Tag Archives: ELECTRONIC

Paytm Inbox lets you chat with friends, send and request money

Paytm has announced a new chat feature, allowing users to chat with their friends and family in the app itself. Branded as Paytm Inbox, it is a proper messaging platform that lets users chat and send photos and videos. In addition to chats, users can also send or request money within the app using Paytm Wallet, taking a direct shot at the upcoming WhatsApp UPI payments feature.

Paytm Inbox – chat, share photos, recall messages and send money

Interestingly, Paytm is offering features like message recall and live location sharing, something that WhatsApp is working on for some time now. Users will also be able to request and pay money to their friends using the Inbox option. What makes this move from Paytm well-timed is that WhatsApp is working on UPI integration and once this feature is live, WhatsApp will have a lot of advantage over Paytm.

Paytm Inbox has been developed as a full-fledged messaging platform, allowing users to enjoy most of the popular features found in other mainstream messaging apps like WhatsApp. It comes with features like message recall, live location sharing, photo and video sharing and other standard features.

Announcing the launch of Paytm Inbox, Deepak Abbot, Senior VP, Paytm, said,

“We have realised that besides making payments, our users and merchants also like to communicate with each other. There is a need of social messaging, commerce and payments seamlessly blending into one another.”

Further elaborating on the need for Paytm Inbox, he said,

“One step for us towards meeting this consumer need is ‘Paytm Inbox’ where you can chat with friends/ merchants and send/ receive money effortlessly and securely. This will help us drive greater engagement on our platform and build a stronger bond with our customers.”

Paytm Inbox is already live in the Android app, with the iOS version scheduled to get this feature in the near future. Once you have updated your app, you will find the Inbox option at the bottom of the navigation bar. You can click on the new message option to send a message.

Once you click on the Inbox option, you can then tap on the new message button to see all your contacts who use Paytm. Like WhatsApp, you will be able to create groups on Paytm, however there is no information about how many members can be added to one group.

      

NBN Co now blaming birds for network woes

The latest post from NBN Co — the zany company tasked with rolling our our nation’s new National Broadband Network — is a little lighter in tone than usual, although it does still manage to point the finger at something other than itself.

Birds!

NBN Co has run into the unique problem of having its infrastructure damaged by pesky Australian cockatoos, particularly in regional districts of our nation. According to the post, the company has already spent $80,000 repairing the damages wrought by these mischief-makers.

As cockatoos require something tough to keep their ever-growing beaks in check, they’ve taken to chewing on cabling infrastructure — an issue that already affects wires across Australia.

Furthermore, the birds aren’t targeting active cables (the ones that use a protective plastic coating) but are instead after the spare cables put in place with the intention of future-proofing. Because of this, the only way the company is able to tell when a cable is damaged is when a technician is physically on-site and witnesses the damage.

Thankfully, NBN Co has devised a solution, which involves encasing the exposed cabling in a small plastic canister, costing a grand-total of $14 per unit and potentially saving upwards of $10,000 per damaged cable.

      

Top 5 best identity management systems and authentication services in 2017

Businesses rely heavily on technology. Employees use computers, smartphones, tablets and other gadgets on a daily basis to streamline processes, stay productive and communicate with colleagues, while databases store important information about customers and products.

Because of this, effective security is paramount. It’s no longer good enough to put physical security first. Although CCTV cameras and sophisticated door locks will stop intruders from entering your office, a hack into your computer system could spell total disaster and bring your whole firm down.

Managing user identity is one of the most important steps in implementing a cybersecurity strategy. You need to be able to trust the people who have access to valuable business and customer data, all of which would be lucrative to hackers if they were able to gain access.

Identity management systems are a great way to stay ahead of the curve with respect to digital security. They’re not new but they certainly are highly effective. Using these systems, you can see who is accessing content in your system and get information on their motives. You can also set user rights and restrictions.

