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Topics - Sudhakar
#AngelTax and Why it Matters to Startups in IndiaIn recent days there has been a big furore in India around the Angel Tax. But, what is this Angel Tax?
Angel tax is the tax levied on funds raised by Indian start-ups through issue of shares to Indian residents. The Income Tax department has held that when these investments are made at a premium to the fair market value (FMV), the amount raised in excess to the FMV is taxable. The amount is reckoned as "income from other sources" and taxed under Section 56 (2) (viib) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The rate of tax is 30.9 per cent. Which means that a startup could be asked to pay 30.9% of the amount of investment it has raised to grow the business!
The problem of Fair Market Value
In the context of start-ups, since the idea is at a conceptualisation or development stage, it is difficult to objectively determine the fair market value (FMV) of the shares of the start-up.
Start-ups have little/no revenues or profits and their valuation is based on the potential of the idea, the background and competence of the founding team, etc. and is usually a matter of negotiation between the founders and the angel investors.
The start-ups cannot be evaluated only on their assets, since the assets (both tangible and intangible) are built mostly by successfully executing the business idea. Nor is it easy to arrive at a 'fair value', based on discounted cash flows, since the business is subject to various market forces, including market acceptance and competition from current and emerging competitors and newer technologies over time.
The startup valuations are often subjective - a valuation, which seems high to some, may be fair to others. Also, the valuations agreed between the parties may, in hindsight, turn out to be advantageous for one party or the other, but that is inherent in the nature of risk taking by entrepreneurs and early investors. It is impossible to create a homogenous logic for such investments, be it DCF or a valuation by merchant bankers, etc.
It is also not necessary that each start-up meets the initial projections and hence valuations can come down. That, however, does not invalidate the original projections. However, in multiple instances the IT department, with the benefit of hindsight, has invalidated the original valuations, reduced 'fair market value' at the time of assessment and increased the premium amount on which the tax is to be levied.
Given the traditional ways of the IT Department in determining FMV (ignoring intangibles like goodwill, intellectual property, market potential, disruptive ideation etc.), in majority of the cases, the FMV so calculated will be lower than the value at which the capital investment is made. This results into the tax being levied under section 56 (2) (viib).
Why was Angel Tax introduced?
Angel tax was introduced as an anti-abuse provision in the 2012 Budget. It was intended to curb attempts to launder undisclosed income by resident Indians through startup investments. It was felt that given the closed nature of these deals, there was subjectivity regarding valuations and scope for acquiring shares at a premium for very little equity and using the mechanism to convert black money to white.
How is Angel Tax impacting start-ups?
Angel tax is problematic for a few reasons:
The heavy-handed approach of tax authorities in determining FMV by ignoring the dynamics of the start-up ecosystem.
Higher valuations, when raising funds, are beneficial since it means that start-ups have more funds for growth. However, if the inflows to business are reduced by heavy taxation, then business is a victim of its own success in commanding higher valuations.
Higher valuations are good for the startup's employees, since it means giving up less equity. This helps conserve equity for subsequent rounds and also ensures that enough equity is available with the founding team to keep them motivated and also to issue ESOPs to key talent. However, the benefits of higher valuation are negated when share capital or share premium is taxed.
As Section 56 (2) applies only to domestic investors, it discriminates against them as compared to foreign investors, who are not subject to this clause. This adversely impacts the creation of a robust Indian start-up ecosystem, where successful domestic entrepreneurs can fund and support upcoming start-ups. This is how Silicon Valley in the US was built - one wave of successful businesses funding and mentoring the next wave of ideas and companies.
The recent wave of coercive action
In the past few weeks, hundreds of start-ups have received notices from IT authorities asking them to pay taxes on the angel funding raised by them. Some of them have also been slapped with penalties on the tax not paid. In some cases the tax-cum-penalty amount is nearly 50% of the capital raised.
Many start-ups feel that they would rather shut down than face the simultaneous harassment of explaining valuations and also struggling to keep their businesses afloat, knowing that payment of such taxes will definitely kill the business by starving it of funds.
Besides IT Department, MCA has also sent notices to over 2,000 startups that have raised investment in the last five years. It has given a 45 days deadline ending shortly in the January 2019.
Exemption to Sec 56 (2): A Partial Solution
The government in an attempt to grant exemption from the provisions of Sec 56(2) to genuine investors has laid down criteria to recognise start-ups. The qualifying criteria for angel tax exemption are however very tedious and it is beyond the capacity of most start- ups to devote so much time and energy to secure such exemptions.
While applying for exemption from angel tax provisions, the startups must meet the below criteria:
The aggregate amount of paid-up share capital and share premium of the start-up after the proposed issue of shares should not exceed INR 10 Cr.
