Amazon India Sale Continues With Deals on Fitbit Range, Audio Products

Amazon India is continuing its 48 hour sale with deals on popular electronics and other products. The second and final day of the Amazon India 48 hour sale sees deals on Fitbit products as well as host of other electronics, including audio products from the likes of Skullcandy and other vendors. There is also 5 percent discount on Amazon India gift cards. Check out all the deals here.

In addition to these deals, consumers shopping on Amazon India until Friday can also get an additional 10 percent extra discount on every purchase made via Standard Chartered debit and credit cards. Notably, users can avail the deals via Amazon India’s website as well as mobile app.

On Thursday, some of the smartphones available under the Amazon India’s 48 Hours Sale were theLenovo Vibe K4 Note which was available at Rs. 10,999, with the Ant VR headset available at just Rs. 699. The Coolpad Note 3 was also available at Rs. 7,999, down from the earlier price of Rs. 8,499, andIntex Aqua Star 4G was available at Rs. 4,599, down from the launch price of Rs. 6,499.

Other electronic products available via Amazon India’s 48 hour sale were the Micromax 32-inch HD ready LED TV which was available at Rs. 13,640, down from earlier price of Rs. 17,000; Samsung Evo Plus 16GB microSD card which was available at Rs. 299, down from earlier price of Rs. 353; D-Link (DSL-2750U) Wi-Fi router available at Rs. 1,619, down from the price of Rs. 3,140, and Logitech MK215wireless keyboard and mouse combo available at Rs. 949, down from the earlier price of Rs. 1,645.

Amazon India Invests in 6 New Fulfilment Centres Ahead of Busy Season

Amazon India Invests in 6 New Fulfilment Centres Ahead of Busy Season
  • New centres in Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Jaipur, and Mumbai
  • With the launch, Amazon has a total area of 2.5 million square feet
  • With this, more products will be available under fulfilment by Amazon

E-commerce major Amazon has invested in six new fulfilment centres to meet growing requirements of its fast-increasing seller base in the country.

The new fulfilment centres, to be set up in Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai, will bolster the company’s presence in India ahead of the festive season, the company said in a statement Thursday.

With the launch of these new fulfilment centres, Amazon has a total area of 2.5 million square feet with a one-and-a-half times growth in storage capacity at 7.5 million cubic feet.

An Amazon fulfilment centre serves as a modern, secure facility equipped with highly automated pick, pack and ship processes to facilitate safe and timely processing of orders.

The company says it will keep investing in fulfilment and logistics capability to empower sellers.

“It stands testament to our larger commitment of making deep investments in the country and in turn creating opportunities for employment, growth and revenue generation for the government,” said Akhil Saxena, Vice-President, India Customer Fulfilment, Amazon India, in a statement.

The fulfilment centres will allow Amazon.in to offer its Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) service to several thousands more small and medium businesses. Over 80 percent of the sellers on Amazon.in currently use its fulfilment services, Amazon said.

More than 1.3 million products are available for immediate shipping through the network of Amazon’s fulfilment centres in the country.

The fulfilment centres are present in Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal.

Avast to Acquire AVG in $1.3 Billion Internet Security Deal

Avast to Acquire AVG in $1.3 Billion Internet Security Deal

Czech anti-virus software maker Avast Software will take over its Dutch rival AVG Technologies for CZK 31.7 billion (EUR 1.17 billion, $1.3 billion or roughly Rs. 8,765 crores), the two companies said Thursday.

“Combining Avast’s and AVG’s users, the organisation will have a network of more than 400 million endpoints, of which 160 million are mobile,” Avast and AVG said in a joint statement.

“The transaction is structured as an all-cash tender offer for all outstanding ordinary shares of AVG at a price of $25.00 per share in cash,” they added.

Approved by both companies’ boards, the transaction is due to close in September or October.

The Prague-based Avast and AVG, which is based in Amsterdam and listed in New York, were both founded in the Czech Republic at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s.

The companies’ development centres are based in the Czech cities of Prague and Brno, while their key market is the United States.

Amazon UK Says No Brexit Hit to Sales So Far

Amazon UK Says No Brexit Hit to Sales So Far

Amazon has not seen a British sales dip since the vote to leave the European Union, its new UK boss said on Wednesday, after announcing the online retailer would create a further 1,000 jobs across the UK this year.

“Our sales are in line with expectations… It’s business as usual as far as we are concerned,” UK country manager Doug Gurr told reporters on Wednesday.

He declined to say what those expectations were.

Gurr, who became Amazon’s UK head in May after a stint in China, said it was too early to say what the impact of the June 23 Brexit vote would be.

