Latest Tech: Sony’s Alpha 7 IV goes beyond ‘Basic’ ….


New Delhi [India], February 23 (ANI/NewsVoir): Sony India announced two new additions to its imaging line-up – the interchangeable-lens camera

Alpha 7 IV

(model ILCE-7M4) with newly developed 33-megapixel (approx., effective) full-frame image sensor and new flash, the HVL-F60RM2.

“Alpha 7 III has been an incredible addition to the A series and has made tremendous impact in our industry by completely redefining the consumer expectations,” said Mukesh Srivastava, Head of Digital Imaging Business at Sony India. “Now with A7 IV, we are ready to break through all existing boundaries again.
The Alpha 7 IV brings together the best of Sony imaging technologies in both photo and video to deliver a high-end experience to a wider range of customers. Built to offer a brand-new imaging experience, the camera gives today’s creators a new level of freedom to capture, create and share in ways that they’ve never been able to before, no matter the situation in which they are shooting.”

Flagship-level image processing with BIONZ XR™ with newly developed 33MP full-frame back-illuminated CMOS image sensor for a brand-new imaging experience

The Alpha 7 IV takes ‘basic’ to the next level for full-frame cameras with excellent image quality and performance, redefining the original standard set by the Alpha 7 III. The new model features many of Sony’s most advanced imaging technologies including the latest BIONZ XR™ processing engine and advanced AF (autofocus) capabilities based on the flagship Alpha 1 model, combined with streamlined operability and enhanced reliability for photos and movies, making it the perfect all-around camera for today’s imaging enthusiasts and professionals who shoot all scenarios.

The Alpha 7 IV also boasts 33 MP resolution, rich movie expression and various features to support the growing demand for remote communication, bringing new meaning to what a ‘basic’ camera can accomplish.

Evolved 4K movie recording capabilities including S-Cinetone™ and 10-bit depth 4:2:2 colour sampling

The Alpha 7 IV inherits technology taken from real-world movie production including S-Cinetone™ – adopted from Sony’s highly regarded Cinema Line cameras used by a broad range of filmmakers and content creators – to deliver a rich, cinematic look. High quality movie is achieved with 4K 60p recording in Super 35mm mode and up to 4K 30p recording with 7K oversampling in full-frame mode.

The new camera also features 10-bit depth 4:2:2 colour sampling to enable natural gradation, XAVC S-I™ intra-frame encoding for more efficient editing workflows and XAVC HS™ for doubled compression efficiency. To meet the growing need for precise AF performance when shooting videos, unique AF features are achieved when using the Alpha 7 IV with a Sony E-mount lens, including AF Assist that supports focus transitions when using AF and Focus Map that visualises depth of field. For the first time in the Alpha series, the new camera features Breathing Compensation to combat focus breathing and maintain a consistent angle of view throughout focus changes and can be switched on or off.

Enjoy photography without any compromise for outstanding still image quality

With a newly developed 33MP full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS image sensor, superior image quality and Wide ISO sensitivity range expandable to ISO 50-204800 is achieved. The high resolution enables the camera to express smooth gradation, fine details and textures of the subject while reducing noise. Its 15-stop dynamic range allows a wide expressive range while Creative Look settings can help to create original looks effortlessly for both stills and video.

Reliable Autofocus (AF) performance and Real-Time Tracking, 30 per centmore improved, compared with Alpha 7 III

The latest processing engine BIONZ XR™ used in the flagship Alpha 1 delivers high-speed AF, uninterrupted continuous shooting at 10fps with AF/AE tracking and a large buffer for a smooth shooting experience. Alpha 7 IV tracks subjects with tenacious Real-Time Tracking and 759 phase-detection AF points in a high-density focal plane phase-detection AF system that covers approximately 94 per cent of the image area. Additionally, for the first time, Real-time Eye AF can now track birds and animal’s eye for both still images and movies, in addition to humans. The detection accuracy for human face and eyes is also approximately 30% more improved, compared with Alpha 7 III.

Experience advanced operability and convenience as a genuine hybrid model

The Alpha 7 IV is a hybrid still and movie camera with outstanding operability and reliability that easily allows the user to switch from photo to movie and back at their convenience. New to Sony’s line-up of Alpha cameras is a dual layer mode dial with the lower layer for selecting Still/Movie/S&Q and the top layer for Auto/P/A/S/M and MR (Memory Recall), enabling users to quickly select and switch between the dedicated settings.

It also has 5-axis optical in-body image stabilisation for a 5.5- step shutter speed advantage, as well as an improved grip for greater comfort and a CFexpress Type A compatible media slot to support media with faster writing and clearance. Additionally, the 3.68 million-dot (approx.) OLED Quad-VGA viewfinder is 1.6 times the resolution of the Alpha 7 III viewfinder, allowing users to benefit from the upgraded live-view image quality that minimises false colour and increases resolution.

New heat dissipating mechanism enables over hour long recording

Videographers can record 4K 60p 10-bit 4:2:2 video continuously for more than an hour thanks to the camera’s heat-dissipating structure. Optical ‘Active Mode’ image stabilisation helps optimum video shooting. They can also benefit from the 3.0-type 1.03 million-dot (approx.) side-opening vari-angle touch-panel rear LCD monitor, top-panel REC button and high-capacity Z-series battery.

The Alpha 7 IV body is built with magnesium alloy to achieve a robustness while minimising its weight. In addition, the redesigned structure and lens lock button contribute to enhanced dust and moisture resistance.

Enhanced workflow capabilities for easy and reliable operations

By offering a variety of connectivity options, the Alpha 7 IV enables on-the-spot streaming and sharing of high-quality content to meet the growing need for remote communication in real-time without sacrificing excellent image and sound quality. The connection between the camera and mobile application Imaging Edge Mobile™ is simplified via Bluetooth, and fast data transfer is possible by 5 GHz/2.4 GHz Wi-Fi.

The camera also has a new feature called “Shot Mark” to enable easy access to the marked scenes in a video clip, within camera and on Sony’s Catalyst Browse/Prepare applications. What’s more, the camera has a range of new features to support live streaming and remote communication without the need of dedicated software. UVC (USB Video Class) and UAC (USB Audio Class) turn the Alpha 7 IV into a high-performance live streaming camera when connected to a computer or smartphone. High image quality such as 4K 15p and 1080 FHD 60p deliver realistic video for remote sharing and the Alpha 7 IV’s digital audio interface can be paired with a range of mics and accessories to deliver high quality sound.

Powerful flash to evolve Alpha Lighting System with precise control

The HVL-F60RM2 with GN 60 and 20-200mm coverage is powerful wireless flashes that offer precise control, enhanced high-speed and intuitive operability. They are designed to meet the needs of both professional and advanced content creators when shooting with a Sony Alpha camera, including the Alpha 7 IV, to offer the ultimate Alpha Lighting System through the flash and camera communicating in detail with each other.

Stable high-speed continuous flash shooting

HVL-F60RM2 Flash has upgraded continuous shooting flash performance, up to 200 times at 10 frames per second for the HVL-F60RM2. The optimised flash algorithm ensures flash is overheat-resistant, and a set of four Ni-MH (Nickel-metal hydride) batteries can power up to 240 flashes with a 1.7 second recycle time for the HVL-F60RM2. When used in combination with an Alpha camera, they allow users to experience the unique communication and system benefits of the Alpha Lighting System.

For example, with the Alpha 7 IV, P-TTL flash control metering for every frame in Mid, and Hi continuous mode has become possible in addition to Lo continuous mode. The flash release time lag is also shortened to capture momentary facial expressions and movements of the subject.

Price and Availability

The new Alpha 7 IV and HVL-F60RM2 flash camera is available across all Sony Center, Alpha Flagship stores,

portal, major electronic stores and ecommerce websites (Amazon and Flipkart).

In an effort to build a robust Alpha community with a strong network of amateur and professional photographers on one platform, a special initiative has been undertaken by Sony India where users can now avail several benefits by simply registering their Alpha cameras, lenses and accessories on the Alpha Community.

Some of the benefits of registration include an extended warranty of 3 years (2-year standard warranty + 1 Year extended warranty) and free exclusive workshops by Sony experts and Artisans. Customers can also avail attractive discounts on photo tours (50 per cent discount on photo tours for their first trip and 25 per cent discount for the consecutive trips) and a chance to participate in photography/videography contests to win exciting prizes like cameras, lens and professional camcorders and a lot more. The platform will be a one-stop destination to get all latest updates, firmware updates, free service camps, workshops and new launches for Sony Alpha. For more information, visit

Alpha Community.

Sony India is one of country’s leading consumer electronics brand, with a reputation for offering premium experience through new age technology, digital concepts and excellent after sales service.

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This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)

Lenovo teases new gaming attachments, announces beta testing for Legion Y90


Washington [US], (ANI): Lenovo has teased gaming shoulder key attachments for its upcoming Legion Y90 gaming handset and also gave out a little info regarding the latter, complementing the big leak from earlier.

According to GSM Arena, sadly, the company didn’t specify whether or not the triggers would be compatible with the current generation Legion phones.
Anyway, the attachments boast mechanical keys mimicking those of a gaming mouse and are rated at 3 million presses.

The triggers, of course, have low latency and are subject to custom mapping in various games.

As far as the upcoming Legion Y90 phone is concerned, it will make use of an active air cooling system and the company is offering early beta access to the handset.

From what could be gathered, the current owners of last year’s Legion phone are entitled to some benefits during the testing stage. The beta testing is available only in China, of course, and registration is already open.

Last, but not least, there’s a readable date on the phone’s lock screen in the renders showing March 23, which could be a hint at when we should expect the device’s announcement, as per GSM Arena. (ANI)

LG’s next-generation OLED EX technology delivers improved brightness

Washington [US]: LG Display has announced its next-generation OLED technology — dubbed OLED EX — which, according to the company, will increase brightness by up to 30 per cent, boost picture accuracy and allow for smaller bezels in finished products.
As per The Verge, these improvements are due to two key changes. The first is the use of an element known as deuterium in the chemical make-up of LG’s OLED panels, and the second is the incorporation of algorithmic image processing. LG has said that the latter will predict the usage of each individual light-emitting diode in TV based on personal viewing habits to “precisely (control) the display’s energy input to more accurately express the details and colours of the video content being played.”
According to The Verge, LG’s claims about reduced bezel sizes with OLED EX are a little more concrete at least. The company has said that based on calculations involving a 65-inch OLED display, it will be able to reduce bezel thickness from 6mm to 4mm. It’s not a huge change on paper, but given how optimised this technology already is, every little improvement has to be fought for.
LG plans to start incorporating OLED EX technology into all its OLED panels starting in the second quarter of 2022, though it’s not clear how much longer it might then take for this technology to reach consumers.
As well as improving its OLED tech, LG has also been playing with some wilder concepts at this year’s CES conference, showing off new transparent displays as well as reclining, curved OLED thrones.

Wall Street News: Technology shares are going Up

New York [US]: Wall Street rallied sharply for a second straight day on Tuesday, with high-flying technology stocks rising as much as 3 per cent, as investors’ fears over the impact of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus subsided.
“Time will tell whether investors are getting ahead of themselves but a couple of days without a negative Omicron headline has the dip buyers flooding back in,” Craig Erlam, analyst at online trading platform OANDA, said. The Nasdaq Composite index that groups Big Tech names such as Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google settled up 462 points, or 3 per cent, at 15,687, for its biggest one-day gain since March. Nasdaq rose almost 1 per cent in the previous session.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which contains mostly industrial stocks, finished up 492 points, or 1.4 per cent, at 35,719. The Dow gained 1.9 per cent on Monday.
The S&P 500, an index of the top 500 stocks, settled up 95 points, or 2.1 per cent, at 4,687. The index climbed 2.1 per cent in the previous session.
Prior to Monday, US stocks had been battered for weeks, after the discovery of the Omicron variant in South Africa on November 24 and the reporting of the first US case from that on December 1.
Sentiment on Wall Street turned after global medical experts, including top US virologist Anthony Fauci, said at the weekend that early studies on the variant showed its effects might not be as severe as initially feared.

Biden expresses hope Japan would increase defence spending amid China’s rise

Washington [US] : US President Joe Biden expressed his hope that Japan would increase its defence budget during a phone call with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in October, Japanese media reported on Saturday.
Biden’s remarks came as Kishida is showing eagerness to ramp up Japan’s defence outlays amid China’s rise, Kyodo News reported citing a diplomatic source. So far, Japan has kept its defence budget around 1 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product in view of the passive Constitution.
On Saturday, the Japanese Prime Minister vowed to strengthen the country’s defence capabilities.
Kishida’s remarks came during a speech at a Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) base, where he expressed concern about North Korea’s rapid development of missile technology and China’s military expansion, Kyodo News reported.
When Japan revises its foreign and security policies, Kishida said all options will be on the table including the idea of giving the Self-Defense Forces the capability to strike at hostile enemy bases.
Kishida said Japan “cannot overlook (North Korea’s) recent development and improvement of new technologies such as hypersonic glide weapons and missiles with irregular orbits”.
The Japanese PM also pointed towards China’s moves to strengthen its military without maintaining sufficient transparency. “China continues to strengthen its military without sufficient transparency and is making “unilateral attempts to change the status quo,” Kishida said.
Earlier, Kishida had also expressed strong concern over human rights issues in China during his remarks at a virtual meeting of leaders from about 50 Asian and European countries on Friday.
Kishida voiced worries about the rights situation in Hong Kong as well as the Xinjiang region in northwestern China on the sidelines of the summit.

PlayShifu launches AI-Powered product line Tacto

New Delhi [India] : Popular toy brand, PlayShifu, has launched the first-ever phygital (physical plus digital) board games Tacto with four innovative products Tacto Chess, Tacto Classics, Tacto Coding and Tacto Laser that help merge essential skills with playtime.
Built on innovative touch technology and AI, Tacto by PlayShifu turns a user’s tablet into an interactive game where the player gets to use real figurines to drive the games on the screen. Tacto is the third flagship line from PlayShifu-the innovators behind Orboot and Plugo-with all products focusing on building a full spectrum of 20 foundational skills through fun and interactive gameplay. With a global presence, the brand is carving a niche by going beyond STEM and STEAM, through the #PowerofPlay.

Talking about the new board game experience, PlayShifu co-founder and CEO Vivek Goyal, said, “Tacto series is one of our best innovations for making toy time interesting for the digital-first Gen Alpha. We took nostalgic board games and brought them to the 21st century using technology. We are beyond thrilled to launch the four Tacto products in India.”
“We are manufacturing all our three product lines (Orboot, Plugo, Tacto) here in India to meet the growing demands for our innovative and educational products. With the launch of Tacto, and among other retail and online efforts, we aim to achieve 100 per cent growth in sales in FY23 over FY22,” added co-founder Dinesh Advani.
With real figurines and digital games, Tacto Chess offers the easiest way to learn chess with detailed learning modes, mini puzzles, and story-based themes. Tacto Coding makes learning visual for early learners through story-based games.
Tacto Classics makes nostalgic board games like Checkers, Ludo, and Snakes and Ladders interesting and engaging for Gen Alpha. Tacto Laser encourages players to use principles of light like reflection and refraction to solve brain-teasing puzzles.
This highly anticipated and innovative Tacto line enables children as young as four to develop essential early learning skills like logical reasoning, problem-solving, strategic thinking, working memory and more. The Tacto game sets are available on the PlayShifu website, Amazon, and multiple retail stores. Also, Hamleys India is featuring Tacto Coding as one of its Top 10 toys for December.
Each Tacto set is priced at INR 1,999 and comes with a unique set of figurines and anti-slip frames that hold your tablet securely. All four gaming sets are compatible with a range of tablets (iOS and Android) and work with the free Tacto app that has three or more story-based games with hundreds of levels for each product. 

