Monday, July 29, 2013

Android Devices Globally Vulnerable to Massive Security Threat?

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Bluebox, a mobile security company, recently revealed that nearly all the android devices launched in the last four years have a massive flaw in them making them vulnerable to various threats. The flaw can even let a hacker 'take over' and 'control' the android devices, as Forbes puts it.

Android security threat
Android Security Threat

The  vulnerability is due to the process how Android apps are approved and verified allowing hackers to tamper the application code without changing the app's cryptographic signatures. That means any app that looks safe can actually have a malicious code embedded within it. And this flaw can let the hacker gain control of all permissions on the phone or tablet.

|If you want to read the news in detail, refer to this article originally published in Venture Beat on July 3|

However this flaw can be corrected by updating the android version, which contains a patch to cover the loophole. Users who are unsure of their phone’s update status or who are unable to update should be extremely cautious when installing apps, Bluebox says, and be sure to identify the publisher of the app before installing it. In addition, it’s a good idea to only install apps from Google Play, where Google has the ability to verify and validate apps.

One thing you can do to ensure you are safe, regardless of which app store you frequent, is to use Google Play as an application verification tool regardless of where you’ve downloaded your apps. To do that, simply go to apps menu and tap Google Settings > Verify apps, or, in Android 4.2 and higher, go to Settings > Security > Verify apps.

[Image Source: PhoneArena]

Friday, July 26, 2013

Digital Index in Nepal on the Rise--An Analysis based on NTA's Monthly Report

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Yet again Nepal Telecommunications Authority has released its monthly report on telecommunication scenario in Nepal. The report based on data collected till the date of June 14, 2013 shows a significant growth in the telephone penetration in Nepal over last one month.

The report shows that the telephone users in Nepal have increased by 1.74% from 77.11% last month to 78.85% this month. Yet again the increase is significantly due to the increase in mobile penetration in Nepal from 68.45% last month to 70.04% while the percent of users of fixed telephone lines has increased by only 0.01 percent.

With total of 10,346,794 users, Ncell has gained a percent in its market share and now has 50% of total market shares while the mrket share of NTC remains static at 43% with total of 8,964,595 users while UTL has suffered a loss of 1% in its users and now has 3% of total users same as SmartTel .


Digital Index Increasing in Nepal (upto 14th june, 2013) from Janaki Technology Pvt. Ltd.


There has also been an increase of 0.59% in the internet penetration in Nepal from 25.23 percent last month to 25.82 percent as per June 14. Although, there is increase in number of users of all the internet services, GPRS still leads the users’ choice of internet service while the newly initiated WiMax service from NTC seems to be getting popular and has gained 683 more users since last month and now has 1886 users. Although Ncell  still leads with 51 percent of entire market share in internet, it is a percent less than last month of 52 percent  while NTC has the same percent of market shares as last month with 46 percent. UTL has gained a percent in its internet user and now has 2 percent of market share while other ISPs follow behind with 1 percent.

If we look at the data over the last one year, the mobile penetration has increased by 13.94% while there has been 6.88 percent increase in internet users in Nepal.

Overall, the data suggests that the penetration of communication technologies in Nepal is getting stronger and with the introduction of new operators and service providers there is strong competition in the market. While, Ncell still remains to be the most popular brand in telecommunication, WiMax the new internet service brought by NTC is getting popular with time. 


'Result via Sparrow SMS' gets 'Special Mention' at mBillionth 2013

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Everytime we achieve something, we just can't resist sharing our happiness with you. This time it is a recognition on a South Asian Platform. Sparrow SMS (@sparrowsms) was awarded 'Special Mention of the Year' for m-Education and Learning category, at mBillionth Awards 2013 at New Delhi.

If you have read our previous blog post, you should know that our Exam Results via SMS service was selected as a finalist to compete with others in the m-Education and Learning category. And this service managed to bag away the Special Mention title in the awards ceremony.

While this is a very small step to introducing our service to industries in other country, we take it as a good beginning. Our aim is to use  technology to make things simpler for people in their daily lives. We have been trying to do this by bringing you services that are very user friendly both in terms of use and costs. Some of our services are even focused on extremely sensitive areas like Blood donation as well. So it feels good when our efforts are recognized on a platform like this.

Take a look at some of the pictures below of the awards and the program at New Delhi. And wish us luck encouraging us to introduce and effectively use more SMS services in a variety of useful ways.

amit agarwal mbillionthamit agrawal mbillionth





Friday, July 19, 2013

Looking to start a Company? Get an Online Mentor!

