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    2197

    BestWeb.lk 2014 a unique, innovative competition organized by the LK Domain Registry will be held for the fifth time this year. This web-based competition recognizes high-quality Sri Lankan websites in a number of different categories. It is aimed at encouraging site owners and developers to improve the quality of their sites.

    Entries for the competition opened on 5th May with judging scheduled to take place in July. The awards ceremony will be in early August. Sites will be judged on both creativity and technical achievement. The Panel of Judges comprises industry experts in their respective fields with broad web expertise and ability to spot excellence. The public too can contribute by voting for their favourite site.

    Jiffry Zulfer, Chief Technology Officer of Anything.lk says that “Participating and winning in the Bestweb.lk competition was an important milestone in the growth of our company”. Rosheeni Madanayake Wijesekera, Vice President Group Corporate Communications of DFCC Bank says that “We look forward every year to the Bestweb.lk competition. It’s a healthy competition which compels participants to strive towards presenting innovative, user-friendly web solutions”.

    This year competitors can compete under nine(9) categories:  Government, Nonprofit, Commercial, E-Commerce, Corporate-Banking & Finance, Advertising & Marketing, Media, Sports & Entertainment, Travel & Tourism.  In addition to these, a number of special awards will be presented. More details can be found online at www.bestweb.lk.

    2844

    3 Teams from TechnoPlanet Labs, the R&D labs of Manav Rachna College of Engineering, Faridabad (Harayana ,India) bagged the First, Second and Third positions at the National Finale of the Microsoft Imagine Cup for the ‘Innovations’ Category held at the Microsoft Innovation Centre, Greater Noida, India.

    The first position was bagged by Team Dexters  who innovated RespirON. RespirON provides a great and personalized tool to better understand asthma and help the Asthma Patient and his physician to come up with the best plan on how to manage it thus helping the patient to live a healthy and active life. Team Dexters is represented by Shanu, Ajay Kumar, Saini, Shubam Goel, Roshit Gopinath.

    Team Pathfinders, scored the second position with MovAid, “MovAid” is world’s first personalized solution to measure and monitor the recovery or rehabilitation of any individual after undergoing any orthopedic trauma, surgery, injury or joint replacements.Team Path Finders comprises of Prashant Gupta, Pritam Singh, Piyush Verma and Jehi Jha.

    Team Technoplanet stood at the Third position with “Smart Skull” which is an automatic alert system that provides alerts for the victim’s relatives & emergency numbers in case of accident so that the victim receives emergency medical care in time. Nikhil Dalmia, Saurabh Kanwar, Ankit Sachdeva, Vimish Madaan belong to Team Technoplanet. It also features an audio navigation system as well as wireless calling.

    Winners India Imagine cup 2014

    It is noteworthy that of the 10 teams competing in the national finals for the innovation category at The Microsoft Imagine Cup, five were from TechnoPlanet Labs., out of which Three teams which stood first, second and third at the national finale have made it further to the Semi- Finals to be held in the first week of May 2014.The International Finals of Microsoft Imagine Cup will be held in the last week of July in Seattle.

    Microsoft Imagine Cup, which is referred to as the Olympics of Technology, is a platform for young entrepreneurs, developers and innovators to develop and showcase their technology-based new business ideas, create products, put together business plans and even take their products to the markets. This year 60,000 student innovators participated in the competition from 25 Indian states. The three categories wherein innovations are done are The Innovations Category, The World Citizenship Category and The Gaming Category.

    Last year too, in Imagine Cup, 2013- Team Path Finders consisting of Nikhil Dalmia, Prashant Gupta, Pritam Singh , Hardik Garg with their mentor Manasvi Sihag won the Indian finals of Microsoft Imagine Cup in both Innovation and world citizenship category and represented India in the world finals in St. Petersburg,Russia.

    4093

    Blue Ocean Ventures and the Indian Angel Network collaborate for the third successive year to host Venture Engine 2014, a project aimed at fostering entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka.  Over its brief two year duration, the project has served as a springboard for 12 businesses, garnering Rs. 200 million in investment collectively.  In addition to opening the door to financial backing, Venture Engine provides startups with access to a breadth of expertise in the form of workshops and mentoring sessions via Lankan Angel Network (LAN) and the Indian Angel Network (IAN).