XPDEL, LA-based eCommerce fulfillment network, launches operations in India

New Delhi [India]: XPDEL, a fast-growing LA-based eCommerce Fulfillment center network, today announced its entry into the Indian markets. XPDEL plans to start with 3 markets – Delhi NCR, Mumbai, and Bengaluru wherein it will offer a wide range of technology enabled solutions for India’s rapidly expanding e-commerce market.

Subsequently, it plans to expand its footprint to 20 markets by end of 2023 to provide nationwide coverage. As part of its global expansion, the company aims to launch in Europe and Canada by 2022.
Manish Kapoor, Founder and Global CEO of XPDEL, said, “We are thrilled to bring the global operations best practices and most advanced technology for eCommerce to India. This is close to my heart as it brings me back to my roots. The XPDEL launch in India will bring growth solutions for small and mid-sized retailers & new age eCommerce companies. We are solving their inventory, order fulfillment and logistics needs by providing a complete solution from order through delivery, with live tracking & visibility resulting in exceptional customer experience.”

India’s eCommerce sector is expected to reach US$ 111.40 billion by 2025 from US$ 46.20 billion in 2020, signifying an annualized growth of 19.24%. Grocery is expected to be one of the key pillars of growth and it is predicted to reach US$ 18.2 billion in 2024 from US $1.9 billion in 2019, expanding at a CAGR of 57%. With its aggressive growth plans, robust technological architecture and focus on accurate and speedy deliveries, XPDEL will play a critical role in supporting this spurt in growth for eCommerce business in the country.

Ashish Chadha, Co-founder & CEO, XPDEL-APAC said, “The Indian eCommerce industry offers promising opportunity and we are addressing the key challenges related to logistics and inventory. Our first customers are from the automotive and personal care verticals who have taken the lead against competition by partnering with XPDEL. We will also be contributing significantly in employment generation by creating thousands of job opportunities. Furthermore, we plan to grow responsibly, as 50% of our nationwide fleet would consist of electric vehicles and our operations will be backed by sustainable, world-class technologies.”

Jon Johnson, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, said, “We are excited to bring the speed of delivery and best-in-class customer experience to the Indian consumers. We are building on XPDEL’s success in the US that is engineered with customer density analytics, network design, efficient operations, optimized logistics and advanced technology.”

The eCommerce giants are rapidly replacing retail and small businesses. On the other hand, XPDEL’s core purpose is to help small and medium businesses succeed with eCommerce. XPDEL enables businesses to sell through retail and multiple marketplaces by providing multi-channel fulfillment and logistics services.

This story is provided by PRNewswire. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/PRNewswire)

UK, Poland sign agreement on plans to cooperate on creating Air Defense System

London [UK] : The United Kingdom and Poland have signed an agreement on the intention to create a new air defense system, the UK Ministry of Defense said.
The agreement was reached during the visit of UK Defense Minister Ben Wallace to Poland where he held talks with his Polish counterpart, Mariusz Blaszczak “A first for the UK-Poland relationship, the Statement of Intent will see the two countries share pioneering technology to develop NAREW, Poland’s future Ground-Based Air Defence System, which is anticipated to have a multi-billion-pound budget. The agreement will provide enhanced security and defence development for both countries, while developing and sustaining critical skills across the missile sector in Poland and the UK” the ministry said in a statement on late Thursday.
“In the UK, MBDA’s Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) family has been confirmed for the NAREW programme. Flying at supersonic speeds, CAMM missiles can destroy modern air threats including stealth aircraft and high-speed missiles. Each CAMM family missile is equipped with an advanced active radar seeker that can see even the smallest, fastest and stealthiest targets through the worst weather and the heaviest electronic jamming,” the statement added.

We can do much with India on cyber security, tech, digital economy, says Australian PM Morrison

Sydney [Australia]: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday said that there is so much to do with India in the field of technology, adding that both the countries are already cooperating on cyber security, critical and emerging technologies, critical minerals, digital economy.
Speaking at Sydney Dialogue for “Deepening technology Partnership among Quad countries”, Scott Morrison informed that he will be speaking at the Bengaluru Tech Summit, India’s biggest technology summit today and will expand on some of the complementary initiatives with India. “There is much we can do with India in this area – some of which I have already touched on today, including as part of our Quad partnership,” he said at the inaugural Sydney Dialogue on emerging, critical and cyber technologies.
“As part of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with India, our two countries are already cooperating — on cyber security, critical and emerging technologies, critical minerals, the digital economy, and so much more.”
He added, “I am also speaking at the Bengaluru Tech Summit today, which is India’s biggest technology summit. I will expand on some of the complementary initiatives with India at the Summit.”
Speaking further on Quad, Morrison said that Australia will also deepen its technology partnerships through the Quad.
“Together with India, Japan and the United States, Australia is working to harness our respective nations’ capabilities to enhance the resilience of Indo-Pacific supply chains and foster an open, accessible and secure technology ecosystem,” he said.
“At September’s first in-person Quad Leaders Meeting in Washington DC, we agreed to strengthen lines of effort across a number of very important areas, including, Technical standards, 5G deployment and diversification and detailed horizon scanning and mapping, with an immediate focus on supply chain security for semiconductors and their vital components, as well as exploring opportunities for cooperation on advanced bio-technologies,” he added.
He finally extended his wishes to those including Prime Minister Narendra Modi for participating in Sydney Dialogue, organised by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). PM Modi is expected to deliver a keynote address outlining India’s technology evolution and revolution, at the inaugural Sydney Dialogue on November 18.

CSS Corp recognized as a Global Leader in ISG Provider Lens

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India] : CSS Corp, a global customer experience and technology services provider, today announced that it has been recognized as a Global Leader in the ISG Provider Lens™ Contact Center – Customer Experience Services Global 2021 report by Information Service Group (ISG), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.
The ISG report underlines CSS Corp’s digital capabilities towards meeting the ever-evolving needs of enterprises for well-orchestrated intelligent automation capabilities and to deliver higher productivity, cost optimization, improved data accuracy, and superlative customer experience. CSS Corp’s ability to continuously invest, improve and innovate has helped it to secure a leadership position in the AI & Analytics and Social Media CX quadrants of the report. It is also positioned as Product Challenger in Digital Operations and Work-From-Home CX Services quadrants of the report. The company has received this recognition for its proprietary AI and analytics-based solutions and its automation-led operations, which have stood out in the customer experience service providers landscape. With its technology-led approach to customer experience complemented by a strong global team of professionals and innovative business models, CSS Corp has emerged as a compelling alternative to the traditional contact center service providers. The company’s flagship CX transformation platform, CSS EDISON™ is an end-to-end modular cloud-based intelligent platform that drives superior customer and employee experiences through a unique combination of easy-to-deploy intelligent modules, best-in-class professional services, and outcome-focused commercial models. The platform has already received rave reviews from industry analysts and received positive customer feedback for being an outcome-driven solution.
Sunil Mittal, CEO at CSS Corp, said, “We are proud to be recognized as a leader by ISG yet again. The customer engagement layer at organizations has gained unprecedented strategic importance in today’s times. Our solutions enable our customers to unlock the value of digitalization, transform customer engagement and deliver unrivalled customer experiences that drive business outcomes. This recognition is a testimony to our capabilities to provide best-in-class CX and support, enabled by innovative technology solutions, resilient operations and disruptive business models to maximize the value we deliver to our clients.”
Namratha Dharshan, ISG Lead Analyst, said, “It’s great to see CSS Corp getting recognized the second time in a row. CSS Corp has excelled and managed to carve a niche for itself in a crowded CX market by bringing AI and analytics capabilities to its clients. They have also been successful in deploying and delivering tangible results to their clients across geos. Their continuous investment and innovation, coupled with a highly differentiated pricing model, is a strong factor of consideration for enterprises to engage with CSS Corp and explore the art of the possible.”

Israel, Hungary sign cooperation agreement in science, technology

Jerusalem [Israel]: Israel and Hungary have signed a cooperation agreement in the fields of science and technology, Israel’s Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology has said in a statement.
The agreement provides a new framework for the promotion and support of scientific and technological ideas and research between the two governments, the statement noted on Tuesday. It will also encourage collaborations between research institutions and universities, implementation of joint programs and projects, promotion and support of R&D centers, exchange of scientists and students, and creation of new scientific research.
The agreement will also include the preparation of joint proposals for Horizon Europe, the EU’s key funding program for research and innovation.
The agreement, signed by Israeli Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology Orit Farkash Hacohen and Hungarian Minister of Innovation and Technology Laszlo Palkovics, was for three years and will be automatically extended each year.
Israel and Hungary already share over 600 joint projects in various fields in academia, research institutions and industry with a total budget of about 1.8 million euros (2.1 million U.S. dollars).

Microsoft to host education-technology event on November 9

New Delhi [India]: American tech-giant Microsoft will be hosting an event focused on education technology, next week.
According to The Verge, the company plans to discuss ‘new and existing technology from Microsoft Education’ on November 9 at 12 PM ET. Microsoft described the event as: “Join us at 9 a.m. PT on Tuesday, Nov. 9, as we share an inside look at the latest tech solutions while examining gaps in learning left by the pandemic. Hear from Microsoft partners, school leaders and a few special guests, and learn about new and existing technology from Microsoft Education,” read the statement.
As per The Verge, the event could unveil new hardware. The company just revealed a wave of new Surface products at an event in September.
For the unversed, the event arrives just over a month after the company released Windows 11, its next major operating system. Perhaps the company will detail upcoming education-focused updates on the way for Windows 11, as per The Verge.

Modern technology in Ram Temple

Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: The Ram Temple in Ayodhya will be equipped with modern technology, said vice president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and general secretary of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Champat Rai on Tuesday. “Ram temple will be equipped with modern technology. A reflection of the mythology will also be witnessed in the Ram Temple. The impression of the deity Adishakti Navagraha will be engraved in each pillar. There will be special sound effects. There will be arrangements for natural lighting. Special lighting arrangements will be made at festivals. There will be wireless lights and sound arrangements. The security of the temple will be based on state-of-the-art technology,” Rai told mediapersons here.
The VHP leader further said that the sanctum sanctorum of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya will be constructed in such a way that the rays of the Sun God can easily reach Ramlala. The Temple will be constructed in such a way that on the day of Ram Navami, the sun rays fall directly on the face of Ramlala.
For this purpose, studies on the astronomical positions of the Sun have also started. The Temple will be built on the basis of the inputs of the research. Brainstorming is also being done to adopt a specific technique like the Konark temple of Odisha.
Ram Mandir Construction Committee meeting was held at Circuit House in Ayodhya on Tuesday.
Earlier, Rai had told ANI that the construction work of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya is going on at a fast pace and the doors will be opened for devotees by the end of December 2023.
The general secretary of Shriram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust had informed that because currently the concreting is being done, the construction work is being carried at only during nights only.

Apple working on including health features to Airpods

Washington [US] : Apple Airpods may help you monitor your body temperature and posture, as the tech-giant company is working on adding health features to Airpods just like the recently launched Apple Watch Series 7.
As per Mashable India, the tech giant is currently working on exploring the potential of Airpods as a health device by adding a few health-focused features like body temperature and posture monitor along with better hearing aid. On a related note, the recently released AirPods Pro is already offering a ‘conversation boost’ option to the user, but according to the reports, Apple has not specifically mentioned working on any new hearing-aid features.

These new health-focused features may take a while before rolling out in the market.
While the tech giant has been taking huge leaps in the world of modern technology, it has also teamed up with the University of California, Los Angeles, and pharmaceutical company Biogen to build an algorithm to detect depression and cognitive decline, as per Mashable India.
Apple is exploring the possibility of including blood pressure, oxygen, sugar, temperature and sleep quality sensor monitors in its next Apple Watch series. 

Twitter testing easier method to switch to your reverse-chronological feed

Washington [US] : Social Media Platforms are coming up with different and new features regulary to make it more interesting and easy. In the same run, social media giant Twitter on Tuesday announced that it is testing a new way to switch to your reverse-chronological feed a bit more easily.
On its official Twitter handle, the company wrote, “Top Tweets first or latest Tweets first? We’re making it easier to switch between the two timelines and know which one you’re scrolling. Now testing with some of you on iOS: swipe between “Home” and “Latest” on the Home tab to choose which Tweets you see first.” Currently, when users tap the three-star icon at the top of their feed to switch between the Home feed or the Latest feed, a small menu pops up that prompts the users to switch to whichever feed they are not on.
Now as reported by The Verge, for some users on iOS, when they tap the three-star icon, Twitter is testing new Home or Latest tabs at the top of their screen instead.
This change might prove to be an improvement since it will mean fewer taps to switch between feeds and make it easier to know at a glance which feed a Twitter user is looking at.
Reportedly, it is still unclear if the micro-blogging site is planning to roll this test out more broadly.

