Skype Lite Gets Brings Kannada Language Support, Skype for Linux Moves to Beta

 

Microsoft launched its Skype Lite app for low-end Android smartphones last month and with its latest update, the Redmond-based company has now added the support for Kannada language to the video-chatting application as well. Separately, the Linux version of the app has also moved from alpha to beta and has received some new features and bug fixes.

Talking first about the Lite version of the app, as it was developed in Hyderabad and was launched exclusively for India, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the company has decided to add support for a popular regional language – Kannada to the app. The latest update can be downloaded from Google Play.Skype Lite Gets Brings Kannada Language Support, Skype for Linux Moves to Beta
Moving to the Linux version of the app, which has now moved into beta phase with release of version 5.0, Microsoft has added several new features to Skype for Linux. With version 5.0, the company has added the ability to place calls to mobiles and landlines with Skype credit. “One-to-one video calls can be made from Linux to Skype users on the latest versions of Skype for Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac,” the company said in its blog post.

Skype for Linux will now be able to view shared screens from other Skype desktop clients (Windows 7.33 and above, Mac 7.46 and above), the company said. With the update, the Unity launcher now displays the number of unread conversations, and online contacts in contact list will now include Away and Do Not Disturb statuses, Microsoft added. You can download the Skype for Linux beta version 5.0 from company’s website.

 

Smarteefi Wi-Fi Smart Power Strip Review

 

At first glance, the Smarteefi SE315A Power Strip looks like any other spike buster, which is an under-appreciated but essential part of every PC user’s life. The average techie probably needs one in every room to have enough outlets for a smartphone, laptop, PC, router, etc. The Smarteefi, manufactured by Delhi-based startup CoreEmbedded Technologies, is an entry-level home automation solution which lets users remotely toggle power to three plug points, while implementing conventional surge protection features.

A Wi-Fi router and a live Internet connection are necessary for the device, which lets users control appliances plugged in to it through an Android app or a Web dashboard on the Smarteefi website. It should take about ten minutes to set up the power strip. The manual details step-by-step instructions concisely, and practically anyone with basic tech knowledge should be able set this up.

In a gist, you need to activate a setup mode on the power strip after turning it on, following which it shows up as a Wi-Fi access point. You then log in into the device through a Web browser (using the default IP 192.168.4.1), and enter the Wi-Fi name (SSID) and password of your existing Wi-Fi network. Hit save and toggle back to normal mode, after which the Smarteefi SE315A should be connected to your router, making it accessible from your other computing devices and anywhere else through the Internet.

Once the LED indicator shows a stable green, each plug on the power strip can be controlled remotely. We managed to nail the setup process on the first try and don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t be able to do so too. Once configured, it takes less than a second to turn a device off or on through the app, or Web interface.Smarteefi Wi-Fi Smart Power Strip Review

The Smarteefi SE315A is 13 inches long; size of a standard power strip but about 10 percent thicker and with one less socket than a regular spike buster. The unit has slots on the back to enable wall mounting. It consumes 0.45W of power in standby, which is up to four times the power consumption of a typical smartphone in sleep mode.

The company says that it takes security seriously. Communication from the Smarteefi SE315A to and from its cloud service is encrypted using 128-bit AES, and communication between the cloud and the app is encrypted using SSL.

smarteefi_app_body.jpg
Configuring the app takes a few minutes, starting with registration, following which users can add their Smarteefi power strip by entering its serial number and activation code, which are printed on the bottom of the unit.

LED indicators on the power strip show which mode it is in – if it’s blue, the power strip is in setup mode; if it’s blinking green, the power strip is too far away from the router or there’s a password issue. Red denotes that the strip has trouble connecting to the cloud. The board also has physical switches for each of the power outlets, which emit a blue LED light when turned on.

The Smarteefi Android app is minimal but effective. It offers no bells and whistles apart from scheduling, which can be used to turn power to any of the three universal outlets on or off on a daily or weekly schedule. Scheduled events on the app aren’t synced with the cloud, which means that your Android device needs to be online with the app running in the background at the scheduled time, in order to send commands. On the other hand, you do get notifications when scheduled events are carried out successfully or if they fail. The app doesn’t have features like IFTTT integration, though the company is working on a way to send push notifications to your phone when the physical switches on the power strip are used.

