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Banning China's Huawei & ZTE Key to National Security, Urge India to Act Accordingly: US FCC Chairman

Image for Representation
(Reuters)

Image for Representation
(Reuters)

The chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission underlined the act of replacing Huawei and ZTE’s communications equipment in USA with ‘more trusted’ companies.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: July 3, 2020, 8:15 PM IST

Ajit Pai, chairman of the United States Federal Communications Commission, stated that the labelling of Huawei and ZTE as ‘national security threats’ is a key move that has been taken after considering data and submissions collated from all stakeholders, and is one that all allies of USA are being urged to take. In conversation with Zakka Jacob, executive editor of CNN-News18, Pai clarified the scanner that Huawei and ZTE came under in USA, the premise for it, the on-ground repercussions of it in USA, how this may affect India, and also answered questions regarding allegations of USA preventing the two companies from getting a “level playing field” in one of the largest technology markets around the world.

“We asked companies that we fund to stop using their technologies after listening to multiple stakeholders – companies, intelligence agencies, as well as Huawei and ZTE,” said Pai. Explaining how the ban would work in terms of the technological deployments as well as employee operations, Pai said, “From our perspective, it means that for the $8.3 billion that we at FCC distribute to private companies every year – that money will not be allowed to be spent on Huawei or ZTE equipment. Our regulations won’t extend to the regular life of employees – we are solely focused on the federal funding. In addition, we’ve also been working with the Congress on a ‘rip and replace’ programme, where we’re working with relevant companies, identifying telecom equipment that already uses components from Huawei and ZTE, and substitute them with secure replacements.”

With India set to take a decision on which companies would it allow to participate in 5G trials, Pai said that on behalf of USA, he has urged Indian officials to proceed with caution and take a responsible call. “Even during my visit to India, I highlighted that the equipment that will be used in network infrastructure in the near future would be extremely important for national security across all sectors of the economy. Think very careful about equipment vendors and suppliers, and especially operators who may be subject to pressure from the Chinese communist party, the PLA etc. They represent an unacceptable risk to us, and we hope that the Indian government will act responsibly too. My early discussions with officials on this note have been very productive,” Pai said.

As a parting comment, Pai also underlined that it is “ironic” that the Chinese communist party, which heavily controls the operation of foreign companies in China and subsidises its own companies, has complained about the US preventing Huawei and ZTE from gaining a “level playing field” in the country and in the world. Pai also said that technological innovation does not necessitate compromising security, and entirely denied that preventing Huawei and ZTE would cause consumers to pay higher prices for network devices.


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Amazon Prime Video App for Windows 10 is Now Live and Available in India: All Details Here

Image for Representation.

Image for Representation.

This feature only works through the app on the Windows 10 operating system and includes desktop PCs, laptops, and tablets.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: July 3, 2020, 10:34 AM IST

Amazon has announced that its customers in India can now access Prime Video through a dedicated app available on the Microsoft Store on Windows 10 devices. Using the new Amazon Prime Video for Windows app, customers are now able to stream Prime Video content online or download Prime Video content for offline viewing on their device.

This feature only works through the app on the Windows 10 operating system and includes desktop PCs, laptops, and tablets. The online streaming experience will be the same as the current experience on the Prime Video website.

Customers can find the new Amazon Prime Video for PC app through the Microsoft Store on their Windows 10 device. Earlier, Amazon Prime Video introduced a Watch Party feature that allows its Prime members to view movies and TV shows together from different locations. With Watch Party, one can chat with up to 100 friends while they watch movies and TV shows online together.


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JioMeet Video Conferencing Tool Amplifies PM Modi's Vocal for Local Push in India

One of the major points that Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought forth in a bid to revive the Indian economy in light of the Covid-19 lockdown was a push for Indian services. With vocal for local and ‘atmanirbhar Bharat’ calls growing strong, JioMeet has arrived to address the imminent requirement of an Indian video conferencing service that amplifies PM Modi’s vocal for local push. This takes Indian technology to the forefront of global services, and gives the people of India a homegrown service that they can use for all official purposes.

So far, the JioMeet service was so far on a trial phase, and required invitation codes to work. Now, with the service being opened up for everyone, JioMeet will be directly rivalling services such as Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Skype. This brings it head to head with all of these services in terms of the features on offer, which incidentally is right up with global offerings.