SCHOTT re-invents smartphone cover glass with Xensation® a (Alpha)

Jena [Germany] : The international technology group SCHOTT, inventor of speciality glass and pioneer in the development of groundbreaking glass types, is bringing a new generation of smartphone cover glass to products like Vivo’s upcoming flagship devices.
The company’s Xensation® a (Alpha) cover glass is a novel composition with substantial improvements in drop resistance. “The properties of our new Xensation® a cover glass truly advance the quality of cover glass and provide manufacturers with a reliable option for high-end devices,” said Dr Lutz Klippe, Product Group Manager Cover at SCHOTT.
“Drop tests in the laboratory prove that the improvement in breaking strength is tantamount to a quantum leap.” He also added, “We see India as the biggest growing smartphone market and consider it an important target for our Xensation® cover glass portfolio.”
The advantages of Xensation® a at a glance:
Significantly improved drop resistance from double the height* (also “set drop performance” or “drop performance”) compared to other LAS-based premium cover glasses – especially on impact with rugged or sharp-edged, rough surfaces.
Less susceptible to scratches than commercially available aluminosilicate (AS) and lithium aluminosilicate (LAS) cover glass types, as Knoop-diamond indenter lab tests show.
Xensation® a combines the outstanding character of LAS glass in terms of chemical strengthening potential with the scratch performance of borosilicate glass and a strong glass network as known from glass-ceramics.
The new LABS glass innovation contains the semimetal boron in addition to industry-standard ingredients lithium and aluminium. The resulting advantages produce an extremely powerful high-end cover glass for smartphones.
SCHOTT and Vivo have enjoyed a close and trusted partnership over several years. Vivo’s upcoming flagship phones will be the first to feature the new Xensation® a cover glass.
Optimized for chemical strengthening
A deeper chemical strengthening augments the glass and protects it in case of drops, a result made possible by an improved ion exchange capability compared to LAS glass. Added to this are the advantages of the element boron, which also improve scratch performance.
SCHOTT first positioned a LAS glass as a cover glass on the market years ago, and today it’s a standard composition in the high-end cover glass segment. The company is once again ushering in a new era with Xensation® a LABS glass. This new development was made possible by SCHOTT’s global research and development network, which has unique knowledge in the field of glass and glass-ceramics.
Xensation® a is a prime example of how a traditional company like SCHOTT, which is more than 130 years old, can channel its decades of experience into original and inventive new products. Otto Schott, the company’s founder, was the first to document the addition of lithium to a glass mixture as part of his far-reaching experiments that ultimately led to the invention of speciality glass. Xensation® a builds on his discoveries.
Innovation driver in the display cover glass sector
SCHOTT introduced the Xensation® LAS glass to leading smartphone manufacturers in 2011, making it a pioneer in LAS glass production for display covers.
The many years of cooperation between SCHOTT and leading smartphone manufacturers in the field of cover glass underscore that SCHOTT is a reliable supplier with fast delivery times, agile response times, and consistently high product quality. Xensation® Up., the most advanced LAS cover glass from SCHOTT, reliably protects the Vivo X60 Pro and Vivo X70 Pro, recently launched in India, from the challenges of everyday use. The Oppo Watch and Honor Play 5 also feature the glass.
SCHOTT’s innovative strength is also underscored by its latest innovation for foldable smartphones (foldables): The flexible and chemically strengthened ultra-thin glass (UTG) Xensation® Flex enables premium smartphones with flexible screens and a display cover made of ultra-thin glass. SCHOTT, as a supplier to Samsung, is proud to enable a new device generation with folding screens.

Need to start ‘Technology Schools’, says Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai

Hubbali (Karanataka) [India]: In view of emphasizing technical education among students at the high school level, there is a need to start ‘Technology Schools’, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Tuesday.
Addressing after virtually inaugurating the ‘Innovation and Impact’ program organized by the Department of Electronics, IT, Bt and S and T under the ‘Beyond Bengaluru’ initiative, he said that actions will be implemented right away to promote the growth of innovative industries in the Hubballi region. “There was a technology school in Hubli way back in 1960 itself which was closed later. But, technology schools need to be started considering the fact that perception ability will be more during childhood”, he stated.
He told that Atal Tinkering Labs should be upgraded and artificial intelligence must be included at that level at least to some extent. He added, “Polytechnics also need to be upgraded along the lines of up-gradation of 150 ITI’s in the state”.
Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka C N Ashwatha Narayana, said, “a centre of excellent (CoE) for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Date Engineering will be set up soon in Hubballi. He further said, the National Education Policy (NEP-2020) aspires to ready the students as per the global technological developments, and accordingly, coding will be taught for students at the school level itself”.
The government has brought in effective policies to promote innovative technologies and the duration of the internship has risen from 3 weeks to 30 weeks. Students will also be given the opportunity to undergo internships in foreign countries, Narayana explained.
Aravind Bellad, MLA, suggested focusing on developing the Hubballi cluster as a hardware manufacturing hub.
Prashanth Prakash, Chairperson, State Vision Group, pointed out, that it is suitable to start agri-tech, climate-tech, and space-tech industries in the Hubballi cluster.
B V Naidu, Chairperson, KDEM (Karnataka Digital Economy Mission), opined that there should be efforts to promote indigenous manufacturing of Tablet PCs.
E V Ramana Reddy, ACS, Department of Electronics, IT/BT, Ashok S.Shettar, Vice-Chancellor, KLE Technical University, Aravind Malligeri, CEO, Aechus, Gudasi, Prof. Mahesh, Sanjeev Gupta, Vivek Pawar, Meena Nagaraj, Director, Dept of IT/BT were present.

Samsung seems to have pulled ads from stock apps

Seoul [South Korea]: A major issue in using a Samsung phone is finally getting fixed, as the company seems to have finally pulled ads from some of its stock apps.

As per The Verge, there can be seen no ads in the Samsung Weather, Samsung Pay, and Samsung Health apps, though they said they had to force quit and reopen the Health app to remove the ad banner.
The move is expected — the company had promised in August that it would remove ads from apps including Samsung Weather, Samsung Pay, and Samsung Theme “later this year” — but it’s good to see that Samsung is following through.

When asked for comment, Samsung didn’t confirm that the removals were effective now, pointing to the same statement about the changes it gave to The Verge in August.

As per reports, a Samsung employee confirmed the changes to Samsung Health in a forum post. (ANI)

India leveraging technology to improve health infrastructure, says PM Modi

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday thanked Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates for his lauding the launch of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission and said India is working to leverage technology for the betterment of health infrastructure.
PM Modi launched the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission through video conferencing on Monday. Under the mission, every Indian will get a unique health ID that will also work as health account to which personal health records can be linked.
Bill Gates said in a tweet that this digital health initiative will help India achieve its health goals.
“Congratulations @Narendra Modi on the national launch of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission. This digital health infrastructure will help ensure equitable, accessible healthcare delivery and accelerate progress on India’s health goals,” Gates said.
Replying to Gates’ tweet, Prime Minister Modi said: “Thank you @BillGates
for the kind words on the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission. There is immense scope in leveraging technology for the betterment of health infrastructure and India is working hard in this direction.”
The Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission will create interoperability within the digital health ecosystem, similar to the role played by the Unified Payments Interface in revolutionizing payments. Citizens will only be a click away from accessing healthcare facilities.

Amazon, Disney collaborate to bring ‘Hey Disney’ custom voice assistant for Echo devices in 2022

Washington [US]: Amazon and Disney have announced a custom voice assistant called ‘Hey Disney’ that’s going to be available on Echo devices installed at Walt Disney resort locations, piggybacking on the skills of Alexa.

According to The Verge, ‘Hey Disney’ is ultimately used for customer service inquiries, helping Disney World or Disneyland visitors find answers to park-specific questions. Disney has said this new wake word will “make the Alexa experience more magical.”
There was no onstage demo of the assistant, but it seems like it’ll work as one might expect it to. By saying “Hey Disney,” a user can ask it questions like “what time does the park open?”, “where can I get Italian food?”, or use it to request more blankets for their resort room.

The ‘Hey Disney’ custom voice assistant is also available for people who aren’t staying in Disney parks. Amazon has said it can provide jokes, fun facts, and over 1,000 “magical interactions” presented by Disney characters.

According to The Verge, this skill will be launched in 2022, and a price hasn’t been shared yet. It’ll be complimentary for people staying at Disney parks, but users will need to pay to put it on their own Echo device. (ANI)

iOS 15, iPadOS 15 releasing tomorrow

Washington [US]: Tech giant Apple is all set to release the iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 final updates for iPhone and iPad, on September 20.

Earlier this week, the company had also provided a closer look at the final build of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 with the release of the RC build for developers and public beta testers.
As to when Apple will release the final version of the software to everyone, Mashable India says that the users will be able to download and install the full and final version of iOS 15 and iPadOS on September 20.

In case to avoid a site crash encounter, it is advised to download the update on time or a little later as going by Apple’s history, its servers get hammered by millions of devices attempting to download the new update.

Due to this, Mashable India says there is a chance that a user might encounter verification issues from Apple. (ANI)

SpaceX launches spaceship with first-ever fully civilian crew on board

Florida [US], September 16 : American aerospace manufacturer SpaceX on Thursday launched the Falcon 9 carrier rocket that placed the Crew Dragon spaceship into orbit. This was the first-ever fully civilian crew mission dubbed as Inspiration4.

The launch took place at 00:03 GMT from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
“Dragon and the @inspiration4x astronauts are now officially in space! Dragon will conduct two phasing burns to reach its cruising orbit of 575km where the crew will spend the next three days orbiting planet Earth,” SpaceX tweeted later.

This mission is the first orbital mission in the history of spaceflight to be staffed entirely by non-astronauts. This journey will see the quartet free-flying through Earth’s orbit. (ANI)

WhatsApp reportedly developing feature to transcribe voice notes

Washington [US]: Facebook owned instant messaging service WhatsApp is reportedly developing a feature that’ll offer transcriptions of received voice messages, letting users easily read what’s been said without having to play it out loud.
According to The Verge, the feature is currently in development for iOS. It’s unclear as to when it’ll hit the WhatsApp beta for iPhone users or when it’ll arrive for Android. This feature will work by sending speech data to Apple “to process your requests,” not to parent company Facebook. There’s a disclaimer that this data “will also help Apple improve its speech recognition technology.”
It’s unclear how the data “sent to Apple” will be secured since the feature is yet to be officially announced. Currently, voice messages are protected by WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption
Voice messages are a useful WhatsApp feature, particularly if you need to send a longer message and aren’t in a position to type it out.
But they can sometimes cause problems for recipients who don’t have headphones and aren’t in a position to listen to a message out loud, or if they simply don’t have time to listen to a voice message in its entirety.
Transcriptions could let people silently see the contents of a voice message, or reference important details later without having to scrub through audio.
As per The Verge, transcriptions will be saved to the device after they’re created, and that a “Transcript” section will make it easy to skip to specific parts of a message.
That’s similar to other auto-transcription software like Google’s Recorder or, which lets you click on a word to skip to the moment it’s said in a recording. Transcribing WhatsApp voice messages is currently only possible using third-party software.
At the moment, there’s no sign of an equivalent feature on WhatsApp’s Android app. However, given the level of feature parity between WhatsApp’s different apps, there is speculation that it might also be on the way.

Instagram testing new feature to allow users to mark other users as ‘Favourites’

Washington [US]: Facebook-owned social media platform Instagram has been testing a new feature that will allow its users to mark other users as their ‘Favourites’.

According to The Verge, ‘Favourites’ will let users categorize their most important Instagram accounts (friends and creators) as their priorities so that the posts by these marked handles will land “higher” in the user’s feed.
Alessandro Paluzzi, a mobile developer, had first shared the update regarding this new feature on his Twitter handle.

If this feature sounds familiar, it’s because Instagram was testing a different ‘Favourites’ feature back in 2017, which let users limit the exact audience for each post.

For example, one could share their wedding photo with just their designated favourites, rather than with their entire following.

However, the 2021 iteration of ‘Favourites’ is about giving you more control over your feed by telling Instagram which accounts are most important to you.

Users generally follow a bunch of different brands and creators on their accounts, but they don’t necessarily prioritize their content on the same level as their closest friends and families.

Instagram currently ranks the order of your feed by the most recent and shared posts from the people you follow, plus other “signals” like how likely you’ll engage with a post, according to the company’s June 2021 blog post about its algorithm.

While you may ‘like’ several of the posts you see, those might not be the content you’re actually looking for, but might be sending Instagram all the wrong signals on what you actually want to see in your feed.

As per The Verge, it’s unclear whether this ‘Favourites’ feature will become an official feature at all or if it will change before it’s rolled out more broadly.

In the meantime, users just might see this feature in their account menu, just below ‘Close Friends’, a feature that lets you control who you share your Stories with. (ANI)

Roblox to add voice chat, starting initially with ‘Spatial Voice’

Washington [US], September 6 : Online gaming platform Roblox recently announced that it would be taking its first steps to introduce voice chat by opening up a feature it’s calling “Spatial Voice” for select developers in an invitation-only beta.
According to The Verge, Roblox’s chief product officer Manuel Bronstein, in a blog post said, “With Spatial Voice, Roblox creators will begin to test developing experiences where conversations can happen in a realistic way, mirroring how we listen and respond to the world around us each day.” Based on this limited description, it sounds like Spatial Voice will attempt to reflect the way voices carry in the real world and require you to be close proximity to another player to speak to them.
Adding voice chat of any kind into Roblox immediately raises concerns about how the company will moderate conversations, especially given Roblox’s massive popularity with children.
But Roblox plans to roll out the feature slowly, according to TechCrunch, giving access first to 5,000 developers and all of them will be 13 or older. In an interview with TechCrunch, Bronstein suggested that the company may never give access to kids.
Bronstein said, “I think we want to take it slowly and we want to learn as we go through it. We may start, as I mentioned, with the developers. It is likely that right after that, we may go to an audience that is 13 plus and park there for a while until we understand exactly if all the pieces are falling into place before deciding if we ever open it to a younger audience.”
As for moderation, Roblox will let users self-report issues. “Our community will be able to self-regulate and flag a user that is not adhering to community standards, and that user may be removed from an experience or lose speaking privileges,” Bronstein said in his blog.
That could be a helpful tool to root out bad people, but it puts the onus of reporting on the users.
Roblox is also planning a voice chat experience that will allow users to chat with their friends wherever they are in Roblox, TechCrunch reported.
That experience sounds more like what you might be used to if you’re hanging out with your buddies on Discord, where you can be playing different games but still hang out in the same voice channel.
This broader voice chat will be apparently be bolstered by Roblox’s acquisition of the chat platform Guilded, which it acquired in August.
“Though Roblox’s work on voice pre-dates the acquisition, Guilded will lay the groundwork for Roblox’s future voice plans,” according to TechCrunch.
The addition of voice chat could make Roblox an even more popular place to hang out and help it better compete with other metaverse-y games like ‘Fortnite’. But in taking this slow approach, Roblox seems to trying to get ahead of challenges voice chat could bring to the platform.

ISRO conducts first hot test System D Model

New Delhi [India], August 28 (ANI): Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Saturday successfully conducted the first hot test of the System Demonstration Model (SDM) of the Gaganyaan Service Module Propulsion System at the test facility of ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) in Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu.

The test was conducted for a duration of 450 seconds, as per an official statement from ISRO.
They further informed that the system performance met the test objectives and there was a close match with the pre-test predictions. Further, a series of hot tests are planned to simulate various mission conditions as well as off-nominal conditions.

The Service Module is part of the Gaganyaan Orbital module and is located below the crew module and remains connected to it until re-entry. The Service Module (SM) Propulsion System consists of a unified bipropellant system consisting of 5 numbers of 440 N thrust engines and 16 numbers of 100 N Reaction Control system (RCS) thrusters with MON-3 and MMH as Oxidizer and Fuel respectively.

The System Demonstration Model (SDM), consisting of 5 numbers of 440 N engines and 8 numbers of 100 N thrusters, was realized to qualify the propulsion system performance in ground.

A new test facility is established at IPRC, Mahendragiri for testing the SDM. (ANI)

Samsung Pay now lets users store their COVID-19 vaccination card


Washington [US]: In a partnership with the Commons Project Foundation, a healthcare nonprofit, tech-giant Samsung is now letting its users store digital versions of their COVID-19 vaccination cards in Samsung Pay.

According to The Verge, the smartphone company announced the development recently. To enable the feature, the Samsung Pay users have to first download the free CommonHealth app from the Google Play store and follow the instructions to access their COVID-19 vaccine record, from participating pharmacies, health systems, and health providers (not all providers are connected to the system yet).
After getting access to their COVID-19 vaccination credentials within the CommonHealth app, the users can add them to their Samsung Pay wallet.

