Japan Charges Bitcoin Exchange CEO With Embezzlement

Japanese prosecutors on Friday charged the head of collapsed Bitcoin exchange MtGox with embezzlement, Jiji Press news agency said, amid fraud allegations over the disappearance of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of the virtual currency.

The charges, which could not be immediately confirmed, come after France-born Mark Karpeles, 30, was taken into police custody in Tokyo last month over the affair. It was unclear if the indictment related to all or a part of the missing money.

He has been held without formal charge for six weeks, as allowed under Japanese law.

Karpeles was first taken into custody over claims he fraudulently tinkered with data and transferred funds to other firms controlled by him dozens of times between 2011 and 2013.

He was later rearrested for allegedly pocketing about JPY 321 million (roughly Rs. 18 crores) worth ofBitcoin deposits, extending an initial three-week incarceration during which time police likely grilled him over the incident.

Tokyo-based MtGox froze withdrawals in early 2014 and was later shuttered over the missing money, which it said was linked to a bug in the software underpinning Bitcoins that allowed hackers to pilfer them.

The exchange which once boasted it handled around 80 percent of global Bitcoin transactions filed for bankruptcy protection soon after the cyber-money went missing.

Karpeles later said he had found some 200,000 of the lost Bitcoins in a “cold wallet” – a storage device, such as a memory stick, that is not connected to other computers.

Bitcoins are generated by complex chains of interactions among a huge network of computers around the planet, and are not backed by any government or central bank, unlike traditional currencies.

Backers say virtual currencies allow for an efficient and anonymous way to store and transfer funds online. But critics argue the lack of legal framework governing the currency, the opaque way it is traded and its volatility make it dangerous.

Bitcoin’s reputation was also damaged when US authorities seized funds as part of an investigation into the online black market Silk Road.

Mahindra Says Uber, Ola Could Eat Into Auto Sales

Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra on Thursday opined that taxi-hailing apps like Uber and Ola are the biggest potential threat to the automotive industry, which must create new products that customers love to own and not just use as a means of transport.

“The age of access being offered by taxi-hailing apps like Uber and Ola is the biggest potential threat to auto industry. Since these apps operators have made transpiration a commodity, (auto) sales could be hit and volumes get impacted,” Mahindra said here.

He was talking to reporters after launching M&M’s first compact SUV, TUV300, from an all new platform at the company’s plant in Chakan, Pune.

Mahindra said the problem gets confounded as “a lot of youngsters who can own vehicles today don’t want to own one, but only need access to transportation.”

Mahindra, however, expressed hope “people will own those things which they love” and called upon the auto industry to create products with passion so that they induce a desire in customers to buy cars and not just meet their automotive needs.

“The job of automobile manufacturers is to passionately build something that others love to own,” he said.

It can be noted that US-based taxi-hailing app Uber, which despite running into some troubles following the rape of a woman passenger by one of its drivers last December in Delhi and other regulatory hurdles, is investing USD 1 billion here so that it can ramp up its daily ridership to 1 million by March next year.

Uber wants to increase its India presence from the present 18 cities. Industry estimates peg Uber’s daily rides at around 2,00,000.

Similarly, its domestic rival Ola, which leads the market in terms of number of taxis, drivers and riderships by a wider margin, is also getting millions of dollars of investments to increase its market share. Ola is backed by Japanese and American firms and a clutch of other investors.

Others like Meru and Tabcab which are also growing rapidly and such app and phone-based taxi services are tilting the balance against cars faster than expected.

Low cost of ridership is forcing many people in over-crowded cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru to opt to just hail taxis and not buy vehicles.

While Uber charges Rs. 10-13 per km, Ola offers at around Rs. 13-16 per km, thus making a daily tax ride much cheaper than owning a financed car.

Mahindra further said the impact of the current age of access is that “a lot of people, who can afford a vehicle are deciding against owning one. They just need access to transport. So, our job is to offer wider choices to consumers with more innovative models.”

iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus Tipped to Sport 2GB of RAM

Apple’s new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus were unveiled at an event on Wednesday in San Francisco. The company revealed details about the innards alongside prices; though as usual skipped finer details like battery capacity and RAM.

Now, a Reddit post claims that the new iPhone models feature 2GB of RAM, in line with several rumours. The post says, “The 6s has 2GB RAM,” referring to the iPhone 6s and citing access to internal Apple documents. While the iPhone 6s Plus was not mentioned, both come with an almost identical set of innards.

(Also see: iPhone 6s vs. iPhone 6)

Similar to previous years, we will have to wait for the handset’s teardown to confirm the RAM value.Repair and teardown specialists iFixit had last year claimed that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus packed just 1GB of RAM.

