Twitter Says Sorry As CEO’s Photo In India With Placard Sparks Anger

Twitter Says Sorry As CEO's Photo In India With Placard Sparks Anger

Many on social media have accused Jack Dorsey of “hate mongering” against Brahmins (Reuters)

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has kicked up a social media storm in India after a picture of him with a placard saying “smash Brahminical patriarchy” went viral in one of the company’s fastest-growing markets.

The picture, posted on Twitter on Sunday by a journalist who was part of a group of women journalists, activists, writers whom Dorsey met during a visit to India last week, had him clutching a poster of a woman holding up a banner with the line that has offended many Indians.

Many on social media have accused Dorsey of “hate mongering” against Brahmins.

“Tomorrow if @jack is given a poster with anti Semitic messages in a meeting, will his team allow him to hold it up?,” TV Mohandas Pai, a former finance chief of software exporter Infosys, tweeted. “Why is that any different? Inciting hate against any community is wrong.”

Twitter India said the poster was handed to Dorsey by a Dalit activist when it hosted a closed-door discussion with a group of women to know more about their experience using Twitter.

It added the poster was a “tangible reflection of our company’s efforts to see, hear, and understand all sides of important public conversations that happen on our service around the world”.

Late on Monday, Vijaya Gadde, legal, policy and trust and safety lead at Twitter who accompanied Dorsey to India, apologised.

“I’m very sorry for this. It’s not reflective of our views. We took a private photo with a gift just given to us – we should have been more thoughtful,” she said in a tweet. “Twitter strives to be an impartial platform for all. We failed to do that here & we must do better to serve our customers in India.”


Total Dhamaal Actress Explains How Trolling Is ‘Good And Bad’

Total Dhamaal Actress Explains How Trolling Is 'Good And Bad'

Niharica Raizada photographed at a studio in Mumbai. (Image courtesy: Instagram)

Actress Niharica Raizada, who is excited about her forthcoming film Total Dhamaal, says that trolling on social media is good as well as bad. The actress during a promotional interview on Tuesday said, “Trolling is a good thing and a bad thing also. Anyone who wants to put across his opinion, they have every right to do so. If someone likes me and compliments me, I am happy with it and if someone doesn’t like me, I am happy with that too. People call me sexy all the time, and if this is trolling then it happens with me all the time. I don’t know what people think about me, but actually I have never experienced really bad trolling”

When asked about the change in the release date of Total Dhamaal which was earlier scheduled to release in December this year, Niharica said, “Now, Total Dhamaal is releasing next year. The makers have made the decision, and if they think they need a little more time for the film to be at its best then why not.”

There has been speculation that Total Dhamaal is releasing in 3D since the film has been shot with 3D cameras.


Social Media To Drop Weblinks Of Offending Articles Against Judge: Court

Social Media To Drop Weblinks Of Offending Articles Against Judge: Court

New Delhi: 

The Delhi High Court today directed two social media platforms to block the weblinks of an offending article levelling “scandalous” allegations against a sitting judge of the high court.

The court was hearing a plea in a contempt case against Swaminathan Gurumurthy, the editor of the Chennai-based weekly Thuglak magazine, for his tweets against the judge.

A bench of justices Hima Kohli and Manoj Kumar Ohri allowed the plea of advocate Rajshekhar Rao, on whose complaint the High Court had initiated on its own the contempt proceedings, seeking to implead various persons and entities as respondents.

The court allowed his application to replace Facebook India and Twitter India with their parent US-based firms, Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc, which are responsible for taking down the URLs from the platforms.

It directed the intermediaries to block the URLs/weblinks where the offending articles were uploaded by some private persons.

The court asked the alleged contemnors to file their response to the contempt notice and listed the matter for December 11.

The court had on October 29 issued contempt notice to Gurumurthy and sought his response.

Gurumurthy is also a part-time director of the Reserve Bank of India.

After a high court bench headed by Justice S Muralidhar passed an order on October 1 releasing rights activists Gautam Navlakha from house arrest in the Koregaon-Bhima violence case, Gurumurthy had tweeted remarks against the judge.

The high court, which took up the matter after receiving a letter from advocate Rao who sought contempt action against the scribe, had said the tweets and online video making allegations against the judge should be taken down.

Mr Rao, in his letter, has stated that the tweet was a deliberate attempt to attack the sitting high court judge.


Earlier in March this year, the high court had dubbed as “mischievous” certain tweets by the journalist in connection with its decision granting interim protection from arrest to Karti Chidambaram, son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case.


How Android Pie Could Change the Way You Use Your Phone

How Android Pie Could Change the Way You Use Your Phone

Android Pie was released earlier this week

Google is rolling out Android Pie, the latest version of its operating system, to phones across the globe – starting with its own Pixel devices.

