The India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) has welcomed the Rs 18,100 crore Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme that has been approved for Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) battery storage in the country.
In a statement, ICEA that represents mobile and component manufacturers such as Apple, Motorola, Nokia, Foxconn, Wistron, Flextronics, Lava, Vivo and others, said that it would promote newer and niche cell technologies in the country.
"We at ICEA believes that the PLI scheme would give thrust to 'Make in India' initiative and will attract huge investments of Rs 45,000 crore plus in the coming years. With this push for ACC batteries, the sector would witness robust growth in the coming years," said Pankaj Mohindroo, Chairman, ICEA.
ACC batteries are the new generation of advanced storage technologies which stores electric energy as electrochemical and convert it back to electric energy as and when required.
The ACC covers major sectors, which are consumer electronics, mobiles, electric vehicles, advanced electricity grids, solar rooftop etc.
Mohindroo said that we need to work on securing the raw material supplies for these core technologies specially lithium and cobalt.
"Our import burden of Rs 20,000 crore will also turn into a big opportunity and would make the country a major hub in producing clean energy," he added.
The ACC battery storage manufacturers will be selected through a transparent competitive bidding process.
The manufacturing facility would have to be commissioned within two years. The incentive will be disbursed thereafter over five years.
( Courtesy - IANS )
In a bid to bring more engagement on its platform that is similar to TikTok, YouTube said that it plans to pay $100 million to creators who use YouTube Shorts.
Each month, the company will reach out to thousands of creators whose Shorts received the most engagement and views to reward them for their contributions.
They will also ask these creators to share their feedback so they can continue to improve the product experience.
"The Shorts Fund is the first step in our journey to build a monetization model for Shorts on YouTube," the company said in a blogpost on Tuesday.
"We are actively working on this and will take the feedback gathered from our community to help develop a long-term programme specifically designed for YouTube Shorts," it added.
The Shorts Fund is not limited to just creators in the YouTube Partner Programme. Creators will be eligible to participate if they create original content for Shorts and adhere to our Community Guidelines.
"We are excited to start rewarding creators for their contributions through the Shorts Find," the company said.
"At the same time, we will expand our Shorts player across more surfaces on YouTube to help people find new creators, artists and Shorts to enjoy," it added.
Earlier this year, YouTube previewed a new feature that will allow users to remix audio from videos across YouTube ï¿½ which includes billions of videos.
The company said it is starting to roll out to everyone that has access to our Shorts creation tools soon.
Microsoft reportedly won't be bringing its Windows 10X operating system variant to market as it has now been shelved, in favour of improving Windows 10 instead.
According to The Verge, citing Petri, Windows 10X will no longer ship this year, and the OS will likely never arrive in its current form.
The company had originally been planning to deliver Windows 10X, a more lightweight and simplified version of Windows, alongside new dual-screen devices like the Surface Neo. That was before the pandemic hit, and Microsoft decided to prioritise Windows 10X for single-screen laptops instead.
The switch was designed to position Windows 10X as more of a Chrome OS competitor. Windows 10X included a simplified interface, an updated Start menu without Live Tiles, multitasking improvements, and a special app container for performance and security.
Microsoft's overall goal with 10X was to create a stripped-back, streamlined and modern cloud-powered version of Windows.
Microsoft has always seen Chromebooks as a big threat in businesses and schools, but over the past year, there has been a big increase in demand for regular Windows laptops.
Despite a global chip shortage, the PC market hasn't slowed down during the pandemic, the report said.
Microsoft has directly benefited from increased Windows revenue. Windows OEM revenue grew by 10 per cent in the recent quarter, reflecting strong consumer PC demand. Windows non-pro OEM revenue also grew by 44 per cent.
A week after streaming media player Roku removed the YouTube TV app for new users, Google is countering by bringing the cord-cutting service to the main YouTube client.
Google has placed a aceGo to YouTube TV" shortcut at the bottom of the main YouTube menu on Roku devices. This will load the YouTube TV experience that is no longer available as a standalone application.
This strategy comes as the Play Movies & TV client is shutting down in favour of one YouTube app for everything, 9To5Google reported.
This update will be available to all YouTube TV members on Roku over the next few days, and we will expand to as many devices as we can over time, the report said.
The company said it is "still working to agree with Roku to ensure continued access to YouTube TV for our mutual customers".
They currently still have access to the app, but Google is having "discussions with other partners to secure free streaming devices in case YouTube TV members face any access issues on Roku.
Outside of the current YouTube TV dispute, Google said it's "also in ongoing, long-term conversations with Roku to certify that new devices meet our technical requirements".
Roku is said to be unhappy with a requirement that future hardware supports the more efficient, but computationally-intensive AV1 codec. This requires more expensive chipsets and, therefore, raises the cost of streaming devices.