But which are the best identity management software and authentication services out there? We’ve picked out five top-notch services that you can’t go wrong with.

  • If you run a large-scale enterprise with a ton of digital assets, then you ought to check out DigitalPersona from Crossmatch. Used widely across the globe and adopted by companies like RBS, this system lets you set smart authentication procedures for users.

    The software analyses risks posed to your company and aims to give you a tailored approach to cybersecurity. There are multiple authentication methods to choose from, such as biometrics, tokens, pins, SAML and phones. It’s easy to set these up, and you should have a more secure system in place within no time.

    What’s also nifty is the fact that you can add more applications and changes over time, so you don’t have to worry about finding the perfect method straight away. As well as this, the software offers added protection for privileged and important users. This is sophisticated technology and is targeted at firms with significant security budgets.

    AuthAnvil is available on the web, Mac, Windows, iOS and Android applications, but whatever platform you’re looking at, the basic aim is the same – to protect your precious data. The company recognises that password-related breaches are the biggest cause of data loss and has come up with a solution.

    The system lets you protect company data by restricting content employees can access and ensuring that only trusted parties can use sensitive apps. For instance, you could use AuthAnvil to give managers direct control of internal company and customer data, as opposed to general employees.

    As well as boasting integrated identity and access management solutions, the software also provides multi-factor authentication, single sign-on, password automation, identity-as-a-service and credentials management. These are all highly effective features.

    OneLogin is a cloud-based authentication system that makes it easier for firms to secure their digital assets and users. It can handle multiple applications at once and has single sign-on capabilities.

    The system is perfect for all businesses, regardless of industry sector, and it can work with both internal and public applications. Features include access request management, account management, compliance regulation, password management, user monitoring and role management.

    Once you purchase the software, the support doesn’t stop. You can access documentation, webinars and online chats to better understand and get the most out of OneLogin. There’s also 24/7 tech support through the company website, so you can always ask a question if you get stuck.

    Dodgy password management is often the culprit when it comes to data breaches, although Dashlane is looking to solve this. It’s a password vaulting service that will protect your company’s data and ensure your cybersecurity habits are always kept on the straight and narrow.

    The system prides itself on simplicity. You aren’t expected to know every single thing about technology and security to be able to use it. It’s been built with AES 256-bit encryption, and semantic technology also plays a big role in the mechanics system. There’s a dedicated engine for this, which works towards fast login speeds and auto-fill forms across a variety of web applications.

    It’s a unified platform, meaning it can work across Windows, Mac, iOS and Android – all the platforms you’re likely use. And if you’re a smaller business, there is a limited free version that may just be enough.

    PortalGuard combines important authentication procedures and password management capabilities within one convenient portal.

    The software is compatible with Mac, Windows, iOS, cloud tools and web browsers, and it places a premium on ease-of-use. While it’s not the most powerful system out there by any means, many users will appreciate having things kept simple, and benefiting from their own custom-branded login portal.

    What’s also neat is that when it comes to trying out the service before you commit to purchasing, you can avail yourself of a free interactive trial, or alternatively request a live demo from the company.

          

Asus’s ROG G703 gaming laptop has a super-smooth screen to die for

Asus has announced that its ROG G703 gaming laptop, which boasts a seriously impressive 17.3-inch display with a 144Hz refresh rate for slick frame rates, is now on sale in the US.

However, this power-packed portable is far from cheap.

In fact, it’ll set you back a weighty $3,499 (around £2,670, AU$4,530) – yes, cover your wallet’s ears – but the machine has an undeniably impressive spec, particularly that IPS screen which benefits from a 144Hz refresh rate as mentioned, along with Nvidia’s G-Sync tech to combat tearing and stuttering.

It has a 7ms response time (perhaps a slight weak point here, as we might have hoped for slightly lower) and is a Full HD resolution panel. The latter makes sense because to crank up the resolution further would rather defeat the point of the high refresh rate (as it would be difficult for any notebook to drive some games at those frame rates in a higher resolution).

