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Topics - Kalyan
Over 3,000 Indian restaurants in UK set to close due to Covid - 19
Going for an Indian' on a Friday night has become a part of British culture over the decades, but senior figures in the Indian restaurant industry believe the coronavirus pandemic is dealing a body blow to thousands of outlets that were already struggling.
Of the nearly 9,000 Indian restaurants across the UK, over 3,000 are expected to close, leading to job losses in the tens of thousands in the £4 billion-industry. Many have switched to takeaway service, but its financials are nowhere near that of a packed open restaurant.
"Delivery companies were already putting restaurants out of business. This pandemic has driven a stake in our hearts. How can you sustain a business if only 20 or 30 people are allowed in a restaurant", wonders London-based celebrity chef Cyrus Todiwala.
"People are scared to go to restaurants. We are all worried about the future of the industry, no one knows how the future will shape, with major fall in tourists, people working from home and government loans offering only marginal relief", he added.
Running several outlets across London, Todiwala is among many who have switched to takeaway services, including another celebrity chef, Manoj Vasaikar, of Indian Zing, and central London restaurants such as Dishoom, Masala Zone and Gymkhana.
Vasaikar said: "Restaurants that cater to mainly neighbourhood clients are doing well with takeaway due to brand loyalty built over the years, but the revenue is still 40% to 50% down. Rents are very high in some London areas, so restaurants there are suffering."
"More than 3,000 restaurants will close due to the pandemic. Offices are closed, so there is no income from that important stream. The Conservative government has helped with loans, but the logistics of staffing, delivery and takeaway is a headache", he added.
According to senior chef Sunil Kumar, if restaurants were doing business worth £10,000 a day before the lockdown, it is now barely £1,000, serviced by a single chef instead of previous five or more. There is not much revenue in takeaways, he added.
An assessment by the Aston Business School suggests that thousands of the UK's 'curry houses' could struggle to reopen after lockdown is lifted, and to survive, the remaining ones will need to raise prices to a realistic level to offset the fall in revenues from less crowded restaurants.
Monder Ram, professor in the Aston Business School, said: "The sector's facing so many challenges...Supermarkets are one of the most prolific sellers of curries and large chains of pubs and restaurants are also entering this market, (and) these problems of competition and newcomers have been accentuated by Covid-19."
"A group of friends going out for a lively evening of entertainment finished off with a curry is part and parcel of the British way of life. If you take that away you're taking away the very essence of what going out for a curry means," he added.
The industry is faced with pandemic-related challenges when the influential Migration Advisory Committee in June 2019 recommended easing of norms to recruit professionals and chefs from outside the EU. Stake-holders believe the Friday night experience may no long be the same across city centres and towns across the UK.
source - Hindustan times
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Google Maps makes it easier to share your location
Google introduced Plus Codes in Maps back in 2015 in a bid to make it easier for people to find places that don't have a physical address or are simply difficult to find. Now, the company is making it easier for the Android users to share their location using Maps' Plus Codes.
To give you a brief about the feature, Plus Codes are simple and easy to use digital addresses that have been derived from the latitude and longitude of a users' location. These codes can be used to uniquely identify any location. They work in places that haven't been mapped and they don't use country codes to identify an individual's location.
The company launched this feature in India back in 2018 to enable Maps' users to share addresses. Now, the company is bringing an update to Google Maps that makes using this feature a tad bit easier.
How to find and share your Plus Code:
Step 1: Open Google Maps App.
Step 2: Find your exact location.
Step 3: Tap on the blue dot that highlights your location.
Step 4: Now you will see the Plus Code representing your location on top of the screen.
Step 5: Use Share your Location option to share your plus code.
source - Hindustan times
Govt offering up to 4 lakhs to find bugs in Aarogya SetuThe government made its Covid-19 contact tracing app open source. Along with it a bug bounty programme for Aarogya Setu was also announced. Anyone who reports a vulnerability in the app will be rewarded up to ₹4 lakhs.
The bug bounty programme is open to anyone with knowledge of the same, and who can report any vulnerability in the app. Interested users can send an email to email@example.com with the subject line "Security Vulnerability Report". Users can also suggest improvements to the source code of Aarogya Setu by sending an email with the subject line "Code Improvement".
For reports that are approved, the user or researcher will be notified about it. Researchers who discover any vulnerability are not allowed to publicly disclose it before it has been resolved. Also, this bug bounty programme is not eligible for employees from the Aarogya Setu team, the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY).
Researchers will be awarded ₹3 lakhs for finding and reporting security vulnerabilities in Aarogya Setu. ₹1 lakh per vulnerability will be given. As for suggesting improvements in the source code, up to ₹1 lakh will be awarded to the researchers.
The bug bounty programme started on May 27 and it will continue till June 26. So all those who are interested will have to submit their reports within this period.
source - hindustan times
TRAI recommends using 11-digit long mobile numbers in India
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Friday released its recommendations on "Ensuring Adequate Numbering Resources for Fixed Line and Mobile Services". As a part of that, the regulatory body has recommended using 11-digit long mobile numbers in the country.
According to TRAI, replacing 10-digit mobile numbers with 11-digit ones will lead to the availability of more numbers in the country. "Switching from 10 to 11 digits with the first digit for mobile number as '9' would give a total capacity of 10 billion numbers. With the current policy of allotment after 70% utilisation, this would suffice till India has 7 billion connections," TRAI wrote in its recommendations.
Apart from this, the regulatory body also recommended using '0' as a prefix in front of mobile numbers while calling from a fixed line connection. At present, inter-service area mobile calls from a fixed line connection can be accessed by a dialing '0 in the prefix'. However, mobile phones can be accessed from a fixed line phone without using '0' in the prefix. This, as TRAI explains, puts a "limitation that any digit which has been used as a first digit for a fixed network (for local calls) cannot be used for mobile numbers".
"By making it mandatory to access mobile numbers in a service area from a fixed network by dialing prefix '0', all the free sub-levels in levels '2', '3', '4', and '6', can also be used for mobile numbers," TRAI wrote in its recommendations.
Additionally, TRAI recommended shifting mobile numbers used for dongles from 10 digits to 13 digits.
Besides this, TRAI recommended that a new National Numbering Plan (NNP) should be issued at the earliest. "Consolidated list of short codes should be issued at the earliest," TRAI wrote in the document adding that "the consolidated list of short codes should be updated every year incorporating all withdrawals and new allocations."
source - hindustan times
Using pirated MS Office and Adobe Photoshop? Firm asked to pay Rs 30 lakh damages
The Delhi High Court has awarded Rs 30 lakh damages to Microsoft Corporation, Adobe Systems and Quest Software while restraining a company based in the national capital from using or distributing their pirated and unlicensed software.
Justice V Kameswar Rao said in the absence of any defence of the Nehru Place's firm and the magnitude of the violation carried out by the defendants, the three companies are entitled for damages and Rs 30 lakh be equally shared by them.
The high court's order came on a suit filed by Microsoft Corporation, Adobe Systems and Quest Software against a firm named 'Chetu' which provided IT services and solutions to its clients, and related parties, after they came to know that the company was using their unlicensed/pirated software programs on its computers.
The high court restrained the defendants, their principal officers, directors, agents, franchisees, servants, and all others acting for and on their behalf are restrained from directly or indirectly using for any kind of computer related activities or otherwise, pirated/counterfeit/unlicensed softwares of the Plaintiffs.
The lawsuit said to determine the sphere of activities of the defendants, they hired an independent investigator to carry out an investigation into their activities.
During the investigation, it was found that there are around 300 computer systems at Chetu, which are operating upon software programs such as Microsoft Office and there was no installation of Open Office on any of the computer systems.
It was further revealed that 40 to 50 employees at the firm were working on software programs such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Flash, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe CS3 and Adobe Reader.
The defendant firm claimed in the court that it was a fully licensed Microsoft certified old partner since 2003 and its use of Microsoft products is governed by the terms of the Microsoft Partner Network Agreement.
However, when the plaintiffs (Microsoft, Adobe and Quest) conducted a license check within their database, it revealed that there were no substantial licences purchased in the name of the defendant or its related parties.
source - deccan chronicle
TikTok rating improves in Google Play
TikTok rating on Google Play Store has fairly improved to 2.9 stars as more negative reviews have been taken down. The app's reviews have now been reduced to 20 million on Google Play.
TikTok received heavy backlash from people in India with trends to delete the app running on social media for a few days. This led to many people posting negative reviews of TikTok on Google Play and giving it the lowest possible 1-star rating. The trend may have died down but it's taking some time for TikTok's rating to come up.