To match the features on offer by Zoom, Google Meet, Skype and others, JioMeet will allow video conferencing with up to 100 participants. Given that JioMeet is available for free, this certainly beats the likes of Zoom and Google Meet, which allows lesser participants in their free versions. JioMeet also allows users to schedule meetings prior to a conference, which would therefore allow companies to set up pre-scheduled conference meets online. It further includes the option for participants to share screens, therefore allowing live sharing of content across computers. JioMeet will further allow participants to instantly join calls directly from their web browsers.

Additionally, JioMeet promises encryption and security for every video conference, therefore enabling complete privacy and data protection for its users. JioMeet is now available on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Windows, macOS and also as a web service. JioMeet can also be integrated into enterprise suites that employ Outlook, so that organisations can directly collaborate via video calls on Outlook itself.

With video conferencing becoming a key tool in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, JioMeet will play a key role in streamlining heavy conferencing needs. JioMeet also fills the gap of an Indian video conferencing solution, which the government of India had called for after various security issues were highlighted with a number of global video conferencing service providers.

One big aspect that will work in JioMeet’s favour is its Indian roots. With data privacy and data localisation being key concerns, JioMeet will address India’s requirement for a reliable, robust video conferencing platform that can be used for both personal and enterprise purposes. JioMeet is now available for all users, therefore filling the void in the market for an established Indian video conferencing service.

Disclaimer:News18.com is part of Network18 Media & Investment Limited which is owned by Reliance Industries Limited that also owns Reliance Jio.


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Google Meet to Roll Out Its AI-powered Noise-cancellation Feature in India Soon

Google has announced that its noise cancellation feature for Meet teleconferencing app will soon start rolling out in more markets, including India. In a support document, Google said apart from India, the noise cancellation will roll out to users in Australia, Brazil, Japan and New Zealand in the coming weeks.

The company also makes clear that it won’t come to people in South Africa, the UAE, and the immediately surrounding areas without stating why. Google introduced its AI-powered noise cancellation feature for the Meet in early June. The search engine giant was working on the feature for around a year and a half, using thousands of its own meetings to train its AI model.

The noise-cancellation feature uses a machine learning model that is capable of understanding the difference between noise and speech. To filter out background noise, a user’s voice is sent from the device to a Google data centre, which is where it goes through the machine learning model. Once the processing is completed, it gets re-encrypted and sent back to the Google Meet call. The feature is expected to become widely available for G Suite enterprise customers by the end of this month.


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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is Now Cheaper in India by Rs 7,000: Price, Specs, Offers and More

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ chipset, coupled with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of onboard storage.

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DuckDuckGo Blocked in India: Yet to Hear From ISPs on Matter, Company Confirms

DuckDuckGo, the privacy focused web browser, surprisingly appeared to be blocked in India since the evening of yesterday, July 1. After numerous complaints surfaced on social media platforms, DuckDuckGo released a statement on Twitter acknowledging the issue. However, there have been no confirmations regarding the same from either the government of India, or from any of India’s internet service providers (ISPs), as to why might this block have been imposed.

In an interaction with News18, Daniel Davis, communications manager for DuckDuck, confirmed to News18 that the company is still in process of identifying which ISPs appear to be blocking access to DuckDuckGo in India, and getting in touch with them. Davis also told News18 that DuckDuckGo has only become aware of this issue as a result of user reports. It yet to receive any official communication from either official authorities or Indian ISPs on why might this issue have occurred, or any ground for blocking the service in India.

“We’re aware of the situation thanks to the many user reports, and are gathering more information on which ISPs are affected. We’ve confirmed it’s not an issue with our servers and hope all users in India will be able to access DuckDuckGo Search again very soon,” Davis told News18.

After taking cognisance of the service being blocked in India yesterday, DuckDuckGo suggested a temporary workaround of switching the third party DNS provider on any network in order to access the search engine’s services. This process, however, is only going to be temporary, and word remains thin on exactly what may be causing the service to not work – especially since DuckDuckGo says it is not an issue from their end.

So far, DuckDuckGo’s blocking appears intermittent in India. While the service was unavailable on Airtel Broadband until today morning, it appears to have been restored since the past one hour prior to publishing of this report. The service still remains down on ACT Fibernet, while Excitel, a smaller scale internet provider in India, has not blocked access to it.