This will make the COVID-19 vaccination pass available on the Samsung Pay app home page.

However, it is not clear yet whether restaurants, schools, offices, or other places that are requiring proof of vaccination, will accept these electronic versions or not.

The Verge reported that back in June, Google launched Android’s built-in passes system to let Android users store a digital vaccine card, on their phones. Available first in the US, it will rely on support from healthcare providers, or other organizations authorized to distribute COVID-19 vaccines.

On a related note, some states, like New York and California, have introduced their own digital COVID-19 vaccination cards. (ANI)

Google’s Pixel 6 to roll out without charger


Washington [US], August 19: After the latest Apple’s iPhones and Samsung’s top flagships, American tech giant Google has officially revealed that it will ship its upcoming flagship smartphones, the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro, without a charger in the box.

The Verge reported that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, coming later this year, will have a completely new design, and will run on Tensor, Google’s first custom chip for smartphones.
Reports also suggest that Pixel 5a 5G, which launched yesterday, was possibly the last smartphone of Google that shipped with a charger.

According to The Verge, the reasoning behind the company’s decision is that most people already have a USB-C charger, meaning there is no need to include a new one with their phones. Also, not shipping millions of unneeded chargers with phones is good for the environment.

Counter-drone technology deployed in Delhi

New Delhi [India]: Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana has said that tight security arrangements have been made in the national capital for the country’s 75th Independence Day on Sunday and counter-drone technology has been deployed in sensitive areas in the national capital to thwart any untoward incident.
Asthana, who took over as Delhi Police Commissioner last month, said in an interview that they have been talking to farmer leaders and Delhi borders have been sealed to make sure that past incidents are not repeated. He said security arrangements for Independence Day have been done as in the past and steps have also been taken keeping in mind the different nature of threats this year.
“There are more reinforcements considering all this. Counter-drone technology has been deployed in sensitive areas to thwart any attempt (to disturb the function),” he said.
He was asked about security concerns in view of the threat posed by the misuse of drones.
Asthana said that the cyber team of Delhi Police is keeping a close watch on social media to prevent its misuse.
“Those who make attempts to provoke and incite people will be identified and appropriate legal action will be taken against them,” he said.
Asked about protesting farmers who have been carrying on with their agitation on Delhi borders against farm laws, the Delhi Police chief said that the officers have been told that anyone who tries to disturb law and order should be dealt with firmly.
“We’re talking to farmer leaders. We’ve told our officers that anyone who tries to disturb law and order should be dealt with firmly and with determination. We’ve sealed Delhi borders, to make sure past events aren’t repeated,” he said.
The tractor march by protesting farmers on January 26 this year had deviated from the approved routes and turned violent resulting in vandalism and clashes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead the Independence Day celebrations from Red Fort on Sunday. The country is celebrating ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, marking the 75th year of Independence, amid patriotic fervour.
A series of events are being organised across the country to mark the occasion.

Use technology to improve power supply across J&K, Kansal to PDD

Srinagar, Aug 14: Reviewing progress of implementation of IT related projects in Power Development Department (PDD) Principal Secretary PDD Rohit Kansal impressed upon officers to use technology to improve power supply across Jammu and Kashmir.

An official spokesman said this evening that chaired a meeting here today to review the progress of several projects being carried out for strengthening IT and Communications Divisions of J&K PDD for the augmentation of power sector.

The meeting was attended by Managing Director Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL), Basharat Qayoom; Secretary (Technical) PDD, Bashir Ahmad Dar; Chief Engineer (Distribution) KPDCL, Ajaz Ahmad; Executive Engineer IT Division (PDD), Surjeel Ghani and other concerned.

The meeting in detail discussed various aspects and other issues related to implementation of Information Technology in PDD, status and progress achieved for various ongoing projects under RAPDRP-A, TPIEA-IT Verification, SCADA/DMS project, RT-DAS,IT-Phase-II, smart metering, customer care service and other measures undertaken for feeder management and billing.

The meeting also deliberated upon the issues pertaining to the projects like RAPDRP-A, Network & Security upgrade and AMC works of PDD.

The meeting was informed that network and security devices have been upgraded to meet CERT-In compliances at DC & DRC, besides on boarding of Cyber Swachta Kendra is complied with, replacement of battery banks at Data Center and SAN Storage at DC and DRC.

On the SCADA/DMS project for sub-station automation in Srinagar city, it was given out that installation of server hardware/UPS/VPS was completed and control center hardware was powered last month.

While discussing the smart metering in twin cities of Jammu and Srinagar, it was informed that consumer survey, supply and installation of IT Hardware at DC/DRC, besides RF design and server activity have been completed.

With respect to IT-Phase-II, the meeting was told that the project is envisaging complete migration of all billing SDOs to Oracle utilities platform and the work is in progress on up gradation of SAN Storage and migration of database and application software to new SAN storage.

While addressing the meeting, the Principal Secretary impressed upon the officers to make optimum use of technological interventions in the power sector to improve transmission, distribution and supply of power across the Union territory.

On the occasion, Kansal asked the PDD officers to expedite all ongoing projects and ensure their timely completion so that people would get benefited and directed them to accelerate all the ground works for installation of smart metering in the Union Territory.

While stressing for strengthening the IT cell of PDD, he asked officers to develop single integrated software that will provide information like losses, revenue collection and are also linked with transformers and feeders.

He also maintained that as numerous steps have been taken to improve and reform the power supply system in J&K and added that there is always a room for further improvement in the system.

He also exhorted the officers to develop consumer friendly information technology modules for generation and timely delivery of power bills to ensure target revenue realization

Poland wants to collaborate with India in Food Processing & Emerging technology field

Kolkata, Aug 11: ‘Fintech, Smart City, Cyber security, Green Technology, Drone technology and Food Processing are priority areas were Poland want to collaborate with India,’ said H E Prof. Adam Burakowski, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to India while addressing at an interactive session organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

“Poland is the most developed country in Europe in terms of e-banking and we want to offer our solutions to the Indian market,” he claimed.

He also stated that Poland has large experience in green technologies and is also willing to offer solutions in sewerage treatment.

Poland hold leadership position in drone technology, he said, and can collaborate with India for

civilian purposes.

Agriculture and Food Processing is also another priority sector where, he felt, India and Poland

can collaborate. Apples and confectionary products compose of more than 50% of agro-processed products Polish exports to India, he mentioned.

Blueberries from Poland, he believed, have the potential to be hit among the Indian consumers.

Also present at the session were Michalina Seliga, Third Secretary (Political-Economic Section), Embassy of Poland, Marta Kuśnierska, Expert (Political-Economic Section), Embassy of

Poland and Joydeep Roy, Chief Consular Officer, Honorary Consulate of Poland.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Brij Bhushan Agarwal, Chairman, ICC National Expert Committee

on Minerals and Metals mentioned that underground coal mining is a very sustainable and attractive

way of mining and Poland can be an important partner with its cutting-edge technologies for the underground mining industry. Mr. Agarwal also offered the formal vote of thanks at the close of the session.

Microsoft’s new Xbox night mode lets users dim controller’s LED brightness

Washington [US]: Tech giant Microsoft will be soon bringing a new night mode for Xbox consoles which will let its users dim a controller’s LED brightness.
The American software company has already started testing this night mode with Xbox Insiders in the Alpha Skip-Ahead ring on Friday (local time), and “it allows Xbox owners to dim their screens, controller LED brightness and even the Xbox power button.” The Xbox night mode allows for a lot of customization, including different dimming levels and an optional blue light filter.
Microsoft will also allow the Xbox owners to dim the LED brightness on their controllers through this night mode and dim the Xbox power button light or turn it off.
Users will also be able to set an Xbox to switch to the system dark mode and disable HDR when the night mode is enabled.
Reportedly, this Xbox night mode will also be able to set a schedule, either a manual one or an automatic one that will enable it at sunset and disable it at sunrise.
The testing is currently undergoing by the company with Xbox Insiders, so users can expect to see it filter through the various testing channels in the coming weeks before arriving on all Xbox consoles soon.

AI Tech Start-up launches AI powered Noise Print Anti-copy labels to protect Drugs & Medical Device Brands

Kolkata, Aug 6: An AI Tech startup ‘PUCHO’ founded by Mr. Vipin Choudhary has launched
a breakthrough AI Powered Noise Print Anti-copy labels to eliminate counterfeit, a multi-lingual App powered by Cypheme, a globally renowned Artificial Intelligence and Brand Protection Solution to Protect Drugs & Medical Device Brands against the growing menace of Counterfeits.
PUCHO’s AI Tech can also help identify Fake Covid-19 Vaccines. Result comes in multiple (15 vernacular) languages with an audio button for the consumer to hear the result.
India who played the role of “Pharmacy to the world” during the Covid-19 pandemic was also
termed as the world’s leading producer of fake drugs, according to research by the OECD and
the EU Intellectual Property Office.
India engulfed by the covid-19 pandemic pushed people to rush to markets to get medicines,
oxygen cylinders, masks, PPE kits and other essential life-saving equipments. The covid-19
crisis and an acute shortage of drugs & medical devices to treat symptoms of Covid-19 has unfortunately increased the circulation of counterfeit medicines and medical devices in recent
While COVID-19 is a current pandemic, Counterfeiting is an ongoing menace. One of the
important factor behind the increase of counterfeit medicines and medical devices is the
absence of anti-tampering, anti-counterfeiting & traceability measures making the counterfeiters
task quite easy. In countries like India, where health and medicine literacy in society is not yet fully developed, healthcare brands have an even bigger role to play compared to their counterparts in
the developed world.
PUCHO, offers the only anti-counterfeit solution that has been ISO 12931Certified which
comprises of AI Powered Noise Print Anti-Copy Labels to eliminate counterfeit. The Brand Owner affixes a unique innovative Noise Print label on products which can be scanned but cannot be copied. Each Noise Print label is unique and has a random chemically generated signature. The consumer scans the product and the scan is enabled by Patented anti-counterfeit technology based on neural network analysis.
The AI detects original or counterfeit by analysing the surface microstructure of authentication
Noise Print label by a simple scan through The Consumer authenticates the product
before purchase. APP Download and scan is free for the consumers.
“The impact of counterfeit on the consumer, brand owner, the environment, economy, employment, health and the country are unimaginable. 30-40% of products sold in India annually are counterfeit. Counterfeit medicine kills more people than malaria every year. Counterfeit COVID vaccines, medicines and medical equipment are already flooding the market. Our advanced AI system reacts in real-time to counterfeiter’s attempts to replicate our Noise Print feature, making sure not just to protect the integrity of the product, but also to discourage attempts to create fakes while collecting valuable data on the counterfeiters. Our mission is to Eliminate Counterfeit by adding value to the Consumer and Brand Owner in the process.” Said Vipin Choudhary, Founder & CEO, PUCHO.IN
Pucho provides the brand owners dashboard with data of authentic and counterfeit product scans
with geo location hot spots for targeted action against counterfeiters.
“Why should lives be lost or compromised due to counterfeit medicines & medical devices? Counterfeiters are becoming smarter, and we need to stay one step ahead of them. We need to establish a direct link between the brand owner and the consumer. The consumer must have the
power to authenticate before purchase to defy counterfeiting and that is what our solution does,”
said Mr. Vipin Choudhary.

Western Digital Expands Smart Video Surveillance Solutions for Growing AI-Enabled Workloads from Endpoint to Cloud

Kolkata, Aug 4: Empowering the world’s essential data infrastructure, Western Digital Corp
today announced the expansion of the WD Purple family with the WD Purple Pro product line for
a new generation of advanced AI-enabled recorders and back-end servers.
The worldwide video surveillance camera market is estimated to grow to $44 billion by 2025,
up from $23.6 billion in 2019, according to IDC. Emerging smart video architectures that capture,
store and analyze massive amounts of video data, and perform heavy deep-learning video
analytics, are putting an unprecedented level of stress on storage subsystems.
The new WD Purple Pro line is designed to handle these workloads with optimized storage performance, capacity, workload capability and reliability for a myriad of devices, including
AI-enabled network video recorders (NVRs), video analytics servers, storage arrays and
storage/server solutions, including those that perform deep-learning analytics.
Jaganathan Chelliah, Director – Marketing, India, Western Digital, said, “With the addition of
WD Purple Pro product line, our WD Purple portfolio of smart video storage products are well positioned to harness the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence. Unlike the traditional CCTV
cameras, smart CCTV cameras today capture and transfers multiple video streams for AI
based real time and batch analytics. Our WD Purple Pro HDDs with All frames AI tech has the
capability to handle intense workload and enable users to derive deep insights.”
Khalid Wani, Director – Sales, India, Western Digital, said, “With the emerging AI workloads
and video feeds with 4K resolution, there is a strong requirement for a smart video storage
solution to address the high-capacity and reliability needs. Several large infrastructure projects
are looking at AI based smart video solutions for use cases beyond safety. WD Purple Pro
with up to 18TB capacity is the ideal solution to enable original equipment manufacturers and
system integrators to solve this growing market requirement.”

India places top priority to counter terrorism and wider use of technology at 1st BRICS Workshop on Digital Forensics

New Delhi [India]: India on Tuesday placed its top priority on counter-terrorism and on the wider use of technology at the first BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Workshop on Digital Forensics.
Speaking at the inaugural session virtually, Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Secretary Consular, Passport, Visa & Overseas Indian Affairs (CPV&OIA) said, “Today’s workshop thus fits in with the topmost priorities of BRICS and in fact, straddles two of them- on counter-terrorism and on the wider use of technology.” “Digital forensics and CT investigation capabilities form the backbone of an effective response to the use of the internet for terrorist purposes. Dealing with this key issue would involve 3 key elements – appreciation of technology, legal mechanisms, and cooperation between law enforcement agencies, including within BRICS,” read the Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release.
Congratulating the group on the excellent coordination achieved in the field of security and recent agreement on the Counter-Terrorism Action Plan, which is a major deliverable of India’s Chairship.
He said, “Some of the areas of focus could include communication between different law enforcement agencies; inter-agency cooperation; training for CT investigations; joint initiatives; centralized repository of information/data; sharing best practices for the monitoring of certain groups and entities with suspected terrorist connections; cyber patrolling activities; and others. The establishment of formal channels of communications and nodal points will be useful.”
India had earlier defined the objectives of its Chairship is based on three pillars – political and security, economic and financial and cultural and people to people.
Celebrating the 15th anniversary of the BRICS group, he said, “We place priority on reformed multilateralism, counter-terrorism engagement, use of digital and technological means to attain SDGs and deeper people-to-people exchanges.”
Regarding technology, the Indian diplomat laid stress on advancing rapidly as terrorists have the advantage of being able to use it without legal or moral scruples.
“While governments are working hard, the fact remains that much of the expertise and technical knowledge rests with the private sector and there is a strong case to be made for public-private partnerships not just within member-states but across member-states,” he said.
Simultaneously, he also focussed upon the capabilities built up within law enforcement agencies since they are needed for the long term.
“The challenges that digital forensics examiners face with the increasing trend of anti-forensics techniques, especially encryption of digital evidence and usage of anonymising tech, raise the need to increase capacities in-network and malware forensic areas. I recommend developing a forensic lab and a forensic manual to facilitate the investigation of online crimes including encryption of digital evidence and use of blockchain technology for evidence gathering,” said Bhattacharyya.
Speaking on legal mechanisms, he laid stress on the concerted efforts needed to address the dangers posed by terrorists and other violators in digital crime and also to adjust to the fast-changing technology environment.
“We have to consolidate the relevant legislation under a comprehensive Act. These mechanisms will have to be forward-looking and future-oriented. On the one hand, it should provide for more pro-active and preventive digital evidence, capacity building and collaboration between agencies while on the other it also has to be cognizant of data security, personal liberty and democratic values. I recognise each of you have done considerable work at the national level, the idea is to share best practices at the BRICS level,” said Bhattacharyya.
He further wished the workshop great success.
“I hope it will build contacts, develop procedures for direct exchanges between member countries to preserve digital evidence, expedite forensic investigations and prevent gaps in communication, and strengthen existing collaboration to wipe out the scourge of terrorism through collaborative BRICS action,” said the Indian diplomat.

