Technology
Currency Converter: 30,000 Currency Charts at Your Fingertips
XE Currency Converter is one of the most popular currency conversion tools available online, with over 5 million downloads and access to more than 30,000 currency charts.
 
It converts every world currency, with rates and charts. Most of the conversions can be stored offline, so that they work even without an Internet connection. Live rates of precious metals are also thrown in, for added utility.
 
You can customise your experience by storing your favourites on top and also get a widget for your most-often-used currency on your home screen. A cool feature is that, if you want to reset the most recent conversions, you just shake your phone and presto! There you are! 
 
The converter is also available online at www.xe.com If you are in the travel industry, or travel a lot, this is a must-have tool.
 
 

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How To Avoid Digital ID Issues
With millions of people being pushed into digital economy, there is urgent need to create awareness, not only among first-time users but also regulars, about safety and security issues in the virtual world. The most important issue for an individual in the virtual, or digital, world is to protect his/her identity (ID). But that is exactly what the new age thieves are looking out for. 
 
One’s presence on the Internet is established through an online ID, like an email ID or Facebook profile or Twitter handle. This is used to share information and also to perform transactions in cyberspace. However, you and I are not alone in this virtual world and there are some dangers similar to the ones in the physical world. The only difference is that when we lose something in the physical world, we can try to retrieve it in some way. But, if you lose any of your virtual IDs, the process to reclaim it is not just tedious; in some cases, it has the potential to wipe out your existence from the web. Identity theft can be used for making fraudulent transactions. 
 
However, Indians are yet to comprehend the huge risks posed by virtual ID. This explains why people have been easily lured to part with their biometrics on the pretence of the Aadhaar, for getting government benefits. So, how does one protect one’s personal ID? The primary responsibility for this lies with oneself. Therefore, in case of your virtual ID theft, most probably, you would be held responsible. 
 
So, how exactly does identity theft take place? It often happens when you fall for phishing, download malware or ransomware, use unsecured Wi-Fi, use an ATM which is compromised (through skimmer), fall for lottery scams and share passwords with others. I have given just a few examples
The problem in virtual ID theft is that you come to know of it only when you have been cheated. This may be monetary (withdrawal of money from ATM or siphoning money from your accounts) or virtual losses (derogatory posts under your name on social media). 
Here are some safeguards:
1. Use strong passwords, with at least eight or more characters. Preferred character length is 13. Use a non-dictionary word. Use a mix of upper and lower case characters and add special characters in between.
2. Transact only with companies or websites you know. Avoid clicking on ‘readymade’ links. Type the URL of the website and go to the desired page from there.
3. Many portals sell the information of users. So, do read their click-and-wrap agreements and privacy policies. Several social networking sites actually use or sell information (not personal data) about you to display advertising or other information they believe might be useful to you.
4. Share only the information that is required or mandatory to access or use the website.
5. Avoid providing details of your work life and place of living, while sharing photos. Sharing photos of your near and dear ones should be a strict no.
6. Remember not to post any adverse or negative comment. This is because, once written, this will remain in cyberspace as your history.
7. For digital payments, look out for that extra ‘s’ in the URL, like https. Also, look for the trusted security lock symbol.
8. Remember what your mother may have told you: Don’t talk to strangers! 
9. Verify emails and links you may get through them. In case of doubt regarding a link, refer to point 2 above.
10. Regularly update software and the anti-virus of your devices, including Desktop/laptop and mobile.
11. Change the ATM PIN frequently. And do not share it with anyone. That applies to all your passwords.
12. If, In spite of all this, you have been snared, go to the police.

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This is how the great LeEco India story went bust
After arriving in India in January last year, Chinese internet and technology conglomerate LeEco fast became the "true disrupter" in the evolving Indian smartphone market with its huge marketing spend -- and the announcement of a state-of-the-art assembling/manufacturing unit.
 
News that the company has fired 85% of its India staff across the sales, marketing and distribution departments -- and confirmed by a company source to IANS on Friday -- has effectively punctured a mammoth dream just within a year. 
 
The source also confirmed to IANS that both Atul Jain, Chief Operating Officer, Smart Electronics Business, and Debashish Ghosh, Chief Operating Officer for Internet Applications, Services and Content, were "asked to leave" and had not quit as reported.
 
Speculation is also rife that LeEco may finally exit the country after spending millions on promoting its ecosystem of "superphones" and "super TVs".
 
"LeEco is in serious financial trouble and has, as a consequence, practically ceased India operations. The staff layoffs are a direct consequence of this. Even in the previous quarter, their shipments were close to zero," Jaideep Mehta, Managing Director, IDC South Asia, told IANS.
 
After its entry into India, the company launched five superphones, a LeEco membership of content and internet services, its e-commerce platform LeMall and, most recently, "SuperTVs".
 
"LeEco, as the name suggests, was built on the premise of an ecosystem. The device would open a user to an ecosystem and it was not just a smartphone. However, for a country like India, and even for many countries globally, this ecosystem isn't ready yet. Paid content consumption hasn't become big enough for a company to survive while earning nothing on the device itself," Faisal Kawoosa, Principal Analyst, Telecoms, CyberMedia Research (CMR), told IANS. 
 
On the contrary, if you see other handset brands, to an extent they too make money from content, but as value-added earnings -- which is just a fraction of the actual earnings out of the device. For them, it is akin to average revenue per user (ARPU) of a telecom operator where the operator wants to earn more per user by offering additional services.
 
"LeEco came in to disrupt this business model and make the secondary streams of earnings as their primary. For that to happen, the ecosystem hasn't arrived yet. So their positioning as well as proposition went wrong. It dismayed a user to see nothing extraordinary in terms of Device+ strategy," Kawoosa added.
 
In August, LeEco announced a $7 million manufacturing unit in Greater Noida in the presence of IT and Electronics Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
 
"As the market size for electronics is expected to grow to $400 billion by 2020, it is imperative to promote indigenous manufacturing. LeEco is a name of global reputation and it is heartening to see it align with 'Make in India' after entering India just eight months earlier," Prasad had told the gathering.
 
LeEco planned to ramp up the production to approximately 200,000 "superphones" per month by the end of 2016, before a severe financial crunch caught up with the company. 
 
"I think there was a disconnect with their go-to-market strategy. Being an online player they spending was almost like a player with an offline distribution strategy. Although their products were good, it was the overall marketing strategy that led to quick cash-burn," Tarun Pathak, Senior Analyst, Mobile Devices and Ecosystems at New Delhi-based Counterpoint Research, told IANS.
 
According to Kawoosa, for few years, LeEco should have positioned itself as a brand offering better specs of hardware at affordable prices. 
 
"Eventually, as the ecosystem would have matured, they could have played the LeEco card," Kawoosa told IANS. 
 
For assembling/manufacturing in India, LeEco had partnered with the US-based company M2i which will continue to manufacture for others if, by any chance, LeEco doesn't continue to manufacture in India. 
 
"I would say, these experiments will go on and we may see brands coming in and out for manufacturing in India. For 'Make in India', I wouldn't consider this as a blow yet," Pathak noted. 
 
Given the LeEco experience, other smartphone players need to look at their scale of operations and play to their strengths. 
 
"Since India is a such a diverse market, one strategy doesn't lead to guaranteed success throughout the country. With the smartphone segment being so competitive, and amidst razor-thin margins, brands need to watch their campaigns and invest wisely," added Kawoosa.
 
"It is simply a case of an over-ambitious company going under," Mehta noted.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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Superb article
Indian phone and internet market is still getting a feel of new technology. The penetration is low as far as latest technology adoption is concerned.

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