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Dell's New Business PC Lineup Gets Upgraded With Latest 10th Gen Intel vPro Processors

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Dell logo

The Dell business PC lineup is available across three portfolios – Latitude, Precision and OptiPlex.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: May 20, 2020, 9:20 PM IST

Dell Technologies on Wednesday unveiled new business PCs across Latitude, Precision and OptiPlex portfolios. Latitude 9510 is available starting at $1,899 and Latitude 7410 and 7310 PCs are available from at $1,499. Dell Precision 5550 is available from $1,999 while Dell Precision 5750 is available in early June, starting at $2,399. The India pricing will be revealed at a later date. “We are driving innovations that offer more intelligence, longer battery life, powerful speakerphones, compact designs and 5G support – all while moving our sustainability goals forward,” Darrel Ward, senior vice president, Client Product Group, Dell Technologies, said in a statement.

Available with 10th Gen Intel vPro processors and Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+)8 for nearly three times faster speeds, the Latitude devices offer businesses power, performance and global connectivity. Latitude 9510 is the smallest and lightest 15-inch business PC. Starting at 3.1 pounds, the PC offers built-in 5G-ready design, up to 34 hours of battery life. According to the company, it offers the power and performance teams need to be productive anywhere as the first Project Athena-verified commercial PC with 10th Gen Intel vPro processors. Designed for balancing performance and portability, Latitude 7410 and 7310 are the smallest 14-inch and 13-inch premium business laptops.

Also configurable as a 2-in-1, the Latitude 7410 features the industry’s first 4K low blue light screen on a premium business PC15 for better readability. Dell Precision 5550 and 5750 features 15-inch and 17-inch mobile display, respectively. The all-new Precision 5750 is also VR/AR and AI-Ready to handle fast rendering, detailed visualizations and complex simulations.




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Work From Home Buying Guide: Best Laptops Under Rs 40,000 With Windows 10 & Chrome OS

E-commerce is open again. This means you can now order from Amazon and Flipkart and the orders will be delivered to you in all parts of the country, except in containment zones. This must come as a great relief for those who suddenly shifted to the world from home routine ahead of the lockdown to flatten the COVID curve, a few weeks ago. Chances are, you may not have had a good laptop or PC at home, for it perhaps wasn’t really a critical requirement thus far. But now, you can buy a new laptop or PC to rock the work from home situation, and not be bogged down by an aging and sluggish PC, a bad keyboard, a cracked screen or something you were simply bored of. It is also expected that work from home will be quite a regular thing for a lot of workers in a lot of companies, which means you should be armed with a good computing device.

Do not make the same mistake again of thinking the smartphone can be a PC replacement, because when it really comes down to it, you will need a laptop to get genuine work done. Here are some of the best budget laptops, some running Windows 10 and some Google Chromebook options, which you must add to your arsenal of work from home tools. So that this purchase remains light on your pocket, we are looking at laptops under the Rs 40,000 price point—to get the perfect blend between performance and longevity without breaking the bank. Plus, they should look good too.

HP Chromebook x360 - 12b-ca0006tu

HP Chromebook x360 – 12b-ca0006tu

Around Rs32,990

The biggest advantage of the Google Chrome OS software for computing devices is the sheer simplicity of everything. It is incorrect to assume that you must be locked into the Google ecosystem to be able to use a Chromebook—the variety of apps available for the Chrome OS is as wide as Android phones. That is why the full-fledged Play Store is also available on the Chromebooks. Microsoft’s Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps? The Spotify app? Video streaming apps. You name it, and the whole wide world of productivity, utility and entertainment apps are available. For any Android phone user, the switch could prove to be close to seamless—and that is a genuine value addition. In fact, this works brilliantly with the Intel Celeron N4000 processor with 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage and a card slot if you wish to use that for adding more storage space. What’s most interesting is the square-is aspect ratio of the 12-inch display, and the hinge allows it to be folded all the way back into a sort of a tablet mode. Windows machines have never performed as well on this sort of hardware.