Google is however helping the ByteDance-owned app by deleting millions of reviews within a span of 24 hours in some cases. A Google spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that it removed millions of negative TikTok reviews "as a corrective action to curb spam abuse".
Google displays app ratings based on user reviews on its Play Store. Apple also allows app ratings on the App Store but the damage isn't so bad there. TikTok has so far received 1.2 million ratings on the App Store and it's currently at 3.4 stars. TikTok is also the number one entertainment app on iOS.
TikTok receives its highest number of downloads in India. The app has so far garnered 611 million lifetime downloads from India and this accounts for 30.3% of the app's total downloads, according to data from Sensor Tower. TikTok continued to be the most downloaded non-game app globally but it was beaten by Zoom last month.
source - Hindustan times
Google to start reopening offices starting July 6
Alphabet Inc's Google said on Tuesday it would reopen buildings in more cities at roughly 10% of their capacity beginning July 6 and scale it up to 30% in September, if conditions permit.
Google and its peer Facebook Inc had allowed their employees to work from home in early March following tough government-mandated restrictions to contain the coronavirus.
Google said on Tuesday it would give each employee an allowance of $1,000, or the equivalent value in their country, to expense necessary equipment and office furniture, as it expects most of them to largely work from home for the remainder of the year.
There are a limited number of employees whose roles are needed back in the office this year and they would return on a limited, rotating basis, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said in a blog post.
source - Hindustan times
A security researcher alerted Thailands national computer emergency response team, known as ThaiCERT, after he found a database exposing over eight billion Internet records on millions of Thai internet users.
Although it is not clear who owns the database, the researcher, Justin Paine, believes that a subsidiary of a major Thailand-based mobile network operator named Advanced Info Service (AIS), likely controlled the database.
The database, containing DNS queries and Netflow data, was lying on the internet without a password.
"Using this data it is quite simple to paint a picture of what a person does on the Internet," Paine wrote in a blog post on Monday.
According to a report in TechCrunch, Paine alerted AIS to the open database on May 13. After not getting any response for a week, Paine reported the matter to ThaiCERT on May 21. The database was secured on May 22.
"Based on data available in BinaryEdge this database was first observed as exposed and publicly accessible on May 1, 2020. I discovered this database roughly 6 days later on May 7, 2020," Paine wrote in the blog.
Although DNS queries do not carry sensitive information like passwords and private messages, they can give away which websites and apps a user uses.
source - Hindustan times
In 2020's first quarter, TikTok and Douyin generated 315 million downloads globally, up from 187 million a year earlier, said Sensor Tower, noting the positive influence of Covid-19 on the video-sharing apps' popularity.
ByteDance Ltd.'s millennial sensation TikTok and its Chinese twin app Douyin ranked top in the world among mobile apps for April revenue, according to Sensor Tower data that excludes games and advertising.
Focusing narrowly on in-app purchases, TikTok and Douyin's numbers for the month showed a tenfold increase to $78 million, propelling them ahead of more established names like YouTube, Tinder and Netflix, which rely more on existing subscriptions.
The Chinese market, served by Douyin, contributed 86.6% of the app income, followed by the U.S. with 8.2%. In either version of the video-streaming app filled with dance videos and memes, users can purchase virtual currency to spend on supporting their favorite creators.
Like many social media platforms, ByteDance is testing the waters of online commerce, even while it continues to rely on advertising as its main source of income. Emarketer expects that more than 75 million US social-network users aged 14 and older will make at least one purchase from a social channel in 2020, up 17.3% from 2019.
(By Zheping Huang)
source - Hindustan times
Hackers have had access to an unreleased iOS 14 version for months
An early version of Apple's upcoming iOS 14 has reportedly been around for months now since February. iOS 14 has been leaking in parts but this one is a pre-release version and security researchers, hackers and bloggers have had access to it, according to a report by Motherboard.
The report says that this iOS 14 leak is the entire version of Apple's new operating system which will release later around September. It's quite surprising that the full build of an unreleased iOS version is out and that too almost eight months before it's release. Apple hasn't even released the public beta of iOS 14.
This iOS 14 version leaked when someone got their hands on an iPhone 11 running an iOS 14 version dated December 2019. This was supposed to be used only by Apple developers but it got out. There's more to the story. It was later sold by vendors in China for thousands of dollars and the internal build of iOS 14 was extracted and distributed to the iPhone jailbreaking and hacking community.
Hackers have been distributing this iOS leak to security researchers. 9to5Mac also has a copy of the leak through which it has been revealing some features of iOS 14.
The final iOS 14 will have some differences from this early version when it launches. But it's noteworthy that for the first time an unreleased iOS version has been leaked and is continuing to spread among more people.
source - Hindustan times
BSNL extends Work @ Home plan until June 20
State operated Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited has extended the validity of its Work@Home plan until June 20.
The announcement regarding the extension of the work from home plan was made by the company's Chennai team via a circular. As a part of the plan, BSNL is offering 5GB of internet data per day to all its existing landline users at a download speed of up to 10Mbps. Once the 5GB limit is exhausted, the download speed will get reduced to 1Mbps.
Apart from the data benefits, the Work@Home plan also offers 1GB of email ID space and unlimited downloads and uploads to its users. This plan is available for free to all landline users and it is available to customers across the country except for the users in Andaman and Nicobar islands.
It is worth mentioning that BSNL had first introduced this plan back in March this year right around the time the lockdown in light of the Covid-19 outbreak was first announced. At the time, the company had announced that the plan would be available until April 19. Later in April, the company extended the validity of the plan to May 19. Now, the company has again extended the validity of the plan for one month.'
source - Hindustan times
Tata Sky Broadband has revised its offerings across India and has introduced a new high-speed 300 Mbps plan that is going to be available in selected areas. The company has also hiked the prices for its existing unlimited plans by ₹ 50.
Tata Sky Broadband's fixed plans have also been revamped with the company reducing its offerings to four tiers. The company has continued to tease its upcoming landline services with the 'coming soon' tag.
The new 300 Mbps plan is priced at ₹ 1,900 per month. While all of Tata Sky Broadband's current unlimited plans come with a fair usage policy (FUP) of 1,500GB, the new 300 Mbps plan comes with a FUP limit of 3,300GB or 3.3TB.
The company has mentioned that the speeds on unlimited plans will reduce to 2 Mbps once users reach the FUP limit.
Users subscribing to a six-month or annual pack will receive a 10% and a 15% discount respectively. This makes the 6-month plan for the 300 Mbps package come for ₹ 9,720 and the annual one for ₹ 18,360 after discount.
Tata Sky Broadband provides a free router for all plans and free installation for users who have signed up for at least a three-month pack. The existing plans of Tata Sky including the 25 Mbps, 50 Mbps and 100 Mbps - which are now priced at ₹ 950, ₹ 1,050 and ₹ 1,150 respectively.
Users subscribing to the six month pack of the base 25 Mbps plan pay ₹ 4,860 while the annual pack users pay ₹ 9,180. Similarly, users who subscribe to the six-month 50 Mbps plan will be paying ₹ 5,400 while the annual pack is worth ₹ 10,200.
Further, the six-month 100 Mbps plan has been priced at ₹ 5,940 while the annual pack of the 100 Mbps plan is priced at ₹ 11,220.
Tata Sky Broadband's fixed plans have been reduced to four tiers including two 50 Mpbs plans and two 100 Mpbs plans.
The base 50 Mpbs plans are priced at ₹ 790 per month with a data limit of 150GB and the top-tier plan is priced at ₹ 1,000 with a 500GB data limit. The company offers a Data Rollover option on all its Fixed GB plans.
The base 100 Mbps plan has been priced at ₹ 950 per month with a data limit of 250 GB and the top-tiered 100 Mbps plan is priced at ₹ 1,050 per month with a data limit of 500 GB.
Like is the case with unlimited plans, Tata Sky Broadband offers 10% and 15% discount on Fixed GB plans along with the free installation on three months, six months and annual plans.
source: hindustan times
List of 100 Passenger Trains run from June 1
Sampoorn Kranti Express
Shram Shakti Express
Samprak Kranti Express (Jodhpur to Delhi Sarai Rohila)
Champaran Satyagraha Express
Karnataka Samprak Kranti Express
Husain Sagar Express
Sabarmati Express (Ahmedabad to Darbhanga)
Sabarmati Express (Ahmedabad to Varanasi)
Tapti Ganga Express
Poorva Express (Howrah to New Delhi via Patna)
Poorva Express (Howrah to New Delhi via Gaya)
Saryu Yamuna Express
Duronto Express (Howrah to Yashwantpur)
Duronto Express (Sealdah to Puri)
Duronto Express (Shalimar to Patna)
Duronto Express (Ernakulam to Nizammudin)
DurontoExpress (Secunderabad to Nizammudin)
JanShatabdi Express (Howrah to Bhubaneshwar)
JanShatabdi Express (Howrah to Patna)
JanShatabdi Express (Patna to Ranchi)
JanShatabdi Express (Dehradun to Kaathgodam)
JanShatabdi Express (Guwahati to Jorhat)
JanShatabdi Express (Haridwar to Amritsar)
JanShatabdi Express (New Delhi to Dehradun)
JanShatabdi Express (New Delhi to Una-Himachal)
JanShatabdi Express (Ajmer to Delhi SR)
JanShatabdi Express (Howrah to Barbil
Avadh Express (Bandra to Gorakhpur)
Avadh Express (Bandra to Muzaffarpur)
Bihar Sampark Kranti
Gujarat Sampark Kranti
Zoho launches small business CRM system called BiginZoho has launched Bigin, a CRM system that is designed for small and micro businesses, that aims for simplicity and easy customer tracking.
