GoDaddy Launches ‘Mobile-Friendly’ Website Builder for Small Businesses in India

Global Web-hosting company GoDaddy on Wednesday launched a new mobile-friendly “Website Builder” in India to help small businesses and entrepreneurs grow their ventures.

The “Website Builder” features an integrated suite of online tools to help small businesses and entrepreneurs create an audience for their businesses and drive traffic to their website.

“India is our largest market outside of the US and we at GoDaddy have made big investments here. We have over 7,50,000 customers in India,” Andrew Low Ah Kee, Executive Vice President, GoDaddy International, told IANS.

GoDaddy Launches 'Mobile-Friendly' Website Builder for Small Businesses in India

“In India, over 34 million small businesses are still offline. GoDaddy’s new ‘Website Builder’ is designed to help small businesses across country to create a professional online identity with ease, helping to grow their business online,” he added.

‘Website Builder’ with integrated marketing features enables small businesses to quickly improve their Google search rankings and help jumpstart email marketing campaigns.

The company also launched a new integrated marketing campaign focused on educating Indian small businesses on the value of going beyond traditional marketing and the importance of being visible on the Internet.

“The campaign reinforces that with a strong digital presence, small business owners have an opportunity to be more visible and potentially grow their business,” added Nidhi Hola, Senior Director, Marketing, GoDaddy India.

Powered by smart algorithms and machine learning, the website builder helps customers with continuous activity updates and ways to improve results and evolve their businesses throughout their lifecycles

The new Website Builder is available in four different pricing options following a one month free trial: Personal (Rs. 99/month), Business (Rs. 479/month), Business Plus (Rs. 679/month) and Online Store (Rs. 999/month).

Zuckerberg expresses concerns on anti-globalisation trend

Mark Zuckerberg has revealed deep-seated concerns that the tide is turning against globalisation.

In an interview with the BBC on Thursday, the Facebook founder said that fake news, polarised views and “filter bubbles” were damaging “common understanding”.

He said people had been left behind by global growth, sparking demands to “withdraw” from the “connected world”.

In a call to action, he said people must not “sit around and be upset”, but act to build “social infrastructures”.

“When I started Facebook, the mission of connecting the world was not controversial,” he said.

“It was as if it was a default assumption that people had; every year the world got more connected and that seems like the direction things were heading in.

“Now that vision is becoming more controversial.”

He told the BBC: “There are people around the world that feel left behind by globalisation and the rapid changes that have happened, and there are movements as a result to withdraw from some of that global connection.”

Zuckerberg’s interview comes alongside the publication of a 5,500-word letter he has written about the future of Facebook and the global economy.

In it, Zuckerberg quotes Abraham Lincoln who spoke of acting “in concert”, and talks about “spiritual needs”, civic engagement and says that many people have “lost hope for the future”.

“For a couple of decades, may be longer, people have really sold this idea that as the world comes together everything is going to get better,” he said.

“I think the reality is that over the long term that will be true, and there are pieces of infrastructure that we can build to make sure that a global community works for everyone.

“But I do think there are some ways in which this idea of globalisation didn’t take into account some of the challenges it was going to create for people, and now I think some of what you see is a reaction to that.

“If people are asking the question, is the direction for humanity to come together more or not? I think that answer is clearly yes.

“But we have to make sure the global community works for everyone. It is not just automatically going to happen,” he said.

Password-free security relies on voice and user behavior to verify identity

Tired of conventional passwords? So is Nuance Communications, a tech firm that is promoting the human voice as a way to secure user accounts.product in use

The company’s voice biometric product is among the technologies that promise to replace traditional—and often vulnerable—password authentication systems, which can be easy to hack. That isn’t the case with Nuance’s solution, the company claims.

“To determine if it’s you or not, we are looking at over 100 different characteristics of your voice,” said Brett Beranek, Nuance’s director of product strategy.

The need to move beyond passwords hasn’t been more urgent, given that hackers are routinely finding ways to steal them. Last year, Yahoo, LinkedIn and Dropbox all reported major data breaches involving account details such as email addresses and hashed passwords.

With such information, a hacker can plunder through an email account like suspected Russian cyberspies did to U.S. political figures in last year’s election.