Dell Inspiron 14 5490

Dell Inspiron 14 5490

Around Rs 35,585

This started out with a price tag above the Rs 40,000 mark but price corrections have now pushed this beneath that virtual ceiling we have for this buying advice. That means you get the newer 10th generation Intel Core i3-10110U processor with 4GB RAM and a fast 512GB SSD. There is a 14-inch Full HD display which should do well for most productivity and entertainment tasks. The keyboard is not backlit though—perhaps you need to keep that in mind in case working in a dimly lit room is your thing. Dell’s ExpressCharge Boost tops up a fully discharged battery to 35% in 20 minutes and up to 80% in 60 minutes—great if you need to splash and dash. Then there is the Dell Mobile Connect app which pairs your iPhone or Android smartphone with your laptop, which mirrors most things from your phone on the laptop itself, thereby reducing distractions.

Lenovo IdeaPad 330

Lenovo IdeaPad 330

Around Rs 19,990

If you really are on a strict budget, the Lenovo IdeaPad 330 (model number: 330-15IKB) could be a steady enough pick. Do not expect this to be powerful or do anything more than basic computing, but what you get is a comfortable 15.6-inch HD display. This runs an Intel Celeron processor, along with 4GB RAM. There is a 1TB hard drive, and these basic specs are really all you should expect at this price. While there are many similarly priced laptops that don’t give you a preloaded Windows 10 operating system, this one does—and that is very important. A keyboard that is well laid out and the build quality doesn’t really betray its budget price tag.

Acer Aspire 5 A515-43

Acer Aspire 5 A515-43

Around Rs 38,369

This started out in life with a price tag around Rs 50,000 and that means you get specifications which are quite powerful. This runs the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U quad-core processor (for some reason, many potential laptop buyers still have a bit of mistrust towards AMD machines). This has 4GB of RAM to get Windows 10 and your apps purring along. What should also make a difference is the 512GB SSD, which will speed up performance. You get a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display. The keyboard isn’t backlit. The laptop weighs around 1.8kg. You should probably also consider this if you are taken in by the large screen goodness of the Lenovo IdeaPad S145 (model number 81W800FXIN).

Lenovo IdeaPad S145

Lenovo IdeaPad S145

Around Rs 35,010

We are specifically talking about the Lenovo IdeaPad S145 (model number 81W800FXIN) which runs the Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor with 4GB RAM and 256GB SSD. It looks like it means business and has the sort of serious personality that most good productivity centric machines have. This is ideal if you prefer large displays—this has a 15.6-inch Full HD screen for you to work on. Not the lightest, tipping the scales at 1.85kg, but that’s the compromise for a large screen laptop. You will quite like the keyboard, which has the sort of inspiration from the more expensive ThinkPad laptops, which make these genuinely good to type on. Lenovo also doesn’t clutter Windows 10 too much by preloading apps, which should also be good in the long run.

HP Notebook - 15s-du0093tu

HP Notebook – 15s-du0093tu

Around Rs38,990

And this price point, you get multiple laptops running the older generation Intel Core processors as well as some Celeron versions. However, this HP Notebook – 15s-du0093tu should hold up well with the Intel Core i3-8145U processor, with 8GB RAM and a 1TB hard drive. What you get is a 15-inch Full HD display, Windows 10 preloaded and six months of 25GB bundled Dropbox storage. This weighs 1.74kg and is 19.9mm thick. You also get a fingerprint sensor as an added authentication layer to keep your data safe. The HP Fast Charge feature charges a fully discharged laptop battery to 50% in 45 minutes, which should be handy in case you need to get stuff done in a hurry and don’t have access to power at the time. Oh, and the keyboard is backlit too.



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WeChat Monitors Messages Sent by Foreign Users Like You to Strengthen Censorship in China

Chinese instant messaging app, WeChat, is using its international users to train their algorithms and implement even more robust censorship in China. WeChat is owned by Chinese tech company Tencent. This shocking revelation comes as part of the research by the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab. The instant messaging app that has more than 1.15 billion users around the world.