You can also control your Smarteefi power strip through any device that supports a Web browser, through this interface lacks the ability to create schedules. There’s no app for iOS devices yet, but it’s on the company’s to-do list, with a planned launch date of June 2016.
CoreEmbedded Technologies has decided to go with only three sockets, which seems like a limitation at this point – a four- or six-socket model would have been more appealing. The company says that it wanted the product to look and feel just like a standard power strip, which dictated its final dimensions. Vipin Galhaut, CEO of the firm, told Gadgets 360 that he has received orders from industries for similar power strips with eight sockets, and he sees no reason to turn customers away. Versions with more sockets are in the pipeline, but the next product is going to be a controller that can fit behind an existing switchboard, he said.

Three plug points are still enough to automate simple activities – plug in a coffee maker, toaster oven and kettle, and you can have a full breakfast ready for you as you wake up. The Smarteefi SE315A can support a total power draw of up to 5 Amperes before its over-current safety protection is triggered, so you could plug multiple small devices into each socket if you want them all on or off at the same time.

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Users can have any number of these connected power strips in their homes, all controlled individually through the same interface. If you have an inverter at home, the Smarteefi SE315A can help you reduce load by turning off devices that you don’t need to run on batteries. The ability to turn off a TV, PC or game console remotely could be of use to parents (though any kid should be able to find a simple workaround – just flip the switch to setup mode, and the device is cut off from your router, disabling remote access).

The Smarteefi SE315A can’t be operated without an Internet connection, since all commands are routed through the cloud. Any ISP downtime or power failure will interrupt your ability to use it, which could be dangerous in cases where you need to turn something off at a particular time. Its lifecycle is also dependent on the company that manufactures it. For example, Revolv, a US-based IoT player which was acquired by Google, will stop supporting its devices, rendering them inoperable after May 15, 2016. Galhaut told Gadgets 360 that his three-year-old company is in this space for the long haul, with more devices in the pipeline. Its cloud service has an uptime of 99.9 percent, barring scheduled upgrades for major releases, he said.

The Smarteefi’s SE315A’s use cases are limited when compared to the Inoho’s 5.1 home controller, priced at Rs. 11,999, which sits behind a switchboard and can be used to control electrical fittings and regulate fan speed as well. That’s the space the company is looking to set target next. For now the Smarteefi SE315A complements such a solution by Internet-enabling appliances that need a plug point.

The Smart EEFI SE315A Power Strip is affordable, though much more expensive than ordinary power strips. It’s intriguing for anyone looking to add some basic task automation to their day, and is something that every broadband-using geek would love. It could also be useful for the elderly and anyone with impaired mobility. Add a couple of multi-plug adapters, and its three sockets won’t feel so limiting. However, it should be used only for convenience, not for any appliance or product that could be dangerous if you suddenly lose the ability to turn it on or off when you need to.

Price: Rs. 2,499

Pros
-Entry-level home automation at an affordable price
-Easy to set up and use

Cons:
-No app for iOS
-Scheduling only works through the Android app for now
-No IFTTT integration
-Requires an Internet connection at all times

Ratings (Out of 5)
Design: 3.0
Performance: 3.0
Value for money: 4.0
Overall: 3.0

 

Google Chrome to Get Native Ad-Blocking on Mobile and Desktop

In a move that might come as a surprise to most of the tech industry, Google is reportedly planning to introduce an ad-blocking feature to its Chrome browser on both mobile and desktop platforms. While the search giant itself earns considerable revenue from advertising, people familiar with the matter believe that this move is expected to be made to keep other ad-blocking tools in check. This should also come as welcome news for Android users, as the usually preloaded Google Chrome browser for Android has for a long time had the distinction of not supporting ad-blocking, neither natively or via extension.

The search giant is planning to introduce its Chrome browser ad-blocking feature, which could be switched-on by default, to filter out the ads that will be considered unacceptable for the users as per the list of ad types released by Coalition for Better Ads last month, as per a report by WSJ. According to the released list by the industry group, ad types including “pop-up ads, prestitial ads, ads with density greater than 30%, flashing animated ads, auto-play video ads with sound, poststitial ads with countdown, full-screen scrollover ads, and large sticky ads” were described to be “beneath the initial Better Ads Standard.”Google Chrome to Get Native Ad-Blocking on Mobile and Desktop: Report