“There’s a lot of details to be worked out … We don’t know exactly what the regulatory environment will be, we don’t know exactly what the terms of the new separation will be,” he said.

A survey published last week showed confidence among British consumers fell sharply in the days after the referendum, while on Tuesday department store retailer John Lewis said its sales grew more slowly last week.

On Tuesday the boss of Sainsbury’s, Britain’s second largest supermarket group, said there was a danger of Britain talking itself into another recession.

Gurr said Amazon’s plans for the UK had not changed on the Brexit vote. “We’re continuing with the plans, we haven’t suddenly invented new plans,” he said.

Amazon said on Wednesday it would create a further 1,000 jobs across the UK this year.

These jobs are in addition to 2,500 announced in January and will span its head office, research and development centres, the customer service centre, fulfilment centres, a fashion photography studio and Amazon Web Services.

The additional jobs will take Amazon’s full time permanent employees in the UK to over 15,500 by the end of the year. The status of EU nationals currently living in Britain has been clouded by the Brexit vote.

“What we’ve said to all of our teams is: ‘As far as we’re concerned nothing changes. We’re still part of the EU as of today, we’ll continue to operate on that basis,” said Gurr.

DIPP Asks States, Union Territories to Set Up Startup Hub, Incubators

DIPP Asks States, Union Territories to Set Up Startup Hub, Incubators

The Commerce and Industry Ministry has asked all the states and the union territories to set up ‘Startup Hub’ as well as incubators to help budding entrepreneurs.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has already set up the hub, which was operationalised since April. It helps in resolving queries and provides handholding support to startups.

The hub has been able to resolve 12,290 queries received from startups through telephone, email and twitter, the DIPP said in a status report on ‘Startup India’.

“DIPP has requested state governments and administration of UTs to set up Startup Hub as well as incubators to help startups during various stages of development,” it said. It also said that the department will write to top companies requesting them to support the initiative by setting up new incubators or scale up existing incubators in collaboration with educational institutes.

Further, it said that seven proposals for Research Parks, 16 proposals for TBIs (technology business incubators) and 13 proposals for startup centres have been recommended by the National Expert Advisory Committee formed by the HRD Ministry. “These proposals shall be implemented in the current financial year,” it added.

All these steps are part of the Startup Action Plan announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January. The government unveiled a slew of incentives to boost startup businesses, offering them a tax holiday and inspector raj-free regime for three years, capital gains tax exemption and Rs. 10,000 crores corpus to fund them.

India has the third-largest number of startups globally. Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has asked the finance ministry to consider raising tax holiday for startups to seven years to encourage budding entrepreneurs.

MIT’s New Anonymity Network Is Claimed to Be More Secure Than Tor

MIT's New Anonymity Network Is Claimed to Be More Secure Than Tor

  • MIT researchers have named their anonymity network ‘Riffle’
  • Riffle uses series of mixnet servers to shuffle the message order
  • It uses verifiable shuffle and authentication encryption tech

According to some leaks in 2013, The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) termed Tor ‘The king of high-secure, low-latency anonymity’. The network has been praised for providing an anonymous channel to those who seek a passage away from online surveillance.

Despite its effectiveness, the network can breached by hackers or law enforcement agencies. To make a more secure anonymous network, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and EPFL institute from Switzerland have together developed an anonymity network that they claim is more secure than Tor.

The network, being termed as “Riffle” uses series of servers called mixnet that changes the order in which the messages are received and sent. As a result, anybody keeping an eye on the network won’t be able to figure out the point of origin of the messages and hence wont be able to trace the user who sent those messages.

Just like other anonymity networks, Riffle also uses onion encryption in which each message is encrypted with several layers by the computer before it sends it out.

“Each server in the mixnet removes only one layer of encryption, so that only the last server knows a message’s ultimate destination,” MIT news said in its release.

The network uses “verifiable shuffle” technique in which the users send their message to each server instead of just one so that there can be a verification that the message at the beginning was received as the same.

It also uses another technique called authentication encryption, which helps it to verify the authenticity of an encrypted message. It is important to note that Riffle is still in early stages and will only be properly tested against the might of the hacking and surveillance collectives if and when it reaches as wide a user base as Tor.

Cisco Says Preparing Networking Industry for Digital Transformation

Cisco Says Preparing Networking Industry for Digital Transformation

Global networking major Cisco on Tuesday announced it was preparing engineers, developers, partners and customers for the transition to digital-ready networks.

Cisco is also building on the intersection between security and networking with new technologies designed to simplify branch office security and make it more effective, the company said in a statement.