Bigin, which costs $7 per user per month billed annually, sits outside of Zoho One, an application buffet that includes Zoho CRM. Bigin aims to be a starter CRM system that would feed into Zoho CRM upgrades.
The timing for Zoho's launch is notable given that small businesses have been crushed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many small businesses have struggled to stand up digital operations amid stay-at-home orders and are quickly building out tech stacks--especially if companies were solely physical.
source - zdnet
Facebook survey shows 31% of small businesses stopped operating
One-third of U.S. small businesses have stopped operating, while another 11% expect to fail in the next three months if Covid-19 conditions persist, according to an April survey.
"The numbers are devastating," said Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook Inc., which helped conduct the survey of 86,000 business owners and employees, in partnership with the Small Business Roundtable.
Most of the closed businesses don't know how they will find the money to reopen, and don't expect to rehire employees that they had to cut. "That's because they think they can't -- it's not that they don't want to," Sandberg said in an interview. In normal times, small businesses account for two-thirds of U.S. job growth, she said.
Facebook and the Small Business Roundtable planned to do the monthly survey before coronavirus hit, expecting it to paint a much brighter picture of their impact on the economy. The vast majority of Facebook's advertisers are small businesses, using Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to communicate with their customers.
Now, those companies are increasingly relying on the internet. More than one-third of the businesses surveyed say their sales have moved completely online. Facebook has raced to build new tools for them, such as digital gift cards and food delivery buttons, so that they can recover more quickly.
Businesses that are still operating have had to become creative about their strategy, as well. Restaurants are selling to-go cocktails, grocery stores are building plastic shields to protect their workers at the checkout counter, and hair stylists are providing home cutting tips over video chat. Of the businesses that are closed, 19% are still paying at least partial wages to employees who can't work.
Sam Lee, who operates a ceramic studio and store in San Francisco, has been renting out pottery wheels to members, and picking up their creations curbside. Her decision has helped the business stay afloat. Meanwhile, in her studio, Dusted and Blue in San Francisco, she's been moving wheel stations six feet apart, preparing for the time she's allowed to operate.
Lee also worries people will lose out on some of the conversation and community the studio was meant to foster. "We'll likely have to do smaller classes," she said. "We're still waiting to hear what we'll have to do. What are the regulations going to be? How long is it going to last?"
Hospitality and event-based businesses may take longer to recover. Veronyca Kwan, co-founder of Bella Belle Shoes, said her wedding shoe business saw sales drop 75% in April.
"If weddings are not happening, people are not going to buy bridal shoes," she said. Without pop-up sales events and wedding showcases, which drive a lot of the interest in the brand, Kwan has turned to Instagram and tried to improve the company's placement on search engines.
The survey shows the majority of small business owners and employees are still optimistic about the future. Bella Belle was approved for a small business loan from the government, and said declines in May weren't as sharp as feared. "It's a rollercoaster," she said.
Meanwhile, 29% of workers and owners of small businesses were concerned about bringing the coronavirus home, as the vast majority of small business employees don't have access to paid sick leave or paid time off. Among hotel, cafe and restaurant employees, more than 90% lack paid leave.
The struggle has been especially acute for women, who still shoulder the majority of the household work in addition to their businesses, and have had to stop working at a higher rate than men in order to balance it.
"If we don't have equality in the household we're not going to have equality in the workforce," Sandberg said. "Crises exacerbate trends."
courtesy: tech hindustan times
Ola resumes service in over 160 cities in India
Ola is giving drivers and customers an option of cancelling the ride if anyone of them is seen not wearing the mask.
Ola/Uber cabs will abide by the enhanced safety protocols applicable with every trip as per the state governments guidelines.
Ride hailing service Ola on Monday said it has resumed normal ride operations in more than 160 cities with enhanced safety protocols applicable with every trip as per the state governments guidelines.
The company said that driver-partners operating three and four-wheelers on the platform will be available to serve mobility needs on Ola app, with highest levels of safety precautions in Covid-19 sensitive states like Karnataka, Telangana, Delhi, Haryana, Chandigarh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu (except Chennai), Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Assam.
The safety protocols include "compulsory mask usage for driver-partners and passengers, complete sanitization of cars post-trips, adhering to social distancing norms by limiting to two passengers per ride amongst other key steps through our '10 Steps to a Safer Ride' initiative," a company spokesperson said in a statement.
Ola vehicles will not operate to and from government identified red or containment zones.
"All driver-partners are required to wear masks and need to authenticate this before the start of every ride by sharing a selfie through their partner app," said Ola.
Ola is giving drivers and customers an option of cancelling the ride if anyone of them is seen not wearing the mask.
To avoid re-circulation of air, the AC will be switched off and windows will be kept open during all rides.
Meanwhile, Uber India said it has resumed ride services in 34 cities.
The company said that riders will constantly be notified with further information and the status of specific cities through its app.
courtesy: hindustan times auto
Facebook buys GIF company Giphy
Facebook has announced its acquisition of GIF platform Giphy and according to Axios, the deal is valued roughly at $400 million. GIPHY, a leader in visual expression and creation, is joining the Facebook company today as part of the Instagram team, Facebook announced in a post today.
Facebook has further said that they are planning to integrate Giphy into Instagram and other apps, "so that people can find just the right way to express themselves".
"By bringing Instagram and Giphy together, we can make it easier for people to find the perfect GIFs and stickers in Stories and Direct," the company explained.
Giphy already is integrated on other social media platforms like Twitter, currently it is unclear if Facebook is going to end those relationships and keep Giphy restricted to its own apps.
Facebook has been using Giphy's application program interface for a while now through Facebook app, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp and first tried to acquire the company in 2015.
"In fact, 50% of Giphy's traffic comes from the Facebook family of apps, half of that from Instagram alone," Facebook said.
"Giphy will continue to operate its library (including its global content collection), and we're looking forward to investing further in its technology and relationships with content and API partners. People will still be able to upload GIFs; developers and API partners will continue to have the same access to Giphy's APIs; and Giphy's creative community will still be able to create great content," Facebook added.
source - Hindustan times
WhatsApp beta on Android starts rolling out Messenger Rooms
Facebook earlier today announced the global roll out of Messenger Rooms. WhatsApp has now started rolling out Messenger Rooms shortcut for its Android beta app in select countries.
This seems to be a gradual roll out and WhatsApp beta users in the US have started receiving it, according to WABetaInfo. The feature is available on WhatsApp beta 2.20.139. Facebook while announcing the launch of Messenger Rooms also confirmed its shortcut arriving on WhatsApp and Instagram as well.
This shortcut opens up to Messenger Rooms which is Facebook's new video conferencing feature. Although a Messenger feature, users who don't have a Facebook account can also join a call through an invite.
On WhatsApp, the Messenger Rooms shortcut will be visible on the attach file section. If it's available you'll see a new 'Room' icon replacing the previous camera icon. This shortcut is also visible in the calls tab and group chats. In addition to the voice/video call icon, you'll see a new Messenger Rooms icon above it. Also, when you tap the call icon to make group calls there will be an option to "create a room".
This is not to be confused with WhatsApp's in-app group video calls. WhatsApp recently increased the group call limit from four to eight people. Messenger Rooms is a bigger platform with support for 50 people in one call. Like Houseparty, you can create rooms and invite people to join them. Anyone with the room link can join the call, and you can also lock the room.
courtesy: Hindustan times
Zomato to lay off over 600 employees
a) Zomato is letting go of over 600 employees as their roles are redundant now.
b) Zomato will assist sacked employees find new jobs while they get financial support from the company.
c) Zomato is also introducing up to 50 per cent pay cuts for the remaining workforce.
Zomato has announced it will be laying off around 13 per cent of its workforce to absorb the impact of the covid-19 pandemic.