The revenue of the start-up shall be less than Rs 25 Cr.
The angel investor or proposed investor should have a minimum net worth of Rs 2 Cr and an average annual income of Rs 25 Lakhs or more in the preceding 3 years as per IT Returns.
The startup shall obtained a report from a merchant banker specifying the fair market value of shares in accordance with Rule 11UA of the Income-tax Rules, 1962.
An Inter-Ministerial Board shall then review such cases before deciding to grant exemption.
Even if certain startups fulfil the criteria, it has been difficult for startups to get approval from the Inter Ministerial Board (IMB) due discretionary provisions and delays in cases being listed before the IMB.
What can be potential solutions?
Angel tax provisions should be abolished. The mis-deeds of a handful of black sheep has tarred all investors with the same brush and is leading to a sharp drop in funding options for start-ups. This runs contrary to government's various attempts to promote start-ups, which are an important source of growth and employment creation.
In case the issue of angel tax needs further study, the following solutions may be implemented as an immediate measure:
Issue 1: Fair Market Value (Section 56(2):
Start-ups, which are asset light in the beginning, raise capital on the basis of forward looking projections. These projections are being questioned by the IT Department, which disregards the entire basis of valuation in practice and looks at applying only the net book value method. This will render the valuation of almost all the startups in the country as negative.
Proposed Solution: As a default provision, Assessing Officers (AOs) to accept the valuation principles / calculations submitted by start-ups. Exceptions should be made and queries flagged only if there is concern with regard to the bona fide of the angel investors.
Issue 2: Disallowance of Investment (Section 68):
A lot of startups have been asked to produce evidence of creditworthiness of investors- including audited statements, Bank statements and ITR details. Ideally complying with legal PAN tagged transaction is what startups can do and beyond that onus should be on the IT department and not start-ups. Upon failure to produce these documents, the IT department has the authority to convert this entire investment as taxable income.
Proposed Solution: Asking start-ups to furnish the ITR's of investors will only kill the investor interest. Instead AOs should insist on PAN number and AO's to do a separate investigation for source of fund if required directly.
Issue 3: IMB certification for Angel investment
DIPP's notification of April 2018 expects startups to seek an IMB certification after taking a mercantile banker valuation and investor ITR's before raising angel investment. This long process is slowing down the angel activity.
Proposed Solution: IMB prior to raising fund is impractical; instead the US model of "accredited investors" may be adopted to tackle this.
Angel investors in countries such as US are offered tax benefits when they fund small companies. They are also ways for angel investors to save tax by re-investing gains from one investment into another entrepreneurial venture.
But in India, we are stifling the start-up ecosystem by making it difficult for enterprises to receive funding in the initial years. Investors, who are willing to risk their capital, are also treated with suspicion. The angel investor ecosystem being vibrant is critical to the development of the startup economy. Else we will have a small number of companies that are lucky to get an angel investment who will get a disproportionate share of venture capital investments. But large-scale technological innovations will happen when the startup ecosystem is broad based and for that we need an angel investor ecosystem that is equally broad based.
Ideally, angel tax provisions should be abolished. At the very least, the exemption from the provisions should be automatic and system driven than complex and discretionary. There is no rationale for the IT department asking start-ups to pay tax on the amount they raise 2-3 years back irrespective of whether they made profits or not.
Taxing profit on the capital invested by investors, or the profits of the company is fair but taxing the capital raised is doesn't seem logical. Whether it is share capital or share premium that is raised by the company, it is still capital received. It should not be treated as 'revenue income.
Practically speaking, valuation is a free market agreement and Income Tax should only be levied on realised gain and not notional gain. Only when an investment works out and yields a profit, should the parties making a profit be taxed on the gains.
However, the chilling effect the #AngelTax can have on the investment sentiment is not adequately appreciated. Capital and talent are very mobile - they can easily re-locate to more hospitable and rational destinations like Singapore. That would run contrary to all significant and commendable attempts of the Government of India in promoting Ease of Doing Business, Start-up India and Digital India.Source : https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/angeltax-why-matters-startups-india-kunal-bahl/
This 7-year old made 157 Crores of money by creating YouTube videos from 2015 till 2018$22 million - USD to INR = 2,20,00,000 United States Dollar equals = 1,57,02,50,000.00 Indian RupeeRyan, a 7-year old YouTuber from Atlanta has become the highest earning YouTube star in 2018. This incredible YouTube content creator has made $22 million by publishing YouTube videos of him playing with toys.
Ryan ToysReview, is the YouTube channel hosted by this young YouTube influencer and has nearly 17 million subscribers and approximately 26 billion views on his videos. According to Forbes magazine., the channel reported highest earnings last year as well. There are also merchandise with Ryan?s face on it at many retailers including popular stores like Target, Kohl?s, and Walmart.
