Tech

Microsoft overtakes Apple to capture spot of most valuable US firm

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Microsoft has surpassed Apple in order to become most valuable US firm. Microsoft at present possesses $753.3 billion in market capitalisation.

Apple, which became the first $1-trillion US company in August, came down to $746.8 billion on Friday, owing to lower-than-expected iPhone sales amid reports of its suppliers cutting cost and workforce.

While, Amazon with $736.6 billion is currently at third and Alphabet (the parent company of Google) with $725.5 billion is at the fourth spot.

Earlier in October, Microsoft recaptured its second spot in irder to become most valuable US firm, dethroning Jeff Bezos’ Amazon. The latest development came after Amazon reported disappointing quarterly numbers.

Apple Inc topped the list at over $1 trillion after crossing that threshold in September. Microsoft’s market capitalization was Wall Street’s highest in late 1998 through early 2000 before the dot-com bubble burst.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is not budging from introducing new tools and features to fight Google’s popular services. In its latest attempt at luring more people to use its products, the company has added a digital health tracker to its Android Launcher.

The Microsoft Launcher 5.1 beta release comes with a digital health section that tracks your total screen time, number of unlocks, and session lengths, Engadget reported.

In addition to that, there’s also a ‘hey Cortana’ voice control shortcut in the launcher. You can also sync both Sticky Notes and To-Do entries across devices. Interestingly, the digital health tracker is supported on devices running Android 4.2 and later, allowing even the old hardware owners do a check on their digital well-being.

Nisha Shiwani has worked in many companies in various capacities and in her free time loves to express herself through her articles. She is based out of the pink city Jaipur.

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Tech

Vodafone introduces yearly prepaid plan for Rs 1,499; offers unlimited calling, data benefits and more

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Vodafone India has introduced a new prepaid recharge plan priced at Rs. 1499, which offers unlimited calling and data benefits. The yearly plan is valid for 365 days and also includes Vodafone Play subscritpion and unlimited national roaming.
The plan includes unlimited calling, with 1GB high-speed 3G / 4G data daily and 100 SMSes per day.
The users can download up to 365GB data through the validity period and once the daily limit of 1GB is hit, users can continue with high-speed downloads by paying 50 paise per MB.
Vodafone’s new plan is seen as to counter Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio’s packs and Bharti Airtel’s offers.
The Vodafone plan with compete with Rs 1,699 plan from Reliance Jio. Under this plan, Jio users get unlimited local and national calls without any FUP, and 100 local and national SMS daily. The plan includes access to JioTV, JioMovies and JioSaavn Music, among other apps.
The Jio plan comes with 365 days validity, and offers unlimited high-speed data capped at 1.5GB per day. This means, users can download up to 547.5GB data through the validity at 4G speeds. Also, once the daily limit is hit, the speed can be throttled down to 64Kbps until midnight.

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Gadgets

Vivo Y91 to reportedly launch in India for Rs 10,990 soon

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Vivo is reportedly planning to a new Y-series smartphone in India soon. After the recent launch of Vivo Y93, the Chinese company is said to introduce a more affordable Vivo Y91 in the country at around Rs 10,990, reports 91mobiles. It is likely to come in two gradient finish color options of Starry Black and Ocean Blue.

The Vivo Y91 isn’t an entirely new device as it has already been on sale in the Philippines since November last year. The Vivo Y91 is expected to feature a 6.22 inches HD+ (720×1520 pixels) resolution display with 19:9 aspect ratio, and a waterdrop notch at the top. The handset is likely to incorporate MediaTek’s Helio P22 processor instead of Qualcomm Snapdragon 439, which comes in Y93.

The upcoming Vivo device is said to feature a dual rear-camera setup featuring a 13-megapixel primary sensor, and a 2-megapixel secondary sensor. At the front, the Vivo Y91 could pack an 8-megapixel selfie camera inside the display notch area. While the Y91 in the Philippines comes with 3GB of RAM, its India variant is said to feature only 2GB of RAM with 32GB of internal storage and there will be an option of microSD card expandability up to 256GB.

On the software front, the Vivo Y91 will offer Android 8.1 Oreo-based FunTouch OS and dual 4G VoLTE. The smartphone is said to feature facial recognition along with physical fingerprint sensor at the back by Vivo. It is noted that the whole package will be backed by a massive 4,030mAh battery.

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Gadgets

Xiaomi Redmi 6A flash sale today: Offer, price details and other specifications

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Xiaomi Redmi 6A  would go on flash sale today at 12 PM on Mi. Com. According to the information on the official Mi India website, the sale is set to kickoff at 12:00PM today. Besides, the sale of the device would also be continued on Amaon India.