We were certainly highly impressed with the panel in our recent hands-on experience with the notebook.

Naturally, Asus has put plenty of heavyweight components inside the G703 to drive that display, leading with an Intel Core i7-7820HK processor (which comes already overclocked, running at up to 4.3GHz) along with an overclockable GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card (with 8GB of video RAM).

Backing that up is a hefty 32GB of DDR4 (2,800MHz) system RAM. As for storage, you get a pair of 256GB NVMe PCIe SSDs set to RAID 0 configuration, with a 1TB hard disk for additional space.

Deliver us from dust

Asus further notes the laptop has plenty of (doubtless necessary) cooling, with a neat-sounding system that boasts a pair of high-performance fans along with a heat-pipe design that cools the CPU and GPU independently.

This cooling system is also designed to keep dust from accumulating inside the machine, which is probably a good idea given that the powerful components resident in the chassis don’t need any extra thermal stresses.

Other goodies include an RGB backlit mechanical gaming keyboard, and built-in wireless support for up to eight Xbox One controllers.

802.11ac (2×2) Wi-Fi is supported as well as Bluetooth 4.2, and connectors include one USB 3.1 Type-C port, backed by four USB 3.0 ports. There’s also a mini DisplayPort 1.4 and an HDMI 2.0 connector.

You can buy the ROG G703 right now for $3,499 (around £2,670, AU$4,530), as mentioned, direct from Asus or from a number of retailers in the US, including Amazon.

      

Microsoft bolsters Office 365 for businesses with a trio of new apps

Microsoft has announced that three new apps are now available for Office 365 Business Premium, as well as Microsoft 365 Business, the latter of which has moved out of testing and is now available to everyone.

The three new business apps in question are Microsoft Connections, Microsoft Listings and Microsoft Invoicing.

Connections facilitates the management of email marketing campaigns, and Listings pertains to managing online listings to better build brand visibility, with Invoicing allowing you to more easily take care of payment and invoicing matters.

Business boons

As mentioned, these fresh app offerings are available to Office 365 Business Premium users in the UK, US and Canada, along with those who have just adopted Microsoft 365 Business as it hits general availability.

Microsoft 365 Business comprises of the Office 365 suite combined with Windows 10 alongside various security and mobile device management features. It’s aimed at SMBs with up to 300 staff members.

Microsoft further mentioned that a new app to help front-line workers manage their daily tasks, by the name of StaffHub, is also included in both of the above products.

The software giant also has another spin on its Microsoft 365 product, namely Microsoft 365 Enterprise, which combines Windows 10 Enterprise with Office 365 Enterprise, and also throws in its Enterprise Mobility + Security suite.

      

Microsoft’s browser is rapidly losing its Edge according to latest adoption stats

Microsoft’s Edge browser has dropped in popularity once again this month, according to the latest figures from one analytics firm.

Netmarketshare’s stats for October show that Windows 10’s browser only has a desktop market share of 4.58% now, which represents a drop of 0.57% compared to the previous month (when it stood at 5.15%).

Perhaps the more disturbing news for Microsoft is that this isn’t a one-off drop, as the month before that, the browser slumped from 5.66% (losing 0.51%). So Edge has lost just over a full percentage point in the last two months – and it didn’t have a huge amount of market share to lose in the first place.

Google’s Chrome was the top dog of desktop browsers, securing a 59.84% share of the market, with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer actually in second place, but a long, long way behind on 15.09%. Firefox was third on 13.14%, with Edge in fourth place.

Not getting off the ground?

This is certainly a worrying development for Microsoft Edge, because at this point it should still be steadily growing its relatively small user base, rather than looking like it’s in danger of collapsing back in on itself.

Edge, of course, has had a difficult time from the very launch of Windows 10, largely because it was an unfinished product when it went live in the new operating system. The browser was even missing key elements such as extensions, and these took an inordinately long time to show up.