If you are wondering why Google would have this change of heart about advertising, the company’s aim behind streamlining the advertisements is to curb the growth of third-party ad-blocking applications, people familiar with matter told WSJ. Pushing out its own ad-blocking feature might help the search giant to prevent users from installing extensions, which will most likely tune out all ads instead of selected ones.
Notably, Google is already a part of “Acceptable Ads” program by Eyeo GmbH (the company behind popular AdBlock Plus tool) to enable advertising on its search engine to pass through its filters. Considering that Chrome is a popular browser choice, in case Google does introduce the aforementioned tool, it might end up creating a huge problem for the other ad-blocking tools. Notably, Apple enabled ad blocking on its mobile operating system with iOS 9 in 2015. Since then many users have shown interest in these tools.

As we mentioned of course, the move if true would be a great relief to Android users. The preloaded browser is a very popular choice on Android, and users are often subjected to pop-ups and download requests – many of them malicious. While Google may do its part on Android security, the minefield it willingly lets users traverse in daily browsing is a dangerous one. Google is long overdue in such an implementation.

 

Google Translate and Gboard Improve Indian Languages Support, Google Search Will Include Hindi Dictionary Results

Google on Tuesday announced that the company is introducing improved support for Indian languages in its products. After introducing support for machine-learning based translation for Hindi last month, the search giant has now extended its neural machine translation to 9 more Indian languages. The company has also extended its new translation technique’s support to Chrome browser’s built-in auto-translate functionality. Additionally, it has announced that its Gboard Keyboard app will now support all 22 scheduled Indian languages. Finally, Google Search results will now include results from Hindi dictionary as well.

Coming first to the neural machine translation support, Google has announced that Google Translate will now use this improved technique to translate to and from Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Punjabi, Malayalam, and Kannada. “Neural translation offers a huge improvement over the old phrase-based system, translating full sentences at a time, instead of pieces of a sentence. This change improves the quality of the translation in a single jump than seen in the last ten years combined,” the company said in a press release.

 Google Translate and Gboard Improve Indian Languages Support, Google Search Will Include Hindi Dictionary Results

Google has now extended the Neural Machine translation to Chrome browser’s built-in auto-translate functionality as well in order to make full-page translations more accurate and easier to read. This means that users will be able to browse through websites with content translated from foreign languages to the aforementioned 9 languages. As the new technique has been claimed to be far superior to earlier one, the change is likely to make Web more user-friendly for people in India.

The search giant has extended the neural machine auto-translation to Google Maps as well and users will now be able to read the translated reviews for restaurants, cafes, or hotels among other places through the app in their local language as well.

In Google Search, users will now be able to see Hindi dictionary results from Rajpal & Sons dictionary in collaboration with Oxford University Press, the company said. “This new experience will also support transliteration, allowing users to use their existing keyboards to find meanings in Hindi. So when you’d like to know more about a word, say “Nirdeshak”, you can just type in “Nirdeshak ka matlab” in Search, and you’ll instantly get to see word meanings and dictionary definitions on the search results page, including English translations,” it said.

“The most important aspect of making the web more useful and meaningful for all of India is to make India’s Internet more representative of the India we live in. India today has 234 million Indian language users who are online, compared to 175 million English web users, we expect another 300 million Indian language users to come online in the next four years. With today’s launches, we are taking a huge step forward to bring down the barriers that stop Indian language users to get more out of the Internet and also help the industry to solve for the needs of billions Indians,” Rajan Anandan, vice-president of Google’s India and South East Asia operations was quoted as saying in company’s release.

Google introduced the neural machine translation to Google Translate last year and claimed that the technique makes articles “smoother and easier” to read.

 

Snapchat Introduces New Feature: Will it Help You with Marketing?

 

Introducing Snap Map

Snap Map, as it’s called, is a location based service that shows Snapchat users where their friends are hanging out nearby. So if someone is posting snaps from a local restaurant, you can see that on an actual map instead of just watching their snaps and wondering where all that great food is coming from. Of course, there’s also a ghost mode for people who don’t want everyone else to constantly know their location on Snapchat.

The feature is meant to help Snapchat users find more fun activities in their local area and make it easier to meet up with friends. But it could definitely have some benefits for local businesses as well.Snapchat Introduces Snap Map: Will it Help You with Marketing?

If Snapchat users are constantly sharing their location and inviting friends to meet up with them at your business, it could lead to lots of new customers. So you could encourage that type of sharing by putting up signage asking for customers to post on Snapchat, offering special events. Or you could even create your own location based Snapchat frame or filter to get people really interested in sharing on the platform.