Well believe it or not, Ryan?s YouTube channel is all about Toys reviews. He features in videos of unboxing a toy and playing with it. He plays with everything from dinosaurs and Legos to Disney action figures. It is the sheer brilliance of Ryan?s acting that has helped the YouTube channel become popular.
Ryan and his parents started the channel back in 2015 when he was just 4 years old. There is a new video published on the channel almost every day. According to a report by Verge, Ryan?s mother quit her job as a high-school chemistry teacher to focus on his YouTube channel. The channel started gaining popularity within four months of its launch.
According to Ryan?s mother, her son was watching a lot of toy review channels, which gave her an idea to start a channel of his own on YouTube. Some of his favorite channels include EvanTubeHD, and Hulyan Maya.
Most of the YouTubers make large portion of their revenue from sponsored posts. According to Forbes, which compiled the list, the top 10 YouTube stars of 2018 together amassed earnings (June 2017 ? June 2018 and earnings are pretax) of $180.5 million
Microsoft Soundscape: A Map Delivered in 3D Sound - Feb 2018
Microsoft Research Published on Feb 28, 2018
?Soundscape fills in a lot of the mental map as you move, making it effortless and seamless to know what?s around you,? highlights Erin Lauridsen of Lighthouse for the Blind in San Francisco. Microsoft Soundscape is a research project that explores the use of 3D audio cues to help build richer awareness of your surroundings.
Learn more about Soundscape at https://aka.ms/Soundscape
Read the related story: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/product/soundscape/
Category Science & Technology
Google.org announces a grant of $3 million or rs 20 crore for two Indian NGOs during May 2018Just to start with USD50 million is Rs 339 Crore rupees Indian money .Update on Google.org pledge Rs 339 Crore to help people land jobs and equal access in education. So to improve the technology to students and teachers, google's philanthropic wing - google.org has commited of USD 50 million and out of which USD 11.4 million is already paid for various NGO's in India and which benefited 8 lakh students and teaches in 2017. A report says.
Two Indian NGOs have received a grant of 3 million USD the philanthropic wing of Google - Google.org. Out of Google's global commitment of USD 50 million, it has already given USD 11.4 million to various NGOs in India. Through Google.org, the company hopes to help non-profit organizations scale up their initiatives and provide training to teachers through tech-based learning solutions. In 2017, Google had donated USD 8.4 million to four leading NGOs - Million Sparks Foundation, Learning Equality, Pratham Education Foundation and Pratham Books - StoryWeaver. According to the estimates, around 8 lakh students and teachers benefited this funding as they received access to innovative educational tools and programmes across the country.
Nick Cain, Education Lead at Google.org said: "We strongly believe that technology can play a powerful part in solving the learning gap in India, and we are expanding our investments in India to ensure thatteachers and students are able to benefit it." Cain elaborated that teachers are not properly equipped with the right resources and there is a lack of quality study material as well. A government report indicated that there are around 11 lakh teachers lacking proper training and are teaching in schools while another report the World Bank emphasized on the fact of 1.3lakh single teacher schools existing in India.
Out of the total fund provided, 1 million USD is specifically meant for The Teacher App, whereas 2 million USD is provided to the Central Square Foundation (CSF). The Teacher App offers an innovative approach of training in important subjects as maths, pedagogy, science, language etc. Apart these funds, the YouTube learning team aims at providing the right technical assistance to the Central Square foundation.
This assistance will indeed support several content creators in producing approximately 200 hours of content in major streams such as technology, science, maths and engineering inthe languages. Additionally, in the next two years, these funds will be used to reach out to 5 lakh teachers. (Source: www.financialexpress.com)
Reference Link : https://www.techgig.com/tech-news/Google-org-announces-a-grant-of-3-million-for-two-Indian-NGOs-178726?
Reference Link : https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2017/07/26/exclusive-google-pledges-50-million-help-people-land-jobs/511125001/
Reference Link : https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/21/google-org-grants-50-million-to-nonprofits-striving-for-equal-access-in-education/
Here's What The CEO Of Dell Has To Say About India's TechiesComplimenting India on its digital drive, Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies, said that he gets inspired by what the country is doing to transform its society and economy.
"IndiaStack, for example, is a world-leading concept and as a techie, I get very inspired by what India is doing. It is an amazing government-led effort," Dell said in response to a question by IANS, while addressing the media at the Dell Technologies World 2018, one of IT industry's premier events, here.
IndiaStack is a set of APIs that allows governments, businesses, startups and developers to utilise a unique digital Infrastructure to solve India's problems towards presence-less, paperless and cashless service delivery.