The current deal with Roku for the main YouTube client runs until December of 2021.
Aiming to offer top-notch smartphones for its mid-premium segment users in the country, Vivo recently launched a new smartphone Vivo V21 5G in the India market, that is currently witnessing a plethora of options in this price range.
The smartphone comes in two storage variants, 8GB+128GB and 8GB+256GB, priced at Rs 29,990 and Rs 32,990, respectively.
It comes in three colour options -- sunset dazzle, dusk blue and arctic white.
The new Vivo V21 5G showcase a unique OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) front camera housed within one of the industry's thinnest smartphone designs to deliver an unmatched mobile experience.
As the name of the phone suggests, the Vivo V21 5G succeeds the Vivo V20 phones from last year.
We used the Vivo V21 5G with 8GB+256GB storage variant in sunset dazzle colour for a few days and here is how it performed.
In terms of design, the stylish design and the sunset dazzle variant of the smartphone make it look more beautiful.
The smartphone sports a 6.44-inch Full-HD+ (1,080×2,404 pixels) AMOLED display with a 20:9 aspect ratio and a 90Hz refresh rate that has a fingerprint reader. The display panel has a waterdrop-style notch that houses the single selfie camera.
The display is quite good with proper brightness and decent view angles. The 90Hz refresh rate ensured a silky-smooth feel whether watching videos, playing games, or switching between apps.
While using the smartphone under direct sunlight, we did not face any issues as it comes with the right level of brightness. Also, we noticed that the colour reproduction remains intact even when you are viewing the screen from different angles.
Overall, the smartphone looks classy and will surely impress people who love to spend time on the OTT platforms in the pandemic times at home.
In terms of camera, the smartphone sports a rear camera module similar to the one on the Vivo V20 series.
The smartphone includes a 64MP primary camera with f/1.79 aperture and OIS support, accompanied by an 8MP wide-angle camera with f/2.2 aperture and a 2MP macro shooter. On the front, the smartphone packs a 44MP camera with optical image OIS support and f/2.0 aperture.
The images clicked from the rear and front camera were nice and clear under direct sunlight or bright light as well as low light conditions.
The rear camera also supports 4K video recording.
The smartphone supports modes such as AI night portrait, eye autofocus, light filters, kid face beauty, beauty mark retention, head slimming, double exposure, video face beauty, and dual-view video.
Under the hood, there's the octa-core MediaTek Dimensity 800U processor with 8GB RAM and up to 256GB onboard storage.
We noticed that the device is ideal for gaming as it could handle most mid-to-heavy games compared to other phones in this segment. The phone did not lag while multitasking. The face unlocks and in-display fingerprint sensor worked fine too.
The smartphone packs a 4,000mAh battery that comes with 33W FlashCharge fast charging. On the full charge, the phone lasted around a day. Our usage included clicking pictures, gaming and watching videos, etc.
Conclusion: Vivo V21 5G is a device with a stylish look with neat specs. The overall performance of the device is decent in the mid-price segment which is currently brimming with several other options.
New Delhi, May 7 (IANSlife) Let us take our chances and say that you are tempted to skip reading this entire article, apart from the key pointers. But imagine this -- how about an audio broadcast version of this, which you can listen to while multitasking with whatever you are doing at the moment. That's essentially what a podcast is, and convenience is just one of the reasons behind its surging popularity.
The rise in popularity of podcasts in recent times
In December 2020, Amazon announced its acquisition of Wondery, a podcasting company. The popular audio firm Spotify has also been acquiring multiple podcast start-ups over the past two years. Ximalaya FM, a Chinese podcasting platform, has earned the unicorn status. This shopping spree by industry giants is a strong indicator of just how big podcasts are set to become globally. India too saw a growth in podcast listeners with a 42 per cent increase of users on audio streaming platforms in March 2020.
Another reason why podcasts are increasingly finding listeners is the wide range of genres on offer. From news and talk shows to a variety of audio books and lessons on self-improvement, there is no dearth of content for all listeners. While there are a few hiccups such as monetising by transforming the increase in listeners to revenue (only about 1 per cent of users are paid subscribers of the top music apps in India), podcasting platforms are optimistic for the time ahead given the rise in audiences. After all, pandemic notwithstanding, 2020 was a massive year for the podcasting world.
Germin8 share trends forecasted for podcasts in 2021:
* Continued rise of live streaming
Live broadcasting of interviews, debates, and podcasting events saw a growth over the past few years and particularly in 2020, given the Covid-19 scenario. Podcasting events grew in popularity as virtual attendance became the new normal, and the prediction is that such live streams will continue to be popular in 2021. Podcast events not only bring hosts, audiences, marketers together but is also a scope for revenue earning as platforms can go on to charge admission entry for listeners.