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Apple Supplier Foxconn, Others Hit as India Holds up Imports from China, Say Sources

Image for Representation
(Source: Reuters)

Image for Representation
(Source: Reuters)

More than 150 Foxconn shipments – containing smartphone and electronic parts – were stuck at the port of Chennai, though some are being cleared slowly now, the first source said.

  • Reuters New Delhi
  • Last Updated: July 2, 2020, 2:20 PM IST

India’s additional scrutiny of imports from China has disrupted operations at plants owned by Apple supplier Foxconn in southern India, three sources told Reuters, and other foreign firms are also facing delays as tensions between the two countries build.

Customs officers at Indian ports have held back shipments from China and sought additional clearances after deadly clashes at the disputed Himalayan border last month. The checks have been imposed without any formal order.

While several companies such as Apple and Dell have been battling to free stuck shipments, hundreds of employees at Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn’s two plants in the south had no major work to do this week as shipments were delayed, sources said.

More than 150 Foxconn shipments – containing smartphone and electronic parts – were stuck at the port of Chennai, though some are being cleared slowly now, the first source said. The total number of parts in the shipments was not clear.

Foxconn’s two plants in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh mainly assemble Apple and Xiaomi smartphones in the country and employ thousands of workers, many of whom stay in company-provided accommodation.

“Foxconn was in a very bad state … lots of workers stayed at the dormitory because there was no work,” said the first source.

Foxconn, Apple and Xiaomi did not respond to Reuters queries.

The finance ministry also did not respond. Two officials at the ministry, which oversees the customs department, said the inspection measures were temporary and will ease soon.

“We cannot keep checking 100% of shipments forever … Shipments of non-Chinese companies being impacted will be cleared on priority,” said one official.

While the exact impact of the disruptions is not immediately clear, the delays come when companies in India had already been battling disrupted supply chains due to coronavirus shutdowns in recent months. Business activity has only just begun to pick up.

Prominent US-India lobby groups and local industry bodies have urged the Indian government to intervene.

While some delayed Dell shipments have been cleared since last week, the company had roughly 130 shipments stuck this week at Indian ports, the second source said. This included around six shipping containers with parts for servers and desktop computers, the person added.

Dell did not respond to a request for comment.

Separately, MG Motor, owned by China’s SAIC, also has some shipments stuck at a port in southern India, a source close to the company told Reuters. MG started selling cars in India last year and has committed $650 million in investments.

“The whole (auto) industry will be impacted if components are stuck,” the source said.

MG Motor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

China’s Commerce Ministry said on Thursday that it hoped India would correct its discriminatory actions against Chinese companies immediately, after India banned some Chinese mobile apps amid the border crisis.


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Tech

OnePlus 8 Pro, OnePlus 8 to go on Sale in India Today: Price, Specs, and More

The OnePlus 8 series is yet again going on a flash sale in India today. Customers can buy the OnePlus 8 or the OnePlus 8 Pro today from Amazon India or OnePlus India’s official online store. The company was facing production issues of the Pro variant right before the first sale, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but it seems like the production is back in order. The sale is set to begin at 12PM noon on Amazon India as well as OnePlus’ official online store.

ONEPLUS 8 PRO SPECIFICATIONS

The OnePlus 8 Pro features a 6.78-inch QHD+ (1440×3168 pixels) Fluid AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC, coupled with up to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM. The phone is offered in 128GB and 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage options. In the camera department, there is a 48-megapixel primary camera, a 48-megapixel camera with a wide-angle lens, an 8-megapixel camera with a telephoto lens, and a 5-megapixel colour filter camera sensor. At the front, there is a 16-megapixel selfie camera embedded under the hole punch display.

Other features include an in-display fingerprint sensor, 5G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth v5.1, GPS/ A-GPS, NFC, and a USB Type-C port. The battery is rated at 4,510mAh with support for Warp Charge 30T and Warp Charge 30 Wireless charging. The smartphone comes with Android 10 out of the box with OxygenOS on top.