However, security provider Nuance is trying to change the status quo. Already, banks and financial institutions have been deploying the company’s voice biometric technology to verify user identities.

“This is more secure than a password,” Beranek said. “We’ve had our customers report a significant reduction in fraud over PIN and password security solutions.”

The technology was first deployed in a customer call center back in 2001. Since then, it’s also been used in finance-related mobile apps and to secure PCs at a handful of organizations, Beranek said.

Every human voice is unique, he added. Factors like a person’s larynx, the shape of the nasal cavity, and whether the subject is missing a tooth, will all determine the way someone sounds. People can also speak in a more monotone or lively manner, or space out their words in varying rhythms.

Nuance’s technology has been built to analyze these differences to accurately determine who is who, Beranek said. It’s been refined to the point, it can weed out voice impersonators, digital recordings and synthetic voices that try to dupe its system.

“In most cases, we can differentiate consistently between identical twins,” Beranek also said.

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Replacing passwords is one thing, but what if your security system could also detect and kick out intruders who managed to break in?

SecureAuth is another company that’s been working on this very technology. It’s offering a system for companies to go “passwordless,” which can also spot any unusual activity on a user account.

The approach leverages an existing device many people have: smartphones built with fingerprint readers, said Keith Graham, CTO of SecureAuth.

Essentially the hardware is replacing the password. When logging on to a system, the user will receive a notification sent to their phone that can only be unlocked through a fingerprint scan. Clicking on the notification will then grant access to the system.

However, SecureAuth’s authentication process is also on the lookout for unusual behavior from the user even after logon. For instance, it’ll examine inconsistencies with the person’s keystrokes, mouse movements, where the user logged in from, at what time, along with the configuration settings on the device.

In that way, SecureAuth can assess whether someone accessing the system is possibly a hacker or not.

“It doesn’t only matter how big a lock you have on the door,” Graham said. “It’s about how quickly you can respond to remove the attacker from the environment.”

In the future, authentication systems may very well act more like “fraud detectors,” said David Mahdi, an analyst with research firm Gartner. Tech companies are aggregating so much data about their users, they’ll be able to notice suspicious activity from normal behavior, and boot out suspected bad guys.

“The more data points you can look at, the better,” he said.

Companies including Google and Microsoft are also developing better authentication systems that rely on other biometrics such as facial recognition or even how a person walks. So it’s maybe only a matter of time before these technologies become more available and displace the password.

However, one major obstacle is getting the industry behind the same standards on authentication, Mahdi said. Many enterprises are also using legacy systems that they fear will break if upgraded.

“A lot of laptops have fingerprint readers,” he said. “But all the organizations that I talk too aren’t using them, because the laptops have a specific driver, and I’ve heard its a nightmare to push out updates to them.”

It’s also true that any biometric system, such as fingerprint and voice, might have drawbacks. For example, what if your phone runs out of battery, or if you’re in an extremely loud area?

“They all have their pros and cons,” said Mahdi. “There’s not one method to rule them all.”

Nuance Communications said its own system isn’t perfect. For instance, its voice biometric technology will have trouble working with people who have laryngitis or other throat-related illnesses.

However, the company says its solutions is an improvement over passwords, which users often forget. Nuance’s product can also be combined with other technologies for two-factor authentication.

“You could have two separate biometrics,” Beranek said. “It could be fingerprint.”

How websites help to grow business ?

Websites need to have outstanding marketing campaigns to support them if they are going to be successful in today’s highly competitive online world. Some website owners prefer to do their own marketing. However, this is not always the wisest decision. Professional online marketing companies know all of the tricks of the trade that will get you the additional visitors you are looking for. They have skills in the area of marketing that you do not possess. This is why it is usually worth the financial investment it will require to hire a marketing firm. Here are some ways you can go about finding the right marketing company for you.

1. Look at their previous campaigns

You should always take a close look at some of the work turned in by a marketing company in order for you to get a feel for what they are about. You do not want to blindly hire a marketing company based solely on their reputation. You need to have some idea of what you will be getting for your money if you decide to hire them. Look at many examples of their previous marketing campaigns for other sites. Are they at the level of quality that you expect for your own site? If not, you should keep looking at different companies.