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For details SMS Mentor to 34001

Startup culture is growing in Nepal and across the globe. Today more and more startups are stepping in the market with solutions to various needs. Younger people, especially, these days are more interested in setting up their own business than getting a job, but the current education system does not provide them with enough skills and knowledge to start their own startup. But now, the young entrepreneurs in the country have an excellent opportunity to get mentoring from experienced coaches in order to get assistance in setting up a startup that will eventually establish them as successful entrepreneurs. And those who have already learned enough from their experience to assist others,they can register as a online mentor. 

yen marketplace sparrow sms nepal
Get a free online Mentor

In May 2012, YEN Marketplace, the Youth Employment Network (YEN) a partnership of the United Nations, the International Labour Organization and the World Bank, set up after the Millennium Summit in 2001 to find new and durable solutions to the youth employment challenge, launched the E-Coaching programme for young entrepreneurs (16-35). The E-Coaching programme matches experienced E-Coaches to young entrepreneurs based on the mentor’s area of expertise, type of industry, location, language and time availability.



The official website of YEN, the YEN Marketplace (yenmarketplace.org), is an online community where youth employment stakeholders can come to find or exchange ideas, resources, and partnership. One of these services is a free E-Coaching programme for young entrepreneurs. The programme aims to:

  • Provide entrepreneurs with direct access to business expertise
  • Facilitate knowledge sharing between entrepreneurs & experts
  • Provide substantial personal support to entrepreneurs to supplement their institutional and financial resources
The YEN Marketplace E-Coaching programme matches experienced E-Coaches to young entrepreneurs based on the mentor’s area of expertise, type of industry, location, language and time availability (e.g. 3 hours per month). E-coaches provide business support and advice to young entrepreneurs and accompany them through the process of setting up their business and finding solutions to specific business challenges. Participating entrepreneurs benefit from the mentor’s advice, knowledge and expertise in a specific industry. E-Coaches receive online mentoring training before they start and the Marketplace provides an online platform for communication and networking.

To be eligible to register as an entrepreneur, one must fulfill the following eligibility criteria:
  • Young entrepreneur (aged 16-35) who has recently started or is in the process of starting a business.
  • Reliable access to a good internet connection because E-Coach will communicate with the entrepreneur online (mostly email and Skype).
  • Willing to dedicate at least two hours per month for a minimum period of 6 months, preferably for a period of 12 months. Proficient in one of the following languages: English, Spanish, French.
The E-coaches must have the following credential:
  • Master of Business Administration with at least five years of managerial or entrepreneurial experience OR at least seven years of managerial or entrepreneurial experience.
  • Regular access to a good internet connection, since most of the training and communication with YEN and the entrepreneur will take place online.
  • Willing to dedicate at least two hours per month for a minimum period of 6 months, preferably for a period of 12 months.
  •  Proficient in one of the following languages: English, Spanish, French.
  •  Managerial or entrepreneurial experience in one or more of the following areas of expertise and industry:
    • Area of Expertise: Accounting, Human Resources, International Trade, Law and Legal, Management and Leadership, Marketing and Business Development, Operation and Logistics, Sales, Social Responsibility, Starting Up and Business Planning, Technology and Internet
    • Industry: Agriculture/Agro-Industry, Applied Arts, Banking and Finance, Community & Social Services, Education, Electronics, Energy, Environmental/Green, Equipment, Food and Beverages, Health, Hospitality and Restauration, Import/Export Trades, Insurance, Manufacture of Clothing, Manufacture of Electronics, Manufacture of Metal Products, Manufacture of Plastic Products, Manufacture of Textiles, Non-Profit, Real Estate, Retail, Transportation, Wholesale
This is an excellent opportunity for both aspiring entrepreneurs and established entrepreneurs, to come up  together and assist in setting up the next generation startups. And this facility is available for people around the world.

To register as an young entrepreneurs or as an E-coach visit: yenmarketplace.org/e-coaching.

For details SMS Mentor to 34001


To attend a Seminar on this visit here.
or call 9802005013

           


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How to View the HSEB Result 2070

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[ HSEB results are published. Type HSEB<space>symbol no. and send the SMS to 35001.]

The HSEB results 2070 for Grade twelve are likely to be out within a month. The results will be available via SMS and IVR and on the websites of telecom operators. Other websites like that of news media and education portals will not be authorized to publish the result this year whereas, telecom operators like NTC, NCELL, UTL and others can publish the result on their websites.

The HSEB has already asked the SMS and IVR service providers to submit the proposal for providing the HSEB results. Sparrow SMS, a leading service provider in the country, has been providing the HSEB result with marksheet since three years now.



Once the results are out you can follow the following simple steps to obtain the result along with the marksheet directly in the cellphone

Type HSEB<space>symbol no. and send the SMS to 35001.