The Citizen Lab researchers found that messages sent and received by foreign accounts are analyzed by WeChat’s algorithms to see whether they may be politically sensitive. However, these messages are not censored. However, if one such message is sent by or to a Chinese account holder, WeChat will censor that message. This includes images and documents.

The way this works is that any account registered for WeChat with a Chinese phone number, has to adhere to WeChat’s terms of service—and they have to follow the national regulations in terms of what can be shared on web platforms, and what cannot be. That is true, say the researchers, even if an account originally registered with a Chinese phone number, switches to an international number.

Have you also read?

Noodles & Pandas: Chinese Social Media Users Are Talking About Coronavirus in Secret Lingo

“Our results show that on each day of testing, if a sensitive document is first sent from a non-China-registered account to non-China-registered accounts, before sending it to a China-registered account, they are censored in real time when sent to a China-registered account. This finding shows that documents sent even entirely among non-China-registered accounts undergo content surveillance and that these documents are used to build-up the censorship system to which China-registered accounts are subjected,” say the researchers.

China’s cyber laws are rather broadly defined. In the new set of guidelines that went live in March, in the midst of the measures to contain the Coronavirus, or COVID-19 outbreak. Among the long list of do’s and don’ts released by the Cyberspace Administration of China in the Regulations on the Ecological Governance of Network Information Content, one guideline that truly stands out is the one that reads “spreading rumors and disturbing the economic and social order” under Article 6 which headlines Producers of online information content may not produce, copy or publish illegal information containing the following contents”.

In China, WeChat is considered a super-app, and offers multiple layers of functionality including instant messaging, social network on the lines of Facebook, mobile payments, news and access to other apps and platforms. In a way, it really cannot be ignored by Chinese citizens.

The researchers do say that any surveillance on non-China accounts on WhatsApp is undetectable to users. At no point is any message censored or altered, except that Tencent is potentially using the messages, images and documents shared by these users to understand what can be censored and training the algorithms that are then applied for users in China or registered with a Chinese phone number.

Incidentally, Tencent’s privacy policy documents for China and the rest of the world, does not indicate that non-China accounts will be under surveillance. “Overall, we found, first, that neither the China nor international public policy documents made clear to users that non-China accounts could have their content surveilled and the resulting hashes used to censor content for China-registered accounts. Second, we found it was plausible that the international policy documents could permit content surveillance of international users’ communications, but the company did not respond to these questions. Third, we found that it was unclear on what basis the hashes of international users’ communications could be shared with WeChat China, and the company did not respond to these questions,” says the research.

Citizen Lab’s results come after a series of tests done between November 2019 to January 2020, to understand how WeChat may be censoring content.

Have you also read?

WeChat is Censoring Coronavirus Keywords, Because China Doesn’t Like Bad Press?

In March, Citizen Lab had also revealed that WeChat was actively blocking any messages which had specific keywords or a combination of keywords around the Coronavirus, or COVID. These included “discussions of central leaders’ responses to the outbreak, critical and neutral references to government policies on handling the epidemic, responses to the outbreak in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau, speculative and factual information on the disease, references to Dr. Li Wenliang, and collective action.” They also discovered that references to President Xi Jinping as well as other central government and Party leaders including Premier Li Keqiang, Vice Premier Sun Chunlan, and the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China as a collective agency are high on censorship priority.

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Finally, The Microsoft Surface Pro X, Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 3 Are in India

Microsoft has announced that the Surface Pro X, Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 3 computing devices are now officially available in India. All three devices were announced by Microsoft back in October last year, and it has surely taken the company quite a long time to get these to our shores. Nevertheless, the Surface Pro X, Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 3 will be sold on shopping platforms including Amazon and Flipkart as well as authorized offline retail partners including Reliance Digital and Vijay Sales. The prices for the Surface Pro 7 line-up start at Rs 72,999 while the Surface laptop costs upwards of Rs 98,999 and the Surface X is also priced at Rs 98,999.