"Governments should understand that the Internet, broadband and fiber are really important in next generation of the society," he said.
Saying that 5G would expedite the digital transformation globally, he said that "governments have to figure out 5G to amplify their productivity or else they will fall behind other countries." "5G is a big enabler of the digital transformation process," Dell said, adding that companies in the future would have to make better use of their data to stay ahead of the competition.
"Success is going forward in a very different way from the past. It starts with company's data that make product and services better, which in turn generates more data. Companies are now using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to use this data in the maximum effective way. 5G is just around the corner that would expedite this process better," he added.
He said that the data is the rocket fuel for AI and this technology should be used in an effective way.
Stressing that technology strategy has now become a business strategy, Dell said that consumers globally are using the latest technology offered by the company to amplify their productivity. "We talk often about technology solving our greatest challenges and we are making progress more quickly than ever before. Customers continue to embrace Dell Technologies as their essential infrastructure company in increasing numbers," Dell said.
At the event that started on Monday and which is set to attract over 14,000 visitors, Dell Technologies also felicitated its eight industry leaders-customers for their excellence across all stages of the digital transformation journey. State Bank of India was one of the "Trailblazer Award" winners, along with Volvo Cars/Zenuity, Travelers and Unidad de Conocimiento. Trailblazers are the customers who are one of the forward-thinking companies making progress in the areas of digital, IT, workforce and security transformation.
"Not only are these leaders realising their digital futures through technology innovation, but they are creating an exceptional experience for their employees, customers and communities," said Karen Quintos, Chief Customer Officer at Dell. Besides implementing a converged private Cloud-based data storage, State Bank of India, the largest public-sector bank in the country, also recently opened a major innovation center to explore the integration of emerging technology, such as nlockchain, AI and ML.
The "Innovator Award" winners included Ford Motor Company, Bank Leumi, AeroFarms and Johnson & Johnson.
Source : https://www.techgig.com/tech-news/Here-s-What-The-CEO-Of-Dell-Has-To-Say-About-India-s-Techies-177987
Wi-Fi facility on Indian flights approved by Telecom CommissionOn 1st May, the decision-making body at the telecom department - Telecom Commission approved the application for in-flight internet access for people travelling in India.
Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan quoted "We will now have to create a separate category of licencees called in-flight connectivity provider. These will provide internet as well as voice services within Indian territorial airspace... in both domestic and international flights."
As per Sundararajan, the process of drafting licence terms for in-flight connectivity (IFC) providers will soon be started and applications will be summoned and this can take up to three months. At the beginning, an annual licence fee of Re 1 will be paid by IFC providers.
"It is a fabulous decision. Given the nature of my job, I'm constantly travelling and it is my downtime when I take flights, which now I can use more productively. With data availability, I can catch up on work, read online and stay connected," the MD of Puma India - Abhishek Ganguly quoted.
As long as the user is in Indian airspace, is using an Indian satellite and/or a Department of Space approved satellite for mobile calling and it has an Indian gateway, calling above 3,000m will be allowed. A recommendation to permit foreign satellites and gateways was made by a telecom regulator in January this year.
The cost of these services will be decided as per the current market cost by the telecom department.
According to Neelu Khatri - President of Aerospace at Honeywell India "the pricing would depend on the airline, sometimes it is a part of the ticket and sometimes you areged (rates)... that could start $5-10. Indian airlines will have to see what passengers will be willing to shell out." Honeywell India is a provider of high-speed in-flight Wi-Fi services to global airlines.
However, as per CAPA Centre for Aviation, such services in domestic flights might not yield as much profit.
"Airlines will have to create a business case for the investment needed. Rough estimates suggest fitting the equipment to provide such services in an aircraft could cost around $400,000-600,000... Airlines will have to see whether the investment is recoverable, what is the cost per minute, etc... Initially, the cost to the passenger may be on the higher side," Kapil Kaul - CEO and director - CAPA South Asia mentioned.
Also, the belief of telecom industry is that these services might not yield more returns. "As far as the revenue opportunity is concerned, there won't be high volumes; so we don't see any big bucks coming," quoted Rajan Mathews, director general, Cellular Operators Association of India.
The proposal by Trai to create broadband through public Wi-Fi hotspots was accepted by Telecom Commission on 1st May. Sundararajan mentioned that "we have asked TRAI to work out an operational framework for this."
Suggestions by Trai to establish public data offices (PDO) that are same is public call offices were sent to the telecom department in March 2017. These help in offering public Wi-Fi hotspots and the PDOs will propose small data packs that start at a cost as low as Rs 2.