* Growth in podcast ad revenue
Talking about revenue, 2021 will see an increase in earnings for brands since podcasting offers a low-cost yet effective method of advertising. The Guardian's Podcast Insights 2020 found that audiences not only listen carefully to ads during podcasts, but are also more likely to search for the product being advertised or recommend it to people they know. The WARC Global Ad Trends report of 2019 estimates that podcast advertising will be worth $1.6 billion by 2022. Marketers ready to invest so much in podcast ads only speaks volumes about the expected ad revenues.
* New and independent entrants into podcasting
The dynamic nature of podcasting makes it easier for new talent to enter the space, and 2021 is expected to witness more new and independent entrants launching podcasts. At the same time, big industry names like Facebook are also adding audio content to their platforms. Moreover, with people spending more time at home, the demand for innovative and diverse content has opened up podcasting opportunities for independent artists.
* Newer strategies for monetising podcasts
Podcast makers and platforms this year will be looking for new avenues to cash in on the demand and monetise podcasts beyond the usual advertising. Luminary has a subscription model similar to Netflix via Apple Podcasts Subscriptions to access audio content. Platforms also use podcasts to drive audiences to their other businesses, such as an audio call to action to visit their website or buy an online newspaper subscription. Podcorn uses a model in which they connect brands to relevant podcasters for placing ads, a brilliant strategy that helps all podcasters earn money.
* Increase in competition among podcast platforms
It is no surprise that the competition among the various platforms are all set to heat up this year. Brands are using social listening to identify demands and offer endless options to listeners, with genres ranging from pop culture and comedy to true crime. Apple and Spotify have been two of the biggest podcast platforms, and now other players are putting in a good fight for their share of the industry. Recently, Spotify announced a host of new podcast originals targeted at the Indian audience. Other apps are offering innovative content, exclusives with celebrities, and audio options in various languages -- all to the benefit of listeners.
* More variety in listeners
Along with the diversity in podcast content, the listener demographic is also expanding and 2021 is likely to see a continuation of this trend. From young teens to parents and audiences across genders, ethnicity, age groups, and occupation, podcast listenership is truly engaged in the content available today. In fact, recent data from Nielsen shows that there is more diversity in podcast audiences than in the actual population of the US.
According to a 2020 report by FICCI-EY, 47 per cent of all internet users in India in the age group of 16-64 years listen to podcasts. While podcasting is currently a frequently-changing space, with such recent statistics, one thing seems sure -- audio will continue to be big in 2021.
San Francisco, May 7 (IANS) As a part of "sweeping visual rejuvenation" planned for later this year, Microsoft is finally preparing to refresh its Windows 95-era icons.
The software giant has been slowly improving the icons it uses in Windows 10. So, far it has redesigned File Explorer, folder, Recycle Bin, disk drive icons and more, The Verge reported.
Windows Latest has spotted new icons for the hibernation mode, networking, memory, floppy drives, and much more as part of the shell32.dll file in preview versions of Windows 10.
This DLL is a key part of the Windows Shell, which surfaces icons in a variety of dialog boxes throughout the operating system. It's also a big reason why Windows icons have been so inconsistent throughout the years, the report said.
The company has often modernised other parts of the OS only for an older app to throw you into a dialog box with Windows 95-era icons from shell32.dll.
All of this work to improve the consistency of Windows is part of Microsoft's design overhaul to Windows 10, codenamed Sun Valley.
The visual changes are expected to appear in the Windows 10 21H2 update that should arrive in October. Microsoft has not officially detailed its Sun Valley work, but a job listing earlier this year teased a "sweeping visual rejuvenation of Windows."
Microsoft has so far revealed new system icons for Windows 10, alongside File Explorer icon improvements, and more colorful Windows 10 icons that appeared last year.
Rounded corners will also be a big part of Sun Valley, alongside changes to built-in apps and the Start menu.
Dell has issued a security patch for millions of its computers dating back to 2009, after cybersecurity research firm SentinelLabs found five serious bugs in Dell and Alienware software that allow hackers to gain full permissions in Windows on the devices.
These high-severity vulnerabilities, which have remained present and undisclosed for 12 years in Dell devices for 12 years, affect hundreds of millions of devices and millions of users worldwide.
"The impact this could have on users and enterprises that fail to patch is far reaching and significant," said Kasif Dekel, Senior Security Researcher at SentinelOne.
While the cybersecurity firm has not seen any indicators that these vulnerabilities have been exploited in the wild up till now, with hundreds of million of enterprises and users currently vulnerable, "it is inevitable that attackers will seek out those that do not take the appropriate action".
The list of affected Dell computers has over 380 models, including some of the latest XPS 13 and 15 models, and the G3, G5, and G7 gaming laptops.
Dell has also listed almost 200 affected computers that it considers to be no longer receiving service.
