hours ago about their secret project, a self driving car. What’s really incredible is that they’ve already let it loose into the wild, so experimental as it may be, the system pretty much works.

According to the Google Blog, they gathered some of the best engineers from the DARPA challenges and made a team to build this awesome car, which amazingly looks quite normal (except for the velodyne LIDAR on top… at least that’s what I think it is).

The vehicles (more than one apparently) drove by themselves a total over 140,000 miles (about 225,300 km) with a trained driver and software operator on board monitoring the car and ready to jump in at any time. As far as I know, Google has not released any videos of the cars, but they have been spotted on the road and the guys at Tech Crunch have updated a couple of videos of them.Judging by the fact that the car was actually out on the road, I’d say it shouldn’t be to long until they are available to the public at exaggerated prices, but would they actually be useful? would they actually save lives? I mean yeah, if you take out crazed speeding human behavior out of the equation you should avoid accidents, but these cars should have to be deployed on a HUGELY MASSIVE scale and I doubt people being willing to pay for them or even wanting to use them, because I suppose they would abide to legal speed limits, an attribute I can hardly acknowledge it in ANY driver I know.

DTH in Pakistan, Major Impact and Considerations


Cable tv

Image via Wikipedia

For last few years, we have been hearing about DTH (Direct to Home) and its expected launch in Pakistan. However, it seems that DTH is overlooked in past fiscal years and people are still waiting for something to come in especially after Digital Cable TV system.

As per PEMRA’s annual report, penetration of Digital cable TV system is still under penetration. It says still phase-I is in-process, which is expected to be completed soon i.e. in December, 2011 and that too at metropolitan level.

Concurrently, district level penetration of digital cable TV system was planned to be launched in January 2010 and to be completed by the end of December 2015.

We have already enlightened our readers in past about Digital Cable TV system and its benefits to end users and operators. Without expounding into specifics of digital cable TV system let us analyze the DTH, its impacts and contemplations.

DTH technology is capable of transmitting audio/video signals to subscriber’s premises by using geo stationary satellites. The small dish antennas are used to receive signals by using STB (Set Top Box) with much better audio and video signal and other on demand active and pay per view services.

The DTH is being delayed due to several reasons, while officials may know the exact reasons for its pending status, but what we can measure by viewing current market trends is that its demand is at highest level as of now.

Moreover, government is also overlooking the chance of better execution of electronic media regulations through DTH.

Major Impact of DTH Launch on current cable TV market:

Existing Cable TV market is high revenue market while DTH would be big time threat to existing Analog and Digital Cable TV systems, especially due to its proximity and low cost penetration in rural areas. Resultantly emergence of DTH could be revenue shrinking for existing cable TV operators.

How to overcome this impact?

As every difficulty comes with an opportunity, Digital cable TV system can be a major competitor to DTH service and it will create benefits for customer’s w.r.t tariffs. Digital cable TV system operators can be benefited with their increased ARPU’s w.r.t its value added services.

Existing cable TV operators can easily manage DTH’s competition by having digital cable TV system and launching different active services including Education learning portals, active games, rss feeds updates, pay per view and on demand movies services.

Is it right or wrong to delay the launching of DTH?

Time will answer this question, but officials must not ignore the benefits of DTH, uproar in the current Cable TV market revenue streams and possible threat to existing cable TV after DTH.

If any, PEMRA can play major role in avoiding any revenue disturbance for any segment of the market.

If in five years as planned, PEMRA completes the digital cable TV penetration in Pakistan (metropolitan and district level), and later on or concurrently DTH service is launched, this may create intense competition for both segments, while handling this competition may go tough for PEMRA.

With that, PEMRA also needs to regularize and plan content development for such services on Digital Cable TV system before penetration is completed. Workshops and seminars can play major role in educating benefits of digital cable TV system to existing licensees. It may nurture in Digital Cable TV operators to launch services more appropriately and proven to be money-spinning.

This read is taken from http://www.propakistani.pk

The $35 Indian tablet


Given India’s chequered history of non-deliverable low-cost devices, it’s easy to believe the sceptics of India’s $35 tablet.

But this device might just turn the tables.