A new Apple promo video on YouTube on Thursday hinted that the new iPhone 6s included a 1715mAh built-in lithium-ion battery. To recall, iPhone 6 came with an 1810mAh battery, a fact revealed only after a teardown of the smartphone. While the real world difference is just 95mAh; the company’s on its product page capacity claims both iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s offer identical battery backup.

According to Apple, the iPhone 6s offers a talk time of up to 14 hours on 3G and up to 240 hours of standby time. Furthermore, the handset is listed to deliver an Internet usage time of up to 10 hours on 3G and up to 11 hours on Wi-Fi. The iPhone 6s can offer HD video playback time of up to 11 hours and audio playback of up to 50 hours. All the above claimed figures are same as the iPhone 6.

Separately on Thursday, Adobe in a blog post detailed its latest products for mobile devices including the name of the Project Rigel app – Photoshop Fix. In the post, the company had noted that the iPad Pro comes with 4GB RAM; though it soon pulled it down.

The price for the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus remain unchanged compared to their predecessors at launch. The iPhone 6s 16GB will be available at $649 (approximately Rs. 43,000); $749 (approximately Rs. 50,000) for the 64GB, and $849 (approximately Rs. 56,500) for 128GB model. The iPhone 6s Plus will be available at a starting price of $749 for the 16GB model, $849 for the 32GB model, and $949 (approximately Rs. 63,000)for the 128GB iPhone 6s Plus (all US prices).

Apple iPhone 6s

Apple iPhone 6s





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iOS 9



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See full Apple iPhone 6s specifications
Apple iPhone 6s Plus

Apple iPhone 6s Plus





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iOS 9



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Facebook Mentions and Live Now Available for Verified Profiles

Journalists and other public figures can now offer live video to their followers on Facebook, which announced plans Thursday to broaden the streaming service.

As of Thursday, anyone with a verified Facebook profile will be able to use Facebook Mentions, an application made available earlier this year to actors, musicians and other celebrities to connect with their fans.

“People love reading articles from and connecting with their favorite journalists and public figures on Facebook,” the social network announced in a blog post.

“Today, we’re making Facebook Mentions and Live available to public figures with verified profiles to help them engage their followers and interact with their peers.”

The move will allow journalists to report live from a news scene and host questions from followers onFacebook.

The users may choose who gets to see the live video stream.

“Whether you’re sharing text, links, photos or something else, Mentions lets you choose the audience you want to share with,” the blog post said.

“For example, you can share a post so only your followers see it in News Feed.”

Facebook began offering the service amid competition in live streaming from Twitter’s Periscope and the independent Meerkat app, both of which launched this year.

Infosys, ATP Announce Strategic Partnership

Infosys, a global leader in consulting, technology, outsourcing and next-generation services, and ATP, the governing body of men’s professional tennis, announced on Thursday a strategic partnership to leverage the latest technological advances in mobility, cloud and analytics to transform the experience of tennis fans and players the world over.

As part of this partnership, Infosys will become the Global Technology Services Partner and Platinum Sponsor of the ATP World Tour, as well as the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, for the next three years, according to a media release.

Infosys will leverage its expertise in cloud, mobility and analytics to manage, analyze and interpret large volumes of tennis data (both historical and current) and present insights and predictions through interactive platforms for ATP fans, players, partners and the media.

Under this partnership, Infosys will work on several key initiatives for the ATP World Tour. These will include creation of an exclusive Infosys ATP Scores and Stats Center to revolutionise engagement with tennis fans by providing unprecedented insights and predictions about every tournament, every match and every point.

The Scores and Stats Center will be powered by the Infosys Information Platform (IIP), an open-source data analytics platform for data visualization and data analysis.

That apart the partnership envisages an ATP Player Zone, a next-generation player engagement platform and mobile app, to elevate the experience for players and enable them to register for tournaments, review travel information, connect with other players, and stay up-to-date on all ATP World Tour news.

Vishal Sikka, Chief Executive Officer, Infosys, said: “As a fan personally of tennis, it is really exciting to think about how we can invent great new and engaging experiences for fans.

“Great experience for tennis fans is what ATP has always stood for, and we can now take this to even greater heights with our work together.

“Fans will soon have the opportunity to get completely immersed in the action, and feel the passion and intensity in every match, and more.

“This partnership will enable us to bring new experiences in new ways to fans worldwide and will also serve to inform many new types of consumer engagements in other walks of life.”

Chris Kermode, ATP executive chairman and president, said: “We are delighted to be launching this new partnership with Infosys. The opportunities surrounding technology, statistics and data in men’s professional tennis are vast.