    Endorsing the event for the third consecutive year are platinum sponsors Expolanka and Orion City and gold sponsor Dialog Axiata, organisations consistently at the forefront of the Sri Lankan business arena.  Venture Engine is run, mentored and filtered by Lankan Angel Network, Sri Lanka’s first alliance of angel investors.

    The competition is open to owners of startup businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs.  An open call for business plans was officially launched on the 29th of April and the close of submissions is scheduled for May 26th, after which a rigorous selection process will ensue.  A panel of potential local and overseas investors will review business plans of applicants, selecting a minimum of 20 applications to move on to the second pitch round, and provide valuable critique and insight during this segment of the process.

    The top applicants benefit from valuable opportunities to enrich their business plans through a series of workshops and one to one mentoring sessions with successful local and international investors.  These entrepreneurs will make a final pitch to a panel of local and international investors with the most exceptional business plans announced at a finale.

    “A salient feature of Venture Engine is that the entrepreneur is granted the opportunity to pitch directly to the investors.  The selected candidates are mentored by LAN and IAN, and there is no ceiling on funds made available through the angel group.  Thus any fundable startup in the top ten has a good opportunity to gain the required investment to set up and expand their company,” explained Prajeeth Balasubramaniam, Managing Director, Blue Ocean Ventures.

    Mr. Prajeeth Balasubramaniam, Co-Founder of Blue Ocean Ventures addresses the audience

    Mr. Prajeeth Balasubramaniam, Co-Founder of Blue Ocean Ventures addresses the audience

    “We were charting new territory in 2012 when we launched the first Venture Engine programme. With foreign investors eager to capitalise on post war growth and budding entrepreneurs looking to spread their wings, the need for an effective startup ecosystem was identified.  Over the last two years we have witnessed an impressive display of talent and drive, reinforcing our decision to launch Venture Engine in Sri Lanka.

    “The success of startups from the last two events has seen our investor base expanding.  Sustainability is key and Venture Engine’s role effectively extends beyond the immediate capital infusion.  Our team of mentors continue to provide insight and guidance after the new ventures are underway,” added Balasubramaniam.

    “Venture Engine is a unique initiative.  It has inspired entrepreneurship and also driven angel investing in Sri Lanka. Year on year, it has brought critical money and mentoring to young Sri Lankan entrepreneurs. IAN is proud to have helped found Lankan Angel Network, partnered VE and brought in investors from around the world to the island nation,” said Padmaja Ruparel, President, Indian Angel Network.

    “From simple beginnings as a small fruit and vegetable exporter in Dam Street, Expolanka has risen to a diversified conglomerate ranked amongst the top ten business entities in Sri Lanka with a global footprint across 18 countries.  Entrepreneurship is the cornerstone upon which our success is built and we understand the challenges of venturing out on new territory.  We see immense value in the exposure and guidance VE provides its participants and its cascading effect on the economy,” stated Hanif Yusoof, Group CEO, Expolanka.

    “Innovation and entrepreneurship are such fundamental principles of the IT industry that the terms have almost become synonymous.  The most significant technological advancements have been brought about by entrepreneurs with marketable ideas and unwavering drive.  Without platforms such as VE, we run the costly risk of these ideas never reaching realization.  Orion City, once a startup itself, understands this need and is committed to developing the Sri Lankan IT sector.  Furthering this goal, we are excited to announce the launch of Orion Nest, a dedicated facility for start-ups,” emphasised Jeevan Gnanam, CEO/Director of Orion City.

    “The Venture Engine amply demonstrates the value creation potential of a synergistic platform which brings together Innovation, Risk Capital and Domain Expertise. World over, Venture capital has proven to be an essential ingredient in driving innovation and national competitiveness. Dialog is privileged to be a partner in the Venture Engine competition for the third successive year and it is particularly rewarding to note that within a short space of two years, the Venture Engine programme has succeeded in seeding several business ventures which are globally competitive,” said Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, Group Chief Executive of Dialog Axiata PLC.

    Venture Engine has made substantial headway not just in facilitating startups, but in creating general interest in entrepreneurial ventures amongst investors and potential candidates.

    Information on the programme, previous years’ events, and past participants are available on the project website www.ventureengine.lk.  Application process information and resources are also available on the website with entries accepted on submissions@ventureengine.lk.  Further assistance will be provided on contacting inquiries@ventureengine.lk.

