The candidates who applied for Birla Institute of Technology and Science Aptitude Test 2015

The candidates who applied for Birla Institute of Technology and Science Aptitude Test 2015(BITSAT 2015) can now reserve their test dates.  The candidates must reserve their tests dates on or before March 20, before 5 pm. BITSAT is a computer based online test, a common entrance test conducted for BITS Pilani campuses in Pilani, Goa and Hyderabad. The test has been been scheduled from May 14 to May 29. BITS and IIIT’s are the best colleges after IIT and NIT. You can find the cut off for IIIT’s here and check the high scoring and most important chapters for BITSAT here

BITSAT2015 paper pattern:

The aptitude test will be of three hour duration and will consist of four parts.
Part I        :        Physics
Part II       :        Chemistry
Part III      :        (a) English Proficiency and                (b) Logical Reasoning
Part IV      :        Mathematics or Biology

Click here to check the “important topics for BITSAT

The BITSAT-2015 test will be conducted on the basis of NCERT syllabus for 11th and 12th class. The candidates can refer to the NCERT textbooks for the contents of the syllabus. A sample test demonstrating the features of BITSAT will be made available to the registered candidates at the BITS website on which he/she can practice as many times as desired.

Important dates
The candidates must reserve their test dates from March 1-March 20.
The candidates can download their hall tickets from April 15-April 30.
BITSAT online tests- May 20-June 30
Announcement of results- July 1.

The Exam Pattern for the paper can be found here and a list for test centres can be found here.

Microsoft Hints at New Hinge Design for Surface Book 2

Microsoft Hints at New Hinge Design for Surface Book 2Microsoft entered into the laptop market by launching the Surface Book last October. Now, the company has teased the arrival of its successor on Instagram. The company has posted a photo a laptop with the caption “your key to success” on its official Surface account.

As per a report, the image is apparently a part of an elaborate ‘sizzler’ reel that was shown to the employees in July. The image shows the change in the hinge design the Surface Book 2 brings. The new laptop is said to get rid of the fulcrum hinges that join the display screen and the laptop. The photo shows that the ridges between the display and the keyboard have disappeared. The original Surface Book has a gap that is created by a fulcrum hinge between the display and the keyboard.

“I can confirm that the image posted (it’s not a photo) is from an internal Microsoft ‘sizzler’ reel meant to demonstrate some ideas for the new Surface Book 2. The video has recently been shown within Microsoft’s various departments and meetings starting in July, and multiple people can confirm seeing the video where this image originates. That lends credence to the idea that Microsoft is purposefully teasing the new Surface Book 2,” reports Windows Central’s Daniel Rubino.

If Microsoft is to hold on to tradition, then the company will look to host the launch event sometime in October to unveil the Surface Book 2. As for the original Surface Book, Microsoft launched it in 10 new markets in July. These include Australia, Austria, China, France, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. There is no word yet on when – and if – the Surface Book will ever launch in India.

Amazon Said to Be Piloting Teams With a 30-Hour Work Week

Amazon Said to Be Piloting Teams With a 30-Hour Work WeekAmazon.com will soon launch a program to experiment with a 30-hour workweek for select employees.

The program will have a few technical teams made up entirely of part-time workers. These 30-hour employees will be salaried and receive the same benefits as traditional 40-hour workers, but they will receive only 75 percent of the pay full-time workers earn. Currently, the company already employs part-time workers that share the same benefits as full-time workers. However, the pilot program would differ in that an entire team, including managers, would work reduced hours.

Amazon chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.

“We want to create a work environment that is tailored to a reduced schedule and still fosters success and career growth,” states a posting by the company on Eventbrite.com for an informational seminar. “This initiative was created with Amazon’s diverse workforce in mind and the realization that the traditional full-time schedule may not be a “one size fits all” model.”

Currently, the pilot program will be small, consisting of a few dozen people. These teams will work on tech products within the Human Resources division of the company, working from Monday through Thursday from 10am to 2pm, with additional flex hours. Their salaries will be lower than 40-hour workers, however they will have the option to transition to full-time if they choose. Team members will be hired from both inside and outside the company. As of now, Amazon does not have plans to alter the 40-hour workweek on a company-wide level, the spokesperson said.