In a post, the company has announced it will initiate the process of identifying the redundant workforce, which is over 600 employees, but there will be compensations given to the impacted employees.
As remote working goes mainstream, Zomato is foreseeing it as the next venture for its business, which includes hyperlocal deliveries of groceries, in an attempt to become "a transaction first company."
A number of measures have been announced by the food delivery platform, including temporary pay cuts of employees of up to 50 per cent and a major shift to remote working.
Zomato founder Deepinder Goyal has said the company will assist the 13 per cent laid-off workforce -- which belongs to a little over 600 employees according to the news agency IANS -- in finding new jobs while supporting them "financially" and "emotionally" for six months.
The impacted employees will receive video calls from Zomato founder Deepinder Goyal, COO Gaurav Gupta, and CEO of food delivery business Mohit Gupta, to walk them through the next available steps for them. Zomato will offer severance of 50 per cent of their salaries for six months, in addition to health insurance and support to find other jobs immediately. Zomato has not specified if the sacked workforce belongs to the delivery business or other departments.
The latest round of layoffs comes as the second biggest firing of employees in the company, months after Zomato sacked around 540 employees in September last year, citing the proliferation of automation into the industry that left several roles redundant.
The remaining workforce at Zomato will be handed over pay cuts of up to 50 per cent, wherein the low-earning employees will get a minimum lowering of wages. Zomato has said some of its employees voluntarily took pay cuts earlier and those employees will "not be expected" to take the additional pay cuts. But these are temporary reductions in salaries of employees and should be done away within the next six months, per Goyal's post.
Goyal has written a blog post outlining the big changes slated for the company. While the company immediately switched to delivering groceries after the coronavirus pandemic forced restaurants to either shut or operate cautiously, it is seeking to turn into a company that will ramp up the number of transactions happening on the platform. "There’s no going back to the ‘normal’ all we should focus on is building for the ‘new normal’.
Considering what we know at this point, the idea is to make a complete shift towards being a transactions first company, focusing heavily on a small number of large market opportunities in the food value chain," he wrote.
Ever since Zomato entered the hyperlocal delivery business of groceries, it has expanded into 185 cities in India. Emerging as a potential threat to the more established companies in the same business -- BigBasket and Grofers -- Zomato sees a "long term potential in this segment." Goyal has also emphasised how contactless dining is becoming the "need of the hour" and that there are now around 25,000 restaurants globally complying with the norm.
MakeMyTrip will now deliver food
MakeMyTrip will now deliver food from 5-star hotels - Roseate and JW Marriott.
MMT's announcement comes at a time when because of the coronavirus pandemic, travel and hotel aggregators are struggling as bookings come down to zero.
But it will now be struggling in a space that is currently dominated by Zomato and Swiggy
India's largest travel aggregator announced a major new business vertical today - MakeMyTrip will now deliver food from 5-star hotels.
MakeMyTrip (MMT) has jumped into food delivery - a business that continues to be hot even during the coronavirus lockdown. The company has rolled out an online gourmet delivery service in partnership with luxury and premium hotel chains and independent properties across cities in India.
courtesy: business insider
What is Migraine Head ache ?
A headache of varying intensity, often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound.
Migraine headaches are sometimes preceded by warning symptoms. Triggers include hormonal changes, certain food and drink, stress and exercise.
Migraine headaches can cause throbbing in one particular area that can vary in intensity. Nausea and sensitivity to light and sound are also common symptoms.
Preventive and pain-relieving medication can help manage migraine headaches.
Migraine headaches can cause throbbing in one particular area that can vary in intensity. Nausea and sensitivity to light and sound are also common symptoms.
People may experience:
Pain areas: in the eyes, face, or neck
Pain types: can be dull
Headache: can be acute, frequent, or throbbing
Visual: sensitivity to light, distorted vision, or seeing flashes of light
Whole body: dizziness, light-headedness, or malaise
Sensory: aura or sensitivity to sound
Gastrointestinal: nausea or vomiting
Also common: irritability, nasal congestion, or scalp tenderness
Self - Care:
Pursuing an enjoyable activity or verbalising frustration to reduce stress and improve mental health.
Improved sleep habits:
Good sleep practices include having a regular bedtime schedule and avoiding naps, caffeine and TV before bedtime.
Avoid migraine triggers:
Common triggers include alcohol, caffeine or poor sleep.
Adjusting diet to reduce triggers causing disease or address dietary deficiencies.
Consult a doctor for medical advice
Sources: Apollo Hospitals and others (Google)
Today's Business Quotes:
"Some people dream of Success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen"
To reduce dependence on Zomato and Swiggy, restaurants seek own delivery platform
The restaurant industry that has been clashing with food delivery platforms over prices and commissions is planning its own digital offerings and delivery services to reduce dependence on aggregators such as Swiggy and Zomato.
Hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak and the lockdown, restaurants are also looking at a common loyalty programme that can help the business grow in the future, which will be very different from the pre-coronavirus world.
"Aggregators have become virtual landlords, they came in trying to solve a genuine problem but eventually they are just decimating the small businesses with their business policies," Thomas Fenn, a National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) member, said addressing a virtual town hall on May 6.
The industry should work together to create an alternate technology solution to expand business in the post-Covid19 world, Fenn, who owns the popular Mahabelly restaurant in New Delhi, said.
Close to 500 people had logged into the Facebook live session.
While NRAI didn't share details of its plan, Fenn said the focus would be on easy reconciliation, transparent pricing, cheaper delivery and protection of customer data.
Citing NPCI offering UPI, TCS helping run passport services and Infosys the GST Network, Rahul Singh, cofounder of Beer Café, said the industry was looking for a similar solution to bring all restaurants onto a common platform.
The owners have complained against aggregators' predatory pricing, high commissions and even hiding customer data from restaurants.
"They have been using our own data to develop private label solutions and their own brands, at the same time they hide details about customers who are ordering from us," said Fenn.
Even commissions had shot up to 24 percent from around 6 percent, making life difficult for restaurants, he added.
Swiggy has its private labels like The Bowl Company and Homely. It also runs Access Kitchens or virtual kitchens that process orders only from Swiggy. Even Zomato has a cloud kitchen called Zomato Kitchen.
This is the first time the food and beverage industry is trying to create an alternative digital platform, the success will depend on the coming together of a highly fragmented and dispersed sector.
The technology used by Swiggy and Zomato has made ordering and tracking deliveries simple, how much it can be replicated by an industry body run by restaurant owners and celebrity chefs is something that needs to be watched.
Three factors -- customer loyalty, online orders and payments and digitised delivery logistics--will drive the solution NRAI is looking for.
It can leverage social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook or Instagram to reach out to consumers.
Given that Facebook was working with Reliance's Jio Platforms to expand into a hyperlocal delivery with small stores as suppliers, Fenn said something similar could be done in the food delivery business as well.
Most restaurants didn't employ delivery staff to cut costs but outsourcing it to Swiggy and Zomato was working out to be more expensive, he said.
"For instance, we can leverage Dunzo, Delhivery and so many other players for our delivery partnerships, there are ways to connect restaurants to delivery partners by leveraging technology," he said.
The restaurant industry had never worked on a common loyalty programme and that was something that could be looked at, NRAI president Anurag Katriar, also CEO deGustibus Hospitality, said.
"We are in an advanced stage of discussion around creating a restaurant network-wide loyalty programme, a customer can eat in one restaurant and get points redeemable in another restaurant, that will be a force multiplier for business," he said.
This could be aimed at Zomato's loyalty programme Zomato Gold that covers restaurants across major cities. This programme had been a flashpoint between Zomato and restaurant partners.
On "contactless dining", a term Zomato and few other restaurant aggregators have thrown about, Katriar said NRAI was looking at bringing in a digital dining experience to make consumers feel safer when eating out.
NRAI represents more than 5 lakh restaurants in a $4-billion industry.
With restaurants shut across the country, the food and beverage industry has been one of the worst-hit sectors, with more than 70 lakh people looking at a bleak future.
NRAI has on multiple occasions sought the government's intervention to bail out the industry but, so far, nothing has come of it.
Not just restaurants, food delivery platforms are facing similar problems. With the lockdown in its third phase and an uptick in coronavirus cases, orders have dwindled.
Will the coronavirus outbreak tear apart a partnership that has changed the way India eats or will the warring sides find a way to stick it out? Only time will tell.
Disclosure: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd.
courtesy: money control
Indian Railways to start special trains from May 12, bookings on IRCTC
The Indian Railways will be gradually starting passenger train operations from May 12, initially, with 15 pairs of trains (30 return journeys), the government has said.
It has said that these special trains will run as special trains from New Delhi station connecting Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi.