‘Snapdragon 898’ to be the next flagship Qualcomm chipset

Washington [US]: The American software company Qualcomm might officially name its next flagship chipset as ‘Snapdragon 898’.
As per Mashable India, a famed tipster now claims that Qualcomm’s next flagship SoC, which is yet to be officially revealed, would actually be named Snapdragon 898. Popular tipster Ice Universe mentioned the new flagship SoC name on Weibo- a micro-blogging site while also stating that the “Cortex-X2 CPU will run at 3.09GHz”.
He claimed that he saw the ‘aforementioned clock speed’, suggesting that the “Snapdragon 898 may need been a sample that was being tested out on a prototype smartphone to ascertain how far the manufacturer could reach higher CPU frequencies before putting a brake on things to stop temperatures reaching dangerous levels.”
Mashable India predicted that if the Snapdragon 898 is to be made on Samsung’s 4nm, increased performance and power efficiency will likely get on the cards.
Qualcomm might choose its custom Kryo 780 cores that are supported the Cortex-X2 core to run at clock speeds above 3.00GHz, all the while choosing a special CPU cluster.
A new manufacturing process should help the Snapdragon 898 achieve new milestones, but Qualcomm has something special planned for the ‘Plus’ variant, which might be mass-produced on TSMC’s 4nm node rather than Samsung’s, Mashable India has learnt.
Assuming TSMC doesn’t have its hands full in fulfilling Apple’s chip orders is predicted to get a touch exciting within the last half of 2022.
The American software giant might officially announce the Snapdragon 898 in December of this year, with the primary flagship smartphone expected to be unveiled in 2021 too, as per Mashable India.

3 in 4 Indian firms feel AI/ML skill gap hampering innovation

Nearly three in four Indian enterprises (74 per cent) feel that the lack of skills impedes overall innovation and about 30 per cent of organisations plan to focus on artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) as key areas to hire or reskill their workforce in the next six months, an IDC report said on Monday.

With an aim to meet business goals along with accelerated digital transformation, the IDC report showcased how lack of skills impacts meeting the business objectives.

“About 76 per cent of respondents said that lack of skill sets in employees impacts customer experience/customer satisfaction and profit growth. Reskilling workforces would help them in staying ahead of the technology adoption curve, meet changing business demands, and customer expectations,” explained Rishu Sharma, Associate Research Director, Cloud and AI at IDC India.

About 50 per cent of those surveyed find it significantly difficult to develop softer, non-technical skills in the next six months.

“Organisations must start with relatively small training investments, and should examine outcomes to understand how well skill development initiatives are working,” added Swapnil Shende, Senior Market Analyst, Artificial Intelligence at IDC India.

Enterprises should identify skill shortages and target areas/departments that should undergo skill enhancement.

“While technology skills such as AI, ML, and cloud become critically important for organizations to target new revenue opportunities, enterprises are becoming aware of employee reskilling and upskilling,” the report noted.

The report provided insights into organizations’ skill development goals, the importance of technology skills in digital transformation goals, and the overall business impact arising from lack of skills.

Atal Incubation Centre launched in Bengaluru

Bengaluru: Atal Incubation Centre (AIC), an STPI Centre of Excellence (CoE) at Bengaluru was virtually inaugurated by Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), Director General, Dr. Omkar Rai on Saturday.
A statement issued here on Saturday said AIC STPI Bengaluru was shortlisted by Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) of NITI Aayog to set up Atal Incubation Centre (AIC) for innovative start-ups working in Healthcare, IoT, ICT & E-Commerce domains at a budget outlay of Rs 20 Crores, with a target to incubate about 65 innovative and disruptive technology start-ups over a period of 5 years.

The AIC STPI Bengaluru is spread over 10,000 sq. ft. of the area and has been equipped with state-of-the-art physical infrastructure, lab with Health care equipment such as Vital sign Monitor, ECG Simulator, Neuro Stimulator & 3D Printer and common office facilities. AIC STPI Bengaluru is supported by partners from Industry, Corporate, startups, Venture Capitalists and Academia. The AIC aligns with STPI’s vision as well as that of NITI Aayog to support, promote and grow the culture of innovation leading to start-ups and successful entrepreneurs in the country.

Delivering the keynote address during the inauguration of AIC STPI Bengaluru & launch of 1st Cohort, Dr. Omkar Rai, DG, STPI & Chairman, STPINEXT, stated, ” STPINEXT is going to play a pivotal role in making India a software product nation by setting up STPI CoEs in emerging technology domains. AIC STPINEXT Initiatives can leverage the ecosystem and enable startups to build world-class products in healthcare domain through AIC STPI Bengaluru.” “Future of India lies in startups. We have 55 unicorns and during the beginning of 2021, we added 10 unicorns. Startups at STPI CoEs can solve global challenges. Beyond fostering startups to build innovative products in solving the challenges of industry, STPI CoEs can play a major role in creating many unicorns,” he added.

“Bangalore has rapidly emerged as the startup capital of India. AIC STPI Bengaluru has wonderful infrastructure with phenomenal technological support and extremely bright group of mentors including the initial financial opportunities. It will definitely become one of the largest producers of innovative startups who will change the startup Scenario of the country” said Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, Chief Mentor AIC STPI Bengaluru and Executive Director, Narayana Health.

“Possibilities for IoT in public healthcare space is humongous. We have to change the pattern of imagination. A special focus on IoT in this program can help us go long” said Dr. Chintan Vaishnav, Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog.

Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, Chairman and Executive Director of Narayana Health & Chief Mentor- AIC STPI Bengaluru, Dr. Chintan Vaishnav, Mission Director Atal Innovation Mission NITI Aayog, Shailendra Kumar Tyagi, Director, STPI-Bengaluru and Subodh Sachan, Director were present on the occasion.

Cryptocurrency Price Today: Bitcoin Rises Over 2% As Trade Gains Momentum

The cryptocurrency market marginally rebounded during the weekend as the market cap of all popular virtual coins gained. The positive momentum continued on Monday, but prices could fall due to existing headwinds.

Bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, was trading 2.30 per cent higher at $34,277.64 at 1:35 pm. Its closest rival Ether also rose over 2.40 per cent at $2,143.63. All other popular altcoins like Cardano, XRP, Dogecoin, Stellar, Polkadot and Litecoin were trading higher than their price 24 hours ago.

Commenting on the cryptocurrency market, Edul Patel, CEO and Co-founder of Mudrex, a global algorithm based crypto trading platform, said, “The crypto markets are slowly yet steadily moving out of the weekend consolidation.”

“As the traded volumes increase, most of the top cryptos are rising higher over yesterday’s levels. Bitcoin has been able to hold its ground over the $34,000 mark. Ether looks good over $2100,” he added.

Solar Storm Approaching Towards Earth Likely To Hit Today

A high-speed solar storm that is approaching the Earth at a speed of 1.6 million kilometres per hour, according to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), is expected to hit our planet’s magnetic field later today, affecting electricity supply and communication infrastructure around the world.

The solar flare, flowing from an equatorial hole in the sun’s atmosphere that was first detected on July 3, can travel at a maximum speed of 500 km/second, according to Although full-fledged geomagnetic (magnetic field associated with Earth) storms are unlikely, lesser geomagnetic unrest could spark high-latitude auroras.

The satellites in the Earth’s upper atmosphere are also expected to get impacted by the incoming flares. This will directly impact GPS navigation, mobile phone signal and satellite TV. Power grids can also be hit by the solar flares.

According to the latest prediction of the Space Weather Prediction Centre of the United States, the storm can also lead to a blackout of high-frequency radio communication for nearly an hour in a vast area. The Centre has marked the solar flares at X1 level, ‘X’ denoting the classification and the numerical suffix denoting the strength of the flare.

Solar flares are massive explosions on the surface of the sun that release energy, light and high-speed particles into space. According to Nasa, the biggest flares are known as “X-class flares” based on a classification system that categorises solar flares as per their strength. The smallest ones fall under A-class, followed by B, C, M and X. The solar flare that is likely to hit Earth’s magnetic field today is an X-class flare.

Redmi Note 10T 5G To Launch On July 20 In India: Check Details

Xiaomi has confirmed that the Redmi Note 10T 5G will launch in India on July 20. The company announced the same via a video on Redmi’s Twitter handle. It has also posted a teaser on YouTube announcing the arrival of the smartphone in India.

The smartphone will be the first 5G device in the Redmi Note series in India. The smartphone was released in Russia last month and packs the MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset. Other expected features include a triple rear camera setup and a 5,000mAh battery. Additionally, Xiaomi has used the tagline ‘fast and futuristic,’ to define the soon-to-be-released device.

Redmi Note 10T 5G: Expected specifications

If the company launches the same variant of the Redmi Note 10T that it launched in Russia, the handset would pack similar specifications. The Redmi Note 10T 5G could come with a 6.5-inch FHD+ (1,080×2,400 pixels) hole-punch display with 90Hz refresh rate.

Under the hood, the Redmi Note 10T 5G is expected to be powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 700 SoC, along with with up to 6GB RAM and 128GB storage.

The phone will run on Android 11-based MIUI 12 and could come with a triple rear camera setup headlined by a 48MP main sensor. Other shooters could include a 2MP macro and and 2MP depth sensor. The device could pack a 8MP front facing shooter for all your selfie and video calling needs.

The smartphone will likely to be backed by a 5,000mAh battery with 18W fast charging, and a side-mounted fingerprint sensor. Connectivity options on the device could include dual-SIM slots, 4G, NFC, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v5.1, 3.5 mm audio jack, and USB Type-C port.

Branson vs Bezos: Two Billionaires Compete To Ride Their Own Rockets Into Space

Two billionaires are putting everything on the line this month to ride their own rockets into space. It’s intended to be a flashy confidence boost for customers seeking their own short joyrides. The lucrative, high-stakes chase for space tourists will unfold on the fringes of space — 88 kilometers to 106 kilometers up, pitting Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson against the world’s richest man, Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos.

Branson is due to take off Sunday from New Mexico, launching with two pilots and three other employees aboard a rocket plane carried aloft by a double-fuselage aircraft. Bezos departs nine days later from West Texas, blasting off in a fully automated capsule with three guests: his brother, an 82-year-old female aviation pioneer who’s waited six decades for a shot at space and the winner of a $28 million charity auction.

Branson’s flight will be longer, but Bezos’ will be higher. Branson’s craft has more windows, but Bezos’ windows are bigger. Branson’s piloted plane has already flown to space three times. Bezos’ has five times as many test flights, though none with people on board. Either way, they’re shooting for sky-high bragging rights as the first person to fly his own rocket to space and experience three to four minutes of weightlessness.

Branson, who turns 71 in another week, considers it “very important” to try it out before allowing space tourists on board. He insists he’s not apprehensive; this is the thrill-seeking adventurer who’s kite-surfed across the English Channel and attempted to circle the world in a hot air balloon.

“As a child, I wanted to go to space. When that did not look likely for my generation, I registered the name Virgin Galactic with the notion of creating a company that could make it happen,” Branson wrote in a blog this week. Seventeen years after founding Virgin Galactic, he’s on the cusp of experiencing space for himself.

“It’s amazing where an idea can lead you, no matter how far-fetched it may seem at first.” Bezos, 57, who stepped down Monday as Amazon’s CEO, announced in early June that he’d be on his New Shepard rocket’s first passenger flight, choosing the 52nd anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s moon landing. He too had childhood dreams of traveling to space, Bezos said via Instagram. “On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend.”

Branson was supposed to fly later this year on the second of three more test flights planned by Virgin Galactic before flying ticket holders next year. But late last week, he leapfrogged ahead. He insists he’s not trying to beat Bezos and that it’s not a race. Yet his announcement came just hours after Bezos revealed he’d be joined in space by Wally Funk, one of the last surviving members of the so-called Mercury 13. The 13 female pilots never made it to space despite passing the same tests in the early 1960s as NASA’s original, all-male Mercury 7 astronauts.

Bezos hasn’t commented publicly on Branson’s upcoming flight. But some at Blue Origin already are nitpicking the fact that their capsule surpasses the designated Karman line of space 100 kilometers up, while Virgin Galactic’s peak altitude is 88 kilometers.

International aeronautic and astronautic federations in Europe recognize the Karman line as the official boundary between the upper atmosphere and space, while NASA, the Air Force, the Federal Aviation Administration and some astrophysicists accept a minimum altitude of 80 kilometers.

Blue Origin’s flights last 10 minutes by the time the capsule parachutes onto the desert floor. Virgin Galactic’s last around 14 to 17 minutes from the time the space plane drops from the mothership and fires its rocket motor for a steep climb until it glides to a runway landing.

SpaceX’s Elon Musk doesn’t do quick up-and-down hops to the edge of space. His capsules go all the way to orbit, and he’s shooting for Mars. “There is a big difference between reaching space and reaching orbit,” Musk said last week on Twitter. Musk already has carried 10 astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA, and his company’s first private spaceflight is coming up in September for another billionaire who’s purchased a three-day, globe-circling ride. Regardless of how high they fly, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin already are referring to their prospective clients as “astronauts.”

More than 600 have reserved seats with Virgin Galactic at $250,000. Blue Origin expects to announce prices and open ticket sales once Bezos flies. Phil McAlister, NASA’s commercial spaceflight director, considers it a space renaissance, especially as the space station gets set to welcome a string of paying visitors, beginning with a Russian actress and movie producer in October, a pair of Japanese in December and a SpaceX-delivered crew of businessmen in January. “The way I see it is the more, the better, right?” McAlister said. “More, better.”

This is precisely the future NASA wanted once the shuttles retired and private companies took over space station ferry flights. Atlantis blasted off on the last shuttle flight 10 years ago Thursday. NASA’s final shuttle commander, Chris Ferguson, who now works for Boeing on its Starliner crew capsule, is impressed that Branson and Bezos are launching ahead of customers. “That’s one surefire way to show confidence in your product is to get on it,” Ferguson said at Thursday’s 10th anniversary shuttle celebrations. “I’m sure that this was not a decision made lightly. I wish them both well. I think it’s great.”