“Today’s announcement is fantastic news for the ATP as we welcome an industry leader in Infosys and take an important step towards exploring new opportunities in this area. We look forward to developing a number of exciting initiatives as part of the partnership.”

iOS 9.1 Public Beta Brings Middle Finger Emoji and More

Apple has dropped a bunch of new emoji characters in the iOS 9.1 public beta it released on Thursday, following its announcement of a September 16 release date for iOS 9.

The iOS 9.1 public beta comes with a number of features including APIs for 3D Touch, and Live Photos, allowing developers to make apps and integration supporting these features. However, for the end user, the biggest attraction is the inclusion of several new emoji characters, including one that shows the middle finger.

middle_finger_emoji_emojipedia.jpgThe other operating systems that support the middle finger emoji include Windows 10, Android, and Windows Phone. The said emoji comes part of the Unicode Version 8.0 specifications, which includes a range of other new emoji characters including several faces, food, animals, and vehicles characters as well.

(Also see: Microsoft Will Include the ‘Middle Finger’ Emoji in Windows 10)

Apple will roll out iOS 9 to a range of its devices on September 16. While everyone else will have to wait for the iOS 9.1 update to arrive on their iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models, users signed up for Apple’s Beta Software Program can already start making use of the new features.

Those who can’t wait to flip the bird to their friends can sign up for the Beta Software Program on the company’s website. iOS 9.1 is expected to offer optimised versions of features like split-screen apps, and picture-in picture video playback, two of the three multitasking features for the iPad Pro, company’s 12.9-inch tablet.

Elon Musk Tells Stephen Colbert He Wants to Nuke Mars

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, and chairman of SolarCity, stands out from other tech billionaires because he isn’t just talking about saving the planet, but actually taking steps to do it with electric cars and batteries, and plans for a human colony on Mars. But when someone starts talking about using nuclear bombs for terraforming, you’ve got to ask if they’ve tripped across some line from hero to villain, like Ozymandias from Watchmen.

Yet that’s exactly what Musk said, during an appearance on Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show. The segment, which you can see for yourself below, starts off with Colbert comparing Musk to Tony Stark, Iron Man from the Marvel universe.

Musk starts off tamely enough, saying only that he’s “trying to do good things.” They then talked about the Tesla “power arm”, a snakelike charger that automatically moves to connect a Tesla to a power source, to recharge the car’s battery.


Things took a turn for the unexpected when the discussion moved to Musk’s idea of establishing a colony on Mars. Colbert used the word uninhabitable, and Musk quickly corrected him, saying, “it’s very inhospitable.”

He also admitted that while initially you might need atmospheric domes, terraforming Mars could make it more habitable, describing it as a “fixer-upper of a planet”.

“At first, you’re going to have to live in transparent domes, but eventually, you can transport Mars into an Earth-like planet,” Musk said.

“Just warm it up. There’s a fast way, and the slow way,” he added. “The fast way is just drop thermonuclear weapons on the poles.”

Colbert then summed up what everyone was thinking, as he exclaimed, “You’re a super-villain, that’s what the villain does!”

The slow way, which Colbert did not want to find out more about, involves warming up Mars to melt frozen carbon dioxide, which will in turn make the atmosphere of the Red Planet thicker. Doing that makes the planet even warmer; and the process can continue in a cycle until it reaches an equilibrium point. Of course, that’s a very slow process, but would nuking the planet be enough to make it “Earthlike”.

The average temperature on Mars is similar to that of Antarctica in the winter, said Brian Toon, professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who co-wrote a paper in 1991 about making the Red Planet habitable, told the Los Angeles Times.

“It seems possible to make it earthlike, but there’s a lot of barriers to overcome,” Toon said to the LA Times. “Blowing up bombs is not a good one.”

Videocon Starts Manufacturing Mobiles at Kolkata Unit

The Videocon group today started manufacturing mobile handsets at its Salt Lake facility in the city.

“We have started manufacturing of mobile handsets at our Salt Lake factory from today. This will be the first mobile handset manufacturing unit in the entire eastern region”, Indrajit Ghosh, COO, of KAIL Limited (Videocon group) told PTI.

KAIL Limited is a part of the Videocon group which also manufactures white goods such as refrigerators, ACs and LED TVs, among others.

Ghosh said this would be the group’s second mobile manufacturing plant after Aurangabad inMaharashtra. To start with, the Salt Lake facility would be manufacturing feature phones, which makes up almost 40 percent share of the mobile phones market, Ghosh said, adding that the unit would also make smartphones and tablets.

With an initial investment of around Rs 50 crore, the production capacity here would be three million units per annum.

Production of smartphones is expected to start during the Pujas, he said.

In future, the facility would also manufacture mobile handsets of other companies as well.

The group had also set up a smartphone design centre at Shenzhen in China.