The booking for reservation in these trains will start from May 11 at 4 pm, the government has said, adding that the booking option will be available only on IRCTC website.
"Ticket booking counters at the railway stations shall remain closed and no counter tickets (including platform tickets) shall be issued. Only passengers with valid confirmed tickets will be allowed to enter the railway stations," the government has said.
"It will be mandatory for the passengers to wear face cover and undergo screening at departure and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the train," it added.
The railways had shut services after a national lockdown was announced following the outbreak of coronavirus in the country. The government is currently running special services, called Shramik special trains, for stranded migrants to travel back to their respective states.
The Ranking downgrade of SBI, Bank of Baroda, and ICICI Bank
Bank of America has downgraded the ratings for four of India's largest banks -- the State bank of India (SBI), Bank of Baroda, IndusInd Bank and ICICI Bank.
The emerging cycle of non-performing assets will be the 'biggest nightmare of 2020' according to Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma.
Bank of America's downgrade follows in the footsteps of UBS and CLSA, who also slashed their expectations from banks.
According to Sharma, the rise of bad loans is likely to spillover beyond banks to the fintech sector where a large number of startups have been giving out small unsecured loans.
Indian banks had barely cleaned up the massive pile of unpaid loans from the country's corporates, the coronavirus pandemic is barrelling into an economic crisis that may bring a fresh wave of non-performing assets (NPA) -- this time from the small borrowers.
Bank of America (BoA) has downgraded the earnings estimates for four of the biggest banks in India -- the State Bank of India (SBI), Bank of Baroda, IndusInd Bank and ICICI Bank.
This is what Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the billionaire founder of Alibaba-backed Paytm, described as the 'biggest nightmare' of 2020 in an exclusive chat with Business Insider on April 10.
Source - Image Attached
SBI, part of the Fortune 500 list, saw the biggest slash in rating, from being a stock that people should buy to a stock that's now expected to underperform alongside Bank of Baroda (BoB).
Even IndusInd Bank, where more than 90% of the customers have chosen not to opt for the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) three-month moratorium on repayments has been downgraded to neutral -- the same as ICICI Bank.
The only bank which managed to avoid a cut is HDFC Bank -- the equity that BoA maintains a 'buy' rating for in the sector.
However, BoA isn't the only one to lower its expectations. UBS also cut its estimates after banking shares dipped by over 30% in April.
This was followed by CLSA slashing the target price on banks by up to 70%.
Source - Image Attached
Experts believe that most fintech lending companies that hold non-banking financial company (NFBC) licenses will take a significant hit as a result of the coronavirus crisis -- especially since they don't fall into the RBI's offer of the three-month moratorium on repayments.
The RBI reduced the reverse repo rate to increase liquidity for NBFCs but that only solves one part of the problem. "There is a moratorium, but even after that, people will not have money to pay. So there will a pass credit rating discount which will happen in this country," Sharma predicted.
Startup NBFCs were booming in 2019 with as many as 69 companies garnering $593 million of capital and now both the companies and the investors are staring at a possible spike in bad loans. Indian banks already have a massive pile of bad loans amounting to over ₹9 lakh crore at last count.
"There should be a moratorium on credit ratings also," said Kanchan Gupta from the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), in agreement with Paytm's Sharma.
With cash flow drying up as people struggle to repay their loans and investors shy away from loosening their purse strings, it's not just banks, even fintech startups are going to get hit on both sides of their balance sheets.
courtesy: business insider
Amazon introduces Prime Gaming in India with free in-game content for Prime subscribers
Amazon Prime members in India get access to a variety of benefits ranging from faster delivery times to Prime-exclusive deals, along with access to services like Prime Video, Amazon Music, and more. Adding on to the list, Amazon has now introduced gaming offers for Prime members in the country, offering free in-game content like collectable characters, upgrades, in-game currency, and Prime-only tournaments, in a couple of popular mobile games.
As per a recent report from the Times of India, Amazon has set up a new micro site for the gaming benefits which lists down all the games in which members will be able to unlock the new benefits. These include popular titles like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, World Cricket Championship, Black Desert Mobile, Words with Friends 2, Mafia City, and The Seven Deadly Sins. To claim the Prime benefits in these games, users will have to log-in to the game with their Amazon Prime account and click on 'Allow' when prompted.
In a statement regarding the new Prime benefits, Akshay Sahi, Director and Head of Prime at Amazon India, said, "With the launch of Prime gaming, we continue to make Amazon Prime more valuable for members in India. We recognize the need for in-game content by mobile gamers to enhance their playing experience and are delighted to provide access to this content free to Prime members. We will continue to add new in-game content for other popular games, with frequent content refreshes."
For now, the free content line-up is quite limited and includes things like a Stadium Unlock for World Cricket Championship, 50 Gold and 10K cash for Mafia City, an item chest, hero and skin trial cards for Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and a Mystery Box for Words with Friends 2. However, you can expect new content and games to be added to the list in the near future.
courtesy: xda developers
Microsoft offers $100,000 to hack its custom Linux OS
Microsoft is offering hackers up to $100,000 if they can break the security of the company's custom Linux OS. The software giant built a compact and custom version of Linux last year for its Azure Sphere OS, which is designed to run on specialized chips for its Internet of Things (IoT) platform. The OS is purpose-built for this platform, ensuring basic services and apps run isolated in a sandbox for security purposes.
Microsoft now wants hackers to test the security of the Azure Sphere OS, paying up to $100,000 if the Pluton security subsystem or Secure World sandbox is breached. The bug bounty program is part of a three-month research challenge that runs from June 1st until August 31st. "We will award up to $100,000 bounty for specific scenarios in the Azure Sphere Security Research Challenge during the program period," explains Sylvie Liu, a security program manager at Microsoft's Security Response Center.
The challenge is focused on the Azure Sphere OS itself, and not the underlying cloud portion that's already eligible for Azure bounty program awards. Microsoft is specifically looking for a group of security researchers to try and break its Linux OS security. Physical attacks are out of scope, but researchers can apply to be part of the challenge here.
Azure Sphere was announced at last year's Build developer conference, and it's still relatively new. Businesses like Starbucks are rolling out Azure Sphere to secure its store equipment, which feeds back data points on the type of beans, coffee temperature, and water quality for every shot of espresso.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sees IoT devices as a key area for the company, describing its cloud business as the biggest hardware business at Microsoft earlier this year. Nadella is chasing the billions of IoT devices that analysts predict will be in use over the next decade. Azure Sphere is a key part of the mission to help secure and manage these devices, and part of Microsoft's increased push to win a world beyond Windows that's increasingly moving to cloud computing.
Professionals with these top tech skills are in high demand
According to Vikram Ahuja, co-founder, Talent500 by ANSR Consulting, a recruitment platform, there is a huge demand for a full stack developer as firms are now looking at doubling their product development.
Despite hiring activity being badly hit due to the coronavirus outbreak, professionals equipped with certain skills continue to be in demand, according to experts.
These include cloud computing, network architect, full stack developers, data scientists and augmented and virtual reality experts.
Nothing has brought forth the importance of network engineer like COVID-19. Their role includes planning, implementing and managing computer networks. This could include data, voice, calls and wireless networks.
They are also responsible for ensuring connectivity at all times and diagnosing and troubleshooting network errors.
This is one of the hot profiles right now as industries are moving to remote working model.
Who needs them? All firms need network engineers, especially tech firms where they are needed to oversee the network. According to Indeed.com, there are about 105 jobs for freshers and also opening in major firms such as Accenture and Tech Mahindra for the profile.
Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) engineer
What is AR/VR? In AR, technology is used to enhance or augment the real world whereas VR lets you immerse in a whole different world in 3D.
Demand for AR/VR engineers have been on the rise in the last few years with tech majors investing in the technology. But the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the demand ever further. According to reports, demand for AR/VR technology increased after the virus outbreak intensified increased 2X as companies are looking to train their staff using the technology.
Who is hiring? Tech firms like Google that are making investing in the tech and game developers. According to Naukri.com site, there are close to 180 job postings for VR engineers with payscale ranging between Rs 3 lakh per annum and Rs 15 lakh per annum depending on experience.
Full stack developer
A full-stack developer is someone who can handle both the frontend, which involves the user or the business, and the backend, essentially the technical part.
Who is hiring?
According to Vikram Ahuja, co-founder, Talent500 by ANSR Consulting, a recruitment platform, there is a huge demand for a full stack developer as firms are now looking at doubling their product development. Their salary might range anywhere between Rs 5 lakh per annum to Rs 18 lakh per annum based on experience and talent.