    2962

    Firefox has finally managed to roll-out their GUI redesign. Although it has an uncanny resemblance to Google’s elite Chrome browser, Mozilla who boasts about the refurbishment as ‘Mozilla Introduces the Most Customizable Firefox Ever with an Elegant New Design‘ is adamant that they have enhanced the functionality as well. Customization and Firefox Sync is boosted up and Bookmarking and accessing Add-ons Manager have been simplified.

    Mozilla in their blog states:

    We reimagined and redesigned Firefox to reflect how you use the Web today and we are excited to introduce many features including an elegant and fun design, new menu, customization mode and an enhanced Firefox Sync service powered by Firefox Accounts.

    According to them, the improvements are as follows:

    • Elegant New Design: Sleek new tabs and an overall modern look that makes it easier to experience the Web the way you want.
    • Customization Mode: Makes it easy for you to personalize your Web experience to access the features you use the most. You can easily drag and drop your favorite feature, tool or add-on in the menu or toolbar.
    • Firefox Menu: Includes popular browser controls, features and add-ons in one place to make it easier and faster to access them. The menu is completely customizable so you can edit or add features you use most.
    • Fun and Simple Bookmarks: You can create bookmarks with a single click and manage them from the same place.
    • Easy Access to Add-ons Manager: Firefox includes an Add-ons Manager you can access directly from the menu to help easily discover and install add-ons.
    • Enhanced Firefox Sync Powered by Firefox Accounts: Just create a Firefox Account and our sync feature makes it even easier to setup and add multiple devices with end-to-end encryption. Firefox Sync gives you access to Awesome Bar history, saved passwords, bookmarks, open tabs and form data across your computers and mobile Android devices.

    Along with these novelties, Firefox has continued to strengthen its compatibility with Web Platforms and Developer Tools.

    4664

    Young Sri Lankan duo,  Mihil and Ruvin Suriyappreuma who are nine and twelve may have become the youngest Android Apps developer siblings in the world. They have released their first two apps based on Android OS for Android mobile devices and are now available to be downloaded from Google Play Store free of charge.

    According to Daily FT they have taken over the record from two brothers who were ten and twelve years old, when together publishing one iOS app for Apple devices. Mihil and Ruvin are studying at Gateway College Colombo and their apps are branded  ‘RAMPS’ in Google Play Store, which is the acronym for ‘Ruvin and Mihil – Play Smart.’ Their apps Cool Times : A fun way of learning multiplication for kids and Family Photo : A fun album for the whole family are now available to be downloaded from Play Store.

    We wish the young App Developers all the very best and we await to hear some ground breaking feats from them in future.

    Source: Daily FT

    2169

    At the Northshore College premises “ROBOCOM 2014”, the first ever Robotics Competition for the college is to be held on the 24th of April 2014 from 10 am onwards.

    Realizing the potential that Robotics possessed,  “The Northshore College Robotics Society” with the ultimate goal of instilling the very essence of Robotics in Northshore College, was created. In order to expose students to the robotics era of technology,  “ROBOCOM 2014” has been organized , the first ever Robotics competition at Northshore. ROBOCOM is a challenge that which tests participant groups on some of the basic principles of Robotics. Essentially the Bot needs to be able to place/pick an object and follow a line. With the announcement of ROBOCOM, almost all Robotics Enthusiasts or “ROBOMANIACS” within the Software, Electrical and Electronics respects of Northshore have collaborated and formed powerful teams, each comprised of no more than five individual. Almost all the teams have completed the construction of the Bot.

    To make the competition a true race to the finish line, cash prizes will be offered to the First, Second and Third teams of the competition. DMS (PVT) Ltd. are the prize sponsors for the competition with Digit being the media partner.

    All who are interested in Robotics are cordially invitedo to joins as Northshore puts first steps into the world of Robotics.

    Fb event page here

    2010

    Start of this week paved way to unearthing a major security breach  at the very core  of the internet. Globally known as ‘Heartbleed’, it may have been divulging users’ personal information and passwords to hackers and other eavesdroppers for the past couple of years. Major websites such as Instagram, Pinterest, USMagazine.com, NASA, and Creative Commons together with many other web services that are using OpenSSL for encryption were badly influenced by this security flaw last Monday.