It’s also true that despite Microsoft positioning the browser as a strong product in terms of security, it probably hasn’t helped that Edge has fared dubiously on this front as well at some points throughout this year, such as the Pwn2Own hacking event, where it proved to be the worst browser in terms of getting hacked.

That said, Microsoft continues to work hard on Edge, and we saw some brighter news last month, with it being rated the best browser for defending against phishing sites.

But pushing the browser seems to be an uphill battle looking at these adoption figures, and we can’t help but think that the early perceptions of Edge as an unfinished product still linger in the back of the minds of the computing public.

Via: Softpedia

      

Enjoy nighttime reading? Barnes & Noble’s Nook GlowLight 3 wants to save your eyes

Barnes & Noble’s Nook line always seems to grow by one during the holiday shopping season, and today that prophecy came true once again. The bookseller has announced a brand-new Nook, one that’s especially well-suited for nighttime reading.

The Nook GlowLight 3 is an e-ink reader and the first from Barnes and Noble to feature “enhanced front light technology.” This allows for comfortable reading day or night, with a warm orange glow emanating from the screen when in Night Mode.

If it sounds similar to the sleep-saving Night Shift feature found on iOS devices, it is. The idea is that an orange hue prevents a device’s usual blue light from messing up your circadian rhythm, which can disrupt sleep.

Night Mode on the GlowLight 3 can either be activated manually or automatically, with the automatic option gradually changing the color of your 6-inch screen as day shifts into the evening hours.

Nook GlowLight 3’s daytime mode

As you can see in the photo above, there are also new buttons on both sides that allow you to turn the (digital) page on the tablet.

The Nook GlowLight 3 features a soft finish on the front and back so it’s easy and comfortable to hold, B&N says. The e-reader also doubles the storage from 4GB on older GlowLight models to 8GB.

The new Nook Glowlight 3 costs $119.99 and is available for pre-order now and will be available online and in stores on November 8.

Those who purchase the e-ink reader will get a complimentary issue of The New Yorker, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal or USA Today.

Is this new Nook enough to take the Amazon Kindle line – including the $119.99 Kindle Paperwhite – down a peg? Probably not, but at least you have one more option to choose from.

      

European businesses lack IoT strategies

The world’s get more connected and we’re all itching to roll out IoT devices – right? Well sort of. New research from Zebra has revealed that European companies recognize the importance of IoT connectivity, but have been a bit slow to appreciate the implications of the change.

Businesses certainly recognize the opportunity that the technology will bring and are pushing ahead with IoT rollout, 25% of European companies that Zebra surveyed are investing at least £3.4m in IoT and two-thirds of companies are looking to increase the investment.

However, businesses are focusing on opportunity, but not implementation, as more than a third of European companies (34%) have no plan to address the cultural changes associated with deploying IoT. Even more worryingly, nearly two-thirds (60%) are not looking to address employee concerns about IoT implementations.

Business benefits

There’s a feeling of optimism around though. Businesses firmly believe that real-time’ intelligence, driven by IoT data will help their bottom line. According to the Zebra survey,

The researhc found that 79 % of European businesses consider ‘Real-Time Analytics’ the most important business driver for their IoT systems while a third are now analyzing their businesses KPIs to make adjustments in real time. In time, 59% hope to use that IoT data to increase revenues.

Richard Hudson, EMEA vice president and general Manager said that the technology offered a lot of benefits for the future. “The ability to sense, analyze and act in real-time on insights generated by IoT technology is one of the most significant advantages businesses can claim in an increasingly competitive, global market. Our research shows how enthusiastic European businesses are to gather actionable insights and become what we call ‘Intelligent Enterprises’,” he said.

      

The best free software for NaNoWriMo

It’s the first day of November, which means writers worldwide are dusting off their keyboards for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This annual event challenges writers to produce a 50,000 word mini-novel in just 30 days.