During the Q4 FY2020 results announcements major IT firms had one area where the traction was significant. It was cloud. With the virus outbreak, came the need to migrate to cloud and fast if the companies had to stay in business. Like Arvind Krishna, CEO, IBM pointed out during an event, the pace at which this adoption is happening has accelerated due to COVID-19 and the transformation is happening in few months period compared to few years before.
Who is hiring? All cloud giants are hiring including Google, AWS and Microsoft. According to a report by Virtualisation Review, while Microsoft has reportedly frozen hiring in other areas, it is still recruiting Azure talents. According to executives, salary could range between Rs 4-5 lakh for freshers and Rs 25 lakh for a decade of experience.
AI, Data science and ML
These three skills continue to be in demand as more firms are beginning to invest in digital. Speaking at the IBM Think Digital 2020 event, CEO Arvind Krishna said that every company will be an AI company going forward, for the innovation and scale can come from deploying AI. All sectors from hospitals and banks and startups are investing heavily in AI to make their systems more intelligent and efficient. Data scientists are at the core of all these innovations, who help companies make sense of data.
According to executives, firms are even willing to pay a premium for this talent even amid the crisis. A beginner can get a salary of Rs 8-10 lakh per annum and in a couple of years can step it up to Rs 16 lakh. A data scientist with five to six years of experience can get Rs 30 lakh.
courtesy: money control
Apple WWDC 2020 to take place on June 22: iOS 14 expected for iPhones
Apple has finally revealed when it will be holding its annual worldwide developers conference (WWDC) 2020. The event, which will be hosted online for the first time, will take place on June 22. The firm has also announced the Swift Student Challenge, through which student developers can submit their coding work.
“WWDC20 will be our biggest yet, bringing together our global developer community of more than 23 million in an unprecedented way for a week in June to learn about the future of Apple platforms,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “We can’t wait to meet online in June with the global developer community and share with them all of the new tools we’ve been working on to help them create even more incredible apps and services. We look forward to sharing more details about WWDC20 with everyone as we get closer to this exciting event.”
This year, the company is holding the conference online-only in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic. “The current health situation has required that we create a new WWDC 2020 format that delivers a full program with an online keynote and sessions, offering a great learning experience for our entire developer community, all around the world. We will be sharing all of the details in the weeks ahead,” said Schiller last month.
At the conference, Apple usually unveils the next major iterations of iOS, watchOS, iPadOS, tvOS and macOS. These also hint the arrival of new device later in the year. This time we are expecting Apple to reveal iOS 14 for iPhones.
courtesy: hindustan times
Govt Issues Notice Against Wipro For Benching 300 Employees
The letter by NITES states that Wipro BPO located in Pune (Phase 2 Hinjewadi) has benched its employees starting 23 April 2020 and that the jobs of 300 employees have been put at risk.
Further, the letter points out that this is a clear violation of Maharashtra state Government's and Central Government's directions, rules and regulations.
These employees include those working in the travel and hospitality vertical of Wipro.
The letter states, "On behalf of NITES, Maharashtra we would like to bring to your notice that we have received complaints from employees of Wipro BPO Pune Phase 2 Hinjewadi regarding putting employees on bench to maintain profitability of business under COVID-19 pandemic."
In the letter, NITES demands that the labour commissioner office take strict action against Wipro BPO in Pune stating reasons that the firm has failed to follow the basic policies of Human Rights and violated Maharashtra state government's rule and regulation.
Another employee has also seconded this development and said that employees have been benched by the organization by late April. He revealed that when the employees are put on bench, they are given a specified time limit to find projects. However, it is unclear whether they would be laid off in case they arent able to find any.
In a startling development, it has been revealed that leading IT company Wipro has benched around 300 employees during this lockdown phase, and as a result, their salaries have been slashed.
Maharashtra based IT union National Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES) has complained about this to the Pune Labour commissioner about this. And based on this complaint, office of the Labor Commissioner has issued a notice to Wipro.
On the other hand, Wipro's CFO, Jatin Dalal, has revealed that the company's condition is worse than it was during the 2008 global financial crisis due to its unpredictability.
Saurabh Govil, Chief Human Resources Officer, Wipro said, "We will look at if people can go on furloughs and leaves. If sub-contractor costs can come down and if we can deploy people there. We will have to cut costs wherever possible. These are tough times and we may have to take tough decisions."
The company has also halted revenue guidance due to the lack of clarity and deferred promotions and stopped wage hikes as well.
However, the company has penned a statement that says, "The speculation related to the workforce is unfounded and has no basis. Wipro categorically denies these malicious rumors. Wipro reiterates that there are no retrenchment plans. Also, we request you not to misrepresent or misinterpret intra-company surveys that are undertaken from time to time on various topics. The company has well defined policies and people practices in place to take care of its employees.
Google releases Flutter 1.17 and Dart 2.8 stable SDKs for app development
Flutter is a cross-platform programming framework, aiming to solve the woes of developing cross-platform apps without the mess of non-native code. With knowledge of the Dart programming language, a developer can build apps for Android, iOS, web, and desktop with a unified UI look across all. Flutter 1.9 brought macOS and Catalina support in an alpha state, while v1.12 release matured their support past the pre-alpha state. Now, Google is out with a new v1.17 release of Flutter and v2.8 release of Dart, marking them as the first stable releases for Flutter and Dart in 2020.
Last month, Google had announced changes to its release process. The company's earlier process lacked clarity on when releases would be built, what code would be in it, and so on. Now, Google plans to ship stable releases on a roughly quarterly cycle. This by itself posed a few challenges, as the release infrastructure had to be retooled for the new release process. Now, Flutter 1.17 is being released to the stable channel for developers. Google has closed 6,339 issues since their previous Flutter 1.12 release, and they have closed more bugs than have been opened this year, leading to a net decrease of ~800 issues.
In addition to bug fixes, Flutter 1.17 brings substantial performance improvements, improved support for Metal on iOS, and includes new Material widgets.
Apps built with Flutter 1.17 versus older releases will see a 20-37% speedup for the default navigation case in which there are opaque routes with no transparency. There's also a considerable improvement in app sizes built with Flutter 1.17. For example, the Flutter Gallery sample is now 8.1MB in 2020 versus 9.6MB at the end of 2019. For memory usage, the 1.17 release brings a 70% memory reduction in fast scrolling through large images.
Metal is Apple's low-level graphics API that provides nearly direct access to the underlying GPU of iOS devices. Flutter now uses Metal by default when building for supported iOS devices, making Flutter apps run faster. The improved Metal support improves rendering speeds of iOS apps by about 50% on average. On iOS devices that don't fully support Metal, namely devices with iOS versions lower than 10 and released before the A7 processor, Flutter falls back to OpenGL.
Flutter 1.17 adds support for new Material widgets. There are also updates to existing widgets. For instance, NavigationRail helps developers to add responsive app navigation models to apps and is great for apps that can switch between mobile and desktop form factors. DatePicker and TextSelection overflow widgets have also been updated: DatePicker's new visuals match the updated Material guidelines and add a new text input mode, while TextSelection now has improved fidelity for iOS and Android when buttons are longer than can be displayed without overflowing. Lastly, Google is also shipping the new Animations Package that provides pre-built animations implementing the new Material motion specification.
Other changes in Flutter 1.17
Google has completed implementing the Type Scale portion of the 2018 Material Design specification without breaking existing Flutter apps.
Google Fonts for Flutter v1.0 is also now available. This lets developers experiment with and use any font from fonts.google.com in their app. The developer can decide whether to bundle the font with the APK or whether the user receives the font by downloading it from the API.
Google has improved the accessibility of Flutter apps with fixes to scrolling, text fields, and other input widgets.
Google is also preparing to swap out the current version of Dart DevTools with the new Flutter version. Developers can test this new version by starting DevTools and then clicking the "breaker" icon in the top-right hand corner of DevTools. The biggest improvement in the new Flutter version of Dart DevTools is the new Network tab which shows the network traffic for your Flutter app when you hit the "Record" button.
Another improvement is an experimental "fast start" option allowing you to start Flutter app debugging up to 70% faster when you're building an app for Android.
Google is also giving a shoutout to the Superformula team for remaking the entire MGM Resorts Android app in Flutter.
Dart is the programming language used for building apps in Flutter. With the release of the Dart 2.8 SDK, Google is introducing a couple of changes:
Improvements to the pub client tool, which is used to manage packages downloaded from the pub.dev package repository.
Google has improved the performance of pub get by adding support for parallel fetching of packages and deferring pub run precompilation.
Google has also added a new tool (pub outdated) for ensuring package dependencies are kept up-to-date.
Preparation for Sound null safety, since null references are a common source of application crashes that happen when code attempts to read a variable that has a null value.
Google is preparing to add support for sound null safety in Dart, which will ensure that all variables expressed hold non-null values.