Qualcomm Launches Smartphone For Snapdragon Insiders: Check Details

Qualcomm has launched an exclusive smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders in collaboration with Asus. Called “Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders” (no surprises there!), this smartphone is designed specially for the members of Qualcomm’s loyalty program called Snapdragon Insiders. Snapdragon Insiders was launched in March this year, you can sign up for the program for free and download some wallpapers, or you can fork out some hard cash and get this smartphone too. But you will get what you pay for, this smartphone comes with some top specs including the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, 512GB of onboard storage, a 144Hz AMOLED display, and more. It also comes with stock Android 11 and is preloaded with some of the major tech developed by Qualcomm. And that’s not all, the smartphone comes bundled with a pair of true wireless stereo earbuds.

Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders specs and features

Qualcomm’s collaborative effort with Asus essentially shows off their different technologies that get picked by other manufacturers based on market requirements. The phone comes with the third-generation Snapdragon X60 5G modem that supports all key 5G sub-6 and mmWave bands. It also has Qualcomm’s Signal Boost and Smart Transmit technologies that help with better connectivity.

The smartphone also comes equipped with Snapdragon Sound that is designed to deliver 24-bit 96kHz music streaming along with ultra-low latency and super wideband voice delivery. There is also the Qualcomm Spectra 580 image signal processor that enables 4K and 8K video recording and comes with an artificial intelligence-backed AI Auto Zoom feature.

The Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders supports dual nano SIMs and runs Android 11. It has a 6.78-inch full-HD+ (1,080×2,448 pixels) Samsung AMOLED display with up to 1,200 nits of peak brightness, and a 20.4:9 aspect ratio. There is Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection on top and the display is also HDR10 and HDR10+ certified and covers 111.23% of DCI-P3 and 106.87% of NTSC colour gamut.

The smartphone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 under the hood and comes with 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM. It comes with three cameras on the back including a 64MP Sony IMX686 primary sensor and an f/1.8 lens. There is also a 12MP Sony IMX363 sensor with an f/2.2 ultra-wide lens and an 8MP telephoto lens. Both the 64MP primary shooter and the 8MP telephoto lens come with optical image stabilisation (OIS). On the front, there is a 24MP camera.

The Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders has dual stereo speakers paired with a smart AMO and Snapdragon Sound. It also has quad HDR microphones with 114dB dynamic range. It comes with 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage and connectivity options on the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders include 4G LTE, 5G, Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth v5.2 with aptX Adaptive support, NFC, GPS/ A-GPS/ NavIC, and a USB Type-C port.

The Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders comes with an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, magnetometer, and a proximity sensor. There is a fingerprint sensor on the back with Qualcomm’s 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2. There is a Snapdragon fireball icon on the back that lights up when you get a call or a message, you can turn this feature off from the settings. The smartphone comes with a 4,000mAh battery that supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 5.0.

The Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders comes bundled with MW08SI TWS earbuds that support 24-bit, 96kHz audio along with ultra-low latency streaming over Bluetooth. These earbuds are powered by the Qualcomm QCC5141 and include Qualcomm Active Noise Cancellation as well as cVc echo cancellation and noise suppression technologies. Qualcomm also claims that the earbuds can be connected to the smartphone even in busy RF environments. These earbuds have been manufactured by New York’s Master & Dynamic.

Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders price

The Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders is priced at $1,499 ( ₹112,200 approx) for the 6GB/512GB variant. There are no other variants available. You can buy the phone from Asus’ online and offline retailers in August and it comes only in a Midnight Blue colour. The Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders will be available in China, Japan, Korea, Germany, the US, UK, and India. Qualcomm has not revealed any details about the India prices yet, but we expect to find out soon.

Xiaomi Plans To Launch Mi And Redmi Laptops In India Soon

Xiaomi is expected to launch new laptops under its Mi and Redmi brands in India. Xiaomi already offers laptops under the Mi brand, and it could soon debut Redmi laptops in India as well. The launch is expected to take place as early as this month. Xiaomi entered the laptop market in India last year with the Mi Notebook. It currently has four Mi laptops including the Mi Notebook 14, Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition, Mi Notebook 14 IC, and Mi Notebook 14 e-Learning Edition.

There aren’t any details on which Xiaomi laptops exactly will make its way to India. But according to tipster Ishan Agarwal, there are new Mi laptops planned for India. Xiaomi also has a Redmi laptop launch planned for this month, the tipster added. The company is yet to announce the launch of any laptop in India. Xiaomi did put out a tweet asking users which combination they would prefer for their next work or personal laptop. The options were a 15.6-inch non-metallic 2kg laptop, a 14-inch metallic 1.5kg laptop, anad a 13.3-inch metallic 1.4kg laptop. This probably hints on a new Mi laptop coming soon.

Xiaomi could be bringing its recently launched laptops to India. It launched the Mi Notebook Pro X 15 in China late last month. The laptop starts at CNY 7,999 ( ₹92,100 approx), and it comes with a 15.6-inch Samsung E4 OLED display. The Mi Notebook Pro X 15 runs up to an 11th-generation Intel Core i7 processor paired with up to 1TB of storage. Under its Redmi brand, Xiaomi launched the RedmiBook Pro 14 and RedmiBook Pro 15 laptops back in February this year. These laptops are powered by 11th-generation Intel processors. It launched the AMD Ryzen 5000 series variants of the RedmiBook Pro 14 and RedmiBook Pro 15 in May this year.

Xiaomi is expected to launch these laptops in India. It would be the first Redmi laptops in India as the company looks to expand the sub-brand portfolio.

Cryptocurrency Prices Today: Bitcoin Below $34,000; Ether, Dogecoin Also Fall

Bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency fell over 4 per cent and was trading at $33,128 at around 12:15 pm. Its closest competitor Ether was down over 7 per cent in what seems to be a result of higher outflows.

All other cryptocurrencies were trading lower including Dogecoin, Cardano, XRP, Stellar, Uniswap, Chainlink, Polkadot and Litecoin.

Commenting on the brood-based fall, Edul Patel, CEO and Co-founder of Mudrex, a global algorithm-based crypto trading platform, said, “After the wonderful rally observed across the crypto spectrum in the past few days, we are curiously witnessing a profit booking session. Most of the major cryptos are down by around 5%.”

“Bitcoin investors are getting anxious as it is currently trading just above the $33,000 mark. Short sellers would be watching this closely as well. A drop below this level would likely see a huge number of short positions opening,” he added.

Patel went on to say that profit booking had a larger impact on some major altcoins. “Ether is down by approximately 6 per cent and Ethereum Classic tanked more than 7 per cent. The meme coins, Dogecoin and Shiba Inu, have taken quite a toll. Both these cryptos are down by approximately 8 per cent,” Patel said.

“Currently, Bitcoin and Ether are close to support levels and these levels would be closely tracked. In case these support levels are broken, we might see a further sell-off across the spectrum,” he said.

Here are the latest prices and trends of popular cryptocurrencies:

CryptocurrencyPrice (US Dollar)24-hour changeMarket cap (Billion)Volume (24 Hours)
Bitcoin33,129.88-4.65%$621.17$23.57 billion
Ether2,214.48-7.10%$258.21$22.01 billion
Dogecoin0.217647-7.23%$28.34$1.49 billion
XRP0.632249-5.61%$63.22$2.01 million
Cardano1.37-4.21%$44.11$2.04 million

Meet Jellyfishbot, The Robotic Solution For Collecting Marine Waste

Tourists visiting the picturesque port at Cassis, southern France, often see an unedifying sight: plastic bags, discarded drinks bottles, and even used surgical masks, floating in the water among the boats in the marina. But the port has found a solution, in the shape of a bright yellow remote-controlled electric powered boat that weaves around the harbour sucking the trash into a net that it trails behind its twin hulls. The boat, called Jellyfishbot, is about the size of a suitcase and so can get into the corners and narrow spaces where rubbish tends to accumulate but which are difficult for cleaners with nets to reach.
“It can go everywhere,” said Nicolas Carlesi, who has a PhD in undersea robotics and whose company, IADYS, created the boat. It is not the only device of its kind. San Diego non-profit Clear Blue Sea is developing a proto-type trash-collecting robot called “FRED”. A marine technology firm based in the Netherlands, RanMarine, has developed a robot called the “Waste Shark” which has been deployed to clean up garbage in Rotterdam harbour.

“Jellyfishbot” is in operation in around 15 French ports, and has been exported to countries including Singapore, Japan and Norway, according to Carlesi’s company. The firm has just launched an autonomous version. A keen sailor and diver, Carlesi said he came up with the idea after noticing, whenever he spent leisure time on the water, how much rubbish bobbed in the water in ports. “I thought: ‘Why not try to make this difficult and sometimes thankless task of picking up trash easier?’ So we made this robot,” he said.

Mercedes-Benz Reports A Strong End To The First Half Of 2021; Delivers 4,857 New Vehicles In India

Mercedes-Benz India on Thursday reported a strong end to the first half of 2021, a period in which it delivered 4,857 new vehicles in the country. This is a growth of 65% over the same time period of 2020 even if it is important to note that the Covid-19 pandemic had varying effects on the auto market in both of these time periods.

Bolstered by a massive product-launch offensive, Mercedes has been leading the luxury charge in the Indian automobile industry. The company has plans of driving in as many as 15 new or updated car models in 2021 and has already set the pace with the likes of A-Class Limousine on the one side of the price spectrum to the S-Class 2021 and GLS Maybach on the other. So far, the carmaker has launched eight products this year and is scheduled to drive out the new AMG E 63S and AMG E 53 performance sedans next week.

Not surprisingly, even though there is a general increase in preference for SUVs across passenger vehicle segments and in many countries including India, luxury sedans from Mercedes still fare better than SUVs here. As such, the updated E-Class LWB – launched in March – was the best-selling Mercedes model in the first half of 2021, along with the GLE. Mercedes is also claiming that it continues to have a strong order intake for the EQC, its first-ever electric vehicle which was launched in India in late 2020. Mercedes also notes that around 20% of all sales in the first six months of 2021 have been online. In Covid-19 times, carmakers have had to bolster digital sales platforms and Mercedes reports 35% of all its sales in the country in April and May were made digitally. With restrictions in many parts of the country being eased or removed completely, the German carmaker expects to emerge even stronger and highlights it is beginning a ramp-up in production from this month onwards.

Cryptocurrency Prices Today: Bitcoin, Ether Gain But Remain Under Pressure

Popular cryptocurrencies were under pressure on Wednesday as China continues its crackdown on virtual coin trade.

Bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, gained marginally by 0.06 percent at 11:20 am. Dogecoin was also struggling to gain momentum and fell nearly 2 percent. Ether gained over 2.80 percent and was trading at $2,383.58.

Valuations of other popular cryptocurrencies remained mixed as China’s central bank ordered the shutdown of a Beijing-based software maker over its suspected involvement in cryptocurrency trading.

Authorities ordered Beijing Qudao Cultural Development Co Ltd to suspend operations, and its website has been deactivated. The development was confirmed in a statement by the Beijing financial supervision administration and a department of the People’s Bank of China.

The statement said companies in Beijing should not provide venues, commercial displays or advertising for cryptocurrency-related businesses.

In another negative development, major cryptocurrency exchange Binance has suspended Euro bank deposits from one of Europe’s key payments networks. The development was reported by The Financial Times.

Binance said from 8 am universal coordinated time on Wednesday, customers would no longer be able to deposit funds through the Single Euro Payments Area, or Sepa schemes. It added that the move was due to “events beyond control”.

It may be noted that the major cryptocurrency exchange is currently facing scrutiny in a number of countries including the US, Britain and Thailand. The development has made investors nervous, but analysts indicate that it will not have any long-term impact.

While virtual coin prices have been gaining this week, there has been no significant upward movement due to the developments mentioned above. Moreover, the rise in the valuation of the US dollar has also weighed in on cryptocurrencies.

CryptocurrencyPrice (US Dollar)24-hour changeMarket cap (Billion)Volume (24 Hours)
Bitcoin34,805.040.23%$652.05$27.58 billion
Ether2,382.502.45%$277.77$26.64 billion
Dogecoin0.235244-1.80%$30.63$1.16 billion
Litecoin141.74-0.13%$9.64$2.38 billion
XRP0.670210-0.84%$67.01$2.45 million
Cardano1.43-1.05%$46.16$2.40 billion

R3 Strong Radio Blackout Occurs In Certain Regions Around The Atlantic Ocean

On July 3 around 8 pm IST, the sun emitted a large solar flare that was observed by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. Solar flares are magnetic storms launched from the sun, releasing energy equivalent to a few million hydrogen bombs exploding at the same time.

During a solar flare, the highly energetic charged particles are expelled from the sun at speeds close to that of the speed of light. These rays can disturb the ionosphere region of the Earth, which plays an important role in radio communications. The US NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center tweeted that a strong radio blackout occurred in certain regions around the Atlantic Ocean on July 3.

“When radiation, energetic particles and solar plasma material released during a solar flare interact with the Earth’s magnetosphere and ionosphere, it creates strong geomagnetic storms. This induces strong currents at ground levels which can trip electric power grids in countries situated at high latitudes, impacting air traffic on polar routes,” explained Prof Dibyendu Nandi from the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, Kolkata. He noted that sensitive satellite sensors can also be damaged. “Also, the radiation ionises the Earth’s upper atmosphere, changing conditions in the ionosphere, which is very important for high-frequency radio communications used by defense agencies, airline operators, and emergency services,” he added.

One of the biggest impacts of solar flares in history resulted in a large portion of the North American power grid failing. On March 13, 1989, Quebec, Canada, suffered a power blackout that lasted for over 12 hours, and radio signals were jammed due to the solar flare. NASA noted that some satellites tumbled out of control and the TDRS-1 communication satellite recorded over 250 anomalies as the high energy from the flare affected its sensitive electronics.

Realme Plans To Launch 5G Smartphones Under 10,000 Price Segment

Realme India’s CEO Madhav Sheth has confirmed that the company has plans to launch 5G smartphones in the sub 10,000 price segment. However, these will arrive in India by 2022. While the executive didn’t reveal much about the upcoming 5G budget phones, he did confirm that all the 2021 Realme products will support 5G that will offer “enhanced performance.”

“We are working on bringing 5G phones in the sub 10,000 segment, so stay tuned for more of this,” he said. The devices will be powered by the latest 5G processors and are expected to sport trendy designs. The executive asserted that the upcoming 5G phones will have lightweight designs.

Sheth also confirmed that it will be launching a few models under the Realme GT 5G series and one of them will be unveiled in Q3, 2021. While the exact launch date is still under wraps, rumours suggest that the device will make its debut by the end of July.

Realme is promising that the premium device will feature the latest flagship processor and will be available at affordable prices. It will likely be powered by Qualcomm’s top-end Snapdragon 888 chipset. “We will also see the launch of Realme GT series itself in this quarter, with the multiple GT products. So it is not just going to be one product but we will be having a GT as a series,” Sheth said.