The device would be available at starting at a price of Rs 5,999 for the base model with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage.

In terms of specifications, the Redmi 6A features a 5.45-inch full HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 18:9. It is powered by the MediaTek Helio P22 processor, paired with 2GB RAM. It includes an internal storage of 16GB along with a microSD card for expandable storage.

Running Android 8.1 Oreo-based MIUI, the device comes equipped with a 13MP rear camera along with a 5MP front-facing camera. Connectivity features include 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth v4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS/ A-GPS and a 3.5 headphone jack. A 3000mAh battery completes the package.

Earlier, Xiaomi on Thursday introduced two new large screen TVs – Mi LED TV 4X PRO (55) and Mi LED TV 4A PRO (43) -along with a debut in the home audio category with Mi Soundbar.

Xiaomi entered in the TV segment in India in 2018. Now, with the launch of these two products, it will look further to make its presence feel stronger than its competition.

Mi LED TV 4X PRO (55) comes with a large 55-inch (138.8cm) 4K UHD display with the panel featuring 10-bit colour depth, and support for HDR10. A capable set of internals drives the processing, including 20W stereo speakers tuned for louder sound and heavier bass with the outside topped with a beautiful metallic grey finish. Xiaomi intuitive Bluetooth remote, which features a built-in microphone, allows for easy control with the addition of Google Voice Search

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Science

Private FM channels to be permitted to broadcast AIR news

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Private FM channels will be allowed to broadcast All India Radio news in English and Hindi after the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Tuesday launched the facility.

The FM channels will have to carry the AIR news in an unaltered format and the service will be available free of cost on a trial basis till May 31 this year.

As per the terms and conditions, during the trial period, private FM broadcasters may avoid broadcasting in disturbed or border and Naxalism-affected areas.
Information and Broadcasting minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said the move empowers citizens.

This empowers me as a citizen. What else does a democracy need? We should be able to make our citizens aware and empowered. This was approved much before and I would like to congratulate the Information and Broadcasting Ministry officials for the nudge,” he said.

He said the All India Radio and the Prasar Bharati were in discussion on costs.

Our priority is awareness among citizens and secondary is revenue generation. We have made it available free of cost so that there are no further delays,” he added.

He said now that people will be listening to announcers from the All India Radio on different FM channels, it is also an occasion for the Prasar Bharati and the All India Radio to step up.

Through a televised message, Prasar Bharati chairman A Surya Prakash termed the initiative significant in this era of collaboration and convergence.

Anuradha Prasad, president, Association of Radio Operators of India, thanked the government for accepting the long-standing demand of private radio broadcasters to present news on their platform.

Private FM radio broadcasters would be permitted to broadcast AIR news bulletins in English and Hindi as per list of bulletins given in news schedule, subject to certain terms and conditions.

Any private FM broadcaster which intends to broadcast the news bulletins will first have to register with the News Services Division: All India Radio on its website.

The commercials which are broadcast during news bulletins shall also have to be carried along with the news in toto.

The private FM broadcasters will have to give due credit to the AIR for sourcing their news and will have to carry AIR news bulletins either simultaneously or deferred live by not more than 30 minutes.

In case of deferred live, an announcement should precede that it is a deferred live broadcast.

Union Information and Broadcasting Secretary Amit Khare, CEO, Prasar Bharati, Shashi Shekhar Vempati and DG, AIR F Sheheryar were among those present at the event.

 

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Featured

Crusader against big dams bestowed with prestigious Ramnath Goenka excellence in journalism award.

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The recipient of the coveted Ram Nath Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism, sr journalist n news anchor in NDTV Sushil Bahuguna deserves all appreciation n applause for his outstanding work in making documentaries on peoples’ problems especially those pertaining to the environmental hazards and displacement of poor n hapless villagers of the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand as well as other states reeling under abject poverty and becoming the incessant victims of the loot of the powers that be who arbitrarily accord massive contracts for huge dams thus leading to gigantic environmental hazards n displacement of civilisation.

Sr. investigative journalist of NDTV is the first journalist who had despite carrying out his usual duties as an anchor n newsreader in NDTV for several years has left no stone unturned to visit the high mountaineous terrains with his camera crew under unforeseen n challenging circumstances in 2013 June’s massive eclogical disaster and captured exclusive situations exposing the corrupt administrations n negligent officers n the system to ensure that due justice n relief is accorded to the actual sufferers.