Implementing sound null safety is a huge undertaking that will initially cause breaks in the Dart language and libraries. Google wants developers to be aware of these breaking changes and file any issues on their issue track.
Video link -
courtesy: xda developers
Future iPhones could come with this cool new audio technology
Apple's iPhones are some of the most advanced smartphones in the market right now. The company leaves no stone unturned in bringing new features and technologies to its smartphones. Now, a new report hints that the company is working on a cool new technology that would improve the audio quality of iPhones by manifolds.
A newly published Apple patent describes that the company is bringing binaural recording to its future iPhone models.
To give you some idea about this technology, binaural recording of sounds leads to a full 3D sound capture. In simple words, devices with this technology are able to reproduce the exact sound scene, which gives the listener the sensation of 'being there'.
In its patent, as noted by Patently Apple, the company says that the binaural recording "can be accomplished through spatial rendering of audio inputs using Head Related Transfer Functions (HRTF), which modifies a sound signal in order to induce the perception in a listener that the sound signal is originating from any point in space."
The company also says that while this approach is compelling for virtual reality VR applications, wherein a user can interact both visually and audibly in a virtual environment, in traditional video capture applications binaural audio can distract a user. "In contrast, monophonic or traditional stereophonic recordings may not provide a sufficient sense of immersion," the patent says.
The patent then dwells into the details as to how this technology would be implemented. You can take a peek at Apple's patent here.
As far as the timeline of implementation of this technology is concerned, there is no word on when Apple iPhones will be able to make binaural recording or if at all this technology will ever make it to iPhones. For now, all we can do is sit tight and wait for Apple to give us a clue about its future plans.
courtesy: hindustan times
Guidelines out for companies willing to work with 33% staff
The authorities of Gurgaon and Noida have issued detailed guidelines for companies willing to open their offices with 33% workforce.
The guidelines mandate companies to strictly observe the social distancing protocol, including restricting the number of people in a lift, providing health insurance to workers and random testing for Covid-19.
The companies have also been advised to keep a one-hour difference between two shifts.
"We have asked the companies to adhere to the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). They will have to sanitise the premises and ensure social distancing," said Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) CEO VS Kundu.
The Uttar Pradesh government has also issued separate protocols for industries and private companies, including those based in Noida, which lies in the 'red zone'.
The local administration has allowed 33% workforce to attend office though employees coming from outside Noida will not be allowed.
"Companies have been asked to do RT-PCR test of 5% staff on random basis. In meetings or training, employees should sit at least 6 ft away from each other," a Noida administration official said.
The work space providers are also taking necessary precautions before re-starting work.
"While we are putting in place all the recommended practices like deep sanitisation of all our centres, regular and strict cleaning of all the touch-points, and continuous temperature monitoring at the entry gate, we will also be informing and updating clients about the practices being put in place," said Akshita Gupta, co-founder and CMO of NCR-based ABL Workspaces.
courtesy - indiatimes
Google - There Is More To Rankings Than Just Quality
Gary Illyes from Google said on Twitter "there's more to ranking than just quality." He added a fact, that Google uses "hundreds of signals to offer users the most relevGoogle - There Is More To Rankings Than Just Qualityant piece of content for their query." Sometimes other ranking signals can push a lesser quality page above the higher quality page in the Google search results.
What does this mean? Gary explained "sometimes that means that indeed they get the highest quality, other times it may mean that they get lower quality, but much faster."
In short, he said that Google uses "hundreds of signals" for ranking web pages in search. So it is not just about, is this page the highest quality page - there are many other signals Google uses for rankings
content courtesy: searoundtable
Because of IT People
The whole world is in Corona crisis but IT people are working from home and office.
Because of IT people All banking systems continue to function.
Because of IT people the stock trading system continues as it is
Because of IT people All hospitals are functioning because of websites and softwares
Because of IT people ATM software works 24 hours a day to keep it running smoothly,
Because of IT people 24x7 hours of monitoring to keep all websites running,
Because of IT people Internet, phone services are running because softwares that IT people manage.
Because of IT people There are millions of mobile apps that you use every day because of IT
Because of IT people You get uninterrupted Updates on all the news channels because of the news softwares
Because of IT people All entertainment channels are functional because of softwares
Facebook WhatsApp etc. Social media is functioning efficiently today because of IT people.
Because of IT people Your kids are learning online because of IT.
Because of IT people
Pharmaceutical software are running and managed by IT researching software is made by IT people,
All lab test reports are made.
Because of IT people The software that manages the power grid are maintained by IT
There is nothing in the world today that does not require computers and softwares
IT people are working from home so as to ensure everything continues to run smoothly.
*Everyone is saluting to life saving doctors, nurses, police, cleaners, .....*
*But All IT guys who are working behind the scenes and are making the life go deserve even bigger Salute.*
Facebook AI launches Blender, an open-source chatbot
Facebook has launched Blender, an open-domain chatbot for more in-depth and human-like conversations.
Facebook stated that Blender is the first chatbot to build a diverse set of conversational skills.
67 percent evaluators concluded that Blender sounds more human than Google's chatbot Meena.
Facebook's AI has built an open-sourced Blender, the largest, open-domain chatbot, the tech giant's blog noted.
It has been trained on 9.4 billion parameters -- nearly 4 times as many as Google's Meena and more than 10 times as many as the previous largest OS
chatbot available on the internet, Engadget reported.
Facebook stated that Blender is the first chatbot to build a diverse set of conversational skills which include empathy, knowledge and personality in one system.
The bot in terms of engagement feels "more human" according to human evaluators, the blog noted.
To feel more human-like, the bot is designed in such a way that it can assume a persona, discuss nearly any topic, and show empathy -- in natural, 14-turn conversation flows.
Facebook stated the composition used in making the AI. The bot uses transformer neural networks on large amounts of conversational data.
Facebook stated that the chatbot uses previously available public domain conversations that have 1.5 billion training examples of extracted conversations.
"Our neural networks are too large to fit on a single device, so we utilized techniques such as column-wise model parallelism, which allows us to split the neural network into smaller, more manageable pieces while maintaining maximum efficiency," Facebook stated.
Stephen Roller, a research engineer at Facebook's AI lab (FAIR) told Engadget "There are a lot of sophisticated techniques that you have to use in terms of how you chop this thing up. If you split it over different devices and chop it up like the wrong way, then you're going to lose that efficiency that you have and you're not going to be able to scale to these terabyte-sized data sets that we've been working with."
Facebook said that it has introduced Blended Skill Talk (BST) for training and evaluating desirable skills like the use of personality, knowledge, and display of empathy.
Further in the composition goes beam search, token sampling and n-gram blocking.
"To make sure conversational agents don't repeat themselves or display other shortcomings, researchers typically use a number of possible generation strategies after the model is trained," Facebook notes.
To test the bot, it was kept against Meena, Google's chatbot which has not been released yet. The blog states that human evaluators were shown a series of dialogues between humans paired with each respective chatbot.
After being presented with Meena in action and Blender in action, 67 percent of evaluators concluded that Blender sounds more human.
courtesy: india today
Following the government order of letting cab aggregators operate in orange and green zones, Uber has confirmed that it will start operating from Monday (May 4, 2020) in select regions. "If you must travel, Uber is ready to serve residents in these zones from Monday, May 4, 2020. Riders will constantly be notified with further information and the status of specific cities through our app," says the firm.
Users will have to use the Uber app to choose from available rides in their areas. In green zone, Uber recommends that not more than two riders should travel in a single ride at a time, besides the driver. Also, no one should sit next to the driver while travelling.
Areas covered in green zone are Cuttack, Guwahati, Jamshedpur, Kochi, Silvassa and Daman.
The orange zone areas include Amritsar, Gurgaon, Panchkula, Tiruchirapalli, Asansol, Hubli, Prayagraj, Udaipur, Bhubaneshwar, Kozhikode, Puducherry, Vapi, Coimbatore, Mangalore, Rajkot, Vishakhapatnam, Dehradun, Mehsana, Rohtak, Durgapur, Mohali, Thiruvananthapuram, Ghaziabad, Nadiad and Thrissur.
The aggregator has confirmed that it won't be operating in red zones for now. "Our services remain suspended in all cities which fall under the red zone. However, we'll continue to serve our communities in this zone with Uber Essential and UberMedic."
Uber Essential is available in Bangalore, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Indore, Mumbai, Nashik, and Ludhiana. UberMedic is available in Delhi. Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Kolkata, Patna, Lucknow, Noida, Kanpur, Prayagraj, Agra, Ghaziabad, Jamshedpur, Surat, Guwahati.
Uber safety guidelines:
Uber has mentioned some safety guidelines that it is taking to keep drivers and riders safe.