ALSO READ

OnePlus 8 Pro Review: Set Your Expectations Really High, Because This Will Meet Them All

ONEPLUS 8 SPECIFICATIONS

The OnePlus 8 features a smaller 6.55-inch full-HD+ (1080×2400 pixels) Fluid AMOLED display that comes with a 90Hz refresh rate. The smartphone is powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset, paired with up to 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM while storage options include 128GB and 256GB. As for the cameras, there is a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor along with a 16-megapixel sensor with an ultrawide lens, and a 2-megapixel macro camera. The front camera is a 16-megapixel sensor with fixed focus.

Rest of the features include an in-display fingerprint sensor, 5G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth v5.1, GPS/ A-GPS, NFC, and a USB Type-C port. The battery is rated at 4,300mAh with Warp Charge 30T (5V/ 6A) support.

PRICE AND OFFERS

As far as the pricing is concerned, the OnePlus 8 Pro is available at Rs 54,999 for the 8GB + 128GB storage variant, and the 12GB + 256GB variant comes at Rs 59,999. The OnePlus 8 is priced at Rs 41,999 for the 6GB + 128GB storage configuration which is selling exclusively on Amazon India. The 8GB + 128GB variant is priced at Rs 44,999 and the 12GB + 256GB storage variant is priced at Rs 49,999.

Customers can get Rs 1,000 cashback via Amazon Pay, along with no-cost EMI options of up to 12 months from various banks as well as Jio benefits worth Rs 6,000.


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OnePlus TV 2020 to Launch Today in India: How to Watch Live Stream, Expected Price and More

OnePlus will be officially unveiling its new range smart TVs in India today. The company has already teased that we can expect three models as well as certain features that will be a part of the new series. Primarily OnePlus is going to be targeting the more affordable segment unlike the two models it launched last year.

The launch event is scheduled for 7PM IST and will be live streamed. You can head over to OnePlus India’s social media channels including Twitter and YouTube to catch all the announcements. We have also added the official live stream below for your convenience:

OnePlus TV Expected Price and Features

The company has been teasing some of the features of the upcoming OnePlus TV range. As mentioned above, expect a total of three new models. A recent leak suggests that these will be the 32H1 32-inch HD TV, the 43F1 43-inch full-HD TV and the 55U1 55-inch ultra-HD or 4K TV. The 32-inch and 43-inch variants are said to come with Dolby Audio while the larger 55-inch model will feature Dolby Audio as well as Dolby Vision.

OnePlus has also given hints like a “burdenless design” with thin bezels and a slim build that can be matched to the OnePlus 8 series. There is also a confirmation that the displays will offer 93 percent DCI-P3 colour gamut. In a post, OnePlus recently confirmed that its new TV range will be priced at Rs 1x,999, Rs 2x,999 and Rs 4x,999.Pre-bookings have already started on Amazon India where the company is offering extended warranty at Rs 1,000.


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TikTok Banned in India: Here's How You Can Download Your Videos and Data

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

TikTok is going to be banned in the country indefinitely, but you can salvage some of your data including videos.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: July 1, 2020, 11:23 AM IST

TikTok is one of the most popular apps that recently got banned by the Indian government. As per a release from the Ministry of Electronics and IT, a total of 59 apps under the provisions of Section 69 of the IT Act, as well as provisions of the IT rules 2008, saying, “in view of information available they are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”

TikTok has over 800 million active users in the world with 119 million from India alone. TikTok was downloaded 277.6 million times in India in the first 11 months of 2019 and it was the fourth most downloaded iPhone app in the same year.

Ever since the ban, the app has been removed from the Google Play Store as well as the Apple App Store. It has also reportedly become inaccessible to users as the government had ordered ISPs and TSPs to block all the 59 apps.

While most TikTokers are planning to move to other platforms, like Instagram and YouTube, here is how you can download your videos as well as data from TikTok:

-Open TikTok and go to your profile

-Click on the video you wish to download

-Tap on the three-dot icon and hit Save video

-Using this process you can download a particular video on your device

You can also download your profile data from TikTok using the following steps:

-Open TikTok and open the three-dot menu at the top right corner

-Head to Privacy and safety > Personalization and data > Download your data

-You will be asked to confirm your request which will be sent to TikTok

-Once the request have been made, you will have to wait and check the app for a confirmation which can take up to 30 days

-After your request has been accepted, you will be able to download your data. Make sure you do that within four days else he data file will expire