“Organisations need to address the expanding threat landscape across mobility and cloud while facing increasingly sophisticated security attacks,” said Jeff Reed, Senior Vice President, Networking Infrastructure and Solutions at Cisco.

Cisco recently launched the Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA) – a new approach to networking designed for the digital era.

Cisco DNA helps move networking from hardware-centric to software-driven, from manual to automated and from reactive to adaptive.

“With DNA, Cisco is reinventing how we secure networks for the digital era by embedding advanced security capabilities into a single network architecture,” Reed added.

To turn the Cisco DNA vision into reality, Cisco is rallying its vast global ecosystem to build the skills necessary to scale, secure, and innovate on digital-ready networks.

“We are also preparing IT professionals with new skills, training network-savvy developers and helping customers navigate the journey to digital-ready networks,” Reed added.

Oracle Signs Accord With ICT Academy of Kerala

Oracle Signs Accord With ICT Academy of Kerala

With its aim to educate 500,000 students in India annually through its academy, software and cloud major Oracle on Monday announced a new collaboration with ICT Academy of Kerala (ICTAK).

With this collaboration, Oracle Academy – the company’s flagship philanthropic educational programme – targets to reach 6,000 students in Kerala over the next three years.

As part of the new partnership, 125 colleges in Kerala will become members of the Oracle Academy programme.

“The agreement will enable us to provide professional development for more teachers in more subjects and, in turn, will enable them to reach even more students,” Damian Haas, Regional Director, Oracle Academy, Asia Pacific and Japan, said in a statement.

Over the next three years, ICTAK intends to leverage Oracle Academy resources to create strong computer science education pathways for 6,000 students as they prepare to launch successful careers in the field of information technology and meet growing demands for a highly-skilled technology workforce in Kerala, the company said in a statement.

Working with ICTAK, Oracle Academy will train 500 educators on its academic curriculum in Java Foundations, Java Fundamentals, Java Programming, Database Foundations, Database Design and Programming with SQL and Programming with PL/SQL.

Additionally, ICTAK will deliver a customised course in Java fundamentals to students through the Government of Kerala’s Additional Skill Acquisition Program (ASAP).

Recently, Oracle signed an agreement with ICT Academy of Tamil Nadu (ICTACT) to implement Oracle Academy curriculum across 450 educational institutions in the state to help foster the next generation of IT talent.

YouTube Videos Can Potentially Hijack Smartphones

YouTube Videos Can Potentially Hijack Smartphones: Study

A muffled voice hidden in a YouTube video can issue commands to a nearby smartphone without you even knowing it, researchers reveal.

According to Micah Sherr, professor at Georgetown University, voice recognition has taken off quickly on phones thanks to services like Google Now and Apple’s Siribut voice software can also make it easier to hack devices.

“It might not work every time but it’s a number’s game. If a million people watch a kitten video with a secret message embedded, 10,000 of them might have their phone nearby. If 5,000 of those load a URL with malware on it, you have 5,000 smartphones under an attacker’s control,” pcworld.com quoted Sherr as saying.

If the hackers know the ins and outs of the voice-recognition software itself and know its internal workings, they can create voice commands that are even harder to decipher by humans.

To guard against the threat, developers of voice recognition software could incorporate filters to differentiate between human and computer-generated sounds, the report added.

Google Says Notifies Users of 4,000 State-Sponsored Cyber-Attacks a Month

Google Says Notifies Users of 4,000 State-Sponsored Cyber-Attacks a Month

A senior executive of Alphabet Inc’s Google unit said on Monday that the company was notifying customers of 4,000 state-sponsored cyber-attacks per month.

Speaking at a Fortune magazine tech conference in Aspen, Colorado, Google senior vice president and Alphabet board member Diane Greene mentioned the figure while touting Google’s security prowess.

The Internet search leader, which develops the Androidmobile system and also offers email and a range of other applications for consumers, has led the way in notifying users of government spying. Others, includingMicrosoft, have since followed suit.

Google had previously said that it had been issuing tens of thousands of warnings every few months and that customers often upgraded their security in response.

In the meanwhile, a commercial data transfer pact provisionally agreed by the EU executive and the United States in February received the green light from EU governments on Friday, the European Commission said, paving the way for it to come into effect this week.

Its introduction should end months of legal limbo for companies such as Google, Facebook andMasterCard after the EU’s top court struck down the previous data transfer framework, Safe Harbour, on concerns about intrusive US surveillance.

Representatives of European Union member states mostly voted in favour of the EU-US Privacy Shield, but there were abstentions from Austria, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Croatia, sources said. Austria and Slovenia have voiced concerns that the pact does not go far enough to secure their citizens’ privacy.