2. How long has the company existed?

You should also try to find a marketing company that has been in the business for a very long time. The marketing of your site is too important to be places in the hands of amateurs. Ideally, you should only do business with companies that have existed for at least a decide. A company that has been around that long has undoubtedly pleased a large number of customers. You should also try to find a company that specializes in integrated marketing solutions.

3. Affordability

You will not have endless amounts of cash to throw around on marketing campaigns when your site first goes online. Therefore, you need to use your resources wisely when it comes to marketing expenditures. This is why it is essential for you to compare the rates of the various marketing companies you contact. Make sure they all know that you are talking to other companies. This might encourage them to lower their rates in an effort to get your business. You will be amazed at how much the rates will vary from one company to another.

NSA Says How Often, Not When, It Discloses Software Flaws

The US National Security Agency, seeking to rebut accusations that it hoards information about vulnerabilities in computer software, thereby leaving US companies open to cyber-attacks, said last week that it tells US technology firms about the most serious flaws it finds more than 90 percent of the time.

The re-assurances may be misleading, because the NSA often uses the vulnerabilities to make its owncyber-attacks first, according to current and former US government officials. Only then does NSA disclose them to technology vendors so that they can fix the problems and ship updated programs to customers, the officials said.

At issue is the US policy on so-called “zero-days,” the serious software flaws that are of great value to both hackers and spies because no one knows about them. The term zero-day comes from the amount of warning users get to patch their machines protectively; a two-day flaw is less dangerous because it emerges two days after a patch is available.

The best-known use of zero-days was in Stuxnet, the attack virus developed by the NSA and its Israeli counterpart to infiltrate the Iranian nuclear programme and sabotage centrifuges that were enriching uranium.

Before its discovery in 2010, Stuxnet took advantage of previously unknown flaws in software from Microsoft Corp and Siemens AG to penetrate the facilities without triggering security programs.

A shadowy but robust market has developed for the buying and selling of zero-days, and as Reutersreported in May 2013, the NSA is the world’s top buyer of the flaws. The NSA also discovers flaws through its own cyber programs, using some to break into computer and telecommunications systems overseas as part of its primary spying mission.

Some zero-days are worth more than others, depending on such factors as the difficulty in finding them and how widespread the targeted software is. While some can be bought for as little as $50,000, a prominent zero-day broker said this week that he had agreed to pay $1 million to a team that devised a way to break into a fully updated Apple iPhone. Chaouki Bekrar, of the firm Zerodium, told Reuters the iPhone technique would “likely be sold to US customers only,” including government agencies and “very big corporations.”

Government officials say there is a natural tension as to whether zero-days should be used for offensive operations or disclosed to tech companies and their customers for defensive purposes.

In the wake of revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and a Reuters report that detailed how the government paid security firm RSA to include NSA-tainted encryption in its software, a White House review panel recommended tilting government policy more towards defence.

President Barack Obama’s cyber-security coordinator, Michael Daniel, then said he had “reinvigorated” the review process that decides what to do about each flaw that comes to government attention. The details of that process remain classified, but interviews show that the changes sharply elevated the role of the Department of Homeland Security, which is responsible for defence and had not previously been at the centre of inter-governmental debates on the issue.

After Daniel described the revamped process broadly, the activist Electronic Frontier Foundation sued for documents about it under the Freedom of Information Act.

The most significant release in that case came in September, with an undated and partly redacted 13-page memo outlining how agencies should handle knowledge about software vulnerabilities. Thememo states that the NSA’s defensive arm, the Information Assurance Directorate, served as the executive secretariat for the process.

Homeland security
A redacted portion of the memo lists the agencies that participated in the process as a matter of course. An unredacted part refers to other agencies that can ask to participate on a case-by-case basis, and the Department of Homeland Security appears in that section, along with the departments of State, Justice, Treasury and Commerce.

Two former White House officials said that the memo referred to the old system, before Daniel reorganized it about a year and a half ago.

In an interview, Daniel told Reuters that DHS was a key part of the new system, which is run by the White House’s National Security Council.

“DHS is at the table in the process I’m running,” Daniel said.

An NSA spokeswoman referred questions about its policy to the NSC, where a spokesman referred Reuters back to the NSA.

The NSA says on its website that it understands the need to use most flaws for defence.

“In the vast majority of cases, responsibly disclosing a newly discovered vulnerability is clearly in the national interest,” according to the website.