Though these suggestions have been made, it is still unclear if the government will permit resale of data bought telecom or internet service providers by PDO. Data resale permission is needed to boost public Wi-Fi as per R.S. Sharma - Trai Chairman.
Consumers are also relieved to learn of a three-tier building that is led by a telecom regulator to address their grievances. A regulator will be created after amending the present Trai Act.
Sundararajan, on the availability of disciplinary powers, quoted, "This will have to be worked out by TRAI but it will have to be (an) effective ombudsman."
According to the suggestion by Trai, a telecom regulator needs to be created to address consumer grievances, while having the authority to impose punishment on telecom service providers.
According to the proposal, the company has to address consumer concerns within a set time-frame, when the consumer approaches it. The consumer can go other grievance redressal forums or the regulator if the company does not resolve its issues.
Mathews questioned "the intention is good but a simpler way should be found instead of this three-tier structure. There would also be a cost of setting up redressal offices across the country. And if the mechanism is online, how many people have access to smartphones in India?"
Source : https://www.techgig.com/tech-news/Wi-Fi-facility-on-Indian-flights-approved-by-Telecom-Commission-178012
Apple is selling fewer iPhones, but it's making tons of moneyApple's new iPhone X was a disappointment for phone sales.
The iPhone X wasn't a magic elixir to reinvigorate Apple's iPhone sales, but it wasn't the flop some people were saying it would be.
In Apple's second quarter earnings report, the tech giant saw revenue continue to grow but its key product, the iPhone, fell just short of sales expectations.
Analysts were predicting 53 million in sales, but this quarter it was a meager 52.2 million. That's a 32 percent drop from the previous quarter, which saw 77.3 million iPhone sales, though there's always a drop-off from the holiday.
It wasn't all bad news, though. Revenue from iPhones was up about $5 billion year-over-year, going from $33 billion to $38 billion, while the number of iPhones sold only increased from 51 million to 52 million -- meaning Apple is generating significantly more money per iPhone than it was last year.
Apple CEO Tim Cook seemed to confirm this in the press release, crediting the iPhone X for leading phone sales: "Customers chose iPhone X more than any other iPhone each week in the March quarter, just as they did following its launch in the December quarter."
This story is developing...
Source : https://www.techgig.com/tech-news/Apple-is-selling-fewer-iPhones-but-it-039-s-making-tons-of-money-177922
I/O 2018 by Google : Here's what Google may announce this yearGoogle slowly shaped its i/o app on ios with new design. So here is an latest update on google i/o 2018
Google isset for this year's I/O season. The search engine giant is known for announcing the latest happenings for the next year at the Google I/O.
This year, Google has much more in store for developers and end users. The company's developments for the products will be showcased at Shoreline stage. This year is going to beabout Android P, Material Design 2, Android Things and More.
The most obvious product that will be announced at this year's I/O is Android P, the next version of Google's mobile OS. Justlast few years, Google will offer the second preview of the new OS to the developers. The biggest visual change in Android P will be Gesture Navigation. The new navigation system will abandon the square 'Recents' button entirely. Now users will have to wipe up on the new pill icon to access multitasking menu. The navigation in Android P will be similar to iPhone X.
Material Design 2
Google's new design refresh, Material Design 2 will be introduced at the I/O 2018. The company has embraced white space, Google Sans, bright colors and rounded designs in its next version of design philosophy. Several of the Google apps and services already embrace the new look.
Android TV Dongle
While Google has had Chromecast for a long time, the company might unveil a mysterious Android TV Dongle. A leak by an unnamed Chinese company has already hinted the product. There is no strong information about Android TV dongle yet. However, the FCC docs filed by the Chinese company shows the big old 'G' logo on the product. The product sports Amilogic S905X processor with 2GB RAM and 8GB of onboard storage.
The assistant feature might get advanced capabilities, which could be revealed at this year's I/O. A number of additional AI/ML features and experiments could get added to Google Assistant this year. The company is also working on launching Assistant as a developer platform, which could be a big announcement for the developers.
Google rebranded its Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem in 2016. The company hopes to improve the security of its IoT ecosystem and make it easier for Android developers to build smart devices. Google announced the final developer preview of Android Things in the last month. At I/O 2018, Google is likely to announce Android Things v1.0.
The potential happenings around Android Auto suggest vague evidence that the company may announce the next version of its Automotive platform. The details of Google I/O 2018 app for iOS reveals that Google is likely to make the big announcement related to Android Auto. The automotive platform may get a brand new media experience in the coming version.
Source : https://www.techgig.com/tech-news/I-O-2018-Here-s-what-Google-may-announce-this-year-178057
H4 issue: Indian H-1B holders, spouses pursue US govt for H4, Green Card issuesIndian H-1B holders and their spouses are waiting for the resolution of US administration's final decision regarding the revised rules. The Trump administration is making it difficult for visa holders and their families by ing the decision.