It’s just one feature on a platform that offers limited benefit to marketers compared to other social media platforms. But for local businesses, especially those that target young, social customers, it could provide a bit of a boost.

 

Microsoft’s mysterious ‘Windows Cloud’ could be the second coming of Windows RT

Windows Cloud: That name has appeared in system files deep within some of the most recent Windows 10 Insider builds. While a few experts guess it could be a new version of Windows, what it actually is remains a mystery. Microsoft Surface 2

As far as evidence goes, it’s pretty slim pickings. Two names, “Windows Cloud” and “Windows Cloud N,” appear in a list of Windows versions as early as the recent Windows 10 Insider Build 15002, as originally reported by the Walking Cat Twitter account.

ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, however,unearthed one other key bit of information: Instead of an operating system that lives in the cloud, as the name suggests, “Windows Cloud” is actually an operating system that can only run Microsoft’s own UWP apps, downloaded from the Windows Store. Foley draws the obvious conclusion: Windows Cloud is essentially the second coming of Microsoft’s unpopular Windows RT.

Windows RT was the operating system that powered the original Surface tablet as well as the Surface 2. Users criticized it for its inability to run anything but a limited number of apps directly from the Store. (At the time, Microsoft’s “universal” apps were in their infancy, while the vast majority of Windows applications were coded for the Win32 environment.) Though Windows RT had its fans, most customers quickly turned to the more advanced, Windows 8-powered Surface Pro tablets, and the Surface 2 quietly died  in 2015.

Windows Cloud, though, may actually prove to be useful in specific applications, including schools. Foley reasons that Microsoft developed Windows Cloud to fend off the wave of Chromebooks sweeping across schools. Over half of American classrooms use Chromebooks, according to a Futuresource study released last fall, and their simplicity has made them attractive to school administrators.

That hasn’t gone down well with Microsoft, which is working to recapture the classroom for Windows. Microsoft believes that its recent Intune for Education device and app management software is an important part of that. Further locking down those PCs with a dedicated OS would make a Windows 10 PC even more attractive, while offering digital inking and other features that Chromebooks lack.

Microsoft has already indicated that a partnership between itself and Qualcomm will allow Windows 10 (and Win32) apps to run on Qualcomm’s ARM chips—the processor that some Chromebooks already run on. One might think that Windows Cloud might be the name of the new, Windows on ARM OS—but if Microsoft plans to lock it down to UWP apps, then its Win32 compatibility would be effectively nullified.

So is Windows Cloud actually Microsoft’s bid to take over the classroom? Microsoft declined to comment, so we’ll have to wait and see.

 Because consumers soundly rejected Windows RT, it stands to reason that Windows Cloud will be a pretty niche offering—assuming all the reporting about Windows Cloud is accurate, of course. One thing to keep in mind: While we all value Windows’ complexity for general-purpose computing, the capability to lock it down to a single app or focus can be extremely useful. That’s why several versions of Windows offer “kiosk mode,” where Windows 10 can be locked down to a single app. The new Intune locks down Internet access during test mode. It sounds like Windows Cloud might offer just a bit more flexibility while still maintaining control.

Updated on Feb. 1 with additional details.

Facebook’s Community Help lets you aid your neighbors in a crisis

Facebook is taking its Safety Check feature beyond the ability to just mark yourself and others as safe with a new addition called Community Help, which started rolling out Wednesday. Facebook first announced Community Help in November at the company’s Social Good Forum.facebook logo large

Community Help allows Facebook users to offer each other assistance for basic needs during a crisis. This can be food, a place to sleep, baby supplies, and other essential goods or services.

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When Community Help is active users in the affected area will see a “Find Help” link on the Safety Check page for their particular crisis. Underneath that will also be a “Give Help” option for those who want to assist their neighbors.

Community Help will initially be available to users in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and Saudi Arabia.

Community Help was inspired in part by Facebook users who were already banding together to offer each other help in times of need. The company says it also consulted experts and humanitarian relief organizations to develop the new feature.

As Community Help is part of Safety Check it will only be available in times of crisis, but the feature won’t show up for every emergency. Facebook says that it will only show up for accidental and natural disasters such as a flood or tornado. That may only be the beginning, however. The company says that as it learns from people using Community Help, Facebook will look to expand it to “additional types of incidents.”