“But there are legitimate pros and cons to the decision to disclose vulnerabilities, and the trade-offs between prompt disclosure and withholding knowledge of some vulnerabilities for a limited time can have significant consequences.

“Disclosing a vulnerability can mean that we forgo an opportunity to collect crucial foreign intelligence that could thwart a terrorist attack, stop the theft of our nation’s intellectual property, or discover even more dangerous vulnerabilities that are being used to exploit our networks.”

The agency said: “Historically, NSA has released more than 91 percent of vulnerabilities discovered in products that have gone through our internal review process and that are made or used in the US”

It said the rest included some that had already been fixed as well as those held back “for national security reasons.”

One former White House official noted that the NSA did not say when the disclosures were made, adding that it would be “a reasonable assumption” to conclude that much of that 91% covers flaws the NSA had already used to gather intelligence before alerting the companies. He also said the figure includes those bought from outside entities. NSA and NSC officials declined to address those assertions.

It is anyone’s guess how long the average gap is between offensive use and defensive disclosure, said Denelle Dixon-Thayer, chief legal and business officer of Firefox browser maker the Mozilla Foundation.

The bigger that gap is, the greater the likelihood that other countries or hackers using similar hunting techniques have also discovered it. Even if they haven’t, the target of a US cyber-attack can detect what technique was used and repurpose it against the US and others.

“If it’s disclosed after it’s already been executed against, that’s a really important question,” Dixon-Thayer said.

In the revamped US evaluation process, another former official said that the Department of Homeland Security is often the most vigorous “dove” in the discussions, arguing for disclosures before others find the same flaw and exploit it.

A current official administration official said that the proportion of serious flaws disclosed to vendors did not jump after the NSC took control of the process. “It’s still early, but the trend has not significantly changed,” the official said.

The growing discussion about US policy on vulnerability disclosure comes as House and Senate leaders prepare to fine-tune three related bills on cyber-security information-sharing, which are designed to give companies legal protection for reporting attacks to the government.

Mozilla and many other technology companies oppose those bills because they will give the government more information about customers and attacks without requiring the government to give more information to the companies.

Dixon-Thayer said officials could even take what they learn about new techniques from the industry to launch their own attacks instead of helping defenders.

Karnataka Becomes the First Indian State to Have a Startup Policy

Karnataka has become the first Indian state to have a startup policy with the cabinet clearing it, state Information Technology and Bio-Technology minister S.R.Patil said on Friday.

“Karnataka is the first state in India to come up with a Startup Policy. It will have a timeframe of five years from 2015-2020,” said Patil at the Bangalore ITE.biz 2015 curtain raiser, adding the cabinet approval was accorded on Thursday.

Principal Secretary, IT and BT, V. Manjula said that the policy entails setting up incubators in post graduate colleges, collaboration between R & D institutions and industry and technical business incubators in higher learning institutions among others.

“The operational guidelines and the finer aspects of the Startup policy and the quantum of money for the Startup fund are yet to be made. They will be drafted soon,” he said, adding funds will be released to colleges which will be given a handholding for three years and there will also be a Startup Policy review committee headed by the chief secretary.

Establishment of a Startup cell in KBITS and funding promising early stage startups are also the features of the new policy.

Meanwhile, Karnataka government’s premier IT event Bangalore ITE.biz 2015 has severed its ties with CeBIT and is going independent from December 8-10 with the theme “Fuelling growth through disruptive innovation”.

“Bangalore ITE.biz 2015 is coming up with a renewed vigour this year… Last year in CeBIT 2014, we missed the Karnataka flavor,” said Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) director P.K. Das.

First started in 1998, the event will features 100 plus exhibitors, 110 speakers, 1,000 delegates, 5,000 visitors and eight Young Entrepreneurs Startups in Soaring Spirits (YESS) presenters.

“Various government stakeholders will throw up challenges being faced by them in a hackathon to produce solutions in Bangalore ITE.biz 2015,” added Manjula.

Co-host STPI will confer IT export awards wherein big companies will be recognized as “Pride of Karnataka”, added Das.

Emphasising Karnataka’s robust IT industry, Patil said: “In 2014-15, exports from Katanataka IT companies crossed Rs. 2 lakh crore, and we aim to touch four lakh crore in 2020. The industry generates direct and indirect employment for 40 lakh people.”