The Surface Pro 7 will be available in four variants in India, in the Platinum and Matte Black colour options. This succeeds the Surface Pro 6 and now runs the new 10th generation Intel Core processors. The Core i3 variant with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage costs Rs 72,999. The Core i5 version with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage costs Rs 88,999 while the Core i5 option with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage is a lot more expensive at Rs 1,16,999. The top spec Core i7 option with 16GB RAM and 256GB storage costs Rs 1,41,999.

“The ways in which we connect, work and learn are changing rapidly; and our devices are helping us stay connected and be productive as we work and learn remotely. The new Surface line-up is created for the modern worker. Each of the devices offers unparalleled versatility, greater performance and multi-tasking capabilities that empower you to work from anywhere, anytime,” said Rajiv Sodhi, COO, Microsoft India.

If you are eyeing a Surface Laptop 3, your choice is between two options and three colour options in total. The entry spec Surface Laptop 3 with the 13.5-inch screen is powered by a Core i5 processor with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage and this costs Rs 98,999—you can have this in the Platinum and Matte Black options. The 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 with the AMD Ryzen processor paired with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage will cost you Rs 1,16,999.

This is the first time the Surface Laptop family is getting two screen size options, and also the AMD Ryzen is on the hardware options menu.

Then there is the small matter of the rather cool Surface Pro X. This is priced at Rs 98,999 and is available in the 8GB RAM and 128GB storage options, with LTE connectivity. This is 13-inch convertible that becomes a tablet and a laptop, as you need it to. Design refinements mean thin bezels are smaller. It also has a Type Cover but is different from the one that the Surface Pro uses. There is also a docking option for the Surface Pen. And this runs Windows 10. But wait to hear this. The Surface Pro X is powered by Microsoft’s custom ARM-based SQ1 chipset. And there is LTE connectivity that should be great news for those who travel a lot. Microsoft claims it has 3X more performance than the Surface Pro 6 while the graphics have been seriously boosted as well.

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Nvidia RTX Super GPU Range Finally Makes its Way to Gaming Notebooks

Intel just announced its new range of high-performance 10th-gen H-Series processors offering up to 5.3GHz of clock speeds. Naturally, you need a powerful GPU to complement the massive amount of power. So, Nvidia has announced its new RTX Super GPUs for notebooks. The range currently includes the RTX 2080 Super and RTX 2070 Super mobile GPUs which will also be offered in Max-Q variants for slimmer notebooks.

The new mobile GPUs are based on Nvidia’s Turing architecture and include dedicated ray tracing Core hardware. Of course, these are the company’s most powerful and the most expensive RTX cards for laptops. They should offer a decent performance bump over the standard RTX 2070 and 2080. The Max-Q configurations are said to offer double the power efficiency by making use of a feature called Dynamic Boost. It can automatically distribute power between their GPU and CPU and it includes new low-voltage GDDR6 memory, upgraded voltage regulators, and Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS 2.0), which makes use of artificial intelligence to render pixels.

The RTX 2080 Super comes with 3,072 CUDA cores compared to 2,944 from the previous version, with power ranging between 80 to 150+ watts. The boost clock, memory and bandwidth remain pretty much the same. The RTX 2070 Super gets 2,560 CUDA cores compared to 2,304 on the RTX 2070 Max-Q with the base boost clock going up from 1,155 to 1,380 MHz, compared to 1,125 to 1,455 MHz on the non-Super model. Rest of the specifications remain the same.

Also Read:

Intel’s New 10th-Gen Core H-Series Notebook CPUs Breaks the 5GHz Barrier

Expect the new chips to arrive on new notebooks in April with Asus, Razer, MSI, Acer, and Lenovo confirming that new products are on their way. Nvidia also confirmed that the RTX 2060 will be more affordable hence will be available to a wider range of notebooks starting at $999 (Rs 76,000 approx). There is also news that the new RTX 3000 series for desktops will be announced in August.

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Intel 10th-Gen Core H-Series CPUs Are Here to Break the 5GHz Barrier on Laptops

Intel has finally launched its high-performance 10th-generation laptop processor range. This means that we would finally get to see more powerful gaming laptops as well as high-end studio notebooks. The highlight of the new range is that the company has managed to break the 5GHz barrier with the new six and eight-core i7 processors reaching up to 5.1Ghz (boost speed) on a single core.