-If you're sick, please stay home.
-Wash your hands with soap or use a sanitizer before and after every ride.
-It's mandatory to wear a face mask/ covering during an Uber ride. If you sneeze or cough, do so into your elbow or a tissue.
-You can either open the windows for ventilation or ask your driver to switch on the A/C in the fresh air mode only.
-Whenever possible, please use digital payments.
courtesy: hindustan times
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Starting February 15, 2021, G Suite accounts will only allow access to apps using OAuth. Password-based access will no longer be supported.
To strengthen G Suite accounts against hijacking attempts, we'll be turning off access to apps that can access Google accounts with only a username and password, called Less Secure Apps (LSA).
Access will be turned off in stages, according to the following timeline:
June 15, 2020 - Users who try to connect to an LSA for the first time will no longer be able to do so. This includes third-party apps that allow password-only access to Google calendars, contacts, and email such as CalDAV, CardDAV and IMAP. Users who have connected to LSAs prior to this date will be able to continue using them until usage of all LSAs is turned off.
February 15, 2021 - Access to LSAs will be turned off for all G Suite accounts.
What do my customers need to do?
To continue using email, contacts, or calendar tools with their G Suite accounts, customers need to switch to a more secure type of access called OAuth. This connection method allows apps to access account information with a digital key instead of requiring users to reveal their username and password. Instructions for updating email, contacts, and calendar apps are included in the customer message below.
What can I do to support my customers?
We've contacted your affected customers about this change. To better prepare your customers, we recommend taking the following actions as soon as possible:
Carefully review the notification we sent to your customers (copied below). It includes details about switching to third-party apps that use OAuth to securely access G Suite account information.
Follow up with your customers to provide additional support as needed.
Thanks for choosing G Suite.
Cheques Transactions to be BAN soon in INDIA
Are you using cheque book for digital transactions.Make sure that you make alternative arrangements because the Narendra Modi Government may soon ban the usage of cheques in order to speed up the acceleration of digital transactions and move towards the less cash society.
Government officials have said that "the decision has already being taken and it would be announced in the next budget session". They have also said that the government has taken this decision after consulting experts and it would have the following benefits
# Digital Transactions
Currently, many high-end digital transactions are done through cash and cheques are used to withdraw cash.Govt feels that cheques are withdrawn more high-end transaction would be a shift to digital platforms such as IMPS, RTGS and NEFT. Although there is a ban on cash transaction above Rs 2 lakhs this doesn't apply to cheques as there is no limit on cash withdrawal using cheques.
# Reduction in pending cases
Currently, many cheque bounce cases are filed in courts and these take a long time to solve as these are civil cases and these are not filed in consumer courts and this adds backlog to the Judiciary. If cheques are abolished people would shift to the digital transaction and there are various platforms available to complain if a digital transaction fails and thereby reducing the judiciary backlog and they can concentrate on other important cases.
BHIM App - Digital Payment Transactions via Finger Print - NO CARD/CASH
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched a UPI (United Payments Interface) based app called BHIM, short for Bharat Interface for Money. The BHIM app is a straightforward UPI app, which would allow anyone to make simple digital payments directly from their bank account, and it is now available for download.
The BHIM app is supposed to support Aadhaar-based payments, where transactions will be possible with just a fingerprint impression, but that facility is yet to start.
The UPI-based BHIM app allows anyone to pay or receive money through online banking, unlike a wallet where you have to first load the money before you can use it.
"Be it a smartphone or feature phone of Rs 1,000-1,200, BHIM app can be used. There is no need to have Internet connectivity," says PM Modi. "One only needs a thumb. There was a time when an illiterate was called 'angutha chchap'. Now, time has changed. Your thumb is your bank now. It has become your identity now."
Let's take a closer look at everything you need to know about the BHIM app.
Also seeBHIM app explained in 10 points
What is BHIM app?
With the BHIM app, anyone can send or request money through the app to make a digital payment. The app is linked to your bank account, so you don't have to load money in it unlike a wallet, and a merchant does not have to worry about transferring the money back to their bank account.
How to download BHIMP app?
Download the BHIM app by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on Google Play to start using the free Android app.
How to download BHIM app for iPhone?
BHIM app is presently now available on Android and will come to iPhone 'soon'.
How exactly does the app work?
BHIM lets you choose your preferred bank, after it has verified your mobile number. You get an SMS, so it's best to use the same number as the one that's linked to the bank account. BHIM will ask you to set a 4-digit passcode. Pick something you won't forget easily because you'll need the code every time you open the app.
The app will then ask you to select your bank. If your account is UPI activated, it will reflect the relevant number. You'll see options to send and receive money, and transact via IFSC. If UPI is not activated, you can put in six digits of your debit card number, and the expiry date, after which the app will let you use it.
To send money, type in the mobile number or VPA address. BHIM will verify the payee. Type in the amount, and hit pay. If the payee doesn't have UPI, tap on the three dots above the send money option. The ACCOUNT + IFSC option will open up, where you can put in the details.
One problem currently is that you can access only one account per mobile number. So if your number is linked to two accounts, you will have to disable the selected one and go back to the bank selection option.
How do I use BHIM app?
After you download the BHIM app, you'll have to register your bank account through the app, and set a UPI PIN. Your mobile number is your payment address, and you can start transacting. Through the app, you can send or receive money to a phone number, check balance, or scan a QR code to make a payment without sharing a phone number.
Using the BHIM app, money can also be sent to non-UPI banks through IFSC, like you do with normal net banking.
Does the BHIM app work on feature phones?
Apart from the Android app, the interface behind the BHIM app can be accessed using USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) from feature phones - you will need to dial *99# to access it. With this method, an Internet connection will not be required to use the core functionality behind the BHIM app.
What banks support the BHIM app?
All the major banks are supported by the BHIM app - as long as the bank supports UPI, you will be able to access your money through the BHIM app.
The list of banks supported by the BHIM app is as follows:
Bank of Baroda
Bank of India
Bank of Maharashtra
Catholic Syrian Bank
Central Bank of India
Indian Overseas Bank
Karur Vysya Bank
Kotak Mahindra Bank
Oriental Bank of Commerce
Punjab National Bank
South Indian Bank
Standard Chartered Bank
State Bank of India
Union Bank of India
United Bank of India
What are the BHIM app transaction limits?
There is a maximum of Rs. 10,000 per transaction permitted, and Rs. 20,000 within 24 hours.
What's so special about BHIM then?
BHIM also has options to transfer via IFSC and MMID as well for non-UPI banks. It indicates the government has decided to go with one app that will enable digital payments via UPI. Of course, for BHIM to be of use to a majority of people, everyone must start accepting and activating UPI as a payment method.
As of now, iOS users are out of this system -- and Apple devices are used by affluent users who are often likely to do a lot of digital transactions. From an infrastructure point of view, there's a long way to go before BHIM becomes India's default payments app. The Internet is spotty or non-existent across vast swathes of the land. And the Aadhaar-based payments part for BHIM is yet to be rolled out fully
Millions of Google accounts compromised after Android malware attack
Malicious software designed to attack Android smartphones has breached the accounts of more than a million Google users, security researchers said Wednesday.
The report by Check Point Software Technologies said the malware dubbed Gooligan targets devices running Android 4.0 and 5.0, which represent nearly 74 percent of mobile devices using the Google-powered operating system.
The attacks can steal email addresses and authentication data stored on the devices to access sensitive data from Gmail, Google Photos, Google Docs and other services, Check Point said.
"This theft of over a million Google account details is very alarming and represents the next stage of cyber-attacks," said Michael Shaulov, Check Point's head of mobile products.
"We are seeing a shift in the strategy of hackers, who are now targeting mobile devices in order to obtain the sensitive information that is stored on them."
Check Point said researchers discovered Gooligan's code in an application last year and that a new variant appeared in August 2016, affecting some 13,000 devices per day. About 57 percent of those devices are located in Asia and about nine percent are in Europe.
"The infection begins when a user downloads and installs a Gooligan-infected app on a vulnerable Android device, or by clicking on malicious links in phishing attack messages," the company said in a statement.
Attackers can gain control over the device and generate revenue by fraudulently installing apps from Google Play and rating them on behalf of the victim.
Check Point said it reported the details of the malware to Google, and that the tech giant indicated it would take steps to protect users.
Google did not immediately respond to an AFP query.
Courtesy: Economic Times
Saithan Hunts for Jayalakshmi
Vijay Antony released his first 10 mins of movie officially in his channel to create tempt about this thriller concept. This might be the very bold move in Indian cinemas. Again, the movie story is based on the great writer Sujatha.! No longer available
500, 1000 rupees notes will not be a legal tender from midnight