While Google officially started the rollout on Monday, most won’t see their phones update this week. The company started pushing updates to its phones, as well as select models from smartphone makers including Sony, Essential, Xiaomi, and Vivo. Google did not specify a timeframe when it will come to other phone makers; that’s a decision that’s ultimately up to each phone company. In the past, it has taken months for a rollout to reach the Android ecosystem – in fact, the last Google Android OS was released in February 2018 and is currently only running on 12 percent of Android phones, according to Google’s metrics.

However, as the world’s most dominant operating system, changes to Android forecast how most of the world will be using their phones in the future. Here are some key things to know about Android Pie:

– AI? Aye-aye: Google’s been pretty clear that it sees its future lies in developing better artificial intelligence. Proof of that belief is all over Android Pie, from its features that read your battery consumption and adjust to your needs, to the “adaptive brightness” feature that does the same for the intensity of your screen.

Google’s also been working on its digital assistant – Google Assistant – to give people better answers to their questions and greater hands-free control over their phones. Those little assists are also showing up in text form, with what Google calls App Actions. App Actions will automatically suggest activities for you, based on the time of day and what you’ve done with your phone before.

Google offers this example: “Say it’s Tuesday morning and you’re preparing for your commute: you’ll be suggested actions like navigating to work on Google Maps or resuming an audiobook with Google Play Books. These little prompts will appear just below the search bar on your page of apps.

– Finding your way around: Android Pie also sports some cosmetic changes in part aimed at making it easier to search through your phone. The biggest change to the way Android looks is the navigation system, which now consists on one on-screen software button, rather than the three icons that have served as Android guides in the past.

With a single button, Android users will now have to swipe up to see their most recently used apps, or to switch back to the last app they had open.

– Digital well-being: Google’s also introduced its own set of tools aimed at giving people information on how they’re using their phones. These tools are still in early testing, even for those who are able to download the operating system. Google said in a blog post that they will fully launch in the “fall” but did not give a more specific time frame. For those that want to sign up for the beta, they’ll see features such as detailed breakdowns of how often they’re using particular apps. They’ll also get access to features such as “Wind Down” mode, which will put your phone into black-and-white at a prescribed bedtime.

– A deeper slice: Android Pie will also have a new feature, called app slices. (Yes, pun intended.) A “slice” is essentially a preview of an app: type something such as “Lyft” in the search bar, and you’ll get a look at the cost and time estimate for a ride near you without having to open the app. The goal here seems to be getting you into apps faster, but also to have more of your phone’s navigation come in through the search bar – rather than having you flip through pages of applications. It will roll out later this year.

Overall, Android Pie shakes up a lot about how we navigate our phones – which also happens to give Google more ways to touch your smartphone experience – with App Actions, with search and voice to eliminate some of the swiping and tapping to which we’ve all become accustomed.


It’s Almost Impossible to Escape Google’s Tracking, New Study Shows

It's Almost Impossible to Escape Google's Tracking, New Study ShowsGoogle’s sweeping capability to collect data makes it nearly impossible to escape the tech giant in the course of normal online activity, according to a new study published Tuesday.

The 55-page study, led by Vanderbilt University computer science professor Douglas Schmidt, said that an idle smartphone running Google’s Android operating system with its Chrome browser open sends data communications to Google’s servers as often as 14 times an hour. And while not using Google’s devices or services limits data collection, the dominance of Google’s advertising network makes it highly difficult to prevent Google from collecting some data, the study also highlights.

The study provides a broad look at the multiple aspects of Google’s techniques for collecting data, both through its services such as Maps, Hangouts chat and YouTube as well as through its DoubleClick Ad Network. It was paid for by Digital Content Next, a lobbying group that represents the digital publishing industry – The Washington Post is a member – and a frequent critic of Google. The group has previously criticised Google for its lack of moderation on YouTube as well as the company’s dominance, with Facebook, of the online advertising industry.

“These products are able to collect user data through a variety of techniques that may not be easily graspable by a general user,” Schmidt wrote in the paper’s conclusion. “A major part of Google’s data collection occurs while a user is not directly engaged with any of its products.”

Google in a statement questioned the study’s credibility.

“This report is commissioned by a professional DC lobbyist group, and written by a witness for Oracle in their ongoing copyright litigation with Google. So, it’s no surprise that it contains wildly misleading information,” the company said.

The report comes as Google faces increased scrutiny over how it collects location information, following an Associated Press investigation that revealed turning off the “location history” setting did not stop all location data collection. Two men in California filed lawsuits after the report, Ars Technica reported, alleging that Google had misled them about the extent of its tracking.