Infosys co-founder and Karnataka IT Vision Committee head Kris Gopalakrishnan said every Banaglore ITE.biz is different and should be relevant to the industry requirement and align with the evolving industry.

Government Issues, Retracts Denial Appointing Brand Ambassador for Digital India

Is Ankit Fadia the brand ambassador for the Digital India initiative? There didn’t seem to be any official announcements on the matter, but somehow the news spread like wildfire on social media on Monday. Considering his dubious reputation as a “hacker”, it’s no surprise that there was a lot of outrage.

Then, on Tuesday morning, the government issued a denial of the statement. It stated that “there were certain news reports that there is move to appoint a brand ambassador for Digital India Programme of the government. This is to clarify that there has been no such move to appoint a brand ambassador as reported.”

That seemed to settle the issue, except that an hour later, the statement is now missing – you can still see it below in a screenshot Gadgets 360 saved, but it is no longer on the PIB website.

fadia_brand_ambassador_denial.jpgFadia certainly seems to think he’s the brand ambassador for Digital India, and appears to have proof as well – on Monday, his official Facebook page uploaded a picture of a certificate he received from the government appointing him to this role. Unless this is a particularly strange case of Photoshopping, it would appear that different departments of the government aren’t talking to each other.

So, what is going on right now? The government will apparently issue a clarification in the evening, but as of now, there’s still no official statement about a brand ambassador, apart from one digital picture posted by Fadia himself.

Twitter in particular went to town with the news that Fadia was the brand ambassador for Digital India. The number of tweets mocking the announcement is too high to count, but here are some highlights. A lot of people also linked this 2013 article from Forbes India which takes apart many of Fadia’s claims to fame.

Fadia’s own claims are therefore easy to doubt – however the fact that the government issued a denial, and then removed it, clouds the issue, and makes us wonder whether or not he really is the face of Digital India. Did Ram Sewak Sharma, the Secretary of the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), really sign that certificate which Fadia has been showing? And if so, why has the government not done its homework on a person who has been thoroughly debunked over the years?

Small IT Firms Face Severe Security Challenges Synergia Foundation

In this era of technological advancements, the information technology (IT) world carries a lot of security challenges, a cyber-security expert has said in the run-up to an international cyber-security conclave in Bengaluru.

“If giants like Infosys, TCS, or Wipro cannot defend themselves from hackers and data theft, how can the smaller Indian IT companies protect themselves, an Infosys co-founder told me,” said Tobby Simon, president, Synergia Foundation.

In an effort to sensitize and awaken key decision makers of the industry, government and others, Synergia Foundation is organising a two-day international cyber-security conclave “Cyber 360 – A Synergia Conclave” on September 29-30.

The world of information technology is being continuously transformed by mobile, social media, cloud and big data, it is reshaping markets, business models, and the way people access information by bringing very severe security challenges and new threats as cyber-security landscape changes every six months, said Simon.

He cited the hacking and data theft from American organisations Target and Ashley Madison where millions of customers’ personal data was stolen, resulting in the resignation of their CEOs and posing severe national security threat.

From an Indian perspective, he highlighted an incident from March 2015 when the personal information of the chief of army staff and 50,000 army officers was compromised, and stressed the ever present threat level in the IT world.

“It is becoming a matter of survival to deter these threats and stay ahead of the curve by developing methodologies and strategies that can protect individual, institutional and government interest,” Simon added.

Internet Services Fully Restored in Jammu and Kashmir

Internet services in Jammu and Kashmir were fully restored on Monday, three days after the state government ordered the termination of data services fearing trouble during Eid-ul-Azha.

While landline broadband services in the state resumed at 8pm yesterday, mobile data services were restored at 10am on Monday.

“The ban on Internet has been revoked in the state and all service providers have been asked to resume their data services,” a police officer said in Srinagar.

The Internet services were snapped in the state at 5am on Friday last as the authorities apprehended misuse by anti-social elements.

The ban was to remain effective till 10pm on Saturday.

However, it was extended first till 2pm on Sunday and then till 8pm yesterday in case of landline broadband and 10am on Monday in case of mobile Internet.