Here’s how Evernote moved 3 petabytes of data to Google’s cloud

Evernote decided last year that it wanted to move away from running its own data centers and start using the public cloud to operate its popular note-taking service. On Wednesday, it announced that the lion’s share of the work is done, save for some last user attachments.Google data center

The company signed up to work with Google, and as part of the migration process, the tech titan sent a team of engineers (in one case, bearing doughnuts) over to work with its customer on making sure the process was a success.

Evernote wanted to take advantage of the cloud to help with features based on machine learning that it has been developing. It also wanted to leverage the flexibility that comes from not having to run a data center.

The move is part of a broader trend of companies moving their workloads away from data centers that they own and increasingly using public cloud providers. While the transition required plenty of work and adaptation, Evernote credited Google for pitching in to help with the migration.

There was definitely plenty of work to do. Evernote’s backend was built on the assumption that its application would be running on the company’s twin California data centers, not in a public cloud. So why go through all the work?

Many of the key drivers behind the move will be familiar to cloud devotees. Evernote employees had to spend time maintaining the company’s data center, doing things like replacing hard drives, moving cables and evaluating new infrastructure options.

While those functions were key to maintaining the overall health and performance of the Evernote service, they weren’t providing additional value to customers, according to Ben McCormack, the company’s vice president of operations.

“We were just very realistic that with a team the size of Evernote’s operations team, we couldn’t compete with the level of maturity that the cloud providers have got…on provisioning, on management systems, et cetera,” McCormack said.“ We were always going to be playing catch-up, and it’s just a crazy situation to be in.”

When Evernote employees thought about refreshing a data center, one of the key issues that they encountered is that they didn’t know what they would need from a data center in five years, McCormack said.

Evernote had several public cloud providers it could choose from, including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, which are both larger players in the public cloud market. But McCormack said the similarities between the company’s current focus and Google’s areas of expertise were important to the choice. Evernote houses a large amount of unstructured data, and the company is looking to do more with machine learning.

“You add those two together, Google is the leader in that space,” McCormack said. “So effectively, I would say, we were making a strategic decision and a strategic bet that the areas that are important to Evernote today, and the areas we think will be important in the future, are the same areas that Google excels in.”

Machine learning was a highlight of Google’s platform for Evernote CTO Anirban Kundu, who said that higher-level services offered by Google help provide the foundation for new and improved features. Evernote has been driving toward a set of new capabilities based on machine learning, and Google services like its Cloud Machine Learning API help with that.

While cost is often touted as a benefit of cloud migrations, McCormack said that it wasn’t a primary driver of Evernote’s migration. While the company will be getting some savings out of the move, he said that cost wasn’t a limitation for the transition.

The decision to go with Google over another provider like AWS or Azure was driven by the technology team at Evernote, according to Greg Chiemingo, the company’s senior director of communications. He said in an email that CEO Chris O’Neill, who was at Google for roughly a decade before joining Evernote, came in to help with negotiations after the decision was made.

Once Evernote signed its contract with Google in October, the clock was ticking. McCormack said that the company wanted to get the migration done before the new year, when users looking to get their life on track hammer the service with a flurry of activity.

Before the start of the year, Evernote needed to migrate 5 billion notes and 5 billion attachments. Because of metadata, like thumbnail images, included with those attachments, McCormack said that the company had to migrate 12 billion attachment files. Not only that, but the team couldn’t lose any of the roughly 3 petabytes of data it had. Oh yeah, and the Evernote service needed to stay up the entire time.

McCormack said that one of the Evernote team’s initial considerations was figuring out what core parts of its application could be entirely lifted and shifted into Google’s cloud, and what components would need to be modified in some way as part of the transition.

Part of the transformation involved reworking the way that the Evernote service handled networking. It previously used UDP Multicast to handle part of its image recognition workflow, which worked well in the company’s own data center where it could control the network routers involved.

But that same technology wasn’t available in Google’s cloud. Kundu said Evernote had to rework its application to use a queue-based model leveraging Google’s Cloud Pub/Sub service, instead.

Evernote couldn’t just migrate all of its user data over and then flip a switch directing traffic from its on-premises servers to Google’s cloud in one fell swoop. Instead, the company had to rearchitect its backend application to handle a staged migration with some data stored in different places.

