Giving start-ups a leg up

As part of its recently launched programme for start-ups, the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) organised StartupRoots, in partnership with tech venture NextBigWhat.

With the aim of evangelising the entrepreneurial landscape in the country, NASSCOM has invited early stage entrepreneurs to attend enriching sessions by founders of successful start-ups and active angel investors, a NASSCOM press release stated. The highlight of the event was four early stage ventures pitching for live on-spot funding to angel investors in a Shark Tank format. K.K. Natarajan, Chairman, NASSCOM, said: “We have received an overwhelming response for the 10,000 start-ups programme with over 2,000 applications in the last 20 days. Our goal is to help these start-ups scale up their business and also globally position India as ‘the innovative start-up destination’. The Silicon Valley roadshow planned by 10,000 start-ups will be an important first step in that direction.” NASSCOM launched the programme last month.

Celebrating Hardware Freedom Day

On Saturday, as part of their weekly activities, the GNU Linux Users’ Group (GLUG) of the BMS Institute of Technology, Bangalore, celebrated Hardware Freedom Day. The event, conducted by the Free Software Movement of Karnataka, included demonstration of Open Hardware ideas such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi with applications ranging from automatic bots to colour recognition using image processing.

Hardware Freedom Day, an initiative meant to popularise the area of an open ecosystem in hardware similar to that in software, is in its second year. Participants discussed the importance of an open ecosystem for hardware. Mahidhar C., a computer science student, said he found the idea of open hardware and ecosystem exciting. “These electronic boards are affordable and open up avenues for us students to explore many concepts and get hands-on experience. Barring such opportunities, we would have been confined to mere textbook interpretation,” he said. Boards such as Arduino were very easy to work with and building projects on these could be easy, even if one is not from the circuit branches, he added.

A press release from the Free Software Movement of Karnataka said that it was conducting another Hardware Freedom Day celebration on its premises on Sunday. For details, visit

Indian IT sites on phishers’ radar

Indian IT sites were prime targets when it came to phishing attacks in 2012, according to the latest Symantec Intelligence Report. The report states that the global phishing rate is one in 466.3 emails (0.214 per cent), and that the number of phishing URLs associated with Indian brands accounted for 0.15 per cent of the global phishing statistics.

While education was at the top of the most targeted websites in 2011, it fell to second place in 2012, the report said. States where phishing sites spoofing education websites was most prevalent were Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab as well as Delhi. The report states: “Phishers continue to pursue Indian sites across many disciplines to host their phishing pages.” The most targeted Indian sites across categories were information technology (14.40 per cent), education (11.9 per cent), product sales and services (9.8 per cent), industrial and manufacturing (7.3 per cent), and tourism, travels and transport (5.8 per cent). Interestingly, the figures for secure websites such as government-hosted sites, telecom and Internet service provider portals were low.

Juniper’s new programmable switches

Networking major Juniper Networks unveiled three new products designed to boost business agility and simplify network management, an increasing challenge in the face of a spike in mobile users, BYOD (bring-your-own-device) in offices, and new enterprise application deployments.

Juniper introduces a new agile, “programmable” network that allows network operators to respond to business changes and monitor and react to how the network meets application service-level agreement (SLA) requirements in a matter of seconds, not days or weeks, a release from the company stated.

The release explains that while the new Juniper Networks EX9200 Programmable Switch enables accelerated response to changing business needs, the Juniper Networks JunosV Wireless LAN Controller will deliver high levels of reliability and flexibility across the enterprise to lower capital expense. The Junos® Space Network Director provides a single-pane-of-glass network management solution for wired and wireless LANs and data centres.

Jonathan Davidson, senior vice-president, Campus and Data Center Business Unit, Juniper Networks, said in a release: “It is critical for enterprises to design their infrastructure to adapt to emerging business requirements with programmable and flexible platforms. The new switches future readies enterprises for adaptability and ultimately cost optimisation; a solution customers can buy today and that will grow with their needs over time.”