The community of Indian visa holders is readily pursuing the Trump government to save their jobs and houses. Yogesh Thakur, an H4 visa holder said, "If the administration wants to take one step, we are ready to take two." Thakur entered the US on his spouse's H-1B. He is one of the few men in the US to work on H4 dependent visa.
US administration's decision regarding H4 is increasing a global attention recently. The backlog of approved green card continues to grow in the country. Indian families are most affected byother H4 visa holders. The data suggests that 90% of the H4 visa holders are Indians, a majority of them being women.
Just a few days ago, GC Reforms conducted a rally on the steps of State House in Trenton to support H4 workers. Producing more activists the Indian immigrant workers community is another problem. The community needs to lobby hard. The backlog of H-1B visas has faced its own battle.
Some of the affected visa holders believe that the system has been exploited by major corporations to hire highly skilled workers India for lower salaries. Which is forcing the US government to take stricter action. As far as green card waiting queue is concerned, applications have been waiting for one to six years for the green card approval. With this rate, 15 lakh Indians will be waiting in the queue for the next 70 years.
Green card backlog has been created due to the cap on the number of green cards that are issued each year. The situation of H4 holders and green card applications is similar to DACA children. If the US government does not reconsider its intended decision, thousands of Indian families will be forced to go back to their home.
Thakur said, "Our status is not changed. To come to a small town in Ohio a cityBombay was a drastic change. And, on top of that, I couldn't work. We had our fights, I would tell her, 'Why did you bring me here, you ruined my life.' But then I got over it. We moved to Chicago and I started liking it. I was able to spend time with my daughter."
Source : https://www.techgig.com/tech-news/H4-issue-Indian-H-1B-holders-spouses-pursue-US-govt-for-H4-Green-Card-issues-178035
Indian Kids taught Coding by Apple to Triumph at the App Store
As a gift for his seventh birthday, Ashwat Prasanna was gifted a MacBook by his parents. After three years and an Apple boot camp, his app Quickvert, a free measurement-converter app, has been downloaded more than 1000 times on the App store.
A kid who frequently misses cartoons to code, Ashwat is among many who have excelled through the company's App Accelerator over the past year in Bengaluru, the technical hub of India. The engineers and designers taught him to write sleeker code for an app that helps in measurement conversion, like Celsius temperature to Fahrenheit and vice versa. The 10 year old Ashwat said that "the uncles here taught me to build a better user interface." Choosing Ashwat's app as one of the accelerator projects platform, Apple Inc. is teaching India's junior developers to charm their way to the App Store.
This accelerator initiative was announced by Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook on his India visit in 2016. It focuses on fast-tracking app development by inviting selected developers every week and teaching them, where experts teach them the latest technology in sessions that range from one day to two weeks. Other companies that have sent developers through this program include Flipkart Online Services Pvt. and food delivery platform Zomato Media Pvt.
Apple's profit will increase with the successfulness of the app and younger talent will showcase its mobile operating system and tempt developers to join Apple other than joining locals who prefer programming for Facebook Inc. or Google's Android. Anshul Gupta, an analyst at researcher Gartner Inc., said that "Apple's strategy is to lock developers into the iOS ecosystem," while Apple declined to comment for this story.
Many high schoolers and community college students in the US are hired by the company to work with its efficient app-coding language, Swift. However, the world's quickest growing smartphone market that is second biggest behind China, Android dominates in India. Only 3.2 million iPhones were bought last year by Indians when compared to the total 125 million smartphones that were purchased. Almost all the remaining were run by Google's operating system. Google initiated the rounding up of thousands of young developers almost 2 years ago with a free government based training program that was offered through a setup in public and private universities, whereas, Apple is just now starting up.
According to Ravi Teja Bommireddipalli, CEO of Robosoft Technologies Pvt. The world largest population of individuals who are 25 years old or younger including unparalleled number of advanced developers are available in India. Robosoft's developers make more money from the App Store, even though they build apps for McDonald's Corp., Apple and Google. The new generation coders push their creative limits, while the old school Indian programmers were known for writing code-to-order at outsourcing companies.
The Apple's accelerator is inserted in a tower in North Bengaluru suburbs and has modular rooms with flexible walls, which can be moved to accommodate a few or a few hundred people.
Apple's engineers had a lot of advice for the 16 year old Harshita Arora, who arrived from a small town outside Delhi, in the two days she spent with them. She quoted "They told me how to write code that consumes less device memory, runs faster and more efficiently." She added "IOS apps are known to earn four times more than Android apps," as she is practical about the economics of apps after her Crypto Price Tracker has been downloaded more than 10000 times since its introduction at the end of January.
