Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Indians to soon buy more FMCG goods online: Google

 With more and more people surfing online for FMCG products, the internet would influence over a third of total sales in the sector by 2020, while online sales will constitute $5 billion, says a study by Google and Bain & Company. 

"The influence of the internet will impact $35 billion worth of FMCG sales in the country by 2020, as more and more users go online to research for FMCG products. Total FMCG sales are expected to be around $100 billion by then," Google India, industry director, Vikas Agnihotri said. 

He added that $5 billion or 5% of total FMCG sales will be online by 2020, which is 50 times the growth from current level of just 0.3% now. 

Projecting growth of online user population, the report revealed that the country would have over 650 million internet users by 2020, more than double of 300 million users in 2014. 

Besides, 100 million women would be shopping online by 2020, it said. 

The survey was conducted among around 1,600 online users (male and female) from across 13 cities, covering eight FMCG categories such as skin care, hair care, oral care, home care, infant care, male grooming, beverages and food. 

Agnihotri said rural markets would also contribute to the digital growth and vernacular content would play an important role to drive the sales. 

"A couple of changes are definitely going to happen. You will see a lot more Hindi and vernacular content going up. People feel comfortable in their mother tongue and about 500 million people speak Hindi. It's logical that the next move will be from English to Hindi and other vernacular stuff will actually happen," he said. 

The study revealed that 35% men and 22% women search online before making their purchases. 

"The internet influence differed by category of products with maximum influence on purchase decisions noticed in male grooming (39%), skin care (26%), infant care (24%)and hair care (24%) products," it said, adding that online searches for beauty products are growing at over 100%.

Google Gives WebView the Cold Shoulder

Figures from a seven-day period ending Jan. 5 posted on the Android Developers Dashboard indicate Jelly Bean had 46 percent of the market and KitKat 39 percent. Ice Cream Sandwich had 6.7 percent and Gingerbread 7.8 percent. Lollipop didn't make the cut for the dashboard, which doesn't display any versions with less than 0.1 percent distribution. In other words, a good 60 percent of Android users are at risk from WebView flaws.

ogle has decided not to fix vulnerabilities in WebView for Android 4.3 and older, sparking heated discussions among developers.
Those versions of WebView run on the WebKit browser. Fixing them "required changes to significant portions of the code and was no longer practical to do so safely," Adrian Ludwig, lead engineer for Android security, explained last week in a post.
Ludwig recommended steps users and developers can take to mitigate the potential exploitation of WebView vulnerabilities without updating to Lollipop, or Android 5.0.
The decision will leave 930 million users of Android devices in the lurch, Tod Bearsley warned earlier this month.

Let 'Em Eat Cake!

Users should employ a browser that has its own content renderer and is regularly updated, Ludwig suggested.
Chrome and Firefox are securely updated through Google Play, he pointed out. Firefox is supported on Android 2.3 and higher, while Chrome is supported on Android 4.0 and higher.
Consumers should load content only from trusted sources, Ludwig advised.
Developers should "confirm that only trusted content ... is displayed within WebViews in their application," he said. They should consider providing their own renderer on Android 4.3 and earlier so they can update it with the latest security patches.

Everybody's Going for Shiny New Stuff

"With the advances in Android 4.4, the number of users that are potentially affected by legacy WebKit security issues is shrinking every day as more and more people upgrade or get new devices," Ludwig observed.
Android 4.4, aka "KitKat," introduced a new WebView component based on the Chromium open source project. It includes an updated version of the V8 JavaScript engine and support for modern Web standards not in the earlier version of WebView.
However, Google's own statistics tell a different tale.
Figures from a seven-day period ending Jan. 5 posted on the Android Developers Dashboard indicate Jelly Bean had 46 percent of the market and KitKat 39 percent. Ice Cream Sandwich had 6.7 percent and Gingerbread 7.8 percent. Lollipop didn't make the cut for the dashboard, which doesn't display any versions with less than 0.1 percent distribution.
In other words, a good 60 percent of Android users are at risk from WebView flaws.
Still, "generally speaking, Google can't go back and support all the old versions," said Al Hilwa, a research program director at IDC.
"You have to have a cutoff at some point and go forward," he told TechNewsWorld. "That's pretty normal for the industry."