His outstanding coverage and documentaries on ecological disaster of 2013 in Kedar valley, massive migration n exodus of villagers to cities, towns n metropolises from the Uttarakhand villages highlighting the abject poverty n woes of women thereafter and aftermath consequences of Pancheshwar Dam on the River Mahakali in the Kumaon n Nepal region likely to displace more than 30 thousand families living there since ages have been lauded and appreciated by one and all.

The prestigious GOENKA AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM bestowed on him by the union home minister Raj Nath Singh in the new year 2019, for the third consecutive year is indeed a matter of immense pride for the jornalistic fraternity of the country as well to the oppressed n depressed people of Uttarakhand who are unfortunately becoming the dire victims of the huge dams considered to be anti environment as well as anti civilization but unfortunately continued to go ahead with such coffer dams.

While wishing Sushil Bahuguna all the very best for this coveted recognition I wish, the successive governments learn lesson while awarding journalists like Sushil Bahuguna by putting a permanent full stop on the big dam projects in the country, once for all in the near future.

Primarily belonging to Garhwal, Uttarakhand, Sushil Bahuguna carved a niche for himself in journalism by his hard, dedicated n intellectual commitment to his profession by being a journalist with impeccable integrity. Today, he is a name of professional integrity in Indian journalism who’d taken up the cause of the poor, hapless, down troddens n the neglected with his hard n dilligent work. His third recognition speaks of this hard fact.

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Tech

Reliance Jio Happy New Year Offer: How to get 100% cashback

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Reliance Jio Friday announced a New Year offer under which it offers 100 per cent cashback on a recharge of Rs 399 in the form of coupons that can be availed on e-commerce portal AJIO.

“Jio in partnership with AJIO has introduced its Jio Happy New Year Offer. The offer provides 100 per cent cashback in form of AJIO coupon. Customers performing recharge of Rs 399 will get 100 per cent cashback in form of AJIO coupon. AIO coupon worth Rs 399 will be credited in ‘MyCoupons’ section of MyJio,” Jio said in a statement.The coupon credited can be redeemed on AJIO app and website on a minimum cart value of Rs 1,000.

“AJIO coupon worth Rs 399 can be redeemed over and above the existing AJIO discounts,” the statement said.The offer is applicable for both existing and new Jio users for recharges done between December 28, 2018, to January 31, 2019.The coupons received during this period can be redeemed on or before March 15, 2019, the statement said.

Reliance Jio has been coming up with New Year offers since the commencement of its business in 2016. Under the scheme, it has been offering services at effectively free rates.

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Science

Gaganyaan project: Three Indians to spend a week in space, to cost Rs 10,000 crores

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The Union Cabinet Friday approved the Gaganyaan project under which a three-member crew will be sent to space for seven days, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.The project will cost Rs 10,000 crore, he said at a press conference here.

The Gaganyaan project was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech.He had said the mission will be undertaken by 2022.India has already inked agreements with Russia and France for assistance in the ambitious project.

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Gaganyaan Programme with demonstration of Indian Human Spaceflight capability to low earth orbit for a mission duration ranging from one orbital period to a maximum of seven days. A human rated GSLV Mk-lll will be used to carry the orbital module which will have necessary provisions for sustaining a 3-member crew for the duration of the mission. The necessary infrastructure for crew training, realization of flight systems and ground infrastructure will be established to support the Gaganyaan Programme. ISRO will collaborate extensively with National agencies, laboratories, academia and industry to accomplish the Gaganyaan Programme objectives.

Expenditure:

The total fund requirement for the Gaganyaan Programme is within Rs.10,000 crore and includes cost of technology development, flight hardware realization and essential infrastructure elements. Two unmanned flights and one manned flight will be undertaken as part of Gaganyaan Programme.

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India

Good news: Noida’s Aqua Line gets go ahead from NMRC, seeks inauguration date from govt

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A final and mandatory safety inspection report has given the Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) the approval to launch commercial operations of the Aqua Line, officials said Friday.

With the approval, the NMRC has now written to the Uttar Pradesh government to finalise the date of inauguration of the much-awaited Aqua Line that would run between Sector 71 station in Noida and the Depot Station in Greater Noida, covering 29.7 km through 21 stations.

“The Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) report has been received and it has its sanction for the commercial operations of the metro service. The report also praised the civil and track work of the metro system, NMRC Executive Director P D Upadhyay said.

NMRC’s managing director has written to the state government for finalizing the date of inauguration, said Upadhyay, who was in Lucknow Friday, handed over a letter to Chief Secretary Anup Chandra Pandey.

He also said the fares of the Aqua Line would be decided in the NMRC Board meeting scheduled on December 28.