The announcement comes a year after the company faced criticism after a New York Times report described Amazon as a company that encouraged employees to work upwards of 80 hours a week while rarely taking vacation. Amazon senior vice president Jay Carney published a response letter on Medium saying that the story “misrepresented” the company.

Amazon did not comment on whether this program was in relation to the New York Times report.

“[The article] was a huge blow, from an employer attractiveness point of view,” said Rita McGrath, a professor at Columbia Business School who focuses on strategy and innovation. Piloting reduced hours could be the company’s latest experiment with ways to attract top talent, she said. “Amazon is constantly pushing and trying new things as a company. They fail a lot, but it’s worth it to stay innovative.”

Many companies such as Deloitte and KPMG offer four-day workweeks with flex hours, but stick to the standard 40-hour expectation. “A lot of companies have talked about wanting to lower hours, but don’t seem to actually go about doing it,” said Ellen Galinsky, president and founder of the Families and Work Institute.

Galinsky hopes that a company as big as Amazon, if they successfully roll out the program, can help break the taboo associated with reduced hours. “There has for a very long time been a stigma against working reduced hours, or part-time work,” she said. “Even names like that, ‘part-time’ or ‘reduced’ make it seem like a deviation from the norm, like you’re doing less.”

The program could also help to tackle Amazon’s diversity problem. Along with other top tech firms, Amazon has had trouble balancing its female-to-male worker ratio, especially in areas of leadership, where men make up 76 percent of management positions across the company globally. A 30-hour work week could help encourage more female workers, who tend to take on more household and childcare responsibilities than men in the domestic sphere.

Amazon did not comment on whether the program is an attempt to diversify its staff. But McGrath points out that wanting diverse employees has pragmatic advantages. “Amazon isn’t very good at promoting and keeping women, and the irony is that Amazon’s customer base is very diverse,” said McGrath. “So you have this kind of deaf ear in tech to this vital group of customers.”

“It offers an opportunity to tap into people that you wouldn’t normally because of the way you structure your work week,” she said.

Smartphone Sales Grew 4.3 Percent Globally in Q2 2016: Gartner

Smartphone Sales Grew 4.3 Percent Globally in Q2 2016: GartnerSale of smartphones to end-users totalled 344 million units globally in the second quarter of 2016 – a 4.3 percent increase over the same period in 2015, market research firm Gartner said on Thursday.

Overall, only five smartphone vendors from the top 10 showed growth. These were four Chinese manufacturers – Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi and BBK Communication Equipment – and South Korean giantSamsung.

Interestingly, BBK owns Oppo Vivo smartphone brand.

In the second quarter of 2016, Samsung had nearly 10 percent more market share than Apple which continued its downward trend with a decline of 7.7 percent.

Apple sales declined in North America as well as in Western Europe. However, it witnessed its worst sales decline in China and Asia-Pacific regions where sales declined 26 percent.

“Demand for premium smartphones slowed in the second quarter of 2016 as consumers wait for new hardware launches in the second half of the year,” said Anshul Gupta, Research Director at Gartner, in a statement.

Among the top five smartphone vendors, Oppo exhibited the highest growth in the second quarter of 2016 at 129 percent.

In addition, the decline in sales of feature phones by 14 percent bolstered the decline in overall sales of mobile phones in the second quarter of 2016.

All mature markets except Japan saw slowing demand for smartphones leading to a decline in sales of 4.9 percent.

In contrast, all emerging regions except Latin America saw growth which led to smartphone sales growing by 9.9 percent, Gartner said.

Gionee S6s Selfie-Focused Smartphone Set to Launch in India on August 22

Gionee S6s Selfie-Focused Smartphone Set to Launch in India on August 22Chinese company Gionee last week started sending press invites for an event on August 22 in India where it was expected to reveal a new selfie-focused smartphone. Now, the company in a tweet has pretty much confirmed that the Gionee S6s will be revealed at the event.

The company’s global Twitter handle in a tweet said, “The incoming one…The New One, which is redefining “premium selfie” means to you.” The tweet was accompanied by hashtags Gionee S6s alongside selfie and flash. The company seems gearing to target the selfie obsessed audience with its new S6s smartphone in India. Unfortunately, there is no word on the innards of the handset so far.