    Catastrophic is the right word. On the scale of 1 to 10, this is an 11

    This bug was discovered by a team of security engineers (Riku, Antti and Matti) at Codenomicon and Neel Mehta of Google Security, who first reported it to the OpenSSL team. According to Computer Security Expert  Bruce Schneier ”‘catastrophic’ is the right word. On the scale of 1 to 10, this is an 11.” The severity of the flaw has demanded its own webspace at HeartBleed.com, which states:

    ‘The Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet. SSL/TLS provides communication security and privacy over the Internet for applications such as web, email, instant messaging (IM) and some virtual private networks (VPNs). The Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. This compromises the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic, the names and passwords of the users and the actual content. This allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users.’

    So you better change your passwords of OpenSSL used websites right now right now , if you have not done already.

    Since Heartbleed bug was revealed, a Fixed OpenSSL has been released and now it has to be deployed by Operating system vendors and distribution, appliance vendors, independent software vendors and notify their users. Service providers and users have to install the fix as it becomes available for the operating systems, networked appliances and software they use. Reports suggests that over half a million widely trusted websites are vulnerable to Heartbleed bug.  Mashable has compiled a list of global websites and services that were influenced by this breech. So if you have an account in major services such as Facebook, Instagram, Google, Tumblr, Pinterest and Yahoo, you better change your password right now, if you have not done already.

    7431

    Professor Abhaya Induruwa today (April 8th) joins the elite ranks of notable individuals who have been inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame for their significant contributions to the advancement of the global Internet. The Internet Hall of Fame inducted Professor Induruwa for pioneering academic and research networking and Internet in Sri Lanka. The induction ceremony was held in Hong Kong today (8th April) at 3.30pm.

    Professor Induruwa shared few words with us about the significant recognition:

    Prof_Abhaya_InduruwaProfessor Induruwa has been named a Global Connector, a category which recognizes and celebrates individuals from around the world who have made major contributions to the growth, connectivity, and use of the Internet, either on a global scale or within a specific region or community.

    In 1989, exactly 25 years ago this month (April), Professor Induruwa articulated his vision for an island-wide computer network for academics and researchers, and proposed the setting up of LEARN, Lanka Experimental Academic and Research Network to the government of Sri Lanka.  He served as the Principal Investigator and the Project Leader of the LEARN project which he completed in 1995 when LEARN was permanently connected to the global Internet. He established LEARNmail in 1990 offering Internet email service to the Sri Lankan academic and research community.  In 1992 he architected LEARN Internet and managed to secure funds from the Sri Lankan government via the University Grants Commission to procure three 64 Kbps wireless links and associated networking devices.  LEARN became the first TCP/IP WAN in Sri Lanka when the University of Colombo and the Open University of Sri Lanka were connected to the University of Moratuwa using these links.  Today LEARN provides island-wide Internet connectivity to all Universities, Higher Education Institutions and Research Centres in the country.  His pioneering efforts also paved the way for the establishment of commercial Internet services in Sri Lanka.

    He founded the Department of Computer Science & Engineering of the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka in 1985 and served as its Head until 1998.  He was appointed by H E The President of Sri Lanka to the inaugural Board of the Computer and Information Technology Council (CINTEC) in 1983.  He served as a Member of the CINTEC Board until 1998.  During this period he held the portfolios for the development of ICT education, and data communication & computer networking policy & infrastructure in the country, and chaired the respective CINTEC Working Committees.  From 1992-1996 he also served as a Board Member of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka (formerly Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Sciences) and, using funds provided under a SIDA project, introduced an on-line document delivery service by connecting the NSF-SL to LEARN.

    He is the first student to graduate with a First Class Honours degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Moratuwa winning the Prof O P Kulshreshtha award for the best Electrical and Electronic Engineering graduate in 1975. He earned his PhD from Imperial College London in 1980.  Currently he is the Prof V K Samaranayake Endowed Professor of Computing at the University of Colombo School of Computing in addition to being the Joint Acting Head of Computing at the Canterbury Christ Church University, UK. Among his current research interests is the security of Internet of Things.

    A founding member of the Computer Society of Sri Lanka, Professor Induruwa is also a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, UK; the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka; and the British Computer Society. He is the founding Treasure of the Cybercrime Forensics Specialist Group of the British Computer Society, a position he has held from its inception in 2007 until today.  In recognition of his signal contributions to the development of national ICT policy framework, for pioneering Computer Science & Engineering education, and for pioneering Internet in Sri Lanka, the Computer Society of Sri Lanka awarded him an Honorary Fellowship in 2003.