The good news is that the transition didn’t require changes to the client. Kundu said that was key to the success of Evernote’s migration, because not all of the service’s users upgrade their software in a timely manner.

Evernote’s engagement with Google engineers was a pleasant surprise to McCormack. The team was available 24/7 to handle Evernote’s concerns remotely, and Google also sent a team of its engineers over to Evernote’s facilities to help with the migration.

Those Google employees were around to help troubleshoot any technical challenges Evernote was having with the move. That sort of engineer-to-engineer engagement is something Google says is a big part of its approach to service.

For one particularly important part of the migration, Google’s engineers came on a Sunday, bearing doughnuts for all in attendance. More than that, however, McCormack said that he was impressed with the engineers’ collaborative spirit.

“We had times when…we had written code to interface with Google Cloud Storage, we had [Google] engineers who were peer-reviewing that code, giving feedback and it genuinely felt like a partnership, which you very rarely see,” McCormack said. “Google wanted to see us be successful, and were willing to help across the boundaries to help us get there.”

In the end, it took roughly 70 days for the whole migration to take place from the signing of the contract to its final completion. The main part of the migration took place over a course of roughly 10 days in December, according to McCormack.

If there was one thing Kundu and McCormack were crystal clear about, it’s that even the best-laid plans require a team that’s willing to adapt on the fly to a new environment. Evernote’s migration was a process of taking certain steps, evaluating what happened, and modifying the company’s approach in response to the situation they were presented with, even after doing extensive testing and simulation.

Furthermore, they also pointed out that work on a migration doesn’t stop once all the bytes are loaded into the cloud. Even with extensive testing, the Evernote team encountered new constraints working in Google’s environment once it was being used in production and bombarded with activity from live Evernote users.

For example, Google uses live migration techniques to move virtual machines from one host to another in order to apply patches and work around hardware issues. While that happens incredibly quickly, the Evernote service under full load had some problem with it, which required (and still requires) optimization.

Kundu said that Evernote had tested live migration prior to making the switch over to GCP, but that wasn’t enough.

When an application is put into production, user behavior and load on it might be different from test conditions, Kundu said. “And that’s where you have to be ready to handle those edge cases, and you have to realize that the day the migration happens or completes is not the day that you’re all done with the effort. You might see the problem in a month or whatever.”

Another key lesson, in McCormack’s opinion, is that the cloud is ready to handle any sort of workload. Evernote evaluated a migration roughly once every year, and it was only about 13 months ago that the company felt confident a cloud transition would be successful.

“Cloud has reached a maturity level and a breadth of features that means it’s unlikely that you’ll be unable to run in the cloud,” McCormack said.

That’s not to say it doesn’t require effort. While the cloud does provide benefits to Evernote that the company wasn’t going to get from running its own data center, they still had to cede control of their environment, and be willing to lose some of the telemetry they’re used to getting from a private data center.

Evernote’s engineers also did a lot of work on automating the transition. Moving users’ attachments over from the service’s on-premises infrastructure to Google Cloud Storage is handled by a pair of bespoke automated systems. The company used Puppet and Ansible for migrating the hundreds of shards holding user note data.

One of the key benefits of Evernote’s move to Google’s cloud is the company’s ability to provide reduced latency and improved connection consistency to its international customers. Evernote’s backend isn’t running in a geographically distributed manner right now, but Google’s worldwide networking investments provide an improvement right away.

“We have seen page loading times reducing quite significantly across some parts of our application,” McCormack said. “I wouldn’t say it’s everywhere yet, but we are starting to see that benefit of the Google power and the Google reach in terms of bridging traffic over their global fiber network.”

Right now, the company is still in the process of migrating the last of its users’ attachments to GCP. When that’s done, however, the company will be able to tell its users that all the data they have in the service is encrypted at rest, thanks to the capabilities of Google’s cloud.

From an Evernote standpoint, the company’s engineers have increased freedom to get their work done using cloud services. Rather than having to deal with provisioning physical infrastructure to power new features, developers now have a whole menu of options when it comes to using new services for developing features.

“Essentially, any GCP functionality that exists, they’re allowed to access, play with — within constraints of budget, obviously — and be able to build against.”

In addition, the cloud provides the company with additional flexibility and peace of mind when it comes to backups, outages and failover.