Both Dell and SentinelLabs, however, stressed they haven't seen evidence of the vulnerability being exploited by hackers.
The high severity flaws could allow any user on the computer, even without privileges, to escalate their privileges and run code in kernel mode.
"Among the obvious abuses of such vulnerabilities are that they could be used to bypass security products," the report said.
An attacker with access to an organisation's network may also gain access to execute code on unpatched Dell systems and use this vulnerability to gain local elevation of privilege. Attackers can then leverage other techniques to pivot to the broader network, like lateral movement.
"These multiple high-severity vulnerabilities in Dell software could allow attackers to escalate privileges from a non-administrator user to kernel mode privileges," the report noted.
Smartphone maker Vivo on Tuesday announced aid worth Rs 10 crore to support India's fight against the second wave of Covid-19. The amount includes a donation of Rs 2 crore that Vivo had announced recently.
As part of the 'VivoCares' initiative, Vivo has undertaken several initiatives to help out those in need during this devastating second wave of Covid-19. The company will donate oxygen concentrators worth Rs 6 crore that will be distributed to various government hospitals to support the Covid relief measures.
"We are facing one of the worst crises in the history of humanity, and it is important for all of us to support each other in these unprecedented times. Vivo is committed to its people, and these initiatives are just a small step to extend our support to the communities. We all are in this together and will get through by helping each other," Nipun Marya, Director, Brand Strategy, Vivo India, said in a statement.
The company also has partnered with ISKCON to distribute 1,00,000 free cooked meals at the doorsteps of Covid stricken patients and families in Gurugram.
Further, in association with The Akshaya Patra Foundation, the world's largest mid-day meal programme provider, Vivo will give out a 'Happiness Kit' for all 500+ students of a government school for six months in Delhi.
The six-months long happiness project will support nutrition through food items, education through books and stationery, and hygiene through daily essentials. It has also pledged to donate two ambulances fitted with cardio-ventilator machines.
Vivo had, in 2020, donated over 9 lakh masks, 15,000 PPE suits and 50,000 liters of sanitizer to the state and central government agencies to help fight the pandemic.
Amid protests from Jeff Bezos-owned Blue Origin, the US space agency has suspended work on the $2.9 billion lunar lander contract given to Elon Musk-owned SpaceX.
Blue Origin had filed a protest with the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) against NASA for awarding $2.9 billion contract to SpaceX for landing astronauts on the Moon by 2024.
The US space agency was expected to pick two lunar lander prototypes (including one of Blue Origin's) but funding cut from US Congress led the agency to select SpaceX over Blue Origin.
"Pursuant to the GAO protests, NASA instructed SpaceX that progress on the HLS contract has been suspended until GAO resolves all outstanding litigation related to this procurement," NASA spokeswoman Monica Witt said in a statement, reports The Verge.
The third company in the race, Dynetics, also protested NASA's decision to the GAO, which adjudicates bidding disputes.
SpaceX's award was a key "first step" in a broader programme to secure transportation to the Moon.
In a 175-page protest, Blue Origin accused NASA of misjudging several parts of its proposal for its lunar lander called Blue Moon.
"NASA has executed a flawed acquisition for the Human Landing System programme and moved the goalposts at the last minute," Blue Origin said in a statement.
Calling NASA's decision "high risk," the company said that the decision "eliminates opportunities for competition, significantly narrows the supply base, and not only delays, but also endangers America's return to the Moon. Because of that, we've filed a protest with the GAO".
Musk responded to Blue Origin's protest with a tweet: "Can't get it up (to orbit) lol".
The contract is part of NASA's Artemis programme, which aims to return astronauts to the moon by 2024 as a stepping stone to the first human mission to Mars.
Four astronauts aboard the SpaceX's Crew Dragon-2 arrived at the International Space Station this week for a six-month mission.
After a successful "Spring Loaded" event, Apple is likely to launch the new iPad Pro with M1 and the upgraded Apple TV 4K with revamped Siri Remote on May 21.
Known tipster Jon Prosser updated in a tweet that Apple will also launch the new Apple TV on May 21 along with iPad Pro.
The launch date arrives as information from UK retailer John Lewis revealed availability for the new iMac and iPad Pro on May 21, which is when the new Apple 4K TV will also be launched by the Cupertino-based giant.
Previously, Prosser believed that the 11-inch model would arrive a day after on May 22, but now the tipster claims that both models would launch on the same date.
Recently, Apple has announced its most powerful and advanced iPad Pro ever, featuring an M1 chip, ultra-fast 5G and a stunning 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR display.
The new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be available in silver and space grey finishes. iPad Pro is available in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB configurations.
The company also unveiled a new iMac that features a 24-inch 4.5K Retina display with 11.3 million pixels, 500 nits of brightness and over a billion colours, delivering a brilliant and vivid viewing experience.