Top news this week: Free national roaming, Facebook-Princeton tussle and more!

From Facebook-Princeton tussle and free Wi-Fi hotspots to concerns over security and Micromax finally going international, a lot has been happened in the tech space in the past week. For all those who missed on their daily dose of tech, here's a quick recap of the top news this week.


Apple to launch two iPhones with bigger displays
Apple is likely to launch two new versions of the iPhone in 2014 with screens bigger than 4-inches, reports Wall Street Journal. The report quotes people familiar with the plan and says that, one of the models will have a 4.5-inch-plus display, while the second version will have an even bigger diagonal display size of 5 inches.


No roaming charges for MTNL and BSNL users from January 26
Adding some Republic Day cheer, Union Minister Kapil Sibal confirmed free roaming plans for MTNL and BSL users via his Twitter account. The schemes are to be in place from January 26. Several private telecom operators already offer plans under which, for a monthly or daily fee starting Rs 5, people get all incoming calls without roaming charges.

Top news this week: Free national roaming, Facebook-Princeton tussle and more!

Free national roaming


Bangalore becomes the first Indian city to offer free Wi-Fi hotspots
Touted to be the first of its kind in the country, the facility – Namma Wi-Fi (802.11N) will allow netizens in Bangalore to use smart-phones, tablets, net-books, laptops and other mobile devices to connect to internet seamlessly when they are around M.G. Road and Brigade Road in downtown or at Shantinagar or Yeshwantpur bus terminals and at upscale Indiranagar in the city’s eastern suburb.


Facebook will die out by 2017 like a disease, shows study
Researchers from Princeton University’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering predict that Facebook is fighting a losing battle. The world’s biggest social network’s growth has been pegged for a rapid decline within the next few years and the researchers claim it will lose up to 80 percent of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017.


Social disease? Facebook pokes fun at Princeton study
In response to the Princeton study, Facebook put out its own parody study, which uses ‘robust scientific analysis’ to show that Princeton will lose 80 percent of its students by 2017.

Android 4.4 KitKat update comes to Samsung Galaxy Note 3 in India
It may be under a cloud of controversy, but Samsung’s Android 4.4 KitKat update for its latest Note flagship, the Galaxy Note 3 has started hitting Indian models. The update, which started rolling out earlier this month in some European countries, doesn’t change much in terms of the UI, but there are a few notable improvements.


Do not click: That girl in the pink bikini on your Facebook News Feed is just a spam bot
Spam videos on Facebook usually tend to go viral. You usually have one friend or relative who’s clicked on a video and pretty soon that’s all you see in your News Feed as nearly everyone on that person’s list keeps getting tagged in that video. When that happens you can’t help but wonder why are you are Facebook friends with that person in the first place.


Mumbai could soon get affordable Wi-Fi from MTNL
While Bangalore gets free Wi-Fi hotspots in public places, MTNL plans to launch affordable Wi-Fi facilities at public places such as airports, railway stations, malls, hotels and the upcoming Metro stations. MTNL’s executive director Peeyush Agrawal reportedly said that the telco plans to bring affordable Wi-Fi plans across Mumbai within nine months.


Micromax launches 14 Canvas, Bolt series smartphones in Russia
Micromax finally went global this week. Micromax, is partnering with VVP Group in Russia for distribution and the Canvas and Bolt smartphones will be launched in the country. Micromax said that it will launch 14 products in the Russian market in the initial phase, and aims to be among the Top 4 brands in Russia by the end of 2014.


Micromax goes global, introduces mAd smartphone and service

Micromax goes global, introduces mAd smartphone and service

Indian army raises alarm over use of messenger apps that store data abroad
Cross-platform messaging apps born outside India are gaining traction and how. The biggest example is China’s WeChat, which is picking up users all over the world now, and is hot in India too, with tons of localised promotions running around the app’s many features. However, not everyone is happy with the rise of the messenger app, certainly not the Indian army.


Google acquires cyber security firm Impermium with India connection
The Internet giant has picked up a three-year-old startup with an India connect, called Impermium. The startup is a security company that builds products for websites and has offices in Bangalore and California and dealt in the cyber security space.


Micromax launches MAd A94 for Rs 8,490; get rewards for watching ads
Micromax has officially launched the MAd A94, a phone that rewards users for watching advertisements. The phone is priced at Rs 8,490.It works something like this: You can watch an ad before you dial a number and earn points, which can be converted into rupees to be credited to you post-paid or pre-paid accounts.


WhatsApp user base doubled to 430 million since August
WhatsApp has no intentions of pausing or slowing down when it comes to smashing landmark figures. According to recent reports, WhatsApp is now processing 50 billion messages, on an average every day and its user base has doubled to 430 million. WhatsApp had close to 200 million users in August 2013.


Candy Crush makers trademark the word ‘candy’
You want to use the word “candy” in your app? Too bad, since the owners of Candy Crush owns the word now. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has approved a filing by for granting it trademark for the word “candy”. Candy Crush maker later clarified why it patented the word.

Why patented the word

Why patented the word "Candy"


Facebook close to launching ad network business; select third-party apps already on board
Facebook said on Wednesday that it is displaying ads from a small group of marketers on other companies’ smartphone apps, the latest sign that the world’s No. 1 online social network is closer to launching an ad network business.


Sex With Glass is an app that will let you see, record yourself having sex
There’s a new weird app in town and while most of us cannot use it, that’s not the saddest part of it. Sex With Glass is an app designed for the Google wearable and the developers say they arrived at the decision to make the app by asking themselves ‘How can we make sex more awesome with Google Glass?’ But if you ask us, it must have been more like ‘Let’s make an app to really creep people out’.


WhatsApp user base doubled to 430 million since August
WhatsApp has no intentions of pausing or slowing down when it comes to smashing landmark figures. According to recent reports, WhatsApp is now processing 50 billion messages, on an average every day and its user base has doubled to 430 million. WhatsApp had close to 200 million users in August 2013.


India asked to block access to some websites: Verizon
India had asked American telecom giant Verizon to block access to certain websites in the country last year, the company has claimed. Verizon, which became the first major US telecom carrier to release a “transparency report” according to which it received 320,000 data queries last year from the US, however, did not reveal the details of the websites which were blocked.


Samsung’s Q4 operating profit declines as mobile growth slows
Samsung posted its first decline in quarterly profit in two years, hit by one-off special bonus as well as slowing smartphone sales as it braces for a year of tougher competition with rival Apple. The world’s biggest smartphone maker kept its full-year investment plan conservative and warned it would be difficult to increase earnings in the first quarter as demand pulls back from the year-end holiday period.

Profit falls

Profit falls


Apple’s iWork update brings password-protected shared documents and more
Apple  released a number of updates to its iWorks applications across all platforms including OS X, iOS and iCloud on the web. The iCloud version of the apps now has an iOS 7-like design, even when using it on the desktop. With the update, Apple has added a number of tools that will help professionals use iWork even more freely, thanks to enhanced security.


Justin Bieber gets arrested for DUI and his mugshot is promptly turned into a meme
Teen pop star Justin Bieber got arrested this week for driving under the influence (DUI), drag racing and resisting arrest. The singer, whose career kicked off on the Internet has a love hate relationship with it and naturally, the Interwebz went crazy with the news of the star’s arrest.