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 The latest ChangeWave Consumer Smartphone survey suggests Research In Motion and Apple’s will wipe the floor with other manufacturers, as the two horse race between the two firms for dominance of the smartphone sector pushes other makers out of the game.

Director of research, Paul Carton, notes that prior to the release of the iPhone 3G, his surveys had suggested the device would have a huge impact on the market. It did. Apple sold one million units in the first weekend, and demand remains high today.

“RIM isn’t taking the Apple 3G challenge lying down,” Carton notes. “The Canadian manufacturer has multiple plans in motion to counter Apple’s momentum among consumers, including an already announced new product release (the Bold) and two likely additional product releases (the Thunder and Kickstart).”

Just after the announcement of the iPhone 3G and just before the product shipped, ChangeWave surveyed 3,567 consumers on their reaction to the new RIM counteroffensive. And while consumers don’t appear as enthusiastic about the company’s forthcoming devices, they do seem keen enough to place a challenge to the Apple attack.

A total of 4% of respondents report they’re Very Likely to buy the new RIM/BlackBerry Bold when it becomes available. Another 13% are Somewhat Likely.

Slightly less positive but nonetheless significant, 2% of respondents say they’re Very Likely to buy a RIM/BlackBerry Thunder when available. A total of 13% are Somewhat Likely.

Another 2% say they’re Very Likely to buy a RIM/BlackBerry Kickstart when it becomes available, and 11% are Somewhat Likely.

“These results show consumers hungry for all varieties of BlackBerry,” said Tobin Smith, founder of ChangeWave Research and editor of ChangeWave Investing, who added, “it appears like when it comes to the BlackBerry, the adage ‘if you build it, they will come,’ certainly holds true.”

The strength of these early survey results on the demand for RIM’s new products points to a potentially powerful counteroffensive to Apple’s 3G iPhone, according to Smith. “The real losers in this smart phone battle will most likely be the second-tier players, who could find themselves increasingly pushed to the sidelines as the two Goliaths battle for market dominance.”

ChangeWave also looked at the impact of the new RIM releases on the rest of the smartphone industry – current RIM customers are two-to-three times more likely to buy new models than customers of other manufacturers. Competing firms most at risk from the two horse Apple/RIM battle include Palm, Motorola and Samsung, Changewave said.

Apple customers, on the other hand, appear least likely to buy any of the new RIM phones,” they added.

“The Apple iPhone has captured the hearts and minds of its user base, and so has the RIM BlackBerry,” the researchers said. “Fortunately for both, the global consumer and enterprise smart phone markets are big enough to support both Apple and RIM – it’s the other cell phone manufacturers that look like the real losers.”

RIM should be concerned, however.  As you can see in this graph, they’ve netted a 1% loss in marketshare for the 1st 1/2 of 2008…and that is before the 3G iPhone ws released.

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Avturns2: Let The Celebrations Begin!

In the last 2 years, we have created one of the world’s largest analytics community. This journey would not have been possible without the support of the following three groups (in no particular order):

Our followers and readers

Analytics Vidhya team

Our family & friends

I wish to say my heart felt thanks to all three groups and many more involved in our journey. This journey thrives on the mutual eco-system of all 3 groups. Let me express my gratitude to each of them quickly:

Our followers and readers:

So keep writing to us, talking to us and most importantly keep contributing to the knowledge creation through blogs and discussion portal. In order to hear more from you, here is a page we have created where you can leave your testimonials about Analytics Vidhya. The best testimonial wins an Amazon voucher and a few good ones win Analytics Vidhya merchandise.

Analytics Vidhya Team:

What can I say about this awesome team we are building! Be it those calls we make to each other at 2 o’ clock in the night or those ‘chai’ (tea) sessions we have – we just love working together. I want to thank the entire Analytics Vidhya team for making it the place it is. It is because of this them that we continue to dream and dream big.

And our families:

I think our families are the ones, who feel the heat more than we do. It is this support system which enables us to put in these extra long hours to make sure our readers get those awesome articles in their mailboxes. Thanks for being there for us and understanding our long and erratic work routines to keep this engine running.