Apart from the accelerator, Apple is striving to get cheaper devices in the Indian market for the cost-conscious customers. The company has already begun accumulating its SE plans in Bengaluru and striving to get additional government incentives to set up complete manufacturing operations in the city. This will also help the company to open retail stores in the country, which it has not been able to do till now, by meeting the local sourcing rules.
In the interim, app developers will be provided with marketing and business-model courses this summer. After a few weeks of her training period, a California undertaking company bought Harshita's app, which tracks and displays live prices of more than 1,000 cryptocurrencies across 32 countries' exchanges, for a price that is not revealed. Now she's learning artificial intelligence technologies to build a health-focused product.
The soon-to-be fourth-grader Ashwat, who learned coding through YouTube videos, is toying with a social network app like Facebook where "only users below 16 will be allowed to create an account." Inconspicuously defending this boldness, Apple however cannot present Ashwat or his app at its annual developer conference in San Jose in June. Being 10 years old, he is still three years too young to be invited there on a student scholarship.
Source : https://www.techgig.com/tech-news/Indian-Kids-taught-Coding-by-Apple-to-Triumph-at-the-App-Store-176461
Alphabet's Google unveiled on Wednesday its first Gmail redesign 2018 april redesigned Gmail after several years for both gsuite and gmail users - rolling out soonAlphabet's Google unveiled on Wednesday its first Gmail redesign since 2013, capping what the company says was an expensive overhaul two years in the making to adopt security and offline functionality and better resemble Microsoft Outlook.
With Gmail, Google said it restructured email storage databases, unified three dueling systems for syncing messages across devices and upgraded computers underpinning the service.
It is Google's most extensive update to software in its G Suite workplace bundle since accelerating efforts to steal business from Microsoft's dominant Office workplace software suite. Previously, G Suite added instant-messaging and spreadsheet features.
With Gmail, Google said it restructured email storage databases, unified three dueling systems for syncing messages across devices and upgraded computers underpinning the service. That shift to Google's self-developed Tensor processing chips enables smart-assistant features such as "suggested replies" to messages and "nudges" to respond to forgotten emails.
"This is an entire rewrite of our flagship, most-used product," said Jacob Bank, product manager lead for Gmail, which 1.4 billion people use each month.
Unreliable offline access to email has long discouraged would-be customers, while recent high-profile corporate data breaches have increased their desire to lock down email. Analysts estimate G Suite generated about $2 billion in revenue last year, 10 times behind Office.Google declined to specify costs associated with the redesign. But parent Alphabet reported Monday that first-quarter capital expenditures nearly tripled year-over-year to $7.3 billion.
Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat told analysts that half of the spending resulted from hardware purchases to support expanding use of machine learning, which describes automated programs that can, among other things, identify spam and predict which emails users would find most important.Security and smarts
Google's Bank said the overhaul was required primarily to provide offline access to up to 90 days of emails for users who turn on the feature.
The changes also fulfill another top demand of business executives - message expiration. Users who enable a "confidential" option when sending an email can time-limit its access to recipients and also require they enter a one-time passcode sent to their phones to read it.
The new setting does not override corporate email retention policies or present new obstacles to law enforcement.
"Nudges" and a higher bar for new-mail notifications round out Google's revised sales pitch. The company estimated that nudges will lead 8 percent of business users each week to remember to follow-up on something important.
Cosmetic changes bring Gmail's website in line with Office by placing Google's calendar, tasks and note-taking services within the same page as emails. Bank said testers have advanced from "neutral to positive to very positive" on the new look.Gmail security updates - confidential mode
Response reminders - artificial intelligence like
Unsubscribe option - form spammers
Google to-do list - Google's new Tasks web app, to automatically create to-dosIf you are an gsuite / gapps Business user using G Suite Early Adopter Program can start trying out the new features on Wednesday, by turning them via there admin console - admin.google.com.
Source - Internet + https://www.techgig.com/tech-news/Google-overhauls-Gmail-to-lure-businesses-away-from-Microsoft-176472
H-1B issue: 60,000 spouses of Indian H-1B holders to lose jobsThe H-1B spouses will soon lose their jobs as the Trump administration is set to denounce their visa status. The USCIS has hinted its decision to end the provision for the H4 work visa.
The US government has issued employment authorization to more than 71,000 spouses of H-1B visa holders. A recent study by Migration Policy Institute in the US suggests that 90% of the H4 holders are Indians. The Obama-era rule has helped the legal immigrant workers to create two income streams to support the family.