Gionee also shared an image of the S6s smartphone on Twitter which gave the world first glimpse of the handset ahead of the official reveal. It is likely to sport an all metal build while pack fingerprint scanner at the back. The front camera features a flash, carrying on the selfie-focused theme.

We can expect the company to release more teasers around the handset ahead of the August 22 launch.

Gionee last month launched the M6 and M6 Plus smartphones at an event in Beijing. The biggest highlight of the smartphones was they came with an inbuilt data encryption chip that the company claimed would ensure extra security of user’s communication and content.

The Gionee M6 was priced at CNY 2,699 (roughly Rs. 27,200) for its 64GB storage variant, and CNY 2,899 (roughly Rs. 29,200) for the 128GB storage variant. The Gionee M6 Plus 64GB variant was priced at CNY 2,999 (roughly Rs. 30,200), and the 128GB variant was priced at CNY 3,199 (roughly Rs. 32,200)

China’s Launch of First Quantum Satellite Major Step in Space Race

China's Launch of First Quantum Satellite Major Step in Space Race

China’s launch of the first quantum satellite Tuesday will push forward efforts to develop the ability to send communications that can’t be penetrated by hackers, experts said.

The satellite launched into space from the Jiuquan launch base in northwestern China’s Gobi desert will allow Chinese researchers to transmit test messages between Beijing and northwestern China as well as other locations around the world.

If the tests are successful, China will take a major step toward building a worldwide network that can send messages that can’t be wiretapped or cracked through conventional methods.

“It moves the challenge for an eavesdropper to a different domain,” said Alexander Ling, principal investigator at the Centre for Quantum Technologies in Singapore. “Lots of people around the world think having secure communications at a quantum level is important. The Europeans, the Americans had the lead, but now the Chinese are showing the way forward.”

Quantum communications use subatomic particles to securely communicate between two points. A hacker trying to crack the message changes its form in a way that would alert the sender and cause the message to be altered or deleted.

Researchers around the world have successfully sent quantum messages by land. But a true satellite-based network would make it possible to send quickly encrypted messages in an instant around the world and open the door to other possible uses of the technology.

Cyber-security has been a major focus in recent years for China, which has pushed regulations aimed at limiting technology imported from the US in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations of widespread surveillance by the US through the use of American hardware.

China has in turn been repeatedly accused by the US of hacking into computer systems to steal commercial secrets and information that could harm American national security. China has rejected claims that it runs a state-sponsored hacking program and says that it is among the leading victims ofcybercrime.

Quantum messaging could become a major defense against hackers and have applications ranging from military and government communications to online shopping.

The biggest challenge, Ling said, is being able to orient the satellite with pinpoint accuracy to a location on Earth where it can send and receive data without being affected by any disturbances in Earth’s atmosphere. The results of China’s tests will be closely watched by other research teams, he said.

“It’s very difficult to point the satellite accurately,” Ling said. “You’re trying to send a beam of light from a satellite that’s 500 kilometers (310 miles) above you.”

Hoi Fung Chau, a professor and quantum communications researcher at Hong Kong University, said that it was too soon to say if the tests will succeed, but added he expected quantum messages by satellite to become the global standard eventually.

“The theory is already there, the technology is almost there,” he said. “It’s just a matter of time.”

The launch is a major triumph for China, which has spent years researching quantum technology and developing the satellite and other uses for it. China has previously announced the construction of a quantum link between Beijing and Shanghai that would be used by government agencies and banks.

Pan Jianwei, chief scientist on the satellite project, was quoted by the official Xinhua News Agency as saying the launch proved China was no longer a follower in information technology, but “one of the leaders guiding future IT achievements.”

 

Battlefield 1 Open Beta Starts on August 31

Battlefield 1 Open Beta Starts on August 31Battlefield 1, EA’s first video game set around World War I in over two decades, is getting an open beta that starts August 31 before its October release, the company announced in a blog post late on Monday. If you would like early access, you will need to sign up as a Battlefield Insider member by this Sunday, August 21 and opt for your platform preference to get a code.