Plan for the anniversary:

We have some exciting things lined up for the day and week to celebrate the anniversary. As usual, it would involve some data crunching and shouting! But most importantly, it involves a bunch of new things we plan to do:

Super Saturdays: Going forward, we will keep a few hours every Saturday (12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.) to talk to our readers for their career related queries. We did this last week and enjoyed it thoroughly. So, if you have any queries related to your career, feel free to reach out to us on [email protected] or on our telephone line.

Whatsapp groups: For enabling further networking and access to more people, we are creating 4 kinds of whatsapp groups: AV Transitioners, AV Beginners, AV Rising Stars and AV Gurus. These whatsapp groups would be invite only groups. You can request your membership to these groups here. We will screen the people and approve the requests where there is a good fit. Here is a brief description about each of these groups:

AV transitioners: This group is meant for people who are completely new to analytics. You know basic excel or have been in a MIS role. This group will help you make a transition into analytics.

AV Rising Stars: These are the flagbearers for the era to come. You ideally have more than 3 years of experience in analytics and can accomplish analytics projects end to end independently.

AV Gurus: Only for the best of the best. This is an exclusive lounge meant for only the best in data science. Apply if you have at least 5 years of experience and you know multiple tools to work upon.

Meetups: Being an online community can leave you wanting to meet more people. In order to satisfy this craving, we will be doing more and more meetups across the country. We are starting with one in Delhi this week and will follow it up in various cities as we get more volunteers. If you want to host one in your city, please reach out to us and we will support it in every possible manner.

Let the Celebrations begin! Waiting to hear more from you on this special day.


Blackberry Messenger For Ios Adds Voice Calls, One

Version 2.0 of BBM for iOS app now allows free voice calls to BBM contacts, as well as a range of other new features that include one-touch file-sharing, Dropbox integration, location-sharing, 50-person BBM groups and interest channels.

Today, we’re excited to be adding those great new features and more to BBM that users on iPhone, Android and BlackBerry** can enjoy. When the update becomes available later today, these new features will give you more ways to chat and share than ever before on BBM.

Voice calling is supported on both wifi and mobile data. Note that while voice calls don’t incur any direct charges, as with other forms of VoIP calling you’ll eat into any data allowance you have.

Full details of the new features from the BlackBerry blog below … 

BBM Voice

One of the things we’re most excited about is bringing BBM Voice to iPhone and Android users. With BBM Voice you can make free calls* to BBM contacts anywhere in the world using your Wi-Fi® or data connection. When a BBM contact is available for a BBM Voice call you’ll see a green icon in the top right hand corner of your chat. To call them, simply touch the green icon and your call will be connected.

BBM Channels

Channels lets users chat with other BBM users about topics that interest them. Customers can join channels about a range of topics from products, hobbies and sports to entertainment, fashion, cars and more. Channels can be created by brands, businesses and BBM users alike and are a great way to communicate directly and immediately with people who share common interests in the broader BBM community. By posting to their channel, channel owners immediately reach their subscribers with a message that can spark discussions.

Location Sharing powered by Glympse

We’ve all been in situations where we’re running late, meeting up with friends, or trying to find someone at a concert. Location sharing powered by Glympse is a great way to share your live location for a specific amount of time. Choose how long you want to share your location for by setting the timer – when the timer runs out your location is private again. Now you see me…now you don’t!

Pictures, Voice notes, attachments and more

With this new version of BBM there’s more to chat about because you can quickly share a pic, voice note or file with your contacts. Snap a photo or pick one from your gallery; touch and hold to send a voice note; send a calendar event or contact.

Dropbox Integration

With Dropbox built in to BBM, you can send a file from your personal cloud directly to a BBM contact. On the receiving end, save the file directly to your smartphone or add it to your Dropbox account.

New Emoticons

This new release of BBM also includes 100 great new emoticons that you can use to bring some fun to your chats. With so many new emoticons, we’ve decided to dedicate a post to helping you discover them all. Check that out here.

Larger BBM Groups

You’ve been asking for larger BBM Groups and we’ve heard you loud and clear. This new version of BBM now includes 50-person BBM Groups so you can get more of your friends, family or team in on the action.

Thanks, Ade



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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – who is Captain Phasma?