If you think that is not enough, then you probably need the eight-core Core i9-10980HK which can go up to 5.3GHz and is also unlocked for overclocking. The new range includes two Core i5 models, three Core i7 models and the top of the line Core i9 mentioned above.

With this new range, Intel should stand tall against AMD’s 4000 series Ryzen mobile processors, which also offer up to eight cores, but lower 4.4GHz maximum clock speed. Having said that, AMD’s chips are based on the 7nm architecture, so they are more power-efficient and also offer better eight-core Radeon Vega graphics. Of course, nobody relies on integrated graphics, especially on gaming notebooks.

Now Intel says that one can expect around 44 percent improved performance on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey at 1080p resolution with high settings when compared to the three-year-old Core i7-7700HQ. The Core i9 variant is said to be 54 percent faster in Red Dead Redemption 2, compared to the i7-7820HK. Click here for more info on the new chips.

Apart from that, the chips come with integrated Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 (Gig+) which is said to offer three times faster downloads and low-latency wireless performance. There is Intel’s Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0​, Adaptix Dynamic Tuning Technology and Intel Extreme Tuning Utility for intelligent performance tuning. The chips also support Thunderbolt 3 offering four times more bandwidth than USB 3.1, Intel Optane memory as well as support for DDR4-2933 memory.

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CBSE AI Curriculum Introduced for 8th Grade Students and Above in MoU with Intel

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is partnering with Intel in a bid to incorporate an artificial intelligence (AI) curriculum in the syllabus of school education in India. CBSE is reported to have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Intel on initiatives surrounding the introduction of AI in Indian school education. The project involves setting up and rolling out a suitable AI curriculum, and also practical skilling for students in the field of AI. The latter will also see the establishment of an AI ‘Skills Lab’ under the Intel AI for Youth development programme.

The MoU between CBSE and Intel has also established the ground for a national AI olympiad, which will contribute towards building interest among students at the school level in India to create AI solutions that can impact the society. Intel stated in a press release that the AI curriculum has already been launched with eight schools as a pilot project in 2019, and aims to cover 100,000 students in India by 2020. By 2022, CBSE plans to introduce this curriculum across 22,000 schools in the country.

In a press statement, Dr. Biswajit Saha, director of skill education and training with CBSE, said, “AI has been widely recognized as the power that will fuel India’s digital economy. It is imperative to understand its importance and enable Indian youth to become adept in harnessing its positive impact. CBSE is the only Board that has introduced AI as a full-fledged subject in school curriculum. Our collaboration with Intel has helped us empower the youth with AI skills in an inclusive way and we hope to take this journey ahead in a big way in the coming years.”

Dr. Rajendra Prasad Kendriya Vidyalaya in New Delhi was the first school where Intel has piloted its first AI Skills Lab, which was opened to 8th grade students and further offered to those who opt for AI as a skill subject in their curriculum from the 9th grade. Intel has further stated that special emphasis will be put in northern India and north-eastern Indian states in terms of the AI curriculum, with “special focus on aspirational districts”.

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Coronavirus Vaccine: Everything You Need to Know And Why it is Not Coming Anytime Soon

There can always be debates and opinions about how long the delay was before China informed the world about the Coronavirus disaster that was headed it’s way, but largely, it has been more than two months since the Coronavirus, or COVID-19 has had people landing up in hospital. The initial symptoms are very flu-like—cough, cold, scratchy throat, running nose and even a fever. But it progressively becomes worse, with breathing difficulties, pneumonia and even coughing up blood adding themselves to the symptoms list. At the time of writing this, the official figures (and these could be on the lower side, mind you, as authorities around the world scramble to confirm and reconfirm cases), there are more than 95,000 infected around the world. South Korea just reported a massive spike in cases, with takes the cases in the country to 5,766. China remains the worst hit—80,410 in Mainland China, 105 in Hong Kong and 10 in Macau. Italy, Iran, Japan, France, Germany, Spain, US, Singapore, Switzerland and the UK have also been reporting some of the worst numbers. India has confirmed 29 cases as of now. That leads us to the big question—where is the vaccine and what is the treatment right now?