Sparrow SMS wishes all the best to all the HSEB students awaiting their results.

*Each SMS costs NRS 5+taxes

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sparrow SMS is an mBillionth finalist for 2013

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Sparrow SMS is proud to let you know that we are representing Nepal as a finalist in mBillionth Award South Asia for the year 2013. mBillionth Awards aims to recognize &  honor excellence in mobile communications across South Asia. Currently running in its 4th year, the mission of this program is to become the most influential & leading platform to explore, recognize & honor the best practices in Mobile & Telecom Industry across South Asia.


At Sparrow SMS, it all started with the intention to introduce the power of SMS platform globally in a unique and socially beneficial way. We have been providing exam results of Nepal's academic courses through SMS since last three years. This service is easy to use, accessible throughout the nation and costs very less compared to other traditional media. And on top of that is the instant response nature of this service that allows user to immediately obtain his/her results on a cellphone. mBillionth seemed the best platform to us to introduce the power of such systems among the mobile industrialists of South Asia. And here takes off our journey to become a finalist. 

Our service has been selected to compete with other finalists in the m-Education & Learning category. And we believe a global platform like mBillionth will help us share our knowledge and ideas with industry peers and also place Nepal as a nation that is quickly trying to catch up with the rapid innovation around the world. Wish us luck as we compete with other powerful systems to give this service & our nation a global recognition in the field of mobile innovation. 

Also here is a snapshot of this news being featured in THT, Nepal. Have a read.
sparrow mbillionth award

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Participate in the Third Green ICT Application Challenge, Help make the World a Better Place

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For Details SMS GICT to 37001

Climate change and energy crisis are two of the most pressing problems that the world is currently faced with.  Technology on the other hand is evolving into a strong and extremely useful tool to combat all kinds of world problems.  In order to use technology to combat climate change and energy crisis, International Telecom Union (ITU) launched a Green ICT Application Challenge to find the best and most innovative idea for a climate change focused application on April 12, 2011.

The challenge is focused on finding an innovative application that can help improve energy efficiency and combat climate change. Open for participants from ITU Member States, ITU and Telefónica are organizing the 3rd Green ICTApplication Challenge this year to invite developers to submit the best and most innovative Concept Paper for an ICT application to help build Smart Sustainable Cities and achieve environmental sustainability in urban areas.


It is necessary that the cities in the present time adopt sustainable development policy in order to face the challenge of growing population and meet the rising demand of resources and services. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can be the driver for solutions to the problems faced by cities. Due to their ubiquitous application in all human activities, ICTs can provide solutions to make cities of the future smart and sustainable, as well as stimulating positive behavioral changes towards environmental issues.  

The areas to be focused upon while submitting the papers this year are:
  • Energy management
  • Water management and sanitation
  • Waste management
  • Transport and mobility
  • Urban planning, including smart buildings
  • Adaptation to climate change
  • Smart societies, community engagement and environmental education 
The interested participants may also form a team and submit paper on behalf of the team. The requirements of the paper are listed below:

  1. A detailed Concept Paper (maximum of 6,000 words) describing a new and innovative ICT application that would help build Smart Sustainable Cities. The proposed application may be any kind of software tool, platform or game, be it for the web, a personal computer, tablet or a mobile device;
  2. Screenshots and diagrams illustrating the application’s proposed features and functions;
  3. An implementation plan for the development of the application;
  4. An explanation of how the idea would help build Smart Sustainable Cities and provide an ICT solution to environmental or sustainability issues. 
The paper has to be submitted until 15th of July. The winner of the challenge will be announced on 26th of August and awarded in and ceremony on 18th of September this year. The winner of the challenge will be awarded a cash prize of 5,000 USD and will be invited to present his/her paper in the third Green Standards Week being held from September 16 to 20 in Madrid, Spain. The Green Standards Week will bring together leading specialists in the field, from top policy-makers to engineers, designers, planners, government officials, regulators, academia, standards experts and others. The main purpose is to raise awareness of the importance and opportunities of using ICT standards to build a green economy and shape smart sustainable cities.

Individuals from Nepal, an ITU member country, too can participate in the challenge. Those interested from Nepal can contact Pankaj Chettri, an IT graduate working as an ICT expert at Equal Access. Mr. Chettri is the ITU Ambassador for Nepal and is responsible for promoting ITU Green ICT Application Challenge 2013 in Nepal through various media. He has been working to make Nepalese aware of the global ICT events and to motivate them to participate in global competitions.

For details visit :

or
SMS GICT to 37001

You can also mail Pankaj Chettri at pchhetri@equalaccess.org

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