As the shiniest of characters, the most reflective of all Star Wars characters, and a Game of Thrones actress to boot, Captain Phasma has our attention. We’ve been wondering what the backstory is on this character since we first heard the name – and now that we’ve seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we’re still wondering. The film itself doesn’t reveal one whole heck of a lot, but we’ve got a bit more data than is revealed through the movie. It’s time to get chrome.

Captain Phasma’s armor would make Immortan Joe proud. It looks very similar to a standard First Order Stormtrooper set of plates, but, as it turns out, isn’t made of the same materials at all. Some of the communication devices and interior body suit may be similar, but the metal isn’t white – obviously – and it isn’t sourced from the same forge, so to speak.

SPOILER ALERT? You may want to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens before you read this article, but such an order of consumption is not entirely necessary. This article won’t ruin anything for you in the film.

According to the very tiny, brief description of Phasma on Star Wars dot com, her armor is made of “salvaged chromium.” It’s not just any “chromium,” according to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary (which we’ll call TVD from here on out), this armor is “coated in salvaged chromium from a Naboo yacht once owned by Emperor Palpatine.”

ABOVE: J-type 327 Nubian royal starship (yacht class) also known as “Naboo Royal Starship”

Not only that, but “its polished finish helps reflect harmful radiation” and serves as “a symbol of past power.”

Believe it or not, it would appear that Phasma may be a sort of yang to General Leia’s ying. TVD suggests that Leia makes a point of remembering the name of every person that serves with her in the Resistance, while Phasma “takes it upon herself to memorize the serial numbers of all stormtroopers under her direct command.”

It’s also suggested by TVD that Phasma’s actual rank is much higher than the title “Captain” generally implies. It is said that Phasma “shuns any comfortable trappings of elevated rank” and instead “insists on seeing combat operations firsthand.”

Further, TVD says that Phasma’s position could “easily afford her a well-appointed war room far from the battlefield,” but that she refuses to participate in such a way.

Phasma as a leader requires a deep commitment to the First Order in all Stormtroopers – the lot of which are under her overarching command. Her methodology mixes with that of First Order leaders like General Hux, who believes that “automated training regimes that simulate battle situations” should be sufficient in training troops.

As FN-2187 proves, there is a serious disconnect between doing battle in a video game and seeing and feeling the realities of battle firsthand.

See our feature “Five Star Wars: The Force Awakens Cut Scenes Revealed” for more information on the above image (it wasn’t in the film as such.)

As with most characters we’ve seen appear in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there’s a lot more to Phasma than we’ve seen thus far. Gwendoline Christie herself has compared Phasma to Boba Fett.

Speaking with the LA Times earlier this year, Christie suggested that “She is a Boba Fett-style character, which means she makes a lot of impact but she’s not at the forefront of the action all the time.”

Again according to TVD, Phasma is a “qualified expert on all First Order small arms, and has also trained in vehicular and starfighter combat.” So she won’t just be keeping her feet on the ground.

While her final scene in Star Wars: The Force Awakens suggests she’s in a bit of (relatively non-lethal at the time) trouble, one could infer that she’s been blown to bits in the ensuing events. According to casting for at least the next film (Star Wars VIII, set to be released 2023), Phasma is at least skilled enough at getting out of situations as rough as what we’ve seen thus far.

Plasma’s armor is so important that it directly influenced the name she was given. While we do not know of any retconned reasoning for the name, its origins in our reality stem from Michael Kaplan.

1. Michael Kaplan’s costume design team created the Phasma look – form after and before function. The stormtrooper redesign came first, then the application of the chrome and polish.

2. J.J. Abrams saw and approved the costume.

3. Abrams said, via EW, that “It reminded me of the ball in Phantasm, and I just thought, Phasma sounds really cool.”

BELOW: Horror movie Phantasm’s shiny chrome ball next to two Phantasm (1979) posters.

Information in this article comes from several places. The film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which is out in theaters now, the Star Wars homepage Databank, and a very neat book. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary” is written by Pablo Hidalgo and published by DK Publishing in association with Lucasfilm.

As such, all of the information provided above is sourced from Lucasfilm-certified official Star Wars canon bits of media.