While the media disses and dismisses the ultra low-cost tablet, Microsoft and Google are apparently fighting a pitched battle to place their operating systems on the device aimed at school children of the world. Microsoft has come forth and offered its Windows CE OS to run on the device which currently runs Google’s open source Android OS.

Striking a confident pose during a TV interview on Wednesday, India’s incumbent Human Resource Development minister, Mr Kapil Sibal, said that he was all set to deliver 1 million tablets to students in India’s colleges and universities in 2011 at the promised $35. He also reiterated his aim to bring down the price of the tablet to $10 a piece, riding on falling hardware prices.

Interestingly, the minister claimed that education content for the device had already been developed in India’s premier technology institute, the IIT, and was open source just like the Android OS the device runs on.

Both the presenters, who have reviewed tablets of all shapes and sizes (and cost) before, and were aware of India’s earlier failed attempts to make handheld computers, like the Sakshat and the Simputer, were impressed by the device’s built quality, and acknowledged that their efforts to “crash” the device were unsuccessful.

Tablet features

The device has Wi-Fi, and 3G connectivity, and a slew of add-ons as well. You can slot in a miniSD card to complement the 2GB memory, add in a SIM card, and plug in USB devices via the mini and full USB ports, with a video-out, and headphone jack for multimedia.

Ignoring the rock-bottom costs, compared with other tablets, the only negative the reviewers could find with the device was its resistive touchscreen, as opposed to the capacitative touchscreen which would surely add to its price. But then just to get a touchscreen at this price point is a major achievement in itself.

Although I still awaits a point-by-point reaction to the OLPC project’s open letter, Mr Sibal reflected Nicolas Negroponte’s belief that the device is a vehicle for knowledge and that it can’t be limited to a particular region.

But get this before you reach for your wallet. Of the $35, which equates to INR 1500, INR 750 is government subsidy. Without going into details, the minister said that if the tablet was in the retail market, something for which he has no plans for at the moment, there’ll be added cost to the device which will jack up the price.

The minister, a decorated lawyer, also offered advice to the world media: “Never be sceptical of the government. There are times when the government really delivers.”

2011 isn’t all that far away, and although it may be a while before we get this device in the open market, its mere existence has the potential to lower the prices of tablets globally.

Microsofts latest antivirus


Microsoft® Security Essential (MSE) is Microsofts latest antivirus (and antimalware) program.

Its works similar to other antivirus , but with the speciality that It uses very less resources  like CPU, RAM and the latest Windows® OS.

Also, the User Interface of this antivirus is very good.

MSE virus/malware alert:-

-Microsoft Security Essentials tray icon alert that a potential threat
is detected but may not be critical.

-Microsoft Security Essential tray icon alert that virus infection found
and this is critical.

Cleaning  viruses with MSE:-

It’s very easy to clean your computer from viruses with MSE since it
is just few mouse-clicks are needed.

Microsoft Security Essential providing thread (virus) details.

Microsoft Security Essential demanded user actions are been taken.

Microsoft Security Essential updating the user with information that the virus has been removed.

MSE can easily detect viruses thanks to virus signatures, however, MSE uses
the heuristics technology as well. MSE also adapts components from
Microsoft Forefront Client Antivirus program.

You can Download this Antivirus from here.

New Gmail Design Leaked


A version of Gmail used by Google employees has been revealed in a screenshot included with a Chromium OS bug report, and the image reveals more than a half dozen changes to the Gmail most of us are using today.

Savvy Gmail users immediately picked apart the screenshot looking for new features and interesting changes. Most notably, Mail, Contacts and Tasks have all been featured in the top left as the three pillars of the user experience. Right below those, you can see that “Compose Mail” is now an actual button, not just a text link. That’s simply an aesthetic change, but it’s an interesting choice regardless.

Following that theme, there are no longer text links to actions such as “Select All” or “Select None” — those appear to now exist under a textless drop-down box above the Inbox. Drop-down boxes are ubiquitous in general, actually. Note that the e-mail address at the top menu is accompanied by a drop-down box — could that be the Gmail account switcher that Google promised?

Look in the chat window and you’ll see a new “Call Phone” button. That might be Google Voice  integration. You’ll also see two little buttons in the top-right corner of the Google Talk window; one of those could be a rejiggered settings menu, but it’s hard to tell for sure.