Francis Cissna, the Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has written a letter to Senator Chuck Grassley. His letter said, "Our plans include proposing regulatory changes to remove H-4 dependent spouses from the class of aliens eligible for employment authorization, thereby reversing the 2015 final rule that granted such eligibility."
There is no concrete date when the work authorization will be banned for H-1B holder's spouses. However, the USCIS director's letter reveals the estimated date. A formal letter of communication will be made later this summer. The information by lawmakers suggests that the work authorization will be removed post-June this year.
Trump administration had delayed the decision on the termination of work authorization in March. This was a great relief for Indian workers and their families. The Department of Homeland Security had declared in the court submission in March that the decision to terminate work authorization of H4 visa holders will not be taken until June.
The Obama-led government had started issuing work permits to the spouses of H-1B holders in 2015. The government had made a proviso of H-4 visas to allow the dependents of H-1B to come and work in the US. Before 2015, there was no such provision for the spouses of H-1B holders.
The Migration Policy Institute's report suggests that over 71,287 H-4 visas have been granted so far. The institute's report said, "As of June 2017, USCIS had granted 71,287 initial (versus renewal) employment authorization documents to H-4 spouses. Of those H-4 spouses with work authorization as of early 2017, 94 percent were women, and the vast majority, 93 percent, were from India; four percent were from China."
A number of organizations and IT firms are lobbying against the Trump's decision. Silicon Valley-based firms are requesting the Trump government to retain Obama-era rule and allow the H-1B holders' spouses to work legally in the US.
Source : https://www.techgig.com/tech-news/H-1B-issue-60-000-spouses-of-Indian-H-1B-holders-to-lose-jobs-176517
A number of Gmail users got spam messages -- from themselvesGmail is usually pretty good about filtering out unwanted spam messages, but a number of users reported earlier today that their inboxes were suddenly flooded with ads that were apparently sent from their own accounts, according to Mashable.
Users posted to Gmail's Help Forum, reported that the messages appeared to have been sent from their own accounts, despite the fact that they were secured with two-factor authentication and updated passwords. The spammers used forged email headers to make them appear as though they came from users via a Canadian telecommunications company called Telus, in order to get the messages past spam filters. Because the messages appeared to be coming from the same user, Gmail filed the message into affected users' sent folder.
A Google spokesperson told Mashable that it was a "spam campaign impacting a small subset of Gmail users" and that the company had already "actively taken measures to protect against it." Telus also told Mashable that the messages aren't coming from its servers, and that it's working with vendors to solve the problem.
Source : https://www.techgig.com/tech-news/A-number-of-Gmail-users-got-spam-messages-from-themselves-175712
#BoycottAmazon, what led Twitter outrage on the e-com companyInternet companies face backlash on social media platforms all the time. Amazon India is currently facing a big backlash on Twitter for company's association with Swara Bhaskar.
Angry Twitter users are posting tweets with "#BoycottAmazon". The actor Swara Bhaskar had posted a tweet in support of Kathua and Unnao rape victims. Apparently, the Twitter audience was offended by the message that Bhaskar has used in the tweet. Her tweet reads, "I am Hindustan. I am Ashamed. 8 years old. Gangraped. Murdered. In 'Devi'-sthaan temple. #Kathua."
Right after posting this tweet, the actress posted a promotional tweet for Amazon India. The #BoycottAmazon has been transformed into a social movement. Twitter users are taking out their anger by uninstalling the e-com application and even giving a one-star rating.
A large number of Twitter users are trolling Amazon India for associating with the actress. The e-commerce giant later deleted the promotional tweet published by the actress. It is not clear if the tweet was deleted because of the public outrage.
This is not the first time that an internet company has faced the wrath of offended Indian users.
Snapdeal and Amir Khan
Another e-commerce company faced similar challenge back in 2015. When company's brand ambassador, Amir Khan shared his views on the issue of intolerance in the country, it led to public outrage. Many users took to social media platforms to declare their views. Some users even claimed to have uninstalled the application. The whole incident resulted in Snapdeal firing Amir Khan as a brand ambassador.
Flipkart and Airtel Zero
Airtel received massive criticism for its controversial Airtel Zero program. The company's program violated net neutrality norms. Flipkart was one of the first partners of the same program. The outrage led to many users giving the one-star rating and posting negative reviews for Flipkart. The telecom company had to scrap its Zero program.
Sushma Swaraj vs Amazon
The external affairs minister of India, Sushma Swaraj was offended after it found Amazon selling doormats that resemble the national flag of India. The company's selling partner was selling said doormat on Amazon's Canada store. Sushma Swaraj posted a tweet threatening the company to rescind Amazon's visa.
Source : https://www.techgig.com/tech-news/BoycottAmazon-what-led-Twitter-outrage-on-the-e-com-company-175781