Mac Webcam Hijack Affects Ringcentral And Zhumu As Well As Zoom

Update: Apple is pushing a new security update to remove these webservers too.

The Mac webcam hijack flaw discovered in the Zoom video conference app is also present in RingCentral and Zhumu.

The evidence also suggests that the same vulnerability will exist in other Mac video conferencing apps …

Apple pushed a silent security update to macOS to remove the local webserver installed by Zoom, but it does not remove those installed by RingCentral and Zhumu.

Security researcher Jonathan Leitschuh, who discovered the issue in Zoom, speculated that the Mac webcam hijack vulnerability was likely present in RingCentral too. Fellow researcher Karan Lyons has now confirmed this.

RingCentral (and Zhumu, and likely all of Zoom’s white labels) are vulnerable to another, slightly different, RCE. They are not automatically removed by Apple.

As TNW notes, this is because both apps use the same underlying code.

Both RingCentral and Zhumu are powered by Zoom, with the former used by over 350,000 organizations. Zhumu, on the other hand, is essentially a Chinese version of the app, which Zoom bought in 2013.

A ‘white label’ app is essentially a complete copy of an established app, but rebranded for a client company. It has a different name and may have a slightly different user interface, but because the core code is the same, it will generally have the same vulnerabilities as the original.

As Lyons notes, Zhumu is not the only white label version of Zoom, so there are likely other Mac videoconferencing apps out there with the same flaw.

Apple’s update only removes the webserver created by Zoom itself.

RingCentral has issued an emergency patch.

RingCentral has issued an update to RingCentral Meetings that resolves the General Concern, “Video ON Concern” on MacOS, CVE 2023-13449 and CVE 2023-13450.

Users will be prompted to download RingCentral Meetings MacOS app v7.0.151508.0712.

All users that have installed RingCentral Meetings on MacOS should accept the update. Please ensure that all RingCentral Meetings MacOS versions prior to v7.0.151508.0712 are removed.

RingCentral is continuing to work on addressing the General Concern related to “Video ON Concern” for additional platforms. We will continue to provide updates.

There’s no known patch as yet for the Mac webcam hijack flaw in Zhumu. However, Lyons has provided a set of three Terminal commands which will kill and remove the webservers, and prevent them being reinstalled.

To remove the three currently known daemons manually, run these commands in your Terminal:

rm -rf








chmod 555








rm -rf








chmod 555








rm -rf








chmod 555








These three commands do the same thing for the three most popular white labels of Zoom (Zoom, RingCentral, and Zhumu). They remove the web server if it exists at the hidden directory , and create an empty file and set permissions on it such that the hidden server cannot be reinstalled back to that location. Finally they kill the server if it is running.

Lyons notes that while Apple’s own update addresses Safari, things get more complicated if you use Chrome or Firefix as your default browser.

If you’re using Safari on macOS you’re now good to go. However if you’re using any other browser (even on other operating systems) you may still see a link immediately open Zoom for you. This is not the same vulnerability (no RCE), and is in fact one you yourself opted into, though you may not have realized it. This will occur if you ever checked a box on a pop-up window for a Zoom meeting link that said something like “Always open these links in Zoom”.

She provides instructions for dealing with these browsers.

Physical webcam covers are looking like an increasingly smart idea.

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Google Nexus 7 Could Heavily Impact Tablet Wars

With Wednesday’s launch of its Nexus 7 tablet, Google gives the current tablet market a much-needed jolt of energy.

The Nexus 7 is the tablet that Google should have launched with a year ago. The Nexus 7 packs a high-performance, no-compromise set of features at attractive prices–$199 for the 8GB model and $249 for the 16GB model.

This winning–on paper–combo will immediately put the Nexus at center stage. It also will make all current Android tablet makers reevaluate their own offerings on the market. But selling a tablet directly to consumers online, with no clear changes to the app ecosystem behind it, won’t be enough for Google to gain market share at Apple’s expense.

Manufactured by Asus, the Nexus 7 tablet represents the first commercial manifestation of Nvidia’s Project Kai. Nvidia designed the Kai reference platform to provide manufacturers with a shortcut blueprint of how to create a competitive tablet at consumer-friendly pricing.