Answering the second question first—the treatment. There is absolutely no treatment for the Coronavirus. At best, you pray that your body’s immune system is able to fight the virus. Doctors will give you medication for the other symptoms, such as fever, cough etc., but there is nothing that targets the virus directly. “There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions,” says the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus. Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses. Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness,” clarifies the UK’s NHS.

Most important is—you need to stay in isolation and away from other people until you’ve recovered.

A vaccine introduces the body’s immune system to a particular virus or a pathogen and helps the body create a memory of that—after a tryst with a weakened form of the same virus that it wants to protect the body against.

Now, the vaccine. In simple terms and not getting into complex medical explanations that your truly is not equipped for, a vaccine introduces the body’s immune system to a particular virus or a pathogen and helps the body create a memory of that—after a tryst with a weakened form of the same virus that it wants to protect the body against. Post vaccination, the immunization stage happens in which the body’s immune system learns how to fight it. In the event a person is exposed to the same pathogen at some point down the line, the body will be able to counter it. There. Simple enough.

But what about the Coronavirus? I know you are getting impatient.

At this time, there is absolutely no vaccine for the Coronavirus, or COVID-19. There is no way to prepare the human body for fighting the Coronavirus infection. The body, in case someone is infected, has to learn on the fly (for the lack of a better illustration) to fight the virus. Those will stronger immune systems are able to fight it, while some may not. It is also important to get the symptoms of the Coronavirus infection treated immediately, so that the body has better bandwidth (again, the lack of a simpler term) to fight the virus instead.

So, when will the COVID-19 vaccine be ready?

If we are to believe the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci, the vaccine is still at least a year and a half away.

Not anytime soon, irrespective of the different reports that you may be seeing across the free expanse of the world wide web. If we are to believe the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci, the vaccine is still at least a year and a half away. “It will take at least a year and a half to have a vaccine we can use,” he told the US senators earlier this week. There are reasons why it takes as long as it does, even though scientists and pharma companies are working at full steam to get the vaccines ready.

The first stage is to get the vaccine candidate ready. Once that is done, the process reaches the stage which takes the maximum time—the clinical trials. The first phase is when healthy volunteers are used to test if the doses of vaccine are safe and whether there are any side effects, if any. This process, scientists say, takes three months. Phase 2 happens if the first stage passes by without any ill-effects being noticed on the volunteers—and this time, the injections will happen on a much larger spread, preferably in an area that has COVID-19 patients, to see how the vaccine works on those who are in close proximity of the infected. The data from this is collected for about 6 months. If this goes well without any failures, then comes phase 3. The net will be much wider than before, again in an area that is actively infected. The data collection takes another 6 months. Once all this is done, the vaccine sample and the collected data is shared with the regulators, such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for review and approvals for clinical use. Even if the FDA is to drop everything it is doing and approve the Coronavirus vaccine as quickly as it can, it will still take some time to verify the data and the approve the vaccine. Keep some headroom for extensive testing, and all things go smoothly through the process, we are still looking at close to 15-18 months before the Coronavirus vaccine is available for everyone. That is, the summer of 2021.

Even if the FDA is to drop everything it is doing and approve the Coronavirus vaccine as quickly as it can, it will still take some time to verify the data and the approve the vaccine.

It is unlikely that despite the obvious urgent demand, pharma companies will rush a vaccine into the market. If it is not up to the mark or isn’t tested properly, that could mean a rather high risk situation for the patients and the companies. Four pharmaceutical companies are the go-to names in the vaccine business—the GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Merck and Sanofi. But at this time, there are a lot more candidates showing interest. These include American companies Moderna, CureVac, Inovio, Takis BioTech, India based Zydus Cadilla, Johnson & Johnson, the Imperial College of London, University of Oxford and the University of Queensland. The Financial Times reports that the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, a three year old partnership of governments, industry and charities to fight emerging diseases that threaten global health, is already sponsoring four COVID-19 vaccine projects, including Moderna’s.