Reactions to Ludwig's Ideas

"Telling app developers to just provide your renderer rather than you guys handling your own screw-ups? What a joke," wrote Jake Weisz in response to Ludwig's post. Stating the fix is expensive or difficult "is not an excuse because it's Google's responsibility."
Also, "as a developer of an app that renders content from the open Web, I feel like [the suggestion devs provide their own renderer] badly misrepresents and underestimates the work involved in such a task," Chris Lacy wrote. "Building and shipping a Web render is an absolutely massive task."
From a developer perspective, "it isn't right for Google to not provide backward compatibility or at least a support library for most of the vulnerabilities," said Anirudh Pothani, head of Android development at Copper Mobile.
"This isn't the first time Google has done something to make developers' lives hard by not providing backward compatibility," he told TechNewsWorld.
In most cases, developers "might require a custom implementation of the WebView" to patch the vulnerability, Pothani said.
However, most developers might not do anything to fix the problem, because the independents might not have the time to write their own WebView, he noted, while for corporate devs, most companies "do not provide adequate time to fix issues which might need them to rewrite the core framework being used in their app." 

Facebook, LinkedIn Come Together To Make Women Tech-Friendly!

:  In a bid to bring more women to the technology world, Facebook and LinkedIn have joined hands to promote technology amongst the members of the fairer sex. The two tech giants aim to bring balance in the technology world, which is mostly dominated by men. They also aim to bring in more women to fill in the lucrative Silicon Valley jobs.

While addressing the media jointly, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and LinkedIn CEO Jeffrey Weiner stated that in this endeavour to bring in more women in the technology world, the two companies are set to launch mentoring and support programs in the colleges, that will attract more women for studying technology and it will also help them identify future employees for their respective companies.

If we look at the statistics, only 15 per cent of the tech employees working with Facebook are women, while overall, the company employs 31 per cent women. The statistics come from the diversity figures released by the company last year. However, at LinkedIn, 17 per cent of the tech work force is women, while 39 per cent of the overall employees are women in the company. The demographics is almost similar in most of the companies at the Silicon Valley. 

Another partner in the initiative, Telle Whitney, president and CEO of the Anita Borg Institute, said that this kind of diversity will take innovation in technology to an all new level. Whitney said, “If everyone creates similar products, the results will not be interesting at all. So, it is for the sake of our future that more women are involved in all the projects, that can change our lives."

The companies did not reveal any details about their financial contributions to the initiative. They aim to go global with the initiative, adding more public and private universities. 

WhatsApp: Things To Love And Hate In This Popular Messaging Service

 WhatsApp is not just an app anymore. Its a way of life. These messaging apps have paved their ways in our lives in such a way that they have become indispensable in more ways than we can imagine. In this article, we are discussing some of the benefits and drawbacks of WhatsApp:

The benefits...

1. Standard SMSes and call rates from telcos cost bombs particularly on special days and festivals. WhatsApp has nothing to do with such rates. You can wish your loved ones as per your choice.

2. WhatsApp emojis have taken expressions to an all new level, beyond the standard smileys used in common SMS languages. Like, an emoji with two beer mugs clunking is one of the finest ways of saying 'Cheers!'

3. Picture sharing was never as instant as it has become now. You don't need to mail them, put them on Facebook or send them through MMS. You just need to click a picture and share it with a click on WhatsApp, that takes no time whatsoever.

4. Ringing door bells to call a friend is such a passé. You just need to WhatsApp a friend now to call him out, when you are waiting.

5. Having a group chat in public was difficult previously, but not anymore with WhatsApp.

...And the drawbacks

1. Tele-marketers are ruining this space as well, with useless advertising.

2. Privacy goes for a toss when people can actually look at when you were last seen, or when did you actually see their message with the blue ticks.