The measure was taken because of apprehension of communal tension in the backdrop of the High Court directive for implementation of an old law that bans slaughter and selling of beef.

Terming the ban as “interference in religious affairs”, some separatist and religious groups had said they would defy the court order.

The step by the authorities was aimed at thwarting the designs of elements who may violate the court order and, as a mark of protest, post the pictures or videos on social media that may spark communal tension.

The state government’s move was widely criticised by opposition parties.

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had said, “The irony of listening to Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi lecturing about connected digital India while we are totally disconnected.”

“The PDP-BJP regime is pushing people of the state to the wall,” he said.

Omar said Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was living up to his promise of making the state like Gujarat.

“He had promised to make the state like Gujarat. Now, I guess, we are competing with Gujarat as to who bans the Internet more,” he said.

Police had warned “mischievous elements” of legal action against misuse of the services like SMS andWhatsApp to stoke communal tension.

“Misuse of mobile phone SMS and Internet messaging service to spread malicious rumours with an intention to stoke communal tension and violent activity constitutes commission of offences under the various provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prev) Act 1967, the Information Technology Act and Ranbir Penal Code.

“Anyone who forwards such messages (including audio, photos or videos) to other individuals or groups shall be liable for legal action under law,” police has said.

Prime Minister Modi Shown Key Projects During Google Visit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday visited the Google campus where he was given a tour of some of the latest products and forward-looking researches being done by the search engine giant.

PM Modi asked that Khagaul to be pinpointed on Google Earth when he was given a glimpse of the unique tool. Khagaul near Patna is where the great ancient astronomer Aryabhatta had an observatory.

“Projects for progress,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said of the various projects which were shown to Modi by Google CEO Sunder Pichai.

Pichai explained navigational, safety and other uses of Street View and Google Earth to Prime Minister Modi.

“It is a visit to Google Guru,” PM Modi said as he reached its campus from nearby Facebookheadquarters. PM Modi was given a tour of four critical projects and their value for the Digital Indiacampaign.

Another project that was shown to PM Modi was Project Iris, smart lens that measure glucose levels. Later, PM Modi participated in a hackathon at Google. Many youngsters in their 20s had come from India to participate in it.

Before leaving Google, PM Modi had a group photo with its top officials.

In his brief remarks, Modi stressed the need to “encourage Hackathon culture” in India so that the youth are inspired to find solutions to the country’s problems. With social media becoming a part of today’s lifestyle, Modi said people spend a significant amount of time on it.

“This is just the beginning,” PM Modi said, adding that in the years to come he expects this to bring qualitative change in life of people. Sundar Pichai, Google CEO announced that Google would provide high-speed Internet services at 100 Indian railway stations by the end 2016, and expand it by another 400.

wifi_india_google.jpgSocial media, he said, has become a strong and new power of democracy.

He urged Google employees to help him meet the challenges being faced by India including poverty. 43-year-old alumnus of IIT-Kharagpur, Pichai said the Wi-Fi services will be provided to support PM Modi’s ‘Digital India’ campaign.

He also announced that Google will launch an Android keyboard next month enabling users to type in 11 Indian languages, including Modi’s mother tongue Gujarati.

Appreciating Google employees for their hackathons, Modi hoped that such a culture develops in India also.

Noting that technology has given new power to democracy, he urged Google employees to look for solutions to problems like poverty.

The Prime Minister expressed confidence that technology will bring qualitative change in life with time and through its proper utilisation.

In a lighter vein, he said technology was born to save time but what happened was just the opposite.

“Today, everybody spends maximum time on the internet…

Even when a child asks his mother to give milk, she says ‘wait, first let me forward this WhatsApp’,” Modi said, evoking laughter all around.

Pichai said that there was immense “hunger” for technology in India which was reflected when Google launched Chrome browser some time back and India was the first country to adopt it in major way.

During his tour of Google campus, PM Modi asked that Khagaul in Bihar to be shown on Google Earth when he was given a glimpse of the unique tool. Khagaul near Patna is where the great ancient astronomer Aryabhatta had an observatory.

Pichai explained navigational, safety and other uses of Street View and Google Earth to PM Modi.

Another project that was shown to PM Modi was Project Iris, smart lens that measure glucose levels.

Before leaving Google, Modi had a group photo with its top officials.