The company also has plans to launch new 5G phones in the Realme Narzo series. “We have many more exciting 5G launches lined up for the Narzo series this year itself,” Sheth added. The brand is already offering two 5G phones in this series and these are Realme Narzo 30 and Realme Narzo 30 Pro. It is unknown whether the Chinese company will launch a refreshed version of these models or a more affordable 5G Narzo device.

Tata Motors Launches Altroz, Nexon and Nexon EV Dark Edition: Check Details

Tata Motors on Wednesday launched the Dark Range of its Altroz, Nexon and Nexon EV and informed that bookings for these models are now open and that these are available at dealerships across the country. Following on the footsteps of Harrier Dark which was launched in August of 2019 – and which has now also been updated, and because of the positive response it received, Tata Motors says it has decided to extend the premium quotient in some of its other offerings like Altroz and Nexon.

While Altroz Dark starts at ₹8.71 lakh, the Nexon Dark starts at ₹10.40 lakh. The Nexon EV Dark has been priced at ₹15.99 lakh while the Harrier Dark continues to have a price sticker of ₹18.04 (all prices are ex showroom, Delhi).

Tata Motors offers Altroz Dark in a new Cosmo Black exterior body colour with dark tint finish on R16 alloy wheels. The hood gets a dark chrome addition. On the inside, the theme is highlighted by granite black colour tone with metallic gloass black mid pad and leatherette upholstery with deep Blue Tri-arrow perforations and deco blue stitching. There is also a ‘Dark’ mascot on the exterior and the ‘Dark’ embroidery on the front headrest.

Altroz Dark highlights:

>Nexon Dark from Tata Motors also gets charcoal black R16 alloys, sonic silver highlights with granite black cladding on the exterior body and a dark mascot.

>On the inside, Nexon Dark too makes use of a dark interior pack and has premium leatherette upholstery with Tri-arrow perforations on seats and door trim. The ‘Dark’ embroidery finds its way on the headrests here as well.

>The new Nexon Dark will be offered in XZ+, XZA+, XZ+(O) & XZA+(O) variants, in both petrol & diesel fuel options.

>Nexon EV Dark from Tata Motors has been made available in XZ+ and the XZ+ LUX variants. The company says that these variants will get a ‘a premium Midnight Black exterior colour with Satin Black humanity line and beltline.’ Charcoal grey alloy wheels and ‘Dark’ mascot are the other highlights here.

>Step in and the Nexon EV Dark will offer glossy piano Black mid-pad with premium dark-themed leatherette upholstery with Tri-arrow perforations on seats and door trims, highlighted by EV Blue stitches on the seats and leatherette wrapped steering wheel. It will also, additionally, get iTPMS (Tyre pressure monitoring system).

>Harrier Dark comes in a new Oberon black colour with a tinge of deep blue shade. Standing on R18 Blackstone Alloys, the Harrier Dark now looks more stylish than before.

>Inside, it gets dark upper environment, Benecke Kaliko Leatherette upholstery with Tri-Arrow perforations and with a deep blue undertone, and the ‘Dark’ embroidery on the front seat headrests.

>Harrier Dark is made available in three trims – XT+, XZ+ & XZA+.

Bitcoin Position As Ultimate Crypto In Danger For The First Time; Ethereum Surpass Bitcoin

Bitcoin has been the baton holder for the cryptocurrency market for a long time, but its position as the ultimate crypto is in danger for the first time. Ethereum has outpaced Bitcoin in the total number of transactions last week, for the first time. The crypto also saw more daily active addresses which is basically the active number of participants of Ether. The data indicate that more and more investors are moving towards Ethereum, and it may soon be able to close down the gap on Bitcoin.

The transaction data was confirmed by Santiment, a crypto analytics company, which tweeted that Ether (the official currency of the Ethereum network, and the second oldest major token that’s still around) created history, surpassing Bitcoin for the first time in daily active addresses.

Notably, Bitcoin is seen as an alternative to Gold while Ethereum is looked at as a supercomputer on which other cryptos can be based. Ethereum creators have already confirmed that they are also working on an energy-efficient successor to the crypto which may launch later this year.

The more interesting data here is that while the number of active addresses with Ether has gone up, there is a decline in the same for Bitcoin. This suggests that Bitcoin investors have started looking at other cryptocurrencies as long-term options.

Some reasons could include China’s crackdown on Bitcoin mining and environmental concerns raised around the crypto from multiple people, including Elon Musk who confirmed that his car-making company Tesla will not accept payments in Bitcoin until it comes more energy-efficient. However, neither Musk or Tesla have sold their Bitcoin holdings so far.

The crypto enthusiasts still believe that Bitcoin will bounce back from the current dip as it has in the past. The coin has been around for almost a decade now and has stood the test of time. However, this is the first time that it is being challenged by another crypto. It will also be interesting to see if Ethereum is able to maintain the momentum it has achieved in the past few days.

China Launches New Meteorological Satellite To Improve Country’s Weather Forecasting Capacity

China on Monday successfully launched a new meteorological satellite with 11 remote sensing payloads, which besides enhancing the country’s weather forecasting capacity, will monitor global snow coverage and sea surface temperatures.

The satellite was launched into planned orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Fengyun-3E(FY-3E) will be the world’s first meteorological satellite in early morning orbit for civil service, the report said. It is designed with a lifespan of eight years and will mainly obtain the atmospheric temperature, humidity and other meteorological parameters for numerical prediction applications, improving China’s weather forecast capacity. It will also monitor the global snow cover, sea surface temperature, natural disasters and ecology to better respond to climate change and prevent and mitigate meteorological disasters. In addition, the satellite will monitor solar and space environments and their effects, as well as ionospheric data to meet the needs of space weather forecasts and supporting services, the report said.

Smartphones Expected To Launch In July 2021; OnePlus Nord 2 To Poco F3 GT

A wide range of smartphones are set to launch in the country in the next few weeks, these include budget-level phones, mid-range all-rounders as well as flagship-level gaming-oriented devices. Here’s a look at the smartphones expected to launch in July 2021.

OnePlus Nord 2

The OnePlus Nord CE was not the true successor to the original OnePlus Nord. That would be the upcoming OnePlus Nord 2. The smartphone, widely expected to launch towards the end of this month, is set to be the brand’s first smartphone to run on a non-Qualcomm chipset.

The MediaTek Dimensity 1200-bearing device has not been officially confirmed by OnePlus yet, but has been in enough rumours and leaks to let us know that a launch is inevitable. Other expected specifications include a 6.45-inch HD+ AMOLED screen with support for 90Hz, 4,500mAh battery, and a 50MP main camera.

Poco F3 GT

The Poco F3 GT is one of the most awaited devices this year for gamers on a budget. Expected to be a rebranded Redmi K40 Gaming Edition, the phone is set to bring many gaming oriented features and specifications at an affordable price. These include the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 and two retractable shoulder keys.

Poco has teased the phone on its Twitter handle in the past and the device is expected to officially drop this month. Other expected features include a 6.7-inch FHD+ OLED display with a 64MP main camera, a 5,065W battery and 67W fast charging.

Realme GT

The Realme GT was globally announced in June and the performance-oriented device is expected to drop in India this month. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, the phone is set to be one of the most affordable Snapdragon 888 phones in India, competing with the Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro.

Other specifications include a 64MP main camera, up to 12GB RAM and a 4,500mAh battery with 65W fast charging. The phone also comes with stereo speakers, a 3.5mm jack, an optical fingerprint scanner and an Android 11 with Realme UI 2.0 on top.

Redmi 10 Series

Xiaomi Managing Director Manu Kumar Jain earlier hinted at the arrival of a new Redmi smartphone in a tweet. While Xiaomi didn’t mention the name of the upcoming phone, the teaser suggests that it will be a successor to the Redmi 9. Redmi India has also published a short video, saying “Redmi Revolution” along with the hashtag “#10on10” which gives it away.

Not a lot is known about the Redmi 10 series in terms of specifications yet. However, we expect the series to include multiple variants, which should be priced around the Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 segment.

Oppo Reno 6 Series

The Oppo Reno 6 series will include an Reno 6 5G and a Reno 6 Pro 5G. The phones are set to feature 6.43-inch AMOLED FHD+ screens with a 90Hz refresh rate. The company has also confirmed that the device will be powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 1200.

The phones are set to launch on July 14, and powered by the Dimensity 1200 chip, are expected to go up against phones like the OnePlus Nord and the Poco F3 GT.

Skoda Kushaq SUV Receives More Than 2000 Bookings In A Week

Skoda Kushaq was launched in the Indian car market last week and it would appear that the mid-size SUV – rival to the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos and Tata Harrier – has had a brisk start courtesy more than 2,000 bookings received in a week’s time.

Kushaq is offered with a 1.0-litre TSI engine which comes with both a 6-speed manual as well as an automatic transmission. There is a more powerful 1.5-litre TSI four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine expected this month as well. While the former starts at ₹10.50 lakh, the top-end variant with 1.5-litre engine and 7-speed DST automatic transmission has been priced at ₹17.60 lakh (ex showroom).

Based on the highly versatile MQB-A0-IN vehicle architecture, Skoda Kushaq has been primarily designed and developed for the Indian car market. The Czechs are attempting to have a bigger say in the automotive sector in the country and the lucrative mid-size SUV segment was a natural choice even if the space is fiercely fought for.

Offered in five colour options – Torando Red Metallic, Candy White, Brilliant Silver, Carbon Steel Metallic and Honey Orange Metallic, Kushaq also ticks most of the boxes when it comes to features – a key component when taking on the might of Korean rivals. And with concerns over sales and service network being addressed through assurances of major ramp up, the Kushaq may be on a solid footing.

The road ahead, however, may present more challenges as while Kushaq is the newest kid on the block, Volkswagen is readying its Taigun SUV to enter the space. For prospective buyers interested in a mid-size SUV, however, the problem of plenty may not be a problem at all.

Elon Musk Brings New Cryptocurrency ‘Baby Doge’ To Spotlight; Its Price Doubles After One Tweet

You thought Dogecoin was a joke? Now, we have Baby Doge another meme cryptocurrency that has been brought under the spotlight by the Dogefather Elon Musk. The Tesla chief on Thursday tweeted about Dogecoin spinoff Baby Doge and the cryptocurrency’s value has almost doubled since then. Musk used the lyrics of viral Baby Shark song from last year and used it to refer to Baby Doge.

“Baby Doge, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo,” he tweeted, as a reference to the well-known kids’ song “Baby Shark.” The hashtag #babydoge trended on the site following the tweet. Baby Doge price rose by nearly 98 per cent following Musk’s tweet, even though he was bashed by a lot of crypto enthusiasts for the tweet.

A meme currency based on an already existing meme coin may not be the best investment option. It is likely to remain highly volatile and there is a chance that no one might be working on it.

“Baby Doge seeks to impress his father by showing his new improved transaction speeds & adorableness. He is Hyper-deflationary with an integrated smart staking system built in so more baby doge are being added to your wallet. Simply Love, pet, and watch your baby doge grow,” a description on CoinMarketCap reads.

Elon Musk has been a huge believer in cryptocurrencies. He has helped push the crypto market with his tweets about Bitcoin and Dogecoin. Both the coins were on an upward trajectory for the first half of 2021. These cryptocurrencies gave massive returns before multiple dips.

There have been instances when Musk’s tweets have also led to a dip in the value of various cryptocurrencies. His announcement on Tesla’s decision to not accept Bitcoin as payments, wasn’t received well and eventually led to a market dip in mid-May.

Dogecoin itself has been on a decline in recent times and has been a concern for investors. The meme cryptocurrency was created by software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer in 2013.

LG Launches Tone Free DFP8W TWS, The Wireless Earbuds With Active Noise Cancellation

LG has launched its latest TWS earphones, called the Tone Free DFP8W. The wireless earbuds come with support for Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). The company is promising that users will get up to 24 hours of music playback. The device ships with a UVnano charging case, which LG claims can clean the silicone tips and speaker mesh using UV light.

The latest pair of earbuds from LG pack 8mm dynamic drivers that have been developed with Meridian Audio. Additionally, the device features three microphones. Out of these, two are dedicated to calls and the third one is for ANC. There is support for Bluetooth 5.2 and you can pair up to five devices as the device supports multi pairing.

The earbuds also come with support for Google Fast Pairing and Windows Swift Pair protocols. As far as codecs are concerned, LG’s new TWS earbuds are compatible with the apt-X, AAC and SBC codecs for improved lag-free playback.

The earbuds are also IPX4 rated for better water resistance. When used on their own, the earbuds are said to offer 6 hours without ANC. When the Active Noise Cancellation feature is not on, the device will last for 10 hours, as per the company. When used with the charging case, the earbuds are said to offer 14 hours of playback time with ANC and up to 24 hours without ANC.

The newly launched LG Tone Free DFP8W is reportedly selling for €180, which is around Rs 15,960 in India. As of now, there is no word on the India launch yet. The wireless earphones will be available in white, gold and black colour options. As for the sale and availability details, the company is yet to confirm the same.

Hyundai Cheif: Flying Cars Will Become A Reality By The End Of This Decade

The fantasy of flying cars is inching closer to reality with each passing year. Several companies have been working on this technology and have also built innovative prototypes to take test flights. With more progress with time, flying cars will soon become operational in cities around the world.

Hyundai European operations CEO Michael Cole is quite confident that flying cars will become a reality by the end of this decade. “We believe it really is part of the future solution of offering innovative, smart mobility solutions,” he said at a conference of industry group Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Hyundai has made significant investments in urban air mobility. The South Korean carmaker is developing flying taxis that are powered by electric batteries and can transport five to six people from highly congested urban centres to airports. Cole believes that flying cars will help reduce congestion in cities and even help reduce carbon emissions. “By the latter part of this decade certainly, urban air mobility will offer great opportunity to free up congestion in cities… whether that’s intra-city mobility in the air or whether it’s even between cities,” he said.

Believing in its future worth, the automaker has already pledged to invest about $1.5 billion in urban air mobility by 2025. It even has a dedicated Urban Air Mobility Division led by Jaiwon Shin, a former NASA engineer. Hyundai showcased its first flying car concept at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2020. The S-A1 electric plane was created in partnership with ride-hailing platform Uber.

Hyundai is also working to develop the UK’s first airport without a runway, which is especially designed for aircraft that are capable of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL). The airport is scheduled to open in Coventry later this year. The airport will facilitate flights of air taxis and autonomous delivery drones.

UN Agency Confirms Record Heat Of 18.3 Degrees Celsius In Antarctica

The United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization, on July 1, recognised a new record high temperature for Antarctica. On February 6, 2020, the Esperanza station (the Argentine research station in Trinity Peninsula) experienced 18.3 degrees Celsius.

“Verification of this maximum temperature record is important because it helps us to build up a picture of the weather and climate in one of Earth’s final frontiers. Even more so than the Arctic, the Antarctic is poorly covered in terms of continuous and sustained weather and climate observations and forecasts, even though both play an important role in driving climate and ocean patterns and in sea-level rise,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas in a statement.