At the same time, one also has to factor in the uncertainties. For instance, SARS vaccine was under tests when that outbreak disappeared all of a sudden (fantastic news, whichever way you look at it), but that meant pharma companies had to abandon those tests. A lot has to do with the duration of the outbreak.

Till the vaccine comes, all we can do to fight the possibility of a Coronavirus infection is to maintain good hygiene. Wash your hands regularly with soap, use hand sanitizers and avoid touching your face. “Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose,” says the NSW Ministry of Health, Australia. Avoid contact with anyone who may be infected or is showing possible signs of infection. Keep your surroundings clean. And hope for the best.

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Google Doesn’t Like You Searching For Coronavirus Apps, But Censorship is Broken

Even as the Coronavirus outbreak is continuing around the world, tech companies are busy censoring the keywords Coronavirus, COVID-19 and COVID19. This time around, it is Google filtering search results on the Play Store for Android devices. Try searching for Coronavirus or COVID 19 or COVID-19 on the Play Store on your Android phone, and you’ll be greeted with a “No results found” response. However, and quite weirdly this, you can search for COVID19 without any space or hyphen between COVID and 19 and the Play Store search results list a whole bunch of apps, including the official app of the US Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC).

We understand that this keyword censorship has been put in place to perhaps filter the low quality or frankly malicious apps that may spring up on the Play Store to take advantage of the panic around the world, as people search for answers. There is also a lot of misinformation that is available on various social media and unofficial news sources, and this could be an attempt to curtail apps that may be spreading wrong information about Coronavirus around the world.

Weirdly, you can search for COVID19 without any space or hyphen between COVID and 19 and the Play Store search results list a whole bunch of apps

We noticed that by doing this half-baked or potentially broken censoring of app search results, Google has also managed to block apps such as the official CDC app, the official CNN app, the NHK World Japan app, News Republic and Channel News Asia’s CNA app from the search results—and these are as reliable sources to tune in to for Coronavirus and COVID-19 updates.

This comes a day after we had reported that Chinese instant messaging app WeChat, owned by Tencent, was censoring messages that contained keywords including Coronavirus, discussions of central leaders’ responses to the outbreak, critical and neutral references to government policies on handling the epidemic, President Xi Jinping, references to Dr. Li Wenliang and more.

At the time of writing this, there are more than 95,425 confirmed cases of Coronavirus around the world, with as many as 124 cases already confirmed in the US. China continues to be the worst hit with 80,410 cases in Mainland China, 105 in Hong Kong and 10 reported from Macau, according to official figures. There are now 29 confirmed COVID-19 cases in India as well, including in Delhi and Jaipur, with some people under watch in Bengaluru and Agra, who may have come in contact with the infected. South Korea has reported 322 additional cases. No wonder people are searching for answers, and tech companies including Google are scrambling to find the right balance between censoring fake news and providing the correct information.

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Tech

Intel Launches New Xeon Data Center Processor, 10nm 5G Chip

Intel Corp launched new microprocessors, including a second-generation Xeon processor for data centres and a 10nm chip for wireless 5G base stations. Demand from cloud computing companies has boosted sales of server chips, leading to strong results from Intel and its rival AMD Corp. Intel’s Xeon chips have dominated the market for server chips, but AMD has been gaining ground since its re-entry into the business three years ago with rival EPYC processors that earned positive reviews.

The new Xeon chips will provide better per-dollar performance than the last generation, while the 10nm chip, P5900, will help it become the leading silicon provider in base stations by 2021, a year earlier than expected, Intel said. Last month, the chipmaker said it would release nine 10nm products in 2020 and launch its 7nm product next year. AMD has already launched several chips based on the smaller 7nm architecture.

Intel had struggled with delays in its 10nm chip technology, losing its lead to rivals in the race to supply to the “new data economy”, which includes 5G, autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence. The company had planned to launch the new chips at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, but the event was called off due to rising fears over the coronavirus outbreak.