Schmidt found that two-thirds of the data Google collected from a smartphone during a 24-hour mock “day in the life” period was through passive means, meaning it was not volunteered by a person. He also said he found evidence that Google has the capability to link anonymised data with information from people’s Google accounts while they are signed out from their Google accounts or using a private browsing mode – called “incognito mode” – on Google’s Chrome browser. The study also claims Google can link anonymised data collected by advertising cookies to people’s Google accounts. Google makes the bulk of its money from advertising, which accounted for 86 percent of its revenue in its second-quarter earnings report.

When asked for specific points that are misleading, Google directed The Washington Post to its descriptions of how incognito mode and the Chrome browser record and track information, saying it does not link anonymous activity with people’s Google accounts once they sign in. In the case of private browsing, information is deleted when someone turns the mode off.

Google also said that it does not link anonymised data collected from advertising cookies with users’ accounts.


Sony Master Series A9F Bravia OLED TVs Launched in India

Sony Master Series A9F Bravia OLED TVs Launched in India

Taking its popular Bravia OLED TV lineup to a new level, Sony India on Monday launched the Master Series A9F Bravia OLED TV range of televisions in India, with features like Netflix calibrated mode, hands-free voice search, and TV centre speaker mode to work with home theatre systems.

Running Android TV 8.0 Oreo operating system, the new Sony OLED TV models start from Rs. 3,99,000 for the Bravia KD-55A9F, a 55-inch offering. The Bravia KD-65A9F on the other hand, goes up to Rs. 5,59,990, and features a 65-inch display. Both televisions will go on sale in India from September 20.

Sony says its Master Series A9F Bravia OLED TV lineup is equipped with its X1 Ultimate image processor, as well as a ‘pixel contrast booster’ – Sony’s panel controller for OLED TV. The X1 Ultimate is also said to be able to intelligently detect and analyse each object in the picture through Sony’s new object-based super-resolution mechanism for exceptional accuracy and detail. Together, the two will help the new range of TVs deliver 4K HDR picture quality and better contrast.

The Japanese electronics giant has incorporated “single slate design” in its new TV offering with only one stand in the back to hold it up. The Sony Master Series A9F Bravia OLED TVs also feature “Acoustic Surface Audio+” technology to facilitate multi-dimensional sounds.

Additionally, the Sony Master Series A9F Bravia OLED TVs also come with multi-lingual support, accommodating 11 Indian languages and over 14 international dialects.

“The TVs would provide a faster, easier and more intuitive interface for the consumers to use,” the company claimed


Google Partners With Mitsubishi, Nissan, and Renault for Android in Cars

Google Partners With Mitsubishi, Nissan, and Renault for Android in Cars

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi carmaking alliance said on Tuesday it will use Alphabet’s Google Android operating system in future vehicles – handing a victory to the US tech giant which seeks to carve out a bigger share of the infotainment market.

Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi, with combined sales of 10.6 million vehicles last year, said they will “integrate Google applications and services” including Maps and the voice-commanded Google Assistant into their cars.

The move, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, leans more heavily on big tech than many large or luxury rival carmakers have been willing to do, as they want to maintain control of customer relationships, data, and potentially significant future revenue from connected services.

In return, it will bring the full clout of Android’s thousands of applications to the Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi lineups – which include significant sales of affordably priced, no-frills cars in emerging markets.

The news also raises pressure on some automotive tech suppliers such as satellite navigation specialist TomTom. Its shares plunged by nearly a quarter on the news, to EUR 6.33 by 0925 GMT.

The Google partnership promises “rich user experiences that are currently available only outside the vehicle or, to a limited extent, by connecting an Android device to supported vehicles,” said the alliance’s development chief Hadi Zablit.

While many volume carmakers offer infotainment “mirroring” to pair with Apple iPhones or Android smartphones, premium rivals such as BMW and Daimler’s Mercedes are investing heavily in their own operating systems, vocal assistants, and connected services.

Some smaller manufacturers such as Geely-owned Volvo Cars have already decided to run Android Auto in future vehicles.

However, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi announcement may cause competitors to rethink costly standalone tech strategies, increasing pressure on their suppliers.

The first Android-equipped vehicles will launch in 2021, the alliance said on Tuesday, without disclosing any of the partnership’s financial terms


Nokia 6.1 Plus, Nokia 3 Receiving September Android Security Update in India: Report

Nokia 6.1 Plus, Nokia 3 Receiving September Android Security Update in India: Report

Nokia 6.1 Plus, priced in India at Rs. 15,999, was launched in late August

The Nokia 6.1 Plus ₹ 14,999 mid-range smartphone as well as the Nokia 3 ₹ 5,799 budget handset are reportedly receiving the Android security update for the month of September. The update will not be a surprise to the users of either handset as Nokia brand licensee HMD Global has been rather prompt in pushing out software updates for its smartphones. The changelog for the Nokia 6.1 Plus and Nokia 3 updates states that it only brings with it the September Android security update. The Nokia 6.1 Plus is priced in India at Rs. 15,999 and will be available via a flash sale tomorrow. Nokia 3 is a more affordable model and costs about Rs. 8,000.