NaNoWriMo is a test of grit, willpower and creativity, and if you’re tackling it this month, you’ll be relieved to know you’re not alone with a blank text document; there’s an array of free software that can help you manage your time, stay on track, and refine your writing as you go.

We’ve gathered a set of essential tools that will make NaNoWriMo more manageable, in the order in which you’ll need them. On your marks…

1. FreeMind

Start on the right foot and keep organized with a speedy planning tool

There are dozens of ways to plan a novel and keep your thoughts in order while writing, but if you’re a visual thinker then take a look at FreeMind – a free mind-mapping tool that helps you develop, expand and sort concepts.

FreeMind’s frill-free interface means won’t have to sink a lot of your precious NaNoWriMo time into mastering complex controls, and your diagrams can be as simple or complex as you like.

Alternatively, you might like to use a spreadsheet tool like LibreOffice Calc to get a ‘god’s eye’ overview of each event in your novel and help you see how they fit together. It’s the method JK Rowling used when planning the Harry Potter series (albeit on a screen rather than paper).

2. Evernote

Keep your resources in one place and access them any time, anywhere

Evernote provides a handy way to categorize ideas, character notes and other snippets during the planning stage, but it’s a great way to bookmark links, articles or other resources during the writing process.

Like Dropbox, Evernote is available for just about every operating system, making it a great choice for working on the move. All your notes are synced to the cloud automatically, so you can access them on any device with an internet connection.

3. FocusWriter and NovProg

Avoid distractions and keep track of your daily progress

Full-fat word processors like Microsoft Word, Pages and LibreOffiec Writer are great for most writing tasks, but for NaNoWriMo, all their formatting tools and other options are just an unnecessary barrier between your brain and the page. FocusWriter is a frill-free writing app that strips away all distractions so your novel gets your full attention. Moving your mouse to the edge of the screen reveals a carefully curated set of tools to help you stay productive, including a word count, timers and alarms, and a spell-checker.

NovProg, from the same developer, is designed specifically for tracking your progress during NaNoWriMo. It plots your progress against your goals, and presents the results in a handy graphical format.

Before you start with FocusWriter, make sure you’ve activated the auto-save option. FocusWriter itself is stable and reliable, but you never know when a hardware accident or other disaster might befall your work in progress. More on that in a moment.

4. Dropbox

Back up your work online to avoid catastrophic accidents

Losing work to a hardware or software fault during NaNoWriMo could be disastrous, so we strongly advise backing up your manuscript to the cloud.

Any cloud storage service will serve you well, but Dropbox‘s generous free storage allowance and cross-platform support make it a particularly good choice. Because it’s compatible with so many devices, you can open your novel anywhere and use any spare moments to jot down a few extra words.

For peace of mind, we recommend keeping multiple backups of your work in different locations

5. Grammarly

A helping hand with editing your NaNoWriMo manuscript

NaNoWriMo is all about powering through and getting a first draft down as quickly as possible, so some grammatical errors are par for the course. Grammarly is available as a free extension for Firefox, Edge, Safari and Chrome (plus other Chromium-based browsers like Vivaldi) that detects common errors and suggests corrections. You can use it when writing online, or copy and paste parts of your manuscript to analyze them.

If you want to check your work on your desktop, Grammarly Premium analyzes text in native desktop apps. In addition to spelling and grammar, it also hunts down issues with sentence structure and style to help improve your work. A monthly subscription costs US$29.99 (about £20/AU$40), so give the free browser extension a try before investing.

Autocrit is a similar app designed specifically for novelists. Rather than checking your spelling and grammar, it helps you identify issues with pacing, repetition and use of unnecessary filler words. Unlike Grammarly there’s no free version of Autocrit, but pasting a scene or two into the online demo tool will give you an idea of the results you can expect.