The beta will give players access to the Sinai Desert map, based on the real life one in the nation of Egypt, and provide two game modes in Conquest – a large-scale game mode with up to 64 players fighting for control – and Rush – a 24-player mode where the attacking force must find and destroy the telegraph posts of the defending force.

(Also see: Battlefield 1 Is the Most Expensive Game in India)

“From infantry skirmishes in the narrow streets of the village of Bir el Mazar to dogfights above the majestic cliffs, you’ll need to make tactical use of the dunes as you engage in explosive battles,” EA explained. “When all hope is lost, reinforcements will arrive in the shape of a powerful Behemoth: a deadly Armoured Train charging through the desert sands.”

Battlefield 1 is the first major entry in the franchise since 2013’s Battlefield 4 and the first Battlefield game not to release on either of the previous-gen consoles – PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 – since 2005’s Battlefield 2: Modern Combat. The open beta for Battlefield 1 will be available on all three release platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Origin for PC.

MediaTek Helio X30 Deca-Core SoC With PowerVR ZXT GPU Launched

MediaTek Helio X30 Deca-Core SoC With PowerVR ZXT GPU Launched

The MediaTek Helio X30 is built on TSMC’s 10nm FinFET architecture, and sports a quad-core PowerVR 7XT GPU.

MediaTek on Monday announced the Helio X30 SoC, its new flagship deca-core SoC for mobile devices that with its powerful GPU is considered to be especially appropriate for devices with virtual reality capabilities. It is expected to be seen in products shipping in the second half of 2017.

Positioned as the successor to the Helio X20 SoC, the Helio X30 is built on TSMC’s 10nm FinFET architecture, and sports a quad-core PowerVR 7XT GPU. Apple’s alleged ‘A10’ chipset that is expected to be used in the upcoming ‘iPhone 7’ and ‘iPhone 7 Plus’ models is also rumoured to be built on the same process.

The MediaTek X30 chip features a tri-cluster design just like its predecessors the Helio X20 and Helio X25, and will be able to support a camera with sensor capability as high as 40 megapixels, and will be able to support video capture up to 24 megapixels, reports Phone Radar. The chip will able to support devices with up to 8GB of RAM.

The deca-core MediaTek Helio X30 sports four Cortex-A73 cores clocked at 2.8GHz, four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 2.2GHz, and two Cortex-A35 cores clocked at 2GHz. xThe chip comes with a modem that supports three carrier aggregation (3CA) and supports Cat.12 LTE.

Apple Asks US Supreme Court to Rule Against Samsung Over Patents

Apple Asks US Supreme Court to Rule Against Samsung Over PatentsApple Inc on Friday asked the US Supreme Court to clear the way for the iPhone maker to secure hundreds of millions in damages from Samsung Electronics Co Ltd in a case over smartphone design patents.

The world’s top smartphone rivals have been feuding over patents since 2011, when Apple sued Samsung in a northern California court alleging infringement of the iPhone’s patents, designs and trademarked appearance.

In its legal brief on Friday, Apple said Samsung had not provided evidence to support its argument that design patent damages should be decided on one component of a smartphone, rather than the entire product. Apple said there was no need for the Supreme Court to send the case back to a lower court for further proceedings.

A Samsung representative declined to immediately provide comment. The South Korean company has said that a ruling for Apple would diminish innovation and negatively impact the economy.

Following a 2012 jury trial, Samsung was ordered to pay Apple $930 million. Samsung has been trying to reduce that figure ever since.

Its efforts were partially rewarded in May 2015, when the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the damages on trademark liability. The appeals court, however, upheld Samsung’s infringement of the iPhone’s patents, including those related to the designs of the iPhone’s rounded-corner front face, bezel and colorful grid of icons.

That brought Samsung’s exposure down to $548 million, of which $399 million involves design patents. Additional damages, based on five other phone models, could also be awarded depending on the outcome of appeals.

Samsung asked the Supreme Court to review the case, calling the damages awarded excessive. In March, the justices agreed to look into whether courts should award in damages the total profits from a product that infringes a design patent, if the patent applies only to a component of the product.

In a filing last month, the US Department of Justice said the case should be sent back to a lower court.

But Apple said Congress has been clear on the issue of design patent damages, and there was no reason the Supreme Court should allow Samsung to make additional arguments.