“Chairman Sanjay K Murthy, the additional secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs will chair the meeting, he added.

Earlier, the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) approved the second phase of the Metro link from Noida Sector 71 to Knowledge Park 5 in Greater Noida.

The extension will comprise nine stations and with a project cost of cost Rs 2,602 crores.

This decision was taken at the Authority’s 113th board meeting. “NMRC would be the nodal agency for the project. The first phase of the Metro project comprising five stations from Noida Sector 71 to Greater Noida Sector 2 is expected to cost around Rs 1521 crore, officials said.

The extended line of Noida Metro’s Aqua Linewill have a total of nine metro stations out of which two will be in Noida and seven will be in Greater Noida. The metro stations in Noida include sectors 122 and 123 and the metro stations in Greater Noida include sector 4, Ecotech 12, sectors 2, 3, 10, 12 and Knowledge Park V.

Akhilesh Yadav earlier had given its approval for construction of a 15-km Metro project.

“We have asked builders to contribute fund and generate ideas to lure investment and buyers,” said a senior official of UP government.

“We are adhering to the direction of the government. This project will change the fortune of this belt. We have decided to plan stress-free homes where we will offer facilities for all family members,” said Rahul Gupta, Director of Ace group.

“We believe that this project is crucial as it will benefit thousands of homebuyers who have shifted to the newly built apartment complexes in Greater Noida West and nearby Crossings Republik in Ghaziabad that has 36,000 housing units,” said Geetambar Anand, CMD, ATS.

Greater Noida West has around 3.5 lakh under-construction housing units of which around 40,000 are occupied.

 

 

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Science

Winter solstice 2018: Here’s everything you need to know about the shortest day of the year

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Today is the shortest day of the year, also known as the winter solstice. If you are not aware, Winter solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. This time it is even more special since skywatchers will also have an opportunity to witness a Full moon and meteor shower.

What does solstice mean?

The term ‘solstice’ is derived from two Latin words “sol” which means sun, and “sistere”, meaning standstill. The Sun seems to stand still in the winter sky, marking the shortest day and longest night of the year.

What is Winter Solstice?

To talk about the science behind winter solstice, it marks the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere since the sun is positioned at its most southerly position while directly overheating at the Tropic of Capricorn. On the other hand, the winter solstice also marks the longest day of in the Southern Hemisphere.

Winter Solstice 2018 date and time?

Just like every year, Winter solstice 2018 will also take place on December 21 and the exact timing for the 2018 winter solstice is 22:23 UTC (4:53 pm IST on December 22). As mentioned above, this Winter solstice 2018 is even more special as less than the day after the solstice, we will be able to see the last Full Moon of the year.

  •  On December 22 at 17:49 UTC, people will be able to see the last full moon of the year. The last full moon of the year is also known as Cold Full Moon, Long Night Moon and Cold Moon around the globe.

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Science

Srinagar shivers at minus 4.6 deg C, Kargil coldest in J-K at minus 15.8 deg C

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Kargil in Ladakh region was the coldest place in Jammu and Kashmir Monday as minimum temperature dipped to minus 15.8 degree Celsius, MeT Office said Tuesday.

Cold conditions continued in Kashmir valley and Ladakh, while there was some respite in the Jammu region.

The mercury in Leh dipped to minus 15.1 degree Celsius. In Srinagar, the night temperature settled at a low of minus 4.6 degree Celsius. Qazigund recorded a minus 5.3 degree Celsius, Kokernag town was at minus 4.8 degree Celsius, Kupwara recorded minus 5.9 degree Celsius, Pahalgam settled at minus 7.7 degree Celsius, the ski-resort of Gulmarg recorded a minus 7.6 degree Celsius, the weather office said.

The valley will experience dry weather for the week ahead, MeT department said.

However, in Jammu the night temperature improved slightly after continuous dip over the past week.

Jammu city recorded an increase of 0.7 degree celsius in the night temperature to settle at 5.1 degree Celsius, a MeT official said. Despite the slight improvement, the night temperature continued to remain four degrees below normal levels.

Places in the region also experienced marginal increase in night temperatures. Bhadarwah of Doda district recorded a low of 0.6 degree Celsius against the previous night’s minus 1.2 degree Celsius, he said.

Katra, the base camp for the pilgrims visiting Vaishno Devi shrine, recorded a minimum of 6.5 degree Celsius, while Batote town along Jammu-Srinagar national highway registered a night temperature of 3.6 degree Celsius, he said.

However, the nearby highway town of Banihal, recorded a dip in the night temperature which settled at 0.7 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said.

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