The software updates for the two models are reportedly being pushed over the air, though users who have not received a notification in this regard can go to Settings to check for it. According to screenshots shared by NokiaPowerUser, the Nokia 6.1 Plus update is 71.8MB in size, while the Nokia 3 update measures 84.8MB. The report also claims that the smaller of the two models is receiving the update in Sri Lanka as well as Kurdistan, while only India is mentioned for the bigger model. However, it is not known whether other regions are receiving the same update or not.

The Nokia 6.1 Plus is a rival to the popular Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro ₹ 13,294 smartphone, and packs the same Snapdragon 636 processor. Its key specifications include the 5.8-inch full-HD+ (1080×2280-pixel) display, stock Android 8.1 Oreo software, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, and support for microSD card of up to 400GB capacity. Powered by a 3,060mAh battery, the smartphone supports 5V/ 2A fast-charging technology. It has a 16-megapixel + 5-megapixel dual camera setup on the back, and the selfie camera has a 16-megapixel sensor with f/2.0 aperture.


Google Appeals Record EUR 4.3 Billion EU Fine Over Android

Google Appeals Record EUR 4.3 Billion EU Fine Over Android

Google on Tuesday appealed the biggest ever anti-trust fine by the EU, which imposed an EUR 4.34 billion ($5 billion or roughly Rs. 37,100 crores) penalty on the US tech giant for illegally abusing the dominance of its operating system for mobile devices.

In an email to AFP, Google spokesman Al Verney confirmed that “we have now filed our appeal of the European Commission’s Android decision at the General Court of the European Union.”

In its July decision, Brussels accused Google of using the Android system’s huge popularity on smartphones and tablets to promote the use of its own Google search engine and shut out rivals.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager ordered Google to “put an effective end to this conduct within 90 days or face penalty payments” of up to five percent of its average daily turnover.

The sanction nearly doubled the previous record EU antitrust fine of EUR 2.4 billion, which also targeted Google, in that case for the Silicon Valley titan’s shopping comparison service in 2017.

Google provides Android free to smartphone manufacturers and generates most of its revenue from selling advertisements that appear along with search results.

But Vestager said Google had shut out rivals by forcing major phone makers including South Korea’s Samsung and China’s Huawei to pre-install its search engine and Google Chrome browser.

They were also made to set Google Search as the default, as a condition of licensing some Google apps. As a result, Google Search and Chrome are pre-installed on the “significant majority” of devices sold in the EU, the European Commission says.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai in July refuted the accusations arguing that the decision ignores the fact that Android phones compete with Apple phones that run on iOS with their own pre-installed apps.

The EU decision “rejects the business model that supports Android, which has created more choice for everyone, not less,” Pichai added in a blog post.

But according to industry-tracker Gartner, Android dominated the smartphone market with a share of 85.9 percent last year, to around 14 percent for Apple’s iOS.

Some 1.3 billion Android smartphones were sold last year, compared with approximately 215 million running on iOS and 1.5 million with other operating systems, according to the research firm.

The appeal could take years to snake its way through the EU court system.


iOS 12.1 to Bring Group FaceTime and Dual-SIM Support, User Guide Confirms

iOS 12.1 to Bring Group FaceTime and Dual-SIM Support, User Guide Confirms

Apple has updated its iPhone User Guide for the upcoming release of iOS 12.1, indicating that the latest version of the mobile operating system (OS) will include Group FaceTime and dual-SIM support for its newly-launched iPhones.

The ebook, which serves as a digital manual for new iPhone users, now lists Group FaceTime as an iOS 12.1 feature.

It allows users to conduct FaceTime video conference calls with up to 32 participants.

“Available for free through Apple Books, the revised “iPhone User Guide for iOS 12.1″ is largely unchanged from a previous version created for iOS 12,” Apple Insider reported on Friday.

“There are, however, two major additions that confirm upcoming availability of features teased at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2018 in June and Apple’s iPhone unveiling last month,” the report added.

In addition to Group FaceTime, the user guide also notes dual-SIM functionality for iPhone XR ₹ 71,870, XS, and XS Max ₹ 98,499 will go live when the iOS point update sees release.

A tentpole feature of Apple’s latest smartphones, dual-SIM support allows iPhone users to utilise two cellular plans on a single device without constant SIM card swapping.

Apple’s solution relies on “Dual SIM Dual Standby technology”, which keeps both a physical SIM and an embedded eSIM – or a second physical SIM card in China – addressable simultaneously.

Apple has not specified a release date for iOS 12.1, though beta versions have been in testing since mid-September.

The update could coincide with a media event next week, where the company is expected to unveil new iPad Pro and Mac hardware.