    “The 2014 Internet Hall of Fame inductees include extraordinary individuals who have helped shape the global Internet,” noted Internet Society CEO Kathy Brown. “This historic assembly of Internet trailblazers, innovators, and thought-leaders represent many different countries and backgrounds, each with an inspiring story to share.  We applaud their achievements and determination to push the boundaries of technological and social innovation to connect the world.”

    Acceptance speech by Prof. Abhaya Induruwa in Hong Kong (3.30pm SL time)

    About the Internet Hall of Fame

    The Internet Hall of Fame (www.internethalloffame.org) is a recognition program and virtual museum that celebrates the living history of the Internet and the individuals whose extraordinary contributions have made the Internet, its worldwide availability and use, and its transformative nature possible.  The Internet Hall of Fame was launched by the Internet Society in 2012.

    19703

    Good news for Javascript enthusiasts in Sri Lanka!

    JavaScript Sri Lanka has come up with cmbHack.js, a 32-hour hackathon that brings the best out of coders, designers and entrepreneurs who have a passion to architect the internet with Javascript. It will be an intense 32-hour contest where the participants will be fine tuning concepts, testing out their code and masterminding elegant and user-friendly interfaces.  In the end, the best of ideas that are executed immaculately will be judged winners and be crowned champions.

    Date, Time and Place

    April 05th 7.30 AM to 06th 6.00PM at Orion City.

    32-hours is all you got!

    cmbHack.js is open to both students and professional developers. Participants are expected to:

    • Pitch your latest and greatest ideas to your fellow participants. You have 30 seconds to grab their attention, so be prepared.
    • Meet, recruit and join like-minded Javascript geeks into making that idea a reality, right then and there.
    • Hack away! Internet, meals and tech support will be provided. The best implementations will be judged and only the best will make it to the top.

    Who is it for?

    • Developers, students and anyone who has a knack to code.
    • UX designers with great CSS / HTML skills.
    • PHP, Python, Ruby developers with JS skills.
    • Android and iOS gurus who believe in JavaScript on the Mobile.

    What should I build?

    The organizers are adamant to witness something fresh and something remarkable being accomplished at the end with the help of Javascript.

    • A single page web application/mobile application built on JS or uses heavy JS
    • A JS framework that can be used by JS/Web developers
    • A JS-based mashup of other apps/APIs/tools/services
    • A server side JS API/package for web developers
    • Anything awesome that challenges JavaScript as a technology!

    Why should I participate?

    It will be a great opportunity for you to work with fellow Javascript enthusiasts who are passionate about coding just like you. You will also get a chance to pitch your ideas and work on great ideas of others.

    Count me in! But what should I bring?

    The organizers want you to bring the following, to make your life much easier during the hackathon.

    • A laptop
    • An internet dongle is recommended
    • Pen and paper
    • A toothbrush for overnight hacking
    • Bring Rs. 500 for registration

    Organizers reiterate the fact that Internet access, power, food and drinks are at your disposal!

    Also organizers would love if the participants are aware of the rules and guidelines that are set to make this event fair and fun for all. So please focus on the following:

    • Don’t bring something that’s already been built. You have to build something from scratch.
    • JavaScript must be an integral part of the end solution.
    • Stay within legal limits. Do not misuse the facilities that are provided to you.

    So register now for cmbHack.js.

    diGIT is extremely proud to be the Online Media Partner for this event. We will bring you the latest and breaking news around cmbHack.js. So stay tuned!

    2220

    Dream it. Build it. Live it.

    Imagine Cup over the years, has inspired the computer savvy youth to incorporate technology to answer social problems. It is a global contest that gives student technologists and aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to express their innovative ideas and solutions and gain recognition by developing the next big Windows app or game.

    Imagine Cup 2014 Sri Lanka has announced the finalists who will get the chance enter the Sri Lankan Finals that will be held on 25th of April 2014. These finalists were chosen from a large number of contestants that contested in three main categories.

    Games

    • AURORA
    • Binary Square
    • Fat & Thin Studios

    Innovation

    • ACME
    • Demothi
    • Firebird
    • HoneyJade
    • We_Cobraz

    World Citizenship

    • Big Hearts
    • Demothi
    • E-Logic
    • Silver Chasers
    • Team LiveZen
    • Techsurge

    We wish all the very best for these finalists to put up a very good show and get the chance to represent Sri Lanka in the World Finals.