“The Antarctic Peninsula is among the fastest-warming regions of the planet, almost 3°C over the last 50 years. This new temperature record is therefore consistent with the climate change we are observing.” The previous record for high temperature was 17.5 degrees Celsius, recorded on March 24, 2015, at the same station.

A WMO committee carried out extensive studies to understand the weather situation during the time of the reported records and noted that a large high-pressure system over the area has created Föhn conditions.

“Föhn or Foehn winds are generally categorised by warm dry air motion descending in the lee or downwind side of a mountain. When the wind hits the mountain in its way, it rises above and causes precipitation in the upwind side of the mountain, while the downwind side of the mountain becomes dry and warm. These winds can warm the surface air temperature in the downwind side by several degrees for a prolonged time,” explained Sourav Chatterjee from the Atmosphere-Ocean Interaction Studies Division, National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, Goa.

“Although the melting of ice mostly happens in summer in the presence of sunlight, these Foehn winds can cause significant melting during even dark polar winters,” he said.

“Rising global air and ocean temperature are posing a threat to ice sheets and glaciers in the polar regions. The warming temperature and increasing strength of westerly winds can enhance the Antarctic ice sheet melting even in winter due to the Foehn wind effect,” he added.

Petrol Price Today Received Yet Another Hike ₹105 In Mumbai

Petrol and diesel price today received yet another hike, as upwards price revision for both fuel continue in July as well after 16 hikes last month. The latest fuel price hike has taken petrol past ₹105-per-litre mark in Mumbai, as Chennai became the latest major city to see the fuel price cross triple figures.

On Friday, petrol got costlier by 35 paise in Delhi, though there was some respite in diesel prices, which remained unchanged. Petrol pirce in Mumbai today will cost ₹105.24 while one litre of diesel will cost ₹96.72. Mumbai saw the price of petrol breach the Rs-100-per-litre mark for the first time on May 29.

In Chennai, petrol price has gone up to ₹100.13 after the latest hikes, while diesel is priced at ₹93.72 per litre. Delhi too is now on verge to join the Rs-100 club as petrol is inching closer to the three figure mark in the national capital. After today’s hike, petrol price in Delhi has reached ₹99.16 per litre and diesel is priced at ₹89.18.

Kolkata too is now verge of joining the Rs-100 club. The price for a litre of petrol has already reached ₹99.04 per litre in the city. The diesel price is still at ₹92.03 per litre in the capital city of West Benga.

In May this year, Bhopal became the first state capital in India where petrol price crossed the ₹100-mark. Later, state capitals like Jaipur, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Patna and Thiruvananthapuram also joined the list of places where petrol breached the mark.

Petrol currently costs more than ₹100 per litre in as many as 12 states and Union Territories. These include states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Ladakh, Bihar, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Diesel price too has breached the ₹100-per-litre mark in Rajasthan and Odisha.

In June, India saw as many as 16 fuel price hikes. June alone saw petrol and diesel price rise by more than ₹4 per litre. The spate of price rise began on May 4 after the oil companies began revising fuel prices upwards after a hiatus of more than two months due to assembly elections in five states.

Realme DIZO GOPods D, DIZO WIRELESS Launched In India: Check Details

Realme has launched two new audio based products under its new DIZO branding. These include the DIZO GoPods D and the DIZO Wireless. The DIZO GoPods D are TWS earbuds that feature 10mm Driver with Bass Boost+ algorithm and are said to offer up to 20 hours of music playback.

The DIZO Wireless features a neckband design, 11.2mm Driver with Bass Boost+ Algorithm and are said to offer up to 17 Hours of battery life. Here is everything you should know about the new devices from DIZO.

DIZO GOPods D: Specs, features

DIZO GOPods D feature a Radial Metallic Texture and weigh in at 4.1g. The earbuds come with 10mm Driver and offers Bass Boost+ algorithm tuned sound. The TWS earbuds are equipped with 40mAh battery for each earbud along with a 400mAh capacity charging case. The company says that the earbuds offer up to 20 hours of music playback when used with the charging case and 5 hours of music playback when used on their own. Furthermore, the device is said to offer 120 minutes of playback time when charged for 10 minutes.

The DIZO GoPods D also comes with a Game Mode with 110ms Super Low Latency for better audio sync while gaming. There is also Environmental Noise Cancellation (ENC) algorithm which is said to help block out ambient noises during call. The TWS earbuds come with Bluetooth 5.0 and there is a Realme Link App which can be used to personalise the earbuds. The IPX4 rated earbuds also offer Touch Controls which will allow you to control the device by tapping on the earbuds.

DIZO WIRELESS: Specs, features

The DIZO Wireless weighs 23.1g and comes with 11.2mm Driver along with Bass Boost+ Algorithm tuned sound. The device comes with features including Game Mode, Environmental Noise Cancellation and Magnetic Fast Pair (MFP). The MFP will allow users to separate the buds to play the song track and clip them together to disconnect.

The wireless earphones pack a 150mAh high-capacity battery which is said to offer a playback time of 17 hours on a single charge. The company says that the device can be charged completely in 2 hours. Additionally, the device is said to offer 120 minutes of playback time when charged for 10 minutes. You can customise the device by using the Realme Link App. The device is IPX4 Rated for better water resistance.


The DIZO GoPods D will be available in two colour variants; Black and White. You will be able to get your hands on the DIZO GoPods D at Rs 1,599 on Flipkart from July 14, 2021, 12:00 PM onwards. The company says that the device will be launched at select offline retail stores soon thereafter. As part of the first sale offer, DIZO GoPods D will have a special price of Rs 1,399.

The Flying Car Completes Inter-City Test Flight

If you were fascinated by the flying time-machine cars in the Back to the future franchise or wanted a ride in Ron Weasley’s flying Ford, there’s good news. AirCar, a dual-mode car-aircraft vehicle, completed a historic 35-minute flight between two international airports in Slovakia on June 28. It had a maximum cruising speed of 190km/h.

Developed by Klein Vision, the AirCar Prototype 1 has a 160HP BMW engine and takes a little over two minutes to transform from a car into aircraft. It has retractable wings, folding tail surfaces, and a parachute deployment system.

Its creator, Professor Stefan Klein, said in a release that the car-aircraft can fly about 1,000 km at a height of 8,200 ft and had already clocked up to 40 hours in the air.

“This flight starts a new era of dual transportation vehicles. It opens a new category of transportation and returns the freedom originally attributed to cars back to the individual,” Klein said after exiting the AirCar cockpit in Bratislava.

BBC quoted the company saying that the prototype has taken about two years to develop and cost “less than 2 million euros” in investment.

The company has another model, AirCar Prototype 2, which is in the pre-production stage. It has a 300HP engine and is expected to have a cruise speed of 300km/h. The company has planned to develop a variety of models in the future: three and four-seaters, twin-engine vehicles, and also an amphibious version.

Cryptocurrency Price Daily Update: Bitcoin, Dogecoin Fall Over 1%, Ether Gains

The cryptocurrency market is witnessing a fresh wave of volatility on Thursday as prices of popular virtual coins remain mixed.

Bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, was trading below $35,000 after crossing the figure yesterday. At 11:15 am, the price of the virtual currency was down nearly 1.60 per cent. On the contrary, Bitcoin had gained 5 per cent on Wednesday to touch $36,000.

Popular meme cryptocurrency Dogecoin also fell nearly 1.45 per cent, extending its losses from yesterday. Dogecoin has been trading weaker this week after it rose sharply last Friday. The downward slide has raised concern among Dogecoin investors.

‘Meanwhile, Ether prices have finally registered a substantial gain after a long bout of weakness. The second-most popular cryptocurrency was up nearly 5 per cent at 11:20 am, crossing $2200 for the first time since last week.

Some other cryptocurrencies that saw an increase in valuation included XRP, Cardano, Polkadot and Stellar. Other cryptocurrencies were mostly trading in the red.

It may be noted that there has been no major leap in cryptocurrency values this week due to a rise in volatility. Following China, many other countries have flagged risks associated with virtual coin trade.

This could have an impact on the cryptocurrency market for a short period and individuals should assess the ongoing situation before making any investment decisions.

Here are the latest prices and trends of popular cryptocurrencies:

CryptocurrencyPrice (US Dollar)24-hour changeMarket cap (Billion)Volume (24 Hours)
Bitcoin34,391.70-2.04%$644.68$29.73 billion
Ether2,226.084.08%$259.36$28.23 billion
Dogecoin0.247279-2.17%$32.17$2.50 billion
Litecoin140.33-1.36%$9.54$2.48 million
XRP0.6845380.49%$68.45$2.52 million
Cardano1.360.88%$43.64$3.20 billion

Samsung Galaxy F22 India Launch Date Revealed: Check Details

Samsung has announced the launch date of a new smartphone in India. The rumoured Galaxy F22 will finally become official on July 6. Samsung has also confirmed the smartphone will be available on Flipkart, Samsung’s online store and select retail stores when it launches in India. A teaser site for the Galaxy F22 has gone live on Flipkart and Samsung India’s website.

The Samsung Galaxy F22 India launch event is scheduled to take place on July 6 at 12 pm.

Samsung Galaxy F22 features

The teaser site for the Galaxy F22 confirms some features of the smartphone. The Galaxy F22 will feature a 6.4-inch HD+ sAMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. The smartphone will also feature an Infinity-U cutout notch. The Galaxy F22 is also confirmed to pack a 6,000mAh battery. It will feature a quad-camera setup with a 48-megapixel primary sensor. The smartphone is also seen in black colour but there could be more colour options at launch. It also has a side fingerprint sensor.

According to this listing, the Galaxy F22 will pack 4GB of RAM, and it will be powered by MediaTek’s Helio G80 processor. On the software front, it will run Android 11 out-of-the-box.

As for the rest of the specifications, the Galaxy F22 is expected to feature an 8-megapixel secondary sensor, a 2-megapixel depth sensor, and a 2-megapixel macro sensor. It could also house a 13-megapixel selfie camera. The Galaxy F22 is also expected to house a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Is it a rebranded Galaxy A22?

The Galaxy F22 has been rumoured to launch in India for quite some time. Some reports also suggest that it will be a rebranded Galaxy A22. The smartphone was spotted on the Google Play Console listing as well.

Recent launches by Samsung

Galaxy F22 will be the fourth smartphone in the Galaxy F series in 2021. Samsung has so far launched Galaxy F62, Galaxy F12 and Galaxy F02s. Samsung is rumoured to launch the Galaxy A22 in India as well. Considering the Galaxy F22 will be identical to the Galaxy A22 4G, Samsung could bring only the 5G model to India. Or it may just launch both the phones since Samsung is known to do so.

Extreme’ White Dwarf Sets Cosmic Records For Small Size, Huge Mass

In their death throes, roughly 97 per cent of all stars become a smoldering stellar zombie called a white dwarf, one of the densest objects in the cosmos. A newly discovered white dwarf is being hailed as the most “extreme” one of these on record, cramming a frightful amount of mass into a surprisingly small package.

Scientists said on Wednesday this highly magnetized and rapidly rotating white dwarf is 35 per cent more massive than our sun yet boasts a petite diameter only a bit larger than Earth’s moon. That means it has the greatest mass and, counterintuitively, littlest size of any known white dwarf, owing to its tremendous density.

Only two other types of objects – black holes and neutron stars – are more compact than white dwarfs.

The way this white dwarf, named ZTF J1901+1458, was born also is unusual. It apparently is the product of a binary star system in which two stars orbit each other. These two stars separately evolved into white dwarfs at the end of their life cycles, then spiraled toward one another and merged into a single entity.

With even a smidgen more combined mass, this merger would have resulted in an immense stellar explosion called a supernova, said Caltech astrophysicist Ilaria Caiazzo, lead author of the study published in the journal Nature. It still might explode at some point in the future, Caiazzo added.

“This white dwarf is really extreme,” Caiazzo said. “We found an object that is really at the limit of how small and heavy a white dwarf could be.”

It is located relatively nearby in our Milky Way galaxy, about 130 light years from Earth. A light year is the distance light travels in a year – about 5.9 trillion miles (9.5 trillion km).

The white dwarf is actually shrinking very gradually, becoming ever more dense. If it does not explode, that could lead to a core collapse transforming it into a neutron star, another type of stellar remnant about the size of a city, typically formed after certain very massive stars go supernova. This would be a previously unrecognized path to neutron star formation.

The white dwarf was spotted by astrophysicist and study co-author Kevin Burdge from Caltech’s Palomar Observatory.

“White dwarfs are the most common form of stellar remnant,” said Burdge, who worked on the study at Caltech and is headed to MIT. “So it’s stunning to see the most extreme outliers among them.”

Its diameter of roughly 2,670 miles (4,300 km) – approximately the distance from Boston to Los Angeles or London to Tehran – slightly exceeds the moon’s diameter of about 2,160 miles (3,475 km).

While our sun rotates around its axis once every 27 days, this white dwarf does so every seven minutes. Its magnetic field is about a billion times stronger than Earth’s.

Stars with up to eight times the mass of our sun are thought to be destined to end up as a white dwarf. Such stars eventually burn up all of the hydrogen they use as fuel through nuclear fusion. At this point, gravity causes them to collapse and blow off their outer layers in a ‘red giant’ stage, eventually leaving a dense core that is a white dwarf.

White dwarfs initially have high temperatures but gradually cool over time, lacking any new energy source. In roughly 5 billion years, our sun is expected to become a red giant and later a white dwarf.

Tata Nexon EV Registered The Best-Ever Monthly Sales With 650 Units In June

Tata Motors on Thursday has announced its June 2021 sales numbers. The homegrown auto manufacturer has sold a total of 24,110 passenger vehicles last month. The automaker has claimed that Nexon EV has registered the best-ever monthly sales with 650 units in June 2021. The Nexon EV has remained at the top of the Indian electric passenger vehicle list with more than 4,500 units till date.

The automobile giant has also claimed that its June 2021 sales were increased by a 111% in June 2021, as compared to the same month last year when it sold 11,419 units in the domestic market. The car brand has sold 64,386 units in the first quarter of this financial year, up 342% from 14,571 units of Q1 FY21.

The new generation models from the Indian automobile brand has been pushing its sales. The latest model of the car brand, the new safari has received a pretty good response.

Tata Motors has revamped its passenger car business a few years ago. It introduced a range of new products across different body segments. These include Tiago, Tigor, Altroz, Nexon, Harrier, Safari etc.

This new range of cars not only comes with a fresh design language but a host of features and new technologies on board as well.

Recently, the automaker has announced that it will bring 10 electric cars to the Indian market by 2025. These would include an electric variant of the Altorz hatchback. Apart from that, production models of HBX, Tata Sierra too could be launched in near future.

Talking about the automaker’s passenger vehicle sales in June 2021, Shailesh Chandra, President, Passenger Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors Ltd. has said that the PV industry’s sequential growth momentum got adversely impacted in Q1 of FY22, owing to Covid restrictions across the country. The automaker

“In EV segment, despite witnessing difficult business conditions, the company posted the highest ever quarterly sales of 1,715 units. This was on the back of increasing demand for Nexon EV, which posted its highest-ever monthly sales of 650 units in June ’21,” he further said.

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