      

The best free software for NaNoWriMo

It’s the first day of November, which means writers worldwide are dusting off their keyboards for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This annual event challenges writers to produce a 50,000 word mini-novel in just 30 days.

NaNoWriMo is a test of grit, willpower and creativity, and if you’re tackling it this month, you’ll be relieved to know you’re not alone with a blank text document; there’s an array of free software that can help you manage your time, stay on track, and refine your writing as you go.

We’ve gathered a set of essential tools that will make NaNoWriMo more manageable, in the order in which you’ll need them. On your marks…

1. FreeMind

Start on the right foot and keep organized with a speedy planning tool

There are dozens of ways to plan a novel and keep your thoughts in order while writing, but if you’re a visual thinker then take a look at FreeMind – a free mind-mapping tool that helps you develop, expand and sort concepts.

FreeMind’s frill-free interface means won’t have to sink a lot of your precious NaNoWriMo time into mastering complex controls, and your diagrams can be as simple or complex as you like.

Alternatively, you might like to use a spreadsheet tool like LibreOffice Calc to get a ‘god’s eye’ overview of each event in your novel and help you see how they fit together. It’s the method JK Rowling used when planning the Harry Potter series (albeit on a screen rather than paper).

2. Evernote

Keep your resources in one place and access them any time, anywhere

Evernote provides a handy way to categorize ideas, character notes and other snippets during the planning stage, but it’s a great way to bookmark links, articles or other resources during the writing process.

Like Dropbox, Evernote is available for just about every operating system, making it a great choice for working on the move. All your notes are synced to the cloud automatically, so you can access them on any device with an internet connection.

3. FocusWriter and NovProg

Avoid distractions and keep track of your daily progress

Full-fat word processors like Microsoft Word, Pages and LibreOffiec Writer are great for most writing tasks, but for NaNoWriMo, all their formatting tools and other options are just an unnecessary barrier between your brain and the page. FocusWriter is a frill-free writing app that strips away all distractions so your novel gets your full attention. Moving your mouse to the edge of the screen reveals a carefully curated set of tools to help you stay productive, including a word count, timers and alarms, and a spell-checker.

NovProg, from the same developer, is designed specifically for tracking your progress during NaNoWriMo. It plots your progress against your goals, and presents the results in a handy graphical format.

Before you start with FocusWriter, make sure you’ve activated the auto-save option. FocusWriter itself is stable and reliable, but you never know when a hardware accident or other disaster might befall your work in progress. More on that in a moment.

4. Dropbox

Back up your work online to avoid catastrophic accidents

Losing work to a hardware or software fault during NaNoWriMo could be disastrous, so we strongly advise backing up your manuscript to the cloud.

Any cloud storage service will serve you well, but Dropbox‘s generous free storage allowance and cross-platform support make it a particularly good choice. Because it’s compatible with so many devices, you can open your novel anywhere and use any spare moments to jot down a few extra words.

For peace of mind, we recommend keeping multiple backups of your work in different locations

5. Grammarly

A helping hand with editing your NaNoWriMo manuscript

NaNoWriMo is all about powering through and getting a first draft down as quickly as possible, so some grammatical errors are par for the course. Grammarly is available as a free extension for Firefox, Edge, Safari and Chrome (plus other Chromium-based browsers like Vivaldi) that detects common errors and suggests corrections. You can use it when writing online, or copy and paste parts of your manuscript to analyze them.

If you want to check your work on your desktop, Grammarly Premium analyzes text in native desktop apps. In addition to spelling and grammar, it also hunts down issues with sentence structure and style to help improve your work. A monthly subscription costs US$29.99 (about £20/AU$40), so give the free browser extension a try before investing.

Autocrit is a similar app designed specifically for novelists. Rather than checking your spelling and grammar, it helps you identify issues with pacing, repetition and use of unnecessary filler words. Unlike Grammarly there’s no free version of Autocrit, but pasting a scene or two into the online demo tool will give you an idea of the results you can expect.