At CES 2012, when Nvidia and Asus announced plans to produce a Tegra 3 tablet for $250, the two companies clearly had the Amazon Kindle Fire in their sights.

The Kindle Fire, which shipped last fall, is the best-selling Android tablet thanks in large part to its low price of $199. But the Kindle Fire takes a lot of heat for its mediocre 1024-by-600-pixel display, its forked Android operating system, its limited specs (no camera, little onboard storage, no expansion), and its slow performance. Sales numbers for the Kindle Fire have dropped off since the initial burst of enthusiasm from consumers; but no other Android tablet has made a significant impact, either.

Google Takes Charge of Its Own Tablet–Sort Of

Google’s move into the tablet arena with its own branded Nexus tablet is significant for several reasons. First, it shows that the company recognizes how important it is for an OS maker to be deeply involved in creating hardware that complements its own software.

For evidence, look no further than the mess of compromises and mediocrity we’ve seen from Android tablets over the past year, including poor choices in weight, processors, display, and design.

In today’s Apple-dominated, post-PC age, a tablet with hardware designed independently of its operating system is unlikely to emerge as an impressive flagship device. And certainly that approach isn’t the way to generate the Apple-level frenzy that every tablet maker yearns for.

That’s why Microsoft jumped into the PC hardware fray for the first time in 37 years, with last week’s introduction of the Microsoft Surface tablet.

[Read: “Microsoft Hardware: Successes and Failures“]

And it’s why Google is expanding on what it already offers with its Nexus phone line by now offering its own tablet. The company should have taken this step last year when it launched Android 3.0 Honeycomb, the first operating system designed specifically for tablets, instead of crossing its fingers and hoping for the best with the spectacularly unimpressive Motorola Xoom tablet.

To what extent the Nexus 7 embodies Google’s vision of a tablet is unclear. One area where Google may have influenced its design is in the tablet’s inclusion of near-field communication capability. But beyond that, the core specs for the Nexus 7 are the ones that Nvidia and Asus talked about as far back as CES.

Back then, Asus went so far as to introduce the Asus Eee Pad MeMo 370T with specs, price, and a time frame for availability that are quite similar to the Nexus 7’s. Since CES, however, Asus has said nothing more about its MeMo plans. Now we know why.

Clearly, all parties recognized that for the Android tablet OS to succeed, something had to change. And the reality of Kai should have a significant impact on current tablet makers.

How can Toshiba’s Excite 7.7 tablet, priced at $550 and carrying a 1280-by-800-pixel display, compete with Google’s Nexus 7 when the latter offers the same screen resolution and costs $300 less? The Toshiba does have a 0.7-inch larger screen, but both have 16GB of memory and both run on an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor.

Meanwhile, Amazon is rumored to be prepping its coming Kindle Fire replacement for a midsummer launch. Whether Amazon will step up its game with that tablet remains to be seen; but based on today’s news, we believe that the company will need to have a competitive answer to remain firmly in the mix.

Here’s a chart that compares the specs of the Google Nexus 7 to five other tablets:

The Missing Elements

So far, Google hasn’t indicated that it will sell the tablet anywhere except at its Google Play online store. Consequently, consumers who want to do their own hands-on comparison of the Nexus 7 with other tablets will be out of luck.

Google’s approach with the Nexus 7 addresses a relatively small subset of the problems facing the Android tablet market. Among the other issues to be resolved in the bigger picture are better-resolution displays and improved, lighter designs.

Perhaps most significantly, Google’s conference has as yet lacked any discussion of the OS- and device-fragmentation issues that plague developers. I routinely hear these issues cited as the number-one reason that developers choose to make an iPad app instead of an Android app; and the tiny market share that Android tablets have thus far achieved has done nothing to convince developers to fully embrace the Android tablet ecosystem.

Google played up the fact that the company now lists some 600,000 apps in the Play store; but it didn’t say how many of those apps are optimized for and work well on a tablet.

The app ecosystem, unfortunately, still remains a sticking point for Android tablets–and a key factor that makes it harder to recommend an Android tablet to consumers eager for the next great, cool app.

The bottom line is Android still has a long way to go to surpass Apple’s iPad. But when we look back, the delivery of the Nexus 7, with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, may mark a turning point in the Great Tablet Wars.

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