Looking further out, the company is interested in taking advantage of some of Google’s existing and forthcoming services. Evernote is investigating how it can use Google Cloud Functions, which lets developers write snippets of code that then run in response to event triggers.

Evernote is also alpha testing some Google Cloud Platform services that haven’t been released or revealed to the public yet. Kundu wouldn’t provide any details about those services.

In a similar vein, Kundu wouldn’t go into details about future Evernote functionality yet. However, he said that there are “a couple” of new features that have been enabled as a result of the migration.

Amazon Pantry Grocery Box Service Launched in Hyderabad

Amazon Pantry Grocery Box Service Launched in Hyderabad

  • The service has been launched only in Hyderabad for now
  • Amazon Pantry is available to regular Amazon India customers
  • There is a delivery charge of Rs. 20 per box

Amazon India on Wednesday announced the launch of itsPantry service in Hyderabad, where customers can shop for over 4,000 everyday essentials.

“Using Amazon Pantry, customers can now shop for over 4,000 everyday essentials such as groceries and household products on the website and mobile, fill a virtual box of items and have them conveniently delivered at their doorsteps the following day,” a company statement said.

“Amazon Pantry makes it convenient for customers to stock-up for a basket of frequently purchased items while also increasing savings when compared to shopping at supermarkets,” it added.

The world’s largest online retailer, Amazon brought its premium subscription service – Amazon Prime – to India in July. In India, Prime comes with unlimited one-day and two-day deliveries with no minimum order size, apart from early access to some deals on Amazon, as well as some Prime-members only deals.

Other benefits available to Prime members in the US like Amazon Video and Amazon Music – the shopping giant’s video and music streaming services respectively – are not available in the country yet, though Amazon says the former “is coming”.

The Amazon Pantry service was launched in the US for Prime customers, and it’s interesting that the company has launched the service in India for regular customers. There is a delivery charge of Rs. 20 per box for regular customers, but Amazon Prime customers currently have a promotional offer where they do not need to pay a delivery charge. Each box can hold up to 15kg or 3 cubic feet of products. More information can be found on the company’s FAQ page for India.

 

Why Should Your Business Buy VPS Servers

Businesses who market online must have a strong online presence to be able to reach their target market. There is no use having a website with no traffic or visitors. In line with this, you have to have a good server to host your websites. That is why you need to buy VPS servers. We have here a quick rundown of why you should be buying a VPS server for your business.

Why Buy VPS Servers?

Inexpensive VPS Servers

A VPS service provider will rent to you some of their server resources depending on your needs. You will be able to obtain the best possible VPS plans that will afford you maximum use of the service. When you buy VPS servers, they will help your website have the kind of space and server requirements that it needs. There is one distinction when you buy a server as when you rent one. Of course, there are no overhead costs as you have nothing to maintain, unlike when you have physical servers.

Accessibility

With a VPS server, you do not have to bring bulky documents and files with you all the time. All you will need is access to the VPS accounts and an internet connection, that’s it! VPS servers are portable and can be accessed anywhere, anytime you would like. When you buy VPS servers, the provider will manage your VPS accounts as server images. Whenever you wanted to upgrade or downgrade, the provider will simply move that image to a brand new server and you are good to go.

Safety & Security

One of the leading features of a VPS server is the security that many online business owners are so concerned of. The fact that they lease out their servers to third party places the server security in jeopardy. This is however addressed by the creation of secured partition. Your data, files, and online real properties are safe with a VPS server.

VPS Servers Are Highly Available

A 100% reliance on hardware can later on be problematic as it is prone to fail at some point, hence the need for VPS servers to avoid the risk of data loss. Physical servers are very expensive; so many small and startup businesses shy away from this option. The best way to go is to opt for a VPS server. They are highly available and inexpensive, what more can you ask for?

VPS Are Very Flexible

Businesses follow a cyclic pattern; they can eventually expand and grow. But in the case of a physical server, it will not afford you as much flexibility as you’d want as it is restricted by its specifications and technical limitations; hence it is not that flexible when compared to a VPS server. This is not the case with a VPS plan, for when your business grows, the server can grow with you. If you are not sure what this means, you can find out more about this.

If you decide to buy VPS servers, you will enjoy a lot of advantages which will allow you to control your resources, have full control, security, maximum levels of performance, availability, and flexibility like no other. With the advantages outweighing any disadvantages when it comes to server use, there is no denying that VPS servers are a great choice for any business.